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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:49 PM
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Antiwar Activists Split Over Obama's Afghan Buildup Plans
July 22, 2008
Antiwar activists split over Obama's troop plans

Antiwar activists split over Obama's Afghan buildup plans
By David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers
July 22, 2008

WASHINGTON Barack Obama's plan to build up U.S. forces in Afghanistan while keeping perhaps 50,000 troops in Iraq has triggered a deep rift among antiwar activists, a reminder of the difficult tasking facing the presumptive Democratic nominee as he tries to broaden his appeal.

Some hailed Obama's trip as an important breakthrough. "So far the trip has been out of the park. It's an enormous moment," declared Eli Pariser, executive director of, which supports Obama. He hedged about Obama's troop commitments, however: He said he wasn't fully aware of Obama's call for a residual force in Iraq and was trying to get a sense from MoveOn members on their views about Afghanistan.

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobbying group, was less enthusiastic. "It was a significant step forward," she said, "but it was only a step."

Barbra Bearden, spokeswoman for Peace Action, called Obama's comments about Afghanistan "a bit disheartening." Bearden said that "we've seen the results of these military actions. We create a power vacuum and try to create a government. We did that in Iraq, and now we're talking about using the same failed strategy again in Afghanistan."

Judith LeBlanc, organizing coordinator for United for Peace & Justice, said that "dealing with the threat of terrorism cannot be done on a military basis." She and other activists wanted to hear more from Obama about a strategy for dealing with terrorism around the globe, including more use of diplomacy and economic aid.

The activists agreed on this much: They're not going to vote for McCain.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:57 PM
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1. The mission in Afghanistan was poorly executed, but remains the right thing to do
Don't get me started on all the ways in which we mismanaged the Afghanistan mission, but I continue to believe that it was the right thing to do.

We were attacked, and any sovereign nation that is attacked has the right to defend itself and strike back against the attackers. I have no doubt that France or Sweden would do the same thing if they were attacked.

The Taliban is/was an evil regime that no liberal has any business making excuses for.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:17 PM
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2. Who's Making Excuses For The Taliban?
The current regime is a dictatorship which also violates the most basic human and democratic rights.

I don't think it offers much more hope for a better future than the Taliban.

Check out this post captioned "RAWA (Afghan women's rights org) opposes the US invasion and occupation." at:

There are some who have bought into the fiction that the US invasion was intended to, or as a side effect would, improve the status and living conditions of women in Afghanistan. RAWA is an organization that formed over 30 years ago to improve conditions for women in their country. They resisted the Taliban, setting up secret schools for girls and so on, and now oppose the US occupiers and their Afghan collaborators. Both the Taliban and the US invaders have intensified the suffering and the degradation of living conditions and reduction in rights for the women and girls of their country. See ... for more about RAWA.

The situation for women has not improved since the US led invasion, in fact quite the contrary. RAWA, the leading Afghan womens rights group (which fought the Soviets and the Taliban) says the US-backed regime in Kabul is no improvement for Afghan women:

After the 9-11 tragedy, when the US began bombing Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, the oppression of Afghan women was used as a justification for overthrowing the Taliban regime. Five weeks later Americas first lady, Laura Bush, stated triumphantly: Because of our recent military gains in much of Afghanistan, women are no longer imprisoned in their homes.

But unfortunately the reality shows a different picture. The people of the world should know that though the disgusting, ludicrous and oppressive rule of Taliban was over in our ill-fated Afghanistan, but this never means the end of the horrible miseries of our tortured women. Because contrary to the aspirations of our people and expectations of the world community, the Northern Alliance, these brethren-in-creed of the Taliban and Al-Qaida are again in power and generously supported by the US government.

(From -... )

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