[Marxism] Obama sticks to his goal of swift Iraq withdrawal

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 21 13:08:34 MDT 2008

Of course this headline is but the sucker bait. Not too far into
the story the real deal become apparent to the attentive reader.

It seem that this story, while not being completely buried, has
been given relatively low emphasis, and hasn't generated a lot
of publicity. Perhaps the scandal regarding the professional
football player Pat Tillman can help generate some interest in
Afghanistan which might generate more traction. 

But on the brighter side, this from today's DEMOCRACY NOW (excerpt):

AMY GOODMAN: The Green Party made history last week when it nominated
the first all-women-of-color presidential ticket in US history.
Former Democratic Congress member Cynthia McKinney, the first African
American woman elected to Congress in Georgia, won the Green Party’s
nomination last Monday. She named longtime community organizer,
journalist and former director of the Hip Hop Caucus, Rosa Clemente,
as her running mate.

McKinney is among the most outspoken critics of the Bush
administration, and one of her last measures as a Democratic Congress
member was to introduce a bill calling for the impeachment of
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. But McKinney left the
Democratic Party late last year, after serving six terms in Congress
under both the Clinton and present Bush administrations. She said the
Democrats had become “no different than their Republican
counterparts.” She announced her bid for the presidency as a Green
candidate earlier this year.

We’re joined now by Green Party presidential and vice-presidential
candidates. Cynthia McKinney joins us from Washington, D.C. Rosa
Clemente joins us from Charlotte, North Carolina. We welcome you both
to Democracy Now!

Cynthia McKinney, let’s begin with you in Washington, D.C. If you
were elected president, what would be your first act?

CYNTHIA McKINNEY: Of course, the first act would be to assemble a
team in the Pentagon that believed in peace and the efficacy of
diplomacy. And therefore, we would make sure that we put together an
orderly withdrawal, but immediate withdrawal, of all of our young men
and women, not just from Iraq and Afghanistan, but from the more than
100 countries around the world in which our soldiers are stationed.

AMY GOODMAN: And what do you make of Senator Obama’s trip right now
to Iraq and to Afghanistan, where he said the real war on terror was

CYNTHIA McKINNEY: I think it’s important that any presidential
candidate have the opportunity to do these kinds of fact-finding
missions. But, of course, one’s lifelong activities ought to be
preparation for running the most powerful country on the planet.

I would just like to say something about your headlines, your opening
headlines. Amy, I came into this room this morning full of hope and
enthusiasm for the fact that the Green Party have provided an
opportunity for Rosa and me to kickstart the kind of movement that
this country needs. And yet, these headlines from this
morning—torture, war, violence, murder, hate crimes—I think it’s
clear that not only does our country need a new set of values at the
helm, our country needs an opposition party like the Green Party,
that has the values of the Green Party, so that we can finally see
the values that I believe are the majority values of the American
people implemented in our public policy.


Obama sticks to his goal of swift Iraq withdrawal
Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee, wants to wind down U.S.
involvement in Iraq and redeploy troops and resources to Afghanistan,
a country that he said had devolved again into a sanctuary for
terrorists intent on harming the United States.

"There is starting to be a growing consensus that it's time for us to
withdraw some of our combat troops out of Iraq, deploy them here in
Afghanistan," Obama said in an interview Sunday on CBS' "Face the
Nation." "And I think we have to seize that opportunity. Now is the
time for us to do it."


Obama's tour of Afghanistan renews debate about US role

The presidential candidate met officials and soldiers 
here this weekend at the start of a global tour.
By Aunohita Mojumdar | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor 
from the July 21, 2008 edition

Kabul, Afghanistan - – Hopes and fears among Afghans clashed during
the weekend visit of presumptive US Democratic presidential nominee
Sen. Barack Obama, who has vowed to send more US troops to
Afghanistan if elected.

Among those familiar here with Senator Obama, his trip revived debate
about America's military presence in their country. The US has the
most soldiers in Afghanistan and donates the most money. Obama has
proposed adding two more brigades, or about 7,000 troops.

"We have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent
... and I believe this has to be the central focus, the central
front, in the battle against terrorism," Obama told the CBS
television program "Face the Nation" Sunday. "I think the situation
is getting urgent enough that we have to start doing something now."

Mustafa Rawan, a young professional who says he was aware Obama 
had been in town, showed enthusiasm for the candidate and the
presidential election. "I hope and feel he will be the winner in the
presidential elections," he said.

Mr. Rawan said he supported the presence of the US troops in
Afghanistan but that US help should go beyond rhetoric. "If they
really want to help, they can make a difference. If they just want 
to say it rather than doing anything, it will be difficult."

Another young man, Latif, was less optimistic. A change in the White
House would not have any impact on the US policy in Afghanistan, he
said. "I think the US has a double face. They say they want to defeat
the Taliban, but they are not."

Obama's trip to Afghanistan was part of a congressional delegation
including senators Chuck Hagel (R, Neb.) and Jack Reed (D, R.I.) that
will continue on to the Middle East and Europe.

Saturday began with visits to the Bagram Air Field north of Kabul 
to meet military leaders and soldiers, then to Jalalabad Air Field,
where Obama was briefed by Nangarhar provincial governor Gul Aga
Sherzai. "Obama promised us that if he becomes a president in the
future, he will support and help Afghanistan not only in its security
sector but also in reconstruction, development, and economic sector,"
Mr. Sherzai told The Associated Press.

After breakfast with troops on Sunday, Obama met with Afghan
President Hamid Karzai, whom the senator criticized this month for
having "not gotten out of the bunker" to help organize the country.

Presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said that during their
lunch, where they discussed issues "at the broad level," Obama
"conveyed his commitment to ... supporting Afghanistan and to
continue the war against terrorism with vigor."

The senator's visit coincided with civilian casualties caused by
foreign forces, a recurring problem that hurts popular support for
them and for the government. NATO said Sunday that its troops
accidentally killed at least four civilians in the eastern Paktika
province. In the western Farah Province, coalition forces killed up
to nine Afghan police.

• Wire material was used for this report.

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