WATCH This War Must End – SIGN PETITION TO CONGRESS!

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This time, the tears Obama has inspired are not tears of joy.  He is brilliant and eloquent. But last Tuesday night he spoke of 30,000 troops and $30 billion for escalating a war.     

  • A war that will do nothing to protect our security.
  • A war that will result in the deaths of thousands of Americans and Afghans.
  • A war that will eat up resources that should be going to AMERICAN jobs, homes, schools, health care.
  • A war that will hurt rather than help the people of Afghanistan.

Join us in the work ahead to work to stop the funding for this war.

We CANNOT remain on the sidelines anymore. This war MUST end.

Join us in the work ahead to work to stop the funding.

Sign the petition to tell Congress we cannot afford a war that does not make us safer.

Yours,
Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Foundation team

Af-Pak War Racket: The Obama Illusion Comes Crashing Down

The Bush surge in Iraq deployed an extra 28,000 US troops. obamaillusion3_150Under Obama, back in March, a surge in Afghanistan, that also further escalated operations inside Pakistan, deployed an extra 21,000 troops. However, in an unannounced and underreported move, Obama added 13,000 more troops to that surge to bring the total to 34,000 troops.

Obama actually outdid Bush’s surge by 6000 troops and brought the overall number of US troops in Afghanistan to 68,000, double the number there when Bush left office.

Where opposition was fierce to Bush’s surge, barely any opposition was expressed during Obama’s surge.

[War Gaming] Part of the reason for so little political and public backlash was the cleverly orchestrated psychological operation [Game Theory] to announce the beginning of US troop withdrawal from Iraq.

While the drawdown in Iraq has been greatly exaggerated in the US mainstream media, as of October 2009, Obama still had 124,000 troops deployed in Iraq (not counting private military contractors – mercenaries).

When Obama casts the illusion of a 2011 withdrawal from Afghanistan, one just needs look at the reality of the situation with the over-hyped withdrawal in Iraq.

Now, with Obama’s latest surge announcement he will again be adding a minimum of another 30,000 US soldiers.

dempublican_150Why is Presdient Obama trying to out do President Bush as the War President?

This means that Obama has now led a bigger surge than Bush… on two separate occasions within the past nine months of his new administration.

Obama has now escalated deployments in the Af-Pak region to 98,000 US troops. So in Af-Pak and Iraq, he will now have a total of 222,000 US troops deployed, 36,000 more than Bush ever had – 186,000 was Bush’s highest total.

[The reason we believe that Obama is trying to out do Bush as the War President is either unintentional or due to lack of foreign policy experience (or both). He is proving to be just as deceitful as Bush if not moreso despite Republican criticism that he isn’t quite Bush enough. This is nothing but an attempt by Republicans to prevent Obama and the Democrats from stealing their NeoCon values. Simply put Obama’s biggest mistake was focusing exclusively on domestic policy something he can relate to and leaving foreign policy up to well putting it mildly former President Bush’s Pentagon – example: How close do readers really think the cooperation and relationship between Bush’s Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense, and Hillary Clinton really is? WE REST OUR CASE that Obama remains a prisoner of G.W. Bush’s Pentagon. Obama should have cleaned house at the Pentagon as well as at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and his administration has FAILED at both. Who will pay the ultimate price for such failures by Obama and the Democrats?]

ussoldierOVER EXTENDED TROOPS

With the rise in deployments, the US military is stretched to a breaking point. Obama is "deploying practically every available US Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve." As this war enters its 9th year, many soldiers are forced into deploying on their 3rd or 4th combat tours, and morale is fading fast.

[Note those left over from the Bush administration will put the best face forward on troop morale in cooperation with pro-war mainstream media too ignorant to realize that the troops baring witness to how eager they are to go to Afghanistan are either recent recruits on their first deployment who have NEVER seen combat, or any troop who by-law (the Hatch Act among others) is legally and constitutionally obligated to support their Commander-In-Chief and Chain of Command even if all the Bush hold overs, the Obama administration, and Democrats controlling Congress had no clothes on. Our troops would be obligated to tell the American electorate that those in command of them have clothes on even if most American voters can clearly see our politicians and political Generals and Admirals in the Pentagon are NAKED! VT. ED]

The past year has seen a dramatic increase in US soldier deaths, with the number of wounded drastically rising as well. 928 US soldiers have died in Afghanistan thus far, with last month being the deadliest month since the start.

AP reports that "nearly four times as many troops were injured in October as a year ago. Amputations, burns, brain injuries and shrapnel wounds proliferate in Afghanistan, due mostly to crude, increasingly potent improvised bombs targeting U.S. forces…. Since 2007, more than 70,000 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury – more than 20,000 of them this year…"

US soldier suicides are also on the rise. In 2008, 197 army soldiers committed suicide. Thus far in 2009, there have been 211 army suicides.

McClatchy recently reported: "An Army task force has found that a growing number of soldiers serving in Afghanistan are suffering from some kind of mental stress and is urging the military to double the number of mental health professionals deployed there. The study, conducted by the Army Mental Health Advisory Team, found that soldiers’ morale in Afghanistan is ‘significantly lower’ than it was in 2005 and 2007 studies…"

As wounded soldiers return from Afghanistan and Iraq, they are finding a healthcare system that is increasingly more difficult and costly to get care from. In fact, 2,266 US veterans died in 2008 due to lack of healthcare, and "researchers also found that, in 2008, 1,461,615 veterans between the ages of 18 and 64 lacked insurance."

WILL A SURGE IN MILITARY ENLISTMENTS BECAUSE KIDS SEE NO OTHER ECONOMIC ALTERNATIVES BE ENOUGH TO FEED THE GROUND FORCES NEEDED IN BOTH IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN LET ALONE PROVIDE INTERNATIONAL SECURITY TO UNITED STATES INTERESTS HOWEVER SPUN?

Despite all of this, in another devastating example of how the economy is unraveling US society, military enlistment levels have reached a high. In a report by the Washington Post headlined: "A Historic Success In Military Recruiting" they reveal:

"For the first time in more than 35 years, the U.S. military has met all of its annual recruiting goals, as hundreds of thousands of young people have enlisted despite the near-certainty that they will go to war.

The Pentagon… said the economic downturn and rising joblessness, as well as bonuses and other factors, had led more qualified youths to enlist. The military has not seen such across-the-board successes since the all-volunteer force was established….

‘We delivered beyond anything the framers of the all-volunteer force would have anticipated,’ Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, said at a Pentagon news conference.

Overall, the Defense Department brought in 168,900 active-duty troops, or 103 percent of the goal for the fiscal year…."

What we are witnessing here with such high enlistment levels during this economic crisis has many parallels to Germany in the 1930’s. Just like the United States now, the German economy in the 1930’s was devastated by an economic crisis brought on by Wall Street. With rising unemployment and poverty, German men turned to the military for income and health benefits that their family severely needed.

With over 25 million US citizens unemployed and underemployed, over 50 million with no healthcare, and over 50 million living in poverty, military service is now a last resort for a growing number of desperate Americans as well. The record-breaking enlistment numbers are expected to continue to rise as the economy continues to decline.

26786709v3_480x480_front_150_01
[What these assessments fail to take into consideration is that since President Bush left office the Pentagon has lowered its quota of enlistment goals thus also providing the illusion that our ground forces are achieving enlistment goals. Simply put the Pentagon bean counters have been FIXING the recruitment numbers to reflect success in recruitment by lowering the number of troops it expects to recruit each year. Pentagon excuses for lowering recruitment quotas has been from the ludicrous: inadequate defense spending for military recruitment to the outrageous: We have enough reenlistments and troops on active duty to be able to lower recruitment goals. There is mainstream media investigative reports to support this number crunching (FIXING) by Pentagon bean counters, and it does nothing but add to the deceit being pulled on the American people by the Obama administration unwittingly or not. Obama must clead out the Pentagon of all civilians, Generals and Admirals loyal to the former Bush administration – Period or the American electorate will have to force the Democrats in Congress to do so instead of being AFRAID of the Pentagon. DOD is suppose to be under civilian leadership, the Democrats are not suppose to control that leadership. When are they going to start showing Democrats can be defense policy leaders instead of Bush-lite manipulated followers? VT. Ed]

 

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.