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US eyes more troops for Afghanistan

The mission comes in addition to the 30,000 extra troops sent by US President Barack Obama to bolster the unpopular war.
"Hope-and-Change," A Hoax

PressTV, in Citizens for Legitimate Government

The commander of the US-led forces in Afghanistan wants 2,000 extra troops in the country as foreign soldiers are experiencing their deadliest year since the 2001 invasion.

General David Petraeus claims the extra troops are intended to mainly train Afghan security forces, a NATO official said on Monday (Sep 6). The mission comes in addition to the 30,000 extra troops sent by US President Barack Obama to bolster the unpopular war.
"Hope-and-Change," A Hoax

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"Hope-and-Change," A Hoax, Michael Rectenwald and Lori Price, Citizens for Legitimate Government<>
We believe that Obama’s rhetoric was a complete fabrication aimed at diverting real energy for change into a cul de sac of Democratic apologetics. It was, in short, a hoax.

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The Self-Inflicted Wounds of 9/11

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  • "Nearly twice as many Americans have died fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than were lost in the 9/11 attacks. The total cost of these long wars will be in the trillions of dollars. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, the cost of oil was less than $25 a barrel; the price reached $140 a barrel in 2008 and, currently, the price is still three times the 2001 levels. The entire national security system has suffered as a result of the wrong-headed actions of the Bush administration in Iraq and the Obama administration in Afghanistan." Melvin A. Goodman, Truthout
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  • A post-9/11 betrayal endures
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Melvin A. Goodman, Truthout

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

The attacks on Washington and New York City nine years ago extracted a terrible price in terms of blood and treasure. Unfortunately, the adverse US reaction to 9/11 has also extracted a terrible price with no end in sight. Although al-Qaeda is no longer a sophisticated terrorist organization capable of launching large-scale operations and is merely one of many jihadist groups based in Pakistan, the United States has thrown itself into the briar patch called Afghanistan.

Nearly twice as many Americans have died fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than were lost in the 9/11 attacks. The total cost of these long wars will be in the trillions of dollars. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, the cost of oil was less than $25 a barrel; the price reached $140 a barrel in 2008 and, currently, the price is still three times the 2001 levels. The entire national security system has suffered as a result of the wrong-headed actions of the Bush administration in Iraq and the Obama administration in Afghanistan. The Iraq war marked the greatest travesty of all, based on a series of official lies that linked Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden and Iraq to weapons of mass destruction. As we knew seven years ago, there were no such links and no such weapons.
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A post-9/11 betrayal endures, Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times | CA

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  • President Obama and his administration have embraced the secrecy and usurpations of power that made possible the Bush-Cheney betrayal of American values
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  • A step backwards on privacy
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  • Court Dismisses a Case Asserting Torture by C.I.A.
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'Plan B' For Afghanistan Aims To Spark Long Overdue Debate

The report's most important contribution is to lay out a "consensus view" that the current strategy in Afghanistan is not working; that it's actually making things worse; that it's not making us safer; that it's coming at a staggering and wildly disproportionate cost in blood and treasure; and that there needs to be an alternative approach.

Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post

Nine long years into a war in Afghanistan that two out of three Americans no longer support, a group of disillusioned foreign policy experts is trying to kick-start an overdue national discussion about our goals in the region, and other ways that we might be able to achieve them.

Despite the growing opposition to the war outside the Beltway, there's been remarkably little serious debate about Afghan policy among those with the power to change it.

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A new report by the ad hoc Afghanistan Study Group, officially unveiled on Wednesday, aims to change all that.
Flatly declaring what has become increasingly obvious over time -- that our efforts in Afghanistan are not only failing, they are actually counterproductive -- the report provides something that some anti-war activists say has been sorely missing until now: A coherent alternative to the current approach.

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Veterans Target Of Deficit Commission?

Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange

Cenk Uygur, MSNBC, in Democratic Underground by ihavenobias

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Barbara Ross
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Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) filling in for Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC, breaks down deficit commission head Alan Simpson's latest outrageous comments about how veterans should voluntarily give up their disability benefits to help reduce the deficit.

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Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange, David Dayen, FireDogLake

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  • Maybe if Simpson and the ruling class weren’t so damned bloodthirsty, we wouldn’t have choices like this to make.
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  • Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson
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  • Show Alan Simpson, Vet Hater, the Door
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US 'likely to stay in Iraq beyond 2011'

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  • About 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq supposedly on 'training' and 'advisory' roles until a complete pull out.
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  • US officials are planning to employ thousands of private contractors mercenaries to conduct operations formerly performed by US troops.
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  • Fact Check: Is Iraq combat really over for US?
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From Citizens for Legitimate Government, in PressTV

Despite US announcement of complete withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, Washington will reportedly keep thousands of soldiers in the war-torn nation. American military experts said the remaining forces are expected to stay in Iraq beyond 2011 as a 'peacekeeping force' for a decade, AFP reported.

About 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq supposedly on 'training' and 'advisory' roles until a complete pull out. Meanwhile, US officials are planning to employ thousands of private contractors mercenaries to conduct operations formerly performed by US troops.

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Fact Check: Is Iraq combat really over for US? Calvin Woodward, Associated Press, New York Times | NY

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  • Despite President Barack Obama's declaration Tuesday (August 31) of an end to the combat mission in Iraq, combat almost certainly lies ahead.
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  • The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded
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Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange

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  • Maybe if Simpson and the ruling class weren’t so damned bloodthirsty, we wouldn’t have choices like this to make.
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  • Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson
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  • Show Alan Simpson, Vet Hater, the Door
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David Dayen, FireDogLake

Alan Simpson’s scorn for people who use federal money goes beyond… well, everyone, in the form of Social Security. He also doesn’t like it when Vietnam-era soldiers breathed Agent Orange and put their greedy little hands out to cough into them because they had respiratory trouble the rest of their lives.

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The system that automatically awards disability benefits to some veterans because of concerns about Agent Orange seems contrary to efforts to control federal spending, the Republican co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s deficit commission said Tuesday (Aug 31).

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Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson,  David Dayen, FireDogLake

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  • It’s a fact of American life that veterans are seen as inviolate, and criticisms of veterans approaching treason.
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  • It’s one thing for Alan Simpson to call Social Security recipients greedy bastards, even though a chunk of them, a substantial chunk (almost half), includes military veterans. It’s quite another thing for him to go after veterans directly, as he did in denouncing disabled vets for luckily sucking up health care resources after exposure to Agent Orange.
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It's Time to Show Alan Simpson, Vet Hater, the Door, David Culver, Evergreene Digest

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  • I call on the Congress and President to show Alan Simpson to the door of the deficit commission’s deliberations and to restore honor and decency to our national conversation on veterans!
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  • I also call on my fellow citizens to hold their President, Congressional Representatives, and Senators accountable for removing Mr. Simpson by contacting them and reminding them that their oath of office demands meeting this country’s obligations to its veterans.
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  • Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange
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  • Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson
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Simpson: Veterans 'Not Helping Us' Save Country From Debt

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Aging vets' costs concern Obama's deficit co-chair

Brian Beutler, Talking Points Memo

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility co-chairman Alan Simpson

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If Social Security is "a cow with 310 million tits" then what's the proper metaphor for veteran's benefits? We don't know. But Alan Simpson seems to think they're too expensive. Or too overused. Or something. Anyway, it's bad.

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"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," said Alan Simpson, co-chair of the White House's fiscal commission, according to the Associated Press.

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Simpson was referring specifically to the disability benefits the Department of Veterans Affairs dispenses to Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

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Aging vets' costs concern Obama's deficit co-chair, Mike Baker, AP News, in Talking Points Memo
VA's move to sweeten benefits for aging vets worries Obama deficit chair; Senate to review it.

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