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Blood - Guts - and Dollars

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There's been some mighty interesting stuff in the news for  the last week or two - as I'm sure many Americans have noticed. 
 
The Nation
 
on May 22nd reported another bogus - but well timed - terror plot.  The timing of this plot's news exposure couldn't be better, if you consider some poll results which  have also made the news recently.
 

From the time - at least - of the Roman & Egyptian empires, the cost of empire has always proved to  be a tremendous burden for the average citizen of an empire. Until recently America seemed relatively undisturbed by the cost of its empire - but that
attitude may be changing.  Bank bailouts helped relatively few of the thousands of  Americans facing foreclosure crises & the Obama Administration has indicated its intention to "downsize Social Security and Medica
 
re".  If Americans are becoming more conscious of an empire's economic burden as some polls might indicate,  budget reports from last week, will hardly allay their concern
:
  • the Senate has approved another $91.3 billion dollars
     
     for expanding war.
  • Obama’s new $664 billion Pentagon budget is $21 billion higher (four percent) than the final Bush budget
The information about  some polls which indicate Americans are finally but very quickly souring on Presidents Bush & Obama's Middle East war(s) surprised me a great deal more than the above budget figures.
  • "USA Today reported just a month earlier (in March) that public support for that conflict “has ebbed to a new low,” according to a Gallup Poll. Americans who regard the attack on Afghanistan as “a mistake” had increased from 9% in 2001 to 42%...." - (Now that's a monumental shift "- or a "sea change" as the author says in the OpEdNews article
     
    where I was informed of these 2 Gallup polls.)
  • "Gallup also discovered a shift in public opinion from March, 2007, when it asked if the U.S. was spending too much or too little on defense. Forty-three per cent responded “too much” compared with 20 percent who replied “too little.” A decade earlier most Americans didn’t think the Pentagon was on a spending binge with their taxes."
I'm convinced that Obama - like most politicians - watches poll results more religiously than an investor watches the stock market.  Obama must know that if he is determined to stay the course in the Middle East re Afghanistan - much less Pakistan or Iran - he will need new recruits OR he will be forced to  retain the Bush Administration's unpopular stop loss policy.  Could these poll results explain why Obama refuses to release the torture photos? - not because they would come as any surprise to any Muslim - but to keep those photos hidden from Americans. 

By now the pictures which came out of Abu Ghraib must have circled the world more often than our satellites have!!! Airing our dirty laundry now will reveal nothing that is particularly newsworthy - the dirt is common knowledge, world wide. The fact is the Muslim world, in particular, is all too aware of our polic
ies - including  the sodomy of children
 
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The former Administration's torture policy must be confronted if only because that policy, as Pat Cockburn
 
reports, may have killed more Americans than were killed on 911.

The interrogator who elicited the information which led to the successful apprehension of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qa'ida in Iraq," is one of America's best and he is convinced torture is, at best, anti-productive!  That  seasoned interrogator, going by the pseudonym "Alexander", has this to say, "The use of torture by the U.S.," he believes, not only elicits no useful information but "has proved so counter-productive that it may have led to the death of as many U.S. soldiers as civilians killed in 9/11."

From hundreds of interrogations, Alexander discovered that foreign fighters came to Iraq in reaction to the abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, and that they and their domestic allies turned to suicide bombing and other terrorist acts for the same reasons.


I'm convinced that the very smart man in the White House must know that any information elicited through torture is very suspect - so the only logical explanation for Obama's decision to keep the photo
s hidden is to keep them from the eyes of young recruits.  If America's failure to come clean about those photos ultimately puts young American recruits in more danger - too sad & too bad, but, oh well - Obama has clearly indicated that his priority lies elsewhere.   The only way Obama could possibly defuse the Muslim's outraged sense of injustice is to release the photos - renounce them - and prosecute the Bush Administration officials most responsible for the torture policy which generated them. 
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Good news, our military's recruitment quotas will be met. Bad news, terrorist recruitment quotas will also be met - and even surge -  just as the costs of empire continue to surge in agony, in blood and in dollars.

 

I am a progressive,& an Oregon Progressive Party member who has become convinced we Americans have only ONE 2 faced War Party which typically offers us the choice of two mediocre candidates from which to choose. We Americans who supposedly (more...)
 

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More and more bad news from the knight in shining ... by Caronome on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 9:47:58 PM