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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/29/14

9 Years Ago, the Center for American Progress was Anti-War, Then Something Happened

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Would throwing more resources at the problem not increase the trend of resources being wasted? Common sense says yes.

Failure in Afghanistan would throw NATO's relevance into doubt.

Such a statement implies, with no clarification as to exactly why, it is important for NATO to be relevant, but just that NATO needs to escalate in Afghanistan to remain "relevant." Interestingly, this section quotes Senator John McCain, Obama's 2008 opponent, who had this to say:

If NATO does not prevail in Afghanistan, it is difficult to imagine the alliance undertaking another 'hard security' operation--in or out of area--and its credibility would suffer a grievous blow.

Again, why would it be bad if NATO never did another "hard security" operation? Notice the use of term "prevail," which remains awkwardly undefined by McCain and CAP. Apparently those outside of the Beltway are just too stupid to understand why it is necessary for NATO to keep bombing places around the world. We are just supposed to take the word of McCain at face value, and CAP claims to be the opposition to neoconservatives like McCain! Perhaps if NATO had lost its credibility due to the Afghanistan blunder, there would have never been an invasion of Libya.

CAP's loyalties to the Democratic establishment became abundantly clear when Zaid Jilani, a former blogger for ThinkProgress, the CAP Action Fund's blog, attempted to give an honest assessment of the so-called drawdown of troops in Afghanistan by the Obama administration. Jilani compiled a report which accurately demonstrated that even after the "drawdown," there would still be more American troops in Afghanistan than at any time during the Bush administration. The report made its way to Capitol Hill and was cited by Congressional opponents of the war, which made the Obama administration very unhappy, who contacted CAP to express their disapproval.

Jilani was summoned by the senior staff at CAP, who explained that first priority is to avoid creating any distance between CAP and the Obama administration. If doing so meant compromising on core principles, which it did, then so be it. CAP is there to provide political cover for the Obama administration and justify their policies, no matter what they might be, not to do real journalism, which would require honesty and integrity, something the senior staff at CAP know nothing about.

Libya: The US/NATO Intervention Without Congressional Approval

When the Obama administration attacked Libya in 2011, it seemed that they had obtained permission to violate that country's sovereignty from just about everyone (NATO, the UN Security Council) except for those who would be footing the bill for the U.S.'s role--the American taxpayers, via their elected Representatives in Congress. What's worse, Obama himself stated that the operation would likely take "days, not weeks," a claim whose lack of accuracy became blatantly obvious after spending several months in Libya, again, without any Congressional authorization, as both the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Act require.

One can only imagine how CAP would respond if a Republican President attacked a country without prior Congressional authorization; it is highly unlikely they would be providing "strategic advice" without even mentioning the Constitutional issues (a generous term for illegal behavior) at play. In fact, Obama himself is quoted as saying, prior to his becoming President, that he would seek Congressional authorization prior to engaging in military action abroad, which turned out to be just another broken promise, like so many others.

Syria: The Military Action Opposed by, then Supported by CAP

As late as May 3, 2013 Eric Alterman authored, on behalf of CAP, a report about the situation in Syria. The second sentence of the sub-headline reads as follows:

Though many senators are clamoring for heightened U.S. involvement in the crisis, none has suggested responsible ways of doing so.

The first half of the report quotes pro-intervention Republican politicians and explains why they are wrong to propose arming rebels and militarily intervening in Syria. However, CAP is being disingenuous in several ways:

Most of all, by only specifically mentioning Republicans, CAP is implying that it is only Republican members of Congress who supported intervention in Syria at that time. However, eight days prior, on April 25, the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, released a statement calling for military intervention in Syria, but no mention is made of that.

CAP even draws upon several comparisons between the possibility for military action in Syria, how it might turn out, and how it compares to the Iraq invasion quagmire. This quote from The New York Times, which Alterman quotes in his report, says it quite succinctly:

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John Brock holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in city planning. His writing interests include American politics, the U.S. Congress, anti-war activism, health care, civil liberties, and economic democracy. He (more...)

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