Tales from the front

Soldiers on the battlefields of Afghanistan tell stories different from critics'

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Urgent calls from the left for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan seemed to melt away with the election of a Democratic president -- despite his ratcheting up of the war in Afghanistan.

Whither Cindy Sheehan?

So be it. We want the troops home as much as anyone. But we've got to finish the job first. We applaud President Obama for doing it.

The depth of the challenge cannot be overstated. Afghanistan remains one of the most primitive locales on Earth, and one of history's most violent.

Yet, rare media reports about what's actually going on today in Afghanistan -- such as Kyle Martin's feature on Augusta's Pfc. Danny Lifsey in Thursday's Chronicle -- remind us that the world's finest fighting force, made up of volunteers, is doing amazing work in some of the most inhospitable and dangerous environs in the world.

Lifsey, all of 19, is in danger nearly every moment. But his platoon's work to free the good people of Afghanistan from the oppressive, violent, racist and misogynistic Taliban -- and the kindness of the locals in return -- makes him believe utterly in the mission.

"We are doing (what) needs to be done," Lifsey wrote in an e-mail, "so these people can one day be free of the Taliban and free to go about their day without fear."

And they're doing it so the haters and killers and oppressors left over from the Stone Age don't get a foothold from which to attack this country again.

Critics of the war have tried to paint our effort as meaningless and futile.

We know some brave soldiers who will tell you otherwise.

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Nat the Cat
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Nat the Cat 05/13/10 - 11:38 pm
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Killing the enemy before they

Killing the enemy before they come to our Homeland and kill us--AGAIN. Now there's a novel idea--That some other President started. But just wait until you read here below, the anti-war sentiment [a.k.a. crap] of some of these posters.
CAUTION: Make sure you have a barf bag next to your computer before proceeding on this thread.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 05/14/10 - 03:29 am
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Now cue Cain with his

Now cue Cain with his anti-American cut and paste rhetoric. I wonder if today, he will defend his lie of "No Iraqi committed an act of terror against us before we invaded Iraq." He turned tail and ran when questioned on it the other day.

carcraft
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carcraft 05/14/10 - 04:33 am
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Well Obama and Biden ended

Well Obama and Biden ended the war in Iraq (even though Obama voted against the troop surg)..I think that many of the liberal posters are gaging on the floor ACES praised Obama!!!!!

Dixieman
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Dixieman 05/14/10 - 05:26 am
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This is a fixture we want to

This is a fixture we want to play away, in someone else's stadium. God bless our troops!

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/14/10 - 06:31 am
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Hey, Nat the Cat, haven't you

Hey, Nat the Cat, haven't you heard? The U.S. drone war in Pakistan is said to be a prime motivator in Faisal Shahzad and possibly other's attempt to bomb Times Square in New York City. The U.S. war in Iraq was a big reason why Maj. Nadal Hasan killed about 14 American soldiers and civilians at Ft. Hood, Texas. The would be Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried to set off a bomb on a passenger plane over Detroit, Michigan.

The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff (ACES) has already opined that Faisal Hasan did not act alone but had at least "moral support" from symathetic groups in their May 10th editorial titled: He's not all by himself: Did Times Square bomber act alone? Define 'alone'. So the claim made by former President George W. Bush that "we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" has been disproved by the blow back from errant U.S. policy.

United States has killed and killed and killed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in Pakistan. News report have repeatedly cited the deaths of numerous top Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. They are quickly replaced. The U.S. air war in Pakistan is counterproductive because a previously weakened Al Qaeda has found new luster on its brand by serving as an umbrella to unite previously disparate groups that did not singly have the ability or expertise to strike United States. Now that has all changed. The Pakistan Taliban, in particular the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Taliban (PTT), now apparently has the ability to strike United States. The U.S. air war in Pakistan and the covert U.S. war on terror in Pakistan are counterproductive because they have succeeded in not only destabilizing Pakistan but also have now made United States a target and thereby less secure.

President Obama deserves severe criticism for his stupid decision to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan and to expand the drone missile program in Pakistan. Yesterday Gen. Stanley McChrystal said that right now no side is winning in Afghanistan. It costs United States about $1 million a year to field a foot soldier like Pfc. Lifsey. The Taliban are paid between $300 and $1000 a month. You do the math.

And, ACES, Cindy Sheehan is still active. If you sought her opinion you could find it. I criticize the liberal blogosphere and in particular the Daily Kos for focusing on the domestic agenda instead of foreign policy, but other liberal groups and websites including Firedoglake and AntiWar, as well as individual bloggers like retired Lt. Commander Jeff Huber are strongly critical of President Obama and the counterproductive U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 07:13 am
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As we predicted, once Obama

As we predicted, once Obama had access to the intelligence, he turned into a bigger hawk than the liberals thought possible. The best Obama can do is offer the liberals false hopes of an early exit. He has already said his previous timelines don't mean all forces will leave.

I kind of feel sorry for the NeoMaos who thought Obama's election meant he would let the decapitators cut their way through the mideast. One thing about him, he is no fool.

afadel
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afadel 05/14/10 - 07:43 am
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The peace movement remains

The peace movement remains opposed to the war in Afghanistan, whether the President be Bush or Obama.

http://csrapeace.org/2010/04/13/photos-from-the-peace-demonstration-in-d...

And Cindy Sheehan, who is a true American hero, has not given up:

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/19/cindy_sheehan_sets_up_camp_out

Representative Dennis Kucinich has advocated for withdrawal and introduced legislation to promote that goal.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/12/2/rep_kucinich_on_afghanistan_war_were

The military escalation in Afghanistan is not working:

http://www.juancole.com/2010/05/karzai-defeats-obama-2-1.html

Since many of the supporters of the war won't bother reading this, I'm excerpting:

In contrast [to Afghan President Karzai], Obama’s plan for Afghanistan was a massive counter-insurgency effort, including the adding of tens of thousands of new troops and hard war fighting aimed at taking and holding vast swathes of territory. It is an audacious plan and its chance of success is about 10%. It is more or less opposed by Karzai, who expressed himself lukewarm about the first major demonstration project in Marjah, the success of which is still questionable.

While the Taliban are very bad, other militias such as the Northern Alliance with which we are allied are very bad as well. The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (http://www.rawa.org/index.php) specifically calls for NATO withdrawal as a means of improving the status of Afghani women.

Also, is Afghanistan the only place in the world where women suffer? Should the U.S. government be spending billions of dollars for military occupations in all of these countries? Are there not peaceful means which are more moral (less "collateral damage"), effective and cheaper?

Listen to Matthew Hoh, who fought in Iraq and was a civilian official in Afghanistan who resigned recently:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVdsbdvXGOA

Other veterans of the war in Afghanistan are opposed to it:

http://rethinkafghanistan.com/veterans/

The solutions in Afghanistan and Pakistan may include a military component, but U.S. policy weights the military component too heavily.

http://trueslant.com/zaidjilani/2010/05/13/give-pakistanis-hope-to-stop-...

The best web site to check out is Rethink Afghanistan, at http://www.rethinkafghanistan.com.

truthnlove
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truthnlove 05/14/10 - 07:47 am
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My daughter served in

My daughter served in Iraq....her unit was attacked 6 times while she was there....the last attack was meant to take her out...and it nearly did...but for the Grace of God, she would be dead today...but she lived through it...unharmed... even though the explosion meant to take her out went off in front of her vehicle...the vehicle received many shrapnel scars...she saw the man who dropped that explosive, she drew down on him and asked permission to fire...none was given because it was in the city and there were school children around...she practiced restraint and discipline....the three "men" guilty of this plot were chased down and apprehended, turned over to the IP's.....it was discovered that a deeper, more sinister plot was supposed to happen that day...I thank God that she and her fellow soldiers were not harmed in any way. Anyone who ignorantly spouts that our soldiers just kill and kill and kill are absolutely clueless to what they really go through, how much restraint and discipline they practice, and how honorably they serve. God bless them all...and may they all come home safely and soon.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 08:01 am
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Afadel says, "The

Afadel says, "The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan specifically calls for NATO withdrawal as a means of improving the status of Afghani women."

And if you believe that Countyman has some land downtown to sell you.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/14/10 - 08:07 am
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afadel has done his research.

afadel has done his research. ACES and the FOX followers here have not.

Yesterday a Senate panel approved another $33.5 billion to pay for the surge of 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. The money comes on top of about $130 billion that Congress already approved for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars through September 30 of this year.

The U.S. now has about 87,000 troops in Afghanistan, while 94,000 U.S. troops still remain in Iraq and the drawn down of U.S. troops there is on hold due to continuing violence and instability.

Yesterday, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said that no one is winning in Afghanistan. He remains "confident" that the U.S.-led offensive in Kandahar will succeed, but the outcome of this latest military action will not become clear until perhaps Christmas.

Meanwhile the U.S. offensive in Marjah has proved not to be the stellar success it was touted to be. The Afghan army performed poorly, the "government in a box" did not pan out, and the Taliban remain in control or at least active in much of the area particularly at night.

United States and NATO would need upwards of 625,000 troops to run a successful counterinsurgency campaign. When the U.S. surge is complete there will be only about 150,000 ISF troops in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile the Taliban are strong not only in the south and east but also now in the north and west of Afghanistan. Afghans remain highly outraged about the U.S. & NATO killing Afghan civilians. The latest protest came today.

Finally, Afghans absolutely hate the the U.S.-backed corrupt gov't of Hamid Karzai which has done NOTHING for them in 9 years.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 05/14/10 - 08:10 am
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As predicted, Cain won't

As predicted, Cain won't answer for his previous lie. Just ignore, and move on.

Chillen
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Chillen 05/14/10 - 08:16 am
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We do not need to be spending

We do not need to be spending our hard earned money rebuilding their country and their infrastructure. They've got plenty of local wealth (oil) to take care of themselves.

Finish the job quickly and get out of there. We need our boys home and on the Mexican border instead. We need our money here too.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/14/10 - 08:34 am
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truthnlove, another ironic

truthnlove, another ironic screen name! Are you not aware how many times United States military convoys have fired on civilians, how many civilians including children get run over by high speed U.S. convoys that can't stop, how many times U.S. forces claim they were fired upon and returned fire which resulted in women, children, and the elderly being killed, or how many non-combatants have been killed by U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan? Do Iraqi insurgents have jet aircraft, Bradley fighting vehicles, or any other high tech weapons that the superior U.S. military uses in this asymmetric war? It is a fact that United States has killed and killed and killed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in Pakistan as well as in Yemen and Somalia.

What have we accomplished? We have spilled American blood and wasted American treasure as well as spilled geometrically times more Iraqi blood, Afghan blood, and Pakistani blood. We have not resolved a single conflict. Iraq remains unstable with continuing violence. Afghanistan is seeing the worst level of violence since 2001 including record numbers of American & NATO troops as well as Afghan civilians killed and wounded. Pakistan has been increasingly destabilized, and terrorists are increasingly targeting the U.S. homeland. This is the definition of a counterproductive policy.

The only solution is for United States to get all of its troops out of the Middle East and South Asia. This will happen sooner or later. It may be politically unpalatable to do it sooner, but that would be a much happier course of events than waiting until later when economics, international politics, and military necessity forces United States military to leave those regions. Day by day the situation on the ground only gets worse for the American occupiers not better.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 08:34 am
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"Pakistan has been

"Pakistan has been increasingly destabilized, and terrorists are increasingly targeting the U.S. homeland."

And here I was thinking it started with attacks on the Cole, first World Trade Center bombing and 9-11.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/14/10 - 08:59 am
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Riverman1, not one hijacker

Riverman1, not one hijacker on 9/11 was from Iraq, from Afghanistan, or from Pakistan. 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, a supposed U.S. ally. 1 hijackers was from Egypt. The others were all from Persian Gulf states.

Tigger_The_Tiger demands answers. Iraq fired on U.S. jets patrolling the No Fly Zone. They never hit a single plane. In Tigger_The_Tigers's mind this justifies the U.S. invasion of Iraq at a cost of 4397 U.S. military fatalities, more than 30,000 U.S. military casualties, nearly $1 trillion on upfront expenses, and $3 trillion to $7 trillion in long term costs. I call that plain stupid.

Tigger_The_Tiger cites the Iraqi missile attack on the U.S.S. Stark in 1987 during the Iran-Iraq war. I point out that this was before the 1st Gulf War which was fought between August 1990 and Feb 1991. Is Tigger_The_Tiger's citation of this as a terrorist attack a justifiable reason to invade Iraq in 2003 at the costs given above?

I repeat that Iraq was not involved in any of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center including 9/11 nor did it possess WMD. The U.S. war in Iraq is unjustified. That is why United States cannot claim that the surge succeeded or that it has won any kind of victory in Iraq.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 09:06 am
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All the attacks I mentioned,

All the attacks I mentioned, including 9-11 were linked to Al Qaeda. The 9-11 hijackers trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in case you forget, Bin Laden is also from Saudi Arabia, but we know where he hangs out these days.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/14/10 - 09:26 am
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Riverman1, your post above

Riverman1, your post above brings me back to the counterproductive nature of the U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan. A top U.S. intelligence official has said that less than 200 Al Qaeda remain in Afghanistan. What justifies U.S. occupying Afghanistan at enormous expense 9 years after the Taliban were overthrown and Al Qaeda camps dismantled? Why has the Afghan Taliban grown stronger in every part of that country?

U.S. intelligence experts say that Al Qaeda central was severely weakened and the threat it posed reduced, but the U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have set Pakistan civilians on fire with anger at United States and set the Pakistan Taliban (specifically the Tehrik-e-Taliban, known as PTT) on fire. They got together with Al Qaeda and other formerly disparate groups including criminal gangs and now pose a united threat against United States. So how productive have the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan been in keeping us safe much less (with the tremendous cost of these wars) prosperous?

Riverman1
93494
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 09:30 am
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So let me get this right. The

So let me get this right. The attacks against us in the past were orchestrated from Afghanistan and Pakistan before one American solider entered and our best response should be to leave them alone because we can make them mad?

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 05/14/10 - 09:32 am
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No... Cain changed his

No... Cain changed his statement by adding "on the wtc"therefore changing the meaning of the lie....then he goes on to tell another lie about wmd' which we found in Iraq, and were used. The lies never end.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 05/14/10 - 09:36 am
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Funny how Cain criticizes

Funny how Cain criticizes people for not
Knowing what US convoys have done.....which he to has no knowledge of....other than what he read on the blogs he choses to believe.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 09:40 am
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I know Tigger. If you also

I know Tigger.

If you also notice, my first mention was about the FIRST World Trade Center bombing which was linked to training camps in Afghanistan also. But I welcomed his inference that because the 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia that they were not involved with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is well documented where the 9-11 hijackers were trained.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/14/10 - 09:45 am
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Tigger_The_Tiger, Iraq did

Tigger_The_Tiger, Iraq did not attack United States or threaten United States before United States illegally invaded that country in March 2003.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/14/10 - 09:47 am
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The 9/11 hijackers received

The 9/11 hijackers received pilot training in United States!

Riverman1
93494
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 09:51 am
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"The 9/11 hijackers received

"The 9/11 hijackers received pilot training in United States!"

I never said they didn't, but their plans and training were formulated in Pakistan and Afghanistan at Al Qaeda camps.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/14/10 - 09:51 am
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Tigger_The_Tiger, I learned

Tigger_The_Tiger, I learned that high speed U.S. convoys have run over pedestrians including children and passenger vehicles in Iraq because they cannot stop. I learned that from a U.S. soldier who returned from Iraq. I learned that convoys have fired on civilians vehicles from news reports by mainstream new agencies like The Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, and others.

Riverman1
93494
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 09:54 am
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"The 9/11 hijackers received

"The 9/11 hijackers received pilot training in United States!"

What do you want us to do? Bomb the school in Florida where they deceitfully obtained flight training on simulators?

AJKing2009
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AJKing2009 05/14/10 - 10:00 am
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Riverman, we might as well

Riverman, we might as well bomb America, they are responsible for the "War" that its civilians has to deal with and pay attention to and worry about on a daily basis, why not destroy the real problem...

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 05/14/10 - 10:00 am
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So Cain....you learned these

So Cain....you learned these things from the same source that anyone else can read, but in your arrogance, you claim someone else doesn't know it. You also claim that uranium, the substance used to obliterate Hiroshima, is not wmd?

AJKing2009
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AJKing2009 05/14/10 - 10:00 am
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It's sad really, to know that

It's sad really, to know that we created our own problem isn't it.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 05/14/10 - 10:02 am
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Cain, firing at military jets

Cain, firing at military jets is an attack. Another lie by Cain.

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