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 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 3
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)

If we leave Afghanistan without Bin Laden, then terrorists will KNOW that we're not committed to bringing about justice... even after one of the worst terrorist crimes ever were perpetrated against us.
If we stay in Afghanistan, more soldiers will surely die, and Obama will be blamed.
If we leave Afghanistan and we're attacked... and we'll surely be attacked again if we leave... then whether or not Obama is still in office at the time of the attack, he'll be blamed.


Leaving Afganistan is not giving up on getting Bin Laden, we don't need 50,000, 60,000 or 100,000 to bring Bin Laden to justice. It's a myth that our being in Iraq or Afganistan is going to stop another attack on America, we could better spend our money and use our military to protect America from attack.

We have a bigger problem then Afganistan it's Pakistan with it's nuclear weapons, we have to make sure that Pakistan remains stable, I do not know what would happen if we withdraw from Afganistan would our departure destablize Pakistan. Is there another way to ensure the stability of Pakistan,

We are fortunate to have a commander and chief who has the information and the people to address the issues confronting our country today, he will make the right decision based on factors that we may not even be aware of
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 4
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/27/2009 8:55:31 PM
I have faith in the man (Hoh)... he is a professional and knows what he's talking about.

I think it's past due that we get out of there. We need to stop providing the Taliban with targets and admit it's time to get out of there.
 where4
Joined: 10/1/2008
Msg: 5
Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/28/2009 8:54:46 AM
Msg. 3:
We have a bigger problem then Afganistan it's Pakistan with it's nuclear weapons, we have to make sure that Pakistan remains stable, I do not know what would happen if we withdraw from Afganistan would our departure destablize Pakistan. Is there another way to ensure the stability of Pakistan,


Now that the Pakistanis are risking so much to finally try to go after the Taliban in Waziristan/western territories, I think we and our allies can hardly pull out of the neighboring lands across the Afghan border. Like battling cockroaches that scurry from one apartment to the one next door when the nest is being fumigated, we can hardly let the neighbors down right now.

I have great respect for the resigning official, Hoh, but his is only one of the well-informed insights on the situation.

It's a terrible problem - not to trivialize it with my words.

I'm glad the president is not allowing himself to be rushed against his better judgement. I wish him all wisdom in this matter.

I've been inclined to support the generals who have been requesting more troops. But the generals in Vietnam stayed too long, escalating, sure they could win. Many sources on the ground in the current war have been reporting that anti-American sentiment is only increasing, even among the people we're trying to help.

I won't dare to opine further at this time. I trust Obama's purity of intent but he's only human. Sadly, it's not only the Taliban enemies who want him to fail.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 6
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/28/2009 6:01:16 PM

Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Yes ... it's past time to bring the troops home.

Get them out of harm's way and stop exposing them to needless danger.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 7
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/29/2009 7:20:11 AM
I was under the impression that we went to Afghanistan to hunt OBL and Al-Qaeda. After over 8 years, we still don't have OBL and all of the Al-Qaeda have left ... they all went to Iraq and Pakistan after we killed off the people in Iraq who were keeping Al-Qaeda out of Iraq.

Sooo ... with the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, we created a safe haven for Al-Qaeda, never did capture OBL and basically have just turned our troops into walking breathing targets for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

We're not supposed to be there for nation building, so why should we stay there? I see no reason for any of the 68,000 + troops to be over there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Security_Assistance_Force
Contributing nations

All NATO members have contributed troops to the ISAF, as well as some other partner states of NATO. The numbers are based in part from the NATO; when more recent numbers are available they are given.

ISAF is also being backed by the 90,000 troops of the Afghan National Army and 80,000 Afghan policemen, who are described by the British Ministry of Defence as "fully equipped and trained".

Summary of major troop contributions (42 nations, 23 July 2009):
(I came up with over 68,600 even though the article only states 67,700 ... perhaps they didn't update the total as they updated the numbers for the individual countries.)

ISAF total - 67,700.
United States - 31,855
United Kingdom - 9,000
Germany - 4,245
Italy - 3.827
France - 3,070
Canada - 2,830
Netherlands - 2160
Poland - 2,025
Australia - 1,200
Spain - 1000
Romania - 990
Turkey - 820
Denmark - 750
Norway - 600
Belgium - 510
Bulgaria - 460
Sweden - 430
Czech Republic - 340
Hungary - 310
Croatia - 295
Lithuania - 250
Albania - 250
Slovakia - 230
New Zealand - 220
Azerbaijan - 184
Macedonia - 165
Latvia - 165
Estonia - 150
Finland - 130
Greece - 125
Portugal - 105
Slovenia - 80
United Arab Emirates - 25
Ukraine - 10
Luxembourg - 9
Singapore - 8
Iceland - 8
Ireland - 7
Jordan - 7
Austria - 4
Bosnia and Herzegovina - 2
Georgia - 1
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 8
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/29/2009 8:13:14 PM
Looking at it as rationally as possible, time to clear out.

So, why does the military want to stay? It seems irrational.

Perhaps, it's not so irrational, as emotional.

9/11 happened on the current militarys watch. It is a stain on their honor.

To expunge that stain, every Taliban, and every Al Quaeda, must die.

Since that is not possible, the military needs to do the next best thing, stay in Afghanistan, the nation that launced the attack, for a generation, so that none of the Taliban can return in their lifetimes. They will die in exile, hunted, living in caves.

This, I beleive, is much of the militarys reason for staying to fight in Afghanistan. So of course, it looks irrational.

There is another componenent, and that is China, and communism. The Afghanistan occupation is also very much a covert action against China. Or, at least, to keep an eye on China, and help certain people in China, who want the communists to go away. It's convenient. It's also an unresolved issue, from the Vietnam war, which was also really a war about China. The US won that war (oh, you thought we LOST? :) ), so certain people may try the tactic again.

I predict, Obama will move towards a withdrawal...and then...something...will happen, to make that withdrawal impossible for the short term. This will happen again and again. It will be a kind of coup, the military simply will not leave. It's emotional.
 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 9
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/29/2009 8:40:28 PM
al-Qaida

Looking at it as rationally as possible, time to clear out.


I might agree or disagree but rationally I don't have enough knowledge to make that call, so apparently you have more information then I do to rationally be able to say it's time to clear out


So, why does the military want to stay? It seems irrational.

Perhaps, it's not so irrational, as emotional.


So it's emotional? At least that relieves us of having to make rational decisions


9/11 happened on the current militarys watch. It is a stain on their honor.


It did? What is current to you?


To expunge that stain, every Taliban, and every Al Quaeda, must die.


They must die? All 40,000,000 of them?


Since that is not possible, the military needs to do the next best thing, stay in Afghanistan, the nation that launced the attack, for a generation, so that none of the Taliban can return in their lifetimes. They will die in exile, hunted, living in caves.


Is this the pilot for a movie?


This, I beleive, is much of the militarys reason for staying to fight in Afghanistan. So of course, it looks irrational.

There is another componenent, and that is China, and communism. The Afghanistan occupation is also very much a covert action against China. Or, at least, to keep an eye on China, and help certain people in China, who want the communists to go away. It's convenient. It's also an unresolved issue, from the Vietnam war, which was also really a war about China. The US won that war (oh, you thought we LOST? :) ), so certain people may try the tactic again.


So you dimiss the fact that Pakistan has over 100 nuclear weapons as a component?


I predict, Obama will move towards a withdrawal...and then...something...will happen, to make that withdrawal impossible for the short term. This will happen again and again. It will be a kind of coup, the military simply will not leave. It's emotional.


When will your predictions take place?
 where4
Joined: 10/1/2008
Msg: 10
Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/29/2009 10:55:31 PM
Msg. 15:
If the gloves came off, the war would be over in a month.


Profound!



(Profoundly retarded!)

Better to remain quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
-------------------

For anyone interested in digging into the complexity of the situation, Frontline broadcast a good report on October 13th:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamaswar/

A transcript is available here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamaswar/etc/script.html

Excerpts:
[...]
STEVE COLL, Author, Ghost Wars: This could not be a more complicated war. If you think about it, the United States is essentially waging a war against its own ally. The Taliban are a proxy of the government of Pakistan. We are an ally of the government of Pakistan. We are fighting the Taliban. In the end, the Taliban will be defeated strategically when the government of Pakistan makes a strategic decision that its future does not lie in partnership with Islamic extremists.

MARTIN SMITH[reporter/narrator]: The United States continues to pour money into Pakistan, $2 billion to $3 billion in military assistance and $7.5 billion in civilian aid over the next five years.

[on camera] Does it give you pause to hand them billions of dollars?

Lt. Col. JOHN NAGL: I absolutely have to hold my nose when I work with the Pakistani government. But I don't have a better alternative than continuing to work with this Pakistani government and continuing to nudge it forward toward taking more effective action against the Taliban.

MARTIN SMITH: [voice-over] On August 20th, Afghans went to the polls to choose a new president. The Obama administration had high hopes that whoever the winner, the election would validate the Afghan government.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, President Karzai's main challenger, ran on an anti-corruption platform.

Dr. ABDULLAH ABDULLAH: [subtitles] I want to rescue Afghanistan from a corrupt government. I want to rescue Afghanistan from a cruel government that the people don't trust.

MARTIN SMITH: But the election results were tainted by clear evidence of fraud. It was a disaster for the American project.

STEVE COLL: The United States is investing blood and treasure to support the government of Afghanistan. And if that government engaged in fraud in order to perpetuate itself in power calls into question the very basis of these American investments and sacrifices. I think it's appalling.

MARTIN SMITH: The U.N. has overseen a recount. At a time when Afghanistan most needs a government, the nation is paralyzed.

VALI NASR, Adviser to Amb. Holbrooke: We have to have an Afghan government that is functioning in Kabul. But if the Taliban have strategic depth in Pakistan, they can continue to threaten Afghanistan. And if they threaten Afghanistan, then terrorism of one form or another will be back.

MARTIN SMITH: So what does America do now? Are more troops the answer? Or should the focus shift eastward to the tribal areas of Pakistan?

Col. ANDREW BACEVICH: There seems to be some presumption that Afghanistan is jihad central, that if we can simply succeed in pacifying Afghanistan that the problem of violent Islamic radicalism goes away. It won't. All we care about is that al Qaeda not use the place as a sanctuary, and you don't have to occupy the country in order to prevent that from happening.

MARTIN SMITH: Proponents of a counterinsurgency war, on the other hand, argue for a much larger deployment.

Lt. Col. JOHN NAGL, U.S. Army (Ret.), Fmr. Adviser to Gen. Petraeus: By classic counterinsurgency measures, success in Afghanistan would require 600,000 counterinsurgents. We're well below half that right now.

MARTIN SMITH: [on camera] Are you saying there have to be more American troops on the ground?

Lt. Col. JOHN NAGL: Initially, there need to be more American troops on the ground. The long-term answer, and our exit strategy, is more Afghan troops on the ground.

MARTIN SMITH: [voice-over] In late August, General McChrystal submitted a grim assessment to President Obama, warning that America is in danger of losing the war if more troops are not sent. He requested as many as 40,000.

[...]

MARTIN SMITH: President Obama put the troop request on hold. His administration is split over the way forward.

[...]

MARTIN SMITH: McChrystal says he welcomes the debate.

Gen. STANLEY McCHRYSTAL: Any war or conflict you enter where you are likely to lose more Americans is something worthy of very detailed debate. I know before an American soldier is put in harm's way, I hope that not just the political leadership but the American people give it a lot of thought.

[...]

Col. ANDREW BACEVICH: If we do indeed have a full-court press application of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, certainly more American soldiers are going to die. And I think it's very, very important to be absolutely certain that thereó that no alternative exists. And I think the people who insist that it has to be done through counterinsurgency have not seriously examined all the alternatives.

Lt. Col. JOHN NAGL: The president has said ó correctly, in my eyes ó that this is a necessary war. What we learned on September 11th was that vipers can grow in ungoverned spaces and that in a globalized world, they can harm us. This is a war that America needs to win. But there are no guarantees here.
[...]

--------------------
Maybe you've been following the past couple of days, with Hillary Clinton in Pakistan...
http://news.aol.com/article/secretary-of-state-hillary-clinton-has/740090

[...]
In Lahore, Clinton told university students that their government had little choice in taking a tougher approach.

Dozens of students rushed to line up for the microphone when the session began. Their questions were not hostile, but showed a strong sense of doubt that the U.S. can be a reliable and trusted partner for Pakistan.

One woman asked whether the U.S. can be expected to commit long term in Afghanistan after abandoning the country after Russian occupiers retreated in 1989.

"What guarantee," the woman asked, "can Americans give Pakistan that we can now trust you — not you but, like, the Americans this time — of your sincerity and that you guys are not going to betray us like the Americans did in the past when they wanted to destabilize the Russians?"

Clinton responded that the question was a "fair criticism"[...]
 where4
Joined: 10/1/2008
Msg: 11
Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/30/2009 1:50:38 AM
^^^^^

Seems like a Neo Con trap.....


Nope, nope, nope! Furthest possible thing from neo-con!

Sarah Chayes is currently a “special advisor” to Gen. McChrystal. (She advised Gen. McKiernan before him.) Perhaps it’s easier for me than for some others, having been in the military, to comprehend that some pretty smart, dedicated, compassionate people wear the uniform. They’re not all power-hungry neo-cons!
More about Sarah:
http://arghand.org/

From 1996, Sarah Chayes was Paris reporter for National Public Radio. She was dispatched to a number of conflict and post-conflict zones. Her work during the Kosovo crisis of 1999 earned her the Foreign Press Club and Sigma Delta Chi awards, along with her NPR colleagues.

Sarah left reporting in 2002 to remain in the field in Afghanistan. She co-founded Afghans for Civil Society, a grassroots Afghan-American democracy building organization based in Kandahar. Among other projects, ACS rebuilt a village, launched a radio station and created a successful women's income generation project. In 2004 she left ACS to focus on economic development, and since May 2005 has been running Arghand.

Sarah's book on post-Taliban Kandahar, The Punishment of Virtue (Penguin Press, 2006) is now out in paperback.

For more background on Sarah, and articles by and about her, please visit: www.sarahchayes.net.


If you can invest 17-18 minutes, see this Charlie Rose interview with Sarah Chayes. It’s from last May, when McKiernan was still in command, and prior to the rigged election that Karzai has since had to acknowledge was unacceptable.
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10289


If you have even more time to invest, by all means go to the Frontline page I linked/quoted in my above post:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamaswar/



..........Gen. STANLEY McCHRYSTAL: Any war or conflict you enter where you are likely to lose more Americans is something worthy of very detailed debate. I know before an American soldier is put in harm's way, I hope that not just the political leadership but the American people give it a lot of thought.


NO SH!T...........


No sh!t: he wants the American people to analyze and understand the complexity of the situation because he knows he needs (and Obama needs) public support for the commitment of more troops.

In the Frontline documentary—WHICH YOU CAN WATCH ONLINE, IF YOU LIKE—the reporter, Martin Smith, presents the harsh reality of the Marines in the field, as well as more than just one expert’s viewpoint. Military and diplomatic sources weigh in, as well as Afghans and [lying!] Pakistanis.

After spending more time perusing this information today I am more convinced that sending more troops is the right thing to do, although with a distinctly different approach than that of the squandered years under Bush/Cheney.

I am also very satisfied with Clinton’s recent provocative interactions with the Pakistanis, too, given their military’s distaste for really cracking down on the religious extremists inside their borders. Those desperate explosions in Pakistan are not surprising when one understands what’s at stake. This crackdown is not easy for the Pakistanis to commit to, but what’s the alternative to improve things in the long run?

Sarah Chayes discusses the Pakistanis, too, in the May 8th Charlie Rose interview - as well as the need for much greater commitment of civilian support from the Europeans. This mess is the whole world's problem.

As you know, John Kerry and others want us out of there as soon as possible. And, the unfortunate truth is as Lt. Col. John Nagl said: “there are no guarantees here.”

It’s scary, costly and uncertain, but from what I understand now I will certainly support the president if he decides to send the reinforcements, even in the tens of thousands as requested. The stakes in Afghanistan are much higher than they were in Vietnam.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 12
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/30/2009 7:13:46 AM
I say it's a losing proposition because there just is no way to box in the so-called enemy and do away with them.

The despicable torturing of the prisoners gave them fodder to recruit unimaginable numbers and the hate for us has just been festering. It's going to take years and years to turn that around.

Further, we have not been doing ourselves any favors by using the drones. Clinton is over there trying to convince the Pakistanis to work with us in going after the "enemy" (whoever that may be) while we kill more and more of their civilians with drones ... up to 15 civilians per 1 (so-called) enemy at a time.

That is certainly not earning us any "Brownie points". That just does more harm than good, but they apparently have no intentions of halting the use of the drones. So in essence what we're doing is killing innocent citizens on one side and then Clinton goes over there and attempts to convince them we are their friends? What a crock of sh*t.

Now why in the world would they still want to help us?

http://returngood.com/2009/07/21/brookings-report-confirms-high-civilian-death-rate-and-misses-the-point/
Brookings Report on Drones Confirms High Civilian Death Rate and Misses the Point
2009 July 21
To their credit, the folks over at the Brookings Institution have become one of the first mainstream think tanks to recognize the horrendously indiscriminate nature of drone attacks in Pakistan. Brookings Institute scholar Daniel Byman wrote last Monday:
Critics correctly find many problems with this program, most of all the number of civilian casualties the strikes have incurred. Sourcing on civilian deaths is weak and the numbers are often exaggerated, but more than 600 civilians are likely to have died from the attacks. That number suggests that for every militant killed, 10 or so civilians also died.

I’ve been citing numbers that show a worse civilian-combatant ratio (15-1), but the Brookings citation makes the same point: drones kill far more civilians than suspected militants. Good for Brookings for bringing this to folks’ attention.

Unfortunately, though, Byman fails to really get into the details of what causes the high ratio, preferring instead to attribute them to the Evil Taliban:
To reduce casualties, superb intelligence is necessary. Operators must know not only where the terrorists are, but also who is with them and who might be within the blast radius. This level of surveillance may often be lacking, and terrorists’ deliberate use of children and other civilians as shields make civilian deaths even more likely.

The preceding paragraph demonstrates an amazing Fareed-Zakaria-like ability to take the vile and the shocking and transform it into a passive-voice bromide. Translation: “We need good intel to avoid killing noncombatants. We don’t have good intelligence. We don’t let details like that get in the way of firing the weapons, so we kill 10 civilians for every one suspected terrorist. Oh yeah the Taliban are bad.”

Americans should be terrified and horrified that CIA operators use a weapons system whose ability to avoid killing innocent men, women and children depends on “superb intelligence” when such intel does not exist. Essentially, what the CIA is doing is analagous to a police sniper aiming into a bank crowded with hostages with a sniper rifle whose barrel lacks rifling, pointing at a suspected robber and pulling the trigger. When the bullet goes astray due to the lack of a key feature that makes the sniper rifle accurate–the rifling– and kills a hostage, the police officer shrugs. “The robber used human shields.” If the public found out that our hypothetical police sniper knew in advance that he had, oh, say, a 90-percent chance of killing a hostage rather than a robber and he pulled the trigger anyway, they’d be howling for his head on a platter. Butthis kind of vile nonsense is exactly what the administration asks the American people to accept through further escalations of the CIA’s undeclared war on the Pakistanis unlucky enough to be living near our national enemies.

I repeat:
The strikes have caused such carnage that leading British legal experts “said the aircraft could follow other weapons considered ’so cruel as to be beyond the pale of human tolerance’ in being consigned to the history books,” likening them to “cluster bombs and landmines.”

****Byman’s analysis of the problem, though, ultimately misses the point. It may be true that the high civilian death rate is bad because it undermines our counterinsurgency efforts to win hearts and minds. However, the real problem is not the political consequences of these deaths, but rather the deaths themselves. Even if the 10-1 civilian-combatant death rate had zero political consequences, it would still be immoral to continue the use of drones.

As I said on July 14,
“The worst effect of all this talk about counterinsurgency is that it has reduced the civilian populations of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan to mere means to the end of our strategy. They’re not. Drones may be awful in part because their use leads to more terrorism, but the worst effect of their use is the slaughter of people whose right to life exists independent from our goals for the region.”****

Get those drones on the ground, now.
UPDATE: Despite its problems, the Brookings article shows that the CIA is lying to the American people about the drones. Here’s Leon Panetta in a May 2009 speech:
[Drone] operations have been very effective because they have been very precise in terms of the targeting and it involved a minimum of collateral damage.”
Very simply, Panetta lied.

UPDATE II: The Long War Journal just published an analysis of drone strike activity in 2009 compared to 2008 [h/t/ Noah Schactman at Danger Room]. Their study shows that compared to last year, drone strikes have been more frequent and have killed more people, with the total number of deaths for 2009 already exceeding the 2008 total :
…In 2009, the frequency of Predator strikes in Pakistan has continued to trend upwards. There have already been 31 Predator strikes in Pakistan this year (as of July 18) – nearly matching the total of 36 strikes for all of 2008.
If air strikes continue at the current rate, the number of strikes in 2009 could more than double the dramatic increase in Predator activity seen in 2008.
…Using low-end estimates of casualties (including Taliban, al Qaeda, and civilian) from US strikes inside Pakistan, we have determined that air strikes resulted in 317 deaths during 2008. Already, the air strikes in 2009 have surpassed that total, with 365 killed in 2009 as of July 18.
…Another indicator of the increasing lethality of US air strikes inside Pakistan is the rising average number killed per attack. So far in 2009, the average casualty rate has been 11.77 killed per strike, compared to 8.81 in 2008.
So, to summarize:
• CIA drone operators lack the “superb intel” needed to prevent civilian casualties, but are firing their weapons anyway, causing them to kill ten times as many civilians as suspected terrorists.
• CIA Director Panetta, however, continues to lie and/or propagandize about the drones’ accuracy and “minimal collateral damage.”
• Despite their indiscriminate and inhumane nature, the U.S. has doubled the rate of drone strikes and is killing more people per attack in 2009 compared to 2008, which has caused the death toll from these weapons so far in 2009 to exceed the death toll for all of 2008.
History will not be kind to us if we continue to use these indiscriminate weapons that kill ten times as many civilians as suspected combatants.


It's time to get the troops out of there and stop the drone attacks. We have done so much more harm than good ... is there no end to the way the US goes around stirring up hate against us?
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 14
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/30/2009 8:15:11 AM

If we withdraw, more than likely Usama Bin Laden will probably come out of hiding and take back Afghanistan.
Well, I'm not sure that one could say that he will take back Afghanistan ... he never had Afghanistan ... was just based there.

After what has been going on since 9/11 it does occur to me that the Afghani people will not be so eager to embrace him and his folks so quickly, but OBL has money and unfortunately money speaks volumes when all you've known for the past 8 years is war.

It would be great to capture OBL ... would hopefully bring closure for many people who suffered losses related to 9/11 ... including the troops who have lost their lives as a result of the past 8 year war.

The flip side of the coin is that in the process of pursuing OBL, we have made a lot of mistakes and I'm thinking that the US is not in line for a lot of forgiveness at this time. So just capturing OBL is probably not going to end the hate for us from that region that has been festering for so long.

Don't forget, people who hate us don't need OBL to lead them ... hate is a strong emotion.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 17
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/30/2009 6:59:26 PM

Wait just a minute. It wasn't all that long ago I was being told by every Obama supporter on this board and the media too, that his Cairo speech "reset" relations with the arab world and various non-governmental arab organizations.
I know I didn't say that and anyways ... speaking to the "Arab world" and various non-governmental Arab organizations ... wouldn't necessarily apply to the extremists now would it?

When anyone speaks to "the Christians", that probably doesn't include the extremists (say for example) David Koresh ... right? But maybe it does. Does it include the Lutherans or the Catholics or just the Baptists? Does it include the Methodists and Presbyterians? Or does it only include the Born-Agains?

Point is ... the Cairo speech certainly didn't make things right with the perceived enemies over there in the Middle East.

And wasn't it Obama who kept endlessly claiming Afghanistan was a "war of neccessity" during his magical mystery tour run to the white house.I don't know ... why not post some sort of link?
And wasn't it president Obama in March who announced, a "comprehensive new strategy" ...... "We've consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments, with our partners and our NATO allies, and with other donors and international organizations" and "with members of Congress. " All to end "long years of drift" (said last Monday) in Afghanistan.
I don't know anymore ... post a link.

OT ...
Yes it's time to bring the troops home.
 passionteman
Joined: 3/7/2005
Msg: 18
Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/30/2009 8:18:06 PM
There are many factors that the situation in Afghanistan WILL not get better with the presence and involvement of foreign troops being there with all their artilerry and power and try to shoot people in the name of "Taliban", destroy innocent lives of civilians, destroy villages and cities and kill innocent children.

1. Afghans consists of different ethnic groups which include Pushtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and other elasticities mixed in there. They have cultural and traditional values that they have hang on to for generations and generations and since the family system is all tied up together, the foreign troops are out there against a "beehive" rather than one person. You hurt one member of the family and you get the whole family get up in arms to hurt you back. They take matters in their own hands and don't call 911 or report it to the government.

2. Religiously speaking, they are allowed to defend themselves, their families and the country if they are attacked and what the US government and other countries do is show the might of their power with tanks, helicopters and military equipment and this gives them the sense of getting occupied, which they have fought against throughout history.

3. What the US military and the rest of the military gang from other countries do is bombard places, villages, cities and kill innocent children and destroy families and that encourages male members of different tribe and groups to band together for the following reasons:

A. They want to revenge the death of their entire family that the US military carpet bombed.

B. Some join different groups because they have large families and they don't have money to support them financially, so joining different groups helps them earn some money to support their family. All of this is because of poor economy and war that we have created in there.

4. Taliban are not just an "organized group" as the US military and the rest of the world considers them to be. People band together just like I mentioned above in different parts and form groups and form resistance against foreign troops for the above-mentioned reasons and the US government labels them as "Taliban".

5. There are groups that might be out there that don't belong to these two categories and are running operations, but it is all a mixed group of different people.

- The only way to bring solution to Afghan crisis is to stop showing off the military power and instead get the people engaged by finding their potentials and teaching them how to earn a living whether it is farming, carpentry, manufacturing etc. That way, the majority of men will be able to support their families and will not arm here and there to form resistance.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 19
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/30/2009 10:35:54 PM
"So you dimiss the fact that Pakistan has over 100 nuclear weapons as a component? "

On 9.10, it seemed not to matter at all! Now, since the military is desperatly seeking any excuse to stay in Afghanistan, it's NUCLEAR WAR!!!!

Always start with the premise that the General is lying.

"So it's emotional? At least that relieves us of having to make rational decisions "

Since when is emotion not rational? We live in a world, governed by emotional human beings. To ignore emotion, would, be, irrational. Or do you think, that the military guys watched the 9.11 attacks, with the thought, "Gee, this is really gonna totally screw up my weekend"? Are the jihadists not motivated by emotion?
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 20
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/31/2009 8:24:06 AM
Message 27 ...
1. You hurt one member of the family and you get the whole family get up in arms to hurt you back. They take matters in their own hands and don't call 911 or report it to the government.
The US has never been known to take much interest in other countries' cultural background. They just expect the world to adjust to their way of life ... because ya know, that's what's best ... right?

Hence when I've been traveling in foreign countries, the reason I see Americans exhibit the same lack of respect for that country as they exhibit here at home ... throw trash all over the highways, inappropriate behavior ... getting drunk and starting fights with the locals, basically taking advantage of the hospitality of the country. Behavior that then causes those people to judge all Americans ... put us all in the same boat so to speak.

2. Religiously speaking, they are allowed to defend themselves, their families and the country if they are attacked and what the US government and other countries do is show the might of their power with tanks, helicopters and military equipment and this gives them the sense of getting occupied, which they have fought against throughout history.
Again, the mighty US shoot 'em up bang bang attitude ... our guns are bigger than yours and so you must do as we say ... our way is the best way.

3. What the US military and the rest of the military gang from other countries do is bombard places, villages, cities and kill innocent children and destroy families and that encourages male members of different tribe and groups to band together for the following reasons:

A. They want to revenge the death of their entire family that the US military carpet bombed.

B. Some join different groups because they have large families and they don't have money to support them financially, so joining different groups helps them earn some money to support their family. All of this is because of poor economy and war that we have created in there.
To them life is precious and the attitude with us is that if someone comes in here and kills 3000 of our people, that gives us the right to just go blow up the whole country and kill off anyone who gets in our path, as we look for one person who we want to get even with. It doesn't matter that thousands and thousands of innocent lives are lost (on both sides) ... that's just collateral damage ... you know, as in ... "Gee too bad your house was in the same village we thought the terrorist lived in. Guess you had bad luck ... eh?" The main thing is that the mighty US will get even ... no matter what cost.

4. Taliban are not just an "organized group" as the US military and the rest of the world considers them to be. People band together just like I mentioned above in different parts and form groups and form resistance against foreign troops for the above-mentioned reasons and the US government labels them as "Taliban".
Just as the previous administration has programed so many here into believing that ALL Islams and Muslims just want to kill us. There are no exceptions ... it's ALL or nothing. They can't even come up with a really strong argument as to why that even might be the case, just "They came in here and killed 3000 of our people and so ALL Islams and Muslums just want to kill us all."

5. There are groups that might be out there that don't belong to these two categories and are running operations, but it is all a mixed group of different people.
So what? The US wants to get even and none of any of that matters ... that's why even though it's been proven that the drones are killing up to 15 innocents for every 1 bad guy ... they will continue to use the drones. Those 15 innocents are just collateral damage and besides that's what those people get for possibly harboring the people who are responsible for killing 3000 of our people ... right?

- The only way to bring solution to Afghan crisis is to stop showing off the military power and instead get the people engaged by finding their potentials and teaching them how to earn a living whether it is farming, carpentry, manufacturing etc. That way, the majority of men will be able to support their families and will not arm here and there to form resistance.
And that would be all well and good if we had not gone in there already and basically acted like jackasses to begin with (thanks to "The High Functioning Moron"). Now there is no way to undo what we have done and the culture over there is not going to be so forgiving of our blunders.

OT ...
Get the troops out of there, bring them home and perhaps send some people who are really adept in helping those people rebuild their nation. Maybe we could earn back a fraction of respect that way ... maybe, but unlikely ... because so much damage has been done that it would take a miracle to repair it.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 22
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/31/2009 9:14:54 AM


... speaking to the "Arab world" and various non-governmental Arab organizations ... wouldn't necessarily apply to the extremists now would it?
Point is ... the Cairo speech certainly didn't make things right with the perceived enemies over there in the Middle East.
so we agree then. the obama world apology tour was a bust.
No ... that's not what I said, but nice try on trying to turn the meaning around ...

Since I can see there is at least one person who needs it spelled out (even though it was already wonderfully stated in the quote below in Message 25) ... the Cairo speech wasn't directed at the Afghans or Pakistanis ... or even the Taliban (our "perceived" enemies). So no we DO NOT agree if you are trying to say the Cairo speech (world apology tour?) was a bust. Again ... nice try on trying to turn the meaning of my post around ...

Here's that statement you must have missed ...
"a bit nomadic" (Message 25) ...
Afghanistan is not an Arab state (nor even close). Afghans aren't Arabs. Pakistanis aren't Arabs. The Talilban isn't an Arab organization (bin Laden is, but he's neither Afghan nor Taliban). And while Obama HAS changed the tone when it comes to our dealings with the Muslim world, it's not as if he can push a magical button and make all the bad feelings developed over years just disappear. Things just don't work that way. ... which is why it's so disastrous to cowboy our way across the world (and then cry because people don't realize just how fabulous we are). We are actually an occupying force in Afghanistan....and however inadvertently, we've killed civilians there (apart from the problems at Gitmo, etc.). Why should Afghans be moved by Obama's Cairo speech (which most of them probably have never heard). The Cairo speech wasn't directed at Afghans, but at the parts of the larger Islamic community radicalized by what they have perceived to be our anti-Muslim agenda.


OT ...
Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?

Yes ... get them out of there and bring them home.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 25
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History
Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/31/2009 12:23:41 PM

These apology tours of Obama's probably have a bit to do with the renewed fighting in the two war zones, and probably were not good for all our soldiers' morale.
But .... but ..... I thought the troops back OBAMA 6 - 1?

I think with that they are saying they want an end to this ... let's bring them home and ask them!!!!
 where4
Joined: 10/1/2008
Msg: 26
Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/31/2009 1:21:41 PM
Msg. 34 - thank you! Yes, as a matter of fact, that DOES clarify it nicely! From the article you referenced:

While not setting a timetable or exit strategy, the president said there will be clear benchmarks to measure progress, and a requirement that the Afghan government deal with corruption.

"Going forward, we will not blindly stay the course. Instead, we will set clear metrics to measure progress and hold ourselves accountable," he said. "We’ll consistently assess our efforts to train Afghan Security Forces, and our progress in combating insurgents. We will measure the growth of Afghanistan’s economy, and its illicit narcotics production. And we will review whether we are using the right tools and tactics to make progress towards accomplishing our goals."

Obama also asked for more help from NATO and the rest of the international community.

"None of the steps that I have outlined will be easy, and none should be taken by America alone. The world cannot afford the price that will come due if Afghanistan slides back into chaos or Al Qaeda operates unchecked," he said. "We have a shared responsibility to act – not because we seek to project power for its own sake, but because our own peace and security depends upon it. And what’s at stake now is not just our own security – it is the very idea that free nations can come together on behalf of our common security."


Looks like he's doing exactly what he said back then during the campaign, assessing the situation carefully as promised - and "not because we seek to project power for its own sake."

You people need to take your meds and get the hatred under control! He's our president. Your pair of losers lost. Get over it and move on! You're so blinded by hate for the man that you can't help but premise every distorted thought from that point. Sad. Truly sad.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 29
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/31/2009 5:14:54 PM

... the generals want to do the job but their hands are tied.
I wonder who tied them before OBAMA took command?

If we are not going to support our soldiers properly, then we should bring them home.
Is that the way you felt when the "C0ck" & "The High Functioning Moron" were sitting on their hands last year?

I heard plenty of Obamas apologists make up all kinds of excuses, but taking months to make a decision on troop levels is reprehensible.
You're right ... is that how you also felt when the "C0ck" & "The High Functioning Moron" did it? Or are your feelings regarding "reprehensible" only reserved for President OBAMA?

Here ya go ... I found this for your reading pleasure. Keep in mind that the authors of the following article are flaming Republicans and so obviously the article has been written to show the "C0ck" & "The High Functioning Moron" in the best light as possible under the circumstances ...

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/10/from-the-fact-check-desk-did-mckiernans-troop-requests-just-sit-on-bush-white-house-desks.html
Did McKiernan’s Troop Requests Just Sit on Bush White House Desks?

October 22, 2009 7:50 PM

Responding to Vice President Cheney’s accusation that President Obama is “dithering” by taking time to assess a new strategy in Afghanistan, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs earlier today said “the vice president was for seven years not focused on Afghanistan. Even more curious given the fact that an increase in troops sat on desks in this White House, including the vice president's, for more than eight months, a resource request filled by President Obama in March.”

Is that accurate?

It’s a bit more nuanced than that.

The troop requests to which Gibbs referred were made by then-Gen. David McKiernan. McKiernan started off making individual requests for brigades, and that list kept growing.

Officials from that time say that demands in Iraq prevented the Bush administration from fulfilling the requests until just before Bush left office. (Prioritizing troops to Iraq over those to Afghanistan is, of course, a choice.)

In his first interview after being fired by Defense Secretary Gates over the summer, McKiernan told the Washington Post about his appointment to command ISAF troops in Afghanistan in June 2008: "There was a saying when I got there: If you're in Iraq and you need something, you ask for it. If you're in Afghanistan and you need it, you figure out how to do without it."

In retrospect McKiernan’s troop requests ultimately added up to roughly 30,000 more troops, a combination of combat units and support troops.

Throughout most of 2008, the Bush administration tried to get NATO countries to fill that gap, though they had to have known that would be a challenge. By the late summer, 2008 Bush administration officials realized NATO wasn’t going to come through.

In September 2008 that led the Pentagon to order 2,000 Marines to replace Marines sent to Afghanistan in January as a one-time deployment. At the same time, it also ordered in the first of the additional four combat brigades that McKiernan had requested. This unit of 3,700 soldiers would arrive in January, 2009 and had been originally scheduled to deploy to Iraq.

In December 2008, President Bush sent 2,800 troops to Afghanistan from an aviation brigade that McKiernan had also requested.

So as McKiernan’s outstanding requests for more forces accumulated throughout 2008 to roughly 30,000 soldiers, President Bush sent at least 6,800 troops – ***months and months after the requests had come in***.

By March, President Obama had ordered 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan – which can be seen as roughly the outstanding balance of McKiernan’s original request.
Soooo ... if those calling for immediate troops are willing to give the "C0ck" & "The High Functioning Moron" a pass on their bumble for going on 8 months, I wonder how much time they will be willing to allow OBAMA?

The article continues ...[quoteSo Gibbs’s claim that for “eight months” McKiernan’s request for troops “sat on desks” isn’t accurate.

But those requests weren’t exactly being met with the urgency Cheney has suddenly decided President Obama must meet, lest he be seen as “dithering.”
 EarlzP
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 31
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/31/2009 6:49:27 PM

Believe me, I am a conservative not a republican. I don't think our past president was sterling in this area. We need to let the generals fight the war without putting a bunch of restrictions on them


General McCrystal should be removed from command he violated the chain of command by going to the public. By doing so he has exposed those in his command to unneeded escualation of the taliban, they will see the differences in opinion in try to use them to their advantage.

The talks between President Obama and his advisors and staff should have been done in private and no information leaked unless it was going to benefit the USA and our allies and troops in the field
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 32
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 10/31/2009 6:55:42 PM

We are back to the Bush did it so why can't Obama do it agrument again.
I don't think so ... but how about if we give OBAMA a chance to do it right instead of rushing in like a blithering fool.

As we can see, rushing in sure didn't do the last administration any good ... eh?
 where4
Joined: 10/1/2008
Msg: 33
Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 11/3/2009 1:49:14 AM
Msg. 48:
Obama can remove him, that is his right as commander and chief. Whether or not McCrystal is in charge, the issues remain the same.

Agreed, McCrystal is but one man. Tearing down that one man's credibility does not mean his position on troop build-up is without merit. Others favor this position, also.

Msg. 49:
In this engagement im sure not all are religous extremists, some are simply defending their home.

Good point.

It's also worth noting that not all the religious extremists in this war are Muslim terrorists:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqVuqFOBk-o

Again, msg. 48:
We need to decide whether we are going to fight bare knuckles or to keep on the gloves. If we want to keep on the gloves, we will fail to achieve victory.

Want to define how you'd "take off the gloves?" I'm curious. Drones sure can kill a lot of people but they haven't proved a very good idea, considering the resulting Hate America passion.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 34
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 11/3/2009 2:41:23 PM


Drones sure can kill a lot of people but they haven't proved a very good idea, considering the resulting Hate America passion.
And we care because?
How absolutely arrogant and unbelievable.

I think we should be concerned that Pakistan hates us ... they could be an ally but we're creating a lot of hate by killing 15 innocent people just to target one (supposed) "bad guy". See message 21 ...

Also ... some excerpts from the following link
http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=21440
60 drone hits kill 14 al-Qaeda men, 687 civilians

Friday, April 10, 2009

By Amir Mir

LAHORE: Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent.

Figures compiled by the Pakistani authorities show that a total of 701 people, including 14 al-Qaeda leaders, have been killed since January 2006 in 60 American predator attacks targeting the tribal areas of Pakistan. Two strikes carried out in 2006 had killed 98 civilians while three attacks conducted in 2007 had slain 66 Pakistanis, yet none of the wanted al-Qaeda or Taliban leaders could be hit by the Americans right on target. However, of the 50 drone attacks carried out between January 29, 2008 and April 8, 2009, 10 hit their targets and killed 14 wanted al-Qaeda operatives. Most of these attacks were carried out on the basis of intelligence believed to have been provided by the Pakistani and Afghan tribesmen who had been spying for the US-led allied forces stationed in Afghanistan.

The remaining 50 drone attacks went wrong due to faulty intelligence information, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children. The number of the Pakistani civilians killed in those 50 attacks stood at 537, in which 385 people lost their lives in 2008 and 152 people were slain in the first 99 days of 2009 (between January 1 and April 8).



And we care because?
How would you feel if those people were your relatives and friends and loved ones?

Of the 50 drone attacks, targeting the Pakistani tribal areas since January 2008, 36 were carried out in 2008 and 14 were conducted in the first 99 days of 2009. Of the 14 attacks targeting Pakistan in 2009, three were carried out in January, killing 30 people, two in February killing 55 people, five in March killing 36 people and four were conducted in the first nine days of April, killing 31 people.

Of the 14 strikes carried out in the first 99 days of April 2009, only one proved successful, killing two most wanted senior al-Qaeda leaders - Osama al Kini and Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan. Both had lost their lives in a New Year’s Day drone strike carried out in the South Waziristan region on January 1, 2009.
So we killed 150 innocent people and only 2 bad guys and we got them on January 1, 2009.

For 98 more days, all we did was kill innocent Pakistanis.


The American forces stationed in Afghanistan carried out nine aerial strikes between September 3 and September 25, 2008, killing 57 people and injuring 38 others. The attacks were launched on September 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 15, 17, 22 and September 27. However, the September 3, 2008 American action was unique in the sense that two CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters landed in the village of Zawlolai in the South Waziristan Agency with ground troops from the US Special Operation Forces, fired at three houses and killed 17, including five women and four sleeping children.

Besides the two helicopters carrying the US Special Forces Commandos, two jet fighters and two gun-ship helicopters provided the air cover for the half-an-hour American operation, more than a kilometer inside the Pakistani border.


The last predator strike on [April 8, 2009] was carried out hardly a few hours after the Pakistani authorities had rejected an American proposal for joint operations in the tribal areas against terrorism and militancy, as differences of opinion between the two countries over various aspects of the war on terror came out into the open for the first time.

The proposal came from two top US visiting officials, presidential envoy for the South Asia Richard Holbrooke and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. However, the Pakistani military and political leadership reportedly rejected the proposal and adopted a tough posture against a barrage of increasing US predator strikes and criticism emanating from Washington, targeting the Pakistan Army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and creating doubts about their sincerity in the war on terror and the fight against al-Qaeda and Taliban.

Do we really have a right to go in and do that to those people? Just because we failed miserably at the original onset, do we really have a right to now cross into Pakistan and kill innocent people?

And we care because?
I think we should care because they are innocent human beings who had nothing to do with what happened here in 2001.

Pakistani people were standing up asking Clinton how many more innocent lives they want to take with all of those Drone Attacks ... they want their country back, they don't want us there killing them just because we are occupying Iraq and trying to nation build in Afghanistan (because we sure aren't hunting Al Qaeda or OBL ... they're all long gone).
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 35
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 11/3/2009 5:53:17 PM

If someone has a better way of doing it, I am sure the pentagon would love to hear from them.
Really? We're talking about Pakistani citizens here. When did we invade Pakistan?

We're talking about 150 innocent citizens in 98 days getting blown to bits because of ..... what? Phony intelligence? If it was happening in you town on your block do you think you'd be so "It's okay" with that?

So you'd be okay if your family was visiting you at your house and some a__hole turned in a member of your family and they tracked that person to your house and without warning, your house got blown up just so they kill that supposed bad person?

That's how much sense this all makes.

Your statement before was just absolutely despicable ...
And we care because?
That just pretty much says it all. You really just don't care about any other human life ... other than your own!!!! And your posts reflect that.

If someone has a better way of doing it, I am sure the pentagon would love to hear from them.
Maybe someone needs to remind the Pentagon that we aren't supposed to be killing people in Pakistan!!!! Not to mention they have asked us to cease and desist!!!
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 36
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Is it Time to Bring the Troops Home?
Posted: 11/3/2009 6:33:48 PM
From the original post ...
The resignation of Matthew Hoh, a senior Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain, reverberated as far as the White House, not only because of his superb credentials but also because of his view that the presence of US troops is fueling the insurgency.
That makes sense to me and it seems we have overstayed our welcome.

I think it would be stupid to send more troops for the insurgents to use as walking, breathing, target practice ... BRING THE TROOPS HOME!!!!!
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