Archive for January, 2012

“Pakistan Rejects U.S. Account of Clash That Ended (TIMES, 1/24/12)

January 30, 2012

“1867 American service members…have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations.” Some form of this statement regularly appears in the pages of this newspaper as questions continue to be raised as to the sagacity of the war, especially in the face of a breakdown of genuine cooperation between the United States and Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan is currently blocking “NATO supply lines passing through its territory.”

How can a war be fought this way? Why should more American service members be asked to risk their lives in such a shaky venture? It is a lost cause and should be recognized as such by the Obama administration. An exit strategy should be the order of the day. Bring our troops home!

A. Garavente


“Bomb-Bomb-Bomb, Bomb-Bomb-Iran?” by Bill Keller (TIMES, 1/23/12)

January 30, 2012

     If “Bombing Iran is the best way to guarantee exactly what we are trying to prevent,” then all such belligerent talk should stop and a stronger effort made to defuse the crisis there.  If the United States can live with nuclear-armed Pakistan, it can do so with Iran too.

     Then, our foreign policy “experts” (read New World Order zealots) have to acknowledge the fact that the USA cannot police that volatile part of the world without significant help from other countries.  In other words, we have to try harder to make collective security work.

     Here is another reason why we should move up the date for the withdrawal from Afghanistan.  When we remain in harm’s way, harm is what we can expect.

     A. Garavente

“Do Drones Undermine Democracy” (TIMES, 1/22/12)

January 30, 2012

The answer to that question is definitely a yes and for that reason we should be very wary of the use of such weapons.
The Air Force is currently “training more operators of unmanned aerial systems than fighter and bomber pilots combined.” Moreover, the “not-so-covert war in Pakistan…is not carried out by the Air Force; it is being conducted by the CIA,” which is not good news.
The new technology available to the U.S. military does not change the fact that going to war and how it is conducted is an issue for all Americans, a point that should be made especially clear to the CIA director.
A. Garavente

“French Weigh Afghan Exit After Killings” (TIMES, 1/21/12)

January 27, 2012

If the British, French, German, and Italian governments, our main NATO allies, will be withdrawing significant numbers of their troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, how can the United States not do the same?
Won’t it be absolutely clear, even to the hawks in the United States, that these withdrawals (along with what our country will be pulling out) constitute acknowledgments that the war in afghanistan is for all intents and purposes over?
In other words, there is no need to drag out the withdrawal until 12/31/14. ALL U.S. and NATO forces could be removed from Rumsfeld’s quagmire by 12/31 of THIS year. Lives would be saved and inflated military budgets could be cut.
Any U.S. official who opposes this long overdue withdrawal (e.g., Secretary of Defense leon Panetta) can turn in a resignation. President Obama can’t only run for re-election this year. He has to spend some time in the Oval Office doing the job he was elected to do.
A. Garavente

“Tightening Race Is Abrupt Blow To Romney Team” (TIMES, 1/21/12)

January 25, 2012

     If Mitt  Romney fails to win South Carolina on 1/21, thus  jeopardizing a victory in Florida on 1/31, the Republicans will not have a candidate for president.

     Whether or not there will be four men still standing by February remains to be seen.  Right now, all four candidates are staying the course.  One of them will finish first in each race but will he receive the majority of the votes?

     If not, the Grand Old Party will be without a candidate with nine months left in the campaign.  Actually, that is  plenty of time to choose someone and make him acceptable to GOP voters by Election Day.

    However, the problem is their voters are not enthusiastic about any one of these four.  They are saying “none of the above,” which undercuts the appeal of their program.

     Being opposed to Obama but unclear who they are for is not a formula for a Republican victory in November.

     A. Garavente 

“The Wealth Issue” by David Brooks (TIMES, 1/20/12)

January 25, 2012

     The Mormons who became wealthy, like the Romney family, squeezed their riches by first exploiting their women, who existed as virtual slaves in their communities.  Coming from a history like that, it would be no problem for Mitt Romney ‘to like firing people.”

     The ruthlessness of their men also made Mormons attractive to rich entrepreneurs who hired them for their management “skills.”  If memory serves, Howard Hughes found them very useful in running his enterprises.

     Leave it to the famous “moderate conservative” David Brooks to bang the drum for such thugs!

     A.   Garavente

“South Carolina Diarist” by David Brooks (TIMES, 1/17/12)

January 24, 2012

     The best part of “covering presidential primaries” is “getting to know the candidates,” according to “moderate conservative” David Brooks.  He brought along his 12-year-old son “on this latest trip,” and thought Rick Perry was the guy “you’d most want to have a beer with.”

     Folksy columnist Brooks “really appreciated” that Perry “took the time to tell my son how important it is to study hard and prepare for whatever you do.”  Golly gee, what a shame Perry is running a “poor campaign.”

     Newt Gingrich would probably have taught the younger Brooks how to be a card cheat and who knows what that leftwinger in the White House might have said?

     Wow, ain’t it grand to have such a receptive reporter like Brooks keeping a campaign diary!  We really get the lowdown.

     A. Garavente 

“The Fraud of the Tea Party” by Timothy Egan (TIMES, 1/16/12)

January 24, 2012

     No, the Tea Party is not “a media creation,” though Fox News plays a major role in enabling it to reach a wide audience of Americans.

     The TeaParty is an organization of non- violent political cadre guided by a Republican leadership beholden to a plutocracy.   These cadre provide a nexus to a broader U.S. population than the plutocracy could approach effectively on its own.

     If these  fraudulent populists step out of line (e.g., if they oppose the presidential candidate the plutocrats want), they will lose their access to Fox News and eventually disappear from view.

     The trick for the GOP leadership, therefore, is to hold onto these faux populists for as long as they can, especially if their candidate is a “vulture  capitalist” the Tea Partyers don’t like.

     A. Garavente

“What They Don’t Want to Talk About” (TIMES, 1/15/12)

January 24, 2012

     Kudos to the main TIMES editorial that Romney’s “suggestion that it is un-American to talk about rising populist resentment is self-serving and hypocritical,” especially coming from a candidate who is reluctant to show his income tax returns and after what he did at Bain Equity to make his millions.

     And how long can this hypocrisy be hidden even from his stalwart GOP supporters?  Fellow Republican, Rick Perry, has already labelled Romney a “vulture capitalist.”  Will the fat cats in the party of Lincoln continue to back an operator like this entrepreneurial creep?

     Maybe the picture will be clearer after the results of the South Carolina primary are known.  My guess is the big money players will finally give up on the primary process in finding their presidential candidate and locate someone less odious from their talent pool.  Such a candidate will probably be a traditional Republican who their pseudo-populists cannot oppose.

           A. Garavente

“An Inflammatory Video Multiplies American Difficulties in Afghanistan” (TIMES, 1/13/12)

January 16, 2012

     Time has run out for “expressions of outrage” at the “American Marines urinating on dead insurgents in Afghanistan,” which could be viewed as a mutinous act by these undisciplined troops.

     Rather than outraged U.S. officials like Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta lamenting this “inhuman” act by these wayward Marines, President Obama should call for a special meeting to address the continuation of the war in Afghanistan.

     The sad fact is the USA is getting nowhere in bringing this senseless conflict to an end.  It is time to pull the plug by implementing an exit strategy that could see the withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces out of this quagmire inherited from the Bush-Cheney administration by 7/31/12.


     Whether the Democrats jeopardize their chances of winning the election in November is no longer a consideration.  The stinking corpse of this war has to be buried.  There is really no other choice.

     In all probability, this acknowledgment of reality will not cost Obama the election because a majority of the American people already want out of the quagmire.

     Take the chance, Mr. President; put the welfare of this country before your desire to remain in office for another four years!  Be a statesman; not a politician!