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How Corrupt Is The Karzai Narco-State Obama Is Financing With Our Tax Dollars?

Posted by DownWithTyranny on December 28th, 2010

From our partners at DownWithTyranny!

Yes, Obama promised to pursue the war and mayhem in Afghanistan during the 2008 election campign– as did his opponent, crazy John McCain– and many anti-war progressives overlooked that fatal flaw in Obama, or convinced themselves he was only kidding, and voted for him anyway. America’s costly and more and more obviously doomed efforts against the Pathans come into sharper focus with each extra billion Obama wastes on the effort, each Afghan or Pakistani civilian the U.S. murders for the great glory of collateral damage, each U.S. soldier coming home needlessly in a body bag.

Military and civilian fatalities and casualties are at all-time highs, and yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reported that internal United Nations maps show a marked deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan during this year’s fighting season, countering the Obama administration’s optimistic assessments of military progress since the surge of additional American forces began a year ago. That’s a weasely way of saying we’re losing.
Many nongovernment organizations operating in Afghanistan dispute that any progress has been made by the coalition this year. According to preliminary statistics compiled by the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, which provides advice and coordination to NGOs working in the country, the number of insurgent-initiated attacks rose 66% in 2010 from the previous year.

“The country as a whole is dramatically worse off than a year ago, both in terms of the insurgency’s geographical spread and its rate of attacks,” said Nic Lee, director of the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office. “Vast amounts of the country remain insecure for the unarmed civilians, and more and more areas are becoming inaccessible.”

Meanwhile, whether it’s a series of stolen elections making a farce out of the concept of democracy in a land where America is absurdly trying to graft our institutions onto a 12th-century mindset or Kazai’s now-undeniable personal corruption, the U.S. is once again on the wrong side of history. One of the untold numbers of WikiLeaks embarrassments for governments shows growing concern for Karzai’s M.O. of releasing, condoning and pardoning major drug traffickers: “Karzai’s frequent interventions have undermined public trust in the judicial system– such as there is one…” One diplomat’s cable sums up the situation: ‘The meeting with [Karzai's brother] highlights one of our major challenges in Afghanistan: how to fight corruption and connect the people to their government, when the key government officials are themselves corrupt’.”

President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly released well-connected officials convicted of or charged with drug trafficking in Afghanistan, frustrating efforts to combat corruption and providing additional evidence that the United States’ top ally in the country is himself corrupt.

“On numerous occasions we have emphasized with Attorney General Aloko the need to end interventions by him and President Karzai, who both authorize the release of detainees pre-trial and allow dangerous individuals to go free or re-enter the battlefield without ever facing an Afghan court,” reads a diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and provided to the New York Times. “Despite our complaints and expressions of concern to the [government], pre-trial releases continue.”

Yesterday Amanda Terkel reported renewed efforts in Congress to do what Obama refuses: to cut off funds for expanding U.S. aggression. And it isn’t only progressive Democrats who are eyeing the bloated defense budget as a way to do it. More and more Republicans no longer feel the tug of zombielike partisanship towards Bush to just keep supporting an unwinnable war.

Barney Frank is at the forefront.
“These kind of restrictions on domestic spending with unlimited spending for the war– and you always have to talk about both– is a great mistake,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told the Huffington Post last week. “And the liberal community’s got to focus more on Afghanistan, Iraq, NATO. NATO is a great drain on our treasury and serves no strategic purpose.”

Lawrence J. Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who has argued that the defense budget can be cut without harming military readiness, said Frank’s idea has merit. “Barney Frank has a good point,” said Korb. “We ought to rethink the whole idea of NATO.”

The FY 2010 defense budget was $533.8 billion– excluding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you add those in, it comes out to a whopping $663.8 billion, which is “more than the combined defense expenditures of the next 17 countries.”

Korb estimates that approximately 20 percent of the baseline defense budget is NATO-related, resulting in about $100 billion in spending each year. (Pinpointing the exact number is tricky, however, since many of the assets the United States provides NATO are used for other purposes.) Interestingly, that amount is the same figure that House Republicans have pledged to cut from the federal budget next year, representing approximately one-fifth of the domestic discretionary budget. The GOP instead plans to slash spending for education, firefighters and cancer research.

As Nicholas Kristof recently wrote in the New York Times, “The U.S. will spend more on the war in Afghanistan this year, adjusting for inflation, than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War combined.”

…Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has specifically advocated looking at cutting the defense budget, saying, “In order to address the deficit the only compromise that I think we can have is you have to look at the whole budget. We’ve always excluded the military and said we’re not going to look at the military. Or the Democrats exclude the social and domestic welfare spending. Everything has to be on the table. We have to do this intelligently.”

He joins fellow Republicans– many of whom strongly identify with the Tea Party movement– such as Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.), Rep. Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Rep.-elect Allen West (Fla.), Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.), as well as Democrats like Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.).

However, while these officials are singing the right tune, a few of them (including Sarah Palin) have nevertheless continued to support programs the Pentagon does not want, such as the second engine for the F-35 program, which Gates has called “costly and unnecessary.” During his campaign, Sen.-elect Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) chided Congress for “voting on systems the Pentagon doesn’t even want.”

Earlier this year, Frank, along with Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), put together a Sustainable Defense Task Force (SDTF), a commission of military and budget experts who recommended nearly $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. Recommendations included steps such as reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, pulling troops out of Europe and Asia, and canceling programs like the MV-22 Osprey.

“We are asking that a closer look be taken at our national security,” said Jones. “If we do not need the 652 overseas bases that we have currently, then we should take that money and put it back into our own country. We should take that money and use it to take care of our wounded men and women returning from war.”

I’m afraid Ron Paul is making a lot more sense than Barack Obama on this issue! He sounds like… Digby!

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