Sunday, September 27, 2009

US General McChrystal's Frank (Afghanistan) Assessment - 60 Minutes Sunday Sept 27, 2009

URL for CBS NEWS 60 Minutes here

When 60 Minutes went out on patrol with a squad from the 10th Mountain Division, they were not going into a village to root out insurgents but to offer the people protection and help with their daily lives, which the central government in Kabul has so far failed to do.

The only way to win, McChrystal insists, is to earn the support of the people.

McChrystal's new strategy says conventional military operations designed to kill the enemy can never win this war. Destroying homes and accidentally killing civilians in the process only create more insurgents and alienates the population.

In other words, for much of the past eight years, the U.S. has been sowing the seeds of its own demise...

READ Story here

VIDEO: General McChrystal with David Martin - Produced By Mary Walsh


Produced by Mary Walsh
© MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Connie L. Nash said...

"Destroying homes and accidentally killing civilians in the process only create more insurgents and alienates the population.

In other words, for much of the past eight years, the U.S. has been sowing the seeds of its own demise..." McChrystal uses these noble nearly humble, apologetic words but what has and is actually being done NOW to stop the same horror in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Connie L. Nash said...

Please go to After Downing Street and follow David Swanson's consistent efforts for Peace, Justice and a True Democracy.

Look at the good in McChrystal's intent to change the last 8 years which he admits has been a disaster in terms of US activity in Afghanistan. Yet also look underneath and behind him at all the drones and careless foolish tragic loss of precious human life and the contamination of nature in BOTH Afghanistan and Pakistan. The counter-productive efforts in Iraq and the ONGOING concerns about torture in Bagram and anywhere within the US Gulag Archipelago of secret renditions and bounty captures and more should be enough for us to say ENOUGH!

Connie L. Nash said...

THIS doesn't match up with the image of change General McChrystal is trying to project. Does he, Obama or anyone influential and concerned about such happenings even know about such situations as the following? What can we do?

Army Prisoners Isolated, Denied Right to Legal Counsel

by Dahr Jamail
September 28th, 2009 | T r u t h o u t

The military's treatment of Army prisoners is "part of a broader pattern the military has of just throwing people in jail and not letting them talk to their attorneys, not let visitors come, and this is outrageous. In the civilian world even murderers get visits from their friends," according to civil defense attorney James Branum.

The military's treatment of Army prisoners is "part of a broader pattern the military has of just throwing people in jail and not letting them talk to their attorneys, not let visitors come, and this is outrageous. In the civilian world even murderers get visits from their friends," ...

Afghanistan war resister Travis Bishop has been held largely “incommunicado” in the Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Bishop, who is being held by the military as a “prisoner of conscience,” according to Amnesty International, was transported to Fort Lewis on September 9 to serve a 12-month sentence in the Regional Correctional Facility. He had refused orders to deploy to Afghanistan based on his religious beliefs, and had filed for Conscientious Objector (CO) status.

...Given that he had already filed for CO status, many local observers called his sentencing a “politically driven prosecution.”

By holding Bishop incommunicado, the military violated Bishop’s legal right to counsel, a violation of the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution, according to his civil defense attorney James Branum.

The Sixth Amendment is the part of the Bill of Rights that sets forth rights related to criminal prosecutions in federal courts, and reads, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

READ gets much worse with "watchlists" involved.
** Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches **
** Visit Dahr Jamail's website **

Dahr Jamail's new book, The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, is now available.

Order the book here

Connie L. Nash said...

Covers illegality of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, prosecuting war crimes, the duty to disobey unlawful orders - See:

Connie L. Nash said...

Stop the War Funding!
Vote "NO" on the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill

The U.S. military occupation of Iraq continues. There is no exit strategy for U.S troops in Afghanistan - only an open-ended policy to continue and expand military engagement in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On Wednesday, Tell Congress To Vote "No" on the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill!

Call the Congressional Switchboard:
202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121

Congress is preparing to vote on a $636.3 billion 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill, including $128.2 billion to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through September 2010.

So far, the White House has offered no timetable and no exit strategy for Afghanistan. Instead General McChrystal and other military leaders are pressing for the addition of tens of thousands of new U.S. troops and a commitment to remain in Afghanistan for years to come.

A quagmire in Afghanistan is all too evident, as every step taken to escalate this war makes it more difficult to leave. At this critical moment, people across this nation need to send a powerful message to their members of Congress that this dangerous course must be stopped. Our government should adopt an exit strategy from Afghanistan based on comprehensive all-party diplomacy, unconditional humanitarian aid, economic assistance, and timelines for the near-term withdrawal of U.S. and NATO combat troops.

Congress must stop funding seemingly endless warfare and military occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan!

United for Peace and Justice, CODEPINK, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats for America, Just Foreign Policy, AfterDowningStreet, Voters for Peace, The Declaration of Peace and others believe that a public outcry is vitally important now, when the generals are pressuring the President and the Congress to escalate a costly, humanly destructive, and ultimately un-winnable war in Afghanistan.

On September 30th, join the National Call-In Day and tell your Senators and Congressional Representative to vote against the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill.

When making this call, tell them to stand firmly against escalation and to co-sponsor Congressman James McGovern's bill (H.R. 2404) that would require President Obama to provide an "exit plan" from Afghanistan.

Growing numbers of Senators and Congressional Representatives are expressing concerns over U.S. military policy in Afghanistan. It is hypocritical to publicly raise so many questions, while funding the Pentagon for another year of war.

Call the Congressional Switchboard:
202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121

Ask for your members of Congress by name.

Then tell them: "With no exit strategy for Afghanistan, Senator ____ (or Representative ____ ) should vote NO on the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill!"

Thank you!

Connie L. Nash said...

Project on Government Oversight

I wanted to tell you about one of our recent investigations. Last week, the House inadvertently took a large step forward in protecting taxpayers from misbehaving contractors. The House passed the "Student Aid" bill, which included a ban on entities receiving any federal contracts or grants if they have "filed a fraudulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency."

Although intended to restrict the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the language could be interpreted to cover all federal contractors and grantees. POGO has pored through data in our Federal Contractor Misconduct Database and determined that if the "Defund ACORN Act" becomes law, 62 of the top federal contractors could potentially be defunded. You may view the list of contractors in question here.

I also wanted to remind you that we'll be kicking off the Whistleblower Film Series on Thursday October 1st. Our first movie will be "The Pentagon Wars," a dark comedy about the development of the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle. After the screening we'll hold a panel discussion with U.S. Air Force Colonel James Burton, the whistleblower whose experience at the Pentagon and whose subsequent book, The Pentagon Wars, served as the basis for the movie. It all begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol Visitor's Center and is free and open to the public.

You can find a trailer and full description of this film on our website, along with information about the other films in the series. Be sure to have a look at our Facebook event page and follow our Whistleblower Film Series Twitter handle as well.

If you are in the D.C. area, we would be honored if you could make it!

Danielle Brian:
Executive Director

Connie L. Nash said...





Ask Congress to speak out

against more troops.

Instead of further escalation, United States should:

• Begin a withdrawal of U.S. troops;
• Support negotiation and reconciliation among all Afghan groups,
including the Taliban;

• Halt offensive operations against the Taliban and concentrate on
improving living standards in areas not under Taliban control;
• Greatly expand development aid and diplomatic efforts to
achieve regional security.

“We can’t shoot our Way out of Afghanistan.”

—Gen. Barry McCaffrey

Send your message and get a free War Is Not the Answer bumper sticker at


Friends Committee on National Legislation • 245 Second St., NE •
Washington, DC 20002 • (800) 630-1330 • 9/09

Connie L. Nash said...

The [4]House and Senate voted to end funding for ACORN in the wake of a
video sting. Now some are asking why the same treatment isn't being
given to corrupt defense contractors.

[5]Huffington Post's Ryan Grim noted that attempts to defund ACORN were
worded so broadly that it could do the same for defense contractors
charged with fraud.

"The amount of money that ACORN has received in the past 20 years
altogether is roughly equal to what the taxpayer paid to Halliburton
each day during the war in Iraq," Rep. Alan Grayson told [6]Salon's
Glenn Greenwald. Halliburton is alleged to have misused [7]millions of
dollars in over-charges for food and services in Iraq.

"You see, regardless of what you think of ACORN, it is laudable to stop
taxpayer money from going to organizations that commit fraud against
the government," [8]Grayson said in a statement. "So as per the bill's
text, I'm going to put into the Congressional record a list of
organizations who have committed fraud against the government or
employs anyone who has."

Thursday, Greenwald targeted Sen. Claire McCaskill who voted to defund
ACORN to make his point. "If you're really so angry, why don't you
support de-funding those [defense] contractors the way you did with
ACORN?" [9]Greenwald asked McCaskill on Twitter.

Jeremy Scahill, author of the award-winning book Blackwater:The Rise of
the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, also [10]chimed in:

Here is a question for those Democratic lawmakers that voted in
support of the Defund ACORN Act: How do you justify making this a
major league legislative priority while Blackwater continues to be
armed and dangerous across the globe on the US government payroll?
Where is the Defund Blackwater Act?

For the massacre of Iraqi civilians, five Blackwater guards were
arrested and charged with manslaughter. A sixth guard flipped and
agreed to testify against the others. Government informants later
claimed the company tried to gather up and destroy weapons involved in
the slaughter.

The State Department announced last January that it would not be
renewing Blackwaters contract for security services in Iraq when it was
set to expire in May, however the Obama administration decided to
extend it through Sept. 3, according to [11]The Nations Jeremy Scahill.

-- David Edwards

Please call appropriate legislators, especially in the HOUSE US Congress and write letters to the editor on these issues.

Also leave a message at and if time, go back to other Comments in this section.

Connie L. Nash said...