Why Doesn’t Senator Graham want to ever leave Afghanistan?


I had a very peaceful Sunday afternoon watching my beloved Bears take it on the chin against their biggest rival, the Green Bay Packers.  It was sadly peaceful until I read a story that quoted Sen. Lindsey Graham on Meet the Press as stating that he wanted the United States to maintain permanent military bases in Afghanistan even after all NATO forces are transitioned out by the year 2014.  I thought the Bears had done enough to tie my stomach in knots, but Lindsay Graham’s statements forced me to find the last remaining antacid in the house!

I have a son who is currently serving in Afghanistan with the Marines, and the thought of anyone else’s son or daughter serving on American bases in Afghanistan after 2014 is just scary.  To be sure that I heard the story correctly, I went online and found the following quote from Senator Graham in response to a question from NBC’s David Gregory: “DAVID GREGORY: But that’s important. You believe a permanent U.S. Military presence in Afghanistan is required in order to head off a potential failed state in the future?  SENATOR GRAHAM: I think it would be enormously beneficial to the region, as well as Afghanistan. We’ve had air bases all over the world. A couple of air bases in Afghanistan would allow the Afghan Security Forces an edge against the Taliban in perpetuity. It would be a signal to Pakistan that the Taliban are never gonna come back in Afghanistan. They could change their behavior.”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40871803/ns/meet_the_press-transcripts

I have a radical idea for Senator Graham and any other politician in Washington who agrees with him.  Why don’t we listen to the Afghan people who want us out now and save the Billions that would be wasted by building and staffing permanent military bases in Afghanistan, and use that money to actually do some good for our country and our economy?  The Afghan war is already our longest war so why should we continue to drag it out beyond 2014?  What do we get out of it or I suspect I should  ask, what does corporate America get out of a perpetual presence in a country that does not want us there?  Shouldn’t Senator Graham be more concerned about getting some judicial nominees approved to relieve the judicial vacancy crisis here at home?  I realize those are a lot of questions and  it is late on a Sunday evening, but I’m just asking.

64 thoughts on “Why Doesn’t Senator Graham want to ever leave Afghanistan?”

  1. That is sad. This means misinformation works. It’s difficult to believe 50 percent of our population would approve of the following if they knew of it: 1. rampant spying on our population to include culling of e-mails, cell phones, banking/other financial records, tracking of computer browsing, gps tracking of citizen movements, etc. with much of this information stored in databanks that are not accessible to the people who are tracked. 2. the ability of the president to kill whomever he wishes, wherever he wishes, should he declare they are a terrorist 3. the suspension of our Constitution to allow this presidential murder and indefinite detention of the innocent 4. the incursion into countries with whom we are not at war resulting in untold civilian deaths, 5. the collusion with the pharmaceutical and health care industry to deny universal, single payer health care to our public 6. to collude with fraud in the financial industry, both through failure to prosecute that fraud and to actively aid it through back channels in the administration 7. the stripping out of public education in favor of privatized, faith based initatives 8. the use of military contractors known to have committed murder and fraud as the main force in our military campaigns. I could go on, but if 1/2 of our population approves of these things, we are truly lost.

    There are people who will support Obama in whatever he does because he is a Democrat. Most people, I believe, if they knew the truth, would reject a person who does such immoral and illegal actions.

  2. S M

    An interesting study and a good way to start the new year – with some good news. The obvious answers are the same as always.


  3. “Sometimes we can take a myopic view. I know I can.” -Swarthmore mom

    “Ditto” to that… 🙂 (I’m glad that you posted it — it’s interesting, to be sure.)

  4. anon nurse, I just found it interesting. Sometimes we can take a myopic view. I know I can.

  5. I have never understood the argument that things were worse in the past so there is no need to address present injustice and cruelty. If anyone can look at the cruelty we are inflicting on our own soldiers and the people of nations with who we are officially and non officially at war and be satisfied with that cruelty, then I would say something in this moral calculus is very wrong.

    We are laying waste to entire nations, destroying their infrastructure, polluting their environment and killing their people, to include children. Americans need to stand against this horrific injustice. We cannot change what happened in the past, but we must be responsible for the present.

  6. Hmmmm… An era of relative peace…

    I think that we’d need to see the underlying data. It makes me think of an old statistics professor of mine who cautioned about the ability to show pretty much anything one wants by manipulating the data, and then “graphing it”… (There was this little book that was required reading, but I can’t recall its name.)

    What we seem to have is a graph that will make many people feel that all is well — that things are better, so “there, there”, don’t worry…

    I don’t know — maybe it’s an accurate reflection. At the same time, my gut tells me to take a closer look, at the very least.

  7. Sen. Graham refuses to admit that George Bush and the neocons made a marketing error. They believed there was a market for democracy in the Middle East. There isn’t.

  8. LK

    Yes everyone should read the whole thing and then they can make their own determination about the effects of drones. Here is the link for the entire article on wicki


    part of which (interviews of people on the ground) was in my original link.

    Several very different sets of information are included; one can choose which seems most likely.

  9. Jill

    I also think the taliban would have turned OBL over to the US after 9/11 if the whole world had only been more patient.

    First he’d been in their country since 1979, had formed al Qaida there by 1988, and started bombing western targets in 1992 following the Saudis’ allowing the western countries to fight in Kuwait.

    Why would they turn him over since no evidence was given about 9/11, the latest episode. With that background, how could they trust any evidence the US might have had anyway?

    And surely they wouldn’t have given him to the US in any case because only a neutral Arab country would see justice done. All that is just common sense.

  10. rafflaw,

    This isn’t my definition. Look up the UN, the ACLU, CCR etc. on international laws of war and drones. We shouldn’t be there. We shouldn’t be using anything, drones or otherwise on the people of Afghanistan. We need to get out and make reparations. This isn’t acceptable. Do you think it is acceptable, what Obama is doing?

  11. Jill,
    I don’t disagree that drones are a blunt intstrument, but all aerial bombs and missiles would also be considered blunt instruments and therefore illegal under your definition. I would agree that the civilian deaths are way too high and something should be done to reduce them, but unfortunately, they will always be a part of the any bombing or missile attack.

    Lottakatz, you are right that the reason for secrecy on the number of civilian deaths is because the US doesn’t want the bad press of releasing its numbers.

  12. United Nations human rights concerns
    Buckeye: “A different view.” [link]

    But from the same page:

    On June 3, 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) delivered a report sharply critical of US tactics. The report asserted that the US government has failed to keep track of civilian casualties of its military operations, including the drone attacks, and to provide means for citizens of affected nations to obtain information about the casualties and any legal inquests regarding them.[331] Any such information held by the U.S. military is allegedly inaccessible to the public due to the high level of secrecy surrounding the drone attacks program.[332] The US representative at UNHRC has argued that the UN investigator for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions does not have jurisdiction over US military actions,[331] while another US diplomat claimed that the US military is investigating any wrongdoing and doing all it can to furnish information about the deaths.[333]

    It’s a personal thing, I’ve got to be really pissed off to want to rain fiery death down on someone, let alone non-combatants just trying to get from one day to the next. Afghanistan doesn’t come close to that threshold.

    Also, the tried and true reason to not know how many civilians you’re killing or not release the information is because you don’t care or think it would be viewed as unacceptable.

  13. rafflaw,

    This is from Jeremy Scahill: “Some estimates, most of which are indeed Pakistani sources, suggest that the vast majority of Pakistanis killed are civilians. In an Op-Ed [1] for The New York Times last year, David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum, called for a moratorium on the strikes, saying they had “killed some 700 civilians. This is 50 civilians for every militant killed, a hit rate of 2 percent.” They relied on “Pakistani sources,” which are apparently offensive to Professor Fair. But Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann of the New America Foundation recently did a meticulous review [2] of the strikes, citing the following methodology:

    “Our analysis of the drone campaign is based only on accounts from reliable media organizations with substantial reporting capabilities in Pakistan. We restricted our analysis to reports in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, accounts by major news services and networks–the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, CNN, and the BBC–and reports in the leading English-language newspapers in Pakistan–The Daily Times, Dawn, and The News–as well as those from Geo TV, the largest independent Pakistani television network.”

    Bergen and Tiedemann concluded that “the real total of civilian deaths since 2006 appears to be in the range of 250 to 320, or between 31 and 33 percent.” They concluded that under President Obama Under President Obama, who has used the drones with much greater frequency than Bush, “about a quarter [of drone-inflicted deaths] appear to have been civilians.”

    I am telling you the truth when I say the govt. knows drones are a blunt instrument.

  14. Afghanistan is the world leader in opium production and as of ‘2007 92% of the worlds opiates originated in Afghanistan. Opium production has risen with the American presence in Afghanistan and the warlords we collaborate with and support are part of the 64 billion dollar industry.

    Here in the states the federal and state governments cost for the war on drugs is 60-70 billion dollars a year. The beneficiaries are organized crime, arms manufacturers, the prison industry other special interest groups and corrupt law enforcement.

    There’s also IMO a lot of money to buy influence built in when you’re talking about that kind of money being passed around. Someone’s got to grow the poppies and (world’s major exporter of) hash to fuel our war on drugs.

    Between the defense contractors, the money to be made off the war on drugs and the resources the only thing Graham has done is let the cat out of the bag, he can’t be the only politician thinking this way.


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