Just a few quick questions to ponder after President Obama's speech announcing a massive escalation in Afghanistan - the very first being shouldn't we be able to honestly answer these queries before mindlessly cheering on a deployment of more troops to a Central Asian war zone?
Here they are in no particular order:
- What percentage of those kids in the West Point audience will die because of this decision?
- Would you be OK sending yourself or a loved one over to face combat and potentially death for the mission Obama articulated in Afghanistan? If not, how could you support sending other people?
- Why do so many pundits and pro-Obama activists continue to focus on how "hard" and "difficult" and "trying" this decision is for President Obama, rather than on how "hard" and "difficult" and "trying" this will be for the soldiers who are killed? Doesn't Obama get to make this decision, and then go home to the comfortable confines of a butlered White House, while thousands of Americans will be sent 7,000 miles from home to face their potential deaths? Isn't the latter "harder" than the former?
- Where's the antiwar movement and the marches and the organizing and the protesting? Where's all those well-funded groups that protested George W. Bush's war policy? Or was all that really just about hating George Bush and embracing blind Partisan War Syndrome?
- In the days and weeks after this speech, will the White House's cynical new spin get ever more desperate and become, hey - at least an Afghanistan escalation holds out the possibility of making sure military combat casualties start outpacing military suicides?
- Simple budget question: Should we now believe that escalating the Afghanistan War at the same annual cost of universal health care will save more than 45,000 Americans a year (ie. the number of Americans who die every year for lack of health insurance)?
- Did CNN really turn a move to send thousands of Americans to potentially die in Central Asia into an over-stylized, hyper-marketed television show called "Decision Afghanistan?" Is the media really that soulless, or did my eyes betray me? Because it's really hard for me to believe that even in this cynical age, a television network tried to make a cheap reality-TV show out of life-and-death decision that could affect tens of thousands of people.
- Which is worse - a stupid person like George W. Bush starting a dumb occupation, or a smart person like Barack Obama following the lead of that stupid person, but actually escalating that occupation?
- The "we're going to escalate war to end war" refrain throughout the speech - have we heard that before somewhere? It sounds sorta like "we'll burn down the Vietnam villages to save them." Just curious if that's what we're talking about here - because, ya know, that worked out really well.
- Are we really expected to believe that massively escalating a war is the way to end a war? I mean, really? Like, is the public really looked at like we're that stupid? And a follow-up question: Are we really that stupid?
- If Obama's Afghan War strategy about escalating a war to end a war was a self-help strategy for, say, alcoholics, wouldn't it prescribe drinking more whiskey to stop drinking - and wouldn't we all laugh at that?
- How many pundits will insist that bowing down to the Military-Industrial complex and escalating this missionless war somehow shows "resolve" and "strength" and "toughness" and "leadership" and not embarrassing weakness?
- Would the Obamaphiles now telling us to "give President Obama a chance" with this decision and/or defending Obama's escalation - would these same people be saying we should "give President McCain a chance" and/or defending President McCain's escalation if he was the one in office making this decision?
- I'm confused: Is this hope or change?
On the Wednesday December 2nd Edition of the Jay Marvin Show
Our special guest is Rufus Phillips to respond to President Obama's plan for Afghanistan. He is a longtime CIA officer who led counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam and the author of Why Vietnam Matters: An Eyewitness Account of Lessons Not Learned. Phillips became a member of the Saigon Military Mission in 1954 and the following year served as the sole adviser to two Vietnamese army pacification operations, earning the CIA's Intelligence Medal of Merit for his work. He later worked as a CIA civilian case officer in Vietnam and Laos, then joined the U.S. Agency for International Development's Saigon Mission to lead its counterinsurgency efforts. In 1964 he became a consultant for USAID and the State Department and served as an adviser to Vice President Hubert Humphrey. http://whyvietnammatters.com
A creepy string of calf mutilations in southern Colorado has a rancher and sheriff's officials mystified. Four calves were found dead in a pasture just north of the New Mexico state line in recent weeks. The dead calves had their skins peeled back and organs cleared from the rib cage. One calf had its tongue removed. But rancher Manuel Sanchez has found no signs of human attackers, such as footprints or ATV tracks. And there are no signs of an animal attack by a coyote or mountain lion. Usually predators leave pools of blood or drag marks from carrying away the livestock. Some in the area believe the mutilations are the work of aliens. Our special guest is local UFO chaser, Chuck Zukowski of Colorado Springs. He has been to the Costilla County pasture to investigate. He told the paper there have been other unexplained calf mutilations in the area, including three in March. Check out more at Chuck's website http://www.ufonut.com/
Congresswoman Diana Degette is our special guest to talk about President Obama's speech on Afghanistan as well as health care reform. http://degette.house.gov/
Here is the show rundown for Monday November 30:
Colorado Independent reporter Katie Redding is our special guest. She's been reporting on gender discrimination in the individual health insurance market. Women pay up to 59 percent more than men and insurance industry lobbyists say they didn't want to rework the policies because they didn't want to raise men's rates. Katie also got lobbyists on the record laying out their plan to fight maternity coverage in the coming session. Executive Vice President Barbara Fidler of the Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters was quoted “The bottom line is this,” said Fidler. “As crude as it sounds, we women are more costly relative to our health care. Our plumbing, I don’t mean to sound crude, the gender differences are clearly related to how we’re different … I’m not saying that it’s fair for women to be rated why they are. I think it’s just important to understand." Check out Katie's posts at http://coloradoindependent.com/author/katie-redding
Congressional Quarterly senior writer and defense reporter John Donnelly is our special guest to talk about military suicides. More U.S. military personnel have taken their own lives so far in 2009 than have been killed in either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars this year, according to a Congressional Quarterly compilation of the latest statistics from the armed services. As of Tuesday, at least 334 members of the military services have committed suicide in 2009, compared with 297 killed in Afghanistan and 144 who died in Iraq, the figures show. http://www.congress.org/news/2009/11/25/rising_military_suicides
David is joined by William Scott, a former bureau chief for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazines and a U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School flight test engineer graduate. He also served as a space communications security engineer at the National Security Agency. He coauthored Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III with Michael Coumatos and William Birnes. Coumatos is a former U.S. Navy test pilot, search-and-rescue helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, ship's captain, and Commodore of U.S. and coalition naval task groups. He also served as Director of Wargaming for U.S. Space Command. Scott and Coumatos will discuss and sign their new book Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III at the Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch tomorrow Tuesday December 1. http://www.williambscott.com