Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pentagon's 'Wars of Perception' Being Waged Against Us

The Military


of Our Minds

By Tom Hayden

Huffington Post

April 27, 2010 - As Congress weighs Afghanistan funding, the military is escalating what it calls the "war of perceptions" at home and abroad. The question is whether the American media and Congress will collaborate in the Pentagon's press strategy or retain a critical edge.

It is no accident that the Pentagon is shaping the "information battlespace" by welcoming friendly reporters and think tank hacks to beam back commentaries about the Kandahar offensive to the American people.

Nor is it accidental that the US is soft-pedaling any public criticism of its crooked crony in Kabul, Hamid Karzhai, as thousands of American soldiers are being dispatched to face bullets in his defense.

Nor is there any question that Afghan civilian casualties are being downplayed or covered-up. The agency in charge of counting the bodies, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, published a footnote last year admitting "there is a significant possibility that UNAMA is under-reporting civilian casualties."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Message to Congress: Cut Off the Money to Stop the War, Press Obama to Change Course



Pressure on Congress

Can Help End the War,

Saving Many Lives

By Robert Naiman
Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy
April 6, 2010
In the next several weeks, Congress is likely to be asked to approve $33 billion more for the war in Afghanistan, mainly to pay for the current military escalation, whose focus is the planned assault on the Afghan city of Kandahar.
Some Members of Congress will vote no on the funding. A larger group of Members is likely to support efforts to pass language which would require an exit strategy or timetable for ending the war.
Barring some unforseen event - like Afghan President Karzai joining the Taliban - an extrapolation from the recent past would suggest that neither efforts to block the funding, nor efforts to constrain it with real conditions, are likely to be narrowly "successful" in the short-run: extrapolating from the past, the most likely short-run legislative outcome is that the war money will be approved without conditions attached that would significantly constrain the war. This is especially true if 95% of Congressional Republicans continue to vote as a bloc to support the war.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Getting Organized to Oppose 'the Long War'

How To Rebuild

The Peace Movement

From the Bottom Up

By Tom Hayden
Peace and Justice Resource Center
Here at the PJRC we are exploring ways to implement communications with peace activist at local or regional levels, including a series of conference calls. In the meantime, let me share some specific thoughts about building the peace and justice movement from the bottom up.

Social movements always depend on leadership, a commitment by a single individual or small group to continue their work in the face of all odds. Then there's the question of a strategy for being effective. We always have to measure our capacity against the goals we set.

The bottom-up strategy which I propose is building the pressure of people power against the pillars of policy that prop up the Long War.

The key pillars for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan include, first, the pillar of public opinion; second, the pillar of budgetary support; and third, the pillar of our military resources. Other pillars include the mainstream media, religious institutions and, of course, the required stability of America's ally Kabul.
In the end, it's about public opinion. We have to argue that the American people are not any safer for having fought these wars, and we cannot afford the cost in casualties and tax dollars.

After the death of 5,000 American soldiers and the expenditure of one trillion dollars in tax money, on November 5, thirteen US soldiers were killed inside Fort Hood by an American-born Muslim military psychiatrist of Palestinian descent; and on Christmas Day, 300 Americans were nearly killed in Detroit's airport by a Nigerian man whose own father warned us against. The "war on terrorism" only spreads the terror and inflames future terrorists.