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"We are not getting a Bush-like commitment to this war"

by Magnifico Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 08:22:53 AM EST

"I think they (the Obama administration) thought this would be more popular and easier," a senior Pentagon official said. "We are not getting a Bush-like commitment to this war."

I'm going to interpret this remark as a glimmer of independence in the White House regarding the future direction of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. The quote comes from a McClatchy article yesterday, the Pentagon is worried about Obama's commitment to Afghanistan.

The concern among members of the military leadership is that while U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal's recently submitted his assessment of the "deteriorating situation" in Afghanistan did not request additional troops, such a request could come from the Pentagon within weeks. Or, as the New York Times reported the Groundwork is laid for new troops in Afghanistan.

From the diaries - afew


McChrystal's report is classified, but in his public remarks he indicated he "would invest the United States more extensively in Afghanistan" and "he has emphasized protecting civilians over just engaging insurgents."

U.S. President Barack Obama has already ordered a 21,000 more troops deployed to Afghanistan, and "the prospect of a still larger deployment would test his commitment" to endless war. Obama said last month in a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars that Afghanistan is a 'war of necessity'.

Despite being open to committing more troops to the war, some in the Pentagon are concerned the Obama administration will not further escalate the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

The NY Times said Obama "faces growing discontent among his liberal base, not only over the war but also over national security policy, health care, gay rights and other issues." And, according to McClatchy:

Vice President Joe Biden and other officials are increasingly anxious about how the American public would respond to sending additional troops...

Biden has argued that without sustained support from the American people, the U.S. can't make the long-term commitment that would be needed to stabilize Afghanistan and dismantle al Qaida.

Biden is right to question whether or not the administration should continue to support a war without the public behind it. A new McClatchy/Ipsos poll out today finds most Americans oppose more troops for Afghanistan.

The survey found that 54 percent of Americans think the U.S. isn't winning the war, while 29 percent think it is winning. Another 17 percent weren't sure or had no opinion.

At the same time, 56 percent oppose sending any more combat troops to Afghanistan, while 35 percent support sending more troops. Another 9 percent had no opinion or weren't sure.

This underscores other recent polls (WaPo/ABC, CNN) from in the past month that found that support by the American public for the ongoing war in Afghanistan to be at an all time low.

Three possible factors souring the war in Afghanistan for American public is war fatigue since the war is nearing its eighth year, August was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the invasion in November 2001, and the recent Afghan election is suspected to have been widely fraudulent. The election a little less than two weeks ago was being hailed by the White House as 'successful'.

According to the McClatchy article, McChrystal may request as many as 45,000 additional U.S. troops be deployed to Afghanistan. Sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan is not straightforward. As the NY Times explained:

An expanded American footprint would also increase Mr. Obama's entanglement with an Afghan government widely viewed as corrupt and illegitimate. Multiplying allegations of fraud in the Aug. 20 presidential election have left Washington with little hope for a credible partner in the war once the results are final.

The allegations against Afghan President Harmid Karzai of election fraud grow daily. Yesterday, the NY Times reported brazen ballot stuffing casts new doubt on Karzai. Where Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali -- "the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan" -- closed 45 polling stations and at the end of day sent 23,900 ballots to Kabul "with every one marked for President Karzai."

Warmongers on the right are goading Obama to escalate the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan. Over the weekend, former Vice President Dick Cheney used the rightwing's propaganda trumpet to claim Democrats soft on national defense (Fox). While not mentioning Afghanistan once, par for the Bush administration that left the country in this mess, Cheney did say he was "a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues".

Robert Kaplan, a neoconservative Iraq war support, wrote in The Atlantic this week that Obama should "Be Like Bush".

Obama is truly the great finesser: he has finessed his way through life...

Finesse alone will not get him through the challenges ahead. He's got to become a bit more like Bush. He's got to make clear that he fervently believes in and cares about certain things, and he has to communicate that belief starkly: the challenges of health care, Israeli settlements, and particularly the war in Afghanistan demand no less.

Kaplan suggests Obama needs to be stubborn like Bush and order a "surge" in Afghanistan. Kaplan overlooks that the "surge" was Bush's strategy for escaping office with Iraq in a relative calm period leaving it a percolating cauldron for his successor to sort out. Kaplan suggests Obama may not send more troops to Afghanistan because it would be "politically difficult" for him.

McChrystal may well ask for many more troops, and that will be politically difficult for Obama to accommodate. For there is a belief on the homefront, not unfounded, that Afghanistan may be an unwinnable war.

For Kaplan, leaving Afghanistan equals defeat and "defeat would constitute a moral victory for Islamic terrorists worldwide, and would demoralize our own armed forces."

Obama needs to make these points and more. To build the semblance of a stable Afghanistan, he needs to be all in on the issue, and to publicly communicate as much.

The path before the President is hard. To make his way, he will need to truly commit himself - even if that means taking a cue from his predecessor.

Kaplan is advocating that Obama take the Lyndon B. Johnson approach of escalating the war so he isn't seen as "soft" by the Republicans. He wants Obama to fully make the war in Afghanistan his own despite that for most of seven years the war was largely ignored as an inconvenience by previous administration. (Which as Cheney's weekend remarks show continues to status quo for the former Bush administration.)

George Will, for his part, tries to make a jujutsu move with his misleadingly titled column in the Washington Post, "Time to Get Out of Afghanistan". While Will on the surface seems to be advocating for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, what he is really is doing is saying more troops are necessary. He wrote:

Counterinsurgency theory concerning the time and the ratio of forces required to protect the population indicates that, nationwide, Afghanistan would need hundreds of thousands of coalition troops, perhaps for a decade or more. That is inconceivable.

That's what Kaplan and some military planners have suggested is necessary to change Afghanistan. If an occupational force in the hundreds of thousands isn't possible for Obama, then Will proposes increasing the use of airstrikes and possible expand the war even more into Pakistan.

So, instead, forces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent Special Forces units, concentrating on the porous 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters.

However the opposite, reducing the use of airstrikes that cause civilian casualties, is the top priority for Obama and the Pentagon in Afghanistan. Airstrikes are used propaganda by those opposing the U.S.-led occupation and serve as a recruiting tool for insurgents. Airstrikes further fuel the conflict.

Will, in his own way, is trying to get Obama to completely own the war that the Bush administration so bungled and make it his own.

So when I read that some at the Pentagon think "we are not getting a Bush-like commitment to this war", I am encouraged. Unlike Kaplan and others, I think there is more than "moral victory for Islamic terrorists worldwide" and military morale at stake in Afghanistan. Staying in Afghanistan is precisely the type of protracted war Osama bin Laden hoped to trigger with the terror attacks of 2001.

When asked in October 2001, "how can al Qaeda defeat America militarily?" Bin laden responded:

In the past when al Qaeda fought with the mujahedeen, we were told, "Wow, can you defeat the Soviet Union?" The Soviet Union scared the whole world then. NATO used to tremble of fear of the Soviet Union. Where is that power now? We barely remember it. It broke down into many small states and Russia remained.

Or allegedly in November 2004, bin Laden said:

All that we have to do is to send two Mujahedin to the farthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qa'ida in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human economic and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits to their private companies. This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers as we alongside the Mujahedin bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat. All Praise is due to Allah.

So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.

According to Kaplan leaving is victory for Islamic terrorists, but according to bin Laden continuing the war is victory in itself.

If the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department are to be believed, not only was the United States at the point of collapse last year, but we nearly took the Western world down with us. Afghanistan has been described as "the graveyard of empires". The Soviet Union collapsed, among other reasons, after ten years in Afghanistan. The United States has been fighting a war there now for nearly eight years.

I agree with Kaplan on one point -- Obama needs to clearly state his and our country's goals in Afghanistan and when we can bring our troops home. And I'm not alone wondering why we're still in Afghanistan. "So far, Obama has not made the case and hasn't explained what the end game is," Juan Cole wrote, concerned that Afghanistan could make Obama into a one-term president. That would suit the Republicans just fine.

Adding more troops to Afghanistan, like the president did at the beginning of his term, has not been the answer. As McChrystal reported, the current Afghanistan strategy is not working.

I'm sure which ever Republican is running in 2012 against Obama will promise, just like Richard Nixon did, that "new leadership will end the war". If Obama cannot explain to America why we should keep fighting this war, then we should leave and start redeploying troops this autumn. Must we need to match the Soviets and leave only once the country is completely broke and defeated to prove something?

We already have new leadership and Obama can end this war. Americans should not need to wait for a Republican to be elected president to declare 'Peace With Honor' and end the war. Obama should be able to do that with finesse.

 
Cross-posted at Docudharma.

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One wonders how smart Obama is to get suckered in like this. He's young; he doesn't remember Vietnam but how can he forget Iraq?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 03:45:20 PM EST
I'm guessing I was overly hopeful when I wrote the above essay. I read the following today. The LA Times reports the U.S. to boost combat force in Afghanistan.

"U.S. officials are planning to add as many as 14,000 combat troops to the American force in Afghanistan by sending home support units... The move would beef up the combat force in the country without increasing the overall number of U.S. troops, a contentious issue as public support for the war slips. But many of the noncombat jobs are likely be filled by private contractors".

Already Civilian contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan, reports the NY Times.

Civilian contractors working for the Pentagon in Afghanistan not only outnumber the uniformed troops, according to a report by a Congressional research group, but also form the highest ratio of contractors to military personnel recorded in any war in the history of the United States...

The 68,197 contractors -- many of them Afghans -- handle a variety of jobs, including cooking for the troops, serving as interpreters and even providing security...

So how smart is that?

by Magnifico on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 04:01:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Juan Cole has a recent article in Salon, in which he argues that Obama's generals have switched to a war of logistics, something that will require cooperation with Iran and Russia.
There is an old saying in military affairs, that everyone wants to do strategy and tactics, but real men do logistics. That is, moving persons and materiel around and managing supplies seems tedious, but they are crucial to success. The Obama administration has substituted the Logistics of War for the War on Terror. It is moving troops and equipment and assets around in the millions, on a vast scale, and therefore its enemies -- whether the Sunni radicals in Iraq or the neo-Taliban -- are also concentrating on logistics. The staccato, desultory news items of bombings here and airstrikes there make sense if the individual incidents are viewed as struggles over supply lines-- whether supply lines for military purposes, or supplies of intangibles such as international legitimacy. And in this context, the gingerness with which Washington is now approaching Russia and Iran makes perfect sense.
Anyone with more knowledge than I have on such matters know if this makes sense, or whether he is just trying to fit a pattern to a few isolated facts?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 04:20:08 PM EST
It is a war of occupation, so of course it is about logistics.  It always was:  It takes a lot of material to hold down a hostile population with a small occupying force.  

His comment about Russia and Iran has its point though:  Having fouled its supply route through western Pakistan (by waging war on the people there) the US now needs a new supply route.  Iran is laughable, considering the operations being waged against them, but Russia has shown interest in providing a supply route (that they might cut at any time)--for a price.  They think the US can be out manoeuvered, and it is surely a sign of American desperation that it is even being talked about. Maybe the US will give up trying to annex Georgia and the Ukraine to NATO?  The possibilities for a two-faced bargain are endless.  At the least it will cost the US up front for transport, while Russia is confident it will not be harmed by helping the US exhaust itself in continuing this war.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 02:08:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
poppy fields tells you all you need to know:  The dollar is in trouble and that opium money matters.  Obama or no Obama this war stays high on the agenda.  

However, it also seems the US is losing, right there on the ground.  The talk about paying more attention to civilians is a backhand way of admitting the populace has not been pacified and is not adequately locked down--and US operations are suffering for it.  Expect some version of Hearts-and-Minds to get them out of their goat herds and villages and into concentration camps--as, indeed, was done in Vietnam during the American war there.  

This works, too, in a way:  Guerrillas can not operate out of incarcerated populations.  In Vietnam, it proved a massive undertaking that was never finished, but it did succeed wherever it was implemented.  

The fact that the US puppet Karzai could not even fake a proper election shows that Afghani opposition to the US runs very deep.  Well!--who knew?  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 01:50:21 AM EST
Gaianne: poppy fields tells you all you need to know:  The dollar is in trouble and that opium money matters.

So you think the U.S. is staying in Afghanistan in order to prop up the dollar with opium/heroin money?  Any other reasons, or is that basically it?

If so, how would you explain this:

The Obama administration has changed course on its opium policy here, moving away from eradication efforts favored by the Bush administration that senior officials now say wasted millions of dollars. Instead, funding is being directed toward programs to persuade farmers to grow other crops.


The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.
by marco on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 04:20:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The real cause for the war?

Source: BBC News

by Magnifico on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 04:42:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
God damn.  That was one seriously successful industrial policy.

But are you suggesting that the U.S. allowed the September 11 attacks to occur the year that opium production was cut by 90% as a pretext for invading Afghanistan, and/or that the U.S. would not have invaded Afghanistan if opium production were not dropping so much that year, and/or that if it had invaded, it would have left the country once the Taliban had been cleared out?

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.

by marco on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 05:14:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
marco:
if it had invaded, it would have left the country once the Taliban had been cleared out
Which it did.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 05:26:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
if it had invaded, it would have left the country once the Taliban had been cleared out
Which it did.

Which year?



The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.

by marco on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 05:52:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, okay, it shifted attention away to Iraq.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 05:59:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And therein lies a tragic tale.  What seems to be forgotten, or conveniently ignored these days, is that Afghanistan is the most epic of Bush's many epic failures.  Going into Afghanistan in pursuit of bin Laden made some kind of sense.  Taking down the Taleban made less sense, if any.  Failing to complete either goal, in typical Bush fashion, made no sense at all.  It left us and our new president in the current predicament, in which there are few real options, and no good ones.  If he stays the course, we are doomed to a lingering death in the graveyard of empires.  If he commits more troops, we merely prolong the ordeal.  If he does the one marginally sensible thing and withdraws, he and the Democrats own George W. Bush's failure.  Catch 22.  Cubed.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 09:34:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
budr:
If he does the one marginally sensible thing and withdraws, he and the Democrats own George W. Bush's failure.  Catch 22.  Cubed.

That's Obama's fault.He should have pulled out right away.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 04:22:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it would have mattered.  He was already in the box on inauguration day.  If McCain or Hillary had won the election, they'd be in the same box.  Whoever succeeded W. would was destined to inherit the cosmic sack of shit he cooked up on his watch.  Our children and quite possibly our grandchildren, here and there, will still be dealing with it.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 05:44:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the only way out is for Obama to catch Osama? and use that as an excuse to escape from Afghanistan?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 04:54:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Claim Osama has been killed. Hand out some medals. Leave. Suppress further Osama videos on account of them being Al-Queda lies. Have Hollywood make a movie.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 05:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure even that would do it now.  It might have worked when US and Afghani forces supposedly had bin Laden pinned down at Tora Bora.  

If there is a way out of the mess Bush made in Afghanistan I don't see it.  If Obama withdraws, with or without bin Laden, he will leave a resurgent Taliban and a resurgent al Qaeda.  It would effectively end his presidency.  The Republicans, aided and abetted by corporate media, would seize on the perceived weakness of Obama and the Democrats to ride back into power.  And we'd be right back to winning hearts and minds by blowing things up.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 09:13:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i advocated long ago for americans to start negotiations with Mullah Omar about honourable exit.

Politicians however (as was expected) are wary about possible adverse implications for projecting American influence abroad. They just cannot face up to the fact that American influence is already seriously limited and defied not only by North Korea and Iran but invisibly by many many players on the world stage.

it's time for legendary western media machine to pull up its socks and start preparing Western public to exit from Afghanistan.

Further occupation of this wretched country makes no sense whatsoever and does not help in the main purpose of eliminating Al Qaeda leaders. They should be lured back into shadows to strike at them and with continuing occupation, "state and democracy building" they will continue to hide.

by FarEasterner on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 10:21:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's time for legendary western media machine to pull up its socks and start preparing Western public to exit from Afghanistan.

Why should it? Its paymasters are making fabulous profits from war in general, and perpetual war against nebulous "terrorists" in particular.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 04:52:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have data that goes further back, so that we can tell if that was the cause of the Soviet invasion as well?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 05:23:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Opium production in Afghanistan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rise of the Taliban (1994-2001)

During the Taliban rule, Afghanistan saw a bumper opium crop of 4,600 metric tons in 1999,[7]. In July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar declared that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in one of the world's most successful anti-drug campaigns. As a result of this ban, opium poppy cultivation was reduced by 91% from the previous year's estimate of 82,172 hectares. The ban was so effective that Helmand Province, which had accounted for more than half of this area, recorded no poppy cultivation during the 2001 season.[8]

how did the taliban do that?

by terrorising them into compliance? offering them other livelihoods? letting them starve?

the fruit i ate in afghanistan was the sweetest i ever tasted, they should be growing pomegranates and such...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 10:25:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I put up this bit of trivia in the Salon the other day:

dvx:

U.N. Report Cites Sharp Drop in Opium Cultivation in Afghanistan - washingtonpost.com

KABUL, Sept. 1 -- Cultivation in Afghanistan of opium, the nation's most lucrative cash crop and a major funding source for the Taliban, has fallen sharply this year in large part because an excess supply of the drug has pushed down prices to a 10-year low, according to a U.N. report scheduled to be released Wednesday.

The Obama administration has changed course on its opium policy here, moving away from eradication efforts favored by the Bush administration that senior officials now say wasted millions of dollars. Instead, funding is being directed toward programs to persuade farmers to grow other crops. But more than those nascent efforts, U.N. officials said, the cause of the decline in opium cultivation this year was a deteriorating market for the drug.

"Overall, you could say we are now profiting from a fantastic market correction," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, head of the Afghanistan office of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "There is just too much supply around, so the attractiveness is diminishing."

Apparently they've managed to boost production so much it no longer pays to cultivate the stuff.

Talk about an innovative approach to drug trafficking...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 12:01:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, this was the article that first made me think that opium could not really be the primary motive for invading Afghanistan, in my comment above.

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.
by marco on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 04:47:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
needed their revenue source back!
by Lasthorseman on Sat Sep 5th, 2009 at 06:41:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here in the US "our" terrorists are in government!
http://www.masslpa.org/node/425
by Lasthorseman on Thu Sep 10th, 2009 at 07:23:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any other reasons, or is that basically it?
 

Well there are other reasons of course, though they are likely secondary.  

Among them:  Although our own Jerome a Paris has pretty much proven it unfeasible, nonetheless former US vice-President Dick Cheney is known to have pushed for an oil and gas pipeline route through Afghanistan to connect the Caspian fields to the south.  

Also, Afghanistan may be one line of access to the Caspian region, long thought to be one of the best remaining oil regions (although geologists do raise some caveats).  

I don't think the US has ever given even one remotely plausible reason for this war, so the real reasons must remain a matter of speculation and deduction.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 11:50:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No choice: That the US went directly for the poppy fields tells you all you need to know: The dollar is in trouble and that opium money matters.

How's controlling the poppy production going to help shore up the dollar?

Do we, for that matter, have any indication that the Americans control anything in Afghanistan - poppies included?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 01:05:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
positive in the balance of payments, and will nominally and in fact help improve--or slow the decline in--the standing of the dollar.  

How is it done?  Money laundering.  As the security chief of the United Nations himself said a month back, the international banking system now depends on the laundering of drug money to maintain its profitability.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 11:38:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that such ideas are in the air as today I saw article with similar headline in one of the newspapers (International Herald Tribune or Bangkok's Nation).
by FarEasterner on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 10:38:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Nation: Red October looms for Abhisit and the US dollar

EVERY MONTH is the same, except October, Mark Twain warned us.You may need to keep an eye on the US financial system next month. At the same time, you should closely follow signals from Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who will come under pressure to dissolve Parliament.

Next month, US financial institutions will have to repay their debts owed largely to foreign creditors. The amount is at least US$5 trillion (Bt170.5 trillion). Will the US institutions, which have trillions more in debt obligations, be able to roll over their debts? I am not sure about this. Then the US banks may default. But the US banks will not go down easily. They will turn to the Federal Reserve's printing press. But the Fed has already pumped more than $2 trillion into the US financial system to keep it alive, otherwise it would have collapsed in October last year. The Fed also plans to spend another $1.7 trillion to purchase US government bonds and corporate paper to nurture the liquidity in the financial system.

The question is whether the Fed can pump $5 trillion or more into the US financial institutions. Will the financial markets tolerate the Fed's printing of $5 trillion or more? The fresh liquidity going into the US banks will disappear in a hurry because the creditors are knocking at the door.
...

by FarEasterner on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 10:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not if they plan to wipe us all out.
http://www.masslpa.org/node/425
by Lasthorseman on Thu Sep 10th, 2009 at 07:24:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't that assume that the US actually controls the opium production? Is there any actual evidence that the US controls anything in Afghanistan, opium or no opium?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 04:52:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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