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So much for US Empire Building.


Historically, Afghanistan has been a place where empires have run out of steam. No one has really ever conquered Afghanistan in the past two thousand years. The Arab/Muslim war machine ground to a halt in the 8th century. The British Empire fought Afghanistan from 1839-1919 and accomplished nothing. The Soviet Union was worn out in the 1980’s and its defeat by the Afghans was partially responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Yet, Obama thinks he can do better. Obama has taken up Bush’s dream to “democratize” Afghanistan. The futility of this goal became obvious with comments by the US backed president of Afghanistan. In a closed door meeting president Karzai told tribal leaders that if Obama keeps pressing for western reforms, “I will join the Taliban.” He also told the leaders to ignore the demands of “foreigners.”

From Reuters…

What is embarrassing for Washington is the timing of Karzai’s comments, less than a week after Obama made his first trip to Afghanistan since he took office in January 2009.

Obama pressed Karzai to follow through on promises after last year’s fraud-plagued election to tackle corruption and govern in a way that helped rather than hindered the U.S. counter-insurgency strategy.

David Obey, who chairs the powerful House of Representatives committee that appropriates money for the war, echoed some of the doubts in Congress.

“Mr. Karzai’s performance demonstrates why I have raised the question of whether or not, in the government of Afghanistan, we have a tool that is in any way reliable in implementing our policies in that region,” Obey said.

Representative Ike Skelton urged Karzai to retract or clarify his statements but suggested Americans should not overreact.

“I do not think that we should allow some intemperate remarks clearly designed for domestic political purposes to undermine what I continue to believe is the best strategy to protect American security,” Skelton said.

Senator Russ Feingold, an outspoken proponent of a timetable to bring U.S. troops home, said even before Karzai’s recent comments that the Obama administration’s strategy depended upon a “less-than-reliable partner.”

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Meanwhile in Iraq.

Two employees of the Reuters news agency in Iraq were killed by Apache helicopters. Videos of the attack, obtained from the US military by Reuters have been leaked onto the internet. While some civilian causalities are impossible to avoid in urban combat zones, the proliferation of the internet has brought these casualties home to the American public in ways that did not exist in previous wars.

Obama is rapidly losing his white supporters, who believed he would end the war in Iraq. The video below and others are putting intense pressure on Obama by his own base of support.

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