Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Amy Goodman, "Obama's Afghan trap," truthdig, February 11, 2009.

President Barack Obama on Monday night held his first prime-time news conference. When questioned on Afghanistan, he replied, “This is going to be a big challenge.” He also was asked whether he would change the Pentagon policy banning the filming and photographing of the flag-draped coffins of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said he was reviewing it. The journalist who asked the question pointed out that it was Joe Biden several years ago who accused the Bush administration of suppressing the images to avoid public furor over the deaths of U.S. service members. Now Vice President Joe Biden predicts that a surge in U.S. troops in Afghanistan will mean more U.S. casualties: “I hate to say it, but yes, I think there will be. There will be an uptick.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press recently cited a classified report drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommending a shift in strategy from democracy-building in Afghanistan to attacking alleged Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

And the campaign has clearly begun. Days after his inauguration, Obama’s first (known) military actions were two missile strikes inside Pakistan’s frontier province, reportedly killing 22 people, including women and children.

  “There is no military solution in Afghanistan. There is an economic-development solution, but I don’t see that coming."

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