Obama on the Afghan Massacre

Given President Obama’s apparent order that his national security team look into the Afghan massacre, I wanted to look at the various statements about the Administration response to the massacre and disaster, because I think it speaks to the same internal tensions as described in the Klaidman story on Holder.

Risen’s original story on Afghan massacre lacked any statement from the White House. But it did have several comments from the State Department suggesting the Obama Administration was laying the groundwork to marginalize Dostum. 

But in recent weeks, State Department officials have quietly tried to thwart General Dostum’s reappointment as military chief of staff to the president, according to several senior officials, and suggested that the administration might not be hostile to an inquiry.

[snip]

While President Obama has deepened the United States’ commitment to Afghanistan, sending 21,000 more American troops there to combat the growing Taliban insurgency, his administration has also tried to distance itself from Mr. Karzai, whose government is deeply unpopular and widely viewed as corrupt.

A senior State Department official said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, had told Mr. Karzai of their objections to reinstating General Dostum. The American officials have also pressed his sponsors in Turkey to delay his return to Afghanistan while talks continue with Mr. Karzai over the general’s role, said an official briefed on the matter. Asked about looking into the prisoner deaths, the official said, “We believe that anyone suspected of war crimes should be thoroughly investigated.”

While I’m not entirely sure how much the statement, "and suggested that the administration might not be hostile to an inquiry" is Risen’s or is his State Department source, it does suggest that the Obama Administration was laying the groundwork to marginalize Dostum, making it easier to conduct an investigation into his actions.

Within hours of the publication of Risen’s article, Laura Jakes had a seeming response–attributed to the Obama Administration generally–disavowing any intent or jurisdiction to conduct an investigation. The article starts by stating the opposition to an investigation generally.

Obama administration officials said Friday they had no grounds to investigate the 2001 deaths of Taliban prisoners of war who human rights groups allege were killed by U.S.-backed forces

[snip]

U.S. officials said Friday they did not have legal grounds to investigate the deaths because only foreigners were involved and the alleged killings occurred in a foreign country.

But it’s clear her sources speak from very particular positions in the Administration. There’s DOD, which bases its opposition to an investigation on the claim that there’s no evidence US forces were involved in the massacre.

Asked about the report, Marine Corps Col. David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said that since U.S. military forces were not involved in the killings, there is nothing the Defense Department could investigate.

"There is no indication that U.S. military forces were there, or involved, or had any knowledge of this," Lapan said. "So there was not a full investigation conducted because there was no evidence that there was anything from a DoD (Department of Defense) perspective to investigate."

Then there’s DOJ, which limits its comment to FBI’s jurisdiction–without saying whether FBI doesn’t have jurisdiction because the massacre happened on foreign soil, or because it happened in a military theater.

A Justice Department official said the FBI had no jurisdiction to investigate. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Separately, Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller declined to comment.

It’s worth noting, on both counts, that Jakes’ own article notes that Dostum was working with US special forces at the time of the massacre. Which might make you question that very quick statement that the military couldn’t investigate because "There is no indication that U.S. military forces were there, or involved, or had any knowledge of this." That’s a very carefully parsed statement–for a reason, I’d suggest.

So to summarize:

  • State Department, at the very least, is seeking to marginalize Dostum
  • DOD says there’s no evidence US forces were involved and so they can’t investigate to find out if they were involved
  • FBI says they have no jurisdiction

It’s against that background, I think, that Obama said what he said:

ANDERSON COOPER: And now it seems clear that the Bush Administration resisted efforts to pursue investigations of an Afghan warlord named General Dostum, who was on the CIA payroll. It’s now come out, there were hundreds of Taliban prisoners under his care who got killed…

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Right.

ANDERSON COOPER: …some were suffocated in a steel container, others were shot, possibly buried in mass graves. Would you support – would you call for – an investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yeah, the indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention. So what I’ve asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known. And we’ll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all the facts gathered up.

ANDERSON COOPER: But you wouldn’t resist categorically an investigation?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think that, you know, there are responsibilities that all nations have even in war. And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of the laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that.

There are two very critical aspects to what Obama said. First, he did not say there would be an investigation. Rather, he said his national security team would collect the facts for him. And he asked his national security team to do so–not DOJ.

Also, look closely at what Obama says. He’s not talking about investigating Dostum, here. Rather, Obama jumps, with no prompting, to our own actions: "if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of the laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that."

Obama’s statement–and the disparate comments coming from different parts of the Administration–is about a real tension within his Administration, with the State Department attempting to distance the country from Dostum’s corruption and violence, and the military attempting to prevent anyone from looking too closely at what we did in this case.

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  1. Leen says:

    Obama “we have to know about that” so that we can slap some hands..kind of.

    the whole world is watching

  2. alank says:

    The toxic waste the previous government left to the next was not just in the financial area.

  3. Mary says:

    Real quick – time pressures today –

    General Dostum’s reappointment as military chief of staff to the president is a little problematic in general, given the not-much-mentioned fact that Dostum is currently (unless things have changed real recently) in exile in Turkey, tyring to hide out from investigations into him going after a political enemy at home. WTH Karzai is doing, reappointing someone as military COS while they are hiding in self imposed exile in Turkey is a kind of mystery.

    Also, given Dostum’s old contacts with the Soviets (he was their guy back in the days when jihaddis were our guys) he’s a little extra problematic. Also given his purported role in getting rid of some of his old political allies by handing them off as “al-Qaeda” to us means his name may come up if there are ever credible investigations into who we sent to GITMO and why.

    RE: Jakes – that’s all nonsense.
    A. Dostum was reportedly on the CIA payroll during the killings.
    B. Dostum and others were responding to US incitements to get LOTS OF MONEY by trafficking in human goods and selling them to the US. You offer to buy people that are rounded up and then say you can’t investigate what happens to them in your human cattle roundups?
    C. Anyone want to explain why US forces and investigators were out digging up Hussein mass graves in Iraq and cataloging evidence?
    D. As occupying forces, we had this Geneva Conventions authority and duty to … oh, wait.
    E. Under the Torture Conventions, we’ve got jurisdiction and we’ve used it before.
    F. Do we even know if there were any American victims without taking action? Certainly there were Brits who were involved.

    etc etc etc.

    • emptywheel says:

      One thing I’m going to get back to are the conversations internally on this. One thing they were noting internally is that this is where we got John Walker Lindh. So he narrowly avoided being a victim, probably.

      • Mary says:

        It’s too bad my time is tight bc I’d like to follow all the posts and comments, but I’ll keep checking in later. Thanks for the efforts.

      • bmaz says:

        As I recall, we did manage to give Walker Lindh the pleasure of being caged in a shipping container though. So we got that going for us….

      • esseff44 says:

        John Walker Lindh was also a witness to much of what went on during that period. Like many of the Gitmo detainees, a condition put on them is that they cannot talk to anyone about what happened to them or others.

      • Blub says:

        I think we scooped him up after we shot him and he self-identified as an American. Then we took him to an American base, stripped him naked, immobilized him with chains, blindfold, gag and tape on a gurney, making sure to leave the bullet in him (for that extra measure of agonizing pain) and stuffed him into yet another shipping container (all his own). 7 days of harrowing interrogations later, we decided to accord him some medical treatment. At the time this was first reported I thought all this was unspeakably barbaric. Who could know that this abuse was actually the deluxe 5 Star Luxury Treatment.

      • Andy Worthington says:

        Lindh was in the area, but not part of the “Convoy of Death.” He was a survivor of the other massacre at the end of November 2001, at Qala-i-Janghi, Dostum’s fort in Mazar-e-Sharif, where hundreds of mainly foreign Taliban recruits, having been persuaded to surrender under the false promise that they would be allowed to return home, found that this was not the case. When some of them started an uprising, killing a CIA agent, the revenge — primarily from US bombers, and US/UK Special Forces backing up the Northern Alliance — was fierce. Around 80 of 300-450 survived bombing and electrocution and drowning by cowering in a basement for a week. Lindh was one of them. He then got special hospital treatment before his torture at Camp Rhino, in a special container just for one, began. By my reckoning, only around 50 of these men made it to Guantanamo (what happened to the rest?) and of the estimated 3000 prisoners in Sheberghan (survivors of the convoy, and many others rounded up all over northern Afghanistan), only about 70 made it to Guantanamo. Dostum seems to have released the majority of these to Pakistan over the following year (as they were mostly Pakistanis), but what’s always worried me is quite what the US military got up to at Sheberghan, while it was picking out nobodies to take to Guantanamo via Kandahar, as it appears to have involved more brutal behavior than anywhere else. David Hicks had a really terrible time, made to sit on a window ledge while US soldiers threatened to shoot him.
        So some of this is in my article about the massacre, which draws on the chapter on the “Convoy of Death” in “The Guantanamo Files.”
        And the Qala-i-Janghi massacre, for those who don’t know it, is also covered in depth in my book, but there’s an additional online chapter on my site.
        And this other additional online chapter has some other prisoners’ recollections of the convoy, via McClatchy.

  4. Arbusto says:

    Shorter version; We didn’t do it and we’ll never do it again.

    What’s the difference in approach between Bush and Obama on issues of international conventions on torture and the treatment of prisoners, other than the conventions don’t apply to the US?

  5. Mary says:

    One last note – from the Cooper interview Obama says:

    Yeah, the indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention.

    That’s either a lie or he has know understanding of and briefing on what is going on and has gone on in Afghanistan. Dostum is a major player and the major allegations against him have been prominent forever. I get the “look forward” crap, but if you walk forward into a dark alley at 2:00 AM without a background check on the guy walking next to you, that’s nuts. Who is responsible for his Afghanistan military and intel briefings that he wouldnn’t have known about this? Who is responsible for his human rights briefings? Does he just not read? Makes no sense – but I guess Risen made it more inescapable for him, so good on that.

    I also think some of this is just political – Dostum had old enemies and is making lots of new ones. He’s a lot of baggage to have if you are wanting to stabilize things. Heck, maybe the CIA has an EO where they could just hop over to Turkey and … Anyway, it’s politically advantageous to get rid of Dostum now, and I guess CIA notwithstanding, McChrystal has his own background that he brings to bear.

    Dostum and the CIA and torture are also linked in with any real digging on the story. How do you investigate it without talking to the British survivors. The ones that got disappeared to GITMO before they could talk about it – the ones the CIA cooked up a story about being the unidentified men in a picture with Bin Laden and proffered that, with their “EIT” based “Confessions” a year later?

    • Rayne says:

      RE: your (3) – can’t rule out yet that Karzai knew exactly what he was dealing with, and opted for the “keep your enemies closer” approach.

      RE: your (6) – the Panetta situation this week makes it very clear that everybody in the administration is still learning a lot; their learning curve may be impacted by left-behinds who are not particularly forthcoming with info. I’m prepared to allow that Obama doesn’t know about Dostum’s history if he’s juggling all other domestic and foreign policy at the same time and running into crap the way Panetta did.

      It’s what he does now that he’s been put on notice about Dostum that’s important.

      • Mary says:

        I don’t think what happened with Panetta and a secret program has much to do with what Obama should have known about Dostum and the container killings. These killings were widely reported in press, Dostum has been chronicled over and over as a main player in Afghanistan and his baggage is all out in the open – right there for a google, much less a DoD, State or Intel briefer’s file. And there was huge, very public and very direct uproar from human rights organizations as Obama was going into office and after he got in about Dostum destroying the evidence, again all publically reported as well (special h/t to McClatchey).

        It’s kind of like Obama standing up and saying “golly gee whiz, I never knew we killed any civilians when we dropped them there bombs on them there villages – gaw aw aw lee” It’s disingenous and that he would go that path, the “I didn’t know until NYT put it in the paper, cuz nobody I talk to knows as much as last week’s NYT” says a lot, in and of itself.

        Mostly that the political cost in Afganistan of keeping on the CIA’s container killer finally got high enough.

        • Rayne says:

          I didn’t say that there was any connection between the program Panetta killed in a panic and Dostum.

          What I said was that Panetta was apparently shocked/surprised by something.

          Why is it not possible for Obama to be similarly surprised about the situation regarding Dostum when he has one helluva lot more on his plate than Panetta has?

          We’re also expecting Obama to be farther ahead than we are on topics that we spend all our free time on — corruption with regard to national security and foreign policy — when we don’t spend anywhere near as much time on other issues like health care reform, the economy, swine flu, you name it, which he must address every day with the same level of alacrity and ability.

          And we’re also expecting him to have received info from staffers who may/may not be free of agenda when he’s focusing on these issues. If it’s getting filtered, what exactly is he seeing? I’m prepared to give him some breathing room. Maybe living with an executive (whose presentation due this week to the board has already been f*cked because of incomplete content from underlings) gives me a different perspective on this.

          If Obama doesn’t have his crap together on this within a month, then I’ll be less generous. If he’s anything like the executive I live with, he’s already told them he knows he’s not got all the details and they’d better get this material together in a hurry and get it right this time. We’re merely seeing the response of someone who may have been pants’d by others and is not prepared to do more.

          • Mary says:

            Why is it not possible for Obama to be similarly surprised about the situation regarding Dostum when he has one helluva lot more on his plate than Panetta has?

            Maybe I didn’t say this clearly enough above where I think I already answered this. Panetta was surprised to find out about a secret program that was a … secret program.

            Obama is claiming to be surprised by something that has been the subject of published accounts for years and was in particulare the subject of public entreaties to him directly in January by multiple human rights organizations. If it is indeed possible for Obama to be “similary suprised” (surprised in a fashion similar to the surprise from Panetta on learning of a classified program) about Dostum, we definitely have the wrong guy as President.

            We’re also expecting Obama to be farther ahead than we are on topics that we spend all our free time on

            Bull. Obama has had a whole cadre of advisors throughout his Senate campaign, his service in office as a Senator, his Presidential primary campaign, his Presidential campaign and now that he is in office. He has tremendously more resources to devote to every area – not just domestic issues areas – than most of the cogent blogosphere (granting that that might be a small cross section) together.

            Dostum is a major factor in Afghanistan for any number of reasons and if Obama has spent all his primary and presidential campaigning talking about the wars without ever being briefed on Dostum, he has had direct contacts from numerous human rights organizations during the body dig up fiasco – he basically has a universe of sources that have been providing him information.

            I don’t know who the “we” is that does’t spend much time with health care, but to be honest, his stance right now on Dostum is the same as if he were asked about a public option and he said, “gosh, what’s that? I haven’t heard of such a thing until today” Dostum and the container killings and his mega role with the CIA and in Afghan corruption are not digging into the weedier areas. If he really has been making plans for Afghanistan to the point of yanking one comannder out to stick another one it and he did that with no clue about Dostum, he’s incompetent. And again, he got direct entreaties and inquiries to stop the graves being dug up over 6 mos ago. Direct. How short term is his memory?

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Lack of knowledge or participation of the murder of up to 2,000 prisoners of war is not the same as not knowing about or participating in covering it up, including spiking all attempts to investigate the conduct of an ally or the US representatives to him.

    As Nixon’s top lieutenants eventually learned, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up that can bite you in the ass and take down your career.

    Why is it that all that history teaches us is that we never learn from it?

  7. fatster says:

    Apologies for interrupting this thread, but this is too good to miss:

    Sen. Whitehouse Denounces Roberts’ Umpire Theory of Judging

    By DAPHNE EVIATAR 7/13/09 12:22 PM

    ‘Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) just denounced Supreme Court Justice John Roberts’ disingenuous umpire theory of judging — his oft-quoted statement that the role of a judge is just to call “balls and strikes” as he sees them — with a harsh critique of what’s turned out to be remarkable “judicial activism” by the conservative majority led by Roberts on the court.’

    Link.

    • FormerFed says:

      Shelton did throw out some fab analogies. Watching him makes you have faith in our system.

      The we Arizonans have our fab Mr. Kyl. I called up his office and told them to tell him to get his coat on and at least try to act like a Senator. His DC guy took umbrage at my comment but his lady in Tucson seemed a little amused.

      • fatster says:

        and @19

        DiFi has taken a page from Whitehouse:

        Sotomayor confirmation hearing excerpts

        By The Associated Press, Associated Press
        Last update: July 13, 2009 – 11:52 AM

        “”So I do not believe that Supreme Court justices are merely umpires calling balls and strikes. Rather, I believe that they make the decisions of individuals who bring to the court their own experiences and philosophies. … So I believe you, too, will bring your experiences and philosophy to this highest court. And I believe that will do only one thing and that is strengthen this high institution of our great country.” — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.”

        Link.

  8. alabama says:

    “Yeah, the indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention. So what I’ve asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known. And we’ll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all the facts gathered up.”

    Surely he’s describing an investigation: in order to collect “the facts that are known”, you have to separate them out from rumors and conjectures, which entails investigating all the “candidates” for the status of “fact”. And he intends this to be inclusive: in order to have “all the facts gathered up”, you have to gather up all documents, all comments written or spoken, not to mention visits to the site or sites of the event.

    To put it another way: if I were ever in any way connected with this case, either through State or DoD or any other operation, I would consider myself subject to scrutiny. And I would take care to level with the folks conducting the investigation.

    Or to put it yet another way: Obama may well be saying that this is the first substantive inquiry to be initiated on his watch, and that he intends to make it work. It may be his way of expressing displeasure with business as usual.

    So yes, this is well worth watching…

    • bmaz says:

      Maybe it will turn out that is what occurs; but you sure as heck cannot get that out of what Obama said, not even close.

      • alabama says:

        But bmaz, I’m speaking to what he said–to those quotes, and only those quotes.

        Granted that language is inherently ambiguous, and that Obama knows how to manage his ambiguities with great care when he feels that care is called for. But he doesn’t always take care….

        Is he being careful here? If so–ambiguity being what it is–these comments can be taken to mean “we’re investigating”, or “we’re covering up”, or “we’re doing both of these at once” (Bob in Hi makes this point @24).

        As for my own speculation about his possible motives for launching an investigation (if that’s what he’s doing): Obama likes to stimulate speculation, he likes to feed it, and I haven’t yet reached the point where I don’t respond to that stimulation (others certainly have)….

  9. FormerFed says:

    What is our objective in Afghanistan? When we first went in in 2001 it was to get the 9/11 perpetrators. We had limited success in doing this. Then we seem to have gone into the nation building and regime change mode and again we have had very limited success. Now we are pouring more troops and money into the area and I’m not sure what our objective is.

    If you don’t have a clear objective that everyone understands, then you are bound to fail. I think our objective ought to be to get Osama and his cohorts and then get the hell back to the US. The Taliban are odious people but we have lived with odious people throughout our history. Let them have the country, they can’t do much worse than our puppet Karzai.

    • Minnesotachuck says:

      What is our objective in Afghanistan?

      That is exactly the issue that Andrew Bacevich, William Lind and other military reformers are harping on to whomever will listen. The problem is getting the strategy right. That’s something the American national security establishment has seldom done well, and often done abominably. Obama’s statements have defined the mission there quite narrowly, if not narrowly enough. But McChrystal however, in the few weeks he’s been in the saddle over there, has been something else again. He seems to be turning the problem of mission creep into mission leap! In what way is it in our national interest to spend the blood and treasure that would be necessary to drag the Afghan society, polity and economy into what passes for democratic civilization in the 21st century? If indeed it’s possible at all?

      • Mary says:

        It’s not – but it give a convenient excuse to keep using Afghanistan as a base from which they can launch Pakistani operations. If you leave Afghanistan, you have no capacity to keep doing your “al-Qaeda hunting” in Pakistan. At least, I’m pretty inclined to think that is the fixed idea in the military and in part in Obama — to keep hammering away until someone can come up with a Bin Laden or Zawahiri or “big name” proven kill (which will take Pakistani operations, even though we are not “at war” with Pakistan supposedly). THEN they can declare a win and head for home. Until then, they want a pretext to stay and keep bombing until they get a trophy.

      • FormerFed says:

        McChrystal is scary – he apparently didn’t listen to General Jones’ pep talk to the military. But this is not surprising to me. GOs have their own agenda – and it is mostly looking to their “place in history” or their next job.

        There is nothing worse than trying to brief a GO on something three or four years down the road. Their horizon is only until they can get their next star or their next big job (in case they already have 4).

        Like I have said before, Obama hasn’t learned how to handle GOs yet. A public execution like firing Petraeus or Odierno might get the Army’s attention. When Gates got rid of the SAF and the CSAF, it got the Air Force in line for a little while, although they are using their back door connections on trying to keep the F22 alive.

  10. foothillsmike says:

    The CIA was somewhat in the lead on the operations in Afghanistan and there were significant tensions between the military and the CIA. The CIA contracted with many of the warlords to “assist” in the ouster of the taliban and capture of al quaeda. If the CIA contracted with these warlords do they not become agents of the US?

  11. Leen says:

    Video clip
    http://informationclearinghous…..e23025.htm
    A freedom of information request by this programme has revealed a large number of claims by Afghan civilians against British forces in one of the most violent regions of Afghanistan, in which UK forces have been the main Nato force for five years.

    Between December 2007 and May 2009, the UK has paid out for – or is still processing – claims that relate to at least 104 deaths.

    They have also rejected claims – in the same period – that relate to 113 civilian deaths. The more recent months have seen a spike in claims over fatalities – 27 were made in April and May of this year.

    The figures offer one of the most revealing insights yet into the human cost of Britain’s fight against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

    Yet many observers say they refer to only a small fraction of the likely total of civilian casualties.

  12. bobschacht says:

    There are two very critical aspects to what Obama said. First, he did not say there would be an investigation. Rather, he said his national security team would collect the facts for him. And he asked his national security team to do so–not DOJ.

    Heh. Well, I guess this depends on what the meaning of “investigation” is. Silly me, I thought that “investigating” meant collecting the facts. ISTM Obama’s national security team is indeed conducting an investigation; he just doesn’t want to call it that.

    Bob in HI

  13. brendanx says:

    An Al-Jazeera report last night (with my digital transformer box on my old cathode ray tube tv I now get five channels, none American) put the number of those suffocated in those shipping containers “as high as 2000″.

  14. fatster says:

    New Info Brings More Questions On Secret CIA Program

    By Zachary Roth – July 13, 2009, 12:13PM

    “We’ve gotten some more information in recent days about that secret CIA program that the agency withheld key information from Congress about, and that CIA director Leon Panetta promptly shut down when he learned about it last month. But the new reports only raise more questions.”

    More at link.

  15. Mary says:

    BTW – one thing Obama would be saying or doing if he is serious is that he’d be finally, at long last, getting around to ordering security for the burial site, esp since troops have, throughout Dostum’s destruction of the site that Obama ignored despite non-stop human right outcries, been pretty much camped out, just up the road.

    @18 – and who do you think they were going to (and did) turn the “detainees” over to? US intel and military. I’d bet money on the payment of bounty money as well for at least the survivors, and maybe even on a body count for the others. Dostum wouldn’t have bothered to “deliver” the contents of the containers IMO unless he knew he was getting paid for all cargo. But that’s spec. It is interesting how fast they disappeared the English speaking British survivors of that massacre to GITMO though.

  16. ThreadTheorist says:

    his [Obama’s] administration has also tried to distance itself from Mr. Karzai, whose government is deeply unpopular and widely viewed as corrupt.

    For those of us old enough to have lived through the repeated justifications for continuing the Vietnam war and heard exactly the same things said about the Diem regime and its many ineffectual successors, the above quote is a chilling flashback. Trouble is, that if the Taliban regain control of Afghanistan and start executing masses of people in the soccer stadium including women who dared be the equal of men, then Obama’s re-election chances sink dramatically. People older than I will say that “Who lost China” proved a potent mantra for the Republicans in the decade of the 1950s, even though China was never the US’s to lose.

    • Blub says:

      a reference, I suppose, to McArthur’s desire to nuke China after the Korean war, which Truman had to restrain? So, in other words, the rethugs of the time wanted a unilateral preemptive nuclear first strike on Beijing and other Chinese cities, and rate the refusal of the president of the time to do so as “losing” China. Wonderful. Gotta love those GOPers.

  17. x174 says:

    the funny thing about Obama’s wishywashiness in all of this is that it appears to be snowballing and increasingly in his face (sort of like what happened to Monica, but different).

  18. researcher says:

    we are creating generations of new terrorists in iraq and afghan.

    and we will spend trillions doing just that and to say nothing of the lives lost in both iraq and afghan.

    americans want their wars for profits and be a superpower now they pay the price.

    every person that I know has lost over 30% of their 401.

    and not one has tied together our wars for profits and the lost of their 401’s.

    we are an imperialist country and dont have a clue we are.

    the germans used to line the streets to worship hitler.

    but in 1945 they were running down those streets hiding from the russians.

    people love to be the big dog on the block but oh what a price to pay for our imperialism.

    few will understand my words very few.

    we still want to blame people and not look at the root cause. ie capitalism.

    capitalism is based in greed and profits not people’s needs.

    the idea that wealth trickles down is played upon the naive and works in a dumbed down society.

    if you dont believe we are a drug infested dumbed downed society visit a local high school.