Update at bottom: Only 100 Al Qaeda fighters remain in Afghanistan, while number of private Pentagon contractors tops 104,000
In an address to the nation on Tuesday, President Obama declared, “As commander in chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interests to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. … After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.” For Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), however, if the ultimate goal is to get out of Afghanistan, then the sooner the better.
“Why are we still in Afghanistan?” Kucinich asked on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning. “Al-Qaeda has been routed. Our occupation fuels a Taliban insurgency. The more troops we send, the more resistance we meet.”
“The people of Afghanistan don’t want to be saved by us,” Kucinich continued. “They want to be saved from us. Our presence and our Predator drones kill countless innocents, creating more US enemies and destabilizing Pakistan.”
Kucinich has been expressing opposition to a “surge” in Afghanistan since last spring, regularly insisting that at a time of economic crisis the money being spent on war would be better applied to basic needs back home.
When General Stanley McChrystal asked in September for more troops, Kucinich issued a statement saying, “If the Obama administration is determined to ‘win the war’ in Afghanistan, then we should be prepared for another Vietnam. An unending military commitment is unacceptable to the American people and it should be unacceptable to Congress. If the Obama administration refuses to bring this war to an end, then Congress should use the power of the purse, granted by the Constitution, to end the war and bring our troops home.”
“We’ve played all sides in Afghanistan and all sides want us out,” Kucinich concluded on Wednesday. “They don’t want our presence, our control, our troops, our drones, our way of life. We’re fighting the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time. What part of “get out” do we not understand?”
UPDATE: $300 MILLION FOR EVERY AL QAEDA MEMBER IN AFGHANISTAN
President Barack Obama made the decision to send some 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan despite being informed that the country is now host to only 100 Al Qaeda fighters, ABC News reports.
A senior U.S. intelligence official told ABCNews.com the approximate estimate of 100 al Qaeda members left in Afghanistan reflects the conclusion of American intelligence agencies and the Defense Department. The relatively small number was part of the intelligence passed on to the White House as President Obama conducted his deliberations.
ABC News estimates that, with the surge included, there will be a ratio of 1,000 US troops for every Al Qaeda member in the country. The cost of the war will work out to $300 million for every Al Qaeda fighter.
And Justin Elliott at TalkingPointsMemo reported Wednesday that the US now has more than 104,000 defense contractors in the country, which exceeds the number of regular troops on the ground, which will be 98,000 after the surge is completed.
This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast Dec. 2, 2009.
Watergate’s John Dean thinks Trump wrote part of his legal team’s brief — because it’s so terrible
Former White House counsel for Richard Nixon, John Dean, explained that the legal brief out of President Donald Trump's White House was so bad that it had to have been dictated by Trump himself.
Saturday evening, Trump's legal team, chaired by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, filed their own form of a legal brief that responded to the case filed by Democrats ahead of Tuesday's impeachment trial.
The document called the proceedings “constitutionally invalid” and claims House Democrats are staging a “dangerous attack” with a “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”
WATCH: Prince Harry explains why he and Meghan are leaving the royal family — but promises ‘a life of service’
Prince Harry posted a video from an HIV/AIDS fundraiser his mother once supported, where he explained his methodology for leaving his profile role as a royal.
"I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear," said Harry.
He went on to say that he doesn't intend to walk away and he certainly won't walk away from his causes and interests. "We intend to live a life of service."
In the speech, he thanked those who took him under their wing in the absence of his mother
"I hope you can understand that it's what it had come to," he said for why their family intends to step back.
‘You cannot expect anything but fascism’: Pedagogy theorist on how Trump ‘legitimated a culture of lying, cruelty and a collapse of social responsibility’
The impeachment of Donald Trump appears to be a crisis without a history, at least a history that illuminates, not just comparisons with other presidential impeachments, but a history that provides historical lessons regarding its relationship to a previous age of tyranny that ushered in horrors associated with a fascist politics in the 1930s. In the age of Trump, history is now used to divert and elude the most serious questions to be raised about the impeachment crisis. The legacy of earlier presidential impeachments, which include Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, provide a comparative historical context for analysis and criticism. And while Trump’s impeachment is often defined as a more serious constitutional crisis given his attempt to use the power of the presidency to advance his personal political agenda, it is a crisis that willfully ignores the conditions that gave rise to Trump’s presidency along with its recurring pattern of authoritarian behavior, policies, and practices. One result is that the impeachment process with its abundance of political theater and insipid media coverage treats Trump’s crimes as the endpoint of an abuse of power and an illegal act, rather than as a political action that is symptomatic of a long legacy of conditions that have led to the United States’ slide into the abyss of authoritarianism.