Monthly Archives: October 2009

Matthew Hoh Resigns: State Department Official Quits Over Afghan War

Huffington Post, 10/26/09

WASHINGTON — A former Marine who fought in Iraq, joined the State Department after leaving the military and was a diplomat in a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan has become the first U.S. official to resign in protest of the Afghan war, the Washington Post reported early Tuesday.

Matthew Hoh said he believes the war is simply fueling the insurgency.

“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” Hoh wrote in his resignation letter, dated Sept. 10 but published early Tuesday. “I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”

Richard Holbrooke, the administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the Post he disagreed that the war “wasn’t worth the fight,” but did agree with much of Hoh’s analysis.

READ THE LETTER here

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Another shameful display of greed by our lawmakers

editorial in Daily Local News, 10/17/09:

Thorns to Pennsylvania lawmakers for racking up a tab for food and lodging during their shameful 101-day budget stalemate — and giving themselves a raise in their per-diem rates to make matters worse. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the amount lawmakers get reimbursed for food and lodging expense while in Harrisburg recently increased to $163 a day. The Tribune-Review reported that House and Senate members of both parties collected $532,000 in per diems in July and August, the first two months of the stalemate. It’s money that taxpayers would not have paid if lawmakers had done their job by the July 1 deadline. Legislators can collect $111 a day for lodging and $52 for food for days in Harrisburg if their home district is some distance away. Perhaps the system should be changed to charge lawmakers per day instead of reimburse them. That could speed up the process.

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Filed under PA govt & politics

Ignoring so many lessons of history

The Hightower Lowdown, October 2009, Volume 11, Number 10

Edited by Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer

The four biggest reasons for escalating war in Afghanistan–and why they’re bogus

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke is America’s “Man in the Stans”–Afghanistan and Pakistan, that is. Handpicked by President Obama to be special representative to what is at present the hottest of hot spots in the muddled global war on terrorists, Holbrooke is among the Washington influentials who is now urging Obama to hurl tens of thousands of additional troops and tens of billions of additional dollars into the Afghanistan war effort.

Why should America do that? What victory do we seek? In August, Holbrooke responded with a diplomatic quibble: “I don’t use the word ‘victory’ but ‘success’ instead.” Okay. What success will we achieve? Well, dodged the man who would commit untold numbers of people to their death in this hellish land, “success” really can’t be defined. “We’ll know it when we see it.” Continue reading

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Filed under Afghanistan