Sunday, July 4, 2010

COMMENTS to post " ...Graveyard of Empires"

Here are some earlier Comments which were entered to the first posting here of the ABOVE article in June on this site. If you don't mind, plz post your comments UNDER POST JUST ABOVE. To make this easier, I've posted several of the last comments here above to get started....scroll past my first few comments if you'd like to see the stimulating interaction I've been having with Syed. His comments and questions so compelling, I'm seeking more visibility for this interaction :)


I left mine intact in order to introduce topic and to link the references more easily here:

Connie L. Nash said...

June 27, 2010


Much of the time, our wars may hardly exist for us, but in the age of celebrity, our generals do -- exactly because they become celebrities. When Barack Obama picked Stanley McChrystal as his Afghan war commander, the general was greeted by the media as little short of a savior. He was, we were told, super-humanly fit, utterly austere (eating only one meal a day), and -- strangely for the man who was to oversee a protect-the-people counterinsurgency war -- had spent his professional life in the deepest shadows of counter-terror warfare at the head of groups of hunter-killer special operations forces. His was the darkest of legacies, but he was greeted like Superman.

...McChrystal was, in fact, always a divided man, caught between his counter-terror past -- he significantly increased special operations units in Afghanistan and sent them out to hunt Taliban mid-level leaders (and in the process kill civilians) -- and his newer fealty to counterinsurgency which led him to institute rules of “courageous restraint” that left American ground troops grumbling.

While the president officially picked McChrystal back in 2009, he was, in reality, the choice of Bush’s favorite general, Centcom commander and now new Afghan war commander, General David Petraeus. So the present White House line -- “This is a change in personnel but it is not a change in policy” -- couldn’t be more accurate. There have already been several moments in the Obama presidency when a daring president might have changed the course of the war and begun winding it down... The first two missed moments have already led, via chaos and failure in Afghanistan, to the third, in which the president dethroned a military demi-god for a man genuinely worshipped in Washington.

David Petraeus is not a blunt instrument. He’s the most politically savvy military man of his generation. It says something about our moment in American war-making, however, that the main claim to fame of the four-star general who is treated like the Ulysses S. Grant of the twenty-first century has nothing to do with victory...

With Petraeus, Obama again took the easier road in the immediate moment. What will he do, though, in 2011 as the presidential election campaign gears up, if his chosen general, beloved of the right, asks for more troops?

June 27, 2010 3:16 PM
Connie L. Nash said...

See also at Tom Dispatch -

The Land Where Theories of Warfare Go to Die :
Obama, Petraeus, and the Cult of COIN in Afghanistan
By Robert Dreyfuss

Less than a year ago, General David Petraeus saluted smartly and pledged his loyal support for President Obama’s decision to start withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan in July 2011. In December, when Obama decided (for the second time in 2009) to add tens of thousands of additional American forces to the war, he also slapped an 18-month deadline on the military to turn the situation around and begin handing security over to the bedraggled Afghan National Army and police. Speaking to the nation from West Point, Obama said that he’d ordered American forces to start withdrawing from Afghanistan at that time.

June 27, 2010 3:17 PM
Connie L. Nash said...

Perhaps this should read An Islamic View...rather arrogant to assume this is the only one? Nevertheless perhaps of note?

The Islamic View of McChrystal's Firing:

"History is evident of more powerful and experienced generals than General McChrystal and empires mightier than the United States of America being surrendered and bowed down before the Afghans."



Quagmire? Nine years on, Americans grow weary of war in Afghanistan:

A plurality of 48 percent now say ending the war in Afghanistan is a more important goal than winning it.


June 27, 2010 3:21 PM
connie nash said...

Although often this The Washington Post newspaper is not a favorite among progressives, perhaps there's something of import here. This was sent by a friend who's much more astute than eye on this topic and with a pulse quite accurate on current events.

Note that the author will be ONLINE 11 am EST for a chat MONDAY:

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University. His book "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War" will be published in August. He will be online at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 28, to chat. Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.


Endless war, a recipe for four-star arrogance

By Andrew J. Bacevich
Sunday, June 27, 2010; B01

Note the beginning of this article:
LONG WARS ARE ANTITHETICAL TO DEMOCRACY. (bold letters are mine - Connie)
Protracted conflict introduces toxins that inexorably corrode the values of popular government. Not least among those values is a code of military conduct that honors the principle of civilian control while keeping the officer corps free from the taint of politics.

June 27, 2010 4:58 PM
connie nash said...

Endless war, a recipe for four-star arrogance

By Andrew J. Bacevich
Sunday, June 27, 2010; B01 Washington Post (notice that the author plans to be online for a chat Monday 11 am) There may be a url above or below on another comment or search...


LONG WARS ARE ANTITHETICAL TO DEMOCRACY. (boldened letters are mine - Connie)
Protracted conflict introduces toxins... the Rolling Stone profile that led to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's dismissal -- hint at the toll that nearly a decade of continuous conflict has exacted on the U.S. armed forces....Wearing four stars does not signify indispensability. But indications that the military's professional ethic is eroding, evident in the disrespect for senior civilians expressed by McChrystal and his inner circle, should set off alarms.

Earlier generations of American leaders, military as well as civilian, instinctively understood the danger posed by long wars. "A democracy cannot fight a Seven Years War," Gen. George C. Marshall once remarked. The people who provided the lifeblood of the citizen army raised to wage World War II had plenty of determination but limited patience. They wanted victory won and normalcy restored.

The wisdom of Marshall's axiom soon became clear. In Vietnam, Lyndon B. Johnson plunged the United States into what became its Seven Years War. The citizen army that was sent to Southeast Asia fought valiantly for a time and then fell to pieces. As the conflict dragged on, Americans in large numbers turned against the war -- and also against the troops who fought it.

...The Long War is not America's war. It belongs exclusively to "the troops," ...

...Stanley McChrystal is no Marcus Flavius, lacking the Roman's eloquence, among other things. Yet in ending his military career on such an ignominious note, he has, however clumsily, issued a warning that deserves our attention.

The responsibility facing the American people is clear. They need to reclaim ownership of their army. They need to give their soldiers respite, by insisting that Washington abandon its de facto policy of perpetual war...
June 27, 2010 5:04 PM
Connie L. Nash said...

Senator Byrd just's an earlier speech of his right before Iraq War. What now for congress? Plz place comments if you'd like to help encourage this blogsite to continue


June 28, 2010 9:09 AM

Syeda Zehra said...

Connie, A rather lengthy yet complete post covering all the details of the affair.
I suppose it's time for US to quit before it's forced to as Afganistan has been a graveyard of superpowers as you correctly wrote..:)
June 28, 2010 9:39 AM

Connie L. Nash said...

Yes, many topical items only need shorter posts or series. Yet, even for records & progressions, other world impacting events need more organized and thorough treatment. Thanx for posting, Syeda. I am grateful and would appreciate your return here often & any suggestions or heads up.

June 28, 2010 10:02 AM
Syeda Zehra said...

About this affair,I suppose..US is doing alot of number things wrong.
Firstly lives are been lost on both sides.

Secondly,USA,is increasing Terrorism by violence in Afganistan.

Thirdly,the United states of America is been weaken economically because of this pointless war.

On a side note,the evacuation of US army is also crucial for my nation's stability as many of the terrorist have fled from Afghanistan to my nation,thus increasing terrorist attacks in my nation.If US leaves Afghanistan soon it won't only help itself but also Pakistan as well.
June 28, 2010 10:52 AM

Connie L. Nash said...

Syeda, I could not agree more. The problem is what to do? We have quite a few who are actively trying to end the war and the unconstitutional, inhumane activity since the gitgo. Yet the majority, although they also want the war to end, are not active and in many cases it's due to simply trying to survive and in other cases they are "numbed out"...

Still we must not give up!

One of the best things your nation could do is to absolutely refuse to allow Blackwater, Xe Services (and other names Blackwater has come up with and to speak out against their recent contract to operate in Afghanistan. In fact, perhaps you could distribute the latest on Blackwater to your media? I will try to post it soon.
June 28, 2010 5:19 PM

Connie L. Nash said...

See the following, Syeda, and perhaps you might have more time than I too follow-up with your favorite media/journlists/lists? There's hardly been a more perfect time to help create fury over Blackwater & Drones in your part of the world. Our nation needs more than humiliation over these huge and inhumane war efforts NOW.
Again, thanx for your interest.

Some items just came in after these will try to post them on the next comment...

Obama won't charge Blackwater with violation of Sudan sanctions ...
Jun 27, 2010 ... Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2010. Bookmark and Share ... Obama won't charge Blackwater with violation of Sudan sanctions ...

Beth's Blog
Sunday, June 27, 2010. Posted by Beth at 4:09 AM . Sunday, June 27, 2010. Labels: posters ... Feds won't charge Blackwater in Sudan sanctions case ...

Also find related at Asian Times online
June 28, 2010 5:32 PM

Connie L. Nash said...

News which just came in for Blackwater

Sudan Tribune Blackwater deal in Afghanistan questioned by Congress‎ - 3 hours ago

The Obama administration has awarded $220m (£146m) in new contracts to the military contractor formerly known as Blackwater to provide security...

The Guardian - 16 related articles »
CIA defends Blackwater contract‎ - BBC News - 1282 related articles »

Also another source for the one mentioned, last comment: Obama won't charge Blackwater with violation of Sudan sanctions‎ - San Jose Mercury News - 51 related articles »
June 28, 2010 5:34 PM

Connie L. Nash said...

For American Citizens & Others: Plz call legislators now: US War Escalation Vote This Week
IF you aren't a citizen, would you plz pass this on to lists where there may be some?

From: David Swanson
To: ""

Pelosi and Hoyer Trying to Pass War Escalation Funding By Thursday

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who will openly tell you he does whatever President Obama and Speaker Pelosi instruct, can bring the war escalation funding to the House floor despite the opposition of Appropriations Chairman David Obey. This is because the House passed the bill without the war escalation funding and sent it to the Senate, which has now sent it back to the House.

The current plan is to pass a single bill that includes both the war money and some lipstick (disaster relief, etc.). This will require keeping the lipstick thin enough to win some Republican votes and slathering it on thick enough to win a lot of Democratic votes (which can also be won through campaign funding, earmarks, committee positions, PR stunts, etc.).

One trick that will apparently be used to win Democrats' support is the inclusion of extra, meaningless votes, just for show, on the two components of the bill. They'll vote on the war escalation funding, and lots of Democrats will vote No. And they'll vote on the disaster relief, etc., and lots of Republicans will vote No. Both elements will pass, but nothing will have been done. Then they'll hold a meaningful vote on the whole bill, and lots of the Democrats who just moments before pretended to oppose war escalation will vote for the bill that funds it.

This can only work if Nancy Pelosi is correct in her belief that we're all a bunch of morons.

You'll be told that they've scaled back the war funding. What they've just done is remove the few crumbs that were intended for potentially useful civilian aid in Afghanistan. Meanwhile they've increased the military funding, which is all for escalating the war and therefore cannot plausible be squeezed into the same sentence with "scaled back."

You'll be told that separate votes were held and that your representative opposed the war funding. This is nonsense. The only way to oppose war funding is to try to stop it, which means voting against it no matter what else is included.

Call your Representative through the Capitol Hill switchboard: (202) 224-3121 and send them an Email here.

They've just been asked by the House Majority Whip how they will vote in the pretend vote on the war funding alone and how they will vote on the actual bill with everything that's in it. Demand to know what answers they gave. Report those answers at or GO here

If we can stop this thing through Thursday, we'll have a break over which to continue building opposition, a break during which more news (always bad) will keep coming in from Afghanistan, a July 4th break during which we will celebrate opposition to another foreign occupation.

If We Don't Stop War Funding, They'll Slash Social Security and Medicare

That's the plan which was pushed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer last week and by unsuccessful corporate pseudo rallies this weekend.

It's time to choose.

Don't Let a Bigger War Begin


When you call Congress also let them know that you will hold them accountable for any war they allow our country or Israel to launch against Iran.

Will they commit to ceasing to provide weapons to Israel?

Will they inform the Secretary of Defense that illegal war is grounds for impeachment?

Get the latest news at or GO here


Also see the Human Rights Watch release on torture and the other nations who support the US from June... with the No More Gitmos news listed in Comments here from my One Heart for Peace site...

June 29, 2010 10:45 AM

Syeda Zehra said...

I suppose there's a bigger thing than lives and economy that's stopping the United States leave Afghanistan.,And that is "Dignity".
The Army and the Government both don't want to except that they have been defeated.
They think it's shameful..but everyone knows no army can defeat a nation.Armies are meant to fight with armies not nations.And Afghanistan is a nation at war.There's no army there.

About your suggestion that our Government should restrict Blackwater away from Pakistan and Afghanistan.This is a very difficult Task as you may know that we haven't been able to resist against USA's orders.

June 30, 2010 8:33 AM

Connie L. Nash said...


Your comment here is in need of a post by itself or an Op Ed by you. Extremely courteous while saying the truth with deep insight. Either it is "Dignity" or it is American untransformed individualistic Ego. Yet, how do such groups get a chance to save face when they've been such bullies and while doing some isolated good mainly made a mess of others' lives and their own?

This is so well said by you: "everyone knows no army can defeat a nation.Armies are meant to fight with armies not nations.And Afghanistan is a nation at war.There's no army there."

So both your nation and our people have such a hard time standing up to our leaders...yet that looks like what history and the well-being of our Collective Best is going to mean:

THE PEOPLE Standing up!

Let's talk about some ways...

Thanx so much for this do we get better visibility for such a discussion, do you suggest?

June 30, 2010 9:55 AM

Syeda Zehra said...

Connie,thanks for showing so much esteem for my views....
About having any suggestions to bring an end to all of this,I'm blank zero.
The only possible way is the a united moment just like the Long march we had in Pakistan recently for freedom of judges.
Moreover,the US citizen should stop believing in figures given by the American press about causalities in Afghanistan.
There's a banned trust in Karachi,which is allegedly blamed for having links with Taliban.
That trust issue a weekly newspaper and according to that paper,around 150 soldiers died in the recent attack on Bagram airbase.4 aircrafts were also destroyed.
So it's more terrible than it seems.
I'm sure if the US people knew exactly what's the real picture in Afghanistan they won't stop from rushing over to the White house.
July 1, 2010 4:53 AM
Connie L. Nash said...


I would say you are more than "blank zero"...
That united moment you mentioned, the Long March, was a stellar moment in history for us all.

And the figures along with history of the US involvement to the detriment of other nations, is staggering. And yes, we should be horrified at what's happening to our own military guys and you would think that would raise up much more action.

Still, I'm counting on the whole world to continue to rise up to expose and force the US and Israel to be accountable for their evils and to amend their ways.

We do have quite a few dedicated and courageous ones who right now are making some small headway. And more history is being exposed currently about US overthrows and the havoc it new books. I will try to post some reviews soon...

Let's keep talking...
July 1, 2010 5:07 AM

Syeda Zehra said...

I was thinking the other day about the title of your blog..
And I think it isn't appropriate.
As the EX-US president called this war against terrorism as a 'crusade" back in 2001.
So it's already another yet crusade going On..!
July 3, 2010 4:51 AM
Connie L. Nash said...

Yes, and I'm so glad you brought this up! There are several angles by which this title doesn't work and your perspective here is definitely one of the major concerns.
Another is that many who don't "get" the need over the years to end US violence say the "Peacemakers" who point out growing parallels to much older Crusades are "Crusading"! In fact a dear aunt of mine whom I hadn't seen in years asked me upon our reunion: Connie, are you still Crusading?

Also, I admit that in my passion for peace sometimes I do end up sounding like that kind of crusader perhaps my aunt is talking about and 'campaigns' themselves can sometimes be thought to be 'crusades'. I am currently seeking to 'deepen my work' - to Be the Change I want to see in the world, to tell more stories, to find more creative ways to Be Peace and attract peace rather than to lament, rail and to seek to force compliance in any way...

Still whether or not the US has tried to begin another huge and hellish Crusade (some do understandably believe they have) we can still say NO! (All of us world-wide!) NO -- NO more! Let's unite to STOP IT! There's no more place in history for any more Crusades to become any more full-blown and to continue and to end up causing any more clashing of cultures and religions and GREED FOR OIL, water and land for "look-out posts" for the same. Nor to be a bully over Nuclear "equipment"
with other nations when the US is the least trustworthy "safe-keeper" nation to handle the same for years to come.

How might we do this? Well, we citizens of the US must do all we can to stop more funding for our US wars & occupations by VOTE (see the reports of recent voting in House in recent posts here). We can stop being the largest exporter of arms in the world! Exporting arms which end up in the hands of all manner of terrorists beyond the few we keep naming as our "enemies" just doesn't make sense. By this standpoint aren't we perhaps the most hypocritical nation in the world as well whenever we say we are for human rights and a Beacon of Peace on the globe? We must stop our use of torture and assassinations and outsourcing of the same. And we are currently pressured by the world to end our support of Israel for ditto reason. And the guilty UN which ushered such a poorly-conceived plan as the Israel state should be behind us all the way.

How might we do this worldwide? Well, we do need more non-violent actions and events. Problem here is that sometimes these end up somewhat violent. Some groups unfortunately encourage rioting - random destruction. Sometimes within an entirely peaceful group there have been known to be "plants" whether among US contractors who don't want wars to end because that is how they make their living (like morticians who don't want dying to end? excuse the rough metaphor)...or some other group.

We do need more trans continental discussions and sites. We do benefit from brave journalists and all manner of writers and historians world-wide.

July 4, 2010 7:12 AM

Connie L. Nash said...

And I particularly love inter-faith discussion because I don't see how we're going to break the "stale-mate" of our positions without Spirit helping and because by ourselves united without Spirit we are just not nearly as strong as we may think we are.

Due to a peacemaker's own logic and/or due the misuse and abuse of religion for way to long and so many wars in the name of God -- some who want peace may not recognize any sort of possibility for God or Allah. Yet even for these there may be a growing appreciation for the spiritual. Many may appreciate Spirit and various ways to put the same...perhaps we might recognize The Collective Humanity among us all at our best, the Collective Soul, the Collective Ego and even Love as that which binds us together: The One Heart of us all (you may want to see that other site I started sometime:

SO, now we need to look into the most creative, life-sustaining ways. I have a few ideas...yet first, I'd love to hear your own.

Thanx so much for coming by and leaving your well-considered and quite appropriate comments! I am re-posting this article because there are now stronger winds from US to End the Warring abroad and so this post is still quite current. And hopefully these comments will also stay intact as well. So maybe we will get more visibility for this discussion and encourage others to come by as well? So check and post either place you may wish. I will leave this post here as well.

July 4, 2010 7:15 AM


  1. A-OK if you comment here yet perhaps placing your comment under the above post may help keep the dialogue more current?

  2. Hmm.....It's ok..we can have a discussion over here...

  3. See you among the comments under the post above for this topic!

  4. From Alan Grayson Representative in Florida, USA ... Plz support him

    We're making progress toward peace.

    Late last week, Congressional leaders refused to offer the House an up-or-down vote on $33 billion more for war. Why? Because they knew that they wouldn't get it.

    So instead, they engaged in arcane procedural maneuvering, resorting to a "self-executing rule" festooned with impenetrable amendments. When they have to go that low, you know something weird is happening.

    Or something beautiful. And something beautiful is happening - despite the procedural legerdemain, 168 members of Congress voted in favor of an amendment to require "a plan by April 4, 2011 on the safe orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.s. troops from Afghanistan, including a timeframe for the completion of the redeployment."

    In other words, there are now 168 votes for peace. More than ever before.

    50 more votes, and we're done.

    So keep watching your inbox, and answer the call. You might have to send an e-mail, sign a petition, or make a telephone call. Whatever it might be, make your voice heard, and this war will end.

    We can do it.


    Alan Grayson

    P.S. Here is a Roll Call of Honor, the ten Members of Congress who voted against the "self-executing rule," and in favor of all three amendments to end the war:


    And me.