The Obscenity of War (With Videos)

by Amy Goodman
Published: Mar. 30, 2010 – TruthDig

President Barack Obama has just returned from his first trip as commander in chief to Afghanistan. The U.S.-led invasion and occupation of that country are now in their ninth year, amid increasing comparisons to Vietnam.

Daniel Ellsberg, whom Henry Kissinger once called “the most dangerous man in America,” leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg, who was a top Pentagon analyst, photocopied this secret, 7,000-page history of the U.S. role in Vietnam and released it to the press, helping to end the Vietnam War.

“President Obama is taking every symbolic step he can to nominate this as Obama’s war,” Ellsberg told me recently. He cites the “Eikenberry memos,” written by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, which were leaked, then printed last January by The New York Times.

Ellsberg said: “Eikenberry’s cables read like a summary of the Pentagon Papers of Afghanistan. … Just change the place names from ‘Saigon’ to ‘Kabul’ … and they read almost exactly the same.”

The Eikenberry memos recommend policies opposite those of Gens. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal, who advocated for the surge and a counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan. Eikenberry wrote that President Hamid Karzai is “not an adequate strategic partner,” and that “sending additional forces will delay the day when Afghans will take over, and make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring our people home on a reasonable timetable.” Petraeus and McChrystal prevailed. The military will launch a major campaign in June in Afghanistan’s second-largest city, Kandahar. Meanwhile, with shocking candor, McChrystal said in a video conference this week, regarding the number of civilians killed by the U.S. military, “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.” U.S. troop fatalities, meanwhile, are occurring now at twice the rate of one year ago.

Daniel Ellsberg interview at Democracy Now (Part 1/2)

Daniel Ellsberg interview at Democracy Now (Part 2/2)

Videos added by NWO Observer

Tavis Smiley has a PBS special this week on one of the most powerful, and overlooked, speeches given by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The address was made on April 4, 1967, exactly one year to the day before King was assassinated. The civil rights leader titled his speech “Beyond Vietnam,” and controversially called the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

The press vilified King. Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi.” Smiley told me: “Most Americans, I think, know the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Some Americans know the ‘Mountaintop’ speech given the night before he was assassinated in Memphis. But most Americans do not know this ‘Beyond Vietnam’ speech.” Smiley added, “If you replace the words Iraq for Vietnam, Afghanistan for Vietnam, Pakistan for Vietnam, this speech is so relevant today.”

Like King, Obama is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In his acceptance speech, Obama mentioned King six times, yet defended his war in Afghanistan. Princeton University professor Cornel West, interviewed by Smiley, said of Obama’s Nobel speech, “It upset me when I heard my dear brother Barack Obama criticize Martin on the global stage, saying that Martin Luther King Jr.‘s insights were not useful for a commander in chief, because evil exists, as if Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t know about evil.”

In early March, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, offered a resolution to end the war in Afghanistan, saying: “We now have about 1,000 U.S. troops who have perished in the conflict. We have many innocent civilians who have lost their lives. We have a corrupt central government in Afghanistan that is basically stealing U.S. tax dollars.” The resolution was defeated by a vote of 356-65. A Washington Post poll of 1,000 people released this week found that President Obama enjoys a 53 percent approval rating on his handling of the war in Afghanistan.

The public is unlikely to oppose something that gets less and less coverage. While the press is focused on the salacious details of Republican National Committee spending on lavish trips, especially one outing to a Los Angeles strip club, the cost to the U.S. taxpayer for the war in Afghanistan is estimated now to be more than $260 billion. The cost in lives lost, in people maimed, is incalculable. The real obscenity is war. Ellsberg hopes that the Eikenberry memos will be just the first of many leaks, and that a new wave of Pentagon Papers will educate the public about the urgent need to end Obama’s war.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.




The Pentagon Budget: Largest Ever and Growing

How many Afghans will die in Obama’s war?

The Audacity of Ethnic Cleansing: Obama’s plan for Afghanistan

Calculating Life for a Dying Empire

VIDEO – John Pilger: Obama & Empire: Power, Illusion & America’s Last Taboo

“Why we fight”: The Nature of Modern Imperialism

VIDEO – Noam Chomsky: A Super Power Of Near Demonic Dimensions

VIDEO – Timeline: Afghanistan: John Rees on the history of imperial intervention and resistance

Afghanistan: Eight Years and Counting

DOCUMENTARY – VIETNAM, The Last Battle by John Pilger (1995)

The Project for the New American Century

2 Comments on “The Obscenity of War (With Videos)”

  1. Dwight Baker says:

    Nazi like goose step rationale keeps our
    Congress and Senate in fear filled Apprehension!
    By Dwight Baker
    April 1, 2010

    Eagles Eye View Aiming at Issues for We the People Advocates

    Our take on

    True words were spoken in the video and the truth in printed words was presented here for us to read. NOW WHAT WILL We the People do?

    Mr. Ellsberg said our Congress could stop the Afghanistan war and other wars by simply stopping the funding. Yet he went on to say, “Will they?”

    Thus We believe The Nazi like goose step rationale is the thing We see — when viewing our Congress and Senate inside the Beltway of DC. Thus do We believe that the vote for NO MORE MONEY for Wars can come about? NO We do not? Except if one major event comes along. And that major event would be the Rule of Law is fully restored in Washington DC the first of all places in America and major arrest ensues and the three biggest and most feared warlords were locked safely away from their sleazy crime ridden proponents behind bars.

    At this time Amy Goodman and other progressive are presenting to us facts about the truth but when hearing some of the Few in the Many must become mature and step forward with an agreement for a solidified plan to take back control of our Federal Government for a bit of time and stop the funding for more wars — among other things that must be done along those same lines. The overall growth of this want to be Empire Building called to be done by David Rockefeller must be brought to a halt. Granddad J.D Rockefeller is in his grave so he will never know that David failed to become King of the New World Order as had been the plans laid out early in the 1900’s.

    Thus as We the Few in the Many must agree to Yes! We are in a War — a Legal War of Words. Unless we accept that and take that too the many ‘That do not have a clue what to do’ We will lose and the tyrants will win. Yet that losing condition is not in the plans of providence. So We best Wake Up Stand Up and Shout Out STOP ALL THE WARS.

    And that loss will be on us the Few in the Many not them. But with our voices united we can take back control of our government because we have the Constitution and Bill of Rights to stand on as ‘One Communed Sovereign People United’.

    We the People are not at war with anyone other than David Rockefeller and his old faithful followers found in Zbigniew Brzezinski Henry Kissinger and the many others that have a hard hand and heavy swing in Politics and war making around in our earth.

    Now with those three main ones behind bars the entire NWO agenda would fade away and quickly.

    A wake up call has been sent out to our Billionaires to Chip in Now or be sent packing being Shipped out later on, by denying us the financial aid to Take Back Control of our Federal Government that has proven time and again to be in The Nazi like goose step rationale with the tyrants that are now in control.

    Some of our Billionaires have drunk from that putrid well of world dominion. And have believed to think wrong. But many of our Billionaires are not funded by the acts of war and those that need the worlds population to grow in all measures will eventually come to their common sense and conscience reasoning’s and will come along with the billions that is needed to bring about the Legal Citizenry Oversight of the legal process and the enforcement of the Rule of Law first and foremost in our Federal Capitol Washington DC.

    Think about the day soon to come when We all can see David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger behind bars facing the hangman noose if convicted of high crimes and treason against US, We the People of the United States of America.

    QUESTIONS and COMMENTS contact

  2. Annie Ladysmith says:

    Where did they ever find the rock that creepy guy Potok was squirming under? Who got a stick and picked it up to put it in an insect jar? Whose idea was it to dress it up in a suit with a tie? For the love of God and country PLEEEASE throw it back in the swamp!

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