Rep. Kissell Misses SCHIP Vote....but for a Good Reason

Today, Rep. Larry Kissell missed the final vote on the SCHIP bill that sent it to the president for his signature. Instead of remaining in Washington to vote on a bill that certainly had sufficient votes to pass, Larry attended the memorial service of a soldier from Ft. Bragg who died in Iraq.

He wasn't protesting the funding of SCHIP. Knowing the bill would pass without his vote, he chose to be with the family of a fallen soldier to offer whatever solace he could.


With all the dire news at home

let's not forget the war in Iraq. We still need to get our people back home where they belong.

Thanks, Larry for representing us in Washington and Ft. Bragg.

Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Get outta Iraq...fine. Go into Afghanistan,...yep

I doubt that there is much agreement on BlueNC about our efforts with regard to Afghanistan...going after the Taliban/al Quaeda and bin Laden. We're in dire straights economically in our country right now...and truth be known, that's true around the entire world. What a better time for the evil of our world to attack us? Now's not the time to let up on our efforts against terrorism. Have they let ourselves be lulled asleep? They still hate us...what they think we hold as our national religion...our prosperity...our freedom of choice in our lives.

We can't allow ourselves to get complacent. We must be proactive...on the offensive. If you think not, then we certainly stand on different sides here.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I guess you just haven't read much here at BlueNC

There's a lot of agreement about Afghanistan and probably most of us agree that waging war in Iraq was never about terrorism.

Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Uh, huh...but not all

There are a lot of folks here that agree with us getting out of Iraq. I'm proud of them for that. But, there are also a lot of posts I've seen that say that we shouldn't be getting involved in Afghanistan against the Taliban/al Qaeda. I can't go back to days/weeks ago to prove that...just remember them saying that.

I'm not being argumentative here...and yeah, I know I'm seen as argumentative by "some" here...but what I've said is what I think and I think it's the best course of action.

We can't be mamby-pamby with regard to terrorism...or come to the conclusion it no longer exists.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Here you go. I think we should get out of Afghanistan.

Unless we want to be like all the other empires that went down in flames trying to win in that country.

Since we didn't get bin Laden when we had the opportunity in the mountains of Tora Bora, we missed that boat for good. He's not in that country anymore and he has a deep cloak of protection around him now.

Terrorism can't be beaten with large numbers of troops, it has to be taken down with "intelligence" and there seems to be a lack of that anywhere you look these days.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Thanks for that loftT

You've proven my point about poster's positions on Afghanistan/the Taliban/al Quaeda.

'Preciate that.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

You're welcome but...

What about the other points I made in the post? What's your rationale for staying in a place that is never going to be a poster child for Democracy.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

I do understand the "democracy" issue

I'm not an advocate of our country trying to tell other countries how they should be governed. I mean, we've failed miserably in that regard. But, in some countries...ages ago like Germany and Japan and so forth...we've done some good there, of course. But, no, that's not what I'm advocating here. I am an advocate for proactively going after those that have the belief that America is evil and should be destroyed. Al Queda has made a gazillion statements of that nature. They're our enemy. They've attacked us a number of times...or at least folks that believe as they do. The USS Cole, both WTC attacks, numerous American embassies etc.

It's something we need to make sure we're vigilant on.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I agree that vigilence is paramount

but how does amassing troops in Afghanistan further that goal? We have been bogged down trying to police places that do not have a capability to conform.

The proactive tactics are wrong as well. You can't attack a place because you THINK some group within their borders is planning something. How would you take it if America were attacked because some independent bunch of nut-jobs were trying to hatch some scheme in another country?

We have to be smarter about how we fight. Al-Qaeda is a fluid entity. It gathers strength as we make missteps in our tactics. Don't you think we have to become more savvy to defeat them?

Progressives are the true conservatives. you've got the answer then?

What's your grand plan then to keep us safe?

Of course we have to become more savvy...c'mon, that's such a condescending question.

If you don't think we should go where they're at and get at them...eliminate them when and if we can...I'm glad you're not making the decisions.

But, hey, sounds like you've got a lot of background on this kind of thing so I'm gonna at least listen to your presentation.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I didn't say we shouldn't eliminate them

but how does plopping a bunch of troops in the middle of a desert do that? That's what I'm TRYING to get you to understand.

I don't have the answer but I can tell you as soon after 9/11 as Bush started beating the war drums, I knew we had taken the wrong road and I haven't seen us take the right one yet.

It was NOT a condescending question, it's the essence of my point. Savvy tactics might look something like paying covert spies to infiltrate cells or offering large bounties for key players. I can't even imagine some of the things the CIA does but it just seems to me that this is the way to take out an operation like al-Qaeda, not spending BILLIONS of American dollars for nothing and that's what we've achieved so far...nothing.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Nicely put

But, that's just all it is, my friend. You and I don't know enough about this to argue it. I feel that we have to do whatever is necessary to take out the element in the world that would/could attack us/create untold disaster against us as a nation.

Neither of us knows what that will take.

And, I'm thinkin' you know that. Arguing it to see who can make the best point using the best words and such means squat, actually.

The best thinking is independent thinking.


I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing but I guess you are so...whatever.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

I'm not "arguing" in the first place

I'm making are as well.

Guess you don't have any more points.


And as for "whatever"....backatcha.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Al Qaeda fluidity

This brings up something I wish people would remember. Folks keep saying how Bush kept us safe and you can't disagree with that. Well, after the first al Qaeda bombing of the twin towers guess how long Osama bin Laden waited before he attacked them again? Almost 9 years.

So, guess what? All this crap that Bush has done, was probably for not. Osama bin Laden has shown that he is patient, that he can wait us out. He isn't "due" to attack us for another year or so.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

That's a good point, Robert.

When we knew bin Laden was in Tora Bora, we should have called in air strikes and taken him out.

And the billions spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should have been spent on making our ports and borders more secure against terrorists. We should have been investing in human intelligence instead of human aggression. That way, the next time terrorists want to attack us on our own soil, they'd have a much harder time doing it.

But we didn't.

So now, we've made messes in Iraq and Afghanistan unimaginable to those of us who have not been there. We need to clean up our messes and bring our soldiers, particularly national guard troops, home.

One person makes your point, Smitty?

Sorry...but that is beyond stupid. We have thousands of members here and one person doesn't prove your point.

If you continue to make sweeping, disparaging remarks about the writer's and readers here you will be asked to leave and your account will be blocked. I'm tired of it.

Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Smitty to Wed in Afganistan and to bring peace?

Get outta Iraq...fine. Go into Afghanistan,...yep

I doubt that there is much agreement on BlueNC about our efforts with regard to Afghanistan...going after the Taliban/al Quaeda and bin Laden. We're in dire straights economically in our country right now...and truth be known, that's true around the entire world. What a better time for the evil of our world to attack us? Now's not the time to let up on our efforts against terrorism. Have they let ourselves be lulled asleep? They still hate us...what they think we hold as our national religion...our prosperity...our freedom of choice in our lives.

We can't allow ourselves to get complacent. We must be proactive...on the offensive. If you think not, then we certainly stand on different sides here.*Smitty

Smitty! You are just the man to bring peace to Afghanistan, since Alexander The Great did it 2400 years ago when he marry Roxanne the tribal King ugly daughter. You have to remember that Big Al didn't care about Roxanne being ugly since he was Gay.

I have arrange for you to marry to Roxanne 45 th remove cousin " Sweet Lips" Boyanne this coming year in a piss filled creek down from the Taliban Village Bin in Afghanistan. There will be many important guests coming to the wedding, including 45 double hump back train transgender circus Camels, and the whole San Francisco Bathhouse Distict. Sounds Exciting Smitty, but you are bringing peace to are the wife in this arrangment for peace....Before you head to the Wedding, stop by Jiffy lube and get a brokenback mountain Republician lube job.....

Oh, oh...the dog got loose

Everyone give the dog Kudos....he's trashing Smitty.


Got a lucid post for us?

Hope so...haven't seen one lately.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Smitty fighting off the Barbarian Hord in AFG from the front

Everyone give the dog Kudos....he's trashing Smitty.


Got a lucid post for us?*Smitty

Not really Smitty! Guess what? The Wedding is off and President Obama has drafted you into the 1 st Brokenback Montain Ranger Battalion and you will be parachuted into Southern Pakastin with only a watergun to put down a rebellion between various Muslin Tribes who believe you are one of the 70 virgins promise by the Great Architect God " Bush"2........Has it ever occured to you that lucid comes from the term " Retarded Palinism Republicans."

Somebody catch that dog !!

He/she got loose and is running rampant !!!!!!!!! go, dog.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Ms. Betsy...are we having fun yet?

Tee hee.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Afghanistan: Losing a No-Win War


Afghanistan: Losing a No-Win War
Thursday 05 February 2009
by: Steve Weissman, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

"Our greatest military challenge right now is Afghanistan," said Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his recent testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. But, he offered something less than a rousing defense of the new Afghan plan that he and Gen. David Petraeus will formally give President Obama. As one pundit put it, Gates's call to arms sounded more like "pre-emptive CYA."

Gates and Petraeus, chief of Central Command, want to commit as many as 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan by summer. But Gates was "deeply skeptical" about sending any more than that in the future, setting a ceiling that could later come back to haunt him.

Gates said he favored "modest" and "realistic" objectives, notably preventing the Taliban from ruling the country and providing a safe haven for al-Qaeda. He pointedly rejected any major nation-building, democratization efforts, or economic and social development. "If we set ourselves the objective of creating some sort of central Asian Valhalla over there, we will lose, because nobody in the world has that kind of time, patience and money," he declared.

He also talked of the need to put "an Afghan face on this war" by training as many as 50,000 more soldiers for the Afghan National Army, bringing the total to 130,000. Without a strong local force out in front, Gates worried that the "Afghans [will] come to see us as the problem, not the solution, and then we are lost." We would, he said, "go the way of every other foreign army that's ever been in Afghanistan."

All this from the man George W. Bush appointed to run the Pentagon. How far we've come from the unrestrained fantasies of the neocons, or the neo-liberal call from candidate Obama to bring all elements of American power, soft and hard, to bear on Afghanistan. If, as many observers believe, no plan will produce an American victory in "the graveyard of empires," the less treasure and fewer troops Washington commits, the easier we will find it to walk away when good sense finally prevails.

Why will the new plan fail? Let me count the ways.

1. How long? Gates says it will be "a long slog," while Petraeus repeats what he said in 2005, that "Afghanistan would be the longest campaign in the so-called 'long war.'" In other words, our top military minds have no idea how long the war might take. They are clueless and the war they propose will be endless. How long will the American public accept that, especially at a time when the billions of dollars a month could better be spent at home?

2. How many? The number - 30,000 more troops "for the next few years" - came from Gen. David McKiernan, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. At best, his proposal seems a bad compromise between the number of troops the Pentagon has available and the number of troops that might be needed.

Afghanistan has a land area 50% larger than Iraq and a slightly larger population of 30 million. According to counter-insurgency strategists, success requires some 20 counter-insurgents for every 1,000 people, which would be 600,000 troops. Cut that to 400,000 if you're feeling lucky. With the new total of 62,000 US troops and the hoped-for 130,000 Afghan soldiers, NATO and other allies would have to provide over 200,000 troops to fill the gap. No way, not even close, no matter how charming Barack Obama might be.

3. Exit strategy? Gates, Petraeus, and Obama all say that there will have to be "regional negotiations" with India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China and "a political settlement" among the Afghans themselves. But, as yet, no one has suggested any convincing diplomatic and political outcome that would let the troops come home. In other words, we have no exit strategy.

4. Afghan allies? No doubt, General Petraeus and his subordinates can buy the temporary support of tribal chiefs and their militias, as they did with the Sunni Awakening Councils in Iraq. Petraeus can similarly win over various Taliban chiefs for various periods of time. But, in Afghanistan, dividing is not conquering. Just the opposite. It will force US and allied troops to remain in the country paying off their clients, while destroying any chance of building a strong national authority or rooting out the endemic corruption that plagues the country.

5. Hamid Karzai? Hand-picked by the CIA, Kharzai has never been more than "the mayor of Kabul," and his associates are highly corrupt, including his half-brother who has been accused of smuggling drugs in Kandahar. Many on Team Obama talk of withdrawing support from Karzai in Afghanistan's "democratic elections" this year, while a few pundits are recalling what the Kennedy administration did to our man Diem in Saigon.

I could go on, but it all boils down to the one lesson of Vietnam that Robert Gates and his Pentagon brass do not want to accept - that Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis and other people in Asia, Africa and Latin America will no longer accept the United States and Europe occupying and running their countries. Counter-insurgency can prolong the pain, but it will never overcome the anti-colonial dynamic, as the British Empire, the French Empire and others all learned before us.

A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France.

If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.

Harriet Tubman (1822 – 1913)

Please refrain from wholesale copy/paste

of someone else's material. Even with permission it is not appropriate in the comment section. Thanks.

Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Kissell is a good man

I'm so glad that you took up his cause SD. I'll bet there are many, many hard working men and women in his district that will be represented now that weren't under Hayes' representation.

Yes, he is a good man, Mo

So, so happy he's in Washington.

Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Can we "win" a "war" in Afghanistan? One expert opinion says "no

From Reuters, 10/5/08

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's commander in Afghanistan has said the war against the Taliban cannot be won, the Sunday Times reported.

It quoted Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith as saying in an interview that if the Taliban were willing to talk, then that might be "precisely the sort of progress" needed to end the insurgency.

"We're not going to win this war. It's about reducing it to a manageable level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat and can be managed by the Afghan army," he said.

Why do they hate us?

...A question that has been asked for very long period of time (the earliest time I am aware of was when President Eisenhower asked Adlai Stevenson the question; in 1956).

That there are extreme groups of people who seek to destroy us is clear, the why-they-hate answer less so.

If you believe as many do that those that hate us, do so because they hate our way of life, our freedom, our wealth, our democracy. That is, they hate us because of who we are. If that is true then I submit that there is but one way forward and that way rides the gears of war all the way to the end.

If on the other hand you believe that our government's actions over the past century or so have helped create the antithesis against us, then the way forward may still be war, but also may not be.

Having lived in many countries in my long and nomadic life, I personally feel that the hatred felt by many countries is directed toward our government's action(s) and not against us, the people who live here and call the USA home. Nearly all the people I met admire and like Americans. Just my opinion.

By the way, here is part of a speech given my Mr Stevenson in 1952:

"When the tumult and the shouting die, when the bands are gone and the lights are dimmed, there is the stark reality of responsibility in an hour of history haunted with those gaunt, grim specters of strife, dissension, and materialism at home, and ruthless, inscrutable, and hostile power abroad. The ordeal of the twentieth century – the bloodiest, most turbulent age of the Christian era – is far from over. Sacrifice, patience, understanding, and implacable purpose may be our lot for years to come. … Let’s talk sense to the American people! Let’s tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains, that we are now on the eve of great decisions."


There cannot fail to be more kinds of things, as nature grows further disclosed. - Sir Francis Bacon

Well said.

In examining what others think about us, it's helpful to begin by looking in the mirror. A full-length mirror with a bright light. And no clothes to hide behind.