Congress Passes Stripped-Down War-Funding Bill

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

Yesterday evening, the House passed a stripped-down supplemental war funding bill, providing the administration with $59 billion for continuing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama is expected to sign the bill today. The vote was 308 to 114, with 148 Democrats and 160 Republicans in support and 102 Democrats and 12 Republicans in opposition.

The funding comes amid the leak of tens of thousands of classified military documents casting doubt on the Obama administration’s Afghanistan strategy, showing Pakistan in support of the Taliban and describing problems with the civilian surge. President Obama told reporters yesterday, “While I’m concerned about the disclosure of sensitive information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardize individuals or operations, the fact is these documents don’t reveal any issues that haven’t already informed our public debate on Afghanistan.” But the leak has left many on the Hill wondering just what that $59 billion will do. Anti-war members Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) called again for returning military personnel from Pakistan.

Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.), who authored a prior version of the provision, voted no. “I have the obligation to bring this [funding bill] before the House to allow the institution to work its will,” he said. “But I also have the obligation to my conscience to indicate, by my individual vote, my profound skepticism that this action will accomplish much more than to serve as a recruiting incentive for those who most want to do us ill.”

The war funding comes none too soon for the Pentagon, which expected the money in May or June and said it might have to curtail troops’ salaries if the funds did not materialize. The funds will keep 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan until December.

A prior House version of the bill contained billions in domestic spending — including $10 billion for states to keep teachers employed, $1 billion for summer jobs programs and $700 million for U.S.-Mexico border security. The version of the bill now due to become law includes emergency funds for Haiti, but no domestic spending.

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hem raj jain
Comment posted July 29, 2010 @ 2:35 am

Sub:- Afghanistan needs changed policy from USA

The main problem of America is that (i)-It is expert in developing and maintaining martial and economical power but it is big zero in political power. That is why USA thus far has been a failure in developing a mechanism of enforcing human rights world over through UN – which is situated on the soil of USA, in New York and (ii)- It has misconceived notions about sovereignty (of all the nations on the map of the world) where human rights are considered the internal matter of these so called sovereign nations especially of developing world (including 8 SAARC member countries) who do not have resources and competence to defend their sovereignty and keep on violating human rights of their citizens blatantly.
Therefore USA should not overestimate the capabilities of the people and government of Afghanistan or for that matter of Pakistan or of other member countries of SAARC and instead declare that USA (and its allies) are not leaving Afghanistan (and should ask all other countries including Pakistan and other SAARC members to leave and stay away from Afghanistan)
For this, first and foremost, USA should shed its exclusionist mindset (may be being a water locked country it wants to remain aloof and unconcerned about world affairs, though economically hence inextricably linked to the world) and should plan to stay in Afghanistan for such time to come till a mechanism for the enforcement of human rights is installed fully in Afghanistan (with an intent to emulate such mechanism in other countries too where-ever protection to or breeding of terrorism or violations of human right assumes alarming proportions in these so called sovereign countries whose egos about their sovereignty has overgrown without any justification.

USA is not trying to understand a simple fact that USA had sent a message to international community that USA is a victim country of 9/11 attack in New York by al-Qaeda who was operating from Afghanistan with the condone (and even the complicity) of the then Afghan government and that was the reason that UN in 2001 approved the US lead Afghanistan war in view of 9/11.

When any victim country wages a war against any offending country, the victim country is entitled as per international law to not only recover war expenses but also reasonable reparations from offending country. It is not merely the financial expenses which a victim country bears but its soldiers also lay down their lives and undergo hardship in addition to entire victim country bearing in so many ways the brunt of war (therefore reparation is also justified in addition to expenses of the war).

But the way USA is not recovering war expenses (what to talk of reparation) from the Government of Afghanistan and on the contrary the way spending lot of money in Afghanistan (and even in Pakistan for Afghanistan) , it is sending an obvious & damaging message to international community that the victim country of 9/11 is not USA but Afghanistan & Pakistan.

One more thing US government is not trying to understand is that the war expenses (and even some reasonable reparation) will not only be in order in view of present problems in US economy but it will also put pressure on Afghanistan government to send the US troops back in a respectful and meaningful manner (where Afghanistan government will see to it that attacks of type of 9/11 does not originate in future from the soil of Afghanistan).

Despite contrary claims of US Govt, USA still remains vulnerable against terrorist attack as is evident also from post 9/11 failed terrorist attack on May 1, 2010 at Times Square in NYC. Therefore unless US Govt. (by measures like said war expenses and reasonable reparations) puts the burden (of ensuring no-terrorist attack in USA in future) on the Govts. of the countries from whose soil these terrorist attacks are masterminded and conducted, the protection of US cities and installations against such terrorist attacks will not be effective.

Yours truly

Hem Raj Jain

Apt # 103, Jaycee Ct 235, South Ridge Mankato, MN-56001

Ph: 612-202-4053


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