⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent


Today a cohort of progressive bloggers unveils a new effort against the planned 20,000-troop increase of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. A website called

Katharine Tate
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jan 12, 2009

Today a cohort of progressive bloggers unveils a new effort against the planned 20,000-troop increase of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. A website called GetAfghanistanRight, set up by bloggers at the Seminal and Brave New Films — and with the support of Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel — went live today, with the intent of blogging about the morass in Afghanistan this week. Its mission statement:

We oppose military escalation in Afghanistan and support non-military solutions to the conflict.

This was probably inevitable, for two reasons.

First, the actual strategy employed in Afghanistan is rather murky — as Gen. Petraeus’ remarks to the U.S. Institute of Peace on Thursday indicate — and, pending some strategy review from the Obama administration and U.S. Central Command, it’s by no means clear why sending additional troops stands a greater chance of yielding success. For that matter: what is success in Afghanistan? The fact that there isn’t an obvious answer is a sure indication of policy drift. This is something that isn’t just a matter of concern for bloggers. Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Penn.) has been warning about the dangers of a military-only escalation, as has Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.).

Second, for at least four years, there’s been something of a dodge taken by liberals when discussing Afghanistan. To speak broadly, liberals have endlessly invoked the mantra that the real center of the war on terrorism is in Afghanistan, rather than in Iraq. But that’s been a statement about Iraq, rather than Afghanistan. To put it a different way, liberals, I think it’s fair to say, have discussed Afghanistan not on its own terms, but as a cudgel against the Iraq war. That’s by no means monolithic. A bunch of progressives — the Democracy Arsenal crew, Matt Yglesias, I daresay myself — have written about Afghanistan (TWI sent me there last year) from that perspective of first-order-national security importance. But lots of us have been content to take the safe position of rallying to the more-popular cause of the Afghanistan war as a way of insulating ourselves to charges of excessive dovishness for opposing the Iraq war. Well, as he’s said all along, Barack Obama will be calling that bluff.

But here’s the other thing. It’s only the first day of GetAfghanistanRight, but there’s nothing persuasive up on the site right now indicating what getting Afghanistan right means. Does the blog favor, say, supporting Hamid Karzai’s efforts to negotiate some kind of peace deal with insurgent groups? It doesn’t say. (If so, how does it overcome some of the difficulties inherent in that approach?) Should the U.S. be scaling up its aid assistance to the Afghan people or scaling it back, so as not to “sink deeper into the Afghan quagmire,” as one of the blog’s affiliated posts puts it? More fundamentally, what sort of Afghanistan is and isn’t in the U.S. interest; what strategy makes sense to support that goal; and what are acceptable costs? Just because the architects of the war haven’t presented such a vision doesn’t mean that critics of it shouldn’t present their own. As it stands right now, the blog presents links that support the proposition that things are bad in Afghanistan. But that statement itself doesn’t imply anything about future policy: everyone agrees that things are bad in Afghanistan. And that’s why some of them, myself included, favor a troop increase.

For instance, this is the way GetAfghanistanRight frames its argument:

“With the economy continuing a severe decline and the international scene in turmoil, we absolutely cannot afford a hugely expensive troop increase in Afghanistan. The country desperately needs many of the reforms and programs proposed by the incoming Obama administration. But, an escalation in Afghanistan will cripple our ability to mitigate the effects of the recession while making that country less stable. The success of the President-elect’s broader agenda depends on his ability to get us out of President Bush’s wars,” Robert Greenwald said.

That’s a statement about American priorities, but it’s not a statement about the war in Afghanistan. Does it mean that the U.S. should get out of Afghanistan? Does it mean that the U.S. should simply not add troops to Afghanistan? Does it mean that the U.S. should change strategy — and if so, to what? Does getting Afghanistan right mean doing different things to reach some goal of a stable Afghanistan; or does getting Afghanistan right mean getting U.S. troops out?

Again, it’s only day one of GetAfghanistanRight. Perhaps — and presumably — these questions will be addressed as its first week of blogging gets underway. Indeed, if there’s going to be an effort to actually persuade people against the troop escalation that President-elect Obama campaigned on, they’ll need to be.

Katharine Tate | I’m a native of Massachusetts, where I earned bachelor's degrees in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and Sculpture from Brandeis University. I enjoy assisting and inspiring women in all aspects of their lives, and I consider myself a partner in their OB an GYN treatment. I particularly enjoy forming relationships with young women and assisting them in determining their healthcare needs and goals. I love to travel, create metal and fiber art, cook, and spend time outside. Also, I’m fluent in both German and American Sign Language.


EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management

At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from

EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules

The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’

In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work

E-Verify Mandate Begins Today

The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm

EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann  has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.

EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some

EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria

The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards

EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill

New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S

EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too

The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐