The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Dan Balz's Take

The Rundown

New Month Brings New Focus on Afghanistan

By Ben Pershing
The calendar this morning brings a new month, and a renewed focus on the thorny problem of Afghanistan after August was concerned mostly with controversies of the domestic variety.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal says "the situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable" as he asks for more troops. McClatchy reports that McChrystal's request "is fueling growing tension" within the Obama administration, as "Vice President Joe Biden and other officials are increasingly anxious about how the American public would respond to sending additional troops." George Will, meanwhile writes a sharp, typically allusion-packed column this morning advocating that U.S. troops leave Afghanistan. Will recommends that "forces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent Special Forces units, concentrating on the porous 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters. Genius ... sometimes consists of knowing when to stop. Genius is not required to recognize that in Afghanistan, when means now, before more American valor ... is squandered."

Politico deems Will's conclusion big headline-worthy, pointing out that he is an "elite conservative columnist" while failing to note that Will has long been a reluctant warrior abroad, who also criticized the war in Iraq when nearly all of his fellow conservatives still backed the mission. Politico separately reports that "White House officials are increasingly worried liberal, anti-war Democrats will demand a premature end to the Afghanistan war," though many congressional liberals are already opposed to sending more troops to the country and there's no legislative vehicle coming in the near future that they could use to turn up the heat on the administration. Matthew Yglesias worries that Obama's current path "all but guarantees an increasingly polarized debate that increasingly pushes liberals into the antiwar camp.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:19 AM ET on Sep 1, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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The Obama administration must dismantle a pervasive extrajudicial targeting and punishment apparatus that is destroying the lives and livelihoods of many thousands of unjustly "targeted" Americans...

...a multi-agency coordinated war against citizens flagged by ideologically-driven bureaucrats for their politics, their lifestyles, or their racial or ethnic background.

This extra-legal Gestapo fields a citizen volunteer army that uses covertly placed GPS devices as well as cell phone transmissions to stalk and harass the unjustly targeted -- and no federal or local officials will investigate.

Many of the victims of this oppression maintain that they are assaulted by silent, injury- and illness-inducing microwave and laser "directed energy weapons," which are being proliferated nationwide by various federal agencies including the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice.

Pronouncements of a revived Civil Rights Division ring hollow unless and until this Bush-Cheney- spawned gulag is taken down and the rule of law is restored at the grassroots. For more on this domestic threat, see "Gestapo USA" at:


Posted by: scrivener50 | September 1, 2009 11:02 AM

Interesting that Will now believes war is so wrong with Obama in charge, but it was necessary to protect "freedom" when George Bush was calling the shots.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | September 1, 2009 8:51 AM

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