Friday, February 1, 2008

U.S. is loosing in Afghanistan Reports:

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2008; Page A18

NATO forces in Afghanistan are in a "strategic stalemate," as Taliban insurgents expand their control of sparsely populated areas and as the central government fails to carry out vital reforms and reconstruction, according to an independent assessment released yesterday by NATO's former commander.

"Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan," said the report by the Atlantic Council of the United States, chaired by retired Gen. James L. Jones, who until the summer of 2006 served as the supreme allied commander of NATO.

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"Afghanistan remains a failing state. It could become a failed state," warned the report, which called for "urgent action" to overhaul NATO strategy in coming weeks before an anticipated new offensive by Taliban insurgents in the spring.

The Atlantic Council report was one of two strongly worded assessments of the war in Afghanistan -- both led by Jones -- released at a Capitol Hill news conference yesterday. The second was by the Afghanistan Study Group, co-chaired by Jones and Thomas R. Pickering, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia and other nations.

Jones said several steps are needed to "regain the momentum that appears to have been lost" in Afghanistan: a comprehensive campaign plan that integrates security and reconstruction work; the appointment of a United Nations High Commissioner to coordinate international efforts; and a new regional approach to stabilizing Afghanistan that would include conferences with neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran.

Progress in Afghanistan "is under serious threat from resurgent violence, weakening international resolve, mounting regional challenges and a growing lack of confidence on the part of the Afghan people about the future direction of their country," said the report by the Afghanistan Study Group, created by the Center for the Study of the Presidency, which was also involved with the Iraq Study Group.

"The United States and the international community have tried to win the struggle in Afghanistan with too few military forces and insufficient economic aid," the report said. It highlighted the lack of a clear strategy needed to "fill the power vacuum outside Kabul and to counter the combined challenges of reconstituted Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a runaway opium economy, and the stark poverty faced by most Afghans."

The study group said the United States should "decouple" Iraq and Afghanistan to establish a clear distinction between the funding and programs underway in the countries, which, it said, face different problems. It also called on Washington to appoint a special envoy for Afghanistan.

Violence has risen 27 percent in Afghanistan in the past year, with a 39 percent increase in attacks in the nation's eastern portion -- where most U.S. troops operate -- and a 60 percent surge in the province of Helmand, where the Taliban resurgence has been strongest.

Suicide bombings rose to 140 in 2007, compared with five between 2001 and 2005, according to official figures. U.S. and other foreign troop losses -- as well as Afghan civilian casualties -- reached the highest level since the U.S.-led invasion overthrew the Taliban government in 2001.

Amid the rising violence, the Pentagon announced this month that it would deploy 3,200 Marines to Afghanistan to help counter the expected Taliban offensive.


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Ron Paul Interview after Debate

any thoughts?



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Ann Coulter endorses Hillary Clinton

Uber conservative Ann Coulter is endorsing Hillary Clinton and not John McCain. I don't know if that makes Hillary look bad to Democrats, or look good the undecided right swinging voters.


watch the video where Coulter explains...


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The Reports:

By Klaus Marre
Posted: 02/01/08 12:17 PM [ET] announced Friday that it will endorse Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president, adding to the momentum that Obama hopes will carry him past Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

The liberal group, with its 3.2 million members, is expected to provide a boost to the Illinois senator ahead of Super Tuesday. MoveOn said it has 1.7 million members in the states in which voters are going to the polls next week.

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“Our members’ endorsement of Sen. Obama is a clear call for a new America at this critical moment in history. Seven years of the disastrous policies of the Bush administration have left the country desperate for change,” said Eli Pariser, the group’s executive director. “We need a president who will bring to bear the strong leadership and vision required to end the war in Iraq, provide healthcare to every American, deal with our climate crisis, and restore America’s standing in the world.”

MoveOn voters favored Obama over Clinton by 70 percent to 30 percent.

“In just a few years, the members of MoveOn have once again demonstrated that real change comes not from the top down, but from the bottom up,” Obama said in accepting the endorsement. “From their principled opposition to the Iraq war – a war I also opposed from the start – to their strong support for a number of progressive causes, MoveOn shows what Americans can achieve when we come together in a grassroots movement for change.”

Pariser thanked all of the Democratic candidates and pointed out that the group would also strongly support Clinton should she win the nomination.


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Democratic Debate- Los Angeles

The last Democratic Debate before Super Tuesday went off with a pleasent surprise. It was a debate anticipated in quarrel between the publically argumentative Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The event was aired on CNN and Wolf Blitzer moderated. Both Obama and Clinton played to their audience with a debate of issues not personal attacks. The only problems of the night were so benign they don't even matter.

One of the best quotes of the night came from Hillary Clinton, "It took a Clinton to clean after the first Bush and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush." The audience roared in laughter.

Blitzer made numerous attempts to get the two riled up against each other but every attempt failed. They remained cordial and pleasant.

The questions of the night revolved around healthcare, immigration, and the war. Surprisingly both candidates had practically the same responses to everything despite some small legislative differences. When asked if the two of them would ever be up for being on the same ticket to the white house (i.e. and Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket) they both laughed and brushed it off as a possibility. I would say that is quite the dream team.

All in all the debate was uneventful. Hillary Clinton seemed to have won while Obama stuttered most of his answers in rhetoric. Whether or not it was enough of an impression to put either candidate ahead in the race for "Super Tuesday" is yet unknown. We'll just have to wait and see.

Watch the debate:


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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Candidate's Promise to Edwards

Former Senator John Edwards has yet to make an endorsement to either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton. Most assume his support would be with Obama considering their similarities in message and platform. Yet Senator Edwards promised his supporters that both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have promised and assured him that they will make ending poverty a central theme to both their campaigns and Presidency. That was John and Elizabeth's passion and the very thing they ran on in their own campaign. To read the public response issued by both senator Obama and Senater Clinton click the "read more" link below. They are both very sincere and honest.

Hillary Clinton's Statement:

John Edwards ended his campaign today in the
same way he started it - by standing with the
people who are too often left behind and nearly
always left out of our national debate.

John ran with compassion and conviction and
lifted this campaign with his deep concern for
the daily lives of the American people. That is
what this election is about - it's about our
people. And John is one of the greatest champions
the American people could ask for.

I wish John and Elizabeth all the best. They have
my great personal respect and gratitude. And I
know they will continue to fight passionately for
the country and the people they love so deeply.

Barack Obama's Statement:

John Edwards has spent a lifetime fighting to give
voice to the voiceless and hope to the struggling,
even when it wasn’t popular to do or covered in the
news. At a time when our politics is too focused
on who’s up and who’s down, he made a nation focus
again on who matters – the New Orleans child without
a home, the West Virginia miner without a job, the
families who live in that other America that is not
seen or heard or talked about by our leaders in
Washington. John and Elizabeth Edwards have always
believed deeply that we can change this – that two
Americas can become one, and that our country can
rally around this common purpose. So while his
campaign may end today, the cause of their lives
endures for all of us who still believe that we can
achieve that dream of one America.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards steps down

[IMAGE via]

Senator John Edwards (D-NC) dropped out of the Presidential race today. He has yet to make a formal resignation but will certainly do so today. Those closest to him say it has nothing to do with the health of his wife. After finishing a distant third in Florida he felt i t was the right time to step down so that "history can blaze its path." John Edwards has based his campaign on the platform of ending poverty. He called his two running-mates Clinton and Obama and asked them to continue his message. He will not endorse another candidate, and he will not run for vice president.

You will be missed Edwards, you are an inspiration!

For more information visit: (article)

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