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« GOTCHA: Carl Paladino Is A Racist: Tea Party NY Gov Candidate's E-Mails Exposed -- Racism, Porn, Bestiality | Main | Daily Show: Fox Biz Anchor Liz Claman With Jon Stewart »
Monday
Apr122010

Afghanistan: The Permanent War (Bill Moyers With Colonel Andrew Bacevich -- Video & Transcript)

Transcript, broadcast, and web exclusive video are all available at the link below:

Watch Now on PBS  >>

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Exceptional discussion from Friday night's Bill Moyers Journal.

Welcome to the Journal. The war in Afghanistan has claimed more than one thousand American lives and in the last two years alone the lives of more than four thousand Afghan civilians. It's costing American taxpayers over three-and-a-half billion dollars every month—a total of some $264 billion so far. But for all that, in the words of one policy analyst quoted by the New York Times this week, "there are no better angels about to descend on Afghanistan."

The news from that torturous battleground continues to dismay, discourage and enrage. America's designated driver there, Hamid Karzai, is proving increasingly unstable behind the wheel. The United States put Karzai in power and our soldiers have been fighting and dying on his behalf ever since. Despite widespread corrupton in his government. Now he's making threats against the western coalition that is shedding blood and treasure on his behalf.

Even more disturbing,for the moment, are the civilian deaths from nighttime raids andaerial bombings by American and other NATO troops. Just this week, we learned of an apparent cover-up following a Special Forces raid in February that killed five civilians, including three women, two of whom were pregnant. It's believed bullets were gouged from the women's bodies to conceal evidence of American involvement.

This slaughter of innocents has led the pro-American "Economist" magazine to question whether ourentire effort in Afghanistan" has been nothing but a meaningless exercise of misguided violence."

With me is a man with first-hand experience of war. Andrew Bacevich served 23 years, some of them in Vietnam, before retiring from the Army. He's now professor of history and international relations at Boston University. Just this week he was at a US Army War College symposium on the highly pertinent question, "How do we know when a war is over?" His book, "The Limits of Power," was a best-seller and his latest, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," comes out this summer. Andrew Bacevich, welcome back to the Journal.

Bacevich quote:

  • "One of the most interesting and perplexing things that's happened in the past three, four years is that in many respects, the officer corps itself has given up on the idea of military victory... they say that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, that we will not win a military victory, that the only solution to be gained - if there is one - is through bringing to success this project of armed nation-building. What makes that interesting to a military historian of my Vietnam generation is that the collective purpose of the officer corps after Vietnam, this humiliation that we had experienced, was to demonstrate that war works, that war could be purposeful, that out of collision on the battlefield would come decision [and] victory... The officer corps has, I think, unwittingly forfeited its claim to providing a unique and important service to American society. Why, if indeed the purpose of the exercise in Afghanistan is - to put it crudely - drag this country into the modern world, why put a four-star general in charge of that? Why not put a successful mayor of a big city? Why not put a legion of social reformers? Because the war in Afghanistan is not a war as the American military traditionally conceives of war."

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Guest Biography:

Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of international relations and history at Boston University. A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, he received his Ph. D. in American diplomatic history from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University in 1998, he taught at West Point and at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Bacevich is the author of THE LIMITS OF POWER: AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM (2008). His previous books include AMERICAN EMPIRE: THE REALITIES AND CONSEQUENCES OF U. S. DIPLOMACY (2002), THE IMPERIAL TENSE: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF AMERICAN EMPIRE (2003, editor), THE NEW AMERICAN MILITARISM: HOW AMERICANS ARE SEDUCED BY WAR (2005), and THE LONG WAR: A NEW HISTORY OF US NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY SINCE WORLD WAR II (2007, editor).

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Nine years after America invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, American and NATO troops remain involved in heavy fighting. One year ago, President Barack Obama committed additional troops to the war while vowing to begin reducing levels in 2011. Though Obama revised "success" from creating a democratic Afghanistan to a stable one, grim news continues to emerge from Afghanistan. Andrew Bacevich, a professor at Boston University and former U.S. Army Colonel, thinks that even President Obama's pessimistic predictions for the country are too optimistic.

Bacevich joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to provide history and context to the news reports and explain why he believes America needs to rethink its foreign policy completely.

 

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Reader Comments (56)

Late spring snow in Tahoe? Really.
Apr 20, 2010 at 1:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterZarathustra
"RLR/AB is just trying to get a rise out of you by saying stupid things. I was trying to help you see clearly."

He did not have a rise out of me, hone, focus, and utilize a tight OODA loop.

I also noted the contrary statements, "I do support the Taliban, I don't, I do !!!", There was a group in Cincinnati who were calling themselves the Taliband, they are currently cooling their heels on government time. They to believed in their "noble cause", robbing, raping, slinging dope, and stealing social security checks...

For future reference Gobie, smack and dog food are street names for certain illicit narcotics, in case that confused you.
Apr 20, 2010 at 5:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Also know as heroin LOL Lets see here RR its ok to dye for YOUR god and virgins but when the zionist do it .Then
it become murder ?? I think what you need is real life diversity training .Tell you what stop by and i will take you under
my wing. Ah never mind your mom wouldnt let you out that late.I know hundreds of us men who join just to kill anyone
without a gun .You sir are a fucking IDIOT .Go die proud with all your brave Man dress wearing hand ass wiping
dirty people.Another thing how about we stop aid to all the countries who we impose our will on and murder.
It would save enough to stop paying income tax .But that would stop you from shopping at wallyworld for a new
man dress.


BTW you a big pork eater.
Apr 20, 2010 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJTS
Hey AB/RLR.
Apr 20, 2010 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterZarathustra
Looks like RLR left the building z thruster.
Apr 22, 2010 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJTS
JTS...RLR is in high school. Well that explanes it then. I dident know we had a little kid on here with a lap top. Would that mean Ken is under 20 too.....? If you stand back and watch, wile you get a shit load of "Real Info" from Gomps, I can see 2-3 little boys

trying to play in the "Mans World of Life" ? I guess it flew right over my head, "Da Dar" thier acting like little high school kids. They are just high school kids. We all thought we could hang with the big boys, get shot 9 times and heal up in 3-4 mins.

I hate to say it, but this dumbing down our kids, is working just like the goverment had planed. Just spam em with nonsence & bullshit. With nothing to back it up, then who wants to stand behind the mauner-spreader...........................?

RLR dose have points & views, to bad he dont get it..? & Yes, sometimes its fun getting back at a Empty-Talking-Head, with real info to back him up with real facts.

Plus "Z", the more Gomps fires back with real truth, the more this ol boy learns, thats a Dam good thing.
Aug 10, 2010 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered Commentertexasdar

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