This is kind of like a continuation of Bunny's post from Wednesday about the war in Afghanistan.
Phyllis Bennis (the same Phyllis Bennis that explained the Iran thing to us last year) is really fantastic at making complicated foreign policy issues easy to understand. So I was happy to find an article at the Institute for Policy Studies website where she breaks down the speech President Obama gave the other day on Afghanistan. Please read it!
For those of you who are too lazy to click a link, here is an excerpt:
"What Was Left Out [from President Obama's escalation speech]:
• The 18-month timeline references only the “beginning” of transferring U.S. troops out of Afghanistan; there was no reference to finishing transfer of all troops out of Afghanistan and ending the occupation. The words “exit” or “exit strategy” do not appear in the speech, and the word “withdraw” appears only in a reference to what the U.S. will NOT do.
• There was absolutely no explanation of how this year’s $30 billion additional costs for the 30,000 more troops, on top of the billions more already in the pipeline, would be paid for...
• The speech assumed Afghan support for the U.S. occupation, ignoring the massive evidence to the contrary...
• Obama paid no attention to the increasingly visible opposition to the Karzai government and the U.S. occupation from the majority Pashtun population — whose southern and eastern Afghanistan territory will be the operations center for the new troop escalation...
• There was no reference to the U.S.-paid mercenaries (both local and internationals, all paid through U.S. contractor corporations) in Afghanistan, whose numbers rose by 40% just between June and September, now totaling 104,101, and already outnumbering U.S. troops...
...Obama also did not acknowledge that about 30% of all U.S. casualties in the 8-year war in Afghanistan have occurred during the 11 months of his presidency. He did not remind us that the cost of this war, with the new escalation, will be about $100 billion a year, or $2 billion every week, or more than $11 million every hour. He didn’t tell us that the same one-year amount, $100 billion, could cover the cost of ALL of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals: clean water, health care, primary education and vaccinations for the people of every one of the poorest 21 countries in the world..."
The article's very good, I hope you all read it. It's rare for someone to carefully go point-by-point over an important speech and show exactly what is being said, and also what is not being said. Studying the difference between the two is a fun way to learn how politicians are very crafty at taking advantage of what the public doesn't know or understand in order to accomplish dishonesty, often even without lying! They practice this constantly and the public doesn't counter this with learning anything meaningful so of course the politicians win all the time.
In other news, I have been working on my own comic strip. It is called The Adventures of Super Bunny and Kim. The first one I drew was about how Bunny and I were at a store and I couldn't reach something on a shelf but Bunny's a lot bigger than me so she got it down for me. The hardest part for me is drawing the pictures.