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Rep. Delahunt's Forum on Not Funding Afghan War Escalation

By David Swanson

On Sunday, April 11, 2010, Congressman Bill Delahunt hosted a public forum in Falmouth, Mass., on the question of whether or not he should vote for another $33 billion to escalate war in Afghanistan.  Delahunt was honoring a commitment he had made to Cape Codders for Peace and Justice following a sit-in in his office. 

Two pro- and two anti-war speakers were scheduled to speak.  But Delahunt put out a press release announcing only the two pro-war speakers, and the day before the event disinvited one of the anti-war speakers, Chris Hellman, and communicated that neither of them would be included.  After a flurry of Emails and phone calls made clear that this new plan would not be accepted easily, the speakers were re-invited.

Prior to the event, Delahunt said that he would not be announcing his decision that day, but that he would announce it at least 10 days before the vote.  He said that he craved the attention that comes from not announcing how you will vote, as if the attention he gets matters more than the lives he funds the taking of.  One of Delahunt's staffers, also chatting prior to the event, said that the Congressman had worried about making his recent announcement of his coming retirement, because he had thought that he would get less attention and the phone would ring less if he were a lame duck, but that happily he gets even more attention now.  And you thought our elected officials governed for the greater human good out of selfless devotion? 

In Delahunt's opening remarks (see video), he said that he would be announcing his decision on the war supplemental vote "in the not too distant future and far in advance of the actual vote."  Later, during the question and answer session, someone invited the congressman to an event on May 3rd and he said that he would probably have voted by then.

I was the first panelist to speak on Sunday, and I had time to present some short selections of my complete remarks, which the congressman told me he had read:

Next to speak was Chris Hellman, communications liason for the National Priorities Project, who focused on the question of financial costs of the war in Afghanistan:

Thomas Barfield and Joe Wippl were the pro-war speakers, but Wipple -- as it turned out -- largely opposed the war.  Could the congressman not find anyone who was more of a war supporter?  Or did he prefer to have Wippl on the panel despite his opposition? 

Barfield is Professor of Anthropology, Boston University and President of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies.  Here's his video.  He was the most supportive of the war and its escalation.  Wippl is Director of the Center for International Relations, Boston University and a former CIA officer.  Here's his video.

Although Delahunt did not announce his decision on spending another $33 billion, his comments at the forum were largely anti-war.  At one point he asked the panelists: "Does a counterinsurgency campaign work when you don't have a local partner that has credibility?"  All four panelists replied "No."  Here's video.

Delahunt has said that he wants to obey the President, but at this event insisted that he agreed with my statement that war powers belong in Congress.

A couple of other highlights from the questions and answers include:

Why Do They Hate Us?


What Have We Done?

And here's organizer Diane Turco asking Delahunt to commit to voting No:

Can you help give Congressman Delahunt some attention and keep his phone ringing? Ask him to vote No on $33 billion to escalate the war.  Call (202) 225-3111.

Add what he tells you to this whip list: logo

Here's what the Cape Cod Times has to say.

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We live in an age where TRUE democracy is possible. How?
INTERNET! Representatives all have websites that could take a poll from their state constituents on ALL issues to be voted on. THEN, he/she tallies the votes and makes that vote on the floor. How simple,eh?!

WRONG! What is not in the equation are: Lobbyists, egos, re-election mindsets, personal preference over "We the People" preferences, and! The perfect example? Health "care"(?) bill passed to favor the blood-sucking leeches over the good of the citizenry.

In an age where internet technology could serve the masses instead of the few, it is STILL those with money and power whose wills come first. Damn! What a fucked-up system!!!

Thomas Barfield might be an anthropology professor, but he doesn't seem to tell only truth about Afghans and their history since 1970, not based on what I recall having read from different people with articles at, in feature articles there, anyway.

I'm not certain, due to not recalling the details of what I read, but some things that I recall having read from a number of reputable writers, of whom I think Professor Peter Dale Scott is one, is that Russia was allied with the central gov't of Afghanistan before the U.S. formed the mujahedeen to get rid of that gov't, as well as to provoke Russia into invading Afghanistan to defend the gov't that was in place there. Russia didn't invade until the President Carter administration, under the direction of Zbigniew Brzezinski, committed some anti-democratic sort of acts during June or July 1979 and which led to Russia's invasion later that year, I think around December, 1979.

That Afghan gov't, with the help from Russia, ensured women's rights and was a good or relatively good gov't, but if only the latter, then nevertheless too good for Afghans for the U.S. to put up with.

So did Russia actually occupy Afghanistan before the U.S. provoked Russia into invading in order to defend the gov't that was in place against the actions of the U.S. already underway to get rid of, overthrow, or otherwise replace that gov't, or was Russia not previously occupying the country?

If it had been forces in the country, before, then what were they really used for? Were they there only to provide backing for the good or relatively good and human rights-respecting Afghan gov't, or were Russian forces occupying the country as the U.S. always does following the launches of its wars of aggression? Surely not the latter form of occupation. After all, Russia and the good or relatively good Afghan gov't were allies, and that gov't was good for Afghans; but evidently not for extremists, the violent and oppressive kind, who the U.S. backed, funded, armed, trained, ... through the actions of the CIA and the CIA-invented (and -controlled) Pakistani ISI.

I just learned over the past few days that it's the CIA that actually created the ISI.

Look at what the U.S. and NATO have been using Afghanistan for today, besides the objective of establishing an oil pipeline. HEROIN trafficking! It was reported over the past several days that Russia has called for ending the major poppy cultivation in order to end the major heroin production that has increased tremendously due to the present war and NATO and the U.S. not wanting for the drug production and trafficking to stop. The CIA needs that production. Major tax-exempt and untraceable profits from the international trafficking of heroin, cocaine, and even marijuana is used by the CIA to fund its many and constant covert and black ops that the CIA doesn't want the U.S. Congress to have any knowledge about, because if that happened, then the Congress would have oversight authority. When the CIA obtains funds through Congressional authorisation or approval, then the CIA can be held to account, for it has to inform the Congress what the money's to be used for. But with the major profits from the black market business, the CIA can keep the Congress totally ignorant of what the money's used for; the Congress wouldn't officially know that the CIA even has and uses these illegal sources for funding its operations.

With the present war we clearly know that the U.S. and NATO don't care at all about Afghans' rights, women, child, or adult male.

The U.S. and NATO put the country's drug and war lords into the puppet gov't offices.

The Taliban, working with the UN, had eradicated 90% or more of Afghan poppy cultivation, so the heroin production and trafficking skyrocketed downward. That's not the profitable way to go, as the CIA sees things, and the CIA ops side of the agency, which I learned over the past several days accounts for around nine-tenths of the whole agency, has a lot of powerful influence over U.S. foreign policies.

The CIA and Pentagon or DoD are both involved in the international drug trade, I also recently learned; while having previously only known about the CIA, though while also having nevertheless suspected that the Pentagon or DoD were also involved, albeit without having thought of it as the two working together.

Anyway, I don't think Thomas Barfield's words about the war and Afghan life and experience should ever be accepted as credible or truthful without first doing plenty of reading on the same subject from what other and reputable people have written or said.

So far, everyone I have read from about the Afghan gov't during the 1970's and prior to the U.S. having seen to put an end to that gov't has said that it was a good or relatively good gov't, that it, with help from Russia, ensured peace and sanity like Afghans haven't experienced anytime since, and ensured women's rights to an extent that I think was rather very complete. If there were many extremist Afghans against that gov't, then it may very well have needed help from Russia to keep the good gov't from being overthrown by many extremist Afghans who were armed and would attack, if the gov't was left too weakly guarded.

I think he lies about Russia having killed one million Afghans.

And Boston U. doesn't seem to have a good reputation any time I read about anyone there. What I've read about it is always that its a Jesuit school and with this being said in a mocking way, because the professors and possibly some officials of the school have been like war dogs, anti-rights, etcetera.

Mike Corbeil

I greatly like the clarity, heart, passion with which she spoke. It's clear that person who speaks like she did is very honest, intelligent, and informed.

Mike Corbeil

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