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November 2009

Levin and Obey Never Let a Chance to Lose A War Get By them


Lawmakers Propose 'War Surtax' to Pay for Troop Increase in Afghanistan 
Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., are proposing new taxes to pay for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Two top Democrats say they want to impose a new tax on the wealthy to finance any increase in U.S. troops for the Afghanistan war.

Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the purse string-controlling House Appropriations Committee, is calling the idea a "war surtax." He said that just as the federal government is expected to pay for its proposed intervention in the health care sector with new taxes, any escalated involvement in Afghanistan should come with a payment plan.

"If we have to pay for the health care bill, we should pay for the war as well ... by having a war surtax," Obey told ABC News in an interview that aired Monday. "The problem in this country with this issue is that the only people that has to sacrifice are military families and they've had to go to the well again and again and again and again, and everybody else is blithely unaffected by the war."

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is making a similar demand...


WLI Paper- Who are we fighting in Afghanistan & Pakistan?

EnemyCover  BLACKFIVE readers you are getting a sneak preview of the Warrior Legacy Institute paper that will be released tomorrow, written by me and Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal.

The Warrior Legacy Institute announces the release of it's third paper "Who are we fighting in Afghanistan & Pakistan?" as well as an accompanying video. This complements the previous papers and videos on " A Population-Centric Counterinsurgency Primer" and "Counterterror as Strategy for the Af/Pak Theater". All of these are written so they can be understood by and educate all Americans regardless of their knowledge about military topics. Our hope is that this will allow them to follow the debate about this vital subject from an informed perspective.

This paper gives a brief history of the rise of the Taliban and al Qaeda following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan in 1989. It traces the Taliban's origins in the Pashtun regions and their fight to take over the government and impose their strict religious rule country-wide. It follows the ebb and flow on both sides of the border and the eventual entry of al Qaeda to the theater. It focuses on the tribes that make up the insurgency and their leaders, but is not a definitive look at all of these groups. It also takes a look at the current state of Taliban and al Qaeda in both countries and the areas they control.

Please feel free to share this with your friends families and email lists.

Man lives Dalton Trumbo's "Johnny get your gun" Metallica's "One"

This poor bastard lived it for 23 years. 

A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.

Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed.

He had no way of letting experts, family or friends know he could hear every word they said.

'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46.

Doctors used a range of coma tests, recognised worldwide, before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was 'extinct'.

But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally.

It hurts to even try to fathom what that was like every day, and he couldn't even blink the Morse code. What would that be like?

Ethical vegan- It's what's for dinner

This guy is my new favorite post-human.
LATELY more people have begun to express an interest in where the meat they eat comes from and how it was raised. Were the animals humanely treated? Did they have a good quality of life before the death that turned them into someone’s dinner?

Actually, I tend to be more concerned with trolling the meat department looking for the choicest bits, closest to their expiration date because then they will be marked down and I can buy and gnaw on them.

None of these questions, however, make any consideration of whether it is wrong to kill animals for human consumption.

Are you suggesting that we eat them alive? I mean that would be much more natural as most carnivores kill their prey in the process of actually eating. That seems a little gross to me, but it is true to our animal roots.

Continue reading "Ethical vegan- It's what's for dinner" »

A Soldier's Home in Afghanistan

I thought this would give you a good idea of the conditions our men are living and fighting in...

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U.S. Army Pfc. Stephen Martin cleans his weapon inside a small shelter at an observation post near Combat Outpost Munoz in Paktika province, Afghanistan, Nov. 15, 2009. Martin is assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

[notice the MREs under the cot and the TP roll in the cardboard box substituting as a foot locker?]

Canadian Highlanders


Members of the 78th Highlanders stand at the entrance of the Citadel in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Nov. 20, 2009. DoD photo by Cherie Cullen

[U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Canadian Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay toured the Citadel.  The Highlanders are a Regimental Association that preserves the history of the Citadel.]

Tribes fighting Taliban in Afghanistan

Is it an Awakening a la Anbar? Maybe, we'll have to see. But it is certainly good news.

ACHIN, Afghanistan — American and Afghan officials have begun helping a number of anti-Taliban militias that have independently taken up arms against insurgents in several parts of Afghanistan, prompting hopes of a large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban.

The emergence of the militias, which took some leaders in Kabul by surprise, has so encouraged the American and Afghan officials that they are planning to spur the growth of similar armed groups across the Taliban heartland in the southern and eastern parts of the country.

The American and Afghan officials say they are hoping the plan, called the Community Defense Initiative, will bring together thousands of gunmen to protect their neighborhoods from Taliban insurgents. Already there are hundreds of Afghans who are acting on their own against the Taliban, officials say.

It will take something just like this across much of the country, but it is exactly what Gen. McChrystal's plan calls for facilitating. What these tribes need now is our help ensuring they do not get rolled over by a Taliban push back. We need to give them air support, weapons, and yes satchels of cash to use as they see fit. We must tread lightly so as not to upset the local nature of these uprisings, but we must cover their backs. Then as we talk to tribal leaders in other areas we can point to these successes and give them some motivation.

It will be a delicate ballet as there are many different tribes who have as many beefs with each other as they do w/ the Talibs, but we can handle that. We need to take advantage of this and get the push back against the enemy going. Our troops deserve a decision. Make the call sir!