Monday, August 24, 2009

Bush's Wars Continue

In the beginning of June, Bill Moyers interviewed respected investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill on America's wars. See the whole thing here. Excerpt below:

Well, I think what we're seeing, under President Barack Obama, is sort of
old wine in a new bottle. Obama is sending one message to the world, but the
reality on the ground, particularly when it comes to private military
contractors, is that the status quo remains from the Bush era. Right now there
are 250 thousand contractors fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's
about 50 percent of the total US fighting force. Which is very similar to what
it was under Bush. In Iraq, President Obama has 130 thousand contractors. And we
just saw a 23 percent increase in the number of armed contractors in Iraq. In
Afghanistan there's been a 29 percent increase in armed contractors. So the
radical privatization of war continues unabated under Barack Obama....

[W]e have two parallel realities here. We have the speeches of President
Obama. I'm not questioning his sincerity. And then you have the sort of official
punditry that's allowed access to the corporate media. And they have one debate.
On the ground though, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, you hear the stories of the
people that are forced to live on the other side of the barrel of the gun that
is U.S. foreign policy. And you get a very different sense. If the United
States, as President Obama says, doesn't want a permanent presence in
Afghanistan, why allocate a billion dollars to build this fortress like embassy,
similar to the one in Baghdad, in Islamabad, Pakistan? Another one in Peshawar.
Having an increase in mercenary forces. Expanding the US military presence

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