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Obama in Afghanistan

Remarks by the President to the Troops

Clamshell, Bagram Airfield

11:13 P.M. (Local)

     THE PRESIDENT:  How’s it going, Bagram?  (Applause.)  Well, you know, it turns out that the American people, they let me use this plane called Air Force One.  And so I thought I’d come over and say hello.  (Applause.)  

     Couple of people I want to thank, in addition to Sergeant Major Eric Johnson for the outstanding introduction and his great service.  I want to thank Major General Mike Scaparrotti.  (Applause.)  Thank you for your great work as commanding general.  I want to thank Ms. Dawn Liberi, who is the senior civilian representative of Regional Command East, for her outstanding work; and Brigadier General Steven Kwast, commander -- (applause) -- commander 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.  Thank you all for your outstanding service.  Give them a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

     Thank you for the unbelievable welcome.  I know this was on a little bit of short notice.  


THE PRESIDENT:  No worries.  (Laughter.)  It is great to be here at Bagram, and it’s great to see all the services.  We’ve got Air Force, we’ve got Army -- (applause) -- we’ve got Navy -- (applause) -- we’ve got some Marines in the house.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got a lot of civilians here too -- (applause) -- who are making an outstanding contribution to this effort, and I’m honored to be joined by America’s outstanding civilian military leadership team here in Afghanistan, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, who’s doing outstanding work, and the commander of our 43-nation coalition, General Stan McChrystal.  The two of them together have paired up to do an extraordinarily difficult task, but they are doing it extraordinarily well and we are proud of them.  Please give your outstanding team a big round of applause.  They’ve got my full confidence and my full support.  (Applause.)  

     We’re also joined by troops from some of our coalition partners, because this is not simply an American mission or even just a NATO mission.  Al Qaeda and their extremist allies are a threat to the people of Afghanistan and a threat to the people of America, but they’re also a threat to people all around the world, and that’s why we’re so proud to have our coalition partners here with us.  Thank you very much for the great work that you do.  We salute you and we honor you for all the sacrifices you make, and you are a true friend of the United States of America.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

     And we also salute the members of the Afghan National Army who are fighting alongside all of you.  They’re risking their lives to protect their country.  And as I told President Karzai today, the United States is a partner but our intent is to make sure that the Afghans have the capacity to provide for their own security.  That is core to our mission, and we are proud of the work that they are doing and the continuing increased capacity that we’re seeing out of Afghan national security forces.  So thank you very much for the great work you’re doing to take responsibility for security here in your own country.

     And to the Afghan people, I want to say that I’m honored to be a guest in your country.  Now, the Afghans have suffered for decades -- decades of war.  But we are here to help Afghans forge a hard-won peace while realizing the extraordinary potential of the Afghan people, Afghanistan’s sons and daughters, from the soldiers and the police to the farmers and the young students.  And we want to build a lasting partnership founded upon mutual interests and mutual respect, and I’m looking forward to returning to Afghanistan many times in the years to come.

     Now, I know for most of you, you didn’t get a lot of notice that I was coming.  But I want you to understand, there’s no visit that I considered more important than this visit I’m making right now, because I have no greater honor than serving as your Commander-in-Chief.  And it is a privilege to look out and see the extraordinary efforts of America’s sons and daughters here in Afghanistan.  So my main job here today is to say thank you on behalf of the entire American people.  (Applause.)

     You are part of the finest military in the history of the world, and we are proud of you.  And so I want you to know that everybody back home is proud of you.  Everybody back home is grateful.  And everybody understands the sacrifices that you have made and your families have made to keep America safe and to keep America secure in this vital mission.

     And I know it’s not easy.  You’re far away from home.  You miss your kids.  You miss your spouses, your family, your friends.  Some of you, this is your second or your third or your fourth tour of duty.  I’ll tell you right now the same thing that I said at West Point last December.  If I thought for a minute that America’s vital interests were not served, were not at stake here in Afghanistan, I would order all of you home right away.  

     So I want you to know, I want every American serving in Afghanistan, military and civilian, to know, whether you’re working the flight line here at Bagram or patrolling a village down in Helmand, whether you’re standing watch at a forward operating base or training our Afghan partners or working with the Afghan government, your services are absolutely necessary, absolutely essential to America’s safety and security.  Those folks back home are relying on you.

     We can’t forget why we’re here.  We did not choose this war.  This was not an act of America wanting to expand its influence; of us wanting to meddle in somebody else’s business.  We were attacked viciously on 9/11.  Thousands of our fellow countrymen and women were killed.  And this is the region where the perpetrators of that crime, al Qaeda, still base their leadership.  Plots against our homeland, plots against our allies, plots against the Afghan and Pakistani people are taking place as we speak right here.  And if this region slides backwards, if the Taliban retakes this country and al Qaeda can operate with impunity, then more American lives will be at stake.  The Afghan people will lose their chance at progress and prosperity.  And the world will be significantly less secure.

     And as long as I’m your Commander-in-Chief, I am not going to let that happen.  That’s why you are here.  I’ve made a promise to all of you who serve.  I will never send you into harm’s way unless it’s absolutely necessary.  I anguish in thinking about the sacrifices that so many of you make.  That’s why I promise I will never send you out unless it is necessary.

     But that’s only part of the promise, because the other part of the promise is that when it is absolutely necessary, you will be backed up by a clear mission and the right strategy to finish the job, to get the job done.  And I am confident all of you are going to get the job done right here in Afghanistan.  I am confident of that.  (Applause.)   

     That’s why I ordered more troops and civilians here into Afghanistan shortly after taking office.  That’s why we took a hard look and forged a new strategy and committed more resources in December.  That’s why we pushed our friends and allies and partners to pony up more resources themselves, more commitments of aid, and additional forces and trainers.  

     Our broad mission is clear:  We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al Qaeda and its extremist allies.  That is our mission.  And to accomplish that goal, our objectives here in Afghanistan are also clear:  We’re going to deny al Qaeda safe haven.  We’re going to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.  We’re going to strengthen the capacity of Afghan security forces and the Afghan government so that they can begin taking responsibility and gain confidence of the Afghan people.  

     And our strategy includes a military effort that takes the fight to the Taliban while creating the conditions for greater security and a transition to the Afghans; but also a civilian effort that improves the daily lives of the Afghan people, and combats corruption; and a partnership with Pakistan and its people, because we can’t uproot extremists and advance security and opportunity unless we succeed on both sides of the border.  Most of you understand that.  

     Many of the troops that I ordered to Afghanistan have begun to arrive, and more are on the way.  And we’ll continue to work with Congress to make sure that you’ve got the equipment that you need, particularly as we complete our drawdown in Iraq.  We’re providing more helicopters, we’re providing more intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities, more special operations forces, more armored vehicles that can save lives.  

And here in Afghanistan you’ve gone on the offensive.  And the American people back home are noticing.  We have seen a huge increase in support in -- stateside, because people understand the kinds of sacrifices that you guys are making, and the clarity of mission that you’re bringing to bear.  

And together with our coalition and Afghan partners, our troops have pushed the Taliban out of their stronghold in Marja.  We’ve changed the way we operate and interact with the Afghan people.  We see Afghans reclaiming their communities, and we see new partnerships that will help them build their own future and increase their security.

And across the border, Pakistan is mounting major offensives.  We’ve seen violent extremists pushed out of their sanctuaries.  We’ve struck major blows against al Qaeda leadership as well as the Taliban’s.  They are hunkered down.  They’re worried about their own safety.  It’s harder for them to move, it’s harder for them to train and to plot and to attack, and all of that makes America safer.  And we are going to keep them on the run because that is what’s going to be required in order to assure that our families back home have the security that they need.  That’s the work that you are doing.

So thanks to you, there’s been progress these last several months.  But we know there are going to be some difficult days ahead.  There’s going to be setbacks.  We face a determined enemy.  But we also know this:  The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something.  (Applause.)  You don’t quit, the American armed services does not quit, we keep at it, we persevere, and together with our partners we will prevail.  I am absolutely confident of that.  (Applause.)

And I also want you to know that as you’re doing your duty here, we’re going to do right by you back home.  We’re going to help take care of your families, and that’s why the First Lady Michelle Obama visited with military families and makes sure that their needs are met.  That’s why she stays after me once she gets home, when I’m at the White House.  And we’re going to make sure that we are keeping to improve your pay and your benefits, but also things like childcare and support that ensure that you’ve got a little bit of security knowing your family is being looked after back home.

And we’ll be there for your when you come home.  It’s why we’re improving care for our wounded warriors, especially those with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.  We’re moving forward with the Post-9/11 GI Bill so you and your families can pursue your dreams.  And we’ve made the biggest increase in the VA budget in 30 years, because we’re going to keep our sacred trust with all those who serve.

You’ve been there for us, tour after tour, year after year, at a time when too many American institutions have let us down, when too many institutions have put short-term gain in front of a commitment to duty and a commitment to what’s right.  You’ve met your responsibilities, you’ve done your duty -- not just when it’s easy.  That’s why you’ve inspired your fellow Americans.  That’s why you inspire me.  That’s why you’ve earned your place next to the very greatest of American generations.  

And all of you represent the virtues and the values that America so desperately needs right now:  sacrifice and selflessness, honor and decency.  That’s why you’re here today.  That’s what you represent.

I’ve seen your sense of purpose and your willingness to step forward and serve in a time of danger.  I’ve seen it from the Marines I’ve met at Camp Lejeune to the cadets at West Point, from the midshipmen at Annapolis to the troops I’ve met in Iraq, and at bases across America and here in Afghanistan.  I’ve seen your courage and your heroism and the story of a young Sergeant First Class named Jared Monti who gave his life here in Afghanistan to save his fellow soldiers and his parents.  I was proud to present with our nation’s highest military declaration, the Medal of Honor.  I’ve seen your tenacity -- (applause) -- I’ve seen your tenacity and determination in our wounded warriors in Landstuhl and Walter Reed -- Americans fighting to stand again and to walk again and to get back with -- get back with their units; incredible dedication, incredible focus, incredible pride.  And I’ve been humbled by your sacrifice and the solemn homecoming of flag-draped coffins at Dover, to the headstones in Section 60 at Arlington where the fallen from this war rest in peace alongside the fellow heroes of America’s story.

     So here in Afghanistan each one of you is part of an unbroken line of American servicemembers who’ve sacrificed for over two centuries.  You’re protecting your fellow citizens from danger.  You’re serving alongside old allies and new friends.  You’re bringing hope and opportunity to a people who have known a lot of pain and a lot of suffering.

     And I know that sometimes when you’re watching TV, the politics back home may look a little messy, and people are yelling and hollering, and Democrats this and Republicans that.  I want you to understand this:  There’s no daylight when it comes to support of all of you.  There’s no daylight when it comes to supporting our troops.  That brings us together.  We are all incredibly proud.  We all honor what you do.  And all of you show all of America what’s possible when people come together, not based on color or creed, not based on faith or station, but based on a commitment to serve together, to bleed together and to succeed together as one people, as Americans.

     Make no mistake, this fight matters to us.  It matters to us, it matters to our allies, it matters to the Afghan people.  Al Qaeda and the violent extremists who you’re fighting against want to destroy.  But all of you want to build -- and that is something essential about America.  They’ve got no respect for human life.  You see dignity in every human being.  That’s part of what we value as Americans.  They want to drive races and regions and religions apart.  You want to bring people together and see the world move forward together.  They offer fear, in other words, and you offer hope.

And that’s why it is so important that you know that the entire country stands behind you.  That’s why you put on that uniform, because in an uncertain world, the United States of America will always stand up for the security of nations and the dignity of human beings.  That’s who we are.  That is what we do.  

Much has happened to our country and to the world since 9/11.  But I’m confident that so long as brave men and women like you -- Americans who are willing to serve selflessly half a world away on behalf of their fellow citizens and the dreams of people they’ve never met -- so long as there are folks like you, then I’m confident that our nation will endure, and hope will overcome fear.  And I am confident that better days lie ahead.

So thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)  God bless you.  God bless the United States Armed Forces.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)   

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Obama: We can’t forget why we’re here.  We did not choose this war.  This wasnot an act of America wanting to expand its influence; of us wanting tomeddle in somebody else’s business.  We were attacked viciously on9/11.  Thousands of our fellow countrymen and women were killed.

 Oop!  I forgot!  Why are we there?

Oh!  I remember!  To prevent thousands more from being killed!

Oops!  I forgot again!  Now I'm getting confused!

 The one thing that seems fixed is that the United States has declared war and therefore Australia is at war.

That logic cannot apply to an ally, but must to a nation that all Australian politicians are obliged to call an ally.

Otherwise we'd have to cross out "Australia" and write "Haiti".

the media and "under the carpet".

 Good comment, Michael Talbot, that about sums it up.

 And yes, thank god we dont live in Haiti, or a hundred other poverty stricken ex colonial states designed for failure; we stay "comfortably numb", cocooned by geographical accidents in the face of a developing disaster that inpires our awe as to magnitude and that we longer fully understand given our retreat into hedonistic isolation, escaping from a more challenging reality.

Spare a thought too...

For the 1,400 Gazans killed by the Israelis the Xmas before last and the brutal suffering the Palestinians endured over the last sixty years during which time most of their land has been stolen, their houses bulldozed, their children shot by snipers, their orchards destroyed, etc, by the Israelis.

Spare a thought too for those killed in Lebanon when Israel invaded and bombed that country a few years ago.

And spare a thought too for all the civiilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Americans and their Allies as they go about grabbing other peoples' resources and building more military bases.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Spare a thought

Daniel Smythe:  "spare a thought too for all the civiilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Americans and their Allies, "

You forgot to mention the hundreds of Iraqis and Afghans killed in cold blood by their own people with cars packed with bombs in crowded markets.

Not to mention the thousands of women and children crippled by the bomb blasts perpetrated by this lowest form of life.

I know you will find it hard to understand that this sort of thing goes on with the blessing of the Muslim clerics.

I condemn the killing of people...

by anyone, Alan, no exceptions.

I condemn Americans, terrorists, Jews, Christians, Muslims, the whole lot to whom war is a necessity, a lucrative one in some cases.To others it is a sickness for who in their right mind would want to kill their own kind or brutalise them or keep them in permanent bondage (the Palestinians for instance).

In World War 2 it is claimed by Wiki that somewhere between 50 and 70 million people were killed with around 30 million being Russians. If we add to these the people killed in Vietnam and Cambodia, Korea and now in the Middle east, etc, it is an horrific total, a symbol of a very sick species.

War is madness. As the Iraq video reveals, it reduces us to the level of savages.

War and killing should be strongly condemned and the warmongers isolated and shamed by those of us who are civilized!

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Daniel, I am 100% with you

Daniel, I am 100% with you on your sentiments, but how do we go about it?.

There is Nobel Peace Prize in it for you, if you have the answer.

I think a good starting point would be to get rid of all religions, and the pathetic people who perpetuate the myths.


Alan, all people are indoctrinated from birth and early learning is via imitation and reward. We are taught there is good and bad, that some people are good and some are bad, that some countries are good and some are bad, that capitalism is a wonderful system, etc.

We are even taught that war is a normal part of human existence and that God is always on 'our' side and it's patriotic to die for your country.

Of course, most indoctrination is crap, crap put out there by people who have many motives (some of them evil). Once people are indoctrinated, they find it difficult to move beyond it, especially when others are seen to be similarly indoctrinated. Humans after all are group animals.

To change the human paradigm, we need to question the crap. We could start with war. We could begin to attack the very concept of war. We could ridicule nations who involve themselves in endless wars to gain resources or military advantage. We could shun individuals who make money from war.

Religion is another front that cries out for change. We have to change the indoctrination that suggests that people need some kind of theological crutch to survive their lives. It is clear that people whose minds are possessed of strong religious conviction are irrational and live in a world of dangerous unreality. Such people think crazy things like urging nuclear war because they think that God will take them up to heaven without dying (the rapture)

People must be encouraged to think for themselves and reject all indoctrination!

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It's a damn good thing

It's a damn good thing you don't have any power at all Daniel.


Geoff:  "Its a ... good thing you dont have any power at all Daniel".

I doubt it, for millions of Pakistanis, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians,  Africans etc, etc.

Yom Ha' Shoah

Tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

At  8pm, Sunday evening local time (3 am Monday AEST) six survivors will each light torches in Jerusalem. Each represents one million murdered innocent souls.

Here is one survivor's story.

At 10am Monday morning local time (5 pm Monday AEST) air raid sirens will sound throughout Israel. The entire country will stop for about two minutes.

Please spare a thought.

Dignity in every human being

"..and that is something essential about America.  They’ve got no respect for human life.  You see dignity in every human being.  That’s part of what we value as Americans. "

It is easy for Obama to say that US soldiers see dignity in every human being, if a pity the facts don't match the rhetoric.

The soldiers shown recently in the Wikki film were certainly not  seeing this dignity.

Incidents such as the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam and more recently in Abu Ggrairb, Iraq tend to shine light on the lack of dignity for human life shown by soldiers of all nations in time of war.

It is time we in the developed world stopped waging war on third world countries; it is time we showed our respect for the dignity of every human being by reaching out with education and medical assistance., instead of using our technological advantages to bomb and kill from a distance.

Good to hear

John Pratt, good to hear from you again.

John , on 22nd. November 2007 you wrote:

A Rudd Labor government will invest $15 million into the Peninsula Development Road as the centrepiece of a $30 million plan for roads connecting remote communities in Cape York and the North West.

You also told us the following:

 Labor will work hard to achieve six goals for veterans: To restore the value of compensation and prevent further erosion due to unfair indexation.

To heal our veterans both mentally and physically, providing the very best support.

To care for the families of veterans, in recognition that it is not just veterans themselves who make
personal sacrifices to defend our country.

To empower veterans, giving them a strong leadership voice and due recognition.

To improve the operation of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).

To recognise courage and sacrifice, through support for appropriate commemorative activity.

.How is St.Kevin going on these two things?.I know he seems to have gone very quiet on Climate Change, could this be because of his bungled Insulation program and the loss of life.
Are you connected to the NBN yet?.

John, all war shoud be stopped!

We humans call ourselves civilized and intelligent yet war between us is a constant.

Of course some nations make money from war and gain scarce resources or grab more land. Who could I be thinking of?

War defines us as a species, shows us to be barbaric, brutal, primitive. We must stand up to the warmongers and imperialists, condemn them, isolate them.

'Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.'

It's all mine - No its not

"This land is mine, God gave this land to me"

"Jerusalem has known only two periods of true greatness, and these have been separated by 2,000 years. Greatness has only happened under Jewish rule," Leon and Jill Uris wrote in Jerusalem. "This is so because the Jews have loved her the most, and have remained constant in that love throughout the centuries of their dispersion....It is the longest, deepest love affair in history."

Makes you wonder doesn't it?

I love Planet Earth with a desire that is almost indecent, and I do have it on good authority that PE was bequeathed to me by my ancestors - Mr Adam and Mrs Eve who had the show handed over to them by the Big fella Himself. This is a fact you can read it in the Bible - just ask Ned Fland..er..Steve Fielding.

Therefore Planet Earth is mine, God gave this land to me; besides I love Planet Earth the mostest - so there.

Now start paying me rent you miserable bastards.

Sh*t, a bloody serpent just showed up and reckons I've got it all wrong, according to snakey it all belongs to - snakey:

"Until I die, this land is mine."

Forge this passport

Justin, me old china, as a large bird, you have the luxury of going wherever you like on your beloved planet and nobody will be too interested in the details of your passport, even if some asshole insists it be stamped with a big capital "A" for Albatross.  Never have been. Never will be. 

It's a good thing you're not a Jewish Albatross though. If you were you would have had it drummed into you while you were still in the shell that this is not your planet. Not by a long chalk. All kinds of people will be interested in that detail. All kinds.

However there is a tiny sliver of your planet where the law says this would not count against. Tiny. I'd like say the world does not begrudge you that tiny spit of land. But I'd be lying.

A is for ?

Geoff, my passport is stamped with a big capital A, and I've been told that is does not refer to Albatross. I've got no idea what it means - should I be concerned?

Thanks for the links;  the Gerti Waszkouter story was enjoyable. Also, I doubt whether those pesky Arabs would let a drunken A (?) anyhwere near their country - looks like it's the King David for moi, cya there, your shout and make it a big one; with bit of luck we'll destroy the place in no time flat, then Father Park can punish us in the usual manner - burrrrp.

Now where's that passport, oh that's right, me mate Leon (I think that's his name) just popped out with it, said he needed it to buy a whole heap of fertiliser - maybe the "A" means Agriculture, yeh that must be it.

trampled under the boot

A good example of what Justin describes happened in the Balkans fifteen or so years ago, when aggresive Serb nationalism was encapsulated in an axiom that went roughly with a boastful, "wherever a Serb goes, that's Serbia".

Anyone see the Iraq video?

I know Iraq is not Afghanistan but America is involved in both theatres of war so there is a relationship.

Actually there's been a relationship between America and most wars ever since Vietnam.

The video was very graphic. And sickening. It shows clearly what happens when you train humans to be killers. They become killers. They enjoy it. Killing becomes a game.

To the Americans, of course, it is a very lucrative game. Much of their manufacturing industry is tied up directly or indirectly with the war industry.They need war to oil it, to make profits, blood-stained profits.

I feel very uncomfortable about Australia's cosy relationship with America. Why would we want to be seen as allies of the world's biggest warmonger, the one that doesn't count civilian deaths?

Perhaps you know why. I don't!

 Daniel Smythe , Perhaps

 Daniel Smythe , Perhaps you would like to cosy up to these two splendid gentlemen ,Afghan president Hamid Karzai or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who's cheating, lying and hypocrisy are the specialties of the religious demagogues that maintain the farce that Iran is a democratic state.

Then there is President Hamid Karzai who said this week he would like to join the Taliban.

Then we have Iraq where the Iraqis have no regard for human life as witnessed this week by

blasts that rocked the Iraqi capital, killing at least 35 people, the second time Baghdad has come under attack in three days, fuelling fears insurgents are making a return due. This is their own people they are killing.

Of course we have our own idiots in Australia.

Greens Leader Bob Brown has warned that introducing nuclear power would invite the prospect of Australia's neighbours developing nuclear weapons.

Senator Brown says it is an unnecessary and dangerous option.

"If we go to nuclear power, [we] invite and stimulate, as [Barack] Obama worries about, a nuclear power development amongst our neighbours," he said.

"And when you go to nuclear power you then have the prospect of nuclear weapons."

Alan, what about the Iraq video?

Alan, the WikiLeaks video and the civilian casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan show clearly that Americans have no regard for human life either. And, of course, America has its share of religious demogogues too!

There are idiots in every country as I'm sure you'll agree!

Winter Soldier

If you haven't got a copy or don't know about it Daniel let me suggest a DVD called Winter Soldier.

Watch and weep.  There is a vision in their of a young US soldier leaning over a dead Vietnamese civilian posing with his thumb in the air - could have been a training film for Sabrina at Abu Ghraib.


I'm sorry for the delay in responding but it was beyond my control (as I didn't see your comment until this morning).

I will try to get hold of a Winter Soldier though, let me say, there is enough on television news each day (from sources across the world) to weep about.

Great to see you still trying to make the world a better place. It's not an easy task.

freepress and democracy.

While we are on the subject of East Jerusalem, a Roland Friesler moment  currently in the headlines that demonstrate what a "democracy" some here claim Israel to be. ("Secret house arrest for Israeli reporter", Melbourne Age, 7/4).

Give me strength (ethnic cleansing edition)

Geoff Pahoff's comment about Jerusalem would be fine, except for one small problem. It is problematic whether East Jerusalem is in any fair sense Israeli, except through military force.  It is not "Israel's capital" just because the Israelis say so. ( Missed one on "factuality", Richard?)

Nor should housing for Israelis come at the expense of the native (Semitic) inhabitants, the Palestinians, who already live there!

Or perhaps you and Alan Curran would welcome it if a posse of armed thugs came knocking on your doors, kicking you out of your homes, to make way for freeloader enemies who could have lived somewhere else (Tel Aviv?) or back in Russia or America, where so many (unnecessary) new immigrants (for such an over populated region) have come from?

Truth will give you strength

Paul, where do you get this nonsense? There is not a single word of your comment which is true. Not one. My question is serious. Where do you get this stuff?  Links please.

Anyway here is a basic primer on facts and myths about Jerusalem prepared by people who are used to dealing with people whose ignorance of Jerusalem is total and yet do not regard this as a handicap in forming and stating the most robust opinions on the subject. I suggest you read it. It will only take a few minutes.

God give me strength

Geoff,  I moved on from primers fifty years ago. Since then, it's history books and current affairs that inform.

Was surprised you didnt go further and launch into a dissertation about the fourteen hundred Zionists in Gaza killed by blood thirsty Palestinians twelve or so  months ago*

*Irony alert.

A promise

Good Paul. Please provide us with the title of one history book that supports the factual basis of any of the statements in your original post. Just one. I've read most of them. Even the ones written by the revisionist post-modernist lying whackjobs like that latest idiot, Shlomo Sand, and even the ones by the self-pitying, "everything is everybody else's fault and the Jews are all racist western imperialists" "Orientalist" crybabies like Said.

And I promise that if you cite any of those "Jews are not Semites (or whatever) but Khazars (or whatever)" tracts then I'll come around to your place and puke on your doorstep. True. I swear. I'll make a special trip to Adelaide and drop in on Richard's pub on the way so that I'll be nicely primed.

Here's a proposition of my own:

No one can truthfully deny that Jerusalem (if you like "East" Jerusalem) is historically a Jewish city, founded and built by Jews, that had a Jewish majority for hundreds of years until they were ethnically cleansed to the last child through murder and at the point of a gun in 1948. Anyone who does deny this is not only a liar but can only have motives as malevolent as those of David Irving. 

That does not mean there cannot be a compromise reached for the sake of peace. But let's at least be honest enough to get the starting point right.

Depraved bastards the lot of us.

Here ya go, just another days work for a bunch of incompetent and depraved bunch of clean cut US troops. Those in the ME see this type of thing on a regular basis - we just cover it up, as usual.

Not only do they murder innocent people, they then murder a good Samaritan and make a mess of his kids, and then they decide the drive a tank over over one of the bodies just for good measure. And the comments the noble troops made during their depravity are disgusting - psychopaths the lot of them.

Our governments try to get us to give up smoking by showing us gruesome pics of diseased addicts. If they took the same approach to the depravity of war then we may develop a conscience Sadly our governments are addicted to war and by default so are we. We just don't want to know, do we?

Depraved bastards the lot of us.

Justin, sadly you're right!

Justin, and it's the ones that claim that loudly claim that 'God is on their side' that are the worst of the worst, the most brutal, the most conscienceless!

Richard, one of the main reasons I dropped out of Webdiary last time was the constant intrusion, the bias, and the manipulation of the threads by the then administrators.

I believe, having watched WD over the last few years, that the declining rate of comments is the result of this unwarranted and unnecessary interference.

Couldn't you take up knitting or something?

Richard:  Plenty of other things to do.  However, unlike you, I've been here the whole time.  If you're back to participate, great ,   However, if by bias you're referring to adhering to Webdiary guidelines and not publishing submitted material that doesn't match, you'll find us much the same!


Marilyn/Daniel, can't you see that if you have to make up stuff, or retail stuff that has been made up by others with the most malicious of motives, then you have already lost more than just the argument?

In any event I'm not playing.

Lies, Damn Lies and Politicians

I feel quite disappointed reading this; I thought Obama was above lying. When he says:

 “We did not choose this war.  This was not an act of America wanting to expand its influence; of us wanting to meddle in somebody else’s business.  We were attacked viciously on 9/11.", 

he is conveniently forgetting the cause of the 9/11 attack. Bin Laden wanted to weaken the repressive Saudi regime, and their stated strategy was to attack the super-power that was propping them up. 

So, should we forgive a president for preaching BS to the troops? After all, with cannon fodder, it is important to do whatever it takes to keep motivation high. He simply can't say that his predecessor got us into this mess, and we need to find a solution in which we don't lose too much international face. I.e. ensure that the oil-rich Middle East not get too big for its boots.

I did have high hopes for Obama. With luck, after eight years experience in the U.S., he might have made a good Secretary-General, one who actually led the UN to achieve the ideals it was set up for.

Well, that's the U.S.'s motive. What's ours? I scratch your back, you scratch mine? What exactly has the US done for us lately? The trade deal was a loss - we gave more away than we gained. We’ve forgotten the law of the pack - the king of the pack always gets his way. 

We really need to improve the way we do things. If we really are a democracy, why do we tolerate this crap? Why isn't democracy working?

Why isn't democracy working?

Humans are the main problem, Jay.Their indoctrination starts in the home where they learn that imitation brings rewards.

 You could add to that the fact that our education system mainly churns out rote learners who can't think.The MSM takes over from school and fills our minds with lies, B.S. and materialism.

Then religion further addles our brains and creates fanatics who can't see beyond their navels (if that far). These are the main reasons.

If we took humans out of the equation, democracy could work quite well!

P.S. Don't worry too much about it, Jay. When Israel nukes Iran we won't have to worry about anything.

Stop ya fussin'

No need to fuss about this Daniel. Don't get yourself so upset. Israel is not going to nuke Iran. Do you have any idea how much those things cost?

Cost is no problem in Israel!

Geoff, strangely, Benny and his Knesset seem to have a vastly different position to you.

Don't be upset but, given that he (and other ratbags like him) are in charge of Israel, I guess I'll accept his claims and threats rather than yours.

Besides, Israel never has to worry about the cost, Geoff. America has endlessly deep pockets where Israel is concerned. And it's not only money!

Did you know that Israel, with less than 1% of the world's population, has the fifth strongest army in the world now? And did you know that Israel frequently ignores international laws, conventions and resolutions? And have you heard that Israel has kept the Palestinians under occupation or seige for more than sixty years and has stolen much of their land?

Geoff, take my word for it, the world has  much to fear from this tiny, rogue nation!

No problem

 Daniel Smythe, If the need arises that Iran has to be nuked you can rest assured that Israel will do it, and the rest of the world will thank them.

I assume that the International Laws and Conventions are the same ones that the terrorists Hamas are breaking.

Israel has to have a strong army because she is surrounded by people who have no regard for human life.

Your immediate worry should be the way Rudd & Co are spending your money. Kev must think he is running Israel and that his friend (also a dud) Obama will bail him out.



Want to have a chat about disregard for human life?  When was the last time Iran attacked anyone and slaughtered 1400 people in 3 weeks, or invaded and occupied a place and murdered 20,000 civilians in cold blood just to try and steal a bit more dirt.


 Marilyn , How come you called "detention centres" concentration camps when Howard was running things, but now that Rudd is running things not a word from you?

Daniel , I would hate to think that you were wasting your time  with  futile, circular discussions with people who continuously play with a dead bat and wear blinkers! or are obstructionist, narrowly-focused people, In other words if we disagree with you we are wrong.

If you are yearning for the days when Woodforde, OAM, John Pratt , Michael de Angelos and Ernest William  contributed to Webdiary, they really were one and the same person and nothing has been heard from them since St.Kevin took the reins.

Richard: Would love to see those very real and distinct people back around, one of these days.. 


Oh dear, do keep up

Rudd is still illegally locking up innocent human beings in a concentration camp on a mound of bird poo in the Indian Ocean and wasting hundreds of millions to do so.

I have been yelling out loud about it for the past 18 months.

What about the 1,400?

Alan, the slaughter of the 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza the Xmas before last suggests clearly that it is Israel that has no regards for human life.

But then the Israelis see Palestinians and all Arabs (and even some Gentiles) as sub-human anyway!

What about ???

Daniel, Methinks you are spending too much time reading the Informationclearance newsletter and taking the words of Pilger as gospel.

Why haven't the rich Arab nations helped the Palestinians over the past 60 years, I believe it suits them to let the Palestinians live the way they are.

Alan, please note!

 Alan, I spend my time running a successful blog and keeping up with world affairs. I also contribute articles to large sites overseas and comment on some of them.

I've come back to Webdiary, not to argue in vain with obstructionist, narrowly-focused people, but because I remember its halcyon days and long for them to return.s

I want to make a positive contribution here and not waste my time in futile, circular discussions with people who continuously play with a dead bat and wear blinkers!

Richard: At the same time Daniel (and Marilyn), please continue be careful with accuracy here. You and I have been through this before.  I'd like us not to need to go through the motions of carrying out conversations on whose outcomes we've already agreed to disagree.  We're here to have discussions, not end them.

Only two more years

I've gone off Obama too. Ever since he decided it would be a good idea to bully Israel for allowing homes for Israelis (all Israelis) in Israel's capital and to jump on the racist "no Jews allowed" populist bandwagon.


Curious I should end up here, just having been reading about a new book about Halliburton/KBR and their antics over some decades, I think by a gentleman called Pratap Chattergee.

Stripped away of all the sentimental eyewash, many come to a similar conclusion about US intrusions in Aghanistan and elsewhere, as expressed in Justin Obodie 's quote from Hemmingway.

 It fits in so well with the story about the bloke in America who drives to work in his Toyota, does his shift flying intelligence drones and goes home to his kids while the armed forces use his material to bomb out villages, regardless of the presence of civilians and harm done consequently.

It sure does

Considering the attack was planned years before anyone attacked the US, considering that Al Qaida is not much more than a thought process named only by the US, that the Taliban had nothing to do with anything except that pesky oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea that they wouldn't allow the US to build and considering the US are slaughtering Afghan women  and kids at will.


Now to my knowledge we are the only ones with special forces in country so we are involved in this massacre and cover up, and many others of course while we still lock up Afghan refugees.

It makes you want to throw up

"They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason."

Ernest Hemmingway

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