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War tax proposed to pay for protecting Afghan opium fields, bribing Taliban

Obama Allies Want New Tax To Pay For Cost Of Protecting Afghan Opium Fields, Bribing Taliban

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
November 20, 2009

Not content with savaging American taxpayers with two huge new financial burdens during an economic recession, in the form of health care reform and cap and trade, close allies of Barack Obama have proposed a new war surtax that will force Americans to foot the bill for the cost of protecting opium fields in Afghanistan, paying off drug lords, and bribing the Taliban.

Warning that the cost of occupying Afghanistan is a threat to the Democrats’ plan to overhaul health care, lawmakers have announced their plan to make Americans pay an additional war tax that will be taken directly from their income, never mind the fact that around 36 per cent of federal taxes already go to paying for national defense.

“Regardless of whether one favors the war or not, if it is to be fought, it ought to be paid for,” the lawmakers, all prominent Democratic allies of Obama, said in a joint statement on the “Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010 (PDF),” reports AFP.

The move is being led by the appropriately named House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, Representative John Murtha, who chairs that panel’s defense subcommittee; and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank.

The tax would apply to anyone earning as little as $22,600 per year in 2011.

The proposal is described as “heavily symbolic” with little chance of passing, but it once again illustrates the hypocrisy of an administration that swept to power on the promise of “change” to the Neo-Con imperial agenda and a resolve to reduce U.S. military involvement overseas. In reality, there are more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan now under Obama that at any time during the Bush administration.

At the height of the Bush administration’s 2007 “surge” in Iraq, there were 26,000 US troops in Afghanistan and 160,000 in Iraq, a total of 186,000.

According to DoD figures cited by The Washington Post last month, there are now around 189,000 and rising deployed in total. There are now 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, over double the amount deployed there when Bush left office.

What precisely would this extra tax be used to pay for? Namely, bribing the Taliban, paying off CIA drug lords, and protecting heroin-producing opium fields.

Numerous reports over the past two weeks have confirmed that the U.S. military is paying off the Taliban with bags of gold to prevent them from attacking vehicle convoys, proving that there is no real “war” in Afghanistan, merely a business agreement that allows the occupiers to continue their lucrative control of record opium exports while they finalize construction of dozens of new military bases from which to launch new wars.

The Afghan opium trade has exploded since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, following a lull after the Taliban had imposed a crackdown. According to the U.N., the drug trade is now worth $65 billion. Afghanistan produces 92 per cent of the world’s opium, with the equivalent of at least 3,500 tonnes leaving the country each year.

This racket is secured by drug kingpins like the brother of disputed president Hamid Karzai. As a New York Times report revealed last month, Ahmed Wali Karzai, a Mafia-like figure who expanded his influence over the drug trade with the aid of U.S. efforts to eliminate his competitors, is on the CIA payroll.

As Professor Michel Chossudovsky has highlighted in a series of essays, the explosion of opium production after the invasion was about the CIA’s drive to restore the lucrative Golden Crescent opium trade that was in place during the time when the Agency were funding the Mujahideen rebels to fight the Soviets, and flood the streets of America and Britain with cheap heroin, destroying lives while making obscene profits.

Any war surtax will merely go straight to maintaining the agenda that Obama inherited from Bush, the continued looting of Afghanistan under the pretext of a “war on terror” that, as revelations about bribing the Taliban prove, doesn’t even exist.

U.S. Army paying the Taliban not to shoot at them

 



New Poll Shows Majority Want Immediate Iraq Troop Withdrawal

New Poll Shows Majority Want Immediate Iraq Troop Withdrawal
Zogby poll shows many more likely to vote for an anti-war candidate willing to bring troops home now

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
November 19, 2007

A Zogby poll commissioned by Alex Jones Productions has revealed that the majority of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to begin an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

A total of 1009 people were asked the following question:

Which candidate are you more likely to vote for – a candidate who is opposed to the Iraq War and wants to begin an immediate withdrawal from Iraq or a candidate who wants to stay the course in Iraq?

Over 49% said they were more likely to vote for a candidate who would begin immediate withdrawal, compared to just under 41% who said they would vote for staying the course and around 10% who were not sure.

The full break down of the results from the poll is as follows

The 1009 people who took part in the poll were taken from two different categories of age groups consisting of 4 and 5 different age ranges respectively, ensuring an overall view representative of all voters in America.

Given that Ron Paul is the only Republican to oppose the war and advocate an immediate withdrawal of troops this indicates he is clearly the most popular GOP candidate on this issue. Furthermore, given that none of the Democrat front runners have advocated an immediate troop withdrawal, Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate who could possibly win more votes than them on this issue.

However, corporate media talking heads and neocon bloggers continue to suggest Ron Paul’s policies represent “the fringe view” in America.

The Zogby poll echoes the results of previous polls this year that have all shown the majority oppose the war and want immediate withdrawal.

A Pew Research Center poll last month revealed that 54% said they advocated bringing troops home as soon as possible. A September CBS News Poll found that 49% wanted troops to remain in Iraq for less than one more year, while a CNN poll in the same month found that 54% wanted an immediate withdrawal.

Almost all polls commissioned this year have revealed that the vast majority of Americans oppose the war and its handling by the Bush administration with figures ranging from 60-70% in most cases.

 

15,000 or More US Deaths in Iraq War?

Counter Punch
November 18, 2007

The Pentagon has been concealing the true number of American casualties in the Iraq War. The real number exceeds 15,000 and CBS News can prove it.

CBS’s Investigative Unit wanted to do a report on the number of suicides in the military and “submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense”. After 4 months they received a document which showed–that between 1995 and 2007– there were 2,200 suicides among “active duty” soldiers.

Baloney.

The Pentagon was covering up the real magnitude of the “suicide epidemic”. Following an exhaustive investigation of veterans’ suicide data collected from 45 states; CBS discovered that in 2005 alone “there were at least 6,256 among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week in just one year.” That is not a typo. Active and retired military personnel, mostly young veterans between the ages of 20 to 24, are returning from combat and killing themselves in record numbers. We can assume that “multiple-tours of duty” in a war-zone have precipitated a mental health crisis of which the public is entirely unaware and which the Pentagon is in total denial.

If we add the 6,256 suicide victims from 2005 to the “official” 3,865 reported combat casualties; we get a sum of 10,121. Even a low-ball estimate of similar 2004 and 2006 suicide figures, would mean that the total number of US casualties from the Iraq war now exceed 15,000.

That’s right; 15,000 dead US servicemen and women in a war that–as yet–has no legal or moral justification.

CBS interviewed Dr. Ira Katz, the head of mental health at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Katz attempted to minimize the surge in veteran suicides saying, “There is no epidemic of suicide in the VA, but suicide is a major problem.”

Maybe Katz is right. Maybe there is no epidemic. Maybe it’s perfectly normal for young men and women to return from combat, sink into inconsolable depression, and kill themselves at greater rates than they were dying on the battlefield. Maybe it’s normal for the Pentagon to abandon them as soon as soon they return from their mission so they can blow their brains out or hang themselves with a garden hose in their basement. Maybe it’s normal for politicians to keep funding wholesale slaughter while they brush aside the casualties they have produced by their callousness and lack of courage. Maybe it is normal for the president to persist with the same, bland lies that perpetuate the occupation and continue to kill scores of young soldiers who put themselves in harm’s-way for their country.

It’s not normal; it’s is a pandemic—an outbreak of despair which is the natural corollary of living in constant fear; of seeing one’s friends being dismembered by roadside bombs or children being blasted to bits at military checkpoints or finding battered bodies dumped on the side of a riverbed like a bag of garbage.

The rash of suicides is the logical upshot of the U.S. war on Iraq. Returning soldiers are traumatized by their experience and now they are killing themselves in droves. Maybe we should have thought about that before we invaded.

Murtha Two Years Ago Today: Bush’s Iraq Course Is ‘Flawed Policy Wrapped In Illusion’
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/11/17/murtha-vindicated/