Ed Schultz talked to The Nation's Jeremy Scahill and Brave New Film's Robert Greenwald about the need to rethink our policies on Pakistan and Afghanistan and this so-called "war on terror."
Robert Greenwald has a petition at his site Rethink Afghanistan -- Osama bin Laden is Dead. Bring the Troops Home.:
How much did YOU pay for war this year?
Did you know that the Afghanistan War alone costs us roughly $2 billion per week? When you include the Iraq War and other military spending, it turns out that more than 27 percent of your income taxes will be spent on war.
We want our money back.
To find out how much of your money has gone to fund a war that's not making us safer, visit our Tax Day Calculator. Enter how much income you earned this year and we'll give you an I.O.U. for what you paid that you can forward to your Member of Congress. Ask for your money back!
Go visit his site to watch the video.
And here's Jeremy Scahill's latest at The Nation -- JSOC: The Black Ops Force That Took Down Bin Laden:
The team of US Special Operations Forces who killed Osama bin Laden in a pre-dawn raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, were led by elite Navy SEALS from the Joint Special Operations Command. Operators from SEAL Team Six, also known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or just DevGru, are widely considered to be the most elite warriors in the US national security apparatus.
Col. W. Patrick Lang, a retired Special Forces officer with extensive operational experience throughout the Muslim world, described JSOC’s forces as “sort of like Murder, Incorporated.” He told The Nation: “Their business is killing Al Qaeda personnel. That’s their business. They’re not in the business of converting anybody to our goals or anything like that.” Shortly after the operation was made public, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey called JSOC’s operators the “most dangerous people on the face of the earth.”
Scahill discussed some of the issues he wrote about in his article with Ed Schultz.
SCAHILL: Let me tell you something. It's a big myth that President Obama is somehow some kind of a dove. President Obama uses this force, the Joint Special Operations Command, the guys who killed Osama bin Laden, he's using them in Yemen covertly. He's using them in Somalia. He's hitting a lot harder according to the special ops guys that I talk to than President Bush ever was.
The problem here Ed is that we're using our most elite soldiers to fight mid-level Taliban people and farmers in Afghanistan and in killing them in night raids and killing innocent civilians, we're giving people in Afghanistan an actual reason to want to fight us. So we really need to rethink this strategy.
But on that issue that you're asking about Ed, Dick Cheney and those guys, they have PhD's in historical revisionism. They're the ones that took us into Iraq. They're the ones that allocated the best forces we had to a war that was based on lies.
Ed asked him if now is the time with the death of Osama bin Laden that we ought to be pivoting and getting out of Afghanistan.
SCAHILL: We should. It should be a moment when the President can say, I've stated from the beginning that the goal was to dismantle and disrupt the Al Qaeda network. We have chopped the head off of that network. In Afghanistan there are less than fifty operatives there according to U.S. intelligence. It is time to get out of Afghanistan. It's hurting our national security and our image in the world to stay there.
And one of the best points made by Scahill during the interview when Schultz asked him if we would have to worry about Al Qaeda reestablishing themselves in Afghanistan if we leave.
SCAHILL: Well let me just say something. You're never going to be able to destroy terrorism around the world. And you aren't going to be able to destroy every single person that affiliates themselves with Al Qaeda. Right now in Yemen for instance, there are maybe three to six hundred people that affiliate themselves with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The question is strategically how do you approach this? If you believe that you can kill your way to peace, you're wrong. You're going to open the door for more massive blowback.
We need to totally reengage with the Muslim and Arab world in a way that's consistent with the nonviolent revolutions that we've seen around the world. We need to stop believing this idea we're going to kill all the bad guys. It's just not going to happen.