Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

End the War!

Take Action!A message from CREDO Action:

A tragic and explosive story from Afghanistan shook up the nation this past weekend. Reports emerged that an American soldier killed 16 Afghan civilians, including 9 children, in a night-time massacre near a U.S. base in that country's violent south.1 There are conflicting media accounts of what exactly happened, but graphic details have emerged of an American soldier allegedly being "drunk" and "shooting all over the place," and then pouring chemicals over dead bodies and burning them.2
After ten years, $444 billion in U.S. taxpayer money, the lives of nearly 2,000 American service members, and countless Afghan military and civilian lives, it's clear that a continued occupation is not in either nation's interest. The U.S. intervened in Afghanistan to pursue the terrorists who planned the attacks on September 11. Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011. It's long past time to end the occupation of Afghanistan.
The sickening killing rampage from this past weekend was the latest in a string of bloody violence in recent days that has fundamentally shaken up the already deteriorating political dynamic of the American occupation of Afghanistan. In recent weeks, American soldiers and officers have been gunned down as a result of a violent and massive chain reaction to the destruction of Korans in a burn pit at Bagram Air Base, an incident that has thrown the country into a mess of bloody panic, violence and horror.3 Most disturbingly, following that incident two Americans were assassinated inside a highly secure area of an Afghan interior ministry. The situation had devolved so much that NATO has pulled all of its advisers out of Afghan ministries in Kabul as a result.4
We have now reached a tipping point in Afghanistan that underscores the need for a strategy of swift, rapid and methodical withdrawal of American troops. Even before the latest unconscionable massacre, the increasing slaughter of U.S. troops and deaths of Afghan civilians in recent weeks has "exposed a crippling weakness in the American strategy to wind down the war."5 The bloodshed of recent days has provided more tragic evidence that a political solution is not feasible for that war ravaged nation, as long as American troops remain as an occupation force.
The Obama Administration had hoped to reach a political solution to the unrest in Afghanistan before bringing our troops home. Tragically, there are no good outcomes after a decade of occupation. Only bad choices that limit future damages. Unfortunately it is incredibly unlikely that our partnership with Hamid Karzai's current regime, which is riddled with corruption,6 hostile to women,7 and resistant to Western notions of democracy, could result in anything approaching a happy ending. While we are particularly concerned about the fate of women and girls in Afghanistan, there is no indication that a continued U.S. occupation would make a positive outcome for women possible, and there is every indication that our continued presence is making the situation much more dangerous for U.S. troops and Afghan civilians in general.
The United States is currently scheduled to hand over control of security to the Afghan army and remove American troops by the end of 2014. However, the Obama Administration is currently negotiating a strategic partnership agreement that would leave U.S. special forces and military advisers in the country indefinitely.8 Meanwhile, the majority of Americans want our troops out of Afghanistan now. As reported by the Washington Post on Sunday, majority opposition to this war has been "consistent" for nearly two years,9 and a majority of Americans want to pull out American troops from Afghanistan "even if the Afghan army is not adequately trained to carry on the fight."10
CREDO Action members have been working with Congresswoman Barbara Lee on legislative attempts to provide a path for a responsible end to the endless war in Afghanistan. In the wake of the latest terrible tragedy in Afghanistan, it's time to take our case directly to President Obama who as commander-in-chief has the power to finally end the disastrous decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. It's becoming increasingly clear to Democrats and Republicans alike that we simply cannot afford the cost of the occupation in lives or treasure.
You can provide more momentum to the growing tide of public and political support for ending this war by calling on President Obama to bring our troops home by the end of 2012. Click below to automatically sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out to end the war.
Mushed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Ahmad Nadem and Ahmad Haroon, "Sixteen Afghan civilians killed in rogue U.S. attack," Reuters, March 11, 2012.
2. Ahmad Nadem, "Western forces kill 16 civilians in Afghanistan — Kabul govt," Reuters, March 11, 2012.
3. Deb Riechmann, 2 U.S. troops are killed in Afghanistan; Quran burning backlash claims 6", AP, March 2, 2012.
4. Graham Bowley and Alissa J. Rubin, "2 U.S. Officers Slain; Advisers to Exit Kabul Ministries," The New York Times, February 25, 2012.
5. Greg Jaffe, "Violence in wake of Koran incident fuels U.S. doubts about Afghan partners," The Washington Post, February 26, 2012.
6. Matthew Rosenberg and Graham Bowley, "Intractable Afghan Graft Hampering U.S. Strategy," The New York Times, March 7, 2012.
7. Associated Press in Kabul, Hamid Karzai backs clerics' move to limit Afghan women's rights," March 6, 2012.
8. Rajan Menon, "Playing Chicken in Kabul,", March 6, 2012.
9. Jon Cohen, "Poll: Few in U.S. sense Afghan support for war,", March 11, 2012.
10. Id.

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