The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Patrick Kennedy's bashing of US AFG policy and US media

On 11 March 2010, the US House of Representatives debated a resolution sponsored by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D - Ohio) that requested the House to order the US president to remove all US troops from Afghanistan within 30 days. Interesting to note that this was the first time that the House debated the issue - ten years into the war. Needless to say that the resolution was rejected with 356 to 65 votes.

In a very true as well as entertaining intervention, Congressman Patrick Kennedy (R - Rhode Island) embarked on a bashing of the US AFG policy as well as the US media that highlighted a disturbing reality: there is no public debate about whether the mission in Afghanistan is good or bad for us - neither in the US nor in Europe.

In fact, even in national elections this issue is not up for controversy although it potentially has fundamental consequences to our security here in Europe. In Germany, the only party that demanded the immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan during the national parliamentary election campaign was the communist party Die Linke. When polls suggested that they might have a chance to enter a coalition with the Social-Democrats SPD and the Greens, the party leadership corrected its stand and demanded a withdrawal "as soon as possible", meaning at earliest in a year.

The question is: what information do politicians get that they all come to the same conclusion that being in Afghanistan is the best thing to do?

And a follow-up would be: where can I get this information?

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