[HCCN] Fwd: Deceptive Progressives Call for Support of Obama's War

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Wed Dec 2 19:56:52 EST 2009

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Global Network" <globalnet at mindspring.com>
> This morning I got an email from a friend who tipped me off to a  
> conference call for "progressives" to discuss Obama's Afghanistan  
> speech last night.
> The call announcement included this: "The narrative so far is that  
> the left is against sending more troops and the right is for it,”  
> said Jim Arkedis, Director of the National Security Project at the  
> Progressive Policy Institute. “But that’s not the reality of the  
> situation. There are reasons for progressives to take heart from  
> much of the President’s new strategy, as well as reasons to tread  
> carefully. We want to make sure all those voices are heard.”
> This made me quite interested so I dialed in. The call began with  
> everyone in the audience on mute as the following people make  
> opening statements.
> * Rachel Kleinfeld, CEO, Truman National Security Project
> * Jim Arkedis, Director of the National Security Project,  
> Progressive Policy
> Institute
> * Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), Senior Adviser, National Security Network
> * Andy Johnson, Director, Third Way National Security Program
> * Lorelei Kelly, Director, New Strategic Security Initiative
> * Brian Katulis, Center for American Progress
> * Frankie Sturm, Communications Director, Truman National Security  
> Project (Moderator)
> Frankly I had never heard of any of these people before and I've  
> been working in the "progressive movement" for the past 30 years. A  
> couple of the organizations they work for I had heard a bit about -  
> they are DC-based "think tanks" that usually are heavily funded by  
> corporations to project their message.
> Here is a bit of what some of them said in the opening:
> Rachel Kleinfeld: "Thrilled by last night's speech....it's a  
> realistic goal we have been given...dismayed that progressives  
> don't see that his will reduce the violence of this war."
> Jim Arkedis: Described himself as a former counter-terrorism  
> analyst at the Pentagon....."Think of the US like an NFL  
> defense....by adopting this counter-insurgency strategy it  
> essentially takes the other sides offense off the field.....this is  
> about peace and stability." He slammed Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)  
> who was on the news this morning criticizing the plan as being from  
> the "far left."
> Lorelei Kelly: "Progressives need to abandon the old talking points  
> from Iraq and Vietnam....progressives need to get inside this  
> debate, President Obama is trying to create a new way....these  
> policies need support....The American military is probably the most  
> progressive agency we have today."
> One of them brought up CodePink's recent visit to Afghanistan and  
> subsequent statements made by Media Benjamin to say that some peace  
> groups understand that we need to stay there and stabilize the  
> country. Another called Obama's plan the "full spectrum approach"  
> that progressives must support - we "need the military" to get to a  
> positive conclusion.
> Finally they unmuted the listeners and then opened it up for  
> "questions". I didn't ask a question but instead read a quote from  
> the Robert Scheer article which came from former Marine captain  
> Matthew Hoh where he said, “In the course of my five months of  
> service in Afghanistan … I have lost understanding and confidence  
> in the strategic purpose of the United States’ presence in  
> Afghanistan. … I have observed that the bulk of the insurgency  
> fights not for the white banner of the Taliban, but rather against  
> the presence of foreign soldiers and taxes imposed by an  
> unrepresentative government in Kabul.”
> A woman listener from West Virginia (CodePink) said she had family  
> killed in these wars and they need to stop. A woman from Georgia  
> said we need to end the wars. A man from upstate New York said they  
> were organizing protests and that Obama had betrayed us.
> Next they put us on mute again and told us that we could only ask  
> questions and that we'd better be good. When they unmuted I accused  
> them of trying to silence the voices of the people as it was clear  
> that they only wanted us on the call to listen to the talking  
> points put out by the White House.
> I know this is true because last spring I did a couple blogs about  
> the Obama administration daily sending out talking points to groups  
> like these that today hosted this "conference call". You can see  
> one such story about this by Jermey Scahill here
> One of the groups mentioned by Scahill in his article is the Center  
> for American Progress which was represented on the call today as  
> one of the "expert" speakers.
> While on the call I quickly did an Internet search on the Truman  
> National Security Project just to see what I could learn about  
> them. Their advisory board stands out like a sore thumb:
> Advisory Board
> Madeleine K. Albright
> Principal, The Albright Group LLC
> Leslie H. Gelb
> President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
> William Marshall
> President, Progressive Policy Institute
> William J. Perry (former Clinton Secretary of Defense)
> Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute
> John D. Podesta (former Clinton operative)
> President and CEO, Center for American Progress
> Wendy R. Sherman
> Principal, The Albright Group LLC
> First chance I got I read the list off and commented that it was  
> now abundantly clear to me that this call was intended to deliver  
> Obama team talking points to us and that they were not in the least  
> interested in what we had to say.....these folks organizing this  
> call came from the right-wing of the Democratic Party I said......  
> earlier I had strongly challenged one of them who stated that the  
> peace movement should stop protesting and support Obama's plan!
> They couldn't wait to finish the call and I am happy to say that it  
> did not go as well as they had hoped. I thank Mark Roman for  
> tipping me off and I want to warn everyone to be on the lookout for  
> these "pseudo progressives" who will now be coming out of the  
> woodwork to tell the public and the media that only the far-left is  
> against Obama's war in Afghanistan. Good "progressives" they will  
> say are going to support Obama's war surge.
> In the old days they used to call these folks "Scoop Jackson  
> Democrats" after the senator from Washington state who was a pro- 
> war leader. They have wised up and now call themselves progressives  
> and will steal the rug out from under our feet if we are not  
> watching closely.
> Bruce K. Gagnon
> Coordinator
> Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
> PO Box 652
> Brunswick, ME 04011
> (207) 443-9502
> globalnet at mindspring.com
> www.space4peace.org
> http://space4peace.blogspot.com/  (blog)

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