"What luck for the rulers that men do not think." -Adolf Hitler
"I will bring this war to an end in 2009. So don’t be confused." -- Senator Barack Obama

"If you don't like Obama, you is a racist!" -- Kelonda

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"If the government robs Peter to pay Paul, he can count on the continued support of Paul.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Hill: Afghanistan war votes lie far ahead for the Speaker of the House

"But he won’t find many opponents among the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), of which Obama was once a member. Though CBC members were strongly against Bush’s moves in Iraq, many appear to be giving Obama the benefit of the doubt.

“'I think there needs to be a lot of deference to commanders in the field,' said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).

“'The president has to be given time for his policies to work,' added Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) as he and Butterfield walked into a CBC meeting.

"CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is perhaps the most ardent war opponent in Congress, as the lone vote against the 2001 Afghanistan war. But even she spoke deferentially about Obama’s plan.

“'I thought it was a very thoughtful and compelling speech,' Lee said. 'But I’m totally opposed to his decision to escalate the war.'

"And she’s not trying to whip up her colleagues to vote against the troop buildup.

“'We haven’t even heard if there will be a vote,' Lee said."

Lee: "His agenda is our agenda."

Barbara Lee Releases Statement on President Obama's Strategy in Afghanistan


Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released this statement on President Barack Obama’s announcement of his new strategy for Afghanistan.

“While I recognize the harsh realities of war and I applaud President Obama for his thorough review of United States Policy in Afghanistan - I must respectfully disagree with the President.

“His decision to implement yet another unnecessary and counterproductive escalation of troops in Afghanistan is disappointing.

“We can't continue to send more troops and expect different results. Our military is already stretched too thin. Afghanistan needs a political solution -- not a military one. Adding more troops won't change this important fact.

“We've been fighting for eight years, and our strategy isn't working. In fact, things are only getting worse -- we are seeing rising violence, surging drug production, and an increasingly corrupt central government.

“It is time to put an end to this conflict. But to do that we cannot continue to use a 20th century response to a 21st century problem. We must change our priorities to focus on a diplomatic solution.

“As we move forward in this process it is imperative that we have a complete debate on this escalation on the House floor. Additionally, I am prepared to offer my legislation HR 3699 which would prohibit funding for an escalation of troops as an amendment.”


Ms. Lee, did you not say months ago that "(Obama's) agenda is our (Congressional Black Caucus) agenda"?

As I always said. you all were never on his agenda.

Brother X says "Barbara Lee is RACIST for opposing Obama!"

From a Liberal: "President Barack Obama delivered the best speech George W. Bush ever gave in his life"

"On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama delivered the best speech George W. Bush ever gave in his life. Mr. Bush, if he was watching, would have recognized virtually every facet of Obama's speech, for it was the Bush administration that hammered out the template used by Mr. Obama to deliver the news that he is doubling down on the war in Afghanistan.

"Obama's eloquence was far superior to anything Mr. Bush could have ever hoped to achieve - for the first time in the 21st century, the United States has a president who can pronounce 'nuclear' correctly - but at the end of the day, it was the same script all over again.

"Mr. Obama's speech contained all the well-worn Bushian touchstones, one above all: sharing a stage with soldiers in uniform - and how heartbreakingly young were the faces in that room; one could hear a pin drop throughout in that roomful of children whose lives will be directly affected by the decision that was announced - as a means of political defense and to augment his martial profile. Mr. Bush pulled this sickening stunt more times than can be counted, and it burned like acid to see another president defile their service by using them as props in a bit of political theater.

"It took exactly 130 words for Mr. Obama to invoke the attacks of September 11, which is just about how long it usually took Mr. Bush whenever he unleashed one of his linguistic muggings upon the populace."

Brother X says "He must be RACIST!"

From a Liberal: "Worse Than Bush"

"Everyone who voted for Obama needs to accept responsibility for the gratuitous violence about to befall the Afghan people. You voted for him. The blood is on your hands.

"Obama's public approval ratings are dropping like a stone. The glitz and the glamor are beginning to wear-thin. Now he's just another homicidal maniac disguised as a respected world leader. He's doomed to be a one-term president. Good riddance."

and a comment:

"I'm eating crow right now

"I voted for Obama, and I had hopes that he would end the senseless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama talked like a man who knew what he was doing, but alas, he is just another in a line of boot-licking presidents who kowtow to the rich and powerful who want these wars and financial malfeasance to continue until our nation is completely destroyed."

Brother X says "He must be RACIST!"

Obama has found opposition in antiwar movement

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear President Obama,

We are forwarding to you the accompanying letter from the leaders of 38 antiwar organizations, insisting that you turn from the path of war in Afghanistan before it is too late. The signatories write to express how strongly they and their constituents oppose any escalation in Afghanistan and how thoroughly any such action will alienate the American electorate, which takes this issue extremely seriously.

This is an historic document. Not in decades has the antiwar movement coalesced so completely around one demand, nor committed itself with such unanimity in determined resistance to the policy of a Presidential Administration. You will note that these same groups brought millions onto the streets before the U.S. war in Iraq, although at the time they lacked majority public support. Now, with the U.S. population already majorityopposed to your intended actions, this coalition, uniting veterans and peace activists and religious leaders, urges you not to repeat President Johnson's mistake of committing the nation to a war he knew full well it could not win, persuaded by advisers that withdrawal was not, for him, an option. Withdrawal was the right option then, and it is the only option now.

Most Sincerely,


Michael McPhearson, Executive Director
Veterans For Peace

Mike Ferner, President
Veterans For Peace

* * *

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C.

November 30, 2009

Dear President Obama,

With millions of U.S. people feeling the fear and desperation of no longer having a home; with millions feeling the terror and loss of dignity that comes with unemployment; with millions of our children slipping further into poverty and hunger, your decision to deploy thousands more troops and throw hundreds of billions more dollars into prolonging the profoundly tragic war in Afghanistan strikes us as utter folly. We believe this decision represents a war against ordinary people, both here in the United States and in Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan, if continued, will result in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of U.S. troops, and untold thousands of Afghans.

Polls indicate that a majority of those who labored with so much hope to elect you as president now fear that you will make a wrong decision -- a tragic decision that will destroy their dreams for America. More tragic is the price of your decision. It will be paid with the blood, suffering and broken hearts of our young troops, their loved ones and an even greater number of Afghan men, women and children.

The U.S. military claims that this war must be fought to protect U.S. national security, but we believe it is being waged to expand U.S. empire in the interests of oil and pipeline companies.

Your decision to escalate U.S. troops and continue the occupation will cause other people in other lands to despise the U.S. as a menacing military power that violates international law. Keep in mind that to most of the peoples of the world, widening the war in Afghanistan will look exactly like what it is: the world's richest nation making war on one of the world's very poorest.

The war must be ended now. Humanitarian aid programs should address the deep poverty that has always been a part of the life of Afghan people.

We will keep opposing this war in every nonviolent way possible. We will urge elected representatives to cut all funding for war. Some of us will be led to withhold our taxes, practice civil resistance, and promote slowdowns and strikes at schools and workplaces.

In short, President Obama, we will do everything in our power, as nonviolent peace activists, to build the kind of massive movement --which today represents the sentiments of a majority of the American people--that will play a key role in ending U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Such would be the folly of a decision to escalate troop deployment and such is the depth of our opposition to the death and suffering it would cause.

Sincerely, (Signers names listed in alphabetical order)

Jack Amoureux, Executive Committee
Military Families Speak Out

Michael Baxter
Catholic Peace Fellowship

Medea Benjamin, Co-founder
Global Exchange

Frida Berrigan
Witness Against Torture

Imam Mahdi Bray, Executive Director
Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation

Elaine Brower
World Can't Wait

Leslie Cagan, Co-Founder
United for Peace and Justice

Tom Cornell
Catholic Peace Fellowship

Matt Daloisio
War Resisters League

Marie Dennis, Director
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Robby Diesu
Our Spring Break

Pat Elder, Co-coordinator
National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth

Mike Ferner, President
Veterans For Peace

Joy First, Convener
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

Sara Flounders, Co-Director
International Action Center

Sunil Freeman
ANSWER Coalition, Washington, D.C.

Diana Gibson, Coordinator
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice

Jerry Gordon, Co-Coordinator
National Assembly To End Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupation

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence

David Hartsough
Peaceworkers San Francisco

Mike Hearington, Steering Committee
Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, Atlanta

Larry Holmes, Coordinator
Troops Out Now Coalition

Mark C. Johnson, Ph.D., Executive Director
Fellowship of Reconciliation

Hany Khalil
War Times

Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator
Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Leslie Kielson , Co-Chair
United for Peace and Justice

Malachy Kilbride
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

Adele Kubein, Executive Committee
Military Families Speak Out

Jeff Mackler, Co-Coordinator
National Assembly to End Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations

Kevin Martin, Exec. Director
Peace Action

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair-Elect
World Parliament of Religion

Michael T. McPhearson, Executive Director
Veterans For Peace

Gael Murphy, Co-founder
Code Pink

Michael Nagler, Founder
Metta Center for Nonviolence

Max Obuszewski, Director
Baltimore Nonviolence Center

Pete Perry
Peace of the Action

Dave Robinson, Executive
Director Pax Christi USA

Terry Rockefeller
September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows

Samina Sundas, Founding Executive Director
American Muslim Voice

David Swanson

Carmen Trotta
Catholic Worker

Nancy Tsou, Coordinator
Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice

Jose Vasquez, Executive Director
Iraq Veterans Against the War

Kevin Zeese
Voters for Peace

The Independent: Britain faces return to Victorian levels of poverty

"Labour's strategy for tackling poverty has reached the end of the road and Britain risks a return to Victorian levels of inequality, according to a major two-year study seen by The Independent.

"With 20 per cent of the population still stuck in poverty, the report calls for sweeping reform of the tax and welfare systems under which higher earners would finance more generous, universal benefits. The £43,888-a-year ceiling on national insurance contributions (NICs) would be abolished, so people earning more would pay NICs at 11 per cent on all their income above that level, instead of the current 1 per cent.

"The study, by the Labour-affiliated Fabian Society and Webb Memorial Trust, argues that Gordon Brown's 'quiet redistribution' of wealth now lacks public support – and declares that one of the reasons is Labour's tough language about benefit fraud and claimants."

Mychal Massie: It's not a hate crime if …

"A black man was beaten for expressing his political beliefs. Isn't that a hate crime?

"Where are the Jacksons and the Sharptons calling the SEIU leadership on the carpet and demanding answers? Where are the Congressional Black Caucus demands for hearings and investigations? Why hasn't Obama said these union thugs 'acted stupidly' – why hasn't the White House publicly condemned their actions?"

Walter E. Williams: When elites make our decisions for us

"Whether it is health care, education, employment or most other areas of our lives, I ask you: Who has the capacity to master all the complexity to make choices on behalf of others? Each of us possesses only a tiny percentage of the knowledge that would be necessary to make totally informed decisions in our own lives, much less the lives of others. There is only one reason for the forcible transference of decision-making authority over important areas of our private lives to elite decision-makers in Congress and government bureaucracies. Doing so confers control, power, wealth and revenue to society's elite. What's in the best interests of individual members of society, such as a person who'd rather launch a landscaping business than purchase a health-insurance policy, ranks low on the elite's list of priorities."

BRET STEPHENS: Climategate: Follow the Money

"Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums. And who better to ring it than people like Mr. Jones, one of its likeliest beneficiaries?"

Nat Hentoff: Be scared: Obamacare endangers our life spans

"Is this what presidential candidate Barack Obama meant by 'Change we can believe in'? Even if you voted for him, is this the change you will believe in if your doctor is overruled by the government in his or her treatment decisions about you?"

AP: Troops, families mixed over Obama's Afghan surge

"'First he was supposed to be pulling everyone out, and now all the sudden he's throwing everybody back into Afghanistan and it's like nobody can really make up their minds,' McCleod said of Obama."

AUDIO: 'Dozing' cadets uninspired by Obama

Jon Stewart on ClimateGate: 'Poor Al Gore - Global Warming Debunked Via Internet You Invented'

"If you needed any more assurance the growing ClimateGate scandal is far more significant than America's media has been portraying, you got it Tuesday night from Comedy Central's Jon Stewart.

Somewhat surprisingly, 'The Daily Show' host in his opening sketch tore apart the scientists involved in sending the obtained e-mail messages for showing "a clear effort to raise fears about global warming, and hide evidence against it."


"Sonja Schmidt offers the perfect gift for the holiday season, race cards. Their cheap, easy to carry and, when played with skill, they can get you a free pass on literally everything. Get yours today!"

Calvin Freiburger: Daily Kos Takes Aim at Hannity, Shoots Self in Foot

"Kos’s point is…what, exactly? If information enters the public sphere through illicit means, we should pretend it doesn’t exist? That might be the New York Times’ newly-discovered conviction, but that’s just not gonna cut it. Nothing in Kos’s brief snippet of 'Hannity' indicates that Sean thinks the East Anglia hacker shouldn’t be punished for his crime, and you don’t have to be an advocate of email hacking to recognize the significance of the emails’ contents (besides, it’s not like we didn’t already know that global warming is a bunch of hot air).

"In a perfect world, personal information and communications would be secure. But in a perfect world, respected scientists wouldn’t lie to us, either. However they were revealed, the ClimateGate emails crystallize several inconvenient truths about one of today’s biggest issues. The real crime would be closing our eyes to the truth that’s right in front of us."

Keith Olbermann: Wrong Then, Wrong Now!

So Bush Was An Idiot?

The Historic Ordination Of Rev. Johnny Lee Clary Into C.O.G.I.C

"This is the historic ordination of Rev. Johnny Lee Clary, the former National Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan into the Church Of God In Christ, America's largest Black denomination with over 6 million members. The ordination ceremony was conducted on Nov. 28th, 2009, by Bishop George D. McKinney, who is a national board member and ruling elder of C.O.G.I.C., and founder and pastor of St. Stephens Cathedral Church Of God In Christ, in San Diego, California where the ordination took place. Rev. Clary has pledged to work with Bishop McKinney and the C.O.G.I.C., to help bring racial reconciliation to America and evangelize the lost."

Mark Hyman: The Plan to Silence Dissent

"The Obama Administration declared war on the minority of media outlets that do not worship the political left's newest false idol immediately after Obama was sworn in. Three days into his presidency Obama warned Congressional Republicans against listening to radio host Rush Limbaugh. Amazingly, the president who offered to sit down with the thug leaders of rogue nations, such as Iran's Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, without any preconditions believed an immense threat was posed by a radio talk show host originally from southeastern Missouri."

The Hill: Anti-war groups criticize Obama for sending troops to Afghanistan

"Liberal anti-war groups are decrying President Barack Obama’s decision to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.

"Groups like Code Pink and Veterans for Peace said Tuesday that the troop escalation will only make withdrawal more difficult and timelines are impossible to predict. The groups spoke out hours before Obama’s address to the nation."

The "Honorable" Brother X says: "They are all WHITE, therefore they are RACIST TO CRITICIZE MY PRESIDENT!!!"

Wake Up America: Obama's Afghan Speech- Talking Out of Both Sides Of His Mouth

"Barack Obama needs to stop campaigning and start doing what is in the interest of our country. Many disagree on what that is, but he was voted in as President and he needs to stop trying to sit in the middle, make a decision, stand behind it and quit making excuses or offering olive branches to those that disagree.

"He especially needs to remember the world is watching and judging accordingly."

Did Blacks sell Blacks as Slaves?

Brother X says: "The weak White Man came to Africa with nets and grabbed all those strong Black People!"

New Nigga Slave Masters - Democrats and Liberals (Black and White)

Great Ugandan President or Mere Spear Chucker

"This Country is lobbying for legislation that would put to death Homosexuals who are HIV Positive. There are claims that US Politicians are supporting this behind the scenes (surprisingly no names- strange).

"Sounds familiar does it not? Is he just another murdering bastard, complicit in the demise of his own people or is he another Dumb Ass Spear Chucker being influenced any the western World.

"My Opinion, he is another murdering Bastard like the ones who sold their own people into slavery.

"But if you are scared to speak against the Mother Land for it leaves you no excuse to blame whitey, then he is just another Dumb Ass Spear Chucker who pulls his wagon behind any anybody."

Chris Matthews calls West Point the "Enemy Camp"

Congress Finally Figuring Out ACORN Was For Democrats

More Moore

More Moore

More Moore

Michael Moore

AP: Obama’s War Strategy Recalls That of President Bush

"It feels like 2007 all over again. Different war, different president, but 'surge' is back in vogue."

Charlie Martin: Climategate: Imminent Demise of Glaciers Due to … a Typo!

"The IPCC has been claiming Himalayan glaciers could be gone by 2035. The research paper they used concluded 2350."

Douglas J. Keenan -- The Fraud Is Everywhere: SUNY Albany and Queens University Belfast Join Climategate

"After my paper was published, the State University of New York — where the research discussed in my paper was conducted — carried out an investigation. During the investigation, I was not interviewed — contrary to the university’s policies, federal regulations, and natural justice. I was allowed to comment on the report of the investigation, before the report’s release.

"But I was not allowed to see the report. Truly Kafkaesque."


"I found this comment - 'The ADL is allegorically pinning a yellow star on "conspiracy theorists," Oath Keepers, Tea Party protesters, and anyone else who dares express dissent in response to the financial looting of the country or Barack Obama’s big government agenda' – repeated on at least 52 Web sites and blogs…'”

Jonathan S. Tobin: ADL Crosses the Line with Report Bashing Obama Critics

"Denunciations of the harsh tone of political discourse are an old standby of American commentary. Though presidents of the United States have been subjected to absurd and often vicious attacks for more than 200 years, it has been generally understood that the derangement engendered by extreme partisanship is an unavoidable if regrettable feature of our political life. But if the Anti-Defamation League has its way, the election of Barack Obama will herald a changing of the rules. Opponents of this president are apparently going to have to tread a lot more lightly or face all the opprobrium that this group can muster.

"Why is this so? As was the case with many of those who opposed his Republican predecessor, some of those speaking up against President Obama’s policies have engaged in uncivil discourse. While the far Left embraced conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq war, the far Right wastes time pondering the president’s religious faith or where he was born. And some on the Right have tried to brand the object of their opposition as a new Hitler, just as some on the Left did to Bush.

"Such appalling statements should be condemned. But just as it was wrong — as well as politically tone-deaf — for conservatives to have assumed that all opponents of the war in Iraq could be put down as merely the fellow travelers of the insane Left, where the Code Pink/Cindy Sheehan crowd dominated, it would be foolish for the Left to make the same mistake about the groundswell of opposition against Obama’s policies. Yet as misguided as such an approach may be for the Democratic party, it is quite another thing when an organization tasked with monitoring anti-Semitism and genuine threats to democracy steps into this mess. But that is exactly what the ADL has done with its new report, 'Rage Grows in America: Anti-Government Conspiracies,' issued on Monday. The report claims that those who are disgruntled with the president have unleashed a 'toxic atmosphere of rage in America' since Obama's election.

"Some of the ADL’s work here is unexceptionable. Informing the public about scary fringe groups like the armed 'militias' mentioned in the report is the sort of task for which the ADL was founded. But 'Rage Grows in America' isn’t content with smoking out the nuts. Its goal is to link them to the broad spectrum of activists, writers, and thinkers who are less than enthralled with the age of Obama. For the ADL, the 'rage' is the result of a three-headed monster: 'mainstream political attacks,' 'grass roots hostility,' and 'anti-government extremists.'

The first of these threats to American democracy — the word 'mainstream' appears in the report in quotes as if to disparage the notion that such opinions are widespread, while simultaneously paying lip service to the fact that strong criticism of Obama is entirely legitimate — is the result of partisan attacks against the Obama administration by some conservative politicians and media figures. Upset and anxious about their loss of power following the 2008 elections, they seek primarily to energize their political base and to delegitimize the Obama administration at the same time.

"This passage ought to prompt disinterested readers to ask whether a defeated political party’s criticism of their opposition deserves mention in a report about extremism. After all, conservatives have attacked Obama on the issues not because they want to overthrow the government but because they disagree with him. The ADL then attempts to cover itself by saying that, 'for the most part,' such mainstream critics 'eschew the conspiracy theories and more outlandish notions and tactics propagated by others. Some of their activities parallel Democratic tactics during the Bush administration. These mainstream political attacks fall outside of the bounds of this report.'

"The mere mention of such Republican activities in this context, however, serves to reinforce the very conclusion that the ADL claims it wishes to disavow. Indeed, the report then goes on to say: 'One of the most important effects of these activists, however, is to help create a body of people who may be predisposed to believe the assertions and claims of more extreme individuals and groups.'

"So, according to the ADL, one of the 'most important' motives for criticism of the stimulus package, ObamaCare, appeasement of Iran, dithering over Afghanistan, and perhaps even the president’s confrontational attitude toward Israel is to lay the groundwork for extremist conspiracy theories!

"In one tidy package, the ADL links not only 'mainstream' critics but also radio and television talkers like Glenn Beck and peaceful 'tea party' protests against higher taxes with those who talk of armed resistance to the government and even those responsible for the 1994 Oklahoma City bombing. Seen in this light, those who merely cry that they 'want their country back' from the Democrats while standing outside a town-hall meeting become the thin edge of the wedge of a new threat to democracy and, by extension, a threat to the Jews.

"The point is that the 'tea parties' and protests at town halls are no more a threat to democracy than were the anti-Iraq-war protests of just a few years ago, where one was just as likely, if not more likely, to encounter not veiled anti-Semitism of the kind the report imuted to right-wing activists, but rather open vicious Jew hatred and Israel-bashing, as well as portrayals of Bush and Dick Cheney as Nazis."

I'm not a Bush or Karl Rove Fan, But....

...Rove nailed things in this interview with NBC's Matt Lauer:

MATT LAUER: Karl Rove is a Fox News contributor and former senior adviser to President George W. Bush. Karl, good to see you. Welcome back.

KARL ROVE: Thanks for having me.

LAUER: Let's get back to Afghanistan for a second. You have said in the past that the President was wobbly on Afghanistan. He's going to announce tonight that he's gonna send between 30,000 and 35,000 additional troops there. Wobbly any more or is that a definitive action?

ROVE: That's a definitive action, and if the President does do that, I'll be among the first to stand up and applaud.

LAUER: What do you mean, if he does do that?

ROVE: Well I'm, the President gets to make the speech. So I mean we're operating on news reports. If the news reports are correct, that the United States is going to send between 30,000 - Wall Street Journal, 34,000 - Washington Post, and then add 5,000 that the Brits have already arranged to recruit from NATO, then we're getting pretty close to what McChrystal said was necessary to execute the strategy that the President laid out on March 25th.

LAUER: So, you would say then, if he takes this action and sends these additional troops, that he is, is making Afghanistan the priority it deserves to be?

ROVE: He is providing the resources that his commanders said are necessary to execute the strategy, or most of the troops necessary to execute the strategy that he himself laid out on March 25th.

LAUER: Let's talk about why these additional troops are necessary. The resurgence of the Taliban, the infiltration of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and critics of your administration, President Bush's administration, are gonna say, this is, first of all, this hasn't happened in the last 10 months, this has been happening for years, and one of the reasons it happened is that your administration took its eye off the ball in Afghan-

ROVE: Uhh-

LAUER: Well let me, let me finish. Took its eye off the ball in Afghanistan, concentrated too heavily on Iraq and allowed this to happen in Afghanistan.

ROVE: Well I think that's revisionism. If you look at it, Afghanistan was improving until about two years ago, and as Iraq began to improve, al Qaeda looked for other places to operate. As it became increasingly more difficult because of the surge for them to operate with impunity in Iraq, they went elsewhere, and they went two places, a little bit to the horn of Africa and a lot back to Pakistan and tribal regions to expand their activities in Afghanistan. A strategic-

LAUER: When it started to-

ROVE: One other thing.

LAUER: Go ahead.

ROVE: Let me, let me, one other thing. There was a strategic review begun last year under President Bush to look at what was needed to meet this changing threat in the Afghan, in the Afghan/Pakistan region that strategic review was undertaken by the previous administration, handed off to this administration at their request, and they executed the recommendations of it in March.

LAUER: If this started to happen two years ago, by your own estimations, at that time, the Bush administration had how many troops in Afghanistan?

ROVE: And they began to surge additional brigades into-

LAUER: But how many did they have, about 35,000?

ROVE: And they began to add to those as conditions, you remember, we redirected some Marines, for example, who were meant to go to Iraq, to meet the new threat in Afghanistan.

LAUER: If you look back at what the, the military said, General, or Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen said in 2008. He said he would love to send more troops to Afghanistan, "but I don't have the troops I can reach for, brigades I can reach to send to Afghanistan until I have a reduced requirement in Iraq." Were the resources available?

ROVE: Well look, first of all, they, resources were sent as they were needed, but I would remind you this, President Obama is in no position whatsoever to criticize what President Bush did. Because in 2007, President Obama, then a member of the United States Senate, voted against war funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. If this was so vital, then why did he not speak out? He was chairman of a committee overseeing NATO. He could have easily called a hearing to say, "I'm concerned about this issue." He did not. The Foreign Relations committee had three hearings on Afghanistan. He bothered to show up at one, and I can find no evidence he raised a single point or asked a single question. So President Obama is not in a place to be critical of, of this. He can look back and rewrite history, whatever, but at the time, he didn't speak out on this.

LAUER: The, the President says, or Robert Gibbs just said, that the goal now is to disrupt, destroy, and dismantle al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Is that the correct stated goal, in your opinion, at this date in time?

ROVE: Well, that's, that's an important goal. That is the, the most important goal, but it's not the only goal, and I thought there was a little bit of confusion in Gibbs' statement. He said it's not nation-building, but then he went on to say we gotta nation-build, by, we've got to build up the Afghan police, we gotta build up the Afghan military and we gotta have, a change in governance. Look, no president, in fact, the previous president was not a fan of nation-building, until he got into office and until he faced the reality of the situation and realized you can't simply insert military, U.S. military power and not be concerned with creating a, a democratic ally. We faced that problem in Korea. We faced that problem in Germany, we faced that problem, you know, in the Balkans. We still have U.S. troops in the Balkans, and, and why? Because we, the, the, the necessary condition of the, of the use of American military power is not simply to send the military in. It's to be able to have a stable situation in which there's regional, in which regional conflict is diminished. So we, there, there's a little bit of confusion. He said, "not nation-building," but then went on to describe some essential elements of nation-building.

LAUER: Karl Rove. Karl, good to have you here.

ROVE: Thanks for having me.

LAUER: Thanks very much.