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HERSH: Military At War With The White House

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THE HERALD SUN: The army is “in a war against the White House — and they feel they have [President] Obama boxed in,” Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh told several hundred people in Duke University’s Page Auditorium on Tuesday night. “They think he’s weak and the wrong color. Yes, there’s racism in the Pentagon. We may not like to think that, but it’s true and we all know it.” In a speech on Obama’s foreign policy, Hersh, who uncovered the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and torture at Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraqi war, said many military leaders want Obama to fail. “A lot of people in the Pentagon would like to see him get into trouble,” he said. By leaking information that the commanding officer in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, says the war would be lost without an additional 40,000 American troops, top brass have put Obama in a no-win situation, Hersh contended.  “If he gives them the extra troops they’re asking for, he loses politically,” Hersh said. “And if he doesn’t give them the troops, he also loses politically.” The journalist criticized the president for “letting the military do that,” and suggested the only way out was for Obama to stand up to them. MORE

REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Polls show that Americans have lost their appetite for continuing the fight in Afghanistan. A recent CNN/Opinion Research poll found only 39 percent of Americans favor the war — an all-time low — and 58 percent are opposed to it. MORE

WIRED: In a gloomy commentary published late yesterday, Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security said the contested election, in many ways, has been a “worst-case scenario” for the U.S. and NATO mission. “Prior to the elections, the scenario most feared by the international community was one in which Karzai was re-elected by a thin margin amid widespread irregularities and allegations of corruption,” he wrote. “That is exactly what happened, leading a much-respected U.S. deputy to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan afghanistan_election_marines_800_1.jpg(UNAMA) to depart acrimoniously after witnessing what he perceived to be a U.N. cover-up of ballot box-stuffing and election-rigging.” MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: Mr. Karzai, after all, only agreed to abide by the laws of his own country. A United Nations-backed panel had nullified nearly a million ballots counted in Mr. Karzai’s favor — a third of his total — following an election on Aug. 20 that was marred by epic levels of fraud and vote stealing. Mr. Karzai had vigorously resisted the panel’s findings, and seriously considered overriding them and declaring himself the winner. It was only Senator Kerry’s relentless efforts, and a round-the-clock lobbying press by American and European leaders, that staved off political disaster. And that, ultimately, was the underlying message in the ceremony announcing Mr. Karzai’s concession last week: Mr. Karzai may have agreed to follow the law — he may have agreed to act in a democratic way — but he did so only after representatives of the United States, the United Nations and the largest European countries all but pushed him onto the dais to do it. MORE

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