Posts Tagged ‘withdraw

06
Jun
11

‘steeper pullout is raised as option for afghanistan’

NYT: President Obama’s national security team is contemplating troop reductions in Afghanistan that would be steeper than those discussed even a few weeks ago, with some officials arguing that such a change is justified by the rising cost of the war and the death of Osama bin Laden….

These new considerations, along with a desire to find new ways to press the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, to get more of his forces to take the lead, are combining to create a counterweight to an approach favored by the departing secretary of defense, Robert M. Gates, and top military commanders in the field. They want gradual cuts that would keep American forces at a much higher combat strength well into next year, senior administration officials said.

…A sharp drawdown of troops is one of many options Mr. Obama is considering…. The decisions on force levels in Afghanistan could mirror how Mr. Obama handled the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Senior Pentagon officials noted that after Mr. Obama set a firm deadline for dropping to 50,000 troops in Iraq, he then let his commanders in Baghdad manage the specifics of which units to order home and when. The argument over where to set those “bookends” promises to be one of the most consequential and contentious of Mr. Obama’s presidency…

Full article here

12
Mar
11

fighting back

The marquee at the Orpheum Theatre (Madison, Wisconsin) mocks Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker showing him starring in the Arnold Schwarzengger film Total Recall

The Nation: The blowback from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s union-busting crusade has only just begun — and it may soon hit the governor where it really hurts: in the deep pockets of his biggest donors. Workers have begun organizing a “Move Your Money Campaign” against M&I Bank, whose employees are among his chief financial backers.

M&I Bank is the largest bank in Wisconsin, and was the recipient of $1.7 billion in TARP bailout money from the federal government. The bundled contributions from M&I executives were Walker’s second-largest source of campaign funds … executives at M&I Bank gave $46,308 to Walker’s campaign. And now, a group of local unions in Wisconsin have threatened to pull their money from M&I Bank unless it denounces Scott Walker’s attack on workers’ rights.

…On Thursday morning, several hundred protesters surrounded an M&I Bank across the street from the Wisconsin State Capitol shouting “You Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out.”  International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311 President Joe Conway Jr. told me two union members marched in and pulled a combined $192,000 dollars out of the bank. “Hopefully this sends a message to the bank,” says Conway. “We wanted to illustrate how serious our threat is by having just two of our members pull their money out. “ The union said it plans to escalate actions and will soon begin handing out flyers at protests asking people to move their money.

A senior union researcher estimates that unions have at least $1 billion invested in M&I Bank, mostly through pension funds. Discussions are going on at the highest levels of the labor movement about how exactly to leverage this financial clout in the political debate in Wisconsin. Since the Bank of Montreal is in process of purchasing M&I Bank, US unions have reached out to the Canadian Labour Congress to urge their involvement in a disinvestment campaign.

Full article here

Thank you Marlene 😉




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