The accusations keep flying so fast and furious about Blackwater thatit’s almost–almost–hard to be surprised byanything. The news thethe CIA under President Bush was contracting out politicalassassinations in Afghanistan to a politically connected, dangerousprivate mercenary army is stunning, but it’s hardly surprising. OnMSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night, The Nation‘s JeremyScahill explained the latest bombshell:
Is there any question that the US State Department, once and for all,needs to sever ties with Blackwater?
The new charges are another on a long list of reasons why the USshould be wary of continuing engagement in Afghanistan. Robert Dreyfusshas been covering this week’s elections, and his conclusion is stark:Get out, move on and let Afghanistan beAfghanistan. His latest, “Fixing Afghanistan,” is a must-read,and it is an interesting companionto thenew Washington Post-ABC News Poll that showed a majority of Americansbelieve that continuing the war in Afghanistan is not worth the costs.The poll reflects an underlying concern that Afghanistan could becomePresident Obama’s Vietnam–a war that he didn’t start, but now calls a”War of Necessity.”
Taken togetherwith Tom Ridge’s accusationsthat the Bush administration politicized terror (again stunning, but notsurprising–read DavidSirota and Judd Legum’s cover story from 2004, “Vote for Bush or Die”) it’s clear that as much as we try to look forward, the sins of the past are still with us–and some are perilously close to beingembraced by our new President. When it comes to Blackwater, and toAfghanistan, its essential that President Obama do what he said so manytimes in the 2008 campaign: rethink and turn the page.
A few other quick hits from The Nation‘s orbit this week:
• Still confused about healthcare and the “public option?” Our ChrisHayes explains it as part of these remarks at the Netroots Nationconference.
•The Nation is putting the finishing touches on our special issue about the politics of food. An issue devoted to what we’re calling “TheFood-Democracy Nexus,” The Nation‘s second-ever special issue devoted tofood features contributions from Alice Waters, Dan Barber, MichaelPollan, Anna Lappe, Grace Lee Boggs and others, as well as readers ownideas on what best embodies a responsible food culture. The issue is outnext Thursday, September 3.
• I’ll be on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, September 6, as DC springsback to life and the Senate takes up healthcare reform. I’ll have moredetails next week.
Finally, if you’d like to follow me on TwitterI’m @KatrinaNation. It’s a 140-character running Editors Cut, albeit with a few more thoughts on True Blood than I’m apt to share in this space. I hope you’ll follow and leave your comments below.