US Expansion of Afghan Occupation, the Uses of NATO, and What Obama Should Do in Israel-Palestine

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama and European leaders arrived in France [yesterday] ahead of a key NATO summit to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the alliance. Obama will visit Germany today, as well, which is also playing host to the summit.


The French city of Strasbourg is under security lockdown, with 25,000 police on patrol following a day of clashes between protesters and riot police. Three hundred people were arrested, and a German press photographer was hospitalized after being hit in the stomach by a police rubber bullet. Tens of thousands of demonstrators have descended on Strasbourg and the German towns of Kehl and Baden Baden to protest the summit. France has temporarily reinstated border controls with Germany to restrict access to protesters.


The focus of the summit will be Afghanistan, where 70,000 troops, mostly under NATO command, are at war. President Obama will use the talks to enlist support for his escalation of the war. Obama has sent 21,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan, is considering deploying 10,000 more.


Meanwhile, Taliban militants in Pakistan marked the start of the two-day summit by destroying a fleet of nine parked NATO vehicles in transit for Afghanistan.


Last week, President Obama defended his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The world cannot afford the price that will come due if Afghanistan slides back into chaos or al-Qaeda operates unchecked. We have a shared responsibility to act, not because we seek to project power for

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