The Afghan people will win - Part 11

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Frmrsldr

Obama poised to announce 45,000 troop escalation in Afghanistan. British government's troop surge came amid claims of U.S. assurances:

Jason Ditz wrote:

The Obama Administration has reportedly told the British government that it intends to announce an escalation of another 45,000 troops in Afghanistan, potentially as soon as next week.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/14/report-obama-poised-to-announce-45000...

NDPP

Af-Pak: War on Two Fronts:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15685

"Any plans for the indefinite occupation of Afghanistan as touted by some NATO and US officials are fantasy, Canada's retreat will be part of a flood..Harper's best case scenario is for the pipeline to go ahead with Canadian participation and for a miracle to occur - the Taliban's sudden and unexpected defeat, allowing Canadian troops to come home, the pipeline and other resource deals signed, and assuring him of a Conservative majority in the next election.

"Canada has the potential to beat rivals because it has such an uncheckered history in that part of the world," argues Rob Sobhani, president of Caspian Energy Consulting. "People like Canadians, Canadians are apolitical." Even if the miracle doesn't happen and the pipeline deal collapses, Harper realises his political goose is cooked unless the troops come home, so he is forced to wash his bloody hands of this betrayal of Canada's traditional role of peacekeeping.."

Fighting the Taliban:

http://www.counterpunch.org/pirbhai10142009.html#

"...neither the 'militant' nor his ideology was being fought. Rather he was courted and his 'ideology' utilized for US strategic and economic interests.."

Frmrsldr

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

Af-Pak: War on Two Fronts:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15685

"Any plans for the indefinite occupation of Afghanistan as touted by some NATO and US officials are fantasy, Canada's retreat will be part of a flood...

Japan is currently moving to end its naval replenishment of U.S./NATO/ISAF warships that are supporting the Afghan and Iraq wars. The Netherlands has stated that they will withdraw their troops from Afghanistan in 2010.

Frmrsldr

What Gen. Stanley McChrystal wants and what the nation is able to provide:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/77269.html

canuquetoo

What is it that "the Afghan people will win" ?  Will the Pakistan people also "win"? There is no concept of 'winning' in those tribal hellholes. When the Americans have had enough and sneak out the bathroom window, regional interests will refocus on invading and killing each other rather than the western chaps.

Pakistanis do fear extremists but they believe the US is an even bigger danger to their country. In Pakistan, the US even outpolls India as enemy number one. The attention lavished on non-state actors as a deniable military asset has turned inward and bit the Pakistan military in the ass.

Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has stated in a video that extremist bombings and terror attacks in Pakistan would cease if the  government would stop acting like a US lackey. If that happened, he would turn his guns on India.

Same in Afghanistan. Once the western gravy train ends for Karzai and his gang, they will return to invading and killing each other as good medieval tribal adherents - just as if the western 'invasion' never occured.

 

howardbeale howardbeale's picture

Omigawd, how dare you suggest that if the west got out of the region it would not bring about the jubilee? How dare you suggest that the regional peoples may be actors with motives seperate from the eternal struggle between the glorious workers and the evil yanqui dogs. I am shocked by your contentions even as I am in perfect agreement with their accuracy.

Frmrsldr

Reuters wrote:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It would be irresponsible of President Barack Obama to commit to sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan when the outcome of that country's election is undecided, U.S. Senator John Kerry said on Saturday.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091017/pl_nm/us_afghanistan_usa_kerry

canuquetoo

What election? Oh, you refer to the bogus vote that attempts to lend legitimacy to the Karzai kleptocracy in the same manner that certain UN resolutions lend multinational legitimacy to unilateral US geopolitics?

Karzai was installed as a puppet by the US to give the appearance of a legitimate unified Afghan central government. He is given license by the Americans to utilise drug profits and stolen aid funds donated by western simpletons to keep his disparate collection of tribal thugs, murderers and little boy rapers in line. Hamid's brother is in charge of making sure the loot sticks to Karzai fingers.

The only difference between Karzai and his opponents is who pockets the loot. Much the same as the Palestinians - Yasser Arafat stole billions while enforcing the misery of his people in the camps as a marketing tool.

The American political class is stone stupid in regard to any cultural nuance that would enhance the success of their clumsy meddling while the antiwar chattering classes are oblivious to the prime reason the Anglostooges beaver away so industriously in lickspittling US geopolitical deadenders: in Canada's case, its not about fighting to protect the rights of little Afghan girls to go to school, rather it is about fighting to protect our export markets with the Great Satan and sovereignty from them so little Canadian girls can go to school.

Our lads aren't dying for Afghans, they are dying for our trade relationship with the US. Nothing new here.

 

Polunatic2

There's an excellent analysis on rabble.ca by retired air force colonel William Astore - "Obama as LBJ - Can the President escape the Afghan quagmire? I would recommend it to everyone following developments in Afghanistan. 

Quote:
What Obama needs, in other words, is fewer generals and ex-generals and more Norman Mailers -- more outspoken free-thinkers who have no interest in staying inside the pentagonal box that holds Washington's thinking tight. What Obama needs is to silence the endless cries for more troops and more war emanating from the military and foreign policy "experts" around him, so he can hear the voices of today's Mailers, of today's tough-minded dissenters. Were he to do so, he might yet avoid repeating LBJ's biggest blunder -- and so avoid suffering his political fate as well.

Wilf Day

canuquetoo wrote:
In Pakistan, the US even outpolls India as enemy number one.

Interesting result; was it close? Link, please.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Question: Some people believe that the (Pakistani) Taliban are the greatest threat to the country, some believe India is the greatest threat, whereas some believe US is the greatest threat. Who do you think is the greatest threat for Pakistan?

(Pakistani) Taliban 11%

India 18%

US 59%

Don't Know 12%

Total 100%

[url=http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/08/2009888238994769.html]LINK[/url]

NDPP

Looks like most people got it right...

NDPP

Looks like most people got it right...

Frmrsldr

Among an elusive enemy, who are our real foes?

Mark Sappenfield of the Christian Science Monitor wrote:

[1.] THE QUETTA SHURA TALIBAN

The greatest threat to US forces in Afghanistan comes from the faction of the Taliban still loyal to supreme leader Mullah Omar, according to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top US general in Afghanistan.

Virtually all reports suggest that Omar is located in the Pakistani city of Quetta. In fact, the US is so sure that Omar is there - and is so frustrated by Pakistan's unwillingness to do anything about it - that it strongly intimated it might expand drone attacks to Quetta, the Sunday Times reported last month.

Pakistan responded that Quetta was off-limits to US drones...

... In his assessment of Afghanistan, McChrystal calls the wing of the Taliban commanded by Omar the Quetta Shura Taliban, and reports that it "has been working to control [the southern Afghan] city of Kandahar and its approaches for several years and there are indications that their influence over the city and neighboring districts is significant and growing."

More broadly, it aims to return Afghanistan to Taliban rule.

[2.] THE HAQQANI NETWORK

The second greatest threat to US forces in Afghanistan is the network run by Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin. Reports place them in North Waziristan.

A State Department document connects the Haqqani network to an attack in Kabul's only five-star hotel, the Serena, as well as to a failed assassination attempt against President Hamid Karzai.

The US recently shifted the focus of its drone attacks to North Waziristan from South Waziristan. It had concentrated on South Waziristan throughout the summer - apparently in an attempt to placate the Pakistanis. The attacks in South Waziristan were successful, killing the leader of the Tehreek-i-Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud.

But the renewed focus on North Waziristan - even as Pakistan invades the South - "indicates the US is now targeting the dangerous Haqqani Network and also al Qaeda's network, which operates in the agency," according to The Long War Journal.

The Haqqani Network's goal is "to regain eventually full control of its traditional base in [the three eastern Afghan provinces of] Khost, Paktia, and Paktika."

[3.] HIZB-I-ISLAMI GULBUDDIN [HIG Gulbuddin]

Third on McChrystal's list of Pakistan-based threats to troops in Afghanistan is the Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin network led by Gilbuddin Hekmatyar. This group is believed to be responsible for the recent firefight in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province that left eight American soldiers dead.

It operates in parts of tribal Pakistan much farther north than South Waziristan. According to McChrystal, it "aims to negotiate a major role in a future Taliban government.

The South Waziristan offensive is not irrelevant to American strategic interests. "Stability in Pakistan is essential, not just in its own right, but also to enable progress in Afghanistan," McChrystal writes.

But, in and of itself, it is unlikely to have any dramatic effect on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1018/p02s07-usmi.html

pogge

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/19/un-monitor-strips-karzai-vic... inquiry slashes Karzai vote to 48%, setting stage for runoff[/url]

Quote:
A UN-backed election watchdog has declared invalid hundreds of thousands of votes for Afghanistan's president in the disputed August election, apparently stripping Hamid Karzai of outright victory and setting the stage for a second round.

After nearly two months of investigations, the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) - controlled by a majority of non-Afghans - found Karzai's total had fallen to 48.3%, according to an independent analysis. He needed 50% to clinch another term in office.

 

 

Caissa

Now the question is whether or not Karzai will abide by this ruling?

Sean in Ottawa

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-09/28/content_12119321.htm]Afghan peace needs a map[/url] reported in the China Daily, a government-owned newspaper and written by that country's deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies.   

The article calls for an international peace-keeping force. Given that the China daily is not only owned by the government of China -- it is a communicaitons tool of that government. So this is close to an official Chinese endorsement of a peace-keeping force there.

Indeed, if this is correct this could be the most hopeful solution. If the Chinese were to support an international UN mandate to replace the US there and the Chinese were to agree to participate, perhaps a UN mandate could become possible.It would need a country to participate that had enough resources to put a force on the ground.

Apart from restoring the mandate to a global one and removing the invasion force, the participation of China at this level might also contribute over time to a safer world. From China's point of view such engagement has other purposes and would enhance that coutnry's position globally. As well it would not hurt to see an exchange of peacekeeping culture with the Chinese-- the contact has been so minimal there would be learning on both sides. China as well has reason to want a more secure and stable Afghanistan.

I would welcome the Chinese coming to the table internationally on this issue.

NDPP

 

Fidel wrote:

Apart from restoring the mandate to a global one and removing the invasion force, the participation of China at this level might also contribute over time to a safer world. From China's point of view such engagement has other purposes and would enhance that coutnry's position globally. As well it would not hurt to see an exchange of peacekeeping culture with the Chinese-- the contact has been so minimal there would be learning on both sides. China as well has reason to want a more secure and stable Afghanistan.

I would welcome the Chinese coming to the table internationally on this issue.

NDPP

looks like you're not the only one...

Open Letter of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to Shanghai Summit:

http://afpakwar.com/blog/2009/10/16/text-of-the-open-letter-of-the-afgha...

"The invaders have turned our country into an inferno where the oppressed Afghans have been burning. Therefore we urge the participants of the Shanghai Summit to render assistance in the work and liberation of people and countries of the region from the claws of the colonialists and take a decisive stand regarding the West's invasion of Afghanistan.."

canuquetoo

Wilf Day wrote:

canuquetoo wrote:
In Pakistan, the US even outpolls India as enemy number one.

Interesting result; was it close? Link, please.

I don't have a link -  read it in one of the Pakistan papers but I don't think it was a poll as much as a measure of public sentiment. Pakistanis fear India as a hostile external threat but they fear the US as an internal force due to the leverage it holds with the present government regarding aid funding. The concern being the humiliating, intolerable conditions dumbass American senators attach to military and civil aid. The Americans play only to their domestic audience without regard for how their decisions impact their Pakistani counterparts.

In Pakistan, this dynamic plays out as surrendering sovereignty and independence to American bullying - something Canadians can empathise with. While India is a known threat from without, the US is an unknown threat from within.

canuquetoo

Frmrsldr wrote:

Among an elusive enemy, who are our real foes?

Mark Sappenfield of the Christian Science Monitor wrote:

 

The South Waziristan offensive is not irrelevant to American strategic interests. "Stability in Pakistan is essential, not just in its own right, but also to enable progress in Afghanistan," McChrystal writes.

But, in and of itself, it is unlikely to have any dramatic effect on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1018/p02s07-usmi.html

 

The South Waziristan offensive is an internal power struggle that has absolutely nothing to do with Afghanistan. The Quetta Taliban of Mullah Omar are still favorite sons of Pakistan's military while the new guy in South Waziristan who replaced the late Baitullah Mehsud is upsetting the ISI Kashmir applecart.

Pakistan's defense policy has not changed at all. The different 'radical' factions in Pakistan are basically the military's reserves in case of attack by India and the ISI's officially deniable provocation surrogates. Pakistan still covets Afghanistan for 'strategic depth' and will continue to enable General Stanley McChrystal's greatest threats while simultaniously trying to crush dissent among the internal 'radicals'.

What Pakistan really needs is for India to do something more than ordinarily stupid to focus 'radical' rage on India again. The Mumbai bombing didn't entice the Indians into stupidity so a new, more clever taunt must be arranged.

NDPP

David Rohde's Insights Into What Motivates the Taliban

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/10/18/rohde/index.html

"Ninety percent is a tribal, localized, insurgency," said one US intelligence official in Washington who helped draft the assessments. "Ten percent are hardcore idealogues fighting for the Taliban"...But the mostly ethnic Pashtun fighters are often deeply connected by family and social ties to the valleys and mountains where they are fighting, and they see themselves as opposing the United States because it is an occupying power...

One of the outstanding feats in propaganda is how we've managed to take people who live in a country which we invade, bomb and occupy--and who fight against us because we're doing that--and call them "terrorists", thereby justifying continuing to bomb and occupy the country further ("we have to stay in order to fight the 'Terrorists': meaning the people who are fighting us because we stay").

Frmrsldr

Obama's ratings slip on Afghanistan:

http://abcnews.go.com/PollingUnit/Politics.afghanistan-abc-news-washingt...

Allied strategy at risk as Afghan police run out of recruits:

Jason Ditz wrote:

But likely the ones who know it's wrong [bribery] are the ones leaving in droves, and those remaining are either those incapable of doing any better or those remaining are either those incapable of doing any better or those that have found ways to supplant their meager income in one of the most corrupt governments on earth. This is likely part of the reason why Western officials aren't even willing to hazzard a guess how much longer this war will take.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/22/afghan-police-recruitment-falling-wel... western-goals/

Militants deepen their foothold in Afghanistan's north:

Laura King wrote:

Just beyond the Kunduz city limits, insurgents brazenly tool around in Ford Rangers stolen from the Afghan police. A Taliban-run shadow administration, complete with a governor, a court system and tax levies, wields greater authority than its official counterpart in much of Kunduz province...

... "There's no safety now -- it's war." said Abdul Rahman, an ice cream vendor who is afraid to travel to his home in an outlying district. "The Taliban aren't in the city yet, but they're out there everywhere in the countryside around here. I'm scared."...

... Many Afghans fear that the hinterlands will become even more dangerous if the commander of allied troops in the country, U.S. Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, pushes ahead with plans to relinquish remote outposts and instead concentrate on defending population centers.

Although the number of insurgents in the north is relatively small compared with that in the south -- the Taliban's birthplace and traditional stronghold -- military officials and local leaders describe a worrying and unusually disparate buildup of insurgents in the region.

The influx is fed by a variety of militant factions: Al Qaeda-linked Uzbeks and Chechens with a particular reputation for ruthlessness, Taliban fighters who have been pushed northward by NATO offensives in the south, foot soldiers loyal to several different Pakistan-based insurgent commanders...

... Kunduz province, sandwiched between Tajikistan to the north and Baghlan province to the south, is in many ways a microcosm of the country, with an ethnically mixed population, longtime standing as a fighters' haven and smuggling route, and a shrinking sphere of government influence outside major population centers.

It is also a strategic pivot. When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, Kunduz was the fundamentalist movement's administrative center for all the north. Together with Baghlan, it is the gateway to the Hindu Kush, the towering mountains that represent the only real physical barrier between the north and Kabul.

"If Kunduz fell, the Hindu Kush would be in the hands of the Taliban, and this would a disaster," said Mohammad Omar, the provincial governor, who recently survived a Taliban assassination attempt.

The plethora of insurgent groups operating in Kunduz and Baghlan offers a rare glimpse of the shifting rivalries and alliances between the Taliban and Al Qaeda. A key link between the two is the feared Soviet-era insurgent commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a Kunduz native.

Hekmatyar's fighters frequently stage attacks against Western troops and Afghan security forces in the north. But in what analysts describe as a classic Afghan hedging technique, the commander is making political inroads in the region, even as he keeps up the battlefield pressure.

Many think Hekmatyar is positioning himself for possible power-sharing in a new administration likely to be led by President Hamid Karzai. The Afghan leader, facing a runoff challenge from his former foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah, is cementing ties with powerful warlords such as Hekmatyar, ignoring Western discomfort over such alliances.

"Hekmatyar is looking for more political influence here," said Habiba Urfan, a provincial council member in Kunduz. In Baghlan, an entire tier of provincial officials, from the governor on down, is allied with Hekmatyar, intelligence officials say.

Insurgents operating in the north have also displayed an acute awareness of the rifts between NATO allies -- seeking, in particular, to exploit tensions between McChrystal's leadership team and the Germans, who make up the main Western contingent in this part of the country.

This month, insurgents ambushed a 40-truck fuel convoy only a few miles outside the gates of Kunduz city. The attack was within sight of a hilltop German military base, but no troops responded; a spokesman said none were available.

http://freedomsyndicate.com/fair0000/latimes00038.html

 

Frmrsldr

President Barack Obama's war council:

Vanessa Gera and Slobodan Lekic wrote:

The NATO chief is pushing for greater cooperation between NATO and Russia. He said he hopes to persuade Moscow to become more engaged in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban has been making gains and forcing a U.S. review of its strategy there.

Russia has given some support to the interational anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan, allowing shipments of supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan across its territory, but has ruled out sending troops. The Soviet Union lost 15,000 soldiers in its war in Afghanistan in the 1980s before it was forced to retreat in humiliation.

It was in the chaos after the Soviet withdrawal that the Taliban came to power in 1996.

Fogh Rasmussen's warning about the dangers of disengaging from Afghanistan were echoed Thursday by Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, the meeting's host. Fico said "we cannot allow Afghanistan to once again become a haven for terrorism" and pledged to beef up Slovakia's 250-member engineering unit based in Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces...

... Fogh Rasmussen also plans to propose to the 28 ministers a sweeping reform to NATO's military structure which would enable more of the alliance's 2.5 million service members to be used in operations, a spokesman said. Currently, less than half of those forces are deployable, and only about 10 percent are sustainable on missions for any length of time.

http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/10/22/nato-chief-calls-for-perseverance-in-...

Reuters wrote:

LONDON (Reuters) - British troop numbers in Afghanistan could be scaled back in five years as the Afghan army is strengthened, though some will have to stay behind in a support role, the British army's new chief said on Thursday.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091022/wl_nm/us_britain_afghanistan_richards

The more I read such things, the more I come to the conclusion that the end in Afghanistan is coming to an end all that much faster.

Fidel

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/711772--canada-s-military-pee... Canadian military report[/url] says a large contingent of Canadian soldiers will be needed in Afghanistan in 2016. And mandatory military service for new Canadians, fighting "terrorism" in the arc of instability region of the world etc. I get a strong impression that Canadian soldiers will be there with Uncle Sam in Asia like dogs in a manger. There needs to be a road to peace mapping out by real leaders using diplomacy.

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
There needs to be a road to peace mapping out by real leaders using diplomacy.

That road leads out through the mountain passes in Pakistan, and through the airfields around the country.  The people that do not belong there should cease all forms of meddling and embark upon those routes with haste.

Fidel

It could happen. But then again recent commentators on the war, like Canada's Erik Margolis, say that the US military and NATO aren't there in Central Asia to try to bring about world peace, or eliminate "al-Qa'eda", and nor are they there to fight for Afghan women's rights. I think there will be no fast exit from Afghanistan in the same way things turned out in 1975 Ho Chi Minh City. 

Frmrsldr

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/711772--canada-s-military-pee... Canadian military report[/url] says a large contingent of Canadian soldiers will be needed in Afghanistan in 2016. And mandatory military service for new Canadians, fighting "terrorism" in the arc of instability region of the world etc. I get a strong impression that Canadian soldiers will be there with Uncle Sam in Asia like dogs in a manger. There needs to be a road to peace mapping out by real leaders using diplomacy.

I read that so called "Canadian military report" elsewhere. All it is is a slightly reworded essay taken from talking points of American neocon think tanks like The New American Security, etc. The original talks about a U.S. arc of stability that covers the Western hemisphere, North-East and the Horn of Africa, West Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Pacific (Australia and New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan).

Mandatory military service for new Canadians is a scary thought. Canada will be loudly criticized at home and abroad for a racist and discriminatory policy in this regard. At home too, civil liberties and veterans groups will criticize it as the first step in a slippery slope scenario to universal conscription.

Fidel

I think mandatory service for new Canadians would not fly with the public either. But there will be many Canadians who will agree with it at the same time. Political conservatives have gotten away with bad policies before and lived to represent Bay Street and corporate America's interests in Ottawa another day. Like Wilf Day's comments on our electoral system, all they really need is ~ 22-25% of registered voter support, and they are able to crush democracy in Canada. I think? I think the US-led NATO military agenda could be so important to them as cause Harper to cave-in to the NDP's calls for expanding CPP. They have to do something, and I'm betting that they will not risk a gamble that vote distorting FPP will produce the intended results for them next time. This could be the carrot for voters that paves the way to a conservative phony majority, and who knows what else down the road?

Frmrsldr

Frmrsldr wrote:

President Barack Obama's war council:

Vanessa Gera and Slobodan Lekic wrote:

The NATO chief is pushing for greater cooperation between NATO and Russia. He said he hopes to persuade Moscow to become more engaged in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban has been making gains and forcing a U.S. review of its strategy there.

Russia has given some support to the international anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan, allowing shipments of supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan across its territory, but has ruled out sending troops. The Soviet Union lost 15,000 soldiers in its war in Afghanistan in the 1980s before it was forced to retreat in humiliation.

It was in the chaos after the Soviet withdrawal that the Taliban came to power in 1996.

Fogh Rasmussen's warning about the dangers of disengaging from Afghanistan were echoed Thursday by Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, the meeting's host. Fico said "we cannot allow Afghanistan to once again become a haven for terrorism" and pledged to beef up Slovakia's 250-member engineering unit based in Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces...

... Fogh Rasmussen also plans to propose to the 28 ministers a sweeping reform to NATO's military structure which would enable more of the alliance's 2.5 million service members to be used in operations, a spokesman said. Currently, less than half of those forces are deployable, and only about 10 percent are sustainable on missions for any length of time.

http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/10/22/nato-chief-calls-for-perseverance-in-...

Update

This comes as no surprise:

Jason Ditz wrote:

Following an unexpected visit by Gen. Stanley McChrystal to the NATO Defense Ministers' meeting in Bratislava, the assembled ministers reportedly endorsed the McChrystal Plan, which calls for up to 80,000 additional troops to fight the war in Afghanistan."

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/23/nato-embraces-mcchrystal-escalation-i...

Jason Ditz wrote:

In an announcement today which likely surprised no one, the US army announced that the military base just northwest of the Black Sea Port City of Constanta, Romania will become a "permanent" base for the American military.

The announcement of a permanent American presence in the former Warsaw Pact and current NATO member nation will likely underscore a growing US presence in Eastern Europe.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/23/us-announces-military-base-in-romania...

Reuters wrote:

LONDON (Reuters) - British troop numbers in Afghanistan could be scaled back in five years as the Afghan army is strengthened, though some will have to stay behind in a support role, the British army's new chief said on Thursday.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091022/wl_nm/us_britain_afghanistan_richards

The more I read such things, the more I come to the conclusion that the end in Afghanistan is coming to an end all that much faster.

Fidel

I prefer your estimate of things, FrmrSldr. Another babbler said months ago about similarities between this and the VietNam war - that all Afghans have to do to win is to not give up. But what about the Taliban resuming their role previous to 9/11/01? Arc of crisis and all that Zbigniew Brzezinski great game strategy for destabilizing surrounding countries with acts of terrorism, and training religious radicals in other countries for guerilla warfare and terrorism in Central Asia? I think there is still a relationship of sorts between the western powers, the Saudis, Pakistan's army intelligence, and the Taliban and groups associated with the Taliban. I realize that then it would be a matter for SCO countries to deal with, but when does the "North Atlantic" Treaty Org decide to end their meddling on the other side of the world? I think what they are looking at is a changing of the guard with respect to the centres of world finance, similar to when banking and finance picked up and moved from Holland all the way over to London. Only this time it's the Pacific Rim of countries, China and possibly Russia and a group of other countries which are growing in economic influence and political power. The only real card the west has left to play right now is the military one. And who can make war with the beast?

Frmrsldr

AWOL soldier leads U.K. anti Afghan war march:

Hazel Tyldesley wrote:

A British soldier has broken military law by leading a march through London calling for the UK's troops to be brought home from Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton is the first serving member of the armed forces to have headed up an anti-war demonstration since the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.

He is facing court martial for refusing to return to the war-torn country and was warned he would face further charges for involvement in the anti-war protest.

L/Cpl Glenton was joined by former colleaques, military families and anti-war protesters for the march through the centre of the capital.

Addressing the crowd, Lance Corporal Glenton said: "I'm here today to make a stand beside you because I believe great wrongs have been perpetrated in Afghanistan.

"I cannot, in good conscience, be part of them. I'm bound by law and moral duty to try and stop them.

"I'm a soldier and I belong to the profession of arms. I expected to go to war but I also expected that the need to defend this country's interests would be legal and justifiable. I don't think this is too much to ask."

Police said "around 5,000" people took part in the demonstration from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square, while a spokesman for organisers Stop The War Coalition put the figure at 10,000.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Afghanistan-Protest-March-in-Lo...

Frmrsldr

Fidel wrote:

I prefer your estimate of things, FrmrSldr. Another babbler said months ago about similarities between this and the VietNam war - that all Afghans have to do to win is to not give up. But what about the Taliban resuming their role previous to 9/11/01? Arc of crisis and all that Zbigniew Brzezinski great game strategy for destabilizing surrounding countries with acts of terrorism, and training religious radicals in other countries for guerilla warfare and terrorism in Central Asia? I think there is still a relationship of sorts between the western powers, the Saudis, Pakistan's army intelligence, and the Taliban and groups associated with the Taliban. I realize that then it would be a matter for SCO countries to deal with, but when does the "North Atlantic" Treaty Org decide to end their meddling on the other side of the world? I think what they are looking at is a changing of the guard with respect to the centres of world finance, similar to when banking and finance picked up and moved from Holland all the way over to London. Only this time it's the Pacific Rim of countries, China and possibly Russia and a group of other countries which are growing in economic influence and political power. The only real card the west has left to play right now is the military one. And who can make war with the beast?

Rick Rozoff wrote:

October 1st marked the one-year anniversary of the activation of the first U.S. overseas military command in a quarter of a century, Africa Command (AFRICOM).

AFRICOM was established as a temporary command under the wing of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) a year earlier and launched as an independent entity on October 1, 2008.

Its creation signalled several important milestones in plans by the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to expand into all corners of the earth and to achieve military, political and economic hegemony in the Southern as well as the Northern Hemisphere.

AFRICOM is the first American regional military command established outside of North America in the post-Cold War era. (The Pentagon set up Northern Command, NORTHCOM, in 2002 after the September 11, 2001 attacks to take in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.)

Its area of responsibility includes more nations - 53 - than any other U.S. military command. By way of comparison, EUCOM includes 51 nations, among which are 19 new nations emerging from the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and the reunification of Germany.

The Pacific Command (PACOM) incorporates 36 countries in its theater of operations, down four since the creation of AFRICOM.

Central Command (CENTCOM) currently includes 20 nations in what is referred to as the Broader Middle East.

Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) covers 32 states, 19 in Central and South America and 13 in the Caribbean, of which 14 are U.S. and European territories...

... Starting with the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a whole after the breakup of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. and its NATO allies have relentlessly pursued plans to penetrate and dominate the former Eastern bloc, former Soviet space, the Broader Middle East, the Arctic Circle and Greater Antarctica and to reclaim and solidify control of Latin America and Oceana.

http://www.inteldaily.com/news/172/ARTICLE/12378/2009-10-23.html  Wink

Fidel

Frmrsldr wrote:

Jeff Huber wrote:
The Pentagon's long-war grand strategy is good for everybody's war business. The Afghanistan conflict is particularly suitable; it's the kind of Orwellian war that can go on forever without getting too obnoxious, and in the case of America, it's one that the Democrats, not the Republicans, have ownership of. Or at least it can be sold that way.

 

"Phony-baloney jobs"? Bwaha! It really is a business. And they've invested much in the 9/11 Osama bin Laden bogeyman narrative, and anything else is heresy as far as the inquisition is concerned. Warfiteering and chaos reign merrily, and that's all that really matters for modern day Daddys Warbucks. War has become a closed economy within an economy for the superrich who stopped believing in industrial capitalism decades ago.

Frmrsldr

Jeff Huber wrote:

Tom Shanker of the New York Times tells us that NATO defense ministers have given their "broad endorsement" to Gen. Stanley McChrystal's plan to escalate the Afghanistan war into a full-Monty counter insurgency effort. NATO defense ministers love Afghanistan; it justifies their phony-baloney jobs.

Like much of the U.S. military, NATO became irrelevant when the Cold War ended.

http://original.antiwar.com/huber/2009/10/25/bleep-nato/

Both Afghan candidates want major escalation of U.S. troops:

Jason Ditz wrote:

In an interview today on CNN designated to convince Americans that he is more suitable than incumbent President Hamid Karzai, Afghan opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah called for a "dramatic increase" in the number of American forces in the nation.

The call comes roughly a month after President Karzai publicly endorsed General Stanley McChrystal's plan for escalation in the nation, saying it was "the right approach."

This puts both candidates in the November 7 runoff squarely on the side of escalation, and it's not difficult to imagine why this would be. As popular support erodes and the Taliban increases its control over the nation the international military presence is about the only thing backing the existing government.

Gen. McChrystal is seeking an additional 80,000 troops for the ongoing war, and is going to great lengths to lobby for his plan. It is unclear how the US will come up with all these new troops to send, and after the March escalation failed miserably it is unclear why officials remain convinced throwing more troops at the nation will eventual[ly] yield stability.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/25/afghan-opposition-candidate-seeks-mor...

 

NDPP

Open Letter from the Miserable and Oppressed Prisoners of Afghanistan

http://www.alemarah.info/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=categ...

"...We present you with our demands which are quite feasible, not impossible to be accomplished. We submit these realities in the hope that it may help those now under torture, get free from their constant pain and sufferings, that those who want to struggle in the cause of oppressed humanity, may raise their voices.."

Fidel

Afghans might start winning sometime after the warfiteering gangsters and their hirelings in government are ready to move on to the next nation of victims. 30 years of western meddling in Afghanistan and counting. They've got to drain as much blood as they are able to from their Afghan hosts first though before flying off into the night. And at which point there won't be one more thin US dime invested in Afghanistan for the mess they leave behind.

canuquetoo

They might not have a thin dime to invest in the US for the mess they leave behind either. Thirty-seven US states are bankrupt, no sign that the Obama administration can run a hotdog stand, much less the world's premier economy and the political class can't understand that the American dream is turning into a self-inflicted nightmare.

With over 300 foreign military bases, the US is facing more evictions but rather than analysing why, the Americans are retrenching to Superbases on strategic islands such as Guam and Diego Garcia. Their newest pals, in the former Soviet bloc, have not yet had the opportunity to experience American 'What have you done for me today?' unilateralism complete with a total disregard for local culture and law.

How much longer can the US continue to pay for its foreign aggressions? Soon, the choice will be to default on interest payments on their debt or to default on their self-imposed military obligations to support their puppets. As soon as the US scurries out of Afghanistan, bravely proclaiming they've 'won', Hamid Karzai will flee the country if he's lucky or be hung from the nearest lamp post if he's not.

NDPP

The Denial Continues and the Horror Remains Unrecognized

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2009/10/denial-continues-and-horror...

"When we come upon a murderer covered with the blood of victims who never threatened him, we do not defend him by appealing to his "good intentions" or by claiming that he meant well"--at least, we do not if we seek to remain civilized..."

Fidel

canuquetoo wrote:

They might not have a thin dime to invest in the US for the mess they leave behind either. Thirty-seven US states are bankrupt, no sign that the Obama administration can run a hotdog stand, much less the world's premier economy and the political class can't understand that the American dream is turning into a self-inflicted nightmare.

They'll finish the job in the US. They will do to the US what Russian oligarchs did to Russia in the 1990's with the help of European and US oligarchs, and they will create vast inqualities in robbing Americans blind even more than now if we can imagine.

Quote:
..., Hamid Karzai will flee the country if he's lucky or be hung from the nearest lamp post if he's not.

I can see it happening. It wouldnt be the first time NATO gangsters betrayed one of their own stooges. NATO gangsters will then return to dealing with their former proxy government in Kabul from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban. The CIA, MI6ers, ISI and Saudis have been carrying on backchannel talks with the Taliban for a number of months now as it is. Mullah Omar was found to be most agreeable to western energy company demands in Afghanistan leading up to 2001. No one really knows what the sticking points are in these ongoing secretive talks. And that's just the way the two phony enemies prefer things to be for now. It's a win-win scenario pre-engineered by US hawks and British colonizers some time ago. For now the warfiteers are simply counting their corporate welfare winfalls as Americans slide further into a debt hole.

~ Where the military is, prices are high.  - old Chinese proverb

~ When money arrives, all is green, bustle and abundance. And when it leaves, all is trampled down, barren and bare. An even older Chinese proverb

The people who say Vietnamese won the ten thousand day war are actually telling a lie. Likewise, Afghans will not win this war. Neither does the US army or NATO need a military victory in Afghanistan to achieve the true real goals of the war industrial complex. They'll simply move on to some other host country and start the whole process of warfiteering on the backs of US and other taxpayers, betrayal and stoogification all over again.

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

The people who say Vietnamese won the ten thousand day war are actually telling a lie.

The Vietnamese people won - the U.S. lost.

Quote:
Likewise, Afghans will not win this war.

The Afghan people are winning as we speak. The U.S. and its allies have already lost.

It's what we call two different outlooks, Fidel. The enemy is all-powerful vs. the enemy has feet of clay. One day we'll win you over to the clay camp.

Meanwhile, the Afghan invaders' graveyard expands daily:

October is deadliest month so far for U.S. invaders - 55 dead and 3 days to go...

Quote:

Eight US soldiers have been killed in bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, say Nato-led forces.

An Afghan civilian was also killed in what were called "multiple complex IED attacks" - or improvised bombs.

The deaths make October the deadliest month for American forces in the eight-year war in Afghanistan.

On Monday, 11 soldiers were among 14 Americans killed in multiple air crashes. In total, 55 US troops have died in October, the Pentagon says.

[url=Source.[/url]">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8328297.stm][=red]Source.[/co...

Frmrsldr

U.S. official resigns over Afghan war:

Karen DeYoung wrote:

When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department's head of personnel. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."

The reaction to Hoh's letter was immediate. Senior U.S. officials, concerned that they would lose an outstanding officer and perhaps gain a prominent critic, appealed to him to stay...

... Hoh's doubts increased with Afghanistan's Aug. 20 presidential election, marked by low turnout and widespread fraud. He concluded, he said in his resignation letter, that the war "has violently and savagely pitted the urban, secular, educated and modern of Afghanistan against the rural, religious, illiterate and traditional. It is this latter group that composes and supports the Pashtun insurgency."

With "multiple, seemingly infinite, local groups," he wrote, the insurgency "is fed by what is perceived by the Pashtun people as a continued and sustained assault, going back centuries, on Pashtun land, culture, traditions and religion by internal and external enemies. The U.S. and Nato presence in Pashtun valleys and villages, as well as Afghan army and police units that are led and composed of non-Pashtun soldiers and police, provide an occupation force against which the insurgency is justified."

American families, he said at the end of the letter, "must be reassured their dead have sacrificed for a purpose worthy of futures lost, love vanished, and promised dreams unkept. I have lost confidence such assurances can be made any more."...

... If the United States is to remain in Afghanistan, Hoh said, he would advise a reduction in combat forces.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/26/AR200910...

14 Americans killed as 3 helicopters downed across Afghanistan. Taliban claims to have shot one down, other two collided:

Jason Ditz wrote:

Three US helicopters were downed across Afghanistan today, killing 14 Americans, including 11 soldiers and three embassy officials. DEA personnel were also reportedly among the slain, and were apparently included by officials in the "soldiers" toll.

The deadliest incident was in Badghis Province, in which Taliban reportedly shot down a helicopter, killing 10 Americans and also wounding 11 other US soldiers, a US civilian, and 14 Afghans...

... The two other helicopters lost today were in the restive Helmand Province, and apparently collided with one another before crashing to the ground, leaving four US soldiers dead and two others wounded. The Taliban likewise claimed to have been firing on the helicopters when they collided.

Though it is impossible to ascertain what actually happened, the Taliban seems eager to take credit for all the downings and the US seems eager to insist all three were accidents. While it is clear the Taliban would gain credibility from being able to down three US military helicopters in one morning, it is unclear what the US gains from claiming the level of incompetence that would allow it to lose three helicopters and cause dozens of casualties through sheer happenstance.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/26/14-americans-killed-in-helicopter-cra...

Worst month ever for US in Afghanistan:

Jason Ditz wrote:

September was sort of a high water mark for the war in Afghanistan, at least compared to other recent months. It was incredibly destructive, to be sure, but after the massive violence in August's run-up to the election, it was the first month in awhile that hadn't broken records for death toll.

But as eight US soldiers were slain today in a series of IED attacks across Southern Afghanistan, the month of October surpassed August, which saw 51 US troops killed, and the current month's record is 55 (with several days left).

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/27/worst-month-ever-for-us-in-afghanista...

Germany's Afghan experience similar to Canada's:

Nicholas Kulish wrote:

Driven by necessity, some of the 4,250 German soldiers here, the third-largest number of troops in the NATO contingent, have already come a long way. Last Tuesday, they handed out blankets, volleyballs and flashlights as a goodwill gesture to residents of the village of Yanghareq, about 22 miles northwest of Kunduz. Barely an hour later, insurgents with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades ambushed other members of the same company.

The Germans fought back, killing one of the attackers, before the dust and disorder made it impossible to tell fleeing Taliban from civilians.

"They shoot at us and we shoot back," said Staff Sgt. Erik S., who, according to German military rules, could not be fully identified. "People are going to fall on both sides. It's as simple as that. It's war."

The sergeant added, "The word 'war' is growing louder in society, and the politicians can't keep it secret anymore."

Indeed, German politicians have refused to utter the word, trying instead to portray the mission in Afghanistan as a mix of peacekeeping and reconstruction in support of the Afghan government. But their line has grown less tenable as the insurgency has expanded rapidly in the west and north of the country, where Germany leads the regional command and provides a majority of the troops...

... At issue are how long opposition in Germany will allow its troops to stay and fight, and whether they will be given leeway from their strict rules of engagement to pursue the kind of couterinsurgency being advocated by American generals. The question now is whether the Americans will ultimately fight one kind of war and their allies another.

For Germans, the realization that their soldiers are now engaged in ground offensives in an open-ended and escalating war requires a fundamental reconsideration of their principles...

... In part, NATO and German officials say, that is evidence of the political astuteness of Taliban and Qaeda leaders, who are aware of the opposition in Germany to the war. They hope to exploit it and force the withdrawal of German soldiers - splintering the NATO alliance in the process - through attacks on German personnel in Afghanistan and through video and audio threats of terrorist attacks on the home front before the German elections last month.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the senior American and allied commander in Afghanistan, is pressing NATO allies to contribute more troops to the war effort, even as countries like the Netherlands and Canada have begun discussing plans to pull out. Germany has held out against pleas for additional troops so far.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/world/27germany.html?ref=global-home

 

Frmrsldr

Taliban already vastly outnumbered, NATO making no progress:

Jason Ditz wrote:

Analysts are increasingly concerned that General Stanley McChrystal's calls for massive escalation in Afghanistan seem to ignore the numerical superiority already enjoyed over the Taliban, and how little this has accomplished so far.

"It's impossible to regain the initiative by introducing more foreign forces, which will only breed more resentment and more recruits for the enemy," noted Ljubomir Stojadinovic. "The Soviets tried the exact same thing in Afghanistan in the 1980s with disastrous results."

Indeed, the Soviet strategy came at roughly the same period in their failed occupation. About eight years after their invasion, the Soviets started throwing increasing amounts of money and troops at the nation.

On the other hand, this came as the Soviet Union was looking for an "exit strategy," something which NATO fervently refuses to do. In February 1989 the Soviets fled Afghanistan and just two years later the Union collapsed entirely. NATO's deeper pockets seem to have convinced it to continue down the road of occupation longer than the Soviets could, but the strategy still amounts to throwing more and more troops and money at the problem.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/27/mcchrystal-escalation-moves-us-in-lin...

Afghan leader's brother on CIA payroll?

AFP wrote:

WASHINGTON - Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the embattled Afghan president and a suspected drug trafficker, has been on the CIA payroll for most of the past eight years, The New York Times reported.

The US spy agency pays Karzai for a variety of services, the newspaper said, such as fielding recruits for an Afghan paramilitary force operating at the CIA's direction in and around his home city of Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold.

He also helps the CIA contact and sometimes meet Taliban followers.

Karzai, who is said to have ties to Afghanistan's lucrative illegal opium trade, has a "wide-ranging" relationship with the CIA, the Times said, citing US officials.

On top of helping the agency operate the paramilitary group that targets suspected violent militants - the Kandahar Strike Force, Karzai is also paid for allowing the CIA and US Special Operations forces to rent a large compound outside Kandahar that once served as the home of Taliban founder Mullah Omar.

"He's our landlord," a senior US official told the newspaper.

The CIA declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Karzai denied receiving CIA payments or playing any role in the booming opium trade that helps fund the Taliban-led insurgency.

"I don't know anyone under the name of the CIA," he told the newspapter. "I have never received any money from any organization. I help other Americans wherever I can. This is my duty as an Afghan."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ghcb1RZv6ymVLxTJ3PQQS...

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Fidel wrote:

The people who say Vietnamese won the ten thousand day war are actually telling a lie.

The Vietnamese people won - the U.S. lost.

To dwell on anything less than half of the facts is bad enough history telling. Were Russia and America and Britain and France equal the winners of WW II? Did anyone lose in WW II? There surely were losers and not just Germans. Jews in some European countries were within months of being exterminated for all time. Tens of millions of Russians and Soviet citizens were slaughtered. It took many years to rebuild Russia and Eastern Europe, Japan etc after the devastation of war.

The Yanks only pulled of VietNam because Americans were calling for Nixon's impeachment, protests increasing at home etc. Nixon's advisors eventually told him that if he didn't step down that he was risking civil war at home in America. The miitary-industrial complex would have happily gone on warfiteering, and sending Americans into battle wearing all the clap-trap they still manufacture and beg US Defense to take off their hands for far too much money in the form of taxpayer handouts for the junk they produce year after year. It really is an economy based largely on war. Afghanistan is just another marketing opportunity for them.

[url=http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=246]The price of Vietnam being allowed to come out of isolation was the destruction of its health services[/url]

And the Vietnamese are still owed a very large sum of reparations for massive loss of life and destruction for the illegal and immoral war waged against them by fascist invaders. And what they did in Cambodia and Laos have also been described as crimes against humanity, genocide etc.

Unionist wrote:
The Afghan people are winning as we speak. The U.S. and its allies have already lost.

The US and its corrupt and warfiteering partners are laughing all the way to the bank while the tab for this phony war will be shouldered by US taxpayers and Afghans for many years to come. The US has been meddling in Afgahnistan for 30 years and counting.

This is a ten thousand day phony war that is now into extra innings. US Hawks, Pakistan's elite, Saudis etc are all counting on their proxies from the 1990's taking over the country eventually in order that democracy does not take root in Afghanistan. It wasnt until the late 1980s that Thatcherites and Reaganauts acknowledged the killing fields perpetrated by their proxies, the Khmer Rouge. This time though there will be no NVA to chase Uncle Sam's proxies from the targeted country or from the neighboring one next door. The fix is in.

Frmrsldr

As promised, the Taliban have started the violence against the November 7 runoff vote, U.N. staff the target:

Associated Press wrote:

KABUL - Taliban militants wearing suicide vests stormed a guest house used by U.N. staff in the heart of the Afghan capital early Wednesday, killing 12 people - including six U.N. staff - the biggest in a series of attacks intended to undermine next month's presidential runoff election.

One of the six U.N. dead was an American, the U.S. Embassy said. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the early morning assaults, which also included rocket attacks at the presidential palace and the city's main luxury hotel.

One rocket struck the "outer limit" of the presidential palace but caused no casualties, presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said. Another slammed into the grounds of the Serena Hotel, which is favored by many foreigners.

The device failed to explode but filled the lobby with smoke, forcing guests and employees to flee to the basement, according to an Afghan witness who asked that his name not be used for security reasons...

... A security guard working nearby said the attackers at the guest house were wearing police uniforms. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't supposed to talk to media...

... Edwards [a U.N. spokesman] said the U.N. would have to evaluate "what this means for our work in Afghanistan." The Aug. 19, 2003, truck bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, which killed 22 people, prompted the U.N. to pull out of Iraq for several years.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33501858/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Useless polls department:

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reports that 47 percent of Amurricans support increasing the troop level in Afghanistan.

At the same time, 58 percent say they support delaying a decision until after the runoff election results are known.

Those two figures total 105%, so we are left wondering how many people think the decision should be delayed, but at the same time have already made up their minds anyway.

Unionist

MS, you didn't quote the full poll results. Apparently, 116% want all troops out now.

 

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Useless polls department:

Americans are confused about their country's role in yet another war. In VietNam, Americans were told that the US Army was invited in to defend a government which had little support even in the South. Eisenhower admitted that the US had no political base in VietNam, which betrayed the lie that there was any legitimate invitation for the US Military in that country. As it was with Aghanistan in 1979-80, the US newz media denied that the Sovs were invited in to Afghanistan similarly. [url=http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Herman%20/AllNewsFit3_Herman.html]Edward S. Herman[/url], co-author on Manufacturing Consent wrote in 1998:

Quote:
The mainstream U. S. media never accepted the view that the Soviets were justifiably in Afghanistan because- they were "invited in"-they questioned the legitimacy of the government doing the inviting. If the Soviet-sponsored government was a minority government, the media were prepared to label the Soviet intrusion aggression. Their willingness to apply the same principles to the Vietnam war was a test of their integrity and they-and the New York Times-failed that test decisively.
 

I don't think the Taliban have the same kind of political support among Afghans that the NVA and VC had in VietNam. Malalai Joya says that very many Afghans hate the Taliban, the USA's former proxies in Kabul from 1996 to 2001. Violence at election time is a common theme in recent history where US managed elections have produced very undemocratic results time and time again.

Frmrsldr

Fidel wrote:

As it was with Aghanistan in 1979-80, the US newz media denied that the Sovs were invited in to Afghanistan similarly. [url=http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Herman%20/AllNewsFit3_Herman.html]Edward S. Herman[/url], co-author on Manufacturing Consent wrote in 1998:

Quote:
The mainstream U. S. media never accepted the view that the Soviets were justifiably in Afghanistan because- they were "invited in"-they questioned the legitimacy of the government doing the inviting. If the Soviet-sponsored government was a minority government, the media were prepared to label the Soviet intrusion aggression. Their willingness to apply the same principles to the Vietnam war was a test of their integrity and they-and the New York Times-failed that test decisively.
 

Don't forget, in direct contradiction to the Soviet Afghan war, we (U.S./NATO/ISAF countries) were neither asked by the Afghan government or people to be there.

While the war was raging in November and December, Hamid Karzai and the "Afghan government in exile" was appointed (not chosen or elected by Afghans) by the Pentagon in Bonn, Germany.

On December 25 2001, the Karzai government was parachuted into Kabul, Afghanistan. Karzai is not a warlord. He does not have an army that swears personal allegiance to him (unlike our Northern Alliance buddies). The Afghan National Army - the Taliban government's army that was driven into the southern provinces of Afghanistan and into Pakistan - was not (obviously) available to prop up and defend the Karzai government.

Create and install a (defenseless puppet) "emperor with no clothes" and what choice does he have? He has to rely on us to defend him and keep him in power with our money and military. What a sweetly self serving state of circumstances.

And thus the myth (lie) that we are in Afghanistan "because we were asked to be there" a priori (before the fact), was born.

 

Frmrsldr

CBC News wrote:

One Canadian soldier was killed and two were injured Wednesday in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device,

Lt. Justin Garrett Boyes, 26, was killed when his foot patrol was hit by the blast, at about 9 a.m. local time, 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City in Panjwayi district.

Boyes belonged to the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton and was 10 days into his second deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed. At the time of his death, Boyes was mentoring an Afghan national police patrol.

Two other soldiers who were wounded in the incident were treated at the Kandahar Airfield medical facility and are in good condition.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/10/28/canadian-soldier-afghanistan110...

Mentoring the ANA and ANP means they graduate through a "trial by fire" ie., through combat. It has been suggested that in Harper's bid to still have units in Afghanistan beyond the 2011 disengagement date, Canadian troops will be mentoring (training) units of the ANA and ANP. This means that Canadian troops will still be engaged in combat and will still run the risk of being injured and killed.

What can we do?

Unite the left and demand of the Harper administration and the NDP:

1) No to the militarization of human rights!

2) Not one more death!

3) Out Now!

4) End the war!

5) Bring our troops home now!

If you want to counter the War Party, the military mafia, the right wing pro war cartel and end the war, this is a good way to do it.

Frmrsldr

You know things are going horribly wrong in Afghanistan when the "rats are starting to abandon the sinking ship". Here, former Gen. Rick Hillier contradicts himself, "deep sixes" information, engages in "plausible deniability" and blames everyone, except himself and NDHQ's 13th floor janitor:

Chantal Hebert wrote:

MONTREAL - In what may be a case of unintended consequences, Rick Hillier, who once was the most effective promoter of Canada's military mission in Kandahar, has likely hammered the last nail in its political coffin.

In a much-publicized autobiographical book, the former chief of defence staff Hillier turns his guns on the political and bureaucratic masters of the mission, leaving few of the many non-military Canadian figures associated with the undertaking completely unscathed.

At a time when the mission is increasing becoming a political liability in Canada, the former general goes out of his way to divest himself of most of the unsolicited credit he has accumulated over the years for presumably masterminding the operation.

On this score, Hillier's book likely marks the official opening of a lengthy blame season, as prospects for a positive outcome to Canada's lethal engagement in Afghanistan continue to dim in tandem with public support for the mission.

While he is not the first to take issue with the management of the Kandahar mission, Hillier brings more inside knowledge of the operation to the fore than the average informed commentator. For the general public, he, rather than any past or present politician, was the real face of the mission.

Until this week, the former chief of staff was widely described by other government insiders as the main architect of the mission. But it is a title he vehemently rejects in his book, insisting on the contrary that if he and the military had had their way, Canada would have concentrated its efforts in Kabul rather than elbow its way into the more exposed Kandahar position.

Once in that location, he describes a military effort hampered by timorous and quarreling civilian and political partners in the national capital and, on a larger scale, a multi-national endeavour likely doomed from the start by the incompetence of its international planners.

In his book, Hillier ultimately reserves some of his harshest criticism for NATO, an alliance that comes across as clueless as to the execution of its Afghanistan undertaking. But he strikes much closer to home when he ascribes blame for undermining and misrepresenting the mission to faceless bureaucrats in the foreign affairs department and political operators in the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/afghanmission/article/714741--hebert-...

(Bold print added)

A good antidote to former Canadian Army General Rick Hillier's autobiographical book is former U.S. Marine Corps Captain Matt Hoh's letter of resignation:

Karen DeYoung wrote:

When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department's head of personnel. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."

The reaction to Hoh's letter was immediate. Senior U.S. officials, concerned that they would lose an outstanding officer and perhaps gain a prominent critic, appealed to him to stay...

... Hoh's doubts increased with Afghanistan's Aug. 20 presidential election, marked by low turnout and widespread fraud. He concluded, he said in his resignation letter, that the war "has violently and savagely pitted the urban, secular, educated and modern of Afghanistan against the rural, religious, illiterate and traditional. It is this latter group that composes and supports the Pashtun insurgency."

With "multiple, seemingly infinite, local groups," he wrote, the insurgency "is fed by what is perceived by the Pashtun people as a continued and sustained assault, going back centuries, on Pashtun land, culture, traditions and religion by internal and external enemies. The U.S. and Nato presence in Pashtun valleys and villages, as well as Afghan army and police units that are led and composed of non-Pashtun soldiers and police, provide an occupation force against which the insurgency is justified."

American families, he said at the end of the letter, "must be reassured their dead have sacrificed for a purpose worthy of futures lost, love vanished, and promised dreams unkept. I have lost confidence such assurances can be made any more."...

... If the United States is to remain in Afghanistan, Hoh said, he would advise a reduction in combat forces.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/26/AR200910...

 

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