AFGHANISTAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


AFGHANISTAN

Aug 12 18:05

President Karzai’s supporters ‘buy’ votes for Afghanistan election

Several tribal leaders and local people in Helmand described a systematic attempt by supporters of Mr Karzai to collect or buy voter registration cards from local people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As though politicians in the US never attempt to rig an election!!!!!

Aug 12 07:44

Afghan drug lords: targeted until proven innocent

So first we expanded our forces in Afghanistan. Then we took on the challenge of prison reform there (ignoring the fact that America's own prison system is a national disgrace). And yesterday we learned that U.S. armed forces are putting suspected Afghan drug dealers on a "kill or capture" list. In other words, we are now extending the "war on drugs" to Afghanistan, ignoring the fact that this "war" (first announced by Richard Nixon four decades ago) hasn't led to victory. The new strategy also ignores some of the obvious lessons of that "war," and places the United States on some pretty dubious moral ground.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I guess this administration believes, by instituting this policy, that it looks like it's "doing something" in Afghanistan, while the situation on the ground gets worse and worse by the day for US and NATO troops.

Aug 11 09:35

Addicted to War: America's Brutal Pipe Dream in Afghanistan

Looks like the "Good War" in Afghanistan is morphing even more directly into the "Drug War" that the U.S. government has been waging all over the world -- and especially against its own people -- for almost 40 years now, with all the attendant aggrandizement of authoritarian powers and degradation of civil liberties and human rights.

As The Times reports, and Pentagon brass confirmed, the "continuity government" of the Obama Administration has drawn up yet another "hit list" of people to be arbitrarily assassinated: 50 "drug lords" allegedly associated with the Taliban. No doubt the many drug lords associated with the American-installed Afghan government -- and those cooperating directly with the Western occupation -- are exempt from this dirty laundry list.

Aug 11 08:44

US Commander Sees Economic Improvement as Key to Afghan Victory

An an interview with USA Today, the top US commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal expressed hope that the continually worsening violence in Afghanistan could be curbed if the US was able to improve the economy enabling them to find jobs.

The strategy isn’t exactly novel. Indeed, as with its massive ground offensive in the Helmand River Valley last month the US seems to be taking a page out of the Soviet Union’s playbook. Roughly eight years into its own failed occupation of Afghanistan the Soviets began to pump enormous amounts of money into boosting Afghanistan’s largely command economy in the hopes of buying off the insurgency with jobs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This policy bankrupted the old Soviet Union, as it is about to do to the US government.

We're got a broke, dysfunctional and corrupt government where the game is always rigged in the favor those allegedly representing the people of this country.

We the People have been pushed to our limit; that's why you are hearing such legitimate anger pouring out at these town hall meetings.

And US politicians seem to have their collective heads so intently shoved up a very warm, dark place, that they refuse to acknowledge that it is their spectacular failure of leadership which has brought this country to the brink of collapse.

Aug 10 13:03

Women just pawns in wars over opium, energy & power

Most people in western countries – including western feminists – get their opinions about Afghanistan from pro-war spin doctors and rarely if ever directly access authentic voices within Afghanistan.

Aug 10 09:05

Hamid Karzai's government using state resources to swing Afghan election

The United Nations said there is growing evidence that Hamid Karzai's government is abusing state resources to help him win this month's presidential election in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

and I'll bet we don;t see a huge media stink about it like ABCNNBBCBS had for Iran!

Aug 10 03:51

Obamageddon

There are always "warnings" in the beginning, aren’t there? For some reason, however, they are never heeded. Instead, we just barrel ahead, undaunted, into the tall grass where ambush awaits us. War opponents predicted the Iraq invasion would prove unsustainable – and we were right. We said that, far from greeting us with cheers and showers of roses, the Iraqis would soon be shooting at us and demanding our ouster – and we were right. We said the rationale for war was based on a series of carefully manufactured and marketed lies – and that was the truth, now wasn’t it? Yet it seems we are caught in an endlessly repetitive nightmare, where the same prophetic voices are being drowned out by a chorus of "responsible" voices – to be followed by an all-too-familiar disaster.

Aug 09 21:35

Brit amputee prepared to go back to Afghanistan to settle "scores."

Sometimes I have this fantasy that adults are running things. Adults that have the best interests of their respective countries at heart. Not those who want to agitate feuds for profit. Then I come to my senses.....

A BRITISH soldier who had part of his leg blown off by a landmine is preparing to return to Afghanistan to settle “unfinished business” with the Taliban.

Private Matt Woollard, 20, is expected to be the first British infantryman to return to the front line after being fitted with a prosthetic limb.

Aug 09 06:45

Costly U.S. campaign expected in Afghanistan

Since the invasion of Afghanistan eight years ago, the United States has spent $223 billion on war-related funding for that country, according to the Congressional Research Service. Aid expenditures, excluding the cost of combat operations, have grown exponentially, from $982 million in 2003 to $9.3 billion last year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder precisely where this administration thinks the money is coming from to continue to fund these wars without end.

Taxpayers are broke, many jobless and homeless, with countries like China taking a critical look as to whether the US is ever going to be able to repay money already borrowed, and not many other countries internationally are very keen about loaning the US money either.

No thinking person in the US is in favor of this war. They know, as well as do the Afghans, what the real objective is; the installation of pipelines to control the world's flow of oil, and protection of the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

Aug 08 17:54

Karzai family's wealth 'fuelling insurgency'

Persistent allegations of corruption aimed at Hamid Karzai's family are undermining Western efforts in Afghanistan and feeding the Taliban-led insurgency, Washington policy-makers have warned.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Most Afghans believe that their leadership is so collectively crooked, they have to screw their socks on in the morning.

Aug 08 16:32

Three British special forces troops killed in Afghanistan

and a fourth critically injured when their patrol came under attack.

Aug 08 09:32

Barracks and Burger King: U.S. Builds a Supersized Base in Afghanistan

Anyone who thinks the Afghanistan troop "surge" is a temporary, one-time deal should watch the construction here of a vast new $17 million barracks building.

It's not temporary. It's three stories of concrete.

Eight years after American forces scattered the Taliban and effectively conquered Afghanistan, the United States is embarked on a frenzied $220 million building campaign at this sprawling and still expanding military air base. Just to meet the base's demand for fresh concrete, it has two of its own cement factories working full time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Anyone thinking that the US will be out of Afghanistan any time soon has absolutely no connection with reality.

Aug 08 08:44

Depleted Uranium Ammunition in Afghan War: New Evidence

A classified German Army manual has thrown doubt over US and UK assurances that no depleted uranium munitions have been used in Afghanistan.

21 July 2009 – ICBUW = International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons

A military manual that was handed over to German campaigners has reignited allegations that the US used DU ammunition in Afghanistan. If true, it runs counter to repeated assurances given by the US military that no DU was used. The manual, a war-fighting guide for Bundeswehr contigents in Afghanistan is marked classified and for official NATO use only. It was written by the Bundeswehr’s Centre for Communication and published in late 2005.

Aug 07 08:14

Barracks and Burger King: U.S. Builds a Supersized Base in Afghanistan

Anyone who thinks the Afghanistan troop "surge" is a temporary, one-time deal should watch the construction here of a vast new $17 million barracks building.

It's not temporary. It's three stories of concrete.

Aug 07 05:50

Five U.S. Troops Killed In Afghanistan

No doubt in retaliation for the cucumber farmers.

Aug 07 05:45

U.S. Kills 5 Cucumber Farmers In Airstrike

Officials assumed farmers were loading munitions, not cukes.Winning hearts and minds,one cucumber at a time.

Aug 06 18:29

US faces huge bill for Afghan security

The US will have to provide billions more dollars in coming years to finance a huge increase in the size of Afghanistan’s security forces, officials and analysts warn.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"... "provide billions..." From WHERE?!?

China is anything but keen on loaning the US government more money, and We the People are flat broke, from all the taxes raised to pay for these wars without end, and the bailouts of companies which should have been allowed to fail.

Absolutely no one in congress is going to bail out We the People, that's for certain.

Aug 06 11:48

War News for Thursday, August 06, 2009

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A roadside bomb hit a wedding party on its way to a ceremony in southern Afghanistan, killing 21 people including women and children, Afghan officials said Thursday. The large group of men, women and children heading to the wedding were riding a tractor in the Garmser district of Helmand province Wednesday morning when they were hit by a roadside bomb, provincial police chief Assadullah Sherzad said. The Afghan Interior Ministry said 21 people were killed and five others were wounded.

Aug 06 08:37

'Did Western troops come here to kill my children?' Afghan villagers' despair as three boys are killed in airstrike

Abdur Rahim, the father of the boys and uncle of the slain man, claimed he heard a pair of helicopters circling over his compound at 1:30 a.m. before they fired two missiles that hit his home. His brother and another son were wounded, he said.

'What was the fault of my innocent children? They were not Taliban,' Rahim said. "Did they come here to build our country or kill our innocent children?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Afghan people do not hate us "because we are free"; they hate us because we are systematically killing their kids, moms, aunts, and uncles, and friends with indiscriminate airstrikes.

Aug 06 08:07

Depleted Uranium Ammunition in Afghan War: New Evidence

A classified German Army manual has thrown doubt over US and UK assurances that no depleted uranium munitions have been used in Afghanistan.

Aug 04 18:28

Senators, Advisers Urge Obama to Double Afghan Forces

President Barack Obama and top U.S. military commanders are under pressure from senators and civilian advisers to double the size of Afghan security forces, a commitment that would cost billions of dollars.

In private letters and face-to-face meetings, these supporters of mounting a stronger effort against the Taliban seek to boost the Afghan National Army and police to at least 400,000 personnel from the current 175,000.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And just how more US "advisers" will be needed to train these Afghan security forces?!?

Aug 04 09:13

Beginning to Smell in Afghanistan

As the old saying goes, "guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." Because we have no status-of-forces-agreement with Afghanistan, we cannot even pose as guests as in Iraq, let alone welcome ones. After almost eight years in Afghanistan, it is hard to exaggerate how pungent must be our odor to Afghans.

The United States has achieved our objectives in Afghanistan. We ought to declare victory and bring our combat forces home. Due to our tendency to look after the tactical details and miss the proverbial forest for the trees, this critically important strategic realization is in danger of being missed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, the US is not going to leave Afghanistan because one of the two major objectives has not yet been realized.

The drug trade, and flow of heroin, (from which so many profit so handsomely) is being protected.

Anyone remember the "Golden Triangle" from the Viet Nam days?

However, the pipelines (through which oil from the Middle East and Eurasia will be controlled) have not yet been installed because of the instability caused by the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan.

And that may keep the US in Afghanistan nearly indefinitely until that objective is accomplished.

Aug 02 20:57

US/Kiwi troops in 'war crimes' row

Kiwi troops in 'war crimes' row
By JON STEPHENSON - Sunday Star Times
Last updated 05:00 02/08/2009
International legal experts say New Zealand broke the Geneva Convention and laws against torture when, from 2002, our elite SAS troops transferred 50-70 prisoners to the Americans at the Kandahar detention centre in southern Afghanistan.
The centre was known by US soldiers as "Camp Slappy", and prisoners there have described being severely beaten and tortured, drenched with water and left to freeze outside in winter.

Aug 02 09:30

US won’t stop deadly blitz in Afghanistan

The newly appointed commander of US-led troops in Afghanistan says he does not plan to halt controversial air strikes which have killed many civilians in the war-torn country.

Gen Stanley McChrystal emphasized the blitzes were necessary to protect troops taking part in ground operations across Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One is reminded of the response of the Papal Legate during the Catholic Church's prosecution of the Cathars during the siege of Montsegur in France.

When learning that women and children were with the men holding out against the Church's army, the Papal Legate's instructions were "kill them all: God will find his own."

You cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air; American military and civilian leadership should have absorbed that very bitter and crucial lesson from Viet Nam, but apparently they have not.

The bombing of civilians is guaranteed to do do two things; radicalize those left standing even further away from the Karzai government, and causing local populations to refuse to offer any useful information to American troops, which seem to be consistently unable to protect them from the Taliban.

Aug 02 08:56

Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal to call for more US troops

The top US commander in Afghanistan is on a collision course with the White House after it emerged that he plans to ask for more American troops to bolster dangerously under-resourced operations there.

Anthony Cordesman, of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, who spent a month in Afghanistan on behalf of the advisory board, argued that without a doubling in the number of Afghan troops the conflict could be lost.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In total, when all the troops get to Afghanistan, we'll have a full military complement of 240,000 if Mc Chrystal's request get approved.

That's just a little over half of what the old Soviet Union brought to bear to "pacify" Afghanistan; and they suffered a a catastrophic defeat anyway.

And, without the reinstitution of the draft in the US, coupled with a US military stretched to almost the breaking point, one has to wonder precisely where this added troop strength is supposed to come from.

Aug 01 19:34

Families of British troops waiting years for inquests

Families of service personnel killed in Afghanistan are being forced to wait more than two years for inquests to explain how their loved ones died.

Aug 01 09:38

July in Afghanistan: A Month of Worsts

As the US continues to commit more troops to the war, it takes more and more aggressive stances, like launching the Helmand River Valley offensive, the largest the nation has seen since the Soviet occupation. But it has little to show for its escalation, with attacks on the rise and deaths among both allies and bystanders reaching ever higher levels.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has conceded that the US most show some sign of improvement in the nation within a year, or it risks long international support. There is certainly no sign that is going to happen, but the bigger question is: how much worse is it going to get in the mean time?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Those who do not understand the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

You cannot win a ground war from the air; there should have been a bitter but crucial lesson from the Viet Nam War for US civilian and military leadership on that, but it has, apparently gone unlearned.

In another article on Afghanistan from the GLOBE AND MAIL, it is reported that "Tens of thousands more U.S. soldiers may soon be needed in Afghanistan to quell the raging Taliban insurgency, top American generals are preparing to tell President Barack Obama."

However, just where these troops are supposed to come from appears to be a big unknown.

One has to wonder if a draft will be reinstituted in this country to even begin to come up with the numbers potentially necessary to do the job.

The old Soviet Union couldn't "pacify" this area with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground.

And the reasons the old Soviet Union was in Afghanistan are, essentially, the same reasons the US and NATO are there right now: the installation of pipelines, to control Eurasia's oil, and protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

We are coming, at some point to a "Saigon moment" in Kabul; the only question is when, and how many more American, Afghan, and NATO lives will be lost to this military misadventure. And the most ghastly reality about this war was that the Bush/Cheney administration decided that this war would be "cheaper" than actually paying the Taliban the price they demanded for the pipelines in August of 2001.

I want Bush and Cheney to go on national television, and make that decision perfectly clear to the moms, dads, kids, relatives and friends of our Vets who have died, become permanently physically or psychologically maimed for life, committed horrendous acts of violence upon coming home, or committed suicide as a result of this war. For once in their wretched lives, they should tell the American people the truth.

And a small memo to SecDef Gates: I know of no thinking American who understands the geopolitical outcomes desired here, and supports the US presence in Afghanistan; not one, period, end of discussion.

Aug 01 09:04

U.S. generals to demand thousands of additional soldiers for Afghanistan

Tens of thousands more U.S. soldiers may soon be needed in Afghanistan to quell the raging Taliban insurgency, top American generals are preparing to tell President Barack Obama.

A spate of apparently deliberate leaks - seemingly aimed at preparing public opinion for a second "surge" involving as many as three or four more brigades or 20,000-plus soldiers and Marines - culminated yesterday with several reports saying General Stanley McChrystal, who took command of U.S. and NATO forces in June, wants lots more troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With the US military stressed almost to the breaking point with current commitments around the globe, one has to wonder where these additional troops will come from.

And if you think that the reinstitution of the draft would never happen under this President's watch, think again.

The sheer muscularity of Obama's foreign policy objectives may well make it impossible for him to achieve them without this happening.

Jul 31 08:40

UN: 1000 Afghan civilians killed in 2009

A latest UN report shows that the number of Afghan civilians killed either in US-led airstrikes or Taliban attacks has risen beyond the 1000 in first half of 2009.

UN assistance mission in Afghanistan said Friday air strikes by the US-led forces were responsible for a higher number of civilian causalities in the war-torn country.

The mission warned that more civilians would likely be killed as militants try to battle a troop increase by the administration of President Barack Obama.

The UN also noticed that the number of civilians killed in conflict in Afghanistan has jumped 24 percent so far this year.

Jul 31 08:22

American surgeons called in to help with record number of wounded

American surgeons had to be drafted in to operate on British troops in Afghanistan as the military experienced its worst month for casualties since the Falklands War, senior medical staff disclosed.

Jul 31 07:05

McChrystal Preparing New Afghan War Strategy, Likely To Include More US Troops

The U.S. general in charge of turning around the war in Afghanistan is likely to recommend significant changes to U.S. and NATO operations, military officials and others familiar with his forthcoming report said. Those changes could include additional U.S. troops despite political headwind against further expansion of the war.

As Gen. Stanley McChrystal readies his assessment of the war, due next month, numerous U.S. officials and outsiders apprised of his thinking suggest McChrystal will request that more American troops, probably including Marines, be added next year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just precisely where, with US military commitments around the world stressed to the breaking point, Mc Chrystal believes he will find the added troop strength to fulfill his requirements here.

But we are seeing the beginnings of a massive escalation of the military campaign in Afghanistan.

There will be a point where the muscularity of this administration's foreign policy will force the reinstitution of some kind of a draft.

Jul 31 07:01

Dismantling the Empire

Three Good Reasons to Liquidate Our Empire.
Starting with Afghanistan.

Jul 31 06:57

US drones to target Taliban in Afghan war: report

The US military plans to use more drone aircraft to target Taliban militants in Afghanistan while focusing less on hunting down Al-Qaeda figures, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Look for the massive increase in civilian deaths because of this policy.

And at the end of the day, you still cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air.

Jul 31 06:48

Over 1,000 Afghan civilians killed this year: UN

Afghanistan's intensifying conflict killed more than 1,000 civilians in the first six months of 2009, an increase of nearly a quarter over the same period last year, the United Nations said Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The boost in troop numbers has very little to do with the spiraling death count.

As the use of drones continues in Afghanistan, this number of killed and injured could easily quadruple before the end of the year.

And just to remind you why we are in Afghanistan, and our young men and women are fighting and dieing; the installation of pipelines (Bush and his minions thought that an invasion and occupation would be "cheaper" than what the Taliban were asking for this in August of 2001), and the protection of the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

Jul 30 23:28

Psychopathic War Vets Come Home

The Horror: War vets 'can't turn it off' as they search and destroy Stateside
David Walsh
World Socialist Web Site
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 01:49 UTC
The atrocities US troops are committing in Iraq and Afghanistan, the inevitable product of neo-colonial war and occupation, are transforming a section of returning veterans into a genuine menace to society.

Jul 30 14:14

Flipping Enemies

Mr.DeBorchgrave is highly connected to the powers that be and even he does'nt think Afganistan is winnable.

Jul 29 18:36

Osama bin Boogeyman is DEAD - What is the Mission in Afghanistan?

So what is the mission in Afghanistan?

Jul 29 09:11

"Operation in Afghanistan is rooted in Israel"

The real reason why the U.S. continues its presence in Afghanistan is Iran the country which is an annoyance for Israel, said Karen Kwiatkowski, a writer and former U.S. Air Force officer.

Jul 29 06:37

American troops return from Iraq with 'criminal behavior'

Amid gloomy reports of high suicide rates in the US military, a new six-month study reveals what other consequences follow American deployments abroad.

A fact-based report published by The Washington Post in late May estimated that more than 20 percent of the US combat forces deployed to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan return home psychologically damaged.

The report asserted that American soldiers suffer mostly from major depression and long periods of combat-related stress and show severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The trauma induced on American soldiers serving abroad is also the cause of an "exceptionally high rate of criminal behavior" that is, according to a new report, unleashed upon their return to their home towns.

Jul 28 11:33

Poll: Brits Say Afghan War "Unwinnable"

A majority of the British public believes the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan cannot be won and British troops should be withdrawn immediately, according to a poll commissioned by The Independent.

The results reflect a public wearied by near-daily headlines of troop deaths, scandals over how well those troops have been equipped for battle, and a prime minister whose credibility has shrunken dramatically during the past several months.

Jul 28 10:26

Cranks, Kleptocrats and Killers: The "Good War" on the Ground

"Almost eight years after the Taliban regime was toppled, our hopes for a truly democratic and independent Afghanistan have been betrayed by the continued domination of fundamentalists and by a brutal occupation that ultimately serves only American strategic interests in the region."

"You must understand that the government headed by Hamid Karzai is full of warlords and extremists who are brothers in creed of the Taliban. Many of these men committed terrible crimes against the Afghan people during the civil war of the 1990s."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was never about freedom and democracy for the Afghan people: it was always about the installation of pipelines and protection of the drug trade, both of which make handsome profits for their owners.

Jul 28 09:28

Britain: Next Step in Helmand Operation Is Talks with Local Taliban

The prospect of seeking a rapprochement with lower level Taliban in an attempt to drive a wedge between them and their top leadership is nothing new: indeed US and Afghan officials had been talking openly about it last year. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has also made talks with Taliban a key part of his strategy if reelected. So far, however, those attempts have all met with failure.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These Taliban have absolutely no reason to talk: they are winning this war, and the US/British/NATO forces are losing.

Jul 27 09:56

Revealed: £12bn hidden costs of Afghan war

The soaring cost of Britain's military campaign in Afghanistan is laid bare today, as a comprehensive analysis reveals that the cost of fighting the Taliban has passed £12bn. An Independent on Sunday assessment of the "hidden costs" of fighting since the Taliban was ousted in 2001 reveals that the bill works out at £190 for every man, woman and child in the UK – and would pay for 23 new hospitals, 60,000 new teachers or 77,000 new nurses.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how much money has been squandered in this military misadventure by the US which could have been used to repair our crumbling infrastructure.

Jul 27 09:33

British government urges Afghan talks with "moderate" Taliban

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander told the BBC in an interview that it was becoming increasingly difficult for politicians to explain to the British people the 'tough message' of a rising death toll in Afghanistan.

'All of us have a responsibility not only to support our troops, but also make the case to the British people of reconciliation and reintegration,' Alexander said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to British Secretary Alexander: what you are proposing is completely logical, and communications, coupled with Karzai's willingness to apply a sharp stick in the rear of Afghan government corruption, might be a great start here.

Unfortunately, logic and the current US administration (as it was with this administration's predecessor) do not have an ongoing relationship.

Had this been the case, we never would have gone to war in Afghanistan in the first place. The Bush administration and the oil companies would have paid what the Taliban had asked, and installed the pipelines. Mission accomplished.

However, somehow in the magical thinking of the knuckleheads who "planned" this military misadventure, a military campaign (with its cost in blood, human devastation, and money) was somehow "cheaper" than paying what the Taliban were asking.

One has to shake one's head at this decision, given the history of the region, and the fact that even after the defeat of the Soviet Union, which had roughly 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground, that these planners actually believed that they could win what was essentially a land war from the air.

It didn't happen in Viet Nam; it is certainly not going to happen in Afghanistan.

Jul 27 04:59

The Time the N.Y. Times Forgot

The claim that there is no evidence that the CIA directly supported the Taliban and Al Qaeda is laughable, when in the same sentence it is explained exactly how they did it indirectly through Pakistan. The denial is the admission of guilt, how’s that for double-think?

Jul 26 08:39

Report: US commanders 'incompetent' over nine soldiers killed in Afghan battle of Wanat

After an initial Army investigation which was dismissed by critics in the military hierarchy as whitewash, Douglas Cubbison, a military historian was commissioned to produce a more honest assessment.

His report is directed squarely at US commanders in the field. It suggests that if they do not apply the Army's counterinsurgency doctrine and protect local populations, they could meet the same fate as their fallen comrades at Wanat.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Jul 26 07:57

Iraq Veterans Find Afghan Enemy Even Bolder

“It was straight luck that we didn’t have a lot more guys hit,” said Sgt. Brandon Tritle, another squad leader in Company C, who cited the Taliban’s skill at laying down a base of fire to mount an attack.

“One force will put enough fire down so you have to keep your heads down, then another force will maneuver around to your side to try to kill you,” he said. “That’s the same thing we do.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Afghan people want their country back.

We do not have anywhere near the complement of military boots on the ground to win this.

We cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air. We can kill (and further radicalize those who are left) women, kids, the elderly, and the medically fragile. But that's not "winning" this conflict.

The US puppet installed government is believed so crooked by the Afghan people that many believe these people have to screw their socks on in the morning.

There will be a "Saigon Moment" in Kabul. The question is, how many more of our military will have to die and get maimed before that happens.

And why are we there? For the installation of pipelines, and protecting the drug trade, which is so profitable for so many.

Anyone remember the "Golden Triangle" in Vietnam during the Vietnam War?

Jul 25 09:40

More troops will die in Afghanistan, says Joe Biden

More British and American troops will die in Afghanistan, but the war against the Taliban is in the national interests of both countries, the US vice-president, Joe Biden, said today.

Speaking in the deadliest month for British troops since the US-led invasion in 2001, Biden insisted that the current offensive against the Taliban in Helmand province was worth the effort and was a "prerequisite" to get the country ready for presidential elections next month.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to VP Biden: stop lying to the American people, and to the long-suffering Afghans.

The purpose of this war of aggression is two-fold; to "pacify" the Afghan people so that the pipelines can be installed, and to protect the opium crops.

And before anyone starts screaming about how dare I suggest that our kids are dying to protect the drugs and drug dealers, consider this.

As reported in:

http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/140183/drug_eradication_in_afghan...
icer/

"Officials in President Barack Obama's administration say they want to emphasize alternative crops and avoid aggressive eradication operations that could alienate Afghans."

Please remember that when the Taliban were in control before the American and NATO invasion, opium farming had been almost completely wiped out.

As reported in:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1115-06.htm

"In the book ''Bin Laden, la verite interdite'' (''Bin Laden, the forbidden truth''), that appeared in Paris on Wednesday, the authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's deputy director John O'Neill resigned in July in protest over the obstruction. "

"They affirm that until August, the U.S. government saw the Taliban regime ''as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia'', from the rich oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. "

But, confronted with Taliban's refusal to accept U.S. conditions, ''this rationale of energy security changed into a military one'', the authors claim."

Remember what we were getting force-fed on all the corporate news feeds in August, 2001?!?!

Gary Condit and Chandra Levy, 24/7, while the US government was planning the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

Apparently, the price to be paid in blood and money to pursue this military misadventure was considered a "bargain" by the Bush administration, relative to what the Taliban were asking for the pipeline rights.

Tell that to the parents, wives, or children of our soldiers who continue to come home, dead, in metal boxes, or catastrophically physically and/or mentally damaged in ways from which they will never recover.

Jul 25 09:05

US envoy warns of imperfect Afghan poll

President Barack Obama's special envoy said Friday that Afghanistan's upcoming presidential contest will be imperfect, but the country cannot be held to a democratic standard that even the U.S. struggles to achieve.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The ballot boxes will be stuffed in Karzai's favor.

Jul 25 08:09

US stops giving militant death tolls in Afghanistan

The US military in Afghanistan has stopped releasing figures showing how many militants have been killed in fighting with US-led forces, officials said Friday.

Smith, who is revamping communications for the US military and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, stressed US-led military operations were not aimed at killing insurgents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remember the "body count" days of the Vietnam War?

That was strictly for US domestic consumption, to assure the TV viewers that the huge human cost and tax burden to pursue that war was somehow justified.

And to make the statement that "..US-led military operations were not aimed at killing insurgents."?!?

I would like to remind Navy Rear Admiral Smith that the Afghans are not stupid. They know when their sons, daughters, mothers, and sisters and dads have been blown to smithereens to perhaps target one guy by a drone that someone was the target of that bombing.

The only thing further aerial bombardment of civilian populations is to further radicalize the Afghan people away from both the US and their government. In fact, Karzai's government is collectively believed to be so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning.

Jul 24 07:36

New US narco-strategy may pay Afghan farmers to grow nothing

One short-term component of the not-yet-approved plan would go so far as to pay Afghan farmers to simply grow nothing while NATO forces work to pry the country’s economy off the opium trade, an unnamed source told the Times.

No cost-estimates for this proposed counter-narcotics welfare were produced by the unnamed official.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How does this get funded from a country on the brink of federal fiscal bankruptcy?

One has to wonder: if there had really been a will toward eradication, it would have happened by now.

Jul 24 05:54

More than 150 UK casualties in a week in Helmand

Recent fighting in Afghanistan led to a record number of British casualties since the start of the war against the Taliban, with more than 150 badly wounded within a week, defence officials said yesterday.

Jul 24 03:40

Afghans turn to Taliban in fear of own police

U.S. and British troops have launched a campaign to seize control of Helmand province, about half of which was in Taliban hands, and restore Afghan government institutions.

But as they advance, they are learning uncomfortable facts about their local allies: villagers say the government's police force was so brutal and corrupt that they welcomed the Taliban as liberators.

Jul 24 03:28

More troops will die in Afghanistan, says Joe Biden

• US vice-president says war is in interests of UK and US
• British soldiers among 'bravest warriors' in world

Speaking in the deadliest month for British troops since the US-led invasion in 2001, Biden insisted that the current offensive against the Taliban in Helmand province was worth the effort and was a "prerequisite" to get the country ready for presidential elections next month.

Jul 24 03:07

Afghanistan: Dangerous illusions

Now look at the military situation through the enemy's eyes. Two major thrusts by US and British troops into territory the Taliban once dominated have resulted in record US and Isaf casualties: 31 US troops and 20 Isaf, 18 of them British, have been killed so far this month and many more grievously injured. The Taliban have lost men, but they have an endless supply of recruits. And they would be even less bothered by loss of territory. The battlefield has merely grown. History tells them to be patient. It tells them that they will return to the lands from which they have been ousted.

Jul 23 23:57

U.S. stops giving militant death tolls in Afghanistan

U.S. military officials in Afghanistan have halted the practice of releasing the number of militants killed in fighting with American-led forces as part of an overall strategy shift that emphasizes concern for the local civilian population's well-being rather than hunting insurgent groups.

The change is part of the focus on making the Afghan population feel "safer" and comes as U.S. commanders are taking new steps to avoid civilian casualties.

The changes come as the Obama administration is adjusting the U.S. role in Afghanistan. A troop buildup is expected to boost the number of U.S. military personnel in the country to 68,000 by year's end.

Jul 23 15:45

Is It Worth It?

Is It Worth It? The Difficult Case for War in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan has been nearly invisible to the American public since its initial combat phase ended in early 2002, but it has rapidly come once again into view. Indeed, the war is now poised to become perhaps the most controversial and divisive issue in U.S. defense policy.

Jul 23 09:55

War News for Thursday, July 23, 2009

Abu Ghraib:
#1: An Iraqi army Hummer vehicle was set on fire when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near Baghdad, according to a local security source. “A roadside explosive device exploded in al-Haswa area, west of Abu Ghraib (20 km west of Baghdad), near an Iraqi army patrol, setting a Hummer vehicle on fire,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. There was no word on casualties, the source noted, adding that all roads leading to the scene of the blast were blocked.

Yusufiya:
#1: A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. military patrol killed one civilian and wounded two others in Yusufiya, 20 km (12 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Hilla:

Jul 23 09:22

Obama Escalates Afghanistan Quagmire

It could be argued that the single biggest contributor to President Barack Obama’s election victory was voter dissatisfaction with former President Bush’s neoconservative warmongering foreign policy (which was embraced by Republican presidential candidate John McCain). Ironically, since taking office, Obama has turned out to be eerily similar in the warmongering department.

One has to wonder how long it will take the American public to wake up from their mainstream media-induced slumber to recognize that the man sold to them as a peace candidate is turning out to be just as bad of a warmonger, if not worse, than his much-maligned predecessor.

Jul 23 05:51

More Than 150 Casualties in a Week in Helmand

Nothing has changed since the days of Rudyard Kipling;The Afghanis still know how to kick the crap out of the Brits!

Jul 22 10:29

U.S. Deaths Hit A Record High In Afghanistan

A confluence of factors has contributed to July's toll, which is the highest for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in any month since the war began in late 2001. Among them: President Obama's new strategy ordering tens of thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan this year, a surge in offensive operations by both U.S. forces and the Taliban, and an increase in insurgents' use of powerful roadside bombs.

So far this month, 31 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan, surpassing the record of 28 deaths in June 2008. Losses for the entire NATO-led coalition, including British, Canadian, Dutch and other forces, have also spiked this month, feeding growing unease over the war in those countries.

Jul 22 08:59

Feingold: Obama’s Afghanistan surge might backfire

“I continue to be concerned that the troop increase in Afghanistan will lead to more grim milestones like this one and will not have a lasting impact on our ability to deny al Qaeda a safe haven in that region,” Feingold added. “Indeed, I am concerned that the so-called surge may actually make matters worse by pushing militants into Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation which is still not effectively dealing with terrorist sanctuaries in that country.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Between Clinton's remarks yesterday that the perpetrators of 9/11 have found safe haven in Pakistan, coupled with Feingold's remarks today, one has to wonder if the stage is being set for an outright invasion of Pakistan.

Of course, I would almost be willing to be that the current Pakistani leadership has been bought off by American "aid" to the degree that they can spend their remaining years in....Geneva or Paris, or maybe even Aspen.

Jul 22 07:37

Brown forces minister to retract parting shot on need for more helicopters in Afghanistan

A furious Gordon Brown today forced an outgoing minister to retract his admission that British troops in Afghanistan do need more helicopters.

Hours after outgoing Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch-Brown delivered the devastating final salvo, he was forced to rush out a statement this morning taking it back.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"I deeply regret any confusion my earlier statement may have made and hope that the Prime Minister will find it in his heart to forgive me and have these wires removed from my genitalia."

Jul 21 09:32

West ignores lessons of Soviet humiliation in Afghanistan

It was an agonising process that marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire and eventually the USSR itself. “How to get out of this racks one’s brains,” Gorbachev despaired to his fellow Soviet magnates in the spring of 1986. He told his generals later that year: “After all this time we have not learnt how to wage war there.”

When the last troops left on February 15, 1989, about 15,000 of their comrades had been killed. It was the only war the USSR lost. To Gorbachev, one vital issue was how to “spin” it correctly. As he wrote to his key aides during the last phase of the retreat, presentation was key: “We must say that our people have not given their lives in vain,” he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Those who stubbornly refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Unfortunately, many, many more Afghans, US, and NATO troops will be condemned to death because of that refusal to learn from history on the part of US military and civilian leadership

Jul 21 09:00

British troops relying on Russian supply aircraft

British forces are so short of helicopters in Helmand that they are hiring Russian civilian aircraft to transport supplies.

The Soviet-era Mi-8 and Mi-26 helicopters are flown by freelance Russia and Ukrainian pilots, who face the risk of being shot down by the Taliban. Their ageing aircraft also have a questionable safety record. Troops at UK forward operating bases rely heavily on the civilian helicopters to ferry in food, water, ammunition and other supplies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It must be painfully obvious to British soldiers in Afghanistan that they have become disposable to their government in this military misadventure.

Jul 20 13:35

Helicopter crash in Afghanistan kills 16 civilian contractors

This month, already the most lethal for Western troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, has seen an unusual increase in aviation-related incidents.

Jul 20 09:48

One Soldier & 10,00 Dead Bodies

Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho was captured June 30th from the Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan.

The facts of the story are as follows:
*Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl was captured June 30th from the Paktika province
*The Taliban has stated that they will kill him if foreign troops keep targeting civilians
*He was taken by members of the Taliban

The facts behind the Afghanistan war are as follow:
*2,118 innocent Afghan's died in 2008 — an increase of 40 percent, according to the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan
*The Defense Department of the United States has erased journalists' footage of civilian deaths in Afghanistan; and
*Refused to disclose an array of statistics on civilian casualties.

Jul 20 09:30

Fox News Military Pundit Calls Bowe Bergdahl "A Liar"

Jul 20 09:26

Fox News guest wants Taliban to kill captured American soldier

I couldn't believe my ears, but just minutes ago on "America's News HQ," guest pundit Ralph Peters suggested something to the effect that the Taliban should "save us the headache" and execute captured 23 year-old American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, because "it looks like" Bergdahl deserted his unit. While prefacing his comments by stressing that a military decision should not be made until all of the facts surrounding Bergdahl's capture are determined, Peters then ignored his own advice and encouraged the Taliban to kill this young man. Fox News' Julie Banderas was visibly shocked at the words coming out of Peters' mouth, but did not challenge any of his statements before awkwardly ending the segment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The war hawks need a dead (preferably tortured) bloody body to try to whip up American support for escalating the war in Afghanistan.

Jul 20 08:15

Gates: US Must Prove Afghanistan ‘Winnable’ in a Year

In an interview published today, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates declared that the American public is “pretty tired” of the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan, and said he believed that forces had to turn the situation around in a year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, SecDef Gates, just how do you define "winnable" here, when during the last 8 years, US and NATO forces have accomplished absolutely nothing, except bringing more misery on the already pretty miserable Afghan people?

And the US and NATO are supposed to "win" with just a little over 10% of the compliment the old Soviet Union had here to "pacify" Afghanistan with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground?

Jul 20 02:06

The Insatiable American Thirst for Blood

The insatiable American thirst for blood is now in full bloom in this killing season as its drones continue to take the lives of men, women, and children in various parts of Pakistani FATA and its soldiers continue to dig deeper and deeper into Afghanistan. Although it is moving its soldiers out Iraqi towns, it is simply redeploying them. This continuous lust for blood is something that now defines America. Its war machine has become so blood thirsty that there is no end in sight of American occupation of Afghanistan, even though there is absolutely no moral or legal justification for its continuous operations in that war-ravaged land.

Jul 19 08:54

Gates: US public may stop backing Afghan war

The US defense secretary has admitted that the American public will likely stop backing the war in Afghanistan a day after a top US military chief said he can not see an end to the long-fought war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to SecDef Gates: thinking Americans have already stopped backing the war in Afghanistan (if they ever really did).

This has been about two things: the "pacification" of Afghan citizens for long enough to install the pipelines throughout the country, and the protection of the opium crops, from which so many profit so handsomely.

You've got an American puppet in power, swirling in a sewer of corruption which has even included his own brother's connections to the drug trade, a government so crooked that it has to, collectively, screw its socks on in the morning, and a people infinitely less better off than when the US and NATO invaded and occupied Afghanistan.

The options are very limited. Viet Nam should have taught both US civilian and military leadership that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air; apparently, that bitter lesson has yet to be learned.

We can, of course, declare victory and go home. That might free up a little money for fixing our crumbling infrastructure.

We can attempt (and this will be impossible without the reinstitution of the draft) to overwhelm the Afghans with a number of troops which will crush the Taliban.

And when the old Soviet Union couldn't do this with 500,000 pairs of combat boots on the ground, how many troops do you think, SecDef Gates, you'd actually need to get the job done; 750,000? One million?!?

Those are pretty impressive numbers. But at the current military complement of about 68,000 troops - give or take - we're just a touch over 10% of the numbers the Soviet Union had here - when they failed.

We could declare a scorched earth policy, killing every single man, woman, and child left breathing in this country, and I am certain that this has been considered under some vilely euphemistic language, such as "final emergency pacification" of the Afghan population. However, coming from the country which so obnoxiously trumpets the values of human and civil rights and democracy (while observing those values in the breach), whatever shred of respect for this country any other country might have will have been utterly destroyed.

At the end of the day, what is needed here are not more bombs, but butter; Afghans deserve the right to create their own destiny, and a working infrastructure at every level (social, political, and economic) which will give them hope for a future.

The current US and NATO military strategy is making that absolutely impossible.

Jul 19 08:51

Now we are borrowing Russian helicopters to fight the Taliban

British frontline troops in Afghanistan are so short of helicopters and transport planes that they are being bailed out by the Russians.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1200620/Now-borrowing-Russian-...

Jul 19 08:15

Copter crash kills 16 in Afghanistan, NATO says

The helicopter was not shot down, ISAF said, adding that the exact cause of the crash was not known.

Jul 19 06:46

Captive G.I. on Video by Taliban

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American soldier who disappeared June 30 in eastern Afghanistan, and was later confirmed to have been captured, appears on a video posted Saturday to a Web site by the Taliban, two United States defense officials said.

The soldier is shown in the 28-minute video with his head shaved and the start of a beard. He is sitting, wearing a nondescript gray outfit. When one of his captors holds the soldier’s dog tag up to the camera, the name and ID number are visible.

The soldier, whose identity the Pentagon has not yet released, says his name, age and hometown on the video. American defense officials confirmed that the man in the video is the captured soldier.

(Video at the source link).

Jul 19 06:10

US air strikes kill Afghan civilians

Attacks by US warplanes this week killed up to six Afghan civilians, including a four-year-old girl, and left another 16 wounded. The incidents in Afghanistans southern Kandahar province have again underscored the grim human cost of the military escalation ordered by the Obama administration.

At least nine of the wounded reached the Kandahar City hospital. Photographs and television footage from the facility showed badly wounded women and children wrapped in bandages.

The Wednesday night attacks were prompted after a US foot patrol, apparently by special forces troops, drew fire from insurgents. The ground troops called for close air support, bringing in attack helicopters and other warplanes.

Jul 18 11:44

Obama's war

With Obama approaching the end of his sixth month in the White House, there is growing evidence that his administration is in only the first stages of what is shaping up to be a major and sustained escalation of the US war in Afghanistan.

Elected in large part because of the hostility of American working people to the militarist policies of the Bush administration, Obama and the Pentagon are waging an intensified and brutal counter-insurgency campaign that has the potential of dwarfing the carnage in Iraq and dragging on for another decade.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The muscularity of Obama's foreign policy (even with mercenaries, which comprise a sizable complement of military forces) cannot be sustained by the continuation of an all-volunteer military.

There will be a point where he will have to re-institute the draft.

Sound crazy?!?

As reported in:

http://www.sss.gov/reg5.htm

(Updated July 15, 2009)

"Since the inception of the High School Registrar Program in 1981, thousands of volunteers have been appointed as Selective Service High School Registrars. They provide an important civic service, ensuring that students are in compliance with the Military Selective Service Act which requires young men to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. They provide a convenient alternative to registering at the post office, and they can assist men in registering on-line using school computers to connect to http://www.sss.gov. Anyone wishing to serve as a high school registrar can complete the online application."

Remember: all US young men between the ages of 18 through 25 must still register for the Selective Service, under US law, with draconian penalties and consequences if they don't.

We barely have enough military to fulfill their tasks around the world right now.

If there are not a massive number of new recruits for the all volunteer army, where will the rest of the person-power come from for further military deployments?

Jul 18 11:06

US air strikes kill Afghan civilians

Attacks by US warplanes this week killed up to six Afghan civilians, including a four-year-old girl, and left another 16 wounded. The incidents in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province have again underscored the grim human cost of the military escalation ordered by the Obama administration.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that despite protestations to the contrary by General Mc Chrystal, the Obama doctrine, when it comes to Afghan civilians is that of the Papal Legate at the siege of Montsegur against the Cathars.

When notified that there were women and children among the men, the Legate gave the order: "Kill them all: God will find his own".

Jul 18 10:15

U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan tests McChrystal's new order

Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, ordered American ground troops two weeks ago to avoid calling in airstrikes if civilian lives are at risk, in an effort to avoid casualties and to show the local population that U.S. forces are here to protect them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal: the Afghan people are not stupid.

They understand full well that the American and NATO presence in Afghanistan has absolutely nothing to do with "protecting" the people of Afghanistan: it is about "pacifying" the Afghan people to the degree necessary to install the pipelines for the oil companies, and protect the drug trade, from which so many profit.

Notice that the attempts at eradication of the opium poppy crop have been abandoned.

As reported in"

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/07/ap_afghanistan_poppies_071009/

on 11 July in the Air Force Times, Via AP:

"Convinced that razing the cash crop grown by dirt-poor Afghan farmers is costing badly needed friends along the front lines of the fight against Taliban-led insurgents, U.S. authorities say they are all but abandoning the Bush-era policy of destroying drug crops."

So, there you have it, General McChrystal: the Afghan people know precisely why the US and NATO troops are in Afghanistan. And so, by the way, do the American people.

Jul 18 06:56

Obama Covers Up A Dozen My Lais: Were 3,000 Afghans Murdered As U.S. Troops Stood By?

NEW YORK--"I've asked my national security team to...collect the facts," President Obama told CNN. Then, he said, "we'll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all the facts together."

Probably.

Such was Obama's tepid reaction to a New York Times cover story about an alleged "mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan."

Jul 15 18:02

Private contractors replacing troops in Iraq, Afghanistan

If you thought the end of American intervention in foreign wars was nearing, think again. President Obama has been replacing soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan with private contractors—some 250,000 are currently deployed overseas—including Black Water (operating under another alias.)

Contractors are not subject to the same guidelines as our soldiers, and thus, have not been held accountable for the misdeeds they have afflicted upon civilian populations in the past.

Jul 15 16:49

Afghanistan war futility: "I know it must stop"

I might not know what this war’s ‘about’ ... but I know it must stop
Muriel Gray
The only trustworthy PR representatives on this assault are, as always, the magnificent British servicemen and women themselves....
These soldiers are the people who are on the ground trying to defend the weak, rout out the monsters, and help the Afghans build their own future. And they keep telling us it isn't working. They, surely, are the ones worth listening to. They don't want their colleagues to have died in vain, but the bereaved families have also made it abundantly clear that they don't wish to see any more fall in a conflict that has no foreseeable resolution.

Jul 15 13:58

July is deadliest for US-led forces in Afghanistan

July is shaping up as the deadliest month of the Afghan war for U.S.-led international forces, with the number killed already matching the highest full-month toll of the nearly eight-year conflict, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

As of Wednesday, at least 46 international troops, including 24 Americans, had been killed in Afghanistan this month, according to statements by the U.S. military and the NATO command. That matches the tolls for the two previous deadliest months — June and August of 2008.

The rate of deaths in July — about three a day — is approaching some of the highest levels of the Iraq war.

Jul 14 17:53

Taliban will let guns do their talking

Taliban leader Mullah Omar is now the focus of attention, with the Pakistan military reportedly saying that it is prepared to act as a middleman to help the administration of United States President Barack Obama in a "new diplomatic overture to find an end to the long-running conflict" in Afghanistan.

Mullah Omar, however, is not believed to be in any mood to talk. Over the past few months, he has consolidated his grip over the various scattered but powerful resistance groups across Afghanistan and in Pakistan's tribal areas. His ultimate objective, as it has been since the Taliban were ousted in the US-led invasion of 2001, is for military victory against foreign forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a land war which absolutely cannot be won from the air.

One would have thought that perhaps the lessons of the Viet Nam War would have been absorbed by the civilian and military leadership of the US and NATO by this point in history; obviously, they have not.

And that is one damned shame.

Jul 14 14:42

Afghanistan: Our troops are giving their lives to safeguard a rigged election

Hamid Karzai's appalling and corrupt regime is the West's guilty little secret, suggests Mary Riddell.

Jul 14 14:41

US commander in Afghanistan lobbies for more troops

Less than six months after Barack Obama ordered 21,000 additional American soldiers to Afghanistan, and barely two weeks into the first major offensive by the reinforcements, General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed US commander, has launched a lobbying drive for a substantial further increase in troop numbers.

Jul 14 11:32

Neocon Rodeo

Imagine this headline "George Bush arrested and extradited to the Hague for crimes against humanity." Upon further reading, "Prosecutors say George Bush is allegedly guilty of mass murder for the atrocities of 911 where over 3000 innocent people were murdered." One would think, "justice is served," but lets take a journey down this phantasmal path and weigh the ramifications of this price of corruption.

Jul 13 18:17

Report: After brutal police rule, Taliban ‘welcomed as liberators’

In the wilds of Afghanistan, the civilian populace is increasingly turning to the Taliban for aid over U.S.-backed police forces, a published report revealed Monday. In some areas of the country, the situation has become so dire that some have began to see Taliban movements as ‘liberation’ rather than oppression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If this is "victory" in Afghanistan, what the Sam Hill does failure look like?

Anyone in the State Department or Pentagon care to tell me, please?!?

After all the money and blood that have been spent in this campaign, is this the pinnacle of US and NATO accomplishment?!?!That the Taliban are now looking like the good guys to the Afghans?!?!

Jul 13 08:54

FLASHBACK - Karzai in move to share power with Hekmatyar, warlord wanted by US

ONE of Afghanistan’s most wanted terrorists is to be offered a power-sharing deal by the government of President Hamid Karzai as the country’s warlords extend their grip on power.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is on America’s “most wanted” terrorist list, is to hold talks with the Kabul government within the next few weeks.

Hekmatyar is the leader of Hezb-i-Islami, which has been fighting Nato troops alongside the Taliban. The hardline group is responsible for many attacks in the eastern and central regions, including the massacre of 10 French soldiers in Sarobi last year. It controls Kapisa province, just 50 miles north of Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Then the US tried to kill Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, so the deal may be off.

But if Karzai is making deals like this, then we are losing in Afghanistan (just as every other conqueror has since Alexander the Great).

Jul 13 08:41

Dick Holbrooke - The Zionist Agent in Obama's Viet Nam

War weary Americans who hoped the new Obama administration would change U.S. policies in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring the troops home must be sorely disappointed. The only Americans coming home these days are those who have died in the senseless conflict. More troops are being sent to fight a war that is understood neither by the American public nor by the people doing the fighting.

Jul 13 08:18

It's not just Afghanistan; it's everywhere from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

Central Asia has oil and gas.

And heroin.

Journalist Simon Reeve said of his trip to the Stans, such as Uzbekistan:

"Most people I met longed for a return to the financial security of Communism...

Jul 12 22:47

Afghanistan soldiers: ``This is a war we just can`t win and there`s no need for us to win it``

To be honest, the Taliban can move about pretty much as they please. Putting more troops on the ground will restrict them a little more, but will also mean more casualties for us.

Jul 12 14:59

4 US Marines killed in Afghan bomb blasts

"Great Britain has played an extraordinary role in this coalition, understanding that we cannot allow either Afghanistan or Pakistan to be a safe haven for al-Qaida, those who with impunity blow up train stations in London or buildings in New York."

"al Qaida" operatives supposedly hijacked planes and flew them into buildings in New York, they didn't blow the buildings up. Is this a Freudian slip?

See also: 9/11 Firefighters: Bombs and Explosions in the WTC

Jul 12 11:22

Escalation Scam: Troops in Afghanistan

The president has set a limit on the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. For now.

That's how escalation works. Ceilings become floors. Gradually.

But "escalation" isn't mere jargon. And it doesn't just refer to what's happening outside the United States.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on July 7 that no limit has been set. Speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he sounded an open-ended note: "There is not a ceiling on troop levels in Afghanistan."

Mullen's comment was scarcely reported in U.S. media outlets. It has become old news without ever being news in the first place.

Jul 12 11:19

Report: Taliban captures district in E Afghanistan

Taliban made this achievement while a massive offensive, involving 4,000 U.S. Marines and 650 Afghan troops, has been going on since July 2 to restore government authorities in Taliban-held territories.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is completely impossible to win this war militarily.

And unfortunately, the knuckleheads at the Pentagon and the White House who allegedly "planned" the war in Afghanistan were collectively guilty of selective amnesia and magical thinking.

You absolutely cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air.

Viet Nam should have taught US military and civilian leadership that long ago, but apparently, that lesson hasn't been learned yet, condemning many more of our military (and innocent Afghan non-coms) to get killed or maimed in this endless, murderous campaign.

The total complement of US military forces here (not counting the mercenaries) is about 68,000 troops, give or take. The old Soviet Union couldn't "pacify" Afghanistan with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground.

The government in Kabul is so arrogantly corrupt that Afghan citizens think their political figures are so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan is cursed to be just the place of real estate which would be great for the implementation of pipelines across it, giving whoever controls those pipelines tremendous control of both the region, and the world's flow of oil.

So, the Powers that Be have decided that an infinite number of US and Afghan lives are worth that price, no matter how exorbitant that price may be in money and blood.

For these people, it's only taxpayers' money; and it's never their kids fighting, getting maimed, and dying on the front lines.

Jul 12 10:59

Afghans turn to Taliban in fear of own police

U.S. and British troops have launched a campaign to seize control of Helmand province, about half of which was in Taliban hands, and restore Afghan government institutions.

But as they advance, they are learning uncomfortable facts about their local allies: villagers say the government's police force was so brutal and corrupt that they welcomed the Taliban as liberators.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now, let me get this straight; the government cops, trained to some extent by the US and NATO were so brutal to their own people, that the Afghans are begging for the Taliban to come back?!?!?!?

Your tax dollars at work, folks: unflipping believable!!

Jul 12 10:01

UPDATE1-Taliban pushed back,long way to go -Obama

Tell that to the families of the dead Marines!

Jul 12 09:56

Drones Hardly Ever Kill Bad Guys

The foreign policy community’s favorite counterinsurgency adviser, or at least their favorite Australian one, David Kilcullen, told lawmakers last week that the drone strikes targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Pakistan are creating enemies at a far faster rate than its killing them. According to statistics he provided, the success rate of the drone bombing campaign is extremely low: just 2 percent of bombs dropped have hit targeted militants. The other 98 percent? Those killed noncombatant Pakistani civilians, he said.

Jul 12 09:39

Obituary: Area Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Jul 12 09:34

Afghanistan troops died 'for future of Britain'

David Miliband, the foreign secretary, acknowledges 'grievous few days' but says UK security depends on routing Taliban

I'll bet the Soviets said the same thing...

Jul 12 09:31

Gordon Brown plans troops surge in Afghanistan

Jul 12 09:31

Revealed: Brown's secret plan to cut Afghanistan force by 1,500

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Gordon can't make up his mind, apparently.

Jul 12 09:30

Report:Taliban Captures District in E. Afghanistan

Jul 12 09:20

AFGHANISTAN ~~ DOUBLE STANDARDS

FLASHBACK….. Remember 1979? Remember the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union? Remember the outcry and crocodile tears in support of the people of that country?

FLASHBACK #2….. Remember 2001? Remember the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States? Where was the outcry and crocodile tears in support of that nation then?

There weren’t any…. because the crimes committed by US troops were hidden….. covered up…… LIED ABOUT!

Jul 12 09:19

U.S. Military Offensive Bogged by Afghan Road Mines

Jul 12 09:19

NATO/US liberate pre-pubescent boys to be used as sex toys by Afghan policemen.

But as they advance, they are learning uncomfortable facts about their local allies: villagers say the government's police force was so brutal and corrupt that they welcomed the Taliban as liberators.

"The police would stop people driving on motorcycles, beat them and take their money," said Mohammad Gul, an elder in the village of Pankela, which British troops have been securing for the past three days after flying in by helicopter.

He pointed to two compounds of neighbors where pre-teen children had been abducted by police to be used for the local practice of "bachabazi," or sex with pre-pubescent boys.

Jul 12 09:05

Four U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan Bomb Blast

Jul 11 08:33

U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died

After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The 21st Century version of the Black Hole of Calcutta.

Jul 11 08:21

Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia

The Pentagon and its NATO allies have launched the largest combat offensive to date in their nearly eight-year war in South Asia - Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) with 4,000 US Marines, attack helicopters and tanks and Operation Panchai Palang (Panther's Claw) with several hundred British engaged in airborne assaults - in the Afghan province of Helmand.

The American effort is the largest ground combat operation conducted by Washington in Asia since the Vietnam War.

Jul 11 08:08

Obama admin: No grounds to probe Afghan war crimes

Obama administration officials said Friday they had no grounds to investigate the 2001 deaths of Taliban prisoners of war who human rights groups allege were killed by U.S.-backed forces.

A former U.S. ambassador for war crimes issues, Pierre Prosper, told the Times that the Bush administration was reluctant to investigate the deaths, even though Dostum was on the payroll of the CIA and his soldiers worked with U.S. special forces in 2001.

Dostum was suspended from his military post last year on suspicion of threatening a political rival, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently rehired him, the Times reported.

Jul 10 16:10

U.S. Said to Have Averted Inquiry Into ’01 Afghan Killings

After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations.

Jul 10 12:45

U.S. Military Links Karzai Brother to Drugs

U.S. military documents, obtained by ABC News, list the brother of Afghanistan president Karzai as a "problem maker" in the pay of drug lords.

Wali Karzai is described in the documents as "receives money from drug lords as bribe to facilitate their work and movement."

The documents, marked secret, appear to be part of a "U.S. military targeting assessment" produced in January 2005. The documents were downloaded from a computer flash disc sold at an Afghanistan street bazaar for $200.

Jul 10 12:20

Karzai pardons five Afghan heroin traffickers

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned five heroin smugglers, at least one of them a relative of a man who heads Karzai's campaign for re-election next month, a source and a government spokesman said.

Jul 10 06:58

A War of Colonial Conquest in Afghanistan

Really disgusting!

Jul 09 17:20

Generals: More forces needed for Afghan offensive.

Senior U.S. generals said Wednesday that more Afghan and NATO soldiers are needed to expand the fight against a Taliban-led insurgency in southern Afghanistan, although current military plans make such increases unlikely.

Jul 09 17:09

Army Awards Afghan Deals to DynCorp and Fluor

DynCorp International Inc. and Fluor Corp. won Army contracts that could be valued at $15 billion over the next five years to build bases and other infrastructure for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The deals show how lucrative logistics contracts in Afghanistan will be, since the country has a far less developed infrastructure than Iraq. Each company could receive up to $7.5 billion, depending on the Pentagon's needs.

Jul 09 17:01

Escalation Scam:

Escalation Scam: Troops in Afghanistan

A few times since last fall, the Obama team has floated rising numbers for how many additional U.S. soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan. Now, deployment of 21,000 more is a done deal, with a new total cap of 68,000

In the spring and early summer of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson decided to send 100,000 additional U.S. troops to Vietnam, more than doubling the number there. But at a July 28 news conference, he announced that he'd decided to send an additional 50,000 soldiers.

Why did President Johnson say 50,000 instead of 100,000? Because he was heeding the advice from something called a "Special National Security Estimate"

Jul 09 13:31

Obama’s Rollback Strategy: Honduras, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan

The recent events in Honduras and Iran, which pit democratically elected regimes against pro-US military and civilian actors intent on overthrowing them can best be understood as part of a larger White House strategy designed to rollback the gains achieved by opposition government and movements during the Bush years.

Jul 09 13:12

You won't see THIS on FOX: Afghan Children Left to Die After US Bombings

Jul 08 02:49

Are Afghan Lives Worth Anything?

The Americans claim there were gunshots as they left. The villagers deny it. Regardless, American bombers swooped by the village just after the soldiers left and dropped a payload on one house. It belonged to Haiji Qadir, a pole-thin, wizened old man who was hosting more than forty relatives for a wedding party. The bomb split the house in two, killing sixteen, including twelve from Qadir's family, and wounding scores more.... The malek [chief] went to the province's governor and delivered a stern warning: protect our villagers or we will turn against the Americans.

That passage caught my eye because, to the best of my knowledge, I'm the only person in the US who has tried to keep track of the wedding parties wiped out, in whole or part, by American military action since the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan in November 2001.

Jul 07 12:21

The Enemy Has Gone To Ground

Jul 07 09:40

The wheels come off “the good war” in Afghanistan

It was utterly predictable that the wheels would come off the propaganda wagon trying to promote the "good war" with a troop "surge" in Helmand, not least because the Taliban were understandably not too keen to hang around to be incinerated by the horrific firepower used by the US and British military. They simply melted away.

Jul 07 06:50

Seven U.S. Troops Killed In Afghanistan

Jul 06 12:33

Taliban launch 'operation' against Marines

Taliban launch 'operation' against Marines
by Nasrat Shoaib Nasrat Shoaib – Mon Jul 6
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) – Afghanistan's insurgent Taliban movement said Monday they had launched a guerrilla operation to thwart a major assault by newly deployed US Marines on their Helmand strongholds.
Operation Foladi Jal, Pashtu for "iron net", would teach the Marines "a lesson". Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP by telephone from an unknown location.

Jul 05 04:12

US Marines launch major operation in Afghanistan

To date, about 57,000 U.S. servicemen are now deployed in Afghanistan, but security situation there remain grin and stark, according to the U.S. Central Command, a theater-level unified combatant command unit of the U.S. armed forces set up in 1983 under the operation control of the US secretary of defense

Known as a “desert of death” in southern Afghanistan, Helmond province is the area where the Taliban insurgents and al-Qaeda forces have intensified or are beefing up attacks against the U.S. occupiers. Consequently, the stationed U.S. troops have suffered a lot of casualties from incessant attacks by Taliban and al Qaeda insurgents over the past six months owing to the lack of adequate support from Afghan security forces.

Jul 04 16:04

Obama sends marines to suppress population of southern Afghanistan

Contrary to campaign posturing our national policy is clearly intended to pacify, occupy and control Afghanistan;

"Disquiet in the military has clearly not been silenced. McClatchy Newspapers reported on Wednesday that National Security Advisor James Jones, who had just returned from Central Asia, had “started to hear rumblings that new commanders and officials being sent to Afghanistan would quickly urge another shift in strategy and more troops”. An unnamed senior officer allegedly told journalist Bob Woodward that at least 100,000 were needed."

Jul 04 13:57

UK media : Afghan combat truth suppression

Helmand: Operation Panther's Claw....British soldiers have been locked in close-quarters combat with the Taliban and fought long gun battles as they push north in Helmand province, the military has said.-- By Ben Farmer in Kabul BST 04 Jul 2009
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8134137.stm
Saturday, 4 July 2009 06:18 UK
UK forces 'encounter few Taliban'
British forces on a major operation in Afghanistan say they have encountered little resistance from the Taliban.Troops are moving into a large swathe of territory in Helmand province....

Jul 04 08:07

Independence Day and Occupation

On your Independence Day it might be worth giving a few minutes thought to those your nation and mine occupy in Iraq and Afghanistan. They've been reduced to the role of "collateral damage", told they should be greatful for being bombed into submission to our edicts, denied basic rights such as habeas corpus in our foreign prisons, tortured and abused, exposed to our dumb belief in The White Man's Burden.

Jul 04 05:33

Russia to Open Airspace to U.S. for Afghan War

(*after the bout they lost in Afghanistan , this is like Russia , the doorman , holding the door and saying "Right This Way" , for their old cold war friends and allies .)

Jul 03 15:44

Afghanistan: US Offensive, or Taliban Entrapment?

Afghanistan Offensive
Tara Mergener CBS News
Published: July 3, 2009
U.S. Marines are moving deeper into Taliban territory and the enemy is doing little to stop them....overall there’s been little resistance from insurgents.
http://www.canadaeast.com/rss/article/718102
Head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan says Taliban a dangerous, resilient enemy, Friday July 3rd, 2009
Bill Graveland, THE CANADIAN PRESS
...Petraeus warns,...."I think you have to recognize this is an enemy that is adaptable and at times is barbaric," ....

Jul 03 10:59

U.S. Faces Resentment in Afghan Region

The mood of the Afghan people has tipped into a popular revolt in some parts of southern Afghanistan, presenting incoming American forces with an even harder job than expected in reversing military losses to the Taliban and winning over the population.

Villagers in some districts have taken up arms against foreign troops to protect their homes or in anger after losing relatives in airstrikes, several community representatives interviewed said. Others have been moved to join the insurgents out of poverty or simply because the Taliban’s influence is so pervasive here.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Afghanistan is an occupied country, governed by American puppets who appear to their own population to be so crooked that they have to screw their socks on the morning.

Imagine that your kid, wife, husband, mom, dad, or other loved one or friend had been blown to smithereens in a US airstrike: would you want to skip toward the representative troops whose military did this with flowers in your hands?

Our options in Afghanistan are stark, and very limited.

We could declare "victory" and go home.

We could develop a robust reconstruction, sort of like the Marshall Plan after WW2, provide investment for real economic growth, encourage more real political dialogue and inclusion. When things stabilize enough that the pipelines can be constructed, we could then declare victory, and come home.

Or, we could kill every Afghan still breathing, behave like a complete butcher in the eyes of the rest of the world and any people of conscience left in this country, install the pipelines, declare victory, and come home.

Unfortunately, there are some in the halls of power in Washington who see that last scenario as truly preferable to the other two.

You cannot, absolutely, win what is essentially a land war from the air. The lessons of Viet Nam should have taught this country's military and political leaders this, but apparently the lessons have yet to be learned.

Those who do not understand the past, and learn from it, are doomed to repeat it - and fail again.

Jul 03 10:37

Taliban Slip Away From Afghanistan Surge Battle

Marine commanders said Taliban fighters seemed to have melted into the surrounding countryside rather than staying to fight the large U.S. force.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Taliban are most likely re-grouping to strike in another area, far away from where the 4,000 Marines are massed.

Jul 03 10:31

Taliban Seize US Soldier, ‘Sell’ to Militant Clan

It is being reported today that an unnamed US soldier and three Afghan soldiers were ambushed and captured Tuesday by the Taliban in Afghanistan’s restive Paktika Province. The military confirmed that the soldier was missing and believed captured.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I feel badly for the captured soldier, and can hardly begin to appreciate what their family is going through right now.

But this country betrayed that soldier long before he was ever captured, by torturing prisoners of war, and - for all practical intents and purposes - withdrawing from every human rights treaty to which it was ever a signatory.

Unfortunately, this soldier can expect no better treatment than the prisoners of war at Abu Ghraib received.

Jul 02 17:25

Captured American soldier: free reign to waterboard him.

After all, it isn't torture according to the US.

Jul 02 13:04

When Torture Kills: Ten Murders In US Prisons In Afghanistan

The interrogation and detention regime implemented by the US resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees in US custody ? at least [see "Command?s Responsibility," a Human Rights First report from 2006, PDF]. While some of those deaths were the result of "rogue" interrogators and agents, many were caused by the methods authorized at the highest levels of the Bush White House, including extreme stress positions, hypothermia, sleep deprivation and others. Aside from the fact that they cause immense pain, that?s one reason we?ve always considered those tactics to be "torture" when used by others ? because they inflict serious harm, and can even kill people.

Jul 02 03:09

U.S. Launches South Afghan Offensive

Operation Khanjar, or "strike of the sword," began shortly after 1 a.m. local time when close to 4,000 Marines, backed by about 700 Afghan security personnel, moved by air and ground into villages in the Helmand River Valley, a major opium-producing region and Taliban stronghold.

Jul 01 17:27

Refusing to Comply: US Soldiers' Tactics of Resistance

Refusing to Comply: The Tactics of Resistance
in an All-Volunteer Military
Dahr Jamail, July 1, 2009
On May 1st at Fort Hood in central Texas, Specialist Victor Agosto wrote on a counseling statement, which is actually a punitive U.S. Army memo: "There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect."
"If we want soldiers to choose the right but difficult path, they must know beyond any shadow of a doubt that they will be supported by Americans." So said First Lieutenant Ehren Watada of the U.S. Army, the highest ranking enlisted soldier to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq.

Jul 01 16:09

U.S. Marines Launch Major Operation in Afghanistan

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 1, 2009; 5:32 PM

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, July 2 -- Thousands of U.S. Marines descended upon the volatile Helmand River valley in helicopters and armored convoys early Thursday morning, mounting an operation that represents the first large-scale test of the U.S. military's new counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan.

Jul 01 12:35

U.S.-built bridge is windfall ? for illegal Afghan drug trade

In August 2007, the presidents of Afghanistan and Tajikistan walked side by side with the U.S. commerce secretary across a new $37 million concrete bridge that the Army Corps of Engineers designed to link two of Central Asia's poorest countries.

Today, the bridge across the muddy waters of the Panj River is carrying much more than vegetables and timber: It's paved the way for drug traffickers to transport larger loads of Afghan heroin and opium to Central Asia and beyond to Russia and Western Europe.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a repeat of Vietnam as well. Money allocated to support drug interdiction was used to construct a highway into the heart of the Golden Triangle, right up to Kuhn Sa's heroin factory. Whereas it had taken Kuhn Sa a week to caravan his heroin to the waiting Air America planes, the highway, funded with US tax dollars, allowed the journey to be made in just a few hours.

Jul 01 08:45

Opium crop haul just a hill of beans, admits MoD

Major Rupert Whitelegge, the commander of the company in charge of the area, tugged at one of the enormously heavy white sacks.

"They are definitely poppy seeds," he said emphatically.

Except they weren't. Analysis of a sample carried out by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation in Kabul for the Guardian has revealed that the soldiers had captured nothing more than a giant pile of mung beans, a staple pulse eaten in curries across Afghanistan.

Jun 28 10:42

U.S. announces revamp of Afghan drug policy

The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, told The Associated Press that eradication programs weren't working and were only driving farmers into the hands of the Taliban.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ummm, Dick? The Taliban execute drug farmers. That is why prior to the US invasion, the opium trade had all but been wiped out in Afghanistan.

And if fighting opium is your goal, WHY ARE US SOLDIERS GUARDING THE POPPY FIELDS!

Jun 28 05:35

Pentagon 'rewrites' airstrike atrocity

WASHINGTON - The version of the official military investigation into the disastrous May 4 airstrike in Farah province made public last week by the Central Command was carefully edited to save the United States command in Afghanistan the embarrassment of having to admit that earlier claims blaming the massive civilian deaths on the "Taliban" were fraudulent.

The report reasserted the previous claim by the US command that only about 26 civilians had been killed in the US bombing on that day, despite well-documented reports by the government and by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission that between 97 and 147 people were killed.

Jun 27 09:34

US Announces Shift In Afghanistan Drug Policy

The United States has announced a new drug policy for opium-rich Afghanistan, saying it was phasing out funding for eradication programs while significantly increasing its funding for alternate crop and drug interdiction efforts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, those making the huge profits from those opium poppies in Afghanistan have made their voices heard in the halls of power in various world capitals.

That's why we will never see decriminalization of drugs in this country: that would kill the profit from the sale of illegal drugs.

Jun 26 09:36

General: Troops needed as Afghan elections near

Despite the thousands of U.S. troops headed to southern Afghanistan this summer, a NATO commander said Thursday they'll fall short of the numbers historically needed to defeat insurgents.

Maj. Gen. Mart de Kruif said the influx of troops will let coalition forces pressure parts of the Taliban-infested region where extremists have not yet been pursued. That, in part, will spur more violence over the next few months, he said.

U.S. Gen. David Petraeus and other military experts say counterinsurgency warfare usually requires a mix of force that is 80 percent political and 20 percent military.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Toward the end of this year, we will have a total military compliment of 68,000 troops on the ground, just barely over 10% of the amount of troops the Soviet Union had here before they left in defeat and that was a military force of 500,000

The magical thinking, demonstrated in the military planning - if one can call the US campaign in Afghanistan "planned" - is inconceivably ignorant of the history of this region, the history of warfare, and is therefore doomed to fail spectacularly.

Ignorance and stupidity should be painful. The US military should have learned from the Viet Nam War that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air, but apparently, the Pentagon leadership is collectively suffering from a full-on case of selective memory on this issue.

Jun 24 21:00

Bagram, the new Guantánamo

President Obama told us that this sort of thing has stopped. Well, it hasn't.

Jun 24 08:13

Mossad-Taliban whistleblower killed in Pakistan

A tribal leader who earlier defected from Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and revealed the militants group's ties with the US and Israel has been shot dead.

Jun 22 22:04

US Remote viewing, drone bombing, civilian victims

Iraq, Afghanistan wars coordinated from afar
by Staff Writers
Tampa, Florida (AFP) June 19, 2009
In a windowless room at the sprawling MacDill Air Force Base, home to the US Central Command (CENTCOM), several dozen officers monitor developments across the Middle East, the Gulf and Central Asia 24 hours a day.
Despite all the high-level coordination, there are sometimes mistakes -- mistakes that often prove costly in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the US air strikes are deeply unpopular.
US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have their own command posts and operations centers, but personnel at Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, in the western US state of Nevada, maneuver the pilotless Predator and Reaper drones that fly over Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Jun 22 08:36

FLASHBACK - Women used in huge voter fraud in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Do you remember the corporate media making as big a deal about Iraq's admitted vote fraud as they are about the mere suspicion of vote fraud in Iran??

Jun 21 22:34

What Bush Told Blair Could End the Wars

In May 2005 we launched AfterDowningStreet.org to publicize the Downing Street Minutes. By June we'd had great, if fleeting, success. During the following months and years, mountains of new memos and statements emerged on the Iraq War lies, many of them more damaging than the Downing Street documents. But increasingly nobody cared, because evidence of crimes was less interesting once Congress had dropped the pretense that it might take action. The single most powerful, and yet largely ignored, document yet to emerge, might, now in 2009, finally, produce results. And, of course, it is our friends over in England who are, as always, two steps ahead of us.

Jun 21 09:17

After Deadly Attacks, No Finding of Blame

A military investigation into American air strikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians calls for additional training of United States air crews and ground forces. But the inquiry does not hold any military personnel culpable for failing to follow strict rules devised to avoid civilian casualties.

Jun 21 08:49

Intruder military plane awaits permission to leave India

The Indian Air Force forced an An-124 plane, en route from the U.S. military base in Diego Garcia to Afghanistan's Kandahar, to land on suspicions that it was a military plane flying on a civilian flight code. It landed at Mumbai airport at 10:40 p.m. local time (17:10 GMT) on Friday, according to an airport source.

Jun 21 06:54

Third U.S. Soldier Killed in Afghanistan In Single Day

I count 5 dead total yesterday counting the rocket attack on Bagram.

Jun 21 06:46

Bagram Air Base Attack Kills Two U.S. Soldiers

Jun 19 08:47

Letters Mullen: Unlikely Anyone Will Face Disciplinary Action Over Farah Killings

Admiral Michael Mullen says that while “there are additional changes we’re clearly going to have to make” in the wake of the massive civilian toll in last month’s air strikes in Afghanistan’s Farah Province, he does not expect anyone will face disciplinary action over the killings.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There will be no disciplinary charges, because this same kind of carnage will continue to happen, at an even more furious pace.

Why?!?

The military can't think of anything else to do, because they have no where near enough boots on the ground to pacify Afghanistan, nor will they, without the possible reinstitution of a draft in the US.

And right now, I wouldn't bet against that under Obama's watch.

The military and civilian leadership of this country has never intelligently integrated the major lesson of the Viet Nam war, which was that it is impossible to win what is a essentially a ground war from the air.

Jun 18 18:37

US military debates release of Afghan air strike probe

The release of a Pentagon investigation into deadly US air strikes in Afghanistan has been delayed amid an internal debate about what details of the report should be revealed, US officials said on Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: we are unlikely to ever see any details of these airstrikes revealed.

Were I a betting person, I would bet that we will see an increase in these kinds of strikes, with ever more collateral damage (i.e., the destruction of the lives of innocent civilians), because the Pentagon doesn't know what else to do.

The US is essentially trying to win what is a ground war from the air. We tried that tactic in Viet Nam; it didn't work then either.

One would think that the US civilian and military leadership would have learned that lesson, but apparently not.

Unfortunately, that doesn't augur well for the US military campaign in Afghanistan.

Jun 18 10:17

Video: Rethink Afghanistan - Civilian Casualties

The footage you are about to see is poignant, heart-wrenching, and often a direct result of U.S. foreign policy. In order to help the refugees whose lives have been shattered by U.S. foreign policy and military attacks, please provide aid through the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. For more on Afghan civilian casualties, watch Director Robert Greenwald on MSNBC's The Ed Show.

Jun 18 08:29

Civilian Casualties Could End Airstrike Support

Rising anger over Afghan civilians accidentally killed in U.S. military bombing campaigns has prompted some U.S. officers to issue a stark warning to troops involved in airstrikes: If grave mistakes persist, they could lose armed air support—considered by most soldiers and marines to be an invaluable tool during battle. "Maybe they're just saying that to us as a scare tactic," says one U.S. military officer in Afghanistan. "But they are really serious about cutting these deaths."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If this statement was made for Afghan civilian consumption, it won't work... because Afghans have the horse-sense to know it can't work.

Air strikes are the blunt instrument in this war, and there is no way to separate civilian from insurgent when the bombs are targeted and launched.

There was a war a while back in American history, the Viet Nam war. It was there that civilian and military strategists should have learned that you cannot win what is absolutely a ground war from the air.

Apparently, that lesson has been stricken from all military and historical textbooks that are required reading for military leadership these days.

So, the bombing will continue; the civilian deaths will continue; the documentation of the carnage will continue; and we will continue to lose this war, because you cannot win a ground war from the air.

Jun 16 20:30

House passes $106 billion war funding bill

House passes $106 billion war funding bill

Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 38 mins ago

WASHINGTON – War-funding legislation survived a fierce partisan battle in the House on Tuesday, a major step in providing commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan the money they would need for military operations in the coming months.

The $106 billion measure, in addition to about $80 billion for military operations, provides for an array of other spending priorities, including $7.7 billion to respond to the flu pandemic and more than $10 billion in development and security aid for Pakistan and Iraq as well as countries such as Mexico and the nation of Georgia.

Jun 15 07:57

Obama Looses the Manhunters, Charisma and the Imperial Presidency

So, this is now truly Obama's war, about to be run by his chosen general, a figure from the dark side. Expect, then, from our sunshine president's men an ever bloodier secret campaign of so-called counter-terror (though it's essence is likely to be terror, pure and simple), as befits an imperial power trying to hang on to the Eastern reaches of the Greater Middle East.

The new crew aren't counterinsurgency warriors, but -- a term that has only recently entered our press -- "manhunters." And don't forget, President Obama is now presiding over an expanding war in which "manhunters" engaging in systematic assassination programs will not only be on the ground but, thanks to the CIA's escalating program of targeted assassination by robot aircraft, in the skies over the Pakistani tribal borderlands.

For those who care to remember, it was into counter-terrorism and an orgy of manhunting, abuse, and killing that the Vietnam era version of "counterinsurgency" dissolved as well.

Jun 15 07:35

NATO's new U.S. commander in Afghanistan vows to ensure security, development

The newly appointed commander of the U.S. and NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan General Stanley A. McChrystal has vowed to accelerate security and development in the war-torn country, a statement of the alliance released here Monday said.

The general, according to the statement, has noted that, "the measure of effectiveness will not be (the number of) enemy killed, it will be the number of Afghans shielded from violence."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to General Stanley A. McChrystal: just how, sir, do you intend to accomplish this?!?

More no-bid reconstruction projects, like those in Iraq which (if they were ever built at all) fell apart at the seams when you sneezed at them?

With a government in Kabul so crooked and transparently corrupt that the Afghans believe government members screw their socks on in the morning?

With a total troop strength of only 70,000 military personnel in Afghanistan (plus the hired mercenaries), when the old Soviet Union couldn't pacify this country with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground?

Without basic aid services, food and shelter, going to the poorest of the poor?

General, if this is the best we can do to protect Afghans from violence, we'd better leave, right the heck now.

Of course, the issue has never been that of the safety of Afghan citizens; it has been to get the country stable enough to lay the pipelines the large oil companies want to have in place in Afghanistan.

To say otherwise is intellectually dishonest in the extreme, sir, and a gross insult to the American people who ultimately pay your salary.

And for American taxpayers with a brain, the logical conclusion here is that the only people "winning" in Afghanistan right now are the arms dealers and the drug dealers.

That is completely unacceptable!

Jun 15 07:21

Film maker sets up web site to get around media censorship on Afghanistan.

The site, started by filmmaker Robert Greewald, contains a blog, video clips, articles etc. on the war in Afghanistan and the effects on the civilian population. Some of the video clips are part of a full length documentary, presently a work in progress.

http://www.rethinkafghanistan.com

Jun 14 10:18

British troops at mercy of Taliban surge

British troops fighting the Taliban are facing three times as many attacks as any other Nato force in Afghanistan amid spiralling violence across the country which has seen insurgent bombings and shootings rise by 73 per cent.

The details of the ferocity of the conflict emerged as Nato ministers meeting in the Netherlands acknowledged that the tide must be turned in the conflict. The US Defence Secretary Robert Gates stressed the urgent need to "shift the momentum", saying "the patience of the American people and Congress would wear pretty thin... if in a year or so it appears we are in a stalemate and we're taking even more casualties"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to SecDef Gates: regarding that statement about '.... "the patience of the American people and Congress would wear pretty thin... if in a year or so it appears we are in a stalemate and we're taking even more casualties": We the People have absolutely zero patience for continuing these wars without end, period, end of discussion!

Thinking Americans know that the only "winners" in this war are the weapons makers and the drug dealers. They are certainly not the Afghan people, with all the devastation and carnage we have heaped upon them.

And for people in Congress and the Pentagon, the entire Afghan population is simply "collateral damage", to be "neutralized" by any means necessary in order to make the place stable enough to install the pipelines the oil companies want to install here.

Sec Def Gates, you know, with absolute certainty, that we don't have any where near enough boots on the ground to successfully occupy Afghanistan, not even with all the contract mercenaries we have under contract.

We can't get more forces from NATO, because, at least to some degree, NATO countries' leadership listens to their people, and their people think that this war is insane.

The only way to possibly come up with a troop strength to begin to pacify Afghanistan would be for President Obama to re-institute the draft.

And frankly, at this point in time, I almost wouldn't bet against that possibility.

Jun 14 10:00

Afghanistan: Northern Supply Lines Under Attack

Due to the increasing attacks on the supply lines to Afghanistan from the port of Karachi in Pakistan through Quetta to Kandahar and through Peshavar to Kabul, the U.S. looked for new supply lines. These were found in the north.

Predictably those new supply lines are now coming under attack.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is obvious that there were absolutely no adults in the room when the campaign to attack and occupy Afghanistan was concocted.

Magical thinking, coupled with a complete ignorance of the Afghan people and their history, created a quagmire from which the US cannot possibly emerge "victorious", from a military perspective.

The old Soviet Union was unable to do this with 500,000 pairs of boots and the ground: the total US and NATO military strength is only a fraction of that.

Jun 14 08:51

Afghan villagers slain as they took cover

Tears streaming down her face, the Afghan woman sat in a corner of a room with no roof and broken windows, mourning 19 of her closest and dearest relatives. “They were parts of my heart,” she said.

Six weeks after American warplanes bombed her village in Farah province, on Afghanistan’s remote western border, mistakenly killing dozens of innocent women and children, the terror of the moment when the bombs fell and the ground erupted, turning one mud-walled house after another into rubble, still lives in her mind.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This fallout from the continuous indiscriminate killing civilians is going to further poison the minds of Afghans against the US and NATO, and make the Taliban almost look like the good guys.

This is the absolute opposite outcome from what the US and NATO have declared they want to happen.

The answer here is not, nor has it ever been a "military victory". The old Soviet Union tried to pacify this country with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground, and failed utterly.The total troop strength of the US and NATO is far smaller than that, even with Obama's much-vaunted "surge".

What the Afghan people need is hope, a responsible government which provides for them to some degree, infrastructure, reconstruction, and aid which actually helps the people for which it was intended.

But unless and until the US and NATO can actually come up to the plate on these issues, the military campaign is, for all intents and purposes, doomed.

Jun 13 09:46

* Home * About Antiwar.com * Donate * Blog * US Casualties * Contact * Latest News * Letters As Gates Promises to Reduce Afghan Civilian Toll, NATO Kills More

During fighting in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province NATO forces fired artillery at civilians, killing two and wounding five others. NATO declined to provide further details about the killings, but said it was investigating the matter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable.

How long do the knuckleheads in Washington think that Karzai can keep a lid on the natural tendency of people to want to retaliate against those forces which are killing their kids, brothers, wives, and grandfathers?

Tyrants and their enablers are only tolerated for just so long in human history; then, something snaps.

Ask the people of Romania about that: they have a very clear understanding of how that worked when their dictator Chauchescu was killed by a furious populace.

Jun 13 06:09

The Obama Enigma: Imperial Interventionism and Militarism

Those who thought that the election of Barack Obama as American President would mean a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy should have lost their illusions by now. Faces change but the system remains. When you want change, it's necessary to look beyond a single individual and evaluate the team he is working with ...or for. And the Obama team is what can be called a soft neoconservative team, all devoted to maintaining the military-industrial complex, [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090610/pl_nm/us_arms_boeing] and all sold out with the ideology of permanent wars rather than permanent human progress.

Jun 12 15:00

Obama’s Afghan War

It is no secret that Obama has taken over the U.S peace movement.[xvi] For example, John Podesta’s ‘liberal think tank the Center for American Progress (CAP) strongly supports Obama’s escalation or surge in Afghanistan and Pakistan. MoveOn.org today serves as a full-time cheerleader of Obama’s policy agenda and is at best silent on Obama’s Afghan surge. More importantly, the established corporate media is largely silent about the continuing devastation perpetrated upon Afghan civilians by the Obama Afghan war. Only when a thoroughly egregious attack takes place as in Farah in early May 2009 when 97-147 civilians perished under U.S. "precision" bombs, is mention made.

Jun 12 13:38

Obama’s Afghan War

It is no secret that Obama has taken over the U.S peace movement.[xvi] For example, John Podesta’s ‘liberal think tank the Center for American Progress (CAP) strongly supports Obama’s escalation or surge in Afghanistan and Pakistan. MoveOn.org today serves as a full-time cheerleader of Obama’s policy agenda and is at best silent on Obama’s Afghan surge. More importantly, the established corporate media is largely silent about the continuing devastation perpetrated upon Afghan civilians by the Obama Afghan war. Only when a thoroughly egregious attack takes place as in Farah in early May 2009 when 97-147 civilians perished under U.S. "precision" bombs, is mention made.

Jun 12 07:26

You won't see THIS on FOX News: Starving Afghan Family Displaced by US Airstrike

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a man who obviously loves his family, which is starving to death after a US airstrike, and he is desperate to find them food and water.

Does this look anything like "victory" to you?!?!?!?

Jun 12 06:10

Why We NEED Torture "To Keep Us Safe"

Note: This essay is more appropriately titled something like "Send This to Everyone Who Still Believes that We Need Torture to Keep Us Safe". But if I used that title, no one who supports torture would read it.

Jun 12 04:51

US moving to appeal Bagram detention ruling

The Obama administration is moving to appeal a ruling that some detainees at a military air base in Afghanistan can use U.S. civilian courts to challenge their detention.

Jun 12 04:47

NATO data shows Afghanistan violence reaches record levels

Insurgent violence hit record levels in Afghanistan last week, reaching its highest level since 2001 as the commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan warned Thursday that he expects "tough months" ahead.

Jun 11 08:04

Moves, Rhetoric Reveal Massive US Commitment to Afghanistan War

Visiting the Netherlands today, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sought to use a visit to World War II era graves as a chance to press the nation’s NATO allies to observe World War II style unity in the conflict. Much of NATO has refused to commit additional troops to the seemingly endless war, despite administration pressures.

But the most telling aspect is the enormous collection of officers being picked by new US commander Lieutenant General McChrystal for the conflict. The 400-strong team will be committed to the war in Afghanistan for at least three more years, which is probably time for the administration to have to unveil at least two new major strategy changes given the war’s recent history.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to SecDef Gates, who appears to like to invoke history, but has absolutely no understanding of it: this military invasion and subsequent occupation of Afghanistan has absolutely no relationship to the events of World War II. Invoking this is a really gross error in judgment.

The US and NATO are attempting, with a far smaller contingent than the Old Soviet Union used (around 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground), to conquer this country militarily. The old USSR failed catastrophically in this endeavor: the US will, unfortunately, probably do the same.

We are not in Afghanistan to bring it's people "freedom and democracy"; we are in Afghanistan for the reasons reported in:

http://aangirfan.blogspot.com/2009/05/obamas-problem-with-gas.html

Which ran a story on 17 May , 2009, from which the following excerpts are taken:

"The Afghan War is about energy, heroin and military bases.

The USA would like to control the energy-rich former Soviet republics.

The USA wants to split Russia and China.

Afghanistan occupies a strategically important position.

Afghanistan is believed to be rich in natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chrome, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, and iron ore.

The heroin trade in Afghanistan uses U.S. dollars."

So, there you have it.

Jun 10 11:01

Afghan Official: US Soldier Threw Grenade Into Crowd of Civilians

The head of the provincial council of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province reported today that a US soldier had thrown the hand grenade that struck a crowd of civilians in a bustling market, killing two and injuring 56 others.

The crowd had gathered around a stalled American military vehicle when the grenade hit. The council chief said dozens of civilians had seen the soldier throw the grenade, calling it “a complete cruel crime against civilians.”

Jun 09 08:42

IVAW Member Victor Agosto Refuses Deployment to Afghanistan

"I’m not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong."

Agosto, who returned from a 13-month deployment to Iraq in November 2007, is based at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

Jun 08 11:34

7,000 U.S. Marines Patrolling Southern Afghan Desert

Some 7,000 of the new U.S. troops ordered to Afghanistan are fanning out across the dangerous south this week on a mission to defeat the Taliban insurgency and to change the course of a war claiming American lives at a record pace.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the same place where a half million Soviet troops got their asses kicked.

Jun 08 10:46

Pentagon Quietly Sending 1,000 Special Operators to Afghanistan in Strategy Revamp

The Pentagon is sending 1,000 more special operations forces and support staff into Afghanistan to bolster a larger conventional troop buildup, and is revamping the way Army Green Berets and other commandos work to rid villages of the Taliban.

Jun 08 04:06

Taking Aim At the Taliban

"All this anger about civilian casualties by foreign forces--it's just like Baghdad before everything started going downhill,"

Jun 07 15:17

Green Berets slipped into Afghanistan on 9/12/01

May 17, 2009
Charleston native recalls days as Green Beret 'horse soldier'
Marchal slipped into Afghanistan on 9/12
By Kathryn Gregory
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The day after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, more than two-dozen U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers slipped quietly into Afghanistan and teamed up with Afghan warlords to end the Taliban militia's reign over that country.
The mission of the 25 Green Berets who went behind enemy lines to help overthrow the brutal regime that harbored Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorists is the subject of "Horse Soldiers," a new book by author Doug Stanton, due out later this month.

Jun 06 08:37

Afghanistan to 'try criminal foreign troops'

This is the first time that Afghanistan's parliament has decided to file a lawsuit against foreign forces based in the country and described them as "war criminals."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As reported in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice

"The United States withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction in 1986, and so accepts the court's jurisdiction only on a case-to-case basis. Chapter XIV of the United Nations Charter authorizes the UN Security Council to enforce World Court rulings, but such enforcement is subject to the veto power of the five permanent members of the Council."

Jun 06 08:12

Bill Moyers nails Obama on Afghanistan

Jun 04 16:53

US does not want to keep troops in Afghanistan: Obama

"Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there," he told an audience at Cairo University.

He added the US plans to invest 1.5 billion dollars each year over the next five years in construction and aid money to the displaced in Pakistan, and 2.8 billion dollars to help Afghans develop their economy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Ahem) a small memo to President Obama:

You've just made the statement:

"Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there,"

If this is true, then what the Sam Hill is going on with the massive construction project at Camp Leatherneck?!?

As reported inhttp://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iQsdQAuKzZl3hMgVzG60jVJVgRiQ,
7 May, 2009:

"It's been real busy," said Captain Jeff Boroway from the 25th Naval Construction regiment.

"This place was desert at the end of January. I mean nothing. And now you've got a 443-acre (179-hectare) secure facility," he told reporters.

They are also expanding another US base in the southern city of Kandahar."

Forgive me, Mr. President, but the establishment of 443 acre "secure facility" sounds like the absolute opposite of "we seek no military bases there" to intelligent Afghans.

And that statement about "aid"; if the current plan to pour 4.3 billion billion dollars into the Afghan and Pakistani infrastructure does as well as has previous aid efforts, we might as well just close up shop and go home.

As reported in

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/01/15/afghanistan_jones/
in the article by An Jones in January of 2009, she reported:

"Whatever the truth of the matter, in the long run, it's not soldiers but services that count -- electricity, water, food, healthcare, justice and jobs. Had the U.S. delivered the promised services on time, while employing Afghans to rebuild their own country according to their own priorities and under the supervision of their own government -- a mini-Marshall Plan -- they would now be in charge of their own defense. The forces on the other side, which we loosely call the Taliban, would also have lost much of their grounds for complaint."

"Instead, the Bush administration perpetrated a scam. It used the system it set up to dispense reconstruction aid to both the countries it "liberated," Afghanistan and Iraq, to transfer American taxpayer dollars from the national treasury directly into the pockets of private war profiteers. Think of Halliburton, Bechtel and Blackwater in Iraq; Louis Berger Group, Bearing Point and DynCorp International in Afghanistan. They're all in it together"

Unless President Obama is actually able to hold collective corporate feet to the fire in terms of true accountability, the relief/reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is just as doomed to failure as were the relief/reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

And that's pretty ugly.

Jun 04 09:04

US objects to UN report on military killings

The Obama administration charged Wednesday that a U.N. investigator violated his mandate by accusing the U.S. of failing to properly investigate allegations of unlawful killings by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just as did his predecessor, Obama and his team want the massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan to just fade from (at least American) public view.

Philip Alston was very brave in refusing to let that happen.

Jun 04 07:12

Faulted firm gets Afghan aid work

Last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded a $150 million cooperative agreement to a partnership led by DAI, a Maryland company whose past Afghanistan contracts have been criticized by USAID's inspector general. The program is to promote alternatives to poppy crops

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whatever governmental and lobbying influences colluded to make this contract happen, after these guys have already failed miserably in a previous contract in Afghanistan, one has to wonder if there is any real interest in stopping the farming of opium poppies in Afghanistan, because it is such a financially lucrative cash crop from which so many profit.

And "supervision" or "accountability" on this?!? Don't bet on it.

Jun 03 18:53

Pakistan the world's most dangerous country: Kilcullen

"So I don't think people are necessarily see it as an occupation. I think they see the coalition as a little bit feckless and failing to deliver on promises of security and development and in fact the international development assistance is one of the biggest grievances that you hear Afghans talk about.

"They believe it's been ineffective and that they haven't got many benefits."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, but the mind reels to hear Lt.Col Kilcullen make that statement ""So I don't think people are necessarily see it as an occupation."

The Afghans understand what an occupation is. they knew what was happening - and why - during the Soviet occupation, and the same can be said for the current occupation of Afghanistan by the US and NATO.

And these occupations have had nothing to do with the betterment of life for the Afghan people; it is about the imposition of pipelines by the oil companies, agreed to by the most pliant government the US can possibly install in Kabul.

When the Taliban was in power previously in Afghanistan, their price was too high.

Jun 03 15:51

The War Party Returns

Repudiated at the polls, they're back – in a new liberal guise

Jun 02 17:59

Nato commander Stanley McChrystal: 'We must gain support of Afghans'

Nato’s next commander in Afghanistan warned yesterday that the West could lose the war against the Taleban if it fails to gain the support of the Afghan people.

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan, especially from US airstrikes launched from unmanned drones, have already inflamed anti-American sentiment in parts of the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The total complement of US and NATO boots on the ground in Afghanistan is far less than the old Soviet Union had in this country (around 500,000 people, give or take) , only to have to leave, humiliated, with its tail between its legs.

Even with hired mercenaries, we still will not have enough boots on the ground to successfully occupy Afghanistan.

The US indiscriminate bombing of civilians has caused Afghans to see the Taliban as the good guys, and US and NATO forces as the bad guys.

The rank corruption of the Karzai government, coupled with our indiscriminate bombings of civilians, leaves many Afghans to believe that their lives cannot possibly get better better under the current circumstances.

And the alleged "reconstruction effort" ?!? In the words of Tony Soprano, "Fuggetaboutit!" What has been done (if it has actually been done at all) has been substandard, and awarded to many of the "usual suspects" who have underperformed and overcharged We the People for their services.

As reported in:

http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-scam-of-reconstruction-in-afghanistan/

"A report issued in June 2005 by the non-profit organization Action Aid reveals that much of the US tax money earmarked to rebuild Afghanistan actually ends up going no further than the pockets of wealthy US corporations. “Phantom aid” that never shows up in the recipient country is a scam in which paychecks for overpriced, and often incompetent, American “experts” under contract to USAID go directly from the Agency to American bank accounts. Additionally, 70 percent of the aid that does make it to a recipient country is carefully “tied” to the donor nation, requiring that the recipient use the donated money to buy products and services from the donor country, often at drastically inflated prices. The US far outstrips other nations in these schemes, as Action Aid calculates that 86 cents of every dollar of American aid is phantom."

86 cents out of every dollar - chew on that for a moment.

Unless and until the aid actually gets to where it's supposed to go, with quality reconstruction projects providing money and training for Afghans, establish and protecting infrastructure (schools, hospitals, roads, water systems, etc.), nothing can change here.

So we have several choices here:

1. Declare "victory", and leave.

2. Stop the bombings, start reconstruction programs with real accountability, put Karzai on a short leash (he is, after all, our "cur" of a dictator), and give the Afghan people some hope for their future. With all the misery and devastation the US has caused, we owe this to the Afghan people.

3. Kill every single Afghan still breathing.

Shocked about that last one?? You shouldn't be.

There are some people in the military and congress (particularly those in congress who are "acquisitions" of the oil companies) would would absolutely prefer the third option in order to get the pipelines finally installed, with little or no opposition from the Afghan people.

Let us hope that we have some adults in the room in the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House who do understand what that second option would really cost this country, and the world.

Jun 01 12:03

Mysterious 'chip' is CIA's latest weapon against al-Qaida targets hiding in Pakistan's tribal belt

According to residents and Taliban propaganda, the CIA pays tribesmen to plant the electronic devices near farmhouses sheltering al-Qaida and Taliban commanders.

Hours or days later, a drone, guided by the signal from the chip, destroys the building with a salvo of missiles. "There are body parts everywhere," said Wazir, who witnessed the aftermath of a strike.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just out of idle curiosity, and considering the "false positives" now sitting in Guantanamo, how do we know these chips are being planted on real Al Qaeda, rather than a rival farmer whose goats are foraging on the wrong side of a fence?

Jun 01 11:35

Army Deploys Old Tactic in PR War

Body counts are back, reigniting the decades-old debate about whether victory in war can be judged by measuring the stack of enemy dead.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The lesson from Vietnam is ... no

May 31 20:37

17,000 US troops in Afghanistan by mid-July

The Obama White House says that the 21,000 additional troops are to reinforce security ahead of the August 20 presidential elections, and are to support the NATO-led troops which have struggled to fight an escalating insurgency there.

The surge in US troops in Afghanistan comes amid frosty relations between Kabul and Washington, over the US bombing of civilians about a month ago.

The raid which left some 150 people including 95 children dead is dubbed as the deadliest incident for Afghan civilians since the 2001 US-led invasion.

May 31 05:07

Convergence and Continuity: The American-Backed Terror Campaign in Iran

Thus the attack this week in Zahedan is an integral part of a wide-ranging campaign of American-supported terrorism inside Iran -- even if the "darksiders" in the U.S. security organs had no direct involvement or knowledge of this particular attack. When you are in the business of fomenting terror (see here and here), there's no need for micro-management. You co-opt the armed extremists who best serve your political agenda of the moment; you slip them guns, money, intelligence, guidance -- and then you turn them loose on the local populace.

May 30 09:33

Aid expert says only pennies of foreign aid reaching Afghans

Vicenzino, who is a strategic adviser for the Afghanistan World Foundation and a former official with the World Bank, said about 80 cents of every dollar goes back to donor countries, largely through the contractors doing the work.

"You have 20 cents left for Afghanistan and those 20 cents have to go through their layers of corruption. By the time any money reaches the ordinary citizen, you're lucky if you even have five cents ...."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that the "reconstruction" of Afghanistan is going just about as well as has the "reconstruction" in Iraq.

May 29 20:38

US Soldiers, routinely drugged, become homicidal /psychotic

U.S. military: Heavily armed and medicated
Prescription pill dependency among American troops is on the rise
By Melody Petersen, Tues., May 19, 2009
"Sending a person back to combat duty still under the influence of psychoactive drugs may be dangerous," he wrote."
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/11079
U.S. troops in Iraq taking drugs to cope with stress, trauma
Steve Hammons, June 30, 2006
"In addition to psychotropic drugs, most troops are given the anti-malaria drug Lariam, which is known to cause severe psychiatric problems including suicidal and homicidal behavior."
"Like the scourge of methamphetamine use in the U.S. population, military personnel taking amphetamines risk impaired judgment, psychotic reactions, paranoia and homicidal behavior."

May 28 18:06

MoD admits use of controversial 'enhanced blast' weapons in Afghanistan

British pilots in Afghanistan are firing an increasing number of "enhanced blast" thermobaric weapons, designed to kill everyone in buildings they strike, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

Its wider use was disclosed by John Hutton, the defence secretary, in answer to a parliamentary answer from Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman. "Given the MoD's reluctance to admit they were even going to use these weapons, they now seem to be getting rather more trigger-happy," Harvey said yesterday. "If these controversial weapons are being fired on a weekly basis in Afghanistan, we need to know that they are being used according to strict rules of engagement."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The most probably reality is that these weapons are being used indiscriminately, killing all - including women, kids, and the medically infirm - in their wake.

The Afghans do not hate the Brits, Americans, or NATO soldiers "because we are free"; they hate us because we are killing their wives, their husbands, their infants, their aunts and uncles, and friends, many of whom just want to stay out of the way of combat.

May 27 11:38

US killed 97 Afghan civilians in two days

A human rights group has confirmed that the United States used disproportionate force in its recent raids in Afghanistan and killed 97 civilians to get at two Taliban militants.

Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), which launched a probe into early May US-led air strikes in the country, announced Tuesday that 21 of the fatalities of the attacks were women and 65 were children.

May 27 11:12

UN wants 'flood of drugs' in Afghanistan to devalue opium

United Nations officials in Afghanistan are attempting to create a "flood of drugs" in the country intended to destroy the value of opium and force poppy farmers to switch to legal crops such as wheat.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That makes a great cover-story for those US troops guarding the poppy fields.

Nobody will believe it...

But it is a great cover story!

May 27 08:33

U.S. Miltary Takes Long-Term Lease With Option to Buy in Iraq & Afghanistan

Remember those campaign promises to bring a swift and honorable peace in the two wars that President Obama inherited? Forget about it.

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