AFGHANISTAN

Sep 06 09:54

Obama "bestial and anti-human"

In our view, the dreadful event in Kunduz is a clear-cut crime and intentional genocide. This can never be justified by saying this was a mistake.

Sep 06 09:08

Afghan air strike galvanises war protesters

SUPPORTERS of the US President, Barack Obama, are preparing to launch street protests against any plan to escalate the Afghan war.

At the same time, Democrats in Congress are in revolt against Mr Obama's war strategy, which is expected to result in a further 20,000 combat troops being sent to the country.

Peace Action, which has 100,000 members, is gearing up for protests even though many members are in broad sympathy with Mr Obama's presidency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

About bloody well time!

Sep 06 08:55

President Hamid Karzai takes 100% of votes in opposition stronghold

In the southern Afghan district of Shorabak, the tribesmen gathered shortly before last month’s presidential election to discuss which candidate they would back. After a debate they chose to endorse Abdullah Abdullah, President Hamid Karzai’s leading opponent.

The tribal leaders prepared to deliver a landslide for Abdullah – but it never happened. They claim Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president’s brother and leader of the Kandahar provincial council, detained the local governor and closed all the district’s 46 polling sites on election day.

The ballot boxes were taken back to the district headquarters where, tribal leaders allege, they were stuffed with ballots by local policemen. A total of 23,900 ballots were finally sent off to Kabul, the capital – every one of them a vote for Karzai.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Democracy" in Afghanistan; isn't it a wonderful thing?!?!?

Sep 06 08:45

Flashback: Depleted Uranium Ammunition in Afghan War: New Evidence

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 contingents 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.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US government lies routinely to its own citizens, and the world.

If these charges about the use of depleted uranium in Afghanistan prove true, it is again a clear demonstration of a US administration's desire to win at all costs, no matter how much collateral damage these DU weapons could have caused to Afghan citizens and potentially our own soldiers.

Sep 06 08:01

Government gives up hope of more European Nato help in Afghanistan

Defence sources have said that both the US and British governments no longer expect any of Nato's main partner nations to send more troops to serve in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is most fierce.

Despite high level lobbying by Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, and senior diplomats no country has come forward to share more of the war fighting burden being felt by British and US troops in the south of the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

European countries' leadership is actually influenced by voter opinion; in the US, the government doesn't care at all what its voters think.

In the US, we no longer have a republic, but a "corporatocracy".

At this phase of our country's devolution, alleged "representatives" in congress are simply acquisitions of large corporations. This means they are obliged to vote for whatever legislation which will benefit those large corporations, and not what is good for We the People.

The only "winners" in the war in Afghanistan are the defense contractors, and the drug dealers.

Sep 06 07:51

Taliban attacks in north Afghanistan spike

Eight years ago, this northern flood plain was the scene of the Taliban's last stand.

Now, it's the locus of a resurgent militancy in a region that is fast becoming a new front in the Afghan war - with troubling consequences for coalition supply lines and U.S. allies whose will to stay and fight is being tested by rising casualties.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We are up to our necks here in a military misadventure we cannot win, and our options are limited.

Afghanistan has long been nicknamed "The Graveyard of Empires"; unfortunately, that is about to be what happens to the US in Afghanistan.

We've never had enough boots on the ground to do the job, and you cannot, absolutely cannot, win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

Our military and civilian leadership should have learned that from the American debacle which was Viet Nam, but apparently, haven't.

Our soldiers keep dying because we have not accomplished one of two geopolitical objectives here, and that is the "pacification" of Afghanistan in order to install the pipelines to control Eurasian oil.

And the other objective? Protecting the drug trade, from which so many profit so well.

As reported in:

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world-news/afghan-opium-production-declines-10-percent-in-2009-un_100241969.html

"The opium production in Afghanistan is down by 10 percent while the area under poppy cultivation in the country fell 22 percent in 2009, a new UN report said Wednesday."

"However, the war-torn Afghanistan still remains the world’s largest supplier of the drug, producing 6,900 tonnes of opium, from which heroin is derived, the Online news agency said citing the report."

You might recall that, under the rule of the Taliban, the opium trade was almost completely eradicated;, but subsequent to the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, opium production soared.

Coincidence?

You tell me.

Sep 06 07:51

Taliban's Tank-Killing Bombs Came From CIA, Not Iran

In support of the official U.S. assertion that Iran is arming its sworn enemy, the Taliban, the head of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Dennis Blair, has cited a statement by a Taliban commander last year attributing military success against NATO forces to Iranian military assistance.

But the Taliban commander's claim is contradicted by evidence from the U.S. Defense Department, Canadian forces in Afghanistan and the Taliban itself that the increased damage to NATO tanks by Taliban forces has come from anti-tank mines provided by the United States to the jihadi movement in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Sep 06 06:41

Surfing the Beaches of Deadwood with Lt. Col Kilgore.

War’s not new and this war’s not new and there’s collateral damage in my mulligan stew. There is a way to pacify and consolidate Afghanistan and that is to kill every living creature there with a thermonuclear blast but short of that you aren’t going to succeed. The reason is the Hindu Kush, among other things. Some colossal hand reached down and grabbed the fabric of the world awhile ago and squeezed it with a pull, which caused an impossible complexity of mountains and valleys over a whole lot of landscape that just cannot be contained unless you send in more people than you can get or… well there is no or.

Sep 06 06:32

America is a “Failed Democracy": Its People want Peace, and its Elected Officials make War

The war in Afghanistan today hangs like some cloud of poison gas over Washington that won’t blow away. It sickens everything as it spreads. It continues to suck precious tax dollars out of the Treasury, money this country cannot afford to squander, especially as millions of Americans are sinking into poverty and joblessness exceeds ten percent. Writing in USA Today last March 10th, Susan Page reported, “In one year, 24 million slide from ‘thriving’ to ‘struggling’ and “Some fear that the American dream may be in peril as well.” Worse, the U.S. is turning poverty-plagued Afghanistan, a long-suffering nation of 25 million souls into another Iraq, perhaps even another Viet Nam. Afghanistan has already been under U.S.

Sep 05 23:18

Flashback 2005: Growing Problem for Military Recruiters: Parents

Growing Problem for Military Recruiters: Parents
By DAMIEN CAVE
Published: June 3, 2005
Two years into the war in Iraq, as the Army and Marines struggle to refill their ranks, parents have become boulders of opposition that recruiters cannot move.
Mothers and fathers around the country said they were terrified that their children would have to be killed - or kill - in a war that many see as unnecessary and without end.

Sep 05 20:45

Strategy for national security: Department of Peace or Wars on Terror?

How about a Department of Peace to contribute to national security strategy in addition to the Department of War, uh, that is, Defense? Let’s consider our government's argument that the US military's use of force after invading other countries that did not attack us is an effective strategy for our national security. And then let’s step outside the box of war, and consider the potential contribution that a Department of Peace might make for US national security.

Sep 05 09:31

US probes USAID funds in Afghanistan

The State Department said Thursday that an investigation has begun into whether U.S. development funding for Afghanistan is being diverted to local warlords and extremists following allegations that road and bridge contractors were paying "protection" money to the Taliban.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your tax dollars at work in Afghanistan, folks.

Sep 05 09:29

Afghanistan Isn’t Worth One More American Life

Gen. Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said these questions all must be answered with a loud YES before the United States takes military action.

1. Is a vital national security interest threatened? 2. Do we have a clear, attainable objective? 3. Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? 4. Have all non-violent policy means been exhausted? 5. Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement? 6. Have all the consequences of our action been fully considered? 7. Is the action supported by the American people? 8. Do we have broad international support?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Rumsfeld didn't want these questions even considered before we attacked Afghanistan and Iraq. As a man with a at least some intelligence, he knew where the questions posed in the Powell Doctrine would have had to have been answered with an emphatic "no"!

Apparently, Rumsfeld experienced a catastrophic episode of "selective memory lapse" in terms of which country successfully armed and trained the Taliban against the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan. That has come back back to haunt the white house and the pentagon in this current military misadventure.

It was sheer and utter hubris, coupled with a very special kind of lunacy, thinking that the US could manage to hold by force a country which has only been successfully conquered (for a brief period of time) by Alexander the Great.

Sep 05 09:10

Massive US Air Strike Damages Claim of ‘New’ Strategy

Despite General Stanley McChrystal’s claims that the military would stop emphasizing attacks on the Taliban in favor of improving the lives of the nation’s civilians and protecting them from harm, the temptation to lob a missile into a village, even knowing it would cause a massive fireball when it hit the fuel tankers, was too great to resist.

NATO confirmed the strike but insisted steps were taken to ensure that no civilians were in the area before the attack. Yet local officials say mostly civilians were slain in the strike, and NATO is promising an investigation into the incident. Likewise, the White House failed to concede anything about the strike, but express “regret” in the event civilians had been killed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently,for General Mc Chrystal, "improving the lives of the nation’s civilians and protecting them from harm" means using collective euthanasia.

Sep 05 07:43

War News for Saturday, September 05, 2009

Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard is tended to by fellow U.S. Marines on Aug. 14 after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during a firefight against the Taliban in the village of Dahaneh in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Bernard was transported by helicopter to Camp Leatherneck where he later died of his wounds.

Sep 05 06:42

WHEN WILL OBAMA SEE AFGHANISTAN'S DAUGHTERS AS HIS OWN?

The war in Afghanistan today hangs like some cloud of poison gas over Washington that won’t blow away. It sickens everything as it spreads. It continues to suck precious tax dollars out of the Treasury, money this country cannot afford to squander, especially as millions of Americans are sinking into poverty and joblessness exceeds ten percent. Writing in USA Today last March 10th, Susan Page reported, “In one year, 24 million slide from ‘thriving’ to ‘struggling’ and “Some fear that the American dream may be in peril as well.” Worse, the U.S. is turning poverty-plagued Afghanistan, a long-suffering nation of 25 million souls into another Iraq, perhaps even another Viet Nam. Afghanistan has already been under illegal U.S.

Sep 05 00:50

Stench of death hangs over Afghan riverbank

The stench of burnt flesh hung over the banks of the Kunduz river in the early hours of Friday, the ground scattered with the body parts of villagers who just wanted something for free.

Helping yourself to the spoils of hijacked military convoys is nothing new in Afghanistan and the payload of two fuel tankers destined for Nato-led forces seemed as good as any.

But the overnight bonanza soon turned to horror when Nato jets launched an airstrike before 3am (22.30GMT), strafing the tankers and igniting an inferno that officials said killed between 50 and 90 people.

"Nobody was in one piece. Hands, legs and body parts were scattered everywhere. Those who were away from the fuel tanker were badly burnt," said 32-year-old Mohammad Daud, depicting a scene from hell.

Sep 04 17:34

A Little Girl in Kabul

If rhetoric were reality, this would be a war that's about upholding humane values. But rhetoric is not reality.

Is the U.S. government willing to really help Guljumma, who now lives each day and night in the squalor of a refugee camp? Is the government willing to spend the equivalent of the cost of a single warhead to assist her?

So far, the answer is obscenely clear. But maybe we can force a change by contacting representatives and senators in Washington and demanding action -- for Guljumma, for Wakil Tawos Khan, for all the other long-suffering residents of Helmand Refugee Camp District 5 and for all the victims of war in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What Norman Solomon misses, as terrible as things are for this family and for potentially millions of other Afghans, is that the American government doesn't give a damn about these people,Mc Chrystal's protestations to the contrary.

This military campaign is all about installing the pipelines to control Eurasian oil, and protecting the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

Sep 04 14:08

Gordon Brown to attempt to convince public Afghanistan merits British deaths

The Prime Minister will also deny that troops are under-resourced. He will argue that each fighting soldier now costs £390,000, compared to £180,000 three years ago.

Sep 04 13:36

AfPak: Escalating War of Aggression

The US invasion of Afghanistan can be best legally understood as a “War of Aggression.” This label is appropriate because Afghanistan did not attack the US, the UN Security Council did not authorize use of force, and the US rejected the Afghan government’s offer of cooperation to capture Osama bin Laden if the US could provide any evidence of his involvement in a crime. I document this important story here with additional comments here, in as far as I know, uncontested fact because the key information comes from our own government’s admissions.

Sep 04 07:58

The looming political war over Afghanistan

There was a time, not all that long ago, when the U.S. pretended that it viewed war only as a "last resort," something to be used only when absolutely necessary to defend the country against imminent threats. In reality, at least since the creation of the National Security State in the wake of World War II, war for the U.S. has been everything but a "last resort." Constant war has been the normal state of affairs. In the 64 years since the end of WWII, we have started and fought far more wars and invaded and bombed more countries than any other nation in the world -- not even counting the numerous wars fought by our clients and proxies. Those are just facts. History will have no choice but to view the U.S. -- particularly in its late imperial stages -- as a war-fighting state.

Sep 04 07:42

"Obama's war" has no end in sight

It's obvious that more troops and other resources are needed to help Obama's new strategy to work, but he is also confronting a growing anti-war public sentiment here at home, in the fear that the country will eventually be trapped into Afghanistan like all those military powers in history.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only folks who are "winning" in this war of choice are the defense contractors, and the drug dealers, period, end of discussion.

Sep 04 06:57

About 90 killed as NATO hits Afghan fuel trucks

A NATO air strike on Friday destroyed two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban in Afghanistan, igniting a fireball that an Afghan official said killed about 90 people -- mostly insurgents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More "winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people", I see!

Sep 03 20:18

Abraham Lincoln on defending the US Constitution: his message to YOU today

What most people do not know is that Abraham Lincoln is also a hero for his acts as a freshman member of the House of Representatives in the Congress of 1847-1849. Lincoln demanded that the President of the US provide specific evidence justifying the US invading a foreign country, suspecting that the President’s claims of a defensive war were lies to propagandize an offensive war for territorial control against a weaker nation. He did so despite the lack of support from most of his own political party. He demanded the facts despite his being painted by political opponents and the press as “unpatriotic.” The propaganda defeated Lincoln at his next election; his name slurred as “spotty Lincoln.” Lincoln was correct that the US President had indeed lied about the cause of war.

Sep 03 17:55

President Obama: no hope and no change from the plutocracy – oligarchy

note: hyperlinks and video live at source.

Oligarchs and plutocrats remove government policy from the public good to the greatest extent possible without causing revolution. David Swanson paints the Obama Administration as Bush’s Third Term with accuracy. His new book, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, is number 1 in three categories on Amazon’s bestselling lists as I just looked. David makes many of the same points as I do about Wars of Aggression and related policies (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

Sep 03 08:26

US commander’s report paves way for military escalation in Afghanistan

The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, has issued a dire assessment of the state of military operations there. The classified report sets the stage for an expansion of US troop levels in Afghanistan by as many as 45,000.

The report, which is just over ten pages long, admits that it will take a number of years before the US can create a functional Afghan security force. Congressional leaders are to be briefed on the report, once it is approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but they will not be given copies of the document.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder what is potentially so "terrifying" in this 10 page document for congressional representatives that they are forbidden to actually read it themselves?!?

Is it potential US casualty counts, or the need to re-institute a draft, or some draconian plan for martial law, if protests against this war start to get traction?

Sep 03 08:06

Afghan elections were setback for Taliban, Holbrooke says

Last month's presidential and provincial council elections
in Afghanistan were a success for the Afghan people and 'not a good day for the Taliban,' the US special envoy to the country, Richard Holbrooke, said Wednesday in Paris.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It will be interesting to see how Holbrooke characterizes the outcomes from this "election" in this "democracy" in the coming months.

This alleged "election" may well be a small victory for the US and NATO, having reinstalled their Man in Kabul, Hamid Karzai, but may well prove to be yet another catastrophe for the Afghan people in the long run.

Sep 03 07:58

‘NATO to remain committed regardless of poll worries’

"Obviously we need a legitimate government in Afghanistan. I really hope the elections and the whole election process will be considered credible by the Afghan people,” he told a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Anders Fogh Rasmussen has just insulted the intelligence of the Afghan people, and made himself a laughingstock internationally with that quote.

What "legitimacy" can you possibly ascribe to this absolutely, transparently crooked election?

Absolutely none, zero, zip, nada.

Rasmussen knows this, the Afghans know it, and the whole bloody world knows it.

This process, made to appear as though it was an election, was simply to reinstall Hamid ("Unocal") Karzai back in power, period, end of discussion.

Sep 03 07:41

Obama Is Leading the U.S. Into a Hellish Quagmire

Obama is doubling down in Afghanistan with more troops deployed now than the Soviets ever had, at a time when public support for it is sinking like a rock.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But the heroin is flowing into our inner cities and that's what's important!

Sep 03 07:32

Afghans Brace for Post-Election Violence

Karzai’s victory, coming amid widespread reports of fraud, is likely to create considerable unrest among opposition supporters. Only yesterday hundreds of tribal elders met in the capital city of Kabul to call for Karzai’s resignation and a fresh vote held under an interim government.

A re-vote seems unlikely but the discontent with the dubious results has many Afghans bracing for the possibility of post-election violence if Karzai is perceived as illegitimate. This might be particularly problematic as the nation is already seeing record violence from the insurgency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This "election" was an absolute and complete sham, engineered to keep Karzai in power. The US and NATO understands this, and the Afghan people clearly understand it, and have about reached their breaking point with the occupation.

Sep 03 07:09

Are US taxpayers funding the Taliban?

U.S. officials confirmed that the preliminary investigation and the proposed hearings were sparked by a GlobalPost special report on the funding of the Taliban last month that uncovered a process that has been an open secret in Afghanistan for years among those in international aid organizations.

The report exposed that the Taliban takes a percentage of the billions of dollars in aid from U.S. and other international coalition members that goes to large organizations and their subcontractors for development projects, in exchange for protection in remote areas controlled by the insurgency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable, but considering the way this ghastly military misadventure has been conducted, not something that wouldn't have ultimately been expected.

Sep 03 06:45

Embassy Guards Gone Wild: The Pictures (NSFW)

The Project on Government Oversight provided me with a series of photographs—a dozen in all—that depict the bacchanalian goings on at Camp Sullivan, home to the ArmorGroup personnel who guard the nearby US embassy compound in Kabul. On Tuesday, POGO sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton detailing a host of explosive charges relating to ArmorGroup's management of the embassy contract, including evidence of "near-weekly deviant hazing and humiliation of subordinates." According to POGO, "witnesses report that the highest levels of AGNA management in Kabul are aware of and have personally observed—or even engaged in—these activities, but have done nothing to stop them."

As you'll see below, POGO really wasn't exaggerating when it spoke of the "Lord of the Flies environment."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your taxes pay for all this.

Sep 03 00:08

Afghanistan for Dummies

I’m going to ask for my money back. I’ve seen this Afghanistan movie before. The first time, Vietnam was in the title.

As in an early scene from the Vietnam version, U.S. military officials are surprised to discover that the insurgents in Afghanistan are stronger than previously realized.

And our protagonist, Gen. Westmoreland — sorry, I mean McChrystal — sees the situation as serious but salvageable. As Westmoreland did with President Lyndon Johnson, McChrystal is preparing to tell President Barack Obama that thousands of more troops are needed to achieve the U.S. objective — whatever that happens to be.

Sep 02 08:53

‘Fish out of water’ handles air operations for EOD forces

The U.S. Navy diver and dolphin trainer is miles from any ocean, overseeing a mission for which he has no prior experience.

There just aren’t many dolphins in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Train this guy as a diver and dolphin trainer, then ship him to Afghanistan?

This is the same government that claims it can manage national health care.

Sep 02 08:51

Afghan War's Blowback for India's Children?

More precisely, depleted uranium reportedly used in wars in these countries may be the cause of the deformities and disorders on the rise in India's northwestern state, according to a team based in the city of Faridkot.

Winds from Afghanistan may have carried to the state a large quantity of highly toxic uranium, which has contaminated water and increased uranium in bodies to dangerous levels. This apprehension was raised at least five months ago by the team of the Baba Farid Center for Special Children, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), where some of the affected kids have been undergoing treatment.

Sep 02 08:31

$600 for a Kalashnikov – a sign of bloodshed to come in Afghanistan

The price of Kalashnikovs has doubled in Afghanistan. For a country awash with arms, the fact that the weapons are now fetching $600 apiece is a cause of some surprise, but a surge of demand is to blame for the increase, with a steady stream of weapons said to be heading for the north.

Sep 02 08:20

Calls for Further Escalation Put Obama in Tight Spot on Afghanistan

Though it seems unlikely that the Obama Administration will really consider paring back its commitment to all-out war in the nation, regardless of cost and death tolls, it does seem like the days of escalation without political opposition are over.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Afghanistan has the geopolitical nickname of the "Grave of Empires"; it will be no different with this current US military misadventure, and it was sheer lunacy for anyone involved with the alleged "planning" for this war that the outcome would be any different for the US than it was for Britain, or the old Soviet Union.

Sep 02 07:59

Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

What is clear, the report says, is that when contractors for the Pentagon or other agencies are not properly managed — as when civilian interrogators committed abuses at Abu Ghraib in Iraq or members of the security firm Blackwater shot and killed 17 Iraqi citizens in Baghdad — the American effort can be severely undermined.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No, what is clear is that the US military doesn't have enough boots on the ground, and is stressed almost to the breaking point, if private contractors are making up 65% of the troop strength here.

One has to wonder, given the muscularity of Obama's foreign policy commitments, if we will see a return to some sort of a draft under his watch.

Sep 02 07:52

Taliban Surprising U.S. Forces With Improved Tactics

The Taliban has become a much more potent adversary in Afghanistan by improving its own tactics and finding gaps in the U.S. military playbook, according to senior American military officials who acknowledged that the enemy's resurgence this year has taken them by surprise.

In the spring, Obama outlined a broad new direction for the war that he said his predecessor had starved of attention and resources. He changed the military leadership on the ground, asked Congress for additional money and authorized more manpower. The administration has said that it expects the strategy -- still barely off the ground -- to show results in a year to 18 months.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This should be absolutely no surprise to our military leadership, in light of how adept the Taliban became at fighting the Russians, with covert US aid and instruction.

And a short memo to President Obama: you don't have a year to 18 months in Afghanistan. The public is exhausted with an 8 year military campaign which has been going nowhere.

And thinking Americans do understand precisely the reasons we are there; to install pipelines to control Eurasian oil, and protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

Sep 02 06:34

‘Lord of the Flies’ at U.S. Embassy in Kabul?

Guards hired by the State Department to protect diplomats and staff at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan live and work in a "Lord of the Flies" environment in which they are subjected to hazing and other inappropriate behavior by supervisors

Sep 01 18:17

Watchdog reports 'chronic' woes at US embassy in Kabul

The nonprofit Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said on its website it had sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton detailing the problems, which also include language barriers between Nepalese Ghurkas and other guards.

It said guards presented POGO with allegations and photographic evidence that some supervisors and guards are engaging in "near-weekly deviant hazing and humiliation of subordinates."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wait a minute: the US government has let a security contract for one of the most crucial facilities we have in Kabul to .....private contractors, and was unable to find an elite unit in the US military capable of doing the job?!?!?

Forgive me; my head just twirled around backward at warp speed on that one: I hate it when that happens!

Sep 01 09:04

Taliban Ready if Afghan Government Fails, Analyst Warns

Afghanistan's government must fight corruption and quickly deliver services to Afghans, because Taliban militants are filling gaps and winning support to their cause, a top counter-insurgency expert said on Monday.

The Taliban were already running courts, hospitals and even an ombudsman in parallel to the government, making a real difference to local people, said David Kilcullen, a senior adviser to U.S. commander General Stanley McChrystal.

"A government that is losing to a counter-insurgency isn't being outfought, it is being out-governed. And that's what's happening in Afghanistan," Kilcullen told Australia's National Press Club.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we are supposed to applaud David Kilcullen for his magnificent grasp of the obvious?!?!

The US is completely responsible for having installed a government in Afghanistan which is collectively more crooked than a dog's hind leg. We are now reaping what we have sown from that decision.

Sep 01 08:25

Why are we still in Afghanistan?

U.S. forces are being increased by 21,000 to 68,000, bringing the coalition total to 110,000. About 9,000 are from Britain, where support for the war is waning. Counterinsurgency theory concerning the time and the ratio of forces required to protect the population indicates that, nationwide, Afghanistan would need hundreds of thousands of coalition troops, perhaps for a decade or more. That is inconceivable

Sep 01 08:01

The U.S. needs Iran and Russia

With the war on terror now a war of logistics, the Obama administration must rely on the goodwill of those two

In Afghanistan, the U.S. increasingly depends on Russian goodwill, and Iran is influential in Herat, Mazar, the Hazarah regions and Kabul. Iran can play a positive role in its two neighboring countries, de facto acting as an ally of the U.S. Or it could play spoiler.

Sep 01 07:47

The Afghan Situation and U.S. Choices

It must be really embarassing to the alcoholics who run the Pentagon to have their heads handed to them by a bunch of hash smoking Pashtuns!

Aug 31 18:12

West faces losing battle over Afghan poll fraud

Widespread and systematic fraud during the Afghan presidential elections has tarnished the legitimacy of any future government and undermined the Nato campaign there, Western and Afghan officials have admitted.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Thinking Afghans and Americans knew, without a doubt, that this strange Kabuki-style theatre going on in Afghanistan had absolutely nothing to do with an election, and everything to do with re-appointing the US's main man in Kabul, Hamid (Unocal) Karzai.

Aug 31 10:31

British Chinook helicopter destroyed in Afghanistan following crash

Nato forces in Afghanistan have been forced to destroy a crashed British Chinook helicopter to keep it out of the hands of the Taliban for the second time in 10 days.

Aug 31 08:39

Fraud Claims Soar as Karzai Moves Closer to Vote Win

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) issued a new set of vote results today, showing President Hamid Karzai inching further ahead of his chief rival Abdullah Abdullah with about 35% of the votes counted, and nearing the majority of votes needed to avert a run-off vote.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was not an election, but a "re-appointment" of Hamid (Unocal) Karzai to do the bidding for the US and NATO in the coming years, no matter how much continued misery it means for the Afghan people particularly its women.

Aug 31 08:13

US general sends Afghan war review to Pentagon

A NATO statement released Monday said U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal reports the situation is "serious" but that success is achievable. McChrystal says success demands a revised strategy, commitment and resolve.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"...success is achievable."?!?!?!?

One has to wonder just precisely General McChrystal defines "success" in the context of this seemingly intractable war.

Aug 30 16:47

RT: Soviet involvement in Afghanistan - drug trade

What the US news doesn't tell you....

http://eclipptv.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=7097

Aug 30 10:54

Two thirds want British troops home from Afghanistan

Almost two-thirds of people oppose Britain’s continued deployment of troops in Afghanistan, a new poll shows.

Aug 30 10:10

General Smedley Butler

Major General Smedley Butler retired from the Marine Corps in 1931 at the age of 48. He had faced gunfire 120 times and the famed columnist Will Rogers wrote of Butler, "He is what I would call a natural born warrior. He will fight anybody, any time....He carries every medal we ever gave out. He has two Congressional Medals of Honor....You give him another war and he will get him another one....I do admire him."

Aug 30 10:07

Karzai closer to winning tainted Afghan vote

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday inched closer to the prospect of outright victory in elections marred by allegations of massive fraud and international concerns about their credibility.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This wasn't an election: this was an "appointment" by the US and NATO to continue dealing with the "devil they know", rather than have to tussle with the devil they don't know, who wouldn't be as pliable to deal with US/NATO demands.

Aug 30 09:26

Top soldier: US forces lack credibility in Afghanistan

In a statement published on the Web site of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said: “Our biggest problem isn’t caves; it’s credibility. Our messages lack credibility because we haven’t invested enough in building trust and relationships, and we haven’t always delivered on promises.”

Mullen admitted that public-relations disasters like the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and civilian deaths in air strikes in Afghanistan are hurting the US’s efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I suppose we are supposed to congratulate Admiral Mullen on his magnificent grasp of the obvious.

But now what: obliterate the Afghan people by bombing every man, woman, and child, so that there will absolutely no opposition to US/NATO occupation and the get those damned pipelines installed to control Eurasian oil, OR...develop a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan that is actually going to work?

The US military cannot do both. The Taliban understands that: it is high time our military and civilian leadership understands that, or just get the heck out of that country, period, end of discussion.

Aug 30 07:53

Why do we pay tax when we're here fighting for Britain? Soldier tackles Brown on Afghan visit as PM urges talks with the Taliban

A brave young British soldier challenged Gordon Brown face-to-face yesterday over why our troops in Afghanistan have to pay tax – while American soldiers don’t.

Aug 30 07:48

Afghan election fraud probe grows

Election complaints officials in Afghanistan say they are looking into more than 560 major allegations of fraud from the 20 August vote.

The tally doubles the figure of serious allegations reported two days ago.

Aug 30 04:20

Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know

Up until quite recently, most experts thought that drug money accounted for the bulk of Taliban funding

The new feeling is that less than half of the Taliban’s war chest comes from poppy, with a variety of sources, including private contributions from Persian Gulf states, accounting for much of the rest. Holbrooke told reporters that he would add a member of the Treasury Department to his staff to pursue the question of Taliban funding.

But perhaps U.S. officials need look no further than their own backyard.

Aug 30 04:08

US wants 20,000 more troops to fight Taliban

British and American soldiers to shoulder brunt of surge's next phase

The commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan will ask for 20,000 more international troops as part of his new strategic plan for the alliance's war against a resurgent Taliban .

Aug 29 15:11

Massive voter fraud in Afghan elections

Aug 29 14:44

Afghanistan's Long Vote Count: Room for Mischief?

Bashardost suspects there is a plot to gradually increase one candidate's margin of victory; by stretching it out over an extended period of time, it may dampen the anger of rivals. "It's a preparation," Bashardost says. He contends that the U.S. is playing a role in manipulating the outcome and that Washington is planning to broker a deal among the leading candidates to get the process over with.

Aug 29 14:31

More votes than voters

Across Kabul, turnout was sluggish. But at Haji Janat Gul the lack of voters had not dented the tally of votes. Only an hour after voting began, 6,000 had been cast. Yet not a voter was in sight. Staff insisted that the 6,000 had all come at 7am, when polls opened: “The Taliban said that they would cut off the fingers of people voting so they came early.”

This was impossible. Typically it takes four minutes to vote. For 6,000 to have voted in an hour at the 12 ballot boxes, they would have had an average of seven seconds each. The Electoral Complaints Commission later received allegations that the ballot boxes had been stuffed for President Hamid Karzai before polls opened, at the instigation of a local MP and tribal leader.

Aug 29 08:50

AFGHANISTAN: Seven years after CIA abduction, prisoner still held without charge

Wazir is one of hundreds of Afghans and others who have been held as "enemy combatants" at Bagram, a former Soviet air base that has has been plagued by allegations of torture since the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The same judge who ultimately dismissed Wazir's petition wrote in an earlier ruling that conditions at Bagram "fall well short of what the Supreme Court found inadequate at Guantanamo."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not much "change" here, when it comes to the US treatment of prisoners of war in Afghanistan.

And ans small restoration of US credibility on the issue of human rights?!?

In the immortal words of Tony Soprano, "fuggetaboutit!"

Aug 29 08:29

Taliban's growth in Afghanistan's north threatens to expand war

Taliban insurgents have taken over parts of two northern provinces from which they were driven in 2001, threatening to disrupt NATO's new supply route from Central Asia and expand a war that's largely been confined to Afghanistan's southern half, U.S. and Afghan officials said.

Insurgents operating out of Baghlan district along the highway from Tajikistan launched coordinated attacks during the Aug. 20 presidential elections, killing the district police chief and a civilian, while losing a dozen of their own men, local officials said. It was the worst bloodshed reported in the country that day.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is very odd, that aspect of "selective memory", which seems to inform the actions taken by the US white house and pentagon when it comes to Afghanistan.

The great lesson of Viet Nam should have been, you cannot, absolutely cannot, win what is essentially a land war from the air.

And yet, that appears to be precisely what the US and NATO are attempting to do in Afghanistan, because neither the US nor NATO countries have either the stomach, or national backing for, utilizing the overwhelming and lethal ground necessary for winning this war.

The US and NATO are losing this war, and the only folks winning are the military contractors, and the drug dealers.

Aug 29 07:56

Karzai widens lead in Afghan election race

Incumbent Hamid Karzai on Saturday pulled further ahead of his main rival in the race for the Afghan presidency, based on the latest results unveiled by the country's election commission.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Imagine my (complete absence of) surprise!

Aug 29 04:07

Closing In on the Torturers

Do you think the wardens will let George Tenet wear his Presidential Medal of Freedom over the orange coverall?

Perhaps he and Donald Rumsfeld will end up doing time together in one of the prisons also slated to host what Rumsfeld called "the worst of the worst" from Guantanamo.

That would be poetic justice of a most ironic kind. And if the two former leaders do end up in prison they can count themselves fortunate for having dodged execution for their roles in a slew of capital offenses.

You see, punishments for violations of the War Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. 2441), applicable in their case, include the death penalty-often the sentence of choice if detainees die in their custody. And countless have.

Aug 28 19:29

US wants 20,000 more troops to fight Taliban

The commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan will ask for 20,000 more international troops as part of his new strategic plan for the alliance's war against a resurgent Taliban, The Independent has learned.

Aug 28 19:11

Mother of son serving in Afghanistan shells out £3,000 buying kit for him because he's so poorly equipped by Army

The mother of a soldier serving in Afghanistan today revealed he is so poorly equipped she has had to shell out £3,000 - on sending him kit.

Proud mum Lorna Daniel, 52, has sent son Paul vests, gloves, a sleeping bag costing £300, socks at £14 a pair, torches and T-shirts.

She buys the kit from a surplus store at home and once spent £280 on new boots because his Army issue pair melted in the desert heat.

Aug 28 09:17

In Kandahar, fears of Taliban takeover

Southern Afghanistan's largest city, Kandahar, is slipping back under Taliban control as overstretched U.S. troops focus on clearing insurgents from the countryside — a potentially alarming setback for President Barack Obama's war strategy.

Losing Kandahar, a city of nearly 1 million and the Taliban's former headquarters, would be a huge symbolic blow because it is effectively the capital of the ethnic Pashtun-dominated south, the main battlefield of the Afghan war.

Aug 28 09:13

Afghanistan’s Next Likely Vice President Linked to Drug Trafficking

Now, the Obama administration faces the prospect of a known drug trafficker becoming Vice President of Afghanistan. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a warning to President Karzai before the election saying, that his alliance with Marshal Fahim would damage his standing with the U.S. and the international community.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only reason the Obama administration is "sweating" this is that that Marshal Fahim is so publicly allied with the drug trade.

At the end of the day, however, I would almost be willing to bet that the US will simply deal with him, and not try to circumvent his term as vice-president.

After all, one of the (unstated) goals of US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan is the protection of the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

As reported in the Tehran Times, 11 May 2009:

http://www.afghanconflictmonitor.org/2009/05/40fold-drug-surge-in-afghanistan-report.html

"Iranian police officials say drug production in Afghanistan has had a 40-fold increase since the U.S. led invasion of the country in 2001. Afghanistan's opium poppy crop is set to break all records this year, as grim reports by Iranian sources showed that drug production has reached a new height in the land-locked country. Instability in the wake of the U.S. invasion is widely believed to be the main reason behind Afghanistan's booming market for drug production and opium trade. According to official statistics, two thirds of the world's heroin supply reportedly comes from the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar. While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium under the Taliban, following the U.S. invasion drug production, according to UN statistics, surged to 3,400 tons and by 2007, opium trade reached all-time high of 8,200 tons."

Also note that when the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan, the opium poppy trade was nearly eradicated.

Is it just coincidence that drug production in Afghanistan soared after the US invasion and occupation?

I think, not.

Aug 28 08:43

US Copter Opens Fire on Afghan Medical Clinic

US and Afghan forces, backed by a US Apache helicopter attacked a medical clinic in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan yesterday after receiving reports that a wounded Taliban commander had “sought treatment” at the facility.

The attack sparked a gunbattle which according to provincial officials left at least 12 militants and two policemen killed. The US denied that anyone had died in the attack but claimed to have injured their target, though since he was already injured in the first place it’s probably hard to be sure about that.

The US defended the attack on the clinic, insisting that it had ensured the building was cleared of civilians before the helicopter began firing and that since the clinic was occupied by Taliban it lost “its protected status” as a civilian location.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US is starting to sound just like Israel!

Aug 28 08:28

US envoy in 'explosive' meeting with Karzai

The BBC is reporting that Richard Holbrooke raised concerns about ballot-stuffing and fraud, and said that a second-round run off could make the process more credible.

Aug 28 07:57

Afghans in greatest danger since Taliban fell: Amnesty

"With the outcome of voting in Afghanistan unclear, the danger and insecurity facing millions of Afghans continues and in fact is higher now than ever," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty's Asia-Pacific director.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More US/NATO "progress" in Afghanistan, I see.

Aug 28 07:20

US envoy 'in angry Karzai talks'

Richard Holbrooke raised concerns about ballot-stuffing and fraud, by a number of candidates' teams, sources say.

The US envoy also said a second-round run-off could make the election process more credible, the sources said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even if there is an alleged "second round", the Afghans and the world know that these elections were simply a sham; large swathes of potential candidates were banned from even being on the ballot.

It's just a question as to which of Washington's puppets will be installed as President to do precisely as his masters order him to do. There is no legitimacy to this process whatsoever.

Aug 27 10:51

“US soldiers find themselves being terrorists in Afghanistan”

As the US continues to step up war efforts in Afghanistan, the number of US soldiers refusing deployment to war zones is also increasing. On the ground, they find themselves being terrorists, says writer Dahr Jamail.

Aug 27 06:54

Admiral Mullen: US ‘Starting Over’ in Afghanistan

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen says that the Obama Administration’s massive escalation in Afghanistan is going to take another 12 to 18 months to “turn this thing around.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Turn this thing around," and "Starting over" does not sound like we are winning, does it? In fact, "Starting over" sounds like every American killed in Afghanistan to date has pretty much died for nothing.

The last military commander to succeed in conquering and holding Afghanistan was Alexander the Great.

Aug 27 06:23

Young Guantanamo Afghan to sue US

One of the youngest detainees held at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay will sue the United States for compensation, his lawyers say.

Mohammed Jawad was released and arrived in his native Afghanistan earlier this week. His family says he was 12 at the time of his detention in 2002.

Aug 26 19:40

UK suffered one casualty in Afghanistan for every vote

The British force in Helmand suffered one casualty for every Afghan vote in the area retaken from the Taliban during the bloody Panther's Claw offensive.

Aug 26 14:37

US Copter Loses Ballot Boxes as Afghan Vote Count Moves Slowly Forward

As the count for Afghanistan’s hotly disputed election trudges along at a snail’s pace, a bit of excitement happened when the US military admitted that it had misplaced 25 ballot boxes it was shipping from Paroon to Kabul. Actually it didn’t so much misplace them as it dropped them, off a helicopter, into what officials are describing as “the rugged mountains of Nuristan.”

Aug 26 07:55

“Afghan drug trafficking brings US $50 billion a year”

The US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there, says Gen. Mahmut Gareev, a former commander during the USSR's operations in Afghanistan.

Aug 25 16:58

Afghanistan: the wasted years and lives

When British troops went into Afghanistan in 2006 it was seen by many as the “good” war, in contrast to Iraq. I was not so sure. It was not just that we did not appear to know how to achieve victory. We did not even know how we would recognise a victory.

What would winning look like? Underpinning Afghan democracy? Stabilising the Karzai regime? Providing education and healthcare to the Afghan population, both male and female? Delivering law and order? Eradicating corruption? Creating a working economy? Crushing the drug trade? Protecting Pakistan from instability? Or simply defeating the Taliban and creating a stable state?

The truth is on the day of its second “democratic” election, after yeans of pain and more than 200 British deaths, we are no closer to any of these objectives.

Aug 25 16:54

Afghan vote fraud revealed

Senior western diplomats agree that most of the fraud appears to have been by Karzai supporters, but most of the polling stations where large-scale irregularities are alleged were beyond the reach of Afghan or international observers.

The European Union observer mission visited less than 5 per cent of the polling stations, most of them in the safest areas.

"It will be very difficult to pin-point widespread fraud with any accuracy," said John Dempsey, Afghanistan director of the US Institute of Peace.

Aug 25 09:07

PR firm screening reporters for Afghanistan embedding

Stars and Stripes reports that a U.S. public relations company involved with a discredited Iraqi exile group will screen journalists headed to Afghanistan to decide whether past coverage has portrayed the military positively.

The Rendon Group says it reviews reporters' recent articles and "and determines whether the coverage was 'positive,' 'negative' or 'neutral' compared to mission objectives." Any reporter wanting to "embed" with U.S. forces is subject to the background check. The company has been paid by the Pentagon since 2005.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what lies and half truths are supposed to be spewed for public comsumption while the real story, (the fact that the US is in Afghanistan to get pipelines built, and protect the burgeoning drug trade) gets ignored.

Aug 25 09:03

US patience frays as Obama weighs Afghan troops

President Barack Obama will likely soon face a wrenching decision on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, even as much of the US public has turned against the war and his own popularity has waned.

But Obama's hand-picked commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, is widely expected to call for even more troops in a formal review of the war-fighting strategy anticipated within the next two weeks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It will be interesting to see where these additional troops are supposed to come from.

One has to wonder if Obama will re-institute a draft of some kind.

Aug 24 17:48

Abdullah's supporters threaten to take up arms over 'rigged' election

With the results of Afghanistan's presidential election expected later today, supporters of the opposition leader, Abdullah Abdullah, delivered a grim message last night, threatening violence if their candidate loses.

Standing by the black marble grave of their fallen leader Ahmed Shah Masoud, two former mujahedin fighters said they still had their guns and warned that they had not forgotten how to use them.

Like most of Afghanistan's Tajik community, they had voted for Mr Abdullah, a former foreign minister of Tajik and Pashtun ancestry, who fought alongside their beloved Commander Masoud against the Soviet invaders and then the Taliban.

If the election is "stolen" by Hamid Karzai, the reaction would be violent, the former guerillas declared.

Aug 24 09:15

Democracy? We're just wasting brave lives on a country we'll never free

The contrast between the dutiful, courageous hearts of the soldiers, and the craven, slippery dishonesty of the politicians is so shocking that I dare not allow myself to think about it too much, in case I become too angry to speak or write.

But I cannot forgive any of them who do not now begin to demand our immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Aug 24 09:12

Troops to be sent to Helmand, Afghanistan with just 6 weeks' training

Hundreds of soldiers from a leading infantry regiment are to be sent to the frontline in Afghanistan with just six weeks' specialised battlefield training - instead of the usual minimum of six months.

One senior source said: 'This is a panic measure as we do not have sufficient battle-ready troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder what the "panic measure" will be in the US when it is definitively understood that we don't have any where near the reserves in place to fulfill generals' requests for far more US troops in Afghanistan.

Aug 24 08:52

Polling Data Points to Landslide Karzai ‘Win’

Though the official results won’t be released for weeks, the raw polling station data being collected by media outlets and observers has incumbent Afghan President Hamid Karzai winning reelection in Thursday’s disputed election with an enormous margin of 72 percent to 23 percent over principal rival Abdullah Abdullah.

Official preliminary results are expected to be available in early September, with final results coming some time after that. Though the Independent Election Commission is theoretically in charge of overseeing the disputed vote, it should be noted they are appointed entirely by the incumbent president.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was not an election; it was dramatic theatre, made to appear to be an election, when what actually happened was the re-appointment of the American-installed puppet to the presidency in Afghanistan.

And the biggest losers in this election were Afghan women, whose lot is now far more miserable, over all, than before the US and NATO attacked and occupied Afghanistan all those 8 years ago.

Aug 24 07:59

U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient

American military commanders with the NATO mission in Afghanistan told President Obama’s chief envoy to the region this weekend that they did not have enough troops to do their job, pushed past their limit by Taliban rebels who operate across borders.

The possibility that more troops will be needed in Afghanistan presents the Obama administration with another problem in dealing with a nearly eight-year war that has lost popularity at home, compounded by new questions over the credibility of the Afghan government, which has just held an as-yet inconclusive presidential election beset by complaints of fraud.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder from precisely where these additional troops are supposed to come, given the current stress the US military is under with commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Given the muscularity of Obama's foreign policy objectives, you have to wonder at what point a draft will be reinstituted in this country.

Aug 24 07:16

Hamid Karzai and Afghan elections

Aug 24 04:09

Quittin' time in Afghanistan

An election held under the guns of a foreign occupation army cannot be called legitimate or democratic.

This week's stage-managed vote in Afghanistan for candidates chosen by western powers is unlikely to bring either peace or tranquility to this wretched nation that has suffered 30 years of war.

The Taliban and its nationalist allies rejected the vote as a fraud designed to validate continued foreign occupation and open the way for western oil and gas pipelines.

The Taliban, which speaks for many of Afghanistan's majority Pashtun, said it would only join a national election when U.S. and NATO troops withdraw.

Aug 23 18:16

Afghan vs. Iran elections. Hmmmm.

Would it not be fun to challenge the same overthrow supporters in Iran to do the same in Afghanistan?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's main challenger said on Sunday he had evidence last week's election had been widely rigged by the incumbent and that he had lodged more than 100 complaints.

Aug 23 11:06

Marines Fight Taliban With Little Aid From Afghans

American Marines secured this desolate village in southern Afghanistan nearly two months ago, and last week they were fortifying bases, on duty at checkpoints and patrolling in full body armor in 120-degree heat. Despite those efforts, only a few hundred Afghans were persuaded to come out here and vote for president on Thursday.

It all raises serious questions about what the American mission is in southern Afghanistan — to secure the area, or to administer it — and about how long Afghans will tolerate foreign troops if they do not begin to see real benefits from their own government soon. American commanders say there is a narrow window to win over local people from the guerrillas.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We are an army of occupation in Afghanistan, which has just reinstalled a puppet government in the country, with many candidates who might truly represent the Afghan people, banished from even appearing on the ballots.

We are in Afghanistan for two reasons; the first, in which we are failing spectacularly, is the installation of pipelines to control Eurasian oil.

The second, at which the US government seems to be succeeding brilliantly, is protecting the Afghan drug trade, from which so many profit so well.

About to have a cerebro-vascular accident at that last statement, and find yourself clutching your head, and screaming, "how can this be? This cannot, cannot be what we have been paying (and will continue to pay) in blood and money to accomplish in Afghanistan!"

Think again, carefully.

As reported by Thomas Schweich in the New York Times, 27 July, 2008, "Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/magazine/27AFGHAN-t.html

"The plan was simple. The Afghan Poppy Eradication Force would go to Helmand Province with two battalions of the national army and eradicate the fields of the wealthier farmers — including fields owned by local officials. Protecting the eradication force would also enable the arrest of key traffickers. The U.S. military, which trained the Afghan army, would assist in moving the soldiers there and provide outer-perimeter security. The U.S. military would not participate directly in eradication or arrest operations; it would only enable them."

"But once again, Karzai and his Pentagon friends thwarted the plan. First, Anthony Harriman was replaced at the National Security Council by a colonel who held the old-school Pentagon view that “we don’t do the drug thing.” He would not let me see General Lute or Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, when the force-protection plans failed to materialize. We asked numerous Pentagon officials to lobby the defense minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, for immediate force protection, but they did little."

Schweich was certainly in a position to know; he was the former State Department Counter Narcotics officer in Afghanistan.

Also, as reported in Al Jazeera.net, 28 July 2008:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2008/07/2008724234833723652.html

"Drug production has skyrocketed since the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban."

In 2007, nearly 200,000 hectares of land in Afghanistan was used to cultivate poppy - more than double the area in 2003 – and the country produced 93 per cent of the world's supply of opium, the raw material of heroin."

Chew on that for a while.

Aug 23 10:20

Could Afghanistan Become Obama’s Vietnam?

President Obama had not even taken office before supporters were etching his likeness onto Mount Rushmore as another Abraham Lincoln or the second coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Yet what if they got the wrong predecessor? What if Mr. Obama is fated to be another Lyndon B. Johnson instead?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only people "winning" in Afghanistan are the defense contractors,the companies providing private mercenaries, and the drug dealers.

Aug 23 09:48

Afghan conflict serious, "deteriorating": Mullen

The top U.S. military officer on Sunday described the situation in Afghanistan as deteriorating but said the new commander on the ground had not yet requested additional troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As reported at on 14 Aug 2009 at:

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/08/14/defense-secretary-report-wont-request-more-troops-in-afghanist/

"Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, is set to submit an assessment on the war within the next few weeks. On Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at least one thing would be missing from the report: contrary to widespread speculation, the general won't include in it a request for more troops."

"The Los Angeles Times reports that Gates said requests for additional troops would be considered both "separately and subsequent" to the upcoming report."

What this means is that additional troops will ultimately be requested, but not at the time this report is issued.

And the question is, from where will these new troops be coming, given the stresses the US military is currently experiencing?

Aug 23 05:35

U.S. Shifts, Giving Names of Detainees to the Red Cross

The change begins to lift the veil from the American government’s most secretive remaining overseas prisons by allowing the Red Cross to track the custody of dozens of the most dangerous suspected terrorists and foreign fighters plucked off the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Aug 22 20:20

Troops to be sent to Helmand, Afghanistan with just 6 weeks' training

Hundreds of soldiers from a leading infantry regiment are to be sent to the frontline in Afghanistan with just six weeks' specialised battlefield training - instead of the usual minimum of six months.

It is believed to be the first time the Army has allowed men to put their lives on the line with so little preparation for the tough fighting conditions against the Taliban.

The training cutback led to claims last night that soldiers' lives could be put at risk as a result.

Aug 22 20:17

Intimidation and Fraud Observed in Afghan Election

Reports of fraud and intimidation in Afghanistan’s presidential election continued to mount Saturday, with anecdotal but widespread accounts of ballot-box stuffing, a lack of impartiality among election workers and voters casting ballots for others.

A particular concern was the notably low turnout of women, who election observer organizations said were disproportionately affected by the violence and intimidation.

Aug 22 09:33

Afghanistan's Election Day: Don't Be Fooled By This Facade of Democracy

Among the people on the street, a common sentiment is, 'Everything has already been decided by the U.S. and NATO, and the real winner has already been picked by the White House and Pentagon.' Although there are a total of 41 candidates running for president, the vast majority of them are well known faces responsible for the current disastrous situation in Afghanistan.

Aug 22 09:26

Commentary: Drones and democracy

The facts are truly grim. According to a recent UNICEF report, an estimated 22 million Afghans, or 70 per cent of the population, live in poverty and substandard conditions. Some 40 per cent of children less than three years old are underweight and 54 per cent of children under five are stunted. Over 100,000 people -- most of them children and women -- remain displaced by conflict and drought.

But one thing cannot be disputed regarding US contributions to the people of Afghanistan: a lot of people have been ripped to pieces by botched drone operations; a lot of young minds have been moulded, through the tragedies that they endure and witness each day, to distrust this notion of "democracy".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The aerial bombing is guaranteed to do two things, and two things only; kill a lot of non-combatants, and radicalize those left standing even further away from the puppet Karzai government, and US occupation.

Aug 22 08:17

Lesson of Vietnam Lost in Afghanistan

Whatever “syndrome” we kicked, Vietnam’s primary lesson remains intact: American power is not without limits, both in terms of defeating an enemy and in terms of its domestic support. The primary lesson of Vietnam seems to be that it is a lesson lost. And now we have some of the same intractable problems in Afghanistan.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke recently called Vietnam War historian Stanley Karnow for advice. After the conversation, Karnow told the AP that the main lesson to be learned from Vietnam was that “we shouldn’t have been there in the first place.” We apparently don’t know what was said on the other end in Karnow’s talk with the general and the envoy, but McChrystal has asked for more troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder from precisely where General McChrystal thinks he is going to get those additional troops he's requesting.

The US military is already stretched to the breaking point, and stop-loss policies have already taken an extraordinarily grim toll on our men and women in uniform.

And for what?

To build the pipelines to control Eurasian oil, and to protect the drug trade from which so many profit so handsomely.

Tell that to the families and friends of the kids who have died here, or been maimed for life to achieve these outcomes.

Once Americans truly understand what the price paid in blood and money was really supposed to achieve in Afghanistan, the outrage resulting from that understanding will become uncontainable.

Aug 22 08:10

Ex-ISI Chief Says Purpose of New Afghan Intelligence Agency RAMA Is ‘to destabilize Pakistan’

But what, I asked General Gul, in his view, were the true reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan, and why the US is still there? “A very good question,” he responded. “I think you have reached the point precisely. It is a principle of war that you never mix objectives. Because when you mix objectives then you end up with egg on your face. You face defeat. And here was a case where the objectives were mixed up. Ostensibly, it was to disperse al Qaeda, to get Osama bin Laden. But latently, the reasons for the offensive, for the attack on Afghanistan, were quite different.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"because the Taliban had not complied with their desire to allow an oil and gas pipeline to pass through Afghanistan. "

Whihc is what I told oyu was the real deal way back HERE!

Aug 22 07:44

Afghanistan Contractors Outnumber Troops

The number of military contractors in Afghanistan rose to almost 74,000 by June 30, far outnumbering the roughly 58,000 U.S. soldiers on the ground at that point. As the military force in Afghanistan grows further, to a planned 68,000 by the end of the year, the Defense Department expects the ranks of contractors to increase more.

The Obama administration has sought to reduce its reliance on military contractors, worried that the Pentagon was ceding too much power to outside companies, failing to rein in costs and not achieving desired results.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Given the muscularity of Obama's foreign policy, one has to wonder if a time will come, in order to continue to support these wars without end, if there will be a reinstitution of the draft.

Given the current geopolitical situation, I wouldn't bet against it.

Aug 21 09:05

Obama’s Unspoken Trade-Off: Dead US/NATO Occupation Troops versus Dead Afghan Civilians?

Buried in the public relations blather of U.S. Marine legions "liberating" Helmand and Afghan (sham) "elections" as democracy-restored is an unspoken trade-off over who disproportionately dies in America’s modern wars in the Third World. Under George W. Bush, U.S politico-military elites chose to fight the Afghan war with minimal regard for so-called collateral casualties. But the soaring toll of killed Afghan civilians swayed world public opinion and stoked the Afghan resistance as grieved Afghan family members sought revenge. Enter Barack Obama. Faced with the prospect of NATO forces being withdrawn as restless NATO country citizens mobilized against the war, the Obama war machine took the decision to trade-off (mostly) lower-class U.S.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And please remember the reasons the US is in Afghanistan in the first place. They are:

1. To install the pipelines to control Eurasian oil.

2. To protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

Aug 21 09:02

Hamid Karzai teams claims presidential victory

THE head of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's re-election campaign said the incumbent was decisively leading the count and there would be no need for a second-round run-off.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remember a couple weeks back when Karzai was trailing badly in the polls, and I predicted something "funny" would happen in the election to keep him in power?

Now you watch; the same ABCNNBBCBS that insisted that Ahmadinejad, who was LEADING in the pre-election polls, stole that election, will insist that Karzai (his excellency from UNOCAL) has won an incredible come-from-behind victory!

Aug 21 08:59

Mass abstention and vote rigging in Afghanistan election

Yesterday’s presidential election in Afghanistan featured massive abstention and blatant ballot rigging, underscoring the corrupt character of the entire exercise. Conducted under the guns of 100,000 foreign troops, the vote had nothing to do with democracy and was instead designed to provide a veneer of legitimacy for the US-led NATO forces’ increasingly bloody counter-insurgency campaign against those resisting the occupation.

Aug 21 08:42

In Afghanistan, Violence and Cynicism Keep Voter Turnout Low

The 2004 vote which swept Afghan President Hamid Karzai to power saw around 70 percent of the nation’s population showing up to vote. As Karzai seeks to extend his stay in office past his already-expired term, he went up against a ragtag collection of little-known opponents, and this time only around 40-50 percent of the nation’s voters showed up.

According to reports, the government’s attempt at media censorship during the election actually did more harm than good for turnout, as many cited the lack of dependable information about security as a decision to remain at home. When reports started emerging of the first bombings relatively early in the day, the moderate stream of voters became a weak trickle. Even keeping the polls open an extra hour did little to boost the turnout.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This isn't "democracy" in Afghanistan: it's about keeping a designated American puppet in control of the situation until the white house can think of something to do that doesn't look like complete, unmitigated defeat and disaster here.

Aug 21 08:40

C.I.A. Said to Use Outsiders to Put Bombs on Drones

From a secret division at its North Carolina headquarters, the company formerly known as Blackwater has assumed a role in Washington’s most important counterterrorism program: the use of remotely piloted drones to kill Al Qaeda’s leaders, according to government officials and current and former employees.

The division’s operations are carried out at hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the company’s contractors assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft, work previously performed by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency. They also provide security at the covert bases, the officials said.

Aug 21 08:38

Obama Vows To Finish Job After "successful" Afghan Vote

President Barack Obama said the U.S.-led forces must "focus on finishing the job" in Afghanistan after what he said appeared to have been a successful election in the country, Reuters reported.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This vote was simply cosmetic, a bit of kabuki theatre, played large; many of the ethnic minority candidates representing a huge load of Afghan voters, were simply banished from ballot cards.

And it doesn't matter which American puppet wins, Abdullah Abdullah or Karzai: the people of Afghanistan are still stuck with an American puppet running the show.

And precisely what Obama means when he talks about "... U.S.-led forces must "focus on finishing the job" in Afghanistan, one has to wonder how he expects to build the pipelines to control Eurasian oil, with such seething anger of the Afghan people against US and NATO forces, understanding that, for them, the American/NATO occupation of Afghanistan has only changed their lives for the worse.

Aug 20 08:43

Taliban's attacks threatens to keep turnout low in Afghanistan elections

There have been at least five explosions in Afghanistan's capital as Afghans head to the polls to elect their new president.

The Taliban's threat to scupper the country's second presidential and provincial elections seems to be paying off, with voter turnout apparently running low due to fears of violence and reprisals.

Incidents in Kabul include a rocket landing close to voters, a suicide attack, and a stand-off between Afghan police and five suspected Taliban suicide bombers.

Some polling stations have been closed due to scattered rocket and bomb attacks, affecting the vote for Afghanistan's new President.

Aug 20 08:40

British Chinook helicopter brought down 'by enemy fire' in Afghanistan on election day

A British helicopter crew escaped injury after their Chinook was forced to make an emergency landing in Afghanistan following an engine fire, the Ministry of Defence said today.

The Chinook, one of only a few of the valuable machines at the Army's disposal in Afghanistan, may have been brought down by enemy fire, the MoD admitted.

Aug 20 08:28

Afghanistan’s gunpoint election

By any measure, today’s presidential election in Afghanistan is a travesty. The poll takes place under conditions of a continuing foreign military occupation to prop up a puppet government that is notorious for its human rights abuses, corruption and failure to provide for the basic needs of the vast majority of the population.

Once the election is out of the way, the Obama administration and the Pentagon will push ahead with plans for a major escalation of the war. Tens of thousands of additional US troops have been put in place, and US commanders are preparing to call for many more to be sent to kill and be killed in this brutal neo-colonial war.

Aug 20 07:56

Karzai and Warlords Mount Massive Vote Fraud Scheme

Afghanistan’s presidential election has long been viewed by U.S. officials as a key to conferring legitimacy on the Afghan government, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his powerful warlord allies have planned to commit large-scale electoral fraud that could have the opposite effect.

Larry Goodson of the U.S. Army College, who was on the U.S. Central Command team that worked on a detailed plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan earlier this year, told IPS, "The reality is there is going to be a lot of cheating and fraud."

Goodson said the danger for the United States in the Karzai election plan is that it "could be perceived by Afghans as promoting the legitimization of someone who is widely perceived as illegitimate."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not that the US has much to talk about in terms of vote fraud in its own elections, but this bit of Kabuki theater masquerading as an election is simply a farce, and a bad one at that.

Thinking Afghans understand that whoever wins will be whoever the US is backing, and - as stunningly crooked as this guy is - the US's man in Afghanistan is Karzai, pure and simple.

Were I a betting person, I would not bet that there will be a runoff in this election, and that Karzai will get the percentage of alleged "votes" necessary to win.

Aug 20 07:15

Majority of Americans now oppose Afghan war: poll

On the eve of Afghanistan’s historic presidential election, a newly released poll shows Americans’ support for the war is fading.

The eight year conflict, which began after the US routed the Taliban from the country in 2001, has bogged down American forces and resulted in hundreds of servicemember deaths. In recent months, the Taliban have seen resurgent success. A US effort to capture Osama Bin Laden has failed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to the writer of this piece:

1. Osama Bin Laden is dead, and has been at room temperature for quite some time.

2. Thinking Americans understand that we are in Afghanistan to build the pipelines to control Eurasian oil, and protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

Aug 20 07:12

Afghanistan's Gunpoint Election

Demockracy in action!

Aug 19 10:17

US Is Picking & Choosing The Afghan Opium Trade Winners

Via Derrick Crowe, I see that accused war criminal and narco-warlord Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum has rejoined Karzai's government from exile in Turkey. In 2001, according to Physicians for Human Rights, he and his men stuffed thousands of prisoners into metal containers, suffocating most and shooting any who survived. Because he was on the CIA's payroll, the Bush administration discouraged any investigations even after the mass grave of the victims was discovered. Karzai trusts him to deliver more than 1 million Uzbeck votes in Thursday's election.

Yet recently the US military said it was going to hunt down fifty drug traffickers believed to be allied to the Taliban, leaving even supporters of the occupation going "wtf?".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The occupation is all about pipelines to control the flow of Eurasian oil, and protecting the drug trade.

That's what our American kids are fighting, getting permanently maimed, and dying for, plain and simple.

Aug 19 10:10

Obama lies to defend US War of Aggression in Afghanistan

One of the most important Constitutional duties of any US President is to follow the law to not unleash the world’s most powerful destructive force and to defend innocent civilians from such onslaught and misery. This is also one of the most important laws for citizens to understand and hold their political leadership accountable for ethical behavior and demand prosecution in its violation.

Aug 19 09:43

Fake Elections Won’t Bring Peace to Afghanistan

This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan will be an elaborate piece of political theater designed to show increasingly uneasy Western voters that progress is being made in the war-torn nation after seven years of US-led occupation.

Most Afghans already believe they know who will win the vote: the candidate chosen by the United States and its NATO allies.

Running phony elections is unworthy of the United States and demeans its values and traditions. The way to real peace and stability in Afghanistan can only be through a national consensus and negotiated settlement that includes Taliban and its allies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is all theatre, sound and fury, signifying nothing, and the Afghans, at the end of the day, will wind up with no more actual representation (and particularly, Afghanistan's women) than they have right now.

Aug 19 09:35

Robert Fisk: Why these deaths hit home as hard as the Somme

More than 200 soldiers dead in Afghanistan, and now Gordon Brown advises us that "the best way to honour their memory is to see the course through". I don't know which particular "course" Gordon has in mind – protecting democracy, training the Afghan army, defeating the Taliban, talking to the Taliban, or just fighting them so they don't turn up on British shores – but this is straight out of the George W Bush tear bucket.

Not so long ago, I seem to remember, Bush was telling us that we would be betraying the American dead in Iraq if we gave up the fight. We owed it to the dead to go on killing more Iraqis. And now we owe it to the dead to go on killing more Afghans. Who, of course, will go on killing us. Is there no end to this madness?

Aug 19 09:21

Just in Time for Election: Afghanistan Introduces Sweeping New Censorship

Thursday was supposed to be a busy day for journalists covering Afghanistan. The nation holds its long-delayed presidential vote in the face of an ever worsening security situation and multiple threats from militant groups to launch major attacks, which makes for a potentially explosive day.

But don’t expect to read about it. Taking a page out of the book of neighboring Iran, the Afghan government has decided to insistute massive censorship of what is allowed to be covered during Thursday’s vote, and officials have made it very clear; coverage of the various bombings which are expected will not be tolerated.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You've just got to love what Karzai's vision of "democracy in Afghanistan" looks like!

As a matter of fact, for thinking people, it looks like.... the absolute antithesis of real democracy!

Of course, to believe that these alleged "elections" are anything else than a setup to keep Karzai in power for another term is sort of like believing that the word "gullible" isn't in the dictionary.

Aug 19 05:07

Top 50 US War Criminals

The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have seen the United States target civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, use antipersonnel weapons including cluster bombs in densely settled urban areas, use white phosphorous as a weapon, use depleted uranium weapons, employ a new version of napalm found in Mark 77 firebombs, engage in collective punishment of Iraqi civilian populations -- including by blocking roads, cutting electricity and water, destroying fuel stations, planting bombs in farm fields, demolishing houses, and plowing down orchards -- detain people without charge or legal process without the rights of prisoners of war, imprison children, torture, and murder.

Aug 18 09:04

OBAMA’S WAR IN AFGHANISTAN ~~ “FUNDAMENTAL TO THE DEFENSE OF OUR PEOPLE” (TOON)

Aug 18 08:46

Bloodiest month for British troops as ministers defend Afghanistan campaign

Aug 18 08:40

Afghan election fraud is unearthed

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Who is behind in the polls? THAT is who has motive to cheat.

Aug 18 08:29

Obama: Afghan war secures America

US President Barack Obama says there will be no quick or easy victory over the Taliban, noting that the war in Afghanistan is crucial in protecting Americans from terrorism.

"This will not be quick, nor easy. But we must never forget this is not a war of choice, this is a war of necessity," he said. "If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans," he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to President Obama; sir, please stop lying to the American people.

To say that this is a war of necessity, and not a war of choice would be laughable, if so many more people, Americans and Afghan nationals didn't have to continue dying.

The Bush administration attempted to negotiate with the Taliban in August of 2001, but thought that the price was too high in terms of installing the pipelines to control the flow of oil.

They obviously thought that a war would somehow be cheaper, and American blood and money was completely expendable to secure that objective.

The US-installed puppet government, lead by former UNOCAL executive Hamid Karzai, is so crooked its membership has to collectively screw its socks on. And this "election" in Afghanistan? That again would be laughable, except for the legacy it will leave for the Afghan people, which in general will continue to be misery, poverty, and want.

This was, Mr. President, absolutely a war of choice to "pacify" the Afghan population enough to install the pipelines to control the oil, and to protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

You know this, Mr. President, I know this, and every thinking American knows this.

So please; stop lying to us.

Aug 18 08:25

Obama: Afghan war secures America

US President Barack Obama says there will be no quick or easy victory over the Taliban, noting that the war in Afghanistan is crucial in protecting Americans from terrorism.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 18 01:55

Fake Elections Won’t Bring Peace to Afghanistan

This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan will be an elaborate piece of political theater designed to show increasingly uneasy Western voters that progress is being made in the war-torn nation after seven years of US-led occupation.

Most Afghans already believe they know who will win the vote: the candidate chosen by the United States and its NATO allies.

Voting will mostly be held in urban areas, under the guns of US and NATO troops. The countryside, ruled by Taliban, who are often local farmers moonlighting as fighters, is too dangerous for this electoral charade. Over half of Afghanistan is under Taliban influence by day, 75% at night.

Aug 17 18:46

Torture 'turns British troops into targets'

The Government was accused of 'stabbing soldiers in the back' yesterday because of its alleged complicity in the torture of terror suspects by the U.S.

Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith said Britain had made its own troops into targets in Afghanistan.

Aug 17 11:00

Afghan Poll Already “Stolen”: Analysts

Even before it kicks off, Afghanistan's showcase presidential election is likely "sold" and "stolen", analysts warned, stressing that a growing sense of disillusion amongst voters in the war-torn country is adding to the polls’ severe crisis of credibility.

Aug 16 18:48

The sacrifice and the shameful spin

For a man who admits to being 'no intellectual', our lumpen Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth has had a lot to say for himself in recent days. Predictably, most of it was not very clever.

In an article for this week's New Statesman magazine, he accused those who question our presence in Afghanistan and the level of blood sacrifice involved as 'defeatists'.

He went on to dismiss critics of troop and equipment shortages on the front line as 'people who misunderstand the nature of coalition warfare'.

Then yesterday, in direct contradiction of all military experts including the new head of the Army, General Sir David Richards, he told the BBC that we should be able to 'sort Afghanistan out within the next year or so'.

Aug 16 10:35

Top brass have 'no idea' how many troops have been wounded in Afghanistan

The Army has no idea how many of its soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan, the top brass has admitted.

There are no accurate figures for the number of seriously injured soldiers in its ranks, according to the report prepared ordered by Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the general staff.

And many of those wounded in the line of duty are not receiving appropriate medical support. The news comes as the number of deaths surges past the 200 mark.

Aug 16 09:47

Much Of Afghan Drug Money Going To 'Our Friends'

We've been told again and again for years on end that the Taliban were running their operations off the opium trade, clearing as much as $400 million per year. Now, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigation says the proceeds are closer to $70 million.

But that's not the real news. The real news is what's missing: If our enemies aren't taking as much money as we thought to provide protection to the source of raw material for 90% of the world's heroin, then who is providing that protection?

Apparently, the answer is: our friends.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable, and I can almost guarantee you: you're not going to see this bit on any corporate news outlet.

For quite some time, this site has maintained that the two reasons we're in Afghanistan are to secure the pipelines (to control the oi), and protect the drug trade from which so many profit so handsomely.

Aug 16 08:47

Helping Rich White People Kill Poor Brown People (For Money)

Not only is there more than a suggestion of violence in any SAS deployment, but it is hardly good role modeling for “the lawmakers” to breach the government’s Defence Policy Framework, and to put armed forces personnel in a situation where they are likely to be complicit in torture (which is prohibited in NZ law) and implicated in killing civilians (which is apparently permitted, providing it takes place overseas).

Aug 16 08:40

Captain Removed After Slamming Afghan War

A British Army captain who anonymously wrote a scathing attack about the Afghan war has been removed from his unit, Sky News understands.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

'YOU WILL LOVE THIS WAR, DAMMIT!!!!!"

Aug 16 08:10

Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know

Call it protection money, call it extortion, or, as the Taliban themselves prefer to term it, “spoils of war,” the fact remains that international donors, primarily the United States, are to a large extent financing their own enemy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Without an enemy, there is no reason for the US to remain!

Aug 15 08:47

U.S. forces kill Afghan security guards

JALALABAD, Afghanistan, Aug. 14, 2009 (UPI) -- U.S.-led coalition forces killed two Afghan security guards and six others in a raid in the eastern border province of Nangarhar, officials said Friday.

The U.S. military launched an overnight operation in the Spin Ghar district of Nangarhar following reports of plans of militant attacks meant to coincide with presidential and provincial elections.

Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a provincial spokesman, said U.S. combat forces killed a border patrol officer along with a member of his family. An Afghan serviceman was among those killed by U.S. forces as well, the Pajhwok Afghan News agency reports.

Aug 15 08:12

7 die, 91 wounded in blast near NATO HQ in Kabul

A suicide car bomb exploded Saturday outside the main gate of NATO's headquarters five days before Afghanistan's presidential election, killing seven and wounding 91 in the biggest attack in the Afghan capital in six months.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, neither the US nor NATO control Kabul at this point.

Aug 15 07:26

Karzai to 'curb US-led troops' if reelected

President Karzai addressed thousands of his supporters at an election rally in Kabul on Friday. Afghan President Hamed Karzai vows more control over US-led troops in a bid to limit civilian casualties inflicted by indiscriminate counterinsurgent attacks if he is re-elected.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And if you cannot trust the man who helped CREATE the US war in Afghanistan, who can you trust!

Aug 14 15:34

Deadly contractor incident sours Afghans

The shooting deaths of Raheb Dost, 24, and another Afghan civilian by four gunmen with the company once known as Blackwater have turned an entire neighborhood against the U.S. presence here.

Aug 14 08:27

Afghanistan passes 'barbaric' law diminishing women's rights

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that Karzai has made a deal with Shia clerics to further insure his election victory by allowing this bill to become law.

Aug 14 08:21

Gates: It's A "Mystery" How Long US Forces Will Be In Afghanistan

"In the intelligence business, we always used to categorize information in two ways, secrets and mysteries," Gates, a former CIA director, told a Pentagon news conference.

He added: "Mysteries were those where there were too many variables to predict. And I think that how long U.S. forces will be in Afghanistan is in that area."

He said his top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is free to ask for whatever he needs, but Gates said when the general submits a revised war plan in the coming weeks it will not contain a request to expand the U.S. fighting force.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are no "mysteries" that an honest assessment of the situation cannot uncover.

And to describe the actual continued length of the American occupation of Afghanistan as a "mystery" is completely unacceptable to We the People.

The leadership in the Pentagon and civilian leadership knew several things before going in 8 years ago, as lessons allegedly learned from previous military misadventures:

1. You cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air.
2. You cannot go in to a region like Afghanistan without a huge commitment of troops to actually occupy the country. The old Soviet Union failed in this with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground.
3. You cannot set up a corrupt puppet government which appears to support US drone strikes indiscriminately killing civilians without radicalizing those left standing further against that government and the US.

And yet, this is precisely the outcome we have had in Afghanistan. The pipelines to control the oil (and about which we were actually negotiating with the Taliban in August of 2001) still cannot be put in place because of the volatility in the country.

Apparently, the Bush administration thought that a war of occupation would be "cheaper" than what the Taliban was asking for the deal.

Tell that to all the families and friends of people who have died, or been wounded physically and mentally to the point where they will never be able to function again in this conflict.

Aug 14 07:32

The Smell of Defeat

On the other hand, in Iraq, a senior American military advisor adopted the view that it is high time for America to “declare” victory and immediately leave. Not only that, but he also revealed the tense relationship between Iraqi and American officers after the U.S. withdrawal from Iraqi cities on June 30. The American advisor believes that U.S. troops have by now become guests in Iraq, and they will have to leave soon because their presence is unjustifiable and it is not going to improve the performance of Iraqis.

Aug 13 11:32

Pentagon to Obama: Send more troops or lose war in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You will not bring our dead children back to life by throwing more live children onto the funeral pyre.

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.

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