AFGHANISTAN

May 09 00:47

Why We Fight .. U.S. Troops Die For Rapists

American soldiers serving in Vietnam wondered what they were fighting for. U.S. troops in Afghanistan don't have that problem. They know exactly what they're fighting for: rapists.

After President Obama's coming "Afghan surge" there will be 72,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Their primary mission is to prevent Afghans from overthrowing the unpopular regime of Hamid Karzai, the former oil consultant installed by George W. Bush when the U.S. occupation began nearly eight years ago.

May 08 13:44

Afghanistan: DOD Makes Excuses, CNN Rushes to Repeat the Spin

Yesterday, while Sec. of State Clinton was expressing “deep regret” over Monday's civilian deaths in Bala Baluk, US military spokespeople were telling a different story. After similar incidents, one of the usual claims made is that the civilian casualties are inevitable since villagers are “used as human shields by the Taliban” but this time, DOD is spinning at a whole new level, claiming that the Taliban rounded up civilians and killed them with grenades – then loaded the bodies into trucks to use are an anti-American photo op. CNN quickly had Barbara Starr on air repeating the DOD version within hours of the Clinton apology.

May 08 11:36

Afghans riot over air-strike atrocity

Shouting "Death to America" and "Death to the Government", thousands of Afghan villagers hurled stones at police yesterday as they vented their fury at American air strikes that local officials claim killed 147 civilians.

May 08 08:08

A giant US military base emerges in Afghanistan

In the forbidding Afghan desert, US engineers are carving out a sprawling military camp as part of a dramatic American troop build-up designed to confront Taliban insurgents.

The desolate plain in southern Helmand province that Afghans call the "desert of death" has turned into a hive of frenetic activity, underscoring President Barack Obama's decision to expand the US military commitment to the war.

May 08 07:57

Afghan girl's burns show horror of chemical strike

Life as 8-year-old Razia knew it ended one March morning when a shell her father says was fired by Western troops exploded into their house, enveloping her head and neck in a blazing chemical. Skip related content

Now she spends her days in a U.S. hospital bed at the Bagram airbase, her small fingernails still covered with flaking red polish but her face an almost unrecognisable mess of burnt tissue and half her scalp a bald scar.

May 08 06:09

Afghan Civilian Deaths Present U.S. With Strategic Problem

Problem? 2 dozen?

May 07 11:07

Clinton 'quite impressed' by new war

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oooh, she looks SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy, in that photo!

May 07 09:58

'120 die' as US bombs village

A misdirected US air strike has killed as many as 120 Afghans, including dozens of women and children. The attack is the deadliest such bombing involving civilian casualties so far in the eight years since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Families in two villages in Farah province in western Afghanistan were digging for bodies in the ruins of their mudbrick houses yesterday. "There were women and children who were killed," said Jessica Barry, a Red Cross spokeswoman. "It seemed they were trying to shelter in houses when they were hit." Survivors said the number of dead would almost certainly to rise as the search for bodies continued.

May 07 08:49

Karzai Visit to U.S. Set Against Backdrop of Civilian Deaths, Opposition to Obama Plan

U.S. President Barack Obama met this week with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, while another U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan resulting in dead civilians set the tone for the visit.

May 07 07:22

Afpack vs Pacification

Global Post's second installment on the Vietnam - Afghanistan analogy merits comment (The Pitfalls of Pacification).

We throw words around in the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) and do not stop to consider their Orwellian implications. Take for example, pacification, from pace (L): peace.

May 07 02:53

Afghans to Obama: Get Out, Take Karzai With You

The title of his lecture shows a certain cheek. Karzai’s seven years in power since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 have been notable for his failure to prevent their resurgence. Suppose the president’s motorcade this week had taken a different route and headed, not for the airport, but for the southern outskirts of Kabul, he would soon have experienced the limits of his government’s authority. It ends at a beleaguered police post within a few minutes’ drive of the capital. Drivers heading for the southern provincial capitals of Ghazni, Qalat and Kandahar nervously check their pockets to make sure that they are carrying no documents linking them to the government.

May 06 15:24

Yet Another Airstrike Tragedy

In Afghanistan, the main gap between word and deed has been civilian casualties caused by airstrikes - something the manuals say should be avoided. However, there's been a long litany of accidents caused by over-zealous force-protection or by information provided by locals with a vendetta that isn't properly vetted. The kind of communal emnity you cause through collateral damage can't be repaired.

May 06 09:30

Almost 200 Afghan drug cartels traffic heroin to Russia

About 180 Afghan drug cartels are trafficking heroin to Russia, as drug production has increased more than 40 times since 2001, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service said on Wednesday.

May 06 07:56

US Strike Kills Dozens of Afghan Civilians

Following clashes in the Bala Baluk district of the Farah Province, US aircraft bombed the area. Afghan officials are now confirming that the attack hit civilian homes, killing women and children, and some officials say the final toll could easily rise into the dozens.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Well, we're really sorry about those women and children, but you have to understand we are fighting for some very important, umm, principles here!" -- Official White Horse Souse

May 06 07:30

WHY YOUR CHILDREN ARE BEING KILLED AND CRIPPLED IN AFGHANISTAN!

May 05 16:53

KBR Connected to Alleged Fraud, Pentagon Auditor Says

KBR, the Army's largest contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan, is linked to "the vast majority" of suspected combat-zone fraud cases that have been referred to investigators, as well as a majority of the $13 billion in "questioned" or "unsupported" costs, the Pentagon's top auditor said yesterday.

May 05 16:35

Al Jazeera Strikes Back at Pentagon, Releases Unedited Footage of US Soldiers' 'Bible Study' in Afghanistan

Hours after Al Jazeera first broadcast a video showing US soldiers in Afghanistan being instructed by the military’s top chaplain in the country to “hunt people for Jesus” as they spread Christianity to the overwhelmingly Muslim population, the Pentagon shot back. It charged that Al Jazeera had “grossly misrepresent[ed] the truth.” Col. Greg Julian, told Al Jazeera: “Most of this is taken out of context … this is irresponsible and inappropriate journalism.”

May 05 16:19

Afghanistan's only pig quarantined in flu fear

Afghanistan's only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with the virus popularly known as swine flu.

You couldn't make this up...

May 05 04:35

US Denies Letting Troops Convert Afghans

YOU watch YOU decide

KABUL - The U.S. military denied Monday it has allowed soldiers to try to convert Afghans to Christianity, after a television network showed pictures of soldiers with bibles translated into local languages.

May 04 19:58

So, "conservatives" are afraid dem Ay-rabs are gonna make us all MUSLIMS, right?

So, we invade their country and spread religion because we are afraid they are gonna invade our country and spread their religion.....

May 03 16:43

GI Special 7E3: Taliban In Every Village

Apr 29 10:01

Taliban gunmen shooting couple dead for adultery caught on camera

In footage which is being watched with horror by Pakistanis, the couple try to flee when they realise what is about to happen. But a gunman casually shoots the man and then the woman in the back with a burst of gunfire, leaving them bleeding in the dirt.

Apr 29 09:55

US 'losing control' in Afghanistan

Richard Armitage, a former US deputy secretary of state, has told Al Jazeera that the conflict in Afghanistan may be "spinning out of control".

Apr 27 08:01

Afghan girls school feared hit by airborne poison

Five Afghan teachers and 40 of their pupils, most of them girls, have been admitted to hospital with severe headaches after a suspected airborne poison attack, the Public Health Ministry said on Monday.

They fell ill on Sunday afternoon during a ceremony at a school in the Sadiqi district of Parwan province, some 70 km (40 miles) north of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

"Among them there are 5 adults and 40 children, most of them girls, who have been affected," Dr Abdullah Fahim, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry said.

"For the time being, it seems to be airborne poisoning. But it's not confirmed yet what the actual reason is," Fahim said.

Apr 27 07:50

The Obama administration: From frying pan to fire?

But despite Clinton's self-aware delusion -- come on, she can't really believe what she proffered in Iraqi public -- I hope she keeps right on selling it. I hope she peddles it and peddles it, and I hope Gen. Odierno peddles it and Barack Obama peddles it, too. Because only a willful and prodigious blindness to reality on Iraqi ground will evacuate American forces from it.

Besides, those fighting American men and women must be spared in Iraq because their bodily sacrifice awaits them in Afghanistan, and probably Pakistan -- two more religiously fanatic nations whose historical forces we are impotent to change, but there we'll squander countless lives and untold treasury until we disingenuously but desperately declare that they, too, are "going in the right direction."

Apr 26 09:07

UN warns of new highs for Afghan hashish production

Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium, most of it refined into heroin inside the country, an enterprise that earns the extremist Taliban millions of dollars a year for their insurgency against the government.

It is also the world’s second largest source of cannabis resin, producing 1,603 metric tonnes in 2006 after Morocco’s 1,915 tonnes, according to the UN’s World Drug Report 2008.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So let me get this straight; so far, the biggest "winner" in the US's alleged "war on terror" in Afghanistan are.......the drug dealers??!?!?!?

Apr 26 04:43

Afghan officials burn 6.5 tons of drugs, chemicals

Afghan counter-drug officials destroyed 6.5 tons (6 metric tons) of drugs and precursor chemicals in a raging bonfire Sunday they said symbolized recent successes in Afghanistan's fight against opium poppies and heroin.

Khodaidad acknowledged that the 6.5 tons of drugs — including heroin, opium, hashish and chemicals used to turn opium into heroin — was only a symbolic drop in the bucket.

Apr 24 14:17

ACLU: Pentagon to release images of prisoner abuse

The Defense Department will release a "substantial number" of photos depicting abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American Civil Liberties Union said late Thursday.

The photos will be made available by May 28, the ACLU said, citing a letter dated Thursday from the Justice Department to a federal judge in New York. The photos' release is in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU in 2004 and will include images from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan at locations other than Abu Ghraib, the ACLU said.

Apr 24 09:27

War News for Friday, April 24, 2009

Baghdad:
#1: Back-to-back suicide bombings killed at least 35 people Friday outside the most important Shiite shrine in Baghdad, police officials said. The bombers Friday detonated explosive belts within minutes of each other near the gates of the tomb of Imam Mousa al-Kazim, a prominent Shiite saint, located in the northern neighborhood of Kazimiyah, said a police official. Another police official said the bombers struck shortly before the start of Friday prayers as worshippers streamed in to the mosquean important site for Shiite pilgrims. About 90 people also were injured in the blast, said the same official.

Apr 24 06:30

Tony Blair calls on world to wage war on militant Islam

Tony Blair has said he does not regret leading Britain to war in Iraq when he was Prime Minister and has called on the world to take on and defeat Islamic extremists. He believes that, without intervention, the problem will continue to grow in countries such as Afghanistan.

He called for a battle to be waged against militant Islam similar to that fought against revolutionary communism.

In an address last night to a forum on religion and politics in Chicago, Mr Blair said that the world today faced a struggle posed by "an extreme and misguided form of Islam", which threatened the majority of Muslims as well as non-Muslims.

Apr 23 17:32

Chemically sickened Vets enabled their own ills

Ill Veterans Demand Answers
by Kelley B. Vlahos, April 23, 2009
The poisonous black plume is getting more difficult for the government to ignore. So are the growing number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans hobbling around with the bodies of old men and women, needing breathing machines to sleep at night.

[And the Iraqi/Afghan nationals don't get sick from these same chemicals burned by the aggressors in their countries? Where is the sympathy for them by the soldiers who made it possible? Isn't it a kind of just retribution for the soldiers who "just obeyed orders?"

Apr 22 12:24

War Resistor Successfully Challenges 'Misconduct' Charge

War Resistor Sgt Chiroux successfully challenged his misconduct hearing, facing down the U.S. Army and offering a potential "green light" for other soldiers challenging the legality of U.S. action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

War resistor Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, who refused to deploy to Iraq under the Individual Ready Reserve, today successfully challenged his misconduct hearing and was granted a 'General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions'.

Apr 15 15:44

Afghan women pelted with stones during rape law protest

Afghan women protesting against a new law that severely undermines women's rights were pelted with stones in the country's capital Wednesday, say reports.

This was big news when the Taliban was in power...

Apr 14 13:49

US vying to 'hand-pick' Afghan president

Washington is using its political clout to influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan, a report says.

The US embassy in Kabul has urged Afghanistan's leading presidential hopefuls to withdraw from the race in favor of Ali Ahmad Jalali -- a candidate that is more preferred by Washington, reported Pakistan's Ummat daily.

Apr 13 08:58

Warning that Pakistan is in danger of collapse within months

The warning comes as the US scrambles to redeploy its military forces and diplomats in an attempt to stem rising violence and anarchy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Oh war, war, war; it's gonna be fun!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Apr 13 04:39

The New American Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan

The forces pushing their evil agendas should not forget what happened to the former USSR in the recent past. A handful of Mujihideen (Holy Fighters) had turned Russian pride into dust and the same fate will befall America. So the leaders of Pakistan should not commit the mistake of relying on anti-Islamic forces against the passions of their faithful (Muslim) citizens. It should be noted that in the last thirty years, this region has been acting as the base of support for defensive forces of the Islamic world against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, America in Iraq, Israel in Lebanon and Gaza, and now America and its coalition forces in Afghanistan have been defeated by the same forces.

Apr 12 22:37

Paul V. Rafferty: Hope for Afghanistan Dawns in The Hague

Today, The Netherlands hosted an International Conference on Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Strategy in a Regional Context.

It appears that a general consensus has been reached, among the more than 70 nations that participated. Outside military support should be focused on training Afghanistan’s own Military and Police forces, while assisting in rebuilding the national economy, particularly Agriculture. Many other re-development goals are to be implemented.

Apr 11 08:36

Afghan envoy defends US raids

The Afghan ambassador to the United States has told Al Jazeera that civilian casualties during US military operations are "a price that we have to pay" if the Taliban and al-Qaeda are to be defeated.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what Ambassador Jawad gets paid under the table by the US and NATO to make such statements about his country's murdered citizens, including women and children.

Every one of these innocents' deaths will further radicalize the Afghan people away from the Karzai government, and more toward the Taliban.

And we have never had - nor does it appear that we will ever have - enough boots on the ground for a military victory.

So who is winning here?!?

The drug dealers: this last year's opium crop harvest has been huge.

Apr 10 07:55

U.S. military concedes Afghan civilian casualties

The people of Afghanistan do not hate us "because we are free"; they hate us because we are killing their wives, children, moms, dads, uncles, and aunts.

Apr 07 06:40

Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all times!

And U.S. troops are protecting the Brits!

Apr 05 10:16

Moderate Taliban leader warns Barack Obama's plan will make Afghanistan worse

Nato's planned troop surge to Afghanistan will lead to an escalation in fighting and jeopardise secretive peace moves, a senior Taliban moderate has warned.

n an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mullah Abdul Salem Zaeef said the surge of mainly American troop reinforcements would only deepen the country's problems and was likely to act as a magnet to foreign fighters. His comments appeared to dent hopes that President Barack Obama's strategy could produce rapid progress towards peace in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This man is only stating the obvious, unfortunately.

And a little footnote from history: the only leader who was able to successfully invade - and hold (albeit briefly) - Afghanistan was Alexander the Great.

Apr 05 08:58

We Have Named the Enemy (Abstractly)

I was listening to NPR and they were discussing how the military was having trouble getting equipment to its troops in a certain region in Afghanistan. The correspondent said something like, "Supplying the troops has been made more difficult by..." And here I thought, "Whoa, are they going to admit that they are meeting fierce resistance from rebels?"

But instead she finished the sentence, "...the deteriorating security situation."

Apr 05 08:58

From Twin Towers to Twin Camelots

Woe betide a president who believes his own stump speeches. In his campaign Obama outflanked charges initially from Hilary Clinton and then from John McCain that he was a peacenik and a wimp by declaring week after week that Iraq was the wrong battlefield, that the enemy was al Qaida and their sanctuary Afghanistan. An excited vibrancy colored the community organizer’s rhetoric as he spoke of his determination to “kill bin Laden.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

1. Ben Laden is dead.

2. People who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.

3. Ignorance, hubris, and stupidity should be painful.

Apr 05 08:43

Women choose exile as Taliban laws return

THE first Afghan woman to appear on television after the fall of the Taliban has fled the country, saying it is too dangerous, as her husband was shot dead outside their house.

Paween Mushtakhel, 41, and her two children left Afghanistan on Friday. Hours later, under intense pressure from critics worldwide, President Hamid Karzai promised to review new laws that are said in effect to legalise marital rape in the Shi’ite minority.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Given the current situations in Afghanistan, who can blame the women who can get out for leaving?!?

Apr 05 08:40

Nato leaders agree new approach on Afghanistan

Up to 5,000 more soldiers are pledged, but Obama fails to win additional combat troops

Apr 05 08:33

No Combat Troops, But Obama Lauds ‘Strong’ NATO Support for War

President Barack Obama’s attempt to secure firm commitments of significant additional troops from NATO allies to help in the planned escalation in Afghanistan was, by any objective measure, an abject failure. He got no combat troops, and only the most temporary commitments to send police and training personnel to help with the elections. Don’t tell that to the president, however.

Today, he lauded the very guarded commitments as “strong and unanimous support,” and praised NATO members for making a “strong down payment” in Afghanistan. The Obama Administration has pledged tens of thousands of additional troops for Afghanistan, in addition to massive increases in civilian aid.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

He had to be completely naive to believe that he was going to get support from other NATO members in terms of sending more troops.

And President Obama, here's just one little factoid for you and your "magical thinkers" in the Pentagon to chew on; the former Soviet Union couldn't hold Afghanistan with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground.

Apr 04 17:38

Thousands flee bomb attacks by US drones

AMERICAN drone attacks on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan are causing a massive humanitarian emergency, Pakistani officials claimed after a new attack yesterday killed 13 people.

The dead and injured included foreign militants, but women and children were also killed when two missiles hit a house in the village of Data Khel, near the Afghan border, according to local officials.

As many as 1m people have fled their homes in the Tribal Areas to escape attacks by the unmanned spy planes as well as bombings by the Pakistani army. In Bajaur agency entire villages have been flattened by Pakistani troops under growing American pressure to act against Al-Qaeda militants, who have made the area their base.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Neither the Pakistanis nor the Afghans hate us "because we are free"; they hate us because we are killing and maiming their kids, their wives, their friends and families, and their grandparents.... indiscriminately.

One has to wonder if the ramp up in the creation of more instability in the region is by design, rather than by accident, to accomplish other geopolitical agendas.

Apr 04 04:26

BBC Reports: Pakistani Taleban claim responsibility for the attack in Binghamton NY

BBC - Pakistani Taleban leader Baitullah Mehsud called the BBC in Islamabad to claim responsibility for the attack.
---------
[This is the only line in the story referencing this claim]

Apr 03 09:04

The secrets of Obama's surge

President Hamid Karzai, the puppet in Kabul which has left Washington beyond exasperated, loved Obama's plan to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Especially because it involves the improbable "hunt for the good Taliban" (always bribable by loads of US dollars) mixed with Special Ops inside Pakistan, and not Afghanistan.

Apr 02 13:32

Defense Officials: Afghan Situation Dire, More Troops Needed

Webmaster's Commentary: 

READ THIS AND THE NEXT TWO STORIES, ESPECIALLY THE ONE TWO DOWN WHERE THE US HAS APPROACHED THE TALIBAN FOR "RECONCILIATION."

THE US IS LOSING THIS WAR, JUST AS THE USSR DID.

Apr 02 13:31

U.S. Weighs Putting 70,000 Troops in Afghanistan

Apr 02 13:30

US reconciliation offer lunatic idea, say Taliban

Taliban rejected on Wednesday a US offer of “honourable reconciliation” as a “lunatic idea” and said the withdrawal of foreign troops was the only way to end the war in Afghanistan.

Mar 31 19:54

'Worse than the Taliban' - new law rolls back rights for Afghan women

Hamid Karzai has been accused of trying to win votes in Afghanistan's presidential election by backing a law the UN says legalises rape within marriage and bans wives from stepping outside their homes without their husbands' permission.

The Afghan president signed the law earlier this month, despite condemnation by human rights activists and some MPs that it flouts the constitution's equal rights provisions.

The final document has not been published, but the law is believed to contain articles that rule women cannot leave the house without their husbands' permission, that they can only seek work, education or visit the doctor with their husbands' permission, and that they cannot refuse their husband sex.

Mar 31 17:01

Paul V. Rafferty: Hope for Afghanistan Dawns in The Hague

Working in Journalism, there is a tendency to become jaded, particularly in these times, when so many politicians see themselves as an exalted elite, high above the people who pay their salaries.

Nevertheless, this reporter came away from a conference in The Hague with an entirely different point of view, after what he had expected to be merely another spectacle.

Mar 31 08:09

US Used by Afghan Drug Clan to Take Out Rival

A "high-ranking member of al-Qaida" was seized during a recent US mission in Afghanistan which left five people dead. But the Americans were set up: The tip-off as to his location came from a drug clan who wanted to get rid of a rival.

The American forces were tricked by a drug clan into taking out a rival as part of an operation to seize an al-Qaida member. Now German soldiers are paying the price for the operation's civilian casualties.

Mar 30 09:45

Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President

I was wrong. I had been saying that it would be naïve to take too seriously presidential candidate Barack Obama’s rhetoric regarding the need to escalate the war in Afghanistan. I kept thinking to myself that when he got briefed on the history of Afghanistan and the oft-proven ability of Afghan "militants" to drive out foreign invaders – from Alexander the Great to the Persians, the Mongolians, the Indians, the British, and the Russians – he would be sure to understand why they call mountainous Afghanistan the "graveyard of empires."

Mar 30 09:33

US opens route to Afghanistan through Russia's backyard

The road passes a shimmering green mountain pasture, then dips steeply to a new US-built bridge. Across the languid Panj river is Afghanistan and the dusty northern town of Kunduz. On this side is Tajikistan, Afghanistan's impoverished Central Asian neighbour.

It is here, at what used to be the far boundary of the Soviet empire, that the US and Nato are planning a new operation. Soon, Nato trucks loaded with non-military supplies will start rolling into Afghanistan along this northern route, avoiding Pakistan's perilous tribal areas and the ambush-prone Khyber Pass.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Non-military." Right.

Mar 30 09:29

Military Escalation and Obama s "War on Terrorism"

Long considered the realm of "conspiracy buffs" The New York Times, citing anonymous "American government officials," have belatedly "discovered" that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI) is aiding the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Mar 30 08:03

Obama vows no pursuit by US troops into Pakistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yeah, and we were told that our troops in Vietnam were not pursuing into Cambodia, too!

Mar 30 08:01

Obama's War

Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent noted last week that “President Obama’s announcement of an escalation in the American presence in Afghanistan is being met with mostly silence – and even some support – from the most influential liberal groups who opposed the Iraq War. ... MoveOn.org … declined to make any public statement about Obama’s Afghan policies in response to my queries. An official close to the group confirmed to me that MoveOn wouldn’t be saying anything in the near term. ... Nor will we hear anything from Americans United for Change, which ran $600,000 worth of TV ads against the Iraq War in the summer of 2007.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

War isn't any more right just because a member of your party starts it.

Either you stand for principles, or you are just another apparatchik!

MoveOn have proven they are the latter.

Mar 29 10:34

Obama: Yup, We're at War in Pakistan

Perhaps you were wondering whether or not the U.S. was really at war in Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan. Well, President Obama just put those questions to rest.

With everyone from Hillary Clinton to Robert Gates to General David Petraeus at his side, Obama announced this morning "a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan." Not Afghanistan, with an occasional cross-border drone strike. Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Yee-HAAA, we got something to blame the poverty on while we loot the rest of the nation!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Mar 29 10:33

The ‘New’ Strategy - Did Obama Expand the War Into Pakistan?

When President Barack Obama unveiled his “comprehensive, new strategy” for the war in Afghanistan it struck many how decidedly old most of the strategy looked. A vague justification for throwing more money and troops at the seemingly endless war, bundled with posturing about how vital the war’s success ultimately would be.

But is that the whole story? Was the much-heralded new strategy just about polishing up the same old escalation in Afghanistan and selling it as a change? Perhaps the real novelty in this plan takes place outside of Afghanistan, in neighboring Pakistan.

Mar 28 07:47

Pakistan spies under heat in new US strategy

The United States has vowed to put the heat on Pakistan's spies in its new regional strategy, with top officials openly accusing elements in powerful intelligence agency of abetting Al-Qaeda.

President Barack Obama on Friday unveiled a plan to root out extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan by boosting troops and drastically increasing civilian personnel and aid to the region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In other words, at a time when our economy teeters on the brink, we are spending billions propping our installed puppet regimes!

Mar 28 07:28

Barack Obama offers new strategy to tame Pakistan

More than seven years after America declared war on the Taleban, Afghanistan still stands on the brink of disaster, President Obama declared yesterday as he unveiled a new regional strategy to win the war in South Asia. An additional 21,000 US troops will be sent to Afghanistan and civilian aid to neighbouring Pakistan will be trebled, Mr Obama said in a speech that showed his desire to take full US ownership of the deepening conflict.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Taking Ownership" is how we got into this mess, and it is NOT what Obama promised while campaigning!

Obama promised an end to these wars started with lies. Clearly, Obama himself was lying.

Mar 27 12:02

At last we get it - this war is Vietnam for slow learners

One word shines through the spin surrounding this week's Barack Obama policy review on Afghanistan. The word is exit. Before he became president, Obama was much taken by the idea that Afghanistan was a good and winnable war, a usefully macho contrast to his retreatism on Iraq. But in a military briefing at the time, he asked what was the exit strategy from Kabul and was met with silence. He has got the point.

Mar 27 08:21

Obama plans further escalation in Afghan war

The Obama White House will send another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan in addition to 17,000 extra troops to counter fresh attacks against the US.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Fresh attacks against the US." Lovely phrase, like the Afghan people are just so GAUCHE to attack the United States forces that invaded their country!!!!

Mar 26 08:03

Iran accepts US Afghan invitation

Iran has confirmed it will attend a US-backed international conference on the future of Afghanistan next week.

Mar 23 12:35

New Afghan Puppet to Be Appointed

The United States is poised to appoint a new leader in Afghanistan. It seems that Washington is disappointed with the work of current Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Karzai is the former Unocal executive who was appointed and then later "elected" President following the NATO invasion and defeat of the Taliban government of Afghanistan in 2001. Karzai's rule has been marked by two related and disturbing trends: a deteriorating security situation and an increase in opium production. Though these developments are nothing new, almost to the point where they could be considered traditional in the region, (read your history) the Americans seem to have had about enough of Karzai, thinking that they can find a better puppet.

Mar 23 12:32

US will appoint Afghan 'prime minister' to bypass Hamid Karzai

The US and its European allies are ­preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul government in a direct challenge to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the Guardian has learned.

The creation of a new chief executive or prime ministerial role is aimed at bypassing Karzai. In a further dilution of his power, it is proposed that money be diverted from the Kabul government to the provinces. Many US and European officials have become disillusioned with the extent of the corruption and incompetence in the Karzai government, but most now believe there are no credible alternatives, and predict the Afghan president will win re-election in August.

Mar 22 16:46

Scenes from the "March on the Pentagon" Rally

Mar 22 14:03

Afghanistan and Iraq: War Crimes Against Children ascribed to former President Bush

Mar 16 09:16

Militants torch NATO supplies in Pakistan; 20 trucks reduced to ashes - Exclusive images

Militants attacked a NATO supply terminal and set fire to about 20 trucks carrying supplies to Western forces in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Militants attacked the supply depot situated at Ring Road in the jurisdiction of Yakatoot Police Station, Peshawar-- capital of North West Frontier Province.

In a pre-dawn attack the militants used rockets, petrol bombs and also resorted to firing before setting the trucks ablaze.

Mar 15 09:51

Why We Shouldn't Be in Afghanistan

It seems that we're seeing more and more ramp ceremonies at Kandahar airfield. At least once a week we hear those somber bagpipes playing, marking a final salute to yet another dead Canadian soldier before his remains are flown back to Canada. In light of this, I want to repost my podcast about why Western countries should not be in Afghanistan, and why we will not be able to defeat the Taliban militarily.

Why We Shouldn't Be in Afghanistan Click to Listen

The clip is a 12 minute long MP3, the file size is 2.8M

Mar 15 08:11

Militants torch NATO trucks in Pakistan

Taliban militants in north-western Pakistan have torched eight trucks carrying supplies for NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan in a pre-dawn attack, police said.

Mar 15 07:55

Hawaii Soldier Charged With Stealing $400K In Afghanistan

A former dispersing officer for Schofield Barracks units in Afghanistan pleaded not guilty to stealing $400,000 from the government while on deployment in a finance battalion.

Gilliam apparently brought about $400,000 in cash home in his luggage. The IRS got suspicious after he converted $254,000 into a First Hawaiian Bank cashiers check.

Gilliam is not the only soldier accused of stealing American cash from the war zone. Just last week a captain from Beaverton, Ore., was accused of sending home $700,000 from Iraq.

Mar 14 18:01

NEOCON WARMONGERS ARE AT IT AGAIN – ‘YES WE CAN!!’ THEY SHOUT, ‘LET’S SURGE THE TALIBAN!!’

The neocon warmongers that believed the ‘surge’ in Iraq actually worked now think that, seven and a half years after invading Afghanistan, they are fighting a war they can win, despite all the evidence that suggests otherwise – if only, so they suggest, they could get say another couple of hundred thousand allied soldiers in to the place.

Mar 14 17:56

Afghan police say victims of U.S. raid not militants

Afghan police disputed whether five men killed in a raid by U.S. and Afghan troops on Saturday were militants.

Mar 12 12:36

US must prevent Taliban takeover in Afghan war

The United States must "at a minimum" prevent Taliban insurgents from returning to power in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview on Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Because they will END the drug trade, and we cannot allow that!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Mar 12 12:18

Iran accepts US invite for Afghan Talks

US military efforts have reportedly reached a stalemate in Afghanistan.
Tehran says it is open for negotiations on the Afghan crisis, following a US invitation to a high-level conference on Afghanistan.

Mar 10 18:09

Biden Urges NATO Allies to Help Tackle Problems in Afghanistan

US Vice President Joe Biden told NATO that the situation in Afghanistan was a threat to the West as a whole.

"The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat not just to the United States but to every single nation round this table," Biden told representatives of the 26-nation military alliance during a visit to Brussels on Tuesday, March 10.

"It was from the very same mountains that the attacks of 9/11 were planned," he said...

Well, that's what we're supposed to believe.

Mar 09 09:15

Obama says US is losing war in Afghanistan and hints at Taleban talks

President Obama conceded yesterday that America was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the way for negotiations with moderate elements of the Taleban, much as the US did with Sunni tribes in Iraq.

Mar 08 20:31

Afghanistan 101 - Why NATO Won't Beat the Taliban

Canadian based podcast giving a quick history of Afghanistan, and a summary of why it is impossible for NATO to win the war against the Taliban.

Click here to listen - MP3 File, 2.8M, 12 minutes

Mar 07 08:18

THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY - THE 9-11 FRAUD AND THE LINK TO PNAC

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obviously, I do not agree with the comments regarding the plane at the Pentagon.

Mar 07 07:27

UK ex-commander says Afghanistan mission "worthless"

Ex-SAS commander Maj. Sebastian Morley, who resigned last year in protest at the handling of the conflict, said operations were being undermined by a lack of troops and resources.

"I don't think we have even scratched the surface as far as the conflict goes," he told the Daily Telegraph in an interview published on Saturday, his first since stepping down.

"I think the level of casualties and attrition is only set to rise. This is the equivalent to the start of the Vietnam conflict, there is much more to come," he said.

"We hold tiny areas of ground in Helmand and we are kidding ourselves if we think our influence goes beyond 500 metres of our security bases," Morley said.

Mar 03 10:19

Taliban rivals unite to fight US troop surge

Three rival Pakistani Taliban groups have agreed to form a united front against international forces in Afghanistan in a move likely to intensify the insurgency just as thousands of extra US soldiers begin pouring into the country as part of Barack Obama's surge plan.

The Guardian has learned that three of the most powerful warlords in the region have settled their differences and come together under a grouping calling itself Shura Ittihad-ul-Mujahideen, or Council of United Holy Warriors.

Mar 03 08:03

France calls for NATO Afghan pullout

There are currently more than 68,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan.
French Defense Minister Herve Morin has requested that NATO set a timetable for the withdrawal of alliance forces from Afghanistan.

Mar 01 15:01

NATO can't defeat Afghan insurgency, PM says

In an interview broadcast Sunday with CNN, the Conservative leader sought to lower expectations about prospects for the insurgency-riddled country. He said Canada has had modest success over the course of its eight-year effort, but that any gains were vulnerable if the security situation were to worsen.

Yet simply staying the course in Afghanistan is not going to result in an inevitable victory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The last man to conquer and actually hang onto Afghanistan was Alexander the Great, and he only kept it for three years.

Feb 27 14:51

Wikileaks cracks NATO's Master Narrative for Afghanistan

Wikileaks has cracked the encryption to a key document relating to the war in Afghanistan. The document, titled "NATO in Afghanistan: Master Narrative", details the "story" NATO representatives are to give to, and to avoid giving to, journalists.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that the Pentagon has shut down the server mentioned in the story.

Feb 27 08:35

Patrick Cockburn: Warning to the US: beware treating Afghanistan like Iraq

I remember an Iraqi neurosurgeon, who had just successfully defended his hospital in Baghdad against looters with a Kalashnikov in 2003, saying to me: "The Americans should remember that even Saddam Hussein had difficulty ruling this country." Iraq was never like an east European autocracy. Even under Saddam every Iraqi owned a gun. Iraqis would not fight for Saddam's regime, but they would fight for their own ethnic or sectarian community or their country. An error made by the US was to imagine that just because Shia and Sunni Arabs hated each other that Iraqi nationalism was not a potent force.

Feb 26 08:23

Obama to spend $200b on war in 2009

According to the US defense officials, Obama needs USD 75.5 billion for 2009 to cover the cost of the additional troops deployed in to Afghanistan this year and an another USD 130 billion for the rest of fiscal 2009.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is just the cost of the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and does not include other Pentagon spending, which is far more costly (when they don't lose it outright).

Feb 25 09:33

War Reporting and Propaganda in Iraq and Afghanistan

Feb 24 21:41

Welcome To Obama’s War

To the anguish of America’s antiwar movement, his administration seems set on continuing many of the illegal, repressive policies of the disgraced Bush White House that it had vowed to end: torture, kidnapping, wiretapping, assassinations, Constitutional infringements, denial of due process.

Feb 22 14:28

Revealed: Number of British soldiers suffering 'life-changing' injuries in Afghanistan has doubled

The number of British soldiers suffering 'life-changing injuries' in Afghanistan doubled last year, a report suppressed by ministers has revealed.

Serious injuries, such as losing limbs or eyes, suffering serious burns or permanent brain damage, have soared since August 2007 as Taliban forces continue to step up their roadside bombing campaign.

Feb 22 12:51

Uncomfortable Others: Afghan Civilians Wounded by America

In our contemporary world where the visual message trumps the written word, photos of those killed or wounded by U.S/NATO actions rarely are published (those killed or wounded by the Taliban frequently appear in the western mainstream press). They generate too much discomfort.

In a rare example of independent photojournalism, Lynsey Addario published photos of some wounded victims of U.S/NATO actions in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your tax dollars at work, folks; while American vets sleep in our streets.

The knuckleheads who put together the "plan" for the Afghanistan campaign apparently had not one bit of understanding about the history of the people they were going to fight, and managed to have selective amnesia on that little bit in the military tactical books stating that a country cannot possibly win what is a land war from the air.(something I had hoped we would learn from Viet Nam, but apparently haven't.)

All this, coupled with what can only be kindly described as "magical thinking" has lead us to where we are, 7 years on. We have an insurgency which wants its country back, an Afghani president and government so crooked that the people believe that they have to screw their socks on in the morning, and - oh yes - the opium poppy business is booming!

Obama has vowed to placed 17,000 more troops there (which depends on when we can get many of them out of Iraq,), to add to the 30,000 US troops already there. So, we have around 47,000 troops.

Unfortunately, as reported in The Australian:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24778094-5017961,00.html

"US military planners estimate 500,000 troops, including newly trained Afghan National Army soldiers, are needed to secure the country"

500,000...47,000. Less than 10%, even counting NATO-Contributing forces. So ultimately, we've come up with a manpower figure which most likely cannot, and will not, work to hold this country.d

It isn't for no reason that Afghanistan has been characterized as "The Graveyard of Empires".

Feb 22 12:00

Obama's Refusal To Reverse Bush Policy In Afghanistan Angers Human Rights Groups

Less than a month after signing an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, President Barack Obama has quietly agreed to keep denying the right to trial to hundreds more terror suspects held at a makeshift camp in Afghanistan that human rights lawyers have dubbed "Obama's Guantanamo".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sadly, Obama's claims for "change" were nothing more than smoke and mirrors, the misdirection of a magnificently articulate salesman.

Feb 21 14:05

U.S. Concedes Afghan Attack Mainly Killed Civilians

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Our bad. We're sorry. Won't happen again." -- Official White Horse Souse

Feb 20 21:02

'No rights' for Bagram inmates

President Barack Obama's justice department has sided with the former Bush administration, saying detainees held by the US in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights.

Feb 20 11:29

Afghanistan, the Next US Quagmire?

Feb 19 20:50

Operation Uptick: Obama Launches Afghan Surge

And so it begins: the great Obama "surge" in Afghanistan. Before withdrawing a single soldier from Iraq, Barack Obama is throwing 17,500 more troops into the boiling Afghan cauldron. The deployment is the first installment of what Obama aides affirm could be a much larger escalation down the road: as soon as the vaunted "strategic review" of Afghan policy – led by hawks like Joe Biden, Richard Holbrook and General David "Pre-President" Petraeus – is completed.

Most of the new troops are apparently going to be sent on a fool's errand to eradicate the only means of support of poor Afghans: the opium crop. Previous such efforts by American forces and their allies have produced nothing but more poverty, anger, extremism and support for the insurgency. And whatever the mission, increased troop levels and military action have led invariably to steep rises in civilian casualties – which, in turn, produce more poverty, anger, extremism and support for the insurgency.

Feb 19 09:26

Afghanistan: Slipping out of control

A grim picture of spiralling violence and a disintegrating society has emerged in Afghanistan in a confidential Nato report, just as Barack Obama vowed to send 17,000 extra American troops to the country in an attempt to stem a tide of insurgency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only society that is disintegrating is the imposed American-style one.

Feb 18 19:49

US Gear Ending up in Pakistan Markets

In the age of computerized high-tech warfare, it is not just American hardware available on the black market. Now there is also vital technology and information up for grabs and -- as military officials here and in the U.S. fear -- leaking into the wrong hands in this region where the Taliban and elements of Al Qaeda have a known presence.

I was recently able to purchase a U.S. military laptop for $650 from a small kiosk, which is known as the "Sitara Market," on the western edge of the sprawling open-air markets on the edge of Peshawar.

The laptop, which has clear U.S. military markings and serial numbers, contained restricted U.S. military information, as well as software for military platforms, the identities of numerous military personnel and information about weaknesses and flaws in American military vehicles being employed in the war in Afghanistan.

Feb 16 10:03

British troops may face Facebook ban

The MoD said that the rule is designed to prevent sensitive information being placed on the internet, but it is thought that it could have an impact on social communications as well.

One solider told The Sun: "The fun police have taken over. I can't talk to my wife and kids or even play Call of Duty 5. Do they really think we're going to give away secrets?" Another added: "I am going to ignore it. A lot of the lads are going to do the same."

Feb 15 14:43

The Massive Trap that Awaits the U.S. in Afghanistan

After two monumental failures that never should have even been initiated, you would think that we would have learned from history but, from all appearances, we have learned nothing. The U.S., teetering on the edge of national insolvency, is now on the verge of upping the ante in Afghanistan with increases in troop deployment. The intent is to wind down in Iraq and transfer military forces to fight in a nation where every invader in history has failed to achieve their objectives.

Feb 14 07:08

Military Laptops For Sale on Pakistan's Black Market

Peshawar, Pakistan, has always had a reputation as a smuggler's paradise, the perfect place to score a 3,000 rupee Kalashnikov knockoff, a rusty Lee-Enfield or a nice block of hash. And as GlobalPost correspondent Shahan Mufti discovered, it's also a place where you can buy some off-the-shelf U.S. military equipment.

Mufti recently paid a visit to the Sitara Market on the city's western edge, and was able to pick up a ruggedized U.S. military laptop for $650. The laptop, which looks like it is part of a vehicle diagnostics kit, came with clear U.S. military markings. According to the story, the laptop also stored "identities of numerous military personnel and information about weaknesses and flaws in American military vehicles being employed in the war in Afghanistan."

Feb 12 14:58

Thousands of US weapons astray in Afghanistan: auditors

Thousands of US weapons, including assault rifles and grenade launchers, may be in Taliban or Al-Qaeda hands in Afghanistan because of lax controls, congressional auditors warned on Thursday.

The Pentagon has failed to track an estimated 87,000 weapons given to Afghan security forces, one-third of the 242,000 shipped by the US government between December 2004 and June 2008, the Government Accountability Office said.

A 46-page report by the GAO, the non-partisan investigative arm of Congress, said there had been no monitoring of a further 135,000 weapons donated by NATO allies to the poorly paid and corruption-rife Afghan army and police.

Feb 12 14:33

UK military costs in Afghanistan and Iraq soar to £4.5bn

The cost of Britain's military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past year has soared to more than £4.5bn, an annual increase of more than 50%, figures released today reveal.

Operations in southern Afghanistan accounted for a little over half of the £4.5bn, nearly £2.6bn, compared with £1.5bn last year. Most of the money was spent on providing soldiers with tougher armoured vehicles to try to cope with the growing threat of roadside bombs.

More surprisingly, as the government prepares to withdraw from Basra, the cost of Britain's military presence in southern Iraq increased to nearly £2bn compared with less than £1.5bn last year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence.

Feb 12 09:29

Declassified DoD Documents Suggest Detainees Were Tortured to Death

Newly declassified Defense Department documents describe a pattern of “abusive” behavior by U.S. military interrogators that appears to have caused the deaths of several suspected terrorists imprisoned at a detention center in Afghanistan in December 2002, just two days after former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld authorized the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques against prisoners in that country.

Feb 12 08:23

US 'lost track of Afghan weapons'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Dagnabit; they were right here just a minute ago!!!"

And folks, you paid for all of that!

Feb 09 12:58

War News for Monday, February 09, 2009(the forgotten wars)

Four U.S. soldiers killed by suicide bomber in Mosul, along with an Iraqi interpreter

Baghdad:
#1: Seven people were wounded on Sunday night when a mortar round landed in a courtyard in the Kadhimiya district of northwestern Baghdad, police said.

Diwaniya:

Feb 09 10:12

Obama puts brake on Afghan surge

The Pentagon was set to announce the deployment of 17,000 extra soldiers and marines last week but Robert Gates, the defence secretary, postponed the decision after questions from Obama. The president was concerned by a lack of strategy at his first meeting with Gates and the US joint chiefs of staff last month in “the tank”, the secure conference room in the Pentagon. He asked: “What’s the endgame?” and did not receive a convincing answer.

Feb 09 01:00

Obama puts brake on Afghan surge

The Pentagon was set to announce the deployment of 17,000 extra soldiers and marines last week but Robert Gates, the defence secretary, postponed the decision after questions from Obama.The president was concerned by a lack of strategy at his first meeting with Gates and the US joint chiefs of staff last month in “the tank”, the secure conference room in the Pentagon. He asked: “What’s the endgame?” and did not receive a convincing answer.

Feb 08 09:23

US warns of battle worse than Iraq in Afghanistan

The United States warned its allies Sunday that fighting the insurgency in Afghanistan could prove tougher than in Iraq and appealed, along with Britain, for more troops and equipment.

Feb 06 07:39

MoD smeared me by claiming I had affair with colonel to obtain secrets, says human rights campaigner

A human rights campaigner today accused the Ministry of Defence of smearing her by claiming she had an affair with an Army colonel in Afghanistan.

Rachel Reid, 34, said a 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' campaign was launched to suggest she used a relationship to obtain military secrets about civilian deaths.

Feb 06 07:35

Kyrgyzstan says U.S. air base decision is final

Kyrgyzstan said on Friday its decision to shut a U.S. air base was final, dealing a blow to Washington's efforts to retain what has been an important staging post for U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan.

Feb 05 20:59

Army official: Suicides in January 'terrifying'

One week after the U.S. Army announced record suicide rates among its soldiers last year, the service is worried about a spike in possible suicides in the new year.

The Army said 24 soldiers are believed to have committed suicide in January alone -- six times as many as killed themselves in January 2008, according to statistics released Thursday.

Feb 04 15:22

Pakistan: Trucks torched along US supply line

Assailants torched 10 trucks stranded in Pakistan by the bombing of a key bridge on the main supply route for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, an official said Wednesday.

Feb 04 10:11

Militants step up attacks on convoys Supply lines to Afghanistan squeezed

Militants step up attacks on convoys Supply lines to Afghanistan squeezed.
KABUL – U.S. troops in Afghanistan saw their supply lines squeezed from the north and east Tuesday after militants blew up a bridge in Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan’s government said it would end American use of a key air base following Russia’s announcement of new aid.

Feb 04 08:34

British colonel 'passed Afghan casualty secrets to female friend'

A senior British Army officer has been arrested in Afghanistan for allegedly supplying civilian casualty figures to a female human rights campaigner he is said to have befriended.

Feb 04 05:24

Why Are We Still at War?

Early into the second year of the Afghanistan war, in November 2002, a retired US Army general, William Odom, appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program and told viewers: "Terrorism is not an enemy. It cannot be defeated. It's a tactic. It's about as sensible to say we declare war on night attacks and expect we're going to win that war. We're not going to win the war on terrorism."

But the "war on terrorism" rubric - increasingly shortened to the even vaguer "war on terror" - kept holding enormous promise for a warfare state of mind. Early on, the writer Joan Didion saw the blotting of the horizon and said so: "We had seen, most importantly, the insistent use of Sept. 11 to justify the reconception of America's correct role in the world as one of initiating and waging virtually perpetual war."

Feb 04 04:26

Kyrgyzstan to shut key NATO base

The President of Kyrgyzstan has announced that the US military will have to leave the Manas Air Base near Bishkek. The facility is central to NATO operations in Afghanistan. The Kyrgyz government said the US wasn't prepared to pay an appropriate fee to use the base.

Feb 03 10:35

Pakistan militant attack halts US, NATO supplies

Islamist militants blew up a bridge in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, cutting a major supply line for Western troops in Afghanistan, a government official and a NATO spokesman said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Gee, no chance the AFGHANIS did it themselves; to try to wrest their country back from the invader, right?

Feb 02 21:15

US Gen. Craddock ordered mass executions in Afghanistan

Michael Carmichael
Posted February 1, 2009 | 10:08 PM (EST)
Craddock Scandal Rocks NATO

In the wake of an international scandal mushrooming around the career of US General Bantz John Craddock, American credibility has collapsed inside the top echelons of NATO. General Craddock is the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) and simultaneously the Commander of the US European Command.

Feb 02 09:17

Iraq Today.Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"

Baghdad:
#1: On Monday, though, a roadside bomb targeting an American convoy exploded, said an Iraqi police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information. Two people were killed and six others were wounded, the officer said. There were no reported American causalities.

Feb 01 10:27

Bombing Civilians and collateral damage from Bill Moyers Jounal

Snip below is a transcript from Bill Moyers Journal, (Jan 30, 2009). His guests on the show are historian Marilyn Young, author of BOMBING CIVILIANS: A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY and former Pentagon official Pierre Sprey, who developed military planes and helped found the military reform movement.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the JOURNAL.

Very often in the White House, the most momentous decisions are, at the time, the least dramatic, the least discussed. And they don't make news, or history, until much later, when their consequences bubble to the surface downstream. There are observers who think that could prove to be the case with a decision made within hours of Barack Obama's swearing in last week.

Feb 01 09:32

Obama seems unlikely to widen war in Afghanistan

President Barack Obama, who pledged during his campaign to shift U.S. troops and resources from Iraq to Afghanistan, has done little since taking office to suggest he will significantly widen the grinding war against a resurgent Taliban.

Feb 01 08:03

Afghans threaten US troops over civilian deaths

Angry Afghans threaten US troops after Special Forces raids kill civilians

JASON STRAZIUSO
AP News

Jan 31, 2009 13:21 EST

An angry Afghan man with a thick black beard ranted wildly at the U.S. officials, shouting about how their overnight raid had killed 16 civilians in his village. An Afghan elder cried out in grief that his son and four grandsons were among the dead.

One after another, a long line of government officials, villagers and community leaders told American military officials at the Laghman governor's compound that Afghan soldiers must be allowed to take part in such raids. Several predicted increased violence against U.S. forces if more nighttime operations take place.

Jan 31 20:43

Casualties of War

The military does not need more troops. It has enough and too many are fighting and dying where they shouldn't be.

Jan 28 08:32

Russia stops US on road to Afghanistan

The shocking intelligence assessment shared by Moscow reveals that almost half of the US supplies passing through Pakistan is pilfered by motley groups of Taliban militants, petty traders and plain thieves. The US Army is getting burgled in broad daylight and can't do much about it. Almost 80% of all supplies for Afghanistan pass through Pakistan. The Peshawar bazaar is doing a roaring business hawking stolen US military ware, as in the 1980s during the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union. This volume of business will register a quantum jump following the doubling of the US troop level in Afghanistan to 60,000. Wars are essentially tragedies, but can be comical, too.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is no agreement to transport supplies across Russia to Afghanistan. Gen. Petraeus was dreaming. Nothing on paper to back it up.

Jan 28 07:58

Aides Say Obama’s Afghan Aims Elevate War

President Obama intends to adopt a tougher line toward Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, as part of a new American approach to Afghanistan that will put more emphasis on waging war than on development, senior administration officials said Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why?

What are we trying to accomplish in Afghanistan?

Jan 27 13:41

Continuing Bush policies in Israel and Afghanistan

By all accounts, the U.S. is suffering extreme economic woes. We continue to borrow trillions of dollars simply to prevent financial collapse. Our military resources are spread so thin that the establishment consensus view blames the failure of our seven-year (and counting) occupation of Afghanistan, at least in part, on the lack of necessary resources devoted to that occupation. And a significant (though not the only) reason why we are unable to extricate ourselves from the endless resource-draining and liberty-degrading involvement in Middle East conflicts is because our one-sided support for Israel ensures that we remain involved and makes ourselves the target of hatred around the world and, especially, in the Muslim world.

Jan 26 08:35

From Hospital, Afghans Rebut U.S. Account

The American military declared the nighttime raid this month a success, saying it killed 32 people, all Taliban insurgents — the fruit of an emphasis on intelligence-driven use of Special Operations forces.

But the two young men who lay wincing in a hospital ward here told a different story a few days later, one backed up by the pro-American provincial governor and a central government delegation.

They agreed that 13 civilians had been killed and 9 wounded when American commandos broke down doors and unleashed dogs without warning on Jan. 7 in the hunt for a known insurgent in Masamut, in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan. The residents were so enraged that they threatened to march on the American military base here.

Jan 26 00:12

War news for Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kanusiyah, near Hajiwah, south of Kirkuk
U.S. troops raid the home of Dhiya Hussein, a former Colonel in the Iraqi army, kill him and his wife and wound his 8 year old daughter. From the Xinhua account:

A U.S. military statement said that the U.S. troops were conducting the operation in cooperation with Iraqi forces as required under an agreement signed late last year between the United States and Iraq. The statement said that Hussein is a suspected leader of al-Qaida assassination cell.

Jan 25 15:10

Chomsky: No change coming with Obama

Actually, the first message to the new Obama administration by President [Hamid] Karzai of Afghanistan was the same, that he wanted no more bombings. He also said that he wants a timetable for the withdrawal of the foreign troops, US and other troops, from Afghanistan. That was of course just ignored.

Jan 25 09:38

Britain is wasting the lives of its soldiers, Ashdown warns

The former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown has accused ministers of "wasting the lives" of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan, claiming the international community did not have a plan to bring peace to the country.

Jan 23 14:43

U.S. Marines force of 20,000 seen for Afghanistan

Up to 20,000 U.S. Marines could be deployed in Afghanistan as part of a planned major troop build-up to battle worsening insurgent violence, the top U.S. Marine officer said on Friday.

Jan 23 10:52

Taleban patients 'upset troops'

British soldiers say they are unhappy injured colleagues are being treated on the same ward as Taleban militants at an Afghanistan field hospital.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

TOUGH!

Next time, stay home and skip the conquest and you won't have to deal with it.

Jan 23 09:37

Obama ready to cut Karzai adrift

Barack Obama's arrival in the White House and the wind of change sweeping through Washington could lead to the ousting from power of Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, The Independent has learnt.

International support for Mr Karzai, who was once the darling of the West, has waned spectacularly, amid worsening violence, endemic corruption and weak leadership.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maybe Karzai can get his old job back at UNOCAL?

Jan 20 08:06

Russia offers Afghan defence help

A spokesman for the Afghan presidency said that despite the request, Afghanistan was committed to its ties to US and Nato-led forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... for now.

Jan 20 03:04

War News for Monday, January 19, 2009

Baghdad:
#1: A bomb blast near a security checkpoint in southern Baghdad on Monday killed a police officer and wounded seven people, including three soldiers, police said. "A police captain was killed and seven people among them three soldiers were wounded when the bomb exploded," a police official told foreign news agency,

Dalouiya:
#1: A U.S. vehicle on Sunday night was devastated in a roadside bomb attack in western al-Dalouiya district, according to police sources from Salah al-Din province. Another police source said that “a roadside bomb went off during a late hour on Sunday night targeting a U.S. patrol at al-Dalouiya Bridge (90 km north of Baghdad), causing severe damage to the vehicle.”

more,,,,

Jan 18 16:57

Iraq Afghanistan Soldiers, exposed to KBR's toxins

Iraq Afghanistan Soldiers Demand KBR Come Clean on Toxin
Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, January 12, 2009 12:59 PM EST

At least 48 Oregon National Guardsmen are reporting ill effects that may have come from an airborne carcinogen they contacted while working in southern Iraq, Stars and Stripes is reporting.

Jan 18 11:57

War News for Sunday, January 18, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from enemy fire close to the District Centre of Sangin, Helmand Province on Saturday, January 17th.

Xinhua is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier from a helicopter crash in Kunar province, Afghanistan on Saturday, January 17th. No other details are available

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, January 18th.

Baghdad:
#1: The deputy head of the U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrols programme was wounded when a bomb exploded near his house on Saturday in the al-Furat district of southwestern Baghdad, police said. Five of his neighbours were wounded in the blast.

Jan 17 20:36

The Afghan Scam The Untold Story of Why the U.S. Is Bound to Fail in Afghanistan

By Ann Jones

The first of 20,000 to 30,000 additional U.S. troops are scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan next month to re-win the war George W. Bush neglected to finish in his eagerness to start another one. However, "winning" the military campaign against the Taliban is the lesser half of the story.

Jan 15 10:45

Rewriting the First Draft of History

Seeing as how we currently find ourselves hurtling along this downhill run towards new history - the countdown to the day America has itself a president named Obama can be measured in hours instead of days or weeks now - it seems an appropriate moment to pause and reflect on a bit of older history we've already passed through. I'm not talking about any kind of ancient history, mind you. For the purposes of this reflection, we need only take a small leap backwards in time, just six short years ago.

We all passed through the little slice of history that began to take shape in the early months of 2003, and we all remember that time in our own way. Today, however, there is a great deal of effort being expended to make sure this bit of history is remembered differently than how it really happened. An even better result for those exerting this effort would be if this bit of history were not remembered at all. That may, in fact, be their ultimate goal.

Jan 15 09:35

The Afghan Scam

Most Afghans now believe that the US political campaign was nothing but a cover story for the Bush administration's real goal - to set up permanent bases in Afghanistan and occupy the country forever

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Alexander the great thought the same thing.

It didn't work out. He kept the place for only three years.

Jan 12 08:29

War News for Monday, January 12, 2009

War News for Monday, January 12, 2009

Baghdad:
#1: The violence began when two vehicles parked about 50 yards (meters) apart exploded in quick succession just after 7 a.m. as a police patrol passed by a bakery in a mainly Shiite area. The road, which runs through a commercial district, is frequently used by police and army convoys in the eastern New Baghdad neighborhood, residents said. Police and hospital officials said four people, including a policeman who died at the hospital, were killed and nine others wounded. The U.S. military said the Iraqi police were hit when explosives planted on a truck detonated as they were responded to the initial car bomb. The U.S. military gave a lower casualty toll, saying one Iraqi policeman was killed and two civilians were wounded.

Jan 11 08:59

What US Soldiers are teaching the Afghani Children

Jan 10 01:32

Iraq Today

War News for Friday, January 09, 2009

"This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." Muntazer al-Zaidi 12-14-08

The NY Times is reporting the deaths of three U.S. ISAF soldiers from a roadside bombing in Zabul Province, near the border of neighboring Kandahar Province on Friday, January 9th. Here's the ISAF release.

The Tri-city Herald is reporting the death of a civilian contractor, Paula Loyd, at the Brooke Army Medical Center on Wednesday, January 7th, from wounds she received from being doused with fuel and set on fire in Maywand, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008.

Jan. 6 airpower summary:

U.S. says Iraqis may still be held without charge: (Here we go...it's only been ten days and we're rewriting the agreement.)

Wounded, but still battling:

Cheney slams irresponsible Iraq pullout: (Eleven days and counting)

Jan 05 08:13

'If you have a problem, the Taliban solves it. In the government offices there is only corruption and bribery'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hey, we HAVE brought those people western-style government after all!

Jan 04 07:59

'If you have a problem, the Taliban solves it. In the government offices there is only corruption and bribery'

THEY FLED in the dead of night, taking what belongings they could, and telling no-one twhey were leaving for fear of ambush. Dr Ehssabullah Hakimi, a young man with an aquiline nose, thin beard and gentle manner, locked up the house of his ancestors and led 22 members of his family to Kabul. He had been receiving death threats from the Taliban for practising medicine at a local clinic. "Because I had a good job, they thought I was a spy," he said.

Hakimi and his family did not quit the badlands of the south, though, nor the hostile reaches of eastern Afghanistan. They came from Wardak province, less than an hour's drive from the capital.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The possibility that things can be turned around in Afghanistan are just about as statistically remote as the possibility of pigs flying at this point.

Jan 02 15:15

Troops lured by drug trade, report warns

Military cites 'high probability' some Canadians will become drug traffickers while in Afghanistan.

Dec 28 10:28

U.S. will give free weapons to Afghan civilians

One way to quell a violent and deteriorating situation, according to the U.S. military, is to flood the place with guns.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Then why aren't they doing that HERE?

Dec 27 07:07

Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

"Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

Dec 26 10:29

Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan

"Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

Dec 25 07:31

Amid Taliban Rule, a NATO Supply Line Is Choked

The attack provided the latest evidence of how extensively militants now rule the critical region east of the Khyber Pass, the narrow cut through the mountains on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border that has been a strategic trade and military gateway since the time of Alexander the Great.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To the military folks who "allegedly planned" this occupation of Afghanistan; did you not realize that there was going to be a finite upper limit as to what the Afghani and Pakistani people would be willing to bear in terms of the killings of their moms, their kids, their sisters, their friends by US and NATO forces?!?

The real amazement here was not that this kind of Taliban reaction came, but that it has come so late in the occupation., yet NATO and US military commanders seemed surprised, and appeared to never have seen this coming.

THAT really took a colossal failure of imagination.

You cannot win hearts and minds with aerial bombing raids, because the raids guarantee two things, and two things only.

First, you will be causing a tremendous deal of collateral damage (i.e., killing women, infants, the medically infirm and the elderly)

Second, you are going to radicalize those left standing even more strongly against the very governments the US and NATO are trying to prop up through these bombings.

Dec 25 07:01

NATO Commanders Wary of Antidrug Effort

McKiernan insists the goal remains to approve rules of engagement that “give us greater freedom of action to treat narco-figures and facilities as military objectives.” With the nation falling increasingly under Taliban control, it seems like an odd goal for the commander of a military force to have.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The greatest "winners" in the occupation of Afghanistan?

US no bid-defense contractors and the drug dealers.

The greatest "winners" in the occupation of Iraq?

US no-bid defense contractors and Iran!

And this is what we have to show for all the blood and money spent?!?

Unflipping believable.

Dec 24 10:09

Gates: Troops staying in Iraq regardless of election

Failure in either nation "would be a disastrous blow to our credibility, both among our friends and allies and among potential adversaries," Gates said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US still has credibility?

Dec 24 08:35

Afghan convoy attacks may be retaliation -officials

Intensified attacks by militants in Pakistan on convoys that supply NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan are in retaliation for Pakistani army operations and U.S. missile strikes against safe havens, U.S. officials say.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What logic-challenged morons in the US military were drinking enough of the "magical-thinking koolaid" to believe that this wasn't ultimately going to happen?!?

Was their collective thought process so skewed that they didn't understand that Pakistani civilians might love their families and friends, much the same as we do here in the West?!?

Dec 24 08:18

U.S. Military Eyes Alarming Spike in Attacks on Key Supply Convoys Into Afghanistan

As the Pentagon prepares to nearly double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year, the urgent question now occupying planners is just how the U.S. military is going to get its soldiers the food and fuel they need in the face of increasingly devastating attacks on supply convoys.

Right now, roughly three quarters of supplies for U.S. troops run either through or over Pakistan, from the country's southern port of Karachi to the Khyber Pass. Some 150 truckloads of supplies travel the road from Pakistan to Afghanistan daily.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'd like to know the names of the morons in the US military who thought that the consistent bombing of non-combatants in Afghanistan and Pakistan wouldn't ultimately have some degree of blowback!

Dec 23 08:36

US military buildup in Afghanistan taking form

The Pentagon is poised to announce the deployment of at least one more combat brigade to Afghanistan in the coming weeks, as the expected force buildup of U.S. soldiers and Marines begins to take form.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obviously, word has gone out from Obama that he will NOT be winding down the wars any time soon, or the Pentagon would not bother making preparations to send more troops only to have them turn around and come home.

Dec 22 07:40

Video: Civilian casualties in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Warning: these are horrifically graphic and profoundly disturbing images.

However, since these casualties have been purchased with your tax dollars, you have a right to know just what those tax dollars are buying in Afghanistan.

Imagine, for one moment, that the kid in the top image was your kid. You had done nothing wrong; he had done nothing wrong, other than being at absolutely the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Afghani people do not hate us "because we are free."

And notice what this aerial bombing has accomplished; intense collateral damage, resulting in further radicalization of the people against the very government the US is attempting to prop up by doing the bombing raids.

Dec 22 07:24

Afghanistan on brink of famine, aid agency warns

Last week, the Afghan Health Ministry said more than 1.6 million children under the age of five and hundreds of thousands of women could die as a result of food insecurity and a lack of medical care.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Welcome to more of Bush's true "legacy" in Afghanistan!

Dec 21 09:36

Ambush Raises Unsettling Questions in Afghanistan

The Afghan authorities quickly learned that the man suspected of having orchestrated the attack, Maulavi Ghulam Dastagir, had only weeks before been in police custody on charges of aiding the Taliban.

Mr. Dastagir had been personally released by President Hamid Karzai after assurances from a delegation of tribal elders that he would live a peaceful life, officials said this month.

The ambush, and the presidential pardon that allowed the insurgent to go free, have become the subject of a governmental inquest and the source of profound embarrassment for the Afghan government.

Dec 21 09:20

All roads lead out of Afghanistan

It is hard to tell exactly what is going on, but Russia and Iran seem to be bracing for a countermove in the event of the Obama administration pressing ahead with the present US policy to isolate them or cut them out from their "near abroad".

Dec 20 09:38

Khyber impasse as Afghan trail hit by militants

An armed gang carried out the first attack on a secondary southern supply route for foreign troops in Afghanistan, as thousands of truck drivers continue to boycott the main route through the Khyber Pass.

Police said yesterday that at least three gunmen attacked a fuel tanker bound for Afghanistan on Tuesday just east of the Pakistani city of Quetta, shooting and wounding the driver and spilling 60,000litres of fuel.

Dec 20 09:12

Taleban ‘threaten British values like the Nazis’

John Hutton, the Defence Secretary, has compared the Taleban and al-Qaeda to the Nazis, saying that British forces in Afghanistan are defending the country’s values as they did in the Second World War.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, you need to take a closer look at the issue of who is invading who to see that there is in fact a really BIG difference between WWW2 and today!

Dec 20 09:10

Taleban blow up British Christmas turkeys

The Taleban have scored a festive blow against British troops in Afghanistan by blowing up a supply lorry packed with Christmas turkeys.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Better idea: Let's have the soldiers eat their turkey AT HOME!

Dec 20 09:08

'ISI killing US troops in Afghanistan'

“All of this suggests that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is no longer certain the coalition forces will prevail in Afghanistan and that it is using militants groups in an attempt to expand its own influence,” the report said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are some elements in the US and other (read: Israeli) governments which really want the next US target to be Pakistan.

Dec 20 08:15

Gates orders new aviation brigade to Afghanistan

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered the deployment of a combat aviation brigade with some 2,800 troops to Afghanistan next year, a US military official said Friday.

Gates signed the order on Thursday in response to a request for more forces by General David McKiernan, the US commander in Afghanistan, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What part of "you cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air" is it that Sec Def Gates And General McKiernan seem utterly unable to comprehend?!?

The expansion of aerial bombing guarantees two things, and two things only.

First, we're going to kill a lot more non-combatants; women, kids, the elderly, and the medically infirm.

Second, it's going to leave those left standing even further radicalized against the very government we're attempting to prop up by doing these bombing raids.

Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.

Apparently, the lessons of the Viet Nam War have not percolated through the military or civilian leadership in the US at all.

And so far, the only "winners" in the occupation of Afghanistan are the drug dealers and the no-bid military contractors.

Dec 19 10:55

Obama's War

The triumph was total in the "splendid little war" that had cost one U.S. casualty. Or so it seemed. Yet, last month, the war against the Taliban entered its eighth year, the second longest war in our history, and America and NATO have never been nearer to strategic defeat.

America, without debate, is about to invest blood and treasure, indefinitely, in a war to which no end seems remotely in sight, if the commanding general is talking about four years at least and the now-and-future war minister is talking about four decades.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, without a full complement of military troops, put at 500,000 soldiers by the US's own military protocol, we cannot win this war.

If the development of military tactics and strategy should have proven anything to those who study military history in the 20th and 21st century, it is that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

It is obvious that the lessons from the Viet Nam War have never been learned by either civilian or military leadership of this country.

And those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it, as we are seeing here in Afghanistan

The Afghani people, the US, and NATO are not the winners here; to date, in this 8 year protracted battle, the only real winners have been the drug dealers and the military contractors.

Dec 19 10:29

10,000 urge Pakistan to cut US-NATO supply line

Thousands of anti-government protesters demanded Thursday that Pakistan shut the route along which supplies are ferried to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, adding to the growing pressure on Islamabad's beleaguered leadership.

The demonstration by more than 10,000 people in the northwestern city of Peshawar also focused on a recent series of U.S. missile strikes against suspected al-Qaida and Taliban targets in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border and Pakistani military offensives against Islamic insurgents in the area.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looking at the collateral damage (read: the killing of children, the medically infirm, women,and the elderly) from NATO and US airstrikes in Pakistan, who in their right minds can blame these people for their anger?!?

Or, perhaps, are the strikes inside Pakistan less about "lethal pursuit" across the border, and more about destabilizing Pakistan to the point where another Western-leaning military junta deposes Zardari, and another "strong man" comes to power in Pakistan?

If not, the US-NATO command is absolutely being run by blithering idiots, who didn't have the horse-sense to understand that ultimately, strikes against civilian targets in Pakistan would have just this kind of blowback.

Dec 19 08:32

Rosy rewriting of the Iraq debacle will fuel worse disaster in Afghanistan

Now they want to bolt the stable door. With British troops at last due to leave Iraq next spring, everyone is for a public inquiry. That is fine. But what about an inquiry into where they are going, straight from the frying pan into the fire, from Iraq to Afghanistan? In Basra the British army had at least a tattered remnant of a war plan. In Helmand the only plan is to be target practice for the Taliban.

Dec 18 10:28

NATO says Afghan security will improve in 2009

Lieutenant General Jim Dutton, deputy commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said plans to boost the Afghan army and police force and increase the number of foreign troops would turn things around.

"There are some causes for optimism. Things should get better, not worse, in 2009," he told reporters in Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to Lt. General Dutton: As has been proven throughout the history of 2oth and 21st century warfare, that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

A little 20th century conflict, called the Viet Nam War, should have alerted those who allegedly "planned" the Afghanistan military campaign, but that was obviously not the case.

Even with the so-called impending "surge" of troops, the US and NATO will have just a little over 10% of the number of forces needed to successfully occupy Afghanistan, paccording to the US's own military protocol, and that number is 500,000.

The rest of troop-contributing NATO countries have had leadership which at least pretends to listen to the sentiments of those people they govern, and the sentiments are loudly and clearly against this military misadventure. They will not send more troops; it is the US, where the leadership has no regard for the people they govern (except for squeezing more and more taxes from them) which will be supplying more troops.

Our options here are very limited. We can continue to bomb non-combatants, and create a further radicalization of those left standing against the Karzai government, or, at the end of the day, facilitate some kind of rapprochement between the Karzai government and the Taliban.

Of course, that would be logical, which means it has no chance to be explored as an alternative to further carnage.

I am afraid that I have to characterize Dutton's statement that "There are some causes for optimism." as a very deep, and unrealistic, indulgence in magical thinking.

Dec 18 09:53

Rockets fired at Western force supplies in Pakistan

Western military officials have played down the attacks, saying they have not affected combat operations but NATO has been looking for alternatives to the main supply route through Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Napoleon once made the observation the "an army travels on its belly", meaning that provisions and supplies must be able to get to solders in a timely manner in order for them to pursue a successful military campaign.

If the militants are successful in shutting down the Khyber Pass to NATO supplies, this will definitely put a huge crimp in the war in Afghanistan.

Dec 17 10:16

I was still holding my grandson's hand - the rest was gone'

"We were walking, I was holding my grandson's hand, then there was a loud noise and everything went white. When I opened my eyes, everybody was screaming. I was lying metres from where I had been, I was still holding my grandson's hand but the rest of him was gone. I looked around and saw pieces of bodies everywhere. I couldn't make out which part was which."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Afghanis do not hate us "...because we are free."

They hate us because we are murdering their children, their brothers, their sisters, mothers, and friends in the name of Western oil pipelines.

And this continued aerial bombardment guarantees two things, and two things only.

First, there will be one hell of a lot of "collateral damage", i.e., killing infants, kids, women, the elderly, and the medically fragile who just want to live their lives.

Secondly, it will radicalize those left standing even further against the installed puppet government which the US is desperately attempting to prop up through the use of these airstrikes.

Someone in the Pentagon, the white house, or congress really should have remembered, when (allegedly) "planning" the Afghanistan campaign, that no country, in spite of its fire power, has ever been able to win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

That is precisely the situation in which the US and NATO find themselves Afghanistan.

It should remind you of a military conflict from which the US and NATO should have taken note, but didn't. That conflict was the Viet Nam War.

Ignorance and stupidity, coupled with magical thinking, should be painful. It's a damned shame it isn't.

Dec 17 09:36

Pakistani Opposition Party to Start Blocking NATO Supplies to Afghanistan

Jamaat-e Islami (JI), a religious party that boycotted the most recent elections over then-President Musharraf’s State of Emergency, remains an influential opposition voice, particularly in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Flexing some of that authority, JI announced today that it intends to begin blocking NATO supplies on Thursday.

Given the contentiousness of the US air strikes, JI is likely to find plenty of civilian recruits for creating hurdles along the route.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if Jl leader Ahmed is contemplating using civilian human chains (borrowing from Gandhi), barricades, or a combination of both.

Using unarmed civilians massively ups the ante in terms of creating martyrs, and if unarmed civilians die in this effort, that potentially indelibly etches the image of the US and NATO forces as truly evil in world opinion.

The PR disaster from the fallout here may well outflank the coming military disaster in Afghanistan.

But if Ahmed and his followers are successful in this effort, it will absolutely grind the war in Afghanistan to a screeching halt.

Dec 17 09:01

NATO plays down attacks on supplies

NATO played down on Tuesday a recent spate of attacks on depots and convoys on a key Pakistan route, saying supplies were still getting through to its force in strife-torn Afghanistan.

“The Pakistani route is still open, is still safe,” Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, the head of NATO’s military committee, told reporters.

His remarks came after haulage companies in Pakistan said they had stopped delivering to foreign troops in Afghanistan after a major deterioration in security along the supply route to the Khyber Pass.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola; sir, making this statement, after the destruction of so much NATO property in Pakistan, is like standing there with your hair on fire, and claiming you can't smell the smoke!

Dec 15 18:05

Pakistan hauliers refuse to take supplies to Afghanistan

Haulage companies in Pakistan have stopped delivering to foreign troops in Afghanistan after a major deterioration in security along the key supply route, an association official said Monday.

The decision follows a series of major raids by suspected Taliban militants on international military supply depots in northwest Pakistan in the past two weeks in which hundreds of NATO and US-led coalition vehicles were destroyed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Who can blame these guys, particularly when there appears to be ever-dwindling security on this route??

This is really going to mess up logistics for US and NATO troops who get the main portion of their supplies from this route.

Dec 15 06:14

Pakistan hauliers refuse to take supplies to Afghanistan

Haulage companies in Pakistan have stopped delivering to foreign troops in Afghanistan after a major deterioration in security along the key supply route, an association official said Monday.

Dec 14 09:33

US military prepares for Obama’s expansion of Afghan war

The reality is that curbing terrorism was never the motive for the invasion of Afghanistan. The September 11 attacks were seized upon as the pretext for an intervention into the very heart of Central Asia, a resource-rich region that was part of the former Soviet Union until 1991. Far from being "aimless", the purpose of the ongoing occupation is to establish a US client state and major military bases in a region that is vital for American economic interests.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How many times do we hear the word "terrorism" invoked against a country which is not sitting over strategic territory or resources which the US and the West believes belongs to them, by some kind of "divine right"?

NEVER!

Dec 14 09:02

Chaplain says senior officer aware of rapes by Afghans

The native of Saskatchewan is the latest soldier to come forward alleging in detail how young Afghan boys during his tour in Afghanistan in 2006 were regularly sodomized by Afghan interpreters and soldiers working alongside Canadian soldiers.

Dec 14 08:40

Sources say NATO eyeing Afghan route

The sources said the former Soviet central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are in final negotiations with NATO officials regarding the new route.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This gambit also makes Pakistan an even more real target for more US and NATO raids into its western territories, if no supplies are moving through Pakistan.

Dec 13 13:59

UN confirms Afghan mass grave site disturbed

The U.N. confirmed Friday that a mass grave in northern Afghanistan has been disturbed, raising the possibility that evidence supporting allegations of a massacre seven years ago may have been removed.

Dec 12 17:36

The forgotten war

A week ago Kai Eide, the UN special representative, warned in undiplomatic language that gung-ho military operations by coalition forces were compromising the on-ground stabilisation effort in Afghanistan. Late this week, the Australian military decided to deploy some positive PR, throwing on a special briefing about our activities in Oruzgan Province.

Dec 11 19:20

Taleban tax: allied supply convoys pay their enemies for safe passage

The West is indirectly funding the insurgency in Afghanistan thanks to a system of payoffs to Taleban commanders who charge protection money to allow convoys of military supplies to reach Nato bases in the south of the country.

The controversial payments were confirmed by several fuel importers, trucking and security company owners. None wanted to be identified because of the risk to their business and their lives. “We estimate that approximately 25 per cent of the money we pay for security to get the fuel in goes into the pockets of the Taleban,” said one fuel importer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

25% of the money for security....goes into the pockets of the Taliban?!?!?

I'm sitting here, reading, and re-reading this statement, trying desperately to get my head around it before, as Lewis Black would say, "it EXPLODES!!"

Would some adults in the room in Washington and at the NATO HQ in Brussels please stick a fork in the occupation of
Afghanistan? It's DONE!!

Dec 11 19:02

U.S. keeps silent as Afghan ally removes war crime evidence

Seven years ago, a convoy of container trucks rumbled across northern Afghanistan loaded with a human cargo of suspected Taliban and al Qaida members who'd surrendered to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, an Afghan warlord and a key U.S. ally in ousting the Taliban regime.

When the trucks arrived at a prison in the town of Sheberghan, near Dostum's headquarters, they were filled with corpses. Most of the prisoners had suffocated, and others had been killed by bullets that Dostum's militiamen had fired into the metal containers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It has often been said that people can be judged by the company they keep; the same is true for the company nations keep.

Yes, General Abdul Dostum was a thug: but he was our thug!

Dec 11 09:57

Struggle For Kabul: The Taliban Advance

As seven years of missed opportunity have rolled by, the Taliban has rooted itself across increasing swathes of Afghan territory. According to research undertaken by ICOS throughout 2008, the Taliban now has a permanent presence in 72% of the country. Moreover, it is now seen as the de facto governing power in a number of southern towns and villages. This figure is up from 54% in November 2007, as outlined in the ICOS report Stumbling into Chaos: Afghanistan on the Brink.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Our options are very limited at this point.

No matter what the adults in the room in DC do regarding this military misadventure once Obama is sworn into office, it's only going to be window dressing for an ignominious defeat and an ultimate withdrawal.

A "Saigon moment" is coming here; it's just a question of when.

The question is, how long will the "surge" prolong the agony for both the Afghanis and US and NATO troops?

The numbers just don't add up. US military protocol indicates that it would take 500,000 troops to occupy Afghanistan successfully. We have 30,000 now, with 8,100 Brits. Add another 20,000 for the surge and what do you have? Do the math; this just slightly over 10 percent of the actual numbers needed to do the job.

And because NATO leaders at least do an approximation of listening to their citizens (who are greatly uncomfortable with the carnage and destruction already visited on Afghanistan), they are unwilling to send any more troops to fill the void, period, end of discussion.

"Victory" in Afghanistan? The current situation on the ground certainly doesn't look like it.

Dec 11 08:48

How the Taliban Hopes to Choke U.S. Afghanistan Mission

Perhaps the Taliban are observing the old military axiom that amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics. In a pair of attacks over the weekend in northwest Pakistan, militants destroyed more than 150 Humvees and other vehicles bound for U.S. troops and allies fighting in Afghanistan - the third attack on NATO supply lines inside a month. Those attacks have highlighted an ongoing vulnerability along the overland routes through mountain passes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier that are used to transport more than 75% of the supplies sent by the U.S.

Dec 11 07:39

How the Taliban Hopes to Choke U.S. Afghanistan Mission

Perhaps the Taliban are observing the old military axiom that amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics. In a pair of attacks over the weekend in northwest Pakistan, militants destroyed more than 150 Humvees and other vehicles bound for U.S. troops and allies fighting in Afghanistan - the third attack on NATO supply lines inside a month. Those attacks have highlighted an ongoing vulnerability along the overland routes through mountain passes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier that are used to transport more than 75% of the supplies sent by the U.S.

Dec 10 19:04

Ex-minister slates UK policy on Afghanistan

The criticism came from Kim Howells, who was in charge of the Afghanistan brief for three-and-a-half years until he stepped down as a foreign affairs minister in the October government reshuffle. The remarks reflect his considered judgment on what has been described as the most difficult foreign policy challenge facing the UK government and its armed forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So ,this is what our kids are fighting and dying to protect; a bunch of consummate scoundrels who are there to make sure the oil will someday flow though pipelines in Afghanistan, and to assure that the opium crops get processed without a problem.

Dec 10 07:19

US Special Forces mistakenly kill 6 Afghan police

U.S. Special Forces killed six Afghan police and wounded 13 early Wednesday in a case of mistaken identity by both sides after the police fired on the Americans during an operation against an insurgent commander, officials said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Charlie Foxtrot!"

Dec 10 07:00

Taliban chief says US troop building will mean more dead, wounded Americans

The Taliban's fugitive leader said the planned increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan will give his fighters incentive to kill and maim more Americans than ever.

Mullah Omar, who is believed to be sheltered by fiercely conservative tribesman on the Afghan-Pakistan border, said battles would "flare up" everywhere.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even with the impending "surge" of US troops, we won't have any where near enough boots on the ground to securely occupy Afghanistan, by the US military's own protocol.

The "surge" is only window-dressing until the adults in the room in Washington hopefully figure out an exit strategy which doesn't look quite like the abject defeat it will very most probably be.

Why are many of the Afghanis furious with us? Well, let's see:

1. We invaded their country, and have killed hundreds of people's wives, children, brothers, and sisters.

2. We installed a puppet government, headed by Hamid Karzai (formerly a UNOCAL consultant), which is so collectively corrupt that people believe these government officials have to screw their socks on in the morning.

3. And if that were not enough, as reported in September of this year,

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10278
"A poor harvest, the harshest winter in memory and widespread drought could mean a severe winter food shortage for millions of Afghans, aid officials say."

'The grim forecasts generally cover small farmers in central and northern Afghanistan, affecting 9 million people, more than a quarter of the population, The New York Times reported Friday."

Trust me; the Afghanis do not hate us "because we are free"; they hate us because of what has been done to them in the name of oil and pipelines.

Dec 09 15:21

NATO’s Supply Line Through Peshawar Under Siege

The U.S. military and NATO received a rude awakening this weekend after Taliban military units raided three separate terminals in Peshawar. More than 200 Humvees and trucks carrying supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan were destroyed in the attacks, which took place over the course of two days.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No wonder the US and NATO are looking to sign up supply agreements with other countries in a hot hurry, to avoid having to come through Pakistan at all!

Dec 09 11:13

The Silent Winter of Escalation

Sunday morning, before dawn, I read in the New York Times that "the Pentagon is planning to add more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan" within the next 18 months – "raising American force levels to about 58,000" in that country. Then I scraped ice off a windshield and drove to the C-SPAN studios, where a picture window showed a serene daybreak over the Capitol dome.

While I was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal for a live interview, the program aired some rarely seen footage with the voices of two courageous politicians who challenged the warfare state.

Dec 08 19:25

Convoy attacks trigger race to open new Afghan supply lines

Nato is negotiating with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to allow supplies for Nato forces, including fuel, to cross borders into Afghanistan from the north. The deal, which officials said was close to being agreed, follows an agreement with Moscow this year allowing Nato supplies to be transported by rail or road through Russia.

The deal could allow more fuel for Nato forces to be transported from refineries in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Most of the 75m gallons of fuel estimated to be used by Nato forces annually in Afghanistan comes from refineries in Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When these deals conclude, we may be looking at more of a likelihood for further bombing in other areas of the Khyber pass (which connects Pakistan and Afghanistan) which haven't previously been hit, because of its critical importance as a supply route through Pakistan.

Dec 08 08:35

Report: Taliban now encircle Kabul

The Taliban now have a presence in nearly three-quarters of Afghanistan, and are beginning to encircle its capital, Kabul, according to a new thinktank report.

The Paris-based International Council on Security and Development, which has offices in Afghanistan, says that Taliban fighters have advanced from the south of the country and now carry out regular attacks in the west and northwest.

"The West is in genuine danger of losing Afghanistan."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This campaign has been run with a combination of magical thinking, a contempt for military history and troop strength protocol, and a complete ignorance of the history of this area.

Magical thinking; that any less than the US military's own protocol on numbers to successfully attack and occupy this country would work. According to the US's own protocol, we needed 500,000 troops on the ground to attack and hold this country. Right now, we've got 30,000, plus or minus 8,100 Brits on the ground. The "surge" will add another 20,000. Do the math. At the end of the day, we'll have around just over 10 % of the total number necessary to hold this occupied territory.

A contempt for military history; believing that what is essentially a ground war can be won from the air. One has to wonder how many of the military "tacticians" (if one can call them that) actually served in Viet Nam. Had they, the planning and execution of this occupation would have gone far differently. Aerial bombing will guarantee two things, and two things only; mass civilian casualties (women, kids, elderly, and the medically fragile), and that you will radicalize people even further against the tin-pot dictator we're trying to prop up. (The Afghani people have every reason to believe that their government leaders are so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning).

And in terms of history, the last guy to conquer and hold this country was Alexander the Great.

Chew on that for a moment.

The cold, hard fact that we are losing in Afghanistan is no surprise; and it is doubtful that anything President-Elect Obama can do anything to reverse this, even with the surge.

Dec 08 08:34

Report warns of Taliban 'noose' around Afghan capital

Taliban insurgents have established a permanent presence in almost three-quarters of the territory of Afghanistan and are "closing a noose" around the capital Kabul, according to a report published today.

The independent thinktank International Council on Security and Development was critical of the international community's "failure" to address the security situation, which it argued in its report had brought Afghanistan "to a precipice".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, I think the US invasion did that.

Dec 07 08:30

The lamb busters... Nato investigates claim that US pilots 'massacred sheep'

NATO is investigating claims that scores of sheep were massacred by American Apache helicopters after being mistaken for Taliban fighters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mighty be time to back off those wake-em-up pills they give the pilots.

Dec 05 19:21

Pentagon plans troop surge in Afghanistan

The Pentagon has begun a massive building operation to construct new barracks and facilities in Afghanistan for 20,000 extra US troops that will pour into the country early next year.

There are 8,100 British troops in Afghanistan, mostly deployed in the southern Helmand province, where the Taleban insurgency has been the most fierce and effective.

It is to house the 20,000 extra troops, who will be joining the 32,000 American forces already there. General Tucker refused to say where the new facility will be.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to the Obama Transition Team and Future Cabinet: these numbers don't add up at all.

By the US military's own protocol, we need about 500,000 soldiers to hold Afghanistan. Add the numbers represented here, and what do we have?

When the surge reaches its full troop strength what we'll have here (counting the British forces) will be - give or take - about 58,000 soldiers.

This is just a little over 10% of the troop strength necessary to get the job done.

So, what do we do? Continue the aerial bombings, declare victory, and go home?

Viet Nam should have taught the American military that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air. Not having learned that lesson is a sad commentary on the mindset at both the Pentagon, and the white house.

At the end of the day, the resolution of the instability in Afghanistan can only be accomplished by dialogue, and by the Afghanis being able to elect a government that isn't so crooked that government officials have to screw their socks on in the morning.

Dec 04 09:38

German General: Afghan Police Training a ‘Miserable Failure’

Germany’s military commitment to the NATO mission in Afghanistan is focused almost exclusively on training Afghanistan’s floundering police force, but is having very little success. So little success in fact that General Hans-Christoph Ammon has condemned the training scheme as “a miserable failure.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable.

Dec 04 08:13

MAP OF THE PNAC PLAN (Large graphic; heavy download)

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