AFGHANISTAN

Oct 22 08:35

Afghan opium is most lethal drug worldwide

UN: Along with heroin, it funds insurgency.

Oct 22 07:52

Cheney: Stop the 'dithering' as troops face danger

"Make no mistake. Signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries," Cheney said while accepting an award from a conservative national security group, the Center for Security Policy...

"The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger," the former vice president said. "It's time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity."

Oct 21 03:25

Photos of Civilians Injured by US/NATO Forces in Afghanistan

Photos of Civilians Injured by US/NATO Forces in Afghanistan:

Oct 20 20:36

Et Tu, CodePink?

As she wrote in the Guardian on July 25th, “You must understand that the government headed by Hamid Karzai is full of warlords and extremists who are brothers in creed of the Taliban. Many of these men committed terrible crimes against the Afghan people during the civil war of the 1990s. For expressing my views I have been expelled from my seat in parliament, and I have survived numerous assassination attempts. The fact that I was kicked out of office while brutal warlords enjoyed immunity from prosecution for their crimes should tell you all you need to know about the ‘democracy’ backed by NATO troops.”

Oct 20 20:24

Karzai Agrees, Runoff Vote to Be Held November 7

Obama Administration officials were crowing today after the announcement that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had, after days of heated negotiations, grudgingly agreed to a runoff vote, to be held November 7.

President Obama cheered the move as “an important step forward” and insisted that it strengthened the Afghan government. US officials were careful not to mention that the reason for the runoff was that over a million of Karzai’s votes were found to be fraudulent.

Oct 20 10:52

CNN Poll: Will Afghanistan turn into another Vietnam?

A slight majority of Americans think that the war in Afghanistan is turning into another Vietnam, according to a new national poll which also indicates that nearly six in 10 oppose sending more U.S. troops to the conflict.

Oct 20 04:12

The Real Reason For More Troops In Afghanistan

Russia and China make deals,we make war!

Oct 19 21:09

Killing Innocent Afghan Civilians to "Save Our Troops"

I begin with an uncomfortable fact: race/ethnicity matters in the execution of America's post-Korean wars in the Third World (whether in Indochina, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, or Afghanistan).
We see this in the differential value put on the lives of those "Others", as well as in the language/framing of official discourse and in the language of common U.S. soldiers (graffiti, inscriptions on bombs and missiles destined to rain down upon Afghanistan or Iraq like "Here's a Ramadan present from Chad Rickenberg", in e-mails [mentioning "Afghan ragheads"], at Abu Ghraib, use of the term 'Islamo-fascists', etc.).

Oct 19 14:22

Karzai 'stripped of outright win'

A panel probing fraud claims in the Afghan election has found Hamid Karzai did not gain enough valid votes for an outright win, the BBC understands.

Preliminary results from August's first round had placed Mr Karzai comfortably over the 50% plus one vote threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

But one poll monitoring group estimates that almost one million of Mr Karzai's votes have now been deemed invalid.

Poll rules say Mr Karzai must now face a runoff against his nearest rival.

Oct 19 12:55

Obama Steps Up Drone Bombings Despite Civilian Deaths

Based on a study just completed by the non-profit, New America Foundation of Washington, D.C., “the number of drone strikes has risen dramatically since Obama became President,” Mayer reports.

Oct 19 10:24

Morale crumbling among US and British troops in Afghanistan

Several reports from the frontlines of Afghanistan this month provide an insight into the growing demoralisation among US and British troops who have been sent to kill and be killed for the neo-colonial occupation. The articles suggest that many soldiers believe that the war is not justified and not worth dying for.

Oct 19 07:49

221 dead for what, a nation of Pashtun Cherie Blairs?

It is our futile, indefensible, bird-brained military operation in Afghanistan which provides British citizens as targets for Taliban killers.

If it has another purpose, you will not be able to discover what that is from the Government, which cannot make up its mind for more than five minutes what our troops are doing in Afghanistan.

Propping up the joke President? Protecting futile rigged elections? Banning the growing of opium poppies, which is permitted in Oxfordshire? Sponsoring a Cherie Blair-style sexual revolution among the Pashtuns, so all their women can become QCs?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Banning the growing of opium poppies?" Au contraire!

Oct 19 07:35

Afghanistan: UN-backed panel submits findings on vote fraud

Oct 19 04:33

David Rohde's Insights Into What Motivates the Taliban

Oct 18 10:19

White House seeks to explain its hesitations on Afghanistan

President Obama will not decide whether to sanction a troop surge for Afghanistan until the issue of whether the country has a credible government has been settled, the White House Chief of Staff said today.

Rahm Emanuel said that the question of whether to send 40,000 extra troops was important but that the biggest issue was whether Afghanistan had a legitimate and credible government that could work with the US and other countries seeking to stabilise it.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sometimes, when certain statements come out of Rahm Emanuel's mouth, you really don't know whether to laugh or cry.

"...a legitimate and credible government..." in Afghanistan, right?

The guy has got to be joking!

Does he think he's sending some sort of "signal" to Karzai?? Neither a run-off nor power-sharing deal with Abdullah Abdullah can possibly legitimize this government.

And what would be hysterical at this point would be for Karzai to order US and NATO troops out, to keep himself in power, and develop some kind of power-sharing deal with the Taliban.

The monster the US has created, in engineering this corrupt puppet government in Afghanistan, may just about be ready to to turn on its master.

Oct 18 09:53

FRAUDULENT AFGHAN ELECTION RAISES ODDS AGAINST U.S. “SUCCESS”

Given the eight destructive years of the illegal U.S. occupation in Afghanistan, the indiscriminate bombings, the thousands of innocent people killed, arrested, detained without legal rights, and tortured, the use of polluting radioactive ammunition, the fraudulent election of puppet Karzai (previously a long-time U.S. resident), and the worsening conditions of daily life, plus the tragic losses to American troops stationed there, it ill behooves President Obama to pursue the war President Bush started one day longer. Afghanistan is now Obama’s War and Obama’s disgrace.

Oct 18 08:16

Afghan President Hamid Karzai may not accept results of recount

Afghan President Hamid Karzai may not accept the results of a recount of the summer's general election votes, adding a further twist to the already fraught post-poll political environment, and his supporters began mass demonstrations against "foreign interference" in the elections.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable.

Just when you thought that the blatant corruption in the Karzai government couldn't possibly get worse........

Oct 18 04:49

War is peace. Ignorance is strength

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger draws on George Orwell's inspiration to describe the Call of Obama: "attractive to liberal sensibilities, if not to the Afghan children he kills".

Barack Obama, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, is planning another war to add to his impressive record. In Afghanistan, his agents routinely extinguish wedding parties, farmers and construction workers with weapons such as the innovative Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of your lungs. According to the UN, 338,000 Afghan infants are dying under the Obama-led alliance, which permits only $29 per head annually to be spent on medical care.

Oct 17 22:40

Ron Paul on Afghani-scam

(Pay attention to the usual fear-mongering from the gunvernment puppet at the very end of the video.)

Oct 17 17:04

Crisis looms in Kabul over Karzai election results

Britain and the United States are attempting to avert a political crisis in Afghanistan as fears mounted in Kabul that Hamid Karzai will refuse to accept the results of an official inquiry into massive electoral fraud that is expected to trigger a fresh round of voting.

Oct 17 10:27

CNN is reporting the deaths of four U.S. service members in a roadside bombing in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 15th.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_LpZKDfNH7mw/Sthg41US2DI/AAAAAAAAASo/waSpDozc...

Members of Apache Company, 2nd Battalion 87th Infantry Regiment, part of the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Combat Brigade, cover an injured U.S. soldier as a helicopter lands to evacuate the wounded after their armored vehicle was damaged by a roadside bomb in the Tangi Valley of Afghanistan's Wardak Province.

Oct 17 08:05

Foreign supporters in urgent talks to avoid second Afghan vote

TWO months after Afghans voted in a controversial presidential election they are still anxiously waiting to find out if another poll is needed - which could plunge the country into fresh chaos.

Afghan politicians and their international backers had been involved in days of vigorous horse-trading in the hope of averting a run-off, which many fear could further destabilise the fragile country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This isn't about "chaos" in Afghanistan: there's already enough of that to go around, thank you.

This is about public embarrassment on the part of the US that the massive fraud in this election was too blatant not to see.

The Afghan people are not stupid: they know that the fix was in long before the actual alleged "election" took place.

Oct 17 07:09

Don't believe anything till it is officially denied: Canada denies paying Taliban to safeguard troops

Oct 17 07:05

Officials: Gen. McChrystal Now Seeking 80,000 Additional Troops for Afghanistan

Now McClatchy Newspapers is citing officials in the Obama Administration and military as saying that the General’s “low-risk” option was actually even higher, asking for 80,000 additional troops for the war in Afghanistan.

The rub, however, is that with 68,000 US troops already in Afghanistan and 120,000+ still in Iraq, in addition to all of America’s assorted other imperial requirements around the world, the US military simply doesn’t have anywhere near the number of additional troops just lying around that the general wants to throw at the eight year long conflict.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are only two ways for Obama to resolve this; fill the gap between troops available and those desired through the reinstitution of the draft, or hire more contract mercenaries.

There is no middle ground here.

Oct 17 04:52

Too Illegit To Quit

We ca'nt make Afghans accept Karzai now!

Oct 16 19:50

Video: Karl Schwartz explains the real reason for 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan

Investment Banker Karl Schwartz lays it out

1. The Caspian Sea Basin (Kazakstan, Turkmenistan etc.) holds between 11 and 12 TRILLION dollars in oil and gas resources

2. There are only three ways to get it out:

- East to China

- West through Iran, Russia, and Turkey to Europe

- South through Afghanistan and Pakistan

3. The Taliban who controlled Afghanistan before 9/11 made pipeline deals with non-US companies and refused to change them to give control of the region's resources to the US.

Oct 16 08:58

'Low-risk' Afghan option calls for troop levels U.S. may not have

The U.S. military can send only about 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in the next three months without putting excessive strains on the Army and Marine Corps, but the top Afghanistan commander has said he needs more than twice that number to have the best chance of success, military and administration officials told McClatchy.

The low risk option, which McChrystal has said offers the best chance to contain the Taliban-led insurgency and stabilize Afghanistan, calls for 80,000 additional U.S. troops, while his medium risk option puts the number at 40,000 to 45,000, the officials said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It has been a mystery, even if Obama approves anywhere from 45,000 to 80,000 additional troops, precisely where these troops are supposed to come from, without a draft.

So, there are two possibilities: the draft gets reinstituted, or more hired mercenaries make up the shortfall.

There is no middle ground here.

Oct 16 08:01

US pays $400 per gallon for gas in Afghanistan

The stunning revelation emerged Thursday in a report by the Congressional Research Service, an arm of Congress that conducts non-partisan evaluations of projects and programs. The report says that part of the reason it costs so much to keep US forces in Afghanistan, is because the government is paying $400 per gallon of fuel.

$400 per gallon.

Why so much? The cost includes shipping, which sometimes includes the pricetag of a helicopter flight. Sending fuel by helicopter is woefully inefficient, because it uses up almost as much fuel as it carries.

Oct 16 07:57

The bottom line

The bottom line is: We went into Afghanistan because of 9/11 and 9/11 happened because we support Israel's brutal oppression of the Palestinians! So we are in there for Israel. I think it';s time to get out now.
Oct 16 07:31

US-led war in Afghanistan ‘unwinnable’

Oct 16 06:49

Italy 'bribed the Taliban all over Afghanistan': Fresh claims as row over death of ten French soldiers escalates

A Taliban commander and two senior Afghan officials have allegedly confirmed that Italian forces paid protection money to prevent attacks on their troops – despite strenuous denials from the country.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday insisted that his government ‘has never authorised or allowed any payment’ in response to a report in The Times.

But today the newspaper claimed Mohammed Ishmayel, a Taliban commander, said a deal had been struck last year to guarantee that Italian forces in the Salobi area east of Kabul, were not attacked by insurgents.

Afghan officials added they were aware of the protection payments being issued on behalf of Italian forces elsewhere in Pakistan as well, including Herat.

Oct 16 05:15

The US is expected to announce a significant surge of up to 45,000 extra troops for Afghanistan

The US is expected to announce a significant surge of up to 45,000 extra troops for Afghanistan after Gordon Brown said that 500 more British troops would be sent to the country.

Oct 15 13:20

United States to send 'up to 45,000 more troops to Afghanistan'

The US is expected to announce a significant surge of up to 45,000 extra troops for Afghanistan after Gordon Brown said that 500 more British troops would be sent to the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US Government is already denying this report.

But after Saddam's nukes, who can trust a damn thing they have to say?

Oct 15 10:51

WHAT OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING FOR IN AFGHANISTAN

Webmaster's Commentary: 

New information at the bottom.

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WRH Exclusive
Oct 15 10:50

Obama Poised to Announce 45,000 Troop Escalation in Afghanistan

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How many more of your children are you going to have to see killed and crippled in the Graveyard of Empires before you understand that the US Government is trying to kick off WW3 because of the long shot chance that WW3 can reverse the economic mess they've made (not to mention that Congress has invested almost $200 million of their own money in weapons companies and will get rich as hell on your taxes during a major global war).

Oct 15 09:46

Photos of Military Deaths in Afghanistan Banned

“Media will not be allowed to photograph or record video of U.S. personnel killed in action,” says a ground rules document issued Sept. 15 by Regional Command East at Bagram Air Field.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"They are not really dead. They are away on 'indefinite patrol'!" -- Official White Horse Souse

BTW, can anyone confirm for me a persistent rumor that families receiving benefits from the US Government for killed/crippled family members are being told they will lose those benefits if they speak to the press or public protest the wars?

Oct 14 18:04

Obama 'may unveil Afghan surge'

US President Barack Obama may announce a substantial surge in US troops to Afghanistan, the BBC has been told.

Oct 14 10:28

Afghanistan: A War of Lies

Truth is war’s first casualty. The Afghan War’s biggest untruth is, "we’ve got to fight terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them at home." Politicians and generals keep using this canard to justify a war they can’t otherwise explain or justify.

Oct 14 08:41

Saving Face and Losing Lives

We overthrew the Taliban government in 2001 with less than 10,000 American troops. Why does it now seem that the more troops we send, the worse things get? If the Soviets bankrupted themselves in Afghanistan with troop levels of 100,000 and were eventually forced to leave in humiliating defeat, why are we determined to follow their example? Most importantly, what is there to be gained from all this? We’ve invested billions of dollars and thousands of precious lives – for what?

Oct 14 08:09

The Wrong House: Ask Awal Khan About Obama's Prize

Khan was serving as an artillery commander in the Afghan National Army away from his home in the eastern province of Khost on April 8, when U.S. forces came knocking. In a case of "wrong house," they killed his 17-year-old daughter, Nadia, and his 15-year-old son, Aimal. They also killed his wife, a schoolteacher who taught villagers for free. They killed his brother and wounded another daughter.

After she thought the dust had cleared, Khan’s cousin’s wife walked outside. She was nine-months pregnant. She took five shots to the stomach. Her fetus died, but she lived. She might have some thoughts on Obama as a man who "created a new climate," as the Nobel committee claimed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The more innocent people the US and NATO kill and maim, the more the rest of Afghanistan is going to be solidly behind the Taliban.

And we seem to be doing a spectacularly marvelous job of killing innocents in Afghanistan, an outcome of occupation which appears to be escalating under Obama's watch.

The awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Obama was an obscene mockery of its original purpose and intention, and can never be taken seriously again by any thinking human being.

Oct 14 07:59

The Deceit of Depleted Uranium use in Afghanistan

Now we patiently wait for confirmation from our illustrious US, UK and NATO forces that they do use weapons containing uranium components in Afghanistan. Experts that have visited the region confirm that this is the case so how long do we have to wait for their acceptance or will they continue to tell more lies. I myself have sufficient evidence to prove the use of DU but one can live in hope that the military will eventually come clean...........it certainly doesn't look like they will, so I will release my evidence in Part 2 of this story.

Oct 14 07:25

Saving Face and Losing Lives

The truth is it is no coincidence that the more troops we send the worse things get. Things are getting worse precisely because we are sending more troops and escalating the violence. We are hoping that good leadership wins out in Afghanistan, but the pool of potential honest leaders from which to draw has been fleeing the violence, leaving a tremendous power vacuum behind. War does not quell bad leaders. It creates them. And the more war we visit on this country, the more bad leaders we will inadvertently create.

Oct 14 07:15

Backdoor Escalation

While the pundits and the public have been debating the whys and wherefores of whether Obama ought to give in to his generals and send more troops to the "Af-Pak" battlefield, the escalation is already a fait accompli – a nice Halloween surprise for all those "progressives" who still believe in their Dear Leader. Never has a political constituency been so willing to be deceived.

Oct 14 06:37

80,000 is the High Number of Troops Options in McChrystal's Request

ABC's Martha Raddatz reports: Among three different troop options currently before the President and his national security team, General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, as first reported here, favors the middle option, which recommends an increase of some 40,000 more troops. A source familiar with the document says that’s the minimum McChrystal believes is needed for a chance for success in Afghanistan.

Although the debate is really about the middle option, there is a much higher number included in the McChrystal options.

Other sources who have seen the request say the high number of troops requested is 80,000.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even if President Obama goes with the "middle option" of 40,0000 more troops, without a draft, from where, and how quickly, can these troops be found, with this country's current military commitments already overstressed with current deployments?

When an unwinnable war becomes the focus of machismo and pride on the part of any national leader, things can go from really awful to spectacularly bad in a heartbeat, and that appears to be what is going on here.

The US is supporting a government so collectively crooked here that most Afghans believe the members of that government have to screw their socks on in the morning.

The heroin traffic is booming (something that did not, thank you very much, happen under the rule of the Taliban).

The Afghans want their country back. They understand that what has been going on now for the last 8 years has been an occupation. Given the current state of things, those pipelines originally planned by the previous administration to control Eurasian oil, are not going to get built.

So what now?

We exit Afghanistan as quickly as possible in the way that keeps our troops as safe as possible, under the circumstances.

We negotiate with whatever government is left standing about the pipeline routes, and get that done.

Invasion and occupation is never "cheaper" than a negotiation to achieve specific geopolitical outcomes.

One has to wish that those in power in this country weren't so damned pathologically incapable of learning from the lessons of history.

Oct 13 08:14

Obama approved 13,000 more troops to Afghanistan

In an unannounced move, President Barack Obama is dispatching an additional 13,000 US troops to Afghanistan beyond the 21,000 he announced publicly in March, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Taliban had all but eradicated the opium growers before the US invasion. So why is cheap Afghani heroin flooding into the United States?

file:///D:/MIKE/WEB_DEVEL/WRH/IMAGES/_44614216_picgall7.jpg

file:///D:/MIKE/WEB_DEVEL/WRH/IMAGES/afghan_opium0430.jpg




In Afghan fields the poppies grow.

Between the crosses.

Row on row.

Oct 13 01:56

Occupying Afghanistan Is Making Things Worse

President Obama is coming under attack from the Right for his reluctance to grant the request of General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, for more U.S. troops. On the other side of the equation sits the majority of the American people, who are against sending more troops and in fact oppose this seemingly endless war that has now entered year nine.

Obama should go with the people and set a timetable to get our troops out of Afghanistan as soon as is practically possible, which should be less than one year. Their presence cannot contribute to bringing peace and security to that country, nor does it contribute to the security of the United States. In fact, the occupation of Afghanistan is making things worse on both counts.

Oct 13 01:47

The Taliban’s Toll

Forget opium poppies for a moment. The Taliban has another huge source of revenue, worth up to $1 billion a year, which generously supplements its heroin-trafficking income and the cash-flow from rich oil sheiks in the Persian Gulf.

This money comes from you.

Oct 12 09:00

Afghan outlook bleak as Taliban grabs territory

No one thinks Kabul will fall while American forces are here. But even top U.S. commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal's latest assessment says that without reversing insurgent momentum in the next 12 months, defeating the insurgency will no longer be possible.

The quiet truth whispered by soldiers in the field and aid workers in Kabul is that the Afghan government is not likely to ever control southern Afghanistan's wildlands, the foreboding territory beyond the provincial capitals.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If complete destabilization of Afghanistan was the objective, then the US and NATO can congratulate each other and say, "mission accomplished."

However, if this was not the objective of the military campaign in Afghanistan, every single soldiers' death and injury here have been for naught.

The knuckleheads in the previous administration thought that a war would be "cheaper" than negotiating with the Taliban for the pipeline routes, which they were doing as late as August of 2001.

So what should we do?

1. "Get out of Dodge" and leave Afghanistan as fast as safely possible for those troops remaining.

2. Negotiate with whatever government is left standing for the installation of those pipelines to control Eurasian oil.

3. Demand from all elements of US government that they learn the lessons of history, both cultural and military, before ever, ever putting one single US military person in harm's way.

4. Forcefully remind those in power that war is never "cheaper" than negotiations. Take a good look at all the energy deals Russia and China have made recently, without firing a single shot to make these happen.

Oct 12 07:19

U.N. official admits Afghan vote fraud

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Do you recall how ABCNNBBCBS ranted and railed about possible vote fraud in Iran (despite the lack of any evidence), and how they promoted the attempted coup as some kind of heroic attempt at freedom from the evil Ahmadinejad?

Well, now we have the elections in Afghanistan which restored US puppet Hamid Karzai (El Presidente from UNOCAL) to power an admitted fraud (with plenty of hard evidence to back it up) and I am waiting to see if ABCNNBBCBS makes the same big deal out of that vote fraud.

Probably not, but let's at least rub their noses in it.

Oct 11 09:30

Weapons failed US troops during Afghan firefight

In the chaos of an early morning assault on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips' M4 carbine quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn't work either.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There seems to be a bitter fight going on between supporters of the M4, made by Colt, and the HK416 made by Germany's Heckler & Koch.

Field tests seem to show the HK416 superior on the issue of reliability and parts lifetime, and the US Delta Forces have already switched over.

I mention this only because of a huge scandal that happened during Vietnam where Pentagon officers favored the M-14 over the then-new M-16, because the M-14 used the same 7.62 mm ammunition as the M-30 machine gun, making logistics simpler.

There were also, as later uncovered in the congressional investigation, some covert financial ties between the manufacturer of the M-14 and those officers promoting its adoption as the standard US infantry battle rifle.

The scandal happened when the M-16 was sent into field tests in Vietnam, but with ammunition intentionally manufactured to not conform to the original Armalite specifications. The wrong propellant was used, not only in the shape of the granules which altered the burn time, but in the high residue composition which increased fouling of the barrel. This led to a rash of breakages and jammings and quite a few young Americans were found dead in the Vietnam jungles with partly disassembled M-16s in their hands.

Tests showed that with the correct ammunition, the Armalite M-16 not only was reliable, but the .223 bullet tumbled on hitting the target, causing a more serious wound while staying within treaty limits on "legal" ammunition in war zones.

Congress blocked the Army's decision to go with the M-14 and investigated, found out that the field tests had been set up intentionally to fail and discredit the Armalite M-16 and hand the contract to the M-14 manufacturer, Springfield Armory. Congress over-rode the US Army and ordered them to deploy the much less expensive but more effective M-16.

The US Army "retaliated" by requiring the M-16 by changed by adding a "Forward Assist Plunger", that oddball and rather useless device sticking out of the upper receiver at an angle at the right-rear. It's inclusion increased the difficulty of manufacture of the M-16, the price, and is generally viewed by expert shooters as totally useless. The US Army rationale was that soldiers had a deep psychological need to feel a traditional bolt handle on their rifle, but most soldiers found it simply added weight for no good reason. On those very rare occasions when one needed to manually force the bolt closed, this is easily done with the thumb through the ejection port.

While the US Army, never able to admit error, still requires the forward assist plunger on all M-16 derived weapons, upper receivers without this dunsil are available from after-market suppliers for sport-owners of these rifles.

So, as we see another vested financial battle over weapons procurement shaping up, and we start seeing American kids dying with malfunctioning weapons, I have to wonder if history isn't repeating itself here.

Oct 10 20:37

Barack Obama ready to pay Afghan fighters to ditch the Taliban

The Obama administration is considering outbidding the Taliban to persuade Afghan villagers to lay down arms as it struggles to find a new approach to a war that is fast losing public and congressional support.

Oct 10 10:30

Alan Grayson Explains The Best Policy For Afghanistan: Just Leave People Alone

Grayson was one of the 32 members of Congress who stood up on June 16 and said "NO!" to more war funding. It's more than a promise; it's something he did.

Oct 10 08:45

U. S. 'sticker shock' on Afghanistan

As they review U. S. policy in Afghanistan for the second time this year, U. S. leaders face one nagging suspicion -- it may not be possible to crush al-Qaeda, defeat the Taliban and stabilize Afghanistan at a reasonable cost in blood, treasure or time.

Eight years after Washington went to war in Afghanistan in retaliation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, officials and the public are struggling to agree on why their troops are still there, what they should be doing or even who they should be fighting.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why are we in Afghanistan?

1. To build the pipelines to control Eurasian oil. The war is being fought so that corporations can make more money.

2. To protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely. And please remember; when the Taliban were in control, opium poppy production all but disappeared.

After having negotiated with the Taliban up to as late as August of 2001, the Bush administration thought that a war would be "cheaper" than the price the Taliban was demanding for the pipeline routes.

So, what now?!?!?

Our options are very limited here. What we should do is declare victory, go home, and negotiate with whatever government is left standing in Kabul about the pipelines.

Of course, that would be logical.

Oct 10 08:17

After Nobel nod, Obama convenes war council

Hours after being named a Nobel peace laureate, US President Barack Obama shouldered his duties as commander in chief and convened a war council for crucial talks on Afghan strategy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"We will create a desolation, and we will call it peace! I think that is original with me. Can we copyright that?" -- Official White Horse Souse

Oct 10 08:12

Camp Keating That Was Attacked is Abandoned

The remote U.S. outpost near the Pakistan border that was nearly overrun by insurgents last weekend has been abandoned and destroyed by American troops, military officials announced today.

Americans demolished the base, dubbed Combat Outpost Keating, just days after an all-day fight last Saturday in which eight American soldiers were killed and 24 wounded. U.S. military officials estimate that as many as 100 of the attackers were also killed in the battle, which was the bloodiest in Afghanistan in the past year.

Keating was destroyed so it could not be used by insurgents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In other words, the Afghani freedom fighters succeeded in getting that base destroyed.

Oct 10 08:06

An Open Letter to the President and the American People about the War in Afghanistan

Recently the ongoing war in Afghanistan has fallen into the spotlight as the most hotly debated and important part of our nation?s foreign policy, and rightly so. As he took of?ce, President Obama called it “the good war” and has indicated he would do whatever is necessary to succeed there, but exactly what that means has recently become the topic of quite a good deal of debate and discussion between the White House?s national security team and the Pentagon. Many conservative news outlets have begun
dragging up every patriotic and sentimental reason why the President should immediately redouble his efforts in the region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Don't hold your breath.

Oct 10 07:59

Afghans Trained by Blackwater Defect to Taliban

Remember when Sarah Palin said that "the surge principles that have worked in Iraq need to be implemented in Afghanistan." Well...as Ms. Palin would say, many Afghans working for the Afghan security forces are now switching sides and are now defecting to the Taliban.

Guess who trained many of them? Blackwater!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The same thing happened in Iraq. Once trained, the Iraqi volunteers took their US supplied weapons and joined the other side.

YOU PAID FOR IT ALL!

Oct 10 07:45

CODE PINK: Women FOR the Occupation of Afghanistan

Oct 09 14:48

BREAKING, errr, same ol': 1500 dead civilians in Afghanistan in 09

The Peace Prize is bullshit. It obscures what actually has occurred under this president's term, and all the back-slapping around here is killing me.

Oct 09 12:03

FLASHBACK - Obama Has 250,000 'Contractors' Deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and is Increasing the Use of Mercenaries

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another one the Nobel people obviously missed.

Oct 09 11:58

FLASHBACK - Obama approves Afghanistan troop increase

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I guess the Nobel people missed this one.

Oct 09 08:23

Obama should win 'Nobel Prize for violence': Taliban

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said it was absurd to give a peace award to a man who had sent 21,000 extra troops to Afghanistan to escalate a war.

Oct 09 08:22

US, Afghan forces kill Afghan child in raid

The U.S. military says American and Afghan forces accidentally killed a child during a raid on a Taliban compound in eastern Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They were dropping bundles of leaflets announcing that Obama had won the Peace Prize and one of them hit the kid.

Oct 09 05:33

UN: 1,500 Afghan civilians dead in 8 months

A United Nations report has noted that a total of 1,500 civilians have lost their lives in insurgency-hit Afghanistan from the beginning of the year to August.

The UN said in a new report that NATO air strikes were to blame for about a quarter of civilian deaths across the war-ravaged country over the past months.

Oct 08 17:59

Cameron: I will send more troops to Afghanistan

David Cameron today promised to send more soldiers to Afghanistan in a bid to bring the war to a speedier end.

The Conservatives want to deliver ‘pain for everyone’ in the UK in order to fund a futile face saving exercise in Afghanistan.

Oct 08 11:38

9th year of Afghanistan war: US ready to embrace facts of an illegal War of Aggression?

This is a hub article with linked titles and one paragraph summaries of all the articles I’ve written so far relevant to the US war in Afghanistan. The one point I suggest that you become powerful in articulating is that these wars are illegal (documentation clearly explained); US “leaders” of both parties have used our American labor to fund the most evil, destructive, and shameful crime a nation can commit, all under our flag and with our propagandized troops. We've been duped. This should motivate your passionate response for justice.

Oct 08 09:18

Dark Omens for the US in Afghanistan

Now officially in its ninth year since the invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. should have little reason to recount, in Chalmers Johnson’s words, the Sorrows of Empire. By now everyone on the planet knows by heart the tragic tale. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan without a clear understanding of its goals and after eight years remains as torn as ever over defining them. It was hoped that the incoming Obama administration and its new AfPak strategy would finally end the drift toward quagmire, but that hope is fading fast. Last week, AfPak architect Bruce Riedel revealed in the Financial Times that “Pretty much six months has since gone by without a rigorous implementation of what was agreed to and that has only made a bad situation worse.”

Oct 08 09:00

On Afghan War’s Anniversary, US Troop Morale Plummeting

It was eight years ago today that the United States began its invasion of Afghanistan. At the time titled “Operation Infinite Justice,” the war, later rebranded as “Operation Enduring Freedom” has certainly been enduring, and many fear it will end up infinite.

But after eight full years of occupation, the exit strategy remains as elusive as ever, and chaplains are cautioning that the troops on the ground, 68,000 strong, are growing increasingly disillusioned with risking their lives in what is seen to be a futile and endless war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It doesn't take long for these soldiers, no matter how loyal they are both to the US and their military service, to realize that that we are absolutely on the wrong side of history with this war.

There were two objectives here; one was to "pacify" Afghanistan to the degree that pipelines could be placed to control Eurasian oil, and to protect and encourage the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize which of the two objectives has come to pass, 8 years on.

Oct 08 08:55

Army Officers Criticize Rebuke of Gen. McChrystal

Army officers gathered at a convention in Washington this week said senior White House officials should not have rebuked Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, for saying publicly that a scaled-back war effort would not succeed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

McChrystal may well have been pulling a "General Patton" on this, but there is every reason to believe he was simply trying to prove his case publicly for more troops.

Unless the mission is completely redefined there is no path for "victory" here, with the US and NATO military just continuing to do what hasn't worked, with the current troop strength.

But there is a growing anger in the military about how the war in Afghanistan is being conducted, and the hard reality that the Taliban is now resurgent, in spite of the best efforts of US and NATO military. The comparisons to Viet Nam are inescapable, eight years on.

Only if a complete destabilization of Afghanistan, coupled with a massive rise in the drug trade, was precisely what the Pentagon and the White House wanted here, can we say "mission accomplished" in Afghanistan.

Oct 08 08:41

American troops in Afghanistan losing heart, say army chaplains

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan are depressed and deeply disillusioned, according to the chaplains of two US battalions that have spent nine months on the front line in the war against the Taleban.

Many feel that they are risking their lives — and that colleagues have died — for a futile mission and an Afghan population that does nothing to help them, the chaplains told The Times in their makeshift chapel on this fortress-like base in a dusty, brown valley southwest of Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maybe they are just tired of fighting and dying for opium, but of course the corporate media won't tell you that.

In Afghan fields the poppies grow.

Between the crosses.

Row on row.

Oct 08 08:03

Is Medea Benjamin Naive or Just Confused?

Benjamin: "And we want our troops to pull out. We just want to do it in a way that is not going to lead to a Taliban takeover that will put women back inside the home."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh yeah. that is a great reason to allow more young Americans to get killed; to force Afghanistan women to lead American-style lives (take a good look around at how wonderful that is working out right now).

Code Pink is either smoking some of that opium coming out of "Americanized" Afghanistan or their opposition to the war was really opposition to Bush and now that this is Obama's war they are willing to look the other way!

Oct 08 07:58

Afghan Taliban say they pose no threat to the West

The Afghan Taliban pose no threat to the West but will continue their fight against occupying foreign forces, they said on Wednesday, the eighth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion that removed them from power.

U.S.-led forces with the help of Afghan groups overthrew the Taliban government during a five week battle which started on October 7, 2001, after the militants refused to hand over al Qaeda leaders wanted by Washington for the September 11 attacks on America.

"We had and have no plan of harming countries of the world, including those in Europe ... our goal is the independence of the country and the building of an Islamic state," the Taliban said in a statement on the group's website www.shahamat.org.

Oct 08 05:48

UN data shows huge discrepancies in Afghan voter turnout

Voter turnout data kept confidential by the United Nations' chief envoy in Kabul after Afghanistan's disputed August presidential election show that in some provinces the official vote count exceeded the estimated number of voters by 100,000 or more, providing further indication that the contest was marred by fraud.

In southern Helmand province -- where 134,804 votes were recorded, 112,873 of them for President Hamid Karzai -- the United Nations estimated that just 38,000 people voted, and possibly as few as 5,000, according to a U.N. spreadsheet obtained by The Washington Post.

Oct 08 02:05

A War of Absurdity

That is the significance of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s leaked report calling for a massive counterinsurgency campaign to make everything right about life in Afghanistan, down to the governance of the most forlorn village. The general’s report aims not at eliminating al-Qaida, which he concedes is barely existent in the country, but rather at creating an Afghan society that is more to his own liking.

It is a prescription, as the Russians and others before them learned, for war without end. That might satisfy the marketing needs of the defense industry and the career hopes of select military and political aspirants, but it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. In the end, it would seem that some of our leaders need the Afghanistan battleground more than the terrorists do.

Oct 07 18:27

Charlie Wilson's Peace: Former Rep. Who Armed Mujahideen Calls for Withdrawal Before War in Afghanistan Becomes Another Vietnam

Oct 07 18:20

Obama Rules Out ‘Biden Option’ on Afghanistan

In a meeting designed to reassure the most hawkish elements of Congress that the war in Afghanistan isn’t going to undergo any sort of radical change, President Obama has reportedly assured that the so-called “Biden Option” is officially off the table.

A long time advocate of war in Afghanistan, and indeed most everywhere else, Vice President Joe Biden has reportedly come to the conclusion that the disastrous war in Afghanistan is no longer worth the effort and has been advocating more scaled back goals and a refocusing of attacks along the Pakistani border.

Oct 07 18:08

US considers Afghan strategy on eighth anniversary of conflict

On the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama is under more pressure than ever over which course of action to take. Last night, Obama held a meeting of key Republican and Democrat leaders in the White House in which he was urged by Republican congressional leaders to heed General Stanley McChrystal's call for more troops. Obama is expected to unveil a new strategy in the coming weeks. He has made it clear that the administrations policy towards Afghanistan will not entail a significant reduction of troops and a narrower counter-terrorist focus on al-Qaeda, a strategy that been linked with his vice-president, Joe Biden.

Oct 07 17:44

Code Pink, fearful of setbacks for women, rethinks call for U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan

Now the left-wing activist group is rethinking its call for a deadline to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The reason: After a week spent in Kabul talking to female Afghan leaders, the group now understands their fears that a resurgent Taliban would probably target women and girls who have made tremendous progress since U.S. troops routed the fundamentalist militant group in 2002.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, that's a good reason to send more American soldiers to be killed; women's rights in Afghanistan, sure, sure! After all those soldiers are just icky-poo men anyway, right? Well, mostly. Yeah, yeah, sure, sure."

(Ahem)

Frankly, I don't buy this, and I am very disappointed in Code Pink.

I have to wonder if they might have been funded by the newly emergent recreational pharmaceutical industry in Afghanistan, because they sure sound like they are smoking opium here.

But more likely, Code Pink is willing to turn a blind eye on the wars because now they are Obama's wars instead of Bush's wars and that makes it all just hunky dory!

Oct 07 14:14

Top 15 Reasons to Get Out of Vietghanistan

Has your congress member committed to voting No on all war money, to cosponsoring Jim McGovern's bill for an exit plan, to cosponsoring Betty McCollum's bill to defund criminal government contractors, and to cosponsor Barbara Lee's bill to block funding for an escalation?

Have you asked them? Have you asked them face-to-face? Have you used the local media? Have you gone to their office, sat down, and refused to leave?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

EVERY WAR IS A WAR CRIME!

Oct 07 09:27

Obama to Afghan, Pakistani Govts: Occupation Will Continue

When he took power in January, President Obama seemed to have boundless enthusiasm for continuing and escalating the war in Afghanistan, spreading it into Pakistan, throwing more troops and money at it as the whims struck him.

Nine months later, he’s seen as hesitant to approve another massive escalation, or at the very least looking for an opportune moment politically to do so. It’s not hard to see why: the war is increasingly unpopular at home, and his previous escalations have yielded nothing but rising violence.

Oct 06 12:16

WHAT OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING FOR IN AFGHANISTAN

Webmaster's Commentary: 

POPPIES!!!!!
POPPIES!!!!!
POPPIES!!!!!
POPPIES!!!!!
POPPIES!!!!!
POPPIES!!!!!

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Oct 06 12:13

Afghanistan sitting on a gold mine. The real reason we’re fighting the war?

The US Geological Survey estimates there are 700 billion cubic metres of gas and 300 million tons of oil in Afghanistan. Afghan Mining Minister Mohammad Ibrahim Adel said there are also significant deposits of copper, iron, gold, coal -- as well as emeralds and rubies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And Opium.

Lots of Opium!

Oct 06 11:40

UN Watchdog’s New Rules Likely to Ensure Karzai Win

In a move that seems to virtually ensure the victory of incumbent President Hamid Karzai, the UN-backed Election Complaints Commission (ECC) has published its new rules for handling the massive voter fraud in August’s election.

Oct 06 11:39

McChrystal’s Ultimatum

Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s latest insubordination was an act of sheer petulance. We already know via unnamed reliable sources that McChrystal has threatened to resign if he doesn’t get the next wave of escalation in Afghanistan he wants. The sanctioned leak of his report on Afghanistan to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post and McChrystal’s 60 Minutes infomercial made it clear to everyone who hadn’t already noticed that he and his allies in the long-war mafia were waging information warfare against President Barack Obama, a campaign that has led to a call from the right-wing fringe for a military coup to solve "the Obama problem."

Oct 06 04:59

Greenwald Film on Afghanistan Destroys the Logic of the War, Leading the New York Times to Whine

Anyone who has actually seen the film knows that a string of former top intelligence officials, perhaps most significant among them the former head of the CIA's Counter-terrorism Center, Robert Grenier, are heard meticulously deconstructing the dominant justifications for the continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. What does Grenier know? Oh, he was just the CIA station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he was one of the Agency’s top officials planning the U.S. invasion. Grenier, along with former CIA operative Robert Baer and other former intelligence officials, rebut in detail the claim that the war in Afghanistan is about fighting al Qaeda or making America safer, which Baer says bluntly in the film is “just complete bullshit.” The film also features Graham Fuller, the former CIA station chief in Kabul. (Click here to watch this part of the film)

Oct 05 13:20

Terrorists could seize nuclear weapons if we fail in Afghanistan, warns Army chief

General Sir David Richards, the new head of the British Army, has warned of the 'terrifying prospect' of losing the war in Afghanistan. General Richards told the London Sunday Telegraph if NATO failed in Afghanistan the risks to the western world would be 'enormous' and 'unimaginable', with the possibility of terrorists seizing nuclear weapons.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Okay, how does letting the Taliban have Afghanistan back link to terrorists getting nuclear weapons, since there are none in Afghanistan?

Oct 05 11:18

Worst losses for a year as Taliban storm NATO outpost

It was the worst attack on NATO forces in 14 months, and one of the deadliest battles of the war. The London Times reported about 300 insurgents attacked a pair of isolated US outposts with machineguns, rockets and grenades. The battle lasted all day. US and Afghan soldiers finally repelled them, with the help of US helicopters and warplanes but at heavy cost.

Oct 05 09:55

Jirga threatens to support Afghan Taliban if drone attacks continue

A tribal Jirga of North Waziristan on Sunday threatened to support the Afghanistan-based anti-US groups, including the Taliban, if the US drone attacks were not stopped.

The elders said they would send volunteers and suicide bombers to Afghanistan to intensify the attacks on the US troops if the Americans did not change their policy of using drones to target the tribal people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aerial bombardment is guaranteed to do two things, and two things only.

First, kill a lot of innocent human beings.

Second, to cause those still standing to become even further radicalized against the government allowing this bombardment to happen.

If throwing Afghanistan into more chaos and more miserable despair was the outcome of US and NATO forces wanted to achieve, then we can say "mission accomplished" here.

Oct 05 09:24

I was ordered to cover up President Karzai election fraud, sacked UN envoy says

The head of the UN mission in Afghanistan has been accused by his former deputy of ordering a systematic cover-up to conceal the extent of electoral fraud by President Karzai.

Oct 05 09:14

Obama ‘Furious’ Over Gen. McChrystal Speech

Officials say that President Obama was “furious” with the General following his pointed remarks at a London speech the day prior. At the speech, Gen. McChrystal mocked Vice President Biden’s call to scale back the objectives of the eight year long war, saying it would lead to “Chaos-istan” and insisting that he would never accept such a plan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

McChrystal was appointed to this position by Obama only last June, when his predecessor was unceremoniously and quickly sacked.

It could be that McChrystal is pulling a "Douglas McArthur" here, by attempting to do an end-run around the administration to get more troops for the fight, and to garner more pubic support for yet another "surge".

In that case, he may well find himself kicked out of this job also, after only 4 months at it, with Obama having used him as a "scapegoat" for having told the world the truth as he sees it, and that may well be what has made Obama "furious" about Mc Chrystal's London speech.

The "scaling back" of objectives here will not translate as any kind of victory here, and all the blood and money which has been spent will have meant nothing, which is about what the situation looks like in Afghanistan, 8 years on.

The hatred of the Afghan people against any kind of occupiers is legendary, and something which the original US civilian and military leadership which "planned" the invasion and occupation apparently never thought to consider.

So now, what? We should have our military leave immediately, and negotiate with whatever government is left standing for the oil pipeline routes to control Eurasian oil.

But of course, the Bush administration thought that a war would be "cheaper" than what the Taliban was demanding in August of 2001.

Of course, that would be logical.

Oct 05 08:52

Galbraith Was Ordered to Cover Up Karzai Fraud

Former US Ambassador Peter Galbraith, who was fired from his role as second ranking official at the UN Mission to Afghanistan last week, says he was ordered by mission chief Kai Eide to cover up the extent of the voter fraud by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Undaunted by the growing evidence against him, and likely bolstered by reports that the Obama Administration has decided he will remain in power regardless of what the investigations determine, Karzai attacked the continuation of the investigations, saying that the delay in declaring him winner harmed the nation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

this was an "election" in name only.

It was a grand sham, a grand piece of theatre, writ large, and perpetrated against the good and the will of the Afghan people, to re-install the US's and NATO's puppet in Afghanistan.

Oct 05 08:36

Afghan violence 'global terrorism' not domestic insurgency: FM

Afghanistan's foreign minister said Monday the country was a victim of global extremism, denying that an increase in violence was a domestic insurgency and warning against any withdrawal of foreign troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, this guy can stand there with his hair on fire and claim he doesn't smell the smoke.

Oct 05 08:12

LWB Unveils Afghanistan Exit Strategy

4. Tell leaders of Pakistan we will no longer be pursuing the man who allegedly planned 9/11, Osama Bin Laden. Instead we will do the next best thing, extradite Dominick Sutter the Israeli spy who knew about 9/11 but did not tell us.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note that "someone" has reported this post as being objectionable.

Oct 04 09:51

Army chief says defeat in Afghanistan unthinkable

General David Richards told the Sunday Telegraph the risks to the West would be "enormous" if NATO failed to stabilise the violence-torn country.

"Failure would have a catalytic effect on militant Islam around the world and in the region because the message would be that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have defeated the US and the British and NATO, the most powerful alliance in the world," he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Stabilization" was never the true goal of the US and NATO invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Afghanistan was, for all intents and purposes, disfunctionally stable under the rule of the Taliban.

But certain elements in the White House, under Bush's watch, thought an invasion and occupation would be "cheaper" than paying the price the Taliban wanted for the installation of pipelines to control the flow of Eurasian oil. They got NATO to go along with the gag, and what happened?

The same tactics the US taught the Taliban to use against the old Soviet Union's soldiers have been refined by the current generation of Taliban, and the results for our troops in the field have been lethal.

I find these statements by Richards to be amazingly cynical.

This war is not being fought for the good of either the British or the American people (and God knows, not for the good of the Afghans). We are absolutely on the wrong side of history here, and Richards, as an intelligent human being, has got to comprehend that, at least at some level.

This war is being fought so that certain corporations can install the pipelines to control Eurasian oil, and to protect the drug traffic in the region, from which so many profit so handsomely. Remember; when the Taliban were in power, opium production was nearly eradicated.

Many of the families and friends of kids who have gotten killed or permanently maimed in this effort are beginning to wake up to the ugly truth of what this war is for, and there will be no containing their anger when they see this as the true reality of the war in Afghanistan.

Oct 04 08:33

Japan halts helping US fuelling mission in Afghanistan

Japan's new government which has vowed to pursue a foreign policy independent of the US, says it will replace its refueling mission in Afghanistan with humanitarian aid.

Oct 04 07:24

One in three votes for Karzai fraudulent, says US diplomat

A former senior United Nations diplomat in Kabul has launched a scathing attack on the UN's handling of Afghanistan's disputed elections, claiming that almost one in three of the votes cast for president Hamid Karzai were fraudulent.

Writing in today's Washington Post, Peter Galbraith, the former deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, singled out his former boss Kai Eide for criticism, saying that he had deliberately downplayed the level of cheating in an election where in one region "10 times as many votes were recorded as voters actually cast".

Oct 04 07:22

Ten US soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Ten American troops were killed at the weekend in two surprise attacks that caused alarm in Nato’s US-led coalition.

In one, hundreds of insurgents attacked a pair of isolated outposts in eastern Afghanistan, killing eight US soldiers and several Afghan policemen in the deadliest battle in 15 months. Scores more Afghan policemen were reportedly captured by the Taleban.

In the other an Afghan policeman opened fire on the American soldiers with whom he was working in central Wardak province, killing two and injuring three.

Oct 03 08:30

Gates Expected to Back Afghan Escalation

Gen. McChrystal is reportedly seeking up to 45,000 additional troops for a long term continuation of the already eight year long war in Afghanistan. McChrystal has cautioned that the war will likely be lost if he isn’t given the troops.

President Obama has been delaying his decision on the request, and some of his top advisers, including long time war enthusiast Joe Biden, have suggested that throwing tens of thousands of additional ground troops at the war isn’t necessarily the wisest strategy, and are hoping instead to scale back their goals.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just precisely how this administration is defining "victory" in Afghanistan?

Those knuckleheads in the Bush administration who thought that a military option was "cheaper" than negotiating with the Taliban for the oil pipelines with which to control Eurasian oil forgot that it was the US which had trained and armed the Taliban against the old Soviet Union, whose army ultimately had to retreat.

Now, in a grimly ironic turn of events, those lessons of the past we taught the Taliban are being refined and used with horrendously lethal effect against our young men and women in uniform here.

As reported in:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-andrews/classified-mcchrystal-rep_b_298528.html

"Embedded in General Stanley McChrystal's classified assessment of the war in Afghanistan is his conclusion that a successful counterinsurgency strategy will require 500,000 troops over five years."

One has to wonder just where those 500,000 troops will come from without a draft, and where the money will come from to hire contract mercenaries to fill the gap, without a draft.

But one thing is painfully obvious here: the only people who are "winning" right now in Afghanistan are the private defense contractors and the drug lords.

Oct 03 07:10

White House Signals Afghan Exit Strategy?

For two days in a row, Gibbs had declined to answer queries about the firing of Peter Galbraith, the United Nations' number-two man in Afghanistan and the top American at the UN mission there. Galbraith was canned after advocating a more vigorous response to the fraud that occurred during Afghanistan's recent and still-disputed presidential election. When a reporter on Thursday pressed Gibbs on the issue, he said, "I'd push you to the UN as a UN personnel matter."

Oct 02 02:06

McChrystal's Measure of Success in Afghanistan

Oct 01 07:54

Obama May Have to Turn to Republicans for Support in Afghan Escalation

Faced with increasing opposition from his own party’s Congressional majority over the massive escalation proposed by General Stanley McChrystal, President Obama may be forced to rely on a handful of his loyal followers bolstered by hawkish Republicans to push through any new escalations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No matter what the party label is in Washington, we only have one party, and that's the War Party.

Sep 30 18:47

Sacked envoy Peter Galbraith accuses UN of 'cover-up' on Afghan vote fraud

The top American in the UN mission in Afghanistan was fired yesterday after refusing to take part in what he called "a cover-up" of fraud in the Afghan election.

"I think it's astonishing that the United Nations would dismiss an official because he was concerned about fraud in a UN-funded and UN-supported election," Mr Galbraith told The Times yesterday from his farmhouse in Vermont.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What Mr. Galbraith apparently doesn't understand is that the "re-appointment" of Karzai to do the US's and NATO's bidding in Afghanistan couldn't be jeopardized by something so trivial as blatant and massive election fraud.

Sep 30 11:38

Flashack: NATO: slaughter of civilians and drugs

12.04.2009
Nebojsha VUKOVIC (Serbia)
NATO: slaughter of civilians and drugs
In 1999 NATO bombed Serbia with depleted uranium bombs, which caused a cancer outbreak in the region....There is a tendency: drug business blossoms in the NATO-controlled territories....Now that Kosovo has been proclaimed a United Nations-governed entity with its sovereign territory, nothing can prevent NATO from developing drug business there....In Afghanistan we see an absolutely unbelievable (at first sight) situation. The local drug traders also receive strong support from the alliance. According to the UN reports, Afghanistan produces 93% of the world's opium poppy.4 And what is most important is that since the U.S. and NATO invasion in Afghanistan the drug output has increased by 44 times!

Sep 30 07:11

WHAT OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING FOR IN AFGHANISTAN

A photo-Essay on its own page, so you can email it around to your friends and family.

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Sep 29 18:55

Afghan girl killed by RAF leaflet drop

A YOUNG Afghan girl suffered fatal injuries after a box of public information leaflets, dropped from a British RAF transport aircraft over Helmand province, landed on top of her.

The accident, which the UK Ministry of Defence said yesterday was "highly regrettable", is being investigated.

The incident has taken some time to emerge. The leaflet drop occurred on June 23. The crew of an RAF C130 Hercules had been flying over rural parts of the province to try to reach local people with a leaflet campaign.

Sep 29 06:43

US, NATO reach “consensus” to sanction rigged election in Afghanistan

The US and NATO countries involved in the occupation of Afghanistan have signaled their willingness to recognize the re-election of Afghan President Hamid Karzai despite evidence of massive ballot-stuffing and fraud in the August 20 elections.

Sep 28 12:53

US braced for surge of protest over war in Afghanistan

At his home in Richmond, Virginia, Larry Syverson spends part of every day worrying there will be an unwanted knock on the door. Syverson's son, Branden, is an American soldier serving in Afghanistan, conducting dangerous patrols in an area infested with Taliban.

"I worry every day that I might hear someone come to the door unexpected. Just last week two of his best friends were killed over there," he said.

That's why Syverson, 60, an environmental engineer, is trying to organise a protest in Richmond against the war in Afghanistan for the second weekend in October, almost eight years after the conflict began.

Sep 28 10:13

U.S. at critical point in Iran, Afghanistan Graham says

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said today that without a strong response in Iran and Afghanistan the United States and its NATO allies are heading for “Armageddon.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Our credibility as a world power depends on our will to shovel our own kids into the furnaces as fast as we can! Not my kids, I mean. Those useless eaters in the inner cities. Yeah, them. We have to be willing to shovel them into the furnace faster than any other nation!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Sep 28 09:08

Gates says Afghanistan review to take 'a few weeks'

"The reality is failure in Afghanistan would be a huge setback for the United States," Gates said on CNN's State of the Union.

"What's important is whether or not the government of Afghanistan has legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghans," Gates said on CNN. "All of the information that we have available to us today indicates that continues to be the case."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another memo to SecDef Gates: What you characterize as "failure in Afghanistan" is not a huge setback for the people of the United States: it will be a failure for the oil companies wanting to install pipelines to control Eurasian oi.

And sir, reading that statement about "What's important is whether or not the government of Afghanistan has legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghans." makes me want to either laugh or cry uncontrollably.

The alleged "re-election" of Karzai was a sham, a farce, a slow-mo Kabuki theatre exercise, writ large.

The world knows this, the US knows this, and for damned sure, the Afghan people know it.

This was all about the US and NATO re-instating Karzai, with the sure and certain knowledge that he would be compliant to every US and NATO demand.

Sep 28 09:05

Marines Bypass Taliban Opium Fields in Afghanistan

Yet the Marines are not destroy­ing the plants. In fact, they are reas­sur­ing vil­lagers the pop­pies won’t be touched. Amer­i­can com­man­ders say the Marines would only alien­ate peo­ple and drive them to take up arms if they elim­i­nated the impov­er­ished Afghans’ only source of income.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh? The Taliban had all but eradicated the opium growers before the US invasion. What did the people have for a source of income then?

And if the opium is for the Taliban, why is cheap heroin flooding into the United States?

file:///D:/MIKE/WEB_DEVEL/WRH/IMAGES/_44614216_picgall7.jpg

file:///D:/MIKE/WEB_DEVEL/WRH/IMAGES/afghan_opium0430.jpg

Sep 27 18:33

US commander asks for big troop buildup: senator

"I think it's the worst -- one of the many worst-kept secrets in Washington. It's 30,000 to 40,000 troops," said McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee who urged Obama to meet the commander's request.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

40,000 more troops (and precisely where they're going to come from is unclear) will not change the situation on the ground.

Between aerial bombardment, which is only killing innocent civilians, and radicalizing the population into the waiting arms of the Taliban, coupled with a state government more collectively crooked than a dog's hind leg, our options are becoming increasingly more stark.

The first option is - literally - to kill almost every Afghan left standing, and get the oil pipelines installed to enable the West to control Eurasian oil.

And as horrendous as that sounds, don't think for a second that there aren't some folks in the halls of power in DC who haven't at least been thinking about it.

The second option makes far more sense. But because it is logical, the White House and Pentagon will ignore it completely.

That is, declare victory, and leave, just as quickly as safely and humanly possible for our troops. Then negotiate with whatever government is left standing about how much they will charge for rent on the installation of those pipelines.

As late as August of 2001, the Bush administration was negotiating with the Taliban about the pipelines, but felt that the asking price was "too high". Apparently to Bush and Cheney, it was "cheaper", in blood and money, to blow the Taliban out of power, and install a puppet government in Kabul, which they did.

What they collectively forgot, however, was that it was the United States which had originally trained the Taliban against Soviet Union.

They not only learned well and successfully enough to get the old Soviet Union; they have also adapted what they learned to confront US and NATO troops with even more deadly tactics and weapons.

Sep 27 10:15

The descent of Britain's Afghan campaign into a Vietnam-style madness

How were we going to win the battle to bring the civilians onside if we killed one of their number and offered nothing to ease the pain in terms they understood? It was heartless. It was wrong. And it was no way to wage a campaign against an enemy ready to exploit any of our mistakes to turn the 26 million people of Afghanistan against us. Christ, as if things weren't tough enough.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would urge readers to particularly share this article, a very sobering, first-hand account of military operations here, with those still believing we have any moral or just right to be in Afghanistan.

Sep 27 09:09

US threatens airstrikes in Pakistan

The United States is threatening to launch airstrikes on Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership in the Pakistani city of Quetta as frustration mounts about the ease with which they find sanctuary across the border from Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Defying military logic garnered though decades of experience, the US military and civilian leadership have gotten it into their heads that they can successfully conduct what is essentially a ground war from the air; this is a recipe for complete, utter failure.

The only two things aerial bombardment is guaranteed to do is:

1. Kill a lot of innocent people, and

2. Radicalize those left standing right into the arms of the Taliban.

Sep 26 08:29

US ‘Troop Targets’ May Force Conscription on Afghanistan

Citing targets imposed on the nation by the United States, the Afghan Defense Ministry reports that it is now drawing up a plan to impose conscription on the war.

But even though jobs are tough to come by in Afghanistan, many of its residents aren’t exactly enamoured with the idea of joining the poorly-trained military of an increasingly weakened government facing an ever escalating war against a powerful insurgency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Many of these conscripts will wind up taking their training and weapons, and joining that Taliban.

And you've just got to love McChrystal's statement about the US not wanting to look like an "...occupation force."

He must be completely oblivious to the bitter irony of that statement.

Sep 26 08:16

Security Worsens As Taliban Move Into Northern Afghanistan

Northern Afghanistan may now be on the Western radar, but the Taliban have been building up their forces there for more than a year and a half.

The northern supply route from Tajikistan is intended to supplement the main southern passage through Pakistan, which has come under increasing attack by militants. The deputy governor of Konduz, Hamdullah Danesh, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan his region is an already well-established front line in the Afghan war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

By any measure, the US is losing in Afghanistan.

The only options now are a massive escalation in military troops (with a still very uncertain outcome from that decision), or leaving.

Sep 25 09:36

U.S., NATO Poised For Most Massive War In Afghanistan's History

Just as troops serving under NATO command in the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan now include those from almost fifty countries on five continents, so the broadening scope of the war is absorbing vaster tracts of Eurasia and the Middle East.

America's longest armed conflict since that in Indochina and NATO's first ground war threatens to not only remain the world's most dangerous conflagration but also one that plunges the 21st Century into a war without end.

Sep 25 08:59

Classified McChrystal Report: 500,000 Troops Will Be Required Over Five Years in Afghanistan

"The numbers are really pretty horrifying. What they say, embedded in this report by McChrystal, is they would need 500,000 troops - boots on the ground - and five years to do the job. No one expects that the Afghan Army could step up to that. Are we gonna put even half that of U.S. troops there, and NATO forces? No way." [Morning Joe, September 23, 2009].

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And just where are these additional troops supposed to come from, without a draft? Through the hiring of contract mercenaries?

Sep 25 08:45

Worried White House seeks to avoid another Vietnam

The memory of the Vietnam War is holding an increasingly powerful sway over President Obama and his White House team as they explore ways to avoid the surge of troops into Afghanistan urgently being demanded by the US military.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Declare victory and bring our kids home.

Sep 25 08:07

Afghanistan general quits over disillusionment with government strategy

Major-General Andrew Mackay, a general who led the Afghanistan campaign has resigned over his disillusion in the direction of the Government’s strategy.

Major Gen Mackay’s time as the brigadier in charge of 52 Brigade in Helmand over the winter of 2007 was seen as an invigorating shake-up of the direction of the campaign and a template for future commanders. Upon arriving in Afghanistan, he was said to have been shocked that senior officers were "making it up as we go along".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope MacKay's resignation has reverberations all the way to the top of the British government.

Given the current mandates, funding, and material support, the Afghan campaign, for the US, UK, and NATO, is completely doomed to failure.

Sep 24 08:03

250-Foot Hybrid Airship To Spy Over Afghanistan

The video on Gizmodo of the P-791 shows that these ships are a hybrid not only of both buoyancy and propulsive lift, but also of both awe and hilarity.

Sep 23 15:53

Escalation is futile in a war in which complexity defies might

THE US scarcely knew what a complex disaster it was confronting when it went to war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. It will eventually - perhaps years from now - suffer the same fate as Alexander the Great, the British and the Soviet Union: defeat.

Sep 23 09:53

Last Exit Before Quagmire

Here we encounter the report’s most dangerous failing. It confuses the strategic and the operational levels of war. In fact, the report does not offer a new strategy, but a new operational-level plan. How the war is fought, i.e., by following classic counter-insurgency doctrine, is operational, not strategic.

Sep 23 09:49

Karzai Embraces Call for Further US Escalation

Still busy fighting growing questions about his government’s legitimacy in the wake of massive voter fraud in last month’s election, Afghan President Hamid Karzai today embraced US General Stanley McChrystal’s request for up to 45,000 more troops for the ongoing conflict, saying it was “the right approach.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If there was ever any doubt about the degree to which Karzai is a fatuous Corporate American asset, to the detriment of his own people, today's statement about describing McChrystal's request for more troops as "... the right approach" should banish those doubts once and for all.

You've got to remember the goals of the invasion and occupation; to pacify Afghan civilians to the point where pipelines could be installed to control Eurasian oil, and to protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

Sep 23 08:20

Low Price, High Potency Spike Heroin Deaths

Addicts and drug enforcement officials share the same enemy – a surge in the strength and accessibility of heroin.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now where do you suppose this opium is coming from?

Sep 23 06:18

Fighting against ourselves in Afghanistan

The U.S. trains forces in Afghanistan that then go to work for the Taliban

Still, the new recruits turn out for training in the blistering heat in this stony desert landscape wearing, beneath their heavy uniforms, the smart red, green and black warm-up outfits intended to encourage them to engage in off-duty exercise. American trainers recognize that recruits regularly wear all their gear at once for fear somebody will steal anything left behind in the barracks, but they take this overdressing as a sign of how much Afghans love the military. My own reading, based on my observations of Afghan life during the years I've spent in that country, is this: It's a sign of how little they trust one another, or the Americans who gave them the snazzy suits. I think it also indicates the obvious: that these impoverished men in a country without work have joined the Afghan National Army for what they can get out of it (and keep or sell) -- and that doesn't include democracy or glory.

Sep 23 05:23

Meet the Afghan Army: Is It a Figment of Washington's Imagination?

The Invisible Men

What is there to show for all this remarkably expensive training? Although in Washington they may talk about the 90,000 soldiers in the Afghan National Army, no one has reported actually seeing such an army anywhere in Afghanistan. When 4,000 U.S. Marines were sent into Helmand Province in July to take on the Taliban in what is considered one of its strongholds, accompanying them were only about 600 Afghan security forces, some of whom were police

Sep 22 15:31

You don't want to hear it.....

Army Spc. Corey Kowall, 20, of Murfreesboro TN was killed in a crash after serving in Afghanistan for nearly five weeks.

No, you don't want to hear it.

This young man was not a hero. It was not sacrifice for our country or our freedoms. It was nothing but a wasted life for lies.

Sep 22 12:19

White House mulls more drone attacks in Pakistan as alternative to troop increase in Afghanistan

The White House is looking at expanding counterterror operations in Pakistan as an alternative to a major military escalation in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Counter Terror: Randomly killing large crowds of people using multi-million dollar high-tech remotely piloted vehicles. Viewed by the US Government as a morally pure form of mass murder because of the absence of a suicide driver and a cheap truck.

Sep 22 09:22

Prisoner Abuse Continues at Bagram Prison in Afghanistan

US President Barack Obama has spoken out against CIA prisoner abuse and wants to close Guantanamo. But he tolerates the existence of Bagram military prison in Afghanistan, where more than 600 people are being held without charge. The facility makes Guantanamo look like a "nice hotel," in the words of one military prosecutor.

Sep 22 08:46

U.S. says Pakistan, Iran helping Taliban

Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are being aided by "elements of some intelligence agencies," Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal wrote in a detailed analysis of the military situation delivered to the White House earlier this month.

McChrystal went on to single out Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency as well as the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as contributing to the external forces working to undermine U.S. interests and destabilize the government in Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks like Pakistan and Iran are up next in the rotation for a US invasion!

Sep 22 08:10

Clinton rebuffs general's warning on Afghanistan

In the interview, Clinton expressed "respect" for McChrystal's assessment that the United States would likely lose the war in Afghanistan within a year without more US forces.

"But I can only tell you there are other assessments from very expert military analysts who have worked in counter-insurgencies that are the exact opposite," she said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Notice that Clinton didn't cite any specific experts; it's because she can't.

Any intelligent analysis of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan shows that the US and NATO are losing, big-time. We are just barely holding on to Kabul.

The rest of the country is pretty firmly in the hands of the Taliban.

Our options here are very limited; we can either leave, and negotiate on the oil pipelines to control Eurasian oil with whatever government is left standing, or kill every Afghan still breathing to accomplish that goal.

There is no middle ground here toward accomplishing that objective. If Clinton were the least bit intellectually honest, she would understand that.

Sep 21 09:08

MONDAY’S OBAMATOON ~~ THE BIG FOOL SAYS ‘TO PUSH ON IN VIETGHANISTAN’

Sep 21 08:17

US general warns more troops or Afghan 'failure'

The top military commander in Afghanistan warns in a classified document that more US forces are needed within the next year or the mission "will likely result in failure," the Washington Post said Monday.

General Stanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander in the country, writes in a grim assessment of the eight-year conflict: "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As reported in:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/23728>

'As early as March 15, 2001, when Jane’s, the British international security journal disclosed the fact, the Administration was engaged in a “concerted front against Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.” Confirming the Administration’s intended violence, George Arney of BBC News wrote a story published September 18, 2001: “U.S. Planned Attack on Taliban.” In mid-July of 2001 a “senior American official” told Mr. Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary that “...military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.”

Finally, on August 2 of 2001, the last pipeline negotiation with the Taliban ended with a terse statement by Christina Rocca of the State Department: “Accept our offer of a carpet of gold or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”

Then, "only a few weeks before September 11, American diplomats warned of military actions against Afghanistan." (A statement by Mr. Tom Simons, a former ambassador to Afghanistan.)'

The bottom line here is, diplomats around the world knew this was coming. And what were we getting, courtesy of our corporate news agencies, in August of 2001?!? "All Gary Condit, all the time!!

This war has always been about installing the pipelines to control Eurasian oil, and protecting the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

The Bush administration somehow had the collective bone-headedness to believe that a military confrontation in Afghanistan, for all the blood and money it would cost, would somehow be "cheaper" than the price the Taliban wanted for the oil pipelines. I hope their minions told that, very honestly, to every family member or friend of someone who has died in Afghanistan, or has come back hopelessly maimed physically or psychologically for life.

Apparently, during the Bush administration,the Pentagon, White House, and Congress collectively forgot that it was the US which had trained the Taliban in those guerrilla tactics they used so effectively tp cause the Soviet Union to leave Afghanistan.

We are continuing to pay a terrible price for that right now, in blood and money.

So, what do we do now?!?

Our options are very limited: we can leave, and negotiate with whatever government is left standing about the pipelines, or kill every Afghan left standing.

There is no middle ground here.

Sep 21 08:13

More troops needed for Afghan war success

The situation in Afghanistan is growing worse, and without more boots on the ground the U.S. risks failure in a war it’s been waging since September 2001, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan says in a confidential report.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The last military commander to actually conquer and hold Afghanistan was Alexander the Great, and he only kept it for three years.

Sep 20 20:31

One in 4 Afghan Ballots Face Check for Fraud

Nearly one in four votes in last month’s Afghan presidential elections were cast at polling stations now subject to a recount and audit for possible fraud, a huge number that underscores the possibility that President Hamid Karzai could face a runoff, according to an analysis of Afghan national election commission data by The New York Times.

About a third of Mr. Karzai’s 3.1 million votes were cast at polling stations that face a recount and audit of ballot boxes, according to The Times’s analysis of data released by the country’s Independent Election Commission.

The analysis suggests that the magnitude of the fraud review is far greater than what has generally been understood.

Sep 19 08:41

Afghanistan: Where Empires Go to Die

Today, the US Empire is on the fast track of its demise.

Genghis Khan could not hold onto Afghanistan.

Neither will the United States, particularly when in its desperation to continue its illegal occupation, it tosses aside international law, along with its own Constitution.

Sep 19 08:01

THE IMPOTENT DICTATOR

"For five years Mr. Karzai was my president," Ashraf Ghani, an opposition candidate, bemoaned after widespread reports that incumbent Hamid Karzai had used fraud on a massive scale to steal the election. "Now how many Afghans will consider him their president?"

Not many. In a country where civil war is the national pastime and five-year-old boys learn how to fire an AK-47, this is not good. But Ghani is asking the wrong question. The real question is, how many Americans will continue to see Karzai as viable--and be willing to continue to pay the price of propping him up?

Sep 19 02:29

Afghanistan: Where Empires Go to Die

On September 7 the Swedish aid agency Swedish Committee for Afghanistan reported that the previous week US soldiers raided one of its hospitals. According to the director of the aid agency, Anders Fange, troops stormed through both the men's and women's wards, where they frantically searched for wounded Taliban fighters.

Sep 18 21:01

New evidence of widespread fraud in Afghanistan election uncovered

Exclusive footage obtained by the Guardian of ballot papers pre-marked for Hamid Karzai that were seized by monitors. The ballots appear to be stamped with the monitors' seal and ready to cast. The monitors filmed then destroyed the papers to stop them being used.

The shaky footage shows two election monitors inspecting a book of 100 ballot papers that are still stitched together, as they were intended to arrive at the polling station in rural Afghanistan. But something is wrong; instead of being pristine, ready for the voter to make his or her mark, each paper bears a large blue tick next to the name of one candidate: Hamid Karzai.

Sep 18 13:25

Daily Show: Afghanistan is ‘the gold standard for quagmires’

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart reminded his audience on Thursday — in case they’d somehow forgotten — of the Iraq War, with its “lack of a coherent postwar plan [or] a reason to have the war.”

“But did you know that we also have this whole other war in Afghanistan?” Stewart asked. He then played a montage of television news clips calling the Afghan War “a mission politically and militarily in crisis” and reporting that “President Karzai is accused of rigging the election. … More than a million and a half ballots are suspicious.”

Sep 18 09:28

Jamie Rubin, Cruise Missile Liberal, Calls for Hypnotizing Americans About Afghan War

Rubin is a famed cruise missile liberal who has seldom seen a war he didn’t like. It is no surprise that he would be hitting the cable shows to support the war in Afghanistan at a time when public opinion is increasingly against US involvement.

On Morning Joe, Rubin laid out what can only be described as a crude plan to hypnotize Americans into believing falsehoods about the Afghan war. "We need to really really put to bed the issue that I think is behind everybody here, which is that this is another Vietnam," Rubin said. "And I think that Vietnam is a terribly debilitating analogy for our country. Every time something is difficult, we say, "Uh, it’s Vietnam.’ Afghanistan and Vietnam have nothing to do with each other. The whole world is on our side in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Afghanistan is a colossal disaster, brought about by a lethal cocktail of magical thinking, a complete contempt for understanding the history of its people, and completely knuckleheaded assumptions about the troop strength it would take to "pacify" it.

There were two reasons to be in Afghanistan; to control the flow of Eurasian oil with pipelines, and protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.

The US and NATO have failed utterly on the first objective, but scored magnificently on the second.

And for those of you who scream, "no, that can't possibly be!", consider this; under the regime of the Taliban, the cultivation of opium poppies was almost eradicated.

Subsequent to the US/NATO invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, illegal drug production has soared.

Sep 18 09:08

Nato forces rely on illegal Afghan militias, report says

Nato forces in Afghanistan are increasingly reliant on illegal militias, often run by warlords responsible for human rights abuses and drug trafficking, according to an independent report published tomorrow.

New York University's Centre on International Co-operation (CIC) reports that the use of private security companies and militias is growing exponentially and accounts for up to a fifth of the funds spent on Afghan reconstruction.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More "progress" in Afghanistan, I see.

Sep 18 09:00

Is America Hooked on War?

Because the United States does not look like a militarized country, it’s hard for Americans to grasp that Washington is a war capital, that the United States is a war state, that it garrisons much of the planet, and that the norm for us is to be at war somewhere at any moment. Similarly, we’ve become used to the idea that, when various forms of force (or threats of force) don’t work, our response, as in Afghanistan, is to recalibrate and apply some alternate version of the same under a new or rebranded name — the hot one now being "counterinsurgency" or COIN — in a marginally different manner. When it comes to war, as well as preparations for war, more is now generally the order of the day.

Sep 18 08:27

Abraham Lincoln on unconstitutional US wars of invasion: courageously standing against the OBVIOUS lies

US presidents are lying about our Wars of Aggression, invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, while lying to cause a third war with Iran. Let’s review the courageous words of truth from Mr. Lincoln, and encourage ourselves to act against these treasonous and cowardly wars that have so-far killed over 5,000 American troops. The following five paragraphs from Mr. Lincoln’s speech in Congress deserve your full attention. They are written in his acclaimed concise and powerful prose.

Sep 18 08:21

General Sir David Richards: allied failure ‘would intoxicate terrorists’

The new head of the British Army, General Sir David Richards, also warned last night that Nato had yet to find the right formula for success in Afghanistan. General Richards also warned that defeat for the international coalition would have an “intoxicating impact” on extremists around the world. Failure for an alliance as powerful as the NATO presence in Afghanistan would convince terrorists that “anything might be possible”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder how Sir David Richards defines "victory" in Afghanistan; because from where I sit, the only "winners" in this war right now are the defense contractors and the drug dealers.

Sep 18 07:33

Allied failure in Afghanistan 'would intoxicate terrorists', says new Army chief

It is imperative that Britain sees through the mission in Afghanistan because defeat would have a 'hugely intoxicating impact on extremists worldwide', the new head of the Army has warned.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: The loss in Afghanistan signaled the decline of the USSR. A loss in Afghanistan will signal the decline of the US and UK.

That's why Afghanistan is called the Graveyard of Empires!

Sep 18 04:13

Is America Hooked on War?

Because the United States does not look like a militarized country, it's hard for Americans to grasp that Washington is a war capital, that the United States is a war state, that it garrisons much of the planet, and that the norm for us is to be at war somewhere at any moment. Similarly, we've become used to the idea that, when various forms of force (or threats of force) don't work, our response, as in Afghanistan, is to recalibrate and apply some alternate version of the same under a new or rebranded name -- the hot one now being "counterinsurgency" or COIN -- in a marginally different manner. When it comes to war, as well as preparations for war, more is now generally the order of the day.

This wasn't always the case. The early Republic that the most hawkish conservatives love to cite was a land whose leaders looked with suspicion on the very idea of a standing army. They would have viewed our hundreds of global garrisons, our vast network of spies, agents, Special Forces teams, surveillance operatives, interrogators, rent-a-guns, and mercenary corporations, as well as our staggering Pentagon budget and the constant future-war gaming and planning that accompanies it, with genuine horror.

Sep 18 04:06

John Pilger: For Britons, the Party Game Is Over

During the 1914-18 slaughter, Prime Minister Lloyd George confided: "If people really knew [the truth], the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don’t know and can’t know." Have we not yet advanced over a century’s corpses to a point where the likes of Brown are denied their mendacious subterfuge? The Afghan war is a fraud. It began as an American vendetta for domestic consumption in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks, in which not a single Afghan was involved. The Taliban, who are Afghans, had no quarrel with the United States and were dealing secretly with the Clinton administration over a strategic pipeline. They offered to apprehend Osama Bin Laden and hand him over to a clerical court, but this was rejected.

Sep 17 11:39

What to do with US traitors who wage Wars of Aggression? 1: Truth & Reconciliation. 2: Prosecution.

A traitor is one with allegiance to the US who wages war against the United States. Lying the American public into war that takes trillions in long-term costs and kills over 5,000 US troops is treason. US political “leaders” who wage illegal and horrific Wars of Aggression, the worst crime a nation can commit, are actively attacking our Constitution and values. Neither political party will prosecute these crimes.

So what do we do?

Offer Truth and Reconciliation.

Sep 17 09:25

Report: Gen. McChrystal Seeking Another 40,000 Troops for Afghanistan

Despite claims earlier in the day from President Barack Obama that no ‘immediate decision’ was pending on Afghanistan, Fox News is quoting sources in the government as saying General Stanley McChrystal has already made his long-awaited troop request, and it’s a doozy.

Gen. McChrystal is now ‘privately’ requesting another 40,000 troops for the eight year old war, which would bring the overall US presence there to well over 100,000 troops, and nearly triple the number in the nation with President Obama was elected last November.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

40,000 more troops? From where, without a draft?!?!?

The only way this might be possible is the hiring of more mercenaries for hire, and I'm sure that the corporate owners of those"rent-a-soldier" companies are salivating, hearing this request from Mc Crystal.

Sep 17 09:07

'Dear Gordon Brown, you killed our son': Family of soldier blown up in Afghanistan send devastating letter to PM

'Because of you I now have a 26-year-old daughter with no husband and a five-month-old grandson with no father.'

Sep 17 06:40

Washington’s “good war” Death squads, disappearances and torture in Pakistan

As the Obama administration prepares a major escalation of the so-called AfPak war, reports from Pakistan’s Swat Valley, near Afghanistan’s eastern border, provide a gruesome indication of the kind of war that the Pentagon and its local allies are waging.

While touted by Obama and his supporters as the “good war,” there is mounting evidence that the Pentagon and the CIA are engaged in a war against the population of the region involving death squads, disappearances and torture

Sep 16 19:50

Call for an Afghan Surge

America's top military officer endorsed sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a shift in Pentagon rhetoric that heralds a potential deepening of involvement in the Afghan war

Their support makes it easier for Obama to approve the plans of Gen. Stanley McChrystal -- whom the Obama administration installed as the top American commander in Kabul -- when he submits a formal request later this month for as many as 40,000 new troops, in addition to 62,000 now there.

Mr. Obama can send additional forces to Afghanistan without congressional approval

Sep 16 17:12

US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are traitorous, un-American, and cowardly

If I’m successful in proving that the current US wars are TRAITOROUS, UN-AMERICAN, and COWARDLY, please take that description and run with it. Let’s look:

Sep 16 13:23

Pictures of war can carry more moral meaning than thousands of words

Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, accused AP of a “lack of compassion and common sense” in distributing the image to newspapers: some of these published it, while others chose not to.

Sep 16 13:06

Washington’s “good war” Death squads, disappearances and torture in Pakistan

Sep 16 12:59

Former KGB Colonel: It’s America’s turn to lose in Afghanistan

Former KGB Special Forces Colonel Oleg Balashov, who took part in the Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan, told RT he doubts more U.S. soldiers will increase the chances of victory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They do not call Afghanistan the Graveyard of Empires for nothing. The last military commander to actually conquer and hang onto Afghanistan was Alexander the Great, and he only kept it for three years.

Sep 16 12:19

Europe’s complicity in evil: Obama,Bush in Black-Face

Europe’s complicity in evil
By Paul Craig Roberts
Sep 14, 2009, 00:24
Obama represents the same ideology of American “exceptionalism“ as other recent presidents.
Nothing is any different under Obama. Obama has escalated war in Afghanistan; started a new war in Pakistan; tolerated or supported a military coup that overthrew the elected president of Honduras; is constructing seven new US military bases in Colombia, South America;...is working to destabilize the government in Iran,... The Obama administration’s...platitudes are useful also to disguise the overthrow of US civil liberties, such as habeas corpus, due process, and prohibitions against torture and preemptive arrest.

Sep 16 10:10

US to Pump Thousands of ‘Combat Enablers’ Into Afghanistan

Top US defense officials say that roughly 3,000 additional troops, which are classified not as combat troops but rather “combat enablers,” will be deployed to Afghanistan in the coming days.

Rather, it now seems that the non-combat troops are being replaced by the combat troops, and then new non-combat troops are being added as well, effectively an escalation of the number of troops involved in the conflict under the guise of adding “non-combat” troops. This escalation comes in addition to the expected request of another 20,000 troops from Gen. McChrystal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Combat Enablers"?!?!? Have these people lost their minds completely?!?

Sep 16 09:48

Fighting rages across Afghanistan as U.S. military buildup continues

Attacks by anti-occupation forces spread across Afghanistan over the weekend, with major armed clashes, bombings and other incidents in at least 10 provinces, including eight that are outside the southern region where the U.S. and NATO forces have launched a major military offensive.

Rather than directly confront the greatly increased U.S. ground forces in provinces like Helmand, the Taliban and other resistance forces are employing typical guerrillas tactics, striking at “soft” targets well away from the main combat zone, in many cases in areas where there has been relatively little insurgent activity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, 8 years on, this is what "victory" in Afghanistan looks like?!?

The only way this can look like "victory" if the desired outcome had to do with the complete and chronic destabilization of the country.

If that is not the case, the US and NATO have absolutely no strategy whatsoever in Afghanistan, period, end of discussion.

Sep 16 07:29

Escalation of the Afghan War: US-NATO Target Russia, China and Iran

The United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are expanding their nearly eight-year war in Afghanistan both in scope, with deadly drone missile attacks inside Pakistan, and in intensity, with daily reports of more NATO states’ troops slated for deployment and calls for as many as 45,000 American troops in addition to the 68,000 already in the nation and scheduled to be there shortly.

Sep 16 07:17

Karzai condemns EU's fraud claims

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's campaign team has condemned as "irresponsible" claims by EU monitors about the extent of election fraud.

EU election observers have said about 1.5m votes - about a quarter of all ballots - cast in the presidential vote in August could be fraudulent.

See also: Fraud Accusations in Afghan Vote Too Many to Count

Sep 15 21:14

NO MORE TROOPS!! , End the damn wars, Cowardly Liar!

NO MORE TROOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16 09 2009
IT’S TIME TO DRAW THE DAMNED LINE, PEOPLE…NO MORE TROOPS! Bush got away with it for eight stinking years, but Obama will not get by with it for even one! Define the mission. Are we defending America or are we fighting a war of aggression? Bush and Cheney were disgraces to posterity and their war was no less ambitious than Hitler’s war. Tell the truth about what you have inherited, Obama. End this war against the world. Tell Mullen and McChrystal that you have drawn the line in Afghanistan and all troops will be pulled-back from Pakistan and the Caucasus Region.
Do the right thing. Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen says more troops likely needed in Afghanistan

Sep 15 17:41

Duh, US national security IS NOT threatened by Afghanistan

The chair of the Joint Chiefs testified to Congress today that “success” in Afghanistan requires more US troops and “certainly much more time.” Senator McCain Orwell-spoke that each day we wait to send more US troops to Afghanistan to put their lives in danger, “puts lives in danger.” President Obama defended the strategy of war to produce peace and happiness by saying, "You never step into the same river twice. And so Afghanistan is not Vietnam." I think the president is absolutely correct with my observations about stepping into the same river for a second time: the experience is not quite the same, only about 99%. Polling data also show American support for this war is at its lowest: 58% disapprove and 39% approve.

Sep 15 10:14

Karzai rival warns: Vote fraud would doom U.S. involvement

Abdullah Abdullah, the leading challenger in Afghanistan's national elections warned Monday if President Hamid Karzai wins another term based on vote fraud, the U.S.-led war against al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan will fail.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It will fail anyway.

Sep 15 10:00

Cholera outbreaks in 10 Afghan provinces: govt

Afghanistan has reported outbreaks of potentially lethal cholera in 10 provinces across the impoverished country, the health ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry "has so far recorded 673 cases countrywide" of the highly contagious disease in almost a third of the country's 34 provinces, including in the capital Kabul. No deaths have been reported.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Sep 15 09:58

Company: Regrets not disclosing misconduct

During a hearing that lasted almost six hours, the Commission on Wartime Contracting sharply criticized representatives from ArmorGroup and the State Department for being unaware of what was happening and for not acting more aggressively to correct the situation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please note that there is no mention of this contract being pulled immediately, which is what should have happened.

As reported here, 1 Sept 2009:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/09/animal-house-afghanistan

"The contractor was the subject of a congressional probe earlier this summer that found serious lapses in the company's handling of the embassy security contract, which internal State Department documents said left the embassy compound "in jeopardy." Nevertheless, the government opted to extend the company's 5-year, $189 million contract for another year. "

One has to wonder which congress members have become "acquisitions" of this company, through overt and covert campaign support.

Sep 15 09:41

Obama: Giving Bagram Detainees Access to US Courts a Threat to National Security

Though the Department of Defense has made a big deal about the major changes being made in the detention procedures at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, and the notion that for the first time detainees will have something resembling rights while in US custody, the Obama Administration has made it clear today that those “rights” don’t extend very far.

Today the administration made a filing with the US Court of Appeals in Washington challenging a previous determination by a judge that some Bagram detainees actually had legal rights to challenge their detention.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Imagine my complete (absence of) surprise.

Sep 15 09:33

Violence Escalates In Afghanistan, as US, NATO Forces Push Further Against Insurgents

The latest violence comes as the U.S. tries to implement its strategy of fighting the Taliban and protecting civilians.

Retired Army General Jack Keane says the strategy will not work without an increase in U.S. combat troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if we are looking at the troops being considered for this escalation will actually be US combat troops, or hired mercenaries.

My guess would be the later.

Sep 15 08:40

Afghanistan: Recount Ordered At 10 Percent Of Polling Stations

Ballots from about 10 percent of Afghanistan's polling stations must be recounted because of suspicions of fraud in last month's presidential election, according to an order from a U.N.-backed body, an official said Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At the end of the day, the outcome will probably be the same, but we'll hear much more self-congratulatory chest-thumping from Americans and NATO members, assuring themselves of what a magnificent job they did to make sure that this election "free and fair" for the Afghan people.

This "election" is an absolute fraud and a sham. This is simply the re-anointing of Karzai for one more term in office, so that the US and NATO can deal with the "devil they know", rather than the devil they don't know.

And even if, by some miracle, Abdullah Abdullah squeaks ahead for a marginal victory over Karzai, his ability to actually created the reforms on which he based his ca,[aogm will be severely challenged by the on-going corruption of his predecessor.

Sep 15 05:43

US troops 'stormed through Afghan hospital'

A Swedish charity accused American troops today of storming through a hospital in central Afghanistan, breaking down doors and tying up staff in a search for militants. The US military said it was investigating.

Sep 14 19:25

As Approval Ratings for U.S War(s) Decline,Osama Makes His Grand Re-Appearance

Osama bin Laden has released another timely videotape promising to have his vengeance on Western supporters of the state of Israel. He threatened to “continue our war of attrition” if the US did not pull out of Afghanistan, halt its aid to Israel and throw out any and all neoconservatives from the White House.

During the reign of George W. Bush we saw a spike in support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,along with taunting video’s of an alleged Osama bin Laden dwelling somewhere and nowhere,while the United States was seemingly playing a game of ‘Where is Waldo’ ; The Bush administration tried and failed to capture the sworn enemy of the state,thus leaving the game ready and waiting for a new ‘hero’ to step up and destroy the ‘bad-guy’.

Sep 14 17:35

Iraq and Afghanistan don't need US troops for security. They can ask the UN if they want help

One of the arguments for US troops to remain in the two countries we invaded is that even if our wars were mistakes, it’s our duty to stay until those countries can manage their own security. If US troops leave, we’ll subject civilians to escalating violence.

As eminent Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt distinguished in his 2005 Bestseller as a strictly academic term, that rhetoric is bullshit.

When political “leadership” makes that argument, it’s a lie of omission. Without the comprehensive information that Iraq and Afghanistan have full authority within their governments to make that determination for themselves, that statement is misleading Americans into thinking that US security is their only option. It is not.

Sep 14 14:05

Graham, Lieberman, McCain call for more troops in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

SEND YOUR OWN CHILDREN TO THE FRONT LINES, THEN!

Sep 14 11:28

Withdrawal without winning?

Most discussion about Afghanistan has concentrated on whether and how we can defeat the Taliban. Less attention has been paid to the probable consequences of a withdrawal without winning
***
once we move beyond the alluring but unsustainable claim that our inability to exclude the possibility that withdrawing would be very harmful means that we must fight, it becomes clear that we are building a large and risky war on predictions that call for closer examination.

Sep 14 08:10

Nation Building at the Barrel of an American Gun?

Nation Building at the Barrel of an American Gun?
A Short Reply to the Dubik and Kagans’ Washington Post Oped

Lieutenant General James Dubik, Dr Kim Kagan, and Dr Fred Kagan, the three authors of a Sunday Washington Post oped titled The Afghan Illusion: Kabul’s Forces Aren’t Yet a Substitute for Our Own, conclude their Oped with this statement:

"Building Afghan forces dramatically is part of a strategy for succeeding in Afghanistan and permitting the reduction of foreign forces. It cannot, however, be the whole strategy."

And to ask this reoccurring question one more time, what is the "whole strategy"? Although the authors do not come out and say it, armed nation building is clearly the "whole" strategy.

Sep 14 05:32

Chasing the dragon, pt. 1

Part 1…lying sidelong on a divan in the Senate cloakroom

That John Kerry and his Senate Foreign Relations Committee are a regular bunch of cards. Their Aug. 10 report, “Afghanistan’s Narco War: Breaking the Link Between Drug Traffickers and Insurgents”, is funnier than a barrel of drunk monkeys. It opens with the statement: “At the end of March when President Obama fulfilled his pledge to make the war in Afghanistan a higher priority, he cast the U.S. role more narrowly than the previous administration: Defeat Al Quaeda and eliminate its safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To accomplish these twin tasks, however, the President is making a practical commitment to Afghanistan that is far greater than his predecessor—more troops, more civilians, and more money.”

Sep 14 05:31

Chasing the dragon, pt. 2

Part 2…hatin’ the player, not the game

The Senate is prepared to discuss the problem of Afghan corruption at length. It must be all the marble and parliamentary silly-talk that makes these men immune to irony, because portions of the report’s section entitled “The Scope of Corruption” sound like a description of American politics if the reader mad-libs a little. The Senate is very worried about the scope of corruption from the drug trade in Afghanistan. It forgets, in its rush to explain how horrid Afghanistan is, that it already admitted to setting the stage for this very situation when the U.S. invaded in 2001.

Sep 14 05:31

Chasing the dragon, pt. 3

Part 3…God’s own medicine

The Obama administration rescinded the Bush administration’s quixotic order to eradicate poppy fields in Afghanistan. Judging by hectare cultivation numbers and harvest yields, the plan was either never fully implemented or failed miserably. At the very least, farmers in Afghanistan are no longer being punished for trying to make a living. Like Bush, the Obama administration wants to reform Afghan agriculture and move it away from poppy cultivation. Unfortunately, these plans are still “being finalized”. To understand the problems inherent in the administration’s plans and possible futures for Afghan agriculture we need to examine Afghanistan’s situation, the opium poppy, and the history of opium cultivation.

Sep 13 09:40

US could shift Afghanistan focus towards eastern provinces

The primary focus of the US war strategy in Afghanistan could shift towards the eastern provinces bordering Pakistan and away from the south of the country, where British forces are heavily engaged, under a plan being finalised by commanders.

Senior military officials are said to believe the Afghan Taliban's ability to find sanctuary and support across the porous border with Pakistan ? plus the suspected presence in the lawless tribal Waziristan area of al-Qaida leaders including Osama bin Laden ? has made a bigger effort in the east essential if the insurgency is to be defeated.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A short memo to the author of this article:

1. Bin Laden is dead: he assumed room temperature a number of years ago.

2. The only people actually "winning" the Af-Pak war are the drug lords and the defense contractors.

Sep 13 09:24

General Smedley Butler

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

http://tshtf.blogspot.com/2009/08/general-smedley-butler.html

Sep 13 09:02

Enduring Freedom until 2050

New NATO head, former president George W Bush-friendly Anders Rasmussen from Denmark, has been trying to explain the new "strategy" in pyrotechnic NATOese to skeptical Europeans. But the real plot of the non-stop tragicomedy is never spelled out. The US and its NATO allies will do - and spend - whatever it takes to implant military bases on the doorstep of both Russia and China and - Allah only knows - get their Trans-Afghan Pakistan gas pipeline on track.

Sep 13 08:23

US Pressing Karzai for Election Deal

Karzai reportedly did not respond favorably to Ambassador Eikenberry’s comments, and has refused to meet with any US officials since. Though the US has publicly put on a brave face with respect to the vote, and Richard Holbrooke has repeatedly praised it, privately it is becoming increasingly apparent that it is putting them in an awkward position.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What put the US in this "awkward position" was making sure that this election re-appointed Karzai, and that really representative candidates were barred from being on the ballot at all.

If there is any "power-sharing government", it will be in name only, and purely cosmetic.

The Afghan people are, rightfully, resentful of this pre-ordained outcome, and this "election" may spawn demonstrations and riots which the US and UN troops may find themselves unable to control, without killing a massive number of non-combatants.

That will only further radicalize the Afghan people against the Karzai government.

Sep 13 07:57

Advertise on NYTimes.com U.S. to Expand Review of Detainees in Afghan Prison

The new Pentagon guidelines would assign a United States military official to each of the roughly 600 detainees at the American-run prison at the Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. These officials would not be lawyers but could for the first time gather witnesses and evidence, including classified material, on behalf of the detainees to challenge their detention in proceedings before a military-appointed review board.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This may look like an improvement for these prisoners of war, but - in terms of the normal practices of American jurisprudence - these little refinements are woefully beneath the standards of true American justice.

In fact, had these people actually been tried under American law, the cases upon which they were detained would fall apart in a heartbeat.

Sep 12 22:42

Obama hypocrisy: continuing American fascism with unlimited detention

Almost a year after Mr. Obama's election as President, with the sworn duty to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, his administration continues the unconstitutional policies of declaring human beings as "enemies" and detaining them without rights for as long as they so dictate (as in dictatorship). As a teacher for US Government classes, I can tell you that this is un-American in every academic understanding of what Americanism means. We have other words to describe a political philosophy of unlimited government that rejects inalienable civil and political rights: dictatorship and fascism are academically correct.

Sep 12 10:05

'I told the US to talk to the Taliban. They jailed me'

Eight years on, as the West struggles to form a coherent policy on Afghanistan amid mounting domestic opposition to the war, Mullah Muttawakil has claimed that the West has repeatedly squandered chances for peace.

"We have seen a lot of fighting since then, a lot of blood has been spilt, all for what?" he asked. "They are saying now that they will talk to some of the Taliban. That is what I said to them just after the war. I offered to put them in touch with the relevant people. Their answer was to put me in jail."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable, but clearly a demonstration an absolute lack of critical thinking, coupled with a "shoot-'em-up" cowboy mentality.

At the end of the day, the only way to achieve any positive outcome US and NATO forces in Afghanistan will be to talk to the Taliban, and bring them into the political dialogue of the country.

The only other alternative is to murder every single last Afghan still breathing.

Sep 12 08:51

US, British Officials Caution Afghan Vote Delay ‘Could Help al-Qaeda’

Top officials from both the US and British government cautioned against what is shaping up to be a long term dispute over last month’s Afghan presidential election, with US envoy Richard Holbrooke saying that al-Qaeda would be a beneficiary of any delays in issuing the results.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You don't know whether to laugh or cry at such statements.

This "election" (read: "installation of the thug they know", courtesy of the US and NATO), was an absolute sham, a fraud writ large, and a colossal disservice to the people of Afghanistan.

But of course, a truly free and fair election probably would not have returned Karzai to power, and the US and NATO weren't about to see that happen.

Sep 12 08:28

Susan Rice Urges Hill Democrats: Give War Strategy a Chance

Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s U.N. ambassador, asked her fellow Democrats to give the commander-in-chief a bit of a break when it comes to the war in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Hey, it's not like it's your own kids or anything like that!"

Sep 12 00:54

Can the Afghan Problem be Solved?

There is wide recognition in Europe -- and increasingly also in the United States -- that the war against the Taliban is going badly; that Coalition casualties and costs are spiralling; and that restive Western opinion is beginning to demand a timetable for withdrawal.

Sep 11 23:58

Has Osama Bin Laden been dead for seven years

Has Osama Bin Laden been dead for seven years - and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?
By Sue Reid 11th September 2009
Griffin, in his explosive book, says this tape is fake, and he goes further.
'A reason to suspect that all of the post-2001 Bin Laden tapes are fabrications is that they often appeared at times that boosted the Bush presidency or supported a claim by its chief 'war on terror' ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
'The confession tape came exactly when Bush and Blair had failed to prove Bin Laden's responsibility for 9/11 and both men were trying to win international public support, particularly in the Islamic world, for the anti-terrorist campaign.'

Sep 11 19:48

9/11: Support our troops by ending these illegal wars

Do you respect our troops? If so, demand their return home because they’ve been deployed in illegal Wars of Aggression. Don’t believe me when I say the wars are illegal and we should withdraw (Iraq and Afghanistan can request help from the UN on their own if they’re interested). YOU have to know the two simple rules of starting a war to determine if our troops’ presence is ethical or not. Do you know them? If so, thank you for your responsibility as a citizen. If not, thank you for reading this article to learn! As an educator, allow me to attempt my art of admonishing those who haven’t done this important homework before reviewing the answer (and I thought being a laid-off teacher I wouldn’t use this particular skill as a writer).

Sep 11 18:14

Susan Rice Urges Hill Democrats: Give War Strategy a Chance

Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s U.N. ambassador, asked her fellow Democrats to give the commander-in-chief a bit of a break when it comes to the war in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to UN Ambassador Rice: what we appear to have in this alleged "change in strategy", announced by the white house last spring, looks suspiciously very much like the old strategy.

We are bombing the hell out of non-combatants, killing women, kids, the elderly, and the medically infirm.

These aerial bombardments are simply radicalizing those left standing against both the US and the Karzai government, and pushing them into the waiting arms of the Taliban.

And as your blithe statement: "America, she said, has a crucial stake in Afghanistan." Would you mind, Madam Ambassador, telling the American people just what the devil that is, particularly to those families and friends of people who have died and been maimed physically and/or psychologically fighting this war?

It could not possibly have been "creating democracy in Afghanistan, as demonstrated by the rampant fraud in the last election.

So what is that stake, Madame Secretary?

Thinking Americans are looking at the mayhem and misery we are creating there, and understanding very clearly that the only people "winning" this war right now are the drug dealers and the defense contractors, period, end of discussion.

Sep 11 16:37

Victims' families tell their stories following Nato airstrike in Afghanistan

'I took some flesh home and called it my son.'

Sep 11 10:19

NATO Goes Green -- for Ill-Gotten Gains

NATO, the "North Atlantic" treaty organization now fighting a slaughterous war in, er, Central Asia, is going green,setting up a new panel of heavy-duty worthies to pursue the strategic ramifications of global climate change. But as David Cronin reports in the Guardian, when militarists mull the ailments of Mother Earth, they aren't looking to mop the old lady's brow; they're trying to shake her down for every little bauble she's got left. The whole piece is worth reading, but here are some excerpts:

Sep 11 10:06

Death and Dying in the Age of No Change's Non War It's Time to be Impolite About Afghanistan

The phrase from Tacitus comes to mind with only a slight modification. "They make desolation," he wrote. "and call it peace." In Afghanistan, they make desolation and call it freedom. Enduring freedom. This is the lesson the Afghans must learn. When you are the occupied, the native, the wog, you are subject to the occupier's definitions. He will kill your wives and children and call it pacification. He will choose your leaders, tell you to vote and call it democracy. He will kick in the doors to your home, arrest you and your sons, and call you insurgents. Of course, it is this very practice which turns many of your men into said insurgents.

Sep 11 09:48

Think Tank: Taliban return to most of Afghanistan

A London-based think tank says that nearly eight years after the U.S. drove the Taliban from power, the Islamist militia has returned to most of Afghanistan.

The International Council on Security and Development reports that the Taliban have a permanent presence in about 80 percent of the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How can anyone in their right mind still say that "victory" is achievable by any measure in Afghanistan?

The only "winners" here are the defense contractors and the drug lords!

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