Thousands of US Marines and Army troops have moved into position on the outskirts of Marjah, a town in central Helmand province, identified publicly by the Pentagon as the first major target of the offensive authorized by President Barack Obama.
The town is the largest population center under Taliban control and has been dubbed a "Taliban stronghold" in the US media in order to excuse in advance what are likely to be massive civilian casualties. Press reports citing military sources claim that up to 1,000 "militants" are making a stand in Marjah, lacing the roads and fields with land mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
This has been so hyped by the corporate media that if feels as if we're going to be going back to the "body count" reporting of the Viet Nam era.
You have to wonder how many women, kids, the medically infirm, and the elderly will be gunned down in this impending US/NATO "victory".
And I would almost bet one worthless US cent on the following; because this battle has been so thoroughly announced in Afghanistan, many of the Taliban have already fled, to pick up their weapons another day.
And the second relatively safe bet?!? That this attack will radicalize those left standing even further into the orbit of the Taliban.