Blog Archives

Afghanistan is getting worse, not better…

This map showing the increase of high security risk areas growing in Afghanistan between March and October has been released by the UN.

 

What on Earth are we doing there? Isn’t it clear that we can’t succeed here?

And remember… if we get 100% out of Afghanistan, the money we save could solve ALL our other problems.

This from CNN:

clipped from afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com

The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan is a “lost cause,” said a former Pakistani intelligence chief, and the United States needs to negotiate peace with Taliban leader Mullah Omar. “You have to talk to him, and I’m sure it will work out very well,” Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview to air Sunday. 

U.S. intelligence documents published last week by WikiLeaks cited Gul and implicated Pakistani intelligence as supporting al Qaeda. Gul has denied the allegations. “I’m quite a convenient scapegoat,” he said. “I don’t support any one faction in Afghanistan. I support the Afghan nation.”

The career military officer, who supported the U.S.-backed Taliban resistance against Soviet occupation during the 1980s, called the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan “unjust” and said he sees legitimacy in the Afghan insurgency against Western forces. “This is a national resistance movement. It should be recognized as such,” he said.
  blog it
Perhaps we should listen to this guy…

War Fatigue

Obama and Company are gearing up for an explanation tour of our goals in the Middle East… that we are there to keep Al Qaeda out, to stop the Taliban from returning to Afghanistan, and to WIN (whatever that means).

Trying to build a Democratic state in a Medieval mess is just not working out. Keeping the corrupt Karzai government afloat is a form of creeping suicide for our troops, which we have expanded in Afghanistan as we have cut them in Iraq.

In the last funding bill for the troops and additional 70 Congressfolk added their names to the non-funders. Next time, the funds just may be voted down. What then?

The people…us… the voting folks… are just getting tired of it all. It is costing us and killing us for no apparent reward. It is making us continuously less popular around the world. And, although we are warned that the terrorists will come back to get us if we don’t fight them over there, they are getting arrested over here for potential terrorist attacks anyway. The war does not effectively end terrorism.

Can we get over the concept that if we don’t win we lose? Somehow, we have to.

Is Karzai really going to turn to the Taliban? Should we care?

Fred Kaplan has written a very good article in Slate. Here’s a clip… but go in and read the whole thing:
clipped from www.slate.com

Has Karzai Gone Crazy?What matters is whether he’s a reliable partner.
What is to be done about Hamid Karzai? The short answer is: not much.
These past few years, since the revival of counterinsurgency doctrine, the U.S. military has learned much about “asymmetrical conflicts,” in which an ostensibly powerful nation (e.g., the United States) finds itself outmaneuvered by considerably weaker adversaries (e.g., al-Qaida, the Taliban) who have figured out how to tap our vulnerabilities.

Hamid Karzai. Click image to expand.
It seems that the president of Afghanistan has been learning his own lessons about how to play this game.
Karzai’s regime—its sovereignty, budget, army, police, even his personal security—depends entirely on the United States, NATO, and a handful of other foreign allies.
It’s like the old joke: If you owe the bank $1 million, the bank owns you; if you owe the bank $1 billion, you own the bank.
We’re the bank, and Karzai’s the one in unfathomably deep debt
  blog it

If this is true it would change most opinions of the Taliban and bin Laden..

There is much more in this Truthout article which bears reading. Makes me wonder who to listen to and what to believe. Why do I always feel we’re being dragged by our ears into absolute abomination?

Think I’ll go read “1984” again.

Here’s the beginning clip:

clipped from www.truthout.org

Taliban Regime Pressed bin Laden on Anti-US Terror

Washington  – Evidence now available from various sources, including recently declassified U.S. State Department documents, shows that the Taliban regime led by Mullah Mohammad Omar imposed strict isolation on Osama bin Laden after 1998 to prevent him from carrying out any plots against the United States.

The evidence contradicts the claims by top officials of the Barack Obama administration that Mullah Omar was complicit in Osama bin Laden’s involvement in the al Qaeda plot to carry out the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sep. 11, 2001. It also bolsters the credibility of Taliban statements in recent months asserting that it has no interest in al Qaeda’s global jihadist aims.

blog it

TALIBAN = 9/11?? Afghanistan by Hypnosis

By Greg Palast (for ZEEK.net)

______________________

Note from Bill: I received this article by Greg Palast in today’s e-mail… It came not from ZEEK, which is a progressive Jewish Magazine of Thought and Culture), but directly from Greg, so I am more than certain that republishing the whole thing here is well within Greg’s wishes to get this read.

As we are now getting ready to pull the kind of crap in Afghanistan that we spent the last eight years doing in Iraq, I think this SHOULD be read. It may convince you that we are about to do the wrong thing again.

______________________

On September 11, 2001, my office building, the World Trade Center, was attacked by al Qaeda, a murder cult of Saudi Arabians, funded by Saudi Arabians. And so, in response to the Saudis’ attack, America invaded … Afghanistan.

talibanAnd here we go again. The New York Times (print edition) headline last Friday was: “Pakistani Army, In Its Campaign In Taliban Stronghold, Finds A Hint Of 9/11.”

Google it and you’ll find the Times report repeated and amplified 5,785 times more.

Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11.

Your eyelids are getting heavy. Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11.

It’s the latest hit from the same crew that brought you Saddam = 9/11 and its twin chant, Saddam = WMD, Dick Cheney’s chimerical tropes which the New York Times’ Judith Miller happily channeled to the paper’s front page.

And they’re at it again.

Every war begins with a lie. In addition to Saddam = WMD, I’m old enough to remember the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing the war in Vietnam, based on a fictional Vietnamese gunboat attack on our Navy. (White House recordings have Lyndon Johnson gloating privately, “Hell, those damn stupid [US] sailors were just shooting at flying fish.”)

In the Glorious War against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the lie is thus: al Qaeda is “based” in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. If we don’t fight the wily Taliban, as the British once fought the wily Pathan, al Qaeda will attack America again from Talibanistan.

The latest Taliban=9/11 fantasy is a yarn spun wildly outward from the finding of a passport of an al Qaeda flunky who worked with suicide pilot Mohammed Atta in the same mountain area where, years later, a Taliban group operated. It’s a stretch, but when you want to sell a war, it will do.

But selling the re-invasion of Afghanistan requires a repetition of Lie #1: that the original attack on the World Trade towers and the Pentagon were planned from Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s mountains with the connivance of the Taliban.

It’s not true, of course. The September 11 attack was neither organized nor directed from Afghanistan by the Taliban. In fact, as our BBC Report found, it was clear that the attack on my friends and co-workers was planned and carried out from Falls Church, Virginia; Paris, France; Sarasota, Florida; Hamburg, Germany;— and, I repeat, funded and manned from Saudi Arabia. Neither the Sunshine State nor the Aryan namesake of the original beef patty sandwich were, nor are they now, convenient targets for a revenge attack by the 101st Airborne.

And revenge was what it was and remains: on September 11 the skunks hit us and we, goddamnit, were going to HIT BACK. ANYONE. SOMEONE. So we hit the odious, and conveniently weak, Taliban, who’d, undeniably, given refuge to killer Osama bin Laden. Though let us not forget that Osama’s safe passage from the Sudan to Afghanistan was initially encouraged by the US government.

Today, we continue to throw our soldiers’ bodies into Afghanistan, and our drones’ rockets into Pakistan, to deny al Qaeda the supposed base from which to strike us again.

The media is eating it up and swallowing it whole. For example, CNN quotes a Pakistani from the Afghan border area, “Probably your next 9/11 is going to be from Swat.”

That’s not true either, of course: In the extraordinarily unlikely event Osama remains in the “caves of Tora Bora” (not where multi-millionaires with kidney disease tend to linger), any conceivable attack will be planned, funded and organized from comfy hotel rooms in Paris, Germany and Dubai as is the habit of these well-heeled hellions.

The truth is, we’re not in Afghanistan to stop al Qaeda’s US attackers, because they weren’t “based” there in the first place, and their leaders are not there now.

So, why are we now re-invading Afghanistan? Beats me. I just hope our President will give us a hint that doesn’t involve some cockamamie fairytale about 9/11 and al Qaeda.

Now, please don’t get me wrong: the Taliban are monsters. If you have any doubt, I suggest you read progressive journalist Michael Griffin’s masterful history of the Taliban, Reaping the Whirlwind. (Published in early 2001, Griffin presciently warned against the US policy of placating the Taliban.)

Undeniably, the Taliban gave sanctuary to the killer Osama, but that does not make the Taliban guilty of planning and participating in the 9/11 attack. However, the Taliban’s innocence in the 9/11 massacre does not wash their hands of the blood of Afghans, particularly Shia and Sufi Muslims, whom the Taliban have tortured, raped and murdered.

I can’t say I shed tears for the Taliban when, after my office towers fell, US troops ended their sharia dictatorship. And, honestly, there’s a case to be made that rocketing more Taliban, really nasty cutthroats that they are, is a laudable exercise. But let’s not pretend it has anything to do with preventing another 9/11.

And that’s the danger. As the poet T.S. Eliot warned,

"The last temptation is the greatest treason
    To do the right thing for the wrong reason."

Taliban = 9/11? Innocents, by the thousands and thousands, will pay in blood for this treasonous falsehood.

For BBC Television, Greg Palast reported on the US intelligence failures leading to the 9/11attack. Watch the BBC Newsnight episode. For the full story obtain a copy of the now classic BBC documentary, Bush Family Fortunes available on DVD or the now newly available download version. The author is donating all proceeds of the sale of the film, *Bush Family Fortunes, expanded from the BBC broadcast, to the Palast Investigative Fund, a not-for-profit foundation supporting investigative reporting. 100% of your donations for the film disc or download go to the fund and are tax-deductible.*

//