AFGHANISTAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


AFGHANISTAN

Jul 15 13:58

July is deadliest for US-led forces in Afghanistan

July is shaping up as the deadliest month of the Afghan war for U.S.-led international forces, with the number killed already matching the highest full-month toll of the nearly eight-year conflict, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

As of Wednesday, at least 46 international troops, including 24 Americans, had been killed in Afghanistan this month, according to statements by the U.S. military and the NATO command. That matches the tolls for the two previous deadliest months — June and August of 2008.

The rate of deaths in July — about three a day — is approaching some of the highest levels of the Iraq war.

Jul 14 17:53

Taliban will let guns do their talking

Taliban leader Mullah Omar is now the focus of attention, with the Pakistan military reportedly saying that it is prepared to act as a middleman to help the administration of United States President Barack Obama in a "new diplomatic overture to find an end to the long-running conflict" in Afghanistan.

Mullah Omar, however, is not believed to be in any mood to talk. Over the past few months, he has consolidated his grip over the various scattered but powerful resistance groups across Afghanistan and in Pakistan's tribal areas. His ultimate objective, as it has been since the Taliban were ousted in the US-led invasion of 2001, is for military victory against foreign forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a land war which absolutely cannot be won from the air.

One would have thought that perhaps the lessons of the Viet Nam War would have been absorbed by the civilian and military leadership of the US and NATO by this point in history; obviously, they have not.

And that is one damned shame.

Jul 14 14:42

Afghanistan: Our troops are giving their lives to safeguard a rigged election

Hamid Karzai's appalling and corrupt regime is the West's guilty little secret, suggests Mary Riddell.

Jul 14 14:41

US commander in Afghanistan lobbies for more troops

Less than six months after Barack Obama ordered 21,000 additional American soldiers to Afghanistan, and barely two weeks into the first major offensive by the reinforcements, General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed US commander, has launched a lobbying drive for a substantial further increase in troop numbers.

Jul 14 11:32

Neocon Rodeo

Imagine this headline "George Bush arrested and extradited to the Hague for crimes against humanity." Upon further reading, "Prosecutors say George Bush is allegedly guilty of mass murder for the atrocities of 911 where over 3000 innocent people were murdered." One would think, "justice is served," but lets take a journey down this phantasmal path and weigh the ramifications of this price of corruption.

Jul 13 18:17

Report: After brutal police rule, Taliban ‘welcomed as liberators’

In the wilds of Afghanistan, the civilian populace is increasingly turning to the Taliban for aid over U.S.-backed police forces, a published report revealed Monday. In some areas of the country, the situation has become so dire that some have began to see Taliban movements as ‘liberation’ rather than oppression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If this is "victory" in Afghanistan, what the Sam Hill does failure look like?

Anyone in the State Department or Pentagon care to tell me, please?!?

After all the money and blood that have been spent in this campaign, is this the pinnacle of US and NATO accomplishment?!?!That the Taliban are now looking like the good guys to the Afghans?!?!

Jul 13 08:54

FLASHBACK - Karzai in move to share power with Hekmatyar, warlord wanted by US

ONE of Afghanistan’s most wanted terrorists is to be offered a power-sharing deal by the government of President Hamid Karzai as the country’s warlords extend their grip on power.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is on America’s “most wanted” terrorist list, is to hold talks with the Kabul government within the next few weeks.

Hekmatyar is the leader of Hezb-i-Islami, which has been fighting Nato troops alongside the Taliban. The hardline group is responsible for many attacks in the eastern and central regions, including the massacre of 10 French soldiers in Sarobi last year. It controls Kapisa province, just 50 miles north of Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Then the US tried to kill Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, so the deal may be off.

But if Karzai is making deals like this, then we are losing in Afghanistan (just as every other conqueror has since Alexander the Great).

Jul 13 08:41

Dick Holbrooke - The Zionist Agent in Obama's Viet Nam

War weary Americans who hoped the new Obama administration would change U.S. policies in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring the troops home must be sorely disappointed. The only Americans coming home these days are those who have died in the senseless conflict. More troops are being sent to fight a war that is understood neither by the American public nor by the people doing the fighting.

Jul 13 08:18

It's not just Afghanistan; it's everywhere from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

Central Asia has oil and gas.

And heroin.

Journalist Simon Reeve said of his trip to the Stans, such as Uzbekistan:

"Most people I met longed for a return to the financial security of Communism...

Jul 12 22:47

Afghanistan soldiers: ``This is a war we just can`t win and there`s no need for us to win it``

To be honest, the Taliban can move about pretty much as they please. Putting more troops on the ground will restrict them a little more, but will also mean more casualties for us.

Jul 12 14:59

4 US Marines killed in Afghan bomb blasts

"Great Britain has played an extraordinary role in this coalition, understanding that we cannot allow either Afghanistan or Pakistan to be a safe haven for al-Qaida, those who with impunity blow up train stations in London or buildings in New York."

"al Qaida" operatives supposedly hijacked planes and flew them into buildings in New York, they didn't blow the buildings up. Is this a Freudian slip?

See also: 9/11 Firefighters: Bombs and Explosions in the WTC

Jul 12 11:22

Escalation Scam: Troops in Afghanistan

The president has set a limit on the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. For now.

That's how escalation works. Ceilings become floors. Gradually.

But "escalation" isn't mere jargon. And it doesn't just refer to what's happening outside the United States.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on July 7 that no limit has been set. Speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he sounded an open-ended note: "There is not a ceiling on troop levels in Afghanistan."

Mullen's comment was scarcely reported in U.S. media outlets. It has become old news without ever being news in the first place.

Jul 12 11:19

Report: Taliban captures district in E Afghanistan

Taliban made this achievement while a massive offensive, involving 4,000 U.S. Marines and 650 Afghan troops, has been going on since July 2 to restore government authorities in Taliban-held territories.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is completely impossible to win this war militarily.

And unfortunately, the knuckleheads at the Pentagon and the White House who allegedly "planned" the war in Afghanistan were collectively guilty of selective amnesia and magical thinking.

You absolutely cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air.

Viet Nam should have taught US military and civilian leadership that long ago, but apparently, that lesson hasn't been learned yet, condemning many more of our military (and innocent Afghan non-coms) to get killed or maimed in this endless, murderous campaign.

The total complement of US military forces here (not counting the mercenaries) is about 68,000 troops, give or take. The old Soviet Union couldn't "pacify" Afghanistan with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground.

The government in Kabul is so arrogantly corrupt that Afghan citizens think their political figures are so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan is cursed to be just the place of real estate which would be great for the implementation of pipelines across it, giving whoever controls those pipelines tremendous control of both the region, and the world's flow of oil.

So, the Powers that Be have decided that an infinite number of US and Afghan lives are worth that price, no matter how exorbitant that price may be in money and blood.

For these people, it's only taxpayers' money; and it's never their kids fighting, getting maimed, and dying on the front lines.

Jul 12 10:59

Afghans turn to Taliban in fear of own police

U.S. and British troops have launched a campaign to seize control of Helmand province, about half of which was in Taliban hands, and restore Afghan government institutions.

But as they advance, they are learning uncomfortable facts about their local allies: villagers say the government's police force was so brutal and corrupt that they welcomed the Taliban as liberators.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now, let me get this straight; the government cops, trained to some extent by the US and NATO were so brutal to their own people, that the Afghans are begging for the Taliban to come back?!?!?!?

Your tax dollars at work, folks: unflipping believable!!

Jul 12 10:01

UPDATE1-Taliban pushed back,long way to go -Obama

Tell that to the families of the dead Marines!

Jul 12 09:56

Drones Hardly Ever Kill Bad Guys

The foreign policy community’s favorite counterinsurgency adviser, or at least their favorite Australian one, David Kilcullen, told lawmakers last week that the drone strikes targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Pakistan are creating enemies at a far faster rate than its killing them. According to statistics he provided, the success rate of the drone bombing campaign is extremely low: just 2 percent of bombs dropped have hit targeted militants. The other 98 percent? Those killed noncombatant Pakistani civilians, he said.

Jul 12 09:39

Obituary: Area Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Jul 12 09:34

Afghanistan troops died 'for future of Britain'

David Miliband, the foreign secretary, acknowledges 'grievous few days' but says UK security depends on routing Taliban

I'll bet the Soviets said the same thing...

Jul 12 09:31

Gordon Brown plans troops surge in Afghanistan

Jul 12 09:31

Revealed: Brown's secret plan to cut Afghanistan force by 1,500

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Gordon can't make up his mind, apparently.

Jul 12 09:30

Report:Taliban Captures District in E. Afghanistan

Jul 12 09:20

AFGHANISTAN ~~ DOUBLE STANDARDS

FLASHBACK….. Remember 1979? Remember the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union? Remember the outcry and crocodile tears in support of the people of that country?

FLASHBACK #2….. Remember 2001? Remember the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States? Where was the outcry and crocodile tears in support of that nation then?

There weren’t any…. because the crimes committed by US troops were hidden….. covered up…… LIED ABOUT!

Jul 12 09:19

U.S. Military Offensive Bogged by Afghan Road Mines

Jul 12 09:19

NATO/US liberate pre-pubescent boys to be used as sex toys by Afghan policemen.

But as they advance, they are learning uncomfortable facts about their local allies: villagers say the government's police force was so brutal and corrupt that they welcomed the Taliban as liberators.

"The police would stop people driving on motorcycles, beat them and take their money," said Mohammad Gul, an elder in the village of Pankela, which British troops have been securing for the past three days after flying in by helicopter.

He pointed to two compounds of neighbors where pre-teen children had been abducted by police to be used for the local practice of "bachabazi," or sex with pre-pubescent boys.

Jul 12 09:05

Four U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan Bomb Blast

Jul 11 08:33

U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died

After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The 21st Century version of the Black Hole of Calcutta.

Jul 11 08:21

Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia

The Pentagon and its NATO allies have launched the largest combat offensive to date in their nearly eight-year war in South Asia - Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) with 4,000 US Marines, attack helicopters and tanks and Operation Panchai Palang (Panther's Claw) with several hundred British engaged in airborne assaults - in the Afghan province of Helmand.

The American effort is the largest ground combat operation conducted by Washington in Asia since the Vietnam War.

Jul 11 08:08

Obama admin: No grounds to probe Afghan war crimes

Obama administration officials said Friday they had no grounds to investigate the 2001 deaths of Taliban prisoners of war who human rights groups allege were killed by U.S.-backed forces.

A former U.S. ambassador for war crimes issues, Pierre Prosper, told the Times that the Bush administration was reluctant to investigate the deaths, even though Dostum was on the payroll of the CIA and his soldiers worked with U.S. special forces in 2001.

Dostum was suspended from his military post last year on suspicion of threatening a political rival, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently rehired him, the Times reported.

Jul 10 16:10

U.S. Said to Have Averted Inquiry Into ’01 Afghan Killings

After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations.

Jul 10 12:45

U.S. Military Links Karzai Brother to Drugs

U.S. military documents, obtained by ABC News, list the brother of Afghanistan president Karzai as a "problem maker" in the pay of drug lords.

Wali Karzai is described in the documents as "receives money from drug lords as bribe to facilitate their work and movement."

The documents, marked secret, appear to be part of a "U.S. military targeting assessment" produced in January 2005. The documents were downloaded from a computer flash disc sold at an Afghanistan street bazaar for $200.

Jul 10 12:20

Karzai pardons five Afghan heroin traffickers

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned five heroin smugglers, at least one of them a relative of a man who heads Karzai's campaign for re-election next month, a source and a government spokesman said.

Jul 10 06:58

A War of Colonial Conquest in Afghanistan

Really disgusting!

Jul 09 17:20

Generals: More forces needed for Afghan offensive.

Senior U.S. generals said Wednesday that more Afghan and NATO soldiers are needed to expand the fight against a Taliban-led insurgency in southern Afghanistan, although current military plans make such increases unlikely.

Jul 09 17:09

Army Awards Afghan Deals to DynCorp and Fluor

DynCorp International Inc. and Fluor Corp. won Army contracts that could be valued at $15 billion over the next five years to build bases and other infrastructure for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The deals show how lucrative logistics contracts in Afghanistan will be, since the country has a far less developed infrastructure than Iraq. Each company could receive up to $7.5 billion, depending on the Pentagon's needs.

Jul 09 17:01

Escalation Scam:

Escalation Scam: Troops in Afghanistan

A few times since last fall, the Obama team has floated rising numbers for how many additional U.S. soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan. Now, deployment of 21,000 more is a done deal, with a new total cap of 68,000

In the spring and early summer of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson decided to send 100,000 additional U.S. troops to Vietnam, more than doubling the number there. But at a July 28 news conference, he announced that he'd decided to send an additional 50,000 soldiers.

Why did President Johnson say 50,000 instead of 100,000? Because he was heeding the advice from something called a "Special National Security Estimate"

Jul 09 13:31

Obama’s Rollback Strategy: Honduras, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan

The recent events in Honduras and Iran, which pit democratically elected regimes against pro-US military and civilian actors intent on overthrowing them can best be understood as part of a larger White House strategy designed to rollback the gains achieved by opposition government and movements during the Bush years.

Jul 09 13:12

You won't see THIS on FOX: Afghan Children Left to Die After US Bombings

Jul 08 02:49

Are Afghan Lives Worth Anything?

The Americans claim there were gunshots as they left. The villagers deny it. Regardless, American bombers swooped by the village just after the soldiers left and dropped a payload on one house. It belonged to Haiji Qadir, a pole-thin, wizened old man who was hosting more than forty relatives for a wedding party. The bomb split the house in two, killing sixteen, including twelve from Qadir's family, and wounding scores more.... The malek [chief] went to the province's governor and delivered a stern warning: protect our villagers or we will turn against the Americans.

That passage caught my eye because, to the best of my knowledge, I'm the only person in the US who has tried to keep track of the wedding parties wiped out, in whole or part, by American military action since the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan in November 2001.

Jul 07 12:21

The Enemy Has Gone To Ground

Jul 07 09:40

The wheels come off “the good war” in Afghanistan

It was utterly predictable that the wheels would come off the propaganda wagon trying to promote the "good war" with a troop "surge" in Helmand, not least because the Taliban were understandably not too keen to hang around to be incinerated by the horrific firepower used by the US and British military. They simply melted away.

Jul 07 06:50

Seven U.S. Troops Killed In Afghanistan

Jul 06 12:33

Taliban launch 'operation' against Marines

Taliban launch 'operation' against Marines
by Nasrat Shoaib Nasrat Shoaib – Mon Jul 6
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) – Afghanistan's insurgent Taliban movement said Monday they had launched a guerrilla operation to thwart a major assault by newly deployed US Marines on their Helmand strongholds.
Operation Foladi Jal, Pashtu for "iron net", would teach the Marines "a lesson". Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP by telephone from an unknown location.

Jul 05 04:12

US Marines launch major operation in Afghanistan

To date, about 57,000 U.S. servicemen are now deployed in Afghanistan, but security situation there remain grin and stark, according to the U.S. Central Command, a theater-level unified combatant command unit of the U.S. armed forces set up in 1983 under the operation control of the US secretary of defense

Known as a “desert of death” in southern Afghanistan, Helmond province is the area where the Taliban insurgents and al-Qaeda forces have intensified or are beefing up attacks against the U.S. occupiers. Consequently, the stationed U.S. troops have suffered a lot of casualties from incessant attacks by Taliban and al Qaeda insurgents over the past six months owing to the lack of adequate support from Afghan security forces.

Jul 04 16:04

Obama sends marines to suppress population of southern Afghanistan

Contrary to campaign posturing our national policy is clearly intended to pacify, occupy and control Afghanistan;

"Disquiet in the military has clearly not been silenced. McClatchy Newspapers reported on Wednesday that National Security Advisor James Jones, who had just returned from Central Asia, had “started to hear rumblings that new commanders and officials being sent to Afghanistan would quickly urge another shift in strategy and more troops”. An unnamed senior officer allegedly told journalist Bob Woodward that at least 100,000 were needed."

Jul 04 13:57

UK media : Afghan combat truth suppression

Helmand: Operation Panther's Claw....British soldiers have been locked in close-quarters combat with the Taliban and fought long gun battles as they push north in Helmand province, the military has said.-- By Ben Farmer in Kabul BST 04 Jul 2009
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8134137.stm
Saturday, 4 July 2009 06:18 UK
UK forces 'encounter few Taliban'
British forces on a major operation in Afghanistan say they have encountered little resistance from the Taliban.Troops are moving into a large swathe of territory in Helmand province....

Jul 04 08:07

Independence Day and Occupation

On your Independence Day it might be worth giving a few minutes thought to those your nation and mine occupy in Iraq and Afghanistan. They've been reduced to the role of "collateral damage", told they should be greatful for being bombed into submission to our edicts, denied basic rights such as habeas corpus in our foreign prisons, tortured and abused, exposed to our dumb belief in The White Man's Burden.

Jul 04 05:33

Russia to Open Airspace to U.S. for Afghan War

(*after the bout they lost in Afghanistan , this is like Russia , the doorman , holding the door and saying "Right This Way" , for their old cold war friends and allies .)

Jul 03 15:44

Afghanistan: US Offensive, or Taliban Entrapment?

Afghanistan Offensive
Tara Mergener CBS News
Published: July 3, 2009
U.S. Marines are moving deeper into Taliban territory and the enemy is doing little to stop them....overall there’s been little resistance from insurgents.
http://www.canadaeast.com/rss/article/718102
Head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan says Taliban a dangerous, resilient enemy, Friday July 3rd, 2009
Bill Graveland, THE CANADIAN PRESS
...Petraeus warns,...."I think you have to recognize this is an enemy that is adaptable and at times is barbaric," ....

Jul 03 10:59

U.S. Faces Resentment in Afghan Region

The mood of the Afghan people has tipped into a popular revolt in some parts of southern Afghanistan, presenting incoming American forces with an even harder job than expected in reversing military losses to the Taliban and winning over the population.

Villagers in some districts have taken up arms against foreign troops to protect their homes or in anger after losing relatives in airstrikes, several community representatives interviewed said. Others have been moved to join the insurgents out of poverty or simply because the Taliban’s influence is so pervasive here.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Afghanistan is an occupied country, governed by American puppets who appear to their own population to be so crooked that they have to screw their socks on the morning.

Imagine that your kid, wife, husband, mom, dad, or other loved one or friend had been blown to smithereens in a US airstrike: would you want to skip toward the representative troops whose military did this with flowers in your hands?

Our options in Afghanistan are stark, and very limited.

We could declare "victory" and go home.

We could develop a robust reconstruction, sort of like the Marshall Plan after WW2, provide investment for real economic growth, encourage more real political dialogue and inclusion. When things stabilize enough that the pipelines can be constructed, we could then declare victory, and come home.

Or, we could kill every Afghan still breathing, behave like a complete butcher in the eyes of the rest of the world and any people of conscience left in this country, install the pipelines, declare victory, and come home.

Unfortunately, there are some in the halls of power in Washington who see that last scenario as truly preferable to the other two.

You cannot, absolutely, win what is essentially a land war from the air. The lessons of Viet Nam should have taught this country's military and political leaders this, but apparently the lessons have yet to be learned.

Those who do not understand the past, and learn from it, are doomed to repeat it - and fail again.

Jul 03 10:37

Taliban Slip Away From Afghanistan Surge Battle

Marine commanders said Taliban fighters seemed to have melted into the surrounding countryside rather than staying to fight the large U.S. force.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Taliban are most likely re-grouping to strike in another area, far away from where the 4,000 Marines are massed.

Jul 03 10:31

Taliban Seize US Soldier, ‘Sell’ to Militant Clan

It is being reported today that an unnamed US soldier and three Afghan soldiers were ambushed and captured Tuesday by the Taliban in Afghanistan’s restive Paktika Province. The military confirmed that the soldier was missing and believed captured.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I feel badly for the captured soldier, and can hardly begin to appreciate what their family is going through right now.

But this country betrayed that soldier long before he was ever captured, by torturing prisoners of war, and - for all practical intents and purposes - withdrawing from every human rights treaty to which it was ever a signatory.

Unfortunately, this soldier can expect no better treatment than the prisoners of war at Abu Ghraib received.

Jul 02 17:25

Captured American soldier: free reign to waterboard him.

After all, it isn't torture according to the US.

Jul 02 13:04

When Torture Kills: Ten Murders In US Prisons In Afghanistan

The interrogation and detention regime implemented by the US resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees in US custody ? at least [see "Command?s Responsibility," a Human Rights First report from 2006, PDF]. While some of those deaths were the result of "rogue" interrogators and agents, many were caused by the methods authorized at the highest levels of the Bush White House, including extreme stress positions, hypothermia, sleep deprivation and others. Aside from the fact that they cause immense pain, that?s one reason we?ve always considered those tactics to be "torture" when used by others ? because they inflict serious harm, and can even kill people.

Jul 02 03:09

U.S. Launches South Afghan Offensive

Operation Khanjar, or "strike of the sword," began shortly after 1 a.m. local time when close to 4,000 Marines, backed by about 700 Afghan security personnel, moved by air and ground into villages in the Helmand River Valley, a major opium-producing region and Taliban stronghold.

Jul 01 17:27

Refusing to Comply: US Soldiers' Tactics of Resistance

Refusing to Comply: The Tactics of Resistance
in an All-Volunteer Military
Dahr Jamail, July 1, 2009
On May 1st at Fort Hood in central Texas, Specialist Victor Agosto wrote on a counseling statement, which is actually a punitive U.S. Army memo: "There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect."
"If we want soldiers to choose the right but difficult path, they must know beyond any shadow of a doubt that they will be supported by Americans." So said First Lieutenant Ehren Watada of the U.S. Army, the highest ranking enlisted soldier to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq.

Jul 01 16:09

U.S. Marines Launch Major Operation in Afghanistan

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 1, 2009; 5:32 PM

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, July 2 -- Thousands of U.S. Marines descended upon the volatile Helmand River valley in helicopters and armored convoys early Thursday morning, mounting an operation that represents the first large-scale test of the U.S. military's new counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan.

Jul 01 12:35

U.S.-built bridge is windfall ? for illegal Afghan drug trade

In August 2007, the presidents of Afghanistan and Tajikistan walked side by side with the U.S. commerce secretary across a new $37 million concrete bridge that the Army Corps of Engineers designed to link two of Central Asia's poorest countries.

Today, the bridge across the muddy waters of the Panj River is carrying much more than vegetables and timber: It's paved the way for drug traffickers to transport larger loads of Afghan heroin and opium to Central Asia and beyond to Russia and Western Europe.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a repeat of Vietnam as well. Money allocated to support drug interdiction was used to construct a highway into the heart of the Golden Triangle, right up to Kuhn Sa's heroin factory. Whereas it had taken Kuhn Sa a week to caravan his heroin to the waiting Air America planes, the highway, funded with US tax dollars, allowed the journey to be made in just a few hours.

Jul 01 08:45

Opium crop haul just a hill of beans, admits MoD

Major Rupert Whitelegge, the commander of the company in charge of the area, tugged at one of the enormously heavy white sacks.

"They are definitely poppy seeds," he said emphatically.

Except they weren't. Analysis of a sample carried out by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation in Kabul for the Guardian has revealed that the soldiers had captured nothing more than a giant pile of mung beans, a staple pulse eaten in curries across Afghanistan.

Jun 28 10:42

U.S. announces revamp of Afghan drug policy

The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, told The Associated Press that eradication programs weren't working and were only driving farmers into the hands of the Taliban.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ummm, Dick? The Taliban execute drug farmers. That is why prior to the US invasion, the opium trade had all but been wiped out in Afghanistan.

And if fighting opium is your goal, WHY ARE US SOLDIERS GUARDING THE POPPY FIELDS!

Jun 28 05:35

Pentagon 'rewrites' airstrike atrocity

WASHINGTON - The version of the official military investigation into the disastrous May 4 airstrike in Farah province made public last week by the Central Command was carefully edited to save the United States command in Afghanistan the embarrassment of having to admit that earlier claims blaming the massive civilian deaths on the "Taliban" were fraudulent.

The report reasserted the previous claim by the US command that only about 26 civilians had been killed in the US bombing on that day, despite well-documented reports by the government and by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission that between 97 and 147 people were killed.

Jun 27 09:34

US Announces Shift In Afghanistan Drug Policy

The United States has announced a new drug policy for opium-rich Afghanistan, saying it was phasing out funding for eradication programs while significantly increasing its funding for alternate crop and drug interdiction efforts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, those making the huge profits from those opium poppies in Afghanistan have made their voices heard in the halls of power in various world capitals.

That's why we will never see decriminalization of drugs in this country: that would kill the profit from the sale of illegal drugs.

Jun 26 09:36

General: Troops needed as Afghan elections near

Despite the thousands of U.S. troops headed to southern Afghanistan this summer, a NATO commander said Thursday they'll fall short of the numbers historically needed to defeat insurgents.

Maj. Gen. Mart de Kruif said the influx of troops will let coalition forces pressure parts of the Taliban-infested region where extremists have not yet been pursued. That, in part, will spur more violence over the next few months, he said.

U.S. Gen. David Petraeus and other military experts say counterinsurgency warfare usually requires a mix of force that is 80 percent political and 20 percent military.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Toward the end of this year, we will have a total military compliment of 68,000 troops on the ground, just barely over 10% of the amount of troops the Soviet Union had here before they left in defeat and that was a military force of 500,000

The magical thinking, demonstrated in the military planning - if one can call the US campaign in Afghanistan "planned" - is inconceivably ignorant of the history of this region, the history of warfare, and is therefore doomed to fail spectacularly.

Ignorance and stupidity should be painful. The US military should have learned from the Viet Nam War that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air, but apparently, the Pentagon leadership is collectively suffering from a full-on case of selective memory on this issue.

Jun 24 21:00

Bagram, the new Guantánamo

President Obama told us that this sort of thing has stopped. Well, it hasn't.

Jun 24 08:13

Mossad-Taliban whistleblower killed in Pakistan

A tribal leader who earlier defected from Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and revealed the militants group's ties with the US and Israel has been shot dead.

Jun 22 22:04

US Remote viewing, drone bombing, civilian victims

Iraq, Afghanistan wars coordinated from afar
by Staff Writers
Tampa, Florida (AFP) June 19, 2009
In a windowless room at the sprawling MacDill Air Force Base, home to the US Central Command (CENTCOM), several dozen officers monitor developments across the Middle East, the Gulf and Central Asia 24 hours a day.
Despite all the high-level coordination, there are sometimes mistakes -- mistakes that often prove costly in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the US air strikes are deeply unpopular.
US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have their own command posts and operations centers, but personnel at Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, in the western US state of Nevada, maneuver the pilotless Predator and Reaper drones that fly over Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Jun 22 08:36

FLASHBACK - Women used in huge voter fraud in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Do you remember the corporate media making as big a deal about Iraq's admitted vote fraud as they are about the mere suspicion of vote fraud in Iran??

Jun 21 22:34

What Bush Told Blair Could End the Wars

In May 2005 we launched AfterDowningStreet.org to publicize the Downing Street Minutes. By June we'd had great, if fleeting, success. During the following months and years, mountains of new memos and statements emerged on the Iraq War lies, many of them more damaging than the Downing Street documents. But increasingly nobody cared, because evidence of crimes was less interesting once Congress had dropped the pretense that it might take action. The single most powerful, and yet largely ignored, document yet to emerge, might, now in 2009, finally, produce results. And, of course, it is our friends over in England who are, as always, two steps ahead of us.

Jun 21 09:17

After Deadly Attacks, No Finding of Blame

A military investigation into American air strikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians calls for additional training of United States air crews and ground forces. But the inquiry does not hold any military personnel culpable for failing to follow strict rules devised to avoid civilian casualties.

Jun 21 08:49

Intruder military plane awaits permission to leave India

The Indian Air Force forced an An-124 plane, en route from the U.S. military base in Diego Garcia to Afghanistan's Kandahar, to land on suspicions that it was a military plane flying on a civilian flight code. It landed at Mumbai airport at 10:40 p.m. local time (17:10 GMT) on Friday, according to an airport source.

Jun 21 06:54

Third U.S. Soldier Killed in Afghanistan In Single Day

I count 5 dead total yesterday counting the rocket attack on Bagram.

Jun 21 06:46

Bagram Air Base Attack Kills Two U.S. Soldiers

Jun 19 08:47

Letters Mullen: Unlikely Anyone Will Face Disciplinary Action Over Farah Killings

Admiral Michael Mullen says that while “there are additional changes we’re clearly going to have to make” in the wake of the massive civilian toll in last month’s air strikes in Afghanistan’s Farah Province, he does not expect anyone will face disciplinary action over the killings.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There will be no disciplinary charges, because this same kind of carnage will continue to happen, at an even more furious pace.

Why?!?

The military can't think of anything else to do, because they have no where near enough boots on the ground to pacify Afghanistan, nor will they, without the possible reinstitution of a draft in the US.

And right now, I wouldn't bet against that under Obama's watch.

The military and civilian leadership of this country has never intelligently integrated the major lesson of the Viet Nam war, which was that it is impossible to win what is a essentially a ground war from the air.

Jun 18 18:37

US military debates release of Afghan air strike probe

The release of a Pentagon investigation into deadly US air strikes in Afghanistan has been delayed amid an internal debate about what details of the report should be revealed, US officials said on Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: we are unlikely to ever see any details of these airstrikes revealed.

Were I a betting person, I would bet that we will see an increase in these kinds of strikes, with ever more collateral damage (i.e., the destruction of the lives of innocent civilians), because the Pentagon doesn't know what else to do.

The US is essentially trying to win what is a ground war from the air. We tried that tactic in Viet Nam; it didn't work then either.

One would think that the US civilian and military leadership would have learned that lesson, but apparently not.

Unfortunately, that doesn't augur well for the US military campaign in Afghanistan.

Jun 18 10:17

Video: Rethink Afghanistan - Civilian Casualties

The footage you are about to see is poignant, heart-wrenching, and often a direct result of U.S. foreign policy. In order to help the refugees whose lives have been shattered by U.S. foreign policy and military attacks, please provide aid through the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. For more on Afghan civilian casualties, watch Director Robert Greenwald on MSNBC's The Ed Show.

Jun 18 08:29

Civilian Casualties Could End Airstrike Support

Rising anger over Afghan civilians accidentally killed in U.S. military bombing campaigns has prompted some U.S. officers to issue a stark warning to troops involved in airstrikes: If grave mistakes persist, they could lose armed air support—considered by most soldiers and marines to be an invaluable tool during battle. "Maybe they're just saying that to us as a scare tactic," says one U.S. military officer in Afghanistan. "But they are really serious about cutting these deaths."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If this statement was made for Afghan civilian consumption, it won't work... because Afghans have the horse-sense to know it can't work.

Air strikes are the blunt instrument in this war, and there is no way to separate civilian from insurgent when the bombs are targeted and launched.

There was a war a while back in American history, the Viet Nam war. It was there that civilian and military strategists should have learned that you cannot win what is absolutely a ground war from the air.

Apparently, that lesson has been stricken from all military and historical textbooks that are required reading for military leadership these days.

So, the bombing will continue; the civilian deaths will continue; the documentation of the carnage will continue; and we will continue to lose this war, because you cannot win a ground war from the air.

Jun 16 20:30

House passes $106 billion war funding bill

House passes $106 billion war funding bill

Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 38 mins ago

WASHINGTON – War-funding legislation survived a fierce partisan battle in the House on Tuesday, a major step in providing commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan the money they would need for military operations in the coming months.

The $106 billion measure, in addition to about $80 billion for military operations, provides for an array of other spending priorities, including $7.7 billion to respond to the flu pandemic and more than $10 billion in development and security aid for Pakistan and Iraq as well as countries such as Mexico and the nation of Georgia.

Jun 15 07:57

Obama Looses the Manhunters, Charisma and the Imperial Presidency

So, this is now truly Obama's war, about to be run by his chosen general, a figure from the dark side. Expect, then, from our sunshine president's men an ever bloodier secret campaign of so-called counter-terror (though it's essence is likely to be terror, pure and simple), as befits an imperial power trying to hang on to the Eastern reaches of the Greater Middle East.

The new crew aren't counterinsurgency warriors, but -- a term that has only recently entered our press -- "manhunters." And don't forget, President Obama is now presiding over an expanding war in which "manhunters" engaging in systematic assassination programs will not only be on the ground but, thanks to the CIA's escalating program of targeted assassination by robot aircraft, in the skies over the Pakistani tribal borderlands.

For those who care to remember, it was into counter-terrorism and an orgy of manhunting, abuse, and killing that the Vietnam era version of "counterinsurgency" dissolved as well.

Jun 15 07:35

NATO's new U.S. commander in Afghanistan vows to ensure security, development

The newly appointed commander of the U.S. and NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan General Stanley A. McChrystal has vowed to accelerate security and development in the war-torn country, a statement of the alliance released here Monday said.

The general, according to the statement, has noted that, "the measure of effectiveness will not be (the number of) enemy killed, it will be the number of Afghans shielded from violence."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to General Stanley A. McChrystal: just how, sir, do you intend to accomplish this?!?

More no-bid reconstruction projects, like those in Iraq which (if they were ever built at all) fell apart at the seams when you sneezed at them?

With a government in Kabul so crooked and transparently corrupt that the Afghans believe government members screw their socks on in the morning?

With a total troop strength of only 70,000 military personnel in Afghanistan (plus the hired mercenaries), when the old Soviet Union couldn't pacify this country with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground?

Without basic aid services, food and shelter, going to the poorest of the poor?

General, if this is the best we can do to protect Afghans from violence, we'd better leave, right the heck now.

Of course, the issue has never been that of the safety of Afghan citizens; it has been to get the country stable enough to lay the pipelines the large oil companies want to have in place in Afghanistan.

To say otherwise is intellectually dishonest in the extreme, sir, and a gross insult to the American people who ultimately pay your salary.

And for American taxpayers with a brain, the logical conclusion here is that the only people "winning" in Afghanistan right now are the arms dealers and the drug dealers.

That is completely unacceptable!

Jun 15 07:21

Film maker sets up web site to get around media censorship on Afghanistan.

The site, started by filmmaker Robert Greewald, contains a blog, video clips, articles etc. on the war in Afghanistan and the effects on the civilian population. Some of the video clips are part of a full length documentary, presently a work in progress.

http://www.rethinkafghanistan.com

Jun 14 10:18

British troops at mercy of Taliban surge

British troops fighting the Taliban are facing three times as many attacks as any other Nato force in Afghanistan amid spiralling violence across the country which has seen insurgent bombings and shootings rise by 73 per cent.

The details of the ferocity of the conflict emerged as Nato ministers meeting in the Netherlands acknowledged that the tide must be turned in the conflict. The US Defence Secretary Robert Gates stressed the urgent need to "shift the momentum", saying "the patience of the American people and Congress would wear pretty thin... if in a year or so it appears we are in a stalemate and we're taking even more casualties"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to SecDef Gates: regarding that statement about '.... "the patience of the American people and Congress would wear pretty thin... if in a year or so it appears we are in a stalemate and we're taking even more casualties": We the People have absolutely zero patience for continuing these wars without end, period, end of discussion!

Thinking Americans know that the only "winners" in this war are the weapons makers and the drug dealers. They are certainly not the Afghan people, with all the devastation and carnage we have heaped upon them.

And for people in Congress and the Pentagon, the entire Afghan population is simply "collateral damage", to be "neutralized" by any means necessary in order to make the place stable enough to install the pipelines the oil companies want to install here.

Sec Def Gates, you know, with absolute certainty, that we don't have any where near enough boots on the ground to successfully occupy Afghanistan, not even with all the contract mercenaries we have under contract.

We can't get more forces from NATO, because, at least to some degree, NATO countries' leadership listens to their people, and their people think that this war is insane.

The only way to possibly come up with a troop strength to begin to pacify Afghanistan would be for President Obama to re-institute the draft.

And frankly, at this point in time, I almost wouldn't bet against that possibility.

Jun 14 10:00

Afghanistan: Northern Supply Lines Under Attack

Due to the increasing attacks on the supply lines to Afghanistan from the port of Karachi in Pakistan through Quetta to Kandahar and through Peshavar to Kabul, the U.S. looked for new supply lines. These were found in the north.

Predictably those new supply lines are now coming under attack.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is obvious that there were absolutely no adults in the room when the campaign to attack and occupy Afghanistan was concocted.

Magical thinking, coupled with a complete ignorance of the Afghan people and their history, created a quagmire from which the US cannot possibly emerge "victorious", from a military perspective.

The old Soviet Union was unable to do this with 500,000 pairs of boots and the ground: the total US and NATO military strength is only a fraction of that.

Jun 14 08:51

Afghan villagers slain as they took cover

Tears streaming down her face, the Afghan woman sat in a corner of a room with no roof and broken windows, mourning 19 of her closest and dearest relatives. “They were parts of my heart,” she said.

Six weeks after American warplanes bombed her village in Farah province, on Afghanistan’s remote western border, mistakenly killing dozens of innocent women and children, the terror of the moment when the bombs fell and the ground erupted, turning one mud-walled house after another into rubble, still lives in her mind.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This fallout from the continuous indiscriminate killing civilians is going to further poison the minds of Afghans against the US and NATO, and make the Taliban almost look like the good guys.

This is the absolute opposite outcome from what the US and NATO have declared they want to happen.

The answer here is not, nor has it ever been a "military victory". The old Soviet Union tried to pacify this country with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground, and failed utterly.The total troop strength of the US and NATO is far smaller than that, even with Obama's much-vaunted "surge".

What the Afghan people need is hope, a responsible government which provides for them to some degree, infrastructure, reconstruction, and aid which actually helps the people for which it was intended.

But unless and until the US and NATO can actually come up to the plate on these issues, the military campaign is, for all intents and purposes, doomed.

Jun 13 09:46

* Home * About Antiwar.com * Donate * Blog * US Casualties * Contact * Latest News * Letters As Gates Promises to Reduce Afghan Civilian Toll, NATO Kills More

During fighting in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province NATO forces fired artillery at civilians, killing two and wounding five others. NATO declined to provide further details about the killings, but said it was investigating the matter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable.

How long do the knuckleheads in Washington think that Karzai can keep a lid on the natural tendency of people to want to retaliate against those forces which are killing their kids, brothers, wives, and grandfathers?

Tyrants and their enablers are only tolerated for just so long in human history; then, something snaps.

Ask the people of Romania about that: they have a very clear understanding of how that worked when their dictator Chauchescu was killed by a furious populace.

Jun 13 06:09

The Obama Enigma: Imperial Interventionism and Militarism

Those who thought that the election of Barack Obama as American President would mean a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy should have lost their illusions by now. Faces change but the system remains. When you want change, it's necessary to look beyond a single individual and evaluate the team he is working with ...or for. And the Obama team is what can be called a soft neoconservative team, all devoted to maintaining the military-industrial complex, [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090610/pl_nm/us_arms_boeing] and all sold out with the ideology of permanent wars rather than permanent human progress.

Jun 12 15:00

Obama’s Afghan War

It is no secret that Obama has taken over the U.S peace movement.[xvi] For example, John Podesta’s ‘liberal think tank the Center for American Progress (CAP) strongly supports Obama’s escalation or surge in Afghanistan and Pakistan. MoveOn.org today serves as a full-time cheerleader of Obama’s policy agenda and is at best silent on Obama’s Afghan surge. More importantly, the established corporate media is largely silent about the continuing devastation perpetrated upon Afghan civilians by the Obama Afghan war. Only when a thoroughly egregious attack takes place as in Farah in early May 2009 when 97-147 civilians perished under U.S. "precision" bombs, is mention made.

Jun 12 13:38

Obama’s Afghan War

It is no secret that Obama has taken over the U.S peace movement.[xvi] For example, John Podesta’s ‘liberal think tank the Center for American Progress (CAP) strongly supports Obama’s escalation or surge in Afghanistan and Pakistan. MoveOn.org today serves as a full-time cheerleader of Obama’s policy agenda and is at best silent on Obama’s Afghan surge. More importantly, the established corporate media is largely silent about the continuing devastation perpetrated upon Afghan civilians by the Obama Afghan war. Only when a thoroughly egregious attack takes place as in Farah in early May 2009 when 97-147 civilians perished under U.S. "precision" bombs, is mention made.

Jun 12 07:26

You won't see THIS on FOX News: Starving Afghan Family Displaced by US Airstrike

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a man who obviously loves his family, which is starving to death after a US airstrike, and he is desperate to find them food and water.

Does this look anything like "victory" to you?!?!?!?

Jun 12 06:10

Why We NEED Torture "To Keep Us Safe"

Note: This essay is more appropriately titled something like "Send This to Everyone Who Still Believes that We Need Torture to Keep Us Safe". But if I used that title, no one who supports torture would read it.

Jun 12 04:51

US moving to appeal Bagram detention ruling

The Obama administration is moving to appeal a ruling that some detainees at a military air base in Afghanistan can use U.S. civilian courts to challenge their detention.

Jun 12 04:47

NATO data shows Afghanistan violence reaches record levels

Insurgent violence hit record levels in Afghanistan last week, reaching its highest level since 2001 as the commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan warned Thursday that he expects "tough months" ahead.

Jun 11 08:04

Moves, Rhetoric Reveal Massive US Commitment to Afghanistan War

Visiting the Netherlands today, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sought to use a visit to World War II era graves as a chance to press the nation’s NATO allies to observe World War II style unity in the conflict. Much of NATO has refused to commit additional troops to the seemingly endless war, despite administration pressures.

But the most telling aspect is the enormous collection of officers being picked by new US commander Lieutenant General McChrystal for the conflict. The 400-strong team will be committed to the war in Afghanistan for at least three more years, which is probably time for the administration to have to unveil at least two new major strategy changes given the war’s recent history.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to SecDef Gates, who appears to like to invoke history, but has absolutely no understanding of it: this military invasion and subsequent occupation of Afghanistan has absolutely no relationship to the events of World War II. Invoking this is a really gross error in judgment.

The US and NATO are attempting, with a far smaller contingent than the Old Soviet Union used (around 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground), to conquer this country militarily. The old USSR failed catastrophically in this endeavor: the US will, unfortunately, probably do the same.

We are not in Afghanistan to bring it's people "freedom and democracy"; we are in Afghanistan for the reasons reported in:

http://aangirfan.blogspot.com/2009/05/obamas-problem-with-gas.html

Which ran a story on 17 May , 2009, from which the following excerpts are taken:

"The Afghan War is about energy, heroin and military bases.

The USA would like to control the energy-rich former Soviet republics.

The USA wants to split Russia and China.

Afghanistan occupies a strategically important position.

Afghanistan is believed to be rich in natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chrome, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, and iron ore.

The heroin trade in Afghanistan uses U.S. dollars."

So, there you have it.

Jun 10 11:01

Afghan Official: US Soldier Threw Grenade Into Crowd of Civilians

The head of the provincial council of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province reported today that a US soldier had thrown the hand grenade that struck a crowd of civilians in a bustling market, killing two and injuring 56 others.

The crowd had gathered around a stalled American military vehicle when the grenade hit. The council chief said dozens of civilians had seen the soldier throw the grenade, calling it “a complete cruel crime against civilians.”

Jun 09 08:42

IVAW Member Victor Agosto Refuses Deployment to Afghanistan

"I’m not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong."

Agosto, who returned from a 13-month deployment to Iraq in November 2007, is based at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

Jun 08 11:34

7,000 U.S. Marines Patrolling Southern Afghan Desert

Some 7,000 of the new U.S. troops ordered to Afghanistan are fanning out across the dangerous south this week on a mission to defeat the Taliban insurgency and to change the course of a war claiming American lives at a record pace.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the same place where a half million Soviet troops got their asses kicked.

Jun 08 10:46

Pentagon Quietly Sending 1,000 Special Operators to Afghanistan in Strategy Revamp

The Pentagon is sending 1,000 more special operations forces and support staff into Afghanistan to bolster a larger conventional troop buildup, and is revamping the way Army Green Berets and other commandos work to rid villages of the Taliban.

Jun 08 04:06

Taking Aim At the Taliban

"All this anger about civilian casualties by foreign forces--it's just like Baghdad before everything started going downhill,"

Jun 07 15:17

Green Berets slipped into Afghanistan on 9/12/01

May 17, 2009
Charleston native recalls days as Green Beret 'horse soldier'
Marchal slipped into Afghanistan on 9/12
By Kathryn Gregory
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The day after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, more than two-dozen U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers slipped quietly into Afghanistan and teamed up with Afghan warlords to end the Taliban militia's reign over that country.
The mission of the 25 Green Berets who went behind enemy lines to help overthrow the brutal regime that harbored Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorists is the subject of "Horse Soldiers," a new book by author Doug Stanton, due out later this month.

Jun 06 08:37

Afghanistan to 'try criminal foreign troops'

This is the first time that Afghanistan's parliament has decided to file a lawsuit against foreign forces based in the country and described them as "war criminals."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As reported in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice

"The United States withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction in 1986, and so accepts the court's jurisdiction only on a case-to-case basis. Chapter XIV of the United Nations Charter authorizes the UN Security Council to enforce World Court rulings, but such enforcement is subject to the veto power of the five permanent members of the Council."

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