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Ear to the Ground

Taliban ‘Welcomes’ Petraeus With Attack on Aid Office

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Posted on Jul 2, 2010
Department of Defense / R.D. Ward

Gen. David Petraeus, pictured at a Pentagon briefing in 2008, arrived in Kabul on Friday.

Reportedly intended as a “welcome” for Gen. David Petraeus, the newly appointed U.S. and NATO military chief in Afghanistan, Taliban fighters attacked the office of an American aid contractor in the northern part of the country, killing at least five people. —JCL

Al Jazeera English:

At least five people have been killed in an attack by Taliban fighters on the office of a US aid contractor in northern Afghanistan.

Armed men stormed the offices of Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) in Kunduz province early on Friday morning.

The attackers battled with Afghan police for more than five hours before police could secure the building and retrieve the bodies of the victims.

The US embassy in Kabul said that a German security guard was killed during the attack. Four other people, including two Afghan security guards, also died.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, July 11, 2010 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

garard,

This is what happens, time and time again, when people or nations ignore real violence in the real world of human beings.  Repeatedly talking about war being the problem, which it is, gets people dead.

These massacres could have been prevented.  These massacres took place while the United Nations sat talking.

-

Srebrenica massacre memorial to point finger at UN

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Phillip Ruch’s monument to Srebrenica is a huge jumble of worn shoes, more than 16,000 of them, each pair representing a victim of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II.

Seen from afar it will spell out U.N. in gigantic letters.

The “Pillar of Shame” is to be raised in the hills above Srebrenica with a controversial goal: singling out the United Nations and international leaders as the ones most responsible for failing to prevent the mass killings.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 3, 2010 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

gerard,

Angered I am not.  You could have saved a good deal of time, however, by being as direct several days ago.

So it is now clear.  What you propose is to submit to the demands for the sake of keeping the peace in the present.  The United States will agree to become a Muslim Nation and adopt Sharia.

-

Only now can we move on to the practicality of your solution.  Is the United States willing, and able, to submit to the demand?  Will Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt agree to change their governments and respective Heads of State, as is also demanded?  Will Britain, Israel, Germany, Spain and all other “apostate” nations follow our example and submit, thus ending this battle thrust at us?  Do you believe this will work?  Will we see the peace we both seek if we employ your solution?

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By gerard, July 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

GoRight:  Excuse me for being flippant, but if it were just I alone who was being threatened with such a preposterous demand as “submitting to Allah” , I would probably die laughing.
  If my kids were threatened, I’d probably “submit to Allah” as Allah is not as big a threat as thugs standing over me with guns. Call me a coward—but a practical coward at the worst, ready to put down my arms in order to put my arms around crazy people and invite them to lunch.  I’m a sticker of roses in gun barrels, a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ in my off hours, and a miserable Quaker, ten of whom are required to change a light bulb! 
  I rest my case in the knowledge that war is a dead duck and there is a better answer somewhere over the rainbow. 
  I am sure this makes you angry, but what the heck, better angry than scared.  Right? Though neither mood is famous as a guarantee of clear thinking.
  Lighten up!  War is not the answer; it’s the problem.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

gerard, July 3 at 9:47 pm

You are a man of high ideals.  Yet there is no doubt how you still refuse to address the tangible situations before you.  Your avoidance is almost painful.  By your own admission you have yet to take the time to listen to those who claim to be your enemy.  Those who have proven their lethality many times over.  Those who have stated their goals on numerous occasions.

I beg you now to end this exercise of what might one day be possible amongst men. I will try one last time:  Submit to the will of Allah or you and yours must be put to death.

What is your solution, Sir?

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By gerard, July 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:
I am asking you to look at the future, not the past.
I am asking you to dismiss the fear that haunts you
and consider that the human race—whether they are Christians or Muslims, Taliban or US Marines,  must find better ways to handle grave disagareements than simply to hunt down and kill people indiscriminately.

Every day’s evidence in Afghaistan (and poor left-over Iraq!) (not to mention the “ghoul-haunted” woodlands of Europe and both the Americas) gives evidence that violence is the problem—on both sides—assymetrical or otherwise,  Common sense is begging for a better answer, a saner method—one that does not create terror and more terrorists, one that does not desire death and destruction that can never be reconciled, creating enemies and more enemies, piled up as huge heaps of expensive mistakes, lies, misconceptions and orthodoxies.

As to your pleas of innocent intent—blame the other guy—
  (” If you stand behind your children and point a weapon at me and mine behind me, then you are chancing your children’s lives.  No matter what your goals or grievances may be.  And it will haunt me for the rest of my days if anyone loses their life.  But YOU placed the weapon and the families in the mix.  Not me!  I would never conceive of it.”)
  What brought that up?  Sounds a bit off the wall to me, if you don’t mind my saying so. What a scenario!  Shows how frightened you are, I guess.
  Being me, I would be much more apt to invite you and your kids over for a coke and a burgher.

Join me in searching for better way of solving problems.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

garard, - “Your argument depends upon refusing to give serious consideration to any other belief but your own.”

-

You’ll have to trust me then.  If you offer something I have never seen attempted many times over I will bend a great deal.  But suggest again that we “talk” and “ask why” and “not fight”, all while people move forward with plans to kill multiples of thousands more, I will not hear you.

-

Last note so you will know my mind on this.  I still wait to know yours.

I am very much anti-war.  I am not, however, a pure pacifist.  If you stand behind your children and point a weapon at me and mine behind me, then you are chancing your children’s lives.  No matter what your goals or grievances may be.  And it will haunt me for the rest of my days if anyone loses their life.  But YOU placed the weapon and the families in the mix.  Not me!  I would never conceive of it.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

gerard, July 3 at 6:22 pm

What is it, exactly, that you suggest?  So far you continue to suggest all that has been attempted for well over two decades.  So far you have written: “Don’t fight!  Think! Study! Learn! Talk! Ask why!

That lead me to the most obvious question.  Why?  Why have you not taken the time to do all of the above yourself?  Why do you not know that all you have suggested has been tried all over the globe for decades?  Why do you not know that Al Qaeda types officially declared “War” against all “apostate nations and peoples” in 1996?  Why are you writing about what not to do but, avoid learning the subject of what “waring people” are fighting for?

-

There is nothing special about me. I can only tell you that I began listening in 1982. When the U.S. Marine barracks was blown up in Lebanon.  I know, merely by listening, that one of the men who claims to have planned that attack is considered to be an intellectual icon by Zawahiri and Nasrallah.  I know this because I have listened to them both.  I have read their opinions on the man and the matter.

I have been genuinely listening with great patients and respect.  I have read the teachings of bin Laden, Zawahiri, Rahman and Nasrallah.  I know why Nosair, Rahman and El-Gabrowny are in U.S. Federal prisons.  I well understand that all of the above are at war.  I know, from their own mouths and writings, what their goals are.

If you are listening, Garard, not to me but those who describe themselves as your enemy, you would fully grasp what you’re up against.  So far, and I do not mean to overly-belabor the point, you have not followed through with your suggestions for everyone else.  Correct?  You have yet to learn who this enemy is?  From them and their teachings.

-

Some men are what they claim to be.

Men such as Nasrallah are at war.  According to him, not me, you have but two choices.  He has proven many times over his earnestness.  I believe you have, not two, but three choices if you find yourself in the same room with Nasrallah. 

What is your answer to keeping your family’s heads in tact?

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By gerard, July 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

If you look carefully at your response, you will see that you do not address my suggestions directly at all.  Your argument depends upon refusing to give serious consideration to any other belief but your own.  You are the only person who can do anything about that.  If you wish to believe what you believe, you will believe it, no matter how wrong it may be.

However, if the human race wishes to get rid of war, we are going to have to try other methods and perfect them so that they are universally acceptable and a vast majority prefers them to the wholesale slaughter of hi-tech wars.  As of now, alternative methods are simply beyond the imagination of many, many people.  Therefore, the future of the human race looks quite dark—unless .... unless ...work with me here.  You could be wrong.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

gerard,

All good question worth consideration, however, at this time there are some thousands, some say millions, of men and woman passionately tasked to destroying a great many of our allies and the United States itself.

The world has spoken with many of them in-depth.  The world has, in hopes of “moderating” their goals, given to them in abundance.  The world has moved troops, military bases, international companies and lending institutions at their request.  The world has tried capturing and putting them on trial.  All to no avail.  They continue with their strong held beliefs that everyone, every human being the world over, must submit to the will of their God or be put to death. - Read the Moderate Muslim “open Letter” to the World and follow that up with Osama bin Laden’s letter in response.

Non-violent means has proven not to deter these “soldiers of God”.  They, whether you like it or not, are at war.  War is ugly and violent.

The Christian Bible and Jewish Talmud teaches “Thou Shalt Not Kill”.  The Koran teaches that “Infidels” are to be vanquished. - Have you ever read the teachings of Nasrallah or Zawahiri?  Have you ever read the court transcripts of the thirty or so “terrorists” trials in the United States?

If you believe you can talk these “Soldiers” out of their collective goals I, for one, am open to hear and entertain any suggestions that have not already been attempted.

We cannot wish these soldiers to be deterred.  Something must persuade them.  What do you suggest?

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By gerard, July 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:  Particularly the last one, about alternatives for taking care of these awful people you focus on—more generally, what to do about “terrorists” short of murdering tens of thousands of innocent soldiers and civilians. 

You know—the United Nations and trial by jury and the Geneva Conventions and freeing humanity from the scourge of making money out of technological weaponry—bigtime.  Oh yes, and about that unfortunate Commandment—Thou Shalt Not Kill.  What are we going to do about that one?

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By Go Right Young Man, July 3, 2010 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

gerard, July 3 at 2:06 pm

-

I have thought about and shared my thoughts on several of your suggestions.  Which would you like to discuss at more depth?

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By gerard, July 3, 2010 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

GoRight:  I notice you do not address my alternative suggestions at all, but only insist upon how impossibly rotten other people are.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 2, 2010 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

Garard. - “Truth is, the main reason why we don’t do this is that war is a self-perpetuating institution and we have grown dependent upon it for mainly economic reasons—domination of world resources, providing jobs for young people who would be other wise unemployed in a failed economic structure.”

-

Now I understand your beliefs on why there is a global war being fought.  Zawahiri, however, teaches nothing of the kind.  He, and all those who will follow, are fighting and killing for much different reasons. 
-

You are attempting again to wish things into being.  You wish the enemy, again there are estimates of thousands, caught.  As do I. But it is also the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, along with the President of Egypt, who are very actively attempting to capture or kill these many thousands of fighters. - After all it is these men and their governments Zawahiri and bin Laden most desire exterminated.

No disrespect intended.  You have not yet taken the time to know what this global battle is about.  You are fighting your own perceived battles and trying to fight them in nonviolent ways.  Good for you. Sincerely.  The world, however, bin Laden and Nasrallah, however, war over passions very different from your own.

Learn what the enemy fights for.  Learn for yourself the many times they have stated how they do not wish to talk.

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By gerard, July 2, 2010 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Suggestion:  U.S. take leadership at the United Nations to capture these guys you mention and bring them to trial under the Geneva Conventions, or if that is not possible, draw up new conventions to cover crimes against humanity such as have been used in the case of individual dictators.  Issue a “fatwa” against them in the name of humanity, capture them using bribery, intelligence, rewards of millions of dollars if necessary. (I cannot believe they could not all be found and brought before a jury of famous human rights jurists, given a fair trial, allowed to present their “side” of the story (wildly incrediblt though it might be) and brought to justice—open and above board for all the world to see, read about, learn from. When judged guilty, punish them as appropriately as possible.  Give them a chance to repent and change (hopeless though that would probably be, considering their deranged minds.)
  Some such process could be done with far less destruction, damage and expense than going to war and killing thousands, tens of thousands of innocent people.

Truth is, the main reason why we don’t do this is that war is a self-perpetuating institution and we have grown dependent upon it for mainly economic reasons—domination of world resources, providing jobs for young people who would be other wise unemployed in a failed economic structure.

In the case of terrorists, war is a very blunt tool. There must be better ways.  As long as war is used automatically, better tools will not be found.  As long as the US doesn’t use the United Nations unless it is in a position to dominate other nations, the UN cannot function as it was intended to function.

To advocate the entire world gear up and provide armies to fight a handful of maniacs is insane in and of itself.  Fear promotes it.  Ignorance promotes it.  Stereotypical thinking promotes it.
I hope you will someday understand what I am advocating.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 2, 2010 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

gerard, - “Don’t fight!  Think! Study! Learn! Talk! Ask why!

-

Then must ask: Why have you never taken the time to learn what people such as Rahman, Nosair, and Nasrallah have been teaching, in extensive detail, what their collective goals are in this war they fight?

I do not mean this in any derogatory sense, however, you give lengthy answers while avoiding the actual issues at hand.  Zawahiri, for example, wants you to submit or die.  That is his intensely passionate aspirations.  That is precisely what he had learned, and is now teaching, both in word and deed, since the late 1980s.  There is truly no need to suppose or ask what people such as Nasrallah teaches either.  We have only to listen to him. Read his many edicts and fatwas.  Know and follow his many deeds as well.  He has been public and active for many years.

I can see how you honestly are not aware that both talking and listening have been attempted countless times, by hundreds of people spanning the globe, for over two decades, my friend. 

We must fully comprehend what three U.S. president have stated, along with the Egyptian President, the Spanish President, the Canadian Prime Minister, British Prime Minister (both Labour and Tory), along with the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan have stated, what the Afghan and Pakistan Presidents have stated and, most importantly, bin Laden had many times stated, how bin Laden and those who fight along side him emphatically do not wish to talk. 

The questions still stands.  How will you prevent, Nasrallah, Zawahiri, Rahman, Nosair and many others, who have brought war to dozens of countries, from achieving their stated goals?

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By balkas, July 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

US had not yet lost a real war. Wars against iraq and afgh’n are not real wars; because US has to pay some enemies in both of the evil and dysfunctional empires; and which US now US loves to attack-occupy, and demonize.

It does not mean that US had lost the last two unreal wars; soon as the become real, US is going to win them like very other real war.

The real war against s.e. asian lands was not lost- actually the harvest was ab 3-4mn now very happy asians against 57k happy americans.

But, really, the only good people are dead people; so they are all winners; non eof them are hurting bipoat ro people.
The hell is reserved for living people, but not for the offfspring of masters of warcaring.
They are [?all] pursuing the american dream; others, the american nightmare!
If i had better news wldn’t i tell u? tnx

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By gerard, July 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:  Why give them what they want?  That is, to spell it out:  If they “want nothing to do with peace,” why give them what they do want—that is, war?
  Of course it is because they know we will give them what they want that they don’t want peace? They know we want war, too?
  Furthermore, if Afghanistan only “housed” people “bent on overthrowing Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Britain, Israel, the U.S. et al (quite a few enemies, don’t you think, for a ragtag band of warlords in the hills?)And just because the hills they were “housed” in just happened to belong to Afghanistan, by the grace of God and other more earthly “Deciders”, how come Afghanistan “deserves” to be blasted into Kingdom Come?
  I’m afraid Sept 20, 2001 would have been a bit too late to start thinking about such things. The fact is, of course, that we did not think.  We reacted, and reaction is often counterproductive.
  My suggestions, for long before and long after Sept. 20:
  1.  Don’t fight!  Think! Study! Learn! Talk! Ask why!  If your enemy will be kind enough to tell you why he hates you, you might consider whether or not he may be right, in part, or entirely.  There are reasons, though history seems to enjoy covering them up.
  2.  Those who “want nothing to do with peace” are in a truly bad way, aren’t they?  They must fight, kill and be killed every day and night forever. Don’t you think they ever get tired of it’.  Don’t you think they would quit if they knew how, if they had a reason to quit, an excuse to quit, a reward if they quit?
  You seem to think that fighting is the natural state of the human being.  I must tell you that I doubt it.  I think the natural state of humans is peace (which in my terms means trying to get along without killing each other.  More if possible, but that for starters.) 
  I think kiliing makes most males (not females) want to kill some more. They instinctively feel they have done something mysteriously (non-humanly) wrong, and they want to justify it.  “I did it because ... of my little hatchet.” or “my hatchet did it,” or “he made me do it.” or they are bad, I am good, so I have to kill them before they kill me.”
All kinds of reasons. All of them work for the short term, but none of them work in the long run.
  Why?  Thou Shalt Not Kill is not one of the Ten Commandments for nothing. Killing has proven counter-productive ever since Cain killed Abel—if Cain did indeed kill Abel, or whoever, whenever, however.
No matter arguing.  The truth is self-evident.

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By Peter Knopfler, July 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

The american tax payer will pay in spades. Trillions
of dollars and yet austerity in the homeland. money
for war, but none for education, money to kill with,
but none for the homeless, money to give to afghan
drug dealers but no money for food stamps back home.
America guarding the poppy-heroin for Afghanistan,
guarding the cocaine in Columbia but “say no to drugs
back home the drug war. Drugs for battle, drugs for
going home, drugs for Veterans, drugs for the senate,
drugs for OBAMA BUT NONE FOR ME the american tax
payer. The american tax payer, pays for GUNS to
army,navy,air force, marines, FBI,CIA,Police,
Sheriff, Marshals, New SS/Homeland security, all have
guns paid for by the tax payer, BUT NO GUNS FOR YOU
AND ME! Time to take things in your own hands since
you all, are paying for it!

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By Go Right Young Man, July 2, 2010 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

gerard, - “Before one of our militant commenters hammers my anti-violence stance with “See. These guys we are dealing with only know, and actually want, violence. Talking to them is a waste of time, a show of weakness.”

-

I, for one, would never utter the above.  I can’t imagine myself thinking those things.

Question: If we accept that the ruling Afghan government knowingly housed enemies, bent on overthrowing Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Britain, Israel and the U.S. et al. (the stated goals of Nasrallah, Zawahiri, Rahman, Nosair and bin Laden) then what would have been your suggestion on Sept. 20 2001?

Put simply: How would you deal with those who want nothing to do with peace with any of the above?

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By gerard, July 2, 2010 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Before one of our militant commenters hammers my anti-violence stance with “See. These guys we are dealing with only know, and actually want, violence. Talking to them is a waste of time, a show of weakness.  All they understand is force,” let me point out:

This kind of strike is a perfect example of several principles the military would like to ignore:
1.  Aid is a more powerful “weapon” than force.
2.  The people need aid, and one reason they allow
Taiiban control is that Taliban gives people aid.
3.  The aid our DAI is providing came too late.
If it had been offered months, years ago, it could have been effective in preventing the present situation.(I’m talking pre-9/11 here. And certainly since.  Early non-governmentally-aided school-building initiatives proved it.)
4.  Violence put aid on the battle-line because it made aid part of the battle—“our” aid versus “yours.”
  This is a clear example of how both “sides” put the people they are trying to “help” “influence”—whatever—in the hapless situation of being victimized by both sides.

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