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There’s a Solution in Afghanistan—but Not the Way We’re Headed

Posted on Aug 11, 2009
USMC / Staff Sgt. William Greeson

A Marine Corps Humvee is stranded in the Helmand River of Afghanistan—a fitting metaphor for the strategic drift that keeps the U.S. mired in war without a clear mission.

It would be a great service to the American nation if Barack Obama would tell us what he himself thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are about. To capture Osama bin Laden? There have been eight years in which to capture bin Laden and it’s not been done yet, and there seems no reason to think that anything important would change if the thousands of Marines now scheduled for Afghanistan did capture him. What did it change to capture and execute Saddam Hussein in Iraq?

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Gen. Stanley McChrystal says the Taliban is winning [the general claimed later that his words were taken out of context—editor]. Does the president think he can have a military solution—or a political solution? The latter is not impossible.

Is the war meant to defeat the Taliban? Why? What business is it of the United States to determine who runs Afghanistan, when the Afghan nation has absolutely no ability, desire or capacity to do harm to the United States or to any of the other NATO countries?

The Bush administration put Hamid Karzai into the Afghan presidency because he was a compliant figure Americans could work with. He was a Pathan, an Americanized Pathan, and Pathans (also known as Pashtuns) make up the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan. As the U.S had worked with the hostile Northern Alliance, and other ethnically hostile warlords, to defeat the Taliban government, itself composed of Pathans, it seemed prudent to put one of them in charge. This was too clever by half. Washington should have left it to the Afghans to decide.

Washington manipulated the Loya Jirga (national assembly of regional and tribal leaders) called in June 2002, so as to put Karzai in office. This was despite the will of the majority of the assembly to bring back the royal family, and the ex-king, as nonpartisan and traditionally legitimate influences in the country’s affairs.


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By acting as it did, the Bush administration robbed Karzai of legitimacy, making him a foreign puppet. That and his own inadequacies are responsible for the weakness and corruption of his government, which may be fatal to it in the national elections scheduled to take place Aug. 20.

Moreover, since the Karzai government was set up in 2001, northern Pakistan has largely been purged of Pathans. In Afghanistan, the purge has extended to those Taliban religious fundamentalists inside the Pathan community who dominated the country until the Americans came, and who now are making their bid to return to power, despite the fact that the cruelty of their previous practices seem widely to have discredited them.

Carlo Cristofori, who was secretary of the International Committee for Solidarity With the Afghan Resistance, says this purge has been an almost completely unreported aspect of the situation, and a dangerous one. (The committee was set up by members of the European Parliament at the time of the Soviet invasion, in 1979.)

“It is sufficient to take a look at a map of the insurgency to see that it is practically the same as an ethnic map of the Pashtun areas (including the Pashtun areas of Pakistan). This is why throwing more military forces into the caldron, and killing more Pashtuns”—and American and NATO soldiers—“is not the best solution, and it is hardly a freedom and self-determination solution.”

President Obama is likely to be influenced by a quite different report, prepared for him on the basis of an interagency U.S. policy review earlier this year. The review’s chairman, Bruce Riedel, has just published in Washington’s National Interest magazine (July-August) what seems to this reader a near-hysterical analysis of the Afghanistan-Pakistan situation, warning of a Taliban conquest of nuclear-armed Pakistan that would pose “the most serious threat to the United States since the end of the cold war.” Hillary Clinton calls the Pakistan situation “a mortal danger” to global security.

The coolest head in the regional policy debate since 2001 has been the University of Michigan historian Juan Cole, who comments that what we are hearing now is “doomsday rhetoric about this region [which] is hardly new. It’s at least 100 years old.”

His view is the common-sense one that the struggle in Pakistan-Afghanistan is essentially over local matters of great import to the Pathans, and to their neighbors, and of very little consequence for anyone else—least of all the NATO countries and the U.S. The warning that if we don’t fight them there we will have to fight them at home, as recently voiced by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, can only be called a pathetic fantasy.

The advice of Cristofori is to quickly convoke a new Loya Jirga, possibly including surviving members of the royal family (the king himself is now dead), and within a republican rather than monarchical framework. Such a meeting is the traditional method for settling political issues among the ethnic communities of Afghanistan.

The Pathans have to be restored to their proportional weight in the meeting, and the U.S. and NATO must scrupulously avoid manipulating the affair, and firmly defend what the Afghans decide. Then there might be some hope that the foreign troops could go home, to leave the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan to work out their own fortunes, or misfortunes, as always in the past.

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at

© 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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By diogenes, August 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

@diamond, August 16 at 5:19 pm

Apology accepted, I was very dry and as a matter of fact, I have become fairly humourless. It has become an effort.

The eight year anniversary of the event that changed the world is upon us and most Amerikans remain unaware that it was never an intent to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The murder of nearly 3,000 has yet to be properly investigated as a _crime_.

The hypocrisy of our statesmen and women is legion. They have driven us over the cliff. This republic is finished.

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By diamond, August 16, 2009 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, Diogenes. You’re not a humourless dag, I am. I just didn’t get the joke. You’re actually quite witty.

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By diamond, August 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Diogenes you’re a humourless dag. Who cares what date it was when they flew them out? Can you imagine them as you put it ‘rounding up’ the family members of any other so called terrorist and spiriting them out of the country to protect them? I can’t.They weren’t even questioned. This behavior alone is so odd and out of character that it gives the lie to everything they’ve ever said about bin Laden. Afghanistan had no more to do with 9/11 than Iraq did. But that didn’t stop them both getting invaded and completely trashed by the US military. Could it be any more obvious that Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld were following another agenda that had already been planned for years? 9/11 was the ‘catalyzing event’ they needed to peddle their lies and look how well it worked. You still believe their crap even eight years later. And you should ask yourself why there were 1,000 interceptions of suspicious aircraft by the US Air Force in the ten years leading up to 9/11 but on that September day in 2001, the story is, no planes were intercepted and the Air Force stayed on the ground. No one has ever been able to explain why the United States Air Force didn’t defend either New York or the Pentagon when it had such a huge capacity to act.  Even Keans, the head of the 9/11 Commission stated openly that NORAD lied to the Commission about numerous matters when questioned -and Keans is the former REPUBLICAN governor of New Jersey.

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By diogenes, August 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

@diamond, August 15 at 5:46 pm

I never considered a Hollywood soundstage apartment. This has interesting possibilities and i will have to consider it grin

What I do take issue with is the bin Ladens being moved out of the country on the 11th. Please inject some common sense and note that this took a couple of days as the family did not begin to be rounded up until the 13th, after a meeting between the shrub and prince Bandar, and then moved out of country over the period of the 14th to the 19th, .

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By rico, suave, August 15, 2009 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment


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By diamond, August 15, 2009 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

In the scheme of things it’s more likely that the 9/11 attacks were planned in the apartment Jack Lemmon shared with Walter Matthau in ‘The Odd Couple’ than in an apartment in Germany. It’s more likely that Martians move amongst us than that some Muslim students from Hamburg, who couldn’t fly planes, flew planes into the World Trade Centre. It’s more likely that the people of Afghanistan can all join hands and walk on the water than that they had anything to do with 9/11. This was a professional military operation which required as a basic starting point that NORAD do nothing to prevent it and also required munitions, technical and aerial expertise that no one in Afghanistan had and would have cost, if you’ll pardon the expression, a ‘bomb’. How the impoverished people of Afghanistan, trying to survive in their wrecked country after years of war pulled it off has never been explained. The whole story stinks and has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese and the only reason so many people on here believe the official propaganda story is because they simply don’t dare to believe the truth-which is infinitely more shocking than a mere terrorist attack. A terrorist attack in this context would be the good news: it’s all much worse than that. The only thing I know for certain about Osama bin Laden is that he worked for the CIA and will never be captured dead or alive because they look after their own. They flew the bin Ladens out of America on 9/11, didn’t they? Now, that’s what I call a friend.

The Taliban brought all this grief on themselves when they burned the CIA’s poppy crops. The Northern Alliance were more interested in raping women than burning drugs so they were what you call an ally in the strange world the CIA inhabits.

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By Folktruther, August 15, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

My understand, fidler, is that there are dingbats walking among us, and I have seen nothing to contradict this.  The lack of acceptablity of truths such as those Diamand is conveying is not intellectual ignorance, but emotional denial.  You believe what the US mainstream truth tells you and therefore will not look at the aubndant evidence of the 9/11 truthers around the world.

The mainstream truth sitll argues the validity of the Warran Comminsion, one of the most blatant publich relations frauds in history.  People like you beienve it on principle.

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By ardee, August 15, 2009 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

rfidler, August 15 at 7:42 am #


PS. Where WAS the 9/11 attack planned?

Excuse me for butting in here. But the answer to your question above is apartment in Germany.

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By rico, suave, August 15, 2009 at 4:42 am Link to this comment


PS. Where WAS the 9/11 attack planned?

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By rico, suave, August 15, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

diogenes, folktruther:

See. Diamond came up with some concrete examples of CIA involvement. How hard was that? I’m still skeptical that the dots don’t all connect and that there might be more to the story, but in any case, now there’s something solid to debate.

Diamond: “My understanding is that the CIA runs heroin out of Afghanistan through Turkish mafia families and I’ve seen nothing to contradict this.”

You can’t use a comment like that as support for an argument or proof of anything. It’s as valid as me saying, “My understanding is that there are Martians walking among us, and I’ve seen nothing to contradict this.”

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Diamand, according to a journalist based in the Middle East and another source, the opium was taken to Turkey on American military planes to be processed into heroin.  Now this is no longer necessary since Afghanistann now has its own labs.

Opium is now being grown in Iraq and has labs there as well.  The US power structure seems to have merged with organized crime, supplying the financing in particular.

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By diamond, August 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

The 9/11 attack was not planned in Afghanistan. Not one Afghani citizen was involved in it. Why Robert Scheer feels the need to repeat this lie is beyond me but I’m sure he has his reasons - all foolish ones. I know people like Rfidler don’t want to know the truth about Afghanistan and the drug trade but here goes:

When Richard Brenneke gave evidence to a joint investigation of the United States Congress and the office of the Arkansas State Attorney General on the 21st June 1991, he described his dual role as a contract pilot and money launderer for the CIA. Brenneke said he had flown weapons from Mena airport in the southern state of Arkansas to Panama, a staging post on their journey to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua between 1984 and 1986. On return flights, Brenneke said he carried cocaine and marijuana for delivery to representatives of the Gambino crime family and its then head, John Gotti. Brenneke made this deposition on the 21st June 1991 in the presence of Congressman William Alexander Junior and Chad Farris, Chief Deputy Attorney General for the state of Arkansas. He said the Gotti organization paid the CIA $50 million for the drugs. Brenneke confirmed that the CIA was in the business of bringing drugs into the United States and that there was a close alliance between the agency and Gotti’s organization. Brenneke told investigators that he had begun laundering drug money for the New York crime families on the CIA’s instructions in 1969, putting the money in nice safe accounts in places such as Swiss banks. To do this he created a network of offshore companies and bank accounts that covered the globe. At this time illicit drugs were flooding into the USA from Central America and Sicily under the watchful eye of Cosa Nostra. All of this and more is described in Philip Willan’s book The Last Supper: The Mafia, the Masons and the Killing of Roberto Calvi.

Willan also describes how Treasury Department criminal investigator, William C. Duncan, testified the same day as Brenneke and detailed how his money laundering inquiry had been frustrated by colleagues in the IRS and the United States Attorney’s office: ‘What Mr. Brenneke has related concerning the Mena operation would be consistent with testimony from a variety of individuals and additional information that we received concerning the method of operation at Rich Mountain Aviation (one of the companies at the airport’, Duncan said. The CIA eventually took Brenneke to court but the jury believed him and not the CIA and he was acquitted of all charges the CIA brought against him, including perjury. My understanding is that the CIA runs heroin out of Afghanistan through Turkish mafia families and I’ve seen nothing to contradict this. It’s also a fact that a CIA plane that crashed was found to be stacked to the roof with cocaine. No surprise to me, of course. 96% of the heroin in America comes from Afghanistan.

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By rico, suave, August 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment


Now, now. Take your meds and calm down.

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2009 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

No, fidler, we disagree so sharply because you are morally depraved and too feeble minded to notice it.

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By rico, suave, August 14, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment


Who owns the poppy fields in Afghanistan? Who owns the oil fields in Iraq? Who owns the coca fields in Colombia? Who owns the nickel mines and cane and tobacco fields in Cuba? Do you know? I don’t.

Why do you blow off questions like this with ad hominem attacks??

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By diogenes, August 14, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment


Go away troll. Read and decide for yourself, per one of my earliest comments.

It doesn’t matter who the absolute players are, as long as control is kept from the indigenous.

It’s all about instability and GOD (gold, oil and drugs).

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By rico, suave, August 14, 2009 at 6:42 am Link to this comment


I think I understand why we disagree so deeply. You use a standard of “political reality” and I (try to) use a standard of “objective reality”.

For example, about a month ago, Iraq’s oil ministry held an auction among oil companies for developement of the Rumaila fields. Exxon LOST the bidding to BP and China’s CNPC. That flies in the face of the “political reality” that America, particularly corporate America, more particularly US big oil, runs Iraq.

The objective reality is that this would never have happened if the U.S. is indeed in Iraq for the oil and controls everything in Iraq and Exxon is as hegemonic as you think it is.

To you “reality” is whatever sells to the most people. For instance, if you think that if a significant enough fraction of the American people can be made to think 9/11 was Cheney’s doing, then the “truth” will be that Cheney did it.

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By rico, suave, August 14, 2009 at 6:18 am Link to this comment


Thanks for the reply. But I’m suspicious that McCoy “does not spout statistics”. Maybe they’d get in the way of his analysis?

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By John Hanks, August 13, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America doesn’t exist anymore.  It is just a jumping off place for organized corporate crime.  Republicans are the liars, bullies, and crooks that keep us all busy.

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By tom, August 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Habsburg, we are on the same side.

But until the killing of Americans ends, like when we pull out most of our boys, I don’t think Afghan women’s rights are where I want to put my emotions and tax dollars. And pay for driving lessons? Yo, dude.

We are going to have to leave the place as we found it: Like the Brits, the Russians, and even Alexander the Great. It ain’t something you can conquer. Like making a sand castle out of dry sand, or herding cats.

We ain’t gonna leave, we want the oil & gas, and to keep the Russians and Chinese honest. Cheney may have been, and is, a psychopath, but he has a lot of support among sick whiteys in the US, called the Republican Party.

And the Pentagon is like a casino, without limits, rules or any other controls.

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By Folktruther, August 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Diamond, the problem of the American people’s response to 9/11 is the same problem of the Dem leaders; it is not a question of stupidity or ignroance, but of emotional denial.  Americans have been so indoctrinated that we are afraid to tell the truth about political reality when that truth is subversive of US power.

Suppose Americans were polled with the following question:

  “Do you think the White House might have been complicit in the mass murder of the 9/11 homicide?”

In my opinion, from reading the evidence and implications of 9/11 truthers, this is overwhealmingly likely.  Do you think a large fraction of the American people would answer ‘Yes’ to that quetion, that the president is probably a mass murderer?  My guess is that they would be afraid to, this being subject to attack as being paranoid and highly unpatriotic.  Most people would be like Inherit, not examining the evidence and being guided and parroting by the American mass media.

This is a conspiracy theory.  Of course so is the offical theory, but thought of as such in the same way.  Americans are afraid of words.  The problem is fear, not intelligence.  Americans are too afraid to accept the simple truth because they have no leaders for doing so.  Just cowardly Dems and pseudo-progressives.  There are very few Progressive leaders who publically support the 9/11 suspicions, and many, like Noam Chomsky and Alex Cockburn, smear the progressives who do.  Becuase they are intellectually corrupt through fear and poltiical calculation.

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By tom, August 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TropicGirl: Keep truckin’.

You have perspective, sadness, and hope. I have the former 2. Going to move to Maui, suffer “Island Fever” but think that is a better disease, than the US and the Demos and their Baby Pres have to offer.

What a con. A Chicago friend of mine, not necessarily a rabid Repug, said, “You wait. He will turn out to be just another ChicagoLand politician, learned from the Daley Machine, and he might have been a superstar in Law School, but when since then, has he really distinguished himself? And what does Law School have to do with National leadership?

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By tom, August 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A responses to Purple Girl.

You are so spot on. Same shit happened in Vietnam. We ignored history, thought the French were pussies, lost, as they did, for obvious reasons.

And we didn’t even learn anything militarily from the Korean War debacle. Just racism. Before Vietnam.

Now the Middle East. Afghanistan, as you so crisply say, is not a “Nation”. It is a country of tribes, kinda like the Wild, Wild West when we got to the Mississippi, and said, yo, the natives all look alike, we will negotiate.

Never happened. Even today, in the SW, the Hopi and Navaho, and what Apaches, Piutes, and smaller tribes are left, still don’t sit down and have a few beers. They are not “alike”. They hate each other, and behave, only because their white masters make them.

We are in the ME, for oil and gas, containing China and Russia, and to have a heavy, heavy footprint in the region. Just like all white nations before—- the Brits, the French, the Russians, and now us.

No way out, but thanks for your prescient post.

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By dihey, August 13, 2009 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

“There is a solution in Afghanistan” makes me shudder. Essentially every political or military “solution” in history has resulted in new and often serious problems. Let me just cite two textbook examples:
1. The Paris/Versailles “Peace Conference” after World War 1.
2. The formation of the State of Israel in 1947.
See what I mean?
The world should stop trying to “solve” political or military problems. Instead try to reduce their negative aspects as much as feasible. In the case of Afghanistan that is obviously the task for the Afghan people themselves without foreign interference.

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By John Hanks, August 13, 2009 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Get out.  Let Israel defend itself.

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By diamond, August 13, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther you might be underestimating the American people. The so called ordinary American is not dumb, even though they’re constantly told they are by the media and undervalued by the politicians. You don’t build a country like America by being dumb. The problem is that the American people have been betrayed by their so called leaders for generations. But people can surprise you. I was talking to a man the other day, an elderly man who is very conservative in his outlook and when we got on to the subject of 9/11 he shook his head and told me he always knew something was wrong, right from the start. He used to be an air traffic controller and also a pilot and for him the whole thing just never added up. I know that one poll in America showed that 73% of those polled thought 9/11 was an inside job. The problem is not the people: it’s the politicians and the media who continue acting out this farce. I firmly believe Obama was elected because people were so afraid and so disgusted by the Republicans and what they suspected about 9/11, not to mention the war in Iraq, that they queued for hours to vote for a black Democrat when some of them hadn’t voted for years. They were also afraid that if it was close the Republicans would steal the election again and they’d have to watch Sarah Palin saying “You betcha” on the news for YEARS. The horror. The horror.

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By kwaku, August 13, 2009 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ so left i’m right

You forgot one more reason: gas

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By diogenes, August 13, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

@rfidler, August 13 at 3:35 pm

McCoy is an historian. His several hundred page historical analysis, beginning with the US involvement trading opium for arms with the Hmong-out of necessity-in the late 40’s and the flying of the Burma Hump, does not spout statistics.

Ruppert, on the other hand, considers that as of 2004 upwards of $1 trillion of liquidity for the worlds’ banking systems (think BCCI, Banamex and ultimately Citibank directly implicated plus others unknown), without which there would be this much less cash in the markets, was provided by the illegal drug trade. Again, it would be sheer speculation to consider the percentage due to machinations involving the CIA, though it is likely a large fraction.

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By tropicgirl, August 13, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

The United States has culpability for just about every disaster of interference in the world. WE are the trained pit-bull, in my opinion. Most of the actual people who did this are dead or dying and forgotten. What amazes me is that someone as young as Obama actually admire these people as ones to emulate in any way.

If we tried to clean up the messes that our predecessors have made around the world it wouldn’t be possible either financially or morally. Most of these places have slowly limped toward recovery, like Vietnam, for example, who we devastated in every way possible. What they have become is far from perfect but there it is and no one is getting napalmed at the moment.

I say any country we want to “fix” should first be made a part of the United States. If you can’t do that, then leave them alone. That means you REALLY don’t want the responsibility, just the opportunity to further exploit.

I could never have predicted what a disaster Obama would turn out to be and how the progressives have just folded up. I am truly stunned. That is why I say that it just might turn out that it will be easier to reform conservatives that these fake progressives. The American people are definitely paying more attention to them because they are giving a bit of an objective view, although far from being co-opted themselves, and they appear to have the moral high ground. Many are anti-war now, most of my environmental friends tend to be conservative, and my conservative friends (believe it or not) have no problem with single payer as long as there are designer policies available as well. (I would not include the radio talk show hosts in this group)

Obama is the shifty one. I think if he exposed his list of “friends” we would all be shocked, whether in health care or war.

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By rico, suave, August 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment


I’m asking you to save me some time and tell me what McCoy says is the CIA’s “GDP”, not what the CIA would admit to. Of course they’d say “none”!

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By tropicgirl, August 13, 2009 at 8:46 am Link to this comment


you said, “...I never said that anything had been cleaned up or is being cleaned up, but leaving the country to the Taliban is a bad option.  If the Taliban was an organic political movement then I would look at them differently.  My point was that they were taught how to amplify their power using military techniques…”

Honestly, you don’t see anything wrong about what you said? Why would it even be our concern that we can either “leave the country to the Taliban” or not? Whether it meets our idea of what should be, unless they come and attack us, why would it be up to you to decide what an “organic” political movement is?

And about “amplifying power using military techniques…” Here is where I would again inject Israel and the US, who far surpass anyone in amplifying power to terrorize, in the region. So, to me, this fear of the Taliban is like kicking a cat. Just leave them and try to be a good friend if you can. That approach has proven to be more productive by far. Just productive in the idea of letting people live and not become sick and refugees.

If you follow your reasoning, perhaps Germany, or another neutral country, should attack the U.S. or Israel for their absolutely devastating military activity, mistakes, torture, and so on, just because they could do it? And to me, these are REAL crimes. It just doesn’t ever make sense to attack people when they have not attacked you whatsoever. It damages them and us. Its so “last century”.

I personally thought the Bush government was deadly and criminal. Would it be ok for me to hire someone to infiltrate the white house and attempt regime change? Or some other country to do it. I think not.

I’m trying to be fair here. Its true we “made the mess”, and that warrants further honest investigation, but our continued interference has no incentive to act in their best interests. It never will. And those interests should come first. After all, it is their country.

Obama and the Democrats have an insurmountable streak of immorality when it comes to world banking and foreign wars of choice (and I do think there is a connection, of course and, not excusing the republicans, a neo is a neo). It is not going to lead to anything good. Apparently it may be leading to some sort of worldwide uprising from what I have been hearing.

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By diogenes, August 13, 2009 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

@ rfidler, August 12 at 11:08 pm

This is the whole point, isn’t it? This is one fact that can not be just looked up at

Do you have to wonder why that is?

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By Folktruther, August 13, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

What is remrkable abuut the 0/11-antrax public relations homincide, Diamand,  is that you can so indoctrinate a nation of people who mostly will not believe the implications that is right before their eyes. Indeed, the denial is such such that they will not look at the evidence.

Inherit is my touchstone for this kind of magical cretinism.  He believes the Warran Commission, possibly, until 9/11, the most outrageious public relations fraud in history, far surpassing the Dryfus Affair.  Perhaps forty known witnesses heard shots coming from the grassy knoll and saw gun smoke, but they were not only TV so they don’t really exist. And magical cretinists like Inherit still call people who acknowledge it paranoid conspiracy theorists.

The problem is even worse with 9/11 because Inherit is afraid that the attack will be blamed on Israel, since they have a record of false flag operations, notably the attack on the USS Liberty.  The US does use Mossad agents since they do not have enough Arabic speakers, and it is quite true that the Mossad High Fivers in the park knew about the attack beforehand.  but the attack was most likely orchestrated or at least shaped by Cheney for oil imperialism, not primarily Zionist imperialism.

But Americans still cannot believe that the US power structure would massacre thousands of Americans.  the problem is not intellectual reason but emotional denial.  And the Bushite regime, while totally incopetent in regards to policy were absoluted brilliant in marketing deception. 

Infantalizing the American people through fear which was butressed by the schoolbook American history and ideology.  The US was simply not the kind of place where elements of the US power structure could assassinate a president in plain sight )although it has happened before) and even more not the kind of place where US power would blow up its own buildings.

It may be that to get these political crimes acknowledged by the American people, it is necessary to change our background context from the current US to a world historical perspective.  And change the class perspective from the ruling and professional classes to the vast majority of the population.  The restiction of the American background context to current America makes these crimes too outlandish to be credible to the magical cretinists.

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By Howie Bledsoe, August 13, 2009 at 3:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Too true, The US & UK are using the old “devide and conquer” tactic on a country of historically divided clans. This tactic was fine in Iraq, but will never work in A-stan. Then again, as long as the terror rolls ahead, the US can buy time in the region.

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By ChaoticGood, August 13, 2009 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

Welcome to the briar patch said the Tar Baby.

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By Purple Girl, August 13, 2009 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

Afghanistan is a country of Tribes. This is why every ‘empire’ that has gone in has Failed.
If Bush and his ‘brains’ had picked up a history book, they would have never gone in to begin with.
We can not, like our predecessors, get a ‘hold’ of Afghanistan because there is no National identity- only Clan allegience.
If the Far Right Repugs got their way and we dismantled the Fed gov’t- We would be a country like Afghanistan- disassociated Anarchy.Granted, It,too, would be a bitch to defeat US on our soil- because you’d be fighting a vast array of economic, politcal and social interests from NYC to Galvaston TX.
Until we realize that Aghanistan will never be a country of ‘Nationalists’ we will remain in a quagmire.
But his is not Obama’s Quagmire, It’s Reagans, and Clintons and W’s. Reagan slipped in and then slipped out, never helping the real Afghanis, only the insurgency like Bin Laden. Clinton too just bombed but never helped loosen the grip of the Taliban or AQ on the various native tribes of Afghanistan. And W painted them all a Islamic Terrorists and began killing them in droves- great way to ‘make friends and influence people’.
You want to finally get out of Afghanistan, then work to provide the Clans with economic independence from AQ’s poppy field plantations. Otherwise become the ‘better paying customer’ of their product (medical uses for Herione).

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By Robert MacDonald, August 12, 2009 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wrote a long analytical comment on the William Pfaff article on Afghanistan.
I followed the prompts and the robot-check and clicked the Post button.
And a meesage said I failed the robot test, and then my long comment just disappeared for good.

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By diamond, August 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Searing adjitator there is nothing to debate on 9/11. Sir Isaac Newton’s law of gravity says the twin towers were blown up and Larry Silverstein who bought the entire WTC for $100 million six weeks before 9/11 and insured it for terrorist attack went on the Today show and in an interview with Matt Lauer said that building number 7 was ‘pulled’ slang for demolished i.e. blown up. What is there to discuss?

The World Trade Centre was blown up and Silverstein took his insurance company to court claiming it was two planes so it was two terrorist attacks. He made an $8.05 billion profit on his $100 million investment. But it gets better: the judge in his case who gave him his massive payout was Michael Mukasey, soon to be Attorney General and also by the way, co-author of the Patriot Act. Silverstein’s story is that the Fire Chief of NY phoned him and said number 7 was dangerous and would have to be ‘pulled’ that is blown up. The problems with his story are numerous. Why would anyone go back into what they regarded as a war zone to blow up a building? And of course you can’t bring a 47 storey building down into its footprint in an hour or two. It takes weeks, sometimes months to plant the charges in the right way so that the basement blows first and all the debris comes down and falls into that hole. Most of his story is obviously a lie but he was telling the truth when he said the building was blown up. Watch it come down: it comes down exactly the same way as the Twin Towers. They were all blown up. The dust from the WTC was full of unignited thermite. The site of the WTC smoked for THREE MONTHS. Metal rails glowed as if they’d been hit by a nuclear explosion. Jet fuel which is kerosene and burns at a relatively low temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit in an open air fire could not possibly melt steel which melts at 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures can only be achieved in a blast furnace or with thermite. The blast furnace is out of the question so that only leaves thermite which reaches a temperature of 4,250 degrees Fahrenheit in 2 seconds.

Buildings only come down at freefall speed if they’re blown up. The Twin Towers and building Number 7 all came down at freefall speed. The towers came down at 9 and 10 seconds respectively - freefall speed. A pancake collapse is completely different and takes 96 seconds for a 110 storey building. 9/11 was an act of domestic terrorism planned and executed by professionals - the military, the intelligence services and the Bush administration. Afghanistan was the patsy.

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By rico, suave, August 12, 2009 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment


OK, I’ll bite. What is the CIA’s complicity in the global drug trade, as a percent of GDP (gross drug product)?

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By Gulap, August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
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@Habsberg and @tropicgirl

International Politics is all about interests…
Taliban are “made” integral part of Afghanistan. US doesn’t seem to be there for defeating Taliban. US want them just like they want top leadership of A-Q.
They are helping them to be there. Everything in this world has a price..and loosing few soldiers for a broader interest is not a bad deal for US.

Habsberg is right…to my limited knowledge and understanding (from studying the neighbour of Afg.)  Talibans are basically terrorists (may be not responsible for 9/11) and terrorists have no religion…i dont think (I could be wrong) a single religion on earth can teach terrorism…

Agree..its not legitimate for any country to invade other country and impose their so called democracy on them (Like Bush said..“to set the people of Iraq free (to kill each other wink” . . . and there is no justification for matter what..


If US leaves Afghanistan like that…its neighbour ll not let the people of Afghanistan have their own well..they well (again) send Taliban to Afghanistan to secure their western border and to make it their fifth province….

How a Journalist can meet OBL twice??? of course once after 9/11…while CIA cant trace him???

Probably its not about winning the war…its about achieving the goals and securing interests in the region…having a “closer” look of your foes…....of course at the expense of taxpayers money..after all these are the civilians who suffer..during the war..and post war (recession)

....we are not living in an ideal world..where everyone loves others..there ll (probably)always be racists, fanatics and warmongers…very few people think.

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By John Hanks, August 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
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“War is the heart of the state”  Hitler left N. Africa.  Obama can leave Iraqistan.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, August 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Obama has already said, “If you think the United States is nothing more than a self-interested empire, you’re way off base.”  I don’t think this was a courtesy statement made by a Democrat who does not wish to be seen as less than 100% American.  He absolutely believes it.  So trot out as many lies and cliches you want about Iraq and Afghanistan and Obama will say “right on”.  Obama is as slick as spit on a doorknob and a as great a liar as George W. Bush.

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By diogenes, August 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

@rfidler, August 12 at 4:52 pm

How can you label someone with the perjorative “conspiracy theorist” if you haven’t done the research of comparative history with corroborated facts and citing demonstrably questionable examples.

This would label you as a troll.

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By rico, suave, August 12, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment


You’re right, I’m not familiar with Mr McCoy’s version of history. I try to avoid conspiracy theorists.

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By diogenes, August 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

@searing adjitaror, August 12 at 1:44 pm

Yeah, that’s why I never bothered to get a woodburning stove. They are only good for one use grin

@rfidler, August 12 at 10:01 am

I see that you are not familiar with world history as presented by Alfred W. McCoy, “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade” and “Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil,” by Michael C. Ruppert and Catherine Austin Fitts.

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By tropicgirl, August 12, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

“...Taliban and Sharia are supported by a violent minority in Afghanistan…”

Well, some KKKers support republicans. So what? There is really no point to that argument. Taliban is an integral part of the society now, whether you like it or not. It includes men, boys, women, children, babies and old people. We, in the US, can be described as a “violent” majority if you want to get right down to it. We just pay people, and our children, to do the violence.

You talk about “cleaning up a mess”. I’m sorry, that is no way to speak about a group of people, ESPECIALLY, if you take credit for creating problems for them. People are not a “mess” to clean up. You hurt them, then a “mess” is created, so you hurt them more? WTF?

And, the sick way that we THINK we are “cleaning it up” is creating more of what you call a “mess”. A psychological mess for us and a survival mess for them.

I’ve heard this type of speech about Muslims from lots of Zionists and it always sounds similar. Makes my hair stand up.

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By Hulk2008, August 12, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

We should have allowed the Northern Alliance to finish off Bin Laden for us, or taken the Taliban offer to capture him with a promise of no death sentence. 
  We should have kept US involvement at the special forces and CIA level - no “civilian soldier” efforts at all.
  We should have declared “success” after the first sign of temporary stability in Afghanistan ... and then pulled out to let the Northern Alliance etc. settle their own hash.
  We should not have entered Iraq despite trumped up rumors and phantom WMDs and the tyrant that had been kept in a box for years before.

Shoulda .... Coulda .... OOOPS !

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By tropicgirl, August 12, 2009 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

What a great article. When I saw that fat tub of lard, Donna Brazil, on the weekend news deliberately confuse the Taliban with Al Queda, in the same sentence, I almost vomited, so you must excuse my language.

And then, this morning, that cheney-wannabe, Donna Rice, who walked out on hearings at the UN on racism and terrorism by Israel, appeared on my screen with her glaring eyes, hate-filled face, I thought, “am I still in the Bush days?”. I am looking at a demon in a female body. Why doesn’t she just get a Caterpillar and start bulldozing Palestinian homes herself?

There is no one who can defend war against the Muslims in Afghanistan, or anywhere else for that matter. Even if 9-11 was a terrorist act, which it was probably more like a false flag incident, what we are doing is like attacking the Mormons because they live near a questionable commune.

But some interesting things…

There is so much information on the world banks laundering drug money from this and other areas of the world, its pathetic. Funny thing, when the Taliban retook, the banks collapsed. Just sayin’. Banks propped up “courtesy of the American taxpayer”.

There is no reason that Afghanistan can’t produce high-quality pharmaceuticals and benefit their people from it. Oh, I forgot. There is India and its deals with the US who corner the market and keep the prices unaffordable and pain medicine rationed.

America doesn’t deserve health care. To quote a caller on C-Span, they need a psychiatrist because they are crazy, psychotic killers. This is the dirtiest of business, killing women, children and families. The individuals who are doing it, if they have any sort of normal brain, will also need psychiatric help, for real.

This is what happens when you don’t investigate events like 9-11. This is what happens when you don’t prosecute torture. This is what happens when you elect a faker like Bush and Obama. We are in for so much more hell from these people.

I have no respect and will show none to torture protectors and killers, I don’t care what “side of the aisle” they come from. They need to go back under the filthy rock they slithered out from under.

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By searing adjitaror, August 12, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
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Heavyrunner - while 9/11 was indeed a conspiracy, I assure you metal bends like rubber in intense fires, in fact, it can fail faster then heavy timbers. Why not go to a community college and take some classes? I say that out of helpfullness, that’s all.  Why not just train, pay and brainwash some people to crash airplanes into buildings? You can call it freefall or controlled demolition or whatever, those work. But we still don’t know who ordered Kennedy killed.

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By dihey, August 12, 2009 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Quote: “Is the war meant to defeat the Taliban? Why? What business is it of the United States to determine who runs Afghanistan, when the Afghan nation has absolutely no ability, desire or capacity to do harm to the United States or to any of the other NATO countries?”

The military arm of NATO needs one or, preferably, several “dangerous enemies” to justify its continued existence. The American public does not believe that Russia or Serbia still fit the bill. Hence the Obama administration, like its predecessor calls on “terrorism/terrorists/Taliban” to justify the continued existence of an otherwise moribund NATO. They have now even stooped to a new abysmal depth by adopting the “mushroom cloud” tactic of former Secretary Rice. Thumbs down!

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By rico, suave, August 12, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment


“It certainly seems like the kind of society favored by American sociopaths a.k.a. the American government.”

But the opposite is true: The American government is doing all it can to fight the Taliban. So that makes the U.S. the good guys in this fight, right?

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By heavyrunner, August 12, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Obama has made public statements to the effect that we have to conquer Afghanistan so no more fanatics can bomb New York from a cave there.

Which is a ridiculous idea and is not what happened on 9/11/2001.  Steel framed skyscrapers do not disintegrate into dust and fall into their own footprints due to fire in their upper stories.  Think about it.

James Jones, National Security Advisor, and former “Supreme Commander” is famous for his toy maps and imaginary pipelines.  When he was prancing around Europe in his decorative suit calling himself the Supreme Commander he was often know to present a toy map with an imaginary line through the Afghanistan area that represented the pipeline UNOCAL wanted to build to bring petroleum from the Caspian Basin to the Arabian sea.  This was absolutely vital to Jones because he needed fuel for his big battleship.

After retiring as Supreme Commander, Jones took a job as a board member of Chevron, which had purchased UNOCAL, largely because of the imaginary line through Afghanistan.  When Obama chose Jones to be National Security Advisor he was a board member of Chevron.

There is a script for a very funny Dr. Strangelove remake in all of this, but the real world effects of the madness are not funny at all.

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By hippie4ever, August 12, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

The Taliban are religious extremists who destroyed the ancient Buddhist shrine at Bamiyan (…/i.html)

and denied Afghani women their basic human rights (

Why they aren’t given “favored nation status” like China is anyone’s guess. It certainly seems like the kind of society favored by American sociopaths a.k.a. the American government.

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By rico, suave, August 12, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment


Wow. For once I’m in substantial agreement with your comment! Except for the drug part, where I think you wax a little too conspiratorial.

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By rbrooks, August 12, 2009 at 5:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ah. But it’s keeping the Pentagon in business, and that, after all, is Obama’s job.

Part of it, that is, while he keeps Wall Street, Big Ag, Big Insurance, and Big Pharma in business.

Not difficult, just maintain the Bush/Clinton policies and keep that happy talk coming.

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By the tshirt doctor, August 12, 2009 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

ChaoticGood, you mean the United States of Amnesia?

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By ardee, August 12, 2009 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

Does anyone remember that the Taliban had nothing to do with the events of 9/11? Does anyone remember that they offered to turn Osama bin Laden over to any nation that would guarrantee no death penalty and would try him under Islamic law? Does anyone remember that , under Taliban rule, Afghanistan opium production was dramatically diminished?

We are like a large dog in a crowded room, our every action knocks over some damn thing!

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By Folktruther, August 11, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

The truth about the afpak war is very simple but so discreditable that it can’t be told in the mainstream media.  there is no way for the US and Nato to win that war.  Indeed, there is nothing to win, the pipeline being long gone as a viable project.

The purpose of Obama is not to lose it until the next presidential election.  If he did withdraw, the US would lose credibility as the head of Nato and he would be attacked by the Gops for it, for being a loser.  It must be remembered that the Soviet Union collapsed after its loss, and there was anuprising in 1905 when Japan defeated Russia.  The opposition is encouraged by weakness in a power structure.

So the purpose of US fighting is not to lose until after the presidential election.  The other Nato countries are there primarily as bystanders to watch the US fight ocassionally, paid by US favors.

the one exception to a lack of winnable commoidites is the opium, which has grown enormously under US occupation.  It is a trillion dollar industry and the intelligence agencies and mmilitary are involved.  Although the heroin used to be processed in Turkey, there are now labs in Afghanistan and, increasingly, in Iraq.  If the US can destroy the drugs of the opposition, as it is trying to do in Columbia, it increases the world price of its own.

The drug business was also engaged in during the Vietnam war through client intermediaries.  But it is not enough to keep the Nato Coalition of the Willing together after the US election.  When the US will withdraw.

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By LostHills, August 11, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Cut and run.

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By Chris Fretwell, August 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Get out!!!!!!!!!!No constitutional right for our Gov to do this.

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By ChaoticGood, August 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

The war between one culture which cannot remember against the other culture which cannot forget.

The arguments fly ‘under the radar’ of one group and ‘over the heads’ of the other group.

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By BlueEagle, August 11, 2009 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Aaahhh… Afghanistan… the graveyard for empires.

Thank you Obama for sending thousands of more troops there, thereby speeding up the process.

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By the tshirt doctor, August 11, 2009 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

and who were the last invaders who brought the afghan’s to the knees?  i think the invaders are regretting moving in to afghanistan.

skulz fontaine is right. get out!

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By knobcreekfarmer, August 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

three reasons:

oil pipeline
military no-bid contracts

actually really these are only one reason:

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By skulz fontaine, August 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Certainly there’s a solution to the Afpakisnam. It’s called, get out!

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By Old Dude, August 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


If you are not aware of Malalai Joy, A former member of Afghanistan Parliment- until she told the unvarnished truth- here is a link.  Not only should the USA listen carefully to her insights, our forces should protect her from assassins. 
  If I understand her correctly; the USA is actively supporting and enabling the worst sort of murderous corruption.

Old Dude

Malalai Joya
Saturday July 25 2009
The Guardian

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