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With Al-Qaida Fading, Why Expand the Afghan War?

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Posted on Oct 15, 2009

By William Pfaff

Given that the Western world, and above all the United States and the Middle East, has been obsessed with al-Qaida since 2001, and given the tides of words that have been written about this organization, systematic knowledge about it and its members remains limited, at least in public discourse, neglected if not ignored in much public, political and press discussion of the matter in the U.S. and abroad.

Consider the testimony of Dr. Marc Sageman before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On Oct. 7, he presented before the committee a long and meticulous examination of the nature and limits of the al-Qaida organization today, and of the groups associated with it, the people who belong to it, the nature and limits of its present situation, the real (and limited) success of its terrorist actions and projects during the years since its founding in 1988—especially during the eight years since the 9/11 bombings—and, finally, its strength and operational potential today.

So far as concerns America’s Asian wars today and tomorrow, this testimony provided vitally important information, yet was hardly anywhere reported or noted, even at exactly the moment when President Barack Obama was laboring over a decision as to whether the “AfPak war” should be enlarged and perpetuated, undoubtedly until the election of his successor.

If the president and Congress were to follow the implied message of the Sageman presentation, the probability of Mr. Obama’s serving two terms, rather than one, in the White House would greatly rise.

Marc Sageman is a forensic and clinical psychiatrist who has served as a naval flight surgeon, then as a CIA officer who between 1987 and 1989 was in Islamabad directing the U.S. unilateral programs with the Afghan mujahedeen.

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He left the CIA in 1991 to return to medicine, and has since also occupied academic positions at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and been a fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

His Senate testimony presented findings from a comprehensive survey, published by the FPRI, conducted during Sageman’s one-year associations with both the U.S. Secret Service and the New York City Police Department, and consultation with foreign intelligence and security organizations, to collect data on all al-Qaida terrorist plots and actions since that organization’s creation in August 1988, together with those of its affiliated groups, and all those conducted “in its name” by its emulators and admirers.

His testimony is much too long, systematically organized and synthesized, and meticulously documented, to be summarized here. It can and should be consulted at the Foreign Policy Research Institute Web site (www.fpri.org).

A few of its most important points follow.

There have been 60 global neo-jihadi (the author’s preferred term) projects or “plots” in the West in the last two decades, by 46 terrorist networks or groups connected directly or indirectly with al-Qaida. The first was the original attack on the New York World Trade Center in 1993, and the most recent was a plot to blow up the headquarters of the French General Directorate of Internal Security, the author of which was arrested in December 2008. Of the 60 plots, only one is completely unsolved.

Al-Qaida itself was directly linked to 20 percent of these episodes. Most—78 percent—were the work of “autonomous homegrown groups” with no real connection to al-Qaida, but its admirers, usually inspired by the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Of the 60 “neo-jihadi” plots in the West, nine were actually Algerian terrorist attacks on Paris in the 1990s (for its support of the military government in Algeria), three were al-Qaida’s successes (9/11, the London bombings, and indirectly Madrid), 36 were disrupted by police arrests, and 10 failed because of mechanical or organizational failures by the terrorists.

The al-Qaida core organization became active in the West in 1993 (the first Trade Center attack), peaked in 2001 with the 9/11 bombings, and since has been in decline. Only two other al-Qaida-linked attacks were successful (the London transport bombings and the Madrid train-station bombing—which had no active link to al-Qaida, but was copying it.). Some 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11, 52 people in London, and 191 died in Madrid.

There has since been no “resurgent al-Qaida” in the West. The overall pattern of international terrorism since 2001 is increasingly that of a “leaderless jihad,” resembling the spontaneous series of terrorist actions and murders of heads of state in Europe and America (including U.S. President William McKinley in 1901), carried out by autonomous utopian anarchists at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries.

Al-Qaida’s relations with the Taliban today are troubled. According to Sageman, any “Taliban return to power [in Afghanistan] will not mean an automatic new sanctuary for al-Qaida.” He concludes that “effective counter-terrorism strategy [is] on the brink of completely eliminating al-Qaida.” There will be no organization to return. This is the result of effective international and domestic intelligence cooperation as well as good police work. So why, one asks, is the U.S. expanding its war in Afghanistan?

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at www.williampfaff.com.

© 2009 Tribune Media Services Inc.


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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, October 23, 2009 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

Obama still reminds me of Kennedy, who started out sounding hawkish with his Green Berets and all that crap but very soon became disillusioned with the cloak and dagger boys and had virtually declared war on the CIA by the time they assassinated him.

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By KDelphi, October 22, 2009 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

Like FT says, because the Administration is afraid of getting out and all that that would imply…for future “empire” as well as campaigning and lobbying contributions.

It was a mess whe Obama took office, no doubt, but that is no cause to make it worse.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, October 22, 2009 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

FT,

I still think the issue is in doubt. Obama may, as you say, lack the will, skill or power to get us out, but if polls show the public, especially his Democratic base is strongly against the war, he may be forced to grow some balls and go against the military-industrial complex. Now is the time to help this growth by going all out, demonstrating, calling public officials,etc.

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By Folktruther, October 22, 2009 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

We are in Afghanistan, Sepharad, because Obama does not have the political will, skill or power to get us out.  Indeed, he has dangerously increased the US quagmire by escalating it to Pakistan.  the Afpak war is going to desstoy the US leadership of Nato, indeed, may destroy Nato itself.  this is why both China and Russia are assisting the US in Afghanistan.

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By Sepharad, October 21, 2009 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

I no longer understand why we are in Afghanistan at all, especially considering how well that worked out in Iraq. If there is anything we can do to stabilize Pakistan it might be useful—since they do have The Bomb and would not like any remnants of Al Quaeda-types getting access to it. But I think the women of Afghanistan and similar conservative Islamic regions are going to have to leave the country to find anything close to more rights, never mind equal rights. Our best course is probably to try strengthening our relationships with India, China and Russia.

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By ajazhaque, October 21, 2009 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

AFGHANISTAN VOTE RECOUNT IS A COMPLETE FARCE AND A FRAUD
The Afghan Presidential elections were rigged in many ways, however the vote recount is even bigger farce. It seems that EU & US representatives conducting this exercise had a pre-determined goal to bring Hamid Karzai’s vote below 50% in order to call a run off election.

The two Afghan individuals involved with recount effort resigned in disgust a few days ago, when they discovered the real mandate of EU representatives. It is amazing how Mr. Karzai’s vote has been brought down to 49.6% (just below 50%) to order a recount. First the elections were a farce and now the recount is an even bigger farce.

If the intention is to establish democracy and rule of law in Afghanistan, then this is a total violation of all democratic norms. The Afghan populace has no interest whatsoever in these goings on as they don’t see their life changing either under Karzai or Abdullah. After all these two gentlemen have been center stage for last eight years and are responsible for the failure of Afghan civil and military administration. Efforts are now afoot by EU & US to get Karzai to form a coalition with Abdullah, a sure recipe for disaster.

In the last elections, less than 30% Afghan electorate voted and when fraudulent votes are counted out, the count is probably less than 25%. In a run off election less than 20% are likely to vote. If President Obama and Hillary Clinton are betting on this democratic move, then it is doomed to failure.

What is needed is to rescind the fraudulent elections, disqualify Karzai and Abdullah for they represent drug and crime syndicates, form a Government of national unity of all Afghan ethnic groups for a period of one year and then have fresh elections. That would allow for healing to take place in fractious Afghan society and also for new leadership to emerge. The people of Afghanistan need to be inclusive in this process, they are then likely be more involved in the democratic process.

A foreign imposed formula is only likely to bring more chaos, more ethnic rivalry and destabilization of the region resulting in foreign troops having to stay longer than they need to. Do the US public have the stomach for US forces to stay there another five years and can the US Military sustain continued war, I think not.

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Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, October 21, 2009 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

We can list the various “Why’s” but the condensed question is:  Why do politics always trump reason, humanity, fiscal responsibility, and the will of the citizens?

Various political Why’s:
1. Show the conservatives Obama can be tough
2. Give in to the generals and the Pentagon so they
  can justify their existence
3. Can’t go back on statements re: Afghanistan from
  the campaign - the old Flip-Flop Rule
4. Military spending is really part of the stimulus
5. Americans don’t want to lose their source of
  cheap drugs
6. Pakistan can’t walk and chew gum - the troops need
  to be nearby for the inevitable collapse there
7. Fox News dared the Admin to leave

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By ardee, October 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa, October 20 at 10:59 am

You are kind to say so.

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By KDelphi, October 20, 2009 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

After the way our military, and especially the mercenaries, have behaved towards Afghan women, along with Abu Gharib sexual sadism, the US certainly has no business touting “gender rights” to Afghanistan!

I had some links for this, but, apparently they are “blacklisted”.

Piece Amon Drool recommends is good..

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By Jean Gerard, October 20, 2009 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The question is rhetorical as everyone knows the answer before it is asked.  Money, one way or another. Money for “defense”, for “the economy”, for “the military industrial complex”, for “honor (means America refuses to apologize),” because Bush made “a mistake”, because Obama hasn’t got “the power” to unmake it, because “the people” tolerate it, because “war is inevitable,” because people are scared of their “government”, because—how many abstractions can you add to the list?  Abstractions are great for confusing the issue and stalling on action.

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, October 20, 2009 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Just curious; is anyone out there grasping the cost of
our wars? Never mind the dollars; it’s about our
humanity. Are you really ready for perpetual war and
the cost not yet contemplated?

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By elisalouisa, October 20, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Ardee, Your posts need no defense nor do you, the meaning of your words
are evident and any assumption as to their meaning on the part of others cannot
be taken seriously. Another forum on Truthdig “The War on Language” has very
quickly deteriorated. Need I say more?

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By ardee, October 20, 2009 at 3:16 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, October 19 at 8:41 pm

It takes a very special type of loser to distort and vilify the words of another. I guess that makes you pretty special, huh Ozark?

I am confident that the folks who post here read my words and see their meaning as intended, and, as they reject the garbage of the Rush Limbaugh’s they also reject yours as well.

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By jerrypl, October 19, 2009 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Why expand the war even if al-Qaida were not devolving. The reasons appear to
be twofold: one—-to continue the expansive proliferation of the US military
industrial machine, whereby Boeing, GE, Haliburton, KBR, General Dynamics and
the rest are able to make profits for their bond and stockholders via the Treasury
and not through sales within the private sector; and two—-to squeeze Iran from
Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither way it appears to be a lose-lose situation.

Continue to risk American lives, and sell out the real economy through wars.

http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, October 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Whitlock is a supposed expert on terrorism, he specialises in it for the Post thus discrediting his article out of hand is not an option.

I question everyone, expert or not. So dont be shy.

Perhaps there are indeed more westerners signing up to fight for extremism

I think the data shows there are more westerners signing up for violent jihad. What the data doesnt tell us is… why. I suspect if the war in Afghanistan stopped the “recruitment” would slacken, if the war continues the “recruitment” will increase.

Heaven knows there are enough christian extremists fighting (however peacefully in large part) here for their own brand of religious totalitarianism.

Ardee starts with aggressive rhetoric: christian extremists fighting but then his honesty (which is commendable) keeps him from leaving it like that, so he qualifies it with (however peacefully in large part) which erases all the aggressive anti christian rhetoric.

Ardee, realizing that his sentence has lost all its zing, decides to finish aggressively by resorting to a conspiracy theory for their own brand of religious totalitarianism.

The moral equivalance argument is always weak, and a conspiracy theory is rarely a strong finish to any sentence, especially one that zig zags from a toughness to honesty and then back to toughness.

Back to Westerners joining violent jihad:

Yet such a threat must be considered along with any number of other factors.

AH! Thats the most reasonable thing ardee has said in a long time. I agree. I believe that this threat is one of the reasons we should leave Afghanistan.

finally, ardee said: I must note the timing of such an article, coming as it does while President Obama considers whether or not to send even more of our children to Afghanistan.

I would say the same of this Truthdig article, and Marc Sageman’s report to congress. But there is nothing wrong with that. Let people express and explain it from every angle. We make better decisions that way.

For 2 years i have posted on Truthdig. Sometimes I am wrong but sometimes I correctly point out the fallacies in the article and excoriate the authors and bloggers. I know some readers here have reported me. Yet never, not once, have I been censored in any way.

Thank you, Truthdig, for the opportunity to have a frank exchange of views. Every now and again i ought to stop arguing and admit that Truthdig has a great format and its a good website. 

I think a no hold barred discussion about Afghanistan is very important as we form and test our opinions. Sorry to see that for the most part the bloggers here dont take advantage of this opportunity. I do hope President Obama is doing better with his advisors than we did here.

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, October 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

And then there is this;
McChrystal Mistakenly Reveals Secret CIA Report.

One of the more unusual recommendations, he
suggested, came from a paper that advocated using a
“plan called ‘Chaosistan.’ ” 24 wars from Poland to
North Africa to China, Vietnam, and Indonesia—would
eventually merge into World War III. From an
investor’s point of view, Maybury wrote, this will be
“great for weapons stocks and security—equipment
stocks…and non-Chaostan oil investments.” 

http://tinyurl.com/yh7739c

It just keeps on getting better, not!

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By Amon Drool, October 19, 2009 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

interesting piece on the possibility of splitting the ‘nationalistic’ taliban from the al qaeda-sympathetic taliban in yesterday’s uk telegraph….google “Taliban’s Afghan allies tell Barack Obama….”

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By ardee, October 19, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

A couple of comments on this Craig Whitlock article in the Post, provided by OzarkMichael.

Mr. Whitlock is a supposed expert on terrorism, he specialises in it for the Post thus discrediting his article out of hand is not an option. Perhaps there are indeed more westerners signing up to fight for extremism, heaven knows there are enough christian extremists fighting ( however peacefully in large part) here for their own brand of religious totalitarianism. I would think such occurances a trickle considering the wide disparity in the cultural foundations of east and west. Yet such a threat must be considered along with any number of other factors.

I must note the timing of such an article, coming as it does while President Obama considers whether or not to send even more of our children to Afghanistan.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, October 19, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

earlier i promised to present a new concern about al Qaida. I shall do so now, but can only spend a few minutes on it today.

This morning I read an article about my topic(perfect timing! i am not the nonly one who noticed the problem) so here it is:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/18/AR2009101802549_pf.html


Many of you are aware of the this phenomenon, of Western citizens converting to an al Qaida type of Islamism.

This has something to do with our occupation of Afghanistan. Here are a few guesses as to why it is happening more and more:

1) People feel guilty about the invasion and so they take up for the victim

2) People are disenchanted with their lives and their own nation

3) People who would normally become white supremicists drop the ‘white’ part and substitute ‘Islam’. Strength and certainty is attractive to the disenchanted.

I gotta go. More later.

But this is another bad effect of our war in Afghanistan and how al Qaida in many ways is not diminished there or here at home.

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By @CT, October 19, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

“It may be that the plutocracy consideers Obama as a one term president to sanitize Bush’s policies and the new White House neoliberal power system.”

Is that why Axelrod-Kerry-Emanuel appear to be the new troika, with Obama outta sight except for blabbing away in campaign mode, at Fox News, the administration’s new axis of evil? (Is Glenn Beck’s the Fox face getting Obama’s goat—or is it Governor Huckabee? :^)

Did He jump, or wuz He pushed?

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By Folktruther, October 19, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

It may be that the plutocracy consideers Obama as a one term president to sanitize Bush’s policies and the new White House neoliberal power system.  Sooner or later the American people will understand how they have been snookered as the Afpak war expands, just as Johnson expanded the Vietnam war.  The Nobel Peace Prize was used to try to cement the US to Europe, eliminating the unilateralism of the Bush Doctrine.

The plutocracy can always bring in Petrarus to run against Obama, as McLellan ran against Lincoln during the civil war, and Ike against Truman in the Korean war.  Petrarus could then make peace as Ike did.  It would also assure the loyalty of the military as a general fashions a more complete police state to maintain the burgeoning inequality and destitution under neoliberal globalization.

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By Bilejones, October 19, 2009 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Still pushing the “Al Qaeda” Myth I see.

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By @CT, October 19, 2009 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

dihey writes:
“a gigantic political and military mess with our soldiers at the end of a vulnerable and horrendously expensive supply line (remember Stalingrad?). He can no longer blame the Bush administration for his own bloody inexperience. These are now his wars.”

Stalingrad is right. If the Pentagon’s paying $400/gallon for fuel now, think of the winter prices (when the Obamas will be off to Hawaii).

Are they His wars, or are they now Kerry-Emanuel’s wars? Oblabla seems to have been relegated to the attic, from whence to issue impassioned public-relations pitches, denunciations of His own “axis of evil”—Fox news, and, for effect, the very corporations (banks, insurance companies) who are the beneficiaries of His right-lite administration’s largesse. Who’ll stop the flim-flam?

Obama tells veterans Afghanistan is a ‘war of necessity’
http://snipurl.com/sl5aq (LA Times, August)

(In the article above, note Der Won’s promise about veterans’ “health care”. When the population at large is there to benefit the military, the politicians, and the corporations (all of whom have publicly-funded medical care) ... that’s er “fascism”, right?)

This sooo sucks. Let’s have Single Payer, instead.

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By jackpine savage, October 19, 2009 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Here’s an interesting development: it seems that when Pakistan started their operation in Waziristan, the US/NATO forces on the Afghan side vacated the area. Drone attacks that have been regular just stopped.

Now why would the US remove the anvil right before the hammer strikes? By vacating Paktika the US will not only allow resupply into Pakistan but also an escape route for the Pakistani insurgents.

And this operation was not a surprise attack; it’s been advertised for months.

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_57274.shtml

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By dihey, October 19, 2009 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

To escalate or not to escalate that is the question of the newest Middle-Eastern Kabuki play. It all began with our CIC digging himself into a deep hole by declaring that the war in Afghanistan was not one of “choice” but of “necessity”. The modus operandus of getting out of that hole, if that is what he now aspires to do, appears to be the conjuring up of fig leaves to justify remaining in the area without appearing to have escalated the conflict.
The next act of this deadly Kabuki play appears to be an international attempt to remove Karzai by a forced runoff election because he bested the Obama administration in the regular election which he knew was set-up to defeat him so he counter-rigged himself. Karzai now refuses to cooperate which might make him a tad more popular in his own country. In any runoff election he can present himself correctly as the victim of a foreign political ploy.
Karzai and Afghanistan, however, will develop into a side-show during act 3: “it is Pakistan, idiot”. Candidate Obama has repeatedly stated that he was not averse to “Cambodianize” the Afghan war and as President he has already started to do so. The results are stunning: he has released a virulent destabilization of Pakistan where insurgent’s attacks and bombings are on the rise.
How will it all end? I do not know. The development of conflicts such as these are impossible to predict. However, right now, our President has maneuvered himself into a gigantic political and military mess with our soldiers at the end of a vulnerable and horrendously expensive supply line (remember Stalingrad?). He can no longer blame the Bush administration for his own bloody inexperience. These are now his wars.
The notion that the Obama administration is carefully weighing its options is laughable. They are circling the wagons to deflect the vicious attacks from the political right which they know will soon be coming.

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By ardee, October 19, 2009 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, October 18 at 12:33 pm

I stand by my opinion of you and your methods here. Others are free to believe differently of course.

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, October 18, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

Regarding the dollar; here’s a pretty good overview of
the near term outlook by Leo Panitch, on The Real News.
Below is a link to a two part interview with him; 

http://tinyurl.com/ygm3kfb

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, October 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

As time goes on and information (that never ending
stream) flows out; it seems we’ll never learn to
operate in our own, best, long term interests. It
seems the ones learning those lessons are in fact the
Chinese, Indians, and Russians. The dollar will not
be replaced in the near term (10-15 years) and that,
in fact, is the least of our problems. The link below
would be worth some consideration.

Who’s Next?
Lessons from the Long War and a Blowback World
By Tom Engelhardt

Here’s a link to his latest TomDispatch;

http://tinyurl.com/yjhugen

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By Folktruther, October 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Jackpine is also right about the Russia-Chinese deals and the beating the dollar is taken.  According to the NYTimes, the dollar is now down 16% and still sinking.

Ozark, it would be hard to write more complete drivel than you do.  You spel real good though.

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By elisalouisa, October 18, 2009 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for your update as to oil and gas pipelines go through Afghanistan
Folktruther. I hope you are right.  Winter is not the time for escalation of war in
Afghanistan. Spring may bring more than flowers.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, October 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

I would like to address oil and gas pipelines,  which supposedly influenced our decision to attack Afghanistan. Then i will discuss one humanitarian aspect.

The beneficiary of pipelines would have been Afghanistan and Pakistan, not the USA. The Taliban wanted the pipeline before we went in, but since it wasnt really feasable it wasnt happening. There were better outlets.

I recall that interest at the time was getting a different pipeline through Georgia(?) to the Caspian sea. Unfortunately the Russians have muscled us out of that a year or two ago when they attacked Georgia. Feel free to correct me, I dont know Central Asian politics very well.

I searched for an article written at that time which was balanced, evaluating the afghanistan pipeline claims fairly. Here is one:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1626889.stm

I do not think oil or gas pipelines were part of the equation for George Bush then or Barack Obama now. There was nothing in Afghanistan for us but the Taliban and Al Qaida.

Here is an important quote which brings up another issue: As an Afghan woman who for many years lived a life deprived of the most basic human rights, I find unbearable the thought of what will happen to the women of my country if it once again falls under the control of the insurgents and militants who now threaten it.

This was not why we went there in the first place,  but yes we do have a responsibility now. This is certainly a consideration for Obama. I would not want to have the responsibility for the decision. It will be hard.

However, most women in Afghanistan are not protected as it is, since Western values dont really control the society that much. The friction that we are creating by occupying Afghanistan puts women on the front lines of violence as they try to go to school, etc.

Is our leaving going to make it much worse? True, women wont be going to school anymore if we leave, but at least they won’t have acid thrown in their face for trying to attend. We cant really protect women over there now. As long as the war goes on, we must acknowledge that women are placed on the front line of struggle as we artificially add Western values there. Can Western values take root? Can we win that struggle? If not, and I think thats certain, we are only increasing the suffering by perpetuating the occupation.

This is going to be a very hard decision, with bad consequences no matter what we do. I do not think that oil and gas pipelines enter into the equation at all. You can make that case about Iraq, but not Afghanistan.

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By @CT, October 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

jackpine savage writes:
“the fate of women in Afghanistan has never registered as even a secondary concern in the decision making.”
——-

This was the leaden trial balloon—hardly better, considering, than Bush’s poisoned Al Quaida puppies of 2002—by which, G-d help us, even CodePink was trying to pump up Oblabla on the “left”, no? 

NOW it looks like Kerry and Emanuel—the soldier-cult uber-crats despised by left, right, AND center—are doing the rhetorical heavy lifting on “Afghanistan”:

Kerry: Targeted attacks in Afghanistan not enough
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jjh406co5c9vR_88I54jiBSMxCTAD9BDH3BG0

Meanwhile, Oblabla runs around with the Bushes, raises megabucks for the former Democrats (from CodePink and others) in San Francisco, and seems to have been left in charge of making unconvincing denunciations of various players, from Fox news to the insurance companies who would profit most from His flim-flam “reform” of ... medical whatever.

If Kerry and Emanuel are now running military matters, does that mean there’s a coup going on—or that the right-lite and soldier-cult wings of the former Democrats are now “sharing power”, possibly as a goad to Karzai? Will they really wait until spring, for a new Afghan “election”?

It’s sort of strange, on the “woman” question, that Obama seems to have the rather fickle “support”, to varying degrees, of ... some of the Codepink leadership, Olympia Snowe, and ... Arianna Huffington.

If it weren’t so darn dangerous, it’d be funny. Heck, it IS funny.

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By AFriend, October 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

jackpine savage,—“No it’s not, which begs the question why you’re so likely to do it?”

—-

?

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By jackpine savage, October 18, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

A Friend,

No it’s not, which begs the question why you’re so likely to do it? But my point was to quit trying to kid us about the noble aspirations of US military adventures; the fate of women in Afghanistan has never registered as even a secondary concern in the decision making.

It didn’t bother the Clinton administration when they wanted to use the Taliban as a counter weight to Iranian influence.

Bombing and shelling villages must be the best way to help innocent women and children, right?

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By jackpine savage, October 18, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

I’ll add to FT comment that Russia and China recently inked a deal to cooperate on delivering petroleum products from Russia to China directly. (And you can bet the finances won’t be denominated in dollars.)

Both are working with Iran in these endeavors, particularly natural gas. And the dollar’s taking such a beating that even the Saudis are sounding like they’re ready to jump ship.

While we’ve been chasing bogeymen around the globe, China has been carefully positioning itself. China has been making purchases of Western companies and striking deals with resource producers all over the world. I do not see China as a bogeyman, but the last decade has seen them out position the US in the resources field.

We’re quickly being backed into a corner of the “Grand Chessboard” with nothing except our king and our queen.

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By AFriend, October 18, 2009 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

jackpine savage,

Making an issue of Left/Right politics is almost never important or productive.

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By jackpine savage, October 18, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

Yeah, A Friend, the Right has a long history of being terribly concerned with human rights.

I look forward to the WaPo suggesting that we invade Saudi Arabia to free the oppressed women there…or friggin’ Utah for that matter.

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By Folktruther, October 18, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Elisa, the gas pipeine projected from Turkmanistan through Afghanistan, the cause of the US invasion, was never built.  Although called Centgas originally, it is now called TAPI.  It will never be built without Taliban approval since it goes trhough taliban controlled territory.

  Another gas pipeline, 7000 kilometers long, goes north from Turkmanistan, through Uzbekistan, through Kazakistan, and through the Uygar province of China all the way to Shanghai.  It is being built by the Chinese and it is now called the CENTRAL PIPELINE or something similar.

  This means that the US has lost the gas wars in pipelineistan.  That is why there is no power point in staying there militarily, except for the reluctance to admit it.  When the US and Nato leave and the taliban have a stable regime, China plans to build a pipeline through Afghanistan to Iran.  They have already built roads in Afghanistan, a Chinese foreign policy specialty.

The Chinese have an oil port in Pakistan on the Arabian sea, Gwadar, which refines Persian oil.  and Iran is projecting an oil pimeline to Pakistan and India.  The US has lost the gas and oil game and the problem now is acknowledging it publically, since this is an acknowledgement of a huge loss of power.  Not only for the US, but for the West.

The Afpak war is largely a reluctance of the world’s dominant capitalist power in the 20th century to admit defeat and the rapid loss of world power.

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By AFriend, October 18, 2009 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Risking a Rights Disaster
By Wazhma Frogh
Sunday, October 18, 2009

As an Afghan woman who for many years lived a life deprived of the most basic human rights, I find unbearable the thought of what will happen to the women of my country if it once again falls under the control of the insurgents and militants who now threaten it.

Handing over Afghanistan to those who intend to keep the country centuries behind most of the world—to men who do not view women as human beings—would not only call into doubt the global commitment to human rights, it would also raise questions about the commitment of Western democracies to such rights and to democratic values. Bearing in mind how fragile the Afghan government is at this moment, it will not take long for the country’s women to come under attack again. The consequences will be even more bitter this time because no matter how limited our success, we have at least managed to act in the forefront of public life in Afghanistan. We have had a taste of what it’s like to have rights.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/16/AR2009101602649.html

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By jackpine savage, October 18, 2009 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Um, regardless of AQ’s current strength or lack thereof, no proof has ever been presented that 9/11 was planned, coordinated or launched from South Asia. In fact, those portions of the operation mostly took place in Europe. And the alleged attackers all got visas to enter the US, granted by the US government.

So maybe someone should explain how invading and occupying Afghanistan has anything to do with preventing terrorism.

Sure, aQ could place a bomb in my house…so could any variety of homegrown militant. The world has always been a dangerous place; it seems that only Americans are unable/unwilling to confront that danger in an adult, rational manner.

So long as we’re defined by our fear we shall act out of hate…which will only beget more fear, anger and hate.

If you really think that a few hundred foreign individuals can bring down this nation, you only prove that we’re weak and pitiful.

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By OzarkMichael, October 18, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Here is another ardee attack on me, which i will use as a starting point to explain my position on Afghanistan. Ardee is completely wrong about everything but thats to be expected. Here ardee, take the microphone:

Above all it will never lead to peace. I ask ChaoticGood to redouble his efforts, I ask it of others as well, both sane and smart enough to see through the silliness of this particular right wing clown, whose venom against those who seek peace for all is barely disguised and always creeps out.

But in fact I am for a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan. We went in hot for revenge, but it accomplishes nothing now. So lets leave ardee to his imagined venoms, disguises, voices, and creep outs, while we move on to serious discussion.

I explain: Our war in Afghanistan forces people in the region (Af/pak as KDelphi says) to choose between the USA and Islam. It is natural for many people to choose their religion. Then the question for them is, ‘do i go so far as to fight?’ Most would say no, but those that want to fight are recruited daily by the Taliban. This perpetuates a recruitment pool for al Qaida.

Then the next question for the normal person is “Although i wont go so far as to fight, do i support the local USA backed government?”

And thats where we run into trouble.  The population has to choose between the fundamentals of their religion and their current government. While very few choose to become violent militants, it is not so rare to identify with religion if government seems to be too secular, or too supportive of foreign(infidel) interests.

So my point is that our presence is having a negative impact on Afghanistan and also on our ‘ally’ Pakistan.  There is an uneasy balance between those competing ideals(religion/secular governent) in Pakistan already and we have made it more acute. We are destabilizing Pakistan.
In the past on Truthdig I have likened it to our effect on Cambodia when we were in Vietnam. We destabilized Cambodia’s government as we drew them into the war, which led to many unintended consequences. (I wrote this a year ago by the way.)

Of interest, Pakistan has to go through all sorts of gyrations as it deals with the Taliban, and not all of it promotes peace:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Go-to-jail-or-join-jihad-against-India-ISI-tells-surrendered-Taliban/articleshow/5095277.cms

So we arent helping India, we arent helping Pakistan, and we arent helping Afghanistan, either. We are not helping ourselves in this war, and the motivation of simple revenge is worn out.

Al Qaida is not an army but a belief system that spreads as we stay in Afghanistan. Killing Al Qaida leadership is mostly symbolic, and a temporary disruption for them at best. 

So we need to get out of Afghanistan.

Next post I would like to explore another problem that has developed from the Afghanistan war, which I havent seen much written about. It will require supple intellegence to grasp it. Ardee and ChaoticGood are, of course, excused…

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By elisalouisa, October 18, 2009 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

War in the Middle-East is about control of oil and also to destroy the Muslim
culture, something which Americans know little about.
Nicholas Hagger’s “The Syndicate”, p. 208 states that Hamid Karzai was
Unocal’s top advisor during negotiations with the Taliban to construct the
CentGas (Central Asia Gas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through western
Afghanistan to Pakistan. Karzai was installed by Bush Jr. administration as the
new ruler of Afghanistan. He has links with the CIA and Bush Sr. while fighting
the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The north-south pipeline is guarded by U.S.
soldiers. The U.S. now has a permanent military base in Afghanistan with more
on the drawing table as well as Uzbekistan.
The war in Afghanistan is all about oil, same with Iraq. The goal of the
moneyed elite is to control the mid-east, thereby controlling the precious
moneymaking commodity of oil and as a sidebar to destroy the Muslim culture.
The consequences to the working and middle class American is not primary,
that is why money goes into war and not healthcare.

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By OzarkMichael, October 18, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

KDelphi asks a great head-on question: Ozark—where is the evidence that these domestic “plots” (which hasve not yet been tried, although I agree, the evidence looks bad) were linked to Al Qaeda in Af-Pak?

The following articles report al Qaida activity within the last 2 months. The articles merely state the evidence, but do not actually provide the material. So I dont have tapes of conversations for us to listen to, but as you say, KDelphi, it looks bad.

Nevertheless, there is no amount of material that would ever convince someone like Tony Wicher. Once you go up the conspiracy tree there is no climbing back down.

Here is an NPR report from a broadcast called “Morning Edition”:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113811961

Here is a report that also includes two more foiled plots in the US in the past month or so. These two people were al Qaida sympathizers/wannabes and not directly commanded by Af/Pak. However, Marc Sageman in the Truthdig article includes sympathizers in his presentation so i think it is germaine:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113290720

Here is a story of recent arrests of al Qaida in Turkey. Plotting to blow up US/NATO/Israli interests somewhere, and this would certainly count on Mr Sageman’s list:

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LF637718.htm

This article is about people in the US who travel to Somalia to help the al Qaida affiliate in Somalia. It is merely recruitment and training, although it is not a plot for terror attacks in the USA. The problem is they come back to USA. Something a little worrisome:

http://www.scpr.org/news/2009/10/14/man-suspected-jihadi-recruitment-link-indicted/

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By KDelphi, October 17, 2009 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

melpol—yes, why dont you go do that?

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By Tony Wicher, October 17, 2009 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment

Here is a segment from Keith Olbermann’s Countdown about a 2007 speech by Colin Powell about the “terror-industrial complex” (borrowing Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex”). When will it dawn on Olbermann that not only is this terror-industrial complex manufacturing war in Afghanistan now, it also pulled off 9-11 to begin with?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HS8SEZjXM8

Wake up, people!

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By Tony Wicher, October 17, 2009 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

So what, indeed, are we doing in Afghanistan? The answer is simple: the same terror-industrial complex that pulled off 9-11 needs war to justify its trillion dollar budget. It manufactured the “war on terror” to replace the “communist threat” after the end of the cold war.

People young and old all over the country are waking up. We’re taking our country back.

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth
ae911truth.org

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By SteveL, October 17, 2009 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

Again history tells us and all others to stay out of Afghanistan.  What are we going
to do any different than anyone else that invaded that place?

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By melpol, October 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Flamethrowers were used by the Americans to burnout the Japanese hiding in
caves during ww2.  Other weapons are useless in Afghanistan. A flamethrower
only cost 50 bucks. It would be the least expensive way of eliminating cave
dwelling infidels and dissidents.

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By ardee, October 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, October 17 at 7:10 pm

You fool no one here I am certain.

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

ChaoticGood proves his case: OM, is a “lay” person.  Only people of “faith” use that term.

I plead guilty to that. Was it ever a secret though? No, i make it clear in every thread. Yet ChaoticGood tries to sound like he is building a case, or uncovering evidence against me.

ardee said of me: Yet his position, that we must not speak of the ills of our own nation,

Untrue. You are lying. 

ardee attacks some more: That he mourns the loss of that particular bigoted and perhaps psychotic idiot who left speaks volumes to me.

Mourn? i didnt even know who he was.

I contrasted his leaving to the fact that i am not leaving. Thats all. So if it speaks volumes to ardee, it is just silly ardee hearing his own voice inside his poor little head.

My challenge: “Diminished Al Qaida activity is the premise of the article, and any intellectual worthy of the name should investigate the premise. Interested?

Anyone?”

ardee’s answer to my challenge: While attempting to dent the belief system of those like Ozark is a waste of time and energy, one thing needs addressing.

Translation: The last thing I want to do is address an intellectual question, so I will call Ozark some more names.

A flourish of foolishness by ardee: we must continue to demonize and denigrate in order to make torture and butchery more palatable, is a sick and sad philosophy.

Come across with the goods, ardee. What torture and butchery did my post promote? Or is it just more of your little voices speaking volumes in your head?

ardee claims: Ozark Michael believes you all to be fools I fear.

Heh. Since you brought it up, and seem so fearful about it, let me calm your fears. In fact, I respect many of those posting here. But yes I do admit that one or two people here are foolish to an extraordinary degree.


My next post(hopefully tonight) will answer those of you(the ones I especially respect) who had some intelligent comments, disagreements, and questions.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, October 17, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

The Ruling Class, goverment/military subdivision, cannot and will not accept the obvious decline of the United States.  One of the many reasons for the continuation of these ruinous wars is to keep the Ruling Class ego inflated.  We, the cat’s whiskers, can still defeat the hoi polloi.

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By Fraser Tothus, October 17, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Brothers and sisters, how do we fight the entrenched and institutional powers?  How have a people ever freed themselves from tyranny?

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By TAO Walker, October 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

“It’s only make-believe,” tame Sisters and Brothers.  All your blood-thirsty ‘isms’, your money, your atrocity CONcealing state emblems, your ‘self’-centered CONceits, etc., etc., are nothing but toxic smoke and ‘fun’house mirrors. What’s more, and worse, it’s all just kid-stuff.

Homo domesticus is doomed by its own arrested development, institutionalized and electro-mechanically enforced.  There might be some helpful adult guidance available….but not from among a sub-species comprised of artificially retarded juvenile delinquents.

Then there’s the mass-mediated addiction to words CONstituting a ‘language’ the organic functional equivalent of baby talk….for all the good it can do when it comes to getting some kind of ‘handle’ on this globe-girdling CONtraption eating them alive.  I’t basic biology, Children.

Better grow-up quick.

HokaHey!

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By KDelphi, October 17, 2009 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

I thought that the Taliban had tried to
“make a deal” with Dubya to “hand over” bin Laden and he had refused?

sashafray—Who is “they”?

We’re doing it so that Democrats wont look “soft on terror” or whatever the Fux News would say.

I’m with ender—let them come out in the open where we can see them. They are the ones we’re really at war with…we always fall back on WW II tactics to fight groups of criminals and guerillas…stupid.

War is US business—practically our only business.

All that being said, surely, killing people with drones is a worse offense thatn calling them “rag heads”, no? One is an asshole, the other is a war criminal.

Ozark—where is the evidence that these domestic “plots” (which hasve not yet been tried, although I agree, the evidence looks bad) were linked to Al Qaeda in Af-Pak?

All—unless you are licensed to do so, please stop throwing aroung the meaningless concept of “IQ”. It makes you sound retarded.
The entire quest of some truediggers seems to boil down to, “I’m smarter than you, I win”.

Ah, not in real life….

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By Inherit The Wind, October 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

If you want to hide your head in the sand(a frequent habit of Truthdiggers) and blame American Fundamentalist Christians for everything(another bad habit) there isnt much I can do for you. Your lack of intellectual curiosity and you inability to reevaluate your premises are a little disheartening.
*************************************************

Who blames ‘em for everything?  Not me!  After, that would leave the neo-cons, the spineless Democrats, the unrealistic “progressives” and the right-wing Blue Dog Democrats all blameless.

Each gets their share of the blame in my book.

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By Clash, October 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

If God truly exists, he must truly hate those that love life. Is the god of the christian crusader , who promises life only in an after world the true god? Or is it the god of the jihad who again only promises the life of the after world? Is is he the god of stasis? Why does he appear to hate the talking monkey with such vehemence? Why does he allow cannibalistic, vampirism to exist?

The answer to why we expand wars can be found just by watching the vampires that stride through the herd disguised as leaders, corporate officers, bankers…. as they feed on the talking monkey,s that the have beguiled and infected.

The cure is simple the talking monkey must free itself from its master’s, and the infection they spread, only then will the talking monkey stop it’s ritual cannibalism and become something more than food.

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By ardee, October 17, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

We should discuss the al Qaida activity, which is somewhat buried by President Obama and the MSM but it is available for those who want to research it. Diminished Al Qaida activity is the premise of the article, and any intellectual worthy of the name should investigate the premise. Interested?

Anyone?

While attempting to dent the belief system of those like Ozark is a waste of time and energy, one thing needs addressing.

Have you seen the slight of hand artists, the three card monte players? This poster has borrowed a technique from them in that he says we all should look here while getting reamed over there. By all means do not discuss the horrible acts committed by our own govt., acts designed not to bring peace but to escalate war.

Michael prattles:

That sick desire of so many Truthdiggers is not the point of my post today. Let us set that aside.

Yeah, let us put aside reason and logic, let us not consider that our every action in Iraq, Afghanistan and increasingly in Pakistan is well designed to aggravate and escalate retaliation by AlQaeda and Taliban.

Ozark Michael believes you all to be fools I fear. Yet his position, that we must not speak of the ills of our own nation, we must continue to demonize and denigrate in order to make torture and butchery more palatable, is a sick and sad philosophy.

Above all it will never lead to peace. I ask ChaoticGood to redouble his efforts, I ask it of others as well, both sane and smart enough to see through the silliness of this particular right wing clown, whose venom against those who seek peace for all is barely disguised and always creeps out.

That he mourns the loss of that particular bigoted and perhaps psychotic idiot who left speaks volumes to me. I hope it does to the rest of this forum as well.

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By @CT, October 17, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Oy. Peace prizes all around . . .

August 2009:
Obama vows to finish job after ‘successful’ Afghan vote
http://www.hindustantimes.com/News/world/Obama-vows-to-finish-job-after-successful-Afghan-vote/Article1-445452.aspx

September 2009:
Obama troop decision delayed by Afghan vote concerns
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE58L5G620090922

October 2009: “Another issue compounding the problem is the harsh Afghanistan winter that is quickly approaching. A runoff would have to happen quickly, or be delayed until the Spring.”
Administration Says Report Will Likely Show Karzai with Less Than 50% of the Vote
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/10/administration-says-report-will-likely-show-karzai-with-less-than-50-of-the-vote.html

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By chrisx, October 17, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why expanding the war? The US is there for pipeline and China/Russia containment. This war on terror thing is a cover.  This is essentially a colonial war.

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By ChaoticGood, October 17, 2009 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

OM, is a “lay” person.  Only people of “faith” use that term.  Then we hear that hatred of America and Christianity is conflated together.
So anyone who thinks that all religion is voodoo and that nothing good comes from dogma of any sort, must hate America as well.
Is there a problem with this type of thinking? 
Is is ok to meld fact and fiction together into a mishmash and defend the resulting brew by cloaking oneself in holiness?
This is just what the Taliban do every day.
This is just what the American Evangelicals and Pentacostals do every day.
Much of the support for these misguided wars on terror comes from this group of faith based people.
The crusades never really end for these people who live inside a 2000 year old book.

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Given that the Western world, and above all the United States and the Middle East, has been obsessed with al-Qaida since 2001, and given the tides of words that have been written about this organization, systematic knowledge about it and its members remains limited, at least in public discourse, neglected if not ignored in much public, political and press discussion of the matter in the U.S. and abroad.

I agree. The mainstream press and the political establishment does not like to publically tally al Qaida activity. Neither apparently does the pyschiatrist Marc Sageman, quoted in the Truthdig article.

Notice that the link provided by the ‘expert’  on al Qaida activity didnt include 2009 plots. There were three or four al Qaida plots and attacks in the past 2 months alone. It is a fairly simple matter to tally them. The graphs on page 2 and 3 of the link seem to intentionally underreport activity.

If a lay person like myself can recall twice as much activity in 2 months as the ‘expert’ reports in one year, one must question the ‘expertise’ or perhaps the motivation of the expert.

This calls into question the ‘waning’ activity of al Qaida and those loosely associated with it. It seems to be a politically expedient lie.

The important question of what we need to do in Afghanistan I shall not address here. Should we leave? stay? escalate? That is an important topic for another time.

My concern is the weak reasoning given in the article and by the Truthdiggers here. How we arrive at our conclusions is very important. False premises do not make the case for leaving Afghanistan stronger.

For example, ChaoticGood said: In the center of the Arena we have the vicious, Al Queda with their suicidal Taliban.  They are wild killers driven mad by a desert Blood God.  The are encircled by the most holy warriors of Jesus from far away America.

Preaching a moral equivalence of American Christians with the Taliban and American Fundamentalist Christians with al Qaida does not take the fangs out of Al Qaida at all. It is a smokescreen for prejudice against Christians.

Hatred for America and hatred for Christianity does not diminish the threat level from Islamic terrorists, but it hopes to marginalize Christians now, and fuels persecution of Christians in the future.

That sick desire of so many Truthdiggers is not the point of my post today. Let us set that aside.

We should discuss the al Qaida activity, which is somewhat buried by President Obama and the MSM but it is available for those who want to research it. Diminished Al Qaida activity is the premise of the article, and any intellectual worthy of the name should investigate the premise. Interested?

Anyone?

If you want to hide your head in the sand(a frequent habit of Truthdiggers) and blame American Fundamentalist Christians for everything(another bad habit) there isnt much I can do for you. Your lack of intellectual curiosity and you inability to reevaluate your premises are a little disheartening.

But unlike montana wildhack, who just walked out, old “OM” isnt leaving. Thats bad news for many of you. It means you are going to get called out once in awhile. Today it was ChaoticGood’s turn.

So continues my two year long battle against the false premises of Truthdig articles, and against the prejudice of the Truthdig “Progressive” bloggers.

ardee asks: Since when does research, common sense and logic have anything whatever to do with our foreign policy decisions?

Funny, I was about to ask the Truthdig “Progressive” ardee the same question.

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By bogi666, October 17, 2009 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

The observation that Scheer ma be copying Ariana Huffington’s policies is disturbing and disappointing. The Zionist Zealots, AIPAC and JDL, infiltrated it and started censoring comments and then commentator’s whose truth about them they disagreed with. The anti Semite mantra which morphs Zionists, Zionist Zealots[which includes christian Zionists]Jews and Israeli’s as all being the same when they are not. Not all Jews are Zionist Zealots, not all Zionists are zealots and the policies of the Israeli government should be questioned as all governments policies everywhere should be subject to question. In fact the Constitutionality of American aid to the Israeli government should be questioned since it is unconstitutional for the U.S. government to support religion and the Israeli government declares it Judaism, a religion. Also, U.S. aid to Israeli, $500 per year for each Israeli, enables Israeli’s to have socialized medicine and includes massages with chocolate lotion.

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By ardee, October 17, 2009 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

montanawildhack, October 17 at 8:56 am

As one who is tolerant of a wide spectrum of political views I can only say, I hope to hell you are gone for good.

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By montanawildhack, October 17, 2009 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Dear Rob, Thong-girl, ender,  Hulk2008 etc,

It pains me to no end when I have to explain my posts to the simple minded—-so I’m not going to… It would be a waste of my time anyway as for you to understand you’d have to have a IQ above 85, have read books other than “where’s waldo and, above all, have a sense of humor…  So go ahead and violate the 1st Amendment—report me to the Man!!  Do your worst… But I’ve got to believe there are a few out there with a sense of humor and intelligence who’d miss me…  Adios…

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By Claus-Erik Hamle, October 17, 2009 at 4:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Expose the Congressmen/women who take money from the MIC and tell people not to vote for them. It´s a vicious circle, they get money from MIC to push for more wars so that MIC can make more money for themselves and some 50 Congressmen/women as mentioned in an article above.

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By ChaoticGood, October 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

And now Ladies and Gentlemen, the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Defense Department bring you the new improved “War on Terror”.
In the center of the Arena we have the vicious, Al Queda with their suicidal Taliban.  They are wild killers driven mad by a desert Blood God.  The are encircled by the most holy warriors of Jesus from far away America.  Even though it pains the godly American warriors, every time they must send a terrorist to God for judgement, they will perservere and win for Jesus.
Just sit back and watch the carnage and prepare for more “Shock and Awe”.
Remember, to buy your tickets early for next week’s undercover video of Saudi beheadings and stonings.

Next week we will begin live broadcasting from the new Gladiator stadium in Rome.  Bread and Circuses for all….

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By aquarius7251, October 16, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Montanawildhack - you’re too much!

I wish you’d volunteer to go over there and kill some “rag heads”. Let me know so I can go with you.

I will take a video camera, specifically to film the “rag heads” shoving your head between your legs and making you kiss your ass goodbye.

Go back to Montana and hide. Seriously! The “rag heads” haven’t surrendered yet, and some of them live right here in the USA!

Racists like you shouldn’t have computers!

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By aquarius7251, October 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Osama Bin Laden has been dead for a while. In an interview with the British anchor David Frost on 11/2/2007, Benazir Bhutto (remember her - assassinated in Pakistan while campaigning) said that Osama Bin Laden was killed by Omar Sheikh.

I have the video of the interview.

Of course, they tried to explain this away by saying that she was confused or meant to say something else.

Fact is - we haven’t seen a realistic Osama Bin Laden video since then.

So why are we in Afghanistan, and why, as Keith Olbermann keeps saying night after night, are we still in Iraq more than 2000 days after the previous president declared mission accomplished in Iraq.

The truth is that we are firmly in the grip of the Terror Industrial Complex that Colin Powell referred to in an interview that was conveniently hushed up two years ago and that Olbermann finally aired last night on Countdown.

Here’s the thing - more than 50 congressmen and women have big investments in the Military Industrial Complex - that seldom mentioned sector of the American economy that manufactures our weapons of war.

The MIC cannot sell it’s weapons of death and destruction if there are no wars.

Cheney was head of Haliburton till he and Bush stole the election in 2000 with the help of Daddy Bush’s friends in the supreme court.

Just Google Haliburton and read the Wikipedia report about it’s involvement with the Bush’s and Cheney since the days of Prescott Bush. And read about all the money Haliburton and it’s subsidiaries made in Kuwait and Iraq.

Than go figure!

We cannot win this war in Afghanistan. We have not won the war in Iraq. We’re only there because of the Military Industrial Complex and oil.

Today I received a heart wrenching picture of an air force sergeant holding a wounded Afghan baby whose family had been “executed”, presumably by the Taliban.

The email encouraged me to forward this fine example of the difference our troops are making over there, one baby at a time.

Well darn - without taking anything away from the compassion of this sergeant, I would question WHY the child’s family was executed? In fact, for the first time ever, I hit “Reply All” and asked if anyone knew why. No one has replied to me.

The childs family was more than likely executed because they collaborated with US troops, or appeared to.

Innocent people are dying because WE ARE OVER THERE!

Republican Congressman Ron Paul, who ran for president last year, though I don’t blame you if you didn’t know because the media blacked him out almost completely, has been saying for ages that we need to BRING OUR TROOPS HOME.

He makes TOTAL SENSE - they are pissed off at us and attack us BECAUSE WE’RE OVER THERE killing them! For what? So that the Military Industrial Complex, Haliburton, and their congressional investors can get rich?

American imperialism MUST END - we simply cannot afford it any more. We have bases in more than 139 countries, that cost the taxpayers (that’s you and me) hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

But we cannot give our people decent, affordable health care?

Surely we, the mightiest nation on earth, can defend ourselves against ANY THREAT, right here at home on American soil!

So what the hell are we doing over there?

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By Fraser Tothus, October 16, 2009 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Congress hasn’t declared war since WW2… our spineless Congress rolled over long before the Bush fascists.  The simple answer to the Headline Question is this:  Wars are good for business, they are a boon to the handful of private war profiteers, gifts from the American taxpayer to the corporations.  Why get squeamish just because millions of poor, ours and theirs, have to die to make sure the rich get richer?  Keep the corporate masters happy, keep the public that pays ignorant and repeating patriotic slogans and nationalist fairy-tales and scares them with fables about the “next Hitler”.  Recognize that the psychotic private tyrannies called corporations have, with their un-deserved and ill-gotten wealth, taken over the only thing that ever had the potential to hinder their perpetual plans of domination and absolute control.  We pay them to destroy a place, then we pay them to re-build it.  It’s socialism for the rich.  Empire and greed need bogeymen to provide distraction from the real crimes committed by those who have proven themselves unfit to govern, much less represent the voters (as opposed to the contributors).  Americans will not fight for imperial domination or Exxon’s profits, so they must be lied to, and coerced through fear.  The Middle East is the target because that’s where the oil is.  Anyone who opposes the world’s bully is automatically an enemy, no matter how innocent, no matter the truth.  Americans will believe what they are told they believe.

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By Sepharad, October 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

“...rats hiding in their holes?” If montanawildhack hadn’t tossed “ragheads” in, I’d have thought we were going to hear about the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Same level of discourse.

ender says it all.

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By Sean01, October 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

If Americans don’t get it by now, they should: maintaining foreign wars is critical to sustaining the wildly profitable military-industrial complex, or to quote Colin Powell, the terrorist-industrial complex.

Americans also need to recognize that Congress effectively abdicated its responsibility of being the entity that declares war by authorizing the Bush administration to utilize force as it sees fit. This needs to be legally rectified and never allowed to happen again.

The fact is that the Taliban are not our enenemy; al-Qaida is. The Taliban has had their nose bloodied by us and knows that if they ever pull sh&t on us again, we’ll bloody their nose again. There. Done.

Now…catch bin Laden (the only guy who’s attacked us in the last 10 years) and put an end to this nonsense once and for all:  http://www.leftista.com/index.php/2009/09/the-real-fight-finding-bin-laden/

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By ender, October 16, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

melpol…. A war crimes tribunal trial for Dick Bush would be a great start.  Following their conviction and hanging, nationalization of the Defense Industry and confiscation of the all monies gained from the illegal war against Iraq, and we could definately send a message to warmongers.

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By melpol, October 16, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

War profiteers and the American security apparatus need enemies.  Peace will put
millions out of work and close the doors of weapon manufacturers. It will result in
a national calamity. Unfortunately wars must be fought and many innocents must
die. Slowly unwinding the economic need for wars is the answer for a better
world.

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Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, October 16, 2009 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Right on, Thong-girl !

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By ender, October 16, 2009 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

You can report them TGirl, but it is best to let America see these “kill them all let god sort them out” racist.  We armed Pakistan with nukes as a tool against “socialist” India, then put in a military gov’t that is a minority subset of the ethic groups in the country.  That military created a terrorist group that was responsible for terrorism in India including the hotel bombing in Mumbai.  Then we trained and armed the Taliban to fight the Russians.  Then we dropped all support for Afghanistan and let Saudi Arabian money turn it into a haven for the Taliban and al-qeada. 

Next we conducted an illegal attack against Iraq, undermanned that war, gave the Taliban their best recruiting tool, then turned Iraq into a training ground for them. 

We create and support terrorist and murderous dictators then blame the people we turned them loose on when it goes bad.  The taliban has a foothold because of Saudi money and they are local Pashtun’s who are the ancient enemies of the Pakistani militaries group of terrorist who are Punjabi.  The more Pashtuns we kill the more they terrorize the Pakistani gov’t for cooperating with us, but the latest attack that kidnapped Pakistani official military are Punjabi. If we keep attacking the taliban, that is local and NOT AL QEADA we will destabilize Pakistan and end up with nukes in the hands of terrorist.  Neither us, India or China is going to let this continue so we may very well end up nuking the lot of them, ALL BECAUSE WE WANT TO BUILD AN OIL PIPELINE IN AFGHANISTAN TO SNATCH OIL FROM RUSSIA.

We play like the king of the sewer then want to punish the people whose cultures we ignore and destroy all for the sake of EMPIRE.

We have no moral high ground here.  The racist pukes posting here help make that dramatically clear.

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By Thong-girl, October 16, 2009 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

How is it that comments with racist pejoratives like “rag head” are not banned from this “Progressive” blog?  Perhaps, Mr. Sheer is following Arianna’s new direction?

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Paul_GA's avatar

By Paul_GA, October 16, 2009 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Perhaps al-Qaeda is just pretending to be down-and-out, the better to draw the USA deeper into Afghanistan “for the kill”.

“All warfare is based on deception”, as Sun Tzu said 2,500 years ago. So who will be killing whom?

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By Rob, October 16, 2009 at 6:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Apparently, Mr. Sheer’s blog is now just fine with people making racist comments, as lunatic ‘Montanawildhack’ racist remarks about killing “rag heads” is no problem for this once Progressive venue.  I would venture to say that this bizarre lunatic’s remarks, and those of others here who think we can actually defeat any terrorist group, no less the world’s most militarily successful one, may get their wish when all those nukes go up in smoke. Al Qaida, “The Cause,” is not some recruited army though and they will continue to prevail militarily, regardless of how many trillions we spend, but because we are wrong, and they didn’t ask for this, we demanded it.  I doubt this Progressive wing or any other will ever get the superficial plodding of our Pentagon as it musters power on the mission to rule the world.  No God can save us from this decline into hell we have made.

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By thomas hagan, October 16, 2009 at 4:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

9/11 should never have happened. there were just too many warnings that were ignored.bush was asleep
on guard duty. the al qeda threat has always been exaggerated.

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By ardee, October 16, 2009 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

Since when does research, common sense and logic have anything whatever to do with our foreign policy decisions?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 16, 2009 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

Didn’t Robert Scheer write this exact same article just a few days ago? (look for the soldiers and cows on the Telatubbies landscape)

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