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Who Really Thinks We’ll Win in Afghanistan?

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Posted on Sep 30, 2010

By Eugene Robinson

Could somebody please remind me just what it is that we’re achieving in Afghanistan? Don’t all speak at once. No, I mean what good things we’re accomplishing. Anybody? Hello?

The more we learn about the war—both from the battlefield and from the White House—the more depressing it all becomes. The portrait that emerges is of a failing military campaign whose course is being determined by momentum, not by logic. Everyone seems to appreciate this fact, but no one is willing to stop the madness. So on we go.

For me, the most striking revelation from über-journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars,” is the extent to which the officials who are planning and prosecuting this war recognize how unlikely it is to end well.

Begin with President Barack Obama. He campaigned on the position that the United States should end the war in Iraq so that more attention and resources could be focused on Afghanistan, which he subsequently has called a “war of necessity.” Once in office, he quickly approved an urgent Pentagon request for 21,000 additional troops. But before making any further commitments, he sensibly ordered a comprehensive review of the war’s goals, strategy and prospects. Fine so far.

But then, according to Woodward’s account, the president looked at the two major options that were being presented, decided they wouldn’t work, and proceeded to devise a strategy of his own. The generals wanted 40,000 additional troops to pursue an all-out counterinsurgency program based on winning the good will and allegiance of the Afghan people. Skeptics, led by Vice President Joe Biden, argued for a “hybrid” option—essentially, a counterterrorism strategy of destroying the Taliban—that would require just 20,000 added troops.

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By that point, you will note, the issue had become how sharply to escalate the war—not whether to escalate at all.

Obama was deeply concerned about the costs, both human and financial, of an open-ended military commitment. Dissatisfied with the way the Pentagon was trying to manipulate the discussion, the president took it on himself to author a six-page “terms sheet” that Woodward describes as a “lawyerly compromise.” He capped the increase at 30,000, replacing the word counterinsurgency with the new mantra of “target, train and transfer,” and decreed that the troops sent in this limited surge would begin to come home in July 2011. All this was supposed to eliminate any “wiggle room.”

But the Pentagon wiggles better than the dancers at what is euphemistically called a “gentlemen’s club.” Almost immediately, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the brass began telling anyone who would listen that next July is just a date to begin a withdrawal—perhaps of relatively few troops, and only if “conditions” allowed. Woodward quotes Gen. David Petraeus, Obama’s commander in Afghanistan, as saying privately, “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. ... This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”

Can anyone explain how that differs from the open-ended commitment that Obama claims to have rejected? I thought not.

This jumble of contradictions might make sense if we were accomplishing something. But the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai is as erratic and corrupt as ever, the Taliban remains robust and has expanded its sphere of operations, and even the most optimistic supporters of the war see whatever progress we have made as limited and fragile. Hawks criticize the president for setting his deadline—telling the enemy, in effect, to just wait us out—but if you assume that U.S. troops will ever leave, the specific date is irrelevant. It’s the enemy’s homeland, not ours.

But this war is only tangentially about Afghanistan. The real problem is nuclear-armed Pakistan, our supposed ally, which has played a double game—accepting billions of dollars from the United States to fight terrorism, while at the same time giving clandestine advice and support to the Taliban and tolerating the presence of al-Qaida’s senior leadership. Pakistan’s civilian government is weak, its military establishment calls the shots, and its national security focus is on India, not Afghanistan or the threat of international terrorism.

“We need to make clear to people that the cancer is in Pakistan,” Obama said during his war strategy review, according to Woodward’s book. But if the purpose of this war is really to influence events in Pakistan, we’re not doing a very good job.

One last question: Isn’t it time for another strategy review?

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2010, Washington Post Writers Group


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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, October 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Advice to Desperate Congressional Dems: Ignore Wall Street Puppet Obama, and
Demand a Five-Year Freeze on All Home Foreclosures in the Spirit of the
Frazier-Lemke Act of 1935!
http://tarpley.net/
Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
TARPLEY.net
October 11, 2010

In the last phase of the election campaign, an issue has emerged which allows
voters to separate Wall Street stooges in both parties from real advocates of the
middle class. The issue is the massive campaign of foreclosures against the
American middle class being carried out by Wall Street zombie bankers who
owe their very existence to taxpayer bailouts. Since the world derivatives panic
began in 2007, millions of homes each year have been seized by the Wall Street
predators, sometimes under the legal color provided by adjustable rate
mortgages and, as has now been revealed, often using completely illegal
paperwork to throw average Americans and their families out on the street and
frequently into poverty and destitution.

The fact that so many foreclosures have been illegal as well as immoral and
antisocial has now brought the foreclosure reissue to critical mass. The deeply
flawed paperwork used by many bankers in their attack on working people’s
homes is now a scandal which is bringing out the populist pitchforks
everywhere. Even title insurance companies are now declining to be a part of
this swindle. This past Friday, Bank of America, the largest US bank, stopped
foreclosures in all 50 states because of the threat of counter-suits and public
backlash. Previously, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Ally Bank’s GMAC Mortgage unit,
and PNC Financial had halted foreclosures in the 23 states where the consent of
the judge is required in order to seize a home.

The current chaos in home foreclosures is once again the direct responsibility
of the zombie bankers themselves, who have neglected all traditional legal and
accounting standards concerning the necessary paper trails in their frenzied
desire to securitize mortgage loans and make them into toxic derivatives in the
form of asset-backed securities and mortgage backed securities. The zombie
bankers, already the recipients of $24 trillion of public largess in the form of
the various bailouts, have turned out to be incompetent even in the technical
aspects of their own thieving racket.

But the chaos in the bankers’ filing systems is nothing compared to the chaos
created by the millions of foreclosures they have engineered, based on
adjustable-rate mortgages and similar misleading contracts which never should
have been legal in the first place. For some time, it has been evident that the
defense of the American middle class requires a blanket, orderly, federal freeze
(or moratorium) on all foreclosures on primary residences, similar to the New
Deal protections offered to family farms by the landmark Frazier-Lemke Act of
1935-1949 during the previous depression.

Desperate to avoid defeat at the hands of crazed Tea Party fanatics, top Dems
are starting to grasp the explosive potential of this issue and calling for
stopping foreclosures: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid )D-Nev) …. urged
five large mortgage lenders to suspend foreclosures in his state until they
establish ways to make sure homeowners don’t lose their homes improperly.
Attorney General Eric Holder said that the government is looking into the
matter, and Democratic lawmakers urged bank regulators and the Justice
Department to probe whether mortgage companies violated laws in handling
foreclosures,” according to AP.

Speaking on Fox News Sunday earlier today, “Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
(D-FL), a top House Democrat, said she backed a foreclosure moratorium and
government talks with the banking industry to concoct ways to let lenders
reshape troubled mortgages. She said the foreclosure problem has been
‘extremely vexing’ in her state” of Florida, AP reported.

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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, October 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

RE: what those goals are.

depends what’s needed by whom and when…(i.e. cui bono)

(Nov. 8, 2001)
Osama bin Laden, A.K.A.
CIA Asset “Tim Osman”

http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/binladen_cia.html

Tim Osman (Ossman) has recently become better known as Osama Bin Ladin.
“Tim Osman” was the name assigned to him by the CIA for his tour of the U.S.
and U.S. military bases, in search of political support and armaments. [...] There
is some evidence that Tim Osman ... visited the White House. There is certainty
that Tim Osman toured some U.S. military bases, even receiving special
demonstrations of the latest equipment. Why hasn’t this been reported in the
major media?

CIA agent alleged to have met Bin Laden in July
French report claims terrorist leader stayed in Dubai hospital

Anthony Sampson
The Guardian,    Thursday 1 November 2001 03.17 GMT
Article history
Two months before September 11 Osama bin Laden flew to Dubai for 10 days for treatment at the American hospital, where he was visited by the local CIA agent, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.
The disclosures are known to come from French intelligence which is keen to reveal the ambiguous role of the CIA, and to restrain Washington from extending the war to Iraq and elsewhere.

Bin Laden is reported to have arrived in Dubai on July 4 from Quetta in Pakistan with his own personal doctor, nurse and four bodyguards, to be treated in the urology department. While there he was visited by several members of his family and Saudi personalities, and the CIA.

The CIA chief was seen in the lift, on his way to see Bin Laden, and later, it is alleged, boasted to friends about his contact. He was recalled to Washington soon afterwards.

Intelligence sources say that another CIA agent was also present; and that Bin Laden was also visited by Prince Turki al Faisal, then head of Saudi intelligence, who had long had links with the Taliban, and Bin Laden. Soon afterwards Turki resigned, and more recently he has publicly attacked him in an open letter: “You are a rotten seed, like the son of Noah”.


Court Documents Shed Light on CIA Illegal Operations in Central Asia Using
Islam & Madrassas

http://wondersofpakistan.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/cias-illegal-operations-in-central-asia-using-islam-madrassas/

Sibel Deniz Edmonds is a former FBI translator who says she saw evidence of
“criminal activities involving U.S. officials. She grew up in Iran and Turkey, later
worked for the FBI, witnessing serious misconduct among her co-workers, and
discovering that senior State Department and Pentagon officials were seemingly
involved in corruption and Turkish elements of the nuclear black market.

Sibel is a former FBI linguist and the founder of the National Security
Whistleblower Coalition. It’s a group made of former employees of law
enforcement, intelligence agencies and the military. They push for reforms of
whistleblower protections and increased accountability for government
agencies.

(August 3, 2009)
Last year Sibel spoke with Worldview producer Jonah Meadows and explained
what an FBI employee is supposed to do when she witnesses criminal activity on
the job.

Last yea, during an immigration court case involving Turkish Islamic Leader,
Fetullah Gulen, US prosecutors exposed an illegal, covert, CIA operation
involving the intentional Islamization of Central Asia. This operation has been
ongoing since the fall of the Soviet Union in an ongoing Cold War to control the
vast energy resources of the region – Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and
Turkmenistan – estimated to be worth $3 trillion.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, October 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

fearnotruth,

I fully understand that there’s a myriad of information, intelligence, findings and data out there.  Intelligence gathering itself is quantitatively difficult.  Even contradictory.  Global Research can be a useful source.  But that was not my question.

The individuals I mentioned are all well documented in print, film and audio spanning almost 20 years.  Each have stated their collective goals many times.  I asked what those goals are.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, October 13, 2010 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

I had not heard the Michel Moore comments, I suspect they pose the feelings of many people in the USA.  Then there is the GRYM demanding answers to his inane questions, who never replies to anyone else’s sincere questions directed towards him.

I ask GRYM, what are your goals?

What is the story about 1812 which makes it different from Perl Harbor, the blowing up of the Federal Building in Oklahoma, burning of churches in the south or assassinations of presidents? If we are to cherry pick events, lets have some credibility please? .....Asking to much am I?

All this attention must be flattering to ones ego such as GRYM, it seems even a loon needs strokes!

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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, October 13, 2010 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

RE: Dr. Zawahiri, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah and Osama bin Laden have made their collective goals clear…

not so fast Young Man

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=3409

In May 2003 A Zawahiri tape’s authenticity was seriously questioned by counter terrorism experts:
by by Steve Watson and Paul Watson

“The authenticity of the latest message purported to be of Ayman al-Zawahiri,” B. Raman, a former Indian government official and director the Institute for Topical Studies, wrote on May 22, 2003, “is yet to be established.  According to counter-terrorism experts familiar with the voice and accent of al-Zawahiri, while the language and accent in the tape resemble those of al-Zawahiri, the voice seems to be of a person younger than al-Zawahiri, who is 51 years old.” As Raman notes, “one generally depends on the voice analysis experts of the US intelligence community” to establish the veracity of such recordings, although it “is not certain how accurate are their analysis and conclusions”

There is also a glaring flaw in the al-Zawahiri tape: in the May 21, 2003 message, al-Zawahiri mentions attacking Norway for its support of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. “Some observers have interpreted the reference to Norway in the message as possibly a mistake and said that he was probably having Denmark in mind,” notes Raman, writing for the South Asia Analysis Group. “Al-Zawahiri is reputed to be an intelligent and well-informed person. It is difficult to believe that he would have mistaken Norway for Denmark. This indicates the possibility that the message might have been recorded by someone else, not well-informed and hence not able to distinguish between Norway and Denmark, in the name of al-Zawahiri in order to mobilize the remnants of Al Qaeda and the IIF [Bin Laden’s International Islamic Front] for action in retaliation for the occupation of Iraq.”

Al Zawahiri was also reportedly captured and jailed in Iran one year before this tape was even made. He was also reported as captured in Pakistan by an Israeli news network in September 2004. Just like Bin Laden, Zawahiri keeps seeming to miraculously escape and evade near death situations.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20759

Israeli Intelligence Infiltrated Throughout Lebanese Government
by Wayne Madsen

...Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah recently announced the group had video evidence from Israeli drones that showed the Israeli Defense Force was tracking Hariri before his assassination.

The STL’s chief prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare of Canada, requested the evidence from Hezbollah. However, WMR has learned that Bellemare is suspected by Lebanese intelligence of having close previous contacts with agents of both the CIA and Mossad. WMR previously reported that Bellemare is suspected to have allowed and introduced into evidence against Hezbollah in the Hariri assassination, doctored cell phone intercepts pointing the “smoking gun”  at Hezbollah. It is feared that Bellemare might give Hezbollah’s evidence to Mossad for the Israelis to determine the source of the leak of classified videos.

...Lebanese intelligence has linked the Ziad al-Jarrah, who hailed from the Bekaa Valley, to a Saudi-supported Salafist network that includes “Al-Qaeda” associates that will be used to target Shi’as throughout Lebanon in the wake of the Bellemare charges against Hezbollah. Lebanese intelligence discovered that members of this same Mossad-supported Salafist/Al Qaeda network also targeted top Shi’a leaders in Iraq. WMR has learned that Ziad al- Jarrah was used by the Mossad, the CIA, and Saudi intelligence as a “patsy” in the 9/11 conspiracy, just as similar “patsies” are being used in Iraq and elsewhere to help keep the myth of “Al Qaeda” and Osama bin Laden alive.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, October 13, 2010 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Arabian Sinbad,

Dr. Zawahiri, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah and Osama bin Laden have made their collective goals clear to all who have listened.  It took less than 200 individuals to accomplish something on Sept. 11, 2001 not accomplished since 1812.

Can you share with us the stated goals of the above individuals?  I ask because I question whether Michael Moore understands.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 9, 2010 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

AS:
I’m usually really critical of people posting articles as opposed to links, but you don’t do it as a rule (others do) so I’m OK with it.

But, given that, I very much like the article and Moore’s take on it.  Once again you and I are in step.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, October 8, 2010 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

Continued-Michael Moore speech on behalf of Obama!
==================================================
I refuse to participate in scaring the American people with a phony “War on Terror.” Are there terrorists? Yes. Will they strike again? Sadly, yes. But these terrorist acts are few and far between and should not dictate how we live our daily lives or make us ignore our constitutional rights. They should never distract us from what our real priorities are in making our country safe and secure: Everyone with a good job, families able to own a home and send their kids to college, universal health care that’s coordinated by your elected representative government—not by greedy, profit-hungry insurance companies. THAT would be true homeland security.

And what about Osama bin Laden? Nine years and we can’t find a 6’5” Arab man who apparently is on dialysis? Even after offering $25 million to anyone who will tell us where he is? You don’t think someone would have taken us up on that by now?

Here’s what I know: Osama bin Laden is a multi-millionaire—and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the rich is that they don’t live in caves for 9 years. Bin Laden is either dead or hiding out in a place where his money protects him. Or maybe he just went home.

Just like we should do. Now. My condolences to the families of all who died in this war. Most of them signed up after 9/11 and wanted to do their duty because we were attacked. But we were not attacked by a country. We were attacked by a few religious extremists. And you don’t defeat a few thugs by shipping halfway around the world thousands of armored vehicles and hundreds of thousands of soldiers. That is just sheer idiocy.

And it ends tonight.

God be with you.

I’m not a Muslim.

(End of speech, as transcribed by Michael Moore)

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, October 8, 2010 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

An interesting piece by Michael Moore!
======================================
A Senseless War Begins Its 10th Year ...an address to the nation from President Barack Obama (as reported by Michael Moore)

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

My Fellow Americans:

Nine years ago today we invaded the nation of Afghanistan. I’d just turned 40. I had a Discman and an Oldsmobile and had gotten really into LiveJournal. That was a long time ago. It was so long ago, does anybody remember why we’re even there? I think everyone wanted to capture Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. But he got away sometime in the first month or so. He left. We stayed. Looking back now, that makes no sense.

Needing to find a new reason for the mission, we decided to overthrow the religious extremists who were running Afghanistan. Which we did. Sorta. Unlike Osama, they never left. Why not? Well, they were Afghans, it was their country. And, strangely enough, a lot of other Afghans supported them. To this day, the Taliban only have 25,000 armed fighters. Do you really think an army that tiny could control and suppress a nation of 28 million against their will? What’s wrong with this picture? WTF is really going on here?

The truth is, I can’t get an answer. My generals can’t quite tell me what our mission is. If we went in there to rout out al-Qaeda, well, they’re gone too. The CIA tells me there are under 100 of them left in the whole country!

My generals have also admitted the following to me:

1. There is no way we can defeat the Taliban. They enjoy too much popular support in the rural areas, the majority of the country.

2. Even though we’ve been there nine years, the truth is the Taliban, not us, not the Afghan government, control the country. After nine years, we’ve only completely run the Taliban out of 3% of Afghanistan.

3%!! (Just for reference, it took us only ELEVEN MONTHS after D-Day to entirely defeat the Nazis across all of Europe.)

3. Our troops and their commanders are still trying to learn the language, the culture, the customs of Afghanistan. The fact is, our troops are simply not trusted by the average people (especially after they’ve killed numerous civilians, either through recklessness or for sport).

4. The Afghan government we installed is corrupt beyond belief. The public does not trust them. President Karzai is on anti-depressants and our advisors tell us he is erratic and loopy on many days. His brother has a friendly relationship with the Taliban and is believed to be a major poppy (heroin) dealer. Heroin poppies are the #1 contributor to the Afghan economy.

The war in Afghanistan is a mess. The insurgency grows—and why wouldn’t it: foreign troops have invaded and occupied their country! The people responsible for 9/11 are no longer there. So why are we? Why are we offering up the lives of our sons and daughters every single day—for no reason anyone can define.

In fact, the only reason I can see is that this war is putting billions of profits into the pockets of defense contractors. Is that a reason to stay, so Halliburton can post a larger profit this quarter?

It is time for me to bring our troops home—right now. Not one more American needs to die. Their deaths do not make us safer and they do not bring democracy to Afghanistan.

It is not our mission to defeat the Taliban. That is the job of the Afghan people—if that is what they choose to do. There are many groups and leaders of countries in this world who are despicable. We are not going to invade 30 countries and remove their regimes. That is not our job.

I am not going to stay in Afghanistan just because we’re already there and we haven’t “won” yet. There is nothing to win. No one from Genghis Khan to Leonid Brezhnev has been able to win there. So the troops are coming home.

(to be continued)

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, October 8, 2010 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

One final question if you would indulge me.  Which military power would you prefer over
the United States to lead this effort?  You see, there is no Not Answering this question. 
Someone will inevitably step in.

very well, let them step in, if they’re insane enough to do so - but, indulgence is not
forthcoming - why should it - passive aggressive assertion of ignorance does not encourage it
- no citations are offered and polemics condemning wholesale manipulations by clandestine
networks in service to oligarchs are met with insinuations of lack of respect for American
values and society - dare one suggest ‘treason’

in the face of this retention of civility becomes as challenge - Seal Team 10’s story is a sad one
- what to make of its citation - seems the intent is to make one feel guilty for not agreeing with
the overarching mission - pathetically weak polemic

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, October 8, 2010 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

RE: Russian soldiers in Afghanistan - would there be a citation to confirm this other than this “western media” report?

Red Army’s ‘ghosts’ of Afghanistan
By Tom Coghlan
BBC News
Baghlan province, northern Afghanistan

http://www.thewe.cc/weplanet/asia/afghanistan/torture_and_afghanistan.htm

Nasratullah has built a new life in Afghanistan Photos: Veronique de Vigeurie

To the men of the Red Army who fought in Afghanistan, their elusive mujahideen enemy were always called simply the “Dukhi” - the ghosts.

But when their last tank rolled back across the Oxus river in February 1989, the Russians left behind some Cold War ghosts of their own. In the hills of northern Afghanistan, there are still men with pale skin who talk Russian when they are together. Until 1981, Nasratullah was a soldier in the Red Army called Nikolai. Together with two others, now known as Rahmatullah and Aminullah, he survives from a total of five Soviet soldiers known to have been captured and converted to Islam.

They went on to fight against their old comrades with the mujahideen.

As for “blaming” anyone for a perceived ignorance, don’t sweat it, nobody’s feeling threatened here - moreover, misreading of what another reads does not a convincing polemic make - my citations are usually global in nature - in a previous post in this thread was included a citation from Russia Today - here’s a citation from Asia Times that goes to the heart of my thesis:

South Asia - Mar 6, 2003
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EC06Df04.html

Khalid: A test for US credibility
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

KARACHI - The circumstances surrounding the arrest in Pakistan and handing over to US authorities of a man said to be Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, a reportedly leading member of al-Qaeda, raise a number of important issues, not the least of which is the credibility of the US in its “war against terror”.

Khalid himself is shrouded in mystery. He was reported to have been killed in Karachi in a bloody shootout with Pakistani security forces on September 11, 2002 (See A chilling inheritance of terror) and there is dispute over whether or not he was one of the key planners of the September 11 attacks on the US a year earlier.

There is even doubt over Khalid’s nationality. Some say he is Pakistani, others that he is a Kuwaiti. Certainly, though, he does appear to be of Pakistani origin, probably Baloch, and raised in Kuwait. He is thought to have been in Pakistan for about two-and-a-half years, well before September 11, 2001.

Pakistani and US intelligence officials were alerted to his presence in the country when he gave an interview to the Qatar-based al- Jazeera television station shortly before the first anniversary of September 11. On the strength of intercepted communications through ordinary mobile phones as well as satellite telephones, the net closed on Khalid. 

...A woman FBI official examined the bodies, and, as reported by an ISI official, suddenly exclaimed, “You have killed Khalid Shaikh Mohammad.”

Claiming that the global war of terror is something that can be lead only by the US Military to save the world from Islamic terrorists is wrong at its premise - the global war of terror is a perniciously conceived fraud - ample evidence confirms that it is ultimately the justification to the Project for a New American Century’s call for a An American Empire into the 21st Century - it is indeed a global venture, in service to global finance oligarchs and nobody else - to this miniscule elite oligarchy we’re all cannon fodder, even GRYM, who mysteriously choses to serve them so completley

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

In war, people’s minds change radically.  Some people will sacrifice their own lives in order to avoid harming others.  Others will go out of their way to do harm.  The point is to avoid putting people in that position, where they can and have to kill or be killed, if you possibly can.  You go to war if you have no choice, in other words, only if you are being attacked or are about to be attacked.  And if you’re not yet being attacked but there is some threat of it, you go out of your way to resolve the problem beforehand.  You certainly don’t unilaterally invade other countries to straighten them out, gain economic or political advantage, or look tough. 

Or that’s my view.  There are others, like Just War theory and everybody-does-it theory.  I don’t belong to these schools of thought, obviously.

It is true that my knowledge of Afghanistan is imperfect, as is everyone else’s.  I also know that governments, the media, and academia routinely lie to people—I observed that a long time ago.  As a result there is no basis on which I could possibly support the current deadly adventures in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.  Before I agree to kill people I will have to be shown its unquestionable necessity.

Instead, I hear about ‘wars of choice’.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 7, 2010 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

“I honestly don’t know what to make of you. “

That may be the wisest thing you’ve ever posted.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

“I never lie in these threads.  Never once.”

You just did.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, October 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

Marcus Luttrel: Heroes of SEAL Team 10

I urge you study this story and everything it implies about American society.  Team 10 went against every concept of staying alive by not killing a small handful of unarmed herders.  An hour later all but one of the team was dead.

The men and woman of the armed forces and intelligence community save countless lives while making decisions precisely as Team 10 collectively made.

The rule.  Not the exception.  Everything else is out of context.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, - “When people discuss making aggressive war as a policy option, they are walking in impenetrable moral darkness.”

-

100% correct.  But that is the world you live in, my friend.  A world where aggressive war is a very real policy option amongst the 190 nations of the globe.

I have asked a few solid questions of you for good reason.  I believe you do not hold nearly enough information on the subject of Afghanistan that would lead either of us to come to the conclusion that what’s actually going on is an “aggressive policy of war” against the government or the 26 million people of Afghanistan. 

I do believe there is a war being fought in 60 nations about the globe.  Particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan at this time.  And I would hope that it’s being fought “aggressively”.  And, while you may not know it, I know for a fact that U.S. military personnel are not destroying Afghanistan or in any way trying to kill or destroy Afghan homes and families.  In fact, if any nation finds itself with armed foreigners inside its borders they better hope those soldiers be Americans. - I understand you don’t believe that. But then I don’t believe you’re basing your views on fact-based intelligence. - And I mean zero offense by writing that.

-

In no way would I place the blame on you, blogdog, or anyone else for not fully understanding that what’s happening in Afghanistan is a global effort with global ramifications.  If all you ingest is Western media you will have no way of knowing that over 100 nations are involved.  Some of them EXTREMELY powerful and quite independent from the United States.  All working toward a shared set of goals.  All feeling threatened by the same small but ever present -Self Described- enemies.  Enemies whom have several times made their goals clear.

Sadly, all you ever hear or read about is what the U.S. did yesterday in Afghanistan or Pakistan.  You get the latest “U.S. body count”.  What the U.S. Congress is budgeting for U.S. operations in Afghanistan.  Or the latest U.S. drone attack.  It’s quite absurd.  There are Russian soldiers in Afghanistan.  There are Chinese Diplomats all over Kabul and several other “safe” provinces. - Provenances made safe by who?  NATO and the United Nations!  Who is currently providing the bulk of the might in this concerted global effort?  The United States!

One final question if you would indulge me.  Which military power would you prefer over the United States to lead this effort?  You see, there is no Not Answering this question.  Someone will inevitably step in. 

Realistically your choices are limited. China or Russia could do it.  India could too.  Maybe even Egypt or Turkey could pull together the resources.  Iran certainly has the manpower but would suffer it’s lack of monitary resources or materials. 

You choose.

-

We owe the Afghan people our lives.

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

GRYM—I’m just going by what I see in the media.  And I know something about how wars are conducted.  When people discuss making aggressive war as a policy option, they are walking in impenetrable moral darkness.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

I want to say something which I would normally pull someone aside to say.  Of course that’s not possible here.

I honestly don’t know what to make of you.  You’re intelligent, you express yourself well, you apply logic to your understandings but, you simply have, well, underdeveloped abilities for empathy and the art of listening.  You are so damned defensive.  I’m not talking about with me, personally.  I see it across the board in your dealings on TruthDig.

When you do read and reply to the few subjects I opine it’s as if you see before you Vice President FrankenCheny or John Yoo fastened to a chair in a dark windowless room.  I suppose what I mean to say is, you come off as completely distracted.  Not hearing or listening.  I see you doing the very same to pubic figures in current events.  You cease to listen when you perceive others disagreeing with your view.

-

I never lie in these threads.  Never once.

I believe I recall a discussion between you and Rico a short time ago.  You saw him opine that all Muslims are dangerous and should be feared. - Something along those lines.  But that was not what the man wrote.  You insist he did.  It was clear to me that you sincerely saw/heard/understood Rico to be saying exactly as you claimed.

You’re doing the same with me, now.  I have never come anywhere close to thinking, saying, writing or defending anyone who would make such an irresponsible claim.  You never saw me anywhere near that. 

In no way, shape, or form did I ever believe or suggest that you support the Taliban.  I have seen your opinions on the Af/Taliban.  Yet you remain unbending that I wrote it here.  Even after revisiting my comments. 

Do you understand?  I just don’t know what to make of you. 

Toss your barbs at our differences of opinion.  I welcome it and will toss them back.  But loosen up on the anger and defensive pride.  You’re not on TruthDig arguing with Dick Cheney.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, — “I do not have a proposal for the people of Afghanistan.  If they ask me for one, I might try to work one up, but until they do, Afghanistan is their business, not mine.”

-

OK.  So you don’t know any Afghans, you’ve never talked to any Afghans, you don’t know what the Afghan people want or desire and it’s not worth pondering until an Afghan woman comes knocking at your door.  You feel no sense of obligation and her business is her own for the time being. 

You simultaneously have a great many strong opinions on what the U.S. is currently doing in Afghanistan and are sure that it’s a) not good b) causing tremendous harm to the Afghan people and, c) likely creating enemies all over the globe whom likely want to kill more Americans for the evil in U.S. foreign policy.  And those enemies being created all over the globe should be acted on in a case by case basis (as criminals) with no thought or regard to defending against them as a whole or in the groups from which they may claim.  In other words; Abu Zubaydah is an isolated, individual, crime and occurrence to be acted upon after the crime or occurrence has been committed. - There is no need for deterrence or forethought on preventing these individuals from achieving their goals.

Is this all correct?

-

Americans take in very little foreign news.  What it does get is almost always in the context of how an event effects the United States.  In the United States it’s never discussed why Japan is currently working with the Afghan government in establishing plans for infrastructure and alternatives to growing and marketing poppies.  It’s my passionate hope that global communications will help to rectify this as it’s the single most heard complaint around the world.  Americans seems only concerned with America. 

Being that, from the very start, what’s happening in Afghanistan is an United Nations mandate demands that we understand that China, Russia, France and Germany all agreed to take certain actions, both on their own and collectively, as a United Nations deliberative global body.

Do you happen to know off-hand the reasons the Chinese and Russian governments gave for their own, individual, participation in Afghanistan?  Or are you assuming the United States is dictating to the globe how China and Russia need to think, how to behave, how they should spend their money, their time, their resources and their attention?

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By blogdog, October 7, 2010 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

RE: Faisal Shahzad - curiously cited… GRYM seems in touch with voluminous
minutia about the global war of terror and is ready to draw upon it at every turn
and from another post comes forth citation of acquaintanceships with Iranians
detained, presumably during the so-called Green Movement, and others with
anti-insurgent operatives in the Philippines - moreover the global war of terror
is continually touted in GRYM posts as a virtuously noble cause, while claiming
knowledge of balck ops and psy ops but dismissing their pernicious effect as
simply seen from a different world view, or something to that effect - causes
one to wonder…

as for Faisal Shahzad

from http://arthurgoldwag.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/faisal-shahzad/

The would-be bomber seemed so hapless (he’d purchased the wrong kind
of fertilizer and M-88 fireworks that “wouldn’t damage a watermelon,”
according to the president of the company that manufactured them; he’d
neglected to open the valve on the propane tank and left identifying materials
in the car) that I found it hard to believe that he had been rigorously trained in
bomb making by the Pakistan Taliban–unless the Pakistan Taliban 1) Is as inept
as their recruit seems to be, or 2) For whatever reason (diversionary tactics–
perhaps they are trying to distract us from something much bigger on the
horizon? maybe they assumed he was a mole?) they wanted him to fail. (TPM
has some new speculation on the subject here; the best soundbite comes from
ex-ATF agent and explosive expert James Cavanaugh: “I believe he went
through some training. [But] I would venture to say, he’s not the valedictorian
of the bomb school”).

Lots of analysis is out there; many scenarios are likely - try this one: he’s
reported shived in a prison-yard melee by hot-headed, skin-head, racist type
inmates, while being smuggled out to a UAE flat (Dubai or Abudabe) is rejoined
with and spins his days among family - the global war of terror has been
refueled and the $5 mil. to hide him forever is returned 100-fold in a new wave
of intelligence funding, security contracts, DOD contracts, et al. This one’s too
pat; in a class with the Underwear Bomber, the Shoe Bomber, the Liquid
Bombers, et al.

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2010 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

GRYM—I do not have a proposal for the people of Afghanistan.  If they ask me for one, I might try to work one up, but until they do, Afghanistan is their business, not mine.

There are millions of people all over the world who hate the United States as a state and as a people, some with good reason.  However, none of them are state leaders and not many of them will do anything violent about it.  The remainder must be dealt with as individuals or criminal combinations.  This presumes an abandonment of the world domination project, of course.  If the U.S. government continues interfere with, manipulate, and often attack people in every part of the earth the ranks of our antagonists will increase and we must be prepared for reprisals.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 7, 2010 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Gee, GRYM. I’m touched! You actually finally READ what I said! Maybe, maybe, there’s hope for you. 

Then you denied it…and hope sank.  Because you HAVE defended them.

What did I mean by it? What do you think I meant by it?

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By Go Right Young Man, October 7, 2010 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

I wonder if I could get you to read the full statement from Faisal Shahzad during the sentencing phase of his court disposition. 

It took less than 200 committed Islamic-fundamentalists to accomplish what had not been accomplished by any great power since 1812.

A great many Shahzads are said to be living and operating in Af/Pakistan.  What are you going to do about it?  How will you prevent Faisal Shahzad, Dr. Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden from accomplishing their goals?  What do you propose for the people of Afghanistan?

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2010 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

GRYM—It is absurd to consider the present war in Afghanistan to be anything but a U.S. project.  If see things otherwise we are not living in the same universe.

If the operations in Afghanistan were merely a police effort to neutralize anti-American terrorists, then the U.S. government would have made a deal with the existing Afghan government, such as it was, to leave as soon as the suspects were arrested or otherwise disposed of.  It would not be involved with ‘nation-building’, jury-rigged elections, pallets of hundred-dollar bills, playing games with warlords, and so on.  One could say the same of Iraq, except for the fact that there were no known anti-American terrorists in Iraq at the time of the invasion except in the fantasies of propagandists.

Of course there would have been no terrorists in the first place if the U.S. government, by interfering in Middle Eastern politics since at least the middle of the 20th century, had not drawn their attention.  Considering the global reach of U.S. imperialism, it seems a miracle to me that we do not observe worse.  But thus far most Americans seem to have successfully avoided perceiving, much less discussing, the monetary, moral, welfare and security costs of world empire.

In fact the whole business seems so indefensible that no president, no major politicians, and no party will discuss it in a straightforward and honest manner.

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By blogdog, October 7, 2010 at 2:05 am Link to this comment

RE: U.S. Foreign policy in every global event?  There are over 100 nations
working with and amongst the U.N. and NATO in Afghanistan. - The U.S. does
not run the world.

the overarching myth embodied in this statement distracts from the fact that
Military and Intelligence resources of the US no longer serve the citizenry nor
defends the Constitution - private interests are being served: global
corporations and the oligarchs whom they ultimately serve

as for a global ‘coalition of the willing’ - probably most in the trenches are
there with the intent of doing good works - upon closer inspection, it turns out
that many of the so-called NGOs serve to cloak other less admirable activities

from http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0905/S00457.htm
Pakistan Army is apparently entirely complicit in this criminal agenda of
Pakistan’s destabilization and de-nuking. They are participating in
manufacturing the so called ‘militants’ ab initio, entirely in cahoots with the
Pentagon’s black-ops, and then fighting the marvelously fabricated and
infinitely re-supplied enemy at the behest of their paymasters. Only a few in
the top echelon of high-command have to be compromised. The military
discipline among the sheepish-ranks, typically the canon-fodder, and the
unquestioning ‘unity of command’ among the officers, automatically do the
rest. The Western funded machinery of civilian NGOs, the Mighty Wurlitzer’s
assets in the newsmedia, and the intelligence apparatus further take care of the
public discourse by manufacturing both consent and dissent to lend
‘respectability’ to the boogieman of ‘militant Islam’.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 6, 2010 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

I wanted this in a separate, stand-alone, post.

You write: — “As far as I can tell, the U.S. has not been selectively targeting the violent enemies of the U.S. in Afghanistan or anywhere else….”

And I would say you’re not paying attention past your media view of the U.S. and the world.

Isn’t it time to talk about something other than your notion of U.S. Foreign policy in every global event?  There are over 100 nations working with and amongst the U.N. and NATO in Afghanistan. - The U.S. does not run the world.

-

You and I differ in that I am certain the U.S. does not dictate or tell tell China, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Australia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Britain, South Africa, Sudan, Japan, Brazil, Uzbekistan and India what to do and how to behave.  If you are witnessing and thinking in global terms I have never seen you write of it.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

I understand your point of view.  In some things I agree.  But overall we see the globe differently.

I wonder if I could get you to read the full statement from Faisal Shahzad during the sentencing phase of his court disposition.  His full statement can be found in public domain.

Listen carefully to the passionate beliefs of Mr. Shahzad.  Listen carefully to his stated goals. Because from the Billion plus Muslims on the globe it’s been estimated that perhaps a couple tens of thousands believe just as he does. - It took less than 200 committed Islamic-fundamentalists to accomplish what had not been accomplished by any great power since 1812. 

A great many Shahzads are said to be living and operating in Af/Pakistan.  What are you going to do about it?  How will you prevent Faisal Shahzad, Dr. Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden from accomplishing their goals?  What do you propose for the people of Afghanistan?

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By Anarcissie, October 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

GRYM—As far as I can tell, the U.S. has not been selectively targeting the violent enemies of the U.S. in Afghanistan or anywhere else; in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military installed puppet governments which it was then obliged to maintain by force of arms.  This is called ‘nation-building’.  At least, this is what is reported in the media.  If you’re going to have a foreign army come in and rework the political and social order of a country, whether it’s Afghanistan, Vietnam, or the U.S., you’re going to have to kill a lot of people, including non-combatants.  You know, women, children, old folks.  Especially when, as in Afghanistan, the resistance is deeply embedded in the general population.

I don’t know; maybe you’re opposed to all that and think any U.S. activities should be limited to the police work of arresting or otherwise neutralizing actual enemies, such as Osama bin Laden is supposed to be (assuming he is still alive, which I doubt, given what I have read).  But do I need to explain the difference?

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By Go Right Young Man, October 6, 2010 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

blogdog, - “not surprising - where to go, when everywhere one turns is lies?”

-

I’m sorry but I can’t seem to follow you’re last couple of posts.  I must be a bit dense of late.

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By blogdog, October 6, 2010 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

...unsure which direction to go…

not surprising - where to go, when everywhere one turns is lies?

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By Go Right Young Man, October 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

ITW, - “I said you DEFENDED the people who said that…”

-

Please excuse my horrible mistake in semantics. 

I fully understand now that you didn’t intend to imply that my defense of someone else’s position (which didn’t actually happen) was tacit or otherwise support for that position (which, in reality, never happend).

Perhaps you could clear this up now then?  What did you intend when you wrote the following? “Didn’t GRYM defend vehemently those that claim all Muslims are violent extremists who want to kill us?

I see now that you didn’t intend to imply that that was my position.  What then did you mean by that?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 6, 2010 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, October 6 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

ITW, - “You didn’t even read what you QUOTED from me!  Try reading it, instead of assuming!’

-

Bull-crap.  And you know it!

*************

What’s bull-crap is you sticking to your deliberate mis-reading of what I wrote.

I said you DEFENDED the people who said that—not that you said that…RE-READ WHAT I WROTE!

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By Go Right Young Man, October 6, 2010 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

blogdog, - “what conclusions would those be exactly?”

-

In light of everything you have written I’m honestly unsure which direction to go in a conversation.

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By blogdog, October 6, 2010 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

RE: ...disagree with your conclusions

what conclusions would those be exactly?

conclusions one might draw from 7500 AWOLs annually and US Military suicide and homicide rates never before seen?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9FFWLmdX3M&feature=channel

conclusions one might draw from this?

http://wn.com/british_special_forces_caught_in_iraq_posing_as_arabs

conclusions that one might draw from Karzai’s kicking BW/Xe out of Afghanistan?

conclusions that one might draw from this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nNGw9mJRTU

conclusions that one might draw from the fact that both Kissinger and Brzezinski are still influential in Washington, that no political leaders dare distance themselves from them and that neither has ever displayed in any way the he is repentant over his blatantly cynical exploitation of partisans, patriots and the millions willing to sacrifice for self-determinacy around the world?

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By Leefeller, October 6, 2010 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Discussion with a deluded person places you where you started!

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By Go Right Young Man, October 6, 2010 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

blogdog, - “GRYM’s analysis of the Afghanistan Theatre and the 9/11 coup fails to take into account the aspect that is consistently, though usually only fully revealed decades later: the degree, intensity and effect of black-ops & psy-ops.”

-

I believe I do not fail to account for black-ops.  If I’m understanding you correctly I simply disagree with your conclusions.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 6, 2010 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

ITW, - “You didn’t even read what you QUOTED from me!  Try reading it, instead of assuming!’

-

Bull-crap.  And you know it!

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By Go Right Young Man, October 6, 2010 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, - “You (seem to) feel that it is right to go over to Afghanistan and kill people there in order to set Afghan culture and politics right.”

-

kill people there in order to set Afghan culture and politics right(?)

I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that it’s the context of your above characterization which missed the mark.  I never wrote such a thing.

-

I believe Rush Limbaugh takes various positions of the Left out of context.  I see you and ITW doing the same in this thread.

Listening means suspending what you believe and attempting to understand what another believes.  You’re not listening if you take what another says and placing your own context (masking) over it. 

Example:  I have no doubt that ITW believes I wrote that he supports the Taliban - Or that I support those who believe all Muslims are dangerous, however, I’ve never written anything of the kind. I’ve never even thought such things.  Put simply; he imagined these things coming from me.  He now believes it so powerfully he’ll incorporate the information into everything I write.  Nonetheless, he’ll now be wrong each and every time we cross paths. 

-

I want to save the lives of Afghans.  I also believe the many nations of the world have every right to defend themselves against elements currently residing in and around Afghanistan.

You could try re-reading all I have written using my context.  Keeping in mind that I do not believe that “killing people there in order to set Afghan culture and politics right” is what’s going on in Afghanistan.  I believe we owe the Afghan people our lives.

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By blogdog, October 6, 2010 at 1:39 am Link to this comment

GRYM’s analysis of the Afghanistan Theatre and the 9/11 coup fails to take into account the aspect that is consistently, though usually only fully revealed decades later: the degree, intensity and effect of black-ops & psy-ops.

Hamid Karzai, regardless of his legitimacy, is clearly looking out for himself and his people when he orders (as he just did) the forced expulsion of mercenaries (Blackwater / Xe in particular) by year’s end.

Analyze that in light of this - evidence around BW’s legal problems -  http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/6796485-blackwater-xe-black-ops-and-shell-games or this - 3-min. excerpt from Bhutto’s 2007 interview with David Frost - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnychOXj9Tg - Bhutto herself had hired Blackwater to ‘protect’ her - close analysis of her assassination strongly suggests that she was security stripped and set up for it.

Again, this sort of activity is hard to prove - nevertheless, there is enough to suggest that a global network of black operatives (not in service to any nation but rather powerful private interests) are manipulating virtually everything of any importance which they can touch and have been doing so since at least IRAN CONTRA and GLADIO days.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, October 5 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

ITW, - “Didn’t GRYM defend vehemently those that claim all Muslims are violent extremists who want to kill us?”

-

ABSOLUTELY NOT!  I have never in my life thought, said, or written ANYTHING OF THE KIND.

You, Sir, have no idea what it is to actually listen to other points of view.

-

I have never once written that all Muslims are violent extremists who want to kill us.  I have never written that you support the Taliban. And I have never written that you advocate violence against political opponents.  You imagined each and every one of these things.  Yet you go about acting on them as if they are fact. - You are an extremely interesting individual in this manner.
***********************

You didn’t even read what you QUOTED from me!  Try reading it, instead of assuming!

(you are something else, GRYM! I don’t know what but it ain’t good.)

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By Anarcissie, October 5, 2010 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, October 5 at 5:21 pm:

Anarcissie, - “You (seem to) feel that it is right to go over to Afghanistan and kill people there in order to set Afghan culture and politics right.”
-
What?  You’re saying you got that from something I wrote?  Wholly shit.  You and ITW are amazing in how you’re able to see things that are not actually there. ...’

What do you think war is?  Judging from your stated broad acquaintance with warriors, I assumed you knew something about it.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

blogdog, October 5 at 7:11 pm

You touch on a few of the reasons several dozen nations about the globe owe Afghans a tremendous debt.  A debt, if not returned five fold, will likely turn out to be one of the most myopic and self-serving actions of the 21st Century.  It will almost certainly prove dangerously short-sighted.

The Afghan people are not taking up arms against NATO and others.  They are the remnants of the former government and, reportedly, roughly one-hundred Al Qaeda types (in theater) at any one time taking up arms (training and traveling through Pakistan). There are also several waring groups inside Afghanistan killing each other and more. - Which will certainly be made worse by the sudden withdrawal of soldiers from over 40 nations and the NGO’s of nearly 50 additional U.N. countries.

As an aside: From 2003 to date anti-war groups decried the U.S. going against the will of the U.N. in Iraq (thus making Iraq an illegal war), while today the argument is to go against the will of the U.N. and NATO in Afghanistan.

Put simplistically; the majority of Americans, for many varied reasons, want the U.S. to pull out of a U.N. sanctioned NATO operation in Afghanistan/Pakistan.  Places where both the planners and harbingers of the most devastating attack on the United States since 1942 are currently shooting at NATO soldiers and others. -  It needs to be fully understood that the Sept. 11 attack accomplished something nobody has come close to accomplishing since 1812.

-

The reasons are many why most Americans currently wish to leave Afghanistan.  They include; it’s dangerous, it’s too hard, it’s expensive.  All valid arguments. On top of that are those who believe NATO can’t win such a battle.  Others still have this hyper-frenzied, conspiracy-driven, notion that NATO is “destroying” and “slaughtering” all of Afghanistan.

Clearly I cannot stand with the majority on this one.  If this effort is not conducted by the United Nations - along with an U.S. led NATO-  others will, without a doubt, step in with their own self-interests and agenda.  Others like Pakistan, Iran, Russia and/or China. Maybe even Turkey.  All outside United Nations involvement.  Thus repeating the precise mistakes of the 80’s and 90’s that rise to the Taliban and it’s relationship to Al Qaeda types.

At the minimum, an embarrassingly bare minimum, the world owes the Afghan people an education of math and science, the building of roads, and greatly needed security.  Give them those things and let them decide their own laws.  Don’t repeat the inhumane and self-serving mistakes of the past.

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By blogdog, October 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

RE: Exactly how many nations are working with NATO inside Afghanistan at this moment? -  according to NATO, it’s detailed here: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_8189.htm

But, the real question is this: for whom exactly does NATO work?

I would propose that it’s most likely the same crowd for whom they worked when they ran the GLADIO Strategy of Tension Operation in Western Europe

details here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/FLO502B.html

For all the honest dedication of the common foot soldier, we must never forget the words of the infamous Henry Kissinger: “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” Is NATO today any different?

And more to the point we should never forget this:

Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998 Posted at globalresearch.ca 15 October 2001

Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”],  that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

B: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

Translated from the French by Bill Blum

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By Go Right Young Man, October 5, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

ITW, - “Didn’t GRYM defend vehemently those that claim all Muslims are violent extremists who want to kill us?”

-

ABSOLUTELY NOT!  I have never in my life thought, said, or written ANYTHING OF THE KIND.

You, Sir, have no idea what it is to actually listen to other points of view.

-

I have never once written that all Muslims are violent extremists who want to kill us.  I have never written that you support the Taliban. And I have never written that you advocate violence against political opponents.  You imagined each and every one of these things.  Yet you go about acting on them as if they are fact. - You are an extremely interesting individual in this manner.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, - “You (seem to) feel that it is right to go over to Afghanistan and kill people there in order to set Afghan culture and politics right.”

-

What?  You’re saying you got that from something I wrote?  Wholly shit.  You and ITW are amazing in how you’re able to see things that are not actually there.

You did not see a word I wrote.  You merely took some mis-characterization you have in mind and applied it to my words. Perhaps you can ask more questions in place of telling me what I think?

-

So you know no Afghans, have never been to Afghanistan but you do, however, know something of Vietnam. - I witnessed Syrian cheese being made a couple of times.  Do you suppose I have no need to learn anything more of Poland?

Are you aware that Vietnam is many thousands of miles from Afghanistan, that Vietnam is surrounded by completely different types of cultures and near and far regional neighbors, and that the Vietnam conflict was rooted in the cold war of over 30 years ago? 

You seem unaware that several dozen nations are currently working inside Afghanistan in order to kill or capture Al Qaeda types and prevent the Taliban’s return to power. 

I would like to understand the depth of your knowledge on this subject.  Exactly how many nations are working with NATO inside Afghanistan at this moment?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, October 5 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

ITW, You may want to give up this hate thing that seems to follow your posts every place I see them…...  No,.... that was me who was hateful, thats right,....it has been proclaimed ITW is angry,..... sorry got it mixed up again, I was wrong.

Hate and anger always seem the first tool pulled from artless dodges arse, when reality starts appearing in the horizon.

I have finally learned my lesson,  I find it prudent, though very hard to keep from attempting to communicate with morons who have comprehension skills apparently lower than most rocks!

Though, on occasion I talk to rocks which I find ever more productive then talking or attempting to communicate with morons!
****************************

ROFLMAO!  Thanks, Leefeller, for saving the day as usual.

Didn’t GRYM defend vehemently those that claim all Muslims are violent extremists who want to kill us?  Now he’s claiming to have hundreds of Iranian friends and to speak Farsi and Arabic.

I wonder what would happen if Arabian Sinbad tested GRYM’s fluent Arabic…

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By Guitarsandmore805, October 5, 2010 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Yeah, well, the conditions on the ground are: it sucks.  And next year at this time the conditions on the ground will no doubt be: it sucks.

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By Anarcissie, October 5, 2010 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, October 5 at 12:51 pm:

Anarcissie,

I believe it’s much more important to ask why you are requesting answers from me that you seldom, if ever, ask of others.  A question you fail to answer yourself.

How many Afghan widows and children do you personally know?
...

Echolalia is not the right answer here, because our views are not mirror images of one another.  You (seem to) feel that it is right to go over to Afghanistan and kill people there in order to set Afghan culture and politics right.  I do not; generally speaking, I think Afghanistan is the business of the people who live there unless we have come to some agreement about meddling in one another’s business, which we haven’t.  In any case, I think if you are going to kill and terrorize people when you don’t have to, you should know a whole lot about them which justifies that kind of behavior.  That would include knowing what their personal lives were like before the Great Powers started inflicting war upon them.  Only then can you feel superior enough to better them at the point of a gun—a gun which is sometimes not merely brandished but fired.

I don’t know any Afghans.  I do know some Vietnamese, though, and I am pretty sure there was no reason to kill or maim several million of them and terrorize and wreck their country as did people who talked about Vietnam very much as you now talk about Afghanistan.

Imperialists are always talking about the wonderful things they’re doing for those they imperialize.  They’re still killing people, however.  And it’s still wrong, in my book, anyway.

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By Leefeller, October 5, 2010 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

If the USA owes anyone a debt, I would suggest it be Vietnam and the people of Vietnam.  One could say according to GYRM illogic, the USA should root out the evil going on in Mexico, lots of folks seem to be demising down there and the blatant corruption as compared to the not so blatant corruption here may be to similar? After all Mexico is closer then Afghanistan, don’t Mexico have oil too?

Rome did not jump all the way over to South America to Conquer the Asterisks, Rome expanded their borders one border at a time, which makes much more sense to me,..... but Rome went broke too! Hell the USA could look at even taking over Alaska, don’t know if people are getting killed up there, but people sure do seem like their excavators do not go to the top.

Hell now,..... I suspect where GRYM may be from.

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By felicity, October 5, 2010 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

JDMysticJD -  “monstrous acts ignored, condoned and
justified…” and often celebrated as victories. 
Celebrated is the operative word.

Reagan ordered the bombing of Khadafi’s compound in
Libya.  The next morning headlines in American
newspapers declared the raid a great success.  Khadafi
was not killed.  His baby daughter was.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 5, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

I believe it’s much more important to ask why you are requesting answers from me that you seldom, if ever, ask of others.  A question you fail to answer yourself.

How many Afghan widows and children do you personally know?

-

I happen to currently live less than two hours away from the largest Arab and Muslim population in the United States.  This has allowed me the wonderful opportunity to know, first hand, what several dozen native Afghans think and feel about current events in and around their friends and families.

I have never been to Afghanistan. I do, however, speak fluent Farsi and Arabic (having lived in Iran for more than seven years).  I have hundreds of Persian and Arab friends.  I have, for nearly 30 years, surrounded myself with Persians and Arabs almost daily.  My understanding of these cultures is not rooted in your Western media sources.

-

We owe the Afghan people a debt almost beyond repaying.  Talk of leaving Afghanistan because it’s just too hard or too expensive fills me with nothing but shame.

People here love to talk about things they have very little knowledge of.  And on almost every subject imaginable.  Only media filled minds believe NATO and others are destroying Afghanistan.  Complete and total crap.

Know this and know it well.  The young men and woman of the U.S. armed forces do not awaken every day thinking about how they can destroy the homes and lives of Afghan families.  American soldiers, in particular, are always trying to think of stunning and innovative ways to save a life before taking one.

Most opinions on the Web space are rooted in seeing too many Western films and far too much Western media sources of all types. 

-

To all I say; put in the time.  Do some real research.  Put away your Western News.  It serves you poorly.  Take the time to listen to Afghans.  Don’t speak.  Simply listen.

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By Leefeller, October 5, 2010 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

ITW, You may want to give up this hate thing that seems to follow your posts every place I see them…...  No,.... that was me who was hateful, thats right,....it has been proclaimed ITW is angry,..... sorry got it mixed up again, I was wrong.

Hate and anger always seem the first tool pulled from artless dodges arse, when reality starts appearing in the horizon.

I have finally learned my lesson,  I find it prudent, though very hard to keep from attempting to communicate with morons who have comprehension skills apparently lower than most rocks!

Though, on occasion I talk to rocks which I find ever more productive then talking or attempting to communicate with morons!

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By Anarcissie, October 5, 2010 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

I think the more important question would be how many Afghans GRYM knows.  Other than under conditions of war, that is.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 5, 2010 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

ITW, - “do you actually KNOW anyone serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, or who lost a loved one in either place?”

-

You seem completely clueless on how abominable your question is. 

Yes. I know 361 men and woman very personally who have fought and suffered in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and the Philippines. Eighteen whom have lost their lives.  I also know two young men who disappeared in Iran simply for speaking out for the idea of a representative form of government.  The two were once my neighbors in Abyek. What exactly is your point?  Are you trying to prove how shallow and repugnant you can be?

-

I never suggested for a second that you support the Taliban.  You, very simply, imagined it.

ITW, I can make you this promise.  If you drop the putrid hate you feel for human-beings who look unlike yourself an entirely different, and larger, world will unfold.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

I absolutely did not write, imply, or indicate, in any way, shape, or form that you support the Taliban.  However, if it will serve to make you feel better, feel free to point out where in my opinions you imagined such a thing.
***************

Why? You’ll just lie about that to and tell us what we think is a cold rain is really sunshine.  You’ve done the equivalent many times before.

But here goes: every time I, or anybody else, brings up how many ways we’ve failed in Afghanistan, you go into the how terrible the Taliban is, in graphic detail.  (or, on Iraq, how bad Saddam Hussein was).  You refuse to recognize that if we cannot win, THAT DOESN’T MATTER!  And, if we can win, at what price?  Are you willing to destroy America to destroy the Taliban? So, when you bring up their crimes, you are saying that ANYONE who isn’t willing to go all the way, even to the destruction of America, is actually supporting them and their terrorism.

BTW, do you actually KNOW anyone serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, or who lost a loved one in either place?  Or are you just quick to be cavalier with the lives of the faceless children of faceless strangers?  Will you be so cavalier when it’s someone you love in harm’s way?

I’d bet good money you won’t give a straight answer to that simple question.

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By JDmysticDJ, October 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Forget nation building, in order to win in Afghanistan we will have to rebuild an entire culture. We view Afghani culture as immoral and corrupt, while Afghanis view our culture as being immoral and corrupt.

Stoning and other atrocities are, in fact, barbarous to the point of astonishment and incredulity by people of the West, as they should be by people of a humane nature. Stoning, along with other horrific acts of this sort, are perhaps second only to the monstrous acts of torture and murder to achieve perverse gratification by serial killers in terms of repulsion by people who have a semblance of decency. Tragically, other monstrous acts are ignored, condoned, and justified by many in the West. The deaths of innocents defined as collateral damage, indiscriminate killing caused by frustration and anger, planned destruction of infrastructures and public health facilities of large populations with foreknowledge of the disastrous consequences to those large populations, the use of weapons defined as inhumane and illegal by the world community, and actual weapons of mass destruction have been used by the West, with claimed justification and with little or no remorse shown by many in the West. 

Those who argue that the persecution of women is the exclusive practice of the Taliban are unfamiliar with or ignoring the beliefs and policies of the current government in Afghanistan, and with the practices of our ally Saudi Arabia. There is much of the ages old war-time propaganda being put forth here. The claim that Afghani women have more freedom now than ever before is a falsehood. Though a 20% participation by women in the Afghan government is mandated by the Afghan Constitution, women in the Afghan Government have very little real power to promote the interests of Afghani women. The Afghan Constitution specifically designates Islam as the State Religion and includes a provision for the death penalty for apostasy.

“Malalai Joya (Pashto and Persian: ????? ????) (born April 25, 1978) is an Afghan politician who has been called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.”[1] As an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Farah province, she has publicly denounced the presence of what she considers warlords and war criminals in the parliament. She is an outspoken critic of both the Taliban as well as the present Afghan government of Karzai and its western supporters.[2][3]”

“On May 7, 2006, Malalai Joya was physically and verbally attacked by fellow members of parliament after accusing several colleagues of being “warlords” and unfit for service in the new Afghan government.”

Her most memorable quote is: “It is time for the women of Afghanistan to be unveiled, and for Afghanistan to rise again and be the great nation we remember it to be.”

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By IchliebeSie, October 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What I have difficulty understanding is what makes the USA and NATO assume that they can just “modernize” and “westernize” Afghanistan?  Such arrogance!  Afghanistan is a tribal and feudal nation in which its people have followed their traditions for millennia. 

Afghans have no navy.  Afghans have no airforce.  What the USA and NATO are doing there is immoral.  It may surprise some to learn that the financial cost of making Afghan lives even more of a living Hell than it always has been is more than seven times Afghanistan’s GDP.  This to me is the saddest part of the whole thing.

I believe that the USA top priority in Afghanistan is to protect both the poppies and the oil pipelines.  The whole global jihad, al-Qaeda, bin laden stuff is a mere smokescreen.  Unforunately, it is effective.

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By JDmysticDJ, October 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

(Cont. from above)

The reality of the government overthrown by U.S. backed Jihadists is related below.

In the words of Australian journalist John Pilger:

“Under tribalism and feudalism, [In Afghanistan] life expectancy was thirty-five and almost one in three children died in infancy. Ninety per cent of the population was illiterate. The new government [Democratic Republic of Afghanistan] introduced free medical care in the poorest areas. Peonage was abolished; a mass literacy campaign was begun. For women, the gains were unheard of; by the late 1980s, half the university students were women, and women made up 40 per cent of Afghanistan’s doctors, 70 per cent of its teachers and 30 per cent of its civil servants.”

From an interview in Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, with Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Q. When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

It should be pointed out that this war seen as being so beneficial by Brzezinski and others resulted in the direct deaths of a million people, and created the circumstances for the additional deaths of millions.

It’s the kind of geopolitical thinking illustrated above, and which continues today, that has created the problems we face today. It was these geopolitical hegemonic aspirations that threw Afghanistan into 30 years of civil war and returned Afghanistan to a middle ages feudal society, those who have continued this geopolitical thinking have created a new, world conflict, which has lead to the expenditure of trillions of dollars, incalculable human suffering, well documented thoroughly corrupt governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the likelihood of continued danger and murderous mayhem for generations to come.

It’s time that we cut our losses, stop the madness, and focus on the myriad of problems that confront us as a society and a nation, before it’s too late, if it isn’t already too late.

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By A Khokar, October 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Asif Ali Zardari (President of Pakistan) may bring a ‘Sure Victory for US’ in FATA- Pakistan

Please link: http://www.adab-arz.co.uk/?p=2250

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By Go Right Young Man, October 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

ITW - “You absolutely implied I advocated supporting the Taliban.  Now you are trying to weasel out of it…..”

-

I always mean what I write and write what I mean.

I absolutely did not write, imply, or indicate, in any way, shape, or form that you support the Taliban.  However, if it will serve to make you feel better, feel free to point out where in my opinions you imagined such a thing.

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By johnny, October 4, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

D.R.Zing said:
“Obama would also have to launch a very public campaign to stop the international arms trade.”

Sort of like the cons’ trillion dollar War on Drugs and poor people?  Not very likely to succeed.

Maybe Obama could reward arms makers for building better non-lethal weapons to substitute for lethal weapons.  Adults could carry non-lethal weapons openly to prevent attack.  And we could put our attackers to sleep instead of killing them and make our enemies trip out on LSD gas bombs.  Peace.

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By felicity, October 4, 2010 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Zing - excellent points.  On War:  if I remember
correctly the military marauders of the past, like Khan
and Alexander and Attila…on their periodical
imperialistic binges simply burned villages to the
ground and killed all the inhabitants as a way of
ensuring no future opposition, at least from those
villagers.  We could always do that.  Sort of like,
either sh__ or get off the pot?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 4, 2010 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

GRYM:

You absolutely implied I advocated supporting the Taliban.  Now you are trying to weasel out of it by saying “I never (actually) said that!”

You may mean what you say. More’s the pity.

As you like to say to others: You truly have no honor.

I hope you find some sort of peace with yourself.

ITW

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By D.R. Zing, October 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

Well, I’ve been out for a while, and I must say it’s a joy to be back. There’s lots of good thoughts on this page. Hats off to all.

Regarding the article itself, starting at the bottom where Robinson mentions the corruption in Pakistan, I would recommend Steve Coll’s Pulitzer Prize winning book: Ghost Wars.  Coll documents the corruption of Pakistan well, documenting how from the colonel level on down in the Pakistani intelligence agencies there was broad support for the Taliban.  We knew what we were getting into. Our money flowed from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan to the radicals who wanted to destroy us. One would suspect the money is still flowing like oil. 

As for Obama’s options, I would say he doesn’t know how to wage peace and his generals have forgotten how to wage war. If Obama wanted to go for either he would have to go whole hog or nothing.

Peace, the only way would be to pull out of Iraq, pull out of Afghanistan, take half that money and funnel it to start-up companies designing and manufacturing electric cars and renewable clean energy.  Make the MPG for cars 100 miles per gallon by 2015 and take the money out of the Middle East that they are using to kill us. Obama would also have to launch a very public campaign to stop the international arms trade.  This would take incredible effort and courage, because it’s a huge profit center for corporations and governments world-wide, including America, but it’s the only way to maintain peace. No country can govern when any pissed off teenager with a hard-line can get a surface-to-air missile to blast away his frustrations. 

War. If there is anything we human beings are truly good at, particularly those of us in the West, it’s fighting war. We’ve done it for thousands of years.  There is only one way to win.  You invade, seal borders, and disarm the country. This Cold War technique that bled over to the twenty-first century of arming tyrants to fight tyrants is total nonsense.  It only works if your intent is to fight wars of attrition that leave countries annihilated and incapable of ever building suitable infrastructures to support civilized, modern society. To win in Afghanistan, we would need a million troops on the ground capable of sealing the borders, disarming everyone in the country, and then start rebuilding the country and its government from the ground up. We would need to be willing and prepared to lose tens if not hundreds of thousands of our own in this endeavor. But we could do it all in less than five years and then leave. If anyone then invaded or took over using violence, we’d have to be prepared to do it again. 

I don’t know about you, but I like the peace option better. 

As for the Pakistan problem, that’s a red herring. It does not even belong in the argument. Pakistan is a nuclear power, and if it resorts to nuclear war, it will be dealt with in a nuclear manner. It will be horrible. But our presence in Afghanistan is more likely to precipitate a nuclear exchange, not prevent it. 

So, again, if we were to quickly get out of the Middle East and do a twenty-first century version of the Manhattan Project that focuses on quickly and decisively changing the way we power our cars and trucks, we could stop the flow of cash that’s funding terrorism, and, by leaving Muslim holy lands, we could stop serving as a recruiting poster for the radicals in the Middle East who want to kill us all.

Warm regards for everyone. Keep up the good work.

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By pundaint, October 3, 2010 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Does America even have a soul anymore?

Michelle’s husband has made me ashamed to be an American for the first
time. 

I can no longer blame it on those twisted greedy Republicans.  The entire
institution of America is manifestly corrupt.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

ITW, - “Again you lie.  I have never advocated violence against political opponents.

-

I always mean what I write and write what I mean. 

For example: I never wrote that you openly advocate violence and I never wrote that you wish a return of the Taliban.  What you call lies actually never happened. 

-

And still you remain completely silent on the numerous documented incidents of violence against Tea protesters.

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By 0i812, October 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

yo grym.  research how long the taliban governed afghanistan.  read the kite
runner.  read.  Then check out climber Greg Mortenson whose life was saved by
local pakistan folks and the ripple effects that occured when he opened up 54
schools there and Northeastern Afghanistan.  Taliban-man had a difficult time
gaining a foothold when education had already gained the hearts and minds.
Now back to America.  Look at the state of the standardization of our
education system.  The funding.  The focus on rote memorization ABCD ring a
ding line up to next class and follow the yellow line.  The future is grym
because we actively discourage discourse and the thought process. 
Fortunately, more people are seeking the back door and recognizing the power
that lies within themselves.  The power to make a difference in themselves by
bettering themselves.  You can choose to spin in the whirlwind or you can go
downstairs and make a better world with those who choose active, healthy,
global community

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By Inherit The Wind, October 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

GRYM:

Again you lie.  I have never advocated violence against political opponents.

What I do is refuse to acknowledge is your consistently biased sources of alleged incidents against right-wingers due to your denial of alleged incidents against left-wingers and your pretending there are none.  Your biases and willingness to bend the truth makes response to you on these issues, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE IRRELEVANT TO THE THREAD, an absurdity.

Like Robert you insist on always pulling a thread away from its point to whatever you want to discuss.

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By Paul_GA, October 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

“Fighting a war to fix something works about
as well as going to a whorehouse to get rid of the clap.”
~ Norman Mailer

Splendidly quoted, Felicity!

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By blogdog, October 3, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

...after almost a decade of preventing at least (6) six 9/11 type attacks inside the United States and U.S. embassies abroad,

myth-encrusted, agit-prop, effectively designed to proliferate the global war of terror, no doubt inserted here by a rich asset, not a useful fool, as we more frequently see

on close inspection each incident contributing to this sum of “...(6) six 9/11 type attacks…” quickly unravels to expose pathetically inept, manipulated patsies - SOP for such ops; e.g.  underwear bomber — sheep-dipped, brainwashed, unstable, handled right up to the last minute, inept patsy of the 1st order, totally clueless that we was set up for a failed attempted terrorist bombing, with ample on-sight, first-hand evidence to support this analysis

for the few among us still duped, get a clue — the global war of terror is the phoniest act since Barnam and Baily’s Two-headed Geek

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By felicity, October 3, 2010 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

gerard - you’d appreciate this quote from old Norman
Mailer:  “Fighting a war to fix something works about
as well as going to a whorehouse to get rid of the
clap.” 

And johnny, unless I missed it you didn’t mention how
war has furthered the field of medicine. There’s
nothing quite like massive human suffering to get
doctor’s off their complacent butts and into their
laboratories to invent ways to keep people alive and
fit to lie suffering on the next battlefield.

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By ocjim, October 3, 2010 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

About a 10% chance.

I’m sick of adventure-minded, buddy-bonding young Americans dying for political purposes.

If working class Americans were given better opportunities in our country, not as many would seek the adventure, comraderie and challenge of the military and war.

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By Paul_GA, October 3, 2010 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

@ RayLan

It may be true that Hitler once said that by warding off the Jews, he was fighting for the Lord’s work, but he still had room in the Nazi Party—and in the SS, no less—for a mad-dog atheist like Theodor Eicke, first head of the concentration-camp guard service and later commander of the SS division “Totenkopf” on the Eastern Front. Read Charles Sydnor’s Soldiers of Destruction for more info.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 3, 2010 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

ITW,

And still you remain completely quiet on the violence hurled against those human beings you have publicly denigrated here on this Web space multiples of dozens of times. 

You have played a continuous and unapologetic role in whipping up the fear and hatred against, what you perceive to be, political rivals.  Humans whom look and think differently than you do.

I have tried countless times to get you to tone down your attitude toward those who happen to, very simply, see the world differently. I thought that if someone here were to bring a few of these horrendous violent attacks to your attention this may have an effect on you.  Yet you remain completely silent and non-remorseful.

-

If you would like I can get that woman’s name who had her jaw broken immediately after leaving a republican fundraiser.  Perhaps you wish to send her the same types of attitudes you display here?  Perhaps she will better understand how you’re only “speaking the truth” as you see it.

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By RayLan, October 3, 2010 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

felicity - It is almost the case, that the history of religion tracks the history of war- it certainly defines the Judao-Christian milestones.
Let’s not forget that however incredible, Hitler saw himself and the Nazi party as Christians.

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By gerard, October 3, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

One more thing we are trying to do—and maybe achieving this one—is to force ourselves and the rest of the world to finally admit that war is not a way to achieve success.  it is only a way to guarantee failure.  Particularly this is true of wars for revenge and ars for exploitatioin. As the Afghan war is conducted for both reasons, it is doubly punishing—and all sides.  Iraq was similar.
  Perhaps the human race can learn this lesson—finally.  If the US is halfway smart, we will all finally catch on and do the things necessary to prevent governments from using war as policy. US could lead the way to new attitudes and methods. That would be big step forward. 
  Ordinary people are going to have to be the first to step out and insist—using non-violent tactics. We have the power   We are just not using it.

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By johnny, October 3, 2010 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

For our war-based economy, wars are perfectly rational necessities that keep our huge military industrial intelligence complex cranking along, providing jobs and profits.  Oligarchs went through a lot of trouble to start these and they won’t easily give it up no matter how many they kill, maim and impoverish.

“The military function of the war system serves simply to defend or advance the “national interest” by means of organized violence. It is often necessary for a national military establishment to create a need for its unique powers… And a healthy military apparatus requires regular “exercise,” by whatever rationale seems expedient, to prevent its atrophy.”

“Why is war so wonderful? Because it creates artificial demand… the only kind of artificial demand, moreover, that does not raise any political issues: war, and only war, solves the problem of inventory.”

“War cannot be considered wholly “wasteful.” Without a long-established war economy, and without its frequent eruption into large-scale shooting war, most of the major industrial advances known to history, beginning with the development of iron, could never have taken place. Weapons technology structures the economy.”

“Far from constituting a “wasteful” drain on the economy, war spending, considered pragmatically, has been a consistently positive factor in the rise of gross national product and of individual productivity.”

“No combination of techniques for controlling employment, production, and consumption has yet been tested that can remotely compare to [war] in effectiveness. It is, and has been, the essential economic stabilizer of modern societies.”

Report from Iron Mountain
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/New_World_Order/Report_Iron_Mountain.html

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By felicity, October 3, 2010 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

RayLan - your comment reminded me that ‘we’ spent 200
years, the Crusades, attempting to rid the world of
Islam. Do your suppose we’re merely engaged in the
umpteenth Crusade?

Your other comment reminded me of my favorite
tautology:  We must stay in Afghanistan to fight
those who do not want us in Afghanistan. (Which
reminds me of what must also be a tautology, “Absence
of evidence is not evidence of absence” uttered by
that brilliant architect of the war in Iraq, Donald
Rumsfeld, as the rationale for invading that poor,
benighted nation.)

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By Leefeller, October 3, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man,

So many assumptions, the Tea Party book guy is probably making his on phone calls for publicity, an assumption, who is making the calls, well possibly Fox News for the publicity of it.  My only dissapointment is the Tea Party Book is not like the Sara Palin Book, a little more factual.

This Tea Party Book is not a political book, according to the publisher, it sounded very politicl to me, so predicating the book on a lie from the beginning seems noramal from the ignorant side of never never land, and of course we here crickets from GRYM! Always complaining about crickets from the other side?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 3, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, October 3 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

Being a purveyor of hate and intolerance yourself, perhaps you may try to explain the “hundreds of death threats” against the author of a children’s book called “The Tea Party”?  A book which, the author claims, has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s Tea Party protests or current politics (it’s a history book for children).  Yet, in part thanks to you, the “hundreds of death threats” apparently continue unabated.
*************************

There you go again! (as Ronald Reagan used to say)

First, it’s an ad hominem attack on me that’s totally unjustified.

Then it’s a TOTALLY tangential and irrelevant piece of scare tactics designed to whip up emotions beyond rationality.

AND you imply that I WANT the Taliban back in control, which you know is flat-out false.

I don’t know how you can look at yourself in the mirror.  Your penchant for falsehood and personal attacks BASED ON LIES is unprecedented on TD.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 3, 2010 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

ITW,

Being a purveyor of hate and intolerance yourself, perhaps you may try to explain the “hundreds of death threats” against the author of a children’s book called “The Tea Party”?  A book which, the author claims, has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s Tea Party protests or current politics (it’s a history book for children).  Yet, in part thanks to you, the “hundreds of death threats” apparently continue unabated.

It’s doubtful that these “hundreds” of threats are directed from the conservative, independent, or Tea Party crowds.  More likely at least one of these threats originated from this very Web space.  Yet you remain completely silent on these hundreds of violent manifestations.

It is now documented that dozens of Tea protesters have been violently molested.  Some of them in vicious and horrendous ways.  Yet you remain silent.

It has been documented that a group of anti-Tea Party thugs severely beat a black vendor at a rally.  These thugs repeatedly called the man a Nigger.  Yet you remain silent.

It has been documented that a woman and her male companion were so severely beaten, by yet another group of individuals, as the two left a republican fundraiser, that the woman is still, months later, suffering through physical therapy.  Yet still you remain silent.

Not a single incident of violence has been documented arising from the Tea Party protesters or individuals who claim to identify with the protesters.  Yet you whine about the dangers from the Tea Party.

You are an interesting sort.

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By Arabian Sinbad, October 3, 2010 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

By Rigor, October 3 at 10:28 am

“My ancestors came from Ireland, and not until 1866
(one year after the civil war). They NEVER enslaved
anyone because potato farmers didn’t own a damn
thing (hence the term “dirt poor”).”
======================================
First, congratulations Mr. brainwashed ex-marine on coming back alive from your intruding mission in Beirut. After all, your types are brainwashed to kill and be ready to being killed at the altar of some crude religion called nationalism or white Americanism.

Second, since your ancestors came to this land one year after the Civil War, that does relief you somehow from the burden of the white-man-burden of their so-called civilizing mission by annihilating the native Americans after infecting them with all types of diseases.

Third, but tell me Mr.: Are you of the Irish Catholic type or the Irish Protestant type?! I normally sympathize with Catholic Americans because of the hate, bigotry and discrimination they suffered from at the hands of Protestant Americans for over a century. The hate and bigotry is still there in many subtle ways. However, If you are coming from an Irish Protestant background, then I already understand your bigotry against relatively new-comers-Muslims who came here peacefully and legally and did not have to kill any natives or displace anyone else.

Most recent Muslim immigrants come to America either as seekers of knowledge, doctors, engineers and educators or to engage in small businesses-enterprising. They enrich America in ways that only envious, hatemongers, bigots don’t recognize. I am one of them, an educator, and I will stand for my God-given human rights against ignoramus, bigots, and white trash!

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By Go Right Young Man, October 3, 2010 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

ITW - “Continuing to call (Sarah Palin) a (fascist, lying, racist bitch) every chance you get IS, by definition, an ad hominem attack.”

-

ROFLMAO!

You really need to drop the hate from your daily repertoire.  It completely blinds your mind.

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By RayLan, October 3, 2010 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

No religion has a clean slate on violence and hatred - especially not Christianity. If our presence in Islamic countries is fueled by religious animosity then we have a problem - there are millions of Americans who profess that faith. It is safe to say historically that covering economic imperialistic motives, anti-religious animosities have provided the pretext for all military immoral aggression.
So what should the anti-Islamist do - call for an exile of all Muslims? Maybe internment would be a solution. Banning mosgues? Hatred is not known for its reasonable solutions.

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By RayLan, October 3, 2010 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

It’s fascinating to watch the chameleon mythology of war changing to suit the political situation.
We didn’t go to Afghanistan to help the Afghans- we went there to get Bin Laden - just like we went to Iraq to defend ourselves against the WMDs. We have NOT effected much change in converting Afghan culture - otherwise the Taliban would not have such a politcal and religious hold - so we have taken a counter-insurgency strategy - and after all these years have made very little headway. We will not win - for a host of reasons the most important being economic.

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By Rigor, October 3, 2010 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

For Mr. Arabian Sinbad -

My ancestors came from Ireland, and not until 1866
(one year after the civil war). They NEVER enslaved
anyone because potato farmers didn’t own a damn
thing (hence the term “dirt poor”).

During my service in the Marine Corps I was checked
15 ways to the moon before being deployed in Beruit
in the early 80’s, and learned first hand of the
shameless atrocities of a group called hezbollah -
true muslims I’m told.

You want to label me a bigot? Just because of the
color of my skin?! Pound sand MF! Islam is the faith
of wife beaters and boy rapists, it may have started
as something good - but those days are long gone!
Now it just serves as a curtain for villans &
tyrants, and stupid little people like you.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 3, 2010 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

ITW,

My imploring you to get past your overt and unapologetic disdain for other’s honest differences is not ad hominem.  I am being direct, succinct and specific on that subject.
***************

Now you are just flat-out bare-faced lying. 

Usually, bend facts and obfuscate, and re-define terms to mean something other than what they really
mean.

Continuing to call me a bigot and hate-filled every chance you get IS, by definition, an ad hominem attack.

About our efforts in Afghanistan: I hope I’m wrong too.  But the evidence is mounting that we are not winning there, when we had been prior the resources being redirected to Iraq.

Also, one can reasonably expect that if (and now it looks sadly like when) the Taliban returns to power, Al Qaeda will not be welcome in Afghanistan.

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By Paul_GA, October 3, 2010 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

I doubt it will be all that bad if Osama bin Laden never is killed or captured alive; after all, the USA invaded Mexico back in 1916 to take Pancho Villa dead or alive after Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and failed. Yet the USA continued to exist, and Villa was eventually ambushed and murdered by corrupt politicians in Mexico (perhaps with the connivance of the USA in those long-ago pre-CIA days). So I counsel everyone not to worry about Bin Laden; worry about our Elites in Mordor-on-the-Potomac. THEY are the ones who are taking this country to wreck and ruin.

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By basho, October 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

‘And what about triple-checking begot, racist, white intruders like yourself, whose white ancestors came to this land and annihilated the natives and enslaved millions of blacks from Africa, including a large number of Muslims?!’

not to forgotten is that the Muslims were also masters in the slave trade, big time. read your history mate.smile

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By Jolimont, October 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

The only Afghans who are cooperating with us do it for
our money. The second we stop the cash, they go back to
hating us.

We are just throwing money into the pockets of corrupt
leaders and killing civilians caught in the middle. Get
out now!!!

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By MeHere, October 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

E. Robinson, you ask who really thinks we’ll win in Afghanistan. Isn’t it clear by
now that that the answer is: the government, and the citizens who vote for
officials and who keep sending their children to war and paying for the cost? It is
massive insanity but it is no mystery.

Quoting Lewis Carroll: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get
you there.”

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By Arabian Sinbad, October 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Rigor, October 3 at 12:08 am

“We pull back and protect our interests, and triple
check anyone who is from an islamic state - the hell
with the pc punks who want to cry ethnic profiling,
the answer to them is “damn straight!”
======================================
And what about triple-checking begot, racist, white intruders like yourself, whose white ancestors came to this land and annihilated the natives and enslaved millions of blacks from Africa, including a large number of Muslims?!

You’re a scum!

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By Rigor, October 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Osama was the target - what happened?
Our elite, highly trained, technologically superior
national security assets can’t find this one guy
anywhere on the planet?

NOBODY on this planet doubted our right to find
this guy, but over the years the political waffling
has perverted our purpose, at the expense of the
lives of our most honorable citizens - our military.
To stay this course will lead to ruin.
To turn tail will dishonor our fallen and our
posterity.
PULL THIS RAT OUT OF HIS HOLE ONCE AND FOR All,
GIVE HIM THE MILITARY TRIBUNAL HE DESERVES, THEN THE
FIRING SQUAD HE HAS EARNED! WE WIN - THEY LOOSE -
THE END.
We pull back and protect our interests, and triple
check anyone who is from an islamic state - the hell
with the pc punks who want to cry ethnic profiling,
the answer to them is “damn straight!”

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By Arabian Sinbad, October 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

By de profundis clamavi, October 2 at 7:56 pm

“Woodward quotes Gen. David Petraeus, Obama’s commander in Afghanistan, as saying privately, “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. ... This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”
================================================
I found your comment profoundly true and frightfully alarming. I always worried and commented on the dangerous power of the U.S. military-industrious complex and its evil built-in mentality to promote itself through creating wars and conflicts so they can shine and appropriate for themselves the largest part of the national treasury.

I always said that the military-industrial complex, the CIA and the FBI are the three entities are are responsible for the erosion of the American standing in the world, and they will be eventually responsible for the downfall of America.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

My imploring you to get past your overt and unapologetic disdain for other’s honest differences is not ad hominem.  I am being direct, succinct and specific on that subject.

After more than 2/3 of top Al Qaeda leadership having been long killed or captured, after almost a decade of preventing at least (6) six 9/11 type attacks inside the United States and U.S. embassies abroad, after capturing the Mastermind of 9/11 and two of his closest Lieutenants, after removing the Taliban from control of Kabul in less than 3 months, at the same time driving Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, and bin Laden into caves - severely hindering their “operational effectiveness”- and closing down the A.Q. Kahn nuclear proliferation network, and after killing or capturing all known participants of the U.S.S. Cole and several of the African Embassy bombings, you believe the chance was lost to fight Al Qaeda types.  You believe there is now no chance that by using those very same methods the West can produce the very same strong results in destroying either Al Qaeda or the Taliban. 

I hope you’re wrong.

-

ITW, - “Ironically, however, the Taliban is now no longer “friends” with Al Qaeda and has altered its strategy to solely concentrating on where it lives” 

- Not according to bin Laden, Nasrallah, Rahman (e-Taliban) and Awlaki.  Each likely understand Taliban and Qaeda types better than either of us.  If they disagree with you are we not forced to question your conclusions?

-

I don’t why you insist on believing that George W. Shrub is my hero….LOL.  It’s odd how you do that so consistently.

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By copernicist, October 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

de profundis clamavi— 
Excellent statement , which, sadly for all of us who cry out with you, is an absolutely accurate account of present and future realities.

Keep the lucidity going; it’s needed.

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By de profundis clamavi, October 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Woodward quotes Gen. David Petraeus, Obama’s commander in Afghanistan, as saying privately, “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. ... This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”

Sounds pessimistic, no? Well, no, not exactly. You see, from Petraeus’s point of view, an endless war is an endless career opportunity for the military caste that has arisen in America over the past 50 years. Petraeus assumes his children will succeed to his position as senior members of the military caste and that they will enjoy its privileges - a career for life, celebrity status and wealth and,  eventually, absolute political power in the USA.

In most societies over the course of history, there has been a distinct military caste, and that military caste has either been, or become, synonymous with the government. The formula: Military Power = Political Power = Wealth and Privilege.

Huge military establishments are voracious consumers of money, energy and talent, and they sap the strength of civil society. The military is by its nature an authoritarian social structure which teaches admiration and respect for authority and power, a willingness to use violence and a contempt for those who advocate free thought and debate to resolve disputes. The maintenance of a huge standing army is a policy which is anti-democratic to the core.

The longer the civilian government of the USA allows its military establishment to suck up $700 billion a year of annual resources, to carry on endless foreign wars, and to be treated as a sacred cow in terms of public shows of respect and reverence and in terms of spending; the greater the risk grows that the military establishment will openly flex their muscles in the political arena until they become overtly political and seize power. If the military establishment is allowed to continue in its position of privilege as it does today, in the long run, an authoritarian military government becomes   inevitable.

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By Paul_GA, October 2, 2010 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Felicity, for the reply. I don’t know if Marshall ever read Sun Tzu’s Art of War, but some lessons from history are timeless, no matter how old they are.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

GRYM:
Every time you post a response to me you call me “Hate-filled” or “bigot”.  All I said was you conveniently forgot the goal.

Yet you continue with this ad hominem attack on me, like your Fox “heros” do on people they don’t like again and again.  Disgusting technique.

Now YOU need to do some reading!  I’m well aware that Al Qaeda is still out there.  I’m also aware that we had a golden opportunity to destroy them in 2002, but that your other “hero”, Bush, squandered that chance when he chose to attack Iraq.

The chance was lost.  Now, there’s no chance, using the current strategy, of destroying either Al Qaeda or the Taliban.  Ironically, however, the Taliban is now no longer “friends” with Al Qaeda and has altered its strategy to solely concentrating on where it lives: Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, and no longer engaging in long-range attacks on the USA.

However, it should be clear to everyone that the strategy in Afghanistan is simply not working.

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By copernicist, October 2, 2010 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Go Right –
Good point.
But how many people on the planet would you say are “consciously attempting to be honest” when choosing, carefully or not, what bits of info or pseudo-info they “need” to function – or function sanely, given the now excessive stimuli to which our limited nervous system is daily bombarded.  ( I include one’s fading sensory perceptions often baffling over-taxed or otherwise “challenged” brains.) 
Yes, “cherry picking” is a dubiously simplified cliché:  we mortals do not so much fastidiously “pick” from a convenient tree as quickly pluck Our Favourite Morsels from a bubbling Info-soup before the waiter takes it or us away. Of course we do so in varying degrees of conformity to whatever Comfortable-to-us Criteria we like to think are Rational.

I think we’ve chewed this bone enough.

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