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Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

Ian Sinclair | Morning Star Online/UK, Aug 18, 2009

On May 4 the US bombed the village of Granai in Farah province, Afghanistan, killing 140 civilians according to the Afghanistan government, including approximately 90 children.

It was the single largest loss of life caused by US/NATO forces since the 2001 invasion.

President Hamid Karzai denounced the air strikes as “unjustifiable and unacceptable,” hundreds of people demonstrated in Kabul and in Farah city there was a riot outside the governor’s office and traders closed their shops in protest.

The US military initially claimed the civilians had been killed by grenades hurled by Taliban fighters. These assertions were shown to be false by eyewitness accounts and were quickly withdrawn.

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By Eric Margolis | Information Clearing House, Aug 18, 2009

This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan will be an elaborate piece of political theater designed to show increasingly uneasy Western voters that progress is being made in the war-torn nation after seven years of US-led occupation.

Most Afghans already believe they know who will win the vote: the candidate chosen by the United States and its NATO allies.

Voting will mostly be held in urban areas, under the guns of US and NATO troops. The countryside, ruled by Taliban, who are often local farmers moonlighting as fighters, is too dangerous for this electoral charade. Over half of Afghanistan is under Taliban influence by day, 75% at night.

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By William Pfaff | william.pfaff.com, Aug 18, 2009

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

General Stanley McChyrstal says the Taliban are winning (he subsequently denied this). Does the president think he can have a military solution — or a political solution? The latter is not impossible.

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OBAMA CARRIES OUT BUSH/OILCO PLANS IN MIDEAST

WHY WE WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER LEAVE THE MIDDLE EAST

YOUTUBE: THE DOORS
“Intro Apocalypse Now”
It didn’t end well…

Solar, Shmolar, It’s Oil & Gas We Really Want

Dick Cheney’s Assassin-In-Chief, General “Spook” McChrystal, hinted to the new Rupert Murdoch Wall Street rag that we are losing in Afghanistan. This was his preamble to a demand for dropping another 10,000 American troops into the Hole In Nowhere. McChystal’s predecessor in the Hole was fired for suggesting we needed 10,000 more troops in Afghanistan.

But wait, there’s more! McChrystal is offering a different strategerie in the Hole: Instead of actively going after the hostile Afghans, we will passively wait for them to come after us where we hide among the less-hostile Afghans. In Vietnam, that was called “The Strategic Hamlet Program.” No relation to the melancholy Dane. But it still had a tragic ending.

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OBAMA OUTSOURCES AFGHANISTAN

JUST IN CASE AFGHANIZATION DOESN’T WORK

Anti-War, Anti-Bush Candidate Follows Bush Iraq Strategies & Tactics In Expanding Afghan War

So. It’s come to this. This mellow Hawaii dude, this Harvard man, this community organizer, this brother from the South Side of Chicago, with the African-Muslim name and the fiery black Christian preacher, this guy who promised to “end the war within eighteen months,” this “socialist’ is turning out to be pretty much Bush. He’s not going to rule out or prosecute torture. He’s going to cover it up. He’s not going to close Gitmo and bring about fair & speedy trials in civilian courts inside the US. He’s pulled some troops out of Iraqi cities, but not out of Iraq. He’s going to redesignate them as “non-combat,” not redeploy them. So.

Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan, against their will. We’re losing people there now, and in Afghanistan, where there’s a troop buildup and a major offensive going on. It’s not going well. How do we know that? For one thing, there’s a new “Phoenix Program” under the command of Dick Cheney’s personal global & domestic assassin, General McChrystal. Can Cointelpro be far behind? Plus, we’re starting to hear the kind of bullsh*t we used to hear from Defense Secretaries like Melvin Laird and Robert McNamara about “winning hearts & minds” and “Vietnamization,” i.e. turning the war over to the locals. That was a disaster in Vietnam. We got our asses kicked out of there when it failed.

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Virgin Media | 27 July 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has stepped up pressure on the Afghan government to undermine the insurgency targeting British troops by holding talks with elements of the Taliban.

miliband-420x0Mr Miliband said the insurgency was “divided”, with many of those fighting against international forces doing so for “pragmatic” rather than ideological reasons.

Speaking at Nato’s headquarters in Brussels, he said the Afghan authorities should offer incentives to persuade insurgents to switch sides.

He also called for the UK’s Nato allies to take up a greater share of the military burden in Afghanistan.

Mr Miliband said the insurgents were being squeezed by military operations either side of the Durand Line separating Afghanistan from Pakistan.

“From this position, we need to help the Afghan government exploit the opportunity, with a more coherent effort to fragment the various elements of the insurgency, and turn those who can be reconciled to live within the Afghan Constitution. The basis for both reintegration and reconciliation is a starker choice: bigger incentives to switch sides and stay out of trouble, alongside tougher action against those who refuse.

“The Afghan government needs effective grass-roots initiatives to offer an alternative to fight or flight for the foot soldiers of the insurgency. Essentially this means a clear route for former insurgents to return to their villages and go back to farming the land, or a role for some of them within the legitimate Afghan security forces.”

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If the Taliban decide Bergdahl has information they want, they can waterboard him until he talks. They can compress his body and cover him with insects, they can rob him of sleep and deny him food, they can beat him and slather his body with his own waste, they can shove sticks into his rectum, they can rape him, and they can murder him.

Heart-Wrenching Propaganda Video of Bowe R. Bergdahl, the U.S. Soldier Captured by the Taliban.

Worst Case Scenario

William Rivers Pitt | OpEdNews | July 22, 2009

The coward wretch whose hand and heart
Can bear to torture aught below,
Is ever first to quail and start
From the slightest pain or equal foe.- Bertrand Russell

The torture debate in America got real three weeks ago.

Oh, the debate has been around for years now, of course, ever since the photos of what happened in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to light. Men covered in feces, bent double and lashed to bedframes, their faith humiliated by the menstrual blood smeared on their faces, their bodies savaged by dogs, and worse, reports of the rape of women and children.

Yes, the torture debate has been around for a while now, recently revisited by President Obama, who condemned and discontinued the practice, and by enablers of torture like Dick Cheney and John Yoo, who have labored mightily to defend it. It’s been quite the hot topic among the chattering classes of American political discourse, a dialogue in three parts: one group condemning the practice, another group championing it, and a third group – the media professionals – taking no position and trying not to offend anyone, so they can get the big names back on the set for the Sunday shows.

Three weeks ago, however, the whole nature of the torture debate changed irrevocably when an American soldier from Idaho named Bowe Bergdahl somehow fell into the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. They have him now, and God help him, because it was the United States government under the administration of George W. Bush that set the terms for how anyone captured can and should be treated.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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