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BS: Afghan War mistake or wise

Donuel 02 Dec 09 - 09:02 AM
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Subject: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 09:02 AM

If we do not continue these endless foriegn civil wars, be it 17 to twenty years at a stretch, the US would leave a vacuum to be filled by some other country to play policeman to the world with a better or worse agenda than our own. Who would do it? Russia, China?... So we slog on.

On the other hand we have already been economicly defeated by our own rich citizens who control our banks and Wall Street. As a result we have no capital to engage in war. (and that bears repeating)

If the world wants us to be the police then they will continue to prop up our treasury with loans. If not, the loans will dry up and so will we.

So we fight out of tradition and a fear of someone else doing it instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 09:29 AM

What is winning?

Putting the atomic bomb genie back in the bottle?
That seems undoable. Getting a stable Pakistan that does not desire nuclear war?



If Pakistan were the USA their version of California has been taken over by a right wing evangelical militia. They could use help but their soverignty and religious differnces forbid it. Will France dome to their aid? I doubt it. Short of Pakistan going to the UN and pleading for help, our intervention may only make things worse.

Even after the Obama speech I am still left wondering what is winning?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: SINSULL
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 09:34 AM

I read an article this week about how the US is losong its status as a first rate force in the world economically and politically to China. My reaction? Go for it! Let us send 1000 troops while China sends tens of thousands. It works for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 09:44 AM

Whoa, What would Rush Limbaugh say? What if China mopped up the mess in one year? The thought of hoards of Chinese troops, even as Allies, scares the hell out of your average American. They could march 3 million troops over the mountains into Afghanistan if they had to.

But seriously I do not know what mopping up means. I do not know what winning is. ( which makes for a good song title if it isn't already)


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 10:44 AM

The most enlightening discourse on the Afghan decision I have heard today was on the Diane Rehms show.
Col McReedy was eye opening amid the other voices of the status quo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 11:02 AM

I'm not real worried about Bin Ladin and 3000 deaths total.

Been Drinkin' kills between 16,000 and 20,000 in traffic fatalitiesANNUALLY in the U.S.

I don't have the statistics for Been Arguin', Been Shootin' or Been Dopin', but suspect they're each about the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 11:57 AM

I'm not at all sure invading Afghanistan was the best course of action following 9/11, but the logic of equating accidental deaths, no matter how preventable nor how irresponsible the behaviors that caused them, with cold-blooded murder escapes me. Even the legal system, no paragon of logic itself in many regards, makes such a distinction. It's not a matter of quantity, but of intent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 12:33 PM

Maybe the 3000 dead remark was a reference for revenge and the need to avenge those deaths with 10 times that many. Or maybe its just the drink talkin.
......................

I have been trying to read between the lines as I listen to all the various experts on the subject. None of them say it outright, as if they did say it outright it might extinguish the magic, but I think I heard that this 18 month strategy in Afghanistan is only camoflage and the real policy will be to hold the western border as Pakistan pushes the Taliban into our forces. I hope this is the case since the stated purpose of fighting a virtually non existent Al Qeda is actually absurd.

There is more we don't know about this region and people than we do know. We have more understanding of Dolphin vocabulary than we have of the Poshtun. They are alien to the way Wsterners think or even imagine. They have been atWar for 43 years without a break. This is similar to the experienced North Vietnamese having a long established route to travel be it above ground or underground.

We have certain friends in Afghanistan as long as we keep giving them huge sums of money. That's not a very good foundation for a lasting friendship.

Perhaps I am just hoping we are faking right and then go left and declare victory, but it bugs me that I do not know what winning is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 12:38 PM

It was all a horrible mistake...and almost every day over here there is yet another dead soldier buried...especially here in The West Country where so many of them come from...

Why are they dead?

WHO has benefitted from this craziness?

The troops should be sent into Wall Street and the White House to arrest those who have done far more damage to the Western World than Bin Laden could ever hope to do..

It is time to end this 'war' and bring those young people home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 12:50 PM

What has happened to me?

I used to say exactly what Lizzie just said.


(on the far side however I don't think the World Health Organization has benifitted from this craziness.)

Did Obama fear he would be called weak??
There will still be the crzies who will say Obama is still being weak.
Maybe Obama is trying to avoid a civil war here by having one over there.
Maybe there is a national security report to hot to be communicated to all of us who pay for, fight for or die for this war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 12:51 PM

Home to what? A ruined economy, no jobs, homes foreclosed, politicians as corrupt as any in Afghanistan?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 01:29 PM

wise move for the War profiteers, military industrial complex, possible pipe-line from the Caspian basin to Pakistan/India, the multi billion dollar drug trade....

I didn't watch more than a minute of the Presidents address last night, sounded like re-packaged GW Bush....

reminded me of a song from the 60's by 'The Fugs'... "Kill for Peace"


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: DougR
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 01:40 PM

Jeeze. What a bunch of downers.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 01:41 PM

...what bankley said.

It is re-packaged GW Bush, because the same basic forces are running the scenario regardless of who sits in the Oval Office pretending to be "the leader".


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 01:59 PM

Doug, you've got to start reading Eric Margolis regularly to get a refreshing new viewpoint on things. ;-) It could change your thinking quite a bit. Go to EricMargolis.com and read all about what a huge mistake the Afghan War has been and continues to be.

Margolis is a Canadian newspaper columnist. He has had extensive experience in central Asia, and he's written some books about the overall situation there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:00 PM

Y'all remember when I kept sayin' that politics is strictly a matter of methodology? And that once the method is established, its almost impossible for anyone in the system/methodology to do anything significantly different?

Yeah.........Been working that way for years and will continue to do so until the method changes (read: revolution). Sorry, I'd love to see Obama find a backbone to go with his beautiful rhetoric.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:01 PM

I am trying not to give an MTV analysis of this complex situation but Occams Razor and common sense whould not be disregarded either.

Some say If we got India to stop all warefare over Kashmir we would castrate the Al Quada party in Pakistan who rely on the India conflict to sell their bile and bombings. Some say it would not help.

If India would go along I say try it. The Kashmir sheep would agree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:03 PM

The telephone number for the Hal Lindsay Report linked to above is 1-888-RAPTURE.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:04 PM

Ya' know Donnie, I dated a girl once who wore Cashmere sweaters and I dunno' what I liked best........feeling her tits or the sweaters.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: gnu
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:18 PM

Ahhh... fish or bait hook?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: bankley
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:37 PM

c'mon gnu, take a nibble...


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:42 PM

There weren't any Afghanis on the planes of 9/11 any more than there were any Iraqis. They were from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and they got their flying training in the USA. Two out of the 19 involved may have had some training in a camp in Afghanistan back in the 1990s.

Attacking Afghanistan was a gesture, an exercise in public relations seen as politically necessary in the wake of 9/11. There is good reason to believe that the Afghani leaders could have been persuaded to hand over Bin Laden, but that wasn't the gesture which was required by Washington.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: number 6
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:47 PM

"Sorry, I'd love to see Obama find a backbone to go with his beautiful rhetoric."

Too many "leaders" these days with beautiful rhetoric and no backbone.

but .... too many people are falling for all this "beautiful rhetoric".

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 03:02 PM

You have hit the nail exactly on the head, McGrath.

"Attacking Afghanistan was a gesture, an exercise in public relations seen as politically necessary in the wake of 9/11. There is good reason to believe that the Afghani leaders could have been persuaded to hand over Bin Laden, but that wasn't the gesture which was required by Washington."

But that, of course, is assuming that 911 was really just a foreign-planned attack on the USA and not a made-in-America operation to provide an excuse for launching wars in central Asia. If it was not an inside job, then your interpretation of it as a PR gesture is dead on. If it was an inside job, however, then it was much more than just a gesture and an exercise in PR to attack the Afghans...it was part of a pre-arranged plan of action, one that has played perfectly into the hands of the military-industrial complex and their corporate friends and masters.

I tend to think the latter, but I can't say I'm 100% sure about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 03:32 PM

The plan for 9/11 was hatched by KSM in 1996 when it was presented to OBL. At that time it was much bigger. OBL was of the opinion that it was too big to organise and keep secret. The operation was discussed by Osama bin Laden, Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed and Al-Qaeda Chief of Operations Mohammed Atef. That caused the first delay and the operation was scaled down and was given the go ahead by bin Laden from Afghanistan in 1998 or very early in 1999. The first "pilots" were dedicated Jihadists from the Yemen and they were sent to the USA but their english was not good enough and they were not good student pilots, this caused the second delay to the mission.

Late in 1999 Mohammed Atta and four others left Germany and travelled to Afghanistan where they were selected for the operation by Osama bin Laden personally. They were chosen because they were used to living in the west, were proficient in english and it was easier for them to get entry visas to the US from Germany.

The attacks were thought of, planned and financed from Afghanistan. Where those who carrried out the attack were born is irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 04:25 PM

Agree with McGrath. And with the Russian position, which is that it is a no-win situation.

A large part of the Pushtuns in Afghanistan have no representation in the government; most of the Taliban are young men of their group.
They are conservative, with an Islamic culture that dates back to biblical time. Treating them as if they were Al Queda is wrong.

Stepping up the war will cause them to back off for a while, but does not change their culture and they will be back after the troops leave.

The same people in Pakistan were left alone and caused little trouble, until the war stirred them up and Pakistan started to support the U. S. and alliance policies.

Recognition of their culture and guarantees to leave them alone in their area could lead them to expose the Al Queda members.

Obama has made a bad mistake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 04:31 PM

The attacks were thought of, planned and financed from Afghanistan. Where those who carrried out the attack were born is irrelevant.

Why is "planned and financed from Afghanistan" more relevant than where those who carried it out came from? There is no evidence I have ever seen that Afghanis were involved in the planning, still less the finance, or were in the know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 05:01 PM

It could work either way.

There'll be those who won't want to miss a chance to kill the invaders while they are there, including those whom are up for "martyrdom".

But on the other hand there'll also be those who decide that they might as well just sit it out until the occupying forces do leave, and be better ready for the takeover battle then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 05:05 PM

"Sit it out" (McGrath) is the likely result. There is no win to an action of this kind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 05:16 PM

It's "Pashtuns", Q.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 05:35 PM

Sorry should have made it clearer. Mohammed Atef, Al-Qaeda's Chief of Operations, on instruction from Osama bin Laden was told to organise the the attacks that were eventually carried out on 11th September 2001. Those instructions were given in Afghanistan, those activities were carried out by Atef in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda operated from bases inside Afghanistan where that organisation was protected and sheltered by the Taleban.

Mohammed Atta the leader of the 9/11 hijackers travelled to Afghanistan late in 1999 where he was selected to lead the mission by Osama bin Laden himself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 05:42 PM

Little Hawk, Pashtun spelled more than one way, but yours is the usual. And one I used in previous posts on the region. Two or three threads about the war in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 05:44 PM

"A large part of the Pushtuns in Afghanistan have no representation in the government; most of the Taliban are young men of their group.
They are conservative, with an Islamic culture that dates back to biblical time. Treating them as if they were Al Queda is wrong."

IIRC Hamid Karzai is Pashtun from the Durrani tribe. The Ghilzai tribe and the Durrani tribe have been enemies for centuries. The Taleban have been given every opportunity to join the political process.

Obvious point I know but no Islamic Culture dates back to biblical times. Islamic religion kicked in around 640 AD hardly biblical. I was not aware that they are being treated like Al-Qaeda.

US-Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan troops if they find Taleban assisting Al-Qaeda will attack them, that is after all their mission and mandate from the UN.

NATO-ISAF troops were deployed to provide security for UNAMA's Provincial Reconstruction Teams and to train and mentor the Afghan Security Forces. When they deployed throughout Afghanistan in April 2006 they had no combat role. The Taleban in Helmand; Kandahar & Uruzgan Provinces declared war on NATO-ISAF troops not the other way about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 06:27 PM

Invading Afganistan was the wrong thing to do in the first place... It didn't make anyone any safer... Just got alot of folk killed and exdtracted more cash from the American working class... The rich don't pay for these stupic Bush wars in the manner that the woking class does... The rich will still be rich but the working cvlass is going backwards at an astounding rate... And with each day, the rich are the ones profiting from these stupid ass wars and the working class are diein' in them...

Hell no, there was no reason to get into Afganistan... If you wanted to go after the folks who were responsible for 9/11 then look at Saidi Arabia, folks... That is where these folks were from... Not Afganistan...

(But, Boberdz... These folks all trained in Afganistan...)

Who cares where they trained??? Had the US not had such a stuck-up and dogmatic foreign policy it would have had better access to information and then it could have taken out these training bases... But no... The US has to go and get all huffy puffy when another country does this or that and then the US pulls it's people out and shuns these countries or worse... Like sanctions... Then the US wonders why the heck they don't know what the heck isd going on in those countries??? Duhhhh??? Dumb foriegn policy...

The Afganistan war was wrong then and is wrong now...

Get the F out...

Bad Obama, bad...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 07:22 PM

Logic doesn't always play a great part in these things, but the logical thing to do for the Taliban (which in practice seems to mean all those engaged in fighting against the current regime) is to phase down operations for the next 18 months.   That makes it look like "the surge" is working. Reduced American casualties would be seen as proof of that.

If the pullout doesn't actually start on schedule in July 2011, with the Presidential elections coming up, Spring 2012 would be the time to build up activities again, especially concentrating on trying to kill as many American forces as possible.

The thing is, with Al Qaeda, normal logic doesn't work, because they aren't in it to hold territory, but to provoke the Americans etc into over-stretching themselves. Nothing would suit them better than to see America bogged down in Afghanistan for as long as possible.

But that's not true for "the Taliban". They actually do want the Americans out of Afghanistan and Pakistan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Amos
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 10:11 PM

Obama's analysis is worth listening to.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Amos
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 10:14 PM

Published: December 2, 2009 in the NY Times:

A month ago, Donnie Jones, a 40-year-old Republican who lives outside Dallas, told pollsters that he was not sure President Obama had a plan for the war in Afghanistan. But after hearing the president speak Tuesday night, Mr. Jones feels reassured that Mr. Obama not only has a plan, but also one he can generally support.


Margaret Gilbert, 62, a Democrat from Portsmouth, Va., told the same pollsters that she did not want the United States to send more troops to Afghanistan. But after listening to Mr. Obama, Ms. Gilbert now believes that he has no choice.

And Dave Cegledi, a 66-year-old independent from Olmsted Falls, Ohio, says he does not like Mr. Obama any more today than he did in November. But Mr. Cegledi thinks the president gave a good speech — good enough, indeed, that he might vote for him for re-election if the strategy for Afghanistan works.

Mr. Obama intended his speech on Tuesday at West Point to rally Americans behind his plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and to set an 18-month timetable for starting a withdrawal. And interviews on Wednesday suggested that, while opinions on the war remained wildly diverse, Mr. Obama managed to persuade a significant number of people on both sides of the political aisle, though it was impossible to know how many.

Many Democrats who opposed the war said they now understood the need for escalation, in some cases to the point of supporting it. And Republicans who had thought Mr. Obama unwilling or unable to send more troops praised his decision, though many also criticized him for articulating a timetable for bringing troops home.

"I like the fact that he's sending more troops," said George Bronner, 45, a Republican from Knoxville, Tenn. "This speech does change my opinion about Obama, and it changes it for the better. I didn't think he was going to step up to the plate and get more people over there."

The people interviewed on Tuesday night and Wednesday were randomly selected from a list of respondents to a poll conducted last month by CBS News, which is a frequent partner with The New York Times on national polls. In that poll, 53 percent approved of Mr. Obama's overall job performance, compared with 36 percent who did not, but only 38 percent approved of his handling of the war in Afghanistan. Opinions on troop levels were almost evenly divided, with 39 percent supporting a decrease, 32 percent calling for an increase and 20 percent saying to keep it the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 11:58 PM

"Invading Afganistan was the wrong thing to do in the first place"

Who "invaded" Afghanistan Bobert? Certainly not the US.


"... It didn't make anyone any safer"

The intervention in Afghanistan immediately made about 58% of the population of Afghanistan safer for a start.

"Hell no, there was no reason to get into Afganistan"

Take that one up with the United Nations, they declared Afghanistan a "Failed State" in which case they are compelled to act. Their "Failed State" status had nothing whatsoever to do with Al-Qaeda or with the attacks on the USA launched by Al-Qaeda on 9/11. The overriding reason to get into Afghanistan was to return the country to stable governance for the good of the country and the region as a whole.

"The Afganistan war was wrong then and is wrong now"

IIRC Obama said throughout his election campaigning that he was going to redirect US effort away from and out of Iraq and into Afghanistan. So Bobert he is only doing what he said he was going to do all along, if you believed that to be wrong why did you vote for him?

My objection stems from the way he has done this and the time it has taken him to do it. It was always as plain as a pike-staff that McChrystal's reading of the situation was right and that Joe Biden's was wrong (again), there never was an decision or choice to make. By dithering as he (Obama) did it just made him look weak and signalled lack of resolution or commitment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 11:58 PM

It was a mistake, unfortunately Obama seems determined to dig that hole deeper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Amos
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 12:21 AM

T:

If you watch his speech, he makes it clear that his deliberation--NOT "dithering"--was sober and deliberate and well-justified given the number of conflicting pressures converging on the issue.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 12:42 AM

If one is supposed to bomb and invade a country simply because some few people based somewhere in that country get together and secretly plan attacks of their own choosing that are launched on other countries, then virtually every country in Latin America and many in the Middle East and elsewhere would have very strong reasons for bombing and invading the USA right now...because the USA has long served as a covert base for CIA-sponsored and USA-financed wars, assassinations, coups, and many acts of terrorism in a great variety of foreign countries, and the CIA is even an official arm of the American government....while Al Queda was certainly not an official arm of the Taliban. They acted independently, not on behalf of Afghanistan, its government or its people. They were not an instrument of Aghan policy.

There's a much more direct and serious responsibility behind CIA terror tactics than the Taliban can bear for anything that a few people in isolated Al Queda camps in the mountains may or may not have done.

Yet, I do not hear supporters of the Aghan War suggesting that all the countries which have been covertly and overtly attacked in one way or another by the CIA and the US military in the last 60 years get together and launch an anti-terrorist crusade on the USA, bomb it into submission, invade it, and occupy it with their armies. (assuming they had the power to...they don't)

I wonder why we have such a double standard in international ethics? Could it be that it's nothing more than "might makes right"? I think so. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, you know. But when the gander's a superpower, well, then the gander does what it bloody well pleases, right? And it attacks whom it bloody well pleases. Every superpower in history has done that. And they all act as if their own hands are clean when they do it, but that is not the case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 12:55 AM

Let me amend one sentence above to say: Every great power in history has done that (committing aggression and terrorist attacks), and they all act as if their own hands are clean when they do it, but that is not the case.

Russia has done it. Japan has done it. Britain, France, and Germany have done it. Italy has done it. China has done it. Spain used to do it when they were a great power. Rome did it. Persia did it. All the great powers in history have done it when they had the strength to do it and when they thought they could get away with it. The USA presently holds the crown for doing it more than anyone else in the last 50 or 60 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 04:47 AM

Still sent all the wrong signals Amos. Blethering on about timetables for withdrawal is another major mistake. Barack Obama is going to prove to be as big, if not a bigger disaster than Jimmy Carter.

When the Soviets were in Afghganistan they deployed some 154,000 troops of whom around 104,000 were combat troops. Take a look at the combined numbers for US-OEF & ISAF and you will be round about 100,000 of which you will be lucky if one third of them are combat troops.

Mullah Omar has been talking about "stalemate" in Helmand for two years now. Back in the old Soviet occupation days when the Mujahideen were fighting the Russians there was never any such talk.

As soon as McChrystal had made his request for additional troops Obama should have stated loud and clear that they would be deployed. Why??:

1. Send a clear signal to the Afghan people that the international community is not going to run away, or turn our backs on you.

2. Send a clear signal to the Taleban and to Al-Qaeda, that things are only going to continue to get worse for you if you continue to fight and obstruct the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

3. Send a clear signal to the Government of Pakistan that the Taleban and foreigners that they are fighting in the FATA and NWFP will not be able to shift across the borderwith impunity.

It is only in the MSM of the west that you get this defeatist view, every single member of the UK armed forces that I have talked to is of the opinion that the military facet of the reconstruction of Afghanistan is "do-able" and that the Taleban can be defeated. They remark on the complete and utter lack of reporting of the positive changes that have been brought about to date that lends itself to the general impression amongst the public in the UK that nothing has been achieved, when in actual fact massive improvements have been made.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 08:24 AM

See, T-Bird, this is where you obviously have some wirin' problems... 58% of the Afgan people safer??? Why not 59% 'er 99% 'er 110%??? I mean, when people throw out arbitrary statistics like that it's almost like watching the dumb toothpaste commercials where Suzie Creamcheeze says that since she's been brushin' with ToothBrite that she has had 58% fewer cavaties... I mean, you are an otherwise somewhat intellegent person so you must realize that when you start you defensive rebuttal with such a bogus and arbitrary claim that you have seriously hurt your arguments...

Here's my beef with cowboy foriegn policy... It doesn't work... It can't ever work because it is flawed... Okay, if it's a conventional war with one side (country) amassing its armies aginst another then maybe... But when you have a few bad apples in an area killing all the apples ain't real smart... Like who is to know the bad apples from the good??? Think Vietnam here...

No, a much smarter way to deal with bad apples is to get in the apple sack and remove them one by one...

(Well, Boberdz... How do you do that???)

First of all you maintain diplomatic relations with the sack with the bad apples... You don't do anything that will kill off the good apples, like sanctions... That's a good first start... Then you get some of the good apples, since they look very much like the bad ones, to work for you (spies, if you will) and tell you who are the bad apples... Then you arrest or surgically removed the bad ones... You know, like police do in civil societies...

But to just blow the crap outta the entire sack of apples, while being very entertaining to folks with IQ's on the southside of a hunnert is plain stupid... That is what George Bush did in both Afganistan and Iraq and it was and still is stupid...

And I understand the politics that Obama is dealing with here but I expected him to not fall into the same trap as your heros, Bush, Cheney, Wolfy, Pearle, Rice, and Rumsey... But, alas, the politics have overwhelmed Obama and looks as if he's takin' what I consider to be the politically expedient way out... You know, hearing a burgular in downstairs and called the police asking them to just blow the entire house up...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 12:18 PM

An imperial order always has its enthusiastic proponents, its dupes, and its apologists. I bet Heinz Guderian was in favor of occupying Poland, France, and Russia too. From his angle, it looked like an excellent idea and one that was fully justified. The Poles, French, and Russians didn't see it that way, though, and they resisted until the invaders were forced to leave. So will the Afghans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 12:43 PM

Upon a meeting with the Pakistani PM, Gordon Brown admitted about 3/4 of terror plots here have stemmed from Pakistan NOT Afghanistan - as I've suggested in verse, what would make the world safer is regulating immigration/emigration far more strongly, the world over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 05:53 PM

Posh tunes ?

So far I have heard its really the Pakis, the Suadis, the Taliban, the Al Qeada, the Pashtun, tribal warlords --- who are the enemy to be defeated.


So far I have heard that winning is giving the moderate Afghans control of the country while modifying the extremeists who live there into silence or peaceful compliance.

How is that done with 100,000 troops?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 05:54 PM

"I bet Heinz Guderian was in favor of occupying Poland, France, and Russia too." Not according to his autobiography, your comment doesn't surprise me you only think of people in terms of stereotypes.

The arbitrary statistics Bobert? Simply the well published official demographics of Afghanistan provide those Bobert - roughly 42% of the population are Pashtun the only ethnic group from which the Taleban draw support from, leaving the other minority groups collectively making up 58% of the population. Afghanistan's population is some 32 million people only around 4% of them support the Taliban mainly from the Haqqani and Ghilzai Pashtun tribes. The current President one Hamid Karzai is also Pashtun from the Durrani tribe, they have been enemies of the Ghalzai for centuries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 06:11 PM

"who are the enemy to be defeated" In Afghanistan? The Taleban they are the only ones who are fighting, Al-Qaeda pretty much became irrelevant as far as Afghanistan was concerned the minute they ducked over the border into Pakistan's FATA and NWFP.

It is not done with 100,000 troops in a country of 32 million that would be ridiculous. But start discounting commonly held "Myths"

- The US invaded Afghanistan (They didn't)
- The Foreign troops will suffer the same fate as the Soviets (They won't, the whole country was up in arms against the Soviets, in Afghanistan at the moment it is only the Taleban and they represent a tiny proportion of the population - First rule of a successful Guerrilla Movement?? You must have the people on your side, and that the Taleban do not have)
- All Afghan civilians are killed by NATO/US troops (Not true two out of every three Afghan civilians killed are killed by the Taleban)

How do 100,000 troops do the job?? McChrystal asked for the troops so they "belong" to the NATO-ISAF Mission NOT US-Operation Enduring Freedom Mission. The extra troops accelerate the scale of training for the Afghan Security Forces. ANA current strength is 94,000 they take part in 90% of all ISAF Operations and take the lead role in 62% of those operations (Source NATO-ISAF web-site) So within about 12 months you will have over a quarter of a million men available. It is winter now so that means if the Taleban are going to do anything they only have spring & summer of 2010 to do it in, while they cannot fight in winter both NATO-ISAF and US-OEF Troops can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: GUEST,Falco
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 06:23 PM

Sorry,My finger slipped !!

How much has this war cost ? Surely the money wasted could have been better spent. For example, helping the starving nations of this world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 07:34 PM

The fact that the United Nations authorised the Afghanistan war may have made it legal, unlike what happened in Iraq, but it didn't make it
the right thing to do, and it didn't stop it being a public relations response to 9/11 required by American domestic politics, with other countries falling in line.

Sooner or later the armies from abroad will pull out, and the people running Afghanistan will include the people who are currently fighting on the other side. The only real difference between sooner or later is in the number of deaths from explosive devices and drones. That is, apart from the benefit to the Al Qaeda franchise worldwide which a continuing war represents.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 08:21 PM

T~

More bogus assumptions based solely on census data... Sorry, pal, but if we're gonna invade countries on censes data then I'd strongly recommend every country in the world to get a nuke and get it quick because T & Co. gonna blow the crud outta you if they don't like yer demographic makeup...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 10:28 PM

I simply picked a German officer whose name is well known and therefore recognizable to demonstrate a principle, Teribus, not to make any comment on Guderian's character. (I've never been under the impression that he had a bad character...) The principle is this: military officers and people from families with a military tradition generally tend to strongly support the official line that their country takes in regards to its waging a campaign on foreign ground. That's partly because it's their job to do that (if they are presently in uniform). It's partly because they tend to assume their side is right and the other side is wrong.   

I did not pick out Heinz Guderian to say anything about Heinz Guderian in a personal sense. I was saying something about the way the traditional military mind often works, period.

Why would I see Heinz Guderian as a stereotype? I've always admired the man for his intelligence and his military expertise and the way he had the guts to stand up to Hitler on certain occasions, though I don't admire the political cause he fought for. If he was morally or otherwise opposed to launching some of those invasions (as you seem to suggest), then I admire him all the more for it. If it makes you happy, replace him in my original statement with some other German officer who better fits the fictional "stereotype" you imagine I see Germans as embodying.....maybe Reinhard Heydrich? Or Heinrich Himmler? I'm sure there is someone who would fit it to your satisfaction.

The point is...loyalists support empires. They support their empire when it's right, they support their empire when it's wrong. You are supporting the Anglo-American Empire and it is very wrong in what it's doing in Afghanistan and the Middle East. You believe the Empire's propaganda. Well, so have millions of others believed imperial propaganda down through the ages, so you are not alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Alice
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 11:46 PM

On MSNBC.com today, an interview with Greg Mortenson, author of "Three Cups of Tea", builder of schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

'Three Cups of Tea' advice for Obama


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Alice
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 11:46 PM

btw, that link is to an article, not a video.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 12:49 AM

The principle is this: military officers and people from families with a military tradition generally tend to strongly support the official line that their country takes in regards to its waging a campaign on foreign ground. That's partly because it's their job to do that (if they are presently in uniform). It's partly because they tend to assume their side is right and the other side is wrong.

Look up the meanings of the words "Principle" and "Stereotype" and tell me honestly which fits the above better. What you describe up above is a "Stereotype":

"a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group"

"tend to strongly support the official line that their country takes in regards to its waging a campaign on foreign ground. That's partly because it's their job to do that"

No their job and primary purpose is to defend their country from attack. While under that obligation they are perfectly free to individually make up their own minds and form their own opinions regarding "the official line" taken by their Government, they are perfectly free to individually make up their own minds and form their own opinions regarding whether or not they think the Government of their country is right or wrong on any given issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 01:23 AM

Yes, of course they are free to make up their own minds. Everyone is free to do that. I'm just saying that empire loyalists are more likely to be found among some professions than among others. For instance, more military officers are usually gungho about a war their country is engaged in than the poets or singers are, wouldn't you say? You'll find some in either camp who will go either way, but I'm suggesting that the average response would not be the same, and anyone knows that is so.

When I speak of empire loyalists, you know perfectly well what I am talking about. Some people will rush to support any war their country is involved in...every time...no matter what the issues are. Others will not be so quick to do so. Some Germans didn't question what Hitler did, they just supported him without thinking. Others did question it. It's like that in any nation.

Now...you said that "their job and primary purpose is to defend their country from attack".

Yes. That is supposedly what their job is and should be...only it doesn't work out that way about half the time in real life. There is generally a pretty clear aggressor in a war and someone who receives the effects of that aggression. The soldiers who are fighting for the one who's been attacked are indeed doing as you say, legitimately defending their country from attack.

But.....it is invariably the case that the soldiers in the aggressor force also believe to their core that THEY are defending their country from attack (either an attack that has already happened...or one that they think is going to happen). They ALL imagine they are defending their country.

The error that supporters of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan have made is that error. They have imagined...and they were TOLD...that Iraq and Afghanistan were a real threat to their country and either had attacked or were planning to attack their country.

And that was a lie. Afghanistan never attacked the USA and never planned to. Iraq never attacked the USA, never had the capability to, and never planned to. Someone attacked the USA on 911, all right, but it was not the governments or armed forces or agents of either Iraq or Afghanistan. It was someone else entirely, and it was not an act of war, it was a crime. It should have been responded to AS a crime, not as an act of war...by international police work....but not with armies, navies, and air forces, because it was not a military attack. It was an attack by a hidden group of conspirators, not by a nation.

So the soldiers who are honestly believing that they are defending the security of the USA or the UK by fighing in Iraq or Afghanistan have been lied to by their own governments and are being used as instruments of aggression on those nations...and they are greatly damaging the security situation in much of the world by so doing.

I don't blame the soldiers for this. They've been lied to and used. It's the politicians who sent them there...Blair, Cheney, and Bush, whom I blame. And Obama now...because he is simply continuing the folly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: kendall
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 07:02 AM

Terribus, what is the source of all those "Myths" you listed?

Here is a fact which no one can deny:
No foreign invader has ever defeated Afghanistan. Alexander the great, arguably the greatest general of all time conquored the known world and was stopped dead in Afghanistan. Great Britain, the most powerful force in its time was humiliated and forced out. The Russians killed over a million of them and they were forced to leave. Now, here comes America, Mr Clean, Goody Two shoes thinking we can do what no one else ever could. This is the arrogance that gets us hated all over the world.
Spin that, sir!

Afghanistan will be Obama's Viet Nam.The republicans know it and they are wringing their hands with glee. Damn, I gave him credit for more brains.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: ToeRag
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 07:19 AM

Nonsense;you don't suppose the authorities are in
any way interested in the contents of your comments,or will
give themselves any extra trouble about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lox
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 07:49 AM

The war in Afghanistan is obviously a horrific mess.

I'm glad I don't live there and I that i won't be serving there.

The credibility of the whole affair is badly undermined by admissions of electoral fraud.

But the way that the Taleban "ran" Afghanistan before the war was equally horrific.

At least in the case of the war there is a glimmer of hope for the future.


As for Obama, he could be great - his problem isn't his policies, it is his lack of backbone.

He is succeeding to some extent, and he is right not to fall for the lure of the power of the bully tactics employed by Bush and the otheer puppets of the cheney dynasty, however it would reassure me to see him be a bit more assertive.

Its a tough balance to achieve on rough political seas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 07:58 AM

At least in the case of the war there is a glimmer of hope for the future.

The Russians would have said the same thing about their war. The outcome was the Taliban regime.

There is no reason to think that the present war has done anything to improve the prospects for the future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lox
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 08:13 AM

"There is no reason to think that the present war has done anything to improve the prospects for the future."

If I was investigating this, the first witness I would call would be any Afghani woman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 08:29 AM

And the Russians would have said precisely the same, about how women in Afghanistan under regimes backed by them had far more freedom than in previous times. But as it turned out "the prospects for the future" turned out to be the Taliban.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: freda underhill
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 08:58 AM

Western forces initially saw the Taliban as a better option than the Russians and Iranians. By supporting the Taliban they hoped to keep Russian influence out of Afghanistan, to ensure that the west kept access to the huge oil and gas riches of central Asia.

The Taliban massacres of Hazaras were embarrassing to western countries - this alternative to the Russians were even more brutal.

The Allied invasion had one good outcome - for the Hazara people of Afghanistan, who were being subject to genocide prior to the UN invasion. The Taliban particularly targeted the Hazara people,kidnapping their teenage boys and putting them in the front line of their operations, brutally slaughtering Hazara villagers and leaving their bodies to rot in mass graves across the country.

The United States is the largest contributor to a United Nations relief effort in Pakistan, but US money in Pakistan does not always go where it's meant to. While the Taliban continue to be backed by Pakistans' Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the US, through Aid programs to Pakistan, is effectively funding the same people it's fighting in Afghanistan, the Taliban.

A better way would be to put the money into education, hospitals and schools in Afghanistan, to shift the local loyalty away from the Taliban and build up something stable for the future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 11:37 AM

And what was wrong with pre-1979 Afghanistan MGOH? Why exactly did the Soviets have to interfere?

"Western forces initially saw the Taliban as a better option than the Russians and Iranians. By supporting the Taliban they hoped to keep Russian influence out of Afghanistan, to ensure that the west kept access to the huge oil and gas riches of central Asia."

WHY? WHY? WHY? do people keep coming out with this sort of rubbish.

The West, The Northern Alliance, The Warlords, The Drug Barons, The-World-and-its-dog none of them had any inkling at all about the Taliban until after Mullah Mohammed Omar formed them as a result of what local ex-Mujahideen fighters did to a family travelling to Kandahar in 1994.

Let everybody get it into their thick heads once and for all the Taliban NEVER, EVER, fought the Soviets, they never met the Soviets, the Soviets had been gone from Afghanistan for FIVE YEARS before the Taliban were ever even thought of.

Western forces MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT see the Taliban as being a better option than the Russians or the Iranians. In 1994 nobody in the West had even heard about the Taliban, nobody in the West was even interested in Afghanistan. After 1989 the Russians could not give two figs about Afghanistan so where does keeping Russian influence out of Afghanistan enter the equation, Russia in the 90's was as poor as a church mouse. The iranians have never been interested in the place, ever.

As for doing this to ensure - "that the west kept access to the huge oil and gas riches of central Asia."

My giddy Aunt, not this old chestnut about it, or whatever, all being done so that the USA can steal somebody's oil, etc, etc, etc. You mean like they were supposed to have done in Iraq but didn't.

One small point they didn't have access to it before so how did this ensure that they kept it? I take it that you recognise the logic of not being able to keep something you never had?

Kendall Afghanistan as a country has only existed for 260 years Alexander the Great ramped right through it on his way to India. Study the history of the region and you will find that the country known today as Afghanistan has been successfully invaded and conquered many times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 12:54 PM

So, ahhhhhh, other than the demographics, exactly why are we in tyhis war again, T???

And if you can't state your reason in one paragraph then forget it... One should be able to state the reason simply without a bunch of academic BS...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 01:15 PM

"A better way would be to put the money into education, hospitals and schools in Afghanistan, to shift the local loyalty away from the Taliban and build up something stable for the future."

Absolutely! That I would be entirely in favor of. Anyone read Greg Mortensen's book "Three Cups of Tea". It's about doing precisely that, and he has great great effect in providing an alternative to people like the Taliban...an alternative that has proven enormously popular with the tribal people in that region.

Military force will not solve anything in Afghanistan, it will just arouse further resistance to the occupation. Educational and economic assistance help, on the other hand, can do wonders for that region and the people themselves will turn the situation around and improve their society if offered that sort of help. Fanatics like that Taliban draw their strength from people's poverty and ignorance. Give people a clear way out of poverty and ignorance, and they will not give their support to the Taliban.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: ToeRag
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 01:38 PM

That would be a matter of the first importance, in
a work involving so many nice calculations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 01:48 PM

I agree in principal with Little Hawk's comments above. Much more effort needs to be put into educating the Afghanis and helping with projects that provide clean water, medical care, agricultural assistance. I do however also believe that a measure of security is required to accomplish such goals. There are those who view such positive intervention as contamination by western civilization. When you have willful sabotage and assassination being employed to subvert attempts to accomplish these improvements in the people's lives, measures must be taken to eliminate those saboteurs and prevent their actions. Despite what many of us have stated, there has been success with this strategy in Iraq. I back Obama's, and General McChristal's, plan for Afghanistan wholeheartedly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 01:49 PM

PS There's your one paragraph summation, Bobert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 02:19 PM

A measure of security is certainly required, LEJ. I'll agree with that. I think it would be better if such security was provided by local troops, rather than foreign troops. The USA ostensibly went into Afghanistan in 2001 to destroy Al Queda camps and capture or kill Osama Bin Laden and other Al Queda commanders.

How did that morph into "nation-building"? And why?

The USA ostensibly went into Iraq a couple of years later to stop Saddam from building "weapons of mass destruction". Ha. Ha. The weapons were never even there.

How did that morph into "nation-building"? And why?

I don't believe the public was ever told the real truth about why the USA and the UK have gone into either Afghanistan or Iraq. I think they went into both those countries with the intention of occupying them and staying, building permanent military bases, and permanently controlling those regions (by proxy through political puppets like Karzai)...partly because of oil, partly because of wanting to surround and eventually attack Iran, partly because of wanting to establish a sphere of influence on Russia's southern borders and mainly just to control that whole area.

I don't think there was ever any real intention to confront WMDs in Iraq, and I think Al Queda is primarily a red herring that is used to scare people (although I'm not saying Al Queda is totally fictional, I'm just saying they are relatively unimportant in the greater scheme of things because they are a very small outfit with very little real capability).

The USA has no business nation-building anywhere except within American borders. That's where Americans need to apply their skills nation-building, and that's where they have a right to do it. This other stuff isn't nation-building, it's empire building, plain and simple. It's colonialism under another name.

The Americans and Brits are doing in Afghanistan what the Russians once did in Afghanistan, and the Pashtuns are resisting them. Naturally this is of some benefit to the Hazaras, because the more numerous Pashtuns have always been very hard on the Hazaras, but that does not justify what the USA and the UK are doing, because they did not go there to help the Hazaras, they went there to help themselves.

The Hazaras are coincidental beneficiaries of the imperial strategy, just like the Montagnards in Vietnam were coincidental beneficiaries of the American presence there during the Vietnam War. It's a standard tactic of imperial invaders to befriend local minority groups in a colonized nation and to use them as allies against the local majority. The Americans did that in Vietnam, using Catholics and Montagnards as allies against the majority of Vietnamese Buddhists. The Spanish once did that in Mexico, using Tlaxcalans and many other weaker tribes of Mexican Indians against the more powerful Aztecs.

Empires do this because it's a smart temporary strategy for dividing and conquering a native people, but they don't do it to help anyone but themselves, and the local people end up paying the price for it in blood and sorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 02:22 PM

Obviously Russian intervention in Afghanistan was a bad mistake, with some good intentions, which ended up making things worse. Like the present business.

The events that led up to the Russians moving in troops in 79 were pretty complicated, pretty murky, and pretty bloody - and backing by the USA for opponents of the pro-Russian government played a major part. And a major motive of these opponents, along with tribal rivalries, was the fact that the Kabul government was in favour of women having rights.

For America the aim was a Cold War victory and a defeat for the Soviet Union, and the interests of the Afghan people just didn't come into the picture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 02:46 PM

Well, I hear what you are saying LH, but I have to disagree.

I don't think that the Bush administration's plan for Afghanistan and Iraq was nearly that pragmatic. Read Rise of the Vulcans. What is evident is that Bush, Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz, and even Powell were convinced from before 911 that a democratic republic needed to be established in the Middle East, and that Iraq was the likely objective.
But they were actually idealistic about this concept, and not pragmatic or logical in the least. Yes, there was some notion of offsetting Iran's growing influence. Yes, there was some concept that a large democratic muslim country(Iraq) would stabilize the oil fields. But the basic philosophy was one that came from Jean Kirkpatrick: Democracy as an all-powerful force for good, working its magic through the will of the people and the operation of the free market. Iraq was the main target for this half-baked plan, and Afghanistan was an afterthought based on opportunity and involvement as an Al Qaeda traing ground and headquarters.
You don't need to convince me that the US went into both countries in near ignorance of their cultural and religious dynamic. Neither do you need to tell me that false information lay at the heart of the justification for the invasion of Iraq. Bush and his cohorts used inductive reasoning. The solution to the problem of Iraq was arrived at long before the problem was defined. Evidence was gathered to prop up a preconceived conclusion.
This is not to say, however, that those who inherited the great mess that was the American occupation of Iraq did not eventually achieve stunning results. General Petraeus eventually evolved and implemented a strategy that worked. MacChrystal is on the same track in Afghanistan. Will the result be ongoing American control? I for one think not. Should we succeed fully in realizing the Vulcans' aim of establishing a true democratically elected government in Iraq and Iran, I believe that those governments will reflect the will of their people for sharia-based rule, a concept that is essentially incompatible with at least the Vulcan concept of democracy. For both Iraq and Afghanistan, that reult would mean governments much more closely tied to Iran than to the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 03:03 PM

That's very interesting what you say, LEJ. There may be something to it allright.

I do think that there were very pragmatic and longterm plans behind all this that considerably predated the Bush administration, I think those plans began to take form by the early 80s, but as far as the personal motivations of Bush, Cheney, and the others you mention, you may be quite right.

What I wonder is...how can these American politicians imagine that they can export "democracy" to places like Iraq or Afghanistan when the present two-party system running the USA is (just in my opinion you understand) anything but a real and healthily functioning representative democracy??? ;-) I guess they must believe in the game they play? It's laughable to me. It's like Mussolini trying to export humility...


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 03:18 PM

Well, for these people, it is a concept based in Faith. In that regard, they are closer to their Al Qaeda enemies than they could ever admit. They certainly would not share your assessment. To them, the proof that American government was a healthy and functioning entity was evidenced by the election of Bush and Cheney. In fact, this trend in American politics in the nineties toward conservatism was to them a realization of the rightness of their cause and of God's divine blessing. To this end, measures were taken by them with other useful tools like Karl Rove, who devised strategies to personally attack and defame the opposition, and Chuck Delay, who was instrumental in congressional gerrymandering in an attempt to make their continued dominance inevitable.
Thanks to their own all-encompassing incompetence, corruption, and hubris, they were overthrown. Therein lies the ultimate strength of this country, in my esteem. We are in fact a functioning democracy, and the American people do harbor both common sense and a deep belief in fairness.
That Barack Obama was elected is my argument with your hypothesis that we are anything but a real and healthily functioning representative democracy . And I hope you aren't cynical and jaded to the extent that you can't see the improvement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 03:20 PM

"A measure of security is certainly required, LEJ. I'll agree with that. I think it would be better if such security was provided by local troops, rather than foreign troops."

So you have a country that has known nothing but strife and full scale civil war for 22 years, it has no Government, no administration and has been declared a "failed State" by the United Nations.

With the agreement of the tribal leaders and other representatives of the Afghan people The UN reach agreement to assist in the reconstruction of Afghanistan at Bonn In Germany in December 2001.

The United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan is formed (UNAMA), everybody involved realise that this effort must be protected and that job the United Nations gives to NATO, and the International Security Assistance Force is formed under NATO leadership. Their tasks as detailed in their mission statement and in the mandate given them by the United Nations Security Council also tasks them with the job of training and making ready the new Afghan Security Forces. In that way the job could be handed over to local troops.

The Mission Statement and Mandate of NATO-ISAF does not mention Osama bin Laden; Al-Qaeda or the Taleban.

"The USA ostensibly went into Afghanistan in 2001 to destroy Al Queda camps and capture or kill Osama Bin Laden and other Al Queda commanders."

This was a completely separate force US-Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan and it was mandated for precisely that purpose by the United Nations. They have no role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan their job is to make sure that neither Al-Qaeda or the Taliban re-establish themselves as a power in Afghanistan until after such time that the Afghan Government can stand on their own feet.

"How did that morph into "nation-building"? And why?"

The US-OEF-A mission has not morphed into "nation building" or anything else you still have two distinct military missions operating inside Afghanistan.

US-Operation Enduring Freedom Forces operate as part of US CenCom under the command of US General David Petraeus, their job is best described as Counter-Terrorist.

ISAF operate as a NATO formation under the command of US General Stanley McChrystal, their job is best described as Counter-Insurgency.

UNAMA is the United Nations organisation tasked with "nation building".


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 03:24 PM

Yes, I know full well that the American people do harbor both common sense and a deep belief in fairness...so the potential is always there for a healthy and functioning democracy. My argument is with the Democratic and Republican Party machines and the lobbyists who control Congress...NOT with the American people who are being very badly served by those parties and by Congress.

I agree that Obama is a huge improvement over Bush...but I am not well impressed by his support of the bank bailout, his war policy, and various other policy decisions he has been making. I like his personal style, but I am less impressed by the content of what he seems to be doing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 03:38 PM

First of all, I am sure that had the US been so interested in the health and welfare of the Afgan people it surely could have taken the billions and billions it has pissed away in Afganistan, put it into a UN fund, gotten other countries involved, talked nice with the Afgan governemnt and I'm sure tyhat the Afgan governemnt would have been more than happy to takes the money, even if it meant some level of verification that the money was being spent for the good of their people... Face it, It's easier to stay in power when you are providing for the needs of yer peopole than when you are not...

(But Boberdz... The Taliban are terible people who kill and torture people...)

So??? So is the US so where's the bigass difference... Not to mention that we have our own Taliban right here in the good ol' USA with their Confederate Flags and their assasinations of doctors and their pulling gay guys behind their pickup trucks thru the streets and down dirt roads...

No, the reason that the US is in both Iraq and Afganistan comes down to geo-politics and oil and pipelines and all that kind of stuff... LH is absolutely correct... Tghis ain't about 9/11, 'er nation buildin', 'er WMDs... Its about imperialism and stealing other folks stuff... The US has a long history of doing just that... Ask any indiginous person and they can tell ya...

As for resolutions and NATO and all that bull??? They are just oganizations which are in place to facilitate imperialism...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: kendall
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 04:43 PM

Alexander the great invaded the Indian sub continent which included Afghanistan.He failed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 05:07 PM

Face it... There are just some places where it ain't all that easy to win a war...

Ya'll think that any country in the world would like to try occupying the US even if they could wipe out the US military??? Heck no they wouldn't... Too many folks with too many guns... Same in Afganistan...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 06:00 PM

"I am sure that had the US been so interested in the health and welfare of the Afghan people it surely could have taken the billions and billions it has pissed away in Afghanistan, put it into a UN fund, gotten other countries involved, TALKED NICE WITH THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT and I'm sure that the Afghan governemnt would have been more than happy to take the money, even if it meant some level of verification that the money was being spent for the good of their people... Face it, It's easier to stay in power when you are providing for the needs of yer peopole than when you are not..."

For that to have happened, for that approach to have been taken - First of all Bobert you would have had to have had an Afghan Government to talk nice to. Fact was there wasn't one, there wasn't one until 2004.

Particularly liked this though:

"Face it, It's easier to stay in power when you are providing for the needs of yer people than when you are not"

Tell that to the Taliban they, and the 58% majority of the Afghan people will be able to verify that statement of yours Bobert, between 1996 and 2001 both parties will be able to atest to the fact that during that period the only people the Taliban were looking after was themselves, their house guests, Al-Qaeda managed to piss off some powerful people in a particularly nasty way and they didn't stay in power for long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 06:51 PM

The only people any Aghan government has ever looked after was themselves... ;-)

Karzai, the American puppet, is serving the same purpose for the USA that Najibullah, the Russian puppet, did for the Soviets. They all look after themselves. So do the Americans and the Russians. Self-interest is THE key motivator behind what they do.

The recent Afghan election was extremely corrupt. It cannot be taken as having been a legitimate election, and everyone knows it, but the charade goes on, because the US media wish their people to believe that the war there is intended to build a "democracy" in that country. There's a droll notion if ever there was one.

I'd have been delighted to see the Taliban driven out if I were an Afghan, but I'd have been equally dismayed to see the Americans in. There has to be a better solution than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 07:46 PM

Of course there was a governemnt, T... Even in what we call "failed states" there is a governemnt... Okay, maybe not a governemnt of yer likin' or your European thinkin' but there are governements... Sometimes, like in Somalia, it's warlords who control things but make no mistake about it, it is a government... I think this is important for people with European menatl limitations to absorb because Afganistan (and Somolia) are not only the west's pests but also the west's opportunities... What we have is an ethnocentric midset that prohibits us from solving conflicts with folks who, ahhhh, don't view the world as we view it...

This is our failing more than the Taliban or the Somolian tribal warlords... They only know what they know but we have, or should have, the upper hand in that if we can bridge our gaps between our mindsets and theirs then we can go forward...

Think about it this way, T...

In the US we have some very right winged ignorant people who think iot is pertfectly okay to yell "Hang him" at a Sarah Palin rally in regards to Barak Obama... Now the more enlightened has the benefit of greater experiences and knowledges to draw fromn... The redneck who has just yelled "Hang him" doesn't... He has come about as far as he is going to come in terms of understanding the world or critical thinking... He is reacting... Think "reactionary" here... The Taliban is not all that different from that redneck... Now we can think with our righteuosness that the Taliban and that redneck should be able to see "our" side... Problem is that they aren't wired to see "our" side... So that leaves "our" side, if it is indeed more enlightened and intellegent, to do the heavy lifting... Everyone understands vilence... It is as base a behavior as humans can stoop... So when we allow ourselves to be drawn into a military response to conflicts with unenlightened people what we are, in essence, doing is saying "Screw it, we give up on reason so lets fight it out..."

That is the problem with this war in Afganistan... Yeah, we can maybe make things very uncomfortable for the Taliban... We can outfight them... We can out kill them but in the end they will do what Ho Chi Mihn taught: "He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day..." Yes, the Taliban, though not enlightened or educated or Europeanized, will blend right back into the general population if things are going bad, wait out the storm and then it will be business as usual for them...

Now I agree that humanitarian aid is the way to beat them but the problem is that this war has created so much bad kharma that changes course will be be seen as just another tactic and not seen as offered in the interest of humanism... That is why it won't work... Especially with the Taliban in hiding/dormancy...

No, the Afgan War is lost... It was lost on Day One... It was flawed in ethnocentricity... It's now too late for US to say to the Afgans "We care for you as people"...

Maybe next time we want to steal someone's stuff we come in with the candy bars, not bullets...

Too late here...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 03:47 AM

1. The only people any Aghan government has ever looked after was themselves

Well before 1978 things ticked along quite nicely 1919 to 1929 was period of reform under a monarch. 1929 to 1933 the focus was on agrarian reform and rate of modernisation slowed. 1933 to 1973 the longest period of stability Afghanistan has ever known say increased political freedom, advancement in education and opportunities for women which had begun in 1927. 1973 saw a bloodless coup in which the country unfortunately moved from being a monarchy (which suited Afghanistans tribal set up) to a republic. One of the main supporters of this coup was the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) a communist party originally formed in 1965. They in turn staged their own coup in 1978 and from that point forward Afghanistan knew nothing but strife. In essence the coup in 1978 was a continuation of the feud between two Pashtun tribes the Ghilzai (PDPA) and the Durrani (monarchist).

On the balance I would say that previous Afghan Governments from 1919 to 1978 served THEIR country rather well, it has only since 1978 that that the clique in power was only ever interested in looking after NOT the country as a whole but THEMSELVES.

2. "Karzai, the American puppet, is serving the same purpose for the USA that Najibullah, the Russian puppet, did for the Soviets."

Then you obviously have not read anything about Hamid Karzai and how he came to lead Afghanistan.

I would love to hear your version of how the USA selected him and promoted him into the position of first interim (April 2002), then elected (2004) President of Afghanistan.

Right up until November 2001 Karzai was in Afghanisatn fighting the Taliban. He was brought out of the country to attend the Koenigsee Conference in Bonn Germany after having been nearly killed by the USA in a "Friendly Fire" incident.

At the Bonn Conference where various Northern Alliance leaders, representatives of the Afghan people and the United Nations met, Hamid Karzai was selected as candidate for the post of Interim President to be confirmed by a vote to be taken at a Loya Jirga to be held in Kabul early in 2002.

Now where in this process did the US come into the picture, I mean apart from nearly killing the man?

The "foreign" influence on Karzai is Karl Eide the Norwegian Head of UNAMA.

The recent Afghan election was extremely corrupt. It cannot be taken as having been a legitimate election, and everyone knows it, but the charade goes on, because the reality of the situation is that after the last thirty-one years of civil war and destruction you have to start somewhere.

To say that Afghanistan has never known democracy is false, they enjoyed to varying degrees liberal secular government that rubbed along quite nicely for nearly 60 years before the Soviets moved in. It is now up to them, the Afghan people and their leaders, to try and work back to that state, the United Nations is helping them in that task, the Taleban are trying to hinder and halt that process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:06 AM

Dec. 22/ 2001:

"Prime Minister Hamid Karzai takes power in Afghanistan.
It had been revealed a few weeks earlier that he had been a paid consultant for Unocal (Union Oil Company of California), as well as deputy foreign minister for the Taliban for a time."

(Le Monde 12/13/01,   CNN 11/22/01


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: ToeRag
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:23 AM

Oh,it's verry well by way of a change, but i cannot say i should like it for a continuance, there is nothing substantial to be got;


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: bankley
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:25 AM

correction: Karzai served as minister under Rabbani... but tried to broker a deal later between the Taliban and Unocal

either way you slice it, it's a dog's breakfast


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:33 AM

December 3, 2009) - Congressman Dennis Kucinich delivered an alternative approach to National Security in a speech to Congress - National Security starts at home in America. The war is a threat to our National Security.

Congressman Kucinich stated:

"America is in the fight of its life and that fight is not in Afghanistan - it's here. We are deeply in debt. Our GDP is down. Our manufacturing is down. Our savings are down. Our trade deficit is up. Business failures are up. Bankruptcies are up."

"The war is a threat to our National Security. We'll spend over $100 billion next year to bomb a nation of poor people while we reenergize the Taliban, destabilize Pakistan, deplete our army and put more of our soldiers' lives on the line. Meanwhile, back here is the USA, 15 million people are out of work. People are losing their jobs, their health care, their savings, their investments, and their retirement security. Trillions in bailouts for Wall Street, trillions for war; when are we going to start taking care of things here at home?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:55 AM

Teribus, you are absolutely correct in what you said about this:

"Well before 1978 things ticked along quite nicely 1919 to 1929 was period of reform under a monarch. 1929 to 1933 the focus was on agrarian reform and rate of modernisation slowed. 1933 to 1973 the longest period of stability Afghanistan has ever known say increased political freedom, advancement in education and opportunities for women which had begun in 1927. 1973 saw a bloodless coup in which the country unfortunately moved from being a monarchy (which suited Afghanistans tribal set up) to a republic. One of the main supporters of this coup was the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) a communist party originally formed in 1965. They in turn staged their own coup in 1978 and from that point forward Afghanistan knew nothing but strife."

Dead right. And I am in full agreement with you. The troubles in Afghanistan started with the 1973 coup and the transition from a monarchy to a republic that was politically divided by party politics. The Aghans had been far better off under the old monarchy.

It is sometimes the case in these traditional third world countries that the emergence of multi-party politics, divisive in its very nature, destabilizes a long stable form of government and creates major problems in the society that weren't there before. That was certainly the case in Afghanistan.

I've read 2 books recently which gave some insight on that period of transition in Afghanistan. One was "The Kite Runner", a fictional novel written by an Afghan now living in the USA, the other was "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortensen.

So, as you point out, I was indeed mistaken to say that "The only people any Aghan government has ever looked after was themselves"

I should have said that the only people any recent Afghan government (meaning since 1978) has ever looked after was themselves. And that, in fact, is what I meant, because I am well aware of the long period of Afghan stability prior to 1978.

So, thanks for correcting that.

I still consider Karzai to be an American puppet, a form of window dressing, that's all. As long as he's considered useful, they'll protect him. When he isn't considered useful, they'll cut him loose. This is what's done with puppets. In that respect he seems very much like Najibullah to me, but I am sure one can find various differences to quibble about between the one man's regime and the other's. The point is, they both served as official rulers of a client government that was working for a superpower with regional interests in their area.

Karzai is sarcastically referred to as "the mayor of Kabul" by many Afghans.

I don't know why you would think I sympathize in any way with the Taliban? I don't. I just do not favor any external power forcing its way into Afghanistan and militarily occupying it, whether that power be Russia, the USA or the UK or China or anyone else. I do not regard the Afghan war as being in America's true interests nor as protecting American security. To the contrary, I regard it as greatly threatening American security and wasting America's strength and money to no useful purpose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 01:59 PM

The Mujadaheen who defeated the Soviets became the Taliban. They are related.
In effect, the Taleban was supported by the US. Omar offered to give ObL to the international court but the US refused.

Karzai is a drug dealer. The US supports this. He is also a chronic human rights violator.

Nobody from America really knows what the Afghan people want, apparently.
One thing, they don't want foreign troops in their country.

Soldiers have the right to refuse what they consider a violation of the Constitution.
The right of conscientious objection is an American right even if you are in the military.

Does anyone see the irony of offering a "Peace prize" to a wartime president?

Nobel did this for Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Kissinger.

Big hawks all.

Does anyone still care if Pete Seeger gets the Nobel Peace Prize?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 02:02 PM

Another thing, Generals Boykin and McChrystal have stated that they want to Christianize
Afghanistan. They want to destroy or at least in their terms "neutralize" Islam.
Onward Christian Soldiers!


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM

They are mad to even think about trying to achieve that objective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 02:18 PM

Another thing, Generals Boykin and McChrystal have stated that they want to Christianize Afghanistan

Boykin's statements are quite well known and have been rightly criticized. He is a retired General with no duties regarding Afghanistan.
Your source for the statement about McChrystal, if I may be so bold?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 05:52 PM

"The Mujadaheen who defeated the Soviets became the Taliban."

Complete and utter bullshit!!! Please provide me with one shred of evidence that supports that view.

The Taleban came into being bcause of the excesses of the former Mujahideen in 1994. If you have information that indicates anything other that what I have said said please produce it!! If not, then shut the fuck up about it, and stop spreading lies about the situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 06:43 PM

Some of the Mujahedin who defeated the Soviets became the Taliban. Other Taliban came from Pakistan. The Taliban were one among several factions of the Muhahedin, and they fought a war with those other factions which they eventually won.

Here's one lengthy article about the history of the Taliban:

history of the Taliban


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 06:53 PM

I could have elaborated much more, by the way, but just read the article instead, and comment on it, not on my brief statement on the previous post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: pdq
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 07:10 PM

{from the site that LH linked to, which seems reasonable impartial...}


"Most of the Taliban's leaders were educated in Pakistan, in refugee camps where they had fled with millions of other Afghans after the Soviet invasion. Pakistan's Jami'at-e 'Ulema-e Islam (JUI) political party provided welfare services, education, and military training for refugees in many of these camps. They also established religious schools in the Deobandi tradition.

The Deobandi tradition originated as a reform movement in British India with the aim of rejuvenating Islamic society in a colonial state, and remained prevalent in Pakistan after the partition from India. The Deobandi schools in Afghan refugee camps, however, are often run by inexperienced and semi-literate mullahs. In addition, funds and scholarships provided by Saudi Arabia during the occupation brought the schools' curricula closer to the conservative Wahhabi tradition. Ties between the Taliban and these schools remain strong..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 07:17 PM

It seemed like a fairly thorough article to me. It was amomg 3 or 4 that I found with a quick search, and I have yet to read the others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 08:30 AM

"Dec. 22/ 2001:

"Prime Minister Hamid Karzai takes power in Afghanistan.

It had been revealed a few weeks earlier that he had been a paid consultant for Unocal (Union Oil Company of California), as well as deputy foreign minister for the Taliban for a time."

(Le Monde 12/13/01,   CNN 11/22/01)"

Hamid Karzai:

- Born 24th December 1957

- Graduated from Habibi High School in 1976

- Karzai took a postgraduate course in political science that Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India, between 1979 and 1983.

- 1983 to 1989 supported anti-Soviet Mujahideen in their fight against Soviet occupation. Karzai reamined in Pakistan throughout the Soviet occupation

- 1992 served as as Deputy Foreign Minister in the government of Burhanuddin Rabbani (The government the Taliban fought)

- 1996 Hamid Karzai refuses to serve the Taleban as their ambassador to the United Nations. During the Taleban years of power in Afghanistan Hamid Karzai lived in exile in Quetta, Pakistan.

- 1999 the Taleban assassinate Hamid Karzai's father, Karzai is working closely with Ahmad Shah Massoud to gather support for the anti-Taleban movement.

- October 2001 Hamid Karzai is wounded in a friendly fire incident involving US aircraft in South Afghanistan.

- November 2001 Karzai flown out of Afghanistan for his own protection.

- December 2001 under the December 5 Bonn Agreement Afghan Representatives formed an interim Transitional Administration and named Karzai Chairman of a 29-member Governing committee.

- The Loya Jirga of June 13, 2002, Karzai appointed interim hold of the new position as President of the Afghan Transitional Administration.

Unocal:
- 1996 Unocal opens an office in Kandahar

- 1998 Unocal withdraws from the TAPI Pipeline Project

- 2005 Unocal ceases to exist as an operating company

So merely by checking up a few facts it can be revealed Hamid Karzai could not possibly have worked for Unocal in any capacity and was never in fact deputy foreign minister for the Taliban at any time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 08:36 AM

Counter to what the article that LH linked stated:

"The Taliban are one of the mujahideen groups that formed during the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-89)."

Mullah Omar started his movement in 1994 (five years after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan) with less than 50 armed madrassah students, known simply as the Taliban (Students). His recruits came from madrassahs in Afghanistan and Pakistan and from the Afghan refugee camps across the border in Pakistan. They fought against the rampant corruption that had emerged in the civil war period and were initially welcomed by Afghans weary of warlord rule.

It first emerged early in 1994, when Mullah Mohammed Omar led 30 men armed with 16 rifles to free two teenage girls who had been kidnapped and raped by a local warlord's group; hanging the local commander from a tank barrel.

His movement gained momentum through the year, and he quickly gathered recruits from Islamic schools. By November 1994, Omar's movement managed to capture the province of Kandahar and then captured Herat in September 1995. Kabul fell to the Taliban on September 26, 1996. Omar stayed behind in Kandahar along with the Taliban elite, while a government of his loyal followers was set up in Kabul.

Now as his fighting force consisted of his pupils, what sort of age would they be? I would venture to guess that Mullah Omar's Taliban were too young to have fought the Soviets, or if they did were only involved in the dying stages of the occupation.

But one thing is for certain:

"The Taliban WERE NOT one of the mujahideen groups that formed during the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-89)."


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 10:18 AM

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy.
All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for
lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every
country."

---Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reich-Marshall at the Nuremburg Trials after World War II.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 10:24 AM

"The Taliban WERE NOT one of the mujahideen groups that formed during the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-89)."

This is a revisionist account of history. Many of the Taliban were recruited from the Mujahadeen. They were present at many of the madrassas founded by Omar.

Checking up on a few facts would reveal this as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 10:29 AM

Snopes said that this quote was not said at the Nuremburg Trials but in a private conversation with a psychologist. He did say this, however.

Afghanistan anyone?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 10:32 AM

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/goering.asp


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 10:33 AM

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/goering.asp


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 02:03 PM

Goering's quote is right on the mark. That is exactly how governments persuade their public to support a war.

The American public has been persuaded to support 2 present wars in that fashion.

As for the Taliban, it appears that they have drawn their ranks primarily from the Pashtuns who are also Sunni Muslims, but that does not make all Pashtuns Taliban. The Hazaras and other tribal groups (Tajiks, Uzbeks, etc) associated with the Northern Alliance have long been at odds with the Pashtuns, and the Hazaras are Shia Muslims. The Pashtuns have always been the majority in Afghanistan and have tended to rule the roost most of the time, to the detriment of the less numerous ethnic groups.

A foreign occupation force that is fighting a vigorous Pashtun resistance in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan will naturally ally itself with the various smaller tribal groups who have traditionally been at odds with the Pashtuns. That's standard imperial policy which has always been used by foreign armies which try to occupy a country. You use the disadvantaged local groups against the majority local group that has oppressed them. (The Germans, for instance, got a lot of help in WWII from Ukrainian troops who wanted independence from the Soviets, and if they'd been smart enough to treat the Ukrainian population kindly, they could have recruited many, many more of them to fight Stalin.)

The Pashtuns used to be called "Pathans" in the British Empire days (probably still are called "Pathans" by some people). They were known as very fearsome warriors. I think that in the long run these Pashtuns, whether they are Taliban or otherwise, will succeed in driving out the coalition forces just as the Soviets were driven out before them. Then it will be a fight between the Taliban and the other Pashtun groups to see who gets to run things in central Afghanistan.

There will probably be an interim period while a client government propped up by NATO continues to rule in Kabul for a year or two, just as Najibullah's client government did for the Soviets when they left.

There will be a pretense that victory has been secured by the departing Coalition and that the client government in Kabul can now handle the situation....just like the same pretense that was used in regards to South Vietnam when the USA pulled out and left its client South Vietnamese government in charge there.

Not too long after that the government in Kabul will fall to the Pashtuns, and the charade of supposed Coalition "victory" will end. Then whoever has taken over in Kabul will continue infighting amongst themselves for awhile, and will also continue fighting with the Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbeks and other people in the Northern Alliance. Will the Taliban win in this fight? Who knows? Somebody will eventually win, but it may not be the Taliban.

Years more suffering, in other words, for the people of Afghanistan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 04:17 PM

"As for the Taliban, it appears that they have drawn their ranks primarily from the Pashtuns who are also Sunni Muslims, but that does not make all Pashtuns Taliban."

Not so much primarily, more like solely. then you have tribalism within the 12 million Pashtun Afghans coming into play. Of that 12 million only 1 in 10 supports the Taleban.

"I think that in the long run these Pashtuns, whether they are Taliban or otherwise, will succeed in driving out the coalition forces just as the Soviets were driven out before them."

And the reason why the non-Taleban Pashtun Afghans would take up arms against the coalition and government forces would be what exactly?? The Soviets were driven out because they had the enitre country up in arms against them. The same cannot be said with regard to the situation the ANA; ISAF & US-OEF forces.

"There will probably be an interim period while a client government propped up by NATO continues to rule in Kabul for a year or two, just as Najibullah's client government did for the Soviets when they left."

"Client Government" accurately describes Najibullah's Government, but certainly does not fit the current government in Afghanistan, which resulted from an election.

Going back to Najibullah's government and the Afghan National Army, they continued to do quite well against the Mujahideen after the Soviets left until the Soviets stopped supporting them with fuel, weapons and ammunition. Just the same as the US did in Vietnam, you stopped supporting the South, while both the Russians and the Chinese reneged on all the promises made in paris and continued to support the North.

After having turned over the security situation to Afghan Security Forces can you explain why the international community is going to turn its back on Afghanistan?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 05:33 PM

Sure. I think that the international community will essentially abandon the Afghan government after they pull their own people out, the same way the South Vietnamese government was pretty much abandoned after America pulled its forces out of there. American and UK troops never went into Afghanistan to help Afghans (though, of course, their presence has helped some Afghans in various ways...as a side effect). America and the UK went in there to help themselves.

Once they no longer have a military presence there I think they will, like the Russians before them, reneg on their promises of support to the regime in Kabul and their support for the Afghan government will dwindle, and I think it will then fall.

If, as you say, only one in every 10 Pashtuns supports the Taliban (and that sounds quite plausible to me)...then that's good! It stacks the odds against the Taliban regaining control of Afghanistan. It makes it more likely that more moderate Pashtuns will form a new government there instead. I would rather see any other local faction in that area take over than see the Taliban running the place again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 01:41 AM

"American and UK troops never went into Afghanistan to help Afghans (though, of course, their presence has helped some Afghans in various ways...as a side effect). America and the UK went in there to help themselves."


http://www.isaf.nato.int/en/our-mission/

http://unama.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1742

http://www.afghangovernment.com/AfghanAgreementBonn.htm

America and the UK (plus the other 41 countries involved) went into Afghanistan to help themselves to what exactly??


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Amos
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 08:13 PM

Still marching to the Afghan war, hey, marching to the Afghan war.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 08:36 PM

Why the international community is going to pull its support from Afgan goverenemnt is easy to see: The Afgan government is corrupt to the core...

Next question...


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 10:03 PM

Little Hawk asked "Anyone read Greg Mortensen's book "Three Cups of Tea".[sic] Actally this book is required reading for every senior military officer in Afghanistan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 11:05 PM

Excellent! I'm glad to hear that. Greg Mortensen has much insight to offer them. He is quite opposed to the USA's seeking of a military solution in that region, because he feels that is not an effective way of finding a solution.

Teribus, you asked: "America and the UK (plus the other 41 countries involved) went into Afghanistan to help themselves to what exactly??"

Well, I think there are quite a number of factors involved in that, not just one. Such as...

- they wish to build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean
- they wish to have a military presence to the south of Russia and to the east of Iran and to the west of China
- they wish to manage and control who profits from the huge opium trade that moves out of that region to the rest of the world
- They wish to control the entire area around there politically and in terms of crucial trade routes, and Afghanistan is simply one piece in that larger puzzle
- they did indeed wish to attack Al Queda bases in both Afghanistan and Pakistan (and they have done so pretty effectively)
- they wish to control the ongoing political process in both Afghanistan and Pakistan

This applies primarily to the USA and the UK, who act as imperial partners. As for the other 39 coalition members you allude to...it's not in the direct interests of most of them to participate in this folly, but it's politics. They have favors done for them, and they do favors in return. It's the old "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours", and it's achieved through the power of money, not moral persuasion.

It's simply basic imperial strategy, period. Afghanistan is an important piece on the geopoliticals chessboard because it is a crossing point between China, Russia, India, and the Middle East. That makes every great power very interested in it. The Russians knew that, and that's why they went in there. That's why the Americans and the Brits are in there too. That's always why they go in there. Remember "the Great Game"?

It isn't because of what is physically there...other than the opium supply...it's because of what lies all around there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 11:25 PM

Here's the latest article from Eric Margolis:

OBAMA DOES A LOUIS XVI
NEW YORK November 30, 2009

America would not have won independence from Great Britain without generous military and financial support from France and its monarch, Louis XVI.

But France spent itself into bankruptcy supporting the American colonists. France's financial ruin was a major cause of the ensuing French Revolution that cost the unfortunate Louis his head.

Wars are hugely expensive. Money plays as great a role in them as soldiers and weapons.

US Congressman David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who is chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has come up with a novel idea:   American should pay for the wars they are currently waging.

Obey's proposal, which is backed by other congressmen of both parties, sounds startling – until one realizes that both the Bush and Obama administrations have never properly financed their foreign wars by forcing Americans to pay for them through higher taxes.

Instead, Washington has deferred the $1 trillion to date costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars by simply adding them to the national debt, and paying interest on the balance owing. President Lyndon Johnson conducted similar financial sleight of hand with the Vietnam War, inflicting serious injury and instability on the US economy.

Few Americans feel the real financial costs of these wars. Future generations will get stuck with the bill.

But this kind of deceptive national accounting is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of President Barack Obama's $1.4 trillion deficit this year, and his imminent decision to send some 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan.

Each American soldier in Afghanistan costs at least $1 million per annum, according to the US Congress Research Service. Thirty thousand more US troops will thus cost $30 billion in additional war costs on top of the $200 billion annual cost of garrisoning Iraq and Afghanistan – now the second most expensive war in US history.

Much of this money will have to be borrowed from China and Japan.

Obey and his allies want to impose a graduated surtax on Americans of 1-5%, depending on their income level, to fund the actual costs of what are now Obama's wars. Otherwise, warns Obey, the huge cost of sending keeping up to 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan will `destroy the other things we are trying to do in our economy.' Chief among which is health care.

In a clear choice between guns or butter, Obey estimates ten years of war in Afghanistan will cost the same $900 million as providing a comprehensive health plan for all Americans.

Unfortunately, chances of a war surtax passing Congress are nil. While the Afghan and Iraq wars are increasingly unpopular among Americans, a tax increase at a time of over 10% unemployment will ignite the same kind of furious reaction that met President Obama's proposed national health plan, and endanger Democrats facing midterm elections.

As the Obama administration appears set to escalate the war in Afghanistan, the real costs of Afghanistan and Iraq are still being concealed from the public and Congress.   

A billion here; a billion there; suddenly, we are taking about real money.

The $200 billion annual cost for both wars is only a part of the growing expenses faced by Washington.

The annual bill for US intelligence, which employs over 200,000 people, has doubled to $75 billion, in large part to support foreign wars and operations against anti-US Muslim groups.   

Costs of occupying Afghanistan rose to $300 billion this year, and will increase sharply next year. Operations in Iraq will total $684 billion in 2009. President Barack Obama's plans to withdraw all US troops from Iraq by 2011 may encounter serious delays and snags as resistance resumes and the underground Ba'ath Party become more active.

Washington spends $25 billion funding foreign armies, the bulk of which goes to the Mideast, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.   Aid to Islamabad will rise to $15 billion over the next five years, including secret `black' payments.   

The US supports 168,000 `contractors' in Iraq, many of them gunmen. The CIA runs 74,000 mercenaries in Afghanistan. The new fortified, 104-acre US Embassy in Baghdad will cost $700 million; the new embassy in Islamabad, $800 million. Islamic militants call them `crusader castles.'

Add to these costs the expense of maintaining fleets in the Gulf and Indian Ocean, and military bases in the Gulf and Diego Garcia to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; hugely expensive military airlift; $400 per gallon fuel delivered to US forces in Afghanistan; and, of course, financial inducements to many smaller nations to send handfuls of troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. Also an important part of the annual $93 billion in veterans benefits.

Thus the real cost of Afghanistan and Iraq are much higher than $200 billion annually. Yet President Obama, heedless of such costs, appears determined to expand the Afghan War. It seems clear that Obama has fallen increasingly under the influence of America's powerful military-industrial-financial complex and neoconservative war party. In short, the same calculus of forces that guided the Bush administration.

Even America's mighty economy cannot for long support waging wars across the Muslim world. Unaffordable wars have been the ruin of many an empire, and the American Raj seems headed in the same direction as Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama plunges ever deeper into the Afghan quagmire.


copyright Eric S. Margolis 2009


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 02:21 AM

Teribus, you asked: "America and the UK (plus the other 41 countries involved) went into Afghanistan to help themselves to what exactly??"

Well, I think there are quite a number of factors involved in that, not just one. Such as...

- they wish to build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean

A complete and utter Myth no oil pipeline has ever been discussed let alone proposed. The only pipeline that HAS been talked about was to deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan to India. Unocal were interested as part of a consortium to build and operate the pipeline but pulled out of the deal, as did the Russians in 1998

- they wish to have a military presence to the south of Russia and to the east of Iran and to the west of China

Really?? Now why would they want that now. It was after all not needed for thirty years since the revolution that brought Khomeni to power in 1979, why is it needed now. Why does the US need a base to the south of Russia and to the west of China, or are you trying to tell us that the US intends attacking those countries. Courtesy of its fleet of strike carriers the US and the US Marine Corps the US does not require such bases. If they did they would not select a remote land-locked country in which to set them up.

- they wish to manage and control who profits from the huge opium trade that moves out of that region to the rest of the world

So that is why they direct so much effort at eradicating the crop is it? Opium production in Afghanistan peaked in 2007 and has been declining steadily since. Land under cultivation of opium poppies decreased in Afghanistan by 20% last year alone, 25% drop in production in Helmand alone this year. Massive wheat growing effort being promoted, supported and taken up by Afghan farmers against the wishes of the Taleban.

- They wish to control the entire area around there politically and in terms of crucial trade routes, and Afghanistan is simply one piece in that larger puzzle

Exactly how do they do that? What crucial trade routes?

- they did indeed wish to attack Al Queda bases in both Afghanistan and Pakistan (and they have done so pretty effectively)

That was only the first part of the mission, the second was the reconstruction effort.

- they wish to control the ongoing political process in both Afghanistan and Pakistan

Isn't this just a repeat of what you have written above or do they really want to "control the entire area around there politically and" then control Afghanistan and Pakistan politically twice as much.

By the bye, your new found pal Margolis wants to direct some research into how the Dutch took on and beat THE Superpower of the day to win their independence, whilst doing that he should look at how the British fought the superpowers of thei day to win their empire. Hint their wars and campaigns were fought on the "never-never".


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 03:15 AM

The Dutch and the English did indeed beat the Superpower of their day...Spain...and I've always admired them for so doing. It took a number of factors to achieve that, not least the defeat of the Spanish Armada, but I think the writing was on the wall. Spain had overextended itself and was growing decadent and corrupt by the late 1500's. They were due for a fall. The USA is in quite the same position now, as far as I'm concerned. It happens to all overambitious empires eventually.

As for the UK, they're simply riding on the imperial coattails of Washington at present and sharing the spoils, having lost their own empire (the most successful one since Rome) by likewise overextending themselves and running out of money.

The Soviets also overextended themselves and lost their empire by the late 80's. Like I said, it happens to all these aggressive empires eventually. Washington's turn is well on the way.

I sympathize with none of them in their imperial aims, but I will say this: the British ran their empire with far more style and class than anyone else has in modern (post-Roman) times, and I can't help but admire them for how well they did it. I still live in an independent part of that empire, and I thoroughly enjoy reading about the great days of the British empire. See, Teribus, I happen to like the British. I always did like them. I don't like their present government policy in regards to America's wars, but that's just one thing...and it's temporary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 08:37 AM

Yer right, LH... "Wars are terribly expensive"...

I find it very interesting that the current batch of Repubicorportists in Congress seem to be very happy with Obama spendin' an additional $30B of borrowed money to continue a needless war on one hand yet...

...are very concerned that health care for the people may cause deficits on the other hand???

But the corportists have never met a war they didn't like...

As for the pipeline in Afganistan??? Heck yeah... That's alot of what this war is about... Throw in the geopolitics and ther corportists would love to also have a nice big scarey military presence in Afganistan forever to protect that pipeline...

It's also very curious that these same people are the ones that are running these very negative ads about the next battle: the climate and energy... The ads are of old people saying that the bill, which hasn't even been written yet will, ahhhhhhh, "RAISE YOUR TAXES"... The ads are all over the TV... Yeah, let's not push for planet friendly renewable energuy... Ain't no $30B (Exxon) a year profits to be made that way... No, lets drtil, baby, drill and have endless wars to keep that oil a'flowin'....

Anyone who really things the Afganistn War and occupation is about 9/11 please raise your hand... I've got a bridge to sell you...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Sawzaw
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 10:31 AM

Hey Bobert:

All it the intelligent folks like you can boycott the oil companies anytime you want and bring them to their knees.

That way they can't contribute to the Repubs, they won't get re elected and wars will end forever like it was before the greedy oil companies invented war.

Very simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 12:58 PM

Oil interests aren't the only wealthy interest that arranges wars, Sawzaw. In the complete absence of an oil industry the very same thing would be happening, and you know why? It is the international bankers, first and foremost, who profit from wars. They do it through lending money to governments to purchase arms and raise armies, and they are quite happy to lend to BOTH sides. They are also quite happy if the war lasts as long as it possibly can, and they do not suffer the consequences, because they can move their money to safe havens around the globe. The only kind of war that would really threaten them would be a nuclear war that devastated the entire planet.

This funding of wars by bankers (through lending to governments) has been going on for centuries. It was happening long before there was an oil industry. Governments have been in hock to banks for a long time. The oil industry itself is not the cause of the problem, it's a temporary symptom of the problem.

The cause of the problem is that fractional reserve lending allows banks to magically turn 1 dollar into 10 dollars when they make loans. The 10 dollars go back into the banking system, and are then turned into 100 dollars by more fractional reserve lending. The 100 dollars go back into the banking system, and are then turned into 1,000 dollars by fractional reserve lending. That process repeats itself, with a very slight reduction each time, until the money supply has been inflated about 280 times.

That's a money tree. And the banks have it. Who pays for it? Well, the governments go deeply into debt with debts they can never realistically pay off, and the public pays the interest on those debts through taxes and inflation.

And that brings you up to why we have these periodic financial crises...and the government has to bail out the banks...who were the people who created the bubble of phony money in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 02:59 PM

Right, LH...

Make that the oil/industrial/military complex... Purdy much sums up whast is behind all theses stupid wars...

BTW, Sawz... The game is rigged so that it is very difficult to avoid being taken advantage of by goevernment sponsored monopolies... One cannot just boycott them unless one is loaded with money and can afford a carbon neutral renewable energy system... I read recently that those systems are right at 100 grand!!! Only folks who can fork over that kinda dough are the corportists themselves...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 06:09 PM

Banks and bankers make all the profits eh?

Well that should suit everybody then because since last December the Governments own most of the shares in the banks after having bailed them out.

I saw a prediction on the profits our Government will make through share buy back schemes when the bail out money is paid back, they are vast.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 06:18 PM

No, T-Bird, it ain't just bankers who make- no, make that steal- the money... It's oil companies, defense contractors and the politicans...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 06:22 PM

It's a little bit tricky determing who owns who in that case...the banks owning the governments or vice versa. There are a number of books out there that go into it in considerable depth. My impression is that the banks, in fact, own and manage the governments...not in a legal sense, mind you...but in the sense that really matters, meaning who the legislators really work for.

They don't work for the general public.

Do you think there's any sense allowing banks to lend out 10 times what their depositors have put into them? That's what they do. And then they do it again...and again...and again. This creates new money from nowhere, and the government didn't print it or mint it. It simply appears on various balance sheets by virtue of loans having been made.

That's a pyramid scheme. Governments like it, because it allows them to access a huge amount of money without raising taxes. Banks like it, because they get rich through acquiring new "assets" (every time they make a loan, it registers as an asset on their balance sheet)...and through charging interest on the debts they have enabled others to get into.

The public thinks their taxes are not being raised when that happens. They are mistaken, because inflation IS a tax...but not one that is recognized as such by the general public. The interest payments on the national debt are also paid by people's taxes. 17% of all the taxes the American public pays to the federal government are now going to pay the interest on the national debt alone.

This is very beneficial to the banks. It's also beneficial to the government for the time being...because it can access funds without openly raising taxes.       It's a disaster for the ordinary public, however. Wait long enough, and it becomes a far bigger disaster for almost everyone. That's what happens eventually with a pyramid scheme.

It is this financial pyramid scheme which enables most wars to be financed and fought. "Fight now.....pay later."


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 01:39 AM

Back to the big evil "Corporate Monsters" of your comic book stereotypes LH

Bankers for you, and for Bobert its:

- Oil Companies (93% of all the Oil Companies in the world are Nationally Owned);

- Defence Contractors (Forbes List of top 500 Companies first listing of a defence contractor Northop Grumman in the 153 top 500 Companies in the world that are based in America comes in at 79 out of 153, not very highly placed is it)

- Politicians.

With all the "gloom-n-doom" predictions about the wicked "Capitalist" system that were been touted on this forum 12 months ago, shouldn't we all now be in the middle of mass revolutions, wandering around in rags, gnawing at the grass?

All those huge corporations are not owned by evil capitalist masterminds who are hell bent on the destruction of mankind, they are owned by their shareholders directly, or indirectly e.g. through pension fund investments and insurance holdings.

On the subject of the last crisis in the financial sector that kicked off this world wide recession. If memory serves me correctly it was a political administration in the US that ordered a couple of mortgage brokers to lend to people irrespective of their ability to pay that set the wheels in motion.

Disaster for the people? Not on your life!! Talking of lives, is yours better than your Grandparents, Great Grandparents, I know that mine is. I also know that in a number of ways my children had an easier upbringing than I had, I know that there were more opportunities open to them than there were for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 02:43 AM

Say what? I'm not opposed to capitalism. I think a return to more genuine capitalism would be a very good idea. I believe that the best overall system is one that combines capitalism for marketing most common goods and services, and socialism for taking care of the government, the courts, the police, the armed forces, and various essential public services...mainly those that are not really feasible as profit-making enterprises, because that is not what they are there for.

The police, for example, are a classic case of a necessary social service that is there for everyone in a completely equal way and is not there merely for purchase by whoever has money to pay for police protection, while abandoning those who do not. The police come to your aid without being paid by you, because the whole society pays for them in a collective sense. That's where socialism comes in handy. The police force is a socialist institution, paid for by taxes. So is the fire department.

But if you're talking about producing the huge variety of common goods and services that we partake of when we go shopping, eat a meal, buy gas, etc....heck, I'm all for that being handled through capitalism. That is the best way to handle it.

Real capitalism, however, can only function properly if there is genuine competition and encouragement of local industries at every level. When giant multi-national monopolies form in the name of capitalism and fix prices and dominate markets to the virtual elimination of real competition and destroy small local business in favor of giant corporate entities like WalMart which sell stuff made in China...then you don't have real capitalism any longer like you once did. What you have then is modern corporatism...and to me it resembles some form of communism masquerading as capitalism, only it's done to profit a few corporate bosses rather than to promote some crazy political party (such as the Communist Party). The shareholders? Ha! They're just along for the ride and they hope it goes well, but guess what the bosses get paid! Oh, about 200 or more times what a worker does. That's not capitalism, it's more like feudalism.

I'm the one who believes in real capitalism, Teribus, and I'm all for it. It's a threatened species in today's world.

Now...what in the world makes you think that banks should be allowed to lend out 10 times as much money as their actual cash deposits from their depositors? I notice you didn't address that issue. Are you aware that it is a pyramid scheme and that it has been made legal for banks to do that?

Do you know what happens if all the depositors panic at the same time and decide to withdraw their money? It isn't there, that's what, because under the banking system we have they have created so much fictional money through lending money they didn't have in the first place that after about 1% of the depositors withdrew all their cash from the bank, there'd be none left. And then you'd have riots and people smashing open bank machines, as has happened in some places already.

Are you in favor of banks lending out far more money than their depositors have given them? If so, why?

I mean, hey, if you were a banker, I can see why you'd favor it! You could get very rich very fast doing that. But if you're not a banker???? Then what?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 08:25 AM

Bogus statistics, T-Bird...

93% of oil companies ownded by governments... Perhaps you'd like to tell the good folks what percentage of the US market is controlled by Exxon/Mobil??? See, stats can be very misleading....

Then while you are looking that up, how about the percentage of the US military budget that goes to contractors, por favor...

As for bamks??? Don't even get me started... I'm fighting with them now to get the capital to continue a major project in my town... The old band who promised to go the distance with it has decioded it does not want to loan any more money... Same for all the other banks... And I have perfect credit and assests to cover the loan... This is what has small business ownersw realy steamed these days... Wall ST, who gives lots of $$$ to politicans is doing just great and Main Street is in the tubes...

Grrrrrrrr....

B


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 11:14 AM

"93% of oil companies ownded by governments... Perhaps you'd like to tell the good folks what percentage of the US market is controlled by Exxon/Mobil???"

As the US does not have a National Oil Company Bobert I couldn't give a rats about what Exxon Mobil's percentage of the US Market is. But I've just had a look at who owns Exxon Mobil Shares and what do I find? Big evil oil baron types?? Naw just loads of Banks, Insurance Companies, Trusts and Pension funds.

All depends on how you view money Bobert, some use it as a tool like a carpenter uses a saw or a chisel, and they make it work. In making it work they increase the amount of money they have, they more you have the more it can earn. If on the other hand you view it as being the essential thing to provide shelter, food and entertainment all you do is spend it.

Banks should be allowed to decide who they lend to, they can then ensure that they do not get caught the way they did last time. I sympathise with your plight my son and his business partner are finding themselves in the same boat or at least something pretty similar, good luck with your project hope it comes off for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 12:30 PM

First of all, T-zer, the share of the US market that Exxon controls is really what we are talking about here... If you have a corporation of that size making more money than the GNP's of many countries and that corporation has unfettered access to power then it is no wonder that the US governemnt is involved in 2 massive wars over oil...

Secondly, as a working man who understands the concept of "making" money I resent the term "making" when it comes to crooks who game the system and control the rules... That isn't making money... That is stealing money...

And if banks expect my tax dollars to bail them out when they screw up then, yes, these same banks have a moral obligation to serve Main Street as well as their own self interests... I'd much rather see the banking system nationalized and ther playing field leveled between Main Street and Wall Street... It is way out of wack and the kind of situation you'd be more apt to find in a Third World dictatorship than in the US of A...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 01:52 PM

It's an old story by now that banks prefer to make huge loans to Third World countries, governments, and huge corporations than small loans to local business people. Why? Well, because it's more profitable for them to make huge loans to huge entities, that's why. And when they make a loan to the government, it entails no risk, whereas when they make a loan to some small businessman, he may default on that loan if things don't work out.

One 12 billion dollar loan to some government takes a lot less paperwork and time to arrange than 100,000 small business loans to local business people.

So that is why the banks do not prove nearly so amenable to helping the small businessman.

Another thing. If it's a small debtor who defaults, the government will not step in and bail out the debt. But if it's a giant corporation which is in danger of defaulting...well, the government often will step in and bail out the debt in order to "protect the public".

And we've seen quite a bit of that in recent times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 04:15 PM

I actually could have gone either way, and I applaud Obama's deliberative approach to the Afghan situation. I think with his unique background and the apparent good relationship he has with the generals, he is in a better position to fight this war as it needs to be fought and to win, it winning is at all possible.

The Republican politicians seem to me to be out for Obama's political ruination and to be slanting as far as possible without seeming to be outrightly anti-patriotic. But after all, they are politicians and the Democrats played that game with the last guy.

Personally, if I'm fighting this war, I want one thing: TO WIN. That means ending the Taliban and Al Qaeda and ruining them in the eyes of their would-be supporters. It is a socio-political war more than it is a fighting war. It is a matter of winning hearts and minds, whatever else it is.

The reward is far greater for the Islamic world than it is for us: They get to enter the Twenty-first century, their women get to drive and vote and say 'no' every so often.

Meanwhile, I thoroughly endorse a war that we Americans PAY FOR. To that end, I say on a daily basis that we should put a $1.00/ per gallon war tax on all fuels that flow, particularly at the pump. We should use that to pay for our overseas adventures, and if we have anything left over, we should be buying back our debt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 04:55 PM

I think it is illusory to imagine that the USA is fighting just the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Aghanistan. There's very little left of Al Qaeda at this point, and there wasn't a lot there in the first place. As for the Taliban, they comprise part of the forces fighting the Aghan occupation all right, but what that war really is is a war between the Pashtuns and the foreign occupying forces. Most Pashtuns are not Taliban. They are not fighting to restore the Taliban, they are fighting to get foreign occupiers out of Afghanistan and restore their own control of the country. They comprise the great majority of the Afghan population.

When they succeed, as I am pretty sure they eventually will, they will then start fighting amongst themselves and with the other tribal groups (Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen), just like they did after the Russians left. Will the Taliban win out in that fight among the different factions? Possibly. But this present war is not a war with the "good" USA on one side and the "evil" Taliban/Al Qaeda on the other. It's a war of national liberation against a foreign occupying army. So is the war in Iraq. If you wait long enough, the local people usually win such wars and the foreigners leave...(although the Tibetans have not yet been able to end the Chinese occupation, so it all depends on the relative strength, proximity, and determination of the opponents. The Chinese could exterminate the Tibetans if they chose to, and I don't doubt they are ruthless enough to do it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 06:27 PM

Good idea, Roboz, but I'd only impose it on higher end vehicles... The poor shleph who is drivin' a 22 year old Pontiac Sunbird to work oughtta be exempt... He ain't responsible for these wars... But anything newer that 5 years old, with the exception of energy efficient vehicles, oughtta have to pony up...

(But, Boberdz... How ya gonna impose those regs???)

Simple... Ya know those restricter gas inlets that prevented folks from pumping lead into unleaded cars... Something along those lines... Work like a charm...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 07:20 PM

Banks should be allowed to decide who they lend to, they can then ensure that they do not get caught the way they did last time.

Just as a matter of information you understand. Now you believe banks should be allowed to decide who they lend to.

Who decided to whom they should be allowed to lend before? Because for sure they got caught? I don't remember seeing any government saying "You should lend to people who can't afford to pay you back".


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 07:59 PM

In these parts the local banks will lend to anyone in good times... Right now??? If yer a member of the Chamber of Commerace, the Rotary Club and Republican Party these banks will lend to you... No one else need apply...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 08:00 PM

Well, of course banks should be allowed to decide who they lend to! And they are so allowed. ;-) But they should not be bailed out by the government at the expense of the general public and the nation when their own greed lands them in hot water and their pyramid scheme collapses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 08:09 PM

There is no winning in Afghanistan. The people there do not want occupying troops.
This terrible war will drag on and on. The evidence is in. These wars have been longer
than the two World wars put together.

Bush wanted Osama bin Laden alive so he could stir up opposition to an enemy.
That's why he didn't capture him when he could have.

Vietghanistan will be another exercise in futility.

Obama has made the wrong decision. He will alienate those who supported him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 12:28 AM

Frank, Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do during the campaign. You didn't support him then, so don't act like he is letting you down now. Most of us who voted for him were from the broad middle ground of American politics, not from the extreme left who think he's betraying their trust, nor from the extreme right who are bound to hate him no matter what he does. He is being true to his beliefs and standards, and I have great respect for him for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 08:04 AM

I supported and worked for Obama, as well, but never was all that gung-ho about his stand on Afganistan... At the time all alot of us were looking forward to was a break from the Republican Party rule that emphasized corporations over the working class and endless wars for oil...

That does not mean that we can't now be against Obama's stand on Afganistan...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 09:16 AM

Karzai just said that our Allied Forces will be needed there for another 10 to 15 years..... (is that all ?)

Kucinich to present a bill calling for a timeline for withdrawal..


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 09:48 AM

Pete does deserve the prize


Today in Oslo the Eiropeans made it perfectly clear why Obama got the prize by applauding only once during Obama's speech, outside of the begininng and end. They applauded the line that America lost the moral high ground by using torure etc.

Yes as I have said from day one, Barak got the prize because he was not a Bush.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 10:21 AM

Lonesome El,

Obama mislead the public in his campaign speeches. He promised to get us out of
Iraq. He is carrying on the Bush policies there.

He promised change in health care, he promised not to let the banks run the country,
he promised to do something about climate crisis but he has proven to be an obstacle.

The "middle-of-the-road" in politics is a complete myth. The so-called "centrists"
have turned "right-wing".

Most of those who supported him are now seeing their betrayal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Sawzaw
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 12:14 PM

"If yer a member of the Chamber of Commerace, the Rotary Club and Republican Party these banks will lend to you... No one else need apply..."

Why hasn't Obama fixed it like he promised?

Guantanamo closed? Out of Iraq? When was that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 12:36 PM

As to the center being right-wing, that is absolutely a matter of perspective. Obama was never a product of the liberal wing of the Democratic party, despite the fact that numerous liberals put their faith in him.
RE his promise to get us out of Iraq, he won't come through on a promise made in a speech in which he promised all the troops home by end of 2009. Once in office, and after reviewing tactics and strategy with Petraeus and those involved with the Surge, Obama altered his approach in a pragmatic way. While there has been and will be a continued troop draw down, he has taken the advice of his generals and advisers to facilitate an approach that everyone hopes will leave Iraq a more stable and functioning state. This represents a reasoned alteration in his approach, not his philosophy.
Change in health care? Any assistance you can render him in this regard would be of great benefit. Maybe you can hold a neighborhood meeting to back his plan.
RE the collapse of the banking system, there were essentially three options for Obama: A) Allow the banks to fail in massive numbers with the accompanying freeze of the flow of capital which would have precipitated a world-wide depression B)Nationalize the banks, which would have meant that the government would be dictating financial rules to business in the US, a situation that is unacceptable to the majority of the population or C)the Bailout, which put a stop to the financial panic, induced cash flow and stability, while still providing some government intercession, and which most recent information indicates has worked. None of these options would by their nature be popular. Obama did what he felt was best in light of the severity of the emergency.
As to the climate crisis, this from CNBC President Barack Obama helped break the ice in the troubled negotiations last month, saying he would deliver a pledge at Copenhagen to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by around 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. It will be the first time the U.S. has committed to a reduction target.

Now where's your evidence that MacChrystal stated he wants to Christianize Afghanistan, as you said farther up this thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 01:38 PM

I was very opposed to Obama's position on Afghanistan (and Pakistan) before he was elected. I much preferred him, however, to McCain, and that was the choice the voters were offered...so if I was American, I'd have voted for Obama.

The candidates whose foreign policy positions I did agree with were Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

I suspected that Obama would continue the "war as usual" policy once elected, and my suspicions have been confirmed.

I've always found him to be a very good speaker. People were inspired by Obama because he is such an eloquent man and because he seemed to offer the possibility of change, and they hoped he would change things in the direction they wanted...meaning AWAY from the legacy of the Bush administration.

What politician gets elected promising "more of the same"? ;-) Only incumbents do, and only in prosperous and/or confident times. If you're going to see a change of the party in power, you're going to have a politician get elected who promised "change"...because that's what people always want if they're in a mood to throw out the governing party.

Obama talked the line that would get him elected, and he did it brilliantly. Now we're dealing with reality, and that's a different matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: pdq
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 02:05 PM

"RE the collapse of the banking system, there were essentially three options for Obama: A) Allow the banks to fail..."

"Obama did what he felt was best in light of the severity of the emergency."
~ LEJ

Amazing how Obama could have such an impact on this situation, since the TARP "bailout" was passed by the House on 29 SEP 2008 and signed by George W. Bush.

BTW, Bank of America just paid the US taxpayers back the $32 billion they borrowed so the TARP plan is looking better than it once did.

Obama's answer to this good news? Spend the money B of A returned in an unauthorized manor, as if it were part of his failed "stimulus package". Great, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 02:14 PM

The banking system collapsed because it's built on a pyramid scheme. Instead of biting the bullet, confronting the real problem, and doing something about it with strict banking regulations so it can't happen again, they pumped a massive amount of government debt into reinflating the great phony cash balloon. That will lead to further problems farther on down the road.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 03:27 PM

I agree that the banking industry is in desperate need of overhaul and should be subject to stringent regulation in future.
Of course, the stock view of the Limbaugh/Palin faction is as follows: The Banks were under government pressure to finance houses for the poor and indigent. Therefore, it wasn't the fault of the bank industry that these mortgages defaulted, it was the fault of liberal forces in the government and of the undeserving poor who got the loans. Therefore, the entire banking crisis can be laid at the door of TOO MUCH government interference.
I suppose the huge salaries and bonuses along with the embezzlement and fraud in the derivatives market was also the fault of the undeserving poor and do-gooder liberals as well. Again, the dyed-in-wool conservatives with their avowed admiration for personal responsibility are usually the last to own up to any.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 03:35 PM

Yeah. It's pretty ludicrous all right.

The public in North America has always (well, since the 60s anyway) been encouraged to buy on credit and spend money they don't yet have. That's because they will end up paying interest charges to the lenders that way. The entire financial system is built on creating massive debt, both in terms of the ordinary public and in terms of the government and big business. It's disingenuous to blame the ordinary public for it when they are constantly encouraged and given tempting incentives to do it by those in control of lending the money. The result is inevitable...a bubble of spending and inflation is created, it gets too big, and then it bursts. When it does, the little guys lose out, but the big guys simply get a bailout and they buy up all the stuff that the little guys had to dump at a bargain price. Then the whole cycle starts up again....boom and bust...boom and bust...boom and bust. Thus are great fortunes made and many people impoverished.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 04:22 PM

Well, Saws, not to be splittin' hairs here but Obama never promised that the banks would loan money to Main Street.... It's just turned out that way...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Sawzaw
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 11:25 PM

Barrack Husein Obama Nov 3 2008 Jacksonville Fla:

"Tomorrow, you can turn the page on policies that have put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street.

Tomorrow, you can choose policies that invest in our middle-class, create new jobs, and grow this economy so that everyone has a chance to succeed; from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor; from the factory owner to the men and women who work on its floor.

Tomorrow, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope.

Tomorrow, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country the change we need."

Amen


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 07:05 AM

Rhetoric and policy are two different beasts, Sawz... Now when a polician says stuff like "If I am elected I will send a bill to Congres that requires that ____% of all Wall St. lending will have to go to businesses that employ less than ____ people"... That is a "promise"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 08:23 AM

Point 1: "As for the Taliban, they comprise part of the forces fighting the A(f)ghan occupation all right"

Well the last time I heard from somebody who has actually been out there the Taleban are the ONLY people fighting. Were they to cease and desist there would be no fighting at all in Afghanistan

Point 2: "but what that war really is is a war between the Pashtuns and the foreign occupying forces."

No, not really. If however you have hard evidence that substantiates this claim of yours I would be interested in looking at it. About 90% of the Pashtun population of Afghanistan are currently fighting nobody, they do however provide the bulk of civilian casualties of the fighting two out of every three being killed not by the "big bad evil western forces of occupation" but by their fellow Pashtuns - the Taleban.

Point 3: "Most Pashtuns are not Taliban."

Very true, roughly only 1 in 10 support the Taleban, the others do the best they can to eke out a peaceful existence. Of the Pashtun population of Afghanistan twice as many support and voted for Hamid Karzai and no small risk of death or dismemberment than support the Taleban.

Point 4: "They are not fighting to restore the Taliban"

They (the majority of the Pashtun population of Afghanistan) are not fighting PERIOD.

Point 5: "they (The Pashtun population of Afghanistan) are fighting to get foreign occupiers out of Afghanistan and restore their own control of the country."

No about 25,000 people, many of them having no claim to Afghan citizenship, out of a population of 32 million are attempting to regain by violent action, what they originally took by violent action about 12 years ago. "Their control of the country" was an unmitigated disaster for the country and its population, hundreds of thousands were brutally murdered and millions fled as refugees into Pakistan and Iran (The UNHCR at the time stated that of all the worlds refugees two out of every three were Afghans).

Point 6: "They (The Pashtun population of Afghanistan) comprise the great majority of the Afghan population."

No they do not, they comprise the largest minority group 42% of the population are Pashtun and all the other minority groups make up 58% of the population. Again if you have any hard evidence that refutes that statement I would like to see it.

Folkiedave - "Who decided to whom they should be allowed to lend before? Because for sure they got caught? I don't remember seeing any government saying "You should lend to people who can't afford to pay you back"."

The sub-prime mortgage crisis originated in the USA and was caused by the Clinton adminstration forcing Mortgage Brokers Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae to dole out mortgages to borrowers who were what would normally be considered as "bad risk". They did this on the erroneous assumption that the Federal bank would guarantee the loans. The Clinton administration did nothing to dispell this understanding. As property increased in value people borrowed against it, when repayments were not met and debts were called in the whole house of cards collapsed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 08:33 AM

Bullsh*t, T-Bird...

The sub-prime crisis can be laid squarely at the feet of the Raygun administration and the deregulation of the banking industry... Clinton was just a merry follower...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 11:37 AM

As property increased in value people borrowed against it, when repayments were not met and debts were called in the whole house of cards collapsed.

How come these British banks also collapsed then? I thought maybe these USA banks had gone around the world asking people (who are paid a fortune for expertise apparently, an expertise which they clearly do not have) to buy this heap of junk.

Still Teribus it must be nice for the bankers to know you are on their side. You on big bonuses too?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 01:03 PM

The sub-prime mortgage crisis originated in the USA and was caused by the Clinton adminstration forcing Mortgage Brokers Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae to dole out mortgages to borrowers who were what would normally be considered as "bad risk". They did this on the erroneous assumption that the Federal bank would guarantee the loans. The Clinton administration did nothing to dispell this understanding. As property increased in value people borrowed against it, when repayments were not met and debts were called in the whole house of cards collapsed.

That is horseshit. You are blaming Clinton for what became a feeding frenzy by greedy banks. How much incentive did the banks need to have in order to take risks with other people's money? Zero is the answer. The derivatives and mortgage insurance industries created packages that were no-lose for them. They made money selling these packages and insuring them themselves. They created risky products, insured them for risk, and double-dipped the mortgage fees and costs knowing that if everything hit the fan, they could defer to the Federal Government. Yes, this was driven by a housing market which seemed to be convinced that property values would do nothing but go up.
How many poor people defaulted on homes compared to wealthy people who were simply investing in houses and flipping them at profit? To portray the poor and Clinton as the villains in this piece is typical simplistic conservative crap that makes government the bad guy. The derivatives scam was probably an American invention, but banks across the world were quick to pick up on it, and that's how this became a global issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 01:07 PM

I am beginning to wonder, Teribus, if you are a closet Republican living in the wrong country? ;-) The reason I mention it is that you never seem to have criticism for any American president unless he is a Democrat. That's odd, considering that you are a resident of the UK. You also made some statements about the delights of living in and fighting for a "Christian nation", etc. on another thread which sounded like they came straight out of the Young Republican's official Guidebook. Extraordinary. How did a citizen of the British Isles end up in such a state of mind?

Eric Margolis disagrees with you about the situation in Afghanistan as it relates to the Pashtuns, etc. As he is far better informed on that country than I am, and has actually been there and seen it firsthand, I suggest you post to his website and argue with him about it until you achieve "satisfaction" (or not).


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 01:09 PM

I'd like to add that we are getting into heavy thread creep on the bank bailout subject, and that topic is probably best addressed in another thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: pdq
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 01:46 PM

"The American Dialect Society has announced that the Word of the Year for 2007, as voted by members at its annual meeting, is subprime. It's a sturdy choice, given how much media attention has circulated this past year about the financial crisis in the housing sector blamed on mortgage loans made to high-risk borrowers with credit ratings that are less than prime. Subprime (sometimes hyphenated as sub-prime) might not be as flashy as some previous selections by the ADS, such as truthiness in 2005 (comedian Stephen Colbert's term for "truth from the gut" unencumbered by facts) or plutoed in 2006 ('demoted or devalued in the manner of Pluto losing planet status'). Nonetheless, the word has an intriguing history, even for people like me who aren't terribly fascinated by the lending practices of banks.

In its earliest attested usage, subprime simply meant "substandard" or "below top quality" in a very general sense. A 1960 article in Operational Research Quarterly referred to "sub-prime material" that can cause delays in automatic data-recording equipment. And in 1970, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Armco steel company was introducing a "subprime" line of cold-rolled sheet metal, "intended for users that don't need surface qualities 100% free of defects, principally for use in unexposed parts, including the back of a refrigerator." Over time, this sense of subprime was extended in all sorts of directions, such as this Toronto Star critique of a cinematic performance by Madonna in 1993: "her 'work' in Body Of Evidence is sub-prime."

In the mid-1970s, subprime began to be used in the banking sector, but in a context that is just about the opposite of current usage. Rather than relating to the risky credit status of a borrower, subprime originally described a "below prime" lending rate — in other words, below the prime rate that banks and other lending institutions offer to qualified customers. So in this sense, a loan with a subprime rate is a good thing for the borrower, who is allowed to pay an interest rate lower than what is typically offered. That explains this quote from an August 1975 Associated Press article: "Isn't the prime supposed to go only to the most credit-worthy customers? Why, therefore, they might ask, was subprime offered to a municipality whose credit standing is suspect?" Similarly, a March 1978 article in Institutional Investor told of banks "offering sub-prime rates to lure back customers."

It wasn't until the mid-'90s that the currently popular sense of subprime became widespread. Now it was the borrowers themselves who were being classified as "less than prime" based on their credit histories. Customers in this high-risk category were increasingly able to borrow money from established lenders, particularly to pay for mortgages, automobile loans, and the like. Whereas the older sense of subprime implied a loan with a low interest rate, the subprime loans of the '90s and '00s have rates much higher than standard. An April 1995 article in Retail Banker International described auto-lending companies offering "loans of new and late-model cars to consumers with imperfect ('sub-prime') credit histories." And a February 1997 New York Times article heralded the coming crisis: "A Risky Business Gets Even Riskier: Big Losses and Bad Accounting Leave 'Subprime' Lenders Reeling."

The two competing senses of subprime, referring either to favorable low-interest loans or to unfavorable high-interest ones, would seem to be in direct opposition. You might even call it a "Janus-faced word" or "contronym," i.e., a word that serves as its own antonym, like cleave or sanction. But the surrounding context should be enough to establish whether it's the lending rate or the borrower that is considered subprime. Consider another sub- word, subpar. For a golfer, a subpar score is a good thing, but in its more general sense subpar typically characterizes an inferior performance. Only context can resolve the conflict.

As the word subprime becomes more widely known, we can expect many new extensions of meaning. A recent MSNBC report on business buzzwords claims that the word is already in use as a verb "loosely defined as the ability to completely dig one's self into a hole and then expect a bailout," as in "I completely subprimed my Algebra test yesterday." As far as I can tell, that kind of usage is a figment of the reporter's fertile imagination, since even Urbandictionary, that student favorite, is thus far unaware of subprime as a generic verb. (When the word does show up as a verb, it tends to be in punning formations like "subpriming the pump" or as an ad-hoc reflexive: a columnist for the Aspen Times wrote that "homeowners have subprimed themselves into an economic disaster.") But let's hope that the subprime crisis subsides before it spawns too many new additions to our vocabulary. Even if it's enriching to the lexicon, it's hardly enriching to the economy."   ~ Ben Zimmer is an editor at Oxford University Press


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 02:23 PM

This article will tell you what's really going on.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/our_murderers_in_the_sky_20091210/


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 02:39 PM

The so-called "War on Terror" is in fact exactly what it claims to be fighting against. It is a war OF terror, directed at populations in the countries and regions it targets. It kills a tremendously greater number of people than any of the officially labelled "terrorists" have killed and it provokes an enlargement of the very conflict which it is the author of.

It serves as the primary motivator and recruitment incentive for the Muslim fighters who take up arms to resist it.

It is a Big Lie....Orwellian doubletalk. It is what it pretends to by fighting against. And that's typical. The greatest terrorist outfit in the world at the present time is the USA's own military forces who imagine that they are fighting terrorism.

This is not the fault of American soldiers. I have a great deal of empathy for the American soldiers who are simply young men following orders and doing what they think is the right thing to do. They've been told they are defending their country and fighting terrorism and they believe it, as would most young men in their position being told what they are told. I have no grudge against them whatsoever.

It's their leaders who sent them to war who are responsible for the situation, not the soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 03:48 PM

Little Hawk states that the US effort in Afghanistan is terrorizing the population of that country. I would entertain arguments that the impact of some US attacks is to induce terror. We see this when an Afghani wedding party is bombed because weapons are being fired, when intelligence informs that a Taliban or Al Qaeda leader is in a house, the house is bombed, and the result is dead women and children.
However, I do not see that the intent is terrorizing the population. There is no percentage of gain inherent in alienating the population of a country in which your army is engaged. To this end, emphasis has been put on schools, hospitals, public service and works project being funded by the US. Narrowly targeted bombs are meant to "surgically" remove their intended victims without widespread collateral damage.
That is the aim. Whether that is being accomplished, or whether our inaccurate intelligence and the gigantic difficulties inherent in fighting a guerilla war with a conventional fighting force result in the terrorization of the populace, is arguable.
I for one would argue that whatever the effect, the intent is definitely an essential factor. Some may see no difference in a group of armed men stalking through a hotel slaughtering hostages under instruction from a mastermind in a remote location via a cell phone, and a bomb that misses a target and strikes a hotel. The effect is nearly identical. The intent, however, must be important to anyone who believes in such things as objective moral truth. By one standard, the deaths are a tragedy to be avoided in future. By the other, the only tragedy is that there weren't more deaths.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 06:29 PM

That's odd, considering that you are a resident of the UK.

Not sure that Teribus is indeed a resident of the UK. I seem to remember that he mentioned he lived in a high tax country. That is not the Uk of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 07:38 PM

I understand what you're saying, LEJ, and I am partially in agreement with it...

However, it is quite clear that an operation such as the "Shock and Awe" bombing of Iraq in 2003 had multiple objectives....and one of them was to terrorize the population of Iraq to the extent that their will to fight would collapse. That was also the intent of the German bombings of Rotterdam and London and Guernica, the Japanese bombings of Chinese cities in WWII, and the Allied bombings of German and Japanese cities in WWII, and the dropping of the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The intent was to terrorize another group of people into surrender.

And that is what I call terrorism on a really large scale.

I believe that governments and national armed forces have always practiced terrorism on a far larger scale than scattered groups of people like the terrorists who attacked the hotel in Mumbai. That is simply because governments have a lot more firepower at their disposal and much more efficient means of bringing it to bear.

Penny-ante terrorists like the guys who attacked in Mumbai are bit players compared to governments. They get no respect...and they don't deserve any...but the main reason they get no respect is because they don't have public sanction by way of a uniform...and because they employ stealth and attack helpless targets. Why do they do that? Because they think they can succeed at doing it, that's why. Their primary objective is not simply to kill "as many people as possible", their primary objective is to make a powerful political statement that would change the status quo in some way deemed useful by the attacker.

The primary objective of the US Air Force when it dropped A-bombs on 2 Japanese cities was not necessarily to kill "as many people as possible" either (at least I don't think so...)...it was to make a powerful political statement that would change the status quo in some way deemed useful by the attacker. (at least...that is what we are told). It was furthermore an attack done with virtually NO risk to the attackers.

Where is the difference? (other than that the Mumbai attackers were facing much greater personal risk) They are both, in my opinion, acts of terrorism...but look at the casualty rate that resulted, and tell me who is the greater terrorist.

I know you can offer justifications. Well, so can the attackers at Mumbai or at any other place that has ever been attacked. Just ask them. They will offer their own justifications, and it will always have to do with "defending" their own people against some "evil" threat from someone else...or taking revenge for some previous attack by some "evil" enemy against their people.

They are all heroes and "good guys" in their own eyes. That's why they do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 08:12 PM

"Shock and awe" was surely an unusually honest and explicit way of saying that the aim was to induce people into changing allegiance by means of death and destruction - which is the essential definition of "terrorism".

"There is no percentage of gain inherent in alienating the population of a country in which your army is engaged." That is not how it is always seen. In fact seeing it that way is, if anything untypical.

Killing and brutalising potential supporters of the enemy as a way of discouraging them from providing support has been, and continues to be, a regular part of the way occupying forces and governments faced with insurgency have behaved in all kinds of places.

It may be that the massacres of wedding parties carried out from the air and so forth are not intended in that way. Maybe they actually are mistakes rather than intentional crimes. If so they are different from other proven massacres of civilians, such as those carried out by soldiers and paramilitaries in wars in Latin America and Africa etc, or by German soldiers in occupied Europe - but there is nothing obvious about that. Perhaps it's actually true - but how can we know that claims to that effect are just a camouflage of lies to cover yet another case of the tried and trusted tactic of terrorism. After all, it wouldn't be the first time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 08:12 PM

I am not going to defend the nuclear bombimg of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In my mind, those acts are indefensible, and were probably my country's greatest transgression of the 20th century. I understand that the power of the bomb needed to be illustrated in order to force the Japanese into surrender and prevent an invasion of Japan that could have resulted in even more loss of life, but the bomb could have been dropped once, on a remote area of Japan. It was clearly used as a weapon that would have massive, indiscriminate, and devastating results against a heavy concentration of population.

I disagree that the bombing of Iraq and Kuwait had the same intent. The shock and awe bombing in 1991 had as its focus communication facilities, airports and transportation hubs, military installations and other targets bearing directly on Iraq's ability to coordinate resistance, and was not directed at inflicting casualties in the general population. The concept of shock and awe as a military tactic is focussed on decapitating the military forces, cutting them off from one another, and by dent of demonstration of massive firepower superiority, to encourage loss of morale and eventual surrender. Estimates of 6600 civilian casualties in the massive and lengthy bombardment are generally disputed as grossly overstated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 08:30 PM

I agree that the bombing done in Shock and Awe had many tactical reasons that made sense too...that's why I said "it had multiple objectives". That is often the case with bombing of metropolitan targets. Nevertheless, I consider such bombing to be, among other things, terrorism.

I think that almost all governments commit terrorist acts when they go to war. It's virtually inevitable that they will. That's one of the worst things about war. They only call it "terrorism", however, when someone else does it to them. That's propaganda for you. The propaganda is crafted to justify the war and to motivate the soldiers and civilians at home to support it. If you look at newsreels of the Third Reich, they gave huge attention to various terrorist acts committed against Germans by the Allies in order to stiffen the will of their fighting men and their civilians. And it worked. And a fair amount of what they said was even true! (although usually exaggerated) Had they won the war, they could have used a lot of what happened to try the "Allied war criminals" at Nuremberg, and the criminals on trial would have been Russians, Americans, and British.

The only thing they neglected entirely to tell Germans about was the immense crimes being committed by German personnel on behalf of the Nazi high command!

That was terrorism too...and terrorism to a shocking extent...but it was not mentioned in their media.

We have a mass media just like that. They only see terrorists where they are told to see terrorists...in the ranks of the Islamic "enemy". They do not label government-sponsored homegrown terrorism for what it is.

Am I drawing moral equivalence between the Nazis and the present USA? No. I am simply pointing out how government propaganda works. It sees evil only where it wants to see evil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 05:31 AM

"Shock And Awe" as a term has been used for centuries it is not new. It was introduced into US military parlance in 1996 and is used to describe the rapid dominance

"to affect the will, perception, and understanding of the adversary to fit or respond to our strategic policy ends through imposing a regime of Shock and Awe" (according to Authors Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade).

They went on to state that rapid dominance would:

"impose this overwhelming level of Shock and Awe against an adversary on an immediate or sufficiently timely basis to paralyze its will to carry on . . . [to] seize control of the environment and paralyze or so overload an adversary's perceptions and understanding of events that the enemy would be incapable of resistance at the tactical and strategic levels."

A demonstration of "Shock and Awe" was clearly seen five years earlier in the bombing campaign that preceded the ground attack known as Desert Storm in 1991.

What occured in March 2003 was nowhere near as intense for a very good reason. In 1991 infrastructure targets in Iraq had to be hit to prevent reinforcement of enemy troops in the south of the country and in Kuwait. In 2003 the aim was to remove Saddam Hussein from power and infrastructure that would have been targets in 1991 had to be left intact as the invading forces needed them to get to Baghdad as quickly as possible (Attacking forces tend not to blow up bridges that they are relying on to continue their advance).


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 06:38 AM

True enough. In the same respect, Allied forces tried not to destroy intact bridges over the Rhine in '44, while the retreating Germans, on the other hand, tried hard to destroy them once the bulk of their own people had gotten across. They (the Germans) failed to do so at Remagen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 07:21 AM

Another facet of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, infrastructure targets such as power stations, water treatment facilities were deliberately left alone, why destroy something that you know full well that you are going to need immediately on cessation of military operations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 07:24 AM

Why indeed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 11:58 AM

Water treatments plants were contaminated by weapon's fallout. Power stations were unworkable. Infrastructure targets were indiscriminately hit by so-called "smart bombs".
Any country that caused a cultural museum to be ransacked can't be relied upon to
discriminate in the destruction of another country.

"Shock and Awe" was a term designed to intimidate Iraqis. After the fall of Saddam,
the country is in worse shape than it was before.

Women are easily targeted now whereas under the dictator, they were given rights.

The invasion of Iraq was pointless and useless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 04:14 PM

Why do it? The fact that there is no good reason to do something, and all kinds of good reasons not to do it unfortunately does not seems sufficient to stop people doing just that thing, all too often.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 05:25 PM

Perhaps they salivate at the thought of the big reconstruction contracts that will follow? Or maybe they're just in love with the massive use of their firepower.

"Gotcha!!!" - George Bush


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 11:35 PM

Stringsinger:

"1. Water treatments plants were contaminated by weapon's fallout."

Examples please, now remember when you respond to this that within the borders of Iraq post-Safwan Iraqi Army helicopter gunships were allowed to operate. Desert Storm was primarily concerned with ejecting the Iraqi forces from Kuwait and no battles were fought in the Basra area. So if you were referring to depleted uranium rounds they were Russian in origin and came from Hind Helicopter gunships

"2. Power stations were unworkable."

In all probability true, the only place in Iraq pre-2003 invasion that had a 24 hour power supply was wherever Saddam Hussein happened to be at that time. Now in the interim between 1991 and 2003 instead of building infrastructure to benefit the people of Iraq Saddam Hussein build Presidential Palaces to thwart the inspections of UNSCOM, he smuggled in 384 Rocket Motors from North Korea, he initiated and ran a programme intent on acquiring VX nerve gas. Of course Power stations were unworkable, Saddam and the Government he controlled wer too busy doing other things that they felt were more important

"3. Infrastructure targets were indiscriminately hit by so-called "smart bombs"."

Examples please, for very solid logical reasons I have given, such targets would not be hit. Please counter that argument, preferably with fact not left-wing, anti-Bush, anti-war rhetoric.


Little Hawk:

"Perhaps they salivate at the thought of the big reconstruction contracts that will follow?"

And those contracts have been awarded to whom exactly??


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 11:37 PM

PS - All of which has got absolutely fuck all to do with Afghanistan which is, and remains, and always has been a United Nations Operation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 12:13 AM

The United Nations label is a figleaf that gets stuck on various American operations to "legitimize" them and conceal their naked ambitions. That's a standard political technique used by major powers to persuade people that they are not acting alone. And they're not. But they are acting in their own interests and getting other minor players onside to make it look good. That's a PR job.

The invasion of the Soviet Union in 1945 wasn't just a German operation either. It was an Axis operation, assisted by Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, and Finland. This didn't fool anyone into thinking that it was a legitimate thing to do except the Axis powers themselves. It was essentially a German operation with some minor allies joining in for various pragmatic reasons. The Afghanistan operation was essentially an American operation with some minor allies joining in for various pragmatic reasons, and the U.N. is the rubber stamp they used to supposedly legitimize it. How do they achieve that? Through the Security Council, and the Security Council only represents the direct interests of a few large nations and a temporary token small nation, nations who usually find ways to act in concert, just as the Axis members acted in concert in WWII.

It's legitimate if you're with them. It's not if you aren't.

As for the American contractors (and mercenaries) who have benefited from various construction and security-related projects in Iraq, I think there are quite a number of them, one being Haliburton, another being Blackwater. Why don't you look them up yourself? Do you really think I wish to spend my time doing research on your behalf just because you want me to? It's common knowledge that a number of large American contractors have benefited from work that came to them as a result of the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's big business, and it's lucrative. Politicians reward their best friends in business when such situations occur and such opportunities arise. That isn't just true in the USA, it's true everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 06:07 AM

Ah, OK Little Hawk the penny has suddenly dropped. The rules here appear to be that you can make any outrageous, populist, "right-on-statement" or reference and it must be accepted as truth without question, while anyone making any sort of counter case has to explain the alpha to omega of it - Bullshit. You come out with crap such as you have done then be fully prepared to defend it.

Private security companies working in Iraq Little Hawk, go and you look it up I think you will find that the US companies were not by any stretch of the imagination the largest operating there. Halliburton, your other example, only worked for the US Government under the terms of a five year frame agreement contract with the Pentagon that they won by process of competitive tender in October 1998, doubt that?? Then ask Waxman and Drexler.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: gnu
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 02:50 PM

Hmmm?

I wonder if the good general will billet "on the economy"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 08:01 PM

...the only place in Iraq pre-2003 invasion that had a 24 hour power supply was wherever Saddam Hussein happened to be at that time.

I don't think have ever seen any mention of this alleged fact in any coverage of the Iraq invasion. That does not necessarily mean it is untrue. So what is the evidence for this allegation, which on the face of it does not seem too plausible?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: akenaton
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 08:07 PM

"Another facet of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, infrastructure targets such as power stations, water treatment facilities were deliberately left alone, why destroy something that you know full well that you are going to need immediately on cessation of military operations."

Oh yes......like an Army and police force!


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:38 PM

The best way to stop your neighbour from wanting to come round and punch you on the nose is to keep said nose out of his business, and look after your own property.


Ditto for nations. There would be no reason for terrorist attacks if we minded our own potato patch, and left theirs alone.

This would free our armies to do what they are meant to do.....look after our borders, and we could indulge in peaceful trade with the rest of the world.

Then there wouldn't be anything to fear.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 02:24 AM

"The best way to stop your neighbour from wanting to come round and punch you on the nose is to keep said nose out of his business, and look after your own property."

Tell that to:

Al-Qaeda
Hezbollah
Hamas
etc
etc
etc

All famous for keeping their noses out of other peoples business

As for: "Ditto for nations. There would be no reason for terrorist attacks if we minded our own potato patch, and left theirs alone."

The Al-Qaeda attack of 1993 was prompted by what instance where the US was trampling about in Al-Qaeda's potato patch (as if they ever had one to begin with)?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 12:18 PM

Here we go Kevin (MGOH)

Teribus: "...the only place in Iraq pre-2003 invasion that had a 24 hour power supply was wherever Saddam Hussein happened to be at that time.

MGOH: "I don't think have ever seen any mention of this alleged fact in any coverage of the Iraq invasion. That does not necessarily mean it is untrue. So what is the evidence for this allegation, which on the face of it does not seem too plausible?

Source: Middle East Economic Survey, VOL. XLVIII, No 1, 3-January-2005

Author: Isam Al Khalisi

"Electricity As Political Tool"

Centrally-generated and centrally-managed electricity in Iraq was used and abused, like other apparatus in a regime accountable only to itself.

In the 1980s contracts for new power plants were awarded, some times unnecessarily, but for vested interests. By 1991, Iraq's installed electricity generating capacity was more than twice the load demand at the time.

Between 1991 and 2003, when the country was under electricity rationing, electricity was used as a political tool to reward or punish sectors of the population.

It was quite common for large sectors of the country to suffer longer blackout periods than scheduled when the bulk of the electricity supply was directed to a single town or a favored region.

Areas where party officials lived were assured of uninterrupted electricity supply, while other areas were plunged into darkness."


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 01:41 PM

That sounds to me like 24 hour power supply normally, but with some power cuts. Takes me back to my childhood in London after the war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 01:48 PM

""As for: "Ditto for nations. There would be no reason for terrorist attacks if we minded our own potato patch, and left theirs alone."

The Al-Qaeda attack of 1993 was prompted by what instance where the US was trampling about in Al-Qaeda's potato patch (as if they ever had one to begin with)?
""

Bad choice Teribus!

That question was answered for me by the planner of the attack.

Yousef mailed letters to various New York newspapers just before the attack, in which he claimed he belonged to 'Liberation Army, Fifth Battalion'. These letters made three demands: an end to all US aid to Israel, an end to US diplomatic relations with Israel, and a demand for a pledge by the United States to end interference "with any of the Middle East countries' interior affairs." He stated that the attack on the World Trade Center would be merely the first of such attacks if his demands were not met. In his letters Yousef admitted that the World Trade Center bombing was an act of terrorism, but that this was justified because "the terrorism that Israel practices (which America supports) must be faced with a similar one."

No mention of Al-Qaeda there, either.

Seems that you need a little more diligence in researching your responses, mate.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 03:24 PM

"Yousef mailed letters to various New York newspapers just before the attack, in which he claimed he belonged to 'Liberation Army, Fifth Battalion'. These letters made three demands: an end to all US aid to Israel, an end to US diplomatic relations with Israel, and a demand for a pledge by the United States to end interference "with any of the Middle East countries' interior affairs." He stated that the attack on the World Trade Center would be merely the first of such attacks if his demands were not met."

So let me get this straight Don T. You would like to see international relations set by:

(Fill any name you wish, any Joe Soap off the street)mailed letters to various (Fill in the name of any target city) newspapers just before the attack, in which (XXXXX) claimed (XXXXX) belonged to (Fill in WTF Army, Fifth Battalion Any UNHEARD OF OUTFIT IN THE WORLD). These letters made (HOWEVER MANY RIDICULOUS DEMANDS THAT YOU WANT TO MAKE)

And you advocate caving in to that crap???? Are you bloody serious???

The Koran stipulates that you cannot attack or kill innocents, women and children, non-combatants right?? Now go and look up the rules under which such attacks and such victims are fair game - one of them involves - Guess What - WARNINGS.

What was that you were saying about research??


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 03:43 PM

And Jesus says "Turn the other cheek". Somehow, whatever our religion, we seem able to get round that kind of stuff when it suits us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 04:27 PM

I think its high time that people stopped taking what are rights of the person, or the rights of the individual and applying them to states or nations through their Governments.

Once people organise themselves into states and nations the principle of the the greatest good for the greatest number comes into play, as does tolerance and understanding, but not to the detriment of the majority. One of the first responsibilities of any Government is to protect its citizens, when threatened "turning the other cheek" is not going to save your citizens from dying, so at that point Christian or not that is when that concept goes out the window.

You do whatever it is that you want to do if somebody threatens to physically hurt you or yours. You can turn as many cheeks as you want MGOH, as an individual you have that right. As far as I am concerned I'll see the bastard in a box before I let him hurt me or mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 06:14 PM

You do whatever it is that you want to do if somebody threatens to physically hurt you or yours. And that is precisely how suicide bombers are liable to see it as well. No point talking as if there was some enormous moral gulf between the people doing the killing and the dying on both sides.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 02:24 AM

Now at what point in time MGOH did UNAMA threaten to harm anyone in Afghanistan?

As for: "No point talking as if there was some enormous moral gulf between the people doing the killing and the dying on both sides."

What colour is the sky on your planet Kevin?

Tell me when PGF in Afghanistan have used the civilian population as human shields?

Tell me when PGF in Afghanistan have mined areas period, let alone mine areas where they know the local civilian populations will work or walk?

Tell me when PGF in Afghanistan deliberately and knowingly target civilians?

Tell me if the Taleban have rules of engagement?

Two-thirds of all civilians killed in Afghanistan are killed by the Taliban. If the Taliban stopped fighting tomorrow there would be no deaths in Afghanistan because the conflict would end.

They are not "freedom fighters" fighting to free their country from a foreign invader. They are a bunch of thugs looking for a pay day that they previously took at the point of a gun and then lost.

Disagree with you Kevin in Afghanistan there is a whale of a "moral gulf between the people doing the killing and the dying on both sides".


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 08:37 AM

The Russians would have argued in very similar terms during their Afghan adventure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 11:07 AM

On the contrary MGOH the first thing the Soviets did on arrival was murder Hafizullah Amin the "communist" leader of the Marxist PDPA, they thought was being too friendly with Pakistan and the Peoples Republic of Chinese, he was replaced by the Soviets preferred man Babrak Karmal. This attack and execution was undertaken by 700 Soviet troops dressed in Afghan uniforms, including KGB and GRU special force officers from the Alpha Group and Zenith Group, on the evening of the 27th December, 1979.

Now back to my question MGOH - At what point in time did UNAMA threaten to harm anyone in Afghanistan?

The answer MGOH is NEVER, now why not just admit it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM

I'm sure the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has never threatened to harm anyone in Afghanistan. However inevitably they will be seen as part of a regime established on the back of a foreign occupying army. Nothing fair about that, but fairness doesn't come into these kinds of things.

The consensus of opinion among the official advocates of the war appears to be that the best realistic option for Afghanistan is that significant elements of the "Taliban" forces can be turned and incorporated into a viable regime.

(As for Hafizullah Amin, it's relevant to note that he is believed to have murdered his predecessor, President Tariki, in the course of an extremely bloody coup a few weeks previously. It seems that nobody in power has clean hands in Afghanistan, then or now.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 02:19 PM

You'll enjoy this...

SURGING INTO DISASTER
NEW YORK December 07, 2009

President Barack Obama has missed two sterling opportunities to wind down the ugly Afghan morass he inherited from George W. Bush.

First, Obama could have hit the pause button on the war when he first took office.   A thorough evaluation should have been done at that time.

Second, during all the heavy duty strategy meetings over Afghanistan this November. The new president could have announced a cease-fire in the war or sharp reduction of military operations, then called for genuine peace talks under Saudi aegis with Taliban and its nationalist allies.

Instead of a sensible pause, Obama's made the tragic decision last week to enlarge and prolong the eight-year war in Afghanistan.      

The ugly, messy conflict Obama inherited from George W. Bush now fully belongs to the "peace president" and his unhappy party.

President Obama faced a choice between guns – $1 trillion for the next decade of warfare in Afghanistan – or butter – his $1 trillion national health plan.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate chose guns.

What Obama should really have been concerned with was Osama bin Laden's vow to first bleed the US in Afghanistan and Iraq, then break America's domination of the Muslim world by luring it into a final battle in Pakistan, a nation of 175 million, 90% of whom see the United States as their country's primary enemy.

The president also heard alarms from his field commanders and CIA that Taliban and its allies were taking control of much of Afghanistan and threatening the big cities. As US Afghan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned, the mighty US even faced defeat at the hands of lightly armed mountain tribesmen – the same humiliating fate that befell the Soviet Union and led to the collapse of its empire.

So, as expected, Obama will rush 30,000 new troops into the Afghan quagmire, and arm-twist reluctant NATO allies to contribute 10,000 more mostly token forces.      

Obama, with his eye on the Afghan War's growing unpopularity among Americans, confusingly promised some of the 105,000 US garrison there will begin withdrawing in 2011. But Obama's aides almost immediately began backtracking on this pledge, which made no military sense at all.

Senator John McCain and fellow Republican hawks had a field day shredding Obama's foolish proposal.

Many Afghans, however, listened and concluded that the US, like the Soviets, would one day decamp. Those Afghans working for the US will quickly begin hedging their bets by making discreet side deals with Taliban, as I saw them do with the mujahidin during the Soviet era.         

The president insisted his objective remains destroying al-Qaida. But al-Qaida hardly exists in Afghanistan. Only a handful remain in Pakistan, likely no more than a dozen men.
President Obama's insincerity on this issue is very disturbing, undermining his reputation for veracity and clear thinking.

There is also concern that when Obama targets al-Qaida, his real target may be Pakistan. Pakistanis sourly joke that the US long ago killed Osama bin Laden and is keeping his spectral image alive to justify occupying Afghanistan.

Obama's new military plan mirrors the Bush administration's Iraq `surge' that candidate Obama sharply criticized. US Marines may even go and crush rebellious Kandahar the way Iraq's Fallujah was laid waste.   

The Soviets also tried the same surge tactic in the mid 1980's during their Afghan occupation. When that failed, Moscow decided to pull back its over-extended 160,000 troops to defend Afghanistan's major cities and main roads from Afghan "terrorists."

That strategy also failed miserably, as did a similar effort by the French in the Red River Delta during the first Indochina War. Now the US is trying the same thing.   

Anyone who understands Afghanistan's deep complexities knows that Obama's surge won't win the eight year war. Afghanistan's 15-million strong Pashtun tribal majority will continue to resist western occupation. Waging colonial wars of pacification against resident populations has proven futile time after time.

At best, it will be an exercise in managing a failed policy.   

Americans are turning against the war. Congress is fretting over its mounting costs: US $300 billion for 2009 in a $1.4 trillion deficit year. This war is being waged on money borrowed from China.

Some Democrats are rightly calling for a special war tax on all Americans rather than continuing to conceal the war's huge expenses on the national credit card.

It costs US $1 million to keep each American soldier in Afghanistan. Renting Pakistan's assistance will cost $3 billion per year (overt and black payments combined). Thousands of US troops will remain stuck in Iraq where the underground Ba'ath Party is showing signs of life.

President Obama vowed at West Point to fight al-Qaida (read: anti-American groups) in Africa and Asia.   No wonder many angry, betrayed Democrats are calling him "George Bush's third term."

The most positive interpretation of President Obama's
"surge" is that it is a face-saving exercise to cover America's retreat from the Afghan morass.

The key to US strategy is cobbling together a large Afghan army and police led by the US military – the modern version of the British Raj's native troops under white officers. The Soviets also tried to build a 260,000-man Afghan Communist army, but failed. The US will be no more successful because its Afghan forces are mostly minority Tajik and Uzbek who are hated by the majority Pashtun. This was also the case during the Soviet occupation.

Efforts will be made to sanitize the corrupt Karzai government and its mafia-like warlords. This, too, will fail, But Obama's hope is that he can declare victory by 2011. This would allow substantial US troop reductions before the next mid-term and presidential elections – if all goes well.

But things are not going well in Pakistan, without whose cooperation, bases, and supply routes the US cannot wage war in Afghanistan. The US-backed Pakistani government of Asif Ali Zardari is awash with corruption charges, condemned by the public as a puppet regime, and may soon be ousted by Pakistan's military.

Most Pakistanis support Taliban, see US occupation of Afghanistan as driven by lust for oil and gas, and increasingly fear the US intends to tear their unstable nation apart in order to seize its nuclear arsenal.   

CIA-funded assassination teams have joined Predator drones in killing Pakistanis judged hostile to US interests. Increasing numbers of Pakistanis believe their nation is actually under US occupation.

Obama's advisors have convinced him an early US withdrawal from Afghanistan will provoke chaos in Pakistan. They don't understand that it is the US-led war in Afghanistan that is destabilizing Pakistan and creating ever more anti-western extremism. Forcing Pakistan to adopt policies inimical to its national interests that are detested by its public risk producing an Iranian-style revolution or coup by nationalist officers.

The longer US forces wage war in Afghanistan, the more the conflict will spread into Pakistan, where 15% of its people, and 20% or more of its military and intelligence service are Pashtuns who sympathize with their beleaguered fellow Taliban Pashtuns in Afghanistan.

A grimmer view is that Obama has fallen under the influence of conservative military-financial interests, and Washington's rabid neocons who seek permanent war against the Muslim world.

This week, Gen. James Jones, the president's national security advisor, asserted, "We have strategic interests in South Asia that should not be measured in terms of finite times." In short, the American Raj will continue to dominate Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama's "surge" may only expand, intensify, and prolong the Afghan conflict. It may also ruin the presidency of a man so many Americans looked to as a savior and inspiration.



copyright Eric S. Margolis 2009


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 03:10 PM

"The new president (I take it that he is referring to Barack Hussein Obama, not Hamid Karzai) could have announced a cease-fire in the war or sharp reduction of military operations, then called for genuine peace talks under Saudi aegis with Taliban and its nationalist allies."

Couple of points that surely an "expert" like Margolis must appreciate:

1. First and foremost it is not for the President of The United States of America to call the shots in Afghanistan, it is up to the President and Government of Afghanistan to do that.

2. Having announced his unilateral cease-fire I note that Eric Margolis does not explain or give any reason exactly why the Taleban would go along with it.

3. Once again peace talks and the calling of them have got nothing whatsoever to do with the office of the President of the United States of America.

4. The "Taliban and its nationalist allies" What nationalist allies?

"The president also heard alarms from his field commanders and CIA that Taliban and its allies were taking control of much of Afghanistan and threatening the big cities."

No Eric, you've got that wrong, the CIA and his field commanders were telling him that that is what would surely happen if he listened to that f***in' idiot Joe Biden's advice. Wisely he heeded what McChrystal had to say.

Interesting to know that this clown thinks that US Foreign policy should be dictated by Osama bin Laden's "Vows".

Obama's handling of the whole thing was woeful all he succeeded in doing in taking the time he did was to give aid and comfort to the enemy throughout the tail end of their fighting season. If Obama hadn't been shredded for that by the opposition in US politics then he should have been.

"Afghanistan's 15-million strong Pashtun tribal majority will continue to resist western occupation."

Demographics of Afghanistan:
- Pashtun 42%;
- Tajik 27%;
- Hazara 9%;
- Uzbek 9%;
- Aimak 4%;
- Turkmen 3%
- Baloch 2%;
- other 4%.

Latest population figures for Afghanistan put the population at 28.5 million. Some points for Mr. Margolis to chew over:

1. While 42% might be the largest of a number of minority groups 42% in no way constitutes any sort of majority.

2. 42% of 28.5 million does not equate to a Pashtun population of 15 million it works out at just under 12 million of whom only 1 in 10 actually support the Taleban. Twice as many Pashtun Afghans support Karzai as suport the Taliban.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 03:23 PM

""So let me get this straight Don T. You would like to see international relations set by:

(Fill any name you wish, any Joe Soap off the street)mailed letters to various (Fill in the name of any target city) newspapers just before the attack, in which (XXXXX) claimed (XXXXX) belonged to (Fill in WTF Army, Fifth Battalion Any UNHEARD OF OUTFIT IN THE WORLD). These letters made (HOWEVER MANY RIDICULOUS DEMANDS THAT YOU WANT TO MAKE)
""

Don't be more of a stupid a**ehole than usual T. You know damn fine that's not what I'm saying.

You asked what interference in Middle East affairs had led to the specific attack in the USA, and I supplied you with your answer, straight from the horse's mouth....."That's why we done it guv"

Now find something sensible to say about why the USA feels qualified to police the rest of the world, or better yet, just shut up.

I apologise for the strong language, to everyone except the latest exponent of the "twist it and rubbish it Brigade".

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:09 PM

And the latest from Eric Margolis:

THE BIG CHILL IN OSLO
December 14, 2009

I guess President Barack Obama has never read Benjamin Franklin's maxim, "there never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Obama's speech in Oslo proclaiming Afghanistan a "good" war and trying to justify US global military operations echoes to America's detriment around Europe and, more important, the Muslim world.

The president's address dismayed many who foolishly hoped the "anti-war" president might curb or even end his wars because of a highly politicized and leftish Swedish award. Not so. America's military-industrial-financial juggernaut continues to roll on.   

But what could Obama do? Unwilling to turn down the award he did not solicit, the president had to turn up in Oslo and accept a peace prize as he was widening and deepening the Afghanistan war. In retrospect, he probably should have turned the prize down, saying, as he did at Oslo, that he has not yet done enough to merit such an award.

Instead, President Obama delivered an oration that at times sounded as if it had been lifted from George Orwell's prescient novel, "1984."

War is peace, explained the president. Conflict, he asserted, had to be relentlessly waged by the west ("Oceana" to Orwell, the union of the United States and Britain) in the Muslim world (Orwell called it "Eurasia") until the dire threat of al-Qaida is eliminated. Of course, the threat never ends and low-grade war becomes permanent, justifying dictatorship and endless arms contracts for industry.

Al-Qaida barely exists as an organization, though its philosophy of driving the US from the Muslim world continues to motivate a scattering of tiny, anti-American groups in Asia and Africa who are a minor, if occasionally spectacular, nuisance rather than a major threat.

So here was a major untruth from the president who had vowed to tell Americans the true after eight years of lies and prevarications from the previous administration.

The "New York Times," an ardent liberal backer of wars in the Muslim world, arrogantly editorialized on 14 December that Europe was delinquent in supporting the Afghan War. The "Times" hectored Europe's leaders to "educate" their citizens in the need for war in Afghanistan. But the problem is that Europeans are too well educated. A majority see Afghanistan as a traditional colonial war being waged for energy resources and imperial strategy in which their continent has no business at all.   

The political big chill that came from Oslo left many Americans and Europeans wondering just who was really in charge of US foreign policy. Readers of George Orwell might suspect that real power in Washington is wielded by the same kind of hidden oligarchy he described in "1984" that conjured fear of foreigners and drove permanent war policy.

Could the former civil rights worker from Chicago's roughest section really be speaking with the same voice as Wall Street's money barons, pro-war neocons, and the military-industrial complex about which the foresighted President Dwight Eisenhower warned the nation?   What happened to the man only lately denounced by Republicans as a "socialist" and "appeaser?"

Are Americans victims of a presidential bait and switch? Obama is maintaining or advancing so many of Bush's hard right domestic and foreign policies that one indeed wonders of we are seeing Bush's third term.   

If President Obama ended the futile, eight-year war in Afghanistan against Pashtun tribesmen, he would of course face Republican charges of defeatism, appeasement and "losing Afghanistan." Republicans are already battering him with spurious claims of "their" victory in Iraq thanks to the "surge" advocated by Senator John McCain.   American soldiers and Afghan civilians will pay the price for this lack of political courage in Washington – to say nothing of US relations with the Muslim world which sees Afghanistan as a martyr nation ravaged by western forces.

Adding to this miasma of untruth, the US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, just proclaimed that the US had "won" the war in Iraq, and was now about to work the same military magic in Afghanistan. The notion of a US victory in Iraq has become common currency in Washington and the media, justifying another "surge' in Afghanistan.

To quote the great Roman historian Tactius, "they make a desert, and call it peace."   Such is the US supposed US victory in Iraq that now looms over Afghanistan. Let's look at this Carthaginian Peace:

*Iraq effectively sundered into three de facto independent parts: a Shia region; Sunni region; and Kurdistan. The US vowed never to do this – but did, turning it into a weak, obedient Petrolistan.   

*The world's biggest refugee problem. Four million Iraq refugees created during the US occupation. Two million in neighboring Arab nations; two million internal refugees, victims of ethnic cleansing.   Massive flight of intellectuals and trained personnel. Over 2,300 Iraqi doctors murdered.   

*After rightly bombing Serbia to stop its attempted genocide against Balkan Muslims, the US closed its eyes to massive atrocities and ethnic cleansing of Sunni civilians committed by Shia death squads, run by the US-installed Shia regime.   

*Iraq is now in worse shape then it was before the US invasion, terrorized by criminal gangs, death squads and local warlords. What was in 2000 the Arab world's most advanced nation in terms of education, technology, public health and industry, today lies in ruins.   Its rich oil field are about to be exploited by foreign firms, many from the US and Britain.   

No one knows how many Iraqis have been killed or maimed. Estimates run from 100,000 to one million. What is a known, to use Rummy's delightful phrase, is that the Iraq War has cost the US $1 trillion to date. Important numbers of US troops and tens of thousands of US-paid mercenaries look likely to remain in Iraq for many years on "training" and oilfield protection missions.

Such is Gen. Chrystal and Sen. John McCain's "victory." This is what awaits Afghanistan in President Obama's version of a "good" war.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2009


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:39 PM

200


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 09:18 PM

Well done Leadfingers onthe 200

Little Hawk I could not be less disinterested in what Eric S Margolis Has to say than if he was expounding on horticulture. In short the man is a fuckin' idiot.

This one I found amazing:

"Now find something sensible to say about why the USA feels qualified to police the rest of the world, or better yet, just shut up."

Now as a UK resident and being of a certain age Don(Wyziwyg)T, I find that one very easy to answer:

BECAUSE THEY FUCKING WELL PAID FOR IT. OUR LAST 64 YEARS OF PEACE HAVE BEEN HAVE BEEN ENJOYED BECAUSE GOOD OLD UNCLE SAM HAVE UNDERWRITTEN IT - DONT'T YOU FUCKING WELL FORGET IT

If you doubt any of that please feel free please to enlighten me you fucking ungrateful bastard.

I apologise for the strong language, to everyone except the the twat that over the last 64 years has not realised which end is up.

Don T go fuck yourself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:14 AM

Oh by the bye Don T. The real reason Osama bin Laden is pissed off at both the Governments of his native Saudi Arabia and the United States of America has got bugger all to do with Israel or the Palestinians - That is merely the excuse he feeds the dupes he gets to do his bidding, Osama bin Laden like most Arabs couldn't give a toss about the Palestinians. But there again it seems that you need to apply a little more diligence in your research, mate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Sawzaw
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 12:00 PM

Bobert: "Now when a polician says stuff like "

No drama Obama is supposed to be different from those other politicians.

What is different?

Where is the change?

Where's the beef?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 12:33 PM

OUR LAST 64 YEARS OF PEACE HAVE BEEN HAVE BEEN ENJOYED BECAUSE [of]GOOD OLD UNCLE SAM

You betcha, T-zer:

---------

COPS OF THE WORLD

by Phil Ochs, (c)1966, 1968 Barricade Music, Inc.

Come, get out of the way, boys, quick, get out of the way
You'd better watch what you say, boys, better watch what you say
We've rammed in your harbor and tied to your port
And our pistols are hungry and our tempers are short
So bring your daughters around to the fort
'Cause we're the cops of the world, boys, we're the cops of the world

We pick and choose as we please, boys
Pick and choose as we please
You'd better get down on your knees, boys
You'd best get down on your knees
We're hairy and horny and ready to shack
And we don't care if you're yellow or black
Just take off your clothes and lay down on your back
'Cause we're the cops of the world, boys, we're the cops of the world

Our boots are needing a shine, boy, boots are needing a shine
But our Coca-Cola is fine, boys, Coca-Cola is fine
We've got to protect all our citizens fair
So we'll send a battalion for everyone there
And maybe we'll leave in a couple of years
'Cause we're the cops of the world, boys, we're the cops of the world

And dump the REds in a pile, boys, dump the Reds in a pile
You'd better wipe off that smile, boys, better wipe off that smile
We'll spit through the streets of the cities we wreck
And we'll find you a leader that you can elect
Those treaties we signed were a pain in the neck
'Cause we're the cops of the world, boys, we're the cops of the world

And clean the johns with a rag, boys, clean the johns with a rag
If you like, you can use your flag, boys, if you like, you can use your flag
We've got too much money; we're looking for toys
Guns will be guns, and boys will be boys
But we'll gladly pay for all we've destroyed
'Cause we're the cops of the world, boys, we're the cops of the world

And please stay off of the grass, boys, please stay off of the grass
Here's a kick in the ass, boys, here's a kick in the ass
We'll smash down your doors; we don't bother to knock
We've done it before, so why all the shock
We're the biggest and toughest kids on the block
And we're the cops of the world, boys, we're the cops of the world

And when we've butchered your sons, boys, when we've butchered your sons
Have a stick of our gum, boys, have a stick of our bubblegum
We own half the world, oh say can you see
And the name for our profits is democracy
So like it or not you will have to be free
'Cause we're the cops of the world, boys, we're the cops of the world


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:13 PM

It's interesting that the US is the police dog for the world whereas under it's watch,
there has been the Korean War, the Vietnam War and two even longer wars, Afghanistan,
Iraq and wait, I left out Pakistan. This hardly qualifies this country to be a protector
of peace. As a matter of fact with our present Warmonger-in-Chief, we have a protracted
financial drain on our economy to look forward to with money that could have been used
for constructive ends such as putting our citizens back to work. Instead, war has been the racket that is bolstered by the Military Industrial Complex and a lot of tin-pot generals
who think they can cash in on the war machine.

The old fat white men are sending young men to war. That's the tradition.
Many of the young men are from poverty backgrounds and they fall for the scam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:17 PM

Well then GregF you ask a couple Germans say born just after the Second World War, one from West Berlin and the other from East Berlin, which was the better - living under US protection or under the Soviets. I know what the answer to that will be, and I guess you do too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:37 PM

Lonesome El, Mikey Weinstein has blown the whistle on the Christianization of the military. You can Google him.

McChrystal has made similar noises as Boykin but you won't find that on the mainstream media.

The American military today is saturated with Christianization and the Islam is the target.
That has been well-documented and McChrystal is not immune to this disease.

It needs to be said again that Osama may have taken credit for 911 but it was Zawahiri
from Egypt who planned and executed that attack.

Also, the Taleban is not Al Quaeda. They are two different factions. Al Quaeda for the most part is not in Afghanistan but not just Pakistan either. Recruitment is being done all over the globe because of American occupation of Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Fighting the Taleban will not stop Al Quaeda. The only real solution is to recognize the cultural defects of this Islamic group and to counteract with education, knowledge of the respective cultures involved, and start honest reconstruction in Afghanistan and not
the manipulative goal of possessing land, oil or dominating a foreign culture for business and political advantages. With the track record of allowing museums to be looted in Iraq,
and a billion dollars missing that was to be appropriated for reconstruction, the prognosis for Afghanistan as it is for Iraq looks bleak.

Meanwhile, the Military Industrial Complex, the mercernaries such as Blackwater, Armour Group, Triple Canopy, Halliburton and other private contractors are ripping off U.S. and the U.K.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:10 PM

There is less warfare than has ever been .
I read this in new Scientist.
I can not find a NS link, but this discusses the piece.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1018/p01s01-wogi.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:58 PM

"It needs to be said again that Osama may have taken credit for 911 but it was Zawahiri from Egypt who planned and executed that attack."

The original idea for the 9/11 attack came from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (1996). Osama bin Laden reviewed and refined the plan between 1996 and 1998 when he ordered his Chief of Operations Mohammed ATEF to put the plan into effect. During 1999 the plan ran into problems related to the personnel selected and Osama bin Laden called a halt until that problem was solved. Late 1999 Mohammed ATTA and four others went to Afghanistan from Germany where they were personally selected to lead the hijacking teams by none other than Osama bin Laden himself.

"Also, the Taleban is not Al Quaeda. They are two different factions. Al Quaeda for the most part is not in Afghanistan but not just Pakistan either. Recruitment is being done all over the globe because of American occupation of Afghanistan, and Iraq."

Al-Qaeda is pretty much a spent force, and no recruitment is not going on all over the world because of American occupation of anywhere. The thing that killed Al-Qaeda off were the "Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq" attacks on muslim non-combatants, the comdemnation of those attacks by Zawahiri that went unheeded by Zarqawi, and the admission that "Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq" had been defeated. From that point on recruitment and support for Al-Qaeda dropped through the floor.

"Fighting the Taleban will not stop Al Quaeda."

It will however give a pretty good idea of the price to be paid by any rag-tag bunch who own whatever corner of whatever failed state who are thinking about providing Al-Qaeda with somewhere to call home and set up shop. Personally I wish Al-Qaeda would go back to the Sudan and we could then kill two birds with one stone. There again Somalia would serve the same purpose.

"The only real solution is to recognize the cultural defects of this Islamic group and to counteract with education, knowledge of the respective cultures involved, and start honest reconstruction in Afghanistan and not the manipulative goal of possessing land, oil or dominating a foreign culture for business and political advantages."

And who is going to protect those attempting to start that honest reconstruction? Possessing land? What land? Possessing oil? What oil?

Last time I looked Iraq seemed to be doing rather well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 07:03 PM

The thing that killed Al-Qaeda off were the "Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq" attacks on muslim non-combatants.

So the invasion of Iraq made it possible for Al Qaeda to become active in the country, and the consequence of this was that it behaved in ways that alienated Muslims who would otherwise never have had any contact with it.

Interesting logic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Amos
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 07:23 PM

Teribus:

Thanks for stoutly defending your views and mustering the data to do so.

I am concerned about the operation in Afghanistan primarily because, as with many wars involving guerillas and thuggees, it is nebulous. It will not end in a capitulation. I sometiems wonder if we will ever again see a war in which one side surrenders in a formal ceremony. But the question remains what the end game will be. If it depends on the standing up of a robust police force and military under Afghan government, it opens the door to another problem, namely whether the roots of insanity have been extirpated enough to prevent the nation from going mad (again) using their newly organized police and military, and shooting themselves in the foot or someone else in the back.

In any case I think the overthrow of the Taleban is a laudable goal simply because of the oppression they bring to bear on society when left to their own devices. Like most people here, I think, I wish there had been no war in Afghanistan. And I wish the causes of the bin Laden attack were more clearly understood and more easily preventable from recurrence.

Unfortunately wishing does not make things so.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 07:26 PM

""Well then GregF you ask a couple Germans say born just after the Second World War, one from West Berlin and the other from East Berlin, which was the better - living under US protection or under the Soviets. I know what the answer to that will be, and I guess you do too.""

That's a good example of the arrogance of our self appointed world police force.

I had, until recently, a German aunt, who came over to the UK in 1948, and I am here to tell you that what the US military did in West Germany wasn't protection, it was occupation, and they didn't like it one bit more than the East Germans liked the Russian occupation.

Also, don't try to tell me I should be grateful to the USA for their eventual participation in the war in Europe. One thing everybody in this country knows is that the US would have sat back and watched, had the Japs not bombed Pearl Harbour, and forced their entry into the war, and you know what? We would have won, with or without them.

So if it's gratitude you are after, you're out of luck. Why don't you try the South Koreans, or the South Vietnamese? Better yet the Iraqis or the Afghans. They may be feeling grateful, those that are still alive and unwounded.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 03:10 AM

"don't try to tell me I should be grateful to the USA for their eventual participation in the war in Europe."

What was that little line you threw into one of your posts about doing your research before posting, ah yes this one:

"Seems that you need a little more diligence in researching your responses, mate."

Sixty-four years back takes us to what point in time you prat, my arithmetic produces the year 1945, which would suggest I have been talking about the post-war era, which means that your feelings and opinions about the USA's entry and participation in the Second World War are irrelevant.

As far as the Second World War goes, had Japan not attacked the USA, yes Great Britian, her Empire and her Soviet allies would have eventually defeated the axis powers, but that would have been done at the cost of the loss of the whole of Europe to Soviet enslavement.

Psst your not the only person with German relations and friends and mine, tell a very different story to that of your Aunt, who as you left Germany in 1948, her views would seem to indicate that she rather enjoyed the "glory" years of the Third Reich.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 06:34 AM

Oh Don as a postscipt, while Great Britain, her Empire and the Soviets may have been able to eventually defeat the Axis powers, having achieved that victory without that little thing called the "Marshall Plan" we would have been stuffed, and while the Soviets may have assisted in defeating Germany I believe that they would have sat back and watched as far as our struggle against Italy and Japan, in the hope that in our further weakened state we would fall to them too.

Have we got a great deal to be thankful to the United States of America?? Bloody right we have - the whole of the free world has.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 12:19 PM

The last time I looked Iraq was still a bloody mess. The idea that it is doing well is ludicrous.

Those in the military today are not interested in helping the Iraqi people or the Afghan people. They are only interested in furthering their military pseudo-security aims.
In fact, they are undermining any real security the world has from Islamic extremists.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was working with Zawahiri in conjunction with the 911 attacks.
It has not even been successfully confirmed that the hi-jackers were really who the media says they were. There remains a question as to their real identity.

Blackwater and other paid private mercenaries are acting like a "ragtag bunch" in all three
Mid-east countries.

There is no way the Soviets would have enslaved the world. They didn't have the resources. For that matter, even Germany didn't have them as well.
WWII was a geopolitical decision that could have wound down through other ways
then the bombing of Dresden or the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But the political wartime jingoism and propaganda precluded a real solution to the problem rather than the
trumped up "oh-but-we-saved-lives-through-atom-bombs" argument.

As a matter of fact, the US had much to gain through military adventures. It helped bolster their economy at the time. Remember that even FDR didn't consider the plight of the Jews in Germany a priority. The Bank of America financed Hitler in the early days.
The Graf Zeppelin flew across America without protest. One of the reasons that Hitler was financed was that he was seen as a deterrent to the ambitions of the Soviets.

Today, the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan may turn out to rival the "glory of the Third Reich". It has become evident that war is the foreign policy solutions to the world's social problems.

Today, in the US, we have the typical "Wag The Dog" scenario. A wartime president has more clout than a peacetime one. There is no money to be made in peacetime pursuits.

The US military is not in the business of protecting the Iraqi and Afghan people but defending the right to control and govern these countries in accordance to their business dealings and trumped-up "security" concerns. Some of the American people are being played as puppets by fueling their failure to win a victory in Vietnam. As a result, these people support tin-pot generals and puffed-up bullies.

On top of all of this, the US military today is re-inventing the Crusades. Christianity vrs. Islam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 04:53 PM

"Today, in the US, we have the typical "Wag The Dog" scenario."

Guess that that is the trouble with you lot, you watch too many movies and you end up actually believing them.

"They are only interested in furthering their military pseudo-security aims."

WTF??? In plain English please, just a load of meaningless babble.

"There is no way the Soviets would have enslaved the world."

Really they didn't too bad a job with most of eastern Europe.

"There is no way the Soviets would have enslaved the world. They didn't have the resources."

So you do not doubt their intent then, your only comment is that they did not have the resources, well Stringsinger they had twice the resources that Germany had in 1940 and the Germans did not seem to have had that much trouble with the task.

Psst Stringsinger more people died in the USA last night in road traffic accidents than were killed in Iraq or in Afghanistan combined. What you lack is perspective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 05:15 PM

It's no movie, T, that Georg W. used 9/11 as a backdrop to every domestic policy his administration forwarded on to Congress and it's no secret that he also used Iraq, until it was apparent to everyone that it was a failed policy decision, to bolster his domestic agenda, as well... Proclaming otherwise is just that... Proclaming...

Strings is entirely correct in throwing in the "Wag the Dog" compariaon... That's the way it went down... No revisionism can change that...

As for the Soviets running Europe... It is very unlikely... They weren't stupid and the reality that Germany didn't have the resources to do it I'm sure was a model that the Soviets would have thought very hard about before putting themselves in a very difficult and vulnerable position... Occupations histroically haven't been all they are cracked up to be...

And the fact that more Americans died in traffic accidents last night than in Afganistan yesterday is a red herring... If you look at the wealth that the US has spent on both of these dumb wars and look at it's domestic needs it is incongruent to think only in terms of body count alone... Rediculous arguemnt...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 05:21 PM

Obviously, if the idea is how many people you can kill, doing it on the roads of your own country is much more cost effective than achieving the same body count by means of foreign wars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 05:21 PM

What is lacking here are the facts. The Soviets didn't have the weaponry that they were reputed to have. And you see what has happened in Eastern Europe. Ultimately,
the Germans did not prevail and wouldn't have been able to despite WWII. They would not have been able to successfully govern the rest of the world. The US is running into the same trouble trying to govern Afghanistan and Iraq. (Sudatenland, anyone?)

The Russians had a lot to do with repelling the Germans at the Battle of Stalingrad. As to their sitting back and waiting for the US to be defeated, this was not in their best interest at the time.FDR had a policy of embracing "Uncle Joe" as it served the US interests to do so. The idea that Soviets could have ruled the world through enslavement is pure hype
and scare tactics. They had no such capabilities even though they had a nuclear stockpile.

I notice that there are lot of stats being presented here as is they were final and authoritative.

The traffic accident stats are specious at best. There is no way that these
stats can be calibrated by people who have done no real research of this issue particularly by someone who doesn't live in the US.

Here is my point about military pseudo-security aims. The use of enemy posing and
threats is a controlling device that is employed by power-hungry politicians and generals for the purpose of manipulating public opinion. Too bad that's characterized as babble. I think that this view reflects how badly the public is manipulated by jingoism and wartime propaganda.

"Wag the Dog" was a novel before it was a movie by Larry Beinart who had a prescient view of how presidents behave. Most of them concoct wars to remain powerful
"Commander-in-Chiefs". This is a realistic perspective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 07:46 PM

"... the trouble with you lot, you watch too many movies and you end up actually believing them."

Read posts:

Bobert 19 Dec 09 - 05:15 PM

&

Stringsinger 19 Dec 09 - 05:21 PM

World history as defined by Walt Disney and Hollywood

I rest my case.

Wag the fuckin' dog indeed. Bloody well grow up and start adding a bit of commonsense and reason to your lives, you will find it a novel experience, the pair of you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 11:05 AM

""Sixty-four years back takes us to what point in time you prat, my arithmetic produces the year 1945, which would suggest I have been talking about the post-war era, which means that your feelings and opinions about the USA's entry and participation in the Second World War are irrelevant.""

OK friend, so leaving out WW2 which might possibly have given some dubious weight to your argument, for what precise actions of the mighty US of A during those sixty four years should we be eternally grateful?

Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, and what next, Iran?

Explain what factor in these interferences with the domestic activities of all these countries benefitted the UK, and how.

I'd really like to know what I'm supposed to be grateful for, because I don't think that any of this made me and mine safer, rather the reverse in fact, and I don't relish being told it was done in my name.

NOT SO! I'd prefer that everybody got on with their own business, and left other people alone.

BTW, you can of course call me any name you like on here, but it doesn't enhance the credibility of any argument.

Don T


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: CarolC
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 12:30 PM

On the subject of the thread, here's an interesting talk by someone who talked with Afghan women to find out what they wanted...

http://www.miptalk.com/?p=325


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 04:27 AM

Anyone concerned about the wishes of the Afghan people should consider the reults of this poll.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8448930.stm
Ninety per cent said they wanted their country run by the current government, compared with 6% who said they favoured a Taliban administration.

Sixty-nine per cent believed the Taliban posed the biggest danger to the country, and 66% blamed the Taliban, al-Qaeda and foreign militants for violence in Afghanistan.

Of more than 1,500 Afghans questioned, 70% said they believed Afghanistan was going in the right direction - a big jump from 40% a year ago.

Of those questioned, 68% now back the presence of US troops in Afghanistan, compared with 63% a year ago.

For Nato troops, including UK forces, support has risen from 59% to 62%.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: CarolC
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 10:50 AM

I would be curious to know what percentage of the people who participated in that survey were women. My guess is zero.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 11:26 AM

I too would be curious to know what percentage of the people who participated in that survey were women. My guess is between 35 and 40%. My guess being equally as valid as yours Carol - True??

Liknk to questions asked:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_01_10_afghanpoll.pdf

Look at Q3 - Rights of Women


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: CarolC
Date: 13 Jan 10 - 01:52 AM

A guess is a guess, Teribus. That's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 13 Jan 10 - 02:02 AM

True enough although some are based on reason, logic and whatever evidence exists. Yours seem to generally be based on your own prejudices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Jan 10 - 03:14 AM

Carol, here are the results in full.
Notice that questions 47 onward the male and female responses are given separately, so women are clearly not zero represented as you guessed.
My guess is that a random sample of adults means just that.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_01_10_afghanpoll.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Jan 10 - 03:42 AM

The nature of Afghani culture requires gender and ethnic matching of interviewer teams to respondents. To meet this need ACSOR maintains a 50% female workforce and a mix of ethnicites across the country. Interviewer teams are embedded in their localities, improving their safety and effectiveness in conducting interviews.
http://www.acsor-surveys.com/public/services.asp


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 14 Jan 10 - 02:55 AM

So now we have cleared up the gender thing, how about some discussion?
It appears that the majority of Mudcat contributors are out of touch with the wants, needs and aspirations of the people who actually have to live in Afghanistan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jan 10 - 03:04 AM

True enough although some are based on reason, logic and whatever evidence exists. Yours seem to generally be based on your own prejudices.

This statement from you is clearly based on your own prejudices.


I had some inherent skepticism about the poll because of what I have heard from people who have spent time with and asked questions of women in Afghanistan. And some of the results don't square with what I have heard. But it's possible that the survey was conducted after what I read and heard was written and said, and things changed during that time. I'll wait until I have more information before I form an opinion about the survey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 14 Jan 10 - 04:04 AM

Discussion of what exactly Keith?

Was it desirable to defeat the Taleban and drive them from power?

Most certainly, from the point of view of the majority of people living in Afghanistan, for the region and the world as a whole.

Are things improving in Afghanistan as a result of intervention by the international community?

Undoubtedly, after a period of continuous conflict spanning thirty years, conditions within Afghanistan's borders could hardly have deteriorated. As a direct consequence of international intervention in October 2001 things are definitely improving right across the board in Afghanistan, that is undeniable, whether it is as good as it could be is a matter of opinion. Progress would undoubtedly have been much improved had the Taleban not elected to fight the reconstruction effort and UNAMA programmes in 2006.

Will an Afghanistan that has been returned to stable goverment and capable of defending itself from being usurped by fundamental terrorist organisations be in the best interests of the people of Afghanistan and the international community?

Of course it will.

Will any of the above come to pass if the international community pulls out of Afghanistan as rapidly as possible?

Not a hope in hell, all the above would do would be to create a horrendous human catastrophe. Potentially costing the lives of some 8.8 million people and committing the population of Afghanistan and the region to an endless civil war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 03:03 AM

Evidence not supporting prejudice is must be ignored.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 06:50 AM

""Will any of the above come to pass if the international community pulls out of Afghanistan as rapidly as possible?

Not a hope in hell, all the above would do would be to create a horrendous human catastrophe. Potentially costing the lives of some 8.8 million people and committing the population of Afghanistan and the region to an endless civil war.
""


Of course pulling out now would be a disaster, there's no gainsaying THAT.

But we never should have been there in the first instance.

Unless the US and the UK are prepared to spread their "altruistic" protection to countries with equally serious, or even worse, human rights problems (Darfur, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Nigeria, China, Tibet etc. etc.) it is hypocrisy to pontificate on the "unselfish" interference in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When, for example, might we expect them to separate the Israelis from their neighbours' territory, and stop them killing Palestinian civilians?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 09:57 AM

Evidence not supporting prejudice is must be ignored.

I guess you and Teribus ought to know, Keith. I prefer to go with the evidence that has the most credibility, myself.

We all know that polls are not consistent. Three different polling outfits can poll the same population three times and come up with three different sets of results. I am willing to defer to whatever it is that the population of Afghanistan want, but I want to know that the poll hasn't been devised in such a way as to produce a particular result (and we know that polls are often designed in this way). I know that there are women in Afghanistan who want all foreign forces out of their country. I am not going to take the results of a poll conducted by news sources that I don't entirely trust in the first place, as gospel. I need to see corroborating evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghan War mistake or wise
From: Teribus
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 07:13 AM

"But we never should have been there in the first instance." Says Don T.

So not having done anything post-9/11 where would that have left the people of Afghanistan?

- In a continuation of a civil war that had begun in 1979.
- In a country acting as hosts for an International Terrorist Organisation that had just successfully pulled off the greatest terrorist outrage the world had ever seen, and got away with it unscathed. How would that do as a recruiting sergeant Don?

"Unless the US and the UK are prepared to spread their "altruistic" protection to countries with equally serious, or even worse, human rights problems (Darfur, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Nigeria, China, Tibet etc. etc.) it is hypocrisy to pontificate on the "unselfish" interference in Iraq and Afghanistan." More complete and utter crap from Don T.

Please provide me with any evidence that US-Operation Enduring Freedom troops or the NATO led ISAF troops are operating in Afghanistan without sanction of the UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL

As to your list of sample countries where it would be of tremendous benefit if the International Community did get actively and forcefully involved, there is only one organisation to blame for that and that is the UNITED NATIONS. They funked the lot, because that just happened to be the least line of resistance, the UN are past-masters at doing just that, they have been renown for it since inception.


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