Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

Reprise: Afghanistan Again
December 10, 2012

Just to return for a wee moment to the United States government’s claim that it is murdering people in Afghanistan so that the country will never again be used as a base to attack the United States…

The claim is ridiculous on its face, as I’ve often said. The attacks could have been planned anywhere in the world. The attackers trained in the United States. Their weapons, airplanes, were American airplanes flown from American airports and hijacked in American airspace.

The Americans would have been better off ignoring Afghanistan as a player and hunting Bin Laden and his co-workers with small teams using intelligence gathered from multiple international sources. Instead they did the equivalent of dropping a bomb on a biological weapons warehouse, spreading the deadly bugs all over the place. Now the Americans are killing people all over the world, including their own citizens, all in the name of fighting a disease which they in large part are responsible for creating and disseminating.

And now the Americans use the ultimate coward’s weapon and coward’s rationale: airborne drones using missiles to murder ‘suspected militants’. Suspected. Militants. Not known terrorists actually guilty of criminal acts. Suspected. Militants. Speak too loudly in support of your country and your beliefs and the Americans will strike like an invisible god from the sky, hurling lightning bolts at you. And your womenfolk. And your children. Because they ‘suspect’ you and your women and your children just plain don’t like the United States of America.

What a pathetic, shambling, mindless thing America has become.

Afghanistan: The Little Brown Poor People Have Already Won
May 29, 2012

Did you ever take a close look at pictures of American soldiers trekking around Afghanistan? You’ll see guys humping fifty to a hundred pounds of gear.

And the ‘enemy’? Guys in Afghan street clothes carrying AKs.

Guess who won the war? Yup, the little guys with the funny hats and scruffy beards.

But, you say, it’s not over yet. How could they have won?

You might also ask yourself who the Americans are fighting. Al Qaeda? Pretty much gone ten years ago. The Taliban? Apparently, but they’re fighting a civil war, or will as soon as the Americans get out of the way. And then there’s the ‘suspected insurgents’ and the ‘suspected militants’. It’s never ‘insurgents’ or ‘militants’. And a good many of them are, didja notice, somewhere between the ages of just born to, oh, say, ten years old.

Of course the point for the Afghanis is that they are fighting on their home turf. They live there. They have a long history there. Long and bloody, but it’s their history and their land.

And really, the Americans, their supply line goes halfway around the world. And their lines of reasoning come straight from the rabbit hole. Ripping Afghanistan apart so that ‘terrorists can never use Afghanistan as a launching pad for attacks on the United States again.’ The Americans seem to have forgotten the attacks of 9/11 were launched from major American airports using American airplanes and the criminals were trained in American flight schools. Al Qaeda, or whoever, and it is increasingly obvious that the Americans are fighting whoever, doesn’t need Afghanistan. Or any particular country or place. A dining room table in Peoria, Illinois will serve just fine as a planning venue.

So not only do the Americans not know who they’re fighting, or why, but they’re being beaten. Ten years and Afghanistan just sinks deeper into corruption and violence. But that’s not the win.

The win for the ‘enemy’ is that the United States has spent well over a half a trillion dollars to date, and is on the hook for probably another trillion or more just to provide for the soldiers damaged in the fight. Add in another couple of trillion for the Iraq war.

So the United States is several trillion dollars in the hole, and counting, based on the whims and ignorance of a narcissistic, egotistical adolescent President named Bush and his amoral sidekick Cheney. And a smart guy, or maybe not so smart guy, named Obama continues to throw money into the snakepits of Afghanistan and corporate war profiteers in the United States.

And just how does that count for a win for the little brown guys with the AKs?

Because all the money could have gone to making the United States a stronger, safer country instead of a weak, mewling giant. It could have gone to building a first class education system instead of the existing failing system that’s being undermined by the ignorant fanatics the conservative movement has unleashed in America. That money could have gone to improving infrastructure, to building first class rail systems and urban transit systems. That money could have gone into massive investments in research and development and implementation of energy systems that could free the country from dependence on the oil and coal that are killing the world. That money could have gone to produce a first class healthcare system instead of a third rate insurance system that enriches CEOs at the cost of the lives and health of citizens.

But we have none of those things. Nor will we in the foreseeable future. Our Dear Leaders have decided it is better to fight a war and kill innocent foreign children than it is to risk the wrath of the conservatives, the know-nothings, the ignorant, the religious fanatics, and the rest of the blind ideologues who shout and stomp their feet and then vote for the candidates who appeal to their basest instincts.

The United States was once the place where people the world over aspired to go. It was thought to be the land of freedom and civility. Now, to aspire to become an American is to aspire to sink into a moral sewer.

So, yes, al Qaeda, or whoever, has won. The United States allowed al Qaeda, or whoever, to allow the United States to cut its own throat. And a fine job of it the United States has done.

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Women Are Dirt And Should Be Beaten: New Afghan Law
March 8, 2012

Yup, after ten years of a senseless war carried on by Americans in Afghanistan to make the place safe for women and democratic politics, the politicians the Americans put in place and that the Americans support with money and guns and blood, much to the detriment of America, have declared that women can be treated like dirt. Legally. No questions asked. (And of course the American White House and the American military won’t ask any questions, because that might amount to criticizing our dear ally – you know, President Karzai, otherwise known as Karzai the Korrupt Beyond Belief American Puppet.)

It says so, right on Hamid Karzai’s website. Women are dirt. Women are crap. Women are the gunk between men’s toes. And Karzai is the president of Afghanistan and he endorsed the new policy in a press conference. It’s official: Women Are Dirt. Karzai and the imams say so. Rejoice, brothers!

This is what all you dead American soldiers died for. This is what you got your brains rattled for. This is what you left your legs and your arms in that misbegotten country for. Oh, and forget al Qaeda, they’ve moved on: they don’t need Afghanistan, haven’t needed it for eleven years. What, you didn’t get the memo? Neither did your bosses in the Pentagon and the White House and the Congress.

Read the story at The Progressive site.

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Want Some Truth About Afghanistan? Read Ann Jones.
March 8, 2012

Ann Jones knows more about Afghanistan than any of the  fools in American politics and the American military and the  American White House.

Read her commentary on the latest goings on, and get a good history lesson too, over at Common Dreams.

And then consider that the same American politicians and American military who have spent eleven years learning nothing about Afghanistan other than how to kill women, children, and  farmers, now want to go to Iran to perform the same ceremonies of ignorance and blood.

And isn’t it ironic that modern day Iran can easily be considered a creation of American policy?

Stupid is as stupid does.

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The March of Orwell’s Lemmings (You Listening, Barack?)(No, I’m Not!)
August 21, 2011

Good piece (short one) by Ray McGovern over at Common Dreams on the United States’ lemming march to the sea of Afghanistan (and other istans, if you will).

And BTW, according to one commenter (dreamdancer), the whole lemmings march into the sea myth was a cruel deception created by those wonderful animal abusers at the Disney Empire of Bambi.

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The Progressive Rips Obama’s ‘More War’ Speech
June 23, 2011

Matthew Rothschild over at The Progressive Magazine site takes apart President Obama’s speech on the so-called troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

Obama and his crew are bullshitting us, plain and simple. Thousands of people will die for his political rhetoric and his pandering to the forces of right-wing warmongering and stupidity.

For three years we’ve watched this guy, waiting for some real change, some real courage, only to discover he hasn’t got the balls to take on the right-wing scum whose only goal is to scuttle a Democratic administration and sink the country into a fascistic theocracy to enrich themselves.

He’s delusional. His policies are delusional. His advisers are delusional. They all fit right in with a delusional Republican-dominated government of greed, willful ignorance, and stiff-necked arrogance.

Nuts to the whole bunch of them.

I’ve got to go feed the cats. At least they’re smarter, and better company, that this bunch of Washington fools, clowns, and sociopaths.

Bye Bye Bin Laden, We Hate To See You Go…
May 2, 2011

Some thoughts on the demise of America’s chief boogeyman, Osama Bin Laden…

  • In a way it was good to see that he died in a firefight, fighting against the force that attacked him. That marked him as a worthy adversary and means we won’t have to listen to the baying dogs on the right crowing that he was a sniveling coward shot like a rabid dog in the street by heroic American soldiers. He wasn’t a nice guy but he was a stand up guy and if you’ve got to kill someone you’d like to think you put your life on the line against someone with the guts to fight back.

 

  • It’s interesting to watch the sleazy Republicans going out of their way to praise President Bush in regards to the killing of Bin Laden. You remember Bush, the dumbass white frat boy who screwed up the ‘mission’ almost from the day after September 11, who declared that he “didn’t care about Bin Laden” anymore after continued failure to find him, who sent armies to sledgehammer the gnat of terrorism, who single-handedly (Cheney’s hand) nearly destroyed American democracy (and may yet succeed), and who blew apart Iraq while knowing that country and its leaders and its people had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks. Apparently among their other defects the Republicans suffer diseased memory.

 

  • The choice to dump Bin Laden’s body at sea is interesting, if true. At the moment the story is unsubstantiated. Had he been buried on land his tomb would have been a shrine, a holy place to his admirers, a focus that would keep his movement alive. It would also have been a great place to gather intelligence – photos and such. Had he been rocketed into outer space, the true believers would pass on the story that he was up there with Allah, watching over the faithful and urging war against the heathen. And likely cremation would have a similar story attached to it – ashes floating around the world and such. But burial at sea? That might be a tough nut for the faithful to crack. Where do you turn to pray to Bin Laden if you don’t know where he was dropped into the briny deep? And you just know he’ll be eaten by fish, maybe even those slimy hagfish. That’s just not martyrly. No doubt there will develop somewhere a cult that drinks sea water in order to imbibe the essence of the martyr Bin Laden.

 

  • Didja notice how all the big hats, including Obama, are blithering on about continuing the war on terrorism? Gotta keep the boogeymen alive, gotta keep the citizens worked up and focused on something other than the crap that goes on at home. Who was it, Gore Vidal, who said making war on terrorism is like making war on dandruff? We’re still using the sledgehammer to chase the gnat and apparently that’s not going to change, no matter how much damage we do to our own country. Bin Laden can rest at the bottom of the sea knowing that he had the best help he could get in his goal of destroying America – he had the able assistance of American politicians and poorly educated and poorly informed  American citizens. Hell, he even had the help of two American presidents. There will always be terrorists, and the bigger the sledgehammer you use and the harder you swing it, the more terrorists there will be.

 

  • And wasn’t the entire exercise of destroying Afghanistan dedicated to getting Bin Laden? Well, he’s dead. So, we’re still there because why? To fight their civil war? There is, of course, the ultimate stupid reason, oft stated by American politicians and presidents – “so that terrorists will never again use Afghanistan to launch an attack against America”. That’s pretty much nonsense. The September 11 attack could just as easily have been planned and launched from Peoria or Omaha or New York City or London or Paris or anywhere with a phone and an internet connection. Bin Laden’s dead. Let’s cut the bullshit, bring the armies home, and get to work on saving our own country from the forces tearing it apart.

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Remember Afghanistan? It’s Not Going Away. The Damn Fool’s In The Big Muddy, Again.
March 29, 2011

Do you remember this, the last verse of Pete Seeger’s song:

Knee deep in the Big Muddy
And the fools keep yelling, Push on
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the damn fools keep yelling, Push on
Waist deep, neck deep
We’ll be drowning before too long
We’re neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the damn fools keep yelling to push on

Nothing much has changed if you believe Ray McGovern’s piece over at Common Dreams. Same fools, different names, same games.

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Why We Are In Afghanistan (Because We’re Damn Fools)
January 24, 2011

From an interview with Retired Colonel Ann Wright:

Proponents of the war often point to the plight of women and other oppressed groups, and say that if we were simply to leave, things would get even worse. How do you respond to that?

We have to look honestly at the plight of women and children in Afghanistan. The U.S. involvement over the last ten years has not increased the lifespan of women or men in Afghanistan–it is still at an appalling 45 years. Afghanistan has the second-highest infant mortality rate in the world, with 151 deaths out of 1,000 live births. One in five children in Afghanistan die before they reach five years of age and 850 children die per day. Thousands of Afghan women have been widowed or killed and children have been made orphans by U.S. forces, many more than were ever harmed by the Taliban or al-Qaeda.

The Karzai government that the United States helped create in 2001 supported the ‘Taliban style’ Shia Personal Status Law, which legitimizes marital rape and prevents women from stepping out of the home without their husband’s consent. Karzai’s wife, a gynecologist in a country in great need of doctors, does not practice medicine and stays at home. Only one minister in Karzai’s cabinet is a woman–the head of Women’s Affairs, the only minister who has no regulatory powers.

 

What, to you, would a good outcome in Afghanistan look like?

From what I’ve heard from Afghans, they want a country that has no fighting [so] they can return to their occupations in agriculture and farming in the rural areas, where their children can have medical care to stay alive and go to school. They want a country free from the interference of other countries-the United States, Pakistan, Iran, India, China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. They want the war lords who have raped, pillaged and plundered brought to justice instead of being paid millions of dollars by the U.S. government as hired guns and later appointed to key jobs in the government.

There’s some stunning stuff in the interview, but no real surprises to anyone who’s been paying attention to the war and the damn fools running it.

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Richard Holbrooke, Diplomatic Giant: Not So Much, Not So Much
December 14, 2010

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and military intelligence officer, doesn’t agree with all the praise being heaped on the freshly dead Richard Holbrooke. He’s got quite another point of view, expressed at the site Consortium News.

A couple of bits:

And, in the curious standards of Official Washington, Holbrooke’s circumspection and silence – even as countless “small” people get wounded and killed – is cause for lionizing him in death.

And…

And the American troops? It is hard to escape the conclusion that Holbrooke shared the view of Henry Kissinger, another devotee of Realpolitik diplomacy who had little regard for the humanity and value of common soldiers.

In the book Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed its Own POWs in Vietnam, Kissinger is quoted as saying: “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”

Not the hero our politicos and media pretty boys are making him out to be.

Worth reading.

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