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AFGHANISTAN - A LESSON 200 YEARS OLD

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 08:02 pm
A toss-up between posting this here or to the Wikileaks thread ... under the category of government secrecy/untruths/propaganda/ & lack of transparency.

Just for a minute consider the Afghanistan war/invasion from the perspective of a country which is an ally of the US......

This is an article from the AGE (a respected Australian newspaper) from earlier this month, about an incident involving a Taliban attack in Tarin Kowt on July 28 last year.

Our (Australian) government, via the Australian Defence Force, had painted this incident in a glowing light, suggesting that the Afghan forces (we've been training to take-over on Australia's withdrawal on 2014) had responded very well to the Taliban attack.

Yet a detailed & initially secret (then heavily censored before release) US army report paints an entirely different picture of the same event, suggesting that the Afghan forces choose not to become involved. ... leading to a chaotic situation, including the death of an Afghan journalist ....

Imagine for a moment that you live in a country (in this case, Australia) whose troops are involved in Afghanistan. How much confidence would you have about the 2014 withdrawal ...or that you were being told the truth about the what is actually occurring in Afghanistan ... or about the wisdom of being involved in this conflict in the first place?


Quote:

Our Afghan partners go missing in action
Tom Hyland
January 15, 2012/Sunday AGE

http://images.theage.com.au/2012/01/14/2893712/1501afghanmap-420x0.jpg
Whether militia, army or police, the Afghan forces "did not appear to be actively responding to the situation in an organised manner".

A SECRET US Army report has undermined a glowing Australian account of the role Afghan forces played in repelling an unprecedented Taliban attack near Australia's main base in Afghanistan.

The 166-page report obtained by The Sunday Age, raises fresh doubts about the capacity of Afghan forces to take over when Australian and other foreign troops pull out.


The federal government insists the Afghans are on track to take charge of security by 2014, so Australians can leave.

The Australian Defence Force praised what it said was the prompt, professional and co-ordinated Afghan response to the Taliban attack in Tarin Kowt on July 28 last year.

But the US report paints a picture of confusion, with Afghan forces failing to respond to a key part of the Taliban assault - an attempt to kill a militia leader who is a close ally of Australian special forces.

Afghan forces were either absent or stood by and watched as US troops attacked Taliban fighters who had blasted their way into the government broadcasting station adjoining the compound of militia leader Matiullah Khan.

Adding to the confusion was the fact US troops could not distinguish between official Afghan forces and the militia. While Afghan forces repelled a related Taliban assault on the nearby governor's office, US troops were on their own at the broadcasting station.

Standard procedure was for Afghan forces to take the lead in clearing a building where the Taliban were holed up.

In their absence, US troops stormed the building, with disastrous consequences. Two Taliban fighters detonated suicide vests, burying seven soldiers, including the battalion commander, Lieutenant-Colonel David Oeschger, who was seriously wounded.

In what the report says was the ''stress and urgency of the moment'', a US soldier then shot dead Afghan journalist Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, in the mistaken belief he was a suicide bomber. Afghan forces only moved into the building once the Taliban and the journalist were killed, and wounded Americans were dug out of the rubble.

The US report also suggests the Australian response to the attacks was more extensive than the ADF revealed at the time.

Initially classified as secret, the report was heavily censored before being released to The Sunday Age under the US Freedom of Information Act. Even so, it contains detail rarely, if ever, released by Australian agencies ....<cont>


http://www.theage.com.au/world/our-afghan-partners-go-missing-in-action-20120114-1q0j2.html

-
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 08:24 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
Just for a minute consider the Afghanistan war/invasion from the perspective of a country which is an ally of the US......


When you bed down with war criminals/terrorists, ... .
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 09:37 pm
@JTT,
No one is quite so cynical as a thwarted idealist, JTT.
Who knows, I might be even more cynical than you are about this war business?
Maybe I just express my extreme disappointment & disillusionment differently?


JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2012 08:26 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
No one is quite so cynical as a thwarted idealist, JTT.


I'm not so much an idealist, MsO, as I am a realist. What amazes me is how long and how successfully the US has been able to fool a large number of people into thinking that they are white hat guys. The facts simply do not bear this out.

I can't think of one instance where the US has actually done what it is always touted as doing/having done, ie. save the oppressed. In fact, what the US does is the polar opposite of that notion. It either uses its own military to slaughter the people of a country or it sets up a dictator to slaughter the people of a country for one reason and one reason only - to advance US business interests.

Did you hear that Central & South American countries have set up their own OAS and specifically excluded the US and its sometime puppet in war crimes, Canada?

Quote:
Who knows, I might be even more cynical than you are about this war business?


But that's the whole point, MsO. These are not wars. They are aggressive acts against countries for illegitimate reasons. They are war crimes. An unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation is a war crime.

Vietnam - war crime
Cambodia - war crime
Laos - war crime
Afghanistan - war crime
Iraq - war crime
...
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jan, 2012 06:03 am
@JTT,
I guess I was projecting.
Alright, perhaps I'm the cynical thwarted idealist, not you. Wink

I've been reading some articles by Hunter S Thompson tonight. I was quite a big fan of his years ago (Fear and Loathing in on the Campaign Trail, etc) ....
... & came across this quote from him, from 2003:

"If we get chased out of Iraq with our tail between our legs, that will be the fifth consecutive Third-world country with no hint of a Navy or an Air Force to have whipped us in the past 40 years."

Pretty incredible to see it in that way, yes?
All those attacks on third world countries, all those disastrous losses (for the US). Surely it is time to stop?
I wonder, if Hunter was still alive & kicking, what he would be saying about the Afghanistan debacle now?
I think I have a pretty good idea.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jan, 2012 08:17 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
Pretty incredible to see it in that way, yes?
All those attacks on third world countries, all those disastrous losses (for the US). Surely it is time to stop?
I wonder, if Hunter was still alive & kicking, what he would be saying about the Afghanistan debacle now?
I think I have a pretty good idea.


Thank goodness for small mercies.

It will never stop until the large majority of US citizens understands and grasps fully, that they are being royally fucked over, that they have been lied to their whole lives. Their tax dollars are being used to destroy many millions of innocents' lives just to help a small group of Americans add more filthy lucre to their already overstuffed bank accounts.



0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2012 05:10 am
From a recent Guardian/Reuters article.
The BBC has also reported on the leaked document. :

Quote:
Taliban will rule Afghanistan again, says leaked US military report

Classified document is said to warn that Pakistan is plotting to help reinstall Taliban once Nato-led forces depart
Reuters/guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 1 February 2012 03.39 GMT

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2009/8/14/1250284306869/A-Taliban-fighter-loyal-t-001.jpg
The Taliban have secured Pakistan's support for a return to power in Afghanistan as well as toning down their severe brand of Islamism, according to reports citing a leaked US military assessment. Photograph: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

The Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after Nato-led forces withdraw from the country, according to reports citing a classifed assessment by US forces.

The Times described the report as secret and "highly classified", saying it was put together last month by the US military at Bagram air base in Afghanistan for top Nato officers. The BBC also carried a report on the leaked document.

"Many Afghans are already bracing themselves for an eventual return of the Taliban," the report was quoted as saying. "Once Isaf (Nato-led forces) is no longer a factor, Taliban consider their victory inevitable."

The document stated that Pakistan's security agency was helping the Taliban in directing attacks against foreign forces – a charge long denied by Islamabad.

The findings were based on interrogations of more than 4,000 Taliban and al-Qaida detainees, the Times said, adding the document was scarce on identifying individual insurgents.

A US state department spokesman and Britain's Foreign Office both declined comment on the report. Nato and Pakistani officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Despite the presence of more than 100,000 foreign troops, the UN has said violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since the Taliban were ousted by US-backed forces in 2001.

The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) says levels of violence are falling.

Citing the same report, the BBC reported on its website that Pakistan and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency knew the locations of senior Taliban leaders and supported the expulsion of "foreign invaders from Afghanistan".

"Senior Taliban leaders meet regularly with ISI personnel, who advise on strategy and relay any pertinent concerns of the government of Pakistan."

The Times said the document suggested the Taliban were gaining in popularity, partly because the severe Islamist movement was becoming more tolerant.

The report was quoted as stating: "It remains to be seen whether a revitalised, more progressive Taliban will endure if they continue to gain power and popularity. Regardless, at least within the Taliban the refurbished image is already having a positive effect on morale."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/01/taliban-rule-afghanistan-leaked-report
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2012 05:22 am
An earlier withdrawal from Afghanistan than previously announced ...
Now it's looking like 2013, rather than 2014.

Quote:
Afghanistan: Leon Panetta signals end to US combat role
2 February 2012/BBC News

The US will seek to wind down combat operations in Afghanistan during 2013, more than a year before a deadline for withdrawal, the defence secretary says.


Speaking while travelling to a Nato summit, Leon Panetta said the US hoped to switch to a role training and supporting Afghan forces.

It is the most detailed public indication of when US troops might pull back from America's longest war.

Some 68,000 troops are due to remain in Afghanistan after the end of 2012....<cont>


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16843361
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 06:56 am
Published in today's Guardian:

Quote:
British troops killed in Afghanistan - interactive

Hundreds of British soldiers, sailors, airmen and other military personnel have died since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001.
Here we provide a full list of the servicemen and women who have lost their lives, plus the six believed killed in an explosion on Tuesday, with links to Guardian and MoD reports

Datablog: full data on British troops dead or wounded in Afghanistan, month by month:

No 1: http://resource.guim.co.uk/global/static-serve/war-dead/70x70/McLaughlin.260.jpg
Private Darren John George
Tuesday 9 April 2002

-


The British forces personnel killed in Afghanistan:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/sep/20/british-troops-killed-in-afghanistan-interactive
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2012 08:24 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
Taliban will rule Afghanistan again,


And the US will be right in there sucking up to them, trying to win concessions for US businesses.

0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Apr, 2012 03:45 pm
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2111248,00.html#ixzz1rAo4GJ2w

A Region at War with Its History
By Fareed Zakaria Monday, Apr. 16, 2012


(yes it's dated 10 days ahead - it's for the next print edition of Time)


Quote:
Why does it seem that democracy has such a hard time taking root in the Arab world?

As it happens, a Harvard economics professor, Eric Chaney, recently presented a rigorous paper that helps unravel that knot. Chaney asks why there is a "democracy deficit" in the Arab world and systematically tests various hypotheses against the data. He notes that such majority-Muslim nations as Turkey, Indonesia, Albania, Bangladesh and Malaysia have functioning democratic systems, so the mere presence of Islam or Islamic culture cannot be to blame. He looks at oil-rich states and finds that some with vast energy reserves lack democracy (Saudi Arabia), but so do some without (Syria). He asks whether Arab culture is the culprit, but this does not provide much clarity. Chaney points out that many countries in the Arab neighborhood seem to share in the democracy deficit — Chad, Iran, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan — yet they are not Arab.


Then Chaney constructs a persuasive hypothesis based in ancient history — and modern economics. He notes that the democracy deficit today exists in lands that were conquered by Arab armies after the death in A.D. 632 of the Prophet Muhammad. Lands that the Arabs controlled in the 12th century remain economically stunted today. This correlation is not simply a coincidence. Scholars from Montesquieu to Bernard Lewis suggest that there was something in the political development of the Arab imperial system that seemed to poison the ground against economic pluralism. Arab imperial control tended to mean centralized political authority, weak civil society, a dependent merchant class and a large role for the state in the economy. Chaney documents the latter, showing that the government's share of GDP is 7% higher on average in countries that were conquered by Arab armies than in those that were not. He also finds that countries in the first group have fewer trade unions and less access to credit, features of a vibrant civil society.



more at the link
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 6 Apr, 2012 03:47 pm
@ehBeth,
a link to a PDF of Eric Chaney's Brookings Institute paper

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/Programs/ES/BPEA/2012_spring_bpea_papers/2012_spring_BPEA_chaney.pdf
cb1004
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Apr, 2012 08:24 pm
@Merry Andrew,
with president-elect obama apparently determined to display more military might in afghanistan , would he perhaps benefit from reading history ?


Thought it might help to re-post this.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Apr, 2012 08:28 pm
@ehBeth,
Thank you for posting that, ehBeth.
A definite read for later on today.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 6 Apr, 2012 08:40 pm
Haven't read Chaney yet but intend to.
I was not for our going into Afghanistan in the first place (people generally disagree with me strongly) and think we are fruitcakes for going after the Taliban.

I think all these war episodes, whether or not we call them wars, are taking us down. We interlope. We spend astronomically. As I usually say, we have big feet.

This doesn't meant that I don't support our soldiers. I want them home.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Apr, 2012 09:23 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
We interlope. We spend astronomically. As I usually say, we have big feet.


Dya think that you could think up a few more euphemisms, Osso?

You don't interlope. You murder people, you destroy countries and civilizations. You brutalize people, you rape and torture, you pillage, you steal the bread from starving children, you spread WMD as toys for those same children.

That's not big feet, those are ALL heinous war crimes, the likes of which you are dramatically downplaying.

For the life of me, I just can't imagine why.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Apr, 2012 04:03 pm
@ossobuco,
It's gratifying to see that there are subjects which require liberals to include gratuitous codas
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 07:28 am
Live up-dates from the BBC:

Quote:
Taliban launch raids on Kabul and other Afghan targets
15 April 2012 Last updated at 13:11 GMT

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/59665000/jpg/_59665246_014517519-1.jpg
The BBC's Bilal Sawary says he can hear gunfire from his location in Kabul

Latest updates Live

Militants are carrying out what they say are co-ordinated attacks on Kabul and other targets in Afghanistan.

A Taliban spokesman said fighters were attacking embassies in the diplomatic enclave, Nato's HQ and the parliament building in the west of the capital.

Multiple blasts and gunfire have been heard across Kabul.

The Taliban spokesman said there were also attacks in Logar and Paktia provinces. There are also reports of suicide attacks in Jalalabad.

Nato said it had reports of attacks in seven locations in Kabul.

The British embassy was one of the targets, with two rockets hitting a guard tower. A rocket-propelled grenade was also fired into a house used by British diplomats, witnesses told Reuters.

A medical source in Kabul told the Associated Press news agency five people had been wounded in the attacks, and at least two militants are reported dead in the city.

According to another unverified report, from Afghan broadcaster channel Shamshad TV, eight people were also wounded, and two militants killed, in an attack in the eastern city of Gardez, in Paktia.


Smoke billowing

At least seven large explosions were heard in central Kabul and gunfire erupted from various directions in the heavily barricaded diplomatic zone.

Some explosions were also heard near the parliament building in western Kabul and police said it was under attack.

A number of MPs joined the fight against the insurgents, shooting at them as they tried to storm parliament, Kandahar lawmaker Naeem Hameedzai Lalai told reporters.

"I'm the representative of my people and I have to defend them," he said.

Rockets were reportedly fired at the Russian embassy and smoke was said to be billowing from the direction of the German embassy.

The US embassy confirmed there were attacks nearby. It said: "The embassy is currently in lockdown... all compound personnel are accounted for and safe."

Britain's Foreign Office said it was "in close contact with embassy staff".

AFP news agency reported that the newly built Kabul Star hotel was on fire.

Kabul resident Idris Ghairat, who lives near the hotel, told the BBC: "I can see the smoke rising. The fighting is around us and I have heard the blasts and gunfire. The security forces have taken position on top of all government buildings close to the hotel."

Another attack appeared to target a Nato base known as Camp Warehouse on the outskirts of the city, where Turkish and Greek Nato forces were trying to repel militants.

Provinces targeted

The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul says there are also reports of a suicide attack that has closed the centre of the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Police said suicide bombers had attacked the airport there.
...<cont>



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17719956
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 07:32 am
@msolga,
Quote:
Analysis

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/49455000/jpg/_49455965_bilal_sarwary.jpg
image of Bilal Sarwary Bilal Sarwary Kabul

The Taliban have said they are behind the attacks. Last week they warned that a new offensive would start soon. The last major attack in Kabul was last September when insurgents attacked.

This is a large-scale attack, right in the heart of Kabul. Many questions remain unanswered. How did a large group of heavily armed insurgents, with a huge amount of weapons, manage to get inside Kabul and inside the central district of Wazir Akbar Khan?

In their defence, Afghan intelligence officials say they did have prior intelligence about attacks on several locations in Kabul, which helped prevent bloodshed.

But today's attacks have shattered the confidence of Afghans once more. The insurgents have once more shown that they can strike right in the heart of Kabul.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 07:36 am
From Al Jazeera:

Quote:
Series of attacks shake Kabul
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2012 12:25

Taliban claim responsibility as Western embassies and key government buildings come under attack in Afghan capital. ......


http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2012/04/201241593838792459.html
0 Replies
 
 

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