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A Bloody War with Only Losers

by Oui Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 10:10:47 AM EST

Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires ... yet it's the civilian population that bears the brunt of violence and have to pick op the pieces of a devastated nation.


A parade of white Taliban flags lines Musa Qala bazaar right up to the central monument where two kidnappers were hanged in a public execution earlier this year. The flags flutter from almost every shop in celebration, some rough and handmade, others printed and lined with tinsel.

The dusty town, an opium trading centre reached most of the year by driving up the gravel bed of a seasonal river, was the Taliban's southern capital from 2015 until the militant group took over the national capital. Before that it was the site of intense fighting by British and US forces for more than a decade, including a bitter 2006 British siege in which 88 men were holed up for two months, leading to the first - albeit hyperlocal - international ceasefire negotiations with the Taliban.

Now its rulers control the country as well as this stretch of farming valley, and the only physical traces of the foreign mission are a couple of broken concrete spans of a bridge to nowhere, shoddily built and mostly washed away in the first flooding season that followed.

The memories run deeper, and they are not good. Here 23 British soldiers and at least four Americans were killed, fighting in the name of a better, peaceful Afghanistan. As such it is a place that carries particularly painful associations for UK troops. Yet the legacy of their mission, seen from Musa Qala, is only a mirrored grief and a scattering of families.

"They spent a lot of money and killed a lot of people," said Sufia, a widow in her 40s. "But they left nothing behind except these terrible memories." She lost her husband to a mine 13 years ago.

Condi Rice and Robert Gates contradict each other on Afghanistan | EuroTrib - Feb. 2008 |

I don't get it... Some three weeks ago, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates faced the world media and accused Britain and European NATO allies of inexperience in fighting the Taleban that made me go almost ballistic.

These last 24 hours print and broadcast media have bannered stories about US State Secretary Condi Rice meeting with PM Gordon Brown and UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband demanding NATO allies in Europe for more troops on the Afghan front lines, warning that unless more troops were deployed in the South, Afghanistan would risk becoming a 'failed state.'

Risking NATO - Testing the Limits of the Alliance in Afghanistan | RAND Corp. - 2010 |

Truth of the matter, Article 5 and Afghanistan redefined the mission of NATO as a political tool in service of the American Empire and globale expansion. The only war left for human kind is to battle climate change and environmental deterioration of Planet Earth ... there is no Plan B.

The NATO Bucharest Summit decided to name the Russian Republic an empire of evil ... a gift to new US alliance with Eastern Europe. Further NATO expansion to Russian frontier was ascertained.

Gates to deliver provocative farewell speech to European allies | The Atlantic Council - June 2011 |

The Siege of Musa Qala, Helmand

Protests in parts of #Helmand province against Kabul admin and US over Musa Qala massacre. Protesters chanted "Death to America, Death to puppets of America"

The regime and its American masters only understand the language of brute force. The criminal regime will face justice of the Afghan people and no one will show mercy to the heads of this regime. The American invaders and the regime leaders are behind all the mischief in Afghanistan. The massacre of innocent civilians in Musa Qala will only strengthen the resolve of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to drive the filthy criminal invaders and their stooges out of Afghanistan.

The end of Ashraf Ghani and his security chiefs will be like of those of the Vietnamese in Saigon. The American military helicopters perched on the US Embassy walls in Kabul will be evacuating their personnel while pushing off slaves like Ashraf Ghani to the wrath of the Afghans.

Over the Horizon - A Farewell Strike and Mistakes Made

Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISK-P)

Sounding the Retreat - Until Next War

Most deaths occurred from gunfire into a panicked crowd ...

Commander-in-chief Donald Trump remarks about war dead as "losers"

A new report details multiple instances of President Donald Trump making disparaging remarks about members of the U.S. military who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018 as "losers" and "suckers."

The Lucky Ones - the Evacuees

The conservative government in the Netherlands deported Afghan families seeking asylum up to August this year. A deplorable situation in Kabul as the Taliban forces surrounded the capital ... the courageous Afghan people wanted the fighting to end. They did not long for an invigorated Taliban regime of centuries old fundamentalists that would abuse women and misinterpret the Quran.

Ending two decades of a brutal war in humiliation. Afghanistan for the Afghans is a fiction, the crossroads of the Silk Road does not only bring travelers who will be treated as guests and are welcomed.

    One Western poet from the 19th century, James Elroy Flecker, summed up this view by describing the way eastwards as "The Golden Road."

    Although the West might not have such an opinion of Afghanistan at this present time, for hundreds, indeed thousands of years until quite recently, the stereotypical Western idea that the East - and Afghanistan - was a land of great wealth was in fact perfectly true.

    For centuries, Europe was in world terms, a poverty-stricken and unimportant territory, whereas the East was the land of affluence, high-value international trade and intellectual achievement; and in these areas, Afghanistan can claim to have been a leader of the East.


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evidently, spectacularly fails, as is the custom among my fine neandertal and denisovan allele-bearing cousins astride the four horses of scientific racism.

The level of conceit required to arrange a remote, retrospective "investigation" into the means and motives of one (1) man, one (1) family, murdered by the "surgical precision" of the latest in a series of missiles in The  20 Years War against the infidels, is fucking astounding.

Yer boy, the dread pirate Odysseus, is laughing at you;

by Cat on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 01:45:38 PM EST
I do share my articles with personal friends ... her reaction: 😦😢 Horrible, sad!

As a small child traveled with the regional bus from Noordwijk to The Hague we rode on the Bezuidenhoutseweg and saw the ruins of houses and the church ... short stories from my parents about the German occupation ... later in the US the development experienced of the Vietnam war ... then I knew that war was simply in extreme need the option ... for many war is something in studio films ... indeed so sad J. 😢

Her reply ...

Those were tough times... and we keep repeating it 😢

by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 05:52:21 PM EST
Mark Milley and Casualties US Drone Strike

For days after the 29 August strike by a single Hellfire missile, Pentagon officials asserted that it had been conducted correctly, even though numerous civilians had been killed, including children. Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, had hailed it as a "righteous strike".

But news organisations later raised doubts about that version of events, reporting that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at an American humanitarian organisation and citing an absence of evidence to support the Pentagon's assertion that the vehicle contained explosives.

McKenzie ordered an investigation by Central Command. It found that the strike killed Zemari Ahmadi, a worker for Nutrition and Education International, a nongovernment organisation that distributes food to Afghan civilians, along with nine members of his family. His car was reportedly carrying water bottles rather than explosives.

by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 06:39:33 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Sep 23rd, 2021 at 08:37:27 PM EST
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My diary @BooMan ...

Afghanistan: Powers Playing Both Sides | Posted by Oui - Aug 18, 2012 |

By accident came across this blog Afghanistan My Last Tour as I was searching links to the IP address of AmericansForJerusalem.com. What I had read before as a rumor, was written down by Sgt. Rex Temple in one of several interviews with former commanders of the Mujahedeen who served before 9/11 under Massoud in Pansjir.

Mujahedeen Revisited

(Blog Afghanistan My Last Tour) April 15, 2010 - In order to defeat the Taliban, Major Shah listed several criteria.  First, the endemic corruption must be removed from all sectors of government to include the ANA. He felt there is still too much nepotism and cronyism based on ethnic tribe origin, i.e.Tajik, Hazara, Pashtun. The second factor is the people are not satisfied with the current government and they must unify.  Unity is the key and he repeated this theme several times. Then he shocked me with his next statement. He alleged Britain was supporting the Taliban. I found this preposterous and gave him an opportunity to explain.

Maj Shah alleged Britain is playing both sides because they are supporting the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan. The ISI in turn is supporting the Taliban. For the next 20 minutes I defended Britain and the Religious Officer never answered my questions directly.

History Commons

May-October 12, 2009: 'Unknown' Helicopters Carrying Militants to Northern Provinces, Afghan Government Investigating

Further reading ...

No Shortcut to Stability - Justice, Politics and Insurgency in Afghanistan | Chatham House - Dec. 2010 |

Exploring Iran & Saudi Arabia's Interests in Afghanistan: Stakeholders or Spoilers - A Zero Sum Game?

by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 07:56:04 PM EST
by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 05:13:49 PM EST
August 31, 2021: Afghanistan and the danger of the one-sided story | By Bette Dam |

Mualim Rahmatullah, an elderly man in his seventies, sat calmly in the hotel next to a high table covered by a white tablecloth, with porcelain plates, and a grayish-white silk cloth twisted into a turban resting in the corner. "Welcome to Kabul," said the man whom I had come to speak to about how he had helped President Hamid Karzai gain power in 2001. I was alone in Afghanistan for the first time, doing research for my book about the transition of power from the Taliban to President Karzai. Mualim Rahmatullah was confident and welcoming. He treated me to Kabuli pilau, a rice dish that is widely eaten in Afghanistan. "I hope this gives you some energy after your long journey," said Rahmatullah, something my father also often says when I return home after a long absence. After we had eaten, we spoke for hours about what had happened to him and Karzai in 2001.

....
Like many international colleagues, I had internalized that fearful image. It was the image projected by the military, which tends to see enemies everywhere. I still remember how a Dutch colonel who showed me around Camp Holland in the Afghan province Uruzgan suddenly yelled at me not to get too close to the restroom because that Afghan cleaner might blow himself up at any moment.

The contrast between the terrifying image of Afghanistan following the post-9/11 military intervention and what I gradually discovered about the country by talking to the Afghans themselves reminded me a lot of a TED Talk I discovered at that time. In it, Nigerian-American author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi spoke about "the danger of a single story."

On that note, it became clear to me that many international media organizations were also caught up in a single story regarding the intervention in Afghanistan. Slowly but surely, my fear about Afghans gave way to confidence in their story. It changed my perception of the country and I began to stray further away from the narrative of Afghanistan portrayed by my international colleagues.

For example, there was the story that although the Taliban had been driven out surprisingly quickly after 9/11, they had entrenched themselves in border enclaves such as Tora Bora, adjoining Pakistan, along with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda. It was said they were therefore ready to strike back as soon as there were signs of weakening in the international military support propping up the new Afghan President Hamid Karzai's regime.

The West's battle continued in full force in the form of a manhunt for anyone suspected of being involved in 9/11. Within a few months, thousands of alleged Al Qaeda fighters and Taliban sympathizers were locked up, often in secret prisons where torture was permitted, for example in Poland, Egypt and most infamously Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

After a violent start to the military intervention in which the Taliban had no chance, a massacre was prevented in Kandahar: in their own stronghold, the Taliban leadership decided to lay down their weapons and end the fight. Karzai promised that there would be amnesty for the Taliban, unlike for the Arab fighters of Al Qaeda.

After Karzai personally informed the major international news agencies of the Taliban's surrender, he was corrected from Washington D.C. by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Karzai said Rumsfeld had called him and told him not to accept the surrender. "Al Qaeda and the Taliban remain our enemies. We will continue to send troops," said Secretary Rumsfeld. Karzai allowed himself to be silenced by this display of power, and the news of the surrender disappeared within twenty-four hours and would never be mentioned again by the world media (The New York Times wrote properly about this turn of events only twenty years later, after Taliban had retaken Kabul.)

With this denial, the military intervention soon became a war without an enemy. Driven mainly by the sentiment that 9/11 must be avenged, Afghans were rounded up on the slightest suspicion of connections to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Usually, for such a suspicion, a tip-off from the circles of the new Afghan rulers was enough. Such tip-offs became the way for those administrators to find an audience with the Americans for other matters that were more important to them. They would try to get monetary favors, or settle an old feud with rivals, and then tell the Westerners what they wanted to hear: "It's the Taliban, or Al Qaeda."

It seems likely that in the first five years of the War on Terror (and also after that) most attacks were instigated by "false reporting" as I call it. Many of these cases would never make it to the media. There was the story of the taxi driver Dilawar, who was driving with three passengers past the American camp in Khost when a rocket hit the camp. Based on the intel from their Afghan informant Jan Baz Khan, Dilawar and the three passengers were arrested by the Americans on suspicion of carrying out the attack. A walkie-talkie in the back of the taxi was sufficient evidence to send Dilawar to the torture prison in Bagram, outside Kabul, and the three passengers to Guantánamo Bay.

Profile Jan Baz Khan: Dec. 5-9, 2002 Taxi Driver Arrested in Afghanistan and Handed to US Forces

by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 05:18:44 PM EST
Bette Dam: 'I want people to question the war on terror' | DW News - March 14, 2019 |

Ex-Taliban leader Mullah Omar lived in Afghanistan and not in Pakistan, Dutch journalist Bette Dam claims in her book. DW spoke to her about how she met Omar's bodyguard Jabbar Omari and the obstacles she faced during her research.

You also talked to some of the people working in the US military base Wolverine in Zabul. What did they say?

I spoke to the intelligence officer of that camp whose job it is to find terrorists. First, I just let him speak about his work. He said: "We are basically only focusing on keeping the road between Kabul and Kandahar open because we have so many things on our plate. So our focus is to get our military out if necessary."

So other issues, like where Mullah Omar was, were not on his agenda. When I asked him "Did you ever look for Mullah Omar?" he said: "Why would I look for Mullah Omar? He is, of course, in a country that is friendly to him, so he is in Pakistan."

Islamists, Leftists - and a Void in the Center. Afghanistan's Political Parties and where they come from (1902-2006)

by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 05:21:20 PM EST
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US human rights violations in Afghanistan leave `darkest page': diplomat

by Oui on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 09:13:44 PM EST
by Cat on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 07:45:57 PM EST
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Obituary: Mohammad Ilyas Dayee, A Narrator Of Afghan Hope And Suffering

Journalist covered the Helmand province and had written many articles during his career.

Ruined Houses, Lurking Bombs: Life On An Afghan Frontline

by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 08:32:24 PM EST
Evil in the White House knows no bounds to persecute whistleblowers and truth tellers. You embarrass the Pentagon or Intelligence Services and we'll get you.

Interview with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Dr. Nils Melzer

UN OHCHR: Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Earlier official statement on treatment and imprisonment of Julian Assange in the UK

UN expert says "collective persecution" of Julian Assange must end now - May 31, 2019

by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 07:53:09 AM EST

Australia reveals it raised case of Julian Assange with US, amid 'kidnap plot' claim | The Guardian |

by Oui on Wed Sep 29th, 2021 at 11:19:14 AM EST
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Inside the daring plan to hide Edward Snowden

Refugee family that helped hide Edward Snowden in Hong Kong arrives in Canada | National Post |

by Oui on Wed Sep 29th, 2021 at 12:51:23 PM EST
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Assange's Indictment: A Threat to Everyone | Just Security |

The recent Justice Department indictment of Julian Assange for violating the Espionage Act has appropriately triggered widespread opposition from those who treasure a free press. This latest government overreach through the invocation of the World War I-era law is not the first of its kind in recent history: It began during the George W. Bush administration and continued in the Obama administration, when the Justice Department prosecuted whistleblowers who made disclosures to the press about government wrongdoing. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has expressed concerns about using the anti-spying law to go after whistleblowers.

Previously, we thought our biggest challenge was to amend the Espionage Act to include a public interest balancing test that would require the Justice Department to consider the benefits to the public created by the disclosure of government wrongdoing when deciding whether to prosecute a leaker of classified information. Now, the Assange case opens the door for the Justice Department to go after anyone who receives or publishes information the government claims is related to national defense, even if the information is unclassified.

Freedom of the Whistleblowers: Why Prosecuting Government Leakers Under the Espionage Act Raises First Amendment Concerns

Barriers to Transparency: Constraints on the Efforts of Government Intelligence Whistleblowers

by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 08:15:00 AM EST
by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 08:34:25 AM EST

Pushing partisan political agenda's instead of serving the People!

by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 08:35:07 AM EST
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