Author Topic: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror  (Read 31308 times)

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Offline Bash Riprock

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2009, 07:58:56 pm »
I think they're just using this as an excuse to get more troops into the theater of operations to surround Iran.

worcesteradam

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Re: Who else just heard Obama invoke 911 and give us the offical story?
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2009, 07:59:13 pm »
i swear he sounds exactly like george bush, just more refined.

he reads the same teleprompt

Offline voodo0

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2009, 08:08:18 pm »


You know what, from watching him speak, I thought of the same image.  :-\

Offline Dig

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2009, 08:11:18 pm »
I think they're just using this as an excuse to get more troops into the theater of operations to surround Iran.

Jesse Ventura let that cat out of the bag on Larry King last night.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2009, 08:12:30 pm »
It's an interesting military strategy, though. Make a big hoopla over 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, while secretly bringing everyone who's already there back home. It's a distraction, a diversion. Smokescreen? Not saying this is the case but it could work as a swap-a-roo. You'd probably have to do it sooner though to get it done.

bilderberg does not want our troops home, they have been successful in demoralizing the entire US armed forces to prop up the UN/NATo/Interoperable One World Military Agendas.

The American troops are meant to stay off of American shores and are being systematically exterminated, psychologically tortured, inflicted with tainted vaccines, raped, PTSD'ed to insanity, and more.

it is all here: http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?board=397.0
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline xereau

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2009, 08:13:39 pm »


'I refuse to go along with all of this,
an' i see through all your lies Barak Obama you wicked wicked devil'


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhqUk28OwHs

Nice, I just had a good laugh at that.
Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex. --  Frank Zappa

Offline level1online

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2009, 08:42:15 pm »
The TV station i work for aired the entire speech. Coincidentally, at 8pm Eastern Time, when Obama's speech started, their sister station decided to air the Charlie Sheen flick: Navy Seals http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100232/

description #1 via imdb:
While rescuing an American air crew captured by Mid-Eastern terrorists, Lieutenant Curran and his team of Navy SEALs discover evidence that the terrorists have come into possession of dangerous high-tech weapons.

description #2 via imdb:
A Navy Seals team was sent to rescue some Americans who were being held captive. And it's during the rescue that Stinger missiles were discovered in the enemy's possesion. The team leader opted to leave rather than destroy them. But in doing so, terrorists have in their possesion the perfect terrorist weapon. So, they have to be found, so that they could be destroyed, but won't be easy.

Coincidently....  ::)

this film was a last minute addition.

this is what the email said from the Head Traffic Coordinator:

Subject: URGENT - URGENT - URGENT

This is a revised log for Tuesday’s 8pm Movie, format was changed to 9
segments.



Regards,

Offline researchris

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Pres. Obama speech HD video WITH OVERLAYS PROMOTING prisonplanet and infowars
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2009, 10:15:32 pm »
Pres. Obama speech HD video WITH OVERLAYS PROMOTING prisonplanet and infowars


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElzgplcX9iw

Offline hal 9000

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2009, 11:53:38 pm »
I am literally at a loss for words at how stupid our secret rulers think the American people are. Obama is, beyond a shred of a doubt, a complete and total puppet of the war machine that staged 9/11. Look closely at his face as he reads the stream of platitudes. You will discern an almost pained expression in his eyes, almost as if he dreads each and every minute of this lie infested address ("tools of mass destruction?"). I am actually embarrassed for him. "Change" my ass.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7thT_3oOPoA

Offline chrisfromchi

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2009, 11:57:00 pm »
I am literally at a loss for words at how stupid our secret rulers think the American people are. Obama is beyond a shred of a doubt a complete and total puppet of the war machine that staged 9/11. Look close at his face as he reads the stream of platitudes. You will discern an almost pained expression in his eyes, almost as if he dreads each and every minute of this lie infested address ("tools of mass destruction?"). I am actually embarrassed for him. Change my ass.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7thT_3oOPoA

I saw that too, he looked really bad and that last 5 minute or so when he is staring at the camera was hard to watch and the Tools comment should really be the one of the main stories tomorrow i'm surprised it wasn't covered.

Offline hal 9000

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2009, 12:10:28 am »
Yeah, I couldn't believe my ears when he said it. They only changed one word - "tools" replaced "weapons" as in the infamous Bush regime "weapons of mass destruction" hoax. It's almost as if they are flaunting their contempt for the intelligence of the American people. There is not one iota of difference between Bush and Obama on any of the key issues. repeat There is not one iota of difference between Bush and Obama on any of the key issues. All they do is change the rhetoric around a little bit to make it look like they have different policies. I hope his approval rating goes down into the sewer. American people must all wake up out of their media induced trance now.

Xill

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2009, 01:06:45 am »
"Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror"

OMG who could have ever imagined? ... ahem

Man I hope the masses wake up for good.


Offline bodygaurd

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2009, 02:54:52 am »
Thank you for saying this. I've noticed a mimicking of this style up here in Canada. It's pretty robotic sounding... programmed? Not much ain't no longer not possible, probably.

Actually, he's using "Heroics" mixed with "Black Southern Preacher" voice modulation. Many politicians get actors to help them with this, in fact my Prof. actually coaches politicians at times. Anyway, what this does is keep the listener engaged. Notice he tends to go up slightly at the end of sentences, uses repetition, pauses at major points, hell, his pattern is damn near blank verse. The robotic quality is a tell-tale sign of someone fairly new to this. The "Black Southern Preacher" part is his taking his pitch lower in "grave matters".


Note: Black Southern Preacher isn't an actual theatre term. I just heard it a lot when I was a kid in church.
Art holds a mirror up to society. If you don't like the sickness you see, heal yourself. ~Suzuki

Offline hal 9000

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #53 on: December 02, 2009, 03:06:09 am »
CNN should be called PNN (Pentagon News Network). They just played a clip of our savior invoking 9/11 and how he would like to see the same national unity behind the war effort that existed right after "that horrific attack." This guy is a total phony.

Offline gEEk squad

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #54 on: December 02, 2009, 10:19:59 am »
CNN should be called PNN (Pentagon News Network). They just played a clip of our savior invoking 9/11 and how he would like to see the same national unity behind the war effort that existed right after "that horrific attack." This guy is a total phony.

Obama joined Glenn Beck's 9/12 movement.  :o

Yes, Sane, he has done well repairing the agriculture of Afghanistan. I just hope they like poppy seed muffins.  :D

Offline Dig

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #55 on: December 02, 2009, 11:17:14 am »
Obama joined Glenn Beck's 9/12 movement.  :o

Yes, Sane, he has done well repairing the agriculture of Afghanistan. I just hope they like poppy seed muffins.  :D

Poppies for everyone, especially poppie bush!
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Infoninja

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2009, 11:51:04 am »
Have our officer's uniforms always been gray?

Or is it merely more subliminal conditioning to make our descent into the new Nazi globalist mindset complete?

With free access to the internet all the lies will continue to come out.

Feels like their race to the finish is accelerating...

Yeah bitches, you'd better get it done soon, before the trials happen and you all get what treasonous scum deserve.

It's already too late.

 :)


Offline chris jones

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Re: 30K More Troops will not make any difference
« Reply #57 on: December 02, 2009, 12:20:31 pm »


Obama, what a guy , HUH? lets face it, the masters havebeen at this plan for decades, it has now peaked.

Bush, Obama, both of these, and why not throw Clinton in the mix too. they were picked for this, profiled, tutored, mentored and given the script.

Profiled, bet on it, each one of these creatures is a sociopathic sold out, power grubbing, bag of shiite. They can lie and decieve the masses and give us a winning smile as they do.  they wouldn't pizz in our mouths if our teeth were on fire.

they have the shiites and giggles as they con and deceive this nation, their ego inflates as they spin their web, laughing at the gnorence of the masses. How simple it is t BS the people, they arehigh on their power.

True elite sociapathic conmen. Academy award winners.

Any of these fakes been in combat, dumb question?

We are worms in our breedinggrounds, numbers to them, nothings. This nation and the people are the grand prize for them to dominate, ontroll and sell down the drain.

Offline bodygaurd

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #58 on: December 02, 2009, 03:03:51 pm »
Have our officer's uniforms always been gray?

Or is it merely more subliminal conditioning to make our descent into the new Nazi globalist mindset complete?

With free access to the internet all the lies will continue to come out.

Feels like their race to the finish is accelerating...

Yeah bitches, you'd better get it done soon, before the trials happen and you all get what treasonous scum deserve.

It's already too late.

 :)



The one's in gray are West Point Cadets and yes they've always been gray.
Art holds a mirror up to society. If you don't like the sickness you see, heal yourself. ~Suzuki

Offline ConcordeWarrior

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #59 on: December 02, 2009, 03:05:47 pm »
Barack Hussein Obama is more Bush-ian than GWB himself.
He is a war monger. I still wonder how he ever got the schnubelz' piss prize...  ::)
The Sky is My Home

Offline chris jones

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Re: 30K More Troops will not make any difference
« Reply #60 on: December 02, 2009, 07:14:24 pm »

darparulz .

They did not intend wining in Nam, they perpetuated the war, $$$$$$$$, control, power.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the same deal with one difference, this nation is on their agenda.

Like Mike mentioned on another post, they are cowardly bags of waste, hiding behind their titles and power.

Offline Dig

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #61 on: December 02, 2009, 09:19:01 pm »
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Scootle

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2009, 05:08:42 pm »
The truth will set you free
From global tyranny
Wake up American slobs
9/11 was an inside job
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OntBg2qwk_M&fmt=35

Century of Manipulation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mujq-C1UAw0

... Here's Tom with the weather!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CCIcjIngLA

Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2009, 04:32:05 am »
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2009
4:08 PM
 CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) [1]
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
 
Are Obama and Clinton Being Honest About How Afghan War Began?

VISIT SITE FOR LINKS REFERED IN THIS IMPORTANT ARTICLE
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/12/03-24

WASHINGTON - December 3 - "Only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden [did we send] our troops into Afghanistan."
-- Barack Obama at West Point, Dec. 1 [2]

"[The Taliban] were given a chance to turn over al Qaeda and bin Laden before we attacked them and they refused."
-- Hillary Clinton in response to questioning by Rep. Ron Paul, Dec. 2 [3]

Sept. 22, 2001: Washington Post reports: "The Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan said his government wants proof that bin Laden was involved in last week's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon before considering whether to extradite him. 'We are not ready to hand over Osama bin Laden without evidence,' said the envoy, Abdul Salam Zaeef [who would later be imprisoned and then released from Guantanamo]. In Washington, U.S. officials said they would not provide evidence to the Taliban about bin Laden's involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said there would be 'no discussions and no negotiations' with the Taliban. Releasing evidence about the attacks, Fleischer said, could provide 'meaningful assistance' to suspects still being sought by law enforcement authorities."

Oct. 3, 2001: Washington Post writes: "In Afghanistan, leaders of the ruling Taliban militia, which has been harboring bin Laden, urged the United States to share its evidence with them, saying they hoped for a negotiated settlement instead of a military conflict. The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, said his government would be willing to talk to the United States about bin Laden, but 'we don't want to surrender without any proof, any evidence.' ... But President Bush ruled out any discussions with the Taliban and reiterated his demand that bin Laden and members of al Qaeda be surrendered unconditionally. 'I have said that the Taliban must turn over the al Qaeda organization living in Afghanistan and must destroy the terrorist camps,' Bush said in Washington. 'They must do so, otherwise there will be a consequence. There are no negotiations. There is no calendar.'"

Oct. 4, 2001: Reuters runs the headline: "Taliban won't give up bin Laden even if proof -- paper [4]" based on an interview with an Arabic newspaper: "Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, told the United Arab Emirates' Al-Khaleej newspaper the movement would 'thoroughly check' U.S. documents linking bin Laden to the devastating attacks on New York and Washington before putting him on trial in an Islamic sharia court."

Oct. 5, 2001: Guardian (UK) reports [5]: "Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeff, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, said: 'We are prepared to try him, if America provides solid evidence of Osama bin Laden's involvement in attacks in New York and Washington.' Asked whether the Taliban would allow a trial of Bin Laden in another country, he said: 'We are willing to talk about that, but the first is that we must be given the evidence.' The Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) quoted Mullah Zaeff as saying: 'If America is not satisfied with our trial of Osama, we are also ready to find another Islamic way of trying him.' But asked whether the Taliban were ready to hand over Bin Laden, he said: 'This is a later thing, we cannot take any step that hurts our Islamic or Afghan dignity.'"

Oct. 6, 2001: AP reports [6]: "'Tony Blair has come to encourage war,' Ambassador Abdul Salam Zaeef said. 'We have no message for him. Had he come for negotiations and talks, then we would have liked to have said something.' ... Bin Laden is the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington. 'The issue is not Osama,' Zaeef said. 'The issue is Islam. Osama is a Muslim; he is a citizen of a Muslim country. We cannot hand him over to the United States. We are ready to try him before an Islamic court or under Islamic law. If we send him to the United States, there will be no justice.'"

Oct. 7, 2001: Bombing of Afghanistan begins. Bin Laden tape released [7] in which he lauds the attacks but does not actually claim responsibility (something he would not do until just before the 2004 U.S. election): "neither America nor the people who live in it will dream of security before we live it" and "its greatest buildings were destroyed, thank God for that."

Oct. 12, 2001: Slate publishes a legal analysis "Taliban vs. Osama Bin Laden: Would an Islamic court convict or acquit Bin Laden of murder? [8]" by Dahlia Lithwick

Oct. 14, 2001: Guardian (UK) reports [9]: "Bush rejects Taliban offer to hand Bin Laden over," which states: "President George Bush rejected as 'non-negotiable' an offer by the Taliban to discuss turning over Osama bin Laden if the United States ended the bombing in Afghanistan."

Oct. 15, 2001: Washington Post reports [10]: "President Bush rejected an offer from Afghanistan's ruling Taliban to turn over suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden to a neutral third country yesterday as an eighth day of bombing made clear that military coercion, not diplomacy, remains the crux of U.S. policy toward the regime. 'They must have not heard: There's no negotiations,' Bush told reporters on the White House South Lawn after returning from Camp David. That brusque dismissal came on a day when Attorney General John D. Ashcroft warned in television appearances that nearly 200 people with potential links to the Sept. 11 attacks -- some of whom he believes are probably terrorists themselves -- remain at large in the United States."

Oct. 17, 2001: The Guardian (UK) publishes "New offer on Bin Laden: Minister makes secret trip to offer trial in third country [11]," which states: "A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night... For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the U.S. without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said."

Oct. 29, 2001: Washington Post publishes "Diplomats Met With Taliban on Bin Laden: Some Contend U.S. Missed Its Chance [12]," which states: "Over three years and on as many continents, U.S. officials met in public and secret at least 20 times with Taliban representatives to discuss ways the regime could bring suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden to justice. Talks continued until just days before the Sept. 11 attacks, and Taliban representatives repeatedly suggested they would hand over bin Laden if their conditions were met, sources close to the discussions said."

Nov. 1, 2001: AP reports: "'We do not want to fight,' Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban's chief spokesman, said in an interview. 'We will negotiate. But talk to us like a sovereign country. We are not a province of the United States, to be issued orders to. We have asked for proof of Osama's involvement, but they have refused. Why?'"


SAM HUSSEINI [13]
Communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini [14] said today: "It's quite deceptive of Obama and Clinton to claim simply that the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden. The reality is that the Bush administration refused to discuss how that might be done. The Taliban continually asked for evidence that bin Laden was responsible. We don't know whether the Taliban would have responded to such evidence, but it should have been made public in any case. Now, if Obama and Clinton want an exit strategy, they should be forthright about such issues." Husseini wrote the article "The Exit Strategy [15]."


RAHUL MAHAJAN [16]
Mahajan is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond, and publisher of Empire Notes [17].

He said today: "President Obama's statement during his speech at West Point that the United States went to war 'only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden' is a half-truth, as is his implication that the UN Security Council authorized the war on Afghanistan. The truth is that CIA and Special Forces were operating in Afghanistan almost immediately after 9/11. And well before the advent of aerial bombing on Oct. 7, the Taliban made numerous statements indicating willingness to negotiate. They wanted the United States to provide evidence regarding bin Laden's involvement before considering extradition -- a normal demand in any criminal case -- and Colin Powell said that evidence would be provided to the world, but the Bush administration almost immediately reneged on that commitment. They also wanted bin Laden tried in an Islamic court in a Muslim country. Their offered negotiating positions softened as the bombing continued. Whether negotiations would have led anywhere or not, the Bush administration resolutely refused to accept any possibility of avoiding war.

"It's not clear how well President Obama and his advisers know this history, although it was all documented in Western newspapers at the time; what is clear is that his suggestion that the Taliban refused to negotiate is not primarily about justifying the war post-9/11 -- that still remains unquestioned in mainstream U.S. politics -- but rather about justifying his current position that strenuous anti-Taliban efforts in Afghanistan, including the recently announced surge, are a necessary part of ensuring U.S. national security."

Mahajan noted the Taliban's position in an IPA news release on Oct. 7, 2001 [18].

###

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy [1] (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.

Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) Links: Homepage [1]IPA (Press Center) [19]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org

URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/12/03-24

Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2009, 04:37:26 am »
Published on Thursday, December 3, 2009 by TomDispatch.com

Victory at Last!: Monty Python in Afghanistan


by Tom Engelhardt

Let others deal with the details of President Obama’s Afghan speech, with the on-ramps and off-ramps, those 30,000 U.S. troops going in and just where they will be deployed, the benchmarks for what’s called “good governance” in Afghanistan, the corruption of the Karzai regime, the viability of counterinsurgency warfare, the reliability of NATO allies, and so on.  Let’s just skip to the most essential point which, in a nutshell, is this:  Victory at Last!

It’s been a long time coming, but finally American war commanders have effectively marshaled their forces, netcentrically outmaneuvering and outflanking the enemy.  They have shocked-and-awed their opponents, won the necessary hearts-and-minds, and so, for the first time in at least two decades, stand at the heights of success, triumphant at last.

And no, I’m not talking about post-surge Iraq and certainly not about devolving Afghanistan.  I’m talking about what’s happening in Washington.

A Symbolic Surrender of Civilian Authority
You may not think so, but on Tuesday night from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in his first prime-time presidential address [1] to the nation, Barack Obama surrendered.  It may not have looked like that: there were no surrender documents; he wasn’t on the deck of the USS Missouri [2]; he never bowed his head.  Still, from today on, think of him not as the commander-in-chief, but as the commanded-in-chief.

And give credit to the victors.  Their campaign was nothing short of brilliant.  Like the policy brigands they were, they ambushed the president, held him up with their threats, brought to bear key media players and Republican honchos, and in the end made off with the loot.  The campaign began in late September with a strategic leak [3] of Afghan War commander General Stanley McChrystal’s grim review of the situation in that country, including demands for sizeable troop escalations and a commitment to a counterinsurgency war.  It came to include rumors [4] of potential retirements in protest if the president didn’t deliver, as well as clearly insubordinate policy remarks [5] by General McChrystal, not to speak of an impressive citizen-mobilization of inside-the-Beltway former neocon or fighting liberal think-tank experts, and a helping hand from an admiring media.  In the process, the U.S. military succeeded in boxing in a president who had already locked himself into a conflict he had termed both “the right war” and a “necessary” one.  After more than two months of painfully over-reported deliberations, President Obama has now ended up essentially where General McChrystal began.

Counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine was dusted off from the moldy Vietnam archives and made spanking new by General David Petraeus in 2006, applied in Iraq (and Washington) in 2007, and put forward for Afghanistan in late 2008.  It has now been largely endorsed, and a major escalation of the war -- a new kind of military-led nation building (or, as they like to say, “good governance”) is to be cranked up and set in motion.  COIN is being billed as a “population-centric,” not “enemy-centric” approach in which U.S. troops are distinctly to be "nation-builders as well as warriors." 

And as for those 30,000 troops, most expected to arrive in the Afghan combat zone within the next six months [6], the numbers are even more impressive when you realize that, as late as the summer of 2008, the U.S. only had about 28,000 troops [7] in Afghanistan.  In other words, in less than two years, U.S. troop strength in that country will have more than tripled to approximately 100,000 troops.  So we’re talking near-Vietnam-level escalation rates.  If you include the 38,000 NATO forces also there (and a possible [8] 5,000 more to come), total allied troop strength will be significantly above what the Soviets deployed during their devastating Afghan War of the 1980s in which they fought some of the same insurgents [9] now arrayed against us.

Think of this as Barack Obama’s anti-MacArthur moment.  In April 1951, in the midst of the Korean War, President Harry Truman relieved Douglas MacArthur of command of American forces.  He did so because the general, a far grander public figure than either McChrystal or Centcom commander Petraeus (and with dreams of his own about a possible presidential run), had publicly disagreed with, and interfered with, Truman’s plans to “limit” the war after the Chinese intervened.

Obama, too, has faced what Robert Dreyfuss in Rolling Stone calls [5] a “generals’ revolt” -- amid fears that his Republican opposition would line up behind the insubordinate field commanders and make hay in the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns.  Obama, too, has faced a general, Petraeus, who might well have presidential ambitions, and who has played a far subtler game [10] than MacArthur ever did.  After more than two months of what right-wing critics termed “dithering” and supporters called “thorough deliberations,” Obama dealt with the problem quite differently.  He essentially agreed to subordinate himself to the publicly stated wishes of his field commanders.  (Not that his Republican critics will give him much credit for doing so, of course.)  This is called [11] “politics” in our country and, for a Democratic president in our era, Tuesday night’s end result was remarkably predictable.   

When Obama bowed [12] to the Japanese emperor on his recent Asian tour, there was a media uproar in this country.  Even though the speech Tuesday night should be thought of as bowing to the American military, there is likely to be little complaint on that score.  Similarly, despite the significance of symbolism in Washington, there has been surprisingly little discussion about the president’s decision to address the American people not from the Oval Office, but from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.   

It was there that, in 2002, George W. Bush gave a speech [13] before the assembled cadets in which he laid out his aggressive strategy of preventive war, which would become the cornerstone of “the Bush Doctrine.” [14]  (“If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long -- Our security will require transforming the military you will lead -- a military that must be ready to strike at a moment's notice in any dark corner of the world. And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives.”)  But keep in mind that this was still a graduation speech and presidents have traditionally addressed one of the military academies at graduation time.

Obama is not a man who appears in prop military jackets with “commander-in-chief” hand-stitched across his heart before hoo-aahing crowds of soldiers, as our last president loved to do, and yet in his first months in office he has increasingly appeared at military events and associated himself with things military.  This speech represents another step in that direction.  Has a president ever, in fact, given a non-graduation speech at West Point, no less a major address to the American people?  Certainly, the choice [15] of venue, and so the decision to address a military audience first and other Americans second, not only emphasized the escalatory military path chosen in Afghanistan, but represented a kind of symbolic surrender of civilian authority.

For his American audience, and undoubtedly his skittish NATO allies as well, the president did put a significant emphasis on an exit strategy from the war.  That off-ramp strategy was, however, placed in the context of the training of the woeful Afghan security forces to take control of the struggle themselves and the woeful government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to turn over a new nation-building leaf.  Like the choice of West Point, this, too, seemed to resonate with eerie echoes of the years in which George W. Bush regularly intoned the mantra:  “As Iraqis stand-up, we will stand down.”

In his address, Obama offered July 2011 as the date to begin a withdrawing the first U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  (“After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.”)  However, according to the Washington-insider Nelson Report, a White House “on background” press briefing Tuesday afternoon made it far clearer that the president was talking about a “conditions based withdrawal.” It would, in other words, depend “on objective conditions on the ground,” on whether the Afghans had met the necessary “benchmarks.”  When asked about the “scaling back” of the American war effort, General McChrystal recently suggested [16] a more conservative timeline -- “sometime before 2013” -- seconded [17] hazily by Said Jawad, the Afghan ambassador to Washington.  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates refers to this as a "thinning out" [18] of U.S. forces.

In fact, there’s no reason to put faith in any of these hazy deadlines.  After all, this is the administration that came into office announcing a firm one-year closing date for the U.S. prison in Guantanamo (now officially missed [19]), a firm sunshine policy for an end-of-2009 release of millions of pages of historical documents from the archives of the CIA and other intelligence and military services (now officially delayed [20], possibly for years), and of course a firm date for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops, followed by all U.S. forces from Iraq (now possibly slipping [21]).

Finish the job [22] in Afghanistan?  Based on the plans of the field commanders to whom the president has bowed, on the administration’s record of escalation in the war so far, and on the quiet reassurances to the Pakistanis that we aren’t leaving Afghanistan in any imaginable future, this war looks to be all job and no finish.  Whatever the flourishes, that was the essence of Tuesday night’s surrender speech.

Monty Python in Afghanistan

Honestly, if it weren’t so grim, despite all the upbeat benchmarks and encouraging words in the president’s speech, this would certainly qualify as Monty Python in Afghanistan.  After all, three cabinet ministers and 12 former ministers are under investigation [23] in Afghanistan itself on corruption charges.  And that barely scratches the surface of the problems in a country that one Russian expert recently referred to [24] as an “international drug firm,” where at least one-third of the gross national product comes from the drug trade.  In addition, as Juan Cole wrote [25] at his Informed Comment blog:

“Months after the controversial presidential election that many Afghans consider stolen, there is no cabinet, and parliament is threatening to go on recess before confirming a new one because the president is unconstitutionally late in presenting the names. There are grave suspicions that some past and present cabinet members have engaged in the embezzlement of substantial sums of money. There is little parliamentary oversight. Almost no one bothers to attend the parliamentary sessions. The cabinet ministries are unable to spend the money allocated to them on things like education and rural development, and actually spent less in absolute terms last year than they did in the previous two years.”

In addition, the Taliban now reportedly take a cut [26] of the billions of dollars in U.S. development aid flowing into the country, much of which is otherwise squandered, and of the American money that goes into “protecting” [27] the convoys that bring supplies to U.S. troops throughout the country.  One out of every four Afghan soldiers has quit or deserted [28] the Afghan National Army in the last year, while the ill-paid, largely illiterate, hapless Afghan police with their “well-deserved reputation [29] for stealing and extorting bribes,” not to speak of a drug abuse rate estimated at 15%, are, as its politely put, “years away from functioning independently”; and the insurgency is spreading [30] to new areas of the country and reviving [31] in others.

Good governance?  Good grief!

Not that Washington, which obviously feels that it has much to impart to the Afghan people about good governance and how to deal with corruption, has particularly firm ground to stand on.  After all, the United States has just completed its first billion-dollar presidential election in a $5 billion [32] election season, and two administrations just propped up some of the worst financial scofflaws in the history of the world and got nothing back in return.

Meanwhile, the money flowing into [33] Washington political coffers from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, the pharmaceutical and health care industries, real estate, legal firms, and the like might be thought of as a kind of drug in itself.  At the same time, according to [34] USA Today, at least 158 retired generals and admirals, many already pulling in military pensions in the range of $100,000-$200,000, have been hired as “senior mentors” by the Pentagon “to offer advice under an unusual arrangement”:  they also work for companies seeking Defense Department contracts. 

In Congress, a Senate maneuver which only a few years ago was so rare that the response to it was nicknamed “the nuclear option” [35] -- needing a 60-vote majority to pass anything of significance -- has, almost without comment, become a commonplace for the passage of just about anything.  This means Congress is eternally in a state of gridlock.  And that’s just for starters when it comes to ways in which the U.S. government, so ready to surge its military and its civilian employees into Afghanistan in the name of good governance, is in need of repair, if not nation-building itself.   

Airless in Washington

It’s nonetheless the wisdom of this Washington and of this military that Obama has not found wanting, at least when it comes to Afghanistan.

So here’s a question:  Why did he listen to them?  And under such circumstances, why should we take the results seriously?

Stop for a moment and consider the cast of characters who offered the president the full range of advice available in Washington -- all of which, as far as we can tell, from Joe Biden’s “counterterrorism-plus” strategy to McChrystal’s COIN and beyond, was escalatory in nature.  These are, of course, the wise men (and woman) of our era.  But just a cursory glance at their collective record should at least make you wonder:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now said to be the official with the best ties to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and so the one in charge of “coaxing” [36] him into a round of reasonable nation-building, of making “a new compact" [37] with the Afghan people by “improving governance and cracking down on corruption”; and yet, in the early 1990s, in her single significant nation-building experience at home, she botched [38] the possibility of getting a universal health-care bill through Congress.  She also had the “wisdom” to vote in 2003 to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, reputedly deeply trusted by the president and in charge of planning out our military future in Afghanistan, was in the 1980s a supposed expert on the Soviet Union as well as deputy CIA director and later deputy to National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft.  Yet, in those years, he couldn’t bring himself to believe that the Soviets were done for even as that empire was disappearing from the face of the Earth.  In the words [39] of former National Security Council official Roger Morris, Gates “waged a final battle against the Soviets, denying at every turn that the old enemy was actually dying.”  As former CIA official Melvin Goodman has put the matter [40]:  “Gates was wrong about every key intelligence question of the 1980s... A Kremlinologist by training, Gates was one of the last American hardliners to comprehend the changes taking place in the Soviet Union. He was wrong about Mikhail Gorbachev, wrong about the importance of reform, wrong about Moscow's pursuit of arms control and détente with the United States.  He was wrong about the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan...”

Vice-President Joe Biden, recently described [41] as potentially “the second-most-powerful vice president in history” as well as “the president’s all-purpose adviser and sage” on foreign policy, was during the Bush years a believer in nation-building in Afghanistan, voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq, and later promoted [42] the idea -- like Caesar re:  Gaul -- of dividing that country into three parts (without, of course, bothering to ask the Iraqis), while leaving 25,000-30,000 American troops based [43] there in perpetuity, while “these regions build up their state police forces.”

General Stanley McChrystal, our war commander in Afghanistan and now the poster boy for counterinsurgency warfare, had his skills honed purely in the field of counterterrorism [44].  He was a Special Ops guy.  The man who is now to “protect” the Afghan people previously won his spurs [45] as the head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He ran the “manhunters” [46] – essentially, that is, he was the leader of a team of assassins and evidently part of what reporter Seymour Hersh has termed [47] an "executive assassination wing" of that command, possibly taking orders directly from [48] Vice President Dick Cheney.  His skills involved guns to the head, not protective boots on the ground. 

General David Petraeus, the general leading everything, who has been practically deified [49] in the U.S. media, is perhaps the savviest and most accomplished of this crew.  He surged into Iraq in 2007 and, with the help of fortuitous indigenous developments, staunched the worst of the bleeding, leaving behind a big question mark. His greatest skill, however, has been in fostering [50] the career of David Petraeus.  He is undoubtedly an advisor with an agenda and in his wake come a whole crew [51] of military and think-tank experts, with almost unblemished records of being wrong in the Bush years, whom the surge in Iraq recredentialized.   

Karl Eikenberry, our ambassador to Kabul, in his previous career in the U.S. military served [52] two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and as the commander [53] of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan was the general responsible for building up the Afghan army and “reforming” that country’s police force.  On both counts, we know how effective that attempt proved.

And when it comes to key figures with well-padded Washington CVs like Admiral Mike Mullen [54], Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or James Jones [55], present national security advisor and former commandant of the Marine Corps, as well as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, a close friend of Senator John McCain, and a former revolving-door board member of Chevron and Boeing, remind me just what sticks in your mind about their accomplishments?

So, when you think about Barack Obama’s Afghan decisions, imagine first that the man considered the smartest, most thoughtful president of our era chose to surround himself with these people.  He chose, that is, not fresh air, or fresh thought in the field of foreign and war policy, but the airless precincts where the combined wisdom of Washington and the Pentagon now exists, and the remarkable lack of accomplishment that goes with it.  In short, these are people whose credentials largely consist of not having been right about much over the years.

Admittedly, this administration has called in practically every Afghan expert in sight.  Everyone involved could now undoubtedly expound on relatively abstruse questions of Afghan tribal politics, locate Paktia Province on a map in a flash, and tell you just which of Hamid Karzai’s ministers are under investigation for corruption.

Unfortunately, the most essential problem isn’t in Afghanistan; it’s here in the United States, in Washington, where knowledge is slim, egos large, and national security wisdom is deeply imprinted on a system bleeding money and breaking down.  The president campaigned on the slogan [56], “Change we can believe in.”  He then chose as advisors -- in the economic sphere as well, where a similar record of gross error [57], narrow and unimaginative thinking, and over-identification with the powerful could easily be compiled -- a crew who had never seen a significant change, or an out-of-the-ordinary thought it could live with -- and still can’t.

As a result, the Iraq War has yet to begin to go away, the Afghan War is being escalated in a major way, the Middle East is in some turmoil, Guantanamo remains open, black sites [58] are still operating in Afghanistan, the Pentagon’s budget has grown yet larger, and supplemental demands on Congress for yet more money to pay for George W. Bush’s wars will, despite promises otherwise, soon enough be made [59].

A stale crew breathing stale air has ensured that Afghanistan, the first of Bush’s disastrous wars, is now truly Obama’s War; and the news came directly from West Point where the president surrendered to his militarized fate.

Copyright 2009 Tom Engelhardt
Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project [60], runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. He is the author of The End of Victory Culture [61], a history of the Cold War and beyond, as well as of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing [62]. He also edited The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire [63] (Verso, 2008), an alternative history of the mad Bush years.


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Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2009, 05:08:11 am »
Bin Laden 'in Afghanistan in 2009'  


By Orla Guerin
BBC News, Islamabad 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8394470.stm
4 December 2009


Bin Laden is believed to be somewhere along the Pakistan-Afghan border

A Taliban detainee in Pakistan claims to have information about Osama Bin Laden's whereabouts in January or February of this year.

His claims cannot be verified but a leading American expert says his account should be investigated.

The detainee claims to have met Osama Bin Laden numerous times before 9/11.

He says that earlier this year he met a trusted contact who had seen Bin Laden 15 to 20 days earlier across the border in Afghanistan.

"In 2009, in January or February I met this friend of mine. He said he had come from meeting Sheikh Osama, and he could arrange for me to meet him," he said.

According to the detainee, his contact is a Mehsud tribesman, responsible for getting al-Qaeda operatives based abroad to meetings with Bin Laden.

"He helps al-Qaeda people coming from other countries to get to the sheikh, so he can advise them on whatever they are planning for Europe or other places.

"The sheikh doesn't stay in any one place. That guy came from Ghazni, so I think that's where the sheikh was."

No-go areas

The province of Ghazni in eastern Afghanistan has an increasingly strong Taliban presence. Large parts of the province are no-go areas for coalition and Afghan forces.

The detainee said that militants were avoiding Pakistani territory because of the risk of US drone attacks.


 
"Pakistan at this time is not convenient for us to stay in because a lot of our senior people are being martyred in drone attacks," he said.

The detainee can't be named for legal reasons.

According to a Pakistani security official he has close ties with leaders of the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and was involved in kidnapping and fundraising operations.

We were given access to him twice in the past month. A Pakistani interrogator was listening in as he spoke.

His account suits Pakistan, which maintains that Bin Laden is not on its soil although Britain and the US think otherwise.

But a leading US expert, former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel, says his story is plausible and should be investigated.

"The entire Western intelligence community, CIA and M16, have been looking for Osama Bin Laden for the last seven years and haven't come upon a source of information like this," he said.

"So if it's true - a big if - this is an extraordinary and important story.

"We know Osama Bin Laden is alive. We know that he is living somewhere in the badlands along the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"What is extraordinary about this story is we have someone who has come forward and said, really for the first time, 'I met with Osama Bin Laden and I had the opportunity to met him again in the recent past'."

The detainee's account raises many questions - among them, what were his motives for talking?

Bruce Riedel says his story is a very important lead which ought to be tracked down. But that won't be easy.

Western interrogators may have lots of questions they would like to ask, but so far the detainee has been out of their reach.


 

Offline Georgiacopguy

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2009, 06:09:33 am »
I interpretted it as they were not happy to be there, not happy about his announcement, and resentment for their comander in chief who hates the military he commands.

Did you see the sheeplike trance that those people were in?  Seriously.  The camera was panning the audience and they looked like they were in a trance-like state.  

19 Hijackers, Osama Bin Laden, terror terror everywhere ... Where's the originality in that?   Give me something good at least...  ;D
The resistance starts here. Unfortunately, the entire thing is moving beyond the intellectual infowar. I vow I will not make an overt rush at violent authority, until authority makes it's violent rush at me and you. I will not falter, I will not die in this course. For that is how they win.

Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2009, 06:14:24 am »
December 3, 2009
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-this-strategy-has-been-tried-before-ndash-without-success-1833133.html

Robert Fisk: This strategy has been tried before - without success


"They shoot Russians," the young paratrooper told me. It was cold. We had come across his unit, the Soviet 105th Airborne Division, near Charikar, north of Kabul, and he was holding out a bandaged hand. Blood seeped through, staining the sleeve of his battledress. He was just a teenager with fair hair and blue eyes. Beside us a Soviet transport lorry, its rear section blown to pieces by a mine - yes, an "improvised explosive device", though we didn't call it that yet - lay upended in a ditch. In pain, the young man raised his hand to the mountain-tops where a Soviet helicopter was circling. Could I ever have imagined that Messers Bush and Blair would have landed us in the same sepulchre of armies almost three decades later? Or that a young black American president would do exactly what the Russians did all those years ago?

Within weeks, we would see the Soviet Army securing Kabul and the largest cities of Afghanistan, abandoning the vast areas of mountain and desert to the "terrorists", insisting that they could support a secular, uncorrupt government in the capital and give security to the people. By the spring of 1980, I was watching the Soviet military stage a "surge". Sound familiar? The Russians announced new training for the Afghan army. Sound familiar? Only 60 per cent of the force was following orders at the time. Yes, it does sound familiar.

Victor Sebestyen, who has researched a book about the fall of the Soviet empire, has written at length of those frozen days after the Russian army stormed into Afghanistan just after Christmas of 1979. He quotes General Sergei Akhromeyev, commander of the Soviet armed forces, addressing the Soviet Politburo in 1986. "There is no piece of land in Afghanistan that has not been occupied by one of our soldiers at some time or another. Nevertheless much of the territory stays in the hands of the terrorists. We control the provincial centres, but we cannot maintain political control over the territory we seize."

As Sebestyen points out, Gen Akhromeyev demanded extra troops - or the war in Afghanistan would continue "for a very, very long time". And how's this for a quotation from, say, a British or US commander in Helmand today? "Our soldiers are not to blame. They've fought incredibly bravely in adverse conditions. But to occupy towns and villages temporarily has little value in such a vast land where the insurgents can just disappear into the hills." Yes, of course, this was Gen Akhromeyev in 1986.

I watched the tragedy play out in those bleak early months of 1980. In Kandahar, the people cried "Allahu Akbar" from the rooftops and on the roads outside the city, I met the insurgents - the Taliban of their time - bombing the Soviet convoys.

North of Jalalabad, they even stopped my bus with red roses in the muzzles of their Kalashnikovs, ordering Communist students from the vehicle. I didn't care to dwell on their fate. No different, I guess, than that of pro-government Afghan students caught by the Taliban today. Outside the city, I was told that the "mujahedin" - President Ronald Reagan's favourite "freedom fighters" - had destroyed a school because it was educating girls. Too true. The headmaster and his wife - after they had been burned - were hanging from a tree.

Afghans approached us with strange stories. Political prisoners were being taken from the country and tortured inside the Soviet Union. Secret rendition. In Kandahar, a shopkeeper, an educated man in his fifties who wore both a European sweater and an Afghan turban, approached me in the street. I still have the notes of my interview.

"Every day the government says that food prices are coming down," he said. "Every day we are told that things are getting better thanks to the cooperation of the Soviet Union. But it is not true. Do you realise that the government cannot even control the roads? f**k them. They only hold on to the cities." The "mujahedin" infested Helmand province and crossed and recrossed the Pakistani border, just as they do today. A Soviet Mig fighter-bomber even crossed the frontier in early 1980 to attack the guerrillas. The Pakistani government - and the United States, of course - condemned this as a flagrant breach of Pakistan's sovereignty. Well, tell that to the young Americans who control the unmanned Predators so often crossing the border today to attack the guerrillas.

In Moscow almost a quarter of a century later, I went to meet the former Russian occupiers of Afghanistan. Some were now addicted to drugs, others suffered from what we call stress disorder.

And on this historic day - when Barack Obama plunges ever deeper into chaos - let us remember the British retreat from Kabul and its destruction in 1842.

Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #68 on: December 05, 2009, 05:26:42 am »
 
Published on Friday, December 4, 2009 by Salon.com

Do Obama Officials Know What his Afghanistan Plan Is?

by Glenn Greenwald

On the vital question of whether Obama is committed to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July, 2011 -- or whether that's just an aspirational target subject to being moved -- the statements from key administration officials aren't merely in tension with one another, but are exact opposites:

Agence France-Press, yesterday [1]:

President Barack Obama's administration said that a July 2011 target date to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan was not set in stone. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and the top uniformed US military officer, Admiral Michael Mullen, sought to sell the new approach under fire from Obama's hawkish Republican foes.

During hours of questioning by two key committees, they made clear that his target date of starting a US troop withdrawal in 19 months' time -- a step some anti-escalation lawmakers, especially Democrats, had cheered -- could slip.

"I do not believe we have locked ourselves into leaving," said Clinton, who added the goal was "to signal very clearly to all audiences that the United States is not interested in occupying Afghanistan."

Gates said the extra troops Obama had ordered to Afghanistan would be in place in July 2010, that a December 2010 review of the war effort would shape the pace of the withdrawal, and that the target date could change.

CBS News, Wednesday [2]:

 

I asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs if senators were incorrect calling the date a "target."

After the briefing, Gibbs went to the president for clarification. Gibbs then called me to his office to relate what the president said. The president told him it IS locked in -- there is no flexibility. Troops WILL start coming home in July 2011. Period. It's etched in stone. Gibbs said he even had the chisel.

What could possibly explain a contradiction this extreme with regard to a question so central to the policy Obama just announced?  How can you have the Defense Secretary and the Secretary of State testifying in front of the Senate that the July, 2011 date is "not set in stone," that they "have not locked oursleves into leaving," and that "the target date could change," while the President is saying exactly the opposite:  that "it IS locked in - there is no flexibility" and "it's etched in stone"? 

Is it remotely possible that the months of extremely careful, cerebral, thoughtful deliberations produced complete ambiguity on this central point, or is it that Obama's plan is designed to be sufficiently ambiguous so that nobody knows what it actually entails and everyone can therefore be told that it means what they want it to mean?  And which is worse?

* * * * *

UPDATE: Here is the MSNBC segment I did this morning:

TO WATCH PLEASE GO TO SITE HEREUNDER

 

© 2009 Salon.com

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Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2009, 05:36:24 am »
Obama's War Speech Woke the Sleeping Giant --

Anger Over Afghan Surge Fuels Country-Wide Protests


The president's announcement of a troop surge in Afghanistan this week prompted protests in over 80 communities across the country.

By Jodie Evans, AlterNet
Posted on December 4, 2009, Printed on December 5, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/story/144386/

CODEPINK issued an alert on Thursday, December 3, about the President's West Point speech on Afghanistan and his failure to respond to the many voices calling for peace. We asked people to email the White House to voice their concerns.

The alert had been out for three minutes when the phone rang. My assistant Mark answered, then turned to me and said, "The White House is calling."

I picked up the phone, and discovered it was Jayne in the President's Office of Public Engagement. "How did you feel about the President's speech?" she asked thoughtfully.

I told her I was feeling horrible, that I disagreed with almost everything he said. I said he didn't have the courage to be in his own body as he delivered the words that would cause the deaths of so many and that if he was willing to couch his position in so many untruths then I couldn't believe anything he said--even about why we were there. Really, we are going to send 100,000 troops, over 100,000 contractors and 100 billion dollars to deal with 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan? It reminds me of an Afghan woman's tirade to me when I was there, "You want me to believe that the most powerful nation in the world is being held hostage by those skinny, lice covered, illiterate, dirty men in those craggy hills of this broken country?"

Jayne said, "I totally hear what you are saying." She indicated that the President has told them to stay open to all opinions and she understood I might feel that way. And then she came to the purpose of her call. "I want to keep our lines of communication open, but I can't do it if I can't work. I have an email from your list hitting my box every second and can't get any work done. Can you do something about that so our communication can be more productive? Can you send out another alert with a better address?"

I quickly looked at my computer to see how many emails had been sent out from our list and read the most recent:

You have failed the critical test of both a Commander-in-Chief, and of a man: In escalating our eight-year-long military effort to subdue or occupy Afghanistan you have demonstrated neither judgment and integrity nor courage. You have sentenced to death countless Afghans, Americans and others, on our side all duped over and over again by the cynical, high-powered sales pitch attached to our disastrous misadventures in the Middle East, a war which may well be fatal to the republic itself, all to save your political image. -- Arthur Wagner

I was transfixed and couldn't help reading more and more of the heartfelt messages.

Obama. There's such a thing as being "too late," as MLK warned. Be now. Be courage. Be for us. Be not for corporate oil/gas/coal and defense machines. Be a father. Be for children, schools and universities. Be for parks and swimming pools. Be for jobs and living wages and food on the table. Be for roofs overhead and safe streets. Be for renewable energy and clean air. Be for fish and frogs, not poisoned by acid rain and pesticides. Be for children in dirt villages where U.S. tanks roam. Be for stopping cluster bombs. Be for returning Iraqi refugees to their homes. Be not for dominion. Be a peacemaker. -- Sharon Rose

It was working! Impassioned CODEPINKers all over the globe were being heard inside the White House!

"There is nothing I can do," I told Jayne, "but maybe in your email program you could create a folder they all go to. I assume your system is that sophisticated." I kept reading the messages that continued to fly onto the web page.

We need this money at home. My husband has been unemployed for over a year and we'd have no health insurance except I have it through a job as a university professor, even though I'm retired and lost over a third of my retirement money in the last year. Still we are far better off than most of my fellow citizens. Take care of our own children, elderly, incapacitated, and the soldiers already wounded in these appalling wars--and don't get any other U.S. boys and girls hurt! -- (Dr.) Sandra E. Drake

Jayne thanked me and says next time she will consult with us to make our communications work better.

Instead of sending 30,000 troops, how about sending 30,000 Peace Corps workers? That would employ some of our own, work on building up the Afghanistan infrastructure (helping create jobs, building schools and hospitals), and maybe the culture would move toward self-sufficiency and have less hatred of us. Fight hate and terrorism with love and constructive help! -- Karen Snyder

I thanked her and said I hoped she would pass the passion of the CODEPINK members on to Obama.

Our war in the border regions is being fought by drone assassinations. A man at the control sits in front of a screen in Las Vegas, and fires when he has a certain shot. To a primitive mind (but not only to a primitive mind), this experiment on a country not our own has the trappings a video game played in hell. But the procedure was here embraced by the president in the antiseptic idiom of a practiced technocrat. He gave no sign of the effects of such killings by a foreign power out of reach in the sky. To assassinate one major operative, Baitullah Mehsud, as Jane Mayer showed in a recent article in the New Yorker, 16 strikes were necessary, over 14 months, killing a total of as many as 538 persons, of whom 200-300 were by-standers. The total number of Muslims killed by Americans in revenge for the attacks of September 11th now numbers more than a hundred thousand. Of those, few were members of Al Qaeda, and few harbored any intention, for good or ill, toward the United States before we crossed the ocean as an occupying power. -- Brad Martin

There were more people protesting in the streets this week than we have seen in a long time: at least 80 communities rose up. I asked Jayne to thank the President for waking the sleeping giant and assured her that we will do all we can to make sure he does not get the money from Congress to escalate this senseless war.

Please do not send our children off to die. Would you ever do the same to yours? -- Catron Booker

In October, Jodie Evans hand-delivered a petition to Obama from Afghan women against the surge. To read more of the letters to Obama and to send your own, click here.

More info: Check out the coverage on some of the local protests from this week: In Lansing, Michigan, Bozeman, Montana, and Hackensack, NJ


Jodie Evans is a co-founder of Codepink: Women For Peace.

© 2009 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/144386/

Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #70 on: December 05, 2009, 06:37:02 am »
U.S. Marines Launch First Major Afghan Operation Since Surge Announced

Friday , December 04, 2009
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,579309,00.html


KABUL  — U.S. Marines and Afghan troops on Friday launched the first offensive since President Obama announced an American troop surge, striking against Taliban communications and supply lines in a southern insurgent stronghold, a military spokesman said.

Hundreds of troops from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines and the Marine reconnaissance unit Task Force Raider were dropped by helicopter and MV-22 Osprey aircraft behind Taliban lines in the northern end of the Now Zad Valley of Helmand province, scene of heavy fighting last summer, according to Marine spokesman Maj. William Pelletier.

A U.S. military official in Washington said it was the first use of Ospreys, aircrafts that combine features of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, in an offensive involving units larger than platoons.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to detail the operation, said that Ospreys have previously been used for intelligence and patrol operations.

A second, larger force pushed northward from the Marines' Forward Operating Base in the town of Now Zad, Pelletier said. Combat engineers were forcing a corridor through Taliban minefields with armored steamrollers and explosives, Pelletier said.

In all, about 1,000 Marines as well as Afghan troops were taking part in the operation, known as "Cobra's Anger," he said.

There were no reports of NATO casualties. The spokesman for the Afghan governor of Helmand province, Daood Ahmadi, said the bodies of four slain Taliban had been recovered. Ahmadi said 150 Afghan troops were taking part in the operation, which had located more than 300 mines and roadside bombs by Friday evening.

The operation began three days after Obama announced that he was sending 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan to help turn the tide against the Taliban. America's European allies will send an estimated 7,000 more troops to Afghanistan next year "with more to come," NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced Friday.

Most of the new troops are expected to be sent to southern Afghanistan, including Helmand, where Taliban influence is strongest.

The new offensive aims to cut off the Taliban communication routes through Helmand and disrupt their supply lines, especially those providing explosives for the numerous lethal roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices, that litter the area, known by Marines as "IED Alley."

Pelletier said several arms caches and at least 400 pounds of explosive materials had been found so far Friday.

"Right now, the enemy is confused and disorganized," Pelletier said by telephone from Camp Leatherneck, the main Marines base in Helmand. "They're fighting, but not too effectively."

Pelletier said insurgents were caught off guard by the early morning air assault.

Now Zad used to be one of the largest towns in Helmand province, the center of Afghanistan's lucrative opium poppy growing industry.

However, three years of fighting have chased away Now Zad's 30,000 inhabitants, leaving the once-thriving market and commercial area a ghost town.

British troops who were once stationed there left graffiti dubbing the town "Apocalypse Now-Zad," a play on the title of the 1979 Vietnam War movie Apocalypse Now. The British base was nearly overrun on several occasions with insurgents coming within yards (meters) of the protection wall. The area was handed over in 2008 to the Marines, who have struggled to reclaim much of the valley.

In August, the Marines launched their first large-scale offensive in the barren, wind-swept and opium-poppy growing valley surrounded by steep cliffs with dozens of caves providing cover to Taliban units.

More than 100 hardline insurgents are believed to operate in the area, their positions so solid that a fixed frontline runs just a few hundred yards (meters) north of the Marines' base, according to Associated Press reporters who were with the Marines there last summer.


Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #71 on: December 05, 2009, 07:47:48 am »
How do you ask a Man to be the Last Man to Die for a President's Political Image?


By David Sirota

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24114.htm

December 04, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- I don't like to try to read the minds of politicians - mostly because with the automatons we have in office today, if you actually could read their minds, my guess is you'd find almost nothing actually going on in there. However, there are ways to ferret out the actual motives of politicians - and in particular, on the issue of the Afghanistan War.

Consider this fact that has been reported almost nowhere other than McClatchy (incidentally, one of the only news organizations that didn't propagandistically beat the drum for the Iraq War):

There are 68,000 U.S. troops and 42,000 from other countries in Afghanistan. The U.S. Army's recently revised counterinsurgency manual estimates that an all-out counterinsurgency campaign in a country with Afghanistan's population would require about 600,000 troops. (emphasis added)
Yes, to run the kind of counterinsurgency operation that President Obama said he's aiming for in his West Point speech this week, the U.S. Army says there needs to be 600,000 troops in Afghanistan. President Obama obviously knows this - and yet his escalation means we'll only* have 100,000 troops there (And even if you insist that the 600,000 number is for an "all-out" counterinsurgency campaign and further insist Obama is not promising an "all-out" counterinsurgency campaign, he's still not proposing even a quarter of the 600,000 number - for self-identified goals that would clearly require nearly and all-out effort).

Therefore, we know one of two three things is going on. Either:

1) President Obama believes we can conduct the kind of counterinsurgency he says we need with one sixth of the troop levels his counterinsurgency experts say are necessary, or

2) President Obama is escalating the war with no intention of halting an escalation, but instead an intention of continuing to escalate to much higher troop levels irrespective of his vague promise to try to bring troops home in 2011, or

3) President Obama is risking the lives of 100,000 troops in order to prevent being labeled "weak" - but with no intention of actually waging the counterinsurgency strategy he publicly says is necessary.

David Sirota :: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a president's political image? I'm going to discount possibility number one right off the bat. President Obama is a smart person - he's not an idiot like George W. Bush. So I'm not going to believe he sincerely believes he knows more about the numbers needed to run a counterinsurgency than the U.S. Army experts who he relies on to make those estimates. Put another way, because of Obama's intellect, we can assume he knows 100,000 troops will not be enough to accomplish the goals he said in his speech he's committed to. Additionally, we know that he's probably not serious even about eventually Afghan-izing the security force in country (like Nixon said he would Vietnam-ize that war) because the Wall Street Journal now reports the president "has soured on a call from its top commander to double the size of the Afghan police and army."
For argument's sake, let's rule out possibility number two as well, if only to avoid speculation on whether Obama is or is not an honest person. There's simply no way to know whether he's lying to us about his intention to start a drawdown in 2011 until that date arrives. So speculating on that is kinda pointless. Let's just take him at his word that that is his intention.

It is possibility number three that is the most interesting - and most likely - if current political realities and history are considered.

Obama knows that politically, he cannot come out and demand the deployments that would be required to move 600,000 troops into Afghanistan (if we even had the troop strength to muster such a force). A request like that would be laughed at by the Congress and intensely opposed by a public that already intensely opposes an increase of 30,000 troops (and let me be clear: I'd certainly oppose that for all of the same well-grounded economic and military reasons that make such a massive deployment politically impossible).

But Obama also seems very concerned about how a genuine withdrawal might allow Republicans and the Washington Establishment to portray him as "weak" - a term that is defined by that Establishment as anything short of unbridled militarism. It is the same concern Lyndon Johnson privately voiced over and over and over again to his aides during the lead-up to the Vietnam War - the only difference is that Obama's aides are rather open about how the Afghanistan escalation is, in part, about preserving an image of "strength" for their boss. Notice the White House's carefully calibrated top-line message on the day of the announcement:

"There isn't anybody with a straight face that can question the resolve of this commander-in-chief to put the appropriate resources on what he believes was an urgent threat to our national security," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. "Again, I don't know anybody who can make that logical argument." (emphasis added)
That's what this is really all about - not actually confronting an alleged "urgent threat to our national security" (because Obama's Army experts say that would take 600,000 troops, not 100,000 troops), but merely generating an image that projects the "resolve of this commander-in-chief."

By putting in 30,000 more troops, Obama can request a buildup that's (barely) politically palatable in Congress, and fulfills the false concept of "strength" (ie. "strength" = militarism) artificially manufactured by the Washington media/political establishment - even though he knows that 30,000 troop escalation is not enough to do what his own military experts say is necessary to achieve the goals he says he wants achieved.

In an interview with the same Washington elite who manufacture this bullshit concept of "strength" and "weakness," Obama insists "Not only is [my decision] not popular, but it's least popular in my own party" and then pats himself on the back for supposedly having courage by saying popularity is "not how I make decisions."

It's a nice little self-aggrandizing pirouette - one that obscures the fact that, in fact, popularity is exactly how he's trying to make decisions. He's trying to find a way to be very popular - ie. considered very "strong" and manly - among Washington insiders (thus the escalation), while simultaneously limiting the unpopularity of his actions among the general public (thus an escalation far short of what his own military experts say is necessary). And because of that unbridled political narcissism - because of that apparent desire to be loved not just by his constituents (ie. the public) but also (and more importantly to Obama) by the Washington power class - troops lives are being put on the line unnecessarily.

And so it's fair to ask two simple questions. Is it really worth putting 100,000 Americans at risk for the next few years exclusively to protect the political image of a president? More specifically, is it worth putting those 100,000 American lives on the line so that President Obama can fulfill the media and political establishment's artificial definition of "strength"?

I certainly don't think so, and I think it's an almost unprecedented level of immorality.

When John Kerry famously asked about Vietnam, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" he was right to suggest that Vietnam was, in part, an honest Cold War "mistake" (although as the Johnson tapes also show, it was also, in part, a deliberately craven effort to protect a president's "strong" credentials). Afghanistan is different - we've been there 8 years, so the awful consequences of a new escalation (and continued occupation) that's nonetheless not truly designed to achieve goals isn't some innocent "mistake." It's almost entirely deliberate. And so the question for President Obama on Afghanistan is simply "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for your political image?"

ADDENDUM: For those interested in more, I strongly suggest reading these pieces by Nick Kristof, George Will and Stephen Spain - voices that span the ideological spectrum.

* NOTE: I use only not to suggest that's not a lot, only to suggest it's far less than the 600,000 the Army says it needs.
   

 


Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #72 on: December 05, 2009, 08:33:15 am »
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
http://www.juancole.com/2009/12/top-ten-things-that-could-derail-obamas.html

Top Ten things that Could Derail Obama's Afghanistan Plan

1. Obama's plan depends heavily on training 100,000 new soldiers and 100,000 new policemen over the next three years. It has taken 8 years to train the first 100,000 soldiers fairly well, and the same period for the Europeans to train a similar number of police badly. Can the pace really be more than doubled and quality results still obtained?

2. Obama's plan assumes that there can be a truly national Afghan army. But the current one is disproportionately Tajik and signally lacks troops from the troubled Helmand and Qandahar provinces. Unless the ethnic tensions are eased, training a big army could well provoke an anti-Tajik backlash in Pashtun regions that feel occupied.

3. Obama's goal to "break the Taliban's momentum" may well fail. Only 20 percent of insurgencies in modern times are defeated in a decisive military manner.

4. The US counter-insurgency plan assumes that Pashtun villagers dislike and fear the Taliban, and just need to be protected from them so as to stop the politics of intimidation. But what if the villagers are cousins of the Taliban and would rather support their clansmen than white Christian foreigners?

5. Obama is demanding that Pakistan help destroy the Taliban movement, a historical ally of Pakistan in Afghanistan. While Pakistan now has good reason to attempt to wipe out the Pakistani Taliban Movement, which has committed a good deal of terrorism against the country, Islamabad has no reason to attack the Afghan guerrilla groups fighting Karzai. They are fellow Muslims, and are Pashtuns (as are 12 percent of Pakistanis), and dislike India. The Northern Alliance elements in the Karzai government, which have recently grown stronger, are pro-India. Obama is asking Pakistan to betray its national interests, which is not realistic in the absence of some much bigger carrot than a few billion dollars in foreign aid.

6. Obama asserts that although the Afghan presidential election was marked by fraud, the results (the victory of Hamid Karzai) are legitimate within the constitutional framework. But isn't it possible that Karzai has decisively lost legitimacy among broad sections of the Afghan public, wounding him as a partner in working for a recognition of the legitimacy of a greatly expanded foreign occupation army in the country?

7. Obama is demanding accountability from cabinet members in Afghanistan and offering agricultural and economic aid. But 15 present and former cabinet members are under investigation for massive embezzlement, and 7 key ministries were only able to spend 40% of their budget allocation last year. Isn't Obama counting on a culture of official probity and a governmental capacity that simply does not exist in Kabul? What happens when there is more cabinet-level corruption and when the Ministry of Agriculture once again just can't spend the money Obama gives it?

8. Obama assumes that the US is not fighting a broadbased insurgency in Afghanistan. This assumption is true in the sense that there is zero support for Taliban or Sunni extremists among Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and a majority of Pashtuns. But if we looked at the equivalent of counties in Helmand, Qandahar and some other Pashtun provinces, we might find substantial swathes of territory where the insurgency is in fact broadly based. Moreover, Pashtun guerrillas can count on a certain amount of sympathy from other Pashtuns in their struggle against foreign forces-- including the 20-some million Pashtuns of Pakistan. If the issue is not the "cancer" of extremist ideology, but a form of religious Pashtun anti-imperialism, then that could be the basis for a broadly based movement.

9. Obama maintains that the "Taliban" have in recent years made common cause with "al-Qaeda" in seeking to overturn the Karzai government. But although the Taliban control 10-15% of Afghanistan, there are no al-Qaeda operatives to speak of in Afghanistan. That does not sound like much of a common cause. By confusing the Taliban with al-Qaeda, and by confusing the Taliban with other Pashtun guerrilla groups such as Hikmatyar's Hizb-i Islami, Obama risks making the struggle a black and white one, whereas it has strong regional, ethnic and nationalist overtones (see 8 above). Black and white struggles are much more difficult to negotiate to a settlement.

10. The biggest threat of derailment comes from an American public facing 17 percent true unemployment and a collapsing economy who are being told we need to spend an extra $30 billion to fight less than 100 al-Qaeda guys in the mountains of Afghanistan, even after the National Security Adviser admitted that they are not a security threat to the US.


End/ (Not Continued)

posted by Juan Cole @ 12/02/2009 12:27:00 AM

Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #73 on: December 06, 2009, 05:47:18 am »
Obama Lied

Taliban Did Not Refuse to Hand Over Bin Laden


By Ralph Lopez

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24125.htm

December 05, 2009 "OpEd News" -- Obama slipped past a real doozy Tuesday night when he said the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden. It just ain't so. They tried three times to open negotiations for this, but Bush refused each time. He wanted to bomb people so bad it hurt


UK Guardian:

A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night...

For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said.

The Taliban have offered to hand over Bin Laden before but only if sufficient evidence was presented. Bin Laden is wanted both for the September 11 attacks and for masterminding the bombings of two US embassies in East Africa in 1998 in which 224 people were killed. He is also suspected of involvement in other terrorist attacks, including the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen last year.

But until now the Taliban regime has consistently said it has not seen any convincing evidence to implicate the Saudi dissident in any crime.

"Now they have agreed to hand him over to a third country without the evidence being presented in advance," the source close to the military said."

Combined with so unhesitatingly waving the Al Qaeda boogey-man to make his case, in a fashion Bush would have been proud of, (Al Qaeda isn't in Afghanistan) it all makes me mighty suspicious. The Taliban wasn't declared an enemy until after 9/11, even as we had evidence that bin Laden was behind the bombing of the USS Cole. That's because Bush's buddies were still hoping to get the contract for the oil pipeline, which the Taliban government was refusing to give them. These are just facts, I'm not even trying to make an argument here. But someone has to call them on these things.

The history is at the classic essay by Richard Behan which went viral on the internet soon after it was published (re-printed at Afterdowningstreet.org ): http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/25439

From its first days in office in January of 2001 the Administration of George W. Bush meant to launch military attacks against both Afghanistan and Iraq. The reasons had nothing to do with terrorism.

This is beyond dispute. The mainstream press has either ignored the story or missed it completely, but the Administration's congenital belligerence is fully documented elsewhere.

Attacking a sovereign nation unprovoked, however, directly violates the charter of the United Nations. It is an international crime. The Bush Administration would need credible justification to proceed with its plans.

The terrorist violence of September 11, 2001 provided a spectacular opportunity. In the cacophony of outrage and confusion, the Administration could conceal its intentions, disguise the true nature of its premeditated wars, and launch them. The opportunity was exploited in a heartbeat.

Within hours of the attacks, President Bush declared the U.S. "...would take the fight directly to the terrorists," and "...he announced to the world the United States would make no distinction between the terrorists and the states that harbor them." [1] Thus the "War on Terror" was born.

The "War on Terror" is patently fraudulent, but the essence of successful propaganda is repetition, and the Bush Administration has repeated its mantra endlessly:

The War on Terror was launched in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It is intended to enhance our national security at home, and to spread democracy in the Middle East.

This is the struggle of our lifetime; we are defending our way of life from an enemy intent on destroying our freedoms. We must fight the enemy in the Middle East, or we will fight him in our cities.

The Administration's campaign of propaganda has been a notable success. The characterization of today's war as a "fight against terrorists and states that support them" is generally accepted, rarely scrutinized, and virtually unchallenged, even by opponents of the war.

The fraudulence of the "War on Terror," however, is clearly revealed in the pattern of subsequent facts:

In Afghanistan the state was overthrown instead of apprehending the terrorist: Osama bin Laden remains at large.

In Iraq, when the U.S. invaded, there were no terrorists at all.

Both states have been supplied with puppet governments, and both are dotted with permanent U.S. military bases in strategic proximity to their hydrocarbon assets.

The U.S. embassy nearing completion in Baghdad is comprised of 21 multistory buildings on 104 acres of land. It will house 5,500 diplomats, staff, and families. It is ten times larger than any other U.S. embassy in the world, but we have yet to be told why.

A 2006 National Intelligence Estimate shows the war in Iraq has exacerbated, not diminished, the threat of terrorism since 9/11.[2] If the "War on Terror" is not a deception, it is a disastrously counterproductive failure.

Today two American and two British oil companies are poised to claim immense profits from 81% of Iraq's undeveloped crude oil reserves.[3] They cannot proceed, however, until the Iraqi Parliament enacts a statute known as the "hydrocarbon law."

The features of postwar oil policy so heavily favoring the oil companies were crafted by the Bush Administration State Department in 2002, a year before the invasion.[4]

Drafting of the law itself was begun during Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority, with the invited participation of the oil companies.[5] The law was written in English and translated into Arabic only when it was due for Iraqi approval.

President Bush made passage of the hydrocarbon law a mandatory "benchmark" when he announced the troop surge in January of 2007...


FULL ESSAY Richard Behan (re-printed at Afterdowningstreet.org)
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/25439   

 


Offline bigron

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Re: Obama = George Bush's 3rd Tem...30k more troops and invoking 9/11, terror
« Reply #74 on: December 07, 2009, 06:09:43 am »
December 6, 2009
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/patrick-cockburn-us-surge-will-only-prolong-afghan-war-1835054.html

Patrick Cockburn: US surge will only prolong Afghan war

Analysis: Just as in Iraq, more Western troops on the ground will deepen an ongoing civil conflict and drive ordinary Afghans into the arms of the insurgents


The US is to send an extra 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in a move that could exacerbate the conflict

It will be a long and unnecessary war. President Barack Obama is sending 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan to prove that the US can impose its will on the country and crush by military means what is still a relatively small-scale insurrection.

The real reasons for escalating the conflict are very different from those declared by Mr Obama. He claims that al-Qa'ida might re-establish itself in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban and once again threaten the US and its allies with a repeat of 9/11. But there is no evidence that this is happening.

The remnants of al-Qa'ida are in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. If Osama bin Laden listened to Mr Obama's speech it will have been with mounting pleasure and a sense of achievement. Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qa'ida's chief strategist, explained just after 9/11 that the aim of the attack was to lure the US into a ground war against Muslims which would enable them to wage "a clear-cut jihad against the infidels".

The US escalation means that this wider war will now happen. The US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, spelled out what the US intends to do soon after Mr Obama's speech. He had to deal with the problem that US intelligence estimates that al-Qa'ida has only a few hundred fighters by relabelling the Taliban as somehow being the same as al-Qa'ida. "The Taliban and al-Qa'ida have become symbiotic, each benefiting from the success and mythology of the other," Mr Gates said. Yet US officials on the ground in Afghanistan say that the insurgents are members of the embattled Pashtun community, fighting the Americans as they once fought the Soviets. Their connection to the Taliban is often vague.

By treating Pashtun villagers as if they were all Taliban, and Taliban as being the equivalent of al-Qa'ida, Mr Obama is increasing, not reducing, the threat of terrorist attack on the US or Britain. He is providing the battleground Bin Laden hoped for and, like President George Bush before him, has jumped willingly into the al-Qa'ida trap.

The reality of Afghanistan is wholly different from the picture painted by Mr Obama in the US or Gordon Brown in the UK. The likelihood of the Taliban taking over the whole of Afghanistan has been systematically exaggerated. The insurgents have no support beyond the Pashtun community to which 42 per cent of Afghans belong. They are opposed by the 58 per cent who are Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazara and by many of their own Pashtun community. Even when backed by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia before the US intervention of 2001, the Taliban failed to conquer all the country.

American and British exponents of a military escalation or "the surge" in Afghanistan opportunistically expound two wholly contradictory views of Taliban strength. At one moment they are a movement of immense power on the verge of seizing power in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the possibility that they might soon have control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. But the next moment Mr Brown is claiming that the Taliban have almost no support among Afghans. In the US, Mr Obama and Mr Gates imply that the insurgents have such shallow roots that they can be largely defeated in 18 months so US troops can start to withdraw.

All this is very reminiscent of the months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when President Bush and Tony Blair proclaimed that Saddam Hussein's WMD were a threat to the whole world, but he was simultaneously very weak and could be overthrown and his country occupied without trouble.

There are real parallels between the US and British intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they are not the ones which the White House and Downing Street are publicising. In both countries foreign forces were intervening in a potential or actual ethnic and sectarian civil war. In Afghanistan this is between the Pashtun on one side and the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazara on the other and has been going on for 30 years. In Iraq it is between the Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shia Arabs. The Sunni were the predominant community under Saddam Hussein and were displaced by the Shia after a horrendous civil war which reached its peak in and around Baghdad in 2006-07. Sunni insurgents did surprisingly well against US troops, but lost the war against the Shia.

The guerrilla war against the US in Iraq ceased because the Sunni community was being slaughtered by Shia death squads. "Judging by the body counts at the time in the Baghdad morgues, three Sunnis died for every Shia," Dr Michael Izady, who conducted a survey of the sectarian make-up of Baghdad for Columbia University's School of International Affairs, is quoted as saying. "Baghdad, basically a Sunni city into the 1940s, by the end of 2008 had only a few hundred thousand Sunni residents left in a population of over five million." Defeated in this devastating sectarian civil war, the Sunni ended their attacks on US troops and instead sought their protection. The "surge" of 28,000 extra US troops who arrived in the summer of 2007 had a marginal impact on the outcome of the fighting.

Yet it is the mythical success of the US troop "surge" in Iraq in 2007-08 which is being used as a template for US military policy in Afghanistan two years later. A strategy, which did not work in the way the Pentagon said it did in Iraq is now to be applied in Afghanistan where conditions are, in any case, entirely different. A danger is that the new American strategy will provoke the same mass slaughter in Afghanistan as happened in Iraq.

The Obama plan outlined last week envisages training 100,000 new Afghan soldiers and 100,000 new policemen over the next three years. But where are these recruits to come from? Given the high desertion rate, the combat strength of the Afghan army is reportedly only 46,000 troops in a country that is larger than France. These troops, and particularly the officer corps, are already disproportionately Tajik, the ethnic group to which a quarter of Afghans belong. The US can only increase the military strength of the Afghan state swiftly by skewing it towards the Tajiks, who were always the core of opposition to the Taliban. This will increase sectarian hatreds.

Afghans in the areas where extra US and British troops will be sent, mostly in southern Pashtun provinces such as Helmand and Kandahar, fear that more foreign troops will simply mean more violence and more dead Afghans, according to opinion polls. Support for the Taliban is highest where civilians have been killed by shelling or bombing by foreign forces.

One of the most foolish and misleading claims by US and British generals is that fighting a guerrilla war can successfully be combined with dispensing aid and building bridges and roads. But, as one commentator puts it, such a mixture of Wyatt Earp and Mother Teresa is not feasible. Soldiers are trained to get what they want by force and that is generally what they do. Afghans whose families have just been killed by a bomb will not be conciliated by a fine new drainage system.

Other minefields face incoming American and British forces. The Afghan government is in many respects a criminal racket. Transparency International lists it as one of the most corrupt countries on earth. Foreign forces will either support this government, and suffer the odium of backing gangsters, or try to operate through provincial governors, police chiefs and local leaders, which will thereby confirm Taliban accusations that the Americans are seizing power in an occupied land.

Mr Obama's plan will deepen and spread the Afghan crisis. It is not going to end the 30-year-old Afghan civil war. It is likely to radicalise the 12 million Pashtun in Afghanistan and the 20 million in Pakistan by conflating them with al-Qa'ida. American and British aims in Afghanistan could be achieved by measured support for the Afghan government. What is now planned will amount to full military occupation and turn the country and the region into a battlefield.