Author Topic: *McChrystal FIRED for exposing the true reason we are in Afghanistan...OPIUM!  (Read 57227 times)

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Offline bigron

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Termination Notice: McChrystal Sideshow Masks Murderous Reality

BY Chris Floyd



June 23, 2010

http://uruknet.info/?p=m67290&hd=&size=1&l=e

Some people seem to think that the question of which uniformed goober is in charge of the imperial bloodbath in Afghanistan is a vitally important issue, worthy of endless exegesis. It is not. It is a meaningless sideshow. What does matter, vitally, deeply, urgently, is the imperial bloodbath itself, and the fact that it will go on, and on, no matter what Barack Obama does or doesn't do about Stanley McChrystal.

What really matters is this:



Ten civilians, including at least five women and children, were killed in NATO airstrikes in Khost Province, the provincial police chief said Saturday.


And this:



"We have received five bodies of civilians in our provincial public hospital," Khost provincial health director Amirbadshah Rahmatzai Mangal told AFP. "The dead include two female children of seven and eight years of age..."


McChrystal is in trouble for making disparaging remarks about fellow officers and civilian officials -- a military tradition that surely goes back to the armies of Hammurabi (and long before). Yet he faced no reprimand or remonstrance whatsoever for his admission, just a few months ago, that brazen war crimes were being carried out under his command:



"We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat," said Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who became the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan last year. His comments came during a recent videoconference to answer questions from troops in the field about civilian casualties.


As I noted at the time:



Now, what would the authorities say if you or I shot "an amazing number of people who have never proven to be a threat?" Why, they would call us murderers -- even mass murderers. Yet this is precisely what "the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan" has just declared, on videotape. ...

Again, just think of it, let it sink in, attend to the word of the commander: "We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat." Again: "We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat." Again: "We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat."

Again: what do you call it when innocent, unarmed, defenseless people who "have never proven to be a threat" are gunned down in cold blood? What do you call such an act?


But such acts are not to be punished -- because they are an accepted part of the process of the military domination of foreign lands. Wanton murder of the innocent? No problem, no scandal, a one-day story. "Insubordination" toward a few imperial satraps whose hands are steeped in blood? Shock, horror, wall-to-wall coverage.

But again: McChrystal's fate does not matter. As Justin Raimondo notes (see the original for informative links):             
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/06/22/mcchrystals-challenge/


Our empire of bases and global military presence has engendered a whole new subspecies of American, a class or caste that derives its income, its tradition, and in many cases its family history from the long record of US military intervention overseas. They are the knights of the American imperium, not only military but also civilians whose social, economic, and political interests are inextricably tied to the growth of the empire. This includes but is not limited to the military contractors, the administrators, the Washington policy wonks who come up with endless rationales for war – and, really, the entire political class in Washington, and their vassals among the coastal elites.


Indeed. If McChrystal goes, another bureaucrat of death will take his place. Until the militarist empire itself is rolled back and broken up, we will continue to see, month after month, year after year, "an amazing number of people who have never proven to be a threat" killed in cold blood -- such as the two little girls who were slaughtered last weekend in Khost.

There they are, their bodies torn, their slender limbs twisted and broken, their lifeless eyes staring into eternal nothingness ... and we're supposed to care about the professional fortunes and political fates of the depraved, power-drunk thugs who run this brutal war machine?




 

Anti_Illuminati

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http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/wired-war-book-review



Wired For War Book Review
Magnus Nordenman | February 11, 2009

The use of unmanned systems in warfare has exploded over the last decade. An interesting novelty just a few years ago, today the battlefield is swarming with unmanned vehicles that fly, hover, sit, roll, crawl, and swim. Unmanned aerial vehicles keep an eye on the terrain for NATO soldiers in Afghanistan and take out high-value targets in America's war on terror just across the border in Pakistan, much to the ire of Pakistani public opinion. According to some estimates more than 10,000 unmanned air and ground vehicles have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan alone.

But what does all this mean for the future of warfare? And what can it tell us about America's propensity to "go it alone" in the future?
P.W. Singer of Brookings has written a marvelous book on just this. Titled Wired for War, the book has something for everyone: the military historian, the strategist, the techno geek, the foreign policy expert, and the philosopher. It is also written in livelier style than usually seen in scholarly tomes, filled with pop culture references and more influence by the magazine "Wired" than "Foreign Affairs". In the introduction Singer promises a signed copy of the book, along with a piece of popular memorabilia from the robot happy 1980s, to the first reader who can submit a complete list of all the pop culture references throughout the book.

Singer covers the waterfront in his book, from the development of unmanned vehicles during the last century (and how they are deeply influenced by science fiction writing and movies) to how they are used today and could be used tomorrow. He also spends quite a few pages on the ethics and laws of robotic warfare. Is the person controlling the vehicle from 5,000 miles away a combatant? What about when he or she lets go of the joystick and goes home for the day? As robots come ever closer to looking and acting like humans, should they have some rights as well?

Singer's core thesis is that the rise of unmanned vehicles intended for warfare is a true Revolution in Military Affairs, while the much touted RMA of "network centric warfare" (connecting units and platforms through information technology for ever faster sharing of information) has been proven false by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Warfare and the military as an organization, argues Singer, will be fundamentally changed by the wholesale introduction of unmanned vehicles in the air, on land, and at sea in warfighting. Human combatants will no longer be in harm's way, the hierarchy of the military could be upturned, and the concept of military service will be changed forever. Goodbye high and tight hair cuts, early morning runs, and hours spent on the rifle range; hello spending days playing Xbox.

Singer's argument is quite provocative and his predictions certainly could come true. Many have already argued that the concept of military service has begun to change because of the transition to a professional military and the proliferation of technology and there are plenty of anecdotes floating around the defense community about what a "weird" feeling it is for military personnel to kill bad guys from a cubicle somewhere in America, and then go home to watch sit-coms in suburbia when the duty day is over.

Singer only spends a few pages contemplating what it all means for America's willingness to go to war in the future. He argues, correctly, that unmanned systems will decrease the cost of going to war and will therefore make it easier for America to seek out "kinetic solutions" to its foreign policy problems. This should concern those who thought that America's attitude of unilateralism has been buried in Iraq and Afghanistan. It just may be that the U.S. will be less reliant on allies in the future, contrary to the current rhetoric and hopes in Washington. Not only would the increased use of unmanned systems lower the cost of going to war but there would be less need for basing of U.S. troops in foreign countries.

Perhaps U.S. reliance on unmanned systems will contribute to another crisis in its relations with allies in Europe and elsewhere. After all, several European governments expressed their dislike about the Predator strike against Al Qaeda targets in Yemen in 2002, arguing that it was a strike against non-combatants that should have been arrested instead. Furthermore, America is the unrivalled leader in developing and deploying unmanned systems. The Europeans do not even come close to what America fields and plans to field in the near future. This is especially true in the realm of unmanned combat vehicles that actually go out and "put warheads to foreheads" rather than just gather intelligence. What happens to an alliance when most of the allies cannot "plug and play" in the future? How do the allies react when they deploy forces on the ground (and take casualties), while America does the fighting from home and in relative comfort? The issue of a military capabilities gap between the U.S. and its European allies is an old problem, but unmanned vehicles could widen the gap even further between what the U.S. can do militarily, and what the allies have to offer.

Technology shapes the policy options available to a decision maker just as much as the global security environment, domestic politics, and grand strategy. After all, before the coming of the Predator UAV, it wouldn't even be a policy option for the U.S. to rapidly strike at a group of Al Qaeda operatives riding in a truck on a dirt track in Yemen (a special forces team would never make it there in time, fighter bombers cannot loiter for that long, and cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk cannot track a small moving target in real time). It is also clear that the perception of a fast, relatively bloodless, and cheap victory in Iraq was heavily influenced by the belief that technology had finally lifted the Clausewitzian fog of war for the U.S. military.

Singer convincingly shows that unmanned systems in war are here to stay and will rapidly expand their reach, capabilities, and potential in the coming decades. Policy makers and shapers in both Washington and in Europe should seriously consider the implications of the coming of the age of robotic warfare.

Magnus Nordenman is associate director of the International Security Program at the Atlantic Council. AP Photo by Damian Dovarganes.

Offline Georgiacopguy

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Hi G.
McChrystal is not out of the loop, he is one informed, knowelgable, insider, -player.
Just my oppnion G, these men are well aware that these wars are a deception, they have known it from the getgo.
Please take a moment and give this a look, I was under this mans command in nam, he was the son of (WWII G. patton), a colonel commanding the 11th armored cav. This is a peek into the hearts and mind of a sold out career man.
I am not attemtping to say all are in this category, however given the present day abomination this may enlighten those who feel that the big dogs are strictly doing their patriotic chore.
Pattons prayer.
God, our Heavenly Father, hear our prayer. We acknowledge our shortcomings and ask thy help in being better soldiers for thee. Grant us, O Lord, those things we need to do they work more effectively. Give us this day a gun that will fire ten thousands rounds a second, a napalm that will burn for a week. Help us to bring death and destruction wherever we go, for we do it in thy name and therefore it is meet and just. We thank thee for this war, fully mindful that, while it is not the best of all wars, it is better than no war at all. We remember that Christ said "I come not to send peace, but a sword," and we pledge ourselves in all our works to be like Him. Forget not the least of thy children as they hide from us in the jungles; bring them under our merciful hand that we may end their suffering. In all things, O God, assist us, for we do our noble work in the knowledge that only with they help can we avoid the catastrophe of peace that threatens us ever. All of which we ask in the name of thy son, George Patton. Amen.
Ok, Patton read this before leaving the unit, its called the Blackhorse prayer, among the high echelon gathered was *General Creighton Abrams, they all cheered this so called prayer. This may give some a glimpse into the minds of the greater portion of those in command.

What lines have been crossed. My take is each and every one beggining with the oath to uphold the constitution.
To defend this nation, not to illegaly invade foriegn soveriegn nation under false pretences, the genocide of civilians, torture.. I am sincerely beleive that it was the duty of each and every officer from the full birds up to the generals to call the regime on its methods even if that was to include a coop.

G, if the military had remained in a defense mode as it was intended to be, protection of this nation from foriegn and domestic enemys, to uphold the constitution, I assure you i would have remained in the boots. Much to my chigrin that is not the case. there is no excuse whatsoever to condone the brass for their part in this abomination. thats it!


There is no doubt whatsoever that McChrystal is well connected, and will never have ot fight hard to have a job for the rest of his days. He will be well taken care of, because he has served his masters well. And there is not a doubt in my mind he knows that these wars are all based on lies, what they are truly about, and what he is having soldiers trained to do to their fellow Americans in the near future.

What I was trying to suggest is that he is a career soldier, and he may simply be looking to protect his ‘legacy’ as it relates to the public eye and the history books that they see fit to give to the masses. I was not trying to infer he is a hero, or that career soldiers of that high a rank could be heroes, or are worthy of praise. We all know he has about as much worth as a piece of dirt, but as I said, he seems to have a disconnect with what he has done in the extent of his career, probably the get out of jail card his position has afforded him over the years, and the ego that stems from being so well connected and in the loop. That disconnect seems to make him think that he is well liked in America, and therefore must protect his image for posterity’s sake. Not that he deserves ot have a protected or sacred image in any way or form.
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 HAZMAT

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Looks like petraeus is taking his place now.

Offline One Revelator

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Looks like petraeus is taking his place now.

Oh, THAT guy…

General Petraeus Faints While Being Questioned By Senator McCain
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tjFKGM2IHY
The number one cause of all human poverty, misery, and death is not global warming. It’s GLOBAL LYING.

Offline Georgiacopguy

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Looks like petraeus is taking his place now.

Crap...I thought were rid of him.
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 chris jones

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There is no doubt whatsoever that McChrystal is well connected, and will never have ot fight hard to have a job for the rest of his days. He will be well taken care of, because he has served his masters well. And there is not a doubt in my mind he knows that these wars are all based on lies, what they are truly about, and what he is having soldiers trained to do to their fellow Americans in the near future.

What I was trying to suggest is that he is a career soldier, and he may simply be looking to protect his ‘legacy’ as it relates to the public eye and the history books that they see fit to give to the masses. I was not trying to infer he is a hero, or that career soldiers of that high a rank could be heroes, or are worthy of praise. We all know he has about as much worth as a piece of dirt, but as I said, he seems to have a disconnect with what he has done in the extent of his career, probably the get out of jail card his position has afforded him over the years, and the ego that stems from being so well connected and in the loop. That disconnect seems to make him think that he is well liked in America, and therefore must protect his image for posterity’s sake. Not that he deserves ot have a protected or sacred image in any way or form.

G..That about sums it up.

Offline chrisfromchi

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Looks like petraeus is taking his place now.

Its going to be educational to watch the Left Media spin General Betrayus now.

Offline CheneysWorstNightmare

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Wasn't McCrystal the guy who covered up Pat Tillman's death?

Or was it Betrayus?

Offline Georgiacopguy

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Wasn't McCrystal the guy who covered up Pat Tillman's death?

Or was it Betrayus?

McChrystal.
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 Dig

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Olbermann said not to fire McChrystal because it will make a Martyr out of him. WTF? That guy has been completely insane since Soetoro ever decided to run for President. Hopefully the firing will wake up millions of soldiers to join oath keepers.
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 Optimus

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BetrayUS to replace McChrystal in Afghanistan
« Reply #91 on: June 23, 2010, 02:42:48 pm »
Petraeus to replace McChrystal in Afghanistan
http://www.taipeinews.net/story/651118
Taipei News.Net
Wednesday 23rd June, 2010

Gen. David Petraeus will replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has lost his command.

President Barack Obama accepted the general's resignation on Wednesday and announced he would be replaced by McChrystal's boss, Gen. David Petraeus, who heads the U.S. Central Command.

The dramatic move follows an article that McChrystal and his aides supported which echoed derogatory comments, and reflected a low opinion by the U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan towards administration officials, including President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The article to be published in the Rolling Stone magazine, which will hit the stands on Friday, scorns administration officials, and takes particular aim at Biden.

"The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general," Obama told reporters after meeting with McChrystal earlier in the morning. The decision to appoint Petraeus followed an emergency meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the command of the Afghanistan mission. The decision was a difficult one as the general had the comprehensive support of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday said McChrystal was a trusted partner and one of the most important figures in the U.S. relationship with Afghanistan.

"I believe that it is the right decision for our national security," Obama said as he announced the change in company with Biden, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Petraeus. McChrystal, was not in sight. He left the White House after his 35-minute meeting with the president about 10:30am.

"It is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military and for our country," Obama said.

"The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general."

"It was a difficult decision to come to the conclusion that I've made today," the president said. "Indeed, it saddens me to lose the service of a soldier who I've come to respect and admire, but the reasons that led me to this decision are the same principles that have supported the strength of our military and our nation since the founding."

"I believe that this mission demands unity of effort across our alliance and across my national security team. And I don't think that we can sustain that unity of effort and achieve our objectives in Afghanistan without making this change," he said.

"This is a change of personnel, not a change of policy," Obama said.

McChrystal said in a statement later in the day, "I strongly support the president's strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment, and a desire to see the mission succeed, that I tendered my resignation. It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation's finest," McChrystal said.

McChrystal was summoned to meet with Obama when news of the Rolling Stone article leaked. He is the second military leader in Afghanistan to lose command at the hands of Obama. He was Obama's choice to replace Gen. David McKiernan who Obama dismissed in the Spring of 2009.
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it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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Offline citizenx

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Doesn't this kind of make Petraeus more responsible for the AfPAk theater?

This could seriously impact his chances of running for higher office (good).

Isn't this kind of a step down (good)?  I mean he was commander of Centcom -- ostensibly over all the operations in the Middle East. Not sure what to make of all this crap yet.

But if McCain can make this guy faint, I rather doubt he'll be out in the field against the Taliban.  I wonder:  when was the last time this guy had a physical.

Offline Dig

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With McChrystal out of the way...

CRANK UP THE COUNTERFEIT PRINTING PRESSES BOYS...

'MO MONEY, 'MO MONEY, 'MO MONEY FOR DEFENSE CONTRACTORS...



CIA gives Blackwater firm new $100 million contract
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/23/cia-gives-blackwater-firm_n_622226.html


The Central Intelligence Agency has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to an industry source.

The previously undisclosed CIA contract is worth about $100 million, said the industry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal, which is classified.

“It’s for protective services … guard services, in multiple regions,” said the source.

Two other security contractors, Triple Canopy and DynCorp International, put in losing bids for the CIA’s business, the source said.

The revelation comes only a day after members of a federal commission investigating war-zone contractors blasted the State Department for granting Blackwater with a new $120 million contract to guard U.S. consulates under construction in Afghanistan.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano stopped short of confirming the contract, saying only that Xe personnel would not be involved in operations.

“While this agency does not, as a rule, comment on contractual relationships we may or may not have, we follow all applicable federal laws and regulations,” Gimigliano said.

The spokesman added, “We have a very careful process when it comes to procurement, and we take it seriously. We’ve also made it clear that personnel from Xe do not serve with CIA in any operational roles.”

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Erik Prince, chairman of the board at Xe and owner of Prince Group — which owns Xe — said the firm would have no comment.



“Blackwater has undergone some serious changes," maintained a U.S. official who is familiar with the deal and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss it freely.

"They’ve had to if they want to survive. They’ve had to prove to the government that they’re a responsible outfit. Having satisfied every legal requirement, they have the right to compete for contracts. They have people who do good work, at times in some very dangerous places. Nobody should forget that, either."

The Moyock, N.C.-based firm has been fighting off prosecutions and civil suits since a September 2007 incident in Baghdad, when its guards opened fire in a city square, allegedly killing 17 unarmed civilians and wounding 24.

In December a federal judge threw out charges against five of the alleged Blackwater shooters on procedural grounds, but the Justice Department is appealing the ruling.

Early this year German prosecutors launched a preliminary investigation into allegations that the CIA sent Blackwater operatives on an assassination mission against a suspected terrorist in Hamburg, Germany, in 2001.

In April, meanwhile, a federal grand jury indicted four of Prince's former top deputies, including his legal counsel, and a fifth employee, on 15 counts of conspiracy, weapons and obstruction-of-justice charges.

Prince personally has not been charged with any crimes.

Members of the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting hammered a State Department official during a hearing Monday, repeatedly asking how much weight was given to Blackwater’s record when the decision was made to give the firm a new contract last week.

“I don’t want to guess,” said Charlene Lamb, the department’s assistant director of International Programs.

Apparently weary of all the controversy, Prince announced two weeks ago he was putting the company on the block.

“A number of firms” are interested in buying the company, a spokeswoman said, declining to elaborate.

Meanwhile, on June 15, The Nation magazine reported that Prince was considering moving to the United Arab Emirates.

“If Prince's rumored future move is linked to concerns over possible indictment,” wrote Jeremy Scahill, author of a book on Blackwater, “the United Arab Emirates would be an interesting choice for a new home -- particularly because it does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.”

Prince's spokesman Corallo declined to discuss his client's plans, saying “his personal life is his own.”

By Jeff Stein  |  June 23, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
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Offline bigron

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From Great Man to Great Screwup: Behind the McChrystal Uproar

by Norman Solomon, June 24, 2010
http://original.antiwar.com/solomon/2010/06/23/from-great-man-to-great-screwup-behind-the-mcchrystal-uproar/


When the wheels are coming off, it doesn’t do much good to change the driver.


Whatever the name of the commanding general in Afghanistan, the U.S. war effort will continue its carnage and futility.


Between the lines, some news accounts are implying as much. Hours before Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s meeting with President Obama on Wednesday, the New York Times reported that "the firestorm was fueled by increasing doubts — even in the military — that Afghanistan can be won and by crumbling public support for the nine-year war as American casualties rise."


It now does McChrystal little good that news media have trumpeted everything from his Spartan personal habits (scarcely eats or sleeps) to his physical stamina (runs a lot) to his steel-trap alloy of military smarts and scholarship (reads history). Any individual is expendable.


For months, the McChrystal star had been slipping. A few days before the Rolling Stone piece caused a sudden plunge from war-making grace, Time magazine’s conventional-wisdom weathervane Joe Klein was notably down on McChrystal’s results: "Six months after Barack Obama announced his new Afghan strategy in a speech at West Point, the policy seems stymied."


Now, words like "stymied" and "stalemate" are often applied to the Afghanistan war. But that hardly means the U.S. military is anywhere near withdrawal.


Walter Cronkite used the word "stalemate" in his famous February 1968 declaration to CBS viewers that the Vietnam War couldn’t be won. "We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders both in Vietnam and Washington to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds," he said. And: "It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate."


Yet the U.S. war on Vietnam continued for another five years, inflicting more unspeakable horrors on a vast scale.


Like thousands of other U.S. activists, I’ve been warning against escalation of the Afghanistan war for a long time. Opposition has grown, but today the situation isn’t much different than what I described in an article on December 9, 2008: "Bedrock faith in the Pentagon’s massive capacity for inflicting violence is implicit in the nostrums from anointed foreign-policy experts. The echo chamber is echoing: the Afghanistan war is worth the cost that others will pay."


The latest events reflect unwritten rules for top military commanders: Escalating a terrible war is fine. Just don’t say anything mean about your boss.


But the most profound aspects of Rolling Stone‘s article "The Runaway General" have little to do with the general. The takeaway is — or should be — that the U.S. war in Afghanistan is an insoluble disaster, while the military rationales that propel it are insatiable. "Instead of beginning to withdraw troops next year, as Obama promised, the military hopes to ramp up its counterinsurgency campaign even further," the article points out. And "counterinsurgency has succeeded only in creating a never-ending demand for the primary product supplied by the military: perpetual war."


There was something plaintive and grimly pathetic about the last words of the New York Times editorial that arrived on desks just hours before the general’s White House meeting with the commander in chief: "Whatever President Obama decides to do about General McChrystal, he needs to get hold of his Afghanistan policy right now."


Like their counterparts at media outlets across the United States, members of the Times editorial board are clinging to the counterinsurgency dream.


But none of such pro-war handwringing makes as much sense as a simple red-white-and-blue bumper sticker that says: "These colors don’t run . . . the world."


Fierce controversy has focused on terminating a runaway general. But the crying need is to terminate a runaway war.


Offline Dig

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Doesn't this kind of make Petraeus more responsible for the AfPAk theater?

This could seriously impact his chances of running for higher office (good).

Isn't this kind of a step down (good)?  I mean he was commander of Centcom -- ostensibly over all the operations in the Middle East. Not sure what to make of all this crap yet.

But if McCain can make this guy faint, I rather doubt he'll be out in the field against the Taliban.  I wonder:  when was the last time this guy had a physical.

As far as Patraeus, the fainting incident just stopped any chance of him being a presidential candidate (unless the queen bitches truly control 99.999% of the voting systems).

As far as McChrystal,

The whole thing look so fricking staged by everyone including possibly him or people around him. I feel bad for the grunts who loved McChrystal and actually had some amount of faith that through it all, they were brothers in a complete FUBAR. Now the grunts are being asked to continue being led into harm's way by bankers, drug runners, and royal families (who need 20 people and 1,000 gallons of water every time they take a shit) without at least the feeling that some psycho was in the foxhole with them. McChrystal is that psycho and I still think he can find some solace if he exposes once and for all WTF happened to Pat Tillman and WTF we are actually doing in Afghanistan (which he did to some extent by allowing his soldiers to talk about protecting the poppies).

And since Patraeus is heading back to the war theater (doesn't that word just make so much sense?), BRING BACK FALLON! HE COULD TELL ROLLING STONE TO GO F THEMSELVES AND THE WHOLE COUNTRY WOULD CHEER!
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 Satyagraha

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... (which he did to some extent by allowing his soldiers to talk about protecting the poppies).


Wow - THAT could have been the reason - I don't for one second believe that the comments in Rolling Stone had anything to do with it. But 'outing' the feds for their Heroin operation might have been the straw.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-24/petraeus-gives-afghan-mission-trusted-name-in-washington-at-critical-phase.html

 Petraeus Gives Afghan Mission Trusted Name at Critical Phase
By Viola Gienger and Tony Capaccio - Jun 24, 2010

 

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Jamie Metzl, executive vice president of the Asia Society, talks with Bloomberg's Lori Rothman about Army General Stanley McChrystal's resignation. President Barack Obama stripped McChrystal of his command of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for making disparaging remarks about administration officials just over a year after he was entrusted with salvaging the war effort. Obama named General David Petraeus, commander of American forces in the Middle East and Central Asia and the architect of U.S. counterinsurgency strategy, to replace him. (Source: Bloomberg)

General David Petraeus commands a respect in Congress and on foreign battlefields that may enhance the U.S. and NATO mission in a decisive phase against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama’s announcement yesterday that he’s replacing General Stanley McChrystal for remarks disparaging administration officials thrusts Petraeus back into the role of leading a major combat effort to reverse enemy gains. Petraeus, who wrote the Army’s book on counterinsurgency, took charge in Iraq in 2007 as the Bush administration started a troop surge that stabilized a nation on the verge of civil war.

“From the standpoint of continuity and consistency of approach and direction, I think this is a very good choice,” said retired Lieutenant General James Dubik, who’s been friends with Petraeus for more than 25 years and served with him in Iraq. “It lowers the risk of any significant loss of momentum.”

The president said the shift in command “is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy.”

Petraeus, 57, was named the top U.S. commander for the Middle East and Central Asia in 2008. He supervised both wars and coordinated with civilians and partners in the Afghanistan coalition led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Decisive Moment

He takes over as the U.S. completes the deployment of 30,000 additional troops Obama authorized in December in an effort to halt the Taliban resurgence that has increased deaths of U.S. and allied soldiers to the fastest pace in the war. With a four-month-old offensive stalled in the southern province of Helmand, the U.S. has delayed what it described as a decisive drive in the neighboring Taliban heartland of Kandahar.

The U.S. plans to reassess the strategy in December and train enough Afghan soldiers and police to allow a drawdown to begin in July 2011. That pullout date has drawn criticism from Republicans.

The “policy is confusing,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “It undercuts the war effort. It empowers our enemies. It confuses our friends.”

Said Senator John McCain of Arizona, “If you tell the enemy when you are leaving” it “has an adverse effect on your ability to succeed.”

Both said they support Petraeus.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, who also backs Petraeus, said confirmation hearings will begin “no later than Tuesday.” The Michigan Democrat said Petraeus assured him only the “pace” of troop withdrawal, not the start of such movement, will be determined by conditions in Afghanistan. Levin said the panel may vote immediately after the hearing to forward the nomination to the full Senate.

Afghan Respect

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who urged Obama to keep McChrystal, “respects” Obama’s decision, spokesman Waheed Omar said in a telephone interview.

Karzai’s chief rival in last year’s fraud-tainted presidential election, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, said Petraeus is well placed to build a broader relationship with Afghan leaders that could enhance public support in the country for the U.S. strategy.

“This change may be for the best, because General McChrystal was relying very heavily” on a close relationship with Karzai, who has lost political support over corruption within his government.

Petraeus has worked to build a relationship with Pakistan’s army, the key counterpart for U.S. forces in the region. Petraeus visited Pakistan at least five times in the past 17 months, and has hosted Pakistan’s overall commander, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, at the Central Command headquarters.

Iraq War

Articulate and media-friendly, Petraeus is the best-known commander to emerge from the Iraq War. His 101st Airborne Division joined the initial invasion and was then assigned to pacify Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city.

That’s where he drew attention for his emphasis on economic development and political outreach.

Fifteen months after being sent to Iraq, Petraeus was reassigned to a training center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, amid reports that the Pentagon, then run by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, was unhappy with his high profile.

He returned to Iraq in early 2007 to implement the surge of troops that President George W. Bush ordered.

Petraeus became the head of U.S. Central Command in 2008, when Admiral William Fallon resigned after an article in Esquire magazine depicted him as being at odds with Bush over Iran.

Allies Support

Obama’s choice of Petraeus won support from allies. The general is the “right man to take command” of troops in Afghanistan, said a spokesman for U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

The British deputy commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, Lieutenant General Nick Parker, will lead the coalition until Petraeus is confirmed. Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, who runs day-to-day operations in Afghanistan, will act as U.S. commander until Petraeus takes over.

NATO-led forces and their Afghan partners have suffered setbacks in trying to secure the town of Marjah in the southern province of Helmand after a February offensive, and McChrystal slowed the pace of the Kandahar advance to allow more time for civilian efforts to secure law and order and local support.

Petraeus last week sought to reassure members of Congress that the campaign in Afghanistan is making progress.

He was pressed by the Senate Armed Services Committee over how many troops might be withdrawn in July 2011, how quickly that would proceed and how significant the scheduled December review of the strategy will be.

He told the committee the planned drawdown date was useful for sending a message to the Afghan government that it must step up preparations to take over.

“It is important that July 2011 be seen for what it is, a date when a process begins based on conditions,” Petraeus said. He pledged a “responsible drawdown” of U.S. forces.
I'M A DEPLORABLE KNUCKLEHEAD THAT SUPPORTS PRESIDENT TRUMP.  MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND KEEP HIM SAFE.

Offline Dig

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Wow - THAT could have been the reason - I don't for one second believe that the comments in Rolling Stone had anything to do with it. But 'outing' the feds for their Heroin operation might have been the straw.



You do not mess with the East India Trading Company's control over the opium cartel!

But seriously, he exposed that the marines are being used as common thugs for a small group of mobsters pushing the narcotics all around the planet. That was just too much for the Queen Bitches to allow.
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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Foxnews - We Tolerate The Cultivation Of Opium Poppies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t372emhXa60
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 chris jones

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Cute, they tolerate opium growing. ya sure, they promote it.
Sure there is money in it, but it goes much deeper, addiction is the road to slavery. Those who controll the poppy dominate the users.DPENDENCE-
ADDICTION-The loss of ones soul.
Ever wonder where the word assassin orriginated. These guys were on the poppy pipe, or hashed up ..

Offline bigron

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  • RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2012
McChrystal 'sacked for intelligence leak'

Thu, 24 Jun 2010 12:46:23 GMT
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=131827&sectionid=3510203

 
 
Army General Stanley McChrystal



Kabul circles say the dismissal of US commander was over leaking information including NATO's connection with the executed leader of the Jundallah terrorist group, Abdolmalek Rigi.

Head of Press TV's office in Kabul, Mohammad Ruhi, says US commander General Stanley McChrystal was sacked for acknowledging NATO's connection with the executed leader of the Pakistan-based Jundallah terrorist group, Abdolmalek Rigi.

He dismissed the official reasons for the firing of McChrystal, saying his growing friendship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and intelligence leaks may have triggered the replacement.

The move caused a scandal, and a British minister was sacked. In retaliation, London is believed to have released confidential statements by McChrystal to White House officials, paving the way for the commander's removal from his post.

Ruhi says many insiders also link the decision to the escalating number of US casualties in the war-torn country since the beginning of 2010.

"The general opinion is that Petraeus' reputation as the 'butcher of Iraq' is meant to intimidate militants as well as Afghans," he added.

Furthermore, Karzai's increasingly vocal protests over the civilian death toll of US and NATO operations and McChrystal's acknowledgement of mistakes fueled tensions with the US Ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry.

The friendship between the two also entailed other top intelligence leaks, with McChrystal briefing Karzai on plans to mobilize Taliban militants from the volatile south to the north, Britain's arms and drug smuggling route from Afghanistan to Central Asia as well as links with the Russian mafia.

McChrystal's remarks to Rolling Stone magazine, in which he mocked a string of top Washington officials, raised speculations about the deepening rift among the echelons of the US government.

Obama picked General David Petraeus on Wednesday to replace McChrystal as the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The choice of Gen. Petraeus, the architect of the Iraq war surge strategy, to replace Gen. McChrystal, was because he was well known to the Afghans and Pakistanis, and had ties with Washington's NATO allies.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Gen. McChrystal had described his civilian bosses as "clueless" and called their European allies "wimps."

In the interview, Gen. McChrystal said he felt betrayed by the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, and accused him of undermining the Afghan war by leaking a classified cable back in January.

The general also indirectly criticized the US president, calling him "uncomfortable and intimidated."

ZHD/HGH/MSA

Offline Dig

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Opium, Rape and the American Way



The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban. The moral lines we draw between us and our adversaries are fictional. The uplifting narratives used to justify the war in Afghanistan are pathetic attempts to redeem acts of senseless brutality. War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. War always empowers those who have a penchant for violence and access to weapons. War turns the moral order upside down and abolishes all discussions of human rights. War banishes the just and the decent to the margins of society. And the weapons of war do not separate the innocent and the damned. An aerial drone is our version of an improvised explosive device. An iron fragmentation bomb is our answer to a suicide bomb. A burst from a belt-fed machine gun causes the same terror and bloodshed among civilians no matter who pulls the trigger.

"We need to tear the mask off of the fundamentalist warlords who after the tragedy of 9/11 replaced the Taliban," Malalai Joya, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/malalai-joya-the-woman-who-will-not-be-silenced-1763127.html%20 who was expelled from the Afghan parliament two years ago for denouncing government corruption and the Western occupation, told me during her visit to New York last week. "They used the mask of democracy to take power. They continue this deception. These warlords are mentally the same as the Taliban. The only change is physical. These warlords during the civil war in Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996 killed 65,000 innocent people. They have committed human rights violations, like the Taliban, against women and many others."

"In eight years less than 2,000 Talib have been killed and more than 8,000 innocent civilians has been killed," she went on. "We believe that this is not war on terror. This is war on innocent civilians. Look at the massacres carried out by NATO forces in Afghanistan. Look what they did in May in the Farah province, where more than 150 civilians were killed, most of them women and children. They used white phosphorus and cluster bombs. There were 200 civilians on 9th of September killed in the Kunduz province, again most of them women and children. You can see the Web site http://pubpages.unh.edu/%7Emwherold/ of professor Marc Herold, this democratic man, to know better the war crimes in Afghanistan imposed on our people. The United States and NATO eight years ago occupied my country under the banner of woman's rights and democracy. But they have only pushed us from the frying pan into the fire. They put into power men who are photocopies of the Taliban."

Afghanistan's boom in the trade in opium, used to produce heroin, over the past eight years of occupation has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to the Taliban, al-Qaida, local warlords, criminal gangs, kidnappers, private armies, drug traffickers and many of the senior figures in the government of Hamid Karzai. The New York Times reported that the brother of President Karzai, Ahmed Wali Karzai http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/world/asia/28intel.html%20?_r=1 has been collecting money from the CIA although he is a major player in the illegal opium business. Afghanistan produces 92 percent of the world's opium in a trade that is worth some $65 billion, the United Nations estimates. This opium feeds some 15 million addicts worldwide and kills around 100,000 people annually. These fatalities should be added to the rolls of war dead.

Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said that the drug trade has permitted the Taliban to thrive and expand despite the presence of 100,000 NATO troops.

"The Taliban's direct involvement in the opium trade allows them to fund a war machine that is becoming technologically more complex and increasingly widespread," said Costa.

The UNODC estimates the Taliban earned $90 million to $160 million a year from taxing the production and smuggling of opium and heroin between 2005 and 2009, as much as double the amount it earned annually while it was in power nearly a decade ago. And Costa described the Afghan-Pakistani border as "the world's largest free trade zone in anything and everything that is illicit," an area blighted by drugs, weapons and illegal immigration. The "perfect storm of drugs and terrorism" may be on the move along drug trafficking routes through Central Asia, he warned. Profits made from opium are being pumped into militant groups in Central Asia and "a big part of the region could be engulfed in large-scale terrorism, endangering its massive energy resources," Costa said.

"Afghanistan, after eight years of occupation, has become a world center for drugs," Joya told me. "The drug lords are the only ones with power. How can you expect these people to stop the planting of opium and halt the drug trade? How is it that the Taliban when they were in power destroyed the opium production and a superpower not only cannot destroy the opium production but allows it to increase? And while all this goes on, those who support the war talk to you about women's rights. We do not have human rights now in most provinces. It is as easy to kill a woman in my country as it is to kill a bird. In some big cities like Kabul, some women have access to jobs and education, but in most of the country the situation for women is hell. Rape, kidnapping and domestic violence are increasing. These fundamentalists during the so-called free elections made a misogynist law against Shia women in Afghanistan. This law has even been signed by Hamid Karzai. All these crimes are happening under the name of democracy."

Thousands of Afghan civilians have died from insurgent and foreign military violence. And American and NATO forces are responsible for almost half the civilian deaths in Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have also died from displacement, starvation, disease, exposure, lack of medical treatment, crime and lawlessness resulting from the war.

Joya argues that Karzai and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, who has withdrawn from the Nov. 7 runoff election, will do nothing to halt the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco-state. She said that NATO, by choosing sides in a battle between two corrupt and brutal opponents, has lost all its legitimacy in the country.

The recent resignation of a high-level U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan, Matthew Hoh, was in part tied to the drug problem. Hoh wrote in his resignation letter that Karzi's government is filled with "glaring corruption and unabashed graft." Karzi, he wrote, is a president "whose confidants and chief advisers comprise drug lords and war crimes villains who mock our own rule of law and counter-narcotics effort."

Joya said, "Where do you think the $36 billion of money poured into country by the international community have gone? This money went into the pockets of the drug lords and the warlords. There are 18 million people in Afghanistan who live on less than $2 a day while these warlords get rich. The Taliban and warlords together contribute to this fascism while the occupation forces are bombing and killing innocent civilians. When we do not have security how can we even talk about human rights or women's rights?"

"This election under the shade of Afghan war-lordism, drug-lordism, corruption and occupation forces has no legitimacy at all," she said. "The result will be like the same donkey but with new saddles. It is not important who is voting. It is important who is counting. And this is our problem. Many of those who go with the Taliban do not support the Taliban, but they are fed up with these warlords and this injustice, and they go with the Taliban to take revenge. I do not agree with them, but I understand them. Most of my people are against the Taliban and the warlords, which is why millions did not take part in this tragic drama of an election."

"The U.S. wastes taxpayers' money and the blood of their soldiers by supporting such a mafia corrupt system of Hamid Karzai," said Joya, who changes houses in Kabul frequently because of the numerous death threats made against her. "Eight years is long enough to learn about Karzai and Abdullah. They chained my country to the center of drugs. If Obama was really honest he would support the democratic-minded people of my country. We have a lot [of those people]. But he does not support the democratic-minded people of my country. He is going to start war in Pakistan by attacking in the border area of Pakistan. More civilians have been killed in the Obama period than even during the criminal Bush."

"My people are sandwiched between two powerful enemies," she lamented. "The occupation forces from the sky bomb and kill innocent civilians. On the ground, Taliban and these warlords deliver fascism. As NATO kills more civilians, the resistance to the foreign troops increases. If the U.S. government and NATO do not leave voluntarily, my people will give to them the same lesson they gave to Russia and to the English who three times tried to occupy Afghanistan. It is easier for us to fight against one enemy rather than two."

Chris Hedges, whose column is published on Truthdig every Monday, spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle" (2009) and "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" (2003).


Reader Comments

Narco States Are Us

By: gotnoscript

Seems like every country the US bombs or gives aid to (military or otherwise) turn into narco-states or are trade routes for narco-states- Colombia (cocaine), Israel (ecstasy), Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo...
Added: Mon, 02 Nov 2009 15:10 EST

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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THE OCTOPUS
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_wackenhut07.htm
by David Guyatt November 12, 2001

It is one of those stories that even the wildest novelists can’t properly imagine.

A group of well placed government bureaucrats and politicians, plus numerous CIA spooks and military covert ops types shake hands with the Mafia and agree to do business on the QT. This involves shaking-down very wealthy figures, dealing guns on the black market, money laundering and trafficking drugs on a world-wide scale. Along the way they bleed the assets of numerous banks, bankrupting many of them in the process. They also involve themselves in Masonic secret societies and pull unseen strings deep inside the Vatican.

And, of course, they organize a few political assassinations, invoke some random murders and set alight the fuse on dozens of major bombing events - just to add zest and confusion.

Everything is done in the name of "anti-communism," and is conducted under the umbrella of "national security" -- a designation that is sure to stifle any irksome police investigation that could otherwise lead to arrest and imprisonment. It also ensures their now decades old "business enterprise" will continue to prosper without any kind of oversight.

Welcome then, to the national security ""untouchables"" - a group of shadowy puppet-masters who practice organized crime on a global scale in the name of freedom and democracy -- and who often possess marked Nazi sympathies.

Danny Casolaro, a freelance American journalist dubbed this group The Octopus. Casolaro was investigating them for their involvement in the October Surprise story, the theft of Inslaw Corporation’s smart software suite known as "PROMIS" and their connections to the Iran-Contra affair involving Lt. Col. Oliver North, as well as the collapse of BCCI, the global bank dubbed the Bank for Crooks & Criminals International.

According to Carol Marshall, an American writer, Casolaro told friends that he,

"had traced the Inslaw and related stories back to a dirty CIA ’Old Boy’ network that had begun working together in the 1950’s around Albanian covert operations."

Marshall adds that,

"these men had gotten into the illegal gun and drugs trade back then and had continued in that business ever since."

She adds that Casolaro was also investigating the Wackenhut Corporation -- a leading international security firm based in Indio, California. Wackenhut Corp., began life, according to its own promotional literature, back in 1954 when a handful of FBI Special Agents decided to set-up a specialist company providing investigative services to business and industry.

But Marshall and Casolaro may well have been a few years out in their reckoning on the founding of the Octopus. There is persuasive evidence that the roots of this group date back to the war or immediate post-war years. There was certainly an accommodation reached between the Mafia and the US military by the time of the US led invasion of Sicily.

In exchange for Mafia help for the Sicily landing, Mafia kingpin, Lucky Luciano, was released from prison in the US for exile in Italy.

But the relationship between the US military and intelligence community and senior members of organized crime was far more deep-seated. Lt. Colonel Lucien Conein, a high-ranking CIA officer stationed in Saigon before and during the Vietnam war, also belonged to the Corsican underworld, the Union Corse.

This crime clan was responsible for the so called "French Connection" heroin shipments from Southeast Asia to Marseilles and then on to the United States during the Vietnam War era. Conein was so well connected to leaders of the Corsican underworld that when he left Vietnam, he was presented with a gold medallion embossed with the Napoleonic eagle and the Corsican crest. The medallion is traditionally worn by Corsican crime bosses to signify their seniority.

Conein is believed by some to have been the inspiration for the principal character in William Herrernan’s best selling novel, The Corsican. Meanwhile, earlier in his career, Conein had been an OSS liaison officer with the French resistance during WWII.

Meanwhile, it is a sad fact that the narcotics industry has been lurking behind almost every major -- and most minor -- wars over the past five decades.

The war in Southeast Asia that encompassed Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand witnessed a vast explosion in Opium and Heroin trafficking -- with the connivance of the CIA. Much of this resulted from the decision to covertly arm, at a cost, local warlords to fight in the battle against communism. In order to be able to buy these weapons, local military commanders took control of and increased Opium production in their region. This was then exchanged for weapons and the Opium found its way to the US and Europe.

The guns for dope model that developed during the Vietnam war proved effective elsewhere, too. Similar structures were later developed in Afghanistan, El Salvador and even up to and including Kosovo -- where the NATO backed KLA trafficked heroin.

But the Octopus does not limit itself to just guns and drugs -- even though these two do generate spectacular profits. According to Carol Marshall, there is evidence of an old and deep involvement in chemical and biological (CB) weapons that may date back to WWII and the secret Japanese Unit 731 that developed CB weapons in Manchuria.

This connection also revealed, Marshall discovered, the Octopus connection to the Yakuza -- Japan’s notorious underworld -- in the form of Robert Booth Nichols.

Nichols repeatedly appears in Marshall’s manuscript because of his apparent relationship to organized crime syndicates and Mafia front organizations. Nichols, however, is also a member of the CIA, a fact he admitted on the witness stand during a 1993 trial for false arrest. Threatening to subpoena a list of highly placed government officers in his defense, the trial Judge, Thomas C. Murphy, ruled a mistrial.

Meanwhile, Nichols continued to maintain a very close association with Harold Okimoto, Nichols Godfather and member of the Board of Directors of First Intercontinental Development Corporation (FIDCO) -- a firm in which Nichols was a principle. Okimoto, meanwhile is alleged to have been a high ranking Japanese intelligence officer during WWII -- a post invariably given to senior members of the Yakuza.

One of the principal persons providing inside information to Carol Marshall was Michael Riconsciuto - a CIA scientific whiz kid imbued with marked intellectual abilities who ostensibly worked for the Wackenhut Corporation.

Riconsciuto, who had been close to Robert Booth Nichols for twenty years, visited a top secret facility with him. This was located at Alice Springs in Australia and housed, according to Riconosciuto a,

"city of sorts, containing sophisticated communications equipment, laboratory equipment and other items that he would not define."

 

This facility was "privately owned" Riconosciuto told Marshall, adding that what he had seen there "made him realise it was time to terminate his relationship with Robert Booth Nichols."

Riconosciuto refused to say what it was that caused his dismay during his Australian trip, but author Carol Marshall believed it had something to do with bio weapons that he’d worked on and which might have had a bearing on Gulf War Syndrome. This illness is said to have subterranean connections to HIV AIDS and is rumored to have resulted from the illegal field-testing on allied troops of an experimental AIDS vaccine during the Gulf war. Were a commercial company to have found and successfully tested an AIDS vaccine, the potential profits they could earn would be enormous.

Likewise, the development of a genetically modified killer disease possesses potential for profits also. During one of her last interviews with Riconosciuto, Carol Marshall pressed the CIA scientist to explain his involvement in developing a genetically engineered biological weapon during his time at Wackenhut.

Riconoscituo explained that he had worked on a "military concept where you can engineer these biological agents…….you see, a specific penetration group can be immunized, and everybody else dies."
 

Riconosciuto, meanwhile, was the first to claim years ago that a race specific biological weapon had been developed. At the time his claims received short shrift. We now know, however, that the Israeli’s have indeed been developing such a device as have the South Africans. Nor can the allegations of an HIV AIDS bio-weapon be written off as fantasy.
 

Dr. Wouter Bassoon - head of South Africa’s military covert weapons program -- who has been dubbed the "Doctor of Death" by the South African media, is said to have been involved in the use of the AIDS virus against enemies by using "infected blood" in "an operation."

Bassoon is also charged with trafficking in Ecstacy and Mandrax tablets, money laundering, the illegal administration of truth serum, conspiracy to murder and murder. Dr. Bassoon had admitted that his activities were based on a US chemical & biological weapons program.

"I must confirm that the structure of the project was based on the U.S. system. That’s where we learnt the most," he said.

Meanwhile, the serpentine connections between South African security forces and leading figures from the realm of organized crime during the Apartheid era, can only serve to reinforce the incredible reach and depth of the Octopus.
 

How the Octopus gets it profits

A typical scam revolves around the most popular arms for drugs cycle.

Weapons purchased years before by the Pentagon are acquired by the Octopus at "book value" -- meaning the cost of purchase for, say, 1980 when an assault rifle might then have had a price tag of $300 each. In 1990, this cost could easily have risen to $600 each. By acquiring the 1980 stock at $300 per rifle, the Octopus could sell it to their "client" for, say, for $700 each -- including shipping - thereby making a handsome profit of $400 each.

In order to replenish its stock of rifles, the Pentagon arranges to purchase the current model weapon at the prevailing price -- making the tax-payer the loser.

The second leg of the arrangement sees the Octopus contract to purchase the "clients" supply of drugs. The purchase price is set well below street value, but sufficient for the client to be able to afford to purchase the arms needed. The drugs are then "cut" and distributed and, naturally, generate immense additional profits at the street level.

In this manner, each leg of the transaction makes a bountiful profit. The last part of the jigsaw is to launder the illegal profits through the banking system and then invest part of the proceeds into bona fide businesses.
 

US Grandees of the octopus

CIA whiz-kid Michael Riconosciuto told author Carol Marshall that the US government "sanctioned" met laboratories in Fresno, Madera and Mariposa County in California.

Marshall had been earlier involved in an investigation in Mariposa County that involved Police Sergeant Roderick Sinclair of the Mariposa Sheriff’s Department. Sinclair, had according to a number of witnesses been a long-term user of drugs had, while on duty, veered the car he was driving across the road and hit another car. Inside were three US Secret Service men who were all killed outright.

What grabbed Carol Marshall’s attention, however, was the way the Judge in the subsequent trial appeared to cover-up Sinclair’s drug habit. The author later realized that a "tentacle of the Octopus had slithered into Mariposa County" when she discovered that Rod Sinclair’s father, Colonel Sinclair, had been a military attaché to General Douglas MacArthur during WWII -- and later supervised training of Japanese in intelligence methods.

MacArthur and members of his team have long been associated with the Octopus -- perhaps because of the General’s role as Japan’s "Shogun" after WWII and the inevitable contacts created with the Japanese crime clans, the Yakuza.

It has recently been revealed that MacArthur appears to have personally benefited from war loot plundered by the Japanese and later secretly recovered by the OSS and the CIA. This was in the form of gold bullion accounts set-up in MacArthur’s name by the OSS/CIA officer Santa Romana.


Warfare - each side is set to bleed the other for profit

During hearings in 1987, the Senate Sub Committee on Terrorism, Narcotics & International Operations revealed a series of "secret memo’s" written by General Paul F. Gorman who as head of "Southern Command" commanded the US military presence in South America during the 1980’’s.

Gorman had written:

"There is not a single group in unconventional warfare that does not use narcotics to fund itself."

He was referring to the US backed Contra’s supported by Colonel Oliver North and the national Security Council of the US. This was the tip of the iceberg, however. Every conflict from Vietnam on through Lebanon, Afghanistan, Croatia and Kosovo has relied on the guns for drugs equation operated by the Octopus.

One very senior Pentagon source described how this came about to author Monica Jensen-Stevenson:

"What started out in Vietnam as a neat way to find money to fund covert operations had developed into a huge industry. The men and women who are involved, maybe they can’t get off the merry-go-round. Maybe it keeps spinning faster and faster, they make more and more money, and even if they wanted to duck out, they can’t."

Theodore Shackley, one of the key CIA figures involved in covert operation since Vietnam described in his book The Third Way that low intensity conflicts are not really fought to be won but to bleed both sides so as to maximize black market commerce and to secretly field test new weapons and techniques on a "training battlefield."
 

 


The Head of the Octopus?

In her book The Last Circle, author Carol Marshall outlines an international company, First Intercontinental Development Corporation (FIDCO) that she said led her "straight to the head of the octopus."

She then lists the Board of Directors of FIDCO who included Robert Maheu Snr, right hand man of Mob and CIA-connected Howard Hughes and Robert Booth Nichols, self-confessed CIA agent with powerful Mafia affiliations. Among others on the board were Michael McManus, former assistant to President Reagan and Clint Murchison Jnr., owner of the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team.

The latter is the son of Clint Murchison Snr., who was one of the motivating factors behind General Douglas MacArthur’s failed Presidential attempt in 1952. Muchison senior was also closely associated at this time with Richard Nixon, who later became US President and had financial dealings with him that involved Jimmy Hoffa, a Mafia figure connected to the Teamsters Union.

Others who were close friends of Murchison senior included FBI chief, J. Edgar Hoover.

That Clint Muchison senior had dealings with the Mafia is undisputed. For example, 20% of the Murchison Oil Lease Company was owned by Gerardo Catena, a leading lieutenant of the Genovese crime family. Of interest, too, are Murchison’s Texas connections.

Investigative journalist, Pete Brewton, in his book The Mafia, CIA & George Bush, ties former President George Bush to leading Mafia figures in Texas. . . .

Related Reports

The Last Circle, an unpublished manuscript by Carol Marshall, which investigates the so-called "Octopus".
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 citizenx

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And now "anti-communism" has become the "war on terror" or whatever that has morped into under Soetoro.  (Really, more of the same.)

Offline bigron

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'Obama fired McChrystal to rid 2012 rival'


Fri, 25 Jun 2010 11:38:05 GMT
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=131950&sectionid=3510302

   
Former US senator Mike Gravel speaks to Press TV about the story behind General 'Petraeus.'


The following is a rush transcript of Press TV's interview with former US Senator and presidential candidate Mike Gravel on the controversy surrounding the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanly McChrystal.

Press TV:How damaging has this whole episode been for the US-led mission in Afghanistan?

Gravel: I do not think [it has been] damaging at all. You have to keep in mind that the strategy for Afghanistan was developed by General [David] Petraeus, who was the commander of McChrystal. Now, McChrystal was merely the thug, I use the word 'thug' advisably because the reputation with McChrystal is of course the secret special ops, which were a lot of assassination teams.

So, McChrystal was merely the henchman that was bringing about the strategy. But, there is an unusual benefit that occurs politically that I don't think is appreciated by anybody on the scene. That is that Petraeus was looked upon as a possible presidential candidate on the Republican side, opposing [US President Barack] Obama when he runs for re-election.

Now, Petraeus was distanced from Afghanistan, and so, very cleverly, President Obama has demoted Petraeus and put him in charge of Afghanistan. So, if a failure takes place as I presume it will by 2012, the failure will be owned as much by Petraeus negating his ability to be a viable presidential candidate and will benefit Obama.

Press TV: The father of the counter-insurgency strategy is Petraeus himself, whoever it is, if it is coming out of the Pentagon, White house; from the public into the media, everyone is backing this counter insurgency strategy. They are saying it is going to work. But what is it saying behind the scenes?

Of course, there was that leak document from [US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl] Eikenberry, and McChrystal said that he was very upset about that, that he felt betrayed. Behind the scenes, how much unity is there on this coin strategy?

Gravel: Well there was no unity at all because McChrystal was a bowl in a china shop. This is not McChrystal's strategy; this is Petraeus' strategy that was being implemented by a lesser person -- which is McChrystal.

Now that McChrystal is out of the way, and keep in mind, McChrystal is very close to President Hamid Karzai, and so I am sure that the attitude that is put out in the media in Afghanistan is that, oh well we loved McChrystal, he was fine. But keep in mind that McChrystal's strategy was that of assassination or bribery, and you had your choice, and that strategy was developed by Petraeus in Iraq, and it carried over into Afghanistan. And so I think you are going to see no change at all from a military point of view, but you will see a much improved diplomatic strategy; because; Petraeus is a very gifted diplomat; much more than he is a soldier.

Press TV: A part of this counterinsurgency or this coined strategy is having that dual approach, working with the community as well as having, this military aspect to it. In your point of view, how can this be assessed?

Because we have to point out as well that we have just seen the bloodiest day for NATO soldiers since the war began, so on those figures people would ask 'are we actually wining this?'

Gravel: Of course we are not winning this, and there is no way we can win it. The strategy that they have put forward is that they are going to try to bribe the various, tribal leaders, and those that they can't bribe, they will kill. This is interesting that the view from Kabul is not very realistic as to what has happened. Those casualties are a product of McChrystal's implementation of the Petraeus strategy -- which is not going to change.

And now what we see is that there is all kinds of corruption that has gone on with American contractors in Afghanistan. This is going to follow the pattern of Afghanistan, [the pattern] of history. And that is that empires have really lost everything when they tried to conquer Afghanistan. And that is what we are trying to do.

Keep in mind, it is not a security operation, it is a conquering operation, and it won't work at all.

RBK/MMN

Offline chris jones

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Mike Gravel, ........bless your heart.

Offline Dig

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'Obama fired McChrystal to rid 2012 rival'


Fri, 25 Jun 2010 11:38:05 GMT
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=131950&sectionid=3510302

   
Former US senator Mike Gravel speaks to Press TV about the story behind General 'Petraeus.'


The following is a rush transcript of Press TV's interview with former US Senator and presidential candidate Mike Gravel on the controversy surrounding the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanly McChrystal.

Press TV:How damaging has this whole episode been for the US-led mission in Afghanistan?

Gravel: I do not think [it has been] damaging at all. You have to keep in mind that the strategy for Afghanistan was developed by General [David] Petraeus, who was the commander of McChrystal. Now, McChrystal was merely the thug, I use the word 'thug' advisably because the reputation with McChrystal is of course the secret special ops, which were a lot of assassination teams.

So, McChrystal was merely the henchman that was bringing about the strategy. But, there is an unusual benefit that occurs politically that I don't think is appreciated by anybody on the scene. That is that Petraeus was looked upon as a possible presidential candidate on the Republican side, opposing [US President Barack] Obama when he runs for re-election.

Now, Petraeus was distanced from Afghanistan, and so, very cleverly, President Obama has demoted Petraeus and put him in charge of Afghanistan. So, if a failure takes place as I presume it will by 2012, the failure will be owned as much by Petraeus negating his ability to be a viable presidential candidate and will benefit Obama.

Press TV: The father of the counter-insurgency strategy is Petraeus himself, whoever it is, if it is coming out of the Pentagon, White house; from the public into the media, everyone is backing this counter insurgency strategy. They are saying it is going to work. But what is it saying behind the scenes?

Of course, there was that leak document from [US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl] Eikenberry, and McChrystal said that he was very upset about that, that he felt betrayed. Behind the scenes, how much unity is there on this coin strategy?

Gravel: Well there was no unity at all because McChrystal was a bowl in a china shop. This is not McChrystal's strategy; this is Petraeus' strategy that was being implemented by a lesser person -- which is McChrystal.

Now that McChrystal is out of the way, and keep in mind, McChrystal is very close to President Hamid Karzai, and so I am sure that the attitude that is put out in the media in Afghanistan is that, oh well we loved McChrystal, he was fine. But keep in mind that McChrystal's strategy was that of assassination or bribery, and you had your choice, and that strategy was developed by Petraeus in Iraq, and it carried over into Afghanistan. And so I think you are going to see no change at all from a military point of view, but you will see a much improved diplomatic strategy; because; Petraeus is a very gifted diplomat; much more than he is a soldier.

Press TV: A part of this counterinsurgency or this coined strategy is having that dual approach, working with the community as well as having, this military aspect to it. In your point of view, how can this be assessed?

Because we have to point out as well that we have just seen the bloodiest day for NATO soldiers since the war began, so on those figures people would ask 'are we actually wining this?'

Gravel: Of course we are not winning this, and there is no way we can win it. The strategy that they have put forward is that they are going to try to bribe the various, tribal leaders, and those that they can't bribe, they will kill. This is interesting that the view from Kabul is not very realistic as to what has happened. Those casualties are a product of McChrystal's implementation of the Petraeus strategy -- which is not going to change.

And now what we see is that there is all kinds of corruption that has gone on with American contractors in Afghanistan. This is going to follow the pattern of Afghanistan, [the pattern] of history. And that is that empires have really lost everything when they tried to conquer Afghanistan. And that is what we are trying to do.

Keep in mind, it is not a security operation, it is a conquering operation, and it won't work at all.

RBK/MMN


BARRY SOETORO HAS NEVER USED POSITIONING OF CHESS PIECES FOR POLITICAL GAIN, RIGHT BLAGGO? SESTAK?
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Offline jimd3100

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Quote
McChrystal said he's "lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity" throughout his career and that "what is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard."

LOL! F**k McChrystal.

Meet the new boss (and his owners)

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638

Same as the old boss (and his owners)

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres04/contrib.php?cycle=2004&cid=N00008072

The only difference I see is that Obama might read a report once in awhile, so I guess we've made great progress.   ::)


Quote
Don't forget that it was McChrystal who was a, if not the, big player in the Pat Tillman cover-up.  AND he was one of the main figures in the torture policy.
Hardly a guy to be trusted.  If anything he's nothing other than a player in yet more theatre.

Yup, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see this played out as Mchrystal, being the new darling of the right in the never ending fake left-right Info war, as the "war hero" who told the "commie sissies"
DEMs in the White House what he really thought, and blah blah........sorry Gen but I don't forget stuff like this.....

General Suspected Cause of Tillman Death
By Scott Lindlaw and Martha Mendoza
Associated Press
Saturday, August 4, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- A high-ranking general told Pentagon investigators that, when he approved a Silver Star citation for Pat Tillman, he suspected that the former NFL player had been killed by "friendly fire," according to testimony obtained by the Associated Press.
Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said that suspicion led him to send a memo to top generals imploring "our nation's leaders," specifically "POTUS" -- the acronym for the president -- to avoid using the award citation's language of "devastating enemy fire" in their speeches.

McChrystal wrote the memo a day after approving the Silver Star for Tillman, and investigators sharply questioned him in a November interview about the conflicting accounts, according to the testimony, obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act.
The general never directly explained the discrepancies. He told the investigators that he believed Tillman deserved the award and that he wanted to warn top U.S. military and political leadership that friendly fire was a possibility.

"Because I thought it was friendly fire, I thought it was important that key attendees know that that theory could become the finding of the investigation, and if they were going to make a statement about 'killed by enemy fire,' it might not be certain," McChrystal said.
McChrystal was then and remains commander of the covert Joint Special Operations Command, the military's clandestine "black ops" corps, which fights in the shadows of battles in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.

Attempts to reach McChrystal this week by telephone and e-mail were unsuccessful.

The Pentagon's acting inspector general found that McChrystal should be held "accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions" in the Silver Star award recommendation; and for failing to notify the officials processing the award that friendly fire was likely.

But another Army general, William S. Wallace, concluded that McChrystal had behaved reasonably in assuming the supporting material presented to him for Tillman's Silver Star recommendation was accurate. The Army's statement Tuesday made no mention of McChrystal's acknowledgment under oath that he had known before approving the Silver Star that fratricide was a strong possibility.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/03/AR2007080301868_pf.html

You should be aware that this is the guy that lied to Pat Tillmans mom, and the people of the United States in how Tillman died, and after writing his Silver Star award notified the President to "not talk about how Tillman died", as that might cause "embarrasment" for him later if the truth came out. Gee, what an honorable guy!!

He should have got booted long ago.
Now if you want to see a real Patriot Military Hero this movie is coming out in August.....Heck Mchrystal might even be in it, this is a hero with honor, not this Gen asshole.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-NbZqt8WJk
Beliefs Always Trump Truth and Perception Always Trumps Reality

Offline bigron

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Published on Friday, June 25, 2010 by FAIR

Media Missing the McChrystal Point

by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

NEW YORK - The media firestorm over the Rolling Stone profile (6/22/10 [1]) of General Stanley McChrystal mostly missed the real point of the article, which was a damning portrait of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

The Chris Matthews' show on MSNBC summed up the corporate media's attitude rather well by calling its segment on the McChrystal affair, 'General Approval.' A story that was an indictment of the war became a lesson in how the White House would be sticking with its plan. As the Washington Post put it, Obama's "decision to turn over the Afghan command to Gen. David H. Petraeus allowed the president to keep his war strategy intact."


 Much of the media coverage stressed the criticism and insults hurled by McChrystal and his staff at various administration figures. Some of these remarks were more substantive than others. A joke about Joe Biden ("Bite Me") has been overblown; McChrystal and his staff seemed to be suggesting a list of possible gaffes the general might make following a speech.

The real significance of the piece is in the criticism--voiced by soldiers in Afghanistan and military experts--of the war itself. "Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it's going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm," wrote Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings.

A senior adviser to McChrystal stated, "If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular." Hastings added that some officials see the war requiring a much larger troop presence: "Instead of beginning to withdraw troops next year, as Obama promised, the military hopes to ramp up its counterinsurgency campaign even further."

Hastings conveyed a sense of confusion over precisely what the mission in Afghanistan is supposed to be. Some soldiers complained that the rules of engagement put them at greater risk, though they were uncertain whether these were McChrystal's intended policies or rules that have been, as Hastings put it, "distorted as they passed through the chain of command."

Hastings also pointed out that McChrystal's history has been glossed over by the media, beginning in Iraq: "When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made his infamous 'stuff happens' remark during the looting of Baghdad, McChrystal backed him up. A few days later, he echoed the president's Mission Accomplished gaffe by insisting that major combat operations in Iraq were over."

After Army ranger (and former pro football player) Pat Tillman was killed in 2004, McChrystal "signed off on a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star that suggested Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. (McChrystal would later claim he didn't read the recommendation closely enough--a strange excuse for a commander known for his laserlike attention to minute details.)"

In 2006, there was a scandal about torture and abuse reminiscent of Abu Ghraib at another detention facility in Iraq that was overseen by McChrystal. "McChrystal was not disciplined in the scandal," Rolling Stone reported, "even though an interrogator at the camp reported seeing him inspect the prison multiple times."

Hastings concluded that the media have mostly "given McChrystal a pass" on these controversies. Indeed, a Washington Post story (6/24/10 [2]) on McChrystal's ouster noted in passing that he "had to fend off allegations that he played a role in the Army's mishandling of the death of Ranger Cpl. Pat Tillman," and that he "faced criticism for his oversight of detention facilities where prisoner abuse occurred."

Discussing the broader message of the Rolling Stone article is clearly not something the White House wants--and neither do corporate media, preferring the personal drama of military officials making politically damaging comments about political leaders, and the White House's attempt to assert control.

Thus, Obama's decision to dismiss McChrystal and bring in General David Petraeus seemed to bring sighs of relief. As Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote (6/23/10), it was a "rare" but welcome sight: "The commander in chief was being commanding." Milbank added that Obama's "best moments as president" including "defying his own party to ecalate the fight in Afghanistan."

The fact that he named Petraeus as McChrystal's replacement was essentially swapping one media favorite with another (Extra!, 11-12/07 [3]). "Naming the highly respected Petraeus as the new commander is by all accounts a great save," explained ABC Pentagon reporter Martha Raddatz (Nightline, 6/23/10). "It allows the administration to continue the same counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan without missing a beat." Raddatz helpfully added this assessment: "A warrior and a scholar, Petraeus is sometimes jokingly referred to as a water walker, since almost everything he touches seems to turn to gold."

Similar pronouncements were heard throughout the corporate media. The right-wing Media Research Center gathered them in a video reel [4], which Fox host Bill O'Reilly used on his June 24 show. Apparently the media's gushing enthusiasm for Petraeus is yet another sign of their left-wing bias.

So a story that was an indictment of the war became a lesson in how the White House would be sticking with its plan. As the Washington Post (6/24/10) put it, Obama's "decision to turn over the Afghan command to Gen. David H. Petraeus allowed the president to keep his war strategy intact." NBC Pentagon reporter Jim Miklasziewski (6/23/10) declared that "the military is very high on David Petraeus, and there should be no slowdown or hitch in the Afghanistan strategy." NBC reporter Chuck Todd (6/23/10) noted that the "one thing the president made clear: He may be changing commanders, but not the mission.... Trading McChrystal for Petraeus neutralized what could have turned into another political mess."

Of course, the war in Afghanistan would already seem to qualify as a "mess," to say the very least. But for now, Obama asserted presidential control--and that's something most reporters and pundits were eager to cheer.

© 2010 Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

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

Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org

URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/06/25-7

Offline Dig

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Published on Friday, June 25, 2010 by FAIR

Media Missing the McChrystal Point

by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

NEW YORK - The media firestorm over the Rolling Stone profile (6/22/10 [1]) of General Stanley McChrystal mostly missed the real point of the article, which was a damning portrait of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

The Chris Matthews' show on MSNBC summed up the corporate media's attitude rather well by calling its segment on the McChrystal affair, 'General Approval.' A story that was an indictment of the war became a lesson in how the White House would be sticking with its plan. As the Washington Post put it, Obama's "decision to turn over the Afghan command to Gen. David H. Petraeus allowed the president to keep his war strategy intact."


 Much of the media coverage stressed the criticism and insults hurled by McChrystal and his staff at various administration figures. Some of these remarks were more substantive than others. A joke about Joe Biden ("Bite Me") has been overblown; McChrystal and his staff seemed to be suggesting a list of possible gaffes the general might make following a speech.

The real significance of the piece is in the criticism--voiced by soldiers in Afghanistan and military experts--of the war itself. "Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it's going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm," wrote Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings.

A senior adviser to McChrystal stated, "If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular." Hastings added that some officials see the war requiring a much larger troop presence: "Instead of beginning to withdraw troops next year, as Obama promised, the military hopes to ramp up its counterinsurgency campaign even further."

Hastings conveyed a sense of confusion over precisely what the mission in Afghanistan is supposed to be. Some soldiers complained that the rules of engagement put them at greater risk, though they were uncertain whether these were McChrystal's intended policies or rules that have been, as Hastings put it, "distorted as they passed through the chain of command."

Hastings also pointed out that McChrystal's history has been glossed over by the media, beginning in Iraq: "When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made his infamous 'stuff happens' remark during the looting of Baghdad, McChrystal backed him up. A few days later, he echoed the president's Mission Accomplished gaffe by insisting that major combat operations in Iraq were over."

After Army ranger (and former pro football player) Pat Tillman was killed in 2004, McChrystal "signed off on a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star that suggested Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. (McChrystal would later claim he didn't read the recommendation closely enough--a strange excuse for a commander known for his laserlike attention to minute details.)"

In 2006, there was a scandal about torture and abuse reminiscent of Abu Ghraib at another detention facility in Iraq that was overseen by McChrystal. "McChrystal was not disciplined in the scandal," Rolling Stone reported, "even though an interrogator at the camp reported seeing him inspect the prison multiple times."

Hastings concluded that the media have mostly "given McChrystal a pass" on these controversies. Indeed, a Washington Post story (6/24/10 [2]) on McChrystal's ouster noted in passing that he "had to fend off allegations that he played a role in the Army's mishandling of the death of Ranger Cpl. Pat Tillman," and that he "faced criticism for his oversight of detention facilities where prisoner abuse occurred."

Discussing the broader message of the Rolling Stone article is clearly not something the White House wants--and neither do corporate media, preferring the personal drama of military officials making politically damaging comments about political leaders, and the White House's attempt to assert control.

Thus, Obama's decision to dismiss McChrystal and bring in General David Petraeus seemed to bring sighs of relief. As Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote (6/23/10), it was a "rare" but welcome sight: "The commander in chief was being commanding." Milbank added that Obama's "best moments as president" including "defying his own party to ecalate the fight in Afghanistan."

The fact that he named Petraeus as McChrystal's replacement was essentially swapping one media favorite with another (Extra!, 11-12/07 [3]). "Naming the highly respected Petraeus as the new commander is by all accounts a great save," explained ABC Pentagon reporter Martha Raddatz (Nightline, 6/23/10). "It allows the administration to continue the same counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan without missing a beat." Raddatz helpfully added this assessment: "A warrior and a scholar, Petraeus is sometimes jokingly referred to as a water walker, since almost everything he touches seems to turn to gold."

Similar pronouncements were heard throughout the corporate media. The right-wing Media Research Center gathered them in a video reel [4], which Fox host Bill O'Reilly used on his June 24 show. Apparently the media's gushing enthusiasm for Petraeus is yet another sign of their left-wing bias.

So a story that was an indictment of the war became a lesson in how the White House would be sticking with its plan. As the Washington Post (6/24/10) put it, Obama's "decision to turn over the Afghan command to Gen. David H. Petraeus allowed the president to keep his war strategy intact." NBC Pentagon reporter Jim Miklasziewski (6/23/10) declared that "the military is very high on David Petraeus, and there should be no slowdown or hitch in the Afghanistan strategy." NBC reporter Chuck Todd (6/23/10) noted that the "one thing the president made clear: He may be changing commanders, but not the mission.... Trading McChrystal for Petraeus neutralized what could have turned into another political mess."

Of course, the war in Afghanistan would already seem to qualify as a "mess," to say the very least. But for now, Obama asserted presidential control--and that's something most reporters and pundits were eager to cheer.

© 2010 Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

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

Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org

URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/06/25-7


Lions for Lambs...new BS strategy promoted to the worn down public to continue the unending meat grinder and bankruptcy exacerbator
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 chris jones

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PLEASE.........
Undertones and subliminal messages.
McChrisyal stated that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. that said what are the repurcusions.

Questions asked, solved nothing, to the best of my knowledge this is a dead end, no serious investigation was made though the statement lives on.

We react to this, truthers that is, BUT what about the troops, how do they interpret this?

Yes, take a walk in their boots for one minute. A grunt will say to himself.* JEEZ, Tillman was a celebrety, he was going to expose this shiiiitshow and look what they did to him and got away with it, even though the assassination went public, nothing came of it... If they will kill a man of public stature imagine what they will do to one of us*.

McChrystals statement may have appeared to be a heads up, but please do not overlook the underlying message to the troopers, and the underlying effect to the masses.. Here is what happens to anyone who dares to expose the truth. the general and his companions used this as a warning. There is no face value content in their methodry, the message was loud and clear, open you mouth and you get wakkked.

Compare this to the assassination of the 3K's if you will, the *message* remains to this day that anyone even a president who dares to defy the controllers will be exterminated.

This so called leader of men, this general, made this statement among others that appear to be at face value a confession of sorts in relation to the abomination, however please examine the long range effects, the cause we are all aware of.

Those who seek to put this general on a pedestal, please recognize the effect of this mans statements.




Offline bigron

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Weekend Edition
June 25 - 27, 2010
http://counterpunch.com/cockburn06252010.html

CounterPunch Diary

Loose-Lip McChrystal Did Obama a Huge Favor


By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Just when Barack Obama's presidency was drowning in BP's crude oil, a megalomaniacal US Army general called Stanley McChrystal, commander of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, did him several huge favors.

• He took the spotlight off the Gulf of Mexico.

• He gave Obama a marvelous opportunity to act the decisive Commander-in-Chief, packing his insubordinate general into retirement.

• By committing political suicide he created a vacancy for the one general the right wing can't fault Obama for putting in his place - Gen David Petraeus.

Weeks before McChrystal and his drunken retinue fired from the lip, pouring their contempt for Obama and his top Afghan advisors into the notebook of Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings, the writing was on the wall. A steady stream of leaks from the Pentagon registered dissatisfaction among the top Pentagon brass at the way the war in Afghanistan was going.

Last year McChrystal courted immediate dismissal by publicly daring Obama to deny him the extra troops he demanded to instrument the counter-insurgency strategy he pledged would vanquish the Taliban, win over the Afghan people and allow Obama to promise liberal critics of the Afghan war he'd have the troops out by 2011.

Obama had the opportunity then to emulate Harry Truman's famous firing of World War Two hero Gen Douglas MacArthur for insubordination. But Obama blinked. He gave McChrystal almost exactly what he wanted.

The American public got the impression that McChrystal, leading the Afghan mission, but answering to Gen Petraeus, now in charge of Central Command, was going to follow the latter's famous 'surge' in Iraq. This was essentially a PR operation, aimed at declaring victory and getting the hell out. Petraeus is touted as America's only success story in that doomed venture and his national standing is high.

Afghanistan is a very different proposition. McChrystal came from five years of running the Pentagon's death squads – Joint Special Forces Command -- killing or kidnapping America's enemies in the Great War on Terror. But now he was trying to introduce doctrines of counter-insurgency (COIN), formulated in the Counter-Insurgency Manual for the US Army, assembled by Petraeus.

It does not require the intellect of Sun Tzu to see that you do not win the hearts and minds of a civilian population by bombing their wedding parties, raping their daughters, torturing their sons and, where deemed necessary, reducing their villages to rubble. COIN put these simple thoughts into military language.

McChrystal duly issued stringent rules of engagement, crimping the eagerness of field officers to whistle up close air support to drop tons of high explosive on suspect neighborhoods. These restrictions drew strident protests from his forces, as endangering their lives. McChrystal said there was no other option. But then came McChrystal's showcase operation in Marjah earlier this year, designed to drive the Taliban out of this rural district.

As the high command back in the Pentagon studied the intelligence reports they found that it hadn't been long before the Taliban, prudently absenting themselves during the Marjah offensive, were back in business. With the Pentagon background briefers whispering to the New York Times and Washington Post that the COIN strategy was misfiring badly, McChrystal put off a larger lunge into Kandahar until this autumn. The backstabbing didn't stop.

For his part, Obama has been nervously eyeing his commitment to a 2011 withdrawal. The way things were going, withdrawal would simply mean "rout", politically disastrous for Obama. To insist on an extension would land him in trouble with his liberal supporters in the run-up to a re-election bid in 2012. McChrystal and, far more subtly, Petraeus were already deploying politically for a ditching of the 2011 deadline. Furthermore, there was talk that Petraeus would soon retire from the Army and step into the race for the Republican nomination.

Then - a blessing from heaven for Obama - came the Rolling Stone story. McChrystal no doubt blames the Iceland volcano which left him stranded in Paris, staying at the awful Hotel Westminster on the Rue de la Paix, sipping Bud Lite Lime beer (does he sport silk  women’s underwear  under those manly fatigues) in Kitty O'Shea's, with his retinue, 'Team America', cavorting drunkenly on the dance floor and showing off to the Rolling Stone reporter  as they displayed their utter contempt for their civilian and military superiors.

How could McChrystal have been so stupid? Megalomania. A senior US military commander has the powers and appurtenances of a Roman proconsul, of a Julius Caesar in Gaul. McChrystal had been successful in massaging the press with confidential briefings and seemingly total access. Talking to Rolling Stone, he probably thought this magazine deserved a more unbuttoned approach than the New York Times.

Less careful than the adroit Petraeus, he over-reached himself, possibly because he insists on sleeping only four hours a night, running seven miles at dawn and eating one meal every 24 hours. (Petraeus has the same sort of Spartan life style. Rather than pour out indiscretions to a reporter Petraeus passed out briefly in a Senate hearing two weeks ago, stating later that he'd been dehydrated.)

The White House pounced eagerly on the opportunity offered by Rolling Stone. Aside from everything else, it was a chance for the president, regarded by most Americans to have been a wimp towards BP, to act tough. Without Pentagon backing, McChrystal was a goner.

Now begins a delicate dance in what bids to be Act IV or even V in Obama's foolish campaign  commitment to nail al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Obama has staked all on Petraeus who has accepted command of a mission doomed from the get-go. Though Americans are prepared to equate the Taliban with al-Qaeda, they can't really see the point of the war. It's gone on for nine years, America's longest. Two weeks ago the Pentagon desperately refloated a very old story that Afghanistan is rich in mineral resources, like lapis lazuli and lithium.

Will success, however contrived, propel Petraeus towards the White House in 2012 or 2016? Probably not. Americans honor warriors, but they elect draftdodgers.  Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. There's a precedent for Petraeus's fainting fit. Julius Caesar famously suffered from blackouts. He crossed the Rubicon, but he didn't survive long thereafter.

Obama’s  Green Light to BP

In our latest newsletter Jeffrey St Clair excavates  the corruption across three presidencies that led to that appalling disaster in the Gulf. It was bad under Clinton; worse under Bush. But it was Obama and his Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who set the stage for catastrophe.

In the first year of the Obama administration, Salazar’s Interior Department put 53 million acres of offshore oil reserves up for lease, far eclipsing the records set by the Bush administration. As St. Clair describes, Salazar was adamant in retaining Chris Oynes as associate director of offshore drilling at the Minerals Management Service. As St. Clair explains, an outraged inspector general of the Interior Department discovered that on Oynes’s watch “the repeat offenders in the oil industry were allowed to police themselves, writing their own environmental analyses, safety inspections and compliance reports, often in pencil for MMS regulators to trace over in ink.”

By the time Obama declared on March 31 that “we’ve still got to make some tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development in ways that protect communities and protect coastlines,” his administration had given the green light to BP’s Deepwater Horizon well, giving this notoriously criminal company—a big contributor to the Obama 2008 campaign—a pat on the back for its safety record.

This is a must-read piece. Also in this crackerjack edition: What’s the best way to create jobs? Eugene Coyle makes the case for the 4-day work week. Have the CIA and MI6 destroyed classical music in the western world? Britain’s best known composer, Howard Blake, says Yes.

I urge you to  subscribe now!

Alexander Cockburn can be reached at [email protected].


Offline bigron

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Published on Monday, June 28, 2010 by TomDispatch.com


Obama Up to His Waist in the Big Muddy: On Appointing Celebrity Generals


by Tom Engelhardt

Much of the time, our wars may hardly exist [1] for us, but in the age of celebrity, our generals do -- exactly because they become celebrities.  When Barack Obama picked Stanley McChrystal as his Afghan war commander, the general was greeted by the media as little short of a savior [2].  He was, we were told, superhumanly fit, utterly austere [3] (eating only one meal a day), and -- strangely for the man who was to oversee a protect-the-people counterinsurgency war -- had spent his professional life in the deepest shadows of counter-terror warfare at the head of groups of hunter-killer special operations forces.  His was the darkest of legacies, but he was greeted like Superman.

Reading the Michael Hastings Rolling Stone  [4]piece [4] that unseated him, you can sense in the contempt that McChrystal and his aides (many former special ops officers [5]) express for the Obama administration and its civilian representatives in Afghanistan just what a blunt instrument the man was.  No leader or group speaking that way, or that crudely, in private could help but exude similar feelings in public.  McChrystal was, in fact, always a divided man, caught between his counter-terror past -- he significantly increased [6] special operations units in Afghanistan and sent them out to hunt Taliban mid-level leaders (and in the process kill civilians) -- and his newer fealty to counterinsurgency which led him to institute rules of "courageous restraint" [7] that left American ground troops grumbling.

While the president officially picked McChrystal back in 2009, he was, in reality, the choice of Bush's favorite general, Centcom commander and now new Afghan war commander, General David Petraeus.  So the present White House line [8] -- "This is a change in personnel but it is not a change in policy" -- couldn't be more accurate.  There have already been several moments in the Obama presidency when a daring president might have changed the course [9] of the war and begun winding it down.  In March 2009 [10], when he first "surged" in Afghanistan, again at West Point [11] that December, and now with the Petraeus appointment, Obama has instead chosen the route slated to give him the least trouble domestically, and so doubled down on the war.  The first two missed moments have already led, via chaos and failure in Afghanistan, to the third, in which the president dethroned a military demi-god for a man genuinely worshipped in Washington.

David Petraeus is not a blunt instrument.  He's the most politically savvy [12] military man of his generation.  It says something about our moment in American war-making, however, that the main claim to fame of the four-star general who is treated like the Ulysses S. Grant of the twenty-first century has nothing to do with victory.  He simply had a hand in holding off an ignominious American defeat in Iraq or, as the New York Times recently put it [13], "helping to pull Iraq back from the edge."  And not even [14] all that far back.

With Petraeus, Obama again took the easier road in the immediate moment.  What will he do, though, in 2011 as the presidential election campaign gears up, if his chosen general, beloved of the right, asks for [15] more troops?  The quagmire of this war is in Washington, not Afghanistan, bad as the facts on the ground [16] may be there.  With the Petraeus appointment, whether he knows it or not, the president is already up to his waist in the Big Muddy. 

Copyright 2010 Tom Engelhardt
Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project [17], runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com [18]. His latest book, just published, is The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's [19] (Haymarket Books).  Watch a Timothy MacBain TomCast video of him discussing the American way of war by clicking here [20].


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

Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org

URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/06/28-3

Offline bigron

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Endless war, a recipe for four-star arrogance

By Andrew J. Bacevich
Sunday, June 27, 2010; B01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/25/AR2010062502160_pf.html


Long wars are antithetical to democracy. Protracted conflict introduces toxins that inexorably corrode the values of popular government. Not least among those values is a code of military conduct that honors the principle of civilian control while keeping the officer corps free from the taint of politics. Events of the past week -- notably the Rolling Stone profile that led to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's dismissal -- hint at the toll that nearly a decade of continuous conflict has exacted on the U.S. armed forces. The fate of any one general qualifies as small beer: Wearing four stars does not signify indispensability. But indications that the military's professional ethic is eroding, evident in the disrespect for senior civilians expressed by McChrystal and his inner circle, should set off alarms.

Earlier generations of American leaders, military as well as civilian, instinctively understood the danger posed by long wars. "A democracy cannot fight a Seven Years War," Gen. George C. Marshall once remarked. The people who provided the lifeblood of the citizen army raised to wage World War II had plenty of determination but limited patience. They wanted victory won and normalcy restored.

The wisdom of Marshall's axiom soon became clear. In Vietnam, Lyndon B. Johnson plunged the United States into what became its Seven Years War. The citizen army that was sent to Southeast Asia fought valiantly for a time and then fell to pieces. As the conflict dragged on, Americans in large numbers turned against the war -- and also against the troops who fought it.

After Vietnam, the United States abandoned its citizen army tradition, oblivious to the consequences. In its place, it opted for what the Founders once called a "standing army" -- a force consisting of long-serving career professionals.

For a time, the creation of this so-called all-volunteer force, only tenuously linked to American society, appeared to be a master stroke. Washington got superbly trained soldiers and Republicans and Democrats took turns putting them to work. The result, once the Cold War ended, was greater willingness to intervene abroad. As Americans followed news reports of U.S. troops going into action everywhere from the Persian Gulf to the Balkans, from the Caribbean to the Horn of Africa, they found little to complain about: The costs appeared negligible. Their role was simply to cheer.

This happy arrangement now shows signs of unraveling, a victim of what the Pentagon has all too appropriately been calling its Long War.

The Long War is not America's war. It belongs exclusively to "the troops," lashed to a treadmill that finds soldiers and Marines either serving in a combat zone or preparing to deploy.

To be an American soldier today is to serve a people who find nothing amiss in the prospect of armed conflict without end. Once begun, wars continue, persisting regardless of whether they receive public support. President Obama's insistence to the contrary notwithstanding, this nation is not even remotely "at" war. In explaining his decision to change commanders without changing course in Afghanistan, the president offered this rhetorical flourish: "Americans don't flinch in the face of difficult truths." In fact, when it comes to war, the American people avert their eyes from difficult truths. Largely unaffected by events in Afghanistan and Iraq and preoccupied with problems much closer to home, they have demonstrated a fine ability to tune out war. Soldiers (and their families) are left holding the bag.

Throughout history, circumstances such as these have bred praetorianism, warriors becoming enamored with their moral superiority and impatient with the failings of those they are charged to defend. The smug disdain for high-ranking civilians casually expressed by McChrystal and his chief lieutenants -- along with the conviction that "Team America," as these officers style themselves, was bravely holding out against a sea of stupidity and corruption -- suggests that the officer corps of the United States is not immune to this affliction.

To imagine that replacing McChrystal with Gen. David H. Petraeus will fix the problem is wishful thinking. To put it mildly, Petraeus is no simple soldier. He is a highly skilled political operator, whose name appears on Republican wish lists as a potential presidential candidate in 2012. Far more significant, the views cultivated within Team America are shared elsewhere.

The day the McChrystal story broke, an active-duty soldier who has served multiple combat tours offered me his perspective on the unfolding spectacle. The dismissive attitude expressed by Team America, he wrote, "has really become a pandemic in the Army." Among his peers, a belief that "it is OK to condescend to civilian leaders" has become common, ranking officers permitting or even endorsing "a culture of contempt" for those not in uniform. Once the previously forbidden becomes acceptable, it soon becomes the norm.

"Pretty soon you have an entire organization believing that their leader is the 'Savior' and that everyone else is stupid and incompetent, or not committed to victory." In this soldier's view, things are likely to get worse before they get better. "Senior officers who condone this kind of behavior and allow this to continue and fester," he concluded, "create generation after generation of officers like themselves -- but they're generally so arrogant that they think everyone needs to be just like them anyway."

By itself, Team America poses no threat to the constitutional order. Gen. McChrystal is not Gen. MacArthur. When presenting himself at the White House on Wednesday, McChrystal arrived not as a man on horseback but as a supplicant, hat (and resignation) in hand. Still, even with his departure, it would be a mistake to consider the matter closed.

During Vietnam, the United States military cracked from the bottom up. The damage took decades to repair. In the seemingly endless wars of the post-Sept. 11 era, a military that has demonstrated remarkable durability now shows signs of coming undone at the top. The officer corps is losing its bearings.

Americans might do well to contemplate a famous warning issued by another frustrated commander from a much earlier age.

"We had been told, on leaving our native soil," wrote the centurion Marcus Flavius to a cousin back in Rome, "that we were going to defend the sacred rights conferred on us by so many of our citizens [and to aid] populations in need of our assistance and our civilization." For such a cause, he and his comrades had willingly offered to "shed our quota of blood, to sacrifice our youth and our hopes." Yet the news from the homeland was disconcerting: The capital was seemingly rife with factions, treachery and petty politics. "Make haste," Marcus Flavius continued, "and tell me that our fellow citizens understand us, support us and protect us as we ourselves are protecting the glory of the empire."

"If it should be otherwise, if we should have to leave our bleached bones on these desert sands in vain, then beware of the anger of the legions!"

Stanley McChrystal is no Marcus Flavius, lacking the Roman's eloquence, among other things. Yet in ending his military career on such an ignominious note, he has, however clumsily, issued a warning that deserves our attention.

The responsibility facing the American people is clear. They need to reclaim ownership of their army. They need to give their soldiers respite, by insisting that Washington abandon its de facto policy of perpetual war. Or, alternatively, the United States should become a nation truly "at" war, with all that implies in terms of civic obligation, fiscal policies and domestic priorities. Should the people choose neither course -- and thereby subject their troops to continuing abuse -- the damage to the army and to American democracy will be severe.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University. His book "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War" will be published in August. He will be online at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 28, to chat. Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.


Offline jofortruth

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Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues
http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/R40991_20100107.pdf


This was mentioned in the article above.
Don't believe me. Look it up yourself!

Offline bigron

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Sacking McChrystal: Testimony to a Lost War


by Stephen Lendman

http://uruknet.info/?p=m67474&hd=&size=1&l=e

June 29, 2010

On August 10, 1997, in The New York Times Magazine, David K. Shipler headlined, "Robert McNamara and the Ghosts of Vietnam" saying:

Looking back, one of the key war architects admitted "how dangerous it is for political leaders to behave the way we did" about a war that shouldn't have been fought and couldn't be won.

In his 1995 book, "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam," former Defense Secretary McNamara wrote: "....we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why."

In 1965, he knew the war was lost and said so, telling Lyndon Johnson: "I don't believe they're ever going to quit. And I don't see....that we have any....plan for victory - militarily or diplomatically," spoken as he began escalating dramatically, knowing the futility and criminality.

Johnson was also uneasy, telling his close friend, Senator Richard Russell, that he faced a Hobson's choice saying: "I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't," the former being impeachment if he quit, the latter certain defeat that destroyed him. After three heart attacks, he died a sick, broken man, four years after he left office, two days before Richard's Nixon's second inauguration, a man soon to face his own moment of truth, omitting what should have brought him down and his successors.

America's Longest War - As Unwinnable as Vietnam, Reshuffling the Deck Chairs to Delay It

McChrystal's out, Petraeus is in, New York Times writers Alissa Rubin and Dexter Filkins announced the switch June 23, headlining, "Petraeus Is Now Taking Control of a 'Tougher Fight," saying:

He's taking over to execut(e) the strategy (he engineered) with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal....directly responsible for its success or failure, risking the reputation he built in Iraq," not a winning surge, but by buying off Sunni tribal chiefs and key Baathists not to fight, a much tougher strategy in Afghanistan, the traditional graveyard of empires, defeating Alexander the Great, Genghis Kahn, the Brits and Soviets among others, America likely next, but will Petraeus be around when it happens. More on that below.

Waging a War on Terror

September 11, 2001 was the pretext for a global one, a so-called "just war" to defend America against "outside enem(ies)," manufactured to appear real - "radical Islam," including the Taliban, attacked on October 7, 2001, four weeks after 9/11, planned months in advance in anticipation of what then CENTCOM Commander General Tommy Franks called a "terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event," arousing enough public anger to launch it.

It's America's longest war under a president saying he'd end it as a candidate, then in office tripled US forces from 32,000 - 94,000, but promised to begin exiting by summer 2011. He just reneged, saying:

"We didn't say we'd be switching off the lights," adding that "we said we'd begin a transition phase that would allow the Afghan government to take more and more responsibility," meaning America is there to stay, by August at a planned 132,000 force level (and as many or more civilian contractors) under Petraeus, stepping down from his CENTCOM post to take command, perhaps unleashing greater than ever lethal force "until the insurgents are genuinely bloodied," the preferred New York Times strategy in its June 25 editorial, raising Gideon Polya's December 2009 body count of 3.4 million "post-invasion non-violent excess deaths" and another 1.1 million violent ones - genocide by any measure.

Under McChrystal, it was death squad terror, mostly against civilians, what he was trained to do as head of the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), what Seymour Hersh called an "executive assassination wing" post-9/11, what Rolling Stone writer Michael Hastings called "a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs," Petraeus perhaps mandated to escalate with greater than ever counterinsurgency (COIN).

Yet America's longest war is unwinnable, according to McChrystal's Chief of Operations, Major General Bill Mayville, saying: "It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win. This is going to end in an argument," already a defeat, US polls showing growing numbers against it, what Ray McGovern calls "Vietnamistan," the analogy needing no elaboration, what looks like Obama's last stand, Petraeus his best shot according to some. For others, it's mission impossible, what no one in Washington will accept so war rages on without end.

Also the cost, Iraq and Afghanistan topping $1 trillion, or $1 million per soldier annually, plus tens of billions more in black budgets (one estimate saying over $56 billion a year) with no end of spending in sight, including hundreds of millions to corrupt warlords according to a June congressional Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report titled, "Warlord, Inc., Extortion and Corruption Along the US Supply Chain in Afghanistan."

Its findings show "a vast (Pentagon supply chain) protection racket run (through Host Nation Trucking contracts) by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt Afghan officials, and perhaps others," undermining Washington's war-winning strategy by "funding the insurgency."

The investigation learned the following:

-- mainly warlords protect America's supply chain, contracted by Host Nation Trucking (HNT);

-- they run a protection racket - specifically, "extortion, bribes, special security, and/or protection payments;"

-- the latter, in turn, go to insurgents to ensure safe passage;

-- corrupted Afghan officials extort millions, the largest NHT private security provider saying it has to pay $1,000 - $10,000 monthly in bribes to "nearly every Afghan governor, police chief, and local military unit (through) whose territory supplies pass," HNT reporting the same thing;

-- Afghanistan's logistical nightmare undermines DOD's counterinsurgency (COIN);

-- the Pentagon lacks effective oversight of its supply chain and security contractors protecting it; and

-- it ignored warnings about protection racket payments and the effects on its operations.

In addition, Afghanistan's location and environment present enormous challenges. The country is landlocked, the terrain unforgiving, including desert sandstorms in summer, floods in spring, impassible mud at times, and mountain roads leaving no room for error. Summer heat reaches 120 degrees. Winters are usually snowy and frigid cold. Avalanches often block the only tunnel linking Kabul to the north. Routes can stay closed for days. Poor infrastructure, including few paved roads, creates more hazards, exacerbated by easily planted and concealed explosives along supply routes as well as regular insurgent attacks - "the harshest logistics environment on earth," according to one US official on the ground.

According to General Duncan McNabb, head of US Transportation Command, "....what I worry (most) about at night (is) our supply chain....always under attack," compounded by all the above obstacles and limited processing capacity at distribution hubs. Iraq, by comparison, is easy with its "decent infrastructure," manageable terrain, and access to the Persian Gulf.

Subcommittee chairman Rep. John F. Tierney (D. MA) said the Pentagon "would be well served to take a hard look at this report and initiate prompt remedial action," affecting "a good portion of a $2.16 billion contract's resources into a corruptive (fog of war) environment," lacking oversight to fund warlords and insurgents, what David Petraeus now confronts as commander, a man New York Daily News writer James Gordon Meek said (on June 24) the Taliban "endorses," calling him a wimp after his fainting spell before Congress, no smarter than McChrystal, his firing a "divine victory," according to its spokesman, in a war no US president or general can win.

A Final Comment

After nearly nine futile years, Afghanistan looks less winnable than ever, one of many signs the rising NATO death and injury toll, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman downplaying it saying:

"We have more forces in Afghanistan, ISAF and US forces, than at any other time. The level of activity is high, so as we conduct our operations and engage with the enemy, the opportunities for hostile contact are going to go up."

In fact, escalation strategy was stability. Instead, spiraling violence intensifies, what Petraeus won't likely curb better than McChrystal, sacked not for deriding his superiors, for his leadership, growing popular resistance, and for losing an unwinnable war, one more Afghan deaths can't win.

Nor can a change of command under a politically ambitious man, perhaps contemplating a 2012 run against Obama, using war as the way to the White House, win or lose in his new post. If successful, his popularity will soar. If not, he'll exit early and blame a failed administration policy, saying as president he'll turn it around, what won't matter as long as voters buy it. Excuses can come later. For now, McChrystal's out. Petraeus is in, Obama saying, despite setbacks and growing public doubts, his strategy won't change.

In his Rose Garden announcement, he said: "We have a clear goal. We are going to break the Taliban's momentum," what he told West Point cadets last December 1, announcing the surge, then adding:

"After 18 months, (they'll) begin com(ing) home....our cause is just, our resolve unwavering. We will go forward with the confidence that right makes might, and with the commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world that is more secure, and a future that represents not the deepest fears but the highest of hopes," a goal more distant now than ever after nine futile years, waging war against peace - the supreme international crime, to be escalated under a general perhaps believing a greater body count leads straight to the White House, replacing the current incumbent who ordered it.

A final note. On June 18, the State Department awarded Blackwater (now Xe Services) a $120 million Afghanistan "diplomatic security" contract for its Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif consulates. The firm has another $200 million one to train Afghan forces, and works in country for the CIA, Pentagon, diplomatic corp, and by providing protective services for visiting Washington and foreign officials.

Yet Blackwater is notorious for its lawlessness, for rewarding and encouraging its field employees to destroy Iraqi life, its founder Erik Prince implicated in murder, his top deputies facing indictment for numerous crimes, its Iraq and Afghan operatives charged with killing noncombatants, the company involved in other scandals, the State Department nonetheless telling CBS News that:

"Under federal acquisition regulations, the prosecution of the specific Blackwater individuals does not preclude the company or its successive companies and subsidiaries from bidding on contracts."

Blackwater at times gets no-bid ones, its horrific record a plus in obtaining them, including a potential new assignment worth up to $1 billion, to train the Afghan National Police. It's been bid on, not yet awarded, but who more qualified than the world's most powerful, well-connected mercenary army, notorious for operating below the radar with no accountability, and being handsomely rewarded for its lawlessness, much the way the Pentagon takes care of its own, and how Washington works overall.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached
at [email protected]. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.




 

Offline bigron

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The “Hitler” option in Afghanistan

by Patrick Martin

http://uruknet.info/?p=m67469&hd=&size=1&l=e

WSWS, 29 June 2010

The removal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the US commander in Afghanistan and his replacement by Gen. David Petraeus is not, as portrayed by Obama’s political apologists, a principled defense of civilian control over the military. Nor is it, as the official line emanating from the White House would have it, a change in personnel only, not in policy.

There is every indication that the change in command is the result of growing dissatisfaction with McChrystal’s counterinsurgency methods, which have failed to dislodge the Taliban-led guerrilla forces that control the bulk of southern and eastern Afghanistan. It presages a drastic increase in the level of US military violence, and especially the scale of civilian casualties among the Afghan population. Their "crime" is to sympathize with and support the anti-US insurgency.

Petraeus is already, according to one media report, preparing to modify the rules of engagement to allow for greater use of force.

According to a report Sunday in the British Independent, McChrystal had grown increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for success, particularly after he was compelled to postpone the planned offensive into the key southern city of Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold. He reportedly briefed NATO defense ministers earlier this month "and warned them not to expect any progress in the next six months."

The newspaper writes: "It was this briefing, according to informed sources, as much as the Rolling Stone article, which convinced Mr. Obama to move against" McChrystal. The article adds, "The general was judged to be 'off message’ in his warning to ministers not to expect quick results and that they were facing a 'resilient and growing insurgency.’"

A media campaign has begun in the United States, spearheaded by the New York Times, portraying McChrystal as excessively concerned about the deaths of Afghan civilians caught in the escalating warfare between US and NATO forces and the Taliban-led guerrilla forces.

This began with an article June 22 by C. J. Chivers which described growing frustration among field officers, NCOs and rank-and-file soldiers in Afghanistan over being "handcuffed" by McChrystal. The general’s tactics supposedly restricted "the use of Western firepower—airstrikes and guided rocket attacks, artillery barrages and even mortar fire—to support troops on the ground."

This theme was taken up by several Times correspondents in online commentaries on the newspaper’s web site—Robert Mackey, John Burns and Dexter Filkins all chimed in—and then by the newspaper’s op-ed columnists, both liberal and conservative.

Bob Herbert, a liberal columnist, suddenly discovered his vocation as an adviser on military tactics in a column Saturday headlined "Worse Than a Nightmare." He denounced the counterinsurgency strategy of McChrystal and Petraeus, declaring that its advocates "seem to have lost sight of a fundamental aspect of warfare: You don’t go to war half-stepping. You go to war to crush the enemy. You do this ferociously and as quickly as possible. If you don’t want to do it, if you have qualms about it, or don’t know how to do it, don’t go to war. The men who stormed the beaches at Normandy weren’t trying to win the hearts and minds of anyone."

He continued: "Among the downsides of this battlefield caution is a disturbing unwillingness to give our own combat troops the supportive airstrikes and artillery cover that they feel is needed."

Ross Douthat, a conservative Times columnist, raised the same issue Monday, arguing that "success is our only ticket out" of Afghanistan. The Obama administration "hasn’t been choosing between remaining in Afghanistan and withdrawing from the fight. It’s been choosing between two ways of staying"—i.e., a prolonged stalemate, or outright military victory.

Douthat noted that the Rolling Stone article which provided the occasion for McChrystal’s ouster was "ostensibly a left-wing, antiwar critique of counterinsurgency." But it actually gave voice to "complaints that the current strategy places too much value on innocent Afghan lives." He cited another analyst summing up the article as criticizing the current strategy "because it doesn’t allow our soldiers to kill enough people."

It might appear farfetched that General McChrystal, a longtime commander of Special Operations forces who was responsible for the assassination of thousands of insurgents during his years in Iraq, should be deemed insufficiently bloodthirsty. The logic of such criticism was spelled out in a significant analysis in the July 2010 issue of Washington Quarterly, the magazine of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a major policy think tank in the US capital.

Written by Lorenzo Zambernardi, an Italian academic now working in the US, the article discusses what it calls "Counterinsurgency’s Impossible Trilemma."

Zambernardi argues: "Counterinsurgency involves three main goals, but in real practice a counterinsurgent needs to choose two out of three. … The impossible trilemma in counterinsurgency is that, in this type of conflict, it is impossible to simultaneously achieve: 1) force protection, 2) distinction between enemy combatants and noncombatants, and 3) the physical elimination of insurgents."

According to this schema, McChrystal had chosen the second and third goals, with the resulting spike in US-NATO casualties and increasing dissatisfaction among the rank-and-file soldiers ordered to take greater risks to avoid civilian casualties. The alternative, the author writes, is to focus on the first and third goals instead: "A state can protect its armed forces while destroying insurgents, but only by indiscriminately killing civilians as the Ottomans, Italians, and Nazis did in the Balkans, Libya, and Eastern Europe, respectively."

This choice, what the author later calls "a policy of barbarism," could perhaps be described as "the Hitler option."

That is where American policy in Afghanistan is now headed: towards a dramatic escalation of violence in a war that has always been characterized by extreme brutality and disregard for the destruction of innocent lives.

Such is the response of US imperialism to its failure to suppress popular opposition in Afghanistan to Washington’s neo-colonial war and occupation. The push to escalate the bloodbath arises because the anti-US insurgency has mass popular support. This struggle of the Afghan masses against foreign occupation is entirely legitimate.

Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed in more than nine years of warfare, the longest single military engagement in American history. US air strikes have hit wedding celebrations, family outings, even funeral ceremonies.

Thousands of Afghans have been seized and detained and tortured at the infamous Bagram prison camp and at other such facilities throughout the country. US Predator missiles have been fired from drone aircraft at villages on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with hundreds, probably thousands, dead.

This is the bloodbath that Obama publicly supported as the "good war" in his presidential campaign, and which the liberal wing of the Democratic Party embraces enthusiastically to this day, in the face of growing popular opposition within the US. Those who are making the decisions to continue and escalate this conflict are guilty of war crimes. Those who supply the political rationalizations to "sell" this war to the American people are their accomplices.

Patrick Martin


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Maybe TPTB quit paying McChrystal his fair share of the proceeds.

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Let it loose; it will defend itself."

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Maybe TPTB quit paying McChrystal his fair share of the proceeds.



McCrhrystal reminds me of the Harvey Keitel character in Bugsy.
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