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Our tax dollars at work under Bush:

Our tax dollars at work under Obama:

Can you spot the difference?

I couldn't wait for Bush to quit being President so we could quit having photos of dead and/or injured children, killed by our bombs, and our soldiers, paid for by our tax dollars, greeting us in the news.  

So today I come home from work, and discover this:

'More than 100' die in US-led air strike in Afghanistan.

That's more than 100 civilians.

Now try as I might, I can't remember when Afghanistan attacked the United States of America.  

I can't think of one Afghani involved in 9/11.  

Yet here we are slaughtering Afghan civilians in remote villages halfway around the earth, in the name of the "war on terror".  

Why?

The Taliban isn't even a threat in Pakistan, in spite of all the hype and bullshit coming out of Washington:

The myth of Talibanistan

Pakistan is not an ungovernable Somalia. The numbers tell the story. At least 55% of Pakistan's 170 million-strong population are Punjabis. There's no evidence they are about to embrace "Talibanistan"; they are essentially Shi'ites, Sufis or a mix of both. Around 50 million are Sindhis - faithful followers of the late Benazir Bhutto and her husband, now President Asif Ali Zardari's centrist and overwhelmingly secular Pakistan People's Party. Talibanistan fanatics in these two provinces - amounting to 85% of Pakistan's population, with a heavy concentration of the urban middle class - are an infinitesimal minority.

The Pakistan-based Taliban - subdivided in roughly three major groups, amounting to less than 10,000 fighters with no air force, no Predator drones, no tanks and no heavily weaponized vehicles - are concentrated in the Pashtun tribal areas, in some districts of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), and some very localized, small parts of Punjab.

To believe this rag-tag band could rout the well-equipped, very professional 550,000-strong Pakistani army, the sixth-largest military in the world, which has already met the Indian colossus in battle, is a ludicrous proposition.

So again, I have just one question, as to why we're STILL seeing pictures of children felled by our bombs and our money, and authorized by the President of the United States, the new "change you can believe in" President, Barack Obama:
Why?

UPDATE:  

So Alternet has the story this morning, where they are quoting the NY Times as reporting that:

In a phone call played on a loudspeaker on Wednesday to outraged members of the Afghan Parliament, the governor of Farah Province, Rohul Amin, said that as many as 130 civilians had been killed, according to a legislator, Mohammad Naim Farahi. Afghan lawmakers immediately called for an agreement regulating foreign military operations in the country.

"The governor said that the villagers have brought two tractor trailers full of pieces of human bodies to his office to prove the casualties that had occurred," Mr. Farahi said. "Everyone at the governor’s office was crying, watching that shocking scene."

Mr. Farahi said he had talked to someone he knew personally who had counted 113 bodies being buried, including those of many women and children. Later, more bodies were pulled from the rubble and some victims who had been taken to the hospital died, he said.

And the Red Cross is complaining that one group of victims were a Red Crescent worker and 13 of his familiy members:

The International Committee of the Red Cross, however, has stated bluntly that US airstrikes hit civilian houses and revealed that an ICRC counterpart in the Red Cresent was among the dead. "We know that those killed included an Afghan Red Crescent volunteer and 13 members of his family who had been sheltering from fighting in a house that was bombed in an air strike,"

And NBC is reporting that the Pentagon is planning an attempt to whitewash this by blaming it on the Taliban:

NBC News is reporting that the US military is preparing to blame the deaths of several Afghan families—that were reportedly killed in US bombing raids this week in Farah Province—on Taliban fighters. The network’s Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski said military sources told him Taliban fighters used grenades to kill three families to "stage" a massacre and then blame it on the US.

Which is kind of odd because even Karzai, the U.S.' own man in the country, is saying otherwise:

In Afghanistan, the office of the US-backed Afghan president Hamid Karzai described the deaths as "unjustifiable and unacceptable".

Is the Pentagon suggesting that Karzai is a stooge for the Taliban.

I'm sure this story will continue to develop.  

Originally posted to Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 10:48 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There are a lot of things I don't get (13+ / 0-)

    and this is one of them.

    William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

    by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 10:49:56 PM PDT

  •  Exactly What I Expect From This Diarist (5+ / 0-)

    Very consistent...

    "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

    by Dana Houle on Thu May 07, 2009 at 10:53:47 PM PDT

  •  In this particular instance, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego

    I heard on MSNBC that it might have been Taliban fighters that killed these civilians with grenades and then spread them around to make it look as if an air strike had killed them.

    There are a bunch of stories online:

    "The information you cite about the Taliban throwing grenades into houses to create civilian casualties and put the blame on the United States is a report I have heard," Gates said in answer to a question from a reporter.

    "But I think we will have to wait and see what the results of the investigation are," he said.  

  •  The Pakistani Army is not what you think: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, neroden, OHdog

    To believe this rag-tag band could rout the well-equipped, very professional 550,000-strong Pakistani army, the sixth-largest military in the world, which has already met the Indian colossus in battle, is a ludicrous proposition.

    These are not Boy Scouts.

    A big chunk of them are for sale and a bigger chunk is sympathetic to the radicals.

    Under those conditions even a small band of true believers could take power.

    Just think what the Xian Right did to our politics.

    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:05:24 PM PDT

    •  You've got to be kidding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      10,000 mostly illiterate and barely-armed villagers, you think, could take over the government of Pakistan?

      Wow.

      William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

      by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:06:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BS. (5+ / 0-)

        10,000 mostly illiterate and barely-armed villagers

        Do you have any evidence for this?  I have a problem with Americans calling any other people on this earth illiterate and implying that they are dumb peasants...

        especially considering the reality here.

        The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

        by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:11:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh ... how about the link in my diary (3+ / 0-)

          You might want to start with that.

          Then you might actually try READING about Afghanistan.

          Turn off CNN, that might be good, too.

          William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

          by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:13:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see no evidence of literacy rates (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden, LynneK

            in that article.

            This is base polemics.

            Have fun with it.

            Good night.

            The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

            by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:16:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is a good place to start (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              reasonanyone

              http://search.barnesandnoble.com/...

              It gives a good portrait of the places where the Taliban holds sway.  

              You obviously are not aware of any of this.

              Reading is your friend.  Turn off the CNN.

              William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

              by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:18:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't watch CNN. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LynneK

                I avoid it like the plague.

                I still see no evidence for your assertions here.

                The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

                by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:30:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Read the book I recommended (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  neroden, reasonanyone

                  and then let's talk.

                  And that's just the first thing that popped into my head.  I'm not gonna do your research for you.  That's your job.  

                  The question the diary poses is why are we killing children in Afganistan?  How is this any different from what Bush was doing?  

                  William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

                  by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:33:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are running under the assumption of authority (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    northsylvania, cjallen, pgm 01, LynneK

                    That is no way to win a debate, especially one this important.

                    Do not tell your audience to read without providing them the evidence to read...

                    Orange and blockquotes would be good.

                    Thanks.

                    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

                    by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:36:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The diary is about the U.S. killing civilians (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      neroden, reasonanyone

                      And you're focusing on something else entirely, as to the education level of the average Afghan villager.  If the diary was about THAT.  If that's what you want to argue about, then you look it up.  Show me some stats on the average education and literacy level of the average middle-of-nowhere villager in Afghanistan.  

                      I've read a lot about it.   Their education and literacy level is appallingly low.  If you want to assert otherwise, you point it out to me.  

                      Otherwise, the diary is about whether or not Afghan villagers are a threat to the United States of America.  

                      William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

                      by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:42:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No, (4+ / 0-)

                        this diary is also about your implying that the Pashtuns are hardly a threat in Pakistan.

                        I am not convinced.  How could I be when your paltry evidence is hardly convincing?

                        Yes, we did bad things in the tribal areas... how does that help your case?  It does the reverse, actually.

                        The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

                        by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:51:28 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Asuming you're right (9+ / 0-)

          Surely you don't think that 100 dead civilians is a remedy for how dangerous the radicals are to the political stability of Pakistan, do you?

          I mean you can argue about the the level of threat in the region, which really comes down to "my foreign correspondent is better than yours".

          But the point of the diary which your nitpicking doesn't refute is that a. there's zero difference in the failed military strategy of Bush and Obama's strategy, and b. seeing dead children killed by American bombs is disastrous for the children and for American foreign policy.

          Kossacks LOVE to look at big pictures of Obama being greeted warmly overseas. How long do you think that window says open with shit like this?

          I can assure you, for millions of Muslims, and anyone who was sick to their stomach over George Bush's militancy, Obama's honeymoon is now over.

          •  I was sick to my stomach over GWB... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LynneK

            and you do not speak for me.

            I seriously doubt that Obama signed the order to wipe out 100 civilians, just because.

            You read the worst into every situation, disregarding efforts to gradually move things forward as 'selling out'.

            'Cassandra' or 'Chicken Little', History may be your judge.

            One thing I learned in grad school studying History is that some things take time.

            The blogosphere is not known for its patience.

            sturm und drang

            The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

            by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:27:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He did decide we should "win" in Afghanistan (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Euroliberal, rogerdaddy

              and the only thing that really means is that we're gonna see a lot more of this.

              We all need to question why we are there in the first place.  

              William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

              by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:29:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Questioning is good. (0+ / 0-)

                Personally, I have no problem with America's stepping in to a place where they throw acid in the faces of little girls.

                Just my honest opinion.

                The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

                by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:32:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  okay. (5+ / 0-)

                  We can't invade every country that bad things, or we'd most certainly have to invade ourselves, now, wouldn't we?

                  Along with most countries on the face of the earth.

                  William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

                  by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:37:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, but... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tecampbell

                    Most countries on the face of the earth didn't attack us, either. We have a legitimate reason for being in Afghanistan, though we don't have one for being in Iraq.

                    "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

                    by LynneK on Fri May 08, 2009 at 05:27:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I have a problem with America's incompetence. (7+ / 0-)

                  Long-distance aerial bombing has been a consistent disaster in modern guerilla warfare, every single time it has been used.  It has never helped win a war.

                  Why are we still using it?  It should be banned along with poison gas and land mines.  It's less useful than poison gas or land mines, and it's just as prone to slaughter civilians.

                  If we want to "win" the war or defeat the Taliban, we have to abandon air strikes.  They're not helping.  It's not just me saying this: expert military commentators are saying that the Air Force should be abolished and merged with the Army, because as an independent organization it likes to do air strikes, and air strikes are largely counterproductive.  Google "abolish Air Force".

                  -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                  by neroden on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:39:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's less useful than poison gas or land mines... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tecampbell

                    but the effects, while brutal are less long lasting. Unless you are using cluster bombs, for which there is no excuse ever, aerial bombardment is much less savage than land mines. Is it the right way to go in this instance? No, probably not as it's obviously too indiscriminate. To defuse the situation will take time and a lot of money well spent, instead of thrown in the general direction of a corrupt contractor or two. That would require better knowledge of the situation beyond anything any of us and most of the government. Our opinions aren't going to fix a very broken system.
                    In the meantime, when you talk about the Taliban, you are also talking about a very nasty set of people who were pretty damn brutal to the people of Afghanistan, women in particular. Even if only 20% of Pakistan ends up under their sway, that's a lot. If it's the part with nukes, that could be a real problem for India and a lot of other folks.

                    If nothing is very different from you, what is a little different from you is very different from you. Ursula K. Le Guin

                    by northsylvania on Fri May 08, 2009 at 12:31:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  then we need to "step in" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tecampbell

                  to China, Russia, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and a dozen other countries where the government does absolutely horrible things to its people.

                  Your rationale is no different than Bush's argument for invading Iraq: Saddam was a bad guy, so we were justified in going in and taking him out. And he was a bad guy who gassed his own people (with gas that we helped him get, but I digress). But that doesn't mean invading was the right thing to do.

                  For "human rights" to mean anything, it has to be more than a convenient slogan to justify whatever wars of choice we want to fight at the moment.

                  I think we should only fight wars in the national self-interest, as a last resort after we've exhausted all other means, and not as a means of asserting our moral superiority. But that's just me.

                  "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

                  by limpidglass on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:50:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Please understand, (3+ / 0-)

                    my moral questioning ended the moment I saw the Bush Admin try to beat the drum for Iraq.

                    The Afghan War started with our helping one bad side regain control over another who had proved more undesirable due to its connections to extremists.  We sided with the corrupt over the dangerous.

                    Now we own the fallout.

                    I don't want the people in Afghanistan to suffer again if we can prevent it.

                    That is all.

                    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

                    by tecampbell on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:58:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  seems like we're going about it (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tecampbell

                      the wrong way, though.

                      We have no real plan to get out, and we're escalating the situation in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. At some point, you have to realize that you can't save the world at the point of a gun.

                      I don't think there are any options to end the war that would allow us to sleep soundly at night; it's a choice between bad and worse.

                      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

                      by limpidglass on Fri May 08, 2009 at 12:07:39 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  We can't retreat from the world and (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tecampbell, LynneK

                expect to have no adverse consequences.

                -5.38, -5.90 Deus mihi iustitiam dabit.

                by cjallen on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:33:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We can't kill children by the hundreds (7+ / 0-)

                  and expect to have no adverse consequences.  

                  William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

                  by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:34:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Obviously. (0+ / 0-)

                    Everything is a trade off.  If it weren't us killing kids, it'd be someone else.  And there's a high likelihood they'd be killing a lot more.

                    -5.38, -5.90 Deus mihi iustitiam dabit.

                    by cjallen on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:36:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So let me get this straight (4+ / 0-)

                      When Bush was doing this, it was okay with you?

                      Because it seems to me that here at Dailykos, most people were really NOT ok when Bush was doing this.

                      But now that Obama is doing it, it's completely justified.

                      That's what I'm seeing from your comments.

                      Unless you'd like to admit you were okay with Bush doing it, too.  

                      Were you?

                      William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

                      by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:39:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think Afghanistan as a conflict was always (6+ / 0-)

                        justified, but all of our tactics and actions have not been.

                        -5.38, -5.90 Deus mihi iustitiam dabit.

                        by cjallen on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:42:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  In fact, the whole strategy in the region has (5+ / 0-)

                        been utter bullshit.

                        -5.38, -5.90 Deus mihi iustitiam dabit.

                        by cjallen on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:49:16 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I was not OK with being in Iraq (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        northsylvania, LynneK

                        there was no reason to be there.  Afghanistan was a legitimate war, assuming of course, you believe a war can be legitimate.  We cannot have terrorists training and plotting to destroy the world.  In most cases, there is a method to the madness, and sometimes deals can be worked out.  Hitler was marching across Europe because he wanted more, and was not going to stop until he got it.  The terrorists want the destruction of the western world, the US, our allies, our way of life.  They want the death of all Americans and nothing short of that.  There is no reasonable discussion that can be held, when you face that kind of extremism they simply need to be stopped.

                        To prevent such extremism we need to become friends with the region, work with them instead of exploiting them.  That however does not stop the asshats from trying to blow up the world so we have no choice but to try to stop them.  Part of the process is getting the moderates to help police the extremists and to have governments capable of keeping the extremists a small powerless fringe group.  Until then, we are thier police and we have no other option but to fight them.

                        What we need to do is get better at fighting them.  We need to have good reliable intelligence as to the locations of extremists, we cannot keep being used by one bad guy to exterminate his rivals and thier families.  It is a long slow process that will involve more innocent blood being shed, because the truth is that if we don't help stabilize the region, there will be more attacks against the US or our allies.  The sad truth is that Bush left no other option since simply leaving will cause the problem to fester and grow worse.  Simply doing nothing means that the terrorists continue thier takeover, killing the voices of the majority who are too afraid and too powerless to stand against them.

                        All loss of life is tragic.  The loss of life of those who had nothing to do with the fight is even sadder but it will not be stopped in the short term.  If we give the moderates the power and a voice they can fight the extremists in thier nations before those extremists could ever harm us.  These extremists today exist because of how Europe and the US treated the area and so we have a duty to help clean up our mess and give the people the tools they need to fight it themselves.

                        •  Well said. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          pgm 01, LynneK

                          If nothing is very different from you, what is a little different from you is very different from you. Ursula K. Le Guin

                          by northsylvania on Fri May 08, 2009 at 12:32:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Can you show me where (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Catrina, reasonanyone

                          Afghanistan attacked us on 9/11?

                          Or anyone from Afghanistan?

                          Can you show me any terrorist from Afghanistan who was involved in an attack against the U.S.?

                          William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

                          by Inky99 on Fri May 08, 2009 at 05:47:22 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  AQ was based in Afghanistan (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cjallen, pgm 01

                            with the complicity of the Taliban. In 1992, the Taliban were asked to give up AQ, but they refused which gave a seal of approval for the US and allies (there were and are still allies for Afghanistan) to attack.

                          •  So what if AQ was there (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Catrina

                            Still gives us no right to murder civilians who have nothting to do with AQ.  

                            You're arguing the AQ point of view - it's ok to attack innocent Americans on 9.11 becassue other Americans have done things AQ disagrees with.

                            You're using the same arguemnt. It's ok for the USA to kill babies because other people did things the US disagrees with.

                            Why can't we vote online?

                            by reasonanyone on Fri May 08, 2009 at 06:01:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope I am not arguing to kill civilians (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pgm 01, reasonanyone

                            See my point down thread on why the US tactics are a fail.

                            What I am saying is that someone who knowingly harbours violent criminals can expect some kind of visit from the law enforcement guys if the knowledge becomes public.

                            If you are told to get them out of your house, and you do nothing, then you shouldn't be surprised if a SWAT team turns up in th night, and a few people get hurt.

                            Having said that, that rationale was good for about two months after the first attack, and the ongoing "war" is due to s desire to nation build and not related to 911.

                          •  soldiers vs. cops (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Catrina

                            police and law enforcement don't drop bombs and kill 100's of civilians while trying to arrest people who had nothing to do with the reasons cited for the war in the first place.

                            soldiers aren't cops and the WAR isn't a traffic stop.

                            Why can't we vote online?

                            by reasonanyone on Fri May 08, 2009 at 06:14:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Are we disagreeing here? (0+ / 0-)

                            I have said in various comments that the US should not be bombing innocents, and should be no longer there.

                            My analogy about law enforcement was to argue that some kind of action post 911 against a terrorist organisation that had committed multiple acts of terrorism, and that was openly set up in a country with that country's government's support, was, to most people, justified.

                            The failure of the US/Allied forces to clean up the AQ structure rapidly in the early days, and the mission creep to focus on the Taliban has bogged the US down in an unwinnable war, which leaves it where it is today. This is not to excuse them, but to try to add context

                        •  Yeah, but (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Catrina, reasonanyone

                          bombing kids and grandmothers isn't going to "get moderates to help police the extremists".

                          It might be worth giving them a chance to regroup a little, because then you have a clearly identifiable enemy.

                        •  riiight (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Catrina

                          more war, more bombs, more dead babies - that'll make all of western civ much safer.

                          problem - western civ doesn't deserve to be safe if killing babbies is claimed as justified.

                          Why can't we vote online?

                          by reasonanyone on Fri May 08, 2009 at 05:58:09 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You're making some great comments (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm taking note of your handle so I can read you more in the future.  :)

                            You're one of the few who actually knows what's going on.

                            William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

                            by Inky99 on Sun May 10, 2009 at 01:00:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Yea, Pepe Escobar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, tecampbell

    is the final authority on Pakistan?

    Give me a fucking break.
    Pepe is the final authority on self-promotion.
    He seems to think the Taliban are not despised in Afghanistan...well,they are. And in NW territories.

  •  Have you spent any time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, tecampbell

    in Pakistan?  Are you familiar with what it is like under the Taliban?  Or is this all third hand assumption and loose links? Tell you what.  You go and spend some time in the Swat Valley and then come back and report.  

    Good luck.

    •  If you were familiar with the Asia Times (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, neroden, Catrina

      you would know that it is about a hundred times better at reporting what's going on in that part of the world than ANY American media source.

      But you're not, so you don't.

      Don't forget, Bush sold BILLIONS of dollars worth of high-tech American arms to Pakistan, for their "cooperation" in the "war on terror".

      So it's kind of a mismatch, the Taliban vs. the Pakistani military.  

      William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

      by Inky99 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:31:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That doesn't account for guerilla warfare but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cjallen, limpidglass

        So, the problem is that the US military is still being very stupid.

        The Taliban has a serious advantage due to better tactics and strategy.  (Not that they can take over Pakistan as a whole -- the big cities would never tolerate it -- but they could easily hold onto the Northwest, which was never really culturally Indian anyway.)

        Unfortunately, the US is just as stupid as the Pakistani military, and more so.  The Taliban has the same advantage over us, and it's proved every time we do something mindbogglingly idiotic like air strikes.  If we want to "win", we need to send in a lot of people who know the local languages, learn the entire local political layout, negotiate with the village leaders, and generally replicate what Britain did in conquering the area back in the 19th Century.

        Instead, we're trying stupid things which kill civilians and alienate the locals.  This is the Taliban's advantage.

        This is also why the Islamist forces in Somalia beat the hell out of the Ethiopian and US invaders: they were locals, they understood the culture, and they dealt with it politically.  War without politics is destined to fail.  Even in the most famous examples of "total war" -- in the Civil War, the Union had a great advantage in being supported by large portions of the populace in the South, while the South had no real support in the North.

        US handling of politics in Afghanistan is still rather worse than a total amateur could manage.  :-P

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:47:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Uh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog, cjallen, LynneK

        The question was have YOU spent time there?  I'm not trying to justify anything the U.S. has done.  My question is what qualifies you, beyond being reading a few links, to say you know what's really going on?  

        In anticipation of your next question, yes, I've spent time there.  Anyone who defends what the Taliban is doing or doesn't think they're capable of being just as duplicitous or more duplicitous than others when it comes to using and causing deaths, doesn't know what they're talking about.  

        But you go on citing your links like you know better than anyone else.

    •  well, at least those 100 civilians aren't (6+ / 0-)

      suffering under the Taliban anymore. yay for us!

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:32:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Afghanistan is the new Vietnam (4+ / 0-)

    and Pakistan the new Cambodia.

    Nixon bombed Cambodia in secret for over a year and managed to keep it hushed up. Now we are doing the same thing in Pakistan, except we have more refined methods: remote-controlled drones that don't need human pilots. And it's not at all secret that we're doing this; it's just that no one gives a shit.

    America has learned nothing from Vietnam; nor has it learned anything from its much more recent (and still ongoing!) misadventure in Iraq.

    Oh, one more difference: Cambodia didn't have nukes and wasn't involved in a bitter border dispute with another nuclear-armed country. So there's one big difference!

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:43:55 PM PDT

  •  Maybe this will help you get it Inky (8+ / 0-)

    Our military is there because they treat their women bad, and they grow poppies and the small band of people we helped create and financed while they were killing Russians for us, al-Qaeda, camped in Afghanistan. Never mind that 9/11 was planned mostly in Hamburg, Germany and that the hijacker pilots trained in the US and that learning how to use box-cutters can be done most anywhere.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with resources, just as the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the demonization and fear-mongering with respect to Iran's "nuclear enrichment program" have nothing to do with resources.

    There has been no significant change in the definition of our national interests since the end of WWII or even earlier. One of the most important being "... (unfettered) access to the resources of foreign countries...". Republicans and Democrats, it matters not which, they do not have the power redefine our national interests. The power elite will have to do that.

    We're are getting our long war, the generational war that the neocons called for a decade ago and the public is being duped once again. Pick a country, invade and occupy it. The natives will resist and once they resist they are labeled by the invaders as militants, extremists and even terrorists and so we must remain there to fight them. How dare they resist us. Meanwhile we're doing a heck of a job - recruiting for the resistance.

    And a note from the military's counterinsurgency manual:

    The More Force Used, the Less Effective It Is.
       
    An operation that kills five insurgents is counterproductive if the collateral damage or the creation of blood feuds leads to the recruitment of fifty more.
       
    Only attack insurgents when they get in the way. Try not to be distracted or forced into a series of reactive moves by a desire to kill or capture them. Provoking combat usually plays into the enemy's hands.
       
    A defection is better than a surrender, a surrender better than a capture, and a capture better than a kill.

    As for respect for Pakistan's territorial integrity? - no big deal, we're America and we'll do what ever it takes to protect "our national interests", which can easily be seen in pink and in blue on the map below.

    oil,central asia   us military bases,pipeline routes

    •  Awesome comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      You should write diaries.  Didn't you, in the past?

      I always love reading your stuff.

      William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

      by Inky99 on Fri May 08, 2009 at 05:49:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your diary history (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      is an extremely great look at this very situation.

      I highly recommend that anybody click on your name and start reading.

      William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

      by Inky99 on Fri May 08, 2009 at 05:50:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Truong - you don't get it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      War is evil.

      Peace is the goal.

      Bombing innocent poor people all over the world - regardless of what percieved threat they pose or what ever your super power ability to tell the future says - war is evil.

      blow back - there is no end to this war. the longer we kill innocent people the more dangerous and brutal the blow back is going to be.  war feeds on itself, grows and grows.

      Why can't we vote online?

      by reasonanyone on Fri May 08, 2009 at 06:06:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What the US is good at........ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, LynneK

    After 911, it was generally agreed (apologies to truthers) that Al Qaueda was responsible, and that AQ's logistic base was in Afghanistan. The following was not in dispute

    1.  AQ wanted to wage a terrorist campaign against the US (WTC 92, African embassies, USS COle)
    1.  AQ had established its  operating and command base in Afghanistan, with the approval of the then Taliban government.

    Thus following 911, the decision to strike at those bases by the US was met with little or no condemnation by the international community ( even Muslim countries)

    The US military had a very successful rapid campaign, which destroyed AQ's infrastructure, and sent the Taliban into the hills.

    But the mistake was to stay and engage in nation building.

    The result is that the enemy regrouped into guerilla forces - the same ones that had defeated the Russian army.

    If instead, the US had pulled out - saying now sort out your own mess, either a new form of Government in Afghanistan would have emerged, or the Taliban would have flowed back into control. In the lattter case, they would have been more cautious of giving hospitality to groups like AQ, or if not, they would be nicely concentrated in easily identifiable bases, making easy targets for a second strike, instead of being hidden in the mountains of the NW frontier.

  •  The difference is that I trust Obama. For now. (0+ / 0-)

    If perception is relevant, truth is irrelevant.

    by legalarray on Fri May 08, 2009 at 05:33:28 AM PDT

  •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't think of one Afghani involved in 9/11.

    You mean, aside from all the Afghanis who were part of the Taliban, who harbored and supported Al-Qaeda?

    Just because they weren't physically on the airplanes doesn't mean they weren't involved.

    Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

    by mistersite on Fri May 08, 2009 at 05:35:01 AM PDT

    •  Hm (3+ / 0-)

      I remember the Bush administration telling us that, but it turns out they lied about almost everything.

      Turns out the truth is somewhat otherwise.

      As truong son traveler states above:

      Never mind that 9/11 was planned mostly in Hamburg, Germany and that the hijacker pilots trained in the US and that learning how to use box-cutters can be done most anywhere

      William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

      by Inky99 on Fri May 08, 2009 at 05:53:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So by the same logic (0+ / 0-)

        Iraqi insurgents should strike at the US in Qatar, because that is where the Middle East command structure is, planning the attacks and the campaigns.

        If I was on the other side, I would be more tempted to go for the head office.

        •  Was the al-Qaeda cell (0+ / 0-)

          in Hamburg, Germany harbored? That's where 9/11 was planned over a period of about two and one half years. It was not planned or coordinated from some cave in Afghanistan, as is often echoed and parroted and as many would have us believe. The linked article also notes what motivated them to do this.

          Were they harbored and supported where they took flight training in Sarasota and in Phoenix? There is evidence that some of them trained at the Naval Air Station in Pennsacola, Florida.

          One of the hijackers studied English in Oakland, California. Their training was done half a world away from Afghanistan.

          •  But did AQ have its HQ in Afghanistan? (0+ / 0-)

            and their training camps. Were they being sheltered by the Taliban, as they organised and co-ordinated the different cells around the world?

            I guess there were not too many flight schools in Kabul ( for example there are none in Kuwait), and if you were a terrorist network, wouldn't you try to "sanitise" your operations, by using sleepers in supposedly friendly countries.?

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