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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

20 Dec - The Mission in Afghanistan,etc.

Capt. Geoffrey Farrell of the Special Police T...Image via Wikipedia
 In the guise of protecting the world from potential terrorism, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty prohibited developing countries from acquiring civilian nuclear technologies.

What Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri Do All Day, or Why I Cannot Talk About Politics With My Father
I have finally come to understand why I cannot talk about politics, terrorism or international relations with my father, not that it matters much, except as a glimpse of a much larger phenomenon.

It's not just my father. I can't talk about politics or terrorism or world affairs with anyone who has lived his or her entire life under the great umbrella of American propaganda.

They have insulated themselves under an enormous web of lies, and hidden themselves away from actual knowledge of their nation and its role in the world, both of which they see dimly, if at all: the world as a dark, dangerous, mysterious place, and their nation as the best of all nations -- nay, the best of all possible nations.

They have been content to collect the scraps tossed their way by the American War Machine, although they would never call it that. Nor would they ever consider themselves in any way complicit in America's endless war on the rest of the world, a war they never even acknowledge.

It's a war waged on multiple planes, of which the military, being the bloodiest, is easily the most visible. And it didn't start last week, or last year, or even eight years ago.

It's been going on all their lives -- or since they were little kids. For an ever-increasing percentage of America's population, it's always been there.

Like the land, the sea and the sky, it's the backdrop against which their lives take place.

Only a fool would question the sea and sky.

... or the notion that the American War Machine should be what it is, and is what it should be.

Except that it's not true. None of it is true. And even worse -- they know it's not true.

Obama Impatient With Iran
Oh, like BUSH was IMPATIENT with Iraq!

Related: World War III One Month Away

Maybe two/three months then, huh?

Some change!!!

U.S. Growing Impatient With Iran     * CAPITAL JOURNAL
    * DECEMBER 11, 2009

quest to walk back Iran's nuclear program

US impatient with UN's Iraq progress  The World Today - Thursday, 30 January , 2003

Mr Negroponte declared that the window for finding a diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis is closing rapidly. His Iraqi counterpart, Mohammed Al Douri, picking up on the official theme issued from Baghdad that America is sounding like a scratchy old record, says his country has nothing to hide.
After attacking Iraq in 1998, President Clinton declared that he has successfully destroyed all of Iraqi alleged WMDs. Is one President contradicting another? We shall not ignore that all too important declaration of Dr Blix and El Baradei on the 27th of this month and I quote, "We found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Iraq PM impatient with US troops killing civilians
Iraq's prime minister said on Tuesday his patience was wearing thin with excuses from U.S. troops that they kill civilians by "mistake" and said he would launch an investigation into killings at Haditha last year.

U.S. Public Impatient With Iraq Reconstruction  December 3, 2003
A new PIPA-Knowledge Networks poll finds that the public is impatient with the process of Iraq reconstruction. Sixty percent said that the process of creating an Iraqi government is going too slowly (about right 31%, too fast 5%). Even the more sensitive process of “developing an Iraqi police force and army to take over the job of maintaining security in Iraq” got an identical response—seen as going too slowly by 60 percent, and only 5 percent said it was going too fast (about right 31%).
Steven Kull, director of PIPA, commented, “Impatience with the process of Iraq reconstruction seems to be creating increasingly robust support for putting the operation under the United Nations.”
Pak PM says US being impatient in calling for unilateral strikes in FATA  July 30th, 2008
Referring to the recent US threats of unilateral action inside Pakistan s tribal areas (FATA), Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Americans were showing impatience as far its war on terror was concerned, and Pakistan forces would themselves fight back militants.

Americans are a little impatient. In the future I think well have more cooperation on the intelligence side while well do the job ourselves, the Daily Times quoted him as saying in an interview with the CNN in Washington during his ongoing US visit.

Gilani said the insurgents in the FATA were better armed with sophisticated weapons than Pakistani forces, and that that Pakistan lacked such sophisticated weaponry.

He further said that the war being fought was not an ordinary war but a guerrilla war. He said the insurgents had FM communications and they sent messages which Pakistan did not have the ability to deal with, implying that Pakistan would need jamming equipment to come to grips with those clandestine radio stations.

Recalling his meeting with US President George Bush in Egypt , Gilani said he had told him that the US should not take unilateral action on Pakistani territory. It was for Pakistan to take such actions and it would need to be in possession of actionable intelligence to do that. It is our job because we are fighting the war for ourselves, he added.

To a question that the US expected Pakistan to do more to fight terrorism, Gilani replied that we both have to do more, not only us.

The Mumbai attacks and Indo-U.S. relations
India and the United States have more or less agreed on a desired end-state for Pakistan: a stable, democratic, civilian-controlled state at peace with itself and with its neighbours and with a commitment to preventing further nuclear proliferation.
However, Washington and New Delhi have seldom agreed on the best means of encouraging this end-state. Since the 1950s, Indian leadership has been discomfited by Washington’s practice of cajoling Pakistani cooperation for a variety of initiatives with pecuniary appeasements and conventional military assistance, training and sales.
For many years after 9/11, New Delhi rightly chided Washington for its singular focus upon Pakistan’s cooperation in fighting the Al-Qaeda and, after 2007, the Afghan Taliban while doing very little to persuade Pakistan to cease and desist from employing militants to prosecute Pakistan’s foreign policies throughout India. India (likely correctly) believed that Washington tended to view the so-called “Kashmiri groups” as India’s problem. At times those groups also threatened key U.S. security interests. The Jaish attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 precipitated a year-long Indo-Pakistan military crisis, which adversely affected U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan and engagement of Pakistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Throughout the standoff, U.S. officials worried about the outbreak of war and the possibility of inadvertent or deliberate nuclear use. In other words, Washington cared about the so-called “Kashmiri groups” only if they directly threatened U.S. interests whereas India’s primary security threat centred upon those groups.
Both countries, it seemed, were fighting their own wars on terror, even if in parallel. Arguably, the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s audacious 11/26 attack in Mumbai catalysed a convergence of thought about the threat posed by all groups operating in and from Pakistan and has fostered important cooperation and coordination on how best to deal with the menace in Delhi and Washington among other global capitals.
Lashkar-e-Taiba is a peculiar — and intractable — case for all parties concerned. Of all of the Pakistan-based groups, it is widely believed to be the most closely leashed to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI). Unlike the hordes of Deobandi militants — such as the Pakistan and Afghan Taliban, the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Sipah-e-Sahaba-e-Pakistan among others — the Lashkar-e-Taiba had never targeted the Pakistani state or international targets within Pakistan.

The United States was actively involved in Afghanistan during the 1950s through the 1970s. The U.S. presence in Afghanistan ended in 1979 with the assassination of the U.S. ambassador Adolph Dubs in Kabul on 14 February 1979 and with the Soviet invasion the following December. Subsequently, U.S. involvement was indirect, primarily the provision of military aid to the Afghan resistance through the 1980s.
The Kabul-Kandahar road, which was originally constructed by Americans during the 1950s and 1960s, became an important symbol of U.S. involvement in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
The Afghan Transitional Administration has been slow to gain credibility in Afghanistan, in part because many Afghans believe this government to have been externally imposed by the Americans without a natural constituency in Afghanistan.
The Afghan parliament's Upper House has called for legislation to cover ISAF/NATO operations against the Taliban and the length of time of their deployment following increasing concern over the number of civilian casualties caused during the fighting.  Emotive reactions from an inexperienced parliament could be damaging to Afghanistan, its government, the international community and itself.

Australians are fighting an unwinnable war

The policy driving the war and the manner in which it is being prosecuted makes the war in Afghanistan unwinnable. Terrorism is founded in belief, ideology and emotion. Does anyone in the western alliance seriously believe that they can blast, kill and maim their way to a victory in which no known terrorist is left standing in Afghanistan?
So who is talking to whom? What manner of diplomacy has been deployed? Are our diplomats in Pakistan talking to all and anyone who has a stake in the conflict? What are the expectations of those involved? Is there any common ground between the protagonists? Is there a possibility of negotiation?
President Ali Zardari offers the Americans as much hope in Pakistan as President Thieu did in Vietnam. US bombing within Pakistan will galvanise retaliatory action in the form of bombings and sniper attacks against Zardari and his supporters in government and against US and allied diplomats in Pakistan. Such action could derive as much from radical activists as from interests connected to the ISI.
At last Australian diplomats are seeing the folly of fighting Afghan war lords. We have no right to be sending our troops into this wilderness, killing and maiming innocent peasants. We have no knowledge of the area and no way of forcing our will onto these people. We should have learnt our lesson over thirty years ago in Vietnam. What gives Australians the right to kill Afghans in their homeland? We will have to negotiate a peace and in the end nothing will have changed.


Descent into Disaster?: Afghan Refugees

US General Not Impatient with Turkey on Iraq
The United States' top general denied Monday he was impatient with Turkey over requests for support in any war in neighboring Iraq, as Turkey's prime minister said all should be done to avoid such a conflict
( There you go. It's remarkable when the U.S. is NOT impatient ! )

The "hiding among civilians" myth

Israel claims it’s justified in bombing civilians because Hezbollah mingles with them. In fact, the militant group doesn’t trust its civilians and stays as far away from them as possible.

Descent into Disaster?: Afghan Refugees

On October 19, 2001, Iran agreed to build camps to accommodate new refugees fleeing US bombing and internal chaos in Afghanistan. This was the first piece of good news for relief workers concerned that Operation Enduring Freedom is accelerating the descent of Afghanistan's decades-old refugee crisis into a humanitarian disaster of untold proportions.

Twenty-three years of unrelenting war, widespread human rights abuses and, more recently, acute drought have created devastating humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan. Since 1978, millions of Afghans have sought refuge in neighboring countries (2 million currently live in Pakistan and 1.5 million in Iran), while at least 900,000 were displaced from their homes within Afghanistan before September 11. An estimated 30,000 refugees live in India, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and other countries. Even before the current refugee movement, the neighboring governments were showing impatience with the large, intractable refugee populations in their countries. Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan closed their borders.

Inside Afghanistan, millions of Afghans rely on international food aid for survival. The economy, ruined by years of civil strife, suffered a further blow when the worst drought in 30 years caused crop failures that led hundreds of thousands of Afghans to leave their homes in search of food beginning in June 2000. In May 2001, the World Food Program warned that more than 1 million Afghans were facing famine conditions, and in September reported that in some areas, people were surviving by eating grass and locusts. Since the September 11 attacks, all international aid workers have withdrawn, leaving only a skeleton staff of local UN employees in place. On October 16, a US bomb destroyed a Red Cross warehouse, and on several occasions the Taliban have confiscated large quantities of food meant for hungry civilians. Under these conditions, and with the onset of winter, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees describes aid efforts during the bombing as a "race against the clock." Thousands of Afghans could face death from starvation in the coming months.

Afghans Dying From Bombs,
Starving From Hunger
There are thousands starving of hunger while others commit suicide. The people that commit suicide fall in two categories. The first category includes parents that commit suicide not to see the death of their own children, while the second category includes children who could not endure hunger and commit suicide.

Starving Afghan families sell children  17 May 2008
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