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BS: Afghanistan

Ed T 16 Sep 12 - 10:09 AM
Henry Krinkle 16 Sep 12 - 10:40 AM
Jack the Sailor 16 Sep 12 - 10:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Sep 12 - 12:04 PM
Ed T 16 Sep 12 - 12:51 PM
gnu 16 Sep 12 - 12:55 PM
Jack the Sailor 16 Sep 12 - 01:07 PM
Ed T 16 Sep 12 - 01:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Sep 12 - 01:49 PM
Ed T 16 Sep 12 - 01:53 PM
Greg F. 17 Sep 12 - 01:57 PM
Dave Hanson 17 Sep 12 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Tony 17 Sep 12 - 03:40 PM
Charmion 17 Sep 12 - 05:09 PM
gnu 17 Sep 12 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Tony 17 Sep 12 - 06:33 PM
Charmion 17 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 12 - 04:55 PM
gnu 18 Sep 12 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Tony 18 Sep 12 - 05:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 12 - 05:54 PM
gnu 18 Sep 12 - 06:15 PM
Ed T 18 Sep 12 - 08:57 PM
Ed T 18 Sep 12 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Tony 18 Sep 12 - 11:31 PM
Little Hawk 18 Sep 12 - 11:46 PM
Sawzaw 19 Sep 12 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Teribus 20 Sep 12 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Tony 20 Sep 12 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Teribus 20 Sep 12 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Lighter 20 Sep 12 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Tony 20 Sep 12 - 12:58 PM
Jack the Sailor 20 Sep 12 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Tony 20 Sep 12 - 02:53 PM
gnu 20 Sep 12 - 03:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Sep 12 - 08:35 PM
gnu 20 Sep 12 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,Lighter 20 Sep 12 - 09:46 PM
Charmion 21 Sep 12 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Tony 21 Sep 12 - 09:55 AM
Donuel 21 Sep 12 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Lighter 21 Sep 12 - 01:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 12 - 01:40 PM
pdq 21 Sep 12 - 01:41 PM
gnu 21 Sep 12 - 01:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 12 - 01:45 PM
gnu 21 Sep 12 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Tony 21 Sep 12 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Lighter 21 Sep 12 - 04:04 PM
Little Hawk 21 Sep 12 - 04:45 PM
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Subject: BS: Afganistan
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 10:09 AM

Is there actually a purpose for NATO to remain in Afganistan? An exit has to occur someday. Is delaying the exit only delaying the clear results, that the current proped-up government will likely fall and the warlords will regain control, and the Taliban will reemerge in some form. Many of the societies (and democracy) gains, will likely be lost regardless (IMO).

Does remaining there serve a useful purpose, alot of cash and lives and civilian deaths. The longer NATO stays, the more likely they will do something to turn many against the west (frequent deaths of civilians). The targeted terrorist groups (the reson for going in) have found many other places to operate from. And, some suspect the only winners are the coffers of the Pakistanis (which may someday be used against the west).

Karzai angered by civilian deaths in NATO airstrike


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 10:40 AM

We never belonged there in the first place. Bush was spoiling for a fight and no one, not even Hillary, told him no. And Prez al-Obama is happy to stay. Prolong it like Nixon did Vietnam. Get some votes by promising to end it.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 10:55 AM

President Obama is trying to unwind it with the least amount of lasting damage possible.

Training up the local forces to protect themselves was never tried by the chicken hawks. The President owed it to the Afghanis and to our armed forces and to our allies who had sacrificed so much to try to give it one sincere effort. Next year that will be done and American fighting in that civil war will be over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 12:04 PM

Afghanistan: Nato air strike 'kills eight women in Laghman'

Making this inevitable - Afghanistan conflict: Rise of 'green on blue' deaths"


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 12:51 PM

I seem to recall Karzai, Afganistan's elected leader, has asked NATO for a quicker withdrawl on quite a few occasions. If NaTO's presence is not wanted by the person who it benefits the most, then how can one say we owe to the Afghanis to stay. Who are these Afganis who are standing up and asking NATO to stay? Is oil another reason to continue be there?

On another note, What ever happened to the California-based UNOCAL Corporationplan to construct a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through western Afghanistan to Pakistan? (earlier proposed by Standard Oil-Russian oil interests, to secure an alternate, short, safe oil pipeline route from Russia through neighboring Afghanistan). (Wasn't Karzai a top adviser to UNOCAL during the negotiations with the Taliban to construct a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through western Afghanistan to Pakistan?).


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: gnu
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 12:55 PM

Ten years couldn't get a pipeline for the Russians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 01:07 PM

If you don't like what Karsai has said, wait a few days. I've seen him support the US presence in interviews in English. He was Bush's pick, foisted on the Afghanis. I don't know if there is anything we can do about him now. But as a former pipeline company employee, who is to most eyes, quite corrupt, he is not ideal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 01:23 PM

I suspect Karsai's short term priority is to stay alive today, and his longer term priority is to stay alive for a longer term.

To keep some type of support locally, he would be hardpressed not to publically ask NATO to leave (he knows they wont) when they do something stupid (disrespect the dead, bomb citizens) and ask them to stay, to keep him and ghis goverment alive.

On the longer term, since USA and NATO (sometimes they seem the same) are scheduled to leave, I suspect his main thoughts are on survival post NATO-USA. All in all, IMO, his future prospects are poor -unless his former western friends give him safe haven somewghere, as a reward.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 01:49 PM

I imagine Karzai will leave the country at about the same time as the foreign forces.

(And could someone correct the spelling of the thread heading?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 01:53 PM

Where does oil/gas figure into the continued Afganistani presence?


Operation Enduring Failure


Islam, poppies and pipelines


Taliban- pipeline security



Obama's Caspian strategy


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Sep 12 - 01:57 PM

British had the good sense to get the hell out of afghanistan in the 1880's.

The U.S. never learns from history.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 17 Sep 12 - 02:39 PM

British soldiers are STILL getting killed in Afghanistan, a lot of them by the scum we are training up to run their own shithole of a country.

Two brave Yorkshire soldiers killed by someone they were trying to help.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 17 Sep 12 - 03:40 PM

Two brave Yorkshire soldiers sent needlessly into the line of fire by a government they honored and trusted.

A pipeline from the Caspian Sea to China would have to go through either Afghanistan or Russian-allied Uzbekistan. A pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Pakistan would have to go through either Afghanistan or Iran. How much is that piece of real estate worth? In dollars or in soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afganistan
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Sep 12 - 05:09 PM

Think of a number and double it ...

The NATO operation in Afghanistan was well down the road to self-perpetuation when the magic pull-out date of 31December 2014 was announced, and I believe that was the only reason the Canadian government was talked into re-upping last year and joining the training advisory mission based in Kabul. For all hs faults, Mr Harper is not famous for reinforcing failure.

Mind you, if the rate of "green on blue" attacks increases, look for the Canadian contingent in the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan to be on sprinters' blocks in March 2014, with the Mission Closure Unit yanking their phones out and cutting the lights at the earliest possible moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: gnu
Date: 17 Sep 12 - 05:14 PM

The magic pull-out date WAS October, 2003. I expect someone got fucked?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 17 Sep 12 - 06:33 PM

No, they really were hoping to pull out by then. And by a lot of other deadlines named since then. They keep thinking that any day now they're going to buy Uzbekistan and invade Iran.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM

Hey, gnu-zer:

That would be us, and every other taxpayer funding this self-licking icecream cone that NATO calls a counter-insurgency mission, or a capability-building mission, or whatever it takes to keep the sustainment gravy train running.

Oh, yeah -- and the poor bloody Afghans. They're definitely getting it in the left ear, without even the traditional preliminary kiss.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 04:55 PM

It never made sense, for the British, the Russians, or the Americans and company.

The people who will be running the country in five years time are the people fighting against the outsiders. That's how it always works out with colonial wars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: gnu
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 05:10 PM

I know most of you will be pissed at this but I just HAVE TO say it AGAIN. We are battle training troops and field testing weapons. That is EXACTLY what a "capability-building mission" is meant to do. Kinda sucks that innocent people die but I guess that is the price we pay* for our freedom.... ????

* Not my choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 05:33 PM

Well, that's a relief. I thought it was done out of greed; but if they're just killing people for practice that's different.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 05:54 PM

Kinda sucks that innocent people die but I guess that is the price we pay* for our freedom.... ????

What has killing and being killed in Afganistan got to do with protecting "our freedom"? Freedom to kill and to die?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: gnu
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 06:15 PM

Now yer catchin on! Fuck! I have been posting this shit for years and this is the FIRST time I get a response???... TWO responses!

Welcome to reality.

Lock and load!


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Ed T
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 08:57 PM

Have not read this yet. But, Jesse Ventura made reference to it on Pierce Morgan last night. Good title.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Ed T
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 08:58 PM

Guess I should link it:)

War is a racket


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 11:31 PM

No one does anything for a single reason. Part of the reason for going to war is always to get practice, as gnu said, and to use up old equipment and buy new and make money off that, and get promotions and medals, and so on. But when we talk about the reasons for a particular war, we assume all that and we just talk about why they chose this particular country to run their racket in this time.

That may involve multiple reasons also. The invasion of Iran won't be done solely to punish them for setting up a non-dollar oil bourse and trying to undermine the world financial system. There's also the fact that Iran has massive oil and gas reserves, and it occupies the south shore of the Caspian Sea with its massive reserves and so it would be convenient as a pipeline route to the ocean and to Pakistan. And they're conspicuously non-aligned, so it's a great opportunity to expand US power in general and to show other nations what happens if you don't submit to US hegemony. And of course we have to stop them from enriching uranium for the medical research reactor we gave them during the Shah's regime with the understanding that they would be eternally grateful and submissive and would always buy the uranium from us. And maybe the racket isn't paying off as well as they'd hoped in Afghanistan so they want to try Iran instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Sep 12 - 11:46 PM

Yep. Those are all plausible imperial reasons, Tony. One thing for damn sure, it has nothing to do with protecting anyone's "freedom", least of all ours.

America has been trying to get revenge on Iran ever since the Iran Hostage Crisis in Jimmy Carter's term of office. That's another reason for waging war on them, along with those you cited above.

Americans (most of them) have long forgotten the CIA-orchestrated coup that destroyed Iran's democratic government in the 1950s and replaced it with the Shah. Iranians have not forgotten. They'll fight like hell if invaded, and it'll be a far worse mess than Afghanistan and Iraq.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Sawzaw
Date: 19 Sep 12 - 11:31 PM

"This is not a war of choice," Barack Obama told the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Aug. 17. "This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people."


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 07:15 AM

Some amazingly ignorant statements made so far:

1: The purpose NATO fulfills in Afghanistan is to provide command & control for the UN mandated ISAF contingents operating in the country in support of UNAMA.

2: The mission statement for ISAF from day one (December 5th 2001) was as follows:

ANNEX I (To the Bonn Agreement)

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY FORCE



1. The participants in the UN Talks on Afghanistan recognize that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghans themselves. To this end, they pledge their commitment to do all within their means and influence to ensure such security, including for all United Nations and other personnel of international governmental and non-governmental organizations deployed in Afghanistan.

2. With this objective in mind, the participants request the assistance of the international community in helping the new Afghan authorities in the establishment and training of new Afghan security and armed forces.

3. Conscious that some time may be required for the new Afghan security and armed forces to be fully constituted and functioning, the participants in the UN Talks on Afghanistan request the United Nations Security Council to consider authorizing the early deployment to Afghanistan of a United Nations mandated force. This force will assist in the maintenance of security for Kabul and its surrounding areas. Such a force could, as appropriate, be progressively expanded to other urban centres and other areas.

4. The participants in the UN Talks on Afghanistan pledge to withdraw all military units from Kabul and other urban centers or other areas in which the UN mandated force is deployed. It would also be desirable if such a force were to assist in the rehabilitation of Afghanistan's infrastructure.


For ISAF that devolved into two clear tasks:

TASK 1 - Provision of Provincial Reconstruction Teams throughout Afghanistan to assist in the reconstruction of the country. Such reconstruction work to be funded by internation aid and handed over to Afghan contractors and civil authorities and administrators.

This task is well under way and more and more reconstruction projects are now not only being carried out by Afghan civilians but are also being funded by them.

TASK 2 - Assist in creating, training, equipping and mentoring "national" security forces capable of enforcing the rule of law and order throughout the country and capable of defending the recognised borders of the country from external attack and infiltration by terrorist groups.

This task is approximately 85 to 90% completed.

Since the intervention of the International Community in Afghanistan the average yearly death toll amongst Afghan civilians suffering violent and unexpected death due to civil unrest has dropped from 108,696 (Between April 1978 and October 2001) to 2,133 (October 2001 to present). US-OEF/ISAF/ANSF are the first armed forces to operate within the borders of Afghanistan since April 1978 whose main duty and charge has been the protection of the general population. 80% of all civilians suffering unexpected violent deaths inside Afghanistan today are killed by the Taliban and their allies.

In the period 2006 (when ISAF took over) to 2011 the average population of Afghanistan was around 30 million people of whom, on average ~581,900 die each year from all causes. The yearly average number of deaths caused by the Taliban insurrection (and remember it was the Taliban from across the border in Pakistan who declared war on the reconstruction effort in 2006) is 2,133 - or just over one-third of one percent of the average total death toll from all causes (hardly a picture of a land ablaze from end to end)

UNOCAL went out of business years ago.

President Hamid Karzai never worked for any Oil Company (Only one French Newspaper "Le Figaro" ever suggested that he did - the paper offered no evidence to support this claim and has never since repeated it.)

TAPI - the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India Pipeline Project is a dead duck. Politicians in all three countries the pipeline passes through chatter about it, but it is going nowhere, it has largely been by-passed by Turkemistan's gas deals with the Chinese and Iranians and by Pakistan agreeing to purchase gas from Iran. China has signed an agreement to develop oil fields in Afghanistan. None of the above is of any financial benefit to the US at all - so much for the much toted, and oft quoted, "oil motive".

As for "Karzai being Bush's pick foisted on the Afghans" even the most cursory examination of the records shows that that is simply untrue - First mentioned in the Bonn Agreement 5th December 2001 the meetings that led to that agreement were held between Afghan leaders and a representative of the United Nations - that man has just taken over from Kofi Annan in Syria, his name is Lakhdar Brahimi (Hardly an American puppet). Hamid Karzai was proposed in Bonn subject to acceptance by a Loya Jirga of all Afghan tribal leaders to be held in Kabul by June 2002 - The USA were not represented in that Loya Jirga and Hamd Karzai was accepted as head of the Afghan Interim Administration. Subsequently he stood for election on two occasions, he has already stated that in accordance with Afghanistan's Constitution he cannot stand for re-election (Two terms is the maximum) His second term ends in the summer before the ISAF hand over to ANSF in December 2014.

A great deal has been said about US and NATO leaving. This has been due to gross misreporting by "western" MSM of what has actually been said. What happens in December 2014 is that frontline responsibility for providing security throughout Afghanistan devolves to the ANSF (They already ARE responsible for about 75% of the population and 50% of the country). Once this milestone has been reached ISAF troops will withdraw from combat operations, support and training missions however will continue.

British General Sir David Richards predicted in 2006 or 2007 that in his opinion ISAF would be military engaged in Afghanistan for a period of between 5 and 10 years - ISAF took over from US-OEF throughout Afghanistan in 2006 (makes Richard's target end dates somewhere between 2011 & 2016). He predicted that ISAF would continue to mentor and train the ANSF for a period of between 10 and 15 years to get them to a stage where they could train their own troops, NCO's, Specialists and Officers themselves (makes his target end dates between 2016 and 2021) by which time ALL ISAF troops would leave Afghanistan (The US have signed agreements with the Afghan Government involving 20,000 troops covering until 2024). He predicted that the International Community would be involved in the development of Afghanistan in terms of trade and aid for a minimum of 30 years (makes his target end date 2036). So far it looks as though General Sir David Richards pedictions have proved pretty much on the money.

Why on earth would anyone have to, or want to "invade" Iran?? Totally ludicrous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 09:17 AM

Teribus, thank you for that extremely long post, but it failed to address many of the reasons for invading Iran that were suggested in previous posts. Perhaps you could comment on those. And perhaps in fewer words, either out of consideration for others or in hope that they'll actually read it.

The oil motive theory isn't based on knowing the current progress of contracts under present geopolitical reality. It's based on the fact that wars always happen to occur where there's oil or an oil route.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 09:45 AM

1: "Part of the reason for going to war is always to get practice"

Now that is just utter bullshit - no-one HAS EVER gone to war to get practice.

2: I cannot imagine how this fact has escaped your attention but - we are NOT AT WAR in, or with Afghanistan

3: As far as I can make out you are the only person wittering on about the USA invading Iran - That will not happen.

Besides:

a) Iran cannot set up a non-dollar borse

b) Iran cannot undermine the world financial system

c) Iran does have massive oil & gas reserves but no refining capacity

d) Iran does occupy the southern end of the Caspian Sea, but as long as the regime governed by the "12 Old Gits" remains in place it is the least likely place anyone would think of for exporting either oil or gas from the Caspian Sea, besides there are already a number of perfectly good export pipelines running west from the Caspian.

e) Could you explain to me why the USA would invade a country just so it could export oil or gas to Pakistan? The Iranians and Pakistanis have already agreed to do just that and the pipeline is mostly built.

f) Iran non-aligned?? Are you joking?? Russia, China, Syria, North Korea.

No invasion of Iran is necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 10:20 AM

> It's based on the fact that wars always happen to occur where there's oil or an oil route.

OK, "always" is for effect. But how about some factual examples, specifically those where the same oil wasn't already available for purchase and was afterwards criminally exploited (rather than paid for at market prices) by the neo-colonialist victors?

> US-OEF/ISAF/ANSF are the first armed forces to operate within the borders of Afghanistan since April 1978 whose main duty and charge has been the protection of the general population. 80% of all civilians suffering unexpected violent deaths inside Afghanistan today are killed by the Taliban and their allies.

This to me is the most significant thing. It gives the lie to the facile claim that the U.S. attacked the Taliban for sinister reasons unrelated to Al Qaeda. Those supposed reasons are glibly summarized as "oil" and "imperialism." But those aren't reasons; they're slogans.

If the West leaves now, the Taliban - by mainstream Muslim standards, a monstrous throwback to the seventh century - will take over the country once more.

For much of its history, Afghanistan was notable for its moderate interpretations of Islam. The destruction of the Taliban (a recent movement) would be the best thing that could happen to the entire region. A premature Western departure would leave the Taliban to reimpose its own radical brand of sharia on the entire country, and it would be free to slaughter anyone believed to have cooperated with the infidels. What's more, a Taliban victory would encourage fundamentalist revolution in Pakistan, something which would be far more dangerous to the world than the American presence in Afghanistan.

The Western effort could fail. But that's another discussion.

Check out "Taliban," by Ahmed Rashid (Yale Uinversity Press, 2000). It was published before 9/11.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 12:58 PM

Lighter: yes, I agree. My understanding is that Afghanistan was progressive until the US started fomenting fundamentalism as part of an effort to unseat the Soviet-friendly government. And that led to the government asking for Soviet military assistance against the insurgency, which was represented as an invasion so that it could serve as an excuse for more US and Saudi meddling, leading eventually to the takeover by the Taliban. Now what was your point about that?

Teribus: the support you provided for your opinions ("just utter bullshit" "are you joking?" "that will not happen" "cannot imagine how this fact has escaped your attention") is difficult to present a rational argument against. Perhaps I should just say you're wrong and so's you're mother.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 01:01 PM

Yes, a "progressive" communist dictatorship, wasn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 02:53 PM

Jack, I don't know whether they had universal health care, but there were certainly some socialist aspects to the pre-1980 Afghan regime. I'm sure Joe McCarthy would have preferred your "communist dictatorship" over my "Soviet-friendly" to describe a government not run by the same collective that controls our lives. But the relevant question is whether the Afghan people would have preferred the present situation, and the history since 1980, to the regime that was in place before Zbigniew Brzezinski stepped in. And I wasn't using "progressive" to mean that they had freedom, in the Bain Capital sense, but rather to refer to Lighter's "moderate interpretations of Islam."


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: gnu
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 03:14 PM

"Now that is just utter bullshit - no-one HAS EVER gone to war to get practice."

Are you shittin me? The Brits have been at it for over 900 years. That's why they are the best at war. Practice makes perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 08:35 PM

Were the best, Gnu. Them days are gone forever.

The war in Afghanistan cannot be won. It should never have been entered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: gnu
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 08:56 PM

"Were the best, Gnu. Them days are gone forever."

Read a newspaper and some history. If you don't think the Brits are the ones in charge of the charge in Africa and Asia right now (and have been for hundreds of years) yer just not reading enough.

The Yanks you may proffer? They get their marching orders directly from 10 Downing. The Brit corporations in mining, agriculture, and manufacturing own the USA and tell their soldiers when and who to shoot. It's all money and the Brits got the bucks... and the balls.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 09:46 PM

Tony, I can only recommend again that you read Rashid's book. And other sources.

The U.S. did not "foment fundamentalism" in the 1970s or at any other time. (I wonder how they'd go about doing it in the first place: send in wahabist imams trained by the CIA?) Though the U.S. armed the anti-Soviet "mujahadin" of the 1980s, the extraordinarily radical Taliban emerged only in the mid '90s, years after the Soviets left.

And except in the pages of Pravda, the murderous Afghan revolutionary government of Hafizullah Amin certainly did not "request" Soviet troops: as soon as the Russians arrived, they executed Amin and as many of his party as they could find. Why? Because Amin, though a Communist, appeared to be moving toward alignment with China and was killing so many of his opponents that the Russians feared a full-scale Islamic revolt on their borders.

Within 24 hours the Soviets announced the "liberation" of Afghanistan and installed a dependable puppet regime. The UN General Assembly(hardly an arm of American policy) officially and overwhelmingly condemned the Soviet actions.

The ten-year Soviet war killed roughly 1.5 million Afghans, mostly civilians. In a slightly longer period, the current war seems to have killed about 15,000.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 07:09 AM

Gnu, much as I respect your knowledge and opinions, I believe you've got this one wrong. What you're seeing as British business is actually international corporate business with global reach that happens to be headquartered in London because the City is still one of the world's largest financial services hubs. Britain still has a comparatively laissez-faire regulatory system, a legacy of those dear, dead days of Whig economic ideas and the heyday of the British Empire, so that's one of the places Big Money likes to settle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 09:55 AM

Lighter, the USSR had selfish motives also, but the US was arming the Mujahideen at least six months before the Soviets went in. And shipping in schoolbooks that taught Wahhabism and jihad. Religious fundamentalism was seen as the best way to turn the masses against socialism, just like in Texas, and the Talibs grew up on those books. After winning their proxy war against the Soviets, the US declined to rebuild from the devastation, leaving a vacuum for the Taliban to step into. That's been interpreted as a mistake, a penny-wise but pound-foolish decision, as though the pocket change it would have cost was too great a financial burden for the US. Most US imperial actions are interpreted at the time as mistakes, as though the federal government were run by the Keystone Cops, and yet US power has steadily increased through two centuries of such blunders. But in fact the Taliban would have looked like a good idea in formerly progressive and socialist Afghanistan, based on the standard imperial tactic of divide and conquer. And their views were in close alignment with those of the US puppets who control Saudi Arabia.

Charmion, the same could be said of tax-averse US. It's another good place for multinationals to root and rut. But then most nations would be glad to play host. The US and UK are preferred for their ability to impose corporate will on the reticent. The squaddies are more willing to lay down their lives if they think it somehow benefits their own country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Donuel
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 12:30 PM

Weapon contractors require more than official test demonstrations and war excercises for their wares. Their orders balloon only after their weapons go hot in an actual "theatre" of war.

Only then do weapon contractors get massive orders.

It is a chicken egg relationship so you could say it is true and not true that certain wars, police actions, operations and surgical strikes have an element of practice to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 01:24 PM

> After winning their proxy war against the Soviets, the US declined to rebuild from the devastation, leaving a vacuum for the Taliban to step into.

That's true, but where's the evidence that the Taliban's appearance, several years after the Soviets left, was a crafty US design rather than the result of local conditions?

The rebuilding of Afghanistan would have cost far more than "pocket change." But that's beside the point. No U.S. Congress would have voted that funding, because the public had no interest in Afghanistan. Few Congressmen would wish to be known as spenders of "taxpayer cash" (as it is now often called) for a "Marshall Plan" for a distant third-world country, particularly since the U.S. was not directly involved.

What's more, your entire argument seems inconsistent. If America wanted oil (or anything else) out of Afghanistan, why not grab it as soon as the Russians left? Did Washington miss out on that obvious opportunity, only to be so fiendishly clever, years later, as to create the Taliban, engineer its takeover (more years later), and get it to harbor Al Qaeda to provide just the excuse for a NATO invasion? And having that kind of godlike genius, would America then spend more than a decade there accomplishing nothing of an obvious imperialist/colonialist nature?

I don't buy it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 01:40 PM

Total value of a company is not related to influence. The largest are conglomerates, thus subject to impact on each segment. Which stock market they are allied with depends on several factors, including whether they get favorable treatment or not.
Who holds the stock is an important factor; e. g. BP is roughly 50% UK held, 50% US held.

BHP-Billiton (BR) is the largest mining conglomerate, but it's diversified. largest income from oil-gas; many companies are larger in this field, thus have as large or greater impact in that field.
BHP leads in coal, and has much iron interest; quite large there.

Vale, a U.S mining comglomerate, is almost as large.
Rio Tinto (BR) is also a giant
Shenhua (China), no. 4, is very influencial in the market, because of its control of rare earths.
(Canada has two companies in the top ten, UK has 4, the U.S 3, China 1, India one).
-------------------------

Corporations with largest market value:
Apple
ExxonMobil-2
Petrochina
Microsoft
IBM
Industrial Bank of China
Royal Dutch Shell-1
China Mobile
China NP-5
Sinopec-6
General Electric
Chevron-8
Petrobras
Walmart-3
BHp Billeton
China Construction Bank
HSBC
BP-4
Conoco-Phillips -9
Toyota -10(nunbers are for total revenues)

A fairly diversified list.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: pdq
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 01:41 PM

" What you're seeing as British business is actually international corporate business with global reach that happens to be headquartered in London because the City is still one of the world's largest financial services hubs." ~ Charmion

Quite right.

Paris in France and Amstredam in Netherlands are the same way.

By "corporate interests" one really means private interprise, crime organizations (such as drug and arms cartels), and foreign governments also.

Does anyone realize that the majority of people in Amsterdam were born in another country?

None of these once-great cities reflects the culture and values of the native folks and working people who built the cities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: gnu
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 01:42 PM

Thanks, Charmion. I certainly respect your opinions and appreciate your comments, especially when I am in error. Fact is, I often have no actual support for my hypotheses but rely on gut instinct and make inferences based on limited knowledge. Devil's advocate is incorrect but I think somewhat applicable.

Although, I must say I still believe the Brit military "establishment" rules the waves and the knaves. On this, I have more than gut instinct but such is not for public forum. And, certainly in my statement that the "war" is about battle training troops and field testing weapons... which has been supported by Donuel additionally. Thanks, Donuel for making your "weapons point".


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 01:45 PM

The above post is a digression aimed at GNU.

Afghanistan is a lost cause, since neither the EU nor the U.S. will stay long enough to insure the culture changes that will unify the conservstives with those that favor Western ways.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: gnu
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 03:34 PM

Thanks, Q. All the more credence to my arguement that Harper is talkin out his ass. Unfortunate for those killed and maimed but "it's the price of freedom".


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 03:42 PM

Lighter, I meant "pocket change" in relation to the US federal budget. A tiny fraction of a percent. The voters have no idea even where major chunks of it go.

For the rest, you argued against silly things that I didn't say. I said there was good reason for the US government to think that Afghanistan would fall under their influence if they helped push the Soviets out, and that promoting Muslim fundamentalism would help that along by purging the old socialist ideas. That all happened to a great extent, especially the latter part. I didn't say the obvious, which is that it didn't work out exactly as they had hoped, and so they had to take a more direct approach. And now there's some question as to whether that's working out as well as intended.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 04:04 PM

> Unfortunate for those killed and maimed but "it's the price of freedom".

In reality, it's the price of possible progress for Afghanistan and possibly averting a far more dangerous regional situation for everyone.

Nobody said that formulating an international policy is simple, easy, foolproof, fair, or cost-free.

Nobody would be getting killed in Afghanistan today if the Taliban would renounce violence and join a relatively sane ruling coalition.

But it won't happen. A few bandits and drug smugglers might be persuaded, but the rest of the Taliban follow religious principles that forbid compromise with anybody, including fellow Muslims.

Should the West leave the place to its brutal fate? Or do what it can to keep disaster at bay for as many people for as long as possible?

Your call.


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Subject: RE: BS: Afghanistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 04:45 PM

I'm gonna rephrase that for you, Lighter.

Nobody would be getting killed in Afghanistan today if two great nations...Russia and the USA....would have long ago renounced violence and stopped playing imperial games on other people's land.

But it won't happen. A few oligarchs, ambitious politicians, and corporate CEOs follow business and political principles that forbid compromise with anybody, and that involve taking over various Muslim lands for the purposes of extending empire and gaining control of strategic resources such as oil and natural gas.

Should the West continue subjecting Afghanistan and Iraq and Palestine and parts of Pakistan and various other places in that region to a brutal fate? Or should the West mind its own business, stop fighting wars on other people's land, stop sending a steady flow of arms and foreign fighters into Syria to cause regime change there, and pay reparations to the many people whom its wars of choice have devastated in the past couple of decades?

The Western leaders who attacked Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001 should be arrested and put on trial as war criminals. That would include Tony Blair, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and numerous others. More recently, it would also include Barack Obama for numerous illegal acts of war he has authorized in regards to drone attacks and other covert operations all across the region. The biggest of those covert operations is the one presently underway in Syria...through Muslim proxies...many of whom are jihadists, religious fanatics of the most extreme type. The USA apparently doesn't care who it uses to destroy Assad, as long as they can bring down another uncooperative secular regime, the same as they brought down Gadhafi's secular regime in Lybia. Gadhafi's only real crime, in USA-corporate terms, was that he wasn't 100% subservient to American corporate and imperial objectives. The same goes for Assad.

None of it was about anyone's freedom. And it never is. It's about empire. And who are the real opponents in the great game of empire? Not the Muslims. Russia and China. The Muslims are just the unfortunate people who happen to be in the crosshairs of the imperial guns...and sitting on all that oil.


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