Bowe Bergdahl: 13 Things You Need to Know | Politics News | Rolling Stone

So much is being thrown around about Bowe…..maybe before anyone decides to crucify him they should know more about the person…..just  thought.

To condemn without the facts is the act of a coward……until one has faced what he faced then their opinion is worthless……the old “until you have walked a mile in his shoes….shut up!”

 

Bowe Bergdahl: 13 Things You Need to Know | Politics News | Rolling Stone.

US News Media Just Sucks

there is nothing new about my statement on the news media….I have despised them for decades….for they search for  not news but sensationalism to report……every year some moron goes up Mt. Hood and gets lost or such and we here about these idiots ad nauseum…..now we have the Mt. Everest disaster where so many were killed in an avalanche….and now we have a show dedicated to these thrill seekers…..for one these people are nothing but adrenalin junkies, thrill seekers…the Sherpas were just trying to make a living….but the others are nothing but show boaters and junkies and the dignify their crass disregard for life just irks me….to NO end…I am not impressed by these types of thrill seeking morons……you want an adrenalin rush…the military can use a few good people and do something worthwhile.

I waited  few days before writing this the see how the media would handle this story…….

An Afghanistan village buried in a landslide yesterday is now considered a “cemetery,” says a government official in Badakhshan province. The last of the rescuers gave up hope today of finding survivors in the mud that devastated the village of Abi Barik in the mountainous and remote northeast, reports the BBC. It will take some time to figure out how many were killed, with estimates ranging between 350 and 2,700, reports Reuters. The focus now will shift to providing help for the estimated 4,000 people without shelter.

“The scale of this landslide is absolutely devastating, with an entire village practically wiped away,” says an official with the International Organization for Migration. “Hundreds of families have lost everything and are in immense need of assistance.” Many of those killed were at their houses trying to get things in order after an earlier, smaller landslide. The area has been deluged with rain of late.

Of course this story is not important enough to interrupt the total mindlessness of the “nerd prom” in Dc or for anyone to really give a shit about those people in Afghanistan….they are just not important enough for our media to care…….I am disgusted by the flippant attitude of the media and for that point, most Americans.

This is why I prefer BBC news it is more to the point and interesting, with the exception of some “bladerunner” trial or the royals….their news is usually spot on without the sanitized, sensationalized crap that American news offers.

A New Hope

Well I could go into my rendition of the 1st Star Wars movie….but that has been done to death by now……the New Hope of which I speak is Afghanistan.

yes, the Afghan people have gone to the polls this past weekend and voted in greater numbers than ever before……7+ million.

First, I would like to correct my prediction….I predicted that the buddy of Karzai would win the election, Rassoul…..I felt that there would be a massive amount of voter fraud and that Karzi would not want to lose his influence in the running of the country……..appears I was mistaken (gladly)……

Afghans flocked to polling stations nationwide today, defying a threat of violence by the Taliban to cast ballots in what promises to be the nation’s first democratic transfer of power. The turnout was so high that some polling centers ran out of ballots and others took the unprecedented step of extending hours, reports the New York Times. The day has been “surprisingly peaceful,” says Reuters, with only a handful of isolated attacks reported. The excitement over choosing a new leader for the first time appeared to overwhelm the fear of bloodshed in many areas, as Afghans embarked on a major transition nearly 13 years after the US-led invasion toppled the rule of the Taliban.

The vote is the first for Afghans in which the outcome is uncertain. Voters are choosing from a field of eight presidential candidates, as well as selecting provincial council members. With three front-runners in the presidential race—former foreign ministers Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmay Rassoul, and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani—a runoff seemed likely instead of an outright victory victory by one. President Hamid Karzai, the only leader the country has known since the Taliban fell, is constitutionally barred from a third term.

The votes are not all in but as it is today there will be a run-off between Abdullah Abdullah and Ghani……Karzai’s mole Rassoul finished a distant third…….at least as far as we know now.

I am proud of the Afghan people….they showed up in massive numbers even with the threats from the Taleban…….they deserve some respect for taking their voting seriously……they have mine.

Unfortunately, I am not positive that any of these candidates will have the support or the guts to take on the Taleban when the time comes…….while the people voted and have voted in massive numbers…..they will not be in control when the Taleban comes to town……

All we can do is take a wait and see attitude…….

What Cost War?

The situations in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a back seat to  the search for a plane……a debate on birth certificates and a wealth of spurious conspiracies……but since today is my day to post on war….I will delve into those two wars that people forget…….

Does anyone know what the final cost of the two will be?

The final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project “Costs of War” by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. (www.costsofwar.org)

In the 10 years since U.S. troops went into Afghanistan to root out the al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001, attacks, spending on the conflicts totaled $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.

Those numbers will continue to soar when considering often overlooked costs such as long-term obligations to wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012 through 2020. The estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments coming due and many billions more in expenses that cannot be counted, according to the study.

In human terms, 224,000 to 258,000 people have died directly from warfare, including 125,000 civilians in Iraq. Many more have died indirectly, from the loss of clean drinking water, healthcare, and nutrition. An additional 365,000 have been wounded and 7.8 million people — equal to the combined population of Connecticut and Kentucky — have been displaced.

$3.7 trillion?  That amount could have gone a long way to solve the $5.1 trillion that Ryan wants to carve out of domestic programs…….don’t you think?

But beyond that there are other costs of war…….

The 2.6 million Americans who volunteered to fight on IED-laden battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan have returned home with a panoply of problems borne out of their service. Consider the following from a newly released Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey:

  • 18 percent were seriously injured while performing their duties.
  • 34 percent say they have a service-connected disability.
  • 52 percent say their physical or mental health is worse than it was before the wars.
  • 41 percent report experiencing outbursts of anger, at least sometimes.
  • 51 percent know a service member who has attempted or committed suicide.

More from the Post-Kaiser survey:

For recent veterans, a legacy of pride and pain.

Key findings from the poll.

Interactive poll results and how the survey was conducted.

My point is….war is far more expensive than what most people think……who will pay the tab?

What’s Up In Afghanistan?

In the last couple of days I have run across a couple of stories that will not be big news here in the US or for that matter not in Western Europe either…..this one stuck out in my mind…….

Afghan vice president Field Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, a leading commander in the alliance that fought the Taliban, died today at 57. Fahim was an ethnic Tajik who was an ally of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic Northern Alliance commander who was killed in an al-Qaeda suicide bombing two days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. President Hamid Karzai’s office said Fahim died from an illness. Karzai called Fahim a true patriot and said his death was “a huge loss for Afghanistan.” Fahim served as a vice president and defense minister in Karzai’s first administration and most recently was the first of two vice presidents. But he was best remembered as a former warlord who fought the Soviets when they were occupying the country and went on to battle with Massoud against the Taliban, who were ousted in 2001. Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi said the government has called for a three-day mourning period and flags would be lowered to half-staff. Presidential candidate Hedayat Amin Arsala said Fahim’s death “will affect the future political development,” but he didn’t elaborate.

What makes this one interesting to me is the fact that he was a fighter against the USSR back in the 80’s….he was part of the Northern Alliance of Massoud, a man who with a small band of fighters could hold off numerous Soviet attacks when outnumber more than 100 to 1.

This probably means nothing to most Americans but think about this….Massoud was killed 2 days before the 9/11 attack….this man would have been the leading ally when the US went in after the Taleban and AQ…his death should have been a indication of things to come.

Now another staunch ally of the US has died just before the presidential elections…..may be a huge coincidence, but I do not believe in them,….this needs to be watched….the Taleban is up to something and with the US on the way out the door….it could be BIG.

Just a thought.

And Then There Is Afghanistan

Afghanistan?  That pesky war that the media and the public are trying to despartely forget…….We do not hear much about America’s longest war….why is that?  Easy peesy……Americans are near the point of war weary…..they see and hear about the deaths and such but we are suppose to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year….God willing.

Our surrogate, Karzai, is not the most reliable person and even though there is an upcoming election for the country’s president….there is much that he, Karzai, has to answer for….if that is at all possible…..

A new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is offering some of the first looks at three years worth of audits of Afghan management of the aid provided by USAID.

Anyone whose paid even cursory attention to Afghanistan’s legendary level of corruption could expect the audits were bad, but they turned out to be so bad that USAID officials tried to keep SIGAR from disclosing them for years,

The report detailed 107 “major risks” to providing aid money directly to the Afghan government, mostly critical and mostly centering around how millions of dollars in cash have a nasty tendency of disappearing in Afghanistan.

This is just one of many indications that corruption is running rampant in the country….a counbtry that bribes are the source of many job opportunities……

And then there is our enemy in Afghanistan….the Taleban.  There have been many reports of Karzai and his government trying to reach ‘secret; deals with the Taleban…….

The latest strain on the tenuous US-Afghanistan relationship: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been secretly negotiating with the Taliban. With no Western involvement, Karzai has been trying to hash out a peace agreement, which, officials say, explains a lot of his recent inexplicable and vexing actions (see: refusing to sign a security deal with the US and freeing dozens of dangerous Taliban detainees). But, sources tell the New York Times, the talks haven’t come to much—there’s not even the beginning of an agreement, and it’s not clear the Taliban was ever serious in the first place. The Taliban reportedly reached out to Karzai in November, right around the time his relationship with his allies started going downhill, and a number of messages have been exchanged since. The lack of progress, however, has many officials thinking the Taliban’s main purpose was to mess with the US-Afghan security deal, and some officials say the communication has died down and any hope for a peace deal is dead. But a Karzai spokesman says the contact with the Taliban continues and has been “very positive.” A Taliban spokesperson tells Bloomberg the Taliban has not reached out to Karzai, but praises Karzai for refusing to sign the deal with the US and says if he continues to refuse, “it will create positive relations with him.”

All the indications that I read and hear is that we are pretty much tied to Afghanistan for the next decade or more……and that means more of our money being funneled to feed the corruption of the government.

Just thought I would let you know……after all…that is…..WHY I AM HERE!

A Woman With Cajones

In these times when it seems like governments are doing everything they can to keep women “in their place”…….but……..

There are brave women who reach out and take the world by the wanker and demand their place in a democratic society……and then there are women that go above and beyond for the sake of their place in society……..my first thought is for that Pakistani young woman who was attacked and damn near killed by the Taleban because she wanted an education and now she is an international spokesperson for women’s rights…….she was snubbed for the Nobel Peace Prize which was an oversight by the committee….if anyone deserved it it was this young lady…..

And then I read a story about an Afghan woman that has assumed her place as a chief of police in the country that beat women and forced them to marry, stoned them and all around did everything they could to keep women “in their place”………

Kabul’s District 1 has a new police chief—and the Taliban has a new target. Col. Jamila Bayaz has become the first Afghan policewoman to run an entire district, and she says she is ready to face the challenge despite the threat from militants, the AP reports. “I work day and night,” says the 50-year-old, a mother of five who joined the police force more than 30 years ago. “I am ready to serve, I am not scared nor am I afraid.” Afghan policewoman are often targeted by the Taliban, whose brutal 5-year rule forced Bayaz to stay home instead of doing her job. “I was a housewife taking care of my family,” she says. “Women are part of society and since they left, more and more are getting involved and they need to join the police.” She hopes her high-profile job will encourage more women to join the police force, which now has 1,551 policewomen out of 53,400 personnel, up from just 180 in 2005.

This woman is aware of what the Taleban thinks of women and she will do her duty….the sad part is that some random drunken of a mayor will get more press than this lady…truly sad what Americans find as ‘news’……….

Now this is a women with cajones!  She knows that there will be attempts on her life and that her life expectancy is short….but she saw what she thinks is her duty and went for it……my hat goes off to her and I wish her lots of luck and long life…….

Let’s Talk Middle East

2014 will be a good year, for whom I am not sure but somewhere, someone will be smiling at its end.

I thought I would take this opportunity to update my readers on the doings in the Middle East….stuff they may not be aware of as it is happening…..stay with me….it is gonna be a year to remember.

Most of my readers are concerned with the happenings on the Hill, the Beltway, DC…whatever name you want to give the clowns and their antics that are running this country…but outside of “Foggy Bottom” the world turns and the fighting goes on….only their fighting involves guns and eath not the pussy whipped antics of a bunch of worthless politicians…..for that reason I try to keep people informed on the Middle East….for me it is a must to keep with the happenings there but for others not so much…..

2014 will be an interesting year in the Middle East….blood, guts, negotiations and deals……so let me give you a tour around the area…..

Afghanistan–everybody’s favorite war……this is the year we will be out and let providence take its toll……

(Newser) – Afghanistan’s insurgents are on the verge of a resurgence. If the US fully withdraws from the country next year, militants will swiftly reclaim much of the country, threatening Kabul as early as 2015, according to the latest National Intelligence Estimate. Indeed, experts believe things will get worse even if the US doesn’t pull out, sources familiar with the classified document tell the LA Times. “It’s very pessimistic about the future,” one official says. “More pessimistic than ever before.”

Some administration officials are complaining that the report, which is the work of all 16 intelligence agencies, is “more dark” than usual, and underestimates Afghan security forces, the Washington Post reports. “What we’re going to see is a recalibration of political power,” one official said. “It’s not going to be an inevitable rise of the Taliban.” The administration is considering leaving troops in Afghanistan—the top allied commander wants 12,000—but is having difficulty reaching an agreement to do so with Hamid Karzai.

A replay of the 1980’s…..think Charlie Wilson’s War…..

Syria–you don’t think that this will go away…now do you?

………opposition fighters battled rival rebels from an al-Qaeda-linked faction across parts of northern Syria today, as deep fissures within the insurgency erupted into some of the most serious and sustained violence between groups opposed to President Bashar Assad since the country’s conflict began. The clashes, which broke out on Friday and have spread to parts of four provinces, pit an array of moderate and ultraconservative Islamist brigades against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group that has become both feared and resented in parts of opposition-held areas for trying to impose its hardline interpretation of Islam. Click for more.

If you think Syria is messy now….believe me…you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Iran–you just know this will be a major talking point come election time……

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday it would be difficult to see how Iran, which did not support last year’s international accord on Syria, could be a “ministerial partner” in the Geneva 2 talks, which are due to begin on January 22.

“Now could they contribute from the sidelines? Are their ways for them, conceivably, to weigh in? Can their mission that is already in Geneva … be there in order to help the process? It may be that there are ways that could happen,” Kerry said.

Iran’s help with the Syrian peace process would be the worst thing to happen…..right wingers would crap on any attempt to stop the fighting if it involved Iran……sad people will die because of ideological bullshit.

Iraq–the country has been a bloody mess since we invaded and it gets NO better as time wears on…..now AQ has decided to take the north of the country, if possible and the Iraqi troops are all but worthless….they need help….but who?

The Iraqi military tried to dislodge al-Qaeda militants in Sunni-dominated Anbar province today, unleashing airstrikes and besieging the regional capital in fighting that killed at least 34 people, officials said. A series of bombs in Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, meanwhile, killed at least 20 people. The recent gains by the insurgents have been a blow to the Shiite-led government—as sectarian violence has escalated since the US withdrawal. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was “very, very concerned” by the fighting but would not send in American troops. Click for more.

No troops for Iraq?  We will see how that bit of news plays out….now want we?

Then there is the Middle East peace process……if one could call it that….not much new here…the usual crap…lots of talk…little action…all the while people die……good plan!

After getting the two sides back to the negotiating table in 2013 after a three-year hiatus, Kerry was “starting the new year with a special effort to try to move the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations forward,” a senior State Department official said.

After months of intense, secretive talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, Kerry is hoping to set out an agreed framework that will establish a vision of what a final peace deal would look like.

It would provide “a basis upon which one could negotiate the final peace treaty because the outlines or the guidelines for what the final deal would look like would be agreed upon, and then you would work intensively to fill out the details,” according to the official

That little tidbit is laughable at best…but it plays well for the morons back home……and then Kerry made a statement that goes beyond BS…….

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that any Middle East peace plan would be “fair and balanced,” as he held a fourth day of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

“I can guarantee all parties that President (Barack) Obama and I are committed to putting forward ideas that are fair and balanced, and to improving the security of all peoples,” Kerry told reporters in Jerusalem.

In other words the US will do everything that Israel wants……and when the talks break down it will be because the Palestinians were uncooperative…..as always.

There you have my 2014 round-up of the Middle East situations…..does not look good for a quiet year….on the contrary it will be messy, maybe messier than 2013……