When I was a young man in the war in South Vietnam, if you had 10+ confirmed kills you got to join what they called, “The Viet Cong Hunting Club”….at least it was so in the Mekong Delta around the 9th Infantry Division…..and now I see that tradition has NOT been put to bed….looks like they have an Afghan Hunting Club” in our conflict in Afghanistan….but there it seems you do not have to be a known insurgent to be counted…….
This piece is from Newser website……..
How did the US Army’s self-proclaimed “kill team” get away with murdering unarmed Afghan civilians for so long, with little to no intervention by officers? That’s the question Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal addresses in a lengthy Rolling Stone article on the murders and the cover-ups, in which no officers or senior officials have yet been charged. Boal traces the evolution of the plot, from the moment Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs joined the 5th Stryker Brigade’s Bravo Company as squad leader for the 3rd Platoon. Gibbs, who replaced a squad leader whose legs had been blown off by an IED, was already “an extreme version of a relentless attacker,” writes Boal. His new squad was suffering from low morale, and Gibbs had a solution: Hatch a plot within the troops to avenge their losses by killing civilians and hiding the evidence.Gibbs has been portrayed as a “crazy” sociopath, but Boal reports that Gibbs was actually well-liked by those both above and below him in the ranks. The article tracks the platoon’s actions from the first kill last January—a teenage boy in the isolated farming village of La Mohammad Kalay, whose finger Gibbs sliced off as a trophy—through those that followed over the next four months, claiming at least three more innocent lives. The soldiers involved were never disciplined or punished, and they got bolder as leadership continued to seemingly ignore their activities, despite warning signs and suspicious details. Boal shows that, far from the “rogue unit” the Army framed it as, the “kill team” actually operated quite openly, and the murders were common knowledge among the platoon. Furthermore, he writes, there is “evidence that the killings of civilians went beyond a few men in 3rd Platoon.” Click for the full piece, which also includes newly released—and very graphic……
A disgusting story……and it looks like the US cannot find a way from the accusation that we are on a crusade in Afghanistan……this type of stuff is some of the same occurrences that were reported during the crusades of years gone by….it is sad and disgusting….the things that we humans are capable of doing…
The Arab world is going to Hell in a hand basket! The media has finally decided that something may be a story there….when it was Tunisia it was a spot on the news with little commentary….but NOW it is Egypt and by God the world has to pay attention……and it is spreading to Yemen and Jourdan….two more American client states……it could effect OIL and we know Americans would have DTs if that were the case……
But a little reported story of another of America’s client states is just a smear on a news crawler……Afghanistan. What is the big deal there…I mean besides a costly war that is killing and maiming people shittin’ and goin’?
From a report in the NYT….
Fraud and mismanagement at Afghanistan’s largest bank have resulted in potential losses of as much as $900 million — three times previous estimates — heightening concerns that the bank could collapse and trigger a broad financial panic in Afghanistan, according to American, European and Afghan officials. The extent of these losses make it clear that keeping the bank afloat — something the government has said it is determined to do — would require large infusions of cash from an already strained budget.
Infusion of cash? What does that mean? Will we American taxpayers being helping another set of bankers get richer? And where did the bulk of the $900 million come from? What in that country is worth $900 million short of the poppy fields, that is?
How much of the missing cash came on the backs of American taxpayers? How will the Congress hide their large infusion of cash to Afghanistan? Since the GOP is all ahead full with their slashing and demonize social programs….which ones will be effected by any help to Afghanistan? Maybe education, God knows it is not that important in the first place….maybe you Medicare….or your Social Security…….who will be effected in the country’s rush to prop up another bank…only this one will be in Afghanistan and not on Wall Street….
As promised, the president will have his up-to-date review of how things are going in Afghanistan…….i have said that they are NOT going well at all, but I am in the minority….or at least I thought I was….
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds a record 60% of Americans “say the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, a grim assessment — and a politically hazardous one — in advance of the Obama administration’s one-year review of its revised strategy.”
With that said the review that will be given to the president today will say…..
“Specific components of our strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan are working well and there are notable operational gains.
“Most important, al-Qa’ida’s senior leadership in Pakistan is weaker and under more sustained pressure than at any other point since it fled Afghanistan in 2001. In Pakistan, we are laying the foundation for a strategic partnership based on mutual respect and trust, through increased dialogue, improved cooperation, and enhanced exchange and assistance programs. And in Afghanistan, the momentum achieved by the Taliban in recent years has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in some key areas, although these gains remain fragile and reversible.
“While the strategy is showing progress across all three assessed areas of al-Qa’ida, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the challenge remains to make our gains durable and sustainable.”
(Thanx to Reuters for the overview)
First of all, what would you think it was going to say? Did you really thin it was going to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
The troops will start home next July….good sign? Nope…..it is to make it appear that part of the campaign promises are being upheld…….they rumor is we will reevaluate our mission (what ever that is) in 2014….what happens then? Another 10 years…maybe?
We Americans, the people as the politicians like to refer to us as, are dead set against this war and 60% are, if that was the Senate it would be the “super-majority” that we are always hearing about, why are we still there fighting a war that CANNOT be won? If we leave it to the generals, we will be there when my granddaughter turns 18 and we we there when she was born….I would say that is long enough….cut your loses and let the a/holes go back to the 12th century…….
This will most likely be the last anal-ocity for this year….for next month we start preparing for the upcoming 2010 Anal-Ocity Award, the “Assie”…….
recently when talking about the status of children in Afghanistan, a senior NATO envoy, one Mark Sedwill, said this……
“children are probably safer here than they would be in London, New York, or Glasgow or many other cities.”
His comments were made for the public record while filming a BBC special on children in Afghanistan…..
First a few stats for people….
Seventy-four children were killed by bombs or suicide attacks in Afghanistan during the first half of this year—
A rep from aid group Save the Children called the remark “daft,” since “one in five children die before they get to the age of five.” Reuters reports a number of statistics that fly in the face of Sedwill’s claim: 1,795 children died as a result of the war between September 2008 and August 2010; Afghanistan’s infant mortality rate is the highest in the world; UNICEF says the country is the most dangerous one to be born in.
So, Mr. Sedwill being completely oblivious to the situation in Afghanistan deserves a place in Anal statement history….
Do I like being redundant? Nope….and eventually someone somewhere will have an answer…….after 10 years you would think that someone would have an answer…….
I have asked this question over and over….and so far there is NO good answer. There is plenty of spin from both parties and their lap dogs…but not one good answer…..funny how they try to sell the public on whatever plan they come up with…..first it was out in 2011….now it is out in 2014…..what will it be 2 years from now?
I was listening to an interview with Holbrook on MSNBC on the situation in Afghanistan and he said that any negative reports coming from the AfPak area is just counter-productive…why? Because the Afghans are very pleased with the fact that the US and NATO are present in their country…. interesting…..most unbiased reports, which Mr. Holbrook is not, say something a bit different…..
Raw Story has an interesting report……
A report (PDF) from the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) shows that 92 percent of those surveyed had never heard of the coordinated multiple attacks on US soil on September 11, 2001. It also shows that four in 10 Afghans believe the US is on their soil in order to “destroy Islam or occupy Afghanistan.”The survey also suggests that Afghans are skeptical of their own government’s ability to protect them, and have little regard for the fledgling democratic institutions the country is building. Fully 43 percent could not name one positive aspect of democracy, and nearly two-thirds — 61 percent — said they didn’t think Afghan forces would be able to keep up the fight against the Taliban if and when Western forces withdrew.
If one does not like the poll and think it is inaccurate, then find me another poll with different results and then we will talk….
I have been asking my question for several years…..why Afghanistan? In the beginning it was to get AQ…they be gotten…..what is the mission now? There are a lot of words out there about the conflict, but very few make any sense…..so once again ….since, obviously the Afghan people have NO idea why we are in their country or most likely do not want us there any longer…….WHY AFGHANISTAN? NO one has an answer!
International Studies Group
Since Gen. Pratreus has taken over the command of troops in Afghanistan there has been a wealth of speculation that he will go about the war the way he did in Iraq….that is to bring some of the warring factions over to the ‘good guys’ side and that will hasten the end of the conflict…..I am amused! And underwhelmed by such extreme lack of knowledge on the part of the media…..yes…we all want this horrendous wart to end and our guys and gals return to their loved ones……the success of the so-called “surge” was not so much what the US did but rather what the AQ guys were doing to the tribes in western Iraq….the Sheiks got pissed and decided to throw in with the US and its allies….for the time being…..
The strategy of the surge is a noble one but I think a little too optimistic for Afghanistan….
Karzai has admitted that he is in talks with the Taleban….but what does that really mean?
According to the Daily Times, the meeting, held in Kabul two weeks ago to contain the network, was attended by Maulvi Abdul Kabir, a wanted former Taliban governor, his deputy Sedre Azam and Anwarul Haq Mujahed, an imprisoned terrorist, who were flown to the Afghan capital from Peshawar.
Kabir was the governor of Nangarhar province during the Taliban rule and the current head of the Taliban’s Peshawar council, while Mujahed is a terrorist leader credited with helping Osama Bin Laden escape the US assault on Tora Bora in 2001.Washington and Kabul are reportedly seeking to capitalize on Kabir’s position in Afghanistan’s powerful and dominant Zadran tribe.
An Afghan official said that the US and Afghanistan governments want to try and sap some of Haqqani’s tribal-based strength by bringing Kabir on board and dividing tribal loyalties.
Of course, denials began to fly out of Washington and that the US would not jeopardize the troops with such an unthoughtful occurrence…..me thinks that they protests too much…..and that leads me to think that there is something to these reports….but more…it is a dash, a mad dash to make Patreus look like the miracle worker that he was portrayed in Iraq and to give some padding to the Obama strategy…..
From the VOMITORIUM
These types of stories…horror stories….about the private contractors that the US uses thanks in part to the privatization of certain fields during the Reagan days….just keeps giving us nightmares…….
The most memorable one in my mind is that of KBR in Iraq…a subsidy of Halliburton…..was responsible for the electrocution deaths of several American soldiers while taking a shower….and then there are the killings and fraud and out right theft that is part of the Blackwater (sorry, that is Xe, now) saga…yet another private contractor that is screwing the American people as hard as they can…..
Newser is reporting on another contractor fraud, this time in Afghanistan….
The contractor that supplies the military with Afghan translators is putting American lives at risk by sending out unqualified translators, a former employee charges. Paul Funk—who used to oversee the screening of Afghan linguists for Mission Essential Personnel—tells ABC News that the company inflated grades and tolerated cheating on exams to hit staffing targets. He says some 28% of translators sent out by the company between November 2007 and June 2008 failed to meet the required standard of proficiency. Funk, who has filed a whistleblower lawsuit, says he complained to the company about “corrupt” practices, including candidates who had stand-ins take over-the-phone exams in order to secure jobs that pay upwards of $200,000. Military personnel and embedded journalists say they have witnessed unacceptably poor translators working in Afghanistan. The company rejects Funk’s accusations and says it will answer them in court. The US military has confirmed that the company, which holds contracts worth up to $1.4 billion, is under investigation.
This is a constant thing….my guess it is only the tip of an iceberg that NO one in Washington wishes to confront…….
Privatization has not saved the US much money nor has it been more efficient nor has it made the country safer…..what it has done is allow the private contractors to steal billions….and yet the Repubs still embrace privatization….leads me to ask whose payroll are they really on? I mean guards at embassies use to be Marines and they made about $45,000 a year and then they were replaced with “security consultants” making $1000 a day…now you tell me where that saves the country any cash….
College of Political Knowledge
International Studies Group
The time is drawing near for the armed part of our Iraq incursion is coming to an end….we will stay and train…you know kinda like the advisers in Vietnam in the 60′s….those were special forces counter insurgent teams…..they trained the SVN army so well that they lasted exactly one month without the US to hold their hand when the North moved South….
Iraq…..Patreus is sent to the country because he wrote a book on counter insurgency and he is deemed the best man for the job…….and then there was the surge used to stem the rising violence in Iraq…..Patreus gets some Sunni tribesmen to sign on to the US side and the surge goes well….so well that the US may be pulling out in 2010…..
Then everyone’s attention turned to Afghanistan and the slow pace at which anything was getting done….the US wanted to use the counter insurgency strategy in the country seeing how it work so well in Iraq……Obama has even put the same general in charge with the promise of the extra men and the new general that all will go as went Iraq…..that at best is a pile of crap!
Stop using Iraq as an example! Why? There is NOTHING similar between the two countries……….for one there are two distinct religious factions in Iraq…not so in Afghanistan. Iraqis speak the same dialect not so in Afghanistan. And Iraq was at least in the 20th century…..and Afghanistan can NEVER say that…at best they are in the 14th century…..
Finally, the US has been fighting a counter insurgency since 2005, maybe 2006….Patreus may be a genius but to say that the US will now fight a counter insurgency war is just plain wrong……..so to think that a “new” strategy will work is just plain wrong……the US just keeps throwing men and equipment at the country with the hopes that something will break and give them a good reason to exit……I think they are dreaming…..
Even Patreus has pissed on the hope to end the debacle…..
In his first public remarks since taking over the command of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan last month, Gen. David Petraeus told the New York Times that he he will not be bound by Barack Obama’s 2011 drawdown date. “The president didn’t send me over here to seek a graceful exit,” he said. “My marching orders are to do all that is humanly possible to help us achieve our objectives.”
Obama has said he’ll start pulling troops out of Afghanistan next July—100,000 are on the ground now. But Petraeus said he may encourage the president to delay that drawdown, and that he would oppose a rapid or large-scale withdrawal.
Merry Christmas, Irene……this will go on and on and on……why? Less than 10% of the American public is effected by the wars……if there was more participation by the public then this war would end in 2 years or less.
We are in Afghanistan for almost 10 years and things are NOT going so well…….we fight…we die…and this is what we are there for….
A man and a woman who allegedly had an adulterous affair have been stoned and killed in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz.
The punishment happened in a crowded bazaar on Sunday in the Taliban-controlled village of Mullah Quli.
The Taliban asked the villagers to attend the stoning through an announcement on loudspeakers in the mosque, two witnesses from Mullah Quli told the BBC.
“There was a big crowd of people,” one said.
“The Taliban made the women wear black clothes and the men were made to stand. The Taliban started throwing stones. We were also asked to throw stones. After a while, the Taliban left. The woman was dead but the man was still alive.
The Taliban operates a shadow government, consisting of judges, tax collectors, district governors and commanders, in several parts of Kunduz, he adds.
the Taliban were seeking to create and exploit a power vacuum, and some are urging the government and the ostensibly pro-government Council of Ulema (religious scholars) to take a stronger stance against extremism. So far that has been a hollow dream….
Remind me again why we are in the country……and how our presence there will change things for the people for the better…….
College of Political Knowledge
Subject: Afghan Politics/Afghan democracy
I recent did a post on what is needed in Afghanistan…that would be authoritarian democracy or a guided democracy if you will…why? Because a democracy in the American sense of the word is NOT possible in Afghanistan. The American concept of democracy is just laughable in the country…..why would I make such a statement? I am glad you asked…..
First, there are a few necessities for a western style democracy…..
The first necessity is a strong middle class…extremes in wealth can deter the development of real democracy and a large segment of poor removes them from the participation that is needed from a true democracy.
Second, the state needs to have a set value of doctrines that can illustrate benefits to all…..
Third, participation must be encouraged at all levels….
Fourth, elites are necessary, especially political elites that have a working relation with business, industry and agriculture…..
Fifth, a market economy…a mixed economy, not dependent on one sector or another for its survival….
None of above conditions can be met in Afghanistan, as it is today and thusly NO democracy can be had……NO representative style democracy. First Afghanistan does NOT have a strong middle class….lots of poor uneducated people. Second, I do NOT know of a set of values for the whole country….political participation is encouraged but only as far as the vote goes……the only elites in the country are Karzai and some form of war lord…..no intellectuals, educators, corporate types…just war time bullies and maggots…..finally…there is NO economy other than war and drugs without a solid economy the life of the country is at stake.
This brings us back to the original post weeks ago…if you want a democratic Afghanistan then the only way it can be accomplished as it is today is through a “guided democracy” or a benevolent dictator, an authoritarian dictator….
Sorry…the truth hurts!