Tag: opium

The Breakfast Club :: Catch-22 Edition

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.  

(Truth be told, friends, we’re really not that disorganized; the fact that we’ve managed to put this series together and stick with it disabuses the notion that we’re disorganized, right?  Also, I wish I had a censored night once in awhile, but alas, this is something my producers made me say.)

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This Day in History

This bit was posted at Voices on the Square, The Stars Holllow Gazette, Docudharma, and Daily Kos.

McClatchy: Obama Admin Begins Walkback From Afghan 2011, now “2014”

 This just came up on McClatchy.  Because of the outcome of the November 2, 2010 election, with the new Republican House majority,  there is now less pressure on President Obama to stick to his earlier pledge of beginning a troop withdrawal timeline of July 2011 in Afghanistan. This December was supposed to be the month for the big “review” of the ongoing military operations (and the Pentagon budget was supposed to be passed before the pre election campaign break and the lame duck session, and that didn’t happen, either) and now it will be a smaller review – ‘with no major changes in strategy.”  Other than those American troop withdrawals will be delayed at least until 2014.  Remember when a few weeks ago the military said the Afghan transitional stuff was going better than expected?  Wrong narrative when you’re on the international arms sales circuit.

NATO’s spent 19.4 billion on “training” Afghans in the past 7 years.  What is the current message for the NATO meeting on Nov 18 in Lisbon ?   send more trainers. “No trainers, no transition.”  

The only thing McClatchy didn’t mention was that the Taliban and assorted terrorists and homegrown guerrilla combatants traditionally take the winter off in Afghanistan.

And of course, they’re trying to blame Pakistan.  You could see this coming a mile down the road. Why would Pakistan wish to interrupt the gravy train of having a foreign country “fighting” your pesky terrorists and selling intelligence to it ?  The earlier 2011 date, claims a Pentagon advisor in the story, had Pakistan trying to negotiate a “political settlement instead of military action.”


“This administration now understands that it cannot shift Pakistani approaches to safeguarding its interests in Afghanistan with this date being perceived as a walk-away date,” the adviser said.

And of course, everyone was speaking anonymously.  There is now no timeline, nor will Gen. David Petraeus being doing one of his publicity tours, er, testimonies before Congress in December, the way he was all last spring and summer before the latest Afghanistan/Pakistan offensive.

Whoops. Did I say Pakistan.


October Surprise: Bin Laden Upgraded to House From Cave For Wikileaks Release

From CNN, Your Most Trusted News Source:  

The October Surprise

Anonymous NATO Spokesperson Upgrades Osama Bin Laden From Cave To House in Pakistan, Getting a Jump on the Latest Wikileaks Which Will Show He’s Working at al- Zawahiri’s International House of Naancakes

Kabul, Afghanistan, CNN, Monday, October 18, 2010


Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said.

“Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave,” said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the intelligence matters involved.


The official would not discuss how the coalition has come to know any of this information, but he has access to some of the most sensitive information in the NATO alliance.

Wikileaks Donation Site Shut Down

CNN, Friday October 15, 2010


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims the U.S. government was behind the decision by Moneybookers to shut down the account, an allegation denied by American officials.

According to e-mails provided to CNN by Assange, Moneybookers informed WikiLeaks of its decision in August, shortly after the Pentagon demanded WikiLeaks return all of the military documents and remove them from its website. WikiLeaks refused to do so and is expected to release hundreds of thousands of additional Pentagon papers later this month.

The first e-mail from Moneybookers that notified WikiLeaks of its decision indicated one of the potential grounds for termination was “to comply with money laundering or other investigations conducted by government authorities, agencies or commissions.”

When Assange asked for a further explanation, he received another e-mail from the company saying the account was initially suspended “due to being accessed from a blacklisted IP address. However following recent publicity and the subsequently addition of the WikiLeaks entity to blacklists in Australia and watch lists in the USA, we have terminated the business relationship.”

From Guardian UK, “How To Read Afghanistan War Logs” from wikileaks

The Guardian UK, a British publication, says that they asked to see the 90,000+  wikileaks documents of whistleblower Julian Assange on the Afghanistan War, and has created its own stories on them, and has not paid for this. They say they’ve “crawled through it so you can make sense of it,”  which means that they must have had it for a while.  

As the U.S. Senate strips out $20 billion of domestic funding resources that would have paid for schools, teachers, and college students,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wouldn’t comment on whether the House will simply approve the Senate measure and send it on to Obama for his signature.

But the pressure to do so is intense, especially after Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned lawmakers this week that unless the measure is enacted into law before Congress leaves for its August recess, the Pentagon could have to furlough thousands of employees.

….     out of yet another war “supplemental” bill above the regular military funding, and is poised to influx another massive amount of deficit cash into yet another surge into a country we’ve now occupied for 9 years, the timing could not be better.

Rachel Reid, who investigates civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, said: “These files bring to light what’s been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties. Despite numerous tactical directives ordering transparent investigations when civilians are killed, there have been incidents I’ve investigated in recent months where this is still not happening.  

Accountability is not just something you do when you are caught. It should be part of the way the US and Nato do business in Afghanistan every time they kill or harm civilians.” The reports, many of which the Guardian is publishing in full online, present an unvarnished and often compelling account of the reality of modern war.

Most of the material, though classified “secret” at the time, is no longer militarily sensitive. A small amount of information has been withheld from publication because it might endanger local informants or give away genuine military secrets.


The Guardian’s war logs homepage of links is here:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…

McCrystal Issues 1st Apology for killing civilians during Afghan surge

Valentine’s Day, Feb 14, 2010.  Gen. McCrystal issued his first apology today for the deaths of 12 Afghan civilians who were cowering in their homes when 2 HMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) rockets went about 300 meters off target in Helmand, Afghanistan, and hit their house.  The largest surge in the 9th year of the Afghanistan War started Friday.

Of course, he couldn’t help but throw in an attempt to make this a bipartisanshipthingee:


Two Nato rockets aimed at Taliban insurgents in Helmand missed their target today, killing 12 civilians sheltering in their home and dealing a sharp blow to hopes that civilian casualties would be avoided in the largest western-led operation of the nine-year Afghan war.

Operation Moshtarak (meaning “together”) involves 15,000 troops, mostly US, British and Afghan. The first US marines arrived in Marjah by helicopter before dawn on Saturday morning, while British forces are sweeping through Nad Ali.

“We deeply regret this tragic loss of life,” said General Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan. “It’s regrettable that in the course of our joint efforts, innocent lives were lost.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation.

Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, at a press conference in Kabul, said that the aim of  operation Moshtarak was :

” not to kill insurgents” but to “expand the government’s influence and protect the civilian population”.

Afghan officials are claiming 27 insurgents have been killed so far.

On the second full day of fighting, the Taliban and other insurgent foot soldiers remained a shadowy enemy: Western commanders still do not have a solid estimate of how many Islamist militants remain in the farming town and its environs, which for years had served as a Taliban sanctuary.

Estimates prior to the assault ranged from 400 to around 1,000 Taliban and other fighters in the town. Perhaps 150 of those were believed to be “hard-core” militants, including Central Asian fighters with possible links to Al Qaeda who would likely fight to the death rather than slip away.

Some Taliban fled before the battle.  The Marines had widely publicized their plans to take the town in hopes of driving off less committed fighters and thus limiting close quarters combat that could end up harming civilians.


Instead, before leaving, they left a lot of land mines and other bombs buried all over the terrain, which will have to be cleared.  Which is expected to take weeks.

2 British soldiers and 1 American Marine have also suffered loss of life, altho one of the British was not in this area of the latest surge. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2…

No word yet, as the effect of the latest stimulus spending spread,  on whether or not the bonuses earned by the CEOs of the Afghan banks were having a negative polling effect on the Karzai administration.  

Friday: Obama Admin. Launches Afghan Offensive During Poppy Harvest

It was 5:30 pm in Washington, DC, on Friday, Feb 12.  The city had been shut down all week because of back to back record breaking snowfalls.  On Friday morning, the TV pundits standing in front of a charming, snow shrouded scene at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, announced that the White House was open, and “back to business as usual.”  

By the evening, during Hardball’s televised cable show with Chris Mathews, it was back to casually inserting the news via an interview with Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklazewski that the United States and “Afghan forces”  had just launched the largest Afghanistan offensive of the war, in southern Afghanistan, near the city of Marjah.

25,000 to 30,000 troops (US, Nato, and “Afghan forces” per Miklazewski, without elaborating that number means it’s all the US and some intrepreters…..) were to chase out the Taliban from Afghanistan’s largest opium poppy area.   And now, Miklazewski said, there was something different, the US had “walking around money” for the “recovery effort” after the offensive, when they had “settled in.”  “They have money that has been appropriated by Congress to hand out in the south, to pretty much help them.”  Oh, and to buy their allegiance.  

Yes, he said that. “oh, and Chris, as you know, to buy their allegiance.”

This area of Afghanistan produces 60% of the world’s opium.  4 billion dollars a year’s worth. 400 million for the Taliban.  And it’s poppy harvest season in Afghanistan.

Wait a minute. It’s effing FEBRUARY. You know, like, uhm, “winter.”  They’re harvesting this crap in February ?

http://www.paktribune.com/news…   New Headline: Global Climate Change Pops Poppy Harvest Up Entire Season From May To MidWinter !

“This is going to deny them some badly needed revenue, Chris.”  

Okay dokey.  Let me guess. This is going to provide some badly needed Revenue Enhancement for the CIA and Black Opts, isn’t it ?

Same old, same old. No wonder General McChystal recently said the Afghan situation was now “under control.”  

Drug Addiction in Afghanistan

After 9/11 and the Talibans refusal to turn over the al Qaeda leaders and others we invaded Afghanistan ridding that country of their leadership and Supposedly to go after the guilty of that huge criminal terrorist act against our Nation and People, Then We pretty much Left, taking our military personal and promised rebuilding money with us. The War Drums beat instead for invasion of an innocent country and it’s people, Iraq, which became the overwhelming focus while smaller numbers of troops stayed in Afghanistan starting a long stagnated occupation.

Mitt Romney Says Fuck Off to Dying Medical Marijuana Patient

Good Job, Mitt!  Your Cruelty knows no bounds!
More down there…