Tag: Marjah

Obama Destroys Afghanistan To Save It

Peter Arnett’s report from the town of Ben Tre in Vietnam ran under the innocuous headline “Major Describes Move” in the New York Times on February 8, 1968.

“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.

40 years later, in August 2008, the Third Armored Cavalry burned down a village near Balad Ruz, in Diyala, Iraq, “in order to deny safe haven to possible terrorists.”


In March, 2010, the beneficent US Occupation of Afghanistan likewise “saved” the town of  Marjah.


And now Barack Obama and Stanley McChrystal are planning the same kind of party for Kandahar!

Kandahar Becomes Battlefield Before a U.S. Offensive

“The first thing Afghans fear is the coming of more foreign troops, and the second thing they fear is the empowering of the current leadership and administration,” said Shahabuddin Akhunzada, a tribal elder from Kandahar city.

“The Americans, the international community, all the military forces have lost the people’s trust,” he added.

But for the next few weeks or months, until the Americans arrive…


Kandahar is still a living city.


House Votes To Stay In Afghanistan, Chalabi De-Baths Again, MI5 Hides in Court

Four War on Terra stories for a Wednesday afternoon:

1. The House of Representatives just voted No on a resolution to direct the President to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan within 30 days, or by Dec 31, 2010 if a later date is safer.  65 to 356.  H Conn RES 248 was sponsored by Dennish Kucinich of Ohio and had 19 co sponsors.     http://clerk.house.gov/evs/201…

Patrick Kennedy (D, RI) is down as a NO vote inspite of this story on HuffPo where he yells at the MSM for not paying attention to this national debate.   “We’re talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives and no press! No press !”  WTF?  No vote, dude!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

The Yes on withdrawal votes were as follows.  We thank the 5 Republicans who also voted for this (marked with ••).


••Campbell, John, CA 48







Davis (IL)



••Duncan John TN- 2

Edwards (MD)




Frank (MA)




Hastings (FL)

Jackson (IL)

Jackson Lee (TX)

••Johnson Timothy  (IL- 15)

Johnson, E. B.

••Jones Walter NC -3



Larson (CT)

Lee (CA)

Lewis (GA)



Markey (MA)




Miller, George

Nadler (NY)


Neal (MA)



••Paul, Ron, TX 14


Pingree (ME)

Polis (CO)




Sánchez, Linda T.

Sanchez, Loretta














An Image of “Liberated” Marjah

Ever since Marjah became one of the most famous “cities” in the world, I have been scanning the internet for images of it, and although I found thousands of photos tagged “Marjah,” or “Marja,” almost none of them show anything that looks like so much as a village, much less a city where somewhere between 50,000 and 80,000 people are supposed to dwell, and all that my many Google image searches turned up was a few tiny photos of almost nothing at all.

For example, the caption under this image from the Indian Express says…

US Marines walk in a column as they enter Marja in Helmand province on Saturday.


It’s like a joke! Entering Marjah! There’s about as much evidence of human habitation as in photos that come back from Mars!

But eventually a few TV reporters entered Marjah, and since TV reporters have to stand in front of something, the BBC found something in Marjah for their reporter to stand in front of.


And that’s “liberated” Marjah, insofar as I could find any representation of it on the internet.

“Mass Casualties” and “Human Shields”

Dahr Jamail has just posted a review of “Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception and Dishonor in Iraq,” by Michael Anthony, with extensive quotes from the book.

“Look around,” the drill sergeant said. “In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can’t stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there.”

“I think about why I’m fighting this war and my eyes tear up. I think of all the people we’ve killed. I think of all the people’s families – mothers, fathers, siblings – and how they’ll never see them again … I think about the war and I feel nothing. I think about life and death, mine and everyone else’s, and I feel nothing. I think about myself and I don’t care if I live or die. On these nights, mortars go off and I won’t get out of bed. I’ll lie in bed as the bombs go off. I tell myself it doesn’t matter if I live or die, nothing matters – I like it when I feel nothing.”

“I had a friend who didn’t want to go to Iraq so he purposely failed five drug tests in a row (smoking pot and doing coke) he still got sent to Iraq. There was one guy in my unit who didn’t want to go to Iraq, he told our commanders he was suicidal, they said he still had to go. The soldier then went and got a swastika tattooed on his shoulder, he told the commanders that he was racist and hated everyone except white people; commanders said he still had to go to Iraq. The next day he takes a bottle of pills and tries to kill himself – and I’m sure if he were physically capable of it, he still would have had to go to Iraq. There was a guy in my unit who was on anti-depressant medication; our commanders said they couldn’t deploy him on that medication that he should stop taking it. The next day he tries to stab someone and is put in jail, he still went to Iraq with us. There are more and more of the same stories … There’s literally nothing you can do to not go to Iraq and I think that’s why suicidal and homicidal patients aren’t getting the care they need because before it’s time to go overseas, you’re going no matter what, and after you get back, the government doesn’t care.”

Meanwhile Fox News is screaming about “human shields” supposedly deployed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In an effort to create hostility between coalition troops and local Afghans, insurgents are also reportedly using civilians as human shields – deliberately trying to force coalition troops to fire upon non-combatants.

This very emotive phrase, “human shields,” was even solemly echoed by some dim-witted fourth-tier bloggers on usually progressive sites like firedoglake, where the in-house “expert” about Afghanistan Jim White wrote…

New reports are now suggesting that the largest civilian casualty event so far in the offensive may not have been due to improper targeting, but instead resulted from the use of civilians as human shields by Taliban fighters.

And the miserable Mr. White also quotes this steaming pile of horseshit…

The ISAF later suggested that the coalition’s initial apology (for killing 10 or 12 civilians including 6 children) had been in error. Coalition investigators now think that the rocket hit its target and two insurgents died in the strike in addition to the 12 civilians, ISAF officials said. They’re trying to determine whether those Taliban were holding the civilians prisoner.

White only adds that “it should not require pointing out that the use of civilian hostages as human shields is a war crime.”

So let’s retract that apology, because along with 6 children and 4 other civilians, maybe we also killed 2 Taliban!

And even supposing that the Taliban really were holding thoise civilians hostage, why is it supposedly okay, inevitable, no apology required, to kill ten civilians just to take out 2 Taliban? Ordinary policemen encounter hostage situations all the time, and it’s never okay, inevitable, no apology required if cops killed 10 civilians to take out 2 bank-robbers.

So what’s the tremendous, all-changing difference that somehow excuses civilian casualties in combat, no apology required?

In this particular instance, instead of making do with idiotic hand-waving about the “heat of battle” from some no-combat shit-head apologist for all things Obama, we actually have a specific explanation from an honest-to-God soldier in the combat zone, General Mohiudin Ghori.

Ghori, the senior commander for Afghan troops in the area, accused the Taliban of placing civilian hostages in the line of fire. “Especially in the south of Marjah, the enemy is fighting from compounds where soldiers can very clearly see women or children on the roof or in a second-floor or third-floor window,” he was quoted by Associated Press as saying. “They are trying to get us to fire on them and kill the civilians.”

His forces were having to choose between not returning fire and advancing much more slowly in order to distinguish militants from civilians, Ghori said, echoing comments by British commanders in the area about Taliban tactics.

Choose between not returning fire and advancing much more slowly in order to distinguish militants from civilians!

Choose between not returning fire and advancing much more slowly in order to distinguish militants from civilians!

The fiendish Taliban might force our forces to slow down and “distinguish militants from civilians!”


Missiles That Killed 12 in Marjah Didn’t “Miss”

From the AP wire…

NATO has disclosed that six of the civilians killed by rockets which crashed into their home outside the southern Afghan town of Marjah were children.

NATO said Monday the rockets missed their target by about 600 meters, or about a third of a mile.

The official story would be bad enough, even if it weren’t literally incredible.

One of Lockheed Martin’s high-tech High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems “missing” its target by as much as 600 meters is bizarrely unlikely; two missiles “missing” by exactly the same distance and hitting exactly the same target is about as unlikely as two meteors hitting exactly the same military genius on his pointy little head.

This obviously wasn’t a technological failure, which everybody could simply shrug off as “shit happens.”

This was a failure of what passes for “intelligence” in our far-flung war-zones, from Yemen to Iraq to Pakistan to Afghanistan and wherever else we may be killing “suspected jihadis” or “suspected insurgents” or “suspected al Qaeda operatives” all over the world, and this particular “mistake” in Marjah was just an unusually blatant demonstation that the CIA and Pentagon and Barack Obama don’t have a fucking clue who they are killing.

So our official story puts the stink on technology, but it wasn’t fucked-up electronics that killed those children in Marjah.

It was fucked-up Americans.