Tag: Taliban

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – The Perfect Oil Clean Up Crew

Crossposted at Daily Kos


This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::

Clean Up Crew by Cam Cardow, Ottawa Citizen, Buy this cartoon

Afghanistan and Imperial Wars — How to Achieve Success with Failure

(now cross posted at DailyKos)

The ongoing war in Afghanistan-it can now be thought of as perpetual and unending is more important than a lot of people seem to think. It is not just a far-away semi-colonial war but part of an ongoing struggle for control of Central Asia and the Middle East by the imperial forces of NATO.

It has to be very clear than despite the fact that Europeans are somewhat reluctant partners in this enterprise they are, nevertheless partners and part of essential parts of the Empire. Europeans, like Americans, like their priviledged position in the world. They are a little less bloodthirsty than we are-it is a less essential part of their cultural life. In America violence is loved for its own sake. In Europe it is merely a sometimes necessary component of asserting interests. That’s the only realistic difference between Europe and the United States. The notion that Europeans are more “progressive” than Americans in foreign policy is just not true. Europeans sees the United States as the military arm of the Empire required to insure that world security is maintained particularly energy security. Europeans like the fact the United States provides them with security and are quite willing to accede to the brutality of the the American military in keeping the wogs in check-a brutality that they have far more knowledge of than the American people do. I generalize here because in Europe a large segment of the left is notably against militarism still unlike here.

Having said that the war itself shows us some interesting patterns. As reported in the NYT, the great show “battle” has not really had any real results. The article Violence Helps Taliban Undo Afghan Gains is worth reading but you and I both know what it says and probably knew even before the “battle” happened what the results would be as do all non-compromised journalists and observers of the situation. This and many other stories of the recent war in Afghanistan often buried on the back pages of the NYT tell a tale of woe almost unbelievable in its pathos.  

Germany’s Merkel Apologizes for Afghan Deaths- Again

Germany’s Chancellor Merkel expressed regrets for 6 accidental friendly fire deaths of Afghan soldiers to Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday March 3rd.   http://www.google.com/hostedne…

So does Nato Brigadier General Eric Tremblay


Issuing an apology, NATO Brigadier General Eric Tremblay said: “We regret this tragic loss of life. We will try and strive to improve our tactics, techniques and procedures.”

Germany, The Local

Earlier Friday April 2


Earlier Friday, three German soldiers were killed and eight were injured – four seriously – when the Taliban ambushed a patrol in the worst firefight the Bundeswehr has seen in its nearly eight years in the war-torn country.

According to Brigadier Frank Leidenberger, the commander of the international ISAF forces in northern Afghanistan, the patrol was attacked by about 100 Taliban insurgents as it removed mines planted in the road in the dangerous district of Chahar Dara, near the Bundeswehr’s Kunduz base.

Other reports said up to 200 Taliban fighters had been involved in the ambush and had used rocket-propelled grenades among other weapons.

The deaths of the German soldiers bring to 39 the total number of Germans killed since the beginning of the Afghanistan war in 2002. They have caused shock and dismay in Germany.

There are currently 4000 troops from Germany in Afghanistan, many in the northern, more peaceful area, with 850 more to be sent soon.

Canada, CBC

Later Friday April 2


German soldiers in an armoured personnel carrier opened fire after coming across two civilian vehicles that refused to stop. Soon after, it was discovered the vehicles were carrying Afghan troops.

“Yesterday, after a military operation which took place in the Char Dara district of Kunduz province, Afghan national army troops were distributing food near the German troops when German troops opened fire,” said Afghan defence ministry spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi.

“In this incident six Afghan soldiers were killed. The defence ministry have already condemned the incident,” he said.

America, Boston Globe

2 days later


The friendly fire shooting Friday took place in northern Kunduz Province, where German forces were sharply criticized last September (2009) when they ordered an air strike on two tanker trucks that had been captured by the Taliban. Up to 142 people died, many of them civilians.

Speaking during a visit to South Africa, German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg expressed sorrow over the friendly fire deaths and said German soldiers were doing everything possible to avoid such incidents.

The September 4th airstrike may have been called in by the Germans, but it was carried out by a United States warplane.

Chancellor Merkel expressed regret and took responsibility for that incident in December, and it resulted in a cabinet resignation.  http://af.reuters.com/article/…  

Obama Continues Bush/Cheney’s Persecution of Abu Zubaydah

On March 28, 2002, Abu Zubaydah was captured in Faisalabad, Pakistan by the FBI, “identified” as a high-ranking operative of al Qaeda, and subsequently tortured by American agents at Guantanamo and elsewhere.

Abu Zubaydah’s treatment at the hands of the CIA has been called torture by Ali Soufan, the FBI interrogator who witnessed part of Abu Zubaydah’s CIA interrogation, multiple U.S. officials including President Obama, and by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Media and DOJ reports about torturing Mr. Zubaydah were always careful to mention his connection to al Qaeda.

The C.I.A. officers used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2005 Justice Department legal memorandum. Abu Zubaydah has been described as a Qaeda operative.

The President Visits A Lost War

It’s good that President Obama has gone to Afghanistan. There is much to see. And people have been speculating that Afghan “President” Hamid Karzai was informed only at the last minute because the White House doesn’t trust him. The White House has reason not to trust him. Which isn’t the only bad news out of Afghanistan. Despite some attempts to spin it otherwise, the war in Afghanistan is going the way wars in Afghanistan always go. Badly.

The Associated Press has some stark facts:

The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.

Those deaths have been accompanied by a dramatic spike in the number of wounded, with injuries more than tripling in the first two months of the year and trending in the same direction based on the latest available data for March.

U.S. officials have warned that casualties are likely to rise even further as the Pentagon completes its deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and sets its sights on the Taliban’s home base of Kandahar province, where a major operation is expected in the coming months.

Of course, this followed the big offensive in Marja. Which some tried to claim was some great military triumph. Was it?

Afghanistan: Just Show or…..

Afghan president to host April peace conference

Is this just show from our puppet, or rather cheney’s cabal hand picked leader, or does he really care and wants to end the devisions and violence leading to the occupation forces pulling out but helping in finally rebuilding, and promised some nine years ago, what has long been a destroyed country under constant war.

The Dangerous Minds and Frankly Looniness of Hawks

In that parallel world from the reality around them and elsewhere, you’ll get some as you go down but the kicker is the last report.

This type of thought process by the hawkish must end, unless the rest of the world communities want perpetual war and criminal terrorism as we’ve experienced over the last decades and now the chances of even more have been greatly enhanced with the death and destruction wrought by the so called mighty who followed same thought process into the creation of greater hatreds and enemies!

“They are our people”

While the shit-head Army spin-doctors are bellowing about our next great “operation” after “Operation Moshtarak” has completely destroyed the little of Marjah that existed before we arrived with our tanks and artillery and rockets and supersonic bombers and Marines trained to kill with incredible efficiency…

While idiots on the blogs are blathering about the evil Taliban, as if you shit-heads have a right to make life-and-death decisions about Afghanistan…

This man must die, because we say so, we Americans, the stupidest fucking sons-of-bitches on the face of the earth…

We Americans who can’t even find Afghanistan on a map…

We Americans who can’t speak any of the many, many languages of Afghanistan…

We Americans decide life and death in Afghanistan!

While this whole obscene circus was celebrating the murder of at least another dozen children in Marjah and planning our next great “operation” in Kandahar…

While this obscenely stupid dog-and-pony show was repeating itself for the hundredth or five hundredth time in Afghanistan, after nine goddamned years of our obscenely stupid occupation…

One reporter for the Associated Press actually interviewed a couple of actual citizens of Afghanistan, and one particle of truth somehow found its way into the nauseating ocean of bullshit and outright lies that passes for “reporting” in the United States.

“There is no difference between Taliban and the civilian people. The Taliban are the rural people. They are our people,” said Musa Jan, who arrived a week ago from Marjah. He spoke to the AP outside a makeshift warehouse in Lashkar Gah where the government was distributing essentials to war victims.

“The fight was continuing when we were trying to get out,” said Jan, who said he paid about $35 for each of the three taxis. “That was all our money, and now we have to come here and beg.”

Jan said his neighbors house was bombed by an aircraft, killing five occupants inside, including children.

Sultan Mohammed who fled last Friday from Marjah said he had to walk for several hours before a motorcyclist gave him a lift. He said the Taliban fled when the soldiers came to his area.

“But who are the Taliban? They are the rural people,” he said.

Al Qaeda is gone. The “foreign militants” are gone.

Now it’s just villagers, rural people, their people, and us…

Their people and us with our tanks and artillery and rockets and supersonic bombers and Marines trained to kill with incredible efficiency.


Know those you call ‘enemy’, in their own land!

Many today may disagree as many did back in our failed policy occupation, Vietnam, but one of the main lessons many of us did learn is to respect those fighting you, as we occupied, and what they will do and bring at you in the battles of Guerilla War, in their land. For a soldier trains to be a warrior to defend his country and you’re fighting warriors defending their country!

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Al Gore vs the Denialists

Crossposted at Daily Kos.  If you choose to recommend it there, the Rec Button may have been pushed to the bottom after the last diary comment made.


This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::

Chris Britt, see reader comments in the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

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.”  

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