Tuesday, September 01, 2009

OMG Becky! The Taliban & the Northern Alliance might be the same guys!

(One of these photos is of the Northern Alliance. The other one is of the Taliban. Can you tell which is which?)

I woke up this morning with a terrifying thought -- that the same dudes who fought the USSR in Afghanistan are now fighting the USA there too. Eeuuww.

Remember how we used to root for those poor ragged Afghan guerrillas who held off the entire Soviet army during Charlie Wilson's War? I'm thinking that those very same ragged Afghan guerrillas (or their sons and grandsons) are now holding off the American military too. Good grief. Those dudes are fierce!

And here we were thinking that our sweet little Northern Alliance buddies were separate and different from the evil and hoary Taliban. Wrong. They are both Afghan fighters and they are both fierce. "Don't mess with Afghanistan."

So. All we gotta do now to defeat the Taliban is to figure out how the USSR defeated the Northern Alliance and then to use those same techniques.

PS: Oops. We already are using them.

PPS: Of course I am aware that the most of the Taliban hate most of the Northern Alliance. But I'm also thinking that they also hate the people who invade their country much more.

The point of this essay is not only to have fun (you GOTTA have fun writing this stuff or you will grow hair on your palms and go crazy and die from not being able to change the grim direction our world is now heading in), but also to do whatever little bit that I can to end the flow of America's wealth into endless wars that benefit only America's corporatists.

Becky, this essay is a work in progress -- just like the destruction of American democracy by corporatists is a work in progress too.


And here's me and baby Mena reciting the "Talking OMG Becky Taliban Blues" -- as described above -- on YouTube. We're fierce too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGtG1bmTiIE


From The Times of India: There is nothing called the 'moderate Taliban' [Pakistan isn't doing too well against Afghanistan either]:

....Benazir Bhutto and the ISI did not create the Taliban in the winter of 1994 for war against America. Its purpose was to defeat fractious Afghan warlords, and establish a totalitarian regime that would equate Afghanistan's strategic interests to Pakistan's. The ISI conceived an "Afpak" long before the idea reached the outer rim of Washington's thinking.

Pakistan worked assiduously to widen the Taliban's legitimacy and would have drawn America into the fold through the oil-pipeline siren song if Osama bin Laden had not blown every plan apart. In some essentials, things have not changed. Pakistan's interests still lie in a pro-Islamabad Taliban regime in Kabul. The "moderation" theory is a ploy to provide war-weary America with an exit point. India's anxieties will be offered a smile in public and a shrug in private.

History is uncomfortable with neat closures. Neither the Taliban nor Pakistan are what they were in 1994: the former is much stronger, the latter substantially weaker. The fall of Kabul to the Taliban this time could be a curtain raiser to the siege of Islamabad.


Here's an e-mail I just received from yet another angry Marine Mom: Afghanistan strategy sacrifices U.S. troops:

Here's a quote from the speech Adm. Mullen delivered to our troops at Forward Operating Base Ramrod, Afghanistan Friday, July 17, 2009:

“We cannot succeed here without taking care of the Afghan people first. We’re heavily focused on making sure that we absolutely eliminate civilian casualties. You could be in a really hot firefight but you need to be thinking how to get through that in a way that doesn’t really hurt the overall effort strategically.”

And in a statement published on the Joint Chiefs of Staff Web site Adm. Mullen said: "The US military effort in Afghanistan lacks credibility because the US hasn’t done enough to establish relationships with local communities, and its actions don’t always match its words."

Way to go, Admiral! Put the blame on our troops for not having established good relationships.

It’s time for the Admiral to retire.

The only way to absolutely eliminate civilian casualties is to leave Afghanistan, which, after eight years of bungling, apologizing, and making solitia payments to those shooting at our troops, may now be our only option.

This method of leadership only creates fear and insecurity with our forces and is why the situation has continually deteriorated.

The turning point was when we allowed the Afghans to falsely accuse the MSOC-F Marine Company who had been hit by a suicide bomber and ambushed, of killing civilians, and within six days, ordered the entire company of 120 SpecOps Marines out of Afghanistan along with their 32 containers of equipment.

We have too many risk-adverse generals with little or no combat experience willing to destroy the troops under their command.

Lt. General Francis Kearney III -- The only combat experience Gen. Kearney had was in Granada, yet he was put in charge of Special Forces in Afghanistan. He ordered the entire company of 120 SpecOps Marines out of Afghanistan.

An experienced combat veteran would not have stated “There is no evidence that the Marine Spec Ops platoon came under small-arms fire after the bombing. We found no brass (ammunition casings.)”

Instead of investigating the suicide bomber and the source of the weapons and mortar bases found at the site, Gen Kearney ordered a criminal investigation of the Marines who were attacked. Kearney took the side of the insurgents, who were firing on our troops. The problem with apologizing and making payments before any investigation is completed is that the Afghans take this as an admission of guilt, and these exaggerated false counts are broadcast around the world enormously damaging our efforts.

Army Col. (now BG) John Nicholson -- Nicholson publicly apologized to the Afghans saying he was “deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that American Marines had killed and wounded innocent Afghan people. This was a terrible, terrible mistake,” Nicholson said. “And my nation grieves with you for your loss and suffering. We humbly and respectfully ask for your forgiveness.”

And for the first time upped the number of dead from 10 to 19, based on no evidence but the word of the Afghans in this Taliban-controlled village, who he paid for their trouble. The military did not explain the discrepancy.

Nicholson paid the families of the insurgents who fired on our troops. Brian Williams reports on an interview Jim Maceda had with Col. Nicholson: By the end of his 2006 tour in Eastern Afghanistan, Nicholson’s unit had lost 45 men and 350 wounded,­ the highest U.S. toll in the war.
http://shock.military.com/Shock/videos.do?displayContent=181419&page=1 <http://shock.military.com/Shock/videos.do?displayContent=181419&page=1>

Allowing the Afghans to falsely accuse our troops of killing civilians, he paid compensation for exaggerated, false counts, and unbelievably, apologized, knowing it was a fabrication.

Air Force Col. Patrick Pihana, Kearney’s chief of staff with no combat experience was assigned to investigate. Pihana recorded and took signed statements from all 29 Marines on the patrol. Pihana also met with Army and Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Experts. The two explosives experts filed their report stating that the impacts on the MSOC vehicles were from small arms ammunition. The explosives experts both testified that they were 99% positive that the impacts could have only been from bullets.

Both explosives experts testified that Col Pihana repeatedly met with them and attempted to have them resubmit their reports to reflect that the impacts were from explosives and not small arms. Both explosives experts testified that they refused to comply with Col. Pihana’s request because they were sure of their original reports.

After expelling the SpecOps Marine Company, Kearney was promoted to LtGen and assigned as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. Col Nicholson of 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division was promoted to BGen and assigned deputy commander, regional command south, after he made false statements publicly.

The US Air Force Investigating Officer, Col. Pihanas, who conducted his shoddy investigation was rewarded this winter by a distinguishing Service Medal awarded from LtGen Kearney.

The various lists of supposed injured and dead civilians cannot be verified by any source. The Army did not check the solatia list, instead, accepted the list from the Nangahar governor. Afghan testimony contained numerous instances of fraud. Tribal elders told some citizens to say they were injured to receive money.

Within 15 minutes of the attack, the first team of Military Police arrived on th e scene; they saw no injured people or dead bodies other than the body parts of the suicide bomber. No bodies were recovered; there were no autopsies, no forensic evidence.

These senior commanders were so fearful for their careers should the American public be made aware of and scrutinize their military misadventures, they were willing to destroy and imprison innocent servicemen.

As long as we continue to promote these risk-adverse, self-seeking officers with little or no combat experience, we will continue to have weak leadership and unforgiving, stunning casualty rates.

Our generals would do well to concentrate more on winning the war and less on blaming and prosecuting our troops.