US forces “secure” the area…
Even the closest allies of the USA realise that the current war in Afghanistan is unwinnable…
British Prime Minister David Cameron concluded that the current war in Afghanistan is unwinnable. The influential British weekly magazine The Spectator wrote that Mr Cameron is looking for a way to get London out of the Afghan operation without losing face. However, he doesn’t know what the consequences of an “abject surrender“ would be for the international positions of Britain and the West. As noted by The Spectator, Mr Cameron decided to withdraw before 90,000 secret documents on Afghanistan were leaked onto the Internet. However, that’s not surprising, everybody knew the score, the British PM already knew the facts from related publications, in fact, all the “allies” have assessed the situation in the Afghan operation. This week, thanks to the Australian website WikiLeaks, which specialises in the publication of confidential data, ordinary people learnt about the actual situation. An “information campaign” on the operations of the allied coalition in Afghanistan connected major media outlets such as the New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel, and the published papers cover the period from January 2004 to December 2009. I cannot say that all the facts revealed were a revelation for journalists. Some things attracted attention, firstly, that some of those in Pakistani intelligence agencies are in cahoots with the Taliban. Secondly, it was clear that casualty figures amongst Afghani civilians are significantly higher than what official statistics would lead one to believe. Thirdly, it turns out that the Pentagon has a secret unit of well-trained commandos, whose task is to capture or, preferably, immediately eliminate hostile warlords.
However, military experts argued that although the publication of the secret documents didn’t generate any sensational revelations, it exposed the dangers of “open government”. Indeed, after the “WikiLeaks affair”, many asked the question, “What is the distinction between openness and freedom of expression on the one hand, and national security interests on the other?” Where is the boundary line between the two? There are no special sensations in the Afghan War Diary, as the published documents have been dubbed, but as Aleksandr Konovalov, the President of the Russian Institute of Strategic Assessments and Analysis, said to us, “Still, journalists should think twice before publicising such material. The publication of these staff documents doesn’t represent an action in the public interest. It’s better to learn such things from staff officers, it’s longer and more tedious, but it’s more professional. The danger is that not only interested parties are studying these reports, but also those against whom these operations were directed. That’s why the American government accused the site of irresponsibility, it could jeopardise the lives of American soldiers. In general, worldwide, there’s a lack of public discussion and openness in the military sphere. Still, in every country, it’s our money, the taxpayers’ money. As a result, taxpayers have very little influence on what policies are adopted, and how they’re selected”. The fact that the publication of certain documents can be fatal for persons appearing in them is confirmed by recent data. The Taliban leadership has already issued a statement in which it promised to “punish” those NATO stoolies whose names appear in WikiLeaks documents.
Everyone knows that the USA prides itself as being an “open society”. Yet, despite the legendary First Amendment to the US Constitution, journalists have never had freedom of access to military secrets. Therefore, probably, this case isn’t so much about freedom of speech, as it is about the negligence of those responsible for keeping these secrets. On the other hand, in China or Turkey, where the press doesn’t have access to military information, you can’t even imagine such a leakage even happening. In Russia, taxpayers receive detailed information about planned or current arms contracts, but, of course, the details of military operations are classified. “It’s absolutely clear that the publication of these documents would help us to understand what actually happened in Afghanistan over the past six years. It’s clear that the vector of this war must be changed“, said Julian Assange, a former hacker and founder of the website WikiLeaks. On several occasions, Moscow has urged the NATO partners to change the vector of their operations. Therefore, the other day, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Nazarov, on a visit to Washington, reminded us, “Conventional armed forces are ill-suited to conduct counter-terrorism missions. Actions in Afghanistan should be carried out in a precise and professional way, using special operations forces carrying out focused actions. Such an approach would avoid unnecessary civilian casualties in Afghanistan, which to date have been unacceptably high”. Secret documents discovered recently by WikiLeaks, according to Nazarov, reiterated Moscow’s concerns. It’s possible that the publication of the Afghan War Diary “opened a new stage of the use of informational weapons”. After all, what previously required many years of intelligence work is now simply “emerges” in the press. It’s no wonder that the publicised secret reports were called “weapons of mass destruction of the official reality”.
31 July 2010
Voice of Russia World Service
Here’s the Military-Industrial Complex, brought to you by that dribbling Radical Liberal… General Dwight D Eisenhower!
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.
President Dwight D Eisenhower
The Afghan War was one of the major projects of the neocons… in all of its phases. This war has lasted in one form or another since 1979… there has been no peace in Afghanistan for over thirty years. One of the main reasons for that is that the USA stuck its oar into a conflict 7,000 miles away, in a time zone 9½ hours ahead of Washington. The neocons and teabaggers accuse the Pakistani ISI of being the “godfathers” of the Taliban. Well, excuse me! The ISI got involved because the CIA used them as an intermediary (it was cheaper and more expedient… so blame the Foggy Bottom crowd for that, not the sorts in Islamabad). If the Afghan War is shown to be a crock, it’s only a matter of time before people start wising up and looking at the neocons and teabaggers with a gimlet eye.
This war is hellishly expensive in terms of logistics; it’s even more expensive than Iraq. The only theoretically available overland routes run through Pakistan and Russia (or Russian client states in Central Asia)… since the Taliban interdicts much of this route in Afghanistan, much supply has to come in via airlift, which is the most expensive option. The neocon/teabagger wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have bankrupted the country… these foolish and strategically unnecessary conflicts triggered the Depression of ’07 (remember how the Bushies lied about it in ’08 in an attempt to pump up McCain/Palin?). As Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz pointed up, there’s money to be saved in the US budget… by ending these boondoggle wars. For instance, we’re spending billions on undisciplined “rent-a-cop” mercenaries who can’t even protect convoys (they’re hired by a subsidiary of Halliburton… get the picture?).
We’ve seen the apogee of the neocon/teabagger movement, I believe. The “tea party” was an attempt by the neocons and “conservatives” to rebrand their failing policies. Of course, it worked, at first. They spread false rumours about government health care… which people fell for, initially. The other issue that these cynical bastards exploit is abortion. Note well that they offer NOTHING as an alternative. I know “pro-choice” people who are not “pro-abortion”, ergo, I submit that many “anti-abortion” people are not “pro-life”. The teabaggers cannot advance any further… they are tied to the neocons and they are fettered to the failures of the US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In short, although there is a long slog ahead of us, the worst of it is over. Shall the teabaggers crash when the Taliban win? I don’t know… but it SHALL shake the faith of many. Don’t forget… the USA created the Taliban… they armed it… they sustained it… they helped them to win over the DRA in ’92. Ergo… the teabaggers and neocons are the proven enemies of real democracy and real freedom. Ask any Afghan woman… ‘nuff said.
Dwight D Eisenhower, wherefore art thou?