Voices from Russia

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Obama, the Afghan War, and a “Conversation with Revelations”

Filed under: Barack Obama,diplomacy,history,military,NATO,politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

A 12-year-old Afghan girl in Farah General Hospital, wounded in an American air strike. When you support the teabaggers… you support THIS. LOOK AT IT! This could be YOUR child. This is why I hate the teabag movement and fight it with all of my being… BASTARDS!!

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Everything in politics eventually finds its intended niche. This week, the Afghan War took centre stage, especially, the “Internet bomb” with its revelatory material about the war and its origins, with the likely consequences of the “information explosion”. Mr Obama’s popularity ratings aren’t going to rise… “his” war in Afghanistan is less popular than it was even under George W Bush. Barack Obama has received, however, what he has requested over the last six months from Congress, an additional 37 billion dollars to “pump up the “new” Afghan strategy. On 27 July, the House of Representatives approved the bill after the Senate did. This additional injection of cash (the money goes beyond the 130 billion already allocated to the Afghan and Iraq wars this year) should jumpstart the US war effort. If it doesn’t destroy the Taliban (which nobody believes), then, at least, it should “break their backs” by the summer of 2011, which is the scheduled beginning of the coalition withdrawal from Afghanistan.

All this happened two days after the website WikiLeaks released to three publications (The Guardian, New York Times, and Der Spiegel) a large number of previously secret documents from the Pentagon on Afghan war. These were reports and appreciations of middle-ranking officers on operations, containing details of civilian deaths caused by military “mistakes”, and information about Pakistani ISI links with the Taliban. Speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House to mark the passage of the Supplemental Appropriations Bill, Mr Obama said that although he is concerned about the leaks, they, in fact, contain nothing that was not previously raised in the press; everything in them has been the subject of public discussion. That’s the plain and honest truth. Therefore, what is at stake in the “Afghan Diaries” (about 91,000 documents, mainly operational reports) is actually more or less already well known. We know that the occupation forces weren’t trained to distinguish between civilian Afghans from the Taliban and the terrorists, that the killing of civilians is much greater than reported, that the operations of the Taliban are more serious and “critical” than what is reported, that the Afghans look at their own police force as “bandits”, that they consider the government (including local) is malignant. They show the general attitude to the army of occupation and the puppet ruling clique. What’s so new about all of that? The fact that the ISI supported the Taliban is known to everyone but the wilfully blind and deaf. Accusations of this kind from Washington against their chief ally in the Afghan war, in general, are an ugly affair. The CIA and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate created the Taliban in Pakistan back when the Soviet Union was involved in its Afghan campaign (1979-89). Indeed, the Pakistanis simply found it much harder than the Americans to abandon their former allies, partners, and Muslim co-religionists, who have long been their neighbours. Therefore, nothing that was publicised was a new revelation. Everything was known for a quite some time, it just added a few details. It sharpened the picture, but it didn’t change the plot.

What is striking is the amount and scale of what happened… it’s a kompromat windfall. Still, 91,000 official Pentagon papers, it doesn’t matter if they only have three lines or two pages, it’s nothing to sneeze at. Journalists at the Guardian admit that were assessing papers for three weeks together with experts, they put aside those things that could harm the military or civilians on the ground, and they found much that was completely insignificant. They say that WikiLeaks still has 15,000 unpublished documents. It’s a ticking time bomb. The Pentagon and US intelligence services have already begun to investigate the sources of the leaks. In all such leaks, the revelations are often important not for what they describe as much as the time when they are released. In the American “political economy”, such fruit, especially in such abundance, didn’t grow up by itself, mature, and suddenly fall to the ground. Even in agriculture, such “natural anarchy” is a harmful thing; in politics, it’s downright destructive. The action was clearly timed to coincide with the vote in Congress on the supplemental funding bill for the Afghan war on 27 July. Remember, the materials were made public two days before that. The bill was approved by 308 votes to 102. All of the 102 who voted against the bill were Democrats. Mr Obama received more Republican votes for “his” war (almost all of the 178 GOP members of the House) than Democratic ones; of 253 Dems, 102 said “no” to the war. The majority party (Democrats have 253 seats against 178 for the Republicans) split almost evenly on the issue. Those Democrats who don’t support Mr Obama’s strategy aren’t unpatriotic; some aren’t even against the operation in Afghanistan itself. They fail to understand his purpose for his almost maniacal support of the corrupt government of Hamid Karzai. It’s unclear how to withdraw from Afghanistan (Obama called for the withdrawal to begin in July 2011) without seeing him fall… why did we need nine years of war, with over one trillion dollars squandered on its prosecution? No one believes that Afghanistan has become a democracy.

In general, we must admit that all attempts to equip Afghanistan with alien machinery and expect that it shall lead that country to progress have failed; no one has yet managed to pull it off. The USSR tried to install socialism in Afghanistan in the late 70s to the late 80s, and received tens of thousands killed and maimed in return, it led to a severe crisis that many consider the forerunner of the later tectonic upheaval in Russia itself. Americans have been trying to do it since 2001. In any case, most would say that “democracy” and “capitalism” are methods and means that are no less alien to Afghan realities, traditions, and customs than the previous “socialism”. The British have been much smarter about the country than anyone else has been. They fought three wars in Afghanistan since the late 19th century, they won, and at the very beginning of the early 20th century, they left, realising that even a “colonial vaccination”, in the manner of India, failed here. The most striking detail of all of this is that politicians, generals, and senior officers of the United States in Afghanistan, acknowledged that “accidental” bombing of civilian villages and the killing of innocent Afghans give the Taliban more new recruits than any coercion by the militants or monetary inducements. However, nothing seems to stop such attacks. As recently as a week ago, in the southern province of Helmand, Americans killed more than 50 people in a rocket strike. Incidentally, if soldiers “in the field” carried out such a massacre of civilians, it would be considered a war crime against the civilian population. But it’s only a mistake in judgement… it only wiped out several dozen “savages”.

28 July 2010

Andrei Fedyashin

RIA-Novosti

http://rian.ru/analytics/20100728/259260812.html

Here is what the neocons spawned… if it were not for them…

Editor’s Note:

We have two people to thank for the Taliban… Zbginiew Brzeziński and Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin. Brzeziński, of course, masterminded the founding, arming, and deployment of the Taliban, using the Pakistani ISI as intermediaries. Brzeziński was motivated by a sick hatred of anything Russian… don’t forget that his father was a diplomat for the Polish fascist junta of the colonels (it’s why he sat out World War II in safety in Canada). Of course, he was the “godfather” of all the neocons and teabaggers (it’s why I find it odd that Russian Orthodox people would support the teabaggers… they are opposed to us on a very fundamental level). His role in the genesis and sustenance of the Taliban is fairly well known, though… it’s well known enough that Zbig has tried to deny it on several occasions.

The role of Boris Nikolaevich is murkier. In 1992, the DRA was hanging on against the mujahideen (and actually starting to win). First, Yeltsin cut off all supplies to the DRA. Then, in March 1992, that led to the defection of Abdul Rashid Dostum, one of the leading government generals, to the mujahideen, along with his troops. Kabul fell soon after, in late April 1992. Dostum is an interesting character… he is one of the “bastards” of history, always an interesting lot, no? He started out in the pro-Soviet DRA Army and fought against the mujahideen alongside the Sovs. He stayed loyal to the government in the ensuing Civil War (1989-92) until Yeltsin embargoed Russian aid. Then, Dostum and his men jumped to the mujahideen, allowing the Muslim fanatics to take Kabul. After this, in 1996, he became one of the leading lights of the Northern Alliance. When the US occupation forces invaded in 2001, Dostum flipped yet again, and joined them. Today, Dostum is 56, and a senior general protected by Hamid Karzai. Given his history… yes, he could turn on the Americans, could he not?

Why did Yeltsin cut off supplies? We don’t know. I think it was American pressure. Therefore, the Americans are guilty on two levels. Firstly, Brzeziński “opened the box” by arming and supplying the Taliban, amongst other groups. Secondly, Yeltsin bowed to American pressure to release Russia from all “Soviet “commitments”… this ensured the defeat of the DRA. In short, the present war is the result of American meddling in a situation they should have kept out of. In 1992, had Russian supplies not been embargoed, it’s clear that the DRA would have held on to most of Afghanistan. Trust me, of all the governments that Afghanistan had over the past 30 years, the DRA was the best one, and the one most attuned to the modern world. The USA spat on the DRA and guaranteed the rise of the fanatical Isalmofascist state we see today (the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, propped up by the USA and its unwilling allies).

Reflect on this… those who armed the Taliban and strangled the DRA were the founders of the neocon movement, which led to the present scourge of the teabaggers. They did not show any vision or intelligence in the past… they are repeating it today (for instance, the teabaggers are fighting a government programme for small business that has the hearty support of the small business community and opposed aid to the 9/11 heroes… go figure). Any Russian Orthodox Christian who would support such a group is ignorant of what it stands for… despite outward religious trappings, it is nothing but Godless Western Secularist Nihilism… as is shown by its support for the Iraq and Afghan Wars. We face a VERY hard choice… on the one side, there are people who claim to be “religious”, but are not; on the other, we have out-and-out secularists. I say that the latter are less dangerous… they are not a threat to our Orthodoxy. The former have already contaminated the Church and it shall take us some time to rid ourselves of malign “Evangelical” influence. After all, if you look at people like Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev, Bishop Pitirim Volochkov, Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, and Deacon Andrei Kuraev, you see people who are opposed both to unbridled entrepreneurial capitalism and to Radical Protestantism root-and-branch. We should be following our own people… not Proddie heretics.

I would rather have those who are not godly at all in preference to those who are godly only in name. The former, at least, are honest…

BMD

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