Voices from Russia

Thursday, 20 September 2012

As John Robles Sees It… Afghanistan: Spinning Failure as Success


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The number of green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan is increasing amidst widespread rioting over the American film Innocence of Muslims as the USA attempts to make a face-saving drawdown of troops from the country. Cooperation between “coalition” troops and the Afghans is being cut back as the attacks continue, yet the USA is still trying to paint a different picture of their failure in Afghanistan. Western media reports this year alone noted that there were 37 attacks on American forces and their NATO and want-to-be-NATO allies, all part of George W Bush’s “coalition of the willing” engaged in their endless world war on terror.

Just like at the beginning of the invasion, when the American and the Western media reacted with horror and indignation anytime the Afghans fought back, branding them enemy combatants, then, terrorists, and hauling them off to their illegal torture prison, outside of the jurisdiction of international law, in Guantánamo Bay Cuba, the Western media still don’t seem to get it. They continue to react with shock and indignation whenever their Afghan “allies” (yes, that’s what they now call the country they invaded) attack the “coalition” forces.

Let’s stop for a minute here and put things into a proper perspective. Unlike the USSR, whose intervention was officially requested by the Afghan Government, the USA and NATO were never asked to enter the country, that’s one… two, the invasion of Afghanistan, and that’s what it was no matter how the West hates to admit it, was never sanctioned internationally, or even in the USA… Afghanistan never threatened the USA, never committed an act of aggression against the USA warranting invasion, and, last, and most importantly, was never involved in the questionable events of 9/11.

The Western media said that the attacks by their Afghan “allies” killed 51 “international service members” this year, with 12 attacks in August, leaving 15 dead. Yet, nowhere can you find an accurate body count of the innocent Afghan people, including women and children, who’ve died at the hands of the coalition. This is simple to explain, it’s part of the American propaganda war; the people back in Kansas don’t want to hear about it, the Afghan people are an abstraction, less than human, their lives don’t count as much as those of the “coalition” forces. If the American people were to find out what the USA is really doing in Afghanistan, they might become upset and call for an end to the military adventure.

The USA’s vested interest in hiding the truth, including that about Afghanistan, is obvious by the American reaction to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, yours truly, and anyone else who gets too close to the truth. The war should be over soon, you may think, at least, that’s what they want you to believe, not hardly, despite the fact that the USA is to announce that 33,000 troops who were part of the “surge” three years ago, have left the country, this actually means nothing. The number of troops will remain at close to invasion-level, with 68,000 US troops still incountry. That is a great pull-out? The Western media doesn’t mention this very real and provable fact, they continue to complain about Afghan “attacks”, either they just doesn’t get it or they actually believe what they are writing when it comes to Afghanistan.

This is completely understandable, no one in the USA wants to hear that they illegally invaded and decimated a country for no real reason, or at least not for the reasons they were lied to about and led to believe. No one wants to hear that their presence isn’t wanted and that they’re aggressors and invaders… invaders who attacked one of the poorest and most defenceless countries in the world illegally and on false pretexts, and, then, stayed there for more than a decade killing the population without being able to claim any kind of a victory. The media in the West complains that the spike in “insider” attacks is somehow souring relations between the USA and its Afghan allies who are fighting side by side. Against whom? Against other Afghan people. The once-CIA-backed Taliban? The reality is that the USA invaded their country, and is killing their people, so, how is it that an Afghan could, in their right mind, fight alongside the invaders? Well, apparently, many are now taking the first chance they have to fight back, not against their Afghan brothers and sisters, but against the invaders.

This is something the USA just doesn’t seem to understand. Even if there weren’t thousands of cases of innocent civilians being killed, even if there weren’t constant unpunished “scandals”, and even if American soldiers didn’t urinate on corpses and collect body parts as trophies and the like, the USA would never be welcomed in the country. They’re invaders. The latest in a spate of what are now called “green-on-blue” attacks an Afghan soldier in Helmand Province opened fire on a vehicle he believed was driven by NATO soldiers slightly wounding a foreign staff member. Also on Sunday, an Afghan police officer shot and killed four American troops in Zabul Province, and on Saturday, a member of a government-backed militia killed two British troops, also in Helmand.

Of course, officials and the press are painting the escalation in violence and attacks against the Americans in a different light. Instead of admitting that they’re completely losing control of the country and that the situation for them is growing worse by the day, people like US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta are attempting to paint the increase in attacks as a sign of the decrease in power by the attackers. Panetta said while visiting Japan that the “… insider attacks are the last gasp of a Taliban insurgency that hasn’t been able to regain lost ground”. So, the fact that the Taliban’s attacking more means that they’re in fact weaker? Ahem. Okay, but sorry, if you call a black kettle white it’s still black.

Further underlining the failure of the American military adventure in Afghanistan and of their meddling in the Muslim world in general, on Tuesday, 18 September, a woman wearing a suicide vest blew herself up on a minibus in Kabul, killing 12 people, including seven foreigners. According to reports, the dead were mostly Russian and South African nationals. Apparently, the attack was in protest of the infamous film Innocence of Muslims. In Kabul, thousands of protestors clashed with police over the same film, in violence that was even worse than the outbreak that occurred at the beginning of the year over the burning of Qurans by American troops.

On Monday, NATO reported that it’s cut the number of joint operations with Afghan soldiers and policemen in order to lessen the chance of insider attacks. This is the second such order given recently, which further flies in the face of the claim that they are fighting “shoulder to shoulder” with the Afghans. According to CBS News reports, the Pentagon, for its part, “suspended most joint field operations with Afghan forces because so many Americans are being killed by the men they’re training”. This comes on the heels of a decision to end all joint patrols and operations without first obtaining approval from the command structure. If they call that winning, I’d hate to see what they call losing.

19 September 2012

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_19/Afghanistan-spinning-failure-as-success/

 

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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

9 May 2012. “Victory” in Afghanistan… The US Can’t Even Secure Kabul

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This image is from 4 April 2012 in Kabul. The USA can’t even secure Kabul, although its using its own military forces, NATO troops press-ganged by their governments, paid mercenaries, local levies, and “security contractors” (the last being the most-expensive and least-effective… it’s the “invisible hand of the market” at work). During the Soviet war, the Sovs and the DRA managed to keep Kabul secure at least, unlike the USA’s inability to even do that.

It’s time to stop this worthless war and to stop slopping the defence contractor hogs. That’s why the budget’s unbalanced… GWB handed the store to his corporate buddies in the form of war contracts and CUT TAXES at the same time. That’s not very “conservative” is it? Reflect on the fact that the Republican Party refuses to right Bush’s Folly. Ergo, mark your ballot for President Obama this November… it’s your duty as a citizen and human being, and it’s certainly your obligation as a believer (if you’re one… you can’t vote for GOP candidates who favour godless theomachistic ideologues like Ayn Rand and Rush Limbaugh). We CAN do it.

BMD

Monday, 16 January 2012

US Forces Accused Of Torturing Afghans

The Deeds of the Antichrist (detail: Antichrist and the Devil)

Luca Signorelli

circa 1501

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Don’t be fooled by appearances… the American “Religious” Right is anything but that… they SUPPORT imprisonment without trial, torture, “greed is good”, and “permanent warfare”… that’s not very Christian, is it? Remember… the Antichrist will be so “good” that he’ll fool the “elect”, let alone self-appointed Sectarians…

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A Commission of Inquiry appointed by the Government of Afghanistan said that a prison under the control of the American military near Kabul violated prisoners’ rights, including the possible use of torture…

On Sunday, according to Reuters, the commission visited the prison in Bagram at the US airbase in Parwan Province. Gul Rahman Qazi, the head of the commission, said at a news conference in Kabul, “During our visit to detainees at Bagram, some of them reported ill-treatment to us. Some claimed that they were tortured”. He went on to say that the prisoners complained that they were beaten, forced to undergo humiliating personal searches, and held in extremely cold quarters. In particular, Qazi described a 71-year-old prisoner Abdul Jabar, saying that the Americans imprisoned Jabar in a cell “in pitch darkness”. Jabar said that he lost a tooth after one of the Americans hit him. Qazi said, “There didn’t appear to be evidence of torture on the prisoners, but they said that they were tortured”. The US Embassy in Kabul reported that they’d received a copy of the report of the Afghan Government Commission of Inquiry and would “carefully study it”.

In turn, the BBC, with reference to the Commission of Inquiry, reported that some of those in Bagram were in custody without any evidence of their guilt in any crime. This week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged the US to turn over the prison at Bagram airbase to Afghan control within the month. The commission published its report on violations of prisoners’ rights at Parwan two days after Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that the USA immediately transfer the prison to the the control of local authorities. The US and Afghans reached a preliminary agreement in early 2010, but in the middle of 2011, spokesmen for the US forces in Afghanistan said that the Afghan legal system still isn’t reliable enough for them to trust it in cases involving suspects from the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and proposed that the US postpone the transfer of control over Parwan until 2014. Karzai said that the delay allowed the US military in Parwan to violate and infringe on the sovereignty of Afghanistan. After the publication of the report, a spokesman for the US embassy in Kabul said that they’d investigate all allegations of torture in Parwan, and reiterated that the Americans will give the Afghans control Parwan, but they’d do so using the “greatest responsibility” {is that what happened to Gul Rahman, he was treated with the “greatest responsibility?”: editor}.

Parwan Prison (named for the province in which it’s located) is officially in under the joint administration of the Afghan government and the US military, but in fact, the Afghans control only a small part of it, which holds about 300 people indicted under Afghan law. The Americans hold the remaining prisoners, approximately 2,700, on suspicion of involvement in terrorism on the basis of US intelligence reports, which they can’t use as evidence in an Afghan court. However, the Americans insist that these people are too dangerous to let go, whilst the Afghans insist that those who don’t have formal charges against them must be set free. US military authorities have repeatedly faced accusations that they imprison terrorism suspects without charges and without sufficient evidence, as well as torturing them. The most serious were the scandals around the prisons at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad (transferred to Iraq in 2006) and Guantánamo Bay in Cuba (still operating).

8 January 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2012/01/08/63521133.html

Editor’s Note:

Many younger Americans are unaware of how degenerate our country has become in thirty years. Yes, Virginia, the slide started under Slobberin’ Ronnie. It got worse under Bush I (remember Silverado and Neil Bush?), it deepened under Clinton (as in the rape of Federal Yugoslavia and welfare “reform”), and it sank to its lowest levels under Bush II (the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the TSA). GWB presented Barack Obama with a pretty dish (two wars and a raging recession caused by crackpot “economics”)… which he did little to put right. Perhaps, he couldn’t do much more than he did do… but he did pass healthcare reform in the teeth of the most well-financed hate campaign in American political history (made possible by the Supremes in their Citizens United decision). That’s no small beer, kids. It’s why the GOP’s so angered at him… single-payer healthcare IS on the way, and it’ll impoverish some of the GOP’s most strident rightwing backers (hence, all the Sturm und Drang).

Let’s keep this short… al-Qaeda and the Taliban are fictive bogeymen of the Far Right. “Terrorism” will end as soon as the USA stops its unconditional support for the State of Israel and its violent expansionist policies (at least under the LikudHaAvoda (Labour) isn’t so bad). The USA needn’t support the Arab cause… it need only step back from Israel and demand that none of the arms sold to it are used in internal repression of the Arab population. There’s NO “Terrorism Central” and the killing of Osama bin Laden solved nothing. The Afghan fighters aren’t “terrorists”… they’re patriots fighting a major power with “asymmetrical tactics”, for that’s the only means open to them. The grunts on the ground know this… their immediate commanding officers know this… but the government apparat keeps the propaganda machine going… it has as much truth as the Totaler Krieg speech did, and, perhaps, a bit less.

This isn’t how America has been, traditionally. Shall it return to its roots or shall it take the Antichrist’s shilling and bow before raw power? Should I mention that the main apologists for this are the Left Behind crowd? Interesting, ain’t it? The most passionate advocates of “might makes right” are American Evangelical Sectarians… look at Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and James Dobson (with Rick Santorum in the peanut gallery and Jonas Paffhausen in the cheap seats). Who woulda thunk it… the Jayzuss Jumpers are the most vocal supporters of the Antichrist and his tawdry simulacrum of Christ and His Church. Bite the coin before accepting it… take no wooden nickels… appearances ARE deceiving. Make certain that you’re not being sold “Florida real estate“… you’ll not get a second chance…

BMD

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… The First Step

An image of the Taliban bombing of the Intercontinental Hotel in the heart of Kabul (Kabul Province) AFGHANISTAN

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US President Barack Obama announced his decision to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan. After ten years, the major military operation pompously named “Enduring Freedom” by US President George W Bush concluded. At that time, Washington labelled Osama bin Laden and the Taliban movement “enemies of freedom”, and it placed them on the list of outlawed terrorist organisations. However, on the eve of President Obama’s speech in Washington, yet another piece of sensational news surfaced. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates officially confirmed that US diplomats are negotiating with Taliban representatives. At the same time, he said, they’re meeting with the Taliban without the participation of the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai. This offended Karzai, who then said something that he hadn’t dared to speak before. Mr Gates quoted him as saying, “We’re not going to thank the USA, for they’re here following their own agenda, which they wish to achieve by using our country”.

Most political commentators think that President Obama’s decision to run for a second term led to his announcement of the beginning of an early withdrawal from Afghanistan of US forces. Of course, he won’t be re-elected if he doesn’t end the war. If Obama wants to win the election in November 2012, he has to end the war, as 75 percent pf Americans disapprove of it, according to recent polls. Yet, this isn’t the most important thing. The apparent failure of “Enduring Freedom”, after ten years of trying, is only part of the total failure of American foreign policy strategy, which aimed to impose a pro-American political order in the “Third World”. The revolutionary wave that shook the Middle East and North Africa overthrew régimes nurtured and supported by Washington, those that were its core support in the region. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak ruled for decades, but he lost power and the new order put him on trial. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali escaped his angry countrymen left by secretly fleeing Tunisia for foreign parts, absconding with part of the country’s gold reserves. Yemen, which controls the export path for Middle Eastern oil, is in political chaos, which Washington can’t contain. Massive popular unrest in Bahrain threatens Pentagon plans to create a large and strategically important airbase. Iraq continues to rumble, and suicide bombers continue to kill American soldiers. Pakistan is of particular concern to Washington, because relations with it are becoming less and less an actual partnership. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the situation there as, “its government is out-of-control, and it’s dangerous”. She said that there’s a danger that rebels could overthrow the current government, and that the Taliban wants to seize the keys to the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. It wasn’t so long ago that the “democratisers” in Washington wouldn’t have dreamt that such things would occur in Pakistan, even in their worst nightmares.

These events on the banks of the Potomac bury what are, in effect, imperialist plans. In fact, by forcing a decision to begin a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, the US military forced everyone to recognise the insolvency and impracticability of such a scheme. However, it’s only a first step; it’s only the beginning.

29 June 2011

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/06/29/52540991.html

 

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