afghanistan

How to Order my Afghanistan Book

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 04/09/2017 - 4:55am in

Legendary newsman Dan Rather recommended my book a little while back. As a result of his kind words, however, Amazon is running short of copies. But don’t worry! You can order autographed copies directly from me here.

Radical Journalist Chris Hedges and Cartoonist Dwanyne Booth on the True Horror of War

I see that the government have started running recruiting ads for the armed forces again. It was the navy a few months ago. Now it seems to be the army. The ads show a greasy, disheveled man, who clearly represents some kind of Latin American Fascist or other butcher, being hunted down and snatched by our brave boys, who then whisk him over the sea in the motorized dinghy to a waiting British warship and justice.

Oh, if that were the reality!

It ain’t, of course. Like the Americans, we seem to have spent the last seventy odd years since the end of the Second World War propping up every Fascist mass murderer we could, so long as he would protect British interests from Communism or local nationalist movements. In 1958 we and the Americans organized a coup against the Iranian prime minister, Mossadeq, because he dared to nationalize the Iranian oil industry, which included the equipment and complexes owned by Anglo-Persian Oil, which later became British Petroleum, now BP. Then there was Nasser and Suez, and Mrs. Thatcher’s fave South American buddy, General Pinochet. Quite apart from one of the Libertarian organisations that form part of the Tory party inviting the head of one of the South American death squads over as guest of honour at their annual dinner one year.

As for snatch squads, this ad looks inoffensive over here, but if it was shown on American TV it would actually be very sinister. One of the tactics the American military used to terrorise the Vietnamese during the war there was to use snatch squads to catch Vietnamese peasant farmers during nighttime raids. The farmers would then be killed and their bodies left as a mute message to their compatriots.

Britain’s invasion of Iraq with George Bush, in contravention of the UN legislation against pre-emptive war, and the continuing occupation of Afghanistan, have done precious little except create even more carnage and bloodshed in the Middle East. And these wars were not fought to defend America and the West against evil dictators. In the case of Iraq they were fought so that the oil industry and other western countries could loot whatever they thought was profitable in the country’s economic infrastructure. They also managed to wreck the economy by lowering trade tariffs in order to create the magical free trade utopia fantasised about by the Libertarians and Neo-Cons. Added to this was the ethnic and sectarian bloodshed unleashed by the occupation, and the use of mercenaries and Shi’a militias as death squads by the American overlords.

This makes this next video all the more urgently important. It’s not short – over fifty minutes long. It seems to be a film of the American radical journalist Chris Hedges speaking at an American university gathering about his experiences as a war reporter, and the anti-war cartoonist Dwanyne Booth, alias ‘Mr. Fish’, talking about his work. And it’s strong stuff, which doesn’t pull its punches.

Hedges has a degree in Divinity from Harvard. His father was a Presbyterian priest with radical political beliefs, who was strongly involved in the Civil and gay rights movements. Hedges trained in a seminary, but didn’t joint the clergy. After graduating, he joined the New York Times and served as a war journalist in South America in the 1980s, when Reagan was funding Fascists dictators and their death squads, like Contras in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. After that, he then covered the war in Iraq.

And he presents the unvarnished truth about war and the dehumanizing effect it has on those who are involved, whether as combatants or observers. It’s bloody and horrible, and he states that being in a firefight is terrifying beyond imagination. In fact, terror really doesn’t describe the sheer fear felt during these encounters. These are wars fought for the benefit of big business, and the images and stories about it that we are brought up on are lies.

He describes some of the battles in which he was personally involved, and the times he was captured by hostile forces, like Contras in Nicaragua and the Iraqi Republican Army in Iraq, when he really thought they were going to kill him and his companions. He states that before going into battle, everyone, with himself excepted, used to get drunk or high. Particularly the photographers, as they had to do what you really shouldn’t do in a gun battle and stand up. He states he knew many of them, who lost their lives doing their job. He also states that it is not like the movies. He praises Oliver Stone and his movie about Vietnam, Platoon, but says that the battle in that film is not like real firefights. It’s choreographed. Real battles are just chaos, in which you don’t know what’s going or who’s firing. In all the very many battles in which he was personally involved, he only once saw someone firing in his direction.

He describes how the Contras in Nicaragua called the Sandinistas and forces allied or sympathetic to them ‘periacuas’, a Latin American term meaning ‘motherf***er’. The Contras especially despised the press and media as being allied to the Sandinistas, which made his job even more dangerous. They also used to launch night raids, in which they’d murder a couple of peasant farmers. These people, would have had nothing to do with the war or the Sandinistas, but they were killed and a message left for the ‘periacuas’ on their bodies telling them that this was what was going to be done to them next.

They captured Hedges and his team, when he went looking for a group of them, who had gone underground. He found them, and they really weren’t happy. After capturing him, they radioed their headquarters to ask them whether they should kill them. Fortunately, the answer was, ‘No.’ But they were told to release them and say that if they caught them again, they would kill them and burn their jeep. As if they cared what would happen to the vehicle when they themselves were facing death!

He describes how he and another group of journalists were caught in Iraq by the Republican Army, thrown in the back of a jeep, and had guns pointed at their heads. They were then driven out of the city, and were afraid that their captors would stop somewhere in the desert and shoot them. Fortunately, this didn’t happen, and they were captured by proper, regular soldiers rather than the various militias that had sprung up, including companies formed of 14 year old Shi’a boys, who’d been given guns by Iran.

He also talks about the numbing effect war has on its participants, and the way it becomes a drug. Nothing can beat the high experienced by actually surviving a battle. And so he, like the soldiers he covered, became addicted to combat, playing a weird game with God to see if he could survive ever increasingly dangerous situations and battles.

He also talks about the immense alienation former soldiers feel, an alienation that prevents them from fitting back into society when they’ve returned from combat. He describes them as speaking a language no-one can understand, and makes the point that no-one wants to hear what they’re saying. He makes the point that when you find yourself in a war, you realise that everyone, from your government, the media and your educators, has lied to you. He discusses how old soldiers hate being told how well they’ve served their country, and how no-one wants to hear from them what war is really like. Of the troopers who took Iwo Jima, for example, several took their own lives, while a couple of others drank themselves to death. Hedges himself states proudly that he concentrated on talking to ordinary soldiers. He didn’t talk to anyone above the level of lance corporal, because he wanted to get the truth from them, rather than get caught up in the propaganda spouted by the generals and commanding officers. And he was unique in this. Most journalists wanted to see the top people, and so when he went for the job with the Times, he was told that the queue for the job began and ended with him.

As for the brutal reality of war, it is not like it is portrayed on television on the nightly news. He describes how, when he was in Iraq, in one area they visited the Iraqi army had been without water for three days. Dying of thirst, they tried to cross a minefield in the hope that Hedges and the squaddies he was with would give them some. One of the Iraqi troopers had both legs blown off by a mine. It took him six hours to bleed to death.

Hedges says that it’s quite possible now to show incidents like that using a satellite feed, so you can see in real time real soldiers suffering and dying. But no-one wants to see it, or broadcast it, because if they did, there’d never be another war.

Booth in his work is also angry and bitter about war, and the corporations and individuals standing behind it. One of his cartoons shows a little boy pointing into the camera in the classic Uncle Sam/ Lord Kitchener pose in the war recruiting posters. The legend below reads

I want YOU to give me a future not f*cked up by all your crazy bullsh*t about how moral and just the United States of America is when it invades and occupies other countries and how heroic and brave I’d be to kill for you because you’re too f*cking lazy and bigoted and unimaginative to prefer peace to hegemony and terrorism.

Another of his cartoons shows a child’s body in its grave, with corporate logos covering the shroud.

After speaking, there’s also a question and answer session with members of the audience, who include staff at the university. Some of these link the military action of the American empire to the destruction of the environment and other issues.

This is hard-hitting stuff, and it needs to be heard. We still have our politicians telling us lies about Iraq, and the other interventions in the Middle East, like Libya and Syria. And we haven’t been told the whole truth about Afghanistan – that the Taliban were utterly defeated, but the allied occupation was so terrible, and created so much chaos, that they were able to return and actually be welcomed by the people, they’d formerly oppressed.

Despite the fact that he’s a war criminal, Tony Blair’s still at large and desperate to get back into politics.

We need journos like Hedges. But the corporate media aren’t going to allow them to speak. In fact, the New York Times did its best to suppress the truth about what was going on in Iraq. And tens of journalists have died out there in highly suspicious circumstances, which suggests that the American army might have been killing those members of the media, who didn’t follow the approved line and described what they saw, rather than what the military wanted them to.

Don’t believe the corporate claptrap and the rubbish put out in the recruiting films. Support the independent media that dares to say what they won’t. And for heaven’s sake let’s get our young men and women out of the Middle East. Let’s stop wasting the precious lives of courageous people, who are being butchered simply so Haliburton and Aramco can make even bigger, more obscene profits.

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 27/08/2017 - 10:00pm in

650

Special mention

08-25-mcfadden-KOS

Tagged: Afghanistan, budget, cartoon, Confederacy, jobs, Mexico, racism, Trump, wall, war

Jimmy Dore: Taliban Have Surrendered Several Times, Each Time Refused by America

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/08/2017 - 10:47pm in

Here’s another very important clip from the Jimmy Dore Show. It’s one that should be viewed by everyone interested in what the various wars we’re fighting around the world are really about. Dore and his co-host, Ron Placone, discuss a review of Anand Gopal’s book No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban and the War through Afghan Eyes by Ryan Grimm in The Intercept. And its more of what the mainstream media aren’t telling us about these wars.

Dore starts the show by making the point that mainstream media never reveals the truth about the reasons behind America’s various wars in the Middle East and the Maghreb. They don’t mention the petrodollar, Libya, or the reason why Iran’s now a theocratic state under the ayatollahs. It’s because America – and Britain – over threw its democratically elected prime minister, Mossadeq.

And this is just as devastating. Gopal’s book reveals that the Taliban surrendered several times to America and its allies, only to be rebuffed. It was traditional in Afghan civil wars for the losing side to surrender to the victors. They would, in turn, incorporate them into the new government. Dore makes the point that this is a sensible system for governing a country, where people still have to live together as neighbours after the fighting. The Taliban tried to do this with the Allies, and were rebuffed. Several times. He also points out that the Taliban itself withered away, as its members put down their guns, either going back and vanishing into the rest of the population, or heading over the border into Pakistan.

However, America and the Allies offered rewards for those informing on the Taliban. With the real Taliban having vanished, and al-Qaeda down to a mere handful of people, the venal and unscrupulous amongst the Afghan population used the system to settle personal feuds. They smeared their neighbours as Taliban, for them to be killed or arrested by the US forces, and get the reward money. This naturally has created massively hostility against Allied forces. When America and the Allies first defeated the Taliban, the Afghans were glad to see them go. Now, having had their peace overtures repulsed, and the country reduced to more chaos and warfare, the Taliban have returned with popular backing.

But Dore states, you are not going to hear it from the mainstream news, such as MSNBC and Rached Maddow, because the media automatically backs the American war machine. And that war machine must be kept fed. He notes that Congress, with the backing of the Democrats, has just voted another $100 billion for the defence budget, in addition to what had already been voted for it last year. America already spends more on defence than the next 13 countries on the list combined. And the country and her allies have been in Afghanistan for 16 years. In other four years, the war will get a gold watch and be able to retire.

That’s it. There are absolutely no good reasons anymore for us to be anywhere in the Middle East. I backed the invasion of Afghanistan because I believed that it was a justified response to an act of war by al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies. I heard a few years ago from a friend that the Taliban tried to stop the invasion by offering to surrender Osama bin Laden, claiming that they didn’t know that he had been planning the attack. I wasn’t sure whether to believe it or not. But after this, it looks much more credible.

We’re not helping anyone in Afghanistan by staying there, except perhaps an already corrupt government, propped up by us, western mercenaries, and the opium trade, which has flourished more than it ever did previously. Dore states that the only areas in Afghanistan, which weren’t troubled by fighting, were those where there wasn’t a western military presence.

Of course, there are other, corporate reasons why we’re still there. Trump announced that America would stay in the country to exploit its valuable mineral resources, in order to defray the costs of the invasion. As well as the gas pipeline that was supposed to be built, but wasn’t, as Dore also mentions.

But the humanitarian reasons touted as justification for the invasion have vanished. We’ve long outstayed our welcome. As Grimm’s review concludes, we’re losing to an enemy who’s already surrendered. A hard thing to do. We’re just killing and maiming people for the benefit of the military-industrial complex. And our boys and girls are also being killed and maimed.

They’re coming back traumatized and with terrible injuries, not for defending their country and its allies, as they and we have been told. They’re being mutilated and killed purely for the profit of the big arms manufacturers.

Disgusting.

Dore encourages everyone watching this to pass it on. I agree. We are not going to hear about this from mainstream media, which includes the Beeb.

General Smedley Butler was right. War is a racket. We need to get out, bring our troops back home, and close all the wars and interventions in which we’re currently involved down.

Until then, there will never be peace across the world.

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/08/2017 - 9:00pm in

ColeJ20170820_low

Special mention

650  Statue of Limitations

Tagged: Afghanistan, cartoon, CEOs, corporations, racism, Trump, war

Trump Flip-Flops on Afghanistan, Opts for Years-Long Quagmire

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/08/2017 - 1:21am in

This post first appeared at Informed Comment.

The 16-years-long Afghanistan War has bedeviled Washington decision-makers since the US invasion of fall 2001, which came in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

The US probably does not need to stay in Afghanistan to ensure that America is not attacked from that country again.

In his speech on Monday night, Trump was primarily attempting to manipulate American domestic politics. He was trying to look presidential and play the patriotism card after he called neo-Nazis and KKK members in Charlottesville very fine people. Almost nothing he said about Afghanistan and South Asia made any sense, and of course Trump does not know anything about any of those subjects. His military advisers only know these subjects through the lens of military action, which isn’t very helpful if the problems are cultural.

It is a low-risk strategy. I don’t find the American public interested in Afghanistan in the least. The US media does not much cover that war, and announcements of US troop deaths are carried on page 17 of the newspapers. So Trump can shift the focus to foreign policy without risking a backlash.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis once said it is fun to shoot Taliban. He is in for a lot of fun.

Trump depicted the radical groups in Afghanistan as dangerous to the United States. This assertion is probably incorrect. It is true that, as Trump said, the 9/11 attacks were planned out by Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan. But they were also planned out in Hamburg, where al-Qaida had the good fortune to recruit some high-powered engineers. They were not planned out by the Taliban, whose leaders probably did not even know about the plans to attack the United States. In the aftermath, Taliban angrily denounced Bin Laden as having provoked a foreign occupation of their country.

Of course, al-Qaida would not have existed at all if Ronald Reagan had not encouraged a private army of Muslim fundamentalists and tribal forces to attack the Communist government of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

That al-Qaida had training bases in Afghanistan was important to their movement, but those bases wouldn’t have been much use if the American airlines did not have shoddy security precautions against hijackings. Jet planes are enormous bombs, and it was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to use them as such. Likewise, mistrust between the CIA and the FBI caused two of the hijackers, who had been under surveillance at an al-Qaida summit in Kuala Lumpur but then entered the US and settled in San Diego, to fall between the cracks.

And, of course, al-Qaida would not have existed at all if Ronald Reagan had not encouraged a private army of Muslim fundamentalists and tribal forces to attack the Communist government of Afghanistan in the 1980s. And that government wouldn’t have been there, in all likelihood, if Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union had not invaded and occupied the country, which began its long-term destabilization.

In short, the US probably does not need to stay in Afghanistan to ensure that America is not attacked from that country again. The obverse is that being in Afghanistan does not protect the US from attacks hatched elsewhere, including possibly in Europe itself. The main point is that the US needed better security at point of use in dangerous systems such as the airline industry.

Still, for ISIS or al-Qaida to reestablish training camps in Afghanistan would be a highly negative development. Such camps would be difficult to discover and bomb from the air, if the US withdrew, since it would need to fly missions against them from aircraft carrier battle groups in the Gulf, and would need overflight permission from Pakistan or Iran.

As for why the Taliban in particular have made a comeback and may control a third of the country, there are some basic reasons for this, some of them explained by Sarah Chayes, who knows more about the real Afghanistan than the entire US government does.

First, Afghanistan is desperately poor. It is one of the 25 poorest countries in the world. Despite the fake news sometimes put out from DC think tanks, it has virtually no natural resources of any value. Its population is still largely agricultural, but much of the country is arid. This poverty contributes to a weak government that does not raise enough in taxes to mount a proper government. If it weren’t for foreign aid, Afghanistan could not afford to pay its tens of thousands of troops and police. Low salaries and salary arrears encourage corruption. Dire poverty does not necessarily turn a country into a failed state. Senegal does better than Afghanistan. But it is a strike against the country and hard to overcome.

Second, its high rates of population growth often outstrip economic growth, so that per capita income is actually declining.


RELATED: War & Peace


Northern Alliance soldiers watch as a US B-52 bomber circles overhead, October 31, 2001 in Bagram, Afghanistan. Shortly after the plane dropped a series of bombs on Tota Khan Mountain, a Taliban base. (Photo by Tyler Hicks/Getty Images)

A 9/11 Retrospective: Washington’s 15-Year Air War

BY Tom Engelhardt | September 9, 2016

Trump’s determination not to do nation building differs little from the actual US policy of the past 16 years, which is to put much more money into bombs than into the country’s economic development. Since lack of development is a big driver of the failed state and of guerrilla violence, giving it up won’t be helpful.

Third, as noted above, its government is extremely corrupt. Officials prey on people, steal land and other resources from them, and generally act like a plague on the land. Warlord rule is common, i.e., rule by what are essentially violent mobsters. This extreme corruption drives some of the population into the arms of the Taliban, who are fanatical puritans and who do lay levies on people, but are for the most part not personally corrupt.

Fourth, Afghanistan has some deep ethnic divides. Some 40 percent of the population is Pashtun. They speak Pashto and practice a relatively strict form of Sunni Islam. They are the potential constituency for the Taliban. Another 22 percent or so is Hazara Shiites, who speak Dari Persian and have the same form of Islam as neighboring Iran. Ten percent are Uzbeks, who speak a Turkic language and practice Sunni Islam, though many of them are secular-minded as a result of the influence of neighboring Uzbekistan. Most of the rest are some form of Tajik, Sunni Muslims who speak Dari Persian. Tajiks are disproportionately urban and literate and often fill government offices, to the annoyance of the rural and tribal Pashtuns.

As Sarah Chayes has pointed out, deep ethnic divides and hatred exacerbate public reaction against corruption. If a Tajik governor of a province is stealing from Pashtuns, the latter may well turn to the Taliban for protection.

The Western Pashtuns have never bought into the US-established government in Kabul, which has all along had a strong element of the Northern Alliance (Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks) who had fought the Taliban in the 1990s. Last I knew, 2 percent of the army is from Helmand and Kandahar provinces, Pashtun strongholds.

The country, in short, is in a stalemate, and the best the US can likely do is to be like the little boy who stuck his finger in the dike to stop a flood. You kind of have to keep your finger in the dike forever.

Sixth, outside powers also play on the ethnic divides. Many Tajik politicians have strong relationships with India. Most Pashtun are pro-Pakistani. Pakistan is regularly accused of promoting the Taliban and Muslim fundamentalism as a way of asserting Pakistani influence and countering Indian inroads. Pakistani generals consider Afghanistan their “strategic depth” with regard to India. (I don’t think they understand the concept properly; you want your strategic depth between you and the enemy, not behind you.) Hazaras have not been as close to Iran as you might imagine, but some of their leaders do have links to Tehran.

The ordinary troops of the army are reluctant to risk their lives fighting for a corrupt government. There are high desertion rates and high rates of drug use in the army. While in some battles some units have fought bravely, despite its training, size and equipment it is regularly successfully challenged by smaller bands of Taliban.

If Trump had pulled the US out of Afghanistan, as he threatened to during the campaign, my guess is that Kabul would have fallen to the Taliban within a year. The US no longer does much active war fighting in this country, but special forces and US fighter jets can intervene to stop a Taliban offensive.

The country, in short, is in a stalemate, and the best the US can likely do is to be like the little boy who stuck his finger in the dike to stop a flood. You kind of have to keep your finger in the dike forever.

Trump’s demand that India invest in Afghanistan was overly dramatic. India already invests in Afghanistan. But I don’t know what he expects. It is a desperately poor country with few natural resources. Although the Indian middle class has greatly expanded, much of India is still mired in rural poverty, and those villagers are a much bigger constituency for the BJP government than are the villagers of Afghanistan.

Trump’s slam of Pakistan as giving safe haven to terrorists and extremists is the sort of thing it is better to say privately. You say it publicly, Pakistan’s urban elites are likely to tell Washington to jump in a lake. They consider Afghan fundamentalists as a vector of their soft power in a neighboring country. Already, Pakistan is being deeply embedded in China’s economic expansion westward, and Islamabad could easily turn to Beijing as its major foreign patron. And, by the way, the Pakistani military has fought some hard campaigns against extremists inside the country, and lost many troops to these battles.

In the end, Trump just kicked the can down the road. The fawning over him by some tele-journalists for doing so (and seeming decisive and “presidential”) was truly disgusting. If Afghanistan’s curses are corruption, fanatical identity politics and a hatred of globalization, its more problematic organizations resemble most of all… Trump’s base.

The post Trump Flip-Flops on Afghanistan, Opts for Years-Long Quagmire appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

O Talibã já tentou se render, os Estados Unidos rejeitaram e guerra do Afeganistão não tem fim

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/08/2017 - 12:08am in

Você sabia que o Talibã tentou se render pouco tempo depois de os Estados Unidos invadirem o Afeganistão?

Segundo a tradição afegã, há séculos, quando uma força rival vence, os derrotados depõem as armas e se integram à nova estrutura de poder. Claro, com muito menos poder – às vezes, sem poder nenhum. É o que tem que ser feito para que a convivência entre vizinhos continue a ser possível. Não é que nem jogo de futebol, os times não voltam para suas respectivas cidades depois que tudo acaba. Para os norte-americanos, pode ser difícil lembrar que é assim que as coisas funcionam, já que os Estados Unidos não vivem uma guerra prolongada sobre o próprio território desde a Guerra Civil.

Quando o Talibã quis se entregar, os Estados Unidos recusaram a rendição repetidas vezes, em uma série de trapalhadas arrogantes, relatadas por Anand Gopal em seu livro “No Good Men Among the Living”, uma investigação sobre a guerra do Afeganistão.

Só a completa aniquilação do inimigo interessava ao governo Bush. O que eles queriam era empilhar mais e mais corpos de terroristas. O problema é que os talibãs já tinham parado de lutar: tinham fugido para o Paquistão ou se reinserido na vida civil. E a Al Qaeda se resumia a um punhado de combatentes.

Mas se não há mais terroristas, como matá-los?

Fácil: afegãos que colaboravam com os Estados Unidos entenderam o dilema do aliado militar e inventaram vilões. A demanda sempre acaba gerando oferta, e os Estados Unidos passaram a pagar por informações que levassem à morte ou à captura de soldados talibãs. De repente, havia talibãs por todos os lados e a vingança correu solta: para matar um vizinho ou mandá-lo para Guantânamo, bastava dizer aos Estados Unidos que se tratava de um membro do Talibã.

Invadiam-se casas e arrombavam-se portas sem nem precisar explicar por quê. Os que foram poupados se tornaram senhores da guerra, enriqueceram e mandaram sua fortuna para o exterior. “Não estamos construindo novamente uma nação”, afirmou o presidente Donald Trump na segunda-feira. Bem, na verdade, nós, americanos, nunca construímos nada por lá – a menos que erguer arranha-céus em Dubai à base de dinheiro sujo conte.

Depois de anos vivendo essa farsa e vendo seus esforços de rendição serem ignorados, o antigo Talibã voltou a pegar em armas. Na época em que foram derrubados do poder, a população tinha ficado feliz em vê-los partir. Mas os Estados Unidos conseguiram torná-los novamente populares.

Os liberais passaram a campanha presidencial de 2008 reclamando que os EUA tinham “ignorado” o Afeganistão — quando, na verdade, as regiões sem a presença de tropas eram as únicas em paz, sem nenhum tipo de insurgência contra o governo afegão. Aí o então recém-empossado presidente Barack Obama resolveu aumentar o efetivo militar, ao mesmo tempo em que anunciava a retirada das tropas. Além disso, ampliou bombardeios noturnos, confiando no mesmo sistema questionável de inteligência que já tinha custava a vida a tantos inocentes.

E agora Trump vem dizer que tem uma estratégia nova e melhor. Segundo ele, os Estados Unidos precisam fazer com que o Paquistão se envolva mais – só que, claro, o serviço de inteligência paquistanês sustenta o Talibã há decadas.

O livro de Gopal é o relato cabal de um conflito que saiu dos trilhos. Parece um livro de ficção, mas é o perfil bem real de três afegãos que viveram a guerra: um senhor da guerra pró-Estados Unidos, um comandante talibã e uma dona de casa. Eu recomendaria a leitura a Trump. O livro traz uma grave advertência ao tipo de esforço de guerra que o presidente está prestes a intensificar. O problema é que tem mais de uma página – e, de acordo com seus assessores, esse é o máximo que ele consegue processar. No mais, a única coisa que interessa mesmo a Trump é o fato de o Afeganistão ter um monte de minerais – que ele acha que o país deve aos Estados Unidos.

Antes de sair gastando os lucros que pretende fazer com os minérios afegãos, Trump deveria parar para pensar na dura realidade: os Estados Unidos estão perdendo a guerra para um inimigo que já tinha se entregado. É uma proeza para poucos.

Foto em destaque: Combatentes talibãs que queriam se render mostram armas a repórteres em Herat, Afeganistão (04/11/2010).

Tradução: Carla Camargo Fanha

The post O Talibã já tentou se render, os Estados Unidos rejeitaram e guerra do Afeganistão não tem fim appeared first on The Intercept.

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 23/08/2017 - 9:00pm in

How the Forever War Brought Us Donald Trump

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 23/08/2017 - 6:55am in

And why Trump will only continue it.

Trump Commits To Afghanistan

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 23/08/2017 - 2:40am in

Tags 

afghanistan

Well, this directly violates a core promise and is stupid besides being a betrayal. But I see various pundits going on about how Presidential he is to “admit” he was wrong to want to leave and to decide to kill lots of people in an unwinnable war. Trump needs and wants approval, and killing foreigners is essentially the only way he gets it from the media these days.

I imagine Putin and various other Russian leaders laugh themselves sick about this regularly, given what happened to the USSR in Afghanistan.

The Mongols conquered Afghanistan without too much difficulty, but short of truly genocidal strategy (which, no, shouldn’t be done), no one’s winning this war, and everyone’s losing it.

At least he stopped the CIA program supporting Jihadis (er, I mean moderates) in Syria, but this is still a black mark and a tragedy.

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