Journal: Kabuki Theater in Afghanistan and at Home

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Chuck Spinney

This is a really good report by one of the most thoughtful reporters covering the Middle East and Central Asia–and below, the second story on Teamsters forcing Wall Street to back down from its predatory behavior in one instance.  Chuck

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The Script Calls for Victory, No Matter What: The Battle for Marjah

By PATRICK COCKBURN   11 February 2010

The largely mythical US success in Iraq is now to be replicated in Afghan towns like Marjah and skirmishes there will be heavily reported. A NATO spokesman says the people of the town will soon “feel the benefits of better governance, of economic opportunities and of operating under the legitimate authorities of Afghanistan.” But according to a leaked cable from the US ambassador in Kabul Karl Eikenberry to President Obama three months ago, no such Afghan authority exists at any level. Instead he warned that US troop reinforcements, which are now going into action, will only ensure “an indefinite, large-scale US military role in Afghanistan.”

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“We Don’t Want a Bunch of Angry Teamsters Showing Up at Our Doors!”

The Economic Velociraptors

By ANDREW COCKBURN   14 February 2010

But while the gamblers wreck their havoc on ancient nations, some of them of at least may be facing a comeuppance closer to home. CounterPunchers will recall that when Goldman and others on Wall Street sought to ruin the big trucking company YRCW over Christmas by sabotaging a debt reorganization while betting on the firm’s default and demise – thus eliminating 30,000 jobs – the Teamsters mobilized successfully and forced the offending parties to back off. “We got out of our position in a hurry,” one hedge find trader told me later, figuratively mopping his brow, “we didn’t want a bunch of angry Teamsters showing up at our door.”