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.”

Journal: US Begins Regional War on Pashtun

05 Civil War, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney sends:
In my opinion, this is an extremely important piece of writing and needs to be read very carefully.  The author of this article built an international reputation for excellence during his reporting on the Iraq War, and now he is positioning himself to do the same on Afghanistan.  Conflating al Qaeda with the Taliban will mutate the so-called war on terror into an Anti-Pashtun (AF-Pak) War, with unknowable ramifications that could very well make the lunacy of Mad King George’s aggression in Iraq look miniscule in comparison.

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A Wider and Unnecessary War: The March of Folly

By PATRICK COCKBURN  December 7, 2009

By treating Pashtun villagers as if they were all Taliban, and Taliban as being the equivalent of al-Qa’ida, Mr Obama is increasing, not reducing, the threat of terrorist attack on the US or Britain. He is providing the battleground bin Laden hoped for and, like President Bush before him, has jumped willingly into the al-Qa’ida trap.

. . . . . .

One of the most foolish and misleading claims by US and British generals is that fighting a guerrilla war can be successfully combined with dispensing aid and building bridges and roads. But, as one commentator puts it, such a mixture of Wyatt Earp and Mother Theresa is not feasible. Soldiers are trained to get what they want by force and that is generally what they do. Afghans whose families have just been killed by a bomb will not be conciliated by a fine new drainage system.

Other minefields face incoming American and British forces. The Afghan government is in many respects a criminal racket.

Journal: Fort Hood Cognitive Dissonance Round-Up

04 Education, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, 10 Security, Analysis, Civil Society, Cultural Intelligence, Military

Major Hasan Analysis by Webster Tarpley (16 Pages)
Major Hasan Analysis by Webster Tarpley (16 Pages)

NIDAL MALIK HASAN OF VIRGINIA TECH, BETHESDA, AND FORT HOOD: A MAJOR PATSY IN A DRILL GONE LIVE? By Webster G. Tarpley 14 November 2009

What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Fort Hood Massacre Christina News Service, Friday, November 13, 2009 By Chuck Muth

Most Americans have this whole Fort Hood massacre all wrong. Maj. Nidal M. Hassan was not a terrorist.  And he wasn’t a mass murderer.  And he may not even have been a coward.  Maj. Hassan was an enemy combatant.

A Man in a Hundred By ALEXANDER COCKBURN CounterPunch Weekend Edition November 13-15, 2009

The general obviously doesn’t have Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on his bedside table. Gibbon wrote flatly that the introduction of foreigners “into Roman armies became every day more universal, more necessary and more fatal.”

Is Fort Hood Really a “Tragedy?” Pajamas Media by Victor Davis Hanson November 14, 2009

Something has gone terribly wrong in the entire reaction to the Ft. Hood massacres, as evidenced by the media, the administration, the military authorities, and perhaps the public at large.

Continue reading “Journal: Fort Hood Cognitive Dissonance Round-Up”

Review: Rumsfeld–His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy

4 Star, Biography & Memoirs, Congress (Failure, Reform), Crime (Government), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Impeachment & Treason, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), War & Face of Battle

RumsfeldDamns the Man, Ignores the Dead and Wounded,

March 22, 2007

Andrew Cockburn

Having read most of the books about the last eight years and the various debacles imposed on the world and on America by Cheney-Bush (see my lists on Iraq After-Action Reports and on Evaluating Dick Cheney), much of this book was not a surprise, but I would also be quick to say that there are a number of gems here not found elsewhere.

Of special interest to me were the reality that the lies and fantasy on the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq were a replay of the Team B lies about Soviet weapons successfully carried out under Reagan. This cabal has a clear pattern of believing that any lie is acceptable, that Congress is to be ignored, that there is no constraint on Executive power.

Gems:

Rumsfeld started talking about bombing Iraq before 3 pm on 9/11.

Rumsfeld built the force that he fought with, back when he was first secretary of defense.

Sadaam Hussein was the only Arab leader that welcomes Rumsfeld in the 1990’s.

Novak was a willing accomplice in destroying CIA under Reagan with Team B lies, and again in destroying Plume today.

Rumsfled liked Doug Feith *because* of Feith’s notorious stupidity.

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff was widely viewed as an “abused puppy” avoiding confrontation with Rumsfeld.

CIA won the Afghan war, but Rumseld claimed it for himself. No mention that I noticed of Rumsfeld’s disterous mistakes in allowing Pakistan to evacuate 3000 Tlaiban and Al Qaeda, and in refusing to but a Ranger battalion in Bin Laden’s path when CIA had “eyes on” for four days (see my reviews of “First In” and “JAWBREAKER” as well as various books on my Iraq After Action list).

After a while I tired of this book. I thought to myself that the author has done a good job on destroying Rumsfeld, but there is a great deal of context that is missing, including Cheney’s more active role behind the scenes, and virtually no mention of the thousands of US dead and 75,000 amputees that Rumsfeld created for no good reason.

My bottom line: Rumsfeld was put at Defense because the first candidate irritated the President, the President was a fool and wanted to appoint someone his father hated, and Dick Cheney was happy to have his former mentor over at Defense, which Cheney, as a more recent Secretary of Defense, no doubt felt he could manage from the White House. America chose to allow this cabal to steal two elections in a row, and to go to war on a web of lies denounced in advance by General Zinni,at OSS.Net, and in many other places. SHAME ON US. Rumsfled is our child, and we have to live with what we have wrought on the world.

Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
First In: An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan
Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA’s Key Field Commander
The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency

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