Posts tagged ‘US War’

America’s Failed War in Afghanistan — No Policy Change Is Going to Affect the Outcome

While Obama is claiming that the US and its allies are “breaking the Taliban’s momentum,” the reality on the ground tells a different story.
November 23, 2010 |
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At the end of the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal this weekend, the leadership of the Afghan Taliban issued a statement characterizing the alliance’s adoption of a loose timeline for a 2014 end to combat operations as “good news” for Afghans and “a sign of failure for the American government.” At the summit, President Barack Obama said that 2011 will begin “a transition to full Afghan lead” in security operations, while the Taliban declared: “In the past nine years, the invaders could not establish any system of governance in Kabul and they will never be able to do so in future.”

While Obama claimed that the US and its allies are “breaking the Taliban’s momentum,” the reality on the ground tells a different story. Despite increased Special Operations Forces raids and, under Gen. David Petraeus, a return to regular US-led airstrikes, the insurgency in Afghanistan is spreading and growing stronger. “By killing Taliban leaders the war will not come to an end,” said the Taliban’s former foreign minister, Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, in an interview at his home in Kabul. “On the contrary, things get worse which will give birth to more leaders.”

Former and current Taliban leaders say that they have seen a swelling in the Taliban ranks since 9-11. In part, they say, this can be attributed to a widely held perception that the Karzai government is corrupt and illegitimate and that Afghans—primarily ethnic Pashtuns—want foreign occupation forces out. “We are only fighting to make foreigners leave Afghanistan,” a new Taliban commander in Kunduz told me during my recent trip to the country. “We don’t want to fight after the withdrawal of foreigners, but as long as there are foreigners, we won’t talk to Karzai.”

“The Americans have very sophisticated technology, but the problem here in Afghanistan is they are confronting ideology. I think ideology is stronger than technology,” says Abdul Salam Zaeef, a former senior member of Mullah Mohammed Omar’s government. “If I am a Taliban and I’m killed, I’m martyred, then I’m successful. There are no regrets for the Taliban. It’s very difficult to defeat this kind of idea.”

But it is not simply a matter of ideology versus technology. The Taliban is not one unified body. The Afghan insurgency is fueled by fighters with a wide variety of motivations. Some are the dedicated jihadists of which Zaeef speaks, but others are fighting to defend their land or are seeking revenge for the killing of family members by NATO or Afghan forces. While al Qaeda has been almost entirely expelled from Afghanistan, the insurgency still counts a small number of non-Afghans among its ranks. Bolstering the Taliban’s recruitment efforts is the perception in Afghanistan that the Taliban pays better than NATO or the Afghan army or police.

The hard reality US officials don’t want to discuss is this: the cultural and religious values of much of the Pashtun population–which comprises 25-40 percent of the country–more closely align with those of the Taliban than they do with Afghan government or US/NATO forces. The Taliban operate a shadow government in large swaths of the Pashtun areas of the country, complete with governors and a court system. In rural areas, land and property disputes are resolved through the Taliban system rather than the Afghan government, which is widely distrusted. “The objectives and goal of the American troops in Afghanistan are not clear to the people and therefore Afghans call the Americans ‘invaders,’” says Muttawakil. “Democracy is a very new phenomenon in Afghanistan and most people don’t know the meaning of democracy. And now corruption, thieves and fakes have defamed democracy. Democracy can’t be imposed because people will never adopt any value by force.”

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Alex Jones: The Real Pyramid of Power

http://www.infowars.com

Comment :

The”Sith Lords” exposed by Alex Jones !

 

related Post found on http://dprogram.net :

‘Wall Street behind US wars’ – Stephen Lendman

Posted by sakerfa on November 12th, 2010

(PressTV) – The Wall Street banks are behind the US government’s policies, including decisions to go on war, a senior American journalist has told Press TV.

“The Wall Street banks have a controlling interest. They decide the way the country will be run, including waging wars,” Stephen Lendman, writer and radio host from Chicago told Press TV in a Wednesday interview.

“One reason for waging wars is they are so profitable. Not just to the defense contractors, [but also] to the big banks, to technology companies, all companies that supply goods and services including private contractors that have every incentive to want America to be in war,” he added.

During his two terms in office, former US president George W. Bush ordered invasions on Afghanistan and Iraq. The two wars resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair justified the Iraq war by claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which were never found.

In his recently released memoir Decision Points, Bush says he was shocked when WMDs were not found in Iraq.

“The plan to go to war with Iraq was already conceived. The blueprint was written. It was on the shelf ready to take out,” Lendman said.

Source: PressTV

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How to create an Angry American

 

The Video the US Military doesn’t want you to see! ★★★★★

Banner on Penn. Ave: ”MR. OBAMA: END THESE FUCKING WARS! WAR IS THE OBSCENITY!”

http://warisacrime.org

Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2010-10-01 14:05


Click for large photo
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Photo by Ellen Davidson

Veterans’ 25 x 17 banner tells it straight to Obama at 555 PA Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Today at 1:00pm eastern time, U.S. military veterans hung an enormous banner on the front of the Newseum, wrapping their message around the First Amendment chiseled in five stories of limestone.

Opposed to the wars and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Palestine, the vets’ message said loud and clear: “MR. OBAMA: END THESE FUCKING WARS! WAR IS THE OBSCENITY.”

Several veterans dropped the banner down the front of the Newseum, while others distributed special edition copies of the War Crimes Times, explaining the action and what they considered obscene.

“The American public should be shocked that we are still killing and crippling thousands of innocent people in these countries as well as our own soldiers — that’s what’s truly obscene,” said Mike Ferner,59 who served as a navy corpsman during Vietnam. “Blowing people’s arms and legs off, burning, paralyzing them, causing sewage to run through their streets, polluting the water that kills and sickens children, terrorizing and bombing people and their livestock with flying robots– that defines obscenity. If this banner shocks and offends a single person who hasn’t been shocked and offended by what’s being done in our name, we’ve accomplished our misson.”

Veterans and activists taking part in the event include Ken Mayers, Kim Carlyle, Mike Ferner, Bruce Berry, Debbie Tolson, Nic Abramson,Tarak Kauff, Mike Hearington, Will Covert and Elliott Adams of Veterans For Peace.

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To Protect State Secrets, Pentagon Buys and Destroys Book

http://www.sott.net

Luis Martinez
ABC News
Sat, 25 Sep 2010 23:40 CDT

The Pentagon has purchased and arranged for the destruction of 9,500 copies of a book so it can protect classified information it contains.

Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer’s memoir “Operation Dark Heart” had become a headache for the Defense Department which determined after it had gone to print that it contained classified information. The book recounts the Army Reserve officer’s experiences in Afghanistan in 2003 while working for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

An option being explored with the book’s publisher was for the Pentagon to purchase the 9,500 copies of the book’s first run so they could be destroyed.

Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Cunningham confirms that is what happened earlier this week.

“DoD decided to purchase copies of the first printing because they contained information which could cause damage to national security,” she said.

According to Cunningham, “the approximately 9,500 copies of the book were “disposed on Sept. 20. DoD observed the destruction of the copies.”

“DoD is in the process of reimbursing Macmillan Publishers for costs associated with the production of approximately 9,500 copies of the first printing of Operation Dark Heart,” she said.

There is no information as to the costs associated with this effort.

Under an agreement with the publisher, the passages in dispute have been redacted in the book’s second printing. Cunningham said the Pentagon has not purchased copies of the redacted second printing.

Shortly after the New York Times first reported the controversy over the book earlier this month, Defense Department spokesman Col. Dave Lapan confirmed the discussions with Shaffer’s publisher.

Lapan said there were discussions with Shaffer, his attorney and his publisher “about how to protect classified information and we haven’t made any decisions about what the outcome will be.”

It is standard procedure for military and intelligence officials to submit book manuscripts for security reviews so any classified information they might contain is not published.

Lapan said Shaffer had cleared his manuscript with the Army Reserve, “but not with the larger army and with DOD. So he did not meet the requirements under Department of Defense regulations for the security review.”

The Defense Intelligence Agency was one of the agencies that expressed concerns about some of the information contained in Shaffer’s book which details his work for the agency in Afghanistan.

In its website description for the book, Macmillan says it was contacted by the Pentagon on Aug. 13, “just as St. Martin’s Press was readying its initial shipment of this book … to express its concern that our publication of Operation Dark Heart could cause damage to U.S. national security.”

After consulting with Shaffer, “we agreed to incorporate some of the government’s changes into a revised edition of his book while redacting other text he was told was classified. The newly revised book keeps our national interests secure, but this highly qualified warrior’s story is still intact,” the publisher said.

In the description, Shaffer says that “While I do not agree with the edits in many ways, the DoD redactions enhance the reader’s understanding by drawing attention to the flawed results created by a disorganized and heavy handed military intelligence bureaucracy.”

The description says Shaffer led a “black-ops team on the forefront of the military efforts to block the Taliban’s resurgence.”

One loophole in the news that the book’s first printing has been destroyed, the Pentagon has no plans to purchase the dozens of editor’s review copies sent out by the publisher.

A must see ! Video: Unipolar World Will Lead to War – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

http://dprogram.net

(RussiaToday) – Speaking on the UN summit sidelines, Iran’s leader says the biggest trouble facing the world is domination by the United States. In an exclusive interview with RT, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad explains how he wants to change the existing world order.

See Also:

Ahmadinejad Lost in Translation

Iran’s president takes centre stage at the United Nations but his attack on the “unjust” west failed to be heard.

By Aljazeera

September 21, 2010 — Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has addressed the General Assembly on the second day of the UN’s millennium development goals summit. But it is not what he said on Tuesday that has made the news but what happened during the simultaneous translation of his speech, which has caused controversy.

Right from the start, his speech was overshadowed by technical problems, as the president was heard saying: “there’s no translation.” And these problems continued to cause confusion two minutes into his speech. All this was followed by an ominous announcement: “The interpreters would like to state that they are reading from a written text translated into English.” With that, the translation stopped altogether.

Despite all the technical issues, Ahmadinejad managed to communicate his message that there is a need for an overhaul of what he called “undemocratic and unjust” global decision-making bodies.

The much anticipated speech has now left many wondering what actually went wrong as the Iranian president’s speech ended the same way as it had started, without any translation.

Ahmadinejad, who arrived in New York on Saturday, told the Associated Press news agency that “the future belongs to Iran,” and challenged the US to accept that his country has a major role in world affairs.

US officials have made it clear that there are no plans for Barack Obama, the US president, to have any contact with the Iranian leader in New York this week.

Tight security

The New York Post, a right-wing tabloid, criticised US government spending on security preparations surrounding the Iranian leader’s visit.

“Ahmadinejad has access to a private elevator on his floor, a source said, and everything he touches is supplied by his aides. His rooms’ windowpanes were swapped for bullet-proof glass,” the paper reported.

On the topic of Iran’s nuclear programme, which Iran insists is for power generation rather than bomb-making, Obama plans to reiterate that the “door is still open” for international engagement, a US security official said on Monday.

Source: Information Clearing House

related dprogram.net art.

Video: How Dangerous Is Iran Really?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on CNNs Larry King :

Ahmadinejad: Netanyahu a ‘skilled killer’

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Obama and Iraq: ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’

Scott Ritter’s Columns

Posted on Sep 21, 2010
AP / Charles Dharapak

By Scott Ritter

“The time has come to set aside childish things.” With these words, President Barack Obama, in his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009, pushed aside “the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas” which he claimed “far too long have strangled our politics.” This passing reference to the Scripture (1 Corinthians 13: 11) served as the vehicle with which Obama broke with the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush. While the differences in policy between Obama and Bush were many, they were particularly stark on the issue of the war in Iraq. On the surface, Obama’s televised address on Sept. 7, 2010, in which he somberly announced “the end of our combat mission in Iraq,” brought closure to a conflict as unnecessary as it was elective, and fulfilled, however superficially, his pledge to do just that. Unfortunately, Obama has come face to face with the biblical line “But now we see through a glass, darkly,” which immediately follows the Scriptural verse he mentioned in his inaugural address. The president and the American people will all too soon come to recognize that the quagmire in Iraq is far from over. In fact, one might say it has only just begun.

In what passed for the “Iraq master plan” as set forth by the Bush administration, Iraq’s oil wealth was to create the foundation of economic viability, which would then pave the way for political stability and improve internal security to the extent that U.S. combat troops could be withdrawn from that war-torn land. In a perfect world, this plan had a certain irrefutable logic, and as such was for the most part endorsed by politicians from both major parties, the mainstream media and the majority of the American people, enamored as they were with the Colin Powell-esque ethic of the “Pottery Barn Rule” that held “if you broke it, you own it.” And there can be no doubt that, regardless of the abuses which had occurred during the rule of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, America had, through the waging of two wars (1991 and 2003), the implementation of more than two decades of U.N.-backed economic sanctions and a disastrous occupation, “broke” Iraq.

To make amends for these actions, the American people have tolerated more than seven years of redefined missions (which ranged from disarming Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, to imposing democracy, to creating stability, and, finally, to creating the conditions for stability), all the while recoiling from the enormous cost in terms of human lives and treasure (American, allied and Iraqi). Compounding the problems associated with a fluid mission was the fact that the “enemy” in Iraq was similarly ill-defined—the Shiites were our friends, until Moqtada al-Sadr became our enemy; the Sunnis were our enemies, until the “Awakening” movement made them our allies; and “al-Qaida in Iraq” went from being composed almost exclusively of foreigners to being almost exclusively Iraqi, to being whatever the U.S. military chose to define it as. This lack of a discernable foe made any traditional military combat mission designed to close with and destroy the enemy through firepower and maneuver impossible to execute.

While the United States military can claim that it did not lose the war in Iraq, it will have a hard time backing up any claims of victory. America was denied its “Missouri moment” in Iraq—the Baathists of Saddam Hussein’s regime were never compelled to line up, as the Japanese had in Tokyo Bay in August 1945, and sign a surrender document. This lack of closure highlights the ever-present reality that while American forces may have defeated Saddam Hussein’s divisions, and ultimately captured or killed the Iraqi president and the majority of his senior officials, the fighting would last for years and continues today.

History has highlighted, and will continue to highlight, the failures inherent in the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq following the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. As liberation transformed into anarchy and the illusory “flowers and song” greeting turned into rancor and resistance, it became clear that the United States lacked a coherent plan and vision for rebuilding a post-Saddam Iraq. The dream of rapidly reconstituting a viable Iraqi nation was soon shattered by the reality of a land laid to waste by the combined effects of war and economic sanctions. This process was also hampered by an Iraqi people who lacked faith in one another, and were alienated by the ideology, incompetence and corruption of the American occupation of their country. Despite the prewar assurances and guarantees made by senior officials in the Bush administration, Iraq’s “oil miracle” never occurred, and as such any hopes of building a solid economic foundation upon which an indigenous framework of governance could be placed were quashed. With no anchor upon which to steady itself, Iraq’s drive toward democracy was instead cut adrift amid the treacherous currents of internal politics, regional insecurity and international greed.

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In many ways, the American experience in Iraq has been defined more by the fantasy dreamed up in Washington, D.C., than by the reality on the ground. That fantasy has included the “purple finger revolution,” which came to symbolize Iraq’s first national election of the post-Saddam era (Iraq still lacks a viable, cohesive government); the much-hyped military “surge” of 2006-2007, which had all the real impact of punching air; and the farcical economic “success” of major oil companies bidding on Iraqi oil exploration rights (orchestrated by an Iraqi Oil Ministry lacking both a governmental structure and legal basis for issuing such bids, given the Iraqi Parliament’s inability to pass an oil law. American politicians, aided and abetted by a fawning mainstream media, have fabricated a fiction aimed at a largely ignorant American public that fails to address the real problems in Iraq. It is in this topsy-turvy world created by political hype and media spin that a president can, with a straight face, announce the withdrawal of American “combat troops” from Iraq, while leaving behind six combat brigades (renamed, but not reorganized) comprising some 50,000 troops to fight and die in “noncombat.”

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Wikileaks Prepares Next Big Document Dump, While Media and Pentagon Continue Smear Campaign on Its Founder

http://www.alternet.org

Attacks on Wikileaks are really an attack on free speech says its founder, Julian Assange.
September 20, 2010 |

Scheduled for release in the next few weeks in concert with international and American media outlets, Wikileaks’ data dump on Iraq could prove to be just as explosive as its download on Afghanistan.

According to Newsweek, the Iraq collection is already three times larger than the 92,000 Afghan field reports made public in Wikileaks’ last release, and perhaps the largest in history. It predictably details American military participation in bloody conflicts as well as detainee abuse conducted by Iraqi security forces. It’s unclear at this point if its documents were submitted by Private First Class Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. military intelligence analyst who was charged in July with leaking the chilling Collateral Murder video to Wikileaks. Manning is already looking at over 50 years in prison for Uniform Code of Military Justice violations of “transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system” and “communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source.”

After Collateral Murder went viral online and in real-time, Manning’s whistle-blowing dominated the news cycle and even prompted U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen to clumsily claim that Wikileaks “might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier.” Although he may have been speaking only of Manning, Mullen’s damning statement has yet to be fortified with hard evidence. The move swamped the American government and military with further shame, compounding the shame of pursuing two simultaneous wars that retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright argued “have violated domestic and international law, violations that have been fully exposed in the WikiLeaks documents.”

But the details, as always, are bedeviling. Mullen and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates openly admitted that Wikileaks’ Afghanistan revelations had no strategic bearing on the war’s prosecution. That added firepower to founder Julian Assange’s claims that the military’s beef with his organization has nothing to do with data at all. It has only to do with free speech, which is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

That pulls the case against Wikileaks into the less sexy orbit of mundane censorship, rather than glamorous tactical compromises or even subconscious desires to bloody young soldiers for no good reason. Which, like Iraq, is a quagmire. Because in a century dominated by the Internet and its light-speed exchanges of information, the concept much less the enforcement of keeping the world in the dark about exorbitantly expensive wars — over a conservative $1 trillion and counting! — makes zero sense. In fact, it is costing us more than we can afford. It could cost us the First Amendment altogether.

Recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor predicted that the Wikileaks controversy will inevitably lead the high court to once again weigh in on the problematic tightrope between national security and the First Amendment. The last momentous clash came in 1971, after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in New York Times Co. v. United States that the Nixon administration didn’t have sufficient burden of proof to suspend publication of the Pentagon Papers, an exhaustive U.S. Department of Defense history of the Vietnam War compiled by the Rand Corporation. Leaked by Rand employee and ex-Marine Daniel Ellsberg to the New York Times and others, the Pentagon Papers proved without much doubt that the American government had zero problem with purposefully lying to its people for the sake of a doomed war that greatly enriched only a few while destroying the lives of millions.

But our temporal dislocation is alarming. Back then, it took a major newspaper like the the New York Times to both publish and defend the Pentagon Papers in the Supreme Court. These days, the New York Times is better known for allowing politically compromised reporters like Judith Miller to manufacture lies to sway public approval for Vietnam 2.0 in Iraq. Miller’s most egregious transgression — helping to out intelligence agent Valerie Plame to discredit due criticism of the Bush administration’s foregone conclusion — fits our post-ironic epoch like a bulletproof vest. Instead of unpacking government’s criminal element and protecting whistle-blowing in the public interest, mainstream media in the 21st century are content to betray that public interest for the benefit of those whose hands really are drowning in the blood and capital of innocents.

It is left to online outlets like Wikileaks to not only reboot journalism by informing a vastly uninformed American public, but also fortify that public’s homegrown First Amendment with every data dump. The fact that Wikileaks, and its inevitably replicating clones, might have to defend freedom of speech in front of Sotomayor and the Supreme Court is alarming when you consider that Assange isn’t even American. He’s Australian, and his affiliated transparency champions are a global group armed with information-stuffed servers stashed across the planet. Through their essential leaks and international makeup, they understand that safeguarding so-called national security at the expense of international truth and transparency is a loser’s game in this still-new century.

Which is not to say that the Supreme Court might not disagree, given the chance. It’s not radical to suggest that judges like Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and John Roberts might be partial to protecting national security at the expense of the First Amendment. Sotomayor can legally give no indication where she stands on the issue until it arises before the Supreme Court, and good luck getting anything out of Elena Kagan. Like the New York Times, the Supreme Court could side with the transitory powers-that-be over what should be immutable American constitutional rights. But for how long?

Millennia of human culture have weighed in on the issue and the verdict is pretty clear: Information is contagious, and cannot be contained with any credible strength for long. Mash in a globally networked Internet, whose design and purpose — military in origin — expressly mandates extensive information transmission. You’re not going to stop data dumps by Wikileaks, or anyone else, from occurring forever. Unless of course, you shut everything down and pull the plug on democracy.

Like us, information wants to be free, and mostly because we need it to survive as a species. Without it today, we’re drones on autopilot, until we’re arbitrarily activated to wreak collateral damage on digital abstractions we once considered fellow humans. We shouldn’t cross that technocultural line; we should reinscribe it. We can start by defending those, like Wikileaks, who are redefining both journalism and free speech in an internetworked age.

Scott Thill runs the online mag Morphizm.com. His writing has appeared on Salon, XLR8R, All Music Guide, Wired and others.
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Pakistan Is Dying – The World Yawns

By Siv O’Neall,

Axis of Logic, September 15, 2010On August 22 a drone strike against the house of “suspected militants” in North Waziristan killed 20 people. It also destroyed a neighboring house full of women and children.[1] So what! Collateral damage. And, as our dear Mr. Rumsfeld once said [2] – ‘Shit happens. Get over it.’

On July 28, the dams burst in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area of north-western Pakistan after unprecedented monsoon rains. In the next few days the news was slowly trickling out to the world of the imminent disaster from the worst floods in Pakistan’s history.

The North-West Frontier Province, however, had already been hit by disaster long before the monsoon rains started flooding the countryside, uprooting hundreds of thousands of people. The region had already been ravaged by the terrible fighting between Islamic militants and the Pakistani Armed Forces. Millions of people had already fled from their homes and their livelihoods.

Yet, Western reaction to these events, or even knowledge thereof, was practically nil.

History of Swat Valley – a tourist haven …

Swat Valley before the bombing and flooding

Swat Valley has a long and varied history. Before the U.S. Empire’s wars in Central Asia this wonderful valley and mountainous area used to be a center for tourists from all over the world. It is situated along the Swat River in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountain range[3]. With its high mountains, green valleys, cascading rivers and clear lakes it was a region of breathtaking beauty and hospitable people. It has often been called the Switzerland of Pakistan.

A Swat valley winter resort before the catastrophe

It was a tourist haven that turned into a Taliban stronghold when they were chased away from Afghanistan across the porous mountainous border into Pakistan after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, in response to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

In 2008, Swat Valley was captured by the Taliban insurgency and a whole new era began.[4] Tourism became a thing of the past. In February 2009 the Pakistan government signed a peace deal with the Taliban which upset Washington a great deal. Creation of a ‘Taliban Safe Haven With Islamic Law’ (Fox News) was not exactly what the U.S government looked kindly on.

… and a war scene

Swat Valley and other areas in the North-West Frontier Province had already been devastated by these continuous wars between the Pakistani Armed Forces and Islamic militants, the regional Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and other ‘Holy Warriors’. The warring began in 2004 with the Pakistani Army’s search for al-Qaeda members in Pakistan’s mountainous Waziristan area. It very soon turned into a war of armed resistance against the Pakistan armed forces with suicide bombings and roadside bombings being the daily horror events that made children and innocent civilians the victims of this unrelenting war. [5]

People have fled from their war-torn villages, abandoning their homes and their livelihoods in the hundreds of thousands – leaving behind their fields, their livestock, their possessions – their whole lives being uprooted. It is estimated that the total number of war-displaced people in the North West Frontier Province in May 2009 amounted to more than 2 million.[6]

The destruction of Swat Valley has also been going on, beginning 2004, from the largely hushed-up unmanned drone attacks begun under President Bush and continuing under President Obama, these unmanned drones monitored from the Ground Control Stations in Nevada, Arizona or North Dakota – thus ‘merely’ risking the lives of Pakistani militants and civilians, women and children, but not the lives of U.S pilots. These drones or ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ play a major role in the ongoing so-called ‘War on Terror’.

What the men who press the button at one of the control stations in the U.S.[7] feel when they get back home and watch the dead bodies from the house full of children or the wedding party that they have just bombed – as they sip their beers in front of the television that same evening – that is another story.

The Pakistani government were at first ambivalent about fighting the militants in their own country but, under pressure from their ‘ally’, the U.S.A., they ordered their armed forces to wage outright war on the Taliban and the Mujahideen (“holy warriors” or “freedom fighters”)[8]. The almost decade-long attempt to rout the militants from the Taliban strongholds in Pakistan was seen by most of the regional people as fighting “America’s war”. This ‘America’s war’ had actually begun already in 2001, very soon after the events of September 11, even though it was never mentioned in the mass media, or barely anywhere at all.

Planned destruction before the flooding – by the U.S. military

It is a much-ignored fact that a large region of Pakistan had its infrastructure already badly damaged by this internal war and also by the huge number of drone attacks in the Afghanistan border areas. Bridges and dams were bombed, roads were destroyed and electric power stations were not functioning. This has indeed been a manmade disaster from the very beginning, from general neglect and deliberate destruction – a calamity waiting to strike.

Damage caused by internal corruption and by nature

Homeless people desperate to hold on to an evacuation vehicle

Added to that, after the torrential rains started, much effort was given to make the flood waters spare the properties of the affluent, the towns and the cities, so that instead the fields in the villages, essential to the feeding of the country, were inundated and the crops ruined.

In Punjab and Sindh provinces, the breadbasket of Pakistan, in the deadliest floods in the history of Pakistan, more than a million acres of sugar cane, cotton and rice fields were damaged and a farmer’s group reported losses of over 250 billion rupees or $2.9 billion.

“Floodwaters ravaged 700,000 acres of planted cotton, and 200,000 acres each of rice and cane, Mohammed Ibrahim Moghul, chairman of Agri Forum Pakistan, said by phone. Rains also destroyed 500,000 metrics tons of wheat, 300,000 acres of animal fodder and 100,000 head of livestock, he said.

“Punjab, which was among the provinces hit by flooding in Pakistan, accounted for nearly 60 percent of the nation’s rice harvest, and Sindh 30 percent, Mohanty [an economist from the International Rice Research Institute] said. (Khurrum Anis and Madelene Pearson from Bloomberg Businessweek)
Nature completed the destruction of Pakistan

Inundation after the unprecedented Pakistani floods in August

What the inept and corrupt governments of Pakistan, aided by the reckless bombing by U.S. drones had not managed to do to ravage this beautiful and civilized country, nature completed by coming to the assistance of Corporate warriors and inept politicians and in just over a month a luckless nation has been almost completely devastated.On August 9, my Pakistani woman journalist friend, Husna Ali, Islamabad, wrote to me:

Siv, it’s going to hit my province (Sindh) by the 12th – as the weather forecast goes – and it is supposed to be really really bad… The already fragile infrastructure of this country has been completely broken – and now it is feared that the hub of gas supply will soon crash due to heavy pressures of water – and if that happens then we will be without gas supply. Already there is a food, medicine and power crisis. With the gas supply down I don’t know how people will survive. Of course, the poor will be the first victims, but it will affect life in urban sectors as well. Everyday is like hell for us. And all this is due to the war on terror… all the money going to carry out military operations and feeding the corrupt military agencies and civilian puppet leaders, and no money is used for providing relief to people, improve infrastructure, provide health care or any other relief… and this has been going on for the past few decades. And this chaos – war, insurgency and now the natural disaster – is serving as a breeding ground for militancy. More and more people are joining the insurgents in a hope for a better life because, believe it or not, people have started to believe that the Taliban provide more security, employment, relief and even law (no matter how inhuman we might think it is), and you cannot convince them otherwise. On one hand there is the monstrous empire which kills and destructs with impunity and on the other hand there are the beastly religious fundamentalists who may take away a few liberties but protect your life better and provide employment and food…. it’s like choosing between life and liberty. And everyone wants to live, Siv. Capitalism is nothing but death. Though capitalism and fundamentalism are two faces of the same coin, they both nurture each other, but you cant convince this to people who have lost everything to war and corporate interests – the victims in a poor country which has been dragged into someone else’s war…

Refugees with the little of their belongings they have managed to rescue

Pakistan was drawn into yet another Central Asian war by the United States for nothing but predatory reasons, and this latest utterly callous link by Washington in the ‘war on terror’ can never be labeled with a straight face as an act with any moral justification.

But then when did Washington need anything but to dress itself in a threadbare moral cloak, turn on the propaganda, and shoot?

The slow media response to the disaster

Map showing areas of worst flooding – the North-West Frontier Province, including Swat Valley, being the worst hit at the beginning – Sindh Province in the south was hit the last

News about the torrential monsoon rains, beginning with the Swat Valley in the North-West Frontier Province began trickling down in the carefully censored Corporate media, the BBC and the PBS being among the first sources to uncover the ongoing devastation.On August 2, PBS News reported:

“JUDY WOODRUFF: The devastating flood in Pakistan, some in areas where the military has been fighting insurgents. More than 1,000 people have died, up to two million displaced.

“JONATHAN MILLER: Villages and villagers reportedly washed away by walls of water, entire districts submerged, cropland inundated, drinking water contaminated, communications down, bridges destroyed, roads gone, schools gone, homes gone, thousands of them.”

Houses half-way drowned in the floods

On August 9, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a lame appeal to the world, mentioning hundreds of people dead when already the number of deaths were in the thousands. He did, however, talk about “the catastrophic floods that have killed hundreds of people in Pakistan and urged donors to contribute generously to the humanitarian response”.[9]

The Secretary-General upped the ante on August 21, after having visited the devastated country. He gave a fairly stirring account of the disaster that had so far left the world unmoved. He emphasized the sheer scale of the disaster, almost defying comprehension, and stated that, around the country, an estimated 15 to 20 million people had been affected. He said that we could not stand by and let this natural disaster turn into a manmade catastrophe. [10]

Well, it already was a partly manmade disaster, so his words rang a bit empty.

MOSHARRAF ZAIDI in his article ‘Why Doesn’t the World Care About Pakistanis?’ in Foreign Policy gives us the scope of this natural plus manmade catastrophe:

His answer to the question is: “Because they live in Pakistan.”

“The United Nations has characterized the destruction caused by the floods in Pakistan as greater than the damage from the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined. Yet nearly three weeks since the floods began, aid is trickling in slowly and reluctantly to the United Nations, NGOs, and the Pakistani government.”

Three weeks after the beginning of the flooding, one fifth of the country was under water, a surface the size of Italy or England. Money for the rescue started coming in at a somewhat faster rate than the first couple of weeks, when the world was blind to the catastrophe. But it does not nearly equal the amount of aid that was rushed to the disaster areas after the three preceding monumental disasters.

Juan Cole in CommonDreams on September 9 sums up the indifference of the world:

“The Media as a Security Threat to America – The Great Pakistani Deluge Never Happened; Don’t Tune In, It’s Not Important”
… The Great Deluge in Pakistan passed almost unnoticed in the United States despite President Obama’s repeated assertions that the country is central to American security.  Now, with new evacuations and flooding afflicting Sindh Province and the long-term crisis only beginning in Pakistan, it has washed almost completely off American television and out of popular consciousness.

“News junkies who watch a lot of television broadcasts could not help but notice with puzzlement that as the cosmic catastrophe unfolded in Pakistan, it was nearly invisible on American networks.
What rescue efforts are made? By whom?

The latest figures for victims of this catastrophic disaster amount to 20 million people who have lost their homes (nearly 12 percent of Pakistan’s population of 180 million) and 1600 people killed by the floods. Almost 10 million people are suffering from hunger and disease and millions are without a roof over their heads.

MOSHARRAF ZAIDI in ‘Why Doesn’t the World Care About Pakistanis?’ Foreign Policy, continues on August 19:

“Yet nearly three weeks since the floods began, aid is trickling in slowly and reluctantly to the United Nations, NGOs, and the Pakistani government.”

“Why has the most devastating natural disaster in recent memory generated such a tepid response from the international community? Something of a cottage industry is emerging to try to answer this latest and most sober of international mysteries.

“There is no shortage of theories. It’s donor fatigue. It’s Pakistan fatigue. It’s because the Pakistani government is corrupt and can’t be trusted. It’s because the victims are Muslim.”

Politicians and numerous opportunist leaders of Islamist religious groups[11] are trying to outdo each other in their eagerness to seem like the best-organized rescue group. They are shuffling and posturing in the corridors of power, ready to declare that time is up for the current Prime Minister Asif Ali Zardari and they are more than ready to step in – quite possibly more eager to take over his privileges than his responsibilities. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif[12], one of Pakistan’s richest men, is eagerly expecting this crisis to be the end of Zardari, in order to come back to power for the third time, after having been ousted twice in 1993.

Hard-line religious groups are organizing aid to the millions of displaced persons. Even the Taliban have now called a truce on violence and are organizing aid operations. The military are transporting stranded and homeless people to safe ground. Is this a sign of an upcoming military putsch? Who knows. What we do know is that the Pakistani people, above all, don’t want another military dictatorship, on the models of former prime ministers, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf who was the Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army.

And then, at the height of the flooding, to our horror, comes the news about the Pakistan Air Force Base Shahbaz:

“Airbase near Jacobabad under US control, Senate panel told

“ISLAMABAD: Health relief operations in Jacobabad are not possible because the airbase in the area is controlled by the US.

“The stunning statement was made by Health Secretary Khushnood Lashari during an appearance at the Senate Standing Committee on Health on Wednesday.”[13]

What we can wonder about is why the U.S. military, instead of continuing their drone attacks among all this suffering, well aware of the refugees being in the most urgent need of help, why the U.S. is not using its military bases to help the stranded and famished victims of the flooding. They would be in an excellent position to help with evacuation and supply shelter, food and clean water to the homeless.

On August 20, my friend Husna Ali wrote:

“The international community must pressure the US government to allow the air base in Jacobabad to be used for rescue and relief… Thousands of people are still waiting there – without food and water for days – to be rescued… Why can’t the fucking drones be used for relief… They have killed scores of innocents, cant they be used to save a few lives?

Zardari has spectacularly mismanaged the rescue work in this disaster, in the first place leaving the country for pre-arranged visits to Britain and France when his people were in great distress and shock and in need of a leader who could organize the rescue work – and, secondly, not having any relief plans ready to put into immediate action. There are also strong suspicions that politicians and influential people have done their utmost to lead the torrents of water away from their own precious properties and thus purposely allowing poor farmers’ lands to be devastated. Corruption is second nature to human beings and we can clearly see the effects of it here.

There was nobody at the helm those first couple of weeks after the flooding began in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Swat Valley) and spread to Balochistan, Punjab and finally to the southern province of Sindh.

What went wrong?

In the words of the World Socialist Web Site:

“The disaster in Pakistan is the product of years of neglect. Monsoons are an annual event and floods occur regularly, yet successive governments have failed to develop proper flood warning systems and flood control measures. Infrastructure has not been planned to deal with natural disasters, whether the current flooding or the devastating 2005 earthquake in Kashmir.”

The ‘world’ – private people and governments – probably believe that money they give to relieve the sufferings of millions might be used to finance the Taliban. The emergency right now is helping the millions of people who are displaced or diseased. The Taliban, which the U.S. helped create a couple of decades ago, (when Washington was intent on defeating the Soviet military in Afghanistan) is a totally different issue and they should not stand in our way of helping the victims in the world’s greatest natural disaster ever. The confused situation in Central Asia is of U.S. making and the world should come to the rescue in a disaster situation that has, as the assault of nature is concerned, very little to do with politics.

A U.S. drone seen against the beautiful Pakistan mountains

The destruction wrought by U.S. drone attacks began in 2004 and has been escalated dramatically since President Obama took office, as a part of the U.S. so-called ‘war on terrorism’ (a U.S.-made concept that was supposed to justify any and every act of war – this time in Central Asia, the region that is now designated as the ‘AfPak area’ and the ‘AfPak war’). The escalation by President Obama on January 23, 2009 obviously made the country far more vulnerable to nature’s succeeding onslaught. Especially so since one area that was a prime victim of the drone attacks was the Swat Valley where the flooding also began at the end of July.Most of the strikes by drones were concentrated on the mountainous region on the Afghan border and aimed at terrorists operating, among other places, out of North and South Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

“The U.S. military had long remained silent about remote-controlled C.I.A. missile strikes [i.e. drones]. But a delegation of U.S. senators visiting Islamabad last week expressed their support of the “drone war,” which was started by the Bush administration in 2004 and has escalated dramatically since President Obama took office.” (WORLDFOCUS – January 12, 2010)

Add to that the responsibility of the Pakistani governments themselves in their general neglect of dams, roads, and bridges, the entire infrastructure, and the country would not have been so ill prepared for these killer floods.

This natural and partly manmade disaster was also rendered even more devastating for people in the villages since the politicians did everything in their power to lead the water away from the towns and from what was in their own personal interest to protect. And so farmlands were inundated to a far greater degree than would normally have happened without the interference of corrupt politicians.

What is the situation now? And what is the future?

The heart-rending effect of all this destruction, the situation the farmers now must face is the loss of this year’s harvests, the seed for next year and all of their income. They are now destitute, even those who were once relatively well off. They have lost their homes, their livestock, often their families. Their lands are ruined and they have no idea when they can get back to their villages to even begin the repair work from all this abysmal damage.

On August 24, my friend Husna Ali wrote – after mentioning the wonderful medical help Cuba extended in previous crises, such as in 2005, after the earth quake in Pakistani controlled Kashmir and NWFP (North-West Frontier Province) areas:

If any state, or individual has a will, they can help out whether there is recession or any other reason that stops them from sending cash. Europe and America have the larger means to show that they care, especially when it’s their industrialization and over-consumption that has caused such environmental degradation, and their policies, sanctions and now war on terror that have placed the country (Pakistan) in its present pathetic state.

I am emphasizing on grants from Europe and America only because they are in a much better financial position [than Cuba], also otherwise Pakistan will accept loans from the World Bank (900 million has been approved now) and we will go to IMF with a begging bowl and that will screw us more… It’s no secret that IMF funded projects, like creation of dams etc, have caused more havoc here – especially for the farmers who are deprived of their water resources – than they have helped Pakistan in the long run…

Mainly, Pakistan is, in the eyes of the world, part of the enemy tangle ‘over there in the Muslim countries’.

MOSHARRAF ZAIDI in Foreign Policy continues – in ‘Why Doesn’t the World Care About Pakistanis?’

“But the main reason that Pakistan isn’t receiving attention or aid proportionate to the devastation caused by these floods is because, well, it’s Pakistan. Given a catastrophe of such epic proportions in any normal country, the world would look first through a humanitarian lens. But Pakistan, of course, is not a normal country. When the victims are Haitian or Sri Lankan — hardly citizens of stable, well-government countries, themselves — Americans and Europeans are quick to open their hearts and wallets. But in this case, the humanity of Pakistan’s victims takes a backseat to the preconceived image that Westerners have of Pakistan as a country.”

The number of victims today is bound to grow as after-flood diseases are spreading. What has to be feared is that there might be an outbreak of cholera, diphtheria, typhus and other water-borne diseases. Food shortages and malnutrition are going to make further ravages. Flood waters are receding but the disaster is not nearly over. The southern part of the country is still under deep water.

Daily Times – A new voice for a new Pakistan – writes on September 01, 2010 in ‘Floodwaters finally heading to Arabian Sea’

“Southern Sindh is the worst-affected province, with 19 of its 23 districts ravaged as floodwaters have swollen the raging Indus River to 40 times its usual volume. One million people have been displaced over the past few days alone.”

Is there a future for Pakistan as a peaceful nation?

What intelligent Pakistanis do not want is another military regime or a religious republic, like Iran.

It is clear to everyone who is paying any attention at all that Zardari (the husband of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, assassinated in December 2007) is a deeply corrupt man. However, whoever a potential successor might be, there is a great chance that a military dictator or a fundamentalist religious leader might take up the leadership of this unstable and ethnically divided nation. Either possibility – religious or military leadership – would be far worse for the Pakistani people and probably also for the rest of the world than the kind of corruption that is now almost taken for granted in numerous countries.

Even in Iran, a large percent of the population is extremely unfavorable to the religious rule of the ayatollahs. And military rule is of course the very opposite of democracy, which is something Pakistani leaders and judges have made several attempts at establishing since the probable assassination of General Zia in 1988. It seems obvious to all thinking people that, in order to keep opportunist religious or military groups from acceding to power, the West has to do its very utmost to help save the secular government of Pakistan.

On August 22, my friend Husna Ali wrote:

Siv, this confusion that you and so many others feel is because the political parties are using this crisis to exploit support.. all kinds of conspiracy theories are floating… just ignore them… The propaganda against Zardari has been going around for some time. I don’t like the man myself, but I also can not support the liberals of this country who are hell-bent on getting rid of a democratic leader (crook as he may be) and invite another dictator in this country…

The mishandling of this latest human disaster is just another step on the Corporate Empire’s path to effect the ruin of Central Asia so as to be able to step into the shoes of the former governments and get a firm stand in the geopolitical contest, mainly against Russia and China, for domination over the fossil resources in that region. The Corporate Empire is fanatically involved in insuring its military presence in the AfPak region so as to keep Russia in the first place from gaining a foothold in these countries. Actually, they already seem to be behind in this strategic game since Russia has for some time now been discretely supplying Afghanistan with aid of a peaceful nature, help building schools and hospitals, among other things. Where the U.S military bombs and kills, Russia is extending a helping hand.[1] The future will tell which big power is going to win in this lethal see-saw game for domination of the region.

The hidden purpose of the destruction of Pakistan

This time freakish nature, very likely tied to global warming, got its hand into the game and finished off the destruction begun by the Pakistan government in collusion with Washington, with the alleged purpose of getting rid of the Taliban and other Mujahideen.

The Corporate Empire then successfully, through the bombing of the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan and the senseless killing of militants and civilians alike, continued putting the pieces of the puzzle in the right places for the New World Order, so as to hasten the destruction of what is, by one sweeping term, called the Third World. Putting Pakistan next to Rwanda or Mozambique doesn’t seem to surprise anyone. Just forget about the wonderful civilization of Pakistan. The world didn’t know about Pakistan anyway. The fact that it had been lured, by corrupt governments, into becoming the ally of the U.S. Empire was largely ignored. To Americans, Pakistan is not known as the ally, but as the Muslim country that we didn’t know anything about until the floods began. And Muslim equals enemy in the war on terror. Actually, for most people it did not get above their radar even then.

Links for donations to the victims of the floods in Pakistan:

Donate – UNICEF

Save the Children

World Food Program

Médecins sans frontiers (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders


Notes:

[1] ‘US Drone Strike Destroys House Full of Children in Pakistan’ – AntiWar.com

[2] The Sunday Times, U.K., presents a chilling article on the Haditha massacre – Iraq May 2006. Donald Rumsfeld: “Shit happens. Get over it. ” – We Ourselves

[3] The Hindu Kush is a 500-mile mountain range stretching between north-western Pakistan and eastern and central Afghanistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir (7,708 m or 25,289 ft) in the Chitral region of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.

[4] The Swat Valley, a Pakistani administrative district referred to as Asia’s Switzerland, has been home to a decades long struggle between the Pakistani government and militant groups agitating to impose Islamic law. Since its integration into the state of Pakistan in 1969, uprisings in the Swat Valley have consistently challenged the authority of the Pakistani government. – Suite 101.com

[5] “The United States government, led by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Activities Division, has made a series of attacks on targets in Pakistan since 2004 using drones (unmanned aerial vehicles). Under the George W. Bush administration, these controversial attacks were called a part of the US’ “War on Terrorism” and sought to defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants who were thought to have found a safe haven in Pakistan. Most of these attacks are on targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Northwest Pakistan.”  – Wikipedia

[6] “Almost 1.5 million people have registered for assistance since fighting erupted three weeks ago, the UNHCR [the UN Refugee Agency] said, bringing the total number of war displaced in North West Frontier province to more than 2 million” – The Guardian

[7] Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) – Predator and Reaper – monitored at the Ground Control Stations (GCS) at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, Sierra Vista, Arizona and Grand Forks, North Dakota

“Bigger, deadlier Reaper drone deployed in Iraq – With a wingspan of 66 feet, the Reaper is larger than the MQ-1 Predator, and can carry a much larger weapons payload.” (Washington Times) The manufacturer is General Atomics Inc. These drones have been used in U.S. aerial warfare ever since the 1991 Gulf War, including of course the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their ‘great precision’ is lauded and when they hit a wedding party or a house full of children – as has often happened – it is just hushed up in the corporate media.

[8] “There are two contrasting stories about the origin of Taliban. One story is that the rape and murder of boys and girls of a family who were travelling to Kandahar or some similar outrage by Mujahideen bandits aroused Mullah Omar, who is credited with the formation of Taliban, and his students to take a vow to rid Afghanistan of these criminals. The other story is that Pakistan-based “Afghanistan Transit Trade” and their allies in the Pakistan government, trained, armed, and financed Taliban for clearing the southern road across Afghanistan to Central Asia.” – ‘Difference Between Taliban and Mujahideen

[9] ‘Ban requests generous international help for flood-hit Pakistan’ – UN News Centre

[10] Ban Ki Moon Appeal – Pakistan Needs Help – 21/08/2010 – QatarLiving.com

[11] “We have 100,000 activists deployed in flood-affected areas across the country,” says Naimatullah Khan, head of the Al-Khidmat (The Service) organisation, the social welfare wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s largest and most influential right-wing political party. – BBC

[12] His government was sacked on 18 April 1993 on charges of corruption, nepotism, extrajudicial killings, taking political revenge and victimisation of opponents

[13] Airbase near Jacobabad under US control, Senate panel told  – DAWNCOM

[14] “Afghanistan, while not an observer, is currently part of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. The contact group was established in November 2005, and serves as a mechanism for SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) member states to jointly contribute to reconstruction and stability in Afghanistan.”

For more information on the Afghan catastrophy – see also: moscowtopnews

“After thousands of civilian deaths, nearly 1,000 military fatalities, eight years and $ 250 bn. the country is teetering on the edge of a chasm.”

See also:  “SCO summit to focus on Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan”

More info on Pakista at pakobserver

Read her Biography and more articles
by Siv O’Neall on Axis of Logic.

Siv O’Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. Her insightful essays are republished and read worldwide. She can be reached at siv@axisoflogic.com.


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British troops in Afghanistan involved in heroin trafficking

Daily Mail
Sun, 12 Sep 2010 16:01 CDT

An Afghan farmer collects raw opium from poppies. Some drug bosses in the war-ravaged country have implicated soldiers in the trade

Military police are investigating claims that British soldiers may have been involved in heroin trafficking in Afghanistan.

Officials said they were aware of ‘unsubstantiated’ claims that troops were buying the illegal drug from dealers and using military aircraft to ship it out the country.

An inquiry has been launched focusing on British and Canadian service personnel at airports in Camp Bastion and Kandahar.

Meanwhile security has been tightened, with additional sniffer dogs being used as part of the crackdown at the bases.

Afghanistan is the source of 90 per cent of the world’s opium.

Some drug bosses in the war-ravaged country have implicated soldiers in the trade.

Last year the Sunday Times spoke to one dealer who said members of the military were the second largest buyers of heroin after foreign drug lords.

The newspaper was told: ‘The soldiers whose term of duty is about to finish, they give an order to our boss.’

The dealer, named only as Aziz, added: ‘They are carrying these drugs in the military airlines and they can’t be reached because they are military. They can take it to the USA or England.’

A team of detectives from the Ministry of Defence’s special investigations branch is believed to be heading the investigation into the claims.

An MoD spokeswoman said: ‘We are aware of these allegations. Although they are unsubstantiated, we take any such reports very seriously and we have already tightened our existing procedures both in Afghanistan and in the UK, including through increasing the use of trained sniffer dogs.

‘We regret any inconvenience this causes to our service personnel. Any of our people found to be engaged in trafficking of illegal narcotics will feel the full weight of the law.’

Comment: The Afghan opium crop was almost non-existent before the US and British invasion. By 2003, it was at record levels under US and British covert intelligence (CIA/MI6) direction. This was one of the major reasons for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Afghan farmers don’t care what crop they grow, as long as they are given a good price for it. So the argument that US and British troops cannot destroy the crop for fear of provoking the farmers is nonsense. The drug trade has always been one of the major ways in which the CIA and MI6 finance their ‘black operations’, which includes mounting phony ‘terrorist’ attacks. It’s a self-perpetuating mechanism:

Fake a ‘Muslim terror attack’ – use it to justify invading a Muslim country and stealing its resources – use those resources to finance further ‘Muslim terrorism’ – invade another Muslim country…..etc. etc.

Interview with CIA Veteran Michael Scheuer ‘Only the Taliban Are Not Corrupt’

Marc Hujer, Spiegel

31corruptpuppetywdy.jpg
August 31, 2010

The CIA is alleged to have been paying an aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for information. Former CIA officer Michael Scheuer spoke to SPIEGEL about why fighting corruption in Afghanistan is all but impossible.

SPIEGEL: The CIA is alleged to have paid Mohammed Zia Salehi, an aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, for information. Has the CIA damaged the Americans’ credibility?

Michael Scheuer: That’s absolutely good recruitment. I think you recruit whoever gives you access to a target. It might be someone who is a terrorist or it might be someone who’s a corrupt official. I think any other intelligence agency would be delighted to have someone to give them information about what Karzai is thinking because he’s such a dishonest man.

SPIEGEL: The US now has to face accusations that it is financing the very corruption it is promising to fight.

Scheuer: Not really. President Obama knew about this. His intelligence advisors knew about this. If he’s smart I’m sure the president would want to have somebody close to Karzai to know what’s going on. The US government and other governments are lying when they say that they can clean up corruption and win the war.

SPIEGEL: Is Washington being energetic enough in trying to fight corruption?

Scheuer: We’re really not in a position to push these people. Who’s going to replace them? There isn’t anyone less corrupt. Probably the only incorrupt people in Afghanistan are the Taliban. If you want no corruption, give the government back to the Taliban.

SPIEGEL: Salehi, a high-ranking member of Afghanistan’s National Security Council, has allegedly been on the CIA payroll for years. Do you think he will be put on trial?

Scheuer: I would think that there’s not going to be a trial. Salehi knows so much about what goes on in that government and what’s been stolen and who’s doing the stealing, that if he got on a witness seat, it might as well be Karzai himself.

Interview conducted by Marc Hujer

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