It was such a pleasant weekend. Fall is in the air. Football is on TV, and the Angels sent the Boston Red Sox golfing. It even felt wholesome and normal to listen to the soothing sounds of Republicans and Democrats making fun of each other and playing nerf meme dodge ball. I suppose that we owe the Nobel Committee a thank you note. But all good things must come to an end. Or…. Now that we’ve got that peace prize thing out of the way, let’s get back to the business of war.

Mullah Omar is back with a vengeance, says a story on the front page of The NY Times that’s been echoed in red atop the Huffington Post. The latter patriotically reminds you to let the authorities know if you see a tall, male Afghan with black hair and a shrapnel wound to his right eye.

“This is an amazing story,” said Bruce Riedel, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who coordinated the Obama administration’s initial review of Afghanistan policy in the spring. “He’s a semiliterate individual who has met with no more than a handful of non-Muslims in his entire life. And he’s staged one of the most remarkable military comebacks in modern history.”

Whether or not Omar is the real brains behind the Taliban resurgence that has D.C. policy makers sweating remains to be determined, but it’s a gripping story that produces a nicely defined villain. It fits well with Secretary Clinton’s recent pronouncements concerning the attack-hostage situation-siege in Pakistan, reminding us “that extremists … are increasingly threatening the authority of the [Pakistani] state….” She also pointed out there is only “strong and clear” resolve in the fight against the Taliban; a fight that the US will work with the new Afghan government to win.

That would be the Afghan government that recently won an election we haven’t seen in many headlines. Thanks to Peter Galbraith, the UN was forced to announce that the election was marred by “widespread fraud“. And she forgot to mention the rumors of the Obama administration entertaining the possibility of allowing the Taliban a stake in governing Afghanistan. That would be unnamed official speak for “pretty much right back where we started from…minus a few hundred billion and stacks of dead bodies.”

There’s a lot to be considered when the mandarins spend this week beneath the Nobel sheen, deciding what to do next. General McChrystal will be arguing for at least 40,000 more boots on the ground. He needs them because “the overall situation is deteriorating” and “the insurgents currently have the initiative.” The doves (stop snickering), like my own Sen. Carl Levin, say that there are other ways to show our resolve.

More hawkish politicians point out that just training Afghans won’t cut it. We need to destroy the Taliban if we can ever hope to defeat Al Qaeda, and if we fail in Afghanistan then Pakistan will surely fall to the sort of extremists that keep Sec. Clinton awake at night. And imagine if the Taliban give Al Qaeda sanctuary again; that would be a grave threat to our national security.

We could consider Mullah Omar’s statement in September: “We assure all countries that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as a responsible force, will not extend its hand to cause jeopardy to others.” Mr. Riedel, the CIA officer quoted above, assures us that any such statement from Omar is just “clever propaganda.” Being one of the designers of the current Afghan strategy and a Langley fellow, he’d probably know.

And the Grey Lady would never lie to us *cough* Iraq *cough* Georgian War *cough*…excuse me, i seem to be having a coughing fit that might go on for some time.

Ahem. If you feel like you might be getting the run around South Asia, you’ll want to read Eric Margolis in The Toronto Sun:

Truth is war’s first casualty. The Afghan war’s biggest untruth is, “we’ve got to fight terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them at home.”

Many North Americans still buy this lie because they believe the 9/11 attacks came directly from the Afghanistan-based al-Qaida and Taliban movements.

False. The 9/11 attacks were planned in Germany and Spain, and conducted mainly by U.S.-based Saudis to punish America for supporting Israel.

It’s well worth reading the whole article, because you are getting the run around. Margolis may not have it 100% correct, but he has less to gain by speaking the truth than men like Riedel and Levin have to lose from it.

We’re sinking in a pointless quagmire, begun on lies that our peace prize winner chooses to perpetuate. Do you really think that Obama will put a stop to it? Can you define victory in South Asia? The only question that remains is whether we’ll make it longer than the Soviets, since it’s pretty clear that the end will be the same.

Thanks to Ian Welsh for pointing out the Margolis piece.

3 replies »

  1. Maulavi Mustafa Barakzia was one of the only two Afghans on the Electoral Complaints Commission. He alleged Monday that the three foreigners on the panel — one American, one Canadian and one Dutch — were “making all decisions on their own” without consultation.


    Ah, democracy. They’re just lucky we didn’t send over our electronic voting machines.

  2. There is ample evidence that the 9/11 attacks were allowed to happen deliberately — treasonously. I don’t accept Eric Margolis’ simple explanation.

    First, there’s the 28 pages of the Congressional Joint Inquiry that were redacted. This is also treasonous, as it protects the Saudi Arabian government (and perhaps others), thus rendering “aid and comfort” to the “enemy.” The Saudi government was caught providing various types of support to the 9/11 hijackers. That makes the Saudis “the enemy” by their actions. Protecting “the enemy” is treason. Is anyone ever going to ask Obama about this to his face, please?

    We also had credible reports that the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) ordered the money transfers to Mohammad Atta. The role of Pakistani intelligence has been crucial for the formation of the Taliban, the Mujahadeen, and Al Qaeda. Covering up this dirtly little matter of who creates the “enemies” in Afghanistan is also arguably treason.

    That the American public tolerates this is the real problem. They should have ripped George W. Bush from the White House and tried him for treason when he sat there at 9:05 on 9/11, AFTER Andrew Card told him “America is Under Attack.”

    By refusing to fulfill his duties as Commander in Chief of the US armed forces, Bush arguably also committed treason with his dereliction of duty. His one needed function was to issue the “shoot down order,” but instead he sat there STALLING FOR TIME.

    More than half an hour later, the US military headquarters at the Pentagon was somehow attacked with no defensive action taken whatsoever. This story smelled real bad, from the get go.

    Still, they allowed Bush et al to sabotage multiple “investigations,” and people actually stoop to attacking the citizens calling for a real investigation and PROSECUTIONS. A little something called “justice.”

    You get the government you deserve.

    Who the hell attacked us on 9/11?

  3. In the face of many warnings before the September 11 attack zero precautions were taken and no plan dealing with the considerable available intelligence was prepared. Nothing. Its not as if we were attacked in spite of the Bush administration’s best efforts to keep us safe. Bush no doubt anticipated a repeat of the previous comparatively ineffective WTC attack of the ’90’s and calculated that such an attack could be used to justify the execution of their preexisting war plan for Iraq, much as earlier the Battle of the Little Bighorn created a justification for launching our genocidal war policy for Native Americans or in the way that the bombing of the USS Maine was created to launch the Spanish American war or the bogus events in the Gulf of Tonkin affair helped sell LBJ’s monstrous Vietnam escalation. Get it? Stay tuned.