By Michael Collins
General Karl W. Eikenberry was right in November 2009 when he urged less support for an Afghanistan ruled by President Hamid Karzai. President Obama and Generals Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus all wanted a surge. The policy failed. The general won't say it but he told them so in a second opinion solicited by Obama. Look at the facts. (Image)
The Bush administration hand-picked Hamid Karzai to be the first ruler of Afghanistan. Following the axiom, nothing good comes out of the Bush administration; is it any surprise that Karzai oscillated between less than effective and a near disaster? Lately, he's gone nonlinear.
On February 25, Karzai ordered United States Special Forces out of three provinces claiming that Afghan troops tied to the U.S. command were torturing their fellow citizens. As U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrived in Kabul on March 11, Karzai accused the U.S. of "colluding with the Taliban." He added the odd notion that the Taliban sought a prolonged U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
Retired Army colonel David Maxwell of Georgetown University remarked: “I cannot see how we could work with such an apparently delusional leader much longer, but unfortunately I do not know if we have any other good options.” Bloomberg, Mar 11
It didn't have to be this way.
By Michael Collins
Somebody released information concerning one of President Barack Obama's methods for fighting terrorism. (Image)
"Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret nominations process to designate terrorists for kill or capture. Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will, New York Times, May 29
Republicans are furious. Sen. John McCain says the White House intentionally leaked the story to make Obama look good.
"Regardless of how politically useful these leaks have been to the administration, they have to stop." John McCain, CBS News, June 6
By Michael Collins
What a lovely photo of the two well-heeled leaders of the free world. Previously, it was the American cowboy president and the supposedly left leaning Prime Minister Tony Blair. That buddy act helped drag United States into the worst foreign policy disaster in its history. (Image full size)
This working partnership between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron portends less immediate damage than the Bush-Blair team. Nevertheless, there will be blood
Is there anything other than disaster awaiting the US and Great Britain in Afghanistan?
The response to the murder of sixteen Afghan civilians on March 12th has been disastrous for the United States with retaliatory attacks ongoing. Even before that, March 8 was a Deadly day for the Brits in Afghanistan with six soldiers killed in a bombing of an armored vehicle. General David Allen, in charge of the Afghanistan effort, lamented that this is the type of incident that could threaten the entire effort.
How will the U.S.-British enterprise recover from the latest in a series of insults to the Afghan people?
The people of the U.S. and Great Britain get the message. In a recent poll, 61% of citizens want U.S. troops home immediately. Only 19% oppose that decisive action. In Great Britain, 75% oppose the Afghan war effort.
The relation between imperialism and democracy has been debated and discussed over 2500 years, from fifth century Athens to Liberty Park in Manhattan. Contemporary critics of imperialism (and capitalism) claim to find a fundamental incompatibility, citing the growing police state measures accompanying colonial wars, from Clinton’s anti-terrorist laws, and Bush’s “Patriot Act” to Obama’s ordering the extrajudicial assassination of overseas US citizens.
In the past, however, many theorists of imperialism of varying political persuasion, ranging from Max Weber to Vladimir Lenin, argued that imperialism unified the country, reduced internal class polarization and created privileged workers who actively supported and voted for imperial parties. A historical, comparative survey of the conditions under which imperialism and democratic institutions converge or diverge can throw some light on the challenges and choices faced by the burgeoning democratic movements erupting across the globe.
The US government (White House and Congress) spends $10 billion dollars a month, or $120 billion a year, to fight an estimated “50 -75 ‘Al Qaeda types’ in Afghanistan”, according to the CIA and quoted in the Financial Times of London (6/25 -26/11, p. 5). During the past 30 months of the Obama presidency, Washington has spent $300 billion dollars in Afghanistan, which adds up to $4 billion dollars for each alleged ‘Al Queda type’. If we multiply this by the two dozen or so sites and countries where the White House claims ‘Al Qaeda’ terrorists have been spotted, we begin to understand why the US budget deficit has grown astronomically to over $1.6 trillion for the current fiscal year.
By Cyril Mychalejko
As tens of thousands of corpses continue to pile up as a result of the US-led "War on Drugs" in Latin America, private contractors are benefiting from lucrative federal counternarcotics contracts amounting to billions of dollars, without worry of oversight or accountability.
U.S. contractors in Latin America are paid by the Defense and State Departments to supply countries with services that include intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, training, and equipment.
"It's becoming increasingly clear that our efforts to rein in the narcotics trade in Latin America, especially as it relates to the government's use of contractors, have largely failed,” said U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, chair of the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight which released a report on counternarcotics contracts in Latin America this month. “Without adequate oversight and management we are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a problem without even knowing what we're getting in return.”
by Stephen Lendman
On April 4, New York Times writer Charlie Savage headlined, "In a Reversal, Military Trials for 9/11 Cases," saying:
After months of indecision, the Obama administration "will prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) and four other (suspects) accused of plotting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks before a military commission and not a civilian court, as it once planned."
In fact, candidate Obama pledged:
"As president, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions...."
On January 22, 2009, he signed an Executive Order (EO) to close Guantanamo in one year.
More promises made. More broken. Obama's record is near-perfect showing nothing he says can be believed.
A man, a plan -- a new Ivory Coast. Eric Walberg looks at the rationale behind the Western intervention
Few around the world watching the drama unfolding in Ivory Coast rout for the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, who to his credit held reasonably fair elections last year, but then promptly ignored the results, suddenly claiming that those who voted for his rival Alassane Ouattara were not really citizens of Ivory Coast at all. With even the cautious African Union against him, his demise looks inevitable.
This good guy/ bad guy scenario, with modest, universally approved international intervention under UN auspices, is a perfect example of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), the policy for governing the world promoted by George Soros, probably the most important single individual shaping the political and economic world order today. The greatest speculator of all times, he has become a legend as “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England”, philanthropist extraordinaire, loved and loathed for his massive funding of world financial, economic and political reforms that meets his approval,. He has been doing this for 30 years now, as author of Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism (2000), author of colour revolutions, and supporter of the UN and not-so-UN interventions such as that in Ivory Coast.
Bing West's "The Wrong War"
By BRIAN M. DOWNING
Bing West, a marine veteran and assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, has written extensively on American soldiers in various wars from the Vietnam War, in which he served, to ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His many books have chronicled the hard work and grim determination of US soldiers and have been typically supportive not only of the troops but also of the wars themselves. As its title more than suggests, this offering is very much a departure on the latter point. (Image Isafmedia)
West's long experience gives him the ability to relate to and learn from the GIs, making his insights more penetrating than those of embedded journalists. He has gone out into foreboding places such as the Korengal Valley in Kunar province in the east, which the US withdrew from last year, and Marja in Helmand to the south, which is one of the three principal areas in the counterinsurgency program.
I just read the presidents big speech tonight and it struck me. There were some key lines left out of the speech. You may have had the same response. For the sake of clarity and fairness, I've tried to reconstruct the missing lines. I'm sure that the omissions were just an accident. Or maybe that Robert Gibbs may be up to his old tricks again. My insertions are in italics, following the president's words from the official White House transcript. White House, August 31, 2010 Here goes.
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to talk to you about the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the ongoing security challenges we face, and the need to rebuild our nation here at home. But before I do that, we need a moment of truth. The Iraq war was based on a deliberate lie involving the White House distorting the National intelligence estimate on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The report got it wrong on WMD. There were none. But it concluded that the only way the nonexistent WMD would be used against the United States was in retaliation for a US attack on Iraq that threatened Saddam Hussein. By deleting this information, the Bush-Cheney White House justified a preemptive invasion without any basis, a crime under international law that our nation helped establish after World War II.
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