Friday, 29 January 2010

McChrystal Bombs Again

General Stanley McChrystal gave an interview to John Simpson of the BBC last week and it was broadcast on ‘Newsnight’ on 27th January. McChrystal seemed like a nice, polite man. But when he tried to demonstrate to Simpson that his troops were killing fewer innocent civilians than before, the interview went pear-shaped. 3 main reasons for this:

- He drew a line on a board showing a downward direction. This was not a graph or a metric, mind. Just a line on a board. ‘It’s going down’ he said simultaneously. Simpson could hardly keep a straight face but if this is the level on which McChrystal talks to a top journo, on what level does he talk to his subordinates – and on what level do they communicate generally?

- The point occurred to me that they shouldn’t be killing innocent civilians at all. Simpson was too polite to mention this.

- He compounded the gaffe by saying that in the light of the surge you would expect ‘more opportunities’ for killing civilians.

This was communication on a George Bush scale of surrealism. As with Bush’s howlers the ‘joke’ was on the victims.

McChrystal is supposed to be a ‘modern soldier’ whatever that means. Simpson tried to portray him in a good light. But he came over, as they all do, as a bonehead. Bill Hicks once said, during the first Gulf War, ‘I find myself in the unfortunate position of being in favour of the war but against the troops’. We at this site are in favour of neither in the context of Afghanistan (or Iraq).

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Nato Going For A Massacre a Day

The Kabul authorities have managed to secure a moratorium on air raids due to the carnage of civilians recently. But Nato/Isaf are making up for lost numbers by shooting civilians on a daily basis. Here's two massacres from the last 24 hours:

'The foreigners shot many people in the streets…….' Sound familiar? Link

Afghan villagers with bullet wounds were taken to a hospital in the volatile south of the country on Tuesday, and relatives said

Western troops fired on demonstrators protesting against an earlier raid and Koran desecration it is alleged. A NATO spokesman said troops were aware of demonstrations which had followed a raid in Garmsir, a town in southern Helmand province patrolled by U.S. Marines, but was not immediately able to comment on reports of firing at demonstrators. Ahmadullah, a doctor at the main hospital in Helmand's provincial capital Lashkar Gah, said 11 wounded men had been brought to the hospital from Garmsir, all of them with bullet wounds. A Reuters witness saw wounded men being brought to the hospital but was not able to count them.

Haji Jan Gul, who described himself as one of the demonstrators, said that his son had been killed in the melee. ''The foreign forces opened fire when protesters threw stones at them, he said. 10 people died and others were wounded," he said.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

CIA Shambles : Latest Securocrat Gibberish

On 6th January, Colonel John Agoglia, director of the counter-insurgency training centre at Camp Dubs outside Kabul, gave an insight into latest thinking on how to make the allied intelligence effort more fit for purpose or, in a word, smarter.

    "In Afghanistan we've been focused on counter-terrorism, not governance. That's stupid shit. We've been trying to implement a comprehensive integrated approach when we in the alliance don't know what that is. We're learning. The key is to to get the best match of capabilities to address three key issues: security, governance, development. You have to look at it in a holistic way. You have to change the mindset [concerning Afghanistan and the Afghan people]. It's about understanding, leading to respect, leading to trust. You need awareness, you need to take time to go out and learn. As for insurgents we either turn them or kill them"

You would think from this the spooks and neocolonialist boneheads had just arrived in Afghanistan instead of fucking it up for the last 9 years.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Recent US Atrocities - The Role of PRT's

As in Afghanistan, the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq were mostly a gimmick to make Americans feel good about the occupations. Their supposed successes are cloaked in double-speak and meaningless statistics. Statistical progress is not hard in nations whose infrastructures were destroyed by invasion and occupation, and where entire neighborhoods have been leveled in the name of security. Brilliant article by Douglas Valentine here.

Douglas Valentine is author of The Phoenix Program as well as The Strength of the Wolf.