Sunday, 30 September 2012

Four Days In Guantanamo

Thanks To Reality Zone for this.

Just What Is Normal In Afghanistan?

So NATO/ISAF say that joint operations are returning to 'normal'. Now NATO/ISAF are always unfortunate in the coincidence of their statements with the facts, but this is beyond self-parody. Less than 24 hours after their statement, this happens. A mortar kills a US soldier and a contractor. The US military open up on their 'partners', normal style, and kill 3 ANA soldiers. Another normal day in the 'New Afghanistan' Obama will be painting in his debates with Ol' Mitt in the coming weeks. US Army recruitment posters should read 'Come on in - the normality is fine.'

Losing Afghanistan

Losing Afghanistan: Clerics now openly support the Taliban | GlobalPost:

Taliban Greetings From Sangin

Some Taliban propaganda from Sangin Province. Fascinating but not very good. Difficult to know how effective this is with their targeted audience. 

US Military Death Toll in Afghanistan Reaches 2,000

BBC News - US military death toll in Afghanistan reaches 2,000
"It reverberates everywhere across the United States. You know, we're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we're not willing to be murdered for it.''
What a bizarre statement for a commanding officer to have to make.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

US Army general arrested on sex charges

US Army general arrested on sex charges:

Drone Strikes In Pakistan 2004-2012

Australian Commander Questions Afghan Mission

"What I do say, though, is the human cost has been terrible. When one compares the loss of a human life, the life of so many, 38 Australians, and compare that against what we have achieved, it is a very very high price to pay.''  Interesting that his calculations do not include the much greater loss of Afghan lives but his intervention is important. Australian politicians are usually even more sycophantic to their Washington mentors than the UK equivalent. LINK

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Explosion heard in Kabul city, 6 people reported injured

Explosion heard in Kabul city, 6 people reported injured - Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan Online Newspaper:

Drone Attacks in Pakistan Kill 176 Children

Drone attacks in Pakistan are counterproductive, says report | World news | The Guardian: "The "best available information", they say, is that between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed in Pakistan between June 2004 and mid-September this year – of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians, including 176 children. The figures have been assembled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which estimated that a further 1,300 individuals were injured in drone strikes over that period." MORE

Monday, 24 September 2012

Camp Bastion Presentation

What's it like inside Camp Bastion? Explore the graphical representation HERE

Criminal Charges For US Marines In Urination Case

(Reuters) - Two U.S. Marines, both of them staff sergeants, are facing criminal charges over their roles in a video showing American troops urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, the Marine Corps said on Monday.
Staff Sergeants Joseph W. Chamblin and Edward W. Deptola, who were referred to trial by court martial, also face charges for failing to properly prevent or report misconduct of junior Marines, which included indiscriminate firing of weapons.

South African Press Doctored Photo Of Kabul Attack

Why show bodies of the Marikana miners then aggressively edit out these bodies? Might upset the White House to publish negative images. People might think the war on terror was going slightly unfavourably.

Bastion Attack - Taliban Video

25% Of Districts To Fall To Taliban By 2015

Moreover, the insurgency has not been radically weakened by the recent military operations; it remains a vital threat to the Kabul government, particularly because there is no sign of a reduction in Pakistani support for the Taliban. In fact, the withdrawal will automatically translate into a Taliban advance, particularly in eastern and southern areas, such as Helmand, where the insurgents are contained only by the constant efforts of coalition forces. Meanwhile, the Afghan regime is experiencing a deep and multipronged crisis. Its popular legitimacy is weak, an exit of the elite who have been enriched by the war looms, an economic crisis stretches across the country, and a clear mechanism for President Karzai’s succession remains elusive as it is becoming impossible to organize elections in a large number of rural areas. The current regime also cannot be expected to improve governance, which enhances Afghans’ attraction to the insurgency’s shadow government at a local level, particularly with respect to the resolution of private disputes. LINK

Saturday, 22 September 2012

20% Of All Suicides In US Are Ex-Service Members

That's one every 80 minutes.Didn't believe it myself at first but the source has no reason to lie.

“The current statistics are disturbing and point to an even greater need to wage an all out battle to end suicide,” Campos stated. “What is required is a sustained national commitment at all levels of government to help veterans cope with the psychological and traumatic conditions that threaten their well-being and that of their families.
“Eighteen veterans commit suicide every day,” Campos continued. “That is one every 80 minutes. Twenty percent of all suicides in the U.S. are former service members.”

Judge on Drone Secrecy: "Emperor Has No Clothes"

Judge on Drone Secrecy: "Emperor Has No Clothes" | Mother Jones:


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Memoir of A Droner

Drone warfare's deadly civilian toll: a very personal view | James Jeffrey | Comment is free | "Drones are becoming the preferred instruments of vengeance, and their core purpose is analogous to the changing relationship between civil society and warfare, in which the latter is conducted remotely and at a safe distance so that implementing death and murder becomes increasingly palatable.
Hyperbole? But I was there. I sat in my camouflaged combats and I took the rules of engagement and ethical warfare classes. And frankly, I don't buy much, if any, of it now – especially concerning drones. Their effectiveness is without question, but there's terrible fallout from their rampant use."

Transition? Forgedaboudit!

Unless anyone thinks there will be no more green on blue attacks or attempts, the strategy of handing over to people who are trying to kill you as you mentor them seems a bit futile. This is a level of failure, and after 11 years at that, that is completely unspinnable. Even in the twilight world, the bizarro world, of NATO reality. Obama will mention Afghanistan even more seldom than usual during his re-election formality. Afterwards................???? They won't make it to 2014. That much is certain.

Legal Action over US drone Strikes

Drone Op Cap Badge
More on legal action over US drone strikes « Drone Wars UK: "Tomorrow the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will take the CIA to court for refusing to comply with a Freedom of Information request for copies of documents related to the CIA’s drone strike programme.
The CIA has refused to comply with the FoIA request on the grounds that it is forbidden to talk about the secretive programme. The ACLU say that the CIA cannot on the one hand refuse documents on the grounds of secrecy while at the very same time regularly give briefings about its drone strikes. Jameel Jaffer, the deputy legal director of the ACLU told the Guardian.

Only Civilians killed in Laghman Airstrike

Civilians killed in Laghman airstrike: Investigator | Pajhwok Afghan News:

South African Contractors Killed In Kabul

Hammond Says Strategy Won't Change A Day After It Has

The US/NATO top brass think so much of their UK 'partners' that they didn't even bother to tell the UK Ministry of Defence that the partnering/mentoring approach (the strategy in other words) had been jettisoned.  

Afghanistan 'Mission Accomplished' Spin Has Started

Afghanistan surge achieved its mission, Dempsey says | The Nation:

When Does A Strategy Degenerate Into A Tactic?

Hammond, clearly in the dark, said there was no change in strategy - it was just a change of tactics. 
What added to the sense of uncertainty and drift was the way the news of the order filtered out, with allies in the coalition seemingly kept in the dark by the US and Nato high command. The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, clearly had not been told about it when he appeared before the Commons on Monday after the latest killings of two British soldiers by an Afghan in uniform.Neither, perhaps more importantly, had the Afghans. Afzal Amaan, the head of operations at the defence department in Kabul, said yesterday: "We haven't heard officially from the foreign forces about this. It will, of course, have a negative impact on our operations. Right now, foreign forces help us in air support, carrying our personnel, wounded and dead out of the battlefields, in logistics and training."  MORE

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Hammond Hammered Over Incompetence

Philip Hammond hammered over Afghanistan strategy | Politics | The Guardian:

Second Suicide Attack in Kabul In 24 Hours

14 killed in Afghanistan suicide attacks targeting foreigners; Militant group claims one blast as retaliation for anti-Muslim film - CBS News:

Nato Expresses 'Regret' Pt. 907

Nato express regret after airstrike kills civilians - Asia - World - The Independent:

Drone Operators Badge Insignia Pt.4

Is there anyone left who doesn't know why people in the Muslim countries hate America and the West? Below is another reason (see earlier posts).

No Abatement In Middle East Protests

Grim Projections

The year 2014, when most Americans and British troops will pull out, is getting closer. 
Afghanistan will hold a new presidential election that summer.President Karzai will have to stand down, yet no-one has any idea yet who might take over from him. So what is likely to happen?
The gloomiest scenario runs as follows: President Karzai will smooth the way for his brother, who has been accused of gross corruption, to stand for the presidency. Many people here feel this would discredit the entire election process. In addition to previous discredit heaped upon previous elections. Foreign countries would be reluctant to give Afghanistan the aid they have promised. In the shorter term, the move away from joint patrols between ISAF and the ANA is a disaster for the 'shoulder to shoulder with our Afghan allies' narrative of Obama and the NATO leaders. The plan(s) over the years in Afghanistan have seemed to unravel at different stages and in different ways. I have always thought that NATO schemes were like London buses and there was always another one just around the corner. It was even 'education programmes' at one stage. Not any more. This is now like watching the Hindenburg going down in flames. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Afghan president raps U.S. over Bagram

Afghan president raps U.S. over Bagram prison transfer - Yahoo! News UK:

Obama - Un Second Jimmy Carter?

Inside Camp Bastion

I've been inside Camp Bastion - and it seemed like the safest place on earth - Telegraph:

Nato Kills Women And Girls Gathering Wood

This familiar type of incident won't get the column inches of the imaginary threat to Prince Harry at Camp Bastion or green on blue attacks. But note the usual NATO routine. Denial followed by lies followed by spin followed by apologies followed by a non-existent 'investigation'.
Villagers from Laghman province's Alingar district brought the bodies to the governor's office in the provincial capital, said Sarhadi Zewak, a spokesman for the provincial government.
"They were shouting 'Death to America!' They were condemning the attack," Zewak said.
Seven injured females were brought to area hospitals for treatment, some of them as young as 10 years old, said provincial health director Latif Qayumi.
NATO forces at first said that about 45 insurgents and no civilians were killed in the attack but spokesman Jamie Graybeal stressed later that they took the charge of civilian deaths seriously and were investigating the allegations. He said, however, that initial reports showed only insurgents were killed in the airstrike. LINK

Why The Camp Bastion Attack? - Not Harry - This Kind Of Thing

BBC News - Afghanistan: Nato air strike 'kills eight women in Laghman':

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Four Years of Statements On Drone Strikes

Stacking Up the Adminstration's Drone Claims:
Droner Badge Insignia No. 3

Liz Cheney On Obama's Foreign Policy

Apologizing for America, appeasing our enemies, abandoning our allies and slashing our military are the hallmarks of Mr. Obama's foreign policy. The Obama economy, with its high unemployment, massive debt and out-of-control spending, has rightly demanded our attention. As we head to the polls in November, we cannot ignore what is an even more dismal national-security record. An America already weakened by four years of an Obama presidency will be unrecognizable after eight. Link

Ms. Cheney is chairman of Keep America Safe, a nonprofit organization focused on national security issues and education, and was a principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

US Withdrawal Complicated By $60B of Equipment

Afghanistan may turn out to be one of the great misbegotten “stimulus packages” of the modern era, a construction boom in the middle of nowhere with materials largely shipped in at enormous expense to no lasting purpose whatsoever. With the U.S. military officially drawing down its troops there, the Pentagon is now evidently reversing the process and embarking on a major deconstruction program. It’stearing up tarmacs, shutting down outposts, and packing up some of its smaller facilities. Next year, the number of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition bases in the southwest of the country alone is scheduled to plummet from 214 to 70, according to the New York Times. READ  MORE

Drone Operators Badge Insignia Pt.2

Bringing Freedom, Democracy and carnage to a country near you. 

Droneheads Are Libya-Bound

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Poem By Adnan Latif (Died Guantanamo 8.9.2012)

“Hunger Strike Poem”

They are artists of torture,
They are artists of pain and fatigue,
They are artists of insults
and humiliation.
Where is the world to save us
from torture?
Where is the world to save us
from the fire and sadness?
Where is the world to save
the hunger strikers?

Caldwell Denies "Political Influence" In Afghan Hospital Scandal

Caldwell Denies "Political Influence" In Afghan Hospital Scandal: