Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 22, 2006

WB: Kabul Follies

Billmon quotes Lind:

"Should be in Berlin by September, old chap."

Kabul Follies

Posted by b on June 22, 2006 at 02:57 PM | Permalink

Comments

Wow, our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan start looking more like Vietnam with every passing day. This "big" operation in Afghanistan looks like nothing so much as those "search and destroy" missions the US airmobile infantry used to operate up in the Annamese Cordillera. Fly in and fly out and find out that nothing much had changed the next trip in. I suspect that we'll learn the same thing happens in Afghanistan. The Russians certainly did and we all know what happened to them there.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan | Jun 22, 2006 3:31:17 PM | 1

in these cases, losing is good though. right?

Posted by: b real | Jun 22, 2006 4:48:33 PM | 2

"Operation Mountain Thrust" (Operation mount and thrust. Oh, puhleaze)

Posted by: beq | Jun 22, 2006 6:53:52 PM | 3

(Operation mount and thrust. Oh, puhleaze)

beq, how could you think of such a thing? it is you whose mind is twisted. my goodness, get your head out of the gutter girl!

Posted by: annie | Jun 22, 2006 7:59:40 PM | 4

must be the company you keep

Posted by: annie | Jun 22, 2006 8:01:02 PM | 5

troublemaker.

Posted by: beq | Jun 22, 2006 8:24:01 PM | 6

the criminality & pure foolishness of the empire is breathtaking in its breadth

it is as if all the hoods of the 20th century have met their synthesis in this administration

their veiw, if indeed they possess one is challenged by any & i mean any form of attention

it is no wonder that conservatives like p c roberts & others see the current criminal as injurious not only to the interests of the elites in america in the short term but that by each day it is getting to a position from which there can be no return

i personally think that was arrived at within the first months of this illegal war but was apparent for all to see by december 2004 - we are going to be either witnesses or participants to an interminable catastrophe

it is not the enddays as the cretinous evangilical christians would like to believe but instead a sordid stripping down of all that was, or you thought was solid

the democrats are not capable of changing it, the liberal elites have & i would include every type of reformism has been revealed to be objectively bankrupt

in a way, as other people have pointed out it is part of the course of all imperialisms, that the histories of empires are being replayed again & again but what is truly astounding here is the transcedental level of incompetence coupled with the most crippled wills, policy makers, parliamentarians, jurists & journalists have ever accmulatively asserted in such a short period of time

this collapse, this congenital corruption would be comic if it did not deal in so much innocent blood & here the blood is more innocent than could have ever been imagined possible

these demagogugues who would speak of failed states are speaking from failed states, - it is simply that they are in denial of it

history has taught us how harsh she can be & somewhere deep in my heart i know this empire will be faced with their criminality in much the same way as german elites were

perhaps it is now that the morganthu plan should bge established but this time in the belly of the beast itself - reduce america to an agricultural economy which could no longer harm others

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 22, 2006 10:17:22 PM | 7

I liked this one Lind quotes:


The June 19 Washington Times also reported that


The ambassador from Afghanistan traveled to America’s heartland to promote his war-torn country as the “heart of Asia” and a good place to do business…

In his region, “all roads lead to Afghanistan,” he said…

Asia doesn’t have any heart, and Afghanistan doesn’t have any roads, not even one we can follow to get out.
......................................

I guess this set of horseblinders comes included with the imperial boy king gameset -- and must always be worn when playing the game. Otherwise, one might wonder off course (as opposed to staying the course) and stumble over an obvious truth or two, and do something that actually might not be against or hinder the stated objectives. And besides that, nobody in the administration would have a clue about how to show and impress each other in a language they would never think to speak, let alone having the foggiest notion on how to score each other and their magnificent work. So these stupid wars were started, most probably, because they could (start them), and are run in a way they only can be run, by bureauocrats angeling for the signs and symbols of what they can convince themselves can be sold to the people as looking like how success should look -- or worse yet, used to humuliate people into (cut and run) complicity.

At any rate, George Bush himself warned us that he hated "nation building", we just did'nt know how much he hated it -- that he would lock us into a permenant groundhog day, of hating it.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 23, 2006 12:08:06 AM | 8

4 G.I.'s Die in Afghanistan; Qaeda Deputy Attacks Foreign 'Infidel Forces'

Four American soldiers were killed and one was wounded in a battle with Taliban insurgents on Wednesday in the far northeastern region of Afghanistan, the American military said Thursday.

Posted by: b | Jun 23, 2006 1:15:01 AM | 9

One of the things tripped over this morning was that the erstwhile Mayor of Kabul appears to have stopped drinking the Kool-Aid even if others haven't.

Karzai criticises foreign tactics
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has urged the international community to reassess how it is fighting the Taleban and their allies.

He said he was not surprised that so many people were being killed in southern Afghanistan.

His comments came as the US military said four more of its soldiers had been killed in north-eastern Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri has called on Afghans to fight foreign forces in their country.

'Change in approach'

Speaking in Kabul, President Karzai said improving local government and strengthening the police and army was the way in which to tackle the problem of terrorism. . . "

rememberingiap is absolutely correct in his observation that "these demagogs who would speak of failed states are speaking from failed states, - it is simply that they are in denial of it" Equally Lind is prescient in his assertion "Even the Brits seem to have drunk the Kool-Aid this time" . . .

Because without re-raising the issue of the dysfunctional and corrupt BBC yet again, the article above as some other reports inform, is representative of what Karzai said, yet the same speech was heavily edited and reported on BBC World TV with a completely different slant.

That TV slant is most closely replicated in the newspaper of record of the english labour party, The Guardian. This approach blames everything on the nearest muslims, in this case Pakistan:

. . . "The past month's fighting, the worst since 2001 has put increasing pressure on Mr Karzai, who went on to attack coalition tactics. He said the coalition approach to hunting down militants did not focus on the roots of terrorism - an allusion to suspected support for the militants from Pakistan.

"I strongly believe ... that we must engage strategically in disarming terrorism by stopping their sources of supply of money, training, equipment and motivation," Mr Karzai said." . . .

So what we have here is an inability by the Brits to admit that the ostensible Head of State of a nation which the brits have committed many thousands of troops to, has criticised the failure of either amerika or england to fight his nation's battles with a skerrick of common sense.

The thrust of his speech was far more concerned with the refusal of USuk to wage a strategically coherent war than it was critical of Pakistan. After all, Mayor Karzai should, by now, be coming to grips with the difficulty in licking the USuk ass out completely without your citizens catching you at it.
Now admittedly both BBC TV and The Gruniad did say that Karzai never actually muttered the word "Pakistan", however they would have been in a bit of a pickle had they been caught putting that word in his mouth totally falsely.

Let's face it "Mushie already has more problems than you can shake a stick at so such an obviously untrue attempt to set Musharrif and Karzai at each other's throats could have undesirable consequences ie they may get closer to each other. Leaving the bullshit ambiguous may conceivably convince a couple of Pakistani imbeciles that 'Mushie' is not such a bad bloke.

Still one would have to think that Musharrif's days are numbered if USuk keeps blowing the shit outta Waziristan.

Now that would be an October surprise. Many already incredibly skittish amerikan voters would shit their pants if brown people that didn't kiss amerika's butt got their hands on a nuke. Not just brown people either Muslim brown people! some of which are out and out, no holds barred turban wearers! shock, horror, "Quick Waldo scream and press the button".

Posted by: | Jun 23, 2006 1:20:44 AM | 10

One of the things tripped over this morning was that the erstwhile Mayor of Kabul appears to have stopped drinking the Kool-Aid even if others haven't.

Karzai criticises foreign tactics
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has urged the international community to reassess how it is fighting the Taleban and their allies.

He said he was not surprised that so many people were being killed in southern Afghanistan.

His comments came as the US military said four more of its soldiers had been killed in north-eastern Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri has called on Afghans to fight foreign forces in their country.

'Change in approach'

Speaking in Kabul, President Karzai said improving local government and strengthening the police and army was the way in which to tackle the problem of terrorism. . . "

rememberingiap is absolutely correct in his observation that "these demagogs who would speak of failed states are speaking from failed states, - it is simply that they are in denial of it" Equally Lind is prescient in his assertion "Even the Brits seem to have drunk the Kool-Aid this time" . . .

Because without re-raising the issue of the dysfunctional and corrupt BBC yet again, the article above as some other reports inform, is representative of what Karzai said, yet the same speech was heavily edited and reported on BBC World TV with a completely different slant.

That TV slant is most closely replicated in the newspaper of record of the english labour party, The Guardian. This approach blames everything on the nearest muslims, in this case Pakistan:

. . . "The past month's fighting, the worst since 2001 has put increasing pressure on Mr Karzai, who went on to attack coalition tactics. He said the coalition approach to hunting down militants did not focus on the roots of terrorism - an allusion to suspected support for the militants from Pakistan.

"I strongly believe ... that we must engage strategically in disarming terrorism by stopping their sources of supply of money, training, equipment and motivation," Mr Karzai said." . . .

So what we have here is an inability by the Brits to admit that the ostensible Head of State of a nation which the brits have committed many thousands of troops to, has criticised the failure of either amerika or england to fight his nation's battles with a skerrick of common sense.

The thrust of his speech was far more concerned with the refusal of USuk to wage a strategically coherent war than it was critical of Pakistan. After all, Mayor Karzai should, by now, be coming to grips with the difficulty in licking the USuk ass out completely without your citizens catching you at it.
Now admittedly both BBC TV and The Gruniad did say that Karzai never actually muttered the word "Pakistan", however they would have been in a bit of a pickle had they been caught putting that word in his mouth totally falsely.

Let's face it "Mushie already has more problems than you can shake a stick at so such an obviously untrue attempt to set Musharrif and Karzai at each other's throats could have undesirable consequences ie they may get closer to each other. Leaving the bullshit ambiguous may conceivably convince a couple of Pakistani imbeciles that 'Mushie' is not such a bad bloke.

Still one would have to think that Musharrif's days are numbered if USuk keeps blowing the shit outta Waziristan.

Now that would be an October surprise. Many already incredibly skittish amerikan voters would shit their pants if brown people that didn't kiss amerika's butt got their hands on a nuke. Not just brown people either Muslim brown people! some of which are out and out, no holds barred turban wearers! shock, horror, "Quick Waldo scream and press the button".

Posted by: | Jun 23, 2006 1:22:19 AM | 11

sorry bout the double post,haven't done that fer a while

Posted by: | Jun 23, 2006 1:23:25 AM | 12


William Lind is interesting because he is looking at the world through libertarian eyes and sees a lot of what others see; the collapse of state power. But, he doesn't ascribe the reason for Imperial American being stuck in the Big Sandy to any other causes than incompetence on a grandiose scale.

But, more is going on. Something happened when the super state, the Soviet Union, collapsed. The downfall was caused was something far beyond the Afghanistan Debacle and Chernobyl: 1) Overpopulation and material demands that a command economy could not meet and 2) alternate methods of communication, cassette tapes, which muted State Propaganda.

The end of communism signaled the rise of multi-national capitalism and the end of history. But, the same forces that brought down the Soviet Empire are at play with the American Empire.

One day foreign investors will recognize that the USA is Northern Argentina and will stop funding the staggering debt. When that happens all hell breaks loose. All that is needed to unite American ethnic gangs is a common religion and goal. A Martyr rises who fuses Catholic, Mormon and Sangria faiths to form The Base to bring back Arcadia.

Posted by: Jim S | Jun 23, 2006 12:12:08 PM | 13

Knitting Together an Afghan Strategy
Conclusion: NATO has some strategy, the US has a different one and neither wants to put in the resources that could make any strategy work.

Last week, Lt. Gen. David Richards, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, continued to speak of the "ink-spot theory" as the strategy's "central" concept. He was referring to a longstanding metaphor of counterinsurgency theorists. The commanders pick an area, send in troops to clear it of insurgents, and keep it secure—at which point government representatives and foreign aid workers come in and build roads, schools, whatever's needed or wanted. The example of this success spreads to other areas, where the sequence is duplicated, until gradually the country prospers, the insurgents lose favor with the population, and the central government—which has been taking credit for these successes—gains legitimacy. ... Even the headiest multilateralists are beginning to wonder if the transfer of authority, from the United States to NATO, might be premature. So, a division of labor is materializing. When the transfer takes place this fall, about 7,000 Americans will join the roughly 11,000 troops now under NATO command. But another 13,000 Americans based here will remain under separate U.S. command.

In other words, troops under NATO command (including those 7,000 Americans) will follow NATO rules of engagement, which allow "pro-active self-defense," a deliberately ambiguous term that permits commanders on the ground to fire when fired upon—and, at their discretion, to go after insurgents if, say, they're spotted on the other side of a hill. But these rules explicitly do not permit the initiation of offensive operations. By contrast, the U.S. rules, now and in the future, will allow offensive operations anytime, anywhere, with a special eye cast toward bombing the Taliban as they cross or gather along the Pakistani border.
...
Let's say that this mélange coalition has a chance, that the ink-spot theory of counterinsurgency has validity, especially when reinforced by the judicious splatterings of 500-pound bombs. Two big uncertainties remain: Will we have enough "ink"—i.e., will the United States and NATO devote enough troops, money, and, if necessary, blood to the task? The ink-spot theory implies spreading success. Troops can't simply move from one area to the next. They have to stay in one area, to keep it secure—at least to some degree—while more troops join the effort in the next area.

By the fall, the United States and NATO will have, all told, 33,000 troops in Afghanistan—only half of whom are currently permitted to go fight in the south. This is a big country. Just the dangerous southern provinces—Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, and Uruzgan—are, together, nearly as big as Germany. We may not have enough troops to control them.

Posted by: b | Jun 23, 2006 12:12:21 PM | 14

Kniiting? These mother fuckers have taken up knitting alright......

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 23, 2006 12:30:02 PM | 15

The Salon articles are extremely interesting. Of course, they kicked off major flash backs. But, not one word on the religion, culture, stubbornness or pride that has managed to kick out every other invader out of Afghanistan.

Posted by: Jim S | Jun 23, 2006 12:44:39 PM | 16

religion, culture, stubborness....

If they knew anything about these things, they might do something right -- or would at least have the forsight to know they're destined to be hostage to their own tunnel vision, which locks them into guaranteed failure. The ink spot theory, might sound plausable, but is just an amplification of the same old police state, brute force mentality -- but looks better because its bigger. And while bigger is better is appealling to the imperial mindset, we shouldnt forget this imperial mindset is a Republican imperial minset -- and therefore too cheap for even the inkspot strategy.

And to make a long story short, the inkspot strategy, like the current (non)strategy is destine to failure because the elements of success are antithetical to the imperial mindset, especially when it's done on the cheap. Of all the possible things that could be done in Afganistan or Iraq, that might have a prayer of a chance of helping those peoples right their ship(s) of state, that might bring a sense of social justice, security, prosperity, and self determination -- are in fact, the last thing the U.S. will spend its efforts upon. And lacking any sense of the ethical and social dimensions of their (non)actions in this realm, pretty much restricts their actions to what we've all become so accustom to -- beating them into submission -- in which case, as General Giap noted, eventually they'll get tired and go home.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 23, 2006 2:32:55 PM | 17

All this has nothing to do with two wars being lost at the same time.

They are not wars, they are illegal invasions and occupations, the new colonialism, much like the old in fact. Calling them wars is glamorising the worst kind of strong-arm bullying. These ‘wars’ - in the sense of forays or sorties or cynical genocide are not something that can be lost, or for that matter, won.

USuk in Iraq, or in Afgh. US plus NATO are not fighting war ... There are no enemies there for them to fight. In Iraq, the US illegally invaded, set up a puppet Gvmt, changed all the laws, etc., and now encourages the Gvmt. to kill its own people - so, at the end of the day, the Gvmt and the invaders and the western community are killing and repressing ordinary people thru the arm of the Minister of Interior - of Iraq! That ain’t war. In Afgh. much the same applies - puppet Gvmt + humanitarians + business interests + drug trade Cia etc. + property developers + private contractors and mercenaries + In’tl orgs. + foreign interests in cahoots ... to kill off the Afghanis, destroy absolutely all crops there except poppy, enslave those who will try to survive, drain money from the ‘west’ thru various scams concerning ‘rebuilding’, ‘health care’, ‘women’s freedom’, etc. and generally play pious while committing ‘rape’ - and keep the arms manufacturers turning over.

If these are wars, what are we fighting for? Democracy and freedom? Give me a break. Who are we fighting against? Some poor locals who kinda find this objectionable and do the suicide bomber act of improvise some explosive device that they put in a donkey cart? Both in Afgh. and Iraq the US and the western powers have allied themselves with the most violent and repressive factions, paying them in future sharing in potentially lucrative deals, to kill their countrymen. That isn’t war.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

Posted by: Noisette | Jun 23, 2006 5:35:23 PM | 18

and now for the companion piece:

Middle-class neighborhoods disappearing, study finds

INDIANAPOLIS - Middle-class neighborhoods, long regarded as incubators for the American dream, are losing ground in cities across the country, shrinking at more than twice the rate of the middle class itself. In their place, poor and rich neighborhoods are on the rise, as cities and suburbs have become increasingly segregated by income, according to a Brookings Institution study released today.

http://tinyurl.com/f8eko>google

Posted by: Noisette | Jun 23, 2006 5:43:46 PM | 19

Operation mount and thrust.

Ding Ding Ding Ding...you win the New Chevy Mountaineer for correctly guessing the newest in military adventures. To wit:

Scientists have found a performance-enhancing drug that could be exploited by endurance athletes at high altitudes and soldiers in the mountains of Afghanistan: Viagra.

One group of research subjects — riding stationary bicycles and breathing through masks to simulate the low-oxygen conditions found at 12,700 feet — improved its times for six kilometers by an average of 39% after taking the erectile dysfunction drug, researchers at Stanford University and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System reported Thursday.

...

Originally conceived as a potential treatment for high blood pressure, Viagra, whose chemical name is sildenafil, causes blood vessels in the penis and lungs to relax.The Latest in Military Funded Research Reported Just Today

Posted by: jj | Jun 24, 2006 12:12:36 AM | 20

good catch jj. throwin a bone to pfizer . why not spend that defense budget w/the drug co's? they made a killing on the flu vaccine.

Posted by: annie | Jun 24, 2006 2:02:23 PM | 21

Will they send Ang Lee up to film the action on the mountain?

Posted by: pb | Jun 25, 2006 1:13:50 AM | 22

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