Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 14, 2011

The Liberation Of Afghan Villages

This is the village Tarok Kolachie in Arghandab River Valley before it was liberated by the U.S. military.

See the same village, now liberated, below the fold.

Joshua Foust, who finally stopped to work for the military, explains the story: The Unforgivable Horror of Village Razing.

You can also see the behavior of the U.S. military in this Taliban propaganda video (sorry for the format - I found no other link - just let it play through the lengthy intro.)

This is not just Taliban propaganda. As Thomas Ruttig explains Razing the village to save it is again standard operation procedure of the U.S. military: Figure of the Day: US$ 100 m. (in destroyed orchards).

The probably biggest damage the Soviets left in Afghanistan was the uprooting of the vineyards and orchards. It takes decades to grow them. In the movie you can see U.S. soldiers with chainsaws doing taking down 50 year old trees. The Afghan government commision confirmed the damage.

What is this supposed to be for?

Posted by b on January 14, 2011 at 11:09 UTC | Permalink


In the movie you can see U.S. soldiers with chainsaws doing just that.

What for?

What for? I thought it was obvious, for enemy creation. Literally. To encourage resentment and perpetual war, and generate revenue for defense contractors.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 14 2011 11:25 utc | 1

'The artillery unit, acting as a provisional infantry battalion, went on the offensive to clear a village, Tarok Kalache, where the Taliban had conducted an intimidation campaign to chase the villagers out, then create a staging base to attack 1-320th’s outposts. The village of Tarok Kalache was laden with IEDs and homemade explosives (HME) comprised of 50-gal drums of deadly munitions.'

given the profit to be made by this destruction, from weapons bought by the US taxpayers financing it and for the enrichment of new Afghan owners of this land, how can we be sure that any of the above is believable?

Posted by: lambent1 | Jan 14 2011 14:26 utc | 2

It's a lie that we are in Afghanistan to win a war against the Taliban, who are threatening to bring harm to us here in the US. The truth is that we are there to make sure that defense and security stocks remain as high-fliers on Wall Street and prevent plans for an oil pipeline, that'll run through Afghanistan, from going up in smoke. So, I don't see how Obama can sleep at night knowing full well that his war in Afghanistan is one big lie.

But I also don't see how Obama can sleep at night after he continues to pack his inner circle with key figures from the banking cartel, banksters like Bill Daley and Gene Sperling, especially after knowing that virtually all independent financial experts have said, as Barry Ritholtz points out, that the economy cannot recover until the cartel's member banks are broken up:

Only a sociopath with a heart of stone could lie about a war as well as lie for the banksters. And it sounds like Glen Ford, who co-founded the Black Agenda Report, would agree with me that Obama fits the profile of a stone-hearted sociopath:

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 14 2011 16:29 utc | 3

It seemed evident that both the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan had as one of their first long term aims to destroy agriculture. Afgh. used to be self sufficient, and even exported food. In Iraq it was more or less plainly stated that Iraqis would have to switch to US and Australian wheat. Iirc, the only non-US person in the provisional authority was an Aussie, from the Wheat Board. (My memory is hazy on this.)

Cynthia, lambet, Scam, give good reasons, I’m sure all that is true.

Nevertheless, the stink of genocide, of ethnic killing, of crimes against humanity, is overpowering. Wanton, pointless destruction, violence. The destruction of infrastructure (water, electricity in Iraq for ex.), of houses, crops, etc., the displacement of ppl, the closing off of some territories, the checkpoints, the smashing of medical care, all appear to have only one aim, kill the people slowly without actually bombing them to smithereens all the time, or outright poisoning their water. It is what the Israelis do the Palestinians, but writ large, and under the ‘banner’ of war by the SuperPower whom nobody dares challenge.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 14 2011 17:56 utc | 4

One thing I left out above, it keeps (the proxy war), meaning, us at home in check. As I have said before, as above, so below, as in far off lands so at home, these wars are ON BOTH them and us, away and right here at home. In other words, war on both the American people (early stages soft war)* and (last phase hard war) abroad.

*examples: propaganda, psyops, mind control, media manipulation, agent provocateurs, blackmail, spying...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 14 2011 18:28 utc | 5

And it keeps US unemployment down... but Yes it is war on US citizens as well.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 14 2011 18:44 utc | 6

leveling the playing field

Posted by: b real | Jan 14 2011 18:53 utc | 7

b real,

Despite what Tom Friedman says, the global economy isn’t playing on a flat and level playing field until top-executive jobs across America are also shipped to low-wage countries. I would find this to be particularly appealing not only because it would enable top executives to get a taste of their own medicine, as they join their underlings in the great global race to the bottom, but it would also enable our corporations to save hundreds of millions of dollars by not having to pay their top executives more than what the global market demands. But this won’t happen as long as top executives are in cahoots with their board of directors to keep their wages and benefits uncompetitively high, and as long as shareholders are powerless to do anything about it.

With that said, I still think that it’s only a matter of time before the world’s largest companies that produce things other than pork bellies and bottled water are headquartered in Asia and all of their CEOs are Asian born and live there, forcing American CEOs to join the ranks of the unemployed.

This is patently obvious to anyone whose head isn’t in the sand.

Power always follows production, which is the heart of any economy. So when American corporations decided to offshore production to Asia so they could teach their greedy American workers a lesson and vastly overpay their CEOs while vastly underpaying their Asian workers, they dug their own grave and engraved their own tombstone.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 14 2011 20:22 utc | 8

Perfect example of that "grammar" thing "psycho killers" get so riled about....

Posted by: 99 | Jan 14 2011 23:10 utc | 9

"What is this supposed to be for?"

I remember similar tragedies being done in Iraq. Just my opinion, but such destruction makes the population dependent. These dependencies will be satisfied in a large part by the world corporate elites. It is pure evil, as just one example, replacing local agriculture with GMO seeds and plants. I suppose other production (besides agriculture) is in similar jeopardy of destruction or replacing control.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jan 15 2011 0:22 utc | 10

@Rick #10:

Dependent, or just unwilling to re-settle the area. No population = no 'Taliban.' Newly minted 'no-man's-lands' can then be gathered up by warlords, drug lords, agribusiness, miners, pipeline builders, etc etc.'s the 'Merikun Way!

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jan 15 2011 0:52 utc | 11

"Dependent, or just unwilling to re-settle the area. No population = no 'Taliban."

i dont know how many of you are hillbillies... probably not many, but i've got a tenuous claim to being one.

anyhow, if you're not a hillbilly, it's not likely you're gonna have an appreciation for people's attachment to their land... land that's fed and sheltered and provided community for them for generations... you'll have to kill those people if you're planning on preventing them from going home.

from the "before" picture, it looks like those people had a pretty good setup going, and they're not gonna forget this american remodeling project, ever.

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 15 2011 17:20 utc | 12

i've got a handful of pictures left in my head from vietnam... one of them being, a night medevac out of da nang... full moon, puffy clouds, high jagged mountains off to the left...

and below us, the moon reflecting off the paddies, little villages, and light from kerosene lanterns flickering through the thatching... a sense of peace and rightness floating up that was so powerful all i could think was, "what are we doing here?"

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 15 2011 17:41 utc | 13

Methinks the real agenda is this:

Energy geopolitics

TAPI and Israel/Mossad

More on TAPI

TAPI again

Posted by: Bea | Jan 15 2011 18:18 utc | 14


do you have any evidence of maiman/merhav presence in turkmenistan since niyazov croaked?

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 15 2011 18:40 utc | 15

just seems to me that once the locals started catching on to the real object of the aghanistan war, maiman/merhav/mossad has had kinda tough sledding in central asia.

maiman's transcaspian pipeline effort seems to have foundered, despite the fact that maiman hired a high-powered PR firm to lobby for its construction.

enron did preliminary surveys for both maiman's transcaspian and TAPI pipelines, and we should remember that enron's dabhol electric generating plant (fueled by turkmenistan gas) should have been enron's salvation... but look what happened to enron and kennyboy lay... seduced, doublecrossed and abandoned...

i dont see any evidence at all for assuming TAPI was ever anything more than a ploy to (a) recruit india into the PNAC project and (b) stir up squabbles over pipeline transit revenue in afganistan and pakistan... trouble that can be used cause insecurity that will prevent the construction of pipelines...

because, after all, us white people have more right to that gas and oil than a bunch of wogs, especially if all that stuff is routed through israel (so israel gets its transit fees) before it doubles back towards asia.

enron TAPI survey

enron transcaspian survey

enron dabhol turkmenistan gas

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 15 2011 19:04 utc | 16

a couple maps

operation enduring turmoil

the PNAC plan

the "PNAC plan" map is out of date, seeing as how ukraine has gone back, somewhat, towards russia, and israeli american relations with turkey have deteriorated, sudan seems to be splitting up with who knows what consequences for china's oil patch there, georgia had its ass handed to it... etc etc

i guess we'll just have to wait and see if this new TAPI pipeline agreement pans out... but there've been so many agreements earlier... which is why i'm so skeptical.

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 15 2011 20:17 utc | 17

All this endless wittering about PNAC is just amerikan exceptionalism in another form. That and spamming schizo ramblings about zionism is extremely boring. Preaching to the choir, nothing new in any of it, totally pointless.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jan 15 2011 21:00 utc | 18

To go back to the original post on Tom Ricks' blog, Paula Broadwell says that the Taliban forced the inhabitants to leave, the US troops were afraid, because they'd had recent difficulties, and called in air-strikes. Then a great effort was made to rebuild, but of course property rights and identities had to be carefully checked.

All of this seems to me to be the US military version. Apart from the detail that the US troops were afraid. Did the Taliban really force the population to depart? Even if so, did everyone leave? There are a lot of people who won't leave their homes under any pressure. Yet we're told that no-one was killed. And then we come to the rebuilding. Great efforts made by the US, very strict of course in checking the rights. Naturally, most of those village people don't have the proper documents, or, if they exist, they were buried under the debris. Fat chance to recover one's rights.

The lesson is: The only solution the US possesses is to bomb everyone to hell, without distinction. The Brits put in the infantry, suffered, and were criticised by the Yanks. Do the Yanks have any solution other than bombing? Bombing your allies is not normally considered a successful strategy.

Posted by: alexno | Jan 15 2011 21:17 utc | 19

"Bombing your allies is not normally considered a successful strategy."

...unless your strategy is to keep everyone so riled up that it's impossible to build a pipeline.

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 15 2011 21:25 utc | 20

Remember Armitage's threat to Pakistan to 'bomb them back to the stoneage'...nothing has changed this is how empire fights its wars.Destroy people destroy culture and most importantly profit profit...history does not lie.

Posted by: noiseannoys | Jan 15 2011 21:39 utc | 21

"Destroy people destroy culture and most importantly profit profit..."

india and israel want the US to get rid of pakistan's nukes... so if israel is entitled to a samson option, are the pakistanis?

the israeli americans want to deny china access to energy, and pakistan is not only an ally of china, it's on a pipeline route that would either (a) give china overland pipeline access, or (b) give china access to a pakistani port that would serve china as a pipeline terminus and tanker port.

so china spends $200 million a piddling little port that gets a cargo every month --whether it needs it or not-- and the israeli american empire spends trillions, kills lord knows how many people, destroys what little international goodwill it had left, to interfere with china's "plans".

who's outsmarting who, around here?

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 15 2011 21:56 utc | 22

In the movie you can see U.S. soldiers with chainsaws doing just that.

What for?

b, there may be numerous reasons but I think that the US military goons have learned a lot from the "experts" in the Israeli military. I believe they have been cutting down trees and groves in Palestine for a long time. It is to impoverish the "sub-human other". It is easier to make the "other" dependent, subservient, and less bound to the land and tradition if you destroy his generations long family farming enterprise.

The evil of the American goon is unbounded. And, they were taught by experts.

Posted by: Joseph | Jan 15 2011 22:19 utc | 23

Here is an interesting, ten-year old story, from the New York Times:
Taliban's Ban On Poppy A Success, U.S. Aides Say, Published May 2001

The first American narcotics experts to go to Afghanistan under Taliban rule have concluded that the movement's ban on opium-poppy cultivation appears to have wiped out the world's largest crop in less than a year, officials said today.

The American findings confirm earlier reports from the United Nations drug control program that Afghanistan, which supplied about three-quarters of the world's opium and most of the heroin reaching Europe, had ended poppy planting in one season.

Here is a fairly more recent (Reuters, 2009) story:
Afghan 2008 opium crop was second biggest: U.N. report

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said 17,000 more U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan to tackle the "deteriorating situation."

NATO forces are not allowed to eradicate crops although NATO allies agreed in October to allow their soldiers to carry out direct attacks on Afghan drug lords and laboratories.

Afghan officials let drug traffickers operate with impunity and those who do target the opium trade risk their lives, the report said. Last year, 78 officials trying to eradicate opium crops were killed, six times the toll in 2007.

"Corruption among officials at almost every level of the government is a major factor of the drug problem," Ghodse said.

The report also said the Afghan government was ignoring a worrying rise in cannabis production as farmers in some parts of the country switch from growing opium.

"Cannabis cultivation is becoming increasingly lucrative," the report said. "No action has been taken by the government to prevent such cultivation."

“The Americans are working hard to keep narco business flourishing in both countries,” says Mikhail Khazin, president of the consultancy firm Niakon. “They consistently destroy the local infrastructure, pushing the local population to look for illegal means of subsistence. And the CIA provides protection to drug trafficking.”

I wonder how many drugs are being shipped out on U.S. aircraft? Looks like another "Air America" type operation. Like flickervertigo said, "Air America was the most competent, best organized, most reality-based outfit I ever worked for."

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jan 16 2011 4:22 utc | 24

Like flickervertigo said, "Air America was the most competent, best organized, most reality-based outfit I ever worked for."

...but i have to admit that i didnt quite measure up; i flunked the interview for the "special missions", whatever they were, and the guys who flew them wouldnt talk about them.

and when i said "reality-based", i meant things like battle tactics, aircraft maintenance, crew scheduling, and day-to-day nuts and bolts operation... if they were truly "reality-based" down to the core, they wouldnt have been there in the first place.

anyhow, i flunked the interview for the special projects, so i have no firsthand evidence of air america's drug running, although the evidence from other sources seems undeniable.

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 16 2011 6:42 utc | 25

air america had been in laos since 1964, a marine corps helicopter squadron transplanted... by the time i got there, in mar 72, they'd had lots of practice, and the operation and the wars had become sort of ritualized, which is probably about the same thing that's happening in afghanistan now.

the situation cools down enough to consider building a pipe...? ...well, bomb a couple weddings and get people stirred up again.

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 16 2011 6:51 utc | 26

i also have to admit that i didnt realize i was being "interviewed" for the special projects until years later... i should have smelled a rat as soon as i got the invitation from the local boss of the outfit to go out to his place for a chat... why would a newbie be invited to the boss' place for a chat? ...doesnt make sense.

but that was a good lesson on how things work in this black world we're living in... the boss, the guy that interviewed me, was notorious for crashing helicopters when he was a line pilot, but somebody must have spotted his organizational ability and his talent in judging the character of his pilots... i think we can apply that to the PNAC 9/11 situation: massive amounts of nodding and winking going on as the plan was put together and personnel were being recruited.

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 16 2011 7:04 utc | 27


Sorry for my bad manners in bringing up that old "Air America" post of yours. Sometimes "stirring the pot" helps separate the shit from the sand, or brings unknown related issues to light. There are probably better, less rude, ways to accomplish this though. It is good that the posters at MoA are patient and forgiving.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jan 17 2011 1:43 utc | 28

no problem, rick...

i knew better when i signed up with air america, but i had buddies from the marine corps that would blow through LAX on leave from air america, i'd go up to meet them at the airport, and they'd badger me about joining up... "you cant pass up the money!"

meanwhile, i was working at a crap job from one of nixon's "get the vets off the streets" programs, my wife had a crap job, the prospects of a flying job were dim --since i was more-or-less right out of the military, only had experience on obsolete equipment... "obsolete" compared to respectable commercial helicopter outfits-- and there was a recession and the helicopter business always feels the pinch worse than most other businesses...

so i caved in.

but air america is a good example of how these quasi-commerical operations evolve... air america started with claire chennault right after world war II, with fixed wing and the flying tigers, who are supposedly heroes.

so the flying tigers are reorganized into other outfits, which are reorganized into other outfits, and you finally wind up with slime bags like del smith, of evergreen, buying the remnants of air america to go along with his fixed wing fleet that, among other skullduggerous things, flies special rendition flights for the CIA.

i guess as the empire dies, the slime gets deeper and deeper.

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 17 2011 6:23 utc | 29

The US is no longer nation state, with a Gvmt-Admin-Economic-Law-Military-Security apparatus that manages the functioning of the country in, -dare one mention it- the interest of the people. (Even if the translation of those interests might be misguided or bizarre.)

The US is a collection of special interests, of particular groups, jockeying amongst each other for favorable, profitable, positions, world-wide, not just at home. (That became clear to the rest of the awake world 3 weeks after 9/11.)

That is why it is hard to grasp what the aim(s) and result(s) of the occupations of Iraq and Afgh. are. - Energy? TAPI? PNAC? Defense industry? etc.

Wall Street-cum-Gvmt. (Obama’s Gvmt.) is top dog now, because they are the experts at skimming and scamming without any effort or productive activity. The Republicans retain vestiges of old world Chamber of Commerce interests - lobbies, subsidies, for Agriculture, for Defense; a balanced budget, low taxes, small Gvmt. and so on (contradictory on its face in itself, but that is another story) - but they lost and continue to lose as they cannot, dare not, challenge the superior power.

Result, the Tea Party who tries to exploit the traditional themes, gain as much support as possible, but only so that ‘they’ may then grab a bigger take. Palin supported bail-outs, cheers on the extending of settlements in Israel, wants the US to bomb Iran - all blatant appeals to various interest groups. The libertarian wing (e.g. Ron Paul) which is anti-war stands little chance - it would be nice to see a split there, but don’t hold your breath.

@ Rick at 24, that is all correct afaik, except that the Taliban did not in any way eradicate the poppy: they constricted supply to push up prices! That was quite deliberate, there are even UN documents (lost in the ether to me at the mo) that attest to it. Controlling the output was one of their main aims, just like (say) OPEC for another commodity. They wanted to control that crop or industry, where are they to get funding from? Heh? The US was wild with rage.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 17 2011 17:01 utc | 30

it's got to be best to continue talking about helicopters for a while.

the two most fun things you can do with a helicopter is drop water on fires and do long line seismic exploration... at least, that's my opinion, and those were the things i did most when i was flying.

one of the reasons i think peak oil is the real deal is because of the places we went to look for oil... for instance, north of the magnetic north pole in the arctic islands... and i was there on a seismic job in february of 1975, living in a trailer train on the sea ice...

1975... 35 years ago, looking for oil in places where, the bosses admitted, if you found something, you couldnt get it out because of the ice.

if you think there's anyplace in the world that hasnt been pounded to death by seismic operations, you're wrong.

Map Showing Geology, Oil and Gas Fields, and Geologic Provinces of Africa 4.4 mb pdf

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 17 2011 20:40 utc | 31

if you're curious about geology, and oil and gas fields elsewhere, google "geologic provinces" and add the location... for instance, "caribbean"

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 17 2011 20:45 utc | 32

1975... 35 years ago...

five years after US oil production peaked.

Posted by: flickervertigo | Jan 17 2011 20:51 utc | 33

@flicker - Debs is able to put three thoughts into one comment, you seem to need three comments to put out one thought - I like efficiency.

A Riz Kahn piece on Al Jazeera on Afghanistan includes an interview with Abdul Salam Zaeff Lasting peace in Afghanistan? starting about 12 minutes.

A U.S. general claiming that some people "changed sides" in Sangin with Zaeef saying that that specific tribe never was "Taliban" at all.

Posted by: b | Jan 18 2011 16:44 utc | 34

bea #14, thanks for the links.

A U.S. general claiming that some people "changed sides" in Sangin with Zaeef saying that that specific tribe never was "Taliban" at all.

oh, 'taliban' is just american code for 'all uncivilized heathen'. i'll check out the interview now.

excellent recent commentary b.

Posted by: annie | Jan 19 2011 17:28 utc | 35

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