Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 15, 2012

Afghanistan - Towards The Exit Without Negotiations

Negotiations with the Taliban were said to take place in Qatar where the Taliban opened a office for this purpose. As a confidence building measure before starting real negotiations a prisoner exchange was agreed upon between the U.S. and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Five Taliban imprisoned in Guantanamo were to be exchanged for one American held in Taliban custody. But that move is opposed by the majority and minority leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee and is therefore unlikely to happen.

But even with the agreed upon confidence building measure not yet fulfilled the U.S. tried to press the Taliban on some other points. The conditions the U.S. tried to set so far, an integration of the Taliban into the exiting political framework of the Karzai government and the current Afghan constitution, are unexceptable to the Taliban.

At the same time and after several deadly recent incidents in Afghanistan the sentiment in the political establishment in the U.S. as well as in the UK has turned decidedly towards an exit from Afghanistan. Within Afghanistan the foreign troops are more and more seen as a burden and today Karzai called for a retreat of all foreign troops from all villages on outposts back into the main bases. He also calls for a faster handover of all security tasks to native Afghan forces.

The war on Afghanistan now seems to come to a faster than expected end.

The Taliban have drawn the right conclusion, they will outlast their enemy, and announced that they will no longer negotiate with the U.S.:

A memorandum of understanding which was agreed upon earlier was not yet fulfilled when an American representative presented a list of conditions in his latest meeting with the Islamic Emirate which were not only unacceptable but also in contradiction with the earlier agreed upon points. So it was due to their alternating and ever changing position that the Islamic Emirate was compelled to suspend all dialogue with the Americans. We must categorically state that the real source of obstacle in talks was the shaky, erratic and vague standpoint of the Americans therefore all the responsibility for the halt also falls on their shoulders.

As the rush to the exits begins the only good news is that Pakistan seems to be willing to reopen its roads for passage of goods to, and more important now, from Afghanistan. That will allow for a faster and less complicated retreat.

Posted by b on March 15, 2012 at 12:32 UTC | Permalink


Ah, but is the US really leaving? or will it leave behind investments like this:

Posted by: ben | Mar 15 2012 13:51 utc | 1

Somehow, I just can't see a complete pullout by the US without a better puppet government than Karzai's.

Posted by: ben | Mar 15 2012 13:56 utc | 2

ben says...

"... I just can't see a complete pullout..."

maybe, in the best of all neocon worlds, we wont need to block the afghan/pakistan pipelines and the chinese port at gwadar, because all the oil will be going west, towards the mediterranean --towards israel, lebanon and syria.

we'll need regime change in syria, and war with iran the will give us an excuse to close hormuz (while blaming iran for the closure, of course)

the fact remains: if the afpak ploy was intended to hinder china oil imports, it's failed --china's importing more oil than ever-- so we might as well fold up the tents and move them someplace more productive... say, burma or angola.

i cant see india going along with this scheme, especially the part about the troops pulling out of aghanistan and pakistan... because that was the tool used to recruit india into the PNAC plan: the neocons would cripple pakistan and grab its nukes.

of course, it could be that indian troops will replace the neocon troops.. who knows?

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 15 2012 14:21 utc | 3

i got to repeat here that the whole works is so loopy, it's not likely that anyone but desperados, religious lunatics and racial supremacists could have any faith in this plan...

lots of people going through the motions, but the operation is only cover for their looting.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 15 2012 14:35 utc | 4

Yes, I believe the PNAC plan is still being followed by the current powers in D.C. For those who haven't informed themselves, here's one description:

Posted by: ben | Mar 15 2012 15:17 utc | 5

Ah, but is the US really leaving? or will it leave behind investments like this:

Identical to what was said about Iraq, hundreds of times here and on other blogs.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 15 2012 15:33 utc | 6

alexno is right.

The point to bear in mind is that these vast investments are made not for their ostensible purposes- 'to defend democracy...assist in the education of underprivileged eradicate the horror of aid the Afghan/Iraqi/Vietnamese/etc (ad nauseum) people'- but to legitimise massive transfers of wealth from the hapless taxpayer to corporations such as the Koch Brothers' or General Electric. Which, in turn, earmark a slice of it to be returned to the legislators, lobbyists, journalists, intellectuals and others whose acquiescence is crucial to the success of such scams.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 15 2012 15:58 utc | 7

Is that one American Bo Bergdahl?Another forgotten name in some forgotten war on forgotten people,a sure sign of collective amnesia and collective insanity perpetuated by perpetual alleged elites on US American riff raff(Counterpunch)roiled by economic and cultural destruction,but we don't know what's going on,do we Mr.Levine?
Riff raff indeed.
And what about silent Bob, anyway?Did his mouth muscles atrophy in the last 40 years or so,or did his belief system undergo revision,or tribal ties interfere with his act?
You make the call.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 15 2012 16:03 utc | 8

Is that one American Bo Bergdahl?

It is. He is the only American POW left in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Being held by the Haqqani Network, after he left his base without permission to pick up some binoculars he left at a checkpoint. Strange that the US government is unwilling to trade a few of the Taliban prisoners in Guantanamo to get him back. I suspect politics at work. Obama doesn't want to release any Taliban prisoners before Nov.

- The Always good Pepe Escobar (selling out to Al Jazzeera though) on Afghan today: The Horror, the horror

- Another one from Pepe today on Pipelinistan. War, Pipelinistan style

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 15 2012 16:42 utc | 9

another one on killing children

"El Salvador is still at war. Not a political war, but a criminal one, in which the climate of fear is much the same. Here the drug gangs rule, corrupting all the public institutions and taking a death toll not far short of open war. If, in the 1980s, some feared the country would become a Cuba, now the fear is that it will be a new Somalia, plunged into anarchy, much like Guatemala and Honduras. But the United States, which bears its share of responsibility for this country's traumatized culture of violence, couldn't care less about what is happening in its "backyard."

Posted by: somebody | Mar 15 2012 16:56 utc | 10

Com @ 9 -- Well, after reading Escobar's Pipelinistan article, I guess I now can get a clearer understanding of why Obama is willing to create conditions leading to higher energy costs, even in an election year (perhaps he plans on engineering a sudden downturn in prices in, oh, late August, September? Maybe getting the Commodities regulatory agency to actually begin regulating the hedge funds and banksters' speculations?): It's more important to do the work of Big Energy and his Corporate masters than actually getting re-elected, especially for his post-political economic well being. Or else they've let him know that if he doesn't go along with their objectives on stymying the eastward movement of oil and natural gas, he'll get no Big Bidness financing for this election cycle. Hhhmmm.

But, indeed, the Iran sanctions are clearly not aimed solely at Iran. They serve long longed for objectives.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 15 2012 17:31 utc | 11

Is it such a stretch, given what goes on in Mexico, to assume that the corrupt central am's military are selling(sharing, loaning?) weapons to the cartels and begging the US for more for the sake of "security"? And doesn't this arrangement suit the Dept of State just fine? Now the charities can hand out bags of rice and beans all stamp with the Red, White and Blue(cat-o-nine-tails).

Posted by: yes_but | Mar 15 2012 17:47 utc | 12

@ 11, that should be re: Colm O'Toole @ 9. I thought I'd save a few keystrokes, using just "Colm," and then left out the "l." Oh, well.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 15 2012 18:07 utc | 13

jawbone @11 says

"I guess I now can get a clearer understanding of why Obama is willing to create conditions leading to higher energy costs"


obama's gonna order exxon to sell oil in the US for $50 a barrel when the chinese will pay $130 or $140 or $150.

we could use the the strategic reserve, that would lower prices for a while, but then what would we do for reserves to pad the price spike after we attack iran?

demand, even at these high prices, is overwhelming supply, because global production of crude oil seems to have peaked in late 2004...

but we cant admit that production peaked, because it's likely peak oil was the motive for the likud/neocon 9/11 operation.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 15 2012 18:19 utc | 14

the quickest way to lower prices would be for obama to divorce israel, quit bombing oily muslims, and bring all the troops, ships and bombers home.

nobody seems to know for sure, but that would probably mean an instant drop of $20 a barrel... provided, of course that someody figured out how to neutralize the likud crazies in israel.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 15 2012 18:26 utc | 15

@ Jawbone "But, indeed, the Iran sanctions are clearly not aimed solely at Iran. They serve long longed for objectives."

Agree Pakistan for one is very desperate for energy in Oct 2011 Karachi was near Revolution due to power cuts crippling the cities large textile factories and harming the economy. Other cities have also been up in arms over it. So the fact that the US would threaten to bring down the Pakistani economy if it built the Iran-Pakistan pipeline is telling.

Of course this would also effect China, which wants the Iran-Pakistan pipeline to continue through Pakistan and into China. By severing the Pakistan link the US hurts alot of competing powers. Also note that the Iran sanctions punish any Chinese company that deals with Iran central bank but has given "exceptions" to friendly companies like BP or Shell. Finally just read on RT that they have just moved ahead with cutting Iran out of the SWIFT banking system for processing payments (the first country in the world to be excluded). North Korea even has access to SWIFT and so does Cuba (while some Cuban banks got rejected).

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 15 2012 18:55 utc | 16

yeah, like everything it will backfire. the stupidity of it, neither the US nor Europe is in the position to afford a trade war.

you do not need Swift to trade, if you want to trade you will always find ways to do so. The more people find alternative ways, the less control. I remember a German firm to actually agree to import and market goods from a country, just to be able to sell their stuff.

"Sanctions against Iran have created more opportunities for trade with China, which totalled US$29.3 billion last year.

"China's economic ties with Iran have to some extent been made easier by Western divestment," said An Baojun , a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation, which is under the Ministry of Commerce. An spent several years in Iran studying Middle Eastern issues.

The volume of bilateral trade has increased more than tenfold over the past decade, from US$2.5 billion in 2000 to US$29.3 billion last year, according to China Customs trade figures collected by the Global Trade Atlas, a Geneva-based company that provides trade data to the private sector, the UN and the World Bank.

"As some countries retreat from the Iranian market," An said, "it actually creates more opportunities for some Chinese companies."

India-Iran trade bid sets example to West
By Vijay Prashad.

A delegation of 70 Indian traders, led by the president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO), Rafeeque Ahmed, are due to leave Tehran today after a six-day visit to Iran during which the Indian government did not release the names of those firms that joined the delegation. The businesses feared retaliation from the United States and European Union.

A member of the delegation estimates that several deals had already been cut at the time of this article. The Secretary General of Tehran's Chamber of Commerce, Mohammed Mehdi Rasekh, said that Iran wanted to take advantage of India's "capabilities in the fields of food industry, medicine, metals and machinery and car parts". In return, apart from oil exports, Iran could provide India ..."

Posted by: somebody | Mar 15 2012 19:27 utc | 17

the indians are cutting off their noses to spite their faces by kowtowing to the neocons and israel... maybe they'll come to their senses.

there's the energy situation and other trade, a big muslim population...

and maybe they're thinking, "hmmm... if israelis are entitled to a samson option, maybe the pakistanis are, too..."

"do we have any guarantee that pakistanis are saner than israelis?"

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 15 2012 20:43 utc | 18

The naïve Americans thought that supporting Islamist regimes in the ME will give them a better negotiationg position with the Taliban! The Ikhwan think regionally, the Taliban think locally and the AlQaida, different from both, thinks like the US, internationally...

Posted by: Sophia | Mar 15 2012 21:44 utc | 19

David Cameron on TV flat out lying: Were on a mission in Afghanistan, bla--bla-bla Afghanistan and Pakistans - 9/11... make sure.." yeah right.. as if Pakistan and Afghanistan has anything to do with 9/11.. who is he trying to fool? The young? Those who were to young to remember 9/11?

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 16 2012 0:07 utc | 20

Good post by 'b'. I particularly liked the link to

'Alexander' #20 is right: The government and people of Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11. Colin Powell was a liar when he testified to the contrary at the UN before the Americans bombed Afghanistan. When Colin Powell was asked at the UN to present evidence to back up his lies, he replied he couldn't do it because disclosure could jeopardize ongoing spying operations. That was a decade ago. I haven't heard any evidence since. War was declared without disclosing the justification for it. The Americans said they had evidence of some small scale Jihadi training schools in Afghanistan before 9/11. The Afghan government didn't condone these. After US complaints, the Afghan government said they intended to close down any school if, after their investigation, they found any school to be in violation of international norms about terrorism. In reply to that, the US government publicly maintained, with zero evidence, that the Aghan government was not sincere about that. The American government sold the war to the US public under the lie that the Afghan government was sponsoring terrorist training camps. The Afghanis knew it then, and know it today. They know they have right and virtue on their side. I wish them good luck in their struggle.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is fully prepared, has enduring patience and long-term Jihadi strategies against the malicious plots of the enemy and enjoys the ceaseless support of its believing nation. The Islamic Emirate correlates the presence of the alien forces in Afghanistan with instability. The Islamic Emirate once again calls on the entire world and particularly the regional countries to support and back the Islamic Emirate in expelling of the invaders in order to achieve peace and stability.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 16 2012 2:00 utc | 21

A summry right from the beginning, starting with the saintly Jimmy Carter. Well, maybe not so saintly.

and, note that the National Post is a rather conservative Canadian newspaper.

It also did not take long for this news - that the accused GI snapped under the strain and committed the atrocity.

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Mar 16 2012 4:40 utc | 22

b, do you think that Pakistan parliament will vote to open the very unpopular NATO supply routes so close to the elections? In the meanwhile Russia has offered to open up an air corridor to NATO. It is very likely that that will he the way out for NATO.

Posted by: amar | Mar 16 2012 6:17 utc | 23

sure, night owl, it goes back to Carter who thought Islam was a good idea against communism (another US stupidity see I still meet Ex-Hippies from time to time who used to travel freely in Afghanistan, they share fond memories of the spectacular beauty of the scenery, the legendary hospitality of the people, and the high quality of hasheesh. Afghanistan was completely peaceful then.

And yes, the US continued to support the Taliban after the fall of the Soviet Union:

"The most naive US policy-makers hoped that the Taliban would emulate US-Saudi Arabia relations in the 1920's. 'The Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis did. There will be Aramco, pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of sharia law. We can live with that.' said one US diplomat.
The USA for a time believed in the Taliban and when it ceased to do so, it was not willing to reign in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Ahmed Rashid,

So in 2002 the US/Nato basically entered to solve a problem they and their allies had created in the first place. And whilst US and Nato soldiers fight against the Taliban, US allies are funding them

Taliban's Foreign Support Vexes U.S

Now you would think the US has learnt something out of all this - no they did not, they repeated Afghanistan in Libya, getting their allies - this time Quatar - to support and fund Jihadis connected to Al Queida.

And no this pipeline has not been built yet

but hey, who said this pipeline was an US idea?

It does not matter, war is good business whatever the outcome

The only people who can put a stop to this madness is the US taxpayer.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 16 2012 7:24 utc | 24

and, yes, Obama is funded by the US military industry

yeah, of course, Israel is involved, however, the main thing about Lester Crown is that he owns a huge stake in the US military complex.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 16 2012 7:49 utc | 25

somebody says...

yeah, of course, Israel is involved...

i'll run through the israel's logic, probably spawned in doc aumann's "center for rationality", one more time...

IF global warming is gonna be as bad as the climate scientists say it probably will be, israel is in deep shit because of sea level rise... the potential is for 80 meters of rise, which would flood out about 70% of the israeli population...

they need to move to high ground, which explains the relentless nibbling at the palestinians' high ground in the west bank, and explains why israel gave up the low ground in gaza and turned it into a practice bombing range.

nobody knows how long it will take for the ice to melt... most likely it's gonna ba a long time, maybe hundreds, maybe even a couple thousand years... looks like global crude oil productionhas peaked already, but it's a certainty it will peak soon, when compared to the pace of sea level rise.

israel must be secured from sea level rise before its american protection runs out of gas... and judging from the behavior of israeli america, the israelis and israeli americanss are so spooked by the situation that they launched the PNAC project.

it's just too damn bad that PNAC included that statement ---"the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor"--- in their september 2000 document, "rebuilding america's defenses", because that blew the cover of the whole operation, including 9/11.

it would be a different story had there been any evidence of bin laden's participation in 9/11 before crusader bunnypants started bombing afghanistan, but there was no evidence... not then, not now.

instead, there are neocon fingerprints all over the operation, starting with neocon history that goes back decades, passing through PNAC's paper calling for "a new pearl harbor" and ending in the latest actions in libya, syria, and a dozen other places.

and all of these actions fit the PNAC blueprint, which was put together by israeli americans allied with netanyahu and the likud party of israel.

the lashup is not conducive to pooh-poohing israel's participation in the PNAC project.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 16 2012 12:33 utc | 26

Up to 20 US troops executed Panjwai massacre: probe

KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): A parliamentary probe team on Thursday said up to 20 American troops were involved in Sunday’s killing of 16 civilians in southern Kandahar province.

The probing delegation includes lawmakers Hamidzai Lali, Abdul Rahim Ayubi, Shakiba Hashimi, Syed Mohammad Akhund and Bismillah Afghanmal, all representing Kandahar province at the Wolesi Jirga and Abdul Latif Padram, a lawmaker from northern Badakhshan province, Mirbat Mangal, Khost province, Muhammad Sarwar Usmani, Farah province.

The team spent two days in the province, interviewing the bereaved families, tribal elders, survivors and collecting evidences at the site in Panjwai district.

Hamizai Lali told Pajhwok Afghan News their investigation showed there were 15 to 20 American soldiers, who executed the brutal killings.

“We closely examined the site of the incident, talked to the families who lost their beloved ones, the injured people and tribal elders,” he said.

He added the attack lasted one hour involving two groups of American soldiers in the middle of the night on Sunday.

“The villages are one and a half kilometre from the American military base. We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time, and the 16 civilians, most of them children and women, have been killed by the two groups.”

Posted by: b | Mar 16 2012 13:32 utc | 27

b @ 27

hHat's what I thaught too, it's just too much work for one, maybe drunk, soldier in that span of time, and those distances, walking. One of the witnesses said one of the soldiers was also staying for a while in his house. It's more than a stretch.

Now to see how this affects the official narrative.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 16 2012 14:02 utc | 28

Thanks for the link b, I'm not holding my breath until this story is reported in the U.S. media.

Posted by: ben | Mar 16 2012 14:03 utc | 29

Bit by bit, assuming he is the sole gunner, the excuses given are falling by the wayside. First, his new civilian highpower lawyer has stated that there were no marital problems; so scratch that. Second, military doctors, after reviewing his medical file, said he did not have PTSD or a TBI. No one denies so far that he was drunk, but do all drunks go around shooting babies between the eyes? And sure, at least 100,000 soldiers have seen their buddies wounded or killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. What happens when they get drunked up here in the States; are they going to go around shooting children whose skin is not lily white?

One clue from the lawyer says he was pissed off that he was sent to Afghanistan. Paying attention to his age, 38, and that he was a career Army soldier, there is an excellent possibility that he was nearing his 20 year retirement pension and, in the last year or so, he was sent to a combat position overseas.

As a guess, I believe they are not releasing his name to protect his wife and kids; especially if it is an uncommon name. They were immediately removed to Ft Lewis and they are going to have targets on their backs for years to come; the 'eye for an eye' revenge. As for whether the govt will give them new identities and move them elsewhere remains to be seen.

As for more troops being involved in this massacre, b@27's news article can be as true as not. My mind is open. Looking at the alleged progression of events, I can see one soldier doing it. But on the other hand, a group of soldiers could do it more easily. Someone is going to open their mouth and tell the truth. You can't see that kind of secret for long.

Posted by: Forgetful | Mar 16 2012 14:38 utc | 30

He expressed his anger that the US soldier, the prime suspect in the shooting, had been flown out of Afghanistan to Kuwait.

He said the people they met had warned if the responsible troops were not punished, they would launch a movement against Afghans who had agreed to foreign troops’ presence in Afghanistan under the first Bonn conference in 2001.

The lawmaker said the Wolesi Jirga would not sit silent until the killers were prosecuted in Afghanistan. "If the international community does not play its role in punishing the perpetrators, the Wolesi Jirga would declare foreign troops as occupying forces, like the Russians," Lali warned.

President Hamid Karzai on Thursday asked the US to pull out all its troops from Afghan villages in response to the killings.

If the ISAF-forces were to be declared as invading forces, then NATO would have to speed up the withdrawal. This all seems more likely, with Karzais demand to pull all troups out of villages too.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 16 2012 14:46 utc | 31

BTW, last I heard was that 18 had died. 16 died momentarily, and he shot 5 more, and two of them have died later. And he/they shot a dog too in addition to the 21 people.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 16 2012 15:11 utc | 32

@ Colm O' Toole | 16

Karachi was near Revolution

Some part of Karachi is always near revolution. It has no relation to larger events.
The key to have some understanding about Pakistan is that the establishment or deep state includes powerful people of all stripe, not just military and they are very very good at keeping thing at the required state of crisis, and protecting their privilege. Deliberate lack of governance is not chaos or revolution, its just politics by other means.

Posted by: holy | Mar 16 2012 16:32 utc | 33

From, date Friday 16 Mar 2012, emphasis added:

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has criticized the United States for not cooperating with an Afghan team investigating the massacre of Afghan civilians by the US forces. "The Afghan government didn't receive cooperation from the USA regarding the surrender of the US soldiers to the Afghan government," Karzai told reporters on Friday, noting that the killing of civilians by foreign forces in Afghanistan “has been going on for too long.”

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 16 2012 18:23 utc | 34

Forgetful, on CNN this morning they interviewed his lawyer - there was only one message; the lawyer's thinks his client was crazy. So crazy in fact, that in a recent phone conversation they'd had, he was having problems remembering the past week's events and was leaving key things out(iirc).

Well anyway, I'm sure they'll give themselves more than enough time to teach him to remember the correct version. Or declare him incompetent. Win-win.

Posted by: Laura J | Mar 16 2012 20:25 utc | 35

b @ 27.

This version makes more sense than the "Lone Nut" version being blamed on Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (and only Bales.
i.e. every other Yankee is completely innocent.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2012 2:41 utc | 36

In support of multiple attackers, I had read today that the sergeant had lost part of his foot in Iraq in an explosion. I am sure he could get around pretty well or they wouldn't have sent him to Afghanistan, but was he really good enough to run from village to village?

I have to take back one of my conjectures. He was not close to a 20-year retirement and therefore pissed off at this deployment; he had actually enlisted just after 9/11. The military has admitted they were trying to protect his family by not releasing his name immediately.

Posted by: Forgetful | Mar 17 2012 3:03 utc | 37

BBC is broadcasting Karzai's opinion that the Lone Nut story contradicts eye-witness accounts and contains other (obvious) elements of implausibility.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2012 3:18 utc | 38

Am I the only person who thinks 'Forgetful' sounds more like a US damage-control spook every time he makes a comment?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2012 3:25 utc | 39

Re my post @ 22 -

I want to emphasize this point: The remarkable ANGER on the part of the Canadian journalist - at the WASTE in human effort and human lives. That, coming from a conservative newspaper was what I should have mentioned.

How many other US allies in this fiasco, are also intensely angry at how the US military has, by various actions in Afghanistan, but particularly by the last two _ burning Korans and then killing villagers and even a dog - - caused such a failure.

I was reading one US poster on this latest newspaper story, who said that it was all right to kill the villages - and as for the 2 year old girl - ok too because she was "a Muzzie." Another poster said he was sorrier for the puppy that some marine threw off a cliff - story that I have not seen.

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Mar 17 2012 9:10 utc | 40

I'm a she, and I certainly have nothing to do with the govt. And why do you think I am damage-control spook? Give me an example.

Posted by: Forgetful | Mar 17 2012 13:04 utc | 41

Even if we try to be neutral, trying to get to the truth in an objective manner, there are some instances where we don't need to display "balance", like; we all know climate change is mostly due to humans moving fossil fuel from below the ground to the atmosphere, we know the government have made an habit out of lying to influence the attitude and support of own people and adversaries, and the editors of most big media are handpicked to reflect the interest of their owners, - and on this page, we have trolls from time to time who excert damage-control, or ridicule those who are getting close to the truth, but I don't think Forgetful are among those, she probably is one of us who genuinely try to disclose the truth.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 17 2012 14:13 utc | 42

@ 41.
I'm not sure you are a spook. I got the impression that you seemed a little too willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to the USG's narrative and called a straw poll. Considering the underwhelming response to it, I'll review your comments carefully and respond with specific gripes on this thread.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2012 16:51 utc | 43

@ 41.

Now I'm sure you're not a spook. My suspicions were aroused by Comments 83 & 86 in the 'Drunk' thread. I've read all the comments you've made subsequent to those two and none supports my thesis. Comment 87 in the 'Isolated Incidents' thread (which I missed) contradicts it.
So I owe you an apology for casting aspersions and/or going off half-cocked.
Take your pick.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2012 18:16 utc | 44

@33 - that is an excellent observation and one that people need to understand more fully. By changing perspective one can clarify a great many things.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 19 2012 15:25 utc | 45

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