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Lets's talk about democracy
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Thursday, 21 April 2005
Famous last words, almost...

February 3, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's interim prime minister declared Wednesday that the success of the national elections had dealt a major blow to the insurgents -- who have not carried out a major attack since the balloting -- and he predicted they will be defeated within months. [Was he talking about the insurgency or the new "government?"]

"Within months" of that very prescient prediction.

April 21, 2005

"BAGHDAD (Reuters)- Iraq's caretaker prime minister Iyad Allawi escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday night when a suicide bomber in a car attacked his convoy near his home, a government spokesman said."

Also White House spokeswoman Clare Buchan said:

"I think part of what you're seeing and what you've heard the President talk about is that the terrorists are seeing the progress that's being made, and that is making them more desperate."

No wait, that was from August 26, 2003. Oh well, just fill in the blank, they're desperate.

In another sign of desperation insugents shot down a Bulgarian helicopter killing 11 including 6 Americans.

We're not ever leaving are we?

(Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday agreed to spend $592 million for a new embassy in Iraq..."

[Way to get that budget deficit under control.]

I found this at Asia Times online, which kind of continues what I was talking about yesterday about us ever getting out of Iraq.

"The only way Iraq's transitional government can garner any measure of popular credibility is to demand a firm deadline for total American withdrawal. This is what the Shi'ite masses voted for. Yet this is the last thing on the minds of the White House/Pentagon/Green Zone axis that controls -or will control - the country.

Whenever there is a so-called "transfer of power" in Mesopotamia, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, like clockwork, steps on a plane to Baghdad. On his latest trip designed to issue orders for the new, supposedly sovereign Iraqi government, Rumsfeld, in a splendid Freudian slip, let it be known on the record the US "does not have an exit strategy" in Iraq: only a "victory strategy". This is code for "we're not going anywhere"

On democracynow.org yesterday Naomi Klein and Eric Gustafson, a Gulf War veteran and founder and director of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center debated the pros and cons of us pulling out.

Kline said:

"The resistance largely controls Baghdad at this point, a situation where there are between 50 and 60 attacks a day. The militias that Eric is warning about already control large sectors of Iraq, because providing security for the people of Iraq has never, from day one, been a priority of this occupation.

We saw the abandonment immediately by allowing the looting to take place and only guarding the Ministry of Oil, and it?s only gotten worse. You know, when I was in Iraq a year ago, this was the most persistent complaint -- was spiraling crime. And that's actually how the militias were created. They were created as a response to the fact that US Occupation never, ever prioritized giving security to Iraqis."

The militias are the key to this whole thing, I think. We've got big problem of our own making.

In the LA TIMES there is an article about the worsening situation in Basra, which was thought to be more or less stable. As I've noted on this blog before, the Brits are nowhere to be found. [Brit soldier to victim asking for help, ?You?re a sovereign country now. We can?t help. You have to go to the Iraqi authorities."]

"A series of recent daytime assassinations of Shiite and Sunni Muslim officials here has led to fears that Sunni insurgents, Shiite radicals and Iranian agents may be seeking to destabilize this southern city...

Tensions also have increased among Shiite groups as a result of a bloody raid staged by Shiite followers of radical cleric Muqtada Sadr on dozens of university students attending a coed picnic this month. The Sadr movement's Council for Vice and Virtue claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the students were beaten with clubs and shot at for ignoring religious prohibitions including mixing of the sexes. Several students were injured.
Essa blamed Iranians for some of the violence. Basra, which sits near the Iranian border, is a thoroughfare for many Iranian Shiites making pilgrimages to the Iraqi holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.

But Essa [Sheik Khalaf Essa, a Sunni cleric and leader of Basra's Iraqi Islamic Party] has also acknowledged that Sunnis involved in the nationwide insurgency as well as local Sunnis probably had committed some recent attacks.

This month they were selling DVDs of the picnic incident in the Basra market to justify the attack and shame the students.

The disc shows male and female students socializing on a parched field. The Sadr supporters added a mournful soundtrack to the video: songs recounting the death of Imam Ali, the son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad and the founder of Shiite Islam."

The main power broker in Iraq, the man who arranged the elections just the way he wanted it, the man the U.S. can't say "no" to, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani is likely to push for a wider role for Islam in the government. This stuff going on in Basra could be a preview of what's to come nationwide.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:38 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 April 2005 4:23 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 20 April 2005
Update on hostage situation in Iraq.

The BBC:

"The bodies of more than 50 men, women and children have been recovered from the River Tigris in the town of Suwayra, south of Baghdad.

Many had been badly mutilated, Iraqi authorities said.

President Jalal Talabani said the bodies were those of people who had been taken hostage and then killed in the nearby town of Madain.

The Arabic TV channel al-Arabiya said its cameras had filmed the bodies lying on the river bank.

"We discovered bags with the slaughtered children inside them," local policeman Riyadh Sakhi told al-Arabiya.

"There were two girls. One was a student and the other was very young. We discovered bags with slaughtered and beheaded young people. We discovered a large number of unidentified bodies."

Police said they had then been buried in mass graves.

In a related massacre story today:

"The bodies of 19 Iraqis have been found at a football stadium in Haditha, north of the capital Baghdad. Eyewitness reports said they appeared to have been lined up against a wall and shot.

The dead were dressed in civilian clothes but are thought to have been members of the Iraqi National Guard."

This crap ain't' working. (Attention troops, expect indefinite deployments!)

Now, I know the Iraqi security forces are gearing up to take over for us and we're laying back and letting them take a bigger share of the fighting, but it doesn't seem to be working.

Talk of a reduction of forces by early next year might be a little premature.

According to globalsecurity.org :

The January elections "combined with regularly scheduled deployments and reinforcements boosted the US force in Iraq from 17 to 20 brigades and to an official and approximate figure of 153,000 troops. That number is expected to dwindle down to 135,000, as units get rotated out of Iraq, including units whose tour had been extended. [Yeah, right.]

This figure may, however, have been an undercount of actual in-country troop numbers, as Special Forces have been reported to generally be excluded from troop totals. As such, the total figure of US troops in Iraq may be higher than the official count of ~150,000 by multiple thousands."

There are 170,000 troops in Southasia right now as well.

There doen't seem to be any real end in sight. If we pull back into bases and let the Iraqis handle things we cut way down on casualties (three U.S. troops died today), but the potential for the Madain type crisis happening again, but much worse, grows ever more ominous. Someone is going to have to retaliate for this.

Maybe, what we need is to make a deal with one of the many militias in the area. The Badr Brigade? The Madhi Army? Eventually, that's what's going to happen and we'll declare victory and go home.

Government by warlord seems to be working just fine in Afghanistan, except for the poverty, the corruption and the poppies, that is.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 6:40 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 19 April 2005
Bad, bad, nominees and Cheers for kids!

Steve Clemons writes in washingtonnote.com:

"The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a vote on the nomination of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador after a Republican senator said he was not prepared to vote for him on Tuesday and cast the nomination in doubt.

"I've heard enough today that I don't feel comfortable about voting for Mr. Bolton," Ohio Sen. George Voinovich said, stunning fellow Republicans who were set to push the contentious nomination through the committee on a party-line vote.

I'm still stunned that the Senate is managing to find the right way on this outrageous nomination.
Maybe this can be the beginning of a number of good things."

Probably not.

See a "A comprehensive look at John Bolton's career [Which] reveals a man who champions extremism in the service of expediency," by Tom Barry at
Smirking Chimp and an interview with Steve Clemons at democracynow.org.

Der Spiegel wrote of Bush's nominees on April 8th and the difficulty of avoiding all of them. John Bolton would be their choice to exert the most political pressure to defeat. But, they're all equally horrible. One in particular is Stephen L. Johnson for the EPA:

"Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Ben Nelson of Florida are threatening to stall Mr. Johnson's confirmation unless he promises to end a suspended Florida study in which families would be paid to allow researchers to study the effects of pesticides on their children - a macabre investigation co-sponsored by the American Chemistry Council.

The idea that the E.P.A. would pay families to continue exposing their children to potentially dangerous chemicals is on its face outrageous - and made worse by the study's ghoulish acronym, Cheers, for Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study."

Luckily, some cooler heads are prevailing in the senate:

CNN/April 14

"Frustrated by the Bush administration's air pollution policies, Democratic Sen. Thomas Carper plans to block the Senate from confirming President Bush's nominee to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Delaware senator is "going to place a hold on the nomination of Stephen Johnson to be head of the EPA," Carper's spokesman, Bill Ghent, said Thursday. All senators have the power to hold up the confirmation of a nominee.

Last week, Johnson's decision to meet Democrats' demands and cancel plans for a controversial study using children in Duval County, Florida, to measure the effect of pesticides cleared the way for the committee vote on his nomination."

Sign me up for bug spray cocktails!

The EPA web site explains about the program. Any kids you know who might want to sign up? hey mom, you might ask:

"Why are you looking for participants?

We need participants for a very important study called the Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS) in Duval County, FL (Jacksonville, Florida area).

This two-year children’s exposure study will start in the Summer of 2004 and be conducted in Duval County (Jacksonville, Florida area). [Mainly African-American.]

The purpose of the study is to learn about levels of pesticides and common household chemicals in homes of young children.

Your participation will contribute to the knowledge of Children’s exposures, which will benefit young children in the future."

Oh you bet. The ones who survive.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 7:16 PM EDT
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Update on Iraqi "Beslan."
It might have been a hoax.

The Iraq Model says:

"General Hikmat Mousa from the ministry of interior, discredited the news about more than a hundred people taken hostages in Mada'en and he stressed that news agencies had exaggerated the situation.

The general told "New Sabah" that three battalions from the special forces of the ministry of interior are positioned around the town and on the roads leading to it from al friyah, Khalsah and Al-Wahda suburbs.

He added that these forces are waiting for engineering and other support units to begin cleaning the town from weapons, IEDs and unexploded ammunitions. The operations will extend later to include the rest of the suburbs in the region south-east of Baghdad."

See "this fucking war" which has been keeping a close eye on this as well. [See link to the left.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:35 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 April 2005 12:36 PM EDT
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Sunday, 17 April 2005
China or Alabama in the 50's?

The Guardian strikes again!

When Condi went to China she didn't get far with the leadership on the whole be nice to Japan issue which was obvious but,

"what has not been reported in the western media is the reception Rice was given...

One way of taking the temperature in China is the Internet, a very important indicator of public opinion in a country where more traditional media are tightly controlled. The importance of - and recent upsurge in - nationalism, for example, has found powerful expression on Chinese websites. The Internet response to Rice's visit has been revealing...

...Liu Xiaobo, a veteran critic of mass movements in China since Tiananmen...

He says that of 800 messages he has read about her visit, no less than 70 involved racist comments about her color: of these, only two were relatively moderate; the rest were vicious, describing Rice as a "black ghost", "black dog", "black woman" and "black bitch". One stated, "You are not even like a black ghost, a really low form of life," and another, "Her brain is even more black than her skin." One writer said: "I don't support racism, but this black ghost really makes people angry, the appearance of a little black who has made good."

In fact, the reaction is not that surprising. Although it is rarely written about or commented upon, Chinese culture remains deeply racist. For the most part, the Chinese are in denial of their own racism, while white commentators, in their great majority, are either oblivious of it, or simply regard it as unimportant."

If anyone reads book any more, Barbara Tuchman's "Stilwell and the American experience in China" is an excellent book.

She reveals just what a piece of dirt Chiang Kai Chek was. After Wendel Willkie left, after his visit, Chiang said the windows should be opened to the get the smell of the white man out.

The middle kingdom syndrome went as far as to be a hindrance to allied strategy. At the Casablanca meetings, the first time Roosevelt and Churchill met Chiang, the idea of attacking the Japanese before the monsoon, was met with a blank stare from the Chinese side. Chiang had never heard of a monsoon because they didn't have them in China!

There is much more. A very interesting subject and important as China's influence and military grows. Also, it is important to know the history of our relationship with China over the years to get a better idea of why we'll be fighting in the Taiwan Strait at some point.

See also a good description of the China/America relationship.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 10:26 AM EDT
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Saturday, 16 April 2005
Iraq's Beslan? And, what is the deal with Camp Bucca? Seriously!

Boy, this sure sounds familiar.

News reports say perhaps a 150 Iraqis in the southern town of Madain have been taken hostage by Sunni militants.

This Sunni/Shia thing in the south seems to have a life of its own. Is it really a part of the larger insurgency or an add-product of it?

The BBC:

"The trouble in Madain, about 30km (20 miles) south-east of Baghdad, began on Thursday when Sunni militants placed explosives inside a local mosque, said Haitham Husseini, a spokesman for the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution (Sciri) - Iraq's largest Shia group.

Mr Husseini told the Associated Press news agency that the rebels returned on Friday to seize the hostages.

"There were about 100 masked men, riding in cars, roaming the city. They took hostages from the Shia youth and old men, and demanded the Shias leave the city," he said."

All quiet on the Iraqi front?

We've benn hearing alot about how after the elections the rate of insuurgent attacks has gone down and the insurgency is peetering out etc.

Of course, if you know anything about war, you know the sping time is always the time when all hell breaks loose. Remember last April in Iraq? The first major attack on Fallujah, a hundred and fifty U.S. troops killed in April? Armies always regroup in the late winter and let loose in the the middle of April.

Newsday reported, just this past few days, never mind all the car bombs earlier on...

"...at least 17 people were killed Saturday in separate attacks nationwide after a week of increased violence in Iraq....

Later Saturday, insurgents fired mortars at a U.S. Marine base near Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, the military said, but no casualties were immediately reported.

Residents said dozens of fighters armed with grenade launchers and other weapons were seen moving through the city after dark and loud explosions were heard as the fighters tried to force their way into Camp Blue Diamond.

Two U.S. soldiers also were reported killed in separate attacks. One soldier from the 42nd Military Police Brigade was wounded and died when his convoy was hit Saturday by an explosive device near Taji, north of Baghdad. Another died of injuries sustained when a coalition military base was attacked Friday near Tikrit. [Current death toll: 1,553.]

What the hell is going at Camp Bucca? Abu Ghraib is a tea party compared to this place!

In southeastern Iraq, 11 detainees angry over their treatment by U.S. captors broke out of Camp Bucca, the military's largest detention center in the nation by climbing through a hole in the fence.

Ten were recaptured, and authorities were searching for the remaining escapee, the U.S. military and Iraqi forces said."

This place seems to be ground zero in Iraq. From day one it has been messed up.
From Psychcentral:

"According to the Taguba report, the Camp Bucca facility is "significantly over [its] intended maximum capacity while the guard force is undermanned and under resourced". The report describes the following "incident of detainee abuse" at Camp Bucca, on May 12, 2003. [And we've got more Iraqis now behind bars than at anytime since the invasion!]

Soldiers from the 223rd MP Company reported to the 800th MP Brigade Command at Camp Bucca, that four Military Police Soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion had abused a number of detainees during inprocessing at Camp Bucca.

An extensive CID investigation determined that four soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion had kicked and beaten these detainees following a transport mission from Talil Air Base.
After the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, many detainees from Abu Ghraib were transferred to Camp Bucca."

And then, during all the mudwrestling and rioting...

["On January 31, 2005, a riot broke out in which detainees reportedly threw rocks and may have fashioned weapons out of tent poles. The riot was dispelled by the use of lethal force. Four detainees were killed and six were injured. As is standard procedure in all cases of prison riots and the use of lethal force, the matter is under investigation by the U.S. Army?s Criminal Investigations Division."]

...apparently a bunch of them decided to dig some tunnels, one of which was "200 metres long and the other 100 metres long...," and get the hell out of "camp crazy."

So rest assured, every thing is under control in the free and sovereign state of Iraq. Freedom is on the march!

[Don't even think about what is going on in Kirkuk and the newly restared war in South eastern Turkey aginst the PKK> That won't effect us, right? See my lengthy mussings on the Kurds and Kirkuk. Some of which is from Feb. 11th. There's more all over this blog, though. I'm all over the Kurdish issue!]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 8:26 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 April 2005 9:37 PM EDT
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Chinese Government to be "Shanghai'd?"

This can't be good...

The Guardian:

"The Chinese authorities are bracing themselves for further anti-Japanese protests which could become one of the biggest displays of people power there since the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989.

Internet activists are calling for demonstrations in more than a dozen cities this weekend, prompting the US embassy to issue safety warnings to its citizens, and raising doubts whether the communist government is riding or being swamped by the rising wave of nationalism.

A whiff of something old and something new...

In the past few days thousands of army veterans have rallied in Beijing for higher pensions, protesters beat up Japanese students in Shanghai, and villagers with machetes repelled 1,000 riot police in a bloody battle in Zhejiang province.

The US embassy issued a warning to its citizens which said: "The demonstrations are purportedly against Japanese interests, but could involve foreigners in general."

[Sounds like the good old days just before the Chinese government fell apart and the Japanese marched in to the Colonial Consessions.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:19 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 April 2005 1:39 AM EDT
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Friday, 15 April 2005
New this season on FOX:: "Terrorism in the Hands of Justice."

Didn't Saddam do this?


"Iraq's wildly popular new television show features a nightly parade of men, most with bruised faces, confessing to all kinds of terrorist and criminal acts.

"Terrorism in the Hands of Justice" is the Iraqi government's slick new propaganda tool. Its televised confessions, the police say, aim to discredit the armed resistance and advertise the government's success at cracking down on gangs.

If it is meant to showcase a brave new Iraq, the television show is disturbingly reminiscent of the bad old Iraq. The show, which appears six nights a week on the state-run Iraqis network, has a strong flavor of Saddam Hussein-era strong-arming.

Since its debut a month ago, "Terrorism" has become a fixture in Iraq's cafes and living rooms."


The Daily Texan Online reports:

"Iraqi state television aired a video [A pentagon VNR?] Wednesday showing what the U.S.-funded channel said was the confession of a captured Syrian officer who said he trained Iraqi insurgents to behead people and build car bombs to attack American and Iraqi troops.

The video comes at a time when the Bush administration has stepped up pressure on Syria to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs by allowing insurgents to cross into the country to fight coalition troops and by harboring former Iraqi regime members. Syria has denied the charges."

[How strange. It turns out no one knows where this video originated. It's good the Iraqis don't just play videos they get from strangers and play them on their station like al-Jazeera does.]

"We received all the instructions from Syrian intelligence," al-Essa, 30, said on a video broadcast by state-run Iraqis TV, which can be seen nationwide.

Iraqis TV is believed to be widely watched by Iraqis - mainly those who cannot afford satellite dishes offering the Gulf-based Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya stations.

But the station, which went on the air in May 2003 with help from the Pentagon, is viewed by many Iraqis as an American propaganda tool having a pro-American slant..." [Is that Iraqyia or FOX?]

Another coincidence? (I see a pattern emerging here.)

al-Jazeera reported back in February:

"Alleged Sudanese, Egyptian and Iraqi fighters have confessed on television to being trained by Syrian intelligence officers to bomb Iraqi security forces and behead police officers and civilians."

[You don't think the U.S. is using Iraqiya to further its own agenda against Syria, do you? This isn't all a bunch of propaganda is it?]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:00 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 15 April 2005 4:01 PM EDT
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David Horowitz needs my help!

I just got this urgent appeal from well known right wing nut David Horowitz asking for "a contribution of $25, $50, or even $100 if possible today to our National Campaign for Academic Freedom."

Seems the American college campus of today is crawling with left wing fascists!

Seems he was ATTACKED at Butler University with a PIE!!!! (Where's my checkbook?}

He says,

Dear Bushmeister Zero:

"Let me tell you what happened at Butler. As I stepped to the podium, a group of four students -- juvenile delinquents, really -- rushed the stage and slammed a chocolate cream pie into my face.

Fortunately my glasses weren’t broken." [Thank God!]

[And would you believe?]

"At Texas -- where 20 radicals were arrested! -- the thugs got a surprise. Supporters of our National Campaign for Academic Freedom rose and shouted back. The radicals were stunned but not silenced, and with each slanderous epithet they underscored our point:

We need an Academic Bill of Rights to break the radical left’s grip on our campuses".

Amen to that crazy man!

Now, whereas David, my buddy, says of the pie incident "Officials caught and arrested three of the students," an article at Indymedia says different.

"Horowitz's croneys followed the "enemies"
out of the hall, and confronted them with
what a witness called "pushing and shoving."

But alas, says neocon americanthinker.com ,
the attackers got away."

I don't know, whatever the story, I need to rattle through my penny jar and get something to David right now!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:40 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 13 April 2005
Afghanistan! Our new "partner.".

Well, isn't this interesting. Hamid Karzai wants a security arrangement with us. Now that Afghanistan is all "sovereign" and everything they can make their own decisions, right?

The WaPo:

KABUL, Afghanistan -- President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday he is preparing a formal request to President Bush for a long-term security partnership that could include a permanent U.S. military presence.

At a joint news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Karzai said he had consulted many of his country's citizens in recent weeks about "a strategic security relationship," with the United States that could help Afghanistan avoid foreign interference and military conflicts."

Rummy said the idea of bases was up in the air but,

?What we generally do when we work with another country is what we have been doing. We find ways we can be helpful, maybe training, equipment or other types of assistance. We think in terms of what we are doing rather than the question of military bases and that type thing."


But I read in the Asia Times on the 30th of March that:

"The United States is beefing up its military presence in Afghanistan, at the same time encircling Iran. Washington will set up nine new bases in Afghanistan in the provinces of Helmand, Herat, Nimrouz, Balkh, Khost and Paktia.

Reports also make it clear that the decision to set up new US military bases was made during Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Kabul last December.

President Hamid Karzai accepted the Pentagon diktat. Not that Karzai had a choice: US intelligence is of the view that he will not be able to hold on to his throne beyond June unless the US Army can speed up training of a large number of Afghan army recruits and protect Kabul.

Even today, the inner core of Karzai's security is run by the US State Department with personnel provided by private US contractors."

You mean, Karzai is just doing what he's told?

[I mean, the poor guy couldn't even go out to campaign in the presidential elections. The only time he attempted it, someone shot a rocket at his helicopter.]

John Kerry was right!

But as the president said, the reason we can't find Osama is because he's hiding. Maybe he meant to say "bribing."

The NY Times:

BERLIN, April 12 - The head of the German intelligence agency, in an interview published here Tuesday, said Osama bin Laden had been able to elude capture after the American invasion of Afghanistan by paying bribes to the Afghan militias delegated the task of finding him.

"The principal mistake was made already in 2001, when one wanted bin Laden to be apprehended by the Afghan militias in Tora Bora," the intelligence official, August Hanning, said in an interview with the German business newspaper Handelsblatt.
"There, bin Laden could buy himself free with a lot of money," Mr. Hanning said.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Hanning confirmed the accuracy of the newspaper's account. She said Afghan forces had told Mr. bin Laden they knew his whereabouts and he would be arrested, but they allowed him safe passage in exchange for a bribe."

Kill them. Kill them all.

Maybe he should have gotten the treatment 3000 Taliban got at the beginning of the Afghan invasion when they were shoved into storage containers and shot.

In March of 2003 a German TV station "presented fresh evidence implicating US troops in the massacre of Taliban prisoners during the 2001 war in Afghanistan. Shown on the ARD channel, the programme presented footage, including interviews with two Afghan government ministers who confirmed the presence of American troops during the transportation and killing of surrendered Taliban prisoners.

"Hundreds of prisoners died of suffocation in the course of transportation in closed containers to the prison of Shibarghan. The transport finally ended in a stretch of desert known as Dasht-i-Leili, near Mazar-i-Sharif, where dead bodies were unloaded and several hundred prisoners who were still alive were shot to death.

And who was mother's little helper in all this? Why it was "forces loyal to the commander of the Northern Alliance, General Rashid Dostum," who is now the defense minister of Afghanistan. See picture of his American counterpart Rummy below shaking hands with another killer.

Now that the Taliban are defeated, or all dead....

Crime wave hits Afghanistan.

The Guardian reported last month "Armed robbery, kidnapping and intimidation have displaced the Taliban as the principal security problem. The line between cops and robbers is becoming increasingly blurred.

Demobilized Mujahideen fighters, underpaid policemen and corrupt officials are behind the lawlessness, according to Afghan officials, western diplomats, and victims.

Thousands of newly Demobilized mujahideen fighters have been inducted into police ranks. Many have retained their criminal sidelines.

The crime wave has heightened worries that a culture of impunity has taken root in the Karzai administration."

Hmmm...that's fine by us. More money for dodgy contractors like Custer/Battles.

The dope on Afghanistan.

Of course, the most successful part of our little excursion into Afghanistan is the drug trade, which accounts for over 40% of the economy. Smashing!

A report by the State Dept. given to congress said Afghanistan is "on the verge of becoming a narcotics state." That's cool. It's worked for us in Vietnam and Columbia.

But women are better off right?

Laura Bush was over there a few weeks ago and brought 23 million dollars for women and children.

Of course, Rummy went over there with 83 million for new bases, but hey. This is a man's world.

The Chicago-Tribune :

WASHINGTON - (KRT) -Human rights organizations criticized the Bush administration Wednesday, saying in the three years since the Taliban was ousted from most of Afghanistan, the United Stateshas not fulfilled promises of safety, freedom, education and health care for Afghan women.

"They have failed, misguided and betrayed Afghan women by giving them false hope," said T. Kumar, an Amnesty International advocacy director for Asiaand the Pacific, at a news conference addressing Afghan women's issues. "Three years later, they are still dreaming, and it may be a pipe dream..."

[See article on narco state.]

All in all, a very "liberating" experience. Iraq is all settled, now on to Iran!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:22 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 April 2005 11:58 PM EDT
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