A shocking exposé reveals CIA-backed death squads in Afghanistan have killed children as young as 8 years old in a series of night raids, many targeting madrassas, Islamic religious schools.
In December 2018, one of the death squads attacked a madrassa in Wardak province, killing 12 boys, of whom the youngest was 9 years old.
The United States played key roles in many of the raids, from picking targets to ferrying Afghan forces to the sites to providing lethal airpower during the raids.
The Intercept reports this was part of a campaign of terror orchestrated by the Trump administration that included massacres, executions, mutilation, forced disappearances, attacks on medical facilities, and airstrikes targeting structures known to house civilians.
“These militias … were established in the very early days of the Afghan War by CIA officers, many of whom had been brought back into the fold after the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 who had previously been working in Afghanistan during the 1980s,” says reporter Andrew Quilty.
“This network of militias was set up and appear to be entirely under the control of the CIA but made up entirely of Afghan soldiers.”
The decision by the US to fight both of those “stupid” wars was made by powerful people in government and industry for their own selfish economic and political purposes. The little people who actually had to do the fighting and dying had no say in the matter and either went because they had to, or volunteered because they had been lied to and convinced that it was the patriotic thing to do. These US soldier testimonies educational, heartbreaking and valuable.
In the latest scandal precipitated by Commander in Chief Donald Trump — a man who notoriously got a doctor to lie for him about his having debilitating “bone spurs” so he wouldn’t have to serve in the military during the Vietnam War — we have a president who is the leader of the military but who, it is reliably confirmed, has disparaged the people who fought in those wars.
He has called them “losers” for being killed or captured in battle. He has declined to memorialize them.
He has had wounded veterans kept out of military parades because he felt vets in wheelchairs and on walkers or crutches or missing limbs “are not a good look.”
He has called soldiers who served in Vietnam “losers and suckers” for going and fighting and dying there, since, as he knew from his own experience, the draft was “easy to get out of.”
And he has declined to visit the graves in France of US dead from WWI, calling them “losers” for getting killed.
It’s all pretty outrageous, particularly for a man who as president of the US, has for four years been sending American military personnel into battle or keeping them in battle zones in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the globe, creating more dead “losers” in the process.
But let’s also at least acknowledge that, whether by accident or not, the president did say two correct things, for which he should not be criticized.
One was that Vietnam was a “stupid” war.The other was that, in the case of World War I, it was hard to know “Who were the good guys in this war?”
Braindead US pundits have reflexively attacked the president for saying these things about these two wars as though that is a sacrilege and somehow an insult to American veterans, but they’re wrong.
Those wars were indeed both stupid and unnecessary.
There are two issues to be raised here. One is the national policies and leadership that have historically sent Americans abroad into battle to kill, fight, be maimed for life and even to die.
The other is the behavior in battle of those soldiers who have been dispatched to fight America’s wars.
And let me be clear: Trump’s dismissal of WWI and Vietnam as “stupid” wars is not indication that he is anti-war.
His unilateral abrogation of the multi-national agreement with Iran on limiting its nuclear power program, his pull-out from the Reagan-Gorbachev Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty, his continuation of President Obama’s trillion-dollar nuclear-weapons “modernization” and development program, his creation of a US Space Force, officially militarizing outer space, and his record expansion of the US military budget make it clear that he is as much a warmonger as most of his predecessors.
That still doesn’t mean we should criticize the two valid criticism he has made about two of America’s major wars.
Trump’s problem, as a man of supreme self-importance with a complete lack of human empathy, is that he cannot see the difference between criticizing a war, and criticizing the soldiers who had to fight in it.
To Trump, a man who casually used his father’s money and connections to escape a draft that less wealthy and powerful young men couldn’t avoid, those who ended up in the “stupid” Vietnam War probably deserved whatever happened to them.
They were to Trump “losers and suckers” for ending up in Nam. The same for the soldiers and marines who ended up being chewed up on the front line trenches in France during World War I.
I happen to know a bit about World War I and the sacrifices US fighting men made. My maternal grandfather, a gifted athlete who had a potential Olympic opportunity as a sprinter that was forfeited because of the war, was hit with mustard gas on the front which left his lungs scarred for life, ending his athletic career.
He wound up being a coach and head of the athletic program for the school system in Greensboro, NC.My other grandfather on my father’s side earned a silver star for heroically driving an ambulance on the front lines in France through that war, rescuing allied and German wounded.
It was an experience so horrible that my father, a Marine in WWII, said his dad never once spoke of it to his children.
My silver-star grandfather, the son of two German immigrants to this country, who died in his 40s of colon cancer, probably had no idea why he was fighting soldiers from the nation of his parents; origin. Trump is right that there was no real moral issue in that most bloody of wars.
It was simply a war of competing empires — the old British and French and Italian ones on one side, and the rising German and Austria-Hungarian one, aided by the declining Ottoman Empire on the other.
(The picture was complicated by the convergent timing of the Russian Revolution which ousted the Tsar and eventually led to the Communist government which sued for peace and left the field of battle, only to become the target of the WWI victors, including the US, after the so called Great War ended in 1918.)
I know a bit about the Vietnam War too, as a war resister who decided before my 18th birthday that the US invasion of Vietnam was a criminal enterprise against a nation simply seeking independence and that I would not allow myself to be drafted to fight in it.
Trump, certainly not for any intellectual or moral reason (which would be beyond him), is nonetheless correct that both wars were stupid and never should have been fought.
But that doesn’t make the men who fought and died in those wars “stupid” or “losers.”
First of all, most of the people who fought for the United States in those wars were drafted into the military. They went because they had little alternative.
Those who enlisted “voluntarily” were often driven to do so by the promise of a job or out of a sense of patriotism —itself the response to massive government and media propaganda.
In the case of WWI, the target of that propaganda was the “evil Germans” while with Vietnam, it was about an imagined “Communist menace” that we were warned would sweep the globe if Vietnam, half a world away, were to “fall” under the sway of that alien ideology of worker revolution against the rich.
We can say that American military enlistees were brainwashed or deluded in volunteering to fight such wars, but that doesn’t make them “losers” or “suckers.”
In fact many American soldiers, sailors and marines have shown themselves in battle to be courageous, selfless in defending their comrades in arms, often noble in extending compassion and generosity to those that they have captured or defeated, and heroism in risking or sacrificing their own lives in order to save others.
(Of course there are plenty of examples of US soldiers, just as with soldiers of other countries, behaving criminally and brutally, but that too, is not a reflection on soldiers in general.)
The point is, as Commander in Chief, President Trump, himself a draft-dodging liar, has demeaned, as a class of people, American soldiers for whom he, as their commander and chief policy maker when it comes to sending them into battler or ending the battles they are engaged in, has exhibited a reprehensible disrespect for their service and their sacrifice.
But at the same time, let’s not condemn the president for the two truthful things he has said in this latest Trump scandal:that the Vietnam War and World War I should never have been fought.
It’s no dishonor to those who fought, died or were gravely injured in those wars that they fought in them.
The decision by the US to fight both of those “stupid” wars was made by powerful people in government and industry for their own selfish economic and political purposes.
The little people who actually had to do the fighting and dying had no say in the matter and either went because they had to, or volunteered because they had been lied to and convinced that it was the patriotic thing to do.
They deserve to be honored for doing their duty or for going beyond the call of duty for what they at least thought was right, and Trump should be tossed out of the White House and his role as Commander in Chief for mocking them and dishonoring them.
At the same time, let’s also acknowledge that this nation still has a great reckoning that is overdue. We all need to recognize too the honor, courage and heroism of those brave people who, when the war drums were beating in the early days of World War I, and during the late 1950s and early 1960s as US involvement in the Vietnam War grew and through the course of those two wars, struggled to oppose them, who refused to fight them, and who as a result lost jobs, went to jail, left the country, were deported, and were condemned by the more deluded of their fellow citizens.
We especially need to honor those servicemen and women who, once in the military, realized the true nature of the wars they were being sent to fight, and who refused to continue, either deserting or simply refusing to fight, facing arrest and prison, a life of struggle with a dishonorable discharge, exile and public disrespect.
If this seems surprising, it’s in part because the problem has been bipartisan. Indeed, many congressional Democrats have actually supported these escalations.
In December, 188 House Democrats joined Republicans in passing a nearly $740 billion military budget that continues the wars.
They passed the budget after abandoning anti-war measures put forward by California Representative Barbara Lee and the precious few others trying to rein in the wars.
It’s worth remembering that State of the Union visual, of Congress rising in unison and joining the president in applause for his stunt with the Williams family.
Because there has been nearly that level of consensus year after year in funding, and expanding, the wars.
Ending them will not be easy. Too many powerful interests — from weapons manufacturers to politicians — are too invested.
But ending the wars begins with rejecting the idea that real opposition will come from inside the White House.
As with so many other issues — like when Trump first enacted the Muslim Ban and people flocked to airports nationwide in protest, or the outpouring against caging children at the border — those of us who oppose the wars need to raise our voices, and make the leaders follow.
The Taliban relentlessly pressure Afghan soldiers and police to turn and fight the Americans as invaders (and rightly so)
In the late morning, the British media Daily Mail had spread the news with a very in-depth article on the figure of Michael D’Andrea before giving space, in the following hours, to an anonymous US military source that would obviously have denied the presence of CIA agents on the crashed flight, of which the Pentagon first it denied even the very fact of the crashed plane and then the downed by the Taliban, without however providing credible versions on the reason for the disaster in the usual strategy of information manipulation.
Instead, the high counterintelligence official who would have died in the crash appears little known by Adnkronos as he briefly summarizes the immense profile despite the fact that dozens of articles on the web are available on the intelligence and anti-terrorism expert who was even the role of “The wolf” in a drama / thriller film about the history of the hunt for the worst terrorists in the world, as explained in our article on the profile of “Dark Prince”…
The Russian agency Avia.pro in the last hours has also spread the news that it could have been a missile of the Iranian Padaran of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to shoot down the plane with a missile.
But the IRGC itself has not confirmed and many sources do not consider the indiscretion true.
The hypothesis is that the paramilitaries of Tehran wanted to hit the plane precisely because they believed that the CIA mobile command and the commander Michael D’Andrea were on board who would have planned the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani of the Pasudar Quds Forces.
This would have been accomplished by sending a special unit armed with Manpada missiles for shoulder launch in that area of eastern Afghanistan which is 600 km from the border with Iran.
Even if the hypothesis is not currently highly accepted, this would explain why the Taliban, Islamic fundamentalist rebels, would have first claimed and then denied the shooting down of the plane.
Brzezinski died safely in a hospital bed, unlike the millions of displaced and murdered civilians who were pawns in Brzezinski’s twisted, geopolitical chess games of blood and lunacy.
The news is so big that we have to write it running the risk of a denial, even if at the moment it is confirmed by intelligence russian sources not better identified. And a little curious riddle in his Wikipedia history…
“Ayatollah Mike” or “Dark Prince”, the famous and very dangerous Michael D’Andrea, commander of the Central Intelligence Agency of Langley (Virginia) in operations in the Middle East would have been killed in the crash of the US Air Force military plane crashed yesterday in central Afghanistan on which CIA, NSA officers were traveling ( National Security Agency).
The death of the crew was reported by the Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujah, who in a statement released a few hours after the accident (and reported by Il Giornale in Italy) described the incident as follows: «A special American plane was flying for an intelligence mission in the Sadukhil area, Dehk district, Ghazni province.
The entire aircraft crew and several senior CIA officers from the United States were killed. The wreckage and bodies of the deceased are still in the area».
The news of the alleged death of D’Andrea has been previous posted by on Veterans Today inside the investigations on the disaster of the Bombardier / Northrop Grumman E-11A. An then in our website Gospa News.
Later, in the last hours, the iranian website Tasnim relaunched the topic. Then the other iranian Mizan, the mouthpiece for Tehran’s Judiciary, did, according to the British media Mirror that write an item about, in wich recalled the VT scoop. Lastly also Jerusalem Post and Daily Mail reported the news.
«There were conflicting claims over the number of dead and people on board, with the Taliban claiming it recovered six bodies, an Afghan police chief saying four were dead and two were missing, and a US official stating the jet was carrying fewer than five people.
The US has not yet commented on reports that Michael D’Andrea was on board the jet and among those killed» reports Mirror.
Michael d’Andrea, CIA operations chief for the Middle East. nicknamed Dark Prince or Ayatollah Mike
«The downed plane was the mobile CIA command for Michael D’ Andrea, head of operations against Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, America’s most advanced spy platform and mobile command center with all equipment and documents now in enemy hands» read on VT (for wich I am honored to be a correspondent from Italy).
«VT Damascus: (Russian intelligence sources confirm) It has been reported that (Mike de Andrea) responsible for the assassination file of the martyr Major General Qassem Soleimani was killed in the accident of the American plane that was shot down in Afghanistan. He is the most prominent figure of the CIA intelligence in the region.
The CIA top official was killed in the US bomber crash in Afghanistan».
At the moment there is no confirmation from the Pentagon even on the nature of the accident and on the victims therefore the presence of Michael d’Andrea, also nicknamed Dark Prince because coordinator of the activities of the National Clandestine Service, the dark arm of the CIA licensed to kill, remains shrouded in mystery.
«A U.S. Bombardier E-11A crashed today in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. While the cause of crash is under investigation, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire.
We will provide additional information as it becomes available» it is the only concise official press release issued on Twitter by the spokesman for the US Force Army Col Sonny Leggett.
The position of the Taliban about the crash is ambiguous. Previously, in a press release in Pashtu language, they claimed the shooting down of the “American occupation” plane, as reported by the Tasnim news agency, but subsequently released a press statement that referred instead the shootings of an unknown number of helicopters and aircrafts by the Mujaheddin without explicit reference to the Bombardier / Northrop Grumman E-11A.
May be that they realized only later the importance of the downed plane’s travellers within the leaders of American intelligence on board. An harsh action that could trigger heavy bombing retaliation by the US Air Force.
Ayatollah Mike’s resume is truly impressive. Therefore we report in full the Wikipedia entry which cites as many as 10 different authoritative sources to support the information. In which happened a big mystery…
When we write first version of this post whe highlighted that the biography starting with “Michael d’Adrea was an officer” as a an implicit confirmation of his death.
Now, an hour after the posting of the item the sentence has been modified.
But no problem! We have the screenshot that demonstrate the first version. A simple mistake of writing??? Maybe but this coincidence, about a secret agent history, seems more an attempt of coverage…
«Michael D’Andrea was an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, that in 2017 was appointed to head the Agency’s Iran Mission Center.
He was a major figure in the search for Osama bin Laden, as well as the American drone striketargeted killing campaign» starts biography on Wikipedia.
D’Andrea was raised in Northern Virginia. He met his wife while working overseas with the Central Intelligence Agency, and converted to Islam in order to marry her (for this reason his nickname became Ayatollah Mike).
His wife, Faridah Currimjee D’Andrea is a daughter of a wealthy Muslim family from Mauritius with Gujarati origins.
D’Andrea joined the CIA in 1979, and he was considered an underperformer atCamp Peary. D’Andrea reportedly began his overseas career in Africa, and he is listed as a foreign service officer at the Embassy of the United States in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
D’Andrea previously served as chief of station in Cairo, Egypt and later in Baghdad, Iraq. D’Andrea was reportedly one of the CIA officials who failed to track Nawaf al-Hazmi, who would later participate in the September 11 attacks.
During his nine-year tenure, D’Andrea presided over hundreds of American drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, advocating for the program to the United States Congress. In 2015, leadership of the drone program was passed to Chris Wood, following bureaucratic reshuffling by Director John O. Brennan.
During his time at the Counterterrorism Center many reporters referred to him only by the codename “Roger”, which was considered unusual for an official not posted overseas.
During the hunt for Osama bin Laden, D’Andrea directed an analysis of competing hypotheses as to who, besides Osama bin Laden, could be in the targeted compound in Abbottabad.
D’Andrea’s operatives also oversaw the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, which a United States Senate report described as torture.
He was reportedly involved in the assassination of Hezbollah member Imad Mughniyah in Damascus, Syria. He received much blame for the Camp Chapman attack in Khost, Afghanistan, when seven CIA operatives were killed by a suicide bomber, who was allegedly backed Pakistan’s ISI.
D’Andrea was the inspiration for the character of “The Wolf” in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.
We just have to wait for the moment when there will be any official confirmation of the death of Ayatollah Mike or the possible denial by the CIA that after hours of late arriving … For now there have only been anonymous denials by US officers in front of others who speak of at least 5 people on the plane of which nothing is known.
The Taliban relentlessly pressure Afghan soldiers and police to turn and fight the Americans as invaders (and rightly so)
As U.S. forces have shrunk their presence and interaction with regular Afghan soldiers, American airstrikes have reached record numbers, often pounding areas close to where the soldiers come from and sometimes killing civilians. In an age of social media and Taliban news, the news of those attacks spread quickly, and outrage against the American presence rises.
“All I gotta do now is take Dick Cain and work deals for the CIA and the Outfit … all over the world. … Overseas is where it’s all headin’, Chuck,” Mooney continued. I’ve got Trafficante on board for Asia. The Vietnam War is gonna make a lot of guys rich.”– Mob boss Sam Giancana, speaking in 1966, “Double Cross”, 1992 (111)
Israel You can’t understand what’s been going on around the world with American covert operations and the Israeli covert operations until you understand that the two countries have this secret arrangement.~ Andrew Cockburn
Just as the U.S. uses its economic and military power, its sophisticated propaganda system and its position as a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council to violate international law with impunity, it also uses the same tools to shield its ally Israel from accountability for international crimes. Since 1966, the U.S. has used its Security Council veto 83 times, more than the other four Permanent Members combined, and 42 of those vetoes have been on resolutions related to Israel and/or Palestine. Just last week, Amnesty International published a report that, “Israeli forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity.” Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Territories condemned the 2008 assault on Gaza as a “massive violation of international law,” adding that nations like the U.S. “that have supplied weapons and supported the siege are complicit in the crimes.” The Leahy Lawrequires the U.S. to cut off military aid to forces that violate human rights, but it has never been enforced against Israel. Israel continues to build settlements in occupied territory in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention, making it harder to comply with Security Council resolutions that require it to withdraw from occupied territory. But Israel remains beyond the rule of law, shielded from accountability by its powerful patron, the United States.
Since 2001, more than 775,000 U.S. troops have deployed to Afghanistan, many repeatedly. Of those, 2,300 died there and 20,589 were wounded in action, according to Defense Department figures.
The interviews, through an extensive array of voices, bring into sharp relief the core failings of the war that persist to this day. They underscore how three presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — and their military commanders have been unable to deliver on their promises to prevail in Afghanistan.
Afghan opium soaring since US invasion, 90 % of world’s illegal opium is now from Afghanistan
Responses to The Post from people named in The Afghanistan Papers
With most speaking on the assumption that their remarks would not become public, U.S. officials acknowledged that their warfighting strategies were fatally flawed and that Washington wasted enormous sums of money trying to remake Afghanistan into a modern nation.
“Following its ignoble defeat in Vietnam, America was driven by a reactionary impulse to reassert its global dominance. The justifications used to rationalize Phoenix were institutionalized as policy, as became evident after 9/11 and the initiation of the War on Terror.”
Large picture: the CIA’s Paul Helliwell with the CIA’s Michael Hand (mid) and Frank Nugan (right) of the Nugan Hand Bank, a laundromat for CIA heroin profits. Small picture, left: Former CIA director, vice president, and chief U.S. drug trafficking “fighter” George H. W. Bush with Panama’s Noriega, a decades-long CIA asset and Medellin Cartel-allied cocaine exporter to the U.S. – until he became too much of a liability in 1989. Small picture, right: Seizure in Mexico of cartel weapons and drugs.
The interviews also highlight the U.S. government’s botched attempts to curtail runaway corruption, build a competent Afghan army and police force, and put a dent in Afghanistan’s thriving opium trade.
The U.S. government has not carried out a comprehensive accounting of how much it has spent on the war in Afghanistan, but the costs are staggering.
Since 2001, the Defense Department, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development have spent or appropriated between $934 billion and $978 billion, according to an inflation-adjusted estimate calculated by Neta Crawford, a political science professor and co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University.
Those figures do not include money spent by other agencies such as the CIA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is responsible for medical care for wounded veterans.
The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting.
Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul — and at the White House — to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.
John Sopko, the head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, acknowledged to The Post that the documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to.”
The interviews are the byproduct of a project led by Sopko’s agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Known as SIGAR, the agency was created by Congress in 2008 to investigate waste and fraud in the war zone.
In 2014, at Sopko’s direction, SIGAR departed from its usual mission of performing audits and launched a side venture.
Titled “Lessons Learned,” the $11 million project was meant to diagnose policy failures in Afghanistan so the United States would not repeat the mistakes the next time it invaded a country or tried to rebuild a shattered one.
The Lessons Learned staff interviewed more than 600 people with firsthand experience in the war. Most were Americans, but SIGAR analysts also traveled to London, Brussels and Berlin to interview NATO allies. In addition, they interviewed about 20 Afghan officials, discussing reconstruction and development programs.
Drawing partly on the interviews, as well as other government records and statistics, SIGAR has published seven Lessons Learned reports since 2016 that highlight problems in Afghanistan and recommend changes to stabilize the country.
But the reports, written in dense bureaucratic prose and focused on an alphabet soup of government initiatives, left out the harshest and most frank criticisms from the interviews.
“We found the stabilization strategy and the programs used to achieve it were not properly tailored to the Afghan context, and successes in stabilizing Afghan districts rarely lasted longer than the physical presence of coalition troops and civilians,” read the introduction to one report released in May 2018.
The reports also omitted the names of more than 90 percent of the people who were interviewed for the project. While a few officials agreed to speak on the record to SIGAR, the agency said it promised anonymity to everyone else it interviewed to avoid controversy over politically sensitive matters.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, The Post began seeking Lessons Learned interview records in August 2016. SIGAR refused, arguing that the documents were privileged and that the public had no right to see them.
The Post had to sue SIGAR in federal court — twice — to compel it to release the documents.
The US has spent 8 billion $ in anti-drug operations during the war on AfghanistanvsAfghan drug trafficking brings US $50 billion a year.
The US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there, says Gen. Mahmut Gareev, a former commander during the USSR’s operations in Afghanistan.
This war is a complete fiasco, and it IS America’s newest Vietnam! We are in Afghanistan to support the shipment of Opium to markets around the world. The Rothschild drug lords demanded that we send in troops in 2001 because the Taliban were both destroying the Poppy fields, and executing the Afghan drug lords.
The Zionist controlled BS media did their part in vilifying the Taliban as a group of Ultra radical Islamic Extremists, which is a total falsehood. The public was conditioned by the attacks of 9-11 into wanting immediate justice against “Al-Qaida”, and since the plans for the invasion of Afghanistan had been drawn up before the 9-11 attacks, the Americans decided quickly to go forward with the Afghanistan invasion.
After 17 bloody years, the longest war in US history continues without relent or purpose in Afghanistan.
Vietnam is a blueprint for all US wars.
“To understand how the United States got bogged down in this horrible disaster that ended up in an epic tragedy for both the people of Vietnam and a large part of the American population? Call the second age of imperialism. The Dulles Brothers were so intent upon putting down this rebellion against the French attempt to recolonize the area because to them, it was an example of an industrial or already commercialized western power going ahead and exploiting cheap labor and cheap materials in the Third World. In large part, that’s what their law firm (Sullivan & Cromwell) represented.” ~James DiEugenio
Watching the world’s greatest power bomb and ravage little Afghanistan, a nation so poor that some of its people can’t afford sandals, is a huge dishonor for Americans (just like Vietnam)
There, a valiant, fiercely-independent people, the Pashtun (Pathan) mountain tribes, have battled the full might of the US Empire to a stalemate that has so far cost American taxpayers $4 trillion, and 2,371 dead and 20,320 wounded soldiers. No one knows how many Afghans have died. The number is kept secret.
Pashtun tribesmen in the Taliban alliance and their allies are fighting to oust all foreign troops from Afghanistan and evict the western-imposed and backed puppet regime in Kabul that pretends to be the nation’s legitimate government. Withdraw foreign troops and the Kabul regime would last for only days.
The whole thing smells of the Vietnam War. Lessons so painfully learned by America in that conflict have been completely forgotten and the same mistakes repeated. The lies and happy talk from politicians, generals and media continue apace.
This week, Taliban forces occupied the important strategic city of Ghazni on the road from Peshawar to Kabul. It took three days and massive air attacks by US B-1 heavy bombers, Apache helicopter gun ships, A-10 ground attack aircraft, and massed warplanes from US bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar and the 5th US Fleet to finally drive back the Taliban assault. Taliban also overran key military targets in Kabul and the countryside, killing hundreds of government troops in a sort of Afghan Tet offensive.
Afghan regime police and army units put up feeble resistance or ran away. Parts of Ghazni were left in ruins. It was a huge embarrassment to the US imperial generals and their Afghan satraps who had claimed ‘the corner in Afghanistan has finally been turned.’
Efforts by the Trump administration to bomb Taliban into submission have clearly failed. US commanders fear using American ground troops in battle lest they suffer serious casualties. Meanwhile, the US is running low on bombs.
Roads are now so dangerous for the occupiers that most movement must be by air. Taliban is estimated to permanently control almost 50% of Afghanistan. That number would rise to 100% were it not for omnipresent US air power. Taliban rules the night.
Taliban are not and never were ‘terrorists’ as Washington’s war propaganda falsely claimed. I was there at the creation of the movement – a group of Afghan religious students armed by Pakistan whose goal was to stop post-civil war banditry, the mass rape of women, and to fight the Afghan Communists.
When Taliban gained power, it eliminated 95% of the rampant Afghanistan opium-heroin trade. After the US invaded, allied to the old Afghan Communists and northern Tajik tribes, opium-heroin production soared to record levels. Today, US-occupied Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, morphine and heroin.
US occupation authorities claim drug production is run by Taliban. This is another big lie. The Afghan warlords who support the regime of President Ashraf Ghani entirely control the production and export of drugs. The army and secret police get a big cut. How else would trucks packed with drugs get across the border into Pakistan and Central Asia?
The United States has inadvertently become one of the world’s leading drug dealers. This is one of the most shameful legacies of the Afghan War. But just one. Watching the world’s greatest power bomb and ravage little Afghanistan, a nation so poor that some of its people can’t afford sandals, is a huge dishonor for Americans.
Even so, the Pashtun defeated the invading armies of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, the Mogul Emperors and the mighty British Raj. The US looks to be next in the Graveyard of Empires.
Nobody in Washington can enunciate a good reason for continuing the colonial war in Afghanistan. One hears talk of minerals, women’s rights and democracy as a pretext for keeping US forces in Afghanistan. All nonsense. A possible real reason is to deny influence over Afghanistan, though the Chinese are too smart to grab this poisoned cup. They have more than enough with their rebellious Uighur Muslims.
Interestingly, the so-called ‘terrorist training camps’ supposedly found in Afghanistan in 2001 were actually guerilla training camps run by Pakistani intelligence to train Kashmiri rebels and CIA-run camps for exiled Uighur fighters from China.
The canard that the US had to invade Afghanistan to get at Osama bin Laden, alleged author of the 9/11 attacks, is untrue. The attacks were made by Saudis and mounted from Hamburg and Madrid, not Afghanistan. I’m not even sure bin Laden was behind the attacks.
My late friend and journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave shared my doubts and insisted that the Taliban leader Mullah Omar offered to turn bin Laden over to a court in a Muslim nation to prove his guilt or innocence.
President George Bush, caught sleeping on guard duty and humiliated, had to find an easy target for revenge – and that was Afghanistan.