The most fundamental realities of the war in Afghanistan include the following.
The Taleban is not an invading guerilla force. The word "insurgents" nicely hides the fact that they are natives of the land we have invaded.
Moreover, they are a substantial portion of the population, not a small group.
And they attacked no one.
The 9/11 bunch were mainly Saudis, almost certainly on a secret CIA training program in the U.S. that went very sour (they had valid American visas, and they were being followed closely by Mossad).
Osama bin Laden has been dead since the horrific bombing of Tora Bora. The extent of that bombing has been kept secret, but it was earth-shattering by first-hand accounts.
Al Qaeda, as a former British Foreign Secretary admitted a few years ago, does not exist. It is a Pentagon nickname to cover a group of disparate fundamentalist Muslims who hate American policy. The word means toilet.
America has worked to keep alive the idea of both bin Laden and Al Qaeda because they serve as focuses for the lunatic “war on terror.”
You cannot have a war on a technique or a set of attitudes: it’s a pure nonsense, rather like Israel’s mantra about there being no such thing as a Palestinian people.
America went to Afghanistan, dragging others along, for vengeance, which it got in spades. Now, it does not know what to do.
In a sense, it is the victim of its own propaganda. As well, there are now huge entrenched interests in the Afghanistan effort, everything from Blackwater Corporation to the manufacturers of Hellfire missiles. America’s Israel apologists, too, never saw a war against Muslims they didn’t like: put them in their place, so to speak.
A very great assembly of forces for a newcomer like Obama to oppose, and, truth be told, he has already buckled.
But he cannot win his war. Absolutely, he cannot hold down a huge country of 30 million people, a land of mountains and deserts and sweltering heat and hardscrabble poverty; moreover, a place where millions deeply resent America’s arrogance and brutality.
One hopes that Obama intends only to make a show and to reach a compromise with the Taleban from a position of increased strength and then get out with a shred of dignity. It is starting a system of payoffs –” successful short-term in Iraq –” hundreds of millions for opponents to lay down their arms temporarily.
But I am not optimistic. The Afghans are some of the toughest, hardest people on earth, largely because they live in an extreme part of the world with almost no wealth.
America’s “Drone Attacks” on Pakistan
It truly is dishonest to always write about "drone attacks."
Drones don’t attack anyone. Gum-chewing thugs sitting in an office chair at a computer terminal do.
These drones are armed with American Hellfire missiles, the same ones Israel uses when it typically kills a dozen innocent people in a bloody horror trying to get one target, some man who has never been charged or tried or condemned.
The guy at the terminal somewhere in a locked room in the Pentagon basement undoubtedly pumps his arm as the missile explodes, killing God knows who.
Then he goes out for some lunch in Georgetown.
An absolute lack of ethics, only praised by the apologists for Israel’s bloody excesses.
Misery likes company, and the same goes for miserable criminal behavior.
Secretary of State Clinton’s Announcement of An Average of 290 Troops from Each of Two Dozen Nations
Clinton is simply out of her mind.
Two dozen countries sending seven thousand troops?
And many or most not for combat?
That’s an average of about 290 troops per country.
290 cooks, guards, and orderlies each.
Some world crisis.
Everyone clearly sees what a mistake Afghanistan is, except the government of the United States.
Of course those eager not to offend American sensibilities, or those whose assistance or favors from America are under threat, send their token contingent.
This whole matter is like one of those slightly absurd British comedies of four or five decades ago.
World crisis, civilization in peril, so we better send 290 troops.
The press should be embarrassed to even report such press-release fantasy as an event.
Clinton should be embarrassed to utter a word about these 24 mice roaring, but this woman is long ago beyond any possible embarrassment, having said countless absurd things in recent years or quickly backtracking what she has previously said, making absolutely no sense in most of what she says.
Were a major business run the way America runs wars and foreign policy, the economy would collapse.
NOTE TO READERS: This is an assembly of several extensive comments, slightly edited by the author, recently posted to some of the world’s leading English language newspapers.