Recently in Afghanistan Category

I've But A Moment

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I have to rush out the door soon to deposit The Fuskers™ off at school and then run to get a cashier's check for the rent. However, I felt moved to comment on the Afghanistan "surge." Yes, I am using terror marks. The surge is just a fancy way of saying escalation. That we discuss it as short-term does not change the fact it is an escalation. Again, having not seen the speech, or read it, the response from most quarters of Progressive Blogstonia suggests that President Obama is not happy with his choice, and that all things considered, knows Afghanistan is the dead albatross around his neck.
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The Aftermath Of Bush's Folly

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Because he was so gung-ho on proving himself better than his father, we have this crap happening in Afghanistan;

Star Tribune

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Taliban gunmen detained a senior official in Pakistan on Sunday, demonstrating their grip on a critical northwestern valley while pursuing a peace deal the United States fears will amount to a militant victory.

Police said armed men waylaid Khushal Khan and six bodyguards as they drove to Swat, where militants have defied an army offensive, beheaded opponents and burned girls' schools.

Hours later, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said the official had continued his journey after "having tea with our comrades," but officials could not immediately confirm his release.

This is just a small example of what lies ahead for Obama. He will have to slowly tip tow through a mine field of political and tribal conflicts that have been plaguing both Afghanistan and Pakistan for centuries. A situation left for him by the Miserable Failure

Putin Challenging Obama?

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(CNN) -- Kyrgyzstan parliament has voted to close a base the U.S. military uses as a route for troops and supplies heading into Afghanistan, a government spokesman said Thursday.

Of the 87 members of parliament who attended the session, 78 voted to close it, the spokesman said.

The law must now be signed by the Kyrgyz president. It will then be forwarded to the United States, after which the U.S. military has 180 days in which to withdraw from the base, the spokesman said.

Somehow, Putin figures into this move. Does he have enough clout with the Kyrgyzstan parliament to cause this move? I suspect he does. Unfortunately, all I have are suppositions and hunches. But, then, once upon a time, that's all our administration had.

Do you know how nice it is to write "had?"

Unfinished Work

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You know, had Bush finished the job in Afghanistan, I doubt we would be reading this story today.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani government officials announced Monday that they have reached an agreement with the Taliban to allow strict Islamic law, or sharia, to be implemented in parts of North West Frontier Province.
This is a problem. Especially since it is happening in a country supposedly on our side in the Global War On Terror. Once again, more proof of the utter folly of BushCo™.

Should Not Be Happening

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You know, had the previous administration actually acted faithfully and competently, we would not be reading stories like this:

(CNN) -- Five children were among "a number" of civilians killed in a firefight between insurgents and Australian troops in Afghanistan's Oruzgan Province, Australia's Defense Ministry said in a news release issued Friday.
Sorry, but this kind of incident pisses me off to the end.
Meanwhile, back at one of the NeoCon sandboxs:
CNN

The Taliban claimed that its fighters used a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to shoot down a U.S. Chinook helicopter in the Wardak province, about 30 miles (50km) west of Kabul.

Maj. John Redfield, a U.S. military spokesman, told CNN a coalition helicopter went down in the Wardak province after an exchange of fire with enemy on the ground.

All 10 soldiers on board were picked up and taken to safety, he said. He could not say if any were injured.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber on Monday killed two soldiers and wounded three others in northern Afghanistan, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan said.

Gosh darn! I am feeling so hunky dory positive and uplifted. Viva La Freedom!
New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Taliban insurgents who attacked a remote American-run outpost near the Pakistan border on Sunday numbered nearly 200 fighters, almost three times the size of the allied force, and some breached the NATO compound in a coordinated assault that took the defenders by surprise, Western officials said Monday.
Is our intelligence gathering ability that degraded? Or is this because of our deteriorating relationship with Pakistan? In either case, this should not be happening. Our forces are simply not getting the support from the administration that is needed to ensure their safety.
Star Tribune

U.S. officials say militant attacks in Afghanistan are becoming more complex, intense and better coordinated than a year ago. Monthly death tolls of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan surpassed U.S. military deaths in Iraq in May and June. And last Monday, a suicide bomber attacked the Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing 58 people in the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since 2001.
This should not be a news story. Afghanistan should not be a problem right now. But, because our piss poor excuse of a president decided to prove he was better than his father, we blundered into an invasion of Iraq. This depleted the military strength required to take out the people truly responsible for the attacks on September 11th, 2001. So, instead of a secure, safe Afghanistan, we have Afghanistan slowly degrading into chaos -- if ever it really had seen stability.

New York Times

In the first civilian judicial review of the government's evidence for holding any of the Guantánamo Bay detainees, a federal appeals court has ordered that one of them be released or given a new military hearing.

The ruling, made known Monday in a notice from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, overturned a Pentagon tribunal's decision in the case of one of 17 Guantánamo detainees who are ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority from western China.

The imprisonment of the 17 Uighurs (pronounced WEE-goors) has drawn wide attention because of their claim that although they were in Afghanistan when the United States invaded in 2001, they were never enemies of this country and were mistakenly swept into Guantánamo.

No, it can't be possible. Our government make a mistake?! Not the government commanded by George "No regrets" W. Bush. Oh please oh please tell me it ain't so! I mean, these prisoners sound dangerous, what with peddling their fruits of mass destruction.

The one-paragraph notice from the appeals court said a three-judge panel had found in favor of Huzaifa Parhat, a former fruit peddler who made his way from western China to a Uighur camp in Afghanistan.

I am so disheartened. Poor president Bush. He will never be able to achieve world peace at this rate.

Eschaton: Lable Correctly

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It is a rare day indeed when I link to Atrios, but none-the-less, he makes a good point.

The News Tribune

Studies: Iraq costs U.S. $12B per month
By CHARLES J. HANLEY ; AP Special Correspondent
Published: March 9th, 2008 02:07 PM | Updated: March 9th, 2008 05:02 PM

The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show. In 2008, its sixth year, the war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the "burn" rate of its earliest years, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book.

Beyond 2008, working with "best-case" and "realistic-moderate" scenarios, they project the Iraq and Afghan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupations of those countries, will cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion - or more - by 2017.

Christ, I can't make the monthly mortgage without facing the prospect of getting my heat shut off. How the hell am I suppose to pay for my portion of this God forsaken clusterfuck?

New York Times

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Oct. 30 — Several hundred Taliban fighters have moved into a strategic area just outside the southern city of Kandahar in recent days and clashed with Afghan and NATO forces, according to Canadian and Afghan officials.

The fighting, which began Tuesday, is the first time large numbers of Taliban have been able to enter the area just north of the city since 2001. Control of the area, known as the Arghandab district, would allow the Taliban to directly threaten Kandahar, southern Afghanistan’s largest city.

Whether the Taliban were looking to establish permanent control over the area or were simply carrying out raids was unclear on Tuesday night. But Canadian military officials said Afghan and NATO forces had begun a “large operation” to drive out the Taliban.

Why am I reading about this? Didn't we do a good enough job on winning the war in Afghanistan? Seriously, had BushCo™ done their jobs, this would not be happening. I would not need to be reading this article because there would be no need to for it to be written. Yet, here it is, in the New York Times.

Had Jr. not been so hot and lathered to prove Daddy Dearest just how wrong he was about not taking Saddam out during Iraq I, he might have actually completed what was started in Afghanistan. But then, Jr. is not known for finishing what he starts.

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