An American soldier captured by the Taliban, he apparently says in video released that US forces should leave Afghanistan, was he tortured in order to make him say that? (Or is he stating the truths he has learned?) America has zero moral authority over insisting the soldier be treated as to the Geneva conventions, his captors could torture him to death over a long period on video and would be doing no more than the US does to prisoners. The Taliban could score a propaganda victory, release him in good condition after having treating him well. But again, as the allied forces have decided propaganda is best served as terrorism- fight us and we will bomb your people and torture captives to death, can we expect the already brutal Taliban to act better than their opponents. No one should be tortured. But apparently even our media thinks it impolite to mention our countries use torture so they call it ‘abuse’.
I think the American empire is now at a stage where any president must have a war, just like kissing babies or having a Twitter account, their legitimacy must in part be earned by how much foreign blood they spill (at knock down rates), look at how entitled the political establishment is to the war drug, Dean is a medical doctor-
JUAN GONZALEZ: In terms of the—to get back again to other issues right now, I’d like to ask you about the continuation and expansion of the American war in Afghanistan. Do you have concerns about—that this is becoming really President Obama’s war—
HOWARD DEAN: It is.
JUAN GONZALEZ: —and the impact on our country in the future?
HOWARD DEAN: Look, again, you know—and I don’t have to say anything nice; I’m not in the administration. But I’m with Obama on his conduct of the war. I always said, when I was running against the Iraq war, that Afghanistan was different.
Let me tell you what the stakes are now. And what I find incredibly refreshing about this president is he uttered words that Lyndon Johnson never said, which is that we cannot win this war militarily. He knows that from the get-go. Here’s what’s at stake. It’s not just the Taliban. I think we could probably control the Taliban and the al-Qaeda in the Northwest territories by doing some of the things we’re already doing—drones and air power and so forth. Roughly 50 percent of the Afghan people are women. They will be condemned to conditions which are very much like slavery and serfdom in a twelfth century model of society where they have no rights whatsoever. So, I’m not saying we have to invade every country that doesn’t treat women as equal, but we’re there now. We have a responsibility. And if we leave, women will experience the most extraordinary depredations of any population on the face of the earth. I think we have some obligation to try and see if we can make this work, not just for America and our security interests, but for the sake of women in Afghanistan and all around the globe. Is this acceptable to treat women like this? I think not.
AMY GOODMAN: We just interviewed an Afghan parliamentarian, Dr. Wardak. She said the opposite. She said, yes, she agrees with you on the way women are treated, but that this is worsening the treatment, that the increased number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the huge number of troops that are coming in right now, are alienating the Afghan population.
Their own excuse refuted by the very people they claim to be helping, (you don’t think that’s a patronising talking point to cover yet another make work drive by the military-industrial-congressional thingy-majig do you?). Obama’s doing this differently?
Holbrooke faced very few tough questions–not even on drone strikes. Rep. Lynn Woolsey did press Holbrooke on the fact that 90 percent of the administration’s war supplemental goes towards military expenses, while the counterinsurgency strategy calls for a ratio of 80 percent political and 20 percent military.
Even by their own strategy they are not even trying, the smart change is merely to put an expert user of death squads in control
It turns out the commander of this international order of assassins has just been appointed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. As part of the “fresh thinking” in the Obama administration, epitomized by the COIN crowd, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal replaces Gen. David McKiernan. So who is McChrystal? A 2006 profile in Newsweek put it this way:
“JSOC is part of what Vice President Dick Cheney was referring to when he said America would have to ‘work the dark side’ after 9/11. To many critics, the veep’s remark back in 2001 fostered his rep as the Darth Vader of the war on terror and presaged bad things to come, like the interrogation abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay. But America also has its share of Jedi Knights who are fighting in what Cheney calls ‘the shadows.’ And McChrystal, an affable but tough Army Ranger, and the Delta Force and other elite teams he commands are among them.”
The dark side includes McChrystal’s overseeing of Camp Nama, a detainee center outside of Baghdad (since renamed and relocated) notorious for its brutality. The very same administration that is up on its high horse about forbidding torture has just elevated one of the chief torturers to direct Obama’s war in Afghanistan. It is hardly inconceivable that what we saw at Camp Nama – beatings, degradation of prisoners, and outright, cold-blooded murder – is going to be replicated on a nationwide scale.
That’s what they call “fresh thinking” over at Obama’s Pentagon.
I’m always puzzled why relatively intelligent people think the military will establish human rights and gender equality, because like yeah they’ve been at the forefront of all human rights struggles and feminist revolutions haven’t they?
The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.
So the spending remains overwhelmingly military and the war run by a war criminal Cheney admired.
To actually help the people in Afghanistan-
Support RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan)
Also see rethinkafghanistan.com