The Interpreters We Left Behind.
"As our troops pull out of Iraq
and Afghanistan, we're abandoning fixers and translators to the dangerous countrymen who view them as traitors. Asylum in the U.S. could be their last hope. If only we'd let them in
The A-Team Killings
"Last spring, the remains of 10 missing Afghan villagers were dug up outside a U.S. Special Forces base – was it a war crime or just another episode in a very dirty war?"
A Deadly Triangle
- the proxy war in Afghanistan
"This is What Winning Looks Like
is a disturbing new documentary about the ineptitude, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, and corruption of the Afghan security forces as well as the reduced role of US Marines due to the troop withdrawal." [via vice
] [more inside]
was one of the deadliest
months in Afghanistan, for both civilians
and soldiers. The death toll was increased by so-called 'green-on-blue'
attacks by members of the Afghan National Army
forces on ISAF and US
forces. [more inside]
The Miscreants of Taliwood is probably one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. And it defies all types of film making (in a good way). The subject? The Talibanization of a certain part of Pakistan and the assault on art, entertainment, and humanity. But it’s not quite a documentary. It is a surreal trip through the fiction and the nonfiction of Peshawar, NWFP and FATA. It is fake, it is real, it is unbelievable. Basically, it is Pakistan. [more inside]
A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
One Night in Afghanistan
THE PRESIDENT: at a time when too many American institutions have let us down, when too many institutions have put short-term gain in front of a commitment to duty and a commitment to what's right... all of you want to build -- and that is something essential about America. [Al Qaeda and the violent extremists have] got no respect for human life. You see dignity in every human being. That's part of what we value as Americans. They want to drive races and regions and religions apart. You want to bring people together
and see the world move forward together. [more inside]
That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender.
From Great Game to Grand Bargain.
"The crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan is beyond the point where more troops will help. U.S. strategy must be to seek compromise with insurgents while addressing regional rivalries and insecurities." A new piece in Foreign Affairs
by Barnett R. Rubin
and Ahmed Rashid
Return to the Valley of Death.
In this Vanity Fair
article, Sebastian Junger describes life with the men of Battle Company
at their Korengal Valley
outpost in Afghanistan. In Rolling Stone
, Nir Rosen describes his journey
into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan: How We Lost the War We Won
Right at the Edge.
"The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
Pakistan’s Phantom Border.
"Pakistan is often called the most dangerous country on earth. Increasingly, its people would agree. Despite nearly $6 billion in U.S. military aid for the border region since 9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and homegrown terrorist groups have eroded the border with Afghanistan, inflicting a steady toll of suicide bombings. Going where few Westerners dare—from Taliban strongholds to undercover-police headquarters—the author sees what’s tearing the country apart."
Stumbling into chaos: Afghanistan on the brink.
A report from the Senlis Council think tank claims that the Taliban has a permanent presence in more than half of Afghan territory
and the country is in serious danger of falling back into their hands
. The Canadian
Mike Hawash Charged
with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Heavy. 5 days ago, a now near-famous letter
was removed from a website
that had recently been trumpeting his cause
. Today, the Feds allege terrorism.
Of note: the frequent allusion to "secrecy" and "secret warrants". Is this ammo for the pro-PATRIOT crowd? Any changing opinions on Mefi?
Dasht-e-Leili. Is it a remote desert site where the Taliban
buried their massacre victims
? Or is it where the United States' allies buried theirs
? Or is no one
Northern Alliance commander asphyxiated "hundreds" of surrendered Taliban in shipping containers
"The benefit in fighting a proxy-style war in Afghanistan was victory on the cheap—cheap, at any rate, in American blood. The cost, NEWSWEEK’s investigation has established, is that American forces were working intimately with “allies” who committed what could well qualify as war crimes." (via drudge)
Operation Snipe: To rescue 76 US hostages?
"Joined by the US and Canadian troops, more than 2000 British-led Special Commando forces under "Operation Snipe" are gearing up efforts to launch a major attack to rescue around 76 soldiers who were arrested by the Taliban and Al Qaida forces during the battle in the snow covered Arma Peaks of Paktia Province in March this year, highly credible sources have confided to PNS."
They just wont let it lie.
What posses these people to keep fighting against overwhelming odds.I can see what they are against but for the life of me I cannot see what they are for.Couple of points near the bottom of the piece are interesting.IHave I been asleep or has the killing of innocents on 23 January been underreported.Does the fact that small raids have led to arrest interrogation and subsequent release
answer my own question?
I am perplexed,are there any good guys?
Captures from a video of an attack on a Taliban BMP.
All I have to say is "holy crap." Graphic. Interesting. Discuss amongst yourselves.
Taleban faction ditches Kandahar, reneges on surrender agreement.
My only question is, why were these people not disarmed, or was this some sort of "Munich Pact" surrender agreement?
Finally, finally, finally!! Someone in the mainstream media is finally asking some questions.
Lots of people (here and abroad) have known about this book for some time. I think it deserves some checking into.
Bombing the Taleban prisoners "There are hundreds of bodies in there - bodies and bits of bodies, all over the place."
The crush of the Taleban prisoner revolt at the Qala-e-Jhangi fort has Amnesty International
asking what happened there... I'd like to know, too. (More here
What's up with this Iraq stuff?
No more formal way of putting it, sorry. Can anyone say what the hell is going on here
, exactly, when bin Laden hasn't even be found and the Taliban is still putting up a fight? Is Bush, in saying Saddam will "find out"
how the U.S. will respond to its refusal to allow inspections (again), just throwing a small bone to the hard right? Is the national press on too much of an adrenaline rush, or bored with Afganistan already? Or are the Dr. Strangelove wannabes talked about here really taking over?
What's going on?
"A senior Taliban official in Kunduz, whose identity was not revealed, told Northern Alliance officials here in a radio conversation that a Pakistani Air Force plane had landed in Kunduz Tuesday and ferried away several Pakistani and Arab fighters. The Taliban official said the plane was the third to land in the city in recent days." (NYT)
The Taliban withdrawal is a strategic move, not a sign of retreat.
By strategically handing over key Afghan cities to the Northern Alliance before melting into the mountainsides, the Taliban tossed political hand grenades at the United States.
On the surface, it appears the Taliban were dealt a crushing defeat. Thousands of Taliban fighters switched sides or were captured during the Northern Alliance’s advance, and the remainder melted into the hills having put up almost no fight. However, the Taliban withdrawal was far from a rout. Rather, it reflects abandonment of a strategy that could have led to their destruction, in preparation for a more traditional and effective strategy for combat in Afghanistan — guerrilla warfare.
Finally, good news
in the war in Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance has captured the city of Mazar-e sharif. "Afghan rebel commanders proclaimed tonight they have captured the provincial capital of Mazar-e Sharif and have routed its Taliban defenders."
Northern Alliance forces entered the city quickly after winning a fierce battle at a bakery(!?) between the two airports that had served as an alliance base until the Taliban took the city three years ago.
Afghan People Agree With Retaliation Against Taliban
"Most Afghans support the bombardment of Afghanistan by allies because they hope that it will end the Taliban regime."
bomb them with porn
The search didn't turn this up, so here it goes: High brow (hack. cough.) humor at it's finest:
These 'bombs' are made up of the Western civilization's best skin and muff shots ever put into print. Imagine millions of pages of XXX porn carpeting the rugged Afghan terrain. You've seen what the women over there are forced to wear. When the Taliban forces get to see what they are missing, they will be too distracted to fight. They won't be polishing their rifles, they will be too busy polishing something else.
It's the porn bomb. Spread the love. Pass the Playboy.
Troops Massing on Afghanistan/Pakistan Border:
20,000+ Taliban troops and an unreported number of Pakistani reinforcements have been deployed in anticipation of a Pakistan-based U.S. strike.
Or cruise missiles? What will America's military response be if the Taliban are determined to be liable? The Russians certainly didn't too well with a conventional military attack on Afghanistan.