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Afghanistan

in the huge attack on a military prison in Kandahar, with rockets and suicide bombers. The total of 600 prisoners have escaped.

TalibanFollowing Russia, Iran, and Syria, the Taliban rebuffed Obama’s offer to negotiate with their moderates. Their answer was evident to anyone acquainted with Mujaheddin resistance to the Soviets: the foreign army must leave their land, period. The Mujaheddin continued killing Soviet soldiers even as they were retreating from Afghanistan, and afterward hanged Soviet quisling Najibullah after castrating him, as indeed will be Karzai’s fate unless he runs really fast.

The USAF killed 130 Afghani civilians in a single strike in Farah province.

Other Muslims did not make fuss about deaths of their compatriots. They are only concerned when Israel kills a few Gazans.

Though the world trumpets massive voting fraud in Afghanistan, something more important happened during the elections. For the first time, southern provinces settled by Pashtun tribes voted overwhelmingly against a Pashtun leader, Karzai. The actual ballots were subsequently replaced with those in favor of Karzai.

The fact that Pashtuns put their hatred of the US puppet ahead of tribal allegiance speaks volumes about the break-up of tribal society in Afghanistan, which might eventually give way to an Afghani national identity.

After the government allowed a “Manasseh” tribe of Hindus to immigrate to Israel, the story took another turn. The Foreign Ministry agreed to fund genetic research to determine whether another Indian tribe, the Afridi Pathans, are descendants of the Jewish tribe of Efraim. Never mind that we have no genetic samples from Efraim. If the research turns up a positive correlation, Israel will have to admit another mob of barbarians who possibly have a remote Jewish ancestor.

Funny, the Afghani Pashtun, a backbone tribe of the Taliban and mojahedeen murderers, also trace their ancestry to the Afridi Pathans. It might not be long before we hand down immigration papers to Mullah Omar.

Dozens of Taliban guerrillas and suicide bombers slipped close to the palace in Kabul and engaged the security forces in a fierce firefight. Even as the Americans are sending a futile reinforcement to Afghanistan, their puppet regime is crumbling.

Meanwhile, American troops have begun to withdraw from Iraq despite the deteriorating security situation there.

TalibanThe American puppet Karzai has unveiled an absurd plan to pay Taliban fighters to lay down their arms. The plan will also give them sinecures.

The idea clearly comes from Palestine, where it was carried out in a different context: lazy, unmotivated, corrupt Fatah gangsters were living civilian lives anyway, and most of them were only too happy to accept nominal jobs and cash in exchange for a promise to refrain from terrorism, which they had not engaged in for years, anyway.

Honest, militant, and highly motivated Taliban fighters are a different bunch.

Taliban officialsThe UN mission chief in Afghanistan met with top Taliban officials. Separate negotiations admit that the US intervention in Afghanistan has failed, as we have been saying from the beginning.

Afghani president Karzai has appealed to the Taliban to start negotiations immediately. The Taliban insist on the withdrawal of US troops before negotiations, but Karzai has suggested that a negotiated agreement will speed up the withdrawal.

No way can Karzai make such a bold offer without American approval. Any agreement with the Taliban will bring them into the government, and soon after the American withdrawal they will castrate Karzai, just as the mojahedeen did to the Soviet puppet Najibullah.

The Taliban has rejected talks with the UN or the puppet Afghani government. Looking at Iraq, the Taliban understand that the Americans will soon withdraw. Unlike Westerners, the Taliban do not think in terms of compromises.

Marjah Helmand AfghanistanObama understands that he has to extract American troops from Afghanistan before the Taliban takes over the country, but the fundamentalist group refuses to negotiate. The Americans, therefore, have decided to turn up the heat on the Taliban with an assault on the town of Marjah in a backwater Helmand province.

The assumption is wrong. The Taliban won’t take their defeat at Marjah as a problem. Unlike elected presidents, they think long-term, and they know that the Americans will withdraw, Marjah or no Marjah.

The real question is, what does it take for American soldiers to risk their lives for no cause?

NATO troops killed 12 Afghani civilians by mistake, a common occurrence in the fog of war. Goldstone did not rush to investigate the Brits, and neither did the UNSC schedule an extraordinary meeting. Those demarches are reserved for when Israel kills a few Arabs in Gaza.

In its report on Goldstone’s allegations, IDF avoided taking a simple and unassailable position: yes, we did kill hundreds of Arab civilians in Gaza, just as American troops have killed non-combatants in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and many other places. They are collateral damage. We cannot and will not bend over backwards verifying our targets before every shot. If they do not like that, we can help them all cross into Jordan so that they make it a Palestinian state.

Unable to withstand the frontal offensive in Marjah, the Taliban sent suicide bombers to Kabul. The spat of explosions and firefights left 17 people dead.

Foreign troops cannot secure Baghdad from suicide bombers, and have much less hope of prevailing in Kabul.

According to the AP, the US military is paying compensation to farmers at Marjah for the trees lost during the military campaign.

If the war is just and sensible, then the Afghanis must pay the US the cost of fighting it, including cost of the lives lost there. If it’s not a viable war, just get out.

NATO soldiers were caught in an Afghan village near Gardez removing bullets from bodies. The troops were trying to conceal evidence of the killing of Afghani civiliansótwo men and three womenóduring the course of a raid to capture an insurgent.

Afghani informers often give NATO troops false targets as a way to settle scores with their personal enemies. The soldiers acted in good faith, but lacking advanced training in hostage-release operations, they were not able to discern the proper targets during the fighting.

The army is so afraid of prosecution by the media that NATO soldiers had to resort to ghastly concealment of evidence.

Afghani president Karzai blamed the Taliban insurgency on NATO’s presence in the country and vowed to push ahead with his plan to reconcile with the Taliban. By forging an alliance with the insurgents, Karzai hopes to remain in power after NATO’s withdrawal, but the Taliban will no doubt execute him eventually. Karzai is trying to bring Iran into Afghanistan to replace the US as an arbiter; to that end, he invited Ahmadinejad to Kabul.
Obama greatly offended Karzai by refusing to meet him in the White House and with his silly demands that Karzai fight corruption and establish electoral transparency. Uprooting corruption is not only impossible, but would remove the one carrot Karzai has for his loyalists. Transparent elections would bring hostile elements to power in Afghanistan just as they have brought victories to Hamas and Hezbollah.

In Iraq, the ruling establishment is also preparing for American withdrawal by forging closer ties with Iran.
Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan chose Iran over the United States because the ayatollahs stand with their friends firmly and avoid liberal rhetoric.

Nothing much happened after Wikileaks published documents on the US involvement in Afghanistan. Many of the cases detailed in the leaks technically amount to war crimes: careless attacks with civilians casualties, extrajudicial targeting of less-than-certain-terrorists, and the condoning of outrageous crimes by coalition partners.

Still, Muslims did not start pouring money into Afghanistan. They did not condemn the United States. The UNSC did not meet to discuss the normal wartime behavior which the liberals had declared criminal.

This attitude contrasts markedly with Muslim hysterics over Israel’s occasional killing of a few Arabs, or with the support extended to Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. In the last case, America actively promoted the Afghani cause. In the first case, America provokes the Arabs by condoning their verbal and military attacks on Israel (Fatah receives American aid despite continual acts of terrorism against Jews). If the United States had supported Israel unequivocally, the Arabs would have been as indifferent to our operations in Gaza and the West Bank as they are toward Afghanistan.

Last week, the UNSC amended its resolution declaring Al Qaeda and the Taliban to be terrorist organizations. Now the Taliban is exempt from condemnation. The move was meant to allow the White House to openly negotiate with the Taliban.

The UNSC decision creates a legal issue: what was NATO doing in Afghanistan for ten years if the Taliban are not terrorists? Certainly the Taliban hadn’t become less militant in recent years when the group emerged victorious against Western troops. It now appears that the United States invaded a relatively peaceful country whose government did not support foreign terrorism. Moreover, having recognized that the Taliban is not a terrorist group, the US still refuses to leave Afghanistan immediately and unconditionally.

Taliban fighters

Obama is locked into his promise to draw down NATO troops from Afghanistan this summer. He has little choice, as British forces will begin to withdraw, thus depriving the US operation of its international legitimacy, however thin.

But the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated further, with the Taliban assassinating Karzai’s brother, a provincial ruler. So far the Taliban are winning against the puppet government in Kabul, and that situation will only be worsened by improving ties with Saudi Arabia and a return to business-as-usual with Pakistan which previously balanced its cooperation with the Taliban by allowing the US to conduct some drone raids against their officials. The Russians remain the only party with a traditional dislike of the Taliban, but their influence in Afghanistan is small. The Taliban are thus not inclined to offer the White House any concessions that will enable the US to make a show of ‘withdrawing with honor,’ especially now that the UNSC has rescinded their status as a terrorist organization.

Taliban fighters

Obama’s strategy of gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan will prove a major fiasco. A similar strategy worked in Iraq for specific reasons:

- local tribes were bribed into fighting Islamist militias
- Iraq’s powerful neighbor Iran desisted from providing major support to the insurgents in order to allow the Americans to withdraw
- terrorist groups abstained from escalation due to the lack of external support and the scarcity of their own resources
- Iraq quickly reestablished a strong security apparatus
- the US left about a third of its war-time personnel in Iraq in non-combat capacities
And everyone understands that the lull in terrorism is temporary, and that the frequency of attacks belies the notion that stable government is possible.

In Afghanistan, the opposite is true. NATO enjoys very little support among the tribal federations, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are providing resources to the Taliban, and terrorist attacks are growing in frequency and sophistication. The Taliban has excellent bases in Pakistan and sufficient funding from drug production. Karzai’s security forces are weak, and the US will not need to maintain large air bases after withdrawal.

After US forces go home, larger chunks of Afghanistan will fall to the Taliban and warlords, and more attacks will take place in Kabul.

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