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It is said an old soldier never dies, they just fade away. But apparently wars themselves can fade pretty fast. Perhaps no other modern conflict demonstrates this better than the struggle faced by our brave men and women in Afghanistan. And for a Republican Administration and Party that can't seem to say "9-11" often enough, as they fumble through the latest charade of competence and honesty, that war has surely faded faster from the to-do list of President Bush than the shadow of Douglas Macarthur from the southern shore of the Yalu River.

[21 April Link] Six policemen have been killed by suspected Taleban insurgents in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. The gunmen attacked the police post in the Maiwand district in the early hours of Friday, a police official said. In a separate incident, a US soldier was killed and an Afghan soldier wounded when their patrol came under attack in central Uruzghan province.

[15 April Link] Suspected Taliban militias in their latest wave of violence, gunned down a district chief in the southern Helmand province on Saturday, an official confirmed. Taliban's loyalists have intensified their attacks since the heralds of spring and so far over 200 people including 14 American soldiers have lost their lives in Taliban-linked insurgency.

Regardless if you agree or disagree with the decision to intervene, the rationale for war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan was legitimate--as opposed to the case for war against Iraq. And our forces performed brilliantly in the rugged countryside of Afghanistan--at least until the long screwdriver from the DoD was brought to bear. Donald Rumsfeld of course happily took credit for the early success on behalf of the White House. He became a media darling.

But the fact is that thousands of American fighting men and women trained for two decades using Afghanistan as a model in which to mount an insurgent war of our own. In the aftermath of 9-11, using contacts and credit perilously gained during the Soviet Occupation, our forces swung into action, established coalitions of Afghan allies, and sent the Taliban running for their lives. But then the Neocon obsession with Iraq reared its ugly head, the war in Afghanistan was put on the back burner, our promises to 'stay the course' were quietly downplayed, and that war torn nation was mostly forgotten, along with the 9-11 masterminds.

It didn't have to be this way. With the world on our side after the events on September 11, 2001, with the contacts in place we had painfully gained during the Soviet occupation, with brave Americans quitting their jobs and signing up for military service while the Twin Tower wreckage was still smoldering, and because of the hard work and careful preparation of thousands of fighting men and women under several Presidents, we could have given the Afghan people the first decent shot at prosperity they've had in modern times. With the kind of resources we had available, applied under the watchful eye of wise leadership, we could have turned Afghanistan into a shining example and demonstrated to the Islamic world what We the People are really all about. All in a region that has endured brutal poverty and devastating warfare for generations.  

Our hard won credibility with the Afghan people was pissed away into a Baghdad cesspool along with lives, limbs, blood, and hundreds of billions of dollars. Now, Afghan opium production is soaring, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zahrawi are making videos threatening more attacks against the US and our allies, the Taliban is growing bolder, and the Afghani people are caught smack dab in the middle of another civil war. And our men and women in harm's way there are quickly being relegated to forgotten warriors. All because of the colossal errors of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld.

To our forces who have served or who are serving in Afghanistan, and their anxious families elsewhere, you are not forgotten and America will not allow your effort and sacrifice to just fade away, despite what the powers-that-be may wish. Operation: Enduring Freedom KIA & WIA.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 05:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Skin in the game (6+ / 0-)

    I have a nephew in Afghanistan, I haven't fogotten. My blood runs clod whenever there is a news story out of there.

    "War is the enemy".

    by BOHICA on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:05:01 AM PDT

    •  My nephew is back from afganistan now. (4+ / 0-)

      And waiting for his turn in Iraq.

      In Afganistan, an RPG went through the windows of his hummer and exploded out side.

      His Dad (also in Iraq) quit sending me neocon propaganda that day also. It's been several months.

      Maybe a close call does stimulate the brain.

      -- If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. * Noam Chomsky

      by NCrefugee on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 08:06:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Email forwarded from Iraq (0+ / 0-)

        His Dad (also in Iraq) quit sending me neocon propaganda that day also.

        My wife's niece was in Fallujah for a while with the Marines and my wife was blown away to start getting right wing stories and email forwarded from her to a list that included most of the family.  She's back now, but I don't think my wife will ever forgive her brother for talking his daughter into enlisting.

         

  •  do not forget (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irate, Ari Mistral, PatsBard

    We need to hang this around Bush's neck like the stinking albatross it is and never let anyone forget Bush/Rumsfailed's failure at Tora Bora.

  •  This is the crux of why Iraq (16+ / 0-)

    was such a stupid, stupid idea.  Imagine world where after the fall of the Taliban, we spent a tenth of what we spent in Iraq on the reconstruction of Afghanistan.  Imagine that we fully repaired the ring road in the country that connects the main cities so that people can travel safely and securely throughout the country.  Imagine that we secured the country enough so that Hamid Karzai wasn't just the mayor of Kabul.  Imagine we created aid programs that would allow farmers to grow food instead of opium.  Imagine we established an effective propaganda effort that encouraged people to send all of their children to newly renovated schools.  Imagine we had the forces to patrol and interdict the Pakistani border and maybe even enough left over to capture the biggest mass murderer in modern American history.  That would take some imagination.  Imagine that we did all of this and then imagine the prestige and love, yes LOVE people all over the world would feel for America.  I think a hundred years from now, future historians will look at this juncture as the greatest wasted opporitunity in history, on a par with Munich in 1938.  It is almost tears in my eyes that I write this because it will mean that the sacrifices of thousands will be for naught.  Instead of creating a better world, our policies, particularly in the last five years have brought nothing but ruin and it will take generations to clean it up.  The clock has been re-set to 1970.  Now we have to live through the traumas of Watergate, disco, polyester, energy shortages, terrorism and Reaganism all over again...  

    "You know what Capitalism is?...Getting fucked" - Tony Montana

    by calipygian on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:06:27 AM PDT

    •  Worse Than Munich (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickWn, calipygian, irate, Ari Mistral

      Actually, the decision to pursue Saddam Hussein was worse than Munich.  At least, with Munich, France and Britain were trying to buy a little more time for their rearmaments programs which were just beginning to move into high gear.  Yeah, I know the debates about whether the correlation of forces was better in 1938 (read Williamson Murray's book on the topic) than in 1939 and how the Czech's forces might have evened the odds, but they were able to strengthen their forces at the same time.

      We, the US, actually actively weakened our forces and global position by our benighted adventure into Iraq.    We've wasted time, money, training and treasure in pursuing the chimera of installing an Arab regime which will supinely accept Western political policies while leaving the runnign sore which is Afghanistan to fester.  It equals Nappy's decision to move against Russia while Spain was still bubbling and it appears it will have the same effect on our international position.  Thanks, Condi, Rummy, Dick and the Dummy.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:52:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We also lost Pakistan at the same time (7+ / 0-)

    During those critical days in 2002, the were many plans floating around the State Department and DoD that looked at how to eradicate the extremist version of Islam that was coming out of so many Pakistani madrassas.

    Beyond rebuilding Afghanistan as a secular society, these planners saw a chance to pressure President Musharraf to let the U.S. help him recreate a strong secular civil society.  Unfortunately, Musharraf was too beholden to the Islamic extremists within the Pakistani Intelligence Services and the U.S. leadership was too distracted by the prospect of an easy war with Iraq.

    - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
    - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

    by Hoya90 on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:07:36 AM PDT

    •  Lost Capital (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      calipygian

      If we hadn't dumped diplomatic, military and political capital down the drain in Iraq, there would have been plenty capital available to develop international consensus on what to do with the Pakistan-Al Qaeda-Taliban-Nukes problem.

      Instead, we had to push that problem under the carpet so we could create another one.

    •  Pakistani/Saudi axis, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hoya90, SwingVoter, sofia

      that is the key.  The Saudis provided the funding and the ideology.  The Pakistanis provided the training and the cannon fodder.  I think that more than Iran and Iraq, the Saudis and the Pakistanis have been the key actors in the region for the last 20+ years.  Pakistan was the crucible where the Jihad against the godless Communists in Afghanistan was forged and Saudi and direct and indirect American money was the fuel.  Pakistani intelligence, over which Musharraf obviously doesn't have control, never abandoned the fighters that they created to defeat the Soviets and even rescued key personel from Mazar e-Sharif in November 2001 after forces aligned with us over-ran it.  It was almost like Pakistani intelligence was fighting a proxy war against us at the same time we were nominally allied with Pakistan.   We helped turn the tap on in order to defeat the Soviets and now we cant turn it off.  I wonder what tap we turned on in Iraq that we're going to struggle mightily to turn off in 20 years, when MY children, which I don't even have yet are patrolling the dusty streets of Fallujah, or Shiraz, or Caracas, or Karachi, or La Paz or whatever place du jour we in which we deemed necessary to effect regime change.  Yet another reason for energy conservation - to isolate the Saudi regime, decrease their importance in the world and get them to quit exporting their problems with Fundamentalist Islamists to other countries and, in effect, bribe their Wahabbists to take their problems elsewhere in order to preserve the Saud families grip on power.

      "You know what Capitalism is?...Getting fucked" - Tony Montana

      by calipygian on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:46:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A report on BBC yesterday (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        calipygian

        described how while the Pakistani military is taking on some of the tribals at the Afghan border, it is still supporting the Taliban, which is crossing the border and attacking Afghan, US and other forces.

        Saudi and Pakistani funds/support are now fostering a proliferation of madrassas and Islamic extremism in Bangladesh, where the current government itself has some ambiguous policies on how it deals with the growth of Al Qaeda-related forces.

        •  When I was in Bosnia (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RickWn, mwh1956, SwingVoter

          The biggest, newest project in Sarajevo was a brand spanking new Saudi funded mosque on some prime real estate downtown.  This in what is probably the most secular Islamic majority country in the world.  Saudi money is everywhere.

          "You know what Capitalism is?...Getting fucked" - Tony Montana

          by calipygian on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:06:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Same in Afghanistan (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            calipygian

            There are huge new mosques being constructed in the center of Kabul, with Saudi funding.

            •  Im sure you know what funds that - (0+ / 0-)

              8 million barrels of oil pumped and exported a day, every day, 365 days a year at, whats today's price, $75 dollars a barrel!  Whats that, $600,000,000 today alone?  $219 000 000 000 (billion!) this year alone?  IF oil doesn't go to $100 dollars a barrel this year?  And owning a Hummer ISNT an act of treason, how?  

              "You know what Capitalism is?...Getting fucked" - Tony Montana

              by calipygian on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:14:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent Analysis (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        calipygian, SwingVoter

        The Saudi/Pakistani connection is the biggest threat out there.  Too bad they're "allies" and not recognized for the enablers that they are.

        - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
        - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

        by Hoya90 on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:29:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Buhta on Pakistan (0+ / 0-)

      I heard Buhta, she is something like the President in exile right now to the opposition movement in Pakistan. She spoke about the radicalization of the countryside. She is very eloquent. The more you try to stamp these rural Taliban movements down, the move enflamed the movement becomes.
      Following Russia into Afghanistan will prove every bit as stupid as following France into Vietnam. The Taliban of course made a convenient target for the administration, a textbook example of fundamentalism gone awry, (unless its in red states in the Southern part of America casting votes for Bush)
      the Taliban closed down the drug trade, and destroyed all the televisions.
      No we lost Pakistan last month when Bush gave India a free ride on nuclear technology. (This guy would stab his own mother in the back for a few votes). Well I posted a long and (too) detailed diary on Bush and the Neocons unwavering committment to meeting the Chinese threat. Islamofascists were never the problem, it was the ChiComs all the time. A nuclear India balances Chinese ambition, and an Islamic radical state, like Pakistan. At least thats the way its shaping up.

      "Everything is chrome in the future..." Sponge Bob Square Pants

      by agent double o soul on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:44:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Benazir Bhutto (0+ / 0-)

        She was Prime Minister in the early to mid 90s.  She was accused of corruption (although I can't remember if she was voted out of office or ousted in a brief coup) and has been found guilty in absentia.  Her father had been Prime Minister in the 1970s before being overthrown in a coup and executed by Pakistan's new dictator, General Zia Ul-Haq.  

        Zia is largely credited with putting Pakistan on the path towards fundamentalism.  He used Islam as a rallying flag to gain support for his regime and reached out to the Saudis to get money for the madrassas which would help educate Pakistanis.  It was that era when the ISI (Intel Services) turned into a hotbed of Islamic radicalism.  The fight against the Soviets simply reinforced the trend.  Pakistan was once a very secular society, but it is less so today.

        Read Khalid Hosseini's The Kite Runner, if you want to get a sense of how religion has changed in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last 30 years.  

        - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
        - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

        by Hoya90 on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 09:40:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

    Many powers have tried to hold Afghanistan, the common thread in doing so has been the downfall of the invaders from Alexander the Great to the USSR
    the writing is on the wall

    We defeated the Axis powers in less time

    by nuggatron on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:15:08 AM PDT

  •  more bloodshed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irate

    The BBC, via AP, is reporting that 4 Canadian troops have been killed in an IED attack near Kandahar.

  •  yep (6+ / 0-)

    Shit, just reading this diary gets me pissed off all over again!

    Regardless if you agree or disagree with the decision to intervene, the rationale for war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan was legitimate--as opposed to the case for war against Iraq. And our forces performed brilliantly in the rugged countryside of Afghanistan--at least until the long screwdriver from the DoD was brought to bear.

    Absolutely. god. damn. right. U.S. special forces were brilliant in Afghanistan. A few hundred men on the ground did what the Soviet Army could not do in ten years. Too bad we couldn't let them finish the job and get OSAMA BIN LADEN, but Bush had other priorities.

    He fucked America over, and lied us into an invasion of Iraq- based on a well-established neocon dream.

    Since 9/11, more time has passed than it took to fight World War II, and Osama is still out there. The scumbag-in-chief doesn't like to talk about that- it's not good politics. The word "failure" doesn't even begin to describe him.

    Just once, instead of debating, in essence, whether Bush honestly "misinterpreted" the intelligence on WMDs, I wish somebody on a network news television show would put the invasion of Iraq into context by laying out the timeline that started with the PNAC documents in the late 1990s. It makes the whole thing pretty fucking obvious, eh?

    •  Incorrect. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DarkSyde, Eikyu Saha
      The Soviets overran Afghanistan very quickly.  However once opposition to their occupation was organized they were mauled.  It's easy to get into fights chum, hard to get out.
      •  I think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        calipygian, Eikyu Saha

        the key to successful reconstruction just starts with the fight. The follow up is every bit as important if not more so. The neocons love to compare everything to WW2 and the Marshall Plan. But what they leave out is massive international cooperation.

        Part of the reason our rebuilding efforts succeeded in Japan and Germany wasn't just becuase their war faring machines and populations were crushed, but regional powers at the time, from France to Austrialia to the USSR and China, had great incentive to see that remaining residual ideologues of Imperial Japan or Nazi Germany did not receive any help or sanctuary whatsoever. The Marshall Plan was an international rebuilding effort that followed allied military victory and that is the blueprint the neocons have apparently lost track of.

        Read UTI, your free thought forum

        by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:19:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Damn! (0+ / 0-)

      Wish there was something more emphatic I could do than just 'recommend' your comment!

      um...maybe just think of me as something like this..
      Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

      Changing America 1 cup at a time... "I'm not a Liberal, I just use my brain."

      by coffeeinamrica on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:02:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, that's complete bullshit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Friend of the court

      What's legitimate about our actions against Afghanistan, except that they were an easy target?

      Jesus, are you buying into the neo-cons' lies that Osama is behind Al Qaeda?  Sure, he might be their mythical spiritual leader, much like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are to Bill O'Reilly but when it comes right down to it, common sense - as well as any evidence at all - precludes a direct operational link to 9-11.

      •  Well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        calipygian, quaoar

        be that is it may, OBL did publicly take credit for 9-11 and the links between Al Qaeda and 9-11 are quite solid. You may disagree with that, but that is in fact the consensus shared by much of the world and both parties here in the US.

        Read UTI, your free thought forum

        by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:27:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can you do math? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kingsmeg

          The Bush Administration has both said:

          1. Osama supports 100,000 member Al Qaeda for at least a decade.
          1. Said support comes from his share of a $300,000,000 family fortune.

          Now, that's one dollar a day per terrorist.  And there are reports of these terrorists - Atta for example - have pork chop dinners and strip club forays in Hamburg and Florida - can that be done on $1 a day?  Give your head a shake if you think so.

          Bottom line - massive financial resources had to come from elsewhere (mostly likely based on the redacted reports from Saudi Arabia, or less likely from the CIA).  

          And was it the fat or skinny OBL that took credit?  Or is Elvis still alive and in disguise, maybe?  After all the administration lies, how gullible do you really expect DK readers to be?

      •  Maybe it's time to revisit Seymour Hersh's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kingsmeg, Eikyu Saha

        article The Getaway that completely debunks any "legitimate" reason for invading Afghanistan (i.e., capturing terrorists - all the "real" terrorists were flown out by Pakistan's ISI while a smattering of low level flunkies were brought to Gitmo).

        BTW, have you noticed that repeating Rove's talking point's on Afghanistan irks me no end?

        •  RG (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          calipygian, quaoar, Terminus

          if you wish to lead a discussion on that topic or one related to it, by all means write a diary or blog about it. I wrote this piece in honor of our men and women and their families and friends who are in the process of being forgotten, and the Afghans who are caught in another fucked up civil war-- after being reminded of both groups by readers who asked me to do so. And they're right imo; I've started to forget about them also and that's just wrong. I'd appreciate it if you would join me in sending our support to those people and discuss perpipheral topics elsewhere. Fair enough?

          Read UTI, your free thought forum

          by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:34:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok for you supporting gross injustices is (0+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:
            quaoar

            a peripheral matter.

            For me it is an outrage.

            Massacre in Kakarak  

            The U.S. occupying Army was reported to have executed 11 Iraqi civilians, among which were four children and a six-month-old baby.

            Massacre at Mazar

            hundreds of prisoners, instead of being sent home or sent to prison in the normal way, were loaded secretly into freight container trucks, which were then sealed, and they were left to asphyxiate

            Want more examples? there are plenty.

            Maybe if you had presented these perpetrators as also being victims of a misguided Bush Administration that would have been understandable.  But as heroic participants in a legitimate war?  That's just fucking insane.

            •  RG (0+ / 0-)

              do you seriously believe I support the Bush's WH's gross injustices in Iraq or anywhere else? Come on man. Knock it off.

              Read UTI, your free thought forum

              by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:57:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hey, it was you who called (0+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Hidden by:
                quaoar

                the latest US atrocious intervention in Afghanistan "legitimate"

                so yes, it does appear that you support Bush's gross injustices in at least one country.

                •  btw, there was a concerted (0+ / 0-)

                  anti-propaganda campaign against the taleban underway immediately prior to 9-11, here is an email I received from three independent sources in August and up to Sept 6 of 2001:

                  >Dear Friends,

                  >>Please take a few minutes to read and act on this email.

                  On May 23rd 2001 the Taleban authorities in Afghanistan confirmed that all Hindus will be required to wear a strip of yellow cloth sewn onto a shirt pocket in order to identify themselves. They claim that the measure is for their "protection"

                  The world has faced This before, in 1939 the world was required, at great cost, to rid itself of Hitler's tyranny, it is not hard to spot his child. Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to relive it. The Taleban's record on respecting other religions gives great cause for concern that their ultimate aim, upon which they are intent, is "religious cleansing". They have already demonstrated their distain and intolerance for other religions and traditions by the desecration and destruction of the ancient Buddhist statues, our collective heritage, within the Afghanistan. Whatever your religion, or even if you have none, we hope that you will agree that this fundamentally wrong. Remember, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". Please do not do nothing, add your voice.

                  DIRECTIONS:
                  PLEASE COPY this email on to a new message, add your name and those of your household who wish to participate to the bottom and forward it to everyone on your distribution list. If you receive this petition and you find that you will be the 251st name
                  on it, please e-mail a copy of it to: alastair@om-int.com. It will then be forwarded to the UN.

                  Even if you decide not to sign, please be considerate and do not kill the petition as you will be denying your friends, and theirs, their legitimate voice. Instead return it to (snip)

                  To The Secretary General, Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations.

                  We the undersigned are appalled by the decision of the Taleban government of Afghanistan to require all Hindus to wear a piece of yellow cloth sewn onto a shirt pocket in order to identify themselves.

                  An individual's communion with God, however they find him, is a matter of personal conscience and must not be the subject of intimidation or persecution. The right of everyone to worship as they wish is fundamental and inalienable. The United Nations was founded in order to defeat Hitler and his henchmen who required the same from another religion with all it's horrific consequences. It is completely unacceptable that nearly 60 years later history is repeating itself.

                  We ask the following:

                  1. That the Taleban government is made aware in the strongest possible terms that the world will not countenance this perversion of humanrights.
                  1. That prior to the United Nations and/or it's constituent members granting recognition of the Taleban government this obscene policy is reversed.
                  1. That the United Nations widen the terms of the trade sanctions currently in force.

                  It all seemed rather curious at the time (in advance of 9-11), considering there are dozens of abhorrent goverments around the world, but on 9-11 it all made sense (with tv commentators linking the attack to the Taleban before the buildings even finished falling . . .).  

                  One might note the comparison of the Taleban with Hitler here, and the later comparison of Saddam with Hitler by the Bushies.  Coincidence? Legitimate?  (LMAO)

                •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

                  I said:

                  Regardless if you agree or disagree with the decision to intervene, the rationale for war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan was legitimate--as opposed to the case for war against Iraq.

                  The rationale for going to war in Afghanistan was that there were elements there which had attacked us and our allies over a period of years and were threatening to do so again. That is a fact, thus it is a legit argument imo.

                  The rationale for going to war in Iraq was largely based on the dramatic appearance of a 'mushroom cloud' over an American City. That was invalid, thus it is not legit argument imo.

                  One rationale was legitimate, one was not. One held water, one did not. You may disagree with the rationale itself, but the rationale for intervention in Afghanistan was not fabricated or ginned up as opposed to the rationale for the war in Iraq. Roadbend you're a member in good standing who generally uses admirable logic and tactfulness, so it's puzzling to me why you're slipping so egregiously into distortion and conflation here, or suffering from reading comphrension issues.

                  Read UTI, your free thought forum

                  by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 08:37:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You just re-iterated what I said (0+ / 0-)

                    And what I said is that you legitimize the US war on the Afghani people.

                    What you do not, and have not provided, is information on:

                    1. How many of the 9-11 perpetrators were Afghani?
                    1. How many of the 9-11 perpertrators received critical training for their mission in Afghanistan?
                    1. How many of the 9-11 perpertrators received financing from the Taleban governemnt of Afghanistan?

                    From what I've seen, the answer to each of these questions is, for all intents and purposes, zero.

                    As such, it would appear that you are using egregrious distortion and conflation to describe our attack on Afghanistan as legitimate.  Quite frankly, we attacked the wrong country, leaving aside nagging concerns about the CIA's involvement, a legitimate country to attack (for sure) would have been Saudi Arabia or (maybe) Pakistan.  Or course, they're our allies so that wasn't a possibility - but conveniently enough defenseless Afghanistan, who curiously enough had been a victim of a Rove-like propaganda campaign in the previous monts - was a sitting duck.

                    Maybe you should lose a bit of your gullibility and join the 9-11 families in asking for some real answers, such as:

                    Questions about Al Qaeda and State Sponsored Terrorism

                    July, 2003

                    1. What connections did our government have with the terrorists prior to 9/11?

                    · State department negotiations with Taliban re: pipeline through Afghanistan

                    · interaction with the Taliban and/or Bin Laden

                    · CIA training and arming of terrorists  

                    1. What is the state of the Afghan pipeline now?

                    · When was the deal to construct it finalized?

                    · Who was involved?

                    · How is the pipeline being protected?

                    · Who profits from the connections as the pipeline passes through each country?

                    · Who has rights to the pipeline?  

                    1. Why isn't Saudi Arabia on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism?  
                    1.  Why are the FBI and CIA seeking to exclude evidence about Saudi involvement with terrorists (See Exclusive: CIA and FBI press Congress to exclude intelligence on the Saudi role with 9/11 terrorists by Linda Robinson and Edward T. Pound: http://www.usnews.com/... )
                    1. In what ways might our government's policies toward Saudi Arabia have

                    contributed to September 11th?

                    1.  Why was Saudi Arabia given preferential treatment above all other

                             nations in immigration? (Visa Express)

                    · What was the reason for creating the Visa Express?

                    · Prior to Sept. 11, Visa Express permitted approximately 97 percent of Saudi applicants to obtain visas without face-to-face interviews http://www.foxnews.com/...

                    1. Why were the Saudi relatives whisked out of America so quickly when

                             other planes were grounded after the attacks?

                    · Who gave permission for them to leave?  

                    1.  On September 9th the president had a war plan on his desk to go into
                    Afghanistan.

                    · What was the origin of this plan?

                    · Why was this plan drawn up even before the September 11th attacks?  

                    1. Intelligence was told in March of 2001 to back off investigating terrorists.

                    · Who gave the order?

                    · Why?

                    1.  Why did Donald Rumsfeld, immediately after the September 11 th attack, say that Saddam Hussein was involved?  
                    1.  Does the FBI have proof that it was in fact Al Qaeda that perpetrated 9/11?

                    · Do they know if the names the hijackers used were their real names?

                    1. Did Atif Ahmad have a connection to Atta as well as to Moussaoui?

                    · Is Atif Ahmed a British double agent?

                    1. What is the truth about the arrest of El Atriss who sold fake IDs to two 9/11 terrorists?  There are discrepancies between the NY Times and Washington Post accounts of his arrest and release.  

                    · Atriss is an Egyptian national who committed a crime. Why hasn't he been deported?

                    1. Who were the terrorist informants working with the FBI?

                        a.) What did the FBI learn from them?
                        b.) What were the 9/11 warnings provided by these informants?
                        c.) What was done with these warnings to protect the American public?  

                    1.  How did and do US energy policies play into Islamic terrorism?

                    · the Caspian Sea pipeline?

                    · Dick Cheney's energy task force?  

                    1. How do corporate and big business interests play into foreign policy

                    decisions?

                    · Enron pre 9/11; Halliburton, Bechtel pre and post 9/11?

                    · what are the names of the companies which are getting contracts in foreign countries and how do they influence our foreign policy?  

                    1. What role did American think tanks, which make policy recommendations to the

                    administration, play in American foreign policy decisions and the proliferation of Al Qaeda?  

                    1.  Regarding sharing of intelligence pre and post 9/11:

                    · Did U.S. intelligence agencies share information about Al Qaeda with foreign governments?

                    · Did foreign governments share information with our government about Al Qaeda?

                    · If so, what information was shared about threats within the U.S. and from which countries did it come?

                    · Who received this information and what did they do with it?

                    · What changes have been made in sharing intelligence?

                    1. Why did President Bush specifically request a briefing on Al Qaeda in August 2001?  
                    1. What is the connection between the Bush family and Bin Laden?  
                    1.  Regarding the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which is a collaboration between the FBI and NYPD, also at times NYS Police, NY/NJ Port Authority PD and the US Secret Service:

                    · Was the JTTF aware of 20 warnings of an impending terrorist which were mentioned in Joint Intelligence Inquiry testimony?

                    · What did the JTTF know prior to 9/11 regarding potential terrorist attacks in NYC and specifically, the WTC?

                    · Was the JTTF informed of any warnings regarding the impending attacks from agencies of foreign governments?

                    · What was the nature of the warnings?

                    · What if any security precautions were taken as a result of the warnings?

                    · What information did the JTTF pass up the chain of command?  

                    1.  On the issue of state sponsored terrorism:

                    · Why did Mahmood Ahmed, Director of Pakistan's secret service, the (ISI) order Saeed Sheikh to wire $100,000 to hijacker Mohamed Atta?

                    · What was Mahmood Ahmed's relationship with Al Qaeda?

                    · Where did the money come from?

                    · Did officials in Pakistan know in advance about the terrorist attack?

                    · On September 11 th , Mahmood Ahmed had a breakfast meeting in Washington, D.C., with House and Senate Intelligence Committee chairmen, Rep. Porter Goss and Senator Bob Graham.  What were they discussing?  

                    1. To combat terrorism

                    · What sanctions can the U.S. place on individuals of non-terrorist states who aided and abetted terrorists through funding or other means?

                    ·  If there is no recourse, will the CIA continue to monitor their activities in the future?

                    · Will the State Department and other allied countries seek to ban their entry into the U.S. and their nations?  

                    · How long does an individual remain a terrorist threat according to our policies?

                    · Will those individuals be banned from doing business with the U.S.?

                    · Since September 11 th , has our government developed specific policies regarding individual sponsors of terrorism?  

                    1.  Were individuals with ties to terrorists or states which sponsor terrorism involved in shorting airline and other stocks which were impacted by the terrorist attacks on September 11th?

                    Of course, Afghan Attack apologists will ensure that these questions are never answered.

                    •  You (0+ / 0-)

                      have distorted what I said, flailed around all over the place, ignored offers of resolution, accuracy be damned, and changed the subject several times after being busted cold. Your credibility has been injured and I have no desire to further weaken it. <shrug>

                      Read UTI, your free thought forum

                      by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 09:09:50 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'd be interested in a resolution of this matter (0+ / 1-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hidden by:
                        quaoar

                        by a disinterested third party.

                        Let's say some Martians were visiting - would they side with regurtitated Bush Administration talking points or not?

                        Probably depends on whether the proper national anthem was played . . . .

                        •  You're (0+ / 0-)

                          not going to rescue transparent distortion and obvious lies with more transparent distortion and obvious lies. Bush has already tried, it doesn't poll well.

                          Read UTI, your free thought forum

                          by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 09:27:42 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I have duly noted that you (0+ / 0-)

                            or your amen chorus have not answered even one of the specific points I raise, namely,

                            1. How many of the 9-11 perpetrators were Afghani?
                            1. How many of the 9-11 perpertrators received critical training for their mission in Afghanistan?
                            1. How many of the 9-11 perpertrators received financing from the Taleban governemnt of Afghanistan?

                            And I am bewildered how raising inconvenient (for you) questions constitutes "transparent distortion and obvious lies"?

                          •  I'll do something you seem unwilling to provide. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll answer your first question, but I don't think I'll be doing you any favors..

                            How many of the 9-11 perpetrators were Afghani?
                            None as far as I know ... so we shouldn't act against OBL, because the 9-11 operatives were not born in Afghanistan, correct? Seriously, is that the depths to which you've now sunk?

                            I shouoldn't have to do this and it's probably emberassing for you, but let's apply that 'logic' a bit further. Ted Bundy could not have been arrested or pursued in Utah, because Ted Bundy grew up in Vermont and commited most of his crimes in Washigton State.

                            ROFL! Yeah, that's some real brain power you're using there RG, please, we need to get you away from the blogs and into law enforcement where you can do some good with this novel approach.

                            I know I routinely criticize the Bush adminstration for their unwillingness to make sense or be held accoutnable. But let me say in their defense: I'm greatly relieved for the service men and women in harm's way that you are not running any wars, if that is representative of your powers of deduction. Goodnight sweetheart, you're done. I'm sorry you're a wacky eccentric, but thank you for being a progressive wacky eccentric ;0

                            Read UTI, your free thought forum

                            by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 12:12:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They were not born in Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

                            they were not financed from Afghanistan, nor were they trained there.

                            So why we attacked Afghanistan remains puzzling to me.

                            And talking about logic, why the fuck didn't we bomb Utah into the stone age for Ted Bundy's crimes if that's your mode of operation (i.e., a criminal lives somewhere, initiate military action against that place).

                            Actually, the Ted Bundy situation was handled correctly - as a law enforcement issue.  So should have 9-11 been.

                            BTW, Ted Bundy was executed in Florida (just in case  you want to include that fact the next time you evoke this tortured analogy.

                          •  But RG (0+ / 0-)

                            according to your advice, we can't arrest Ted Bundy anywhere but Vermont. That's where's he from, that's where he developed, because according to you, we can't intervene where the danger is, only where it originated from :0 Wasn't that fun?

                            Now let's recap your amazing journey down non sequitor avenue so far:

                            You started with this:

                            Jesus, are you buying into the neo-cons' lies that Osama is behind Al Qaeda?  Sure, he might be their mythical spiritual leader, much like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are to Bill O'Reilly but when it comes right down to it, common sense - as well as any evidence at all - precludes a direct operational link to 9-11.

                            Then when it was noted that he had in fact confessed to managing and designing the over all ops, you switched to comparing the acceptance of world consensus and OBl's own words to an Elvis sighting ... probably not quite the most accurate comparison you could have chosen... while ignoring a good faith effort to lay off.

                            And was it the fat or skinny OBL that took credit?  Or is Elvis still alive and in disguise, maybe?  After all the administration lies, how gullible do you really expect DK readers to be?

                            You then engaged in a little creative editorializing--read lying-- so as to misconstrue a diary which deeply criticized George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Don Rumsfeld by name as one apologizing for them and in the process, implied I didn't care about Bush's flagrant violations which I've been writing about now for over a year on this blog, an implication you seem obsessed with no matter what the inconvenient text or my posting history plainly supports. EG:

                            Hey, it was you who called the latest US atrocious intervention in Afghanistan "legitimate" so yes, it does appear that you support Bush's gross injustices in at least one country

                            What I object to is the corruption of a so-called progressive website into mindless regurgitation of neo-con talking points, conflating a (albeit very serious) criminal act into justification for a massive military response against a bunch of long suffering and completely innocent people.

                            Then, when the actual text was quoted for your convenience and exposed your subterfuge--or inability to read or perhaps your state of sobriety, I really don't know-- you then changed gears again and started claiming that since the 9-11 hijackers weren't born in Afghanistan it would make no sense to take action there. When that 'strategy' was shown for the hilarious stupidity it is using a simple example or two, you then claimed you'd be interested in a resolution by Martians would they side with "regurtitated Bush Administration talking points or not?", which, again, is difficult to comprehend as the diary was in fact diametrically opposed to Bush's talking points. And the ended by denying the same world consensus accepted by almost everyone and the very words of OBL himself.

                            That's quite a track record ...

                            Read UTI, your free thought forum

                            by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 05:30:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, I've changed gears to many times (0+ / 0-)

                            Guilty.

                            By contrast, you've shown remarkable, Gore'2000-style discipline in staying on message and addressing the issue of where the 9-11 hijackers were born (in ever increasingly bizarre ways).  I suppose that might address my first question.

                            The next two issues (training and financing), which are much more important for establishing culpability, you don't appear to want to touch with a 10 foot pole though.  Eerily similar to your touchiness about your credentials that you were able to indignantly deny were relevant in any way.

                            In any event, like I've haven't read a single Armando diary after his passionate defense of the Gulf War, I won't be reading any more of yours after you claim one of Bush II's wars is legitimate (against all evidence to the contrary).  Think I'll just watch FOX NEWS, at least that's not an insiduous source of mis-information.  So the good news is I'm outa your hair, starting now.

                            No wait . . . . not yet, . . . . .NOW!

  •  If the Iraq War is like Vietnam... (3+ / 0-)

    Afghanistan is like Korea - a "forgotten war". Why doesn't it register with people that we're still there? Well, of course the media barely mentions it anymore. Been there, done that.
    And this was not our only opportunity to win in Afghanistan. After we used Osama bin Laden to rid the country of the Russians (who were there for many, many years and lost thousands of soldiers) we had the opportunity to build the country back and win over its people - build schools, hospitals, etc. But what did we do? Nothing. basically left it to OBL and the Talban to fill the void. Look where that got us.
    I'm sick of all of these wars which are, ultimately, only about oil. Afghanistan was about the fight to control the country so they could build a pipeline, and Iraq to gain control of the resources. And it's not about getting oil to ease our shortages here. it's about controlling the flow to control the pices. You think we'll see lower opil prices again? Not likely. and drilling in the aRctic won't either. What has the Alaska pipeline done for us? Not much. Most of the oil goes out of the country and most of the profit goes into the pockets of Big Oil (with a cut to Alaskans. Hmmm. You think if lobsters from Massachusetts go to California, I could get a cut too?)
    We need to get out of both coutries, and get out now. The longer we "stay the course" the more lives are lost.
    And with 2381 Americans dead in Iraq and another 285 in Afghanistan, just what number will satisfy those who thought this was all about revenge for 9-11?

    All Truth is non-partisan

    by MA Liberal on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:30:10 AM PDT

    •  we need to get away from this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MA Liberal

      "we can rebuild" any country in the world. "Rebuilding nations" ends up creating a lot more problems than it solves. This concept that we can solve the world's problems when we don't even understand most parts of the world is how we got to where we are.

      •  We can (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PoliMorf, ZAPatty, calipygian, irate

        certainly help rebuild a nation that has been bombed and invaded into the stone age, especially if a significant portion of the populace is with us, supported by the great majority of the planet. Remember; the Taliban wasn't terribly popular among Afghans themselves and our motives were not tainted with huge oil reseviors or incompetence. No one of any standing in international community opposed our action there. International support and internal help, combined with our enormous resources relative to Afghanistan, had at least the potential to give those people a chance at peace and prosperity. Had we pursued that wisely and enlisted the world, even the worst case scenario would probably exceed the state of affiars we're now facing.

        Read UTI, your free thought forum

        by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:54:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree that we had the diplomatic capital (0+ / 0-)

          in 2002, but that doesn't mean that making Afghanistan "prosperous" would have solved our problems. We need to stop making that automatic association between terrorism and poverty. That correlation is very weak.

      •  Wrong. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PoliMorf, mwh1956, calipygian, quaoar
        Afghanistan could have been a show case reconstruction.  If the cash had not been staolen and wasted in Iraq the US would now have a golden reputation in the world.   Swing away but nation building does work if it is managed by serious leaders.
        •  how far did reconstruction get in Iraq? (0+ / 0-)

          there are other factors that need to be taken into account - its not as simple as US corporations swooping in and building schools and roads and hospitals. There are other external factors.

          There are nations, forces, both internal and external, which will interfere. That's where we get pulled into a quagmire. The bigger the US footprint, the bigger the potential of anti-US forces to get locals to resent the presence.

          And there's plenty of nations in the neighborhood - Pakistan, Iran, and even Russia for example, that have influence and could have interfered. And that's not counting the local and regional forces supported by one or the other nation - Taliban, Hezb Islami (Gulbuddin Hekmatyar), and a bunch of others who would not sit by.

      •  rgw sifference is... (0+ / 0-)

        while we were able to rebuild nations after WWII, we cannot do it now because the purpose of nation building today is for our government to privatize everything, let the corporations do it and damn the cost. Back in WWII, we had the Army Corps of Engineers, etc. who did a lot of the work. The re-building was overseen by the government.
        Nation building (especially rebuilding one you've helped destroy) is entirely possible if your heart is in the right place. If you look at it as a project to rebuild their homes and schools and hospitals, to rebuld their lives, and not ask for their souls in return, it will work.
        Unfortunately, we haven't seen that in a long, long time.
        I am totally against going to other countries and screwing them up (like Guatemala and so many others we've screwed over the years). But I am for honest rebuilding where we have had to go. You can't just go in, bomb the hell out of a country and then tell them "you're on your own." That's how the Taliban gained power.

        All Truth is non-partisan

        by MA Liberal on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 04:26:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DarkSyde, sofia, Kingsmeg

      I agree with your premise that a main objective for the US in Afghanistan is a pipeline.  But it is not for oil, it is for natural gas.  Turkmenistan has negligible reserves of oil, but it has the world's 4th highest proven reserves of natural gas, and possibly lots more unproven reserves.  The proposed pipeline would go from Turkmenistan to Karachi, Pakistan, via Afghanistan.  Lots of US-based energy companies are interested in the construction and operation of this proposed gas pipeline.  Obviously the pipeline can't operate in an insecure environment.

      We're trying to secure and reconstruct Afghanistan on the cheap.  During the past year I spent 4 months there, working on agricultural reconstruction projects and capacity building within the Ministry of Agriculture.  I met lots of our troops.  Unfortunately we have only about 20,000 US forces in Afghanistan.  They are mostly reservists and guardsmen.  Our troops are doing a great job with limited resources.  Many are involved in civil affairs activities that are important:  construction of schools, clinics, roads and bridges, digging wells, etc.  But many of them are not trained to go into the hills and hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban.  

      Other coalition countries have troops there too, but those troops seem to do little to enhance security.  They stick pretty close to their bases.  It is the US forces that are stationed in the most insecure areas of the country (with Canada being one possible exception).  Imagine trying to secure an area the size of California with only 20,000 people and you get an idea of the insurmountable task facing our troops.

      As for reconstruction, the Bush administration is proposing a 50% cut in development assistance for Afghanistan in 2007.  Despite Bush's repeated promises to stay engaged with Afghanistan, it is being quietly forgotten.  Seems that reconstructing Afghanistan is inconsistent with Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.    

      •  You're right about the gas. But it's also oil. (0+ / 0-)

        All Truth is non-partisan

        by MA Liberal on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 08:59:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  RE: gas & Oil (0+ / 0-)

        (I hit the wrong button and my message posted before I was ready...)

        Anyway, the gas issue can also be tied to Enron, in that Enron built a plant in India that cannot run without natural gas. The oil pipeline that was to go to the ocean was going to branch a gas line off to that plant.
        Sorta makes the whole pre-9/11 thing a bit more than just the Taliban and OBL hating us "for our freedoms." I believe the whole issue had to do with how the rich and powerful were just trying to take the Afghans for their resorces. SDn't forget that pre-9/11 Bush gave the Taliban $40 million (May 2001), and even before that the Taliban met with Bush and others in Texas where they were told that if they played ball, their streets would be "paved with gold." if they didn't their streets would be "paved with bombs."

        People and countries don't hate us 'cause they're jealous, they hate us for meddling in their affairs.

        All Truth is non-partisan

        by MA Liberal on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 09:05:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Off topic (0+ / 0-)

    and I apologize. Simply could not wait for an open thread.

    Can this be true? If it is then we have really lost it.
    .

  •  '...rationale for war...' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde, Chris Cosmos

       I agree with your thoughts about the soldiers and thair families.
      However, how do you claim that our entry into Afghanistan was legitimate in any way? When El Presidente came to power in the US, his government gave 30+ million dollars to the Taliban because they were "our great friends" in the region. Sure, it was a brutal theocratic regime, but so will the US be if another neocon-controlled Republican controls the White House for 8 more years. Why does that give us the right to invade their country? Why aren't we invading North Korea or China to end their decades of human-rights atrocities? The Nepalese government is shooting protesters on sight. Why aren't we air-dropping troops there right now? There was no more reason to invade Afghanistan than there was to invade Iraq. Afghanistan had to be taken care of first, because it was a threat to the House of Saud.

    •  Imho (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZAPatty, calipygian

      there was little choice but to address the Taliban and AQ elements in Afghanistan. I think any administration, democratic or republican would have done so. Leaving an entrenched enemy intact in a vast sanctuary to plan and execute further attacks is simply not a wise military option.

      Read UTI, your free thought forum

      by DarkSyde on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:37:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Taliban Refused to Cooperate Legally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      calipygian

      Don't forget that the US requested the Taliban to turn over Usama bin Laden for legal proceedings or to allow US forces to pursue him inside Afghanistan if they did not feel competent to pursue him. That was the ultimatum, or risk the US attacking at will inside the country.  The Taliban did blow off the US request.  It was a legitimate request, basically asking for police powers to bring an indicted criminal to a court of justice.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:43:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the US also refused to provide any (0+ / 0-)

        evidence that Osama was involved as the Taleban requested?

        Shouldn't that have been a reasonable and necessary first step towards extradiction?

        Or, are you saying anyone in the USA is fair game to be turned over to any foreign government, even completely insane foreign governments, upon mere request with no evidence of anything?

    •  Agree and then some... (0+ / 0-)

      Many in this discussion and nearly all discussion on DKOS miss the point that history did not start on 9/11/2001. U.S. intelligence along with Pakistani and Saudi intelligence has been involved in playing one side off the other in Afghanistan for a long time. The Taliban was largely supported by ISI (Pakistani intelligence) which was supported by the CIA. The game there is and has been very murky and very dirty. I suggest that people do the research.

      Also, it is very important to understand and look into the long association between the U.S. and radical Islam that predates the U.S./Saudi formed Al-qaida (during the late 70's and 80's). During the 1950's to try to undermine the Nasser regime in Egypt which was the greatest threat to U.S./British hegemony in the region, the CIA supported the Muslim Brotherhood there and later in other Arab countries in the region.

      Finally, remember that Afghanistan is the central country in the heroin trade. I challenge you all out there to look into how that works and who benefits. The American invasion, I believe, had a host of motivations behind it--apprehending Bin Laden was not even in the picture. As subsuquent history has shown.

      Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu (may all beings in all the worlds be happy)

      by Chris Cosmos on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:47:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  food aid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZAPatty

      My understanding is that most of the aid given by the US to the Taliban was in the form of food aid.  I believe that accounts for more than $20 million of the $30 million.  The food aid was administered by the UN World Food Programme, not the Taliban government.  It was distributed through school feeding program, which at that time, unfortunately, only for boys.

  •  So absolutely, sadly true!! (0+ / 0-)

    What kind of 'concern' or 'support' for our troops and their families is it, if the gains and successes made, at very high cost to them, gets erased because of inattention, dilution of effort, inadequate funding, etc?

    Yeah, let the repug talking heads start calling people 'angry.'  Call us ALL ANGRY because we should be!

    ...and as I write this, Pink is singing 'I don't want to be a stupid girl.' Can we change the lyric from 'girl' to 'American,' and make it the national anthem?  Just a thought....

    Changing America 1 cup at a time... "I'm not a Liberal, I just use my brain."

    by coffeeinamrica on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:38:29 AM PDT

  •  and when (0+ / 0-)

    they attack Iran, Iraq will be forgotten, just like Afghanistan is now.  That's what they're counting on.

    But does anyone here have one iota of faith that Rumsfeld can successfully wage even airstrikes against Iran?

    I sure don't.


    Meet the New Pharisees, same as the Old Pharisees.

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 06:50:17 AM PDT

  •  My son is spending the weekend on base (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    calipygian, DarkSyde, MO Blue

    at a soldier's home with his family .... they don't watch the news, at all.  He is in Afghanistan and they can't know where or why ....please keep these soldiers, their families, and the innocents in afghan in our prayers ...

  •  go over to redstate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twcollier, DarkSyde, quaoar

    and see how we are the non-patriots, the guys who hate america and the flag.

    There is a case to be made for American intervention in other parts of the world. But intervention does not mean landing on a port somewhere with humvees and jackboots.

    Intervention has to be done carefully, strategically and above all, patiently

    Consider India.

    In the 1940's, America was essentially cheering quietly from the sidelines as the Indians struggled for freedom from the British.  Post WW-II, India embraced Soviet style socialism.  America, while appalled at this, nevertheless had the sense to play the intervention game in a relatively low key.  Sure there were ham fisted misadventures on occasion -such as the ordering of the 7th fleet into the Bay of Bengal when India was fighting Pakistan in 1971, in support of freedom for Bangladesh, but no overt intervention.

    The decades between 1950 and 1980 were spent in an unceasing effort to 'bring India around' to the American POV - Market forces and economic freedom.  Eventually, the Soviet Union collapsed, central planning concepts collapsed and India started opening up with a vengeance.

    Point is, it took 30 years of quiet diplomacy and gentle pressure to wean India away from Soviet style socialism.  Now, India is an economic behemoth and will threaten Americas economic supremacy in a few more decades.  So be careful what you wish for and all that - but India is an example of American interventionism done reasonably right

    One way or another, establishing democracy in a culture that is used to decades or even centuries of autocracy takes time and patience

    The biggest flaw of the Bush administration is its desire to re-write history before the next election.  That leads to impatience, hamfistedness and the clusterfuck that is Iraq.

    •  Another interpretation (0+ / 0-)

      The first thing the US did was to include Pakistan in CENTO.  India wasn't on the US radar, not in 1950 and not in 1970. This patient waiting out, blah, blah, is just that - blah.
  •  Smack the Pakistan ISI (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ari Mistral, quaoar

    We're not going to have any success in Afghanistan until we kick some Pakistan ISI (intelligence / secret police / gestapo) ass. The Taliban is their creation. They're mainly Pashtun from western Pakistan. Afghanistan is just the territory they annexed to their western border after the Soviets retreated. Combined with the Qaeda, America's creation in partnership with the ISI, Afghanistan became the headquarters. But it's just the nose of a beast whose head is in Pakistan. And whose heart is spread around the antiglobal theocrat community.

    Afghanistan is like South Vietnam, and Pakistan is like North Vietnam + China. Including the nukes. If China were propped up by the CIA for the past 30 years. Which it has been, especially in Southeast Asia's heroin poppy fields - just like in Central Asia's Afghani heroin poppy fields, the capital of the world. So, with unfailing inevitability, we have to first clean out the cancer that's taken over the CIA under Republican rule.

    And of course that means impeaching Bush, jailing him, and jailing the other traitors exposed in the fallout. And maybe facing a united, nuclear China/Iran/Pakistan, whose nukes are the guarantors of their global drug trade.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:00:03 AM PDT

    •  'Their' global drug trade? (0+ / 0-)
      mirth.  But yes, the ISI  and Saudi intel are behind most of this terrorism stuff.
      •  We Aren't the (Whole) World (0+ / 0-)

        Whose global drug trade do you think it is? It's not mine or yours (I'm guessing). It's China/Iran/Pakistan, the CIA, and the mafia of bankers and other organized criminals in their syndicate. The US nukes are not security guarantors of the Americans in the drug network, except unnecessarily as the highest level of American global power enforcement.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:16:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, no and a thousand times NO (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twcollier, Eikyu Saha

      Pakistan does not need to have its ass kicked.  Pakistan has one of the the most educated middle classes in the Middle east.  It is a mini India - definitely not some stone age country.

      Pakistan needs economic support and an open invitation into the world market.  Pakistan needs to be told that an Indian style democracy is its best hope.

      Most importantly, Pakistan needs to be respected.

      This may come as a shock to some folks who are steeped in the 'America knows best' tradition:  we are viewed as arrogant and overbearing by the people whose behavior we are trying to change.

      We will have no ability to influence anybody until we start showing some respect for their beliefs, their ways of life.  Even if their stated belief is 'I want to kill you'.

      By showing them respect, we make it harder for them to continue to believe they want to kill us.  Think of your own teenage children. Do you succeed in changing their behavior by showing respect for their independence or by telling them 'I am right, you are wrong. I am bigger than you are so you will listen to me'.

      Pakistan is like that teenager. They are smart, ambitious but immature.  This is not to be condescending, it is to recognize which approach will work in changing their behavior.

      •  Real Respect (0+ / 0-)

        I said kick the ISI's ass, not Pakistan's. The ISI terrorizes Pakistanis first and foremost. I'm not talking about an invasion, or anything military. I'm talking about reforming the CIA, cutting off CIA support and collaboration with ISI on their drug/nuke/terrorist proliferation. And an intelligence operation to remove and kill remaining intransigent ISI agents who keep the Taliban/Qaeda jihad going.

        I didn't say the US needs to have its ass kicked. And I didn't  say we have to kick Pakistan's ass. Nor are China, Iran and Pakistan's nukes in the service of their people. Contrary to your bizarre statement, most Pakistani's "stated belief" in the US is "I want to be free like you" (not the same, but just as free). Or your bizarre statement that those who do state their "belief" that they want to kill us deserve any respect other than serious attention to their elimination. The US needs to stop propping up the Pakistanis in their own government who are keeping them down, and us by using them.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:27:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand the nuance (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eikyu Saha

          between the ISI and the Pakistani Government.  But even so, who are we to even kick the ISI's ass?

          I completely agree that we need to stop propping up the Pakistanis in their own government who are keeping them down.  But I disagree that the CIA is propping up the ISI.

          The power struggle in Pakistan is between the ISI and the mullahs on the one side and the middle class Pakistanis on the other side. Musharraf is trying to play the balancing act and ultimately he may not be the right guy for the job there.

          The CIA may have had some interest in encouraging the ISI in the past - they have no possible reason post 9-11.  I would be surprised if the CIA covertly or overtly supported the ISI.

          I did not say that all Pakistanis wanted to kill us.  Quite the contrary, I recognized the average Pakistani for what he or she was - middle class, smart and economically frustrated.  

          But even the unemployed youth who is sliding into a default position of 'the infidel must be killed' because that is what the madrassas are teaching him can only be turned around by showing respect for his belief.

          When a child says 'I hate you' or your spouse says, in a fit of anger, 'I hate you', how should one react?

          •  Disrespect (0+ / 0-)

            Pakistan's ISI is not a child, or a spouse. They're not just angry. They're calculating their strategy to secure global power and money. Their attack dogs, the Qaeda, and the Taliban kennel in which they cultivate them, has tried to destroy us. They're still working on it, especially in Afghanistan, and it's working.

            Who are we to kick the ISI's ass? We're their boss, their target, the only ones who can do it, the ones who are justified.

            Your whole argument is totally muddled. When it suits you, you conflate the ISI, the whole Pakistani government, and its people. When I point out the problems with that argument, you claim the distintions that I make, but not their consequences. And its based on treating the ISI like a naive child which just says angry words without the power to execute them, when the ISI has already helped kill thousands of Americans, and many thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis.

            The "belief" that America is satan, directly causes all the problems in Muslim countries and must be destroyed, cannot be respected. Those madrassas need new curriculum, new teachers, which treat the old bigotry with nothing but disrespect. And the diehards who can't change, who remain burning embers in what's left of the tinderbox, have to die, or be imprisoned for a life of interrogation and bad example.

            This isn't a kid's game. And using Pakistanis as human shields when convenient to your argument isn't convincing me. Maybe you should start a madrassa of your own, where those insupportable arguments are worthy of what passes for respect.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 09:26:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Err Taliban and Al-Qaida were US creations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha

      built up and supplied by the CIA (with Pakistanis and Arab countries as US allies) as sectarian holy-warriors to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980's.

      After Soviets withdrew in late 1980's, US also lost interest and stopped supporting political restoration of a moderate government in the country,  and Taliban just filled the vacuum.

      •  Not U.S. creations (0+ / 0-)

        The U.S. did not create either the Taliban or Al Queda.    It did, as you point out, give them (and others) assistance during their fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s.  Much of this was funneled through the Pakistani intelligence and security service, ISI.  But these movements and entities existed quite apart from U.S. efforts.  Not quite as simple as the Americans "creating" the Taliban or Al Queda.
            Just a point of friendly clarification.

        •  There was a US guy named Charles Wilson (0+ / 0-)

          Who recruited, pulled together and funnelled materiel to the direct precursor of the Taliban, and this is pretty widely known:

          Charlie's war, act two
          By William Fisher

          NEW YORK - Today's media have all but forgotten that the emergence of Afghanistan's Taliban can be largely attributed to the policies of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a hard-drinking, party-loving Texas congressman who helped funnel billions of dollars in arms to "freedom fighters" like Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

          In the 1980s, Charles Wilson, a colorful and powerful Democrat from the East Texas Bible Belt, was a member of a Congressional appropriations sub-committee. From that position of power he funneled billions of dollars in secret funding to the CIA, which used the money to purchase weapons to help the mujahideen drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan.

          In those days, the mujahideen were viewed by the US as "freedom fighters" and were so-named by then-president Ronald Reagan, who praised them for "defending principles of independence and freedom that form the basis of global security and stability".

          Wilson even wrote a book about it.

      •  Cocreations (0+ / 0-)

        I said "Combined with the Qaeda, America's creation in partnership with the ISI".

        The US (CIA/NSC) created the Qaeda by using the ISI. The US role in creating the Taliban is similar, but even less direct and more the ISI.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 01:29:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Afghan civilians killed by US bombing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde

    just in 2001: Estimates suggest US bombs have killed at least 3,767 civilians  .

    And there was an American woman who had taught in Afghanistan, giving at talk  on CSPAN this morning, who stated that in  the capital city of  Kabul alone, at least 5000 civilian women, children and men died from US airial bombing and  strafing raids.

    More Forgotten.

  •  Bin Laden who? (0+ / 0-)

    When is the last time we heard that name?

    I hear so much propaganda from the administration about the war on terror.  Well, that war is not a ground war in Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan.  It is a war of terror that is implemented rarely, but with great effect.  

    It is a war of a few well trained zealots out to kill and maim  and then when dealing with the aftermath the terrorists ontinues to terrorize the nations where it ocurred, magnifying the original incident by orders of magnitude.

    We are stupidly approaching terrorism with bombs, troops on the ground and an occupation of a nation that has been torn apart by our military and we cannot bring peace or democracy to a nation that is fighting a civil war.

  •  Pat Tillman well known in Arizona (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde, Roadbed Guy, Ari Mistral, quaoar

    When Tillman family question BushCo and demand answers in the death of their son's death, the republicans here are demanding answers too. It is amazing how this one event has changed the opinion of the Iraq war here in Phoenix.
    Family Demands Answers

    Were witnesses allowed to change their testimony on key details, as alleged by one investigator? Why did internal documents on the case, such as the initial casualty report, include false information? When did top Pentagon officials know that Tillman’s death was caused by friendly fire, and why did they delay for five weeks before informing his family?

    “There have been so many discrepancies so far that it’s hard to know what to believe,” Mary Tillman said. “There are too many murky details.” The files the family received from the Army in March are heavily censored, with nearly every page containing blacked-out sections; most names have been deleted. (Names for this story were provided by sources close to the investigation.) At least one volume was withheld altogether from the family, and even an Army press release given to the media has deletions. On her copies, Mary Tillman has added competing marks and scrawls — countless color-coded tabs and angry notes such as “Contradiction!” “Wrong!” and “????”

    First they tell lies and prevent an investigation!

    Interviews also show a side of Pat Tillman not widely known — a fiercely independent thinker who enlisted, fought and died in service to his country yet was critical of President Bush and opposed the war in Iraq, where he served a tour of duty. He was an avid reader whose interests ranged from history books on World War II and Winston Churchill to works of leftist Noam Chomsky, a favorite author.

    Then when it becomes know that Pat Tillman was against the Iraq War..... that is hidden too

    Unlike Cindy Sheehan — who has protested against President Bush because of the death of her son Casey in combat in Baghdad — Mary Tillman, 49, who teaches in a San Jose public junior high school, and her ex-husband, Patrick Tillman, 50, a San Jose lawyer, have avoided association with the anti-war movement. Their main public allies are Sen. John McCain, RAriz., and Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, who have lobbied on their behalf. Yet the case has high stakes because of Pat Tillman’s status as an all-American hero.

    They used him, they offered him huge amounts of money to NOT serve in active duty but become a Army Recruter which he refused. BushCO & the DoD used him in death for their own purproses.

    Off Topic but why would Americans allow & buy cars from a company "KIA"? When I heard the company name the first time with my WWII Vet father & Vietnam War friend we were shocked and repelled. Why is there no MIA's in Iraq? Are there no missing in action with so many kidnappings?

    •  Ann Coulter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twcollier, xrepublican

      flatly dismisses out of hand any thought that Pat Tillman may have been influenced by Chomsky's thought at all.  I'll bet she would be horrified if she new that I bought Chomsky's pamphlet on 9/11 in the Naval Post Graduate School's bookstore in Monterey shortly after 9/11.  I am amazed at the lengths to which some on the right will go to in order to deny reality.

      "You know what Capitalism is?...Getting fucked" - Tony Montana

      by calipygian on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:28:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  when you already know the truth... (0+ / 0-)

        ..reality is but a nuisance.

        Seeking political sanity.

        by xrepublican on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 08:30:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Noam Chomsky spoke at West Point Thurs. night (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          calipygian

          Noam Chomsky gave a lecture to cadets at West Point on Thursday, April 20.  He addressed the subject of "just war," among other topics.  

          •  I'll tell you what (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twcollier, DarkSyde, quaoar

            once in a while someone around here pontificates about "mindless militarism" around here and it really pisses me off.  The American Military Officer Corps has some of the most educated and open minded people I have ever met.  I work for and with people who have published, attended the Kennedy School of Government and have been professors at their service acadamies.  I am particularly impressed by Marine officers, who seem to be wider read than most.  I am saddened by the Air Force which seems hell bent on dragging their cadets down into the Middle Ages.

            "You know what Capitalism is?...Getting fucked" - Tony Montana

            by calipygian on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 08:39:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  re Militarism (0+ / 0-)

              We should be careful not to conflate Militarism with the military.  Outside of perhaps the Joint Cheifs of Staff, most in the military are not in favor of Militarism, which is, mostly, the use of the military to enforce foreign policy.  Those in the military are taught that the purpose of the military is to defend the US and its citizens.
              Most Militarists are in the defense industry or in the civilian leadership of the DoD. I know this much and I have never been in the military.

              Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility. --Ambrose Bierce

              by JaketheSnake on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 05:07:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Vanity Fair's April 2006 issue... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    calipygian, twcollier, DarkSyde

    ...has a piece by Sebastian Junger on this exact topic:  America's Forgotten War. Excellent piece. Thanks, DarkSyde, for your illumination as well...simply breathtaking how far we've gone off course since 9/11, isn't it?

    I'm sure I'm agreement with all here when I say had we done Afghanistan right, had we done what we said we'd do -- not abandon it, but rather create a shining example of what good we can bring to the Arab world's citizens by improving the lot of the Afghanis -- then we'd have a lot more friends in that part of the world, and all the rest.

    Instead of doing what we said we'd do, although we've 20,000 soldiers still in Afghanistan, we've abandoned any notion of really improving the lot of its citizens. What we (and they) are left with is no substance, and all appeareance and spin.

  •  Narco-state (0+ / 0-)

    And Afghanistan is turning into a Narco-state which ultimately funds the taliban. Just another monumental travesty. 'State of War' by Riesen suggests that the DoD has played a roll in actively NOT taking action against the cartels. 90% of the heroin in the world comes from there now.

    Dont know why we dont hear more about that or Tillman's death.

    outrageous thugs all of them. Hopefully the piper is coming and justice will be served.

    Bless the Tillmans of the world.

    Seeking political sanity.

    by xrepublican on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 08:28:23 AM PDT

  •  4 Canadian Soldiers Killed by Roadside Bomb (0+ / 0-)

    Four Canadian soldiers were killed today in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb in Kandahar province.

  •  Just ten percent of the money (0+ / 0-)

    10% of what we spent in Iraq could have given the Afghan people a victory, and a country reborn - and given the world a legitimate, enduring testimony to the intentions of the American people.  

    Ten percent, folks.

  •  I don't share the CW on Afghanistan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    At the time, I supported the use of military action in Afghanistan — for the purpose of eliminating the Taliban and capturing Osama bin Laden.  A lot of Americans agreed with these same goals.  Sadly, neither of those goals have been met, at a terrible cost of lives and wasted resources.  And it never occurred to me or others in late 2001 that the Administration was not really serious about its stated goals in Afghanistan.  It became clear to me very early on that Bush would bungle the conflict, when I read that the Air Force was prefacing the actual bombings by dropping small leaflets printed with bullshit, single-sentence Orwellian propaganda about how America was coming to the rescue.  

    Bombings???  Who's the dipshit who came up with that bogus idea, anyway?  Bombing is something you do when you want to destroy physical infrastructure on the ground — things like military bases, factories, ammo stockpiles, fuel supplies.  What the hell good is the use of air power in a mountainous, third-world nation with little or no physical infrastructure worth destroying?  How does bombing a wide area help you when your goal is to find one man — a needle in a haystack?

    Well, it doesn't.  Duh.  All the bombing did — besides kill a few thousand people not connected to ObL and blow up a few billion dollars of our school funding — was prejudice the civilians against our mission, and stir up enough chaos on the ground to create a distraction that allowed our true targets to slip away.  Hey, that's just brilliant strategery — if what you really want to accomplish in the war is different from your publicly-stated goals.  

    After the way the Bush Administration completely fucked up in Afghanistan, I don't see how any American of good conscience could have been fooled again by Bush.  

    •  Some of that bombing (0+ / 0-)

      was in support of Northern Alliance forces that were battling Taliban troops:

      link

      •  wrong way to fight the conflict (0+ / 0-)

        Better to have gone in smart — real quiet-like — get our man in Tora Bora before anyone realized what we were doing.  That was the whole reason we were supposedly going in there.  

      •  besides (0+ / 0-)

        You talk about the Taliban regime as though it were an army, rather than a political entity. Obviously it wasn't much of an army. But as a political force, it sure didn't take long to reappear.  This yet again confirms one of the most important principles of war, one which we ought to have learned not only from Vietnam, but from our own revolution: ideological conflicts don't lend themselves to military solution.  

        A similar faulty premise underlies Bush's entire War on Terra. He talks about terrorism as though it were a state.  Terrorism is not a state; it is a tactic.  Osama bin Laden is not a head of state; he is the leader of a pan-national crime syndicate.  Of course, if you view ObL in that way, you are likely to consider using tactics that might actually apprehend him, rather than using tactics which provide cover for him to get away.

        Getting bin Laden was never Bush's goal in this war.  Gosh, if he did that, people might think the "mission" was truly "accomplished", and then how would he justify continued military action to lay the foundation for the neocon vision of Pax Americana?

    •  Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

      It is informing to read "Imperial Hubris".
      I don't know if I buy everything the author says, particularly when they are anonymous.  But, the author claims that the administration tried to do
      it on the cheap both in cost and public controversy.
      Also he/she has some interesting points about Bin Ladin and Al Quaeda. Mostly that Bin Ladin hates
      America for its policies in the Middle East, and not for what it popularly believed (for our freedom
      or our culture).

      Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility. --Ambrose Bierce

      by JaketheSnake on Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 05:18:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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