Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bush has lost the war in Afghanistan and with it —the Middle East

Because we are at war, Bush says, it is necessary for him to assume certain dictatorial powers: widespread domestic surveillance of tens of millions of law abiding American citizens, a power that has previously been the sole domain of the Supreme Court to determine which laws are Constitutional and which are not, and the power to order American troops into war without declarations of war by Congress.

What Bush has not told you is that not only were there no WMD to be found in Iraq, the rationale behind his war on terrorism is false. Afghanistan is also lost.

It begins with that all but forgotten war —once so telegenic. We are losing now in Afghanistan because the Taliban was never really defeated. According to Christopher Langton, a defense expert at the Institute for International Strategic Studies, the Taliban has "... largely recovered from ... initial defeat." It is, he says "...proving a savvy enemy for coalition forces." The Taliban —whose defeat Bush appears to have celebrated prematurely —are encouraged by opposition now faced by several NATO nations now deployed in areas previously patrolled by U.S. forces. Slowly, by striking weak points, the Taliban is regaining control of Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai —a former UNOCAL consultant —is not safe outside Kabul.

Furthermore, The U.S. State Department has never classified the Taliban as a terrorist organization though Bush would clearly have you believe otherwise. That Bush must bear the responsibility for letting bin Laden off the hook when bin Laden was said to have been located in Tora Bora makes no sense within the context of Bush's official rationale [See: U.S. State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations]

It is also increasingly obvious that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan.
Yet since the Taliban was driven from power in Afghanistan, the group is believed to be behind numerous attacks that have killed workers for nongovernmental organizations, civilians, government officials, policemen, and Pakistani and Afghan soldiers. Christopher Langton, a defense expert at the Institute for International Strategic Studies, says the Taliban "is an insurgent organization that will periodically use terrorism to carry out its operations."

—Council on Foreign Relations, The Taliban Resurgence in Afghanistan,

The events leading to 911 had origins in 1920 —the year that France and Great Britain made of the middle east a vast quilt work of territories dominated by local war lords. It was imagined that these "fiefdoms" would rise above a complex tribal past. That many of these territories had oil only complicated matters as western powers competed for the precious resource upon which the European and American economies depended. Oil, the engine that drives modern economies, thus shapes geopolitics. Hitler might have won WWII by simply supplying Rommel, moving into the Middle East to secure its oil for his Third Reich. [See: What If?: The World's Foremost Historians Imagine What Might Have Been]

Gen. Michael Hayden's comment that "if anyone calls Al Qaeda we want to know" is not only ludicrous and naive, it's Machiavellian. It is premised upon what Bush would like you to believe about Al Qaeda, specifically that bin Laden runs Al Qaeda like a western CEO. That's a myth designed after the fact to justify failed U.S. policies.

In fact, the Taliban has never been listed as a "terrorist" state or organization by the U.S. State Department. If the Taliban were as cozy with bin Laden and thus with Al Qaeda as Bush would have you believe, the Taliban would most surely have appeared on the list.

It is doubtful that Al Qaeda has now or ever had an operational nucleus somewhere, anywhere. It's very name means "The Base" —a name in use when the United States trained and armed mujahideen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Two facts must be remembered: the United States and Saudi Arabia spent about $40 billion on the war in Afghanistan, recruiting, supplying, and training nearly 100,000 radical mujahideen from forty Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, and Afghanistan itself.

Among the recruits were Osama bin Laden and his followers. They are still called "the base" i.e. Al Qaeda. Shall I spell it out? Al Qaeda was a creation of the United States, specifically the CIA. That bin Laden was a CIA asset is common knowledge. When did he stop being a CIA agent? Had bin Laden resigned as CIA asset just in time to orchestrate the Bush version of 911?

Al Qaeda, therefore, is not an organization over which one can be CEO. With every Bush/Western blunder, Al Qaeda has become a movement —a loose, worldwide web of common goals and sometimes archaic ideas.

Clearly —Al Qaeda grows stronger whenever Bush's "war on terrorism" takes on racial, ethnic, or religious anti-Islamic overtones. Memories of Saladin and Richard, Cœur de Lion are still fresh everywhere in the Middle East. Bush's war was most surely lost when it was called a "crusade" at the outset. The Bush administration has since displayed an appalling ignorance of the sectarian realities in not only Iraq but throughout the Middle East.

Bush was suckered into playing whack-a-mole in Afghanistan. If there is a "base", it's highly mobile and cannot be defeated militarily. Al Qaeda feeds upon the antipathy of the west.

Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces report frequent clashes with Taliban fighters in the south. According to Kathy Gannon, the former Associated Press bureau chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, these fighters have at times aligned themselves with al-Qaeda fighters and with mujahadeen (holy warriors) led by the anti-government warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. During the Soviet occupation, Hekmatyar received more support from U.S. and Pakistani agents than any other fighter.

—Council on Foreign Relations, The Taliban Resurgence in Afghanistan,

At the heart of Bush's many failures is the fact that in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush took this nation to war upon lies and cherry-picked intelligence. The nature of Bush's official 911 conspiracy theory is full of holes and remains un-investigated and stonewalled.

The key to exposing Bush's official conspiracy theory are some 26 or 28 pages that were expunged from the released version of the Congressional 911 report. Those pages had to do with connections between the Bush family and the Saudi Royals —who were flown out of the country when every other plane was grounded —and the Taliban, which had been threatened by the U.S. state department in July 2001, prior to 911.

Follow the money; follow the oil. It is increasingly likely that some people very high up in the U.S. government may have participated in the commission of murder and high treason. These people threatened the Taliban on behalf of big American oil companies —most certainly those wishing to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. For their crimes against the people of the United States, Afghanistan and Iraq, they should stand trial.

A very timely update from Deborah Leavy:


HUBRIS, meaning pride or arrogance, is a very human flaw that in Greek mythology often led to tragedy.

Daedalus, flying with wings of feathers and wax, thought he could go up to see the heavens, but the wings melted when he flew too close to the sun, and he plunged into the sea. When Arachne boasted that she was just as good a weaver as Athena, the goddess turned her into a spider.

Pride goeth before a fall. It is one of the seven deadly sins. You'd think people would learn, but it gets 'em every time.

Too much pride has been a theme of the Bush administration. After capturing the presidency by judicial decree, they governed as if they had a mandate, running roughshod over those who disagreed with them.

Winning the second time by a clear but narrow margin, Bush declared, "I've got some political capital, and I'm going to spend it."

Spend it he did, and now there's almost nothing left. ...
Some resources:

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission

If You Don't Want to Return to a Cave of Bushevik Propaganda, Help Save the Internet Now!


Fuzzflash said...

Good to see you back,len. For a moment there I thought you may have been rendered downtown to answer a few routine questions.

Len Hart said...

Thanks, fuzzflash. It's been a busy couple of days. And, fortunately, none were spent "downtown" : )

damien said...

Terrific analysis, Len. Yep, definitely thought you'd been renditioned.

Len Hart said...

Thanks, damien. It's always good to know that you and fuzzflash have been manning the barricades.

damien said...

I can't compete with Fuzzflash on style. So I compete on quality (he he...)

Len Hart said...

Both of you bring style, substance and wit to this board. It's made blogging a pleasure.

Fuzzflash said...

OK guys,group hug over, back to business. The Middle East is in lousy shape. In Afghanistan, the poppies are blooming, hornet squads of Taliban enforcers swarm on burkaless females, President Karzai is cocooned in Kabul, the hills are alive with the sound of daisy cutters and there is a severe shortage of front-seat women commuters. A six star holiday desto it ain't(merci Monsieur Colbert). The people are hostage to US hegemony and heavily armed Islamist zealots.
Herein lies the tragedy. The overwhelming majority of the Afghani people are at the mercy of fundamentalists on both sides who are driving this thing.
Looking forward to getting my mitts on Robert Fisk's recent tome on the history of the Middle East. The grapevine says it's a bottler.

Rurikid said...

It is Afghan people, not Afghani people, since Afghani is the name of the Afghan currency - people don't call Americans "Dollars", let's extend the same courtesy to the Afghan people. :)

damien said...

Rurikid - we've had this conversation before! Don't forget the Grecians!

On a more serious aspect, Len has pointed to the redacted 28 pages of the Congressional Report outlining Saudi links that may have impinged one way or another on 9/11.

In the same vein, it is worth pointing out that Pakistan, through its military intelligence (ISI), had close connections to the 9/11 terrorists.

It has been alleged that the ISI's Gen.Mahmoud Ahmad had authorised a $100,000 payment into the Florida bank account of Mahommed Atta. Gen.Ahmad quietly resigned when this detail became public. Why he has not been brought to trial has never been made clear, but undoubtedly it has a great deal to do with long-standing links that go back to when the CIA used the ISI to train Taliban rebels against the Russians in Afghanistan.

Recently (Mar 2006) the Pakistan government has admitted that it had paid tens of thousands of dollars to lobbyists in the US to get anti-Pakistan references dropped from the official 9/11 Commission Report. (It is not clear if any payments were made to US Congress members.)

Finally, a senior US Government official has admitted that a foreign nation has been identified as complicit in the events of 911.

This, from Senator Bob Graham, Head of the 911 Joint Congressional Inquiry from Feb - Dec 2002 when he was interviewed on the PBS Lehrer Hour by Gwen Ifill in 2002:

"I was surprised at the evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists in the United States."

".... I think there is very compelling evidence that at least some of the terrorists were assisted not just in financing -- although that was part of it -- by a sovereign foreign government"

".... It will become public at some point when it's turned over to the archives, but that's 20 or 30 years from now."

The implications of this claim are quite profound. It means that the 19 hijackers were not operating in isolation. There was a complex support base. It also implies a far more extensive awareness of the impending 9/11 attacks by persons who have yet to be identified.

Interestingly, of all the pre-9/11 intelligence warnings received by US intelligence, none came from Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, the two nations with the closest terrorist contacts, and close connections to US intelligence services and the CIA.

Whatever the truth of 9/11, the story of 19 lone hijackers with boxcutters is a fiction that cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged.

Fuzzflash said...

Right you are then, rurikid, terribly careless of me, I shall endeavour to ensure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again on my watch.

Fuzzflash said...

"Interestingly, of all the pre-9/11 intelligence warnings received by US intelligence, none came from Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, the two nations with the closest terrorist contacts, and close connections to US intelligence services and the CIA."

damien, great analysis. You're into 9/11 with the same terrier like intensity that you applied to the Dubai Ports rort. I feature the Saudis are in deeper than " know the general" 's mob. The whole shebang shimmers with Syriana-like complexities. Maybe some insider will be stricken with conscience and spill his guts to camera just before he carks it. Otherwise, it'll be a long wait, mate.

Len Hart said...

Great posts, all! It needs updating, but Gore Vidal wrote a great piece early on entitled: "The Enemy Within". It's a must read.

damien said...

Asking them all a few questions at an independant, public inquiry would be nice....

The Fat Lady Sings said...

This is tangential, I know - but bear with me. It speaks to the climate in Saudi Arabia pre-9/11. I had two friends who lived and worked in Saudi Arabia - both doctors. One was female and a Saudi national - the other Somali and male. I met them in Ireland when they were testing for the specific certificates necessary to elevate their specialist status within their respective Saudi hospitals. The year was 1991. We kept in touch for more than a decade; the aftermath of 9/11 coupled with certain exigencies of Saudi culture finally destroying the friendship.

I won’t get into how Saudi Arabia officially viewed women (which I am sure you already know), nor the ingrained Saudi disdain for all things western (excluding money, of course). No – this is about how they and I were forced to behave in order to maintain our friendship after I moved back stateside. My friends requested I disguise my Christmas cards to them. They said it identified them as Christian friendly and made them targets. They would have to smuggle cards and letters out to me. They would send a letter to a mutual friend in Ireland, who would then purchase the Christmas card and mail the lot to me in the states. Were they spotted shopping for Christmas cards or gifts they might be kidnapped and summarily executed. Think about that, for a moment. Think of what kind of culture would tolerate such behavior.

Keep in mind this was pre-Al Qaeda. Muslim extremists that existed in 1991 Saudi Arabia targeted anyone attempting to expand their own personal universe outside of what I consider to be a rather limited intellectual circle. Bush may be an idiot – but don’t tell me he wasn’t aware of this existing prejudice. Yet we call Saudi Arabia our friend. We treat them as if they practiced what we incessantly preach. So – there are people who question Bush’s complicity in 9/11 – citing his close friendship with the Saudi royal family, and the CIA’s use of Bin Laden as an asset during Bush 1. You know – I’m not sure I need to put on a tin foil hat these days in order to believe them.

Len Hart said...

Good insights from "Inside" Saudi Arabia. I've been a voice in the wilderness with regard to the Saudis. In my case, the alarm bells went off with the back to back Iran/Contra and B.C.C.I. scandals. BCCI was little more than money launder operation for the purpose of financing terrorists.

Bin Mahfouz, I believe, still maintains a billion dollar home in Houston. He was a major player in the axis of Jim Bath/Mahfouz/George Bush/Bin Laden network —a complicated web of deceit and money laundering. If Bush wanted to strike up a partnership with bin Laden, he most certainly could have, and, in fact, did so in Midland, TX. When Bin Mahfouz stepped down in 1999, it was alleged that the Saudi Government had found a connection between BBCI and charities linked to terrorism. There are fewer than six degrees of separation between Bush and terrorism...if any.

The Bin Laden/Bush connection is well documented. Binny and his bros were partners in one of Bush's failed West Texas oil ventures...Arbusto, I believe. Bush had so many failed ventures, I can't keep track of them anymore. I won't pretend to write a definitive post here...and, there are most probably errors even here. The story is easy enough to track down. A google search with terms like "James Bath", "Arbusto", "BCCI", "Bill White" and "Bin Laden" should give you more than can be read in a lifetime. It was a Houston Chronicle reporter who wrote the first stories connecting Bath, Bush, and bin Laden.

I haven't posited a 911 theory on this forum...and won't. The burden of proof is on Bush whose administration has put forward in various ways an "official conspiracy theory". It's pure bunkum.

At the time, cell phone calls from high altitudes were impossible. As much as 90 percent of the official conspiracy theory is absolutely dependent upon cell phone calls being made from the airliners in question at high altitudes, possibly 30,000 feet. It just didn't happen. Without those phone calls, the official conspiracy theory falls apart.

It is often objected: "But what about all the people?"

Indeed, what about them? I checked the official web site of Arlington National Cemetary, hardly "Prison Planet". What I learned startled me. NONE of the passengers of Flight 77 have been either identified or accounted for. Of the cremated and buried remains, only two were "said" by officials as having been passengers. Two children. But they were not identified. About ten other "remains" were said to have been Pentagon employees and hijackers. But, in the case of the hijackers, they were only called hijackers because they were not thought to have been either passengers or employees. Since then, credible news sources like the BBC and the Guardian have reported that at least one of those "hijackers" —said to have been buried at Arlington National Cemetary in a common "urn" with Pentagon employees —is still alive. If ANY hijacker is still alive, the official conspiracy theory falls apart.

Secondly, I have read too many accounts by structural engineers and aircraft experts. I will venture to say that a 757 DID NOT crash into the pentagon. In any case, a 757 could not have left a neat little round punch out hole in "ground zero" as it exited the outer rings. Didn't happen. And, even if it had, where are the remains of whatever made the punch out hole?

No...the burden of proof is on whomever puts forward a theory. Bushies have put forward a theor but cannot back it up. It's up to them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that ANYTHING that they have said is true.

I suspect that NOTHING that they have said is true. Given that, I leave the specifics of a theory to the reader.

damien said...

Len, you raise some fair points re 9/11. The Pentagon attack is problematic no matter how one looks at it: the physical evidence is against a 757 hitting the building, yet witness statements appear to support the claim that a large aircraft of some description did crash there. Many 9/11 sceptics have taken the view (the right one, I believe, in the face of evidence discrepancies) that the process is incomplete. They are insisting the government release a number of Pentagon related videos of the incident. (Personally, I believe a smaller plane hit the Pentagon and explosives were involved.)

In the situation where the US government limited the 9/11 inquiry process, refused to publicise the evidence and has presented an ambiguous official account, it is entirely appropriate for people to form any view they like on 9/11. There is no logical or moral reason obligating people to defer to the official version. This puts the cart before the horse. It is the government's role to provide accountability to its citizens. The people then get to decide whether or not they will accept the official explanation.

On the question of the 19 alleged hijackers identified by the FBI, it appears that at least six have turned up alive after the attack.The FBI's identification included names, photographs, and, in several cases, other personal details - all of which matched six persons who surfaced after the attack to proclaim their innocence. It appears, for at least six of the 9/11 terrorists, that we know absolutely nothing.

13 of the 19 terrorists got their visas through Jedda in what appears to be CIA sanctioned entry program. 1 2 3

Only time will answer some of these questions.

Len Hart said...

Great post as usual, damien. Of the six hijackers still alive, one, I believe was said by Bush's official conspiracy theorists to have been on board Flight 77. His name was "Salem" as I recall.

If any one of the hijackers is still alive, it raises yet another anomoly that the official conspiracy cannot account for. When did the hijackers bail out?

That, of course, is a characteristic of a phony theory. Phony theories raise unexplained complications, like: where are the bodies of the passengers? where is the wreckage? how were the cell phone calls made from 30,000 feet?

Or —how did the hijackers get on the planes without entries being made on the flight manifests? The flight manifest of Flight 77, for example, is available on various credible and official sources. How did the hijackers get on the plane without a ticket, without some name showing up on the manifest?

damien said...

My take on it was that these were stolen identities rather than the idea that some of the terrorists actually turned up alive later. But yeah, I agree with the rest. There are so many questions that should have been answered by the 911 Commission.

Len Hart said...

Excellent point, and that would explain quite a bit if it is realized that a "stolen identity" need not actually board the plane for Bushco to pull off the fraud. How conveniently, how quickly Bushco rolled out the complete dossiers and names!

About 50 percent of the nation is now suspicious of the official 911 story. A "stolen" identity might be consistent with my own "theory" —IF I had one.

However, "stolen" identities are most certainly inconsistent with anything Bushco would have you believe and/or anything that Bushco has said about 911.

Backgrounds are available on those people listed on the Flight 77 manifest, for example. In fact, the name of Solictor General Ted Olson's wife —Barbara Olson —was on that manifest; there were no hijackers. How did they get on board? They didn't. And a 757 didn't crash the Pentagon.

Anonymous said...

Of the 45 passengers and crew who died on flight 93 NONE of their families has made a claim from the 9-11 compensation fund.

Len Hart said...

Good point and link, anonymous. I also recommend links 1,2,3 from damien in a previous comment. Simply, the official conspiracy theory is pure bunk. It most certainly fails to explain flight manifests et al.