Truth Sneaks Out

by craig on February 1, 2012 3:12 pm in Uncategorized

“Afghan civilians frequently prefer Taliban governance over GIRoA [the Afghan government], usually as a result of government corruption, ethnic bias and lack of connection with local religious and tribal leaders”.

That is a direct quote from a NATO report. This blog has been telling you for six years that the Afghan government rigged its elections, is enormously corrupt, full of warlords and deeply implicated in the heroin trade. That the “Afghan army” is a tribal construct based on the Northern Alliance, and channels weapons to warlords. That no development is really happening. That the government of Afghanistan is comprised of individuals who make money from war and have no interest in peace.

All this has been at odds with the mainstream media narrative, which consists of embedded journalists and visiting ministers telling us that British troops are bringing civilisation to Afghanistan, roads are being built, markets opened and little girls going to school. The leaking of a candid NATO report on the genuine situation has brought us one day of reporting which jars with the general narrative flow.

Watch the propaganda machine go into top gear and more of the same old lies pouring forth in the next few days.

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79 Comments

  1. …Not to mention the convenient uncovering of potential terrorist plots here and there

  2. Where would we be without leaks and whistleblowers?
    .
    Craig, little clean-up needed on the blockquote.

  3. MerkinOnParis

    1 Feb, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    We told the MSM years ago that the Afghan people don’t want or need us there.
    Nothing has changed.

  4. I’m work in International Development (non Governmental) and have been to Kabul twice in the past 3 months.

    Every single person I met was completely against the Taliban and each had their own personal story of that time.

    However we view the conflict, ordinary Afgan people, who have little say in their Government, seemed to be united in their opposition to the Taliban and appalled that they might return.

  5. aidworker1

    has it occurred to you that people in Kabul who speak to foreign aid workers are a small and very particular subset of the people of Afghanistan?

  6. In next weeks news they will be telling us that the Taliban was created by the ISI and the CIA, one caper after the other. As soon as Karzai is leaving for sunnier climes, we will see a new front open up between Tajiks and Pashtuns. Both have amassed weapons and monies. If they have any sense they will start developing Afghanistan and bury their differences, show the world that they can do something else apart from being horrible to their women and children.
    Looking at the past and how clever warlords of likes of Hekmatiar think, the interest of foreign companies and countries in Afghan resources could also offer an option for a grand coalition of sorts, maybe a rotating Government or powersharing agreement. If brutes like Dostum want to throw their weight about, then the country will very fast descend into a creeping civil war. lets hope I’m wrong.

  7. @MerkinOnParis
    “We told the MSM years ago that the Afghan people don’t want or need us there.
    Nothing has changed.”
    – If you mean Main Stream Media, their job is to provide an echo chamber to official state policy for the most part.
    So, what are the options? :
    1) This is obviously not what they want to hear, so it doesn’t exist
    2) From their point of view your opinion doesn’t matter anyway, so it doesn’t exist
    3) The opinions of ordinary Afghan citizens don’t matter, so it doesn’t exist
    4) See 1, 2 and 3 together

  8. Ben Franklin

    1 Feb, 2012 - 4:49 pm

    “I’m up to my keister with these leaks” Ronald Reagan.

    I wonder who’s gonna be on the carpet for this leak?

    Whistleblowers are becoming endemic…..

    If enough of them populate the closed-loop of government secrecy, it will create a safer environment, despite supposed ‘protections’ for same.

  9. Was this document really leaked or was it allowed to be leaked! to me it seems this is prelude to pull out, “They want Taliban , they prefer them to an democratically elected government, so in the name of Democracy as this is what majority of Afghan prefer, we should leave”!.

  10. Ben Franklin

    1 Feb, 2012 - 5:55 pm

    AZRA;

    Leaks can be used by any side in the squabble. But, they’re all good as long as we have the freedom to vett.

  11. ‘In the Assange case we are all suspects now’
    John Pilger
    http://www.newstatesman.com/international-politics/2012/02/pilger-assange-australian#jasup

  12. Extract from Pilger:
    .
    WikiLeaks has given Australians a rare glimpse of how their country is run. In 2010, leaked US cables disclosed that top government figures in the Labor Party coup that brought Julia Gillard to power were “protected” sources of the US embassy: what the CIA calls “assets”. Kevin Rudd, the prime minister Gillard ousted, apparently had displeased Washington by being disobedient, even suggesting that Australian troops withdraw from Afghanistan.
    .
    In the wake of her portentous rise to power, Gillard attacked WikiLeaks’s actions as “illegal” and her attorney general threatened to withdraw Assange’s passport. Yet the Australian Federal Police reported that Assange and Wiki­Leaks had broken no law. Freedom of Information files have since shown that Australian diplomats have colluded with the US in its pursuit of Assange. This is not unusual. The government of John Howard ignored the rule of law and conspired with the US to keep David Hicks, an Australian citizen, in Guantanamo Bay, where he was tortured …
    http://www.newstatesman.com/international-politics/2012/02/pilger-assange-australian#jasup

  13. But those are the wrong kind of Afghans. They need to be re-educated before they appreciate the benefits of Western civilisation.

  14. AidWorker1 wrote: “I’m work in International Development (non Governmental) and have been to Kabul twice in the past 3 months.
    .
    Every single person I met was completely against the Taliban and each had their own personal story of that time.”
    .
    That is true elsewhere too. I believe you could get a representative view of the opinions of UK citizens simply by asking questions of a few London cab drivers.

  15. Nuid, thank you for the link. John Pilger is of that rare breed who has not sold his soul.

    Yonatan : You are of course joking.. You can only get a representative view if you talk to many many individuals of the various professions, background and education, and from various area of a country. What a cab driver in London tell you can be very different from what a Cab driver in North of the country will tell you.

    Aidworker1 : did you ever think that those Afghan told you what they thought you want to hear? believe me it happens a lot….

  16. Azra: irony alert.

  17. Methuselah Now

    1 Feb, 2012 - 7:18 pm

    Hi,

    It’s happening on the days C4 news, where the thrust in the report is about Pakistan’s involvement, rather than the abject failure of western/Nato policy against the Taliban.

    What happened to C4 News, what happened to journalistic scepticism?

    Yours kindly,

    MN

  18. Kabullshit

    Now we’re killing them with kindness for that s just what we do
    To help them redevelop and even have a zoo.
    Killing them with kindness as we drag them out of bed
    Cuff little hands behind and shoot them through the head.
    Oh we’re killing them with kindness for that s just what we do
    If they’re Uzbek or Hazara,Pashtun or Tajik
    It really doesn’t matter if they play hide and seek
    As we’ll bomb all their weddings and their funerals too,
    For that s just,well that s just what we do,

    Oh we’re killing them with kindness
    Killing them with kindness

    And if you hear that we slit pricks at Bagram or elsewhere
    Do remember that it s done with tender loving care,
    As we’re killing them with kindness
    For that s just what we do
    To help them redevelop and even keep that Zoo,

  19. Methuselah Now

    1 Feb, 2012 - 7:36 pm

    Hi,

    The arrogance of the Colonialist:

    For prosperity, you need peace.
    For Peace you need Security.

    Completely not politically-correct to the idealists over pragmatists, but before the wrong-headed spiteful American invasion of 2001, there was a consistency of rule greater than exists now in Afghanistan, there were meetings with Taliban representatives with the western powers and there was a more accommodating tone than will ever exist again, including the control on corruption and drugs.

    But hey, as long as a certain ignorant segment can get off on drinking the cool-aid of bringing the same liberal values that 1000 years of relative-stability have brought us, in the blink of an eye to a foreign culture with different roots………….

    Yours kindly,

    MN

  20. A good report about the rally held last Saturday outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, including videos of the speeches.
    .
    Hundreds of anti-war protesters gathered in central London today at a demonstration against Western intervention in Iran and Syria.
    .
    The rally, organised by the Stop the War Coalition, took place outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square.
    .
    /…
    http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php/video/1078-stop-the-war-protests-against-iran-and-syria-intervention-

  21. On the other hand the Taleban are not beyond the influence of corrupt ideologies which are foreign to Afghanistan. What a stinking choice for the poor people of Afghanistan who surely deserve something better.

  22. Thanks Nuid for posting John Pilger’s article entitled:
    .
    In the Assange case we are all suspects now
    Washington’s enemy is not “terrorism” but the principle of free speech and voices of conscience within its militarist state.
    .
    As usual, he is spot on. Some of the comments printed beneath it are both outrageous and appalling in their ignorance. The authors seemto be unaware of the creep of fascism within the so called Western democracies and within the US puppet, Australia. These democracies are illusory.

  23. A taste of what’s to come.
    .
    http://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/thou-shalt-not-demonstrate/
    .
    Brian Haw RIP.
    .
    The addressee for complaints works in the Treasury Solicitors’ Department and has been growing a moustache in aid of promoting men’s health. Scroll down to the bottom {http://uk.movember.com/mospace/828512}

  24. Little girls really were going to school in 1979 when the Soviet Army was called in to defend the Kabul government. The US was funding Mujahideen (or however you spell it) rebels to help overthrow the regime. It was part of the Cold War strategy to gain Afghanistan as a ‘sphere of influence’ and actually ended up with warring Mujahideen factions fighting among themselves to establish their tribal rights, which excluded the education of females, and was paid for in a fistful of dirty dollars.
    .
    Margaret Thatcher, advised UK residents not to go to the Moscow Olympics (1980) in protest at what was called the Soviet occupation. Always happy to oblige Thatcher those of us who went were treated like lords. We slept in the best hotels with colour televisions in the rooms and the service was much better than might have been expected in a Soviet country. I wish somebody would boycott the London Olympics this year in protest of the UK involvement in all its Middle Eastern/ North African wars. Perhaps I might then be able to afford to stay in a London hotel.
    .
    NATO has been in Afghanistan for more than a decade paid for with dirty dollars it does not possess and left another unholy mess in its wake. For what? The problem with Afghanistan is its geographical position. The greed of Superpowers to possess this desert and deploy its military in case something considered bad happens in the region is why Afghanistan has known nothing but war.

  25. John Goss,
    Thanks for the comment, you beat me to the post so to speak.
    ,
    However, Afghanistan is not an empty desert, the natural gas reserves, as well as a huge wealth of minerals, is to be found in that desert like place.
    ,
    Most important of all, Afghanistan is next to China, playing the buffer zone for US to keep China shut off from the mid east oil fields.
    ,
    Afghans had a decent chance of making it under their communist government, alas that probability proved to be intolerable to US fascists masquerading as capitalists, and for ever afraid of domino theory, in continuation of their war for total control of the planet!

  26. Mary, here’s to Brian Haw. I wish I could have spent more time with him in Parliament Square.

  27. Are you sure you don’t mean that it’s the UK govt.comprises individuals who make money from war and have no interest in peace?

  28. Craig,

    I agree with your proposal but can’t agree to your arguments. As far as I know, an average Afghan civilian doesn’t give a damn whether Karzai’s government is elected “democratically”, implicated in heroin trade, or consists of warlords. What the nation expects from rulers is to provide (1) safety, and (2) rule of law. The Taliban have offered both. Karzai’s government has offered neither. When an Afghan villager has a choice between gun-totting policemen, sent in from Kabul, who terrorise the population, burn crops and gangrape local boys (“bacha bazi”), and the Taliban who (in theory at least) have banned sexual exploitation, introduced dura lex sed lex, supported livelihoods (even if it was through poppy farming), and hail from among the local people – who do you think they go for?

    Even if elections would be held every four years and be 100% fair and transparent – who would they chose?

    I am not arguing for the Taliban here; only pointing out that Afghanistan’s problems does not lie in lack of democracy or the fact that some big fishes on the top make heaps of money (name me where they don’t). Democracy is not an answer to poverty; worse: according to some authors, as a pretty costly system democracy can work only when GDP per capita exceeds a threshold amount of around ~2,000 USD.

    Neither are ethnic animosities a *cause* of Afghanistan’s misfortune IMHO.

    Give people work, give them that security of being able to work five days a week and spend the money over weekends, and have law enforcement fair and trust-able – and they won’t have time or reason to fight. Then get a strong taxman – and you will then afford to have a bunch of populists elected every couple of years at taxpayer’s expense to pretend they rule the country.

    That the Afghan war would be a failure for the invaders was clear from the very beginning. Why today’s invaders would be supposed to meet different fate than all others in the last 2000 years? Then, you know well – better than me – that the war was not really about conquering the Afghan desert but about (1) government orders from the US arms industry, (2) chances of exercising control over a part of planed oil/gas transit route from Central Asia to India, (3) opportunity of establishing military bases close to Russia’s southern borders.

    So, after the war is over, after the West killed tens of thousand Afghan civilians, and after the Western military and the arms industry pocketed trillions, Afghanistan is back at square 1. We can only feel personal satisfaction we never supported the war.

  29. Well looks like there is another Vietnam style saga of insane loss of life, huge cost and folly coming to an end it would seem, where will the war mongers go next to keep the financial war cash cow flowing?

    One good possible outcome though would be if the Taliban regain control then possibly we may see the worlds largest supplier of opium shut down yet again. In July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, collaborating with the United Nations to eradicate heroin production in Afghanistan, declared that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in one of the world’s most successful anti-drug campaigns. As a result of this ban, opium poppy cultivation was reduced by 91% from the previous year’s estimate of 82,172 hectares. The ban was so effective that Helmand Province, which had accounted for more than half of this area, recorded no poppy cultivation during the 2001 season.

    They effectively shut it down from producing around 3,300 tonnes in 2000 to 185 tonnes in 2001, an unprecedented shut down of the worlds leading supplier of opium which was supplying over 80% of the worlds opium.

    But did we congratulate them on succeeding in stopping a major blight and problem on this planet, did we meet with them and offer help in establishing alternative crops for the farmers to grow and offer assistance in maintaining the continuation an opium free Afghanistan, because surely given the substantial negative impact on our own societies of that would have been the logical thing to do,,,,,,,,, NO,,,,,,, we invaded Afghanistan and the opium trade not only re-opened there but flourished to new and greater production heights. 2002:3,400 tonnes, 2003:3,600 tonnes, 2004:4,200 tonnes, by 2006 it was recorded by the United nations to have hit 6,100 tonnes, a figure they noted which actually meant that 1/3rd more opium was being produced at that point than was needed to supply the demand of the world’s heroin users. Way to go United States and Britain,,,,,,,,,

    Did we invade Afghanistan to reopen the gates to the worlds opium supply or was it just a by-product of our invasion? One thing is for sure, anyone that believes that the only parties with a financial interests in Afghanistan opium are the Afghanistan people would be deluding themselves in the extreme, heroin is a worldwide multi billion dollar trade and like all suppliers of anything the Afghanistan poppy farmers were receiving a tiny percentage of that multi billion dollar racket, that trade goes well beyond Afghanistan or its supposed terrorist involvement in it, Afghan heroin sells on the international narcotics market for 100 times the price farmers get for their opium right out of the field and there are far more financially powerful players in the game in the West that don`t want that trade to stop than there are in reality in Afghanistan.

  30. “Watch the propaganda machine go into top gear”
    .
    Agent Cameron has stressed the ‘war’ in Afghanistan is necessary to keep us safe.
    .
    Terrorism remains a major asset for wars and regime change. Internal intelligence in the West is fine tuned to develop plans that enforce this stratagem, the little game, the tricks and frame-ups. The secrecy of internal intelligence frustrates the judicial process already impeded by security checks such as the searching of members of the Bar at courts, dictaphone bans and removal of footwear (except policemen who may lose dignity).
    .
    Courts have made the general observation that where sentences are imposed that are more severe than are warranted, this is “likely to inflame rather than deter extremism” thus the recent ‘plotting’ to bomb the London Stock Exchange and targeting Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, has witnessed an 11th-hour plea bargain in court using the ‘Goodyear Direction’ which means six years for Rahman.
    .
    Interestingly the Intelligence and Security Committee enquiry into the 7/7 London bombings, published in May 2009, found
    that basic data on terrorist convictions in the UK had not been compiled. It concluded:
    The Committee is both disappointed and concerned that such a simple, yet essential, piece of the evidence base – the successful conviction of terrorists – was not only unused, but was not even available. This is basic information that should have been being analysed to assess how well aspects of the strategy were working and what changes needed to be made – particularly in terms of legislation.

  31. I wonder which other crops would thrive there as opium seems to. Maybe olives?

  32. ‘aidworker1
    has it occurred to you that people in Kabul who speak to foreign aid workers are a small and very particular subset of the people of Afghanistan?’
    The BBC yesterday gave us a radio interview with an Alawite woman who insisted that the UK sponsored insurgency did not threaten the safety of the Alawite community.
    British special forces are sniping at civilians in Syria and training Al Qaida (stupidism ) forces in Turkey to depose Alawite Assad in a bloody coup like Gaddafi.
    It would be a good idea for the BBC to put out some favourable propaganda for the coming bloodbath.

  33. Kashmiri
    There are two places in world other than the Holy Land which are are intimitely bound up with the Children of Israel, resulting from the two great exoduses after God’s punishment. The first was the Captivity 500 BC which resulted in the area of Babylon now occupied by Kurdistan, Northern Iraq becoming populated by Jewish people, adopting Judaism and giving their language, Aramaic to the Jewish people. The second was the scourge of the Roman Empire which dismantled the fabulous wealth that rebuilt the temple of Solomon on the site of AlAqsa at the time of Jesus pbuh. Both were the result of the Jewish people exceeding all bounds in their religion.
    At the time of Jesus, pbuh they had adopted Indian polytheistic beliefs in re-incarnation ( are you Elias reborn? – Gospels ) and Greek Demeter worship accompanied by Sufist special sacrificial roles for youth and Cabbalistic, sexual predation on males and females, a form of monasticism gone mad.
    These people fled East to Afghanistan, taking the names MushTariq, way of Moses, and Khorasan, ( greek name for the garlanded youth devotees of Demeter )
    The war in Afghanistan is above all a spiritual battle between Islam and the Zionists trying to revive the lost culture of their deviant ancestors. The war in Iraq was above all an attempt by Zionists to revive their previous physical and spiritual relationship with Kurdistan, punish its oppressors and revive its spiritual importance.
    Both wars are designed to maintain Judaism to a previous period of prosperity, like restoring your laptop to the settings of a previous time. This ignores the fact that we know and they know that the teachings of Islam have totally replaced the traditions of Judaism, with a new prophet SAW and similar ways to old Judaism.
    The West have been hijacked into this vast enterprise of religious sentimentalism, because wars and colonialism make money, but the principle cause of these two wars is totally misguided, and utterly desperate Zionism, trying to put the clock back to previous supposedly glorious times.
    All Pakistanis dream of the Mughal age, as Brits do about earlier times. Dangerous woffle, fantasy dreams.
    Both of these wars have a subtext, which all Muslims have to believe, that Islam will prevail.
    The mad mullahs of political Islam, Al Qaida, friends of CIA and MI6, which I call stupidism, have tried to take power from the Zionists’ partners in the West, by supplying terror and blodshed from the Muslim side. Nobody believes that they are anything but ntraitors to Islam now, after the collaboration of NATO and Al Qaida in Libya and Afghanistan. Islam will not be hijacked by nutters, however much it suits the disbelievers to empower their stupid, selfish plans.
    The beautiful and totally truthful religion of Islam will prevail in spite of the political machinations of CIA and AlQaida. Taliban is at the centre of that success, and they will be betrayed, persecuted and massacred by CIA/MI6/Zionism/AlQaida before Western troops leave. Ultimately the fog will clear and real Islam will prevail.

  34. Kashmiri
    Please look up the attempt to import Sufi monasticism from Afghanistan to Konya in Turkey, several centuries ago. This Sufi-ing of Turkey directly paved the way for the Zionist created Young Turk destruction of the Ottoman Empire by atheist homosexual Attaturk.
    Every school in Turkey has a government appointee in charge to enforce secularism in Turkish education. This is now being replaced by a US-sponsored version of Islam, the Gulen network.
    You will find that this is in reality Zio-Qaida stupidism, the abuse of boot-camp jihadism by Zionists in education to indoctrinate young people in the values of global war and financial domination.
    Sweet dreams.

  35. Hi Craig long time reader, first time commenter. I was wondering if you had any comment on this news article:

    http://www.defencetalk.com/us-lifts-ban-on-uzbek-military-aid-40279/

    Seeing as you were formerly the British ambassador to Uzbekistan and you’ve been concerned with the continued human rights violations by the government I thought it might interest you.

  36. Afganistan, the graweyard of empires.
    What did anyone expect, that the Afgan people sould automaticly bend ower because, here We come.
    And states that If they dont aply, We just Humanise them bact to the stone age.

    The propblem is propaganda, a forced vision on a world that is not there, nothing is improving, and Afganistan IS a warsone, dont forgett that.
    Nothing “normal” with that.

    Afgan people have lived in a warsone for decades, people born into war, grow up in a warsone, and thrying as best they can with what litle they have left to create a living. In a envirioment that is pulverised thru decades of war.

    And stil people belive the News and the “itegrety” of our Goverments spokesperson.
    Evevry thing we know is based on what the MSM feed us, 24/7.
    And all this sufferings are the result of Lies and forgerys. We all know that, but stil nothing happens, nothing.

    The Afgan people have al my respect for what they are enduring under grim conditions: Lett the Afgan people deside whos the one to rule, Taliban as portrayed in the west, my winn the war, but the Peace demands others that are more pragmatic. Afganistan was not a “conservative” comunety before, it became that after all the missery and pain inflicted in wars and the ugly Heroin/raw opium farming and abuse. Heroin is a bigg propblem for Afganistan, and thats thanks to Us.
    The hypocracy and dobbelspeak is staggering, the Lies are utterly despecable and based on the sinple fact that comon people are stupid and dont know nothing.
    Exept for whos judges at Idol and so on.
    And a staggering amount of utter drivel. Spoonfed thru years of mindless shitt on the tube, lately relocated to the Net, same lame shitt, just new wrapping.

    I can only hope and dream of an Afganistan, like it was before, revitalized.
    But it wil take time, but first they must be left alone, redraw all foreign trops and lett the Afgan people solve their own problems, in what ever way they see fitt.
    Its not our bissenisse.
    Capice

    peace

  37. Arthur Askey

    2 Feb, 2012 - 8:03 am

    Afghans have consistently supported the forces opposing the Western occupation by around 70%. On BBC R4’s Today programme yesterday some state propagandist suggested that the popular support was obtained through ‘terrorising’ people, although he conceded that recently a large number had fallen ‘victim’ to a Taleban hearts and minds operation – meaning schools, health-care and social service provision in the mode of Hezbollah and Hamas. The state propagandist suggested that military operations should “put a stop” to these tactics (I think the subtext was that more civilians need to be killed in Taleban controlled areas)

    The BBC just lets this nonsense roll out unquestioned. A bit like how they concede that NATO helped Al Qaeda take down Libya and has also been influential in the destabilisation of Yemen but still insists that they are a threat to Western civilization. How stupid do they think people are? Al Qaeda was created and is controlled by the western Intelligence services CIA, Mossad and MI6.

    Anyone familiar with N.I. terrorism may have seen the recently released UK intelligence reports that show MI5/MI6 were controlling the IRA during the height of the troubles. This will not surprise those that have followed the career of Martin McGuiness.

  38. VOICE OF AMERICA: Why don’t you expel Osama bin Laden?

    MULLAH OMAR: This is not an issue of Osama bin Laden. It is an issue of Islam. Islam’s prestige is at stake. So is Afghanistan’s tradition.

    VOA: Do you know that the US has announced war against you & they are going to destroy your country?

    OMAR: I am considering two promises. One is the promise of God, the other is that of Bush. The promise of God is that my land is vast. If you start a journey on God’s path, you can reside anywhere on this earth and will be protected… The promise of Bush is that there is no place on earth where you can hide that I cannot find you. We will see which one of these two promises is fulfilled.

    VOA: But aren’t you afraid for the people, yourself, the Taliban, your country?

    OMAR: Almighty God… is helping the believers and the Muslims. God says he will never be satisfied with the infidels. In terms of worldly affairs, America is very strong. Even if it were twice as strong or twice that again, it could not be strong enough to defeat us. We are confident that no one can harm us if God is with us.

  39. Fedup, I was being facetious about ‘desert’, a bit like when I call the Falklands a ‘rock’ but I guess the opium trade way outstripped any mineral wealth, and some say it was because they were destroying their poppy-fields that NATO went in. But yes, it is uniquely positioned geographically and has been seen as a crown jewel for many an imperialist.

  40. conjunction

    2 Feb, 2012 - 9:24 am

    Regarding the comments by Aidworker 1, Craig’s response, and later comments by Kashmiri:
    .
    Craig’s sentiments echo those of Rory Stewart, who probably knows Afghanistan as well as any Brit. In his recent book on intervention he suggests that all western visitors to Afghanistan, including aidworkers, are allowed to meet very few Afghanis.
    .
    I would have expected like Craig and Kashmiri that the Taliban would be more efficient than Karzai’s mob.
    .
    However I do suspect that the treatment of women at least with regard to freedom of expression and especially education has been significantly better under Karzai and I would love to know what the ‘average’ Afghani really feels about this. By the average Afghani I mean women as well as men, whereas I think most estimates of the average Afghani might be biased towards male views.

  41. Craig (and others)

    Someone on this thread (Aidworker1)claims to have been to Afghanistan and spoken to Afghanis – you have to respect that and not just dismiss their evidence as invalid.

    May be the situation isn’t straight forward. May be it requires something more than a choice between two corrupt and oppressive alternatives.

  42. Thanks for that poem M.Culver. the historical references and elucidations of Guano are also appreaciated. Most of us do not know how far zionism has spread, dare I use the word tentacle, Kahsmir being one of the places zionism is very involved, no doubt they will be doing more than training the Indian pilots, at arms lenght to both countries nuclear weapon stores.
    I fear that any flagration that occurs in the middle east, whether its on Cyprus, the Turkish Syrian border or in the starits of Hormuz, chances are that this will ignite Pakistan and Afghanistan, with India sitting on hot coals, most likely getting involved over the 50 year old Kashmir dispute that has cost hundreds if not thousands of life’s already.

    What do you recon on the chances that a ME war could cause the world to ignite, Guano?

  43. @ Crab: this was a report published in 2001, since then with the invasion, not only growing poppy has sky rocketed, but the heroin producing workshop/factories have increased ten fold.
    Iran and Pakistan are the two countries (being next door to Afghanistan) that are seeing a huge surge in heroin addicts..
    I hated the Taliban and their policies but destroying poppy fields was one good thing they did, no one can deny that. After the invasion Taliban went back to fund their war with growing and selling poppy again (so it is reported)


    JALALABAD, Afghanistan (February 15, 2001 8:19 p.m. EST
    U.N. drug control officers said the Taliban religious militia has nearly wiped out opium production in Afghanistan — once the world’s largest producer — since banning poppy cultivation last summer.

    A 12-member team from the U.N. Drug Control Program spent two weeks searching most of the nation’s largest opium-producing areas and found so few poppies that they do not expect any opium to come out of Afghanistan this year.

    “We are not just guessing. We have seen the proof in the fields,” said Bernard Frahi, regional director for the U.N. program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He laid out photographs of vast tracts of land cultivated with wheat alongside pictures of the same fields taken a year earlier — a sea of blood-red poppies.

    A State Department official said Thursday all the information the United States has received so far indicates the poppy crop had decreased, but he did not believe it was eliminated.

  44. Ingo
    I am only speculating about the spread of Zionism my friend.
    I have no other way of explaining why our politicians would make war on innocent and harmless populations for apparently great loss and no gain. Pure speculation.
    Bankers create the illusions of recessions and Politicians create the illusions of tensions. Somebody draws up a plan which will bring the price of land down through war, and up again after the war. They do it to speculate on land. I speculate only because you have to use the same mind as they have, a mind of speculative gaming/gambling, even to begin to understand what is going on in their minds. I have always said on this blog that that was my way of trying to work out what is going on.
    The police and judges have to second-guess criminals, or they’d just be rubber-stamping lies all the time. I try to put my mind into the most contorted state that cross-eyed insanity will tolerate, and then I can see hidden shapes in the picture.
    .
    Wars don’t get sparked off by tensions. Tensions get sparked off by politicians. They know what to do to cause problems that benefit them. Dirty, conniving, scumbag, lying Pussticians.
    My Muslim political friend told me that Assad was lying when he said that the world would ignite if Syria was invaded. And he, my friend, not Assad, always lies. So in my simple mind it follows that they have a neat little plan that will contain a lot of bloodshed against Muslims within Syria, to satisfy the blood lust of Zion, leaving the corpse of Islam in the form of Freemason Turkey, and the Satanist Israelis – unharmed.

  45. Uzbek in the UK

    2 Feb, 2012 - 12:25 pm

    NATO might and most certainly will leave Afghanistan but it is also certain that this will not bring peace to Afghanistan. One should be very naive as to think that when NATO leaves Afghans will start successful state building and emerge as united peaceful nation. This is illusion. The civil war will last for decades to come.
    .
    There are at least 2 major lessons to be learned from Afghan tragedy.
    .
    First is that irresponsible superpowers geopolitics and involvement of third party states into proxy war and zero sum games can result to serious security issues in the future. USSR has long been history, Berlin Wall was torn down 22 years ago but Afghanistan is still war torn country, source of security concerns for the rest of the world from drugs production to radical Islam. Afghanistan should serve as a reminder to those who put short term interests before long term strategy. This is particularly important considering the developments in the Middle East and North Africa. However, it seems that in future with rise of China and decaying US influence such short term interests will most probably dominate geopolitics in the next 20 years.
    .
    Second is that even for the most technically advanced armies in the world it is not possible to win a war (or in this case peace) against two decades of poverty, lawlessness, disorder which is historically backed by intolerance to any kind of order and foreign in particular. If even the most advanced countries with billions spent on various development projects were not able to fix Afghanistan then what else can be done? This is the question that needs answering before any future failed state fixing project involvements is put on a table.

  46. Not a word in British Media re continued anti regime demonstration in Bahrain and Saudi. I am surprised (NOT)!

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/224428.html

  47. Germany has largely remained out of ‘the great game’ and continues to aid the reconstruction in North Afghanistan. Germany was opposed to military intervention in Iraq and Libya.
    .
    Germany’s trade with China ranks first, more than that, Sino-German relations are at an all time high. With these assets in hand Chancellor Merkel has once again arrived in Beijing, a visit the West’s propaganda machine headlines with ‘Germany urges China to press Iran over nukes’ and ‘China pressed to support UN sanctions on Syria’ in the hope Merkel can secure both aims in a dead-locked situation with Russia standing firm, saying she will veto any resolution on Syria that calls for military intervention.
    .
    However Merkel is really in China to save her bacon. The European debt crisis is getting worse. On Jan. 26, International Monetary Fund forecasted that European economy may shrink by 0.5 percent in 2012 due to the crisis, and the global economy may fall in another recession. The euro is terminal decline; Merkel wants China to invest more of its foreign exchange reserves in EU nations. Empathy is the key. For example, China has become a member of the World Trade Organization for 10 years, but the EU has still neither recognized its market status to date nor abolished its arms embargo against China.
    .
    However the dragon is a sign of evil in the West and reaching the soft belly of the dragon to encourage China to assist in the destruction of two countries, Syria and Iran, will only cause the West to witness a contemptuous, sharp and rather long tongue.

  48. Uzbek in the UK

    2 Feb, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    Mark Golding
    .
    You of course understand that North Afghanistan is slightly different from the rest of the country. It is like Iraqi Kurdistan. For Germany it was much more productive to fund development projects in the North where security concerns are least challenging and role of Taliban virtually inexistent.

  49. Uzbek in the UK

    2 Feb, 2012 - 12:48 pm

    Azra
    .
    It is also true that drug trafficking was major source of income for Taliban in their fight against Northern Alliance. Fair to say that both parties used drugs to fund a war and it is certainly true that since 2001 drug trafficking had doubled if not tripled. And this is largely due to the fact that with NATO invasion centralised power in the south of the country run by Taliban has diminished and poppy production and drug trafficking was out of control.
    .
    The major debate that NATO and the rest of the world is now facing what major priorities should now be? Afghanistan under centralised power which of course mean Afghanistan under Taliban, or whether Taliban is not to be trusted again.
    .
    It seems that the former is leading its way. But this of course will not bring an end to the civil war as North opposes to any pro-Taliban policies and will unlikely accept Taliban’s rule over their territory. And North will be supported here not only by its neighbours in Central Asia but most probably by Russia too which is very much concerned with possible security deterioration on its southern borders.

  50. Chienfou,
    You are talking out of your hat.
    ,
    ,
    ,
    Kashmiri,
    ,
    The reason for the police shooting up the place is, in Afghanistan local police do not get paid a regular salary. they are recruited and sold a uniform and let loose on the population to enforce the law, which in practice means to earn their living through bribes and on the spot taxation/liberation/sharing of goods and chattel of sorts.
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    FAO All,
    ,
    The reason underlying the farming of high value crops such as opium lie entirely in the total lack of distribution and transport infrastructure. Afghanistan’s harsh climate, and hard soil, in parallel with the difficulties in getting the standard crops into the markets forces Afghan farmers to get on with farming opium, and marijuana crops. These farmers often have to borrow the money for the seed crops as well as their personal expenses, and eventually sell the opium/marijuana back to the money lender at pathetically low prices, that in turn keeps these farmers in a condition akin to bonded labour.
    ,
    Someone has already mentioned the dirty dollars business, a whole story on its own, however as a hint; one third of the Pakistan economy was geared towards narcotics business, that was before US aircraft flights out of Afghanistan.

  51. On Obama and state assassinations which are secret unless he boasts about them.
    .
    ACLU sues Obama administration over assassination secrecy
    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/02/aclu_sues_obama_administration_over_assassination_secrecy/singleton/
    .
    Glenn Greenwald

  52. Thanks Passerby

    Yeh! So what if someone has actually been to the country and spoken to real people there. What do they know? I bet they haven’t seen half the websites you have or quote the statistics like you can.

  53. Thanks Guano. Passerby’s apt description of the deep feudal realtionship these opium/hashish farmers have with their moneylenders, which in many cases are also the landowner and banker to these very poor people, are the relationships most people in rural Afghanistan have, contrary to the City dwellers in Kabul, a city of its very own subset of people from all wakes of society and tribes, but settled in the capital. Kandahar is totally under Pashtun control, whether the military is stationed there or not, its controlled by the Taliban, peace there, means trade and smuggling can commence. One w/should not like to guess how popular the Talibs are amongst the established warlords there but I know that the Pashtuns operate with impunity across the border with Pakistan, they are well organised and always trust their own kind before they trust anybody else.

    The closest european comparisson would be large Italian/Albanian families, some deeply into organised crime, who have for 300 years lived by the code of silence.

    @Clark Brian Haw would be standing out there in front of Parlaiment shouting and booing politicians accuse them of being war mongers and ask them how they can afford to go to war but have no money for the disabled. He would give the tourists somthing to snap. He also had humour, I’m almost sure that he would have worn some Olympic rings as glasses or something like that, he knew how to play to the crowd. RIP, he should have his statue erected on that space.

  54. @chienfou
    .
    That’s remarkably similar to a put-down I’ve received twice in arguments. “What do you know? All you ever do is read books!”

  55. Re “aidworker1″
    One point to bear in mind is the nature of the Taliban. It’s heartland is in the South and it is very Pushtun dominated. Therefore in the North (Kabul inc) with Dari speakers, never mind the Uzbek speakers, they are bound to be less happy with the possibility of the Taliban returning to power. Of course in a Hazzara districts where the people are mainly Shias the thought of a return to the militant Sunni agenda must fill them with dread.
    I do recommend Taliban by James Fergusson for anyone wanting to find more about the Taliban.

  56. I feel sorry for the poor souls in E Europe at the moment, many homeless, enduring temperatures down to -30C. Unimaginable.

  57. @Vronsky

    No – books are good. I am saying that first hand experience is good too.

    My point is that if someone has first hand knowledge (and I am referring to Aidworker1 here) you should listen to what they say not dismiss their experience or put THEM down by suggesting that they spoke to the wrong people or visited the wrong part of Afghanistan.

  58. Chienfou Said; “…….What do they know? …..”
    ,

    Evidently more than you.
    What about the stories of other Afghans?
    Your/Aid worker1 attempt in window dressing, is an attempt; to cover up/obfuscate/discount the monumental failure of US/UK/NATO in making any difference in Afghanistan, despite the huge costs of the failed enterprise, other than, having killed hundreds of thousands of Afghans.
    ,
    ,
    ,
    Paul,
    Currently US is talking to Taliban, who have set up an office in Qatar, and are getting Saudi/UAE funding; reminiscence of the status quo anti. However, you have correctly pointed out; the other factions within the Afghan political arena, most certainly will not be happy to give up their grip on power and hand over to Mullah Omar and co. just because Al Suad wish so, under the tutelage of the US. This is a separate issue from the wishes of ordinary Afghans.

  59. “Currently US is talking to Taliban, who have set up an office in Qatar”
    .
    I don’t think so. Last I heard the US had demanded a cease fire first, and the Taliban said No. Not even sure the ‘office’ in Qatar exists yet.

  60. “ethnic bias and lack of connection with local religious and tribal leaders”.”

    I wonder why?

    Why would they prefer their OWN leaders after all? Why prefer their own TRUSTED people known for generations?

    And WHY, oh, WHY, can’t these…these…NATIVES (looking down with contempt)…. can’t simply accept American and Brit OVERLORDS!

    And last, why can’t these dirty, unkempt Natives, just accept the DNA mutations, of the DP bombs, the West drops on them? It’s a good trade-off for bringing them civilization, no?

    Well, too bad if they don’t like it! They gotta pay with their oil, for the cost of the wars, the West is graciously bringing to them!

    These NATIVES have better settle down, the more they scream, rant and fight with their Freedom Fighters, the more war they will get!

    It’s waht the West is good for, ever since a couple of centuries ago, with the Brit invasion of China, India and American invasion of Hawaii, et al.

  61. KUNAR, Afghanistan, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The Taliban in Afghanistan said on Wednesday they would not agree to a U.S. demand for a ceasefire as a condition for peace talks, but would not comment on a U.S. military report that they were set to retake the country when foreign troops left …
    http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/afghan-taliban-say-will-not-agree-to-peace-talks-ceasefire/
    .
    Please excuse the rush, I’m popping in and out in a hurry …
    .
    I heard a reference to what is supposedly an Afghan expression last night: “The Americans have the watches, but the Taliban have the time”.

  62. Mary, did you see Caroline Lucas at the Stop the war demo in Grosvenor square? I was missing her on the speakers list.

  63. @Passerby
    Who said you shouldn’t listen to the stoies of other Afghan’s?
    Craig’s original post was that the Afghan government is run by corrupt warlords. – I don’t disagree. In fact isn’t it pretty obvious to most people that this is the case? He quoted a NATO report that Aghan civilians fequently prefer the Taliban to the current government – so the current regime is so bad that some even want to go back to the Taliban.

    Aidworker1 added some more information that he/she couldn’t find a single person in Kabul who wanted the Taliban over the current regime. That doesn’t mean everyone in Afghanistan or even Kabul loves the GIRoA nor that the GIRoA derserves any support here. I didn’t say anything to that effect and nor did Aidworker1 on this thread. But it does deserve to stand as valid evidence that not everyone in Afghanistan is clamouring for a return to the Taliban. The fact that Craig dismissed it out of hand seems a little ironic on a blog devoted to exposing the truth.

  64. The Falkland Islanders can sleep safely in their beds tonight.
    .
    Prince William of Wales has arrived for his tour of duty. All is well at
    51°45’0″S/59°0’0″W
    .
    Briefing from the FCO/MoD here
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16859361

  65. robertsgt40

    2 Feb, 2012 - 6:01 pm

    Looks like the Afghan govt was a quick study in American methodology LMAO

  66. ZBC have sent Allan Little down to Port Stanley to propagandize. Probably flew in the same plane as P William.

  67. No Ingo. I don’t think she was there. I noticed that the videos all have the wrong dates in the titles.
    .
    I was looking at this on her blog and think her language and that of Burt is pathetically weak and feeble in view of the crimes the Israels continue to commit. eg ..concerned..urge..deeply unhelpful..worried.. etc etc.
    .
    I like the bit about Gould monitoring the situation.
    .
    Palestinian political prisoners and West Bank demolitions
    02 February 2012
    I am very concerned by reports about the continuing detention of Palestinian political prisoners by the Israeli Government.
    Recent days have seen a spate of arrests of elected Palestinian politicians.
    We are also seeing the usual house demolitions and settlement expansions in the West Bank.
    Responding yesterday to a Parliamentary Question I posed on the recent demolition of the homes of Bedouins in Anata (West Bank), Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt expressed his own concerns.
    He said that the ‘demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank are illegal and deeply unhelpful to efforts to bring a lasting peace to the middle east conflict’.
    He also said that the UK Government is worried about Israeli plans to move West Bank Bedouin communities.
    It is now encouraging the Israeli Government to ‘comply fully’ with international law, and ‘ensure that any decision reached on the movement of Bedouin communities should be made with their full consent and not result in a forcible transfer’.
    The Minister confirmed that officials at the British embassy in Tel Aviv are monitoring the situation closely, and plan to raise the issue of Anata with the Israeli authorities.
    More generally, I have written to the Foreign Secretary to urge him to make sure that his support for human rights and peace in the Middle East are backed up by strong action.
    In particular, I want him to ensure that the EU-Israel Association Agreement is not upgraded until Israel stops violating international law.
    I think it is unacceptable for EU funding to support Israeli companies or organisations operating in settlements or the Occupied Territories in defiance of international law – and hope the Government will support such a position.
    .
    On her twitter she had a reminder not to forget Holocaust Memorial Day. Don’t suppose Nagasaki or Hiroshima anniversaries or any other genocides get similar mentions.
    .
    Her question to Burt
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2012-02-01a.92955.h&s=speaker%3A24910#g92955.q0

  68. martin green

    2 Feb, 2012 - 6:20 pm

    watch the c5 documentary next week (mon or tues 9pm) about 42 commando in helmand.Since it is made by ex-commando film-maker thought it might shed some real light on the goings on in Afghan – boy did it! The honest, laddish banter one would expect progressed into pure vindictiveness and hatred of the Afghans as they sought to draw the ‘dickers’ into the open (taliban obervers). Watching this just took me back to Vietnam nd the ‘S&D’ missions to kill the ‘gooks’ – just a harrowing and demoralising hour of tv which confirmed all my thoughts on this cruel and arrogant occupation.

  69. Mary

    I’ve looked through the Stop the War stuff you linked to – and they didn’t seem to want to do anything about the civil war that Assad is waging against his own citizens and Palestinian refugees in Syria.

  70. Guano

    I can see why you chose your name given the anti-semitic and otherexcrement that you spout.

    One particularly fine example I noted

    “The beautiful and totally truthful religion of Islam will prevail in spite of the political machinations of CIA and AlQaida. Taliban is at the centre of that success”

    I would actually call this a monumental insult to Islam – since I don’t think that public beheadings and beatings, suppressing women and denying them education and banning such pleasures as kite flying, popular music and television, blowing up Buddhist monuments, making men grow beards and other such perversions favoured by the Taleban actually have anythinh whatsoever to do with beauty or truth – and anyone who does is really just besmirching the name of one of the world’s great religions.

  71. Anon,

    .
    I’m here to help, comfort and guide and you have not grasped the situation in Syria which I explained in an earlier thread. In case you missed my last response to you, I repeat it here:
    .
    I have spent some time investigating Latakia and the city’s impoverished districts of al-Ramel, al-Shaab and Ein Tamra. Al-Ramel is home to a crowded Palestinian refugee camp where many low-income Syrians also live. Reports of shelling from government tanks, anti-aircraft fire against civilians and an off shore bombardment by naval guns was reported by Western media and some Arabic news agencies. Indeed the refugee camp in Al-Ramel was under fire from government forces having been infiltrated by armed terrorist gangs according to the SANA news agency. Does that tactic ring any bells with anyone?
    .
    Sadly Western media has been playing games in its coverage about Syria. For the first few months, that same media insisted (against claims to the contrary by the repressive regime) that the Syrian uprising was peaceful: that is, it was part of the touted “Arab spring.”
    .
    Western media insisted that all claims about armed elements of the opposition were mere fabrications by the regime. Yet, when an opposition “army” was announced, and when news of armed clashes in Homs and other places appeared, there were no explanations in the Western press. There was no attempt to reconcile the claims and the later reportage.
    .
    But what is also curious is that Western media was desperate to deliver propaganda services to the cause of the Syrian National Council (there is opposition in Syria beyond the council, of course). Western media have been mere cheerleaders for the Syrian National Council. (This criticisms also applies to the news media of the Saudi and Qatari ruling dynasties).
    .
    Anon – I agree some atrocities have occurred in Syria; urban warfare is very tricky and civilians are difficult to distinguish from combatants such as armed militia and gangs. Libya however has exposed the West’s modus operandi of divide and rule after NATO intervention ie sanctions, no-fly zones and air bombardment that murder thousands of civilians indescriminately.

  72. The BBC (‘Bullets Boots and Bandages’, BBC4) reports with pride that that four tonnes of salad and fruit are shipped into Camp Bastion every day whilst The Guardian reports that people arrive at food banks and charity soup kitchens in London to get handouts to stave off hunger.
    I really can’t cope with the the irony, or is it just me who doesn’t see the funny side?

  73. Mark

    Your account of what happened at Latakia is at odds with what even George Galloway says – and is only consistent with that of the Syrian regime and no one else. You will be telling us that the Syrian Government has only introduced secret police in recent years in response to Western provocation and infiltrators and that the Syrian people truly love the Assad dynasty just like those in Iraq loved their Baathist protectors.

  74. Hello Craig–I’ve enjoyed your blog awhile now. I wonder if you’ve visited MK Bhadrakumar’s blog, http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/ where he has several recent posts commenting on recent Afghan events, among others. Perhaps you might get a chance to offer a comment or two regarding his insights.

    As for Iran, US/UK Imperial policy has always been and remains Regime Change; but, IMO, the only way to accomplish that is via massive invasion and everlasting occupation, which neither the US/UK/NATO/Israel combined can accomplish. Ergo, US/UK/NATO/Israel Imperial policy is checkmated.

  75. “This blog has been telling you for six years that the Afghan government rigged its elections, is enormously corrupt, full of warlords and deeply implicated in the heroin trade. ”

    Wow, where would we be without CM to reveal the obvious.

  76. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if ‘Anon’ has been here before under a different guise/handle.

  77. Dale_martin

    3 Feb, 2012 - 4:58 pm

    The link below is to an excellent piece on Afghanistan’s heroin production by Michel Chossudovsky I am by no means saying that opium production was the de facto reason for the Allied Invasion of Afghanistan because I can not absolutely conclude that, but, what I will say is that given the sheer financial size of the heroin trade worldwide and the fact that over 80% of that financial empire comes from product originating from Afghanistan, then obviously there would have been external to Afghanistan some very powerful people reaping in huge amounts of money from it that would have been far from happy with its effective shut-down in 2000 by the Taliban and wanted that pipeline re-opened, life on this planet has always taken a secondary position to that of finance and the finance created by the heroin trade originating in Afghanistan is huge to say the least.
    .
    As far as the piece by Michel Chossudovsky, I do not say that I know for certain everything stated in it is absolutely correct, I am still weighing up its full content myself. But so far the data I have read in it checks out with other sources and it is very thought provoking to say the least.
    .
    http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO404A.html

  78. @Guano, I see you respond to me, but trying to get what you actually want to convey here poses an intellectual challenge for me.

  79. @Passerby, thanks, I couldn’t agree more. Still, western armies do not seem to care and keep pushing for ever higher numbers of Afghan policemen out there, hoping naively these corrupt guys who serve whoever pays more will keep the Taliban power away…
    .
    @Michael, I may not be the best person to answer but since Craig hasn’t replied yet so I will share my guess.
    .
    For US, Uzbekistan is important in two ways. First, as a military transit route to Afghanistan, their outpost in the region. A lot of work has been done to be able to use UZ airspace and land routes to access Afghanistan.
    .
    Two, US is trying – more or less skilfully – to join the Central Asian game for regional influence. Remember that since late 1970s US military doctrine advocated destabilisation of Soviet Union’s southern borders, focusing on Central Asia as the easiest junk to bite. Consequently, during 1990s Russia lost control over a large swath of Central Asia (but this did not mean other big powers gained influence there). After the 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan changed the scene to Putin’s advantage (forthcoming closure of Manas, etc.), and with Tajikistan continuously unstable, unpredictable and unreliable politically, US (with full British support) is seeking to restore balance by swaying Uzbekistan to its side. This has been tried long and has never been easy – Karimov is a skilled player and is very open that UZ needs US less than US needs UZ, as he said it recently to Clinton’s face (jokingly, but this is what he meant).
    .
    Now, my guess is US military supplies to Uzbekistan are thought to be the price for increased US military presence in the country – something Karimov is threatening Russia with in case Putin presses with establishing a CSTO military base near Osh (just outside UZ borders).
    .
    Still, I don’t think Karimov has said his final word on a US base: it is a big game for the Central Asian state, and UZ surely has a long-term vision of its political affiliations. Most probably, US guys take this simply as an American-style agreement: we have dollars, we pay, you give – and so they have now started to fulfil their part of what they think is a deal.
    .
    Let’s see, the next move is in Putin’s hands.

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