Ten Thousand New Recruits for the Taliban 23

There has been no respite in the last five years in US bombongs killing civilians in Southern Afghanistan. The country’s legendary fierce nationalist resistance of all invaders is sufficient in itself to explain the continual heavy fighting. But the rejection of Western values is made certain, when the most obvious display of those values is the continued indiscriminate mass killing of civilians.

The 120 civilians killed by US bombs in one Afghan village this week, is what happens day in and day out. It is a slightly larger death toll that ordinary, but the most unusual feature is that it got at least a tiny, tiny bit of media coverage in the West.


Meantime a humanitarian disaster is unfolding as the Pakistani army and air force boms and shells its way into the Swat Valley. This has no military value – the Taliban have left a rearguard to inflict maximum casualties, but have mostly already drifted up into the mountains. But it has displaced a million people, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees today. How many have been killed by bombs and shells, we do not have any idea at present.

All of which has cemented the notion that the Pakistani government is a murderous US puppet in the minds of the inhabitants of the North of the country. The cause of the rash Pakistani Army action is US goading.


We can see the massive exodus of wretched people. We cannot be sure of the civilian casualty figures; but we can be sure that this week has recruited 10,000 more fighters to the Taliban cause. That is a disaster.

Both the US bombing and the Pakistani army assault are equally products of Obama’s policy of trying to crush the discontents of Central Asia by brute force. Obama’s meeting with Zirdari and Karzai this week – two of the most corrupt men in the world – was meant to highlight his grip on the region. I fear Afghanistan and Pakistan will be the defining disaster of the Obama Presidency.


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23 thoughts on “Ten Thousand New Recruits for the Taliban

  • mary

    Four more of the Blair/Brown/Bush/Obama brigade are no more. RIP and all those Afghan and Pakistani men, women and children who have lost their lives this week and before. The one million displaced people are’fleeing for their lives’ according to Murdoch’s Sky News and are in the greatest danger and must be terrified. Murdoch ceases beating the drum for today. What a totally evil re-enactment of Iraq’s Shock and Awe is going on.

  • anticant

    Yes, and it will be an even greater disaster that is going to directly affect us all. Did no-one responsible for this asinine policy read the history of the 19th century British Afghan wars? If we left these people alone, there is a dwindling chance that they might leave us alone. But with Pakistan having a nuclear capability, and the US oil barons seeking to build a pipeline through the region, what hope is there that common sense will prevail now after being dormant for the past decade?

  • George Dutton

    May 8, 2009

    “A giant US military base emerges in Afghanistan”…


    “The Pakistan Conundrum”…


  • Suhayl Saadi

    It’s too late: this has been grown for 30+ years and now it is the endgame.

    Yeah, Pakistan is a mess.

    I don’t pretend to understand it all, actually, it’s very complex and goes back a long way, but here’s my current take:

    1) The whole concept of Pakistan is a debatable one. The British (funny how they pop up so often) exacerbated pre-existing issues b/w Hindus and Muslims in order to divide and rule. Ultimately, this led to many Muslims ( though by no means all) feeling insecure in what would be a Hindu-majority country and feeling marginalised by Nehru, Gandhi et al – hence the demand for Pakistan. The Partition was a bloodbath and the UK bears much – not all – responsibility for this. The British deliberately messed-up Kashmir because Mountbatten was extremely pro-Indian (in fact Nehru was having an affair with his wife and he didn’t seem to mind at all – aristocrats, eh!) and so we have had 60+ years of war and other such useless crap b/w India and Pakistan and this provides an excuse for the Pakistani military to always have the lion’s share of GDP and de facto, multi-levelled control of society.

    On another level, Indian Supremacism – a legacy of colonialism – is a real problem in the West.

    2) India ditched its feudal landowners (rajas, nawabs, et al) on gaining Independence. Paid them off handsomely but took away their lands and power. Pakistan did not, as the political leaders were dependent on the landowning class. Big mistake. Army plus feudalism equals stagnation, no redistibution, botched democracy and coups-upon-coups. Like Latin America without the literacy and without Liberation Theology (we know there have been Muslim liberation theologians through history and indeed that Islam has a very powerful egalitarian ethic and that this has resulted in tensions and accomodations of various sorts b/w rulers and ulama, for example in the Ottoman and previous empires) , and no Bolivar, Castro or Guevara (I use the latter two figures as symbols of hope for people in the dirt; I am not a Marxist).

    3) Pakistan threw in its lot with the USA in the early 1950s. Since then, it’s been viewed essentially as a military base by the USA – strategic position b/w India/ China/ Russia-Soviet Union and The Persian Gulf. Big guns and no freedom equals big-time pressure-cooker. No-one gets into power in Pakistan without US say-so. Bhutto (Daddy Bhutto) was a vindictive demagogue and feudal landowner himself but he was at some level a nationalist and wanted to pursue some degree of independence – accordingly (?remember Mossadegh in Iran), the country was destablised and he got hanged.

    4) We all know the story of the massive US-Saudi creation of Military Islamic Sunni Fundamentalism in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s and later. Big, big, big mistake.

    5) The Pakistan Army absolutely needs to destroy the Taliban in Pakistan but it can’t and the more it tries, the worse things will get because of the civilian fall-out. so that ultimately it is possible that an extreme ‘Islamic’ revolutionary situation will develop It’s realised this too late. It used to control the Taliban – it created the Taliban – but like Frankenstein’s monster, the Taliban are now the most powerful guerilla force in the region and the ongoing 30-year Hell in Afghanistan and now in the NW Frontier Province of Pakistan means that they will never run out of recruits. My question is: where on earth do they get their weapons from? No-one in Pakistan seems able to tell me. To fight, and defeat, a state, you need serious amounts of guns. All of the poverty and other endemic structural issues resultant from 1-3 has resulted in a substrate ripe for some form of military uprising. Because the Left was crushed for decades, crushed into non-existence, in Pakistan and the Islamists given everything they wanted and more, virtually handed the keys of power… the consequences are obvious.

    6) The only solution in Pakistan would be a Cuban-style revolution – but the cadres do not exist and the (largely illiterate) population have been manipulated far to the Right over the past few decades. This is why the Taliban jumped onto the tactic of kicking out landowners and giving peasants the land – not because they believe in redistributive justice or any of that Enlightenment stuff (ha ha) but because they are very good at exploiting the gross structural inequalities which have not been addressed and which will not be addressed by the ruling elites. Their power critique of Pakistan is not inaccurate – anyone can tell you about these inequalities – but their solution is monstrous.

    7) Ethnic sectarian politics, regional and otherwise, has been grown and used by successive military and civilian adminstrations in much the same way they were used by the colonial British, to divide and rule. In many ways, Pakistan represents yet another unresolved colonial situation. This, too has become a kind of chronic monster within the body politic and a convenient means of delusion and scapegoating within the population.

    8) Islam has been abused and used (but you know that story) by the Wahabbi-Salafi-Deobandi praxis, so that increasingly, it appears as the manifestation of a psychosis rather than as a revelatory conduit to illumination and unity. It is my belief that the Prophet Mohammad would be horrified by their antics. Not to mention Khadija, Aisha, Fatima and many of the others in the original umma. Although one could argue that such movements have punctuated Islamic history since the beginning, especially at times of crisis – this crisis has been ongoing for around 350 years – and I might position the Iranian Shia Revolution within that paradigm, I do not see the version which has been grown in Pakistan (Jamaat-i-Islami; Taliban; et al) as being anything other than negative in its essence.

    9) Although one cannot blame US/ UK militaristic-hegemonic policies for everything – there are real structural and functional issues in Pakistani society – over the years they have had a decisive and ongoing part to play in this disaster and continue to do so most actively right now.

    10) Even token democracy has never been allowed to continue in Pakistan, so no evolution of politics has been possible.

    11) I have never lived in Pakistan (I have only visited), so my views may be completely inaccurate and malconstructed.

    I see no happy ending.

    I think this is some of it, anyway.

    With best wishes,


  • JimmyGiro

    “I fear Afghanistan and Pakistan will be the defining disaster of the Obama Presidency.”

    No doubt, but what do you make of his plans to create a ‘National Security Force’?

    I think if he has his own force, could it not clash with the inevitable black discontentment, brought on by Obama’s failure to live up to their impossible expectations of their ‘saviour’. Maybe American civil war will be Obama’s legacy.

  • anticant

    Obama’s presidency is compromised by some of his cabinet and staff appointments and by what he has done and (more importantly) not done during his first hundred days.

    “Yes we can, but when it comes to the crunch we most likely won’t.”

  • tony_opmoc

    I posted this on Alternet this morning..

    Satan is Among Us – And He is Even Worse Than Bush, Cheney And Blair

    [Report this comment] [Ignore this user]

    Posted by: tony_opmoc on May 8, 2009 3:56 AM

    Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]

    He spoke wonderful words. He promised the end of Fear. He promised the end of Death, Destruction and The Mutilation of Innocent Children – such that their bodies are torn apart into little pieces.

    Almost the entire World believed him.

    He is a Bloody Liar.



    There has been Change – Things have got Considerably Worse

    [Report this comment] [Ignore this user]

    Posted by: tony_opmoc on May 8, 2009 4:52 AM

    Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]

    You need to understand how the System really Works. There are a few Really Powerful men who dictate the World Agenda.

    Obama is Different from Bush.

    Webster Tarpley produced the video below “The men behind Barack Obama” before the Presidential Election.

    At the time most would have dismissed it as the ravings of a conspiracist. Yet 6 months later nearly everything he said has come true – or is coming true.

    The real change in power from the Bush/Cheney Cabal to Obama actually happenned before the election. The result was known well in advance.

    The economic crash / austerity was a planned event by the men behind Obama.

    Your political viewpoint is irrelevant. The idea that we live in a Democracy is a complete illusion. It didn’t make the slightest difference who you voted for. The population is exceedingly well controlled in what it thinks. Virtually No one could give a shit about what happens in Afghanistan or Iraq – unless you are in Afghanistan or Iraq and seeing your Country and Your Family Being Bombed to Hell.

    There will be no gory pictures in the MSM of children’s limbs and torsos piled up on trailer trucks. People will be watching the usual dumbed down nonsense as normal (if they still have a home and TV) and cheering for their favourite sports team.

    Meanwhile we are heading for WWIII

    These lunatics think they can win it.

    The men behind Barack Obama part 1


    The men behind Barack Obama part 2



  • Anon

    ‘Islam has been abused and used by the Wahhabi-Salafi-Deobandi praxis’

    The term Wahhabi, like the term alQaida , tells us about the ideas of the speaker. It refers to those people who reformed their religion, a bit like protestantism, from an obvious and proveable deviation like the worship of bits of dead saints, and a political abuse of religion parallel to popery about which Martin Luther said something along the lines that he could not tell if the pope was the devil or the antichrist.

    There are shortcomings in every group, but the Muslim reform movement which some people call Wahhabism struggled to put an end to gross financial and moral abuse of ignorant Muslims through the Pir system. Maybe these groups have failed to continue to reform themselves after their initial success. But the survey of British Muslims that shows an affinity with British values is the direct result of Muslim reform and Christian reform sharing a common commitment to religious reform. Don’t lets underestimate the achievement of both.

    As for alQaida. What is the problem with our government and times that it has determined that we have the right to invest in overpoweringly destructive weaponry to defend our values while nobody else is allowed to defend their values and if they do, they are denied all access to basic human rights?

    We are human shields of our atomic bomb. Do the Zionists shout and scream about that horrible use of overwhelming force?

    Even if we are not told what is going on in Afghanistan, we know it is the same as what happened to black slaves, Indian scholars under British rule, Gaza, Grozny, Fallujia, Baghdad. Is anyone still pretending that our policies and institutions are perfectly free from the political interference of Zionist lobbies which are intent on the destruction of Islam? Yes, the defenders of Islam have probably been infiltrated by the enemies of Islam as well.

    The way forward is to focus on the destruction of the unaccountable lobbyists who parasite on rulers who are trying to govern with justice.

    Would any of us make a better job? We should help leaders intellectually in order to eradicate parasitic mischief makers like Cheney and Brizinsky and not always assume that our leaders are in control of the policies in force.

  • Anonymous

    We all roll our eyes and think what idiots the Western leaders are. Didn’t they read their history? They say they want to crush the militants and all they’re doing is making more terrorists! Talk about stupid!

    Well, the only ones who are stupid are those who think our leaders are stupid. The people running the world know their history. They get it. They don’t want to crush the terrorists. They want more of them.

    The road to fascism and one world government doesn’t come with peace and prosperity. It comes with chaos and warfare. And lies, sure enough. They lie, and they lie, and they lie. Lies is all they got. And we believe them. Talk about stupid!

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Jimmy Giro – I fear you are correct, and the Chinese news agency “Xinhua” has just confirmed the correctness of your views. In essence US funds are in place to make Afghanistan a theatre for a massive expanded war: – ( read below from Xinhua news agency)


    The proposed 130 billion U.S. dollars of war funding include 65billion dollars for Afghanistan and 61 billion dollars for Iraq.

    It marks the first time that war spending for Afghanistan overtook those for Iraq and is in accordance with the new administration’s ongoing shift of war focus from Iraq to Afghanistan.

    Steve Stanley, the director of force structure, resources and assessment on the Joint Staff, told reporters at a Pentagon briefing that the budget request represents “where you’re going to first see the swing of not only dollars or resources, but combat capability” from Iraq to Afghanistan.

    “The money requested here — about 65 billion dollars for Afghanistan — actually exceeds the 61 billion dollars that we’re requesting for Iraq,” he said.

    “So that’s the first time in our war costs request,” the official added.

    Stanley explained that those numbers are based on keeping between 50,000 to 100,000 troops in Iraq and 68,000 in Afghanistan.

    In Iraq, U.S. troop levels are supposed to come down gradually over the next year, and these numbers are based on plans to bring troop levels down to around 50,000 by the end of the fiscal year 2010, which is Sept. 30 next year, according to the Pentagon.

    Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, troop levels will grow to 68,000 later this year after all the additional troops Obama planned to send there are in position.

    In addition to pay for an increase of troops, war funds allocated for Afghanistan will pay for new equipment, like the scaled-down version of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected truck that will be customized for the primitive roads of Afghanistan.

    This budget plan also marks the first time that the war funding is included in the overall defense budget, a departure with the practices of the Bush administration, which paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan largely through emergency supplemental appropriations.”

  • anticant

    I agree that much of the global violence and mayhem is deliberately provoked as a matter of high strategy by unaccountable and very powerful influences, but I think a great many ministers in Western governments don’t “get” it any more than the dumb TV game show watching masses do.

    There are lots of useful idiots in high places – not least in Obama’s adminisration and in Downing Street.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Dear ‘Anon’ (who are you, I wonder, that you do not have the courage of your convictions?),

    You simply demonstrate the degree of your partisanship and intolerance. The export of Intolerant Islamism has been a disaster for Muslims worldwide and very useful indeed for the US military-industrial axis – in its globalised form it was largely a creation of that axis.

    While I understand your preoccupation with ‘Zionist lobbies’ and I also abhor the power of such lobbies on the US Congress et al, as well as the policies of Israel and US/ EU support of those policies, your apparent attribution of anyone Muslim who disagrees with your point of view and suggests that matters are often complex as being a supporter of Zionism, etc., frankly is ludicrous and is also grossly insulting to everyone’s intelligence.

    Wahhabism in C18th Arabia was a periodic manifestation of puritanical refomism of the sort which had occured at times throughout history to which I referred, but the C20th and C21st mass exportation of the hybrid in the exaggerated, mutated forms we have witnessed over the past 30 years is not part of that rejuvenating cycle. Quite the opposite. It is an essentially nihilistic and desperate postmodern reaction to the overwhelming colonial dominance of the West. In effect, it will destroy the essence of the legacy of the Prophet, the Rashidun, Sufism, the Falsafa and every other (human and therefore not always perfect) manifestation of this polyglot and heterogeneous religion. It is not ‘fundamentalism’, as it is not returning to the fundamentals at all!

    Are you seriously suggesting that the (Wahhabi) Saudi regime is not corrupt??!! Or that the Jamiat-i-Islami in Pakistan is not corrupt??!! Or that the Pakistani security apparatus – which since General Zia’s time in the 1980s, along with the USA, has been breast-feeding these extremists – is not corrupt??!! Come on, wake up!

    It has nothing to do religion and everything to do with power.

    This has been a major problem in the Muslim communities in Britain for 30 years. These people and their organisations have claimed to represent Muslims and have shouted down all other viewpoints. They have also had the financial support of the UK government.

    They have helped to shut down minds.

    This may be one reason people are so surprised to read some of the results of the Gallup poll.

    Whereas you try and set up a secular organisation and see where you get. All kinds of barriers go up.

    And they like to claim – ‘anonymously’, of course, that everyone else is a government agent! What a joke!

  • JimmyGiro


    Tarpley’s analysis is very ambitious; he maybe right about many things, but I’m not in the know to say either way.

    As a games player, I see his prediction of China v Russia as improbable. Assuming America is encircling both Russia and China, which is highly plausible and for the reasons given by Tarpley, then the reaction from pragmatic folk like the Russians and Chinese, would be to form an alliance against a mutual aggressor.

    As long as Russia’s economy is based on supply of raw materials, and China’s on exporting manufactured goods, they are both natural economic allies. With a shared border and a common enemy, they are therefore natural military allies also.

    When I was in Beijing in 2004, all the white men I saw were Russian businessmen.

  • nobody

    Anticant – yep.

    Otherwise, Afghanistan is not about Afghanistan. It’s already smashed to pieces and there’s nothing left to bomb. The Taliban will never be defeated and they never need to be either, since Afghanistan has nothing anyone wants. Given that we don’t actually give a flying proverbial about the people of Afghanistan, all the talk about ‘helping’ them is what’s otherwise known as The Big Lie.

    The fact is, all of the troops and money going into Afghanistan are for Pakistan. Or at least its destruction anyway. It is to be turned into a nightmarish hellhole and Afghanistan is the staging post.

    And every Muslim country that does not subscribe to a usury based banking system will get the same. Iran and Sudan are next and so on and so on.

  • anticant

    They do want Afghanistan – and the other ‘stans – for their much postponed, but still regarded as strategically essential, oil pipe line. I’m a bit hazy about the geography, but doubtless Craig can fill us in on that. In order for it to become viable, the region must be ‘pacified’. Just how the Americans propose to succeed where the British never did is anyone’s guess.

  • anticant

    I agree completely with Suhayl Saadi. If the Americans were serious about bringing democracy to the Middle East, the country they should occupy first – even before Israel – is Saudi Arabia. When the tyrannical monarch of that benighted country visited the UK a while back and the Queen spoke of “our shared values”, I almost puked.

    And Jimmy, I don’t think the US really has the power, any more, to encircle either Russia or China. America is in the endgame of its superpower status, living on nostalgic delusions of its ‘manifest destiny’. It is irretrievably overstretched, militarily, financially, and economically, and morally bankrupt as well. China is its biggest dollar creditor. The Chinese are no fools, and all they have to do is to sit back and wait until they decide the right moment has come to pull the plug.

    Obmam is a straw man.

  • anticant

    Oh dear – I can’t even spell him properly now. He is such a boring front man, with that toothy grin and empty platitudes.

  • JimmyGiro

    anticant wrote:

    “China is its biggest dollar creditor”

    When you owe a thousand to the bank, it’s your problem; when you owe several trillion, it’s the banks problem.

  • Anon

    Suhayl. The followers of the prophet, peace be upon him, had to change and you still seem to be clinging onto the old Sufi Eastern mysticism that passes for Islam in the majority of the British Muslims, as well as the President of Pakistan.

    You’ll get me hung, drawn and quartered, crucified and my limbs chopped off on opposite sides, but I will tell you my opinion since you ask.

    The Islam of our prophet, peace be upon him, is a religion which is Inclusive in nature, which defends Justice, and defends its right to defend itself by all means.

    Saudi Salafism is Inclusive,( the Hajj is by definition inclusive ), but Saudi Salafism does not defend justice or permit Jehad. Its chain of continuity with the tradition of our prophet, pbuh, was replaced by a toilet chain of intimidation by the British, which is continued by the U.S.

    Old-fashioned, unreformed, grave- worshipping Sufism is fiercely Exclusive, i.e. patriarchal etc, being dominated by tricksters who claim special, spiritual powers. It is not all interested in Justice, or Jehad.

    Reformed, what you call Wahhabi, Deobandi, Islam which evolved from Sufism, is still Exclusive, but it fiercely supports Justice and Jehad.

    What is happening now, thanks to George Bush, is a return to the original Islam,

    Inclusive of all, demanding Adalat, Justice, and defiant of all attempts to blow the entire world’s capital on destroying Islam. It is unstoppable, but obviously not unchallenged. It’s exciting times to be a Muslim.

    No, I’m not feeling suicidal either, Craig.

  • Anon

    p.s. anybody who thinks that it is permitted in Islam for Muslims to kill Muslims and to cause one million other Muslims to leave their homes for the sake of partisan politics, should read what Allah said in surah Baqarah about the Children of Israel who drove another party of believers from their homes. Note that the punishment for anyone who does this is disgrace in this life and a painful torment in the hereafter.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Anon, you didn’t read what I’d written. Why are you portraying me a some kind of representative of devotional cults or else as a supporter of the US-Pakistani military? This is nonsense and you know it. There is no inclusivity in your vision, only homogeneity; the two are not the same. Egalitarianism will not be achieved by these means.

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