Keeping Up With The Afghan Disaster 100

As of 1pm, the BBC were still running a piece recorded about twelve hours ago on McChrystal’s sacking. It included the observation that the military strategy was not plainly succeeding, given the 76 NATO dead in June alone.

Keep up. That was twelve hours ago. It is now 83 dead, including 4 more Brits.

That does not mention the 412 Nato wounded in June alone as well.

When will they stop this madness?

100 thoughts on “Keeping Up With The Afghan Disaster

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  • Newman

    Never! Unless Taliban will come up and say they have converted to Christianity or become apostates.

  • Neil Barker

    Apologies for an unrelated message, but this is the best way for me to do it:

    Thanks, AnonymoWellWisher, whoever you are, for sending me (how did you get my email – another forum, maybe?) a copy of “Murder in Samarkand”.

    When I’ve read it, satisfied myself that it’s not been altered, and converted it to pdf, I’ll make it freely available on t’internet via P2P, uTorrent, etc.

    I would still like to hear whether Craig agrees with the proposition, put forward by one of his LESS fanatical disciples, that

    “the right to hold beliefs” about [insert anything} should be restricted by [insert anything]

  • Tony

    They will not stop this business because Cameron, Clegg, Hague and Fox are scared of Washington’s response, or else they like war. I suspect the former.

    The best they can come up with is to look a bit embarrassed and repeat the mantra that the streets of Ealing and Whitehaven are safer from Al Qaeda terrorist gangs because we have a manic suicidal deathwish in Afghanistan to impose a gangster government by force.

    The war in Afghanistan is about US colonisation of the Middle East wherever there is oil, gas or the desirability of pipelines. More specifically it is about squeezing Iran militarily and politically like a pimple between US ‘controlled’ Iraq and US ‘controlled’ Afghanistan.

    Fat chance of either outcome, and both agendas benefit only the US’ and Israel’s view of the world rather than ours. Nothing to do with NATO either – the closest bit of the North Atlantic is more than four thousand miles away. The only reason we are there is because the UK coalition wants to avoid upsetting Washington DC, and what a price we are paying.

  • Michael

    Tony, what would you say if China were to colonise Afghanistan, rip out its mineral resources and kill as many Afghans as it takes to keep the place quiet?

    It’s a People’s Republic, a workers’ state, so wouldn’t it be fine and dandy?

  • Dave

    I agree it looks like madness on the surface, but I’m sure if we knew the true reasons the US is in Afghanistan, it would make perfect sense. I’m sure if has to do with corporate interests, if nothing else to secure the pipeline and whatever long-term profits the various companies are expecting, just as in Iraq.

    The truly amazing thing to me is that the military, both here and in the UK, are still able to get people to volunteer to serve. Are they paying that much?

    I know there are plenty of folks dumb enough to believe the party line on “Why we’re over there,” but are they really so willing to throw their lives away, just for a little money?

  • pmr9

    Craig – in a previous thread you hinted at a back story connecting the “extended leave” for Sherard Cowper-Coles with the sacking of McChrystal.

    Iran’s PressTV is now reporting that London retaliated for the removal of Cowper-Coles by passing evidence of McChrystal’s indiscretions to White House officials. Any comment?

  • James Cranch

    I can’t help feeling that this has all been smartly handled by (and in fact rather convenient for) the US government and the media.

    Lots of people in the US and UK administrations repeatedly question the rationale for fighting a war in Afghanistan at all. They’re not reported much (maybe a middle page in the Financial Times, or a near-invisible piece in the Independent).

    But then someone emerges who suggests that the administration is not being violent enough. The media have shouted about it from the rooftops, and the administration have done what they can to make it a big story.

    From now on, I presume, we’ll see lots of stories describing this controversy, rather than the real controversy of why we’re fighting this bloody war at all.

  • ingo

    Looks like the Kashmir issue is ratchetting up the scale on both sides of the border, edgy Pakistan is clamping down on free speech whilst India has seen multiple demonstatirons over army killings during the last two weeks.

    equally this report shows a gelling of public resolve.

    Militants from swat and south Waziristan are said to be regrouping in Punjab, a further indication that Pakistan has got it hands full.

    This week also saw the Taliban overunning a Pakistani border post and take 40 of them prisoners, so whatever general Petraeus is planning, he can be assured of over 70 % unpopularity in Pakistan.

    The US has succeeded in destabilising central Asia and is continuing to create more poverty, more torture and more terrorims than they ever can deal with. In places where they once had a relationship they are now despised.

    But what will the UK input be in this self perpetuating conduct, the undermining of human rights values, how long will we support a shaky coalition that helps to destabilise these areas and cost lives of innocent civilians and soldiers.

  • Anonymous

    ‘When will they stop this madness?’

    Its ongoing, says the history book on mankind.

  • brian

    “the right to hold beliefs” about [girls not receiving an education] should be restricted by [law, should those beliefs be enacted by the murder of teachers providing an education to girls]

  • Tony

    Re. Michael 2:51

    Tony, what would you say if China were to colonise Afghanistan, rip out its mineral resources and kill as many Afghans as it takes to keep the place quiet?

    What would I say? Pretty much the same as I find myself saying about the US deathwish behaviour in the Middle East where it is assumed everyone will succumb to the US colonial jackboot because they are scared, stupid, corrupt, or expendable.

    China has not attempted to colonise Afghanistan, and I imagine China is clever enough to know how damn stupid that would be given the wreckage everywhere of centuries from past attempts by others. So far at least China has a much cleaner record in its dealings with foreign countries whose resources it needs for developing the economy at home.

  • ingo

    Tony, Michael is a wind up merchant with a single issue at heart and his comparrisson does not hold water.

    It wasn’t China that created ‘policial firebrand islam’ but the CIA and ISI.

    Further it is not China conducting all out war in pursuit of a self perpetuating terrorism, all over the world.

    China has got an appalling human rights record and many problems, not just in Tibet, but it does not attack sovereign countries for fictious reasons.

  • Abe Rene

    Recorded conversation from a cave inside Waziristan:

    ‘You @@**!!! I told you to attack the COMMERCIAL BANK, not the COCA-COLA PLANT! Where will I get my cold drinks from?’

    “Sheikh, there’s Pepsi, and from India I’ve heard of ..”

    “*@**!! You’re fired!”

  • somebody

    Sky News’ Tim Marshall is making a pathetic attempt to explain the deaths as a seasonal ‘spike’. He remembers the same last year!! WTF. Bit of film showing poppy heads being tended and a few types from the officers’ mess being dragged in for supportive comment.

    Solemn tones from Ms Burley on today’s repatriation of three soldiers coinciding with ‘today’s grim news’.

  • Michael

    China colonises other countries like a boa constrictor. It doesn’t invade them,it just strangles and absorbs them so subtly that you don’t notice they’re gone and no-one remembers them after they’ve been Sinified.

    China has a border with Afghanistan and a surplus population so large they could export it and swamp the locals any time they wanted to.

  • Clark


    I don’t think the US will “stop this madness”, which means the UK won’t either. No one has ever tried to run a corporate economy with a decreasing flow of hydrocarbons. The system is predicated upon perpetual growth and runs on liquid fuel. War in far away lands is less scary to the powers that be than explaining to the people that the lifestyle they have been encouraged to aspire to cannot be maintained.

  • Clark

    Of course it has to stop eventually, securing resources just gains a bit of time. Better to develop a new way of life while we still have options.

  • Iain Orr

    Lobbying helps. This recycles my post from 21 June. All that has changed are the numbers of deaths and the growing realisation that the strategy is misconceived.

    The 300th death [a few days ago] is a reason to support the proposal for a memorial to the soldiers who have died in Afghanistan (and those yet to die there) which can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery. Steve McQueen’s “Queen and Country” makes photographs of each soldier who has been killed into a sheet of postage stamps.

    This is one of the most public ways we have of marking significant events. The convention that stamps should not bear the likeness of anyone living (except the monarch) adds a touch of philatelic irony: only deaths make this memorial to the 21st century Afghan War possible.

    Two conditions must, however, be met. The Royal Mail needs to approve the project: add your voice at And the war must end. Please send that message to the newly elected Chairs of the following Commons Select Committees:

    Defence ?” James Arbuthnot MP Con N E Hampshire [email protected] Tel 020-7219-4649

    Foreign Affairs ?” Richard Ottaway MP Con Croydon South [email protected] Tel 020-7219-6392

    International Development ?” Malcolm Bruce MP LibDem Gordon [email protected] Tel 020-7219-6233

    Treasury ?” Andrew Tyrie MP Con Chichester [email protected] Tel 020-7219-6371

    Policy and budgeting for the rest of the war in Afghanistan should be the subject of reports by all these committees. Ideally their reports will be coordinated, with evidence taken from ministers and officials in all the key departments.

    Those who have phoned or emailed any of these four committee chairs can let me know they have done so by emailing me at [email protected] . That would help me and others trying to apply pressure on these committees.

    When we know the membership of each committee (still to be voted on by MPs) that will provide further MPs to target with reasoned and non-abusive letters, emails or telephone calls.

  • Mat

    Looking at the Taliban-contra fiasco which unfolded while the media focused on the McCrystal train wreck (, the war in Afghanistan still has a long way to run ?” given that the US Administration is indirectly (but quite consciously) funding the “enemy”.

    The reasons why they would do this (pipelines, minerals, bases, economic stimulus?) are largely irrelevant; the war will continue mostly because modern democracy is a sham ?” it leaves the public with the capacity to pointlessly howl their opposition, but without any real means to impress their will on the government they sustain. There is popular opposition to the war in every country still involved; but in each of them, the significant political parties appear to have entered into a gentlemen’s agreement ?” to the effect that withdrawal from Afghanistan is never to become an election issue.

  • somebody

    A meeting is being held by Stop The War Coalition on Monday evening at Portcullis House. Just wish it wasn’t being held in the Thatcher Room.

    PS It would be more constructive to work towards getting the war ended and to get the troops out before any more are killed than printing umages on bloody stamps.

  • Paul


    “So far at least China has a much cleaner record in its dealings with foreign countries whose resources it needs for developing the economy at home.”

    That depends what you consider a foreign country. Most Uyghurs and Tibetans would, I think, consider that their nations are occupied and their resources expropriated by their Chinese occupiers. Also, Chinese policy in these areas includes a strong element of inward population transfer from China proper, and preferential treatment for Chinese immigrants. In other words, China is still a colonial empire, albeit a geographically contiguous one.

    [section on ‘Political Background ‘]

    For a sense of what Chinese imperialism is like on the ground, these books are worth reading.

    Rebiya Kadeer’s ‘Dragon Fighter’ describes her personal story and the occupation of East Turkestan (the Uyghur name for their homeland).

    Palden Gyatso’s ‘Fire Under the Snow’, similarly describes the human rights violations he witnessed, and was subjected to, in occupied Tibet.

  • Anonymous

    ‘Lobbying helps’

    As long as it is accompanied by £5,000 a day expenses and the promise of well-paid jobs as business advisor/management consultant positions when one leaves parliament.

    Then yes, it does help.

  • ingo

    Thanks for that paul, I was in no way making out that China is a role model of a country.

    Off course it is occupying Tibet and is not allowing Uighurs any Autonomy, but it is in no way spreading its terror into the wider world or can be compared to the US war on terror which is all about control over resources in this world.

  • Tony

    Posted by: Paul at June 24, 2010 6:21 PM

    Re. China, I think you are on tricky ground speaking as a representative of most Uyghurs and Tibetans defining themselves as under military occupation directly comparable with what has been happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

    China’s bad behaviour as alleged by you hardly registers on the Richter Scale compared with our invasions, occupations, ultra-violent “Shock & Awe”, the various torture scandals, the removal of governments and imposition of puppet regimes, and the scorched earth policy resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

    If I try to swallow hard and accept for the sake of this discussion temporarily your model that China is a colonial empire, you make a very relevant point that it is at least geographically contiguous one. Washington DC is 7000 miles from Kabul and there is zero cultural history in common between American society and the Afghans, apart from a few Manhattan taxi-drivers.

    Let us get things in perspective. In any case saying that the Chinese are naughty as well hardly absolves us from “two million dead and four million fled”.

  • Apostate

    Now the reason why lots of occupiers are getting killed this month is really quite simple.

    The supinely supportive corporate media report the successful Western offensives during the Autumn months because they’re not actually fighting anyone at that time of year.

    You see Afghans have got better things to do at that time-like er…..harvesting,don’t ask me WHAT!

    The only people who get killed at these times of the year are civilians because Afghans ARE in civilian mode then-out in their fields etc.

    Congratulations to the war-mongers who kill lots of Afghan civilians during the winter because:

    (1) There’s nobody else to kill

    (2) They can make sure that when the Spring comes there’s will be so many bereaved and angry Afghans that there’ll still be a war on!

    Got it?

    Yea,it worked exactly the same in ‘Nam.The US used to take a pasting during the Spring and Summer months because that was the only time the N.Vietnamese Army and VC were interested in fighting.

    It’s a war orchestrated-even callibrated-by Zionist bankers-shit I didn’t mean to say that……………..

    Please delete me,Craig-or I’ll never work again!

  • Steelback

    Is our Ubersturmfuhrer in Africa currently?

    You should be out of here Prostrate!

    Zionist bankers?

    What running the Fed and the BOE?

    Funding both sides in wars-now that’s conspiracy theory getting the better of you!

    Bring back Mo Mowlam.She called a spade a spade!

    Churchill was the greatest ever Englishman!


    On this blog they probably will!


  • Freeborn

    We need Larry to bring this blog back into the Zionist orbit again.

    We’ve got the Zionists declaring the need for an attack on Iran and WW3 and the saps on this blog think the greatest threat to mankind is ………


    You couldn’t make it up!

    Well,at least you couldn’t make it up like the Zionists can anyway!

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Oxfam has said the £2000000000000 used to bail out the banks could have ended poverty for 50 years in the third world.

    Yet Britain unashamedly spends more military taxes on killing people in Afghanistan who have done us no harm.

    With the squeeze getting worse and middle-class Britain ending up poor – how long – how long before the shouts?

    No more reckless consumer class – the IMF SDR’s have to be issued – Oh sorry didn’t you know? All part of the Global Central Bank plan ol’ boy – while VAT increases kill off the iPads!

  • Vronsky

    “I agree it looks like madness on the surface, but I’m sure if we knew the true reasons the US is in Afghanistan, it would make perfect sense.”

    I agree with Dave. The claimed aims of the operation are so clearly nonsensical or unachievable that we must assume that they are not as stated. Nor can it be protection of the pipeline (my first assumption) as the evidence is stacking up that this is militarily impossible – it looks as if anyone with a couple of occasionally sober pals could blow it up any day of the week. The broader geo-political ideas begin to look more plausible.

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