Deadly Dilemma: No Easy Way Out

June 14, 2008

The most forgotten war in modern times has returned to the forefront with a vengeance:

  • A roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. military vehicle on Saturday, killing four Marines in western Afghanistan in the deadliest attack against U.S. troops in the country this year, officials said.
    The bomb in the western province of Farah targeted Marines helping to train Afghanistan’s fledgling police force, said U.S. spokesman Lt. Col. David Johnson. One other Marine was wounded in the attack., (6/14/08)

While Iraq might appear a little calm for both Iraqis and US troops, Afghanistan is on the turnaround — it’s been on this deadly track for years, building slowly in intensity, but everyone seemed rightly more focused on an accelerating, incomprehensible slaughter in Iraq.
Bob Gates was in Belgium this week trying to convince NATO defense ministers their armies need to do more in Afghanistan, to fight more, to die more, a country where history continues to repeat itself over and over again.
A mission chasing Osama and his boys has flip-flopped:

  • More positively, the May death totals point to security improvements in Iraq that few thought likely a year ago.
    But the deterioration in Afghanistan suggests a troubling additional possibility: a widening of the war to Pakistan, where the Taliban and al-Qaida have found haven.
    By the Pentagon’s count, 15 U.S. and two allied troops were killed in action in Iraq last month, a total of 17. In Afghanistan it was 19, including 14 Americans and five coalition troops. One month does not make a trend, but in this case the statistics are so out of whack with perceptions of the two wars that Gates could use them to drive home his point about Afghanistan.

    Associated Press, (6/13/08)

Why would any of these NATO guys listen to anything Gates has to say or offer?
Anyone with any sense would want to wait until a more sensible president is installed in Washington, and along with a hope it won’t be Jackboot John McCain.
Even as the situation in Afghanistan gets even worse:

  • In a brazen attack, Taliban fighters assaulted the main prison in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday night, blowing up the mud walls, killing 15 guards and freeing around 1,200 inmates. Among the escapees were about 350 Taliban members, including commanders, would-be suicide bombers and assassins, said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the head of Kandahar’s provincial council and a brother of President Hamid Karzai.
    “It is very dangerous for security. They are the most experienced killers and they all managed to escape,” he said by telephone from Kandahar.

    — Carlotta Gall,, (6/14/08)

What did that guy just say? “…commanders, would-be suicide bombers and assassins” and “...they all managed to escape.”
Twelve hundred — a damn army!

Add that to the above-mentioned sideshow concerning Pakistan:

  • Some Pakistani officials, including provincial chief Haider Khan Hoti, are calling for “reconsideration” of US-Pakistani relations after an ill-fated US airstrike allegedly killed 11 Pakistani government troops.
    Meanwhile, US defense officials continue to straddle the fence — caught in the no man’s land between admission and denial of the allegations.
    Collateral victim of the incident: National strongman Pervez Musharraf, who has positioned Pakistan as a strong ally — some say a lapdog — of the US since the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. His regime seems set to topple under the pressure of democratic, nationalist and Islamist opposition as new protests and calls for his resignation or removal gain steam., 6/13/08

Musharraf is history:

  • He said Musharraf had not accepted the decision the people delivered on Feb 18. He said now the people did not want only his ouster but his trial. He said Musharraf should remember the days when innocent girl students of Jamia Hafsa were demanding safe passage but he burnt them with fire bombs. He said now Musharraf cannot be given a safe passage.
    He said this dictator has drowned the economy and pushed the people to starvation.
    He said these were the dictators who broke the country, surrendered to the enemy, and hanged the political leaders.
    The audience responded to the speech of Nawaz by demanding that Musharraf be hanged.

    Instead of demanding restoration of the sacked judges, the enthusiastic and angry crowds in the caravans resorted to full-throated slogans of ‘Go Musharraf Go’ while carrying interesting caricatures of the president.
    During the march no untoward incident had been reported though a helicopter kept hovering for a short while over the venue to monitor the extent of the gathering. The Constitution Avenue had been completely sealed off after putting containers on its connecting roads while the roads leading to the Parliament House were also blocked. Police contingents were deployed at entry routes of Islamabad.
    The unprecedented and massive gathering at the main venue where the legal fraternity of the country was set to hold a historic meeting was expected to continue till early Saturday morning.

    The most interesting aspect of the long march was the enthusiastic participation of general public with their family members, including even kids having feeders and soft drinks in their hands.
    Similarly most of the caravans, carrying thousands of people arrived in a traditional manner, dancing with jubilance to express their support for the independence of judiciary and rule of law.
    “This gathering would ensure the forceful exit of Musharraf as the whole nation is united for this cause and nothing else,” said a citizen from Islamabad who came along with his family members. Musharraf would have to give an account of his misdeeds, he added.

    — Sohail Khan & Khalid Iqbal,, (6/14/08)

The writers of this news story are obviously themselves very anti-Musharraf.

Decider George and his band of thieving, lying chickenhawks has jammed the US in that most horrific and insecure of positions — between a rock and a hard place.
But, hey!
How about Decider George and Dufus Dick Cheney being tried for war crimes?
Or for just being cruel?

  • FALLUJAH, Jun 12 (IPS) – Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say.
    The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after “special weaponry” was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.
    After denying it at first, the Pentagon admitted in November 2005 that white phosphorous, a restricted incendiary weapon, was used a year earlier in Fallujah.
    In addition, depleted uranium (DU) munitions, which contain low-level radioactive waste, were used heavily in Fallujah.
    The Pentagon admits to having used 1,200 tonnes of DU in Iraq thus far.
    Many doctors believe DU to be the cause of a severe increase in the incidence of cancer in Iraq, as well as among U.S. veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War and through the current occupation.
    “We saw all the colours of the rainbow coming out of the exploding American shells and missiles,” Ali Sarhan, a 50-year-old teacher who lived through the two U.S. sieges of 2004 told IPS.
    “I saw bodies that turned into bones and coal right after they were exposed to bombs that we learned later to be phosphorus.
    “The most worrying is that many of our women have suffered loss of their babies, and some had babies born with deformations.”

    — Inter Press Service,, (6/12/08)

The current administration has made it so generations of US peoples (not to mentioned peoples all over the globe) will suffer and will continue to suffer.

Deadly dilemma we dance.

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