Deathpower has had a steady stream of articles on the financial bailout of Wall St., the impending depression, and the crash of neo-liberalism. Interestingly, only after the bailout plan was passed did the mainstream U.S. media start to report more fully on why the bailout would likely not have the intended effects, and that the root problems (falling housing prices, decreased ability of people to pay mortgages) were not addressed by the bailout package. Deathpower has had a number of posts on these issues, including today’s “Naomi Klein’s Speech at University of Chicago.” See also:
Deathpower also has a number of posts over the past five weeks dealing with police repression of protesters, whether union members or protesters at the recent party conventions.
“Victory impossible in Afghanistan: senior British commander” CBC News, Oct. 4, 2008 — Is this news? At least in terms of what the mainstream media tell us from the NATO ranks, it does seem to be “news” — either that is news, or the Taliban is stronger than the Nazi German military machine, having outlasted it in direct struggle with an alliance that includes the world’s leading military superpower and many of the same countries that defeated Nazi Germany in about half the time. See also, ” ‘We’re not going to win,’ British commander says of bid to quash Taliban,” The Globe and Mail, Oct. 6, 2008; “British diplomat feels Afghan war being lost: report,” CBC News, Oct. 1, 2008. Here are some of the statements arising from these pieces:
“We’re not going to win this war”
An absolute military victory in Afghanistan is impossible, Brig.-Gen. Mark Carleton-Smith told England’s Sunday Times newspaper.
“If the Taliban were prepared to sit on the other side of the table and talk about a political settlement, then that’s precisely the sort of progress that concludes insurgencies like this. That shouldn’t make people uncomfortable,”
Britain’s Foreign Office said that while its ambassador, Sherard Cowper-Coles, did hold a meeting with a French official and discussed the situation in Afghanistan, his reported comments that foreign troops there were “part of the problem, not the solution” do not reflect the government’s views.
“The foreign forces are ensuring the survival of a regime which would collapse without them. … The reinforcement of the military presence would have a perverse effect: It would identify us even more clearly as an occupying force and it would multiply the number of targets [for the insurgents].”
The cable, written in French, paraphrases the 53-year-old British ambassador as saying:
* The security situation is bad and getting worse.
* The Afghan people have lost all trust in their current government, partly because of corruption.
* The presence of foreign troops in the country is part of the problem, propping up the current regime and thus slowing progress toward Afghans putting a more effective government in place.
* Sending more military reinforcements to Afghanistan would have a “perverse effect” on the country’s stability and future, sending the message that an occupying force is in control of the country and widening the number of targets for insurgents to attack.
France has about 3,000 troops in Afghanistan, while Britain has about 8,400 troops in the country. Canada’s military mission includes about 2,500 personnel, most of them located in the volatile Kandahar region.
What is the response from the U.S.?
“We plan on winning in Afghanistan,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said yesterday. “It’s going to be tough and going to take some time, but we will eventually succeed.”
That should be good news for the pseudo-anthropologists and other grad students at the Human Terrain System, who intend to cash in for as long as possible on extending failed wars in countries that reject their presence.