Posts Tagged ‘afghanistan’

The Internet – Building Peace in a War Zone

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

One of the first steps in the peace building process is to open up the channels of communication. This is what social media has been doing in Afghanistan, bridging the gap between NATO forces and the Taliban.

Following a 20-hour Taliban-led assault on a NATO base in Kabul, the two adversaries turned their battle into a war of words via – what else – Twitter!

While what the two parties specifically discussed won’t garner any Nobel Peace prizes, the simple act of communicating is still a positive thing.  Just talking to someone can put a face on a formerly faceless foe. And anything that helps to re-humanize an enemy, even if only slightly, is another step towards resolving this conflict.

So keep venting on Twitter, guys. It’s far less costly than resorting to violence.

US Taxpayers Funding Taliban

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

In what can accurately be described as a colossal fuck-up, the U.S military estimates that $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of the Taliban and other criminals.

We all know that the war machine needs to manufacture their enemies, but this is ridiculous! I mean, come on Defense Industry, at least try to be a little more covert when creating people to fight.

It’s like they’ve been getting away with industrialized murder for so long that they’ve completely lost all respect for the dissenting ability of the American public.

But who can blame them… if $20 billion can go unaccounted for in Iraq without any major uproar, then a mere $300 mil should be no big deal.

While these tremendous fortunes are gone forever, not all is lost. Like Dr. Ron Paul says, people are waking up to the silliness of America’s bloated military spending and are no longer willing to just blindly accept anything in the name of defense.

It’s only a matter of time until the majority of humans, everywhere on earth, see war for what it is – a giant waste of lives and money just to hurt ourselves. And this is precisely why institutionalized armed conflict will soon go obsolete, paving the path for peace to overtake our planet.

US Negotiating Terms of Afghan Surrender

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

10+ years, 20,000 human lives, and just under a half a trillion dollars and now the US Military brass are ready to accept the inevitable – they have to move on from Afghanistan.

Alongside the troop withdrawal will be a strategic agreement, to be discussed at an upcoming Traditional Grand Assembly, with any tribal elders and political figures willing to play America’s twisted game.

An early draft of the agreement would let the US establish permanent military bases across the country, with the option to set up more military bases whenever it deems necessary. The draft also requires Afghan airspace to be handed over to American forces after the strategic deal comes into effect.

Not much of a deal for the Afghans. But it was never about them, anyway. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are just unfortunate fall-guys in the US’s bid for global supremacy.

Too bad for the US, they’re still fighting a 20th century battle, leaving top spot in the new frontier – cyberspace – up for grabs.

This is where humankind comes in. The new superpower on earth need not be China or some other private entity. The top force to be reckoned with could very well be humankind itself.

While our common humanity can be lost in the fog of war, social media acts like a lifting wind, exposing just how united we really are.

When enough of us see armed conflict for what it really is – that we are only fighting ourselves – we’ll be strong enough to systematically dismantle the institutions responsible for perpetuating wars around the world.

When enough people get the Internet, the whole world could be just one Twitter trend, one Facebook group, one whatever the heck Google+ does, away from world peace.

Kucinich: War Gives Taxpayer Dollars to Profiteers

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Dennis Kucinich took the floor this week, once again saying something we don’t hear enough of in the political realm. Namely, that wars transfer billions of dollars from taxpayers into the coffers of the cronies from the Military Industrial Complex.

We don’t need more war in our world.

Remote controlled planes dropping bombs on people in Yemen, Somalia and Libya are not making the world safer. The 10 year excursion in Afghanistan did not bring stability or democracy to the region.

It is time to stand up and speak out against war. Enough is enough. There is a better way forward.

War on Terror is Giant Cash Cow for Defense Industry

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Journalist Pepe Escobar put up a scathing opinion piece on Al J that parallels a notion oft parroted here, namely, that the War on Terror exists less to kill bad guys and more to line the pockets of certain higher-ups from the Defense Industry and elsewhere.

First, Escobar looks the the numbers:

A recent, detailed study by the Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University revealed that the war on terror has cost the US economy, so far, from $3.7 trillion (the most conservative estimate) to $4.4 trillion (the moderate estimate). Then there are interest payments on these costs – another $1 trillion.

That makes the total cost of the war on terror to be, at least, a staggering $5.4 trillion. And that does not include, as the report mentions, “additional macroeconomic consequences of war spending”, or a promised (and undelivered) $5.3 billion reconstruction aid for Afghanistan.

Then he asks “Who’s profiting from this bonanza?” and offers the following reply:

That’s easy – US military contractors and a global banking/financial elite. The notion that the US government would spend $10 billion a month just to chase a few “al-Qaeda types” in the Hindu Kush is nonsense.

Finally the author analyzes the end goals for these trillions of dollars: expanding America’s network of military bases and securing the territory for a vast $10 Billion oil pipeline that crosses Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan (TAP). Escobar:

It’s mind-boggling that 10 years and $5.4 trillion dollars later, the situation is exactly the same. Washington still badly wants “its” pipeline – which will in fact be a winning game mostly for commodity traders, global finance majors and Western energy giants.

From the standpoint of these elites, the ideal endgame scenario is global Robocop NATO – helped by hundreds of thousands of mercenaries – “protecting” TAP  while taking a 24/7 peek on what’s going on in neighbours Russia and China.

Excellent message from Mr. Escobar! Now, if only there was a way to shorten it down and get Lady Gaga to sing it.

Canada Pulls Out of Afghanistan

Friday, July 8th, 2011

(And like that – pffff – we were gone.)

News worth celebrating: Canadian troops have formally completed their fighting mission in Afghanistan.

We’re finally done!!! Well, not quite. Troops are slowly being scaled back, and should all be out by year’s end.

Time to celebrate all the accomplishments earned from the heavy price we paid. Now what exactly are they?

I’d wager that numerous people’s lives were made dramatically better by the invasion. And some of these fortunate few might not even be amongst those in the defense industry who’ve grew richer off the $11 Billion bill for this war.

Of course, experts are quick to point out how Canada’s mission failed in its three main objectives and never brought safety and stability to Afghanistan. Buncha party poopers.

So I guess our biggest accomplishment might come in the form of learning a lesson: politically organized armed conflicts are expensive, difficult to withdraw from, and hard to win, so the reasons we go to war in the first place better damn well be worth it.

US Leaving Afghanistan

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

(“Exit strategy? I dunno… maybe try rocking it.”)

President Obama is expected to deliver a highly anticipated speech on the troop drawdown, where plans to withdraw 30,000 troops from Afghanistan will be announced.

Great! Way to earn that Nobel Peace prize, Barack.

The US has also begun negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban for the first time.

Amazing! All it took was a bankrupt economy and hundreds of thousands of deaths, and the diplomatic process has neared the point it could have been at 10 years ago.

Afghan War 2014 and Beyond

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Secret talks between the United States and Afghanistan could see American troops stay for decades, well beyond the scheduled 2014 withdrawal.

While Secretary Clinton was reluctant to use the term ‘permanent’, there’s really no better way to describe the bases to be left on Afghan soil for an undetermined period of time.

What really bothers me is this 2014 date for pulling out. That’s like, what, 3 years from now? You mean the American people and the world are prepared to accept another 3 full years of this nonsense?

What’s the point? The conditions for withdrawing the troops will be the same now as they will in a few years, and the same as if they had pulled out years ago.

It’s time for the war to end, NOW. Osama is dead, Al Qaeda has fled, but they still need three more freaking years??? If that doesn’t tell you there’s more behind war than just making America safer, then what will?

Build Our Own Nations First

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Rep. Ron Paul took to the floor today, sharing some of his eloquent wisdom.

For starters, Dr. Paul must have been here to read yesterday’s post, since he agrees that “the elimination of Osama bin Laden should prompt us to bring our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Ron Paul also expressed his regret for authorizing the war on terror after 9/11, as the leeway he and others provided was used to “pursue nation-building and remaking the middle east” at a cost of “trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of American casualties and many thousands of innocent lives.”

Dr. Paul touches upon an interesting point. As noble the goal of spreading freedom across the Middle East, our first priority should be to stop the erosion of democracy in our own backyards.

Until we get our own houses in order, we have no business in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or any other nation. To do otherwise is to try switching one broken system for another.

Bring the troops home. We could be investing these trillions of war dollars to get our own systems polished and proven. Then, as our society flourishes, it will inspire other nations to adopt our successful model for themselves.

Osama is Dead – End the War Now!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

(The late Osama bin Laden pictured here doing his rendition of Seinfeld’s classic ‘Heil Hitler’ bit.)

Al Qaeda is just a term assigned to an unconnected movement populated by people who share the same discontent towards foreign imperialism, and Osama was just the figurehead.

But never mind that. He’s dead now. Osama bin Laden is dead!

The war on terror is officially over!

Now we can all pack up and march out of the Middle East as quickly as we marched in. Now we’re free to truly support the troops… and bring them home!