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Afghanistan; Our Alpine Quagmire, 8 Years is Enough!

by Bring U.S. Troops Home NOW!! Friday, Oct. 09, 2009 at 11:20 AM

After eight years of hunting OBL throughout the mountains of Afghanistan with no luck, can we finally say "enough is enough" and begin the process of U.S. troop withdrawal from this alpine quagmire??

Who ever heard of getting bogged down in an alpine quagmire? Yet this is exactly what happened to U.S. troops mired down in this mountainous land of Afghanistan with no end in sight. The corporate media drumbeat continues to demand 40,000 more young men and women from throughout the U.S. to throw their lives on the line with no attainable goal.

What is common knowledge about our situation in Afghanistan;

We have for eight years tried unsuccessfully to find an individual (Osama Bin Laden = OBL) who was spotted early on in the Afghanistan occupation crossing the Hindu Kush mountains OUT of Afghanistan and INTO Pakistan.

That means that the hunt for OBL is NOT the primary U.S. objective in Afghanistan, so our mission there has morphed into "stopping the Taliban" and "stopping al Queda's return to Afghanistan".

However, direct from the mouths of some of the Taliban resistance fighters themselves (recent Newsweek article), they state that prior to the initial long term occupation by U.S. forces they were universally hated and not supported at all by any of the Afghan people. Following 8 years of countless errors by U.S. military drones killing Afghan civilians (including women and children), U.S. soldiers kicking in Afghan villagers doors at all hours, also beating elderly Afghan men (whom they suspected of being Taliban, later found were not), kidnap and torture of Afghan civilians (whom they suspected of being Taliban, later found were not) and plenty of other serious intelligence failures, the Taliban gained the support and respect of some of the Afghan people, while U.S. soldiers lost this initial public support based upon their countless deadly mistakes.

Since the installation of Hamid Karzai by GW Bush and following the recent (stolen) election where Karzai claimed victory, Afghan people have lived under corruption and are ever more fearful and distrusting of the Afghan police and government officials under Karzai. The majority of the Afghan people correctly believe that Karzai committed voter fraud and most likely stole the recent election.

The future of Afghanistan is uncertain, and most likely will further destabilize with or without our military presence. However, bringing more U.S. troops over to occupy the land will certainly add more fuel to the fire, and most likely erode any remaining public support for the U.S. military.

It would not be conspiracy theory to question our actual motives for a long term military presence in Afghanistan, as it seems obvious that the more U.S. troops remain there, the less public support for the military and greater support for the Taliban. Were U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan, the Taliban would find themselves as the only remaining occupation, and the Afghan people would then refocus their anger on them and the corrupt Karzai regime. Of course there would be more fighting, though this time it would be locally operated Afghan militias fighting a corrupt government and Islamic radicals on their own. We should never underestimate the determination of a local population to defend their native soil from ANY occupation forces.

The recipe for disaster in Afghanistan makes for the "perfect storm", a long term foreign occupation by U.S. and NATO forces, a brutal and corrupt illegitimate government under Karzai, and fearless militants who walk amongst the people and value martyrdom above all else. Sounds like an indefinite military occupation so long as fresh blood of U.S. soldiers is placed upon the alter of sacrifice to capitalist goals.

The actual goal of our long term occupation was unearthed some time ago, and remain relevent as our appetite for petroleum continues. Even though here the oil isn't under the ground, though there are plenty of supplies nearby.

Background on UNOCAL oil pipeline through Afghanistan;

"On February 12, 1998, John J. Maresca, vice president, international relations for UNOCAL oil company, testified before the US House of Representatives, Committee on International Relations. Maresca provided information to Congress on Central Asia oil and gas reserves and how they might shape US foreign policy. UNOCAL's problem? As Maresca said: "How to get the region's vast energy resources to the markets." The oil reserves are in areas north of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Routes for a pipeline were proposed that would transport oil on a 42-inch pipe southward thru Afghanistan for 1040 miles to the Pakistan coast. Such a pipeline would cost about $2.5 billion and carry about 1 million barrels of oil per day.

Maresca told Congress then that: "It's not going to be built until there is a single Afghan government. That's the simple answer."


At least let us be honest about what our young people are being sent to Afghanistan to die for;

Supporting a corrupt illegitimate government under Karzai, who will support the goals of the pipeline.

Fueling support for militant groups like the Taliban, who gain public support and recruits under continued U.S. and NATO occupations, guaranteeing a never ending war so long as the oil will flow through the pipeline and make some U.S. oil corporations wealthy beyond belief.

Guess under capitalism some poor slobs in uniform will always need to sacrifice their lives to enrich the bank accounts of petroleum execs..

If the peace activists saved their "No Blood for Oil" signs from the Iraq invasion and occupation protests, looks like they can be dusted off and brought back out into the sunlight for more protest marches, we're in it for the long haul. Best wishes!!

Additional notes on U.S. domestic concerns;

Under climate change we can expect more severe storms and flooding events, fires, droughts and all sorts of other natural disasters and climate calamities. Similar to the missing U.S. National Guard troops who were deployed and trapped in Iraq during the Katrina disaster, every soldier and Nat. Guard member stationed in Afghanstan will be one less set of hands on deck to help out here when they are seriously needed here. There are plenty of projects (set back levees) that we need to work on here to protect towns and cities from flooding, rising sea levels and other effects of climate change.

Then there's the financial angle, if anyone forgot we're still in recession and the prosects for deficit and loss of economic stability will certainly not be improved by wasting more money to support this military expenditure, no matter how hard the petroleum corporations try to convine the government and military that this pipeline needs to be defended.

Most people want their tax dollars spent on researching alternatives to petroleum dependecy, not another never ending war for some oil exec fat cats to profit off of pipelines..

Since it is all to easy to dismiss this as the work of a "lone wolf" conspiracy theorist, here is some additional evidence that the oil pipeline remains the real reason for our 8 year military investment in Afghanistan, NOT the Taliban as the corporate media claims. Is Obama finishing the job that GW Bush began??

From Global Research;

"Karzai, the leader of the southern Afghan Pashtun Durrani tribe, was a member of the mujaheddin that fought the Soviets during the 1980s. He was a top contact for the CIA and maintained close relations with CIA Director William Casey, Vice President George Bush, and their Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) Service interlocutors. Later, Karzai and a number of his brothers moved to the United States under the auspices of the CIA. Karzai continued to serve the agency's interests, as well as those of the Bush Family and their oil friends in negotiating the CentGas deal, according to Middle East and South Asian sources.

When one peers beyond all of the rhetoric of the White House and Pentagon concerning the Taliban, a clear pattern emerges showing that construction of the trans-Afghan pipeline was a top priority of the Bush administration from the outset. Although UNOCAL claims it abandoned the pipeline project in December 1998, the series of meetings held between U.S., Pakistani, and Taliban officials after 1998, indicates the project was never off the table.

Quite to the contrary, recent meetings between U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlain and that country's oil minister Usman Aminuddin indicate the pipeline project is international Project Number One for the Bush administration. Chamberlain, who maintains close ties to the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan (a one-time chief money conduit for the Taliban), has been pushing Pakistan to begin work on its Arabian Sea oil terminus for the pipeline.

Meanwhile, President Bush says that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan for the long haul. Far from being engaged in Afghan peacekeeping -- the Europeans are doing much of that -- our troops will effectively be guarding pipeline construction personnel that will soon be flooding into the country."

article cont's @;

Bit o' history from Counterpunch;

"On October 7, 2001, the carpet of bombs was unleashed over Afghanistan.

Then, with the Taliban removed from power, Mr. Hamid Karzai, the former Unocal consultant, was installed by the U.S. as head of an interim government.

The first U.S. envoy to Afghanistan was Mr. John J. Maresca, a former Vice President of the Unocal Corporation.

The next Ambassador to Afghanistan was Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad, also a former Unocal consultant.

On February 8, 2002, four months after the carpet of bombs, Presidents Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Perves Musharraf of Pakistan signed a new agreement for a pipeline. The Bridas contract was now moot. The way was open for American companies—Unocal and Enron—to proceed.

About a year later in the British trade journal Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections dated March 20, 2003, the truth about the Afghan war is laid bare. The article describes the readiness of three U.S. Federal agencies in the Bush Administration to fund the pipeline project: the U.S. Import/Export Bank, the Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Insurance Corporation. The article continues: “...some recent reports ...indicated ...the United States was willing to police the pipeline infrastructure through permanent stationing of its troops in the region.”

entire article found @;

It seems that prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Taliban leaders even offered to give up Osama Bin Laden to the U.S., though this would not have enabled the pursuit of the trans-Afghan pipeline;

"Little known to most Americans is that Afghanistan likely was invaded because its Taliban government refused to okay pipelines sought by Union Oil Co. of California(UNOCAL).

"Since Central Asia is landlocked, the United States government wanted to find a way to get the oil and natural gas out, while avoiding Iran, Russia, and China," Boyle said. "The easiest way to do that was to construct a pipeline south through Afghanistan, into Pakistan and right out to the Arabian Sea. UNOCAL had been negotiating with the Taliban government of Afghanistan for quite some time, still with the full support of the U.S. government into the summer of 2001, but their negotiations had failed. The U.S….then rendered a proverbial offer that could not be refused to the Taliban government."

A "major consideration" for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was to put in office a regime favoring the oil and gas pipelines the U.S. sought running from Turkmenistan south through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea coast of Pakistan, writes Chalmers Johnson in "The Sorrows of Empire"(Owl Books).

Oil "has been a constant motive" driving "the vast expansion of (U.S.) bases in the Persian Gulf" in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAR, Johnson says. Because Afghanistan's Taliban regime opposed the U.S.-backed venture, its overthrow became the secret reason behind "the war on terrorism," Johnson claims.

To build the proposed $2-billion, 918-mile natural gas pipeline and a $4-billion 1,005-mile oil pipeline UNOCAL "needed a government in Kabul it could deal with in obtaining transit rights."

Thus, Johnson writes, "A remarkable group of Washington insiders came together to promote the Unocal project":

>> UNOCAL hired former President Nixon's national security adviser Henry Kissinger to negotiate with Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

>> Kissinger worked with Turkmenistan's top consultant, none other than his own former White House aide Gen. Alexander Haig, later President Regan's Secretary of State.

>> UNOCAL also employed two well-connected Afghans to influence the Taliban in its favor, naturalized U.S. citizen Zalmay Khalilzad, and Hamid Karzai, both linked to former Afghan king Zahir Shah, then living in Pakistan. The pair later became U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and U.S.-backed President of Afghanistan, respectively.

>> President Bush first appointed Khalilzad to his National Security Council(NSC) staff, under Condoleezza Rice, and on December 31, 2001, named him "special envoy" to Afghanistan, only nine days after the Karzai government took office in Kabul.

"It should be recalled," Johnson writes, Khalilzad joined NSC on May 23, 2001, "just in time to work on an operational order for an attack on Afghanistan."

Johnson writes "it would appear that the attacks of September 11 provided an opportunity for the United States to act unilaterally to remove the Taliban, without assistance from Russia, India, or any other country."

According to Boyle, even before 9/11 the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan had made "repeated offers to negotiate a solution" over "the disposition of bin Laden—as well as over the UNOCAL oil pipeline."

Boyle said the Taliban offered to have bin Laden tried in a neutral Islamic court by Muslim judges applying the laws of Sharia; then they modified this to have him tried before some type of neutral court, which would exclude handing him over to the U.S; and finally, "even offered to try bin Laden themselves provided the United States gave them some credible evidence of his involvement in the ll September attacks, which was never done."

Bush responded in his September 20, 2001, address "by ruling out any type of negotiations and instead issuing the Taliban government an impossible ultimatum," Boyle said."

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