Archive for July 2009
The end of another month at war in Afghanistan, and one of the most deadly since when the war started in 2001. Various links from around the GWOT:
1.) More drones to be used to kill the Taliban in Afghanistan:
2.) Taliban rules of war not so new:
3.) U.S. surgeons treated wounded British troops at Camp Bastion, which is next to the new permanent and huge camp America is building, Camp Leatherneck. It says the American doctors are exhausted at the sheer number of casualties. I have read earlier that the doctors treat the Taliban and Al Qaida too, and if they are deemed to be injured more seriously than an American, they are treated first! It would be nice to know how many enemy were injured, whether treated here at this hospital, or at a Taliban or Afghan hospital, and how many are arrested and charged with their crime after being treated? God bless the USA and our allies. Link:
5.) British soldier: New life tough after losing limb:
6.) Revenge of the shoe bomber; by a sister of one of the victims on the plane that flew into the World Trade Center on 9-11-01; the captain of the plane. Link:
Someone loaned me the book, “Inside the Revolution”, and I must say, so far, and I am only at page 100, it is an excellent read, written by Joel C. Rosenberg.
What stood out and struck me especially hard were the number of players who were involved in Afghanistan policy circa 1979 who are still around, and pivitol in Afghanistan today.
1979 was very active in Afghanistan, where the US Ambassador Adolph Dubs was kidnapped and killed by radicals in Kabul on February 14, and on December 25th, the Soviet Union invaded.
The reason cited in the book is this: location, location, location. It said the Soviets would then control 2 borders of Iran and would give the Soviets an excellent launching pad to take over this oil rich country and allow them to dominate the Persian Gulf region.
In addition, in 1979, there was the overthrow of the government in Iran, US hostages were taken at the embassy, and for the first time an Islamic republic was formed. The book says the CIA was unprepared for either event.
Some of those players still in play 30 years later from 1979-2009 include: Jimmy Carter’s U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, whom I hear on TV interviews, especially on MSNBC where his daughter now co-hosts “Morning Joe”, and Robert Gates, at the time a deputy to Brzezinski.
Gates it states was CIA director under Bush 41 and Secretry of Defense under Bush 43, where he continues under President Obama. The book also points out that in 1979 Gates just returned to the CIA after a five year stint with the National Security Council.
The book states that in July 1979 Pres. Carter authorized a half million dollars in covert aid to Islamic rebels in Afghanistan for insurgent propaganda and psychological operations, according to the recollecitons of Gates, who was reported to then be a member of Carter’s National Security Council.
All this involvement in Afghanistan by Gates about floored me, and I wondered how someone who was on Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council was appointed to Secretary of Defense by Bush 43 and continued in that position as President Obama.
I especially don’t understand how he is running around saying that the measure of success in Afghanistan in 2009 for American troops will be not how many Taliban they kill, but by the number of civilians protected. I’ve written my representative and senators and requested a weekly update so I can tell, as a taxpayer if the generals and Sec. of Defense are a success or no? I want a count of the number of civilians protected weekly, so, I can tell if this war is a success or if we need a new secretary and new generals. This time around we should call the position: SECRATARY OF WAR and the GOAL should ALWAYS be VICTORY!
There are other players still alive and playing, including Osama Bin Laden himself. Former President Jimmy Carter is also alive and well, still out giving speeches, which in my opinion, are a continuation of the weakness he showed in office.
Bin Laden came out in 1979 to fight the Soviets, and is still loose today. On October 23, 1983 the Marine barracks was blown up by agents of the ayatollah who plowed into it with a truck filled with explosives in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 innocent Americans. On Sept. 7, 2007, U. S. Judge, the Honorable Royce Lamberth, ruled in favor of the Marine families and awarded them over $2.6 billion dollars. He ruled that agents acting on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran caused the deaths of over 241 peacekeeping servicemen at the Marine barracks in a willful and deliberate act of extrajudicial killing.
Well, there is much more as the book is over 500 pages!
I don’t know how this all plays out in 2009 as we are at war in Afghanistan with a troop surge there right now. I am not sure why Secretary Gates says what he says as a way to tell if the war is a success. I am not sure why an American general would say something such as this statement by Gen.McChrystal, reported n the media today, again saying the US was not in Afghanitan to kill the Taliban, but to protect the Afghan people.
Where it all ends I don’t know. I just hope and pray our soldiers and Marines stay safe. I hope they are allowed to win the war. The United States can win any war we WANT to.
God Bless the USA, may our troops be led to victory, and God bless our troops.
Links from around the GWOT, the Global War on Terror:
1.) Colonel: No point in lingering in Iraq; declare victory and come home. I have been writing my senators and representative and the Armed Services Committees in the House and Senate to start issuing IRAQ VICTORY MEDALS for our troops who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Then end the campaign. Link:
2.) Army report warned of burn pit effects. These burn pits have caused a lot of damage to the health of our veterans, or so it appears. Link:
3.) Gen. Mattis leaves NATO command, just an update on where one of the key figures from the Global War on Terror is now. Link:
4.) If this doesn’t beat all, a Taliban code of conduct for their fighters:
5.) DynCorps takes a lot of the contracted jobs in Afghansitan:
Four American soldiers killed in one attack while looking for kidnapped U.S. soldier. I read that when Gen. McChrystal took over command he was going to respect the Afghan culture of wanting to compensate for wrongs.
This is a very big wrong, yet I have not heard of one compensation ceremony where the Afghans pay compensation for the lives of these American soldiers. I also have not heard an apology from Pres. Karzai for the wrongful acts of his citizens in killing U.S. troops. I am going to write President Obama, my senators and representative right now and request a statement on the compensation ceremony the Afghans were going to have to pay for their wrongs in killing US troops, per Gen. McChrystal’s statement, and also for a copy of the statement from Pres. Karzai and his apology for the deaths of these innocent American citizens.
God bless the USA and may American troops fight for victory in Afghanistan, and also be treated paramount by their leaders. Links from around the GWOT:
1.) Four soldiers who were innocent American citizens were killed in Afghanistan while searching for kidnapped U.S. soldier. God bless these innocent American soldiers on a noble search for their fellow soldier kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan. May God bless their families.
I am writing President Obama, my senators, and representative right now and asking for a copy of the statements given at the compensation ceremony that Gen. McChrystal said Afghans will be having since he took command, out of honor of their culture, when they want to pay compensation for their wrongs. This is a very big wrong with the killing of our 4 innocent citizens, serving as soldiers to help Afghanistan.
I also want a copy of the statement by Pres. Karzai offering apologies to the families of the soldiers who were murdered by Afghans, as well as an apology to the American people for the murders of these innocent American troops in his country to help them live a better life. Link:
2.) When did the objective of the US troops in Afghanistan go from VICTORY to protecting Afghans? WHO IS GOING TO KILL THE ENEMY? The last I heard President Obama said the mission was to destroy, disrupt and dismantle Al Qaida and the Taliban. Then I heard his quote that the U.S. was not necessarily pursuing victory as a goal in Afghanistan. I don’t know how you can secure a victory in war without having winning the war as a goal. When did the objective change? How can a goal be to protect Afghans when in the United States our police and military troops cannot protect all citizens, as evidenced by high murder rates in various U.S. cities?
From the story: (My comment is: WHO IS GOING TO KILL THE ENEMY? WHO IS GOING TO PROTECT THE U.S. SOLDIERS SINCE THE ENEMY APPARENTLY IS STILL ALIVE, such as in story above where 4 US soldiers were murdered. What good does it do to leave the enemy alive if they kill US soldiers, then the US soldiers are no longer alive to protect the civilians? I do not understand!)
Since taking command in Afghanistan, McChrystal has said repeatedly that the military needs to protect Afghan villagers instead of chasing and killing insurgents.
Here is the story link:
3.) Envoy Holbrooke and psychologial operations:
4.) Mother of murdered Marine son and daughter in law receives form letter from President Obama; later receives apology:
5.) How we’ll win in Afghanistan by Bing West:
The heat continues in Afghanistan with highs over 100 deg. F most days, well, over 100 deg. I might add. Our troops are bravely there to fight their way to victory, but the Commander in Chief said victory is not necessarily why they are there.
I just hope no more Americans are wounded or killed if they are dying for defeat. I believe we should be there for victory and have a plan for victory and US troops should be paramount, and the generals should worry about winning the hearts and minds of Americans paying the bill for this conflict that never ends, and of the families of the military over there risking their lives.
Links to various stories from around the GWOT. God bless the US troops and may their leadership LEAD THEM TO VICTORY. Links:
1.) Chicago-area Marine sole survivor of Afghanistan attack: Lcpl Dominic Davila loses one leg below knee, broken left ankle in other leg, watch video and read this story for more details, family is raising money to get extended family there, such as his sister, to visit him. You may check with the television station who ran the story for donation details. God bless this Marine and his family. Link:
2.) Seven arrested on terrorism charges in North Carolina. This could have resulted in a very bad situation, scary-these are mostly American citizens too. Link:
3.) US military deaths in Afghanistan at 680. Let’s WIN this war and bring our troops home! Link:
4.) This report is of 745 American deaths in Afghanistan and related areas of Operation Enduring Freedom:
5.) This story boggles the mind that the Marine leadership apparently did not train them for the battlefield they were on. Cited throughout it says they let the enemy escape, 300-600 Taliban who joined up with 1,000 Taliban in another city, all let escape, that they were surprised, lucky, etc. God bless the Marines please with good training and leadership to teach them to kill the enemy and win the war. This story stated the commanders ADMIT they DID NOT secure escape routes for the enemy! Who will be sent to a Marine Court of Inquiry for that and be demoted or removed from command. That’s a pretty big blow to US national security when the United States Marine Corps commanders let 300-600 enemy slip out the back door, and also didn’t know 1,000 enemy were gathered only 15 miles away. These enemy fighters could kill Afghan civilians, American civilians, and American and allied troops. Then it states that one officer said he wished he could have “trapped” more of the “folks”. When did the enemy become known as “folks” and when do Marines “trap folks” instead of KILL THE ENEMY? This whole story is very confusing and it looks to me like there needs to be a Court of Inquiry to figure it all out. Link:
6.) Talking with the Taliban?! Well, this seems to signal a U.S. defeat for sure. I guess at least the American troops won’t be dying for defeat, the U.S. government will just surrender. Link and from the story:
America’s priorities in Afghanistan will be spelled out in a briefing paper drawn up by General Stanley McChrystal, the new US commander in the country, due to be handed to Barack Obama tomorrow.
Support our troops! Write, call, e-mail, fax or whatever your favorite method of contact is, and tell them that we SHOULD NOT SEND OUR TROOPS TO WAR WITHOUT A CLEAR EXIT STRATEGY AND PLAN FOR VICTORY IN AFGHANISTAN. Various links from around the GWOT:
1.) Capt. Mark McDowell-F-14 pilot-died in Afghanistan crash:
2.) Saving lives at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan:
3.) Horrific wounds being suffered by NATO troops in Afghanistan. If we are not in this war with a plan for victory we should not be there. Also, there has to be a way to kill the enemy who is planting these bombs and send a message: DO NOT SET ROADSIDE BOMBS. The doctor does state that the Taliban are just normal people, and I take from the story they are not arrested, they are let go!
Why even have a war? I wonder what “normal” people set roadside bombs which cause “horrific” injuries?
Link and from the story:
The Royal Navy surgeon, who has completed three tours of Iraq and two in Afghanistan, says the injuries now being sustained by the troops are “horrific”.
“We treat the Taliban as well, if required. The Taliban are just normal people. Many of them are grateful, many are scared. I don’t know what they have been told [about] what might happen in one of our hospitals but we treat every patient the same and to the best of our abilities and I think they are surprised that they get such treatment, and I hope they take that message with them.”
4.) I don’t agree with this policy at all. I say we send troops to war to win. I believe U.S. troops should be the FIRST priority of those who lead them such as Adm. Mullen who says they are NOT paramount, that Afghan civilians are, and here in this story Gen. McChrystal gives his own version of how the Afghan civilians are #1 and not the troops he leads.
Why aren’t the families #1 to Gen. McChrystal, who have to read day after day that their soldier or Marine means nothing, is not paramount, and are not #1 to the military brass. It is shameful in my opinion for a general or admiral to say that their troops are not #1. How can they win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people if they do not win the hearts and minds of American military families?
If there is no victory, and all we are doing is letting the enemy escape, then bring our troops home. Let the Afghan Army and police handle it. But, this general will go along with this theory as the war is not a war to win, but has turned political. As long as the American public will tolerate horrific injuries and deaths of U.S. troops they will let this general keep working on his experiment. As soon as the public rises up, the experiment will stop. The troops will come home, or they will let them fight and use AIR STRIKES too. I am dismayed though that so many troops will have to die and be maimed with this policy which makes the war UNFIGHTABLE AND UNWINNABLE due to restricted rules of engagement.
I truly believe the Command College, Quantico, the Pentagon, the State Department, and any other type department should put up a shingle which states: CLOSED-OUT TO WAR. Then all the generals and State Dept. employees who want to drink tea with the Taliban, coddle terrorists, eat goat, and pass out Jolly Ranchers, can be put in FORWARD positions. What better way to learn about a war than to be in a war? There should be: Command College-Forward, Quantico-Forward, State Department-Forward, etc.
They can all try the tea drinking experiments FIRST before sending American enlisted troops. They should go into the villages and live with the villagers in the outposts. The doctor in the previous said the Taliban are just “normal” people. It would be excellent then, to send the generals and Command College and those who want to move up to live with these “normal” people.
When they have won the hearts and minds of the villagers, they can come home, or stay and develop the village.
The Commander in Chief said the goal in Afghanistan is not necessarily victory. In that case, American troops should not be here, other than the generals and those from the Command College in their FORWARD positions. Same with the State Department, should be State Department-Forward.
Isn’t giving any aid to the enemy treason or the act of a traitor? I am just asking? If it HELPS the enemy, isn’t that aiding the enemy and could lead to US deaths? Who wants to sacrifice their son or daughter if McChrystal’s policy helps the Taliban?
U.S. commander: Afghan civilians are top priority
Mission must change to focus on protecting them, he says, even if it helps Taliban in short run
U.S. TROOPS SHOULD NOT DIE FOR DEFEAT.
5.) Review of policy in Afghanistan from Far East Economic Review:
6.) Newsweek seems to have “stolen” a bit of my headline! America’s new “nightmare” they say! It is time we treated this like a war against a ruthless enemy instead of like a State Department mission to pass out candy to children. Link:
It’s Sunday in America and as citizens of a free society we can attend the church of our choice. For being Christians we are not executed such as I read in a news report happened to a lady in North Korea for distributing a Holy Bible.
We can attend church, pray for victory in Afghanistan for American troops, go out and eat, or eat at home, in either case, fried chicken comes to mind, then sit back and watch TV, go to a park and walk, go for a swim at a local pool, or pretty much, relax and enjoy the day.
While we enjoy our Sunday in America, our U.S. Marines, and other troops fight against a ruthless enemy, with rules of engagement so restricted by our leaders, that it seems like it is Vietnam all over again, fighting with our hands tied behind our back.
God bless our troops in Afghanistan and around the world as they fight the Global War on Terror to keep America free. God bless these troops for the liberty we enjoy today.
Pray that despite all odds, the Taliban in their ruthless attacks, and from our own political and military leaders who issue orders which make victory seem like it is not what we are fighting for, American Marines secure victory in Afghanistan. Despite all the odds, pray for victory and safety for American troops. Links:
1.) The US should have a plan for victory in Afghanistan:
2.) Election will be difficult during the middle of a war in Afghanistan:
3.) Contractor considered for guarding bases in Afghanistan:
4.) Oliver North comments on Afghanistan war:
5.) Pentagon and civilians in Afghan war:
6.) Now the enemy is referred to as “folks”. This story describes how the “folks” escaped.
Well, isn’t that the plan of Gen. McChrystal who said the enemy should escape if even the possibility of returning fire or an air strike would kill a civilian?
Adm. Mullen said Afghan civilians were PARAMOUNT rather than US troops. There has to be a plan for VICTORY. The enemy should not be allowed to escape, they could return to kill Americans, allied troops, or even Afghan civilians!
I am sending this to my representative and senators and would like to know why our drones that our tax dollars pay for, spy satellite photos, and even recon Marines were not used to view these villages and make sure the enemy, or the “folks” as one officer refers to them as, were not allowed to escape?
Why wasn’t this in the plan? Is it because they let them to escape to avoid an investigation if they called in an air strike? Who allowed them to escape? Who did not plan for the mission? Who has been demoted for this?
Have the enemy, or “folks” who escaped killed Americans since the genarals and Commander in Chief gave the go-ahead for this plan?
Where is the court of inquiry? It should focus on which generals gave the OK for this mission and see if it is considered dereliction of duty under military law. These are supposed to be highly trained American generals, who have gone to “finishing school” as the Wall Street Journal called it this weekend at the Command-type colleges and even to the Council on Foreign Relations.
Maybe they should have been at Council on Foreign Relations-Forward and Command College-Forward to learn how to fight the war in Afghanistan.
These generals and their hand-picked officers are those who are in charge of training Afghan troops and police. If they didn’t even plan properly for this mission, how can they train the Afghan police and Army, especially if the Afghans they are to train know of the incompetence shown in this mission by letting the enemy, pardon me, the “folks” escape?
How can they trust our training if we let the enemy escape on this supposedly important mission? Training the Afghan police and Army is supposed to be the centerpiece of our exit strategy. How much has this operation which is portrayed in the press as being bungled, set back our plans to turn over the country to the Afghan police and Army we trained?
If there is no plan for VICTORY then the Marines should be removed and replaced with the State Department, Command College-Forward, Quantico-Forward, Council on Foreign Relations-Forward, the Peace Corps, and the Afghan Army and police, among others.
How can US troops be sent to war, and on missions in which they risk their lives if there is no plan for victory?
Link and from the story:
From the story:
Marine commanders acknowledge that they could have focused more on cutting off escape routes early in the operation, an issue that often dogged offensives against insurgents in Iraq.
“I wish we had trapped a few more folks,” the commander of First Battalion, Fifth Marines, Lt. Col. William F. McCollough, told the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who visited Nawa. “I expected there to be more fighting.”
7.) Gun battle in Khost, SE Afghanistan, Envoy Holbrook in Afghanistan; discusses ballot boxes and election in a war zone on Aug. 20, 2009. As an aside, I have noted many time the press states that Karzai is “expected” to win. This seems to be the opposite of what villagers say and even the Taliban spokesman who say the Karzai government is corrupt. Even the Western press has noted the corruption of the Karzai government, so it just seems odd the press reports he is “expected” to win! Link:
8.) NY Times op-ed: The Losers Hang On:
President Obama has sent a troop surge to Afghanistan but tells ABC News that he does not necessarily want this to result in victory. I believe the purpose of going to war is to win the war. If the Commander-in-Chief is not in it for VICTORY, then the troops should come home. The restricted rules of engagement the US troops work under make the war unfightable and unwinnable. Various links from around the GWOT:
1.) Marine Lance Corporal Dominic Davila has his right leg blown off in Afghansitan, among other injuries, such as a broken left ankle. His family has to try and raise money to get them to Maryland to see him. Others in his unit were killed. Link: (pray for the Marine and his family)-e mail the reporter to get mailing address to send donations.
2.) Hillary Clinton and North Korea exchange:
3.) Iraq to Afghanistan: Wars not going on as planned:
4.) Staff Sgt. Jared Monti: Posthumously to earn Medal of Honor: the first link has a heart breaking note from his mother. I believe if we send our “boys” over her to fight, we must have a plan for victory, and honor those who died and their families. God bless the Monti family and all who loved him. Thank God our nation is blessed with such men.
5.) Blogger’s roundtable from the DoD:
6.) Taliban desperate for money:
7.) Marines in battle not allowed to call in air strike. This is not how the USA should treat our Marines. The Marines life and limbs should be paramount. I e mailed my representative and senators just now about this. Link:
8.) Marine corporal falls in Afghanistan. Also a story about a sgt. who died too. Links:
9.) Support for Afghanistan War falling. Pres. Obama said yesterday victory is not necessarily the reason we fight. If there is no plan for victory, why send our troops to be killed and maimed? U.S. troops should not die for defeat. Link:
10.) Soldiers ask questions of Gates:
11.) Sec Gates repeated McChrystal ’ s comments: said the measure of success in Afghanistan is not by the number of Taliban killed, but by the number of Afghan civilians protected. I wrotemy res and said: Please send me a weekly report of how many civilians were protected so I can judge as a taxpayer if there is success in Afghanistan. I also told them I want a report on the # of enemy killed and # of Americans killed and injured. They should be able to do that. It is just 4 numbers; #1 to judge success they said: (could put link at their web site: title: Judge for yourself: success in Afghanistan)
1.) Number of Afg. civilians protected (Gen. McChrystal & Sec. Gates said this will determine if we are successful, # protected.
2.) Number of enemy killed
3.) Number of American deaths
4.) Number of American injured
Gates also said he ordered 22,000 NEW U.S. Army soldiers. I wrote my senators and representative: What good will it do to send more troops that can’t shoot? (or call in airstrikes?) (see above story at #9.) I asked this with above questions via fax.
Link-LA Time Editorial: