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offsite link Israel Switching to Air-Launched Cruise ... Fri Jul 30, 2021 22:03 | Arie Egozi

offsite link Afghan Air Force Readiness Already Plung... Fri Jul 30, 2021 20:45 | Stephen Losey

offsite link COVID Religion Brings Back Its Holy Sacr... Fri Jul 30, 2021 18:20 | Riley Waggaman

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Human Rights in Ireland
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offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

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Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link End of Self-Isolation Rules for Fully Vaccinated Could Be Delayed Past August 16th Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:04 | Michael Curzon
The end of self-isolation rules for fully vaccinated Brits could be delayed past August 16th, the Policing Minister has suggested, saying that we will have to "wait and see" what the scientists advise.
The post End of Self-Isolation Rules for Fully Vaccinated Could Be Delayed Past August 16th appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link ?Outrageous Proposal? to Introduce Vaccine Passports Could Split Tories ?Irretrievably?, Warns Steve... Tue Jul 27, 2021 11:21 | Michael Curzon
The Government must scrap its "outrageous proposal" to introduce vaccine passports or it will risk splitting the Conservative Party "irretrievably", warns Steve Baker, the Deputy Chairman of the Covid Recovery Group.
The post “Outrageous Proposal” to Introduce Vaccine Passports Could Split Tories “Irretrievably”, Warns Steve Baker appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Was Lockdown Illegal? Tue Jul 27, 2021 09:30 | Noah Carl
Was lockdown illegal? While the High Court in London rejected Dolan?s case against the Government, lockdown opponents have won important victories in a number of countries, including France, Germany and Spain.
The post Was Lockdown Illegal? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link And Finally? Tue Jul 27, 2021 02:27 | Toby Young
In the latest episode of London Calling, Toby and James discuss the declining case numbers ? and where that leaves Neil Ferguson ? as well as why Toby won?t boo footballers taking the knee and the new season of Ted Lasso.
The post And Finally… appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Tue Jul 27, 2021 02:20 | Toby Young
A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about Covid and other areas of warranted scepticism in the past 24 hours ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link France : from colonial fantasy to disaster, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Jul 27, 2021 09:41 | en

offsite link France, against its adversaries and its allies, by Thierry Meyssan Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:36 | en

offsite link From false accusations to the real massacre, by Thierry Meyssan Wed Jul 21, 2021 09:39 | en

offsite link The nuclear race accelerates, by Manlio Dinucci Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:21 | en

offsite link Turkey sending jihadists from Idlib to Afghanistan Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:32 | en

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Afghanistan: Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace?

category international | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Wednesday December 02, 2009 23:02author by Gerard Horgan - Freelance writer Report this post to the editors

Obama's War

featured image
Bush First, Obama Second

After more than three months' deliberation, President Barack Obama has finally decided to commit more than 30,000 US troops to the Afghan war. The ‘Afghan surge’ is to be fast tracked over the next six months with a large bulk of the troops arriving before Christmas. The deployment will cost approximately $1 million dollars per soldier, per year, some $30 billion overall. This price tag is on top of the considerable costs (running into the hundreds of billions of dollars) of keeping over 100,000 US soldiers ‘in-country’, while maintaining other US global military operations as well as the on-going fiasco in Iraq. The combined deployment of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is close to 250,000 service personnel, which is augmented by the greatest number of private military contractors/mercenaries ever seen (some 100,000 in Iraq alone).

President Obama’s efforts to keep everyone on-side (with one eye on re-election in 2013) has had the effect of achieving the complete opposite. The US General in charge, Stanley McChrystal, will not get the 45,000 troops he requested but just enough troops to guarantee failure (it is doubtful that 300,000 additional US troops would make the slightest difference to the quagmire in Afghanistan). Republicans have accused Obama of dithering over the decision-making process and undermining the US military by indicating that US (and presumably NATO) forces will withdraw by 2011. Those on the left and in the peace movements will point to the troop escalation and ‘Obama’s War’ as an indication that he has failed those who believed in ‘change’. Meanwhile a recent poll indicates that 63% of Americans are against a further deployment, 51% say the war is "not worth fighting" and that ending the foreign occupation will "reduce terrorism".

Reports indicate that the Obama administration seems to think that it can recruit, train and deploy hundreds of thousands of Afghan soldiers and police who will eventually step-in as NATO forces ‘step down’. There is pressure on the bankrupt Karzai government (a president who can barely leave his Kabul compound for fear of losing his life), to achieve ‘mission impossible’. The Afghan government forces are regarded as ill-disciplined, corrupt and infiltrated by the Taleban. According to the Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill the “Afghan army has a loss rate of about 25% of its members, the bulk of whom just walk away”.

Obama is banking on his surge producing results, however, according to Robert Fisk, the Independent’s award winning Middle Eastern correspondent, instead of sending gun wielding soldiers he should have sent “doctors, teachers and engineers”. The Afghans have seen very little improvement in their day-to-day lives over the last eight years of perpetual war. NATO drone attacks, like the one that vaporised approximately 90 innocent civilians at a fuel tanker, are alienating the population. These are not isolated incidents. In September, The Guardian reported that an RAF C-130 Hercules dropped leaflets over an Afghan village; one box failed to disperse in mid-air and instead struck a young girl. An RAF spokesperson stated: “"It is a matter of deep regret that one of the boxes failed to fully open and on landing caused serious injuries to an Afghan child." The young girl later died in hospital. Johann Hari in the Independent reported that “Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, who was a counter-insurgency advisor in Iraq, commented that that US aerial attacks on the Afghan-Pakistan border have killed 14 al-Qa'ida leaders, at the expense of more than 700 civilian lives. He went onto to say: "That's a hit rate of 2 per cent on 98 per cent collateral. It's not moral."

The exact figure for the numbers of Afghan dead is not known (the US doesn’t do body-counts apparently) but it is sure to run to the many thousands. One US professor commented that prior to the outbreak of hostilities in the winter of 2001; millions of Afghans were in danger of starvation if the bombing interfered (as it did) with aid convoys from Pakistan. The killing of innocent civilians rubbishes the campaign to win the Orwellian phrased ‘battle for hearts of minds’ and instead drives hostile Afghans into the arms of the resistance, fuelling a war without end.

The wider instability the war is creating is of equal concern. Pakistan has seen a dramatic surge in violence, with suicide bombers penetrating to the heart of the government and military establishment. The immediate fear is for the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons sites. The country runs the real risk of descending into the kind of all out ‘Somali-style’ anarchy, associated with a failed state. The impact of Pakistan ceasing to function as a viable state on India, Iran and Kashmir is too enormous to contemplate.

As Obama travels to Oslo to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize, the long slow march to human destruction has been set firmly in train. Afghanistan, a mountainous and largely unforgiving land, is regarded as ‘the graveyard of empires’. Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the British Empire (which is currently engaged in its fourth Afghan War) and the Soviet Union all suffered dramatic losses and were forced into humiliating retreats. It is unlikely that it will be any different this time round.

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Lessons Learnt in Ireland, Applied in Afghanistan     irish lessons    Thu Dec 03, 2009 09:32 
   Not so Black and White     Michael Gallagher    Fri Dec 04, 2009 00:26 
   Irish involvment     Jim M    Tue Dec 08, 2009 17:27 
   Vid (1,28)-Iraq Veterans Against the War take it to the streets in Seattle     Iraq Vets    Wed Dec 09, 2009 09:30 
   Malalai Joya Among Warlords     An Afghan woman's voice....    Wed Dec 16, 2009 05:21 

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