Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war

As the nation focuses on Sen. John McCain’s choice of running mate, President Bush has quietly moved to expand the reach of presidential power by ensuring that America remains in a state of permanent war.

Read moreBush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war

Rockets, guile and the lessons of history: the Taleban besiege Kabul

The lorry drivers who bring the Pepsi and petrol for Nato troops in Kabul have their own way of calculating the Taleban’s progress towards the Afghan capital: they simply count the lorries destroyed on the main roads.

By that measure, and many others, this looks increasingly like a city under siege as the Taleban start to disrupt supply routes, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviets two decades ago.

Read moreRockets, guile and the lessons of history: the Taleban besiege Kabul

U.S. debates going after militants in Pakistan

WASHINGTON — The ongoing disarray among Pakistan’s new civilian leadership, including its refusal to accept a U.S. military training mission for the Pakistani army, has led to intense frustration within the Pentagon and reignited a debate over whether the U.S. should act on its own against extremists operating in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal regions.

Read moreU.S. debates going after militants in Pakistan

Taliban kill 14, declare “open war” in Pakistan

The Seattle Times has removed the article but the printer friendly version still works.
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PESHAWAR, Pakistan – In retaliation for Pakistan’s aggressive air assault on the tribal region this week, the Taliban declared “open war” and bombed a minibus Tuesday carrying 18 Pakistani air-force personnel on a major road in Peshawar. Up to 14 people were killed.

Read moreTaliban kill 14, declare “open war” in Pakistan

CENTCOM’s Master Plan and U.S. Global Hegemony

Many people deny that the U.S. government presides over a global empire. If you speak of U.S. imperialism, they will fancy that you must be a decrepit Marxist-Leninist who has recently awakened after spending decades in a coma. Yet the facts cannot be denied, however much people’s ideology may predispose them to distort or obfuscate those facts.

How can a government that maintains more than 800 military facilities in more than 140 different foreign countries be anything other than an imperial power? The hundreds of thousands of troops who operate those bases and conduct operations from them, not to mention the approximately 125,000 sailors and Marines aboard the U.S. warships that cruise the oceans, are not going door to door selling Girl Scout cookies. United States of America is the name; intimidation is the game.

Read moreCENTCOM’s Master Plan and U.S. Global Hegemony

Nine Americans were killed, deadliest incident for U.S. forces in 3 years

KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S. troops abandoned a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan where militants killed nine of their comrades this week, officials said Wednesday, in another sign of the struggle facing foreign and Afghan security forces strung out along the mountainous border.

Elsewhere in the frontier region, NATO launched artillery and helicopter strikes in Pakistan after coming under insurgent rocket fire, officials said.

The violence is another indication of the growing strength of the Taliban-led insurgency, especially in Afghanistan’s east, where the outpost near the village of Wanat was breached by militants on Sunday. Nine Americans were killed in the deadliest incident for U.S. forces in three years.

Read moreNine Americans were killed, deadliest incident for U.S. forces in 3 years

Afghan Warlords, Formerly Backed By the CIA, Now Turn Their Guns On U.S. Troops

They defeated the Soviets with Washington’s help, but now they attack Americans as the new occupiers

KABUL – The war in Afghanistan reached a wrenching milestone this summer: For the second month in a row, U.S. and coalition troop deaths in the country surpassed casualties in Iraq. This is driven in large part, U.S. officials point out, by simple cause and effect. Marines flowed into southern Afghanistan earlier this year to rout firmly entrenched Taliban fighters, prompting a spike in combat in territory where NATO forces previously didn’t have the manpower to send troops. “We’re doing something we haven’t done in seven years, which is go after the Taliban where they’re living,” says a U.S. official.

But amid a well-coordinated assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and large-scale bombings last week in the capitals of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. forces are keenly aware that they are facing an increasingly complex enemy here-what U.S. military officials now call a syndicate-composed not only of Taliban fighters but also powerful warlords who were once on the payroll of the Central Intelligence Agency. “You could almost describe the insurgency as having two branches,” says a senior U.S. military official here. “It’s the Taliban in the south and a ‘rainbow coalition’ in the east.”

Indeed, along with a smattering of Afghan tribal groups, Pakistani extremists, and drug kingpins, two of the most dangerous players are violent Afghan Islamists named Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani, according to U.S. officials. In recent weeks, Hekmatyar has called upon Pakistani militants to attack U.S. targets, while the Haqqani network is blamed for three large vehicle bombings, along with the attempted assassination of Karzai in April.

Ironically, these two warlords-currently at the top of America’s list of most wanted men in Afghanistan-were once among America’s most valued allies. In the 1980s, the CIA funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and ammunition to help them battle the Soviet Army during its occupation of Afghanistan. Hekmatyar, then widely considered by Washington to be a reliable anti-Soviet rebel, was even flown to the United States by the CIA in 1985.

Read moreAfghan Warlords, Formerly Backed By the CIA, Now Turn Their Guns On U.S. Troops

Half of all British servicemen say they want to quit

Bearing brunt of two wars is hurting family life


The research involved more than 24,000 military personnel

Britain’s ability to sustain campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan was called into question last night as it emerged that almost half of all military personnel are ready to quit.

The first survey to assess attitudes across the Armed Forces reveals unprecedented levels of concern over equipment, morale and pay.

The research was conducted by the Ministry of Defence and involved more than 24,000 military personnel.

It found that the sense of overcommitment means that 47 per cent of soldiers and army officers think regularly of handing in their resignations.

Patrick Mercer, Conservative MP for Newark and a former commanding officer, said that the findings reflected the duress under which military personnel were operating. “I think the tempo of operations has produced such a level of stress on the families that it is no wonder so many are thinking of leaving,” he said.

Read moreHalf of all British servicemen say they want to quit

Situation in Pakistan spinning out of control: Stratfor

* Intelligence service claims Musharraf’s regime has been replaced by a civil-military hybrid
* Country is being torn apart by extremism

WASHINGTON: The use of suicide bombings has allowed religiously radical forces to reach beyond their NWFP strongholds and strike with impunity at the core of Pakistan, including urban centres, and as it is, things are spinning out of control, according to a commentary released on Monday by Stratfor.

The Texas-based news intelligence service notes that along with the rapidly deteriorating security situation, political instability has only grown after the elections, which failed to quell the political unrest that severely weakened not only President Pervez Musharraf’s hold on power but also that of the army.

Civil-military hybrid: “Musharraf’s regime has been replaced by a civil-military hybrid which lacks the willingness and/or the ability to take on the threat posed by extremism and militancy. The fact is that the civilian government and the country’s military establishment appear to be losing control of the situation,” the analysis maintains.

Read moreSituation in Pakistan spinning out of control: Stratfor

NATO, US forces suffer deadliest month in Afghanistan

June was the deadliest month for foreign troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 fall of the Taliban and the second in a row in which casualties exceeded those in Iraq, official figures showed Tuesday.

Forty-nine soldiers from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the separate US-led coalition died in combat, attacks or accidents in June, according to an AFP tally based on military statements.

June accounted for more than 40 percent of the 122 deaths of foreign soldiers in Afghanistan during 2008, according to the independent website icasualties.org.

Most were killed by roadside bombs hitting their convoys or patrols.

ISAF spokesman General Carlos Branco said the figures should be seen in the context of rising numbers of international forces fighting a resurgent Taliban militia.

Read moreNATO, US forces suffer deadliest month in Afghanistan

Taleban ‘siege’ of Peshawar threatens Pakistan’s grip

Pakistan’s battle against the Taleban threatened to spiral out of control yesterday after Islamic militants extended their grip in the lawless North West Frontier region.

Emboldened by an increasingly weakened and demoralised security force, Taleban fighters moved in to the outskirts of the provincial capital. Peshawar, surrounding the city and placing it virtually under siege.

Army troops have increased patrols in the garrison areas and paramilitary soldiers carrying machineguns are posted at government buildings. But senior security officials said that militants, who now control the region’s main arterial roads, were in a position to cut off communications at will.

Police on the city’s outskirts have long given up patrolling at night for fear of attacks by militants, who are organised under the banner of Tehrik-e-Taleban, the group led by the notorious commander Baitullah Mehsud. Several officers have been killed in rocket attacks on police posts in recent months. “It is a highly alarming situation,” said a senior provincial government official.

The Taleban raided the main government hospital in the heart of the city last week, kidnapping 16 Christians and taking them to the Khyber Agency tribal region outside Peshawar. Although they were freed after a few hours, the incident heightened fears among non-Muslims.

The Khyber Agency, the supply route for Nato forces in Afghanistan, has emerged as the new centre of Taleban activity. Ambushes on convoys have become more frequent.

Read moreTaleban ‘siege’ of Peshawar threatens Pakistan’s grip

The Coming Catastrophe?

Global Research Editor’s note

We bring to the attention of our readers David DeBatto’s scenario as to what might occur if one of the several contingency plans to attack Iran, with the participation of Israel and NATO, were to be carried out. While one may disagree with certain elements of detail of the author’s text, the thrust of this analysis must be taken seriously.

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By David DeBatto

David DeBatto is a former U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent, Iraqi war veteran and co-author the “CI” series from Warner Books and the upcoming “Counter to Intelligence” from Praeger Security International.

The finishing touches on several contingency plans for attacking Iran

“Israel has said a strike on Iran will be “unavoidable” if the Islamic regime continues to press ahead with alleged plans for building an atom-bomb.” (London Daily Telegraph, 6/11/2008)

“Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany joined President Bush on Wednesday in calling for further sanctions against Iran if it does not suspend its uranium enrichment program.” Mr. Bush stressed again that “all options are on the table,” which would include military force. (New York Times, 6/11/2008)

We are fast approaching the final six months of the Bush administration. The quagmire in Iraq is in its sixth painful year with no real end in sight and the forgotten war in Afghanistan is well into its seventh year. The “dead enders” and other armed factions are still alive and well in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan again controls most of that country. Gas prices have now reached an average of $4.00 a gallon nationally and several analysts predict the price will rise to $5.00-$6.00 dollars per gallon at the pump by Labor Day. This, despite assurances by some major supporters of the decision to invade Iraq that the Iraq war “will pay for itself” (Paul Wolfowitz) or that we will see “$20.00 per barrel” oil prices if we invade Iraq (Rupert Murdoch).

One thing the Pentagon routinely does (and does very well) is conduct war games. Top brass there are constantly developing strategies for conducting any number of theoretical missions based on real or perceived threats to our national security or vital interests. This was also done prior to the invasion of Iraq, but the Bush administration chose not to listen to the dire warnings about that mission given to him by Pentagon leaders, or for that matter, by his own senior intelligence officials. Nevertheless, war gaming is in full swing again right now with the bullseye just to the right of our current mess – Iran.

It’s no secret that the U.S. is currently putting the finishing touches on several contingency plans for attacking Iranian nuclear and military facilities. With our ground forces stretched to the breaking point in Iraq and Afghanistan, none of the most likely scenarios involve a ground invasion. Not that this administration wouldn’t prefer to march into the seat of Shiite Islam behind a solid, moving line of M1 Abrams tanks and proclaim the country for democracy. The fact is that even the President knows we can’t pull that off any more so he and the neo-cons will have to settle for Shock and Awe Lite.

If we invade Iran this year it will be done using hundreds of sorties by carrier based aircraft already stationed in the Persian Gulf and from land based aircraft located in Iraq and Qatar. They will strike the known nuclear facilities located in and around Tehran and the rest of the country as well as bases containing major units of the Iranian military, anti-aircraft installations and units of the Revolutionary Guard (a separate and potent Iranian para-military organization).

Will this military action stop Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons? Probably not. It will probably not even destroy all of their nuclear research facilities, the most sensitive of which are known to be underground, protected by tons of earth and reinforced concrete and steel designed to survive almost all attacks using conventional munitions. The Iranian military and Revolutionary Guard will most likely survive as well, although they will suffer significant casualties and major bases and command centers will undoubtedly be destroyed. However, since Iran has both a functioning Air Force, Navy (including submarines) and modern anti-aircraft capabilities, U.S. fighter-bombers will suffer casualties as well. This will not be a “Cake Walk” as with the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003 when the Iraqi Army simply melted away and the Iraqi Air Force never even launched a single aircraft.

Not even close.

If the United States attacks Iran either this summer or this fall, the American people had better be prepared for a shock that may perhaps be even greater to the national psyche (and economy) than 9/11. First of all, there will be significant U.S. casualties in the initial invasion. American jets will be shot down and the American pilots who are not killed will be taken prisoner – including female pilots. Iranian Yakhonts 26, Sunburn 22 and Exocet missiles will seek out and strike U.S. naval battle groups bottled up in the narrow waters of the Persian Gulf with very deadly results. American sailors will be killed and U.S. ships will be badly damaged and perhaps sunk. We may even witness the first attack on an American Aircraft carrier since World War II.

That’s just the opening act.

Israel (who had thus far stayed out of the fray by letting the U.S. military do the heavy lifting) is attacked by Hezbollah in a coordinated and large scale effort. Widespread and grisly casualties effectively paralyze the nation, a notion once thought impossible. Iran’s newest ally in the region, Syria, then unleashes a barrage of over 200 Scud B, C and D missiles at Israel, each armed with VX gas. Since all of Israel is within range of these Russian built weapons, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and virtually all major civilian centers and several military bases are struck, often with a result of massive casualties.

The Israeli Air Force orders all three squadrons of their F-16I Sufa fighter/bombers into the air with orders to bomb Tehran and as many military and nuclear bases as they can before they are either shot down or run out of fuel. It is a one way trip for some of these pilots. Their ancient homeland lies in ruins. Many have family that is already dead or dying. They do not wait for permission from Washington, DC or U.S. regional military commanders. The Israeli aircraft are carrying the majority of their country’s nuclear arsenal under their wings.

Just after the first waves of U.S. bombers cross into Iranian airspace, the Iranian Navy, using shore based missiles and small, fast attack craft sinks several oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, sealing off the Persian Gulf and all its oil from the rest of the world. They then mine the area, making it difficult and even deadly for American minesweepers to clear the straits. Whatever is left of the Iranian Navy and Air Force harasses our Navy as it attempts minesweeping operations. More U.S casualties.

The day after the invasion Wall Street (and to a lesser extent, Tokyo, London and Frankfurt) acts as it always does in an international crisis – irrational speculative and spot buying reaches fever pitch and sends the cost of oil skyrocketing. In the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iran, the price of oil goes to $200.00 – $300.00 dollars a barrel on the open market. If the war is not resolved in a few weeks, that price could rise even higher.  This will send the price of gasoline at the pump in this country to $8.00-$10.00 per gallon immediately and subsequently to even higher unthinkable levels.

If that happens, this country shuts down. Most Americans are not be able to afford gas to go to work. Truckers pull their big rigs to the side of the road and simply walk away. Food, medicine and other critical products are not be brought to stores. Gas and electricity (what is left of the short supply) are too expensive for most people to afford. Children, the sick and elderly die from lack of air-conditioned homes and hospitals in the summer. Children, the sick and elderly die in the winter for lack of heat. There are food riots across the country. A barter system takes the place of currency and credit as the economy dissolves and banks close or limit withdrawals. Civil unrest builds.

The police are unable to contain the violence and are themselves victims of the same crisis as the rest of the population. Civilian rule dissolves and Martial Law is declared under provisions approved under the Patriot Act. Regular U.S. Army and Marine troops patrol the streets. The federal government apparatus is moved to an unknown but secure location. The United States descends into chaos and becomes a third world country. Its time as the lone superpower is over.

It doesn’t get any worse than this.

Then the first Israeli bomber drops its nuclear payload on Tehran.

Source: Global Research

US role in Afghan prison attack



US-led forces have played a part in a Taliban attack on an Afghanistan prison that set hundreds of militants free, some reports speculate.

Experts in regional affairs believe that Taliban militants attacked the Kandahar prison with the green light from US forces.

They say it is questionable – how could the militants dare attack the prison with US-led troops stationed just northeast of the jail?

The sources also noted that although clashes between Afghan security forces and the militants lasted for several hours, US-led troops did not intervene.

Ordinary people share the idea, asking how is it possible that hundreds of militants could attack a government prison, detonating more than 800 kilograms of explosives and foreign forces show no reaction.

They say the blasts were deafening and awakened everyone in the region. No one can claim not being aware of the attack.

“There are two opinions among Afghans following up the attack; non-political individuals say the Taliban managed to attack the prison with the help of God, while those more political believe that US forces helped them,” Ahmad Saadat, a political expert, said.

Read moreUS role in Afghan prison attack

Militants attack Afghan prison, free hundreds of inmates

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Taliban militants staged a brazen bomb and rocket attack on the main prison in southern Afghanistan today, blowing down the gate and helping hundreds of suspected insurgents flee, officials said. Many police officers were reported killed.

The complex attack included a truck bombing at the main gate, a suicide bomber who struck a back wall and rockets fired from outside, setting of a series of explosions that rattled Kandahar, the country’s second biggest city.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said 30 insurgents on motorbikes and two suicide bombers attacked Sarposa Prison and freed about 400 Taliban members.

Abdul Qabir, chief of the Sarposa Prison, also said hundreds of prisoners escaped, but did not provide an exact figure. He said some inmates stayed at the jail, which also held criminals.

Wali Karzai, the brother of President Hamid Karzai who is president of Kandahar’s provincial council, said the prison held about 350 suspected Taliban fighters.

He said “all” the prisoners escaped, but also had no specific number. “There is no one left,” he said.

Kandahar was the Taliban’s former stronghold and its province has been the scene of fierce fighting the past two years between insurgents and NATO troops, primarily from Canada and the United States.

The prison attack came just a few hours after Defense Secretary Robert Gates told his counterparts in Europe that NATO members need to bolster their military effort in Afghanistan, where violence has been escalating.

Dramatizing his report, Gates said that for the first time, American and allied combat deaths in Afghanistan last month had exceeded the toll in Iraq.

Qabir, the prison warden, said the assault began when a tanker truck full of explosives detonated at the prison’s main entrance, wrecking the gate and a police post, killing all the officers inside. He couldn’t say how many police were killed.

Read moreMilitants attack Afghan prison, free hundreds of inmates

Pakistan condemns “cowardly” U.S. attack; 11 dead

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan said on Wednesday an “unprovoked and cowardly” air strike by U.S. forces had killed 11 Pakistani soldiers on its border with Afghanistan and undermined the basis of security cooperation.

The soldiers were killed at a border post in the Mohmand region, opposite Afghanistan’s Kunar province, late on Tuesday as U.S. coalition forces in Afghanistan battled militants attacking from Pakistan, a Pakistani security official said.

The U.S. military said in a statement issued on Wednesday that it had coordinated the artillery and air strike with Pakistan, but was investigating further.

The incident came as frustration is rising in Kabul and among Western forces in Afghanistan over Pakistani efforts to negotiate pacts to end militant violence on its side of the border. NATO says such deals lead to more violence in Afghanistan.

In its strongest criticism of the U.S. military since joining the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism, the Pakistani military condemned the killing of the 11 paramilitary soldiers, including an officer. If confirmed, it would be the most Pakistani soldiers ever killed in an attack by U.S. forces.

The attack “hit at the very basis of cooperation and sacrifice with which Pakistani soldiers are supporting the coalition in the war against terror,” the military said.

“Such acts of aggression do not serve the common cause of fighting terrorism,” it said in a statement.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also condemned the attack.

“We will take a stand for sovereignty, integrity and self-respect and we will not allow our soil (to be attacked),” he told parliament.

Read morePakistan condemns “cowardly” U.S. attack; 11 dead

Taliban capture Afghan district

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Taliban fighters have captured a remote district in central Afghanistan, taking prisoner the police and administration chiefs, officials and the Taliban have said.

The fighters attacked the district of Rashidan in the central province of Ghazni in a night attack, the provincial governor and a Taliban spokesman told the AFP news agency on Friday.

“Last night, Taliban attacked Rashidan district and it fell,” Jan Mohammad Mujahed, a provincial police chief, said.

Mujahed said the plight of the seized officials was unknown.

‘Under control’

Zabihullah Mujahed, a spokesman for the Taliban, confirmed the fighters were in control and said the district chief, acting police chief and eight policemen had been taken prisoner.

“They are alive and we have captured them. The district is totally under our control,” he said.

Rashidan is a small district about 120km southwest of Kabul.

Teresa Bo, reporting for Al Jazeera in Afghanistan, said Ghazni – located along a major highway from Kabul, the capital, to the south – is one of the most complicated areas where fighting between Afghan, US and Taliban forces takes place almost everyday.

She said the Taliban hold power in strategic locations, adding: “Some of the police officers working here say they are afraid they will be the next target.

“Security is one of the major concerns for every one in the area; the soldiers know they can be attacked any minute.”

Vicious circle

Bo said a vicious cricle of violence continues as the Taliban fight for the control of the country and the US-led coaliton struggles between re-construction and war.

The Taliban, in government between 1996 and 2001, last year overran several districts in remote parts of Afghanistan, but in most cases were ejected by government troops and soldiers attached to Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) and a separate US-led military coalition are fighting Taliban militants.

Taliban officials say they control a handful of districts, mostly in the south of the country.

Nato military force officials said in December that the Taliban held not more than five districts.

May 30, 2008

Source: ALJAZEERA

U.S. Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan

Some detainees have been held without charge for more than five years, officials said. As of April, about 10 juveniles were being held at Bagram, according to a recent American report to a United Nations committee.
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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to build a new, 40-acre detention complex on the main American military base in Afghanistan, officials said, in a stark acknowledgment that the United States is likely to continue to hold prisoners overseas for years to come.

The proposed detention center would replace the cavernous, makeshift American prison on the Bagram military base north of Kabul, which is now typically packed with about 630 prisoners, compared with the 270 held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Until now, the Bush administration had signaled that it intended to scale back American involvement in detention operations in Afghanistan. It had planned to transfer a large majority of the prisoners to Afghan custody, in an American-financed, high-security prison outside Kabul to be guarded by Afghan soldiers.

But American officials now concede that the new Afghan-run prison cannot absorb all the Afghans now detained by the United States, much less the waves of new prisoners from the escalating fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The proposal for a new American prison at Bagram underscores the daunting scope and persistence of the United States military’s detention problem, at a time when Bush administration officials continue to say they want to close down the facility at Guantánamo Bay.

Military officials have long been aware of serious problems with the existing detention center in Afghanistan, the Bagram Theater Internment Facility. After the prison was set up in early 2002, it became a primary site for screening prisoners captured in the fighting. Harsh interrogation methods and sleep deprivation were used widely, and two Afghan detainees died there in December 2002, after being repeatedly struck by American soldiers.

Read moreU.S. Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan

Pentagon Targeted Iran for Regime Change after 9/11

WASHINGTON, May 5 (IPS) – Three weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, former U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions.

Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.

Feith’s book, “War and Decision”, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W. Bush on Sep. 30, 2001 calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing “new regimes” in a series of states by “aiding local peoples to rid themselves of terrorists and to free themselves of regimes that support terrorism.”

In quoting from that document, Feith deletes the names of all of the states to be targeted except Afghanistan, inserting the phrase “some other states” in brackets. In a facsimile of a page from a related Pentagon “campaign plan” document, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein regimes are listed as “state regimes” against which “plans and operations” might be mounted, but the names of four other states are blacked out “for security reasons”.

Gen. Wesley Clark, who commanded the NATO bombing campaign in the Kosovo War, recalls in his 2003 book “Winning Modern Wars” being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia.

Clark writes that the list also included Lebanon. Feith reveals that Rumsfeld’s paper called for getting “Syria out of Lebanon” as a major goal of U.S. policy.

When this writer asked Feith after a recent public appearance which countries’ names were deleted from the documents, he cited security reasons for the deletion. But when he was asked which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, “All of them.”

Read morePentagon Targeted Iran for Regime Change after 9/11

Marines ignore Taliban cash crop to not upset Afghan locals

The Marines of Bravo Company’s 1st Platoon sleep beside a grove of poppies. Troops in the 2nd Platoon playfully swat at the heavy opium bulbs while walking through the fields. Afghan laborers scraping the plant’s gooey resin smile and wave.

Last week, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit moved into southern Helmand province, the world’s largest opium poppy-growing region, and now find themselves surrounded by green fields of the illegal plants that produce the main ingredient of heroin.

The Taliban, whose fighters are exchanging daily fire with the Marines in Garmser, derives up to $100 million a year from the poppy harvest by taxing farmers and charging safe passage fees — money that will buy weapons for use against U.S., NATO and Afghan troops.

Yet the Marines are not destroying the plants. In fact, they are reassuring villagers the poppies won’t be touched. American commanders say the Marines would only alienate people and drive them to take up arms if they eliminated the impoverished Afghans’ only source of income.

Many Marines in the field are scratching their heads over the situation.

Read moreMarines ignore Taliban cash crop to not upset Afghan locals

Narco aggression

“Since 2001, poppy fields, once banned by the Taliban, have mushroomed again. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Afghanistan produced 8,200 tonnes of opium last year, enough to make 93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.”

U.S. foreign intelligence official: “The CIA did almost the identical thing during the Vietnam War, which had catastrophic consequences – the increase in the heroin trade in the USA beginning in the 1970s is directly attributable to the CIA. The CIA has been complicit in the global drug trade for years, so I guess they just want to carry on their favourite business.”

Russia, facing a catastrophic rise in drug addiction, accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking from Afghanistan.


Afghan workers cutting open poppy bulbs, the first stage in the harvesting process,
in Jalalabad. Afghanistan produced 8,200 tonnes of opium last year, enough to make
93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.

COULD it be that the American military in Afghanistan is involved in drug trafficking? Yes, it is quite possible, according to Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.

Commenting on reports that the United States military transport aviation is used for shipping narcotics out of Afghanistan, the Russian envoy said there was no smoke without fire.

Read moreNarco aggression

Nato admits mistakenly supplying arms and food to Taliban

Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted.

Containers destined for local police forces were dropped from a helicopter into a Taliban-controlled area of Zabul province.

The coalition helicopter had intended to deliver pallets of supplies to a police checkpoint in Ghazni, a remote section of Zabul late last month.

By mistake they were dropped some distance from the checkpoint where it was taken by the Taliban, the Internal Security Affairs Commission of the Wolesi Jirga – the Afghan parliament’s lower house – was told.

Hamidullah Tukhi, a local politician from Zabul, told the parliamentary commission that the consignment had been taken by a local Taliban commander.

A Nato spokesman said the pallets were carrying rocket propelled grenades, ammunition, water and food.

Afghan politicians have said they do not believe the drop was an accident.

Read moreNato admits mistakenly supplying arms and food to Taliban

Petraeus Testimony Next Week Will Signal Iran Attack

By Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law, is forthcoming from Random House in March, 2008.

06/04/08 “ICH’ — – April 5, 2008. Today the London Telegraph reported that “British officials gave warning yesterday that America’s commander in Iraq will declare that Iran is waging war against the US-backed Baghdad government. A strong statement from General David Petraeus about Iran’s intervention in Iraq could set the stage for a US attack on Iranian militiary facilities, according to a Whitehall assessment.”

The neocon lacky Petraeus has had his script written for him by Cheney, and Petraeus together with neocon warmonger Ryan Crocker, the US governor of the Green Zone in Baghdad, will present Congress next Tuesday and Wednesday with the lies, for which the road has been well paved by neocon propagandists such as Kimberly Kagan, that “the US must recognize that Iran is engaged in a full-up proxy war against it in Iraq.”

Don’t expect Congress to do anything except to egg on the attack. On April 3 the International Herald Tribune reported that senators and representatives have made millions of dollars from their investments in defense companies totaling $196 million. Rep. Ike Skelton, the Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is already on board with the attack on Iran. The London Telegraph quotes Skelton: “Iran is the bull in the china shop. In all of this, they seem to have links to all of the Shi’ite groups, whether they be political or military.”

Read morePetraeus Testimony Next Week Will Signal Iran Attack

2003 torture memo released by Pentagon – NOW

Justice Department document said Bush could ignore torture bans

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon on Tuesday released a now-defunct legal memo that approved the use of harsh interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects, saying that President Bush’s authority during wartime trumps any international ban on torture.

The Justice Department memo, dated March 14, 2003, outlines legal justification for military interrogators to use harsh tactics against al-Qaida and Taliban detainees overseas – so long as they did not specifically intend to torture their captors.

Even so, the memo noted, the president’s wartime power as commander in chief would not be limited by the U.N. treaties against torture.

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Hayden: White Boy al-Qaeda on the Rise

“Al-Qaeda, in its haven in western Pakistan, is training operatives who are ‘western’ in appearance, making it easier for them to get past U.S. airport security, Central Intelligence Director Michael Hayden said,” reports Bloomberg.

Does anybody who looks “western” have an easy time getting past airport security? Mr. Hayden needs to visit an airport and see for himself — just about everybody, from grandmothers to toddlers, are under suspicion, even if they look Scandinavian. It has nothing to do with actual suspicion. It has to do with sending a message: you live in a police state now, get used to it, and if you don’t want to end up dead in a holding cell like Carol Ann Gotbaum, you’ll submit and not complain.

Of course, Mr. Hayden, as the head honcho of the CIA, is “catapulting the propaganda,” as Bush might call it. Now that al-Qaeda operatives look like stock brokers and cashiers at the local Stop ‘n Gas, we need to push ahead with the control grid, now only partially in place. Our rulers think we need to hear this kind of nonsense every few weeks, just to remind us and get us accustomed to those CCTV cameras everywhere and the NSA vacuuming up our telephone conversations and emails. It’s all to protect us from the white boy al-Qaeda.

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