US conservative-Afghan Taliban links

This video from the USA is called GRITtv: The F Word: Palin’s Pet Hoffman Has Taliban Ties.

From The Nation in the USA:

The F Word: Palin’s Pet Hoffman Has Taliban Ties

By: Laura Flanders

Wednesday October 28, 2009 5:08 pm

One week before Election Day, the special election to fill a vacant House seat in New York’s North Country is heating up. It’s a three-way split, pitting a Republican, a Democrat, and a Conservative against one another. It’s close.

And the conservative on the ticket has the kind of support the Democrat running against him must love.

Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman has already received the backing of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the anti-public-spending Club for Growth. On Monday he was endorsed by another beauty: Dana Rohrabacher, the senior Orange County (CA) Republican who began his career as a speechwriter for President Reagan. Said Rohrabacher “We don’t need Tweedle-Dum or Tweedle-Dee, we need Hoffman. He’s not afraid to stand up and speak the truth.”

Like Palin, Beck, Limbaugh et al, Rohrabacher’s of the belief that if Hoffman wins, it will send a message to the GOP establishment that they should run hardliners in 2010 and pitch to the Tea Party crowd on health care, government and everything else.

It’s a great endorsement — as far as Hoffman’s opponents are concerned. As special assistant to Ronald Reagan, Rohrabacher played a key role in the late 1980s getting money and arms to Muslim extremists in Afghanistan. Throughout the 90s, he lobbied shamelessly for the repressive Taliban. A November/December 1996 article in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs said, “The potential rise of power of the Taliban does not alarm Rohrabacher” because the congressman believes the “Taliban could provide stability in an area where chaos was creating a real threat to the U.S.” Nice. In April 2001, Rohrabacher met privately in Qatar with the Taliban’s foreign minister, then seeking increased aid for his country.

Rohrabacher’s railed against the evil Taliban since, but still. The man who once thought the Taliban were good for US interests now thinks Doug Hoffman will be good for his party. If the Hoffman’s opponents can’t make anything of that, they’re not trying.

Having a former Taliban funder joining the rogue’s gallery backing the Hoffman has got to make it easier for his opponents. If the Democrat, lawyer Bill Owens, ekes out a victory amid the Republican infighting he’ll be the first Democrat to win that district in 140 years.

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at and Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on

Just as the GOP candidate has for more than 100 years, Dede Scozzafava was supposed to win the congressional seat in New York’s 23rd district. Then Palin stepped in: here.

USA: Defense Share of GDP at Its Highest Level since 1993, by Dean Baker: here.

A Muslim man faces up to 14 years in prison for sending allegedly offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan: here.

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12 thoughts on “US conservative-Afghan Taliban links

  1. Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,

    Next week, five Afghanistan and Iraq War vets will travel to DC to meet with members of Congress and tell them that this war has to end — but they need your help to get there.

    These brave vets will be joined by a true Afghan hero: Malalai Joya, a Parliamentarian who has stood up to the warlords for women’s rights and is now standing up for Afghan civilians against this pointless war.

    The delegation’s focus will be on Representatives who are still undecided on the question of escalation — those who most need to hear from people who have seen the war firsthand.

    When soldiers who have served our country in combat have the courage to say that continuing the war is a mistake, Congress members take notice. When they’re standing side by side with an elected representative of the Afghan people, their message cannot be ignored.

    This is how we will stop the war in Afghanistan: by giving voices like these a mouthpiece on Capitol Hill. By bringing them face-to-face with the decision makers and telling them exactly what they need to hear.

    We need your help to make this happen. We must raise just $5,000 to make this trip possible. Your contribution will cover the travel expenses of these courageous vets who are taking time out of their lives to stop the war.

    Please give what you can to ensure that Congress hears their important message.


    Robert Greenwald, Leighton Woodhouse,
    US Veterans Jake Diliberto, Rick Reyes, Brock Mcintosh, Devon Read, Justin Thompson and the Brave New Foundation team


  2. Sources: Abdullah to pull out of Afghan runoff

    By HEIDI VOGT and EDITH M. LEDERER (AP) – 1 hour ago

    KABUL — Afghan presidential challenger Abdullah Abdullah plans to boycott next week’s runoff against incumbent Hamid Karzai following a breakdown in talks on how to fix the country’s electoral crisis, two people familiar with the discussions said.

    A boycott would severely undermine a vote intended to affirm the Afghan government’s credibility. However, an Abdullah spokesman said no final decision had been made on the candidate’s pullout, and it was possible that word of the boycott was a negotiating tactic by the Abdullah camp.

    The political stalemate in Kabul comes as President Barack Obama has been meeting with his advisers to try to determine U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, including troop levels. A weakened Afghan government will make it harder for Obama to get public support for his efforts.

    Abdullah, who was once Karzai’s foreign minister, put forward several conditions this week to avoid a repeat of the massive fraud of the August presidential election, including the replacement of the top election official and the suspension of several ministers.

    He set Saturday as the deadline for his demands to be met.

    A Westerner close to talks between the two sides said their agenda also included a power-sharing proposal by the challenger and cited both Karzai and Abdullah as saying that talks broke down Friday, prompting Abdullah to decide on a boycott of the Nov. 7 runoff.

    An Afghan figure close to Abdullah said Saturday that the boycott decision came after a contentious and fruitless meeting Thursday over Abdullah’s conditions for a runoff.

    Both spoke on condition of anonymity, saying that the announcement must come from Abdullah himself.

    The Afghan said a boycott was certain, and that Abdullah would likely tell his supporters to simply stay home during the vote.

    The Afghan constitution says that any vote cast for a candidate who withdraws will not be counted. However, it does not specifically address a candidate who does not formally withdraw but urges supporters to boycott the polls.

    A spokesman for the Afghan election commission said that it is too late for Abdullah to officially withdraw and that a boycott will not prevent the runoff from going forward.

    “The election will be held and all procedures will go as normal,” Noor Mohammad Noor said.

    A spokesman for the Abdullah campaign, Fazel Sancharaki, said no decision had been made on a boycott and that the candidate would wait until the end of Saturday to see if his demands are met before making any announcement, likely on Sunday.

    The runoff election in Afghanistan became necessary after widespread fraud in the first round of voting in August resulted in thousands of Karzai’s ballots being invalidated, pushing him below the required 50 percent margin to win. Concerns have been raised about a possible repetition of the ballot-box stuffing and distorted tallies in the second round.

    Abdullah complained Monday that there were no assurances that the November vote would be fairer than the first balloting and demanded that the head of the Karzai-appointed Independent Election Commission, Azizullah Lodin, be fired.

    Lodin has denied allegations of bias in favor of Karzai, and the election commission’s spokesman has already said Lodin cannot be replaced by either side.

    Abdullah’s conditions also include the suspension of several ministers and for more safeguards around the actual vote.

    In private discussions, Abdullah also pressed Karzai for a power-sharing agreement instead of a vote, but Karzai refused, insisting instead on a vote and then a power-sharing agreement, the Westerner close to the talks told The Associated Press.

    Karzai officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Despite the massive fraud and rejected ballots, Karzai’s vote in the first round was far higher than Abdullah’s and he is widely expected to win the runoff.

    This year’s election — the first run by Afghans since the ouster of the Taliban — was supposed to affirm the government’s credibility. Instead, the massive fraud raised questions about the Karzai administration just as U.S. officials are debating whether to send more troops.

    The Taliban, who threatened voters during the August balloting, have warned Afghans that they risk further attacks if they do not stay away from the polls next week.

    On Wednesday they targeted a U.N. guest house where 34 staff — including a number of U.N. election workers — were sleeping. Eight people were killed in the assault, five of them U.N. staff members.

    Vogt reported from Kabul, Lederer from the United Nations. Associated Press Writer Rahim Faiez contributed from Kabul.

    Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.


  3. Posted by: “bigraccoon” redwoodsaurus
    Mon Nov 2, 2009 2:37 am (PST)

    Palin wants $100.000.00 Dollars to speak

    Iowa Republicans wince at Sarah
    Palin’s $100K speaking fee


    A conservative Iowa group’s effort to lure Sarah Palin to its banquet next
    month has had an unintended effect.

    A conservative Iowa group’s effort to lure Sarah Palin to its banquet next
    month has had an unintended effect: Rather than exciting conservatives
    about the prospect of a visit from the former Alaska governor, the group’s
    plan to raise a six-figure sum to bring her to the state has GOP activists
    recoiling at the thought of paying to land a politician’s speaking

    The Iowa Family Policy Center’s effort to cobble together $100,000 for
    Palin would represent a striking departure from customary practice in the
    first-in-the-nation state, these Republicans say, noting that a generation
    White House hopefuls has paid their own way to boost their party and
    presidential ambitions.

    Were Palin to appear in Iowa on November 21st, it would mark her first trip
    back to the state since she spoke to a handful of rallies there last fall as
    the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee. She would offer powerful counter
    programming to another major political event that night: The Iowa
    Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner with Vice-President Joe
    Biden as the headliner.

    But representatives from other Iowa-based political advocacy groups said
    they would never consider shelling out money for what many politicians
    see as a privilege: the opportunity to speak to a room full of sure-fire
    caucus-goers who often serve as precinct captains and can be
    instrumental to a presidential candidate’s success.

    “If somebody tells me they want me to pay an appearance fee, it tells me
    they’re not very serious about running for president,” said Ed Failor, Jr.,
    president of Iowans for Tax Relief and an influential GOP insider.

    “I found it really, really odd,” Failor said.

    He noted that his group had not and never would pay for a politician to
    speak pointing out the obvious in-kind contribution any potential
    presidential hopeful receives by appearing in the state that kicks off the
    presidential nominating process.

    “They come and show up here because they want to be relevant in Iowa,”
    he said.

    Steve Scheffler, the president of the Iowa Christian Alliance and a longtime
    GOP activist, said his organization would also never ante up.

    “We certainly wouldn’t do it, even if we had the money,” Scheffler said,
    adding that he wanted to keep his group “impartial” in the caucus process
    and that paying money to one prospective candidate could raise questions
    about such neutrality.

    Tim Albrecht, spokesman for the conservative, Iowa-based American
    Future Fund, said his group “has a policy not to pay speakers to come to
    Iowa,” and, like Failor, hinted at what those guests get in return.

    “We are proud to host conservative leaders from across the country,
    providing them an audience across the state and nation to share their
    conservative vision,” Albrecht said.

    Like the other Iowa political hands, he could not recall a single instance
    where a potential candidate had been paid to speak.

    At the request of the Iowa Family Policy Center, Team Sarah, a national
    pro-Palin organization not formally connected to the former governor, has
    begun raising money among its members in an effort to collect the

    Reached on his cell phone, Iowa Family Policy Center president Chuck
    Hurley said he had been expecting another call from the “202” area code
    and declined to answer questions, saying alternately that he was signing
    checks and in a meeting.

    He passed his phone to Bryan English, a spokesman for the group, who
    initially said their effort to raise money was only to secure a venue, pay
    for lighting and promote the event.

    But then he said he was “not personally aware of a speaker’s fee.”

    “There may or may not be, I don’t know,” English said.

    And he added: “Any details of arrangements between our speakers and
    our organization are between our speakers and our organization.”

    But, money or not, it seems unlikely that Palin will appear for the event.



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