Stop Afghan war after death of Bin Laden

This video from the USA is called Glenn Greenwald: Afghanistan Is A Hopeless Cause.

From Robert Greenwald in the USA:

Tonight, we learned that a CIA operation in Pakistan killed Osama bin Laden.

After 10 years of war and the death of Osama Bin Laden, it’s time to bring the troops home from Afghanistan. We will hear a lot of reasons this week from war supporters why the ongoing war must continue, but with al-Qaeda driven from the country and Bin Laden now dead, the rationale for war has evaporated. It’s time to stop now.

Please sign this petition immediately to the White House to begin a swift withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Then, invite others to sign it on Facebook and email.


Derrick Crowe, Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Foundation team

Petition for ending the Afghan war is here.

Nadia Prupis, Truthout: “Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chairs on Wednesday sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling for the reduction of US troops in Afghanistan following Osama bin Laden’s death. Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) and CPC Peace & Security Task Force co-chairs Mike Honda (D-California), Barbara Lee (D-California), Maxine Waters (D-California) and Lynn Woolsey (D-California) wrote that Bin Laden’s death offered the US a new opportunity to end their involvement in the war in Afghanistan”: here.

James Russell, Truthout: “On the phone from Chicago, Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of the peace group Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV), paused and breathed deeply before answering the question about her initial thoughts on Bin Laden’s death. After a few reflective moments, she said she wondered if his death, ‘will signal the end of warfare in Afghanistan.’ Her hope soon faded as President Obama made his announcement about Bin Laden’s death on Sunday night. To Kelly, the disappointment came when Obama did not use his announcement as ‘a teachable moment.’ Instead of invoking the pacifism and restraint urged during the Vietnam War by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Obama presented the death as a victory for American exceptionalism,’ she said”: here.

Robert Naiman, Truthout: “We got our man. Wave the flag, kiss a nurse (or a sailor) and start packing the equipment. It’s time to plan to bring all our boys and girls home from Afghanistan. When the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks rolls around, let the world see that we are on a clear path to bringing home our troops from Afghanistan and handing back sovereignty to the Afghan people”: here.

Chris Hedges, Truthdig: “I spent a year of my life covering al-Qaida for The New York Times. It was the work in which I, and other investigative reporters, won the Pulitzer Prize. And I spent seven years of my life in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I’m an Arabic speaker. And when someone came over and told Jean and me the news, my stomach sank. I’m not in any way naive about what al-Qaida is. It’s an organization that terrifies me. I know it intimately. But I’m also intimately familiar with the collective humiliation that we have imposed on the Muslim world”: here.

Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies: “In the midst of the Arab Spring, which directly rejects al-Qaeda-style small-group violence in favor of mass-based, society-wide mobilization and non-violent protest to challenge dictatorship and corruption, does the killing of Osama bin Laden represent ultimate justice, or even an end to the ‘unfinished business’ of 9/11?” Here.

Laura Flanders, GRITtv: Institute for Policy Studies Fellow Phyllis Bennis is interviewed by phone from Amman, Jordan, to discuss the death of Bin Laden and its impact in the Arab world: here.

Michael Moore doubled down on his criticism of the killing of Osama bin Laden, telling CNN’s Piers Morgan on Thursday that, while he is glad bin Laden is gone, America “lost something of [its] soul” in killing him without putting him on trial: here.

White House Revises Account Of Bin Laden’s Final Moments: here.

Administration Backs Off Tale of Osama bin Laden Using Wife as Human Shield: here.

What Has Bin Laden’s Killing Wrought? Here.

There has been little sign that Bin Laden’s killing has evoked among the broad mass of the American people anything approaching the wild enthusiasm of the media: here.

US football player targeted for criticizing celebration of Bin Laden killing: here.

Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post Writers’ Group: “It wasn’t torture that revealed Osama bin Laden’s hiding place. Finding and killing the world’s most-wanted terrorist took years of patient intelligence gathering and dogged detective work, plus a little luck. Once again, it appears, we’re supposed to be having a ‘debate’ about torture – excuse me, I mean the ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ including waterboarding, that were authorized and practiced during the Bush administration. In fact, there’s nothing debatable about torture”: here.

Jeremy Scahill | “Sort of like Murder, Inc.”: Behind the Forces Who Took Down bin Laden, Jeremy Scahill, The Nation: “The team of US Special Operations Forces who killed Osama bin Laden in a pre-dawn raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, were led by elite Navy SEALS from the Joint Special Operations Command. Operators from SEAL Team Six, also known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or just DevGru, are widely considered to be the most elite warriors in the US national security apparatus. Col. W. Patrick Lang, a retired Special Forces officer with extensive operational experience throughout the Muslim world, described JSOC’s forces as ‘sort of like Murder, Incorporated.’ He told The Nation: ‘Their business is killing Al Qaeda personnel. That’s their business. They’re not in the business of converting anybody to our goals or anything like that'”: here.

Military Academics Block Degree for Author Criticizing Afghan War. Ramzy Baroud, Truthout: “Deepak Tripathi’s most recent book, ‘Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism’ (Potomac Books), raises several issues, both within and outside of its content. It is based on research for his doctoral dissertation, the qualification for which he never received. Tripathi, a former BBC producer, is immensely proud of his latest volume, even while it is associated with a tumultuous experience at the University of Sussex, a renowned British university. For a while, things had gone according to plan, and the future seemed promising. Tripathi was told to prepare for his graduation by his supervisor, Dr. Stephen Burman, dean of the School of Humanities”: here.

Rising number of coalition troop deaths coming at hands of Afghan security forces: here.

Wilmer J. Leon III, PhD, Truthout: “If conservatives want to give former president Bush the credit for the capture of bin Laden, they must also ensure that he take the responsibility for the misinformation and disinformation that led us into two protracted military misadventures. Every single excuse that Cheney/Bush provided to the American people for invading Afghanistan and Iraq proved to be false: The 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan. No weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) were found in Iraq. No relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden tied Hussein to 9/11. No attempt from Saddam to purchase ‘yellow cake’ uranium from Niger was ever documented”: here.

US has spent $3 trillion in fight against bin Laden: here.

Benjamin B. Ferencz the former chief prosecutor for the Nuremberg trials (1945-1949) against Nazi officials strongly criticized the United is States for killing Al Qaeda´s leader, Osama Bin Laden: here.

7 thoughts on “Stop Afghan war after death of Bin Laden


    02 May 2011
    How the US created Osama bin Laden

    “What makes the response to bin Laden’s death sickening is the fact that he, the supposed nemesis of the West, was in fact the creation of the same military and political establishment that has killed so many people under the pretext of the fight against al-Qaeda.”

    As news broke yesterday that Osama bin Laden had been killed in an American attack in Pakistan, the usual assortment of pious media hacks and bloodthirsty cheerleaders for the US empire erupted in a chorus of baying and backslapping.

    The Australian’s Greg Sheridan — their most enthusiastic performing dog — was one of the first to pitch in, tail wagging and panting furiously: “This is a great day for America, and for Australia, and for all those who oppose terrorism . . . today, the US basks in righteous triumph,” he gushed.

    Righteous triumph? It took the world’s biggest superpower a decade to track down one man. That’s hardly a vindication of the jingoistic triumphalism spewing across the news networks. Of course no one can say the US hasn’t had an impact over the last decade. Its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have killed well over 1 million people. Intransigent US backing of continued Israeli incursions into the occupied Palestinian territories and Lebanon has further driven nails in the coffin of US credibility in the Middle East.

    As WikiLeaks has confirmed this week — if confirmation was indeed necessary — the other side to the “war on terror” has been a staggering assault on civil rights. From Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay (and all the secret prisons in between), the US and its allies have imprisoned, tortured and held without charge thousands of innocent people.

    Socialists do not mourn bin Laden. He was always an enemy of workers and the left. Socialist Alternative has always argued (and have been decisively proven right this year) that the way to fight US imperialism and the despots it aligns itself with in the Arab world is not terrorism but mass revolutionary action by millions of people.

    But we do recognise the basic truth that bin Laden’s crimes pale when compared to the millions that have been butchered in the last 50 years as a result of the policies of Western governments — polices carried out with the support of the media and the judicial systems, and with weapons of mass murder whose effects are no less bloody and unconscionable because they carry official sanction and the blessings of newspaper editors.

    What makes the response to bin Laden’s death sickening is the fact that he, the supposed nemesis of the West, was in fact the creation of the same military and political establishment that has killed so many people under the pretext of the fight against al-Qaeda.

    The article below by Ben Hillier, first published by Socialist Alternative in 2007, looks at this history.


    How the West created Osama bin Laden

    ON JULY 3 1979, US President Jimmy Carter, under advice from National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, signed the first directive allowing secret aid to be given to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime that had recently come to power in Afghanistan. It marked the beginning of a now infamous convergence of interests, which saw the CIA, the Saudi Arabian regime and the Pakistani Interservices Intelligence Directorate (ISI) train and equip the Islamist mujahideen resistance to the Soviet Union.

    The US saw an immense opportunity. In the preceding five years, they had been forced out of both Vietnam and Iran. It had been “the most humiliating half decade in American history”. Now they sought to lure the Soviets into an intractable guerrilla war in Central Asia.

    Over more than a decade up to 35,000 fighters from the Muslim world were recruited, $US10 billion worth of aid was channelled (including, by 1987, 65,000 tons of arms), and a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon officials helped to plan mujahideen operations.

    According to Stephen Coll, writing in the Washington Post:

    At any one time during the Afghan fighting season, as many as 11 ISI teams trained and supplied by the CIA accompanied mujahideen across the border to supervise attacks. . . CIA operations officers helped Pakistani trainers establish schools for the mujahideen in secure communications, guerrilla warfare, urban sabotage and heavy weapons.

    Not only this. They gave support to the most retrograde elements like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. His followers, according to journalist Tim Weiner, “first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil”. The reasoning of the CIA was simple: the more fanatical the fighters and the more brutal their methods, the better they would fight. And the better they fought the more support they should receive.

    Ronald Reagan — the same man who denounced the African National Congress and the Palestine Liberation Organisation for not renouncing violence — described the mujahideen as “freedom fighters.” As president, Reagan met in Washington with rebel leaders like Abdul Haq, who openly admitted his responsibility for terrorist attacks such as a 1984 bomb blast at Kabul’s airport that killed at least 28 people.

    Meanwhile, with CIA assistance, the mujahideen greatly expanded opium production in areas under their control — turning Afghanistan into what one US official later described as the new Colombia of the drug world.

    One of the first non-Afghan volunteers to join the ranks of the mujahideen was Osama bin Laden, hailing from a wealthy construction family in Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed close relations with the most radical mujahideen leaders.

    He also worked closely with the CIA, raising money from private Saudi citizens. By 1984, he was running the Maktab al-Khidamar, an organisation set up by the ISI to funnel “money, arms, and fighters from the outside world in the Afghan war”.

    According to journalist John Cooley, “the CIA gave Osama free rein in Afghanistan, as did Pakistan’s intelligence generals. They looked with a benign eye on the build up of Sunni sectarian power in South Asia to counter the influence of Iranian Shi’ism of the Khomeiny variety.”

    By 1989 the Russians were exhausted. Afghanistan had become to them what Vietnam had become to the US. News of the Soviet defeat saw champagne corks popping all over Washington. The Cold War was about to become history, the US had triumphed.

    But when the USSR finally withdrew, the administration of George Bush Sr. turned its back on Afghanistan — leaving it, in the words of The Economist, “awash with weapons, warlords and extreme religious zealotry.”

    As the state funding from the Saudis and the US dried up, private financiers — like bin Laden himself — further stepped up their contributions to “the cause”. The Soviets may have gone, but there were new targets, and they weren’t limited to within Afghanistan’s borders.

    Looking back on his role in the conflict Zbigniew Brzezinski asked (in 1998), “What is most important to the history of the world. . . some stirred up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?” In light of the “war on terror” Brzezinski’s question is tragic.

    The hypocrisy is there for all to see: the “terrorists” of today were trained, funded and backed by modern imperialism yesterday. Bin Laden gave Bush just the excuse the US needed to go into Afghanistan again, and to follow it up with the obliteration of Iraq. That war shows that while bin Laden may have been a useful protege, the US is still the master when it comes to terror.


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