12 thoughts on “Trump’s ‘holy’ Afghan war for military-industrial complex profits

  1. Tuesday 22nd August 2017

    posted by John Haylett in World

    Trump ramps up 16-year war with pledge for more soldiers

    DONALD TRUMP flip-flopped his way into escalating the unwinnable war in Afghanistan yesterday after basing much of his election campaign on pulling US forces out.

    The US president, who berated his predecessor Barack Obama continually for not ending the war, succumbed to his generals’ demands to increase US troop levels, initially by a further 4,000.

    “My original instinct was to pull out,” he confessed, claiming to have been convinced by his national security advisers to strengthen US capacity to prevent the Taliban from ousting the rickety Kabul government.

    Before being elected, Mr Trump advocated speedy withdrawal, tweeting in 2013: “Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.”

    Having shown his sure-footed grasp of the situation in Afghanistan by confusing the Afghani unit of currency with Afghans who live there, he attempted to distinguish his decision to extend the war from Mr Obama’s by explaining: “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists.”

    The US president expressed his confidence that Washington’s allies would cough up more troops to join him on his war chariot.

    The increasingly lame-duck leader also criticised Pakistan for giving extremists a safe haven, demanding “immediate” results without saying what might happen if Pakistan ignores his vague warning.

    The Pakistani military worked closely with the CIA to fund, arm and train the Islamist mojahedin who fought against the progressive Najibullah government in Kabul in the 1980s and ’90s before subsequently setting up and supporting the Taliban to fight against the US-backed post-2001-invasion administration.

    Pakistan’s military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor insisted on Monday night: “There is no organised network of terrorists in Pakistan and actions have been taken without any discrimination against all terrorist organisations.”

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn proved politically more consistent than the US president, declaring: “The war in Afghanistan has failed. After 16 years of bloodshed and destruction, the Taliban are undefeated and terrorism is no less of a threat at home. In fact, it has spread.”

    He made clear that the British government should tell President Trump that “his strategy of more bombing and a new troop surge will continue this failure, not obediently applaud his latest policy U-turn.”

    Stop the War convener Lindsey German echoed Mr Corbyn’s declaration that the war in Afghanistan has been a failure.

    “The Taliban control half the country and there is more of a threat of terrorism now than when it began.

    “All foreign troops must leave and Theresa May must break the special relationship and cancel his [Mr Trump’s] state visit,” she demanded.

    In contrast, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon backed Mr Trump’s bluster to the hilt, insisting that US allies must “stay the course” in the conflict.

    However, he gave no indication of considering an increase to Britain’s current 500-strong deployment, stressing that an additional 85 troops were committed as recently as June.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ed1b-Afghanistan-When-Will-it-End#.WZy1DsZpwdU

  2. Tuesday 22nd August 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    JEREMY CORBYN is right to warn Theresa May’s government not to “obediently applaud” Washington’s planned escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

    Sadly Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was already falling over himself to do so, gushing that he “welcomed” President Donald Trump’s U-turn on a war he repeatedly attacked his predecessor for waging.

    Characteristically, Fallon did not appear to have paid attention to what was actually being said.

    “We have to stay the course in Afghanistan to help build up its fragile democracy … it’s in all our interests that Afghanistan becomes more prosperous and safer,” he droned.

    Since the US president was explicit that “we will no longer use American military might to try to construct democracies in far off lands. We are not nation-building again,” his poodles in Westminster weren’t quite on message. These semantics will matter little to the people of Afghanistan.

    Whether the misery and death inflicted on their country continuously now for 16 years, following an invasion that began a cycle of blood-soaked interventions across the Middle East, is labelled “nation-building” or “killing terrorists,” as Trump now defines his mission, is irrelevant.

    Trump says he has changed his mind on the war in Afghanistan because “decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.”

    We can speculate as to why that is — whether Washington’s mammoth arms lobby, in hock with top brass, have him in their clutches, or whether a new burst of violence abroad distracts usefully from his apologia for neonazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.

    It’s even possible that this loudmouth thug of a president, who could not even remember which country he was bombing when he fired missiles at Syria, actually believes that if you send soldiers to foreign countries to “kill terrorists” (a notoriously broad category as defined by US forces in Afghanistan, including every male of military age) you end up with fewer terrorists rather than more.

    This dangerous naivety is echoed by “experts” on our side of the Atlantic, such as retired British General Simon Mayall who argues that extra troops would make “a big difference to the confidence and competence of the Afghan security forces” as if vast numbers of Western soldiers had not been deployed to the country for years already.

    As Corbyn points out, this is a war which has failed. The Taliban have not been driven out 16 years after an invasion which promised to do exactly that.

    Other terrorist forces which did not exist in Afghanistan when it was invaded in 2001 are now also active there, most notoriously Isis, the genocidal al-Qaida offshoot born out of the equally criminal invasion of Iraq.

    Tens of thousands of Afghans have died, alongside thousands of US and allied troops. If we include the other fronts of the “war on terror,” Iraq, Libya, Mali, Syria, Yemen, we are talking about a death toll in the millions.

    All that bloodshed has only increased the terrorist threat, both in the war-torn countries themselves — and by far the majority of terror victims are innocent civilians murdered as they go about their business in the Middle East — and in the West, where deadly outrages like those in Paris, St Petersburg, Manchester, London, Barcelona and more show that endless war does not keep us safe.

    “The British government should make clear to Donald Trump that his strategy of more bombing and a new troop surge will continue this failure,” Corbyn advises May.

    The tragedy is that the Prime Minister, like the US president, would rather opt for more of the same.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-b731-Why-continue-a-failed-war#.WZy1qMZpwdU

  3. Wednesday, 23 August 2017

    ‘GET READY FOR WAR!’ –Trump demands UK & NATO support

    IN A SPEECH to a military audience on Monday night, US President Donald Trump outlined his change of strategy on Afghanistan.

    He said: ‘A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11th.’ He stressed: ‘We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq.’

    He added: ‘A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. . . We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. . .

    ‘Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but nobody knows if or when that will ever happen. America will continue its support for the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they confront the Taliban in the field. . .

    ‘The next pillar of our new strategy is to change the approach and how to deal with Pakistan. . . In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked together against common enemies. . . But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organisations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately.’

    Trump said: ‘Another critical part of the South Asia strategy for America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India . . . India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.’

    Finally, he said: ‘I have already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our warfighters that prevented the Secretary of Defence and our commanders in the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy. That’s why we will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorist and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan. . .

    ‘We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own. We are confident they will.’

    Referring to Afghanistan, he said that ‘we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us.’ He added: ‘America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress. However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank cheque.’

    https://wrp.org.uk/news/13572

  4. Wednesday, 23 August 2017

    TRUMP AND ALLIES PLAN TO ATTACK AND LOOT AFGHANISTAN

    PRESIDENT Trump has told the US people he has changed his mind about Afghanistan being a futile conflict, and that now the US, and its allies, are going to go for the kill against the Afghan people.

    Trump’s administration has now been completely militarised, with Afghan vets in the lead. In the months after the 9/11 attacks Trump’s secretary of Defence, retired Marine four-star General James Mattis, led the deepest assault from a ship in Marine Corps history near the key Taliban city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

    Trump’s National Security Adviser Lt. General H.R. McMaster served in Afghanistan. Trump’s top military adviser, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, was the commanding general in Afghanistan in 2013.

    And General John Kelly, who is now Trump’s chief of staff, lost a son in Afghanistan, 29-year-old Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly. They want revenge for past defeats. Trump said in his speech about the decision to step up the war: ‘After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David, with my Cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy.’

    This militarised cabinet decided that: ‘The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and to win. Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. Third, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan and the broader region are immense.’

    Trump and the generals have also decided that the mistake in Iraq was not the war but the withdrawal: ‘And, as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq.’

    Trump added about the US’s internal situation: ‘The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.

    ‘As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas – and we will always win – let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Let us make a simple promise to the men and women we ask to fight in our name that, when they return home from battle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one.’

    Any US citizen who opposes Trump’s reinvasion of Afghanistan – and there will be millions – will clearly be ‘traitors’. US re-intervention in Afghanistan will in fact sharpen the class divisions of US society to the point of revolutionary explosion.

    Trump’s message to the Afghan, Pakistan and Indian governments, plus NATO, was crystal clear. To Afghanistan: ‘The government of Afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political and economic burden.’

    To Pakistan: ‘We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban and other groups, that pose a threat to the region and beyond. Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan.’

    To NATO: ‘We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own.’

    To India: ‘India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.’

    It is no secret that Afghanistan possesses an estimated $3 trillion of currently untouched natural resources that the US intends to grab and steal. ‘We are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us’ says Trump – the fruits of victory.

    There is no doubt that the Tories will agree to send armed forces to join any new assault on the Afghan people. US and UK workers must oppose any new invasion of Afghanistan.

    This means the TUC, when it meets in Congress on September 11 in Brighton, must carry a resolution that it will call a general strike to remove the Tories if they join Trump’s invasion, and replace them with a workers government and socialism.

    https://wrp.org.uk/news/13571

  5. Dear Friends and Activists,

    No sooner had we observed (yesterday) that Trump’s Phoenix speech
    conspicuously avoided any reference to sexual orientation
    discrimination, than there was a news report that he was ploughing
    ahead with a plan to discriminate against the trans-gendered in the
    military. So much for loving national unity. That lasted a couple
    hours.

    But the big new development is the constructive declaration that we
    are going to be in Afghanistan permanently, supposedly until things
    on the ground change, which they never will. They started to call it
    “the long war” when they were embarrassed that they couldn’t wrap it
    us in less than a decade. Now it’s the forever war, operation Endless
    Quagmire.

    By the way if you support our messages of policy truth and our
    totally free direct fax action pages, you can use this page to make a
    contribution, and you can even make it recurrent by checking the
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    Donations: https://www.utalk.us/?p=donate

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    The People’s Email Network, PO Box 35022, L.A., CA 90035

    What former General Petraeus said this week is telling, that after
    the invasion, “we’ve also discovered that Afghanistan is a very good
    platform with bases that we have used for the regional
    counterterrorism campaign.” And he went on to suggest it should be
    like “Korea, where we’ve had tens of thousands of troops for well
    over 60-plus years and where we intend to continue to keep them.”

    It’s not as if people like John McCain and others were not already
    pushing for a permanent military occupation. But it’s now official
    White House policy.

    At the same time, we’re going to get tough on Pakistan, because we
    can’t have countries harboring terrorists who are attacking other
    countries. Maybe that’s a good international policy position, no
    sanctuary for foreign fighting forces. We AGREE with that one.

    But wait a minute. How exactly does that not apply to our own bases
    in Afghanistan, from which we launch military strikes in every other
    country in the region, INCLUDING Pakistan, with cruise missiles, Seal
    Team 6, and everything else?

    Gone is “when they stand up, we’ll stand down.” Now it is “we’re
    never going to leave . . . ever.”

    And it’s not as if we were even playing policeman for the world. We
    are playing extortionist for ourselves. It is reported the Trump’s
    ears dramatically perked up when they told him about the estimated
    trillion dollars of undeveloped rare earth minerals in Afghanistan,
    where he had previously spoken out strongly against being there at
    all.

    Nice country ya got there, would be shame if you didn’t cough up your
    valuable minerals and we had to bust it up. Somebody (else) has to
    pay for our military adventurism.

    And then we wonder why everybody doesn’t love America more.

    “We should have kept the oil in Iraq for ourselves,” Trump had argued
    during the campaign. Now that he discovers there are great resources
    to steal in Afghanistan too he’s gone all Emily Litella on us, “Oh,
    that’s very different.” We suppose that’s what he means by how things
    change when you’re sitting behind the oval office desk.

    It’s not as if the occupation of Afghanistan is impeding terrorism in
    any other country in any other way. And we can talk about that
    tomorrow.

    But in the meantime, keep the heat on for real policy change in the
    form of money-saving single payer health care.

    Medicare for All is our ticket back to the majority, with 60% of the
    country already favoring it, without even a bill on the table in the
    Senate, but we are trusting Bernie is working on that.

    Bernie Forever caps: https://www.utalk.us/?g=2:F

    So please submit this action page for Medicare For All NOW if you
    have not done so already. And most importantly, use the social media
    buttons at the top of this page to share it with everyone else you
    know, and do that over and over as much as you can.

    Medicare For All NOW action page:
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    And here is simplified action page for that

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    Demonstrate your that you are standing with this positive agenda by
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    You may forward this message to any friends who would find it
    important.

  6. OK, we had already pointed out the hypocrisy, which has certainly not
    escaped anybody else on the continent, of complaining about Pakistan
    allowing foreign fighters to operate from their territory and attack
    Afghanistan, while at the same time WE have bases everywhere,
    launching strikes in EVERY other neighboring country, including
    Pakistan.

    But this truth still does not fully reach the biggest lie of all, the
    lie they told us day one to even get us to invade Afghanistan in the
    first place, namely that the terrorists even need a safe haven
    country from which to plot their attacks.

    Remember the grainy video of training camps with monkey bars?

    Terrorists no longer need to work out on monkey bars, presuming they
    ever did. Nor do they need a place to set them up.

    All the training they need now is about how to rent a truck and point
    the steering wheel at as many pedestrians they can run down, or how
    to hit a gun show in the US to buy freely available assault weapons,
    courtesy of the militant 2nd Amendment purist fanatics with the NRA.
    With information widely propagated over the internet any hate-filled,
    disgruntled person can set up a bomb factory in their apartment, with
    or without a special traveling bomb-making trainer there in person.

    Our occupation of Afghanistan in all of 16 years has not impeded or
    stopped a single terrorist attack here at home. Not one.

    Instead, all it has done is put our own people there at constant risk
    of LOCAL terrorist attacks and IED ambushes, with a steady stream of
    casualties directly proportional to the number of people we have
    there, including so-called “friendly fire” from inductees into the
    army we are supposed to be getting to stand up so we can stand down.

    In 2001, there was a handful of bin Laden’s people in Afghanistan.
    Now there are, by the words out of Trump’s own mouth in his big
    speech last week, 20 terrorist groups operating there. That’s not
    progress, that’s a slippery slope configured as a sheer cliff.

    Morever, if you bought into the lunacy that we had to invade
    Afghanistan because there were terrorists hiding there, then you must
    also be advocating for invading Pakistan now, for the same exact
    reason, as if they could do something our own cruise missiles have
    not already accomplished there.

    We cannot bomb our way to regional stability. It’s about as
    strategically effective as bombing cockroaches with food garbage.
    They just keep multiplying.

    And tomorrow, we will return to critical domestic policy, and break
    down why buying health insurance across state lines, which the
    Republicans keep pushing as the magic cure for our health care
    problems, is nothing but snake oil.

    You may forward this message to any friends who would find it
    important.

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