Donald Trump continuing bloody wars


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Sending More Troops To Afghanistan

14 May 2017

Before the election, Trump called the Afghanistan war a mess. Now he’s sending more troops to make a bigger mess. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

“The Trump administration is looking to change America’s strategy in Afghanistan from waging peace to waging war.

In an effort to turn around the faltering Afghan war, Trump’s top foreign policy and defense advisers, led by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, are recommending that the president send around 3,000 to 5,000 US troops into the country, reports the Washington Post.

They would primarily serve as trainers to Afghan forces who are currently fighting the Taliban …

But the country’s top intelligence official isn’t sure it’s such a good idea. “The intelligence community assesses that the political and security situation in Afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018, even with a modest increase in (the) military assistance by the United States and its partners,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee today.”

Read more here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Western wars fuel the cycle of bloodshed

Saturday 5th July 2017

“I WANT to find out why we’ve been there for 17 years,” US President Donald Trump reportedly raged following news of more murder and mayhem in Afghanistan. “We aren’t winning. We are losing.”

The trigger-happy president in the White House imagines that his armies are in difficulty because he can’t get the staff: US officials say he has pressed for the top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, to be fired.

Nicholson is the 17th Nato commander in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion took place in 2001, so singling him out might seem unfair.

Admittedly his job is harder than his predecessors’ because the war he’s tasked with was declared over by Barack Obama at the end of 2014, which makes the continuing deaths of soldiers and civilians in the central Asian country more embarrassing for Washington.

The killing of a Georgian soldier and two Afghan civilians on Thursday, following that of two US troops on Wednesday, show the Taliban remains a lethal adversary.

But the Islamist group — which itself grew out of the mojahedin insurgents armed and funded by the US and its allies in their successful bid to destroy the socialist and secular Afghanistan of the 1970s and 1980s — is no longer the country’s last word in Wahhabi extremism, since Islamic State (Isis), a child of the US and British invasion of Iraq, is now also busy murdering police officers and Red Crescent workers.

(This provided the rationale for Trump to drop the “mother of all bombs” on Nangarhar province in April, killing around 100 supposed Isis fighters

including prisoners of ISIS

and shattering windows and damaging homes within a two-mile radius).

Those who naively hoped Trump would cut a less warlike figure on the world stage than his rival Hillary Clinton, whose hysterical pre-election threats against Russia and Iran raised terrifying prospects of a new world war, have been disappointed: the US continues to play with fire in Ukraine, Korea and Syria while the conflict in Afghanistan, the first battlefield of the endless “war on terror,” is still claiming lives.

But Trump’s assumption that a “win” could have been racked up in Afghanistan given a different commander or alternative tactics is common in this country too, and enables politicians to beat the drum for further conflicts even when the disastrous consequences of the previous war have become clear.

We were told that Libya was different from Iraq and that Syria was different from Libya.

But the experience in all three countries and over 16 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan demonstrates that Western intervention has been a godsend for extremist groups and has created a more violent and unstable planet.

The left has made serious advances in Britain over the past two years. Labour’s huge gains in the June election on an anti-austerity manifesto have silenced — for now — those elements of the party’s right who promote privatisation under the guise of “reforming” public services.

But the attachment to a US-led global order where the richest nations reserve the right to impose their will by force is as strong as ever — hence the current crop of liberal interventionists attacking Jeremy Corbyn for declining to cheer on the US-led bullying of Venezuela.

This weekend as we mark 72 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima we must remember that the peace movement is as vital as ever, and recognise that the fight against militarism and imperialism is an urgent priority for the whole of Britain’s left.

What will cure the U.S. addiction to war? Here.

The mask is off: Trump is seeking war with Iran: here.

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United States air force kills Afghan police allies


This 19 September 2016 video is called 8 Afghan police killed in US airstrikes in Uruzgan.

Now, another year (this year) and another province.

According to a CNN report today, the United States air force has killed Afghan police allies. Dutch NOS TV says that the United States bombs killed at least twelve policemen in Helmand province.

New German barracks still named after Hitler’s old marshal Rommel


This Voice of America video says about itself:

Evidence of Pro-Nazi Extremists in German Military Deepens

19 May 2017

Evidence of far-right extremism within the German armed forces is growing following the arrest Friday of four students at a military university in Munich. Police are trying to establish whether they have links to another soldier accused of plotting to frame refugees in a terror attack. As Henry Ridgwell reports, the allegations remain sensitive in a country where the 20th century Nazi history casts a long shadow.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German defence minister praises Rommel, Hitler’s “favourite general”

20 June 2017

Last Saturday, speaking at the Field Marshal Rommel Barracks, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that the Army would keep the name of the barracks. “The Rommel Barracks has been so named consciously on an anniversary of the resistance. And that shows that Rommel also had his role in the resistance,” she told media representatives. It had therefore been decided not to rename the barracks.

Von der Leyen’s announcement on the so-called Day of the German Armed Forces shows the true mindset that prevails at the top of the Defence Ministry. Following the uncovering of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell in the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) at the beginning of May, von der Leyen had been compelled to make some critical remarks about the all-too-obvious continuity of military traditions from Hitler’s Wehrmacht to today’s Bundeswehr. She was enthusiastically praised for this, especially by the Left Party.

From the beginning, the announcement by the minister of defence to rename some barracks and to remove Wehrmacht memorabilia was hypocrisy. It was a nod towards the anti-militarist sentiment in the population and merely served to downplay the extent of the right-wing conspiracy in the army. Now, von der Leyen has decided it is time to go on the offensive. Of all of Germany’s war-time generals, she has chosen to line up behind the one who was carefully built up in the Third Reich through Goebbels’s propaganda ministry to become Hitler’s most famous “war hero”.

Von der Leyen’s claim that Rommel was part of the resistance to Hitler is absurd. Before Rommel clashed with Hitler over military matters at the end of the war, and was driven to commit suicide, he was considered Hitler’s “favourite general”. In October 1942, after a conversation with the Nazi leader, Goebbels wrote in his diary, “Rommel has made a very deep impression on him [Hitler]. … He has a firm world-view, is not only close to us national socialists [Nazis] but is a national socialist.”

Among other things during his career, Rommel was commander of the Führer Headquarters, and played a central role in the Nazi war machine in five campaigns—Poland, France, Africa, Italy and the Atlantic Wall. To the very end, the Nazis clung to the “Rommel myth” they had themselves created. On October 18, 1944, Hitler’s personal daily order for the state burial of the general in Ulm read: “In the present struggle for the fate of the German people, his name is the byword for outstanding bravery and fearless bravado.”

What Hitler meant by this can be seen in Rommel’s own orders. As commander of the brutal German occupation of Italy, against all the provisions of the Geneva Convention, he compelled more than a million disarmed Italian soldiers to work as “military internees” for the German war economy. Rommel’s order of October 1, 1943, regarding this read: “This war is a total war. If the men of Italy no longer have the opportunity to fight for the freedom and honour of their fatherland, they have the duty to use their full labour power in this struggle.”

Just a week before, on September 23, 1943, he had issued the instruction: “Any sentimental inhibitions on the part of German soldiers towards gangs loyal to [former Italian general] Badoglio in the uniform of former comrades-in-arms are completely inappropriate. Any of these who fight against German soldiers has lost any right to protection, and is to be treated with the harshness which belongs to scum that suddenly turns his weapons against his friend. This view must be made common knowledge among all German troops.”

Von der Leyen’s partisan defence of Rommel confirms the warnings of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) and the World Socialist Web Site. The return of German militarism and the systematic transformation of the Bundeswehr into a military task force, or rather a war force, defending the interests of German imperialism around the world requires the revival of the old Nazi traditions and their criminal methods.

In the meantime, this can be clearly seen in the official foreign policy publications of the German government. For example, a contribution in the anthology Germany’s new responsibility, presented by the minister of defence at this year’s Munich Security Conference, complains that in Germany, the “neurotic effort to remain morally clean” runs through almost all domestic and foreign policy debates.

In this it was clear: “Whoever goes to war, must, as a rule, take responsibility for the deaths of people. Including the deaths of uninvolved and innocent people.” Especially, in “times of new strategic uncertainty,” the role of the military should be “particularly emphasised [again], not only because society demands such hard tasks, but because it ultimately remains the most critical, and therefore also the most demanding, the crowning discipline of foreign policy.”

The concluding prognosis by Jan Techau, the author of these lines, whose current book bears the notable title Leadership Power Germany, would also have met with enthusiastic support among the generals of the Wehrmacht: In the coming years, Germany “will have to do much more politically and militarily” and will “be confronted with foreign and security policy issues”, of which “the country does not even dare to dream today. Maybe not even in its nightmares.”

Von der Leyen’s revival of the Rommel myth goes hand in hand with the preparation of new “nightmares”. “Warm words are not enough,” she declared at the Rommel Barracks. In view of growing international challenges, soldiers “will need more and more sustainable funding and support from society in the coming years.” She boasted that after 25 years of cuts, the Army would finally be able to grow and recruit more staff. New materiel would also be procured for foreign assignments.

Speaking to the press, von der Leyen then gave free rein to her dreams of new German war and colonial policies. She expected the Bundeswehr to be in Afghanistan for many years to come. “Even in Kosovo, the Bundeswehr has been stationed there for almost 20 years. In Afghanistan, we probably have to think in even longer periods, “she said. “We should not keep asking when can we withdraw, because it motivates the terrorists and unsettles the people who want to stay at home.” To stabilise Afghanistan needs “patience and a long breath”.

The German ruling class is forging its war plans against increasing resistance in the population. On Thursday, an INSA survey for the Bild newspaper revealed that 55 percent of Germans are for the complete withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Afghanistan. Only one in five respondents supported German soldiers remaining in the country.

In April, an extensive neo-Nazi network was discovered in the German Bundeswehr (Armed Forces), which planned terrorist attacks against high-ranking politicians and glorified Hitler’s army (the Wehrmacht). Barely three months later, leading newsweekly Der Spiegel has published an interview in which the military historian Sönke Neitzel praises the Wehrmacht and plays down the right-wing terror in which it participated: here.

Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan’s vice presidential torture, sexual abuse scandal


This video says about itself:

The Shady Afghan Warlords Whom the US Pays to Fight the Taliban

Afghan Warlords (2009): Despite shady pasts, powerful warlords are given recognition from Washington in return for their support fighting drug traffickers and the Taliban. We take a look at America’s new pragmatic approach.

One such character is Gul Agha Sherzai, aka The Bulldozer and Governor of Nangarhar for the last five years. After striking a political deal with President Karzai, he became a power broker to be reckoned with.

Ruling from his Jalalabad palace, Sherzai shows off his power: The Taliban is no danger. I have defeated them. By Afghan standards, security in his region has drastically improved along with an impressive fall in drugs production. Its hard to argue that he’s been anything but a success to enthuse US counter-narcotics officials. However, his past is less than pristine.

An expert on the region says: To be an effective leader there, at some point you had to have been involved in the commission of atrocities, together with the accumulation of enormous wealth and that means opium.’ Sherzai allegedly got wealthy during his time as governor of Kandahar taking a cut from the opium profits from the area. While his former associate has been serving a life sentence in the US, he’s been enjoying a high-profile collaboration with Washington. Why? Theres a perception [in] the West that he’s somebody who can be rehabilitated. He was simply deemed more useful.

From the BBC:

Afghan Vice-President Dostum flies to Turkey amid torture claims

Afghanistan’s Vice-President, Abdul Rashid Dostum, has left the country amid claims that he ordered his men to kidnap, beat and rape a political rival last year.

Afghan officials confirmed he had left Kabul for Turkey on Friday night.

General Dostum has not been charged with any offence, and the incident is under government investigation. …

The vice-president is a former [?] warlord with decades of experience in Afghanistan’s turbulent political arena.

He is blamed for some of the worst atrocities in the country’s long-running civil war, but joined its national unity government in 2014.

The allegations against him come from Ahmad Eshchi, a former ally, who says he suffered days of severe beatings and sexual abuse at Gen Dostum’s command.

He said the vice-president and 10 other men assaulted him while he was forcibly kept at Gen Dostum’s residence in November 2016.

The ex-warlord denies the claims and has said that Mr Eshchi was detained by the country’s intelligence service. …

In 2008 Gen Dostum went to Turkey amid similar allegations that his personal militia had abducted, beaten and sexually assaulted a political rival in Kabul, then fired on police who responded to the incident.

The U.S. will never win the war in Afghanistan: here.

Trump, NATO want more dead British soldiers in Afghanistan


This video from the USA says about itself:

13 April 2017

Vijay Prashad and Paul Jay ask if the US “mother of all bombs” dropped on Afghanistan and the missile attack on a Syrian airbase are PR events to show Trump and the US military will “fight without restraint” and “take on Russia“.

By Paul Mitchell:

NATO requests UK troops for US-led surge in Afghanistan

11 May 2017

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met UK Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street yesterday to discuss sending more British troops for a proposed surge in the 13,000-strong Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

Although the British combat mission in Afghanistan—which cost 456 lives— ceased in 2014 there are still about 500 military personnel training and advising security forces fighting the Taliban.

Stoltenberg’s visit came as US President Donald Trump approved a plan to deploy as many as 5,000 additional US troops alongside the 8,400 already in Afghanistan. Trump is demanding that America’s NATO allies contribute more than the 5,000 they have there. According to various sources, a formal request for more troops has been made to the UK without the numbers involved being made public.

NATO hopes to finalise numbers at a summit meeting of leaders in Brussels on May 25.

A NATO press release declared the Brussels meeting “comes at a time when the Alliance continues to adapt to the most serious challenges in a generation, with the biggest reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence since the Cold War and increased efforts to project stability beyond the Alliance’s borders.”

After his talks with May, Stoltenberg made a lengthy statement declaring, “When it comes to burden sharing, the UK is leading by example, investing two percent of GDP in defence, but also by providing capabilities and contributions to NATO missions and operations.

“The UK is leading our multi-national battle group in Estonia, leading our high readiness joint task force, and also providing planes to our air-policing mission in the Black Sea region.”

Stoltenberg lavished praise on Theresa May’s Conservative government for her commitment to “defence.” Speaking along Stoltenberg, May said, “I would like first of all to reaffirm the commitment the UK has to NATO… Obviously we’ve got at the moment a number of commitments—nearly 1,000 troops in Estonia and Poland, the RAF Typhoons in the Black Sea as part of that project there.”

Stoltenberg said that NATO members, after many years of decline, “are now following” the UK example.

The Stoltenberg-May talks confirm the assessment of the WSWS that behind the official reasons given for the calling of a snap general election—to strengthen May’s mandate for negotiating the terms of Britain’s leaving the European Union (EU)—is an undeclared aim of furthering the UK’s war agenda in alliance with US imperialism.

The placing of British imperialism on a war footing is also confirmed by the despatch of dozens more troops to its former colony of Sudan—boosting the 200-strong deployment already there. The aim is to increase the number of troops to around 400.

The deployment to Sudan follows the Guardian’s revelation last week from a “Whitehall source” that “The government is considering holding a vote to expand military action in Syria if the Conservatives win a big enough majority in the general election.” As in Afghanistan, such moves are primarily aimed at countering increasing Russian influence.

There has been a continuous loss of territory to insurgent forces in Afghanistan—the Taliban claims to fully control 34 of the country’s 349 districts and is fighting over another 167. Some 3,000 Islamic State (ISIS) fighters have gained a foothold in the country. Fatalities amongst Afghan troops soared by 35 percent last year to 6,700 deaths—three times that of US forces during nearly 16 years of the US occupation.

In April, Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster and US Defence Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis travelled to Afghanistan in an attempt to stem the crisis following high-profile attacks.

The prospect of a strategic defeat in Afghanistan is increasing US tensions with Russia. American officials are ramping up accusations that the government of Vladimir Putin is supporting and arming the Taliban to undermine the Kabul government and the US position in the country.

This is part of a general Russia-baiting campaign in the US, which has led to demands by the Democrats for the appointment of a special prosecutor or independent commission to investigate charges of collusion between Trump’s key personnel and the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign.

This has already succeeded in pushing the Trump administration into a more confrontational foreign policy in Syria, Central Asia, North Africa and Eastern Europe, where US imperialism regards Moscow as its principal opponent.

The head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, has labelled Russia a “malign influence” in Afghanistan. Mattis declared, “We’re going to have to confront Russia… For example, any weapons being funnelled here [Afghanistan] from a foreign country would be a violation of international law unless they’re coming through the government of Afghanistan for the Afghan forces, and so that would have to be dealt with as a violation of international law.”

Russia has rejected the accusations, saying that following the failure of the US to establish peace talks, it is intervening to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for ISIS and preventing its expansion into neighbouring Central Asia and then Russia.

On April 14, Russia sponsored a third conference including China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Central Asian states and the Afghan government—to discuss peace negotiations with the Taliban, which Russian officials readily admit they have been in contact with. The US and its NATO allies boycotted the talks.

Russia’s courting of Pakistan, whose influence in Afghanistan the US has tried to contain, is of major concern to Washington. Last September, Russian and Pakistani special forces conducted their first-ever joint military operation in Pakistan. On April 27, Minister of Defence Khawaja Asif met with his Russian equivalent, Sergei Shoigu, in Moscow and called on Russia to lead a stabilisation process. This strategy, they agreed, had to involve all the participants in the conflict.

The dropping by the US—on the eve of the Russia-led talks—of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, purportedly to destroy a small group of ISIS militants in eastern Afghanistan, was clearly aimed at intimidating its rivals. Washington does not intend to allow an end to the Afghanistan conflict on terms other than its own. Central to its strategy is the retention of strategic bases within close striking distance of Iran, China, South Asia and Russia itself.

In response to the May-Stoltenberg meeting, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declared that “at the end of the day wars are not solved by the presence of foreign troops” and a political solution to the violence was needed. …

The author also recommends:

Leading ministers outline war agenda behind UK ’s snap general election

[22 April 2017]

TRUMP HAS GIVEN MATTIS AUTHORITY TO SET TROOP LEVELS IN AFGHANISTAN Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will have the authority to increase troop levels from the 8,400 currently stationed in Afghanistan. [Reuters]

Pentagon Reportedly To Send Nearly 4,000 More Troops To Afghanistan: here.

Secretary of Defence James “Mad Dog” Mattis is set to announce the deployment of up to 5,000 additional troops to wage war in Afghanistan in the coming weeks, following a decision Tuesday by President Trump granting Mattis authority to set troop levels: here.

NATO expands military spending and sends thousands of troops to Afghanistan: here.

Trump’s new UK ambassador wrongly accuses Britain of spending ‘minimum’ on its military. Billionaire Woody Johnson inflates US’ spending while suggesting UK’s status as a ‘powerful nation’ is at stake: here.

The Netflix satire War Machine is a forceful work that depicts the futility and madness of war in general and the war in Afghanistan in particular. The film revives a venerable tradition of anti-military and anti-war drama and comedy in the US, which the media and the establishment thought (or hoped) had been thoroughly suppressed and even extinguished: here.

Courage for peace, not for war, in Afghanistan: here.