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.
Abdul Hamid, 35, was ferrying Nato supplies from the Pakistani border last
month when Taleban fighters appeared on the rocks above and aimed their
rocket-launchers at him, 40miles (65km) east of Kabul. “They just missed me
but hit the two trucks behind,” he said. "This road used to be safe, but in
the last month they've been attacking more and more."
The road from Kabul to Kandahar is even more treacherous, according to other
drivers. "If the Afghan Army isn't there, a fly cannot pass," said Bashir, a
lorry owner, pointing to the scorched shells of three vehicles he retrieved
from a Taleban raid on the Kandahar road last week. Of 60 lorries, 13 were
destroyed, he said. "Why can't the Americans stop this?"
Seven years after a US-led invasion toppled the Taleban, that is the
question now troubling President Karzai and Nato forces in Afghanistan.
Despite the presence of 70,000 foreign troops, the Taleban have advanced on
Kabul this year and hold territory just outside Maydan Shar, the capital of
Wardak province, 20 miles southwest of the capital.
Militants in Wardak mount almost daily raids on the Kandahar road, which
also links the main US bases in Afghanistan. In the past month, they have
stepped up attacks on the road from Kabul to Pakistan via Jalalabad - the
main supply route for food, fuel and water. . . .
Video: The Taliban, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and Bridas Corporation -
posted February 24, 2006 [Karl W B Schwarz, Managing Director CEO, Rokkors
Nanotechnologies GmbH, Vienna, Austria claims that he "turned
down two RNC blank check offers to run against Clinton as governor of
[ . . . the Taliban government did not attack the United States. Our
old ally, Osama bin Laden, did. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not the same
organization (if one can really call al-Qaeda an "organization"), and no one
seems to be listening to the Afghans.--Conn Hallinan, "Afghanistan: Not a Good
War," Foreign Policy In Focus, July 30, 2008]
[The ministers demanded a status of forces agreement, which would stipulate
that the authority and responsibilities of international forces be
negotiated, and they said that aerial bombing, illegal detentions and house
raids by international forces must be stopped.--Carlotta Gall, "Afghans
Want a Deal on Foreign Troops," New York Times, August 25, 2008]
[American strategy, camouflaged as a methodology for humanitarian,
anti-terrorist intervention, is to control the main urban centres of the
country - Kabul in order to lock the Pakistani North West; Kandahar as a
door to Iranian and Pakistani Baluchistan, and Herat as base to act against
Hobbled by its usual lack of understanding of most of the local geographic
and human elements, Washington relies on a mixture of brute high-tech force
and bribery - the euphemism for the latter is "winning hearts and minds" and
according to on-site witnesses has been spectacularly unsuccessful - to
secure the support or at least the neutrality of the leading tribes and
factions. The CIA and other American agencies have often supported with
weapons and money the traditionally rebellious clans of Pakistan’s NWFP in
order to gain their sympathy, notwithstanding the fact that much of the
military equipment has been used by those Pushtun chieftains against the
regular Pakistani army which the US is currently urging to fight them.
Some observers feel that the US-British leadership would not be averse,
depending upon the evolution of the conflict, to the secession of the tribal
areas from Pakistan if such a new country could be used as a pad for NATO
military facilities. An independent, "pro-Western" Baluchistan, stretching
across the present territories of Pakistan and Iran is included in the plans
for the Greater Middle East.
Northern Afghanistan, dominated by Uzbek and Tajik ethnic elements, is
already being used as a base camp for supporting radical guerilla action and
political subversion in the adjoining ex-Soviet republics which are regarded
either as too closely aligned with their former Russian overlord or too
controlled by the new Chinese regional hegemon. . . .
The recent immigration case of Turkish Sufi religious leader Fethullah Gulen
in the US has brought to light legally compelling evidence, from American
official sources themselves, that Gulen's mammoth organization, Nurcus, was
operating as a CIA front, with Turkish, Saudi Arab and American support
throughout Central Asia as a network of Madrassas and Islamic foundations.
Those court documents have been publicized in her "State Secrets Gallery" by
whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds, who has long been pointing to a US Central
Asian strategy that connects the arming and training of radical Islamic
groups with the destabilization of regimes seen as too close to Russia and
China or too friendly to Iran, and to plans for the construction of oil and
gas pipelines in support of western energy interests ("Court Documents shed light on CIA illegal Operations
in Central Asia using Islam and Madrassas").
It appears that the USA, despite its official position to the contrary, is
in fact supporting the spread of fundamentalist Islam, in the belief that it
is not a real threat to its interests in the long run as it is too steeped
in history and too remote from the modern "knowledge and finance society" to
pose a genuine challenge, contrary to China, Russia, India and Iran which
truly threaten Anglo-American technological, economic and cultural
supremacy, but can be fought through the proxy of Islamic movements.--Come
Carpentier de Gourdon, "Afghan variable in
Asian geopolitics," vijayvaani.com, August 25, 2008]
[To the villagers here, there is no doubt what happened in an American
airstrike on Aug. 22: more than 90 civilians, the majority of them women and
children, were killed.
The Afghan government, human rights and intelligence officials, independent
witnesses and a United Nations investigation back up their account--Carlotta
Points to Civilian Toll in Afghan Raid," Washington Post,
September 7, 2008]
[On the night of August 22, the U.S. committed what Chris Floyd, in a richly
detailed and amply documented piece, calls an "atrocity" in the Afghan
village of Azizabad, near the western city of Herat. The U.S. conducted a
massive midnight airstrike on the village, killing scores of unarmed
civilians, including large numbers of women and children. That was preceded
just weeks earlier by another U.S. airstrike in Eastern Afghanistan which
"killed 27 people in a wedding party -- most of them women and children,
including the bride."
What makes the Azizabad attack particularly notable is the blatant and now
clearly demonstrated lying engaged in by the U.S. Government regarding this
incident, with the eager propagandistic assistance of what we are constantly
told is the "legitimate news arm" of Fox News -- namely, Brit Hume's show
and his stable of "legitimate news reporters."--Glenn Greenwald, "The government, the media and Afghanistan ," salon.com, September 11,
[The backing given by the West to these talks is a measure of how badly
things have gone wrong in Afghanistan, and how far Western governments are
prepared to go to stabilise a deteriorating situation which is costing more
in men, money and political capital than they ever imagined. The equally
worrying situation in Pakistan, where the Taliban are largely based and
where a separate but related insurgency has broken out, has given the
initiative a new urgency.
That the Saudi Arabians accepted the invitation of the Afghan government to
sponsor the initiative this summer is a measure of how concerned those who
govern the traditionally leading nation of the Sunni Muslim world are about
Afghanistan and al-Qaeda and the consequences they might have for the rest
of the Islamic world and beyond.--Jason Burke, "Why
the West thinks it is time to talk to the Taliban," Observer, September