warblogging in our time

Wikileaks Shows Afghanistan War Even Worse Than You Thought

The Wikileaks Papers.
Heroic invisible Internet website Wikileaks.org just released piles of secret U.S. and NATO documents about the decade-long War in Afghanistan, and it’s not a pretty picture. Every grim assumption is confirmed: Our “ally” Pakistan and our “enemy” the Taliban are one and the same, civilians are being massacred by our robot death planes at an appalling rate, and the inept Afghan Army seems to serve little use beyond providing disguises and equipment to be used by rebels attacking U.S. troops and bases. But at least the Obama Administration has responded to the leaked documents in an honest, forthright manner … haha, just kidding. Obama’s national security adviser put out a statement attacking Wikileaks and the newspapers for releasing the damning documents.

Wikileaks posted the Afghanistan War papers on its main website and distributed copies to Der Speigel, the Guardian and the New York Times, all of which just posted the stuff online. It’s tedious reading with occasional bits of “Oh my god, we are so fucked,” making the newspapers’ summary stories ultimately a lot more useful than trudging through spreadsheets consisting of thousands of memos and dispatches.

There is, for instance, this harrowing tale from a tiny U.S. outpost in southeastern Afghanistan — deep in the mountainous territory long held by the Taliban and ISI and Al Qaeda or whatever you call these people, who live here and have a stake in defending it from the western imperialists:

“Multiple enemies running through” the Afghan National Police station “and fire coming from the mosque,” he typed. He added, “The police station is shooting at us.”

Forty minutes into the fighting, he reported that the observation post was about to detonate its Claymore mines — a sign that the attackers were almost at its walls. “They are that close to the wire,” the soldier typed.

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Eight minutes later he reported that the attackers were breaching Keating’s last defensive ring. The post was at risk of falling, and having the fighting go hand-to-hand.

“Enemy in the wire at keating,” he typed. “ENEMY IN THE WIRE ENEMY IN THE WIRE!!!”

The narrative is assembled from chat-room transcripts, with the besieged and outnumbered troops pleading for air support as nearly 200 gunmen poured into the fortified outpost after hours of battle. By the time help arrived for the western troops, eight coalition soldiers were dead and another two dozen injured. The base and its leftover ammo stores were abandoned as part of a “new strategy.” This happened in October — just 10 months ago.

Obama’s national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, had this to say in a statement released tonight, according to The Politico:

The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents – the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.

Jones went on to say that the leaks “constituted a serious security risk to our government” and called the media unpatriotic for publishing the documents. Not really; that’s what Henry Kissinger said about Jack Anderson’s leaking of the Pakistan-India secret papers in 1971. [Wikileaks/NYT/Guardian/Der Spiegel]

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About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne

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131 comments

  1. chascates

    So Hamid Karzai’s brother being in the opium business isn’t such a big deal with all of this. If we declare victory and withdraw Obama will be blamed for cutting and running. Since he’ll have a hard time in 2012 and with probable bad news in November he should just suck it up and see ‘Screw it’ and get out. He would go down as a great leader just for that.

  2. kinginyellow

    I got a kick out of how the commenters on Daily Kos are claiming the release (which includes things like Afghan policeman ordering the shooting of 16-year-old rape victims) is part of a Republican conspiracy. The Netroots are exciting!

  3. slappypaddy

    following the maxim “hold your friends close, and your enemies closer,” we can expect to find pakistan and america in bed together. but who is the top, and who is the bottom?

  4. chascates

    And, offhand, can anyone figure out how many billions we’ve given Pakistan with absolutely no accounting of how the money is spent?

  5. qaf

    [re=625239]kinginyellow[/re]: Where’d you get that? In the thread ( http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/7/25/887616/-Wikileaks-Strikes-Again:-Afghanistan-Docs!!! ) I read just this minute the word Republican doesn’t even appear. There are people who are worried the leaks are giving stuff away, some who are criticizing the state of journalism today and being skeptical, and one asshat misnamed “missliberties” who’s trying to foment a lynching, but that’s it.

    Please provide a cite.

  6. Limeylizzie

    I am going to weep myself to sleep now and think of another country where I can emigrate.

  7. SmutBoffin

    It’s like the ending of The Battle of the Algiers

    Col. Mathieu: “Should we remain in Algeria? If you answer ‘yes,’ then you must accept all the necessary consequences.”

    Of course we accept the consequences! War and its consequences are always necessary, because the simple act of starting a war makes them so.

  8. chascates

    [re=625245]Limeylizzie[/re]: I’m thinking of northern Spain: Asturia. I know your fellow former countrymen prefer the hot, hot, hot Costa Brava but the Cantabrian north is more like western Oregon & Washington state. The decrim of cannabis and much lower prices of alcoholic beverages, not to mention the excellent seafood and pork, would make for a nice place for us ‘players on the back nine of life.’

  9. weejee

    Did note that much of the poop on the Paki Intel doing the nasty with the Taliban came from Afghan Intel. Those turds are typically about as unbiased on the Pakis as Breitbart or Rushbo are towards Obama. That said, I still don’t think the troop numbers pencil out, and absent a draft (GFL on that) never will.

    At best Petraeus and Hillz’ State Dept. might be able to cobble together some loose conflab of less than cooperative tribal states with a weak central government. For that to work would require Karzai to eat 400 pounds of Alice B. Toklas brownies and give-up a bunch of power or someone, perhaps the ghosts of Kublai Khan or Alexander, engineers a coup. Sorry [re=625240]Rajul[/re], that’s as funny as I can get.

    Maybe with some brownies it would not be so sad. Nah, it still would be a sad.

  10. memzilla

    Afghanistan and bordering Pakistan have always been about tribal factions. It has never been, and never will be, an area which will consider itself a nation as we in the West define one. The only reason we have co-operation from Tribe A is that they want to inform on, and have us do their hard work of killing, Tribe B. Between whom exist the typical centuries-old blood feud so typical of that aea of the world (and Kentucky and Tennessee, also).

    The British are the past masters of colonial manipulation. The Brits did this successfully in Afghanistan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Rhodesia, Kenya, etc.

    They would first get good intelligence on the tribal factions by bribing the tribal elders and the younger aspirants to their power. Then they would form an army of Tribe A and have it patrol Tribe B’s land. You’d get atrocities and mass killing, but in the end, you’d get peace. And unfortunately, that’s the only peace we’re realistically going to have over there. They see no reason to change the ways of the Eighth Century A.D.

    You want to blame someone, blame the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, which set the borders of the entire Middle East for the convenience of French and British colonial administration, not based on any reality of the tribes and people who lived in the region. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes%E2%80%93Picot_Agreement

  11. weejee

    [re=625248]chascates[/re]: Spain is cool. Way cool. My wife and I have had some really great times there on a number of visits, and have thought of retirement there. That was more so when Dubbyah was prez.

  12. chascates

    GAH! From the NY Times web:
    …illustrate in mosaic detail why, after the United States has spent almost $300 billion on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban are stronger than at any time since 2001.

  13. nutcracker

    Of course we’re going to win in Afghanistan. Just like the British won in the
    1840′s, and the Russians in the 1970′s. How many people need to die for this
    stupid illusion? Hillary Clinton should have shot Karzai herself when she was
    over there. If we’re not going to get out, we need a tinhorn dictator who will
    actually do what we want. Karzai is a backstabbing, lying scumbag who needs a
    nice public assassination.

  14. Beanball

    In case anybody has forgotten, the US, with the enthusiastic work of Texas Representative (R) Charlie Wilson and CIA thug/operative Gus Avrakotos, not to mention the dollar-for-dollar matching funds from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and – da dah! – Pakistan, your CIA armed and trained the future Taliban. (Nemesis, 2006, Chalmers Johnson)

    Payback, as they say, is a bitch.

  15. ForTheTurnstiles

    If these documents are to be trusted, and the Pakis are playing both sides of US foreign policy & military bumbling against the middle, then the best solution is to go balls deep into Pakistan.

  16. Beanball

    [re=625256]ForTheTurnstiles[/re]: “…the best solution is to go balls deep into Pakistan.”

    I believe this is called “thinking with your dick instead of your brain.”

  17. rocktonsammy

    The President has always known Karzai is two faced maotherfucker.

    Fuck Afganistan.

    Bring our girls and boys home.

  18. Imusthaveleftmyhouseat8

    These irresponsible leaks will not impact…

    If that’s true then don’t get yourself all in a huff.

  19. chascates

    And the first comment on Politico is:

    Being a student of Obamapolitics, I wonder when Obama decided to leak the information to help him run away from Afghanistan?

  20. the problem child

    [re=625261]Imusthaveleftmyhouseat8[/re]: It’s probably not true. Watch for Hils to be back there in the next week. Maybe the President, too.

  21. tbogg

    Now, when you could use some Blingee… nothing.

    Might as well go read fucking Commentary…

  22. rocktonsammy

    [re=625254]nutcracker[/re]:

    Agreed.

    Who will be the next scum bag to replace the current scumbag?

  23. steverino247

    All I can add to this is we knew exactly what the anti-Soviet fighters were capable of during the Soviet occupation of AF because we had operatives there helping them with training and supplies. These operatives reported back on how horribly Soviet prisoners were being treated and how ruthless our new “friends” could be in trying to accomplish their goals. We got the ISI to help them, too, so why be surprised that friendship/business partnership exists? The Soviets left and nothing changed. Now our guys are there and people are surprised about the results? Just shows how truly stupid Bush, Cheney and Renfield (yes, I’m using that name on purpose for Rumsfeld) were in sending our troops there in the first place. The CIA files are full of good reasons to stay the fuck out of AF, but nooooo…. If Obama pulls out without some kind of “victory” to show for the lengthy visit, he’s out at the next election. He knows that. You think Fox News hates him now? Huh, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

    And yes, Karzai needs his head on a pike. There’s your happy ending to this post.

  24. Limeylizzie

    [re=625248]chascates[/re]: I was thinking Sweden,as I have relatives there but have always had a yearning for Argentina or Uruguay , open an English Language Theatre and become more eccentric with every passing year. Sounds good.

  25. Oldskool

    We should replace Karzai with George W Bush and let him do for Afghanistan what he did for us, ruin the fucking place.

  26. Surfeit O'Hubris

    [re=625267]steverino247[/re]: This is why I think Obama should declare victory and get out the morning after election day 2012. My hope is that Fox will already be in full sulk/temper tantrum mode with Dumbelina/Mitt the Shitt/Hucklenuts/Newt the Big Gray Fatass having just gone down in flames, so it won’t make much difference.

  27. sati demise

    [re=625254]nutcracker[/re]: dont encourage them. (the cia)

    better the devil you know that the devil you dont know? could be worse? we always pick the wrong guy anyways?

    Thanks Ken. I had to entertain my wing nut brother in law yesterday and now this. goddamnnnit, my head hurts.

  28. Golfing OJ

    I appreciate that you ran this. People needing comedy so desperately always have fucking Gilligan’s Island.

  29. Geogre

    Reaction to come from television news: “tl;dr”

    Democracies always work better when the people who vote know nothing about where their tax dollars go or what the officials are deciding on their behalf.

    Even though I agree with keeping the Taliban out of power, and even military means for doing that, the whole “keep it secret, lest the enemy find out what the enemy did” argument is reeking bullshit.

  30. Golfing OJ

    [re=625278]Aurelio[/re]: It’s cracking somebody right the fuck up, that’s for sure.

  31. DC Hates Me

    [re=625253]chascates[/re]: Sure, we’ve had a few screwups, but Operation Taxdrain is a huge, never ending success.

  32. iburl

    “…the best solution is to go balls deep into Pakistan.”
    Thanks for the ‘solution’ Einstein. What is that the solution for again? That we are not in a global thermonuclear war?

  33. donner_froh

    [re=625254]nutcracker[/re]: Imperial armies unsuccessful in Afghanistan:

    USA, 2001 to 20XX

    USSR, 1979 to 1989

    Britain, 1839 to 1842; 1878 to 1880

    Alexander of Macedon circa 330 BC

  34. rottenart

    [re=625285]Buzz Feedback[/re]: Ha! I say we just invite ALL the tribes over here for a nice lamb curry and call the whole thing off.

  35. snideinplainsight

    Let me be the first to say in this thread that Hamid Karzai is the best restrauranteur in Baltimore!

    Also, let me point out that wikiLEAKS didn’t make this sh*t up. They have those documents because patriotic Americans, most likely including servicemen and women, deemed it in the country’s best interest for those documents to see light of day.

  36. Bearbloke

    [re=625240]Rajul[/re]: Bummer indeed! The pleasantly-smutty euphoria I had from my Bear-club’s “XXX-mas in July” ski week-end is now completely dissipated…

    [re=625256]ForTheTurnstiles[/re]: The Pakis have got Nukes, Mate, and a particularity unstable military- & clerically-polluted govt… I’m not aware of the prevailing winds from Pakistan, but I’m much bloody closer to potential fallout than you Yanks are!

  37. Beanball

    [re=625286]obfuscator[/re]: U rite. My error. Which only shows to go you that Dems can be waaay stupid, too. (Not that we need reminding.)

  38. NYNYNY

    How come wonkette has been freaking out my computer for the last week- giving me that spinning rainbow and then asking me to choose ‘stop script’? It’s not happening with any other site- so I assume it’s something Jack Stuff has done. It it like downloading viruses and cookiebots on me?

  39. sati demise

    [re=625293]Beanball[/re]: but Wilson tried to do the right thing after the ruskies was run outa there. amirite?

  40. WadISay

    I am sure that Newt Gingrich would agree that we should not be releasing our e-mails and DoD internal correspondence until the Taliban releases theirs.

    [re=625241]slappypaddy[/re]: Not including the horse’s head?

  41. dex

    i have been registering voters the last two months, and i just spent another sweaty afternoon not studying for my comps and getting ignored by my fellow americans as they trooped into a local park to listen to crap soft jazz and flaunt open container laws and then i come home and see former anti-war activist and current head of the foreign relations committee john kerry’s non-embrace of this rather profound anti-war gesture (“these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent”) and the contined, willful, denial of reality from the admin (“These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people”) run by the guy who had read all the books, who had been there, done that, and here’s me, i need a shower, and i’m kind of wondering, i’m kind of wondering, WHY, because i can’t help but feel like it’s going to be another 300 large and another few thousand dead children and wedding-party attendees and another few hundred new terrorists and yet another election season before we stop getting told to clap louder and because oogabooga republicans.

  42. obfuscator

    [re=625297]sati demise[/re]: yep, according to the book “charlie wilson’s war”, he fought for continuing funding for infrastructure building after the soviets pulled out, but the congress had no interested in such things. in retrospect, maybe it would have been a good idea.

  43. doloras

    [re=625256]ForTheTurnstiles[/re]: And after that, simultaneous nuclear first strikes against Tehran, Moscow and Beijing, right?

  44. obfuscator

    [re=625301]SmutBoffin[/re]: i’m kind of interested to see how the right wing media outlets/bloggers react to this. do they attack the leakers and the outlets who publish them for being unpatriotic during wartime, which would by default imply support for the president? do they attack barry and the administration for not being forthcoming about the true state of the war even though that would require them to also make the case for withdrawal?

    my guess is that they’ll find a way to do neither and somehow blame everything on nancy pelosi and shirley sherrod.

  45. WriteyWriterton

    “Hamid Karzai” – n. Afghan for “grifter”; see also Sarah Palin

    ISI – Asia’s finest double-gamer.

    The British Empire – tea, scones, clotted cream, and hell at high tea for all the later-arriving fools. The sun will be setting on our empire’s ass any day now. The shadows lengthen quickly, don’t they?

    Wikileaks – public-service.

    Thanks, Ken. I’ll sleep badly tonight. As I should.

  46. SmutBoffin

    [re=625308]obfuscator[/re]: The different wingnut reaction scenarios you outline appear based on the assumption that their response will be internally consistent.

    In reality, they will do both. The response will attack this website for not supportin’ the troops and accuse Obama of running some Chicago-style cover-up. Don’t ask me how, you will just read it in Douthat’s latest or whatever.

  47. WriteyWriterton

    We’ve been – oh, what’s the ghettish for it? – oh, yes, “played.” Completely. Irreparably. Hubristically.

    If we had gods, they’d bind and gag Bush and Cheney and abandon them on a mountain-top, to the tener mercies of vultures eating their entrails forever.

  48. Beanball

    [re=625297]sati demise[/re]: [re=625300]obfuscator[/re]: Yes, Charlie finally tried to do the “right” thing as he understood it after the Rooskies left, but apparently the booze had sapped his energy and he failed in his last humanitarian attempt. (He died at age 48 of complications from his partying lifestyle). And in contemplating the utter indifference of our ruling rulers, I am often just gobsmacked. For the cost of a few Stingers, they could have built a world-class research/teaching hospital, for instance. But they just walked away.

    Utterly gobsmacked.

  49. NewAlgier

    This is another nail in the Old Media coffin. Shouldn’t real journalists, the ones with expense accounts, be ashamed that they were scooped by a freaking website??

  50. Sparky McGruff

    [re=625300]obfuscator[/re]: If we’d built some infrastructure in Afghanistan, then at least we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq. One of the bushie’s main reasons for wanting to invade Iraq after 9/11 is that there wasn’t enough stuff to blow up in Afghanistan. Well, at least there wasn’t enough stuff for US to blow up, there appears to be plenty of our stuff that’s ready for ‘sploding.

  51. WriteyWriterton

    “…tender mercies…” (Yes, it matters, but not much. Not anymore. We’re drowning in the blood flowing from our mistakes.)

    Pardon the interruption. We now return to our regularly scheduled snark.

  52. obfuscator

    [re=625310]SmutBoffin[/re]: you’d think this would induce intellectual brain freeze, assuming the wingtards possessed the capacity for it.

    “nobamar’s leaking documents about the fucked up war he insists on continuing! arrrrr!!”

  53. obfuscator

    [re=625312]Beanball[/re]: congressmen and senators learn the first rule of sending taxpayer money to foreign countries pretty quickly: the electorate strongly prefers that the funds are used to kill the brown-skinned people instead of rebuilding their country after we fucked it up.

  54. WriteyWriterton

    [re=625316]obfuscator[/re]: You answered your own question: no brain, no brain-freeze.

  55. CarmanK

    There is nothing heroic about betraying your country and putting our military personnel in danger. Novak was a traitor when he outed Valerie Plame, that was just one person in danger on its face, but her contacts around the world were put in jeopardy.
    The person or persons who exposed these documents are traitors and need to be hanged.

  56. WriteyWriterton

    [re=625317]obfuscator[/re]: Our motto: “No foreign policy smarter than a box of hair, or double your money back!”

  57. obfuscator

    [re=625293]Beanball[/re]: he was a strong hawk, but he also supported the right to choose, a minimum wage hike, medicaid, and the equal rights amendment. being a democrat from east texas has to be weird.


  58. Post author
    Ken Layne

    [re=625313]NewAlgier[/re]: Journalists never get anything important unless somebody *leaks* something important to journalists. The Pentagon Papers, Watergate, Iran Contra, Clinton getting a blowjob that one time … all leaked by people with access to the inside dope. Journalists are errand boys (or girls; don’t want to leave out Judith Miller!). They put out what others gave them, if the publisher allows it.

    Wikileaks prevents that whole “well I gave the secret horror plans to the NYT but they spiked it” problem. When Wikileaks needs publicity for a big trove like the Afghanistan FUBAR papers, then the big media outlets will be offered the chance to simultaneously release the stuff as happened Sunday. If not? There are many more media outlets. No single advertiser or editor or publisher can kill a leaked document now. That’s a good thing.

  59. obfuscator

    [re=625321]CarmanK[/re]: is there anything heroic about putting our military personnel in danger by sending them to a war based on misinformation, half-truths, fearmongering, and outright lies?

  60. WriteyWriterton

    [re=625321]CarmanK[/re]: I disagree, troll-person.

    The people who published these documents are patriots. They’re trying to save the lives of men and women sacrificed in a stupid and pointless war.

    Read the NY Times note: “The Times has taken care not to publish information that would harm national security interests. The Times and the other news organizations [Der Spiegel and The Guardian, fyi] agreed at the outset that we would not disclose — either in our articles or any of our online supplementary material — anything that was likely to put lives at risk or jeopardize military or antiterrorist operations. We have, for example, withheld any names of operatives in the field and informants cited in the reports. We have avoided anything that might compromise American or allied intelligence-gathering methods such as communications intercepts. We have not linked to the archives of raw material. At the request of the White House, The Times also urged WikiLeaks to withhold any harmful material from its Web site.”

  61. WriteyWriterton

    [re=625321]CarmanK[/re]: See also wikileaks: ”

    “We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from the total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with occasional redactions, and eventually, in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.”

  62. WriteyWriterton

    I apologize to all loyal Wonketeers for taking CarmanK seriously enough to reply as if s/he were an adult. It seemed necessary at the time.[re=625328]Jim89048[/re]: Well put.

  63. imissopus

    The Soviets had isolated and undermanned firebases just like Keating all through their time in Afghanistan, and those were forever being overrun and the soldiers slaughtered. Nice to see we learned from their mistakes.

    [re=625321]CarmanK[/re]: putting our military personnel in danger.

    Um, the people WHO SENT THEM THERE are the ones who put them in danger. Fuck off and die, troll.

  64. Jim89048

    [re=625333]Jim89048[/re]:Haha, I fail. It’s those greater than/less than bracket thingies.<

  65. Kazoom

    And the end of the fight
    Is a tombstone white
    With the name of the late deceased,
    And the epitaph drear,
    “A fool lies here
    Who tried to hustle the East.”

  66. obfuscator

    this is what i took away from this story:

    fuck this stupid war. privileged cowards got us into it, and we need leaders with balls to get us out.

  67. jennx

    [re=625312]Beanball[/re]: Charlie Wilson just died this year. He was in his late 70′s.

  68. Beanball

    [re=625341]jennx[/re]: Yes, I corrected my error after Obfuscator pointed it out to me, and I knew better anyway, as Charlie served on the Defense Appropriations Committee under Tip O’Neil, as I recall. I can’t say what’s up with the death at 48 error; that’s probably a result of my heavy drinking.

  69. Thugs &

    [re=625338]obfuscator[/re]: What I took away from this is that “insurgent” is Pashto for “dead civilian.”

  70. obfuscator

    [re=625343]Thugs &[/re]: eh, they all talk funny and have dark skin. they’re not real people. U-S-A! U-S-A!

  71. obfuscator

    [re=625342]Beanball[/re]: you were right in the sense that his excesses killed him. boozing eventually led to heart failure.

    i type this as i light a cigarette and pour my 8th vodka of the night.

  72. Zorg

    [re=625240]Rajul[/re]: I’m with you. I come here to fly my sparkly snark flag but this sort of report is more for my serious side, when I commit to exterminating hostile populations en masse.

  73. A Geek Tragedy

    [re=625248]chascates[/re]: Decriminalised marijuana? The Spanish are so half-arsed. In Portugal there are no criminal penalties for possessing any drug for personal use.

  74. Lazy Media

    Everybody is always going on about how the Afghans are supposed to be so tough, but if that’s true, then why does the Afghan army suck so bad? It’s not like MOST Afghans are on the side of the Taliban; they’re only popular in parts of the country, and Afghans hated it when they ran the national government. The problem is, we half-assed this war for nine years, which is about how long most successful counter-insurgent wars take (See Peru, Cambodia, Malaysia, Guatemala). And all of these documents come from the half-ass period. This ain’t Vietnam; despite some help from some Pakistanis, there’s no Soviet Union arming these guys, and since the Taliban started attacking Pakistan, they’ve lost a lot of support there over the past year. War sucks, most particularly for the Taliban, and they can be outlasted if we continue to work at it. It’s not going to be any fun for the troops (and I’ll probably be over there in 2012 myself), but on the greatest-good scale, it’s going to be a lot better for little Afghan girls.

  75. Lazy Media

    [re=625290]snideinplainsight[/re]: Or, you could more accurately say, ONE snotnosed pog REMF got his panties in a twist and decided HE would make security policy, instead of the people appointed by the democratically elected government.

  76. jrients

    [re=625353]Lazy Media[/re]: Hey, if you want to focus on saving little girls around the world, I’m right there with you. Howzabout we do the math on how many little girls would be saved if we had spent 300 billion on humanitarian aid instead of blowing shit up?

  77. Lazy Media

    [re=625300]obfuscator[/re]: THIS. What we need to do is spend money in Afghanistan for peaceful nation building, because it’s otherwise going to be a wartorn shithole FOREVER, breeding nutjob building-bombers, and you can’t build stuff in an active war zone. The problem in Afghanistan is not going to be fixed by being cheap about it. The problem is, and has always been, the amount of money we poured down a rathole by deliberately breaking Iraq, which was a terrible place but at least a functional one that wasn’t hurting the U.S. Afghanistan was a terrible place that WAS hurting us, and if we’d put all our effort into it, we’d have probably had as many casualties as we have in Iraq-Afghanistan combined, but we’d be just about done by now.

    OK, with Bushies running it, maybe not so close to done, but a hell of a lot closer.

  78. Lazy Media

    [re=625355]jrients[/re]: You can’t spend humanitarian aid in a place that is at war with you, which pretty much happened on 9/11. And you can’t save little girls when their government would rather kill them than allow them to go to school.

  79. Lazy Media

    [re=625288]donner_froh[/re]: Imperial armies are often unsuccessful against insurgents when the insurgents are allied with an opposing imperial army. Otherwise, imperial armies tend to succeed (that’s how they get to be empires).

    1. Alexander crushed the Afghans who opposed him; he retreated only because his troops were tired of not being in Greece.
    2. The Brits were opposed by the Russians.
    3. The Soviets were opposed by us.
    4. We’re opposed by, well, some Arab money and volunteers, and a shrinking slice of the Pakistani security apparatus.

  80. Geogre

    [re=625292]sati demise[/re]: “tl;dr”: the surest sign of the triumph of self-satisfied phillistinism in history. It stands for “too long, didn’t read.” Note how it contains within it an inappropriate semicolon, a happy argument that simple length is a reason for not listening or investigating.

    It is a commonplace for generation Ritalin to say that any thing longer than “nunh-unh” is “tl;dr.” It fits the hummingbird brain of television news perfectly. (“90,000 documents? We have to report a complete summary in the next two minutes! Someone read the AP summary of the NYT summary, and then we’ll get pundits to scream about the fact that the leak exists, ok?”)

  81. Bearbloke

    It’s bedtime here, but Monday morn business hrs at the White House – has there been an official reaction press conference yet?

  82. Geogre

    [re=625362]Bearbloke[/re]: Usually not until about 10:00 AM, Eastern time, but Julian Asange, in your time, has made a Wiki Leaks statement/Q&A with the BBC.

  83. Oblios Cap

    It’s telling to watch the sober discussion of these leaks by the BBC and contrast with the US government’s offhand dismissal of all of the revelations as “damaging National Security” and ignoring any discussion of the facts.

    Democrats are just Republican lites. I hate the DLC and especially Rahm.

  84. norbizness

    One of the first “facts” I knew immediately pre-9/11 (I think it was when the Buddha statues were being destroyed) was that the Taliban was a creation/puppet of the Pakistani intelligence service. Apparently nine years of re-starting the opium trade and killing wedding parties with robots hasn’t changed that, but at least we got to spend a shitload of money.

  85. Bearbloke

    [re=625365]Oblios Cap[/re]: The British govt already knows how an Imperial Misstep in “the Afghan Theatre” feels, so they’re past the hysteria….

  86. MarieDeGournay

    Just read some of the Times: we are well and truly fucked. Goes well with reading V for Vendetta for the fourth time. “Remember, remember the fifth of November.”

  87. algoresexattack

    cannot be ‘worse than you thought’ i ve always thought the whole thing was bullshit.

  88. TGY

    Let me propose a toast: to our friends, the Good Guys! And to our enemies, the Bad Guys! And to the hope that, one day, we’ll be able to tell the one from the other.

  89. sharkchum

    It’s amazing to me that we talk about how Obama would be screwed if we withdraw from AF. What about the soldiers and civilians who are being killed daily for stupid wars? Death is the ultimate screwing.

  90. m_supercomputer

    [re=625248]chascates[/re]: I read a book of post-Franco Spanish history recently, and saw some depressing similarities to post-Bush America. The people voted for a complete change by electing a Socialist government (an actual one, not just an accused-by-Republicans-to-be-a-socialist one like Hopey) but the remaining Fascist elements in the government and military still had their power, and the new government had to appease them to keep them from starting a coup. So little by little they moved right, until there wasn’t much difference between their policies and Franco’s, particularly in the area of the human rights of “detainees.” Basque nationalists, assumed to all be terrorists, have fared particularly badly as the government claimed the right to take extreme measures against terrorists. All sounds pretty familiar, right?

  91. Snarkalicious

    The withdrawal speech should go something like this:

    “My fellow Americans. For the last 19 months, I as President have attempted to prosecute an unwinnable war in the mountains of Afghanistan. I did this because I wanted the deaths of thousands of American troops to be in vain. So, a few hundred of of them are on my head, and I am sorry. But there’s a special place in hell for the fuck-faces who started this bullshit. I’m ending it. Fuck the Republican party, and may God bless America.”

  92. noodleman

    [re=625308]obfuscator[/re]: We’ve been in Afghanistan since 2002 so if there’s any blame to be made, I’m guessing the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal should be held more responsible than Obama.

  93. lumpenprole

    Maximum Pushtanistan

    Kinda wish more people saw this map. Just sick of hearing about how the Taliban made a run for the border on NPR every other morning since late 2004. It’s the Durand Line – something put on the map by London and Moscow in the 19th century. It’s taken most seriously by people who live on other continents.

  94. Snarkalicious

    [re=625493]Snarkalicious[/re]: “to NOT be in vain” is perhaps what you meant to type in the middle of that sentence? What a moran.

  95. Neilist

    Gee, Ken, nothing I like better on a Monday morning than reading “ENEMY IN THE WIRE.”

    I almost threw up into the wastebasket under my desk.

    Thanks for the memories.

    [Oh, for five minutes alone with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Five fucking minutes.]

  96. qaf

    [re=625327]kinginyellow[/re]: I did, bozo. Or did the URL hurt your eyes?

    I spent more time reading those comments to see if you were right than it took you to pull your “Republican conspiracy” lie out of your ass.

    It’s as real as the imaginary play ( http://www.ansible.co.uk/sfx/sfx070.html — lookie, another cite) you named yourself after (“I believe the author shot himself after bringing forth this monstrosity, didn’t he?”), and as vile.

  97. GOPCrusher

    It’s reading stuff like this that makes me think that trying the entire Bushyt Cabal as war criminals for Iraq, is a good idea.

  98. just pixels

    [re=625290]snideinplainsight[/re]: The leaker is the hero of his own story. But he or she is no hero or patriot. As imperfect as our system of secrets may be, within its scope is information that can cost lives. We entrust that information to people do not, and should not, have the discretion to unveil secrets because they personally think it would be a good idea.

    As a counter-example, commentators on this blog have had a rollicking good time mocking whoever released of “journolist” messages. And the “climategate” messages. Those breaches of trust seem less like a heroic act than someone with their own agenda.

  99. Timh

    Among other things, WikiLeaks paints a picture of the precarious nature of US bases in Afghanistan, with an example of how one base, Camp Keating, almost got overrun. Surprised? We’re not. We spent nearly a year off and on at a small outpost called Restrepo. The soldiers we were with often talked about the possibility of a catastrophic attack, and I was with US forces when their lines were overrun. The insurgents stripped weapons and ammunition from a dead American soldier and escaped. Two days later they nearly dragged off a wounded soldier alive. If you want an insight into the war which isn’t piecemeal, then watch our movie Restrepo and see for yourself – http://www.restrepothemovie.com/

  100. villageatrois

    [re=625266]rocktonsammy[/re]: [re=625266]rocktonsammy[/re]: “Who will be the next scum bag to replace the current scumbag?”

    They are bread in captivity, and nurtured to become POTUS. Reagan, of course, was only groomed by movie producers. But Bush I and II were bred for the job, by the people who funded the Nazi party in Germany. Clinton, the alleged son of David Rockefeller, was sent to Yale and Cambridge, despite his poverty. Obama was raised on Ford Foundation grants to his mother, and moved from Chicago street drug user to Columbia and Harvard, with no income nor family backing. Some recreational drug users on the Nobel Committee gave him the Nobel Peace Prize, because, “why not? and no one told us to do it.”

    In a few years, we’ll be looking at a POTUS created entirely by Steven Spielberg, and we’ll be happy!

  101. libwakman

    The military personnel that released these papers are traitors and should be hanged: yea..with medals for letting the American public finally realize how Fucked this Bush Led debacle is. Watcha’ gonna’ do Barry? Can you say Quagmire of a Mofo’?

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