Archive for the ‘SOVIETS IN AFGHANISTAN’ Tag


John Chuckman



“Pompeo says Taliban ‘overreached’ in attack that killed American

“President pulls back from planned peace talks with Taliban at Camp David after bombing that killed 12”


Overreached? What does that even mean in this context?

Pompeo’s words are as meaningless as they are arrogant.

We get only lunacy upon lunacy from this White House mob.

Just to remind him, you are invaders in that country, not invited guests.

And you’ve just bragged of having killed about a thousand Taliban in the last ten days.


Response to a comment about American war crimes in Afghanistan:

Oh, there have been many war crimes. I don’t know whether your reference is to the Jamie Doran documentary, “The Convoy of Death,” about the brutal mass murder of about 3,000 Taliban prisoners. These were prisoners for whom America had a direct responsibility.

The prisoners were packed into containers supposedly for transfer to a prison, the containers sealed and loaded onto trucks. As the men later screamed for some air in the blistering heat or water, American soldiers and troops I believe of the ghastly General Dostum, an American ally with a brutal reputation, stopped and shot into the containers until the shouting stopped.

About four days later, when the containers were opened, most of the prisoners were dead. American Special Forces troops ordered the containers brought to a spot in the desert where any living prisoners were shot, and all of the bodies were buried in mass graves.

That happened shortly after the charming Donald Rumsfeld made an angry demand in Washington about large new batches of Taliban prisoners, saying they should either be walled away forever or killed off. He clearly was taken at his word by some American troops and General Dostum’s men.

There was America’s long series of violent house entries, kicking down doors and using stun grenades, holding terrified families, women and children, at gunpoint while the house was searched and any men in it were bound and marched off as prisoners to who knows where? That happened to countless Afghan families. The men, if they survived, were headed for harsh interrogation with torture.

America’s reckless bombing killed thousands of innocent people. Many times, large groups like wedding parties, celebrating outside, were wiped out by American pilots. American soldiers wantonly shot up villages.

The Americans were bored with being stuck in that searingly hot, very unfriendly place with strange-looking people who didn’t speak their language. Very young men from places in America with no exposure to other cultures, with nothing to do much of the time, and with big guns.

The American military is often desperate for bodies and takes what it can get as recruits. That includes people who enjoy cruelty and the chance to kill others with impunity. Young men much like the members of urban street gangs who occupy large portions of American cities. There was plenty of that kind of activity in Afghanistan and in Iraq.


Response to a comment about having to get out of Afghanistan:

Well, ultimately, yes.

But Washington cannot admit they ever made a mistake, a terrible mistake.

There was never any real reason to invade Afghanistan.

It had no hand in 9/11.

But America was thirsty for blood and revenge after 9/11, and they didn’t really care if they got the right guys or not.

There is no evidence of Taliban involvement in 9/11. None. The Taliban are concerned about their local tribal blood feuds, much like some of those legendary families in the American Ozarks fighting multi-generational feuds such as the Hatfields and McCoys.

The Taliban gave temporary refuge to Osama bin Laden – a Saudi, but, importantly, someone who rather bravely served in the American-supplied opposition to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s – a man seen as a devout Muslim and a hero, and that’s all.

Of course, we’ve never had any proof that even Osama was guilty of anything except disliking the Saudi Royal family and America’s complicity with them. Early on, when America demanded the Taliban government extradite him, the Taliban, in accordance with international law and custom for such requests, asked for some evidence. Washington ignored them and shortly invaded.

The American invasion also ended the Taliban government’s ban on growing opium poppies, something which resulted in flooding world markets with cheap hard drugs and something we suffer from still with all the urban drug-gang shootings over sales turf and unpaid bills.


I do think it quite possible that, in fact, no meeting with the Taliban was ever going to happen.

Just as in Syria and a couple of other situations, Trump bellows about what he’s going to do, and it all falls through or simply never happens.

Some important officials he has appointed oppose such steps.

He is just a massive pile of conflicting urges, and he makes no consistent sense ever.


Response to a comment saying, “Remember when Jack Layton wanted to negotiate with the Taliban and everyone (including the media) started calling him Taliban Jack”:

Absolutely. Thanks for the reminder. God, I admired Jack Layton.

Brave and intelligent leaders often get attacked because there are so many people who simply do not understand them.

By the way, concerning Canada’s sad and pointless involvement in Afghanistan, an Ottawa official said in the early days that the troops were going to Afghanistan because “We owed one to the Pentagon.”

He was referring to the fact that Prime Minister Jean Chretien had turned George Bush down on sending some Canadian troops for the illegal invasion of Iraq.

Well, you do not turn America down in such matters without hearing back a lot of very unpleasant things.

The Canadian contribution to Afghanistan was something of a “peace offering.”

Some reason to join a war, right? “We owe one to the Pentagon.”

But that so characteristic of the bizarre world America has constructed with its endless wars.


Response to a comment:

The Taliban were the official government of the country before America invaded.

They’re not outsiders or invaders, as the United States very much is.

The Taliban are just one of the basic major divisions of Afghan society, a tough, backward, desperately poor, hardscrabble society.

Thinking you could get rid of them is about the equivalent of talking about getting rid of Baptists in South Carolina.

The entire war has been a stupid, destructive, pointless waste.

But that’s just the way they do things in Washington.

Time after time. Place after place.


Response to a comment:

That phrase you use, “world’s policeman,” does not fit America’s role in the world today. I’m not sure whether it ever did, but it sure does not fit today.

It was meant to sound benign when it was coined. Korea was called a “police action.” After all, with WWII just a few years behind, officials didn’t want to encourage public fears about a new war.

Today, American activities everywhere are aggressive. They’re about telling others what to do and how to do it. And they’re about hurting and killing those America really does not like.

America is an empire, a rather brutal global empire. Not the law-abiding society of a quiet republic looking out at a big, bad world, as it likes to imagine itself.

No one sensibly calls such behavior “policing.”


I should have added, importantly, it is an empire in relative decline with the growth of all kinds of competitors that it didn’t have after WWII, its glory days.

Even its reserve-currency dollar, a very great privilege and advantage, is starting to come under threat. It will certainly lose its position in the future. And weaponizing it, as Trump has done with all his illegal enforcement of unreasonable sanctions, if anything, only speeds the day.

In recognition of its relative economic decline and the many competitive changes in the world, America’s establishment has entered now into a ferocious effort to reclaim its unchallenged place of, say, sixty years ago.

They talk in terms of achieving “full-spectrum dominance.” And that’s not only Trump. He’s just the ugly, noisy frontman right now. Republicans and Democrats support this crusade, or it would not happen.

No matter what their varying views on social issues, virtually every one of them supports the American empire. It is what they’ve known all their lives, their careers were built on it, and it is a matter of pride and arrogance, part of Old Glory Patriotism, a powerful secular religious force in the country.

“MAGA” is just Trump’s term for the faded and tattered notion, the “American Dream,” something which arose as a sheer accident of history after WWII when no competitors were left standing and America thrived on selling everything to everyone. It dominated world manufacturing and trade.

But that position cannot be reclaimed. It’s an illusion to think that it can, a dangerous illusion.

Trying to make it happen will yield only angry frustration and angry responses from others. And the natural forces that have been at work reducing America’s relative position are likely to be reinforced by people’s determination to resist being told what to do.

That effort is why we have all the threats and illegal sanctions everywhere. The immense pressures applied to a peaceful China, a peaceful Russia, a peaceful Iran, and others.

We are in a dangerous period, and the United States political system has managed to put genuinely frightening men in charge – angry, intemperate, and even unstable men. Trump. Bolton. Pompeo.


Response to a comment about whether there ever even was a Trump deal with the Taliban:


This is from a close observer of events, one who is more often right than wrong in his analysis of world affairs.


Posted September 9, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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Al-Qaeda said?

You certainly do not have to be a “conspiracy theorist” to look on such a statement with hard cynical eyes.

First, we have the word of former British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, as well as other distinguished people that there is no “Al-Qaeda,” the term being a made-up catch-all for “bad guys” in general.

Since the word literally means “toilet,” it has always seemed unlikely there is such an organization even without the testimony of people who know.

Second, we pick these things up off a supposed Al-Qaeda web site?

Please, how long do you think it would take – with the NSA and CIA and other agencies constantly monitoring the Internet – to have special forces breaking down your door if you had a web site designated as an official Al-Qaeda web site?

A day? Maybe hours?

This kind of report lacks journalistic credibility.

Response to another reader who says:

“So really the threat is still there and all must be vigilant.”

Vigilant for what?

People-eating aliens from space?

The Rapture?


Spores from space?

Asteroids on a collision course with earth?

That is a ridiculous mode of thought which the propagandists and powers that be exploit to the hilt.

People who do murderous things are always part of life, especially in places like the United States.

You don’t have call them terrorists, just criminals or violent mental cases.

And responsible citizens have always reported truly doubtful behaviors to authorities.

Today we have lunatics day and night seeing things that aren’t there.

Response to another reader who asks:

“Was there ever a Bin Laden?”


He was a son of a distinguished and rich Saudi family and he is known to have intensely disliked the ruling House of Saud, and that’s why he could not live in his own homeland.

He served in America’s proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

He is reputed to have been a brave man and a quite intelligent one.

Being an enemy of the House of Saud was itself a very dark mark against him for the United States after his being used in Afghanistan, but he also grew to dislike the United States.

He disliked the U.S. for manipulating his people over Afghanistan. They fought against the Soviets based on the notion that the Soviets were godless interlopers in Afghanistan, set on suppressing Muslims – that is the kind of line the CIA repeated endlessly while handing out Stinger missiles, rifle grenades, and packages of plastique.

After the Soviet defeat, he saw the U.S. beginning to do the very things they used to inflame hatred of the Soviets in a long series of events which saw Americans encroaching on what he and others regarded as sacred land. American troops in Saudi Arabia, land of the Prophet, and supported by the corrupt House of Saud, were especially detested.

Beyond that, our knowledge is pretty sketchy.

The U.S. never offered proof of his involvement in 9/11.

Indeed, the Taleban government in Afghanistan was willing to extradite him when the U.S. requested it after 9/11, if evidence were supplied, that being the normal international procedure in all extraditions.

It was the U.S. who refused, a fact never explained.

The U.S. made up its mind to invade Afghanistan and teach the world a lesson in the meaning of vengeance.

The odd fact is it was not the Taleban who even invited bin Laden to live in the country, it was the previous Northern Alliance government, the very same people the U.S. used to fight the Taleban, the very people who rule there today, and many of them are just as intolerant and backward as the Taleban.

The Taleban, while backward and nasty in their views, need never have been our actual enemies.

Many responsible people believe bin Laden was killed in the horrific bombing of Tora Bora a decade ago. If such were the case, it is reasonable the U.S. would want to keep it a secret to prevent the creation of a martyr.

I don’t know, but I was somewhat inclined to accept that.

This recent claim of his assassination, even if true, is so full of uncertainties and inconsistencies that great doubts exist as to what actually happened, and I am not referring to pictures or the lack of them.

It is quite possible that the Pakistani government actually gave him up to the CIA in return for some benefit – as perhaps a slowdown or halt to all the drone attacks and special forces assassinations.

There is a credible report from Pakistan that it was the Pakistani military who landed and entered the compound – this would have the effect of handing Obama a prize for his re-election – something which has not been at all certain.

Any government would be tired and angry about such high-handed treatment. But American activity’s impact on fundamentalist areas of Pakistan has been devastating in terms of terror incidents against the government for its silent cooperation. American arrogance has caused Pakistan to pay a high price in instability, literally tens of thousand of deaths.

On the other hand, Obama may just have staged a big show, a setting for announcing what may have been true for ten years.

I don’t see what gruesome pictures would settle since we can be sure there would have been pictures taken ten years ago in the mountains of Tora Bora.

Whatever is the case, I’m sure he is dead, but again we have no idea as to what his responsibility for 9/11 or other acts was. It does seem to me that he provided the United States with something of an Emmanuel Goldstein figure, the mythical arch villain with whom Oceana constantly frightened its citizens in Orwell’s 1984.