Category Archives: Afghanistan

Bergdahl Controversy: Profiles in Courage, Profiles in Afghan Food…….

      


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“Soldier: ‘Ludicrous’ To Lay 100 Percent Of Blame At Bergdahl’s Feet..” 


“Hillary Camp Distances… After Defending Days Ago!….” 

“Republicans Delete Digital Praise of Bowe Bergdahl Release….” 

“GOP Strategists Are Arranging Media Interviews To Attack Bowe Bergdahl…..” 

“The Hero Who Died Looking for Bowe Bergdahl…..” 

“Hillary Clinton Was Skeptical of Taliban-Bergdahl Swap…..” 

“Bergdahl was unpopular with fellow troops” (He read books about Afghanistan!)

Those were some of the headlines this week on the Bergdahl-Taliban exchange. So:
  • Many Republicans praised the deal then saw an opportunity to benefit politically……….
  • The Clintonistas, Hillary et al, praised the deal then it got warm in the kitchen. They saw a pitfall, let it know Hillary MAY have been skeptical……
  • What next? That Obama was skeptical but went along with Smiling Joe Biden?
  • Either way, Susan Rice has had her last official government job: she is the fall girl, has been since before Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi (John McCain can manage to look dignified as he whistles that tune to sound like Maria, Maria, Maria)……..

Oh courage, courage or lack thereof and the soundbite and the video clip without consent. And don’t forget the spin for 2014 and 2016. The early bird gets the spin. That is what defines American politics these years.

Now for the main event, Bowe Bergdahl: 
  • The kid was held in captivity among the cutthroat Taliban for five years! Imagine one of the sanctimonious fat senators, or Rush Limbaugh or Hannity, or a Clinton adviser being in his place. 
  • Notice that in almost every video clip we see of him in captivity he is stuffing his face (as in eating)? Do you think the Afghans may have lured him with promises of better food than the pink slime and the SRE or whatever they serve in those outposts? 
  • The guy looked skinny and starved before his captivity, but we won’t know what he looks like now until he is shown on the inevitable TV circus. It shouldn’t be long now.

U.S. Navy Seals and Al Qaeda and U.S. Judges vs. Iranian Money………

      


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“When insurgents shot down a CH-47D Chinook helicopter carrying Navy SEALs over Afghanistan in 2011, it spawned myriad questions about who in the U.S. military and political establishment should be held accountable. But the families of several of the 38 men killed in that mission intend to take it a step farther, suing another entity more removed from the incident: Iran. Problem is, the families don’t at the moment have much in the way of direct evidence to implicate Iran in the shootdown. The families plan to name Tehran, two of its leaders — former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei — and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards among the defendants in a lawsuit seeking $600 million in damages………………”

Imagine if the family of every veteran who was ever wounded or killed in battle or in a terrorist attack decides to sue ‘somebody’ for it. Many thousands who died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc. Many thousands of veterans who were wounded. It would be a mess.
That ought to keep a lot of lawyers occupied.
This case is one hell of a stretch, but nothing new here. It seems that other parties in the USA have aspire to sue Iran for money, and have done so. And why not, and who needs real solid reasonable sensible evidence? There have been judges in recent years who ruled millions of Iranian dollars for American victims of Al Qaeda terrorism, under the pretext that “Saudi Arabia Iran supports Al Qaeda”! This is as sensible and reasonable as claiming that Jews supported Nazism. But hey, these honorable judges are just doing their job, and there is a lot of honorable frozen Iranian money to be had. There is plenty of easy money to be had.
BTW: How come nobody sues those princes and Wahhabi potentates who created, arm, lead, and finance Al Qaeda? And should the families of all those Afghans and Pakistanis and Yemenis who were collateral damage in the war against Al Qaeda terrorists decide to sue for the drones killing their relatives by mistake? And how much should they ask for? And what are their chances of a judge outside Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen ruling for them?
 

Here are some links to a few of my older posts on similar topics of ‘legal’ absurdity:

Mel Brooks and Oliver Stone of Persia: a Taliban-Hezbollah-Colombian-Iranian-alQaeda-Mexican-Texan-African Network…….

Piling on Iran: Teetotaler Washington Judge Plays Sherlock Holmes, or is it Hercule Poirot, not Stalin…..

The Iran Embassy Plot and My old American History Professor, about the Maine……

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com


The Last Halal Kosher Kebab Joint in Kabul………

      


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“In his 50s, Simintov is the last known Afghan Jew to remain in the country. He has become something of a celebrity over the years and his rivalry with the next-to-last Jew, who died in 2005, inspired a play. Mindful of Afghanistan’s extremely conservative Muslim culture, Simintov tries not to advertise his identity to protect the Balkh Bastan or Ancient Balkh kebab cafe he opened four years ago, naming it after a northern Afghan province. “All food here is prepared by Muslims,” he said. Now the cafe, neat and shiny, faces closure because kebabs are not selling well – largely because of deteriorating security in Kabul…………..”

How did this man survive the hellish years of Taliban rule? He would have been an obvious target for them. Even many Muslims, both Shi’a and Sunni, did not survive their bloody years. Can survival be something that is, as Wendy Sherman might say, in the DNA?

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com


Mamas and Papas in Dushanbe: Iran with Friends, a Hug from Susan Rice……….

    

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Monday Monday, so good to me,

Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be


Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn’t guarantee


That Monday evening you would still be here with me.


Monday Monday, can’t trust that day,


Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way


Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be


Oh Monday Monday, how yould cou leave and not take me. ………..
The Mamas and The Papas



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon called for more cooperation during their summit in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe on Sunday. The presidents emphasized that the expansion of relations between regional countries helps efforts meant to resolve problems facing the region. They said that the four countries should step up their campaign against drugs and terrorism and increase their cooperation in all areas to help promote the welfare of the people of the region. During the summit, Ahmadinejad stated that enemies of the region are experiencing many problems and have reached an impasse and called for closer cooperation between the four countries………..


Is it
just my own impression or are the Iranians running out of friends? All I read is Ahmadinejad going to Kabul, Islamabad, Harare, Khartoum, Dushanbe (Dushanbe means ‘Monday’ in Farsi). I’ve got nothing against their great cities, especially in peacetime, but what else? I mean the Saudi king can fly to Paris or Berlin or Washington or even Chicago and get a warm (at least warm-looking) welcome from their leaders. Even Rahm Emanuel would roll out the red carpet. Even in New York, post 9/11. 

As for Mahmoud Ahmadinejd, he probably can’t get a visa to visit Lichtenstein. You think the mullahs are wondering WTF is going on? You’d think they’ll start applying the charm, such as it is, and spreading the goodwill around. Imagine a day when Ahmadinejad or some ayatollah gets a friendly smile and a warm hug from Susan Rice?
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

White Gods vs. Brown Gods: Greed and Blood Money from Beirut to Lockerbie to Tehran to Afghanistan.. …….

    

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Here are some brief media reports of “terrorist” acts in Beirut, Europe, the Persian Gulf, and Afghanistan. These acts were committed by Arabs, Muslims, and Westerners. That acts were shocking, they always are. Note the aftermath. It is almost as shocking as the acts themselves, in fact more so because the aftermath reflects how humans are valued differently in the West. Now a comparison is in order:

Feb. 2012: The U.S. paid $50,000 in compensation for each villager killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by a rogue American soldier in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Sunday. The families were told that the money came from President Barack Obama. The unusually large payouts……….

Feb. 2011: Paul Wolfowitz has been branded ‘pathetic’ after launching an extraordinary attack on the families of those who lost loved ones in the Lockerbie bombing. The former deputy Secretary of Defense said the U.S. had buckled under pressure from grieving relatives to normalise relations with Libya so they could walk away with $10million each in compensation………….”

Nov. 2008: The U.S. said Sunday it has begun transferring more than $500 million in Libyan compensation money to the families of American victims of the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. More money is on the way to complete the settlement, but $504 million of $536 million to be distributed to the families was moved from the U.S. Treasury to a private account administered by Lockerbie families’ lawyers on Friday, the top American diplomat for the Mideast said. David Welch spoke to reporters aboard U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s plane as she returned to Washington from the Middle East. He said he expected the rest of the Lockerbie payments would be made soon as soon as administrative details were worked out. The cash comes from a $1.5 billion fund for U.S. victims of Libyan-linked terrorism in the 1980s that Libya finished paying into last month………”

Sept. 2007: WASHINGTON — Iran must pay $2.65 billion to the families of the 241 U.S. service members killed in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, a federal judge declared Friday in a ruling that left survivors and families shedding tears of joy. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth described his ruling as the largest-ever such judgment by an American court against another country. “These individuals, whose hearts and souls were forever broken, waited patiently for nearly a quarter century for justice to be done,” he said………………

On July 3, 1988, an Iranian aircraft registered on the radar screen of the USS Vincennes. The U.S. Navy officers on the bridge identified the approaching aircraft as an Iranian Air Force F-14 Tomcat. Though they would later claim that they tried to reach the aircraft on military and civilian frequencies, they failed to try air traffic control, which would have probably cleared the air. Instead, as the aircraft drew nearer, the Americans fired two guided missiles at their target: a civilian Airbus A300B2, killing 290 civilians, including 66 children, en route to Dubai…… Reza, who served as a volunteer Basiji from 1987-1988 and teaches chemistry now, admits he doesn’t think about what happened too often. “Still, when I do,” he said, “I remember how nobody cared! These were Iranian civilians who were killed and there was no condemnation.”……..

The Huffington Post report, the first one I quoted up there, calls the $50k and $10k unusually large payouts. What they mean is “unusually large payouts for the life and limb of Afghans, non-Westerners“.
I have
commented before on Lockerbie vs. Iran Air 655. Clearly, a white man or woman, a white child, is worth much more than an Afghan or an Iranian or an Arab (man or woman or child). Reading through these reports, I wonder: is it possible that they are? Maybe they are.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Meshugenner American Evangelicals and the Rapture of Israel………

    

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“The prominence of the Iran issue in the current Republican primary race also incenses Klein, who is quick to elaborate that the force behind the rhetoric is not just a “small group of Jewish neoconservatives.” “There is this whole bunch of meshugenner Evangelicals who love their little Jewish ‘sisters and brothers,’ who they believe are going to incinerate themselves once the Rapture comes … The Evangelicals are a major force in American politics and the Republican politicians listen to what they are is saying. When you have a politician like [Newt] Gingrich or [Rick] Santorum say that Iran’s government is completely irrational, that it is a death cult – using words like ‘satanic cult that will use the bomb as soon as it gets it’ – they are following a Rapturian line, No. 1, and No. 2, there are people in the Israeli government – and I know this for a fact – who are selling that to them.” ……

Also sprach Joe Klein on Iranian cultists, American cultists, and their Likud manipulators…..
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Rick Perry and Afghanistan and the Yellow Rain of Texas…………..

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GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry is accusing the Obama administration of “over-the-top rhetoric” and “disdain for the military” in its condemnation of a video that purportedly shows Marines urinating on dead bodies in Afghanistan. No one has been charged in the case, but officials in the U.S. and abroad have called for swift punishment of the four Marines. A military criminal investigation and an internal Marine Corps review are under way. The Geneva Conventions forbid the desecration of the dead…………

Spoken like a true pandering Republican candidate in 2012.
What Texas governor Perry doesn’t understand is that American soldiers normally don’t urinate on “dead” corpses, not even on enemy corpses. He doesn’t realize there aren’t enough American soldiers who urinate on dead corpses every day, not nearly enough to justify his pandering. The very few imbeciles who might do so are not the type that would vote, especially not in a South Carolina primary. Not even in Texas. Besides, as an aspiring, hopeless, candidate for POTUS, doesn’t he worry about the impact of all this inside and outside the USA? Doesn’t he realize that he insults a couple of million of normal U.S. soldiers who would never think of urinating on another human being?
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Anti-American Iraqi “Shi’a Taliban”, Pro-American Afghan Taliban, Godfather & Chinese Food………..

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“Tom Hagen:

Some of the other families won’t sit still for an all out war.
Sonny:

Then you tell them to hand over Sollozzo!
Tom Hagen:

Your father wouldn’t want to hear this, Sonny. This is business not personal.
Sonny:

They shoot my father and it’s business, my ass!
Tom Hagen:

Even shooting your father was business not personal, Sonny!….
The Godfather

An anti-American Shia militia in Iraq backed by Iran that once killed US soldiers has agreed to give up its weapons and join the political process in a move likely to fuel US paranoia about growing Iranian influence in the country. The group, the Asaib Ahl al-Haq, which split from the Mehdi Army militia of the nationalist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, carried out some well-organised attacks on US troops at the height of the tit-for-tat covert conflict between Iran and the US in Iraq in 2007. They were also responsible for kidnapping the British IT consultant, Peter Moore, from the Justice Ministry in Baghdad. They later killed four of his bodyguards whom they now say tried to escape. The group says it wishes to run in local and parliamentary elections and is willing to hand over its weapons………

This business of identifying a militia as ‘anti-American’ is a favorite way for much of U.S. media to identify some of these armed foreign groups. Apparently this title is reserved for certain Iraqis, including Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the largest single party in the Iraqi parliament. These people opposed American presence in Iraq during the occupation, so they were anti-American at the time. But the American forces are out of Iraq now, so they can’t be anti-American. This is not to downplay the very violent nature of this particular group or its possible Iranian connections.

The al-Anbar terrorists were never called anti-American, although they caused more killings and damage than anyone else (meaning Iraqis). No doubt if the Chinese had occupied Iraq these people would be anti-Chinese. That wouldn’t mean they hate Chinese food (they probably do). Who knows, once the Iranians overplay their hand, in the future maybe Iranian media will start identifying some Iraqi groups as anti-Iranian (there already are several). People don’t like lengthy foreign interference in their internal politics, be that American or Iranian interference. It is all business, nothing personal, as Tom Hagen told Sonny in The Godfather.

There is no doubt that the Afghan Taliban, and their Pakistani cousins, have killed many many more Americans than this violent small Iraqi group.
Yet there is also no doubt that the Obama administration is willing and maybe eager to negotiate with them and practically hand them half the power in Afghanistan, (half for now, the rest probably later).

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Funny US Anti-Terror Policy: Today the Taliban, Tomorrow Hezbollah and Hamas?…………..

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After 10 months of secret dialogue with Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents, senior U.S. officials say the talks have reached a critical juncture and they will soon know whether a breakthrough is possible, leading to peace talks whose ultimate goal is to end the Afghan war. As part of the accelerating, high-stakes diplomacy, Reuters has learned, the United States is considering the transfer of an unspecified number of Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody. It has asked representatives of the Taliban to match that confidence-building measure with some of their own. Those could include a denunciation of international terrorism and a public willingness to enter formal political talks with the government headed by the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. The officials acknowledged that the Afghanistan diplomacy, which has reached a delicate stage in recent weeks, remains a long shot. Among the complications: U.S. troops are drawing down and will be mostly gone by the end of 2014, potentially reducing the incentive for the Taliban to negotiate. ………

Interesting: the Taliban hosted al-Qaeda and were part of the September 11 attacks that killed thousands of Americans and disrupted the economy and politics of the country. They have been at war with the United States for years and they support terrorism in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and in other places. They have been responsible for many more American dearth.
Hezbollah and Hamas have never tried any terror attacks inside the United States. Their attacks were almost always confined to the Lebanese Israeli Palestinian theater, with possibly one or two reported minor exceptions that were not against the United States. They both represent either a majority or a plurality of the people in their respective countries. Hamas won a clear majority of Palestinian votes the last time they had elections, despite the nonsense Secretary Clinton talks about the PLO being a “legitimate government”.
Yet the United States is ‘negotiating’ with the even more fundamentalist Salafi Taliban, the partner in September 11 attacks. Not a single Republican or Democrat politician objects to that. Not even the right-wing. Yet any hint of an approach to Hezbollah or Hamas would cause a twin earthquake and volcano in the country. You wanna know why? It is one word, a six-letter word “Israel”. Or maybe it is a four-letter word: “Iran”.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Rosa Parks of Jerusalem, Shikses of old Alabama and Free Afghanistan………

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It was supposed to be just another regular Friday morning for Tanya Rosenblit. Tanya had to get from her hometown Ashdod to Jerusalem for a meeting there. On the way, Rosenblit experienced one of the most intimidating stories of religious coercion I’ve seen lately: She was told by a Haredi man to get to the back of the bus, or nobody was going to go anywhere. And what do you think Rosenblit did? That’s right – she stayed put. And she took pictures of the whole ordeal and later wrote about it on Facebook……… At the next stop, Orthodox Jews started mounting the bus. At first, they just stared at me, but said nothing and moved on to sit somewhere in the bus behind us. Only one passenger decided that he preferred standing on the stairs near the driver, although there was plenty of space. I didn’t mind that, and focused on the music in my ears. But then, another one entered the bus, but instead of entering, he prevented the driver from closing the door. He looked at me with despise, and when I took off the earphones, I heard him call me “Shikse”, which means “whore” in Yiddish. He demanded I sit in the back of the bus, because Jewish men couldn’t sit behind women ………….”

Not exactly a Rosa Parks story, that of Ms Rosenblit: it probably happens all the time in the new free Afghanistan, been happening since the Taliban came to power after the American-Saudi liberation of that country in 1989. The term “shikse” does not mean a whore in the USA. Among American Jews I knew back East, “shikse” was a not-nice term meaning a non-Jewish girl, often very anglo-looking. But then, among the fucking fundamentalist Haredis in Jerusalem, who are like the fucking Salafis in our neck of the woods, the term probably does mean something like a “whore”.
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com