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18 January 2010

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b

The Afghan version of big time propaganda:

Afghan politicians insisted the Taliban attack held little significance.

"It does not mean the Taliban is strong. It means they cannot target military targets only the Afghan people. It means that they are weak," Mir Ahmed Joyenda, an Afghan parliamentarian, told Al Jazeera.

Sure ... the Taliban are weak ... the surge is working ... the U.S. defeated the enemy in Helmand ...

How long until the U.S. pulls out of Afghanistan?

JohnH

Obama's second term is indeed looking unlikely. He exerted himself strenuously to sell himself to the American people. But selling his policies? Not a chance.

The "community organizer" could have organized the people. The great speaker could have used his most fearsome weapon--the bully pulpit. As it is, Obama just laid back and barely ever made an appeal to anyone to support his policies (if he has any.)

Obama must realize that you don't do slam dunks with both hands tied behind your back. What happened?

lina

"Obama is looking more and more unlikely for a second term. I am sure that he is praying a lot over Massachusetts." pl

I remember saying exactly the same thing about George W. Bush.


graywolf

Some of your comments (which I agree with, BTW) make you sound like you were born 150 years too late. You could have been a British Army officer, or political agent in India - manipulating the natives for the crown.

Ramtanu Maitra

If Gen. McChrystal with his US/NATO/Afghan National Army/Afghan Police cannot keep 20 armed men from entering the capital city Kabul, allegedly the safest town in Afghanistan, from different directions with at least three suicide bombers attacking three government buildings, Presidential Palace, Serena Hotel and setting ablaze a shopping center,it seems he and his boss in the White House are pulling wool over American people's eyes saying they will "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" the Taliban, and "win the hearts and minds" of Afghans. Too much blood has flown down the Kabul River

Patrick Lang

Greywolf

Ah, I see my error. you are both a pseudo-hardass and naive. pl

Harper

Col. Lang anticipated the Taliban strategy in his initial comments on the McChrystal report, when it first came out. Taliban knows how unpopular the war is back home in the United States, and they are conducting a classic asymmetric warfare operation, to intensify the cost of going ahead with the COIN program. You are absolutely right that, as long as there are zealots who are ready to conduct suicide bombings, the COIN strategy is doomed to a costly, drawn-out failure--unless saner heads in Washington force a rethink.

Jose

Massachusetts Senate race is over.

IMHO, if it was close the Boston Machine would guarantee a close victory.

I also remember being so elated when Bubba lost both chambers of Congress to the Newt-led Republicans.

Only to watch Bubba be saved and re-elected for taking credit for things he opposed.

Triangulation

Col., add the bailouts of Wall Street and the UAW to list of reasons not to reelect Foolbama.

"Change We Can Believe In"

P.S. The Haitian relief is becoming a potential political liability.

graywolf

Whatever a "pseudo-hardass is", I'm not a hardass.
"Naive", maybe. Depends on the situation.

Nancy K

Americans deserve the democracy they get. I'm not sure why Americans would trust Republicans, who got us into our financial problems in the first place, but go figure.
I'm dissapointed in Obama, I don't feel he is progressive enough, however I would not cut off my nose to spite my face by voting Republican.

Nicollo

Not (never) taking sides, but hey, folks, it's two days short of one down and three more to go for the supposed "lame duck." Back in high school, when we got three yards on first down, Coach's mantra was "three times four's twelve!" The final health care vote, not Afghanistan this week, will be Obama's first down play, and much afterward will depend on it I think. Politically, what happens "over there" in years two and three will be much more important.

William R. Cumming

Personally I believe Haiti will be Obama's nadir where his minions are giving speeches to the Haitians including flyovers of the country telling them to stay [safely?] home and don't attempt to migrate to the US.

Redhand

Obama is looking more and more unlikely for a second term. I am sure that he is praying a lot over Massachusetts.

It's too early to tell, even if Brown wins in MA as predicted. However, if he loses, it will be because he tried to change too little, not too much, IMO.

robt willmann

On the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer last night, the attack in Kabul was blamed on the "Haqqani network, an al-Qaida-linked Taliban faction."

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/terrorism/jan-june10/afghanistan_01-18.html

This alleged "network" is said to be run by the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, who was one of the best resistance commanders against the Russians during its occupation of Afghanistan. Former CIA officer Milt Bearden back in 2004 described that situation and that the elder Haqqani has turned from being America's friend to being its enemy.

http://www.counterpunch.org/bearden03312004.html

The Public Broadcasting System report does not mention this history.

As the escalation in Afghanistan and Pakistan gets underway, one particular person is quiet as a church mouse -- General David Petraeus, the self-styled counter-insurgency scholar. He is hiding behind Gen. McChrystal, knowing full well that if he is publicly associated with an ongoing mess in Afghanistan, his carefully promoted "image" pointed at politics -- including being a "runner-up" for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" in 2007 -- will go right down the drain.

Abu Sinan

Colonel,

I am wondering if you have read the Harpers story below and whether you think it true and the possible implications?

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/01/hbc-90006368

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