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Khalil Nouri: Afghanistan:—Karzai’s Bargaining Chips are Running Out!

By Khalil Nouri STAFF WRITER / EDITOR It’s ludicrous that in a matter of weeks Mr. Karzai has gone from being a frail, faltering,...


Is that what the US military is for – to be duped into dope syringe surge? By Colonel Evgeny Khrushchev (ret) STAFF WRITER/Editor (Moscow) Soviet and Russian...

U.S. doubles anti-Taliban special forces

The Pentagon has increased its use of the military's most elite special operations teams in Afghanistan, more than doubling the number of the highly trained teams assigned to hunt down Taliban leaders, according to senior officials.

Can Anyone Pacify the World’s Number One Narco-State?

After a year of cautious debate and costly deployments, President Obama finally launched his new Afghan war strategy at 2:40 am on February 13, 2010, in a remote market town called Marja in southern Afghanistan's Helmand Province. As a wave of helicopters descended on Marja's outskirts spitting up clouds of dust, hundreds of U.S. Marines dashed through fields sprouting opium poppies toward the town's mud-walled compounds.

Kandahar, a Battlefield Even Before U.S. Offensive

American forces have begun operations to push back Taliban insurgents in this most important southern province, the birthplace and spiritual home of the Taliban, and a full-scale offensive is expected in coming weeks.

U.S. Turns a Blind Eye to Opium in Afghan Town

KABUL, Afghanistan — The effort to win over Afghans on former Taliban turf in Marja has put American and NATO commanders in the unusual position of arguing against opium [MarinesOpiumNYT] eradication, pitting them against some Afghan officials who are pushing to destroy the harvest.

at-Largely: The Truth Blurts

Individuals in the upper level of the Pentagon and media polloi are beginning to commit a cardinal sin. They’re blurting the truth – sort of. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the military’s senior spin surgeon (his father was a Hollywood publicity agent), says that "Afghans are in the lead" of the Marjah offensive. But not everybody involved in writing the narrative is willing to tell a lie that big.

‘Mowing the grass’ in Afghanistan

The battle for the Afghan town of Marja is being hyped as if it were the battle of Stalingrad. There was never doubt that NATO would force the Taliban out. A contemporary British account of frontier in the last century said of the Pashtun-fighting man: “When he stayed and defended something, whether a gun or a village, we trapped him and pulverized him. When he flitted and sniped, rushed and ran away, we felt we were using a crowbar to swat wasps.’’

Editor’s Picks: News and Opinion Around the Web 2/28/10

Juan Cole at Informed Comment offers some excellent advice for climate scientists under attack from corrupt corporate and media sources. Al Gore writes that ignoring climate change won't make it go away nor will continuing to dump 90 million tons of pollutants into the atmosphere daily at the New York Times. A 110-year-old Chicago woman reflects on Jim Crow and the civil rights movemnt in the Chicago Sun Times. Those stories and more in today's picks.

Afghan Offensive ‘Aimed to Shape U.S. Opinion on War’

No doubt after chewing our troops up, the DVA will rush in to facilitate expedited delivery of benefits. Right. For those stuck on history...


BY KHALIL NOURI STAFF WRITER FOR VETERANS TODAY “We’ve got a government in a box, ready to roll in.” said triumphantly General Stanley McChrystal as...

The “Battle” of Marja (Video)

JUNAID: Well, it has been a week that, you know, something has started in Marja, in Helmand, which is very close to Kandahar. The NATO forces are going there in numbers, and they're drumming it up as a big battle of this war. Some points are encouraging. There are good things happening, because they are saying that will build it positively. Some of the points look like a lot of media hype, which has been created to drum up support in the Western countries, surely. For example, there is not supposed to be any battle there, because it is a guerrilla war. This is mountainous area. And there will be a guerrilla war, and in guerrilla war, it has to be hand-to-hand combat. So expecting a big battle in this place is a bit of a media thing.

Editor’s Picks: News and Opinion Around the Web 2/15/10

Human influenced climate change is fact, get over it and begin to deal with it seriously is the message from Kerry Emanuel in today's Boston Globe. Following sound science now can lead us out of danger, stumbling along behind hired quacks and "ditto heads" is a sure path over the cliff. When the "Rapture" comes who's going to take care of Fido? Larisa Alexandrovna knows, at Largely.