Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Addicted to War: America's Brutal Pipe Dream in Afghanistan
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Addicted to War: America's Brutal Pipe Dream in Afghanistan

Since Al Qaeda's state-less terrorists are scattered in many countries why are we "surging" for a larger war in Afghanistan?

by Chris Floyd
Originally published in Empire Burlesque on Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Americans are adopting the Soviets' own failed strategy in Afghanistan: death-dealing military "surges" combined with wads of cash thrown blindly into the economic chaos caused by the military action.

Looks like the "Good War" in Afghanistan is morphing even more directly into the "Drug War" that the U.S. government has been waging all over the world -- and especially against its own people -- for almost 40 years now, with all the attendant aggrandizement of authoritarian powers and degradation of civil liberties and human rights.

As The Times reports, and Pentagon brass confirmed, the "continuity government" of the Obama Administration has drawn up yet another "hit list" of people to be arbitrarily assassinated: 50 "drug lords" allegedly associated with the Taliban. No doubt the many drug lords associated with the American-installed Afghan government -- and those cooperating directly with the Western occupation -- are exempt from this dirty laundry list.

Of course, the runaway cultivation of opium in Afghanistan -- which is now flooding not only the West but also vast swathes of Central Asia with cheap heroin -- is a direct result of the American invasion in 2001: an operation ostensibly designed to capture Osama bin Laden, who somehow curiously slipped away from the Americans' curiously porous encirclement, never to be seen again (except of course for a few curiously timed transmission that seemed, curiously enough, to be geared to the domestic political needs of America's militarist factions). Of course, before the invasion, the Taliban had largely -- if ruthlesssly -- eliminated the cultivation of opium in the areas under its control. But the American military -- and its gung-ho CIA operatives ("We're killing people!" as one CIAer exulted to the Boston Globe) -- instead empowered the Northern Alliance: the Russian-backed conglomerate of warlords and druglords who were freely growing opium in their territories.

Now the Afghan insurgents -- themselves a loose conglomeration of factions given the conveniently misleading monolithic moniker of "the Taliban" -- have taken up the opium trade to help finance their operations as well. Meanwhile, poor Afghans are dependent on the opium trade, which fetches prices far above anything else they can grow. After all, their society and economy have been systematically destroyed by 30 years of savage war, kicked off not by the Soviet intervention in 1980 but by a terrorist campaign by religious extremists armed, funded and encouraged by the good Christian administration of Jimmy Carter, whose "national security" honcho, Zbigniew Brzezinski, wanted to draw the Soviets into "their own Vietnam" in support of their client regime in Kabul. Now, as Jason Ditz – an indispensible chronicler of the Terror War in Central Asia – points out, the Americans are adopting the Soviets' own failed strategy in Afghanistan: death-dealing military "surges" combined with wads of cash thrown blindly into the economic chaos caused by the military action.

But you can't "build" a state while you are simultaneously waging war inside it. And you certainly can't build it by killing cucumber farmers, as U.S. forces did the other day. Expect even more of this as the Pentagon gears up its "Drug War" weaponry to eliminate the rivals of its favored criminals – sorry, I mean to wipe out the scourge of Afghanistan's Taliban drug lord devils.

If all of this seems grimly familiar, that's because it is. I've been writing about the merging of the Terror War and the Drug War in Afghanistan since... November 2001, a few scant weeks after the Bush Administration sent the "carpet of bombs" they promised the Taliban – back in June 2001; yes, before "the whole world changed" on 9/11 – if they didn't play ball on the oil pipelines that Western consortiums were looking to lay across Afghanistan. It was obvious even then where we were going, as I noted in the Moscow Times, in that long-ago November:

Among the isolated, out-of-step losers who dare open their mouths to mutter "doubts" about America's military campaign in Afghanistan, you will sometimes hear the traitorous comment: "This war is just about oil."

We take stern exception to such cynical tommyrot. No one who has made a clear and dispassionate assessment of the situation in the region could possibly say the new Afghan war is "just about oil."

It's also about drugs.

For, although we must now hail the warlords of the Northern Alliance as noble defenders of civilization, the fact is that for some time they have also functioned as one of the world's biggest drug-dealing operations. Indeed, one of the main sticking points between the holy warriors of the alliance and their ideological brethren in the Taliban has been control of the profitable poppy, which by God's grace grows so plentifully in a land otherwise bereft of natural resources. (Always excepting the production of corpses.)

In the good old days, when the brethren were united against the Soviet devil, all shared equally in the drug-running trade, under the benevolent eye of that great lubricator of illicit commerce, the CIA. When the Northern Alliance was driven from Kabul – having killed 50,000 of the city's inhabitants during their civilized rule – the Taliban seized the lion's share of Afghanistan's opium production. The noble warlords managed to hold on to several prize fields in the north, however, and together with avaricious Talibs, they helped fuel a worldwide rise in heroin traffic.

Earlier this year, the Bush administration bribed the Taliban to stop growing opium – a most effective use of baksheesh, according to the UN, which found that Afghan opium production dropped from 3,300 tons annually to less than 200. But the Northern Alliance leapt manfully into the breach, engineering a threefold rise in opium output on their territory this year.

This note of praise for the Bush pay-offs to the Taliban was not ironic; I heartily approve of the notion of large-scale bribery to achieve foreign policy objectives. It is much better – and in the end, far cheaper to the public purse – than the murderous ravages of war. Alas, the murderous ravages of war are all too often the actual objective of imperial foreign policy; the profits, power and domination that accrue to the warmakers are far more enticing than the non-violent ends that can be achieved by bribery (or even by, god forbid, actual diplomacy: negotiation, compromise, mutual respect, that kind of thing). Or as Cheritto put it so memorably to his fellow robbers in Heat: "You know, for me, the action is the juice."

And so on and on we go. The new head of the army of our Good War ally, Britain, is saying that the mission in Afghanistan "might take as long as 30 or 40 years." By which time there will not be "tomb enough and continent to hide the slain."


Chris Floyd at his deskChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.



Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on August 11, 2009.

 



Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland