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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?]
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Health Care & Environment
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!]
07.10 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.]
07.09 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!]
07.04 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 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]
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
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
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 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 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...]
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!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
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 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 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 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...]
Afghanistan: The Principles of Defeat
Monday, 18 October 2010
America’s exit from Afghanistan is around the corner. Anyone with his ear to the ground and an eye cocked on the horizon can tell as much. As American military philosophers will be averse to identify the causes of the rout for some time yet, this scribe helps them in advance.
For any foreign venture to be successful, be it military or otherwise, one must have a national purpose that has a policy from which flows a mission with an aim. One then draws up an action plan which is implemented to achieve the aim. That’s how it works.
George Bush started out in reverse order in Afghanistan. He embarked upon an action plan that was a knee jerk response to 9/11 which became the mission with the hazy aim of destroying Al-Qaeda that became the policy which, come Obama’s appearance on the scene, had turned into a full blown national purpose. By the time Bush rifled through the Afghan body politic, having initially entered through the bullet sized hole of his reflex action, all that he succeeded in doing was to turn Afghanistan into a wasteland of missed opportunities with the beast of counterinsurgency, read war of liberation for the Afghan resistance fighters, roaring full throated in its farthest reaches. Not only that, Pakistan, America’s reluctant ally next door, enyoked by the dead weight of third rate leadership, too lurches from crisis to crisis in the debris as if choosing the spot for the final fall.
In the nine long years that the Americans have been in Afghanistan, they have committed enormous amounts of treasure, drew a lot of Afghan blood and shed quite a bit of their own. Now these many years down the war path, the Americans have slowly realized that the Taliban have imperceptibly replaced the original enemy i.e. Al-Qaeda. And that this enemy, with makeshift bombs, rusty Kalashnikovs and often faulty grenade launchers, comes waves upon waves at them caring a naught for their lives. Unable to beat this new foe, enthralled by their tenacity, dazzled by their willingness to die for their cause, the Americans have now begun to ask, are they really our enemies, in the sense that al-Qaeda was? Is this really what we had initially set out to do?
For the luckless Obama the biggest problem in succeeding a nincompoop is that he has inherited one of the worst economic and national security nightmares of any President in American history. He started out in a huge deficit. In Afghanistan he began in a milieu in which the Pathan Afghans, the alma mater of the Taliban, actually see the Americans as invaders and occupiers. Not only that, while Obama finds America encumbered with some NATO allies that are increasingly indisposed to continue as members of the war party, the Taliban on the other hand, rather than diminishing, are actually multiplying in numbers. Long queues of applicants are lining up to join the ‘Jihad against the infidels’. So empowering is their ideology that they are willing to take up primitive arms and fight against the most powerful military in history knowing well the odds against them. Add to this the increasing radicalization that the Afghan and Iraq jaunts have sprung upon the Muslim world and the consequent insecurity of the American people that has no parallel in history, and one begins to form up a picture of America’s problems in Afghanistan. That certain other stake holders, i.e. China and Russia, too are slowly beginning to look at the fracas next door as their legitimate concern is only the icing on the cake.
But that is not all. The Afghan army and police remain the fantasy that was long suspected by the locals of the region. The few of them that can be called somewhat regular troops or police are not willing to die for the thoroughly crooked and inept government of Hamid Karzai. It is no wonder thus that the Americans are finally fed up with having to either go into battle alone or to watch over their shoulders to see if the Afghan officials with them are going to desert them or shoot them in the back. That can be a really draining exercise. Plus, fatigued by the constant ‘war on terra’ harangue of the previous administration, many American soldiers have now begun to ask how many of them should die for the government of Hamid Karzai?
Perhaps a hushed realization seems to have finally sunk in that the Americans cannot make an Afghan think like an American, want like an American and live like an American. Many after all remember that at the peak of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, there were 140,000 Russian troops, 300,000 Afghan troops with tanks, helicopters and weapons to boot and tens of thousands of civilian advisers in the country who spoke all the native languages. And the Russians just did not kill only as the popular propaganda would have us believe. They built hundreds of clinics, schools, factories, roads and bridges. But in the end they lost. They lost for the single overriding reason that the Soviets failed to make the Afghan people want what the Soviets wanted them to want. Before them the British too had had similar experiences. As a matter of fact, every foreign intruder in the past couple of centuries has lost out in Afghanistan. Why the Americans should be an exception, they ask. You cannot, after all, build a nation out of unwilling disparate tribes and give them institutions they do not want. Period.
Unheeded though it was, long ago, when the Americans had initially invaded Afghanistan, this scribe had this to say to them. “Afghanistan is a land of mountains, ferocious warriors, uncompromising Islam, vicious tribal rivalries and a political complexity that entwines bloodlines, chivalry, religion and history into a mix as unfathomable to the outsider today as it has ever been. In the early 19th century it was a land of great mystery, at the dawn of twenty-first it remains only more so. It should have been left alone to find its own natural equilibrium.” And that, “though their loyalty to Islam is fierce, yet the Pathan culture often seems to supersede Islamic orthodoxy. The rise and fall of Taliban is but one brief twist of history in this rugged part of the world. Taliban or no Taliban, resisting foreign occupation of their lands is a way of life for them. After the exit of the Soviets from Afghanistan, the Taliban phenomenon could hold their interest for only as long. If there were no foreign occupiers soon enough, the Pathans would have had to invent some to go on with their way of life. Their tussle with the Northern Alliance was nothing but a poor substitute of this fact. The Americans should have known.”
This fact will be reinforced when the Americans do finally leave Afghanistan. Before long the world will see these same Afghan tribes getting down to their old ways of internal blood letting and living happily thereafter. They will only change when they decide to change and not a day before that.
Perhaps by far the biggest single mistake that the Americans made in Afghanistan can be summed up in what Ralph Peters recently said. He noted, “why did we go to Afghanistan in 2001? Because of al-Qaeda. To punish them, to smash them, and to punish those who harbored them. Afghanistan was a low-budget terrorist motel. So the feds raid the motel, kill some of the bad guys, capture some, and others escape. And instead of going after the ones who escaped, we decided to renovate the motel.”
Now as the empire slinks back, perhaps its soldiers will take along some snapshots of the ruins in their duffel bags as mementos of their stay in Motel Kandahar.
Copyright 2010 by Anwaar Hussain. The writer, a former officer of the Pakistan Air Force, is now based in Canada. This story was originally published in Truth Spring, Mr. Hussain's blog, and is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with the author's permission. Mr. Hussain may be reached by email at email@example.com.
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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 on October 18, 2010.