Some Thoughts On Afghanistan

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    • #440735
      Passionate Progressive
      • Total Posts: 3,626

      I was at some of these rallies and remember circulating petitions for Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes..

      As the Taliban have now effectively taken control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, there is much that our political class, policymakers and media talking heads should reflect on and many lessons to learn. But it appears unlikely that this will happen.

      I remember going to my first antiwar rally in October of 2001 to protest our attack on Afghanistan in retaliation for 9/11. No one I knew wanted to go with me. I didn’t see how dropping bombs on regular Afghanis who had nothing to do with Bin Laden or the 9/11 attacks would help anything, especially after the Taliban had offered to hand over Bin Laden if the U.S. would stop bombing their country – an offer George W. Bush refused. It was a fairly small protest in San Francisco organized by the ANSWER coalition. I wouldn’t stop feeling like an outcast for my views until a year and a half later when antiwar protests swelled in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq. But the Bush administration merely blew off the largest and most coordinated antiwar rallies in the history of the world as “a focus group” that could be ignored.


      Ironically, some of us are old enough to remember when George W. Bush campaigned on a more “humble” and less interventionist foreign policy and railed against “nation-building.” Watch this clip for yourself.



      The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....Martin Luther King '63

      It takes all the technical proficiency our system can provide to make up for the woeful lack of popular support and political savvy of most of the regimes that the West has thus far sought to prop up.........Bernard Fall

    • #440767
      • Total Posts: 1,920

      I am going to be 80 in two months. I remember all the protesting from the 60s on. And the exit from Vietnam was not much different than this one. But we do not seen to learn anything from the past. Iraq was formerly known as the “place empires go to die” and that was the first lesson we should have learned. Then continuing a losing war never works! 20 years of wasted lives and money for lies we were told about 9/11. NOW we are worried about the people we are leaving behind. I am proud that we did a better job with that problem after Vietnam. But today we are run by racism, hate and ignorance.

      Hopefully this time around we will learn something.


      • #440769
        • Total Posts: 3,551


        In twenty years they’ll gin up a reason for another nice big war in a place we never should have been and then in twenty years after that there will be another chaotic evacuation out.

    • #440768
      • Total Posts: 5,666

      I was living in San Francisco then and remember a rally that filled Market Street against the invasion in Afghanistan – lots of signs saying “No Blood for Oil.” It got almost no press coverage – no pictures in the news of the main street in San Francisco filled with protestors.

      And twenty years later, it’s being presented as nation building and anti-terrorism.

      I also remember on candlelight vigil in Golden Gate Park for Cindy Sheehan. She had gone to Bush’s ranch to ask “for what noble cause” did her son die in his war?

      It’s a phrase that still stays with me –

      For what noble cause?

    • #440789
      • Total Posts: 1,423

      Directly after 911 the nations of the world were extremely  appalled  at what Osama Bin Laden did.

      At first, for most of us Americans, we didn’t even know the man’s name nor the name of the terrorists he led.

      On the other hand, directly involved governments knew exactly who Osama bin Laden was.

      The Saudi Government knew who Osama Bin Laden was, had had some serious  disagreements with this man and his extremist tactics early on.

      He was not allowed back into Saudi Arabia after 911.

      The U.S.government knew who Osama bin Laden was, he was definitely on their terrorist watch list.

      After 911 Osama bin Laden had to take his band of al-quada(sp?) terrorists somewhere.

      Pakistan allowed them to set up shop in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

      The Taliban knew that area, they offered to go in and drag Osama bin Laden out but they demanded that the bin Laden be tried by a non-partisan tribunal jury.

      They felt that he would get an unfair trial in the U.S.

      The U.S. resopnse: Invade Afghanistan and Iraq.


      As we came to learn over the years, Iraq had nothing to do with 911.

      Sadam Hussein did not have those al-quada(sp) training camps in Iraq..something our government insisted to us were there!!

      We even learned later that Saddam Hussein the dictator would never have tolerated a terrorist faction in his country that he wasn’t  in direct control over.

      So in an act of Supreme stupid, the U.S. invades both Afghanistan and Iraq.

      Emboldened by our spending billions of dollars not looking for him where he was, Osama bin Laden wrote a page in a major U.S. newspaper, (The N.Y. Times I think)

      Salient to his story was his hate for Americans infidels tredding around on Saudi soil-we still had at least at least one airforce base there.

      IIRC he claimed that as his reason behind 9-11.

      Shortly after, we quietly removed that airforce base from Saudi Arabia.

      Well that is how the timeline plays out in my head at any rate.

      Back then I was a fan of Thom Hartmann, perhaps I was still a fan of Rachel Maddow too…neither of which had to my knowledge gone off the rails yet and both were/are extremely savvy to geopolitics and the U.S’s involvement with them.

      It was through Hartmann  that I got what I’ve written above-that the Taliban offered to hunt down and bring Osama bin Laden to a non-partisan world tribunal.

      Looking back, if what Hartmann  said was true, then the Taliban were right.

      IMO, we should have taken their offer. We could have spent 1/100 of what we ended up spending in Afghanistan by helping them rebuild infrastructure that the Russians left damaged when they pulled out.

      Lastly, the U.S. should NEVER have gone back into Iraq.

      Sadam was contained, he had no WMD and he most assuredly had nothing to do with 911.

      Well that’s my opinion based on how I recall things at any rate.



      • #440796
        • Total Posts: 358

        theres a lot completely wrong there.

        but whats the difference.

        crying over spilled blood, anyway.

        • #440798
          • Total Posts: 1,423

          I am open for a change of memories kelly..

          • #440856
            • Total Posts: 358

            lunch break is nearly over, and although I could spill thousands of words on the subject, pdq, I only wish (and if I had but one, I suppose this would be It.) I could undue the memory of my closest relative’s death in 96 at the actual behest of bin Laden. As opposed to the boogeyman role misapplied in 2001. He was not in the position to do what a couple of murderous, barbaric countries were too happy to attempt and achieve. Taking misinformation from baldface war criminal liars, which covers a lot of territory in this country, is a bad place to start from. Gullibility is their best friend. It works a charm. so there, for starters…

      • #440887
        • Total Posts: 358

        mostly because I dont think records of the time are easily available on what we have for an internet. Limits of technology? No, just the erasers they apply.

        I believe bin Laden was being fingered for the OKC bombing, at least they were looking in that direction. They actually arrested Terry McNichols in my Aunt’s restaurant in Herrington. What the real story was with McVeigh is probably as elusive as the real story with bin Laden.

        so this is around the time the threat of terror was being trumpeted as a few actions occurred, for the most part far away from the US, with the big one being homegrown in a few ways. These guys were not alone in their efforts. WTC attempt had everyone watchful. Now trying to remember particulars 25 years later is tricky, and we all conflate stuff, but because of what happened to my family (the impact of something like this is completely destructive, after the fact. You just wouldnt know it without being in the blast zone, so to speak) I was attentive. I was plugged into a lot of information and researchers because I had already fought against the Kuwaiti incursion, lost my job for protesting, borrowed lots of interesting books from the library and until this event occurred I was glued to C-SPAN and CNN 48 hours a day, calling and haranguing fascist media spooks, Brian Lamb, Armstrong Williams, GW and Jeb! on Larry King live (in 92) and always mouthing off to these lying, murdering cocksuckers. When this event occurred my cousin was the lead story on the local and national news for 5 days. The memorial event where Bill Clinton sized up my cousin’s widow and his mother was broadcast live and my mother wailing during the “service” was replayed numerous times.  I really never needed to, and could not watch the news again. Seeing how it became one long lie anyway, no loss. I would have stopped watching anyway, I like to think.

        But at the time, certain people were somewhat active or notable, like Webster Tarpley

        and his Unauthorized Biography of George Bush,

        Robert Parry Consortium News was forced into existence by the fascist blackout media.

        I believe he did some reporting back then on bin Laden’s activities, this before 9-11-01. According to the best rumors, bin Laden had been unplugged from financing within Saudi Arabia, perhaps as a result of the Khobar Towers attack.

        Which was staged because GHWB achieved one thing during and after the Kuwaiti incursion, setting up a base in Saudi Arabia, for which my cousin and my family paid the ultimate price. The utter security failure of a military base to protect it’s own was a sorry sight to see. They sure as fuck cant protect us, they are only good for hurting people, when intimidation fails.

        Pakistan played a huge role, I believe, in supporting bin Laden on the outs. But the scale and the scope of the 9-11-01 run up was not something a clandestine bunch of clerics could achieve. Even with lots of money. And I believe bin Laden was able to bargain for better standing and perhaps worked as a contractor or intermediary on various schemes and actions.

        So all this shit happened and well before 9-11-01 where magically Biden’s rabid Patriot Act planning was rolled out in a heartbeat, destroying the inalienable and presumptive rights of privacy, speech, freedom and let’s face it, unleashing American racism and religious bigotry to help do a job on us.

        I always wondered why medical records were part of the NSA program. Until this year, anyway.

        Bear in mind, Biden was the major warrior on terrorism. Imagine where we would be now, without him?

        Those offers of putting bin Laden on trial were unacceptable.  Why do you suppose that was?

        He WAS guilty of killing servicemen in Saudi Arabia, should those survivors be denied justice?

        Of course they should. Saudis were way ahead on that. They killed everyone involved and told the FBI too bad.

        I think there was a movie about this, somewhat loosely.

        Unfortunately, not a fictional tale.

        Not quite enough for the folks who were in charge, though.

        They were dead set on pinning it on Iran, not a word about bin Laden.

        Now, who wants Iran dealt with, the most? I think it is a contest between the Saudi monarchy and Israel.

        Who found lots of common ground there.

        Iraq was probably more of a US goal, but there was a string of nations yonder we wanted to roll through and reimagine in our interests.

        The interests of global warming. Cost of doing business being socialized.

        So considerable effort was expended falsely accusing Iran of EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN, including the Khobar Towers bombing.

        Protecting bin Laden, for some reason.

        But that line of shit failed, and nobody got any form of justice.

        just a few shrugs and quietly dropping the bogus narrative.

        Perhaps this is the main reason I feel it is beyond foolish to listen to liars, even as we all do, in  a helpless state of saturation, as they

        spin their shit across the airwaves and the results permeate into our consciousness. We all become war babies, criminals, murderers.

        And never give it a second thought. Because those lies became our environment, and they impacted discussion, as much as censorship does.

        Even when we know better, the rest of the country is operating under false pretenses, making it real.

        Afghanistan was not the particular target, women being oppressed HAS NEVER BEEN A CAUSE FOR CONCERN DOMESTICALLY, OR INTERNATIONALLY.

        Human trafficking kind of shows where our hearts were at, all along.

        All I am saying is everything you were told about bin Laden in these loudly whispered broadcasts is wrong.

        The truth is not part of the program here, and trying to work from conventional beliefs towards the actual facts is truly taking the long way home.

        • #440942
          • Total Posts: 1,423

          @ kelly

          I believe my words were something to the affect:’..the Saudi’s had an earlier experience with Osama  bin Laden  so he was not welcome there…’

          Well was he?

          After the bombing of the Kondahar(sp?) Towers, the Saudis and the U.S.wanted to pin the bombing on Iran. (Something you’ve  pointed out below and something that fits with the links I’ve  just looked through on this topic.)

          Osama bin Laden was seen before as someone procuring the explosives and also seen boasting about it afterwards.

          While more than an airforce base on Saudi soil, this fits in with what I’ve been saying, Osama bin Laden wanted our troops out of Saudia Arabia.

          I can not imagine that the Saudi Government wanted such a loose cannon running around disrupting their’s and the US’s ‘company line’ against Iran at this time.

          I could probably look it up but I am thinking that that particular airforce base I mentioned earlier and any remaining U.S. bases were removed from Saudi lands AFTER 9-11.

          In other words, he may not have a achieved his goals prior to 9-11 but he surely achieved one of his goals after 9-11 despite what the Saudis may have wished for.

          I just read through Osama bin Laden’s message to the U.S. people’s.

          Ignoring his religious rants, key moments I’d like to paraphrase are: ‘…the American citizens elect their representatives. These representatives wage war on us. The American citizens  pay taxes to support these wars. Therefore the American citizens support with their votes and their money war against us’….(one may argue the point but he was, in essence correct)…’Like we did with the Russians, we will send the U.S. military home in defeat and leave their economy in shambles’….well now! He  certainly hit that one on the head.

          President Bush Jr  stuck us in a forever war with Afghanistan that was unwinnable. I still lay this at his feet every bit as much as I lay it at the feet of Osama bin Laden.

          After reading through our comments above and below, I frankly do not see where we are that far apart in our memories.

          I’ve certainly learned more about the ’96 Kondahar tower bombing which helps mold for me one reason why the Saudi Governnent was unhappy with Osama bin Laden…thank you for that.

          My condolences to you and yours on the loss of your loved one.



          • #440997
            • Total Posts: 358

            you were circumspect, and I am ptsd. There may be a chasm between us if you believe Osama was the brains behind 9-11-01.

            i cannot.

    • #440792
      • Total Posts: 1,546

      My issue with your history chknltl

      Is Bin Landen was ours! He was funded by us well before 9-11  he was also funded by the saudi government who by the way harbored all those hijackers funded their flight schools. The royal funders were flown out of the US while no one else was aloud to fly. That is Americans could not get home but the saudi royals were flown out first class! The remnants of BinLaden are still funded armed and trained by the US flown to Syria, Iraq Libya and Yemen Iran they are our tools for terror and have been from the time Jimmy carter gave the go ahead to the CIA to fund the Mujahideen.


      • #440797
        • Total Posts: 1,423

        Yes, I knew that the mastermind and terrorists behind 9-11 were Saudi.

        I didn’t see it as terribly germain to our saying “no” to the Afghani Taliban offer nor to our reinvasion of Iraq.

        I do recall that in his newspaper article, Osama bin Laden used our airforce base in Saudia Arabia as one of his primary  excuses for 9-11.

        It has been a while now but I also recall, perhaps reading somewhere, (perhaps through Hartmann), that Osama bin Laden was our tool at one point… as we’re his al-quada. Again, that is a dim memory and perhaps in error.

        What they were used for back then escapes me but I almost recall that they were trained to fight the Russians over in Afghanistan.

        I also have lodged in my fading memory that Osama Bin Laden may have been behind an earlier attack in N.Y. setting off some garage bombs in a building.

        That said and salient to the OP, he and his al-quada were on the run after 9-11. The Taliban did offer to bring him in on the condition that he get a fair non-partisan trial and furthermore Iraq was not welcoming him nor his group of terrorists.

        The fact that we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan had many of us over at SV pulling our hair out.

        Oh how dearly we wanted Speaker Pelosi to start impeachment proceedings over this…the repugs in our government knew the truth and were scared witless that she would do just that!

        They did not want the truth about our re-invading Iraq and invading Afghanistan to come out…

        …but history shows us that  Speaker Pelosi stabbed us in the back by taking impeachment off the table!

        Now here we are today nitpicking who did what and when…my GOD, how much of our tax dollars wasted, how many lives have been senseless lost…and for what?

        An investigation needs to take place. To be fair to the world at this point, the U.S. should be dragged before an international tribunal.

        I am not sure we are in disagreement Earthartist…instead you’ve added to and further clarified the picture.

    • #440799
      • Total Posts: 1,546

      You might like this I did ! It sums it up better then I ever could. Like you I certainly can’t remember all of this.  I just know I was on the street with my little ones!


      • #440811
        • Total Posts: 1,423

        Thank you Earthartist, I loved reading that link. It helped me put Osama bin Laden on a better timeline and placed him in situations I knew little about.

        For instance: While I thought that he was earlier funded by the U.S. to fight the Russians, what I did not know was that he was with the Mujahideen in Pakistan and his funding came from the U.S indirectly through the Pakistani government.

        Furthermore my thoughts on his involvement with the earlier bombings in NY were in error, he was only indirectly associated  with those folks but he was involved with American embassy bombings in Africa.

        Thank you again,, that link helps clear up and/or  redefine a lot of my memories from back then.

          I often make the arguments in public that I’ve written in my own piece above.

        I’d rather have my facts right when discussing this topic so if you have something that further fixes my memories,  I sincerely want to hear and discuss them.

        I also highly recommend to you that link provided by Earthartist above.


    • #440835
      Electrolyte Orchestra
      • Total Posts: 387

      A shining example of the  tried and true American campaign to get elected that gets reversed once in office.

      A mere 18 months later, his administration spawned “the indispensable nation” and “American exceptionalism”.

      Republicans in my lifetime run on their individual positions, but once elected, serve the party en bloc. McCain was a maverick because he voted against the party line like, three times in 30 years.

      A trillion spent in Afghanistan over 20 years. Leaving was going to be a clusterf&ck no matter what. Ultimately, I give Sundowner Joe credit for going through with it. Lord knows the powers that pressured him not to leave.

    • #440962
      • Total Posts: 263

      I’d have to gather together all of my trail of documented doubts, most of which were in the early 2000’s but: That’s the Establishment, CNN, 9/11 Commission explanation: That it was this one bogeyman. Reinforcing my doubts were the alleged video communications from The Man a few years after that, which analysts say didn’t really match his face or voice. What could our CIA, Saudi Arabia, Mossad, whoever else, be covering up by blaming it all on Bin Laden? Almost anything; they are guilty of almost anything. Reinforcing my doubts sometime around 10 years ago was the alleged hunt-down of the alleged Bin Laden, and if they really did shoot someone, they neglected to offer We the People any evidence that this was really the one, Bin Laden. And they dumped his body overboard, they said. That account could be true, that they dumped somebody’s body overboard.

    • #441021
      • Total Posts: 1,650

      I watched a documentary on the composer Philip Glass. He did an opera based on the book “Waiting for the Barbarians” by J. M. Coetzee. It was published in 1980 and shows exactly how our empire is working with regard to our wars.

      Here’s a clip from the Philip Glass documentary, also showing the last scene of the opera, with Philip’s commentary. I find it to be quite powerful in its imagery:

      Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?

    • #441025
      • Total Posts: 263
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