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What We Have Learned From Afghanistan

By Ron Paul | June 23, 2013

Last week the Taliban opened an office in Doha, Qatar with the US government’s blessing. They raised the Taliban flag at the opening ceremony and referred to Afghanistan as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”—the name they used when they were in charge before the US attack in 2001.

The US had meant for the Taliban office in Doha to be only a venue for a new round of talks on an end to the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban opening looked very much like a government in exile. The Karzai government was annoyed that the US and the Taliban had scheduled talks without even notifying Kabul. Karzai’s government felt as irrelevant to negotiations on post-war Afghanistan as they soon will be on the ground. It seemed strangely like Paris in 1968, where the US met with North Vietnamese representatives to negotiate a way out of that war, which claimed nearly 60,000 Americans and many times that number of Vietnamese lives.

For years many of us had argued the need to get out of Afghanistan. To end the fighting, the dying, the destruction, the nation-building. To end the foolish fantasy that we were building a Western-style democracy there. We cannot leave, we were told for all those years. If we leave Afghanistan now, the Taliban will come back! Well guess what, after 12 years, trillions of dollars, more than 2,200 Americans killed, and perhaps more than 50,000 dead Afghan civilians and fighters, the Taliban is coming back anyway!

The long US war in Afghanistan never made any sense in the first place. The Taliban did not attack the US on 9/11. The Authorization for the use of force that we passed after the attacks of 9/11 said nothing about a decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. But unfortunately two US presidents have taken it to mean that they could make war anywhere at any time they please. Congress, as usual, did nothing to rein in the president, although several Members tried to repeal the authorization.

Afghanistan brought the Soviet Union to its knees. We learned nothing from it.

We left Iraq after a decade of fighting and the country is in far worse shape than when we attacked in 2003. After trillions of dollars wasted and tens of thousands of lives lost, Iraq is a devastated, desperate, and violent place with a presence of al Qaeda. No one in his right mind speaks of a US victory in Iraq these days. We learned nothing from it.

We are leaving Afghanistan after 12 years with nothing to show for it but trillions of dollars wasted and thousands of lives lost. Afghanistan is a devastated country with a weak, puppet government—and now we negotiate with those very people we fought for those 12 years, who are preparing to return to power! Still we learn nothing.

Instead of learning from these disasters brought about by the interventionists and their failed foreign policy, the president is now telling us that we have to go into Syria!

US Army Col. Harry Summers told a story about a meeting he had with a North Vietnamese colonel named Tu while he visiting Hanoi in 1975. At the meeting, Col. Summers told Tu, “You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield.” Tu paused for a moment, then replied, “That may be so. But it is also irrelevant.”

Sadly, that is the story of our foreign policy. We have attacked at least five countries since 9/11. We have launched drones against many more. We have deposed several dictators and destroyed several foreign armies. But, looking around at what has been achieved, it is clear: it is all irrelevant.

June 23, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A new phase in the global war on Syria

Partitioning Syria at the Doha Summit (Excerpt)

By Ibrahim al-Amin | Al-Akhbar | March 25, 2013

The US-European-Gulf axis has succeeded in dragging the world into a new round of violence and anarchy, all in the name of taking Syria away from Bashar al-Assad.

Those behind this phase no longer care about their public face; they have revealed the true state of the Syrian opposition groups they sponsor. They have brought them totally under their control. So Moaz al-Khatib can protest and resign, Free Syrian Army fighters and officers can object, and opposition figures can complain as much as they like in the press or on TV. What matters is that in conjunction with this decision, the following must be done:

– Sponsorship of opposition forces from Turkey to be escalated. This seeks to impose new military and intelligence chiefs on the armed groups, providing them with new kinds of weapons, and bringing them more firmly under the control of the foreign capitals concerned. A central military objective has been defined: to fully occupy Aleppo as a prelude to proclaiming the new Syrian state in the north.

– The world presented with a fait accompli in the form of an “interim government.” This reflects the total submission of the Islamist opposition, be it Muslim Brotherhood or Salafi, to Gulf leadership, and the collusion of military commanders on the ground. The idea is for this body to be able to request foreign assistance in various forms.

– The Syrian government’s allies, whether in Iraq, Iran or Lebanon, are to be threatened by means of additional funding for civil conflicts that are liable to preoccupy them.

The conspiracy against Syria being hatched at the Doha summit is a massive gamble, as well as a historic crime. The Gulf sheikhs, in conjunction with Western and Arab capital, are launching a step-by-step process of partitioning Syria. – Full article

March 26, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nato gets information about region from Qatar: Official

By Azmat Haroon | The Peninsula | March 20, 2013

Doha: Nato receives important strategic information about this region from Qatar, a Nato official said yesterday.

“Qatar is considered to be a very positive partner from this region. It has knowledge about this region that Nato doesn’t have in Brussels,” Lieutenant General Arne Bard Dalhaug, Commandant of Nato Defence College told The Peninsula yesterday.

He was leading an 80-member delegation to Qatar for a conference organised by the Qatar Armed Forces at the Hilton Hotel.

The delegation, arrived here from Rome, will visit Abu Dhabi today, followed by stopovers in Paris, London and Berlin.

General Dalhaug said the Nato Defence College often trains Qatari students on strategic issues. “We are an educational institute, so we provide different courses on strategic education, which is theoretical. We have Qatari students who come to our college quite often,” he said.

Students receive study materials and lectures on different issues at the college.

The General also revealed that the Denfence College has one student from Qatar this year.

Qatar spent over QR5bn in foreign aid projects, Dr Hassan Ibrahim Al Mohanadi, Director of the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a lecture at the conference.

Over QR3.7bn was spent in support mission for governments while non-governmental groups received some QR606m from Qatar.

Speaking about the foreign policy of Qatar, Al Mohannadi said that a large sum of this fund was spent to support poor countries in Africa. He said some part of the aid was directly provided to governments, while other funds were given in consultation with the UNDP.

Answering a question about Qatar supporting efforts to resolve border disputes between some countries, he said Qatar was ready to provide assistance to countries if they asked for it.

“Qatar has negotiating teams, which can provide assistance to states, if they wish,” Al Mohannadi said.

Brigadier Sanad Ali Rashid Al Naimi, In-charge of the Strategic Research Centre, spoke about the transformations in the Mena countries and their impact on international security in the region.

March 20, 2013 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment