In an interview with ABC News, General David Petraeus allowed ABC to spin their Afghanistan poll to put US efforts there in the best possible light, which made it possible for him to then come on camera and appear to be conservative with regard to whether an eventual “victory” can be declared. However, what we don’t hear in ABC’s framing or in Petraeus putting on his “aw, shucks” performance is that the poll also found that “Nationwide, more than half of Afghans interviewed said U.S. and NATO forces should begin to leave the country in mid-2011 or earlier.” Instead, we get only information that is slanted to give the best possible lighting for “progress” and a need to stay in Afghanistan as long as it takes to give the government a chance to take over. In addition to Petraeus’ efforts to spin Afghanistan prior to the upcoming “review”, we find that the whole process is a sham and that the Obama administration is already sharing with the New York Times what the outcome of the “review” will be. Surprise, surprise, we are going to learn that progress has been made and that we need to continue fighting.
|By: Jim White Wednesday December 8, 2010 12:50 pm|
|By: Jim White Friday November 26, 2010 3:00 pm|
Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir spoke on Wednesday in Islamabad and once again reiterated the official Pakistani line that no foreign helicopter or drone raids would be allowed inside Pakistan. As if in response, we see from Dawn. com that both helicopter and drone attacks occurred again today. How long will this charade of completely different public and real stances be tolerated?
|By: Jim White Friday November 26, 2010 8:10 am|
On Tuesday we learned that the much-heralded “peace talks” NATO orchestrated between the Afghan government and Taliban officials had included several meetings with an impostor claiming to be Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour. This news appeared to place General David Petraeus in a very bad light, as he had even been described as having “facilitated the talks by allowing Taliban officials to fly to the meetings in safety.” Little wonder, then, that the Washington Post felt obligated to engage in some Petraeus image rehabilitation. They happily did so today by trying to place the blame for the impostor on the British. The New York Times was quite happy to join in on this effort, contributing a “no comment” from British intelligence and quoting a passage from the Post article describing “the British as more aggressive than the Americans in pushing for a political settlement to end the war.”
|By: Jim White Wednesday October 27, 2010 7:00 am|
Despite a propaganda buildup that began last weekend, with both General David Petraeus and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen making claims of regaining momentum against the Taliban in the Kandahar offensive, Wednesday’s Washington Post destroys those claims with the headline that “U.S. military campaign to topple resilient Taliban hasn’t succeeded“. As if the destruction of Petraeus’ propaganda offensive by the Post is not enough on its own, BBC chimes in Wednesday, as well, with a fresh quote from Mikhail Gorbachev that victory in Afghanistan is impossible.
|By: Jim White Saturday October 2, 2010 7:53 am|
Tense relations between the United States and Pakistan are leading to a mixed set of signals today. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US is secretly diverting military drones from Afghanistan for CIA use in Pakistan, resulting in a record month for drone strikes in Pakistan. As if to prove this point, Reuters reports that on Saturday two drone strikes in Pakistan killed 18 people. Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani on Friday addressed the Pakistan National Assembly and spoke of unspecified “other options” should the US continue its helicopter raids over the border, but a telephoned apology from General David Petraeus to General Ashfaq Kayani (Chief of Staff of Pakistan’s army) seems to have calmed tensions to the point that the closure of the Torkham crossing now is described as temporary. Adding to the mix, Iran’s PressTV trots out Zaid Hamid (Googling him brings many references to him being a conspiracy theorist and Pakistan’s answer to Glenn Beck) to comment on the situation, ascribing US actions to panic over the prospect of losing the war in Afghanistan.
|By: Jim White Thursday September 30, 2010 6:07 am|
On Monday, I posed the question “How much more US abuse will Pakistan tolerate?” It turns out that the answer is “Not very much.” Pakistan has closed a key border crossing into Afghanistan used as a supply route by NATO after the latest reports of a NATO raid into Pakistan resulted in the death of three Pakistani troops.
|By: Jim White Wednesday June 23, 2010 4:15 pm|
The running joke about Obama defenders says that whenever Obama makes one his horrendous moves or continues yet another terrible policy started under George W. Bush, the defenders will claim that he is a master tactician, working many moves ahead of us, sometimes even in dimensions we can’t possibly perceive. With today’s decision by Obama to accept the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal and to ask General David Petraeus to step down one level to assume command of US forces in Afghanistan, Obama has made what I think finally is a good strategic decision on the political front.