Afghanistan Archives - Accuracy.Org

Are False Stories About Russia/Afghanistan Pushing for War?

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Independent investigative reporter Gareth Porter just published the piece “How the Pentagon failed to sell Afghan government’s bunk ‘Bountygate’ story to U.S. intelligence agencies” at The Grayzone, which summarizes his findings thus: “Another New York Times Russiagate bombshell turns out to be a dud, as dodgy stories spun out by Afghan intelligence and exploited by the Pentagon ultimately failed to convince U.S. intelligence agencies.” [Also see 2017 article — “Should Media Expose Sources Who Lied to Them?” — by Sam Husseini for the media watch group FAIR.]

MATTHEW HOH, matthew_hoh at riseup.net
Hoh resigned in protest from his State Department position in Afghanistan in 2009 over the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama administration; he also served in Iraq with the Marines. He has recently been featured on two accuracy.org news release: “Is Big Media Echoing Accusations to Demonize Russia and Continue Afghan War?” and “Inconvenient Facts: U.S. Killed Russians in Syria and Afghanistan.”

Hoh said today: “I think it is all more of the same: anonymous, unverifiable and evidence free accusations that have blatant domestic political beneficiaries, breathlessly exclaimed by a press which cheerleads constantly for U.S. foreign policy, as well as U.S. intelligence and military agencies, without regard for or acknowledgment of the vast catalogue of lying by those same intelligence and military agencies for political and institutional purposes. The question that should be asked by everyone is why should any of these institutions or individuals be believed.

“If these accusations of Russian bounties are true, than rather than reporting and responding to them as a chain of Russian conspiracies in Afghanistan against a benevolent and passive United States they should be understood for what they are: the consequences of U.S. war in Afghanistan, not only for the last 19 years, but the last 40 years, as well as the eternal consequences of waging these unending wars in the Muslim world.

“These too are the consequences warned of in the 1990s as the United States and NATO expanded its military presence eastward towards the Russian border. The Doomsday Clock is now at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been to midnight since its inception in 1947. The people of the world are trapped in-between the 6,000 active and armed nuclear weapons of the United States and Russia, and further surrounded by climate change, pandemic, and exploitative neo-liberal economic policies. Meanwhile, both U.S. political parties utilize these accusations, and resulting tensions with Russia, for their own political benefit, while politicians, retired generals, the weapons industry and other elements of the $1.2 trillion annual war machine are using these well timed accusations to destroy peace attempts in and U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as justify $15 billion aircraft carriers, $2 billion bombers and $10 million tanks, along with a plan to spend $1.5 trillion on new nuclear weapons, resume nuclear testing and put weapons in space.”

Inconvenient Facts: U.S. Killed Russians in Syria and Afghanistan

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ABC reports Thursday: “Top intel officials brief Pelosi, congressional leaders on reported Russian bounty on U.S. troops.”

The Daily Beast reported in 2018: “Report: U.S. Forces Killed More Than 200 Russian Fighters in Syria Attack.”

Excerpts from Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA [PDF is here], a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Tim Weiner:

The CIA’s biggest gun running mission was its global pipeline to the mujahideen, the holy warriors of Afghanistan, who were fighting the 110,000-man Soviet army of occupation. It began under Jimmy Carter in January 1980. Because it was Carter’s idea, Casey did not embrace it wholeheartedly—not at first. But soon he saw the opportunity at hand. “I was the first chief of station ever sent abroad with this wonderful order: ‘Go kill Soviet soldiers,’ ” said Howard Hart, who arrived as the chief in Pakistan in 1981. “Imagine! I loved it.” It was a noble goal. But the mission was not to liberate Afghanistan. No one believed that the Afghans could actually win. From the start, the Saudis matched the CIA’s support for the rebels, dollar for dollar. The Chinese kicked in millions of dollars’ worth of weapons, as did the Egyptians and the British. The CIA coordinated the shipments. Hart handed them over to Pakistani intelligence. …

The Soviets were trying to build a natural-gas pipeline from Siberia into Eastern Europe. They needed computers to control its pressure gauges and valves. They sought the software on the open market in the United States. Washington rejected the request but subtly pointed to a certain Canadian company that might have what Moscow wanted. The Soviets sent a Line X officer to steal the software. The CIA and the Canadians conspired to let them have it. For a few months, the software ran swimmingly. Then it slowly sent the pressure in the pipeline soaring. The explosion in the wilds of Siberia cost Moscow millions it could ill afford to spare. The silent attack on Soviet military and state engineering programs went on for a year. …

The CIA’s Afghan operation was now a $700-million-a-year program. It represented about 80 percent of the overseas budget of the clandestine service. Armed with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, the Afghan rebels were killing Soviet soldiers, downing Soviet helicopter gunships, and inflicting deep wounds on the Soviet self-image. The CIA had done what it set out to do: to give the Soviets their Vietnam. “One by one we killed them,” said Howard Hart, who had run the mission to arm the Afghans from 1981 to 1984. “And they went home. And that was a terrorist campaign.”

MATTHEW HOH, matthew_hoh at riseup.net
Hoh resigned in protest from his State Department position in Afghanistan in 2009 over the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama administration; he also served in Iraq with the Marines. On Monday, he was featured on an accuracy.org news release: “Is Big Media Echoing Accusations to Demonize Russia and Continue Afghan War?

Shutdown Government, Expand Military: * Afghan War After 12 years * Africa Attacks * U.S. Global Bases

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MATTHEW HOH, mphoh1 at yahoo.com, @MatthewHoh
Hoh is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and is the former director of the Afghanistan Study Group. A former Marine and State Department official, Hoh resigned in protest from his post with the State Department in Afghanistan over U.S. strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan in 2009. He said today: “It is fitting that as we pass the 12-year mark of the U.S. and Western invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. government is shut down, our economy, education system and infrastructure continues their persistent degradation, and the American people, for the first time ever, now believe their children will not be better off than they. The failure of the United States’ war in Afghanistan, a failure that has been obvious for quite some time, like our own domestic failings, is a testament to a broken American political order and a $1 trillion a year national security Leviathan. Of course, the Afghan people are no closer to becoming a country at peace than at any time since the 1970s and the United States must and should understand its responsibility and culpability in the continuing death, loss and chaos. 

“Similarly, in Libya and Somalia, again violence and military force is proving not to be a solution to terrorism. We have to understand the root causes. And many times these root causes are local and regional issues we have a poor grasp of — and sometimes those root causes are grievances against U.S. policies. In Somalia, we keep losing sight of the fact that al-Shabab has not conducted operations anywhere that was not related to occupation of Somalia, this is true for their operations in Uganda and their recent attack in Kenya. So much of this is tied to the U.S. sponsored Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. In Libya, our support in the overthrow of Gaddafi’s government, to include the killing of the man that the U.S. State Department had defined as a reliable ally in the war on terror, has led to continued chaos and a vacuum in government. Two years later we find ourselves having to kidnap a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. How can we describe our operations in Libya to have been successful or a model for future operations as is so often described by administration officials or pundits?”

VIJAY PRASHAD, vp01 at aub.edu.lb, @vijayprashad
Edward Said chair at American University in Beirut, Prashad is co-editor of Dispatches from the Arab Spring and author of Arab Spring, Libyan Winter. He said today: “The UN’s mission in Libya has attempted to create a law and order based governance system in the most difficult circumstances. On 22 September, the Libyan government, with help from the UN mission, passed a law on transitional justice with rules that include provisions on fact-finding, reparations for victims and accountability. The entire UN-authorized mission of 2011 run by NATO was legitimized by human rights questions. The current U.S. raid on Libya to capture a man (indicted in 2000 for the 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. targets in East Africa) from the upscale Noufleen neighborhood in Tripoli undermines the process driven by the Libyan government and the UN mission in Libya. The U.S. has no extradition treaty with Libya but there are other legal avenues to have used before the snatch and render method employed. There is no indication that the U.S. had ever asked the Libyans to extradite the suspect, nor that the U.S. informed the Libyans of this operation. It is a major setback to Libyan efforts to create transitional justice, and once more calls into question the U.S. commitment to a rules and regulations society.”

DAVID VINE, vine at american.edu
Vine is associate professor of anthropology at American University and is author of Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia. He is currently completing a book about the effects of U.S. military bases located outside the United States.

He recently wrote the piece “The Italian Job: How the Pentagon Is Using Your Tax Dollars to Turn Italy into a Launching Pad for the Wars of Today and Tomorrow” for Tom Dispatch.

The piece states: “The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for U.S. military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany, where the overwhelming majority of U.S. forces in the region have been stationed since the end of World War II. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. …

“Our bases in Italy are making it easier to pursue new wars and military interventions in conflicts about which we know little, from Africa to the Middle East. Unless we question why we still have bases in Italy and dozens more countries like it worldwide — as, encouragingly, growing numbers of politicians, journalists, and others are doing — those bases will help lead us, in the name of American ‘security’, down a path of perpetual violence, perpetual war, and perpetual insecurity.”