Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Afghanastan: WEST WON'T WIN AFGHAN WAR

U.S. AND ITS ALLIES ARE FIGHTING FIERCE PASHTUNS, NOT TERRORISTS

Toronto Sun
By: Eric Margolis
September 17, 2006

As Canadian, American and British soldiers continue to die in Afghanastan, it is time the truth be told about this ugly little war.

Much of what we've so far been told by our government and media has been untrue, wishful thinking or crass jingoism.

The respected European think tank, Senlis Council, which focuses on Afghanastan, just reported the Taliban is "taking back Afghanastan" and now controls the nation's southern half. According to Senlis, southern Afghanastan is suffering "A humanitarian crisis of starvation and poverty.

"U.S. policies in Afghanastan have re-created the safe haven for terorism that the 2001 invasion aimed to destroy," Senlis found.

Claims that withdrawing Western garrisons from Afghanastan or Iraq will leave a void certain to be filled by extremists are nonsense. Half of Afghanastan and a third of Iraq are already largely controlled by anti-Western resistance forces.

Were it not omnipotent U.S. airpower, American and NATO forces would be quickly driven from the area.

Last week, Canadian and British commanders boasted they were about to annihilate Taliban forces "surrounded" around Panjwai and Zahri. They crowed about already killing an "estimated 500 Taliban."

After a storm of bombing and shelling, British and Canadian commanders admitted "we were surprised the enemy had fled." Surprised?

"Good Morning Afghanastan!" Doesn't anyone remember the Vietnam War's fruitless search-and-destroy missions and inflated body counts? Don't NATO commanders know their every move is telegraphed in advance to Taliban forces?

Did Canadian officers making such fanciful claims really believe the Taliban's veteran querillas would be stupid enough to sit still and be destroyed by U.S. air power?

U.S., British and Canadian politicians say they are surprised by intensifying Taliban resistance. They have only their own ignorance to blame.

Attacking Pashtuns, renowned for xenophobia, warlike spirits, and love of independence, is a fool's mission. Pashtuns are Afghanastan's ethnic majority; long-term national stability is impossible without their co-operation.

What the West calls "Taliban" is actually a growing coalition of veteran Taliban fighters led by Mullah Dadullah, other clans of Pashtun tribal warriors, and nationalist resistance forces under Jalalladin Hakkani and former prime minister Gulbadin Hekmatyar. Many are former mujahadeen once hailed as "freedom fighters" by the West, and branded "terrorists" by the Soviets.

The UNs anti-narcotic agency reports narco-state Afghanastan now supplies 92% of the world's heroin. Production surged 20% last year alone. Who is responsible? The U.S. and NATO, Washington, Ottawa and London can't keep pretending this is someone else's problem. Drug money fuels the Afghan economy and keeps local warloards loyal to the U.S.-installed Kabul regime.


RUSSIAN INFLUENCE

Afghanastan's north has become a sphere of influence of Russian and its local allies, the Uzbek-Tajik Northern Alliance (led by notorious war criminals and leaders of the old Afghan Communist Party).

The U.S. and its allies are not going to win the Afghan war. They will be lucky, the way things are going, not to lose it in the same humiliating manner the Soviets did in 1989.

Ottawa's deepening involvement in a conflict in which it lacks any national interests---save pleasing Washington and selling lumber---jeopardizes Canada's security.

Western troops are not fighting "terrorism" in Afghanastan, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims. They are fighting the Afghan people. Every new civilian killed, and every village bombed, breeds new enemies for the West.

REAL SECURITY FOR AMERICA

Monday, September 18, 2006

"The Geneva Convention...is just not some concept; it has saved lives...we cannot and must not and need not change the Geneva Convention in a way that would be perceived as backing out of it."

---Sen. Lindsey Graham on CBS "Face The Nation," 9/17/06

Sens. Warner, McCain, Graham, and Levin have proposed a tough, effective bill on military tribunals for detainees which meets the standard set by the U.S. Supreme Coury and keeps our troops safe.

General Colin Powell, President Bush's own Secretary of State and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warns the Bush version "would put our own troops at risk."

President Bush and Republicans continue to justify the invasion of Iraq by drawing non-existent links to the 9/11 attacks. The Bush PR campaign around the solemn anniversary of 9/11 didn't work. The American people understand the war in Iraq and the war against terrorism are distinct.

The President's Iraq policy has made us less safe and must be changed.

The war in Iraq has made our effort to defeat terrorism more difficult.

Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee report found there were no ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.

It's time for a New Direction against terrorism, not just Republicans' half-truths and scare tactics. Democrats want aggressive prosecution of suspected terrorists and judicial procedures that won't be overturned by the Supreme Court.


Office of the Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi



Veterans Issues: PREDATORY LENDERS AND THE MILITARY

PREDATORY LENDERS AND THE MILITARY

Why is Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), opposing legislation to protect service members?

By: Dorothy Finley and Bruce L. Dusenberry
Tuscon, Arizona
ASZTAMET dot com
via: Larry Scott---VA Watchdog dot org
September 19, 2006

It is highly unusual for the D.O.D. to ask Congress to place restrictions on private companies. But that is precisely what the Defense Dept. wants done with payday lenders, auto-loan companies and other predatory lenders.

In an August report to Congress, the Defense Dept. recommended that those firms be restricted to charging interest rates of no more than 36% per year to members of the military and their families. It also wants to prohibit companies from using postdated checks, access to banks accounts and car titles as security for loans.

The Defense Dept. gave several reasons for such an unusual request, including:

1. "Predatory lenders seek out young and financially inexperienced borrowers who have bank accounts and steady jobs, but also have little in savings (or) flawed credit or have hit their credit line."

2. Predatoy lenders target members of the military. Research has shown that lenders concentrate around military bases. Significantly, that research included Tucson, where the researchers found 12 more payday lenders around Davis-Monthan Air Force Base than would be expected based on statewide averages.

3. "Predatory lenders undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all-volunteer fighting force."

4. Predatory lenders charge high fees and interest.

As leaders in the DM-50 and members of Tucson's business community, we believe it is important to listen to the Defense Dept's. concerns about these companies that prey on members of our military. As a nation, and certainly as a community that hosts Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, we should all care about the well-being of the men and women who risk their lives for our country.

They deserve to be treated failry and with respect.

These bills are in Congress to address those problems, the significant of which is a bipartisan Senate amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill of 2007. This bill would cap interest rates at 36% for loans to military members and their families.

Since this provision was not included in the House version of the bill, a committee of members from both Houses is ironing out the difference. Arizona Sen. John McCain is a member of that conference committee, so he will be important to the outcome.

Unfortunately, Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), chairman of the House Veteran's Affairs Committee opposes adding the provision to the defense authorization bill.

Observers believe his opposition could kill the loan-cap provision.

Buyer's spokesman said he doesn't oppose protecting service members, but that he believes any bill offering legal and financial protections for service members should first come through his Veterans' Affairs Committee.

That may be congressional procedure, but this is one of those cases where the end result---PROTECTION OF AMERICA'S MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN---is more important than whether a bill went through a particular chairman's committee.

We urge Rep. Buyer to let this bill go forward. And we urge Arizona's members of Congress, especially Sen. McCain, to back limits on predatory lenders.

After all, America's future depends on fair treatment for the men and women who volunteer to serve in our country.


***This is the time when the Republicans should be "Supporting Our Troops," like they claim they do. They need to do it by their actions and not their words, because, as we have found, there hasn't been any truth in the words of the Republicans for a very long time!