pindos fuck off

The Afghanistan Debacle
Brian Cloughley, Strategic Culture, Jul 7 2020

Since 1897, the NYT has carried the slogan “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, and generally speaking that was appropriate over the years, save for a few times such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when it conveyed blatant bias in favour of the war and published what the appalling Trump would call “fake news.” A year after the invasion, the NYT issued a half-hearted apology for its irresponsible journalistic fandangos which were intended to encourage the Pindo public to support Washington’s war that destroyed countless lives and reduced the Middle East to chaos. In the end, the main reporter involved, a repulsive charlatan called Judith Miller, was forced to leave the newspaper (with a generous severance packet) after she had spent time in jail for having refused to divulge the name of yet another “source” for her information. One of the intriguing things about the NYT’s lame apology is that it referred to a report that said this:

A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq’s chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began.

The NYT belatedly admitted that it “never followed up on the veracity of this source or the attempts to verify his claims.” And it seems that the NYT continues to be reluctant to follow up on the reliability of some of its sources, because the latest Iraq-style scoop is an unverifiable ‘source-based’ story claiming that Russia paid the Taliban to kill Pindo soldiers in Afghanistan. The NYT refers relentlessly to “officials” as the sources of this extremely sensitive allegation, without the slightest intention of providing names or any sort of corroborative detail. There is not a shred of evidence supporting these explosive accusations because all the “information” comes from these ever-ready intelligence sources who feed attractively contrived drivel to willing patsies. As Ray McGovern put it:

The NYT’s dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Pindos, which seems to have been the main objective.

It certainly was, and although a multitude of independent observers have shredded the story, it was regrettable that the Times didn’t see fit to print the news that the Pentagon would not endorse it. On Jun 29, the chief Pentagon spox stated:

To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports.

It is interesting that the NYT story broke just five days after the Afghan NSC spox tweeted:

He didn’t mention the fact that 148 civilians had been killed and, bizarrely, it was the NYT that recorded this, in its excellent “War Casualty Report” which appears in its magazine section each week. It was not stated how many of these civilians had been killed by government forces’ airstrikes, door-crashing home assaults or erratic mortar fire, but the UN’s Assistance Mission in Afghanistan noted:

Civilian casualties attributed to the ANSF for Apr 2020 numbered 172 civilians, an increase of 38% compared to Apr 2019 and 37% higher than Mar 2020.

Afghanistan’s security forces, its army, police, air force and swaggering special forces, are poorly trained and their motivation is open to question. The numerical strength of these services is not divulged, and in 2018 Reuters reported:

The Pentagon has restricted the release of critical information on the progress being made in the war in Afghanistan, a move that will limit transparency, the government’s top watchdog on Afghanistan said on Monday.

Suppression of bad or inconvenient news is a well-tried tactic in the propaganda playlist, and as observed by John Sopko, the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, SIGAR, “the Pindo sheeple have constantly been lied to” regarding the conflict in Afghanistan. In the years of war, $18.8b have been poured in to Afghanistan in aid and it has almost all been wasted, notably the vast sums that have been used to purchase luxury mansions, apartments and waterside villas in Dubai and many other sinks for corruption cash. And the situation on the ground in war-torn Afghanistan is desperate, with the CFR recording on Jul 1:

According to official Pindo government estimates of 2019, only 53.8% of Afghan districts under government control or influence, 33.9% contested, and the remaining 12.3% under the control or influence of the Taliban. The ANDSF continue to suffer heavy casualties and, while actual figures have now been classified by the Pindo military, senior Afghan boxtops estimate that for several months in 2018 as many as 30 to 40 ANDSF personnel were killed every day.

The government in Kabul is incompetent and incapable of directing affairs throughout the country, as was publicly stated by Pompeo after he visited Kabul in Mar 2020. He harshly censured President Ghani and his power-sharing rival Abdullah Abdullah, saying:

Pindostan is disappointed in them and what their conduct means for Afghanistan and our shared interests. Their failure has harmed Pindo-Afghan relations and sadly dishonours those Afghan, Pindo and Coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country. Because this leadership failure poses a direct threat to Pindo national interests, effective immediately, the Pindo government will initiate a review of the scope of our cooperation with Afghanistan.

It is extremely irresponsible for the senior foreign affairs representative of any nation to openly criticise the leaders of a supposedly allied country that is engaged in a civil war, because the opponents of the established government will be given the most massive boost in propaganda terms. There are no reports on how the Taliban viewed Pompeo’s monstrous blunder, but it was abundant confirmation for them that those purporting to lead Afghanistan had failed. Not only that, but it was said that the president was actually posing a threat to the blustering ally that had invaded their country almost twenty years ago. It would be most surprising if the Taliban were not making maximum propaganda use of this absurd bloomer. Of equal importance, it is obvious that Pompeo and all the other arrogant amateurs in Faschingstein have totally wrecked Pindo-Afghan relations and destroyed any shreds of trust in Pindostan that may have been lingering in the Kabul government. An investigation by the WaPo in 2019 disclosed:

Senior Pindo boxtops failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

Given the combination of Faschingstein’s deceit and insult, together with Kabul’s rampant corruption, its inability to govern in much of the country, and general incompetence, the picture is one of a disaster, a debacle of colossal proportions. Faschingstein should cease feeding the NYT and others with fatuous tales about supposed plots involving bonuses for bodies and simply cut its (gargantuan) losses and get out now.

Pentagon blocks release of key data on Afghan war: inspector
Idris Ali, Reuters, Jul 2018

FASCHINGSTEIN – The Pentagon has restricted the release of critical information on the progress being made in the war in Afghanistan, a move that will limit transparency, the government inspector on Afghanistan said on Monday. For years, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, has published a quarterly report that includes unclassified data on the amount of territory controlled or influenced by the Taliban and the government. In a report published late on Monday, SIGAR said it was told not to release that information. The military also classified, for the first time since 2009, the actual and authorized total troop numbers and attrition rate for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, or ANDSF. John Sopko, who leads the independent watchdog office, told Reuters in an interview:

The implication is that I think the average Pindo who reads our reports or reads your press accounts of it, has no meaningful ability to analyze how his money or her money is being spent on Afghanistan.

The Pentagon sought to deflect blame for the decision, the latest move to limit the amount of publicly available information about the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, Pindostan’s longest. It said in a statement that the DoD did not tell SIGAR to withhold the data, but rather it was the NATO-led Resolute Support coalition that made the determination. It added that the Pentagon did not have the authority to overrule the classification made by Resolute Support, which is led by Pindo Gen J Nicholson. Lt-Col Michael Andrews said:

The DoD continues to work with SIGAR, Pindo Forces Afghanistan, and NATO Resolute Support to resolve concerns about restrictions on information that was previously unclassified.

Former boxtops and experts said that regardless of who restricted the information, it was particularly worrying because Afghan and Pindo boxtops had publicly set a benchmark it would now be difficult to measure. The Pindo commander in Afghanistan set a goal in November of driving back Taliban insurgents enough to control at least 80% of the country within two years. In its most recent report, SIGAR said that 43% of Afghanistan’s districts were either under Taliban control or being contested. Sopko said people would to jump to the conclusion that information was being withheld because progress was not being made, which may not be the case. A similar accusation was made during the Vietnam War, which later proved true. Sopko said:

In essence, you can ask me almost any question and I will have to say, it is classified or non-releasable, I mean you go down the list, it is just amazing.

He added that the DoD did not give him any reasons for the move. The move by the Pentagon comes amid a spate of violence in Afghanistan over the past nine days that is putting a new, more aggressive strategy under the spotlight. An ambulance bomb in the city center killed more than 100 people, just over a week after an attack on the Hotel Intercontinental, also in Kabul, killed more than 20, including four Pindo citizens. Trump has committed an additional 3k Pindo troops to Afghanistan in recent weeks, bringing the total number of Pindo troops in Afghanistan to about 14k. Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Center said it made little sense to block the information. Kugelman said:

It’s not fair to the Pindo sheeple, to Pindo troops and I would think it’s pretty hard to justify doing something like this.

It is not the first time data has been withheld on the Afghan war. Last year, Pindo forces in Afghanistan restricted the amount of data it provided on the ANDSF, including casualties, personnel strength and attrition rates, data that has now been completely withheld. The Pindo military said at the time the data belonged to the Afghan government, which did not want it released. A former Pindo boxtop, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was pressure on the Pindo military to achieve success that could create a risk about not being fully open with the facts. The former boxtop said:

We’re going in a direction of hiding facts and shading and shaping facts in reaction to a lot of pressure to show fast results.

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