Archive for July 2nd, 2010

When does Afghanistan officially qualify as a “quagmire”?

| July 2, 2010 | 3 Replies
When does Afghanistan officially qualify as a “quagmire”?

We’ve now been in Afghanistan longer than we were in Vietnam, with a similar amount of progress. American casualties are again on the rise, along with the power of the Taliban. The new general in charge, General Petraeus, assures us that he will continue to try to minimize civilian casualties, so long as that doesn’t interfere too much with his plans to bomb the hell out of the country. Our rules to protect civilians were a bit too “bureaucratic” for his liking–not that they actually worked, in any case. The now-infamous Rolling Stone profile of General McChrystal has this to say:

In the first four months of this year, NATO forces killed some 90 civilians, up 76 percent[!] from the same period in 2009 – a record that has created tremendous resentment among the very population that COIN theory is intent on winning over. In February, a Special Forces night raid ended in the deaths of two pregnant Afghan women and allegations of a cover-up, and in April, protests erupted in Kandahar after U.S. forces accidentally shot up a bus, killing five Afghans. “We’ve shot an amazing number of people,” McChrystal recently conceded.

The Rolling Stone piece mysteriously left out the next part of McChrystal’s statement. Here’s the full quotation (emphasis mine):

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

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Don’t get carried away poking the penguin

| July 2, 2010 | 1 Reply
Don’t get carried away poking the penguin

Don’t get carried away poking the penguin. Trust me. Move on to something else on the internet.

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