If This is Real, a Path for Change has Finally Opened.

ALL US TROOPS ARE LEAVING AFGHANISTAN

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U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, left, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader, shake hands after signing a peace agreement between Taliban and U.S. officials in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday. | Hussein Sayed/AP Photo

 

The American People need to see that something is "possible" before they will support change. Let's hope more headlines like this will do the trick.

According to Politico:

President Donald Trump said of the peace negotiations at a press conference at the White House on Saturday afternoon that "we think they will be successful in the end," adding, "I'll be meeting personally with Taliban leaders in the not too distant future."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quick to chime in with his ugly Neocon trash-speak: In Doha, Pompeo remarked that the Taliban’s compliance with a seven-day reduction in violence that paved the way for the accord. But he cautioned that an enduring peace is contingent on the militant group fulfilling its promise to cut ties with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups and sit down for intra-Afghan talks with Kabul's government.

“This agreement will mean nothing, and today’s good feelings will not last, if we don’t take concrete actions on commitments and promises that have been made,” Pompeo said. “I know there will be a temptation to declare victory. But victory — victory for Afghans — will only be achieved when they can live in peace and prosper.”

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Pompeo spewed his parting weasel words, warning the Taliban, in particular, to “embrace” the progress made on rights for women and girls in Afghanistan. These hollow weasel words have been mouthed by US Presidents and their obsequious officials for nearly twenty nauseating years, in order to silence Leftist Progressives, who trapped themselves inside the subversive Democratic Party. To the ever lasting shame of the Progressives, it worked perfectly.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper traveled to Kabul on Saturday to appear beside Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for a joint declaration.

At the height of the war, more than 100,000 American troops were deployed to Afghanistan. An astonishing percentage of these soldiers have committed suicide at the rate of one suicide every hour for many, many years. This suicide rate for formerly-deployed soldiers is ongoing right now.

According to Wikipedia — As of July 7, 2018, there have been 2,440 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan. 1,856 of these deaths have been the result of hostile action. 20,320 American servicemembers have also been wounded in action during the war.[1] In addition, there were 1,720 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities.[2]

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Google has scrubbed and shuffled its search results, making it very difficult today to determine the current number of US military and their mercenaries who have died for absolutely nothing in Afghanistan.

More will die pointless deaths while the US tries to slink away from its war crimes, and Afghanistan returns to what it was before the US attacks began. Let us hope this sneaky Saturday announcement is real.

O Happy Day.

 

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I am grateful to Community Members for your insightful and informed responses to this essay.

 

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RantingRooster's picture

I'm too cynical at this point. I can already see the democrats and their pundits on teevee tomorrow whining about Trump has let the enemy know ahead of schedule when US troops will leave Afghanistan, opening up for the Taliban to revoke all the Democracy we've bombed into their country. (The Taliban will threaten the Opium drug trade)

All the shit the republicans threw at Obama for wanting to get out of Afghanistan, now the Democrats are gonna throw at Trump, for the very same things.

"But it's gonna be a really, really great peace with the Taliban. They're really fine people" Trump said as he was boarding Golden Toilet One for Afghanistan....

"I bet Putin is smiling right now, yep, pretty sure he's gonna congratulate Trump for carrying out his orders so well. The Democrats are going to have to fight this Peace in Afghanistan, because I tell ya, yep, this isn't going to be peace, no, no the Taliban, well, their gonna go in there an wipe out all the Democratic gains we've made overthe last 18 years. And besides that, think of all the money we've invested..." James Carvile said wearing a stupid looking hat, reading glasses all cockeyed, grinning like a damn fool... on some vanilla DNC propaganda show...

Nutshell, Peace threatens the MIC's profits. Reduced Opium production threatens the HIC's profits. (HIC = healthcare industrial complex)

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

Pluto's Republic's picture

@RantingRooster @RantingRooster

...and should seek medical help. I'm reluctant to condemn the statements of someone in that condition. He's unemployable, except by the depraved US media.

I don't know how the US plans to continue the global heroin trade. I presume they will leave that in the hands of their Contractors and FedEx.

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Add some Truth to your daily news. CGTN — See the difference!

wendy davis's picture

i'll add that politico had subtitled the news: ''Conditions-based' withdrawal will be complete in 14 months if Taliban keep commitments."

and had added:

"The signing between Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban officials will set the stage for the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 19 years of violence that has killed more than 3,500 Americans and coalition troops and tens of thousands of Afghans since the U.S. invasion following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

(the bolded being more to the point. 'the graveyard of empires' being notably true, and correct me if i'm wrong, but osama bin laden had never claimed responsibility for the felling of the Twin Towers.

pompeo's taking a play out of Amnesty International's NATO afghanistan playbook, which was reason #11 for staying in-country, even that odious woman (sarah chayse or something) on bill moyers 'my little students', etc.:

first it was: "we had bin laden cornered in bora bora!". how many drone assassinations did barack obomba make from his 'deck of cards' on Terror Tuesdays radicalizing more and more afghanis? remember from satellite imagery as 'proof of killers'? bringing 'never walk in a tactical order' even if you're herding your family's sheep like so many young blokes? my photo files are full of their faces...

it's hard being this cynical, but my guess is the taliban will be said 'not to live up to their bargains'...or something, special ops false flags perhaps.

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about now, which for some reason always means we can't leave now.

On edit: This probably is just Trump trying to get re-elected. Once he is in for another 4-years this agreement will be thrown off the WH balcony.

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@entrepreneur

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@wendy davis So, after the election. Isn't that convenient.

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@tle
in the next twenty years.

With peace agreements, it's always fourteen to twenty-two months for the return of all US troops. The intent is never to leave and hope for a new opportunity to win the war. Despite the 1973 Peace Accords, Nixon still planned to win that one. It took getting rid of him and the N. Vietnamese kicking our butts in what was then Saigon for all the troops to come home.

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the opium trade?

Cuz I can't think of any other reason the U.S. would leave Afghanistan unless the heroin trade were ensured to continue in their absence.

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@Battle of Blair Mountain

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QMS's picture

so much as bucks in the pockets
deep state dreams

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Wally's picture

See: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/29/so-called-peace-deal-anythi...

Rep. Barbara Lee, one of the staunchest anti-war voices in Congress, denounced the deal as a little more than a sham.

"After nearly two decades of endless war, it's become clear that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan," Lee said in a statement. "But this so-called ‪'peace deal' is anything but."

"It leaves thousands of troops in Afghanistan and lacks the critical investments in peacebuilding, human-centered development, or governance reform needed to rebuild Afghan society," the Congresswoman said.

Lee called the agreement "a step forward as we work to stop endless war," but said it remains critical to recognize that "there's still a long way to go," including the repeal of two Authorizations for Use of Military Force—one from 2001 and another from 2020—under which U.S. overseas war and military operations continue in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere continue to be waged.

Members of Congress, said Lee, must "reassert our Constitutional duty over war and peace."

And:

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Thanks for covering this.

Meanwhile in Syria

A recent Defense Department inspector general report said the U.S. military did not properly account for or adequately store nearly $715 million in weapons and equipment for vetted Syrian partners fighting ISIS.

The report said officials with Special Operations Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve and 1st Theater Sustainment Command did not maintain a central list of gear and equipment for Syrian partner forces complicating efforts to track or inventory the weapons.

Meanwhile in Turkey

The Syrian refugee crisis moved closer to the European Union's doorstep Saturday after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would open his country's borders.

In a televised address less than 48-hours after at least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan said: “We will not close these doors in the coming period and this will continue," according to the Reuters press agency.

"Why?" he added. "The European Union needs to keep its promises. We don’t have to take care of this many refugees, to feed them."

Almost immediately, convoys of people began heading to the Greek land and sea borders.

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that ever supported this eighteen years long war needs to ask him/herself what was accomplished. Taliban in power 2001 and Taliban in power 2020. For a few hundred million we could have bought them off in 2002 in exchange for a few schools for girls and lifting the mandatory burqa law and saved ourselves hundreds of mullions and many lives.

(No, I didn't support that war either despite my preexisting loathing for the Taliban for the simple reason that Bush/Cheney were incompetent and would accomplish nothing but destruction and death at high cost.)

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after 20 years of "war? What war?" too few Americans will care enough to raise Trump's poll numbers. So he will have to fabricate a "break of the agreement" and we'll "have to go back in". Either just before or just after the election, depending.

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On to Biden since 1973

wendy davis's picture

amerika sent to afghanistan were well spent, and hamid karzai, whose bro was a known drug dealer, is no longer president./s

back in the early days of the war, however, the people loved the taliban, as they were the ones who made the trains run on time, picked up the garbage, etc. no so much al Qaeda, however. trying to find any site that parses the differences well now is all but impossible. but i'll ask: why is the deal with the taliban?

i wish i could better remember in the days of karzai the round tables for peace when all the tribal chiefs even from the pasthtun areas would sit together, but western reporting was...what it was.

i did get to thinking about the small groups of afghanis who would travel, even bushwack, to sites where drone bombs would hit to identify the victims. how could it not change someone to learn that often the only ways to identify 'remains' was by shoes? and the chirren murdered? by the size of their wee rubber zoris.

what was the UK site that tracked it all? i'll wake you in the middle of the night when i remember. ; ) i still get emails from them, and still can't remember...lord luv a duck.

small beer in the scheme of things, pluto, but i srsly did put up this diary knowing how keen you've been on the subject.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

....and for the enlightening work you do here.

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Add some Truth to your daily news. CGTN — See the difference!

wendy davis's picture

the bureau of investigative journalism on drone warfare.

g' night.

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Situational Lefty's picture

but it seems to me the imperialists have learned their lesson from Vietnam and the first invasion of Iraq and that lesson seems to be: "Never admit you were wrong, ever, no matter what."

I'm afraid we're stuck in these wars indefinitely.

Of course, I'd love to be proved wrong, whether it be by the Trump administration or anyone the Democrats put up against them.

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"The enemy is anybody who is going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on." Yossarian

Lookout's picture

You get the idea in a minute or two.

Let see they are leaving 8000 troops based on what I read. That is not a total withdrawal.
https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/trump-more-than-8-000-us-troops...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

if *America* had had to promise to sever all ties with Islamic terrorism.

Fat chance of our agreeing to that, though...

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wendy davis's picture

on the peace plan, and it may be designed to fail w/ all the caveats in play.

There is no commitment on the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners – Afghan president after US deal, march 1

"The Afghan leader confirmed that the US is facilitating the prisoners’ release but it is ultimately up to Kabul to “decide on it.”

The US-Taliban deal says that Washington will work with all sides on a prisoner swap as a confidence-building step. According to the plan, the US with the Afghan government and the Taliban would free up to 5,000 and 1,000 people respectively by March 10, which is set as the first day of peace talks between the Taliban and Kabul.

Meanwhile, Ghani expressed hope that the truce with the Taliban will lead to a lasting ceasefire. A negotiation team from Kabul will be formed in nine days, he said."

this one includes:

"The agreement was signed by US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and one of the Taliban's senior leaders, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in Qatar’s capital Doha on Saturday.

The deal will see Washington and its allies withdrawing their troops from five bases in Afghanistan within the next 135 days. The remaining American soldiers will leave the country in 14 months if the Taliban fulfills its commitments.

The document lays the groundwork for future negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, aimed at bringing a lasting peace to the country. The US has agreed to facilitate the talks and lift sanctions from Taliban members by August, provided the negotiations commence as planned. Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada called on all of his fighters to honor and abide by the agreement.

The US and Afghan governments said earlier that the peace agreement will include guarantees that Afghan territory will not be used by terrorist groups to target the US and its allies.
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Calling the deal “a decisive step toward real peace in Afghanistan,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke about the victories against Al-Qaeda, the group behind the 9/11 attacks.

“Al-Qaeda today is a shadow of its former self. We have decimated its leadership, and now we have the Taliban agreeing that Al-Qaeda must never again find safe haven in Afghanistan,” he said.

The US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, expelling the Taliban from the country’s capital Kabul and other major cities. The years that followed saw prolonged fighting and the resurgence of militants. In the end, officials in Washington reluctantly agreed to hold peace talks with the Taliban, which stalled several times."

okay, mafiosa don pompeo seems to distinguish between the taliban and al qaeda, but how many of the #1 leaders of al quaeda have been taken out over the last 17 years or more? and as to 'no terrorists', are any of the ISIS/ISIL spin-off groups (covertly) active there? hard to imagine not.

and why do i have almost-remembered suspicions regarding 'peace envoy' zalamay khalilzad? was he another ahmed chalabi? O, for a memory!

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

and found some of the reasons. one intriguingly titled link was behind a paywall for me, so this was all that i could score:

Zalmay Khalilzad's second chance: The 18-year lesson in 'Shakespearean justice' for Afghan-born negotiator ending America's longest war; The man behind the historic Doha agreement is held responsible by some for mistakes that led to America's quagmire

When Donald Trump needed a dealmaker to extricate him from America's longest war, one name was always at the top of the list.
Zalmay Khalilzad has for two decades been a go-to diplomat for Republican presidents needing a trouble shooter in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Yet when the 68-year-old known as Zal was chosen to find Mr Trump a way out of his Afghan quagmire, many Afghans and international observers also remarked on the irony of the choice. The man tasked with forging a political settlement that would allow a US troop withdrawal is also held by some to be responsible for many of the failings which led America to its current predicament. The mistakes Mr Khalilzad and America made setting up a new Afghan political order in 2001 and 2002 sowed the seeds for the Taliban to return....

but his wiki page is extremely illuminating.

yes, i do tend to be on the obsessive side on certain subjects. my i claim 'needs must'? no, i dinnae think so.. ; )

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