Funding our killers

Today Raw Story reports that Dennis Kucinich says we may be funding our own killers In Afghanistan.

“Our troops are dying in Afghanistan, and now it turns out we may be funding their killers,” Kucinich said in a statement e-mailed to Raw Story, renewing his longstanding call for a pullout. “Our continued presence in Afghanistan is detrimental to our security.”

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0608/kucinich-war-critics-rebuke-usfunded-bribes-afghan-militants/

It goes much deeper than this.  Many people were unaware until Geraldo Rivera interviewed Marines in Afghanistan on cable news that US troops are guarding poppy fields.  The government rationalization and apparent objective of having US troops guarding poppies is to prevent these crops from falling into the wrong hands.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20004607-503543.html

It escapes nearly all mainstream news coverage that opium production coming from Afghanistan was almost completely eradicated prior to the US invasion and now over 95% of the world’s poppies come from Afghanistan.  A reasonable question may be why are fighting an ineffective War on Drugs and creating the planet’s largest prison population if we are protecting suppliers?  But that is another tale.    Should it shock anyone that Afghanistan is now the virtual monopolistic supplier of the world’s opium?  Karzai’s own brother is not only on the CIA payroll, but is a known drug kingpin still with an administration position.

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/world/asia/28intel.html

There are many things going on over there that the casual American observer is totally oblivious to and certainly many more things even the most astute observer will never see.  It was certainly news enough to be a headline that U.S. Special Forces are now operating in 75 countries under Obama, up from 60 under Bush.

“President Obama has secretly sanctioned a huge increase in the number of US special forces carrying out search-and-destroy missions against al-Qaeda around the world, with American troops now operating in 75 countries.

The dramatic expansion in the use of special forces, which in their global span go far beyond the covert missions authorised by George W. Bush, reflects how aggressively the President is pursuing al-Qaeda behind his public rhetoric of global engagement and diplomacy.

When Mr Obama took office US special forces were operating in fewer than 60 countries. In the past 18 months he has ordered a big expansion in Yemen and the Horn of Africa — known areas of strong al-Qaeda activity — and elsewhere in the Middle East, central Asia and Africa.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7144445.ece

Maybe history does repeat and this is not only a return of the Great Game but also the Opium Wars of the 19th Century.  TAPI Pipelines and Poppies no longer sounds any less plausible than we are there to destroy Al Qaeda and the Taliban which we outnumber 1000 to 1 and 12 to 1 respectively even prior to the surge.

There are already more than 100,000 international troops in Afghanistan working with 200,000 Afghan security forces and police. It adds up to a 12-1 numerical advantage over Taliban rebels, but it hasn’t led to anything close to victory.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/10/ap_afghanistan_troop_levels_102709/

Although the war in Afghanistan began as a response to al-Qaeda terrorism, there are perhaps fewer than 100 members of the group left in the country, according to a senior U.S. military intelligence official in Kabul who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/11/politics/washingtonpost/main5613564.shtml

In this case it may be safe to wonder if Kucinich took his statements far enough when describing the situation in Afghanistan.

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