Saturday, May 7, 2011

Selling Us Fear

Reading about the treasure trove intelligence agents have with the computers, thumb drives, DVD's, etc. found in the home Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, Pakistan, apparently for at least 5 years and probably longer, with some level of assumed knowledge and perhaps protection of the Pakistan government.

Or so says the US government on the latter issue, demanding names of people in the government complicit in his protection and access to the people left in the house when Navy Seals (Team 6) took bin Laden and his son's bodies where they were buried at sea within the expected 24 hour time in Islam tradition.

But my point here is that already the Obama administration is talking about potential threats found in the material, one on the US rail system, supposedly wanting to create a train wreck where hundreds of passengers are killed or injured. Like that hasn't happened already in the history of the rail system in this country?

Or worse, like when trains transporting hazardous gases and chemical derail and create havoc on local populations and serious damage to the environment. And we're worried about one terrorist threat? Really, hyping one threat against the history of rail accidents?

What's the phrase? Give me a break. We all have or still ride the trains, on the same tracks where many trains carry considerable goods and food throughout this country. We ride with the normal expectation of safety and the normal risk of accidents. It's the nature of the world we live in today.

And we should be worried about a terrorist threat? So much the government can and will impose new restrictions on travel and new rules for passengers? Like the wasted crap we have at the airports and airline travel? And we can expect something similar at train stations? Like watch and no travel lists?

Will the government mandate complete and throughout inspections of all rail shipments? Or is the government only wanting to treat passengers, Americans, as potential terrorists? To screen us with more expensive, taxpayer paid, machines and more TSA worker on government payroll?

And the Republicans, the Tea Party and other less govenment advocates will acquiesce because it's protection from terrorists? Like we're all terrorists? Or just the other people they suspect, like democrats and the really radical leftists? And more so those "people" who to them are obvious, those of Middle Eastern heritage or ancestry.

In the end, what this is and what we'll hear more about all this material is just to sell us fear and sell us the government can protect us if only we pay our taxes and give up a few more rights, liberties and protections guarranteed under the Constitution, but that won't stop Congress from passing more and worse versions of the Patriot Act.

All in the name of fighting the endless war on global terorism. And against Americans too. The government thinks we're the enemy and they'll do anything to sell us fear of our enemy knowing it's us they really don't trust. And in some measure they're right, I don't trust the government anymore.

Amazing what fear will do to people and especially governments. To be enemies, the government and its citizens. The war isn't about or against terrorists, it's against Americans and America. Our government against us.

And the End is When?

I was listening and reading some of the responses to the recent mission which targeted and killed Osama bin Laden. I don't know the statistics of how many people actually believe this, but I suspect it's more than people are saying or the polls are finding. And that is?

Well, one young soldier, when asked since bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is virtually gone (less than a few hundred and most in Pakistan) should we (US) decide the war in Afghanistan is over and it's time to leave, said, "I think we have an obligation to stay the course and fight for the people there."

Well, all I could think of then was to have asked that young soldier, "So then, when is the end?"

The truth is, as almost everyone with knowledge and experience in or with Afghanistan have said or written, that there is no end to the war in Afghanistan. The reason is that while Al Qaeda is nearly gone the Taliban, now based in Pakistan, is still relatively strong in many areas of Afghanistan.

And while we are winning the war against the Taliban, they have lasted nearly 10 years and will last another 10 years and longer. Let's not forget they've been around in Afghanistan since the war against the invasion and occupation by the Soviet Union. And now, after five years of controlling Afghanistan (1996-2001), they're fighting the invasion and occupation by the United States.

While they may be new as an organization, they're not new to war as they were formed by a number of war lords prior to the Soviets. Since the removal from power in 2001, they've tied themselves to many other war lords, militias and other groups to survive, even drug lords. And an estimated one-third or more are Pakistani, some from the Pakistan Army.

We also know we, the Americans, are supplying money and arms to the Taliban. Yes, folks, we're supplying our enemy. We paying Afghan contractors to truck supplies from Pakistan to all the places in Afghanistan. Those contractors are paying the Taliban for protection along their routes from attacks by other enemies and even the Taliban.

The arms are coming through the soldiers we're trainiing for the Afghan army and police, some of whom are secretly members or supporters of the Taliban, and through the supplies to the Afghan government to other forces into the black market. The truth is that we're arming and paying the Taliban, indirectly but the result is the same.

And we know the Karzai government has negotiated with the Taliban for inclusion in his government. The reality is clear, Afghanistan will not have a free and stable government with President Karzai. He's corrupt, his family and friends in the government are corrupt, and wealthy by way of our money, and everyone else in the government is corrupt.

His government, or our puppet government (ala Vietnam), couldn't survive are departure, but you can be sure President Karzai is working to ensure his survival as president after we're gone with our money and arms, which is the question at hand and what those who profess we stay the course to the end.

The government of Afghanistan needs the US and NATO to survive. The country needs us to survive. We're fighting for them to stand up and take over, but the reality and truth is they won't. They're addicted to our money and arms. They'll do enough as they've always done to survive for themselves but not against enemies, not without help, our help.

So to those who still profess we stay until the end, what and when is the end? And will you keep saying this year after year after year from now until when? And at the expense of all those lives, those soldiers, and all that money, taxpayers' money? And for what goal?

Answer that, when is the end?

Monday, May 2, 2011


Why is ESPN talking about Osama bin Laden? Why do we have to hear every sports announcer's view of their moment when they heard of the attack on the compound and the killing of bin Laden? Like they're really smart people who's opinion actually matters beyond just their themselves and maybe, and that's a big maybe with many of them, sports?

Who in the hell really cares what they thought or felt then and think now?

So why waste the viewers' time talking about it? I plan to stop listening to any sports or news channel or station until all this blows over. Yes, I'm happy Osama bin Laden is dead, but let's hear about the future and real issues, like what we plan to do in the aftermath. Not opinion but real folks who make real decisions.

And yes, my opinion isn't worth any more than anyone else's, just two cents. You don't have to read it or listen to it, as I don't have to do the same with you.

For Sale One Estate

For Sale.-- One large 2-story hilltop estate and compound. Nice hilltop view. Excellent security. 12 foot walls with barbwire. Primitive with water and sewer, but no electricity, telephone or Internet and satellite communications. But excellent potential with close access to power and communications networks and services. Half mile from military academy with other military facilities in city. Excellent access to transportation and other amenities. Fire damage to home as former occupant evicted by US military assault forces in firefight. Owner and family killed, staff arrested. Reasonably priced at $1 Million. See Al Qaeda Realty, Abbotabad, Pakistan.