Tag Archives: Illegal Wars

Never Forget The Massacres at Sabra & Shatila

For three days in September 1982, Israeli forces in collusion with the Lebanese Phalangist militia’s, slaughtered, raped and maimed a large number of unarmed civilians inside the encircled and sealed Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. As many as 3,000 innocent men, women and children were massacred, but to this day no one has been held accountable for this genocidal act.

For 40 hours in September 1982, members of the Israeli-allied Lebanese Phalangist militia raped, killed, and injured a large number of unarmed civilians, mostly children, women and elderly people inside the encircled and sealed Sabra and Shatila camps. The estimate of victims varies between 700 (the official Israeli figure) to 3,500.

On 6 June 1982, the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in retaliation for the attempted assassination of Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov in London on 4 June. The Israeli secret services had that same day attributed the attempted assassination to a dissident Palestinian organisation backed by the government of Iraq, which was at the time eager to deflect world attention from its recent setbacks in the Iran-Iraq war. The Israeli operation, planned well in advance, was called “Operation Peace for Galilee.”

Initially, the Israeli government had announced that its intention was to penetrate just 40km into Lebanese territory. The military command, however, under the orders of Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, decided to execute a more ambitious project that Sharon had prepared several months earlier. Having occupied the south of the country and destroyed any Palestinian and Lebanese resistance there, simultaneously committing a series of violations against the civilian population, Israeli troops proceeded to penetrate as far as Beirut. By 18 June 1982 they had surrounded the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) armed forces in the western part of the Lebanese capital.

According to Lebanese statistics, the Israeli offensive, particularly the intensive shelling of Beirut, caused 18,000 deaths and 30,000 injuries, mostly among civilians.

After two months of fighting, a cease-fire was negotiated through the mediation of United States Envoy Philip Habib. Under the terms of these negotiations, the PLO was to evacuate Beirut under the supervision of a multinational force deployed in the evacuated part of the town. The Habib Accords envisaged that West Beirut would subsequently be under the control of the Lebanese army, and the Palestinian leadership was given guarantees by the Americans regarding the security of civilians in the camps after their departure.

The evacuation of the PLO ended on 1 September 1982.

On 10 September 1982, the multinational forces left Beirut. The next day, Sharon announced that “2,000 terrorists” had remained inside the Palestinian refugee camps around Beirut. On Wednesday 15 September, the day after the assassination of President-elect Bashir Gemayel, the Israeli army occupied West Beirut, “encircling and sealing” the camps of Sabra and Shatila, which were inhabited by Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, the entirety of armed resistors (more than 14,000 people) having evacuated Beirut and its suburbs.

Historians and journalists agree that it was probably during a meeting between Ariel Sharon and Bashir Gemayel in Bikfaya on 12 September that an agreement was made authorizing the “Lebanese forces” to “mop up” these Palestinian camps. Sharon had already announced, on 9 July 1982, his intention to send the Phalangist forces into West Beirut, and in his autobiography he confirms having negotiated the operation during his meeting with Gemayel in Bikfaya.

According to statements made by Ariel Sharon on 22 September 1982 in the Knesset (Israeli parliament), the decision that the Phalangists should enter the refugee camps was made on Wednesday, 15 September 1982 at 15.30. Also according to General Sharon, the Israeli Command had received the following instruction: “[t]he Tsahal forces are forbidden to enter the refugee camps. The ‘mopping-up’ of the camps will be carried out by the Phalanges or the Lebanese army.”

By dawn on 15 September 1982, Israeli fighter-bombers were flying low over West Beirut and Israeli troops had secured their entry. From 9 am, General Sharon was present to personally direct the Israeli penetration, installing himself in the general army area at the Kuwait embassy junction situated at the edge of Shatila camp. From the roof of this six-story building, it was possible to observe the town and the camps of Sabra and Shatila clearly.

By midday, the camps of Sabra and Shatila – in reality a single zone of refugee camps in the south of West Beirut – were surrounded by Israeli tanks and soldiers, who had installed checkpoints all around the camps in order to monitor the entry or exit of any person. During the late afternoon and evening, the camps were shelled.

sabra and shatila

By Thursday 16 September 1982, the Israeli army controlled West Beirut. In a press release, the Israeli military spokesperson declared, “Tsahal controls all strategic points in Beirut. The refugee camps, inside which there is a concentration of terrorists, are surrounded and sealed.” On the morning of 16 September, the following order was issued by the army high command: ” [t]he searching and mopping up of the camps will be done by the Phalangists/Lebanese army.”

During the course of the morning, shells were being fired down at the camps from higher elevations and Israeli snipers were shooting at people in the streets. By approximately midday, the Israeli military command gave the Phalangist militia the green light to enter the refugee camps. Shortly after 5pm, a unit of approximately 150 Phalangists entered Shatila camp from the south and south-west.

At this point, General Amir Drori telephoned Ariel Sharon and announced, “Our friends are advancing into the camps. We have co-ordinated their entry.” To which Sharon replied, “Congratulations! Our friends’ operation is approved.”

For the next 40 hours the Phalangist militia raped, killed, and injured a large number of unarmed civilians, mostly children, women and elderly people inside the “encircled and sealed” camps. These actions, accompanied or followed by systematic roundups, backed or reinforced by the Israeli army, resulted in dozens of disappearances.

The Israeli army had full knowledge of what was going on in the camps right up until the morning of Saturday 18 September 1982, and its leaders were in continuous contact with the militia leaders who perpetrated the massacre. Yet they never intervened. Instead, they prevented civilians from escaping the camps and arranged for the camps to be illuminated throughout the night by flares launched into the sky from helicopters and mortars.

The count of victims varies between 700 (the official Israeli figure) and 3,500 (in the inquiry launched by the Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk). The exact figure can never be determined because, in addition to the approximately 1,000 people who were buried in communal graves by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or in the cemeteries of Beirut by members of their families, a large number of corpses were buried beneath bulldozed buildings by the militia members themselves. Also, particularly on 17 and 18 September, hundreds of people were carried away alive in trucks towards unknown destinations, never to return.

The testimony of Mahmoud Younis an 11 year old child at the time can be read at The Cynical Arab blog “Of Israeli Peace & Massacres”

The victims and survivors of the massacres have never been deemed entitled to a formal investigation of the tragedy, whether in Lebanon, Israel, or elsewhere. After 400,000 Israelis took to the streets in protest once news of the massacre was broadcast by the international media, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) named a commission of inquiry, to be presided over by Yitzhak Kahan, in September 1982. In spite of the limitations of the Commission’s mandate (limited because it was a political rather than a judicial mandate and because the voices and demands of the victims were completely ignored), the Commission concluded that the Minister of Defence was personally responsible for the massacres.

Upon the insistence of the Commission, and the demonstrations that followed its report, Sharon resigned from his post of Minister of Defence but remained in the government as Minister without Portfolio. It is worth noting that during the Peace Now demonstration immediately prior to Sharon’s “resignation,” demonstrators were attacked with grenades, resulting in the death of a young demonstrator.

Several non-official inquiries and reports, including those of Sean MacBride and of the Nordic Commission, based mainly on the testimony of western eyewitnesses, as well as other pieces of journalistic and historical research, have assembled vital pieces of information.

Despite evidence of what the UN Security Council described as a “criminal massacre,” and the ranking of the Sabra and Shatila massacres in humankind’s collective memory as among the most heinous crimes of the 20th century, the man found “personally responsible” for this crime, as well as his associates and the people who carried out the massacres, have never been pursued or punished. In fact the warlord Ariel Sharon was proudly rewarded for his actions with the Premiership of his country and was welcomed into the White House with open arms, as a man of peace.

In 1984, Israeli journalists Schiff and Ya’ari concluded their chapter on the massacre with this sobering reflection: “If there is a moral to the painful episode of Sabra and Shatila, it has yet to be acknowledged.” The reality of this impunity remains true to this day.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the massacre with Resolution 521 (19 September 1982). This condemnation was followed by a 16 December 1982 General Assembly resolution qualifying the massacre as an “act of genocide.”

The perpetual acts of genocide carried out in the 28 years since Sabra and Shatilla are countless. Ask yourself how many more have died, how many more have been butchered under the tracks of armoured caterpillar bulldozers, been picked off by snipers, or been blown to pieces by missiles fired from Israeli helicopters.

The truth of the matter is that the blood of the Palestinians is cheap and plentiful, there are no remembrance ceremonies for those who died, no ringing of any bells, no remembrance of the fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, whose lives were taken in such a savage and brutal manner.

Originally posted September 19 2009.

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Never Forget The Massacres at Sabra & Shatila

For three days in September 1982, Israeli forces in collusion with the Lebanese Phalangist militia’s, slaughtered, raped and maimed a large number of unarmed civilians inside the encircled and sealed Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. As many as 3,000 innocent men, women and children were massacred, but to this day no one has been held accountable for this genocidal act.

For 40 hours in September 1982, members of the Israeli-allied Lebanese Phalangist militia raped, killed, and injured a large number of unarmed civilians, mostly children, women and elderly people inside the encircled and sealed Sabra and Shatila camps. The estimate of victims varies between 700 (the official Israeli figure) to 3,500.

On 6 June 1982, the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in retaliation for the attempted assassination of Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov in London on 4 June. The Israeli secret services had that same day attributed the attempted assassination to a dissident Palestinian organisation backed by the government of Iraq, which was at the time eager to deflect world attention from its recent setbacks in the Iran-Iraq war. The Israeli operation, planned well in advance, was called “Operation Peace for Galilee.”

Initially, the Israeli government had announced that its intention was to penetrate just 40km into Lebanese territory. The military command, however, under the orders of Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, decided to execute a more ambitious project that Sharon had prepared several months earlier. Having occupied the south of the country and destroyed any Palestinian and Lebanese resistance there, simultaneously committing a series of violations against the civilian population, Israeli troops proceeded to penetrate as far as Beirut. By 18 June 1982 they had surrounded the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) armed forces in the western part of the Lebanese capital.

According to Lebanese statistics, the Israeli offensive, particularly the intensive shelling of Beirut, caused 18,000 deaths and 30,000 injuries, mostly among civilians.

sabra and shatila

After two months of fighting, a cease-fire was negotiated through the mediation of United States Envoy Philip Habib. Under the terms of these negotiations, the PLO was to evacuate Beirut under the supervision of a multinational force deployed in the evacuated part of the town. The Habib Accords envisaged that West Beirut would subsequently be under the control of the Lebanese army, and the Palestinian leadership was given guarantees by the Americans regarding the security of civilians in the camps after their departure.

The evacuation of the PLO ended on 1 September 1982.

On 10 September 1982, the multinational forces left Beirut. The next day, Sharon announced that “2,000 terrorists” had remained inside the Palestinian refugee camps around Beirut. On Wednesday 15 September, the day after the assassination of President-elect Bashir Gemayel, the Israeli army occupied West Beirut, “encircling and sealing” the camps of Sabra and Shatila, which were inhabited by Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, the entirety of armed resistors (more than 14,000 people) having evacuated Beirut and its suburbs.

Historians and journalists agree that it was probably during a meeting between Ariel Sharon and Bashir Gemayel in Bikfaya on 12 September that an agreement was made authorizing the “Lebanese forces” to “mop up” these Palestinian camps. Sharon had already announced, on 9 July 1982, his intention to send the Phalangist forces into West Beirut, and in his autobiography he confirms having negotiated the operation during his meeting with Gemayel in Bikfaya.

According to statements made by Ariel Sharon on 22 September 1982 in the Knesset (Israeli parliament), the decision that the Phalangists should enter the refugee camps was made on Wednesday, 15 September 1982 at 15.30. Also according to General Sharon, the Israeli Command had received the following instruction: “[t]he Tsahal forces are forbidden to enter the refugee camps. The ‘mopping-up’ of the camps will be carried out by the Phalanges or the Lebanese army.”

By dawn on 15 September 1982, Israeli fighter-bombers were flying low over West Beirut and Israeli troops had secured their entry. From 9 am, General Sharon was present to personally direct the Israeli penetration, installing himself in the general army area at the Kuwait embassy junction situated at the edge of Shatila camp. From the roof of this six-story building, it was possible to observe the town and the camps of Sabra and Shatila clearly.

By midday, the camps of Sabra and Shatila – in reality a single zone of refugee camps in the south of West Beirut – were surrounded by Israeli tanks and soldiers, who had installed checkpoints all around the camps in order to monitor the entry or exit of any person. During the late afternoon and evening, the camps were shelled.

By Thursday 16 September 1982, the Israeli army controlled West Beirut. In a press release, the Israeli military spokesperson declared, “Tsahal controls all strategic points in Beirut. The refugee camps, inside which there is a concentration of terrorists, are surrounded and sealed.” On the morning of 16 September, the following order was issued by the army high command: ” [t]he searching and mopping up of the camps will be done by the Phalangists/Lebanese army.”

During the course of the morning, shells were being fired down at the camps from higher elevations and Israeli snipers were shooting at people in the streets. By approximately midday, the Israeli military command gave the Phalangist militia the green light to enter the refugee camps. Shortly after 5pm, a unit of approximately 150 Phalangists entered Shatila camp from the south and south-west.

At this point, General Amir Drori telephoned Ariel Sharon and announced, “Our friends are advancing into the camps. We have co-ordinated their entry.” To which Sharon replied, “Congratulations! Our friends’ operation is approved.”

For the next 40 hours the Phalangist militia raped, killed, and injured a large number of unarmed civilians, mostly children, women and elderly people inside the “encircled and sealed” camps. These actions, accompanied or followed by systematic roundups, backed or reinforced by the Israeli army, resulted in dozens of disappearances.

The Israeli army had full knowledge of what was going on in the camps right up until the morning of Saturday 18 September 1982, and its leaders were in continuous contact with the militia leaders who perpetrated the massacre. Yet they never intervened. Instead, they prevented civilians from escaping the camps and arranged for the camps to be illuminated throughout the night by flares launched into the sky from helicopters and mortars.

The count of victims varies between 700 (the official Israeli figure) and 3,500 (in the inquiry launched by the Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk). The exact figure can never be determined because, in addition to the approximately 1,000 people who were buried in communal graves by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or in the cemeteries of Beirut by members of their families, a large number of corpses were buried beneath bulldozed buildings by the militia members themselves. Also, particularly on 17 and 18 September, hundreds of people were carried away alive in trucks towards unknown destinations, never to return.

The victims and survivors of the massacres have never been deemed entitled to a formal investigation of the tragedy, whether in Lebanon, Israel, or elsewhere. After 400,000 Israelis took to the streets in protest once news of the massacre was broadcast by the international media, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) named a commission of inquiry, to be presided over by Yitzhak Kahan, in September 1982. In spite of the limitations of the Commission’s mandate (limited because it was a political rather than a judicial mandate and because the voices and demands of the victims were completely ignored), the Commission concluded that the Minister of Defence was personally responsible for the massacres.

Upon the insistence of the Commission, and the demonstrations that followed its report, Sharon resigned from his post of Minister of Defence but remained in the government as Minister without Portfolio. It is worth noting that during the Peace Now demonstration immediately prior to Sharon’s “resignation,” demonstrators were attacked with grenades, resulting in the death of a young demonstrator.

Several non-official inquiries and reports, including those of Sean MacBride and of the Nordic Commission, based mainly on the testimony of western eyewitnesses, as well as other pieces of journalistic and historical research, have assembled vital pieces of information.

Despite evidence of what the UN Security Council described as a “criminal massacre,” and the ranking of the Sabra and Shatila massacres in humankind’s collective memory as among the most heinous crimes of the 20th century, the man found “personally responsible” for this crime, as well as his associates and the people who carried out the massacres, have never been pursued or punished. In fact the warlord Ariel Sharon was proudly rewarded for his actions with the Premiership of his country and was welcomed into the White House with open arms, as a man of peace.

In 1984, Israeli journalists Schiff and Ya’ari concluded their chapter on the massacre with this sobering reflection: “If there is a moral to the painful episode of Sabra and Shatila, it has yet to be acknowledged.” The reality of this impunity remains true to this day.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the massacre with Resolution 521 (19 September 1982). This condemnation was followed by a 16 December 1982 General Assembly resolution qualifying the massacre as an “act of genocide.”

The perpetual acts of genocide carried out in the 28 years since Sabra and Shatilla are countless. Ask yourself how many more have died, how many more have been butchered under the tracks of armoured caterpillar bulldozers, been picked off by snipers, or been blown to pieces by missiles fired from Israeli helicopters.

The truth of the matter is that the blood of the Palestinians is cheap and plentiful, there are no remembrance ceremonies for those who died, no ringing of any bells, no remembrance of the fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, whose lives were taken in such a savage and brutal manner.

Originally posted September 19 2009.

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Leaked CIA Memo: United States is the prime “Exporter of Terrorism”

Amongst the glut of leaked documents published by WikiLeaks, was this memo at what would happen if it is internationally understood that the United States is the prime exporter of terrorism.

This CIA “Red Cell” report from February 2, 2010, looks at what will happen if it is internationally understood that the United States is an exporter of terrorism;

“Contrary to common belief, the American export of terrorism or terrorists is not a recent phenomenon, nor has it been associated only with Islamic radicals or people of Middle Eastern, African or South Asian ethnic origin. This dynamic belies the American belief that our free, open and integrated multicultural society lessens the allure of radicalism and terrorism for US citizens.”

The report looks at a number cases of US exported terrorism, including attacks by US based or financed Jewish, Muslim and Irish-nationalism terrorists. It concludes that foreign perceptions of the US as an “Exporter of Terrorism” together with US double standards in international law, may lead to non-cooperation in renditions (including the arrest of CIA officers) and the decision to not share terrorism related intelligence with the United States.

So who’s the terrorist and who’s doing the terrorising?

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Iranians Defecting As New Middle East War Promoted

The Manufacturing of Consent to invade Iran continues, the consensus being built should be noted for its unreliability in its content, an even more grave consequence is that these “facts” are getting major airtime where it counts, if you read my post yesterday, then you’ll know all about how the media can frame the discussion.

The Washington Post states:

“Iran’s political turmoil has prompted a growing number of the country’s officials to defect or leak information to the West, creating a new flow of intelligence about its secretive nuclear program.

Some of the most significant new material has come from informants, including scientists and others with access to Iran’s military programs, who are motivated by antipathy toward the government and its suppression of the opposition movement after a disputed presidential election in June, according to current and former officials in the United States and Europe who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence gains.

In recent weeks, U.S. officials have acknowledged that an Iranian nuclear scientist defected to the West in June. Shahram Amiri, 32, vanished while on a religious pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and has provided spy agencies with details about sensitive programs, including a long-hidden uranium-enrichment plant near the city of Qom, intelligence officials and Europe-based diplomats said.

Amiri is described by some as the most significant Iranian defector since Brig. Gen. Ali Reza Asgari, a former deputy defense minister and Revolutionary Guard Corps commander who switched sides during a 2007 trip to Turkey.”

The Israeli, Arutz Sheva added:

“An Iranian nuclear scientist has asked for asylum in Israel, Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, of the Druze community.

My office has received a request from an Iranian scientist who is currently staying in a friendly country, by means of an Israeli Jewish woman of Iranian birth, Kara revealed in a interview panel appearance in Ramat Gan. I am making an effort to assist in this matter because I believe in helping anyone to remove the strategic and nuclear threat upon the enlightened and democratic world.”

While the Wall Street Journal ran with:

“Israel weighs merits of solo attack on Iran”, alongside a fully interactive demo of the routes Israeli attack jets can fly to attack Iran. They all would require Israeli planes to fly through U.S.-controlled airspace in Iraq or through the airspace of U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia or Turkey, which could cause serious political consequences for Israel.

David Schenker of The Washington Institute, A U.S.-based (Pro Israeli) think tank, has issued a report saying that a new Middle East war may be looming on the horizon.

Pro Zionist commentators in America are pushing for an attack on Iran by rounding on President Obama:

“The President is more interested in trying to mollify Islamist fanatics who continue their war preparations.”

Whilst elsewhere they conflate Israel’s pro war stance with America’s domestic woes, adding:

“A third factor is whether Israeli planes would need to fly over Iraqi air space to reach Iran. The U.S. still has air bases around the region, and might not want to recognize Israeli planes as friendly. Thus Obama instills uncertainty into foreign policy just he prolongs the recession by instilling uncertainty into domestic policy on medical costs and taxes.”

To say that The Akh is dismayed by this propaganda would be an understatement of immense proportions.

The facilitator of every major violent event thus far in the twenty-first century have been based on lies told by democratic governments. The lies are continuing to be told, about the supposed “existential” menace posed by Iran to Israel, America and (if you believe some European leaders) to Western Europe.

The American invasion of Iraq in 2003 was motivated by the neo-conservative illusion that the Iraqi people would welcome invasion and become a force for democracy, and friends to Israel. Instead, the death of Saddam Hussein and destruction of his government, the wrecking of Iraqi urban society and the country’s infrastructure and industry, which will take years to reconstruct, ignited anarchic insurrection and sectarian conflict, delivering the country into the power and influence of a much larger and more important enemy of both the United States and Israel, Iran. Another lesson about lies, one might have thought.

U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates is reported to have sent a secret letter to President Barack Obama last January reviewing the military options available if diplomacy and the new American attempt to intensify international sanctions on Iran fail to produce the desired halt in Iran’s effort, if that is what it is, to build a nuclear deterrent.

If Iran does pursue a nuclear capability, once again it is to deter attack. Precisely the same objection exists to theories of Iranian aggression as to those lies put forward in 2002-2003 about Iraq posing a nuclear menace to the world.

Once more the threat is a polemical invention, intended to frighten American, Israeli (and European) voters, and prompt a pre-emptive attack on Iran. The reason Mr. Gates reports his uncertainties to the president is that he too recognizes that the conflict with Iran is constructed from fictions – which, as with the lies about Iraq, may turn into another war, whose consequences are sure to be worse for all concerned than the fiasco and tragedy of the Iraqi invasion and subsequent slaughter.

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World’s Youngest Prisoner Freed From Israeli Prison

Yusuf Az-Ziq worlds youngest prisoner

The world’s youngest prisoner has been freed from an Israeli concentration camp.

Yusuf Az-Ziq (20 months) was released from Israeli jail yesterday with his mother.

He was accused of terrorist activities.

The izzies also released a 15-year old Palestinian female prisoner

On her release she said that she learned Hebrew only to understand the curses of the prison guards.

The zionist state refuses to confirm the number of women and children it holds in its concentration camps.

Yet another example which highlights the zionist state’s criminal abuse of human rights.

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US Admits to Stonewalling UN Inquiry into Gaza War

goldstone-gaza

Top White House officials told Zionist organisational leaders in an off-the-record phone call that the U.S. strategy was to “quickly” bring the report — commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council and carried out by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone — to its “natural conclusion” within the Human Rights Council and not to allow it to go further, zionist participants in the call told the JTA.

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How To Measure Success In Afghanistan?

Independent 04 Sep 2009

Is it when our Prime Minister gives us all another big speech restating his commitment to the mission in Afghanistan?

This comes after a ministerial aide, resigned over the governments ‘strategy’, or lack of it to be precise.

Falkirk West MP Eric Joyce said the UK could no longer justify the growing casualties in Afghanistan by saying the war would prevent terrorism back home.

Joyce a 21 year army veteran, held the rank of major before leaving in 1999.

In his resignation letter, Joyce questioned public support for the mission in Afghanistan and the government’s arguments for the presence of troops there.

While the reaction to Joyce’s resignation has been some what mixed, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has defended American military plans in Afghanistan, but warned that there is now “limited time” to show success.

There certainly were more successes to be had today for the US led invaders, as it was reported that NATO forces killed more than 90 civilians after an air strike blew up two fuel tankers supposedly ‘hijacked by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan’.

These ‘Succeses’ will be measured against ’50 Metrics’ a set of 50 measurements, which would gauge US progress in the Afghan-Pak war zone.

Currently under ‘test run’ by the White House, the metrics to assess war success would be presented before the Congress on September 24, as the Washington Post points out.

Whatever numbers come out of the Afghan election, it is the numbers about the Afghan war that the US/UK public is most concerned about.

As the coalition of the willing enter their ninth year on the ground in Afghanistan, public opinion is wary about the effectiveness of the military campaign, particularly as the death toll mounts.

Duking the stats is the answer to boost support for a war of choice to a populace that no longer has the appetite to see their sons return home in wooden boxes.

I said in an earlier post that in these wars of choice, the aggressor cannot summon the political will and military strategy for outright victory, however that is defined.

The indigenous population knows that their job is not to defeat the great superpowers to their every last man, but merely to prolong the war and to break the will of their oppressors through resistance.

Using measuring sticks to show progress and success in that country, by way of powerpoint presentatations and excel spreadsheets does not define success to me.

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