How odd that it was timed for a Slow Saturday, 'eh, readers?
"NATO forces warn of offensive strike against Taliban; Afghan citizens flee Marjah as militants dig in" by Noor Khan, Associated Press | February 8, 2010
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The US military has not given a start date for the planned NATO offensive in southern Afghanistan to clear insurgents from the Helmand province town of Marjah, the biggest community in the south under insurgent control....
The militants, meanwhile, dug in for a fight, reinforcing their positions with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons, according to witnesses.
US General Stanley McChrystal, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, said the success of the operation depends on convincing civilians that the government will improve services once the militants are gone....
We've had eight years and we failed.
President Hamid Karzai discussed the ongoing operations in Helmand province in a telephone conversation yesterday with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, a spokesperson for Brown said.
The spokesperson said they “welcomed the leading role’’ played by Afghan Security Forces in preparing for the offensive, stressing that Afghan leadership was fundamental to the success of the operation.
US officials have long telegraphed their intention to seize Marjah. McChrystal said the element of surprise was not as important as letting citizens know that an Afghan government will be there to replace Taliban overlords and drug traffickers....
You mean like Karzai's brother?
Related: Taliban I Told You So
Oh, they are really just the PEOPLE who LIVE THERE, huh?
I view this whole operation as premeditated mass-murder, folks!
"UK deaths in Afghanistan hit 256; More expected, Britain warns as offensive looms" by Robert H. Reid, Associated Press | February 9, 2010
KABUL, Afghanistan - British, American, and Afghan forces are preparing for a major attack on Marjah in Helmand Province, the biggest town in southern Afghanistan under Taliban control....
US officials have said for weeks that they plan to attack Marjah, a center of the Taliban’s logistical and opium-smuggling network about 380 miles southwest of Kabul.
That is such bulls***!!!
It was the TALIBAN who nearly ELIMINATED the opium trade in 2001!!!
That's another reason Afghanistan had to be implicated in 9/11 and invaded!
Yup, that opium-smuggling network, how about that?
But the date of the attack has been kept secret.
Thousands of Afghan soldiers and police will join US and NATO troops in the offensive, playing their biggest role in any joint operation of the war. The pending attack will be a crucial test for the NATO strategy of transferring more responsibility to the Afghans so foreign troops can go home....
Then it will be called a success in the war-promoting newspaper no matter what the result.
Then again, after 9 years of lies, you are probably used to it, Americans. Is that why you no longer read newspapers?
US officials telegraphed their plans for Marjah in hopes that most of the estimated 400 to 1,000 Taliban fighters would leave the area, allowing NATO to reestablish Afghan government control there. The top US commander, General Stanley McChrystal, has said repeatedly that success in Afghanistan does not depend on killing Taliban fighters, but protecting Afghan civilians and winning their support.
That's because the Taliban fighters are civilians defending their homes from foreign occupiers.
But Afghan and US officials say there is little evidence that significant numbers of Taliban fighters.... have fled Marjah.
“The criminals, the drug dealers, they’re out of there,’’ said Lieutenant Colonel Brian Christmas, commander of the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines. “But the die-hards, they’re readying for a fight.’’
Yeah, well those criminals and drug dealers likely work for us.
He said intelligence reports indicate weapons and ammunition are continuing to come into Marjah, although US troops have taken up position near the town. The Marines’ main forward position, Outpost Belleau Wood, lies about 7 miles north of Marjah, from which US 155-mm cannons have been firing flares toward the town at night.
You mean they have been dumping on them?
Let's see if we can get some confirmation of that:
US Marines, seen yesterday in Helmand Province, will be among the 15,000 forces to take part in the upcoming offensive against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. (David Guttenfelder/Associated Press)
What's that, an implication of what weapons we will be using in the near future?
Oh, I'm sorry, it is just one hell of a sunset.
IN CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - In the late 1950s, scores of US engineers transformed a swath of uninhabited desert in southern Afghanistan into verdant farmland by constructing a network of irrigation canals fed by the Helmand River. The Afghan government filled the area, which it called Marja, with Pashtun nomads and told them to grow wheat.
So what happened America? Where did we lose it?
The wheat fields have since been replaced by tracts of opium-producing poppies.
Related: Drug Money Saving Banks And the CIA is helping to run the stuff, huh?
The mud-walled compounds that once housed families now conceal drug-processing labs and roadside-bomb factories. And the canals serve as moats to protect hundreds of Taliban fighters, who use Marja as a staging area for attacks across Helmand Province.
In the coming days, thousands of US Marines will seek to transform Marja once again. Working in partnership with Afghan soldiers, the Marines are planning a major operation to flush out insurgents and allow the Afghan government to reassert control.
“We intend to go in big, strong, and fast,’’ said Brigadier General Larry Nicholson, commander of the Second Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
British forces will conduct simultaneous operations intended to push into other Taliban strongholds in Helmand. The combined operations are expected to involve about 15,000 US, British, and Afghan forces, NATO military officials said.
To take down only about 1,000 guys?
US forces have moved into positions around Marja over the past week in preparation. About 200 Marines and Afghan soldiers, traveling by helicopters, seized a key intersection northeast of Marja yesterday morning, military officials said.
Nicholson said he anticipates a tough fight. Not only do the canals pose a significant logistical challenge for moving troops into the area - the waterways are too wide and deep to drive through - insurgents also have planted numerous homemade bombs along the approaches.
There are so many insurgents and roadside bombs in Marja that the Marines have not entered the area since arriving in Helmand last summer. Speaking to his troops yesterday, Nicholson called Marja “the last spot where the enemy feels secure’’ in the Marines’ area of operations in Helmand.
Soon after arriving in the province, Marine officers told tribal elders that an invasion of Marja was inevitable, part of an effort to persuade low-level Taliban fighters to reconcile with the government. Senior US and NATO commanders and Afghan military officials have publicly echoed that message in recent days.
It is not clear how effective the warning will be. Marine intelligence officers estimate that several hundred fighters are in the area. Many are local residents who could switch allegiances under pressure, but dozens are hardened insurgents.
Key insurgent leaders and their lieutenants also might repeat a tactic they have employed in the face of previous US offensives: plant bombs and flee to places with few security forces.
US and NATO commanders contend that telling Afghans that the operation is imminent also could help prevent President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who gave his approval for the mission two weeks ago, from backing down in the face of pressure from tribal chieftains who have profited from Marja’s drug industry.
For now, however, “the Afghan government is fully behind this operation,’’ said Major General Nick Carter of Britain, the top allied commander in southern Afghanistan....
The push into Marja will further a Marine effort to mount counterinsurgency operations along the Helmand River valley. The region, home to about 750,000 people, is of particular concern to military commanders because it serves as an infiltration route for fighters coming from Pakistan, and because it is where much of the country’s poppy is grown.
And now the U.S. is going to obliterate it!
And honestly, readers, I'm tired of the bullshit reasons and lies as to why we need to kill these people who never did anything to us.
Military officials regard pacifying the valley as essential to reversing Taliban gains in and around Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city.
That word brings up SO MANY BAD MEMORIES of Vietnam that I am APPALLED and ASHAMED at this WHOLE DAMN THING!
I would usually apologize to Afghans at this point; however, those are only empty words now. What really needs to happen is for this MADNESS to STOP -- and that doesn't appear to be the case anytime soon.
"Families flee Afghan town as US prepares offensive" by Tini Tran, Associated Press | February 11, 2010
KABUL, Afghanistan - A Taliban spokesman vowed that insurgent forces in and near Marjah in southern Helmand Province are ready “to do jihad, to sacrifice their lives’’ in the upcoming battle, which will serve as a significant test of the new US strategy for turning back the Taliban.
No date for the main attack has been announced, but all signs indicate it will be soon....
Yeah, with the agenda-pushing MSM doing its promotion pieces for it!
The US goal is quickly to retake control of Marjah, a farming community and major opium-production center, from Taliban forces.
That would enable the Afghan government to reestablish a presence, bringing security, electricity, clean water, and other public services to the estimated 80,000 inhabitants.
Like, whereTF they been all this time, huh?
Of course, the Taliban have set up shadow governments; however, you won't read about that in an AmeriKan newspaper.
Over time, American commanders believe such services will undermine the appeal of the Taliban among their fellow Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group in the country and the base of the insurgents’ support....
Yeah, as it turns out, the "insurgents" just happen to be the PEOPLE that LIVE THERE!!!!
Yesterday, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, Taliban spokesman, vowed that US and Afghan military forces will face a major battle to retake Marjah.“American forces cannot scare the Taliban with big tanks and big warplanes,’’ he said.
It hasn't for over eight years, so....
And the inevitable bloodshed just draws closer:
"US, Afghan troops encircle Taliban stronghold; Several Americans wounded in blast at Paktia outpost" by Alfred de Montesquiou and Christopher Torchia, Associated Press | February 12, 2010
NEAR MARJAH, Afghanistan - US and Afghan forces ringed the Taliban stronghold of Marjah yesterday, sealing off escape routes and setting the stage for what is being described as the biggest offensive of the nine-year war.
Taliban defenders repeatedly fired rockets and mortars at units poised in foxholes along the edge of the town, apparently trying to lure NATO forces into skirmishes before the big attack.
“They’re trying to draw us in,’’ said Captain Joshua Winfrey, 30, of Tulsa, Okla., commander of Lima Company, Third Battalion, Sixth Marines.
Meanwhile, in eastern Afghanistan, the spokesman for Paktia Province, Roullah Samoun, said five Americans were wounded when a suicide attacker wearing a border police uniform blew himself up at a US base near the Pakistan border. A US statement said “several’’ US service members were injured in an explosion at a joint US-Afghan outpost in Paktia, but gave no further details.
Sad to say, but as this point I have stopped giving a s*** about U.S. or western casualties. There is an easy way to stop them, and it is called COMING HOME!!!!
Up to 1,000 militants are believed holed up in Marjah, a key Taliban logistics base and center of the lucrative opium poppy trade.
And we need 15,000 guys to rout 'em?
But the biggest threats are likely to be the land mines and bombs hidden in the roads and fields of the farming community, 380 miles southwest of Kabul.
The precise date for the attack has been kept secret. US officials have signaled for weeks they planned to seize Marjah, a town of about 80,000 people in Helmand Province and the biggest community in southern Afghanistan under Taliban control.
NATO officials say the goal is to seize the town quickly and reestablish Afghan government authority, bringing public services in hopes of winning support of the townspeople once the Taliban are gone.
Hundreds of Afghan soldiers were to join US Marines in the attack to emphasize the Afghan role in the operation.
Yeah, keep that in mind for later.
A Taliban spokesman dismissed the significance of Marjah, saying the NATO operation was “more propaganda than military necessity.’’
Yeah, we get a steady diet of that over here in AmeriKa.
Nevertheless, the spokesman, Mohammed Yusuf, said in a dialogue on the Taliban website that the insurgents would strike the attackers with explosives and hit-and-run tactics, according to a summary by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant Internet traffic.
Oh, so it WAS REAL PROPAGANDA!!!!
Oh, another SCOOP for SITE, huh?
In preparation for the offensive, a US-Afghan force led by the US Army’s Fifth Stryker Brigade moved south from Lashkar Gah and linked up yesterday with Marines on the northern edge of Marjah, closing off a main Taliban escape route. Marines and Army soldiers fired colored smoke grenades to show each other they were friendly forces.
US and Afghan forces have now finished their deployment along the main road in and out of Marjah, leaving the Taliban no way out except across open desert.
Nothing more about the WMD use, 'eh, MSM?
And then the attack begun:
Afghan family members, who had fled from Marjha and neigoborhood, sitting on the back of a truck, arrive in Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Friday, Feb. 12, 2010. On Friday, the road between Marjah and Lashkar Gah was clogged with cars and trucks filled with people fleeing ahead of the assault. Many said they had to leave quickly and secretly to avoid recrimination from Taliban commanders. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaliq)
Please look at them, readers.
Please see the beautiful people AmeriKa is about to butcher.
(Blog editor's note: I find it increasingly difficult to look at such photographs. I don't see "terrorists" or evil, readers; I see lovely human beings that deserve a happy life, not missiles and bombs being dropped on their villages over a damn lie)
NEAR MARJAH, Afghanistan --Helicopter-borne U.S. Marines and Afghan troops swooped down on the Taliban-held town of Marjah before dawn Saturday, launching a long-expected attack to re-establish government control and undermine support for militants in their southern heartland.
The assault on Marjah is the biggest offensive since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and will serve as a major test of a new NATO strategy....
To the north of Marjah, British, American and Canadian forces struck elsewhere in the Nad Ali district in a push to break Taliban power in Helmand province, one of the major battlefields of the war.
Marine commanders say they expect between 400 to 1,000 insurgents -- including more than 100 foreign fighters -- to be holed up in Marjah, a town of 80,000 people in Helmand province. Marjah is the biggest southern town under Taliban control and the linchpin of the militants' logistical and opium-smuggling network.
So says the lying, agenda-pushing, war-promoting AmeriKan MSM anyway.
"The first wave of choppers has landed inside Marjah. The operation has begun," said Capt. Joshua Winfrey, commander of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, which was at the forefront of the attack.
Several hundred U.S. Marines and some Afghan troops were in the first wave, flying over minefields the militants are believed to have planted around the town, 360 miles (610 kilometers) southwest of Kabul.
The operation, codenamed "Moshtarak," or Together, was described as the biggest joint operation of the Afghan war. Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, says 15,000 troops were involved, including some 7,500 troops fighting in Marjah.
The helicopter assault was preceded by illumination flares fired over the town about 2 a.m. In the pitch darkness of a moonless night, the roar of helicopters could be heard overhead, flying in assault troops from multiple locations.
The white flash of Hellfire and Tow missiles could be seen exploding over the town as flares illuminated the darkness to help assault troops spot targets.
Yup, we are DUMPING WMD on them, world!!!
Once the town is secured, NATO hopes to rush in aid and restore public services in a bid to win support among the estimated 125,000 people who live in Marjah and surrounding villages.
Yeah, restore the very same services they just smashed!
What a waste of time, money, property, and life!
The Afghans' ability to restore those services is crucial to the success of the operation and to prevent the Taliban from returning.
Except that the "Taliban" live there.
Tribal elders have pleaded for NATO to finish the operation quickly and spare civilians -- an appeal that offers some hope the townspeople will cooperate with Afghan and international forces once the Taliban are gone.
Not going to happen, which means this assault will MAKE THINGS MUCH WORSE for AmeriKa!!!!
At the Pentagon, a senior U.S. official said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had signed off on the attack.
Another defense official said Karzai was informed of planning for the operation well in advance. The official said it marked a first in terms of both sharing information prior to the attack and planning collaboration with the Afghan government....
So Karzai really has been a puppet all these years.
The Marjah offensive involves close combat in extremely difficult terrain, that official said. A close grid of wide canals dug by the United States as an aid project decades ago make the territory a particularly rich agricultural prize but complicate the advance of U.S. forces....
For their part, the elders begged for limited use of airstrikes because of the risk of civilian deaths, Khan said Friday.
We won't listen to them.
Another of the elders at the meeting, Mohammad Karim Khan, said he would not dare approach the Taliban and tell them to give up their guns to the government.
"We can't talk to the Taliban. We are farmers and poor people and we are not involved in these things like the politicians are," said Khan, who is not related to the provincial council chief....
And he is not saying it, but the Taliban are the people.
I mean, I'm so sick of typing the same things and relinking the same items, folks.
I'm so sick of the AmeriKan MSM and its lies.
The fact that the elders did not demand U.S. and Afghan troops call off the operation offered a glimmer of hope the townspeople will cooperate with the pro-government forces -- if the Afghan leadership is able to fulfill its promises of a better life without the Taliban.
Not after we flatten their villages and kill their loved ones.
U.S. officials have long complained that Afghan government corruption and inefficiency have alienated millions of Afghans and paved the way for the revival of the militant group after it was driven from power in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.
Hey, it's YOUR GOVERNMENT, U.S. officials!
You helped steal an election over it!
One of the main drafters of the letter to government officials said he and others had been reaching out to local Taliban commanders.
"We have talked to some of the Taliban over the phone and we have told them: 'This is your country. Don't create problems for your fellow Afghans and don't go on a suicide mission,'" said Abdul Rehman Jan, an elder who lives in Lashkar Gah.
I am ALWAYS for TALKING over FIGHTING!!!!
However, Jan said most of the Afghan Taliban have already fled the area. Militant commanders from the Middle East or Pakistan have stayed on "and they want to fight," he said.
You know, the "Al-CIA-Duh" types!
And my Slow Saturday printed piece:
"US begins offensive in Taliban haven; Afghan operation is first since surge" by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post | February 13, 2010
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Thousands of US Marines and Afghan soldiers traveling in helicopters and mine-resistant vehicles began punching into a key Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan early today, as the largest military operation to assert government control over this country got underway.
The first wave of Marines and Afghan soldiers swooped into the farming community of Marja at about 2 a.m., their CH-53 Super Stallion transport helicopters landing amid clouds of dust on fallow fields. As the troops, weighed down with ammunition and supplies, lumbered out and set up defensive positions, AV-8B Harrier fighter jets and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters circled overhead in the moonless sky.
Yes, AmeriKa ALWAYS USES the DARK of the MOON to attack!!!
Two more waves of troops touched down over the following 90 minutes near other strategic locations in Marja. Like the earlier contingent, they did not meet with immediate resistance.
At sunrise, hundreds more Marines and Afghan soldiers plan to enter the area by land, using mobile bridges to ford irrigation canals - built by US engineers 50 years ago - that have served as defensive moats for the Taliban. Heavily armored mine-sweeping trucks and specially outfitted tanks will try to carve a path through a belt of makeshift bombs buried around the town....
“We’re going to take Marja away from the Taliban,’’ said Brigadier General Lawrence Nicholson, commander of the Second Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Doing so, he said, could result in “a fundamental change in Helmand and, by extension, the entire nation of Afghanistan.’’
Another corner turned, 'eh, America?
Although there have been other large US military campaigns to flush out the Taliban in the eight-year-long war, this mission is different....
When other Marine battalions swept into communities along the Helmand River last summer, there were fewer than 10 Afghan soldiers and police officers for each American. This time, there is one Afghan for every two Americans.
Oh, so the BULK of the fighting is going to be done by AmeriKans!
“This is a ratio that the Afghan people want to see, and the American people need to see,’’ said John Kael Weston, the State Department representative to the Marine brigade....
According to the officials, President Hamid Karzai had been ambivalent about a military push into Marja, hoping instead to persuade some of the insurgents to participate in a reintegration program.
As I've said numerous times, that was never going to get very far.
But US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and General Stanley McChrystal, as well as some senior members of Karzai’s Cabinet, urged him to approve the operation, noting that fighters in the area have had months to switch their allegiance. They also emphasized that more than 400 tribal elders from Marja and surrounding areas had voiced support for an incursion at meetings organized by Helmand’s governor this week.
Well, sort of.
Marine officers were not certain the mission would proceed until five hours before the first helicopters were slated to take off, when Nicholson announced to his senior staff: “President Karzai agreed to the operation. We’re a go.’’
The complex airborne insertion of Marines and Afghan soldiers involved 36 transport helicopter flights and more than two dozen other support aircraft.
It is not certain how insurgents in the area will react as the operation proceeds, but Marine commanders expect many of them to stand and fight. US military intelligence reports have indicated that senior Taliban leaders may have crossed into Afghanistan from their redoubts in Pakistan in recent days to direct defensive operations in Marja.
But in the face of past operations many insurgents have fled to nearby areas where there are fewer security forces. Marine and Army units have sought to encircle the Marja area to prevent fighters from fleeing, but there are still vast stretches of desert through which they could slip.
Even if the insurgents do not fight in large numbers, Marja will remain treacherous ground, littered with buried homemade explosive devices. Marine officers say it is the most heavily mined part of the country.
In the hours before the Marines landed, unmanned Predator aircraft and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters targeted militants spotted laying roadside bombs and setting up antiaircraft guns. Eleven insurgents were killed in the strikes....
Yeah, I was wondering when the missiles were going to start flying!
The sad fact is I am prone to believe them over my own government and MSM.
That is how far they have fallen, folks.