Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html en-gb 30 Mon 29 Dec 2014 08:28:38 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=99#comment99 Re #93Nobody in Washington (incl. Foggy Bottom and Pentagon) intends to bring Syria, Iran, Libya or whomever under our political and economic control.["We, the people" have enough problems as it is trying to bring the White House under our political control, and US Congress under our economic control (let alone BP)].And we're not looking for any excuses.And if a potential threat to our national security will ever become too great in our view, we shall simply take out all pertinent installations and outfits in Iran, Syria or anywhere else without resorting to invading and occupying any of those countries."YES, WE CAN!" :)BTW. Please check the list of major oil companies which obtained leases from Baghdad for drilling/pumping/refining/shipping, etc. in IraQ.You might be surprised. Sun 04 Jul 2010 13:13:04 GMT+1 JMM_for_now http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=98#comment98 98. At 09:16am on 04 Jul 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:"Keep in mind that Americans also vote for individuals rather than parties as is done in Parliaments; this means that in America, movements like the Tea-Party can sweep out the old Republican Party establishment that squandered the surplus along with the equally reckless big spending Democrats, handing Congress over to a new kind of Republican."To update the old Jewish saying, 'Fom your keyboard to God's monitor.' We need new, uncorrupted blood on all sides in all parties. And on this Independence Day let's remember the words of our founders not to entrust our governance to a class of professional politicians.Happy 4th! Sun 04 Jul 2010 12:35:09 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=97#comment97 "Actually, this is precisely the opposite of what the Republicans have done when in office. Consider: under Reagan, deficit explodes. Under Clinton the deficit is brought back under control. When Clinton leaves office, the budget is in surplus. Under GW Bush, the deficit explodes again. How the Republicans can be thought to have any credibility on the subject of deficits is beyond understanding." - InterestedforeignerRemember, IF, that the American political party system allows for such credibility to happen, and it can be understood if you look at the party system in the proper context. Reagan is old news, Clinton had a Republican Congress in 94, Bush had a Democrat Congress in 06, Obama will have a Republican Congress soon enough. Keep in mind that Americans also vote for individuals rather than parties as is done in Parliaments; this means that in America, movements like the Tea-Party can sweep out the old Republican Party establishment that squandered the surplus along with the equally reckless big spending Democrats, handing Congress over to a new kind of Republican. Sun 04 Jul 2010 08:16:13 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=96#comment96 "US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a tightening of the rules covering the US military's dealings with the media."Sure, many US officers speak so highly of their Commander-in-Chief that their unauthorized interviews could be misconstrued by the media as pro-Obama propaganda ordered from above. :) Sat 03 Jul 2010 12:12:39 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=95#comment95 94. At 00:19am on 02 Jul 2010, LucyJ wrote:"As for helping the unemployed, many Republicans and Tea Partyers are campaigning to bring factories and industrial jobs back to America, rather than overseas, by changing the way overseas taxes and regulations work. They want American companies overseas to pay the same amount of taxes that American companies pay here."The Republicans want to put a limit on outsourcing."------------No, it's actually the Democrats and their Union supporters who want to do this. Generally speaking, it is Republicans who believe in free trade, and Democrats who are constantly flirting with protectionism. That is why some of us are liberals.To be a "liberal" means that you believe in a market economy and hence free trade. It means opposing state intervention in the markets other than to correct market failure problems. This used to be the defining characteristic of Republicans in the days before the party found religion.Generally speaking, the terms "liberal" and "socialist" are opposites. In America twenty years ago ignorant people on the illiterate end of the Republican party started using the terms as if they were synonyms, and now a majority of Americans do it, and don't apparently know the difference. Dr. Goebbels lives, it seems.Plainly they don't know what they are talking about, but such is the state of education in America:I heard this evening on the Newshour that fully 25 % of Americans, and 40 % of those under 30, are unable to name the country from which America gained independence._______________"They are also campaigning to improve health care without a mandate- focusing instead on making health insurance more affordable. If health insurance is more affordable, more people will be hired (because companies will not have to pay so much for health care for full time employees, which eats up a lot of money) and more people will have health insurance."No, you've got this exactly upside-down.One of the big reasons for adopting national public health insurance is that it spreads the cost of insurance equally across the entire economy.Right now the cost of health insurance falls grossly disproportionately on traditional unionized manufacturing industries. It is a huge disadvantage to the manufacturing sector, and, effectively, the existing fee-for-service-and-private-health-insurance system is an import subsidy. In the 1990's, the value of this implicit import subsidywas supposedly roughly $6000 per automobile manufactured by GM. [[Somebody here, likely Gary, will know how to find the actual data]] That is a huge and grossly unreasonable penalty to be placed on manufacturing. All it does is subsidize imports.The second problem it causes it rigidity in the labour market. People are afraid to change jobs, or sometimes even to look for a new job because they are afraid of losing their healthcare coverage. That is a bizarre second-order consequence. People should not be making career decisions on which job to take based on whether one of the benefits is health insurance.It is utterly distorting, and it has been killing jobs in manufacturing for a generation and more.If you want to help put manufacturing back on its feet, one of the best things that can be done is to move to a universal, single payer public health care system, and stop loading the cost of health care onto the back of manufacturing.------------"The problem with the Obama plan is that the mandate does not assure that our health care will be lower. "If you want inexpensive healthcare, the best bet, by far, is a single payer public system. Virtually every other rich western democracy has one, and they spend, typically, 7 - 11% of GDP on health care, and cover 100% of the population, while the US spends 16 - 17% of GDP on health care, and (until now) left 15% of the population without coverage.In the private fee-for-service system, in addition to paying for health care, you also have to pay for a bloated private healthcare system against which consumers have no bargaining power, and, on top of that, you have to pay for a private health insurance industry. When you add those burdens together, it is small wonder that public systems are less expensive.Part of the reason the Obama bill is so expensive is that to get it passed he had to bribe the healthcare industry and the health insurance industry. Part of that bribe, part of the compromise, was the elimination of a public option. By eliminating a public option, you also eliminate by far the strongest driver of cost reduction. That, of course, is why both the health insurance industry and the health care industry fought tooth-and-nail to prevent a public option from being included in the law. And, finally, not only is the fee-for-service system more expensive, public systems generally produce better overall outcomes.If you go to a country that has single payer public health care, you will never see crowds demonstrating in the streets demanding a return to private fee-for-service healthcare. By and large, people in most democracies now regard public healthcare as something close to a constitutional right. Can you guess why?____________"The Republicans desire to reduce our deficit, which in the long run, is maybe the most important thing we can do."Actually, this is precisely the opposite of what the Republicans have done when in office. Consider: under Reagan, deficit explodes. Under Clinton the deficit is brought back under control. When Clinton leaves office, the budget is in surplus. Under GW Bush, the deficit explodes again.How the Republicans can be thought to have any credibility on the subject of deficits is beyond understanding. Sat 03 Jul 2010 02:46:22 GMT+1 RoundRockMike http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=94#comment94 The only methods in history capable of fully changing Afghanistan disappeared along with the Third Reich in 1945. NATO, the US and Britain try to behave in a moral and civilized way, which limits our success there. We could stop planning, changing plans, and spending our gold on Afghanistan, and concentrate our efforts to isolate the country from others and hinder the Taliban from spreading far outside its borders. The other choice is to accept the fact that some amoral actions and many mistakes occur in war, and negative reputations and limited success will result. In either case, it is unlikely that our actions will significantly change the Afghani people or culture; nothing really has since the Neolithic. Fri 02 Jul 2010 22:01:23 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=93#comment93 KS, I am not really a hard right or hard left person. I am a moderate Independent, because I like issues from both sides. But when it comes down to it, I feel that morally, ethically and national security wise, the Republicans take the higher road. If Obama truly cared about the American people, he would secure our border first, then do the immigration reform on a separate bill. But he will not do this, which tells me exactly who he is. Not someone who is on Americans' side. The funny thing is, one of my college roommates was a die-hard Republican and I was a die-hard Democrat. Now I feel myself turning to the Republicans.As for helping the unemployed, many Republicans and Tea Partyers are campaigning to bring factories and industrial jobs back to America, rather than overseas, by changing the way overseas taxes and regulations work. They want American companies overseas to pay the same amount of taxes that American companies pay here. My father and many people I know from different towns have all lost their jobs (that they held for twenty plus years) because their jobs went overseas. So that is the first step that the Republicans want to take to bring our jobs back. Some say that factory work is for people who should be doing something else better. Not so, in my eyes. My father and his friends loved their jobs. They worked hard for twenty plus years, only to have the carpet drop out from under their feet. They have moved on, but losing their steady jobs to overseas was and is still devastating. The Republicans want to put a limit on outsourcing.As for giving the disadvantaged solid hope that things will improve for them, the Republicans and Tea Partyers desire to restore many of the core and key values that once made us great. I despise it when some liberals say bad things about white people- like they blame us for everything. We all are working to contribute to society and we are what has made America great- all of us. SO stop putting white people down. They are also campaigning to improve health care without a mandate- focusing instead on making health insurance more affordable. If health insurance is more affordable, more people will be hired (because companies will not have to pay so much for health care for full time employees, which eats up a lot of money) and more people will have health insurance. The problem with the Obama plan is that the mandate does not assure that our health care will be lower. It also shows that the govt. could go one step further and mandate other things to us, which is incredibly slippery slope. What will be next? It makes me shudder, because it reminds me of 1984 and Big Brother.The Republicans will reassure Americans by putting Americans first over foreigners. This is not something that the Democrats are doing. The Republican party holds true. As for reassuring the world, so much damage has been done that no words will suddenly change things, even actions will not likely changed things. The damage is done. Our best idea would be to strengthen our relationship with our allies, while improving and maintaining our country, which will only make us all stronger.Some of the losses we have suffered, we may never get back. Or they will be different. I do not believe in quick fixes. I believe in solid hard work for things of value. If we want to recover our losses, we must put hard work and deep thought into how to do so. But we must also have the desire and motivation to put our country back together. SO far, the Democrats have not come up with any good plans, except spending more money. The Republicans are 100 % dedicated and motivated to restoring our country and maintaining what we do have, while improving on what we need to change. The Republicans desire to reduce our deficit, which in the long run, is maybe the most important thing we can do.The Republicans are the lesser of the two evils. No, they are not perfect.I believe that our country will be a better place with the Republicans restoring our morals and values, rather than having more from the liberals morals and values, which are erroneously erroding the country. (For example: Pelosi bossing around the CIA and FBI- let them do their job protecting us. There are some things that must be kept secret. I mean, look, they just caught Russian spies.) Thu 01 Jul 2010 23:19:36 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=92#comment92 39, powermeerkat."The point of US/NATO operation has never been to "conquer" Afghanistan but simply to deny al-Qaida and Taliban safe havens and training camps."It has long been the intention of our government to bring Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria under our economic and political control. We already had the rest of the Middle East. These were the only holdouts. And this agenda long pre-dated the 9/11 attack. Now we have an excuse to go in an subdue them. Thu 01 Jul 2010 21:23:48 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=91#comment91 Colonelartist, only now I understand why are you so emotional.[and irrational]BTW., Have you ever been within a square mile of a MOAB detonation?[it's obviously a rethorical question]-------------------------------------------------------------------------I am glad that you understood, I for one, do not like to my own personal expearnce to make some point...Have you ever help detonate a bomb? Or you are one of those who just run for their lives under such circumstances? Thu 01 Jul 2010 16:13:39 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=90#comment90 Re 77 "A U.S. officer aboard the US aircraft carrier, Carl Vinson, described the use of 2,000 lb cluster bombs dropped by B-52 bombers: "A 2,000 lb. bomb, no matter where you drop it, is a significant emotional event for anyone within a square mile."Colonelartist, only now I understand why are you so emotional.[and irrational]BTW., Have you ever been within a square mile of a MOAB detonation?[it's obviously a rethorical question] Thu 01 Jul 2010 14:41:07 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=89#comment89 Re #85 "Has anyone else thought that the political positions of the Taliban and the Tea Party are similar?"Who would you rather see kicking down your door?Tea Party sympathisers or Taliban jihaddists?Speak now so that relevant parties know whom to send your way. Thu 01 Jul 2010 14:37:07 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=88#comment88 Scott to pacifist Mum: I respect your right to make that choice but don't forget that pacifists can only flourish when protected by non-pacifists.Guess who protected the fellow (nomina sunt odiosa) who suck up to certain Adolf H., and then proudly announced he secured "peace for our time"? ;-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Thu 01 Jul 2010 14:30:55 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=87#comment87 First, in #85, that last paragraph should have been:'Both are being sought out by the established powers in their communities, in order to give relevance and appeal to their own faltering movements, to mute and divert the radical energies, and to dupe their followers into supporting agendas which are not in their own interests.'Second, Lucy, in the 'Cameron's awkward questions' blog, I wanted you, MK, Meerkat and MAII (you can include Allen as well) to soften the turn to the Right by offering the country solid reasons to believe your programs would be good for us - all of us.You have the truth, the Left is on the run, and your star is in the ascendant. Why are you all acting so paranoid, using cheap shots, deprecations and ad hominems? Isn’t it time you took confidence in your own positions and directly showed us the advantages to the general public and the world of your forms of conservatism and Americanism?How will your plans put the currently unemployed to work? How will they give the disadvantaged solid hope that they can improve their lot? How will they restore Americans and the world to confidence in our capitalist system? How will they restore to us the losses we have sustained from the avaricious few and the rapacious government?You can do yourselves and the nation a great favor if you will explain how it will work when you get power in 2010 and 2012.It feels like the press are blathering about a new circus that is in town just now - one that plays to the Right. What good will come of it?KScurmudgeon Thu 01 Jul 2010 04:24:39 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=86#comment86 KS, doesn't it feel like people are turning to the hard right? Thu 01 Jul 2010 00:58:29 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=85#comment85 Most artists I know do drink alcohol or eat a lot of brownies...To get the "creativity" juice flowing... Thu 01 Jul 2010 00:47:29 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=84#comment84 Has anyone else thought that the political positions of the Taliban and the Tea Party are similar?Both are minorities that have radical agendas.Both have recognition and power beyond their size because they have energy and momentum that cannot be ignored.Both have fanatical elements that are prepared, the one rhetorically, the other in blood, to assassinate, maim, or behead those who oppose them.Both are being sought out by the established powers in their communities, in order to give relevance and appeal to their own faltering movements to mute and divert their radical energies, and dupe their followers into supporting agendas that are not in their won interests.KScurmudgeon Thu 01 Jul 2010 00:33:51 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=83#comment83 I appreciate that you don't drink,-------------------------------------------------------------------------I want to clarify one thing, I do drink water and other drinks minus alcohol....Unlike general petraes I know that the best way to avoid dehydration during a meeting is to drink plenty of liquids but not alcohol as it causes dehydration... Wed 30 Jun 2010 21:54:47 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=82#comment82 81. At 10:19pm on 30 Jun 2010, you wrote:This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain-------------------------------------------------------------------------What did I say which had to be sent for further consideration? Everyone has become obama these days... Wed 30 Jun 2010 21:51:22 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=81#comment81 The history is painful to look at -------------------------------------------------------------------------Look at history, if you dont learn anything from it in the first look, then chances are that you will never learn from it, then the only thing to do is to never look back, otherwise you will turn into stones...Americans have looked back at it again and again and they have turned into stones...And the quality of stone is that it stays in its place and moves only when its moved or kicked at the direction of the kick.... Wed 30 Jun 2010 21:40:09 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=80#comment80 I appreciate that you don't drink, but please bring some hashish so I can understand how we intend to leave Pakistan for the Afghans and Indians. I do believe you nailed the "For us or against us" bit as being for an audience of one.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Those who have been on the receiving end of american policy have by now become so good that they can predict the rest of the path of the policy even when the policy is in its papir form..Trust me, and watch the events, if what I said didnt come true, then I will bring hashish to you wrapped in gold and silver paper..Its the sheer bad luck of the americans that Pakistan has not become as yet, what the americans were hoping for, otherwise they would have taken the nuclear weapon and left it to be sorted out by afghans or in this case the afghania, the pathans on its north and west and to india on its east..India tried once two yrs or so ago, but to the dismay of everyone, and it includes israel, the pathans openly announced that if india does something, they will stop their fight in the north with the pakistani army and join it to fight against india, the same they said about usa, when it did it small adventure inside pakistani border...India has had very bad expearnces with pathans, both centuries ago and 60 yrs ago, when they went all the way to kashmir and snatched some part of it for the pakistani military, so indians withdrew its armies from the borders, some say under the pressure of usa..who wants the pathans to fight against pakistani army, you know, this gives you the daily fodder of "muslims killing muslims.The only time usa built somethings that include the airport in kandahar and the famous road is way back in 60s when it was breifly competing with soviet union, then it lost its interest...After withdrawl of soviet union, usa didnt do anything, it didnt even listen to those who begged usa to not let soviet union withdraw so quickly or begged usa to work towards some sort of UN army thingie because those someone really were worried about the vaccum created in afghanistan by this untimely and quick withdrawal...but usa replied that it wasnt interested in that kind of work...Too much bloodshed, destruction and power struggle and then all of a sudden out of nowwhere the usa comes back with its military might to help the afghans...and wants to raise an army and police...How about seting up a trauma center for a start, in a country where people die because of bombings, there is not one trauma center...And it should do the same in PAkistan, when it sends drones, which kill one dubious terrorist and 7 civilians and leave scores injured, it should atleast have the courtesy of opening one trauma center...Instead of skewed empheses on building girl schools... Wed 30 Jun 2010 21:19:11 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=79#comment79 Colonelartist #58 and #64I appreciate that you don't drink, but please bring some hashish so I can understand how we intend to leave Pakistan for the Afghans and Indians. I do believe you nailed the "For us or against us" bit as being for an audience of one.I don't have the exact date of the construction of medical facilities in front of me, but I believe it was shortly after the Soviet withdrawal. Otherwise you "disagree" with me by my making my very point. The history is painful to look at because we did not engage in the follow up that would have been morally right and would not have left conditions in Afghanistan to be anti US. Wed 30 Jun 2010 20:30:05 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=78#comment78 You have not heard about the story of the lion and the cat? if you had,and if CIA had, it would not have taught ben laden all their tricks... Wed 30 Jun 2010 19:22:59 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=77#comment77 Hey colonartist,and I thought you guys did not drink ? ... -------------------------------------------------------------------------We dont drink thats why our memory, both long term and short term is so good... Wed 30 Jun 2010 19:13:01 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=76#comment76 When U.S. warplanes strafed [with AC-130 gunships] the farming village of Chowkar-Karez, 25 miles north of Kandahar on October 22-23rd,killing at least 93 civilians, a Pentagon official said, "the people there are dead because we wanted them dead." The reason? They sympathized with the Taliban . When asked about the Chowkar incident, Rumsfeld replied, "I cannot deal with that particular village." A U.S. officer aboard the US aircraft carrier, Carl Vinson, described the use of 2,000 lb cluster bombs dropped by B-52 bombers: "A 2,000 lb. bomb, no matter where you drop it, is a significant emotional event for anyone within a square mile."http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1212-01.htm Wed 30 Jun 2010 19:10:33 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=75#comment75 Hey colonartist,and I thought you guys did not drink ? ... Wed 30 Jun 2010 18:49:12 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=74#comment74 Ben laden was trained by CIA, and through them he learnt a lot about many things, among other, the mentality of american mindset...Just as carter lured soviet union into afghanistan before the actual occupation date set by the soviets, by supporting a small group of mujahedeen. Ben laden too lured americans prematurely into invading afghanistan...I guess he knew that americans will take his bait. Wed 30 Jun 2010 18:28:14 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=73#comment73 That squeamishness doesn't have to last, however. If the targeting of innocents or using them as human shields continues, then sometime in the future a combatant will again decide that they will use technology to achieve their objectives regardless of the civilian cost. In the limit this puts WMD of all kinds, including strategic nuclear weapons and biotechnology, back in play as entirely reasonable approaches to achieve some set of objectives, even if it destroys a population en masse. -------------------------------------------------------------------------We know, when usa uses nuclear of other WMD to kill millions, it is to save lives...but when someone uses his life to kill a few , its a big terrorist attack...Watch out, you are fast turning into israelan..their missiles vs pathetic rockets of hamas, and their tanks and bombs vs rocks of palestinian children...the sticks of turkish killed vs the idf soldiers weapons..A sikh once told me a joke about a fictious person, who I strongly believe had to be a western...A guy got robbed by a robber during the night, the next day he made such a fuss about it that in the end people got tired and someone finally told him that both he and his brother were there, and that both of them being strong could have overpowered one single pathetic robber? And the guy screamed back in sheer horror, "what?! my brother and me,all alone, against the robber and his stick??!!" Wed 30 Jun 2010 18:07:14 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=72#comment72 If you are saying that that has been acceptable since "...before the usa started this adventure...", I'll have to disagree. It's been generally held as unacceptable in warfare, although many nations (including this one) have crossed the line. After WWII, there were international conventions adopted to try to codify this.-------------------------------------------------------------------------You can disagree all you want,but usa knew it and still it decided to go on this adventure...International conventions were put aside by bush and the company before the start of war...So, you cannot put aside some conventions just because they interfered with your style of war and stick to others because they interfered with your war plan..You are like a certain american army officer who happens to be my rankmate, who invited afghanistanis over dinner and then made fun of afghani culture...First you ban your enemy from getting weapons and then you critisize them for fighting with whatever weapon they can come up with...And how dare you sit inside the minds of taliban and count things on their behalf...How do you know what taliban say and have said, you didnt pay attention to them when their viewpoint was directly provided by some media, now the media doesnt even know what taliban say, you are fighting an enemy without even knowing what they say, someone tells you what he believes taliban say or what their ideiology is, and you just generously accept it as if it was the word of G-d, if you are religous, or word of constitution if you are not religious. Wed 30 Jun 2010 17:53:55 GMT+1 Derick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=71#comment71 Confucius say Man who make rove to mowan on hirrslide not on rever Wed 30 Jun 2010 17:34:31 GMT+1 arclightt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=70#comment70 @57 (ca): "Genius, this rule existed before the usa started this adventure..."To be very clear: The "rule" in question is that deliberate targeting of the innocent, or the use of the innocent as human shields, is now acceptable in warfare.If you are saying that that has been acceptable since "...before the usa started this adventure...", I'll have to disagree. It's been generally held as unacceptable in warfare, although many nations (including this one) have crossed the line. After WWII, there were international conventions adopted to try to codify this.What I was saying is that there seems to be an increasing willingness to ignore all this, and to target civilians or use them as human shields or hostages. This is true not only in Afghanistan but in other places as well. This means that counting the costs of war has to include a higher probability of killing innocent folks."And trust me, taliban dont count on you being squeamish..."I'll have to disagree here as well. If a combatant is NOT squeamish about killing innocents en masse, then they can very easily use technology to deliver truly "world-class" mass death without getting their troops' hair mussed, much less subjecting them to danger. The thing that keeps this from happening now is that "squeamishness" about butchering innocents. That is what the Taliban and others misusing the innocents are counting on.That squeamishness doesn't have to last, however. If the targeting of innocents or using them as human shields continues, then sometime in the future a combatant will again decide that they will use technology to achieve their objectives regardless of the civilian cost. In the limit this puts WMD of all kinds, including strategic nuclear weapons and biotechnology, back in play as entirely reasonable approaches to achieve some set of objectives, even if it destroys a population en masse. That's not the world you want, or me, or anyone here.Regards,Arclight Wed 30 Jun 2010 17:29:11 GMT+1 Rufus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=69#comment69 this is actually a BBC link to this blog entry:http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.htmlahem, ahem, is there a subliminal message somewhere? Wed 30 Jun 2010 17:18:47 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=68#comment68 Well gee whiz, maybe we should have invaded Mexico or Canada instead. Oh wait, Al Qaeda didn't train and operate out of Mexico or Canada, it operated out of Afganistan. ------------------------------------------------------------------------And the day you attacked afghanistan, you had no evidence that alqaida was behind those attacks...None. zero. The only charge usa have against ben laden is that of incitment...Alqaida was turned into this alqaida by usa because without this, usa could not even attack afghanistan... Wed 30 Jun 2010 16:36:12 GMT+1 against NWO http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=67#comment67 I have lived through several wars following WW-II as an adult. Standing back they have similarities. Foremost, your government always builds public hatred for a certain people and invokes the name of God in our favor. Soon the common people are out marching behind the warriors who trained for warfare and live for it. Such people are the Generals we have seen through the years, both ours and the enemy's. Bear with me as I take this to the politicians and beyond the politician. The politician loves to win wars and hear the cheers of the people. Behind every American President is a cadre of businessmen who do not like to be interrupted when they move into an area that is vital to their profit. These profits become the vital interests of the nation because they depend on the great commercial potential of the USA working class. Eventually a competitor stands up to push back and with enough support available in the White House, black operations are conducted and denied in public. If threats and undercover actions do not cause the competitor to excuse himself, he may find himself in a war. Soon our businessmen are into arms sales. Opposition forces are the insurgents or the terrorists in today's vernacular. They used to be Commies, who for the present time are held in abeyance. We have a hundred reasons for controlling the entire Middle East, nation by nation, house by house. We have to support Israel wherever anybody threatens them regardless of what official actions the Zionists take to enlarge their territory with US and UK support. We have to stop terrorists now which means that for our own personal, vital interests we blow up mud houses if necessary and our Generals are just the ones to get this done. Lastly we have to insure a safe haven for multinational, American based businessmen to roam unopposed to persuade the local Arabs that we need their cooperation. As soon as this is accomplished; the war and its generals are no longer needed in a given theater of operation. Where shall we go next? Follow the Sanctions. Wed 30 Jun 2010 16:27:00 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=66#comment66 it operated out of Afganistan. What would you have done in the American president's place? Given the Taliban a stern diplomatic protest? Chucked a few cruise missiles at the tents of the training camps out in the desert? Sent the Air Force to bomb Kandahar or Kabul?-------------------------------------------------------------------------I would have jumped at the opportunity when taliban agreed to send ben laden to a third country, or would have also agreed with them when they hinted sending him to saudi arabia, the saudi king is in your pocket, his assets are all in usa, surely he would have delivered ben laden (without asking for evidence) to usa.. Wed 30 Jun 2010 16:16:51 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=65#comment65 It was the worst attack against American soil since Pearl Harbor, an administration that did nothing in response would have been impeached, one that did not react forcefully would have been villified and not re-elected. Bush didn't have any more choice about the target and nature of the response than FDR did.-------------------------------------------------------------------------And that was the real reason you attacked afghanistan. Period. Too bad the whole american nation supported bush just because he wanted to be re-elected...And instead of getting the real culprit, you once again do the same thing, as obama's re-election depends on withdrawl of forces...See how your leaders are elected? And mind you, come election time, the leaders will not even talk about such things...they will float other internal looking issues and you will all echo those..for the next four years, you will then discuss how frightened you are about iran's nuclear weapon and so on and so on... Wed 30 Jun 2010 16:13:36 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=64#comment64 Mujaheddins have been almost defeated.-------------------------------------------------------------------------They were as defeated as taliban are now...Not all stingers were used in the war, only a handful...but thats besides the point...without the world's support, mujahedin would have taken a longer time to force soviet union out of afghanistan...And mullah omar would have been your favourite hero, not Ahemd shah massod who was turned into a hero after his death by the west, he took money from usa, and fought for soviet union and then he would take money from ussr and fight for usa...Your government couldnt even trust him, and all of a sudden on 9 sept 2001, he was declared a modern leader in the west and most of you echoed it..YOu think that americans are quite funny because they support their soldiers, i think they are quite funny because of their echo quality...if bush said something, it is echoed now someone has floated the idea of withdrawl and the rest, you all echo that, without even bothering to think what your aims were in the beginging and how you have all come to this pathetic stage of the war.. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:52:05 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=63#comment63 While we left, Bin Laden remained. He used some of the balance of the $3 billion to construct medical facilities in this war ravaged region ripe for anti-west sentiment. Their irragation systems and other infrastrucure had been destroyed and they slipped deeper into poverty with few options for earning a livlihood. In hindsight, this history is almost painful to look at.------------------------------------------------------------------------He didnt stay, he left..Job done and went back to saudi arabia..it was only after he demanded americans troops removal from saudia arabia after gulf war in 91, that americans told the saudi government to force him out of his country, he went to sudan, the asprin facotry bombing fiasco, where the americans hallucinated about weapons of mass destructions,and he was forced to leave saudan too..he came to afghanistan, he had helped them and now it was their turn to help him..Your senators and everyone at the top decided to go to war in afghanistan because the afghans were already suffering from yrs of war and then fantastic sanctions imposed by the west, so it was quite natural for your country to attack them as these people have seen nothing but war and misery....plus, the fantastic argument that the afghans have been through many wars and everyone has played its game over there, so why not usa plays twice....who will care and know the difference...usa had a better chance of helping afghans after russian withdrawl, they didnt. They didnt build afghanistan army when that plane of petraeus could be built without being in flight, without it being shot at and while it is being designed at and now after so many years, when people have turned against usa, because it betrayed them, the americans decided to attack them in order to help them? forget it, thats how the message was received in afghanistan. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:43:14 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=62#comment62 re. #57. At 2:49pm on 30 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:"The americans picked a wrong country to mess with, to satisfy their people's wish to do something after 9/11.."Well gee whiz, maybe we should have invaded Mexico or Canada instead. Oh wait, Al Qaeda didn't train and operate out of Mexico or Canada, it operated out of Afganistan. What would you have done in the American president's place? Given the Taliban a stern diplomatic protest? Chucked a few cruise missiles at the tents of the training camps out in the desert? Sent the Air Force to bomb Kandahar or Kabul?It was the worst attack against American soil since Pearl Harbor, an administration that did nothing in response would have been impeached, one that did not react forcefully would have been villified and not re-elected. Bush didn't have any more choice about the target and nature of the response than FDR did. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:40:15 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=61#comment61 They are Algerians, Chechens, Egyptians, Saudis, Somalis, Turkmens, Uzbeks, Yemenis, etc.A question: What are they doing in Afghanistan in the first place?-------------------------------------------------------------------------Einstein, fighting against the NATO...Do you think that only western humans beings can come up with alliance thingie? YOu ally with those who share your values and all that stuff, plus the northern alliance who can ally with anyone and anything, they ally with those who share their values...YOur problem if you refuse to understand the basic human concept of alliances.. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:20:44 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=60#comment60 re. #1. At 4:15pm on 29 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:"I'm glad I decided to become a pacifist." I respect your right to make that choice but don't forget that pacifists can only flourish when protected by non-pacifists. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:17:15 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=59#comment59 re. #25. At 9:25pm on 29 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:Except that there has not been another successful attack by Al Qaeda on the American homeland since 9-11. Some of the credit can go to better security measures at home but credit must also go to our military and intelligence services for keeping Al Qaeda on the run and decimating their leadership.------------------------------------------------------------------------Remind me, how often was alqaida carrying terrorist attacks inside usa prior to 9/11? Once a week? twice a month? once every month? when was the last time it had carried attack prior to 9/11? There was no alqaida before 1995 or 6...-------------If you think we've been spared further terrorist attacks because Al Qaeda just hasn't got around to it you're living in a fool's paradise. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:13:22 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=58#comment58 you can bomb Afghanistan to rubble. You can obliterate its cities. But you cannot conquer it. Better armies than ours have tried it and failed.------------------------------------------------------------------------They have done it, now they are bombing the rubbles...Within a few days of war, your defense sec. donald rumsfeld laughed with the reporters that america is fast running out of targets in afghanistan.. Wed 30 Jun 2010 14:02:06 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=57#comment57 I could be wrong, but it seems to me much of what is being done in Afghanistan, is for the purpose of avoiding a "real" war with Pakistan.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Yes. you are wrong...usa is fighting proxy war in pakistan, all it is interested is for the internal situation in pakistan to totally collapse and then take out the nuclear weapons and leave afghanistan and india to deal with pakistan...American leaders maybe be clever compared to their local people but every tom dick and harry in pakistan knew from the day one that america will help create distability in pakistan...Otherwise, it would have not supported their favourite western oriented dictator general of pakistan for 8 long years...they would have put immidiate sanctions on him,because he had the full support of all the religious parties, including those who are extremely anti america...The americans needed him for their dirty work so they overlooked his alliance with the religious parties..The challange of "either you are with terrorists or with us" failed within a few months of start of the war against terrorism. Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:58:11 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=56#comment56 Our opponents know this thoroughly and take full advantage. They are counting on us being squeamish enough to not play the way they do. This, unfortunately, is now the new "rules of war", and as such is another part of the cost that has to be counted before going off to war.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Genius, this rule existed before the usa started this adventure...And trust me, taliban dont count on you being squeamish, they regard the american soldiers as the evil occupiars...who kill and torture and who defend corrupt people in afghanistan and who are busy in the systematic genocide of the pathans..The americans picked a wrong country to mess with, to satisfy their people's wish to do something after 9/11.. Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:49:31 GMT+1 Temitayo Omole http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=55#comment55 General David Petraeus has just confirmed a top secret that everyone suspects - that there is a problem with the war and he is not making a joke of it, for those who did got kicked out! We also know as we have all along believed that Mr. Obama should not have fired Gen McChrystal. If I were Mr President, I would recall McChrystal as an adviser on this potentially embarrassing war. No one cries for doing the right thing. If Petraeus can be upfront that he is not the messiah, should Capitol Hill be talking to him at all? He just said it is impossible. I would not be very enthusiastic in hiring him for this one, surely! Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:26:36 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=54#comment54 Who's actually "on Afghan side"...Majority of al-Qaida 'freedom fighters' are not even Afghan:They are Algerians, Chechens, Egyptians, Saudis, Somalis, Turkmens, Uzbeks, Yemenis, etc.A question: What are they doing in Afghanistan in the first place? Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:25:12 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=53#comment53 "The US attacked Afghanistan for it's wealth"Sure: mostly for its diamonds, gold, platinum, silver, uranium, titanium, helium-3 and, of course, plenty of oil&gas.[Hollywood wanted also to take over Talib film industry :)))] Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:17:21 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=52#comment52 "The Afghans rid themselves of the Soviets."Mujaheddins have been almost defeated.What made a crucial difference and caused the Soviet-Afghan War's outcome's reversal was STINGERS.[Nope, not made in China.]Even Soviet 'Afganets' themselves admit it now. Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:12:56 GMT+1 PartTimeDon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=51#comment51 Ref# 46 MAIIInteresting theory. I'm sure lots of people who end up proposing or believing in actions that are completely unjustifiable begin by following the same flawed reasoning.Anyway, you're proposing to throw an ideological argument so that you can win a physical one. Against zealous opposition who are willing to do the exact opposite (suicide bombing etc), you would end up with more of a score draw than a win. Wed 30 Jun 2010 12:40:42 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=50#comment50 As more facts come out it is clear that the Rolling Stone writer compromised journalistic rules and quouted comments that were off the record.Thanks traitor Wed 30 Jun 2010 12:40:41 GMT+1 PartTimeDon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=49#comment49 Ref# 26 JMM_for_now"The US attacked Afghanistan for it's wealth. -> obvious falsehood, if the Taleban government had surrendered Al Qaida to the US on demand they would still be running the country."Even if the Taleban had wanted to do this, they were not able to as they didn't have any meaningful Al Quaeda personnel to give to the US. Both the US and the Taleban knew it at the time. Wed 30 Jun 2010 12:26:52 GMT+1 arclightt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=48#comment48 @1 (PM): "Might this pertain to grumblings I've heard that our troops are sometimes sitting ducks who aren't given the authority to return fire in situations when the fire is coming from buildings occupied by innocent civilians, while their adversaries have no such qualms firing upon our troops when school children and families are nearby?"This problem (equal to suicide bombers) is worse than kamikazes. We never figured out a good way to deal with kamikazes except to shoot them dead like dogs from as far away as possible. Here, shooting the "kamikazes" means shooting a lot of innocents as well. It's an absolute no-win situation unless you are willing to kill the innocents as well as the perpetrators. Our opponents know this thoroughly and take full advantage. They are counting on us being squeamish enough to not play the way they do. This, unfortunately, is now the new "rules of war", and as such is another part of the cost that has to be counted before going off to war.@35 (mp): "it ultimately boils down to whether a military unequaled at besting a conventional force is capable of accomplishing duties in some cases more suited to a police officer."Well put. Warfighters are trained to carry out warfare: the forcing of a nation's will on an opponent through the controlling of the opponent's territory and the threat (or reality) of the death of his people. That's not and can never be police work. In Afghanistan, however, we aren't anywhere near ready for peacekeeping because our opponent has not surrendered to us, nor is he likely to if he has any hope of outlasting us. We've pretty much made it clear that we are leaving...all he has to do is hunker down and wait."Simply put, the war in Afghanistan was mismanaged from the get-go with no clear exit strategy prepared at the beginning..."Leave out the word "exit" and you'll have it right. Of the post-WWII military affairs engaged in by this country, about the only one that we managed anywhere near correctly was Korea, and that was a near thing. Other nations have had their own fiascos since WWII as well.There's a big difference between doing the right thing, and doing the right thing CORRECTLY. In some of our deployments, intervention was the right thing to do, but there was a right and a wrong way to go about it. Going about the right thing the wrong way can be just as disastrous as doing the wrong thing to start with, and it makes them very hard to tell apart sometimes.I don't blame our military personnel. I blame far more our political leadership and our population (including yours truly) who have maintained a distorted view of what war is and when it is and is not necessary. Some of us see war as video game or flagwaving exercise, and don't see the horrific suffering it entails; we are too willing to call on "the troops". Others of us see the suffering and refuse to accept that there are times when even that horrific suffering is justified; we are willing to tolerate even genocide with only handwringing and associated nonsense, so long as it doesn't touch us personally. As a result of this large disconnect we have deployed our troops into numerous situations without properly counting the costs (including having a real plan), with the end result that troops are thrown away and wasted, and innocents are slaughtered, to little purpose. We have also on at least 3 occasions that I can recall (Pol Pot, Rwanda, and the Balkans) FAILED to deploy as we should have: with the express intention of taking the territory the executioners controlled, rooting them out, and dispatching them posthaste into eternity. This misunderstanding of, and misuse of, warfare says a lot to me about the relative state of our maturity, and what we really value vs. what we pay lip service to. Wed 30 Jun 2010 12:12:10 GMT+1 strontiumdog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=47#comment47 re#46Marcus, why go back as far as the founding founders,, it was US policy to push even force through the third Geneva convention in 1949 (which specifically relates to interrogation and treatment of prisoners) This was mainly because the Axis powers used torture to interrogate anyone they felt might have valuable intel for them that could save the lives of their citizens and regime. It’s just the same in reverse. Wed 30 Jun 2010 12:04:43 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=46#comment46 I could be wrong, but it seems to me much of what is being done in Afghanistan, is for the purpose of avoiding a "real" war with Pakistan. Wed 30 Jun 2010 11:59:57 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=45#comment45 I think the founding fathers of the United States would have been horrified if they thought that one day their words would be construed in ways that put the welfare and very existance of the entire American nation in jeopardy in circumstances they couldn't possibly have imagined would ever exist. They would never have dreamt that the Constitution's prohibition against torture as punishment has led it to restrain itself in the investigation of an implacable enemy at a time when a handful of people could cause untold havoc, death, and destruction and when the mightiest military force the world has ever seen is restrained in its effective use because words that were meant to enable America to enter treaties with other nations allowed that the US would enter into treaties which prevented it from defending itself with its own means against the same implacable enemy. Until these restraints are recognized as bogus and their bonds broken because they are not consistent with Americal law, not consistent with the Constitution, not consistent with the intent of America's founders, then the American nation will remain in grave peril. The mush brained liberals who would have us surrender to their bleeding heart miscreant misinterpretation and rewriting of our own real history are a threat to us all, as much as a threat as al Qaeda, the USSR, Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan ever was. "We have met the enemy and he is us."Pogo Wed 30 Jun 2010 11:15:13 GMT+1 strontiumdog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=44#comment44 Marcus,you may well be right, but total war would mean putting the US on a all out war footing, as in WWII. I'd like to see the faces of parents when they see their childrens conscription papers. I just don't think modern America would put up with a call to arms unless their country was facing a real and clear threat to their liberties.The Soviets sent in over 500,000 troups ( still only roughly 3 soldiers per square mile) and didnt fight with one hand tied behind their back or worry about political correctness. 20,000 dead later they withdrew Wed 30 Jun 2010 11:14:20 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=43#comment43 General Petraeus will face the same problem General McChrystal faced and every other American general has faced since WWII. There is only one successful exit strategy in a war and that is to vanquish the enemy until he no longer has the will to fight, is incapable of fighting, and is incapable of reorganizing no matter what it takes to get there, no matter what the consequences for anyone. When that is done, you set up a stable government that is at peace with its own people, at peace with its neighbors, and at peace with the world. When it is secure, then you can leave. The US simply does not have the will to carry out this strategy. All of the rest is just so much noise. Winning hearts and minds, sending messages, respecting so called international laws, avoiding civilian casualties. Does anyone think the Allies would have won WWII if it had followed that strategy, been constrained by that kind of thinking and self restraint? If you are not going to fight to win, it is better not to fight at all. It is pointless to waste American teasure and lives on a hopeless cause. And what a tragedy. We have the means, what we lack is the political will to use them and nothing less than the security of our own country is ultimately at stake. Wed 30 Jun 2010 10:42:24 GMT+1 strontiumdog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=42#comment42 RE#22Except that there has not been another successful attack by Al Qaeda on the American homeland since 9-11. Some of the credit can go to better security measures at home but credit must also go to our military and intelligence services for keeping Al Qaeda on the run and decimating their leadership.I don't see the connection where Afgan is concerned, (Al Quada have a new home in Yeman now) plus you forgot to mention blind luck and incompetant operatives..the Xmas shoe bomber and the NYC car bomber are examples, of failed intelligence, and military actions by the US/UK in Afgan/Pakistan which (rightly or wrongly) acted as a recruiting banner for these people Wed 30 Jun 2010 10:09:42 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=41#comment41 ref #26JMM_for_now wrote:Lots of bombast and propaganda on both sides. The US attacked Afghanistan for it's wealth. -> obvious falsehood, if the Taleban government had surrendered Al Qaida to the US on demand they would still be running the country.China is there for "resource extraction" and seem to be ahead of the US. ________________And none on the left protest or throw stone at Chinese embassies when they support major human rights violators. but the U.S,UK and Israel are fair game on the left for defending themselves. Wed 30 Jun 2010 08:58:36 GMT+1 Tibor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=40#comment40 . At 5:23pm on 29 Jun 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:"...The Afghans rid themselves of the Soviets. The Afghans will eventually rid themselves of us. Yet nobody seems willing to acknowledge the obvious fact that the Afghans __could__ rid themselves of the Taliban too -- if they wanted to..."Te truth is always simple.Sophistications are to blind the public only. One day the US public will be on the Afghan side. Wed 30 Jun 2010 08:46:56 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=39#comment39 A stronger, more self-confident president would have given Gen McChrystal a public roasting, then told him in as many words to get on with the job and keep his mouth shut in future. The Afghan government will miss McChrystal, who understood the importance of popular support. Even though Gen Petraeus is a remarkably safe pair of hands, Gen McChrystal will be sadly missed in Afghanistan.[BBC World Editor - John Simpson] Wed 30 Jun 2010 08:43:22 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=38#comment38 Re #38The point of US/NATO operation has never been to "conquer" Afghanistan but simply to deny al-Qaida and Taliban safe havens and training camps.Which to a large extent has succeded, with those R&R and training facilites moved now, out of necessity, mostly to Pakistan's Waziristan.[no, Predators and Reapers are not there to "conquer" Pakistan. :)] Wed 30 Jun 2010 08:26:54 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=37#comment37 When will our brilliant leaders figure out that Afghanistan cannot be conquered? Or should I say something mealy-mouthed instead of "conquered"?you can bomb Afghanistan to rubble. You can obliterate its cities. But you cannot conquer it. Better armies than ours have tried it and failed. Wed 30 Jun 2010 06:13:12 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=36#comment36 Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Robert Gates held talks at the Pentagon with his UK counterpart, Dr Liam Fox.During their meeting, Dr Fox stressed the need to keep focus on ensuring that the necessary security conditions are met before transition to the Afghan authorities can take place"We cannot afford Afghanistan to lapse back into a failed state, which will create a security vacuum, contaminate the region and threaten the national security of the UK and its allies. That is why we are there and that is why we stay," he said.. [BBC News]Hardly squares with reports that the new British government wants to get out of Afghanistan ASAP, come rain or shine. Wed 30 Jun 2010 04:19:04 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=35#comment35 Maybe if NATO had never went in, things would be worse.(an if)Ha ha! Some say. If this, if that. We all can say lots of ifs, but no one really knows for sure.The war wasn't my first choice. In fact, I was highly against it, while at the same time being highly in support of the soldiers and military. I voted for Kerry my first election and Obama my second. But for the first time ever in 2012, I am planning on voting Republican. Making the big switcheroo. I loved the Democrats when they had Bill Clinton, but the Obama Admin. is too liberal for me. Just looking for a moderate.But no matter what happens, I do love the soldiers, our allies' soldiers and our military. They are fighting for us. There is no greater sacrifice than what our soldiers and our allies soldiers have done and are doing. Americans like myself hold them dear in our hearts and pray for them every day.Long live the West!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wed 30 Jun 2010 03:37:39 GMT+1 MrPsiko http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=34#comment34 With a public and Congress exasperated by the longer-than-expected Afghan war, Petraeus' confirmation hearings were little more than window dressing. Most everyone here in the States is desperate for some solution to this deepening quagmire; fresh off his so-called success in Iraq, Petraeus is unfortunately viewed by many Americans as the war's savior incarnate who will surely lead us to victory (whatever that means). The fine print, however, spells out that Afghanistan is a different beast than Iraq, and this is what the General is trying to get across with this comment. What McChrystal's frustration and sacking revealed was the over-reliance on a military solution to what is ultimately a political problem the Afghans themselves must solve themselves.A good friend of mine recently graduated from my college and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Army. He is joining an active duty unit as soon as possible for the better pay and quicker promotion schedule... and he is more likely than not to be sent to Afghanistan. His griping with the rules of engagement for U.S.-NATO forces is, I believe, one example of a larger frustration within the military establishment that is trained and conditioned to win conventional wars along conventional lines. Admittedly, training has gradual adapted to the realities on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but it ultimately boils down to whether a military unequaled at besting a conventional force is capable of accomplishing duties in some cases more suited to a police officer.The recently released report on the utter lack of transparency and oversight concerning the training, equipping and performance of Afghan security forces is to me more distressing than McChrystal's frustration and faux pas. Simply put, the war in Afghanistan was mismanaged from the get-go with no clear exit strategy prepared at the beginning; we Americans were blinded by bloodlust and screaming for vengeance, so our political leaders and our military establishment gave us a quick and easy 'victory' for which to satiate our appetites. It is a tragedy for all concerned -coalition servicemembers, national treasuries and the Afghan people- that only recently have doubts been raised due to the lack of progress 9 years of war has wrought. Wed 30 Jun 2010 01:26:47 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=33#comment33 We were sold on this invasion with the simplistic 'get Bin Laden and Al Queda.' Once there, it became 'build a functioning nation without a terrorist agenda against the West.' The current objectives are more complicated than anything I could resolve. I'm glad we have people brighter than myself and with more experience, attempting to achieve this and I hope they succeed. It has been a long time now, and if tangible results aren't seen in the next two years, it may be time to realize this was never an operation that should have initiated on a full armed scale, and should have been conducted with special operations to achieve no more than the original pitch that was publicly presented.Inherent in the questioning from senators of both sides of the aisle today was the knowledge of our own recent past, known by many posters here, but probably not all. It informs our current situation.Osmama Bin Laden was reportedly contracted for $3 billion by the US government to conduct a resistance campaign against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. He succeeded. The Afghani populace was used as a tool, wounded in the process, and abandoned. They know this.While we left, Bin Laden remained. He used some of the balance of the $3 billion to construct medical facilities in this war ravaged region ripe for anti-west sentiment. Their irragation systems and other infrastrucure had been destroyed and they slipped deeper into poverty with few options for earning a livlihood. In hindsight, this history is almost painful to look at.The objectives our government expresses today are understandable, wheather we can achieve them is an open question. For the next two years I hope they show me they can do what seems impossible. Wed 30 Jun 2010 01:24:58 GMT+1 Warren http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=32#comment32 Whether the "national" Afghan army currently being built up by the U.S. and it's allies can really succeed is quite questionable.The pro-government forces are chiefly motivated by their pay whereas the Taliban are motivated by their faith in Islam.Then again,the vast majority of Afghans simply do not want foreign rule of any kind and the "national" or pro-government forces represent precisely that!And that's why the Russians could never prevail there with the indigenous Communist forces,either. Wed 30 Jun 2010 00:21:54 GMT+1 Tiger80 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=31#comment31 I think the United States should step back and let the world flush itself; maybe someone with a "live and let live" attitude will still be around to clean up the mess when it's over. Tue 29 Jun 2010 22:50:55 GMT+1 HabitualHero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=30#comment30 "many soldiers feel the current rules, which are designed to prevent the loss of civilian life"Outrageous! Americans invade and pillage other people's countries and on top of that they're expected to avoid killing those annoying civilians who have the nerve to be living in their own country. How desperately unfair on those poor brave american soldiers.Here's a tip fellas: if you don't like being shot at - get the hell out and STOP INVADING OTHER PEOPLE'S COUNTRIES.Jesus wept - everytime I think my opinion of americans can't possibly sink any lower............. Tue 29 Jun 2010 22:29:49 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=29#comment29 Afghanistan,its about the third time there for us British,things neverseem to go according to plan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l_3-23zAWM Tue 29 Jun 2010 21:07:06 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=28#comment28 if the Taleban government had surrendered Al Qaida to the US on demand they would still be running the country.------------------------------------------------------------------------Who told you that? taliban were far more better than anyother government at that time when it came to following their rules and laws....How could american demand that a person be handed over to america from a country that had and still has no extradition treaty with afghanistan and had no diplomatic ties with it at that time..It refused to give evidence against ben laden to taliban government..It refused to accept taliban offer of sending ben laden to a third muslim country or his homeland provided america show them evidence...They stuck to their countries policies, american government didnt abide by their country's laws... Tue 29 Jun 2010 21:00:00 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=27#comment27 Actually, americans have now spent more time in chalking out and debating their withdrawl than the occupation...it took the americans a few weeks, three and half, and authentic rumors say that the last half week was due to the logistic reasons, they were waiting for the russians to supply the northern alliance with uniforms and boots...So that american public when they see those northern alliance would see them in uniform and not the civilian clothes, this was to cater the argument of the american government that since taliban didnt wear military uniform so they cannot be considered as a military so no POW geneva convention applied to them.. Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:40:52 GMT+1 JMM_for_now http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=26#comment26 17. At 8:45pm on 29 Jun 2010, Tiger80How very intelligent [seriously!]! You should get into politics, they have a serious deficit in intelligence and you obviously have a lot to share [not so seriously, it could be very frustrating for an intelligent and uncorrupted person]! Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:36:12 GMT+1 JMM_for_now http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=25#comment25 Lots of bombast and propaganda on both sides. The US attacked Afghanistan for it's wealth. -> obvious falsehood, if the Taleban government had surrendered Al Qaida to the US on demand they would still be running the country.China is there for "resource extraction" and seem to be ahead of the US. The Taleban are the real expression of the desires of the Afghan people->partially true, some [possibly a large number] obviously support or accept them. But that does not explain the Northern Alliance nor the people who want education [especially women] and who have resisted them.There is much more, read it yourself and ask how the propagandistic pronouncements fit with reality. And that goes for US propaganda as well! Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:30:26 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=24#comment24 Except that there has not been another successful attack by Al Qaeda on the American homeland since 9-11. Some of the credit can go to better security measures at home but credit must also go to our military and intelligence services for keeping Al Qaeda on the run and decimating their leadership.------------------------------------------------------------------------Remind me, how often was alqaida carrying terrorist attacks inside usa prior to 9/11? Once a week? twice a month? once every month? when was the last time it had carried attack prior to 9/11? There was no alqaida before 1995 or 6... Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:25:52 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=23#comment23 "Helping to train and equip host nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at. There is nothing easy about it."-------------------------------------------------------------------------Especially when every tom,dick and harry knows, thanks to british in afghanistan , that they would work for you during the day and fight against you at night...they will be bought by you and then go and buy the guns and sell them to the rebels who fight against you...Its a simple logic that americans refuse to accept for the past 9 yrs.. Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:20:39 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=22#comment22 Simply put, I support our troops, Americans are funny that way.------------------------------------------------------------------------And I am laughing so hard that I have broken a rib or two..If civilians dont support their soldiers, they would quit fighting and you and the rest who supports them will have to do their job...So, you have to support the troops, you have no choice..However, there is plenty of choice in how one should stop the troops..Your support has led hundred of soldiers to their graves...not to mention to the orthopedic departments of military hospitals for artificial limbs.. Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:17:41 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=21#comment21 re. 14. At 8:09pm on 29 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:"Americans arent one inch more safe than they were before oct 2001...the objectives of the mission, "enduring freedom" are not even acheived.."Except that there has not been another successful attack by Al Qaeda on the American homeland since 9-11. Some of the credit can go to better security measures at home but credit must also go to our military and intelligence services for keeping Al Qaeda on the run and decimating their leadership. Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:08:38 GMT+1 Tiger80 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=20#comment20 Simply put, I support our troops, Americans are funny that way. Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:02:36 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=19#comment19 re. #3. At 4:58pm on 29 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:"The US Army seems to be able to train a US soldier in a relatively short period of time yet cannot do the same in Afghanistan and this is not about culture, it is about motivation."It is about motivation but you're overlooking the fact that American military recruits have spent their lives being instilled with a sense of patriotism and arrive at the drill field knowing who and what they are fighting for. The same cannot be said for the Afghan recruits who have been raised to be loyal not to the nation but to whatever warlord or faction has the most guns in their vicinity at the time. It's a big handicap to overcome and it doesn't get any easier with the continual allegations of corruption against the national government they are supposed to be training to fight for. Tue 29 Jun 2010 20:00:55 GMT+1 Rufus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=18#comment18 "Helping to train and equip host nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at. There is nothing easy about it."what a stupid & meaningless phrase... stating the obscure, the paralogical, the convoluted and making it seem impregnated with meaning... i don't expect Petreaus to achieve anything. Tue 29 Jun 2010 19:58:53 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=17#comment17 The mission's name should be changed from enduring freedom, to mission enduring withdrawl. Tue 29 Jun 2010 19:49:30 GMT+1 Tiger80 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=16#comment16 Whether we should have gone into Afghanistan or not, I support the troops. Everybody likes to blame America for their ills. Maybe the U.S. should have let Saddam take Kuwait and most likely Saudi Arabia. Some people say Israel doesn't have a right to exist, maybe they ought to take a look at their own existence. Who are they to say who or what should exist. Tue 29 Jun 2010 19:45:03 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=15#comment15 "Don’t let us mention the 35,000 (we don’t actually know how many, but that’s the lowest figure) Afghan civilian lives lost in this conflict so far." (from post #11)According to the United Nations document: Afghanistan -- Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2009, there were 2412 civilian deaths recorded in 2009 and 2118 in 2008. Two-thirds were attributed to anti-Government elements and one-quarter to pro-Government forces. Tue 29 Jun 2010 19:34:41 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=14#comment14 The excuse of "corruption" seems to defend most failure. If corruption is the major problem, that should have been addressed first. There is corruption in the US but they can provide an adequate army. If corruption is accepted from the start than the chances of success are limited and if limited why are lives being wasted in defense of the corruption. Politics in war makes for badly fought wars. This is the same thing as Vietnam. The US goes in and does most of the fighting, when they decide to leave they decide to train the local population who now must face an expereinced enemy and that expereince in combat will be the critical element for who wins. State Department and Embassy types trying to get the military to protect political firends and move forces to places of much less strategic importance. There is never light at the end of a cave. Tue 29 Jun 2010 19:11:37 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=13#comment13 I care about the soldiers who put their life on the line everyday.------------------------------------------------------------------------Which line and which day? soldiers who put their lives on line every day are killed every day as well...the casulity rate of americans soldiers is so low that even an idiot can conclude that, either they put their lives in danger and they engange in skirmish not a battle or taliban arent as strong enough as americans like to give an immpression.Its not a war, its a joke an ugly joke against terrorism..Americans arent one inch more safe than they were before oct 2001...the objectives of the mission, "enduring freedom" are not even acheived.. Tue 29 Jun 2010 19:09:47 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=12#comment12 The Afghans rid themselves of the Soviets. The Afghans will eventually rid themselves of us. Yet nobody seems willing to acknowledge the obvious fact that the Afghans __could__ rid themselves of the Taliban too -- if they wanted to. Or are we to belileve that suicide bombers and roadside IEDs can only kill non-Afghans?-----------------------------------------------------------------------The problem is that americans still think that afghans got rid of the soviets because of all the aid and support plus training they got from usa, and the world, the afghan fighters could go to fight in spring summer and come to safe havens in pakistan to rest in winters...the taliban think that they would have gotten rid of the soviets eventually without the world support but it might have taken them a longer time..When the mujaheds were busy blowing up schools back in soviet occupation and doing the homcide attacks, they were praised by the world for their bravery and will to fight an evil empire who had attacked the afghan nation and its culture...The taliban are doing exactly what their previous generation had done during soviet occupation...the americans mentality did a U-turn..the same people praised for their rebellion were turned into terrorist...If you had gone to soviet union or heard or read soviet media, you would realise that every argument you use against taliban now, they have already used against the islamic fighters 30 yrs ago, from burning of girl's schools, to killing their own people, to hiding behind the civilians to killing people for watching football games..None of the argument used by usa for the occupation and against taliban is orginal...these are all soviet's excuses, the americans just recycle them..The taliban have heard it all before...the afghans have heard it all before...The puppet president of soviet union in afghanistan was hanged after the fall of occupation...Karzai's party was one of them which took part in that hanging...He should always remember it and ensure that he fleds to far off country, this time he cannot even flee to pakistan... Tue 29 Jun 2010 19:04:32 GMT+1 Brad http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=11#comment11 Philly Mom, Rules of engagement constantly change. They may even be somewhat different geographically, with "looser" rules being in place in "hotter" areas. For those who seem to believe that the United States is out to conquer Afghanistan, I don't think that there's a great lithium shortage anticipated. And, if that were our goal, I doubt that the US would have put Afghanistan on the back burner for the Iraq invasion. Tue 29 Jun 2010 18:58:07 GMT+1 Bryn_Teilo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=10#comment10 Don’t let us mention the 35,000 (we don’t actually know how many, but that’s the lowest figure) Afghan civilian lives lost in this conflict so far. Don’t let’s mention the seven million or so refugees from that country either. It’s a scandal that the conflict is measured only in terms of western lives lost. Afghanistan was invaded by the US and UK (under NATO guise). Petraeus calls it the ‘host country’, but it has a puppet President and regime installed by the US and its allies. There’s a pretence that they were invited in. Even Hamid Karzai, the President, complained at the level of civilian casualties caused by US and British tactics. They use F16 jets, helicopter gunships and unmanned drones to devastate villages. These are real people living in mud houses, women, children and babies, blasted to pieces or maimed with western armaments, paid for with our taxes. It’s wrong, it’s immoral, and it HAS to STOP. There is a media blackout on the casualties because correspondents have to be embedded with the ‘allied’ forces, and are only allowed to see what the military allows.I heard it said that McChrystal didn’t like to be told to ease back on the civilian casualty rate by the Obama administration. In Iraq McChrystal’s Task Force 6-26, became well-known for its interrogation methods, particularly at Camp Nama, where it was accused of abusing detainees. After the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal became public in April 2004, 34 members of the task force were disciplined. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_A._McChrystal)When will the Americans ever learn the lessons of history? When will the British learn not to meddle in other people’s affairs and not be the US’ puppet? Britain has caused mayhem in the Middle East and on all five continents. It created the most intractable problem of all by embracing Zionism in 1917, which even its current leaders stupidly still espouse. Imperialism is alive and well in the 21st century, courtesy of the White House and 10 Downing Street. Tue 29 Jun 2010 18:54:14 GMT+1 Tiger80 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=9#comment9 I hope Petraeus can do it, I dont give a rats about the politicians. I care about the soldiers who put their life on the line everyday. Tue 29 Jun 2010 18:03:55 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=8#comment8 Re : redesigning an aircraft in flight and under fire.Perhaps BHO may say that a captain always has an ejection seat.[Not on an airliner, Mr. President, not on an airliner!] Tue 29 Jun 2010 17:39:12 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=7#comment7 3. At 4:58pm on 29 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:"No one wants to ask or address the question as to why the people of Afghanistan are unwilling to fight for their country....the rest are just excuses."[[ The problem is that everybody knows the answer to this question, at least in general terms. The current government of Afghanistan does not have the support of the populace, and is huge burden to the war effort. ]]"People earn degrees in very complicated subjects in less time than the US Army can train a soldier or policeman....either wrong people doing the training or wrong people being trained or both."[[ That may be true, but it is exceedingly difficult to root out endemic corruption or change people's culture, or make them fight for a cause they consider unjust or corrupt. Which brings us back to the first problem.What General Petraeus might have added to his analogy is that it is even more difficult when your supposed friends and allies insist on deploying parachutes, lift spoilers, and thrust reversers while still in mid air and trying to gain altitude. Some cables need to be cut, and some ballast needs to be dumped over the side. ]] Tue 29 Jun 2010 17:18:37 GMT+1 Inglenda2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=6#comment6 It is a scandal when military sources say - "many soldiers feel the current rules, which are designed to prevent the loss of civilian life, put them at risk and allow the enemy to escape."The troops were sent in - so we are told - for the benefit of just these very civilians. perhaps we might just remember, that we were not invited to visit Afgahnistan and that the people being fought are, to a large extent, natives of that country.As with Iraq, it is not the freedom of the population which counts, but who has control of the raw materials.My respect for General David Petraeus will grow when he tells his President it is time for the troops to be brought back home. Everything else is as they say in Germany "Mumpits." Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:31:08 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=5#comment5 "I suppose the trouble with this analogy is that it is not merely difficult. It is plainly impossible. I am sure the general did not mean us to draw this conclusion, but it is the obvious one."Oh my yes: right exactly on target. Well done, Mr. Mardell!The Afghans rid themselves of the Soviets. The Afghans will eventually rid themselves of us. Yet nobody seems willing to acknowledge the obvious fact that the Afghans __could__ rid themselves of the Taliban too -- if they wanted to. Or are we to belileve that suicide bombers and roadside IEDs can only kill non-Afghans?To paraphrase Ronald Reagan in a rare lucid moment: General Patreus: land that aircraft! Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:23:20 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=4#comment4 The most striking phrase in his testimony so far has been: "Helping to train and equip host nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at. There is nothing easy about it."-----------------------------------------------------------------------What he is saying is that he will have to bring taliban back...no need to write hundreds of meaningless posts about isurgency and training of army or police..Only idiots dont learn from their own and others expearences, in vietnam,usa tried the same, thinking that they would make a grand exit and leave the vietnameese to kill each other..it failed. Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:22:08 GMT+1 BluesBerry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=3#comment3 I've had difficulty with the potential appointment of General Petraeus from the start.Why?He was McChrystals boss; so the potential appointment of General Petraeus is like appointing a man with the same military/philosophical bent - only more.So Petraeus was responsible for the Iraq "success". Is this really something to boast about when you consider the number of casualties (on both sides), the ongoing insurgency, the bombs going off, the millions of refugees...? Petraeus is not the answer. The answer is someone coming from left field, an outside-the-box type of thinker who understands diplomacy and can draw the many factions together, including the Taleban. That's IF (and this is a big IF), the United States really wants peace in Afghanistan. So, if Petraeus is confirmed, look for the hands of American soldiers to be united, look for all liberties to be stripped from Afghan civilians, look for drones too numerable to count...and look for swift victory at all costs.If a country conquers another country, the conquering country can take what it wants. But if both countries negotiate, both countries have to agree on a pricetag for what each wants from the other. Here I speak specifically of the oil, the copper, the lithium, etc that Americans want from Afghanistan, in exchange for...(to be negotiated).Personally, I feel, the United States is out to conquer Afghanistan and take what it wants, and in this, the United States will fail. Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:12:58 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=2#comment2 That is exactly what the US Army did in Vietnam but since everyone has decided that this is not like Vietnam they certainly can not learn anything by the mistakes made there. Head in the Sand approach. Same thing was or is supposed to happen in Iraq. In some minds it may appear that the learning in the actual enviroment would produce better results as the motivation, survival, would he at its highest. The US keeps rotating expereinced soldiers back into operations because they believe that the actual combat experience is critical to performance. No one wants to ask or address the question as to why the people of Afghanistan are unwilling to fight for their country....the rest are just excuses. People earn degrees in very complicated subjects in less time than the US Army can train a soldier or policeman....either wrong people doing the training or wrong people being trained or both. Must be a private contractor involved that profits from dragging this all out. The US Army seems to be able to train a US soldier in a relatively short period of time yet cannot do the same in Afghanistan and this is not about culture, it is about motivation. Tue 29 Jun 2010 15:58:19 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=1#comment1 MM: "many soldiers feel the current rules, which are designed to prevent the loss of civilian life, put them at risk and allow the enemy to escape."Well their Commander-in-Chief's name is not David Petraeus; its Barack Hussein Obama.That's from whom those who actually put their lives on the line should demand a change of those pathetic, self-defeating rules. Tue 29 Jun 2010 15:25:38 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/petraeus_draws_an_unusual_anal.html?page=0#comment0 I was once a bookkeeper for a CFO who was annoyed that our CEO kept wanting to revise the General Ledger at a moment's notice. She kept grumbling that he wanted us to 'build the airplane while it's flying.'-- Take the axiom, give it a twist of lime and stir.Well - I can appreciate the complexity of training native ground troops, but I wonder how wise it is to change the rules of game-play mid-operation...?Although, I wonder: Might this pertain to grumblings I've heard that our troops are sometimes sitting ducks who aren't given the authority to return fire in situations when the fire is coming from buildings occupied by innocent civilians, while their adversaries have no such qualms firing upon our troops when school children and families are nearby? 'Rules of engagement' are tricky when sides aren't playing the same game.I hate war. I'm glad I decided to become a pacifist. There's GOT to be a better way... My heart really goes out to everyone over there. Everyone. Tue 29 Jun 2010 15:15:49 GMT+1