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Taliban Begins Spring Push, Karzai Given Millions

First we have this from Reuters:

Taliban vow suicide and "insider" attacks in new spring offensive

By Dylan Welch and Mirwais Harooni | April 27, 2013

KABUL (Reuters) – The Taliban in Afghanistan vowed on Saturday to start a new campaign of mass suicide attacks on foreign military bases and diplomatic areas, as well as damaging "insider attacks", as part of a new spring offensive this year.

The offensive was announced via emails from Taliban spokesmen. The Islamist group has made similar announcements in recent years, which have sometimes been followed by spikes in violence after Afghanistan’s harsh winter months.

Does this mean that Joe Biden was mistaken about the Taliban when he assured us that they aren’t our enemy or dangerous? Does this mean that Obama’s peace negotiations with the Taliban are not going too well?

The announcement of more mass suicide and insider attacks will likely be greeted with concern by the NATO-led military coalition, which is in the final stages of a fight against the Taliban-led insurgency that began in late 2001…

"Fight" or flight? We thought they were in their final stages of bugging out.

After announcing their spring offensive last year, the Taliban launched a large attack in Kabul involving suicide bombers and an 18-hour firefight targeting Western embassies, ISAF headquarters and the Afghan parliament…

"Collective martyrdom operations on bases of foreign invaders, their diplomatic centers and military airbases will be even further structured while every possible tactic will be utilized in order to detain or inflict heavy casualties on the foreign transgressors," the statement said.

Insider attacks, also known as "green on blue" attacks, involve Afghan police or soldiers turning their guns on their ISAF trainers and counterparts. They have grown considerably since last year and have strained relations between Kabul and foreign forces…

Treachery is what they do best. It’s part of their religion.

And next we have, this from NBC News:

Taliban marks start of ‘monumental’ spring offensive with deadly attack

By Ron Mott | April 28, 2013

KABUL — It didn’t take long. Within hours of announcing the start of its annual spring offensive,  the Taliban in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for an early-morning attack in the eastern part of the country that killed at least three police officers…

This year, the Taliban’s annual declaration of increased violence–coinciding with the break from harsh winter weather–is widely considered an especially crucial test for President Hamid Karzai’s government as it prepares to assume control of the nation’s security from coalition forces, which are slated to withdraw combat troops in 2014.

That challenge has been particularly lethal so far in April as Afghan security forces increasingly take the lead in the 11-year war.  The month began with an ambush of a courthouse in western Afghanistan by nine suicide attackers disguised as soldiers that left at least 44 dead, injuring more than 100.

A few days later, 25-year-old American diplomat Anne Smedinghoff was among five U.S. citizens mortally wounded by a car bomb while their convoy headed to a school to deliver books. On Friday, 45 people on a bus died in a fiery crash with a burning oil tanker, which had come under insurgent attack.

According to The Associated Press, 478 people—217 of these insurgents—have been killed in violence around the country so far in April. A total of 447 people, including 268 insurgents, were killed during the same months in 2012, according to the AP…

Clearly, they are upset that we are leaving the area as fast as we can. There is no pleasing some murderers.

Lastly, we have this from the New York Times:

With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG | April 28, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan — For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.

All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.

“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”

Lest for Switzerland.

The C.I.A., which declined to comment for this article, has long been known to support some relatives and close aides of Mr. Karzai. But the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing.

Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan..

It undermined our exit strategy? Obama wouldn’t allow anything to undermine our exit strategy. (Despite having said many times in the past that this was a war we had to win.)

“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.”

The United States was not alone in delivering cash to the president. Mr. Karzai acknowledged a few years ago that Iran regularly gave bags of cash to one of his top aides…

American and Afghan officials familiar with the payments said the agency’s main goal in providing the cash has been to maintain access to Mr. Karzai and his inner circle and to guarantee the agency’s influence at the presidential palace, which wields tremendous power in Afghanistan’s highly centralized government…

We liberated his country from the Taliban and we have protected him and his thieving clan for a decade, at cost of how much in American blood and treasure?

And we still have to try to buy him? And try to outbid Iran for his services? What a world.

It is not clear that the United States is getting what it pays for. Mr. Karzai’s willingness to defy the United States — and the Iranians, for that matter — on an array of issues seems to have only grown as the cash has piled up. Instead of securing his good graces, the payments may well illustrate the opposite: Mr. Karzai is seemingly unable to be bought…

What a independent and courageous hero Karzai is. Too bad he will be dead as soon as we pull out. Or living in Switzerland or Miami with his loot.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 29th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Taliban Begins Spring Push, Karzai Given Millions”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    I wonder how many Air Force C7s it takes to haul that money to ….

    … Holy Crackers, I just realized. The US Government is buying all the opium! That’s what the $$$ is for.

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