Afghan Resistance Recruitment Drive

Stalin

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Of course any opposition to the current colonial occupation is always described in negative terms such as " militants" or "Taliban". However, this latest wheeze seems designed to send many citizens into the resistance, as any student of central Asian history will attest.

"US prepares Fallujah-style offensive in Afghanistan
By Tom Eley
5 December 2009

About 1,000 Marines attacked an area in southern Afghanistan controlled by insurgents on Friday, in the US-led occupation’s first major offensive since President Obama announced that he would send 30,000 more soldiers to the war.

The attack on the largely abandoned city of Now Zad comes in preparation for an assault on a larger and more populous city, Marja, which the US military says is a center of Taliban resistance in Helmand province. The commander of the operation in Now Zad, Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, said the model for the coming attack on Marja will be the US destruction of the Iraqi city of Fallujah, in 2004, in which thousands of civilians were killed. It is not clear when such an attack might take place.

On Friday morning, hundreds of soldiers were flown from the north into the Now Zad valley in Helmand province, while a second force moved on foot from the south in an offensive dubbed “Cobra’s Anger.” British forces launched an ancillary attack from the east. About 150 Afghan soldiers were reportedly attached to the operation, which involved helicopters and MV-22 Osprey aircraft.

ABC News footage showed unopposed US forces flattening buildings with heavy artillery fire. The pro-US governor of the province, Daood Ahmadi, said on Friday that so far the bodies of four Taliban fighters have been found as a result of the operation. (The Pentagon and the Kabul government routinely describe all those killed by US military operations as Taliban.) There were no reports of NATO casualties.

Coming only three days after Obama announced his 30,000 soldier “surge” to Afghanistan—most of which will be sent to the south of the country—the attack in Helmand is a precursor to the sort of operations that will take place in the coming years’ fighting in Afghanistan. Cobra’s Anger shows that Obama’s war strategy will be characterized by the use of overwhelming violence to terrorize and intimidate the Afghan population.

“There is no question that this is meant to be a signal to the Taliban in terms of what the Taliban can expect in upcoming days in terms of how this strategy will be implemented,” said Steven Chao, Al Jazeera correspondent in Afghanistan.

The short-term tactical aim of the operation, military spokesmen claim, is to destroy Taliban “safe havens,” to cut off north-south and east-west supply lines, and to root out “more than 100 hardline insurgents” from the Now Zad area.

The insurgents of Now Zad, though small in number, were able in the summer to entrench themselves in “positions so solid that a fixed frontline runs just a few hundred yards (meters) north of the Marines” in their Marines’ Forward Operating Base, the Associated Press reports.

Neither the British, who were stationed in the area for years, nor the Americans have been able to hold Now Zad. “British troops who were once stationed there left graffiti dubbing the town ‘Apocalypse Now-Zad,’ a play on the title of the 1979 Vietnam War movie Apocalypse Now,” according to the AP. “The British base was nearly overrun on several occasions with insurgents coming within yards (meters) of the protection wall. The area was handed over in 2008 to the Marines, who have struggled to reclaim much of the valley.”

Before the US invasion in 2001, there were 30,000 inhabitants in the city of Now Zad, a center of poppy cultivation for the opium trade. Now, it is a “ghost town,” and “virtually empty,” according to press accounts.

Taking the Now Zad area is preparation for an assault on Marja, a large town in the region where many Afghans fled in the wake of Marine attacks on their villages this summer—attacks that were made possible by Obama’s ordered dispatch of 21,000 more soldiers after his inauguration.

The Marines, including Gen. Nicholson, “have made no secret that, together with the Afghan national army, they plan to rout the Taliban from Marja in a sweep akin to that of the November 2004 battle of Fallujah, Iraq,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Marja is that last major sanctuary in Helmand province, the last place where the enemy has freedom of movement,” Nicholson told the LA Times. “We’re going to take that away from him.” Elsewhere Nicholson has called Marja a “cancer in Helmand.”

more imperial folly at http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/dec2009/afgh-d05.shtml

Comrade Stalin of Gori
 
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