Scoop Election 08: edited by Gordon Campbell

On the latest SAS death in Afghanistan

September 29th, 2011

Somehow, the job that we’re doing in Afghanistan is so crucial that it is worth our SAS soldiers dying for – but only until 31st March 2012. Come the dawning of April 1st 2012 that sacrifice will somehow become no longer necessary. (At which point Prime Minister John Key will presumably be holding a press conference with a huge “Mission Accomplished” banner as a backdrop.) In reality, the announcement yesterday of the latest New Zealander SAS soldier to die in Afghanistan – and the utterly arbitrary time frame for our special forces involvement in that war – is another example of the lives of soldiers being wasted for the convenience of politicians.

Oh, Key has made the usual noises : “I don’t regret the decision that we made to commit the SAS to Afghanistan. I think they are playing their critical part to free the world from global terrorism.” Really? That linkage between the SAS effort and the fight against “global terrorism” is a case that Key has never made, and never explained to the New Zealand public. To repeat : is Key guaranteeing that the fight against global terrorism will be done and dusted on 31 March 2012? Or does he know that the fight against al Qaeda is over – and that this phantasm no longer exists as a global network, but only as a spectre to be conjured up whenever it suits Western politicians to put the frighteners on the public ?

The existing evidence is that al Qaeda has declined to where – at most – it is a franchise name tacked onto a series of local disputes dotted around the world. As a consequence, any residual threat posed by “global terrorism” to the West can be managed more economically and more effectively from outside the threat-emanating countries concerned and without putting coalition troops on the ground, where their presence tends to be counter-productive. This is the ‘bring the American troops home” position long advocated by US vice-president Joseph Biden.

Why then, are we still in Afghanistan ? Any co-operative links between al Qaeda and their reluctant and resentful hosts – the Taliban – were well and truly broken ten years ago. Instead of quelling international terrorism, are we really in Afghanistan for domestic reasons, in order to build a viable democracy in that country? If so, will that task also be completed by March 31st 2012? Hardly. History tells us that democracy would take decades, or centuries to achieve in Afghanistan. The reality is that we’re there purely for political reasons, for MFAT and MoD to curry favour with Washington – even though President Barack Obama too, has signalled that he wants to extract US troops as soon as is politically practical to do so. Which means that our two troops actually died for reasons of US domestic politics, in order to grease Obama’s exit strategy. What a waste.

Inevitably, the lack of any clear military or political goals for keeping our troops in Afghanistan conjures up images of an earlier doomed neo-colonial attempt of global containment, in Vietnam. As in Vietnam, US commanders keep talking about the military progress being made in Afghanistan, and the necessity for staying the course lest Afghanistan become you know, a failed state and a breeding ground for terrorism. (In reality, it is the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan that perpetually undermines any claim to legitimacy of the Karzai government and thus ensures Afghanistan’s failed state status.)

There is no valid reason for keeping our troops on the ground in Afghanistan. In passing, the battleground arguments that the likes of General David Petraeus have been making seem very reminiscent of the famous exchange at the Vietnam- era peace talks between US envoy Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr. and his North Vietnamese counterpart, Colonel Tu. During one of his liaison trips to Hanoi, Colonel Harry told Tu, “You know, you never beat us on the battlefield. ” To which Colonel Tu responded, “That may be so, but it is also irrelevant.” Exactly. What we are doing in Afghanistan – and what our troops are dying for – is just as irrelevant.

********

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    1. 53 Responses to “On the latest SAS death in Afghanistan”

    2. By BMM on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

      Thanks for this Gordon. You may be interested (if you weren’t there to hear this yourself) that in September 2008 Robert Fisk noted in a public lecture in Auckland that there were then 22 times as many western troops in the Arab/Muslim world than during the crusades.
      Three years later, who has benefitted? Certainly not the peoples of Iraq or Afghanistan.

    3. By Joe Blow on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

      So we should pull out our troops because the timeframe until withdrawal is not sufficient to create any real change in Afghanistan anyway? What’s the point?

      Fair enough.

    4. By Anna on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

      Good on you Gordon for noting that New Zealand troops should not be in Afghanistan.Its heartbreaking to hear about the deaths of our brave SAS Soldiers.They are hear to defend New Zealand not to be on a foreign soil .We should bring them home

    5. By richarquis on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

      Joe – I can’t tell from your response if you mean it’s: A) not sensible to even be there, so pull out now; or B) it’s not sensible to pull out now, as we wouldn’t be able to make any difference. Can you clarify?

    6. By Joe Blow on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

      @ Richarquis

      You’re funny Richarquis. Na, I’m agreeing with Gordon. I mean (B). There’s no point in wasting our boys lives for a side of the war that was never properly funded in the first place and when the powers at be haven’t got the political support to see it through. I’m also scared that the line that our boys are over there to train the Afghan police (which was mandated by the UN resolution that set up the ISA) is just a front for god knows what kind of collusion to get our boys some “real” US navy seals experience so our military commanders can feel like we measure up to the US goof balls (like we should want to). I think that Bush and his scoundrel administration did so much damage and did so little to build an Afghan state and Obama turned up so god damn late that even if we stayed in for another five years doing it right that it might all be for nothing. Depressing but probably true. The poor Afghanis… The Karzai regime may stay in power for a few years after the US and the rest of us leave but its going to be a blood bath … another vicious civil war… I only hope I’m wrong…

    7. By Joe Blow on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

      correction: “ISA” should be “ISAF”

    8. By Joe Blow on Sep 29, 2011 | Reply

      another correction: I don’t mean (A) or (B).

    9. By Leon Henderson on Sep 30, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow, why do you keep attempting to promulgate the lie that the Jews are going to so-called “haul-out” their USA lackey’s (and Jewish-American Empire vassal forces) from Afghanistan, when nothing could be further from the truth.

      It is going to be exactly like the so-called “withdrawal” from Iraq where more than one-hundred-thousand federal soldiers and mercenaries are permanently stationed in more than fifty huge military bases. The USA also totally controls all of the Ports and oil Pipelines of Iraq.

      In Baghdad alone, in just part of the immense USA military “green zone”, the USA has got an immense fortification called the “American Embassy” building and it is going to have SIXTEEN THOUSAND CIA troops stationed in it!!! It already has eight thousand CIA troops!!!

    10. By Leon Henderson on Sep 30, 2011 | Reply

      Some reading for ya, Joe Blow:

      THE ROTTEN CORRUPTION IN AFGHANISTAN:
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21174

      You do not have a leg to stand on, Joe Blow.

      KARZAI THE DRUG KINGPIN:
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25609

      THE “WITHDRAWAL” OF USA EMPIRE FORCES A LIE:
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25295

      CIA HEROIN TRAFFICKING AND SUPPORT OF TERRORISTS IN AFGHANISTAN:
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24251

      GLOBAL RESEARCH “AFGHANISTAN” WEBPAGE “MENU”:
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=newsHighlights&newsId=40

      IRAQ:
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=newsHighlights&newsId=1

    11. By Peter Dyer on Sep 30, 2011 | Reply

      Well said, Gordon.

    12. By Joe Blow on Sep 30, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Where you getting your numbers from? What’s your source on that speculation?

    13. By Leon Henderson on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      The actual Failed States are Is-ra-ael and it’s primary glove-puppets viz, USA, Pommieland, Saudi-Arabia, Turkey,Yemen, Bahrain, Somalia, Morocco, Algeria, ….

      Want me to continue, Joe Blow? Just say so, and the list will expand dramatically!!!

      Afghanistan: a ruined land with a Jewish-appointed “democratically elected” so-called “president” who is NOT democratically elected, and who was in the 1990′s employed by Jewish-owned Unacol (an oil and gas pipeline construction corporation) as an “ambassador” to the Taleban for the purpose of arranging a deal to get the Taleban to let the Jews make the Americans and their vassals construct for the Jews oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea down through Afghanistan and to the coast of Pakistan (Karachi).

      But something went wrong during these “negotiations” and the next thing you know Donald Rumsfeld was ranting and raving that “Afghanistan Is Going To Be Bombed Into The Stone-Age” and the BBC are ramming everywhere propaganda that savagely vilifies the Taleban as being “Islamic Fanatics”, “Women Oppressors”, and even “Vandalisers Of Priceless World Heritage Treasures”.

      The “World Heritage Treasure” bullshit concerned a couple of crummily made bas-reliefs of Bhudda”s on a cliff-face that the Taleban could not tolerate because the Muslims are exactly like the Jews and cannot permit such things to exist in their territories. So the Taleban dragged big Russian-made guns stolen from the original Government who the USA and their Jew masters overthrew, and apparently opened fire on the images.

      Nothing can be certain about this though, as the BBC are infamous for their forging of video: they are liars and utter puppets of the Jews.

    14. By Leon Henderson on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      Observe the Jewish-American mass-media “Amnesia” viz-a-viz Saudi-Arabia and Bahrain Joe Blow!!!

      Joe Blow, Explain this please.

      Also Joe Blow, explain to us why Mr. “Hopey Changey” is angrily Veto-ing the attempt by the Palestinian Authority to obtain United Nations recognition.

      Not only that, but Mr. “Hopey-Changey” is threatening to boot the living crap out of the Palestinians if they dare to keep proving what vicious lapdogs of the Jews the USA and its vassal-states are at the United Nations General Assembly.

      Thank God that Vladimir Putin of Russia might soon be the President of Russia again.

      Even though they are overwhelmingly outnumbered, the Russians are actually far stronger than all of the American military and their crony-client puppet-states: if the magnificent Vladimir Putin becomes the President of Russia again, your Jews, Joe Blow, are gonna be having BIG problems!!!

    15. By Joe Blow on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      I am a little sick of you talking at me instead of discussing things with me Leon. This is a one way conversation. You ignore what you don’t like to hear. Therefore, I’m going to ignore your last two posts and continue with my questioning of the source of your statistics on troop levels and mercenary numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan because you have conveniently ignored my post.

      For a start, out of the contractors that the US Department of Defense (DOD) has employed to service its army in Afghanistan. The total employed by the DOD as private security contractors (PSCs) was 18,919 as of 31 December 2010. In Iraq, as of March 2011, 10,448 PSCs were employed by the DOD. This was a reduction from about 15,000 in June 2009 coinciding with the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The amount of PSCs have increased in Afghanistan along with the troop increases for the surge under the Obama Administration.

      Interestingly, in Iraq the vast majority of PSCs are non-Iraqi (89% third country, 9% US) while in Afghanistan 95% pf PSCs are Afghan nationals with 1% from the US. Incidentally, local nationals are often more difficult to screen and can be more easily infiltrated by hostile forces. Also note that not all PSCs are armed. In Iraq in December 2009 around 15% of the PSCs provided unarmed services.

      But this is only the PSCs employed by the DOD.

      “In Iraq there are 100 PSCs registered and licensed (or in the process of renewing their license) with the Ministry of Interior (72 Iraqi companies and 28 foreign companies). These PSCs employ more than 30,000 armed employees working for a variety of government and private sector clients. The number of Iraqi PSCs has increased over the past two years. According to some analysts, the primary clients for non-Iraqi PSCs have shifted dramatically over the past two years from working for the U.S. government to working for private industry (such as international oil companies) and non-governmental organizations.”

      In Afghanistan, there are currently 52 PSCs licensed to operate with some 30,000 registered
      security contractors. However, there are a lot of unregistered PSCs employed by local governors, chiefs of police and politicians estimated to amount to around 70,000. However, these are mainly local Afghan private security, which is likely nothing new in Afghanistan and are likely the same muscle that has been employed by local warlords and local tribal leaders for decades anyway.

      As of 30 June 2011 the total number of US troops in Iraq totalled 44,000. All other nation’s troops have left Iraq. Therefore, there are around 85,000 troops and PSCs currently in Iraq.
      http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/R40835_20110221.pdf

    16. By Joe Blow on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      @ leon

      “A recent report by the Foreign Relations Committee has revealed that the State Department plans to field some 5,500 private security contractors to protect up to 17,000 civilians working for the American government in Iraq.

      A force of 3,650 private security guards will be stationed at the huge Baghdad embassy. The security firm SOC Inc. has a contract for protecting that embassy worth as much as $974 million.”

      http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/163595.html

    17. By Dave on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      Leon, your ramblings have the air of delusion about them and your racism is showing.

    18. By Leon Henderson on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      Dave: my accuracy is showing.

    19. By Leon Henderson on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow, your blind belief in everything that Mossad, the CIA, M15/M16 spoon-feeds you is severely alarming!!!

      Try and get out of your Mossad-created Brain-Jail, Joe Blow!!!

    20. By Leon Henderson on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow: for someone who reads so much you don’t seem to know much:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/8422912/US-Embassy-in-Baghdad-to-double-staff.html

    21. By Leon Henderson on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

      Or is it that actually you do not really want to know, Joe Blow???

    22. By Joe Blow on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      (sigh) Leon the article says that the amount of “staff” will increase twofold to 16,000 and 5,500 PSCs will protect the diplomatic presence in Iraq. That’s the same 5,500 mentioned in the article I gave you a link to above. I mean you can speculate about the Embassy staff being 16,000 CIA agents if you want, but I’m sorry Leon I’m well and truly wedded to the real world so you’ll have to indulge in that fantasy by yourself.

      I would just like to make some points even though they will likely be lost on you:

      1. The PSCs are by no means controlled by the Jews. They are just muscle to protect government and private institutions. You’re right if you mean that this private security has increased to protect the oil companies and NGOs as the US troops have withdrawn from Iraq, but they are not private armies controlled by the Jews. Likewise, they do not form one free standing army, but consist of many small groups that protect different stakeholders in Iraq. If you think I’m wrong then prove it!

      2. Although there has been an increase of PSCs with the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq they have in no way replaced the US troops that have withdrawn. The troop levels in Iraq have decreased from their peak in 2007 of nearly 200,000 down to 44,000. That’s a reduction of well over 100,000 troops with at most 40,000 PSCs supposedly replacing them (there were already PSCs in Iraq before the troops started to withdraw). The short story is that the Iraqi army has had to pick up the slack in countering the insurgency NOT private security.

      3. Afghanistan is very different from Iraq. 95% of the PSCs are local nationals. Their loyalties are therefore more complicated. There are no major oil reserves to protect in Afghanistan and although you think there’s an oil or gas pipeline in Afghanistan I assure you that the oil pipeline has never been built and the gas pipeline has never got any where near completion dispite there nearly being 150,000 US troops stationed there right now. I think the Chinese have a copper mine some where in Afghanistan so maybe they’ll hire more contractors (not the Jews) but most of the PSCs that will be hired will be by NGOs, local politicians, the Afghan government and local warlords. The ANA and ANP will have to pick up the slack but of course they are no where near as strong as their Iraqi counterparts. As the US troops leave the Taliban will come back in over the border from Pakistan and get revenge in their usual brutal way. The Tajick (not Jewish) dominated Afghani government will likely commit similar atrocities in retaliation and so on… back to civil war… it’s never really ended really… the poor Afghanis…

    23. By Leon Henderson on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      Am sick to the stomach of your interminable efforts to so-called “justify” Zionism and the murderous activities of the Jew Flunkies such as the USA and their grovelling lapdogs the Pommie so-called “ruling class” (somewhere on Scoop you even praised the rotten Fascist Winston Churchill, who was not only an utterly shit “writer”, and an Arsehole capitalist: Churchill always appeared in public with a cigar stuck in his gob, but in actual fact Churchill could not stand cigarettes or cigars anywhere around him and would not permit smokers to be anywhere near him.

      In other words, Joe Blow, a typical capitalist.

    24. By Leon Henderson on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      By the way Joe Blow, have you not noticed how the Zionist propaganda machine is now ranting “about” Syria???

      It is ranting through it’s Lackey-Vassal-Puppets (in this Banana Republic of the Jewish-American Empire) such as Geoff Robinson,Kim Hill, Simon Dallows (Blah Blah!) in exactly same way that it brainwashed the New Zealand public to hate President Slobodan Milisovic of Yugoslavia.

      Your Vicious, Arsehole Jews, Joe Blow made, via USA and NATO, through their rotten-evil lies viz Fox News, BBC, CNN, and Guardian News And Media, Serbia be destroyed, and most of Serbia be handed over to the Muslims by the Jews/USA, and illegally.

      Kosovo is Serbian.

      Repeat Again: Kosovo Is Serbian Territory, exactly as Palestine is Palestinian Territory.

      BELONGS TO THEM, Joe Blow!!!

    25. By Joe Blow on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      And Winston Churchill wasn’t a Jew… but I guess you’ll tell me he’s Jewish and that the Rockefellers are Jewish too… it all makes sense to me now Leon… I’ve seen the light! I’ve connected the dots! The pattern’s clear! I’m Jewish! You’re Jewish! EVERONE’S JEWISH!

    26. By Joe Blow on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      If the all powerful Jews are showing their ire towards Syria through the media why haven’t they got their minion NATO to invade it yet? Surely the all powerfule Jews would not wait this long before going for the jugular? Actually why haven’t they attacked Iran yet either?

    27. By Leon Henderson on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      Excuse the bad language Dave, but Fuck Your Jew Arse.

    28. By Leon Henderson on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow, WHY do you keep on trying to defend Shitbags like Dave???

      You are one of the few people in this Nation who actually has got a Mind.

      How about using it for once, Joe Blow?

    29. By Joe Blow on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      I am using my mind Leon but I just keep finding more and more information that contradicts what you keep saying… There are just too many questions. Like why are Jews only all powerful when it suits your world view Leon? Why have there never been an oil pipeline built in afghanistan despite over 150,000 foreign troops being there right now? Why are there only 30,000 PSCs in Afghanistan and not 100,000? Why does it keep not adding up with the facts Leon?

    30. By Leon Henderson on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      You are so staggeringly willfully “blind” that even your Guide-Dog needs sunglasses and a white stick!!!

    31. By Leon Henderson on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow, you are also horribly wrong about the so-called “150,000″ Jewish-American Empire puppet-murderers/occupiers in Afghanistan: there is far, far more than that (at least 250,000, including the colossal number of mercenaries – the United States is almost totally dependent on mercenenaries for it’s “Muscle”)there, and from the outset also there has been huge numbers of Indian soldiers, (saw an article years ago that stated there was at least forrty-seven-thousand Indian troops in Afghanistan)but trying to find information on this is like trying to find a generous Jew!!!

    32. By Leon Henderson on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow, watch out for where yer Dawg puts it’s White Stick!!!

    33. By Leon Henderson on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow what is a “PSC”???

    34. By Joe Blow on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      There are troops in Afghanistan under the banner of Operation Enduring Freedom and troops from other nations and the US under the UN ISAF. There are less troops under OEF after NATO took over the ISAF. There are just over 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan:

      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_6oejy_sjRag/TAAOpqRRs1I/AAAAAAAAAAU/PfSZ3ZaKADA/s1600/Iraq,+Afghanistan+Troop+Levels+CRS.JPG

      The total amount of troops under ISAF totals 130,670:

      http://www.isaf.nato.int/images/stories/File/Placemats/9%20September%202011%20ISAF%20Placemat(1).pdf

      I’d say there are a few thousand still under OEF so 150,000 was a safe estimate.

      There was some plans for India contributing to the ISAF but I don’t think it ever happened as that would have upset Pakistan big time! You’ve got to be careful of the Pakistani conspiracy theories on the net. If you can find me some kind of article that confirms that Indian troops were sent to Afghanistan then be my guest and let me know. PSCs are private security contractors or private military companies such as Blackwater and Executive Outcomes:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_military_company

      Likewise if you can find me some kind of evidence of “mercenaries” being deployed in Afghanistan and their numbers then let me know.

    35. By ron on Oct 3, 2011 | Reply

      when a govt minister john banks was asked to not allow the importing of vicious dogs i.e. american pit bulls.he refused.i think i read this in nz herald, can anyone help me find this article please.

    36. By Elyse on Oct 3, 2011 | Reply

      Someone has to say it: Joe and Leon you are both boring.

      Joe, why don’t you buy yourself a tin hat, go to Afghanistan and see for yourself the reality of this co-called war you support from the safety of your computer? Better still, go live their with the people and get the other side of the story (you’ll still need a tin hat). You are a concern troll, here to discourage discussion.

      Leon, don’t drink and type.

    37. By Elyse on Oct 3, 2011 | Reply

      there

    38. By Joe Blow on Oct 3, 2011 | Reply

      @ Elyse

      I guess your writing from a dugout in Afghanistan as we speak. If you don’t like it then don’t read it…

    39. By Joe Blow on Oct 3, 2011 | Reply

      @ Elyse

      I’ve just realised that you have accused me of supporting the war in Afghanistan. For a start I have never supported the US-led invasion of Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom. I do support the UN mandated humanitarian reconstruction effort under the ISAF. Likewise now that we (NZ) have intervened in Afghanistan, I think that we have a bit more of a responsibility for what has happened to the people there since 2001 than just turning our backs on them after being complicit in bombing them to pieces without fulfilling our promise to build an Afghan state:

      Resolutions 1386 and 1510 that established the ISAF:

      “Stressing also the importance of extending central government authority to all parts of Afghanistan, of comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of all armed factions, and of security sector reform including reconstitution of the new Afghan National Army and Police,”

      “Authorizes expansion of the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force to allow it, as resources permit, to support the Afghan Transitional Authority and its successors in the maintenance of security in areas of Afghanistan outside of Kabul and its environs, so that the Afghan Authorities as well as the personnel of the United Nations and other international civilian personnel engaged, in particular, in reconstruction and humanitarian efforts, can operate in a secure environment, and to provide security assistance for the performance of other tasks in support of the Bonn Agreement;”

      “Calls on Member States participating in the International Security Assistance Force to provide assistance to help the Afghan Interim Authority in the establishment and training of new Afghan security and armed forces;”

    40. By Leon Henderson on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow, have got a whole lot of URL’s for mercenary numbers in Iraq/Afghanistan, but am gonna put just one here now otherwise Scoop probably won’t post this for at least 24 ours and maybe never! (they usually let a post appear immediately if it’s got one URL/link though).

      The following URL/link goes to a good website with an article about US federal force numbers, and mercenary force numbers in Iraq (repeat: this is the numbers in IRAQ alone) by July 2007. These numbers do NOT include Jewish-American Empire crony-client satellite forces such as Pommy army, Spaniards, Poles, Rumanians, Italians, Hungarians, etc.

      You can see that in Iraq, by July 2007, there were 160,000 USA army troops, and 180,000 mercenaries.

      There is a lot of information on the Web about the gigantic mercenary armies used by the Jewish-American Empire: by late 2009 they had around 242,657 mercenaries distributed throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, plus 282,000 US army troops distributed between Iraq and Afghanistan.

      http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_blackwater08.htm

    41. By Joe Blow on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Yeah, fair enough you have provided me with a source. Of course as you must have anticipated I’m a bit dubious about the reliability of your source.

      The first thing is that I think there is a bit of confusion here about the difference between “contractors” and “security contractors”. The article says there are 200,000 private contractors in Iraq (no source is provided for this assertion). That was likely true in 2007 if you are talking about all kinds of contractors that support the troops but only at most a fifth of them would have been “security contractors”.

      Likewise the article quotes several sources that say that there are tens of thousands of contractors over there NOT hundreds of thousands. For example:

      “We got [tens of thousands of] contractors over there, some of them making more than the Secretary of Defense,” House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D-Penn.) recently remarked. “How in the hell do you justify that?”

      “Petraeus told the senators that combined with Bush’s official troop surge, the,’tens of thousands of contract security forces give me the reason to believe that we can accomplish the mission.’”

      In fact the author says himself that “Despite these incidents and the tens of thousands of contractors passing through Iraq, only two individuals have been ever indicted for crimes there.”

      That seems a little contradictory if you ask me…

    42. By Joe Blow on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Yip, the author does acknowledge that not all of the “contractors” he is talking about are security contractors:

      “In part, these contractors do mundane jobs that traditionally have been performed by soldiers. Some require no military training, but involve deadly occupations, such as driving trucks through insurgent-controlled territory.

      Others are more innocuous, like cooking food or doing laundry on a base, but still court grave risk because of regular mortar and rocket attacks.

      These services are provided through companies like KBR and Fluor and through their vast labyrinth of subcontractors.”

    43. By Leon Henderson on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

      Yea Joe Blow, that “tens of thousands” thing had me puzzled but it’s such a meaninglessly ambiguous expression as to be utterly worthless for any kind of informational value anyway (it is used a lot by Imperialist governments and their corporate mass media to play down troop numbers and deceive the public about the sheer magnitude of the Imperalistic military operations that are being promulgated all over the place) so I didn’t bother to spend too much time trying to decipher it. The big number is what counts – it is the real one, and this fact is borne out by many other political/military analysts on many other websites (although these others are mostly about the year 2009, because a lot is known about the US federal army and mercenary numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009: the knowledge is because of lots of leaked pentagon documents, and also due to whistleblowers and other informants).

      Here is a website that has got the federal troop and mercenary numbers in 2008 and 2009 in Iraq/Afghanistan:

      http://createperfection.hubpages.com/hub/US-Hired-Mercenaries-Outweigh-Troops-in-Afghanistan-and-Iraq

    44. By Joe Blow on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Once again the article is talking about “contractors” of which only a small proportion actually do security or have a job that even closely resembles what might be termed a mercenary.

      I give up! You’re not listening anyway…

    45. By Leon Henderson on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

      All you ever do, Joe Blow, everywhere all over Scoop is try and promote the Corporate Establishment Status-Quo version of everything.

      Elyse thinks you are a Troll.

      I go further and strongly suspect you are an operative for Mossad.

    46. By Leon Henderson on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

      Hey Joe Blow, here you can take a look at your Jew-Backed Islamic Terrorist Leader Hashim Thaci who was, by International Law, illegally made “president” of Kosovo by the Jews:

      http://www.politicalforum.com/russia-eastern-europe/104049-hashim-thaci-terrorist-leader-kosovo-ordered-political-assassinations.html

      You had better run to your Mossad bosses to try and “explain” this away!

      Let’s see your “answer” from Mossad!

    47. By Leon Henderson on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

      Stuffed up with the above post, Joe Blow: am on dial-up, and can only “operate” on the Web at an agonisingly slow “snails-pace” at the best of times.

      Had crawled with agonising slowness to the website (about your Jewish-Backed Muslim Kosovo Liberation Terrorist Leader) from which the URL to it was grabbed after reading the first paragraph.

      Can do much better! Intend to do so!

    48. By Leon Henderson on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

      Put this in yer “Pipe” Joe Blow:

      http://www.antiwar.com/orig/balkanterror.html

      You will be choking on it!

    49. By Joe Blow on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Once again this is a one way conversation with you turning me into Mossad when I don’t agree with you. I’ve resisted turning you into a stereotypical neo-Nazi Leon and therefore I would have hoped to be treated with the same respect.

      Thaci should be tried in the Hague. I hope this will happen one day. My personal hero Carla del Ponte can be thanked for the possibility of justice being done for Thaci’s victims one day, but I already suggested you read her book a long time ago… I guess you were as usual not listening to me…

    50. By Leon Henderson on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

      Just because you believe that the BBC, Joe Blow, is so-called “authoritative” does not mean that anyone else does.

      You can read about their lies here:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25648

    51. By Leon Henderson on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

      Thaci dragged to the Hague????

      That only illegally happens to Serbian Soldaten Joe Blow.

      Not Islamic Terrorists like Thaci.

      Only Christian Russian Orthodox Serbians Joe Blow.

    52. By Leon Henderson on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

      Do not know where on Werewolf to say this, but it has to be said:

      Ronald MacDonald McKinnon, the National Party “Foreign Minister” (a lifelong groveller at the feet of the the Americans/Jews) preposterously claimed recently that New Zealand “Has Always” “Been A Friend Of China”.

      What unutterable lies!

      Does this imbecile think that the Chinese are stupid???

    53. By Joe Blow on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      They may very well try Thaci. Stranger things have happened like they tried his predecessor Haradinaj who is now set to face a retrial due to witness intimidation.

      Look don’t lecture me on relying on mainstream media and government sources. You yourself relied on statistics from the US Department of Defence in your link to supposedly show that there were 200,000 “mercenaries” in Iraq while most of the articles you give me links to rely on highly selective references to mainstream media. For example, the link you pasted above refers to the NYTimes, business insider, LA Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Business Week, The telegraph, the Financial Times, the Economist, Reuters, CNN, CNBC, the Guardian, Moodys, Forbes, The Australian, and the BBC to name but a few. You’re just reading other people’s interpretations of mainstream media… Hell the BBC along with every other mainstream news agency has published the findings of the Council of Europe about suspected organ trafficing by Thaci and his thugs. The investigation is already underway:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14706242

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