Establishment Republicans Want to Give Taliban More MoneySubmitted by James_Madison_Lives on Sat, 11/06/2010 - 18:37
And why wouldn't they? The war is making everyone rich (except us, who pay the bill.) Reported practically before the ballots in all the states had been counted:
WASHINGTON: Republican lawmakers who now control the US House of Representatives said on Thursday that they would try to prevent President Barack Obama from withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan as he planned...
Now, thanks to Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), we know that at least 20% of Pentagon contract funds for overland transportation of military supplies goes to insurgents, as payment for not attacking the truck convoys. This means up to $400 million a year goes directly to financing the Taliban and its allies. To put that in context, the Taliban hierarchy's income from opium profits is estimated at about $300 million a year. This is not small leakage. If the Pentagon gave the Taliban anymore, it should be issued stock.
The name of the Tierney subcommittee's full report is "Warlord, Inc."
It's no mystery why Establishment Republicans would want to misread the Tea Party victories as a mandate to keep financing the Taliban. No Taliban, no war. No war, no hand-over-fist money making for campaign contributors who'll take care of them once they are out of office in one way or the other. Son we are talking gigantic gobs of cushy jobs, stock options, likker, DC madams forever YEE HAW!!
And so far this has cost you, according to economist Joe Stiglitz, around $50,000 since 2001 for every typical American family. Did someone say war is a racket? Of course it's all going on the Chinese credit card until it maxes out.
Could this story get any worse? Yes. Not only are we paying for insecurity and hatred due to the civilian casualties, night raids based on faulty information, and drone attacks which leave Afghans begging us to tell them why we are doing this to them, we could easily have the very opposite, real security, a people allied with us in the region who would hunt down Al Qaeda themselves, and a prospering Central Asian economy, for about one-tenth the price. When politicians intone gravely "we don't do nation-building" they may as well be saying "we don't do things the cheap, smart way that works for national security. No damned profit."
"The conventional wisdom is that education and development are impossible in insecure parts of Afghanistan that the Taliban control. That view is wrong."
Mortensen says that by consulting tribal elders and insuring most work is done by locals, meaningful development can progress.
Kristof went to Kabul to talk to men in a shanty town on the outskirts and reported:
What intrigues me is that the men don’t seem particularly ideological...These men say that their preference would be to get regular jobs and live in peace. But there are no jobs, and now they are being told that they will be kicked out of their camp. They say the threatened expulsion is the result of a corrupt land deal by tycoons tied to the government of President Hamid Karzai. "If the government forces us out, then we’ll have to go and join the Taliban and fight..."
And the Taliban will have money to hire them. Yours. Everyone knows the Taliban pays ten bucks a day. That's called good money in these parts. You might not like the work, but that's who's hiring.
And the war and the non-reconstruction will roll merrily along while them good old boys in Washington par-TAY with all the likker and wimmin money can bah.