Reply to Obama’s State of Union Speech

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from the website of Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan

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January 29, 2014

In his State of the Union Address to the American nation, President Obama reaffirmed his country’s commitment to a unified Afghanistan.

President Karzai welcomed these remarks, which indeed is a reaffirmation of Afghanistan’s long-standing position and called it in the good interest of the two countries’ bilateral relations. 

As any timeline for signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was put aside in the address, the President called it positive and believes that the two countries can work together with patience and due diligence in helping Afghanistan’s peace process to start.

President Karzai urges that it is time now to put an end to the negative propaganda against Afghanistan.

The President stresses that it is peace that assures a country’s stability, progress and unity, and it is for this reason that Afghanistan considers the effective and public launch of the peace process as the key prerequisite for signing the BSA.

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http://president.gov.af/en/news/28802

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Shrapnel From Afghanistan III

kianpakistan-0441

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Historic Shrapnel #20

Despite Pakistan’s assertion that the Taliban had solid Afghan roots, these had atrophied over time and would be hard to rebuild.  Taliban ideology was more Pakistani than Afghan, and while its popularity surged in Pakistan’s NWFP, fewer Afghans saw it as a model for the future.  Its Pakistani-based leadership could not wage an insurgency without the recruits, bases, and safe refuge it had access to there.  If Pakistan ever reversed its policy of support, as it did to Mullah Omar in 2001, the insurgency in Afghanistan would be dealt a fatal blow…

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Historic Shrapnel #21

The Taliban’s condemnation of the Karzai regime as subservient to the United States looked hypocritical in light of their own subservience to Pakistani interests…

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pict58

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excerpts from the book

Afghanistan

A Cultural and Political History

by Thomas Barfield

2010

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Historic Shrapnel #22

Afghanistan had always been the “other war” under the Bush administration, starved of resources, attention, and troops in favor of Iraq.  By mid-2009 that status was reversed.  The number of casualties and war costs in Afghanistan exceeded those in Iraq for the first time.  The first surge of seventeen thousand U.S. troops was designed to both provide greater security for the Afghan election in August 2009 and lay the foundation of a new counterinsurgency strategy.  That strategy was confirmed in December when after months of deliberation, President Obama announced the dispatch of another thirty thousand additional troops to Afghanistan, putting U.S. forces over the one hundred thousand mark in 2010.  The planned size of the Afghan army and police was also greatly increased…

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kamdesh_136

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Historic Shrapnel #23

Afghanistan was the only place in the region that the United States had a direct presence that could prevent the reconsolidation of Islamic extremists, and serve as a base for responses to potential state collapse in the surrounding countries of central Asia and Pakistan.  And the fear that nuclear-armed Pakistan might either disintegrate in the face of an Islamist insurgency or that its government could be seized by a radicalized military faction that supported the insurgency’s cause gave a U.S. presence in Afghanistan even more importance.  As had many foreign powers before it, the United States found its Afghan policy as much driven by events in south and central Asia as those within Afghanistan itself…

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Historic Shrapnel #24

Qandahar in the south, Mazar in the north, Kabul in the east, and Herat in the west, remain the leading cities that dominate their own large regions in Afghanistan…

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Historic Shrapnel #25

Both the United States and India have given priority to eliminating the power of radical Islamists, and hence are more in sympathy with each other than either is with Pakistan.  Such an alliance, if it were to occur, would mark the end of the cold war legacy that has undergirded U.S. support of Pakistan for more than a half century…

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Historic Shrapnel #26

Pride in the past is no bar to change in the future.  Perhaps the best recent example of this was the Pashtun leader, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, in the NWFP.  Inspired by Mohandas Gandhi, he founded the nonviolent Khudai Khitmatgar (“Servants of God”).  After taking an oath to foreswear violence, retaliation, and revenge, its eight thousand members divided into trained regiments, and devoted themselves to village improvement, education, and reform.  They also led the resistance to British rule in the region in which hundreds of their members lost their lives in nonviolent protests in the 1930s.  When the British left India, Ghaffar Khan remained a gadfly.  He was jailed by the Pakistani government in the 1960s when he protested against military dictators there.  That such a nonviolent movement could emerge and thrive in a culture that had raised revenge to a holy principle should caution anyone against believing that people or cultures are forever prisoners of the past.  It also stands as a challenge to the Afghans themselves to take the lead in breaking the cycle of violence that has generated so much suffering for so little benefit for far too long.

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edited by Rawclyde!

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Afghaneeland Adventure Series

SHEENA_01_007p_col_2

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verse

starring Col. Sheena Johnson & Capt’n Chuck Fiddler

by

Rawclyde

!

~

prologue

The New Cartoon Afghaneeland

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/the-new-cartoon-afghaneeland

~

episode one

The Legend Of Col. Sheena Johnson

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/the-legend-of-colonel-sheena-johnson

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episode two

Col. Johnson Wakes Up In Pluckame

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/col-johnson-wakes-up-in-pluckame

~

episode three

The Colonel’s Arrow Hits Its Mark

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/the-colonels-arrow-hits-its-mark

~

episode four

Afterglow

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/afterglow

~

episode five

Sheena Time!

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/sheena-time

~

episode six

She Who Is Obeyed

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/she-who-is-obeyed

~

episode seven

Col. Johnson & The Holy War

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/col-johnson-the-holy-war

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episode eight

Blue Burqa Destiny

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/blue-burqa-destiny

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episode nine

The Strange Reality Of Afghaneeland

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/the-strange-reality-of-afghaneeland

~

episode ten

Lament For Long-Gone Col. Johnson

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/long-gone-col-johnson-lament

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episode eleven

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/captn-chuck-fiddler

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episode twelve

Burqa Time

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/burqa-time

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episode thirteen

Dervish Whirl

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/dervish-whirl

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episode fourteen

Taliban Polka

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/taliban-polka

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episode fifteen

Mosque

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/mosque

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episode sixteen

Vagina Envy

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/vagina-envy

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episode seventeen

Voting-Card Envy

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/voting-card-envy

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episode eighteen

Capt’n Fiddler’s Afghanistan Vision

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/captn-chuck-fiddlers-afghanistan-vision

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episode nineteen

Reinforcements Arrive At Pluckame

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/reinforcements-arrive-at-pluckame

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episode twenty

Interlude

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/interlude

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episode twenty-one

Taliban Focus

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/taliban-focus

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episode twenty-two

Battle Aftermath In Afghaneeland

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/battle-aftermath-in-afghaneeland

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episode twenty-three

Capt’n Fiddler Parachutes Into Pluckame

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/fiddler-parachutes-into-pluckame

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episode twenty-four

A New Breed In The Village

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/a-new-breed-in-the-village

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episode twenty-five

Capt’n Fiddler’s Crash Landing

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/captn-fiddlers-crash-landing

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photo story

Hobnobbers Going Going Gone

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/hobnobbers-going-going-gone

~

episode twenty-six

Coma

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/coma

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episode twenty-seven

Coma II (Taliban Brains)

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/coma-ii

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episode twenty-eight

Coma III

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/coma-iii

~

episode twenty-nine

Rug Rats

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/rug-rats

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photo story

Capt’n Fiddler’s Sufi Bubble

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/captn-fiddlers-sufi-bubble

~

episode thirty

Floating Low Floating High

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/floating-low-floating-high

~

episode thirty-one

Floating Above Afghanistan

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/floating-above-afghanistan

~

episode thirty-two

Sufi Arrows

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/sufi-arrows-from-above

~

episode thirty-three

Flying Booger

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/flying-bugger

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episode thirty-four

An Order From Col. Sheena Johnson

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/an-order-from-col-sheena-johnson

~

episode thirty-five

Commander

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/commander

~

episode thirty-six

Transformation

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/transformation

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episode thirty-seven

The Elder Inside The Sufi Bubble

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/the-elder-inside-the-sufi-bubble

~

episode thirty-eight

Hymn Hope

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/hymn-hope

~

episode thirty-nine

Sheena’s Teepee

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/sheenas-teepee

~

episode forty

Ants

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/ants-2

~

Pop!

https://oldtimerchronicle2.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/pop

~

art above

Sheena: Queen of The Jungle

by Matt Merhoff

~

yours

truly

Also rawclyde's infinity machine...

Rawclyde

!

Shrapnel From Afghanistan II

article-2078187-0f43b3d600000578-543_634x4201

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Historic Shrapnel #9

The presence of international forces and outside aid had ended the civil war.  Millions of refugees had rapidly returned from exile in Iran and Pakistan.  A political process for creating and ratifying a constitution had run smoothly, allowing the popular election of a national leader, Hamid Karzai, for the first time in Afghan history.  On the other hand, the military and financial resources allocated to the country were grossly inadequate to provide security and improve one of the world’s lowest standards of living.  The large sums of money pledged for reconstruction first raised the expectations of ordinary Afghans to unreasonable levels, but as the years passed people had a right to be disappointed by how little was being accomplished at such great expense.  Worse, project priorities were set by the funders, not the Afghans, so they rightly questioned the wisdom of building schools and hospitals without teachers and doctors to staff them, or repairing roads with foreign labor while local people remained unemployed…

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Historic Shrapnel #10

The high point of the constitutional process came with the successful presidential election in October 2004.  While there had been parliamentary elections in the past, this was the first time in Afghan history that a national leader had ever sought electoral approval.  Karzai was therefore keen to see elections held quickly once the constitution had been approved despite the concerns of international critics, who doubted the ability of the Afghans to organize the balloting and feared that the elections would be marred by violence.  The Afghan people instead seemed genuinely motivated by the election process and turned out in large numbers, including a relatively high participation by women.  Opponents of the Karzai regime, including the Taliban, failed to disrupt the process, in part because it had such popular support.  Despite many irregularities the election was deemed relatively fair…

tribal-elders-gather-near-pakistan-border-eastern-afghanistan-20071

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excerpts from the book

Afghanistan

A Cultural and Political History

by Thomas Barfield

2010

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fighting_holes

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Historic Shrapnel #11

The U.S invasion that expelled the Taliban and al Qaeda from Afghanistan created an odd circumstance in its wake.  The usual priority among the Afghans of expelling foreign invaders was replaced by a tacit strategy of keeping them there to guarantee security and finance the development of the country.  This was because the Afghan population was looking for stability after decades of war and protection against predation by factions within Afghanistan as well as from neighbors seeking to exploit its weaknesses…

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image

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Historic Shrapnel #12

The new NATO command would take responsibility for all of Afghanistan except for the east, where the United States would retain direct control…

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Historic Shrapnel #13

 Later in the summer, British and Canadian troops deployed to Helmand and Qandahar confronted a well-armed and full-blown insurgency led by a reinvigorated Taliban…

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cop-keating

U.S. Army outpost

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Historic Shrapnel #14

There was also trouble in eastern Afghanistan, which experienced a sharp rise in cross-border attacks from Pakistan’s autonomous tribal territories, where al Queda and Taliban forces were becoming dominant…

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pict49

U.S. Army outpost

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Historic Shrapnel #15

Indeed, the strongest base for Islamists inside eastern Afghanistan was not among the Pashtuns but instead among the more remote Nuristanis in the high mountains northwest of Jalalabad…

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bundermann-romesha-larson

A foreign presence in Afghanistan

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Historic Shrapnel #16

Hekmatyar’s Hizb-i-Islami was the best known of those factions opposing a foreign presence in Afghanistan.  It was most influential in the provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar, and Nuristan.  The lack of early U.S. resistance to Hekmatyar allowed Hizb-i-Islami forces to take control of many villages in mountainous Nuristan, where they linked up with al Qaeda forces on the Pakistan side of the border.  Despite Hekmatyar’s radical rhetoric, some members of his party joined the Kabul government, and Hekmatyar hinted at a willingness to cooperate if Karzai ceded enough power to him.  A more radical insurgency based on Pastun tribal networks arose further to the south in the provinces of Paktia, Paktika, and Khost that straddled the frontier with Pakistan’s FATA.  Commanded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a prominent resistance commander against the Soviets, its greatest influence was among the resident Pashtun tribes, particularly Haqqani’s own Zadran people in Afghanistan and FATA’s north Waziristan, where he had his headquarters.  Hazzani’s influence extended well beyond the frontier.  His network orchestrated the majority of terrorist attacks in Kabul itself (at the behest of Pakistan’s ISI, according to the Afghans).  His faction also included many foreign fighters and was closer to al Qaeda than Hekmatyar’s Hizb-i-Islami…

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nuristan-donkeys-follow-the-kunar-river-south1

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Historic Shrapnel #17

The largest and most intense insurgency was centered in Qandahar and Helmand provinces, and led by Mullah Omar’s Taliban…

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Historic Shrapnel #18

The absence of any earlier economic development left the region dependent on an illicit opium economy.  This provided the Taliban with a revenue source to tax and gave them allies among those benefiting from the illicit trade.  In the absence of any significant international military presence, the Taliban were able to regroup unimpeded in any area they knew well for at least two years before NATO troops were deployed to confront them…

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Historic Shrapnel #19

While the Musharif government proved willing to hunt down foreign al Qaeda members, Pakistan still saw the Taliban as allies, and had not abandoned its goal of controlling Afghanistan through a Taliban regime or faction in the Afghan govern- ment when the United States withdrew…

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Lament for Long-Gone Col. Johnson

cannibal_bikini_by_kynokefalos-d68m8r5

Col. Sheena Johnson

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by

Rawclyde

!

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I try to report what is true

Read ‘tween the lines of stories I find

Look for photos that do not lie

Bumble & stumble around the distant war

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From an easy chair thousands of miles away

My penetration is shallow indeed

Will peace get forged one way or another in that far away land

Does anyone in America know ~ Afghanistan?

~

My infinity machine doesn’t always work right

And flying saucers are so undependable

Every time I think I’ve landed on that nation’s sand

I end up in a ridiculous bubble ~ called Afghaneeland

~

I lost the most beautiful woman on the planet Earth

Col. Sheena Johnson, U.S. Army

In the mirage-brimming bubble of Afghaneeland

A blue burqa dangling from my trembling hand

!

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(Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2014)

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afghanistan02

Afghaneeland

The Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

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top photo:

Cannibal Bikini by Kynokefalos

http://www.deviantart.com/artisan/?q=+kynokefalos

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bottom photo

courtesy of U.S. Army

http://www.goarmy.com

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