» Friday, February 23, 2007


Asked when the Prime Minister announced that troops were coming back from Iraq did the Prime Minister know that more troops were to be sent to Afghanistan, the PMS said as always troop numbers are kept under constant review, but these matters would be for the Defence Secretary to announce.  Asked if there was a linkage between a withdrawal from one area and the increase in another, the PMS said if she were to answer that question that would be undermining what she had just said about it being for the Defence Secretary to comment on.  Asked if the Defence Secretary was making a statement to the House on Monday, the PMS said that any announcement would be for the Defence Secretary, as would the timing of any statement.  Put to the PMS that reporters can be told about announcements in advance, the PMS said that it was a matter for Parliament and the Defence Secretary and it was appropriate that they make any announcement.

Asked why it was that the Defence Secretary got to announce bad news for families of troops going in to Afghanistan, but for the Prime Minister to announce good news of troops coming out of Iraq, the PMS said it did not matter how many different ways reporters tried to get the her to answer the question of a statement she would not be drawn. 

Undeterred, asked regardless of what the Defence Secretary may announce on Monday, when the Prime Minister was in Riga last year assurances were given by other NATO partners regarding troops numbers, is the Prime Minister satisfied with his other NATO partners that they are pulling there weight where troop numbers are concerned, the PMS said that the issue of troops from other countries was primarily a matter for NATO. 

Put to her that the NATO commander was disappointed with troops numbers and if the Prime Minister shared the commander’s view, the PMS said she wasn’t going to comment on another’s views.

Put to the PMS that when the PMOS was asked earlier in the week about announcements by the Defence Secretary the PMOS had said that there were no announcements, why then could the PMS not comment about statements on Monday, the PMS said that the PMOS was asked specifically if the Defence Secretary was going to make a statement on Afghanistan in the next two days and that the PMOS had given a straight and factual answer to that question.  Asked if that was a little pedantic, the PMS said no, that it was a factual answer to a question. 

Asked if the Prime Minister was keen for more troops to come from other countries for Afghanistan why were we sending more troops instead of others, the PMS said that the reporter’s questions was yet another attempt to get the PMS to answer a question about troop deployment.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news


  1. As the policy crumbles we continue to be told that in Afghanistan things are going so well. But the findings of the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in a survey financed by USAID, an arm of the US government say otherwise. This comes on the heels of a report by the Senlis Council in Canada, fully detailed on Deficient Brain recently, exposing the full extent of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
    The CSIS report, entitled Breaking Point: Measuring Progress In Afghanistan 2007, is based on a wide ranging survey that includes thousands of interviews with ordinary Afghans and analysis of news stories and opinion polls.
    It makes grim reading for those who claim that, unlike Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan has a chance of success. Ming Campbell says ‘winnable’ in an uncharacteristic moment of madness.
    Every indicator shows not only that 2006 was a bad year for the occupation, but that the situation will get worse.
    The latest report follows similar CSIS surveys, conducted over the last few years, which painted a rose-tinted portrait of the occupation. CSIS warns that much of this optimism has evaporated. Since 2005 conditions in the country have led to the growing isolation of the US-backed government in Kabul. The President of Afghanistan is referred to as the Mayor of Kabul by most of the population. The report concludes that popular \x93expectations have not been met\x94. Ordinary Afghans have lost faith in the government, security, social services, justice system and democracy. Even those who support the occupation now doubt it has a long term future.
    The cause of this failure is the very institutions put in place after the US invasion in 2001.

    The survey found that the legitimacy of the government has \x93deteriorated\x94, with Hamid Karzai, the president, running an administration riddled with nepotism and corruption. The CSIS report blames \x93abusive elements in the government, police and local commanders\x94.
    Despite the much publicised building of new courts and police stations, the survey found that most ordinary people prefer justice to be dispensed by tribal authorities, as many cannot afford to bribe judges or pay court costs.
    Even the Afghan army, on which the future stability of the occupation depends, is unable to retain new recruits. The insurgents are winning over disillusioned soldiers and pay four times the rate of the national army \x96 despite it receiving billions of dollars of US military aid. The army \x93remains ineffective and held in low esteem\x94.

    The vast majority of Afghans, who make their living in agriculture, are sinking deeper into poverty and are forced to grow opium poppies to survive. Even here money matters, as the poorest are unable to bribe local officials to save their crop from US?sponsored eradication programmes.

    Five years into the occupation basic services remain nonexistent. The capital Kabul only gets two hours of electricity a day, while the rest of the country is left in darkness.
    The most shocking finding for the supporters of the occupation \x96 and those who want more troops to be sent there \x96 is that the occupation is fuelling insurgency.
    \x93Nato and the US\x92s \x91big army\x92 military operations and emphasis on foot soldier \x91kills\x92 are doing more damage than good,\x94 the report warns. \x93The ensuing collateral damage in a culture that emphasises revenge has created \x91ten enemies out of one\x92 and has disillusioned most Afghans.\x94

    These conclusions fly in the face of repeated press statements from Nato officials that overstate the number of insurgents they kill \x96 and blame civilian deaths on the Taliban.
    Although the bulk of the fighting is restricted to the south and east, insecurity is growing across the country, with Kabul becoming increasingly unstable.
    Last week a rally of 25,000 in Kabul demanding an amnesty for those accused of war crimes rapidly turned into a protest against the occupation. Groups of demonstrators marched around the capital chanting, \x93Death to America,\x94 and \x93Death to the enemies of Afghanistan.\x94
    The report notes that while the Taliban forms the bulk of the resistance, it has grown to include many anti-occupation forces. Insurgents have become more sophisticated, adpating their tactics and fielding \x93battalion size forces\x94.
    Seema Patel, one of the report\x92s authors, told a seminar in Washington on 23 February that the survey results are distorted by more \x93positive statements\x94 in the media, government and aid agencies. Ordinary Afghans are more pessimistic, she said.
    The departing US commander in Afghanistan, General Karl Eikenberry, told the US Congress earlier this month that \x93a point could be reached at which the government of Afghanistan becomes irrelevant to its people, and the goal of establishing a democratic, moderate, self-sustaining state could be lost forever.\x94
    \x93We find his predictions are in line with our findings,\x94 Patel said. Link to full report below:


    Comment by Tony — 27 Feb 2007 on 10:29 pm | Link
  2. http://rattube.com/blog1/2007/02/26/the-smoking-gun-wtc7-bbc-jumps-the-gun/


    The BBC reported that World Trade Centre Building 7 collapsed – 20 minutes before it actually happened! How is this possible unless the BBC had prior knowledge? Please watch the videos and judge for yourself. This is dynamite!!

    Comment by BBC-Busted!! — 28 Feb 2007 on 6:33 am | Link

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