Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Want to Know What's Really Going on in Afghanistan? Listen to the Military, Not the Media

Much as they do with the so-called insurgency in Iraq, the mainstream media (MSM) is constantly telling us that the Taliban and al-Qaeda are "winning" in Afghanistan. To hear the MSM tell it, vastly outnumbered Taliban forces are about to push U.S. and NATO forces out of Aghanistan and take over the country again, all with the support of the people. That is, when they're not building schools and kissing babies. In other words, the MSM reports Taliban propaganda as if it were fact.

Thankfully, we have the men and women of the U.S. military itself to tell us what's really going on. My own source comes via "Daily Situation Reports" given by someone (who wishes to remain anonymous) serving in Afghanistan. His appraisal of the situation is quite different from that of the MSM, not to mention his straight-talking commentary on anti-war naysayers, flip-flopping politicians, Hollywood halfwits and media bias. And let's just say, he doesn't plan on losing anytime soon.

But I'll let his words speak for themselves. Two of his January reports are posted below (emphasis added):

1/27/07

Ladies and Gents, security report follows; as you can see, we have our regular report dissemination back. Couple of insights, starting to warm up here already so snow will soon melt and we will be back to fun and games again. However, there is a definitive difference going into the campaign season as opposed to last, no NATO/ISAF newbie transition.

There is a strong force assembling, unlike last year, and the combat multipliers such as Harriers and F-16s are in place. We may possibly get additional combat aircraft platforms. This is a critical year here and on 31 Jan we will get a new NATO/ISAF Commander, General Dan K McNeil. Gen McNeil was Asst Div Cdr at 2ID Korea, has Commanded the 82d Airborne Div and XVIIIth Airborne Corps. It is just a matter of our being proactive and executing a very sound operational plan, and yes, disrupting his actions cross border.

Just so you know, the Afghan official assassinated in Kabul was same Governor of Bamyan Province under the Taliban who oversaw the destruction of the Buddhist statues. Any great loss? Not in my book.

Much is changing in regards for the ANP training, perhaps we can see an overall improvement.

Lastly, will someone please tell our leftist peace lovers, opportunist Republican leaders, and Hollywood heroes that under islamic sharia law, they are no movies, art, music, freedom of speech or religion, no democratic political process, heck there is nothing but being subjugated to the rule of mullahs/clerics/imams (and they think Christians are bad). They will be told to pray five times a day and women such as Boxer, Pelosi, and even Rosie would not be allowed out of the home.

Now, we are just trying to give some people a chance and opportunity to have protests and rights like them in the future. So let us do our job over here and maybe one day Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Jane Fonda, and others can have a protest seminar in Baghdad and make action movies with Matt Damon shot on location in Uruzgan province of Afghanistan.

Tell them we are not abandoning people like we did in Vietnam resulting in how many millions being slaughtered. Tell the Congress if they cut funding these young Men and Women Warriors, and not the disgruntled ones, they will never forgive them.

1/21/07

Ladies and Gents, security report follows; there is a rumor that the fuel tankers that caught on fire here in staging area resulted from arson. Arson by the Pakistani drivers who wanted to get new trucks.

If you read in some papers Taliban propaganda states that they are going to open up their own schools this year. They can say that all they desire, but it ain't gonna happen. They certainly made a positive impact on the Afghan educational system by burning some 180 schools this past year. Now, that is what I call a religion of peace.

Not much else to report...which is kinda a good thing!

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe we should listen to a few representatives of the military who don't have a clear political axe to grind, or perhaps the defense secretary? The words of the soldier were straight from FOX Snooze - I can understand, since they're the only major "news" source allowed to reach the troops.

Gates makes first official trip to Afghanistan

The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Jan 16, 2007

KABUL, Afghanistan — Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan on Tuesday before planned meetings with NATO and U.S. military leaders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the resurgent Taliban insurgency.

It was Gates’ first trip to Afghanistan since he took over for Donald Rumsfeld last month. Gates has said several times recently that he is worried that U.S. gains in stabilizing Afghanistan could be in jeopardy as the radical Taliban movement makes a comeback in some parts of the country, particularly the south.

At NATO headquarters in Belgium on Monday, Gates said one subject he and military leaders discussed “was the increased level of violence last year and some indication that the Taliban want to increase the level of violence in 2007,” he told reporters.

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan, Gen. Karl Eikenberry, said last month that he wouldn’t be surprised to see the same level of violence in 2007 that Afghanistan saw in 2006.

Taliban militants launched a record number of attacks last year, and some 4,000 people died in insurgency related violence, according to numbers compiled by The Associated Press based on information from NATO, the U.S. and the Afghan government.

Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, called Gates’ trip “an important visit” because the U.S. was helping Afghanistan train and equip its army.

Gates said Monday that new U.S. military moves in the Persian Gulf were prompted in part by signals from Iran that it sees the United States as vulnerable in Iraq. The Pentagon decided last week to send a second aircraft carrier battle group and a Patriot anti-missile battalion to the Persian Gulf.

Elsewhere in Kabul, NATO-led troops thwarted a bombing at their base Tuesday after a man with an explosive-laden car attempted to enter inside, an alliance spokeswoman said.

The bomber was arrested and NATO ordnance experts destroyed the vehicle outside the base, said the official, who would not be named according to alliance rules. No further details were available.

Thursday, February 01, 2007 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger Lew Waters said...

Isn't Afghanistan being handled by NATO now, as demanded by Democrats?

Maybe it is others that it is incumbent upon to stand up more?

Just for you, anonymous;Right in a Left World: Why Afghanistan, Nancy?

Thursday, February 01, 2007 6:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taleban forces retake Afghan town

The British-brokered deal appears to have come to an end Taleban forces in southern Afghanistan have taken control of a town which British troops had pulled out of after a peace deal with local elders.


Some local people said they were leaving the town, Musa Qala in Helmand province, for fear of bombing raids on the Taleban by Nato forces.

US commanders and diplomats had criticised the deal.

They said it had not been done with elders but with the Taleban themselves and was not the way to defeat them.

Controversial change

The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul says the loss of Musa Qala to the Taleban is a blow to the strategy of establishing peace deals in
It comes just days before the British hand over command of Nato forces to an American general.

The Musa Qala peace deal was a controversial change of tactics for British troops in Afghanistan.

It saw them pull out of the small Helmand town as part of an agreement with the elders, who said they would keep Taleban fighters out of the town centre and run security with their own auxiliary police unit.

There has been peace for a 142 days, a British spokesman said - but that appears to have come to an end.

The Helmand governor and local people told the BBC that the Taleban had moved in overnight, arrested some of the elders who opposed them and destroyed part of the government compound.

It was this compound that British troops defended from wave after wave of attack in the summer.

Friday, February 02, 2007 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger coboble said...

To quote (not you but from the letter you posted)
“Lastly, will someone please tell our leftist peace lovers, opportunist Republican leaders, and Hollywood heroes that under Islamic sharia law, they are no movies, art, music, freedom of speech or religion, no democratic political process, heck there is nothing but being subjugated to the rule of mullahs/clerics/imams (and they think Christians are bad). They will be told to pray five times a day and women such as Boxer, Pelosi, and even Rosie would not be allowed out of the home.”

What really bothers me about such statements as the above, is that they completely mis-represent the view of the left (at least those I know in the left).
The statement assumes that the Left doesn’t understand what would happen if Islam were forced upon us, as opposed to not agreeing with either the nature of the threat or the solution to the threat.

This type of statement is better used in an argument against the right, when the right tries to blame the 911 attacks on the left being more accepting, than the right, of some small subset of the behaviors the Islamists find offensive (not that I have heard you make this particular claim, or back it up, but I haven’t read all of your stuff yet either).

Saturday, February 03, 2007 9:47:00 PM  
Blogger diurnalist said...

"The statement assumes that the Left doesn’t understand what would happen if Islam were forced upon us, as opposed to not agreeing with either the nature of the threat or the solution to the threat."

Then please explain the REAL nature of the threat. And maybe you can give us the solution too.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thankfully, we have the men and women of the U.S. military itself to tell us what's really going on."

A laughably absurd notion. Yes, and thankfully we have the men and women of the US Tobacco Industry itself to tell us that smoking is perfectly healthy.

In the first place, the vast majority of US servicepeople cannot speak with candor to you, me or anyone else. To communicate with the media about how we're doing in any kind of critical way will result in something between a reprimand and a court-martial for treason. Soldiers CANNOT speak their minds.

But retired officers and soldiers can, and they've been overwhelmingly critical of how the war has been waged. Take, for example retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, commander of the 1st Infantry in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, and senior military assistant to Secretary Wolfowitz -- or retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who was responsible for training Iraq's military and police in 2003 and 2004. Both of these top generals -- with far more expertise, experience and information than the anonymous soldier you quoted -- described the Bush administration's leadership and policies in Iraq as "incompetent" and the situation there today as essentially hopeless.

Try Googling "retired general critical war iraq" and you'll find example after example of top military men and women who acknowledge that the war was lost from the get-go. But I'm sure you'll just dismiss them as having axes to grind.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 3:09:00 PM  

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