Transcript here

My, my… With Karzai in town there’s been a sudden surge in AfPak articles. Spanning the political spectrum from Breitbart’s dubious reporting: Mullah Omar Has Been Captured! To Spencer’s Windy article: Five Messages From the Obama-Karzai Press Conference…

I’d first like to expand and expound upon Spencer’s ‘listicle’ points…

1. Unity, Stand Together as One.

This point is pretty generic and I can only add that I found it interesting that ISAF/NATO rebranded the whole operation aimed at Kandahar, it is no longer Operation Hope err… Omid, it’s now called Operation Hamkari (Co-operation, in Dari… natch!)

2. The ‘Peace Jirga’ Will Be as Successful as the War Effort Allows It to Be. A reporter expressed skepticism that the Taliban will embrace any reconciliation plan offered by a forthcoming “consultative peace jirga” in Kabul. That effort has been a signature agenda item for Karzai since the January international conference on Afghanistan in London, especially since polls show that the Afghan people badly want a negotiated end to the war. But while U.S. officials have been careful to emphasize the differences between reconciliation efforts with Taliban leaders and reintegration efforts to absorb low-level Taliban fighters, Karzai instead talked about the “thousands of Taliban who are not ideologically oriented, who are not part of al-Qaeda or other terrorist networks.” Those “country boys” have been radicalized, he said, “at times, [by] misconducted by us.”

*heh* Don’t raise your hopes for the Afghan peace jirga! And about those ‘country boys’… 85% in Kandahar Call Taliban "Our Afghan Brothers"… I might add that the Taleban has already said they’d boycott the jirga… I actually saw a alemarah.info cite saying they’d do so, however, neither google, nor, yahoo would let me retrieve their statement…! The better half told me she didn’t want the FBI harassing us when I’d grumbled about it…! I told her we’re probably already high on a list some where…! She was not amused… But, I digress…!

3. Let’s Not Talk About Corruption. You’ll be shocked to hear that persistent issues in Afghan government corruption or capacity to deliver services for the Afghan people were addressed only in general terms from a joint presidential White House press conference, for all the talk about “frankness.” Karzai pledged his “dedication and extreme care to ensure” that U.S. economic aid to Afghanistan is “spent well.” Obama said that he was encouraged by Karzai’s words and initial actions since his second inaugural, but there is “more to do.”…

More to do…? You’ve already gotten in bed with his brother, Ahmid…! Which leads me to Wali’s recent asinine analogy; "I’m the Nancy Pelosi of Kandahar"… Ironically, Miz Pelosi had this to say upon her recent jaunt to Afghanistan and personal visit with Wali Karzai… "Pelosi says corruption holding back Afghanistan" Now, moving right along…

4. “Long-Term Relationship.” Three words spoken very often by both presidents. “This is a long-term partnership that is not simply defined by our military presence,” Obama said. “After July 2011, we are still going to have an interest in making sure Afghanistan is secure.” Music to Karzai’s ears. Let’s see if Obama’s political enemies continue to misrepresent July 2011 as the beginning of a U.S. troop bugout.

It would be nice if our troops bugged out like the Dutch, Canadians, and, possibly the Germans… But, that’d be a mere pipe dream like this…

5. Civilian Casualties Must Be Avoided. They’re “not just a political problem for me,” Obama said about the most inflammatory issue in Afghan eyes. “I am ultimately accountable” for every civilian death in Afghanistan. In a surprisingly personal recognition, Obama said that civilian deaths are “something I have to carry with me.” Karzai praised Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s efforts to avoid mistakenly killing Afghan civilians, but recent reports indicate those casualties are again on the rise.

More recent reports, along with this Shootings of Afghans on Rise at Checkpoints, and even this Afghanistan reports surge in civilian deaths

Now, this would truly be noble of our Peace Nobelist Prez…

Obama: I Am Accountable for Afghan Civilian Casualties

If it wasn’t for that whole ‘Pattern of Life’ thingy going on…

…So we should not be surprised to find the Obama Administration outstripping its mentors and models from the Bush years in the production of Orwellian nomenclature. Nor is it remarkable that these perversions of language are leading to further perversions of law, morality and plain common sense.

We refer to the recent story in the Los Angeles Times about the vast expansion of the CIA’s powers to murder people in Pakistan with missiles fired by robot drones. These remote-control killings were originally aimed at specific, known, named individuals suspected of being top "militant" leaders. But now, people are being targeted not because of any action they are known or alleged to have taken, but simply because they seem to fit an arbitrarily designated "pattern of life" — even if the remote-control killers don’t know the victim’s name.

This "pattern" is put together from clumps of data gathered by surveillance robots hovering high in the sky above Pakistani towns and villages, watching people as they go about their ordinary business, and from whatever bits of local gossip the CIA can glean from paid operatives raking through their neighbor’s private lives. Naturally, the CIA refuses to describe "the standards of evidence" by which it decides to kill unknown, defenseless people with missile strikes on houses, compounds and neighborhoods. And of course, the Agency claims it is targeting only "militants" (however that infinitely elastic term is being defined these days).

Yet at the same time, the Terror War operatives cannot resist boasting that they are sweeping up so much information that they can determine "the characteristics of individual people." And since is it the pattern of observed daily life that yields the designation of a person as a "militant," the CIA must inevitably be tracking countless numbers of innocent people as well. Otherwise, how could they discern specific "patterns of life" that indicate the existence of a hitherto unknown "militant" within a given population? You can only get such data by observing that population as a whole.

We truly have sunk to new lows…!