Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

When the Marja Farmers Don’t Come Home

This New York Times piece about farmers in Marja voting with their feet is perhaps the clearest evidence yet that the holding phase of February’s massive

Stefano Mclaughlin
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | May 17, 2010

This New York Times piece about farmers in Marja voting with their feet is perhaps the clearest evidence yet that the “holding” phase of February’s massive NATO/Afghan invasion of the Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province is going poorly:

Over 150 families have fled Marja in the last two weeks, according to the Afghan Red Crescent Society in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

Marja residents arriving here last week, many looking bleak and shell-shocked, said civilians had been trapped by the fighting, running a gantlet of mines laid by insurgents and firefights around government and coalition positions. The pervasive Taliban presence forbids them from having any contact with or taking assistance from the government or coalition forces.

“People are leaving; you see 10 to 20 families each day on the road who are leaving Marja due to insecurity,” said a farmer, Abdul Rahman, 52, who was traveling on his own. “It is now hard to live there in this situation.”

More than once, I’ve heard from officials involved in the Marja operation that a key metric for determining success is watching the locals return home and rebuild their lives. It’s worth noting that the farmers fleeing Marja for the relative safety of Lashkar Gah don’t evidently express hostility toward the Marines who spearheaded the February invasion. They express discontent and anger over the inability of the NATO and Afghan government forces to actually protect them from Taliban fighters who are deeply embedded within the structure of Marja:

More Taliban fighters have arrived in recent weeks, slipping in with the itinerant laborers who came to work the poppy harvest and staying on to fight, villagers and officials said. Haji Gul Muhammad Khan, tribal adviser to the governor of Helmand Province, said he had reports of Taliban arriving in the area in the last three or four days.

Everyone in Marja knows the Taliban, since they are village men who never left the area although they quit fighting soon after the military operation. Gradually they found a stealthier way of operating, moving around in small groups, often by motorbike or on foot.

An intimidated population is not going to provide intelligence for NATO or Afghan government forces to adequately distinguish between civilians and insurgents. That makes it less likely to remove the sources of such intimidation. And that’s a downward spiral.

Stefano Mclaughlin | For the first five years of his career, Stefano worked as a financial advisor on state and local tax matters, developing internal marketing technology for his multinational tax business. With over 12 years of experience designing high-performance web applications and interactive interactions, Stefano is now a marketing technology specialist and founder.


Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen

Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight

Source: Flickr; Republicanconference ( On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight

Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment

In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep

Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!

The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store

Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public

Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs

Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability

Rep. Pete Stark Won’t Dignify Constituent by, er, Micturating Upon His Leg

In the tradition of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark revealed at a recent town hall gathering that there are limits to what

Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan

Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |

Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.