Saturday morning 24-10-2009 at around 10 am local time, Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed a patrol of the British invader forces in Baba jee Gul ikhtiar area in Lashkargah city in Helmand province, in the ambush the Mujahideen killed three and wounded two British terrorists. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: 6 NATO terrorists killed and a tank destroyed in Paktia.
A Kandahar police official said a U.S. military convoy opened fire on a civilian vehicle, killing a child, two women and a man. A spokesman for NATO was unable to confirm the age and gender of the casualties.
A former United Nations official in Afghanistan has told Al Jazeera that the world body must act to prevent the presidential runoff election on November 7 from becoming a repeat of the "disaster" of August's first round. Peter Galbraith, who was fired from his post after speaking about the widespread fraud in the first round, said that many polling stations where fraud took place should not be reopened and many members of the Afghan election commission should be replaced. Some polling stations reported more than 100 per cent turnout while others saw ballots hugely favouring one candidate.
American forces in Afghanistan have opened fire on a vehicle killing four civilian aboard, including a woman and two children. Countless number of civilians have lost their lives since the 2001 US-led invasion of the country. Uruknet: Kandahar: US troops kill child, two Afghan women.
We've just posted a short excerpt from our footage with the pilots who fly unmanned Predator and Reaper planes over Iraq and Afghanistan. The planes are in the war zones; the pilots are at an Air Force base in the desert north of Las Vegas. FFF: Drone Assassinations Are Only Making Things Worse. AntiWar: At Least 80 Killed as US Drones Attack South Waziristan Funeral Procession. The Guardian: US now trains more "drone operators" (assassins) than pilots.
A earthquake of magnitude 6.2 has shaken buildings across northern Afghanistan and Pakistan. The earthquake was centred in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake was felt in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, Al Jazeera's correspondents reported.
As public support for the Afghan war rapidly falls in NATO countries, the head of the alliance has stepped up efforts to keep member-states united. On Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke before a meeting with alliance defense ministers in Bratislava on a "new approach" against the widening "Taliban insurgency". AP: Gates: NATO sending more troops to Afghanistan.
Runoff May Be Even Less Credible Than August Vote. With just two weeks until the planned Afghanistan runoff vote, the United Nations is scrambling to make changes in the hopes that the balloting will be at least somewhat less fraud-ridden  than the last one. The first move is to oust hundreds of top election officials that are believed to have played a role in the million plus fraudulent ballots cast in August. Other measures are expected, but time is not on their side.
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney accused the White House of dithering over the strategy for the war in Afghanistan and urged President Barack Obama to "do what it takes to win". "Make no mistake. Signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries," Mr Cheney said while accepting an award from a conservative national security group, the Centre for Security Policy. Salon: Cheney says U.S. "has never lost its moral bearings".
We Call for the United States to End Its Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan! October, 2009. This may be a turning point for the expanding U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a time when speaking out clearly and unambiguously against war can make a crucial difference. Today we see signs all too reminiscent of the step-by-step deepening of the U.S. commitment to the war in Vietnam in the 1960’s. In response, we declare ourselves firmly against military escalation in the region and for the withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan and Pakistan now. We also call for an end to drone attacks in both countries.
There are currently 108,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan. President Obama has authorized increasing U.S. forces by 21,000, which will mean more than 68,000 U.S. troops by the end of 2009. In view of the war’s growing unpopularity, Obama may very well abandon troop escalation. Reportedly, some in the Administration even recommended reducing U.S. forces and focusing more on strikes against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But even a scaled-back military presence constitutes an illegitimate occupation, one that wreaks havoc on the lives of innocent civilians and can only strengthen the Taliban and terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda. Please join in signing the statement below. Your support can make a difference.
President Obama cheered the move as “an important step forward” and insisted that it strengthened the Afghan government. US officials were careful not to mention that the reason for the runoff was that over a million of Karzai’s votes were found to be fraudulent. AntiWar: Early Snowfall Could Derail Afghan Runoff.
The horrors of the US Agent Orange defoliation campaign in Vietnam, about which I wrote on Oct. 15, could ultimately be dwarfed by the horrors caused by the depleted uranium weapons which the US began using in the 1991 Gulf War (300 tons), and which it has used much more extensively--and in more urban, populated areas--in the Iraq War and the now intensifying Afghanistan War + Pakistan + Iran .
Gates is urging the administration to hurry up and make its decision, insisting they can’t afford to wait for the Afghan government to become legitimate. US Seems None Too Worried About Afghan Vote Fraud: 'It's Now Up to the Afghans to Make This Legitimate'
International observers have called for an election run-off in Afghanistan after a United Nations-backed fraud watchdog invalidated tens of thousands of votes for president Hamid Karzai in the disputed first round of polling. Allegations of widespread corruption in the 20 August vote have fanned tensions between Mr Karzai and western governments, whose troops are fighting a resurgent Taleban in Afghanistan. Al Jazeera: Fraud pushes Karzai to poll runoff.
President Barack Obama's review of strategy in Afghanistan means America will end up making a deal with the Taliban, and tolerating warlords, to end the fighting. Down a rutted street in a quiet suburb of south Kabul lives a man the CIA once locked in a cage for months as an enemy combatant. Seven years later, Mullah Wakil Ahmed Mutawakkil, 38, who served as foreign minister when the Taliban ran Afghanistan, may prove to be President Barack Obama's best chance of ending the gruelling war in Afghanistan - by enabling negotiations with America's enemies. PressTV: US helpless in halting Taliban's financial network.
A panel probing fraud claims in the Afghan election has found Hamid Karzai did not gain enough valid votes for an outright win, the BBC understands. Preliminary results from August's first round had placed Mr Karzai comfortably over the 50% plus one vote threshold needed to avoid a run-off. Al Jazeera: Karzai vote 'below 50 per cent'. The Guardian: Obama's chief of staff links troop surge to 'credible Afghan partner'. AntiWar: Obama Delays Afghan Escalation Decision, Citing Election Uncertainty (US Still Hoping for 'Credible and Legitimate' Election).
Eight years. We've been in Afghanistan longer than any other war in American history. The party of the president who invaded Afghanistan has been repudiated at the polls. Yet we still haven't altered the flawed strategy that allowed uneducated tribesmen with outdated weapons to defeat us year after year. We haven't learned a thing.
25,000 Full Time "Insurgents" Fighting in Afghanistan. The intelligence community now believes that the Taliban has 25,000 full time fighters on its side, an increase of 5,000 over the estimate from the previous year and quite a hike considering the the large numbers of Taliban the US claims to have killed on a fairly regular basis.
UK media: McChrystal will get his troop surge. Despite a vehement denial from the White House, another British news source is claiming the Obama administration has decided in favor of a significant troop increase for Afghanistan. AntiWar: Report: Obama Poised to Announce 45,000 Troop Escalation in Afghanistan. + Backdoor Escalation: Obama is smooth-talking his way into the Afghan quagmire.
When ten French soldiers were killed last year in an ambush by Afghan insurgents in what had seemed a relatively peaceful area, the French public were horrified. Their revulsion increased with the news that many of the dead soldiers had been mutilated — and with the publication of photographs showing the militants triumphantly sporting their victims’ flak jackets and weapons. The French had been in charge of the Sarobi area, east of Kabul, for only a month, taking over from the Italians; it was one of the biggest single losses of life by Nato forces in Afghanistan. BBC: Afghan ambush kills French troops.
Tuesday night 13-10-2009 at around 11 pm local time, Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with rocket shot down an American invaders army helicopter killing all onboard in Tangi area in Ghorak district of Kandahar province. Mujahideen in the region said: the helicopter caught fire after being hit by the rocket in the air, and fell to the ground after a few minutes. The copter was hit when the American invaders were getting ready to launch an operation against the Mujahideen.
“Make no mistake, we are experts in the application of violence.” This statement, delivered by a US Marine commander to troops going into Afghanistan’s Helmand province, serves as the suitably sober beginning of “Obama’s War,” an hour-long documentary aired by the Public Broadcasting System’s “Frontline” Tuesday night. Not considered in the film are underlying strategic objectives: “[We are] there”—in a war prepared well before 9/11—in pursuit of US hegemony in Central Asia, one of the principal sources of energy on the planet. Nor does the film have much use for history. Unmentioned is the fact that US military involvement in Afghanistan began 30 years ago, with Washington providing billions of dollars in arms and funding to provoke and sustain a protracted war against a Soviet-backed government in Kabul. This history is not merely ignored; it is falsified.
Yahya was killed in a raid by U.S. and Afghan forces on Oct. 8. For the past year he had been the target of numerous American efforts to neutralize him and his fighters, who, by most accounts, never numbered more than 200. “Ghulam Yahya was against the murdering foreigners who have occupied our country,” said Amrullah, a young resident of Siyawooshan, while tears streamed down his face. “They promised prosperity, but all they did was set Afghans fighting each other.”
The combined US troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan have now reached a higher level than existed at any time under the presidency of George W. Bush. This surge past the record set by its predecessor marks another grim milestone in the Obama administration’s escalation of American militarism. In addition to the 21,000 US soldiers and Marines that Obama ordered deployed to Afghanistan as part of the escalation he unveiled last March, another 13,000 “support” troops are being quietly sent to the country with no official announcement, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. This stealth buildup is a replay of the methods used by the Bush administration in its Iraq surge, when it announced the deployment of an additional 20,000 combat troops while saying nothing about the 8,000 support troops sent with them. AntiWar: Report: Obama Poised to Announce 45,000 Troop Escalation in Afghanistan. + Backdoor Escalation: Obama is smooth-talking his way into the Afghan quagmire.
Tortured Law, a new 10-minute documentary by Alliance for Justice, examines the role U.S. lawyers played in authorizing torture. Join those calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to release the report of the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility, and hold accountable those who ordered, designed, and justified torture. You can join the call by signing Alliance for Justice's petition: http://ga1.org/campaign/release_torture_memos
The additional forces are primarily support forces -- such as engineers, medical personnel, intelligence experts and military police -- the Post said, bringing the total buildup Obama has approved for the war-torn nation to 34,000. "Obama authorized the whole thing. The only thing you saw announced in a press release was the 21,000," a defense official familiar with the troop-approval process told the daily. PressTV: US mulling Chaosistan plan for Afghanistan. The Guardian: Obama quietly deploying 13,000 more US troops to Afghanistan. Online Journal: McChrystal demands bloodshed. PressTV: Brown to announce Afghan troop surge.
As the Obama administration considers a request for the deployment of as many as 60,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, the current 100,000-strong US and NATO occupation force is continuing to suffer casualties at an unprecedented rate.
An Afghan member of a UN-backed panel investigating fraud in the presidential election has resigned saying foreigners are "interfering" in its work. Mustafa Barakzai was one of two Afghans on the five-member Electoral Complaints Commission. He said Afghans had little input in the body's key decisions. The commission is due to rule this week on the outcome of its investigations. Google/AP: Afghan member of panel investigating vote resigns. Time.com: How the Afghan Election Was Rigged. RAWA: UN official says ‘widespread fraud’ in Afghan vote. + The time to leave Afghanistan is now. Metro: 'White House will pick Afghan leader': [August 18, 2009] Are you hopeful about tomorrow’s elections? The election is a showcase of the US government. We have a famous saying that it’s not important who is voting, it’s important who is counting. The next president of Afghanistan will be selected behind the closed doors of the White House.
My closest Afghan friend held out his Taliban-era photo. A decade younger, he had a thick black beard that the oppressive regime forced men to grow. My friend won't grow one again. He is already thinking about when to flee. As generals, politicians and pundits in Washington debate the next best step for America's eight-year war in Afghanistan, the Taliban takes new territory by the day, despite the record 64,000 U.S. troops here.
As Afghanistan's eight-year-old war is claiming countless lives, a new report says that the United States has not reached its civilian goals in the war-ravaged country. The New York Times reported on Sunday that Washington was falling far short of its goals in fighting Afghanistan's endemic corruption, creating a functioning government and legal system and training a police force.
President Obama is coming under attack from the Right for his reluctance to grant the request of General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, for more U.S. troops. On the other side of the equation sits the majority of the American people, who are against sending more troops and in fact oppose this seemingly endless war that has now entered year nine. Obama should go with the people and set a timetable to get our troops out of Afghanistan as soon as is practically possible, which should be less than one year. Their presence cannot contribute to bringing peace and security to that country, nor does it contribute to the security of the United States. In fact, the occupation of Afghanistan is making things worse on both counts.
Ajmal Khan, 55, could not believe his ears when he heard about US President Barack Obama’s surprise win of the Nobel Peace Prize. "I don't think he deserves the peace prize," Khan, a Pakistani mechanical engineer, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, October 10. "Has he done anything special to bring peace in the world? Killing goes on in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in other countries. Obama was granted the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 on Friday, for his "extraordinary" efforts in international diplomacy and hastening nuclear disarmament. "If the category is peace, he doesn't deserve the peace prize," said Nadeem Umtaz, 49, a salesman in Islamabad. "The situation keeps getting worse in Pakistan and Afghanistan. "I think he got the prize because he's a powerful man, that's all," he said.
McChrystal has presented Obama with three scenarios for troop deployments in Afghanistan. In one, the US would commit 60,000 more soldiers. In the second—that for which McChrystal has publicly campaigned—the US would deploy 40,000 additional troops. In the third scenario, Obama would send only marginally more soldiers than the 68,000 who will occupy Afghanistan by January 1. McChrystal says that this choice would lead to “mission failure”—i.e., defeat. Uruknet: Where Truth is the Target Eight Years of Big Lies on Afghanistan.
U.N. special representative Kai Eide has been accused of favouring Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the recent elections. The increasingly deadly battle between Western military forces and Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan is on the verge of being upstaged by a growing political brawl between two senior U.N. officials overseeing the battle-ravaged South Asian nation.
In 1967 Norman Mailer released a novel titled Why Are We In Vietnam? This exercise by Mailer is the story of a couple 18 year-old Texans off on a hunting trip with their wealthy fathers. The quartet are consumed with an overload of braggadocio and testosterone. The story of the trip, which is full of whiskey and tales of past sexual conquests, racial slurs and assumptions of American exceptionalism, is told through the eyes of one of the younger men.
KABUL — The U.S. military says American and Afghan forces accidentally killed a child during a raid on a Taliban compound in eastern Afghanistan. Civilian deaths threaten to undermine Afghan support for international forces, and the U.S. commander in Afghanistan has made protecting innocent Afghans a priority. Wednesday night's incident in Logar province is a reminder of how difficult the task can be.
American soldiers serving in Afghanistan are depressed and deeply disillusioned, according to the chaplains of two US battalions that have spent nine months on the front line in the war against the Taleban. Many feel that they are risking their lives — and that colleagues have died — for a futile mission and an Afghan population that does nothing to help them, the chaplains told The Times in their makeshift chapel on this fortress-like base in a dusty, brown valley southwest of Kabul.
The United Nations has again been forced to defend its role in Afghan presidential elections after a US newspaper published voter turnout data. The data showed evidence of electoral fraud and had been kept confidential by the UN's chief envoy, Kai Eide. His deputy, Peter Galbraith, has accused him of refusing to reveal the data because it reflects poorly on President Hamid Karzai. The information was gathered by UN field staff, but their boss, Mr Eide, did not hand it over to the bodies investigating fraud. Mr Galbraith has accused his boss of backing Mr Karzai (), while the UN officials said Mr Galbraith has a personal agenda ().
Mr. Obama held a 90-minute meeting with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders at the White House Tuesday to discuss Afghanistan. A senior administration official said the president assured lawmakers the policy review would be rigorous and deliberate, but move forward with a sense of urgency. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army General Stanley McChrystal, has warned the U.S. could lose the conflict if more troops are not deployed to Afghanistan. He is expected to ask for an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to fight Taliban insurgents. Scoop: Just Say "NO" to the War in Afghanistan.
The men of Bravo Company have a bitter description for the irrigated swath of land along the Arghandab River where 10 members of their battalion have been killed and 30 have been wounded since the beginning of August. "Like Vietnam without the napalm," said Spc. Nicholas Gojekian, 21, of Katy, Texas.
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