US Army Specialist Victor Agosto faces up to one month in jail for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. After returning from thirteen months in Iraq, Agosto became a victim of the stop-loss program that has extended the tours of more than 140,000 troops beyond their contracts since 9/11. Just hours before his court-martial, Agosto speaks out from his military base at Fort Hood, Texas. AMY GOODMAN: You just feel Afghanistan is wrong. SPC. VICTOR AGOSTO: Yes, I don’t feel that we’re making the world any safer by doing that. We’re just killing people and spreading suffering with no real justification.
[Excellent report from eyewitness in Peshawar, detailing precisely the criminal negligence of both Pakistani and American governments in their transshipment of hazardous materiels (fuel, explosives and weaponry) through the narrow crowded back roads of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Not only is Pakistan forced to submit to American demands upon it, but the people of Pakistan are paid in the currency of suffering and death for their peaceful acceptance of these outrages. Thanks Dr. Yusafzai.]
US Air Strikes, Taliban Bombings Responsible for Most Killings. As the eight-year long Afghanistan War continues to escalate, civilians are increasingly bearing the brunt of the attacks from both sides. A United Nations report today says that at least 1,013 civilians were killed in the first half of 2009, a 24% increase from the same period in 2008.
In their first extended interview, the parents of John Walker Lindh, Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh, join us for the hour to tell their son’s story. He was born in Washington, DC in 1981. At the age of sixteen, he converted to Islam. In 1999, Lindh left the United States for Yemen to study Arabic and the Koran. He later traveled to Pakistan and then to Afghanistan, before 9/11, where he received military training from the US-backed, Taliban-run Afghan Army to fight against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan’s civil war. He was captured in late 2001, found emaciated and wounded, one of the few to survive a massacre by the Northern Alliance. To his parents’ relief, he was handed to US forces, but they brutalized him, as well. Donald Rumsfeld had ordered them to “take the gloves off.” He was designated Detainee 001 in the war on terror. When he returned to the United States in January 2002, he was being held as a prisoner accused of conspiring to kill Americans. As part of a plea deal, Lindh pleaded guilty to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons and was given a twenty-year sentence.
Alexandra Topping guardian.co.uk, Thursday 30 July 2009 21.29 BST Article historyLance Corporal Joe Glenton, a soldier with the Royal Logistics Corps, has written to Gordon Brown explaining why he refuses to fight in Afghanistan. He spoke to Alexandra Topping. I was sent to Afghanistan in 2006 and from the start it was very challenging, it's a very hard place to be posted. There was so much confusion about why we were there, whether it was to get rid of the poppy fields, or for national security. It seemed to change all the time.
Majority thinks conflict is unwinnable and wants troops withdrawn, poll shows. A majority of the public believes that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable and British troops should be pulled out immediately, a poll for The Independent has found.
has learned from a knowledgeable contractor who served in Iraq and Afghanistan that a number of large U.S. defense contractors have been involved in questionable deals to land major contracts in countries that made up the “Coalition of the Willing” that invaded and occupied Iraq.
The German army has dramatically intensified its intervention in Afghanistan in the past few days. In the course of a major offensive in northern Afghanistan, it has deployed heavy weaponry including Marder armed personnel carriers and Mörser mortar artillery.
IN THREE combat tours based in Anbar province in Iraq, US Marine Sergeant Jacob Tambunga fought that country's deadliest insurgents. But he says he never encountered an enemy as tenacious as those in Afghanistan's Helmand province. In his first days here in late June, he fought through three ambushes, each lasting as long as the most sustained fight he saw in Anbar.
Afghan prisoners of war at the US military-run prison at Bagram, outside Kabul, have refused to wash or leave their cells in protest at their indefinite imprisonment since at least July 1, the Sydney Morning Herald said on July 17.
The real reason why the U.S. continues its presence in Afghanistan is Iran the country which is an annoyance for Israel, said Karen Kwiatkowski, a writer and former U.S. Air Force officer.
After experiencing the deadliest month in Afghanistan since following the US into invading that country, most Britons want out, recent surveys show. Britain's mission in Afghanistan has never had a massive public support and with the death of 19 British soldiers over the past few weeks, it is now becoming even more unpopular. Google/AP: Poll details: Majority in US oppose both wars.
More British and American troops will die in Afghanistan, but the war against the Taliban is in the national interests of both countries, the US vice-president, Joe Biden, said today.
Detained and scared, U.S. GI is questioned by captors on tape. You Tube: Fox News Military Pundit Calls Bowe Bergdahl "A Liar".
Perhaps the worst incident at Abu Ghraib involved a girl aged 12 or 13 who screamed for help to her brother in an upper cell while stripped naked and beaten. Iraqi journalist Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz, who heard the girl's screams, also witnessed an ill 15-year-old who was forced to run up and down with two heavy cans of water and beaten whenever he stopped. When he finally collapsed, guards stripped and poured cold water on him. Finally, a hooded man was brought in. When unhooded, the boy realized that the man was his father, who doubtless was being intimidated into confessing something upon sight of his brutalized son.
Four Americans were killed Monday when a roadside bomb exploded in eastern Afghanistan, NATO said, making July the deadliest month for U.S. troops in this war. A NATO statement did not give nationalities, but U.S. spokesman Lt. Robert Carr confirmed that all four were Americans. The deaths bring to 55 the number of international service members killed in July, also the deadliest month for NATO forces. At least 30 U.S. troops have died this month -- two more than the toll for June 2008, which had been the deadliest month for the American force in Afghanistan. You Tube: 17,000 More Troops "a Drop in the Bucket" in Afghanistan.
U.S. officials "firmly believe" that al-Qaida leaders who planned and carried out the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are hiding in Pakistan near its border with Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Sept. 27, 2002: [We have] "bulletproof" evidence linking Saddam and al-Qaida, the organization that carried out the Sept, 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. + "We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, February 5, 2003: Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.
"I want to be clear. If, when the facts are in, we find out that through some convoluted chain of events, he really was captured by the Taliban, I’m with him. But, if he walked away from his post and his buddies in wartime, I don’t care how hard it sounds, as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills."
The video shows Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghan dress, being prompted in English by his captors to call for U.S. forces to be withdrawn from Afghanistan.
Fatalities amongst UK troops are now higher than in Iraq, including 16 Britons killed this month. These deaths, and the youth of those involved—their average age is just 20—are being cynically employed in the pro-war propaganda offensive demanding the despatch of even greater numbers, and to call for increases in defence spending at a time when savage cuts are planned across the public sector.
Unnamed soldier captured outside US base in Afghanistan three weeks ago pleads for American troops to return home. The Taliban have released a video of a US soldier kidnapped outside a US base in Afghanistan almost three weeks ago. Shaven-headed and emotional, he pleads for American troops to return home.
Eastern Afghanistan, where the fighter jet crashed, has also been a trouble spot for much of the summer. It borders Pakistan's volatile tribal areas, where Pakistan's military has been carrying out off-and-on operations against the Taliban in recent weeks. Earlier this month, a U.S. serviceman went missing from a base in eastern Afghanistan. The American military has said he was presumed captured, and the Taliban claim to be holding him. HuffPo: Afghanistan Villages Threatened By US Military Over Kidnapped Soldier.
Attacks by US warplanes this week killed up to six Afghan civilians, including a four-year-old girl, and left another 16 wounded. The incidents in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province have again underscored the grim human cost of the military escalation ordered by the Obama administration.
As I write, 4,000 newly arrived U.S. Marines are trudging through the blistering heat of Helmand Province to push back the Taliban so local Pashtuns can turn out to vote next month for Karzai, their fellow Pashtun. What's wrong with this new Obama strategy? URUKNET: GI Special 7G13: Three Steps From Disaster [ 17 July 2009 ]
In Afghanistan, at least five civilians have been killed and another thirteen injured in a US air strike. The Pentagon says US forces had called for the strike after coming under fire. Most of the victims were members of the same family, and the dead included a four-year-old girl. Witnesses said US forces fired on the family members as they tried to flee their home. Pakistan News: US Drone Strike in N Waziristan 4 killed.
The Taliban threatened Thursday to kill a captured American soldier unless the U.S. military stops operations in two districts of southeastern Afghanistan. The Taliban said last week they were holding the soldier, who the U.S. military earlier described as possibly being in enemy hands.
It is easy to understand why epithets such as brave and courageous often accompany the name of Malalai Joya. Slight of stature and serenely demure, the young Afghan woman’s past and present encapsulate the plight of her countrywomen.
As US, British Troops Chase Taliban Out of Helmand, Villagers Fear Police Will Return. US and British troops continue their offensive into the Helmand River Valley, chasing Taliban out of vilalges in the southern province and returning them to control of the Western-backed government. Far from being welcomed with open arms, the international forces are finding that most of the anxious villagers are terrified at the prospect that the troops will bring with them Afghan police.
To be honest, the Taliban can move about pretty much as they please. Putting more troops on the ground will restrict them a little more, but will also mean more casualties for us.
Obama administration sees no legal basis for investigation... When CIA-backed Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum had up to ’several thousand’ Taliban prisoners sealed and suffocated to death in metal shipping containers just days after the United States invaded the country, it did not go unnoticed by the White House.
The approximately 60,000 NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan are unable to achieve the goals of the war - even with the additional 21,000 US combat troops promised this year and "the big jump in the size of Afghan security forces" demanded by the new US commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
A US drone fired two missiles at a suspected militant compound in South Waziristan today, killing at least eight and wounding an unknown number of others. The attack was the latest in a string of US strikes on the restive Pakistani agency which have killed over 100 in the past seven days.
"Let us be under no illusion," Bob Ainsworth, the third person to head the Ministry of Defence in the past nine months, told the Royal Institute for International Affairs. "The situation in Afghanistan is serious, and it is not yet decided. The way forward is hard and dangerous. More lives will be lost and our resolve is going to be tested." "We are engaged in a war against a dangerous and highly adaptable foe whose tactics and capabilities evolve as quickly as ours," he said.
In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. American and British forces have jointly launched operations in Helmand province, south Afghanistan. This is in a time that during the past eighth years, never a day has passed or a night without Mujahideen sustaining great losses on the enemy. However, this time, they have resorted to launching vast operations. Yet it is but an effort in fiasco. Their advancement has been blocked and neutralized. They are just frustrating. This is not a mere claim made by us.
The first days of the offensive by US marines into the southern province of Helmand make clear it will result in a massive escalation in violence against the Afghan people and an upsurge in resistance to the US and NATO occupation across the country.
The largest one-day toll in months is a sign of intensifying conflict in the south, where a major U.S. offensive is under way, as well as increased insurgent activity in the other parts of the nation.
The Obama administration is carrying out a new war crime in Afghanistan. The offensive has underscored the role of the so-called “left” in the US. The Obama administration has become a vehicle for a wide variety of middle-class organizations that opposed the war in Iraq to swing behind the foreign policy of the American government. Neither of the principal organizations involved in planning US protests against the Iraq war—United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and ANSWER—are planning any demonstrations to denounce the Obama administration’s escalation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nor, for that matter, are they preparing any opposition to the continuation of the Iraq occupation.
At least two US soldiers have been killed and four others injured in an attack on a military base in the Paktika province of eastern Afghanistan, officials have said. The attack in the Zirok district on Saturday came as thousands of US marines were engaged in a major offensive against "Taliban fighters" hundreds of kilometres away in the southern Helmand province.
The Commanding Officer of the Welsh Guards has been killed in action in Afghanistan - Britain's most senior war casualty since the Falklands. Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe, 40, was blown up in an armoured vehicle by a massive hidden bomb yesterday afternoon. A second soldier died alongside him in the devastating blast and six more were seriously wounded. The high flying colonel's death is a huge scalp for the Taliban and a disaster for the Army. It caps one of the bloodiest weeks of fighting in opium-swamped Helmand province in the three year-long NATO security mission. British forces have suffered more than 25 wounded this week alone, The Sun can also reveal.
In August 2007, the presidents of Afghanistan and Tajikistan walked side by side with the U.S. commerce secretary across a new $37 million concrete bridge that the Army Corps of Engineers designed to link two of Central Asia’s poorest countries. Dressed in a gray suit with an American flag pin in his lapel, then-Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said the modest two-lane span that U.S. taxpayers paid for would be “a critical transit route for trade and commerce” between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Today, the bridge across the muddy waters of the Panj River is carrying much more than vegetables and timber: It’s paved the way for drug traffickers to transport larger loads of Afghan heroin and opium to Central Asia and beyond to Russia and Western Europe. NowPublic: CIA: Secret Operations, Drug Money
The soldier has been missing from his unit since Tuesday, said Army Capt. Elizabeth Mathias. Citing concern for his safety, she did not disclose the circumstances of his disappearance, or explain how military "authorities" had concluded that he was being held, or say whether there had been any communication with
insurgents Afghans about the missing man occupation soldier. The Guardian: Afghans capture US soldier as Obama's offensive starts. The Independent: Two British soldiers have been killed in southern Afghanistan.
The latest supplemental appropriation bill to fund US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan received final passage by the House of Representatives on Tuesday and by the Senate on Thursday.
An unmanned Predator drone is attached with a 'Hellfire' missile.
Hundreds of local tribesmen in Pakistan's South Waziristan Agency are protesting US drone attacks on their areas.
Negotiators in the US House and Senate on Friday reached a tentative agreement on a $105.9 billion “emergency” war-funding bill for US military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan through September. The Obama administration paved the way for the agreement by promising Senate Democrats that it would continue to suppress dozens of photographs of US military and intelligence personnel torturing Iraqi prisoners. Full approval should come this week, bringing the total Congressional allocation for the wars to more than $900 billion since 2001. After Downing Street: Stop the War Supplemental.
"Violence" in Afghanistan last week reached its highest level since the US overthrow of the
Taliban Afghan government in 2001, General David Petraeus says. "There is no question that the situation has deteriorated" in Afghanistan, said Petraeus, head of US Central Command, which oversees US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia. "This has to be reversed." US team of assassins AlterNet/TPV: The Rise of Private Armies -- Mercenaries, Murder and Corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Obama administration’s “surge” in Afghanistan is taking shape, with 10,000 marines completing the commencement of their deployment to the volatile province of Helmand over the next several weeks.
An international think tank has said that the Taliban holds a permanent presence in 72 percent of Afghanistan, but NATO denied the observation, saying the figures were not credible. It said it was impossible for militants to control large parts of the country. The People's Voice: STRUGGLE FOR KABUL: THE TALIBAN ADVANCE.
The arrival of Obama administration special envoy Richard Holbrooke in Pakistan on Wednesday serves to underscore that the massive military operation taking place in the country’s north-west is a proxy war on behalf on US imperialism. As part of completing the transformation of Afghanistan into a client-state in Central Asia, Obama is demanding that the Pakistani government suppress the local Islamist movements that lend support to the Afghan resistance over the border.
According to new statistics released by the Pentagon, with Barack Obama as commander in chief, there has been a 23% increase in the number of “Private Security Contractors” working for the Department of Defense in Iraq in the second quarter of 2009 and a 29% increase in Afghanistan, which “correlates to the build up of forces” in the country. These numbers relate explicitly to DoD security contractors.
Amid mounting violence in Iraq and preparations for a major escalation of the US war in Afghanistan, the chief of staff of the US Army said that the military is preparing to continue its interventions in the two countries for at least another decade.
An Afghan who has spent over six years at the U.S. military’s Guantanamo Bay prison was only around 12-years-old when he was detained, not 16 or 17 as his official record says, an Afghan rights group said on Tuesday. Interviews with the family of Mohammed Jawad, who like many poor Afghans does not know his exact age or birthday, showed he was probably not even a teenager when he was arrested in 2002, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission said.
On Wednesday, NATO forces launched an air strike in Afghanistan Paktika Province, targeting a farmer along the road. The farmer was wounded, and later died of his wounds. NATO later admitted that "a subsequent investigation has determined that the individual was not emplacing improvised explosive devices, as originally suspected."
A humanitarian catastrophe is taking place in areas of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP), as a result of the Obama administration’s expansion of the occupation of Afghanistan into the so-called “AfPak war”. Over the past seven years, ethnic Pashtun Islamist movements in NWFP and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have lent assistance to the resistance being waged against the American-led forces in Afghanistan by the Pashtun-based Taliban, including by disrupting US and NATO supply routes through Pakistan.
"Westerners presume that a veiled woman cannot possibly be empowered; that subjugation and the way a woman dresses go together; that a woman cannot possibly choose to cover herself of her own will; that given a choice, all women would like to wear short skirts, trousers and halter tops. Thus, in our western mindset, "empowerment" can be reduced to a brand of make-up or a line of clothing. Change in externals is demanded or even imposed, while there is little understanding of subtler developments that emerge on a far wider canvas."
Four guards employed by Blackwater (now renamed Xe), a company founded by Michigan native Erik Prince, have sparked yet another international incident by opening fire on a vehicle full of Afghani civilians after a car accident in Kabul, Afghanistan.
U.S. air strikes earlier this month killed 140 villagers, an Afghan government investigation concluded on Saturday, putting Kabul starkly at odds with the U.S. military's account. The official death toll, announced by the Afghan Defence Ministry, makes the bombing the deadliest incident for civilians since U.S. forces began fighting the Taliban in 2001, and is likely to worsen anger over the presence of foreign troops.
Over 120 innocent civilians, many of them women and children, were massacred when US war planes bombed villages of Gerani and Gangabad in Bala Baluk district of Farah Province on May 5, 2009.
As seen in this video, "villagers brought truckloads of bodies to the capital of a province in Western Afghanistan on Tuesday to prove that scores of civilians had been killed by U.S. air strikes in a battle with the Taliban." (Reuters, May 5, 2009) This is one out of many war crime cases committed by the US troops in Afghanistan over the past few years. The number of innocent civilians killed since Obama took office in Jan.21, reaches to 300 and his so-called new strategy for Afghanistan and surge in number of troops has result in more such terrible tragedies. The People's Voice. 93 children killed in US terror ("airstrikes").
Here's a guy who successfully refused to deploy simply by stating the obvious: "So I said fine, I can just quote it, and I quoted, "this Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. I said when we violated the U.N. Charter to invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, we had violated U.S. law and the Constitution, and that it is every Soldiers' responsibility to resists the crimes of our government for which we are ultimately responsible."
President Obama will oppose the release of several dozen photos depicting abuse of detainees held in U.S. military custody abroad, reversing his previous position on the grounds that the pictures could inflame anti-American sentiment and endanger U.S. troops. In announcing the shift today, the White House said in a statement that Obama strongly believes that the release of these photos, particularly at this time, would only serve the purpose of inflaming the theaters of war, jeopardizing US forces, and making our "job" more difficult in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. [Cheney & Bush couldn't have said it better. Obama would have opposed the release the old ones too and for the same phoney reasons...] WikiPedia: Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. The National Expositor/The People's Voice: Obama to Ignore CIA War Crimes.
Ninety-three children and 25 adult women are among a list of 140 names of Afghans who villagers say were killed in a battle and U.S. air strikes last week, causing a crisis between Washington and its Afghan allies. The list, obtained by Reuters, bears the endorsement of seven senior provincial and central government officials, including an Afghan two-star general who headed a task force dispatched by the government to investigate the incident. Titled "list of the martyrs of the bombardment of Bala Boluk district of Farah Province", it includes the name, age and father's name of each
alleged victim. Yahoo: Probe finds 140 Afghan civilians killed in strikes. Lew Rockwell: Barack Obama – Mass Murderer.
Touting the abilities of McChrystal, Gates spoke of his “unique skill set in counterinsurgency.” These “unique” skills consist largely of deploying assassination squads to behead insurgencies opposing US occupation. He directed such a program as an essential part of the so-called “surge” initiated by the Bush administration in Iraq. Also included in the “skill set” employed by the units under McChrystal’s command in Iraq was torture. A Special Operations unit known as Task Force 6-26 ran a detention center in which prisoners were subjected to Abu Ghraib-style abuse that was so extreme that the CIA ordered its personnel not to enter the facility. It appears that the Obama administration wants to replicate these methods in Afghanistan, launching its own “surge,” which will entail a dramatic escalation in the bloodshed there.
According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration last month cut back on the CIA’s drone attacks inside Pakistan, because of the political problems the unmanned strikes were causing the government of President Asif Ali Zardari. Some cutback.
In the final days of his trip to Washington, President Hamid Karzai demanded an end to US airstrikes in Afghanistan. In response, US National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones (ret.) insisted that the bombing of Afghan villages will continue, whether the country’s supposed sovereign government likes it or not. [The US massacres ("airstrikes") against civilians in Afghanistan look like THIS.] AlterNet: Who Are the Real Psychopaths in Afghanistan? The U.S. has killed twice as many Afghan civilians as the Taliban this year and that number is sure to rise.
[Zbigniew Brzezinski with CIA terrorist-in-training, Mujahadeen warrior BIN LADEN. Bin Laden was sporting Pakistani military uniform. Paid for by the only Islamic nation to own nulcear weapons and Bush's 'partner in terror'. Civilian Newswire]
In the interview here, NBCs David Gregory completely ignores Pakistan president Asif Ali Zadari when he declares that Osama bin Laden was an operator for the United States. Gregory wants to know if Zadari believes Osama is alive. He wants to know why Pakistan has not gone after Bin Laden. Google Video: Bhutto Confirms that Osama Bin Laden is Dead. PTI: CIA and ISI together created Taliban, says Zardari.
Iranian police officials say drug production in Afghanistan has had a 40-fold increase since the US led invasion of the country in 2001. While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium under the Taliban, following the US invasion drug production, according to UN statistics, surged to 3,400 tons and by 2007, opium trade reached all-time high of 8,200 tons. The invasion of Afghanistan was also justified as part of the West's "war on drugs." BearCave: Interview with Alfred McCoy (The Politics of Heroin; CIA Complicity In The Global Drug Trade). Serendipity: The Real Drug Lords: A brief history of CIA involvement in the Drug Trade. Global Research: Washington's Hidden Agenda: Restore the Drug Trade.
URUKNET: [Haji Barkat Ullah speaks with his daughter Frishta, aged seven, who was wounded in a coalition air strike in Afghanistan last week.] Tonight the US military denied using phosphorus, saying if it had been used, the Taliban were to blame. Nader Nadery, of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said: 'Our teams have met with patients. They are investigating the cause of the injuries and the use of white phosphorus. Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch and a former senior Pentagon intelligence analyst, said there has been widespread and regular use of white phosphorus by US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. It was unlikely the Taliban would use it. PressTV: US attacked Afghanistan with white phosphorus? The Guardian: Phosphorus claim after fatal air strikes in Afghanistan.
U.S. Admits Civilians Died in Afghan Raids. United States officials acknowledged Thursday for the first time that at least some of what might be 100 civilian deaths in western Afghanistan had been caused by American bombs. In Afghanistan, residents angrily protested the deaths and demanded that American forces leave the country. I guess this makes Obama a "murderer" just like Bush. The only thing missing is the outrage from the left.
KILLID: Many Afghans are confused. Why has President Obama called for an end to U.S. military action in Iraq but increased military involvement in Afghanistan despite his Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, saying there is "no military solution" to defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda.
As rage spreads in Afghanistan after US bombing that killed up to 130 people, unnamed Pentagon officials are spinning another cover-up. Defiant Obama moves ahead with troop increase. As President Barack Obama prepares to send some 21,000 more US troops into Afghanistan, anger is rising in the western province of Farah, the scene of a US bombing massacre that may have killed as many as 130 Afghans, including 13 members of one family. At least six houses were bombed and among the dead and wounded are women and children. As of this writing reports indicate some people remain buried in rubble.
Witnesses say deaths of 147 people in three villages came after a sustained bombardment by American aircraft. Patrick Cockburn, in Herat, reports. Shouting "Death to America" and "Death to the Government", thousands of Afghan villagers hurled stones at police yesterday as they vented their fury at American air strikes that local officials claim killed 147 civilians.
American soldiers serving in Vietnam wondered what they were fighting for. U.S. troops in Afghanistan don't have that problem. They know exactly what they're fighting for: rapists. The defeat of the Taliban brought about the collapse of law and order, making life even more dangerous, especially for women. "Under the Taliban," a woman told me, "I watched rapists being executed. Now I see them in the government."
URUKNET: [An injured Afghan child from the Bala Baluk, district of Afghanistan, is seen on a bed at the hospital in Farah province of Afghanistan Tuesday, May 5, 2009. Photo AP] Dr Atiqullah, a resident of the village, told they had so far retrieved 123 dead bodies from beneath the debris of the destroyed homes by using tractors. Residents of the Bala Boluk district in western Farah province on Tuesday claimed more than one hundred 'innocent people' have been killed in the Monday's air offensive by the US forces. The air-strike in Bala Boluk district came after an insurgent attack on a police check post that killed six people and three others on spy charges on Sunday. Following the militant attack, locals say, the American forces bombarded Grani village, inflecting huge casualties to non-combatants. Los Angeles Times: As Usual, US Military Claims To Attack Insurgents, Murders Civilian Women and Children.
'Witness for Jesus' in Afghanistan. US soldiers have been encouraged to spread the message of their Christian faith among Afghanistan's predominantly Muslim population, video footage obtained by Al Jazeera appears to show. Military chaplains stationed in the US air base at Bagram were also filmed with bibles printed in the country's main Pashto and Dari languages. Rebel Reports: US Soldiers in Afghanistan Told to "hunt people for Jesus... so we get them into the kingdom": Trying to convert Muslims to any other faith is a crime in Afghanistan. The fact that the video footage is being broadcast on Al Jazeera guarantees that it will be seen throughout the Muslim world. It is likely to add more credence to the perception that the US is engaging in a war on Islam with neo-crusader forces invading Muslim lands.
Afghani police announced that NATO forces shot and killed a 12-year-old girl and two other civilians in western Afghanistan.
Lahore - The top adviser to the US army chief in Afghanistan, David Kilcullen, has observed that the US drone strikes in Pakistan are creating more enemies than eliminating them, and hence, needed to be "called off."
Dick Cheney was in charge of an assassin ring which killed enemies of the US in Afghanistan and Lebanon, says investigative journalist Wayne Madsen.
AMERICAN drone attacks on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan are causing a massive humanitarian emergency, Pakistani officials claimed after a new attack yesterday killed 13 people.
Gunman kills 13 in New York siege 4 April 2009: A gunman has killed 13 people after taking dozens hostage in the US state of New York. The suspected gunman was later found dead inside the immigration centre in Binghamton, police officials said. Pakistani Taleban leader Baitullah Mehsud called the BBC in Islamabad to claim responsibility for the attack. Yes, the same Baitullah Mehsud, who according to CNN, died last October. Never let the truth get in the way of launching another war for Israel against another Muslim nation.
Up to 13 people have been killed in a suspected US drone attack in Pakistan's North Waziristan region near the Afghan border, security officials say. The attack on Saturday occurred in an area 35km west of the region's main town of Miranshah. The death toll is 13, including some foreigners, but information is very sketchy because it's a town which is very remote," one security official said on condition of anonymity. Pakistani officials use the word "foreigner" to refer to suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, but the precise identities of the dead was not confirmed. A local official said the compound that was hit belonged to Tariq Khan, who was described as a "facilitator of the Taliban". Amir Shah, a resident of Waziristan, said drones were still flying over the area several hours after the attack.
Barack Obama's team in tactical retreat at Nato summit. Tensions within alliance at 60th anniversary meeting. European leaders are expected to resist American pressure today to join in the Pentagon's military "surge" in Afghanistan, disappointing Barack Obama. The US president has made the campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida the centrepiece of his new foreign policy. A Nato summit opening in France and Germany will also struggle to commit civilian resources to match the increased US military deployments, may fail to agree on a new alliance secretary general despite months of negotiation, and is also split over policy towards a resurgent Russia. Al Jazeera: US seeks Nato boost for Afghan war.
“Bagram detainees who are not Afghan citizens, who were not captured in Afghanistan, and who have been held for an unreasonable amount of time —— here, over six years —— without adequate process may invoke the protections of the Suspension Clause, and hence the privilege of habeas corpus,” Bates wrote.
The commander of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and a top Pentagon official have voiced concern over "the region's growing militancy". General Gen. David H. Petraeus admitted to a Senate panel on Wednesday that from a military point of view, the United States saw Pakistan and Afghanistan as a single theater. The Senate Armed Services Committee mainly focused on the means by which the advisors would 'assess' the "threats" in Pakistan and the strategies that would be drawn up to tackle such "threats".
The top US military commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, has formally requested the deployment of an additional 10,000 US combat troops for the increasingly bloody war in the Central Asian country. The additional 10,000 troops would not be expected in Afghanistan until early in 2010, Petraeus said, when they would join the 37,000 troops deployed by the Bush administration and another 21,000 dispatched by Obama since he took office January 20. The total US contingent of 68,000 troops in 2010, backed by another 32,000 troops from various NATO countries, would bring the size of the foreign occupation force deployed in Afghanistan to roughly the 100,000 mobilized when the Soviet Union invaded the country in 1979. Think Progress: Rep. Ellison: ‘I Am Skeptical Of The Troop Escalation In Afghanistan’. CounterPunch: What Next in Afghanistan? MEO: Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President.
Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, has signed a law which "legalises" rape, women's groups and the United Nations warn. Critics claim the president helped rush the bill through parliament in a bid to appease Islamic fundamentalists ahead of elections in August.
A "high-ranking" member of al-Qaida was seized during a recent US mission in Afghanistan which left five people dead. But the Americans were set up: The tip-off as to his location came from a drug clan who wanted to get rid of a rival. The raid took place on March 21 in Kunduz province, where German forces are helping with security and reconstruction. A US liaison officer asked the German reconstruction team to keep the Kunduz airport clear but said nothing about the impending mission. Around half an hour later, a Hercules transport aircraft landed at the airfield, together with a whole fleet of combat and transport helicopters, which then took off for the nearby town of Imam Sahib.
American influence in former Soviet countries could make or break Obama administration's new Afghan-Pakistan strategy. The road passes a shimmering green mountain pasture, then dips steeply to a new US-built bridge. Across the languid Panj river is Afghanistan and the dusty northern town of Kunduz. On this side is Tajikistan, Afghanistan's impoverished Central Asian neighbour.
Prepared behind the backs of the American people and with contempt for anti-war opinion expressed in the presidential election, Obama's plan calls for replicating in Afghanistan Bush's military "surge" in Iraq and launching military strikes at will in Pakistan. It confirms that Obama's candidacy was not a move towards peace, but the expression of a struggle inside the American ruling elite over the strategic priorities of US imperialism. Obama served as the front man for those who believed the Pentagon had focused too much attention on Iraq and that the main target of military violence should be Central Asia. Kenny's Sideshow: Obama on Afghanistan and Pakistan - Lies and Propaganda. Guerilla News: Obama's War: Has the "peace movement" become part of the war machine? AntiWar: Obama: Pakistan to Be Held ‘Much More Accountable’. WaPo: Obama Says He Is Sharpening "Focus" of War in Afghanistan.
Repeat al Qaeda ad nauseum. Make sure 9/11 is mentioned repeatedly. More money and lives for the fraud of the 'War on Terror.' + Richard Holbrooke has been named as the special representative for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The People's Voice: Obama unveils new Afghan plan, sets goals (Comment).
The policy Obama announced represents a massive increase in military violence not only in Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan. Significantly, Obama devoted the first half of his remarks to Pakistan, signaling that a major conclusion of his administration's strategic review is to expand the war more aggressively beyond the borders of Afghanistan. This will mean the deaths of untold thousands Afghans and Pakistanis, the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars, and the deaths of thousands of US youth, sent to kill or be killed in a wider war in South and Central Asia. Daily Beast: The Holes in Obama's Afghanistan Plan.
Warning that the situation is "increasingly perilous", US President Barack Obama unveils a new strategy to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In an address at the executive office building in Washington on Friday, Obama said he would use all elements in his power to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" the insurgency in the war-ridden country. "Attacks against our troops, our NATO allies, and the Afghan government have risen steadily. Most painfully, 2008 was the deadliest year of the war for American forces," Obama said. He reminded the American people  that the US did not choose to invade Afghanistan but was forced to after the deadly 9/11 attacks carried out by al-Qaeda elements.
It is deeply disappointing that the Center for American Progress has issued a call for a 10-year war in Afghanistan. CAP takes no notice of the torture and detention without human rights protections at Kabul's Bagram prison, now undergoing massive expansion. Obama's team already says his anti-torture executive order does not cover the hundreds detained in Afghanistan, so it is likely that the American forces will launch a massive "preventive incarceration" campaign in the months ahead. CAP's silence on this matter is especially disturbing since the think tank expressed deep concern over the same policies in Iraq. AntiWar: Obama Plans Additional Afghan Escalation: In addition to the 17,000 troops President Obama has already committed to add to the war effort in Afghanistan, his new “comprehensive strategy” will reportedly include another 4,000 troops and hundreds of “civilian advisers,” bringing the US military presence in Afghanistan to nearly 60,000. The Guardian: Time running out on Afghanistan, US fears. + If this becomes Obama's war, it will poison his presidency.
The chief official overseeing US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, arrived in Brussels Monday to brief NATO representatives on the Obama administration plans for the region, amid press reports that the US intends to push aside Afghan President Hamid Karzai and supplant him with an unelected "czar" to take charge of the vast new influx of military and economic aid for the US puppet regime. Lataan: SO MUCH FOR ‘DEMOCRACY’ IN AFGHANISTAN: After more than seven years of war in which thousands have died, including 1117 coalition troops, the US and their allies, by considering appointing a ‘prime minister’ to bypass the originally appointed and now totally corrupt President Hamid Karzai, have conceded that there has been nothing achieved over those seven years of bloody war. This is simply one puppet leader being replaced by another while all along the US and their allies have been trying to tell the world that they wanted to capture bin Laden, oust the Taliban and bring democracy to the region.
Multiple news sources have reported that the US Military is deploying "BigDogs" to Afghanistan to assist in the fight against the enemy. Dubbed "the most advanced quadruped robot on Earth," BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads.
As commander-in-chief of the military, former President George W. Bush was responsible for U.S. attacks on hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mistreatment of their personnel and patients, and the denial of medical supplies to them and to the general populations of those nations, an authority on war crimes says. One of the most egregious of the Bush war crimes, the force-feeding of prisoners, is being continued by the Obama administration even though it is in violation of medical ethics and the first Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 1977, the authority notes.
A former government minister from the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan says the United States can throw as many soldiers into the country as it wants, they will just meet the same fate as all previous “foreign invaders.” A day after President Obama announced a massive increase in the U.S. troop presence — an additional 17,000 pairs of boots on the ground, coming soon — the former minister told CBS News he couldn’t understand, “why the U.S. relies on figures and the number of troops in a country such as Afghanistan, where the number of foreign invaders has never made any difference, and the winners have always been the freedom fighters.” WSWS: Growing hostility in US to Afghanistan war. InfoWars: U.S. seen weighing expanded covert war in Pakistan.
The desperation at the heart of the Obama administration's plans for escalating the war in Afghanistan was laid bare in the president's interview with the New York Times last Friday. Asked if the US-led forces were winning the war in Afghanistan, Obama bluntly stated "No".
Makeshift bomb attacks in Afghanistan killed three times as many coalition troops in the first two months of 2009 compared with the same period last year. The increase points to a strengthening insurgency and potentially more violence as warmer weather arrives along with intensified fighting.
U.N. Geenral Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann accused the U.S. of committing inhuman "atrocities" in a fiery speech before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva Wednesday. A top U.N. official accused the United States of committing inhuman "atrocities" in Iraq and Afghanistan during a speech Wednesday to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Orwellian doublespeak at its finest. The media and government will repeat the words "the good war" until the majority actually believe it. The Afghan surge is a threat to escalate violence and move the 'never ending' wars into new areas.
In 2001, Washington used the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to put into action long-developed plans to conquer Afghanistan and use it as a base to establish US hegemony in Central Asia, home to some of the richest deposits of oil and natural gas in the world. The inevitable result was a military disaster and the destabilization of the entire region. Now, in pursuit of the same imperialist aims, the Obama administration is launching a major escalation that will only further destabilize the region, intensify tensions with rival power such as China and Russia, and cause untold death and destruction. There is a growing danger of a military conflagration throughout Central Asia and beyond. Online Journal: A new Afghanistan nightmare commences. Global Research / The People's Voice: Surging towards a US-NATO Military Disaster: Obama's Escalating War in Central and South Asia.
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