Kai Eide warned against nighttime actions by coalition forces ''given that they often result in lethal outcomes for civilians." The UN representative urged US-led NATO forces to make every effort to "minimize" civilian casualties in Afghanistan. He was referring to the alleged killing of ten civilians at the hands of foreign troops on Sunday in northeast Afghanistan. The US military insists that the victims were "armed militants". PressTV: In Pakistan, more civilians fall victim to US drones. AntiWar: NATO Kills at Least Eight Afghan Civilians in Fresh Air Strike. URUKNET: Video: Afghan tensions rise amid civilian and CIA deaths.
A SUICIDE bomber has infiltrated a CIA base in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least eight Americans in what is believed to be the deadliest single attack on US intelligence personnel in the eight-year-long war and one of the deadliest in the agency's history.
Just as the CLG has asserted from the get-go. Wait until Blackwater gets hold of one of Pakistan's nukes, detonates it, blames 'al-Qaeda' and plunges the US into WWIII. I am thinking the lucrative contract for Xe to 'clean up' in the aftermath of the nuclear explosion has already been drafted. Blackwater needs to be eliminated before they become as big as Goldman Sachs and Citi - 'too big' to destroy.
American-led troops were accused yesterday of dragging innocent children from their beds and shooting them during a night raid that left ten people dead. Afghan government investigators said that eight schoolchildren were killed, all but one of them from the same family. Locals said that some victims were handcuffed before being killed. PressTV: Afghan civilian death prompts anti-US rallies. + Karzai calls for US troops in Afghan custody.
CNN: Attacks kill 8 purported CIA
employees agents, 5 Canadians in Afghanistan. An attack by a suicide bomber at a military base in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday killed eight Americans believed to be CIA employees, a senior U.S. official told CNN. Also Wednesday, four Canadian soldiers and a Canadian journalist were killed when a roadside bomb hit their armored vehicle in southern Afghanistan, Canada's defense ministry said. CBC: 5 Canadians killed in Afghanistan. Belfast Telegraph: Eight Americans killed by Afghanistan bomb 'were CIA agents'. BBC: US CIA officers agents killed in Afghanistan bomb attack.
Western troops accused of executing 10 Afghan civilians, including children. Asked if the people were shot outside their homes, the President’s spokesman Waheed Omar said: “That is our understanding.” Local elders confirmed that ten people were killed, but their accounts of raid differed. “Three of the children were killed in their bedroom,” said a local elder Jan Mohammed. “The other five had their hands bound, then they were killed." PressTV: US troops kill civilians.
The call for over 30,000 more troops to be sent to Afghanistan is a travesty for the people of that country who have already suffered eight brutal years of occupation. It is also a harsh blow to the US soldiers facing imminent deployment. As Barack Obama, the US president, gears up for a further escalation that will bring the total number of troops in Afghanistan to over 100,000, he faces a military force that has been exhausted and overextended by fighting two wars.
At least five people were killed Saturday when missiles from an unmanned US aircraft hit a suspected militant compound in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt, security officials said. The missiles struck a house in Saidgi village of North Waziristan tribal district, which borders Afghanistan, "officials" said. Two missiles hit a house, five "militants" were killed, an "intelligence official"
told AFP alleged.
'The pain and suffering of the peoples of Afghanistan has a long history before and since the United States intervened in their political lives in 1979. Many outside powers share responsibility for their plight. But today’s situation directly relates to the covert war the United States encouraged and funded from the summer of 1979...'
Obama should fire generals who spoke out on Afghan surge - "Generals are subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief. When generals start trying to suggest publicly what the president should do, they shouldn't be generals anymore. That's the way it works."
Michael Prysner and James Circello, staff members of March Forward!, an antiwar organization for active duty soldiers and veterans, discuss the bigotry ingrained in military culture that dehumanizes the enemy du jour, the class struggle between enlisted soldiers and officers, the intentional “draw fire” missions that boost an officer’s career while endangering troops, double-dipping retired generals who get paid to propagandize for more war, the continued deployment of soldiers with PTSD and the Pentagon’s fear of a mass GI desertion. AWIP: AMAZING SPEECH BY WAR VETERAN (Video).
Insurgents Scramble to Establish Rival Government. As the US attempts to strengthen its own government of choice in Afghanistan, they are in a race not just against time, but against Taliban forces which are increasingly setting up credible alternative governments. Once seen as something relegated to the more remote border provinces, this seems to be a nationwide phenomenon now, and the Taliban insists that it actually has a controlling presence in around 80 percent of the country. The People's Voice: STRUGGLE FOR KABUL: THE TALIBAN ADVANCE.
War Veteran - Our real enemy is not in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; It's the system that wages war when it's profitable, Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several miles away. They are right here in front of us.
The former deputy UN envoy to Afghanistan has launched a withering attack on President Hamid Karzai's latest effort to reinvent his government, saying the shake-up would do little to ameliorate the country's worsening crisis. Galbraith's caustic comments mark the latest salvo in a series of increasingly bitter exchanges between the US diplomat and his former UN employers over the lack of legitimacy of the Karzai government, which Galbraith claims the UN has chosen to cover up.
US terrorists launched their third strike in the past 24 hours today, firing multiple missiles at a suspected “hideout” in Datta Khel village, North Waziristan Agency, and killing at least 12 suspects. The “hideout” in question amounted to a cluster of tents occupied by nomads who regularly migrate back and forth across the border from Pakistan to Afghanistan. The identities of the slain were not clear. Yahoo: NATO air strike kills three Afghan civilians. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: Remarks of Z. Mujahid, Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Regarding the Invaders Recent Brutalities.
Contrary to popular belief, the US actually has 189,000 personnel on the ground in Afghanistan right now—and that number is quickly rising. A hearing in Sen. Claire McCaskill’s Contract Oversight subcommittee on contracting in Afghanistan has highlighted some important statistics that provide a window into the extent to which the Obama administration has picked up the Bush-era war privatization baton and sprinted with it. Overall, contractors now comprise a whopping 69% of the Department of Defense’s total workforce, “the highest ratio of contractors to military personnel in US history.” That’s not in one war zone—that’s the Pentagon in its entirety.
In Afghanistan, the Obama administration blows the Bush administration out of the privatized water. According to a memo [PDF] released by McCaskill’s staff, “From June 2009 to September 2009, there was a 40% increase in Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan. During the same period, the number of armed private security contractors working for the Defense Department in Afghanistan doubled, increasing from approximately 5,000 to more than 10,000.” At present, there are 104,000 Department of Defense contractors in Afghanistan.
Fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan have been able to use low cost software downloaded from the internet to hack into live video feeds from unmanned US surveillance aircraft, a military official has said. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior US defence official told the Associated Press the fighters could view feeds from Predator drones - the US military's eyes in the sky for intelligence gathering - but could not take control of the aircraft or jam its electronic signals. Wired: Not Just Drones: "Militants" Can Snoop on Most U.S. Warplanes (Updated).
In an exceptionally heavy barrage by American drones in Pakistan, five Predator aircraft fired 10 missiles at suspected militant compounds along the border with Afghanistan on Thursday. Along with an earlier attack, at least 15 people, including 7 foreigners, were killed, Pakistani security officials said. AntiWar: US Drone Attacks Kill at Least 17 in North Waziristan.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his US counterpart Barack Obama talks of change but in reality is 'going down the same road' as his predecessor, George W. Bush. "So far, Mr. Obama has only talked of bringing change to Washington, but US policies are not much different from before," said Ahmadinejad in a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on the sidelines of UN talks on climate change in Denmark.
President Barack Obama was briefly in Oslo, Norway today to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. He gave a speech (transcript here). Below is an infographic that gives prominence to the words he used the most during his remarks.
Congress investigating charges of 'protection racket' by Afghanistan contractors. A House oversight subcommittee said Wednesday that it has begun a wide-ranging investigation into allegations that
private security companies mercenaries hired to protect Defense Department convoys in Afghanistan are paying off warlords and the Taliban to ensure safe passage. "If shown to be true, it would mean that the United States is unintentionally engaged in a vast protection racket and, as such, may be indirectly funding the very insurgents we are trying to fight," said Rep. John F. Tierney (D-Mass.), chairman of the House oversight subcommittee on national security and foreign affairs. [No sh*t. This what the CLG has been asserting *for years.*]
The list, released on the final day of a three-day anti-corruption conference, includes five senior members within the government of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, said Hashem Ahelbarra, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kabul. "Overall the list includes 15 former ministers, five ministers currently holding positions and six governors in Afghanistan," Ahelbarra said on Thursday. "They include Rangin Spanta, the foreign minister, Hanif Atmar, the interior minister, as well as Nematullah Shahrani, the top advisor to the president, and the minister of the economy, Jalil Shams."
Rep. Alan Grayson: Finally gets to finish one of his speeches. At the end he is "reminded" to not 'call out' anyone by specific name...
I have to agree with Arianna Huffington (unfortunately!) that Obama’s war-apologists sound exactly like the Bush crowd, although Sestak’s scare-mongering is just a bit more imaginative: "If Pakistan collapses, we will face an unthinkable situation: a nuclear-armed failed state overrun by the most powerful and most radical jihadist groups in the world. Al Qaeda may organize elsewhere, but there is nowhere on the face of the planet more advantageous to it and more dangerous for the world than where it is right now."
Private contractors will make up at least half of the total military workforce in Afghanistan going forward, according to Defense Department officials cited in a new congressional study. As President Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan unfolds, the number of contractors will likely jump by between 16,000 and 56,000, adding up to a total of 120,000-160,000, according to an updated study from the Congressional Research Service.
The Arabs are growing tired of waiting for the promises the new US president made to be fulfilled. On 30 November, one day before the US president went to West Point to announce his new strategy for Afghanistan, filmmaker Michael Moore sent Barack Obama an open letter. Having heard of the president's intention to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Moore asked if Obama wanted to be a war president.
Reports that mercenaries employed by the notorious Blackwater-Xe military contracting firm participated in CIA assassinations in Iraq and Afghanistan have further exposed the real character of so-called "good war" that is being escalated by the Obama administration.
Conservative commentator, former Marine Colonel Bob Pappas has been saying for years that bin Laden died at Tora Bora and that Senator Kerry's claim that bin Laden escaped with Bush help was a lie. Now we know that Pappas was correct. The embarassment of having Secretary of State Clinton talk about bin Laden in Pakistan was horrific. He has been dead since December 13, 2001 and now, finally, everyone, Obama, McChrystal, Cheney, everyone who isn't nuts is finally saying what they have known for years.
However, since we lost a couple of hundred of our top special operations forces hunting for bin Laden after we knew he was dead, is someone going to answer for this with some jail time? Since we spent 200 million dollars on "special ops" looking for someone we knew was dead, who is going to jail for that? Since Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney continually talked about a man they knew was dead, now known to be for reasons of POLITICAL nature, who is going to jail for that? Why were tapes brought out, now known to be forged, as legitimate intelligence to sway the disputed 2004 election in the US? This is a criminal act if there ever was one.
In 66 pages, General Stanley McChrystal never mentions Osama bin Laden. Everything is "Mullah Omar" now. In his talk at West Point, President Obama never mentioned Osama bin Laden. Col. Pappas makes it clear, Vice President Cheney let it "out of the bag" long ago. Bin Laden was killed by American troops many many years ago.
President Obama accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize while delivering -- to the world as it is -- a pro-war speech. The context instantly turned the speech's insights into flackery for more war. -- Eloquence in Oslo cannot change the realities of war. - As President Obama neared the close of his Nobel address, he called for "the continued expansion of our moral imagination." Yet his speech was tightly circumscribed by the policies that his oratory labored to justify. -- Lofty rationales easily tell us that warfare is striving for the noble goal of peace. But the rationales scarcely intersect with actual war. The oratory sugarcoats the poisons, helping to kill hope in the name of it. PressTV: Anger in Pakistan over Obama peace prize. Another World Is Possible: The Anti-Empire Report: Yeswecanistan. AntiWar: Peace Doesn’t Work, Obama Informs Nobel Committee Accepts Peace Prize by Defending Merits of War. CLG / Rechtenwald: The Obama Effect: The Demise of the Democratic Party and a Gift to the Country: The decision to escalate Afghanistan War should put the final nail in the coffin of "change" and "hope" that Democrats and others crawled into when they supported Obama. The evidence that Obama is every bit the representative of the corporate oligarchy and no less a corporate shill than the rest has been mounting for nearly a year-or well before the election for the cognoscenti. Only fanatics could have heard Obama's speech on Afghanistan and failed to hear the resonances of Bush. InTheNews: Palin welcomes Obama 'just war' Nobel speech.
The US Air Force on Tuesday confirmed for the first time that it is flying a stealth unmanned aircraft known as the "Beast of Kandahar," a drone spotted in photos and shrouded in secrecy. The RQ-170 Sentinel is being developed by Lockheed Martin and is designed "to provide reconnaissance and surveillance support to forward deployed combat forces," the air force said in a brief statement. The "RQ" prefix for the aircraft indicates an unarmed drone, unlike the "MQ" designation used for Predator and Reaper aircraft equipped with missiles and precision-guided bombs. Aviation experts dubbed the drone the "Beast of Kandahar" after photographs emerged earlier this year showing the mysterious aircraft in southern Afghanistan in 2007. The image suggested a drone with a radar-evading stealth-like design, resembling a smaller version of a B-2 bomber. Aviation Week: U.S. Air Force Reveals Operational Stealth UAV.
Barack Obama, the US president, has arrived in Norway to accept the Nobel
Peace Prize for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy".  Obama has been seen as a controversial nominee for the award because of the United States' engagement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan murder of thousands of people in Iraq & Afghanistan. AntiWar: The Nobel Prize for Irony -Even Obama Understands He Doesn't Deserve this Award: When he accepts the prize tomorrow, it will have come just nine days after he announced a massive escalation of the Afghan War. The irony of this was not lost on anybody, even the decidedly hawkish president. “The president understands and again will also recognize that he doesn’t belong in the same discussion as Mandela and Mother Teresa,” noted his spokesman Robert Gibbs. He will also talk about his 30,000-man escalation and its incongruous nature with a supposed Nobel laureate. NYT: Wartime US President Picks Up His Peace Prize. Aftenposten: Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world: I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility.
President Obama departed Wednesday night for this Scandinavian city, where he will accept the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize just over a week after announcing plans to deploy 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Obama is to receive the award Thursday during a solemn ceremony at Oslo City Hall. Afterward, aides said, the president will deliver a speech that confronts the seeming paradox of receiving the prestigious peace prize while serving as a war president.
Kucinich has slapped Obama with a dueling glove on the issue of Afghanistan. Dandelion Salad: Dennis Kucinich Circulating Privileged Resolutions to End Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. + Kucinich: Are we in Afghanistan to fight or to fund the Taliban?
This weeks snapshots include the aftermath of accidental civilian casualties inflicted by the United States. Yesterday hundreds of Afghans held anti-US demonstrations against a US-led attack which took the lives of 15 non-combatants. Civilians were killed after US soldiers stormed a house on the outskirts of the provincial capital Mehtar Lam of the eastern province of Laghman, according to Press TV. Other photos include images of war planning, U.S. soldiers and young Afghan children hanging out, and other faces and scenes of Afghanistan.
More than a dozen people have been killed in a nighttime raid by US forces on a civilian house in Afghanistan's eastern province of Laghman, witnesses say. The attack took place on Monday night when US soldiers stormed a house at Armal locality in the provincial capital Mehtar Lam, witnesses told Press TV correspondent. At least 12 people, among them a woman, were killed in the attack. A local official confirmed the incident, but failed to identify the victims, adding it was not immediately known why they were attacked and killed. The US military has not commented on the incident. PressTV: US drone strike kills three in N Waziristan. + Afghans protest after civilian deaths in US-led raid.
"What the hell are we doing in Afghanistan? Why do we need 100,000 American troops to go after less than 100 members of Al Qaeda that might be left in Afghanistan. It makes no sense to me." – Rep. Jim McGovern. AntiWar: Who Wants More War? + Best Performance in a Farce. Eric Margolis: President Barack Obama has missed two sterling opportunities to wind down the ugly Afghan morass he inherited from George W. Bush.
The Taliban tried three times to open negotiations for to hand him over, but Bush refused each time. He wanted to bomb people no matter what. And so, it seems, does Obama... NWO Observer: The Great Game: U.S., NATO War In Afghanistan: Fifty or more countries in a single war theater. + Making the TransAfghanistan Pipeline Safe for Democracy: I don’t pretend to know why President Obama is so determined to escalate the war in Afghanistan. The only thing I know for certain is that the troops will not be back home until after 2014. That is when the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is scheduled to be operational.
FAIR’s study looked at all opinion columns in the New York Times and the Washington Post during the first 10 months of 2009 that addressed what the U.S. should do in the Afghanistan War. Columns were counted as antiwar if they called for withdrawal or clearly called into question the need or rationale for the war. Columns that supported continuing the war were counted as pro-war; these were divided into those that endorsed the idea of escalating the war and those that advocated some sort of alternative strategy, including reducing the number of troops. Both newspapers marginalized antiwar opinion to different degrees. Of the New York Times’ 43 columns on the Afghanistan War, 36 supported the war and only seven opposed it—five times as many columns to war supporters as to opponents. Of the paper’s pro-war columns, 14 favored some form of escalation, while 22 argued for pursuing the war differently.
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