AFGHANISTAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


AFGHANISTAN

Jun 06 08:12

Bill Moyers nails Obama on Afghanistan

Jun 04 16:53

US does not want to keep troops in Afghanistan: Obama

"Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there," he told an audience at Cairo University.

He added the US plans to invest 1.5 billion dollars each year over the next five years in construction and aid money to the displaced in Pakistan, and 2.8 billion dollars to help Afghans develop their economy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Ahem) a small memo to President Obama:

You've just made the statement:

"Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there,"

If this is true, then what the Sam Hill is going on with the massive construction project at Camp Leatherneck?!?

As reported inhttp://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iQsdQAuKzZl3hMgVzG60jVJVgRiQ,
7 May, 2009:

"It's been real busy," said Captain Jeff Boroway from the 25th Naval Construction regiment.

"This place was desert at the end of January. I mean nothing. And now you've got a 443-acre (179-hectare) secure facility," he told reporters.

They are also expanding another US base in the southern city of Kandahar."

Forgive me, Mr. President, but the establishment of 443 acre "secure facility" sounds like the absolute opposite of "we seek no military bases there" to intelligent Afghans.

And that statement about "aid"; if the current plan to pour 4.3 billion billion dollars into the Afghan and Pakistani infrastructure does as well as has previous aid efforts, we might as well just close up shop and go home.

As reported in

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/01/15/afghanistan_jones/
in the article by An Jones in January of 2009, she reported:

"Whatever the truth of the matter, in the long run, it's not soldiers but services that count -- electricity, water, food, healthcare, justice and jobs. Had the U.S. delivered the promised services on time, while employing Afghans to rebuild their own country according to their own priorities and under the supervision of their own government -- a mini-Marshall Plan -- they would now be in charge of their own defense. The forces on the other side, which we loosely call the Taliban, would also have lost much of their grounds for complaint."

"Instead, the Bush administration perpetrated a scam. It used the system it set up to dispense reconstruction aid to both the countries it "liberated," Afghanistan and Iraq, to transfer American taxpayer dollars from the national treasury directly into the pockets of private war profiteers. Think of Halliburton, Bechtel and Blackwater in Iraq; Louis Berger Group, Bearing Point and DynCorp International in Afghanistan. They're all in it together"

Unless President Obama is actually able to hold collective corporate feet to the fire in terms of true accountability, the relief/reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is just as doomed to failure as were the relief/reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

And that's pretty ugly.

Jun 04 09:04

US objects to UN report on military killings

The Obama administration charged Wednesday that a U.N. investigator violated his mandate by accusing the U.S. of failing to properly investigate allegations of unlawful killings by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just as did his predecessor, Obama and his team want the massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan to just fade from (at least American) public view.

Philip Alston was very brave in refusing to let that happen.

Jun 04 07:12

Faulted firm gets Afghan aid work

Last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded a $150 million cooperative agreement to a partnership led by DAI, a Maryland company whose past Afghanistan contracts have been criticized by USAID's inspector general. The program is to promote alternatives to poppy crops

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whatever governmental and lobbying influences colluded to make this contract happen, after these guys have already failed miserably in a previous contract in Afghanistan, one has to wonder if there is any real interest in stopping the farming of opium poppies in Afghanistan, because it is such a financially lucrative cash crop from which so many profit.

And "supervision" or "accountability" on this?!? Don't bet on it.

Jun 03 18:53

Pakistan the world's most dangerous country: Kilcullen

"So I don't think people are necessarily see it as an occupation. I think they see the coalition as a little bit feckless and failing to deliver on promises of security and development and in fact the international development assistance is one of the biggest grievances that you hear Afghans talk about.

"They believe it's been ineffective and that they haven't got many benefits."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, but the mind reels to hear Lt.Col Kilcullen make that statement ""So I don't think people are necessarily see it as an occupation."

The Afghans understand what an occupation is. they knew what was happening - and why - during the Soviet occupation, and the same can be said for the current occupation of Afghanistan by the US and NATO.

And these occupations have had nothing to do with the betterment of life for the Afghan people; it is about the imposition of pipelines by the oil companies, agreed to by the most pliant government the US can possibly install in Kabul.

When the Taliban was in power previously in Afghanistan, their price was too high.

Jun 03 15:51

The War Party Returns

Repudiated at the polls, they're back – in a new liberal guise

Jun 02 17:59

Nato commander Stanley McChrystal: 'We must gain support of Afghans'

Nato’s next commander in Afghanistan warned yesterday that the West could lose the war against the Taleban if it fails to gain the support of the Afghan people.

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan, especially from US airstrikes launched from unmanned drones, have already inflamed anti-American sentiment in parts of the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The total complement of US and NATO boots on the ground in Afghanistan is far less than the old Soviet Union had in this country (around 500,000 people, give or take) , only to have to leave, humiliated, with its tail between its legs.

Even with hired mercenaries, we still will not have enough boots on the ground to successfully occupy Afghanistan.

The US indiscriminate bombing of civilians has caused Afghans to see the Taliban as the good guys, and US and NATO forces as the bad guys.

The rank corruption of the Karzai government, coupled with our indiscriminate bombings of civilians, leaves many Afghans to believe that their lives cannot possibly get better better under the current circumstances.

And the alleged "reconstruction effort" ?!? In the words of Tony Soprano, "Fuggetaboutit!" What has been done (if it has actually been done at all) has been substandard, and awarded to many of the "usual suspects" who have underperformed and overcharged We the People for their services.

As reported in:

http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-scam-of-reconstruction-in-afghanistan/

"A report issued in June 2005 by the non-profit organization Action Aid reveals that much of the US tax money earmarked to rebuild Afghanistan actually ends up going no further than the pockets of wealthy US corporations. “Phantom aid” that never shows up in the recipient country is a scam in which paychecks for overpriced, and often incompetent, American “experts” under contract to USAID go directly from the Agency to American bank accounts. Additionally, 70 percent of the aid that does make it to a recipient country is carefully “tied” to the donor nation, requiring that the recipient use the donated money to buy products and services from the donor country, often at drastically inflated prices. The US far outstrips other nations in these schemes, as Action Aid calculates that 86 cents of every dollar of American aid is phantom."

86 cents out of every dollar - chew on that for a moment.

Unless and until the aid actually gets to where it's supposed to go, with quality reconstruction projects providing money and training for Afghans, establish and protecting infrastructure (schools, hospitals, roads, water systems, etc.), nothing can change here.

So we have several choices here:

1. Declare "victory", and leave.

2. Stop the bombings, start reconstruction programs with real accountability, put Karzai on a short leash (he is, after all, our "cur" of a dictator), and give the Afghan people some hope for their future. With all the misery and devastation the US has caused, we owe this to the Afghan people.

3. Kill every single Afghan still breathing.

Shocked about that last one?? You shouldn't be.

There are some people in the military and congress (particularly those in congress who are "acquisitions" of the oil companies) would would absolutely prefer the third option in order to get the pipelines finally installed, with little or no opposition from the Afghan people.

Let us hope that we have some adults in the room in the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House who do understand what that second option would really cost this country, and the world.

Jun 01 12:03

Mysterious 'chip' is CIA's latest weapon against al-Qaida targets hiding in Pakistan's tribal belt

According to residents and Taliban propaganda, the CIA pays tribesmen to plant the electronic devices near farmhouses sheltering al-Qaida and Taliban commanders.

Hours or days later, a drone, guided by the signal from the chip, destroys the building with a salvo of missiles. "There are body parts everywhere," said Wazir, who witnessed the aftermath of a strike.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just out of idle curiosity, and considering the "false positives" now sitting in Guantanamo, how do we know these chips are being planted on real Al Qaeda, rather than a rival farmer whose goats are foraging on the wrong side of a fence?

Jun 01 11:35

Army Deploys Old Tactic in PR War

Body counts are back, reigniting the decades-old debate about whether victory in war can be judged by measuring the stack of enemy dead.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The lesson from Vietnam is ... no

May 31 20:37

17,000 US troops in Afghanistan by mid-July

The Obama White House says that the 21,000 additional troops are to reinforce security ahead of the August 20 presidential elections, and are to support the NATO-led troops which have struggled to fight an escalating insurgency there.

The surge in US troops in Afghanistan comes amid frosty relations between Kabul and Washington, over the US bombing of civilians about a month ago.

The raid which left some 150 people including 95 children dead is dubbed as the deadliest incident for Afghan civilians since the 2001 US-led invasion.

May 31 05:07

Convergence and Continuity: The American-Backed Terror Campaign in Iran

Thus the attack this week in Zahedan is an integral part of a wide-ranging campaign of American-supported terrorism inside Iran -- even if the "darksiders" in the U.S. security organs had no direct involvement or knowledge of this particular attack. When you are in the business of fomenting terror (see here and here), there's no need for micro-management. You co-opt the armed extremists who best serve your political agenda of the moment; you slip them guns, money, intelligence, guidance -- and then you turn them loose on the local populace.

May 30 09:33

Aid expert says only pennies of foreign aid reaching Afghans

Vicenzino, who is a strategic adviser for the Afghanistan World Foundation and a former official with the World Bank, said about 80 cents of every dollar goes back to donor countries, largely through the contractors doing the work.

"You have 20 cents left for Afghanistan and those 20 cents have to go through their layers of corruption. By the time any money reaches the ordinary citizen, you're lucky if you even have five cents ...."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that the "reconstruction" of Afghanistan is going just about as well as has the "reconstruction" in Iraq.

May 29 20:38

US Soldiers, routinely drugged, become homicidal /psychotic

U.S. military: Heavily armed and medicated
Prescription pill dependency among American troops is on the rise
By Melody Petersen, Tues., May 19, 2009
"Sending a person back to combat duty still under the influence of psychoactive drugs may be dangerous," he wrote."
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/11079
U.S. troops in Iraq taking drugs to cope with stress, trauma
Steve Hammons, June 30, 2006
"In addition to psychotropic drugs, most troops are given the anti-malaria drug Lariam, which is known to cause severe psychiatric problems including suicidal and homicidal behavior."
"Like the scourge of methamphetamine use in the U.S. population, military personnel taking amphetamines risk impaired judgment, psychotic reactions, paranoia and homicidal behavior."

May 28 18:06

MoD admits use of controversial 'enhanced blast' weapons in Afghanistan

British pilots in Afghanistan are firing an increasing number of "enhanced blast" thermobaric weapons, designed to kill everyone in buildings they strike, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

Its wider use was disclosed by John Hutton, the defence secretary, in answer to a parliamentary answer from Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman. "Given the MoD's reluctance to admit they were even going to use these weapons, they now seem to be getting rather more trigger-happy," Harvey said yesterday. "If these controversial weapons are being fired on a weekly basis in Afghanistan, we need to know that they are being used according to strict rules of engagement."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The most probably reality is that these weapons are being used indiscriminately, killing all - including women, kids, and the medically infirm - in their wake.

The Afghans do not hate the Brits, Americans, or NATO soldiers "because we are free"; they hate us because we are killing their wives, their husbands, their infants, their aunts and uncles, and friends, many of whom just want to stay out of the way of combat.

May 27 11:38

US killed 97 Afghan civilians in two days

A human rights group has confirmed that the United States used disproportionate force in its recent raids in Afghanistan and killed 97 civilians to get at two Taliban militants.

Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), which launched a probe into early May US-led air strikes in the country, announced Tuesday that 21 of the fatalities of the attacks were women and 65 were children.

May 27 11:12

UN wants 'flood of drugs' in Afghanistan to devalue opium

United Nations officials in Afghanistan are attempting to create a "flood of drugs" in the country intended to destroy the value of opium and force poppy farmers to switch to legal crops such as wheat.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That makes a great cover-story for those US troops guarding the poppy fields.

Nobody will believe it...

But it is a great cover story!

May 27 08:33

U.S. Miltary Takes Long-Term Lease With Option to Buy in Iraq & Afghanistan

Remember those campaign promises to bring a swift and honorable peace in the two wars that President Obama inherited? Forget about it.

May 26 10:02

Gates Says Taliban Have Momentum in Afghanistan

American public support for the Afghan war will dissipate in less than a year unless the Obama administration achieves "a perceptible shift in momentum," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

WHAT public support??????

May 25 07:30

Memorial Day - Map the Fallen in Google Earth

This is one of the most powerful poignant ways I´ve seen yet of showing who died where and when and where they lived.

This Memorial Day I would like to share with you a personal project of mine that uses Google Earth to honor the more than 5,700 American and Coalition servicemen and women that have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories—you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial websites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died.

http://www.mapthefallen.org/2009/05/for-past-two-years-ive-been-workin...

May 24 17:08

Security turnaround in Afghanistan in 18 months a must: Mullen

Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military solution was not enough but the buildup in US forces would be used to turn around the security situation.

President Barack Obama has approved deployments that would double the size of the US force in Afghanistan to 68,000 by the fall.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to Admiral Mullen: the old Soviet Union couldn't do this with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground, and by fall, we'll have a total complement of (drum roll, please) ......68,000 troops with which to accomplish security improvement?

I am willing to bet one whole cent that we will see a draft be reinstituted by the end of Obama's first term.

The very muscular foreign policy goals he's put forward cannot be brought about without a return to conscription, particularly now that he's potentially looking at military involvement against Pakistan and Iraq.

May 24 08:32

Airstrike kills construction worker, wounds 18 others near Afghan capital

An airstrike of international troops on Friday night killed a road construction worker and wounded 18 others in Afghanistan's Wardak province, some 70 km west of the capital Kabul, an official said on Saturday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More of NATO's operations to win the hearts and minds of the Afghans, I suppose.

May 23 16:16

US forces seize drugs from narco cartel competitors

Afghanistan: U.S. Forces Seize Almost 15 Tonnes of Narcotics Including Opium, Heroin and Morphine
May 22nd, 2009
Via: Reuters:
Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium, most of it in the Taliban’s southern heartland. U.S. military officials have estimated the opium trade provides between $80 million and $400 million a year to the Taliban.

[It can be assumed that these narcotics will still get to market for whichever cartel the US soldiers are representing. UK/US distributors no doubt, but transported by US military aircraft and personnel to the major drug hubs of Europe. This haul isn't going to be destroyed, for sure. ]

May 23 00:02

Slouching towards balkanization

In the long run, Obama's AfPak strategy may acquire its own relentless, volatile momentum of addicting the military in Islamabad to make war on their own people - be they Pashtuns or Balochis. So Washington may in fact be setting the slow but inexorable march towards the balkanization of Pakistan. If Pashtun cousins on both sides of the border - 26 million in Pakistan, 13 million in Afghanistan - would eventually find an opening to form a long-dreamed-of Pashtunistan, Pakistan as we know it would break up. India might intervene to subdue Sind and Punjab, keeping both under its sphere of influence. Washington for its part would rather concentrate on exploiting the natural wealth and strategic value of an independent Balochistan.

May 22 17:28

Obama's War: Drunk, Bored Trigger Happy Mercenaries Kill Afghan Civilians

Blessed with immunity from the laws of any nation and a new company name mercenaries for the company formerly known as Blackwater are still hard at work, doing what mercenaries do.. getting paid, while corporate media protect us from the news.

May 22 09:13

US troop surge in Afghanistan 'could push Taliban into Pakistan'

The buildup of US troops in Afghanistan could force more Taliban fighters into neighbouring Pakistan, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff conceded last night.

Admiral Mike Mullen told the US Senate's foreign relations committee: "We can't deny that our success may only push them [the Taliban] deeper into Pakistan."

May 22 06:54

Obama's Murderous Guest

Besides ruining my country, I believe my aunt's husband, Pakistani President Zardari, orchestrated my father’s murder. Is Obama really going to offer him billions more when they meet?

Something rotten has arrived in Washington.

President Barack Obama will shake hands and stage Oval Office photo ops for the first time with the man who many believe stole billions from the Pakistani treasury, empowered Pakistan’s newly formed Taliban by imposing Shariah law without a vote or referendum, and whom I have publicly accused of orchestrating the murder of my father, Murtaza Bhutto, an elected member of parliament until he was killed in 1996.

Pakistan has been at war with its own people for a long time now—perhaps it’s only natural that we move on to terrorizing the world at large.

May 20 06:52

Picking Out A Headstone

R.I.P. American Empire!

May 19 10:54

NASA Confirms Gas, Minieral Reserves In Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Motive for Obama's escalation?

May 18 09:02

Buyer's Remorse: Is it too late to swap Obama for McCain?

Anyone who has ever wasted good money on a clunker only to drop the transmission 15 minutes after leaving the car-lot, knows the feeling. It's like a swift-kick in the groin followed by weeks of fist-pounding rage. It's called buyer's remorse; "Gawd, I wish I hadn't bought that piece of dogshite!"

There are probably a lot of former-Obama supporters feeling that same agonizing sense despair now that President Rainbow has done an about-face on every campaign promise he made. So much for "truth in advertising", eh?

What a disaster. Did anyone know it was gonna be this bad?

May 18 07:59

Cheney's Chief Assassin Is Now Obama's Commander in Afghanistan

McChrystal’s rise to leadership is marked by his central role in directing special operations teams engaged in extrajudicial assassinations, systematic torture, bombing of civilian communities and search and destroy missions. He is the very embodiment of the brutality and gore that accompanies military-driven empire building. Between September 2003 and August 2008, McChrystal directed the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations (JSO) Command which operates special teams in overseas assassinations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Change? What change? anyone see any change here?

May 17 12:28

STICK IT

Mentioned by Mike on yesterday's radio show. Boston Legal clip. If you are not angry by now then you are just brain dead.

May 16 09:37

Rumsfeld's renegade unit blamed for Afghan deaths

Special Forces group implicated in three incidents that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians / MarSOC was set up by former defence secretary despite opposition from within the Marine Corps.

MarSOC was created three years ago on the express orders of Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary at the time, despite opposition from within the Marine Corps and the wider Special Forces community. An article in the Marine Corps Times described the MarSOC troops as "cowboys" who brought shame on the corps.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Rumsfeld never imagined a non-combatant Afghan, Pakistani or Iraqi who wouldn't be better off dead.

May 16 08:52

Rumsfeld's renegade unit blamed for Afghan deaths

Special Forces group implicated in three incidents that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians / MarSOC was set up by former defence secretary despite opposition from within the Marine Corps

May 16 08:38

Even with Obama in charge, anti-war Democrats powerless

They weren't even allowed a vote on a plan. It was a setback because for years, anti-war lawmakers lacked the votes they needed to impose restrictions on former President George W. Bush's war in Iraq. Now, the president is a Democrat, and the Democrats have a 79-seat majority in the House of Representatives and 59 Senate seats, including two independents, which gives them their biggest margins since the early 1990s.

Nevertheless, the anti-war crowd remains as impotent as it was during the Bush years amid widespread support for President Barack Obama and a public that's preoccupied with economic issues and largely unperturbed by the escalating war in Afghanistan.

May 15 20:53

US Soldiers under great psychological strain

Killing of Comrades by 'Stressed Out' Soldier in Iraq: Inevitable?
By Greg Mitchell

NEW YORK (May 11, 2009) -- The slaughter of five comrades by a "stressed out" U.S. soldier in Baghdad is a true tragedy -- but should not come as a shock.
Paul Rieckhoff, head of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America said this afternoon: ... Many troops are under great psychological strain and are not receiving the treatment they need. Over 600,000 troops have served more than one combat tour since 9/11. Military suicide rates have hit record highs every year since 2003. Much more must be done to address troops' psychological injuries before they reach a crisis point."

May 15 13:29

U.S. air strike victims say Taliban long gone

Haji Sayed Barakat, who lost two children and his wife of 35 years in the May 4 attack, said Taliban militants were present in the area but had moved on two hours before the U.S. air strikes.

May 15 11:28

IVAW members lobby against more military funding for Afghanistan and Iraq

You can take action today

Urge your representatives in Congress to vote "NO" on a $94.2 billion supplemental wartime spending bill by emailing https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
or calling. http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/mcapdir.html

Tell them no more blank checks for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With the revelation that prisoners were tortured into making false confessions that were the foundation for the war in Iraq, the fact is that this is and always has been an illegal war and the time to stop it is right now.

Nobody can make any argument as to why our young men and women should continue to be killed in Iraq.

There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.
The only link between Al Qaeda and Iraq was a "confession" extracted under torture.
Al Qaeda appears to be a front group for CIA and Mossad.

Iraq has been ruined, which is what Israel so clearly wanted.

Mission accomplished.

President Obama (or Mr. Waffles, as we call him around here) has no option but to end the war and bring the kids home. Or he is an accessory to a continuing war crime.

May 15 09:35

The Writing on the Wall for Obama’s ‘Af-Pak’ Vietnam

It requires a spectacular leap of faith in a kind of superheroic American exceptionalism to imagine that the invasion of Afghanistan that occurred in November 2001 will end any differently from any previous invasion of that country. And it takes an elaborate exercise in self-delusion to avoid recognizing that the Taliban crisis in Pakistan is an effect of the war in Afghanistan, rather than a cause — and that Pakistan’s turmoil is unlikely to end before the U.S. winds down its campaign next door.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The level of magical thinking expressed here, coupled with an absolute naivete about the history of this region, is virtually guaranteed to lead to countless more deaths of American military troops, not to mention the huge numbers deaths of Afghan and Pakistani citizens.

At the end of the day, the US will re-experience its "Saigon Moment" in Afghanistan.

One only has to wonder just how long that will be - and how many more have to die - before it happens.

May 14 12:10

HAS AMERICA FORGOTTEN THAT THE SOVIET UNION WAS DEFEATED IN AFGHANISTAN?

I am somewhat confused over the Obama administrations recent firing of the US Afghanistan Commander and replacing him with a General who knowingly and intentionally filed and forwarded false reports in the Tillman death.

What amazes me even more is Obama's claims that Afghanistan is where we need to be. Has America forgotten that Russia was engaged in a war with the Taliban in Afghanistan for 9 years and was beaten into withdrawing their forces?

May 14 09:48

'US strike killed 95 children in Afghanistan'

Afghan officials reveal that 95 children are among the civilians killed in a US-led strike that is surrounded with the controversy over use of white phosphorous.

Afghan lawmaker Obaidullah Helali who headed a delegation investigating the booming in the western province of Farah confirmed the children's massacre on such a large scale.

The delegation also delivered condolence payments to the victims, ordered by President Hamid Karzai.

Nearly 150 civilians were killed last Tuesday when US warplanes dropped bombs on two villages in the Bala Baluk district in the western province of Farah.

Human rights and medical officials also accused the US forces of using flesh-eating chemical white phosphorus during the lethal strikes.

May 13 15:24

The Strategic Debate Over Afghanistan

After U.S. airstrikes killed scores of civilians in western Afghanistan this past week, White House National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones said the United States would continue with the airstrikes and would not tie the hands of U.S. generals fighting in Afghanistan. At the same time, U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus has cautioned against using tactics that undermine strategic U.S. goals in Afghanistan — raising the question of what exactly are the U.S. strategic goals in Afghanistan. A debate inside the U.S. camp has emerged over this very question, the outcome of which is likely to determine the future of the region.
On one side are President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a substantial amount of the U.S. Army leadership. On the other side are Petraeus — the architect of U.S. strategy in Iraq after 2006 — and his staff and supporters. An Army general — even one with four stars — is unlikely to overcome a president and a defense secretary; even the five-star Gen. Douglas MacArthur couldn’t pull that off.

May 13 09:59

Stanley McChrystal: A History Of Condoning Torture?

As Fred Kaplan noticed, the man Obama has just selected to be his new commander in Afghanistan has a history. It appears to involve some pretty horrifying toleration of rampant abuse and torture of prisoners

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maybe that is why he was selected.

May 13 08:09

Did newly announced top Afghan general run Cheney's assassination wing?

Speaking to a University of Minnesota audience in March, Hersh called JSOC "a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. ... They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. ... Congress has no oversight of it. ... It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on."

May 13 08:02

Stop ‘Helping’ Af-Pak

While much of the country’s attention is on other issues, a serious situation is developing in Pakistan that threatens to plunge us into another fruitless and bloody war. It is very frustrating to see that many who were so vehemently against the wars of the last administration have suddenly lost interest in foreign policy simply because we were promised change.

Those still paying attention know that nothing could be further from the truth. Very little has changed, except perhaps rhetoric, but what does that matter when the bombing missions are only getting deadlier? Rather than drawing down violent military interventions into the affairs of other countries, the new administration is escalating the foreign policy of the previous administration.

May 12 16:53

The AfPak Blues, US soldiers'/drones' civilian slaughter

Corpses of Kids By the Truckload
The AfPak Blues
May 12, 2009
By RICHARD NEVILLE
In 2008, according to the New York Times, American led coalition forces killed 828 civilians, ...
A few days ago, these same gutless idiots operating in the Western province of Farah, allegedly killed over 100 civilians and are trying to blame it on the Taliban. “No that’s not true” said an MP from the area, Mujammad Naeem Farahi, “and I am someone who supports the American presence”. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates promises to “make amends”. Look at the images. This isn’t flushing out militants. It’s a killing field.
And the murders continue in Pakistan, often hatched and executed from Creech Air Force base in Nevada, where the silent drones glide into the skies every few minutes armed to the teeth.

May 12 13:27

Commando attack on Taliban stronghold leaves 800,000 homeless

The fighting is inflicting a mounting human toll. The army estimates that 800,000 people have been left homeless by the latest fighting, bringing the total number of displaced people in North West Frontier province to more than 1.3 million. About four-fifths of those are thought to be sheltering with friends or relatives, particularly in Mardan and Swabi districts, while about 130,000 are living in tents.

While conditions in the hastily-erected camps are rough and hot, authorities have managed to ensure adequate food and water. But disgruntlement among the displaced is rising, and, combined with anger over civilian deaths caused by army shelling, analysts say the government is in danger of squandering a wave of public sympathy for the operation.

May 12 11:54

Saigon Again?

The problem with assessing President Barack Obama’s foreign policy after little more than 100 days is that it is nearly impossible to distinguish what has already become policy from approaches that might be termed more tentative. Does he really think that a continued American engagement in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and on behalf of Israel serves the national interest? Maybe not. There are signs that a broad reassessment of U.S. policy is underway, though critics who have been rightly soured by eight years of George W. Bush’s blundering note that Obama appears to have embraced the interventionist formula that has proven so disastrous.

May 12 11:37

Hawks Divided: AfPak or Iran?

A potentially major clash appears to be developing between powerful factions inside and outside the U.S. government, pitting those who see the Afghanistan/Pakistan ("AfPak") theater as the greatest potential threat to U.S. national security against those who believe that the danger posed by a nuclear Iran must be given priority.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Any war will do, right now!" -- Official White Horse Souse

May 12 11:19

'Hidden general' to fight al-Qaeda

On Monday the general, Stanley McChrystal, was appointed to head the US forces in Afghanistan, a sudden switch that signals the US wants to drive its counterinsurgency efforts in the war-torn nation much, much harder.

May 12 08:57

Taliban rejects US claim it used white phosphorous ammunition

Qari Mohammad Yousuf, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the Islamist group did not use white phosphorous at all.

"We neither have nor use phosphorous. The Americans have used it in many operations and now want to attribute their tyranny to the Taliban," he alleged in a telephone conversation with the Reuters news agency.

Reuters reported last week that US military doctors had treated an eight-year-old girl with white phosphorous burns. The US military said it believes that no rounds had been fired by Western forces near her house when she was hurt, and that a mortar fired by militants may have been to blame.

However, the girl's father told Reuters that the house was hit by a volley of artillery fired by Western troops.

May 11 20:02

Flashback:Brzezinski, CIA, Afghanistan, Bin Laden,Muslim Terrorism

Ex-Security Chief Brzezinski's Interview makes clear:
The Muslim Terrorist Apparatus was Created by US Intelligence as a Geopolitical Weapon
Published 15-21 January 1998
"Zbigniew Brzezinski:" ... I wrote president Carter, in essence: "We now have the opportunity to provide the USSR with their Viet Nam war." Indeed for ten years Moscow had to conduct a war that was intolerable for the regime, a conflict which involved the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet Empire."

http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/madein.htm
Osama bin Laden: Made in USA
by Jared Israel
[Written 28 August 1998. Posted 13 September 2001]

May 11 14:05

US sacks top military commander in Afghanistan

The top US military commander in Afghanistan was sacked today after both the Pentagon and the White House decided that “fresh thinking” was needed to win the war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The last military commander to succeed in conquering and hanging onto Afghanistan was Alexander the Great.

... and he only kept it for three years.

May 11 13:08

CIA and ISI together created Taliban, says Zardari

In a new revelation, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the CIA of the United States and his country's ISI together created the Taliban.

May 11 06:30

Becoming What We Seek to Destroy

The bodies of dozens, perhaps well over a hundred, women, children and men, their corpses blown into bits of human flesh by iron fragmentation bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes in a village in the western province of Farah, illustrates the futility of the Afghan war. We are not delivering democracy or liberation or development. We are delivering massive, sophisticated forms of industrial slaughter. And because we have employed the blunt and horrible instrument of war in a land we know little about and are incapable of reading, we embody the barbarism we claim to be seeking to defeat.

May 11 05:52

US accused of illegal white phosphorus attack in Afghanistan

United States forces in Afghanistan are accused of illegally deploying white phosphorus against civilians following a firefight with Taliban militants, according to published reports.

White phosphorus is legal to use on a battlefield but illegal to deploy for any reason other than illumination. The chemical ignites on contact with the air. Human rights groups said using the substance in populated, civilian areas is a war crime, but the United States is not a signatory to any treaty which entirely bans its use.

“The American military denied using the incendiary in the battle in Farah province — which President Hamid Karzai has said killed 125 to 130 civilians — but left open the possibility that Taliban militants did,” reported the Associated Press. “

May 11 03:12

Obama’s Middle East Imperialism

The velvet gloves are off and the reality of Obama’s Middle East plans are being revealed: a bare-fisted pummeling of Afghanistan and Pakistan — with Iraq’s fate yet to be determined.

The media have been preparing this for months, with incessant talk about the alleged “troop drawdown” in Iraq, the “surge” in Afghanistan and the “immediate threat” that supposedly is represented by Pakistan.

May 10 10:52

Afghan students protest against civilian casualties

Chanting “Death to America!” and weeping as they prayed, hundreds of Kabul university students marched on Sunday in protest against U.S. air strikes last week that Afghan officials say killed more than 100 civilians

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.............

May 10 10:20

Patrick Cockburn: Who killed 120 civilians? The US says it's not a story

I did not meet survivors but I did talk to a reliable witness, a radio reporter called Farooq Faizy, who had gone to Bala Baluk soon after the attack happened. He said that police and soldiers nearby were frightened of the Taliban and told him it was too dangerous to go on, but he spoke to some village elders, telling them: "Talk to us and we will tell the world." He says he was none too sure who was in control of the three villages – Gerani, Gangabad and Khoujaha – that had been hit and he was careful about what he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Afghan people do not hate us because we are free; they hate us because we are killing and maiming their children, their wives, their mothers, their fathers, and their loved ones.

Hamid Karzai has chosen a war lord wanted by the US to be a part of his government, because he is hopeful that this man can, through brute force of his militias, stomp down on the anger here.

Karzai is making a very bad judgment out of desperation.

Because at some point, the anger of the Afghan people at the US puppet regime he represents will not be able to be contained.

All he has to do is ask Russians who were part of the Afghanistan campaign led by the old Soviet Union. The Soviets couldn't contain the country with 500,000 men.

May 10 10:09

Karzai in move to share power with warlord wanted by US

ONE of Afghanistan’s most wanted terrorists is to be offered a power-sharing deal by the government of President Hamid Karzai as the country’s warlords extend their grip on power.

Hekmatyar is the leader of Hezb-i-Islami, which has been fighting Nato troops alongside the Taliban. The hardline group is responsible for many attacks in the eastern and central regions, including the massacre of 10 French soldiers in Sarobi last year. It controls Kapisa province, just 50 miles north of Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Talk about irony; but it is obvious that Karzai feels that he has to "make a deal with the devil" in order to stop at least some of the violence in Afghanistan prior to the elections.

The big question is, will Hekmatyar jump at this opportunity, or say, "Golly, thanks no: we're winning!"?!?!

May 09 16:16

A giant US military base emerges in Afghanistan

"It's been real busy," said Captain Jeff Boroway from the 25th Naval Construction regiment.

"This place was desert at the end of January. I mean nothing. And now you've got a 443-acre (179-hectare) secure facility," he told reporters.

The escalation of the war against the Taliban has raised concerns among some in Obama's own party that the administration could be drawn into an open-ended mission.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Welcome to the next country we're never leaving, folks!!

May 09 16:12

Afghan girl's burns show horror of chemical strike

Life as 8-year-old Razia knew it ended one March morning when a shell her father says was fired by Western troops exploded into their house, enveloping her head and neck in a blazing chemical.

Razia and her family are the first known civilian casualties of its use in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is too damned bad that there are no photos of the girl's original and current condition. And because she is being treated at an American hospital, no such photo will ever see the light of day, unless someone at the hospital gets very brave.

If such a photo existed, I would want everyone to see it, to know just what their tax dollars are purchasing in Afghanistan in this insane and endless war.

May 09 14:39

U.S. Used White Phosphorous in Afghanistan

Friday, May 8, 2009
U.S. Used White Phosphorous in Afghanistan
"Colonel Gregory Julian, a spokesman for the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, confirmed that Western forces in the country use the chemical"
[ http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20090508/twl-uk-afghanistan-phosphorus-exc... ]

May 09 10:37

Obama Readies Troops as Afghans Pile Up Body Parts

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.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There will be a point in Afghanistan which will be the point of no return.

The possibility of a true military "victory" in this theatre does not exist. The old Soviet Union couldn't make that happen with over 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground.

When a guy can get up in the morning, go to work at decent wages, and he's able to take care of his family; when the kids are getting an education leading to a future where their dreams might be realized; when people's medical requirements can get taken care of; when there is a real participatory government without a whole lot of rampant, rancid corruption, is that guy suddenly going to pick up a gun, and start shooting governmental and military personnel?? Chances are, no.

When there is really a chance for people to do well, they are most generally going to want to go along with the process.

When that chance doesn't seem to exist, people become hopeless, and then angry, and then they become radicalized.

May 09 10:10

US balks at demand to end Afghan airstrikes

An end to air strikes in Afghanistan, demanded by President Hamid Karzai after scores of civilians were allegedly killed this week, would deprive Afghan troops of vital protection, a US official said Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These airstrikes are not enhancing US or Afghani military security; they are doing just the converse.

And by continuing these airstrikes, the US and NATO are collectively slouching toward their very own "Saigon Moment" in Afghanistan.

May 09 06:40

Indian RAW funded Swat terrorists:$650 million to destabilize Pakistan

India intelligence: “‘the aim of RAW is to keep internal disturbances flaring up and the ISI preoccupied so that Pakistan can lend no worthwhile resistance to Indian designs in the region.”

Many moons ago We discussed the Indian involvement in terror activities in Pakistan.

India a secret player in Afghanistan: Bases—Lashkargarh, Qushila Jadid,Khahak,Hassan Killies

We have reported on Indian intelligence services from our columnists in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and USA. Now there are reports that Afghans have been captured admitting to the RAW activities.

May 09 04:36

Karzai urges US to stop air strikes - Most Americans Agree <=> The Fictitious War on Terrorism Has Fallen on Hard Times

BBC News - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on the US to halt air strikes in his country [...] Mr Karzai, who is in Washington, told CNN air strikes were "not acceptable".

May 09 00:47

Why We Fight .. U.S. Troops Die For Rapists

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.

After President Obama's coming "Afghan surge" there will be 72,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Their primary mission is to prevent Afghans from overthrowing the unpopular regime of Hamid Karzai, the former oil consultant installed by George W. Bush when the U.S. occupation began nearly eight years ago.

May 08 13:44

Afghanistan: DOD Makes Excuses, CNN Rushes to Repeat the Spin

Yesterday, while Sec. of State Clinton was expressing “deep regret” over Monday's civilian deaths in Bala Baluk, US military spokespeople were telling a different story. After similar incidents, one of the usual claims made is that the civilian casualties are inevitable since villagers are “used as human shields by the Taliban” but this time, DOD is spinning at a whole new level, claiming that the Taliban rounded up civilians and killed them with grenades – then loaded the bodies into trucks to use are an anti-American photo op. CNN quickly had Barbara Starr on air repeating the DOD version within hours of the Clinton apology.

May 08 11:36

Afghans riot over air-strike atrocity

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.

May 08 08:08

A giant US military base emerges in Afghanistan

In the forbidding Afghan desert, US engineers are carving out a sprawling military camp as part of a dramatic American troop build-up designed to confront Taliban insurgents.

The desolate plain in southern Helmand province that Afghans call the "desert of death" has turned into a hive of frenetic activity, underscoring President Barack Obama's decision to expand the US military commitment to the war.

May 08 07:57

Afghan girl's burns show horror of chemical strike

Life as 8-year-old Razia knew it ended one March morning when a shell her father says was fired by Western troops exploded into their house, enveloping her head and neck in a blazing chemical. Skip related content

Now she spends her days in a U.S. hospital bed at the Bagram airbase, her small fingernails still covered with flaking red polish but her face an almost unrecognisable mess of burnt tissue and half her scalp a bald scar.

May 08 06:09

Afghan Civilian Deaths Present U.S. With Strategic Problem

Problem? 2 dozen?

May 07 11:07

Clinton 'quite impressed' by new war

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oooh, she looks SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy, in that photo!

May 07 09:58

'120 die' as US bombs village

A misdirected US air strike has killed as many as 120 Afghans, including dozens of women and children. The attack is the deadliest such bombing involving civilian casualties so far in the eight years since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Families in two villages in Farah province in western Afghanistan were digging for bodies in the ruins of their mudbrick houses yesterday. "There were women and children who were killed," said Jessica Barry, a Red Cross spokeswoman. "It seemed they were trying to shelter in houses when they were hit." Survivors said the number of dead would almost certainly to rise as the search for bodies continued.

May 07 08:49

Karzai Visit to U.S. Set Against Backdrop of Civilian Deaths, Opposition to Obama Plan

U.S. President Barack Obama met this week with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, while another U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan resulting in dead civilians set the tone for the visit.

May 07 07:22

Afpack vs Pacification

Global Post's second installment on the Vietnam - Afghanistan analogy merits comment (The Pitfalls of Pacification).

We throw words around in the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) and do not stop to consider their Orwellian implications. Take for example, pacification, from pace (L): peace.

May 07 02:53

Afghans to Obama: Get Out, Take Karzai With You

The title of his lecture shows a certain cheek. Karzai’s seven years in power since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 have been notable for his failure to prevent their resurgence. Suppose the president’s motorcade this week had taken a different route and headed, not for the airport, but for the southern outskirts of Kabul, he would soon have experienced the limits of his government’s authority. It ends at a beleaguered police post within a few minutes’ drive of the capital. Drivers heading for the southern provincial capitals of Ghazni, Qalat and Kandahar nervously check their pockets to make sure that they are carrying no documents linking them to the government.

May 06 15:24

Yet Another Airstrike Tragedy

In Afghanistan, the main gap between word and deed has been civilian casualties caused by airstrikes - something the manuals say should be avoided. However, there's been a long litany of accidents caused by over-zealous force-protection or by information provided by locals with a vendetta that isn't properly vetted. The kind of communal emnity you cause through collateral damage can't be repaired.

May 06 09:30

Almost 200 Afghan drug cartels traffic heroin to Russia

About 180 Afghan drug cartels are trafficking heroin to Russia, as drug production has increased more than 40 times since 2001, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service said on Wednesday.

May 06 07:56

US Strike Kills Dozens of Afghan Civilians

Following clashes in the Bala Baluk district of the Farah Province, US aircraft bombed the area. Afghan officials are now confirming that the attack hit civilian homes, killing women and children, and some officials say the final toll could easily rise into the dozens.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Well, we're really sorry about those women and children, but you have to understand we are fighting for some very important, umm, principles here!" -- Official White Horse Souse

May 06 07:30

WHY YOUR CHILDREN ARE BEING KILLED AND CRIPPLED IN AFGHANISTAN!

May 05 16:53

KBR Connected to Alleged Fraud, Pentagon Auditor Says

KBR, the Army's largest contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan, is linked to "the vast majority" of suspected combat-zone fraud cases that have been referred to investigators, as well as a majority of the $13 billion in "questioned" or "unsupported" costs, the Pentagon's top auditor said yesterday.

May 05 16:35

Al Jazeera Strikes Back at Pentagon, Releases Unedited Footage of US Soldiers' 'Bible Study' in Afghanistan

Hours after Al Jazeera first broadcast a video showing US soldiers in Afghanistan being instructed by the military’s top chaplain in the country to “hunt people for Jesus” as they spread Christianity to the overwhelmingly Muslim population, the Pentagon shot back. It charged that Al Jazeera had “grossly misrepresent[ed] the truth.” Col. Greg Julian, told Al Jazeera: “Most of this is taken out of context … this is irresponsible and inappropriate journalism.”

May 05 16:19

Afghanistan's only pig quarantined in flu fear

Afghanistan's only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with the virus popularly known as swine flu.

You couldn't make this up...

May 05 04:35

US Denies Letting Troops Convert Afghans

YOU watch YOU decide

KABUL - The U.S. military denied Monday it has allowed soldiers to try to convert Afghans to Christianity, after a television network showed pictures of soldiers with bibles translated into local languages.

May 04 19:58

So, "conservatives" are afraid dem Ay-rabs are gonna make us all MUSLIMS, right?

So, we invade their country and spread religion because we are afraid they are gonna invade our country and spread their religion.....

May 03 16:43

GI Special 7E3: Taliban In Every Village

Apr 29 10:01

Taliban gunmen shooting couple dead for adultery caught on camera

In footage which is being watched with horror by Pakistanis, the couple try to flee when they realise what is about to happen. But a gunman casually shoots the man and then the woman in the back with a burst of gunfire, leaving them bleeding in the dirt.

Apr 29 09:55

US 'losing control' in Afghanistan

Richard Armitage, a former US deputy secretary of state, has told Al Jazeera that the conflict in Afghanistan may be "spinning out of control".

Apr 27 08:01

Afghan girls school feared hit by airborne poison

Five Afghan teachers and 40 of their pupils, most of them girls, have been admitted to hospital with severe headaches after a suspected airborne poison attack, the Public Health Ministry said on Monday.

They fell ill on Sunday afternoon during a ceremony at a school in the Sadiqi district of Parwan province, some 70 km (40 miles) north of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

"Among them there are 5 adults and 40 children, most of them girls, who have been affected," Dr Abdullah Fahim, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry said.

"For the time being, it seems to be airborne poisoning. But it's not confirmed yet what the actual reason is," Fahim said.

Apr 27 07:50

The Obama administration: From frying pan to fire?

But despite Clinton's self-aware delusion -- come on, she can't really believe what she proffered in Iraqi public -- I hope she keeps right on selling it. I hope she peddles it and peddles it, and I hope Gen. Odierno peddles it and Barack Obama peddles it, too. Because only a willful and prodigious blindness to reality on Iraqi ground will evacuate American forces from it.

Besides, those fighting American men and women must be spared in Iraq because their bodily sacrifice awaits them in Afghanistan, and probably Pakistan -- two more religiously fanatic nations whose historical forces we are impotent to change, but there we'll squander countless lives and untold treasury until we disingenuously but desperately declare that they, too, are "going in the right direction."

Apr 26 09:07

UN warns of new highs for Afghan hashish production

Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium, most of it refined into heroin inside the country, an enterprise that earns the extremist Taliban millions of dollars a year for their insurgency against the government.

It is also the world’s second largest source of cannabis resin, producing 1,603 metric tonnes in 2006 after Morocco’s 1,915 tonnes, according to the UN’s World Drug Report 2008.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So let me get this straight; so far, the biggest "winner" in the US's alleged "war on terror" in Afghanistan are.......the drug dealers??!?!?!?

Apr 26 04:43

Afghan officials burn 6.5 tons of drugs, chemicals

Afghan counter-drug officials destroyed 6.5 tons (6 metric tons) of drugs and precursor chemicals in a raging bonfire Sunday they said symbolized recent successes in Afghanistan's fight against opium poppies and heroin.

Khodaidad acknowledged that the 6.5 tons of drugs — including heroin, opium, hashish and chemicals used to turn opium into heroin — was only a symbolic drop in the bucket.

Apr 24 14:17

ACLU: Pentagon to release images of prisoner abuse

The Defense Department will release a "substantial number" of photos depicting abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American Civil Liberties Union said late Thursday.

The photos will be made available by May 28, the ACLU said, citing a letter dated Thursday from the Justice Department to a federal judge in New York. The photos' release is in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU in 2004 and will include images from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan at locations other than Abu Ghraib, the ACLU said.

Apr 24 09:27

War News for Friday, April 24, 2009

Baghdad:
#1: Back-to-back suicide bombings killed at least 35 people Friday outside the most important Shiite shrine in Baghdad, police officials said. The bombers Friday detonated explosive belts within minutes of each other near the gates of the tomb of Imam Mousa al-Kazim, a prominent Shiite saint, located in the northern neighborhood of Kazimiyah, said a police official. Another police official said the bombers struck shortly before the start of Friday prayers as worshippers streamed in to the mosquean important site for Shiite pilgrims. About 90 people also were injured in the blast, said the same official.

Apr 24 06:30

Tony Blair calls on world to wage war on militant Islam

Tony Blair has said he does not regret leading Britain to war in Iraq when he was Prime Minister and has called on the world to take on and defeat Islamic extremists. He believes that, without intervention, the problem will continue to grow in countries such as Afghanistan.

He called for a battle to be waged against militant Islam similar to that fought against revolutionary communism.

In an address last night to a forum on religion and politics in Chicago, Mr Blair said that the world today faced a struggle posed by "an extreme and misguided form of Islam", which threatened the majority of Muslims as well as non-Muslims.

Apr 23 17:32

Chemically sickened Vets enabled their own ills

Ill Veterans Demand Answers
by Kelley B. Vlahos, April 23, 2009
The poisonous black plume is getting more difficult for the government to ignore. So are the growing number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans hobbling around with the bodies of old men and women, needing breathing machines to sleep at night.

[And the Iraqi/Afghan nationals don't get sick from these same chemicals burned by the aggressors in their countries? Where is the sympathy for them by the soldiers who made it possible? Isn't it a kind of just retribution for the soldiers who "just obeyed orders?"

Apr 22 12:24

War Resistor Successfully Challenges 'Misconduct' Charge

War Resistor Sgt Chiroux successfully challenged his misconduct hearing, facing down the U.S. Army and offering a potential "green light" for other soldiers challenging the legality of U.S. action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

War resistor Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, who refused to deploy to Iraq under the Individual Ready Reserve, today successfully challenged his misconduct hearing and was granted a 'General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions'.

Apr 15 15:44

Afghan women pelted with stones during rape law protest

Afghan women protesting against a new law that severely undermines women's rights were pelted with stones in the country's capital Wednesday, say reports.

This was big news when the Taliban was in power...

Apr 14 13:49

US vying to 'hand-pick' Afghan president

Washington is using its political clout to influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan, a report says.

The US embassy in Kabul has urged Afghanistan's leading presidential hopefuls to withdraw from the race in favor of Ali Ahmad Jalali -- a candidate that is more preferred by Washington, reported Pakistan's Ummat daily.

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