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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Veterans for Peace White House Civil Disobedience to End War

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Remembering Richard Holbrooke’s Overlooked Diplomatic Record in East Timor, Iraq, and Balkans

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Mosaic News 12/14/10: World News From The Middle East

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Peter Dale Scott – Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

From Voltairenet:

Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration

Is US Triumph in Drug-Addicted War possible?
Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration

by Peter Dale Scott | Focus | According to Peter Dale Scott, there is no point in deploring the expansion of drug production in Afghanistan and the heroin epidemic gripping great parts of the world. Conclusions must be drawn from the established facts: the Taliban eradicated poppy cultivation; NATO promoted it; drug money corrupted the Karzai government but it is especially inside U.S. institutions that drug corruption is rife. Therefore, the solution does not lie with Kabul but with Washington.

AMERICAblog – WikiLeaks: US taxpayer money used for child sex slavery in Afghanistan

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

From AMERICAblog:

WikiLeaks: US taxpayer money used for child sex slavery in Afghanistan

by Chris in Paris on 12/11/2010 09:30:00 PM

And it’s not important for American taxpayers to discover this horrible news because…why? What kind of person in Washington hides this information? Even worse, what kind of person believes this should be protected data? As we have witnessed with the ongoing child rape story within the Catholic Church, covering up problems like this are immoral, but also a crime. Are those suggesting legal action or death to Julian Assange really interested in a similar cover up?

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Laurence Lewis – War in Afghanistan Reaches New Heights of Absurdity

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

From AlterNet:

War in Afghanistan Reaches New Heights of Absurdity

Earlier this month, it was reported that one of the largest U.S. government contractors in Afghanistan was being fined nearly $70 million for having “knowingly and systematically overcharged the U.S. government.” But just two months after a whistleblower revealed the Louis Berger Group’s deliberate and systematic overcharging, the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded the company a new joint contract worth $1.4 billion. That seemingly large fine turned out to be but a minor business expense.

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By Laurence Lewis | Daily Kos
Posted on Sunday, November 28, 2010 @ 04:20 PM

ICN – Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan

November 25, 2010 Leave a comment

From Information Clearing House:

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,421,933”
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War On Iraq: 4,745
http://www.icasualties.org/Iraq/index.aspx

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan: 2,230

Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan: $1,112,387,667,896
http://www.costofwar.com/

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Dennis Kucinich – Fake Taliban Leader, Fake Elections, Fake Deadline, Real Trouble

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

From Truthout:

Dennis Kucinich | Fake Taliban Leader, Fake Elections, Fake Deadline, Real Trouble
Dennis Kucinich: “The war in Afghanistan is taking place in a netherworld where facts and common sense have no place. Elections are fake. Our deadline to withdraw is a fake. Now, we learn that a fake Taliban leader has been leading us to believe that NATO was facilitating high-level talks between Taliban leadership and the corrupt Afghan central government we’re propping up. It was truly amazing that our government said we were negotiating with high-level Taliban leadership while at the same time we were stepping up air strikes to wipe them out.”
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Video Report From Afghanistan: How the U.S. Counter-insurgency Campaign Is Failing

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment
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McClatchy – Whistleblower details bribes, fraud in Afghanistan

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

From McClatchy Washington Bureau:

Whistleblower details bribes, fraud in Afghanistan

A corporate whistleblower whose evidence of fraud led to one of the largest fines ever against a war-zone contractor said that he was ordered to facilitate bribes, keep information from government auditors and inflate overhead rates. Former Louis Berger Group employee Harold Salomon outlined what he saw of the contractor’s business practices in his first interview since the case was settled earlier this month.

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TYT – Rep. Grayson’s Stunning Points On Iraq & Afghanistan

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
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Truthout – New Afghan War Plans Could Cost US Taxpayers an Extra $125 Billion

November 20, 2010 1 comment

From Truthout:

New Afghan War Plans Could Cost US Taxpayers an Extra $125 Billion
Ben Arnoldy, The Christian Science Monitor: “‘As leaders at the NATO summit in Lisbon meet this weekend to discuss strategy in Afghanistan, US war planners have been signaling that troop withdrawals set to begin in 2011 will be mostly symbolic and that the handover to Afghan forces in 2014 is “aspirational”…. Such could cost American taxpayers handsomely at a time when deficit cutting has gripped Washington. According to one estimate, softening those deadlines could add at least $125 billion in war spending – not including long-term costs like debt servicing and health care for veterans.”
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War in Context – “We had to destroy [the villages] to make them safe”

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

From War in Context:

“We had to destroy [the villages] to make them safe”

November 17, 2010

Hundreds and maybe thousands of Afghan homes are being bulldozed, blown up or hit by missile strikes in the effort to drive the Taliban out of the Kandahar region. As well as individual houses, whole villages have been destroyed. “We had to destroy them to make them safe,” the district governor, Shah Muhammed Ahmadi, is […]

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Tom Engelhardt – The Stimulus Package in Kabul

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

From TomDispatch:

The Stimulus Package in Kabul
(I Was Delusional — I Thought One Monster “Embassy” Was the End of It)

By Tom Engelhardt

You must have had a moment when you thought to yourself: It really isn’t going to end, is it?  Not ever.  Rationally, you know perfectly well that whatever your “it” might be will indeed end, because everything does, but your gut tells you something different.

I had that moment recently when it came to the American way of war.  In the past couple of weeks, it could have been triggered by an endless string of ill-attended news reports like the Christian Science Monitor piece headlined “U.S. involvement in Yemen edging toward ‘clandestine war.’”  Or by the millions of dollars in U.S. payments reportedly missing in Afghanistan, thanks to under-the-table or unrecorded handouts in unknown amounts to Afghan civilian government employees (as well as Afghan security forces, private-security contractors, and even the Taliban).  Or how about the news that the F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter,” the cost-overrun poster weapon of the century, already long overdue, will cost yet more money and be produced even less quickly?

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War in Context – Desperate Afghan wives choose self-immolation

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

From War in Context

Desperate Afghan wives choose self-immolation

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 12:00 PM PST

The New York Times reports: “Why did you burn yourself?” asks the doctor. “If I threw myself from a building, I’d break an arm or a leg, but I wanted to die,” Halima answers. “That’s why I set myself on fire. I thought I would die instantly.” As an answer it is more how than why, but […]

British deny George Bush’s claims that torture helped foil terror plots

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 11:00 AM PST

The Guardian reports: British officials said today there was no evidence to support claims by George Bush, the former US president, that information extracted by “waterboarding” saved British lives by foiling attacks on Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf. In his memoirs, Bush said the practice – condemned by Downing Street as torture – was used in […]

The fight has broken out inside the Jewish family

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 09:55 AM PST

Philip Weiss writes: The news from the Jewish Federations’ General Assembly in New Orleans is important. I announce landmarks every 100 yards, but this is a big one. The significance of the event is that several young Jews calling themselves proud Jews took Palestinian solidarity into the Jewish family and made trouble with an explosive disruption […]

Bibi, Tom Friedman, and U.S. Jews divesting from Israel

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 04:00 AM PST

Bradley Burston writes: Ahead of a New Orleans address to the General Assembly [GA] of the Jewish Federations of North America, sources quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as having said that there is fundamental support for Israel within the United States. “We may have lost Thomas Friedman, but I don’t think we lost America,” Netanyahu was quoted […]

First sign of the new U.S. political reality — Netanyahu’s swagger

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 03:00 AM PST

At JTA, Ron Kampeas writes: The sharpest signal of what last week’s elections meant for Jews came not from Washington but from New Orleans, Nova Scotia and Australia. In New Orleans, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech Monday calling for moving beyond sanctions to mounting a “credible military threat” against Iran as a means of […]

Ira Chernus: Is Palestine America’s next Vietnam?

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:00 PM PST

Reprinted with permission of TomDispatch.com Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t been alone in playing for time when it comes to American policy, that’s for sure.  (Think, for instance, of our Afghan War commander General David Petraeus.)  But Netanyahu played out the pre-election months with some skill and much shuffling of feet, as he officially pondered […]

Police step in to protect young Jewish protesters from Jewish mob violence — in New Orleans

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 01:42 PM PST

For more details on the protest during Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the Jewish Federation’s General Assembly in New Orleans yesterday, see the post below. One of the protesters has now provided her own first hand account of what happened. Although sheriffs were in attendance to provide security for the event, in the end the police needed […]

Malalai Joya – Any hope I had in the ballot box bringing change in Afghanistan is gone

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

From The Guardian:

Any hope I had in the ballot box bringing change in Afghanistan is gone

If Karzai’s re-election was a fraud, Obama’s surge of troops brought just more violence. For Afghans he’s the ‘second Bush’

By Malalai Joya

One year ago Hamid Karzai was declared re-elected as president of Afghanistan, ending an election that had no legitimacy in the eyes of ordinary Afghans. The presidential election last year was a fraud, with ballot stuffing, vote buying and massive corruption reported by the world’s media. Even if the independent election commission had not cancelled the planned run-off between Karzai and his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, it would have represented only a choice of the “same donkey with a new saddle”. People had no incentive to participate as they knew that both main candidates would bring nothing positive for Afghan people.

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Afghan heroin kills ten times more than Taliban

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment
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David DeGraw – The Covert Origins of the Af-Pak War: The Road to World War III

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

From The Public Record:

The Covert Origins of the Af-Pak War: The Road to World War III

By David DeGraw

Oct 21st, 2010

Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” Read the introduction here. Part I can be read here. Part II can be read here. To purchase a copy of the book visit AmpedStatus.com

I: The CIA, BCCI & The Origins of Al Qaeda

Now that we have an understanding of how the Global Banking Intelligence Complex ran operations through BCCI, let’s look at how some of BCCI’s key players kept operating after the bank was finally shut down. As discussed in the last chapter, during the 1980s and early ’90s, the CIA worked in partnership with BCCI in what was, at the time, the agency’s largest covert operation ever, pumping an estimated $10 billion into funding the Afghan Mujahideen. Through this operation, Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network was formed. Bin Laden had accounts in BCCI and ran CIA/BCCI-funded camps.

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Nick Turse – Digging in for the Long Haul in Afghanistan

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

From TomDispatch:

Digging in for the Long Haul in Afghanistan

How Permanent Are America’s Afghan Bases?

By Nick Turse

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Firedoglake – Soros’ Foundation Links Army Field Manual’s Appendix M to US Torture in Afghanistan

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

From Firedoglake:

Soros’ Foundation Links Army Field Manual’s Appendix M to US Torture in Afghanistan

By: Jeff Kaye Tuesday October 19, 2010 6:07 am

photo: Leo Reynolds via Flickr

Last week, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) published an important policy brief, “Confinement Conditions at a U.S. Screening Facility on Bagram Air Base.” The report has been widely described in the press, as in this article by AFP:

The US military is mistreating detainees — and violating its own rules — at a secret prison in Afghanistan, a US think tank said Friday in a report.

The 16-page report by the Open Society Foundation said Afghans call the secret site “Tor Jail,” or “Black Jail,” and that consistent accounts from detainees refer to being kept without adequate shelter or food or other basic rights.

The independent investigation by OSF is consistent with news reports of torture and abuse at secret black sites run by JSOC in Afghanistan, including articles by the New York Times and Washington Post. Last May, BBC reported that they received confirmation on the existence of the black site from a Red Cross spokesman, while Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic described the JOSC black site as being “manned by intelligence operatives and interrogators who work for the DIA’s Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC)… [performing] interrogations for a sub-unit of Task Force 714, an elite counter-terrorism brigade.” The spate of news articles led Physicians for Human Rights to opine last May whether it was “possible that officials were relying on Appendix M of the 2006 Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations (AFM),” noting that the “appendix authorizes the use of two of the tactics — sleep deprivation and isolation — allegedly being applied to detainees.”

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Al Jazeera – Inside Story: Meeting the Taliban

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment
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LEAKED Document – U.S. Allows Afghanistan to ignore Taliban, Al Qaeda and Drug Trafficking

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment
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Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan Fueling the Taliban, Senate Report Concludes

October 10, 2010 Leave a comment

From AMERICABlog:

‘Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan Fueling the Taliban, Senate Report Concludes’

by Gaius Publius on 10/09/2010 09:20:00 PM

From Scott Horton, who watches this stuff:

The American decision to rely more heavily on contractors and to downplay the use of uniformed military in Afghanistan has led to a sharp detour in the process of nation-building, a Senate Armed Services Committee report (PDF) has concluded. To meet their security concerns, the contractors have turned to “warlords and strongmen linked to murder, kidnapping [and] bribery.” The report also documents incidents in which contractors have tendered payments to the Taliban.

There’s more detail at Horton’s site, and in the embedded links. Senator Carl Levin’s conclusion: “This situation threatens the security of our troops and puts the success of our mission at risk.” He’s too polite, making it sound like an accident.

Horton’s conclusion:

[P]rivate security contractors often work at cross purposes with U.S. counterinsurgency policy.

My conclusion? Welcome to money as a motivator, for all parties concerned; sends a tingle up my Galtian spine.

Afghanistan Behind Enemy Lines

October 9, 2010 Leave a comment
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New York Times – Afghans Linked to the Taliban Guard U.S. Bases

October 9, 2010 Leave a comment

From the New York Times:

Afghans Linked to the Taliban Guard U.S. Bases


Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senator Carl Levin talked to reporters on Thursday about the inquiry into Afghan contractors.

By JAMES RISEN

Published: October 7, 2010

WASHINGTON — Afghan private security forces with ties to the Taliban, criminal networks and Iranian intelligence have been hired to guard American military bases in Afghanistan, exposing United States soldiers to surprise attack and confounding the fight against insurgents, according to a Senate investigation.

The Pentagon’s oversight of the Afghan guards is virtually nonexistent, allowing local security deals among American military commanders, Western contracting companies and Afghan warlords who are closely connected to the violent insurgency, according to the report by investigators on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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Related…

From The Daily Mail:

U.S. is lining the Taliban’s pockets by spending millions of dollars on private security in Afghanistan

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 11:28 AM on 8th October 2010

Heavy US reliance on private security in Afghanistan has helped to line the pockets of the Taliban with millions of dollars.

It also threatens the safety of coalition troops because contractors often do not vet local recruits and wind up hiring warlords and thugs, US Senate investigators said.

The report by the Senate Armed Services Committee follows a separate congressional inquiry in June that concluded that trucking contractors pay tens of millions of dollars a year to local warlords for convoy protection.

Concern: Millions of dollars spent by the U.S. government on private security contracts in Afghanistan has actually helped to line the pockets of the Taliban
Concern: Millions of dollars spent by the U.S. government on private security contracts in Afghanistan has actually helped to line the pockets of the Taliban.

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TYT – 10 Years: Afghanistan War – Robert Greenwald

October 9, 2010 Leave a comment
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Washington Report on Middle East Affairs – Obama’s Middle East Policy Trapped in Contradictions

October 9, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:

Obama’s Middle East Policy Trapped in Contradictions

By Rachelle Marshall

Obama's Middle East Policy Trapped in Contradictions
Obama’s Middle East Policy Trapped in Contradictions

Somebody needs to get it straight what the hell we’re going to do, without a doubt, come July.—Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, June 29, 2010.

A year after President Barack Obama spoke in Cairo and pledged to take a more positive and even-handed approach to the Arab and Muslim worlds, his good intentions lie buried under a web of conflicting statements and actions. In Afghanistan he remains committed to remaining until the Taliban are defeated, a policy at cross purposes with his pledge to begin withdrawing U.S. troops in July 2011. He claims to favor a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but refuses to criticize Israel for prolonging the occupation and building more illegal settlements.

The contradictions at the heart of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan were evident at the American Embassy’s July 4 celebration in Kabul. On the day when Americans were celebrating their independence from British colonial rule, Gen. David H. Petraeus assumed his post as commander of an American occupation army whose presence is opposed by a majority of the Afghan people. Surrounded by red, white and blue banners, Petraeus seemed oblivious to any irony as he declared, “We must demonstrate to the people and to the Taliban that Afghan and [coalition] forces are here to safeguard the Afghan people and that we are in this to win.”

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Al Jazeera – Avoiding conflict with the Taliban?

October 9, 2010 Leave a comment
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The Real News – One War in Pakistan and Afghanistan

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment
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The Real News – China and the Afghan War

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment
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