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November 26, 2015
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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By Varlam Shalamov; John Glad (Translator)

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Tag: Afghanistan

Doctors Without Borders Calls U.S. Report on Afghan Hospital Bombing ‘Shocking’

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that “human error” was a factor in the Oct. 3 bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed 30 civilians and left 37 wounded. In a statement, Doctors Without Borders, which had previously called the attack a probable war crime, said the report was “shocking” and left “more questions than answers.”

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 READ MORE

Home, Sweet Kleptocracy: Kabul in America

Many citizens regard their government at all levels with a weary combination of cynicism and contempt. Fundamentalist groups respond by calling for a return to religious values and the imposition of religious law. What country is this?

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 READ MORE

States of Terror

We waded into conflicts in the Middle East we did not understand, propelled forward by fantasy. And our folly spawned a death spiral of political, social and economic collapse, widespread poverty, massive displacement, misery and radical jihadism.

Posted on Nov 22, 2015 READ MORE

Islamic State Wants Us to Reject Refugees and Increase Airstrikes

The West’s knee-jerk reactions to the Paris attacks are based on ignorance of what the jihadi organization is and what its motives are.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE

One Night in Kunduz, One Morning in New York

I know that the strike was carried out by U.S.-backed, Saudi-led forces, and that it happened only a few days after the Obama administration approved an $11 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. But I can’t tell you much more.

Posted on Nov 16, 2015 READ MORE

American War in the 21st Century: A Scam, a Swindle and a Fraud

In the post-9/11 years, “reconstruction” and “war” have really been euphemisms for what, in other countries, would be recognized as a massive system of corruption.

Posted on Nov 12, 2015 READ MORE

Even War Has Rules

Neither of the two recent Doctors Without Borders hospital attacks has been mentioned in any of the U.S. presidential debates or forums. Doesn’t anyone remember the Geneva Conventions?

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 READ MORE

Afghanistan ‘After’ the American War

In late September, the Taliban took over Kunduz, Afghanistan’s fifth-largest city. London’s Telegraph reported that “the lasting legacy of [the] invasion may ultimately prove to be the dismantlement of the city’s women’s rights network.”

Posted on Nov 5, 2015 READ MORE

‘Drone Papers’ Revelations Are a Cry for Ending the Slaughter

The unidentified whistleblower calls on Americans to demand that the government stop an illegal, immoral and ultimately ineffectual campaign. The method of picking people to assassinate is a travesty, the source says.

Posted on Nov 5, 2015 READ MORE

It’s Always the Same War

Barack Obama originally ran for president as the anti-war candidate. Now, as his second term winds down, the two George W. Bush/Obama wars are winding up, with a third in Syria.

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 READ MORE

Watchdog Accuses Pentagon of Evading Questions on $800 Million Afghanistan Program

Despite lacking access to key documents and personnel, the inspector general determined that nearly $43 million had been spent on a natural gas station that should have cost closer to $300,000.

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 READ MORE

The Pentagon Spent $43 Million on a Project That Should Have Cost $300,000

The Department of Defense claims it is unable to provide an explanation for the high cost of the project—a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan—according to a special inspector general’s report released Monday.

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 READ MORE

Taking Selfies in Iraq and Afghanistan: America’s Peculiar Brand of Global Imperialism

Overloaded with gadgets, ignorant of foreign cultures, spoiling for action, and never (individually) staying long, American troops have become the imperial equivalent of globetrotting tourists.

Posted on Oct 30, 2015 READ MORE

My Brother

Posted on Oct 28, 2015 READ MORE

Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Yemen Is Bombed by U.S.-Backed Coalition

A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières hospital in northern Yemen was bombed Monday night by the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition.

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 READ MORE

Iraq, Afghanistan and Other Special Ops ‘Successes’

U.S. special operations forces deployed to a record-shattering 147 countries in 2015—75 percent of the nations on the planet, a jump of 145 percent since the Bush administration. I pursued that record of “success” with a few experts on the subject. 

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 READ MORE

What If They Gave a War and Everyone Came?

What if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq in 2003? How would things be different in the Middle East today? Let’s take a big-picture tour of the Middle East and try to answer those questions.

Posted on Oct 24, 2015 READ MORE


Posted on Oct 21, 2015 READ MORE


Posted on Oct 19, 2015 READ MORE

Truthdigger of the Week: The ‘Drone Papers’ Whistleblower

Thanks to an anonymous source’s exposure of the inner workings of America’s drone war, we now know that nearly 90 percent of people killed in recent strikes in Afghanistan were not the intended targets.

Posted on Oct 18, 2015 READ MORE

Bernie Blew It: He Sold Out Instead of Confronting Clinton

In Tuesday’s debate, the Vermont senator fell into the trap of mainstream politics when he failed to face down the front-runner on her policy positions and record.

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Analysts Knew Afghan Site Destroyed in Airstrike Was a Hospital, AP Says

American special operations analysts were gathering intelligence on the Afghan hospital, run by Doctors Without Borders, in Kunduz because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity.

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 READ MORE

Kunduz Hospital Bombing: Probable Cause That the U.S. Committed a War Crime

The Pentagon has access to video and audio recordings taken from the gunship that carried out the attack that killed 22, so officials must know what actually occurred. It’s time for a full accounting.

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 READ MORE

Five Great American Hypocrisies

American “exceptionalism” exists in the minds of superpatriots who are more than willing to overlook their own faults as they place themselves above other people. The only question may be which of their self-serving hypocrisies is the most outrageous and destructive.

Posted on Oct 12, 2015 READ MORE

Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime

To call the U.S. bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, a war crime and to demand reparations, healing and a public rethinking of the aims of this war is perhaps the most effective way we have to address war itself, to stand up to its powerful perpetrators and to put a halt to their uncontrolled behavior.

Posted on Oct 9, 2015 READ MORE

Doctors Without Borders

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 READ MORE

Why the U.S. Owns the Rise of Islamic State and the Syria Disaster

Over the past three decades, U.S. covert operations and wars have entered repeatedly and powerfully into the chain of causality leading to Islamic State’s present power.

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Says Kunduz Hospital Was ‘Mistakenly Struck’

This just in from Capitol Hill: Gen. John Campbell, America’s head military honcho in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that a Doctors Without Borders-affiliated hospital in Kunduz was “mistakenly struck” in Saturday’s air attack.

Posted on Oct 6, 2015 READ MORE

What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me About the American Empire

The idea that the United States was an empire did not occur to me until after I finished my work as a bombardier with the Eighth Air Force in the Second World War and came home.

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Government’s Bid to Train Overseas Security Forces Has Basically Been a Wash

When asking an expert how the U.S. government’s very expensive and time-consuming push to train security forces in other countries has fared, the last thing that government would want to hear is this kind of description: “Our track record at building security forces over the past 15 years is miserable.”

Posted on Oct 4, 2015 READ MORE

Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan, Killing at Least 19 People

A hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was badly damaged Saturday in what appears to have been a U.S. airstrike. At least 19 people were killed, including 12 hospital staff members, and dozens were wounded. Reportedly among the dead was the Afghan head of the hospital, Abdul Sattar.

Posted on Oct 3, 2015 READ MORE

The Final Collapse of Bush’s Nation-Building: Kunduz Falls to Taliban

On Monday, the Taliban swept into the provincial capital of Kunduz, taking it in half a day from a large and well-equipped Afghan National Army force.

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 READ MORE

Murder, Mayhem and Rape in Afghanistan: Made in the U.S.A.

Central to our policy in Afghanistan—a country ravaged and warped by the longest war the U.S. has ever waged—is keeping the warlords as our friends. Americans are ordered to look the other way when these drug-dealing criminals sexually abuse small boys.

Posted on Sep 24, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Military Turned Blind Eye Toward Wealthy Afghans’ Child Rape Practices

Outrage has ensued over revelations that U.S. military personnel ignored the rape of boys occurring among Afghanistan’s elite while American troops were stationed there.

Posted on Sep 22, 2015 READ MORE

Former CIA Agent Trying to Reveal How the U.S. Runs Afghanistan’s Opium Trade Is in Jail

A retired CIA analyst claims the U.S. government is trying to frame him in order to quiet his tell-all book on drug smuggling in Afghanistan; Ronald Reagan’s offspring send Donald Trump a message; meanwhile, a Los Angeles man wakes up from a coma speaking ancient Hebrew. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Sep 17, 2015 READ MORE

The Story of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Filmmakers and the CIA Just Got Creepier

The Oscar-winning film “Zero Dark Thirty” became a prestigious awards vehicle for its co-creators, journalist-turned-screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow. It also became a source of controversy—and all the more so after this latest news.

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 READ MORE

Taxpayers Fund Yet Another Unneeded Building in Afghanistan

The U.S. military shelled out millions before deciding the project was unnecessary, bringing the total for unused buildings spotted by the inspector general for Afghanistan to nearly $42 million.

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 READ MORE

Midcentury U.S. Germ Warfare ‘Cover-Up’ Underscores Official Duplicitousness

In the face of ongoing public ignorance of research that appears to show that the U.S. military dropped fleas with bubonic plague on North Korea and China six decades ago, author and journalist David Swanson sees an urgent need to oppose U.S. militarism.

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 READ MORE

The Real Enemy Is Within

If you are not dedicated to the destruction of empire and the dismantling of American militarism, then you cannot count yourself as a member of the left. It is not a side issue. It is the issue.

Posted on Sep 6, 2015 READ MORE

Court Ruling Builds a Barrier Against Challenges to NSA Spying on Americans

Rights advocates say an impossible standard is being imposed for the opponents of the federal government’s mass collection of telephone records.

Posted on Sep 5, 2015 READ MORE

The Great Unraveling

The ideological and physical hold of American imperial power is collapsing. If we do not quickly dismantle the structures of neoliberalism and global capitalism, we will be swept away in the coming upheavals.

Posted on Aug 30, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Reportedly Considered Using Nuclear Weapons Against Afghanistan After 9/11

Michael Steiner, a former political adviser to Germany’s then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, told German publication Der Spiegel that the nuclear option was one of the possibilities examined after the terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Posted on Aug 29, 2015 READ MORE

War’s End

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 READ MORE

We Have Failed Afghanistan Again and Again

In the first half of 2015, violence by both the Taliban and the U.S. has risen sharply, and Islamic State has emerged as a new and dangerous player. Once again, ordinary Afghans are the victims.

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 READ MORE

Truthdigger of the Week: Chelsea Manning

Sitting in prison on the Fourth of July for exposing some harsh truths about U.S. war crimes, the whistleblower should actually be honored as a true patriot.

Posted on Jul 3, 2015 READ MORE

Why a U.S. Alliance With al-Qaida Is a Crazy Idea

With U.S. Middle East strategy in tatters, some experts are advocating that the U.S. ally with al-Qaida against Islamic State. Here’s why such a cold-blooded plan is pure folly—and what we should call for instead.

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 READ MORE

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Repulsed by tales of U.S. atrocities told by veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Spc. Robert Weilbacher applied for and was granted conscientious objector status. Then the Pentagon pulled a fast one, leaving him trapped in a hypermasculine dystopia.

Posted on Jun 7, 2015 READ MORE

AP / Jason Redmond

Reflections on the Vietnam War: The Things a Warrior Knows

This Memorial Day weekend, Truthdig republishes one of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic’s reflections on the awful truth about war.

Posted on May 24, 2015 READ MORE

Pat and Kevin Tillman

Courtesy of the Tillman Family

After Pat’s Birthday

This Memorial Day weekend, Truthdig commemorates the legacy of deceased U.S. infantryman Pat Tillman by republishing our most popular piece, “After Pat’s Birthday,” written by his brother, Kevin Tillman (pictured with his arm around Pat).

Posted on May 24, 2015 READ MORE

A ‘Martyr,’ a Murder and the Making of a New Afghanistan

Farkhunda is dead and buried, but the staying power of her story seems to mark the rise of something not seen in Afghanistan for a very long time: the power of people to renounce violence and peacefully reclaim themselves.

Posted on May 13, 2015 READ MORE

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