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Tag: Afghanistan

Top Commander for Mideast Resigns

Adm. William Fallon, head of the U.S. Central Command, resigned on Tuesday, explaining that his reputation as an obstacle to President Bush’s military designs had become too much of a distraction. Fallon was often reported to be a thorn in the side of the president and his other military advisers, a role both the admiral and administration officials strongly deny.

Posted on Mar 12, 2008 READ MORE


Dems in Cleveland
AP photo / Carolyn Kaster, file

Dems Dropping the Ball on Iraq Debate

I’m afraid Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are giving the game away to John McCain on the most important matter facing the country, the Iraq war. I hate to sound like one of those middle-aged jock-loving MSNBC pundits, but as I sit here on the sidelines I want to scream, “Quit playing defense.”

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad and Maliki
AP photo / Ahmad al-Rubaye, pool

‘Great Satan’ Gets Struck Out

President Bush has made his antagonism for Iran and its president well known, but in Iraq he has created a great ally for his enemy, as was clear from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s historic visit.

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 READ MORE


A Royal Blunder

It was Prince Harry’s dream to fight in a war, and the British press, normally cutthroat, agreed to let him live it. How sweet. If only it didn’t violate the obligations of journalists to their readers.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE


Prince Harry
time.com

Prince Harry on the Front Line

A critique often leveled at those who wage wars is that they don’t belong to the class of citizens whose children go to fight them. Not so in the case of England’s royals, as 23-year-old Prince Harry has been fighting (albeit by choice) on the front line in Afghanistan, giving him the chance, he says, to be “a normal person for once.”

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


The Poppy Problem

While Pakistan steals headlines, neighboring Afghanistan offers a more realistic opportunity to crack down on the incubation of terrorists—if only the United States and other interested governments are willing to think outside the box.

Posted on Feb 21, 2008 READ MORE


Sentenced to Die Over a Download

Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, a 23-year-old Afghan student, has been sentenced to death for blasphemy because of an article he downloaded from the Internet. The verdict has aroused outrage around the world, and top U.S. and European officials have spoken with the Afghan government. However, some worry that international pressure could back Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the nation’s religious fundamentalists into a corner and therefore ensure that the execution is carried out.

Posted on Feb 18, 2008 READ MORE


Homeland Insecurity

The president and other fear mongers love to harangue Americans with the specter of terrorism when their pet projects (and our freedoms) are on the line, but when it comes to the basic programs that protect us from disaster, money talks louder than threats.

Posted on Feb 14, 2008 READ MORE


oil tanker
flickr.com

Aboard the Condoleezza Rice

Whadda you mean “we,” Mr. TV Pundit? When you say “we” are doing better in Iraq or, even more absurd, that “we” were right to invade that country in the first place, are you putting Joe Blow American in the same bag as the top officers of Exxon, which made $40.6 billion in profit last year?

Posted on Feb 12, 2008 READ MORE


American Veterans in Crisis

When young American men and women sign up to serve in our military, the government makes them a basic promise: If they are wounded in the line of duty, they will get the care they need. But for far too many, that’s a promise that only exists on paper—even months after the news emerged about American vets’ shameful treatment at U.S. military facilities.

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


National Guard Difficulty ‘Places the Nation at Risk’

A commission set up by Congress in 2005 to examine the readiness of National Guard and reserve units has found that they’re simply inadequate to the task of dealing with a major disaster in the United States. The commission blamed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the Pentagon’s assumption that training for those conflicts would somehow prepare troops for disaster relief at home.

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Army Suicide Rate Highest on Record

The number of active-duty soldiers who kill themselves or attempt to is the highest it’s been since the Army began keeping records almost 30 years ago. Three hundred fifty soldiers attempted suicide or injured themselves in 2002, compared with 2,100 in 2007.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
overspun.com

Bush Bails on War Funding

President Bush’s new budget will not fully fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, the White House plans to ask for “bridge” funds—enough to pay for the wars until the next president takes over. Though no official figure has been given, congressional estimates put the amount at less than half of what we spend on the wars in a year.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


Afghans
rawa.org

Former Congressman Charged With Funding Terrorist

Mark Deli Siljander, a former Republican congressman, has been indicted for allegedly helping an Islamic charity fund Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a vicious Afghan militant leader with ties to al-Qaida. According to the book “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Hekmatyar was the largest recipient of U.S. weapons during the Afghan war with the Soviets.

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 READ MORE


Musharraf
AP photo / David Guttenfelder

The Pakistan Conundrum

Pervez Musharraf’s recent actions remind us, Ritter argues, that America’s special relationship with Pakistan serves neither country’s best interests.

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 READ MORE


Serena hotel
serenahotels.com

Kabul Hotel Bombing Kills 6

The Taliban has taken responsibility for the bombing Monday of Afghanistan’s only five-star hotel. The luxurious Serena Hotel, in Kabul, is popular with diplomats and therefore makes for an attractive target.

Posted on Jan 14, 2008 READ MORE


For Veterans With PTSD, Location Is Everything

Of the 750,000 or so veterans who have been discharged from the “war on terror,” roughly one-quarter have been recognized by the VA as mentally or physically injured. One of the leading debilitating injuries suffered by those men and women is PTSD, but how much they’re compensated by the government depends a great deal on where they live, according to an investigation by McClatchy’s Washington bureau.

Posted on Dec 20, 2007 READ MORE


Reid
cnn.com

House Approves War Funds

The House has followed in the wake of the Senate, saying yes to $70 billion in funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anti-war Democrats have had little success overcoming Republican filibusters and a publicity blitz meant to sell the “surge.”

Posted on Dec 19, 2007 READ MORE


Bush toasting
whitehouse.org

Senate Doles Out $70 Billion More for the Wars

Twenty-one Senate Democrats, Joe Lieberman and all but one Republican just approved $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democrats had tried for weeks to tie funding for the wars to a withdrawal plan, but in the end the president got his way.

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 READ MORE


Surviving a CIA ‘Black Site’

The kidnap and torture program of the Bush administration, with its secret CIA “black site” prisons and “torture taxi” flights on private jets, saw a little light of day this week.

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 READ MORE


Peace Protest
AP photo / Bela Szandelszky

Why We Resist

The refusal to pay my taxes if we go to war with Iran, and the portion of my taxes spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if we do not cut off funding for these two conflicts, is not a means. It is an end. I do not know if my refusal, and the refusal of others, will be effective in halting these wars. All I know is that it is worth doing.

Posted on Dec 10, 2007 READ MORE


Not So Happy Holidays for Afghanistan

Winter approaches, and as many as 400,000 Afghans face starvation. The trouble is not an insufficient supply of food. There is no way to get food to those who need it.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


head x-ray
defenseindustrydaily.com

Pentagon Sweeps 20,000 Veterans Under the Rug

Roughly 20,000 soldiers who aren’t on the military’s list of combat wounded have signs of brain injury, according to an analysis of Army, Navy and Veterans Affairs data conducted by USA Today. The Pentagon’s official tally of troops who’ve suffered brain trauma in combat is 4,471—one-fifth the total gleaned from military records.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


Ron Paul
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Cheering for Ron Paul

What can you get for a trillion bucks?  Or make that $1.6 trillion, if you take the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as tallied by the majority staff of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. Or is it the $3.5-trillion figure cited by Paul, whose concern about the true cost of this war for ordinary Americans shames the leading Democrats?

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Musharraf and Bush
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Bush Stands by His Dictator

“The war on terror” made me do it. That’s the excuse that works for George W. Bush to rationalize his assaults on the rule of law, from arbitrary arrest to torture. So why not try some war-on-terror obfuscation to bail out his president-dictator buddy over in Pakistan?

Posted on Nov 13, 2007 READ MORE


Take the Cost of the War and Double It

According to the calculations of congressional Democrats, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost about $1.5 trillion. That’s nearly double the (already staggering) $804 billion that’s been appropriated or requested. Lawmakers arrived at the revised estimate by considering larger economic factors, including interest on debt and health care costs for wounded veterans.

Posted on Nov 13, 2007 READ MORE


F-15
news.bbc.co.uk

Air Force Grounds F-15 Fleet

The Air Force has decided to ground all 676 F-15 fighter jets in service because of a recent crash that is thought to have originated from a mechanical defect that may have caused the plane to break up in flight.

Posted on Nov 6, 2007 READ MORE


terror dream cover
nytimes.com

Todd Gitlin on ‘The Terror Dream’

Was the Bush administration’s fevered response to 9/11 made easier by primal American myths of victimization and fear, as Susan Faludi argues in her provocative new book?

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 READ MORE


$2.4 Trillion to Keep the Wars Going

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years, a figure that includes interest for putting war costs on the proverbial credit card. To date, the two conflicts have cost more (adjusted for inflation) than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.

Posted on Oct 26, 2007 READ MORE


Electoral Dysfunction

An impotent GOP is beating up immigrants, sick kids and foreign countries in the feeble hope that grateful voters will stick it to the Democrats next year.

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 READ MORE


Bush and Rumsfeld
AP photo / Haraz N. Ghanbari, file

Bush Reportedly Pushed for Harsh Interrogations

A new book by two ACLU lawyers, “Administration of Torture,” includes documents in which one Gen. Michael Dunlavey claims that President Bush gave him “marching orders” to get the Pentagon’s approval of more severe interrogation methods at Guantanamo.  Also, it alleges that then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was “personally involved” in the interrogation of Mohammed al Qahtani.

Posted on Oct 23, 2007 READ MORE


Sweeping Our Inhumanity Under the Rug

By simply deciding that something is a “state secret,” the Bush government has avoided answering for its brutal treatment of innocent victims in the war on terror.  This is a perversion of the principle of American justice.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE


Dozens Dead in Pakistan Border Battle

In an attempt to target suspected militants with ties to al-Qaida and the Taliban, the Pakistani army has bombarded a section of its shared border with Afghanistan for four days, causing chaos in the town of Mir Ali in north Waziristan, where some 45 troops and 150 rebels have reportedly been killed.

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 READ MORE


Ciara Durkin
rawstory.com

Slain Soldier’s Family Wants Answers From Pentagon

Last Friday, National Guard Spc. Ciara Durkin was found dead on her U.S. base in Afghanistan with a single gunshot wound in her head.  Now, her family is looking for answers and wondering why the U.S. military isn’t offering details about the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death.

Posted on Oct 4, 2007 READ MORE


Limbaugh’s ‘Phony Soldiers’ Slur

The controversy over what Rush Limbaugh meant when he uttered the phrase “phony soldiers” last week isn’t just another broadcast sideshow. As the political power of conservatism declines, the symbolic authority of figures such as Limbaugh is likewise shrinking.

Posted on Oct 3, 2007 READ MORE


man holding bullhorn in front of fire
foreignpolicy.com

Pakistan ‘Losing War’  With Insurgents

The Washington Post has it on good authority that Pakistan is losing its war against Taliban and al-Qaida forces operating within its borders, due in no small part to Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s tenuous hold on power.

Posted on Oct 3, 2007 READ MORE


Blackwater Founder Takes a Beating in Congress

Blackwater USA founder and chairman Erik Prince stubbornly defended his company Tuesday while members of the House Oversight Committee grilled him with questions such as “Why are we privatizing our military to an organization that has been aggressive and in some cases reckless in the handling of their duties?”

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE


Good News and Bad News from Adm. Mullen

The freshly sworn-in chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, started his first day on the job with this revelation: “The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will one day end.” That’s a relief, coming from the newest member of Team Bush, but don’t get too excited, there’s more: “We must be ready for who and what comes after.” Oh dear.

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE


Joe Biden
AP photo / Charlie Niebergall

Biden One-Ups Bush

It’s not just Bushie loyalists and Republicans who are gunning for more money to be poured (out of taxpayers’ pockets) into the Iraq war chest.  Take Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), who is aiming to double Bush’s proposed $12 billion in funding for the rapid production of mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles—a proposition which, Scheer argues, is about much more than the security of U.S. troops.

Posted on Sep 25, 2007 READ MORE


Team Bush Wants $50 Billion More for ‘08 Military Budget

Add another $50 billion to the tab the Bush administration is looking to run up in military costs for the  ‘08 fiscal year, bringing the potential total to around $200 billion if this latest request goes through. 

Posted on Sep 23, 2007 READ MORE


Whistleblowers Expose State Department Bushie

Rep. Henry Waxman has accused the State Department’s top oversight official of looking out for the best interests of the Bush administration, and not the American taxpayer. A number of current and former subordinates of the State Department’s inspector general contacted Waxman to report interference with investigations into fraud and corruption in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


Bush with veteran
AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

Letting Our Veterans Down

The sorry state of care of American veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is not accidental. It’s on purpose. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration has fought every effort to improve care for wounded and disabled veterans.

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 READ MORE


Rummy and Joyce
men.style.com/GQ

Rumsfeld Disowns the War

The former defense secretary graces the pages of October’s GQ (of all places) to make some bold assertions, claiming he was not a driving force behind the Iraq war and that he warned the president of many of the problems that have come to pass.

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 READ MORE


Fighting Someone Else’s War

Valuable sources of news and analysis about key nations and players on the current world stage (including our own) can often be found by looking beyond the western “MSM.” Here, prominent Pakistani columnist Ayaz Amir offers his forceful take on the U.S.‘s divisive impact on his country’s politics and future.

Posted on Sep 5, 2007 READ MORE


Got Debt?  Head to Iraq

Being heavily in debt is prompting some U.S. military members to volunteer to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan. Take Air Force Capt. Nick Sloan, who admits that the need to get out of debt was a significant factor in his choice to go to Iraq.

Posted on Sep 3, 2007 READ MORE


poppies
guardian.co.uk

Drug Trade Blooms in Afghanistan

More than 93 percent of the world’s opiates are now grown in Afghanistan, with an opium crop that has doubled in the last two years. According to the executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, “No other country beside China in the 19th Century ever had such a large amount of land dedicated to illegal activities.”

Posted on Aug 27, 2007 READ MORE


Army Suicide Rate at Quarter-Century High

According to the U.S. military, 99 active-duty soldiers committed suicide in 2006, a number that may rise after ongoing investigations into other cases conclude, making last year’s suicide rate the highest in 26 years. 

Posted on Aug 16, 2007 READ MORE


Musharraf
news.bbc.co.uk

Pakistan May Crack Down on Freedoms

The Pakistani government may declare a state of emergency, which would grant it extraordinary powers, limit civil liberties and extend the political lifespan of embattled President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Posted on Aug 8, 2007 READ MORE


Pervez
abc.net.au

Musharraf Fires Back

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf has criticized the tough talk coming out of Washington and the presidential campaign as counterproductive. President Bush and Barack Obama, among others, have recently raised the possibility of attacking targets in Pakistan without necessarily consulting that nation’s government.

Posted on Aug 7, 2007 READ MORE


Bush and Karzai Nix Taliban’s Hostages Deal

Joining forces for a press conference at Camp David on Monday, President Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai refused the Taliban’s proposal for a prisoner swap.  The Taliban says it will free the 21 surviving South Korean Christians kidnapped in Afghanistan on July 19 if captive Taliban members are released.

Posted on Aug 6, 2007 READ MORE


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