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Tag: Afghanistan

Syria Refugee Camp
UNHCR / John Wreford

Refugees on the Rise

A U.N. report Tuesday estimated the number of the world’s displaced refugees in 2007 at 11.4 million, a majority of which the U.N. says come from the U.S.-led conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Analysts also say the number of refugees threatens to grow even more due to new concerns such as climate change, environmental degradation and increasingly scarce resources.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE


Impatient Justice

The forceful language of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s decision in the case granting detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp the right to contest their confinement in federal court is the voice of a Supreme Court majority that is fed up.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


Kandahar prison

Over 850 Afghan Prisoners at Large After Kahdahar Raid

Last weekend’s prison break in Kandahar, Afghanistan, resulted in the deaths of at least nine policemen and eight prisoners, and more than 600 prisoners were on the loose, many of them said to have ties to the Taliban.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


Bush reading
z.about.com

By George W. Bush

If authoring a war against innocent civilians abroad and civil liberties at home wasn’t enough, George W. Bush is toying with the idea of writing a book upon leaving the Oval Office in January.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


Kandahar prison
AP photo / Allauddin Khan

Taliban-Led Raid Frees 1,200 in Afghan Prison Break

A nighttime raid on Kandahar’s Sarposa Prison, carried out by Taliban operatives Friday, led to the escape of 1,200 prisoners, including around 400 Taliban members. The attack represented a serious security challenge in the Afghan city that’s considered the traditional home of the country’s leaders and the Taliban’s spiritual center.

Posted on Jun 14, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

John McCain’s Chilling Project for America

John McCain has long been a major player in a radical militaristic group driven by an ideology of global expansionism and dominance attained through perpetual, pre-emptive, unilateral, multiple wars. Over its two terms, the George W. Bush administration has planted the seeds for this geopolitical master plan, and now appears to be counting on the McCain administration, if one comes to power, to nurture it.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s VP Curveball

Barack Obama’s vice presidential vetting committee has been meeting with lawmakers in Washington, so naturally a few names have started to filter out. Most were to be expected (Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Jim Webb and so on), but among them is someone you may not have heard of: retired Gen. James Jones, a veteran of the Vietnam War and former supreme allied commander of NATO. Of course it’s far too soon to place bets.

Posted on Jun 10, 2008 READ MORE


Michael Hayden
nsa.gov

Al-Qaida Analysis: Election Year Edition

Only a year after his agency warned of a resurgence of al-Qaida in the Arab world, CIA Director Michael Hayden remarked on Friday that U.S. “counter-terrorism work” has led to the strategic defeat of al-Qaida in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and significant setbacks for al-Qaida globally.

Posted on May 30, 2008 READ MORE


Defense Auditors Can’t Keep Up

Thanks to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the privatization of the military and the surge in defense spending since 9/11, individual Pentagon auditors now have to keep track of more than three times as much money as they did 10 years ago. Because of limited resources, the Defense Department inspector general revealed in a recent report, about half of the military’s $316 billion weapons budget went under the radar last year.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Bush at Arlington

Bush’s Final Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery

President Bush gave his final Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and declaring: “It is a solemn reminder of the cost of freedom that the number of headstones in a place like this grows with every Memorial Day.”

Posted on May 26, 2008 READ MORE


Iron Man still
gizmodo.com

Torturing Iron Man

Those who haven’t seen this summer’s biggest blockbuster (so far, at least—this weekend’s “Indiana Jones” sequel may well change that) “Iron Man” and are planning to hit the multiplex might want to take a gander at this review. The article points out how “Iron Man” is the latest in a string of “pro-military” movies served up for youngsters’ consumption—even as two disastrous wars rage on overseas.

Posted on May 24, 2008 READ MORE


When It Costs Too Much to Support the Troops

The comment was outrageous, but it was not the least bit surprising. A psychologist responsible for assessing returning war veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder—a psychological ailment that could entitle them to monthly disability payments—told staff members not to diagnose the illness because to do so would increase the government’s costs.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


Ryan Maseth
post-gazette.com

Warning Fails to Prevent Electrocution of U.S. Soldiers

More than a dozen American soldiers have died or received severe electrical shocks in Iraq, reportedly as a result of faulty electrical work often done by ill-trained Iraqis and Afghans under the supervision of Houston-based contractor KBR.

Posted on May 9, 2008 READ MORE


Pat Tillman
terrorism.inreview.com

Pat and Mary Tillman Are Saluted in N.Y. Times

Four years after Pat Tillman’s death by friendly fire in Afghanistan, his mother, Mary Tillman, is still asking questions—primarily about the U.S. government’s initial cover-up of the details of Pat’s death and about how far up the chain of command the deception extended.  Here, New York Times sports writer George Vecsey praises Mary Tillman and her new memoir, “Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman.”

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


The U.S. War on Journalists

Sami al-Haj is a free man today, after having been imprisoned by the U.S. military for more than six years. His crime: journalism.

Posted on May 7, 2008 READ MORE


Mary Tillman

Mary Tillman on ‘Today’: ‘Pat’s Death Was a Lie to the Country’

Mary Tillman made a sharp and moving appearance Tuesday morning on the “Today” show to talk about her new book, “Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman,” about the friendly-fire death of her son, Pat, and the U.S. military’s subsequent cover-up in 2004.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Soldier Accidentally Dials Mother During Battle

Here’s a sobering moment that could happen only with the aid of today’s technology: Sandie and Jeff Petee of Otis, Ore., were recently given a scary dose of reality in the form of a brief message on their answering machine when Sandie’s soldier son, Stephen Phillips, accidentally dialed their number during a battle in Afghanistan.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Us vs. Them

Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus, argues for a more humane foreign policy and explains why American airstrikes in Somalia and elsewhere are about more than terrorism.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE


Afghanistan Mini Surge
army.mil

A ‘Mini Surge’ in Afghanistan

Pouncing on the rhetorical success of the U.S. “surge” in Iraq, the U.S. military launched operations Tuesday in the south of Afghanistan as part of a “mini surge” against strongholds of Taliban fighters.

Posted on Apr 30, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
blogs.trb.com

Bush Passes the Buck

Why is it that the U.S. economy is on a serious downswing? Could it be that we’re in the midst of a super-expensive war with little sign of scaling down in the near future that has jacked up oil prices to new heights and strained the federal budget? According to Bush, he’d have worked out our economic woes if it weren’t for those meddling congressional Democrats.

Posted on Apr 29, 2008 READ MORE


For the GOP, a Tough Sell

How on earth is the Republican Party going to sell John McCain? Once the Democrats stop doing the job, I mean.

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bomb Rips Through Afghan Mosque at Evening Prayer

A suicide bomber set off a deadly explosion near a mosque in a popular marketplace in Zaranj, Afghanistan, Thursday evening as men were gathering for prayer, killing 20 people and injuring about 30. 

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE


Petraeus
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Sinking Into the Quagmire

Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s congressional check-in about Iraq this week didn’t offer much hope for America’s overseas entanglements, and as coverage of the overseas wars wanes, the media isn’t holding politicians’ feet to the fire—or telling the real story about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE


Powell
abcnews.go.com

Powell Salutes Obama, Worries About Wars

Gen. Colin Powell won’t say who will get his vote this November, but on Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” the former secretary of state put in a good word for all three front-runners, praised Obama’s Rev. Wright speech and worried that the U.S. armed forces are becoming “very, very stretched” by the protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE


Bush in Texas
AP photo / Duane A. Laverty

Bush Backs Petraeus’ Pause Plan

Despite some congressional resistance, it seems Gen. David Petraeus’  recommended “pause” in U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq will take effect after July. On Thursday, President Bush (whose approval ratings have plummeted to a new low) essentially deferred the withdrawal issue to his successor.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE


Failing the Troops

The same kinds of mismanagement and dysfunction that are at work in Iraq continue to plague veterans when they seek medical care at home.

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


Bush Protest Kiev
Agence France-Presse

Bush to NATO: War Takes Time

As the train that is the Bush administration begins to slow, the president has attended his last ever NATO summit. Speaking to alliance leaders Wednesday, Bush asked for patience and resolve to “finish the fight” in Afghanistan, a war now in its seventh year.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE


ammo
nytimes.com

The Case of the Moldy Ammunition

The United States’ chief supplier of ammunition to Afghan forces is under investigation for a number of potential violations that give the unfortunate impression that America is less than fully committed to its fight against the Taliban.

Posted on Mar 27, 2008 READ MORE


Nicolas Sarkozy
Newsday

Sarkozy Cozies Up to Britain

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in London Wednesday to declare his readiness to send additional troops to Afghanistan. The move, seen by some as an effort to strengthen ties with his chums across the Channel, was well received by British lawmakers who believe an increase of NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan would best prevent a Taliban resurgence.

Posted on Mar 26, 2008 READ MORE


Winter Soldier Marches Again

Last weekend, in the lead-up to the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a remarkable gathering occurred just outside Washington, D.C., called Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations.

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 READ MORE


The Only Lesson We Ever Learn Is That We Never Learn

The Independent’s Robert Fisk looks back at five years of catastrophe in Iraq and is reminded of Winston Churchill’s depiction of Palestine as a “hell-disaster.”

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 READ MORE


Bush and financial aides
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Bush’s Legacy of Failure

That idiotic “what, me worry?” look just never leaves the man’s visage. Once again there was our president, presiding over disasters in part of his making and totally on his watch, grinning with an aplomb that suggested a serious disconnect between his worldview and existing reality. 

Posted on Mar 18, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
news.bbc.co.uk

Inside a CIA Black Site

A Yemeni man has told Amnesty International that he was abducted and tortured and spent nearly three years in secret prisons at the hands of the CIA. Khaled al-Maqtari says that without charge, legal representation or even a word to his family he was shuttled from one prison to another and ultimately dumped into Yemeni custody, once the U.S. had finished with him.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008 READ MORE


Reagan Democrats

The overdose of Reagan nostalgia to which we’ve been subjected during the Republican presidential primaries is as understandable as it is misplaced.

Posted on Mar 13, 2008 READ MORE


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


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