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Tag: Afghanistan

Afghan Man
guardian.co.uk / Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

The Human Costs of War

Last Friday, a NATO airstrike on two hijacked fuel trucks killed at least 90 people in Afghanistan. The Guardian, determined not to let the story pass into the ether of forgotten wartime reporting, managed to interview the families of some of the strike’s victims in a moving exposé of the incredible pain of war.

Posted on Sep 12, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

Whither Obamacare?; Pelosi Says No on Afghanistan; 9/11 Remembered

It was a big week in political news, what with the kerfuffle about Obama’s education speech and then the hubbub over ... Obama’s health care speech. Anyone see a pattern?  “Left, Right & Center” regulars Robert Scheer, Arianna Huffington and Tony Blankley just might.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009 READ MORE


WTC, etc.

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Posted on Sep 11, 2009 READ MORE    



AP / Susan Walsh

Pelosi Sees Little Support for Troop Deployments

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has thrown a high-level wrench into President Obama’s plans to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Pelosi said Thursday that she sees little support in Congress for new deployments, an observation that comes at a time of rising casualties and strife in Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Carrie Hasselback

Afghan Indiana Jones Hunts Giant Buddha

Somewhere in Afghanistan there’s a statue of Buddha more than 1,000 feet long, according to the ancient journal of 7th century Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang. Dr. Zemaryalai Tarzi, an Afghan archeologist with a sense of adventure, believes the legend.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


The Revelation

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Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


Full Text of the President’s Speech to Congress

The president’s speech to Congress on Wednesday was not without surprises, including a Ted Kennedy-inspired appeal to the “character of our nation” and a rowdy (and democratically elected) heckler. Here is the full text.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan mountains
Flickr / Army.mil

Getting a Read on Afghanistan

Hey, so what exactly are we doing fighting in Afghanistan again? What’s the U.S. role, if any, in sorting out the recent, trouble-plagued Afghan presidential election? It’s not likely that this Los Angeles Times “primer” on Afghanistan is going to get to the more uncomfortable answers to these questions, but here’s what the paper has to say for starters.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. soldier in Afghanistan
AP / Alex Brandon

A 9/11 Reality Check

What if eight years ago the World Trade Center had been leveled by a small nuclear bomb that took out most of lower Manhattan as well? How many millions of innocent civilians would we have killed in retaliation?

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. Matthew Freire

Afghans React to Vote Fraud

The BBC has collected testimonials from Afghan citizens on their country’s troubled election. A university student says he survived an encounter with the Taliban only to find a corrupt policeman at his polling place who “asked me to give him my card so that he can vote for me.” He ended up not voting.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Ken Denny

Karzai Closes In, but U.N. Orders Recounts

U.N. monitors found “clear and convincing evidence of fraud” in Afghanistan’s recent election and have cast doubt on results from 600 polling places. Hamid Karzai has so far secured more than the 50 percent needed to win, but U.N. officials have ordered recounts and investigations of the suspect precincts.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE


Karzai
Wikimedia Commons / The White House

Karzai: Fraud Happens in a Young Democracy

The official results have yet to be announced for Afghanistan’s presidential election, and incumbent President Hamid Karzai is facing pressure to agree to a do-over, but for his part, Karzai is pushing back against critics who claim that thousands of votes were forged to keep him in his country’s top position.

Posted on Sep 7, 2009 READ MORE


EPCEA Now

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Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE    


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Jobless Labor Day, Afghan Plans, Obamacare

President Obama’s got a lot of work to do to convince “Left, Right & Center” regulars Arianna Huffington, Tony Blankley and Robert Scheer that he’s going to make good on his promise of “change” when it comes to bettering Americans’ health care options, the economy, the job market and that whole war thing he’s got going on in Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE



guardian.co.uk

Afghanistan Strike Kills 90

The war in Afghanistan should weigh heavy on the public’s mind, given the recent increase in troop levels and grumblings from high military officials about the manner in which the war is being fought. Now there’s news that a NATO airstrike has killed 90 people, 40 of them believed to be civilians, in the northern part of the country.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


Progressives Pay the Price for Confusing a Party With a Movement

Washington’s labor, environmental, anti-war and anti-poverty groups spent millions electing a Democratic president and Congress and were promptly stabbed in the back. So why are they still loyal?

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Good Old Days

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Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



Project on Government Oversight

Kabul Contractor Parties Aren’t the Half of It

Much of the furor over the conduct of private embassy guards in Kabul appears preoccupied with what one whistle-blower describes as the “gay shit” rather than the exploitation of young Afghan women or the deteriorating security situation at the embassy. The latter, after all, was the major focus of the complaint that blew this story open.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC2 Clay Weis

Cheney Plays to His Crowd

Dick Cheney represents a significant number of conservatives who still believe that the United States can bomb, invade, occupy and torture its way to security.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Camp Sullivan parties
cbsnews.com

State Department Probes Embassy Guards’ Parties in Afghanistan

There’s yet more egg on the faces of hired contractors paid to guard U.S. officials in the Middle East—this time in Afghanistan, where ArmorGroup guards are under scrutiny by the State Department for their allegedly undiplomatic antics at their private quarters near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan mourners
AP / Rahmat Gul

Afghan Intelligence Chief Among 23 Killed in Taliban Suicide Attack

The violence just hasn’t let up in Afghanistan in the nearly two weeks that have passed since the nation’s presidential election. The latest deadly episode came in the form of a Taliban suicide attack east of Kabul on Wednesday that killed 23 people, including Afghanistan’s deputy head of intelligence, Abdullah Langhmani.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


troops in Afghanistan
AP / David Guttenfelder

Obama’s Meaningless War

True, he doesn’t seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but the way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind, but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC3 Joshua Cassatt

Will Japan’s New Leader Maintain His Country’s Fealty to Washington?

The most important political question faced by a Japan led by the Democratic Party concerns the Japanese-American security relationship, which is both humiliating and exploitative.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Why We Must Stay in Afghanistan

A slim majority now says the Afghanistan war isn’t worth fighting. This is alarming, and inexplicable.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and McChrystal
White House / Pete Souza

Top U.S. General Calls for Strategy Change in Afghanistan

General Stanley McChrystal, the top-ranking U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, on Monday issued his highly anticipated report about the status of the conflict on that troubled front, and his assessment of the situation doesn’t fully help President Obama’s cause in ramping up America’s Afghan war effort since he took office.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Zach Otto

Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough

After an initial bulk-up in the number of troops in Afghanistan earlier this year, the commander of NATO forces in that country is preparing to ask for 20,000 more international troops as part of the ongoing war against the perpetually resurgent Taliban.

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE


Mullen
swamppolitics.com

Losing the War of Ideas

When it comes to the war of ideas, Adm. Mike Mullen believes the U.S. is losing. In a critique of U.S. strategic communication in the pages of everyone’s favorite publication, Joint Force Quarterly, Mullen mulls over the chasm between Washington’s words and its actions in the Muslim world.

Posted on Aug 29, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

Afghan Investigation, Kennedy Consideration, Health Care Prognostication

Not surprisingly, “Left, Right & Center” co-hosts Arianna Huffington, Robert Scheer and Tony Blankley harbor some differing viewpoints when it comes to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s legacy, as well as whether Congress should push through a health care reform plan to “win one for Ted.”

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE



telegraph.co.uk

U.S. Death Toll in Afghanistan Hits a Grim Record

With the death of a U.S. service member Friday, August now stands as the deadliest month ever for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Forty-five American troops have been killed so far this month, a disturbing sign that conditions in the nearly decade-long war are not getting any better.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE



The Science Fiction of Military Marketing

The military’s fantastical advertisements promote a somewhat comforting, if disturbingly misleading, message—and it is aimed not just at potential soldiers, but also at the public at large.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Staff Sgt. William Greeson

Report: U.S. Envoy and Afghan President in Election Meltdown

Afghan President Hamid Karzai got an “explosive” talking-to by U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke, according to the BBC. The meeting, which reportedly covered vote fraud and the possibility of a second election, didn’t last very long.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


Victory at the Cost of Sanity in Obama’s Forever War

Instead of reading ecology and novels on his vacation, the president should read Charles de Gaulle, who ended the dreadful insurrection in Algeria. Obama and his advisers have a dramatic and ahistorical view of Afghanistan—that “There is no alternative to victory.”

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


Jawad
AP / Rafiq Maqbool

Freed Afghan Says He Was Sent to Gitmo at 12

In December 2002, Mohammed Jawad was accused of throwing a grenade into a Jeep carrying U.S. troops and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay from Afghanistan. Jawad’s now home after seven years, and there’s a bit of a difference between his side of the story and the Pentagon’s—namely, he claims he was just 12 years old when he was arrested.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


map of Afghanistan
un.org

Yet Another Blast Shakes Kandahar

On Wednesday, another large explosion was reported in Kandahar, Afghanistan—just a day after a spate of bombings killed more than 40 people in that city—as the outcome of last week’s election still hung in the balance.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


Only One U.S. Official Has Taken an Honorable Stand on Torture

Thus far in the torture debate that has gone on in the United States since 2001, I can think of only one high American government figure currently in office taking a stand on torture in terms of justice, honor and national integrity.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE


Karzai
Wikimedia Commons / The White House

Karzai Is the Winner, According to Key Karzai Cabinet Member

Afghan Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said Monday that President Hamid Karzai is the clear winner of last week’s presidential election, citing empirical evidence to back up his claims.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan election
AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Afghan Election Dogged by Fraud Claims

Corruption rumors and threats of violence preceded last week’s Afghan presidential election, so it’s not surprising that similar concerns are cropping up after the fact.

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Afghan Election, Blackwater’s Role

Was Thursday’s election in Afghanistan a step forward for representative democracy in the South Asian nation? What exactly does President Obama aim to accomplish in Afghanistan anyhow? This week’s lineup of commentators explores the possible connections between the CIA and Blackwater and considers the current status of the health care debate.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Lance Cpl. Phillip Elgie

Reality Is Its Own Caricature for U.S. in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The problem with U.S.-sponsored elections in the non-Western world, as in Afghanistan on Thursday, is that they seek to legitimize America’s presence in the country, where it is typically not wanted.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


American troops in Afghanistan
army.mil

Lesson of Vietnam Lost in Afghanistan

Vietnam’s primary lesson remains intact: American power is not without limits, both in terms of defeating an enemy and in terms of its domestic support. The primary lesson of Vietnam seems to be that it is a lesson lost. And now we have some of the same intractable problems in Afghanistan.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan women
AP / Kevin Frayer

Polls Close in Afghanistan

Threats of violence kept large numbers of voters away from the polls in various parts of Afghanistan, and by closing time it was hard to say whether some officials’ declarations about the day’s success were warranted. But, thankfully, earlier warnings from the Taliban didn’t seem to materialize in the form of any major tragedies on Thursday.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


Bomb in Kabul
AP / Kevin Frayer

Afghan News Outlets to Be Censored on Election Day

Tensions continue to build before Thursday’s presidential election in Afghanistan. After a spate of violence in the capital city of Kabul on Tuesday, including a suicide car bombing that killed at least eight people and wounded 53, the government banned local news outlets from reporting any similar incidents on election day.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan election
AP / Rahmat Gul

Report: Pre-Election Corruption Crops Up in Afghanistan

This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan may not be the cleanest polling event, if the BBC’s findings about corruption and voting fraud are indicative of larger trends. The British news outlet reported Tuesday that bribery and bids to buy voting cards, combined with threats of violence from militant groups, could muck up the works come Thursday.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Senior Airman Sheila deVera

Afghanistan Surge Limited by ‘Dwell Time’

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, may ask for more troops, but whether he’ll get any is in doubt. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already moved to expand the Army, but getting troops the downtime they need between deployments will limit how many can be sent to the escalating war in South Asia.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE


100 Percent Hamidity

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Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE    


Afghan candidate poster
AP / Saurabh Das

Taliban Issues Threat Before Afghan Election

With just a few days remaining before the presidential election in Afghanistan, Taliban operatives are trying to thwart voting by threatening to cut off the ink-stained fingers of those who go to the polls, according to Al Jazeera English. In Afghanistan, a finger marked with ink is a sign that one has voted.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE


US Troops
defendamerica.mil

U.S. Troops on Midnight Train to Georgia

The U.S. military has begun war games in the nation of Georgia, an exercise reportedly planned for months, but which comes just days after Russia announced it will spend half a billion dollars refurbishing its own military bases and strengthening its hold on Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Women
blogspot.com

New Afghan Law Castrates Women’s Rights

Remember all that malarkey about how the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan would result in a remarkable push for women’s rights? Well, the Afghan government has passed a law that allows Shiite men to deny food to their wives if they refuse their husbands’ sexual demands. Oh, and a rapist can effectively avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to his victim.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 READ MORE


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