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Tag: Afghanistan


U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Erica J. Knight

Congress Funds Wars With Billions to Spare

After the president signs a $106 billion emergency supplemental, the U.S. will have shelled out about $1 trillion in “emergency” funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not including the Pentagon’s obscene annual budget, exponentially expanding health care costs for wounded troops, and the interest on all that debt. True to form, lawmakers threw in $2.7 billion worth of cargo planes no one asked for.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
defenseimagery.mil / Staff Sgt. William Greeson

Violence Up—Way Up—in Afghanistan

Gen. David Petraeus announced Thursday that violence in Afghanistan has spiked 59 percent in recent months, hitting its highest level since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. American troops in the country now number 56,000 and will increase to 68,000 in the second half of this year. Petraeus said a coming increase in U.S. military activity signals that the trend of rising violence and casualties will continue.

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE


McChrystal
wordpress.com

Hearts and Minds Redux

“Decapitation strategies don’t work.” Those words, uttered by the newly named U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, mark a shift in the military strategy in Afghanistan. Yes, indeed—it seems to have taken the Pentagon eight years to realize that “you’re going to have to convince people, not kill them.”

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE


Being Obama Matters

I used to fear that the president was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Hold Your Applause

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Cairo Speech: Significant, Eloquent—and Perhaps Just the Beginning

Obama’s speech was distinguished by the quality of his previous major speeches, that of speaking as an adult to adults. He promised to say what he thought, and did so on all of the topics he addressed. Correction

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Terrorist Stuff

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Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE    


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
uscmc.mil

U.N. Official Seeks More Clarity on Civilian Deaths

U.N. rapporteur Philip Alston called for greater disclosure and accountability for the number of civilian deaths caused by the U.S. in its overseas conflicts. He expressed “strong concern at the continuing problem of preventable civilian casualties” and demanded “real accountability based on credible independent investigations.”

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Rush and Newt Are Winning

A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Lance Cpl. Chad J. Pulliam

Airstrike Rules Broken, Pentagon Finds

U.S. forces in Afghanistan have developed a reputation for bombing first and asking questions later. According to The New York Times, an internal Pentagon investigation confirms that the rules of engagement were not followed properly during airstrikes on May 4, resulting in the deaths of 20 to 140 civilians (depending on whether you take the U.S. or Afghan estimate).

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE


Petraeus
USAF / Staff Sgt. Bradley A. Lail

Replace Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus has proven the rule that past military victories do not guarantee future success. The general has made a mess of Afghanistan and Pakistan, yet he remains dangerously popular.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
thebacon.org

Number of Private Security Contractors Increases

President Obama railed against the reliance on private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan during his campaign, but new Pentagon statistics reveal their number has steadily grown since he took office, increasing 23 percent in Iraq and 29 percent in Afghanistan in the second quarter of 2009. “Blackwater” author Jeremy Scahill investigates.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Khalid Mohammed

War Is Sin

Those who return from war have learned something which is often incomprehensible to those who have stayed home. We are not a virtuous nation. War is neither glorious nor noble. And we carry within us the capacity for evil we ascribe to those we fight.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE


abu graib torture
http://lefteyeonthemedia.wordpress.com/

Pentagon Denies That Prison Photos Depict Rape

The Pentagon has denied claims made by a former U.S. general that the detainee abuse photos President Obama refuses to publish depict scenes of rape and torture. The rebuttal came only hours after Britain’s Daily Telegraph published retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba’s story. “That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told the press Thursday.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

‘Winter Soldier on the Hill’

Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan spoke to lawmakers on Capitol Hill this month, giving eyewitness accounts of the horrors of war and the real practices of the military. Amy Goodman devoted Monday’s “Democracy Now!” episode to these testimonials for this Memorial Day. Listen to the soldiers’ stories here.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


N.Y. Terror Suspects Were ‘Homegrown’

The four men arrested Wednesday night for allegedly planning to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and gun down military planes were “not connected to another terrorist group,” New York Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement Thursday.

Posted on May 21, 2009 READ MORE


Paris mosque
enjoyfrance.com

War-Addicted U.S. Afflicted With Imperialist Hangover

There is an important current in conservative U.S. opinion that believes Western Europe to be under something like a siege, or a potential siege, by its large Muslim immigrant population. I should actually say that it’s not just American conservatives, although they write alarmed books about the impending Muslim domination of Europe, and the collapse of European Christianity and identity. They fear the Decline of the West.

Posted on May 19, 2009 READ MORE


Farah injury
AP photo / Abdul Malek

Report: U.S. Marine Unit Killed Hundreds of Afghan Civilians

The Independent reported Saturday that a single group of American troops, the U.S. Marines Corps’ Special Operations Command, otherwise known as MarSOC—a creation of one Donald Rumsfeld—was responsible for “at least three of Afghanistan’s worst civilian casualty incidents” to date.

Posted on May 16, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling

President Barack Obama dramatically changed course twice on May 13 when he announced he would not release photos of American military personnel “abusing” detainees, reversing the Pentagon’s statement on April 26 that it would comply with a court order—with the president’s own prompt and emphatic support for release.

Posted on May 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr.com / Kevin Burkett

Mo’ Money, Mo’ War

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a $91.3 billion supplemental measure to finance the Iraqi and Afghan wars. An additional $80 million has been set aside to support the shutting down of Gitmo, $50 million of which is contingent on the Pentagon coming up with a plan on relocating prisoners. Another $900 million has been allocated to aid Pakistan in its battle against the Taliban.

Posted on May 14, 2009 READ MORE


Predator
blog.wired.com

Cambodia Déjà Vu: the Invasion of Pakistan

Last September, during the American presidential campaign, I wrote a column declaring that the United States had again invaded Cambodia, only this time “Cambodia” was Pakistan. President George W. Bush had ordered U.S. ground attacks on the Taliban inside Pakistan’s Tribal Territories, without Pakistan’s authorization.

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE


Pakistan Conflict Map
news.bbc.co.uk

Taliban Gain Ground, Color on Map

A new map produced by the BBC succinctly demonstrates the weakness of the Pakistan state in combating Taliban militants in the country’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The map shows only 38% of Pakistan’s NWFP to be under government control, while the balance of the region experiences either Taliban presence or control.

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE


Gates Orders a Change of Command in Afghanistan

The Pentagon will be replacing the current top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, who has served in the position a mere 11 months. The decision comes on the heels of President Obama’s new plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan and marks a clear change in strategy in an increasingly complex war.

Posted on May 11, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan protest
AP photo / Musadeq Sadeq

Civilians Pay the Price of War From Above

Of course there will be an inquiry. And in the meantime, we shall be told that all the dead Afghan civilians were being used as “human shields” by the Taliban and we shall say that we “deeply regret” innocent lives that were lost.

Posted on May 10, 2009 READ MORE


Gates and soldiers
AP photo / Jason Reed, pool

Becoming What We Seek to Destroy

The bodies of dozens, perhaps well over a hundred, women, children and men, their corpses blown into bits of human flesh by iron fragmentation bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes in a village in the western province of Farah, illustrates the futility of the Afghan war.

Posted on May 10, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Bank Stress, Afghani-Paki-stan; Gay Marriage

Alert the media—banks need money! Who’s stressed, who’s reassured by the government’s test of the banks’ capitalization? Meanwhile, Pakistan is in serious danger, and Afghanistan is hardly a model of an emerging democracy. Their leaders are in Washington; what will America’s role be?

Posted on May 8, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr / Aaron Escobar™

Suicide Rates for U.S. Soldiers at Record High

As of the end of 2008, a U.S. soldier was more likely to commit suicide than an American civilian. This trend is now under investigation by the U.S. Army, which must grapple with the extent of inadequate psychological support available to soldiers coming home.

Posted on May 7, 2009 READ MORE


American soldiers
army.mil

Democracy at Gunpoint Guarantees U.S. Defeat

An account from the Taliban side of the Afghanistan war, which was published in The New York Times on May 5, provides devastating evidence of the failure that almost certainly will eventually overtake the United States and NATO.

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Military Investigating Afghan Casualty Claims

Up to 70 civilians were reportedly killed in the Farah province of Afghanistan in a battle between Taliban insurgents and coalition forces on Tuesday, adding friction to already tense relations between the U.S. and Afghan governments.

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE


obama
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Obama’s Hallmark Moment

President Barack Obama addressed a crowd in Missouri on Wednesday, stating he’s “pleased … but not satisfied” with his first 100 days in office and he’s eager to get beyond this “Hallmark holiday” in order to focus on the challenges that lie ahead.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Toes the Liberal Line

President Obama may be sounding a positive note about his first 100 days, but there are others who beg to differ for various reasons. Take this analysis by Andrew J. Bacevich in The Boston Globe, for example, in which Bacevich points to some problematic aspects of American liberalism that Obama seems more than willing to uphold.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton
AP photo / Marko Drobnjakovic

Clinton Signals Support for Iraq During Baghdad Visit

Arriving soon after the deadliest suicide bombings in the last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first visit to Iraq in her new position, assuring Iraqis in Baghdad that they have the United States’ continued support despite the Obama administration’s focus on Afghanistan and talk of troop withdrawal.

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Was Used to Try to Link Saddam With 9/11

In order to justify George W. Bush’s illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq, Bush administration officials put heavy pressure on Pentagon interrogators to get Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah to say there was a link between Iraq and the 9/11 hijackers. That link was never established.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Europe Needs No Part in Doomed Afghan War

If Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Baghdad bombing
AP photo / Karim Kadim

Deadliest Bomb Strikes in Months Kill 78 in Iraq

Two suicide bomb explosions—one in central Baghdad and the other in Diyala province—killed at least 78 people on Thursday, according to the Associated Press, marking the worst day of violence in over a year.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



Apple Goes to War

The military has been deploying Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone, loaded with software that aids in translation, intelligence gathering and shooting people. Military iPods will “display aerial video from drones and have teleconferences with intelligence agents halfway across the globe.” We civilians are still waiting for copy and paste.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nam Y. Huh

Where’s Rev. Wright When You Need Him?

Israel and the United States will together boycott the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Geneva. Racism, an endemic feature of Israeli and American society, is not, we have decided, open for international inspection. It’s times like this President Obama would do well to heed the sermons of his former pastor.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



abcnews.com

AIG’s War Business Draws Criticism

At least 30,000 private contractors have been injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the vast majority are insured by AIG. According to an investigation by ABC News, ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times, the insurance giant does about as good a job helping wounded contractors as gaming the derivatives market.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Tea and Ignorance

There is little anyone can do about the tax-protest rants except worry they will be believed by a wider public. So, on the theory that the truth will set us free, it is worth examining exactly what we’re all paying, and what for.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


The Obama Doctrine

The president insists that the U.S. can’t achieve great objectives on its own. This may break with George W. Bush’s style, but it is in keeping with the traditions of Roosevelt, Truman and George H.W. Bush.
 

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Women Protest Against—and for—‘Rape’ Law

A group of determined Afghan women took to the streets of Kabul on Wednesday, suffering chants of “Dogs!” from a much larger crowd in order to challenge a law that essentially legalizes marital rape. The AP reports on a scene that underscores the complexities of that country—there were more women among the angry counterprotesters than in the women’s rights group.

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE


Pacifica Radio at 60: A Sanctuary of Dissent

The oldest independent media network in the United States turns 60 years old this week as a deepening crisis engulfs mainstream media.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Is a Crime That Must Be Punished

I realize that many Americans, given the scope of the economic crisis and the ambitions of the new administration, would rather look forward than revisit the past. The business of torture, however, is too unspeakable to be left unfinished.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Tax for the Memories

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Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE    


Taliban, the Sequel

Ever since the Afghan war began, we assured ourselves that whatever else, we had one moral victory. We’d freed the women from Taliban rule. Now we know something very different to be true.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama: The Extremists’ Nightmare

In the struggle against the extremists and terrorists, the new president understands how to divide the enemy and neutralize their base—and is uniquely suited to accomplish the mission. He got elected in the United States of America, after all.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Father of Guantanamo

Indefinite and secret detention at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, was a fundamental breach of justice and morality when the Bush administration did it. It is made worse by the stench of hypocrisy when the Obama administration does it.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


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