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Tag: Afghanistan

Quagmire, Phase 2: The Invasion of Pakistan

The United States has just invaded Cambodia. The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it’s the same story as in Indochina in 1970.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Zardari President
AP photo / Anjum Naveed

Bhutto’s Widower Assumes Presidency in Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assumed the presidency of Pakistan on Tuesday, concluding a transfer of power that began with the resignation of former President Pervez Musharraf just two weeks ago. Zardari’s presidency is likely to be one of conflict, as an ongoing Taliban resurgence and a 26 percent approval rating already riddle his first days in office.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE


Is There a Doctor in the House or Senate?

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Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE    



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Obama: Bush ‘Kicking the Can Down the Road’ to Next President

Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped up his criticism of the outgoing president and the Republican who hopes to succeed him, slamming President Bush for focusing too heavily on Iraq and missing the “central front in the war on terror”—Pakistan and Afghanistan. John McCain, Obama said, would follow Bush’s lead, to America’s detriment.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE


Azizabad mourners
AP photo / Fraidoon Pooyaa

Footage of Slain Afghan Civilians Revives Inquiry Into U.S. Raid

Cell-phone footage shot by a doctor in a makeshift morgue in Azizabad, Afghanistan, showing rows of dead Afghan civilians, including several children, has led to a renewed inquiry into an American-led airstrike that occurred on Aug. 22. American officials had previously insisted that only seven civilians had been killed in the attack, but they’re now having to face the possibility that the actual figure could be as high as 90.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Ayman al-Zawahri
msnbc.msn.com

Al-Qaida’s No. 2 Blasts Iran

Just before the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, al-Qaida has released a lengthy videotape featuring the group’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, providing updates about how the holy war is faring around the globe and laying into Iran for “cooperating with the Americans” and with the American-approved governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Jonathan Shapiro on the Hamdan Case

In Jonathan Mahler’s new book, George W. Bush emerges as the most lawless president in American history, the first to usurp the law as a matter of policy.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE


Cleaning Up After Bush

The Bush administration has lived by a strategy of tension, and will go out of office bequeathing the wars it has started and the ill will it has created to its successors, to compromise those who come after.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


military service
AP photo / William B. Plowman

U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’?

Since I posted on April 28 the article “Is There an Army Cover Up of the Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers,” the deaths of two more U.S. Army women in Iraq and Afghanistan have been listed as suicides—the Sept. 28, 2007, death of 30-year-old Spc. Ciara Durkin and the Feb. 22, 2008, death of 25-year-old Spc. Keisha Morgan. Both “suicides” are disputed by the families of the women.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Fraidoon Pooyaa

U.N. Sides With Afghans in Airstrike Controversy

Iraq isn’t the only U.S.-occupied nation looking for some sovereignty. Afghan officials are calling for more regulation of foreign troops amid an uproar over U.S. airstrikes. One recent U.S.-led attack, according a U.N. investigation, probably killed 90 civilians—mostly children.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Rafiq Maqbool

Pouring Gas on the Afghanistan Bonfire

Mounting bombing raids and widespread detentions of Afghans are rapidly turning Afghanistan into the mirror image of Iraq. But these very real events, which will have devastating consequences over the next few months and years, are largely ignored by us.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


Toby Keith
music.aol.com

Toby Keith Comes Out as a Democrat

Is this the same Toby Keith who unleashed the cheese-slathered anthem, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” (complete with fluffy golden retriever puppies and rippling flags in the video version), on the general public in 2002? Mr. “We’ll-Put-A-Boot-Up-Your-Ass”?

Posted on Aug 19, 2008 READ MORE


India’s Role in the Afghan Drama

When large and powerful countries intervene in the affairs of smaller countries, they take for granted that they are, or should be—and certainly could be—in control. The reverse is often true.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


David McKiernan
arcent.army.mil

‘Surge’ Rhetoric Not Universal

Despite criticisms of the efficacy of the “surge” in Iraq, a U.S. commander in Afghanistan has dared to say that a planned “surge” in Afghanistan would in fact not help U.S. interests in the country. The commander did make sure not to completely deweaponize the Bush administration’s rhetoric, suggesting instead that a different type of surge is needed.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Playing the Economic Card

After enduring the silly debate over who injected race into the presidential campaign, let’s look at some recent numbers that indicate how Barack Obama could win this close election.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


It’s the War, Stupid

There is nothing like the blast of a Baghdad bomb and the wail of sirens to drown out John McCain’s bitter campaign sound bites or the patter of Barack Obama’s “premature victory lap.”

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Gilani and Bush
AP photo / Evan Vucci

Bush Hosts Pakistani PM Right After U.S. Attack

President Bush had words of praise for Pakistan during his first meet-and-greet with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani at the White House on Monday, a meeting in which the subject of the U.S. missile attack on the Pakistani-Afghan border mere hours before was not brought up by either party.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Sarkozy
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Obama Addresses Tehran From Paris

During his quick jaunt to Paris on Friday, Barack Obama sent a direct message to Iran, cautioning it to stop enriching uranium or “the pressure ... is only going to build.” Obama had the chance to chat briefly with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who told him that the French would be “delighted” if he won in November’s election.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nikki Keddie on Iran

In “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies,” Barbara Slavin, a leading Middle East reporter for USA Today, offers a refreshingly nuanced and revelatory taxonomy of power within theocratic Iran that sheds light on its leaders and their ambitions.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


The Dream Campaign Goes to Berlin

While John McCain pouted in obscurity, Barack Obama capped off a whirlwind tour with a commanding performance on the world stage.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Ziv Koren, Pool

Obama on the Brink

Barack Obama is betraying his promise of change and is in danger of becoming just another political hack. Yes, just like former maverick John McCain, who has refashioned himself as a mindless rubber stamp for the most inane policies of the miserably failed Bush administration.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

No Easy Out for Obama

The adoring media coverage of Barack Obama’s international tour is masking the reality that, whether he wins or loses, we’re almost certain to be stuck in Iraq for a long time, thanks to the legacy of George Bush.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wiki Commons

Blackwater Plans to Back Away From Security Biz

Stung by lawsuits, protests, government audits, criminal charges and negative media attention, executives from the mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide say providing security in Iraq and elsewhere has become a drain on the company’s future and will be gradually all but phased out. However, there are no immediate plans to end the contract with the State Department which became so controversial after the company’s agents went on a deadly shooting spree in Baghdad last year.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Audition

To win the presidency, Barack Obama needs only to battle John McCain to a tie on foreign policy and national security. That means Obama has no need for a great triumph during his trip this week to the Middle East and Europe. His goal is to look safe, sound and competent, and that’s how he’s playing things.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Semantic Withdrawal

It’s not a “timetable” for extricating U.S troops from Iraq that George W. Bush is suddenly talking about, and heaven help anyone who accuses him of proposing a “timeline.” No, the Decider says he is now amenable to a “time horizon,” which apparently is a whole different kind of time thing.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Obama Commits to Afghanistan Escalation

Before leaving Kabul for Baghdad, Barack Obama spoke to his intention to increase America’s troop commitment to Afghanistan by 10,000 soldiers. “We have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent ... and I believe this has to be the central focus, the central front, in the battle against terrorism,” the candidate told CBS.

Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE


Obama in Afghanistan
AP photo

Obama Begins World Tour

Barack Obama embarked on his international diplomacy tour—a key step in raising his profile on the world stage and demonstrating his readiness to take over the American presidency—with an important first major stop. The Illinois senator landed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday as part of congressional delegation surveying the current situation in that troubled nation.

Posted on Jul 19, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Disaster in the Making

Barack Obama is right to want to get out of Iraq, but his eagerness to do battle in the tribal hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan will only lead to a quagmire of his own.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Keeps Bombing Weddings

Apparently, the Bush administration is also against straight marriage—if you live in the desert under U.S. military occupation. Tom Engelhardt details seven years of wedding crashing in Afganistan and Iraq, and the notable lack of remorse on the part of the Pentagon.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Omar Khadr

‘Help Me’: Gitmo Video Shows Tearful Teen

Canadian lawyers released a wrenching 2003 video—the first of its kind ever made public—of a tearful 16-year-old boy suffering what appears to be a mental breakdown during an interrogation by Canadian officials at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. Five years later, Omar Khadr has still not been charged with any crime.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Al Behrman

Obama: ‘The Central Front in the War on Terror Is Not Iraq’

Sen. Barack Obama made a key speech on Tuesday in Washington, in which he asserted his position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, offered a 16-month troop withdrawal timetable and outlined his plans for combating terrorism if he is elected president in November.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Kunar Province attack

U.S. Generals in Afghanistan Ask for More Armored Vehicles

Following this weekend’s attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, in which nine American soldiers were killed by Afghan insurgents, U.S. commanders have asked the Pentagon for more heavily armored MRAP vehicles—as many as 600 to 1,000 more—according to this CNN report from Monday morning.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

U.S. Loses 9 to Taliban Strike

Nine American soldiers are dead after a Taliban raid on a small combat outpost in the Afghan province of Kunar, near Pakistan. Coalition forces rarely experience such losses. The attack took place close to where the U.S. allegedly killed 47 civilians, a charge the military denies.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE


Inquiry Finds U.S. Strike Killed Wedding Party

Imagine this happening in the U.S.: Forty-seven people, including the bride, are killed on their way to a wedding after an airstrike on “militants” goes off course. Of course, this happened not in the U.S. but in Afghanistan, and, of course, the attack’s civilian toll was initially denied by the U.S. military.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw

The endless debate about the U.S. withdrawing its army from Iraq and what will happen to the country once it does tends to ignore much of what we know about how the world works.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Elah
thecia.com.au

Pentagon Looking to Help Shape War Films

The recent spate of war movies about Iraq and Afghanistan has proved to be a hard sell with American audiences—even more so with the U.S. military. Now, the Pentagon is combating a certain lack of nuance, as military officials see it, in flicks like “Redacted” and “In the Valley of Elah” by offering script consultation services to Hollywood types looking to make movies about the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Kabul bombing
AP photos / Pajhwok News Agency

Pakistani Militants Suspected in Kabul Bombing

Details have emerged about Monday’s deadly blast at the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, raising suspicion that the bombing was done by Pakistani militants associated with the Taliban. The fact that the Indian Embassy was targeted is one substantial indication, considering the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan. The blast killed 41 and injured over 130.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



news.bbc.co.uk

Bombings Jolt South Asia

A suicide bombing apparently tied to the one-year anniversary of the Red Mosque raid killed at least 15 in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad Sunday night. The next morning, a bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 41—including India’s ranking defense attaché—and injuring more than 140 others.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Sanders, file

Surviving the Fourth of July

I survive the degradation that has become America—a land that exalts itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty while it tortures human beings, stripped of their rights, in offshore penal colonies, a land that wages wars defined under international law as criminal wars of aggression, a land that turns its back on its poor, its weak, its mentally ill, in a relentless drive to embrace totalitarian capitalism—because I read books.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


In Their Boots

American Vets’ Stories in Their Own Words

The Brave New Foundation is launching an important new project, “In Their Boots,” which gives veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a platform to tell their own stories about serving and sacrifice. Check out American soldiers’ compelling stories in this week’s installment.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Terror Goes a Lot Further With Good Advertising

A basic argument in Washington’s war on terror, an argument that one might think settled by now, concerns whether al-Qaida is the powerful global organization the Bush administration says it is or whether it has been, since its retreat into the Pakistan tribal areas, mostly an Internet phenomenon.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE



voanews.com

Afghanistan Death Toll Outpaces Iraq

For the second month in a row, the number of American and NATO troops killed in Afghanistan—45—was higher than in Iraq. In fact, the so-called forgotten war was deadlier last month than at any time since the United States invaded in 2001, according to an AP tally.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Illusion of Saving Nations From Themselves

The Bush government was elected in 2000 on a platform including vigorous opposition to the United States Army’s doing “nation-building.” What a difference a five-year-long military disaster can make!

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Taliban

Is This the Year of the Taliban?

It’s been more than six years since the invasion of Afghanistan but, as this Mosaic Intelligence Report illustrates, it looks like the Taliban is actually getting stronger and bolder—as evidenced by the recent Taliban-led prison break at Kandahar’s Sarposa Prison. Could 2008 be the Year of the Taliban?

Posted on Jun 28, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / soldiersmediacenter

What War?

Coverage of the Iraq war on American newscasts gets a fraction of the airtime it has in past years. Some network journalists complain that they have to beg to get Iraq stories on the air. Although the war in Afghanistan has recently gotten more coverage, no American network has a full-time correspondent on the ground there.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE


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


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