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October 7, 2015
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Tag: Taliban

U.S. Government’s Bid to Train Overseas Security Forces Has Basically Been a Wash

When asking an expert how the U.S. government’s very expensive and time-consuming push to train security forces in other countries has fared, the last thing that government would want to hear is this kind of description: “Our track record at building security forces over the past 15 years is miserable.”

Posted on Oct 4, 2015 READ MORE

‘He Named Me Malala’ Film Review: Who’s Behind the Persona?

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim documents the public side of the world-famous Pakistani education crusader but gives us only fleeting glimpses of the real girl.

Posted on Oct 1, 2015 READ MORE

The Final Collapse of Bush’s Nation-Building: Kunduz Falls to Taliban

On Monday, the Taliban swept into the provincial capital of Kunduz, taking it in half a day from a large and well-equipped Afghan National Army force.

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 READ MORE

Murder, Mayhem and Rape in Afghanistan: Made in the U.S.A.

Central to our policy in Afghanistan—a country ravaged and warped by the longest war the U.S. has ever waged—is keeping the warlords as our friends. Americans are ordered to look the other way when these drug-dealing criminals sexually abuse small boys.

Posted on Sep 24, 2015 READ MORE

We Have Failed Afghanistan Again and Again

In the first half of 2015, violence by both the Taliban and the U.S. has risen sharply, and Islamic State has emerged as a new and dangerous player. Once again, ordinary Afghans are the victims.

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 READ MORE

Why a U.S. Alliance With al-Qaida Is a Crazy Idea

With U.S. Middle East strategy in tatters, some experts are advocating that the U.S. ally with al-Qaida against Islamic State. Here’s why such a cold-blooded plan is pure folly—and what we should call for instead.

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Reporter Seymour Hersh Discusses His Controversial Exposé on Killing of Osama bin Laden

In this interview, the legendary investigative journalist dissects what he terms President Obama’s “fairy tale” narrative of the killing of the al-Qaida founder. 

Posted on May 15, 2015 READ MORE

The Iranian Ascendancy

In a classic tale of unintended consequences, just about every time Washington has committed another blunder in the Middle East, Iran has stepped in to take advantage.

Posted on Apr 13, 2015 READ MORE

Creating an Afghan Blackwater

Just as Afghan men had once flocked to the Taliban, in 2001 they threw their weight behind a new power: the government of President Hamid Karzai.

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 READ MORE

The Great Game in Afghanistan: a 21st Century Update

As the chances for peace talks between the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the unbeaten Taliban brighten, the Obama administration finds itself gradually but unmistakably reduced to the status of bystander.

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 READ MORE

Taliban Leader Who Orchestrated Pakistani School Attack Makes Fresh Threats

The top-ranking leader of the Taliban faction that claimed responsibility for last month’s mass slaughter of 153 people, many of them children, at the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, has taken to the Internet to warn that his group is prepared to strike again.

Posted on Jan 6, 2015 READ MORE

Report: Attacks on Militants in Pakistan Kill 38

A U.S. drone strike and air assaults by Pakistani military forces killed 38 people this weekend in tribal areas near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, official sources reported Sunday.

Posted on Jan 4, 2015 READ MORE

AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad

How Terrorists Justify Killing 132 Children

The Pakistan Taliban took credit for a hideous attack Tuesday on a school in Peshawar that killed at least 141 people, mostly children.

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 READ MORE

The Banality of Terrorism: Sydney’s Other Hostage Crisis of 1984

One’s heart goes out to the Sydney hostages. But it is distressing to see the hostage-taker made 10 feet tall by the media and to have Daesh (which is what most Arabs derisively call Islamic State) invoked.

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 READ MORE

Entirely Predictable: The U.S. Is Leaving Afghanistan Worse Off Than Before

Washington—now quietly withdrawing most American troops—has long backed only corrupt and criminal elements in the war-ravaged country.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE

Stephen Colbert on the ‘Growing Cable News Consensus’ That Bowe Bergdahl Doesn’t Deserve to Be Alive

Traitor, loser, deserter. While Fox News can’t seem to find enough insults to describe Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, CNN is busy wondering whether the prisoner of war modeled his life after the fictional TV series “Homeland.”

Posted on Jun 11, 2014 READ MORE

Jon Stewart: We Just Need to Protect This Country From Terrorists ... With Beards

“The Daily Show” host pokes holes in all the ridiculous Fox News arguments about prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl and his father Bob being Muslim terrorists and points out that facial hair is not evidence that someone is a terrorist. Case in point: the beardless Las Vegas shooting suspects. 

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 READ MORE

Dear Sen. McCain: The Taliban Prisoners Didn’t Carry Out 9/11, but You Supported Muslim Radicals

Sen. John McCain on Sunday maintained that President Obama, in releasing the five officials who had served in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in the 1990s and until 2001, had released people who were “hard core al-Qaida who were responsible for 9/11.”

Posted on Jun 9, 2014 READ MORE

Six Points Concerning Bergdahl

Bringing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home was the right thing to do, and President Obama did it in a mostly reasonable way.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE

Bridge Out

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 READ MORE

Bowe Bergdahl: Army of Wha’?!

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 READ MORE

Facial Hair, Patriotism and the Enemy in American History

Here are good mustaches and beards and bad mustaches and beards as imagined in American popular culture and war propaganda, as a way of contextualizing today’s hero-worship of the backwoods conservatives of “Duck Dynasty” and villainization of the backwoods conservatives of the Taliban.

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 READ MORE

Taliban Releases Video of Bowe Bergdahl’s Delivery

The Taliban on Wednesday released a video showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan.

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 READ MORE

Is the Prisoner Swap Hysteria a Sign of GOP War Withdrawal Symptoms?

The problem for the happy warriors among the conservatives is that they can’t stop Obama from winding down America’s decade of war.

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 READ MORE

Prisoner Swap Brings Obama Closer to Closing Gitmo

President Obama’s decision to release five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay has been attacked by some as illegal or reckless, but could bring him closer to his goal of closing the prison camp.

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 READ MORE

Obama Defends Deal With Taliban to Free U.S. Soldier

President Obama on Tuesday defended a prisoner swap with the Taliban to free an American soldier, saying his “sacred” trust as commander-in-chief outweighed claims he broke the law and set a dangerous precedent.

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 READ MORE

Dear GOP: The U.S. Has Negotiated With Terrorists and Amnestied Them All Through History

The GOP talking points in response to the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a trade for five former officials of the 1990s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) focused on a few basic premises.

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 READ MORE

What Does Sgt. Bergdahl’s Release Tell Us About Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Taliban Today?

The surprise announcement by President Obama on Saturday of the negotiated release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, captured in 2009, is wonderful news for him, his family and America. But what does it tell us about the Taliban, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE

‘We Needed to Get Him Out’: Hagel Defends Bergdahl Operation

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that an operation to free soldier Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for Taliban prisoners was undertaken to save his life, as the insurgents’ leader hailed the swap as a “big victory.”

Posted on Jun 1, 2014 READ MORE


Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE

meredith_nutting (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Five Ways Nevada Rancher Militia Resembles Pakistan’s Taliban

That Sean Hannity and other far right-wing pundits are supporting the regional militiamen and their mooching hero rather than the U.S. government gives you an idea what side they’d be on if they were in Pakistan.

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 READ MORE

Canada in Afghanistan / Canada en Afghanistan (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Top 7 Surprising Pieces of Good News in Afghanistan Presidential Election

Afghanistan went to the polls on Saturday, despite threats by the Taliban to disrupt the elections and calls by the extremists for Afghans to boycott the vote.

Posted on Apr 7, 2014 READ MORE

Obama Counters Karzai With Troop Withdrawal Move in Security Pact Standoff

President Obama put the squeeze on Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday, attempting to break down Karzai’s resistance to signing a new security agreement by suggesting in a phone call that all remaining U.S. troops may leave Afghanistan by year-end if the stalemate persists. 

Posted on Feb 25, 2014 READ MORE

The Menace of the Military Mind

The suggestion of the U.S. intelligence director, a retired general, that some reporters are Edward Snowden’s “accomplices” points up the military’s antipathy to a free press.

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 READ MORE

AP/B.K. Bangash

Pakistani Taliban’s New Boss Mullah Fazlullah Sticks to the Hard Line

The Pakistani Taliban have chosen a new permanent leader, Mullah Fazlullah, whose appointment suggests that the militant group isn’t interested in forging diplomatic ties with the Pakistani government anytime soon.

Posted on Nov 7, 2013 READ MORE

United Nations Information Centres (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Leave Malala Alone Already, Taliban

Remember Malala Yousafzai, the valiant girl who was attacked by terrorists in Pakistan last year for her education campaigns? Well, apparently, the Pakistani Taliban are quite relentless and have renewed their threats to kill her.

Posted on Oct 7, 2013 READ MORE

NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Top Afghan Policewoman Killed

In the latest in a series of attacks against women in power, Sub-Inspector Negara was shot dead Sunday by a couple of unknown gunmen. The two shot at the admired official’s neck while she was purchasing grass for her lamb.

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 READ MORE

September 11 Revisited

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 READ MORE

permiegardener (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Chile’s 9/11: 40 Years Since Pinochet’s U.S-Backed Coup

Sept. 11 is not just the anniversary of the fall of the twin towers in 2001. Decades before, despotic Gen. Augusto Pinochet led a coup against democratically elected Salvador Allende on the same date.

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 READ MORE


Posted on Sep 11, 2013 READ MORE

9/11 Hope

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Hassan Ammar

The Prince: Meet the Man Who Co-Opted Democracy in the Middle East

Now that the Arab Spring has been turned into a totally owned subsidiary of the Saudi royal family, it is time to honor Prince Bandar bin Sultan as the most effective Machiavellian politician of the modern era.

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 READ MORE

mindfrieze (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Who Are We at War With? That’s Classified

In a major national security speech this spring, President Obama said again and again that the U.S. is at war with “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces.” So who exactly are those associated forces? It’s a secret.


Posted on Jul 30, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Rahmat Gul

A Gun Battle at Karzai’s Palace

Reports say four insurgents and three security guards died during an attack Tuesday by the Taliban near the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Posted on Jun 25, 2013 READ MORE

Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey (CC-BY)

Gay Marriage: Why the Supreme Court Might Disappoint Conventional Thinking

Last week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The stock market plunges, Afghan author Qais Akbar Omar reacts to the news that direct talks between the United States and the Taliban have already broken down, Texas wages a war on high school kids and the Supreme Court threatens the happiness of gays everywhere.

Posted on Jun 24, 2013 READ MORE

Gay Marriage: Why the Supreme Court Might Disappoint Conventional Thinking

Last week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The stock market plunges, Afghan author Qais Akbar Omar reacts to the news that direct talks between the United States and the Taliban have already broken down, Texas wages a war on high school kids and the Supreme Court threatens the happiness of gays everywhere.

Posted on Jun 24, 2013 READ MORE

FBI Drone

Posted on Jun 21, 2013 READ MORE

isafmedia (CC BY 2.0)

U.S.-Taliban Peace Talks Suspended

Peace talks scheduled to begin Thursday between the United States and the Taliban faltered after the Afghan government complained that the Islamist political group’s newly opened Qatar office would be treated as a government-in-exile.

Posted on Jun 20, 2013 READ MORE

Negotiating With the Taliban

Posted on Jun 18, 2013 READ MORE

U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Ezekiel R. Kitandwe

U.S. and Taliban Announce Direct Negotiations

After more than 11 years of war in Afghanistan, a country known as “the graveyard of empires” for its inability to be conquered and held, the White House announced Tuesday that it will sit down with the Taliban and try to work things out with words instead of bombs.

Posted on Jun 18, 2013 READ MORE

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