Schisms: Index on Afghanistan, August 2007
by Sarah Meyer
"Though the story shone with exotic details of midnight subterfuge, double cross and secret agendas, there was really very little romance or glory about it. More than anything, it was a crushing example of how eroded and overwhelmed by war the country had become, to the point which fealty and allegiance were bartered like bazaar bubbles for the sake of survival." Anthony Loyd , p. 230.
No one in either Iraq or Afghanistan – or elsewhere – seems satisfied with their present ‘role’ during the U.S. global takeover, except perhaps those objecting to occupation. This preface deals with schisms about civilian deaths, US largesse, the “Good War”, and NATO. Also highlighted is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), virtually neglected by western Mainstream Media.
Karzai to Complain to Bush (Again)
US & Afghan elders differ on who killed 12 civilians.
‘GOOD WAR’ VS. REALITY
The Good War
The ‘Good War’ (20.08.07, Editorial, NY Times.The Good War Still to Be Won )
Meanwhile, Back in Afghanistan …
(10.08.07. E. Gomez, SFGate.). ‘Just what is anybody doing anymore - US troops, British and Canadian soldiers, other NATO forces - in George W. Bush, Jr.'s war (or whatever it is) in Afghanistan?’
How a ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Went Bad (12.08.07. Rohde, Sanger (Gall), NYTimes)
How can this bloody failure be regarded as a good war? (23.08.07. Seumas Milne, The Guardian / uruknet) The western occupation of Afghanistan has brought neither peace nor development - and it fuels the terror threat.
The Drugs Don't Work
UN -Report -Afghanistan Opium Survey 2007 (08/07. UN Office on Drugs and Crime Document - Report UN / Afghanistan Opium Survey 2007)
NATO – ‘COALITION’
US / UK
Friendly fire deaths
(26.08.07. Mark Townsend, Observer) The death of the three soldiers raises questions in Whitehall and Washington. In particular, the issue over why the Ministry of Defence has not introduced an electronic combat identification system to protect British forces. It is a debate that has raged since the 1991 friendly-fire attack that killed nine British troops. There is new evidence that concern already existed between British commanders and their allies over 'friendly-fire' incidents in Helmand. … Meanwhile, investigators will want to know whether B Company had access to Rover Terminals - hi-tech equipment that allows the Fire Support Group to view what the US pilot is studying on his targeting device. Diplomatic issues will be to the fore, the deaths straining relations between British and US forces. … Further into the future, pressure will mount for the US authorities to provide the cockpit recorder of the F-15 at the inquests into military deaths. So far Washington has refused to heed Whitehall's demands for evidence to be submitted to British coroners.
‘Gung – Ho’ US behaviour
More ‘gung-ho”: here ;
and - with regard to Iraq – Bush: here …
and you could google "news, ‘Gung-Ho’ "
British military asks U.S. forces to leave Afghan province (08.08.07. C. Gall, IHT.)
Not surprisingly, Allies refuse to send more troops (19.08.07. B. Brady, Scotsman) The aroma of Iraq has reached the Afghan killing fields.
GERMANY rejects NATO request for choppers in Afghanistan (15.08.07. irna.ir)
NATO VS JAPAN (08.08.07. VOA)
weakening Italian and German military commitments; Netherlands, Denmark debates raging
While Bush blusters, Cheney plots, Conoco Condi runs around the world with bribes in her back pocket, Congress cringes, and the US public remains deaf and dumb, the Eastern world is more active. The western Mainstream Media have given scant attention to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
For more stories on the SCO, click here
2. Oil and Gas: The Great Game
3. Strategic Imperatives (Afghanistan, Pakistan, US)
4. Media & Videos
7. Investment and Aid
9. US-NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Society
10. NATO Coalition (Australia, Canada, Germany, UK & S. Korea)
11. Human Rights (Guantanamo, Rendition, Torture, Padilla, War on Terror)
12. Some Deaths (Afghan civilian, Taliban, Tillman, others)
13. Future Deaths (DU, Nuclear, Biological, Chemical)
"The Role of National Oil Companies in the International Oil Market," (21.08.07)
Superb history of Afghanistan problems
The War No Politician (or Oil Exec) Objects To:The Ongoing Tragedy of Afghanistan
24.08.07. John Wright, uruknet. . … “With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, three years after the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, the US began a reach for global hegemony which continues to this day and which lies at the root of the occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, the entire world knows by now that what Iraq has that the US needs and covets is huge, easily accessible deposits of oil. With regard to Afghanistan, just like the British and the Russians back in the 19th century, its strategic location provides the answer. The demise of the Soviet Union meant that the huge deposits of crude oil located in the Caspian Basin were now up for grabs. What US energy corporations required was a pipeline to transport this crude to the nearest 'friendly' port from where it could be shipped out. Iran wasn't an option, which left Afghanistan as the only viable alternative; the proposed pipeline to pass through and on into Pakistan to the port of Karachi, lying on the coast of the Arabia. In 1996 a high level Taliban delegation flew over to meet with Unocal executives at their headquarters in Houston, Texas, to discuss the laying of this pipeline through Afghanistan. The Governor of Texas at the time was none other than George W Bush.
"Above the foundation of their shared cultural and religious tenets, the whole edifice of the war swayed to the rhythm of shifting alliance. .. Listless through war fatigue, poverty and hunger, differences in tribal and ethnic allegiance were often easily expedited by Afghans for the requirements of survival or cash." Anthony Loyd , p. 223.
Bush welcomes Afghan President Karzai
06.08.07. Xinhuanet. U.S. President Bush welcomed Afghan President Karzai who arrived at Camp David. ·The fate of 21 ROK hostages held by the Taliban is likely to be high on the agenda. ·U.S. government officials have described the meeting as a private "strategy session."
Running out of time, patience in Afghanistan
08.08.07. K. Inderfurth, boston.com. WHEN PRESIDENT BUSH hosted Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai at Camp David earlier this week, it was their ninth meeting since US-led military forces ousted the Taliban from power in late 2001. It may also prove to be their most fateful. Time is running out to get things right in Afghanistan. … A July report by the British House of Commons Defense Committee provides valuable guidance on both of these objectives. Entitled ”UK operations in Afghanistan", it contains 39 conclusions and recommendations based on the British experience in that country, including in the volatile southern province of Helmand where Taliban resistance is the fiercest. … A refrain throughout the report is that Afghan reconstruction and development (jobs, roads, water, and electricity), rather than military power alone, is the key to winning Afghan "hearts and minds" and achieving a successful outcome.
Korean groups to pull out of Afghanistan, ambassador says
08.08.07. AP - IHT / ICH.
Meanwhile, Back in Afghanistan …
10.08.07. E. Gomez, SFGate. Just what is anybody doing anymore - US troops, British and Canadian soldiers, other NATO forces - in George W. Bush, Jr.'s war (or whatever it is) in Afghanistan? Includes “rumblings from and about the war zone.”
"In the Land of the Blood Feuds"
10.08.07. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post / Truthout. South of Baghdad, US troops navigate fault lines of sect and tribe. "Here we have so many different enemies," he (Lt. Thomas Murphy, 32) said.
How a ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Went Bad
12.08.07. Rohde, Sanger (Gall), NYTimes. A Big Promise, Unfulfilled; A Shift of Resources to Iraq; A Piecemeal Operation; A Lingering Threat; To Afghans, a Fickle Effort; Divisions Over Strategy. The oil pipelines are not mentioned.
Taliban will release hostages Monday: Afghan governor
12.08.07. Yahoo news.
Ahmadinejad's first Afghan visit ruffles US feathers
14.08.07. R. Tait, Guardian. · Meeting with Karzai in open defiance of Washington · Iran denies US claims it is arming Taliban
Bush Warns Puppets Not to Praise Iran
14.08.07. G. Leupp, Counterpunch. Hamid Karzai, hand-picked by Washington to pose as president of the broken country of Afghanistan, says his government has "very, very good, very, very close relations [and] will continue to have good relations with Iran." He declares on CNN, "So far, Iran has been a helper" in fighting terrorism.
Abdullah Azzam and the Omissions of Neocon Historians
15.08.07. Kurt Nimmo, uruknet. In an "editorial" published in the Boston Herald, neocon propagandist—and jackleg historian—Jonah Goldberg gives us a running history lesson on "al-Qaeda," specifically its purported ideological founder, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam. According to Goldberg, the late Azzam was "one of the founders of the jihadist movement that became al-Qaeda." Indeed, this is true, although Mr. Goldberg, of course, does not bother to tell us the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey might have it. Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam ran Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin al-Arab, the recruiting arm of the CIA-ISI operation against the Soviets in Afghanistan, responsible for organizing 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East, as veteran Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid has noted...
How far is Afghanistan from becoming Iraq?
16.08.07. achrweb. Some 6,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan, around 1,500 of them civilians, in the last 18 months, the worst period of violence in the country since U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taleban regime in 2001. .. On 11 June 2007, Reuters claimed that since 2001, a total of 598 security forces have been killed in Afghanistan. These included 398 from United States, 60 from Britain, 56 from Canada, 21 from Spain, 21 from Germany and 42 from other nations.
AFGHANISTAN: PROBING FOR WAYS TO ENGAGE THE TALIBAN
16.08.07. Camelia Entekhabi-Fard /Richard Weitz, Eurasianet. Any momentum gained from the recent peace jirga, which brought together Pashtun leaders from Afghanistan and Pakistan, already seems to be fading. The Asia Times showed a more positive approach … “Accordingly, the jirga proposed in a draft agreement that a 50-member team of tribal representatives should "immediately undertake the opening of negotiations with the resistance on how best and how soon to end the violence in the country". ‘Furthermore, it said, as soon as the peace and conciliation jirga begins its consultations with the opposition, a ceasefire should come into effect between the Taliban and the US-led coalition forces for a period to be mutually agreed on.” … The two governments (Pakistan / Afghanistan) will also draw up a comprehensive Border Infrastructure Development Project and involve the international community for the speedy development of the region of the Durand Line. Pakistan has also sought the creation of a permanent body, the Pakistan-Afghanistan Peace and Friendship Commission, for fostering good-neighborly relations.’
Jihad call by Omar
19.08.07. gulf-daily.news.com. The reclusive one-eyed Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar yesterday made a rare public call for Afghans to unite with the militant insurgency to drive Western forces from Afghanistan.
Irony of the Day:
Afghanistan independence celebration overshadowed by violence
19.08.07. AP-IHT. Afghanistan celebrated its independence from British Rule Sunday with a military parade …
Afghanistan: In Hostage Talks, NGOs Walk Tightrope
19.08.07. rferl.org. Call it the deadly dilemma. Terrorists or militants take a civilian hostage. But the government won't negotiate, saying that giving in to their demands would only encourage further abductions. So the life of the hostage is left hanging in the balance.
US’ ‘faulty policies’ creating problems in Afghanistan: Ghani
20.08.07. daily times. Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani has said US and NATO forces in Afghanistan have become a problem rather than a solution and Washington’s faulty policies are responsible for the resurgence of extremism in the region.
Thousands displaced by crisis in Afghanistan
20.08.07. swissinfo.org. Fighting in Afghanistan has driven tens of thousands of people from their homes and the number of displaced is growing by the day, says a Swiss human rights expert.
China, Afghanistan, seek closer cooperation
Bridge Connecting Tajikstan And Afghanistan Set To Open
21.08.07. eurasianet.org. The United States, which supplied most of the funding and know-how for the project, hopes the bridge will promote regional stabilization.
Afghan Girl Raped by 2 Men
23.08.07. AP - Guardian.
Superbombs Spreading In Afghanistan
23.08.07. D. Hambling, wired.com. "We don't see Afghanistan and Iraq are associated on the improvised explosive devices (IEDs). We think Afghanistan and IEDs seen in Afghanistan really have their own unique signature."
How can this bloody failure be regarded as a good war?
23.08.07. Seumas Milne, The Guardian / uruknet. The western occupation of Afghanistan has brought neither peace nor development - and it fuels the terror threat. Enthusiasts for the catastrophe that is the Iraq war may be hard to come by these days, but Afghanistan is another matter. The invasion and occupation that opened George Bush's war on terror are still championed by powerful voices in the occupying states as - in the words of the New York Times this week - "the good war" that can still be won. While speculation intensifies about British withdrawal from Basra, there's no such talk about a retreat from Kabul or Kandahar. … Britain is now fighting its fourth war in Afghanistan in 170 years, and might have learned by now that you cannot impose a government from outside against a people's will.
Seoul denies reports of deal to free hostages in Afghanistan
Taliban Agree to Free 19 Korean Hostages
25.08.07. koreatimes. AIP said the governments of Korea and Saudi Arabia will officially announce Sunday the agreement in Ghazni Province where the Taliban kidnapped the Koreans on July 19
Local Taliban agree to release 19 captives including Lt. Col. Shahid
27.08.07. paktribune.com. Remaining Seven South Koreans Freed in Afghanistan (Update1)
Afghan police fight to survive
29.08.07. asia times. Hekmat Karzai, head of Kabul's Center for Conflict and Peace Studies, said: "Strategically, it makes sense to attack Afghan security forces where morally it gives people a complex about whether it is worth joining."
Afghan minister blasts S.Korean decision to cave in to Taliban demands
29.08.07. irna. The Taliban have demanded that South Korea withdraw all its 200 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and end Christian missions to the country by the end of this month in exchange for the hostages.
(updated) 23.07.07. CRS REPORT
“Pakistan: Significant Recent Events, March 26 - June 21, 2007"
06.07.07. CRS Report
Pakistan: Musharraf pulls out of jirga with Afghanistan
08.08.07. ADNKRONOS/ICH. On the eve of the US-backed Pakistan-Afghanistan peace jirga or tribal council to discuss terrorism, Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf has decided that he will not attend the event in Afghanistan on Thursday due to security reasons. Decision met with dismay in Washington. After ‘persuasion’ from US, Musharraf attends conference. Karzai, Musharraf try to reconcile at 'peace jirga' (13.08.07. CSM)
Pakistan: State of many emergencies
10.08.07. Guardian leader. Why did the general pull out of a peace conference in Kabul at the last minute? And what was the subject of the midnight conversation he had had with the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice? … If there are few options for the general, there are even fewer for the US, other than to pray that their best friend in the region will muddle through.
How the United States makes Pakistan more radical
10.08.07. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, dailystar.
'Gifts' that haunt U.S.
12.08.07. sfgate. IT'S A GREAT time to be a friend of a lame-duck president. The Bush administration is handing out largesse at unprecedented levels -- to Saudi Arabia, Israel, India, Pakistan and others -- tens of billions of dollars to win support for its unpopular policies. All of this is also intended to isolate its adversaries, notably Syria and Iran. / The problem is, some recipients of this beneficence are guilty of the same transgressions as the nations the administration wants to ostracize. (discussion, eg., of India’s nuclear weapons). See also Nuclear Suppliers Drop Opposition to US-India Deal”
Violation of NATO planes create panic among people in Karam Agency
13.08.07. pak tribune.
Pakistan: "The Taliban's Godfather"?
14.08.07. edited B. Elias, GWU. Documents Detail Years of Pakistani Support for Taliban, Extremists; Covert Policy Linked Taliban, Kashmiri Militants, Pakistan's Pashtun Troops’ Aid Encouraged Pro-Taliban Sympathies in Troubled Border Region
Senate body asks Nato to ensure peace in Afghanistan
18.08.07. thenews.com. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its report on Nato’s role in Afghanistan, presented in the upper house on Friday, asked the organisation to review its policy of exclusive reliance on military and adopt political ways to ensure peace and security in the region./ Presenting the report, the Committee Chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayyed, who is also secretary general of the ruling PML, said, “Nato should review its policies towards Afghanistan particularly re-evaluate its exclusive reliance on the military option”. … The PML senator said the Committee raised the issue of indiscriminate bombing by Nato, which resulted in civilian casualities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also urged compensation of civilian losses by Nato, he said, adding its secretary general had promised to consider it.
Reports of US deal-brokering draw Pakistan anger
18.08.07. daily times. The United States was accused Friday of meddling in Pakistani affairs amid reports Washington is trying to broker a power-sharing deal between President Pervez Musharraf and his arch-rival Benazir Bhutto.
Martial Law: The lengthening shadows; No US sanctions likely
U.S. OK'd troop terror hunts in Pakistan
23.08.07. AP-Washington Post. Newly uncovered "rules of engagement" show the U.S. military gave elite units broad authority more than three years ago to pursue suspected terrorists into Pakistan, with no mention of telling the Pakistanis in advance.
Militants in Pakistan kidnap four including officer
Options Narrow for Pakistan's Musharraf
26.08.07. AP-Guardian. Another defeat for President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan's Supreme Court has narrowed the options for the U.S.-allied military leader as he seeks to extend his rule.
Pakistan tests nuke-capable missile
Pakistan raid was not approved
28.08.07. BBC. The U.S. led coalition in Afghanistan admited it did not have permission from Pakistan to attack Taleban positions across the border.
Imran demands inquiry into NATO attack
29.08.07. dailytimes.com. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday denounced killing of around 17 Pakistani nationals in the Afghanistan-bordering restive tribal belt in a recent NATO offensive and demanded inquiry into the extra-judicial killing.
Musharraf Said to Agree to Drop Role as Army Chief
29.08.07. C. Gall, NY Times. President Pervez Musharraf has apparently agreed to resign as army chief during negotiations with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on a deal that would allow him to serve another term as president and for her to return to Pakistan to contest elections, Pakistani officials said Wednesday.
Taliban kidnap over 100 soldiers in Pakistans Waziristan region
31.08.07.AP-Guardian. Taliban militants Thursday kidnapped more than 100 soldiers in Pakistans restive South Waziristan tribal agency, bordering Afghanistan, forty-eight hours after tribal elders secured the release earlier of 15 kidnapped soldiers after extensive negotiations.
FOUND (31.08.07. BBC)
U.S. to Expand Domestic Use of Spy Satellites
15.08.07. R. Block, Wall St. Journal
AIR FORCE VIEWS IRREGULAR WARFARE
(“counterinsurgency is not the sum total of U.S. military objectives. To the contrary, sometimes the U.S. will side with insurgents " )
See: "Irregular Warfare," Air Force Doctrine Document 2-3
(01.08.07. pdf report)
Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency
Gelman, Becker: The Washington Post. Dick Cheney is the most influential and powerful man ever to hold the office of vice president. This (3 part) series examines Cheney's largely hidden and little-understood role in crafting policies for the War on Terror, the economy and the environment.
(09.07.07. H. Hertzberg, New Yorker. Summary/discussion of above) .
Dick Cheney, A Controversial Vice-President
27.08.07. P. Gelie, Figaro – Truthout. After the resignation of the president's main adviser, Karl Rove, pressure is growing in Washington against the Executive branch's powerful Number Two. A year before the presidential election, the sulfurous record of 66-year-old Richard Cheney embarrasses the Republicans and stimulates the Democrats. Will the 46th Vice-President of the United States complete his term by George W. Bush's side?
US Envoy, Japanese Opposition Leader Spar Over Involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan
08.08.07. VOA. With opposition control of Japan's Upper House heralding possible change in the traditionally strong alliance between Japan and the United States, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer has met with the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, Ichiro Ozawa. The two men sparred over whether Japan's contribution to U.S.-led military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan would continue. Liz Noh reports from Tokyo.
How a ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Went Bad
12.08.07. Rohde / Sanger, NY Times. The American sense of victory had been so robust that the top C.I.A. specialists and elite Special Forces units who had helped liberate Afghanistan had long since moved on to the next war, in Iraq. . Those sweeping miscalculations were part of a pattern of assessments and decisions that helped send what many in the American military call “the good war” off course. … Gen. James L. Jones, a retired American officer and a former NATO supreme commander, said Iraq caused the United States to “take its eye off the ball” in Afghanistan. He warned that the consequences of failure “are just as serious in Afghanistan as they are in Iraq.” / “Symbolically, it’s more the epicenter of terrorism than Iraq,” he said. “If we don’t succeed in Afghanistan, you’re sending a very clear message to the terrorist organizations that the U.S., the U.N. and the 37 countries with troops on the ground can be defeated.”
And … 3 letters in reply to this article :
1) Afghanistan was a warm-up exercise for the war it (the Bush administration) really wanted
2) The US refused to shore up security beyond Kabul
3) ‘how could the expenditure of billions over 4 years result in such poor results?’
U.S. general says 15-month Army rotations in Iraq, Afghanistan, to continue into next summer (14.08.07. AP-IHT)
Manufacturing Consent For War With Iran
Iran meddling in Afghanistan
16.08.07. Pak Tribune / ICH. US lawmaker : An influential US ‘lawmaker’ has accused Iran of meddling in the internal affairs of Afghanistan by allegedly supplying arms and equipment to Taliban and [al-Qaeda].
By DAVE LINDORFF, Counterpunch. Takes One to Know One . Whatever the truth about the activities of the Iranians, certainly when it comes to terror, the US is unrivalled in the world today. By the latest estimate, over one million people have died in Iraq because of the American invasion of that country, and despite a virtual media blackout over that entire country, and the self-censorship practiced by the US media regarding Iraq, more and more evidence keeps trickling out that the vast majority of those deaths have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the American forces. While we read in lurid detail about every bomb blast detonated by Shia and Sunni fighters that hit Iraqis or that kill or wound Americans, we hear barely a word about the killing of Iraqi civilians by US forces, and it's clear that adding up all of those publicized Iraqi-on-Iraqi attacks you don't come close to a million dead. Guess who's killing the rest? / Nor are we getting any figures on the numbers of dead innocents in Afghanistan, where the blackout on reporting is even more effective than in Iraq.
New York Times calls for escalation of the "good war" in Afghanistan
President Bush Attends Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention, Discusses War on Terror
22.08.07. White House.
|The U.S. Military is “the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known.” (sic)|
The Good War, Still to Be Won
20.08.07. Editorial, NY Times.
See also How Can We Best Help Afghanistan? (5 Letters 23.08.07. NY Times).
IRAQ WAR CUTS INTO AMMO SUPPLIES
24.08.07. ITS ESTIMATED THAT ONE BILLION BULLETS A YEAR ARE USED BY U.S. TROOPS FOR TRAINING AND FIGHTING IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
Faster, deadlier pilotless plane bound for Afghanistan
28.08.07. usatoday. The Air Force this fall will deploy a new generation of pilotless airplane with the bombing power of an F-16 to help stop the stubborn Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan
U.S. most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people
28.08.07. Reuters. U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the
Small Arms Survey 2007
by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.
A Man Alone: The Twilight of the Bush Presidency
29.08.07. R. Cornwell, Independent – truthout. They were known as the "Texas Mafia", and they shaped the most controversial presidency in US history. But one by one, George Bush's most trusted aides have left his side. Rupert Cornwell reports on the White House exodus that turned the world's most powerful man into a lame duck.
Which Side is the Pentagon On?
29.08.07. Winslow Wheeler, Counterpunch-antiwar.com. The Costs of the Afghanistan War. ‘Telling us how many dollars have been spent on the war in Afghanistan is fundamental to the Department of Defense's (DOD) effort to garner public and congressional support for prosecution of the war. It should also be a simple question. It is not.
The Department of Defense (DOD) testified to Congress on July 31, 2007 that the war in Afghanistan had cost $78.1 billion. The seeming precision of the decimal point notwithstanding, the number is laughably inaccurate.’ … For DOD's obligations for Afghanistan going as far back as 2001, there has been no effort by the department to document what was actually spent. Lists of DoD ‘do not include’ expenditures.
U.S. commander: Military alone won't beat Afghan insurgents
30.08.07. usatoday. He noted that ‘ most insurgencies end with a political solution’.
How the neoliberals stitched up the wealth of nations for themselves
28.08.07. George Monbiot, Guardian. A cabal of intellectuals and elitists hijacked the economic debate, and now we are dealing with the catastrophic effects
"The best war reporter is just the skilled conduit of other people's pain, an effective intruder upon their most exreme moments of vulnerability." Anthony Loyd , p. 244-5
MoD issues gag order on armed forces
10.08.07. Guardian. New restrictions on blogs, emails, websites and text messages. 'Soldiers, sailors and airforce personnel will not be able to blog, take part in surveys, speak in public, post on bulletin boards, play in multi-player computer games or send text messages or photographs without the permission of a superior if the information they use concerns matters of defence. ... The rules have provoked consternation among the ranks, with human rights lawyers saying yesterday that they could be in contravention of Article 10 of the Human Rights Act, which allows for freedom of expression ... Service personnel are currently bound by Queen's Regulations, which mean they must seek permission before speaking to the press but are free to blog and take part in online debates. However, many have spoken out anonymously on issues such as poor kit, housing and the treatment of wounded service personnel evacuated from combat zones. Criticism of the RAF in Afghanistan and the state of the ageing vehicles being used there have all appeared in the press.
An unofficial soldiers' website, arrse.co.uk, was full of angry debate about the issue yesterday. One poster said: "Why does it not occur to MoD that if it did things properly, and treated its people well, they wouldn't feel the need to bring things into the public arena quite so often, and they wouldn't need to spend so much time covering-up?" / Another suggested that the rules were intended to silence the average "tommy" while senior personnel were free to speak to the media without fear of reprimand.'
Afghanistan bans media from hostage site
12.08.07. NBC. Restrictions come a day after Taliban leaders' news conference on 21 held
Internet is "the new Afghanistan": NY police commissioner
16.08.07. Yahoo – economictimes.indiatimes/legitgov. The Internet is the new battleground against Islamist extremism because it provides ideology that could radicalize Westerners who might then initiate home-grown attacks, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Army Reports Brass, Not Bloggers, Breach Security
17.08.07. wired.com. For years, the military has been warning that soldiers' blogs could pose a security threat by leaking sensitive wartime information. But a series of online audits, conducted by the Army, suggests that official Defense Department websites post material far more potentially harmful than anything found on a individual's blog.
CNN report ignored Bush administration’s alleged responsibility for bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora
17.08.07. Media Matters.
Insurgents apply home front terror to soldiers’ families
24.08.07. cphpost.dk. A growing number of families of soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are receiving calls in the dead of the night that include loud shouting and expletives yelled in English. According to the Danish Defence Intelligence Agency (FE), insurgent groups in Iraq have managed to tap into soldiers’ mobile phones to call Denmark and hack into email accounts, enabling the groups to trace soldiers’ family members and issue the threats.
The BBC’s hall of mirrors
26.08.07. William Bowles. For make no mistake, even though there is currently no challenge to the rule of capital, the goings on inside (and outside) the BBC reflect a deep seated crisis of confidence in the capitalist state of which the BBC is such an integral part and has been so since its inception.
Bravo! Mr. Fisk - Robert Fisk and 9/11
26.08.07. Gabriele Zamparini, Cat’s Dream – uruknet.
SEE ALSO: Update , with relevant quotation from Gore Vidal: "We are under... we are a homeland now, under military surveillance and military control."
Journalists must now wear dog dags in Afghanistan
REBELLION! MSNBC, CNBC Refuse to Run Ads Supporting War (29.08.07. iraq slogger)
There were many lies about Iraq
Video. War Made Easy Trailer
There were also lies about Afghanistan. Not many have investigated these lies yet.
At a cinema near you: the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan
19.08.07. channelnewsasia.com. Encouraged by widespread opposition to the conflict in Iraq, Hollywood film-makers are preparing to unleash an unprecedented wave of war movies on cinema-goers.
MEDIA-AFGHANISTAN: Reporters Put Life on Line
Fight for Afghanistan
Channel 4 video reports.
Guardian Special reports, Afghanistan
President Weighing Corporate Tax Cuts
09.08.07. P. Baker, Washington Post.
DynCorp wins $1.8M for work in Afghanistan
16.08.07. Biz journals.
Labor Department: 1,001 contractors have died in Iraq
07.08.07. Chroncom. Another 6 civilian contractors have died in Afghanistan since the start of operations there, the Labor Department records show.
The $265 Million Misunderstanding
09.08.07.defensetech. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. says it discovered that it has overcharged the U.S. government by $265 million for work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and will promptly refund the money with interest.
Russia agrees to massive debt write-off for Afghanistan
06.08.07. IHT. The finance ministers of Russia and Afghanistan on Monday signed an agreement under which the Kremlin writes off 90 percent of Afghanistan's US$11 billion (€8.5 billion) debt and raises the possibility of writing off the remainder.
Analysis: Iran winning more friends in region
14.07.08. D. Sands, wpherald/ ICH. At a time when the United States is widely regarded in the Middle East as a military aggressor and faces plummeting popularity around the world, Iran is taking advantage of the situation to boost its own image and forge closer ties with its neighbors.
Billions In U.S. Aid Wasted In Afghanistan
16.08.07. CBS. A success story that quickly turned to disappointment for the hospital when they discovered that this septic truck donated by the United States with brand new tires and a new coat of paint wasn't new at all - in fact it's at least 60-years-old
Australia increases aid to Afghanistan
23.08.07. hindu.com. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Thursday said Australia will increase aid to Afghanistan by providing an additional 115 million Australian dollars (106 million U.S. dollars) over two years.
Canada boosts Afghanistan aid
26.08.07. canada.com. Canada is boosting aid to Afghanistan by providing $45 million for five health and community development projects in Kandahar province. ... The $45 million announced Saturday is part of Canada's total contribution of more than $1 billion over 10 years aimed at governance, security and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
"Aid"? itisalat invests USD 300m in Afghanistan (30.08.07. reuters - presstiv. UAE’s Eitisalat is 5th mobile service in Afghanistan)
UN -Report -Afghanistan Opium Survey 2007
08/07. UN Office on Drugs and Crime Document - Report UN / Afghanistan Opium Survey 2007
Poppy for Medicine
THE SENLIS COUNCIL.
Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time
21.07.07. Craig Murray, Daily Mail / ICH. Afghanistan now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops.
Afghanistan Poppy Cultivation Skyrockets
05.08.07. AP . Guardian. Afghanistan will produce another record poppy harvest this year that cements its status as the world's near-sole supplier of the heroin source, yet a furious debate over how to reverse the trend is stalling proposals to cut the crop, U.S. officials say.
Afghan heroin endangers Canada, RCMP warns
06.08.07. Globe and Mail. The RCMP has have warned at least two federal agencies that Afghan heroin is “increasingly” making its way to Canada and poses a direct threat to the public despite millions of dollars from Ottawa to fund the war-torn country's counter-narcotics efforts, newly released documents reveal.
It's easy for soldiers to score heroin in Afghanistan
07.08.07. Salon. Simultaneously stressed and bored, U.S. soldiers are turning to the widely available drug for a quick escape.
Officials Debate Strategy As Afghan Poppy Crop Hits New Record
07.08.07. Drug Policy News.
Afghanistan at Odds With U.S. on Plan to Curb Opium
08.08.07. Zacharia, Bloomberg. While the Bush administration is seeking to expand efforts to destroy opium poppy plants, Afghanistan wants to emphasize long-term crop substitution.
Record crop of heroin poppies hits anti-drug effort in Afghanistan
10.08.07.timesonline. Britain’s multimillion-pound counter-narcotics operation in Afghanistan was exposed as a failure yesterday, as the country was poised to report a record poppy crop this year.
Let Afghan Poppies Bloom
20.08.07. timesonline. The deadly opium exports could instead satisfy global medical needs. Another irony: British farmers recruited to grow poppies (20.08.07. timesonline)
Inside an Afghan opium market
Afghan Opium Production Sets Record Highs, Says UN Report
Terrorism links to opium rejected
Offering hope to Afghan addicts
28.08.07. Norine MacDonald, QC. timesonline. Letter to Times from Senlis Council
Eradication or legalisation? How to solve Afghanistan's opium crisis
29.08.07. Walsh and Ian Black, Guardian. the Guardian asks experts in the field what can be done to bring production of the drug to an end: Chris Alexander (Deputy special representative of the UN secretary general to Afghanistan); Joanna Nathan (International Crisis Group analyst); Norine Macdonald (The Senlis Council); Daoud Sultanzoi (MP for Ghazni province); Barnett Rubin (Centre for International Cooperation, New York University); Senior NATO official.
Afghan opium increasing problems for Pakistan: ANF
30.08.07. daily times. The alarming opium production in Afghanistan has increased problems for Pakistan as international drug barons smuggle heroin to Europe and America through Pakistan, said Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Commander Brig Asif Ali while briefing reporters about ANF’s performance during the ongoing quarter on Wednesday.
Afghan opium drug lab destroyed
Canadians back Afghan poppy cultivation for medicine: poll
"Afghans have a lightness to their spirit when going towards fighting: they grin and hoot and jeer and move with a spring in their step. It is not that they necessarily want to die, more that death is familiar to them. In a country which most males do not expect to live much longer than their mid-forties, and which has been warring for so long, getting killed in combat is an incidental prospect. War is in their blood.". "Anthony Loyd , p. 213.
Afghanistan mission constitutes a fundamental violation of NATO's mandate
08.08.07. P. Chen, agoracosmopolitan. It is apparent that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is operating under some new global expansionist agenda. That is a logical conclusion drawn from NATO's operation in Afghanistan, that is a fundamental violation of the original mandate of NATO. The North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states, as well as the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. NATO was mandated to only operate in self-defence, and within the geographic limitations of the North Atlantic Treaty Area of continental North America and Europe. / It seems that NATO is being transformed into an extension of U.S. military expansionist policies which seek pre-emptive offensive strikes against adversaries that do not willingly give up their natural resources to the U.S. political-military-industrial complex.
Azerbaijan Army receives NATO arms
11.03.07. apa. The process of replacing soviet era arms and military hardware with that of NATO is underway in Azerbaijan, Defence Ministry press service chief, colonel lieutenant Eldar Safarov told APA.
Russian ship prepares to join NATOs Operation Active Endeavor
Sour Grapes Dept.
Poland still feels left out of EU and NATO
18.08.07. neurope.eu. Poland’s Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga says it’s high time her country’s European partners to treat the EU newcomer and 1999 NATO member as an equal fully entitled to make independent strategic policy decisions and not as a second-class citizen.
Allies refuse to send more troops to Afghanistan as death toll rises
19.08.07. B. Brady, Scotsman.
Allies refuse to send more troops to Afghanistan as death toll rises
19.08.07. Scotsman. Britain's European allies have flatly ruled out providing extra military help for the increasingly deadly battle against 'insurgents' in Afghanistan, Scotland on Sunday can reveal. A series of fellow members of Nato and the European Union have repeatedly rejected UK pleas for reinforcements for the multinational force trying to reconstruct Afghanistan following six years of turmoil since the American-led operation to drive out the Taliban.
BOLD AVENGER 2007 (BAR07) Initial Exercise
22.08.07. Press Release, airramstein.nato. ve air exercise taking place at Ørland Main Air Station (MAS), Norway, during the period 3-14 September 2007, with live flying between 3-8 and 10-13 September 2007. BAR 07 will involve air forces from 13 NATO member nations: Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
NATO to give Georgia access to radar data – representative
Europeans, Canadians see Afghan Mission as Failure
27.08.07. Angus Reid Poll. A success?: Canada 22%; Italy 18%; UK: 16%; Germany: 15%; France: 12%. Failure?: more than 60% of German, Italian, British, French; Canada: 49%.
Casualties begin to unravel Afghan force
27.08.07. theaustralian.news.com. The US is worried about weakening Italian and German military commitments in Afghanistan as casualties mount in the International Security and Assistance Force, including the "friendly fire" incident on Friday that killed three British soldiers. ..Debate is raging in Italy and Germany, and to a lesser extent in The Netherlands and Denmark, on whether they should remain in the ISAF, which is already grappling with a shortage of troops in the face of one of the most intense military engagements in decades.
NATO commander warns on rapid response force
28.08.07. ft.com. NATO suffering from lack of troops and is not at “full operational capability”.
The Shanghai Cooporation Society (SOC)
This organisation has picked up handy propaganda hints from N. America. This is their logo :
Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit starts in Bishkek
16.08.07. Xinhuanet.com. Leaders of SCO's six member states -- Chinese President Hu Jintao, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and Uzbek President Islam Karimov -- addressed the summit and inked a long-term treaty of good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation. Leaders and representatives from SCO's observer countries -- Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India -- also delivered speeches at the summit.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization Seeks to Expand Energy and Security Influence
16.08.07. Peter Fedynsky. VOA news. The six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization has concluded its one-day summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, amid calls from two of its energy-rich members for the creation of an Asian energy club. VOA correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports, from the Kyrgyz capital, the summit's call for a multilateral approach to global problems is an indirect reaction to American influence, around the world.
red rag to bull?
Ahmadinejad Denounces US Missile Defense Shield at SCO Summit
16.08.07. Fars News. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a proposed US missile defense shield in central Europe would threaten "all Asia".
NATO and SCO apparently see "Peace Missions" as bombing the hell out of everything, killing civilians and destabilising world order .
SCO leaders observe joint anti-terror drill
17.08.07. Xinhuanet.com. Heads of state and defense ministers from the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) gathered in Russia's Chelyabinsk on Friday to observe a joint anti-terrorism drill. … The drill was the final stage of a first ever joint military exercise involving all the six member states of the SCO, namely China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. AP / Washington Post carried this story (17.08.07).
SCO summit meeting issues joint communiqué
17.08.07. xinhuanet.com. the leaders agreed on further developing all-round cooperation within the SCO framework and exchanged in an in-depth way views on the current regional and international issues, the communique said. See Photo Gallery
Shanghai Cooperation Organization Should Implement Human Rights Principles
17.08.07. Human Rights Watch.
China, Kazakhstan sign joint communique on promoting relations, trade
18.08.07. xinhuanet.com. Special Report: President Hu visits two nations, attends SCO summit
SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION SUMMITEERS TAKE SHOTS AT US PRESENCE IN CENTRAL ASIA
20.08.07.J. Kucera, eurasianet.org. Most international headlines focused on the thinly veiled swipes at Washington taken by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Russian President Vladimir Putin. … US State Department spokesman Sean McCormick could barely disguise his disdain when discussing the SCO summit, in particular the group’s decision to entertain Iran as an observer. "If they [SCO leaders] want to associate with them [Iranian officials], that’s up to them," McCormick said just before the summit’s opening. … The question of how to approach the SCO seems to be vexing Washington. Some hawks see the group as a nascent "anti-NATO," but that would be an overreaction, suggested Sean Roberts, a Central Asian affairs fellow at Georgetown University in Washington, DC…. "While they could do much to destabilize Afghanistan, there is a limited amount of things they can do to help the country," said Marvin Weinbaum, a former top US intelligence official on Afghanistan now at the Middle East Institute in Washington . … "In the long run, countering the US [military presence] is the more important goal [than countering Islamist extremist forces] so getting American forces out would be a gain," said Russell Ong, a China security expert at the School for Oriental and African Studies.
China, Russia to launch joint drill in Moscow
21.08.07. xinhuanet.com. In Moscow, in September. "Cooperation 2007" will be the first international anti-terrorism exercise for China's armed police outside China. The drill was in accordance with the principles of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and related agreements signed by the two countries, said sources from China's armed police.
Misconceptions About the SCO
21.08.07. Moscow Times. This is, unfortunately, just an excerpt from this paper.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization guards China's back
21.08.07. Chinapost.com. The SCO member states boast a total area of 30 million sq. km, occupying about three-fifths of the Euro-Asia Continent, and with 1.489 billion people, account for a quarter of the world's population. It is far bigger than NATO or the EU. Not yet a mutual defense pact, it is heading that way, as Sino-Russian military ties with the central Asian states deepen.” History of the regions … “With U.S. influence waning in Central Asia, the SCO is gaining clout as a leading security organization in the energy-rich region.”
NATO steps up monitoring of Russia
23.08.07. T. Harding, Telegraph. With map, but no mention of SCO.
This statement, from Playing the Cold War Card (Moscow Times, 23.08.07) is also applicable to the NATO mission:
“What is most important, however, is that the Peace Mission 2007 training exercises -- despite all of its claims -- have no application whatsoever in the fight against terrorism. It is obvious that the army is the wrong tool for battling terrorists . The bombing of the Moscow-St. Petersburg train shows that a conventional army cannot prevent a terrorist act. Law enforcement agencies must be the ones to combat terrorists, using their agents to infiltrate the ranks of terrorist organizations. Fighter jets and bombers, like the ones paraded with so much fanfare in Peace Mission 2007, are of very little use in this struggle.”
Dan Simpson, a retired American diplomat, gave a description of SOC and its exercises in the Toledo Blade (22.08.07), and said It is unlikely that the SCO will go away, so the United States should seek more actively to work with it, to keep it from working against us.
The new 'NATO of the East' takes shape
M K Bhadrakumar, Asia Times. ‘It is certainly a measure of the SCO's success that the United States and Japan are knocking at its door, anxious to gain "observer" status. … the massive shift in the templates of great-power politics in recent years also has provided impetus for the SCO's growing clout. … Where does the SCO fit in the "new cold war?" The question can take different forms. A variant would be, "Is the SCO turning into a NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]-like military alliance? … What stands to reason from the above is that the two (China, Russia) leaderships may have for the first time discussed the common challenge facing the two countries, emanating out of the US plans to deploy the missile-defense systems in Central Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. … avrov added, "We and China are analyzing the US global missile-defense plans targeting Europe and the East."
Iran Again Fails to Secure Shanghai Cooperation Organization Membership
28.08.97. Worldpoliticsreview.com. For several years, Iranian officials have sought to strengthen their ties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Iran became a formal observer nation at the July 2005 SCO summit, but the country's leaders have continued to pursue full membership. In April 2007, the Iranian Foreign Ministry submitted an official application to this effect. Even before the seventh annual SCO summit convened in Bishkek on Aug. 16, however, the existing SCO full members announced that they would indefinitely postpone accepting new members.
NATO or Shanghai?
30.08.07. ahram.org. Now that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has become a political and military reality, and now that NATO has stretched to our regional borders and has exerted its influence in powerful ways within these borders, should not Arab governments begin to consider formulating a new foreign policy?
Afghanistan more dangerous than Iraq
10.08.07. Theage. A resurgent Taliban has made Afghanistan more dangerous for Australian troops than Iraq, Prime Minister John Howard has warned.
Troops in Afghanistan 'heading for failure'
13.08.07. theage. THE 1000 Australian troops risking their lives in Afghanistan will fail to make the country any more secure or reduce global terrorism, according to an eminent Australian defence expert.
Australian terror fears at an all time high
23.08.07. Herald Sun.
We'll follow Dutch out of Afghanistan, says Nelson
31.08.07. news.com. AUSTRALIA would most likely follow should Dutch troops withdraw from southern Afghanistan, Defence Minister Brendan Nelson says.
War with the Taliban to last some time, says Canadian colonel in Afghanistan
09.08.07. mytelus / ICH. Col. Christian Juneau distanced himself from predictions made a few days ago by Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid that NATO forces would defeat the Taliban in the not too distant future.
Five Canadian soldiers injured in Afghanistan
Talk to Me Like My Father: Frontline Medicine in Afghanistan
July-August ‘07, Kevin Patterson, Mother Jones. In Afghanistan as well as Iraq, the military is running out of doctors to patch up wounded troops—and civilians caught in the crossfire. One doctor's frontline diary from Kandahar. “it's late January, and on my way to Kandahar I stop at a facility called Camp Mirage that sits on a clear desert highway and shimmers in the early afternoon heat. It serves as the support base for Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian forces in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. The camp exists, and yet officially does not: The Host Nation does not acknowledge it, forbids its mention publicly.” … *** story.
Department of Defence muzzles civilian MDs
16.08.07. A. Freeman, globeandmail.com. Publication of article describing soldier's death (see story above) in Afghanistan prompts DND to warn physicians not to release sensitive information
Canadian Soldier Killed in Southern Afghanistan
19.08.07. globeandmail. At least 12 Canadians -- from the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry of Edmonton and the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Petawawa Ont. — have died in combat on the lush plain of the valley, while as many, most from the RCR's 2nd Battalion in Gagetown, N.B., have been killed by suicide bombers or IEDs while traveling the cratered roads from Kandahar City to get to the area. / It was also at Ma'sum Ghar where last Sept. 4, Charles Company of the 1st Battalion, RCR, was strafed in a friendly fire accident that killed former Olympian Private Mark Graham, injured 38 other soldiers and devastated the company.
Bush praises Canada despite likely Afghan pullout
21.08.07. Reuters - ca.today. Canada won the praise of U.S. President George W. Bush on Tuesday for its military mission in Afghanistan, despite the fact that Ottawa will likely end combat operations there in February 2009.
Two Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan
22.08.07. globeandmail.com. and an Afghan interpreter were killed and another soldier and two Radio-Canada television journalists were injured. … According to the CROP Inc. polling firm, the percentage of respondents who opposed sending troops from Quebec units rose from 57 to 68 per cent. Also, 69 per cent wanted troops withdrawn before the 2009 deadline, compared to 57 per cent before Pte. Longtin's death. … Sixty-eight Canadian soldiers and a diplomat have died in Afghanistan since 2002, including some from Quebec.
Radio-Canada reporter says attack scene hard to imagine
23.08.07. globeandmail.com. “It's a huge, huge blast. It's a scene that's difficult to imagine," said the Ottawa-based reporter, adding that a medic sitting next to him was one of the two soldiers who died.”
NATO High Level Meeting in Victoria: Opportunity to Call for the Disbanding of NATO
Let's define 'success' in Afghanistan
26.08.07. R. Griffiths, thestar.com. With another rash of combat deaths, this time exclusively among French-Canadian troops, and the Bloc Québécois gleefully exploiting each of these tragedies for its own crass electoral advantage, it is high time we depoliticize the debate over the future of Canada's military mission in Afghanistan.
Canadian soldier found dead in Kabul
29.08.07. globeandmail. A member of the Canadian Forces has been found dead of a gunshot wound inside a secure compound in the Afghan capital.
Kabul Bomb Attack Kills 3 German Occupation Force Troops
15.08.07. Guardian / ICH. A bomb attack against a convoy of German troops on the outskirts of the Afghan capital killed three soldiers Wednesday, preliminary police reports said.
Germany rejects NATO request for choppers in Afghanistan
Germany open to sending more troops to Afghanistan
German FM confirms woman kidnapped in Afghanistan
But Pregnant hostage freed after raid (20.08.07. timesonline)
Germany weighs bigger Afghan deployment but counts cost
19.08.07. AFP / Middle East Times/anti-war.com
S. Korea to accelerate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
29.08.07. english.hani.co. South Korea plans to speed up its preparation for the pullout of more than 200 soldiers in Afghanistan after a deal with the Taliban on the release of 19 Korean hostages, officials here said Wednesday...They also indicated that Seoul's future role in Afghanistan _ possibly as a member of the civil-military Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) _ will be limited.
The United Kingdom: Issues for the United States
(updated) 16.07.07. CRS Report
Afghan victory 'could take 38 years'
05.08.07. Mark Townsend, Observer. In an interview with The Observer at HQ in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, Brigadier John Lorimer, commander of UK forces in Helmand, said: 'If you look at the insurgency then it could take maybe 10 years. Counter-narcotics, it's 30 years. If you're looking at governance and so on, it looks a little longer. If you look at other counter-insurgency operations over the last 100 years then it has taken time.'
British Defence Secretary Visits Southern Afghanistan
08.08.07. Azadir radio. Britain has about 7,100 troops in Afghanistan as part of the [US] NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and plans to boost that figure to 7,800 by October.
Afghanistan becomes main focus for UK
08.08.07.P. Wintour, Guardian. The Foreign Office has decided that Afghanistan, and not Iraq, is the frontline in its battle to defeat terrorism, even if it may take decades to improve the country - as well as far greater international coordination than at present.
It takes inane optimism to see victory in Afghanistan
08.08.07. S. Jenkins, Guardian. This war against the Taliban is part of a post-imperial spasm. The longer it is waged, the graver the consequences. The British government is lining up Paddy Ashdown to rule Afghanistan. This is not a silly season story or a Gilbert and Sullivan spoof, merely a measure of the lunacy now polluting British foreign policy.
Paddy Ashdown replies : $600 to help rebuild their lives. What else they will receive in compensation is unclear, a matter for the US military. The British government has so far received 227 compensation claims and settled 67, most of them relating to the firefights between British troops and Taliban this summer. … unease over the UK's system of recompense is growing. Several British army officers described their compensation system as 'an absolute mess'. … t is the reliance on US air power, though, that remains the principal problem. To date, British forces in Helmand have forwarded compensation claims to US authorities on 76 occasions after realising they were the most likely culprits. So sensitive is the issue that analysts believe it could split the coalition as the fight to quell the insurgency in southern Afghanistan enters a critical period. … Human rights groups say that while Nato troops 'unintentionally' kill civilians and try to warn villages before fighting breaks out, the Taliban are often guilty of murder. Yet the bottom line, according to latest figures, is that, while Taliban civilian casualties are falling, those attributed to international forces are rising.’
Britain’s frontline soldiers have 1 in 36 chance of dying on Afghan battlefield
Afghanistan operation 'is a long-term commitment'
14.08.07. Kim Sengupta,Independent, The Defence Secretary, Des Browne, acknowledged yesterday that Afghanistan was a "long-term commitment" for Britain. He said he had "never underestimated the degree of difficulty we face" in the country, a very different position from the one taken by his predecessor, John Reid, who declared when he sent UK forces into Helmand at the beginning of last year that the mission would last three years and might end "without a shot being fired in anger".
Concern mounts over rising casualty rate
15.08.07. Thomas Harding, Telegraph. The casualty rate among front line units fighting in Afghanistan has now surpassed the average suffered by troops in the Second World War, it can be revealed today.
Briton mercenary shot dead in Kabul
15.08.07. Channel 4 / ICH. A British man working for a private security company (ArmorGroup) has been shot dead in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
With Iraq pullout in full swing, Britain turns its focus to Afghanistan
15.08.07. AP – IHT. Britain will increase its troop strength in Afghanistan to 7,700 by the year's end, up from 7,000 today and 3,600 a year ago, in what Cowper-Coles labeled a "sensible tactical adjustment" based on commanders' advice.
UK's Afghan mission at turning point, says Browne
16.08.07. R. Norton Taylor, Guardian. · Defence secretary praises stability brought by troops · Iran accused of training and arming Taliban
Britain boosts troops, aid to Afghanistan
17.08.07. AP – Chicago Tribune. Britain will increase its troop strength in Afghanistan to 7,700 by year end, up from 7,000 today and 3,600 a year ago, in what Cowper-Coles labeled a "sensible tactical adjustment" based on commanders' advice. On the aid front, Britain's Department for International Development will spend more than $200 million in Afghanistan this year, one of Britain's top aid commitments per capita anywhere in the world.
Britons upset with Afghanistan mission
18.08.07. angus reid. 18.08.07. angus reid. YouGov Poll: only 6% think British troops are winning the war with the Taliban.
'It's bleak and ferocious, but is it still winnable?'
19.08.07. M. Townsend, Observer. Mark Townsend has spent three weeks with British troops in Helmand who are fighting for their lives - and sometimes losing them - in a conflict that grows more gruelling by the day. He found them facing fresh enemies, as well-trained jihadists from around the world arrived to confront the Nato forces
Shock toll of British injured in Afghan war
19.08.07. M. Townsend, Observer. · Half of frontline troops 'patched-up' · Senior officers fear exodus
British troops 'will quit Iraq fight for Afghanistan' amid US criticism of role
Menzies backs demands for Army to leave Iraq
20.08.07. Independent. Sir Menzies Campbell has backed calls by military chiefs for British forces to pull out of Iraq because they can "achieve nothing" by staying. The Liberal Democrat leader has written to Gordon Brown urging him to set a "framework for the complete withdrawal of all our forces" from Iraq. Sir Menzies says withdrawing from Iraq would make it easier for British forces in Afghanistan, where troops are at "full stretch" in dealing with the Taliban.
UK: 'Cover-up' over casualties in Afghanistan
20.08.07. T. Harding, Telegraph. The Government was accused of hiding the true casualty rate of troops in Afghanistan yesterday as it emerged that nearly one in two soldiers fighting on the front line had been wounded.
British Army deploys new weapon based on mass-killing technology
23.08.07. rawstory.com. Parliament not told, minister says. A new 'super-weapon' being supplied to British soldiers in Afghanistan employs technology based on the "thermobaric" principle which uses heat and pressure to kill people targeted across a wide air by sucking the air out of lungs and rupturing internal organs. … Such weapons are brutally effective because they first disperse a gas or chemical agent which is lit at a second stage, allowing the blast to fill the spaces of a building or the crevices of a cave. When the US military deployed a version of these weapons in 2005, DefenseTech wrote an article titled, "Marines Quiet About Brutal New Weapon." Also see Thermobaric weapons of mass deception (20.08.07. Channel 4 News)
RAF gunner killed in Afghanistan
"US Friendly Fire" Kills British Soldiers in Afghanistan
24.08.07. Guardian / Truthout. Comment by T. Albone can be read here
NATO defends air use
Life under fire as the 'friendly' jets fly in
26.08.07. Mark Townsend, Observer. Mark Townsend travelled to Helmand where he witnessed the kind of combat errors that led to the loss of three soldiers last week. Hailed as the ultimate battlefield weapon against the Taliban, F-15s are risking lives
'They fire first and think later,' say British soldiers
24.08.07. T. Albone, timesonline. The friendly-fire deaths in Helmand have reopened a schism between American and British troops over how to fight the Taleban in Afghanistan.
Despite public anger, the army still see Afghanistan as a cause worth dying for
28.08.07. M. Hastings, Guardian. Sentiment towards the war in Afghanistan, and the conflict in Iraq, is poisoned by a belief that our boys are dying for no good purpose save to service a faltering Atlantic alliance. … They (British soldiers) perceive it (‘blue on blue’ as an example of the crass incompetence of our allies, which appears to reach all the way down from the White House to the battlefield. … Critics claim that such things would not happen if our soldiers on the ground had the right communications technology and were not chronically starved of resources. … Tony Blair, John Reid and others misled us again and again about the plausibility of the Afghan deployment that began last year. No serious professional believed the job could be done with the means available. The armed forces' "can do" spirit was abused by the government in order to embark on ambitious operations in Afghanistan with shoestring resources. … Gesture strategy : Britain was showing willing towards Washington and Nato, rather than committing forces big enough to have any chance of controlling Helmand province. Other European nations, such as the Germans, French and Italians, behaved worse, by sending soldiers into Afghanistan while refusing to let them fight. Only the British, Canadians, Dutch and 23,000 Americans are conducting serious military operations there. … a year from now we shall be pretty much where we are today, neither winning nor losing. … it is not enough that the cause is just if an outcome remains so elusive.
US troops won't attend inquests
29.008.07. BBC. The US will continue to refuse requests for its personnel to appear at inquests into the "friendly fire" deaths of British troops, a report says. See more here
Mike Dobson notes that mainstream media fails to make a connection between 'friendly fire' killing British soldiers and 'friendly' fire killing so many civilians.
The teenagers heading for the front line in Afghanistan
Despite public anger, the army still see Afghanistan as a cause worth dying for
28.08.07. Max Hastings, Guardian. Sentiment towards the war in Afghanistan, and the conflict in Iraq, is poisoned by a belief that our boys are dying for no good purpose save to service a faltering Atlantic alliance. … They (British soldiers perceive it (‘blue on blue’ as an example of the crass incompetence of our allies, which appears to reach all the way down from the White House to the battlefield. … Critics claim that such things would not happen if our soldiers on the ground had the right communications technology and were not chronically starved of resources. … Tony Blair, John Reid and others misled us again and again about the plausibility of the Afghan deployment that began last year. No serious professional believed the job could be done with the means available. The armed forces' "can do" spirit was abused by the government in order to embark on ambitious operations in Afghanistan with shoestring resources. … Gesture strategy : Britain was showing willing towards Washington and Nato, rather than committing forces big enough to have any chance of controlling Helmand province. Other European nations, such as the Germans, French and Italians, behaved worse, by sending soldiers into Afghanistan while refusing to let them fight. Only the British, Canadians, Dutch and 23,000 Americans are conducting serious military operations there. … a year from now we shall be pretty much where we are today, neither winning nor losing. … t is not enough that the cause is just if an outcome remains so elusive.
"If and when there is the equivalent of an international Nuremburg trial for the America perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan and CIA secret prisons, there will be mounds of evidence available from documented international reports by human rights organisations ... . Nat Henhoff (Village Voice 28.08.07).
"U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques,"
CRS REPORT, updated 12.01.07.
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
(updated) 25.07.06. CRS REPORT
Leave No Marks
Human Rights First & Physicians for Human Rights.
SEE ALSO: "Enhanced" Interrogation Techniques and the Risk of Criminality. A new report issued by Human Rights First and Physicians for Human Rights provides the first comprehensive look at the legality of 10 so-called “enhanced” interrogation techniques in light of the medical evidence on their mental and physical impact. Many of these techniques are widely reported to have been authorized for use by the CIA. On July 20, the President issued an Executive Order on the CIA interrogation program that fails to prohibit these techniques. The report finds that each of these techniques, including mock-drowning, sexual humiliation, severe isolation and sensory bombardment are prohibited by U.S. law and could [must] subject U.S. officials who authorize or use them to criminal prosecution. A story on this document is here .
"The War Crimes Act: Current Issues,"
updated July 23, 2007:
Kill first and then ...
Afghan children learn of dangers of mines
(updated) 27.08.07. ISAF.
History Will Not Absolve Us
28.08.07. Nat Hentoff, villiagevoice.com. Leaked Red Cross report sets up Bush team for international war-crimes trial. "If and when there is the equivalent of an international Nuremburg trial for the America perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan and CIA secret prisons, there will be mounds of evidence available from documented international reports by human rights organisations ...
BEING PROSECUTED FOR WRONG CRIME
US officer convicted for discussing abuse at Abu Ghraib
28 Aug 2007 The only US officer tried over the abuse scandal at Baghdad's infamous Abu Ghraib jail was cleared Tuesday of mistreating prisoners there, but found guilty of disobedience in its wake. Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan, 51, is the only US officer charged in the abuse scandal which emerged in 2004 when photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners being tormented by grinning US troops circulated around the world. Jordan now faces sentencing for disobeying an order not to discuss the scandal with other people, when he sent two emails about it to a colleague in spring 2004.
Home Office FOI request reveals deportations to Afghanistan, Iraq and DR Congo
A Home Office answer to a Freedom of Information request reveals that in the month of February 2007 twenty-five people were "removed" to Afghanistan, 38 to Iraq and 17 adults and 21 children to the Democratic Republic of Congo. A further 71 people were "removed" to Afghanistan in June 2007.
Tunisian sent home from Guantanamo says he was beaten by US soldiers
11.08.07. AP - IHT. Lahga was held at U.S.-run detention center [prison] at Bagram. … ‘Reached by the AP by phone Saturday, Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said she did not immediately have details about Lagha's case, but said that all detainees are treated humanely.’
Guantánamo detainee details years of torture
15.08.07. P. Mitchell, World socialist website / ICH. A British resident, Omar Deghayes, detained at Guantánamo Bay as an alleged terrorist, reports that he has suffered years of torture, sexual a and death threats.
Castro: Cuba not cashing US Guantanamo rent checks
17.08.07. reuters. The United States pays Cuba $4,085 a month in rent for the controversial Guantanamo naval base, but Cuba has only once cashed a check in almost half a century and then only by mistake, Fidel Castro wrote in an essay published on Friday.
Tajikistan high court sentences ex-Guantanamo detainees
18.08.07. The Jurist.
Should Doctors Force-Feed Prisoners?
20 – 27.08.07. Newsweek / ICH. Casscells watched as a half-dozen Gitmo prisoners went through the 45-minute procedure. They were strapped into "restraint chairs" and a L/jo-inch soft rubber tube was fed through their noses.
Military Interrogators are Posing as Lawyers at Gitmo
17.08.07. S. Ross, Counterpunch. Making a Mockery of the Constitution. This subterfuge is only one of the many treacherous tactics the government is employing to sabotage the efforts of lawyers to represent their clients.
US psychologists reject bar on participation in military interrogations
19.08.07. The Jurist.
Al-Jazeera cameraman in worse condition at Gitmo, lawyer says
White House Defends US Terror Tribunals
24.08.07. AP-sfgate. In a borrowed courtroom just steps from the White House, government attorneys urged the newly formed U.S. Court of Military Commission Review to look beyond the letter of the law when deciding whether the military botched its terrorism tribunals at Guantanamo Bay.
BEING JOSE PADILLA
16.08.07. Huffington Post. Now that a U.S. citizen has been convicted of being a "terrorist," one can only hope that his treatment in the brig, which has been declared a "state secret," will be declassified so that it may see the light of day in appeals court which is where this case is heading. / Psychologists, and those who have visited with Jose Padilla over the past three plus years of his incarceration say that they see profound emotional wreckage as a result of his detention. Regardless of whether Mr. Padilla's treatment can be tweaked such that it conforms with his constitutional entitlements, as an American, there is no way in hell that anyone can justify turning an otherwise healthy 36 year old into the shell of a man. If the treatment he received at the hands of his captors is ethical and aboveboard, then why is it classified? / Clearly, too, the time has come to put the entire infrastructure of an illegal, and ominous so-called war on terror on trial, and show that those who maim, humiliate, kill, and psychologically torture in the name of counterfeit, homogenized purity are the true terrorists.
See also –
The Real Verdict on Jose Padilla
17.08.07. Jenny S. Martinez, Washington Post. … Anyone who has seen a cop show in recent decades knows what rights people in America usually have when arrested: the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Not Padilla. For nearly two years, Jose Padilla was denied all access to his lawyers, his family and the court system. The Bush administration claimed that he could be held without trial until the end of its "war on terror." Allowing Padilla to talk to a lawyer or know that a court was considering his case, the government argued, would threaten national security. Meanwhile, the government was working to create a relationship of complete "dependency" between Padilla and his interrogators, who were busy trying to torture a confession out of him.
How U.S. Interrogators Destroyed the Mind of Jose Padilla
17.08.07. Amy Goodman / Alternet. .. and faces possible life in prison, but forensic psychiatrist Dr. Angela Hegarty explains after interviewing him that Padilla already paid the ultimate price through torture -- he's lost his mind.
A travesty of justice: Jose Padilla found guilty
17.08.07. J. Kay, wsws.org. Not only is the outcome of the trial the very opposite of a “just verdict” and example of “impartial justice,” it was not the result the government originally intended. The response of the Bush administration contains a substantial element of relief that it was able to secure a guilty verdict. If the administration had had its way, Padilla would never have been presented before a court of law at all.
Padilla Case Offers New Model of Terrorism Trial
18.08.07. NY Times / legitgov.org. The 'Justice' Department’s strategy in the trial itself, using a seldom-tested conspiracy law and relatively thin evidence, cemented a new prosecutorial model in terrorism cases. The central charge against Mr. Padilla was that he conspired to murder, maim and kidnap people in a foreign country... But prosecutors needed to prove very little by way of concrete conduct to obtain a conviction under the law. "It is a pretty big leap between a mere indication of desire to attend a camp and a crystallized desire to kill, maim and kidnap," said Peter S. Margulies, a law professor at Roger Williams University who has also written on conspiracy charges in terrorism prosecutions. The conspiracy charge against Mr. Padilla, Professor Margulies continued, "is highly amorphous, and it basically allows someone to be found guilty for something that is one step away from a thought crime."
Convicting Padilla: Bad News for All Americans
18.08.07. D. Lindorff, ICH. “With habeas corpus a thing of the past, with arrest and detention without charge permitted, with torture and spying without court oversight all the rage, with prosecutors free to tape conversations between lawyers and their clients, and with the judicial branch now infested by rightwing judges who would have been at home in courtrooms of the Soviet Union or Hitler's Germany, for all they seem to care about common law tradition, the only real thing holding the line against absolute tyranny in the U.S. has been the jury. … Now, with Jose Padilla … we see that juries in this era of a bogus "war on terror" are ready to believe anything. …”
Padilla Jury Opens Pandora's Box
20.08.07. Paul Craig Roberts, ICH. Jose Padilla's conviction on terrorism charges on August 16 was a victory, not for justice, but for the US Justice (sic) Department's theory that a US citizen can be convicted, not because he committed a terrorist act but for allegedly harboring aspirations to commit such an act. By agreeing with the Justice (sic) Department's theory, the incompetent Padilla Jury delivered a deadly blow to the rule of law and opened Pandora's Box.
Editorials Mostly Ignore Padilla Verdict
20.08.07. Truthout. While hundreds of US dailies ran the story of the guilty verdict handed down against the Brooklyn-born "dirty bomber" last week, few front-paged the conviction; the trial and its outcome drew editorial comment from only a relative handful of publications.
Padilla sues US officials over confinement
24.08.07. S. Henderson, AP-CSMonitor. Despite his conviction on terror conspiracy charges, his lawyers say he suffered 'psychological abuse' during military detention. Convicted ‘Al Qaeda’ operative Jose Padilla is seeking to hold former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and 59 other US officials responsible for what his lawyers say were abusive and unconstitutional tactics used against Mr. Padilla while he was held in military custody as an enemy combatant from 2002 to 2006.
Padilla's Kangaroo Court
28.07.07. C. Stevenson, political affairs. This presidential administration will go down as having taken the most liberties with dirty tricks as any other administration in history. The fact that they can detain an "enemy combatant" and torture him to the point where he can't competently defend himself against some of the most serious charges in US history is pure cowardice.
Revealed: MI5's role in torture flight hell
29.07.07. Observer. · British source tells of betrayal to CIA
· 'I was stripped and hauled to US base'. In a remarkable interview for The Observer, British resident Bisher al-Rawi has told how he was betrayed by the security service despite having helped keep track of Abu Qatada, the Muslim cleric accused of being Osama bin Laden's 'ambassador in Europe'.
The Black Sites
13.08.07. Jane Mayer, New Yorker. A rare look inside the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program.
Home Office FOI request reveals deportations to Afghanistan, Iraq and DR Congo
A Home Office answer to a Freedom of Information request reveals that in the month of February 2007 twenty-five people were "removed" to Afghanistan, 38 to Iraq and 17 adults and 21 children to the Democratic Republic of Congo. A further 71 people were "removed" to Afghanistan in June 2007.
WRONG PEOPLE BEING PROSCECUTED?
German journalists face prosecution over rendition documents
09.08.07. Independent. Seventeen German journalists from leading national publications are being investigated for having quoted from classified documents in covering the "rendition" of terror suspects. …At the root of the complaint is alleged German government complicity in CIA-run prisoner flights to countries where detainees were alleged to have been tortured. The CIA flights had stopovers in Germany.
Is Justice Possible After Torture? :
17.08.07. prospect. The U.S. decision five years ago to torture detainees has infected a generation of terrorism cases where it might have once been possible to do justice -- but may not be anymore.
A Legacy of Legitimizing Torture
28.08.07. R. Scheer, Truthdig – truthout. Bush picked Gonzales to be the nation's highest law enforcement official only after Gonzales had proved his mettle for the job as White House counsel. His legal advice to the president was that torture is a legitimate option, because Bush's self-defined "war on terror" wiped out all prior legal restraint and in particular "renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners."
WAR ON TERROR
The Waning Power of the War Myth
08.07. G. Kamiya, Salon.com. Bush's entire presidency has been propped up by the War Myth. By aggressively presenting himself as a war leader, by wrapping himself up in the sacred robes of patriotism, the military and national honor, Bush has taken refuge in the holy of holies, the ultimate sanctuary in American life.
Lawyers Group Call For End to Bush's Terror Policies
10.08.07. Mark Sherman, AP-Truthout. President Bush's recent order on CIA interrogations of terror suspects should be overturned because it still allows harsh treatment in violation of international treaties, two American Bar Association committees say.
Terror law puts Britons at risk of surveillance by US agents
19.08.07. OBSERVER. see example: LOCKHEED MARTIN AND UK CENSUS COLLUSION (09.08.07. S. Meyer, Index Research). Lockheed Martin is one of the shortlisted contractors to provide data capture and storage services for the United Kingdom 2011 Census
U.S. Martial Law Timeline
21.08.07. Sarah Meyer, Index Research
US Opposition Political Leaders Issue Urgent False Flag Terror Warning
27.08.07. Steve Watson, infowars.net. Warn of imminent plot to "orchestrate and manufacture a new 9/11 terror incident." A group of former government officials along with current Congressional candidates, authors and activists has issued an urgent warning that a faction of the US government allied with Dick Cheney is planning to stage a terror event or provocation as a pretext for launching military attacks against Iran and implementing emergency powers in America. See also McKinney, Sheehan, Tarpley Warn Of New Cheney 911 - The Kennebunkport Warning (Rense.com 26.08.07).
The So-Called “War on Terror:” A Masterpiece of Propaganda
29.08.07. R.W. Behan , Atantic Free Press – uruknet. From its first days in office in January of 2001 the Administration of George W. Bush meant to launch military attacks against both Afghanistan and Iraq. The reasons had nothing to do with terrorism. This is beyond dispute. The mainstream press has either ignored the story or missed it completely, but the Administration’s congenital belligerence is fully documented elsewhere. Attacking a sovereign nation unprovoked, however! , directly violates the charter of the United Nations. It is an international crime. The Bush Administration would need credible justification to proceed with its plans...
Announcement Of 9/11 War Crimes Tribunal
29.08.07. R. Kastelein
"It was the sight of the bereaved which chilled my core. I had seen them in every war I had visited, thousands of people who had to deal with a sudden shell, bomb or sniper's bullet that in an instant had torn from them one or several of their greatest loves. And they had managed to absorb that pain and carry on. How did they do it? Such cruel, gratuitous suffering seemed to be much more a mystery than death itself, far harder a sentence to bear than merely dying. Anthony Loyd , p. 219-20.
American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics
(updated) 29.06.07. CRS Report
Afghan Recovery Report
07.08.07. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Helmand: Precision Strike or Reckless Bombing? It was 3:00 pm on a Thursday afternoon in the small town of Bughni, located in the Baghran district of Helmand province. Hundreds of people has gathered for the traditional weekly market, or “mela”, where locals trade and haggle over everything from cows to carpets. Suddenly the bombs came, causing panic and reportedly killing upwards of 200 civilians and injuring many more. If the reports are confirmed, it would be the highest single casualty figure in Afghanistan this year. / That is the residents’ version of events in Bughni on August 2. Eyewitnesses tell gruesome tales of headless bodies piled high waiting for identification. Many say they lost children, brothers, fathers. … But Combined Joint Task Force-82, the United States-led Coalition force which carried out the bombing, told a very different story. / “Coalition forces conducted a precision air strike against two notorious Taleban commanders conducting a leadership meeting in a remote area of the Baghran district,” read the press release. … / The gulf between the two accounts is a telling reflection of the situation in Helmand, where local people and the foreign forces often seem to be inhabit(ing) alternate universes.
At least 50 civilians killed
02.08.07. M. Herold. in the Taliban-controlled village of Bughni or Bagh-e-Nahi near the Shah Ibrahim shrine (or Qaleh (Qal’eh) Chah) in the district of Baghran in Helmand Province. US/NATO forces bombed the village as part of an alleged decapitation strike (targeting “two Taliban commanders”). Hundreds of people had gathered for the traditional weekly market (or ‘mela’) where local people trade everything from carpets, foods to cows. Market day falls on Thursday, the start of Afghanistan’s weekend. Then, suddenly, the U.S. bombs arrived.
Afghan Officials Probe Reported Civilian Deaths in US Strikes
03.08.07. VOA. ‘Hundreds of civilians have been killed during NATO and U.S. military operations against insurgents. Angry Afghans have protested and President Hamid Karzai has called the situation unacceptable.’
Three civilians killed in suicide attack on troops in Afghanistan
05.08.07. Monsters and Critics.
At Least 35 [Militants], Six Police Killed In Afghanistan
‘Bomber McNeil' reveals the 'Cheapness' of Afghan lives: the massacre in Haydarabad, Helmand
07.08.07. Marc W. Herold, Departments of Economics, Whittemore School of Business & Economics, University of New Hampshire. The Afghan Victim Memorial Project/ uruknet. At 4 P.M. on Thursday, August 2, 2007, in the Taliban-controlled village of Qaleh (Qal’eh) Chah in the district of Baghran in Helmand Province. US/NATO forces bombed the village as part of an alleged decapitation strike (targeting "two Taliban commanders"). A group of people had gathered near the popular shrine of Ibrahim Shah Baba (though the reason for the gathering remains unclear). At least! 20 civilians (including an 8-yr-old boy) with shrapnel wounds were brought to the main Bost hospital in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. One of the injured men died there. Helmand's police chief, Mohammad Hussein Andiwal said. "I can confirm there were heavy bombardments," Andiwal told Reuters by phone. "We have heard of heavy casualties too and have sent a team to investigate this." A provincial lawmaker in Kabul, Mohammad Anwar, also received reports of high civilian casualties.
Local Taliban capture Darra village; five die in clashes
09.08.07. Dawn Report/ICH.
45 killed in Afghanistan fighting
11.08.07. daily times / ICH. Fresh fighting across Afghanistan left at least 45 people dead yesterday, including a British soldier, as a council of Pakistani and Afghan tribal leaders debated ways to end extremist violence in the region.
Two Alleged U.S. Spies Killed In Pakistan
12.08.07. CBS. One Found Decapitated, The Other Shot; Suspected Militants Accused Afghan Men Of Spying For The U.S.
Three US Soldiers, Two Other NATO Soldiers, Killed in Afghanistan
13.08.07. anti-war.com / usa today
U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan, Region
13.08.07, AP - anti-war.com. As of Monday, Aug. 13, 2007, at least 356 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department. The department last updated its figures Aug. 4, 2007.
Are these persons Taliban?
The 'good effects' of bombing a village market in Afghanistan
15.08.07. Marc W. Herold, Departments of Economics, Whittemore School of Business & Economics, University of New Hampshire /uruknet. ‘The "August 2: Airpower Summary" posted on the official website of the United States Air Force (USAF) announced, "An Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-31s on enemies hiding in a tree line near Baghran. The bomb drop was reported to have good effects."1 But, on the ground, reality was rather different: Gul Wali, 18, was among the! wounded. "Bombs were falling everywhere from the sky into the trees, and I saw pieces of flesh and bone. These were villagers. They were innocent people. They had just come to the mela [outdoor traditional weekly market] to buy food for their families. Instead, they ended up looking for their loved ones among piles of bodies." In the absence of normal shops, most communities mount a weekly trade fair, bringing handicrafts, livestock, farm produce and clothing along to barter or sell. The mela was located close to the holy shrine of Ibrahim Shah Baba. Wali's reference to a line of trees corresponds perfectly with the account given in the US Air Force's Airpower Summary. The luckier ones ended up in a hospital, as this young 10-year old boy with abdominal shrapnel wounds and whose leg needed to be amputated... ‘photos of the Baghran bombing victims were taken at the Italian Emergency surgical clinic in Lashkar Gah.
How far is Afghanistan from becoming Iraq?
16.08.07. achrweb. Some 6,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan, around 1,500 of them civilians, in the last 18 months, the worst period of violence in the country since U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taleban regime in 2001. On 11 June 2007, Reuters claimed that since 2001, a total of 598 security forces have been killed in Afghanistan. These included 398 from United States, 60 from Britain, 56 from Canada, 21 from Spain, 21 from Germany and 42 from other nations.
US army's rising suicide rate 'not due to war'
17.08.07. news.com. THE US army has said that at least 99 soldiers committed suicide in 2006, nearly a third while in Iraq or Afghanistan, signaling a rising suicide rate compared to previous years. However, the report said it had found no correlation between sending soldiers on missions and suicide rates (sic). Among soldiers who killed themselves in 2006, 27 were in Iraq and three were in Afghanistan. The army also reported 44 suicides in the first six months of 2007, 17 among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Canadians Dying Three Times as Fast as Their Allies in Afghanistan
25.08.07. globeandmail / anti-war.com. The threat from improvised explosive devices is heightened by the fact that Canadian troops have yet to receive the latest anti-IED technology and lack helicopters to avoid the perils of land transport. … More than half of those killed in action were American, a rate that roughly matches the proportion of the U.S. contribution - 55 per cent - to the 41,000 combined NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. … Britain, with 6,500 troops in Afghanistan, or about 16 per cent of the total foreign forces, has had 43 soldiers killed in action. That's about 19 per cent of the total hostile deaths, reflecting the tough and contested area of operations assigned to the British. … the loss of 52 Canadians killed in action is significantly worse than the loss rates of other countries
Afghan forces strike Taleban inside Pakistan
26.08.07. Khaleejtimes / ICH. 9 killed as U.S. and Afghan forces strike "Taleban" inside Pakistan: US-led and Afghan troops struck Taleban positions inside Pakistan in fresh clashes with the extremist Islamic militia that left at least 19 rebels dead, security forces said on Sunday.
26.08.07. monstersandcritics / ICH. Residents of a province in southern Afghanistan reported on Sunday that some 18 civilians were killed and over 22 wounded in a NATO airstrike.
20 killed in Afghanistan violence
26.08.07. peninsularqatar / ICH. A roadside bomb killed three private security guards yesterday while two policemen and 15 Taleban died in fighting overnight in fresh violence in occupied Afghanistan, officials said.
Residents say foreign raid kills dozens of Afghans
26.08.07. Reuters. Residents of a Taliban-controlled town in southern Afghanistan say dozens of civilians including women and children have been killed in aerial bombing.
Reports of civilians killed in Afghanistan
26.08.07. earthtimes. KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 26 U.S. military investigators Sunday probed reports that coalition air strikes aimed at Taliban insurgents killed 30 wedding revelers in Koper, Afghanistan.
Most Recent Incident Where U.S. Military Killed Civilians in Ongoing Afghan Conflict
26.08.07. Prof. Marc W. Herold, The Afghan Victim Memorial Project – uruk.net. In memory of and sympathy for Ghulam Mohammad’s 8 family members, killed; Ghulam Mohammad’s 6 injured family members (3 men, 2 women, a child)’ At least 10 other civilians killed. During the night of August 25/26, 2007, in a village located ~25 kms south of Musa Qala town, Helmand Province. At least two homes were bombed by U.S./NATO aircraft after an earlier firefight. The family of Ghulam Mohammad was hard hit: 8 members including children were killed and 5 others were severely hurt by shrapnel. The injured made it to the Italian Emergency hospital! in Lashkar Gah. Were it not for the independent NGO, Emergency, one would probably not know about this deadly attack. Ghulam Mohammad told Reuters about the air attack which lasted a couple hours, So far between 60 killed and wounded people have been recovered and there are people trapped under collapsed houses… A relative, Haji Saeed Mohammad added, It was a quiet evening and the bombardment began all of a sudden. Cattle have also been killed…. We can’t do anything, can’t stay in our villages and can’t go anywhere…it is best for us to be killed all at once than being killed every day ....
NATO: Taliban falsely reports civilian casualties
28.08.07. usatoday. The U.S.-led coalition made the claim Monday after Afghan elders alleged that up to 18 civilians were killed late Sunday (26.08.07) by coalition troops in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.
More than 100 insurgents killed in Afghanistan: US
Wanted Taliban leader killed in raid
30.08.07. Reuters. A wanted Taliban insurgent leader in Afghanistan, Mullah Brother, was killed on Thursday in a U.S.-led raid in the southern province of Helmand, the Afghan Defence Ministry said, citing ground commanders.
Truth About Tillman ... Murder's Not 'Friendly Fire'
02.08.07. Escow, Huffington Post. once again, the Administration is pulling the old magician's trick of misdirection, this time in the Pat Tillman case. And once again, the press is falling for it.
AP: Tillman Memo Contradicted Citation
03.08.07. Just a day after approving a medal claiming former NFL player Pat Tillman had been cut down by ``devastating enemy fire'' in Afghanistan, a high-ranking general tried to warn President Bush that the story might not be true, according to testimony obtained by The Associated Press. / Despite this apparent contradiction, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal was spared punishment in the latest review of Tillman's shooting.
Bush says can't recall when heard of Tillman friendly fire death
09.08.07. sfgate. “I can't give you the precise moment, but obviously the minute I heard that the facts that most people believed were true were not true, that I expected there to be a full investigation and get to the bottom of it," Bush said in response to a question at a news conference.
A Special Investigation: Pat Tillman as Everyone's Political Football
Stan Goff, uruknet. The Fog of Fame: Part One; The Fog of Fame: Part Two; Part Three: Inside the Labyrinth of Lies: the Cover-Up of Pat Tillman's Death
Army Reprimands In Tillman Case Mild
10.08.07. AP – CBS. Official reprimands issued to three high-ranking Army officers are only mildly critical of their mistakes after the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman and at times praise the officers. The Army also said it would not include the reprimands in the officers' military records, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Come to Washington this September for the historic union of the 9/11Truth, Peace and Impeachment movements. March with us as we honor the victims of 9/11 and the thousands of casualties of the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Call for the end of the bogus war on terror, impeachment of the criminals in the White House and restoration of our civil liberties.
BIOLOGICAL AGENTS AND TOXINS
NEW NAVY POLICY ON BIOLOGICAL SELECT AGENTS
SEE: “Minimum Security Standards for Safeguarding Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSAT)," (20.08.07. Chief of Naval Operations OPNAV Instruction 5530). Steven Aftergood writes about this report here
Cancer in vets raises possibility of toxic exposure
26.08.07. AZSTARNET.COM – Truthout. After serving in Vietnam nearly 40 years ago — and receiving the Bronze Star for it — the Tucson soldier was called back to active duty in Iraq. While there, he awoke one morning with a sore throat. Eighteen months later, Army Sgt. James Lauderdale was dead.
DEPLETED URANIUM (DU)
AFGHANISTAN: Finland, NATO, U.S. and Depleted Uranium
14.08.07. NEWSDESK HELSINKI FINLAND, uruknet. The unfortunate truth is that the first Finnish DU casualty is just a part of the problem, which is best illuminated by the following photos taken of Iraqi children (mostly from the southern part of Iraq, hit by U.S. DU at the same time our Finnish UN casualty). Though we’ve noticed that most people simply refuse to have a close (or any) look of the pictures, often suggesting something like "couldn’t we discuss on something else", ! we strongly urge the Finns - and all the others as well - not to do that, but take your time with each picture for the reasons to be explained right after the photos of Iraqi and Afghan babies...
America's Use Of Radiological Weapons Calls For An International Tribunal
20.08.07. Mark H. Gaffney, uruknet. Beginning in 1993, Iraqi doctors reported a disturbing increase in the incidence of malignancies around Basra, in southern Iraq. Basra is Iraq's second largest city and is located near the battlefields where most of the DU was expended in the first Gulf War. An epidemiological study conducted by Dr. Alim Yacoub, a British-educated trained doctor and dean of the medical school at Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, and his! colleague, Dr. Jenan Hassan from the Women's and Children's Hospital in Basra, found that between 1990-2001 all types of malignancies quadrupled. During this same period the number of birth defects increased six-fold. Moreover, the incidence of childhood leukemia jumped from just 2 cases in 1990 to 41 in 2001, a shocking twenty-fold increase. Even more disturbing was a further spike to 53 cases of leukemia in 2002, a 22% increase in a single year; which suggested that an acceleration was underway...
and AFGHANISTAN: Proof of the harmfulness of the DU to the Children in Iraq, Afghanistan and the UN Finland's troops involved the U.S. Israeli, U.K. NATO depleted uranium wars
82 year old WW2 Navy veteran speaks out against Depleted Uranium
21.08.07. International Action Center/uruknet. I am Bud Deraps, an 82 year old WW2 Navy veteran and member of Veterans For Peace and Military Families Speak Out. I now spend all of my time researching, writing and speaking on the subject of Depleted Uranium under the title," What Are We Doing To Our Own Loved Ones?" You have just viewed Poison Dust and so you are now familiar with the informed beliefs of several internationally recognized nuclear scientists with respe! ct to the short and long term effects of (DU) on human beings exposed to it on the battlefield and in the air they breathe. Please let me share with you what I learned when I visited Iraq in 2001 with the Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project. A major purpose of our trip was to visit sewer polluted water plants in the Basra area which were being rebuilt in part with VFP funds. We also spent time looking at other public institutions, in particular hospitals, where I saw for myself the misery and devastation our weapons and sanctions had caused. For example, we visited the Basra Children's Hospital where we saw rooms and hallways overflowing with children seriously ill from drinking polluted water. Many more were dying from leukemia and other cancers.
Video . Unknown terror: What is DU?
The president of the United States, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and the prime minister of Israel must acknowledge and accept responsibility for the willful use of uranium munitions-their own "dirty bombs"-resulting in adverse health and environmental effects. It also leaves behind a fine radioactive dust with a half-life of 4.5 billion years.
US ENRICHED URANIUM
Tenn. Nuclear Fuel Problems Kept Secret
20.08.07. AP-D. Mansfield, Guardian - legitgov.org.
A 3-year veil of secrecy in the name of national security was used to keep the public in the dark about the handling of highly enriched uranium at a (US) nuclear fuel processing plant. That included a leak that could have caused a deadly, uncontrolled nuclear reaction. The leak turned out to be 1 of 9 violations or test failures since 2005 at privately owned Nuclear Fuel Services -- a longtime supplier of fuel to the US Navy's nuclear fleet. The public was never told about the problems when they happened.
Off the Rocker" and "On the Floor: The Continued Development of Biochemical Incapacitating Weapons
08.07. Bradford Disarmament Research Centre (BDRC), Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK. Bradford Science and Technology Report No. 8.
Pentagon's New Drug Weapons
21.08.07. D. Hambling, wired.com / legitgov.org. They’ve got Skunk, they’ve got Special K, they’ve got Angel Dust, they’ve got Aceeeeed….and they’ve also got a whole pharmacy of extra special stuff that they’re not going to tell anyone about. They’re heavily armed, and the law can’t touch them. Because they’re the Pentagon’s own nonlethal chemical weapons developers. While the CIA and military drug experiments of the 50s and 60s might be written off as just a phase they were going through, a new report from the Bradford Nonlethal Weapons Research Project shows that the interest in psychoactive substances has continued right up until the present day. It’s called 'Off the Rockerr' and 'On the Floor': The Continued Development of Biochemical Incapacitating Weapons.
"Nuclear Warheads: The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program and the Life Extension Program" (updated July 16, 2007)
"Nuclear Weapons: The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program" (updated 13.07.07)
"Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty" (updated 12.07.07)
Bush Cites Nuclear Risk of Leaving Iraq
29.08.07 NY TIMES. ( THE ONLY NUCLEAR RISK SITS IN THE WHITE HOUSE )
Audit finds U.S. nuclear weapons parts misplaced
Saving Afghanistan from Al Qaeda. 'The book, materialised from a meeting held in 2005 at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, gives us the latest comprehensive look at Afghanistan, especially after the watershed year of 2006 when the Taliban were able to make a comeback after four years of ISAF-NATO and US forces presence in the country.' (I have not read this book)
The Reluctant Fundamentalist , Harcourt 2007. Born in Pakistan; educated / worked in US; now living UK. Booker prize nominee. Wonderful read.
Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns .
Booker prize nominee. Both books are treasures.
My War gone By, I Miss It So , Penguin 2001.
Another Bloody Love Letter , Headline Review, March 2007. The quotes in this Index are taken from this book.
Video Anthony Loyd , Frontline Club (31.05.07)
Jeffrey T. Richelson
The U.S. Intelligence Community
INDEX RESEARCH ARTICLES
Index on Afghanistan (Updated to 31/08/06)
Index on Afghanistan : September 2006
Index on Afghanistan : October 2006
Index on Afghanistan : November 2006
Index on Afghanistan : December 2006
Index on Afghanistan : January 2007
Index on Afghanistan : February 2007
Index on Afghanistan : March 2007
Index on Afghanistan: April 2007: Murder in Nangarhar
NATO: The Bathtub of Unreadiness(Updated 18/06/07)
Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in the UK. She is also on the BRussels Tribunal Advisory Committee.
Please see Schisms: Index on Afghanistan, August 2007 on the Brussels Tribunal site. Thank you.
The url to Schisms: Index on Afghanistan, August 2007 is: http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2007/08/schisms-index-on-afghanistan-august.html
Shorter url is: http://tinyurl.com/33qlst
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Tags: Afghanistan, Politics, NATO, U.S., U.K., Pakistan, Russia, China, Canada, Germany, Iran, Media, Oil, Opium, Guantanamo, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Padillo, Tillman, rendition, torture