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U.S. soldier held after firing on Afghans, killing at least 16, officials say

Esaqzai, who said he saw the 16 bodies, provided the following account. About midnight, 11 people, including three women; four children whose ages ranged from 6 to 9; and four men were executed inside the home of a village elder.

“They entered the room where the women and children were sleeping, and they were all shot in the head,” Esaqzai said, adding that he was doubtful of the U.S. account suggesting the killings were the work of a lone gunman. “They were all shot in the head.”
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Via The Angry Black Woman.

Perspective On 9/11 And The Invasions Of Iraq & Afghanistan.

Infographic: Casualties From The War On Terror, 9/11, And The Invasion of Iraq

The stats breakdown are as follows:

September 11th Victims: 0.28%

American Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq: 0.55%

Afghan Civilian Casualties: 4.39%

Iraqi Civilian Casualties: 94.78%

Also, the comments are pretty... uhmazing.

[Stats were transcribed in TABW blog.]


May. 4th, 2011 10:39 am
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Osama bin Laden's last hours come into focus as White House revises its story

In the hours after Bin Laden's death, US officials briefed that he had put up a fight and shot at the Seal 6 team that stormed the second and third floors of his hideout. Other details suggested he used one of his wives as a human shield.

The White House confirmed that neither was true. Bin Laden was unarmed, was shot in the head and chest, and his wife had been wounded in the leg while rushing towards the special forces before he was killed.

The administration was considering whether to release the photos of the Saudi fugitive's body to counter claims in the region that he had not been killed at all. "There are sensitivities about the appropriateness," said spokesman Jay Carney. "It is fair to say it is a gruesome photograph."MORE

UN human rights boss questions U.S. on legality of bin Laden killing

UNITED NATIONS — The UN's chief human rights official led calls by rights activist organizations on Tuesday for Washington to explain whether U.S. forces lawfully killed Osama bin Laden.

The request by Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, came even as the world body continues to falter over its multi-year bid to define terrorism.

Pillay's bid also appeared to contradict the position held by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who on Monday described the U.S. action as a "watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism."

The mixed messages are likely to heighten critics' claims that the UN's human rights apparatus is frequently quick to probe for abuses by Western democracies — even as it appears to limit its criticism of some of the world's established human rights abuser states.


Amnesty International said it was seeking "greater clarification" about what went on, while New York-based Human Rights Watch said "law enforcement" principles should have applied.

"If he wasn't shooting at the soldiers, the killing should be investigated," Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch Asia director, said in Bangkok at the launch of a report on Thailand.

"People are saying that justice has been done, but justice has not been done. Justice is when you arrest someone and put them on trial."

I do not like this at all.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Osama Bin Laden's Obituary

With his long grey beard and wistful expression, bin Laden became one of the most instantly recognisable people on the planet. His gaunt face stared out from propaganda videos and framed a US website offering a $25 million bounty. In 2007, that bounty was doubled.

Born in Saudi Arabia in 1957, one of more than 50 children of millionaire businessman Mohamed bin Laden, he lost his father while still a boy.

Osama's first marriage, to a Syrian cousin, came at the age of 17, and he is reported to have at least 23 children from at least five wives. Part of a family that made its fortune in the oil-funded Saudi construction boom, bin Laden was a shy boy and an average student, who took a degree in civil engineering. MORE

via Daily Kos:

Oct 15, 2001 Bush rejected Taliban offer to surrender Osama

Oct. 15, 2001....After a week of debilitating strikes at targets across Afghanistan, the Taliban repeated an offer to hand over Osama bin Laden, only to be rejected by President Bush.

The offer yesterday from Haji Abdul Kabir, the Taliban's deputy prime minister, to surrender Mr bin Laden if America would halt its bombing and provide evidence against the Saudi-born dissident was not new but it suggested the Taliban are increasingly weary of the air strikes, which have crippled much of their military and communications assets.

The move came as the Taliban granted foreign journalists unprecedented access to the interior for the first time. Reporters were escorted to the village of Karam in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban said up to 200 civilians were killed in an American bombardment last Wednesday.


How many Americans were aware of this, I wonder?

Bush, March 2002: 'I really just don't spend that much time' on bin Laden

What was Bush spending time on in March, 2002, and if fact just a month after the 9/11 attacks? Surely you remember:

October 18, 2001 – The CIA writes a report titled, Iraq: Nuclear-Related Procurement Efforts. It quotes many of the Italian report's claims, but adds that the report of a completed deal is not corroborated by any other sources. (Senate Intelligence Cmte., Iraq 36-37, July 2004).

February 5, 2002 – The CIA's Directorate of Operations – the clandestine branch that employed Valerie Wilson – issues a second report including "verbatim text"of an agreement, supposedly signed July 5-6, 2000 for the sale of 500 tons of uranium yellowcake per year. (Senate Intelligence Cmte., Iraq 37, July 2004).MORE


In July 2006, we learned that the Bush administration closed its unit that had been hunting bin Laden.
In September 2006, Bush told Fred Barnes, one of his most sycophantic media allies, that an "emphasis on bin Laden doesn't fit with the administration's strategy for combating terrorism."
And don't even get me started on Bush's failed strategy that allowed bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora.MORE

However I firmly disagree with the thrust of this postJohn McCain said he wouldn't go after Bin Laden in Pakistan

His reason was that Pakistan is a sovereign nation. And so it is, actually and just because we are the world's only superpower, doesn't mean we get to trample all over other people's sovereignty. When we finally lose that prestige years down the road, and some other superpower proceeds to violate our sovereignty, we are going to be selectively historically ignorant, aren't we?

Meantime they buried Mr. Osama's body at sea, supposedly in accordance with Islamic traditions. The reasoning given was to prevent enshrining of his remains.

Some Muslim clerics are disputing that characterization of the burial.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
xposted to journal

The Guardian says that it got the documents from the NYT, which claims that the document dump is not from Wikileaks. Everyone else is claiming its a Wiki dump. *shrugs* I have no idea.

Guantánamo leaks lift lid on world's most controversial prison

• Innocent people interrogated for years on slimmest pretexts
• Children, elderly and mentally ill among those wrongfully held
• 172 prisoners remain, some with no prospect of trial or release
Interactive guide to all 779 detainees

Read more... )

Digby points out re: the suicides that the American political and miliatry response... was to accuse the detainees of conducting asymetrical warfare. Yes, yes they did:Wiki Dump

Read more... )

What are the Guantanomo Files

Read more... )


The Guantanomo Files: Al Quadea assasin worked for MI-6

Anti-extremist author framed and whisked to CubaAbdul Badr Mannan was handed over to Americans who later came to believe Pakistani intelligence had set him up

Guantánamo Bay files: Casio wristwatch 'the sign of al-Qaida'Casio F-91W, a cheap digital watch sold around the world, was taken as evidence of detainees having bomb-making training

Guantánamo Bay files: Star informer freed after implicating 123 prisonersMohammed Basardah rewarded despite unsupported claims and interrogators' doubts about sheer number of names he gave up You can also view a PDF about two men who supposedly gave up a quarter of the detainees there.


President Obama speaks on Manning and the rule of law

Protesters yesterday interrupted President Obama's speech at a $5,000/ticket San Francisco fundraiser to demand improved treatment for Bradley Manning. After the speech, one of the protesters, Logan Price, approached Obama and questioned him. Obama's responses are revealing on multiple levels.Read more... )

The Washington Post has an article: Guantanamo Bay: Why Obama hasn’t fulfilled his promise to close the facility


Read more... )


Taliban Help Hundreds Tunnel Out of Prison’s Political Wing


Read more... )
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes suggested I cross-post this here:

Jon Krakauer has just devoted 89 pages (free for download from here until the 20th) to making the case that Greg "Three Cups of Tea" Mortenson is a lying liar who lies, whose inventions include an entirely fictional story of being abducted by the Taliban, and who's engaged in massive financial malpractice:

Many CAI schools that actually did get built, moreover, were later abandoned due to lack of CAI support. “Ghost schools,” they’re called by the disillusioned residents of Baltistan, where at least eighteen CAI buildings now stand empty. No one, not even Mortenson, knows exactly how many CAI projects exist as ghost schools, or simply never existed in the first place, because he has repeatedly subverted efforts by his Montana-based staff to track effectively how many schools have been built, how much each school actually costs, and how many schools are up and running. For the CAI staff to gather such crucial information, Mortenson would have to accurately account for how he spends CAI funds—something he has never been willing to do.

There's some dubious stuff here -- a couple of Krakauer's witnesses have histories of fraud themselves -- but a lot seems very unambiguous indeed. And there is a metric fuckton to analyse here about the degree to which the What These People Need Is A Honky narrative prevents people from taking too close a look at things.

ETA a couple of commentaries:

'Three cups of sincerity' by Nosheen Ali
'Greg Mortenson and the Business of Redemption' by Laila Lalami

ETA2, via [personal profile] cofax7:

Savage Minds: Three Cups of Orientalism
zunguzungu: L’Affaire Mortenson, reactions and commentary

And Good Intentions Are Not Enough seems to have taken up the linkspam banner (109 links and counting):

Collecting 'Three Cups of Tea' posts
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Juan Cole has a post on Afghanistan that I think is worth noting.

Scammed in Afghanistan

The announcement by the New York Times that one of the supposedly prominent Taliban with whom the Karzai government has been negotiating turns out to be an impostor is only the latest depressing indication that the whole Afghanistan boondoggle is shot through with flimflammery. ...

The incident set me thinking about all the impostures of that war, which are legion. Let us begin with the frankly dishonest discourse about it of both our twenty-first century presidents, who maintain that the US is fighting “al-Qaeda” in Afghanistan. But there is no al-Qaeda to speak of in that country, if by the term one means the mainly Arab Pan-Islamic International that sees Usama Bin Laden as its leader. US forces in Afghanistan are fighting disgruntled Pashtuns, for the most part. Some are from Gulbuddin Hikmatyar’s Islamic Party. Others from the Haqqani family’s Haqqani Network. The Reagan administration and its Saudi allies once showered billions of dollars on Hikmatyar and Haqqani, so they aren’t exactly eternal adversaries of the US. Some insurgents are from the Old Taliban of Mullah Omar. Still others are not so much terrorist cartels as tribes and guerrilla groups who are just unhappy with poppy eradication campaigns, or with the foreign troop presence (they would say ‘occupation’), or with how Karzai has given out patronage unequally, favoring some tribes over others. The insurgency is almost exclusively drawn from the Pashtun ethnic group.
So the war is not about al-Qaeda.


So what IS the war about?

I am astonished. And I really see no reason WHY I should be so surprised at this 10,000th indication that my gov't is lying to me and using my tax money to do sorts of things that I am SO not happy with. But there it is. I am astonied. Again. But! There's more! Take a look at whats been happening to Afghani children:

This information vacuum is why a British diplomat even thought the public might buy as plausible his assertion that children in Kabul are safer than those in New York or London.
Aljazeera English has a report on the ensuing controversy:

Quite apart from the bombings in the Afghan capital, far beyond anything in Western capitals, some 1,795 children were killed or wounded in conflict-related violence from September 2008 to August 2010 (admittedly in the whole country and not just in Kabul). Moreover, there are powerful crime syndicates and kidnapping rings in the capital and drug addiction is spreading among even children and youth. He wasn’t speaking of infant mortality, so it isn’t fair to slam him on the grounds that a fifth of Afghan children die before reaching age five. But knowledge of the truly horrific health statistics of Afghan children might have instilled some caution about making Panglossian statements.
Aljazeera English has video on drug addiction even among the very young in Kabul:

Oh dear principles of peace and justice for all mankind. What is this shit I do not even. No. No. No. NO. Is there no hope for our policy leaders to get some kind of "road to damascus moment" and take a good look at their lives and choices? Cause this is all BS. How the HELL is it that these people think it best to spend money blowing the hell out of people on the other side of the world instead of putting that cash to use to fix our myriad problems right here in the US? I am so fucking TIRED of being cynical when it comes to american politics.
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So recently Nicolas Kristof, New York Times columnist who has set himself up as a women's rights crusader, was tackled on the fact that he hinged his stories on whiote poeple who were helping the natives of the various brown citizen majority countries that he reports from: Texas in Africa has the story in white man's burden

Back in May, @viewfromthecave tweeted that The Kristof was taking questions from readers to be answered via YouTube. This is the question I asked:

Your columns about Africa almost always feature black Africans as victims, and white foreigners as their saviors.

There was more to it than that, but I can't find the original post. At any rate, the gist of the question was, "Why not feature more of the work that Africans are doing to solve their countries' problems?"

And, lo and behold, Kristof answered. NYT Picker thankfully has the transcript for those of us on dial-up connections:
This is a really important issue for a journalist. And it's one I've thought a lot about.

I should, first of all, from my defensive crouch, say that I think you're a little bit exaggerating the way I have reported. Indeed, recently, for example, among the Africans who I have emphasized, the people who are doing fantastic work are the extraordinary Dr. Dennis Mukwege in the Congo, Edna Adan in Somaliland, Valentino Deng in Sudan, Manute Bol in Sudan, and there are a lot of others.

But I do take your point. That very often I do go to developing countries where local people are doing extraordinary work, and instead I tend to focus on some foreigner, often some American, who’s doing something there.

And let me tell you why I do that. The problem that I face -- my challenge as a writer -- in trying to get readers to care about something like Eastern Congo, is that frankly, the moment a reader sees that I'm writing about Central Africa, for an awful lot of them, that's the moment to turn the page. It's very hard to get people to care about distant crises like that.

One way of getting people to read at least a few grafs in is to have some kind of a foreign protagonist, some American who they can identify with as a bridge character.

And so if this is a way I can get people to care about foreign countries, to read about them, ideally, to get a little bit more involved, then I plead guilty.

As NYT Picker aptly notes, the persons to whom Kristof refers have either not been mentioned in his print columns or are typically only mentioned briefly.Texas in Africa proceeds to fisk this white liberal racist BS as it deserves

I am extremely pissed at this BS meself, so have a linkspam of women in their own countries, being all awesome without some white saviours anywhere near them.

INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS Women Join Forces for Political Equality

PORT-LOUIS , Jul 14, 2010 (IPS) - "Instead of moaning all the time, why don’t you create your own (political) party?" some men asked Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar. She accepted the challenge and in February formed Ampela Mano Politika, a political party which started with only 22 female members and now has over 5,000 female members ... and 10 men.

With female political representation standing at only 3.75 percent in Madagascar, a women’s lot is very precarious, says Rasamoelina.

And so too is the situation for many women in most of the Indian Ocean Islands. Female political representation is a mere three percent in Comoros, 18 percent in Mauritius and 23.5 percent in the Seychelles.

It is one of the reasons why Rasamoelina and 30 other women from the Indian Ocean Islands, gathered recently in Mauritius to identify ways to attain parity among men and women in politics in an event organised by the Indian Ocean Commission and Women in Politics (WIP).MORE

Read more... )
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Gods and Monsters

Greek gods analogy to explain American military's murder of civilians )


Ceremonial Evisceration

Both incidents elicited shock and anger from critics of American war policies. And both incidents are shocking. Probably the most shocking aspect of them, however, is just how humdrum they actually are, even if the public release of video of such events isn't. Start with one detail in those Afghan murders, reported in most accounts but little emphasized: what the Americans descended on was a traditional family ceremony. More than 25 guests had gathered for the naming of a newborn child.
In fact, over these last nine-plus years, Afghan (and Iraqi) ceremonies of all sorts have regularly been blasted away. Keeping a partial tally of wedding parties eradicated by American air power at, I had counted [13] five such "incidents" between December 2001 and July 2008. (A sixth in July 2002 [14] in which possibly 40 Afghan wedding celebrants died and many more were wounded has since come to my attention, as has a seventh [15] in August 2008.) Nor have other kinds of rites where significant numbers of Afghans gather been immune from attack, including funerals [16], and now, naming ceremonies. And keep in mind that these are only the reported incidents in a rural land where much undoubtedly goes unreported.

Similarly, General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, recently expressed surprise at a tally since last summer of at least 30 Afghans killed and 80 wounded at checkpoints when US soldiers opened fire [17] on cars. He said [18]: "We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat." Or consider 36-year-old Mohammed Yonus, a popular imam of a mosque on the outskirts of Kabul, who was killed in his car [19] this January by fire from a passing NATO convoy, which considered his vehicle "threatening." His seven-year-old son was in the back seat.

20]Or while on the subject of Reuters employees, recall [21] reporter Mazen Tomeizi, a Palestinian producer for the al-Arabiya satellite network of Dubai, who was killed on Haifa Street in central Baghdad in September 2004 by a US helicopter attack. He was on camera at the time and his blood spattered the lens. Seif Fouad, a Reuters cameraman, was wounded in the same incident, while a number of bystanders, including a girl, were killed. Or remember the 17 Iraqi civilians infamously murdered [22] when Blackwater employees in a convoy began firing in Nissour Square in Baghdad on September 16, 2007. Or the missiles regularly shot from US helicopters and unmanned aerial drones into the heavily populated Shiite slum of Sadr City back in 2007-08. Or the Iraqis regularly killed at checkpoints [23] in the years since the invasion of 2003. Or, for that matter, the first moments of that invasion on March 20, 2003, when, according to [24] Human Rights Watch, "dozens" of ordinary Iraqi civilians were killed by the 50 aerial "decapitation strikes" the Bush administration launched against Saddam Hussein and the rest of the Iraqi leadership, missing every one [25] of them.
There's so much that it makes no sense to bold. )

Its a convincing analogy I must say, and dear GOD I had NO idea that so many people had been killed like this. I am feeling extremely sick at the moment and the fact that this is what my tax dollars are paying for, and all that the news is reporting on is PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ARE GETTING GOOD WAGES OMG OMG ALERT ALERT HOW DARE THEY NOT TAKE STARVATION WAGES OUR TAX DOLLARS!!!!!! But then as that asshole that Diane Sawyer put on to justify the Wikileaks video said, its just the Fog of War. eh? ANd aren't we Americans lucky that we are the ones creating that Fog from afar, instead of living smackdab in teh middle of it.
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Why Afghans Dig Empire Graveyards

While Americans think of the war in terms of 9/11 and terrorism, Afghans are not afflicted with such a myopic view. They see the war in the context of a much longer history that is shaped by their country's mountainous geography and strategic location between Iran to the west, Russia to the north and India and Pakistan to the south and east - and of their own ability to defend it against the world's greatest empires.

Or, as noted in the resignation letter of Matthew Hoh, an American diplomat who resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan last September: "I have observed that the bulk of the insurgency fights not for the white banner of the Taliban, but rather against the presence of foreign soldiers and taxes imposed by an unrepresentative government in Kabul. The United States military presence in Afghanistan greatly contributes to the legitimacy and strategic message of the Pashtun insurgency."

Existential Concerns

Throughout the 20th century, Afghanistan's people confronted the same existential questions as people in other non-Western countries. What aspects of modern Western technology and culture could they adopt without losing what they valued in their own way of life?

As elsewhere, different classes within Afghan society answered this question according to their own interests, and the resulting divisions left Afghanistan vulnerable to opportunistic exploitation and intervention by foreign powers, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Soviet Union and the United States.



( Read more... )

Read more... )
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DEVELOPMENT-SOUTH ASIA: Women’s Peace Offensive

KABUL, Oct 18 (IPS) - ‘Give peace a chance’ may just be another cliché for many, but for women who have suffered the ravages of war, endless strife and other forms of conflict, joining hands to find meaningful solutions to their collective aspiration lends it a whole new meaning.

Within the South Asian region, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan have for decades been torn by internal and external conflicts that have cried out for, but have not quite found, a lasting resolution.

"We waited for a long time to see what the men would do for peace," Zahira Khattak, a member the think-tank formed by Pakistan’s Awami National Party (ANP), told IPS.

Read more... )
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Human Rights in Afghanistan, Can the Election Make a Difference? and an Underground Railroad for Iraqi Women

The official line coming out of last week's election in Afghanistan was that it was a democratic 'success'. Was it? We talk to independent journalist Anand Gopal and Human Rights Watch researcher Rachel Reid. But how realistic is the prospect of change regardless of the outcome of the Afghan vote? Afghan journalist Syed Abdul Rahim, and Women for Afghan Women Board member Esther Hyneman join J Alexander Thier from the Rule of Law Center of Innovation at the United States Institute of Peace and Sonali Kolhatkar, co-director of the Afghan Women’s Mission and co-author of the book, “Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence.
Then, while President Obama's declared an end date for Americans in the Iraq war, will it ever be that simple for Iraqis? We talk to Yanar Mohammed, President of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraqand Yifat Susskind, communications director at MADRE who are helping women survive in the mess that is today's Iraq.
And another installment of Brave New Film's brilliant series, Rethink Afghanistan -this time the focus is on security. Also, thanks to InCounter Productions for video in tonight's show.
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Afghanistan: How the East was lost - 17 Aug 09 - Pt1

We examine how the Taliban managed to return after they were removed from power 8 years ago.

Read more... )
[personal profile] shikoneko
The 86-3 vote demonstrated widespread support for increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan. )The Senate added an amendment to its bill aimed at blocking the lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union that seeks the release of photos showing U.S. military personnel abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. The provision would exempt the photos from the Freedom of Information Act.
Lawmakers, echoing concerns voiced by Obama, said release of the photos would only inflame world opinion and endanger troops’ lives.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, had planned an amendment yesterday designed to force Chrysler to give its dealerships more time to shut down. She dropped her effort after winning assurances in a letter from Chrysler Vice Chairman and President James Press that the dealerships would receive “fair and equitable value for virtually all of their outstanding vehicle and parts inventory.”

Guantanamo Bay
Earlier this week, the Senate cut from the bill an Obama request for $80 million to begin shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Democrats joined Republicans, who had been pressing the case for weeks, in saying the White House hadn’t adequately explained what it intends to do with the 240 suspected terrorists held at the center.
Obama reiterated yesterday his commitment to close the prison. In a speech in Washington, he also said some of the detainees would be tried in federal courts and likely end up in U.S. prisons, which he said are secure enough to assure public safety. He said he would develop legal procedures to deal with prisoners who can’t be tried yet are too dangerous to release.
The bill would fund Obama’s plans announced earlier this year to send the additional troops to Afghanistan. His plan will bring the total number of troops there to 68,000 by year’s end.
It would also provide various types of economic and development aid to the nation, including $10 million to train Afghan women to become judges, prosecutors and police officers charged with investigating crimes there against women. Afghan authorities are investigating three suspected poison gas attacks on schoolgirls by Taliban militants who oppose female education.
“No female victim of violence will ever come forward if she believes she has no system in place or resources to help her,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat.

Other Spending
Other provisions would pay for pandemic flu programs, anti- piracy efforts at the Navy, and the Essential Air Service, which subsidizes flights to small towns. The bill would also provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with an additional $500,000 to cover expenses associated with confirmation hearings to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Obama has called the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan the toughest of his presidency. Although the House’s debate on its version of the war-spending bill included criticism of his policies in the region, few senators addressed the issue. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin was the only Democrat to oppose the war bill. Senators Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, and Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders also voted “no.”
“While the president clearly understands that the greatest security threat to our nation resides in Pakistan, I’m concerned about his strategy regarding Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Feingold said in a statement. “Sending 21,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan could actually push Taliban and other fighters across the border and end up further destabilizing Pakistan.”
The 86-3 vote demonstrated widespread support for increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan. )
Source [s]


May. 19th, 2009 11:49 am
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A serious debate about torture has been rocking the United States political scene. The options seem to be: don't prosecute, have a truth commission or prosecute to teh fullest extent of the law. Personally I believe that the US has an obligation to follow its own treaties and constitution and prosecute every single soul, from Pres Bush downwards. Has anyone been following this debate? What do you think?
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
I like Al Jazeera English's youtube channel because they offer very good commentary on world issues. This is their take on the Afghanistan War:
Empire - Obama and Afghanistan - 29 Apr 09 - Part 1

Empire examines the path from Iraq to Afghanistan and into Pakistan. With the Iraq operation apparently drawing to a close and a mini-surge underway in Afghanistan, people in the region are wondering what this will all mean on the ground and what will the repercussions be for the region. As locals worry that they will be caught in the crossfire or killed by drones, experts question whether the strategy is the correct one or if it is too little, too late. Empire investigates what went wrong and the plan to fix it.

Part Two )

To make matters worse Juan Cole reports that
The NYT explains that Obama is readying a major US military push to cut the neo-Taliban off from their funding sources in the poppy trade.

The problem is that a) the Taliban are probably being bankrolled by Gulf millionaires to some extent, and so ending the poppy trade will not put them down. Second, a lot of ordinary Afghan farmers depend on poppies and the new policy could push many of them into insurgency.

I had the lingering impression that Afghanistan was the just war, after all the Taliban supported and shielded Osama and it was understandable that we go in to deal with him. Or at least, that's what the American news kept telling me. But the videos reveal the complications that were ridiculously simplified, in complete disregard of the recent history of Afghanistan (hello Soviet invasion!!!) and to make matters worse, the fact that we keep such close record of US military deaths, while completely ignoring Afghan deaths, (seriously? 711 people killed by the drones, with a 94% innocence rate???? WTF??? And No one will anticipate that this shit leads to radicalization and insurgency? Really?). And questions about American empire, race and our budget being strained by wars we cannot afford while healthcare and education to name a few are a complete shambles, to the comparison to Vietnam and the clusterfuck that was keep bubbling up as well. Quite frankly videos like these are moving me firmly and inexorably to an anti-all-wars position. What are your thoughts about Afghanistan? Your reactions to the video?


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