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Archives by Tag 'Afghanistan'
Obama’s War Desk
DAVE LANNEN
Mr. Obama’s war desk is heavy with burdensome issues concerning Syria.  Given three minutes of his time I would share the following prospective – of which his advisors are ill-informed; that of a little girl and a soldier. The choreographed chaos in our tent h...
The Wishful Thinking Left
JEAN BRICMONT
Louvain, Belgium. Once upon a time, in the early 1970’s, many people, including myself, thought that all the “struggles” of that period were linked: the Cultural Revolution in China, the guerill...
When Hearts and Minds are War-Torn
TOM H. HASTINGS
The Taliban is finally making another try at initiating peace talks. Who is listening and who cares? Afghans care. Their hearts are in pieces like the rubble that is strewn wherever the US-led NATO/Karzai forces have bombed from the air, or where the Taliban has cr...
Explaining Afghanistan’s Future
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Email is a wonderful medium for communication, but there are drawbacks, one of which is the deluge of spam that hits our inboxes. We’ve all had weird messages couched something like Forgive my indignation if this message comes to you as a surprise and...
The Lie Factory
SHELDON RICHMAN
In his latest major address on foreign policy, President Obama said ...
Pipelinistan
WILLIAM BLUM
I have written on more than one occasion about the value of preaching and repeating to the choir on a regular basis. One of my readers agreed with this, saying: “How else has Christianity survived 2,000 years except by weekly reinforcement?” Well, dear choir, b...
Justice Served in Afghanistan?
TOM McNAMARA
The New York Times recently reported that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales...
Are Afghan Women Victims of the Justice System?
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Senior United Nations officials urged the Government of Afghanistan to implement legislation in line with international commitments to protect women from all forms of violence. They issued their request after the Afghan Parliament failed to ratify the Elimination of Viole...
The Imperial Mindset
JUSTIN DOOLITTLE
Max Boot, one of the nation’s leading ...
Afghanistan: Is It Really the End Game?
CONN HALLINAN
“Gunmen in Pakistan on Monday set ablaze five trucks carrying NATO equipment out of Afghanistan as the international military alliance winds down it combat mission there, officials said.” -Agence France Presse, 3/1/13 There is no...
Thanking Bradley Manning
KATHY KELLY
A few evenings ago, as the sky began to darken here in Kabul, Afghanistan, a small group of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APVs), gathered for an informal presentation about WikiLeaks, its chief editor Julian Assange, and its most prominent contributor, Bradley Manning. Ba...
Advice From an Afghan Mother and Activist
KATHY KELLY
When she was 24 years old, in 1979, Fahima Vorgetts left Afghanistan.  By reputation, she had been outspoken, even rebellious, in her opposition to injustice and oppression; and family and friends, concerned for her safety, had urged her to go abroad. Twenty-three...
The Afghanistan War Comes Home to Philadelphia
DAVE LINDORFF
Maple Glen War Zone Although I have been a journalist now for 40 years, I have, by design, never sought an assignment as a war correspondent. The idea of dodging enemy bullets, avoiding mines, and of course “friendly” fire, has never appealed to me. An...
Tales in a Kabul Restaurant
KATHY KELLY
Kabul–Since 2009, Voices for Creative Nonviolence has maintained a grim record we call the “The Afghan Atrocities Update” which gives the dates, locations, numbers and names of Afghan civilians killed by NATO forces.  Even with details culled from news reports,...
Terrorized by “Terror”
MICHAEL BRENNER
“TERROR” is a word that terrorizes us. To pronounce it is to evoke fear and dread. Americans experience all the nightmarish sensations of 9/11.  The visible horror of the Boston marathon bombings was intensified by the event’s association with “terror” – an ...
Bush’s Legacy
WILLIAM BLUM
This is not to put George W. Bush down. That’s too easy, and I’ve done it many times. No, this is to counter the current trend to rehabilitate the man and his Iraqi horror show, which partly coincides with the opening of his presidential library in Texas. At the dedic...
The Boston-Baghdad Connection
MEL KING and Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Boston’s religious leaders provided admirable concern for the victims of the horrific Boston Marathon bombings, but abdicated their no less important prophetic role.  In fact, their pastoral care, while critical, apparently provided a safe way of avoiding the more risk...
An Interview With Tariq Ali
AJIT SAHI
New Delhi. A clamour is up to name Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate at India’s general election next year. His backers say he should be judged for bringing development to his state. His oppo...
The CIA’s Dirty Wars
MICHAEL BRENNER
The errant actions of the C.I.A. are by now so evident that they are a staple of Washington conversion. Like the weather, though, it is the topic everybody talks about, but does nothing about. The drone revelations, and the administration’s stonewalling, that c...
The High Crime of Torture
ROB URIE
Confirmation by the Constitution Project nearly a decade late that the George W. Bush administration and the U.S. military and ‘intelligence’ services committed acts of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere appears a Rorschach test for the ‘sentiments’ of the...
Cluster Bombs Come Home
NORMAN SOLOMON
After the bombings that killed and maimed so horribly at the Boston Marathon, our country’s politics and mass media are awash in heartfelt compassion — and reflexive “doublethink,” which George Orwell described as willingness “to forget any fact that has be...
Two Obamas, Two Classes of Children
RALPH NADER
An Associated Press photograph brought the horror of l...
The Aafia Siddiqui Story
JUDY BELLO
A woman finds herself alone on the street in an unfamiliar neighborhood of an unfamiliar city. The people around her don’t speak her native language, and in fact, she doesn’t understand their language.  She is accompanied by a 12 year old boy, Ali. She doesn’t rec...
Droning Into a War on Tribal Islam
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
Bina Shah has written an excellent ...
Prisoners of the War on Terror
JUDY BELLO
Hundreds of prisoners of the US War of  Terror languish in prisons around the world, in Guantanamo and on the US mainland.  Some have been there as long as 12 years   some have sentences that extend beyond the span of their life; many have never been charged with a cri...
Medals for Murder
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
On the internet there have been photographs going round of a row of puffy-faced North Korean generals with flabby chests covered in medals.  Their decorations are absurd, of course, because none of these chubbies has heard a shot fired in anger. And western propaganda m...
Droning On
MICHAEL BRENNER
Drones are still hovering over the capital – figuratively, for the time being. The images generated by Eric Holder’s disquieting testimony and Rand Paul’s filibuster are lingering. They have not ignited an uproar of protest against targeted assassinations, signature...
“Smart Power” and the Afghanistan Novel
PADMAJA CHALLAKERE
In the context of the much-talked about Afghan drawdown of 2013-14, it is relevant to consider the successful Afghanistan novel and the work it has done in waging the Afghanistan war. One could argue that the Afghanistan Novel is the ghost in this war machine. Novels like...
The Grand Bargainer
ANDREW LEVINE
In democracies, the demos rules.  According to the original meaning of the term, that means the popular masses, as distinct from social or economic elites.  More usually nowadays, the term has no class content; “demos” denotes an undifferentiated citizenry....
Why the War on Terror Endures
STEVE BREYMAN
Believe the War on Terror has been an unmitigated disaster? Find it difficult to wrap your head around the Long War’s long list of horrors? Think the Obama administration and Congress’s willingness to wage the War indefinitely is murderous myopia? Think again: the War...
Afghanistan: Manufacturing the American Legacy
WILLIAM BLUM
“A decade ago, playing music could get you maimed in Afghanistan. Today, a youth ensemble is traveling to the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. And it even includes girls.” Thus reads the sub-heading of a Washington Post stor...
The Opacity of a Shadow War
NICHOLAS SAIDEL
The Obama administration scored two victories this month, both of which expand its ability to wage its targeted killing campaign against America’s “enemies” unencumbered by checks from the Judicial Branch, Congress or the American people.  The first vic...
Vietnam and US Policy
RON JACOBS
On January 15, 1973 Richard Nixon announced a halt to offensive operations by US forces in Vietnam. Twelve days later a peace agreement was signed in Paris between the United States, northern Vietnam, the US client regime in Saigon, and the Provisional Revolutionary Gover...
Letter From an Afghan Patriot
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
I have an Afghan friend, Hashim, who lives in Europe.  We correspond frequently on the situation in Afghanistan.  He comes from an old distinguished Pashtun family; he has multiple degrees from the UK’s finest universities, knows Afghan (and world) history; and he adm...
Seeking Security in Afghanistan
MARTHA HENNESSY AND KATHY KELLY
This week, in Washington, D.C., Presidents Obama and Karzai will discuss a proposed Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. Presumably, they’ll note some of the main security problems Afghanistan faces. The people of Afghanistan ha...
In Kabul, Widows and Orphans Move Up
KATHY KELLY
Kabul Yesterday, four young Afghan Peace Volunteer members, Zainab, Umalbanin, Abdulhai, and Ali, guided Martha and me along narrow, primitive roads and crumbling stairs, ascending a mountain slope on the outskirts of Kabul. T...
Mostafa in Kafkaland
MATHEW NASHED
Last year I had the providence to meet Mostafa, a nineteen year old Afghani who suffers from a rupture in the state/citizen relationship. This breakdown, a consequence inherent in the Westphalia modal, problematizes rather than supports refugees like him. Born in I...
Peace is Possible in Afghanistan
MAIREAD MAGUIRE
Kabul. I have come to Kabul to give my support to the campaign for 2 million friends of the Afghan people.  You have chosen to run this campaign because you remember that 2 million people from Afghanistan have died in violence under war, under killing....
Euphemisms of Obama’s Wars
VIJAY PRASHAD
At Oxford University, ten days ago, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, Jeb Johnson said that the war against al-Qaeda was almost over, and that what remained were police actions. A “tipping point” has been reached, he noted. Does this mean that the War on Terror, begun in t...
USAID in Afghanistan
MARK GRAHAM
Whatever beneficence USAID has doled out over the years has come with a heavy price for Afghans and a heavy price tag for Americans.  In fact, USAID is not an aid organization by any common understanding of the term, if by aid we mean helping people who are suffering out...
The War Crimes of a Sergeant, the War Crimes of a Nation
TOM McNAMARA
“Whatever grievances a nation may have, however objectionable it finds the status quo, aggressive warfare is an illegal means for settling those grievances or for altering those conditions” Statement by US Justice Robert Jackson at the International...
The Great Game, Obama-Style
CONN HALLINAN
From the ice-bound passes of the Hindu Kush to the blazing heat of the Karakum Desert, Central Asia is a sub-continent steeped in illusion. For more than two millennia conquerors have been lured by the mirage that it is a gateway to immense wealth: China to the east, Indi...
Revisiting America’s Longest War
BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN
The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan – the longest war in U.S. history – entered its 12th year last month (October). The war was launched ostensibly to bring those responsible for the attacks of 9/11 to justice and to prevent future acts of terror on American soil. To achi...
Defeated in Afghanistan
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
“We must demonstrate to the people and to the Taliban that Afghan and International Security Assistance Forces are here to safeguard the Afghan people and that we are in this to win. That is our clear objective.” — General (‘Embedded’) Pet...
The Celebrity General
MICHAEL BRENNER
There is one celebrity with the makings of a national hero, someone who has the qualities that might carry him right into the White House.  It is David Petraeus.  He is almost universally credited with the brilliant achievement of saving American honor and gaining an...
Recriminations as Petraeus Falls
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The longest, most expensive elections in one of the most polarized democracies in the Western world are over. Now we see contrasting reactions and unforeseen fallout––in the form of elation, bitter disappointment, investigation and resignation. The downfall of the CIA...
Broadwell Defended Petraeus’ Village Destruction Policy
GARETH PORTER
Paula Broadwell, whose affair with Gen. David Petraeus brought his career to a sudden end last week, had sought to help defend his decision in 2010 to allow village destruction in Afghanistan that not only violated his own previous guidance but the international laws of w...
Abolish Poppies as a Symbol of Respect for the Dead
MIKE EVANS
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead...
Two Generals, Two Sirens, One War Gone Bad…
BARRY M. LANDO
Paris. After an interminable presidential campaign, in which many of the basic questions facing the U.S. were ignored or glossed over, there’s nothing like a smarmy sex scandal to get Americans to finally zero in on fundamental issues: like should one of...
Sinister Automatons
JEFF SPARROW
‘Before they were blind, deaf and dumb,’ exults Mark Maybury, chief scientist for the U.S. Air Force. ‘Now we’re beginning to make them to see, hear and sense.’ We know that rhetoric. ‘I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless ...