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Archives by Tag 'Afghanistan'
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 ...