February 18, 2010
-This past week, there was a major announcement that the Afghan Taliban’s No.2 figure had been captured by the US – led coalition in Afghanistan. This was announced by the meanstream media as a successful result of the US surge of 15 000 troops into an area of Southern Afghanistan which is home to about 1500 Afghani freedom fighters.
-What the foriegn press and even more shocking, the foriegn US-led coalition, have never understood is that there is no “Taliban” with a hierarchy of troops and officers that mirrors what the foriegn concept of an army is. Instead, what you have in Afghanistan are various groups and pockets of opposition to foriegn domination which don’t take orders, but have been able for thousands of years to co-exist without the need for a military hierarchy.
-What the capture of anyone in a position of presumed authority within the so-called “Taliban” does, if anything, is create a vacuum which then leads to a power struggle which, in turn, leads to an intensification of the attacks on the foriegn soldiers occupying Afghanistan as everyone within the Afghani freedom movement step up their efforts to fill the hole.
-Ultimately, the Afghani people themselves will find that they will be the ones most-effected by foriegn-led efforts to justify the troop surge because the need to produce results measured by artificial standards like “body-count” numbers and “high-profile” arrests lessens the security of an average citizen as clearly seen by the US-led failures in Vietnam and Iraq.
-There still is only one solution to consensus-resolution in Afghanistan, that is peaceful negotiations and dialogue. This is precisely what the so-called “Taliban” proposed in 2003-2004 when they presented a six-point plan for discussion and negotiation to the foriegn armies, who along with their foriegn media outlets, have left that idea on the shelf for too long.
-The only alternative to peaceful negotiations with the benefit and welfare of Afghanis in heart and mind, with no militaristic or geographical objectives based on occupying a land without its people, is for the foriegn troops to get out of the country and to let the people of Afghanistan get on with their lives.
-It may be exactly this reasoning, based on the lessons of history integrated with the notion of human rights for all, that led Robert Watkins, deputy special representative of the United Nations’ secretary-general to officially announce that the UN will oppose NATO forces’ “militarization of human aid”. He also announced that UN agencies will not take part in the US-led “reconstruction efforts” –
“We are not part of that process, we do not want to be a part of it. We will not be part of that military strategy”.
February 12, 2010
-As the American political establishment continues to argue amongst itself as to who poses the greatest “terror” threat to the US – Democracts like vice Prsident joe biden say Pakistan while the Republicans are still ranting about Iran, former gun-slinging Texas congressman Charlie Wilson died this past week at age 76.
-Charlie Wilson was the man responsible for engaing US Congress to arm the Aghanistan “freedom fighters” in their efforts to repel the invading foriegners, who at that time in the early 80s were the soviets. The legacy of that decision was one that gave birth to a great sense of civic and national pride in all afghans as they were ultimately succseeful, once again, in repeling an invading foriegn force.
-What we are seeing today in Afghanistan is that the Afghans who were armed and trained to fight in defense of their land, life and culture during the 80s are being replaced by foriegn contractors who are hired by NATO and other foriegn entities to do the work that should be done by the indigenous people.
-There are currently more foriegn, independent contractors, who are legally accountable to no one, then there are foriegn soldiers, who at the very least are accountable to the Geneva conventions and universal law. Even after Obama’s recent troop surge, there are over 100 000 foriegn contractors in Afghanistan as compared to about 70 000 foriegn soldiers.
-The foriegn contractors are comprised mainly of ex-criminals, bounty hunters and other ne’er do-wellers who have become mercenaries with neither the discipline nor the morality to be integrated into an official army, which means they are even more in need of accountability then regular soldiers, with the afghan civilian death toll evidence of the price paid.
-Iraq has already suffered close to a million civilian deaths, if not more, based on the “destruction with impunity” carried out by a foriegn invasion force that felt no limits to their actions. As a result, this week, Iraq ordered out of the country all mercenaries from the Blackwater company. This is too little too late as Blackwater has since changed its name and the damage has been done, but Iraq is sending a message to all foriegn contractors, the governments and entities like NATO who employ them, that it is the mercenaries who are one of the root problems.
-Unfortunately for Afghanistan, because either NATO does not understand or care about the basic problems that mercenaries continue to cause, the vast majority, if not all of the private contractors that are expelled from Iraq are going to head straight for Afghanistan without missing a beat, or most importantly for the mercenaries themselves, a paycheck.
February 5, 2010
-Hamed Karzi, the mayor of Kabul, has left for Saudi Arabia to try to get the Saudis to assist in diplomatic efforts at “reaching out to the armed militants” in Afghanistan. Judging by the fact that the Saudis have worsened the situation with civilians and armed militants in Yemen, this strategy should be re-examined. The sad truth is that by comparisson to what the NATO forces have done to Afghanistan over the past 8 years in terms of civilian casualties of Afghans, the Saudis actually might be the better option. That is how low the bar has been set.
-NATO, meanwhile, was at it again, this time in Istanbul, Turkey, where defense ministers met, again on the taxpayers’ dime, to discuss a variety of topics including the “mission” in Afghanistan. After already squeezing what they could in terms of contributions, both financial and physical, from involved countries who are looking for a way out of Afghanistan, NATO once again demonstrated its insatiable demands in the form of its secratery-general asking these countries for more. This is precisly what the majority of contributing countries were worried about originally, that there is no limit to the amount of demands that NATO will put on the rest of the world because the situation in Afghanistan is “unwinnable”.
-Not on the agenda at the Istanbul conference is one of the basic problems that many of the potential police and military are being “poached” by private security companies.
-NATO’s secretary-general this week asked for more police, more military, more trainers but thankfully, the European Union is only going to send those police who volunteer to go to Afghanistan and that number has been tapped out and squeezed dry. Thursday night was spent discussing the “streamlining of NATO structures” and this morning is when the discussion will turn to Afghanistan.
January 29, 2010
-Yesterday in London, France, England and Germany held a conference, in conjunction with the United Nations, to discuss the issues and try to establish methods of advancement that will be acceptable to the Afghani people and NOT just delegated by the United States and accepted by American policy followers like Canada.
-The UN, understandably, re-affirmed itself and the role it plays in “upholding a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan”. Individual countries and their representatives, including the Karzai Afghani government were on hand to make media-friendly statements such as this one:
“Together we are committed to make intensive efforts to ensure that the Afghan Government is increasingly able to meet the needs of its people through developing its own institutions and resources.”
-The conference participants also commended a promise made by the Karzai government to reward Afghanis who renounce violence with “an honorable place in society”. A bit of a different carrot then the cold cash paid to Taliban members by NATO-countries in order to prevent Taliban members from attacking their soldiers in Afghanistan, but the ambiguity of the statement “an honourable place in society” has the potential to create just as many problems as the NATO bribery program did.
-One interesting point that was included in the Conference communique was the following: “Conference Participants noted that most civilian casualties are caused by insurgent attacks.” However there was no definition of “insurgents” offered, sort of an open-ended term like “national security”. A proper definition of “insurgents” would have to include all foriegn entities in an occupied land, and this is not what I think the conference participants were referring to.
-The WebsterDictionary defines “insurgent” as a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; – The statement issued by the London Conference participants did not acknowledged the percentage of Afghani people who maintain that Karzai’s government is NOT “a civil authority”, let alone “established”. In fact, there is a significant percentage of Afghani people who actually see the Taliban as the legitimate civil authority.
-Perhaps the most important declaration made at Yesterday’s London Conference was the acknowledgment that Non-NATO members will have a say in establishing a plan for “phased transition” from the current foriegn occupying forces to Afghan Security forces themselves. This plan must be prepared before the Kabul Conference, which will take place later this year, and will be implemented on a province-by-province basis.
-This “National Security Policy”, as it has been labeled, is intended to be created by the external forces in Afghanistan, supposedly in conjunction with the Karzai government – It remains to be seen whether or not the Afghani people will have a say in the formation of their “National Security Policy”, or Karzai’s role will simply be to rubber-stamp an agenda made by and for the foriegn occupiers themselves.
-One problem is that the say of the Afghani people in the formation of this plan is still to be represented by the Karzai government – And the assumption made by foriegn entities that the Karzai government speaks for all the Afghani people is one of the root problems in the continued occupation of the country by foreigners.
-Now, while one of the points made in the summary of the London Conference was a recognition of the importance of “Non-intervention in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and mutual non-interference” – Conference Participants “recalled that the international community was engaged in Afghanistan in support of the Government of Afghanistan.” It is the people of Afghanistan, not its government, that are suffering and dying.
-So a mixed bag of old rhetoric and new manipulations have not laid a plan, but the foundations for a plan to be laid. Whether it will have a more helpful effect on the people of Afghanistan remains to be seen, but in my opinion is doubtful, which is why the participants at this conference made it clear that they were working “in support of the government of Afghanistan” and was careful not to include the welfare of the Afghani people as one of the benchmarks of success.
January 22, 2010
-An article in the most recent edition of the New Yorker magazine concludes that the decisions of the Afghani people will be more decisive then the decisions of westerners in the outcome of the current foriegn occupation of Afghanistan.
-Nonetheless, all systems scream GO for the London Conference to be held with the participation of the western states that are not happy with the lead the US has taken in coordinating efforts in Afghanistan with their own best interests in mind and NOT those of the Afghani people.
-On January 28th in London, France, England and Germany will convene a conference, in conjunction with the United Nations, to discuss the issues and try to establish methods of advancement that will be acceptable to the Afghani people and NOT just delegated by the United States and accepted by American policy followers like Canada.
-US President Obama’s technique for keeping his campaign promise of shutting down Guantanamo Prision will simply be to transfer all the detainees at Guantanomo to Bagram military base in Afghanistan, and other US-operated “Black Hole Sites” throughout the world, such as the hijacked island of Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean.
-The US finally released a list this week, naming 645 detainees held at Bagram military base in Afghanistan, the vast majority still without charge, and it is unclear whether or not the other foriegn entities within Afghanistan are willing to accept the US proposal to send another 400 detainees from Guantanomo into Afghanistan.
-Poverty and violence are usually portrayed as the biggest challenges confronting Afghanistan. But ask the Afghanis themselves, and you get a different answer: corruption is their biggest worry, as revealed in a United Nations report released this week.
-According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), corruption tops the list of concerns for Afghanis. An overwhelming 59% of the population suffer the daily experience of public dishonesty, making it a greater concern than insecurity (54%) and unemployment (52%).
The Real News Network (14/01/10) – Corruption in Afghanistan 75% Western caused and enabled
January 15, 2010
-Gordon Brown, British prime minister, has refused to testify at a public hearing into the Iraq War, and this while he continues to fight popular public opinion about his desire to continue an armed presence in Afghanistan. This is not a good prelude to London’s hosting of a conference to take place on Afghanistan at the end of January.
-Afghan President Hamid Karzai, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, NATO allies, Afghanistan’s neighbours, regional powers and key international bodies will get together at a conference in London on Jan 28 to set a political and security timetable for Afghanistan in 2010 and beyond.
Germany, England and France are the organizers of this conference and the intent is to define a strategy of collaboration in Afghanistan that is more acceptable to Afghanis then the American strategy, seen basically as “shoot first, questions later, if at all.”
The task includes setting out a roadmap for Afghani forces to gradually take over and refining an exit strategy for NATO forces sooner, rather then later.
-Only 27 percent of Germans still support the troop deployment in Afghanistan according to a poll by the German broadcaster ARD. One reason for the loss of confidence is the scandal surrounding the Kunduz airstrike on 4 September 2009, when a German request for a US air strike resulted in the deaths of at least 20 civilians.
-Washington: The cost of fighting the war in Afghanistan will overtake that of the Iraq conflict for the first time in 2010, Pentagon budget documents showed Thursday.
On top of the basic defense budget of 533.7 billion dollars, the White House is requesting a further 130 billion dollars for overseas missions, including 65 billion for Afghanistan and 61 billion for Iraq.
– Major General Michael Flynn, the top US military intelligence officer in Afghanistan issued a scathing assessment of the state of the US and their followers’ intelligence effort in Afghanistan. Major General Flynn said that US intelligence in Afghanistan had focused too much on gathering information on insurgent groups and was “unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which US and allied forces operate and the people they seek to persuade.”
-former CIA officer Jack Rice provided the same opinion last week when he said that NATO troops and security services don’t know what the country’s people really need. “Afghani people themselves are interested in such things as schools, clean water and hospitals.” “(Not paying attention to what the people want) makes the US military and NATO troops essentially blind and that is a disaster.”
-The annual death toll of international troops in Afghanistan has surpassed 500 for the first time.
The total last year was 502, compared with 286 in 2008. A U.N. report says the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan last year was higher than in any year since the U.S.-led coalition began. The report says more than 2,400 civilians fell victim to the war-related incidents in 2009.
-Amid a busy news week, the indictment Wednesday of a pair of former Blackwater contractors for the alleged murder of two Afghan civilians hasn’t gotten much attention. But the case has the potential to become a big problem for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and for Blackwater’s future business prospects in that country.
They are charged with second-degree murder and other counts under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which allows cases to be tried against people employed by the military abroad, according to the Wall Street Journal.
According to interviews with the AP, the men say that the shooting occurred when two U.S. vehicles, each holding a pair of contractors, were driving in Kabul. An Afghan car slammed into the first vehicle, flipping it over.
Residents, however, say that the U.S. contractors opened fire without provocation after one of their vehicles tipped over in a traffic accident. The two men killed were Rahib Mirza Mohammad and Romal Mohammad Naiem, a passenger in a Toyota sedan on his way home from work. …
Mohammed Shafi, a neighborhood elder who ran to the shooting scene that night, said the Toyota driver told him that the Americans ordered him to stop, then told him to move on. When the driver began pulling away, the Americans started shooting.
The Los Angeles Times in August quoted an Afghan police investigator saying that one of the slain men was walking home from prayers when he was shot in the head, 200 yards away from the traffic incident. The investigator also said the Toyota sedan that was involved in the incident did not have any weapons in it.
Attorney Daniel Callahan, an attorny for the charged contractors, said that Blackwater was attempting to turn them into “scapegoats.” He told the Wall Street Journal: “We believe Blackwater is trying to paint these men as out on a lark and drinking so that the company can maintain its ability to work in Afghanistan after losing its work in Iraq.”
January 8, 2010
-The suicide bomber who killed eight people at a US base in eastern Afghanistan last week was brought to the outpost by the CIA itself. This according to a report from The UN Dispatch. The attack was the biggest acknowledged loss of life for the CIA since the 1983 bombing of the agency’s Beirut station, which killed 17 officers.
-The CIA has vowed to avenge the attack, which killed four CIA officers and three contract security guards. Clearly, as the CIA demonstrates their desire and need for “revenge” this shows the entire agency to be just another extremist group themselves, and validates the protests of Afghani civilians who have been calling out American “intelligence” agents as extremists since 2001 and the American invasion.
-The inability of the CIA to control their own feelings and need for revenge simply perpetuates the cycle that the Americans say that they are in Afghanistan trying to stop. This undermines not just the American effort in Afghanistan, but the international effort as well. Canada should take note.
-Shortly after the attack, Barack Obama sent a letter of condolence to CIA employees. The letter, which was released to the White House press corps, was criticised for its open acknowledgement of the secretive CIA’s role in the Afghanistan war.
-Countries with troops fighting in Afghanistan hope to turn the page on months of drift and confusion with a London conference on Jan 28, called to outline a path of reform that would allow the Western military contingent to begin withdrawing, as per the demands of the citizens of these countries. Germany, France and England are the organizers of this conference and are determined to establish a different method for dealing with Afghanistan then that which the US has ordered on its collaborators. No word if Canada will be represented or has even been invited to the conference. Canada should take note as to what its allies as well as its enemies are now seeing it as.
-The German Defense Minister Karl Guttenberg announced that “Germany has not changed its stance: a stable future for Afghanistan is something that cannot be achieved by military means alone.” He emphasized that pressure from other NATO members – in particular the US, which announced in November that it would deploy an additional 30,000 soldiers – would not influence any German troop surge. “Again and again, we are hearing calls to send an additional 2,500 soldiers, but that number is unrealistic. I am not somebody who is susceptible to peer-pressure, and I don’t need help from the United States to make my decision,” Guttenberg said.
-British Army Commander, Major-General Andrew Mackay, who led British troops in southern Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008 and who resigned his post in September, said earlier this week that the armed forces engaged in the fight for Afghanistan had failed to understand the culture and motivations of the Afghan people and had failed to adapt to modern conflict. He added that the military “consistently failed” to understand the motivations of local Afghans which was undermining Western efforts while strengthening the resistance.
-Giles Merritt, the director of the Security & Defence Agenda think-tank in Brussels, agrees that Western forces are suffering from a lack of clear direction. “We don’t have a clear plan, we don’t know how to assess if we’re winning or losing except in terms of body count, and we don’t have a big picture.”
-On the ground meanwhile, there is still no explanation from Western Military alliances as to how the Taliban, given Western claims that every road in Afghanistan is under constant video surveillance, are still able to make and plant the road-side bombs that are killing Western soldiers in record-high numbers. Analysts suggest that the more foreigners are sent into Afghanistan, the more there will be killed.
-There are over 100 thousand private security contractors in Afghanistan, in addition to the 100 thousand Western soldiers. Yama Saifi, former owner of Shield Security Company, contracted to provide security for the Afghani Cabinent outlines the problem with those numbers. “I really don’t believe most foreign security companies are actually here to provide security. It is very clear they come here to make money. I am sure Afghan security companies can provide better security than them.”
–No stranger to Afghanistan, former CIA officer Jack Rice believes NATO troops and security services don’t know what the country’s people really need. “Afghani people themselves are interested in such things as schools, clean water and hospitals.” “(Not paying attention to what the people want) makes the US military and NATO troops essentially blind and that is a disaster.”
-Daoud Sultanzoy, chairman of the Economic Committee of Afghani parliament agrees. “The longevity of instability is good business for security companies. So, security companies working for profit, this brings a lot of questions,”. American security companies continue to keep silent, so the questions remain unanswered.
-Hopefully, for the Afghani citizens being killed in their homeland and the western citizens footing the bill for their murder, some of these questions and basic problems will be answered in London beginning on January 28th.
January 1, 2010
-Protests by Afghani civilians in Kabul continued to call for the withdrawl of foriegn soldiers from Afghanistan.
-The presence of NATO soldiers in Afghanistan is no longer being accepted as status quo by the afghani people (and it never has been). Most interestingly, the Afghani government is also calling for the removal of all foriegn soldiers who are unable to control themselves from killing Afghani civilians. This is a most interesting development because this Afghani government has been set up as a puppet regime by NATO.
-NATO soldiers were responsible for 10 more murders of Afghani civilians in Kunar Province this week. A statement issued by the office of President Hamid Karzai said the foreign troops had dragged the 10 civilians from their homes and shot them dead in the open street. Eight of the victims were schoolchildren. The Governor of Kunar Province said the operation was launched without the knowledge of Afghan government officials.
-The head of a presidential delegation investigating these deaths concluded that they were civilians between the ages of 12 and 14 who were killed and attacked by foreign troops, discrediting the original NATO reports that the dead were insurgents. NATO spokesmen have since changed their story.
-Afghanistan’s government demanded that the foreign troops responsible for the murders be turned over to the custody of the Afghani government.
-The latest round of protests included the burning of an effigy of Barack Obama and repeated calls for the removal of NATO soldiers from the country.
-”The government must prevent such unilateral operations otherwise we will take guns instead of pens and fight against them (the foreign forces),” students from the University of Nangahar’s education faculty said in a statement.
-A 28-year veteran of Afghanistan’s conflict with the Soviets said:
“America says it wants to withdraw its forces, but this is not true. When we fought with the Russians there were few Russian soldiers on each patrol. Now, if 20 Afghan National Army soldiers are fighting, there are about 200 American soldiers fighting with them. Americans want to TRAIN their soldiers here. At least the communists were working honestly.”
-”Our demonstration is against those foreigners who have come to our country,” Safiullah Aminzai, a student organiser, said in a statement. “They have not brought democracy to Afghanistan but they are killing our religious scholars and children. Our main request is that the American and NATO forces must leave the country and Afghan people must have political autonomy.”
-These protests will continue as long as the civilian deaths at the hands of foriegn troops continue. There were protests earlier this month where thousands of university students in eastern Nangarhar province blocked Highways to denounce the US forces’ operation where 15 civilians were recently killed. US military convoys were forced to turn back.
-More then 70% of British citizens are against their country’s troop presence in Afghanistan. 107 Britons have been killed this year in Afghanistan.
-Four more Canadian soldiers and a journalist died when their armored vehicle was hit this week by a roadside bomb. The attack happened just south of Kandahar, where the Canadian contingent has its headquarters. This brings the total up to 138 dead Canadians in a country that 40% of Canadians can’t find on a map.
-84% of Canadians want Canadian soldiers out of Afghanistan on or before Harper’s Dec 31, 2011 deadline
-There are currently 68,000 foriegn soldiers and 106,000 private foriegn contracters on Afghani soil. Canadian taxpayers are paying 7 million dollars a day to maintain an offensive presence in Afghanistan.
-December 27th was the 30th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s attack upon Afghanistan and in the 30 years since then the Soviet Union has collapsed, mainly due to the lack of resources available and distributed to its people at home. Today, Russia and the rest of the international community clearly know what is in store for NATO countries if they remain in Afghanistan.
December 18, 2010
-Barack Obama is to set an ambitious timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, with the first troops pulling out by July 2011. Therefore the analysis from this program and from independant observers throughout the world is correct. The co-ordination of troop withdrawl from Afghanistan is to be timed to coincide with Obama’s re-election campaign for 2012.
-Even CNN reported on Tuesday that this wait of two years before beginning withdrawl will be too long to maintain the US public’s support for the expenditure of US public resources in Afghanistan.
-Fears that the country is being sucked into a Vietnam-style morass are being justified by the actions of a US president who is willing to sacrifice the lives of US soldiers and Afghani Civilians for another two years. Not even to mention the lives of the soldiers of NATO “allies” like Canada who will be killing and being killed for another two years so that Obama can position himself to retain his hold on power at home. By timing the withdrawl of soldiers to coincide with his re-election campaign in 2012 the President of the US is showing the world, and hopefully his own citizens are seeing it as well, how he views the lives of his own soldiers and citizens as exploitable and expendable in order for his regime to retain its hold on power. Isn’t this precisilely the reason that the US claims to be in Afghanistan? to prevent Afghani leaders from exploiting their citizens’ lives to retain their power?
-Even after a NATO conference held in Brussels at the beginning of the month, NATO “allies” are still unwilling to unquestioningly support the US “War on Terror” by maintaining a military precesnce in Afghanistan. France, Germany and UK will hold their own conference at the end of January 2010 and are prepared to outline their own startegy, independant of the pressures and conveluted goals of the United States.
-As the US sees NATO support falling away as quickly as the countries in NATO are seeing their soldiers falling away, the US is trying to solicite the support of other, more non-traditional sources. In what can be seen as a sign of desperation, the US is appealing to the Russians and even the Chinese to support military interference in Afghanistan. The Russians have the experience with Afghanistan to know better, and the Chinese are where they are today, the country with the highest economic status in the world, precisely because the Chinese have not wasted their resources chasing pipedreams and bogeymen in foriegn enclaves. Canada should take note.
-One of the ironies of the situation is that throughout the entire Russian occupation of Afghanistan, the US and their “allies” decried the action as being a barbaric violation of human rights. Now the US is begging Russia to help them enforce the same barbaric violation of human rights, in the same place. Not only is Russia past that stage, the US’ NATO “allies” as well are begining to understand why they must stop focusing on foriegn countries and start focusing on domestic policies to strengthen their own quality of life, which is the true path to National Security.
-Matthew Hoh, a former Marine officer and State Department official who resigned in protest of the US administration’s Afghanistan policy in September, said that “Afghanis will fight harder as long as they are occupied by foriegn powers.” This means that by sending more soldiers to Afghanistan, Obama is strengthening the resistance. Mathhew Hoh said that “the only possibility of a resolution would be a sooner withdrawl, coupled with political negotiations to end the conflict”.
-The Afghani Parliment reinforced and validated Mathhew Hoh’s perception of the situation by on Tuesday announcing that they will not give a vote of confidence to any minister with dual citizenship. This clearly shows that the experience of the Afghani people over the last 30 years has been one that has taught them that Foriegners are untrustworthy and Afgahni parliment has backed up that perception.
-The UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan official website concides that even 8 years after the United States invasion, the quality of life of Afghanis has not improved. This is especially true for Afghani women, whose status has been used by the United states as a great justification for their invasion and occupation of a foriegn country. And as the UN reports, the US has done nothing for the women of Afghanistan over 8 years of occupation nor has Canada.
-As far as Canada is concerned, for all the horn-blowing of the Conservative government and all the unquestioned acceptance of this hot-air by the Canadian people, what is being discussed in Candian Parliment currently is not how the Taliban treat their prisoners, what is being discussed in Canadian Parliment is how Canadian security forces have mistreated Afghani prisoners and how canadian security forces have been involved in and had knowledge of the torture of Afghani detainees while Canada has done nothing about these crimes against humanity committed by canadians abroad.
December 11, 2010
-For Obama’s 30,000 troop surge in Afghanistan to take effect, it must first pass through the US House and Senate and then the funding must be approved by the US House and Senate
-57% of US Republicans do NOT want an increase in troops – Over 2/3rds of the US population do NOT want an increase in troops sent to Afghanistan. How backwards has the United States become when the majority of progressive humanists in the US will depend on the Republicans to protect them from the wastes of Obama’s Democrats? Hopefully it will turn out better for the American people then depending on the Democrats to protect the US population from the wastes of Bushes Republicans.A Nanos poll in Canada revealed that 84% of Canadians want Canadian soldiers out of Afghanistan on or before the December 31, 2011 deadline set by Canada’s current government.
-There are already 68,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan that we know of – what you might not know is that there are an additional 104,000 military contractors in Afghanistan who are not counted in the figures that the US Department of Defense releases to the public. Most of these contractors came straight from the United States illegal war in Iraq.
-The timetables and strategy used in Afghanistan, including Obama’s request for a troop surge, mirror exactly the strategy used by the United States in Iraq. Change you can believe in.
-Private contractors employed by the Defense Department in Afghanistan will continue to outnumber the size of the American troop presence, even if President Obama’s wish for 30,000 more soldiers is granted.
-South Korea, a country that still institutes a military draft over its citizens, said it is to send 350 more soldiers to Afghanistan to protect its own aid workers there.
-NATO countries, however, met last week in Brussels to discuss collective strategy and came away not even sure if they still are a collective, with so many different approaches concerning NATO presence in Afghanistan. Not the least of these approaches is the collective desire of the citizens of these same NATO countries who are resolved in their opposition to any troop surge.
-In addition to the NATO meeting in Brussels, France, Germany and the UK have requested a UN meeting concerning the situation in Afghanistan to be held on January 28th in London.
-Only 27% of Germans support German troop presence in Afghanistan and after the resignation of both the defense minister and the head of ground operations last week due to repeated Afghani civilian deaths, German parliment decided that they will NOT deploy more troops but may consider extending their withdraw deadline after the conference on Afghanistan is held at the end of January 2010.
-France announced that it will maintain a presence in Afghanistan that “gives priority to the training of Afghani security forces”. Although it will not send more troops to Afghanistan, it will not issue a withdrawl date for its soldiers until after the January 28th conference.
-Gordon Brown, prime minister of England, a country which has lost 100 soldiers to death in Afghanistan this year, announced that he will send 500 more British soldiers to Afghanistan but didn’t say when. Brown contends that he based his decision on the comments of NATO secretary Anders Rasmussen who said that eight other NATO countries had already decided to send more troops. So far, this has NOT happened.
December 4, 2010
-president Obama announced a troop surge of 30, 000 troops to Afghanistan over the next 2 years
-Now Obama must sell his plan to the US House and senate – no mention of the US people in Obama’s plans.
-57% of US Republicans do NOT want an increase in troops – Over 2/3rds of the US population do NOT want an increase in troops sent to Afghanistan. A Nanos poll in Canada revealed that 84% of Canadians want Canadian soldiers out of Afghanistan on or before the December 31, 2011 deadline set by Canada’s current government.
-Under Obama’s plan, troop withdrawl from Afghanistan will be co-ordinated and timed to coincide with his own re-election campaign in 2012. In simpler words, Obama is sacrificing the lives of American soldiers, Afghani civilians and NATO Allies in order to win himself a second term.
-Analysts say a second term becomes less and less likley for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner with every surge he makes to prolong war.(Kathy Kelly, Chicago-based VCNV, quotes 35 groups opposed to troop surge)
-The United States, in its search for political allies and support in Afghanistan, asked Russia to join and support the NATO effort. In the greatest poetic line this week Russia’s response was “How can we support NATO goals when not one member of NATO has any idea what their goals are? How can they explain their goals in Afghanistan to us when they themselves don’t have a clue what they are?”
-Russia then said that it was time to question the entire concept of NATO and defined it as an organization that has become obsolete in post cold-war reality. This poetically hinted that NATO countries were so caught up in living in the past that they are missing out on the future and hindering the present.
-German opposition to the Afghanistan war continues over the amount of Afghani Civilian deaths and H of S Angela Merkle continues to be on the hotseat. After the resignation of the German commander of ground troops in Afghanistan last week, the German defense minister resigned this week because of German air strikes resulting in Afghani civilian deaths.
-Germany did conclude a long-term trade arrangement with Pakistan that, organized by the US, was a reward for Pakistan’s “support” in Afghanistan
November 27, 2010
-president Obama will announce his platform for Afghanistan on Tuesday
-57% of US Republicans do NOT want an increase in troops
-German Army chief of staff in Afghanistan, Wolfgang Schniederhan, resigns over amount of Afghani Civilian deaths
-as German opposition to the war builds, many Germans are re-discovering or reading for the first time the critiques of Richard David Precht. It was he who called any attempts by the German government to try to sell the war in Afghanistan to Germans through PR and not calling it a “war” – “Cowardice before its own people.”
Richard David Precht’s article appeared in the the German magazine Der Spiegel in July, 2009.
-Matthew Hoh, the US State Department Representative in Afghanistan who resigned his post in October after reaching the conclusion that the US presence was a waste of resources and soldiers’ lives said “The US is doing exactly what the Soviets did when they invaded Afghanistan”
-Pakistani civilians demonstrated again this week against their own government’s support of the US war in Afghanistan
-The US has begun applying diplomatic pressure against India to remove its presence from Afghanistan, which the US feels is undermining the NATO presence – Indian involvement includes directly dealing with Afghani civilians and not using the proxies of warlords.
November 5, 2010
-UN removes half its staff from Afghanistan – 600 out of 1200 workers will be evacuated after the killing of 5 UN workers on October 28th – “The perception that we will stay in this country no matter what, is incorrect…” Kai Eide, head of the UN mission. The UN claims that Western forces are responsible for at least 340 civilian deaths since the start of this year.
-US Political Officer and former Marine Mathhew Hoh resigns post (US gov’t rep in Zabul Province) in Afghanistan – “I fail to see the value or the worth in continued US casualties or expenditures of resources…” – he has been asked to stay on by US foreign service
-Afghani Gov’t publicly accuses Canadian army of taking bribes and extorting protection money from Afghani farmers growing poppy seeds for heroin – FACT -> Poppy production has increased 600% in Afghanistan since the Canadian army arrived