Archive for the 'Afghanistan' Category

Cold water on a eulogy. Holbrooke.

Richard Holbrooke died today and the praise for the man gushes into the media. Just so we don’t get too giddy, I’d like to throw a little cold water on his eulogy.

Remember who it was who oversaw an increase in weapons delivery to the Brutal Suharto when he was committing genocide on East Timor? Yup, Holbrooke.

He explained why he thought it was ok to have part of the blood of 200,000 East Timorese on his hands during the 2000 presidential campaign:

“The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns of the United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million people, is the fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is an important oil producer – which plays a moderate role within OPEC – and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans … We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia.”

Who was it that lied about the Rambouillet accords after he issued the ultimatum to Milosevic in 1999 which called for the defacto occupation of Yugoslavia? Yup, Holbrooke.

Who was part of the team that gave the green light to Milosevic that led to the massacre at Srebrenica? Yup, Holbrooke.

Who has been a big fan of drone attacks in Pakistan with all of it’s “collateral damage” and murders? Yup, Holbrooke.

Anyway, one cannot keep a straight face and say that Holbrooke has been a peacemaker and diplomat extraordinaire.

We need to leave Afghanistan yesterday.

Stories like this show exactly why we should get out of Afghanistan yesterday. We killed 10 election workers in northern Afghanistan today. We claim we killed bad guys instead.

Mr Khorasani (a parliamentary candidate), who was injured in the strike, told the BBC that the victims were his family members and supporters involved in his campaign.

“I thought that the foreign troops came here to bring us security and democracy.

“I believed they were helping us so that we can campaign for the parliamentary election. Instead they attacked me,” he said, speaking from his home in Kabul.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11163742

What does the USA have to say about this?

US Marine Corps Maj Gen David Garza said: “We’re aware of the allegations that this strike caused civilian casualties and we’ll do our best to get to the bottom of the accusations.”

He added: “We’re confident this strike hit only the targeted vehicle after days of tracking the occupants’ activity.”

Mr. President?

President Karzai’s office strongly condemned the strike.

“Air bombardments in the villages of Afghanistan will only end up killing civilians and will not be effective in the fight against terrorism,” it said.

Pentagon’s War Pitch Belied by Taliban-Qaeda Conflict by Gareth Porter — Antiwar.com

Very nice article by Gareth Porter (always solid) on the relationship between the Taliban and Al Qaeda, which is not the same relationship our Propagandist in Chief would have us believe.  Check out the article linked here:

Pentagon’s War Pitch Belied by Taliban-Qaeda Conflict by Gareth Porter — Antiwar.com.

So why are we in Afghanistan again?

Obama says it’s wrong to kill protesters in Tehran, but thinks it’s ok to kill kids and old people at a funeral.

Why does Obama think it is right to condemn Iran for cracking down on protesters with violence, but at the same time, it’s ok to kill dozens of people at a funeral?

There was no prominent militant commander among the 60-plus people killed in missile strikes by a US drone on funeral prayers in the violence-stricken South Waziristan on Tuesday.

People who helped in shifting the injured to hospital in Miramshah in North Waziristan told The News that the dead included 40 low-level militants and 35 local villagers.

They said majority of the people had left for their homes after attending the funeral prayers of the slain militant commander, Khwaz Wali Mehsud, and only relatives and close friends of the commander stayed there when the drone fired two missiles at them.

Commander Khwaz Wali was a close associate of Baitullah Mehsud and had died in a drone attack on Tuesday morning. Besides him, five other suspected militants were killed and seven others injured in the attack.

Later, when the villagers and the militants gathered for funeral prayers of the commander, two drones appeared and fired two missiles on the gathering, killing over 60 people on the spot.

Like other Mehsud people, family members of the slain militant commander had also fled their home and settled in the distant Dera Ismail Khan to evade losses in the military operation against Baitullah Mehsud in the region.

Among the 35 villagers who died in the drone attack on funeral, 10 were children aged five to 10 years and four local tribal elders. The sources at the ill-equipped Agency Headquarters Hospital in Miramshah said 58 people had been taken to the hospital, most of them in critical condition. Appeals were made through loudspeakers, asking the people to donate blood for the injured people at the hospital.

The Miramshah bazaar was immediately closed and shopkeepers and tribesmen in large numbers thronged the hospital for donating blood. The doctors said they could not manage the crowd that had come there for donating blood for the injured people.

According to the doctors, most of the injured brought to them were aged people. Tribal journalist, Nur Behram, who visited the Lattaka village, where the funeral prayer was attacked, told The News by telephone from Miramshah that gloom overwhelmed the deserted towns and its dwellers. He said majority of the people had already left their homes and villages due to the military operation and only elders remained there.

Behram said the villagers were critical of the Pakistan government for allowing the US to target their funeral prayers, where neither militant commanders were present nor the funeral was being offered at any training centre. He claimed majority of the people killed in the last drone attack were relatives of Commander Khwaz Wali.

Meanwhile, prominent Afghan Taliban commander, Maulvi Sangeen denied reports of his death in the drone attack in South Waziristan. He called The News from an undisclosed location to prove he was alive. “We have nothing to do with internal fighting in Pakistan. Our job is to fight Jihad against the occupation forces in Afghanistan,” said the Taliban commander.

He said neither he had travelled to South Waziristan to attend the funeral nor suffered any loss. Commander Sangeen said he will soon issue avideo statement to prove that he was safe. Maulvi Sangeen is affiliated with top Afghan Taliban Commander Sirajuddin Haqqani and is in-charge of Paktika province in Afghanistan.

Also, sources close to dreaded militant commander and master trainer of suicide bombers, Qari Hussain, denied his loss in the drone attack. Pleading anonymity, the sources said Qari Hussain was far away from the place of the attack.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=22926

Clue #1 that tells us we are not all about freedom and democracy.

A subtle piece of evidence that you are not pursuing a war in a foreign country for the democratization and freedom of that country’s people:  You refuse to aquiesce to demands from that country’s leader when he asks you to stop airstrikes in his country that are killing his electorate and their kids.

The United States said on Sunday it would not halt air strikes in Afghanistan as demanded by President Hamid Karzai after civilian deaths, and it denied using burning phosphorus in the attacks.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090510/wl_nm/us_afghanistan

The murder continues.

Afghan police are saying today that over 100 people were killed in this week’s US air strike in Farah Province. 25 to 30 are suspected Taliban, while the vast majority were civilians. A Red Cross investigative team confirmed the findings, saying they had seen “dozens” of bodies in two separate locations and that civilians were still digging through the rubble of their mud-brick homes looking for others.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/05/06/us-strikes-in-afghanistan-kill-100-mostly-civilians/

Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children;

–The Lord

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/98/16

Our traditions have been such that we are not apt to look upon war between tow nations as murder… Does it justify the slaying of men, women and children that otherwise would have remained at home in peace, because a great army is doing the work? No: the guilty will be damned for it.

–Brigham Young

https://theradicalmormon.wordpress.com/2007/09/07/war-and-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ-2/

New administration, same old murder machine. US massacres 16 Afghanistani civilians.

There will be no different approach to our murders in Afghanistan and other places as Obama takes power.  Already, less than one week into Obama’s presidency we see that the US military has killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan after initially claiming to have killed 15 militants:

President Hamid Karzai on Sunday condemned a U.S. operation he says killed 16 Afghan civilians, while thousands of villagers denounced the American military during an angry demonstration, Reuters reported.

Karzai said the killing of innocent Afghans “is strengthening the terrorists.”

The operation causing the latest controversy happened this week in eastern Laghman province. The U.S. military said on Saturday that troops, backed by air support, had killed 15 militants in an overnight operation.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28838876/

In addition, our murders in Pakistan have also not changed under Obama.  We sent drone planes in to kill Al Queda or Taliban types and took out a bunch of innocents along with them:

Missiles fired from suspected US drones killed at least 15 people inside Pakistan today, the first such strikes since Barack Obama became president and a clear sign that the controversial military policy begun by George W Bush has not changed.

Security officials said the strikes, which saw up to five missiles slam into houses in separate villages, killed seven “foreigners” – a term that usually means al-Qaeda – but locals also said that three children lost their lives.

Dozens of similar strikes since August on northwest Pakistan, a hotbed of Taleban and al-Qaeda militancy, have sparked angry government criticism of the US, which is targeting the area with missiles launched from unmanned CIA aircraft controlled from operation rooms inside the US.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5575883.ece

The violinist has changed but the music is the same.  Real change in America requires a radical new approach.  Politics as usual will not hack it.


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