Gen Hamid Gul- Interview with Aljazeera

February 22, 2010 at 12:17 am (Pakistan, Politics) (, , , )


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The mental scars of soldiers

February 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , , )

By James Denselow

Source: Guardian


Last week in the United States an army sergeant was accused of waterboarding his own four-year-old daughter after she refused to recite her ABCs. This story emerged as the Guardian reported that during a time of critical stress for military hospitals, there was little concrete information about soldiers’ mental health.

This difficulty of collecting statistics about post-traumatic stress disorder – the likely cause of such dysfunctional behaviour as waterboarding your own daughter – is a critical deficit in addressing the human impacts of the long wars that the UK is currently engaged in.

While stories of soldiers surviving horrific physical injuries and recovering from the loss of limbs attract most attention, we must not forgot the far more subtle but equally devastating impacts that war wreaks on soldiers’ minds. Perhaps controversially, I believe that those who have engaged in acts close to or constituting torture must be at the front of the line when it comes to treatment when they return to civilian life.

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How Americans provoked civil war in Iraq- A lesson for Pakistan

January 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm (Governance, Politics) (, , )

By Robert Frisk

iraq civil war picture

In Syria, the world appears through a glass, darkly. As dark as the smoked windows of the car which takes me to a building on the western side of Damascus where a man I have known for 15 years – we shall call him a “security source”, which is the name given by American correspondents to their own powerful intelligence officers – waits with his own ferocious narrative of disaster in Iraq and dangers in the Middle East.

 His is a fearful portrait of an America trapped in the bloody sands of Iraq, desperately trying to provoke a civil war around Baghdad in order to reduce its own military casualties. It is a scenario in which Saddam Hussein remains Washington’s best friend, in which Syria has struck at the Iraqi insurgents with a ruthlessness that the United States wilfully ignores. And in which Syria’s Interior Minister, found shot dead in his office last year, committed suicide because of his own mental instability.

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Taliban strike back

January 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , , )


Taliban Attack 

KABUL — Taliban militants wearing explosive vests launched a brazen daylight assault Monday on the center of Kabul, with suicide bombings and gunbattles near the presidential palace and other government buildings that paralyzed the city for hours.

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CIA drone strike missed Mehsud, say Pakistani Taliban

January 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm (Pakistan, Politics) (, , , )

By Declan Walsh

Source: Guardian

Leader left Waziristan compound before attack, say insurgents, while intelligence source concedes it is highly unlikely he died

Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud 

The Pakistani Taliban have denied reports that their leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in a American drone strike in Waziristan this morning.

Twelve militants were reportedly killed in the attack on a remote compound on the border between North and South Waziristan, prompting rumours that Mehsud was among them.

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Something from Nothing- U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan

January 14, 2010 at 11:55 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , )

By Nir Rosen

The second in a two-part series on counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first is An Ugly Peace.

On July 4, 2009 Team Prowler, American soldiers from the Illinois National Guard, set off to patrol Highway 601, a key road in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. All trade entering the province passed through 601. It was the land supply route for British, American, and Afghan forces, and the “skuff” hall in the British-run base was getting low on food. The Taliban controlled villages along the road. “Nothing out there but the Taliban,” one soldier said. Civilian vehicles avoided 601 because of the roadside bombs, called IEDs.

Team Prowler followed 4,000 U.S. Marines who, a month earlier, launched a “mini-Surge” aimed at taking over Taliban-controlled villages in Helmand, the country’s largest poppy-producing province. Helmand had also seen the most attacks on American, British, and Afghan government troops. The plan called for an “Afghan face,” joining marines with the Afghan Army and Afghan National Police (ANP). The Afghans knew the language and the people, and they could provide intelligence. The marines also hoped that Afghan participation would convince locals that the Americans were fighting on their behalf, that this was not just another foreign occupation.

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An Ugly Peace- What changed in Iraq

January 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , , )

By Nir Rosen

The first of a two-part series on counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan. The second is Something from Nothing.

In December 2008 I flew Royal Jordanian from Amman to Iraq’s southern city of Basra. Because of the Muslim holiday of Eid, embassies were closed; a contact in the British military promised to obtain visas for me and a colleague upon arrival. The Iraqi customs officials were offended that we did not follow procedure, but a letter from the British commander got us in. It might not have been necessary: when the five Iraqi policemen who examined luggage at the exit saw my colleague’s copy of Patrick Cockburn’s excellent book on the Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr, they turned giddy. One of them kissed the picture of Muqtada’s face on the cover and asked if he could keep the book. It was not their sentiment that surprised me, but rather their comfort expressing it publicly.

Since the occupation began, Muqtada has been the most controversial public figure in Iraq. A populist anti-American leader, he came from a lineage of revolutionary Shia clerics who opposed the Saddam’s regime and who gave voice to Iraq’s poor Shia majority. Capitalizing on his slain father’s network of mosques and the family name, Muqtada and his followers, called Sadrists, seized control of Shia areas in Iraq when Baghdad fell, especially the slums of Basra and the capital. He rallied marginalized Shias against the occupation, its puppet government, and eventually against Sunni extremists as well. His movement provided social services, and his militia, Jeish al Mahdi—the Mahdi Army or JAM—fought the Americans and defended Shias from extremist Sunni terrorism.

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Selective Compassion

January 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , )

By Brian Cloughley

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for such is the kingdom of God.”

The Bible, Book of Mark, Chapter X, Verse 14

“President Obama abruptly interrupted his golf outing and sped in his motorcade to his vacation compound yesterday after he learned that a child of a friend was injured while playing on the beach.”

The Boston Globe, December 29, 2009

Quite right, too. The incident showed the President of the United States to be a caring person: a civilized man with conventional compassion. He acted as we would expect and wish any of us to behave in such circumstances. “Suffer the little children to come unto me,” indeed, and we should admire his kindness and concern.

Pity he doesn’t give a damn about dead and crippled kids in Afghanistan and Gaza.

* * *

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The Yemen Hidden Agenda: Behind the Al-Qaeda Scenarios, A Strategic Oil Transit Chokepoint

January 14, 2010 at 10:17 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , )

By F. William Engdahl
Source: Global Research

On December 25 US authorities arrested a Nigerian named Abdulmutallab aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on charges of having tried to blow up the plane with smuggled explosives. Since then reports have been broadcast from CNN, the New York Times and other sources that he was “suspected” of having been trained in Yemen for his terror mission. What the world has been subjected to since is the emergence of a new target for the US ‘War on Terror,’ namely a desolate state on the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen. A closer look at the background suggests the Pentagon and US intelligence have a hidden agenda in Yemen.

For some months the world has seen a steady escalation of US military involvement in Yemen, a dismally poor land adjacent to Saudi Arabia on its north, the Red Sea on its west, the Gulf of Aden on its south, opening to the Arabian Sea, overlooking another desolate land that has been in the headlines of late, Somalia. The evidence suggests that the Pentagon and US intelligence are moving to militarize a strategic chokepoint for the world’s oil flows, Bab el-Mandab, and using the Somalia piracy incident, together with claims of a new Al Qaeda threat arising from Yemen, to militarize one of the world’s most important oil transport routes. In addition, undeveloped petroleum reserves in the territory between Yemen and Saudi Arabia are reportedly among the world’s largest.

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New Saudi air raids claim more civilians in Yemen

January 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , )

Source: Press TV

Saudi combat jets hit rebel targets in Yemen

Yemen’s Houthi fighters say Saudi war planes have once again pounded civilian areas in the country’s north, killing three members of a family.

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American motives and CIA dishonesty are the primary source of problems in this war

January 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , , , , , )

Image of the beast

By Peter Chamberlin


Up until now, the United States has been able to exert control over most of the earth just by controlling the narrative that reflects popular opinion about the war on terror. Whatever government spokesmen or reporters have said happened on a particular day, was what really happened; it was validated by popular consent.

The ability to shape people’s thoughts and opinions is a power that every tyrant has dreamed about. Global trust in the good intentions of the people of the United States moves individuals and entire nations to give American leaders the benefit of the doubt, even when common sense cautions against it.

Until fairly recently, popular opinion did not often call into question the American or allied version of events. Widespread civilian “collateral damage” from air strikes and disagreements between the Pakistani and American military have opened the door to questions about the very nature of this war and the leadership, or lack thereof, displayed by Western decision-makers.

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The Anatomy Of America’s Defeat In Afghanistan

January 14, 2010 at 2:02 am (Global Issues, Politics) (, , )

By Mohammed Daud Miraki

Source: PakAlert

With the long awaited decision by the Obama Administration in regards to the new strategy for Afghanistan, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated to the point that the US commanders started using the word ‘defeat’ in their report to Washington. The word defeat has rarely been uttered by military; however, Afghanistan is the exception, where defeat is a realistic outcome. There, defeat is a reality that all invaders have faced since the beginning when Pashtuns have inhabited this region. The Pashtuns’ resistance is one of multiple factors characterizing the Anatomy of US’s Defeat in Afghanistan, where the inevitability of defeat for the US and NATO appears to be a certainty.

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A primer on the war in Afghanistan

January 14, 2010 at 12:22 am (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , )

By John Chuckman

Recently unemployed terrorists, let go without pension

The most fundamental realities of the war in Afghanistan include the following.

The Taleban is not an invading guerrilla force. The word “insurgents” nicely hides the fact that they are natives of the land we have invaded.

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US and NATO Expand Afghan War To The Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean

January 10, 2010 at 10:24 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , , , , )

By Rick Rozoff
Source:Global Research

In parallel with the escalation of the war in South Asia – counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and drone missile attacks in Pakistan – the United States and its NATO allies have laid the groundwork for increased naval, air and ground operations in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden.

During the past month the U.S. has carried out deadly military strikes in Yemen: Bombing raids in the north and cruise missile attacks in the south of the nation. Washington has been accused of killing scores of civilians in the attacks in both parts of the country, executed before the December 25 Northwest Airlines incident that has been used to justify the earlier U.S. actions ex post facto. And, ominously, that has been exploited to pound a steady drumbeat of demands for expanded and even more direct military intervention.

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Obama’s War On Yemen

January 5, 2010 at 8:23 pm (Politics) (, , , , )

By Stephen Lendman

Besides waging direct or proxy wars on multiple fronts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Sudan, Eastern Congo, elsewhere in Africa, and likely to erupt almost anywhere at any time, Yemen is now a new front in America’s “war on terror” under a president, who as a candidate, promised diplomacy, not conflict, if elected.

In 2008, he told the Boston Globe that:

“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

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