Afghanistan massacre on eve of Obama’s surge

by Bill Van Auken
Published: Dec. 10, 2009 – WSWS

With the first elements of 30,000 additional US troops set to arrive in Afghanistan next week, the massacre of as many as 15 civilians in a US raid has heightened fears that the Obama administration’s so-called surge will spell a dramatic rise in bloodletting.

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Making the TransAfghanistan Pipeline Safe for Democracy

by McCamy Taylor
Published: Dec. 05. 2009 – DemocraticUnderground

Intro.

I don’t pretend to know why President Obama is so determined to escalate the war in Afghanistan, the country that drove the Soviet Union into bankruptcy. Maybe he covets the executive privilege that goes with being a war time president. Maybe he is courting the center and center-right in anticipation of the 2012 election. Maybe he does not want to bring too many troops home all at once for fear of worsening the economic recession at home. Maybe he is scared of being called a waffler a flip flopper or some other unpleasant name if he goes back on his word. Maybe he is afraid that terrorists will attack the mainland U.S. again and he will be blamed for ending one of Bush’s foreign wars too soon. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

The only thing I know for certain is that the troops will not be back home until after 2014. That is when the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is scheduled to be operational.

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The Audacity of Ethnic Cleansing: Obama’s plan for Afghanistan

“Today, we Afghans remain trapped between two enemies: the Taliban on one side and US/NATO forces and their warlord hirelings on the other.” Malalai Joya “A Woman Among the Warlords” Scribner Publishing, New York

by Mike Whitney
Published: Dec. 04, 2009 – Information Clearing House

The Bush administration never had any intention of liberating Afghanistan or establishing democracy. The real aim was to remove the politically-intractable Taliban and replace them with a puppet regime run by a former-CIA asset. The rest of Afghanistan would be parceled-off to the warlords who assisted in the invasion and who had agreed to do much of the United States dirty-work on the ground. In the eight years of military occupation which followed, that basic strategy has never changed. The U.S. is just as committed now as it was at the war’s inception to establish a beachhead in Central Asia to oversee the growth of China, to execute disruptive/covert operations against Russia, to control vital pipeline routes from the Caspian Basin, and to maintain a heavy military presence in the most critical geopolitical area in the world today.

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Obama’s speech on Afghanistan: A compendium of lies

by Alex Lantier
Published; Dec. 03, 2009 – WSWS

In his December 1 speech at West Point announcing the deployment of 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama attempted to justify a major escalation of a deeply unpopular war on the basis of lies and distortions. That he had to resort to such falsifications reflects both the reactionary character of his policy and the fact that it is being imposed in violation of the popular will.

To justify the escalation, Obama recycled the Bush administration’s myths about the “war on terror.” He cynically presented the US as an altruistic power, forced into a global war for democracy by the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

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A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan

If Barack Obama heralds an escalation of the war, he will betray his own message of hope and deepen my people’s pain

by Malalai Joya
Published: Nov. 30, 2009 – Guardian

After months of waiting, President Obama is about to announce the new US strategy for Afghanistan. His speech may be long awaited, but few are expecting any surprise: it seems clear he will herald a major escalation of the war. In doing so he will be making something worse than a mistake. It is a continuation of a war crime against the suffering people of my country.

I have said before that by installing warlords and drug traffickers in power in Kabul, the US and Nato have pushed us from the frying pan to the fire. Now Obama is pouring fuel on these flames, and this week’s announcement of upwards of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan will have tragic consequences.

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Brought to You by the CIA: America’s Drug Crisis

by Dave Lindorff
Published: Oct. 28, 2009 – CounterPunch.org

Next time you see a junkie sprawled at the curb in the downtown of your nearest city, or read about someone who died of a heroin overdose, just imagine a big yellow sign posted next to him or her saying: “Your Federal Tax Dollars at Work.”

Kudos to the New York Times, and to reporters Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen, for their lead article today reporting that Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghanistan’s stunningly corrupt President Hamid Karzai, a leading drug lord in the world’s major opium-producing nation, has for eight years been on the CIA payroll.

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America is performing its familiar role of propping up a dictator

As in Vietnam, Karzai is going to rule over an equally tiny island of corruption

by Robert Fisk
Published: Nov. 04, 2009 – The Independent

Could there be a more accurate description of the Obama-Brown message of congratulations to the fraudulently elected Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan? First the Palestinians held fair elections in 2006, voted for Hamas and were brutally punished for it – they still are – and then the Iranians held fraudulent elections in June which put back the weird Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whom everyone outside Iran (and a lot inside) regard as a dictator. But now we have the venal, corrupt, sectarian Karzai in power after a poll far more ambitiously rigged than the Iranian version, and – yup, we love him dearly and accept his totally fraudulent election.

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NEWS (Last Updated: Mon. Nov. 02)

Obama’s Wars (Last Updated: Mon. Nov. 02)

Hundreds of Pakistanis gather in anti-US rally
Mon. Nov. 02 – Hundreds of Pakistanis have demonstrated against a US bill that the army and opposition say have negative impacts on Pakistan’s national security.

Karzai declared Afghan president
Mon. Nov. 02 – Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission has declared Hamid Karzai as the country’s president after the cancellation of a presidential run-off.

Mortar hits US base in Iraq, causes blasts
Sun. Nov. 01 – A mortar attack has targeted a US military base in Western Iraq, causing seven consecutive explosions, an Iraqi source has said.

250,000 displaced in Pakistan’s Waziristan offensive
Sun. Nov. 01 – Pakistan’s military offensive against pro-Taliban militants in a northwestern tribal area has forced nearly 250,000 civilians to flee their homes.

33 militants killed in S Waziristan
Sun. Nov. 01 – The Pakistani military says its troops have killed 33 pro-Taliban militants in the ongoing offensive in the South Waziristan tribal area.

Several dead, wounded in Iraq car, bike blasts
Sun. Nov. 01 – The explosion of a bicycle loaded with explosives has killed five people and wounded 37 others in a market south of Baghdad, Iraqi police say.

Roadside bomb claims 7 Pakistani soldiers
Sat. Oct. 31 – At last seven Pakistani soldiers have been killed after a roadside bomb hit their military vehicle in the restive northwestern tribal region of Khyber.

Seven militants dead in NW Pakistan clashes
Fri. Oct. 30 – Pakistani troops have launched fresh attacks on hideouts of pro-Taliban militants in the northwest as insurgency and violence continues to plague the country.

US military suffers another GI loss in Iraq
Fri. Oct. 30 – The United States military has lost another soldier to a non-combat incident at Camp Adder, located outside Nasiriyah, in the south central part of conflict-stricken Iraq.

 

 

Israeli Apartheid (Last Updated: Sat. Oct. 31)

Report: 4,524 Palestinians detained by Israel since the start of this year
Sat. Oct. 31 – GAZA Researcher in prisoners’ affairs Abdelnasser Farwana reported Friday that he documented 4,524 Israeli arrests of Palestinian citizens since the start of 2009, 412 of them took place in October.

Israel demolishes more Palestinian homes
Fri. Oct. 30 – Israeli soldiers demolish two Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem Al-Quds, while illegal settlers destroy olive groves as part of efforts to Judaize the city.

War crimes arrest awaiting Olmert’s UK visit
Fri. Oct. 30 – Former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert would probably face arrest on war crime charges if he visited Britain, a leading British newspapers has quoted a lawyer as saying.

 

 

More News (Last Updated: Mon. Nov. 02)

US allocates more funds to anti-Iran broadcasts
Mon. Nov. 02 – The United States has incorporated a bill into its annual military budget, which will allocate millions of dollars for Persian-language broadcasts.

Iraqi parliament: BP oil deal illegal
Mon. Nov. 02 – The Iraqi parliament has expressed concern over what it calls an ‘illegal’ multibillion-dollar agreement that British company BP is to sign Tuesday with the Iraqi government.

Nearly 3 million Britons out of work by 2010
Mon. Nov. 02 – As the economic recovery fails to boost the jobs market in the UK, a new report finds that nearly three million Britons will be out of work by the end of next year.

Israel confirms running spy networks in Lebanon
Sun. Nov. 01 – Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon has confirmed that Israel is running intelligence-gathering networks in Lebanon.

British soldiers support anti-war Glenton
Sun. Nov. 01 – British trooper, Joe Glenton, who faces jail for refusing to return to Afghanistan after a tour of duty in 2006, says soldiers support his cause.

Israeli spy in US wanted $2 million for his secrets
Fri. Oct. 30 – The celebrated American scientist charged with spying for Israel had asked for $2 million for his secrets, federal prosecutors has revealed.

Honduran interim gov’t to restore Zelaya
Fri. Oct. 30 – Honduran de facto leader, Roberto Micheletti, has announced a deal to reinstate the deposed President, Manuel Zelaya, in a move to end the country’s political turmoil.