Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Syrian Ghost Town

Hypocrisy Over Syria

While Qatar and Saudi Arabia arm and fund the rebels of Syria to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's Alawite/Shia-Baathist dictatorship, Washington mutters not a word of criticism against them. President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, say they want a democracy in Syria. But Qatar is an autocracy and Saudi Arabia is among the most pernicious of caliphate-kingly-dictatorships in the Arab world. Rulers of both states inherit power from their families – just as Bashar has done – and Saudi Arabia is an ally of the Salafist-Wahabi rebels in Syria, just as it was the most fervent supporter of the medieval Taliban during Afghanistan's dark ages. More from Robert Fisk here.

Targeted Attacks on Leaders an Ominous Trend

In Afghanistan, targeted attacks on leaders an ominous trend - latimes.com:

Friday, 27 July 2012

Vending Distorted Afghanistan Through Patriotic ‘Anthropology’

Vending Distorted Afghanistan Through Patriotic ‘Anthropology’ « ZERO ANTHROPOLOGY:

Circuses, But Less Bread

Craig Murray » Blog Archive » Circuses, but Less Bread:

Dawood Military Hospital Cover Up

This week it emerged that part of the reason why conditions at Dawood did not come to light earlier was the intervention of one senior US officer. Lieutenant General William Caldwell, who was leading a training mission in Afghanistan, blocked an investigation into the hospital because he feared it might effect the 2010 US Congress elections. This was the testimony offered by military officers to a Congress investigative committee on Tuesday.
Colonel Mark Fassl told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he was "shocked" when Caldwell told him in 2010, "How could we do this or make this request with an election coming? He calls me Bill." Fassl said he believed this was a reference to President Barack Obama. MORE

More British Troops At The Olympics Than In Afghanistan

More British Troops At The Olympics Than In Afghanistan:
Part of The Olympic Opening Ceremony

Monday, 23 July 2012

US War Of Terror

The recent U.S. declaration of withdrawing its armed forces from Afghanistan by 2014 is a crudely designed strategy to silence the critics of the savage war in Afghanistan at home and abroad. In reality the United States and its NATO partners are proceeding with plans and operations for indefinite stay in the political rubble of Afghanistan. They have four major agendas: 1. to use Afghanistan as a human laboratory for testing new weapon systems for the current and future population-centered wars; 2. to keep a close eye on the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan; 3. to closely monitor the policies and behavior of China and Russia; 4. to maintain close proximity to the oil reserves of Central Asia; and 5. to closely monitor and undermine the Islamic Republic Iran. FROM HERE

Brilliantly Resourced Piece on Syria

Took me a while to catch up with this. It's from June but, as always from this source, extremely comprehensive. LINK

Micro Drones : Be Very Afraid - New Scientist

As it stands the PD-100, which has been in testing by Norwegian manufacturer Prox Dynamics since 2008, can navigate autonomously to a target area using onboard GPS or fly a pre-planned route. It can also be controlled by a human from up to a kilometre away, has an endurance of up to 25 minutes, can hover for a stable view, and fly both indoors and out. LINK

Major Report On Mass Killings in 1990s

Names are named. The list of names is a sort of who’s who of power players in Afghanistan: former and current warlords or officials, some now in very prominent positions in the national government, as well as in insurgent factions fighting it. Many of the named men were principals in the civil war era after the Soviet Union withdrew, and they are also frequently mentioned when talk here turns to fears of violence after the end of the NATO combat mission in 2014. Already, there is growing concern about a scramble for power and resources along ethnic and tribal lines.
But the report seeking to hold them accountable is unlikely to be released anytime soon, the researchers say, accusing senior Afghan officials of effectively suppressing the work and those responsible for it. For their part, human rights activists say the country is doomed to repeat its violent past if abuses are not brought to light and prosecuted.


Fisk On Syria

Across all of Syria, the revolution has spread. Tragically, there now seems to be a Baathist pattern of destroying Sunni villages on the edge of the Alawite heartland, the "frontier" of Alawi-stan in the great agricultural plain of Hama province, below the mountains where the Assad home town of Qardaha stands.
Last Wednesday, for example, two Syrian helicopters attacked the small Sunni town of Haouch, forcing its 7,000 population to run for their lives. For two weeks, Haouch and other small Sunni towns have been shelled; they do indeed contain rebels but there is a growing suspicion – no evidence, mark you – that this is a deliberate policy of the Baath to prepare Syria for partition if Damascus falls. Ominously, this "frontier" of fire matches almost precisely the "State of the Alawites" temporarily created by the post-First World War French mandate which chopped Syria up into mini-nations partly on sectarian lines. MORE

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Eight killed in deadly 24 hours for NATO

Eight killed in deadly 24 hours for NATO in Afghanistan | Reuters:

Afghan policeman kills three Americans

Afghan police kills three Americans in a police training center - Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan Online Newspaper:

Obama's Kill List Not The First

This striking new transparency, the official acknowledgment for the first time of a broad-based US assassination and targeted killing programme, has resulted from the unprecedented and controversial visibility of drone warfare. Drones now make news every day, and those of us who have been protesting their use for years have heightened their visibility in the public eye, forcing official acknowledgment and fostering worldwide scrutiny. This new scrutiny focuses not only on drone use but also, and perhaps more importantly, on the targeted killing itself - and the ‘kill lists’ that make them possible. MORE
Another reason for the new transparency is that Obama wants to give it out that he is a hard man in the FP arena. Good for electability in the US.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Remember Cameron's 'Covenant' With The Armed Forces?

No, neither do they.
Lance-Corporal Bale Balewai, a Fijian, served for 13 years in the Army, including operational tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, winning four medals, exemplary reports from his commanding officers and even being used in recruitment adverts.
He has a British wife and children. But he has been refused citizenship, banned from working, and faces imminent removal – because he once accepted a commanding officer’s punishment after getting into a fight with another soldier.
The punishment was imposed at a military summary hearing in the CO’s office lasting ten minutes. L/Cpl Balewai had no legal representation. MORE

US Tourists Learning To Shoot In Israel

Some Afghan Economics

The Tokyo conference tried to address this issue by requiring, for the first time, the Afghan government to reduce corruption before receiving all of the newly promised aid. Mr. Karzai gave all the right assurances, but he has done that before. If he is serious now, he is fast running out of time.
Just days after the conference, seven top members resigned from the government agency that promotes investment in Afghanistan over what they said was rampant corruption and mismanagement. If Mr. Karzai fails to enact serious reforms and prosecute lawbreakers, the United States and other donors will lose all credibility if they don’t withhold at least some aid. Now is also the time for Afghans and the international community to work to guarantee free and fair elections so a new president can be chosen as called for, in the constitution, in 2014.

Hillary - Danse Macabre

No caption needed here.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Age Will Wither Them

Brit Soldiers Are Impressed By Their Political Masters
Heard of a friend of a friend whose brother was badly injured in Afghanistan and is back home now and unemployed. The soldiers killed for nothing in Afghanistan may be commemorated on some forlorn war marble monument somewhere in fifty years. The maimed and injured won't. I recall as a kid older family members talking about the First World War which they could remember and I knew about from school history classes. That was a different scale of conflict and a wider spectrum of consequences. In fifty years from now who will remember the mentally and physically scarred and maimed from Afghanistan? A handful, if that. It won't be taught in the schools.

Afghan Police Killed In Uzuzgan Blast

BBC News - Afghan policemen killed in Uruzgan bomb blast:

Taliban Waiting It Out?

Taliban could be 'waiting it out' to regain control of Afghanistan after troops withdraw in 2014 Cameron warns | Mail Online:

Thursday, 19 July 2012

22 Camions De l'OTAN Detruits

Au moins 22 camions de la coalition ont été détruits lors d'une attaque revendiquée par les Taliban dans le nord de l'Afghanistan. Le 14 juillet, la région avait été le théâtre d'un attentat mené contre un député opposé aux insurgés islamistes.
Lien ICI.

Awlaki Family and ACLU To Sue US Over Drones

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

'We Can't Deliver Justice' - Karzai

"But are we in the place that the people desire, are we in the place to heal the pains and suffering of the Afghanistan people in a way that the people desire? No.
"The reason that the people of Afghanistan in the villages and across the countryside, (even) in the cities, still seek justice through the traditional method is because the government neither has the ability to provide that justice nor can it be addressed on time. More

Bomb destroys 22 NATO supply trucks in Afghanistan

Magnetic bomb explodes, destroys 22 NATO supply trucks in Afghanistan:

Monday, 16 July 2012

Killing For Rich Fuckers

There's dumb and there's Army dumb.

Beware of Blanket Thinking

Blanket Thinkers « Qunfuz:

Exxon Mobil First Exploiters Into Afghanistan?

The U.S. government has said the country likely holds just a fraction of the reserves of other Middle East producers. But it is largely unexplored, and simply attracting the attention of Irving-based Exxon Mobil is likely to turn heads toward Afghanistan.
"Exxon would not go into an area unless the areas are very promising. They are not looking for potatoes," said Chakib Khelil, former Algerian oil minister, now an energy consultant in Paris, in the Reuters report.
Exxon was one of eight firms that this month expressed interest in an oil and gas auction of six blocks in the Afghan-Tajik basin.

West 'blackmailing' Russia on Syria

BBC News - Syria conflict: West 'blackmailing' Russia on sanctions:

Where is a Goya who could Chronicle Today's Conflict?

Robert Fisk: Where is a Goya who could chronicle today's conflict? - Robert Fisk - Commentators - The Independent:

The Forgotten Victims

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Spitting On The Graves Of The Iraq War Dead

Ed Miliband unveils Labour's 'new' signing Tony Blair - UK Politics - UK - The Independent: "The event was organised by Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair's former director of communications, and Lady McDonagh, the former general secretary – both key figures in the New Labour project. Guests included Lord Prescott, Mr Blair's deputy for 13 years, and Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager.
There is a determination around Mr Miliband, who was always more associated with Gordon Brown, to bring some key figures in the Blair era back from the cold, not least because they have practical experience of running successful general election campaigns. He has already appointed Jon Cruddas, a former Downing Street aide when Mr Blair was in office, to head the policy review."

Drone Madness Proliferation

US deploys underwater drones to hunt for Iranian drones - Telegraph:

La France Insiste Sur Usage De La Force Contre La Syrie

La France insiste sur l'adoption par le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU d'une résolution du chapitre VII de la Charte de l'ONU, ce qui ouvrirait la voie à l'adoption de sanctions contre la Syrie et en dernier recours à un usage de la force. Une telle déclaration a été faite aujourd'hui par Bernard Valero, porte-parole du ministère français des Affaires étrangères.
La Russie a soumis son projet de résolution qui prolonge le mandat de la mission de supervision de l'ONU en Syrie et vise à soutenir le plan de paix de Kofi Annan.
La France estime que l'heure est venue de passer à l'étape supérieure dans la pression sur les autorités syriennes. « Il est clair que le projet de résolution russe est en-deçà des attentes de la plus grande partie de la communauté internationale », a noté M. Valero.

Egypt Court Denies Morsi's Parliament

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Victims of Obama's Drones Take US to Court

Reality Zone - A New Era ?: Victims of Obama's drone campaign of mass murder take US to court:

Syria - Waiting To Become Afghanistan

Comparing the Syrian and Afghan situations, the Arab world in general and the Gulf countries in particular, took a very firm stand in favour of the US resolution on Syria, something that they did not do in the case of even Saddam Hussain, who was their arch-enemy. They have severed diplomatic ties with Assad and are clearly supporting the opposition which is a break from their long-standing conservative policy of minimal interference. READ MORE