Archive | South Asia

Journalists Increasingly Unsafe in the Indian Subcontinent

NOVANEWS
  • Journalists in India.
    Journalists in India. | Photo: Reuters
India and Pakistan headed the list with seven of the professional journalists killed in the last six months.

The Indian subcontinent as a whole today stands on the cusp of being a danger zone for journalists, as the region witnessed the murder of over 10 journalists in the first half of 2017.

RELATED: Indian Metro Praised for Including Transgender Workers

India and Pakistan headed the list with seven of the professional journalists killed in the last six months; with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Maldives added one casualty each.

The year started with sad news for India as the dead body of a Jharkhand-based journalist was recovered in Hazaribagh in the first week of the year.

Hari Prakash, 31, whose body was found on Jan. 2, on a roadside was missing for some days. The family members of Hari, who was a law graduate working for a Hindi daily, alleged that he was kidnapped and later killed.

More bad news was awaiting the families of media professionals as a Bihar-based journalist was shot dead at a Samastipur locality on Jan. 3, by some
unidentified assailants. Brajesh Kumar Singh, 28, received serious injuries to his head and died on the spot. It was the third assassination of a journalist in Bihar within a year after Rajdeo Ranjan and Dharmendra Kumar Singh were killed in 2016.

The third and fourth incidents involving the murder of working journalists were reported in Madhya Pradesh. Shyam Sharma, 40, who worked for a local evening newspaper, was stabbed to death in the Anshul neighborhood of Indore on May 15. Shyam received multiple injuries and died on the spot. Meanwhile, the local police have arrested two suspects for their alleged role in the murder.

Kamlesh Jain, 42, was shot dead in his office in the Pipliyamandi locality of Mandsaur on the evening of May 31. Kamlesh was rushed to a nearby hospital, where the attending doctors pronounced him dead. According to the police on duty, two people entered Kamlesh’s office and one of them shot him. The culprits quickly fled from the location on motorcycles.

Working for Nai Dunia, a Hindi daily, the journalist had recently exposed a few local people involved in illegal liquor trades through a number of roadside Dhabas, or restaurants. He was also threatened with dire consequences a few days before his death. The police took prompt action and arrested two individuals.

Various journalists organizations from Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh along with Journalists’ Forum Assam, Indian Journalists Union, National Federation of Newspaper Employees, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, International Federation of Journalists and others, expressed serious concerns over the murder of the journalists and asked the responsible authorities to find and arrest the culprits.

Condemning the assassinations of Shyam and Kamlesh, the IFJ commented, “two murders in nearly two weeks illustrate the dangerous conditions
that journalists in India are facing.” The global media group called on Indian authorities to immediately and thoroughly investigate these murders and bring those responsible to justice.

RELATEDIndia: Thousands Rally in Support of Communist-Led Tripura Government

In a recent statement, the IFJ, representing over 6,00,000 journalists in 140 countries, disclosed that 93 journalists were killed in 2016 around the world. Iraq witnessed the highest number of journo-killings (15); followed by Afghanistan (13); Mexico (11); Yemen (8); Guatemala, Syria, and India (6), and Pakistan (5).

Pakistan lost three professional journalists and a media student to assailants in the last six months. Muhammad Jan, who was working for an Urdu newspaper in Baluchistan province, was shot on Jan. 12, and later died from his wounds. A television reporter, Abdul Razzaque was gunned down on May 17 in Punjab province and another news channel reporter Bakshish Ellahi was shot dead by unknown gunmen on June 11, in Peshawar.

Meanwhile, a student of journalism, Mashal Khan, fell prey to an angry mob in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on April 22, over the alleged blasphemy
charge against him.

The CPJ called on Pakistani authorities to investigate all the killings related to media personnel. The New York-based media rights group also expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan, where four media workers namely Mohamad Amir Khan, Zinullah Khan, Abdul Latif and Ghani were killed in a suicide attack on May 17 in the Jalalabad locality.

Later two more media people, Mohammed Nazir and Aziz Navin, died in a Kabul blast on May 31.

Infamous for many atheist bloggers’ deaths, Bangladesh witnessed the murder of one rural reporter in the Sirajganj locality. Abdul Hakim Shimul, who used to work for Dainik Samakal, was shot dead on Feb. 2, while he was covering the clashes between two factions of the Awami League ruling party. Bangladesh Manobadhikaar Sangbadik Forum strongly condemned the assassination.

Relatively peaceful Myanmar reported one murder in the first half of 2017. Wai Yan Heinn, 27, a Rangoon-based weekly editor was killed on April 16. The reason behind the attack was yet to be confirmed.

Along with local media outlets, the RSF urged the Myanmar authorities to identify and bring the culprits to justice immediately.

The Paris-based media rights group expressed concern that the investigation had gone slowly in last year’s murder on Dec. 13, of Soe Moe Tun, reportedly for exposing illegal loggings in his locality.

Benjamin Ismaïl, the former head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, recently commented that Soe’s family was still waiting for justice, but in vein.

A small nation like Maldives drew the attention of international media recently with the sensational murder of a prominent journalist and human rights defender. Yameen Rasheed, 29, who remained an outspoken critic of corruption and human rights violations on the island nation, was stabbed to death on April 23 in the capital of Male, putting the country on the list of risky nations with growing intolerance toward free information flow.

India’s other neighbors including Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tibet have not reported any incidents of journo-killings in the last six months. In contrast, India has emerged as one of the worst places for working journalists, where they are attacked deliberately and justice is rarely delivered to their bereaved families.

Posted in India, Pakistan & Kashmir, Sri Lanka0 Comments

Taliban says foreign troops must go before peace talks as US plans 4,000-strong surge

NOVANEWS

Image result for Taliban CARTOON

In an annual address to followers, the Taliban’s leader warned against sending additional foreign troops to Afghanistan, saying that only after all foreign soldiers leave can peace be negotiated.

Maulvi Haibatullah Akhunzadah spoke on Friday on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr festival, which ends the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. He reiterated that Afghanistan must be free of foreign occupation.

“The occupation is the main obstacle in the way of peace,” he said, referring to the presence of NATO troops in the country.

“The more they insist on maintaining the presence of their forces here or want a surge of their forces, the more regional sensitivity against them will intensify,” he added.

The remark apparently refers to reported US plans to deploy 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to support its crumbling national army. The majority of the force would be used in train and assist missions, but some would be involved in counterinsurgency operations, according to AP.

Akhunzadah insisted that peace negotiations with the government in Kabul would only be possible after “the occupation comes to an end,” adding that a “completely independent” Afghanistan would live under an Islamic law and distance itself from foreign players, neither supporting them nor allowing their interference.

“We don’t permit others to use the soil of Afghanistan against anyone,” he said.

He also urged Taliban fighters to avoid civilian casualties in their attacks on government forces.

The call comes a day after a truck bomb attack on a bank in Helmand province in which 34 people were killed, according to Afghan officials.

On one of its Twitter accounts, the Taliban claimed credit for the suicide bombing in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, saying it had killed 73 members of the security forces, a figure that conflicts with the official report. Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, acknowledged that there were police officers and national army soldiers among the victims, but insisted the majority of them were civilians, who wanted to withdraw money for Eid al-Fitr celebration.

The Taliban leader also boasted that the movement is winning more respect from “mainstream entities of the world.” The apparent attempt to bolster Taliban credibility came amid competition from rival extremist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which has been winning allegiance of some armed groups previously loyal to the Taliban.

Some nations, including Russia and China, voiced concern with IS gaining a foothold in Afghanistan.

Posted in USA, Afghanistan0 Comments

The Drone War: Understanding Who Must Die From Above

NOVANEWS

Photo by Debra Sweet | CC BY 2.0

In late October of 2016, I took a break from reading for my various social science courses to work for a couple of hours at my work-study job at the Vassar College Athletics Communications Office. On this particular day, I had to provide commentary and audio for a video stream of the game which is played live online, largely for parents and family members of the players. At halftime, the parents of someone on the team approached my boss to talk, and in this conversation, one parent casually commented that the other loved to watch their child play while in their office at General Atomics. General Atomics, the defense contracting company which, among other things, manufactures the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper, the two most-used military drones.

This chance meeting with a General Atomics employee speaks to the larger context of drone warfare as well as the logics behind it. This person could, through a video image and the sound of my voice, be transported from an office in California to a sports field 3,000 miles away. At the same time, General Atomics was producing and selling military drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the U.S. military to be used in locations across the world, thousands of miles away, while being controlled remotely in places such as Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.

In the context of the game stream, one is completely aware of the rules of the contest and the bounds of play, the participants are numbered and their names are listed, they are in uniform, and their actions are occurring within a clear set of guidelines and norms. No one is trying to speculate on the loves, hates, future plans, or deep-seeded beliefs of players based on the footage. Further, the contest is projected with my description and the assistance of statistics and information provided by a team of people there, who know the athletes, and the coaches, and can hear and see close up what is occurring. In the other context, the U.S. military takes control over decisions of life and death in places they do not and cannot understand, making decisions based on their understandings of patterns of life and metadata from thousands of feet in the air. There are not rules to what they are seeing, there are no uniforms, and there is rarely information in any fashion from people who are physically present. Instead, it is just the video, being watched from thousands of miles away, as people are targeted for death.

How do we begin to understand an outlook where an un-narrated stream of a sporting event would be self-explanatorily difficult to understand, but similar video footage gathered by unmanned aerial vehicles is sufficient to understand who below must die? The perceptions and lenses that enable this outlook must be picked apart in order to comprehend (and begin to resist) the pull of drone warfare.

Drone-use has become the United States’ preferred way of waging war. Unmanned aerial vehicles are piloted remotely from thousands of miles away providing both surveillance in near-constant streams, and the ability to drop bombs. Through this new means of violence, Americans are not vulnerable, and are instead separated physically from the violence and death. The U.S. drone campaign is waged almost entirely in secret and without the hindrance of laws, international or domestic. The U.S. Executive and the various military and intelligence agencies involved are able to forward the drone war with unilateral power, with U.S. sovereignty extending globally.

In a short time in early 2016, the United States “deployed remotely piloted aircraft to carry out deadly attacks in six countries across Central and South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, and it announced that it had expanded its capacity to carry out attacks in a seventh,” the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer explains. Drone bombs kill people not only in “hot war zones” like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, but also in Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Pakistan.

A myriad of ethical and moral problems arise in the face of this new way of killing engaged in the United States. The dominant institutional justification for drone-use, as outlined by former President Barack Obama and others involved, asserts that the strikes of drones are safer, smarter, more efficient, more accurate, and cost less lives (American and otherwise) than the methods used in traditional warfare.  They are the civilized way of waging war. Over the course of his eight years in office, Obama repeatedly asserted that he was not “opposed to all war” but instead “opposed to dumb wars,” one of which being the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. He contrasted drone-use with “conventional airpower or missiles” and “invasions of these territories” saying that drones are more precise, cause less civilian casualties, and do not “unleash a torrent of unintended consequences” such as causing people to see the U.S. as an invading and occupying force.

However, an engagement with the realities of drone warfare proves these notions to be false. Instead of being ethical, drone-use has unleashed an often indiscriminate volley of bombs on thousands of people in many countries, and drone violence has become a go-to answer to the problem of American existential fear of terrorism.

This is displayed in the continuous and repeated failure of unmanned aerial vehicles and their operators to differentiate friend from foe, supposed-target from civilian. The lack of capacity (or care) to discriminate between people is repeatedly seen, whether it be in the 2011 murder of a Yemeni governor, the first Obama approved Yemeni strike which killed 14 women and 21 children, the first drone attack in Pakistan which left two children dead, the 2013 bombing of 12 Yemeni people in a wedding party, or the murder of American teenager Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi while failing to kill the bomb’s target.

We are left in a present where the call for this somehow ‘ethical’ way of war becomes more and more enticing and normalized as the drone war rages on in the early days of the administration of Donald Trump with no end in sight.

The faith in powerful institutions and U.S. technological ability that enables the view of drones as ethical, as demonstrated by the General Atomics employee, is clearly astronomical. This discourse doesn’t just enable an acceptance of the usage of drones, but an acceptance based on the claim that drones do not kill people but save lives. The new biopolitical and theopolitical sovereignty seen in U.S. drone-use is vulnerable because drones are constantly making mistakes. This is evidence of the incredible strength of the perception of U.S. sovereignty as all-moral and all-knowing, the belief in drone technology as mythically powerful, and the Orientalist view of people in the Middle East and Africa.

However, the indefensible imperial reality of drone violence also reveals that if these produced narratives are weakened, a different understanding of the drone war may emerge. This view could be one that elicits horror, shame, and revulsion, as well as profound fear of the state. But it could also be purposed to weaken the state apparatus that wage drone warfare.

Posted in Middle East, USA, Afghanistan, Pakistan & Kashmir, Somalia, Yemen0 Comments

The Betrayal of India: A Close Look at the 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks

NOVANEWS
Book review of “The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence” by Elias Davidsson
 

These days we rush from one media story to another, trying to keep up with the latest terrorist attack. Yesterday Paris; today London; tomorrow, who knows? These attacks are tragic enough when they are acts of violence by religious extremists who have outsmarted our police and intelligence agencies. But, of course, many of them are actually violent acts facilitated by our police and intelligence agencies, directly or indirectly. The tragedy in such cases lies not only in the immediate human suffering but in the way our civil society and elected representatives are betrayed, intimidated, disciplined and stripped of their power by our own security agencies. The War on Terror, which goes by different names in different countries but continues as a global framework for violent conflict, thrives on this fraud.

But if the very agencies that should be investigating and preventing these attacks are involved in perpetrating them, what is civil society to do to protect itself? Who will step in to study the evidence and sort out what really happened? And who will investigate the official investigators? Over the years, civilians from different walks of life have stepped forward–forming groups, sharing information and methods, creating a tradition of civilian investigation.

Related image

One such investigator is Elias Davidsson (image on the right). Some readers will be familiar with his meticulous book, Hijacking America’s Mind on 9/11 or his more recent work, Psychologische Kriegsführung und gesellschaftliche Leugnung. Davidsson has now produced a book on the 2008 attacks that occurred in Mumbai, India. The book is entitled, The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence (New Delhi: Pharos, 2017).

To remind ourselves of these attacks–that is, of the official story of these attacks as narrated by the Indian government–we can do no better than to consult Wikipedia, which seldom strays from government intelligence narratives:

“The 2008 Mumbai attacks were a series of attacks that took place in November 2008, when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic militant organization based in Pakistan, carried out a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308.”

This description, however faulty, serves to make clear why the events were widely portrayed as a huge crime—India’s 9/11. When we bear in mind that both India and Pakistan are armed with nuclear weapons, and when we consider that these events were widely characterized in India as an act of war supported by Pakistan (Davidsson, 72-74; 511 ff.; 731 ff.), we will understand how dangerous the event was for over a billion and a half people in south Asia.

We will also understand how easy it was, on the basis of such a narrative, to get a bonanza of funds and equipment for the Mumbai police (735-736) and why it was possible, given the framing of the event as an act of war, for India’s armed forces to get an immediate 21% hike in military spending with promises of continuing increases in subsequent years (739 ff.).

Wikipedia’s paragraph tells a straightforward story, but the straightforwardness is the result of much snipping and smoothing. Both Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba denied responsibility for the attacks (65; 513) and, Davidsson argues, they did so for good reason.

In his Conclusions at the end of the book Davidsson encourages us to assess separately the actual attacks and the Indian state’s investigation of the attacks (865 ff.) It is “highly plausible,” he says, “that major institutional actors in India, the United States and possibly Israel, were complicit in conceiving, planning, directing and executing the attacks of 26/11” (873); but the evidence of a deceptive investigation is even stronger:

“The first definite conclusion of this book is that India’s major institutions, including the Central government, parliament, bureaucracy, armed forces, Mumbai police, intelligence services, judiciary and media, have deliberately suppressed the truth regarding 26/11 and continue to do so. I could discover no hint of a desire among the aforementioned parties to establish the truth on these deadly events (865).”

This distinction is useful for civil society investigators. We will frequently find it easier to prove that an investigation is deceptive, and that it is obscuring rather than illuminating the path to the perpetrators, than to directly prove the event itself to have been fraudulent. And there are two good reasons to pay attention to evidence of a cover-up. First, to cover up a crime is itself a crime. Second, those covering up a crime implicate themselves in the original crime. If they were not directly involved in the commission of the crime, they are at least accessories after the fact. To begin by exposing the fraudulent investigation, therefore, will often be wise. When this has been done we shall often find that we can begin to discern the path to the attack itself.

Davidsson gives a wealth of evidence about both the attacks and the investigation, but for this brief review I shall focus on the investigation.

Here are three recurring themes in his study that may serve to illustrate the strength  of the cover-up thesis.

(1) Immediate fingering of the perpetrator

When officials claim to know the identity of a perpetrator (individual or group) prior to any serious investigation, this suggests that a false narrative is being initiated and that strenuous efforts will soon be made to implant it in the mind of a population. Thus, for example, Lee Harvey Oswald was identified by officials of the executive branch as the killer of President John F. Kennedy–and as a lone wolf with no associates–on the afternoon of the assassination day, long before an investigation and even before he had been charged with the crime. And we had major news media pointing with confidence, by the end of the day of September 11, 2001, to Osama bin Laden and his group–in the absence of evidence.

In the Mumbai case the Prime Minister of India implied, while the attack was still in progress, that the perpetrators were from a terrorist group supported by, or at least tolerated by, Pakistan (65; 228; 478; 512; 731).

Image result for Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Hotel burning after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai (Source: Haunted India)

Likewise, immediately after the attacks Henry Kissinger attempted to implicate Pakistan. Three days prior to the attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, one of the main attack sites, Kissinger had been staying in the hotel. He “sat with top executives from Goldman Sachs and India’s Tata group in the Taj to ‘chat about American politics’” (331). Kissinger’s presence on the scene with Indian elites (the Tata family is one of India’s wealthiest, and the Tata Group owns the Taj) would be peculiar enough to cause raising of the eyebrows, but when combined with his immediate fingering of Pakistan it becomes extremely suspect. As Davidsson shows, what investigation there was came much later, and even today the case against Pakistan remains full of contradictions, unsupported allegations, and absurdities.

(2) Grotesque failure by official investigators to follow proper procedures

Incompetence is a fact of life, but there are times when the incompetence theory is strained to the breaking point and it is more rational to posit deliberate deception.  In the case of the Mumbai investigation, Davidsson depicts its failures as going well beyond incompetence.

  • Neither the police, nor the judge charged with trying the sole surviving suspect, made public a timeline of events (188-189; 688-689). Even the most basic facts of when a given set of attacks began and when they ended were left vague.
  • Key witnesses were not called to testify. Witnesses who said they saw the terrorists commit violence, or spoke to them, or were in the same room with them, were ignored by the court (e.g., 279 ff.).
  • Contradictions and miracles were not sorted out. One victim was apparently resurrected from the dead when his testimony was essential to the blaming of Pakistan (229-230). A second victim died in two different places (692), while a third died in three places (466). No one in authority cared enough to solve these difficulties.
  • Eyewitnesses to the crime differed on the clothing and skin color of the terrorists, and on how many of them there were (328-331). No resolution was sought.
  • At least one eyewitness confessed she found it hard to distinguish “friends” from terrorists (316). No probe was stimulated by this odd confusion.
  • The number of terrorists who committed the deeds changed repeatedly, as did the number of terrorists who survived (29 ff.; 689).
  • Crime scenes were violated, with bodies hauled off before they could be examined (682-683).
  • Identity parades (“line-ups”) were rendered invalid by weeks of prior exposure of the witnesses to pictures of the suspect in newspapers (101; 582).
  • Claims that the terrorists were armed with AK-47s were common, yet forensic study of the attack at the Cama Hospital failed to turn up a single AK-47 bullet (156).
  • Of the “hundreds of witnesses processed by the court” in relation to the attacks at the Café Leopold, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Oberoi-Trident Hotel or Nariman House, “not a single one testified to having observed any of the eight accused kill anyone” (40).
  • Indian authorities declined to order autopsies on the dead at the targeted Jewish center in Nariman House. The dead, five out of six of whom were Israeli citizens (427), were instead whisked back to Israel by a Jewish organization based in Israel, allegedly for religious reasons (453). Religious sensitivity seems to have extended to a large safe at the crime scene, which the team also transported to Israel (454).

(3) Extreme secrecy and the withholding of basic information from the population, with the excuse of “national security”

  • The surviving alleged terrorist had no public trial (661).
  • No transcript of his secret trial has been released (670).
  • One lawyer who agreed to defend the accused was removed by the court and another was assassinated (670).
  • The public was told there was extensive CCTV footage of the attacks, despite the mysterious malfunctioning of the majority of CCTV cameras on the days in question (97-98; 109 ff.; 683 ff.); but only a very small percentage of the claimed footage was ever released and it suffers from serious defects–two conflicting time-stamps and signs of editing (111).
  • Members of an elite Indian commando unit that showed up with between 475 and 800 members to battle eight terrorists (534) were not allowed to testify in court (327; 428-429).
  • The “confession” of the suspect, on which the judge leaned heavily, was given in secret. No transcript of this confession has been released to the public and the suspect later renounced the confession, saying he had been under threat from police when he gave it (599 ff.; 681).
  • The suspect, after being convicted and sentenced to death, was presumably executed, but the hanging was done secretly in jail and his body, like the bodies of the other dead “terrorists,” was buried in a secret place (37; 623).

It is difficult to see how the investigation described above differs from what we would expect to see in a police state. Evidently, the “world’s largest democracy” is in trouble.

Meanwhile, motives for the “highly plausible” false flag attack, Davidsson notes, are not difficult to find. The attacks not only filled the coffers of national security agencies, creating as they did the impression of a permanent threat to India, but also helped tilt India toward those countries claiming to take the lead in the War on Terror (809 ff.; 847). The FBI showed great interest in the attacks from the outset. It actually had a man on the scene during the attacks and sent an entire team directly after the event (812 ff.). The Bureau was, remarkably, given direct access to the arrested suspect and to his recorded confession (before he even had a lawyer), as well as to eyewitnesses (651-652; 815). The New York Police Department also sent a team after the conclusion of the event (816-817), as did Scotland Yard and Israeli police (651; 851). There seems to have been something of a national security fest in relation to Mumbai as ideas of closer cooperation in matters of security were discussed (e.g., 822).

In case Israel seems too small to belong with the other players in this national security fest, Davidsson reminds us that India is Israel’s largest customer in defense sales (853).

So, what can we learn from Davidsson’s book? For patient readers, a great deal: this 900-page study is as free of filler and rhetoric as it is rich in detail. (In correspondence the author told me that he was determined to produce a work dense with primary source material so that it could be of maximum help to activists in India striving for an official inquiry.) For readers with less patience, Davidsson has provided regular summaries. And both sets of readers will find that the book discusses not only details of the Mumbai attacks, but patterns of deception common in the War on Terror.

For all these reason, this book is a highly significant achievement and is of objective importance to anyone interested in the War and Terror–the structure and motifs of its ongoing fictions and the methods through which civil society researchers can lay bare these fictions

Posted in India0 Comments

Haven’t We Had Enough of Afghanistan?

NOVANEWS

The forever war continues

 

Will there ever be an end to the war in Afghanistan? Apparently not if our generals have anything to say about it – and they do. President Trump has turned over the prosecution of our perpetual “war on terrorism” to the Pentagon, claiming that they’ve been held back by previous administrations. The new policy is to turn them loose.

We saw what this means when the so-called “Mother of All Bombs” was dropped in a remote location where ISIS was said to be hiding: 92 “militants”were said to have been killed. Contrary to the triumphalist reports in US media, the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat had a minimal effect. And the cost, at $16 million for a single MOAB, came to around $174,000 per “militant.”

With anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, let’s take the median number of 2,000 and estimate that getting rid of all of them will cost around $348 million, give or take $10 million or so.

And you’ll note that we’re just talking about ISIS here. The Taliban is not only still in the mix, they’re actually in a better position than ever. In March, the Taliban claimed that 211 administrative districts of the country were either under their control or else contested: this isn’t far off the report of the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which put the number at 171. The Taliban control more of Afghanistan than at any time since the war started, and they continue to make major gains, such as in Helmland province. The pace and severity of Taliban/ISIS attacks has recently escalated, with a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 100 people, the culmination of 8 major attacks just in the month of May.

The Taliban in Afghanistan (credits to the owner of the photo)

After 16 years of fighting, the US is no closer to defeating the radical Islamist insurgency than it was at the very beginning. The original rationale for the invasion – the presence of Osama bin Laden – is long since gone.

The justification for continuing the Afghan war, you’ll recall, was that we couldn’t allow any “safe havens” where the terrorists could plan and carry out attacks on the US and Western Europe. The logic of this is difficult to follow, however, since a “safe haven” can be defined as anywhere terrorists gather – which can occur just as easily in Hamburg, Germany, than in some mountain cave in Afghanistan. Furthermore, we are now told that the primary locus of terrorist activities is in territory controlled by ISIS, which has few strongholds and little support in Afghanistan.

The reality is that terrorist plots are more likely to be hatched in Western Europe and right here in the United States than in the Afghan wilds.

Yet that hasn’t stopped our generals from requesting thousands more US troops to be sent to fight the longest war in our history: news reports tell us they want “a few thousand” more, but it’s hard to imagine this will make much difference. It’s also hard to imagine that the American people support this: while no recent polls have been taken — for some mysterious reason they stopped measuring support for the war in 2015 – the last time anyone looked opposition was over fifty percent.

Naturally, given the current atmosphere in Washington, there’s an anti-Russian angle to all this: General John Nicholson recently testified before Congress that Moscow is pushing a “false narrative” that the Taliban is fighting ISIS while the Afghan government army is sitting on its haunches, collecting bribes and managing the drug harvest. Russia’s goal, he said, is to “undermine the United States and NATO.”

Yet the Taliban is not the same as ISIS, and the latter has largely alienated Afghan civilians, just as al-Qaeda did in Iraq: foreign fighters, no matter their religion, are not popular in Afghanistan. The Taliban, for all its theological pretensions, is essentially a nationalist movement fighting a foreign invader: ISIS, however, is quite a different story.

The Trump campaign told us that all foreign commitments were going to be judged by new criteria: how does this serve American interests? And the question of how continuing to fight this war serves our interests has yet to be answered by the Trump administration. They have simply taken the war as a given.

In a 2009 speech at Tennessee State University, I asked my audience to

“remember the fate of the previous would-be conquerors of the proud Afghan people: the Russians, the British, the Golden Horde, and even Alexander the Great. They all failed, and the bones of their centurions are dust beneath the feet of a warrior people. In that kind of terrain, against that kind of enemy, there is no such thing as victory – there is only a question of how long it will take for them to drive us out – or whether we go bankrupt before that happens.”

Even earlier, in 2001, I predicted that the Afghan war would be a quagmire, a mistake we would eventually come to regret – an opinion for which David Frum, then National Review’s neocon enforcer of ideological correctness, saw cause to label me “anti-American.”

When the truth is considered “anti-American,” then we know we’re in trouble. Indeed, we’ve been in some pretty serious trouble for the past 16 years. Now is the time to reverse course and make it right.

It’s time to acknowledge that truth. It’s time to get the hell out of Afghanistan – now.

Posted in Afghanistan0 Comments

‘Literal Colonialism’: Blackwater Founder Calls for ‘American Viceroy’ to Rule Afghanistan

NOVANEWS
Given Prince’s past connections to Trump, his recommendations could have some measure of influence.
 

Displaying what one commentator called “sheer 19th century bloodlust and thirst for empire,” Erik Prince, founder of the private mercenary firm Blackwater, argued in The Wall Street Journal this week that the United States should deploy an “East India Company approach” in Afghanistan.

The country, he wrote, should be run by

“an American viceroy who would lead all U.S. government and coalition efforts—including command, budget, policy, promotion, and contracting—and report directly to the president.”

Prince continued:

In Afghanistan, the viceroy approach would reduce rampant fraud by focusing spending on initiatives that further the central strategy, rather than handing cash to every outstretched hand from a U.S. system bereft of institutional memory.

Prince insists that these are “cheaper private solutions,” but such privatization would also be a boon for military contractors.

As one critic noted, it is hardly surprising that a “war profiteer sees profit opportunity in war.” Blackwater, the private military company Prince founded in 1997—which now operates under the name Academi—made a fortune off the invasion of Iraq. In 2007, a New York Times editorial noted that Blackwater had “received more than $1 billion” in no-bid contracts from the Bush administration; that same year, Blackwater contractors shot and killed more than a dozen civilians in what came to be known as the Nisour Square massacre.

The Mysterious New Owner of Blackwater Worldwide | blackwater-460x250 | Black Ops CIA Corporate Takeover Military Special Interests US News

Source: thesleuthjournal.com

But “war profiteering” doesn’t quite capture the scope of Prince’s vision for Afghanistan. Despite the fact that private contractors have a long record of abuse and deadly criminality, Prince believes that they should have a stronger presence in a war that has spanned nearly 16 years and cost trillions of dollars.

Such a recommendation, combined with Prince’s invocation of the East India Company—a vestige of the British empire that “conquered, subjugated, and plundered vast tracts of south Asia for a century,” in the words of historian William Dalrymple—amounts to a call for “literal colonialism,” says Anil Kalhan, chair of the New York City Bar Association’s International Human Rights Committee.

Prince’s past connections to President Donald Trump indicate that his advice could potentially have some measure of influence on the White House.

As The Intercept‘s Jeremy Scahill, the author of a bestselling book on Blackwater, reported in January, Prince spoke with the Trump

“team on matters related to intelligence and defense” and offered suggestions “on candidates for the Defense and State departments.”

In April, The Washington Post reported that Prince, presenting himself as “an unofficial envoy for Trump,” met in January with “a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow” and then-President-elect Trump. Prince also donated $250,000 to the Trump campaign following the 2016 Republican National Convention, according to the Post.

Prince’s op-ed comes as the Trump administration is reportedly considering sending more troops to Afghanistan as civilian deaths from the war have “reached record levels.

Posted in USA, Afghanistan0 Comments

The Solution is in the Hands of the People of Afghanistan

NOVANEWS

The Solution is in the Hands of the People of Afghanistan: The US Must Leave for Peace to Reign in Afghanistan

A suicide attacker struck the heavily guarded diplomatic quarter in Kabul with a massive truck bomb during rush hour on Wednesday morning, killing 90 people, and wounding more than 400. There was no claim of responsibility.

“I have been to many attacks, taken wounded people out of many blast sites, but I can say I have ever seen such a horrible attack as I saw this morning,” ambulance driver Alef Ahmadzai told The Associated Press. “Everywhere was on fire and so many people were in critical condition.”

Contacted moments after the attack, Friba, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan’s representative, said:

“Everyone is still rattled. The city died with the blast.”

In a short interview, the Afghan women’s leader speaks on one of worst suicide attacks in Afghanistan in many years, and the mockery of the U.S. “War on Terror”. Friba, who doesn’t mention her real name for security reasons as RAWA works underground, unmasks once again local government and intelligence, and U.S. led coalition which promised to free her people 16 years ago, especially the women.

Corruption and alliance with terrorists, according to RAWA’s representative, permeates all powers in her country, including the foreign ones.

“Traitors that sell their country to aliens obviously do not care about their people or their security. A government that welcomes their killers with open arms despite countless massacres committed by them; and a government whose foreign backers provide these enemies with arms and money!” she says.

Friba states that insecurity has increased in her country after U.S. invasion in October 2001, and the solution is not with any foreign power, but only in the hands of the Afghan people.

“Barely a month goes by without one or two attacks that leave tens dead and hundreds of loved ones in mourning.”

A reality not shown in the West by a mainstream media, supported by weapons manufacturers, which raises the question once again: are some human lives more valuable than others for Westerners?

Afghanistan: Security forces open fire on protesters voicing anger over http://amn.st/60178YU19  Photo: AFP/Getty Images

“’War on Terror’ is not actually waged against terrorists, only those terrorist groups that do not comply with the U.S’s orders. Just like the U.S., the puppet Afghan government also uses terrorist groups for its purposes. It is no secret that the U.S. actively nourishes terrorism in Afghanistan and the region to attack its rivals, Russia and China,” says RAWA’s representative.

Below, the full interview with Friba.

Edu Montesanti: A massive explosion in a secure diplomatic area in Kabul killed at least 64 and injured 320 this Wednesday, Friba. Apparently by the Taliban. Can you tell us what exactly and why the Afghan forces, financed and trained by US military cannot keep your country safe, 16 years after U.S. led coalition invasion to Afghanistan are attacks like this frequent?

Friba: The death toll has climbed to 90 now with more than 400 injured. These are however official statistics which we cannot entirely trust, the casualties may be higher than this. Insecurity in Afghanistan has been the biggest hardship our people have faced after the U.S. invasion. Not knowing whether they will return alive after leaving their homes in the morning has become the norm here now. Barely a month goes by without one or two attacks that leave tens dead and hundreds of loved ones in mourning. Yesterday’s attack killed Kabul city. The city will remain silent for many days to come, as our people will sit mourning silently this devastating situation.

To begin with, the “war on terror” is not actually waged against terrorists, only those terrorist groups that do not comply with the U.S’s orders. This means that the U.S. and its allies do not target the Taliban or other terrorist groups fighting the Afghan forces, uniformly. In fact Afghan soldiers have witnessed foreign forces’ helicopters dropping off weapons in Taliban-held areas, and the payment of huge bribes to the Taliban. It is no secret that the U.S. actively nourishes terrorism in Afghanistan and the region to attack its rivals, Russia and China – the growing instability and shift of terrorist presence to northern Afghanistan is proof of this policy.

The Afghan apparatus is comprised of Jehadi criminals who are lackeys of foreign countries and whose own lives depend on the support of their foreign masters. Traitors that sell their country to aliens obviously do not care about their people or their security. Their only aim is to fill their pockets by taking money from foreign countries and in return, allowing them to influence the state at the highest levels, maintaining their mafia ties, dealing drugs (many prominent Afghan government officials are mafia figures and drug lords), running kidnapping rings, and other such criminal activities. This greedy mercenary nature of the state also translates into corruption in the high ranks of the military and Defense Ministry. These bodies have been hit with high-level corruption cases, with scandals ranging from land grabbing and fuel theft worth millions of dollars, to accusations of collusion with the Taliban.

While the Afghan youths die on the war front every day, the brethren-in-creed of the Taliban in the Afghan government, propose peace talks with them. It is natural that this entire situation kills the spirit and will of the young Afghan soldiers, dying in battles every day, to fight against these terrorists resolutely. These forces are fighting for a government and military that does not care about them, is deeply embroiled in corruption, and is rolling about in money; a government that welcomes their killers with open arms despite countless massacres committed by them; and a government whose foreign backers provide these enemies with arms and money! These soldiers have been deserted by their superiors when they were under Taliban siege, and several bloody attacks on these soldiers have carried suspicions of inside collusion. How can these youngsters fight whole-heartedly in such a situation? Today, the purpose of most Afghan soldiers is to earn a mouthful for their families in this extreme poverty and unemployment, with the salaries they are paid. Many soldiers even join Taliban ranks to retaliate against the government. This is not to mention that the police and army force is already ravaged by illiteracy, drug addiction, and poor management. All these are reasons that the Afghan forces have failed continuously for the past 15 years.

It is curious that, again, a very safe place has been attacked in Afghanistan – months ago, the Afghan military area was strongly attacked by the Taliban, too. What can you say about the Afghan intelligence?

The situation described above extends to the Afghan intelligence as well. Just like the US, the puppet Afghan government also uses terrorist groups for its purposes, and turns a blind eye to terrorists on the orders of their foreign masters. According to former intelligence chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, figures within the highest ranks of the government maintain the interests of different foreign countries, yet continue to enjoy their position and the backing of the president – in other words they are “untouchable”. Hanif Atmar, senior national security advisor, and Masoom Stanekzai, the intelligence chief, are called the “suit and tie wearing” Taliban by our people for their lack of action against the Taliban, and the figures within the government who serve the intelligence agencies that support the Taliban.

The corruption and absolute breakdown of military leadership means that the Taliban can easily penetrate the capital city, military bases, ministries, military hospitals, and now the diplomatic area. Regarding yesterday’s attack, Afghan soldiers standing guard at the gates of Kabul complained of lack of forces to secure all the roads that lead to Kabul from different parts of the country and the interior Ministry indifferently stated that reinforcement is “underway”, after months of countless attacks on the capital city! These complaints are heard all over Afghanistan from helpless Afghan forces who risk their lives every day, yet receive no significant assistance from the state.

No group has claimed responsibility: what is said in Afghanistan about the author of this attack?

The Taliban denied any responsibility, and Afghan intelligence have stated that the Haqqani Network inside Pakistan carried out the attack with the help of the Pakistani intelligence. ISIS has not made a statement yet. The specific target of the attack is also unknown, which would have offered clues as to which country was behind the attack. Afghanistan has become the center of intelligence warfare between the West and its regional rivals, Russia, China, Iran, and India. The U.S. and NATO, along with Pakistan are heavily engaged in fostering terrorism and designing plans using terrorist groups to achieve their strategic interests. If Russian or Iran support a certain Taliban leader or group, he is immediately targeted by the U.S.. Similarly, if India supports some group of terrorists, it is immediately attacked by the U.S., with Pakistan at its heels. In this complex and foggy situation, it is very difficult to ascertain exactly which intelligence agency is behind such attacks, but the U.S. knows this very well and might even have prior knowledge of such attacks, but it never reveals such information. We believe if some attack of this scale was actually planned against the U.S. – which is unlikely since all the terrorist groups are on a leash in U.S.’s hand – it would be neutralized before even materializing. Such is the game ongoing in Afghanistan today.

When do you think it will end in your country? What must happen to attacks like this have an end?

The only solution to this situation is in the hands of the people of Afghanistan. If our people are mobilized and organized under a truly democratic and national leadership, and rise up against their enemies – Islamic fundamentalists inside and outside the government and their foreign masters – only then can our country escape from this quagmire. After the Taliban were ousted and the U.S. promised not to support fundamentalist forces, our people were very hopeful about peace and prosperity returning to the country after decades of war. After a few years, the insecurity and instability returned in a more vicious form than before, killing thousands of innocent civilians every year. Afghanistan is now in a deadlock, under siege from all sides, and only our people have the great strength and power to defeat these bloodthirsty foreign powers and their traitorous stooges.

Posted in Afghanistan0 Comments

The Real Story of Zbigniew Brzezinski That the Media Isn’t Telling

Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter, died Friday at a hospital in Virginia at the age of 89. Though the New York Times acknowledged that the former government advisor was a “hawkish strategic theorist,” misrepresenting his legacy as one of otherwise infinite positivity may not be as easy as the establishment might like to think.

As the United Kingdom plays around with levels of the so-called “terror threat” following a devastating attack by an ISIS-inspired individual — and as the Philippines goes into an almost complete state of martial law following ISIS-inspired destruction — Brzezinski’s timely death serves as a reminder to seek a deeper understanding of where modern terrorism originated in the first place.

As the New York Times explains, Brzezinski’s “rigid hatred of the Soviet Union” guided much of America’s foreign policy “for better or worse.” From the Times:

“He supported billions in military aid for Islamic militants fighting invading Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He tacitly encouraged China to continue backing the murderous regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia, lest the Soviet-backed Vietnamese take over that country.[emphasis added]

While it is progressive of the New York Times to note Brzezinski’s support for Islamic militants, downplaying the effect of his vindictive foreign policy agenda with a mere sentence does an injustice to the true horror behind Brzezinski’s policies.

Because a 1973 coup in Afghanistan had installed a new secular government that was leaning towards the Soviets, the U.S. endeavored to undermine this new government by organizing multiple coup attempts through America’s lackey states, Pakistan and Iran (the latter was under the control of the U.S.-backed Shah at the time.) In July 1979, Brzezinski officially authorized aid to the mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan to be delivered through the CIA’s program “Operation Cyclone.”

President Reagan and Mujahideen leaders from Afghanistan

Many people defend America’s decision to arm the mujahideen in Afghanistan because they believe it was necessary to defend the country and the wider region from Soviet aggression. However, Brzesinski’s own statements directly contradict this rationale. In a 1998 interview, Brzezinski admitted that in conducting this operation, the Carter administration had “knowingly increased the probability” that the Soviets would intervene militarily (suggesting they began arming the Islamist factions before the Soviets invaded, making the rationale redundant since there was no invasion Afghanistan freedom fighters needed to repel at the time). Brzezinski then stated:

“Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.”

This statement went further than merely boasting at the instigation of war and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. In his memoir, entitled “From the Shadows,” Robert Gates — former CIA director under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama — directly confirmed this covert operation began six months prior to the Soviet invasion with the actual intention of luring the Soviets into a Vietnam-style quagmire.

Brzezinski knew exactly what he was doing. The Soviets were then bogged down in Afghanistan for approximately ten years, fighting an endless supply of American-supplied weapons and trained fighters. At the time, the media even went so far as to laud Osama bin Laden — one of the most influential figures in Brzezinski’s covert operation. We all know how that story ended.

Even with full knowledge of what his CIA-funded creation had become, in 1998 Brzezinski stated the following to his interviewers:

“What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?”

The interviewer at the time, refusing to allow this answer to pass, retorted:

“Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.”

Brzezinski dismissed this statement outright, replying:

“Nonsense!”

This occurred back when the journalists asked government officials pressing questions, a rare occurrence today.

Brzezinski’s support for these radical elements led directly to the formation of al-Qaeda, which literally translates to “the base,” as it was the base in which to launch the repulsion of the anticipated Soviet invasion. It also led to the creation of the Taliban, a deadly entity currently deadlocked in an endless battle with NATO forces.

Further, despite Brzezinski’s statements, which attempt to depict a lasting defeat of the Russian empire, the truth is that for Brzezinski, the cold war never ended. Though he was a critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Brzezinski’s stranglehold over American foreign policy continued right up until his death.

It is no coincidence that in Syria, the Obama administration deployed an Afghanistan-quagmire-type strategy toward another Russian ally — Assad in Syria. A cable leaked by Wikileaks dated December 2006 — authored by William Roebuck, who was chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Damascus at the time -— stated:

“We believe Bashar’s weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as the conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists. This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising.” [emphasis added]

Much like Operation Cyclone, under Barack Obama, the CIA was spending approximately $1 billion a year training Syrian rebels (to engage in terrorist tactics, nonetheless). The majority of these rebels share ISIS’ core ideology and have the express aim of establishing Sharia law in Syria.

Just like in Afghanistan, the Syrian war formally drew in Russia in 2015, and Brzezinski’s legacy was kept alive through Obama’s direct warning to Russia’s Vladimir Putin that he was leading Russia into another Afghanistan-style quagmire.

So where might Obama have gotten this Brzezinski-authored playbook from, plunging Syria further into a horrifying six-year-long war that has, again, drawn in a major nuclear power in a conflict rife with war crimes and crimes against humanity?

The answer: from Brzezinski himself. According to Obama, Brzezinski is a personal mentor of his, an “outstanding friend” from whom he has learned immensely. In light of this knowledge, is it any surprise that we saw so many conflicts erupt out of nowhere during Obama’s presidency?

On  February 7, 2014, the BBC published a transcript of a bugged phone conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. In that phone call, the representatives were discussing who they wanted to place in the Ukrainian government following a coup that ousted Russian-aligned president Viktor Yanukovych.

Image result for The Grand Chessboard

Lo and behold, Brzezinski himself advocated taking over Ukraine in his 1998 book, The Grand Chessboard, stating Ukraine was

“a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard…a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country (means) Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”

Brzezinski warned against allowing Russia to control Ukraine because

“Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

Following Obama, Donald Trump came into office with a completely different mentality, willing to work with Russia and the Syrian government in combatting ISIS. Unsurprisingly, Brzezinski did not support Trump’s bid for the presidency and believed Trump’s foreign policy ideas lacked coherence.

All that being said, just last year Brzezinski appeared to have changed his stance on global affairs and instead began to advocate a “global realignment” — a redistribution of global power — in light of the fact that the U.S. is no longer the global imperial power it once was. However, he still seemed to indicate that without America’s global leadership role, the result would be “global chaos,” so it seemed unlikely his change in perception was rooted in any actual meaningful change on the geopolitical chessboard.

Further, the CIA’s very existence relies on the idea of a Russian threat, as has been evidenced by the agency’s complete assault on the Trump administration whenever it appears détente is possible with the former Soviet Union.

Brzezinski died safely in a hospital bed, unlike the millions of displaced and murdered civilians who were pawns in Brzezinski’s twisted, geopolitical chess games of blood and lunacy. His legacy is one of militant jihadism, the formation of al-Qaeda, the most devastating attack on U.S. soil by a foreign entity in our recent history, and the complete denigration of Russia as an everlasting adversary with which peace cannot — and should not — ever be attained.

Posted in USA, Afghanistan0 Comments

War and Terrorism: What’s Behind the Massive Kabul Blast? “ISIS Claimed Responsibility”

NOVANEWS

Wednesday morning’s powerful blast, believed to have been from explosives in a water-transporting vehicle, killed scores, injuring hundreds more in Kabul, Afghanistan’s heavily protected diplomatic district.

The blast destroyed dozens of vehicles, damaged numerous buildings across a wide area, leaving a huge crater in the ground.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the attack, saying its fighters had nothing to do with it. Kabul’s 1TV channel reported ISIS claiming responsibility for what happened.

Image result

The Taliban’s official spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid (Source: Daily Pakistan)

It’s unclear how a security breach this great could have happened. Though hard to impossible to check all vehicular and other movements into and around high-security areas, perhaps there’s more to Wednesday’s incident than reported.

America, NATO and their regional rogue state allies support ISIS. Why would it carry out an attack close to where Western and other diplomatic embassies are located, causing enormous carnage, one of the deadliest incidents in the country since US-launched aggression in October 2001?

US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) head General John Nicholson Jr., CENTCOM chief General Joseph Votel, and other Pentagon commanders want more US troops sent to the country.

Trump’s military and national security advisors recommend deploying an additional 50,000 US forces – to prop up Kabul’s pro-Western puppet regime, along with continuing endless war, unwilling to acknowledge a long ago lost cause.

Was Wednesday’s blast a terrorist incident like many others in US war theaters? Or was it something else unknown at this time, perhaps to get Trump to authorize sending thousands more US combat troops to Afghanistan?

Image result for kabul blast

Security forces stand next to a crater created by massive explosion in front of the German Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 31, 2017. (Source: ABC News)

Obama continued Bush/Cheney’s war after pledging to end it. Now it’s Trump’s.

Will he continue the futility of the past 16 years, America’s longest war, sending more US forces to pursue a lost cause?

Or will he responsibly end America’s aggression, bringing to a close one of the most disturbing chapters in its history?

In the wake of Wednesday’s blast, along with phony reports about Russia supplying the Taliban with weapons, he’s most likely to escalate America’s longest war, not end it.

Posted in Afghanistan0 Comments

No proof to back allegations Russia gave weapons to Taliban – US military intel chief

NOVANEWS
Image result for Taliban CARTOON

The thinly-veiled accusations in the US that Russia supplied arms to Taliban militants were not based on any physical evidence of weapons or money transfers, a senior US military official told lawmakers.

“We have seen indication that they offered some level of support but I have not seen real physical evidence of weapons or money being transferred,” Marine Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, who serves as director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), said at a Senate hearing.

Last month allegations against Russia were voiced by some US officials, including US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, military commander of alliance forces in Europe, and US Army General John W. Nicholson Jr., who commands US troops in Afghanistan.

The officials claimed that Russia was exerting influence on the Taliban and may be involved in supplying weapons to the militants.

The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the allegations as “fabrications designed to justify the failure of the US military and politicians in the Afghan campaign.”

Stewart was reporting to the Senate Arms Services Committee on the Pentagon’s view on global threats to the US and its allies.

Posted in Afghanistan, RussiaComments Off on No proof to back allegations Russia gave weapons to Taliban – US military intel chief

Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

June 2017
M T W T F S S
« May    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930