Tag Archives: Afghanistan

US-NATO war in Afghanistan as barbaric as Israel in Gaza

Afghan children August 12 2014

We cannot forget the other US-NATO wars in Afghanistan & Iraq which are every bit as barbaric as Israel in Gaza. But reporters in those countries are embedded up the butt of US militarism so by the time we get the news it’s all been sanitized & made humanitarian. US justifications for these wars have been as shifting & inventive as those Israel uses in Gaza. Despite the lies & the sanitized reports, a majority of people in the US oppose those wars; if they were aware of the barbarism employed, they might actively do so. Because if there is one thing for certain, massive public opposition to war scares the hell out of the warmakers, no matter how hard they feign otherwise. Hundreds of people in the streets look too much like revolution.

US-NATO drone sorties have increased over Afghanistan to now hundreds a day while Obama blithers deceits about winding down the war. Many, especially Zionists, have pounced on the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian supporters & berated us for not standing against Assad in Syria, which they claim is a far more important struggle. It is an important struggle rendered hopelessly confusing not just by media war mongering but by the mangled analyses of competing leftist groups. What’s telling is that the sanctimonious never mention Afghanistan or Iraq. The only reason Zionists taunt Syria is not to defend the revolution against Assad’s tyranny but to take attention & support away from Gaza. It’s a switch & bait trick & not a very impressive one, but then Zionism draws on the cesspool of 19th century racism & colonialism for its inspiration.

The antiwar movement against war in Afghanistan & Iraq (& for that matter, Pakistan, Uganda, Somalia, Yemen) has been weak for a long time–at least since the Gulf War. But the antiwar movement made up of students, church groups, veteran groups, & activists of all kinds can’t conceive of putting Palestinian solidarity at odds with the struggle against war elsewhere. In fact, in the US & elsewhere, the most active builders of Palestinian solidarity have been antiwar activists. Because the children of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, & everywhere else are bound together by a common humanity & by a profound nexus of economic, social, & political relationships. That’s what solidarity is all about–not pitting those being bombed in one country against those being bombed in another.

One thing is certain, the US Pentagon has every reason to be concerned about the massive opposition to Israeli ethnic cleansing & support for Palestinians. Not only does it unsettle their neoliberal plans for Israel as a police fortress in the Middle East, but it means their other wars in the region will come under closer scrutiny & face greater public opposition.

These children are Afghan refugees in Islamabad, Pakistan listening to their teacher at an Islamic school. Given their age & the duration of US occupation in Afghanistan, they may very well have been born in Pakistan.

US out of Afghanistan! US out of Iraq! End all military aid to Israel!

(Photo by Muhammed Muheisen/AP)

Emancipation US-style in Afghanistan

Afghanistan brick worker June 1 2014

Emancipation US-style: this little guy is a brick worker in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since it’s likely he’s malnourished, it’s hard to judge his age but he is surely no older than two. Let his image stand as a scathing indictment of the US-NATO war; no more need be said to rebut all the lies & treacheries we’ve been fed to justify this criminal & barbaric occupation.

The photo was taken last June to commemorate the UN’s World Day Against Child Labor. UN agencies take time & resources to chronicle child labor in Afghanistan but they can’t find it in themselves to condemn the war.

US-NATO out of Afghanistan! US out of Iraq! Bring all the troops home now!

(Photo by Ahmad Massoud/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

Money for war but none for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan

There isn’t a bit of news coming out of Afghanistan that doesn’t damn the US-NATO war. For the past several days, what little there is of war reporting has been shoved aside by news about the landslide in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan that UN officials claim killed 350 people but locals say killed 2,700 people.

It’s reported to be in a remote mountainous area difficult to access by UN rescue operations. But isn’t that always the case with rescue operations? That impassable roads thing has become a cliche. US-NATO can deliver all sorts of milltary equipment & bomb the hell out of a place but they can only stand by helplessly, wringing their bloody hands, & uttering pieties when a catastrophe happens. Obama took time out from war mongering against Russia to say: “I want to say on behalf of the American people that our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan who have experienced an awful tragedy.” Golly, that’s touching. But what the victims need is food, water, tents, search-&-rescue teams, & US-NATO forces have more than enough resources to deliver them.

One media source called it a paradox that while billions of dollars in foreign aid have poured into Afghanistan, there is none available for the landslide victims. Is paradox what they now call grand larceny? NGOs play a big role in the war business; they get to steal a lot of dough for keeping their traps shut about the crimes & atrocities of war.

To be fair, it must be said that we can understand the squeamishness of UN officials getting aid to Badakhshan province. It’s an impoverished part of the country with no five-star hotels.

US out of Afghanistan! US out of Iraq! No US intervention in Nigeria!

(Photo by Massoud Hossaini/AP)

No US intervention in Nigeria! US out of Afghanistan and Iraq!

Emancipation, US-style: those falling for the bring back our girls campaign & who think US & UK marines & special forces are really going to Nigeria to rescue young girls need to straighten up & fly right. This is the character of US emancipation: a small Afghan boy is trying to learn how to walk with his prosthetic leg at one of the Red Cross facilities in Afghanistan for amputees who lost limbs from land mines or other US-NATO war crimes.

In the rabid hysteria that passes for the drums of war in US media, they’ve enlisted Malala Yousafzai & the Malala Fund, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie (always a shill for US wars), & the creepy Mia Farrow, who has long advocated US intervention in Darfur. The only regrettable one is young Malala; the war machine can have the rest of them.

Using women’s rights to justify war is proving quite a propaganda bonanza. But women have always played a unique role opposing war going back to Lysistrata & the Peloponnesian War. It is time for women to raise their voices loud & clear against intervention in Nigeria because when the US & UK are finished thousands of Nigerian men, women, & children will have paid a horrific price for our credulity.

No US intervention in Nigeria! US out of Afghanistan! US out of Iraq!

(Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP)

US-NATO war in Afghanistan a war of plunder not women’s liberation

US-Nato forces are on a righteous crusade to rout Islamic misogyny out of Afghanistan by using one fleet to bomb the hell out of the country & another fleet to fly the opium out for processing & distribution. If you see no reason why women’s rights requires drug peddling or mass murder, or how the marines got all mixed up in feminism, you’re not alone & have put your finger on the despicable irrationalities of war propaganda.

Reports coming out of the Pentagon itself expose horrific statistics on rape & sexual assault in the US military beginning in basic training & military academies. Estimates vary between 26,000 to 45,000 on the number of men & women assaulted every year. According to a 2011 Newsweek magazine report (admittedly not the most reliable source), women are more likely to be assaulted by a fellow soldier or officer than killed in combat.

Now the US Department of Education has released a report that one in five women college students will be sexually assaulted on campus, including at the most prestigious universities in the country.

Will US-NATO forces start bombing universities then or even turn their drones on the Pentagon? Will we hear denunciations of Christian theology which likely dominates most of those schools & certainly the Pentagon? Will they send in the marines to free women from the clutches of such ignominy? Or have we had just enough of this crap?

It’s time for a regeneration of feminism–not one that sucks up to politicians but that is independent & political & hopefully shows up fully clothed so that racism & grandstanding for media do not replace political message. (And yes, I’m taking a jab at FEMEN & Slut Walks!)

US out of Afghanistan! US out of Iraq!

(Photo of Afghan women from aljazeera)

The dangers of journalism in war zones

We should take a moment to honor Anja Niedringhaus, a photojournalist based in Afghanistan who was shot & killed this past week. It is estimated that at least 70 journalists were killed last year & 20 so far this year. Twenty-eight of those killed in 2013 were reporting from Syria. Journalists face many dangers in war zones & areas of conflict since they are often targeted for assassination. It’s not a glamorous job.

One press freedom group estimates over 850 journalists were killed in the line of duty between 1992 & 2012. Mexico is considered by press freedom groups to be among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. Almost 100 reporters have been killed or disappeared since 2000 with most of those crimes unsolved, un-investigated, & with few arrests. Many Mexican journalists have sought refuge in neighboring countries from possible assassination. Unsolved murders of journalists exist in many countries, including Russia & the US. Presently, a group of al-Jazeera reporters are in a kangaroo court in Egypt for alleged collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood. There are many such cases around the world & press freedom groups have formed ostensibly to monitor & defend media workers when they are targeted, arrested, prosecuted, or murdered by tyrannous regimes.

Most notable groups include the Committee to Protect Journalists (formed in 1981), which has a conservative board of directors including Christiane Amanpour, Tom Brokaw, & Dan Rather. The association of such establishment figures should put up a huge red banner saying “donors beware”.

Reporters Without Borders (formed in 1985), has questionable corporate & foundation financial sponsorship (like the Open Society Institute of George Soros & anti-Cuban immigrant groups in the US); & extremely reactionary political associations (like Otto Reich, a former Reagan & Bush official with a political rap sheet a mile long). The group shows particular venom toward Cuba (explaining their association with Reich) & is accused of disinformation campaigns against the Haitian government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide & the Venezuelan government under Hugo Chávez–giving the group its distinct malodorous whiff of deceit & nefarious connections with tyranny.

Another group is the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which has existed off & on since 1926 & now claims 600,000 members in 100 countries. It claims it has no political point of view as an organization & is based on the trade unions. That association does not make it free of political fault but it does appear to be run by journalists, not by corporate & tyrannous agendas, & seems the least compromised of the press freedom groups. It advocates for women journalists who face threats, assaults, rape, & murder due to gender, particularly in Israel, Mexico, the Philippines, Somalia, Russia, & Nepal.

Calling out Israel for targeting women journalists & for endangering journalists in Israeli bombing sieges in Lebanon (2006) & Gaza (Dec. 2008-Jan 2009) put the group at loggerheads with the Israeli journalist association. The resolution of that conflict nearly a year after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead (a three-week ground invasion & aerial bombardment of Gaza) is not the IFJ’s finest moment. In fact, it was despicable. One of the issues was Palestinian press freedom after Operation Cast Lead & Israeli journalist complaints that they were not consulted in the IFJ’s investigative mission. In the rapprochement brokered by Franco Siddi from the Italian IFJ with the Israeli journalist association, Siddi said, “Eliminating the contribution of Israeli journalists to our international federation was inconceivable. Israeli media are amongst the most independent & freest in the world, & their voices are an essential element in the IFJ, which is based on democratic, ethical principals.” That would constitute shameless groveling & outright lies.

In fact, at the IFJ world congress in Dublin, Ireland, in June 2013, the delegates launched a campaign protesting Israeli restrictions on Palestinian journalists with official press passes from free movement between Israel, Gaza, East Jerusalem, & the West Bank & within the West Bank itself. No mention how Signore Siddi voted on the resolution. Hopefully he was covering his head in shame or hiding in the bathroom in disgrace.

According to independent sources, not just restrictions on movement, but attacks on Palestinian journalists is common, including targeting them in the same way they target all Palestinians–with rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, stun grenades, stink bombs.

This petition launched last year by Palestinian journalists demanding press freedom is still active & requires signatures; please take a moment to sign it: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Freedom_of_Movement_for_Palestinian_Journalists

This 2012 photo by Anja Niedringhaus (done for AP), is an Afghan nomad with his daughter in Helmand province. The caption read that Helmand province was one of the country’s deadliest battlefields, leaving the residents terrorized. They say the promised development by US-NATO forces has not materialized & Taliban rule is often preferred.

May Ms Niedringhaus RIP.

Obama sheds phony tears over Fort Hood murder-suicide

Obama says he’s “heartbroken” over the shooting deaths of three soldiers & the suicide of the shooter at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. That would be a step in the right direction–if it were at all believable. The US War-Monger in Chief didn’t express any sorrow when they reported in 2012 that suicides in the military eclipsed the number of combat-related deaths. Suicides among soldiers & veterans is now about one-a-day & increasing.

Of course, the Pentagon cooks the books when it comes to accurate reporting of combat deaths so none of those figures are reliable. On the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, there are about 58,000 names of soldiers killed in that war. Names continue to be added. But more importantly, for that memorial the Pentagon only released the names of soldiers who were injured & died in Vietnam. If they were injured in Vietnam but died on a ship en route to a hospital in Japan, if they died from Agent Orange poisoning in a US hospice, or died from complications of combat injuries after release from the military, or if they were injured in the US invasion of Cambodia, the Pentagon does not include their names among Vietnam War casualties. It should also be added, they’re not counted if they just drank or doped themselves to death over grief & guilt at what they had done in war.

Obama has yet to shed any tears over the monumental numbers of civilian deaths caused by US wars–they number in the millions, not even including those who suffer from injuries like dismemberment, disfigurement, & birth disabilities.

Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study funded by the Pentagon that claimed the real reason behind the catastrophic number of military suicides was not combat experiences or extended deployments but in fact underlying mental health issues in the population. It’s inarguable a society built & sustained by racist policies & wars will have more than its fair share of insanity. US politicians give glaring testimony to that–only rivaled by the parliament of England. But to find scientists willing to sing for their supper who dare claim soldiers who kill, massacre, rape, participate in torturing prisoners, are coming home sane is an abomination of science & politics.

So hold your tears, Obama! You’ll need them when you meet the devil as he leads you to that special hellhole set aside for war criminals. You’ll be spending your eternity with the smelly likes of Hitler, Kissinger, Bush, Reagan, Nixon, & Dick Cheney. You earned that shame, buster!

(Photo of US soldier in Afghanistan putting children in harm’s way from antiwar.com; photographer not identified)

Emancipation US-style in Afghanistan

Emancipation US-style: Now here we can see so clearly the failure of US-NATO marines at liberating Afghan women. And we are not referring to their attire but to the fact that they are begging in the streets of Kandahar in order to feed their families.

We don’t fault US-NATO soldiers for failing to achieve women’s liberation; they were never set up to be a salvation army. They were sent in to Afghanistan to occupy, destroy, kill, control–& that they’ve done very well.

US-NATO out of Afghanistan! US out of Iraq!

(Photo by Anja Niedringhaus/AP)