Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

Taliban peace talks ‘at risk’ as Obama stalls on Guantánamo

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment
, diplomatic editor
From; guardian.co.uk, The Obama administration is in danger of missing an historic opportunity for a peace settlement in Afghanistan if it does not act quickly to release prisoners in response to a Taliban offer to open talks, European officials and observers claim.

The Taliban announced on 3 January that it had agreed to open a political office in Qatar for the purpose of holding peace talks with the international community, and said it expected the release of its officials being held at Guantánamo Bay.
At the time, White House officials said the administration was considering the transfer of five Taliban officials to custody in another
country, widely believed to be Qatar. But with still no movement on the prisoner transfers European officials involved in the talks are
urging Washington to act quickly to keep the momentum going towards talks before hardline spoilers on all sides can stall proceedings.

What do possible peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban mean for Afghanistan’s future?

For more information on Taliban / US peace talks check out this report uploaded by
on Jan 11, 2012

Propping Up a Drug Lord, Then Arresting Him

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

From NY Times

By JAMES RISEN
Published: December 11, 2010

WASHINGTON — When Hajji Juma Khan was arrested and transported to New York to face charges under a new American narco-terrorism law in 2008, federal prosecutors described him as perhaps the biggest and most dangerous drug lord in Afghanistan, a shadowy figure who had helped keep the Taliban in business with a steady stream of money and weapons.

But what the government did not say was that Mr. Juma Khan was also a longtime American informer, who provided information about the Taliban, Afghan corruption and other drug traffickers. Central Intelligence Agency officers and Drug Enforcement Administration agents relied on him as a valued source for years, even as he was building one of Afghanistan’s biggest drug operations after the United States-led invasion of the country, according to current and former American officials. Along the way, he was also paid a large amount of cash by the United States.

To finish this story click here.

For more on Afghanistan’s drug problems check out this video clip.

Oceans of Blood and Profits for the Mongers of War

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

From CommonDreams by Robert Fisk

 

“Since there are now three conflicts in the greater Middle East; Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel/”Palestine” and maybe another Lebanese war in the offing, it might be a good idea to take a look at the cost of war.

Not the human cost – 80 lives a day in Iraq, unknown numbers in Afghanistan, one a day in Israel/”Palestine” (for now) – but the financial one. I’m still obsessed by the Saudi claim for its money back after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Hadn’t Saudi Arabia, King Fahd reminded Saddam, financed his eight-year war against Iran to the tune of $25,734,469,885.80? For the custodian of the two holy places, Mecca and Medina, to have shelled out $25bn for Saddam to slaughter his fellow Muslims was pretty generous – although asking for that extra 80 cents was surely a bit greedy.

But then again, talking of rapacity, the Arabs spent $84bn underwriting the Anglo-American operation against Saddam in 1990-91 – three times what Fahd gave to Saddam for the Iran war – and the Saudi share alone came to $27.5bn. In all, the Arabs sustained a loss of $620bn because of the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait – almost all of which was paid over to the United States and its allies. Washington was complaining in August 1991 that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait still owed $7.5bn. Western wars in the Middle East, it seemed, could be fought for profit as well as victory. Maybe Iraq could have brought us more treasure if it hadn’t ended in disaster. At least it would help to have paid for America’s constant infusion of cash to Israel’s disastrous wars.”

A video of  nobel winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on the cost of war.

The Truth About Our True Enemies Told On American TV? Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia & the Roots of 9/11

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Dylan Rattigan shows us why he doesn’t have a show anymore when he explains to a somewhat nervous panel about who our true enemies our in the war on terror. It’s not Islam; it’s not Iraq or Iran or Afghanistan. Rather it’s a very small sect of Muslims funded by Saudi Arabia called Wahhabi. They could have been controlled and eliminated years ago. But of course as we all know by now war is a racket waged to make huge profits for the politically connected. Don’t think so? Consider this Saudi Arabia is getting set to buy $60,000,000,000.00 worth of arms from us.

For more on the development of  Wahhabiasm, Saudi Arabia and their ties to bin Laden read on;

Gause said that “bin Ladenism” came from and diverged from Wahhabism in many ways. Bin Laden, he said, adopted the idea of labeling others as takfir and affected social conservatism, especially in the dress and role of women among his followers. Bin Laden, however, diverged from Wahhabism in one important way: He went against the Wahhabi state and established his own political order in al-Qaeda, thus dismissing the prescribed obeisance to Saudi rulers.

“Bin Laden has an international perspective on the challenges to the Muslim world,” Gregory Gause said, “whereas the Wahhabi in the Saudi Arabian ulema have pretty much constrained themselves to what is going on around them.” Part of this divergence comes from din Laden’s experiences in the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

“The experience of the Afghan jihad,” said Gause, “was central in the development of the bin Ladenist ideological platform and political movement.” In Afghanistan, bin Laden’s ideology was affected by the international nature of the jihad — people from Uzbekistan and Chechnya, Kashmir and Indonesia, came together. The organization of the jihad, Maktab al-Khadamat, later turned into al-Qaeda, according to the U.S. government.

“Afghanistan was a win,” said Gause, “and nothing succeeds like success.” The win propelled the political movement. Not only did Muslim forces drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan, but they also helped in the demise of the Soviet Union. This type of rhetoric, said Gause, was an excellent recruiting tool.

On the heels of this victory, bin Laden criticized the monarchy’s decision to allow U.S. forces to base themselves in Saudi Arabia in the 1991 Gulf War. In 1994, Saudi Arabia stripped bin Laden of his citizenship. He relocated to Sudan and London and created the Committee on Advice and Reform; in 1995 he pronounced takfir on the Saudi state for being a tool of the U.S. and Israel.

Since then, bin Laden has switched his critical focus from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. He is believed to be a co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings that killed six and injured over 1,000 people. In 1998, he co-signed a fatwa against the States. “He takes our democracy seriously,” said Gause. “If you are a democracy then you are responsible for your government.” Thus, bin Laden called upon Muslims to kill Americans because of the actions of the U.S. government.”

Click here to read the entire post.

The Cost of War in Iraq and Afghanistan

October 3, 2010 Leave a comment
Today we present a pair of posts that relate to the financial costs of the war on terror. First we present a link to the National Priorities Project. National Priorities Project analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent. They also maintain a counter that keeps a running tab of what the “war on terror” is costing us in dollars.
And our second link is to a video posted by Center for Arms Control and Non Proliferation
LivableWorld | January 04, 2008

The Center for Arms Control and Non Proliferation, a sister organization of the Council for a Livable World, presents the costs of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in U.S. taxpayers’ dollars, U.S. lives, and the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians. Find out more at http://www.armscontrolcenter.org

Former Pakistan Spy Chief Explains Why America Cannot Win in Afghanistan

October 1, 2010 1 comment

General Hamid Gul is a former head if the ISI Pakistan’s intelligence service and one of those most responsible for the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan. Here we present a facinating interbiew with him;

From Guns and Butter, KPFA-FM, Wednesday, September 8, 2010

“The Afghan government is a corrupt government; the Communist government was not corrupt. But this government is a highly corrupt government. Karzai’s government is gangsters government, it is Mafia government. Karzai’s own half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, who is located in Kandahar, he is on the Governor’s council, or probably Governor himself, he is known to be the biggest drug baron. And the drug trade is going on like never before, and I’ll give you some figures of what is the situation on the drug front. Before the Taliban ruled, the men, the Mujahedin, were fighting among themselves, after the Soviet evacuation of Afghanistan. The volume of opium, raw opium, that was produced by Afghanistan was 4,500 tons. In the last year of Taliban rule it dropped down to 50 tons a year, 50 tons only, and that, too, in territories which were not under the control of the Taliban. So much so that the Drug Enforcement Agency of America, through Christina Rocco, who was then the Assistant Secretary of State, gave a prize of $41 million, it is on record, to the Taliban government, even though the Taliban government was under sanction. But the Drug Enforcement Agency thought it fit, that they had done such wonderful work, that they would give them a prize, $41 million. With sanctions on them I don’t know if they were ever paid or not; I think they were probably paid, and accepted by the Taliban at that time.

Now, at this time last year, the opium production in Afghanistan is a record 6,200 tons. Which caters to more than 90 percent of the world’s entire need. Previously, we know that these big drug caches and consignments that were caught in Pakistan, but of late there have been no such catches in Pakistan. So if there is a record level of production of opium in Afghanistan, it is going out to somewhere. After all, it is not being used in Afghanistan. How is it going? It’s not going through Iran, it is not going through Pakistan. Some of it is going to the Central Asian republics. But most of it is being directly flown — now this is very alarming — directly flown from Afghanistan to Europe as well as to America. And, I don’t know, I am not yet sure, that military aircraft are used for it or not, but I am sure the people, bigwigs up there, who are not interested in stopping the drug trade, they are involved in it. Who are those people? That is something that is for the American journalists, because unfortunately this term, “embedded journalism,” it is such a despicable term, to begin with, and it’s such a horrible concept, that truth can never come out. So, let’s first of all, America, allow free journalism to cover Afghanistan, and then they will know what all is happening.

On the side of construction work, because a lot of American money and American dollars are going into reconstruction, rehabilitation, I think four times more money is being spent as what is available on the ground. And I know certain sources, because these news filter out of Afghanistan, and some Afghan civilians who come and talk about this, they are saying that the Corps of Engineers of America, who are responsible for wherever the Americans are involved with in construction, they ask them to sign on an amount three times bigger than the one that they receive. So graft is rampant, corruption is rampant. And, a Mafia or a gangster government is running the country. How the hell in this situation can you control Afghanistan? Now Karzai has announced that he will set up a council, a high council, to talk to Taliban. Believe you me they will not talk. Because they despise Karzai. In their eyes he is a traitor. They would rather readily talk to the Americans, because Americans are a party. Whereas Karzai is a puppet, they will not talk to a puppet. But they would probably be prepared to talk to a party.”

To read the complete interview click here.



How Much “Success” Can Afghans Stand?

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

From TomDispatch

Posted by Nick Turse at 9:29am, September 12, 2010.

“Between 2001 and 2009, according to the Afghan government, the country has received $36 billion in grants and loans from donor nations, with the United States disbursing some $23 billion of it.  U.S. taxpayers have anted up another $338 billion to fund the war and occupation.  Yet from poverty indexes to risk-of-rape assessments, from childhood mortality figures to drug-use stats, just about every available measure of Afghan wellbeing paints a grim picture of a country in a persistent state of humanitarian crisis, often involving reconstruction and military failures on an epic scale.  Pick a measurement affecting ordinary Afghans and the record since November 2001 when Kabul fell to Allied forces is likely to show stagnation or setbacks and, almost invariably, suffering.

Almost a decade after the U.S. invasion, life for Afghan civilians is not a subject Americans care much about and so, not surprisingly, it plays little role in Washington’s discussions of “success.”  Have a significant number of Afghans found the years of occupation and war “successful”?  Has there been a payoff in everyday life for the indignities of the American years — the cars stopped or sometimes shot up at road checkpoints, the American patrols trooping through fields and searching homes, the terrifying night raids, the imprisonments without trial, or the way so many Afghans continue to be treated like foreigners, if not criminal suspects, in their own country?

For years, American leaders have hailed the way Afghans are supposedly benefiting from the U.S. role in their country.  But are they?”

To read the entire post click here.


Here is a video update on the bank crisis

%d bloggers like this: