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Tag Archives: Afghanistan

The Patient War

Haji Din Mohammed met with the Taliban for the first time on the public record on July 7, 2015, in the town of Murree, Pakistan, just outside Islamabad. It was Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. After sunset, he and his colleagues — delegates from the High Peace Council, the Afghan government’s official negotiating body — sat down for a customary iftar dinner at their hotel before heading over to a nearby golf resort.

Din Mohammed, who is in his early sixties, has a white beard and rheumy eyes. That evening, he wore a lungi, a turban that indicated his elite social status, and a shalwar kameez, an elegant tunic and trousers. He and his delegation were ushered into a sparsely appointed room and seated along one side of a long table. Facing them were three Taliban envoys. On their left were the Pakistani hosts; on their right, three observers from the United States and China. For this historic occasion, the resort served milk tea and summer fruit. Like most Afghans, Din Mohammed prefers green tea, considering the Pakistani variety too sweet, so his cup went untouched.

http://harpers.org/archive/2017/02/the-patient-war/

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2017 in Asia

 

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Afghan migrants stuck in the Balkans resist going home

They have come a long way, spent most of their money on smugglers and camped out in the open for weeks.

For Afghan migrants stranded in the Balkans there is no turning back, even as the most likely prospect many of them face in the European Union could be deportation back to their country.

Thousands of young Afghan men in Serbia and elsewhere in the region are determined to reach wealthy EU nations, despite closed borders and an agreement between their government and the EU that will more easily send home Afghan citizens who have been rejected for asylum.

Aid groups have sharply criticized “The Joint Way Forward” declaration, which was agreed upon only days ahead of an international donors’ conference Wednesday for Afghanistan that pledged $15.2 billion for the beleaguered country.

Source: Afghan migrants stuck in the Balkans resist going home

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2016 in Asia, Reportages

 

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Bin Laden declares war on a complacent America

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21 August 1998 Four days ago, as President Bill Clinton was testifying to Kenneth Starr about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, foreign diplomats in Pakistan were told that “all foreigners” in Afghanistan were in danger. European embassy staff suspected that the United States, with the help of the Pakistani authorities, was about to assault Osama bin Laden, the Saudi dissident opposed to Washington’s continued presence in Saudi Arabia. One foreign embassy official in Islamabad told me the sources were American.

Source: Bin Laden declares war on a complacent America

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Asia, Reportages

 

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Face to face with Bin Laden

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Osama bin Laden, the fiercest opponent of the Saudi regime and of America’s presence in the Gulf, has warned Britain that it must withdraw its servicemen from Saudi Arabia if it wishes to avoid the fate of the 19 Americans killed by a truck bomb in the Kingdom last month. In an interview with The Independent in a remote mountainous area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province – to which he has returned from Sudan with hundreds of his Arab mujahedin guerrillas – the 40-year-old Saudi dissident declared that killing the Americans marked “the beginning of war between Muslims and the United States”.

Source: Face to face with Bin Laden

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Asia, Reportages

 

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The invasion of Afghanistan 15 years ago was an arrogant, wretched adventure that caused a migrant crisis

As usual, all the warnings were there. Three Anglo-Afghan wars. Russia’s Vietnam. The Graveyard of Empires. Poppy capital of the world. The most bombed, crushed, corrupted, mined nation on the globe.

So off we set in our righteous war of revenge for the Twin Towers and the dead of 9/11 to bomb Afghanistan all over again and – a new twist, this – to bring ‘democracy’ to the land though which Alexander the Great passed en route to India. Osama bin Laden was our latest Hitler, although his protective screen of Salafist obscurantist Taliban legions could hardly be compared to the Wehrmacht.

Source: The invasion of Afghanistan 15 years ago was an arrogant, wretched adventure that caused a migrant crisis

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Asia, Reportages

 

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We love to talk of terror – but after the Munich shooting, this hypocritical catch-all term has finally caught us out 

The frightful and bloody hours of Friday night and Saturday morning in Munich and Kabul – despite the 3,000 miles that separate the two cities – provided a highly instructive lesson in the semantics of horror and hypocrisy. I despair of that generic old hate-word, “terror”. It long ago became the punctuation mark and signature tune of every facile politician, policeman, journalist and think tank crank in the world.
Terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. Or terrorist, terrorist, terrorist, terrorist, terrorist.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/munich-shooting-nice-attack-terrorism-robert-fisk-catch-all-finally-caught-out-a7153176.html

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2016 in Asia, European Union, Reportages

 

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Searching for ground truth in the Kunduz hospital bombing

WHEN THE TALIBAN overran Kunduz last September after a monthlong siege, the northern Afghan city became the first to fall to the insurgency since the war began in 2001. A week earlier, many Kunduz residents had left town to observe Eid al-Adha, the sacrificial feast honoring Abraham’s act of submission to God. The heavy fighting sent the remaining Kunduzis fleeing as dead bodies littered the streets.
On Friday, October 2, the city lay quiet, with just one building lit up against the dark sky. Most other international organizations had evacuated when the fighting began, but the Kunduz Trauma Center run by Médecins Sans Frontières remained open throughout the battle for the city. It was one of the few buildings with a generator. Throughout the week, violence seemed to lap against the walls of the hospital without ever engulfing it. All around the 35,620-square-meter compound, the site of an old cotton factory, fighting ebbed and flowed. Doctors and nurses marked the intensity of battle by the freshly wounded who arrived at the gate. According to MSF, the hospital treated 376 emergency patients between September 28, when the city fell, and October 2.

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/28/searching-for-ground-truth-in-the-kunduz-hospital-bombing/

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2016 in Asia, North America

 

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A Hellfire from Heaven won’t Smash the Taliban

So Taliban supremo Mullah Mansour’s white Toyota Corolla was rattling across the Baluchestan desert just after it had crossed the Iranian border when a Hellfire missile fired from a US drone incinerated it into a charred / twisted wreck.

That’s the official narrative. The Pentagon said Mansour was on Obama’s kill list because he had become “an obstacle to peace and reconciliation.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/02/a-hellfire-from-heaven-wont-smash-the-taliban/

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2016 in Asia

 

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The shifting sands in Afghanistan after Mullah Mansour’s death

Three major developments during the last 10 days are likely to have significant implications on the future of the Afghan peace process — the unsuccessful conclusion of the Afghan Quadrilateral Coordination Group’s (QCG) talks in Islamabad, the U.S. Congress’s conditions on Pakistan to do more on Afghanistan to receive any further American aid, and the killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan by an American drone.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-shifting-sands-in-afghanistan-after-mullah-mansours-death/article8637439.ece

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Asia

 

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Pentagon: Special Ops Killing of Pregnant Afghan Women Was “Appropriate” Use of Force

An internal Defense Department investigation into one of the most notorious night raids conducted by special operations forces in Afghanistan — in which seven civilians were killed, including two pregnant women — determined that all the U.S. soldiers involved had followed the rules of engagement. As a result, the soldiers faced no disciplinary measures, according to hundreds of pages of Defense Department documents obtained by The Intercept through the Freedom of Information Act. In the aftermath of the raid, Adm. William McRaven, at the time the commander of the elite Joint Special Operations Command, took responsibility for the operation. The documents made no unredacted mention of JSOC.

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/01/pentagon-special-ops-killing-of-pregnant-afghan-women-was-appropriate-use-of-force/

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Asia, North America

 

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