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Afghanistan

Guest_librarian_*
post Oct 20 2006, 01:10 PM
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Guest_librarian_*
post Oct 20 2006, 02:08 PM
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Topic Introduction


Location, Location, Location

by Sanders

Sometimes home to Osama bin Laden, world's largest grower of poppies, and the first target of the US's war on terror. People have been fighting over Afghanistan for centuries. While the Afghans have been no match for US cluster bombs, they were not too long ago quite famous for their tenacity as fighters - the country's been invaded so many times, fighting off super-powers is practically 2nd nature to them. Lying along the silk road, Afghanistan became the center of Russian and British attention during the "Great Game" in the 19th century. Not so much because of anything Afghanistan had that anyone wanted, but just because of where it was - sandwiched between the frontiers of their burgeoning empires. Russia tried again to get control of the country during the 80's but were beaten down by the Mujahedeen (armed with stinger missiles courtesy of the USA), and probably also by the heroin habits that the Red Army picked up during their stay.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 (in no small part due to their expensive failure in Afghanistan), the poor country became the target of another super-power's attentions. This time for different reasons, but once again because of location. After the discovery of massive oil and gas reserves in the Caspian basin it became obvious that the only really economically viable way to get it out was though, you guessed it, Afghanistan.

There was no 24-hour CNN coverage of the 'War in Afghanistan', or, operation "Enduring Freedom" as the Pentagon called it. In fact, there was NO news coverage. Journalists were persona-non-gratis. Possibly, the Pentagon didn't want the world to see first hand the US Air Force 'bomb it into basketball courts' as one news commentator recommended immediately after 9/11.

I am not really qualified to say much else about the place, other than the Afghans have had it rough enduring all this freedom. So I'll post something by an Afghan/American woman that I plucked from the web not long after the US started it's campaign to rout out the Taliban:

“Some say, why don’t the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban?  The answer is, they’re starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering.  A few years ago, the UN estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan - a country with no economy, no food.  There are millions of widows.  The Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves.  The soil is littered with landmines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets....  Make the Afghans suffer? They’re already suffering.  Level their houses?  Done.  Turn their schools into piles of rubble?  Done. Eradicate their hospitals?  Done.  Destroy their infrastructure? ...Too late.  Someone already did all that.”


See also: Soviet-Afghan War and CENTGAS, the Taliban, & the trans-Afghan Pipeline
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post Oct 20 2006, 02:09 PM
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Articles

The Real Cost Of Defeat In Forgettistan
Swan Song for NATO

By Mike Whitney
QUOTE
There's no back-up plan for Afghanistan. In fact, there is no plan at all. The administration thought the Taliban would see America's high-tech, laser-guided weaponry and run for the hills. They did. Now they're back. And now we are embroiled in an “unwinnable” war with a tenacious enemy that grows stronger and more resolute by the day.

Eventually, the Europeans will see the futility of the war and leave. And that will be the end of NATO.
http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=24831


6 Years Later, U.S. Expands Afghan Base
AP, @ The Huntington Post, Oct 7 2007
(I guess this means we won't be leaving soon...)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/07/s...xp_n_67457.html


The Great Game
A bit of Afghan history from Afghanland.com
http://www.afghanland.com/history/greatgame.html


NATO, Afghan officials probe report of civilian deaths
CNN News, June 30 2007
QUOTE
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The U.S.-led coalition and the Afghan government are investigating reports that as many as 130 people, including women and children, were killed Friday in an attack by coalition forces in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province...
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/06/3...tack/index.html


Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan No Coincidence
by Ira Chernus
CommonDreams.org, July 2, 2007
QUOTE
So what’s a poor NATO commander to do? American General Dan McNeill, who took control of all NATO forces in Afghanistan this spring, seems to have an answer: Bombs away, and let hearts and minds fall where they may. The spike in civilian deaths from NATO bombs is no coincidence. It reflects a major change in strategy, which has gone totally unreported in the American media.
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/06/30/2234/


A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan:
A Comprehensive Accounting [revised]

- Professor Marc W. Herold
Ph.D., M.B.A., B.Sc.
Cursor.org
(Marc W. Herold led the way in trying to document civilian deaths in Afghanistan. This Cursor.org site contains many links to other resources about Afghanistan and Iraq)
http://www.cursor.org/stories/civilian_deaths.htm


<span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%'>U.S. planes strike Red Cross relief compound in Kabul, Afghanistan</span>
AlefBeh.com, October 16, 2001
QUOTE
Shortly after 1:00 pm local time today, a U.S. Air Force AC-130 struck Kabul destroying, among other "high value" targets, a relief compound belonging to the International Committee for the Red Cross.
News from early October 2001, just a month after 9/11. Representative of the civilian cost of operation "Enduring Freedom"
http://www.alefbeh.com/accordingto/101501/...cross_kabul.jsp


Startling findings in Tillman probe
inquest for a warrior
by Scott Lindlaw and Martha Mendoza
AP, hosted on YahooNews, Nov 9 2006
Details about the death of former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Disturbing.
QUOTE
...The Associated Press has combed through the results of 2 1/4 years of investigations — reviewed thousands of pages of internal Army documents, interviewed dozens of people familiar with the case — and uncovered some startling findings.
courtesy batmanchester
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061109/ap_on_...t_for_a_warrior


Drug war, Taliban, poppies are all in full flower
Opium, thugs bloom under U.S. policies in Afghanistan war

by Ann Jones
San Francisco Chronicle, Dec 17 2006
QUOTE
Through many administrations, the U.S. government has been implicated in the Afghan drug trade. During the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, the CIA sponsored anti-Soviet Islamist extremists, and to finance its covert operations, it fostered the drug trade. Before the American and Pakistani-sponsored mujahedeen took on the Soviets in 1979, Afghanistan produced a very small amount of opium for regional markets, and no heroin at all. By the end of the jihad against the Soviet army, it was the world's top producer of both drugs.

QUOTE
So far, the poppy-eradication program, largely funded by the United States, hasn't made a dent. Last year, it claimed to have destroyed 38,000 acres of poppies, up from 12,000 the year before; but during the same period overall poppy cultivation soared from 104,000 hectares to 165,000 hectares (or 408,000 acres).

When the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, poppies were grown on only 7,600 hectares. Under the American occupation that followed the defeat of the Taliban, poppy cultivation spread to every province, and overall production has increased exponentially ever since -- this year by 60 percent.


Escape from Afghanistan
by Paul Thompson
Summary from the author of the Complete 9/11 Timeline
http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/main/e...fghanistan.html


How Bush blew it in Tora Bora
By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times, Oct 27 2004
http://atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/FJ27Ag02.html


US colonel 'deeply ashamed' over Afghan civilian deaths
AFP @ Raw Story, May 8 2007
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_colonel_de...h_05082007.html


U.S. Pays and Apologizes to Kin of Afghans Killed by Marines
By David S. Cloud
New york Times, May 9 2007
QUOTE
“I stand before you today, deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people,” Colonel Nicholson said, recounting to reporters the words he had used in the meetings. In a videoconference to reporters at the Pentagon, he added, “We made official apologies on the part of the U.S. government” and paid $2,000 for each death.

The incident is already the subject of a criminal investigation by the Pentagon. But the decision to issue a public apology now reflects the military’s growing concern that recent civilian casualties have led to widespread ill will among Afghans and could jeopardize military operations.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/world/as...p;partner=MYWAY
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post Oct 20 2006, 02:11 PM
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Posts and Threads
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post Oct 20 2006, 02:12 PM
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Other Resources


Video

Breaking The Silence

Truth and Lies in the War on Terror
by John Pilger
Bullfrog Films
excellent documentary - thanks to datars for uploading this high quality version onto google
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-210088912352527308
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