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Angry Protest Against Civilian Casualties in Deadly US-Led Strikes

World  (tags: HumanRights, Afghanistan, war, attacks, deaths of civilians, children, US strikes, ethics, anger, protest )

- 3688 days ago -
"We ask the Afghan government to force the American forces to leave Afghanistan. They kill more civilians than Taliban," he said angrily.


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. (0)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 8:00 am
The civilian deaths are tragic, whether those deaths are due to Taliban action or U.S. military action.

But I don't think it's likely the Afghan government can ever oust the Taliban on their own. Which means that if U.S. forces leave, the continued fighting will either result in a constant state of war or an eventual Taliban victory.

And a Taliban victory is not, I trust, what the people of Afghanistan hope to see. Especially the Afghani women. Not unless they want to go back to the days of being prisoners in their own homes, with even windows blacked out so they cannot view life as it passes them by. And living with virtually zero rights in a terrifyingly male-dominated society.

Either way, more civilians will die. But hopefully having the U.S. forces in Afghanistan (and the concurrent Pakistani action against the Taliban in their own country) will eventually allow for the defeat of the Taliban. And fewer civilians will die in the long run.

Brigitte T (69)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 8:26 am
"And fewer civilians will die in the long run."

And in the meanwhile, innocent civilians get killed on a daily basis, swallowed into the "collateral damage" void.

Doesn't each and everyone of them have any human rights? What's happened to the most basic right of all, the right to life?

WHY should the USA decide who's to live and who's to die???

"For some real information on the horror that is being perpetrated on one of the poorest countries in the world by the greatest military power the world has ever known, check out the excellent work by Professor Marc Herold at the University of New Hampshire
and )." Dave Lindorff

Brigitte T (69)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 8:27 am
America’s Imperial Wars: We Need to See the Horrors

By Dave Lindorff

April 12, 2009 "Commondreams" -- When I was a 17-year-old kid in my senior year of high school, I didn't think much about Vietnam. It was 1967, the war was raging, but I didn't personally know anyone who was over there, Tet hadn't happened yet. If anything, the excitement of jungle warfare attracted my interest more than anything (I had a .22 cal rifle, and liked to go off in the woods and shoot at things, often, I'll admit, imagining it was an armed enemy.)

But then I had to do a major project in my humanities program and I chose the Vietnam War. As I started researching this paper, which was supposed to be a multi-media presentation, I ran across a series of photos of civilian victims of American napalm bombing. These victims, often, were women and children-even babies.

The project opened my eyes to something that had never occurred to me: my country's army was killing civilians. And it wasn't just killing them. It was killing them, and maiming them, in ways that were almost unimaginable in their horror: napalm, phosphorus, anti-personnel bombs that threw out spinning flechettes that ripped through the flesh like tiny buzz saws. I learned that scientists like what I at the time wanted to become were actually working on projects to make these weapons even more lethal, for example trying to make napalm more sticky so it would burn longer on exposed flesh.

By the time I had finished my project, I had actively joined the anti-war movement, and later that year, when I turned 18 and had to register for the draft, I made the decision that no way was I going to allow myself to participate in that war.

A key reason my-and millions of other Americans'--eyes were opened to what the US was up to in Indochina was that the media at that time, at least by 1967, had begun to show Americans the reality of that war. I didn't have to look too hard to find the photos of napalm victims, or to read about the true nature of the weapons that our forces were using.

Today, while the internet makes it possible to find similar information about the conflicts in the world in which the US is participating, either as primary combatant or as the chief provider of arms, as in Gaza, one actually has to make a concerted effort to look for them. The corporate media which provide the information that most Americans simply receive passively on the evening news or at breakfast over coffee carefully avoid showing us most of the graphic horror inflicted by our military machine.

We may read the cold fact that the US military, after initial denials, admits that its forces killed not four enemy combatants in an assault on a house in Afghanistan, but rather five civilians-including a man, a female teacher, a 10-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy and a tiny baby. But we don't see pictures of their shattered bodies, no doubt shredded by the high-powered automatic rifles typically used by American forces.

We may read about wedding parties that are bombed by American forces-something that has happened with some frequency in both Iraq and Afghanistan-- where the death toll is tallied in dozens, but we are, as a rule, not provided with photos that would likely show bodies torn apart by anti-personnel bombs-a favored weapon for such attacks on groups of supposed enemy "fighters." (A giveaway that such weapons are being used is a typically high death count with only a few wounded.)

Obviously one reason for this is that the US military no longer gives US journalists, including photo journalists, free reign on the battlefield. Those who travel with troops are under the control of those troops and generally aren't allowed to photograph the scenes of devastation, and sites of such "mishaps" are generally ruled off limits until the evidence has been cleared away.

But another reason is that the media themselves sanitize their pages and their broadcasts. It isn't just American dead that we don't get to see. It's the civilian dead-at least if our guys do it. We are not spared gruesome images following attacks on civilians by Iraqi insurgent groups, or by Taliban forces in Afghanistan. But we don't get the same kind of photos when it's our forces doing the slaughtering. Because often the photos and video images do exist-taken by foreign reporters who take the risk of going where the US military doesn't want them.

No wonder that even today, most Americans oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not because of sympathy with the long-suffering peoples of those two lands, but because of the hardships faced by our own forces, and the financial cost of the two wars.

For some real information on the horror that is being perpetrated on one of the poorest countries in the world by the greatest military power the world has ever known, check out the excellent work by Professor Marc Herold at the University of New Hampshire ( and
Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. He is author of Marketplace Medicine: The Rise of the For-Profit Hospital Chains (BantamBooks, 1992), and his latest book "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006). His work is available at

. (0)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 8:56 am
And what about the greater number of civilians that will die in the long run, Brittite? Don't their lives and rights matter either? You're spoken before about "proportionality". Well, doesn't "proportionality" tell you that it's better for a nation to lose 1,000 of its citizens than 10,000? Or 10,000 of its citizens than 1,000,000?

A great many civilians were killed in the American Civil War. The total loss of life in that war was greater than all the other wars ever fought by the U.S. combined. But it ended slavery. Which was a pernicious and dreadful practice which tormented generations of people. And would have continued indefinitely had that war not occurred.

Sometimes we have to fight to put an end to the injustices in life. And those fights nearly always involve the deaths of innocents (and the guilty as well, of course.) And if people have to die to end institutionalized slavery, then that is just the reality. And if people must die to end a murderous, barbaric, and fundamentalist regime that terrorized an entire nation, then that is just the reality.

If we refuse to fight to right the wrongs of the world, then those wrongs will continue - unchecked. Because in situations such as the Taliban, no amount of diplomacy or kinder methods is likely to be effective. They aren't going away just because the rest of the world shakes its head and says "pretty please."

Not everything in life can be solved neatly, cleanly, and without bloodshed. Much though every person on earth might wish otherwise.

. (0)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 9:00 am
And if it is just to fight in self-defense, as the Afghanis are doing against the Taliban, then why is it not just to enlist allies to help you defend yourself when you aren't strong enough to prevail on your own?

If I'm attacked, I call in the cops. If a weaker nation needs to be defended, they call in a stronger one for aid.

Brigitte T (69)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 9:47 am
Request from The Declaration of Peace Organization.

Tell Congress: Stop Paying for War and Military Occupation in
Iraq and Afghanistan

Let us join together to stop the "2009 Supplemental Appropriations"

Tell Congress to Vote "NO"!

Write Congress: May 9-11
Call Congress: May 12

See below for the What, Why, How, and When!

Please forward this message far and wide to members of your group, your friends and family. Thank you!

(If the links below are not active, go to to open all links.)


More requests for more funding for war and occupation
have followed President Obama's request for
more funding for war and occupation.

Tens of billions of dollars for war and occupation are being asked for by a president who promised to "end the war in Iraq".

On April 9, 2009, President Obama made a supplemental appropriations request for $83.4 billion, with $75.8 billion going for continuing military operations and equipment replacement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Thursday, May 7, 2009, the House Appropriations Committee submitted their finalized "2009 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Pandemic Flu" totaling $96.7 billion, and significantly increasing the funding for war-making and military occupation to over $84 billion.

If approved by Congress, the supplemental funding would bring the costs for war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan for FY 2009 to more than $153 billion. According to the Congressional Research Service, this supplemental war funding would push the costs of the two wars to almost $1 trillion since September 2001. And this is above and beyond the "normal" expenditures of hundreds of billions of dollars for the Dept. of Defense yearly budgets.

It must be pointed out that while the "2009 Supplemental Appropriations" bill contains needed beneficial items like economic development and agriculture programs in Afghanistan, efforts to strengthen the rule of law in Iraq, humanitarian assistance for Gaza, wildfire suppression, and global efforts to slow the spread of a flu pandemic, all combined, they amount to less than 13% of the total appropriations measure. And the House Appropriations Committee rejected Obama's request for funding for closing the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Again, more than $84 billion goes to military occupation operations, furthers involvement in Pakistan, and does nothing towards the promised U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.

In fact, the opposite is true. The supplemental provides for continuing U.S. troop levels of more than 130,000 soldiers in Iraq through September 2009.

Also on Thursday, the Obama Administration revealed the Pentagon budget for FY 2010 (beginning in October 2009) for $664 billion, with $554 billion going for "basic" military programs and $130 billion specifically for continuing the military occupation of Iraq and accelerating military operations in Afghanistan.

This is a lot of bad news.
But, don't give up. Let's address and oppose these measures
one step at a time.


Voices of opposition to ongoing war-making and military occupation must be heard!

Tell Congress to Vote "NO"!

The full House is expected to vote on the $96.7 billion "2009 Supplemental Appropriations" bill as early as next Wednesday, May 13th.

We have allies in the House of Representatives -- like Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee, Dennis Kucinich and many others who will vote "NO" on any more war funding.

We must try to persuade our members of Congress to also vote against the "2009 Supplemental Appropriations" bill.

Even if you feel that your effort will not make a difference with your U.S. Representative, please don't give up hope. We must speak up for Peace and against war and military occupation. It is important that we ALL write and call our Representative in the next few days.

Stopping the funding is the surest way to promptly change war policy, and initiate troop withdrawal.
Congressional approval of funding perpetuates destructive policies and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tell your Representative to vote NO!


Write to your member of Congress.

May 9 - 11, 2009

Send an e-mail to your Representative during the next three days.
Tell him or her to vote "NO" on the "2009 Supplemental Appropriations" bill.

Most members of Congress have e-mail contact forms on their websites. We highly recommend sending your e-mail through their website as the best way to directly reach your Representative, with a concise and personal message.

Find your Representative's website by clicking here.

Enter the appropriate information until a photo of your Representative appears. Then click on "Visit Official Website" and look for "E-mail Congressman …" or "Contact …"

We have provided a sample "Stop the War Funding" message for your use. Click here.

Even better: Write your message in your own words.
Be direct. Express your passion for Peace!

Talking Points:
1. Congressional approval of war funding perpetuates destructive military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lasting peace will not come through military occupation.

2. Congress should insist on comprehensive exit strategies for Iraq and Afghanistan that invest in long-term diplomatic, humanitarian, and economic development assistance that will lead to peace and stability in those countries.

3. Funding for war and military occupation -- and funding for diplomatic, humanitarian and other benevolent efforts must be separated. It is disingenuous and deceptive on the parts of the Obama Administration and Congress to combine these.

4. The "2009 Supplemental Appropriations" bill provides for a high level of U.S. troops in Iraq for the duration of FY 2009. What about the promised withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009?

5. Funding military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan exacerbates animosity towards the United States and leads to violent responses toward the U.S. and its allies.

6. Approving more than $84 billion for military operations in foreign countries when there are so many pressing domestic needs is morally and financially irresponsible.

E-mail your Representative today!
Thank you!


Join the National Call-In Day to Stop the War Funding
on Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Your e-mail message to your Representative should be followed up with a personal phone call to their office on the day before the expected war funding vote.

Members of United for Peace and Justice, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Peace Action, The Declaration of Peace and other national organizations, coalitions and campaigns are joining together in calling our members of Congress, next Tuesday, May 12th.

Join us and spread the word!

Hand out this flyer in your neighborhood, to your friends, at your group or church.


Amena Andersson (187)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 11:51 am
Holbrooke is a bloody fool and a puppet. Congreeman Ron Paul has it exactly right. We should not be there. We are doing more harm than good, to the Pashtuns, to the world and to the US. We need to stop funding the military if this is what they are going to insist on doing, despite the wishes of US citizens, Pakistani and Afghan citizens and the rest of the world. Right is not on our side and we have totally lost the morale imperative.

Brigitte T (69)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 12:42 pm
Linsdey, you said "I call in the cops". You are apparently saying that the USA has turned itself into the Cops of the World. Glad you have noticed.
(disclaimer: Unless this is this another of your analogies which is not an analogy :).

Global Cops... But also: Self-Appointed Cops. A great number of nations round the world object to this, as they see this can only cause worse world conflicts, short term and long term.
A WW III in the end maybe?

What has given the US governments, one after another, the right to declare themselves above other nations, invading countries, killing thousands, millions of civilians?

The USA is not GOD. It is led by WAR CORPORATIONS, before anything else. War corporations that use justifications like yours as excuses for the inexcusable.

What about all the American citizens who are struggling daily, living in poverty or even "third world conditions"? The families who don't have enough money to feed their children? The elderly who often have to choose between food and medication? Who's worried about them? What about all the future US citizens who may get killed later in retaliation, because of what their own government has done to other countries? Who's worried about them?

Lindsey I hope you will never be in danger, and never will have to call in the cops.
But if you do have to call them, please make sure that they can AIM BETTER than the US military.
If they can't, you might be adding yourself or your family on a "collateral damage" statistics list...

When innocents are killed or maimed, the armed forces often try to deny that something went wrong, then if they can't, they sometimes admit it was a mistake: they meant to neutralize the attacker; then they occasionally apologise, then pehaps promise an investigation... Or they don't admit anything, and keep insisting that the attacker was the ONLY culprit in the tragedy. And the mainstream media filter the news.
And the innocent lives lost in the collateral damage are soon forgotten... except by their loved ones who survived, but remain traumatised forever... and if there are children left behind, they may never get over the injustice of all this, they may become bitter... and violent one day...

None of this is right.

But the Declaration for Peace Organization could be absolutely right when they say "Congressional approval of war funding perpetuates destructive military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lasting peace will not come through military occupation. "


Brigitte T (69)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 12:50 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Amena because you have done so within the last week.

. (0)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 12:52 pm
Then, by all means, Brigitte - withdraw the troops. And leave behind our ally, the fragile and weak Afghani government, to deal ineffectively with the problem. And, like Pontius Pilate, wash your hands of the matter. And watch the Taliban resume control over Afghanistan, killing everyone in their path along the way.

And enjoy the photos that will be coming out of Afghanistan of more burqua-clad women being shot in the head at that infamous stadium. And those stoned to death. And whipped in the public square. And enjoy reading of the women who die of easily-treatable illnesses because no male doctor can touch them and women physicians, of course, aren't available. And wait for the next round of terrorists trained and supported by that regime.

And watch the death count get higher.

Yes, indeed. We're all looking forward to having the Taliban back in control.

Brigitte T (69)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 1:05 pm
What is below comes from

"If you flip over the rock of American foreign
policy of the past century, this is what crawls out...

invasions ... bombings ... overthrowing
governments ... suppressing movements
for social change ... assassinating
political leaders ... perverting
elections ... manipulating labor unions ...
manufacturing "news" ... death squads ...
torture ... biological warfare ...
depleted uranium ... drug trafficking ...
mercenaries ...

It's not a pretty picture.
It is enough to give imperialism a bad name.

Read the full details in:

Killing Hope: US Military and CIA
Interventions Since World War II.

by William Blum

"Far and away the best book on the topic."
Noam Chomsky

"I enjoyed it immensely."
Gore Vidal

"I bought several more copies to circulate to
friends with the hope of shedding new light
and understanding on their political outlooks."
Oliver Stone

"A very valuable book. The research and organization
are extremely impressive."
A. J. Langguth, author, former New York Times Bureau Chief

"A very useful piece of work, daunting in scope,
Thomas Powers, author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

"Each chapter I read made me more and more angry."
Dr. Helen Caldicott, international leader of
the anti-nuclear and environmental movements

Table of Contents
1. China - 1945 to 1960s: Was Mao Tse-tung just paranoid?
2. Italy - 1947-1948: Free elections, Hollywood style
3. Greece - 1947 to early 1950s: From cradle of democracy to client state
4. The Philippines - 1940s and 1950s: America's oldest colony
5. Korea - 1945-1953: Was it all that it appeared to be?
6. Albania - 1949-1953: The proper English spy
7. Eastern Europe - 1948-1956: Operation Splinter Factor
8. Germany - 1950s: Everything from juvenile delinquency to terrorism
9. Iran - 1953: Making it safe for the King of Kings
10. Guatemala - 1953-1954: While the world watched
11. Costa Rica - Mid-1950s: Trying to topple an ally - Part 1
12. Syria - 1956-1957: Purchasing a new government
13. Middle East - 1957-1958: The Eisenhower Doctrine claims another backyard for America
14. Indonesia - 1957-1958: War and pornography
15. Western Europe - 1950s and 1960s: Fronts within fronts within fronts
16. British Guiana - 1953-1964: The CIA's international labor mafia
17. Soviet Union - Late 1940s to 1960s: From spy planes to book publishing
18. Italy - 1950s to 1970s: Supporting the Cardinal's orphans and techno-fascism
19. Vietnam - 1950-1973: The Hearts and Minds Circus
20. Cambodia - 1955-1973: Prince Sihanouk walks the high-wire of neutralism
21. Laos - 1957-1973: L'Armée Clandestine
22. Haiti - 1959-1963: The Marines land, again
23. Guatemala - 1960: One good coup deserves another
24. France/Algeria - 1960s: L'état, c'est la CIA
25. Ecuador - 1960-1963: A text book of dirty tricks
26. The Congo - 1960-1964: The assassination of Patrice Lumumba
27. Brazil - 1961-1964: Introducing the marvelous new world of death squads
28. Peru - 1960-1965: Fort Bragg moves to the jungle
29. Dominican Republic - 1960-1966: Saving democracy from communism by getting rid of democracy
30. Cuba - 1959 to 1980s: The unforgivable revolution
31. Indonesia - 1965: Liquidating President Sukarno ... and 500,000 others
East Timor - 1975: And 200,000 more
32. Ghana - 1966: Kwame Nkrumah steps out of line
33. Uruguay - 1964-1970: Torture -- as American as apple pie
34. Chile - 1964-1973: A hammer and sickle stamped on your child's forehead
35. Greece - 1964-1974: "F**k your Parliament and your Constitution," said
the President of the United States
36. Bolivia - 1964-1975: Tracking down Che Guevara in the land of coup d'etat
37. Guatemala - 1962 to 1980s: A less publicized "final solution"
38. Costa Rica - 1970-1971: Trying to topple an ally -- Part 2
39. Iraq - 1972-1975: Covert action should not be confused with missionary work
40. Australia - 1973-1975: Another free election bites the dust
41. Angola - 1975 to 1980s: The Great Powers Poker Game
42. Zaire - 1975-1978: Mobutu and the CIA, a marriage made in heaven
43. Jamaica - 1976-1980: Kissinger's ultimatum
44. Seychelles - 1979-1981: Yet another area of great strategic importance
45. Grenada - 1979-1984: Lying -- one of the few growth industries in Washington
46. Morocco - 1983: A video nasty
47. Suriname - 1982-1984: Once again, the Cuban bogeyman
48. Libya - 1981-1989: Ronald Reagan meets his match
49. Nicaragua - 1981-1990: Destabilization in slow motion
50. Panama - 1969-1991: Double-crossing our drug supplier
51. Bulgaria 1990/Albania 1991: Teaching communists what democracy is all about
52. Iraq - 1990-1991: Desert holocaust
53. Afghanistan - 1979-1992: America's Jihad
54. El Salvador - 1980-1994: Human rights, Washington style
55. Haiti - 1986-1994: Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?
56. The American Empire - 1992 to present
Appendix I: This is How the Money Goes Round
Appendix II: Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1945
Appendix III: U. S. Government Assassination Plots

Brigitte T (69)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 1:41 pm

When these Afghan women are killed or mutilated by US strikes, does it make you feel better?

It doesn't make me feel better.It makes me feel worse. Because as long as they are alive, even in a burka, there is some hope for their lives to get better.

You are USING their misery against them!

Did you ask them what they want? If they wanted to die they would not have waited for the US strikes.

As long as there is life, there is hope. In every situation.

This is what we have to believe in, otherwise we might as well tell all doctors in hospitals to pull the plug on their patients so that they don't suffer.

Bombing villages with innocent civilians inside has never been ethical!!! How can you condone this??

The Talibans have to be dealth with but not by killing the population. You don't protect civilians by killing them.

The Afghan women are NOT better off when they or their children end up dead, or mutilated, because the US has decided to "bring freedom" to them. Just like it had decided to bring "freedom" to the 1.320.110 Iraqis slaughtered since The U.S. invaded Iraq.

In your opinion, how many Afghan women's deaths by US strikes would be acceptable so that those who happen to survive in the end MAY have a better life?

Please do not exploit these women for your own agenda - which somehow always manages to coincide with the agenda of war corporations.

. (0)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 1:53 pm
Then it seems that, according to your criteria, Hamas should immediately and unilaterally lay down its arms.

Many civilians are being killed in that conflict, both Israeli and Palestinian.

Sending rocket fire into cities with innocent civilians inside isn't ethical, according to you. And rockets are being fired into Israeli cities.

Merely because the Palestinians are, in your opinion, defending themselves (just as the Afghanis are defending themselves from the Taliban) isn't a justification according to this new logic. "You don't protect civilians by killing them." According to you.

And, since it isn't right for civilians to die just so that a potentially better and more desired goal may eventually be reached, they certainly have no justification for continuing the fight, do they?

"The Taliban have to be dealt with but not by killing the population." Could just as easily read, "The Israelis have to be dealt with but not by killing the population", couldn't it?

Seems to be a little double standard at work, here. When the opponent is the Taliban, they must be dealt with in a different way than when the opponent is Israel. Or does it perhaps have something to do with the fact that the United States supports Afghanistan and Israel? And any nation at war which is supported by the United States must be opposed or given lesser consideration than otherwise?

Brigitte T (69)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 4:27 pm

You're awfully quick to try and divert the attention from the points I made, Lindsey :)
What a desperate attempt. Just because you don't want to answer my questions. Are you trying to save face here? But this isn't about you or me. It is about the men, women and children in Afghanistan, their lives and their deaths.

No double standards for me. You're just the one who confuses everything. Smoke and mirrors... but it does not work.

If you want to compare the Talibans and Israel, fine. That's your idea, not mine, so deal with it.

On the side of Palestinians: RESISTANCE, as their only means of survival, and SOVEREIGN RIGHTS as an Indigenous People. They are the victims of a Genocide committed by Israel and they have no way out.
They have been forced to RESIST on a tiny territory, against the state of Israel which has used enormous means against them, thanks to the USA.

Now, the USA is RESISTING against WHAT exactly? Since when are these US strikes ""American Resitance"? is US ground under attack? are the Americans victims of a genocide? The Americans have no way out? They are fighting for survival in the midst of white phosphorus, clutter bombs or flechettes? Their only struggle is against the recession and they could use some of the trillions wasted by their governments in constant attacks against oher countries.

If the US government want to help the Afghan people, why don't they use other ways? they have the money (in spite of all the debts), the power, the influence, the diplomats, the CIA, their informants everywhere, etc but no, they prefer to play with their last technology weapons, at the expenses of innocent civilians. Just as they did in Iraq.

Why don't you just go on supporting them. I would expect nothing else from you anyway.

Ignore all the information posted on threads, in the news, ignore the Human Rights organizations, ignore the anger of the Afghan people against the USA, ignore the philosophers, the few honest politicians left, the protest marches, ignore the photos, the reporters, the statistics, the deaths, the children, the hopelessness, the stolen dreams, the generations destroyed by opinions like yours... It will not change the TRUTH, there will always be those who WILL pay attention, WILL be honest and who WILL raise awareness.


. (0)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 4:45 pm
If I ever happen to be confronted by a very angry grizzly bear, Brigitte, I believe I shall not call for help in your direction. Because I'd really rather have an ally who'll actually do something about saving me from the bear. And somehow I don't think Un-Gentle Ben is going to be real impressed with "money, power, influence, diplomats, the CIA, and their informants everywhere...."

Edward H (45)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 9:24 pm
Brigitte T Saturday May 9, 2009, 4:27 pm

"You're awfully quick to try and divert the attention from the points I made, Lindsey :) "

You OBVIOUSLY have no mirrors in your home...

. (0)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 9:57 pm
No, Edward. It's just that Brigitte has the most perfect and absolute faith in the abilities of the United States. She apparently believes that, unlike every other nation in the history of the world, our military can help fight a war without significant civilian casualties. And that its diplomats, CIA operatives, and financial coffers can somehow also do what no one has yet been able to do - sweet-talk the Taliban into laying down their arms without the aid of our apparently superhuman military. The same Taliban who have been fighting an entrenched and bitter war against all comers, both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and who have shown no desire whatsoever for compromise or retreat.

It's touching, really.

Donn M (56)
Saturday May 9, 2009, 11:37 pm
You can't fight a war without civilian casualties. If the Afghanis believe that the ongoing misery and sadism of Taliban rule is preferable to sacrifice for their own freedom, then perhaps they deserve the Taliban. Do they really care if women and children suffer?

Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:06 am
Hey, Edward ! Hi there :) I was wondering how long it would be before Lindsey would call you at her rescue :P
How are you doing today? Always so sweet... but perhaps you should take off your sunglasses and read the thread more carefully, the comments I made and information posted, then see for yourself if Lindsey replied to what I had just asked her, or if she changed direction instead.

Lindsey, the truth is that I can be a litte naive at times, I'll admit that :) but as far as the USA is concerned, I have no illusions.

The USA government do not care about the Afghan population, about the civilians. And no, I don't think the Talibans can be sweet-talked. Since when has the US sweet-talked any one? (except for sweet-talking the American people, very successfully in your case). But history has shown that the US has numerous ways of convincing other parties, behind closed doors, with hidden deals, some call it corruption or bribery, other call it collaboration, other call it liberation, depending who's judging; they've worked with dictatorships or rebel groups, they have special commandos, they can be very persuasive and stop at nothing, as we can see. What is certain is that they do not want peace, they want WAR. Key words: WAR CORPORATIONS, selling and buying weapons, accessing stategic areas, or controlling areas with natural resources. That's the US agenda. Not saving the women in burkas. That is only an excuse.

If we are to believe your logic then the US should also bomb the neighbourhoods in Europe where women wear burkas and no one seems to be helping them. They should also bomb all the areas in the world where the horrible excisions are still carried out on little girls, or those where women are burnt alive by hateful relatives, oh and maby they should bomb themselves in the USA to save all the women and children who are beaten up and raped at a scaring rate?? For instance in 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault (victims 12 years old or younger not included.) Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. What if China or the Middle East or Europe decided that the States should be bombed because the American men can't protect their women and children well enough?

Your logic is extremely dangerous. It is US military propaganda.

You do not like the way Taliban treat women. I do not like it either, we both hate it and it is something we agree on. But you treat them worse than the Taliban. You kill them with your military.

Donni if "you can't fight a war without civilian casualties", then don't.

The question is, does the US government really care if women and children suffer?

While Mother's Day is celebrated today in the USA, have a wonderful day, but remember that today little Afghan children are crying for their dead mothers, Afghan mothers and grandmothers are crying for their dead children, dead husbands, Afghan men and entire families are crying and mourning for the civilians killed by the US strikes. Congratulations America.


Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:16 am
Here's the full article :

After US Strikes, Afghans Describe "Tractor Trailers Full of Pieces of Human Bodies"
By Jeremy Scahill

May 09, 2009 "Huffington Post" -- As rage spreads in Afghanistan after US bombing that killed up to 130 people, unnamed Pentagon officials are spinning another cover-up. Defiant Obama moves ahead with troop increase.

As President Barack Obama prepares to send some 21,000 more US troops into Afghanistan, anger is rising in the western province of Farah, the scene of a US bombing massacre that may have killed as many as 130 Afghans, including 13 members of one family. At least six houses were bombed and among the dead and wounded are women and children. As of this writing reports indicate some people remain buried in rubble. The US airstrikes happened on Monday and Tuesday. Just hours after Obama met with US-backed president Hamid Karzai Wednesday, hundreds of Afghans--perhaps as many as 2,000-- poured into the streets of the provincial capital, chanting "Death to America." The protesters demanded a US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In Washington, Karzai said he and the US occupation forces should operate from a "higher platform of morality," saying, "We must be conducting this war as better human beings," and recognize that "force won't buy you obedience." And yet, his security forces opened fire on the demonstrators, reportedly wounding five people.

According to The New York Times:

In a phone call played on a loudspeaker on Wednesday to outraged members of the Afghan Parliament, the governor of Farah Province, Rohul Amin, said that as many as 130 civilians had been killed, according to a legislator, Mohammad Naim Farahi. Afghan lawmakers immediately called for an agreement regulating foreign military operations in the country.

"The governor said that the villagers have brought two tractor trailers full of pieces of human bodies to his office to prove the casualties that had occurred," Mr. Farahi said. "Everyone at the governor's office was crying, watching that shocking scene."

Mr. Farahi said he had talked to someone he knew personally who had counted 113 bodies being buried, including those of many women and children. Later, more bodies were pulled from the rubble and some victims who had been taken to the hospital died, he said.

The US airstrikes hit villages in two areas of Farah province on Monday night and Tuesday. The extent of the deaths only came to public light because local people brought 20-30 corpses to the provincial capital. If the estimates of 130 dead are confirmed, it would reportedly be the single largest number of deaths caused by a US bombing since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initially "apologized" Wednesday for the civilian deaths and Obama reportedly conveyed similar sentiments to Karzai when they met in person, later in the day Clinton's spokesperson, Robert Wood, framed her apology as being based on preliminary information and, according to AP, said they "were offered as a gesture, before all the facts of the incident are known." By day's end, the Pentagon was seeking to blame the Taliban for "staging" the massacre to blame it on the US. Last night, NBC News's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski said military sources told him Taliban fighters used grenades to kill three families to "stage" a massacre and then blame it on the US.

The senior US military and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, spoke in general terms: "We have some other information that leads us to distinctly different conclusions about the cause of the civilian casualties," he said. McKiernan left the specific details of the spin to unnamed officials.

According to The Washington Post, "A U.S. defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that 'the Taliban went to a concerted effort to make it look like the U.S. airstrikes caused this. The official did not offer evidence to support the claim, and could not say what had caused the deaths." Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, a senior Defense official who did not want to be identified "said late Wednesday that Marine special operations forces believe the Afghan civilians were killed by grenades hurled by Taliban militants, who then loaded some of the bodies into a vehicle and drove them around the village, claiming the dead were victims of an American airstrike. A second U.S. official said a senior Taliban commander is believed to have ordered the grenade attack."

As the AP reported, "it would be the first time the Taliban has used grenades in this way."

While the Pentagon spins its story, the International Committee of the Red Cross has stated bluntly that US airstrikes hit civilian houses and revealed that an ICRC counterpart in the Red Crescent was among the dead. "We know that those killed included an Afghan Red Crescent volunteer and 13 members of his family who had been sheltering from fighting in a house that was bombed in an air strike," said the ICRC's head of delegation in Kabul, Reto Stocker. "We are deeply concerned by these events. Tribal elders in the villages called the ICRC during the fighting to report civilian casualties and ask for help. As soon as we heard of the attacks we contacted all sides to warn them that there were civilians and injured people in the area."

Read the entire ICRC statement here.

The Times, meanwhile, interviewed local people who contradict the unnamed US Defense officials' version of events:

Villagers reached by telephone said many were killed by aerial bombing. Muhammad Jan, a farmer, said fighting had broken out in his village, Shiwan, and another, Granai, in the Bala Baluk district. An hour after it stopped, the planes came, he said.

In Granai, he said, women and children had sought shelter in orchards and houses. "Six houses were bombed and destroyed completely, and people in the houses still remain under the rubble," he said, "and now I am working with other villagers trying to excavate the dead bodies."

He said that villagers, crazed with grief, were collecting mangled bodies in blankets and shawls and piling them on three tractors. People were still missing, he said.

Mr. Agha, who lives in Granai, said the bombing started at 5 p.m. on Monday and lasted until late into the night. "People were rushing to go to their relatives' houses, where they believed they would be safe, but they were hit on the way," he said.

In her earlier statement regarding the bombing, Clinton told Hamid Karzai "there will be a joint investigation by your government and ours."

But before that investigation began, the Pentagon was already using its unnamed officials to blame the Taliban. It also bears remembering that the US track record of thoroughly "investigating" US massacres is pathetic. The UN said there was convincing evidence that last year's US attack on the village of Azizabad in western Afghanistan killed 90 civilians, but the military only acknowledged 30 civilian deaths.

Standing between Hamid Karzai and Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday, Obama said the US would "make every effort" to avoid civilian deaths in both countries (which are regularly bombed by the US). But as he was making those remarks, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was arriving in Kabul on Wednesday "to make sure that preparations were moving forward for the troop increase and that soldiers and Marines were getting the equipment they needed."

Jessica Barry, a spokesperson for the ICRC said, "With more troops coming in, there is a risk that civilians will be more and more vulnerable."

Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:16 am
After US Strikes, Afghans Describe

"Tractor Trailers Full of Pieces of Human Bodies"

By Jeremy Scahill

As rage spreads in Afghanistan after US bombing that killed up to 130 people, unnamed Pentagon officials are spinning another cover-up. Defiant Obama moves ahead with troop increase.

. (0)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 4:36 am
Brigitte, you might want to at least try and get your story straight.

"Donni if "you can't fight a war without civilian casualties", then don't."

Again, Brigitte, you clearly state that if civilians are dying the war shouldn't be fought. Then why did you, on an earlier thread, state that you accepted (however reluctantly) the Palestinians fighting a war? Because it's a just war, in your view. There are civilian casualties. However just their cause may be to your mind - there are civilian casualties. Many. So, according to your statement, since they can't fight a war without civilian casualties - they shouldn't fight it at all.

Seems you really do believe that a war may indeed be justly fought, even with civilian casualties. Why is the war the Afghanis are fighting against the Taliban any different?

And while you criticize me for assuming and hoping that fewer deaths in the long run will result from American assistance to the Afghans in this conflict, you turn right around and make your own assumption. That America can somehow force the Taliban into disbanding itself and laying down its arms without using our military might. Not merely an assumption - but a certainty on your part.

You seem to have a curiously two-sided view of the world. One standard when you are in sympathy with the one fighting the war. And another when you so obviously disapprove of an ally of another nation.

. (0)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 4:39 am
I am grateful beyond words that the attitudes becoming so popular among many Americans and other Westerners were not prevalent throughout the last century. The loss of civilian life in WWII was massive. And had that been our primary consideration, much of the world would now be living under Nazism (because it certainly wasn't a consideration of the enemy whatsoever.) Just as the lives of civilians aren't much of a consideration for the Taliban.


Trequl M (170)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 6:23 am
Noted and forwarded to all of my friends. Thhank you.

Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 9:05 am
"Then why did you, on an earlier thread, state that you accepted (however reluctantly) the Palestinians fighting a war?"

I told you before. Because PALESTINIANS= RESISTANCE. The only way for them to survive. They do not have a choice! It is called RESISTANCE.

Whereas the US strikes are ATTACKS - and once again they resulted in unarmed population getting maimed. Did you read the last article posted in the thread?

And AGAIN, while the US government are playing with their new weapons and the war corporations are making billions, the average American are hurt by the recession, and more and more American children suffer. That doesn't seem to bother you either, you ignored that too although it is a daily reality.

You are not really interested in what I might have to say, because if you were, you' d pay attention. You don't have to agree, but your ignoring the answers given to your own questions show that you are just arguing for the sake of arguing, but mostly to use these threads as a platform for your WAR propaganda.

As for WWII - I was wondering if you'd mention it. Well sorry to say but it took an awful lot of time for the USA to finally decide to interfere. Too many years! In the meanwhile millions of people were killed. And don't forget that Hitler had found support in the USA, thanks to corporations and Americans in high positions who had an interest in supporting Germany's action.
Which only makes greater the sacrifice of the thousands of brave overseas soldiers who finally came to fight the German military face to face. The French will always be grateful to them. These soldiers fought against the Nazis like true men, they did not target and maim the French population during the Liberation throughout the country. They are still remembered in every town and village over there, because they put themselves between the Nazis and the population and helped the French RESISTANCE. So it is an entirely different story.

But if you insist, they sacrificed their lives so as to put an end to FASCISM - certainly NOT for the next American generation and government to start invading foreign countries and mass murder populations while hiding behind shameful lies and excuses to promote another kind of FASCISM.

If you are so eager to displace the attention from Afghanistan to other countries, it's going to take long... the USA have a very long history of interfering abroad (posted above). And US own history started by exterminating entire Indigenous Nations to get control of all the land and resources. That was a really ghastly start and that mentality is still strong today.

Are you working for a WAR CORPORATION? if not, you should consider it, you'd be recruited at once.

Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 9:13 am
Afghan leader demands air strikes end:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday demanded an end to US air strikes, which he said killed as many as 130 civilians and were infuriating the public.


Afghan villagers list 147 killed by US air strikes:

Residents of two villages hit earlier this week by US air strikes have prepared lists with the names of 147 people killed in the attacks, the deputy governor of the province where the strikes took place said.


. (0)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 9:22 am
And the Afghans are RESISTING - against the Taliban. They also have no choice. And they have an ally in that resistance - the U.S.

Why is is acceptable for a people to militarily fight against an enemy - but it is wrong for them to accept the aid of another people to help them in that fight when they can't win alone? If the cause is just - it's just.

That would rather be like my being under fire from a murderous criminal with a machine gun and only having a pistol to defend myself with. You would say that I have a right to fire back at the gunman; however, from what you've said, if a neighbor came to my aid and he had a machine gun too, he shouldn't fire it at the man trying to kill me.

That I am allowed to defend myself using force but that no one else is allowed to use force to help me in my just cause of self-defense.

A ridiculous argument. And one that I am quite certain you would not make if Iran decided to send troops to fight alongside the Palestinians. At that point you would undoubtedly be saying, "Well, they Palestinians need help. They're RESISTING the Israeli occupation. They have no choice. And Iran is merely trying to help protect them and drive out the Israeli occupiers."

As I've said - a double standard. And no matter how much you may try to explain it away, the fact remains: a double standard.

You don't believe the U.S. should ever have attacked Afghanistan. Fine. I disagree - they sheltered and aided terrorists who attacked our shores. The Taliban was therefore an accomplice in that attack. (Unlike in Iraq, where we had no business setting foot.)

But that's immaterial at this point. Because the Afghan government both wants and needs help to rout the Taliban. And the day that the Afghan government, not a group of disaffected civilians, tells the U.S. to go home - we should go home. Because, although their citizens will suffer greatly should the Taliban regain control, that is a call we should allow their own government to make.

. (0)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 9:39 am
And, Brigitte, you mention that American soldiers did not "target and maim" French civilians during WWII. Of course they didn't. But French civilians were definitely killed by American (and other Allied) fire. Because the Allies could never have fought the Axis on French soil without collateral damage to the French civilian population. Just as the American/Afghani forces cannot fight the Taliban on Afghan soil without collateral damage to Afghan citizens.

And since you appear to believe that we shouldn't be fighting the Taliban since they didn't actually attack us first and the fight is the Afghan's, not ours, - then America should never have fought Germany/Italy in WWII either. Because it was Japan who attacked us. Not Germany or Italy. We went to Europe to help the French, British, Belgians, Dutch, and others RESIST the Nazi onslaught.

So, again with the double standard. It's OK for the U.S. to militarily help Europe resist an attack which was not against Americans themselves - but it's NOT OK to help the Afghan government resist through helping them militarily.

You are an absolute font of contradictions.

Gillian M (218)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 11:01 am
Brigitte, I notice that you live in Greece. What was your country's reaction during WWII when your country was occupied by the Axis Powers? Did you object to America or the UK helping you? When Greece revolted against the Ottoman empire in 1821, many non-Greeks helped to fight on the Greek side, did you ask them to leave rather than help? At times the Ottomans seemed on the point of suppressing the Greek revolution but for the threatened direct military intervention of France, Britain or Russia. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, in a series of wars with the Ottomans, Greece sought to enlarge its boundaries to include the ethnic Greek population of the Ottoman Empire. (The Ionian Islands were returned by Britain upon the arrival of the new king from Denmark in 1863, and Thessaly was ceded by the Ottomans without a fight). As a result of the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 Epirus, southern Macedonia, Crete and the Aegean Islands were annexed into Greece. Greece reached its present configuration in 1947. Did anyone ask them if this is what they wanted?

During World War I, Greco-Turkish War, and the League of Nations
In World War I, Greece sided with the entente powers against Turkey and the other Central Powers. In the war's aftermath, the Great Powers awarded parts of Asia Minor to Greece, including the city of Smyrna (known as İzmir today) which had a Greek population of significant size. At that time, however, the Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, overthrew the Ottoman government, organised a military assault on the Greek troops, and defeated them. Immediately afterwards, over one million native Greeks of Turkey had to leave for Greece as a population exchange with hundreds of thousands of Muslims then living in the Greek state.

In 1923, the League of Nations failed Greece during the "Corfu incident." Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was allowed to exercise undue influence in this territorial conflict between Greece and Albania.

In 1925, Greece and Bulgaria faced off during the "incident at Petrich." Unlike Corfu, resolution of this conflict was a League of Nations' success.

So, it is OK for Greece to do all of this and take over other countries? Yet if other countries ask for help it is interference and murder for those countries that help? Your country's history is full of blood and murder from before the birth of Jesus yet you blame those who wish to try and stop it. Yes, civilians will be hurt and everyone regrets the deaths but, as Lindsey says, the death of one today is the life of many tomorrow. It is incredibly hard to watch, maybe you should volunteer to go there and do hands on work with the people involved. You are deciding what the Afghanis want. Bear in mind that Afghanistan borders on to Pakistan who do not want the Taliban in their country either but are being invaded and forced to live a life they do not like, what about their rights and wants?

Nothing is black & white but many shades of grey. All of us have a view and believe that we are right but the only right that can be accepted is the Afghani & Pakistani people living in freedom and peace. It is an unfortunate truth that the road to peace is often full of violence and death. All that we can do is support the civilians and help to set them free. If you deny the Afghanis and/or the Pakinstanis that right then you are breaching their rights and wants and are as bad as those who are doing so right now.

Eleanor B (909)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 12:30 pm
Thanks so much, Brigitte. I will forward this article. Afghanistan should never have been bombed and invaded in retaliation for 9/11. The Afghani people had nothing to do with it. However, I suppose that was just as smokescreen. Since when has all this mass murder had anything in the least to do with securing democracy in Afghanistan. That is laughable. And if the Afghanis prefer the Taliban now well it is hardly surprising. Who wants bombed and invaded? If the Afghanis prefer the Taliban it's their business anyway - but no doubt the Americans have had something to do with their choice, if that is their choice. And how easy is it to sit and say how war is necessary when you are sitting in the safety of the US with no planes about to bomb you? Go and live in Afghanistan for a while and see then what you think about war and invasion!

. (0)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 12:35 pm
On the contrary, Eleanor - the Taliban was an accessory of those who attacked us on 9/11. They chose to protect, support, and hide them. An accomplice is just as guilty as the one who holds the smoking gun. Try hiding a fugitive from American justice in your own home after he commits a crime and see just how fast the DA will charge you with being an accessory-after-the-fact as well.

Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 1:03 pm
Lindsey and Gillian

Your comments have been become nothing else than PRO WAR CORPORATION ramblings. I have stopped reading them except for a quick scan which only confirmed that you stop at nothing, not even at re-writing history.

You have repeatedly been using Care2 and the horrible deaths of innocent civilians to promote your pro war, imperialistic propaganda.

Gillian, Greece is not my country. I do live there most of the time and love it, but it doesn't make it mine. Well, I am not surprised you don't seem to like Greece - the Greeks are certainly no fans of the US or UK GOVERNMENTS. You see, they don't like fascism. The Greek population was totally against the bombings of Iraq - Bush and Blair were often likened to Hitler! Greece has always supported the Palestinians. And it has supported Cyprus.
Turkey? Turkey occupied Greece for several centuries, terrorizing the population and forbidding the access of Greek schools to children. The Greek resistants never gave up.
Now Turkey is STILL AN OPPRESSOR having INVADED AND STOLEN almost half of Cyprus, having tortured and killed large numbers of civilians there. You have nice friends to play with, Gillian.

Oh and since you are in UK, why don't tell your authorities to return to Greece the Marble Sculptures
which were stolen from the Parthenon!

Anyway, the hypocricy in your comments is unbelievable. You have not been listening to the Afghan People.The Afghan people are asking the USA to stop the strikes and the killings! Read the articles above.

Like so many sovereign Peoples round the world, they are asking the USA to GO HOME!!!


Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 1:04 pm
Civilians Pay Price of War from Above

By Robert Fisk

May 08, 2009 "The Independent" -- Of course there will be an inquiry. And in the meantime, we shall be told that all the dead Afghan civilians were being used as "human shields" by the Taliban and we shall say that we "deeply regret" innocent lives that were lost. But we shall say that it's all the fault of the terrorists, not our heroic pilots and the US Marine special forces who were target spotting around Bala Baluk and Ganjabad.

When the Americans destroy Iraqi homes, there is an inquiry. And oh how the Israelis love inquiries (though they rarely reveal anything). It's the history of the modern Middle East. We are always right and when we are not, we (sometimes) apologise and then we blame it all on the "terrorists". Yes, we know the throat-cutters and beheaders and suicide bombers are quite prepared to slaughter the innocent.

But it was a sign of just how terrible the Afghan slaughter was that the powerless President Hamid Karzai sounded like a beacon of goodness yesterday appealing for "a higher platform of morality" in waging war, that we should conduct war as "better human beings".

And of course, the reason is quite simple. We live, they die. We don't risk our brave lads on the ground - not for civilians. Not for anything. Fire phosphorus shells into Fallujah. Fire tank shells into Najaf. We know we kill the innocent. Israel does exactly the same. It said the same after its allies massacred 1,700 at the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in 1982 and in the deaths of more than a thousand civilians in Lebanon in 2006 and after the death of more than a thousand Palestinians in Gaza this year.

And if we kill some gunmen at the same time - "terrorists", of course - then it is the same old "human shield" tactic and ultimately the "terrorists" are to blame. Our military tactics are now fully aligned with Israel.

The reality is that international law forbids armies from shooting wildly in crowded tenements and bombing wildly into villages - even when enemy forces are present - but that went by the board in our 1991 bombing of Iraq and in Bosnia and in Nato's Serbia war and in our 2001 Afghan adventure and in 2003 in Iraq. Let's have that inquiry. And "human shields". And terror, terror, terror. Something else I notice. Innocent or "terrorists", civilians or Taliban, always it is the Muslims who are to blame.

© 2009 The Independent

. (0)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 1:09 pm
Strangely enough, Brigitte, responding to a comment does actually require reading it in full. Now the odd answers make sense, though....

Gillian M (218)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 1:21 pm
Brigitte, you live in a violent country and thereby condone its history however you do not mention your country of origin so you must be ashamed of it. I don't rewrite history but you obviously want to ignore it. If we don't agree with you we are warmongers. Obviously you have blinkers and are blind to everything but that which you want to believe.

Have you volunteered to work in Afghanistan to find out what they want yet? What gives you and Eleanor the right to decide what the people of that country want? I, at least, give them the dignity and right to choose what they want. You also ignore Pakistan, what about their dignity and rights?

"Oh and since you are in UK, why don't tell your authorities to return to Greece the Marble Sculptures which were stolen from the Parthenon!" And this has what to do with the Americans in Afghanistan?

"Turkey? Turkey occupied Greece for several centuries, terrorizing the population and forbidding the access of Greek schools to children. The Greek resistants never gave up.
Now Turkey is STILL AN OPPRESSOR having INVADED AND STOLEN almost half of Cyprus, having tortured and killed large numbers of civilians there. You have nice friends to play with, Gillian." And I assume that you are lumping me in with Turkey, where did I say that I approved? All I did was show how violent Greece's history was yet you ignore that too.

You obviously do not read what is written and interpret any item to what you want it to be. You bring in irrelevancies and twist facts, both shown as above. How can anyone take your posturings seriously if you are not writing clear and concise comments but personal attacks on those that disagree? Every person is entitled to their own opinion but personal attacks are not rebuttals but akin to swearing, someone unable to bring words or facts to disagree.

Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:02 pm
"I live in a violent country"? Look who's talking. Have you no shame? Greece is a peaceful country, unlike the USA and UK who are warmongers trying to rule the world and keep attacking civilians in sovereign countries with their latest technology. Greece is a small country, yet always among the first to send humanitarian aid wherever possible, including Turkey. Greece is appreciated in Europe for its culture and has great relationships with all Europe. You are just unbelievable.

Ashamed of my country? You have crossed the line, Gillian.
All you had to do is to ask. I am very proud of my origins and have never hidden where I come from. I am 100% French - it could be a reason why I understand the concept of RESISTANCE - because I was born in a part of France which had suffered greatly with repeated invasion by the Prussian/Germans. So naturally during WW2 y grandparents were French resistants, which got my grandfather to be sent to a concentration camp; my parents were also resistants in spite of their really young age. I've spoken about it in older threads. My grandfather died a horrible death - his crime was to have helped hide English pilots and Jewish families from the Nazis and help them flee to England. He was tall and strong so the Buchenwald Nazi scientists carried out experiments on him, contaminating him with several serious diseases Like many, he died in captivity just before the war ended. It was documented by another prisoner who managed to contact our family after the war. I was born long after the last WW but I know a lot thanks to my family, background and education. I also know that France has done a lot of horrible things in the past, and I do not condone them. They were wrong, unjustifiable and I cannot change the past, but I can fight and raise awareness the other atrocities that happen around the world. Of course I don't expect you to understand.

As for the stolen marble sculptures of the Pathenon: they are not unrelated, they are another case of blatant disrespect to a sovereign nation. No wonder you couldn't see it :)

Lindsey I had read ALL the comments until the point I said I was done reading every word of your posts. Why would I go on reading ALL you write, when you ignore most of my replies and questions to you? you were the one giving "odd answers". And not in good faith at all.

That is all I have to say to both of you. People can judge for themselves if you really care about human lives.

You claim to deplore the death of civilians but in the same breath, you use them a platform for your WAR propaganda and WAR corporation speeches.

Edward H (45)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:10 pm
Brigitte T Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:06 am

"Hey, Edward ! Hi there :) I was wondering how long it would be before Lindsey would call you at her rescue :P"

Believe you me Brigette, Lindsey is way out of my league and I am humbled by her knowledge and eloquence...she CLEARY does not need me to rescue her...

"Key words: WAR CORPORATIONS, selling and buying weapons, accessing stategic areas, or controlling areas with natural resources. That's the US agenda."

Wow!!! I am SO glad our war corporations are doing to well and that the US isn't financially struggling. Wow, I am so glad we are so strategically set and controlling [the worlds] areas of natural resources so that the US does not need to be concerned with oil prices, etc..

"Donni if "you can't fight a war without civilian casualties", then don't."

WOW!!! Why didn't you say this during WWI and WWII...peace would have reigned supreme...

Sunday May 10, 2009, 9:05 am

"I told you before. Because PALESTINIANS= RESISTANCE. The only way for them to survive. They do not have a choice! It is called RESISTANCE."

So, per you, Brigitte, it is ok to have civilian deaths as long as you are resisting something you do not like...[and IN THIS CASE THE INTENT IS TO KILL civilians].

"Whereas the US strikes are ATTACKS - and once again they resulted in unarmed population getting maimed."

So, per you, Brigitte, it is not ok to have civilian deaths when attacking something being resisted. The US is there to help Afghanistan resist the Taliban...[and IN THIS CASE THE INTENT IS NOT TO KILL civilians].

"As for WWII - I was wondering if you'd mention it. Well sorry to say but it took an awful lot of time for the USA to finally decide to interfere. Too many years!"

The US just got done fighting WWI...a "European war" with millions of Americans dying and being maimed/scarred for life...ever hear of being gun shy? Not to mention, WWII "started" in 1939 and the US entered in 1941. Hmmm, when did Germany, Italy and Japan start "annexing" [by invading and killing civilians] before Europe started to fight for their neighbors...1931ish to 1939??? You talk about the Liberation of France...innocent civilians died then is an unfortunate part of war...

"the USA have a very long history of interfering abroad"


Lindsey O Sunday May 10, 2009, 12:35 pm

"On the contrary, Eleanor - the Taliban was an accessory of those who attacked us on 9/11. They chose to protect, support, and hide them. An accomplice is just as guilty as the one who holds the smoking gun. Try hiding a fugitive from American justice in your own home after he commits a crime and see just how fast the DA will charge you with being an accessory-after-the-fact as well."

Right on!!!

Gillian M Sunday May 10, 2009, 1:21 pm

"You obviously do not read what is written and interpret any item to what you want it to be. You bring in irrelevancies and twist facts, both shown as above. How can anyone take your posturings seriously if you are not writing clear and concise comments but personal attacks on those that disagree? Every person is entitled to their own opinion but personal attacks are not rebuttals but akin to swearing, someone unable to bring words or facts to disagree."

Hey Brigitte T...this seems to be a recurring theme with you. :)

Gillian M (218)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:19 pm
Brigitte, you have made some interesting statements which are contradictions. For example:

"People have a right to fight to defend themselves."

"People have no right to fight a war if civilians are getting killed."

. (0)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:51 pm
Of course Americans were reluctant to get into WWII - we as a nation had developed an isolationist stance (the same isolationist stance so beloved by those who today maintain that America should stay out of international conflicts and stop being the world's policeman.)


Mark G (36)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:58 pm
Don't you people understand? Brigitte is right! The Taliban is not that bad. Sure they behead a few thousand innocent people a year, enslave women, cut off the hands of children, totally ignore human rights in general, and pursue murder and terrorism in the name of their perverted view of Islam. But surely they are better than the US and UK warmongers who are only in Afghanistan for oil... No wait Afghanistan doesn't have any oil. The US and the UK are there to protect their capitalist shipping lanes... Wait Afghanistan doesn't have any ports. Well those warmongers are surely there for some nefarious, greedy cause, and if they would just leave, the Taliban would hold fair elections so people could vote on whether they wanted to be beheaded or not...

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 4:20 pm
the taliban must be stopped at any cost,failure to do so would put afghanastan and possibly pakistan under strict islamic about strict islamic law to see why its ..umm.. not so good for womens rights and creates a host of other problems.the taliban would also create vast numbers of training camps for the sole purpose of killing americans and their allies. they must be stopped along with al-queda who is working with them. there will be civilian deaths in almost any war but for the greater good of the country and to attain a lasting peace the taliban/al-queda must be defeated. look what the taliban did in the parts of pakistan they controlled recently...told girls not to go to school anymore in areas they controlled and put fear into every person in n.w pakistan. luckily pakistan has woke up to this threat and with the help of the U.S and our allies we may be able to defeat them once and for all and start peace in the area for the first time in a long time....."freedom isnt free"

David Gould (155)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 5:32 pm
I just wish the USA would mind its own business and butt out of parts of the world that have nothing what-so-ever to do with them...they have never improved the lives of those they go to 'save' and seem to end up slaughtering hundreds and thousands throughout the globe.

Any form of extremism is brutal and disregards the rights of the individual.

My main problem with this so called 'War on Terror' is that as time goes on I am having difficulty in deciding who exactly is the terrorist...the old rule of black and white hats doesn't always work out here.

As to Afghanistan surely the lessons of history should show that no one ever wins a war there and normally have to retreat in humiliation and the British have, the Russians have, the Americans will and so forth. When you enter a country that fights its wars over centuries it is probably imprudent to look for quick fixes.

The only results of the American and British occupations will be to alienate, marginalise and to radicalise a whole new generation of freedom fighters...err sorry should that be 'terrorists?' or are they already there wearing the uniforms of our countries.


Edward H (45)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 6:55 pm
Mark G Sunday May 10, 2009, 3:58 pm

That was it...

Dan Jones Sunday May 10, 2009, 4:20 pm

"freedom isnt free"

Why some people don't understand this is beyond me...

David Gould Sunday May 10, 2009, 5:32 pm

"I just wish the USA would mind its own business and butt out of parts of the world that have nothing what-so-ever to do with them...they have never improved the lives of those they go to 'save' and seem to end up slaughtering hundreds and thousands throughout the globe."

This is a joke, right? WWI? WWII? South Korea? I'll keep it to just a few of obvious ones for you...

Elderberry T (201)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 6:56 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Brigitte because you have done so within the last week.

Oh and re oil in Afghanistan Mark G..look up the Oil Pipeline laid by?? Guess who...

Edward H (45)
Sunday May 10, 2009, 7:07 pm
Tongue-in-cheek ON

Whut uhmazes me eybout awl ewe wahrmongrrerrs who suhport the wahr corpoureyshuns is y ewe r sew blined two awl the free oyl the US gets frum dahmmihnateng the oyl prodeuceng khuntrees. Ewe get awl the free gassohlene ewe whant.

Tongue-in-cheek OFF

Donn M (56)
Monday May 11, 2009, 12:04 am
David G. If memory serves correctly, it seems there were more than a few Europeans whose lives were made immensely better by our involvement in World War II. And the Chinese certainly were better off for a little while after we defeated the Japanese and ended their horrific atrocities in China.

We are not at war with Afghanistan. We are at war with the terrorists who infest both Afghanistan and Pakistan, countries either unable or unwilling to deal with the scourge within their borders. I'm not the least bit sorry the US went after these scum, and though I don't believe they will be eradicated, maybe we can at least weaken them to the extent that these countries will be strong enough to deal with them. And hopefully, that will be soon, for the sake of both Afghanistan and the US.

Past Member (0)
Monday May 11, 2009, 2:14 am
Briget I agree with you 100%,you got my vote.

David Gould (155)
Monday May 11, 2009, 5:35 am

Let's stop living in the past shall we? What about Vietnam, Cambodia, Serbia, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the recent track record of the USA that interests us as they murder their way across the globe or get others to do so on their behalf.(like in Palestine) The USA is the kiss of death to anyone wanting freedom...get the message...your presidents have made you complicit in war crimes...I am looking for change that we were stop harking back to the good old days of WW1 and WW11 of even Korea...which were a lifetime ago and get with the plot and wake up and smell the coffee.

Brigitte T (69)
Monday May 11, 2009, 5:51 am

"During the week after U.S. missiles hit sites in Sudan and Afghanistan, some Americans seemed uncomfortable. A vocal minority even voiced opposition. But approval was routine among those who had learned a few easy Orwellian lessons.

When terrorists attack, they're terrorizing. When we attack, we're retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with further attacks, they're terrorizing again. When we respond with further attacks, we're retaliating again.

When people decry civilian deaths caused by the U.S. government, they're aiding propaganda efforts. In sharp contrast, when civilian deaths are caused by bombers who hate America, the perpetrators are evil and those deaths are tragedies.

When they put bombs in cars and kill people, they're uncivilized killers. When we put bombs on missiles and kill people, we're upholding civilized values.

When they kill, they're terrorists. When we kill, we're striking against terror.

At all times, Americans must be kept fully informed about who to hate and fear. When the United States found Osama bin Laden useful during the 1980s because of his tenacious violence against the Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan, he was good, or at least not bad — but now he's really bad.

No matter how many times they've lied in the past, U.S. officials are credible in the present. When they vaguely cite evidence that the bombed pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum was making ingredients for nerve gas, that should be good enough for us.

Might doesn't make right — except in the real world, when it's American might. Only someone of dubious political orientation would split hairs about international law. "

[Orwellian Logic 101 — A Few Simple Lessons By Norman Solomon
Media Beat (8/27/98)]

Peter Edler (0)
Monday May 11, 2009, 1:23 pm
Mr.President, if you're Commander-in-Chief, that's precisely what you are. It means you're responsible - PERSONALLY responsible, hear? Pete Edler, member Swedish Writers Union, Stockholm

Brigitte T (69)
Monday May 11, 2009, 1:42 pm
Becoming What We Seek to Destroy

By Chris Hedges

May 11, 2009 "Truthdig" -- The bodies of dozens, perhaps well over a hundred, women, children and men, their corpses blown into bits of human flesh by iron fragmentation bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes in a village in the western province of Farah, illustrates the futility of the Afghan war. We are not delivering democracy or liberation or development. We are delivering massive, sophisticated forms of industrial slaughter. And because we have employed the blunt and horrible instrument of war in a land we know little about and are incapable of reading, we embody the barbarism we claim to be seeking to defeat.

We are morally no different from the psychopaths within the Taliban, who Afghans remember we empowered, funded and armed during the 10-year war with the Soviet Union. Acid thrown a girl’s face or beheadings? Death delivered from the air or fields of shiny cluster bombs? This is the language of war. It is what we speak. It is what those we fight speak.

Afghan survivors carted some two dozen corpses from their villages to the provincial capital in trucks this week to publicly denounce the carnage. Some 2,000 angry Afghans in the streets of the capital chanted “Death to America!” But the grief, fear and finally rage of the bereaved do not touch those who use high-minded virtues to justify slaughter. The death of innocents, they assure us, is the tragic cost of war. It is regrettable, but it happens. It is the price that must be paid. And so, guided by a president who once again has no experience of war and defers to the bull-necked generals and militarists whose careers, power and profits depend on expanded war, we are transformed into monsters.

There will soon be 21,000 additional U.S. soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan in time for the expected surge in summer fighting. There will be more clashes, more airstrikes, more deaths and more despair and anger from those forced to bury their parents, sisters, brothers and children. The grim report of the killings in the airstrike, issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which stated that bombs hit civilian houses and noted that an ICRC counterpart in the Red Crescent was among the dead, will become familiar reading in the weeks and months ahead.

We are the best recruiting weapon the Taliban possesses. We have enabled it to rise from the ashes seven years ago to openly control over half the country and carry out daylight attacks in the capital Kabul. And the war we wage is being exported like a virus to Pakistan in the form of drones that bomb Pakistani villages and increased clashes between the inept Pakistani military and a restive internal insurgency.

I spoke in New York City a few days ago with Dr. Juliette Fournot, who lived with her parents in Afghanistan as a teenager, speaks Dari and led teams of French doctors and nurses from Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, into Afghanistan during the war with the Soviets. She participated in the opening of clandestine cross-border medical operations missions between 1980 and 1982 and became head of the French humanitarian mission in Afghanistan in 1983. Dr. Fournot established logistical bases in Peshawar and Quetta and organized the dozen cross-border and clandestine permanent missions in the resistance-held areas of Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Badakhshan, Paktia, Ghazni and Hazaradjat, through which more than 500 international aid workers rotated.

She is one of the featured characters in a remarkable book called “The Photographer,” produced by photojournalist Didier Lefèvre and graphic novelist Emmanuel Guibert. The book tells the story of a three-month mission in 1986 into Afghanistan led by Dr. Fournot. It is an unflinching look at the cost of war, what bombs, shells and bullets do to human souls and bodies. It exposes, in a way the rhetoric of our politicians and generals do not, the blind destructive fury of war. The French humanitarian group withdrew from Afghanistan in July 2004 after five of its aid workers were assassinated in a clearly marked vehicle.

“The American ground troops are midterm in a history that started roughly in 1984 and 1985 when the State Department decided to assist the Mujahedeen, the resistance fighters, through various programs and military aid. USAID, the humanitarian arm serving political and military purposes, was the seed for having a different kind of interaction with the Afghans,” she told me. “The Afghans were very grateful to receive arms and military equipment from the Americans.”

“But the way USAID distributed its humanitarian assistance was very debatable,” she went on. “It still puzzles me. They gave most of it to the Islamic groups such as the Hezb-e Islami of [Gulbuddin] Hekmatyar. And I think it is possibly because they were more interested in the future stability of Pakistan rather than saving Afghanistan. Afghanistan was probably a good ground to hit and drain the blood from the Soviet Union. I did not see a plan to rebuild or bring peace to Afghanistan. It seemed that Afghanistan was a tool to weaken the Soviet Union. It was mostly left to the Pakistani intelligence services to decide what would be best and how to do it and how by doing so they could strengthen themselves.”

The Pakistanis, Dr. Fournot said, developed a close relationship with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis, like the Americans, flooded the country with money and also exported conservative and often radical Wahhabi clerics. The Americans, aware of the relationship with the Saudis as well as Pakistan’s secret program to build nuclear weapons, looked the other way. Washington sowed, unwittingly, the seeds of destruction in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It trained, armed and empowered the militants who now kill them.

The relationship, she said, bewildered most Afghans, who did not look favorably upon this radical form of Islam. Most Afghans, she said, wondered why American aid went almost exclusively to the Islamic radicals and not to more moderate and secular resistance movements.

“The population wondered why they did not have more credibility with the Americans,” she said. “They could not understand why the aid was stopped in Pakistan and distributed to political parties that had limited reach in Afghanistan. These parties stockpiled arms and started fighting each other. What the people got in the provinces was miniscule and irrelevant. And how did the people see all this? They had great hopes in the beginning and gradually became disappointed, bitter and then felt betrayed. This laid the groundwork for the current suspicion, distrust and disappointment with the U.S. and NATO.”

Dr. Fournot sees the American project in Afghanistan as mirroring that of the doomed Soviet occupation that began in December 1979. A beleaguered Afghan population, brutalized by chaos and violence, desperately hoped for stability and peace. The Soviets, like the Americans, spoke of equality, economic prosperity, development, education, women’s rights and political freedom. But within two years, the ugly face of Soviet domination had unmasked the flowery rhetoric. The Afghans launched their insurgency to drive the Soviets out of the country.

Dr. Fournot fears that years of war have shattered the concept of nationhood. “There is so much personal and mental destruction,” she said. “Over 70 percent of the population has never known anything else but war. Kids do not go to school. War is normality. It gives that adrenaline rush that provides a momentary sense of high, and that is what they live on. And how can you build a nation on that?”

The Pashtuns, she noted, have built an alliance with the Taliban to restore Pashtun power that was lost in the 2001 invasion. The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is, to the Pashtuns, a meaningless demarcation that was drawn by imperial powers through the middle of their tribal lands. There are 13 million Pashtuns in Afghanistan and another 28 million in Pakistan. The Pashtuns are fighting forces in Islamabad and Kabul they see as seeking to wrest from them their honor and autonomy. They see little difference between the Pakistani military, American troops and the Afghan army.

Islamabad, while it may battle Taliban forces in Swat or the provinces, does not regard the Taliban as a mortal enemy. The enemy is and has always been India. The balance of power with India requires the Pakistani authorities to ensure that any Afghan government is allied with it. This means it cannot push the Pashtuns in the Northwest Frontier Province or in Afghanistan too far. It must keep its channels open. The cat-and-mouse game between the Pakistani authorities and the Pashtuns, which drives Washington to fury, will never end. Islamabad needs the Pashtuns in Pakistan and Afghanistan more than the Pashtuns need them.

The U.S. fuels the bonfires of war. The more troops we send to Afghanistan, the more drones we send on bombing runs over Pakistan, the more airstrikes we carry out, the worse the unraveling will become. We have killed twice as many civilians as the Taliban this year and that number is sure to rise in the coming months.

“I find this term ‘collateral damage’ dehumanizing,” Dr. Fournot said, “as if it is a necessity. People are sacrificed on the altar of an idea. Air power is blind. I know this from having been caught in numerous bombings.”

We are faced with two stark choices. We can withdraw and open negotiations with the Taliban or continue to expand the war until we are driven out. The corrupt and unpopular regimes of Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and Asif Ali Zardari are impotent allies. The longer they remain tethered to the United States, the weaker they become. And the weaker they become, the louder become the calls for intervention in Pakistan. During the war in Vietnam, we invaded Cambodia to bring stability to the region and cut off rebel sanctuaries and supply routes. This tactic only empowered the Khmer Rouge. We seem poised, in much the same way, to do the same for radical Islamists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“If the Americans step up the war in Afghanistan, they will be sucked into Pakistan,” Dr. Fournot warned. “Pakistan is a time bomb waiting to explode. You have a huge population, 170 million people. There is nuclear power. Pakistan is much more dangerous than Afghanistan. War always has its own logic. Once you set foot in war, you do not control it. It sucks you in.”

Chris Hedges’ new book, “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” will be out in July and can be preordered on Amazon or at your local bookstore.

Brigitte T (69)
Monday May 11, 2009, 1:48 pm
U.S. Foreign Policy Caused the Taliban Problem

By Jacob G. Hornberger

May 10, 2009 "fff" --- U.S. officials are now concerned not only with a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan but also a Taliban takeover in Pakistan. These problems, however, were caused by the U.S. Empire itself.

While most Americans now view President Bush’s Iraq War as a “bad war,” the common perception is that Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan was a “good war” (despite the fact that he went to war without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war). The notion is that the U.S. government was justified in invading Afghanistan and ousting the Taliban regime from power because the Taliban and al-Qaeda conspired to commit the 9/11 attacks.

There’s just one big problem with that belief: it’s unfounded.

The reason that Bush ousted the Taliban from office was that the Taliban regime refused to comply with his unconditional demand to deliver Osama bin Laden to U.S. officials after the 9/11 attacks.

The Taliban responded to Bush’s demand by asking him to furnish evidence of bin Laden’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks. Upon receipt of such evidence, they offered to turn him over to an independent tribunal instead of the United States.

Bush never explained why the Taliban’s conditions were unreasonable. After all, as federal judges in the Jose Padilla case, the Zacarias Moussaoui case, and many others have confirmed, terrorism is a federal criminal offense. Thus, while it’s not unusual for one nation to seek the extradition of a foreigner to stand trial for a criminal offense, it’s just as reasonable for the nation receiving the request to be provided evidence that the person has, in fact, committed the crime.

Venezuela is currently seeking the extradition from the United States of a man named Luis Posada Carriles, who is accused of bombing a Cuban airliner over Venezuelan skies, a terrorist act that succeeded in killing everyone on board.

Venezuela and the United States have an extradition agreement. Nonetheless, the U.S. government is refusing to extradite Posada to Venezuela. The reason? It says that it fears that Venezuelan authorities will torture Posada. (Another reason might be that Posada was a CIA operative.)

But if fear of torture is a valid reason for refusing an extradition request from Venezuela, then why wouldn’t the same reason apply with respect to the Taliban’s refusal to extradite bin Laden to the United States? I think everyone would agree that if bin Laden had been turned over to the CIA or the Pentagon, he would have been brutally tortured, perhaps even executed, without ever being brought to trial before a fair and independent judicial tribunal.

What about the Taliban’s request that Bush provide evidence of bin Laden’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks? That request is precisely what is done in extradition proceedings. When one nation seeks the extradition of a foreigner, the rules of extradition require it to provide evidence to support the request.

What was remarkable about the Taliban offer was that there wasn’t even an extradition agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. The Taliban was offering to deliver bin Laden to an independent tribunal even though international law did not require it, so long as U.S. officials provided the same type of evidence that is ordinarily required in an extradition proceeding.

Yet Bush refused to consider either the Taliban’s offer or its request for evidence. His position was effectively this: “We are the world’s sole remaining empire. We have the most powerful military on the planet. We have the capability of smashing you and removing your regime from power. You will comply with our demand, unconditionally and immediately.”

But the Taliban refused to comply with Bush’s unconditional demand. Consequently, when the United States invaded Afghanistan, it not only went after bin Laden, it also took sides in Afghanistan’s civil war, taking the side of the Northern Alliance. Ousting the Taliban from power in a classic regime-change operation, U.S. officials installed Hamid Karzai into office, who has been a loyal, friendly, and compliant member of the empire ever since, but one whose regime is now under constant attack by those who were ousted from power by the U.S. Empire.

While Bush and other U.S. officials promised to disclose evidence that the Taliban regime had conspired with al-Qaeda to commit the 9/11 attacks, that promise was never fulfilled and it was ultimately forgotten. The likely reason for that is that they never had such evidence. After all, if they had evidence of such complicity, they would never have wasted time demanding that the Taliban turn bin Laden over. They would have simply declared war against Afghanistan for having attacked the United States.

What would have been the ideal way of handling bin Laden? The same way that the United States handled Ramzi Yousef, one of the terrorists who committed the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Treating that attack as a criminal offense, U.S. officials simply waited Yousef out, relied on good police work, and finally were able to effect his arrest in Pakistan. He is now residing in a U.S. federal penitentiary. No bombs, no missiles, no destruction, no killing of Pakistani wedding parties, and no needless production of new enemies for the United States.

Instead, treating the capture of bin Laden as a military problem, U.S. officials invaded the country, killed and maimed countless innocent people, wreaked untold destruction on Afghanistan, effected regime change, created new enemies for the United States ... and failed to capture bin Laden.

But even given the military invasion of Afghanistan, the aim of that invasion could have been limited to going after bin Laden rather than being used as an opportunity to effect regime change at the same time.

Indeed, that’s precisely what happened after Pancho Villa killed several Americans in a raid on Columbus, New Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution. After the raid, U.S. officials sent an expeditionary force into Mexico to capture him and bring him back to justice. While the expedition was unsuccessful, what was noteworthy about it was that the expedition force limited itself to trying to capture Villa, not taking sides in Mexico’s civil war.

We would be remiss if we failed to keep in mind the role that U.S. foreign policy played in bringing into existence and supporting the Taliban. In a November 5, 2001, article, Congressman Ron Paul pointed out:

We should recognize that American tax dollars helped to create the very Taliban government that now wants to destroy us. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the CIA was very involved in the training and funding of various fundamentalist Islamic groups in Afghanistan, some of which later became today’s brutal Taliban government. In fact, the U.S. government admits to giving the groups at least 6 billion dollars in military aid and weaponry, a staggering sum that would be even larger in today’s dollars.

Bin Laden himself received training and weapons from the CIA....

Incredibly, in May the U.S. announced that we would reward the Taliban with an additional $43 million in aid for its actions in banning the cultivation of poppy used to produce heroin and opium. Taliban rulers had agreed to assist us in our senseless drug war by declaring opium growing “against the will of God.”...

Once the Taliban regime refused to comply with Bush’s unconditional order to turn over bin Laden, the U.S. Empire did what it had done and tried to do in so many other countries — Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Cuba, Indonesia, Iraq, and others — bring about regime change by ousting a recalcitrant regime that refused to comply with the unconditional orders of the U.S. Empire — a regime that the U.S. Empire itself had helped to create — and replacing it with a submissive pro-empire regime. In the process, the empire succeeded in embroiling the United State into one more foreign conflict, one that has now spread to nuclear-armed Pakistan.

It’s just another “success story” in the life of the U.S. Empire and its interventionist foreign policy.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Past Member (0)
Monday May 11, 2009, 1:56 pm
under the taliban women could not listen to music or sing.they could not even go outside without fear,couldnt go to they can thanks to the U.S

David Gould (155)
Monday May 11, 2009, 3:58 pm
On the contary Dan...under American invassion they are not safe to go out or stay at home if they live in Farah. They only go out there in hundreds of bloody fragments...some safety that!

. (0)
Monday May 11, 2009, 4:01 pm
Dan, the moment I originally read your comment, I KNEW you had provided someone or another with a perfect opening!

Past Member (0)
Monday May 11, 2009, 4:45 pm
ya...the taliban treated women so great.. sorry my bad

Cynthia N (5)
Monday May 11, 2009, 7:44 pm
Wow...once again I find myself reading a thread and thinking, 'there is truth to find if you look for it, but you have to WANT to - there really are no one so blind as those who WILL not see.'
I notice Bridgitte backs up her statements with credible sources while others here; well, the posts speak for themselves, I guess.
One thing out of many but, the US didn't "decide" to help out Europe. Germany declared war upon the US on December 11, 1941. Now, why don't some of you just ask yourselves, if you can get a simple fact like that wrong, are you possibly wrong about other things too? Much of our media lies about things, even retelling history about events that happened within MY lifetime (and some of YOURS) that I KNOW didn't originally happen the way it gets reported now. Why don't more people start using the internet for gleaning information all over the world, in order to get insight from a variety of countries's views, wants, desires - to make up their own minds, as opposed to some talking heads on two or three television stations?
Bridgitte, don't lose faith, a few more of them are waking up everday. A green star from me for an excellent post. And David G. a green star for my fellow IPeace member. I send you well-wishes and blessings, yours is a truly beautiful soul.

Gillian M (218)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 1:44 am
Brigitte, Greece has a violent and bloody history even up to recent times, interesting that you ignore it and only comment on the Elgin marbles which have nothing whatsoever to do with violence. If the UK had gone to war for them then it would be relevant. As for Turkey, its history is closely entwined with Greece but you still haven't explained how I am involved. Contradictory comments are ignored as you cannot support them.

As for coming from France, your family may have done great things and there are always brave and caring people, like Schindler, who cannot bear to see abuse and cruelty. However, France only exists today because the Allies came to help you twice. The first time, WWI, the French refused to fight to protect their own country. During WWII the French waved the white flag almost immediately to set up Vichy France. A few resistance fighters heavily supported by the UK, who supplied agents who fought with them and supplied weapons, fought the Germans, the majority did nothing. I doubt that you object to the imperialism of the UK, or of the US, at those times, particularly as you would not have the personal freedom of democracy to do so now.

Rewriting or ignoring parts of history merely makes people look ridiculous when they make other claims.

As for the suffering of the Afghanis and Pakistanis (why does everyone ignore Pakistan or is their suffering irrelevant as the US is not there?) it is appalling, no-one denies that. However, I refute the right of anyone on this page to make the decision for them over the rights and wrongs of having the US and UK in there. The current Afghani government want the Taliban out, the vast majority of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan want the Taliban out. Let them make their decision, it is theirs to make, not yours. It is just unfortunate that those that disagree with me make it a personal attack - grow up!

Wars are not wanted but, on occasion, are necessary to fight evil. Hitler was evil and the Taliban create evil by their actions against the population by forcing their views on them. The suffering under their regime, particularly of women, is appalling, unless you think that their suffering is irrelevant as long as the US pulls out. The voice of war is strong and people react to it, the voice of suffering is weak and usually ignored except, as on this board, as a weapon to bash the US. I am sad for them as the population is currently in a no-win situation. Hopefully, the US & UK will chase the Taliban away which allow BOTH Afghanistan AND Pakistan peace.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 4:20 am
well said gillian..and bridgitte's sources as i have looked up are always anti-america conspiracy theorists like herself with little credibility among sane people

Brigitte T (69)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 4:58 am


I have and will be ignoring your comments on purpose because they are not worth replying to. I am ignoring the pathetic baits only meant to distract from the issue at hand - as usual- which is real news and real facts...unlike the pile of inaccuracies and blatant lies you've been posting.

I will only address your outrageous statement: "WWI, the French refused to fight to protect their own country".

You have just insulted and disrespected the memory of the hundreds of thousands of French soldiers and civilians who died for their country; whose names are carved in stone all over the country (and not only) in every city, town, village, in every church and every civilian and military cemetery.

WWI, France: Military deaths 1,397,800 - Civilian deaths 300,000 - Total deaths 1,697,800
Military wounded 4,266,000
The total of military deaths includes 1,186,000 killed or missing in action and died of wounds. The figure for total military dead of 1,397,800 is from a study published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1931 . The UK War Office in 1922 estimated French losses as 1,385,300 dead and missing.The U.S. War Department in 1924 estimated 1,357,800 killed and died. The names of the soldiers who died for France during World War I are listed on-line by the French government.

As for WWII & French RESISTANCE, you don't have a clue either. It was an *extremely powerful* movement, involving thousands of resistants in France & backed up by the French resistance network overseas.
"The flame of French resistance must not and shall not be extinguished". Thus spoke General de Gaulle in his call of 18 June 1940, after having invited "all French officers and soldiers" and "all engineers and skilled workers in the armaments industry" to join him in England. In the same vein on the following day, 19 June, he added "It is the absolute duty of every Frenchman still bearing arms to continue the resistance". Recognised by Winston Churchill as "Head of the Free French" under an agreement drawn up on the French side by Professor René Cassin, General de Gaulle instituted a "Conseil de Défense de l'Empire" or Empire Defence Council on 27 October 1940 in Brazzaville "on French soil". Then on 24 September 1941 he founded a "Comité National Français" or French National Committee to defend the interests of France within the Allied camp and to administer the territories that had joined Free France."

You started attacking Greece because you thought I was born there. So I knew you would attack France when I said I am French.

Ignoring historical facts is one thing, distorting the truth is another, but the worst is the appalling choice of blatant lies you have been posting. It has destroyed any shred of credibility you could ever have had.

So why should I reply to your comments? Why waste my time on you or your friends? I do not have to defend my past comments, or explain them again to people who pretend they don't understand.
I can see my comments make plenty of sense to the vast majority of Care2 members interested in these important Human Rights issues and related threads. It's all that matters to me.

PS Dan Jones, that last comment was too funny, especially coming from you :P

Brigitte T (69)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 5:08 am
Back to Topic: What the Afghan People want.

Afghan president demands an end to air raids on Taliban amid claims of 130 civilian deaths

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 3:32 PM on 11th May 2009

Warning: Afghan President Hamid Karzai is 'very serious' about a demand for foreign forces in Afghanistan to halt air raids
Afghan president Hamid Karzai has called for an end to air raids in his country after scores of civilians were killed in the latest attack on the Taliban.

Karzai, who went on U.S. television to make the call has put the death toll at up to 130 people.

If his figure is confirmed, it would be the biggest such case of Western forces killing civilians since they invaded in 2001.

His spokesman said the Afghan leader was 'very serious' about his demand.

Afghans are furious about the bombing of two villages in Western Farah province during a drawn-out battle last week, when homes full of civilians were hit.

However, his plea was rejected by White House National Security Adviser James Jones, who said the United States could not be expected to fight 'with one hand tied behind our back'.

But an issue that is already poisoning ties between Washington and Kabul may become even more toxic, as Karzai's team showed no signs of backing away from their demand to end attacks which they say undermine the government's legitimacy.

'We demand a complete end to the bombardment of our villages ... and we are very serious about it,' said presidential spokesman Siymak Herawi, when asked about Jones's comments.

'They are like a double-edged weapon with which the international community is hurting itself and also the Afghan people,' he added.

Demonstration: Afghan students of Kabul University protest against the coalition air strikes which have reportedly killed up to 130 civilians

Karzai’s warning comes after the U.S. was accused of using white phosphorus bombs during the raids.

Doctors say they found horrific burns on victims of the slaughter a week ago.

They believe they could have been caused by the chemical, which bursts into fierce fire on contact with the air and can stick to flesh and burn deep into it.

While phosphorus can be legitimately used in battle to light up the night sky or create smokescreens, but it is illegal to use it as a weapon.

Human rights groups say its use in populated areas can indiscriminately burn civilians and constitutes a war crime.

Yesterday the U.S. military denied using phosphorus, saying if it had been used, the Taliban were to blame. But that idea was rubbished by experts and denied by the Taliban themselves.

Haji Barkat Ullah speaks with his daughter Frishta, aged seven, who was wounded in a coalition air strike in Afghanistan last week

Anger over casualties from aerial bombings has been eroding support for troops on the ground. They accounted for well over half of civilian deaths caused by Western and pro-government forces in 2008, according to the United Nations.

Hundreds of Kabul university students marched on Sunday chanting 'death to America' in protest against the killings.

Army General David Petraeus, who as head of U.S. Central Command oversees military operations in Afghanistan, said he had assigned a brigadier general to look at the use of air strikes.

Petraeus said it was important to ensure 'that our tactical actions don't undermine our strategic goals and objectives'.

Karzai's spokesman Herawi said the raids were not producing a substantial impact on a Taliban insurgency that has been gathering strength across the south and east of the country.

A white phosphorus shell fired by the Israeli military explodes over the Gaza strip earlier this year. The chemical ignites on contact with the air, and causes severe burns. The US is accused of using the weapon illegally in Afghanistan

Despite reinforcements to foreign forces, violence has surged to its worst level in the past year, the bloodiest period since U.S.-led troops overthrew the Taliban government in 2001.

'Our houses and villages are not havens for terrorists. The havens of terrorists are on the other side of the border,' he said alluding to neighbouring Pakistan.

'If they want the campaign against terrorism to produce result, then they should pay attention to the nests of terrorism, not to our houses and villages.'

But analysts say U.S. and Nato-led troops would be unlikely to agree to fight without air power, because they are spread relatively thinly across Afghanistan.


Timothy Kritsch (0)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 7:49 am
I am sure that Afghan civilians are killed as the result of American and NATO air strikes. Please tell me what the difference is between the Taliban fighters and the Afghan citizens because in this conflict here are no sides as far as I can see. The "chicken" Taliban force themselves on to the village civilian populations where they can hide behind women and children just like they do in Gaza and Iraq, and then blame the Americans for killing civilians. And from what I am reading, the Afghan President and his government are TOTALLY CORRUPT so if he complains more, the coalition will give him more aid and MONEY. This conflict is a huge waste of money, resources and the deaths of soldiers and I have a feeling that we are there only because of BIG OIL!! This area of the world makes the old "American Wild West" look like a church picnic. The warlords have been fighting each other for centuries and will continue so for centuries to come. NATO will not change the status quo. Sincerely, Timothy Kritsch

Edward H (45)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 8:03 am
Cynthia N Monday May 11, 2009, 7:44 pm

Get a few history books and read up on WWII and then come back and tell us when the US entered the war. What country do you think was supplying the Allies with supplies BEFORE war was declared by it? The US. That was in 1939. What country started to increase the size of its Navy greatly BEFORE war was declared by it? The US. That was 1940, (and before due to Japan's imperialism desires - one of the reasons Japan attacked Pearl Harbor). What country was protecting British convoys and maintained an undeclared naval warfare against Germany BEFORE war was declared by it? The US. That was 1941, PRE Pearl Harbor. When the US declared war on Japan, Germany "declared" war on the US, (ever hear of the Tripartite Pact)? If you want to get all warm and fuzzy, the US didn't formally declare war on Germany until after Germany formally declared war on the US on December 11, 1941. I won't go on, but read your history books.

BTW, there were pacifists back then too. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor the Senate and House of Representatives approved the war declaration almost unanimously. Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin of Montana voted no on declaring war on Japan in WWII. As a kicker, she also voted no on declaring war on Germany in WWI. Gee, maybe we should have negotiated with Japan and Germany, etc., like all of today's pacifists want done with the Taliban, etc.. We'd be living under their rule...of course, there would be no Jews, Gypsies, handicapped, etc., no freedom of the press, no freedom of speech, (you'd be a political prisoner and sent to the gas chambers), etc..

Bryan S (105)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 12:18 pm
I don't have time (or maybe too lazy) to read all the arguments here regarding should the US stay in or leave Afghanistan. Yes, there is the argument of what will happen in Afghanistan if the US just leaves. But there is also the reality that many (most?) Afghan citizens now see the US occupiers as worse than the Taliban.

So to those who think we must stay, what happens when our troops become forever embroiled in fighting an Afghan resistance as the Soviets did? We can't save the Afghanis by fighting them.

Cynthia N (5)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 12:37 pm
Ed, I'm shaking my head and laughing here! I responded to just one of many erroneous facts, (i.e. someone up thread stated that the US went to Europe in WWII "to help resist attack" from the Axis Powers without provocation) by pointing out that Germany declared war on the US. Ergo, The US most certainly did have provocation to enter the European theater. But I truly have no idea why you felt the need to inform me to educate myself about WWII because of that statement, or why the incidents you mentioned happening before the US was "officially" involved in WWII have to do with the small point I was trying to make. Anyway, WWII isn't the point of this topic, Afghani civilian deaths at the hands of the US is, and getting sidetracked about other things is a threadjack against Brigitte which I will no longer be a party to.

Brigitte T (69)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 1:17 pm

Did US Forces Use White Phosphorus in the Afghan Bombings?

By: Siun Monday May 11, 2009 8:10 am

The news about the US bombings of two villages in Farah, Afghanistan keeps getting worse.

Yesterday, new questions about the bombing were raised by physicians treating victims from the attacks. The doctors report that 14 of the wounded have “unusual burns:”

Dr Mohammad Aref Jalali, the head of an internationally funded burns hospital in Herat, said villagers taken to hospital after the incident had "highly unusual burns" on their hands and feet that he had not seen before. "We cannot be 100% sure what type of chemical it was and we do not have the equipment here to find out. One of the women who came here told us that 22 members of her family were totally burned. She said a bomb distributed white pow[d]er that caught fire and then set people's clothes alight."

Pentagon spokesman Col. Greg Julian responded by saying that they had not used white phosphorus. Responding to a DOD claim that the wounds “could have resulted from hand grenades or exploding propane tanks,” Dr Jalali noted:

"I think it's the result of a chemical used in a bomb, but I'm not sure what kind of chemical. But if it was a result of a burning house – from petrol or gas cylinders – that kind of burn would look different," he said.


Gul Ahmad Ayubi, the deputy head of Farah's health department, said the province's main hospital had received 14 patients after the battle, all with burn wounds:”

"There has been other airstrikes in Farah in the past. We had injuries from those battles, but this is the first time we have seen such burns on the bodies. I'm not sure what kind of bomb it was," he said.

The question of US chemical use won’t go away since both the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the UN are asking about the injuries they have seen during their investigations of the bombing:

Nader Nadery, a commissioner for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said officials were concerned white phosphorus may have been used, but he said more investigation was needed.

"Our teams have met with patients," Nadery told The Associated Press. "They are investigating the cause of the injuries and the use of white phosphorus.''


U.N. human rights investigators have also seen "extensive'' burn wounds on victims and have raised questions about how the injuries were caused, said a U.N. official who asked not to be identified talking about internal deliberations. The U.N. has reached no conclusions about whether any chemical weapons may have been used, the official said.

Adding to skepticism about the Pentagon’s denials is the demand made last week by Human Rights Watch that “NATO Should ‘Come Clean’ on White Phosphorus” based on reports from an earlier incidents profiled last week by ABC News in which a girl of 8 was horrifically burned (and two of her siblings were killed). According to HRW:

NATO forces in Afghanistan should immediately release the results of their investigation into a March 14, 2009, incident in which an 8-year-old girl in Kapisa province was burned by white phosphorus munitions, Human Rights Watch said today.

The girl's family brought her to the US military base in Bagram on March 14 for medical treatment for severe burns. US military doctors say they found white phosphorus on her face and neck. The incident took place in Alahsay district in eastern Kapisa Province, where there had been a series of fierce firefights in March involving NATO forces and insurgent groups.

NATO officials have said that according to their records, no rounds were found to have landed near the house, though have not denied using white phosphorus during this engagement. They have suggested that the Taliban may have fired the rounds, but have not provided any evidence for their claim. Today the International Security Assistance Force released information on four isolated incidents dated between December 2007 and May 2009 where they say insurgents used white phosphorus munitions.

"NATO has not denied using white phosphorus during the Kapisa incident, nor have they provided evidence that the insurgents fired these rounds," said Garlasco. "NATO and US forces need to reassure the people of Afghanistan, already alarmed by high civilian casualties, that these munitions are not being used unlawfully."

While NATO has claimed to HRW that "We do not target personnel with white phosphorus, which is a conventional weapon in the arsenals of many nations, generally used for screening, marking, and illumination" evidence from Iraq, where its use to target “insurgents” in Fallujah was admitted, suggests otherwise.

In the midst of this controversy, White House National Security Advisor James Jones made it clear that the air strikes will continue, saying President Karzai who has called for an end to all air strikes will understand “that we have to have the full complement of our offensive military power when we need it. . . . We can't fight with one hand tied behind our back."

Afghan students did not agree:

Chanting "Death to America", "Death to the biggest terrorist" and "long live Islam", more than a 1,000 of students marched outside the university to condemn the recent US-led air strikes in Farah province, that is believed to be the deadliest incident since the beginning of the war on terror in 2001.

The students were carrying banners, written "The blood of Farah martyrs will never dry".

Students demanded the trial of elements behind the last week’s air raid in the southwestern Farah province.

The leaders of the students made up a statement criticizing the non-combatants’ deaths in both military and the Taliban attacks.

"Our people are fed up with Taliban beheadings and suicide bombings.

On the other hand, the massacre of civilians by the American forces is a crime that our people will never forget," the statement noted.

With General Petraeus telling Fox News on Sunday that there is no more Al Quaeda in Afghanistan – the claimed rationale for our war there – could someone please explain what we think we are doing in Afghanistan?

Brigitte T (69)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 1:39 pm
Probe reveals 140 Afghan civilians killed in strikes

Tuesday May 12, 2009 (1013 PST)

HERAT: An investigation appointed by President Hamid Karzai concluded on Monday that 140 civilians, including children, were killed in the US air strikes in Afghanistan last week, a police chief said.

A team, appointed by Karzai and headed by Chief of Army Staff General Bismillah Khan, told authorities in Farah that they had concluded their investigation on Monday, provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Watandar said.

“They confirm and accept that 140 civilians were killed and another 25 civilians were wounded and 12 houses were destroyed in the bombing,” he said. The team was due to report back to Karzai who was expected to officially announce the results of the investigation, he said.

“They have not given (the provincial authorities) the list (of names) so far to be able to give you a breakdown of the figures of women, children and men killed in this incident,” Watandar said.

“But soon we will be able to give you that information.” Meanwhile, the Taliban killed two Afghan security guards on Monday when they ambushed a convoy carrying supplies for the international troops. Four militants were also killed in the skirmish, an official said. The fighting was along the main road between Kabul and Kandahar, Ghazni province spokesman Khial Baz Sherzai told AFP.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday May 12, 2009, 3:35 pm
the taliban as of today have poisoned many girls schools in pakistan...they were not targeting americans..they do these things on kill girls on purpose because the taliban does not want them in school...but the U.S are the bad guys...please...

Edward H (45)
Wednesday May 13, 2009, 8:21 am
Umm...anyone who keeps comparing the Russian/Soviet "war" in Afghanistan to the US/American "war" in Afghanistan want to tell me WHO were the Russians fighting and WHO are the Americans fighting? I "thought" the Russians were fighting the Afghan people, (which means AGAINST the Afghan people), and the Americans are fighting an oppressor of the Afghan people, (which means FOR the Afghan people).

Past Member (0)
Wednesday May 13, 2009, 12:49 pm
nice point edward,makes alot of sense if people actually think about it.

Brigitte T (69)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 12:54 am

There you are. HAPPY NOW??? and of course the cowards will continue to deny everything. Just as usual. Lying has become a way of life for the US military hierarchy and governments. Remember Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, remember all the massacres... can you remember them all? the list is so long.

List of 140 Afghan Killed In US Attack Includes 93 Children

By Reuters

KABUL (Reuters) – Ninety-three children and 25 adult women are among a list of 140 names of Afghans who villagers say were killed in a battle and U.S. air strikes last week, causing a crisis between Washington and its Afghan allies.

The list, obtained by Reuters, bears the endorsement of seven senior provincial and central government officials, including an Afghan two-star general who headed a task force dispatched by the government to investigate the incident.

Titled "list of the martyrs of the bombardment of Bala Boluk district of Farah Province", it includes the name, age and father's name of each alleged victim.

The youngest was listed as 8-day-old baby Sayed Musa, son of Sayed Adam. Fifty-three victims were girls under the age of 18, and 40 were boys. Only 22 were men 18 or older.

The U.S. military continues to dispute the toll and a military spokesman said some of the names could be fake.

The dispute over the number of dead has worsened tension between Washington and Kabul, despite apologies President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made during a visit to Washington by President Hamid Karzai last week.

The Afghan government has endorsed the list, and Karzai went on U.S. television to call for an end to all U.S. air strikes, only to be rebuffed by Washington. Afghan officials say the issue helps insurgents by turning the public against foreign forces.

Since last year, U.S. officials adopted new procedures for investigations of civilian casualties designed to ensure their statements agree with those of the Afghan government.

Nevertheless, Washington has continued to dispute the death toll. U.S. military spokesman Colonel Greg Julian said villagers had an incentive to invent names of dead relatives in the hope of collecting compensation.


"Well I could give you 140 names too. The problem is there is no evidence of that number of graves ... Are those real people? Did they ever actually exist? I can give you a list of 53 girls names with their ages," he said "There are no birth certificates and there are no death certificates."

"Conditions exist that encourage exaggeration," Julian added.

"If you say that the Taliban killed your family you'd get nothing. If you say the Americans killed your family, you might get assistance, whether they existed or not."

Julian said investigators had been shown 26 individual graves at the site and one mass grave, which he said was not large enough to contain so many bodies. He estimated the overall toll could not exceed 80.

Because of cultural sensitivity, there were no plans to dig up the graves to determine how many were buried inside, he said.

The U.S. military blames the Taliban for causing the deaths deliberately by herding civilians into houses it knew would be targeted by U.S. troops sent to rescue Afghan police and soldiers from an ambush. It also says the Taliban may have killed some of the villagers with grenades.

"Don't forget about who is responsible for this whole thing. This was a deliberate plan to create human sacrifices and then blame us," Julian said.

Karzai told CNN last week that Washington needs to rely on other tactics besides air strikes when it is facing Taliban fighters in villages where civilians might be present.

"The air strikes are not acceptable," Karzai said. "Terrorism is not in Afghan villages, not in Afghan homes. And you cannot defeat terrorists by air strikes."

But White House National Security Advisor James Jones said on Sunday that U.S. forces need air power to protect themselves: "We can't fight with one hand tied behind our back.

Brigitte T (69)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 12:56 am

Barack Obama – Mass Murderer

By Dan Spielberg

"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names"
~ Chinese Proverb

May 13, 2009 "Lew Rockwell" -- If you are a poor, hapless Afghan civilian whose family's bodies were ripped apart by U.S. bombs, does it really make a difference to you if the air "strikes" were ordered by the Moron from Texas, George W Bush, or the Agent of Change, Barack Obama? I would think not. If you were a Pakistani civilian whose village had been bombed by the U.S. would your heart be comforted by the fact that the mad bombers have a new, young, hip "Commander-in-Chief" who makes funny jokes to all the stenographers known as "The Washington Press Corps"? I sincerely doubt that as well.

Barack Obama sold himself to the country as someone who would bring massive "change" to the policies of the U.S. government, but of course when it comes to the favorite activity of that cancerous organism, warring against wholly innocent civilian populations in foreign countries, there will be no change. In fact, even the pleas of the President of the supposedly free and democratic country of Afghanistan are meaningless in the face of the U.S. government's desire to enforce its will on as much of the Earth as possible. I wonder if Americans would feel like they lived in a "free democracy" if the U.S. was occupied by a foreign military power that regularly killed our people and refused to stop? A power that calls refraining from murder as fighting with "one hand tied behind our back" as White House "National Security" Advisor James Jones recently did? I am pretty sure they emphatically would NOT.

This morning's news brings more information to us of "Barry's" latest slaughter, with at least 8 people in Pakistan dead, none of whom ever hurt a single innocent American. If they had hurt any U.S. soldiers in the region, that, of course, is wholly a result of the imperialists in Washington invading the region in the first place. To kill someone for defending themselves against aggression is the definition of tyrannical is it not? Or is the U.S. Government so holy, so infallible and morally upright that any who defy it are to be disposed of, like so much human garbage? Is a country that claims to be Christian really ready to accept the blasphemous idea that the U.S. Government is above any laws, even those of the God that the majority of Americans claim to believe in?

The Chinese proverb that opens this piece is true in all times and places, so let's call Mr. Obama by his real names: Wall Street Stooge, Zionist lickspittle, National Socialist, liar and above all, mass murderer.

Copyright © 2009 by

Brigitte T (69)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 1:03 am

"We Are Helping The Taliban"

We are inciting the very terrorism and extremism we are trying to stop.

By Ron Paul

May 13, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- While much of the country’s attention is on other issues, a serious situation is developing in Pakistan that threatens to plunge us into another fruitless and bloody war. It is very frustrating to see that many who were so vehemently against the wars of the last administration have suddenly lost interest in foreign policy simply because we were promised change.

Those still paying attention know that nothing could be further from the truth. Very little has changed, except perhaps rhetoric, but what does that matter when the bombing missions are only getting deadlier? Rather than drawing down violent military interventions into the affairs of other countries, the new administration is escalating the foreign policy of the previous administration.

In Pakistan that entails the continuation and even escalation of military interventionism just across the border with Afghanistan. The targets are believed to be enclaves of Taliban militants, however, many innocent civilians have been caught in the deadly crossfire, severely damaging our image in the region. Many ordinary Afghanis and Pakistanis that never had cause to take up arms against us are being provided with motivation as family and friends are killed and maimed by our clumsy and indiscriminate bombs. Is it worth it for us to be involved in this way at such a high cost of blood, treasure and goodwill? Is there anything to be gained by this policy?

We are helping the Taliban and other enemies to actually gain numbers and strength, while driving them down from the mountains in the border regions deeper into Pakistan, where they have been making a menace of themselves. As our bombings follow them, beleaguered villagers have little choice but to leave their homes and join the swelling numbers of refugees or take up arms and join the fight against us.

Nonetheless, instead of recognizing the cascading unintended consequences of trying to deal with Pakistan’s problems, all signs in Washington point to further escalation. Both the House and Senate have newly introduced bills to triple foreign aid to Pakistan, from $500 million to $1.5 billion, with every indication that the leadership in Pakistan is taking advantage of the situation with the Taliban to milk more aid from the US taxpayer. We are broke. This is money we don’t have, and it is an insult to the American people to run up the national credit card for this type of military adventurism after many Americans thought they were voting for peace.

The bottom line is our involvement in Pakistan’s internal problems is not making us safer. In fact, we are adding to the numbers of our enemies and increasing the threats to our security here at home. We are inciting the very terrorism and extremism we are trying to stop. Every dollar we send, even if it is for humanitarian purposes, frees up resources to make war and potentially prop up unpopular leaders. The factions and politics of the Middle East are irrational and dangerous. We play with fire when we meddle in their affairs, and we isolate ourselves diplomatically by making more enemies than friends. We need to bring our troops home, end all foreign aid, and maintain a neutral stance on the world stage. It, in fact, is the only foreign policy we can afford right now, and it would gain us more friends and trading partners than our bombs ever could. Besides, that’s what the Constitution permits and our founders strongly advised.

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 4:20 am
obama has not choice but to defend the american people from extremists that want to kill them.plain and simple is to bad that the taliban/al-queda hide in civilian areas which leads to civilian deaths but that is part of war(unfortuanatly).......the (taliban/al-queda)are on the run and soon this war will be over and peaceful times will follow now that pakistan realizes what kind of threat they pose and are pushing them back which will help the U.S win in afghanastan. ...

Edward H (45)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 9:27 am
Dan Jones Thursday May 14, 2009, 4:20 am

Bush used to be the bad it is least they are consistent...they blame America and Americans. We get attacked by terrorists on our soil, it's our fault, (9-11), we attack the terrorists on "their" soil and it is our fault, (War on Terror). America/Americans just can't win, but they are who the world goes to every time assistance is needed...

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 9:32 am
Before the war, Afganis used to kidnap Arab fighters and sell them for ransom. May be that is the solution?

If for $2-3USD/day an Afgani man takes a rifle and goes to shoot US patrol, he can surely deliver 2-3 talibans in the required container, may be for $20-30USD, which is about the same as one soldjer meal ($28USD). Afganis have a different concept of Human Rights, and may be much more efficient, if motivated.

The Chechen war ended, when Mr. Kadyrov got pro-Moscow Chechens to fight anti-Moscow Chechens. That was really it.

Afganis are great warriors too, so let's outsource the US Army job to Afganis, sit and relax.


. (0)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 11:39 am
Excuse me for a quick deviation from the subject, guys - this is the only way I can get this message out. Josh, the system wouldn't let me respond to your introduction or friend request - I suppose because you're a past member. Sorry.

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 1:21 pm
Hi Dear Lindsey, I got you message.

Actually, I like being Past Member: everybody understand that I started long time ago. Besides, being Past Member does not prevent me from being Current and Future member too.



Brigitte T (69)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 1:35 pm
"obama has not choice but to defend the american people from extremists that want to kill them."

I'll say here the same I said on another thread! :

Oh yes? Tell us how killing defenseless children is going to defend america from terrorists?
Tell us how these women and children attacked mainland US?
IF this is what your constitution says you should do, why don't you just throw it into the toilet and flush it down the drain?!!!

We've all heard it before!

Remember Sand Creek, Wounded Knee and ALL the other massacres of Indigenous Peoples in America. Your constitution could not erase History. And History is repeating itself in other continents thanks to the imperialistic mania of the USA and mentalities like yours!

Brigitte T (69)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 1:44 pm

Who Rules America?

By Paul Craig Roberts

May 14, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- -What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find that your power is restricted to the service of powerful interest groups?

A president who does a good job for the ruling interest groups is paid off with remunerative corporate directorships, outrageous speaking fees, and a lucrative book contract. If he is young when he assumes office, like Bill Clinton and Obama, it means a long life of luxurious leisure.

Fighting the special interests doesn’t pay and doesn’t succeed. On April 30 the primacy of special over public interests was demonstrated yet again. The Democrats’ bill to prevent 1.7 million mortgage foreclosures and, thus, preserve $300 billion in home equity by permitting homeowners to renegotiate their mortgages, was defeated in the Senate, despite the 60-vote majority of the Democrats. The banksters were able to defeat the bill 51 to 45.

These are the same financial gangsters whose unbridled greed and utter irresponsibility have wiped out half of Americans’ retirement savings, sent the economy into a deep hole, and threatened the US dollar’s reserve currency role. It is difficult to imagine an interest group with a more damaged reputation. Yet, a majority of “the people’s representatives” voted as the discredited banksters instructed.

Hundreds of billions of public dollars have gone to bail out the banksters, but when some Democrats tried to get the Senate to do a mite for homeowners, the US Senate stuck with the banks. The Senate’s motto is: “Hundreds of billions for the banksters, not a dime for homeowners.”

If Obama was naive about well-intentioned change before the vote, he no longer has this political handicap.

Democratic Majority Whip Dick Durbin acknowledged the voters’ defeat by the discredited banksters. The banks, Durbin said, “frankly own the place.”

It is not difficult to understand why. Among those who defeated the homeowners bill are senators Jon Tester (Mont), Max Baucus (Mont), Blanche Lincoln (Ark), Ben Nelson (Neb), Many Landrieu (La), Tim Johnson (SD), and Arlan Specter (Pa). According to reports, the banksters have poured a half million dollars into Tester’s campaign funds. Baucus has received $3.5 million; Lincoln $1.3 million; Nelson $1.4 million; Landrieu $2 million; Johnson $2.5 million; Specter $4.5 million.

The same Congress that can’t find a dime for homeowners or health care appropriates hundreds of billions of dollars for the military/security complex. The week after the Senate foreclosed on American homeowners, the Obama “change” administration asked Congress for an additional $61 billion dollars for the neoconservatives’ war in Iraq and $65 billion more for the neoconservatives’ war in Afghanistan. Congress greeted this request with a rousing “Yes we can!”

The additional $126 billion comes on top of the $533.7 billion “defense” budget for this year. The $660 billion--probably a low-ball number--is ten times the military spending of China, the second most powerful country in the world.

How is it possible that “the world’s only superpower” is threatened by the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan? How can the US be a superpower if it is threatened by countries that have no military capability other than a guerilla capability to resist invaders?

These “wars” are a hoax designed to enrich the US armaments industry and to infuse the “security forces” with police powers over American citizenry.

Not a dime to prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes, but hundreds of billions of dollars to murder Muslim women and children and to create millions of refugees, many of whom will either sign up with insurgents or end up as the next wave of immigrants into America.

This is the way the American government works. And it thinks it is a “city on the hill, a light unto the world.”

Americans elected Obama because he said he would end the gratuitous criminal wars of the Bush brownshirts, wars that have destroyed America’s reputation and financial solvency and serve no public interest. But once in office Obama found that he was ruled by the military/security complex. War is not being ended, merely transferred from the unpopular war in Iraq to the more popular war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Obama, in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, continues to attack “targets” in Pakistan. In place of a war in Iraq, the military/security complex now has two wars going in much more difficult circumstances.

Viewing the promotion gravy train that results from decades of warfare, the US officer corps has responded to the “challenge to American security” from the Taliban. “We have to kill them over there before they come over here.” No member of the US government or its numerous well-paid agents has ever explained how the Taliban, which is focused on Afghanistan, could ever get to America. Yet this hyped fear is sufficient for the public to support the continuing enrichment of the military/security complex, while American homes are foreclosed by the banksters who have destroyed the retirement prospects of the US population..

According to Pentagon budget documents, by next year the cost of the war against Afghanistan will exceed the cost of the war against Iraq. According to a Nobel prize-winning economist and a budget expert at Harvard University, the war against Iraq has cost the American taxpayers $3 trillion, that is, $3,000 billion in out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs, such as caring for veterans.

If the Pentagon is correct, then by next year the US government will have squandered $6 trillion dollars on two wars, the only purpose of which is to enrich the munitions manufacturers and the “security” bureaucracy.

The human and social costs are dramatic as well and not only for the Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani populations ravaged by American bombs. Dahr Jamail reports that US Army psychiatrists have concluded that by their third deployment, 30 percent of American troops are mental wrecks. Among the costs that reverberate across generations of Americans are elevated rates of suicide, unemployment, divorce, child and spousal abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and incarceration.

In the Afghan “desert of death” the Obama administration is constructing a giant military base. Why? What does the internal politics of Afghanistan have to do with the US?

What is this enormous waste of resources that America does not have accomplishing besides enriching the American munitions industry?

China and to some extent India are the rising powers in the world. Russia, the largest country on earth, is armed with a nuclear arsenal as terrifying as the American one. The US dollar’s role as reserve currency, the most important source of American power, is undermined by the budget deficits that result from the munition corporations’ wars and the bankster bailouts.

Why is the US making itself impotent fighting wars that have nothing whatsoever to do with is security, wars that are, in fact, threatening its security?

The answer is that the military/security lobby, the financial gangsters, and AIPAC rule. The American people be damned."

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 3:18 pm
we are killing extremists not women and children...the taliban use them as a defense to deter attacks...really nice huh of them ..

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 4:06 pm
and to suggest we are intentionally targeting civilians is absolutly insane and shows me how ignorant you are if you really believe that.maybe you have lost it or never had it.. but to think women and children are who we were targeting is beyond me to understand your thinking...

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 4:43 pm
Briggite, if AIPAC really RULES America, how did they let Madoff to rip off so many Jewish Institutions, Jewish Charities and Jewish wealthy and not that wealth people? So, that some charities have to close and some retired folks have really nothing to live on?

Why do you repeat fake charges in your posts again and again? Do you think, like Dr.Goebells taught, that a lie repeated plenty of times looks like truth?


Past Member (0)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 6:12 pm
it is because she wants to believe these things are true because of her hatred towards america and bad she cant see the forest through the trees.... because of her blind hatred for the U.S she will post half-truths and far left propaganda as fact even though it is not, but her intense hope it is true blinds her into actually believing it..

Pete m (67)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 11:14 pm
Attagirl Brigitte!
Hi Joshco/DanJo, does your mummy know what you're up to?

I see the neo-con crapagandists are out in force and unable to see the futility of using indiscriminate air strikes against the same civilians they claim to be fighting for.
(But hey, they're not Israeli civilians so why not use flechettes, eh Lindsey?)

Carry on barking, you only reveal your true agendas.....

Pete m (67)
Thursday May 14, 2009, 11:44 pm
Lindsey; ''On the contrary, Eleanor - the Taliban was an accessory of those who attacked us on 9/11. They chose to protect, support, and hide them. An accomplice is just as guilty as the one who holds the smoking gun.''

The Taliban offered to hand over OBL to the US IF the US provide/d evidence that OBL was involved in 9/11. The US couldn't, which should maybe get you thinking.
The US has been bombing civilians in Afghanistan ( and more recently Pakistan) since 2001 , and the Taliban is still here , perhaps stronger. This should get you thinking too....

Brigitte T (69)
Friday May 15, 2009, 1:33 am
"we are killing extremists not women and children...the taliban use them as a defense to deter attacks...really nice huh of them .."

In your dreamworld only! These women and children were blown to pieces where they lived, homes, villages, fields, no one put them there. It was on their homeland where they had every right to live, and probably no other choice.

Unless you are saying that the Taliban do cooperate with the US military and were told in advance by the US where the next target would be, so as to put children and women there, which does NOT make the US look any better!

"intentionally targeting civilians is absolutly insane"

I didn't say that but now that you've mentioned it... Intentionally targeting civilians is exactly what provocateurs would do and the US has often proved to be experts in provocation, so who knows. Anyway surely they know they are doomed to hurt many civilians - but it's never stopped them.
Like several of you here they believe it's perfectly acceptable.

As for the madness they've caused worldwide yes you can call it insanity!
Because it can only cause destruction everywhere, and no one will be safe. If this goes on there will soon be no place to hide except in anti-nuclear shelters.

"Why do you repeat fake charges in your posts again and again? "

If you don't like the articles I post ( the truth hurts, huh?) why don't you post your own articles instead of trolling all over care2, disrupting threads with pitiful attempts at getting on people's nerves?

I've already challenged you more than once to post information from reliable sources but apparently you don't know anything else than troll (which is the definition of a troll anyway).

"Do you think, like Dr.Goebells taught, that a lie repeated plenty of times looks like truth?"

It seems that you - PastMember/Dan Jones- have that privilege!

And last : "she wants to believe these things are true because of her hatred towards america and israel"

"She" doesn't hate either America or Israel at all. "She" hates the atrocities they repeatedly commit against innocent children, women and men.

And another reason "she" hates these atrocities is that in the end they will backfire like they did on 9/11 and cause more horrible deaths of civilians in America, in Israel and many other countries.

It seems "she" cares about the American and Israeli citizens much more than their own governments do.
That's why "she" strongly believes that the only struggle of their governments should be for PEACE in the world. With peaceful means.

But where would that leave the war corporations and the Elite behind them?

Why do you let them use you?

. (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 2:00 am
"The U.S. 'couldn't' provide evidence", Pete, so the Taliban wouldn't hand him over?

September 13, 2001, The Hindu (India's National Newspaper):

"Asked about Osama's extradition, Mullah Zaeef said it would be 'premature' to talk about it. 'If any evidence is presented to us, we will study it. About his being handed over, we can talk about that in the second phase.'

This has been the Taliban's consistent stand in the face of demands for the extradition of Osama for his alleged involvement in the bombings that killed 224 people at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and last year's bomb attack on the USS Cole at a harbour in Yemen, which killed 17 sailors.

The U.S. has been engaged in negotiations with the Taliban authorities for several months now over the extradition. In the talks, Taliban representatives suggested at least three specific proposals but none of them was acceptable to the U.S. as they sought Osama's trial under the Islamic laws as interpreted by the Taliban."

They will "study it". And "talk about it." And they wanted a trial "under Islamic laws as interpreted by the Taliban."

October 5, 2001, The Guardian (UK):

"Afghanistan's ruling Taliban are prepared to put Osama bin Laden on trial in an Afghan court, but only if the US provides hard evidence against him, the party announced today.
Although the Taliban's cooperation in the trial of Bin Laden hinges largely on the definition of 'evidence'...."

The Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) quoted Mullah Zaeff as saying: 'If America is not satisfied with our trial of Osama, we are also ready to find another Islamic way of trying him.'

But asked whether the Taliban were ready to hand over Bin Laden, he said: 'This is a later thing, we cannot take any step that hurts our Islamic or Afghan dignity.'

So again - they were prepared to put him on trial in AFGHANISTAN. Or find another "Islamic" way of trying him. And, of course, if the evidence suited them (rather like asking a hardline (fundamentalist Creationist judge and jury to oversee the Scopes trial and basing their decision on whether or not the evidence accords with the Bible.) And, of course, if it doesn't hurt their Islamic or Afghan "dignity."

October 17, 2001, The Guardian:

"For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said."

So, one of their more moderate elements is offering to possibly turn him over, not to the U.S., but to a third nation (Pakistan, who was putting pressure on the Taliban, suggested Saudi Arabia.) So we (the nation which was attacked) STILL wouldn't get him - some third country (probably Islamic, trying him under Islamic law) would get him.

So, the Taliban wanted to decide whether the evidence was good enough for them and wanted to try Bin Laden in Afghanistan under Islamic law (or later offered to think about sending him to a third country, not the U.S.). And, of course, the potential offers were for Bin Laden - not the entire terrorist organization, which included all his co-conspirators.

On September 26, 2001, Bin Laden videotaped his confession. He admitted his guilt. Pretty good "evidence", wouldn't you say?

What "evidence" do you really think the Taliban would have accepted (I would suggest that NO evidence would have been sufficient, no matter how compelling)? And how likely is it that Bin Laden would have found real justice in a Taliban Court?


Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 2:28 am
The point is my dear Lindsey, that there is NO evidence connecting OBL to 9/11. The FBI even admit it. No evidence, no extradition is a basically accepted principle under extraditon treaties.

Which 'video taped confession' are you referring to, the fat OBL with hair dye and a big nose, or one of the others? LMAO!!

. (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 2:50 am
And you are a perfect example illustrating MY point, Pete. That for some, no form of evidence will be enough.

Rather like the debate I was having several evenings ago with a fundamentalist Christian over evolution. She finally admitted that she would never believe any evidence offered in favor of evolution, no matter what form that evidence might take or how compelling it might be, since it would contradict the creationist myth in her holy book. Very honest lady - I have to give her that (and the debate ended there, of course, since it's futile to try and present evidence to one who will, under no circumstances whatsoever, even consider the possibility that it might be credible). And that type of thinking accords well with the type of thinking exhibited by the Taliban. Except that, unlike my creationist pal, they would never admit it.

. (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 2:58 am
"Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, has said that his country's fight against the Taliban is not just a domestic battle but one that the whole world needs to be aware of.

Speaking during a news conference in London with Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, Zardari said the Taliban are seeking to create a "new world order" and that more effort was needed by the international communty to defeat the fighters."

Very astute man, Mr. Zardari.


Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 2:59 am
Ok , perhaps YOU can show me the evidence linking OBL to 9/11. Note ,when I say evidence, I mean evidence. Neo Con crapaganda of which you seem so fond of repeating is not evidence.

And once you've shown me and everyone here this evidence, then perhaps you should forward it to the FBI so they can actually start proceedings against OBL for his part in the 9/11 atrocity.


Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 3:06 am
Reich Wingers never cease to amaze me with their ignorance and willingness to swallow the horse poo that the corporate media feeds em, which is why the US and friends can get away with their imperialist adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan (& elsewhere) while stating that they are doing it out of love for their fellow human beings.

They aren' called Neo- CONS for nothing....

. (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 3:09 am
Since "evidence" of evolution equates to "the work of Satan" for my creationist buddy, no evidence will ever be accepted.

Since "evidence" against Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda equals "Neo Con crapaganda", no evidence will ever be accepted by you (or unfortunately so many others, Pete.) The work of the "Great Satan" itself - the United States.

I would cite a rather famous phrase here - however, the porcine reference contained therein might offend delicate Muslim sensibilities.....

. (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 3:20 am
And, Pete - stop prejudging people. "Neo-cons", "Reich Wingers", et al. I (and many others) are hardly "conservative", "right-wingers", and the like. Amazing how so many love to categorize people based on one issue (I get called a "hippie, tree hugging liberal" when I publicly support gay marriage, vegetarianism, or decriminalization of drugs - and a "conservative, right-wing, Neo-Con" when I support a strong military, individual rights v. collective entitlements, or our nation's right to fight terrorism.

I can't be both. I'm neither. Each issue has to be judged on its own merits.

Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 3:24 am
PS. ROTFLFAO yet again! thanks Lindsey, you've brightened my day. ;-)

Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 3:26 am
If you don't wish to be labelled a Neo con/Reich Winger then stop acting like one, and being an apologist for their crimes.

Funny that you can't provide evidence when asked, which unfortunately for you makes you look like a dishonest neo con. (Tho admittedly it's far from the first time you've been caught out like this.) ;-)

. (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 3:34 am
Since a confession isn't credible enough to be considered "evidence", Pete (just Neo-con crapaganda"), then your mindset is quite clear.

Testimonial evidence is undoubtedly coerced. Fabricated by the C.I.A. Evidence of prior similar acts is undoubtedly biased. Imperialist lies. Fruit of the Zionist-controlled media. Whatever.

Bin Laden has a nasty history of terrorism. He has admitted his guilt in the 9/11 attacks. He makes no bones about his feelings towards those whose ideology differs from his. But, of course, his statements and actions are merely neo-con lies.....

Past Member (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 4:27 am
the taliban by harboring al-queda and now by working with them caused this mess..every women and child killed is a direct result of their provocative attacks on 9/11 and a host of dont blame america when civilians are killed because if it wasnt for al-queda/taliban we wouldnt be here at all...and what about the taliban recently pipeing in gas to a girls school and putting 62 in the hospital? or spraying acid on their face's a few months ago..or more recently blowing up every girls schools as they retreat in pakistans swat valley? they are the ones(taliban/al-queda) that are responsable for these attrocities and a host of other ones i can not post because they are so violent and gruesome... and done on bridgette for someone who cares so much about life and(and women and children) why do we not hear of these attrocities just the american accidents?

Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 5:22 am
I repeat, if you have credible evidence that OBL is responsible for 9/11 then show me it. If not then, as a bearded chappie once said to his people; 'go forth and multiply'. ;-)

Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 5:22 am
DanJo; the atrocities you describe are very similar to atrocities committed by US-backed regimes all over the world. (see ) . The difference between you and your imperialist neocon buddies and the majority of humanity is that we oppose those who commit these atrocities whoever they are.

. (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 5:24 am
A videotaped confession is credible evidence, Pete.

If you choose not to accept it - that's your problem.

Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 5:55 am
8 years since 9/11 and all you can produce for me is ''A videotaped confession is credible evidence, Pete. ''

Sorry for being skeptical, but I've stated a fact -'there is no evidence linking OBL to 9/11' that you totally disagree with - and even go so far to compare me with a creationist - but are unable to show me anything to contradict that statement. You're so sure of yourself, I'm only asking you to demonstrate why. If you can't , then I'm afraid it is you who is the 'creationist' in this discussion.

OBLs alleged involvement with 9/11 is the stated reason why the US and others are in Afghanistan, defending a corrupt regime consisting of warlords and opium dealers who's reputation for human rights abuses equals that of the Taliban, and you are attacking others who oppose this.

Show me the evidence. Otherwise go and post your crapaganda elsewhere.

Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 5:59 am
ps. still ROTFLMFAO!!!

Brigitte T (69)
Friday May 15, 2009, 6:53 am
"the taliban by harboring al-queda and now by working with them caused this mess..every women and child killed is a direct result of their provocative attacks on 9/11 and a host of dont blame america when civilians are killed because if it wasnt for al-queda/taliban we wouldnt be here at all.."

Here it is again, just for you: Orwellian 101 and "We are helping the Taliban"

Monday May 11, 2009, 5:51 am

"During the week after U.S. missiles hit sites in Sudan and Afghanistan, some Americans seemed uncomfortable. A vocal minority even voiced opposition. But approval was routine among those who had learned a few easy Orwellian lessons.

When terrorists attack, they're terrorizing. When we attack, we're retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with further attacks, they're terrorizing again. When we respond with further attacks, we're retaliating again.

When people decry civilian deaths caused by the U.S. government, they're aiding propaganda efforts. In sharp contrast, when civilian deaths are caused by bombers who hate America, the perpetrators are evil and those deaths are tragedies.

When they put bombs in cars and kill people, they're uncivilized killers. When we put bombs on missiles and kill people, we're upholding civilized values.

When they kill, they're terrorists. When we kill, we're striking against terror.

At all times, Americans must be kept fully informed about who to hate and fear. When the United States found Osama bin Laden useful during the 1980s because of his tenacious violence against the Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan, he was good, or at least not bad — but now he's really bad.

No matter how many times they've lied in the past, U.S. officials are credible in the present. When they vaguely cite evidence that the bombed pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum was making ingredients for nerve gas, that should be good enough for us.

Might doesn't make right — except in the real world, when it's American might. Only someone of dubious political orientation would split hairs about international law. "

[Orwellian Logic 101 — A Few Simple Lessons By Norman Solomon
Media Beat (8/27/98)]
Thursday May 14, 2009, 1:03 am

"We Are Helping The Taliban"

We are inciting the very terrorism and extremism we are trying to stop.

By Ron Paul


Don't forget that 9/11 didn't happen without a reason. US own's actions led to that, starting centuries ago with the largest genocide in the history of mankind, and going on causing chaos in many other parts of the world.

9/11 could, and should have been prevented. But no. It was used to justify and promote the war on Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents, destroying their entire country and future, and now it's used to justify massive murder of innocents in Afghanistan.

Eric Straatsma (3802)
Friday May 15, 2009, 7:37 am
Lets see... we trained Osama Bin Laden, grew him to take over a country and gave him weapons to destroy Russian troops. Now we do not like him and want to destroy what we created.

The CIA put Saddam in power as a dictator, after assassinating a democratically elected leader. Saddam then killed 250,000.. and used WMD, provided by the US. Now we take him out, killing 1,000,000 civiliians and forcing 4 million to be refugees, and turn the whole country into a walled prison with guards on every street, with orders to kill any one who disobeys the guards.

Is this spreading freedom and democracy? Is this attracting people to 'our' cause? Is this really 'peace'?

It sounds like insanity to me...

Eric Straatsma (3802)
Friday May 15, 2009, 7:42 am
What happened to the 'war on Communism?' We used to hate 'Commies' with a passion... Now they are our best buddies?

How is it that the Godless Communists are funding our illegal war in Iraq, by buying our bonds (fiat money created out of nothing), so we can kill 'terrorists' who are now our worst enemies?

How is it that Iraq gave the sole OILl contract to Communist China, and the US gets nothing but blood and debts? Bottom line, the US is now defending Communist China OIL interests in the middle east, or did I miss something here?

pete O (242)
Friday May 15, 2009, 8:36 am
Two issues stand out for the defence of what we are doing (1) the cause for sexual equality, I would question here the validity of this as a excuse for war if indeed it causes the loss of so many lives esp females. i would also like to add, that because we believe our culture is right should be impose our values onto others. Would we accept it, if another came and imposed their values upon us. i would also question are our values right or are they a ballance that we are trying to achieve.or as Bruce Lee once said ballance is something that we are constantly chasing after, the only time we relalise it is when we have fallen over.
Let us also look at the statment "preventing the taliban from taking over" We (not me personally) are trying to remove the taliban, they were the authority in Afgahastan and have been for centuries.We are overthrowing the afghanastan goverment to replace it with our own ideology. If we look at previouse attempts to democrasice countries i/e africa- look at what we created. civil wars. Personally i think we should mind our own buisness and sort out the mess in our own countries before we go preaching for a better world for others.
Eric Israel gets oil form Irak currently

. (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 9:06 am
Pete O - the Taliban have not been the authority in Afghanistan "for centuries". They ruled Afghanistan from 1996 through 2001, a period of 5 years.

And you seem (correct me if I'm wrong) to say that war should not be used to free women from legal and dreadful subjugation if it takes the loss of so many lives. But using that argument, possibly the majority of injustices in the world would remain unresolved - because many injustices have historically needed to be settled through violent resistance. The American Civil War killed over a million people. And ended slavery. And most consider that to have been a just reason for war. Should our nation have continued to accept slavery instead?

Some things are worth fighting for.

Pete m (67)
Friday May 15, 2009, 9:36 am
Lindsey; Nobody is saying that the Taliban are anything but human right abusing extremists, it's just that indiscriminately bombing civilians is a surefire way to increase support for em.
The fact that the US and NATO are killing more civilians than the Taliban should tell you something is wrong with their strategy and claims that they are different from those that they fight.

STILL no evidence for us re OBL & 9/11? Oh dear. Ever get the feeling you've been had? (again) ;-)

Yvonne White (229)
Friday May 15, 2009, 10:36 am
Right on Pete!:)

Past Member (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 1:14 pm
the U.S are not indiscriminately bombing civilians and the taliban over their time in power have killed many more civilians(on purpose) than the U.S has accidentally...please stop with the lying and half truths.and the evidence is overwhelming about who did 9/11..please pete... your almost funny

Brigitte T (69)
Friday May 15, 2009, 3:23 pm
Here, kindly dedicated to the desperate pro-war committee on this thread :

Today as never before in their history Americans are enthralled with military power. The global military supremacy that the United States presently enjoys--and is bent on perpetuating--has become central to our national identity. More than America's matchless material abundance or even the effusions of its pop culture, the nation's arsenal of high-tech weaponry and the soldiers who employ that arsenal have come to signify who we are and what we stand for.

Andrew Bacevich in The New American Militarism

Brigitte T (69)
Friday May 15, 2009, 3:35 pm

Group: U.S. procedures fail Afghan civilians

Afghans blame U.S. airstrikes for deaths and destruction in two villages

The Associated Press - updated 2:47 p.m. ET May 15, 2009

KABUL - Human Rights Watch accused the U.S. military of not doing enough to reduce civilian casualties during battles in Afghanistan and called Friday for "fundamental changes" to prevent civilian deaths like those during an airstrike this month.

The New York-based organization said its preliminary investigation into a May 4-5 clash that killed scores of people, including many women and children, found that measures put in place by the U.S. military to safeguard civilians were "inadequate."

Afghans blame U.S. airstrikes for the deaths and destruction in two villages in western Farah province. American officials say the Taliban held villagers hostage during the fight.

It is unclear exactly how many people died in the fighting in Bala Baluk district. The Afghan government has paid out compensation to families for 140 dead, based on a list gathered from villagers. The U.S. military has said that figure is exaggerated but has not given its own estimate.

If the Afghan toll is correct, it would be the largest case of civilian deaths since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban.

Poppies and bomb blasts
Villagers told the watchdog group that the fighting broke out after Taliban arrived demanding a share of their poppy income, but it was during the bombings that most of the civilians were killed. It was not clear if the poppy dispute sparked the fighting, Human Rights Watch researcher Rachel Reid said.

The group reiterated its condemnation for Taliban practices of using civilians as human shields and deploying its fighters in populated areas but said*** its interviews did not suggest residents were used as human shields in Bala Baluk.***

"The villagers that we spoke to did not say that they had been forced to stay in their homes. So we do not yet have any evidence of Taliban shielding," Reid said. "There was some evidence to suggest that there were some Taliban present during the bombings."

Villagers interviewed did not say that the Taliban threw grenades at civilians, which the U.S. has said may have caused some of the deaths.

Villagers also told researchers that the firefight between Taliban and Afghan and U.S. forces had ended before the evening bombing began, though some did say Taliban were still in the compounds. The U.S. has said militants were still firing in the villages when it dropped bombs on the site in the evening.

"Even if some Taliban remained in the village, dropping a dozen bombs into a residential area doesn't seem to make much sense," Brad Adams, the group's Asia director, said in a statement.

"The U.S. needs to answer some basic questions about the sources and quality of information it requires before authorizing these kinds of devastating bombing runs," Adams said.

U.S. military guidelines issued following a previous battle that resulted in a number of civilian deaths tells commanders taking fire from an Afghan house to "satisfy themselves that every effort has been made to confirm that the Afghan facility does not shelter innocent civilians."

Human Rights Watch noted that international troops have also been told to consider pulling out of firefights in areas with large numbers of civilians.


Past Member (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 9:27 pm
I don't expect the U.S, my country, to be the "benevolent policeman of the world." Unfortunately, our government insists on enaging in pre-emptive, illegal, undeclared, hegemonic wars under just that very guise. The sole motivation for our realpolitik foreign policy is hegemony. It has been so since the Monroe Doctrine, Continuing with the Truman Doctrine, and now we see the horrid effects of the Bush Doctrine. We do not engage in this warfare for any ethical cause- far from it. It is that small coterie of businessmen who rule our country~ as Arundhati Roy explains in her book, War Talk~ which profit from war, and are determined to wage, as the title of Gore Vidal's book on the subject proclaims, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace."

Furthermore, there is nothing anti-American in criticizing our government's policies when we disagree with them. Contrarily, it is the summit of patriotism to care for the character of one's country, and to question the actions and policies of our government when we feel they are wrong. In fact, it is extemely American to do so.

Now, jingoists, on the other hand, are false patriots who care nothing for the character of their country, only that its image remain untarnished, no matter its actions.

Most of the authors who write critically of U.S. foreign policy, such as Edward Said, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Arundhati Roy, and Gore Vidal, to name a few, are scholarly intellectuals who happen to care deeply about human rights. They have devoted decades to the scholarly pursuit of understanding and documenting events that shape our foreign policy, and the effect this policy has had on people around the world. They are hardly conspiracy theorists. And their work is most compelling.

What some people are trying to point out in these posts is our (U.S) complicity in much of the conflict around the globe. It is important to understand the reasons we engage in conflicts, or incite them. Then we can make informed decisions for ourselves, and figure out what our beliefs are. The better to be effective citizens. There's nothing anti-American about that.

Past Member (0)
Friday May 15, 2009, 10:06 pm
Dan Jones, the U.S. may wish it weren't killing civillians indiscriminately, but this is exactly what they are doing. In fact, we (our government/military) have purposefully killed innocent civillians the globe over. You may want to read up on that. Kissinger was the olympic champ of this sort of activity. Unfortunately, for the people of Indochina, East Timor, and many countries in Central America, Nixon was his apt pupil. U.S. Armed death squads ruled; murder, "disappearances," and torture were commonplace. Not to mention the unwarrented, homicidal, maniacal bombing of innocent civillians in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Oh yes, and there was Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You could add to this list the genocide of Native Americans, and the deaths resulting from our complicity in the Atlantic slave trade, if we were to include deaths not related to bombings. Uhhmm, what was that about the U.S not indiscriminately bombing civillians? Sorry, Dan Jones, you lost me there. Our track record speaks loud and clear. Nobody has killed more innocent civillians ~indiscriminately or otherwise~ than the U.S. since its existance. Sad but true. If it suits our hegemonic purpose, we'll kill.

I don't say this to be un-American, or hateful, but because I care about the character of my country, and want to change our foreign policy.

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 12:25 am
Regarding terrorism, Afghanistan, U.S., and the Taliban:

We helped to create the Taliban, arm them, and train them:

We used money from Afghan drug trafficking, and promoted the illegal drug trade, to fund our hegemonic activities:

Just thought you might like to know. If someone/ country/ group is useful to our hegemonic purposes, no matter what a scoundrel they may be, we'll support them. We supported Saddam Hussein at one point. If someone/ country/ group is deterring our hegemonic interests, we'll harm (sanction, murder, overthrow, kidnap, bomb, engage in illegal, undeclared war w/) them. There are many instances of this, as explained in some of the above posts, which cite many useful sources to check. One is Blum's book.

I think what we are trying to say here, is that we are not at war with Iraq and Afghanistan for humanitarian reasons. We had no problem with the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, or Bin Laden when they were of use to our self- interests. In fact we helped to create them. The U.S. is thusly complicit in, and continues to incite, terror. In fact, as Chomsky points out, I am complicit, you are complicit, we all who have some say as to what our government does, we all who have voices to protest with, are complicit if we sit by and do nothing to stop it~ and as U.S. citizens, we do have a say; we do have power.


Pete m (67)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 12:26 am
I repeat to all the pro war lot, show us this 'overwhelming' evidence linking OBL to 9/11, (and then tell the FBI so they can add that crime to the list of crimes that he really is wanted for.) ;-)

. (0)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 7:54 am
Sweet, if it suits the purpose of ANY nation - they will kill. And have. Over and over again throughout history. The U.S. is notable merely because it's a large and powerful nation. And has endured a lengthy period of time. If, for example, Sudan were the size of the U.S., the proportion of the citizenry killed would undoubtedly be much, much greater (though it's terrible enough as it is.) Give the people of Switzerland our size, population, and power - and watch what happens to that tiny, peaceful little country.

Most cultures engaged in slavery (I wonder how many realize that some American Indian nations owned black slaves, were allies of the Confederacy, and are now trying to kick some of their tribal members who have black blood off the tribal rolls?) And slavery is still in existence in parts of the world. Just as most (probably all) nations decimated indigenous populations.

That's the way humanity has always acted. It isn't right and it will never be right - but that's the way we've always acted. And it isn't unique to the United States. Hopefully as time goes on we'll evolve to a better way of doing things.

And we've killed more people? Really? You've added up the numbers, have you? Added up all those killed through the actions of the Soviet Union. China, throughout its millennial-long history. The European colonial nations and all their many, many wars throughout the centuries. And so many others.

I always enjoy watching quite a few of the people on the Care2 forum who consistently express massive outrage over the welfare of the Iraqi people. The Afghani people. The Palestinian people. But, strangely enough, although many of those people post numerous comments on threads where the death and destruction is "caused" by the U.S. or Israel, many (certainly not all) of those same people seem oddly silent and absent on threads describing the outrages perpetrated upon them by anyone other than those despicable Western nations. Their public outrage seems somewhat absent if they can't direct it at the U.S. or our allies. If an Iraqi girl is murdered by a U.S. soldier - heaven help us. Massive outcries. But if she's murdered in an honor killing by her own people, absolute silence by some.

Criticize the U.S. government. It needs to be criticized on a great many fronts. But for those of you engaging in your pretty little double standards - your agenda is well noted.

And, Pete - you can stop playing your little games. When offered evidence, your response is, "There is no evidence. There is no evidence. There is no evidence." If a videotaped confession isn't good evidence for you, then nothing will be. So stop trying to make it seem as though no one can provide you with evidence. Since you don't accept evidence that refutes your beliefs, none will ever be credible to you.

Stopped tracking.

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 16, 2009, 10:02 am
Lindsey O, I am not denying that many nations commit atrocities; not just the U.S. I have no double standard in this regard; I deplore the act of killing for hegemonic reasons. We could have an academic discussion about that, but I am not in a position to effect a moral change in countries where I am not a citizen. I am, however, in a position to effect a moral change in my own country. As a citizen of the U.S., I have a say in what my government does; I can effect a moral change there. I am sticking to the topic of this thread, not "picking on" the U.S., when I point out our complicity in the conflicts in the Middle East.

To speak out against the ills of one's government's foreign policy is to be a responsible citizen. I can inform myself and others, organize, (what Care2 is for) write congress, protest, do what I can in this regard to have some effect. It just so happens I am interested in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and our foreign policy in general in the Middle East. Hardly some inexplicable obsession. This is why I took an interest in this thread, why are you here? You seem to spend a lot of time here for someone who feels the vein of this thread holds no merit. While I appreciate your well-thought out posts, respectful language, and reasoned debate, I would also encourage you to look at news articles that you are interested in, organize with others regarding whatever you are passionate about, (again, the purpose of Care2), perhaps start a group called "Why is everyone focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict and U.S. complicity in it when there are so many other worthy causes which merit concern?"

And I meant what I said about the U.S. killing more innocents -since its existence- than any other nation. And you may be right that it is because we are a larger nation that this is so. We continue to kill by backing Israel, upholding sanctions which keep humanitarian aid, food, and water from getting to people, warring with Iraq and Afghanistan, and, albeit perhaps unintentionally, in Indochina-at-large, where people continue to suffer from the remnants of our warfare there.

There are certainly other nations with abusive foreign policies (Israel comes to mind), but I am not in a position to effect a moral change in those countries. However, I can do something about American foreign policy; I'm an American citizen. I am interested in peace, and humanitarian relations between my country and the world. I'm glad that you have taken note of this agenda. Many people share this noble agenda.

Pete m (67)
Sunday May 17, 2009, 12:52 am
Lindsey;'' If a videotaped confession isn't good evidence for you, then nothing will be. So stop trying to make it seem as though no one can provide you with evidence. Since you don't accept evidence that refutes your beliefs, none will ever be credible to you.''

What a surprise, Lindsey can't provide ANY evidence and rather than admit she's been duped she disappears from view. ;-)

The FBI have OBL on their most wanted list, but make no mention of his being wanted for 9/11, not even asking him to drop by so they can ''eliminate him from their enquiries'' .
There could be a number of reasons for this-

1) They didn't think 9/11 was a big enuf crime to include on his rap sheet. (unlikely)

2) They forgot to add it. (also unlikely)

3) They don't wish to tip OBL off that they're on to him. (also v unlikely)

4)That they have abso no reason to suspect that OBL had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. (hmmm)

5)OBL was already dead when the attacks took place. (hmmm)

I would be very careful about stating in public that you have 'overwhelming evidence' that OBL was responsible for 9/11, you're just asking for a pre dawn visit and all expenses paid vacation in a little known US govt run holiday complex somewhere not very nice, with some not very nice people asking all sorts of not very nice questions in a not very nice manner.

But hey, this is the sort of thing you pro war lot are condoning in defending the Corporatist ' War on Terror', (tho the 'War on Truth' may be more appropriate).

"They must find it difficult.....
Those who have taken authority as the truth,
rather than truth as the authority."

-Gerald Massey

Brigitte T (69)
Sunday May 17, 2009, 1:33 am
Outstanding, Pete! Thank you. And thank you Sweet Faerie!

Brigitte T (69)
Wednesday May 20, 2009, 6:42 am
Mullen: 2 years to turn tide in Afghanistan


WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's top military officer warned Monday that the deaths of Afghan civilians caught up in U.S. combat operations could cripple President Barack Obama's revamped strategy for the seven-year-old war. "I believe that each time we do that, we put our strategy in jeopardy," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. "We cannot succeed ... in Afghanistan by killing Afghan civilians."

Mullen said additional forces and new tactics can help the United States turn a discouraging tide in Afghanistan. He said he was hopeful that "in the next 12- to 24 months, that we can stem the trends which have been going very badly in Afghanistan the last three years."

But speaking at the Brookings Institution, Mullen sounded frustrated that as the first of 21,000 U.S. reinforcements arrive, Taliban insurgents are having a seemingly easy time using America's military prowess against it.

Mullen pointed to this month's disputed U.S. airstrikes in Farah province, in which women and children were apparently among dozens of civilians killed. The United States says the Taliban is responsible for at least some of the deaths, but Mullen didn't spend much time defending U.S. actions.

The May 4-5 incident is still under investigation and Mullen indicated the details may always remain murky.

Mullen refused to rule out the use of unmanned drones, which the United States uses to target insurgent hideouts in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Witnesses in the latest incident say a drone flew overhead before the U.S. bombs fell.

"We can't tie our troops' hands behind their backs," Mullen said.

Afghans blame U.S. airstrikes for the deaths and destruction in two villages in the western province. American officials say the Taliban held villagers hostage during the fight.

"We've got to be very, very focused on making sure that we proceed deliberately, that we know who the enemy is," Mullen said. "The enemy uses this very effectively against us."

It is unclear how many people died. The Afghan government has paid out compensation to families for 140 dead, based on a list gathered from villagers. The U.S. military has said that figure is exaggerated, but it has not provided its own estimate.

If the Afghan toll is correct, it would be the largest case of civilian deaths since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban.

Mullen said it will take as long as two years for the United States to make full use of an extra 21,000 forces now moving into the country. He said he is encouraged that the first units arriving this spring seem to be off to a fast start.

"I would look to 2009 and 2010 to be incredibly important years in Afghanistan," Mullen said. "The violence level is up, the Taliban is much better organized than they were before."
May 19, 2009

Joint Chiefs Chairman Criticizes Afghan Air Strikes


WASHINGTON—The United States cannot succeed in Afghanistan if the American military keeps killing Afghan civilians, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Monday.

In remarks to scholars, national security experts and the media at the Brookings Institution, Admiral Mullen said that the American air strikes that killed an undetermined number of civilians in Afghanistan’s Farah Province two weeks ago had put the U.S. strategy in the country in jeopardy.

“We cannot succeed in Afghanistan or anywhere else, but let’s talk specifically about Afghanistan, by killing Afghan civilians,” Admiral Mullen said, adding that “we can’t keep going through incidents like this and expect the strategy to work.”

At the same time, Admiral Mullen said, “we can’t tie our troops’ hands behind their backs.”

Admiral Mullen’s comments on the civilian casualties from the Farah air strikes, which have caused an uproar in Afghanistan, reflect deep concern within the Pentagon about the intensifying criticism from Kabul against the American military. Admiral Mullen, who noted that commanders in the region had in recent months imposed more restrictive rules on air strikes to avoid civilian casualties, offered no new solutions in his remarks. He only said that “we’ve got to be very, very focused on making sure that we proceed deliberately, that we know who the enemy is.”

Earlier, a senior spokesman for the American military provided its most detailed accounting yet of the Farah air strikes.

By midafternoon on May 4, after a battle between Afghan police and army forces and Taliban fighters had raged for hours, Marines Special Operations forces called in air strikes.

Three F-18 fighter-bombers, flying in succession over several hours, dropped a total of five laser-guided and satellite guided bombs against Taliban fighters who were firing at the American and Afghan forces, said the official, Col. Gregory Julian, in an email message late Sunday.

Villagers, however, have reported that an even heavier bombardment came after 8 p.m. when they said the fighting appeared to be over and the Taliban had left the village.

The military has disputed this version of events, saying the Taliban fighters continued to fire at American and Afghan troops, requiring additional air strikes. These came from a B-1 bomber, which dropped three 500-pound satellite-guided bombs on a tree grove, four 500-pound and 2,000-pound satellite-guided bombs on one building, and one 2,000-pound satellite-guided bomb on a second building, Colonel Julian said. Villagers have said they sought safety from the initial air strikes in a compound of buildings, but it was not clear whether these were the same buildings the American aircraft later bombed. Villagers said the bombings were so powerful that people were ripped to shreds. Survivors said they collected only pieces of bodies.

In all, Colonel Julian said, eight targets were attacked over a seven-hour period, but he denied reports from villagers that a mosque had been damaged in the strikes. Colonel Julian and other American military officials have said that the Taliban deliberately fired at American and Afghan forces from the rooftops of buildings where civilians, including women and children, had sought shelter, to provoke a heavy American military response.

Colonel Julian said at the peak of the fighting that day, some 150 Afghan soldiers and 60 Afghan police, along with their 30 American trainers, as well as two Marine Special Operations teams that made up a quick-reaction force, were battling about 300 militants, including a large number of foreign fighters.

Afghan government officials have accepted handwritten lists compiled by the villagers of 147 dead civilians. An independent Afghan human rights group said it had accounts from interviews of 117 dead. American officials say that even 100 is an exaggeration but have yet to issue their own count.

Last week, a senior military investigator, Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III of the United States Army, went to Afghanistan to conduct an in-depth inquiry for the region’s overall military commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus. American military officials said his review will likely incorporate another military inquiry that was ordered immediately after the incident, and led by Brig. Gen. Edward M. Reeder, who oversees allied a task force of allied Special Operations forces in Afghanistan.

Brigitte T (69)
Thursday June 18, 2009, 12:45 pm

New Film Chronicles Civilian Slaughter In Afghanistan


The footage you are about to see is poignant, heart-wrenching, and often a direct result of U.S. foreign policy.

We must help the refugees whose lives have been shattered by U.S. foreign policy and military attacks. Support the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, an organization dedicated to helping women and children, human rights issues, and social justice. Then, become a Peacemaker. Receive up-to-the-minute information through our new mobile alert system whenever there are Afghan civilian casualties from this war, and take immediate action by calling Congress.

- Warning - Viewer discretion advised.

Posted June 18, 2009
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