Fundamental Human Rights

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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan war’

US troops are dying in a foreign civil war

Posted by terres on October 27, 2009

As 14 more US personnel are killed in 3 helicopter crashes, AND another 8 troops lose their lives in southern Afghanistan, senior U.S. official resigns over ‘pointless war’

‘US troops are dying for what is essentially a foreign civil war’

Matthew Hoh, a former Marine Corps captain and the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province resigns.

matthew hoh
“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” Matthew Hoh wrote in his resignation letter. Photo: Gerald Martineau / The Washington Post. Image may be subject to copyright.

Hoh, 36, is the first U.S. official to publicly resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe fueled the civil war in Afghanistan.

“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”

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Posted in NATO air strike, Obama’s Vietnam, pointless war, senior U.S. official resigns, US presence in Afghanistan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are you going to kill me, too?

Posted by terres on October 6, 2009

Image of the Day: Children Who Grow Up Loving America!

President Barack Obama has ruled out any strategy that involves  a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan,  despite the real prospects of losing the increasingly unpopular war.

Afghan girl
An Afghan girl looks at US Marines as they speak with her father during a patrol in Garmsir district of the Helmand province in Afghanistan. Photo: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan was not “on the table” despite the deteriorating security situation.

“I don’t think we have the option to leave,” Gibbs said. “That’s quite clear.”

The top American war lord in Afghanistan, Gen McChrystal, has warned in a “leaked” confidential assessment that the US would lose the war without additional troops and changes in strategy, though Obama has already nearly doubled the number of U.S. Occupation troops in Afghanistan.

“I believe that the decisions that the president will make for the next stage of the Afghanistan campaign will be among the most important of his presidency,” the war pimp, and the U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, as he called for “patience and discretion,” urging advisers to secrecy, especially as decisions were being made.

“In this process it is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberation – civilian and military alike – provide our best advice to the president, candidly but privately,”  Gates lectured an Army convention in Washington.

Gates is right about the secrecy, of course, since the people shall have no right to know the truth, especially the ugly version.

Eight occupation soldiers were killed on Saturday after tribal fighters attacked two US  outposts in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province, the worst US losses  in more than a year.

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Posted in Afghan War, Afghanistan, Afghanistan Assesment, AfPak region, Eight US soldiers killed, Mcchrystal, Mcchrystal Afghanistan, Mcchrystal Failure, Mission Failure, Mission Failure Afghanistan, More Troops Afghanistan, Politics News, Robert gates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Two Straws that Broke Barack’s Back

Posted by terres on October 3, 2009

Obama, ISAF kill another round of civilians

ISAF Airstrike in Afghanistan Kills at least 9 Civilians

ISAF forces (US and NATO troops)  in western Afghanistan are reviewing reports that their precision airstrike killed at least nine civilians, mostly women and children.

ISAF admitted that one of its aircraft dropped a precision-guided bomb in Helmand province’s Nad Ali district.

obama mcchrystal
The two war criminals Obama and McChrytal
meet on the same day the Olympics Committee rejected Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic games. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza). [Obama and his First Lady are unaffordable liabilities, as far as the people of Chicago are concerned.]

Officials from the International Security Assistance Force have visited the area to observe the extent of casualties,  AFP reported.

The latest airstrike occurred amid “new guidelines” recently issued by General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and ISAF commander in Afghanistan,  to limit civilian casualties.

The General was reported as saying in London on Thursday that the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and that foreign forces have little time to reverse the momentum.

General McChrystal has asked the  White House to send thousands of additional troops to the “AfPak” region by the end of the year, at a time when the US should withdraw from Afghanistan.

“U.S. forces are being increased by 21,000, to 68,000, bringing the coalition total to 110,000. About 9,000 are from Britain, where support for the war is waning. Counterinsurgency theory concerning the time and the ratio of forces required to protect the population indicates that, nationwide, Afghanistan would need hundreds of thousands of coalition troops, perhaps for a decade or more. That is inconceivable.” Washington post said.

War criminal Obama has already sent 21,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan this year. Gen McChrystal had reported earlier that his mission was likely to fail unless he was given even more troops. [Until the next similar report.]

According to “analysts”  McChrystal may have asked for up to an additional 40,000 troops to “win” the unwinnable  war.

McChrystal must have borrowed the defective calculator that the Soviets used to their ultimate demise.

  • Total No of Soviet Troops who fought in Afghanistan over the 9-year period: up to 700,000
  • Total number of troops occupying Afghanistan at any one time (1985) :  120,000
  • Soviet Troops Killed in Afghanistan: 15,000
  • Wounded in action: 54,000
  • Troops fell sick: 470,000

[Note: Large number of troops fell ill because of unsanitary conditions and rapid spread of infectious diseases.]

Monetary cost of war: about $100 billion

Other Losses:

  • 451 aircraft (includes 333 helicopters)
  • 147 tanks
  • 1,314  (other fighting and armored vehicles)
  • 433 artillery guns and mortars
  • 1,138 command vehicles
  • 510 engineering vehicles
  • 11,369 trucks and petrol tankers

Afghan Casualties and Damage to Afghanistan

  • Total number of  Afghan civilians killed in the 9-year conflict: at least 1.2 million, possibly as many as 2 million.

War Refugees:

  • 5 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran (30 percent of the prewar population of Afghanistan.
  • 2 million more people were displaced within the country.
  • During the 9-year  war, one out of two refugees in the world was an Afghan.

Other casualties

  • 1.2 million Afghans disabled (Mujahideen, government troops and civilians)
  • 3 million more were maimed or wounded (mostly civilians).
  • Afghanistan irrigation systems, vital to its agriculture, were destroyed by aerial bombing and strafing both by the by Soviet or government forces.
  • In Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city, the population was decimated from 200,000 before the war to about 25,000, by way “months-long campaign of carpet bombing and bulldozing by the Soviets and Afghan communist soldiers in 1987.”
  • 25,000 Afghans were killed by land mines during the war. Another 10 million land mines, mostly planted by the Soviet and government forces, were left scattered throughout the countryside to kill and maim even more people.
  • Children were the primary victims of the land mines which maimed and disabled  3-4% of the Afghan population.
  • In 1985 child mortality rate reached 31%.  Some 67% of the survivors were severely malnourished, with malnutrition increasing with age.


Pullout of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. 1988. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev.  For licensing details click here.

Iraq, Obama’s War in Afghanistan: The Two Straws that Broke the US Camel’s Back

  • The heavily underestimated cost of war in Afghanistan:  $228,204,281,888 [and mounting]
  • The cost in your community: National Priorities

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Posted in Mcchrystal, Mcchrystal Afghanistan, Mcchrystal Failure, Mission Failure, Mission Failure Afghanistan, More Troops Afghanistan, Politics News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

3 More Afghan Kids Killed in Nato Air Strike

Posted by terres on August 6, 2009

Mr President, how would you feel if they were your kids?

It’s totally unacceptable, a decade into the 21st century, for the military powers of the world to occupy defenseless countries, and massacre their populations at whim.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister, who has been appointed the new Secretary-General of the illegal NATO,  visiting Kabul, declared that since the new orders were issued there has been “a drastic decline in the number of civilian casualties,” although he provided no figures. AP reported.

“It is our clear intention to do everything possible to reduce the number of civilian casualties to an absolute minimum,” Fogh Rasmussen said at a joint news conference with Hamid Karzai.

His speech came just hours after “outraged Afghan villagers said a pre-dawn airstrike had killed three children and a man in a southern village.”

An Associated Press reporter and photographer saw residents of Kowuk bring the bodies of three boys and a man to the guesthouse of the Kandahar governor from their village, which is 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of the provincial capital, Kandahar city. The angry villagers shouted “Death to America! Death to infidels!” as they displayed the corpses in the back of a pickup truck.

ADDITION Afghanistan
Afghan villagers look at the bodies of two children after they were allegedly killed in an airstrike by foreign troops in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009. Outraged southern Afghan villagers said Wednesday that a pre-dawn airstrike by foreign troops killed three children and a man in the latest case of civilian deaths at the hands of Western troops. The U.S. military said it had killed four insurgents on motorcycles in that area and could not confirm any civilian fatalities. The incident happened in the village of Kowuk, some 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Kandahar city, said Abdur Rahim, a villager who said he lost three of his children in the bombing. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan). Image may be subject to copyright.

The U.S. military admitted killing four “insurgents on motorcycles” in that area, but refused to  confirm any civilian fatalities.

Abdur Rahim, the father of the boys and uncle of the slain man, told the AP that he heard a pair of helicopters circling over his compound at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday before they fired two missiles that hit his home. His brother and another son were wounded, he said.

“What was the fault of my innocent children? They were not Taliban,” Rahim said. “Did they come here to build our country or kill our innocent children?”

So, what about it, Mr President? Isn’t it time you withdrew American troops from Afghanistan, and put an end to the shameful butchery of the Afghan people?

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Posted in Anders Fogh Rasmussen, civilian fatalities, NATO, President Obama, village of Kowuk | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bailing Out America? First, Stop the Serial Wars!

Posted by terres on January 29, 2009

Astonishing Incongruities

Is It Time to Bail Out of the US?

By Paul Craig Roberts

January 28, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse” — California State Controller John Chiang announced on January 26 that California’s bills exceed its tax revenues and credit line and that the state is going to print its own money known as IOUs. The template is already designed.

Instead of receiving their state tax refunds in dollars, California residents will receive IOUs. Student aid and payments to disabled and needy will also come in the form of IOUs. California is negotiating with banks to get them to accept the IOUs as deposits.

California is often identified as the world’s eighth largest economy, and it is broke.

A person might think that California’s plight would introduce some realism into Washington, DC, but it has not. President Obama is taking steps to intensify the war in Afghanistan and, perhaps, to expand it to Pakistan.

Obama has retained the Republican warmongers in the Pentagon, and the US continues to illegally bomb Pakistan and to murder its civilians. At the World Economic Forum at Davos this week, Pakistan’s prime minister, Y. R. Gilani, said that the American attacks on Pakistan are counterproductive and done without Pakistan’s permission. In an interview with CNN, Gilani said: “I want to put on record that we do not have any agreement between the government of the United States and the government of Pakistan.”

How long before Washington will be printing money?

On January 28 Obama announced his $825 billion bailout plan. This comes on top of President Bush’s $700 billion bailout of just a few months ago.

Obama says his plan will be more transparent than Bush’s and will do more good for the economy.

As large as the bailouts are–a total of $1.5 trillion in four months–the amount is small in relation to the reported size of troubled assets that are in the tens of trillions of dollars. How do we know that by June there won’t be another bailout, say $950 billion?

Where will the money come from?

Obama’s bailout plan, added to the FY 2009 budget deficit he has inherited from Bush, opens a gaping expenditure hole of about $3 trillion.
Who is going to purchase $3 trillion of US Treasury bonds?

Not the US consumer. The consumer is out of work and out of money. Private sector credit market debt is 174% of GDP. The personal savings rate is 2 percent. Ten percent of households are in foreclosure or arrears. Household debt-service ratio is at an all-time high. Household net worth has declined at a record rate. Housing inventories are at record highs.

Not America’s foreign creditors. At best, the Chinese, Japanese, and Saudis can recycle their trade surpluses with the US into Treasury bonds, but the combined surplus does not approach the size of the US budget deficit.

Perhaps another drop in the stock market will drive Americans’ remaining wealth into “safe” US Treasury bonds.

If not, there’s only the printing press.

The printing press would turn a deflationary depression into an inflationary depression.
Unemployment combined with rising prices would be a killer.

Inflation would kill the dollar as well, leaving the US unable to pay for its imports.

All the Obama regime sees is a “credit problem.” But the crisis goes far beyond banks’ bad investments. The United States is busted. Many of the state governments are busted. Homeowners are busted. Consumers are busted. Jobs are busted. Companies are busted.

And Obama thinks he has the money to fight wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Except for the superrich and those banksters and CEOs who stole wealth from investors and shareholders, Americans have suffered enormous losses in wealth and income.

The stock market decline has destroyed about 45% of their IRAs, 401Ks, and other equity investments. On top of this comes the decline in home prices, lost jobs and health care, lost customers. The realized gains in mutual funds and investment partnerships, on which Americans paid taxes, have been wiped out.

The government should give those taxes back.

Americans who have seen their retirement savings devastated by complicity of government regulators and lawmakers with financial gangsters should not have to pay
any income tax when they draw on their pensions.

The financial damage inflicted on Americans by their own government is as great as would be expected from foreign conquest. While Washington “protected” us from terrorists by fighting pointless wars abroad, the US economy collapsed.

How can President Obama even think about fighting wars half way around the world while California cannot pay its bills, while Americans are being turned out of their homes, while, as Business Week reports, retirees will work throughout their retirement (which assumes that there will be jobs), while careers are being destroyed and stores and factories shuttered.

Americans are facing tremendous unemployment and hardship. Obama doesn’t have another dollar to spend on Bush’s wars.

Taxpayers are busted. They cannot stand another day of being milked by the military-security complex. The US government is paying private mercenaries more by the day than the monthly checks it is providing to Social Security retirees.

This is insanity.

The banksters robbed us twice. First it was our home and stock values. Then the government rewarded the banksters for their misdeeds by bailing out the banksters, not their victims, and putting the cost on the taxpayers’ books.

The government has also robbed the taxpayers of $3 trillion dollars to fight its wars. About $600 billion are out of pocket costs, and the rest is on the taxpayers’ books.

When foreign creditors look at the debt piled on the taxpayers’ books, they don’t see a good credit risk.

Washington is so accustomed to ripping off the taxpayers for the benefit of special interests that the practice is now in the DNA. While bailouts are being piled upon bailouts, wars are being piled upon wars.

Before Obama gets in any deeper, he must ask his economic team where the money is coming from. When he finds out, he needs to tell the rest of us.

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Posted in banksters, Iraq War, Obama, Social Security, very many bailouts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »