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  • July 7, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Are Afghan Lives Worth Anything?
    TomDispatch: In the two weeks since, however, that's been on my mind--or rather the lack of interest our world shows in dead civilians from a distant imperial war--and all because of a passage I stumbled upon in a striking article by journalist Anand Gopal. In "Uprooting an Afghan Village" in the June issue of the Progressive magazine, he writes about Garloch, an Afghan village he visited in the eastern province of Laghman. After destructive American raids, Gopal tells us, many of its desperate inhabitants simply packed up and left for exile in Afghan or Pakistani refugee camps.      Full news...

  • July 5, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghanistan: heeding horrid history
    The Nation (Pakistan)/ANN: A Canadian think-tank, CIFP, has produced a thorough report on Afghanistan under Fragile States. It is a worthy effort to define the prevailing pandemonium posted by the neo-cons in the wake of 9/11. After delving deep into doomsday details about the AfPak area based on Millennium Goals etc, the treatise indulges in imagining the worst/best case-scenarios. It underlines the fact that: "Indeed, 98 percent of Afghan civilians are directly affected by the present conflict and Afghanistan has the tenth highest average of the people killed per million per year."      Full news...

  • July 4, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghanistan: ‘The truth cannot be killed’
    Green Left Weekly: For Joya, who is currently touring Australia to promote her political autobiography Raising My Voice, it is a familiar situation. She grew up in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan. She returned to Afghanistan in 1998 to engage in the extremely dangerous activity of conducting underground classes for girls. Female education was banned by the misogynist Taliban, then in power. This makes her assessment of Afghanistan today, more than seven years after it was supposedly liberated by the US-led invasion, particularly damning.      Full news...

  • July 2, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    U.S. Faces Resentment in Afghan Region
    The New York Times: The mood of the Afghan people has tipped into a popular revolt in some parts of southern Afghanistan, presenting incoming American forces with an even harder job than expected in reversing military losses to the Taliban and winning over the population. Villagers in some districts have taken up arms against foreign troops to protect their homes or in anger after losing relatives in airstrikes, several community representatives interviewed said. Others have been moved to join the insurgents out of poverty or simply because the Taliban’s influence is so pervasive here.      Full news...

  • June 29, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Plight of Grana, the Sole Survivor of Coalition Bombing in Afghanistan
    Guardian.co.uk: Grana is the sole survivor of a coalition bombing in southern Helmand province that took her arm and her leg, and killed nine members of her family. Grana is just 12 years old, she is lucky to be alive. Grana and her family were victims of a coalition bombing. Locals claim over 70 people lost their live along whole of her family.      Full news...

  • June 29, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Judge: US Can Continue Detaining Suspect at Bagram Without Legal Recourse
    Antiwar.com: In a ruling widely expected given the judge’s previous comments, US District Judge John Bates ruled that Haji Wazir, an Afghan citizen captured by the US in 2002 and held in detention at the Bagram internment facility in Afghanistan, has no legal right to challenge his detention in US courts. In the seven years he’s been held in US custody Wazir, who is reportedly a businessman, has never been charged with any offense, and US officials have declined to even publicly say what he is being charged with.      Full news...

  • June 28, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    UN report: 800 civilians killed in conflict in January-May in Afghanistan
    IRIN: Civilian deaths resulting from armed hostilities between insurgents, the US military, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and government forces have increased by 24 percent so far this year compared to the same period in 2008, according to a report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. In May alone, 261 non-combatants lost their lives in conflict in Afghanistan, John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told members of the Security Council at a meeting on 26 June.      Full news...

  • June 27, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Power of the Poppy
    The Wall Street Journal: Today, the good, the bad and the ugly all flourish in Afghanistan—sometimes together, sometimes apart. But it’s not clear who is benefiting most from the drug trade. Is it the Taliban and al Qaeda or members of ­Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government? Statistics vary wildly, but the U.N. estimates that drugs bring in upward of $300 million annually to the Taliban’s coffers. That still leaves billions unaccounted for.      Full news...

  • June 24, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Bagram lesser known - but more evil - twin of Guantanamo
    Reuters: The big surprise in Tuesday’s revelations of prisoner abuse at Bagram is how long these stories have taken to reach the international media, given the scale of the problem. Bagram Airforce Base is Guantanamo Bay’s lesser known - but more evil - twin. Thousands of prisoners have been “through the system” at Bagram, and around 600 are currently held there. Meanwhile President Obama’s lawyers are fighting to hold them incommunicado; stripped of the right to challenge the reasons for their imprisonment.      Full news...

  • June 22, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Occupation, BBC1 Dispatches: Afghanistan’s Dirty War
    The Independent: Some still think of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan as a “good” war. They may change their minds after watching the latest Dispatches, Afghanistan’s Dirty War. Last August, US troops went looking for Taliban insurgents in Aziz Abad, a small village 400 miles west of Kabul. After a brief firefight, they called in an air strike, whereupon an AC-130 gunship tore the village apart.      Full news...

  • June 21, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Three Women Killed, 11 Injured in a Clash of NATO and Taliban
    Three women were killed and another eleven civilian injured in a clash between NATO and armed Taliban the previous day in Dare Peech of Kunar Province. According to the governor, the Afghan and NATO forces retaliated and a fight took place. Wahidi said that during the clash some of the bullets were fired in a populated area on people’s homes, as a result of which 3 women were killed and 11 others, including 6 children, were injured.      Full news...

  • June 19, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Helping Afghan Refugees as US Bombs Continue to Fall
    The Huffington Post: Since 2001, the US Air Force has dropped nearly 31 million pounds (14,049 metric tons) of bombs on Afghanistan. The UN estimates that US airstrikes alone accounted for 64 percent of the 828 Afghan civilians killed last year. Those numbers practically scream the need to abandon conventional warfare tactics in Afghanistan and dramatically shift US foreign policy to incorporate a more humanitarian approach. Instead, we're seeing the horrific images from IDP camps: refugees who have lost loved ones; parents so desperate they would rather sell their children than watch them starve; children scarred both physically and psychologically.      Full news...

  • June 19, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    How to Help Afghans When Congress Approves 100 Billion Dollars More in War
    Rethink Afghanistan: $100 billion, and for what? To bring more troops to Afghanistan without an exit strategy? To further US foreign policy that fails to address the humanitarian needs of the world’s third poorest country? To escalate military operations that directly result in Afghan civilian casualties?... Fortunately, there are ways to take immediate action and address Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis.      Full news...

  • June 12, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Obama’s Afghan War, the US Media, and the UN: the New Metric of Civilian Casualties
    RAWA News: A tacit agreement operates between the Obama administration, the U.S corporate media, most progressive U.S. liberals, and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA). All dream to a lesser or greater degree of a future social democratic paradise in Afghanistan where girls’ schools would be flourishing and small farmers exporting pomegranates. Some debate exists over the means to achieve this end. Much ado has been made during the past five months as to whether the Obama approach to Afghanistan differs or not with that of its predecessor.      Full news...

  • June 11, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    US-led Air Strike Killed 10 Civilians in the Central Ghor Province
    Quqnoos: A US-led air strike has killed 22 people, including 10 civilians in the central Ghor province, officials said. Deputy Governor of Ghor province, Ikramuddin Rezazada revealed that at least 10 civilians were killed in Tuesday’s air raid, carried out by the US-led coalition forces. A day earlier, US forces in statement said a prominent militant commander, Mullah Mustafa, and 16 other insurgents were killed in the bombing. Later, Mullah Mustafa in a phone interview told Quqnoos that he is “not harmed in the incident”.      Full news...

  • June 10, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Children Among 20 Killed in Coalition Bombing Raid in Ghor Province
    PAN: Nine children and 11 suspected Taliban insurgents were killed in a Coalition bombing raid in the northwestern Ghor province, a police officer said on Wednesday. Acting police chief Col. Zainul Abidin told Pajhwok Afghan News the airstrike by US-led forces in Shahrak district targeted dreaded Taliban commander Mullah Mustafa and his accomplices.      Full news...

  • June 9, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Iranian weapons getting through to Taliban
    The Telegraph: Heavy weapons are continuing to stream across the Afghan border from Iran despite Barack Obama's attempts to enlist Tehran's help in fighting the insurgency, officials have said. Border police say they are regularly intercepting consignments of anti-tank mines and mortars bound for Afghan militants fighting Nato-led forces.      Full news...

  • June 6, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    The U.S. and the Afghan Tragedy
    The Huffington Post: Many Americans are profoundly ignorant of history, even regarding distant countries where the United States finds itself at war. One need not know much about Afghanistan's rich and ancient history, however, to learn some important lessons regarding the tragic failures of U.S. policy toward that country during the past three decades.... The Reagan administration sensed the most hard-line elements of the resistance were less likely to reach negotiated settlements, but the goal was to cripple the Soviet Union, not free the Afghan people. Recognizing the historically strong role of Islam in Afghan society, they tried to exploit it to advance U.S. policy goals.      Full news...

  • June 5, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Soul-Searching Following Farah Tragedy
    IWPR: America pledges to reduce price paid by civilians in war against Taliban, but disputes Afghan estimates for Farah airstrike death toll. Sayed Karim, 72, is now all alone. The elderly, white bearded man bowed his turbaned head as he told of the 13 members of his family who were killed in a May 4 airstrike by United States forces in Farah province, on Afghanistan’s western border. “I am no longer young,” he sighed. “I cannot build a new life.”      Full news...

  • June 4, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Faulted firm gets Afghan aid work from USAID
    USA TODAY: Despite Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's call to reduce the reliance on foreign aid contractors, the main U.S. aid agency is continuing to award multimillion-dollar contracts as it proposed to increase development spending in Afghanistan to $2.8 billion. An inspector general's audit released May 11 criticized DAI's performance on a $164 million contract to promote local governance. Success, the audit found, was "highly questionable" in part because DAI "had no overall strategy" for implementing local projects.      Full news...

  • June 3, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Bagram: Is it Obama’s new Guantanamo?
    MSNBC: Should detainees the United States has shipped to the Bagram air base in Afghanistan have the same constitutional right to challenge their detention in court that prisoners at the Guantanamo prison in Cuba have been given? President Barack Obama didn't answer that question in a May 21 speech outlining his policy for dealing with alleged terrorists. In fact, Obama didn't mention Bagram at all.      Full news...

  • June 1, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Haqqani network, the most deadly US foe in Afghanistan
    Christian Science Monitor: The Haqqani network is considered the most sophisticated of Afghanistan's insurgent groups. The group is alleged to be behind many high-profile assaults, including a raid on a luxury hotel in Kabul in January 2008 and a massive car bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul that left 41 people dead in July 2008.... Haqqani's son Sirajuddin has now taken the reins of the organization, according to intelligence officials. The younger Haqqani has proved more dynamic than his father, expanding the network greatly in the last few years.      Full news...

  • May 30, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Amnesty International 2009 Human Rights Report on Afghanistan
    Amnesty International: Millions of people living in southern and eastern Afghanistan, terrorized by the Taliban, other insurgent groups and local militias ostensibly allied with the government, suffered insecurity that further restricted their already limited access to food, health care, and schooling. Indiscriminate attacks, abductions and the targeting of civilians reached unprecedented levels. The Taliban and other anti-government groups significantly expanded their attacks to cover more than a third of the country, including areas once considered relatively safe in the centre and the north.      Full news...

  • May 28, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    US soldier: “The US govt. has deceived not only the American public, but also the international community”
    CommonDreams.org: André Shepherd, who was stationed in Germany, refuses to deploy to Iraq. Many U.S. soldiers stationed in Europe who refused service in or support of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan have been tried in U.S. military courts in Europe and imprisoned in the U.S. military's correctional facility at Mannheim; the most well known are Blake Lemoine (2005) and Agustín Aguayo (2006-2007). But Shepherd is so far the first to turn to the German government for help: last November he filed a formal application to the German government for asylum.      Full news...

  • May 28, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Aid expert says only pennies of foreign money reaching Afghans
    The Canadian Press: An international aid expert says only pennies from each dollar being sent to Afghanistan are actually reaching the people who need help. Marco Vicenzino says he is appalled by the inefficiency of humanitarian aid efforts. Vicenzino, who is a strategic adviser for the Afghanistan World Foundation, says about 80 cents of every dollar goes back to donor countries - largely through the contractors doing the work.      Full news...

  • May 28, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    MoD admits use of controversial ‘enhanced blast’ weapons in Afghanistan
    The Guardian: British pilots in Afghanistan are firing an increasing number of "enhanced blast" thermobaric weapons, designed to kill everyone in buildings they strike, the Ministry of Defence has revealed. Since the start of this year more than 20 of the US-designed missiles, which have what is officially described as a "blast fragmentation warhead", have been fired by pilots of British Apache attack helicopters. A total of 20 were also fired last year after they were bought by the MoD from the Americans last May.      Full news...

  • May 27, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghan was taken to Guantanamo aged 12-rights group
    Reuters: An Afghan who has spent over six years at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay prison was only around 12 years old when he was detained, not 16 or 17 as his official record says, an Afghan rights group said on Tuesday. Interviews with the family of Mohammed Jawad, who like many poor Afghans does not know his exact age or birthday, showed he was probably not even a teenager when he was arrested in 2002, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission said.      Full news...

  • May 27, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    US Soldier: “There’s No Way I’m Going to Deploy to Afghanistan”
    IPS: "It’s a matter of what I’m willing to live with," Specialist Victor Agosto of the U.S. Army, who is refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan, explained to IPS. "I’m not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong.".... On one of them, dated May 1, Agosto’s written statement appears: "There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect."      Full news...

  • May 23, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Public millions fail to provide wells, schools and clinics in Afghanistan
    The Times: Millions of pounds in taxpayers’ money have been wasted on failed reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, according to an internal assessment by the Department for International Development. An evaluation by independent consultants criticised the department’s approach to planning, risk management and staffing, and said poor co-ordination with the rest of Whitehall meant that the department was slow to shift strategy as the military effort moved to counter-insurgency.      Full news...

  • May 20, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Closures after Taliban Threats: German Army Can’t Protect Afghan Girls’ Schools
    Six schools in the northern region of Kunduz closed following Taliban threats in recent weeks. The German army says it can't protect them. The schools received letters threatening acid and gas attacks, and teachers and pupils responded by staying home. The Afghan authorities finally decided to shut the schools altogether. The affected district of Chahar Darreh in the province of Kunduz is largely under the Taliban's control.      Full news...



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