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  • October 28, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Sexual trauma afflicts 15 percent of U.S. veterans: study
    Reuters: Nearly 15 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking medical care from the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department have suffered sexual trauma, from harassment to rape, researchers reported on Tuesday. Kimerling said in a telephone interview the term "military sexual trauma" covers a range of events from coerced sex to outright rape or threatening and unwelcome sexual advances. "If you think about military service where you are living and working so closely with the same people, that even if it is not sexual assault ... it is possible that severe sexual harassment is just as traumatic," she said. The study does not cover active-duty servicemen and women, as VA services are only available to discharged veterans.      Full news...

  • October 28, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghans increasingly pessimistic: survey
    AFP: Afghans are increasingly pessimistic about their country, with security, unemployment and high prices dominating concerns, according to an annual mood survey released Tuesday. Thirty-eight percent of respondents this year said Afghanistan was moving in the right direction, compared with 42 percent in 2007 and 44 percent in 2006.      Full news...


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  • October 27, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    1,002 foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001
    AFP: With three deaths Monday, the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001 has passed 1,000, including 97 Canadians, according to the icasualties.org website Monday. This includes two coalition troops killed in a suicide bombing in the northern province of Baghlan on Monday. A third international soldier died after a bombing in the west the same day.      Full news...

  • October 25, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Why the war criminals must leave Afghanistan
    Green Left Weekly: While the war in Afghanistan has dropped off the front pages, seven years on, 56% of Australians say the 1000 Australian troops there should be brought home. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s talk about reconstructing the country haven’t fooled many. Most of the rebuilding projects have been handed over to profit-driven private corporations. Most roads and buildings remain in tatters. Average life expectancy is 44 years. Between 53% and 80% of Afghan people live below the official poverty line (depending on which part of the country).      Full news...

  • October 24, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Thousands protest killing of Afghan civilians by Taliban
    Canada.com: Thousands of people took to the streets of eastern Afghanistan Friday to protest against the killing of 27 civilians by Taliban insurgents. Witnesses said the victims, some as young as 15, were ordered off a bus by armed gunmen in the troubled Kandahar province on October 14 as they travelled to Iran in search of work. Organizers said more than 10,000 people attended the rally to protest against what they called an "un-Islamic" act.      Full news...

  • October 23, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Call for international support to Parwiz Kambakhsh
    CISDA: The ridiculous sentence against Parwiz Kambakhsh shows that the justice programme designed and run by the Italian government has completely failed. This failure looks even worse if we consider the huge amount of money spent. In addition, this is also a defeat for Karzai and for Western governments that have dressed some well-known criminals with jacket and tie, named them "democratic" and put them in power.      Full news...

  • October 23, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Despite the Threat of Harsh Punishment, Soldier Says “No” to Deployment in Afghanistan
    AlterNet: “I believe war is the crime of our times,” Blake Ivey, a specialist in the U.S. Army, said over the phone in a slow, deliberate voice. Ivey, currently stationed in Fort Gordon, Ga., is publicly refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. The 21-year-old soldier filed for conscientious objector status in July but was ordered to deploy while his application was being processed. Despite the threat of steep punishment, Ivey remains steadfast in his commitment to nonviolence. “I am against organized war,” he says. “It is flat-out murder.”      Full news...

  • October 20, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Taliban gunmen kill Western aid worker on Kabul street
    Los Angeles Times: Taliban gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a Western woman aid worker in the Afghan capital today, fueling a sense that insurgents are increasingly encroaching on the country's seat of government. A suicide bomber also killed two Western soldiers and five children in the north of Afghanistan, where violence is relatively rare.      Full news...


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  • October 20, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    David Davis: The regime we are defending is corrupt from top to bottom
    The Independent: It is time to face facts in Afghanistan: the situation is spiralling downwards, and if we do not change our approach, we face disaster. Violence is up in two-thirds of the country, narcotics are the main contributor to the economy, criminality is out of control and the government is weak, corrupt and incompetent. The international coalition is seen as a squabbling bunch of foreigners who have not delivered on their promises. Although the Taliban have nowhere near majority support, their standing is growing rapidly among some ordinary Afghans.      Full news...


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  • October 17, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    The West Is at a Loss in Afghanistan
    Spiegel: It is one of the last mild summer evenings in Kabul. A group of Western diplomats and military officials is meeting for a private dinner in one of the embassies in Wazir Akbar Khan, an upscale residential neighborhood. Almost all of the 12 envoys and generals represent countries that have troops stationed in southern Afghanistan and the mood is somber. "Nothing is moving forward anymore, and yet we are no longer able to extricate ourselves," one of the ambassadors says over dessert, a light apple pastry. He gives voice to that which many here are already thinking: "We are trapped."      Full news...

  • October 16, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Nato airstrike blamed for deaths of 18 civilians in Afghanistan
    Times Online: A Nato airstrike in Helmand this afternoon may have killed as many as 18 women and children, according to local officials in the province. Angry local people brought the bodies of at least six women and children, some of them badly disfigured, to the provincial capital Lashkargar and placed the bodies outside the house of the provincial governor, according to witnesses who spoke to The Times in Lashkargar.      Full news...


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  • October 15, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    How Deeply is the U.S. involved in the Afghan Drug Trade?
    The Huffington Post: America's local allies in Afghanistan, the politicians and warlords who overthrew Taliban in 2001, are up to their turbans in the heroin trade. Drug money is the blood that courses through Afghanistan's veins and keeps the economy limping along. The U.S.-installed Karzai regime in Kabul propped up by US and NATO bayonets has only two sources of income: cash handouts from Washington, and the proceeds of drug dealing.      Full news...

  • October 13, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Yes, Saddam was brutal, but are we any better?
    The Belfast Telegraph: All kinds of horrors flop on to my Beirut doormat. There's The Independent's mobile phone bill, a slew of blood-soaked local Lebanese newspapers — “Saleh Aridi's blood consolidates (Druze) reconciliation”, was among the goriest of the past few days — and then there are files from the dark memory lane through which all Middle East history has to pass.      Full news...


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  • October 9, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Price tag of Canada's Afghanistan mission: up to 18 billion Dollar
    The Globe and Mail: Canada's efforts in Afghanistan will carry a total price tag of about $14-billion to $18-billion by the time troops are withdrawn in 2011, about $1,500 extra for every household in Canada, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page reported today. Mr. Page's report says the real extra cost of the Canadian military mission — over and above what would have been spent for the upkeep of the military anyway — is billions more than Ottawa has estimated, and perhaps almost twice as high.      Full news...


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  • October 9, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    The Surge That Failed: Afghanistan under the Bombs
    TomDispatch.com: Washington spends about $100 million a day on this war -- close to $36 billion a year -- but only five cents of every dollar actually goes towards aid. From this paltry sum, the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief found that "a staggering 40 percent has returned to donor countries in corporate profits and salaries." The economy is so underdeveloped that opium production accounts for more than half of the country's gross domestic product.      Full news...


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  • October 9, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan
    New York Times: A draft report by American intelligence agencies concludes that Afghanistan is in a “downward spiral” and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Taliban’s influence there, according to American officials familiar with the document. The classified report finds that the breakdown in central authority in Afghanistan has been accelerated by rampant corruption within the government of President Hamid Karzai and by an increase in violence from militants who have launched increasingly sophisticated attacks from havens in Pakistan.      Full news...

  • October 7, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    3,200 Afghan civilians killed by NATO, US action since 2005: study
    AFP: Up to 3,200 civilians have been killed in NATO and US action in Afghanistan since 2005 but compensation payouts have been far lower than in other global cases, according to research by a US professor. The use of air power is growing, raising risks for civilians, University of New Hampshire professor Marc W. Herold says in research released on the anniversary of the October 7, 2001 launch of the invasion of Afghanistan.      Full news...

  • October 7, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Bearing Witness: The Afghan Tragedy
    The Nation Magazine: Seven years after the US invasion of Afghanistan, our devastated country is still chained to the fundamentalist warlords and the Taliban; the country is like an unconscious body breathing its last. The US government and its allies exploited the plight of Afghan women to legitimate its so-called "war on terror" and attack on Afghanistan. The medieval and brutal regime of the Taliban was toppled, but instead of relying on Afghan people, the United States and its allies pushed us from the frying pan to the fire and brought the infamous criminals of the "Northern Alliance" into power--sworn enemies of democracy and human rights, who are as dark-minded, evil, anti-women and cruel as the Taliban.      Full news...

  • October 6, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    The Matrix of Death: (Im)Precision of U.S Bombing and the (Under)Valuation of an Afghan Life
    RAWA News: US/NATO bombs kill about ten times more Afghan civilians with a ton of our “precision” bombs than we killed Serbs in 1999. More than 80% of Afghan civilian deaths today caused by the US/NATO are due to close air support attacks. They (Afghans) are only worth one-tenth of an Alaskan sea otter rather than forty camels. We spend ten dollars on the military in Afghanistan to pursue our geo-strategic aims and less than $1 on reconstructing the everyday lives of Afghans devastated by thirty years of war.      Full news...


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  • October 2, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    British Ambassador to Kabul 'says Afghanistan mission is doomed'
    Telegraph.co.uk: In the diplomatic cable written by François Fitou, the deputy French ambassador, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles is also quoted as saying that the coalition's military presence is "part of the problem not the solution". In the cable, dated Sept 2 and published in the investigative and satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîne, Sir Sherard is quoted as having said that "the current situation is bad. Security is worsening, but also corruption, and the current government has lost all credit."      Full news...

  • October 1, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    The Afghan Plight -- Why the West is on the verge of failing at the Hindukush
    Middle East Times: A new book by a German journalist takes an in-depth look at the West's failing attempts to win the war in Afghanistan. Merey's book is reporting in the best sense -- it includes several chapters detailing Afghanistan's key problems: the corrupt and inefficient government of Hamid Karzai; the drug industry that no one has been able to contain or even destroy; NATO bombings that have led to civilian casualties; Pakistan's secret financing and influencing of the Taliban. He tells the story of a man who wants to join the Taliban together with his two sons, because ISAF troops accidentally killed his third boy.      Full news...


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  • September 29, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Food crisis competes for Afghan “hearts and minds”
    Reuters: Afghanistan is facing one of its worst food shortages in years as winter approaches, with prices of the staple wheat rising 60 percent in the first half of the year after Pakistan slapped export bans, a poor harvest and drought. Rising prices are hitting what is already one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than half of the population living below the poverty line. Households dependent on wage labour can afford to buy a quarter of the wheat they bought in 2007, according to the World Food Programme. This in a country where the majority of household wages are spent on basic foods such as cereals.      Full news...

  • September 28, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Taliban revival sets fear swirling through Kabul
    The Sunday Times: Nobody seriously thinks the Taliban could take Kabul. The capital is surrounded by mountains, has only a few routes in and remained almost untouched during the Russian occupation. Afghanistan has more than 71,000 foreign troops under the leadership of Nato and the US, neither of which can contemplate defeat. It is hard to find any Afghan families who hanker after a Taliban regime that banned everything from girls’ schools to television and regarded public amputations and executions as entertainment. However, the fear among Kabulis is palpable. “There is a sense of dread of return to the dark days of the past,” said a western diplomat.      Full news...


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  • September 23, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    German government invites an Afghan Warlord, The Left protests
    LEFT PARTY group in German Parliament: “By inviting the former warlord Haji Mohammed Mohaqeq to Berlin, the German government demonstrates once again that it supports the wrong concepts, the wrong instruments, and the wrong people”, explains MP Heike Hänsel. The spokes woman for development politics of the LEFT PARTY parliamentary group announced that she and her fellow MPs would establish a support network for democratic groups in Afghanistan.      Full news...


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  • September 19, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Children worst sufferers in Afghan conflict
    Online: Forty per cent of the civilian victims of recent military operations and fighting in Afghanistan are children and women, a local child protection agency said. The Afghan Children Protection Organization (ACPO) said in a statement that among 700 civilians killed in the past six months in conflict, 40 per cent were children and women.      Full news...


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  • September 15, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Iran 'sending weapons to Taliban'
    BBC: Elements in the Iranian state are sending weapons across the border to the Taliban in Afghanistan, a BBC investigation has uncovered. Taliban members said they had received Iranian-made arms from elements in the Iranian state and from smugglers.      Full news...

  • September 11, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghanistan After Seven Years of War: You Call This a Good War?
    CounterPunch.com: The antiwar movement in the U.S. can no longer afford to ignore the war in Afghanistan without fading into irrelevance. The original aims of the war on terror have been resuscitated, and as Obama has repeatedly emphasized in recent months, its “central front” is shifting back to Afghanistan. The Afghan people have endured seven long years of misery thanks to U.S. occupation, and it is high time to take a principled stand against U.S. imperial aims in Central Asia. The war on Afghanistan is no more justified than the war on Iraq.      Full news...


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  • September 11, 2008 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghans say life no better after invasion
    Reuters: Seven years after the attacks on New York and Washington, the event that sparked off the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, many Afghans say life is no better and some say its worse. A recent spate of civilian deaths caused by U.S.-led air strikes has added salt to their wounds.      Full news...



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