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  • July 24, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Defeated in Afghanistan; Let’s invade Iran
    Pakistan Daily: The Israel Lobby boy from Bush era – US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, admitted defeat in Afghanistan – as quoted by Las Angeles Times on July 19: “The troops are tired. The Americans people of pretty tired. The US-lead forces must gain ground against militants (as if Taliban are the only people carrying guns while Americans, British, Canadian, Australian and Nato – are in Afghanistan to feed hungry people and spread Christianity!) in Afghanistan by next summer to avoid a public perception that war is unwinable. Taliban would not be defeated within one year (it would be 9th year, idiot) but it’s critical that the US military and its allies showed that they are making progress….”      Full news...

  • July 24, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    As security rises in Kabul, residents feel less safe instead
    McClatchy Newspapers: As the United States steps up its civilian presence in Kabul, residents of the ancient capital say they're beginning to feel like a city under siege. Huge intimidating convoys of armored SUVs now are common sights in the city's growing traffic jams. Newly erected concrete barriers block off many buildings from nearby thoroughfares. Nearly every day, there's some incident involving security teams pointing guns out of windows at frightened commuters.      Full news...

  • July 23, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Divorce, suicide; ‘Hell’ in Herat
    Reuters: After regular beatings, torture and attempted murder by her husband, 35-year-old Zahra tried to burn herself to death to escape her marriage. Then she learned of a safer option: divorce. Zahra is among a growing number of women in Afghanistan's western Herat province who, with the help of a women's charity, have taken on patriarchal laws to get a divorce, a taboo in the devoutly Muslim, formerly Taliban-led state.      Full news...

  • July 23, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghanistan's bravest woman brings her message to UK
    The Independent: Having survived five assassination attempts, if there is one thing the Afghan woman is, it is brave. Her story is inextricably linked to the recent history of her country. Through her own determination she has become part of its legend; first as a teacher in the refugee camps of Pakistan, then as an activist covertly running schools for girls in Herat during the Taliban years. Politicised beyond her years she was elected to the Afghan parliament in 2005 as its youngest member.      Full news...

  • July 23, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    AFGHANISTAN: The perils of mine clearance
    IRIN: Mohammad Aman has defused hundreds of anti-personnel landmines in various parts of Afghanistan in more than 13 years as a de-miner with the Mine Detection Center (MDC), a local NGO. “If each mine were to kill, maim or injure at least one person then I have saved more than 1,000 people and I am proud of that,” he told IRIN in Kabul. Mine clearance often requires working in very remote areas where de-miners are exposed to greater security risks and attacks by various armed and criminal groups.      Full news...

  • July 22, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    AFGHANISTAN-IRAN: Sharp rise in deportations from Iran
    IRIN: More than 200,000 Afghans have been expelled from Iran in the past six months, marking a 25 percent increase on the same period in 2008, according to officials. Most of the deportees are single males who had gone to Iran for employment opportunities. Hosting some 900,000 registered Afghan refugees, Iran has deported about one million Afghans considered "illegal migrants" over the past three years, according to aid agencies and government officials.      Full news...

  • July 17, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    IPS News: It is easy to understand why epithets such as brave and courageous often accompany the name of Malalai Joya. Slight of stature and serenely demure, the young Afghan woman’s past and present encapsulate the plight of her countrywomen. alalai Joya returned to Afghanistan in 1998 - she had spent most of her life until then in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan - as an underground volunteer educator of girls, a decidedly dangerous and difficult role given that the hardline Taliban were in power.      Full news...

  • July 17, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghan bomb kills 11, including children: police
    AFP: A Taliban bomb attack killed 11 civilians, including children and toddlers, going to a shrine in Afghanistan on Friday, police said following a surge of attacks ahead of key elections. The explosives ripped through a civilian pick-up vehicle taking a group of men, women and children to visit a centuries-old tomb in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar province, just a few kilometres (miles) from the Pakistani border. "Three women, three men and five children were killed," General Saifullah Hakim, a senior border police official, told AFP.      Full news...

  • July 16, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Bagram Prisoners protest
    BBC News: Hundreds of prisoners at the US-run Bagram jail in Afghanistan are refusing basic privileges to protest about their basic rights, officials say. The US military considers inmates there to be "unlawful combatants" who can be held for as long as deemed necessary. It is estimated that about 600 inmates are being held at the prison. The prisoners are reported to be protesting against what they say are a lack of basic rights such as access to lawyers or independent reviews of their status.      Full news...

  • July 16, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Airstrike killed six civilians and wounded 14 others in Afghanistan
    Reuters: The U.S. military said on Thursday it was investigating an incident in southern Afghanistan in which residents said some civilians were killed and up to 16 wounded in a possible air strike. Residents said up to six people were killed and 16 wounded in two Kandahar districts they identified as Shah Wali Kot and Miawand. Television footage taken inside Kandahar City hospital showed a number of wounded, including children, being treated.      Full news...

  • July 16, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Everything That Happens in Afghanistan Is Based on Lies or Illusions
    The Huffington Post: I've come back to the Afghan capital again, after an absence of two years, to find it ruined in a new way. Not by bombs this time, but by security. The heart of the city is now hidden behind piles of Hescos -- giant, grey sandbags produced somewhere in Great Britain. They're stacked against the walls of government buildings, U.N. agencies, embassies, NGO offices, and army camps (of which there are a lot) -- and they only seem to grow and multiply.      Full news...

  • July 16, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    AFGHANISTAN: “Opium eases my pain, keeps my children quiet”
    IRIN: Tordi, 45, finally quit her opium habit after six stillborn births and delivered a healthy baby girl. “I was using opium to ease my body pains and to be able to work better,” she told IRIN in her home in the Shortapa District of northern Balkh Province. Addiction, long hours of hard labour and poor nutrition had weakened Tordi’s body so much that she almost died during her sixth delivery before her family rushed her to a district hospital.      Full news...

  • July 15, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    AFGHANISTAN: Unsafe housing puts Kabul residents at risk
    IRIN: Most people in the Afghan capital Kabul live in illegal, unplanned and sub-standard houses that are prone to natural disasters and lack water and sanitation facilities, according to government officials. "Of the [estimated] five million people currently living in Kabul, at least three million are residing in illegal and unplanned houses," Abdul Wahab Sadaat, deputy director of city services at the Kabul Municipality, told IRIN.      Full news...

  • July 14, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    AFGHANISTAN: Cost of insecurity impedes humanitarian work - analysis
    IRIN: Armoured vehicles, armed escorts, blast-resistant walls and other security measures have made humanitarian work in Afghanistan more expensive and risky than ever before, say analysts. “Due to insecurity in some regions of the country, WFP [the UN World Food Programme] has had to take extra measures to ensure the safety of its staff, as well as the safe delivery of its food, and these have related costs,” Susannah Nicol, WFP’s information officer in Kabul, told IRIN.      Full news...

  • July 12, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    In Remote Afghanistan, Searching For A Young Survivor
    RFE/RL: Nine-year-old Zahra was orphaned after coalition forces bombed her village in a remote area of western Afghanistan last year. The attack killed 90 people, 60 of them children. Two days after the bombing, Sharafuodin Stanakzai, a correspondent for RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan, noticed a little girl dancing among the dead and decided to interview her.      Full news...

  • July 10, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghanistan: Led by donkeys
    The Guardian (Editorial): British soldiers are notionally dying to allow a national election to take place in Helmand. Unless miracles happen, this poll will usher in four more years of a corrupt narco-regime whose leader, Hamid Karzai, is the not-so-private despair of everyone from Barack Obama downwards. Even the US commander in charge of two provinces on Kabul's doorstep voices his frustration by warning in this newspaper today that Mr Karzai's re-election could trigger a violent backlash from Afghans yearning for a government they can trust. Colonel David Haight put it pithily: "Four more years of this crap?"      Full news...

  • July 10, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    U.S. Said to Have Averted Inquiry Into ’01 Afghan Killings
    The New York Times: After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations. “At the White House, nobody said ‘no’ to an investigation, but nobody ever said ‘yes,’ either,” said Pierre Prosper, the former war crimes ambassador for the United States. “The first reaction of everybody there was ‘Oh, this is a sensitive issue. This is a touchy issue politically.’”      Full news...

  • July 10, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Afghan truck blast kills 25, including 13 children
    Dallas News: A truck filled with explosives and timber blew up Thursday in a village south of the Afghan capital, killing 25 people, including 13 children on their way to school. The U.S. military, meanwhile, reported that three U.S. soldiers were killed by roadside bombs, two in southern Afghanistan and one in the east. At least 17 U.S. and British troops have been killed in combat incidents in the last week.      Full news...

  • July 10, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Suicides in US Army rise in first half of 2009
    AFP: Suicides in the US Army are on the rise with 88 suspected cases in the first six months of the year, compared to 67 in the same period in 2008, according to Pentagon figures issued. The latest figures confirmed warnings from top US military officers that the number of suicides among active-duty soldiers this year was on track to surpass a record level set in 2008.      Full news...

  • July 8, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Air raids kill 8 Afghans in S Afghanistan
    Xinhua: Air raids against suspected hideouts of Taliban militants in Ghazni province, south of Afghanistan, however, claimed the lives of eight civilians including two women, a member of the Provincial Council Abdul Nabi said Wednesday. In talks with media, Nabi added that the raids took place at 3 a.m. local time (2330 GMT) in Gero district during which eight non-combatants were killed.      Full news...

  • July 8, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    AFGHANISTAN: Call for tougher laws on rape
    IRIN: Rapists in Afghanistan too often get away with their crime, whilst rape victims lack access to justice and experience stigma and shame, according to a report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). “In some areas, alleged or convicted rapists are, or have links to, powerful commanders, members of illegal armed groups, or criminal gangs, as well as powerful individuals whose influence protects them from arrest and prosecution,” said the report entitled Silence is Violence, launched in Kabul on 8 July.      Full news...

  • 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 7, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Violence against Afghan women, including rape, widespread and unpunished, says UN
    ReliefWeb: A new UN report on women in Afghanistan, issued Wednesday, describes the extensive and increasing level of violence directed at women taking part in public life, as well as the “widespread occurrence” of rape against a backdrop of institutional failure and impunity. The 32-page report, issued jointly by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), notes that “violence, in the public and private spheres, is an everyday occurrence in the lives of a huge proportion of Afghan women.”      Full news...

  • July 7, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    AFGHANISTAN: After the floods, malaria?
    IRIN: Stagnant water in flood-affected parts of Afghanistan is the perfect breeding ground for malaria-causing mosquitoes, health specialists warn. “We anticipate an increase in malaria cases this year,” Najibullah Safi, director of the National Malaria and Leishmaniasis Control Programme (NMLCP), told IRIN in Kabul.      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 4, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    Karzai's pardons nullify drug court gains
    Boston Globe: When five drug traffickers in military uniforms were caught transporting heroin in a police truck in 2007, it was a victory for a dogged team of Afghan investigators and their US mentors who are waging a Quixotic battle against narcotics, the nation's largest industry. But in April, Afghan president Hamid Karzai pardoned the five men. One was the nephew of a powerful politician managing Karzai's reelection campaign, and the presidential decree ordering their release notes that they had ties to a well-respected family, according to a senior Afghan official.      Full news...

  • July 4, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    News editor captures 'the real thing' in Afghanistan
    The Age: FRIENDS said he must have a death wish, going to Afghanistan. But online news editor Gregor Salmon was sick of watching disjointed images of the place on CNN. He wanted to find the truth behind the labels: the Taliban, warlords, guns and opium. And he was up for an adventure. With the help of local translators and "fixers", he spent eight months criss-crossing Afghanistan, interviewing hundreds of ordinary Afghans.      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...

  • July 1, 2009 :: RSS :: Print :: Email
    AFGHANISTAN: Flood-affected families need shelter before winter
    IRIN: Thousands of people who lost their houses in January-May flooding in different parts of Afghanistan need help to repair or rebuild their homes, or find new ones, before winter. “Where houses are damaged or completely destroyed, people are in urgent need of shelter,” Asif Khairkhwa, chairman of the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) in the northern province of Balkh, told IRIN. “People should have a shelter before the winter.”      Full news...

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