You are herePakistan
By David Lindorff Sr.
Departure comes after ultimatum from Islamabad prompted by the death of 24 of its soldiers in NATO air raid.
The US has vacated the Shamsi air base in Pakistan's Balochistan province after a 15-day ultimatum given by Islamabad, prompted by the deaths of at least 24 of its soldiers in a NATO air raid last month.
Sunday's withdrawal was completed when the final flight carrying US personnel and equiptment flew out.
Nine planes carrying personnel and 20 carrying equiptment - including drone aircraft and weapons - left for neighbouring Afghanistan, officials said.
Shamsi wahttp://warisacrime.org/node/add/storys believed to be the staging post for US drones operating in northwest Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a senior Pakistani military official told a US television network on Sunday that his country "will shoot down any US drone that enters its territory".
Twenty trucks torched in attack at Nato terminal in Quetta
By John Grant
Following a decade of military invasion and occupation in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, the United States is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of empires: “We get no respect!”
The undisputed post-World War Two top dog in the world, on virtually every front the United States is more and more playing catch-up with two-faced, Clintonian shuttle diplomacy around the world and a well-entrenched regime of secrecy and sophisticated public relations aimed at keeping the dismal story of decline out of the domestic mind-space.
US/Pakistan’s Toxic Alliance - by Stephen Lendman
Partnering with America has a price. Pakistan's paid dearly. Post-9/11, it's been harmed economically, politically, and strategically. Has its military now had enough and want out? More on that below.
At issue is the latest November 26 incident involving NATO forces killing 24 Pakistani soldiers and injuring 13 others in two remote posts along Afghanistan's border.
'Bugsplat': The Ugly US Drone War in Pakistan
It's time for the US to re-examine the consequences of its dehumanizing, deadly attacks in Pakistan.
This weekend, Pakistan ordered the closure of the US drone base after a US attack killed 26 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border. This news will be welcomed by the people of Waziristan, where communities have borne the brunt of the "collateral damage" of the US covert drone war. But for many, this decision comes too little too late. For too long, authorities ignored the deaths of innocent civilians being "bugsplat" by drones.
A correspondent wrote me yesterday, "what [is]our government and military doing attacking a Pakistani military base? Pakistan is supposed to be our ally in this ten years old crazy war in Afghanistan." NATO Airstrike Kills 24 Pakistani Soldiers.
Pakistan had a military government over decades, supported by every US administration. There's a large base in Pakistan for Islamic fundamentalism, which has deeply penetrated the Pakistani military, which is itself an utterly corrupt institution deeply involved in owning land and business (like Egypt's US-funded military is).
News Flash in Washington: Pakistan Has People in It, They Hate Being Murdered, They Have Nuclear Bombs
Washington D.C. (November 28, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement after Pakistani troops were bombed by NATO in the Mohmand district of Pakistan.
“Saturday’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) airstrike that killed 24 innocent Pakistani soldiers and injured many more near the border of Afghanistan has further strained the vital U.S.-Pakistan relationship, increased anti-U.S. sentiment abroad and placed our troops in Afghanistan in even greater danger.
“Reports indicate that NATO is bracing itself for reprisal attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan. This means U.S. forces will be at increased risk. The U.S. cannot expect to achieve stability in Afghanistan and the region while NATO, with impunity, conducts reckless actions that directly undermine the security of the Pakistani people and jeopardize U.S.-Pakistani relations.
“The United States must insist upon a full, impartial, transparent investigation and ensure accountability within the NATO command for any wrongdoing, intentional or not. NATO owes reparations to the families of the soldiers killed and injured. It is also timely for Congress to reconsider our support for NATO. How useful is an alliance which destabilizes friendly governments, kills innocent people and creates international provocations?
“My deepest sympathies are with the families of those who lost loved ones in the attack. Accountability of those responsible for the loss of life and an impartial and transparent investigation will be critical to maintaining our vital relationship with Pakistan.”
Tariq Aziz (centre, second row) attending a meeting about drones strikes in Waziristan, held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 28 October 2011. Three days later, the 16 year old was reported killed by a drone-launched missile.
By CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH
LAST Friday, I took part in an unusual meeting in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
The meeting had been organized so that Pashtun tribal elders who lived along the Pakistani-Afghan frontier could meet with Westerners for the first time to offer their perspectives on the shadowy drone war being waged by the Central Intelligence Agency in their region. Twenty men came to air their views; some brought their young sons along to experience this rare interaction with Americans. In all, 60 villagers made the journey.
The meeting was organized as a traditional jirga. In Pashtun culture, a jirga acts as both a parliament and a courtroom: it is the time-honored way in which Pashtuns have tried to establish rules and settle differences amicably with those who they feel have wronged them.
On the night before the meeting, we had a dinner, to break the ice. During the meal, I met a boy named Tariq Aziz. He was 16. As we ate, the stern, bearded faces all around me slowly melted into smiles. Tariq smiled much sooner; he was too young to boast much facial hair, and too young to have learned to hate.
The next day, the jirga lasted several hours. I had a translator, but the gist of each man’s speech was clear. American drones would circle their homes all day before unleashing Hellfire missiles, often in the dark hours between midnight and dawn. Death lurked everywhere around them.
When it was my turn to speak, I mentioned the official American position: that these were precision strikes and no innocent civilian had been killed in 15 months. My comment was met with snorts of derision.
Nov. 2, 2011 - A new study suggests that defense hawks are crying crocodile tears over planned cuts to Pentagon spending.
Capitol Hill conservatives and Pentagon brass fighting cuts to defense spending have argued that the military is limping off the battlefield with decrepit hardware. It's quite the sob story: At a hearing last week, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chair of the House armed services committee, cut his remarks short to literally sob for "these young men that are going outside the wire over in Afghanistan, every day on patrol."
28 October, 2011 - A human rights group has filed a lawsuit against Lithuania for its role in a CIA rendition program which allegedly involved the illegal detention and torture of “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah.
Zubaydah, who was initially captured by American and Pakistani special services in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, spent some of his time in custody in a secret detention center in Lithuania, according to the Interights group. The European country allegedly collaborated with the CIA on its program of secret prisons, which allowed suspects to be incarcerated and tortured outside American territory.
Oct. 28: Rachel Maddow expresses exasperation that Paul Wolfowitz is still treated by the media as if he has credibility on foreign policy matters despite his infamous history of disastrously poor judgment.
October 21, 2011 - Ottawa: Hundreds of protestors have asked the Canadian authorities to arrest former US President George W Bush for war crimes after he reached a Surrey hotel on Thursday.
Bush and his predecessor Bill Clinton were among the keynote speakers attending the annual Surrey Regional Economic Summit at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel. Human-rights groups, including Amnesty International were demanding the arrest of Bush.
Gail Davidson of the Lawyers against the War expressed outrage over the federal government for ignoring its responsibility in not arresting Bush.
September 16, 2011 - The 9/11 industry harvested its biggest riches on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the yet-to-be fully documented coordinated attacks on the United States of America which produced the era of awe and shock, bull-dozed all international norms, and initiated two great wars of the twenty-first century.
Bush White House Resistant to Rebuilding Afghanistan
Rumsfeld's War Aim: "Significantly Change the World's Political Map"
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 358
Posted - September 11, 2011
We are given figures in the multi multi billions spent on the wars of choice and the so called 'homeland security', but there are huge amounts, in the multi billions, not known or labeled top secret and blacked out in government reports on the rapid growth of intelligence within government and the added private contractors and the costs of that growth. As pointed out in the 'PBS Frontline' report, below, what has it accomplish over all these years, especially as to the main mission after 9/11 and finally getting bin Laden, found through intelligence of a small group and carried out by a small group of 'special forces'.
By John Grant
It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.
Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Harvard philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines bullshit as language with no basis in truth or fact focused on obtaining power. A liar knows the truth and tries to sell falsehoods; bullshitters simply don’t care what the truth is.
Some of the most popular candidates for the Republican Party (think Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman) are classic bullshitters who completely disdain rational analysis. For them it’s OK to say anything, like Perry and others' denial of evolution and global warming. Reason and responsible history are for the weak.
Standard would reduce dangerous US oil dependence, save Americans billions at the pump
Reason they were talking Saddam, before and Condi on the day of 9/11, in the weeks directly after and reason we left the mission in Afghanistan high and dry to fester and grow with recruitment from the devastation in Iraq an innocent country!!!
ISLAMABAD, Aug 16, 2011 (IPS) - Pakistani civilian and military leaders are insisting on an effective veto over which targets U.S. drone strikes hit, according to well-informed Pakistani military sources here.
The sources, who met with IPS on condition that they not be identified, said that such veto power over the conduct of the drone war is a central element in a new Pakistani demand for a formal government-to-government agreement on the terms under which the United States and Pakistan will cooperate against insurgents in Pakistan.
The basic government-to-government agreement now being demanded would be followed, the sources said, by more detailed agreements between U.S. and Pakistani military leaders and intelligence agencies.
September 2011 - One morning in June 2001, three months before the 9/11 attacks on the United States, I happened to be interviewing a senior official from the British Secret Intelligence Service, M.I.6. His current focus was the war on drugs, not international terrorism, but he shared a piece of information that united the two subjects.
A short time earlier, the official told me, the U.S. National Security Agency had intercepted a call between two satellite-telephone users in Afghanistan—the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. They had been discussing the Taliban’s ban on growing opium poppies, imposed the previous summer—a remarkably effective edict that had shrunk production in areas they controlled almost to zero.
With veterans' unemployment rising, President Barack Obama is scheduled on Friday in a visit Washington's Navy Yard to announce initiatives to prepare vets for civilian jobs.
Those boomers born during WWII and in the few years directly after may or may not remember their childhood years, I do. What your parents, coming out of the military, no higher education needed to fight our wars, or moms coming out of the factories, quickly taught the jobs needed to work in by those who for many reasons couldn't serve in the military. You grew up into that working world that had quickly grown a prosperous middle class, and with usually small but regular raises and improved benefits and safety you were prospering better then your parents.
3 August 2011 - The Mail on Sunday suggested at the weekend that Tony Blair will face 'scathing criticism' of his role in the launch of the Iraq war when the report of the inquiry under Sir John Chilcot is published in the autumn.
On the same day, the Observer reported that the terms of an oil deal struck between BP and the Baghdad government will provide the company and its Chinese partner with a 'stranglehold' over the Iraqi economy. Even in the midst of his current multifarious travails, Rupert Murdoch may have managed a smile at that one.
Now over a decade with two wars of choice and added to the previous decades of ignored issues and not fully funding the Veterans Administration, thus saving monies instead of increased costs to catchup with the needs, as to the results of our wars. Easier to lay blame on the agency rather then the country, the 99% who don't serve it, who collectively don't look in the mirror at their total lack of Sacrifice as they wave those flags!
Last night, 30 July 2011, the Congressional House (T)'s did exactly what many thought they would and now the Congressional Senate (T)'s, going into their oft used filibuster, follow the Houses lead, and their Supporters Cheer, a day after this:
A Country that is willing to 'Sacrifice', Not the U.S.!
As we've seen since Korea and especially from our long War of Choice, Vietnam and since! To easy to ignore the Veterans of and the few really concerned citizens, PTS, Agent Orange/Defoliant poisoning, Suicides, Gulf War Syndrome and so much more of the not so distant past and the now rising concerns of the present. Way to easy to lay blame on the Agency especially by congressional representatives, calling that conservatism, and the people, then to fund on the front end, knowing the long term results of our invasions and occupations will have costs similar to the ever growing defense costs, thus saving money long term than to Demand the Same Sacrifice demanded of the soldier, sailor and marine and their families, now over a decade of No Sacrifice and certainly No Demand For!
Crystal Nicely, Caregiver and Spouse of OEF veteran
Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Heidi Golding, Principal Analyst, National Security Division, Congressional Budget Office
James Hosek, PhD, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation
Veterans and the Veterans Administration have been short changed for decades now, costing much more in fighting to catch up then if funded properly at the beginning and into, and throughout, our wars of choice, instead it's easier for the people, their reps and some veterans to lay blame on the agency. Magnetic ribbons, wordy patriotic meme's, flag waving and historic costumes, lapel flag pins and purple heart bandages is Not Sacrificing after Demanding the Soldiers and their Families do!!