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Fragging in Afghanistan?
by Stephen Lendman
If it's happening, it's not reported. Washington wants no mention or suggestion of what plagued Vietnam. More on that below.
Writing about the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky said:
On Saturday, about 1000 Israelis marched in Tel Aviv to tell their government, and the world, that a majority of Israeli citizens do not want military action against Iran. Signs read "No to War with Iran," and "Talks, not Bombs.”
The protest followed, though was not endorsed by, an increasingly popular Facebook Love and Peace campaign initiated by an Israeli family, in which Israeli and Iranian citizens are saying to one another, “We love You.” and ‘We don’t want war”.
Recent polls suggest that some 58 per cent of Israeli citizens are against any military strike against Iran. Likewise, though the U.S. led military strategy in Afghanistan threatens to perpetuate with the signing of the dissected U.S. Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement, 60% of U.S. citizens in a recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll believe that the war is not worth its cost in life and expense.
However, unbeknownst to most U.S. citizens, the Strategic Partnership Agreementwill cost U.S./Afghan soldiers and Afghan civilians ( including in Sgt John Bales-type killing sprees ) more lives and at least 4.1 billion of U.S. taxpayer money annually, with or without the detested night raids or drone operations. Interestingly,4 billion U.S. dollars is the same amount that is being stolen and carried out of Afghanistan through Kabul International Airport annually.
Afghan citizens are very tired of war. They want an end to this U.S. coalition/Afghan government/Taliban war. The war is increasing ‘terrorism’, not reducing ‘terrorism’. The war is inspiring ‘safe havens’ in multiple places everywhere, not removing ‘safe havens’. The war is about Money and Power, interests which are against the ordinary people of Afghanistan and the world.
With this in mind, and with hope for a conversation against war strategies, we, the Afghan Peace Volunteers have beeninspired by the Israel/Iran citizens’ Love and Peace Campaignto begin a Facebook 'Afghanistan Love and Peace Campaign.'
We have very few supporters so far, but we believe that the ‘everyday people’ of Afghanistan and the world are ready to say ‘no’ to the economic and geopolitical wars waged against the 99%.
“We Love You.
No to War.
No to military solutions.”
Why wait silently for further decades of the continued human method of war?
Ordinary citizens, including members of peace groups, have another opportunity to lay aside their differences of opinion for love of the people, like the Egyptians did from Facebook to Tahrir Square saying ‘No to military rule!”
Many 'salams' from Afghanistan,
The Afghan Peace Volunteers
From Daily Beast:
It was the thought of Bales sequestered on base, cut off from her friends, and her family in nearby Bellevue, that prompted Lori Volkman, a prosecutor in Washington State and the wife of a Marine reservist, to pen an open letter on her blog. “I can only imagine what you felt as you stared blankly at the officer who arrived without any answers to give,” she wrote. “And when I thought of my own husband and my own children, and how devastating it would be, I sat at my own dinner table with my mother, another military wife, and we cried for you.”
In three days, the post has gotten more than 10,000 hits, Volkman says. Visitors have left more than 150 comments (more than on anything else she has ever posted) and of them, just four are negative. “Kari, be strong and hold on to your beautiful children,” wrote Kimberley. “My family is sending love to yours as it sends those in Afghanistan that lost their loved ones that awful day.” Most, however, address just Bales. “Please remember, you really are not alone,” reads one typical entry. “Many are saying, ‘but for the grace of God, could have been my soldier.’”
Volkman’s is far from the only site where women are voicing such sentiments. Brittany Jaccaud wrote a similar open letter on her blog, His Military Wife. Army wives are posting in the comments sections of news articles, Facebook groups, and in the myriad online support groups that have sprung up for military spouses in recent years. What is expressed on these pages goes beyond simply woman to woman, or wife to wife. It reflects a unique solidarity—the kind that comes only from a shared experience that includes long stretches of single parenting, repeated relocations, and, of course, an almost unspeakable fear of what might happen during the next deployment.
“I sat at my own dinner table with my mother, another military wife, and we cried for you.”
“As military wives, our biggest fear is our husband not coming home,” Jaccaud told The Daily Beast. “We all go through the nightmares of something bad happening. We all go through that worry…. But never in our right minds could we fathom getting this call.”
Still, the news about Bales struck particularly close to home for the 27-year-old mother of three. Until last December, she and her husband—who, like Bales, is a staff sergeant—also were stationed at Lewis-McChord. “I don’t pretend to know what happened, but being a military member married to a staff sergeant, I’ve been there,” she says. “Same rank, same duty station. It’s frightening. It hit home that it could be anybody.”
That refrain—it could be anybody, it could have happened to any of us—shows up so often on blogs and comment pages that you might forget we’re talking about a man who allegedly targeted women and children in a brutal, murderous rampage. “The one thought that keeps coming back to me is there but for the grace of God….” Ellen M wrote beneath Volkman’s open letter. “This could have been anybody’s spouse.”
“Honestly, situations like this worried me just as the fear that he would be killed, captured or injured,” wrote Megan, whose blog says she is the wife of a wounded warrior, beneath a post about the attack on a military-run site called SpouseBuzz. “I feared that he would break and do something to dishonor himself, our family, and our nation.”
This is hardly the first time such fears, awful as they are, have been typed into comment boxes or blog entries by women such as these. More than two years ago, a woman named Julie Anna, whose husband had been in the military for nearly a decade, and also was stationed at Fort Lewis, wrote, “I have seen the wonderful man I met and married change after war and I have literally watched the demons dance around him through it all. The hell we, as a family, have gone through has been the worst nightmare I have ever endured.” Last October, reflecting on the trial of another sergeant accused of killing civilians in Afghanistan, she wrote that she and her husband were both on antidepressants, “as is the rest of the army population….okay maybe not everyone. Just the ones that have been in for several years now, the ones who will actually admit when things are really screwed up.”
AP Gets Expert to Say Bales Likely Not Able to Be Tried for 17 Murders Because He Committed 17 Murders
What does this say about OBAMA's mental health?
Afghanistan Crimes: Absolving Higher-Ups
by Stephen Lendman
Murder anywhere is bad enough. Nuremberg chief prosecutor Robert Jackson called preemptive aggressive war killing "the supreme international crime against peace."
Convicted Nazi war criminals were hanged. American ones keep killing with impunity.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UPDATED: UNPRECEDENTED PRIVATE EFFORT AIRLIFT OF DONATED WINTER BABY CLOTHES FOR AFGHAN CHILDREN ARRIVES
TELEPHONE: 617-412-9438 (USA)
SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2012
Baby winter clothes and items arrive at sorting facility in Kabul, DHL volunteers.
By Buddy Bell
When I heard the news of the American soldier charged with the slaughter of 16 people in Afghanistan, I instantly flashed back to a ferry trip in the early 1970s from Liverpool to Belfast.
What could the tragedy in Afghanistan have in common with that trip so long ago in a different part of the world? Plenty.
On that ferry was a company of British soldiers headed for duty in Northern Ireland during the three-decade period of violence now called "The Troubles." I have never seen such a depressed group of people, before or since.
Those young soldiers were dreading our arrival in Belfast because they perceived everyone in Northern Ireland to be “hostiles.” It didn’t matter whether the civilians were Nationalists or Loyalists (what the American media portray as “Catholics” vs. “Protestants”). As far as these troops thought, they were all “the enemy.” And indeed, at that time, the soldiers were under guerrilla-style attack from both sides, subject to sniper attacks, and worse. While on the ground in Ireland, they were confined to gated and fortified compounds, except when they were on patrol—and on patrol they were in units of at least 10 or 15 soldiers, dressed in uniform with body armor, and all intensely observing every house, building, vehicle, and person in the area.
Mars, oh Mars
how pink you are!
You hang in the east –
a blushing star,
US Afghan Detainees Sent to Torture Prisons
by Stephen Lendman
Post-9/11, torture became official US policy. Bush officials mandated it. Obama continues it in US overseas prisons and foreign ones, including in Afghanistan.
LEAVENWORTH, Kan., March 19 (UPI) -- The fallout from the killing of 16 Afghans allegedly by a U.S. soldier could lead to U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan sooner, not later, a retired general said.
Meanwhile, the attorney for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of killing the 16 civilians, prepared to meet his client for the first time Monday, CNN reported.
If U.S. troops can't resume their missions and can't return to villages as Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for, "the United States' mission is changed," Maj. Gen. James A. "Spider" Marks told CNN.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TELEPHONE: 617-412-9438 (USA)
MARCH 24, 2012
After a deadlier than usual Afghan winter for young children, in which at least 40 children under age 5 have frozen to death, the British Afghan Women's Society is ready to launch an air cargo of warm baby clothes, baby formula, and other items which is the result of an outpouring of sympathy by Britons and people from around the world. Londoners and others responded overwhelmingly to calls for donations of such items last month, after it was reported in the media that many babies had frozen to death in the exceedingly harsh winter.
The airlift is scheduled to take-off from Liege Airport in Belgium on Saturday, 24 March.
British Afghan Women's Society website: http://www.britishafghanwomen.org
I want no compensation, from no one. I don't want Hajj [pilgrimage to Mecca], I don't want money, I don't want a villa in Aino Mina [a posh neighbourhood in Kandahar city], I just want the punishment of the Americans. I want it, I want it, I want it. And I have laid down my own head in god's will. And if that is not possible, god be with you, I am leaving right now.
Rape and Murder in Afghanistan
by Stephen Lendman
On March 11, up to 20 US forces murdered 16 Afghan men, women, and nine children, aged two to 12. Children were massacred while they slept. Two women were also raped before soldiers killed them.
You bomb our weddings and you were sorry.
You pissed on our dead bodies and again you were sorry.
You burn people's holy book and hurt their feelings and then you were sorry again.
You shoot our innocent children in the midnight and you are sorry again.
Let me suggest you something America_ enjoy killing as and terrorizing us. Feel free to do what ever you want to and then you can pick the phone and say just a word (sorry). It is going to be alright.
How much will this prolong? What is the definition of TERRORISM? Or you not terrorizing people?
What is the difference between YOU and TALIBAN? To every single afghan you are much bigger terrorist than Taliban!
I am more than sure it was just not one attack. I know and you know and every body knows we will have more brutal attacks than it and we will have hell times.
Thank you from the depth of my heart Mr Obama!
By David Swanson, Remarks at Left Forum
Last night in New York City, by my unscientific estimate, two-thirds of the people on the streets had alcohol in them. A young man celebrating his wedding engagement was stabbed to death. A party a third floor apartment to collapse into the second floor. And the NYPD was busy beating the only sober people in town, the nonviolent activists at Occupy Wall Street. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Louisiana National Guard was busy killing people in Iraq. We've done something worse than get our priorities wrong when we've moved resources to harming people rather than helping people.
Scoundrel Media Afghan Massacre Cover-Up
by Stephen Lendman
In all US war theaters, troops commit unspeakable atrocities. Trained to dehumanize enemies, their mission involves killing, destruction, and much more.
Will the Afghan Parliament, the U.S. public or the UN debate the U.S. Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement?
By the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers
In Afghanistan, the tragic Kandahar killing spree has prompted renewed talk about the proposed U.S. Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement.
At stake in these discussions is the security of Afghanistan, the U.S. and the region.
Citizens in the U.S. and Afghanistan should be urgently exchanging their views or concerns about this partnership.
Many are not even aware of it.
By Francis Boyle
Thank you. I'm very happy to be here this evening once again at the Illinois Disciples Foundation, which has always been a center for organizing for peace, justice and human rights in this area ever since I first came to this community from Boston in July of
By John Grant
When does a determination to look on the bright side turn into a state of denial? That is, when do leaders of a secrecy-obsessed US government admit the decision-making surrounding the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan was misguided from the beginning and the endgame is a mess because of it?
While the leadership of America is mud-wrestling with itself in the election "silly season," the nation is watching the wheels come off its military occupation of Afghanistan. It feels like that special effects TV ad for a new SUV in which, as the SUV speeds forward, thousands of its parts magically come flinging loose until we see nothing but the truck chassis speeding ahead.
A Decade of America Ravaging Afghanistan
by Stephen Lendman
US imperial wars treat civilians like combatants. To facilitate killing, soldiers are taught to dehumanize enemies, especially darker-skinned ones and Muslims.
The repeated statements from President Obama this week about the killing of 16 civilians near Kandahar on Sunday have been widely reported, the incident was "shocking... tragic... outrageous... heart-breaking." All true.
But as Obama's expressions of grief have escalated, his expressed determination not to leave Afghanistan before 2014 have increased, joined yesterday by David Cameron, Prime Minister of the U.K. NATO is ordering unmanned drones from the US to use in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region.
We demand: U.S. forces out of this illegitimate, immoral, unjust war on Afghanistan NOW, and pay reparations.
I want a better deal on the hatred we are buying. The subway service in my town (Boston) is about to increase fares, again, and cut back service in a semi-yearly ritual of crapping on the poorest in Gov. Duval Patrick's state, in a week when the US will toss another $2 billion at military operations in Afghanistan which seems only to keep generating more hatred for Americans.
At $2 billion every week, I say that's too much. I'm sure there are better deals on hatred. And thanks to a fearlessly outspoken line officer, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, we now know what we don't know about Afghanistan.
Is there a morally significant difference between murder, like the Panjwai massacre, and collateral damage? Ask Afghan civilians
The death of innocent civilians is nothing new in Afghanistan, but these 16 victims, nine of whom were children, were allegedly murdered by a rogue soldier, rather than the usual killers – drone attacks, air strikes and stray bullets. This incident has elicited rage among Afghans and westerners alike. But why are westerners not equally outraged when drone attacks kill entire families?
Drone attacks that kill civilians usually fall into our category of "collateral damage", because the dead civilians weren't specifically targeted, and we treat this category as an unfortunate consequence of war, not murder. Afghans see little difference – rightly so, in my opinion, because their loved ones are dead because of the conscious actions of Nato forces.
This distinction between collateral damage and murder seems to come down to the question of intent. Thomas Aquinas was one of the first to hone in on this distinction with his doctrine of double effect, which is still used today to justify collateral damage. It is believed in the west that some innocent death is excusable in war, as long as the deaths are not intended, and even if those deaths are foreseeable. But if civilian deaths are foreseeable in a course of action, and we take that action anyway, did we not intend them? I doubt Afghans would feel much consolation knowing that their family members were not directly targeted; rather, we just expected that our actions would kill a few people and it happened to be their family members – an unfortunate side-effect of war.
Yet, western audiences feel reassured knowing that most of the civilian deaths in Afghanistan were not intended; and they only become outraged when marines and soldiers clearly target civilians and kill women and children, urinate on their bodies, and plunder their body parts as trophies. From Abu Ghraib, to Fallujah, to Haditha, and now to Panjwai, US forces have committed massacres against civilians. These incidents stand out in the western mind, but to Afghans and Iraqis, they are no different from the daily slaughter of civilians by drones, air strikes, depleted uranium and stray bullets.