Tag Archives | Afghanistan
This is not a review of Lone Survivor, a competent war movie—minus one major detail that needs to be stated: the film is shot in New Mexico, on the assumption that none of us have ever visited the state and it will, therefore, be a perfect stand-in for Afghanistan. Having been to New Mexico twice, and recognizing the place within minutes, I had trouble in suspending disbelief. But never mind that: Hollywood’s permanent assumption is that moviegoers are far from discerning so, enough said. The problem stems from the story itself, if it is faithful to the events as they occurred in actuality.
During the War in Afghanistan, a highly trained four-man Navy SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team is dropped from a helicopter via fastrope in a saddle between two mountains. Their mission is to observe an Area of Interest, looking in particular for the commander of a group of fighters, Ahmad Shah.… Read the rest
César Chelala writes at Common Dreams:
Decades of insecurity and war have provoked a heavy toll on children’s lives and well being. An under-5 mortality rate of 199 per 1,000 live births as reported by UNICEF is among the highest in the world. That means that more than one out of every five children is dead by the time they are five. In addition, health and education systems suffer from lack of funds and qualified professionals, a situation worsened by the security situation.
The statistics are frightening. More than 60% of all child deaths and disabilities are due to respiratory and intestinal infections, and of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles. Diarrhea kills tens of thousands of children every year. Many also die from severance of breast-feeding before time. An estimated 7.5 million children and adults are at risk from hunger and malnutrition, the latter affecting children’s growth in particular.
Dear President Karzai,
I am very, very sorry that my government won’t say how sorry we should be for the way Afghan people have died and been maimed and, otherwise poorly treated, by American soldiers, who, in too many cases, are imbued with an officially encouraged macho culture and sense of superiority enabled by having the guns and power to push people around.
That is even as we are supposedly in your country to defend and protect your emerging “democracy” from the bearded Taliban meanies who are violent extremists, or at least play them in this psycho-drama we call our “strategic partnership.” (Recall: we came to fight Al Qaeda, not the Taliban, the enemy no one mentions anymore!)
I am sorry that it’s so hard for American officials to see what others do see: that we, too, are viewed as violent extremists, what with our unrestrained use of drones and other killing machines.… Read the rest
Abby Martin takes a look at a shocking statistic that puts opium production in Afghanistan at a record high, and puts into perspective the different corporate interests that could be keeping US forces in Afghanistan well beyond 2014.
The opium trade is alive and well in Afghanistan, despite the efforts of Western nations to control it – At least according to NPR. I’m not especially convinced that the United States is doing much to control opium, and I don’t think it wants to.
The amount of land under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is at a record high, released Wednesday.
Opium production in 2013, meanwhile, rose 49 percent over 2012, according to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey. The country is the world’s No. 1 poppy producer.
The report’s findings come as Western troops prepare to leave Afghanistan in 2014 more than a decade after they deposed the Taliban and attempted to bring stability to the country.
Kathy just got back from one of her twelve trips to Afghanistan, in order to publically share the stories of families that she lived with. Kathy has traveled to many war zones and documented heartbreaking stories of families that were affected by war. She has also been arrested 60 times in her life and refuses to pay taxes that goes to supporting many of the wars that she has documented.
An excellent article and documentary on Afghanistan now available through Vice: ”This Is What Winning Looks Like”.
It should be mandatory viewing for every citizen of every country that was involved in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. It shows life from our and our allies perspective – the honest, the honorable, the gullible, the liars, the politicians, the occupying forces, the Afghan security forces, the war lords, the addicts, the desperate, the corrupt, the child molesters, the murderers, the government – the fantasy that has been defined as victory.
The documentary is well worth watching and should be sobering for anyone who has not yet come to terms with what has been unleashed. The Following quote from an elected local Afghan official sums up the consequences quite well (emphasis added):
“When they came to Afghanistan they came here for a purpose. They couldn’t fulfill their purpose and now they are trying to release themselves.
After the bombings that killed and maimed so horribly at the Boston Marathon, our country’s politics and mass media are awash in heartfelt compassion — and reflexive “doublethink,” which George Orwell described as willingness “to forget any fact that has become inconvenient.”
In sync with media outlets across the country, the New York Times put a chilling headline on Wednesday’s front page: “Boston Bombs Were Loaded to Maim, Officials Say.” The story reported that nails and ball bearings were stuffed into pressure cookers, “rigged to shoot sharp bits of shrapnel into anyone within reach of their blast.”
Much less crude and weighing in at 1,000 pounds, CBU-87/B warheads were in the category of “combined effects munitions” when put to use 14 years ago by a bomber named Uncle Sam. The U.S. media coverage was brief and fleeting.
One Friday, at noontime, U.S.-led NATO forces dropped cluster bombs on the city of Nis, in the vicinity of a vegetable market.… Read the rest