All posts filed under: Afghanistan

Afghanistan War Crimes Probe A Sham and Cover-up For US

by Finian Cunningham, via Information Clearing House When The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it was planning to investigate alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, the timing seemed appropriate. The announcement by the ICC on November 3 came within days of a deadly airstrike by US forces in northern Afghanistan, which UN officials say killed ten civilians. But the history of the intergovernmental court since it was set up some 15 years ago gives pause to hope that it might deliver justice in Afghanistan. For many critics, the ICC is a byword for self-serving Western political control, either whitewashing crimes or smearing designated opponents. A pertinent question is: why has it taken the ICC so long to investigate alleged crimes in Afghanistan’s war? The Pentagon claimed the air raid near the city of Kunduz on November 4 killed only Taliban militants. However, last week the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) provided a very different version of events. UNAMA said extensive interviews with local residents and medics show that at least ten civilians died …

Hezbollah and Syrian Army Finishing Off Terrorists of Al-Nusra

From Lebanon, text and photos: Andre Vltchek It came unexpectedly, rapidly and with great force: on 21 July 2016, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Syrian army from their side, in unison, attacked positions of the malevolent terrorist group, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), in the mountainous province of Jroud Arsal in Bekaa Valley, on the border of two countries. Simultaneously, the Lebanese Army surrounded and hermetically sealed the area around Arsal town, preventing new terrorist forces from entering the battle zone. More than 150 militants were killed. Two dozen Hezbollah fighters lost their lives. Despite the difficult mountainous terrain, the battle was swift, heroic and well coordinated. The group was forced into accepting a ceasefire agreement, which went into effect on 27 July, and which stipulates that all of its fighters will be transferred by the army to a designated area inside Syria (Idlib). Vanessa Beeley, Associate Editor of the 21st Century Wire, wrote this comment for my essay, literally from “the rubble of East Aleppo”: This is a momentous victory for …

Afghanistan – ‘Small’ Western Propaganda Lies, Huge Impact

by Andre Vltchek Ask anyone on the streets of Kabul about the revolutions that have in recent years transformed huge parts of Latin America, and the chances are you’ll encounter a blank stare.  Perhaps mentioning Cuba could evoke at least some recognition, but definitely not Venezuela, Ecuador or Bolivia.  I know because I tried on several occasions, and I failed. Ask in the marvelous historic city of Herat, with its huge minarets and Italian military contingent, about Western imperialism, or about NATO and its murderous campaigns all over the world, and chances are that your question won’t even be understood. “Chances are that those Afghan people who can speak English or other Western languages, are now actually working for the Westerners; either for their military, or for their ‘defense’ contractors… or for the embassies, the United Nations, or perhaps some NGO”, explained an Asian reporter who is based in Afghanistan for more than two decades. “These people are not going to rock the boat, dwelling on crimes committed by the West, here and all over …

VIDEO: Queen unveils monument celebrating half a million Iraqi deaths

from UKColumn News On March 9 The Queen and Prince Philip unveiled a new monument to “honour the duty and service of both UK armed forces and civilians” in Iraq and Afghanistan. So, it’s official. The UK celebrates its illegal wars, the subsequent murder of tens of thousands of innocent people, the destruction of a society and the fostering of terrorism. The artist who created the monument described it as “twin monoliths” in a nod towards 9/11.

Fifteen Years of the “War on Terror”

by Rebecca Barrigos from September marks 15 years since the US state turned the tragedy of the World Trade Centre attacks into a justification for years of brutality and horror inflicted on the population of the Middle East. The “war on terror”, launched by the administration of president George W. Bush in the weeks following 9/11, revealed the naked barbarity of US imperialism. It extended far beyond the borders of Afghanistan, where the US first invaded, to subject the populations of Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan and beyond to sickening violence. This war was never about delivering democracy or protecting human rights; it was always about expanding US power. The US state saw an opportunity to occupy and reshape the Middle East in order to control its oil reserves, thereby obtaining leverage against economic rivals and ensuring the future profitability and dominance of the US economy. The Iraqi city of Fallujah is testament to the human toll of the project. It has been razed three times since the US first occupied in 2003. Once home to …

The West’s Asymmetric Terrorism

by David William Pear The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic. Joseph Stalin The terrorist attacks in Paris were a tragedy, as were the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States. The response to those attacks is even less than Stalin’s statistic, since the victims are brown, Arabs, South Asians and Muslims. The numbers of people killed by U.S. “Shock and Awe” (watch) are seldom reported by the main stream media, except when it serves U.S. propaganda purposes, such as the headline that “Assad has killed 250,000 of his own people with barrel bombs”. The public has become obsessed with the fear of Muslim terrorists and has surrendered their own Constitutional rights for a false promise of safety. It is no leap at all for the public to give up the right to life of “Arab” strangers, who have been dehumanized by propaganda. The brutality of ISIL is well publicized for its barbarity, while the murder of innocent people by the West is just thought …

US admits “mistaken” forced entry into hospital it previously bombed

What is going on with the US in Afghanistan right now? If nothing else its PR department should be fired. First, just one day after condemning Russia for allegedly “inaccurate” bombing in Syria, they bomb Médecins Sans Frontières inside a hospital in Kunduz. Then they lie repeatedly in an attempt to deflect or minimise their responsibility. And as if that sorry saga wasn’t enough, they have now admitted that ten days later their armoured vehicles “deliberately” and illegally “crashed through the closed gate” of the compound housing the hospital. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Afghan armored vehicle with U.S. personnel inside drove through the gate last Thursday to gain access to the compound, believing incorrectly that no Doctors Without Borders personnel were present. And what reason did they give for doing this? Assessing the building’s “structural integrity” no less. The move was “part of a process to determine whether to pay a damage claim.” Yes, that’s right they are saying they drove an armoured vehicle through the front gate in order …

ISIS in Afghanistan: Proxy War Against Iran and China

The nature of the war in Afghanistan has shifted dramatically in recent months. While the US and NATO continue to be actively involved in the country – their strategic objectives having changed very little since the Bush administration launched the war nearly a decade and a half ago – the complexion of the battlefield, and the parties actively engaged in the war, has changed significantly.

Are we the fascists now?

The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.

How many times can one man die? The disputed killing of Osama Bin Laden

Are the recent revelations by Seymour Hersh the final truth about Osama Bin Laden’s death or just another layer of fog and confusion in the already over-contested, under-documented and bewildering question of post-911 OBL and “his” organisation, Al Qaeda?

The Power of Nightmares (2005)

Produced by the BBC in 2005, this short documentary series dares to question the Terrorism narrative. It probably does not go far enough, and elides many issues that demand to be interrogated – for example, the extent to which militant Islam was created and is manipulated to provide a ‘Goldstein’ enemy for the perpetual war agenda. But it’s still very much worth viewing, and it stands as a salutary lesson on how far things have changed in ten years. Can anyone imagine the BBC commissioning or being allowed to broadcast a programme like this now? … Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us from nightmares. They say that they will rescue us from dreadful dangers that we cannot see and do not understand. And the greatest danger of all is international terrorism… A threat that needs to be fought by a war on terror. But much of this threat is a fantasy, which has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It’s a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the …

Judge Orders U.S. Government to Release More Than 2,000 Photos of Abuse and Torture by U.S. Military in Iraq and Afghanistan

From Photography is Not a Crime After a 10-year legal battle, U.S. district judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled last Friday that the U.S. government must release more than 2,000 Torture photos showing abuse and mistreatment of people detained by the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan. The federal government “is required to disclose each and all of the photographs” in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request from the ACLU, as the government failed to prove that “disclosure would endanger Americans.” In a bipartisan effort demonstrating the decades-long support of the military-industrial complex from both parties, the administrations of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have argued to suppress these photographs, even going so far as changing the FOIA law in secret with the help of Congress in 2009. “The photos are crucial to the public record, they’re the best evidence of what took place in the military’s detention centers, and their disclosure would help the public better understand the implications of some of the Bush administration’s policies,” said ACLU deputy legal director Jameel …

VIDEO: The War On Terror – Truth & Lies

‘Breaking The Silence: Truth And Lies In The War On Terror’ (2003) was screened six months after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and two years after the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. The film dissects the truth and lies behind the ‘War on Terror’, investigating the discrepancies between American and British justification for ‘war’ and the facts on the ground in Afghanistan and Washington DC. The film opens with a harrowing series of photographs showing the carnage inflicted on Iraqis by the United States and British military forces in 2003. In the background, President George W Bush declares America “will bring to the Iraq people food, medicine, supplies and freedom… we have shown Freedom’s power and in this great conflict we will see Freedom’s victory” while British Prime Minister Tony Blair claims the war in Iraq is a “fight for freedom” and “a fight for justice”.