All posts tagged: Afghanistan

Accountability for War Crimes – USA vs ICC

James O’Neill The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. It began its jurisdictional life on 1 July 2002, the date when the Rome Statute (the ICC’s fundamental and governing document) came into force. As of March 2019 there are 124 member States. They include all of South America, most of Europe, about half of Africa, and Oceania, including Australia and New Zealand. There are some notable non-members, including China, Israel, Russia and the United States. The Rome Statute is an important element in the structure of international law given that it has the power to investigate and prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and breaches of the Geneva Conventions applicable to armed conflicts. It does not have the power to prosecute crimes of aggression. A further limitation is that the courts will only prosecute an individual if the State of which he or she is a citizen is unable or unwilling to prosecute. Not being a member State does not exonerate that State from an obligation …

Reasons to be Cautious About US ‘Withdrawal’ from Afghanistan

James O’Neill The weeks before and since Christmas have seen and acceleration of efforts to achieve a peace settlement in Afghanistan. What is interesting is that the countries that have an important stake in there being a peaceful Afghanistan are driving this process: Russia, China, Pakistan and the Central Asian republics adjoining or proximate to Afghanistan. Officials from these countries have met in Moscow and Astana and are due to meet again in Moscow on 5th February 2019. They are meeting with Taliban officials, Afghanistan Government representatives (although not in an official capacity) and in the case of the Moscow talks, a representative from the United States embassy. The United States has had separate talks with Taliban officials in Qatar, and on 25 January announced an agreement in principle on two crucial and linked elements: that foreign forces would be withdrawn within 18 months from the signing of a ceasefire agreement; and a pledge by the Taliban that Afghanistan would not be used as a basis for attacks by Islamic extremists on the United States. …

Getting Out of Afghanistan, Staying Out of Venezuela

David Lindsay As it was always going to do, the war in Afghanistan is culminating in the victory of the people who had never had anywhere else to go. Apparently, the restored “Taliban” are going to be made to promise not to allow Afghanistan to be turned into a base for jihadis. Well, good luck with that, but it would at least be an improvement on Kosovo, Iraq or Libya following our own works of improvement there. Or on Saudi Arabia, whence came the attacks of 11th September 2001. Or on Sudan, the oil-rich country that is in the midst of a popular uprising but which is not all over the news. In the form of Elliott Abrams, the oil-rich country that is in the midst of a popular uprising and which is all over the news is now under the benign gaze of the people who brought peace and order to Kosovo, to Afghanistan, to Iraq, and to Libya. Oh, yes, they did. They did not in any way bring Islamist terrorism, or rampant …

Faint Signs of Hope in Syria and Afghanistan

James O’Neill In March 2003 Iraq was invaded by military forces led by the United States, and including other military forces from a range of US allies, including Australia. The ostensible reason for the invasion was the Iraqi government’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Possession of such weapons is not of itself a legitimate basis for invasion. The Allies therefore had to embellish the claim. Saddam Hussein was going to attack the United Kingdom, with only 45 minutes warning! He was using these weapons against his own people (a claim later repeated to justify the attack on Syria). He posed a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East (irony bypass required here). It was even hinted, none too subtly, that Saddam was one of the persons responsible for the events of 11 September 2001 (“9/11”). There was not a shred of evidence to support any of these allegations. Absence of evidence has never been a deterrent where imperial ambitions are concerned. The invasion of Iraq was about many things, but …

OffG in the New Year

And so the year ends. 2018 is a closed book. The final sentence dotted, a new chapter started. It was a bleak year, politically, for many of us – but not entirely without hope.

After Afghanistan: Preaching What We Practise

David Lindsay “A tribal problem.” Thus did the Chief of the Defence Staff describe the “Taliban” on the Today programme, exactly as some of us have been saying throughout the war in Afghanistan, and as I have no doubt that people like him have been trying to convince grandstanding politicians throughout the period. Remember that “not a shot would be fired” in Afghanistan. John Reid told us so. Whatever happened to John Reid? Did he go off to fight in Afghanistan? Did either of his sons? Donald Trump’s base is sending its offspring to be harvested in Afghanistan and Syria, so he is doing the right thing politically as well as morally, whatever relics of the failed foreign policy and military machine might think. He will not have to bother to appoint any of those to his second Administration. Against that moral and political good sense, there is nothing new or surprising about close ties between the glitterati and the Securitate. What is new, but refreshing, is the openness with which Hollywood has made Jim …

Conspiracies Are Not All Theoretical

Alison Broinowski Before the 2016 election, candidate Donald Trump told voters he would ‘find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center.’ His promise may turn out to be as empty as his predecessor’s undertaking to close down Guantánamo Bay. Or he may be prevented from keeping it by those who know the truth. Trump, an expert in false facts, questioned the version of events provided by the 9/11 Commission Report. More significantly, so did many scientists, engineers, and intelligence analysts. Experts from a wide range of countries at The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 in 2011 produced a DVD two years later, subtitled ‘Uncovering Ten Years of Deception’. The facts are presented in several books, including those by David Ray Griffin, Peter Dale Scott, Paul Thompson and Nafeez Ahmed: but many still can’t believe them. When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked in 1996 if the deaths of half a million Arab children following Gulf War I was justified, she infamously replied, ‘I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we …

WATCH: 9/11 War Games

James Corbett’s latest documentary investigates the War Games and military exercises scheduled for the morning of 11th September 2001. When we remember the events of 9/11, we are often invited to reflect on how the attack came out of the clear, blue sky. Until the terror began to unfold in real time on everyone’s television screen, it was just another beautiful, blue sky day, a perfect day for aviation. But that was merely the public’s impression of the events from ground level. Little did we know at the time, 9/11 was not a normal day of blue sky aviation. On the contrary, it was one of the busiest days in the history of American aviation, a dense forest of live fly exercises, drills, simulations, fake radar injects and utter confusion. And that was before the attacks even began. This is the story of 9/11 that you didn’t watch unfold on your TV that fateful day in 2001. This is the story of the 9/11 War Games. A full transcript and audio only version of this …

IRAN: US Regime Change Project is Immoral and Illegal

Contemptuous of international law, the US makes no secret of its plots to overthrow the leaders of internationally recognized governments that reject the neoliberal New World Order. Iran is at the top of the US enemies list. The US has been at it since the 1979 Iran Revolution, when the Iranian people overthrew the US’s “our boy”, the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Shah had become the US’s “our boy” as CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt referred to him in 1953, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower overthrew the popular democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Overthrowing governments is illegal according to US law and international law. It is also immoral if one believes in democracy, self-determination, and the sovereignty of nations, respect for human life, and the rule of law.

Drugs: Threat to World and Factor of US Policy

Oil, weapons and drugs are among the products with the largest turnover in the world. According to the International Energy Agency, the world demand for oil is between 94 million barrels per day with the United States being the largest oil consumer in the world, 11,500,000 barrels of oil per day. Likewise, according to the International Institute of Studies for Peace in Stockholm, the United States is the leading producer and exporter of weapons worldwide, controlling 31% of the international market.

Special Service’s Agent: Attack On Russia is Being Prepared

While the Pentagon accuses Russia of fomenting false fears of a Daesh/ISIS threat in Central Asia – see Sputnik’s article on this — new reports of an American push to attack Russia militarily via Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and are now emerging.  We’re reposting here Catehon’s May 19 article on this topic by Andrey Afanasyev. Sources in the Russian law enforcement agencies, citing data from closed communication channels with the Defense Ministries of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, say that the operation to prepare a large-scale hybrid offensive against Russia through Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is in the final phase. Reports of this have been received earlier, in particular, this was mentioned at a recent security conference held in Tashkent. Then the head of the Tajik Foreign Ministry Sirodzhiddin Aslov openly announced the activation of terrorists in the region: The activation of terrorist groups, their advancement to the northern regions of Afghanistan, especially in the territories bordering Tajikistan, the increase in the number of ISIS supporters, as well as the participation of a certain number of citizens of …

On U.S. Imperialism, Capitalism and Fascism

If you want to know the untold history of the U.S.A., then a good place to start is with the history of US imperialism in Asia from the mid-19th century until today. Not only will that reveal the history of the criminality of US foreign policy, but it will also reveal the true nature of U.S. capitalism, imperialism, fascism and U.S. wars of aggression: past, present and future.

“Colombia is safe for business, but not for people”: interview with Daniel Kovalik

Murders of trade unionists and social leaders, paramilitary activity, coca production…If we only paid attention to the mainstream media we would not get the idea that these problems are actually growing in Colombia, one year after the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC came into place. To get a better picture and understand how all these elements connect to US policy and corporate interests, we interviewed Daniel Kovalik, a lawyer and human rights activist who has long been involved in the struggle for peace and justice in Colombia.

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 …

On the Nature of the US and American Foreign Policy

In order to properly understand the post-Cold War global hegemony foreign policy by the US Administration, it is necessary to realize the very nature of the US as a state. Basically, the US foreign policy of global hegemony is shaped by two most important internal processes which have existed from the very beginning of US independent statehood (declared in 1776)

The West Spreading New Wave of Feel-Good Movies and False Hopes

by Andre Vltchek, first published at NEO Watch blockbuster movies from the “south” and chances are you will start to believe that the world is not really such a desperate place. Perhaps you might even get convinced that under the present imperialist and turbo-capitalist global arrangement things can always get better. If you live in a gutter somewhere in Sub-Continent or Africa, you could simply try hard, you could “believe in yourself and love yourself”, you could “listen to your instincts”, and everything may eventually fall into the right places. You could get acknowledged, rewarded and even catapulted from your misery into some plush pastures that are covering the tall green hills of success. Think twice! Or…don’t think at all – just bury your head in the sand. There were always books written and films produced just in order to please the Western funding agencies and propaganda machine. I described the process, colorfully, in my recent political/revolutionary novel “Aurora”. Just think about Kite Runner written by an Afghan-American writer Khaled Hosseini, or about all those …

Big Bangs Can Not End The War On Afghanistan – Admitting Defeat Will

from Moon of Alabama 5667 days after the beginning of the war between the mightiest military of the world and local Afghan farmers, Pentagon reporters were excited to report: BREAKING: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan – GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, via @barbarastarrcnn — Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) 13 April 2017 The U.S. generals demand, as they always do, more troops to “break the stalemate”. But there is no stalemate. The Afghan farmers are winning. The Taliban control more areas now than they ever controlled since 2002. Dropping 22,000 lbs of high explosives on some shack will not change that trend. (Though it will drown the news that the U.S. military just bombed and killed 18 of its Kurdish proxy forces in Syria.) So what can the U.S. do in Afghanistan but blaming Russia and Iran on dubious grounds. Those countries – like China and other nearby countries – see the obviously coming U.S. retreat and talk with the Taliban to prepare for it. The U.S. will have to and will leave and acknowledge …

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.

Western Hypocrisy, and Why It Makes the World a Dangerous Place

by Michael Jabara Carley, October 16, 2016, via Strategic Culture The West has always been a great trembling hive of hypocrisy, portraying itself as liberal, progressive, civilised and democratic. You know the descriptors; the list is very long. Take the United States, for example, it is the «shining house upon the hill»: just, altruistic, democratic, with a «mission to extend individual liberties throughout the world». “Our cause has been the cause of all mankind”, Lyndon Johnson declared during the 1964 presidential election campaign. To reinforce his argument Johnson cited President Woodrow Wilson, who had similar things to say about American virtue. Nothing has changed: listen to Barack Obama talk about the altruism of the United States. “We are the «exceptional nation»,” he often says. These western and especially US virtues are mobilised to justify policies, wars, covert activities which are not virtuous at all. Let’s start with Wilson. He is best known for the «Fourteen Points», national self-determination, “democracy”, open agreements, and so on. “Do as I say, not as I do,” Wilson might have …

Analysis of the sophistry of Noam Chomsky on 9/11

By Petra Liverani Gatekeeping is the term used to describe the process of deciding which information will go forward and which will not. It is to be expected that the mass media/corporate/government triumvirate are strict and vigilant gatekeepers but what is puzzling, to me at least, is that certain progressive intellectuals, who are generally very critical of that triumvirate and who are regarded as important voices in keeping its members to account, also practise gatekeeping but only on a few, though vitally important, issues. A case in point is the truth about 9/11. The crimes of 9/11 involved a massive conspiracy, planned many years in advance, which have had severe and worsening repercussions; many of us despair and feel quite helpless about what can be done about the spreading of war and terror throughout the globe. However, there is one relatively straightforward action that can be taken, if only the gatekeepers will allow it: “When the big lie regarding the 9/11 attacks is exposed and understood, the legitimacy of America’s military agenda falls like a …