Tag Archive: Afghanistan


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‘Murderers’: Thousands gather in Montenegro capital to protest NATO membership (VIDEO)

© Ruptly
 
Shortly after Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Alliance was given the green light, thousands flooded the streets of the capital to protest the upcoming membership and remind people of lives taken during the NATO invasion of 1999.

Former Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and opposition leaders called the rally on Saturday in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica. They gathered at least 5,000 supporters outside the parliament, according to the local Vijesti newspaper. The protesters held national flags while patriotic and pro-Russian chants ringing out from the assembled crowd.

Bulatovic, who was also prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1998 to 2000, told the rally that joining NATO would mean “blood of innocent people on our hands,” and emphasized his country had been against the alliance’s wars until recently.

“What has Afghanistan done wrong, what has Iraq done wrong? Why has Libya been destroyed, what’s happening today in Syria? Can we close our eyes to that?” he said.

 

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An interior view of the MSF Trauma Centre, 14 October 2015, shows a missile hole in the wall and the burnt-out remians of the the building aftera sustained attack on the facility in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan

US Probe of Kunduz Bombing Hindered by Problems Identifying Victims – DoD

© Photo: media.msf.org/Victor J. Blue

Military & Intelligence

02:55 11.11.2015Get short URL
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The investigation by the US military into the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan has taken longer than expected because of problems identifying the civilians casualties, US DoD spokesperson Peter Cook stated on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On October 3, the United States carried out airstrikes on the well-known MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Initial reports indicated that 22 people had been killed, including doctors and patients.

“The CCAT [Combined Civilian Casualty Assessment Team] investigation… there have been several reasons for delay,” Cook said. “The actual identification of the casualties… has proven to be much more problematic than they expected going in.”

US investigators, Cook noted, are working closely with MSF and Afghan authorities to identify the victims.

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‘No armed combatants, no fighting’: MSF issues Afghan hospital bombing report

A wounded Afghan man, who survived a U.S. air strike on a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, receives treatment at the Emergency Hospital in Kabul October 8, 2015. © Mohammad Ismail
 
A Médecins Sans Frontières investigation into the Afghan hospital bombing by US forces has found that there were no armed combatants or weapons within the compound, and no fighting in the direct vicinity of the hospital at the time of the airstrikes.

In its report released on Thursday, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) addressed the “relentless and brutal aerial attack by US forces” which took place in Kunduz on October 3 and killed at least 30 people, including MSF staff.

“The MSF rules in the hospital were implemented and respected, including the ‘no weapon’ policy and MSF was in full control of the hospital at the time of the airstrikes,” the organization stated.

The document also said there were “no armed combatants within the hospital compound and there was no fighting from or in the direct vicinity” of the trauma center at the time of the strikes.

The hospital was “fully functioning” at the time of the airstrikes, with 105 patients admitted and surgeries taking place, according to the findings of the investigation.

In addition, MSF said the “agreement to respect the neutrality of our medical facility based on the applicable sections of International Humanitarian Law was fully in place and agreed with all parties to the conflict prior to the attack.”

READ MORE: US tank enters MSF hospital in Afghanistan’s Kunduz, ‘destroys potential evidence’ – reports

Despite that neutrality, the hospital was still the target of a US airstrike, leading MSF to ask how such an attack was allowed to happen.

“The question remains as to whether our hospital lost its protected status in the eyes of the military forces engaged in this attack – and if so, why,” MSF said in its statement.

 

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MSF Report: Afghan Hospital Attack Had No Military Purpose

FILE - Hospital hit by a U.S. airstrike killed at least 30 people, including three children, according to officials with the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders, Kunduz, Afghanistan.
FILE – Hospital hit by a U.S. airstrike killed at least 30 people, including three children, according to officials with the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders, Kunduz, Afghanistan.

The international humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders says an internal review of last month’s airstrikes by U.S. forces on its hospital in northern Afghanistan shows no reason why the facility should have come under attack.

The organization, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), released a report Thursday documenting events surrounding the airstrikes. The report says there were no armed combatants fighting within or from the hospital grounds.

In response, a U.S. Defense Department spokesman said the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army General John Campbell, has “met personally with MSF representatives.”

Spokesman Jeff Davis said the United States is working closely with MSF to identify the dead and wounded, conclude its own investigation and move ahead with condolence payments.

Last month, Campbell said the U.S. accepted full responsibility for the bombing, which, according to the Pentagon, came after Afghan forces called in U.S. airstrikes against Taliban fighters thought to be firing from inside the medical compound.

The MSF document, part of an ongoing review of events undertaken by the group, is based upon 60 debriefings of MSF national and international employees who worked at the 140-bed trauma center; internal and public information; before and after photographs of the hospital; email correspondence; and telephone records.

 

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Agony: A boy who was injured in the 7.5 magnitude earthquake receives medical treatment at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan

Agony: A boy who was injured in the 7.5 magnitude earthquake receives medical treatment at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan

The Taliban today called a truce to allow aid agencies to push ahead with emergency relief after a massive quake hit Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing more than 350 people.

The toll was expected to rise as search teams reach remote areas that were cut off by yesterday’s 7.5-magnitude quake, which triggered landslides and stampedes as it toppled buildings and severed communication lines.

Relief operations to assess the damage have been hindered by an unstable security situation that has left much of the affected areas unsafe for international aid workers and government troops.

But the Taliban, which have stepped up their Islamist insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul this year, indicated they would not stand in the way of aid efforts.

A man and his son clear rubble from their house after it was damaged by an earthquake in Behsud district of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan

A man and his son clear rubble from their house after it was damaged by an earthquake in Behsud district of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan

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Rescue work expands in quake-hit Pakistan, Afghanistan

Associated Press Tuesday, October 27, 2015

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — Authorities in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan intensified rescue and relief operations Tuesday in rugged, earthquake-affected areas as the death toll rose to at least 270.

Monday’s 7.5-magnitude quake was centered deep beneath the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan’s sparsely populated Badakhshan province, which borders Pakistan, Tajikistan and China, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Pakistani government official Amir Afaq said Tuesday that civil and military authorities had reached the remote, impoverished areas in the country’s northwest to help the quake victims. “We are transporting tents, medicines and other items to quake-hit areas,” he said. The quake damaged nearly 2,000 homes in the area, he said.

Troops and military doctors had reached the quake zone and were engaged in rescue work, Pakistani army spokesman Lt. Gen. Asil Saleem Bajwa said.

The quake shook buildings in the Afghan capital of Kabul early Monday afternoon for up to 45 seconds, creating cracks in walls and shutting down power. Frightened workers who had just returned from lunch break rushed out of swaying buildings in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and the Indian capital of New Delhi.

 

 

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8 earthquakes in map area

  1. M 4.1 – 40km E of Farkhar, Afghanistan

    2015-10-26 23:35:20 UTC 207.3 km

  2. M 4.5 – 42km E of Farkhar, Afghanistan

    2015-10-26 16:47:21 UTC 199.7 km

  3. M 4.1 – 40km E of Farkhar, Afghanistan

    2015-10-26 15:47:27 UTC 207.9 km

  4. M 4.1 – 49km E of Farkhar, Afghanistan

    2015-10-26 15:39:10 UTC 208.1 km

  5. M 4.7 – 45km E of Farkhar, Afghanistan

    2015-10-26 11:16:16 UTC 199.0 km

  6. M 4.4 – 44km E of Farkhar, Afghanistan

    2015-10-26 11:14:42 UTC 216.3 km

  7. M 4.8 – 42km E of Farkhar, Afghanistan

    2015-10-26 09:49:38 UTC 198.2 km

  8. M 7.5 – 45km N of `Alaqahdari-ye Kiran wa Munjan, Afghanistan

    2015-10-26 09:09:32 UTC 212.5 km

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Study Reveals Corporate Media’s Refusal to Acknowledge Civilian Victims of US Wars

 

A U.S. military burn pit at forward operating base Zeebrudge in Helmand province, Afghanistan pictured in March 2013. (Photo: Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz)

A U.S. military burn pit at forward operating base Zeebrudge in Helmand province, Afghanistan pictured in March 2013. (Photo: Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz)

Mainstream media outlets are systematically disregarding the hazardous health impacts of widespread U.S. military burn pits on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, thereby playing a direct role in “legitimating the environmental injustices of war,” a harrowing new scholarly report concludes.

“During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the US Department of Defense burned the majority of its solid waste in open-air pits or trenches, producing large amounts of potentially hazardous emissions,” noted Eric Bonds, assistant professor of sociology at University of Mary Washington, in his investigation, published in the journal Environmental Politics.

“It is well known that the uncontrolled burning of plastics, Styrofoam, electronics, unexploded weapons, and other manufactured and highly processed materials releases harmful toxins and particulate matter into the air,” Bonds continued.

“This echoes the other history of Agent Orange when the U.S. government turned its back on the people of Vietnam and walked away, cleaning up just a handful of contaminated places but never acknowledging harm done to Vietnamese civilians or compensating them for their suffering.”
—Eric Bonds, University of Mary Washington

However, when he surveyed major U.S. newspaper stories from 2007 to 2014, Bonds found that discussions of the negative health impacts of these burn pits overwhelmingly focused on the plight faced by U.S. military service members and veterans—but the actual civilians nearby were almost entirely missing from the picture.

“The search produced 49 distinct stories. While five of these stories made passing reference to civilian impacts, and one story mentioned potential impacts to civilians on par with impacts to soldiers, the vast majority of news stories made no mention that Iraqi and Afghan civilians might also have been harmed by the U.S. military’s burning of waste,” he wrote.

What’s more, Bonds noted, “When journalists describe the pollution itself, how it billowed over military bases and covered living quarters with ash and soot, such accounts never mention that this pollution would not have stopped at the cement barricades and concertina wire at base boundaries, but must have also settled over civilians’ homes and the surrounding landscapes.”

 

From Balad air base in Iraq to Shindad base in Afghanistan, these sites are in fact located in close proximity to “farmsteads, townships, cities, cropland, orchards, and rivers.”

As Common Dreams previously reported, Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, independent environmental toxicologist based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has identified a correlation between burn pits and spikes in birth defects among Iraqi communities nearby.

According to Bonds, by failing to tell the stories of the Iraqi and Afghan people impacted, the media has a hand in the injustices committed against them.

“This echoes the other history of Agent Orange when the U.S. government turned its back on the people of Vietnam and walked away, cleaning up just a handful of contaminated places but never acknowledging harm done to Vietnamese civilians or compensating them for their suffering,” Bonds told Common Dreams.

As in Vietnam, people in Iraq and Afghanistan are demanding acknowledgment of—and reparations for—the harm done by U.S. burn pits and toxic munitions.

Iraqi civil society groups including the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq have organized within their communities and levied international demands for the U.S. to clean up its burn pits, depleted uranium, white phosphorous, and other toxic waste which is creating an ongoing public health crisis in Iraq.

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Consortium News

Exclusive: President Obama’s Syrian strategy is getting roundly denounced as incoherent, which – while true – is really a reflection of his failure to fully break with neocon-style interventionism even when he realizes the futility of the strategy, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The mystery of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has always been whether President Barack Obama has two separate strategies: one “above the table” waving his arms and talking tough like Official Washington’s arm-chair warriors do – and another “below the table” where he behaves as a pragmatic realist, playing footsy with foreign adversaries.

From the start, Obama surrounded himself with many hawkish advisers – such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gen. David Petraeus, National Security Council aide Samantha Power, etc. – and mostly read the scripts that they wrote for him. But then he tended to drag his feet or fold his arms when it came to acting on their warmongering ideas.

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Friday’s decision to tank the hapless $500 million training program for “moderate” Syrian rebels is a case in point. Obama joined in the hyperbolic rhetoric against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, lining up with the neocons and liberal interventionists demanding “Assad must go,” but Obama has remained unenthusiastic about their various wacky schemes for overthrowing Assad.

 

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Antiwar.com

 

by , October 09, 2015

We have just observed the 14th anniversary of “Operation Enduring Freedom,” otherwise known as the war in Afghanistan. It is the longest war in US history, a conflict that never even came close to achieving its stated goal of stabilizing the area and eradicating the Taliban. The US-backed central government in Kabul today has no more control of the country than it did when first established, and the Taliban is on the march, retaking city after city and inching toward the capital with the inevitability of high tide at the beach. And while the pretext for this costly adventure – the capture of Osama bin Laden – has long since been rendered moot, his heirs and legatees not only persist, but they prosper – with our help.

For a long time that help arrived by indirection: the jihadists prospered in reaction to our intervention. As we lurched around Afghanistan, and then Iraq, kicking down doors, slaughtering civilians, and setting up torture chambers from Bagram to Abu Ghraib, we created the conditions for a global insurgency that had once been relatively localized. The classic theory of “blowback” operated with relentless predictability.

But then something else occurred: the so-called “Arab Spring.” You’ll recall that the War Party, in selling the invasion of Iraq to the American public, promised that our intervention would provoke a wave of sympathy throughout the Muslim world, and the Middle East would witness the arising of a movement demanding their version of “democracy” on a regional scale. President George W. Bush made a speech declaring that the US was leading a “global democratic revolution” that would incite a “fire in the mind” of the populace and soon put an end to the Bad Guys.

 

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cnn – george w bush “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”

Obama Brags “Al-Qaeda Is Defeated” on Same Day US Death Toll Reaches 2,000 Deaths

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Commander of war in Afghanistan tells Senate panel that US forces had called in airstrike at Afghan request – ‘an admission of a war crime’ says MSF chief

General John Campbell says the airstrike was the result of a ‘US decision’.

US special operations forces – not their Afghan allies – called in the deadly airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, the US commander has conceded.

Shortly before General John Campbell, the commander of the US and Nato war in Afghanistan, testified to a Senate panel, the president of Doctors Without Borders – also known as Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) – said the US and Afghanistan had made an “admission of a war crime”.

Shifting the US account of the Saturday morning airstrike for the fourth time in as many days, Campbell reiterated that Afghan forces had requested US air cover after being engaged in a “tenacious fight” to retake the northern city of Kunduz from the Taliban. But, modifying the account he gave at a press conference on Monday, Campbell said those Afghan forces had not directly communicated with the US pilots of an AC-130 gunship overhead.

“Even though the Afghans request that support, it still has to go through a rigorous US procedure to enable fires to go on the ground. We had a special operations unit that was in close vicinity that was talking to the aircraft that delivered those fires,” Campbell told the Senate armed services committee on Tuesday morning.

 

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08.10.2015 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

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Less than a week ago US Air Force bombed a hospital in Afghanistan that was run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF). At the time of the bombing there were 105 patients and local employees, along with 80 members of MSF personnel in the hospital located in the town of Kunduz. A number of media sources reported that US military command was well aware of the coordinates of the hospital, however, even when the local staff contacted a NATO representative in Kabul and informed him of the attack, bombs were still hitting the area for more than an hour.

On the same day a NATO spokesman described the incident as “side effect” of the US military operation, that allegedly was not targeting the hospital, hence it was “accidentally hit.” Nevertheless, the official failed to provide journalist with details on what exactly the US aircraft was supposed to destroy. After all, according to MSF personnel, at the time of bombing Taliban militants were nowhere near the hospital

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein on October 3 urged the international community to carry out a full investigation of the air strikes in question. And if it is to established that the hospital was struck intentionally, it would be only logical to label this act as a war crime. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the hospital and its medical staff are protected by international law, and those responsible should answer for this bombing. There’s still hope that war the war criminals behind this attack won’t be able to escape the prosecution easily.

However, one should be reminded this was not the first case of US military committing crimes in Afghanistan and the neighbouring countries. Yet, all investigations of such “acts” have fallen short of punishing those responsible, which only leads to a sharp increase in the level of recklessness shown by Pentagon and US intelligence servicemen.


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