Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

Dennis Kucinich: Fake Taliban Leader, Fake Elections, Fake Deadline, Real Trouble

November 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Wednesday 24 November 2010

by: Dennis J. Kucinich  |  Op-Ed

Dennis Kucinich. (Photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund)

Editor’s Note: This is taken from a press release from Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a leading voice for peace in congress. -mr/to

Afghanistan War, Nightmare without End for Troops, Innocent Civilians and US Taxpayers

Washington D.C. (November 23, 2010) – Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, a leading proponent of peace, today renewed his call to end the Afghan war after it was revealed that a self-proclaimed senior Taliban negotiator working with President Hamid Karzai and NATO officials was in an imposter.

“The war in Afghanistan is taking place in a netherworld where facts and common sense have no place. Elections are fake. Our deadline to withdraw is a fake. Now, we learn that a fake Taliban leader has been leading us to believe that NATO was facilitating high-level talks between Taliban leadership and the corrupt Afghan central government we’re propping up. It was truly amazing that our government said we were negotiating with high-level Taliban leadership while at the same time we were stepping up air strikes to wipe them out.

“Evidence abounds that the Karzai regime in Kabul is among the most corrupt in the world. President Karzai rules through crony capitalism. He works to protect his cronies rather than the Afghan people. Our tax dollars are going to the Karzai family and its supporters to buy villas in Dubai. We know that our tax dollars fund both sides of the conflict. We know that our ‘allies’ pay the enemy not to attack our troops and that they also may be bribing insurgents to attack our troops. We also know that U.S. tax dollars fund Afghan warlords. NATO officials have become so skilled in self-deception that a senior NATO official recently claimed that Kabul is safer for children than most western cities. Meanwhile those who continue to advocate for the war apply the dark arts of public relations to manufacture support for a war which is neither winnable, nor moral nor sane. It is time for Congress to start asking General Petraeus some direct questions.

“The War in Afghanistan is longer than any other war America has ever fought. It has cost U.S. taxpayers more than a trillion dollars. More than 1300 Americans have died, thousands more wounded. Countless innocent Afghan civilians have died. “The only real thing about this war is the dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, the wasted tax dollars and the mounting evidence telling us to get out.”

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‘US targets civilians in Kandahar’

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

US-led forces in Afghanistan
US-led foreign forces have once again been criticized for military operations that have led to death and destruction in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

A human rights group says civilian casualties have spiked since operations started in Kandahar province in early September.

The Afghan Rights Monitor (ARM) says the US-led campaign in Kandahar has destroyed or damaged hundreds of houses.

It says US-led NATO forces have used aerial bombings, hidden booby traps and mines in private homes.

According to the rights group, most of the attacks have been carried out in areas that hold about one-third of Kandahar province’s population.

Tens of thousands of Afghan and foreign troops have been fighting the Taliban in Kandahar province to flush militants out of the region.

The developments come as the US and its allies step up a bombing campaign in the troubled southern Afghanistan.

US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan are currently continuing with their massive military operation in the volatile region.

Witnesses have recently told Press TV that NATO forces have dropped more bombs on villages they assume Taliban militants are hiding in, inflicting extensive damage to civilian properties.

The Western military alliance says it is experimenting with a new powerful bomb during the operation.

More than one-hundred thousand Afghans have been killed since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

The loss of civilian lives at the hand of foreign forces has led to a dramatic increase in anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan.

There are currently more than 150,000 US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan.

US-led forces have stepped up attacks in Afghanistan under Washington’s new war strategy that aims to reduce its military presence next year.




Battered Sarkozy finds temporary refuge in world affairs

October 21, 2010 1 comment

Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that ...

Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that said « Photo : Jean-Louis Aubert ».

Published: 20 October 2010 | Updated: 21 October 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosted a trilateral summit with Germany and Russia to prepare for his country’s G20 presidency, finding temporary refuge in world affairs as more than a million people took to the streets of France over planned reform of the pension system.


France and Germany often hold meetings ahead of EU summits. EU leaders will meet in Brussels next week, on 28-29 October.

This time, the Deauville summit was held in two formats – a bilateral one between France and Germany and a trilateral, with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev.

The main goal of the trilateral summit was to help prepare the NATO summit on 19-20 November in Lisbon, but also to advance EU-Russia relations, as well to coordinate positions ahead of the French Presidency of the G20, which starts in January 2011.

Sarkozy‘s popularity ratings are dismal 18 months before a presidential election. Officially he has not made public his intention to run, but everyone expects him to seek a second mandate.

The quiet atmosphere of the Deauville summit, which brought together German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmity Medvedev and the French president, contrasted sharply with TV footage from across the country, which showed mass protests, including violence in some suburban areas.

Meanwhile, the country was gripped by strikes and unprecedented fuel shortages following blockades to refineries.

More than three million people (according to trade unions) and 1.2 million (according to police) joined marches across the country against Sarkozy’s plans to raise the retirement age to 62. The retirement age is currently 60.

One novelty of this week’s unrest is that the mass protests are being attended by students and young people from schools, who say they are not indifferent to plans to raise the retirement age.

France2, the publicly-funded TV channel, showed youngsters displaying banners reading ‘Sarkozy, you are screwed up, the youth is in the streets’. According to students’ unions, more than 1,000 schools were blocked.

These were not the only images that brought to mind the notorious student protests of May 1968, which ignited a general strike. That strike was the only time in history that France has had to use its strategic fuel reserves.

This time, the government has denied that it is about to resort to its strategic supplies, but many filling stations were ordered by local authorities to supply only the police and municipal services. Some 4,000 of the 12,000 filling stations across the country are experiencing fuel shortages.

Russian agenda

In spite of the international character of the Deauville summit, the press asked Sarkozy to comment on the internal developments.

He appealed to demonstrators to show restraint and insisted that pension reform should proceed, as it had been delayed for too long in France.

On the international side, Sarkozy secured Medvedev’s agreement to be present on the sidelines of a NATO summit on 19-20 November in Lisbon. On the controversial plans for a US missile shield in Europe, Medvedev said his country needed more information.

“We are now evaluating the idea of this proposal, but I think that NATO itself needs to understand in what form it sees Russia joining this system, what it will bring, in what manner an agreement can be reached, and how to proceed further,” he said. “Only based on the evaluation of this proposal can we give an answer on how we will proceed with regard to the idea of European missile defence,” Medvedev was quoted as saying.

Under pressure from Moscow to lift EU visa requirements for Russian citizens, Sarkozy apparently disappointed his guest, indicating that a solution could come in the long term.

“From my point of view, in 10 to 15 years the vision that we should have is a common economic EU-Russia space, the end of visa requirements and a common security concept,” Sarkozy was quoted as saying.

But Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma’s foreign relation committee, the lower chamber of parliament, said the visa problem would be solved much more quickly.

According to Kosachev, the 10-15 year timeframe is for the establishment of full-scale economic and security cooperation between the two sides, while the visa issue could be resolved sooner.

Appeasement over Roma case

A Commission decision to drop a threat of legal action against France regarding the controversial expulsions of Roma provided some comfort to Sarkozy.

Justice and Fundamental Rights Commissioner Viviane Reding said yesterday (19 October) in Strasbourg that France had met the Commission’s demands to modify its national legislation in order to better apply EU law on the free movement of EU citizens.

The information on the plans to align French legislation with EU law was reportedly supplied by Paris one hour before a midnight deadline on 15 October.

“I am very happy that reason has prevailed,” Sarkozy told reporters in Deauville.

However, a Commission spokesperson explained that that the case with France had two dimensions. The first was the alignment of its legislation with EU law, on which Paris had until 15 October to make its intentions clear.

The second dimension is whether the expulsion policy was targeted at the Roma minority, amounting to discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity.

On this aspect, he said there was no deadline, meaning France is still under Commission scrutiny.

A five-page Commission internal paper called “Transposition by France of Procedural Safeguards Related to EU Free Movement Rules” dated 19 October and seen by EurActiv says that the EU executive expects that the transposition will take effect in accordance with the timetable communicated by the French authorities, that is, in the spring of 2011.

Some clarifications are however still required, the Commission writes.

Also, the EU executive reserves itself the right to seek further information and says it will continue to monitor the situation in France, as well as in other member countries.


Next Steps

  • 28-29 Oct.: EU summit, Bussels.
  • Nov. 19-20: NATO summit, Lisbon.
  • Nov. 2010: G20 meeting in Seoul (South Korea).
  • Jan. 2011: France takes over presidency of G20.


Militants torch NATO trucks in Pakistan

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:59PM
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Pakistani militants have torched tankers carrying supplies to the US-led foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan for the second time in less than 24 hours.

Police say the gunmen targeted two vehicles in Dasht Bado town in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province on Tuesday.

The attack comes a day after three NATO supply trucks were set on fire in the same province.

Two men riding a motorbike set fire to the tankers after “forcing the drivers and their helpers to leave,” Reuters quoted a police official as saying.

Dozens of NATO supply tankers and trucks have been set on fire in Pakistan this month.

Pro-Taliban militants usually claim responsibility for such attacks. They argue that the assaults are in retaliation for non-UN-sanctioned US drone strikes on Pakistan’s tribal region.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militants have stepped up attacks on convoys carrying supplies for US-led forces.


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US-led airstrike kills 18 in Afghanistan

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

US-led forces during an air patrol in Afghanistan
A fresh US-led airstrike has killed at least 18 people and wounded several others in the troubled northeastern regions of Afghanistan.

NATO issued a statement, saying that the Sunday airstrike targeted a senior Taliban commander in Baghlan Province but added that it could not be verified whether the target had been killed in the attack.

Meanwhile, eye-witnesses and local sources said all those killed in the attack were civilians.

Afghan officials have repeatedly demanded a halt to the attacks. Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in different parts of the war-ravaged country over the past months.

A large number of civilians have fallen victim to the air raids since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Civilian casualties caused by NATO attacks are a major source of tension between the US-led foreign forces and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is under increasing pressure at home over the unpopular war.

The loss of civilian lives at the hand of foreign forces has dramatically increased anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan.


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Nato contractors ‘attacking own vehicles’ in Pakistan

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

In the ali musjia gorge, khyber pass

In the ali musjia gorge, khyber pass


Nato supply convoys travelling through Pakistan to Afghanistan have regularly come under attack in the past, but following Pakistan’s decision to block their route through the Khyber Pass, they now face an even bigger security threat.

Hundreds of tankers and trucks have been left stranded on highways and depots across Pakistan, with little or no security.

Taliban militants have regularly been targeting the convoys, even when they are heavily protected.

But many believe it is not just the militants who pose a security threat to the convoys.

The owners of oil tankers being used to supply fuel to Nato in Afghanistan say some of the attacks on their convoys are suspicious.

They say there is evidence to suggest that bombs have been planted in many of vehicles by the “Nato contractors” – individuals or companies who have been contracted by Nato to supply fuel and goods to forces in Afghanistan.

The contractors subsequently hire the transporters who then carry the goods.

Selling fuel

Dost Mohammad, an oil tanker owner from Nowshera district, said a Nato contractor had recently been caught trying to plant a bomb in an oil tanker. Nato supply trucks parked by a road in Torkhum, Pakistan (2 Oct 2010) Contractors say there is little of no security for the supply convoys

“This happened in the area of Paiyee, when he was putting the bomb under the vehicle.”

“At that time, a few men also opened fire on the tankers. The deputy later told the police that he had been told to plant the bomb by the contractor.”

Dost Mohammad said the contractor had apparently sold off the fuel first.

“Only 2,000 litres from the original 50,000 litres had been left in the tanker to cover up the crime,” he said.

Dost Mohammad said it is a win-win situation for the contractors.

“If an old vehicle is burnt, Nato gives them money for a new vehicle. In addition, they receive compensation for all the fuel lost as well.” Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

We are very scared at the moment – we are an open target for the militants”

End Quote Israrullah Shinwari All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association

But the Deputy Minister for Interior, Tasneem Ahmed, dismissed the transporters’ claims.

“We have no such information that the Nato contractors are themselves setting the tankers on fire,” he told the BBC.

“No such complaints have been lodged, to my knowledge.”

The BBC also spoke to a Nato contractor, who was similarly dismissive of the allegations.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said Nato insured all the goods being transported and the vehicles carrying them.

“Nato pays the premium and bears the relevant charges with the local companies who provide the schemes. The transporters are then reimbursed on the basis of their actual losses,” he said.

But he said the policies were only valid within Pakistan. Driver arrests

But Nowshera’s police chief, Nisar Tanoli, had a different account of events. Continue reading the main story Khyber Pass

• Up to 80% of Nato supplies for Afghanistan pass through Pakistan

• Majority are driven 1,200 miles (1,931km) from port of Karachi to Kabul via Khyber Pass

• 1,000 container lorries and tankers travel daily through the pass to Kabul

• Khyber Pass is 53km long (33 miles) and up to a height of 1,070m (3,444ft)

• About 150 lorries go via the southern supply route through Chaman to Kandahar.

Talking to the BBC, he confirmed that at least two attempts to blow up oil tankers had taken place in the district.

“One took place in Paiyee, and the other in the area of Watak near Akora Khattak,” he said.

“In both incidents the tankers were parked in the area for a couple of days. During this time, bombs were made in nearby houses and then used on the tankers.”

He said the contractors were “in a hurry” to get a copy of the initial police reports into the incident and were “not interest in prolonging the investigations”.

“The insurance agents also showed up a few days later,” he said.

Mr Tanoli says the police carried on their investigations and the facts eventually came to light.

“We have now arrested some drivers and their helpers,” he said.

“The people behind them are not residents in the district, but we have issued warrants for their arrest.”

He added that there have been incidents in which fuel for aircraft has been sold off.

“The contractors later said it had leaked, or the tanker caught fire.” ‘Open target’

All, then, is not as straight forward as it seems, as far as the threat to the Nato supply route is concerned. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote

Pakistan’s intelligence and security apparatus may be encouraging the attacks by looking the other way”

End Quote Security analyst

But despite these additional concerns, the main danger continues to come from the Taliban.

“We are very scared at the moment – we are an open target for the militants,” said Israrullah Shinwari, a spokesman for the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association.

“Since the blockade was enforced, we have 3,000 tankers stranded across Pakistan.”

“The blockade itself has cost us tens of millions of rupees in losses. This does not include the damages suffered in the attacks.

“The Taliban have openly declared they will target the tankers, but we have been provided with no security.”

Since 2007, the militants have destroyed or captured dozens of Nato transport vehicles, especially in the Khyber tribal region.

But a security analyst said the latest move was “tantamount to encouraging the militants to have a real go at the convoys”.

“The fact that government ministers are calling the attack an expression of public anger shows that some may just be payback,” he said.

“Pakistan’s intelligence and security apparatus may be encouraging the attacks by looking the other way. In fact, there are suggestions that agencies may themselves be behind some themselves.”

Additional reporting by Riffatullah Orakzai, BBC News, Peshawar


Categories: Middle East Tags: , ,

Videos From The AfPak Front

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Map of Afghanistan showing the security situat...

Map of Afghanistan showing the security situation by district and opium cultivation by province in t...


AfPak is the abbreviated name for the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Things are going no better for the Americans there than for the Russians and the British who also foolishly attempted to occupy that nation.

First up is
this report that Pakistan is cutting off NATO supplies to Afghanistan because America is killing too many innocent people while it refuses to negotiate with the Pashtun tribesmen.

All of this killing and dying is done to justify holding prisoners, torturing them and torturing their children.

The US as I have explained before has been shipping Afghan opium paste out of Baluchistan Pakistan using Global Hawk drones which cost taxpayers $35,000,000 each.

Russia has lost 30,000 young people every year from heroin overdoses. It is possible that this  plant disease killing Afghan opium poppies was designed in a Russian lab.

The use of drones to make targeted assassinations is expressly forbidden by international law. It has been estimated that we are killing 37 innocent civilians for each person we killed for resisting the occupation of their homeland.

The Taliban have never attacked Americans outside of occupied territory. It is lawful under international law to resist an invasion.