This is a video of a die-in in Strasbourg, France, by anti NATO activists protesting against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Already when Barack Obama was not yet president of the USA, but still only candidate of the Democratic Party, this blog contained criticism of his policies on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
While acknowledging that Obama in general would be an improvement on George W. Bush, this blog noted that his proposals on these two South Asian countries did not bring the “change” away from Bush’s imperialist militarism which was needed. While almost half of the people in the USA, and majorities in countries allied to the USA, want the troops to come home from Afghanistan now.
Basically, that speech was in the same vein as his speech on 27 March in the USA on that subject.
A critical analysis of that speech is here. One point at least is not mentioned in that criticism.
In his speech, Obama blamed Al Qaeda for the murder of Pakistani oppositionist Benazir Bhutto. While most people, not least of them Ms Bhutto herself in her suspicions, and her supporters, blame Pakistani military dictator Musharraf, a crony of George W. Bush, for that murder.
Obama calls his approach A New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Real renewal, real change, should proceed from truth. Not from old Bush-era untrue propaganda on the Bhutto murder, then designed to shield George W.´s dictator pal from deserved disgust.
This point in Obama´s speech is symptomatic for other instances in which Obama does not make the necessary change from the Bush era. Obama acknowledged that since Bush started the Afghan war in 2001, the violence had only grown worse, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. But he did not analyze how the policies of the Bush administration had greatly contributed to that. When talking about the Taliban, Obama differentiated between a hard core. And others, who joined the Taliban `because of coercion or simply for a price`.
Here, he did not acknowledge at least two points. First, that is simplistic to label all resistance to the presence of US and other foreign forces in Afghanistan as `Taliban`. As much of that opposition is `localist`, nationalist, or Leftist. While in Pakistan, all political parties in parliament, from left to right, from religious to secular, condemn the killing of Pakistani civilians by United States bombs.
Also, let us presume that someone joins the Taliban, while not being a really extremist kind of Muslim. Would that only be `because of coercion or simply for a price`? Would it not be, more probably, because of anger about the bad situation in Afghanistan, of the mass hunger, of the torture in US and US approved prisons in Afghanistan, and the many civilians killed by armed forces of the USA and its allies? And, if Taliban would happen to be the only armed opposition close to a village where bombing by foreign military planes has killed your family or friends, then joining the Taliban might seem to become a possibility?
US missile strike on Pakistan border kills 13 …
The dead and injured included local and foreign militants, but women and children were also killed in the attack, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.
Hannity manipulates Strasbourg speech to claim ‘Obama attacks America’: here.
The NATO 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg ended with a headline commitment for Europe to provide “up to” 5,000 additional troops for Afghanistan: here.
In a rebuke to the Bush and Obama administrations’ bid to hold so-called enemy combatants indefinitely without charges or trials, a federal judge has ruled that three detainees at a US prison in Afghanistan have the right to challenge their detention in court: here.
In his two-day visit to Turkey, President Obama sought to distance himself from the disastrous foreign policy legacy of George W. Bush while pursuing the same strategic interests of US imperialism that motivated the wars launched by his predecessor: here.