This video says about itself:
(Mosaic Intelligence Report: October 23, 2009) Afghanistan’s recent election was hailed as an example of “democracy.” But more than one million ballots were discounted due to fraud. Why isn’t Karzai being held responsible for this blatant act of election fraud? And is Afghanistan the “good” war?
Saturday’s parliamentary election in Afghanistan was a predictable debacle, characterized by widespread fraud and violence, and largely boycotted by the Afghan population. Officials of the US-dominated government of President Hamid Karzai said 3.6 million people cast ballots, far below the 6 million ballots claimed for last year’s presidential election, which was rigged to ensure Karzai’s reelection: here.
Afghanistan’s “Phony Elections”: here.
People pointing to Afghan election results as hopeful signs of progress are eroding their own credibility: here.
USA: Return troops face both physical and mental challenges: Women suffer from more conditions than men, study finds: here.
Military spending is causing huge deficits and wasting money needed for education, housing, healthcare, infrastructure, and developing clean, renewable energy. 14.9 million Americans are unemployed. 50.7 million Americans did not have health insurance and 43.6 million or 14.3% lived beneath the poverty level in 2009, according to the Census Bureau and the numbers are even higher now. Expenditures for our bloated war complex are about 55% of all discretionary spending. We have spent more than a trillion dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 and much more in bribes to government officials, and tribal chiefs and payments to corrupt private contractors: here.
KARA-TEPE, AFGHANISTAN – There is no pipeline. There probably won’t be one. Yet the pipeline-that-will-never-exist is one of the main reasons that hundreds of thousands of Afghans and two thousand American soldiers are dead: here.
Pakistan will push hard for quick implementation of a long-delayed trans-regional gas pipeline from Turkmenistan in a bid to ease its mounting energy crisis, the petroleum minister said today: here.
Colin Powell: Unsure whether US is winning war in Afghanistan
by Associated Press
Posted on September 19, 2010 at 11:52 AM
Updated yesterday at 7:35 PM
WASHINGTON — Once the nation’s highest-ranking military officer and later secretary of state, Colin Powell says he doesn’t know whether the U.S. is winning in Afghanistan.
Powell says that although generals claim progress as they move into new territory, it’s hard to tell if the Taliban is really being defeated or merely moving from one place to another.
Powell endorsed President Barack Obama’s strategy to triple the number of U.S. forces. But he calls the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai a weak base for the military campaign.
Powell says the generals are asking for more time but that it’s not clear that Obama will give it to them. Obama has said he will begin withdrawing US forces next summer.
Powell appeared Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
Slovenian troops “illegally in Afghanistan”
20 September 2010 | 13:11 | Source: B92
LJUBLJANA — The union of the Slovenian military has sent a letter to the country’s President Danilo Turk regarding troop deployment in Afghanistan.
The letter informed Turk that the Slovenian government was “illegally sending troops” taking part in NATO operations.
The union informed the commander-in-chief that the Slovenian government was unconstitutionally and illegally sending Slovenian soldiers to Afghanistan.
President of the Slovenian Armed Forces Union Gvido Novak added in the letter that it was necessary for parliament to make a decision first before Slovenian troops could participate in offensive, war actions.
Reports said that without a state of war being declared, the decision cannot be made without parliament, while the government is yet to send its proposal to MPs, only a week before the deployment of the Slovenian troops in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Colonel Vojteh Mihevc, the commander of the 14th contingent of the Slovenian Armed Forces which is supposed to be deployed to Afghanistan, has not denied that the army would be used in offensive operations outside the country’s borders.
Novak warned in his letter that new Slovenian military mission to Afghanistan will not be peacekeeping and defensive any longer, and that it will be a war mission whose goal will be to defeat the enemy.
That is why the union has called upon the president to, in accordance with the Constitution, make a decision to protect Slovenian troops from missions that the government is unconstitutionally and illegally sending them to, and to protect them from committing planned and deliberate criminal acts while performing their tasks without a legal basis, said the letter.
Afghanistan says confident can secure TAPI gas pipeline
Published September 22, 2010
By Emma Graham-Harrison
KABUL, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Afghanistan will secure aplanned international gas pipeline through the Talibanheartland by burying sections underground and paying localcommunities to guard it, the mining minister said on Wednesday.
Wahidullah Shahrani also said he was confident the project– valued at $3.3 billion and which would run fromTurkmenistan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India (TAPI)– could secure international funding.
“This huge project is very important to Afghanistan,”Shahrani told a news conference in the capital, Kabul.
“We will be earning a transit fee of hundreds of millionsof dollars each year, it will create tremendous jobopportunities for the people of Afghanistan during and afterthe construction, and the major population centres along thepipeline will benefit from the gas supplies,” he said.
Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has ordered that the project be completed and operational by 2014, one of Shahrani’s aides told Reuters, so the four countries areworking at top speed to complete preliminaries before seeking investors.
Berdymukhamedov has also provided audited studies of thegas fields which would supply the pipeline, to reassure investors and the governments involved that there will be enough supply.
Analysts, however, say the agreement is still at a preliminary stage and that security challenges in Afghanistan and the tensions between India and Pakistan remain an obstacle.
The project was originally mooted in the early 1990s, but has been stalled by years of conflict and instability in Afghanistan.
Turkmenistan, holder of the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves, is actively looking to diversify energy sales from its traditional market, Russia, and is courting investors from the West, China and other Asian countries.
The four countries the pipeline passes through signed the framework of an agreement on Monday.
They will have three or four meetings before the end of the year to bash out technical details, and the heads of governmentof all countries will meet in December to sign an intergovernment agreement giving political impetus to the deal, Shahrani said.
Energy-hungry Pakistan is pushing hard for a quick implementation of the long-delayed project.
Turkmenistan has previously estimated the cost of the project at $3.3 billion, with initial capacity to transport 33 billion cubic metres a year over nearly 2,000 km (1,250 miles),i ncluding 735 km across Afghanistan and another 800 km through Pakistan.
The pipeline route takes it through areas of extremeinstability. In Afghanistan it would snake from western Herat, near the border with Iran, through the southern Taliban heartlands of Helmand and Kandahar.
The central government has only a tenuous grip on much of this territory, despite the presence of tens of thousands of foreign troops meant to bolster security.
But Shahrani said he was confident Afghanistan could secure the pipeline. Pakistan, Afghanistan and India are all hungry for more energy but are at times uneasy neighbours.
“The government will provide security along the line, which in most places will be 2 metres underground,” Shahrani said.
The four countries, which are currently being advised by the Asian Development Bank, aim to set up a consortium of international investors. They are currently working with a transaction adviser, Shahrani’s aide said.
(Editing by Paul Tait and Miral Fahmy)
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