Malalai Joya interview on Afghan war

This video from Australia is called Malalai Joya speaks at a rally in Melbourne, Nov.7, 2010.

From Green Left Weekly in Australia:

Malalai Joya interview: Occupation making Afghan lives worse

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Malalai Joy[a] is an Afghan feminist and anti-war activist who opposes the US-led occupation of her country. An opponent of both the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban and the equally fundamentalist and corrupt warlords in the US-backed regime of President Hamid Karzai, Joya was the youngest member elected to Afghan parliament in 2005. She was suspended after she said the parliament was full of warlords. Joya is touring Australia and will speak at UTS in Sydney on November 16 (see for details).

This year is set to become the year of the highest casualties for occupying forces since the 2001 invasion. US pilotless drone strikes, on targets in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan, are at a higher rate than ever. During a parliamentary debate on Australia’s participation in the occupation, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australia could be occupying Joya’s nation for a further 10 years.

The administration of US President Barack Obama, which has sent an extra 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan, backed away from its stated July 2011 timeline to begin withdrawing its military from Afghanistan, the Sydney Morning Herald said on November 11.

With no end in sight to the war further devastating one of the world’s poorest nations, Green Left Weekly’s Pip Hinman and Tony Iltis spoke to Joya about the occupation and its effects of on her country.

Canada and Afghanistan: Harper’s hypocrisy, Iggy’s complicity and Layton’s lame response: here.

Killing each Taliban soldier costs $50 Million; Killing each NATO soldier costs $50 Thousand: here.

Pentagon conceals Pakistan thefts of military supplies. Are we now equipping the Taliban too? Here.

Guardian: Mining threatens Afghanistan’s Buddhist treasures: here.

13 thoughts on “Malalai Joya interview on Afghan war

  1. Karzai says US should reduce operations’ intensity

    (AP) – 6 hours ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the United States must reduce the visibility and intensity of its military operations, especially night raids that fuel anti-American sentiment and could embolden Taliban insurgents.

    Karzai’s remarks in an interview Saturday with The Washington Post come as the international military coalition has stepped up pressure on insurgents at the same time that the president has set up a peace council in hopes of reconciling with the top echelon of the Taliban.

    “The time has come to reduce military operations,” Karzai said in the interview. “The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan … to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life.”

    Karzai also said he met with one or two “very high” level Taliban leaders about three months ago, but described a peace process in its initial stages — one that amounts to little more than “the exchange of desires for peace.” He said, however, that he believes Taliban leader Mullah Omar has been informed of his discussions.

    He said the Taliban share his feeling that the nine-year-old war has taken too high a toll on the people of Afghanistan.

    “They feel the same as we do here — that too many people are suffering for no reason,” Karzai said. “Their own families are suffering.”

    Karzai said the U.S. should end the rising number of Special Operations forces night raids that aggravate Afghans and could strengthen the Taliban insurgency.

    He said he wants American troops off the roads and out of Afghan homes and that the long-term presence of so many foreign soldiers will only make the war worse.

    “I don’t like it in any manner and the Afghan people don’t like these raids in any manner,” Karzai said. “We don’t like raids in our homes. This is a problem between us and I hope this ends as soon as possible. … Terrorism is not invading Afghan homes and fighting terrorism is not being intrusive in the daily Afghan life.”

    White House officials had no immediate comment early Sunday.

    Karzai has repeatedly criticized civilian casualties caused by U.S. and NATO operations.

    President Barack Obama has set July 2011 as a target to begin drawing down U.S. troops, if conditions allow, but American officials expect troops to be in Afghanistan for some time after that. Karzai has said he wants Afghan security forces to be able to take the lead in protecting and defending the nation by 2014. The mechanics of that transition will be a key topic of a three-day NATO meeting that starts Friday in Lisbon, Portugal.

    Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press.

    See also here. And here.


  2. Three soldiers on steroids given marching orders


    16 Nov, 2010 03:00 AM

    MORE Australian soldiers have been sent home in disgrace from Afghanistan after being caught using drugs.

    The Defence Department admitted last night that three soldiers had tested positive for anabolic steroids and had either been sacked or were in the process of being sacked, bringing the numbers of Diggers caught abusing the drug in Afghanistan this year to seven.

    The Herald revealed this year that four elite special forces soldiers had been caught using steroids in the first two or three months of the year, were sent back to Australia and asked to show why they should not be sacked.

    Steroids are used to increase body mass and strength, particularly in the upper body. They have been linked to side effects such as aggression and mania, known as ”roid rage”, and physical problems such as high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.

    ”Defence conducts routine drug testing, including of personnel on operations. In subsequent routine drug tests, three ADF personnel serving in Afghanistan have tested positive to steroids,” a spokesman said last night.

    ”One member has been discharged from Defence and two members are in the process of being discharged from Defence.”

    In May a commando apparently overdosed in his quarters at the Australian base in the southern province of Oruzgan. After that the chief of the Defence Force, Angus Houston, said pills and a white powder, believed to be an opiate, had been found in the soldier’s quarters.

    The commando was flown to a United States military hospital in Germany and is now back on limited duties with his regiment in Australia.

    The investigation into the incident, now into its sixth month, has been widened to include other agencies. Although defence has refused to identify those agencies, the Australian Federal Police and customs referred the Herald’s inquiries about the investigation back to defence.

    After the commando’s apparent overdose, 300 Australian special forces soldiers were also drug tested and subsequently cleared.

    The Department of Defence spokesman repeated last night that the investigation into the apparent overdose of the commando – referred to as Private D – was continuing and that it would be inappropriate to comment.

    In May Air Chief Marshal Houston said that until then there had been no indication of illicit narcotic use among Australian troops in Afghanistan. But he admitted that some troops had been disciplined for abusing anabolic steroids.

    Australia has 1550 troops in Afghanistan, predominantly performing two roles: mentoring Afghan National Army troops and fighting Taliban forces as part of the Special Operations Task Group, which includes commandos and Special Air Service troopers.


  3. Dear Friend,

    Drone strikes and other extrajudicial killings outside of war zones are skyrocketing under the Obama Administration–and U.S. citizens are on the kill list.

    That may sound too shocking to believe, but it’s true. It’s also completely unacceptable. Sign our petition urging President Obama to stop targeted killings beyond war zones and to demand transparency for how people end up on the kill lists.

    These strikes are a real threat to your safety. Every time a civilian dies, we give al-Qaida a huge recruiting opportunity and validate their propaganda, and some estimates indicate that more than 90 percent of those killed are civilians. Because these strikes are carried out in secret, those who execute them do so with little or no accountability for the harm they cause to civilians and to our security.

    Our new video shows the terrible impact of drone strikes and other extrajudicial killings, often taking place in support of the brutal, flailing war policy in Afghanistan. It shows that these strikes stoke popular anger against the U.S., and that extrajudicial killings without accountability are a basic threat to our democracy.

    We’ve got to stop them.

    Sign our petition and help us raise the alarm about the danger to U.S. citizens, at home and abroad, from unaccountable drone strikes and other extrajudicial killings.


    Derrick Crowe, Robert Greenwald
    and the Brave New Foundation team

    P.S. If you haven’t done so already, please join Rethink Afghanistan on Facebook and Twitter.


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