Bringing ‘democracy’ to Afghanistan with Turkmenistan dictatorship

This video is called Amnesty and Turkmenistan.

Special representative: NATO attaches great importance to Turkmenistan: here.

As the USA and other NATO countries bomb Afghanistan into oppression of women, corruption, mass hunger, bank fraud, electoral fraud … err … “democracy” … so sorry I did not speak NATOspeak … they do so in alliances with regional dictatorial governments.

Like with Musharraf when he was dictator of Pakistan. Like with Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan.

Now, another alliance for waging war in Afghanistan seems to get more prominent: alliance with the dictatorship Turkmenistan.

By Deirdre Tynan:

Central Asia: Turkmenistan Could Become Key Cog in NDN Supply Route for Afghanistan

April 12, 2011 – 12:56pm

The United States wants to significantly expand traffic on the Northern Distribution Network, the rail, road and air network that ferries supplies across Central Asia to US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. As Pentagon planners and commercial carriers contemplate their transit options, attention is focusing on Turkmenistan.

The Pentagon reportedly intends to ship 75 percent of all non-military cargo destined for Afghanistan via the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) by the end of 2011. Just a year ago, NDN was handling 35 percent of Afghan-bound supplies, and its share is presently about 50 percent. US military officers met with commercial shippers in late-January to discuss ways to rapidly increase the volume on the NDN. Pakistan for years served as the primary US conduit for supplies headed to Afghanistan, but that route of late has become increasingly vulnerable to Islamic militant attacks.

According to Michele Flournoy, the under secretary of defense for policy, Washington aims to reduce reliance on the Pakistani Ground Line of Communication. It appears the US initiative has the backing of regional partners, including Russia. “We are working, along with the Department of State, to secure the additional approvals that we need from countries participating in the Northern Distribution Network that will allow us to further reduce the load we place on Pakistan’s infrastructure and provide additional routes for our personnel and cargo transiting into Afghanistan,” Flournoy told the US Senate Committee on Armed Services in mid-March.

“We have already secured necessary approvals from Russia and we are negotiating with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to conclude further agreements and arrangements regarding NDN routes that they control,” Flournoy added.

A US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) representative declined to get into the specifics of NDN expansion plans. “We continually work with our commercial carriers to ensure the overall distribution network is flexible, responsive and viable,” said Cynthia Bauer, TRANSCOM spokesperson, on March 30.

Turkmenistan’s role in the NDN has been until now low key. It has not signed a transit agreement with either the United States or NATO, but the Turkmen government allows Ashgabat’s airport to be used a refueling stop for US military planes. Commercial companies also transit bulk fuel deliveries destined for bases in Afghanistan through Turkmenistan, and US government contracted fuel suppliers occasionally buy fuel from Turkmenistan and they are able to do so tax free.

If US Central Command and interested commercial parties have their way, Turkmenistan’s road and rail infrastructure will soon be integrated into NDN’s transit network. Maersk Line Ltd, a US government contractor, has readied a “Northern Europe Truck Route via Turkmenistan” stretching from the Baltic port of Riga, Latvia, to Serhetabat-Turgundi on the Turkmen-Afghan border.

“It is common practice for the industry to assess alternative routes to determine what would provide the best solution for its customers in terms of velocity to market and cost. The Northern Europe Truck route via Turkmenistan is a concept that is being evaluated as an alternative option for the Northern Distribution Network,” said Celine Gordon, a spokeswoman for Maersk Line Ltd. However, the company does not expect to use the route “in the foreseeable future,” she added.

Turgundi on the Afghan-Turkmen border could emerge as an import/export node, according to solicitation documents from US Surface Deployment Distribution Command, which seeks “Third Party Logistics Support Services” to monitor “US military-sponsored shipments.” Hairaton on the Afghan-Uzbek border and Sher Khan on the Afghan-Tajik border currently operate as the main points of entry into Afghanistan.

“Additional entry and exit nodes may be added at the discretion of the US Government. There will be an average of 5,000 import conveyances transiting the Afghanistan and Pakistan ground lines of communication (GLOC) per month (to include shipments arriving via the Northern Distribution Network) and 500 export conveyances. This number may increase or decrease due to US military transportation requirements,” the 2010 solicitation stated.

“All military classes of supply will be shipped; exceptions include weapons, weapons systems, ammunition, sensitive items, sensitive medical items, and bulk fuel,” an industry questions and answer supplement added.

Other commercial shippers, speaking to on condition of anonymity, described Turkmenistan’s integration into the NDN as vital to the overall success of the expansion plan. Shipping goods via Turkmenistan would cut transit times and costs. “The US is pushing hard for this, it makes a lot of sense,” one regionally based planner said. Turkmenistan has long been a fickle negotiating partner — not only for Western states, but for Russia as well. Whether or not Ashgabat will consent to a greater NDN role remains uncertain.

Editor’s note:

Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.

Workers will be forced to visit racecourses in Turkmenistan in anticipation of the nation’s forthcoming Horse Racing Day, celebrated every last Sunday in April, Chronicles of Turkmenistan newspaper reported on Monday.

Endless War and Empire: Your Tax Dollars at Work: here.

The War in Afghanistan: A Burden Taxpayers Can’t Afford: here.

10-Year Old Afghan Girl Claims She Was Raped: here.

With violence against them increasing, 75 women committed self-immolation last year, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said on Sunday: here.

Guantanamo Psychologist Led Rendition and Imprisonment of Afghan Boys, Complaint Charges. Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout: “Four Ohio residents filed court papers last week seeking to compel the Ohio State Psychology Board to investigate Dr. Larry James, a retired Army colonel and former chief psychologist for the intelligence command at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, who oversaw the brutal torture of detainees, including children. The motion was filed by Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of the four residents, which includes a psychologist, a veteran, a minister and a long-time mental health advocate”: here.

The Ministry of Defence must release some information on people held or captured by British forces in Afghanistan, according to an administrative appeals tribunal ruling: here.

USA: Oregon labor leaders to Congress: end the war: here.

Robert Naiman, Truthout: “When Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold lost his bid for re-election, advocates working to end the war in Afghanistan lost their champion in the Senate. It was Feingold’s office that introduced the bill, introduced the amendment, circulated the letter, led the lobbying of other offices and led the charge in the media. Now California Sen. Barbara Boxer has reintroduced Feingold’s bill requiring the president to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan – a timetable with an end date. So far, Sens. Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin, Kirsten Gillibrand and Sherrod Brown have signed on as co-sponsors of Senator Boxer’s bill. The reintroduction of this bill is extremely timely and important, for two reasons”: here.

THE US military’s top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, has accused Pakistan’s spy agency of having links with Taleban fighters who are targeting US forces: here.

Kazakh Money in Congress? Jake Wiens, Truthout: “It has all the twists of a Hollywood blockbuster: shadowy international figures, a plot to overthrow an oil-rich Central Asian country, an attempted assassination, allegations of kidnapping and murder and a battle in an American courtroom for control of billions of dollars in seized assets. At the center of this saga is a bitter family feud that pits Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev – a strongman who has ruled the obscure former Soviet republic for more than 20 years – against his former son-in-law, Rakhat Aliyev. And if that was where the story ended, it might have stayed an inconspicuous foreign squabble with no relevance to the American public”: here.

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30 thoughts on “Bringing ‘democracy’ to Afghanistan with Turkmenistan dictatorship


    Remarks by Michael Letwin
    New York City Labor Against the War, and Labor for Palestine

    For UNAC Antiwar Rally, New York City, April 9, 2011

    “The Democratic Party wasn’t a solution then, and it isn’t now. Just as the Vietnam War was ended by mass movements from below, today, inspired by Cairo’s Tahrir Square, we rededicate ourselves to building an equally powerful grassroots antiwar movement here in the United States.”

    Today’s protest is part of a badly needed rebirth of grassroots antiwar activism in the United States. Why are we here?

    We are here because the Obama administration has continued to wage bipartisan wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Colombia — and beyond.

    We are here because those wars have killed millions of people abroad; caused tens of thousands of G.I. casualties; generated racism and repression; and inflicted terrible economic suffering on poor and working people at home.

    We are here because the U.S. government continues to provide $3 billion a year for F-15s, F-16s and Apache helicopters with which apartheid Israel murdered more than 1400 Palestinians in Gaza in 2008-2009, and which it has killed 14 more in just the past two days.

    We are here because our government — while shedding crocodile tears — has equipped bloody dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain to slaughter unarmed pro-democracy protesters.

    We are here because — under the absurd pretext of “humanitarianism” — it has launched a new war that is hijacking, corrupting, poisoning and killing the Libyan revolution.

    We are here because, just as during Vietnam, these wars are also paid for by economic crisis for poor and working people at home.

    In response, we reaffirm Dr. Martin Luther King’s courageous 1967 condemnation of “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government.”

    The Democratic Party wasn’t a solution then, and it isn’t now. Just as the Vietnam War was ended by mass movements from below, today, inspired by Cairo’s Tahrir Square, we rededicate ourselves to building an equally powerful grassroots antiwar movement here in the United States.


  2. Three Protesters Killed During Afghan Demonstration

    Officials say at least three protesters died and several were injured in a clash with police during a protest against the detention of an alleged insurgent in the northern Afghan province of Parwan today.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    By RFE/RL See all articles by this author

    Officials say at least three protesters died and several were injured in a clash with police during a protest against the detention of an alleged insurgent in the northern Afghan province of Parwan today.

    Earlier today, a crowd estimated at several thousand demonstrated in the provincial capital Charikar after the arrest of three men — said to be local religious leaders — by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan forces.

    ISAF said two of those detained on Sunday were released, but one was still being held. The head of the provincial council, Ahmad Zaki Zahid accused “opportunists and enemies” of infiltrating the protest and shooting at the coalition forces.

    He said three foreign soldiers were injured in the clash.

    compiled from agency reports

    Copyright (c) RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.


  3. Bomb blast soldier dies in hospital

    AFGHANISTAN: A British soldier injured by a bomb in Helmand province has died in hospital in England, the Ministry of Defence confirmed today.

    The bomb disposal expert from the 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, died on Tuesday.

    His name was not released but next of kin have been informed.

    The death brings the number of Britons killed in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001 to 364.


  4. Thursday, April 21, 2011 04:45 AM GMT+06:00

    Three Afghan civilians killed in Nato air strike

    Afp, Asadabad

    A child was among three civilians who died in a Nato air strike in eastern Afghanistan which also killed 14 insurgents, local officials said yesterday.

    The attack by the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) happened late Tuesday in the Dangam district of Kunar province, provincial governor Fazlullah Wahidi told AFP.

    “Fourteen militants, among them some Arab and Pakistani nationals, and three civilians have been killed in last night’s air strikes,” Wahidi said.

    District governor Hamish Gulab said the civilians were two women and a child who died when a missile hit a gathering of insurgents in a house.

    An ISAF spokesman confirmed that its troops had carried out air and ground operations on targets in Dangam, but added: “We are still gathering information.”

    The issue of civilian casualties is a cause of serious tension between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers and is highly sensitive in Afghanistan, triggering frequent protests.

    Kunar province, which borders Pakistan, has seen a string of civilian casualties as foreign forces target insurgents, including the deaths of nine children in another air strike for which the US apologised last month.

    There are around 130,000 international troops in Afghanistan fighting a Taliban-led insurgency which has lasted for nearly ten years.


  5. U.S. Draws Strategic Turkmenistan Into Its Orbit

    Trend News Agency
    March 21, 2012

    Turkmen-U.S political consultations start in Washington
    H. Hasanov

    -Last year, after a five-year absence from the country, having the richest natural gas reserves in the world and bordering the Caspian Sea, Afghanistan and Iran, the U.S ambassador took up his duties in Ashgabat…The U.S. shows interest in such projects as the laying of gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to Europe via the Caspian Sea and to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan.

    Ashgabat: A Turkmen governmental delegation will take part in Turkmenistan-U.S political consultations in Washington on March 21-25, the official Turkmen source said.

    These events take place on a regular basis. An agreement was previously reached during Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s visit to New York, where he attended the 62nd Session of UN General Assembly in September 2007.

    Last year, after a five-year absence from the country, having the richest natural gas reserves in the world and bordering the Caspian Sea, Afghanistan and Iran, the U.S ambassador took up his duties in Ashgabat.

    The diplomatic mission was headed by career diplomat Robert Patterson. He has held posts in Central and Eastern Europe, the North Caucasus, Russia, the Soviet Union and Eastern Africa.

    The first business exhibition was held in Ashgabat last year with around 60 U.S. companies attending A high level business forum was also held with a number of companies including Chevron, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Case opening their offices in the country.

    The U.S. shows interest in such projects as the laying of gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to Europe via the Caspian Sea and to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan. Moreover, negotiations on the development of Turkmen hydrocarbon fields are being held. Ashgabat is inviting U.S. companies to develop the Turkmen Caspian shelf.


  6. U.S., Australian Officials Discuss Afghan War At NATO Headquarters In Netherlands

    North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    Allied Command Operations
    March 20, 2012

    U.S. and Australian representatives discuss ISAF redeployment at NATO JFC HQ Brunssum
    Lieutenant General Brooks Bash at NATO JFC HQ Brunssum

    Lieutenant General Brooks L. Bash, Director of Logistics (J4) at U.S. Joint Staff, together with the representatives from Australia, met the Chief of Staff NATO Allied Joint Force Command Headquarters (JFC HQ) Brunssum, Lieutenant General Richard Tieskens and the key staff of Headquarters’ Resources and Operations Directorates to discuss forces’ drawdown from Afghanistan.

    While the redeployment in the upcoming two years remains a national responsibility, JFC HQ Brunssum contributes to overall coordination and planning of forces’ drawdown.

    In February, the 9th International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Strategic Logistic Planning Conference was held in Brunssum, where talks centres on the redeployment with discussions on the redeployment architecture. The conference brought together all key players in the logistic community and thus offered an opportunity for nations contributing more than 90% (United States, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Poland) of ISAF troops to present their redeployment plans.

    Lieutenant General Bash is the Director for Logistics (J4), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. As Director J4, he is responsible for integrating logistics planning and execution. He also advises the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on logistics matters.

    JFC Brunssum, the Netherlands is currently one of the three NATO operational level commands in NATO Allied Command Operations (ACO). JFC Brunssum also serves as the higher headquarters for ISAF in Afghanistan, with ISAF as a primary mission and NATO Article 5 Operational Planning, Baltic Air Policing, Military Cooperation and NATO Response Force (NRF) tasking among other activities.

    By CPO Roland Murof (EST N), NATO JFC HQ Brunssum PAO


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