By Bill Van Auken in the USA:
Top general demands US keep “robust” combat force in Afghanistan
23 March 2012
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Allen claimed that the decade-old US war in Afghanistan remained “on track”, despite acknowledging that recent months have been “trying”.
Allen was referring to a string of incidents that have underscored the growing tensions between the US military forces and the Afghan population after more than ten years of foreign occupation. These included the release of a video in January showing US Marines laughing and urinating on the bodies of slain Afghans; the burning of copies of the Koran at the US Bagram air base, which triggered nationwide rioting; and, most recently, the horrific massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, most of them women and children, by US Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on March 11.
“My opinion is that we will need significant combat power in 2013,” General Allen told the Senate panel.
When Generals Love Their Wars Too Much: here.
US Troops Guarding Afghanistan To Get Guards To Guard Them From Their Afghan Guards: here.
The US has had to pay compensation for the people killed and injured when US troops murdered 17 civilians earlier this month: here.
Afghans have been excluded from the judicial process after the shooting that left 16 dead. No wonder anti-US feeling is growing: here.
No U.S. access to sites of Afghan killings, officials say: here.
First Western Journalist to Speak With Survivors Of The Panjwai Massacre: here.
The Latest Twist In The Panjwai Massacre Tale: Witnesses Gone: here.
Twenty years in the making, Suzanne Bauman and Jim Burroughs’ remarkable film Shadow of Afghanistan is finally available on DVD and VOD, distributed by Cinema Libre: here.
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: “At this moment, tens of thousands of Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world are under arms and in peril, engaged in conflicts that serve only to prolong this terrible, endless age of war. At this moment, millions of innocent people are cowering somewhere because of it. Make no mistake: someone is, at this moment, bathing in riches at the expense of those soldiers, their families and the untold scores of civilians whose only crime was getting in the way of the first, best and biggest payday of this new century”: here.
Buddy Bell, Voices for Creative Nonviolence: “After the end of World War II, a group of nations in the north Atlantic established NATO to impede Russian influence over the reconstruction of Europe and to facilitate their own…. After the Cold War ended, the U.S. rebranded NATO and extended its mandate as a defender of liberty in regions beyond the north Atlantic. Seeing military action as a suitable solution to various global conflicts, it has had the effect of sowing discord and violence instead of alleviating these problems”: here.
USA: Andrew Bacevich on Changing Our Military Mindset (Video). Bill Moyers, Moyers & Co.: “This week, on an all-new Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers and Bacevich explore the futility of ‘endless’ wars, and provide a reality check on the rhetoric of American exceptionalism. ‘Are we so unimaginative, so wedded to the reliance on military means that we cannot conceive of any way to reconcile our differences with groups and nations in the Islamic world, and therefore bring this conflict to an end?’ Bacevich tells Moyers”: here.
British troops in Afghanistan are keeping two men locked up even though the deadline has passed to hand them over to the Afghan authorities: here.
British teenager arrested for Facebook comments criticizing Afghan war: here.
Robert Bales Charged: Military Scrambles To Limit Malaria Drug Just After Afghanistan Massacre: here.
Why the Huffington Post Needs to Immediately Retract Mark Benjamin’s Afghanistan Massacre Report. Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout: “A March 25 article by Mark Benjamin at The Huffington Post seriously misled readers about a link between the controversial antimalarial drug mefloquine and the mass murder in Afghanistan attributed to Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. Relying on a document he wrongly identified, and with zero evidence backing up his claims, Benjamin’s headline stated ‘Military Scrambles to Limit Malaria Drug Just After Afghan Massacre.’ As a matter of journalistic ethics, Benjamin should apologize to his readers and retract the story”: here.
Support In U.S. For Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds: here.
Maddow Writes on America’s Love Affair With War. Rachel Maddow, The Crown Publishing Group: “It’s not just the small-potatoes post-9/11 Homeland spending that feels a little off mission. It’s the big-ticket stuff too. Nobody ever made an argument to the American people that the thing we ought to do in Afghanistan would be to build a brand-new neighborhood in that country’s capital city full of narco-chic McMansions and buildings with giant sculptures of eagles on their roofs … But that is what we built”: here.
Study: Four Hundred Afghan Women Jailed for “Moral Crimes”: here.
Afghanistan Chronicles, Part 6: Near Ground Zero and in Af-Pak Region, Two Labyrinths : here.
Allies pay in blood while others plot to exploit Afghanistan’s rich natural resources: here.