Afghans killed for demonstrating


Some of the people injured at the demonstration

From Associated Press:

Afghan police kill 8 at protest

By KATHY GANNON and MIRWAIS KHAN

05/08/2013 09:27:52 AM CDT

KABUL, Afghanistan—Afghan police were accused of killing eight protesters at a demonstration on Wednesday as the U.S.-led coalition said it had opened an investigation into allegations of misconduct by NATO troops during an encounter with insurgents.

Both incidents occurred in southern Afghanistan where violence has escalated in recent weeks following a Taliban announcement launching the start of its spring offensive.

Villagers in the town of Maiwand said Afghan police opened fire on hundreds of demonstrators who were protesting raids that Afghan and NATO forces conducted in their village of Loye Karez two days earlier.

Accounts differed as to whether the eight killed were unarmed protesters or militants. Ten other people were wounded.

Kandahar Provincial Police Chief Gen. Abdul Raziq said Taliban insurgents had infiltrated the demonstration.

Abdul Qayyum, a 45-year-old demonstrator, disputed that, telling The Associated Press by phone that “there were no Taliban among the protesters.”

“The local people of Maiwand district are so upset and unhappy with the government and the foreigners because they are conducting night raids on the houses of local people,” he said. “With no reason, they are entering local houses and doing whatever they want. We don’t want all these things to keep happening to us.”

In the past, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has bitterly criticized raids on village homes, particularly those carried out during
the night.

In a separate incident, the NATO-led force said Wednesday that it had launched an investigation into allegations of misconduct following an internal report into an April 28 encounter with insurgents in Zabul province.

The statement did not offer more details and Lt. Tamarac Dyer, a spokeswoman for the coalition, told the AP in an email that “this is the only information we are able to release at this time due to the ongoing investigation.”

Afghan officials were not immediately available for comment.

The statement quoted U.S. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the top commander of NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as saying that the alliance takes “all allegations of misconduct by our personnel very seriously.” He pledged to “fully investigate the incident and keep the Afghan government informed.”

Karzai reveals US plan for permanent Afghanistan bases: here.

British troops will start serving longer tours in Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said today: here.

Serbian three-year-old bomb victim commemorated


Milica Rakić

From B92 radio in Serbia:

April 17, 2013 | 17:42

Anniversary of death of 3-year-old victim of NATO bombing

Source: B92

BELGRADE — Today marks 14 years since the death on April 17, 1999, of three-year-old Milica Rakić, killed during a NATO air raid.

The child was fatally injured in the bathroom of her home, when a shrapnel from a cluster bomb hit her in the head.

The apartment building where her family lives is located some six kilometers from the military airport in the Belgrade suburb of Batajnica.

The traces of the damage done by the bomb are still visible on the facade around the bathroom window. The family decided not to repair the wall, as a reminder of the horrific crime.

The toddler’s death became the symbol of the suffering of the Serbian people during the war that NATO waged against the country in the spring of 1999.

This is a music video from Yugoslavia of a song, with English subtitles, about the death of Milica Rakić.

The EU has started accession negotiations with Serbia, using the membership talks as a form of blackmail to curb Russian influence: here.

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Afghan NATO bombing victims’ legal victory


This video is about the German Kunduz massacre in Afghanistan.

This video is also about the Nato airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan in 2009, which killed up to 142 people, mainly civilians. US forces launched the strike on fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban, following advice from German ground troops.

From Associated Press:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 3:19 AM

German court sees merit in Afghan airstrike case

BERLIN — A German court says a case brought by relatives of Afghans killed in a 2009 NATO airstrike ordered by German forces has merit, and it now plans to proceed with a review of evidence.

The Bonn regional court says it wants to see video material recorded by the American fighter jets ordered by a German colonel to bomb two stolen fuel tankers in the Afghan region of Kunduz.

The airstrike killed 91 Afghans and injured 11, most of them civilians, causing a political furor and the resignation of several senior officials in Germany.

The Bonn court said Wednesday that the two plaintiffs might be entitled to compensation if the German colonel is shown to have failed to protect civilians as required by the Geneva Conventions.

Photo Gallery: Afghan Workers Left in Danger by German Military: here.

NATO kills Afghan police and civilians


This video is called Why You Should Care: NATO killing Afghan civilians.

From AFP news agency:

04 April 2013 – 10H48

NATO air strike ‘kills Afghan police, civilians’

A NATO air strike killed four Afghan police and two civilians on Thursday, Afghan officials said.

A spokesman for the US-led NATO force in Kabul told AFP that the military was checking the information.

The attack happened after Taliban insurgents attacked a local police post in eastern Ghazni province before dawn and NATO planes were called in to support the officers under attack.

“The NATO planes went there to assist the police, but the post was bombed and four police were killed. Two civilians present were also killed,” Fazul Ahmad Tolwak, chief of Ghazni’s Deh Yak district, told AFP.

Ghazni provincial administration spokesman Fazul Sabawoon confirmed the incident and gave a similar account.

The issue of civilian casualties in coalition operations is highly sensitive in Afghanistan, where the United States and its NATO allies have been fighting the Taliban for 11 years.

In the past they have provoked harsh criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is due to step down at elections next year, which coincide with the scheduled withdrawal of an estimated 100,000 foreign combat troops.

Last week Afghan officials said four civilians, including a child, were killed in a two-day raid against Taliban insurgents by Afghan and international forces in the province of Logar, south of the capital Kabul.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said it was also investigating those accusations.

After an air strike killed 10 civilians, mostly women and children, in February, Karzai banned Afghan security forces from calling in NATO air strikes.

However it is unclear whether the ban has been enforced and many operations are jointly run by NATO and Afghan forces.

NATO helicoper kills Afghan children


This video from the USA says about itself:

Children Targeted by Bombs, U.S. Military Approves

Published on Dec 5, 2012

“In October, I blogged about an incident in Afghanistan in which three small children were killed in a US airstrike.

In that one small incident, which drew little attention at the time and since, three children aged 12, 10 and 8 were blown to smithereens in a NATO bombing while they were out gathering dung for fuel.

Now, in a despicable article in Military Times, the US military says that children are legitimate targets in the war in Afghanistan because sometimes the Taliban and other insurgents use kids.”

Three children living in Afghanistan, aged 12, 10 and 8 were targeted and killed by a NATO bomb as they dug for dung to use as fuel. It wasn’t an accident. According to the Military Times, “Some children aren’t bystanders.” Cenk Uygur discusses the despicable act of purposely killing children and what it means for foreign relations.

From AFP news agency:

30 March 2013 – 14H07

NATO airstrike ‘kills two Afghan children

A NATO helicopter strike killed two children in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said, in the latest civilian casualties to beset the coalition’s war against Taliban militants.

“It was a joint (Afghan and coalition) operation conducted this morning that killed nine Taliban. Unfortunately, two school children were also killed and seven other civilians were wounded,” he [Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, the deputy governor of Ghazni province] said.

A spokesman for the NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said it was aware of the reported civilian casualties and was seeking further information.

However he added that the ISAF helicopter engagement was not in direct support of Afghan forces, without giving further details.

It was unclear who called in the airstrike, but President Hamid Karzai recently banned Afghan forces from requesting foreign air support.

Civilian casualties mostly caused by air strikes have been one of the most sensitive issues in relations between Karzai and the NATO-led military.

The civilians were riding in two vehicles near the Taliban post when the attack took place, Mohammad Hassan Hadil, the deputy police chief of the province, said.

The deaths, if confirmed, would be another blow to the prestige of US-led NATO forces as they prepare to withdraw combat troops from the war against the Islamist insurgents by the end of next year.

Four civilians, including a child, were killed in a two-day raid against Taliban insurgents by Afghan and international forces in Logar province earlier this week.

Pajhwok Afghan News says seven civilians, including more than one child, were killed then in Logar. Common Dreams writes four children.

Reuters writes about today:

Last month Karzai forbade Afghan forces from calling for NATO air support and forbade NATO from striking “in Afghan homes or villages” after Afghan forces called in a strike that killed 10 civilians. …

A Reuters reporter saw the bodies of two children. One was in school uniform. Local elder Jan Mohammad and other residents said he was killed in the air strike.

The reporter also saw the hand and foot of a toddler at the site of the air strike, but the circumstances of the death were not immediately clear.

On February 28, 2013, two young Afghan boys were killed during a NATO airstrike in southern Afghanistan. What made this incident unusual was that the world learned their names: here. See also here.

Afghan villagers flee their homes, blame US drones as targeted killings of militants rise: here.

Syria, another NATO war?


The United States and NATO have been waging bloody war in Afghanistan now for nearly twelve years.

Hamid Karzai’s Kabul government, on behalf of which this war supposedly is, says that NATO’s war is “unwise”.

Yet, NATO continues it. Like other unwise wars, like in Mali.

NATO seems to think that it needs more unwise wars.

This video says about itself:

(27/10/12) Al Qaeda in Syria (Al Nusra Front) hold a demonstration to celebrate Eid. The crowd are seen to carry Nusra flags and are heard to chant that they are students of Osama [Bin Laden] amid anti-Assad slogans.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

US, NATO prepare Syria intervention

20 March 2013

The top US commander in Europe told a Senate hearing Tuesday that the US military and NATO are drawing up plans for direct military intervention in Syria.

Adm. James Stavridis, head of the Pentagon’s European Command, speaking at a hearing by the Senate Armed Service Committee, said that the US military is “looking at a variety of options” and is “prepared if called upon to be engaged.”

Declaring that there was “no end in sight to a vicious civil war,” Stavridis told the panel that “the option of assisting the opposition forces in Syria in ways that would break the deadlock are being actively explored by NATO members,” the Washington Post reported.

The admiral added that US and NATO discussions have included providing “lethal support” to the anti-government militias and using direct military force to impose “no-fly zones” in Syria and enforce “arms embargoes” against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Asked by committee chairman Senator Carl Levin (Democrat, Michigan) whether the discussions included “going after Syria’s air defenses,” Stavridis answered “Yes,” to which Levin replied, “Good.”

The exchange on Capitol Hill mirrored other developments signaling an escalation of the intervention by the Western powers, utilizing a bitter sectarian civil war to bring about regime change in Syria.

Both Britain and France have called for an emergency meeting of European Union foreign ministers this week on their demand for lifting an EU arms embargo that bars members states from directly shipping weapons to the Western-backed “rebels.”

Both Prime Minister David Cameron in London and President François Hollande in Paris have indicated that they are prepared to act unilaterally if the EU fails to bow to their demand. Germany, while carrying out its own intervention in Syria, has voiced opposition to the lifting of the ban, warning that it will escalate the bloodshed, risk arming Al Qaeda-linked forces, and potentially spread violence throughout the region.

Washington, meanwhile, has signaled its support for British and French moves to directly arm the anti-Assad forces. On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “the United States does not stand in the way of other countries that made a decision to provide arms, whether it’s France or Britain or others.”

In reality, the Obama administration has been intimately involved in the operations to ship arms to the Syrian anti-regime militias, setting up a CIA station near the Syrian-Turkish border to coordinate arms and aid pouring in from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, Washington announced that it was providing its own “non-lethal” aid to these forces, including military rations, medical kits and other gear. At the same time, it has been widely reported that US special operations troops are training anti-Assad militiamen in Jordan. The Syrian government reported this week that a force of some 300 such US-trained fighters had crossed the Jordanian border into Syria.

The bulk of the fighting against Syrian government forces, however, is being carried out by Islamist militias, the most prominent among them Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al Qaeda affiliate that Washington has formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

The Syrian government reported that on Tuesday morning Western-backed insurgents fired a rocket carrying a chemical weapon into the village of Khan al-Asal near the northern city of Aleppo, killing 25 people and wounding 110. The Syrian foreign ministry issued a statement calling the attack a “dangerous escalation,” recalling its earlier warnings that such weapons could be provided to the anti-regime forces with the aim of blaming their use on the Syrian government and providing a pretext for Western intervention.

80-Member NATO Delegation Attends Armed Forces Conference In Qatar: here.

British government and Afghan women, propaganda, not practice


This video about Afghan feminist Malalai Joya in the USA says about itself:

Noam Chomsky & Malalai Joya: The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan, March 25, 2011, Memorial Church, Harvard University: Filmed by Paul Hubbard.

The talk by NATO country governments about supposedly supporting Afghan women’s rights has nothing to do with the, deteriorating, real situation of Afghan women under war ond occupation. It is war propaganda, aimed at stuffing the bloody costly Afghan war down NATO countries’ taxpayers’ throats.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Britain ‘must do more’ to support Afghan women

Thursday 07 March 2013

Britain must do more to support Afghan women‘s rights and combating violence against women and girls in the country, Amnesty urged today.

The charity warned ministers that the work done so far has been merely “a drop in the ocean.”

Though the government says it is a “staunch supporter” of Afghan women’s rights, little of its recent work in the country has specifically focused on women’s rights, Amnesty said.

It said that while the Department for International Development (DfID) has spent £178 million on over 100 reconstruction and development projects in Afghanistan, only two have specifically addressed women’s rights, and both were completed in 2010.

Amnesty has launched a new petition to coincide with International Women’s Day pressing British ministers to ensure women’s rights in Afghanistan are properly prioritised.

In particular the charity is calling for tangible support on issues such as providing women’s shelters and higher recruitment and retention rates of female police officers.

Currently just one 1 per cent of Afghan police officers are women.

Concerns have also been raised that women’s rights could be sacrificed in reconciliation talks with the Taliban.

NGOs have pointed out that the Afghan government’s 70-strong High Peace Council, set up to thrash out a peace deal, includes only nine women.

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said time was running out.

“The Taliban are waiting and watching, and if they see us soft-pedalling on women’s rights they’ll take this as a signal that neither we nor the Afghan government are actually serious about the issue.”

She welcomed International Development Secretary Justine Greening’s announcement earlier this week that tackling violence against women will be made a “country strategic priority” for DfID in Afghanistan after 2015.

But Ms Allen said this this prioritisation must be reflected cross-departmentally.

“The bottom line is that there can be no peace in Afghanistan without women’s rights,” she said.

US defense secretary’s Afghanistan trip a debacle: here.

Afghan women lose political power as fears grow for the future: here.

Women’s rights don’t justify invading Afghanistan, and shouldn’t be launched in the name of imperial democracy again: here.

Afghan women in Kabul, 1972, before victory of the Pentagon's jihadist allies