Tag Archives: Afghan

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

Each day we offer headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

UAE, Khaleej Times: “I’m Secretary Of State, Not Bill!!”
Shucks, I guess Bill tonight will not have you know what from Hillary.

UK, The Independent: “Mysteries of Humanity Know No End”
If there really is evolution toward more intelligent humans, please explain the Republican party in Congress.

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Trying To Silence A Man Named Cyxymu”
Heck, I’d be happy if I could pronounce his name.

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: “Somali Islamists Pull Teeth From Sinners”
Ouch!

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Cricket Team On Mission”
To get Americans to understand the damn game.

Canada, Toronto Star: “$15 Million In Jewels Swiped From Saudi Princess”
Now we know what Saudi princesses keep behind the veil.

UK, Guardian: “Afghan Drug Suspects On US Hit List”
Well, there goes the entire Afghan government.

China, Shanghai Daily: ‘Police Focus On Drunk Drivers”
That’s if they can keep up with their swerving and dodging.

Malta, Maltese Times: “Should Medical Council Be Dissolved”
Do you mean in acid?

Afghan Women Activist Killed

Eight years ago as American forces swept through Afghanistan, President Bush hailed the defeat of the Taliban as an opportunity for women in that forlorn nation to secure their rights. However, during the ensuing time, females have witnessed a constant deterioration of their rights to equality. Sitara Achakzai, has been fighting for female rights for years, but in modern Afghanistan to have such views is an invitation to death. She was getting out of her car in Kandahar when four men riding motorcycles opened fire and killed the activist just as she was ready to enter her home. A Taliban spokesperson, Qari Yousef Ahmedi, proudly announced his group was responsible for her death.

As a fellow Afghan noted: “She is about people, she was a leader. We are very proud of what she tried to do, and the whole family misses her so much.” She was also a citizen of Germany and could have lived there in security but chose to stand and deliver for her fellow Afghans. Even as she died, President Karzai was signing new legislation that reduced the rights of women in the country. I assume former President Bush does not regard Afghan female rights as Mission Accomplished.

US Surge Begins In Afghanistan

The American surge led by new forces stationed in Afghanistan has begun to attack Taliban forces. Close to 3,000 new troops are in action in areas around the capital of Kabul in order to restore the ability of the government to conduct its business without interference from militants. Taliban insurgents have fired on the troops placed roadside bombs but so far there have been few casualties. Col. David Haight believes that many Afghans are serving with the Taliban because they receive pay rather than based on ideological factors. On the other hand, Governor Atiqullah Ludin argues “there is a gap between the people and the government” and lack of economic opportunities has led to the growth in militancy.

A common complaint by honest Afghan officials is that all too often American and coalition forces act on the basis of incorrect information which enables an individual to take revenge against an enemy. A major problem is that innocent civilians get killed during military operations. That factor might be more important than needing a job.

Afghan Bombings Double In 2008

William Wood, American Ambassador to Afghanistan offered a review of what happened in that nation over the past year, and from his perspective there was both good and bad news. the number of roadside bombs increased from 1,000 in 2007 to about 2,000 in 2008 while kidnappings went from 150 to 300. He saw progress in curbing the growth of poppy and believes its production declined by about 20%. He admitted the Taliban is moving into many rural areas of the country where the government is unable to establish a presence, and said there would be new programs in 2009 that arm local militia to combat terrorism.

Actually, over a year ago, British authorities in Afghanistan urged arming local villagers, but the American military shot down that idea only to finally come around to supporting such an effort. The Ambassador claims as a positive a decline of poppy production, but there is no mention of how poppy farmers feel about having their fields destroyed. Did such actions make it more or less likely they shifted support to the Taliban? There is no question the Taliban benefits from poppy production because those fields help them get money to purchase weapons. However, over a year ago, the British mentioned purchasing the entire poppy crop in order to maintain good relations with farmers and persuade them to support the Afghanistan government.

Seven years have passed and finally someone in the American government gets the idea there must be a strong armed presence in villages. This simply reflects the retarded ability of Bush officials to figure out how to conduct war against guerrilla forces.

Petraeus Urges Army Afghan Tribes

The military situation in Afghanistan is sinking into complete collapse and there is need for new directions in combating Taliban forces. General Petraeus is leaning toward drawing upon tactics used in Iraq when he reached out to Sunni militants and formed the Awakening Council movement to combat al-Qaeda. He noted Afghanistan has over 150 tribal groups although most belong to the Pashtun ethnic group. “So it is essential that, again, the various tribes, of the local communities, indeed oppose the extremism, oppose the insurgents and enable the effort of the afghan government and the coalition.” He wants the Afghan government and coalition forces to involve tribal entities in order to have an effective fighting force against the Taliban.

The real question which has never been answered is why hasn’t the Bush administration been training an Afghan army from day one of the invasion of that country in 2001? Why did it take seven years to finally get around to arming tribal groups?

US Air Strikes Killed 47 Afghan Civilians

Several days ago this blog reported about an American air strike in Afghanistan that allegedly resulted in the death of civilians at a wedding party. US air force public relations denied the incident had ever happened. Today, a report was published by a special nine member panel of Afghan legislators to examine the incident. They concluded the air strike had killed numerous members of the wedding party. “We found that 47 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in air strikes and another nine wounded. They were all civilians and had no links with the Taliban or al-Qaida.” The United States air force was charged with a similar bombing on the Afghan border which also resulted in the death of civilians.

President Karzai has been pleading with coalition and American forces to avoid killing civilians, but extensive use of air strikes is bound to resort to the death of civilians. A missile went astray and instead of killing the Taliban, it killed civilians. Part of the problem in Afghanistan is inadequate ground forces to do the job without extensive assistance from the air force.