PARIS (AP) Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the United States, accusing it of making threats in the dispute over an agreement to keep U.S. troops in the country beyond 2014.
In an interview published Tuesday by the French daily Le Monde, Karzai says the U.S. is ‘‘absolutely’’ acting like a colonial power in its attempts to force him to sign the bilateral security agreement by the end of this year. The paper quoted him as saying: ‘‘The threats they are making, ‘We won’t pay salaries, we’ll drive you into a civil war.’ These are threats.’’
"The proposed accord would allow the U.S. to keep up to nine military bases in Afghanistan—and mandate that it fund the Afghan government’s security forces through at least 2024.
"It also allows for the presence of an indefinite number of foreign troops, though Karzai claims the number will be some 15,000 soldiers, the majority of them from the U.S. U.S. troops and contractors working with the Defense Department would be allowed to enter the country without having to obtain passports or visas.
"U.S. troops will be able to engage in combat operations in "mutually agreed" circumstances, including giving support to Afghan forces. Under the agreement, U.S. soldiers are exempt from civil or criminal complaints under Afghan law—jurisdiction will lie solely with the U.S., which has never allowed its own soldiers to face charges in Afghanistan for the killing of Afghan civilians."
Damn. New study puts clinical depression as the second-leading cause of disability around the world.
Also, and honestly, unsurprisingly, two of the most depressed countries in the world today are Afghanistan and Palestine, with more than one in five people suffering from this mental disease.
Clearly, it takes a tremendous toll on the physical as well as psychological health of a nation’s people when they are subjected to continuous military occupation, carpet-bombings, terrorism from the sky by unmanned drones, impoverishment, infrastructural destruction, mass imprisonment and torture, and racial inequality and indignity. And what’s more, these people are then blamed as the ones responsible for this utter barbarism being visited upon them by the US and Israel.
Truly, truly disgusting. The people of Palestine and Afghanistan are suffering from a mass form of mental sickness, owing almost entirely to the very social sickness which rests at the heart of our present US/Western-dominated military-economic world order.
Rights group catalogues many unaccounted casualties in North Waziristan.
… Amnesty International’s report on US drone strikes in Pakistan is duly titled “Will I Be Next?” The report, to be released today (Tuesday), does not claim to be a comprehensive report; but it is a qualitative assessment based on detailed field research into nine of the 45 reported strikes in North Waziristan between January 2012 and August 2013.
The report focuses on the arbitrary deprivation of life, categorically stating – and proving with its case studies, survey and fact-finding – that the “United States has carried out unlawful killing in Pakistan through drone attacks, some of which could even amount to war crimes.”
Two Generals engage in a “security breach” that leads to the actual immediate deaths of US soldiers and they are only forced to retire early.
Meanwhile, alleged Wikileaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning (who exposed US war crimes in Iraq) was accused of a “security breach” that even the government admits did not lead to any deaths of Americans, yet she faces spending the rest of her life in prison.
There are two different sets of “justice systems” in the US — one for the rich, elite, and powerful … and another for the rest of us.
The punishment, considered unprecedented in modern Marine Corps history, came after an insurgent attack in Afghanistan in 2012 killed two Marines and destroyed six fighter jets.
New comprehensive study reveals that up to 6,800 civilians [i.e., not counting “military combatants”] have died in Afghanistan as a result of war-related actions by the United States, its allies and Afghan government forces, from the invasion in October of 2001 through the end of 2012.
That’s the equivalent of over three 9/11-size catastrophes that the US government has wrought upon innocent civilians who just happen to live in a part of the world that the US has decided to bomb mercilessly and continuously for over a decade straight.
This would be like accusing those opposed to the establishment of concentration labor camps of suffering from “Holocaust syndrome.”
Overwhelming public opposition to bombing Syria has been repeatedly attributed to the Iraq war by various media outlets. They’ve even come up with clever terms, like “Iraq fatigue” and “Iraq syndrome”, to describe the supposed illness that afflicts an overwhelming majority of the American public—because, it turns out, not wanting to drop bombs on people is a horrific affliction that must be eradicated.
William Galston of the Brookings Institute took to the Wall Street Journal to scold the illness for getting in the way of saving the Syrian people. ”Little more than a decade after the Vietnam syndrome was laid to rest, an Iraq syndrome has replaced it,” writes Galston. “The question is whether this new sentiment will dominate policy—whether acting for the wrong reasons in Iraq will prevent us from acting for the right reasons in Syria.”
Quick round up of US imperial situation as read in today’s news:
"Lingering doubts over Syria gas attack evidence" http://news.yahoo.com/lingering-doubts-over-syria-gas-attack-evidence-072755287.html
BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. government insists it has the intelligence to prove it, but the American public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence — no satellite imagery, no transcripts of Syrian military communications — connecting the government of President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack last month that killed hundreds of people.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the European Union to postpone a planned ban on EU financial assistance to Israeli organisations in the occupied Palestinian territories, a US official said. The EU imposed restrictions in July, citing its frustration over the continued expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in territory captured by Israeli forces in the 1967 Middle East War.
In other words, the US is pushing for airstrikes on Syria based on controversial evidence, in order to “protect human rights.”
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the kinds of airstrikes the US wants to target against Syria have just killed around a dozen civilians, which constitutes a war crime and a major human rights violation; and in Israel, where the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements into Palestinian territories has been universally condemned as a gross human rights violation and war crime, the US is begging the international community to refrain from pursuing any punishment whatsoever against Israeli crimes.
Quick round up of US imperial situation as read in today’s news:
Obama giving a speech on the legacy of MLK even as he prepares for war with Syria might actually be more galling than when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize just days before he announced a massive expansion of the war on Afghanistan.
On June 10, 2013, 30-year-old Iraq War veteran Daniel Somers killed himself after writing a powerful letter to his family explaining his reasons for doing so.
During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.
… Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the state of the union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic, but rather by his own system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.
It leaves us to where all we have to look forward to is constant pain, misery, poverty, and dishonor. I assure you that, when the numbers do finally drop, it will merely be because those who were pushed the farthest are all already dead.
And for what? Bush’s religious lunacy? Cheney’s ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends? Is this what we destroy lives for
Yet it’s okay for the Turkish government to use chemical weapons against protesters — 5,000 of whom have been injured by tear gas canisters and toxins — because those chemical weapons are sold to Turkey by US-based manufacturers …
Also, why is “chemical weapons” the line? The U.S. killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and tens of thousands of Afghan people, with “regular old” weapons. Their deaths are no less unjust and criminal …
President Barack Obama has authorized sending weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, U.S. officials said Thursday, after the White House disclosed that the United States has conclusive evidence President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against opposition forces trying to overthrow him.
Obama has repeatedly said the use of chemical weapons would cross a ‘‘red line,’’ suggesting it would trigger greater American intervention in the two-year crisis.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the strongest proponents of U.S. military action in Syria, said he was told Thursday that Obama had decided to ‘‘provide arms to the rebels,’’ a decision confirmed by three U.S. officials. The officials cautioned that decisions on the specific type of weaponry were still being finalized, though the CIA was expected to be tasked with teaching the rebels how to use the arms the White House had agreed to supply.
Still, the White House signaled that Obama did plan to step up U.S. involvement in the Syrian crisis in response to the chemical weapons disclosure.
I’ve heard NPR do countless features on political prisoners in China in which the reporters breathlessly recount the harrowing persecution of the victims and unabashedly empathize with them against the government. But I have yet to hear NPR do anything even remotely comparable in their coverage (or rather, complete lack thereof) of the U.S. political prisoner, Bradley Manning, who the UN has identified as a victim of torture at the hands of the U.S. government.
Manning’s alleged crime? Releasing footage to Wikileaks showing war crimes committed by US military forces in Iraq.