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U.S. News and Commentary



Entries in Taliban (15)

Thursday
Jan312013

When U.S. pulls out, what happens to Afghan women like singer Latifa Azizi?

Latifa Azizi risks her life to sing in public in Afghanistan on the program 'Afghan Star.' (Still snip from video/Afghan Star)Many of us familiar with Afghanistan before the Sept. 11 attacks on America are very concerned about the lack of attention to the future of Afghan women once President Barack Obama finalizes the U.S exit. Afghan singer Latifa Azizi, currently competing on Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol, is an example.

Obama rarely touches on the subject; Western media follow suit.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct112012

Tell the U.S. president freedom of speech matters—Malala risked her life for it

Sgt. 1st Class Manuel Delarosa, Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul, Shinkai Detachment, finds a pair of shoes for a young girl as he helps Afghan National Security Forces distribute winter supplies in Safidar Village, Afghanistan, Feb. 1, 2011. [Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson]As Malala Yousufzai rode in a school van in early October,  the van was stopped by men riding on bicycles. One man pointed guns at the children, asking, “Where is Malala?”

The Swat Valley in Northwest Pakistan has a population dominated by Pashtuns or Afghans sympathetic to Taliban. Sharia is the rule of law.

School girls had long become accustomed to oppression of women; that is a hallmark of fundamentalist Muslims and terrorists.

Malala's story isn't just a story about women's rights. Her story is about fundamental human rights.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep282012

Cartoonist riffs on obscure film smokescreen in Mideast


~~Cartoon by Chris Carter, TUSR Asso. Editor 

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Monday
Aug272012

Media easier on Obama than Bush in Afghanistan; total body count at 29 

Map: CIA World Fact BookDuring the administration of President George W. Bush, reportage on the war in Afghanistan was merciless. Anything bad that happened in that country was attributed to Bush.

On Monday media began to report the beheadings and slashing of 17 civilians in Helmand Province.

The headers announcing that 17 were dead should’ve noted a higher body count. The BBC reported more dead—“10 Afghan army soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack in the same province.”

That total comes to 27 dead, and we’re still not finished.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May022012

Children killed in Green Village attack; tension between Secret Service and Karzai security

President Barack Obama visited ICU at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. Obama presented a total of ten Purple Hearts, three of them to soldiers in ICU. [Photo: Pete Souza; US Army website]Late Tuesday evening (U.S. time), messages began to flow about the attacks in Kabul after President Barack Obama’s departure.

As U.S. media published accounts of MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews’ praise for Obama, journalists positioned in Afghanistan were reporting (via social media) the Taliban’s announcement of a new spring offensive dubbed Al-Farooq and the deaths of children in a suicide bombers' attack.

Matthews said of Obama’s visit, "It was right out of Henry V actually, a touch of Barry, in this case, in the night for those soldiers risking their lives over there..."

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Sunday
Mar182012

Few facts, many questions after U.S. soldier’s alleged shootings in Afghanistan

Credit: CIA World Fact BookFrom the moment I heard about the case involving a U.S. soldier allegedly shooting civilians in Afghanistan, things just didn’t feel right.

I knew there was a lot of insider killing going on, but that had been Afghans killing International Security Assistance Force soldiers.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar152012

Killings, Taliban and the war on drugs in Afghanistan

Poppies grow a year after a prescribed burn, rebounding despite the removal of ground cover. (Photo—Daniel K Carpenter [Presidio]; US Army Image Gallery)

"Since Jan1 NATO's burnt 86741lbs pot, 13600lbs hash, 990lbs pot seeds & (shocker) only 15lbs opium in Panjwai alone (ISAF press releases)"
--John Wendle, a freelancer for Time, via Twitter.

The latest crisis in Afghanistan stemmed from the alleged killing of civilians by a U.S soldier. Not much is known yet, but officials and civilians in Kandahar as well as President Hamid Karzai want justice delivered swiftly. On Tuesday, Time magazine said two of Karzai’s brothers were in a delegation of officials who were fired on by Taliban. Fact is the Taliban is heavily into the drug trade and ISAF forces are busy disrupting that trade.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar112012

Caution in order after reports of shootings by coalition soldier in Afghanistan

For more than 3,000 years, Kabul has occupied a strategic location along Central and Southern Asian trade routes. In the late eighteenth century, Kabul was established as Afghanistan's capital. In this false-color satellite image vegetation appears fluorescent green, urban areas range in color from gray to black, and bare ground varies in color from beige to reddish brown. A mountain range, including Kohi Asamayi and Kohi Bini Hisar, snakes through the scene, running roughly northwest-southeast. (Photo and caption from CIA World Fact Book, U.S. Govnmt.)
Media are reporting that a U.S. soldier shot and killed civilians in Afghanistan. Most stories about this incident are currently sourced to officials in the government in Afghanistan. Some areas in the country have been destabilized by Taliban eager to regain control over the country’s government.

Most U.S. media accounts like one BBC story are based on statements from “senior local officials” whose tribal affiliations aren’t questioned by journalists. Agence France Presse quoted an elder from Najeeban village and a man who claimed some of the dead were his family.

Reuters did put the incident in a deeper political perspective:

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar032012

What UCMJ rule did Koran disposers break?

View of surrounding farmlands from within the caves at the ‘Large Buddha’ in Bamyan. The caves were once inhabited by Buddhist monks who left behind a legacy of religious frescoes and paintings, partially destroyed by the fundamentalist Taliban. (Photo and caption The CIA World Factbook)The US Report’s associate editor Chris Carter has been following political developments related to  allegedly desecrated Korans allegedly disposed of by US troops in Afghanistan. Note the ‘allegedly’ is necessary for legal purposes.

Sky News and other media reported that detainees at a US-run prison were passing messages to each other via the Korans.  I don’t know about Islam, but if a Christian did that with a holy Bible, that would be considered disrespectful. As a matter of fact, I was taught you couldn’t even place a book or anything atop a Bible.

President Barack Obama has struggled to deal with this matter, considering troop deaths have increased on his watch, and he began handling it by apologizing. He claimed that calmed things down and then more soldiers were shot by the Afghans we are training.

Click to read more ...