Post Tagged with: "Afghanistan"

Foreign Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at Dushanbe with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, July 14, 2021

UK scripts new Afghan plot for US

As often in modern history, Britain provides the plot for Washington to act. Russia, China, Iran are in the US crosshairs and Washington’s future agenda is principally oriented to blocking China’s Belt & Road, promoting regime change in Central Asia, using militant Islam as geopolitical tool, and consolidating a long-term presence in Afghanistan as a template of its Indo-Pacific strategy. [Read More…]

by 29/07/2021 0 comments World
Afghan children walk past a Taliban Red Unit, an elite force, Alingar district, Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan (File photo) 

Afghanistan, Failure and Second Thoughts

It is a country other powers simply cannot leave alone.  Even after abandoning its Kabul post in ignominy, tail tucked between their legs, Australia is now wondering if it should return – in some form.  The Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs has been sending out a few signals, none of them definitive.  “We will not comment on intelligence matters,”[Read More…]

by 27/07/2021 0 comments World
Flag of Afghan Taliban (in white) was raised on the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan at the major border crossing at Chaman, 14 July 2021. The ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the meeting of the SCO-Afghanistan working group at Dushanbe on July 13-14 have thrown light on the templates of China’s approach to the evolving situation in Afghanistan. 

China explains its Afghan motivations

Contrary to the paranoia in the western (and Indian) media,  Wang prioritised China’s security concerns in the prevailing situation in 3 main directions –  namely, prevent the present conflict from morphing into a full-fledged civil war; restart the peace talks quickly; and, eliminate the risk of Afghanistan becoming again a revolving door of international terrorist groups. China’s commitment to the[Read More…]

by 18/07/2021 0 comments World
U.S. transfers an airfield to Iraqi government forces in 2020. Credit: public domain

America’s Afghan War Is Over, So What About Iraq – and Iran?

by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies At Bagram air-base, Afghan scrap merchants are already picking through the graveyard of U.S. military equipment that was until recently the headquarters of America’s 20-year occupation of their country. Afghan officials say the last U.S. forces slipped away from Bagram in the dead of night, without notice or coordination. The Taliban are[Read More…]

by 12/07/2021 0 comments Imperialism
Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R, bottom) at the peace talks with Afghan government, Doha, Qatar (File photo)

Afghanistan, Iran And USA

Introduction On July 7, 2021 Iran hosted talks between the Afghan Government and Taliban (the Taliban delegation was led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai). The same day, the Taliban attacked the Badghis provincial capital Qalat-i-Naw. Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif emphatically stated that the Afghan people should decide their own future, while also stating that there was a major threat[Read More…]

by 11/07/2021 0 comments World
      Baz Ratner/Reuters US troops in Afghanistan, June 2011

America- Led NATO in Afghanistan: Crimes against Humanity Call for Accountability

 “We Are Going to Lose the War in Afghanistan and it will Help Bankrupt us. One of our major strategic blunders in Afghanistan was not to have recognized that both Great Britain and the Soviet Union attempted to pacify Afghanistan using the same military methods as ours and failed disastrously. We seem to have learned nothing from Afghanistan’s modern history[Read More…]

by 08/07/2021 0 comments Imperialism
Bagram after US military left the base, Kabul, July 5, 2021 

A hybrid war to replace Afghan ‘forever war’?

The British newspaper Daily Telegraph did some kite-flying in the weekend that London is considering open-ended deployment of a contingent of elite special forces to Afghanistan “ to provide training to Afghan units and deploy with them on the ground as advisers.” At the same time, the New York Times reported that White House approves Gen. Austin S. Miller, the[Read More…]

by 07/07/2021 0 comments Imperialism
Biden Acknowledges “Over The Horizon” Air Attacks Planned Against Taliban

Biden Acknowledges “Over The Horizon” Air Attacks Planned Against Taliban

“Over-the-horizon” air operations, possibly directed at the Taliban, may rely very heavily on drone assassination and drone targeting for manned aircraft. On July 2, fleeing questions from reporters about U.S. plans in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden sought refuge behind the July 4th Independence Day holiday, yet obliquely acknowledged that the U.S. will use some level of “over the horizon” air attacks[Read More…]

by 05/07/2021 0 comments Imperialism
Leaving Bagram Airbase: The Day the US Imperium Turned Tail

Leaving Bagram Airbase: The Day the US Imperium Turned Tail

From the Bagram Airbase they left, leaving behind a piece of the New York World Trade Centre that collapsed with such graphic horror on September 11, 2001.  As with previous occupiers and occupants, the powers that had made this venue a residence of war operations were cutting their losses and running. Over the years, the base, originally built by the[Read More…]

by 04/07/2021 0 comments Imperialism
Handover ceremony at Camp Anthonic, from US Army to Afghan Special Forces, Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 2, 2021.

Taliban has won the war in Afghanistan, says Lord Dannatt, former British army head

The Taliban has “prevailed” in its battle with the West in Afghanistan, said General Lord Dannatt, the former head of the British Army as it emerged all UK and U.S. troops will be withdrawn on Sunday. Writing in The Telegraph, General Lord Dannatt said: “Ultimately, Taliban force of arms has prevailed, and the people of that country have been denied the[Read More…]

Handover ceremony at Camp Anthonic, from US Army to Afghan Special Forces, Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 2, 2021.

The Long Crusades of Western Imperialism

In late April 2021, US President Joe Biden announced  a withdrawal from Afghanistan. In other words, the US has been trounced in Afghanistan by its very own jihadist Frankenstein, the Taliban. The defeat of USA is covered with the ugly debris of history. The dirty war on Afghanistan was part of a disastrous process of occupying and controlling large swathes of the[Read More…]

by 26/06/2021 0 comments World
Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R, bottom) at the peace talks with Afghan government, Doha, Qatar (File photo)

USA’s Hypocritical Dealings with Taliban

Speculations abound over Taliban’s aim to exploit the vacuum left by the partial withdrawal of US-NATO troop to seize control of the capital Kabul and re-establish an Islamic Emirate, similar to the one the US dislodged from power after its 2001 invasion. The ground reality seems to confirm these concerns about an impending civil war. Violence and territorial contestations are[Read More…]

by 18/06/2021 0 comments World
Afghan children walk past a Taliban Red Unit, an elite force, Alingar district, Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan (File photo) 

Pakistan’s Geopolitical Game in Afghanistan

On June 14, 2021, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke at the inaugural Pakistan-Afghanistan Bilateral Dialogue in Islamabad. His tone was mildly aggressive. Talking about USA’s pullout from Afghanistan, Qureshi said: “If the objective of going to Washington is starting a new blame game and holding Pakistan responsible for all the ills and the lack of progress in the[Read More…]

by 17/06/2021 1 comment World
Handover ceremony at Camp Anthonic, from US Army to Afghan Special Forces, Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 2, 2021.

Leave Kabul: Foreign missions prepare for evacuation

In the wake of U.S. and NATO troops withdrawal, foreign missions in Kabul are preparing for evacuation. Media reports said: The U.S. Defense Department and the State Department are drawing up plans for the possible evacuation of Afghans whose lives are in danger because of their work for the U.S. government, the U.S. military’s top officer said. Army Gen. Mark[Read More…]

by 29/05/2021 0 comments World
Afghan children walk past a Taliban Red Unit, an elite force, Alingar district, Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan (File photo) 

Afghan nationalism faces existential challenge — Part 2

 India is hardly in a position to assert on the Afghan chessboard… The bottom line is that New Delhi is highly unlikely to do anything that may undermine the US strategy in Afghanistan, which, incidentally, also has an “Indo-Pacific” dimension to it… New Delhi selectively intensifies its engagement with those world capitals that share its concerns over China’s rise and[Read More…]

by 29/05/2021 0 comments World
A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle being loaded on to a flatbed trailer, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. (File photo) 

Afghan nationalism faces existential challenge — Part 1

Afghan conundrum is mutating  The commencement of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has got off to a flying start. So far there has been no hiccup. One significant landmark has been the vacation of the big American base at Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. There is some poignancy here. A recent despatch[Read More…]

by 28/05/2021 0 comments World
China blocks US bases in Central Asia

China blocks US bases in Central Asia

Photo taken on May 9, 2021 shows the books of students who were killed in a car bomb attack in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. (Photo by Rahmatullah Alizadah/Xinhua). Over 80 people were killed in successive explosions outside a girls’ high school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, most of the victims were girl students. US withdrawal from Afghanistan must be[Read More…]

by 21/05/2021 0 comments World
Endless, Unfulfilled Yearnings For Peace in Afghanistan

Endless, Unfulfilled Yearnings For Peace in Afghanistan

One of the  world’s most inspiring movements for peace involved the Pashtun community. It was led by Badshah Khan, and earned the highest praise from Mahatma Gandhi who visited the villages and towns of the movement almost as a pilgrimage site. From 1933 to 1973, when Zahir Shah was the king for 40 long years, Afghanistan had a long period[Read More…]

by 17/05/2021 0 comments World
Handover ceremony at Camp Anthonic, from US Army to Afghan Special Forces, Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 2, 2021.

US-Taliban acquiesce to live and let live

But the US withdrawal is no longer conditions-based, which means the Taliban have achieved their number one objective without bending on any of the key issues such as their continuing links with the al-Qaeda or their agenda to reestablish the Islamic Emirate…  Apparently, all that the US extracted out of the Taliban is a tacit understanding that the western troops[Read More…]

by 15/05/2021 0 comments Uncategorized
Kabul School Bombing A Dreadful Reminder of Dangers Ahead

Kabul School Bombing A Dreadful Reminder of Dangers Ahead

When children leave school for the day they are in a joyous mood. They are happy to be going home, and yet they have so much to tell their friends before they go. So friends cling to each other to say all their  precious important things before they separate for the day. Free of the discipline of the classroom and[Read More…]

by 15/05/2021 0 comments World
The True Meaning of the Afghan “Withdrawal”

The True Meaning of the Afghan “Withdrawal”

Many of us have had a recurring nightmare. You know the one. In a fog between sleeping and waking, you’re trying desperately to escape from something awful, some looming threat, but you feel paralyzed. Then, with great relief, you suddenly wake up, covered in sweat. The next night, or the next week, though, that same dream returns. For politicians of[Read More…]

by 06/05/2021 0 comments Imperialism
Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R, bottom) at the peace talks with Afghan government, Doha, Qatar (File photo)

Breakthrough in Afghan peace process!

The “extended Troika” on the Afghan problem comprising the United States, Russia, and China — and Pakistan — have announced in Doha on April 30 Friday a road map in consultation with the Ashraf Ghani government and Taliban as regards the way forward in immediate terms for reaching a peace settlement. The announcement followed consultations in Doha with the involvement[Read More…]

by 04/05/2021 0 comments World
Is America hoping its withdrawal from Afghanistan makes that war-ravaged country China’s problem now?

Is America hoping its withdrawal from Afghanistan makes that war-ravaged country China’s problem now?

A car bomb attack in Pakistan, possibly aimed at a Chinese diplomat, has demonstrated just how important peace and stability in the region is to Beijing and its $65 billion Belt and Road Initiative. On April 21 Wednesday evening a deadly blast struck a Pakistan hotel stemming from a car bomb, claiming four lives. The apparent target of the attack[Read More…]

by 04/05/2021 0 comments World
Afghan National army (ANA) soldiers line up during military training in  Badakhshan province, Afghanistan, on May 8, 2016 (Photo by Mohammad Sharif Shayeq/NurPhoto) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***

Reports from Afghanistan: General’s comment, blast, cost

U.S. general: Afghan forces could face ‘bad possible outcomes’ A May 2, 2021, Washington datelined AP report said: Afghan government forces face an uncertain future and, in a worst-case scenario, some “bad possible outcomes” against Taliban insurgents as the withdrawal of American and coalition troops accelerates in the coming weeks, the top U.S. military officer said Sunday. Gen. Mark Milley[Read More…]

by 03/05/2021 0 comments World
Tradeoff for US vaccine unthinkable

Tradeoff for US vaccine unthinkable

  The big question is whether the US is relenting on the vaccine front with a view to cut a deal with India on Afghanistan. But if past experience is any guide, Washington has shown savviness to exploit India’s travails. However, Afghanistan is a ‘graveyard of empires.’ The calculus of fratricidal wars keeps changing and India is best advised to[Read More…]

by 27/04/2021 0 comments India
A new study from Brown University's Costs of War Project found that the U.S. "War on Terror" has killed half a million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (Photo: Spc. Phillip McTaggart/Flickr/cc)

The Graveyard of Empires Redux

America’s Ruinous Pursuit of Mission Impossible in Afghanistan On May 1st, the date Donald Trump signed onto for the withdrawal of the remaining 3,500 American troops from Afghanistan, the war there, already 19 years old, was still officially a teenager.  Think of September 11, 2021 — the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the date Joe Biden has chosen for the same —[Read More…]

by 26/04/2021 0 comments Imperialism
Activists Brian Terrell and Ghulam Hussein Ahmadi at the Border Free Center in Kabul, Afghanistan. Graffiti by Kabul Knight, photo by Hakim

Biden’s Drone Wars

On Thursday, April 15, the New York Times posted an article headed, “How the U.S. Plans to Fight From Afar After Troops Exit Afghanistan,” just in case anyone misunderstood the previous day’s headline, “Biden, Setting Afghanistan Withdrawal, Says ‘It Is Time to End the Forever War’” as indicating the U.S. war in Afghanistan might actually come to an end on[Read More…]

by 19/04/2021 0 comments Imperialism
President Joe Biden wipes his eye as he walks through Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen veterans of Afghan war, April 14, 2021.2400 American forces were killed, and 20,000 wounded .

Chronicle of the unavailing Afghan war

The occupation of Afghanistan became an end in itself, with war profiteering turning into a roaring business with money, women, drug trafficking, foreign bank accounts, contractors — all thrown into it…thus a limited punitive mission by two dozen special forces personnel morphed into a Sisyphean exercise that lasted nineteen years. *** One missing part in US President Joe Biden’s remarks[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 1 comment World
Children in Afghanistan - Photo credit: cdn.pixabay.com

Reactions to U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Reactions to the U.S. decision to withdraw troop from Afghanistan are mixed. A few are of disappointment. Media reports said: ‘Not what we’d hoped for’: UK military chief disappointed Britain’s military chief has expressed disappointment at president Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. General Sir Nick Carter, the Chief of the Defense Staff, said it was “not[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 0 comments World
A new study from Brown University's Costs of War Project found that the U.S. "War on Terror" has killed half a million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (Photo: Spc. Phillip McTaggart/Flickr/cc)

Empire’s Afghan War: A lost war, a profitable war

Afghan-chessboard is difficult. Now, with the US president’s latest Afghan-move, the chessboard is going to be more difficult, and more complex. It’s now neither a Stunning Queen Sacrifice nor a Bishop Endgame. Is it a Desperado Sacrifice or a Rook and Pawn Endgame? It’s difficult to ascertain now. US President Joe Biden has officially announced that US troops will leave[Read More…]

by 17/04/2021 0 comments Imperialism
U.S. Joins Past Empires In Afghan Graveyard

U.S. Joins Past Empires In Afghan Graveyard

Written by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies An Afghan taxi-driver in Vancouver told one of us a decade ago that this day would come. “We defeated the Persian Empire in the eighteenth century, the British in the nineteenth, the Soviets in the twentieth. Now, with NATO, we’re fighting twenty-eight countries, but we’ll defeat them, too,” said the taxi-driver,[Read More…]

by 17/04/2021 0 comments World
India should welcome the end of US occupation of Afghanistan

India should welcome the end of US occupation of Afghanistan

A Taliban unit in Laghman, Afghanistan, Dec. 2020 (File photo) To be sure, the “forever war” in Afghanistan is ending on a sombre note. The US has barely managed to avoid a humiliating defeat. The final legacy will be that there are limits to American power. India will do well to bear this mind as it consorts with the Quad. [Read More…]

by 17/04/2021 0 comments World
Children in Afghanistan - Photo credit: cdn.pixabay.com

Exiting Afghanistan: Biden Sets the Date

It had to be symbolic, and was represented as such.  Forces of the United States will be leaving Afghanistan on September 11 after two decades of violent occupation, though for a good deal of this stretch, US forces were, at best, failed democracy builders, at worst, violent tenants. In his April 14 speech, President Joe Biden made the point that[Read More…]

by 16/04/2021 0 comments World
As the US plans its Afghan troop withdrawal, what was it all for?

As the US plans its Afghan troop withdrawal, what was it all for?

A woman embracing her husband after his return from a deployment to Afghanistan in 2014. David Goldman/AP.More than 2,400 American service members were killed in Afghanistan and more than 20,000 were wounded. What exactly am I supposed to tell these mothers that their sons died for? What was it all for? It remains unclear if the more than 2,400 US[Read More…]

by 16/04/2021 0 comments Imperialism
      Baz Ratner/Reuters US troops in Afghanistan, June 2011

China resents US presence in Afghanistan

This is second in the series on the flux in the global scene by the seasoned diplomat, an expert on Middle East, Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific…Third on Myanmar will follow. The “hidden agenda” of the war on terror in Afghanistan has been an open secret. The first inkling of its geopolitical character came when it transpired[Read More…]

by 01/04/2021 1 comment Imperialism
      Baz Ratner/Reuters US troops in Afghanistan, June 2011

Requiem for the American Century

“Ours is the cause of freedom. We’ve defeated freedom’s enemies before, and we will defeat them again… [W]e know our cause is just and our ultimate victory is assured… My fellow Americans, let’s roll.” — George W. Bush, November 8, 2001 In the immediate wake of 9/11, it fell to President George W. Bush to explain to his fellow citizens what[Read More…]

by 29/03/2021 0 comments Imperialism
Children in Afghanistan - Photo credit: cdn.pixabay.com

U.S. Joins “Rules-Based World” on Afghanistan

Written by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies On March 18, the world was treated to the spectacle of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sternly lecturing senior Chinese officials about the need for China to respect a “rules-based order.” The alternative, Blinken warned, is a world in which might makes right, and “that would be a far more[Read More…]

by 26/03/2021 0 comments World
      Baz Ratner/Reuters US troops in Afghanistan, June 2011

Confused in Afghanistan: The Biden Administration’s Latest Trick

The Biden administration continues to engage in that favourite activity White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki can only describe as “circling back”.  And much circling is taking place in the context of Afghanistan. The cupboard of calamities is well stocked, with the US facing an emboldened Taliban keen to hold Washington to its word in withdrawing the last troops by[Read More…]

by 24/03/2021 0 comments World
      Baz Ratner/Reuters US troops in Afghanistan, June 2011

Biden, Afghanistan and Forever Wars

The papers are full of suggestions on what US President Joe Biden should do about his country’s seemingly perennial involvement in Afghanistan.  None are particularly useful, in that they ignore the central premise that a nation state long mauled, molested and savaged should finally be left alone.  Nonsense, say the media and political cognoscenti.  The Guardian claims that he is[Read More…]

by 04/03/2021 0 comments World
U.S. wasted billions on cars, buildings in Afghanistan

U.S. wasted billions on cars, buildings in Afghanistan

The U.S. wasted billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan on buildings and vehicles that were either abandoned or destroyed, said a report released Monday by a U.S. government watchdog. The agency said it reviewed $7.8 billion spent since 2008 on buildings and vehicles. Only $343.2 million worth of buildings and vehicles “were maintained in good condition,” said the Special Inspector[Read More…]

by 01/03/2021 0 comments World
Picture of Aussie soldier gulping beer from ‘prosthetic leg of dead Taliban fighter’

Freedom of Expression: Good for the Western Goose, Forbidden for the Muslim Gander

When French president Emmanuel Macron was pilloried in some quarters for defending freedom of expression as a French value, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison backed his European counterpart: “We share values. We stand for the same things.” This professed French/Australian value for freedom of expression has now come back to bite the backside of the Australian prime minister. When it[Read More…]

by 08/12/2020 0 comments World
 Chinese Cartoon & US Lackey Australia’s Complicity In Mass Murder of Afghan Children

 Chinese Cartoon & US Lackey Australia’s Complicity In Mass Murder of Afghan Children

A Chinese official has used a cartoon showing an Australian soldier threatening a child with a knife  to rightly castigate US lackey and serial war criminal Australia over horrendous Australian war crimes in Occupied Afghanistan. Australian politicians, journalists, academics and commentators have indignantly responded by falsely describing the cartoon as a doctored image or fake image, and ignoring passive mass[Read More…]

by 05/12/2020 0 comments World
Picture of Aussie soldier gulping beer from ‘prosthetic leg of dead Taliban fighter’

Imperfect Releases: Andrew Hastie, War Crimes Reports and Australia in Afghanistan

If one were to get into the head of Australian government MP Andrew Hastie, a security tangle of woe would no doubt await.  Having been a captain with the Special Air Services and having also served in Afghanistan, he has been none too thrilled by the publicity soldiers he served with have received.  The report by New South Wales Court[Read More…]

by 05/12/2020 1 comment World
The David McBride Case: Whistleblowing, Afghanistan and Australian War Crimes

The David McBride Case: Whistleblowing, Afghanistan and Australian War Crimes

Much complaint can be had of the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry Report. It exempts political actors of responsibility for alleged atrocities and war crimes. It suggests that those in the highest echelons of the Australian Defence Forces are ignorant in incompetent innocence.  It spares the desk warriors and flays the field operatives. Heavily redacted, this document[Read More…]

by 03/12/2020 0 comments World
Picture of Aussie soldier gulping beer from ‘prosthetic leg of dead Taliban fighter’

Australia’s Afghanistan War Crimes: A Case of Old Habits Die Hard?

Every time you start to believe that West is your model of morality, you get a jolt. Recent revelations of horrific war crimes committed by the Australian soldiers in Afghanistan where innocent men, women and children were deliberately and gruesomely killed are a rude reminder that West’s claim to morality is not just outright falsehood, their colonial habits of abuse[Read More…]

by 03/12/2020 0 comments World
Like a Rocket in the Garden: The Unending War in Afghanistan

Like a Rocket in the Garden: The Unending War in Afghanistan

People in the United States continue to pretend that the despair and futility we’ve caused isn’t our fault. Late last week, I learned from young Afghan Peace Volunteer friends in Kabul that an insurgent group firing rockets into the city center hit the home of one volunteer’s relatives. Everyone inside was killed. Today, word arrived of two bomb blasts in[Read More…]

by 26/11/2020 0 comments World
      Baz Ratner/Reuters US troops in Afghanistan, June 2011

 Actually Ending the War in Afghanistan

Let’s open up and sing, and ring the bells out Ding-dong! the merry-oh sing it high, sing it low Let them know the wicked witch is dead! Within establishment circles, Donald Trump’s failure to win re-election has prompted merry singing and bell-ringing galore. If you read the New York Times or watch MSNBC, the song featured in the 1939 movie The Wizard of[Read More…]

by 25/11/2020 2 comments Imperialism
Skewed Responsibility: Australian War Crimes in Afghanistan

Skewed Responsibility: Australian War Crimes in Afghanistan

The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry was always going to make for a gruesome read – and that was only the redacted version.  The findings of the four-year investigation, led by New South Wales Court of Appeal Justice and Army Reserve Major-General Paul Brereton, point to “credible evidence” that 39 Afghan non-combatants and prisoners were allegedly killed[Read More…]

by 24/11/2020 0 comments World
Impunity and Carefree Violence: Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan

Impunity and Carefree Violence: Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan

In 2016, Australian Major General Jeff Sengelman approached the then chief of the Australian army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell with a nagging worry. The concern lay in allegations that Australian special forces had committed various war crimes in Afghanistan.  Sengelman was then special forces commander; Campbell was chief of the army.  Sociologist Samantha Crompvoets was duly commissioned to write a[Read More…]

by 26/10/2020 0 comments World
Is peace possible in Afghanistan?

Is peace possible in Afghanistan?

Doha peace talks, held in September of 2020, between the Afghan government and Taliban, led by peace council chairman Abdullah Abdullah and Mullah Baradar Akhund respectively, is a remarkable advancement towards the establishment of peace in Afghanistan, despite the fact that it is still difficult to say about when the ongoing conflicts started with the USA invasion in 2001 after[Read More…]

by 16/10/2020 0 comments South Asia
Afghan children play in the bombed out rubble of the Darul Aman Palace in Kabul, amidst a photo exhibition marking four decades of Afghans killed in war and oppression. Photo credit: Maya Evans

Afghanistan: 19 Years of War

The NATO & US backed war on Afghanistan was launched 7th October 2001, just a month after 9/11, in what most thought would be a lightning war and a stepping stone onto the real focus, the Middle East. 19 years later and the US is still trying to extricate itself out of the longest war in its history, having failed[Read More…]

by 13/10/2020 0 comments World
Afghanistan On A Very Sticky Wicket

Afghanistan On A Very Sticky Wicket

The Afghan-Taliban and the US sponsored Ashraf Ghani government seem to be heading towards a deadlock,  as very soon US, after its disastrous war with Afghan-Taliban , is slated to move out in 14-months, after its agreement with the Afghan-Taliban on February 29, 2020 1 , thus, leaving it in-between Ashraf Ghani and Afghan-Taliban to decide their future for themselves.[Read More…]

by 18/09/2020 0 comments World
Peace process in Afghanistan: En route to failure?

Peace process in Afghanistan: En route to failure?

The ongoing peace process provided an opportunity for Afghan factions to unite and undo all the wrongs committed against them in the past 20 years. Unfortunately, the internal strife of Afghanis has again prevailed over this opportunity. Explicitly, compelled by the upcoming election promise, the US wishes to withdraw forces from Afghanistan. China and Pakistan are earnestly pushing the peace[Read More…]

by 06/08/2020 0 comments South Asia
U.S. military is making plans for complete Afghan withdrawal before the next election

U.S. military is making plans for complete Afghan withdrawal before the next election

U.S. Defense Department officials are reportedly planning to brief President Donald Trump on several options to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, that include an option to pull them out before the 2020 U.S. presidential election in November. Trump has expressed a desire to end the U.S.’s wars throughout the course of his presidency. In 2019, he abruptly ordered the[Read More…]

by 27/05/2020 0 comments World
A Call From Afghanistan for Greta Thunberg…

A Call From Afghanistan for Greta Thunberg…

 …to highlight our interconnected need for renewable energy, a fairer economic system and the abolition of war. An annual youth peace conference organized by the Afghan Peace Volunteers last year. BEYOND HEALTHCARE Hakim spent two years in Quetta before moving to Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province as a medical specialist with an international NGO. But as he visited and lived in remote[Read More…]

by 13/03/2020 0 comments World
Afghan National army (ANA) soldiers line up during military training in  Badakhshan province, Afghanistan, on May 8, 2016 (Photo by Mohammad Sharif Shayeq/NurPhoto) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***

Afghan troops say Taliban are brothers and war is “not really our fight.”

The world is waiting anxiously to see whether the U.S. and Afghan governments and the Taliban will agree to a one-week truce that could set the stage for a “permanent and comprehensive” ceasefire and a withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign occupation forces from Afghanistan. Could the talks be for real this time, or will they turn out to be just another smokescreen for[Read More…]

by 17/02/2020 0 comments World
Kathy Kelly and Maya Evans walk with children at the Chamin-E-Babrak refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 2014. (Abdulhai Darya)

An eyewitness to the horrors of the US ‘forever wars’ speaks out

The 2003 “shock and awe” bombing of Iraq had finally stopped. From the balcony of my room in Baghdad’s Al Fanar Hotel, I watched U.S. Marines moving between their jeeps, armored personnel carriers, and Humvees. They had occupied the street immediately in front of the small, family-owned hotel where our Iraq Peace Team had been living for the past six[Read More…]

by 04/01/2020 0 comments World
Gul Mohammad Jamshadi, left, solders parts to a motherboard. Mohammad Haidary, wearing a hat, works to his left.

Work of Necessity, Work of Choice

At age 11, Saabir Gulmadin began chopping wood to support his family. Now 18, he earns about $1.50 US (120 Afghanis) for every 56 kg of wood he splits. It takes him 2 to 3 hours. “Is the work hard on your body?” I ask. “Ohhh, yes,” he says, without hesitation. “Where does it hurt?” Saabir raises his right hand[Read More…]

by 03/01/2020 0 comments World
From Kabul: Youth on the Road to Peace

From Kabul: Youth on the Road to Peace

In September 2019, facing everyday dangers of the war and under constant pressure to view those from other tribes as enemies, young people from each of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces gathered for a three day “On the Road to Peace” conference in Kabul. 30th September 2019 / 8th Mezan 1398 Despite the violent crises which we human beings have created for[Read More…]

by 06/10/2019 0 comments World
Arriving in wheelchairs to receive duvets/ Photo credits:  Dr. Hakim

The Wounds of War in Afghanistan

Recovering from a broken hip, peace activist Kathy Kelly reflects on her experiences with people disabled and traumatized by war. Its economy gutted by war, Afghanistan’s largest cash crop remains opium. Yet farmers there do grow other crops for export. Villagers in the Wazir Tangi area of Nangarhar province, for example, cultivate pine nuts. As a precaution, this year at[Read More…]

by 28/09/2019 0 comments World
 Why Ending the Afghan War Won’t End the Killing

 Why Ending the Afghan War Won’t End the Killing

I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I am the mother of two young children. So when I imagine what life must be like there after 18 years of war, my mind conjures up the children most vividly — the ones who have been affected by the conflict — and their parents. I think of the 12-year-old boy who was carrying water to[Read More…]

by 19/09/2019 0 comments Imperialism
A Morning in Afghanistan

A Morning in Afghanistan

Amidst political posturing, aerial terrorism and street bombings, Afghan citizens pursue their daily work toward peace. On a very warm September morning in Kabul, several dozen men, women, and children sit on the carpeted floor of a room at the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Borderfree Center. The women cluster together. All wear burqas, but because of the heat they push the[Read More…]

by 12/09/2019 0 comments World
 Reflections on “Peace” in Afghanistan – Leaving a Misguided War and Choosing Not to Look Back

 Reflections on “Peace” in Afghanistan – Leaving a Misguided War and Choosing Not to Look Back

When the conflict that the Vietnamese refer to as the American War ended in April 1975, I was a U.S. Army captain attending a course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In those days, the student body at any of our Army’s myriad schools typically included officers from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). Since ARVN’s founding two decades earlier,[Read More…]

by 10/09/2019 0 comments Imperialism
Inevitable Withdrawal: The US-Taliban Deal

Inevitable Withdrawal: The US-Taliban Deal

It took gallons and flagons of blood, but it eventuated, a squeeze of history into a parchment of possibility: the Taliban eventually pushed the sole superpower on this expiring earth to a deal of some consequence.  (The stress is on the some – the consequence is almost always unknown.)  “In principle, on paper, yes we have reached an agreement,” claimed[Read More…]

by 04/09/2019 0 comments World
A new study from Brown University's Costs of War Project found that the U.S. "War on Terror" has killed half a million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (Photo: Spc. Phillip McTaggart/Flickr/cc)

Could Donald Trump End the Afghan War?

Could Donald Trump end the Afghan war someday? I don’t know if such a possibility has been on your mind, but it’s certainly been on the mind of this retired U.S. Army major who fought in that land so long ago. And here’s the context in which I’ve been thinking about that very possibility. Back in the previous century, it[Read More…]

by 29/07/2019 1 comment Imperialism
In Afghanistan, We Have Three Dreams

In Afghanistan, We Have Three Dreams

By Dr Hakim Young and the Afghan Peace Volunteers Dear fellow human beings, Some of us have wondered, “Are people today too disconnected and frantic to calm down, in order to solve global challenges together? Are we so polarized and self-absorbed that we cannot stop judging one another or insisting on our partisan ways?” In Kabul, our thoughts and feelings[Read More…]

by 05/07/2019 0 comments World
What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan

What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan

Constant military surveillance of Afghans yields almost no real intelligence about the problems they face each day. An unusual group of volunteers uses a far different approach. Hossein, a member of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APV), which hosted my recent visit to Afghanistan, rolled up his sleeve to show me a still-healing three-inch wound. Thieves had broken into his family[Read More…]

by 14/02/2019 1 comment World
PPM members meet Afghan Peace Volunteers outside UK Embassy in Kabul/photo credit Dr Hakim

Defying War and Defining Peace in Afghanistan 

On January 27th, 2019, the Taliban and the U.S. government each publicly stated  acceptance, in principle, of a draft framework for ongoing negotiations that could culminate in a peace deal to end a two-decade war in Afghanistan. As we learn more about the negotiations, it’s important to remember others working toward dialogue and negotiation in Afghanistan. Troublingly, women’s rights leaders[Read More…]

by 29/01/2019 1 comment World
Afghanistan Pullout: Culmination of America’s Longest War

Afghanistan Pullout: Culmination of America’s Longest War

On Saturday, January 26, Reuters reported [1] that Taliban officials said the US negotiators agreed on a draft peace pact setting out the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan within 18 months, potentially ending the United States longest war. Confirming the news, New York Times reported [2] on Monday, January 28, that the US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad stated the[Read More…]

by 29/01/2019 1 comment Imperialism
A new study from Brown University's Costs of War Project found that the U.S. "War on Terror" has killed half a million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (Photo: Spc. Phillip McTaggart/Flickr/cc)

“The Bleeding Wound”- Afghanistan and the Implosion of America

As I approach 75, I’m having a commonplace experience for my age. I live with a brain that’s beginning to dump previously secure memories — names, the contents of books I read long ago (or all too recently), events, whatever. If you’re of a certain age yourself, you know the story. Recently, however, I realized that this experience of loss,[Read More…]

by 24/01/2019 0 comments World
Children in refugee camp

Where Can the Anger Go?

Writing from Kabul, Carolyn Coe describes experiences of frustration, outbreaks of rage and efforts to cope. Kabul–At a busy four-way intersection in the northwestern part of Kabul, traffic is stuck. There is no traffic signal, and cars are threaded through one another like a woven rug. A passenger car is in front of our taxi. The driver, with two children[Read More…]

by 23/12/2018 1 comment World
A Not-So-Splendid Caste:  The Hypocrisy of the Bono-rati

A Not-So-Splendid Caste:  The Hypocrisy of the Bono-rati

  On the advice of loved ones—and against my better instincts- I attended an event at Seattle University, October 27th, featuring noted author Khaled Hosseini.  He was accompanied by Razia Jan, founder of Razia’s Ray of Hope. On the surface, such an event would seem not only worthwhile but uplifting.  After all, both of the speakers are of Afghan origin,[Read More…]

by 30/10/2018 0 comments Imperialism
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air

Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air

Grade 12th Afghan student Jamila Omary asked, “Do you have any plans to arm yourselves, because of the threats and dangers you have faced?” Iqbal Khyber answered, “No. Though it is easy to buy weapons today, arming ourselves will worsen the war. Weapons will make us less secure.” What a breath of fresh air in the stench of war-as-usual! Iqbal[Read More…]

by 17/10/2018 1 comment World
The APVs, the PPM and the people want an end to war. Photo by Dr Hakim

In Afghanistan, our need to rethink the institution of war

It’s frustrating that whereas all human beings wish to live meaningful lives, we seem helpless in the face of a few individuals waging wars and exploiting our world. But we can each do something about this insensible status quo, as ordinary folk of the People’s Peace Movement ( PPM )show us by taking one barefoot-step at a time, traveling to[Read More…]

by 21/08/2018 1 comment World
Can Afghans convince us that the method of war isn’t effective?

Can Afghans convince us that the method of war isn’t effective?

Can Afghans convince us that the method of war doesn’t work? If we’re still quietly hoping that wars would end and people all over the world would get along peacefully, the dreams and demands of the Helmand Peace Convoy would give us courage and evidence. When Amanullah Khateb joined the Convoy, now called the People’s Peace Movement (PPM), he didn’t[Read More…]

by 07/08/2018 2 comments Imperialism
Fought to the Table: Talks with the Taliban

Fought to the Table: Talks with the Taliban

“Attempting to control rural areas in Afghanistan always eventually ends up boiling down to personal survival.” Evan McAllister, former Marine staff sergeant, New York Times, July 28, 2018 It genuinely doesn’t matter how the security boffins within the Pentagon frame it: the Taliban have fought the United States, through sheer will of force and mania, to the negotiating table –[Read More…]

by 05/08/2018 2 comments World
Girls and mothers, waiting for their duvets, in Kabul Photo credit: Dr. Hakim

On Purpose, In Kabul

Writing this week for the Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman called a U.S. Government report on the war in Afghanistan “a chronicle of futility.” “The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction” report says the U.S. spent large sums “in search of quick gains” in regional stabilization – but these instead “exacerbated conflicts, enabled corruption and bolstered support for insurgents.” “In short,” says[Read More…]

by 26/06/2018 2 comments World
Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper

Here in Kabul in early June, outside the home of several Afghan Peace Volunteers, a large drilling machine is parked on what was once a lovely garden. To this now muddy patch, workers will soon arrive for another noisy, dusty day of digging for water. The well dried up a week ago. As of today, the household has no water. Ongoing[Read More…]

by 07/06/2018 1 comment World
Mike Ferner photo of Kabul 12-24-2010

Welcome To Kabul

  December 31, 2017: It is a dream come true being back among friends in Kabul! Streams of dented Toyotas (They are all Toyotas!) with windscreens cracked like bolts of lightning still jockey for position on roads where traffic lights and common sense hold little sway. Carts of vegetables drawn by donkeys or dragged by men without dreams continue clotting the already stuttering traffic,[Read More…]

by 02/01/2018 1 comment World
Mursal interacts with her teacher Naser during a Friday afternoon Bridge class, a class to encourage soon-to-be Street Kid School graduates to volunteer at the Borderfree Centre. Photo credit: Carolyn Coe

Stepping Stones To Change

  Amrullah has a small frame and a soft voice. He used to have a reputation as a fighter and would fight with the rich kids. He’d get angry because they had nicer clothes. By fighting, he wanted to show his power. But now, at age 11, he believes that fighting is bad. When he sees those same boys, he[Read More…]

by 26/12/2017 0 comments World
An Escalating Afghan Crisis Of ‘Profit’ Over ‘Life’

An Escalating Afghan Crisis Of ‘Profit’ Over ‘Life’

Surkh Gul with her daughter. Photo by Dr Hakim “My family’s water well has dried up,” 18-year-old Surkh Gul said. “Ours too,” echoed 13-year-old Inaam. A distressed Surkh Gul lamented, “We have to fetch water from the public well along the main road, but that water is muddy, not fit for drinking. I get bottled water for my two-year-old daughter.[Read More…]

by 14/11/2017 1 comment World
Dr.Najib: A Sketch of A Man And A Country

Dr.Najib: A Sketch of A Man And A Country

  (ROME) When in 1978 the 31-year old Afghan Communist politician-activist, Mohammad Najibullah, arrived in Tehran, “exiled” to neighboring Iran as Afghanistan’s Ambassador, I had just left Iran where I had worked throughout the year of 1977. Najibullah’s political party, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) had come to power in Kabul in April, 1978 in what is known[Read More…]

by 08/10/2017 3 comments World
Inaam, whose brother, Rahman, signed up to be a soldier as there were no other viable jobs

Damn, I Don’t Want Rahman To End Up Being Killed

Sultan, Ali’s brother, was killed in August 2016. Hussein, Bismillah’s uncle, was killed in April 2017. I don’t want Rahman, Inaam’s brother, to end up being killed. Rahman is now training to be a soldier. Both Sultan and Hussein were Afghan soldiers in their twenties. They joined the army because there were no other viable jobs available. Their families needed[Read More…]

by 04/10/2017 1 comment World
Afghanistan Again? The American Military’s Repetition-Compulsion Complex

Afghanistan Again? The American Military’s Repetition-Compulsion Complex

  Here we go again! Years after most Americans forgot about the longest warthis country ever fought, American soldiers are again being deployed to Afghanistan. For almost 16 years now, at the command of three presidents and a sadly forgettable succession of generals, they have gone round and round like so many motorists trapped on a rotary with no exit. This time their[Read More…]

by 20/09/2017 1 comment Imperialism
Italian troops took over ancient Citadel in Herat City

The People of Afghanistan Have Had Truly Enough of Western Imperialist Barbarism

Interview with ANDRE VLTCHEK by ALESSANDRO BIANCCHI, Chief Editor of Anti-Diplomatico 1) AB: The geographic location of Afghanistan has always occupied a central role. The April peace talks between Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Russia and China seemed to have put an end to the persistent and dominant American presence in the country. What’s your opinion? AV: What you have mentioned is extremely important,[Read More…]

by 12/09/2017 0 comments Imperialism
“We are Killing Terrorists” And “Attack We Will”- Trump’s Most Vicious Racist Rant

“We are Killing Terrorists” And “Attack We Will”- Trump’s Most Vicious Racist Rant

  On Monday, August 21, President Donald Trump delivered a prime-time speech almost shocking in its ordinariness. It was such an address as either of his immediate predecessors, George W. Bush or Barack Obama, could easily have given over the previous decade and a half. While hinting at nebulous new strategies and ill-defined new metrics to measure success, President Trump[Read More…]

by 29/08/2017 0 comments Imperialism
How Life Got Intolerable For Ghulam’s Mother And His Afghan Family

How Life Got Intolerable For Ghulam’s Mother And His Afghan Family

    Ghulam ( second from left ) working on our community’s greenhouse, together with Zek, Khamad and Ali Ali, Zekerullah, Khamad and I miss Ghulam and his family. We feel sad that life in Afghanistan had finally become too burdensome for them. They are now Afghan refugees in Iran. We have known Ghulam for many years, Ali and Ghulam[Read More…]

by 23/08/2017 1 comment World
The Long, Long Story: “Principled Realism”, Trump And Afghanistan

The Long, Long Story: “Principled Realism”, Trump And Afghanistan

The story continues with dispiriting relentlessness.  The remark by Samuel Beckett in The Unnamable comes to mind: “I can’t go on.  I’ll go on.”  With the sense of incapacity about going on, yet doing so with a drone’s dedicated commitment, President Donald Trump did what US Presidents have done since George W. Bush: commit.  Commit, that is, to the mission;[Read More…]

by 23/08/2017 1 comment Imperialism
Trump Gives Military Green Light To Escalate Afghanistan War

Trump Gives Military Green Light To Escalate Afghanistan War

President Donald Trump announced a major escalation of the US war in Afghanistan in a nationally televised speech Monday night, although he gave no details either about the number of additional troops that will be sent or the extent or duration of the military commitment. Trump also made menacing threats against Pakistan in remarks clearly crafted in close coordination with[Read More…]

by 22/08/2017 1 comment Imperialism
Wreckage of Soviet tank

Afghanistan Is Right Here! Lies, Myths And Legends

Text and Photos: Andre Vltchek It often appears that “true Afghanistan” is not here in Kabuland not in Jalalabad or Heart either; not in the ancient villages, which anxiously cling to the steep mountainsides. Many foreigners and even Afghans are now convinced that the “true” Afghanistan is only what is being shown on the television screens,depicted in magazines, or what[Read More…]

by 02/08/2017 1 comment Imperialism
10-year-old Afghan Street Kid Mubasir smiles despite his difficulties

What Does War Generate?

  She read to us. “The Works of Mercy:  Feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Clothe the naked; Visit the imprisoned; Care for the sick; Bury the dead.” And then she read: “The Works of War: Destroy crops and land; Seize food supplies; Destroy homes; Scatter families; Contaminate water; Imprison dissenters; Inflict wounds, burns; Kill the living.” The following[Read More…]

by 04/07/2017 1 comment World
Feed The Hungry, Treat The Sick: A Crucial Training

Feed The Hungry, Treat The Sick: A Crucial Training

  On June 15, 2017, theNew York Times reported that the government of Saudi Arabia aims to ease the concerns of some U.S. legislators over U.S. weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis plan to engage in“a $750 million multiyear training program through the American military to help prevent the accidental killing of civilians in the Saudi-led air campaign against[Read More…]

by 16/06/2017 1 comment Imperialism
Afghanistan: From Soviet Occupation To American ‘Liberation’

Afghanistan: From Soviet Occupation To American ‘Liberation’

During the election campaign of 2008 before he was elected as the president, Barack Obama made an artificial distinction between the “just war” in Afghanistan and the unjust war in Iraq. In accordance with the flawed distinction, he pledged that he would withdraw American troops stationed in Iraq. The unilateral intervention in Iraq by the Bush Administration was highly unpopular[Read More…]

by 03/06/2017 2 comments World
From Afghanistan To My #Mother!, And The Child In Everyone

From Afghanistan To My #Mother!, And The Child In Everyone

Dear mom and fellow members of the human family, I love my 77-year-old frugal, hardworking, self-sacrificial Han Chinese Singaporean mother, so when Trump’s military/government dropped what they nicknamed the ‘Mother of All Bombs’ ( MOAB ) on Achin District in Afghanistan, I knew I had to do something about this psycho-social disease of ‘war’. I mean, my mom is nothing[Read More…]

by 25/05/2017 1 comment World
‘Butcher of Kabul’ Returns To Kabul In An Afghan Peace Deal

‘Butcher of Kabul’ Returns To Kabul In An Afghan Peace Deal

  Lord Palmerston, the 19th century British Prime Minister, has famously said: “The Great Britain has no friends, no enemies, but only interests.” It was rephrased by Henry Kissinger as “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” This applies to current Afghan politics where Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former anti-Soviet “mujahideen” commander, arrived in the capital on Thursday (May[Read More…]

by 05/05/2017 2 comments World
America’s Longest War Drags On In Afghanistan

America’s Longest War Drags On In Afghanistan

The US national security advisor, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, was in Afghanistan over the weekend, speaking with President Ashraf Ghani and General John Nicholson, the US military commander in the country. The aim of the talks, the Military Times reported prior to McMaster’s arrival in Kabul, was to “assess whether more military personnel are needed to break the stalemate there.”[Read More…]

by 19/04/2017 1 comment Imperialism
The Hazara Dilemma: Ghani In Australia

The Hazara Dilemma: Ghani In Australia

Australian government officials are at it again, and the visit by President Ashaf Ghani to Canberra on Sunday piqued interest amongst various members of the Afghan community concerned about the next innovation in cruelty practiced by Canberra. If there is something exceptional in the otherwise dreary annals of Australian policy making in recent years, repelling unwanted refugees and asylum seekers[Read More…]

by 04/04/2017 1 comment World
Explosion in District 6

Afghanistan: Notes From A Broken Land

WINTER It is now winter in Kabul, end of February 2017. At night the temperature gets near zero. The mountains surrounding the city are covered by snow. It feels much chillier than it really is. Soon it will be 16 years since the US/UK invasion of the country, and 16 years since the Bonn Conference, during which Hamid Karzai was[Read More…]

by 14/03/2017 1 comment World
Ghulam Reza makes a toy for himself

Portraits From Kabul

Ghulam Reza often plays at the Borderfree Centre. He’s 5 years, 3 mos. On Saturday, he was filling an empty chips bag with water, tying off the top, and pushing it along, atop a roof tile. Zarghuna and I tried asking if it was a ship or a truck, but he generally ignored us and kept on playing quietly. Near[Read More…]

by 28/12/2016 1 comment World
mothers and children inside a Kabul refugee camp Photo credit: Henrietta Cullinan

Human Rights Day, A Call To Care

December 10th marks the U.N. Human Rights Day, celebrating and upholding the indispensable and crucial declaration of universal human rights.On the eve of this event, I visited a refugee camp housing 700 families in Kabul. Conditions in refugee camps can be deplorable, intolerable. Here, the situation is best described as surreal. As I approach the entrance to the camp with my friends[Read More…]

by 10/12/2016 1 comment Human Rights, World
Jamila, age 11, holds a neighbor’s newborn. Photo credit: Henrietta Cullinan

See How We Live

  Here in Kabul, I’m generally an early riser at the home of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, but I’m seldom alone. Facing exams, my young friends awaken early and then stay up late to study. Before sunrise this morning, eighteen year old Ghulamai sits in the kitchen, poring over his textbook. His efforts have made him number one in his[Read More…]

by 08/12/2016 2 comments World
Where To Turn?

Where To Turn?

In July 1941, Albert Einstein, ten months a US citizen, wrote Eleanor Roosevelt asking her, as First Lady, to raise with the president the matter of lifting bureaucratic hurdles so that Jewish refugees threatened by Hitler’s final solution could be granted entry into the U.S. “I know of no-one else to whom to turn for help,” he wrote. But the U.S. government[Read More…]

by 12/11/2016 2 comments World
Can USA Be Charged For War Crimes After Recent Air Strikes In Afghanistan?

Can USA Be Charged For War Crimes After Recent Air Strikes In Afghanistan?

US air strikes are common in the Afghanistan where these are used to eliminate the suspected Taliban cadres. These are supported by the Afghan government though several politicians including the former President Hamid Karzai opposes such attacks. US in a similar such strikes killed more than 30 civilians on Thursday who were innocents and it is assumed had no relations[Read More…]

Covering, And Exposing, Atrocity: Australian Commandos Come Forward

Covering, And Exposing, Atrocity: Australian Commandos Come Forward

Kevin Frost, a special forces sergeant in the Australian Army, has done something unusual. He wishes, even demands, to be tried for his role behind the summary execution of an Afghan prisoner in his captivity during a tour of the country. From Frost came a statement to an inquiry digging through allegations of war crimes by Australian troops that took[Read More…]

by 16/10/2016 1 comment Human Rights
The Cant Of The Powerful: Killing People To Save Them

The Cant Of The Powerful: Killing People To Save Them

Friday, October 7 went by quietly unnoticed by major US media. It was the 15th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan — a war with no foreseeable end in sight. The number of troops due to remain in Afghanistan has been raised 50 percent to 8400. Drones based in Pakistan continue to play their deadly role. On the anniversary date,[Read More…]

by 13/10/2016 1 comment Imperialism
15 Years Of War On Terror: US Follies And Sufferings

15 Years Of War On Terror: US Follies And Sufferings

Today completes the fifteen years of US entry in Afghanistan. It was on 7th October 2001 when US had entered the Afghanistan when it declared that US was attacked by the terrorists and war on terror was now to be carried on. US was attacked on 11 September 2001 and this was attack on its existence. ‘At 8:46 on the[Read More…]

Photo Essay: Beyond Afghan And Human Ethnicities

Photo Essay: Beyond Afghan And Human Ethnicities

Watch Shy Bismillah Finds Friends from 34 Afghan Provinces   From top left clockwise: Pashtun – Barath, Tajik – Malik, Uzbek – Habib, Hazara – Nemat, Afghans – All, Human Family Members – All “1948?” Habib remarked at how long it had taken for the human family to agree in writing that “all human beings ( including himself, Barath, Malik,[Read More…]

by 22/09/2016 1 comment World
Photo Essay: An Afghan Outing And River Heals Us

Photo Essay: An Afghan Outing And River Heals Us

This was not a typical festive ‘first world’ outing, as its need and idea arose not from leisure, but from trauma. Recently, Hadisa was broken after an ‘endless’ night of crouching nervously in the dark of her University dormitory, while bomb blasts and gunshots were ending precious lives only a hair’s breath away. Nemat, in a safe space which softened[Read More…]

by 21/09/2016 1 comment World