afghanistan

hogsmeador asked:

Excuse me, the Pakistan army has been fighting those terrorists and not killing INNOCENT people. Get your facts straight. Do you even fucking know what happened with those kids? NO. BLOODY ASSHOLE.

1. Yes, I do know exactly happened to those kids, and I know the whole context around the attacks.

2. Are you kidding me? So you’re saying the Pakistani army hasn’t fired over 6000 missiles into Eastern Afghanistan, in provinces such as Nangarhar, Khost, Kunar, Paktia and Kandahar? You’re going to ignore the fact that the Pakistani army decimated villages in Kunar in particular, leaving a few casualties but also the displacement of hundreds of Afghan families?

Okay, I’m sure you don’t care about the innocent Afghans that have been killed by the Pakistani army, since few people actually do care about Afghans these days. But what about Pakistani civilians? They have also suffered from their own army’s actions. Are you going to deny that as well?

The U.S. has aided Pakistan in trying to get rid of terrorists in their country, but the missiles and drones fired by both sides have killed about 3,000 Pakistani civilians, including women and children, and that number was calculated in March of this year, which was before things got really bad. It also doesn’t count the civilians that have been killed by other means than just bombs and rockets.

So, I gave you the cold hard facts. The Pakistani army has the mass deaths of both Afghans and their own civilians under their belt. But I guess you don’t consider those people to be innocent. They must have been terrorists, right?

In this photograph taken on December 11, 2014, a girl plays at a water pump in front of the mosque where Mullah Omar founded the Taliban movement 20 years ago in the village of Sangesar. At the mosque where Mullah Omar founded the Taliban movement 20 years ago, villagers are weighing up whether to side with the insurgents or the government as the United States ends its long war in Afghanistan. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDT

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Admitted Drone Strikes Counterproductive

Dec. 19 2014

Controversial U.S. drone strikes may be helping rather than hindering the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a leaked CIA document released by Wikileaks Thursday.

The CIA document appears to be a 2009 internal review of the agency’s “High Value Target” (HVT) assassination program.

Secret CIA report admits to failure of ‘targeted killings’ | Al Akhbar http://t.co/uqpcyQqn3q More https://t.co/qqeQhwLjcy #CIAassassination

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 18, 2014

The HVT program selected specific insurgent figures for targeted assassination, often by drone strikes.

Despite the report’s secret publication in 2009, drone strikes increased.

Independent estimates suggest U.S. forces have conducted more than 1,000 drone strikes over Afghanistan since invading the country over a decade ago. Human rights groups say hundreds of civilians have been killed or maimed by drones, and that the strikes are widely unpopular on the ground.

“The potential negative effect of (High Level Target) operations include increasing the level of insurgent support … strengthening an armed group’s bonds with the population, radicalizing an insurgent group’s remaining leaders, creating a vacuum into which more radical groups can enter, and escalating or de-escalating a conflict in ways that favor the insurgents,” the report stated.

The report did suggest targeted assassinations could weaken an insurgent group, but only when backed up by a “broader counterinsurgency strategy.”

The report’s authors blamed the failure of the CIA’s targeted assassination program on two main factors: a lack of an effective broader counterinsurgency effort, and the Taliban’s resistant organizational structure.

“Afghan government corruption and lack of unity, insufficient strength of Afghan and NATO security forces, and the country’s endemic lawlessness have constrained the effectiveness of these counterinsurgency elements,” the report stated.

Earlier this month an outgoing NATO commander in Afghanistan warned Afghan security forces are “inept,” and facing soaring casualty rates at the hands of the Taliban.

The comments came as NATO forces left the country.

The CIA report also explained, “The Taliban’s military structure blends a top-down command system with an egalitarian Afghan tribal structure that rules by consensus, making the group more able to withstand HVT operations.”

The assassination program also had a limited impact on al-Qaida due to its decentralized command structure. However, the CIA did claim its efforts made it harder for Osama bin Laden to oversee al-Qaida’s operations while he was alive.

Five months after the report was produced behind closed doors, President Barack Obama boosted troop numbers in Afghanistan by 30,000.

The following year, casualties from drone strikes spiked to 751, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ).

Comparatively, the BIJ estimated that in 2009, 471 people were killed by drone strikes in the country.

Despite the White House publicly claiming Afghan forces have the Taliban insurgency under control, earlier this year Obama quietly approved another expansion of U.S. military operations in the country. The move included a decision to boost airstrikes.

Today, vast swathes of territory in Afghanistan remain either contested by the Taliban, or almost entirely under the group’s control.

Afghan civilian casualties ‘hit record high’

UN says casualties are expected to exceed 10,000 by end of 2014, making it deadliest year for noncombatants since 2009.

Dec. 20 2014

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have hit a record high this year, a UN report has said, highlighting worsening violence as US-led troops leave after more than a decade of fighting the Taliban.

Casualties jumped 19 percent by the end of November compared to the year before, with 3,188 civilians killed and 6,429 injured, the United Nation’s Mission’s for Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report published on Friday.

"Civilian casualties are particularly tragic and very prominent part, even benchmark, of the horror of the violence that ordinary Afghans face," said Nicholas Haysom, the top UN envoy in Afghanistan.

The report warned that civilian casualties were expected to exceed 10,000 by the end of the year, making it the deadliest year for noncombatants since the organisation began issuing its authoritative reports in 2009.

Compared to 2013, this year also saw a 33 percent rise in casualties among children and a 12 percent increase among women, according to the report.

While ground fighting between troops and rebel groups and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remained leading causes of deaths and injuries, the Taliban were accountable for 75 percent of all civilian casualties, the report said.

As US-led NATO troops prepare to wrap up their 13-year combat mission, casualties among Afghan security forces have also increased, with more than 4,600 killed in the first 10 months of this year.

After NATO’s combat operations end on December 31, a follow-up mission of about 12,500 US-led NATO troops will stay on in Afghanistan to train and support the local security forces now responsible for fighting the Taliban.

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We were told we were fighting terrorists. The real terrorist was me. The real terrorism is this occupation." Mike prysner - US soldier fought in Iraq 2003.

"قالوا لنا أننا جئنا لنحارب الإرهاب، الإرهابي الحقيقي هو أنا والإرهاب الحقيقي هو هذا الإحتلال" مايك برسنر - جندي أمريكي قاتل أثناء الإحتلال الأمريكي للعراق 2003.

Were NATO Dogs Used to Rape Afghan Prisoners at Bagram Air Base?

Buried accounts of horrors in the U.S.-led war on terror raise questions about the 9,000 documents still withheld by the CIA.

Dec. 15 2014

After the release of the CIA torture report by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) the world is reeling in shock at the level of brutality revealed in the documents. In fact, the whole report is nothing more than a confession of sadistic procedures that could have been lifted from the diaries of Torquemada, from “rectal feeding” to nude beatings and humiliation — horrors that were well-known but not officially confirmed. But the report remains incomplete. Indeed, some 9000 documents have been withheld. 

What new horrors could be discovered with the publication of these records?

Perhaps the most gut-wrenching story to emerge from Bagram has been buried in the German media and remains unknown to much of the world. Published by German author and former politician Juergen Todenhoefer in his latest book, “Thou Shalt Not kill, the account stems from a visit to Kabul. At a local hotel, a former Canadian soldier and private security contractor named Jack told Todenhoefer why he could not longer stand working in Bagram.

"It’s not my thing when Afghans get raped by dogs,” Jack remarked.

Todenhoefer’s son, who was present with him in Kabul and was transcribing Jack’s words, was so startled by the comment he nearly dropped his pad and pen. 

The war veteran, who loathed manipulating Western politicians even as he defended tactics of collective punishment, continued his account: Afghan prisoners were tied face down on small chairs, Jack said. Then fighting dogs entered the torture chamber. 

“If the prisoners did not say anything useful, each dog got to take a turn on them,” Jack told Todenhoefer. “After procedure like these, they confessed everything. They would have even said that they killed Kennedy without even knowing who he was.”

Read More

Obama’s justice department grants immunity to Bush’s CIA torturers
December 10, 2014

The Obama administration’s aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the “war on terror” crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete. Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the US torture program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday, “eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA”.

To see what a farce this is, it is worthwhile briefly to review the timeline of how Obama officials acted to shield Bush torturers from all accountability. During his 2008 campaign for president, Obama repeatedly vowed that, while he opposed “partisan witch-hunts”, he would instruct his attorney general to “immediately review” the evidence of criminality in these torture programs because “nobody is above the law.” Yet, almost immediately after winning the 2008 election, Obama,before he was even inaugurated, made clear that he was opposed to any such investigations, citing what he called “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards”.

Throughout the first several months of his presidency, his top political aides, such as the chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, publicly – and inappropriately – pressured the justice department to refrain from any criminal investigations. Over and over, they repeated the Orwellian mantra that such investigations were objectionable because “we must look forward, not backward”. As Gibbs put it in April 2009, when asked to explain Obama’s opposition, “the president is focused on looking forward. That’s why.”

On 16 April 2009, Obama himself took the first step in formalizing the full-scale immunity he intended to bestow on all government officials involved even in the most heinous and lethal torture. On that date, he decreed absolute immunity for any official involved in torture provided that it comported with the permission slips produced by Bush department of justice (DOJ) lawyers which authorized certain techniques. “This is a time for reflection, not retribution,” the new president so movingly observed in his statement announcing this immunity. Obama added:

"[N]othing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past … we must resist the forces that divide us, and instead come together on behalf of our common future."

Note how, in Obama’s new formulation, those who believed that Bush officials should be held criminally accountable for their torture crimes – should be subjected to the rule of law on equal terms with ordinary citizens – were now scorned as “the forces that divide us”. On the same day, Holder issued his own statement arguing that “it would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the justice department.”

But at least this limited immunity left open the possibility of prosecuting those agents who went beyond the limits of the DOJ memos in how they tortured: in other words, those “rogue” torturers who used brutality and savagery beyond even what was permitted by Bush lawyers. On several occasions, Holder had flamboyantly leaked that he was horrified by what he read in certain case files about detainees who were severely injured by torture or even killed by it – there were more than 100 detainees who died while in US custody – and that he could not, in good conscience, simply sweep all of that under the rug.

As a result, in August 2009, Holder announced a formal investigation to determine whether criminal charges should be brought in over 100 cases of severe detainee abuse involving “off-the-books methods” such as “mock execution and threatening a prisoner with a gun and a power drill”, as well as threats that “prisoners [would be] made to witness the sexual abuse of their relatives.” But less than two years later, on 30 June 2011, Holder announced that of the more than 100 cases the justice department had reviewed, there would be no charges brought in any of them – except two.

The only exceptions were two particularly brutal cases, both of which resulted in the death of the detainee. One involved the 2002 abuse of Gul Rahman, who froze to death in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan known as the “Salt Pit”, after he was beaten, stripped, and then shackled to a cement wall in freezing temperatures.

The other was the 2003 death of Manadel al-Jamadi at Abu Ghraib, who died in CIA custody after he was beaten, stripped, had cold water poured on him, and then shackled to the wall. It was al-Jamadi’s ice-packed body which was infamously photographed with a smiling US Army Sgt Charles Granier standing over it giving the thumbs-up sign.

Full article

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Around the World from Australia to Afghanistan with @andrewquilty

To see more of Andrew’s images from Afghanistan and beyond, follow @andrewquilty on Instagram.

“I try to articulate the simple, yet harsh everyday lives of Afghans. I suppose I’m fascinated to observe a young population that has known no reality but war in forty years,” says Australian photojournalist Andrew Quilty (@andrewquilty). Currently based in Kabul, he covers news events around the region, including the unfolding crises spilling across the borders of northern Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. His own life journey began very differently, on beaches in the South Pacific. “I grew up in Sydney and spent my post-high school years surfing there and all over Australia and Indonesia,” he explains. “My interest in photography came a couple of years into that, and I began to combine the two obsessions when I got myself an underwater camera housing. Over time my passion for photography—as it became my career—began to override surfing. So much so that I now find myself living in a landlocked desert of a country, Afghanistan.”