Afghanistan

Submitted by tnjp on April 12, 2013 - 3:41pm.


April 11, 2013 by Common Dreams
Two Obamas, Two Classes of Children
by Ralph Nader
An Associated Press photograph brought the horror of little children lying dead outside of their home to an American Audience. At least 10 Afghan children and some of their mothers were struck down by an airstrike on their extended family household by order of President Barack Obama. He probably decided on what his aides describe as the routine weekly “Terror Tuesday” at the White House. On that day, Mr. Obama typically receives the advice about which “militants” should live or die thousands of miles away from drones or aircraft. Even if households far from war zones are often destroyed in clear violation of the laws of war, the president is not deterred.

These Obama airstrikes are launched knowing that very often there is “collateral damage,” that is a form of “so sorry terrorism.” How can the president explain the vaporization of a dozen pre-teen Afghan boys collecting firewood for their families on a hillside? The local spotter-informants must have been disoriented by all those $100 bills in rewards. Imagine a direct strike killing and injuring scores of people in a funeral procession following a previous fatal strike that was the occasion of this processional mourning. Remember the December 2009 Obama strike on an alleged al-Qaida training camp in Yemen, using tomahawk missiles and – get this – cluster bombs, that killed 14 women and 21 children. Again and again “so sorry terrorism” ravages family households far from the battlefields...

Submitted by tnjp on March 20, 2013 - 11:25pm.

10 Years Later and I’m Still Protesting War
Posted on Mar 19, 2013
By Col. Ann Wright

Ten years ago, I resigned my post in opposition to President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq. I had worked in the U.S. government for most of my life, first in the Army and Army Reserves, retiring as a colonel, and then as a diplomat. I served in U.S. embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and Micronesia. I helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2001.

Yet after serving in eight presidential administrations, beginning under Lyndon Johnson during the war on Vietnam, I ended my career in the U.S. government in opposition to another conflict—the war on Iraq.

A decade after I stepped down as the deputy ambassador in the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, the war in Iraq is over for Americans, but continues for Iraqis. The whirlwind of sectarian violence brought on by the U.S. invasion and occupation continues to blow there.

The war on Afghanistan is now in its 13th year and as the anniversary of my resignation day approaches, I find myself outside the gates of Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, protesting war and, in particular, President Obama’s killer drone programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Although Obama’s kill list, the CIA drone attacks in the undeclared war on Pakistan and the assassination of three American citizens by drone in Yemen receive most of the media and congressional attention, the incredibly large number of drone strikes in Afghanistan has gotten scant coverage—and that is why I am at Creech...

Submitted by tnjp on March 15, 2013 - 8:51pm.

Read the transcript HERE...

Freedom of the Press Foundation Publishes Leaked Audio of Bradley Manning’s Statement
March 11, 2013
By Trevor Timm Follow @TrevorTimm Rainey Reitman Follow @RaineyReitman

Today, Freedom of the Press Foundation is publishing the full, previously unreleased audio recording of Private First Class Bradley Manning’s speech to the military court in Ft. Meade about his motivations for leaking over 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks. In addition, we have published highlights from Manning’s statement to the court.

While unofficial transcripts of this statement are available, this marks the first time the American public has heard the actual voice of Manning.

Bradley Manning's Full Statement

Download

full_statement.mp3 (63M)

full_statement.ogg (37M)

See Help Spread Bradley Manning's Words Across the Internet to embed the full audio, as well as excerpts from the audio, on your website.

Read the transcript HERE...

He explains to the military court in his own cadence and words how and why he gave the Apache helicopter video, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars Logs, and the State Department Diplomatic Cables to WikiLeaks. Manning explains his motives, noting how he believed the documents showed deep wrongdoing by the government and how he hoped that the release would "spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan." In conjunction with the statement, Private First Class Manning also pleaded guilty to 10 of the 22 charges against him.

Freedom of the Press Foundation is dedicated to supporting journalism that combats overreaching government secrecy. We have been disturbed that Manning’s pre-trial hearings have been hampered by the kind of extreme government secrecy that his releases to WikiLeaks were intended to protest. While reporters are allowed in the courtroom, no audio or visual recordings are permitted by the judge, no transcripts of the proceedings or any motions by the prosecution have been released, and lengthy court orders read on the stand by the judge have not been published for public review...

Submitted by tnjp on March 12, 2013 - 5:13pm.


St. Pete for Peace 10 year anniversary video, edited by Tyler Pridemore.

We've participated in hundreds of actions (rallies, marches, demonstrations, protests, cornerings, banner drops, etc.) surrounding these topics:

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Haiti, Egypt, Quran burning, BP oil spill, bailouts, homeless issues (tent city, Food Not Bombs feedings), gay rights, immigrant rights, police killings, torture photos, weapon manufacturers, Wikileaks, and of course free speech.

We've also shown over 300 free-of-charge socially conscious movies, hosted concerts (David Rovics and Evan Greer), guest speakers (Medea Benjamin and Cindy Sheehan), and hosted a musical radio show on WMNF.

St. Pete for Peace publishes and maintains an array of fact sheets, one of which was published in a college text book. We've also developed and maintained the www.OccupyArrests.com and www.USinAfrica.com websites.

It's because of the efforts of a wide range of people including you, who fight the good fight for others, that we can celebrate 10 years of resistance!!...

Submitted by tnjp on March 3, 2013 - 6:37pm.

Pfc. Bradley E. Manning's Statement for the Providence Inquiry
By Alexa O'Brien on February 28, 2013 11:59 AM

For more information on the lack of public and press access to United States v. Pfc. Manning, visit the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed a petition requesting the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) "to order the Judge to grant the public and press access to the government's motion papers, the court's own orders, and transcripts of proceedings, none of which have been made public to date."

The statement below was read by Private First Class Bradley E. Manning at the providence inquiry for his formal plea of guilty to one specification as charged and nine specifications for lesser included offenses. He pled not guilty to 12 other specifications. This transcript was taken by journalist Alexa O'Brien at the Article 39(a) session of United States v. Pfc. Bradley Manning on February 28, 2013 at Fort Meade, MD, USA.

Manning said the most alarming aspect of the Collateral Murder video was the "seemingly delightful bloodlust" of helicopter crew.

Judge Lind: Pfc. Manning you may read your statement.

Pfc. Bradley Manning: Yes, your Honor. I wrote this statement in the confinement facility. The following facts are provided in support of the providence inquiry for my court martial, United States v. Pfc. Bradley E. Manning.....

Submitted by tnjp on October 8, 2012 - 4:18pm.

Afghan 11th Anniversary demo on Oct. 7th, 2012. A beautiful sunny day in front of the old Florida Capitol. All in all a decent sized showing, as far as these things have gone the past several years. Old friends met again and some new faces joined in as well.

Surprise of the day was a spirited environmental protest march and rally of about 100 or so young activists that converged on the steps of the Capitol organized by the Energy Action Coalition and the Southern Energy Network with the help of the FAMU Green Coalition.

They had marched from the Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference (SSREC) on FAMU's campus.

More pics and video on the flip...

Submitted by tnjp on November 20, 2010 - 3:22pm.

Pentagon blows up thousands of homes in Afghanistan

Repeating the horrors of the Vietnam War
By Brian Becker, ANSWER Coalition National Coordinator

Borrowing a page from its infamous “pacification” effort in South Vietnam, where peasant villages were napalmed and burned to the ground to “save them from the communists,” the Obama-ordered surge in Afghanistan has been secretly blowing up thousands of homes and leveling portions of the Afghan countryside.

As tens of thousands of U.S. troops have surged into southern Afghanistan, villagers have fled. Then the Petraeus-led occupation forces have determined which homes will be destroyed.

“In Arghandab District, for instance, every one of the 40 homes in the village of Khosrow was flattened by a salvo of 25 missiles, according to the district governor, Shah Muhammed Ahmadi, who estimated that 120 to 130 houses had been demolished in his district,” reported the New York Times, Nov. 16, 2010.

The Pentagon asserts that they must destroy the homes because some of them may have explosive devices inside.

The Pentagon’s murderous rampage and terror campaign 40 years ago against South Vietnamese villages, in areas that were considered sympathetic to the resistance forces, used much of the same kind of explanation. In fact, the New York Times in a throw back to Vietnam quotes the Arghandab District Governor, who is working with the occupation forces: “We had to destroy them to make them safe.”...

Submitted by tnjp on November 2, 2010 - 2:09pm.


War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal - #24 of the top 25 Censored news stories of 2011

Sources:

Seymour Hersh, "Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including in Latin America," Democracy Now!, March 31, 2009

Seymour Hersh, "You Can't Authorise Murder," interview with Abbas Al Lawati, Gulf News, May 12, 2009

PressTV, "McChrystal Was Cheney's Chief Assassin," May 16, 2009

A little more than a year before he was fired on June 23, 2010, for making potentially insubordinate remarks in a Rolling Stone profile, General Stanley McChrystal was appointed by President Barack Obama as commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan. He had been formerly in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Most of what General McChrystal has done over a thirty-three-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the JSOC, a special black operations commando unit of the Navy Seals and Delta Force so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims that the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to former Vice President Dick Cheney, and that Congress had no oversight of it whatsoever. The JSOC team would go into countries, without talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, find people on a to-be-killed list, execute them, and leave. There was an ongoing list of targeted people, cleared by Vice President Cheney's office, who had committed acts of war or were suspected of planning operations of war against the United States. Hersh asserts that there have been assassinations in a dozen countries in the Middle East and Latin America. "There's an executive order, signed by President Ford, in the '70s, forbidding such action. It's not only contrary-it's illegal, it's immoral, it's counterproductive," he added...

Submitted by tnjp on October 21, 2010 - 8:24pm.


from IVAW as part of their ongoing Operation Recovery -

The Link Between PTSD and Suicide
Every 36 hours, a military member commits suicide

The occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan are continuing by the use of exhausted troops who are sent to war over and over again on multiple deployments. Common sense as well as the Pentagon's own study tells us that increased exposure to traumatic events increases the likelihood of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A dangerous symptom of PTSD is suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Last week, in an effort to de-stigmatize the issue of mental health within the military, the American Psychiatric Association initiated a call to reverse the policy of the President not sending condolence letters to families who have lost a service member due to suicide. This is one step in addressing an overall military culture that stigmatizes those who seek help for mental or emotional distress, but there is a lot more work to do.

Veteran death rate is 300% higher than rate of those killed in combat
A recent study of veteran deaths in California reveals startling figures - between 2005 and 2008, three times more veterans died at home than died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan during the same period. The results of the study, described in a recent NY Times article by Aaron Glantz, counted the deaths of veterans by suicide, drug overdoses, motorcycle accidents, and other risky behaviors linked to PTSD...

Submitted by tnjp on October 19, 2010 - 12:50pm.

Tom Hayden
The Peace Exchange Bulletin

The Costs of Iraq and Afghanistan

The White House and Pentagon worry about the political costs if the American people learn the true costs of Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of casualties and taxpayer dollars.

These costs are the main factors driving 58 percent of the American public, including over 70 percent of Democrats and a majority of independent voters, to question whether these wars are justified.

It seems unbelievable, and certainly unconscionable, to keep these facts smothered in fog, when they need to be communicated in every blog, every leaflet, every speech given by anti-war activists.

The Costs of Iraq and Afghanistan.pdf

Here are the best estimates that have been hidden from the public:

Submitted by tnjp on October 17, 2010 - 8:46pm.

DemocracyNow trancript/audio/video

After Service, Veteran Deaths Surge
October 16, 2010
By AARON GLANTZ

In the six years after Reuben Paul Santos returned to Daly City from a combat tour in Iraq, he battled depression with poetry, violent video games and, finally, psychiatric treatment. His struggle ended last October, when he hung himself from a stairwell. He was 27.

The high suicide rate among veterans has already emerged as a major issue for the military and the families and loved ones of military personnel. But Mr. Santos’s death is part of a larger trend that has remained hidden: a surge in the number of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans who have died not just as a result of suicide, but also because of vehicle accidents, motorcycle crashes, drug overdoses or other causes after being discharged from the military.

An analysis of official death certificates on file at the State Department of Public Health reveals that more than 1,000 California veterans under 35 died between 2005 and 2008. That figure is three times higher than the number of California service members who were killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts over the same period...

Submitted by tnjp on October 15, 2010 - 8:41pm.

Antiwar Activism Marks 10th Year of War - UFPJ report

Antiwar activists across the US marked the war anniversary with protests last week. Mock drone attacks dramatized the human cost of war in Madison, WI [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRuNVp8Vrvs ] and Boston [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovCbTqHC2lE ], and in Washington, DC [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLqJ3eDX6Xk ] at the Capitol, Union Station, and Dupont Circle (video). There was a die-in in Springfield, Oregon, and check out the great op-ed by Dan Goldrich in the Register Guard. On Long Island, Veterans for Peace and other peace activists demonstrated for an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiXIVL7L-9E ] (video). And in San Francisco, Daniel Ellsberg joined a panel on "Anti-War Perspectives from the Left and Right", which brought together antiwar voices from a range of political perspectives...

Submitted by tnjp on October 12, 2010 - 8:54pm.

Despite Army Efforts, Soldier Suicides Continue
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
US | October 11, 2010

Nearly 20 months after the Army began strengthening its suicide prevention program, the suicide rate among active service members shows little sign of improvement.

FORT HOOD, Tex. - At 3:30 a.m. on a Saturday in August, Specialist Armando G. Aguilar Jr. found himself at the end of his short life. He was standing, drunk and weepy, in the parking lot of a Valero station outside Waco, Tex.

He had jumped out of his moving pickup. There was a police officer talking to him in frantic tones.

Specialist Aguilar held a pistol pointed at his head. This moment had been a long time coming, his family said. He had twice tried to commit suicide with pills since returning from a tough tour in Iraq a year earlier, where his job was to drive an armored vehicle to search for bombs.

Army doctors had put him on medications for depression, insomnia, nightmares and panic attacks. Specialist Aguilar was seeing an Army therapist every week.

But he had been getting worse in the days before his death, his parents said, seeing shadowy figures that were not there, hallucinating that he heard loud noises outside his trailer home. "He wanted help - he was out there asking for help," said his father, Armando Aguilar Sr. "He just snapped. He couldn't control what he was doing no more." Specialist Aguilar was one of 20 soldiers connected to Fort Hood who are believed to have committed suicide this year...

Submitted by tnjp on October 8, 2010 - 1:20pm.

Latest from Robert Greenwald...

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