The State Department in its 2013 human rights report on Afghanistan said the sexual abuse of boys, or bacha baazi, is on the rise in the region, with the practice becoming common in Kabul.
“The practice of ‘bacha bazi’ (dancing boys) – which involved powerful or wealthy local figures and businessmen sexually abusing young boys who were trained to dance in female clothes – was on the rise,” the State Department said in its human rights report.
The report noted an increase in rapes during the year, with most victims being children. In fact, sexual abuse of children reached an all-time high, according to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Continue reading »
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has labelled yet another project in danger of failing. This time its U.S. plans to develop the country’s oil, gas and minerals industries.
The United States has spent nearly half a billion dollars and five years developing Afghanistan’s oil, gas and minerals industries — and has little to show for it, a government watchdog reported today.
The project’s failings are the result of poorly planned programs, inadequate infrastructure and a challenging partnership with the Afghan government, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction wrote in its newest damning assessment of U.S. efforts in the war-torn country. The finding comes after some 200 SIGAR reports have detailed inefficient, unsuccessful or downright wasteful reconstruction projects. A recent ProPublica analysis of the reports found that there has been at least $17 billion in questionable spending. Continue reading »
British troops have been redeployed to Helmand province after Afghan government forces suffered a defeat to the Taliban. Insurgents re-took much of Sangin, a town in the province where the British army previously lost over 100 soldiers.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed troops had been deployed, but insisted they would not take on a combat role and were in the country to provide support and advice to the Afghan National Army (ANA).
However, reports from the Times and the Wall Street Journal suggest British SAS and American special forces have also been deployed to help on the ground. Continue reading »
One of the biggest money-spinners for Islamic State terrorists is transporting illegal drugs from Afghanistan to Europe through Turkey and the Balkans, according to the head of Russia’s federal anti-drug agency FKSN.
“ISIS fighters are controlling certain territory,” Viktor Ivanov was quoted as saying by TASS. “Now it is targeted by the Russian Air Force, but until recently the terrorists enjoyed great freedom there. Trafficking illegal drugs was one of the major sources of their income.” Continue reading »
Late last month in “Russia’s Mid-East Takeover Continues As Afghanistan Requests Military Assistance From Moscow,” we noted, with some amusement, that Kabul was set to request a weapons delivery from Russia to aid in the fight against the Taliban. “Afghanistan, battered by worsening security, is reaching out to an old ally and patron—Russia—just as the Kremlin is seeking to reassert its position as a heavyweight on the world stage,” WSJ reported, on the way to detailing a request from President Ashraf Ghani who “asked Moscow for artillery, small arms and Mi-35 helicopter gunships for his country’s struggling military.”
The request came just a little over a week after President Obama canceled plans to bring the majority of American troops still stationed in Afghanistan home. Under Obama’s previous plan, Washington would withdraw most of the 9,800 troops operating in the country by the end of next year, leaving a force of just 1,000. Now, all 9,800 troops will remain for “most” of next year and 5,500 troops will remain in 2017. The official reason for the about face is that a resurgent Taliban now controls more territory in Afghanistan than at any other time since 2001.
As a reminder, the Taliban took Kabul in 1996 and ruled until the regime was toppled by the US in the wake of 9/11.Continue reading »
In Charge of Saving Taxpayers’ Money in Afghanistan … Wait Till You Hear His Horror Stories
An ineffective $8 billion counternarcotics effort, $500 million worth of cargo planes that had to be turned into scrap metal and a $30 million program to grow crops that nobody wants — those are just some of the examples of how US funds have been wasted in Afghanistan.
While taxpayers have every right to be upset about how their money has been squandered, they might feel even more strongly about the lack of consequences for those who spend it so unwisely. Continue reading »
Earlier today, we learned that the U.S. government had raided a citizens victim fund to the tune of $1.5 billion in order to use the money for general expenses. It’s all starting to make sense now. When you’re spending $43 million on gas stations that should cost $500K, it doesn’t take long to run out of money.
The U.S. Department of Defense spent nearly $43 million on a gas station in northern Afghanistan and has been unable to explain why it cost so much, a U.S. special inspector reported on Monday.Continue reading »
KABUL, Afghanistan — A deadly earthquake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday afternoon, registering a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 and causing heavy damage in one of the world’s most impoverished and war-torn regions.
At least 122 people were reported killed, with 100 or more of them in Pakistan, and that figure seemed likely to rise significantly, officials in both countries said. Continue reading »
Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama has reneged on his promise to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. By no means is this the first promise he has broken and it must be feared it will not be the last, given the man’s track record.
The reason why US troops are remaining in Afghanistan is a simple one: the US has not spent billions of dollars on the conquest and colonization of the country to just close shop over there and say goodbye. In the first place, Afghanistan has a unique strategic position in Central Asia that, according to prevalent geopolitical thought in Washington, just needs to be occupied. Continue reading »
The Americans, who were, just three months ago, dismissing the arrival of Isis in Afghanistan as nothing more than an internal squabble within Taliban, now belatedly acknowledge they are facing a growing threat with very limited means of response after the withdrawal of the bulk of international forces at the end of last year. Continue reading »
In particular, MSF (Doctors Without Borders) quickly publicized numerous facts that cast serious doubt on the original U.S. claim that the strike on the hospital was just an accident. To begin with, the organization had repeatedly advised the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of the hospital. They did so most recently on September 29, just five days before the strike. Beyond that, MSF personnel at the facility “frantically” called U.S. military officials during the strike to advise them that the hospital was being hit and to plead with them to stop, but the strikes continued in a “sustained” manner for 30 more minutes.
By now, all of you will have read about the U.S. military’s recent bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. What you may not be aware of, is how much the official story has changed in the days since this inexcusable act of barbarism became public.
Doctors Without Borders has been calling the attack a “war crime,” which to the average American sounds outlandish and impossible. The justification for this claim is simple — that the airstrike wasn’t an accident at all, and that the U.S. military intentionally targeted the hospital. As the days go by, it becomes increasingly clear that this is indeed the case, and the Pentagon is now scrambling to justify the intentional targeting of a hospital. Continue reading »
Had the President of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders not warned us of the “imminent threat to global health” posed by the TPP, would these 22 doctors and patients have lost their lives early Saturday?
“I don’t know exactly how long, but it was maybe half an hour afterwards that they stopped bombing. I went out with the project coordinator to see what had happened. What we saw was the hospital destroyed, burning,” describednurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs of the U.S. bombardment of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
Harsh criticism and skepticism surround what is being labeled an errant U.S. bombardment of a hospital in Kunduz that left 22 people dead — many of them volunteers with Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, the humanitarian aid agency) — but doubt lingers about the vague official story for a reason.
In the aftermath of Saturday’s tragic and unprecedented bombing of an Afghanistan hospital by the US air force, one which killed 22 and continued for 30 minutes after mission command has been allegedly notified of the “error” which the US initially claimed was “collateral damage”, the Doctors without Borders physician group in charge of operating the hospital has come out swinging and has equated the US bombing of a hospital to engaging in nothing short of a war crime. Continue reading »
By way of excuse for what President Obama called “a tragic incident,” (and The UN called a ‘war crime’) US officials have claimed that the Taliban were fighting from within the Kabul hospital (which was destroyed by a US air strike yesterday killing at least 19 including 3 children) using aid workers as “a human shield.” However, this justification for the ‘collateral damage’ has been vehemently denied by Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) who have issued a statement dismissing the US claims, “the gates of the hospital compound were closed all night so no one that is not staff, a patient or a caretaker was inside the hospital when the bombing happened…” but, the US strike has done one thing, as one local health official concluded, “this city is no longer for the living.”Continue reading »
Update: and now the UN is getting involved, which means the US will have to spend even more taxpayer funds on bribes to make the “international community” forget this collateral damage incident and refocus on evil Russia.
#BREAKING: Kunduz air strikes ‘inexcusable’, ‘possibly criminal’: UN rights chief
Up to 20 civilians were killed by U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan early Saturday morning that hit a hospital in Kunduz. According to reports, another 37 people have been injured and many more remain unaccounted for. The hospital is operated by a French affiliate of Doctors Without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières (MFS), and was the only functioning health facility in the area.
According to The Guardian, “The hospital was hit during an aerial bombardment on Saturday morning in the besieged city of Kunduz, destroying a large portion of the facility. An MSF source told the Guardian that up to 20 Afghan members of staff and patients were killed and dozens more injured. They said the death toll could rise further. Among the killed were nine MSF staff and seven patients from the intensive care unit, including three children.”Continue reading »
“The Kite Runner,” Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel, featured a pivotal and highly controversial scene in which one of the young male protagonists is raped by an older youth. That harrowing section of the best-selling book highlighted the rampant sexual abuse of children in Afghanistan. Now, a revelation—even more horrifying—has implicated real-life U.S. soldiers serving in that country. The New York Times on Sunday reported how troops have been instructed to condone the routine rape of Afghan children by our warlord allies. The story is a cringe-inducing example of how corrupt our war in Afghanistan has been.
So rampant is the phenomenon of child rape by Afghan military commanders that it has a name: bacha bazi, which translates into “boy-play.” In some cases, rapes have taken place on U.S. military bases under the noses of American soldiers. But U.S. troops were told to look the other way because Washington considers the rapists’ help in fighting the Taliban central to its military strategy. Consequently, according to the Times, “instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of village—and doing little when they began abusing children.” The hypocrisy of arming human rights violators against the purportedly violent Taliban did not escape the notice of some U.S. troops who attempted to speak out but encountered retaliation.
When confronted with the revelations, the top brass of the U.S. military justified its apparent policy of excusing child rape among allied commanders. Spokesman Col. Brian Tribus, who is stationed in Afghanistan, told the Times, “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law,” and that U.S. troops are not obligated to even report the crimes. “An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war.” Strangely, the rape of Afghan children by our warlord friends is not considered a weapon of war, even though the victims are the most vulnerable members of the Afghan public that the U.S. has claimed to protect in the longest war it has ever waged. Continue reading »
Despite billions spent to eradicate opium crops in Afghanistan, the crop is more popular than ever there, leading many to wonder whether some U.S. forces may actually be encouraging its growth and the heroin it later becomes.
UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — The Islamic State group is making inroads in Afghanistan, winning over a growing number of sympathizers and recruiting followers in 25 of the country’s 34 provinces, a UN report said Friday.
The militant group, which controls large areas of Syria and Iraq, has been trying to establish itself in Afghanistan, challenging the Taliban on their own turf.
Afghan security forces told UN sanctions monitors that about 10 percent of the Taliban insurgency are IS sympathizers, according to the report by the UN’s Al-Qaeda monitoring team. Continue reading »
KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.
“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.
“All of these players, these politicians are nothing more than puppets, they don’t serve the people there is no real democracy, they serve the rich and powerful who run the world and that would be the bankers who control the money supply. The bankers make huge amounts of money….wars are great for them and ultimately they control the politicians.
Psychopaths are running the world.”
Ken O’ Keefe is a former US Marine turned anti-war campaigner who appeared on a Press TV debate called Syria: War of Deception, and absolutely owned his opponent in such an awesome way that you’ll be cheering at his every comment.
Recorded in August 2013, this interview is now two years old, but in light of the current Europeanrefugee crisis it’s more relevant today than ever before. Passionate, articulate and knowledgeable about the subject matter, O’Keefe is the perfect guy to step up and tell these home truths- and boy, does he do a good job.
This guy nails so many crucial points about the Syria situation in one interview, he’ll have you jumping around and punching the ceiling.
“We have tortured and killed and maimed and raped around this planet; who in their right mind would consider the United States or the West in general to be in any position to punish anybody?” the veteran begins angrily, going on to outline the evidence for Syria being a false flag attack (Note: leaked emails showing how Assad was framed by the USA are detailed in this cached Daily Mail report from January 2013, which was published online briefly before being removed).
He rightly points out that the USA dropped more bombs in Vietnam than during the whole of WW2 combined, that it regularly arms terrorists (but the mainstream press refer to them as ‘freedom fighters’ when it suits them) and the former marine also points out how the so-called ‘War on Terror’ is nothing more than a well-planned strategy to be in a “perpetual state of war to destabilize the region for the Greater Israel plan.”Continue reading »
Amid the dire situation in Afghanistan, the main US government organisation in charge of rebuilding the country has sent out a strong message to Washington. It says America has failed in multiple ways…
Scott Scottdale interviews Prof. John McMurtry for Canadian Challenger
John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and his work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his latest book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/from Crisis to Cure.
SS/CC: You have said that “the trick of the endless US-led wars in the Middle East is to control both sides so as to ensure against sovereign states able to defend the common interests of their peoples”. Please explain. Continue reading »
In this March 31, 2003 file photo, an Iraqi prisoner of war comforts his 4-year-old son at a regrouping center for POWs captured by the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division near An Najaf, Iraq. The man was seized in An Najaf with his son by the U.S. military.
Landmark research proves that the US-led ‘war on terror’ has killed as many as 2 million people, but this is a fraction of Western responsibility for deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two decades
Last month, the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks is at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million.The 97-page report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctors’ group is the first to tally up the total number of civilian casualties from US-led counter-terrorism interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Continue reading »
A report called Body Count has revealed that at least 1.3 million people have lost their lives as a result of the US-led “war on terror” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s a report which should have made front page news across the world.
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, have produced figures for the number of people killed from September 11, 2001 until the end of 2013.
The findings are devastating: the in-depth investigation concludes that the ‘war on terror‘ has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan. As awful as that sounds, the total of 1.3 million deaths does not take into account casualties in other war zones, such as Yemen – and the authors stress that the figure is a “conservative estimate”.
“The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely,” the executive summary says. Continue reading »