Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

How to stop the drug wars

March 6, 2009

Mar 5th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Prohibition has failed; legalisation is the least bad solution

Illustration by Noma Bar

A HUNDRED years ago a group of foreign diplomats gathered in Shanghai for the first-ever international effort to ban trade in a narcotic drug. On February 26th 1909 they agreed to set up the International Opium Commission—just a few decades after Britain had fought a war with China to assert its right to peddle the stuff. Many other bans of mood-altering drugs have followed. In 1998 the UN General Assembly committed member countries to achieving a “drug-free world” and to “eliminating or significantly reducing” the production of opium, cocaine and cannabis by 2008.

That is the kind of promise politicians love to make. It assuages the sense of moral panic that has been the handmaiden of prohibition for a century. It is intended to reassure the parents of teenagers across the world. Yet it is a hugely irresponsible promise, because it cannot be fulfilled. (more…)

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2 months into 2009, US deaths spike in Afghanistan

March 1, 2009

KABUL (AP) — U.S. deaths in Afghanistan increased threefold during the first two months of 2009 compared with the same period last year, after thousands more troops deployed and commanders ramped up winter operations against an increasingly violent insurgency. (more…)

Ahmadinejad Offers Obama Landmark Congratulations

November 7, 2008

For the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, an Iranian leader has offered well wishes to a U.S. president-elect.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

TEHRAN,Iran — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday congratulated Barack Obama on his election win — the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes to a U.S. president-elect since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. (more…)

Election unleashes a flood of hope worldwide

November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PARIS: From the front lines of Iraq to more genteel spots like Harry’s Bar in Paris, the election of Barack Obama opened a floodgate for the world’s hope that a new U.S. leader would redeem promises of change, rewrite the political script and provide a kind of leadership that would erase the bitterness of the Bush years.

Whether it was because of Obama’s youth, race, message or manner, some European leaders abandoned diplomatic niceties to compete for extravagance in their praise, while others outside the United States – fascinated by an election that had been scrutinized around the globe – reached for their most telling comparisons. (more…)

Bush Administration Committed War Crimes Against Prisoners, Reveals Physicians for Human Rights

November 4, 2008

Originally published November 4 2008

by David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) The Bush administration has committed war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay in its practice of torturing prisoners, according to the conclusions of a medical examination conducted by the organization Physicians for Human Rights.

“After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes,” wrote retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba in the preface to the report. “The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account. (more…)

Speak Up! Stop covering Palin until she gives a press conference.

October 21, 2008

By Christopher Hitchens


The new line of the day, taken by many conservative intellectuals, is that criticism of Gov. Sarah Palin is essentially a blend of snobbery and sexism. This, I presume, is intended as a sort of strike against the considerable number of conservative commentators, from David Frum to Christopher Buckley, who have openly said that the woman is not qualified to be vice president. There is, of course, also the question of whether she is qualified to be governor of Alaska. Writing about her when she was first put forward by Sen. John McCain, I rather feebly took the line that one should give her the benefit of the doubt and not be condescending, but it does now begin to look as if most of what she claimed for herself, from the “bridge to nowhere” to the “troopergate” business, was very questionable at best, and much of what her critics said was essentially true. (more…)

Bush Administration will keep secret ‘grim’ Afghanistan report quiet until after election

September 24, 2008

John Byrne
Published: Tuesday September 23, 2008

A secret US intelligence report which says the political and military situation in Afghanistan is “grim” will be withheld from the public until after the election, a new report says. (more…)

Katie Couric To Obama: People Are “Scratching Their Heads” About Your Opposition To Surge

July 25, 2008
Jason Linkins
| HuffPost Reporting From DC
July 23, 2008 12:44 PM


When Katie Couric told Haaretz that “The glory days of TV news are over,” her words framed what looked like a lament, but her recent deeds make them seem like a threat. Her recent interview with Senator Barack Obama, at the very least, certainly failed to glorify any of the parties involved.

Follow me through the video and long-ish blockquote below…

COURIC: Before the surge, as you know, Senator, there were 80 to 100 U.S. casualties a month, the country was rife with sectarian violence, and you raised a lot of eyebrows on this trip saying even knowing what you know now, you still would not have supported the surge. People may be scratching their heads and saying, “Why?”
OBAMA: Well … because … what I was referring to, and I’ve consistently referred to, is the need for a strategy that actually concludes our involvement in Iraq and moves Iraqis to take responsibility for the country. (more…)

Military suicides

May 31, 2008

Military suicide rate

The number of Army suicides increased again last year, amid the most violent year yet in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. (more…)