Last news from Pakistan and Afganistan

Pakistanis have great deal of emotional attachment with the Iranian people: Shahid R. Siddiqi

Kourosh Ziabari

The 2010 Pakistan flood was one of the most unpleasant and painful incidents of the year which attracted widespread international attention due to its extensiveness and destructive impacts. The floods started in July following heavy monsoon rains and overflow of the Indus River in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan. It is estimated that more than two thousand people lost their lives and over a million homes were destroyed since the flooding began. According to the United Nations estimates, over 21 million people have been injured or displaced as a result of the devastative flood.

Pakistani journalist and former Air Force employee Shahid R. Siddiqi joined me in an interview to discuss the aftermaths of the unprecedented flood which encompassed the whole Pakistan in a matter of days and caused serious damages to the country's agriculture, industry, energy sector, infrastructures and even politics. Mr. Siddiqi answered my questions about the government's management of the flood and the distribution of humanitarian aid sent by different countries to the flood-hit regions. He explained that how the unanticipated disaster paralyzed Pakistan in an astonishing way and surprised the unprepared government which failed to manage the crisis appropriately. In this interview, I also seized the opportunity to ask Mr. Siddiqi some questions about the prospect of Iran – Pakistan relations and Pakistan's stance on Iran's nuclear program.

Shahid R. Siddiqi has been a broadcaster with the Radio Pakistan and the Islamabad bureau chief of the "Pakistan and Gulf Economist". His articles and political commentaries appear in the Pakistani newspapers such as Dawn, The Nation and Pakistan Herald. He is also the founder of Asian American Republican Club. Siddiqi is a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy Journal, Middle East Times and Axis of Logic.

NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan

Rick Rozoff

On October 7 the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization military allies will begin the tenth year of their war in Afghanistan, over 3,000 miles from NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

The following month midterm elections will be held in the U.S. and NATO will hold a two-day summit in Portugal. The American administration is eager to achieve, or appear to have achieved, a foreign policy triumph in an effort to retain Democratic Party control of Congress and NATO something to show for the longest and largest military mission in its 61 years of existence.

President Barack Obama has tripled the amount of American combat troops in Afghanistan to 100,000 and along with forces from other NATO member states and partner nations there are now over 150,000 foreign troops in the nation, the most ever stationed in the war-wracked country. 120,000 of those soldiers are now under the command of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the most ever serving in a North Atlantic Alliance-led military operation. NATO deployed 60,000 troops to Bosnia in 1995 and 50,000 to Kosovo four years later, in both instances after bombing campaigns and in post-conflict situations.

The 120,000 NATO forces currently in theater – from 50 nations already with more pegged to provide troops – are at the center of the world’s longest-lasting and increasingly deadly hot war. NATO’s first ground war, its first combat operations in Asia.

Last year was the most lethal for the U.S and NATO in what is now a nine-year conflict and this year has already proven even more costly in terms of combat deaths. And there are three more months to go.

Afghan War News Shock - Norwegian and U.S. Soldiers Kill for Thrills

Christopher Bollyn
Christopher Bollyn's Blog

I have deployed my men for a mission to kill, and we've had great
success with it...I don't reflect much about taking peoples' lives
company chief Kristian Simonsen in Meymaneh, near the border
with Turkmenistan, told VG (newspaper).

Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty. ~ Madame de Stael

Norwegians and Scandinavians are shocked and appalled to read that Norwegian soldiers actually enjoy killing Afghan resistance fighters, who are fighting the foreign occupation of their country. The Norwegian magazine Alfa coming out this week carries an article with interviews with Norwegian snipers who brag about killing Afghans from more than 2,500 meters. The Norwegian report mirrors a grisly ABC News report of U.S. troops "Killing for Sport" innocent Afghan civilians and cutting off parts of their bodies. These reports reveal the false morality of the criminal war in Afghanistan.

Our Mission Is "To Kill"

To kill Afghans, the soldiers say, is better than having sex.

"To fight and kill is worth three months without sex. Maybe it sounds idiotic but it is better than sex," [one Norwegian sniper said.] "When you are on the field it is you or the enemy. And when you see the 'red mist' (blood spurt from sniper victim) is indescribable. It's why we are here." "Sometimes we get lucky," [one of the snipers told Alfa.] "I hit a Taliban in the neck from 2,770 meters on February 2. That was really great."

Alfa magazine appears to be of that peculiar genre of magazines for men that mixes sex with war and violence. Although the issue of Alfa has not yet hit the newstands the story has already caused an uproar in Norway, a land that suffered a brutal occupation under the Nazi regime during the Second World War. This presents the fundamental ethical problem that I posed to the Norwegian government several years ago when it became clear to the public that Norwegian soldiers were not promoting democracy or building schools in Afghanistan - they were simply killing people.

The Norwegian mission that Simonsen commands is called the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) but what are they really constructing? What is the real purpose for the 500 Norwegian soldiers who are on a mission to kill Afghans in the province of Afghanistan that borders Turkmenistan? Could it be that greedy Norwegian oil oligarchs (read Statoil) are invested in the criminal scheme to occupy Afghanistan in order to build the TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India - for Israel's Mossad gangsters?


America’s Undeclared War: Deadly Drone Attacks In Pakistan Reach Record High

Rick Rozoff

On September 25 three missiles fired from a U.S. Predator drone killed four people near the capital of North Waziristan in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, marking at least the 16th such attack in the country so far this month.

This September has seen the largest amount of American unmanned aerial vehicle – drone – attacks in Pakistan and the most deaths resulting from them of any month in the nine-year war waged by the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies in Afghanistan and, though insufficiently acknowledged, increasingly in Pakistan.

By way of comparison, in the deadliest month preceding this one, January of 2010, there were 11 missile strikes directed by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Activities unit inside Pakistan. Last September there were six.

In 2009 there were 53 drone attacks. This year so far there have been nearly 75. The estimated death toll from strikes for last year was 709. In less than nine months this year there have been close to 650. If the annual, and surely if September’s monthly, rate continues, 2010 will be the deadliest year to date just as this month is already the deadliest month.


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