In just one week the United States government will commemorate its 16th anniversary in the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan.
This war did not really begin in 2001 resulting from the attacks on September 11 where planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon headquartered right outside of Washington, D.C.
U.S. involvement in the destabilization of Afghanistan goes back to the late 1970s when the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDP) led a socialist-oriented administration which advanced the cause of working people and farmers as well as providing fundamental civil rights to women. During this period Afghanistan was aligned with the Soviet Union and other progressive and non-capitalist states. Modernization programs were underway aimed at enhancing the standard of living and educational levels of the masses of people.
The PDPA was formed in 1965 by uniting several factions within the Socialist Party of Afghanistan. Later in 1973, the party assisted in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Republic of Afghanistan.
Factional disputes within the PDPA led to the ascendancy of Barbrak Kamal as head-of-state in Afghanistan in December 1979. This move was supported by the Soviet leadership which deployed military forces into Afghanistan to ensure the stability of the new government.
Taking advantage of the discontent among feudal, monarchist and other counter-revolutionary elements in the country, the U.S. through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon armed rebels with specific aim of derailing the revolutionary process. The formation of al-Qaeda occurred in these years while thousands of fighters were recruited within Afghanistan and abroad to join the campaign against the socialist government.
This war of destabilization was coordinated at the highest levels of the U.S. government under the administrations of both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. The anti-communist rebels were promoted in the U.S. as freedom fighters seeking to reclaim the historical traditions of Afghan people. Much was made of the presence of Soviet troops in Afghanistan evoking the notion of the red menace and overtaking of states by Communism.
The war in Afghanistan continued through the 1980s into the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union withdrew its support for the government of Najibullah. By 1992, the Mujahideen had taken over the capital. In later years, the Taliban became dominant soon establishing another regime in Kabul.
From the mid-to-late 1990s, al-Qaeda was considered to be more of an adversary to the U.S. resulting in it being projected through the corporate media as a major threat. The August 1998 bombing of U.S. embassy buildings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania prompted the Bill Clinton administration to bomb Afghanistan and the Republic of Sudan under the guise of both states serving as a base for Osama bin Laden.
Since 2001, the Pentagon under purported NATO command has been bombing and conducting ground operations in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. As of one year ago, the official statistics supplied by the U.S. military says 2,386 U.S. troops have been killed and over 20,000 wounded. Also 1,173 U.S. civilian contractors have been killed in the theater of war.
Troops from other NATO states account for another 1,000 or more deaths. Other casualties such as closed head injuries, psychological disorders, etc. extend into the hundreds of thousands. In regard to the number of Afghans and Pakistanis killed, the numbers are largely incalculable.
In what I consider to be a conservative estimate, the Washington Post reported in 2015 that:
“War has directly resulted in the deaths of 149,000 people in Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2001 and 2014, according to estimates in a new report released by the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute. That figure includes U.S. military members, contractors, and opposition fighters – as well as at least 26,270 civilians in Afghanistan, and 21,500 in Pakistan.” (June 3)
This same article carries a quote from the study’s author, Boston University professor Neta Crawford which says:
“While the U.S. formally ended combat operations in Afghanistan in December 2014, U.S. uniformed troops remain advising the Afghan security forces and engaging in combat. The war has not diminished in intensity. Rather, in several ways, most notably, in the numbers of civilians and Afghan military and police killed, the war has escalated.”
Figures included in the report show that civilian deaths in Afghanistan appear to have grown over the past few years. Bombings, drone attacks and ground operations have continued under the administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Donald Trump.
Another article from the New York Times dated June 11, 2017 indicates that all of the reported U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan this year were related to military engagements with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) local affiliate called the Islamic State of Khorasan. Therefore, the principal enemy of U.S. forces has gone from al-Qaeda to the Taliban and the Haqqani Network to now ISIS.
President Trump recently announced that he is deploying an additional 4,000 Pentagon troops to the country. At his infamous United Nations speech last week he attacked Pakistan as well for being partly responsible for the problems Washington is having in the region. Pakistan has denied the allegations from the U.S. leader.
Consequently, the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue until the U.S. suffers an outright military defeat or is forced to withdraw by the people in this country. The Vietnam War, which is the subject of a controversial documentary by Ken Burns now being shown over PBS, ended as a result of the combined revolutionary military resistance of the Democratic Republic in the North and the National Liberation Front in the occupied South.
Reflections on Imperialist Militarism and the African Crisis: The Cases of Chad, Togo and Libya
In closing I want to make a few remarks on some aspects of the political and security situation in Africa. Although not routinely addressed by the antiwar and peace movements in the U.S., the imperialists are continuing their efforts to halt development and exert total control over African Union (AU) member-states.
Chad, an oil-producing former French colony in western Central Africa, has been placed by Trump on the list of countries whose nationals are banned from entering the U.S. This came as a surprise for some considering the pro-Washington and Paris stance of successive Chadian governments.
An article published by Africa News noted:
“The inclusion of Chad is hinged on the failure of Ndjamena to share terrorism-related and other crucial information the U.S. required, the White House confirmed. Trump signed the order on March 6 banning travelers from six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for 90 days and locked out most aspiring refugees for 120 days.” (Sept. 25)
Only Iraq has been removed so far from the list in exchange for the targeting of Chaldean and other nationals from the country in the U.S. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela were added to the latest list issued by Trump.
Newsweek magazine said in a report published on September 25, that:
“Given Chad’s long history of cooperation with the United States and other Western powers—such as France—on counterterrorism, it appears strange that Chadian President Idriss Déby would withhold information from his counterpart in Washington. After 9/11, the State Department set up a counterterrorism program to assist Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger in monitoring the movement of people and goods. This initiative was succeed in 2005 by the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative, of which Chad remains a member. U.S. troops have also engaged in training their Chadian counterparts, and President Barack Obama sent 80 troops to the region in 2014 to help in the search for the almost 300 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The troops operated surveillance flights and drones from Chad.”
The West African state of Togo has been rocked in recent months by mass demonstrations demanding the resignation of longtime President Faure Gnassingbe. The Gnassingbe family has ruled this nation since 1967, when Eyadema Gnassingbe engineered a military coup on behalf of France.
These demonstrations and strikes in Togo have been attacked by the government in Lome. Last month 15 leading members of the Pan-African National Party (PNP) were arrested and quickly prosecuted.
Togo’s parliament dominated by the Gnassingbe-allied party has attempted to pass legislation to liberalize the political system. Moreover, one of the most significant aspects of these developments is that the state of Israel was forced to postpone a planned summit meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and numerous African states. Several of the AU member states have rejected the summit in solidarity with the Palestinians and other peoples of the region.
Finally, the North African state of Libya is being subjected to yet another United Nations plan to bring stability to the oil-rich nation, which prior to the intervention by the Pentagon and NATO in 2011, was the most prosperous nation on the continent. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and wounded in Libya over the last six years.
The country is now a source of instability and human trafficking throughout North and West Africa along with the Mediterranean regions in southern Europe. Dozens have died in recent weeks in failed attempts to flee to the European Union states.
Libya can never know peace until the people unite behind a national program of reconstruction. Pentagon and NATO troops as well as Western advisers should be forced to leave the country since they are the source of the ongoing crises. It will only be under such a movement towards unification and renewal that genuine peace, security and development will be realized in the country and region.
The above text was presented at a public meeting entitled “Stop Imperialist War at Home and Abroad!” organized by Workers World Party Detroit branch on Saturday September 30, 2017.
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Source: Global Research
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old Mexican national, was shot to death by police in Pasco, Washington last Tuesday as he was backing away from officers with his hands up. A video of the shooting clearly corroborates claims by Zambrano-Montes’s family that he was killed “execution style.”
Police claimed that Zambrano-Montes, who had lived in the city for ten years and worked as an orchard picker, may have been “armed with a rock” before he was shot multiple times. Protests erupted over the weekend, with more than a thousand demonstrating in Washington state on Saturday against the killing.
The United States has invaded, bombed ...
According to Inside Syria Media Center military sources in Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), SDF-Kurds will join the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) as “Northern Syria Protection units” after the establishment of the federal system in Syria.
A Rojava official and the joint chief of defense in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), Rezan Gilo stated that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have no problem joining the Syrian army if a federal state is awarded in northern Syria (Kurdish autonomous territories as part of the federal Syria). They are now in process of considering the possibility of joining the SAA.
“There is no problem for our ...
The US, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the Gulf monarchies have all in the recent past supported al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State (ISIS) with arms, money, and/or manpower.
The first example of this was in 1979 when the United States began covert operations in Afghanistan, six months before the Russians arrived, promoting Islamic fundamentalism across the southern tier of the Soviet Union against “godless communism”. All the al-Qaeda/Taliban shit then followed.
In addition to Afghanistan, the United States has provided support to Islamic militants in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, the Caucasus, and Syria.
The United States overthrew the ...
March 16, 2017, was the 49th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre, located in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. It was Saturday morning, March 16, 1968, when approximately 115 U.S. Army soldiers of the Americal Division’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, landed in helicopters just outside the village of My Lai 4. Over the course of the next four hours, these American soldiers, and their Military High Command, who were flying overhead in helicopters observing the massacre, took part in a horror show far beyond the human imagination. They took the term, “War Crimes,” and added a butcher shop to ...
During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Syrian forces had surprised Israel and were fast approaching the edge of the steep Golan Heights, captured by Israel during the 1967 war. It seemed as if Syrian armor and infantry would retake Golan, then pour down into Israeli Galilee.
Soviet recon satellites observed Israel moving its nuclear-armed, 500km-range Jericho missiles out of protective caves and onto their launch pads. At the same time, Israel was seen loading nuclear bombs on their US-supplied F-4 fighter-bombers at Tel Nof airbase.
Believing Israel was about to use nuclear weapons against Syria and Egypt, Moscow put huge pressure on both ...
SINCHON COUNTY, North Korea–Over the past few years the Korean people have been able to expose the truth about a number of atrocities by Washington’s military forces during the 1950–53 Korean War. Many others, however, remain covered up and receive virtually no mention outside the Korean peninsula. One such massacre took place in Sinchon, a city located in what is today North Korea.
During the Socialist Workers Party and Young Socialists leadership delegation’s visit to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), we toured the Sinchon Museum, which documents what north Koreans consider the worst atrocity to have taken place in ...
There are more questions than answers to the Crimean ‘question’.
After more than two decades belonging to an independent Ukraine, the Crimean peninsula has become part of Russia, which has thereby gained an extra 27,000 km2 of territory and over two million new citizens. Ukraine and the West see this unprecedented event as annexation and a sign of the Kremlin’s neo-imperial ambitions. To countries not directly involved in the Ukrainian crisis, it is a dangerous violation of the Eurasian status quo that could cause widespread destabilisation in the area, while in Moscow’s eyes it is ‘the return of Crimea and Sevastopol ...
What does it mean when the US and British financial systems launder hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds stolen by world leaders while their governments turn a ‘blind eye’, and yet the very same Anglo-American officials investigate, prosecute, fine and arrest officials from rival governments, rival banks and political leaders for corruption?
What does it mean when the US government expands a world-wide network of nuclear missiles on bases stretching from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Gulf States to Japan, surrounding Russia, Iran and China, while the very same US and NATO officials investigate and condemn rival defense officials from Russia, China ...
Edward S. Herman died on November 11, 2017, at the age of 92. Fortunately, it was a peaceful death for a supremely peaceful man. In all he did, Ed Herman was a tireless champion of peace.
Ed Herman could be considered the godfather of antiwar media critique, both because of his own contributions and because of the many writers he encouraged to pursue that work. Thanks to his logical mind and sense of justice, he sharply grasped the crucial role and diverse techniques of media propaganda in promoting war. He immediately saw through lies, including those so insidious that few dare ...
Author’s note: The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.
Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment ...
Thankfully humanity is freed from the scourge of a third Hillary and Bill Clinton crime family co-presidency – she in the lead role with her finger on the nuclear trigger as US military commander-in-chief, perhaps eager to squeeze it.
Newsweek magazine jumped the gun, printing a special edition, distributing it to outlets before November 8 – Hillary on the cover below the heading “MADAM PRESIDENT.”
Shades of November 3, 1948, the Chicago Tribune headlining “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.” A beaming President HST held up a copy of the broadsheet, saying: “That ain’t the way I heard it!”
Like polls predicted a Hillary victory this ...
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague quietly acknowledged the innocence of former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic. Ten years after the very suspicious death of the Serbian leader in a Dutch prison, the 1,300th page of the 2,000-page document on the case of Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader, acknowledged that Milosevic had not committed crimes against humanity, nor had he organized any mass killings or deportations of Croats and Bosnians. In other words, it was an innocent man who died in a UN prison. French journalist Dimitri De Koshko was working in Yugoslavia ...
With the recruitment of novice French President, Emmanuel Macron, the US Israel lobby can now boast a powerful political agent inside the corridors of power of the Élysée Palace, to liaise with those agents already resident in the British Parliament and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington. It is, of course, no small achievement to have managed to recruit half of the European Union as well as the United States Senate to support the dispossession of five million indigenous Arabs who have populated the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Gaza for over a thousand years.
No small achievement of the powerful minority Zionist movement ...
Despite having the biggest military budget in the world, five times larger than the next six countries, the largest number of military bases – over 180 – in the world and the most expensive military industrial complex, the US has failed to win a single war in the 21st century.
In this paper we will enumerate the wars and proceed to analyze why, despite the powerful material basis for wars, it has led to failures.
The Lost Wars
The US has been engaged in multiple wars and coups since the beginning of the 21st century. These include Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Venezuela and ...
My work documenting how the law was lost began about a quarter of a century ago. A close friend and distinguished attorney, Dean Booth, first brought to my attention the erosion of the legal principles on which rests the rule of law in the United States. My columns on the subject got the attention of an educational institution that invited me to give a lecture on the subject. Subsequently, I was invited to give a lecture on “How The Law Was Lost” at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City.
The work coalesced into a book, The Tyranny Of ...
In Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (Metropolitan Books. New York. 2013), Turse writes that the US military’s official position, and the popular understanding in the US, is that leadership “has never condoned wanton killing or disregard for human life.” (2) On the rare occasions when atrocities are brought to light, they are blamed on low-level individuals and are said to be aberrations having nothing to do with official policy. The My Lai massacre, for example, was blamed on Lieutenant William Calley, who is said to have gone “crazy” (4,5) – although he and his unit ...
If the danger of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian disinformation propaganda campaign out of the Pentagon and promoted by the US corporate media weren’t so serious, the effort itself might be laughable. I did laugh.
In fact, listening last night to a discussion by an NPR host with a government spokesperson about the latest propaganda effort to blame the downing of a Malaysian jumbo jet over Ukraine on July 17, 2014 on Russia. After hearing the government official, whose name I didn’t catch, say that Dutch prosecutors had found “solid evidence” that it was a “Russian-made” BUK antiaircraft missile launched from “pro-Russian” rebel ...
The Argentinian authorities are wondering about the massive purchase of land in Patagonia by a British billionaire, and the “holidays” that tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers are enjoying on his property.
In the 19th century, the British government were undecided as to where they should settle Israel – either in what is now Uganda, in Argentina or in Palestine. In fact, Argentina was at that time controlled by the United Kingdom and, on the initiative of French baron Maurice de Hirsch, had become a land of refuge for Jews who were fleeing the pogroms in central Europe.
In the 20th century, ...
The Western power centers use the “Republic of Kosovo” as a testing ground for working out the ways to create a quasi-state that could be defined as an abnormal criminal case of global scope. The final goal is reshaping the whole of South East Europe. (www.strategic-culture.org)
The states below the «first echelon» are subject to the formula «back to slavery and barbarity». This is a model of authoritative outside governance entailing devastation of natural environment, extraction of resources and creation of disastrous economy and ‘stillborn» state structures along with extreme pauperization of population. And this is not all. Control over vast ...
The Senate Report’s revelations of CIA torture of suspects following the 9/11 bombing is only the tip of the iceberg. The Report omits the history and wider scope of violent activity in which the CIA has been and continues to be involved. CIA organized large scale death squad activities and extreme torture in Vietnam (Phoenix Project); multiple assassinations of political leaders in the Congo, Chile, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, the Middle East, Central America and elsewhere; the kidnapping and disappearance of suspected activists in Iraq and Afghanistan; massive drug-running and narco-trafficking in the “Golden Triangle” in Southeast Asia and Central America (the Iran-Contra war).
The Senate Report fails to locate ...
The Human Rights Disaster in America
Kurdish Intentions to Join SAA: Secret Deal against the U.S.?
Are You Confused by the Middle East?
My Lai Massacre (Vietnam): 49 Years Later
Remember the Golan Heights?
The U.S. War Crimes against North Korea: Sinchon Massacre by the U.S. Military Exposed
Anglo-America: Regression and Reversion in the Modern World
Thank You, Edward S. Herman (1925-2017) – Tireless Champion of Peace
Raining on Trump’s Parade
Slobodan Milosevic: The Killing of an Innocent Man
A “Greater Israel” to Control Mediterranean from Beirut to Gaza?
The US: The Century of Lost Wars
The Rule of Law no Longer Exists in Western Civilization
A Look at “Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam”
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
What is Israel’s Project in Argentina?
Independent” Kosovo: Gangland Spills Savagery Worldwide
CIA: The Politics of a Global Secret Police Force