Saturday, September 30, 2006

President Bush on War on Terror

The enemies of a free Afghanistan are brutal and they're determined. And we're not going to let them succeed.

Karzai, Musharraf to Lead Tribal Talks

KABUL, Afghanistan -- President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday that he and the Pakistani president will jointly lead a series of tribal gatherings along their countries' shared border to quell attacks on Afghanistan by Pakistan-based Taliban rebels.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Interview: 'I Know the Problem' -- By Fareed Zakaria

The beleaguered Afghan president takes aim at his critics.

The Rise of Jihadistan

Afghanistan: Is Victory Turning to Defeat?, Five years after the Afghan invasion, the Taliban are fighting back hard, carving out a sanctuary where they—and Al Qaeda's leaders—can operate freely.

Clinton Loses His Cool -- Newsweek

Was the former president justified in blasting a Fox News interviewer who questioned his administration’s counterterrorism record?

‘Letting Students Down’ -- Newsweek

A new study finds that even top undergraduates are woefully ignorant of history and civic government

VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM MEMORIAL -- Officials Break Ground at D.C. Site

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Victims of Communism Memorial was held yesterday at the site, a wedge of federal land where G Street NW meets Massachusetts and New Jersey avenues, near Union Station. The event drew about 100 people, including ambassadors and other officials from Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Bill Clinton's 60th Birthday Benefit Blowout

"My mother and I are planning a weekend of events to commemorate his [Clinton's] 60th birthday," Chelsea Clinton writes in the invitation. "I know that he would want you to share this milestone -- so I hope you can join us in New York City this October 27th through the 29th." Clinton collected more than $7 billion in commitments to his Global Initiative project last week in New York

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pakistan: Musharraf must reveal fate of hundreds of 'War on Terror' detainees

Amnesty International is calling on Pakistan's President Musharraf to reveal the fate of Pakistan's 'war on terror' detainees, as it published a new report today (29 September) saying that hundreds of terror suspects have 'disappeared' after being taken into custody, many by Pakistan's intelligence services. Amnesty International's 106-page report shows that a large number of 'war on terror' detainees have been literally sold into US hands by 'bounty hunters' who have received cash payments in return, typically $5,000.

Nato to take over Afghanistan operation

A Convert to Islam Takes Leadership Role

Fresh Air from WHYY, September 28, 2006 · Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, is the first woman, the first convert and the first native North American to be elected to the position. Mattson, who was born and raised in Ontario, converted to Islam in college. The Islamic Society of North America is the largest Muslim organization on this continent.

Education, Spellings Announces Plan to Improve Higher Ed

Pakistan rapped over detentions

Pakistan has been accused of detaining hundreds of alleged terror suspects without legal process by human rights organisation Amnesty International.

Musharraf defends his spy service

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) paper says Pakistan's intelligence service, ISI, indirectly backs terrorism by supporting religious parties in the country.

Afghan-Pakistan Relations Tense over Taliban Presence

Touqir HussainFormer Pakistani diplomat, I think the meeting barely managed to paper over the cracks. There is three-way strategic game going on, involving national interests and political agendas of three parties, the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan.

All you need is ubuntu

Ubuntu. That was what Bill Clinton told the Labour party conference it needed to remember this week. "Society is important because of Ubuntu."

How Musharraf conquered Washington

Curiously, neither Bush nor Musharraf revealed what lay ahead for Afghanistan, though that was the centerpiece of their talks in Washington. Equally, a daunting task lies ahead for Bush in persuading Karzai to go along with what he settles with Musharraf. Not surprisingly, Karzai is already showing signs of nervousness.

Musharraf conquered Washington, but not Pakistan

Afghan candidate for top U.N. job says he would focus on management reform

Ashraf Ghani, the former Afghan finance minister, is the latest of seven candidates to enter the race. He said transparency at the U.N. must be a priority and audits were like "a dye" that could be used to ensure that. "Its damaged culture can be fixed — it must be fixed," Ghani told an audience at the Asia Society in Manhattan on Wednesday, in reference to criticism that the management department is inefficient and marred by corruption. "It must disclose every dollar of its expenditure to the citizens of the world. It cannot hide behind secrecy, because its only the sunshine of public scrutiny that can bring about the required system of checks and balances," he said.

Bush Urges Better Pakistan - Afghan Cooperation

NATO Expands Role in Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Bush, Karzai, Musharraf Must Act Now To Stop Militant Abuses

Human Rights Watch called on President Bush to lead an international effort to provide substantially higher levels of financial, political, and security assistance in order to protect the rights of the Afghan people. Despite President Bush's promise to provide a "Marshall plan" for Afghanistan, international assistance to Afghanistan is just a fraction of the per capita assistance provided in other recent post-conflict situations, for instance in the Balkans and East Timor.

President Bush Hosts Presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan at the White House

President Bush Welcomes President Karzai of Afghanistan to the White House

PRESIDENT BUSH: It's my honor to welcome President Karzai back to the White House. Mr. President, Laura and I fondly remember your gracious hospitality when we met you in your capital. We had a chance today to reconfirm our strong commitment to work together for peace and freedom. And I'm proud of your leadership.

At Dinner Table, Bush Plays Role of Mediator

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bush Meets Leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Holds Hearing on Changing Command

From Coalition to ISAFCommand in Afghanistan:The Purpose and Impact ofthe Transition

Security tops Bush-Karzai talks

Mr Bush reaffirmed his commitment, along with other countries, to help establish security and rebuild the economy in Afghanistan.

Musharraf: Iraq war makes world more dangerous

"Please don't compare Pakistan with Afghanistan," he said. "Pakistan is a very, very stable country. We have a strong government. We have a strong military. We have a strong intelligence system, and everything in Afghanistan has broken down. ..... We don't want our sovereignty to be violated, whereas in Afghanistan, there was an issue of terrorism in Afghanistan after 9/11 and law and order was broken down." Musharraf also was critical of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who he said is "turning a blind eye like an ostrich" to the situational realities in his country and pointing the finger at Pakistan.

Excerpts: Declassified US terror report

Blair Urges Perseverance In Fight Against Terrorism

MANCHESTER, England, Sept. 26 -- Prime Minister Tony Blair, addressing his Labor Party's annual conference for the last time, warned Britain that if it retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan after he leaves office, "we will be committing a craven act of surrender."

Clinton TV Interview Energizes Partisans

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Part of Iraq Intelligence Report Is Released

Sobering Conclusions On Why Jihad Has Spread

Backing Policy, President Issues Terror Estimate

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat

Israel: Government Committee Should Probe Lebanon Laws of War Violations

Human Rights Watch, Civilians suffered unnecessarily on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border. The Winograd committee should examine Israel’s part to ensure that such needless killing is never repeated.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Travel bans expected to be relaxed

Three Retired Officers Demand Rumsfeld's Resignation

Aga Khan Speaks Out on Understanding of Muslims

Pope Meets With Muslim Diplomats

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI told Muslim diplomats Monday that Christians and Muslims must work together to guard against intolerance and violence as he sought to soothe anger over his recent remarks about Islam.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Key to Afghanistan: More Time

Karzai Says bin Laden Not in Afghanistan

Separately, Karzai told NBC's "Meet the Press," in an interview taped last week but broadcast Sunday, that his country would be "heaven in less than a year" if it got the $300 billion the United States has spent in Iraq.

Karzai Says bin Laden Not in Afghanistan

Separately, Karzai told NBC's "Meet the Press," in an interview taped last week but broadcast Sunday, that his country would be "heaven in less than a year" if it got the $300 billion the United States has spent in Iraq.

A Time to Reflect on Spiritual Journeys

A Time to Reflect on Spiritual Journeys

Iraq War Fueling Terrorism, Intelligence Report Says

Iraq War Fueling Terrorism, Intelligence Report Says

Iraq War Fueling Terrorism, Intelligence Report Says

Musharraf: In the Line of Fire -- (CBS)

Pakistan's President Tells Steve Kroft U.S. Threatened His Country

Musharraf: In the Line of Fire

Pakistan's President Tells Steve Kroft U.S. Threatened His Country

"We Have No Relationship to our Diverse Muslim Society"

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, 64, discusses the pope's criticism of Islam, the prospect of imams preaching in German, and the risk of terrorism in Germany now that the military is so busy overseas. Germany's first-ever "Islamic conference" between Muslims and the government takes place next Wednesday in Berlin.

EU nations clash over immigration

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yale University to post courses on Web for free

Karzai snubs Layton request for meeting

Layton is the only major federal party leader to have called for a withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan. "By investing so heavily in the war effort in the south, it's depriving Afghanistan from the investments in humanitarian aid and in reconstruction that are required elsewhere in the country."

History of the Peace Corps

A Collection of Primary Source Documents and RPCV Histories

Abolish Islamic schools that teach hatred: Karzai

MONTREAL (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged the international community to put an end to Islamic schools that teach hatred and produce suicide bombers, ahead of summits next week with the United States and Pakistan.

Afghanistan names candidate for UN Secretary-General

The Afghan government believes that Ashraf Ghani is "uniquely equipped to lead the United Nations at time when imagination and leadership are required in both security and development," said a government press release.

Dr. Ghani and Clare Lockhart

An Agenda for Harnessing Globalization

Bush Seeks Increased Pakistani Cooperation

Bush is scheduled to meet Tuesday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has complained repeatedly about Pakistan offering a haven to Taliban militants conducting armed attacks inside his country.

France, US, Unable to Confirm Report Bin Laden Dead

Probe into 'Bin Laden death' leak

A French newspaper quoted a document as saying the Saudi secret services were convinced the al-Qaeda leader had died of typhoid in Pakistan in late August.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Musharraf Defends Deal With Tribal Leaders

Karzai urges Canada to stay on, resist "dark ages"

OTTAWA/KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged Canada to stay the course in his war-torn country, where 19 people were killed on Friday by Taliban forces who have also targeted foreign peacekeepers.

The Super-Rich Get Richer: Forbes 400 Are All Billionaires

It's not just the accumulated wealth that draws attention to the list; it's the eye-popping numbers that show the speed with which wealth is gained -- and lost -- at the dawn of this millennium. For instance, according to Forbes:

Text: Bush, Musharraf News Conference

Bush 'Taken Aback' by Musharraf Comment

Pope to meet Muslim envoys as protests continue

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict will meet Muslim ambassadors to the Vatican and Italian Islamic leaders on Monday to try to calm anger over his use of a medieval text which says their religion was spread by violence.

US 'threatened to bomb' Pakistan

General Musharraf said the warning was delivered by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to Pakistan's intelligence director. "I think it was a very rude remark," Gen Musharraf told CBS television.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pakistan: Bush Should Press Musharraf to End Military Rule

(New York, September 20, 2006) – When U.S. President George W. Bush meets with Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf on September 22, he should press the Pakistani military ruler to restore civilian rule, hold free and fair elections, and end legal discrimination against women, Human Rights Watch said today.

President Bush Meets with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority

President Bush Meets with French President Chirac

UN Official Warns of Possible Afghanistan Collapse

"Foreign pressures are making Afghanistan the turf for proxy wars," said Antonio Maria Costa. "The country is being destabilized by an inflow of insurgents, and weapons and money and intelligence. There is collusion from neighboring countries and this is a problem in itself."

Clinton Weighs In on Detainees, Iraq and Iran

Morning Edition, September 21, 2006 · Former President Bill Clinton, one of a select few to have viewed national security from inside the Oval Office, has his own opinions about how to handle terrorism suspects.

France cannot help in south Afghanistan: minister

PARIS (Reuters) - France will not send troops to help NATO in southern Afghanistan because it has its hands full in Kabul, Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said on Thursday.

Ahmadinejad Insists Iran Is Not Seeking Nuclear Weapons

France's Chirac Not in Favor of Iran Sanctions

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Afghanistan, Pakistan clash over terror fight

Bush to U.N.: Choose between freedom or extremism

Bush would send troops inside Pakistan to catch bin Laden

NEW YORK (CNN) -- President Bush said Wednesday he would order U.S. forces to go after Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan if he received good intelligence on the fugitive al Qaeda leader's location.

Ahmadinejad: Why so sensitive about Israel?

Statement by President Karzai at the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Terrorists are prepared to cross any boundaries, and commit horrific acts of violence to try to derail Afghanistan from its path to success; they want the international community to fail in its collective endeavour to help Afghanistan rebuild.

President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, left, speaks with John Thain, chief executive officer of the NYSE Group, Inc.,

Afghan Enters Race for U.N. Secretary - General

Ghani, 57, a scholar, economist and teacher, is chancellor of Kabul University, and has worked as an adviser to the United Nations and on World Bank projects in China, India and Russia, among others. He received his doctorate from Columbia University.

It’s the Bushes and Clintons, Finding Common Ground

It’s not often that you see a current American president and his predecessor in New York City, on the same morning, trying to foster peace in the Muslim world, and trying to burnish their own legacies as statesmen.

President Hugo Chavez Delivers Remarks at the U.N. General Assembly

Iran’s Leader Relishes 2nd Chance to Make Waves

First Lady Is Playing a Major Role on the World Stage

NEW YORK -- On Monday, Laura Bush convened an international conference on literacy. Tuesday, she hosted a roundtable aimed at prodding the United Nations into action on the humanitarian crisis in Burma. Wednesday, she will address the Clinton Global Initiative. And Thursday, she is to receive a major international award.

NATO to Send Additional Troops To Afghanistan

Pope Says Remarks on Islam Misunderstood

He expressed "deep respect" for Islam and called for a dialogue among religions.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Afghan in late bid for Kofi job -- David Nason, New York correspondent

FORMER Afghani finance minister and world renowned academic Ashraf Ghani has joined Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga as a late entry in the race to succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary General.

Laura Bush Finds Her Voice in Manhattan

Mrs. Bush has made 11 solo foreign trips while she's lived in the White House—to Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, Latin America—and more than half of those (seven) have been in the two years since the President was re-elected. McBride, who in September was elevated to the top rank of White House aides as an Assistant to the President, said the first topic Mrs. Bush brought up with her when she was interviewing to be her chief of staff was her desire to go to Afghanistan, which she did last year and this year after having been prevented from going earlier, primarily for security reasons.

Afghanistan's President Talks to ABC News' Terry Moran about Terror, Drugs, and Bloodshed

Karzai: Well, we can't get those things done because some of them are not within our means. Having a strong police force is not done with words only. I need money and resources and commitment in time to deliver, in time and the time both to deliver. On terrorism, it needs international cooperation. It needs focusing on the sources of terrorism and we have not yet focused properly or broadly on the sources of terrorism.

U.N.: Human Rights Council Must Expand Its Reach


Kasper: The conflict with Islam has, after all, existed throughout European history, which is what the pope was pointing out. The encounter with Islam now seems to be entering a new phase. Many have called it a 'clash of civilizations.' But this phrase must be handled with great care to prevent it from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. The alternative to conflict is called dialogue.

President Bush Addresses United Nations General Assembly

Fact Sheet: Address to the UN General Assembly: A More Hopeful World Beyond Terror and Extremism

Princeton Stops Its Early Admissions, Joining Movement to Make Process Fairer

A Challenge, Not a Crusade -- By JOHN L. ALLEN Jr.

The pope’s real target in his lecture at the University of Regensburg, in Germany, was not Islam but the West, especially its tendency to separate reason and faith. He also denounced religious violence, hardly a crusader’s sentiment.

What are the Geneva Conventions? What does Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions say?

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

freeSpeech: Irshad Manji

And thinking is what the Quran encourages. It asks Muslims to reflect far more than to retaliate. Even if someone mocks your religion, the Koran says, walk away. Later, engage in dialogue. Wasn't that the pope's point? We Muslims should remember that God told the Prophet Muhammad to "read."

Bush Reproaches Iran and Syria in U.N. Speech

Declaring that "a more hopeful world is within our reach," President Bush called on world leaders at the United Nations today to "stand with democratic leaders and moderate reformers" across the Middle East.

President Bush's United Nations Address, Transcript

To the people of Afghanistan, together we overthrew the Taliban regime that brought misery into your lives and harbored terrorists who brought death to the citizens of many nations.
Since then, we have watched you choose your leaders in free elections and build a democratic government. You can be proud of these achievements. We respect your courage and determination to live in peace and freedom. We will continue to stand with you to defend your democratic gains. Today, forces from more than 40 countries, including members of the NATO alliance, are bravely serving side by side with you against the extremists who want to bring down the free government you've established. We'll help you defeat these enemies and build a free Afghanistan that will never again oppress you or be a safe haven for terrorists.

Opening annual UN debate, General Assembly President urges focus on action

United Nations General Assembly 61st session

GENERAL DEBATE (19-29 September 2006)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bush Promotes 'Freedom Agenda'

Bush added, "It is very hard to have free societies if the citizens cannot read. . . . You can't realize the blessings of liberty if you can't read a ballot, or if you can't read what others are saying about the future of your country."

Anti-Muslim Harassment Complaints Jump 30 Percent

Complaints of anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment registered with a national Muslim civil rights group jumped 30 percent in 2005 from the previous year, the group said today in releasing its annual report .

Rise of German far right a rebuke to Merkel

SCHWERIN, Germany (Reuters) - A far-right anti-foreigner party has embarrassed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a regional election in her home state and delivered a wake-up call to her 10-month-old government.

Afghan Ghani to join race for top U.N. post - FT

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Former Afghan finance minister Ashraf Ghani will make a late entry into the race to succeed Kofi Annan as U.N. secretary-general, taking the number of formally declared candidates to seven, the Financial Times said on Monday.

Clinton summit 2006 -- FT

The Clinton Global Initiative describes itself as ‘a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges’

White House Conference on Global Literacy

I am deeply concerned about the spread of radicalism, and I know you are, as well. We long for the days when people don't feel comfortable or empowered to take innocent life to achieve an objective. One reason radicals are able to recruit young men, for example, to become suicide bombers, is because of hopelessness. One way to defeat hopelessness is through literacy, is to giving people the fantastic hope that comes by being able to read and realize dreams.

Bush Says Education Is Path to Democracy

"The simple act of teaching a child to read or an adult to read has the capacity to transform nations and yield the peace we all want," the president said at the White House Conference on Global Literacy being hosted in New York by the first lady. "You can't realize the blessings of liberty if you can't read a ballot."

Religion: Vatican Struggles to Smother Islam Controversy

Vatican Statement on Pope's Remarks

Religion: Gershom Gorenberg on Christian Zionism

Gershom Gorenberg on Christian Zionism , On today's show we look into the Christian Zionist movement, made up of evangelical Christians who see the rebirth of Israel as a prelude to the second coming of Christ.

Karzai leaves for America

President Karzai and President Bush would discuss the need to continue cooperating in areas of mutual interest including: expanding good governance, countering the threat of militant extremists, stemming narco-trafficking and rebuilding Afghanistans economy and infrastructure after decades of conflict.

Taliban condemn Musharraf's remarks

Afghanistan flays Pope remarks

Afghan students mark 15th year of German scholarship

(UNHCR) – Albert Einstein was a refugee from Nazi Germany, but half-a-century after the great scientist's death his homeland is helping other refugees around the world to realise their dreams for tertiary education – including scores of Afghans.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Afghanistan starving for relief

On her visit to Nova Scotia, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded that the United States made a major mistake in 1989. When the Soviet Union withdrew after 10 years of war and 15,000 troop deaths, the U.S. also pulled out. Bad call, Rice admitted. "We left the Afghan people without any means of support, political support, economic support, security support. Afghanistan turned into a failed state ... and we all came to pay for that."

Ghani joins race to succeed Annan -- FT

“I hope to win, through ideas,” Mr Ghani told the Financial Times in New York. “In the public debate so far, I have yet to see a clear articulation of vision, an analysis of the central issues and a programme for change.” Ashraf Ghani, the former Afghan finance minister,

McCain vs. Bush: GOP Battle Over Torture, Detainees

"This is a matter or conscience, an American conscience," McCain told ABC News in an exclusive appearance on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." "Are we going to be like the enemy, or are we going to be the United States of America?"

Nato hails Afghan mission success

Afghan and Nato forces say a two-week operation has driven Taleban militants out of a stronghold in the southern province of Panjwayi.

'Poll boost' for German far right

Early results in German regional polls show the far right has won seats in an eastern state and Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has performed poorly.

Narrow win for Swedish opposition

Sweden's centre-right opposition bloc has defeated the ruling Social Democrat party in the country's closest-fought general election for decades. The centre-left party has led Sweden for all but 10 of the past 89 years.

Pope apology fails to end anger

"I hope this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with mutual respect." His clarification was welcomed by a number of Muslim groups, including the Council of Muslims in Germany, where he made the speech.

Pope 'deeply sorry' but Muslim protests spread

Analysts say U.S. focus on Iraq is hurting mission, allowing insurgency to grow

In Afghanistan's north, warlords control most of the territory. In the south and east, the Taliban is trying to re-create the safe haven the U.S.-led campaign of 2001 aimed to destroy. In the west, along the border with Iran, the presence of the Taliban is growing.

Tensions Overshadow Gains in Afghanistan

The Durand Line, arbitrarily drawn by the British in 1893 to separate Afghanistan from what is now Pakistan, is a perennial irritant for both countries. It divides Pashtun tribal lands and is not accepted by many Afghans. Many Afghans say they suspect that Musharraf's deal with Taliban forces in his own country is an attempt to wash his hands of a domestic problem and push it across the border into Afghanistan. At the same time, they say, he has gratuitously insulted a neighbor that had hosted him just days before.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2006

Fighting terrorism is central to the human rights cause. But using illegal tactics against alleged terrorists is both wrong and counterproductive. Human Rights Watch’s 2006 World Report

The Wrong Lessons from September 11 (Human Rights Watch)

Washington’s response to the September 11th attacks reinforced the dangerous view that laudable ends can justify brutal means.

NATO Faces Growing Hurdle As Call for Troops Falls Short

Rise of the Warlords -- By Sarah Chayes

The first time I visited Afghanistan, in 2002, I found a country devastated after nearly a quarter-century of war. It lacked all the basics -- schools, hospitals, roads and electricity.

The Death Of an Afghan Optimist -- By Barnett R. Rubin

Taniwal opposed big offensives by the U.S.-led coalition. "They roll over and flatten the whole area," he said. "But the enemy just goes from our side to the other side." The other side, of course, was Pakistan, where Taniwal, like so many other Afghans, had found a combination of refuge and persecution.

Text of Pope Benedict XVI's Remarks

Aide Says Pope 'Regrets' Comments on Islam

VATICAN CITY, Sept. 16 -- Pope Benedict XVI "sincerely regrets" offending Muslims with his reference to an obscure medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman," a senior Vatican official said in a statement Saturday.

Friday, September 15, 2006

NATO Asks Again for Afghanistan Troops

Bush Strongly Defends Plan on Prisoners

Pope 'meant no offence' to Islam -- BBC

Speaking in Germany, the Pope quoted a 14th Century Christian emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things.

Bush Pushes for Terror Legislation

Bush said legislation creating military tribunals must clarify in U.S. law what he called the "very vague" prohibitions in Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, so that U.S. interrogators will have full legal backing in their work to extract information from terrorist suspects

Muslim Leaders Blast Pope's Comments -- By Bill Brubaker

Muslim leaders today strongly denounced comments Pope Benedict XVI made this week about Islam, calling them ignorant and divisive.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Karzai to leave for America next week

KABUL, Sep 14 (Pajhwok Afghan News): President Hamid Karzai will leave for America early next week to attend the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and to pay official visits to Ottawa, Canada, and Washington DC.

Hezbollah accused of war crimes

Thinking beyond reinforcements

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Nato's secretary-general, sees Afghanistan as a test of the alliance's credibility.

Muslim anger grows at Pope speech -- BBC

The Vatican fails to quell Muslim anger after Pope Benedict XVI is accused of making anti-Islamic remarks.

Afghanistan Hits at Musharraf Over Taliban Remark

KABUL (Reuters) - Kabul has angrily rejected comments by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that the Taliban had grown more dangerous than al Qaeda with the support of Afghans, accusing some in Pakistan of sponsoring the rebels.

Kerry Faults Bush's Afghanistan Strategy

"The administration's Afghanistan policy defines cut and run," Kerry said in remarks at Howard University on Thursday.

World Bank Lists Failing Nations That Can Breed Global Terrorism

"Fragile" countries, whose deepening poverty puts them at risk from terrorism, armed conflict and epidemic disease, have jumped to 26 from 17 since the report was last issued in 2003. Five states graduated off the list, but 14 made new appearances, including Nigeria and seven other African countries, Kosovo, Cambodia, East Timor, and the West Bank and Gaza. Twelve states, including Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan, made both lists.

Sen. McCain Releases Letter from Gen. Colin Powell

Senators Defy Bush On Terror Measure

A Senate committee rebuffed the personal entreaties of President Bush yesterday, rejecting his proposed strategies for interrogating and trying enemy combatants and approving alternative legislation that he has strenuously opposed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 The Path to 9/11

Watch Night One and Night Two online now!

Broken promise -- Cyrus Hadadi

Amidst the cacophony of deeply insincere Sept. 11 “remembrances” on television, one truly important development in America’s War on Terror is being overlooked. In southern Afghanistan, the Taliban has seized upon a legacy of broken promises and failed reconstruction to return to power.

The Rising Tide of Political Islam

Morning Edition, September 12, 2006 · Five years after Sept. 11, Americans have come to believe that political Islam is a danger to the West. President Bush uses the word "terrorist" to define not just al-Qaida, but also Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas, the winners of this year's Palestinian elections.

Muslims in America

Morning Edition, September 12, 2006 · Sheikh Hamza Yusuf is one of the most prominent American Muslim leaders today, but he's not well-known outside the Muslim community. He's an American convert to Islam who has very publicly attacked American foreign policy. He has also denounced Islamic extremism, while defending Muslims against what he sees as prejudice.

Between Faith and Country: Muslims in America -- by Steve Inskeep

Ingrid Mattson, Some Muslims speak of the difficulties facing those who practice their faith in America. She says some Americans have trouble staying tolerant of Muslims as terrorist incidents pile up around the world.

Harvard Ending Early Admissions Process

Morning Edition, September 12, 2006 · Harvard University has decided to stop offering its "early action" round of applications. The university fears that the system gives wealthy students an advantage in the admissions process.

President Bush Defends Iraq War Despite New Senate Report

Battle in the Mountains for Hearts and Minds

U.S. Forces Hope as Afghans Get to Know Them, They'll Become Friends

Ex-CIA official Plame sues Armitage in leak suit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former covert CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband sued former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage on Wednesday for disclosing her identity after her husband criticized the Bush administration.

Senate Committee Approves Wiretap Legislation

"This bill is all about authorizing the President to invade the homes, e-mails and telephone conversations of American citizens in ways that are expressly forbidden by law," Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), ranking Democratic member on the committee, said in a statement released by his office today.

Democrat Could Be 1st Muslim Congressman

MINNEAPOLIS -- State lawmaker Keith Ellison didn't let questions about his past slow down his campaign to become the first Muslim in Congress.

Nato fails on Afghan troops plea

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Karzai expresses solidarity with US --Pajhwok

The release quoted Karzai as saying: "We understand the tremendous loss you endured that day for we also have suffered for long at the hands of terrorism." For many years, the Afghan people were held hostage in their own country, and subjected to unspeakable atrocities, by foreign terrorists and their Taliban friends, the statement added.

Don't abandon Afghanistan, says US, as NATO digs around for back-up

BRUSSELS, Sept 12, 2006 (AFP) - NATO meeting to round up more troops for Afghanistan, US officials urged its partners there to stay the course, amid fresh fighting and kidnappings in the turbulent country.

Bomber Attacks Afghan Governor’s Funeral

“The enemies of Afghanistan, by carrying out a terrorist attack on the funeral ceremony of Hakim Taniwal, showed that they are not only against the traditions and culture of Afghans, but also against Islamic law,” Mr. Karzai said in a statement issued by his office.

New York Fashion Week: Spring 2007

New York collections from Diane von Furstenberg, Lela Rose, Oscar De La Renta, Tracy Reese and Tuleh.

Americans May Be More Religious Than They Realize -- By Michelle Boorstein

A survey released yesterday posits the idea that the United States -- already one of the most religious nations in the developed world -- may be even less secular than previously suspected.

For Conservative Muslims, Goal of Isolation a Challenge

Pope Invites Muslims to Dialogue

REGENSBURG, Germany (Reuters), The Pope, who used the terms "jihad" and "holy war" in his lecture, added: "Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul."

Afghan Progress: Slipping Away? Lara Logan

There Are Signs Of Improvement, But Corruption Is Slowing Development. "They lied to us," this father told me, echoing a growing number of people here who are losing faith because of the slow pace of change. Most of the country still cannot be reached by road.

President Tries to Win Over a War-Weary Nation

Democrats Answer Cheney -- By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Cheney seemed terribly impatient with democracy Sunday on "Meet the Press" when he suggested that those who oppose President Bush's Iraq policies are helping -- excuse me, validating -- the terrorists.

Fearful Europe feels post-9/11 chill

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, "Our battle against Islamic terrorism will only succeed if we cultivate respect for human rights."

Nato 'must boost Afghan numbers'

Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has asked the 26 members of the alliance to heed calls for more international troops for Afghanistan.

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Search of My Father's Afghanistan -- By Saira Shah

"Oh foreigners -- do not attack Kabul. Attacking Kabul is my job!" All this time I was living in Britain, where the newspapers were telling me of a country under continual attack, devastated by years of war beginning with the Soviet occupation in 1979 and then by the Taliban's oppressive regime. But it was literature and legend that prompted me to begin traveling to Afghanistan 20 years ago -- first as a freelance journalist, then as a documentary filmmaker.

Bush Honors 9/11 Anniversary

With the assistance of first lady Laura Bush, the president placed a floral wreath in a reflecting pool in the center of the footprint of what was once the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Afghan envoy seeks military, financial aid

Almost five years after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted the repressive Taliban regime, only half of the money pledged by the international community to rebuild Afghanistan has been delivered and spent, Said T. Jawad said in an interview with The Washington Times.

Nation looks back on 9/11

NEW YORK (AP) - The World Trade Center site fell silent four times as Americans paused in airport security lines, at churches and at quiet commemorations this morning to mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bomb attack kills Afghan governor

The BBC's Grant Ferrett says Mr. Taniwal was not a warlord or militia commander like many of his counterparts, but a sociology professor who had spent most of his life teaching in Australia. He said he wanted to challenge the country's Kalashnikov culture, our correspondent says, but he showed himself willing to use force when necessary.

"THE PATH TO 9/11" -- ABC

Exclusive! Vice President Dick Cheney -- "Meet the Press"

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Afghanistan was governed by the Taliban, one of the worst regimes in modern times, terribly dictatorial, terribly discriminatory towards women. There were training camps in Afghanistan training thousands of al-Qaeda terrorists. All of those training camps today are shut down. The Taliban are no longer in power. There’s a democratically elected president, a democratically elected parliament and a new constitution and American-trained Afghan security forces and NATO now actively in the fight against the remnants of the Taliban. We are much better off today because Afghanistan is not the safe haven for terror that it was on 9/11.

More Muslims Arrive in U.S., After 9/11 Dip

A larger percentage of immigrants from Muslim countries have graduate degrees than other American residents, and their average salary is about 20 percent higher, according to census data. But Sept. 11 altered the course of Muslim life in America. Mosques were vandalized. Hate crimes rose. Deportation proceedings began against thousands of men. Some Muslims changed their names to avoid job discrimination, making Mohammed “Moe,” and Osama “Sam.” Scores of families left for Canada.

Cheney and Rice Defend U.S. Wars

Rockefeller: Bush Duped Public On Iraq

U.S. Military: Suicide Cell in Kabul

(CBS/AP) A suicide bombing cell is operating in the Afghan capital with the aim of targeting foreign troops, the U.S. military said Sunday.

Cheney: Domestic Iraq Debate Encouraging Adversaries

The vice president said U.S. allies in Afghanistan and Iraq "have doubts" America will finish the job there. "And those doubts are encouraged, obviously, when they see the kind of debate that we've had in the United States," Cheney said

Kerry Seeks More U.S. Troops for Afghanistan

Speaking a day after a suicide bomber killed 16 people, including two U.S. soldiers, in Afghanistan, Kerry accused the administration of pursuing "a policy of cut-and-run" in that country and said the Pentagon should deploy at least 5,000 more troops to help suppress the Taliban insurgency. He said allied forces there need more helicopters, drones, heavy equipment and reconstruction funds to help prop up the government in Kabul.

Suicide Bomber Kills Governor in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sep. 10 -- A suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his body assassinated the popular governor of eastern Paktia province Sunday, just two days after a powerful car bomb killed 16 people, including two U.S. soldiers, in downtown Kabul, the capital.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Think Again: 9/11 -- By Juan Cole

The attacks on the United States were neither a clash of civilizations nor an unqualified success for al Qaeda. They were, however, a clash of policy that continues to this day.

Blair Urges Labour to Stop Its Bickering

"We're not going to win if we have personal attacks by anybody on anyone," Blair said in a speech to a think-tank in London.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Afghanistan Violence Escalates After Call for More Troops

SARAH CHAYES, There has been a growing disillusionment with the Afghan government on the part of regular people in southern Afghanistan, which is where I live. And, so, it's been five years now, and people are really running out of patience. And that means that, if that 20 guys with guns knock on your door at night and say, look, "We need dinner; can you feed us?" people are more likely to do that, because they just don't feel the allegiance to the government that they did in 2002. And that means that people get shaken down. They get, you know, their telephones stolen. You -- you know, when the army is deployed in an area where there's Taliban fighting, to have checkpoints and things like that, they routinely just take everybody's money.

Why The 9/11 Conspiracies Won't Go Away

Turns out, we need grand theories to make sense of grand events, or the world just seems too randomBy LEV GROSSMAN

Karzai on the Bombing: "The Enemy Is Not Eliminated"

"Look, we have enemies," Karzai said. "The same enemies that blew up themselves in London, the same enemies that blew up the train in Madrid or the train in Bombay or the twin towers in America are still around. Before September 11 they were the government in Afghanistan. Today they are on the run and hiding and they come out from their hiding and try to hurt us when they can manage it."

Iran's Khatami says suicide bombers hurt Islam

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami on Friday condemned the September 11 attacks against the United States as an atrocity and said suicide bombers did Islam an injustice and would not go to heaven.

Blast in Kabul Kills 14 Afghans, 2 U.S. Soldiers

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack as a "shocking and despicable" act that went "against the values of Islam and humanity."

Report Details Errors Before War

Clinton, Other Democrats Assail ABC Docudrama 'Path to 9/11'

9/11 widows make a difference in Afghanistan

9/11 widows help counterparts in AfghanistanSept. 8: Two women who lost their husbands on 9/11 have dedicated themselves to helping women a world away who suffered the same fate during the U.S.-led bombing of Afghanistan. Their foundation is called Beyond the 11th and is being chronicled in a documentary film.

The Year of Living Fearfully -- By Fareed Zakaria

Can everyone please take a deep breath? To review a bit of history: in 1938, Adolf Hitler launched what became a world war not merely because he was evil but because he was in complete control of the strongest country on the planet. At the time, Germany had the world's second largest industrial base and its mightiest army. (The American economy was bigger, but in 1938 its army was smaller than that of Finland.) This is not remotely comparable with the situation today.

The 'Islamofascists' -- Newsweek

Some academics preferred the term "Islamism," but the aides thought that sounded too much as if America were fighting the entire religion. Another option: jihadism. But to many Muslims, it's a positive word that doesn't necessarily evoke bloodshed. Some preferred the conservative buzzword "Islamofascism," which was catchy and tied neatly into Bush's historical view of the struggle.

Half the Equation’

Military sources told The [London] Times that some NATO countries have equipment like attack helicopters and aircraft that could be integral to success on the ground but that they are not being offered to the mission in Afghanistan. What does this say about NATO?

Blast Kills 16 in Afghan Capital, Including 2 U.S. Soldiers

Suicide bombing was very rare in Afghanistan until last fall when attacks suddenly escalated and spokesmen for the Taliban claimed to have trained hundreds of bombers to send in against the government of Afghanistan and its foreign allies.

Bill Clinton Assails 9 / 11 TV Drama

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former President Bill Clinton has dismissed as ``indisputably wrong'' a U.S. TV show that suggests he was too distracted by a sex scandal to confront the Islamic militant threat that culminated in the September 11 attacks, his spokesman said on Friday.

Pakistani Leader Admits Taliban Cross into Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 7 — President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, in a conciliatory speech to Afghan officials and members of Parliament today, conceded that Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents have been crossing the border into Afghanistan to mount attacks but denied that he or his government were backing them.

Long after 9/11, Afghanistan struggles to find way

As Afghanistan struggles to rebuild five years after September 11 and the fall of the Taliban, hundreds of families are trapped in a sprawling web of caves in the lush Bamiyan valley, surrounded by stark, desert mountains and famous for two giant Buddhas blown up in 2001.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bush Calls For Greater Wiretap Authority

ATLANTA, Sept. 7 -- President Bush urged Congress Thursday to give him "additional authority" to continue his administration's warrantless eavesdropping program.

Bush's Detainee Plan Is Criticized

Military Lawyers and Senators Say Proposed Rules for Evidence Are Unfair

Conspiracy Theories Find a Home on the Internet -- NPR

9/11: Debunking The Myths -- Popular Mechanics

FROM THE MOMENT the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, the world has asked one simple and compelling question: How could it happen?


Conspiracy theorists insist the U.S. government, not terrorists, staged the devastating attacks. Robert Bowman, who directed the "Star Wars" defense program under Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, reached his own conclusion after questioning (among other things) why the American military hadn't intercepted the hijacked planes before they hit the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, why the FBI had ignored repeated pre-Sept. 11 warnings that Zacarias Moussaoui wanted to fly a plane into the World Trade Center, why the Pentagon didn't release surveillance tapes of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the military complex, and how, within hours after the attack, the government could so quickly produce the names and photos of the 19 hijackers.

9-11 Conspiracy Theories Abound -- KPCC

Not everyone buys into the official report from the 9-11 Commission, particularly this group of "true believers" in Orange County.

Who Will Replace Annan as U.N. Secretary General?


Afghan force 'needs more troops'

Nato's leaders have urged member countries to provide reinforcements to help in its campaign against Taleban guerrillas in southern Afghanistan.

Euro-MPs demand CIA jail answers

Members of the European Parliament have called on European governments to come clean about alleged secret CIA prison camps on their territory.

France and Its Muslims -- Foreign Affairs

Summary: The recent panic over the rise of Islamic extremism in Europe has overlooked a key fact: the majority of European Muslims are trying hard to fit in, not opt out. This is especially clear in France, where the picture is much brighter than often acknowledged. Unfortunately, cynical politicians and the clumsy elite are now making matters much worse.

God's Country? -- Foreign Affairs

Summary: Religion has always been a major force in U.S. politics, but the recent surge in the number and the power of evangelicals is recasting the country's political scene -- with dramatic implications for foreign policy. This should not be cause for panic: evangelicals are passionately devoted to justice and improving the world, and eager to reach out across sectarian lines.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The day Blair accused his chancellor of blackmail

Amnesty International Welcomes Changes to Administration Detainee Policies

However, Amnesty International remains concerned that these documents continue to put forth a broad definition of what constitutes an 'unlawful enemy combatant' in an effort to extend the law of war framework globally.

Leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan Hold Talks

KABUL (Reuters) - Pakistan, criticized by some Afghan leaders over cross-border infiltration by the Taliban, vowed on Wednesday to help its neighbor fight terrorism as Afghanistan battles its worst violence in five years.

Austria girl 'dreamt of escaping'

An abducted Austrian teenager held captive for eight years has said fear of her captor prevented her from trying to escape her basement prison.

Bush: 'We Don't Torture' -- (CBS)

(CBS) It was one of the worst-kept secrets in the world — and on Wednesday, President Bush confirmed it: In a major speech about the war on terror, the president, for the first time, acknowledged the existence of secret CIA prisons around the world.

U.S.: Bush Justifies CIA Detainee Abuse -- (Human Rights Watch, 6-9-2006)

"Although the president adamantly denied that the U.S. government uses torture, the United States has used practices such as waterboarding that can only be called torture." Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch

President Asks Congress to Authorize Tribunals for Detainees

President Bush announced that 14 terror suspects, including the alleged organizer of the 9/11 attacks, will be transferred from secret CIA facilities to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. He also urged Congress to authorize the use of tribunals to comply with a Supreme Court decision.

Blair hit by wave of resignations

Tony Blair has faced a wave of resignations by junior members of his government over his refusal to name a date for resignation as Labour leader.

Bush Transfers 14 Key Suspects to Guantanamo

"These are dangerous men with unparalleled knowledge about terrorist networks and their plans for new attacks," Bush said.

War Backfiring on U.S., Khatami Says

NEW YORK -- On the eve of his first trip to Washington, former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami warned that U.S. military action in the Middle East has backfired, producing greater terrorism, imperiling the future of Iraq and damaging America's long-term interests.

Pakistan Reaches Peace Accord With Pro-Taliban Militias

Japan's Princess Kiko Gives Birth to Male Heir

Announcement Likely to Quell Emotional Debate on Female Succession to Throne

Musharraf Speaks of a 'Common Enemy'

"On our side of the border there will be a total uprising if a foreigner enters that area," he said at a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "It's not possible at all. We will never allow any foreigners into that area. It's against the culture of the people there."

AFGHANISTAN: Where the gun still rules

Local analyst Habibullah Rafi said the culture of bearing arms in Afghanistan is related to the country's history and geographic location. Afghanistan was strategically situated along the so-called Silk Road, which linked Asia to Europe and had been constantly attacked over the centuries. “The history of conflict, combined with weak governments and strong local loyalties, has led to a culture where guns are perceived to be as necessary as a cooking pot or a mule,” he explained.

Pakistan: Friend or Foe? Los Angeles Times

PAKISTAN'S, President Pervez Musharraf is supposedly a key U.S. ally in the "war on terror." But is he, in fact, more of a liability than an asset in combating Al Qaeda and the increasingly menacing Taliban forces in Afghanistan?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bin Laden Gets a Pass from Pakistan, Brian Ross and Gretchen Peters Report:

The surprising announcement comes as Pakistani army officials announced they were pulling their troops out of the North Waziristan region as part of a "peace deal" with the Taliban. If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden "would not be taken into custody," Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen."

Musharraf due in Kabul for talks

India drug gives Alzheimer's hope

Scientists in the UK and India are examining the ancient Indian ayurvedic medicine for possible use in drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease. Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old Indian tradition of herbal and "alternative" medication. Ayurvedic medicine uses herbs and spices like basil, turmeric, garlic, ginger and aloe vera, as well as yoga exercises, to treat physical and psychological problems. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative and irreversible brain disorder.

Nato's Afghan mission under pressure

Japan princess gives birth to boy

Japan's Princess Kiko has given birth to a boy, who becomes the third-in-line to the imperial throne. Her son becomes the first male heir to be born into Japan's royal family in more than four decades.

Calderon Named Mexico President-Elect

Among A Resurgent Taliban -- CBS News Exclusive

GHAZINI, "Before this war American forces were our friends," Ahmad Rahim, the Taliban regional commander, told Logan. "But now, after this occupation and their barbaric cruelty, we are no longer with them."

President Bush Delivers Remarks on the War on Terror

BUSH: The goal of these Sunni extremists is to remake the entire Muslim world in their radical image. In pursuit of their imperial aims these extremists say there can be no compromise or dialogue with those they call infidels, a category that includes America, the world's free nations, Jews, and all Muslims who reject their extreme vision of Islam. They reject the possibility of peaceful coexistence with the free world.

Bush Compares Iran to Al-Qaeda

President Bush today renewed his pledge to accept nothing less than "complete victory" in the war on terrorism and delivered a strong warning to Iran, which he described as the leader of a strain of Islamic radicalism just as dangerous as that of al-Qaeda.

Afghan foreign minister picks holes in war on terrorism

'The anti-terrorism fight is not only a military task, it also involves development politics and social programmes,' Spanta said, admitting the Kabul government had also made mistakes in this respect.

An Afghan Symbol for Change, Then Failure

“Our government is weak,” said Fowzea Olomi, a local women’s rights advocate whose driver was shot dead in May and who fears she is next. “Anarchy has come.” “Where the world, including the United States, came up short was on the security side,” said Richard Haass, the former director of policy planning at the State Department. “That was the mistake which I believe is coming back to haunt the United States now.”

The Battle to Restore Kabul? Dignity & Identity

We declare war. We bomb. We conquer. We then pretend to rebuild. But there is no rebuilding, just collateral damage. In Belgrade, Baghdad and Kabul, the last three cities assaulted by Britain in war, millions may be spent on aid, but buildings are left as piles of rubble.

Opium war jeopardising Afghan future, report says

The highly critical study of the five years since the US-led invasion found that Afghans are starving to death despite international donor pledges and that the foreign military presence was "fuelling resentment and fear" among the local population. The report, by the Senlis Council, an international policy thinktank, said that the US-led international community had "failed to achieve stability and security" in the war-torn country and that attacks were perpetuated on a daily basis.

Dark pasts of Afghans are kept quiet -- By Declan Walsh,

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A sensitive UN report that has been shelved for the past 18 months accuses leading Afghan politicians and officials of orchestrating massacres, torture, mass rape, and other war crimes in the country over 23 years of conflict.

Monday, September 04, 2006

AFGHANISTAN: Interview with regional analyst Barnet Rubin

What has gone badly wrong is that the international actors underinvested in providing security for the Afghan people by not expanding the International Security Assistance Force [ISAF – provides security mainly in the capital] earlier. They didn’t invest adequately in rebuilding the administration and also there were huge delays in starting reconstruction and development programmes – often inadequately funded. And now the Afghan government has very little capacity, it is corrupted.

A letter to Rummy -- Eric Margolis

As an educated man, you know fascism is a phenomenon of Western industrial states in which racists and militarists join hands with conservative parties and the military industrial complex to form the fascist, corporate state. Fascism is unknown in the Muslim world. Mussolini and Hitler were Christians. The real closet fascists are in North America. ”Islamo-facist” is as meaningless as that favoured term of anti-Semites, “Judeo-Nazi.”

Can peace be restored in Afghanistan?

US Troops Seek 'Revenge' in Afghanistan

"These mountains are very, very ruthless," said Sgt. Ross Gilbert, a 24-year-old Californian. On his third tour to Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001 toppled the Taliban regime, Gilbert said the failure to capturing bin Laden is a major frustration for him and fellow infantrymen.

White House Fights Race-Based Admissions Policies

The Bush administration is siding with opponents of public school policies that assign students by race to some K-12 institutions, in the most important affirmative-action-related Supreme Court case since the justices upheld some forms of race-conscious admissions for higher education in 2003.

U.S. planes kill Canadian in Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - U.S. warplanes mistakenly fired on Canadian troops fighting Taliban forces Monday in southern Afghanistan, killing one soldier and wounding five in an operation that that NATO said also has left 200 insurgents dead.

Restoring Kabul's lost beauty

War, tyranny and Soviet-inspired urban planning have all left their mark on the Afghan capital. The worst period was during the 1990s when the historic heart of the city, which Saib-e-Tabrizi wrote his love song for, became a battleground for competing factions of Mujahideen. The mud-brick walls of mansions, courtyards and mosques were no match for the bombs.

AEditorial: Afghanistan's distress

Discontent with the government in Afghanistan isn't the same as discontent with the government of, say, South Carolina. President Hamid Karzai is keeping the lid on a government that has an unhealthy share of hard-line Islamists, warlords and autocrats. Promoting Karzai's leadership over theirs is clearly in the United States' interests.

Ariana advances investment opportunities

WASHINGTON: President of Ariana Afghan Airlines, Dr. Mohammed Nadir Atash, has announced that two major investment proposals by U.S. and European companies. Ariana, Afghanistan’s national carrier, has provided air passenger and cargo service to Afghanistan for over five decades and has expanded its operations and service since the fall of the Taliban.

The housing collapse heard round the world

The once red-hot housing market has fizzled. And the topic du jour among economists, investors and policy makers is whether the end of the housing boom signals the beginning of the end of a long run for the world's mightiest economy, and by association, the rest of the planet.

‘We must do something about Pakistan'

MAYWAND, AFGHANISTAN — Under a waning moon, with no electricity for light, the headquarters of Afghan forces in the Maywand district of southern Afghanistan was cloaked in heavy darkness.

How U.S. dollars disappear in Afghanistan: quickly and thoroughly

To understand the failure -- and fraud -- of reconstruction in Afghanistan, you have to take a look at the peculiar system of U.S. aid for international development. During the past five years, the United States and many other donor nations pledged billions of dollars to Afghanistan, yet Afghans keep asking: "Where did the money go?" American taxpayers should be asking the same question.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Karzai asks for probe into drug claims

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan to investigate whether his younger brother is involved in the drug trade.

Afghanistan ignored

A WAR is missing. Sadly, it is not missing from the physical location in which it is taking place, and people continue to die as it is waged. But it has largely disappeared from our national debate, and that debate has been sorely distorted as a consequence. There is, of course, one factual refutation of this partisan distortion. Every Democratic senator and representative but one voted for the war in Afghanistan. It is this war that represented America's reaction to the murders of thousands of Americans on Sept. 11 . It was the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that was sheltering Osama bin Laden. The reaction of the overall majority of Americans, including virtually all Democrats, was to support the Afghan war as a necessary act of self-defense.

FORBES TOP 100: Merkel World's Most Powerful Woman

Doubts over her leadership skills may be growing at home, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel still managed to push aside United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be named the world's most powerful woman by Forbes magazine.


Norway is rich in oil and natural gas. But it's also a resource success story that could provide a model for other nations. The country invests the lion's share of its oil riches in programs aimed at improving the lives of everyday Norwegians.

AFGHANISTAN'S POPPY PROBLEM: Karzai's Brother Under Drug Suspicion

Der Spiegel, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai is facing hard times. As his brother fights accusations that he's involved in the country's rampant drug trade, an increasing number of Afghans are disappointed by their government. Many are starting to think about potential presidential successors.

My Uncle's 'Accident' -- Pride and Shame Hide Taboo Topics in California's 'Little Kabul'

Suicide is a sin in Islam, and mental illness is taboo in Afghan culture. Often, those who have mental disorders are frowned upon. They are called "daywana," a foul word for insane. Antidepressants are considered pills that Western doctors give patients to make them crazy. Anxiety attacks are defined as occurrences where evil Jin -- spirits -- take over the body.

Bush Takes His Case to Veterans

"The war we fight today is more than a military conflict," Bush said Thursday. "It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century."

Bush Team Casts Foes as Defeatist

Afghanistan wishes more of you were here

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Sabrina Lou knew all the dangers. Insurgents in the south. Land mines in the mountains. Roads where even the potholes have potholes. She read the U.S. State Department warning, which strongly discourages anyone from traveling to Afghanistan and contains a litany of potential threats, from banditry to Al Qaeda.