Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review of Afghan Press Commentaries/ Rumours of cabinet reshuffle

The privately-owned daily Payman says that despite media speculation, a cabinet reshuffle is unlikely because only a few months remain before the end of President Karzai's term in office:

Still, the paper has some advice for Karzai if he does go ahead with a cabinet reshuffle:

"Our country and people need officials who are both knowledgeable and sharp-sighted. Otherwise, our future will be worse than our present and our people will be even more miserable. Therefore, if the president wants to make changes to his cabinet, he should not appoint those who have failed the test in the past. (24 July)
(Corr) Review of Afghan Press Commentaries 24-30 Jul 08

Olmert says he'll resign rather than run again

Olmert's vow to quit shakes peace talks -- Reuters

U.S. cites Pakistan spy agency's ties to militants

Afghan TV journalist is released -- BBC

It is not yet known whether any conditions were attached to his release.
خبرنگار بازداشت شده افغان آزاد شد
د اريانا تلويزيون خبريال خوشى شو
نشریات کابل: ۹ اسد
اعمال فشار بر رسانه های آزاد؟
افغانستان و آزادی بیان

Opium trafficking in Afghanistan/ FT

At least one part of the Afghan economy is doing well. Unfortunately, it is the part involved in the illegal production of opium and related narcotics. In the latest sign of just how entrenched the business has become, the United Nations has warned that drug traffickers are now importing chemists from surrounding countries to produce heroin inside the country. / Comment & analysis / Editorial comment - Opium ...
Afghan drug lords hire foreign chemists
Editorial comment: A change in tack

Drilling in Afghanistan -- THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

The main reason we are losing in Afghanistan is not because there are too few American soldiers, but because there are not enough Afghans ready to fight and die for the kind of government we want.
Op-Ed Columnist - Drilling in Afghanistan - Op-Ed

Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?

U.S. Wary of Pakistani Appeal for More Cooperation

Bush administration officials have responded with skepticism to an appeal by visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani for increased intelligence cooperation, which he said would help his country attack militant groups and terrorist encampments near its border with Afghanistan.

Bush Signs Massive Housing Relief Bill

President Bush this morning signed into law the most sweeping housing legislation in decades, aimed at calming rocky financial markets and giving mortgage relief to up to 400,000 homeowners

The FHA, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also will be given permanent authority to assist borrowers with much larger home loans--the bill increases the cap on the size of those loans to $625,000.
Bush Signs Massive Housing Relief Bill
President Bush signs massive housing bill - Mortgage Mess-

Europe, Islam and Jihadism: Establishing the Distinctions -- Walid Phares

In my last European professional tour of June-July, I briefed and lectured Government officials, NGOs and European Union audiences in Rome, Berlin, Brussels, Paris and London. I will report on the main issues of discussions and areas of common interest in the near future. One of the hot issues of exchange has been the ability for Europeans (Government and public) to make a distrinction between the theology of Islam and the ideology of Jihadism.
Europe, Islam and Jihadism: Establishing the Distinctions

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Afghans must command foreign troops: state newspaper

"If a united command is established and led by Afghan authorities, very soon we will win the war. Afghanistan is the land of the Afghans," the Kabul Times said in an editorial.

When Barack went to Kabul -- guardian

Some loved him, others weren't so impressed. What's important is that Afghans don't rely on Obama to come to their rescue

As for Obama, the man is no expert, but at least he's honest and is trying to learn. If I had a choice between listening to Obama and Zalmay Khalilzad, the ex-US special envoy to Kabul, a fully-fledged expert, I'd go for Obama any day. Trust me. I went to Khalilzad's speech at UCLA and left it feeling downright stupid. How is it that I didn't know Afghanistan was doing so well?
When Barack went to Kabul - کابل پرس: خبری، تحليلی و انتقادی

Afghan government detains critical talk show host

"The Cabinet decided that such people, and any other persons who are working in the media and are making baseless accusations, should be prosecuted," the statement said.

Afghan Paper Says President Karzai Unable Reform His Government

President] Karzai's cabinet which is unique for its mismanagement and weakness is a collection of the interests of certain countries and organizations bent on interfering in the country's affairs directly or indirectly. Therefore, removing any of them [ministers] would mean disrupting the share of a particular country or a certain trend which will put the president in a difficult situation. [Passages omitted: allegations by certain people that Karzai's cabinet have been infiltrated by foreign agents]

Afghan TV journalist is detained -- BBC

The authorities in Afghanistan have detained a prominent journalist after the broadcast of a documentary which was critical of members of the cabinet.
Afghan journalist detained after alleged govt criticism - Yahoo! News
BBC NEWS World South Asia Bribery rules on Afghan roads

Alzheimer's drug 'halts' decline -- BBC

UK scientists have developed a drug which may halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Exercise 'slows down Alzheimer's'

Monday, July 28, 2008

UN: Smuggled chemicals let Afghans process opium

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan drug lords are increasingly converting opium into heroin at home with outside technical help and chemicals smuggled from abroad, the U.N. said Monday, indicating greater sophistication for the country's already booming illegal drug trade.

According to U.N. figures, Afghanistan last year yielded about 9,000 tons of opium, enough to make over 900 tons of heroin.

Obama and McCain turn focus back to economy

Candidates Return Focus to Economy and Jobs New York Times
Obama promises efforts to revive economy, AP
Los Angeles Times - Reuters - AFP

Record $482 Billion '09 Deficit Forecast: Next President's Options May Be Limited

The federal budget deficit will grow to a record $482 billion in the fiscal year that begins in October, the White House said yesterday, driven by war costs, tax rebates, and a slowing economy that will leave the next president little room to fulfill costly campaign promises.
Record $482 Billion '09 Deficit Forecast: Next President's Options May Be Limited

Private Contractors' Role in Afghanistan To Grow With Awarding of Latest Contracts

With billions of dollars newly available in fiscal 2008 supplemental war funding, the Congressional Research Service last month estimated that the Defense Department is now spending $2.3 billion a month in Afghanistan. Add $500 million monthly from the State Department and more from other agencies, and the total U.S. outlay in Afghanistan this fiscal year will be about $34 billion.

Pakistan PM tries to reassure Bush on Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani sought on Monday to reassure U.S. President George W. Bush of his government's commitment to securing its border with Afghanistan, where Taliban and al Qaeda militants pose a growing threat.

US and Pakistan stress close ties -- BBC

The US still considers Pakistan a key ally in its "war on terror", President George W Bush has told visiting Pakistani PM Yousuf Raza Gilani.

U.N. says corruption helps Afghan drug lords evade justice

KABUL: Corruption in Afghanistan is hobbling efforts to combat the booming opium trade with powerful drug lords evading justice by simply making a telephone call to friends in high places, a United Nations official said on Monday.

The U.S. government's former point man in the fight against the heroin trade in Afghanistan accused Afghan President Hamid Karzai in an article published on Sunday of obstructing counter-narcotics efforts and protecting drug lords.
U.N. says corruption helps Afghan drug lords evade justice World ...
Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? -- THOMAS SCHWEICH

THE WORLD FROM BERLIN: 'Allowing Afghanistan to Help Itself Has to Be the Top Priority'

Four days after Sen. Barack Obama called on a reluctant Germany to get more involved in Afghanistan, German commentators are still debating who has a clearer vision of Afghanistan's real needs.
Steinmeier Goes to Afghanistan: Surprise Four-Day Visit by German Foreign Minister
Obama's Berlin Speech: 'A World that Stands as One'

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Obama thanks Sarkozy for Afghan troops, says US loves France

PARIS (AFP) - Barack Obama travelled to Paris Friday to tell President Nicolas Sarkozy that Americans have an "enormous fondness" for the French and to thank him for sending more troops to Afghanistan.

If heroin rules, kingpins walk free (Corruption, poor policing handicap nation)

Last year, Afghan farmers cultivated poppies on a record 477,000 acres, an area more than three times the size of Chicago and enough to supply 93 percent of the world's opium, which is used to make heroin.

"There is no doubt that we have smugglers in Afghanistan, but the big smugglers are international smugglers outside Afghanistan," Karzai told reporters. "We have put hundreds of people in prisons in Afghanistan for drug smuggling. We are doing our best."
If heroin rules, kingpins walk free --

U.S. house prices overvalued by up to 20 percent: IMF paper

Fitness protects brain in Alzheimer's patients

CHICAGO (Reuters) - People in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease who are more physically fit had less shrinkage in areas of the brain that are important for memory, researchers said on Sunday.
Fitness protects brain in Alzheimer's patients

Various development projects started in Nuristan

Friday, July 25, 2008

Housing rescue on track to pass Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate cleared the last hurdle Friday to passing a housing rescue aimed at sparing hundreds of thousands of homeowners from foreclosure and bolstering troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Obama presses Europe on Afghanistan in Berlin

"I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan," Obama said. "But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone."

WEST WING: Obama's Romantic Revolution - International - SPIEGEL

Barack Obama's promises to heal the world were lapped up in Berlin on Thursday. His speech was a masterpiece in the art of political magic -- and it was all coolly calculated.
Obama's Berlin Speech: People of the World, Look at Me

German Politicians React to Obama's Speech: 'Will a German Speak at the Washington Monument in 2009?'
SPIEGEL TV:: Highlights of Obama's Speech

Pakistan needs to do more to close Afghan border: Rice

PERTH, Australia (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday that Pakistan needed to do more to help curb the flow of militants across its border into Afghanistan as the Taliban had increased terrorist activity.

کرزی متهم به 'مانع تراشی در مبارزه با مواد مخدر' -- BBC

آقای کرزی این ادعاها را رد کرده است و می گوید دولتش در زمینه مبارزه با مواد مخدر درحال کسب موفقیت است.
وی به خبرنگاران گفت: "در هفت سال گذشته هیچ کس به خوبی ما در زمینه مبارزه با مواد مخدر عمل نکرده است."
کرزی متهم به 'مانع تراشی در مبارزه با مواد مخدر'

Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? -- THOMAS SCHWEICH
Bush Administration Backs Karzai After Drug Corruption Allegations

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rice: Pakistan must do more at border

Obama Delivers Berlin Address: "A World That Stands as One"

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.
Obama Delivers Berlin Address: "A World That Stands as One"
Obama Says Walls Must Come Down
Obama Abroad: We Get the Picture: The Candidate Looked Good This Week. Did the Press?...

Obama, in Berlin, Calls for Renewal of Ties With Allies -- nytimes
Slide Show Speech Text

Civilian Airstrike Deaths Probed -- Washington Post Foreign Service

KABUL -- U.S. and NATO military officials in Afghanistan have launched investigations into three separate U.S.-led airstrikes that Afghan officials say killed at least 78 civilians this month.

The investigations come during what U.N. and Afghan officials say is one of the deadliest years for civilians since the war began.
Civilian Airstrike Deaths Probed: 78 Have Died in Three Incidents This Month Alone,...

Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? By THOMAS SCHWEICH

Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?
I was a senior counternarcotics official recently arrived in a country that supplied 90 percent of the world’s heroin. I took to heart Karzai’s strong statements against the Afghan drug trade. That was my first mistake.

Over the next two years I would discover how deeply the Afghan government was involved in protecting the opium trade — by shielding it from American-designed policies. While it is true that Karzai’s Taliban enemies finance themselves from the drug trade, so do many of his supporters. At the same time, some of our NATO allies have resisted the anti-opium offensive, as has our own Defense Department, which tends to see counternarcotics as other people’s business to be settled once the war-fighting is over. The trouble is that the fighting is unlikely to end as long as the Taliban can finance themselves through drugs — and as long as the Kabul government is dependent on opium to sustain its own hold on power.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Report: Ex-US narcotics official accuses Afghanistan's Karzai of - Bush Administration Backs Karzai After Drug ...

McCain visits German restaurant in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain had his own German experience Thursday -- at a restaurant in Ohio.

Obama seeks stronger Europe ties -- BBC

He began the speech by paying tribute to the Berliners who held out against Soviet pressure during the blockade after World War II.
Obama set for German welcome

Bush Administration Backs Karzai After Drug Corruption Allegations

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration underscored its continued support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday despite fresh allegations from a former U.S. anti-drug official that Karzai is playing both sides of the effort to combat a raging drug business.
Report: Ex-US narcotics official accuses Afghanistan's Karzai of ...
Bush Ex-Official Says Corrupt Afghans and a Hesitant Military ...
Karzai 'impeding Afghan drug war' -- BBC

Ex U.S. official: Afghan leader shields drug trade

"Narco-corruption went to the top of the Afghan government," he wrote, adding that drug traffickers were buying off hundreds of police chiefs, judges and other officials.
Ex U.S. official: Afghan leader shields drug trade Politics ...
Ex U.S. official: Afghan leader shields drug trade - Yahoo! News
Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? -- nytimes

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Foreign Policy: How to Save Karzai -- By Seth G. Jones

Hamid Karzai looks increasingly like a man presiding over chaos. It is hard to find anyone who believes that Afghanistan’s president is making much progress in his fight against militants and the endemic corruption that now plagues his government. Nearly seven years after U.S. forces entered Afghanistan, the Taliban and other insurgent groups are gaining ground in the country, the drug trade is at its highest levels ever, and most Afghans remain without basic services. According to Pentagon estimates, the level of insurgent violence is at its worst since the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban regime, marked by a 40 percent increase in violence in eastern Afghanistan.

Karzai could also use some help cleaning house. Afghans are rapidly losing patience with the corruption that has infected all levels of government. A recent Asia Foundation poll found that a startling three quarters of Afghans believe corruption is a serious problem. Most troubling, a majority think it is getting worse.

Again, active American support is critical here. Corrupt government officials, including those involved in the drug trade, need to be removed from office. There is no shortage of intelligence on who they are. The most effective way to do this may be to begin with the most blatant offenders, capturing and prosecuting individuals where there is solid evidence of criminal behavior, especially involvement in the country’s drug-trafficking business.
Click here: Foreign Policy: How to Save Karzai

Sky-high wheat prices have Afghan farmers crowing it's better than opium

برنامه خبری رادیو آشنا -- ولی احمد نوری

بمناسبت نخستین سالگرد وفات مرحوم اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه بابای ملت
اعلامیه جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان بمناسبت نخستین سالگرد وفات مرحوم اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه بابای ملت!

A Private, Blunter Bush Declares, ‘Wall Street Got Drunk’

A Private, Blunter Bush Declares, ‘Wall Street Got Drunk’ (July 23, 2008)

House Passes Housing Bill After Bush Says He Will Sign It

WASHINGTON — The House approved far-reaching government assistance on Wednesday for the nation’s housing market, including broad authority for the Treasury Department to protect the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies from collapse.

Afghan Opposition Backs Obama Troop Plan, Has Doubts on McCain

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- The political party likely to pose the toughest challenge to Hamid Karzai's re-election as president of Afghanistan next year is supporting Barack Obama's plan to boost U.S. troop strength in the country.

``Afghans just want things to work better, and if they are convinced that more U.S. soldiers will make a difference they will be all for that,'' Fishstein said. ``But if there is no strategy in place to make the addition of troops meaningful, their tolerance of foreign intervention may run out.''
Afghan Opposition Backs Obama Troop Plan, Has Doubts on McCain ...

McCain credits Bush for drop in oil price

A Wake-Up Call From Afghanistan

Increased fighting draws more attention to the strain posed by the Iraq war

Gates Foundation, Bloomberg set $500M anti-smoking effort

The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will commit $125 million over five years. Bloomberg’s foundation will donate $250 million over the next four years. The total commitment includes a $125 million pledge made by Bloomberg two years ago.

Kabul residents called on to collectively clean Afghan capital

With nearly 5 million populations the war-torn Kabul is one of the most polluted capitals of the world as according to officials of the Environment Directorate, around 400,000 tons of wasted items and garbage produced annually in this war-ravaged city.

White House drops opposition to housing bill

House expected to vote on the bill today; could become law this week

Under the bill, the government would help struggling homeowners get new, cheaper loans and would be allowed to offer troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a cash infusion.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama calls situation in Afghanistan 'urgent' -- CNN

Obama calls situation in Afghanistan 'urgent' -

AFGHANISTAN: Increasing attacks on aid workers could provoke "humanitarian crisis" - NGOs

Reuters AlertNet - AFGHANISTAN: Increasing attacks on aid workers ...
ReliefWeb » Document » Afghanistan: Increasing attacks on aid ...

Ex-prosecutors accuse Jabar Sabet of corruption -- Written by PAN

Up to 50 ex-governmental staff accuse sacked Attorney-General of corruption and want to stop him fleeing jurisdiction

They have demanded that this commission must assess all of the current assets of Sabet and confiscate any assets which were obtained illegally using his position at the Attorney-General.

The former prosecutor also said that Sabet obtained land in the Green Zone of Wazir Akbar Khan using his position, and constructed a house on that land.

Another former governmental worker, General Aminullah Amarkhil , who was responsible for Airport Customs, accused Sabet of removing him from his position for personal reasons.
Ex-prosecutors accuse Jabar Sabet of corruption

McCain insists he was right, Obama wrong on Iraq

As Obama toured the war zones trailed by U.S. network TV anchors, McCain ridiculed him from afar during a visit with the first President George Bush at his summer home on the Atlantic. At the same time, the Republican contender released an eyebrow-raising new ad flatly blaming the Illinois senator for higher gasoline prices.

The elder Bush declined to advise McCain on the two wars, noting that he no longer follows every headline each day.

"No advice," Bush said. "My respect for him knows no bounds."

Afghans call for new strategy as Obama visits

KABUL (Reuters) - Foreign spending on aid and development is dwarfed by that spent on military operations in Afghanistan. The U.S. military alone now spends some $100 million a day fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, aid agencies say, but spending on aid by all donors since 2001 amounts to only $7 million a day.

Many Afghans are growing increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of development, endemic corruption and the inability of Afghan and international security forces to stop the seemingly unending violence that claims many lives every day.

"There have not been any changes to the lives of ordinary Afghans, the visits and presence of foreigners has not changed the lives of poor Afghans," said street vendor Ramazan January
Afghans call for new strategy as Obama visits Reuters
Afghans call for new strategy as Obama visits - Yahoo! News

Biden Defends Obama on Afghanistan

Letter, Security in Afghanistan -- M. Ashraf Haidari

In “My Plan for Iraq” (Op-Ed, July 14), Senator Barack Obama correctly points out that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are resurgent and daily launch cross-border ist attacks in Afghanistan from safe sanctuaries in Pakistan. -- Embassy of Afghanistan

For Bosnian Serb, a Life of Hiding in Plain Sight

Bosnian Serb Captured; Sought for War Crimes

MOSCOW, July 22 -- Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader indicted by a U.N. war crimes tribunal on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, was captured in Serbia on Monday.

Afghanistan Doesn't Need a 'Surge' -- WSJ

Afghanistan needs many things, but two more brigades of U.S. troops are not among them.

Afghanistan's problems are not the same as Iraq's. Its people aren't recovering from a brutal, all-controlling tyranny, but from decades of chaos and centuries of bad government. Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, is largely illiterate and has a relatively undeveloped civil society. Afghan society still centers around the family and, for men, the mosque. Its society and traditions are still largely intact, in contrast to Iraq's fractured, urbanized and half-modernized population.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama, Karzai Share a 'Working Lunch'

On CBS, Senator Calls Afghanistan 'Central Front on Our Battle Against Terrorism'
Obama, Karzai Share a 'Working Lunch': On CBS, Senator Calls Afghanistan 'Central Front on...

White House seeks movement on housing bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday said it hoped for progress on a sweeping housing rescue plan by the end of this week, but reiterated a veto threat over a provision that Congress looks likely to include in the bill.
White House threatens to veto oil drilling legislation Politics ...
White House threatens to veto oil drilling legislation - Yahoo! News
House passes CIA contractor ban over veto vow Politics Reuters

McCain opinion article rejected by New York Times

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign said on Monday a McCain opinion article about Iraq offered to The New York Times as a rebuttal to Democrat Barack Obama had been rejected.
McCain opinion article rejected by New York Times

دوزيرانو شورا نوبتي غونډه د حامدکرزي په مشري دگلخاني په ماڼي کي جوړه شوه

دوزيرانو شورا نوبتي غونډه د حامدکرزي په مشري دگلخاني په ماڼي کي جوړه شوه

اعلامیه جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان بمناسبت نخستین سالگرد وفات مرحوم اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه بابای ملت!

اعلامیه جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان بمناسبت نخستین سالگرد وفات مرحوم اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه بابای ملت!
د ملت د با با اروا ښاد اعليحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه د مړينى دلو مړى تلين له ا مله د افغا نستان د اسلا مى جمهوريت اعلا ميه :

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Paulson braces public for months of tough times

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sought to reassure an anxious public Sunday that the banking system is sound, while also bracing people for more troubled times ahead.

Barack Obama meets Afghan President Hamid Karzai

''Our message to the Afghan government is this: We want a strong partnership based on 'more for more' -- more resources from the United States and NATO, and more action from the Afghan government to improve the lives of the Afghan people,'' Obama and Sens. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., said in a joint statement. ''We need a sense of urgency and determination.

Obama meets Afghan president Karzai
Obama meets with Afghan president -- AP
Click here: Obama meets Afghan President Karzai in Kabul Reuters
Obama meets Afghan president Karzai in Kabul -- Reuters

Britain's Brown demands end to Israel settlements

But his strongest comments were reserved for the settlements: ''I think the whole European Union is very clear on this matter: We want to see a freeze on settlements.''

Obama: Now Is The Time For Iraq Withdrawal

Tells CBS News U.S. Cannot Wait For Next Administration To Make Afghanistan Central Focus Of War On Terror
Obama: Now Is The Time For Iraq Withdrawal
Obama Meets With Afghan President
Obama Says US Must Focus on Threats in Afghanistan
In Kabul, Obama calls Afghan front 'central' to war on terror

Obama urges focus on Afghanistan -- BBC

US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, on a visit to Kabul, has said Afghanistan should be the main focus of the "war on terror".

Speaking during his first trip to the country, Mr Obama called the situation in Afghanistan "precarious and urgent".
دیدار اوباما و کرزی در کاخ ریاست جمهوری
بارک اوباما له ولسمشر کرزي سره وکتل

Barak Obama begins visit to Afghanistan

Barak Obama begins visit to Afghanistan
Barack Obama Visits Afghanistan Sky News

Vote USA 2008 issues: Foreign policy -- BBC

Foreign policy is one of the key battlegrounds of the US presidential election, with Republican John McCain, a Vietnam veteran, casting himself as the better commander-in-chief, capable of dealing with international crises.

Gramm Out as McCain Co-Chair; Obama Reacts

“It is clear to me that Democrats want to attack me rather than debate Senator McCain on important economic issues facing the country.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

SEC Short-Sale Rule Gets Negative Reviews -- WSJ

WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission's new rule designed to limit certain negative stock bets is set to start Monday. Already, a political backlash is brewing.

Last Tuesday, the SEC said it would tighten short-selling rules for 19 financial firms, including mortgage titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by requiring traders to "pre-borrow" stock before initiating a so-called short sale.
Financial Stocks Lift Market While Tech Shares Falter
Short-selling rule to exclude market makers

بررسی اوضاع افغانستان توسط سناتور اوباما -- BBC

سناتور باراک اوباما، نامزد حزب دموکرات در انتخابات ریاست جمهوری آمریکا، در افغانستان با تعدادی از مقام های این کشور و نظامیان آمریکایی دیدار کرده است
واکنش افغانستان به سخنان باراک اوباما
سناتور اوباما د افغانستان حالات ارزوي

Obama Gets Look At Afghan War Zone

Obama Has Breakfast With Troops; to Meet Karzai
Obama’s Visit Renews Focus on Afghanistan

بارک اوبهاما ننګرهار ته راغی -- benawa

د امریکې ولسمشرۍ ټاکنو ته نوم اند دیموکرات کاندید بارک اوبهاما نن د کابل په وخت دری بجې بګرام او بیا په څلور بجو ختیځ ننګرهار ولایت ته ورسید. بارک اوبهاما افغانستان ته دخپل سفر په لومړي ګام کې له ننګرهار څخه لیده کاته وکړل او د هغه ولایت له والی ګل آغا شیرزي سره یی د بندو دروازو تر شا یو ساعت خبري اتري وکړي

Obama meets U.S. commander in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - Obama made Afghanistan the first stop on an overseas trip aimed at proving his foreign policy credentials. He will also visit Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and Britain. In Afghanistan, Obama visits troops and officials - Yahoo! News
Click here: Obama visits U.S. troops, officials in Afghanistan
News results for Barack Obama visits Afghanistan

Obama Lands in Afghanistan for First Tour of War Zones

Jalalabad is one of 13 provincial bases that are commanded by American forces in the Regional Command East of the NATO force in Afghanistan. Many of those provinces, such as Kunar, Nuristan, Nangarhar, Khost and Paktika, line the border with Pakistan’s turbulent tribal areas, where militant groups allied with the Taliban and Al Qaeda have gained in strength and have increased attacks by some 40 percent in recent months.
Obama arrives in Afghanistan Los Angeles Times
Obama Begins Afghanistan Tour TIME

Obama visits Afghanistan to tour war zone

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) —The Illinois senator arrived Saturday in Kabul as part of an official congressional delegation and then flew to eastern Afghanistan. Staff. Sgt. David Hopkins said Obama and two other senators were making a brief stop in Jalalabad airfield, in Nangarhar province, to visit with soldiers stationed there.

Traveling with Obama were Sens. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican and Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island.
A Cast of 300 Advises Obama on Foreign Policy -

Obama In Afghanistan For Visit With Karzai

CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan, traveling with the delegation in Kabul, said that by visiting Afghanistan before Iraq, Obama is signaling the primary importance of the war in Afghanistan in his campaign.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Americans' Faith in Afghan War Fades -- EMILY FRIEDMAN

War Fatigue, Frustration Play Into Americans' Decreasing Interest in War

An American at the Table in Iran Talks -- OPINION

President Bush’s decision to send one of his top diplomats to join the European Union’s diplomats in talks with Iran makes any incentives package look more credible.

اعلام آمادگی برای میانجیگری میان دولت افغانستان و مخالفان -- BBC

سید جلال کریم، که در افغانستان مشهور به "سید جلال نابغه" است در اواخر دهه 90 میلادی از جمله افراد و گروههایی بود که توانست در یک آتش بس کوتاه مدت میان نیروهای اتحاد شمال آن وقت و طالبان کمک کند. این آتش بس در نهایت منجر به مبادله تعدادی از زندانیان بین دو طرف شد.
آقای کریم می گوید نا امنی در افغانستان او را وادشته تا برای میانجیگیری میان دولت افغانستان و گروه های مخالف اعلام آمادگی کند

Rediscovering treasures of Bamiyan -- BBC

When the Buddhas of Bamiyan were carved out of the mountainside, the Roman Empire still held sway.

They towered over a rich valley in what is now central Afghanistan, where caravans of traders would stop and rest on the Silk Road as they transported goods between east and west.
BBC NEWS World South Asia Rediscovering treasures of Bamiyan

Northern Alliance blamed for Afghan violence -DAWN - National ...

Northern Alliance blamed for Afghan violence -DAWN - National ...

Militant groups now fight in Afghanistan -- Kathy Gannon

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan In early June, about 300 fighters from jihadist groups came together for a secret gathering here, in the same city that serves as headquarters to the Pakistani army.

The groups were launched long ago with the army's clandestine support to fight against India in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. But at the meeting, they agreed to resolve their differences and commit more fighters to another front instead: Afghanistan.
"The message
Washington Times - Militant groups now fight in Afghanistan

Nangarhar Elders Demand Retribution for US Air Strike

“Karzai should hand over the murderers so that we can hang them, or else he should resign,” said Rai Khan, shaking with anger. “If he does not do one or the other, then we will leave our homes and take matters into our own hands.”

Malek Jabar, a tribal elder from the Oghaz area, where the incident took place, told IWPR that the killings could lead people to go over to the Taleban.

“We Afghans have become so servile that we can no longer demand vengeance from foreigners on our own soil,” he said. “If those who committed this action are not handed over to us, we will have to join the opposition. At least they do not kill our women and children.”
GroundReport Afghanistan Nangarhar Elders Demand Retribution ...

The Associated Press: More US troops may go to Afghanistan this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pentagon leaders on Wednesday signaled a surge in U.S. forces in Afghanistan "sooner rather than later" — a shift that could come later this year as they prepare to cut troop levels in Iraq.
The Associated Press: More US troops may go to Afghanistan this year - More U.S. Troops May Go to Afghanistan This Year ...
More US troops may go to Afghanistan this year -


Never one to be accused of moving swiftly, much less decisively, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has finally fired his accident prone Attorney General, Abdul Jabar Sabet.

The concurrent practices of going soft on criminals while cracking down on the media should tell the people of western democracies everything they need to know about the Karzai regime, say its critics. “We are facing the old difficulties of Afghanistan’s history in the last 25 years,” says Shukria Barakzai. “Who is there who isn’t working for his own pocket, who is there who isn’t a warlord or criminal?

“The president is completely isolated from the people. He only listens to this mafia group inside the palace.”
Sky Reporter Home: Stories, mini-documentaries, slide shows and ...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How to Save Afghanistan -- Time

Is the U.S. Failing in Afghanistan?

Afghan leader visits site where US-led strikes hit wedding

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AFP) - "I have not come here today to make political speeches, I have come to share your grief," he told the gathering according to audio copies handed to the media, who were not invited to the event.

Karzai also met relatives of the victims -- mostly women and children -- of the July 6 strikes which the coalition has said killed only militants.
Nangarhar Elders Demand Retribution for US Air Strike

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

McCain criticizes U.S. war effort in Afghanistan

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful John McCain criticized the flagging U.S. war effort in Afghanistan on Tuesday and vowed to repair it if elected, starting with sending more U.S. and NATO troops.

"That's no way to run a war," said McCain, complaining that security in Afghanistan has deteriorated and the status quo is not acceptable.

More US troops may go to Afghanistan this year

Pentagon leaders on Wednesday signaled a surge in U.S. forces in Afghanistan "sooner rather than later," a shift that could send some units there within weeks, as officials prepare to cut troop levels in Iraq.

Obama Calls for U.S. Military to Renew Focus on Afghanistan

In an interview with the NewsHour's Gwen Ifill, Sen. Barack Obama calls for the U.S. to dramatically scale down in military effort in Iraq and, instead, focus more forces on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

Obama and McCain Duel Over Foreign Policy

Obama and McCain Duel Over Foreign Policy
Text - Obama’s Remarks on Iraq and Afghanistan - Text
Troops in Afghanistan Need Help, Obama Says
Text - Obama’s Remarks on Iraq and Afghanistan - Text

جورج دبیلوبوش رئیس جمهوری ایالات متحده امریکا ازعبورتندروان از پاکستان به افغانستان ابراز نگرانی کرده است

Afghan attorney general is sacked

Mr Karzai said the post of attorney general needed to be free from "political influences". But Mr Sabet said his removal was unconstitutional. He said Mr Karzai knew he would not be able to compete with him in the presidential election.

The dismissal comes amid rumours of a government reshuffle in Afghanistan.

Huge rebound for Wall Street

Dow soars by largest margin in more than 3 months on plummeting oil prices and positive financial reports from banks and airlines.
How safe is your money, and how to protect it
Inflation: Price jump worst since '91

حضور مجدد نیروهای دولتی در ولسوالی وانت -- BBC

مقامات محلی در ولایت شرقی نورستان می گویند ولسوالی وانت وایگل را از تصرف طالبان خارج کرده اند
این ولسوالی در چهار روز گذشته شاهد نبردهای سنگین میان طالبان و نیروهای افغان و ناتو بود
تلفات عملیات هوایی در نورستان
آغاز یک عملیات نظامی در شرق افغانستان
'عملیات سنگین' در نورستان

دادستان کل افغانستان از سمت خود برکنار شد -- BBC

عبدالجبار ثابت، دادستان کل افغانستان، با شرکت در یک کنفرانس خبری در کابل گفت که حامد کرزی، رئیس جمهور، او را به دفتر خود احضار و خاتمه خدمت و برکناری او را ابلاغ کرده است
اتهام فساد علیه دادستان کل افغانستان
دادستان کل افغانستان: با قدرتمندان مقابله می کنم
اتهام غصب زمین علیه برخی اعضای پارلمان افغانستان

جمهوری افغانستان سی و پنج ساله شد -- BBC

۲۶ سرطان (تیر) برابر با سی پنجمین سال سقوط حکومت شاهی در افغانستان و آغاز حکومت جمهوری به ریاست سردار محمد داوود خان است
جمهوری داوود خان، پنج سال بعد در ماه ثور (اردیبهشت سال 1357 خورشیدی)، با کودتای دیگری توسط افسران چپگرای ارتش به پایان رسید. آن کودتا، که برخلاف کودتای داوود خان، سفید و بدون خونریزی نبود، با کشته شدن خود و اعضای خانواده اش، و شمار زیادی از طرفدارانش به پیروزی رسید

بررسی احتمال دفن زباله های اتمی پاکستان در افغانستان -- BBC

رئیس جمهور افغانستان هیئتی از کارشناسان و مسئولان امنیتی و اطلاعاتی را مأمور بررسی احتمال دفن زباله زباله های هسته ای پاکستان در خاک افغانستان کرد
'شواهد دفن زباله اتمی پاکستان در افغانستان'
واکنش شدید پاکستان به اظهارات حامد کرزی

Candidates Find Some Accord on Afghanistan

Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain shifted their foreign policy focus yesterday from the future of U.S. military involvement in Iraq to the deteriorating war in Afghanistan, with both White House hopefuls pledging thousands of additional troops and a large-scale infusion of aid for the Afghan conflict.

U.S. Troops Withdraw From Afghan Outpost

اتهام فساد علیه دادستان کل افغانستان -- BBC

رییس اداره مستقل مبارزه با ارتشا و فساد اداری در افغانستان، دادستانی کل (لوی سارنوالی) و دستگاه قضایی این کشور را به فساد متهم کرده است.
عزت الله واصفی در جلسه حسابدهی در کابل گفت که این ادارات، در خدمت ناقضین قانون قرار گرفته اند
اتهام فساد علیه دادستان کل افغانستان
14 آوريل، 2008 افغانستان

د وانت وايگل ولسوالي بېرته دولت ونيوله -- BBC

د څلورو ورځو جګړو بمباريو او ډېرو ځاني تلفاتو وروسته له طالبانو د وانت ولسوالي بېرته له لاسه ووتله
'په نورستان کې بمبار ٢٤ ولسي وگړي وژلي '
حضور مجدد نیروهای دولتی در ولسوالی وانت

To achieve stability, Kabul has to first fly the nest

Rubin, "We have not been successful in addressing the basic reason for which we are there," he said.

Some observers have blamed the weakness and corruption of President Hamid Karzai's government, but Dr. Rubin emphasized the external factors that undermine Mr. Karzai, such as regional powers trying to exert influence in the country and a lack of coherence in the international strategy.

The donors often interfere in the smallest details of the Afghan administration, Dr. Rubin said.
"You have a lot of international actors micromanaging things."
ABC News: Slipping Into Chaos: Karzai's Afghanistan

Karzai Sacks Afghan Attorney-General After Presidency Bid

KABUL -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has fired the attorney-general after the country's top prosecutor announced he intended to run for the presidency in elections next year.

The presidential palace said Sabit's political bid was in contradiction with his official duties.
Afghanistan's top attorney: bin Laden likely dead - The Park Record

Karzai sacks attorney-general after presidency bid

Karzai sacks Afghan attorney-general after presidency bid ... -- Iht
Karzai Sacks Attorney - General After Presidency Bid -- nytimes
Karzai sacks Afghan attorney-general after presidency bid - Yahoo ...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Impact of War: Terror And The Unraveling Of America's Moral Fabric

Obama says New Yorker insulted Muslim Americans

"You know, there are wonderful Muslim Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things," the presidential candidate told CNN's Larry King. "And for this to be used as sort of an insult, or to raise suspicions about me, I think is unfortunate. And it's not what America's all about."
Obama says New Yorker insulted Muslim Americans
Obama, McCain sharpen their dispute over Iraq war
Satire In Politics: When Does It Go Too Far?

Economy: Banking On The Safety Of Deposits

Bernanke Offers Sobering Take on Economy
Some Fear Woes May Spread To Other Banks
How Fannie, Freddie Became Kings Of The Hill
Bush Says Economic Foundations Strong

Afghans want a peace deal, and force cannot provide it -- Conor Foley in Kabul

The boom has brought jobs and prosperity to some, but it remains largely confined to a small area of central Kabul which increasingly resembles Baghdad's "green zone". Even here the "trickle down" effect has been uneven, meaning a driver working for an international organisation can earn 10 times more than a teacher working for the government. For all the talk of "building local capacity", the main effect of our international intervention seems to have been precisely the opposite

This dilemma goes back to the decisions, taken after the ousting of the Taliban at the end of 2001, to co-opt rather than challenge the motley alliance of warlords and gangsters who had formed part of the Northern Alliance. Many have now entrenched their position in a government permeated by corruption and criminality. Commanders have transformed their militias into private security companies, and combine racketeering with their official business.

Karzai nods to US, winks to Iran -- Asia Times

KABUL/PRAGUE - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said his government does not want its "soil to be used" in any conflict between other countries while underscoring Kabul's friendly relations with both Iran and the United States. In an exclusive interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Radio Free Afghanistan, Karzai did not refer to Iran or the United States by name in connection with potential hostilities.
Karzai opposes U.S. use of Afghan soil against Iran Reuters
Karzai opposes U.S. use of Afghan soil against Iran - Yahoo! News
Karzai opposes U.S. use of Afghan soil against Iran ... , iht
Beyond Karzai''s tirades

Monday, July 14, 2008

Outpost attack in Afghanistan shows major boost in militant strength

Insurgents' ability to breach the post in Kunar Province is seen as a significant escalation in the fight.
Deadly Taliban attack on US bases raises concerns
USA Today

New Attack Adds to Afghans' Woes -- TIME

With people hungry and out of work, the ISAF is a natural scapegoat. The popular consensus is that the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse, not better, and that the coalition is to blame. Most Afghans waver between believing the ISAF is working against the country's interest and believing that there are just not enough coalition troops to get the job done. And most Afghans have a hard time believing that the ISAF can't control rising prices for food and fuel. They've seen or heard of laser-guided missiles falling from American warplanes with mythical precision, taking out Taliban caches while schoolrooms or hospitals immediately adjacent stood unscathed. And so, as popular Afghan logic goes, the only conceivable reason the ISAF hasn't swept the Taliban from the country is that it doesn't want to. Some of the most conspiratorial argue that the U.S. wants instability in Afghanistan so it can continue to have an excuse to base troops in the country — and to use it as a base to launch an attack on Iran.
New Attack Adds to Afghans' Woes
Afghan Bombing Fuels Regional Furor
Dangers Up Ahead

Deadly attack on US base sends worrying signal

KABUL, Afghanistan - An insurgent raid that penetrated an American outpost in eastern Afghanistan, killing nine soldiers, has deepened doubts about the U.S. military's effort to contain Islamic militants and keep locals on its side.

Obama and McCain camps clash over Afghanistan

Obama and McCain camps clash over Afghanistan - International ...
McCain and Obama clash over strategy in Iraq - Yahoo! News

Political underdog tackles Karzai, corruption -- TheChronicleHerald

KABUL, Afghanistan — He rises, acknowledges Canada’s commitment to Afghanistan’s security, and then immediately delivers his message: "Your young Canadian soldiers give their blood for Afghanistan . . . but there is no reconstruction, only corruption. Canadian development money should be used for big projects, not for buying private luxury houses for government officials and luxury cars with television sets in them."

Bashardost certainly understands the extent of corruption in Afghanistan better than most and speaks out against it publicly more than anyone. After studying in France and obtaining a PhD in international affairs, Bashardost returned to his native Afghanistan following the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.

"The Taliban are not the problem. It is the corrupt mujahedeen warlords who have been returned to power in the form of the Karzai administration," says Bashardost. "My first priority after I’m elected will be to put the war criminals on trial and to replace all the corrupt governors with responsible, capable people."

"To date, more than US$60 billion has been provided in aid to this country, which is more than 10 times the pre-2001 annual GDP," he says. "But most of that money has ended up heading back out of Afghanistan, rather than into the hands of Afghans."

When asked just how exactly he intends to eradicate the warlords, corrupt politicians and drug lords when he possesses no private army of his own, Bashardost simply shrugs his shoulders and says, "It will be the people’s will."
Nova Scotia News -

Saturday, July 12, 2008

صادرات میوه خشک در ولایت قندهار طی شش ماه گذشته به بیست و یک ملیون دالر امریکائی بالغ گردیده است.

Afghan government stuck in 'bunker:' Obama

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said in a new interview Friday that the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai had not got out of a "bunker" to rebuild the war-torn country.

"Barack Obama had no interest in Afghanistan until he started running for president," said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant.
Bakhtar News Agency

America's Diplomatic Repairman --TERRY MORAN and MELIA PATRIA

Khalilzad makes the diplomatic rounds, and he is known for socializing with and listening to ambassadors from every country, no matter how small.

He also enjoys an incredible perk of an ambassador's life: the deluxe apartment the State Department rents at the Waldorf, a home he shares with his wife Cheryl Bernard, and his "Diplo Dog" Griffin.
1 2 3 4NEXT >
WATCH: Khalilzad: Talks a Delicate Balancing Act

Michael DeBakey, Heart Surgery Pioneer

Michael DeBakey was a pioneer of the bypass surgery, the heart pump and other life-saving innovations in health. He died Friday at the age of 99.
Heart Surgeon Michael DeBakey Dies At 99

Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow Dies at 53

In a statement issued by the White House, President Bush said, "Tony was one of our Nation's finest writers and commentators. . . . It was a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work."
Tony Snow Through the Years
Tony Snow, Delighted In Arguing Conservative View
Tony Snow, Former Bush Spokesman, Dies At 53

Interview with Richard Holbrooke -- Bloomberg

AMB. HOLBROOKE: I don't think I lectured him. I asked him some questions and received a lecture in return. (Chuckles.) We have three overwhelming problems in Afghanistan, but let me say two things before I list them. Number one, this is the war we cannot fail in. This is the war which, if we fail, al Qaeda and the Taliban come back. Number two, we are not going to lose in Afghanistan because the Taliban are so hated, but we're not going to win because the government is so weak, incompetent and, let's be honest, corrupt.

Afghanistan discovers mines worth $300 bln

KABUL, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Afghan Minister for Mines Ibrahim Adil has said that his ministry had discovered varieties of mines worth of 300 billion U.S. dollars in Afghanistan's central high lands, a local newspaper reported Saturday.

NATO Base In Afghanistan Gets Major Expansion

Gen. Mohammed Azimi, of the Afghan Defense Ministry, said U.S. and NATO troops are welcome to stay in Afghanistan, on one condition:

"Our hospitality depends on their behavior here," Azimi said. "If foreign soldiers break down peoples' doors at night and search their houses, then the people will line up to go and join the Taliban."

Homaira Rahman brutally murdered in virgina

This is with utmost saddness and shock, that a young, well educated, extremely loved and charished, Homaira Rahman was brutally murdered by an Afghan man (Ehsan Amin), in virgina on Friday July 4th. Her blood covered body was found on a side walk a few blocks away from her house around 6am by local residents. Although the prime motive of the murder has not been revealed by the police, it is alleged that the two knew each other.
Click here to visit Washington Post News

Friday, July 11, 2008

قربانیان حمله هوایی به شرق افغانستان 'غیرنظامی بودند' -- BBC

تایج تحقیقات دو حادثه در ولایت های ننگرهار و کنر در شرق افغانستان نشان می دهد که کشته شدگان این رویدادها افراد غیرنظامی بوده اند
از سوی دیگر محمد امین نورستانی، رئیس اداره حقوق وزارت دفاع افغانستان- که حادثه حمله هوایی نیروهای بین المللی یاری امنیتی (آیساف) در ولایت نورستان را بررسی کرده- می گوید در این حمله دست کم ۱۷ غیرنظامی کشته شده و ۹ تن دیگر زخمی شده اند.

کشته و زخمی شدگان حمله روز پنجشنبه (۱۳ سرطان/تیر) کارمندان یک درمانگاه و ساکنان ولایت های کنر، نورستان و ننگرهار
به گفته آقای نورستانی، این حمله پس از آن صورت گرفت که یک پایگاه نیروهای آیساف در محل مورد حمله مخالفان مسلح قرار گرفت به گفته آقای نورستانی نیروهای آیساف این افراد را به ترک محل هشدار داده بودند، اما هنگامی که آنان می خواستند به موترهای (خودروهای) خود سوار شوند، مورد حمله قرار گرفتند.

US 'killed 47 Afghan civilians' -- BBC

"I believe the single thing that we have done wrong and we are striving extremely hard to improve on is killing innocent civilians," Brig Richard Nugee said.

U.S. air strike kills 47 civilians: official

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A U.S. coalition force air strike on Sunday killed 47 civilians, including 39 women and children, in the eastern province of Nangarhar, an Afghan official said on Friday.
47 Afghan civilians killed by US bombs, group says
U.S. air strike kills 47 civilians: official - Yahoo! News

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NATO Base In Afghanistan Gets Major Expansion

Bush approves surveillance bill -- BBC

"The bill will allow our intelligence professionals to quickly and effectively monitor the communications of terrorists abroad while respecting the liberties of Americans here at home," he added.
US lawmakers pass wiretaps bill
US House passes surveillance law

Bush signs new rules on government wiretapping

War memories fade in Afghan valley -- BBC

For many in the West the picture they get of Afghanistan is one of unremitting gloom and doom for the average person.

G8 summit: How did leaders fare? -- BBC

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent James Robbins gives his assessment on how each of the G8 leaders performed at a summit in Japan.
Summit approves climate 'vision'

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Open Letter from Human Rights Watch to the International Afghanistan Support Conference on June - 2008

Most Afghans continue to live in an insecure environment where many of their basic rights remain unfulfilled. --- Violence against women and the absence of effective redress for victims, whether through informal or formal justice mechanisms, is a pervasive human rights problem in Afghanistan.

Impunity for serious human rights violations remains the norm, as the government does not prosecute perpetrators of abuses who have protection from government officials, parliamentarians, or warlords. This has a profound impact on public attitudes about the government.

Afghan civil society organizations have repeatedly called for a clarification of the status of the international military presence in Afghanistan through a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). While the deployment of the NATO-led international Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is mandated by the UN, the US-led “Operation Enduring Freedom” (OEF) operates in a legal vacuum. This has created significant problems regarding the detention of individuals in extra-legal facilities, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, lack of accountability for deaths and injuries to civilians, and inadequate compensation schemes for persons harmed by US forces.
Open Letter from Human Rights Watch to the International Afghanistan Support Conference on June 12, 2008
Afghanistan: Paris Donor Conference Should Prioritize Human Rights
(Urgent Need to Address Women’s Rights, Freedom of Expression, Impunity)

US 'shifts cluster bomb policy' -- BBC

The US is set to change its policy on cluster bombs and make them less deadly to civilians, AP news agency reports.
Cluster bomb ban treaty approved - Pentagon Changes Policy On Cluster Bombs After Being ...

Stop wasting food, Brown urging -- BBC

Britons must stop wasting food in an effort to help combat rising living costs, Gordon Brown has said as world leaders discuss rising prices
UN plan to increase food supplies

Summit ends with climate 'vision' -- BBC

World leaders have proclaimed a "shared vision" on climate change, but failed to bridge differences between rich and emerging nations on curbing emissions.
G8 urged to do more for climate
Rising costs dominate G8 summit
Stop wasting food, Brown urging
G8 urges action over oil prices

Iran missile test 'provocative' -- BBC

The US and Israel have condemned Iran after it test-fired a long range missile capable of reaching Israel.
America's Israeli option on Iran

Alarm over Afghan civilian deaths -- BBC

At least 250 Afghan civilians have been killed or wounded in insurgent attacks or military action in the past six days, the Red Cross says.

Rife corruption allows rag-tag Taliban to win - smh

The other side of the story is that Karzai presides over a corrupt and dysfunctional system of governance, with a very limited authority over the country. His Government is entirely dependent on the support provided by the NATO-led International Security fhAssistance Force (ISAF) and the US-led coalition forces, yet there has been little co-ordination between these forces and the Government's security apparatus.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Afghans point finger over bombing -- BBC

"The Afghan people cannot tolerate American forces' bombing of civilians any more," Mr Yasini said. "We are are stuck between a rock and a hard place, between Taleban attacks and foreign forces air strikes."

Panel Offers New Policy For Going To War

The president should be required to consult with Congress before taking the nation to war, according to a bipartisan panel led by two former secretaries of state. Congress, in turn, should vote on any military action.

65 steps to the Afghan desert grave that began decades of war

Thirty years had separated the moment since Pacha Mir last stood at the secret grave in a desert wasteland on the eastern side of Kabul and his return 12 days ago.

In 1978 he had been a young major in the Afghan Army, ordered in the dead of night to perform a clandestine mission by the Communists who had just seized control of his country in a coup.

On the morning of June 25, accompanied by members of a special Afghan commission, Pacha Mir took the 65 steps again and directed a group of labourers to the small knoll at his feet. They began to dig.

Shortly after 11am they found a shoe barely 3ft beneath the ground. By early afternoon they had found the first bones, and by the close of day they had discovered 29 skeletons in two graves: men, women and children. Pacha Mir had been among the men who buried them. Now he had helped to exhume them. Zahra Ghazi, Daoud's granddaughter, was only 16 at the time and was one of the few to survive. She flew into Kabul two days ago from Switzerland to help with the identification process.

In an interview with The Times yesterday she described her family being whittled down in murderous volleys of fire that sent bullets ricocheting among the marble columns of two rooms in which they had taken cover after a request to surrender was apparently rejected by Daoud. She was shot three times, and as she was finally led from the carnage she remembers passing the bodies of Daoud and her father.

“The strange thing was that many of the soldiers were crying,” she said. “They said they were sorry for having killed the father of their nation.”
65 steps to the Afghan desert grave that began decades of war ...

Kabul bomb sign of worsening security in Afghanistan: Obama

What lay behind a devastating attack on the Indian embassy in Afghanistan?

U.N. envoy denounces hidden abuse of Afghan boys

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Afghanistan must do more to end an age-old practice of young boys being kept as sex slaves by wealthy and powerful patrons, the U.N. special representative for children and armed conflict said on Monday.
Violence against Afghan Children Rises, Worries UN

The Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation

Established in 2007, the Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, education and scientific purposes which will:
Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation and the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University

Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation
Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation
Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation
Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation

Embassy of Afghanistan Hosts Benefit for Afghanistan Center

On Friday, June 20 the Embassy of Afghanistan hosted a benefit for the Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation and the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University (ACKU). The benefit event brought together friends of Afghanistan for the purpose of helping the Dupree Foundation raise the necessary funds for ACKU's new building.

The Afghanistan Center was established in 1989 in Peshawar, Pakistan by Louis Dupree and Nancy Hatch Dupree, long considered America's foremost academics on Afghanistan. The center's purpose was to collect information, documents and cultural artifacts on Afghanistan, especially during the years of conflict in the country.

Nancy is the recipient of the Malalai Medal, an honor bestowed by the late King Zahir Shah for her tremendous contribution to Afghanistan." Ambassador Jawad asked the guests to support ACKU.

Please see here for more information on ACKU and how to donate to it.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Afghan Capital Struck by Suicide Bombing

Afghanistan's Struggling Security Services
Deadliest Blast in Years Rocks Afghan Capital

Afghan strike 'hit wedding party' -- BBC

At least 20 people have been killed in a missile strike by coalition forces in Afghan's eastern Nangarhar province.
Afghan strike 'hit wedding party'

دهها کشته در حمله انتحاری به سفارت هند در کابل -- BBC

مقامات دولتی افغانستان می گویند یک انفجار انتحاری در کابل، پایتخت، چهل کشته و بیش از صد زخمی برجا گذاشته است
دو دیپلمات هندی در میان کشته شدگان انفجار کابل

ISAF commander condemns attack in Kabul

Afghan government
International Security Assistance Force

Bomb rocks India embassy in Kabul -- BBC

A suicide bomber has rammed a car full of explosives into the gates of the Indian embassy in the Afghan capital, killing 41 people and injuring 141.
Sydney Morning Herald
Times of India
Los Angeles Times

Restoring Past Glory in Old Kabul (Ambitious Project Pumps New Life Into Crumbling Historic District)

KABUL -- The road that rings the old city district of Murad Khane is thick with smoke from the hearths of a row of blacksmiths. Until recently, few people in the Afghan capital had much reason to venture beyond the plumes of black smoke into the district.
Restoring Past Glory in Old Kabul -

Saturday, July 05, 2008

FAIRFAX CRIME: Man, 30, Is Charged In Woman's Slaying

The body of a 25-year-old woman was found on the sidewalk of a cul-de-sac in the Vienna area early yesterday, and Fairfax County police said they charged a man with abduction and murder in the case.

Tooba Mayel, a close friend of Rahman's family, said Rahman was a generous and sparkling force among loved ones and the broader Afghan community. Her family moved to the area in the 1980s, and she was born in the United States.

"She was a beautiful, tall girl with a smile on her face," Mayel said. "Friends and family always called her sunshine. Our entire community is in grief right now."

Rahman encouraged young Afghan American women to find jobs, Mayel said, and "she was always volunteering to do charity work for the kids in Afghanistan."
Man, 30, Is Charged In Woman's Slaying -

Person Charged After Woman's Body Found Near Vienna

VIENNA, Va. - Police have charged a person with murder after a woman's body was found on a sidewalk early Friday morning near Vienna.

Ehsan Amin, 30, of Woodbridge, was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with abduction and murder in the death of Homaira Rahman.
Woman's Body Found In Vienna - News Story - WRC Washington

U.S. at Odds With Afghans on Airstrike

But the provincial governor, Tamim Nuristani, said “two civilian vehicles were hit by airstrikes” in the Waygal district of Nuristan, and 22 civilians, including the woman and the child, had been killed, and seven others wounded. All of the bodies were taken to a provincial hospital, the governor said.

قربانیان نورستان 'غیرنظامی' بوده اند -- BBC

مقامات ولایت نورستان می گویند قربانیان عملیات جمعه (4 ژوییه) در این ولایت غیرنظامیان بودند
تلفات عملیات هوایی در نورستان

UN to urge revamp of Afghan aid -- BBC

The UN's envoy to Afghanistan is set to outline a new plan on spending foreign aid, amid concerns that millions of dollars have been wasted. --- Last month, 80 countries pledged a further $22bn (£11bn) for Afghanistan.
UN to urge revamp of Afghan aid

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Health Clinic Treats Germany's Few Uninsured

In Germany, almost everyone has access to heath care coverage. Only 0.2 percent of legal German residents are uninsured, compared with nearly 18 percent of Americans.

Europe spends far less on health care than the United States, while managing to cover all citizens and rank above the U.S. on most measures of good health.

See Also: Health Care for All
Health Care
Germany: Health Care for All
Health Care for All

Germany: Health Care for All: Most Patients Happy With German Health Care

German health benefits are very generous. And there's usually little or no wait to get elective surgery or diagnostic tests, such as MRIs. It's one of the world's best health care systems, visible in little ways that most Germans take for granted.
History Of Tinkering Helps German System Endure
Most Patients Happy With German Health Care
Keeping German Doctors On A Budget Lowers Costs
Health Clinic Treats Germany's Few Uninsured

White House says ruling could free detainees in US

The high court ruling, which gave all detainees the right to petition federal judges for immediate release, has intensified discussions within the Bush administration about what to do with the roughly 270 detainees held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
White House says ruling could free detainees in US

Editorial, The Imprecise Meaning of War

Unless Congress closes a gaping hole in the law against war profiteering, companies ripping off taxpayers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may never be fully prosecuted. This is because the latest conflicts are not declared wars.

News Release: RAND Counterinsurgency Study

The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, finds that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate and Frontier Corps have failed to root out Afghan insurgent groups based in Pakistan and, in some cases, individuals from these Pakistani organizations have provided direct assistance to such groups as the Taliban and Haqqani network.

“Every successful insurgency in Afghanistan since 1979 enjoyed safe haven in neighboring countries, and the current insurgency is no different,” said report author Seth Jones, a senior political scientist at RAND. “Right now, the Taliban and other groups are getting help from individuals within Pakistan's government, and until that ends, the region's long-term security is in jeopardy.”
Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan,”

Afghan pride and German prejudice

The incident happened in May but Hamburg's Afghan community is still in shock. Hamburg has the largest population of Afghans in Europe, but so far they have lived inconspicuously. Afghans are among Germany's better-integrated ethnic minorities. Some 40% are German citizens and the community values education. So what went wrong? Why did Ahmad feel compelled to kill his sister when in Afghanistan men like Perwez Kambakhsh risk death by challenging traditional perceptions of Afghan women?

Peace Deals that Destabilize Afghanistan

جنازه ستر جنرال ارکانحرب سردار عبد الولی طی مراسمی ویژه ای با حضورحامد کرزی به خاک سپرده شد

جنازه ستر جنرال ارکانحرب سردار عبد الولی ظهر امروز طی مراسمی ویژه ای با حضورحامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان، معاون دوم ریاست جمهوری، شخصیت های جهادی، اعضای کابینه، مقامات ارشد نظامی و ملکی، نماینده گان شورای ملی و اعضای خانواده اش در تپه مرنجان شهر کابل به خاک سپرده شد.به اساس معلومات دفتر مطبوعاتی ریاست جمهوری به آژانس باختر، جنازه ستر جنرال سردار عبد الولی صبح امروز از هند به کابل انتقال شد و سپس به حرمسرای ارگ برده شد. در ارگ ریاست جمهور ی طی مراسم ویژه ای مقامات ار شد دولتی و اعضای کور دیپلوماتیک خارجی مقیم کابل به میت ستر جنرال عبد الولی که در بیرق سه رنگ افغانستان پیچانده شده بود، ادای احترام نمودند.بعدا" نماز جنازه به اشتراک حامد کرزی رئیس جمهور ی اسلامی افغانستان و امامت پوهاند نعمت الله شهرانی وزیر حج و اوقاف در صحن ارگ ریاست جمهور ی اداگردید.متعاقبا" جنازه ستر جنرال سردار عبد الولی توسط افسران اردوی ملی و جمع کثیری از مقامات ارشد نظامی و ملکی و اعضای خانواده مرحومی به تپه مرنجان تشییع شد و درآنجا در حضیرهء آبائی شان در حالی که حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان نیز حضور داشت به خاک سپرده شد. -- bakhtarnews

پیکر سردار عبدالولی در کابل به خاک سپرده شد -- (Sardar, General Abdul Wali)

پیکر سردار عبدالولی، از ژنرالان سابق افغانستان و داماد محمد ظاهر، شاه سابق این کشور، امروز در میان صدها نفر در کابل به خاک سپرده شد.
سردار ولی آموزش عالی در رشته نظامی را در دانشگاه نظامی انگلستان به پایان رسانده بود
سردارولي خاوروته وسپارل شو

US 'to boost Afghanistan force' -- BBC

US President George W Bush has said more US troops will be deployed in Afghanistan by next year.

Time to refocus the war in Afghanistan: Obama

War crimes book set to hit Afghan newsstands

Pajhwok Report: The Afghan NGO and the Washington-based Crimes of War Project have come together in a year-long partnership to raise awareness on human rights and humanitarian laws and to investigate violations.

The Killid Group (TKG) said on Wednesday 2500 Dari and Pashto copies of the book What the Public Should Know, published by The Crimes of War Project, would be made available in Afghanistan for the first time.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

NATO in Afghanistan: A Special Address by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

NATO in Afghanistan: A Special Address by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe , by General Bantz John Craddock

Bush says US to send more troops to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON July 2, 2008, -- "One reason why there have been more deaths is because our troops are taking the fight to a tough enemy, an enemy who doesn't like our presence there because they don't like the idea of America denying safe haven (to terrorists)," Bush told reporters. "Of course there's going to be resistance."
Bush may send more troops to Afghanistan -
Bush may send more troops to Afghanistan - Yahoo! News
Bush May Send More Troops to Afghanistan - TIME

The Descent of Afghanistan -- By VIJAY PRASHAD

This article was originally published by Frontline, India's national magazine.

'Kite Runner' Star's Family Feels Exploited By Studio

'Kite Runner' Makes Big-Screen Debut
Film Version Of 'Kite Runner' Faithful To Book
Afghan 'Kite Runner' Actors Say They Were Misled
'Kite Runner' Delayed Out Of Fear For Actors

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

US, NATO deaths in Afghanistan pass Iraq toll

Some observers say the insurgency has gained dangerous momentum. And while June also saw the international community meet in Paris to pledge $21 billion in aid, an Afghanistan expert at New York University warns that there is still no strategy to turn that commitment into success.

Afghanistan needs new humanitarian effort: UN aid chief

GENEVA (AFP) - A new humanitarian action plan is needed for Afghanistan, where people are being hit by resurgent fighting and a food shortage, the United Nations top official on humanitarian aid said Tuesday.
Afghan Civilian Deaths Up 62%, U.N. Says, Increasing Violence ...

فرمانده با سابقه ارتش افغانستان درگذشت -- BBC

سردار عبدالولی، ژنرال ارکان حرب، و از نزدیکان محمد ظاهر، شاه فقید افغانستان، در شهر دهلی، پایتخت هند درگذشت.
سردار عبدالولي په هند کې ومړ

سلطنت چهل ساله
سفر ۲۹ ساله
ظاهر شاه
آخرين پادشاه
محمد ظاهر پادشاه سابق افغانستان درگذشت
23 ژوئيه، 2007 افغانستان

سردار جنرال عبدالولی وفات نمود --- VOA

ارگ ریاست جمهوری، کابل: سترجنرال ارکان حرب سردار عبدالولی فرزند مارشال شاه ولی خان و داماد و پسر کاکای مرحوم اعلیحضرت بابای ملت به اثر بیماری که عاید حالش بود، امروز در شهر دهلی پایتخت هند داعی اجل را لبیک گفت.
(انالله و انالله راجعون)
دسترجنرال سردار عبدالولي دمړيني له امله دافغانستان داسلامي جمهوريت دجمهور رئيس حامدکرزي دډاډگيرني پيغام
پیام تسلیت حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان بخاطر وفات ستر جنرال سردار عبد الولی