Sunday, August 31, 2014

Obama foreign policy sparks bipartisan criticism --- President Obama’s foreign-policy credentials took another hit Sunday as key lawmakers from both parties criticized his reaction to international turmoil and suggested the administration should be more assertive in addressing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. -- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that Obama’s foreign policy is “in an absolute free fall.” He was reacting to the president’s comment last week that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for defeating the Islamic State, which has taken over parts of Syria and Iraq and beheaded an American journalist. -- Obama ordered limited airstrikes against the extremist group this month, but Rogers said the president passed up early opportunities to form a coalition with Arab League partners and address the organization’s emergence. “There have been plans on the table,” Rogers said. “The president just did not want to get engaged in any way.” -- Several Democrats offered tempered criticism of the president’s policies, but they insisted that the United States should do more to influence the growing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. -- Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) suggested on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Obama has not been decisive enough in dealing with the Islamic State. “I think I've learned one thing about this president, and that is: He’s very cautious – maybe in this instance too cautious.” -- Feinstein also suggested that the United States was caught off guard by the Islamic State’s rapid advances in Iraq. “I mean, they crossed the border into Iraq before we even knew it happened,” she said. “This is a group of people who are extraordinarily dangerous, and they’ll kill with abandon.” -- Feinstein said Middle East countries should form a unified front against the Islamic State, saying nations such as Jordan and Lebanon are in jeopardy. “There is good reason for people to come together now and begin to approach this as a very real threat that it in fact is,” she said. -- Another Democrat, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), described Russia’s alleged incursion into Ukraine as a “direct invasion,” applying a term that Obama notably refrained from using during his remarks about the situation last week. -- “This is a direct invasion by Russia, and we must recognize it as that,” Menendez said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that “thousands of Russian troops are here with tanks, missiles, heavy artillery.” -- The senator said Russian President Vladimir Putin has so far “sized up the West and figured that the most difficult sanctions against Russia and the weapons Ukranians need to defend themselves is not coming from the West.” He said the United States should begin providing “defensive weapons” for Ukraine. -- Feinstein called for the United States to begin direct discussions with Putin, expressing doubt that recent sanctions will deter Russia once they start to impact that nation’s economy. “The Russians are very brave and very long-suffering, and they will tough out any economic difficulty,” she said. - Read More, Josh Hicks, Washingtonpost

وزیر دفاع افغانستان در اجلاس ناتو در ولز شرکت می‌کند --- ارگ ریاست جمهوری افغانستان اعلام کرد که قرار است بسم الله محمدی، وزیر دفاع افغانستان به نمایندگی از این کشور در نشست سران کشورهای ناتو در ولز بریتانیا شرکت کند. -- انتظار می‌رفت سران ناتو، رئیس جمهوری جدید افغانستان را در این اجلاس ببینند. اما به دلیل عدم حل بحران انتخابات و مشخص نشدن رئیس جمهوری جدید، حالا قرار شده وزیردفاع از افغانستان در این نشست نمایندگی کند. -- فایق واحدی، معاون سخنگوی رئیس جمهور افغانستان در نشست گفت امروز در شورای امنیت ملی تصمیم گرفته شد تا بسم الله محمدی وزیر دفاع در این نشست شرکت کند. -- از عبدالله عبدالله و اشرف غنی احمدزی نامزدان ریاست جمهوری افغانستان نیز برای شرکت در این نشست دعوت شده است. -- ستاد عبدالله عبدالله نامزد رقیب آقای احمد زی نیز گفته که نخست وزیر بریتانیا از او نیز به صورت تلفنی دعوت کرده که در این اجلاس شرکت کند ولی به دلیل درگیر بودن به مسایل انتخابات افغانستان نمی تواند به این اجلاس برود. -- ستاد اشرف غنی احمدزی اعلام کرد که دیوید کامرون، نخست وزیر بریتانیا به صورت شخصی از وی برای شرکت در کنفرانس سران ناتو دعوت کرده است ولی تاکنون برای مشارکت در این نشست تصمیم نگرفته است. -- در این نشست قرار است رهبران ناتو از جمله باراک اوباما، رئیس جمهوری آمریکا، انگلا مرکل، نخست وزیر آلمان و دیوید کامیرون نخست وزیر بریتانیا شرکت خواهند کرد و بحث در مورد ادامه کمک به نیروهای امنیتی افغان و ادامه حضور ناتو در در افغانستان از بحث هایی اصلی در این نشست خواهد بود. -- انتظار می‌رفت مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهور جدید تا دو روز دیگر برگزار شود، اما بن بست انتخاباتی این روند را حد اقل تا چند هفته دیگر به تاخیر انداخت. -- بی بی سی

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saudi king warns of terrorist threat to Europe, US --- RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The king of Saudi Arabia has warned that extremists could attack Europe and the U.S. if there is not a strong international response to terrorism after the Islamic State group seized a wide territory across Iraq and Syria. -- While not mentioning any terrorist groups by name, King Abdullah's statement appeared aimed at drawing Washington and NATO forces into a wider fight against the Islamic State group and its supporters in the region. Saudi Arabia openly backs rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, but is concerned that the breakaway al-Qaida group could also turn those very same weapons on the kingdom. -- "I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America," he said at a reception for foreign ambassadors Friday. --Official Saudi media carried the king's comments early Saturday. --"These terrorists do not know the name of humanity and you have witnessed them severing heads and giving them to children to walk with in the street," the king said, urging the ambassadors to relay his message directly to their heads of state. -- The Islamic State group has been fighting moderate rebels, other extremists and Assad's forces in Syria for nearly three years. Iraq has faced an onslaught by the Sunni extremists and their supporters since early this year, and the country continues to be roiled by instability. -- While providing arms and support to Sunni militants in Syria, Saudi Arabia has denied directly funding or backing the Islamic State group. -- British officials raised the country's terror threat level Friday to "severe," its second-highest level, because of developments in Iraq and Syria, but there was no information to suggest an attack was imminent. The White House has said it does not expect the U.S. to bump up its terrorism threat warning level. -- Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. ally in the region, has taken an increasingly active role in criticizing the Islamic State group. Earlier this month, the country's top cleric described the Islamic State group and al-Qaida as Islam's No. 1 enemy and said that Muslims have been their first victims. State-backed Saudi clerics who once openly called on citizens to fight in Syria can now face steep punishment and the kingdom has threatened to imprison its citizens who fight in Syria and Iraq. - Read More,

هشدار چند شاخه حزب اسلامی به ستاد انتخاباتی عبدالله عبدالله --- هواداران شماری از شاخه‌ های جدا شده از حزب اسلامی گلبدین حکمتیار زیر نام 'اتحاد شورا های حزب اسلامی' در گردهمآیی تاکید کردند که عبدالله عبدالله باید نتایج انتخابات را بپذیرد. -- این اتحادیه از اشرف غنی احمدزی رقیب آقای عبدالله در دور انتخابات ریاست جمهوری ۲۴ جوزا حمایت می‌ کنند. آقای عبدالله مدعی است که در انتخابات تقلب سازمان یافته به نفع آقای احمدزی صورت گرفته است. هنوز بررسی نتایج انتخابات به پایان نرسیده است. -- اعضای 'شورا ها حزب اسلامی' در بیش از یک دهه اخیر هم با دولت بوده‌اند و هم در برابر دولت. آنها باور دارند که تیم مورد حمایت شان برنده انتخابات است، می‌خواهند نتیجه انتخابات در زمان تعیین شده آن، یعنی تا دو روز دیگر اعلام شود. آنها از تیم رقیب می‌ خواهند نتیجه انتخابات را بپذیرد. -- وحیدالله سباوون، معاون شورا های حزب اسلامی به رهبری حکمتیار گفت: "با طرف مقابل اعلام دشمنی نمی‌ کنیم. می‌ گوییم بفرمایید قانون اساسی را قبول کنید. ما میثاق اسلامی می‌ خواستیم و شما قانون اساسی می‌ گفتید. حالا کسانی که دموکراسی می ‎خواستند، دموکراسی را زخمی کرده‌اند." -- به نظر می‌ رسد که لحن این هواداران اشرف غنی احمدزی تند بود. آنها به تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی هشدار دادند که در صورت نپذیرفتن نتیجه انتخابات از سوی این تیم، خاموش نخواهند نشست. -- شیر ولی وردک، نماینده مجلس و دیگر عضو حزب اسلامی هشدار داد: "کسانی که می‌خواستند حکومت موازی ایجاد کنند یا بزور وارد ارگ شوند. یا هم در این کشور وحشت ایجاد کنند، بشنوند که این ملت نه ملت گوسفندی است و نه ملت خاموش." - بی بی سی

Afghanistan's Election Becomes a Farce -- And a US Policy Disaster --- It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment when Afghanistan's presidential election became a complete absurdity. -- With a US-brokered audit process of the election already behind schedule, and with outgoing president Hamid Karzai declaring September 2 as the swearing-in day for the country's next leader, the election process suffered yet another blow on Wednesday when Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister and the winner of the election's first round, angrily pulled out of a UN-led audit process that's designed to validate the results of Afghanistan's June presidential election. -- As next week's deadline approaches and the United Nations continues the vote audit, Abdullah is expected to meet with his rival, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as well as US officials who are desperate to bring the two candidates into a national unity government. -- Despite the last-minute talks, it's hard to think of a recent national election that has been so thoroughly botched -- with such dire consequences for the country's future. -- In 2014 alone, Egypt and Syria held non-credible presidential votes and parliamentary elections in Iraq and Libya were overshadowed by the breakdown of any semblance of national order. -- It's been a difficult summer for US president Barack Obama and US foreign policy interests -- the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia threaten Europe's security, the rise of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) in Sunni Iraq and Syria goaded US military strikes in retaliation, and Israel's summer war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip destroyed two years of efforts by US secretary of state John Kerry to pursue an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. -- But Afghanistan's growing political and security crisis represents a fourth major foreign policy headache for Kerry and the rest of the Obama administration. -- Though the audit is only slightly more than two-thirds complete, a premature inauguration of either candidate next week could splinter Afghanistan on ethnic lines, giving the next presidential administration virtually no hope of uniting a country already struggling to combat a Taliban-led insurgency. -- Months of post-election accusations between the Ghani and Abdullah camps have polarized Afghanistan more than ever. What's so staggering is that Afghanistan's election season started off on such promising terms. - Read More, Kevin A. Lees, Huffingtonpost

Campbell Could Miss NATO Meeting on Afghanistan ---- Army Gen. John F. Campbell, the new commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, will likely not attend the NATO ministers meeting in Britain next week at which the U.S. had hoped to cement final decisions on a future force presence and aid, a U.S. military official in Kabul said Friday -- The official said that the political turmoil in Afghanistan over the runoff election recount on a successor to outgoing President Hamid Karzai would probably preclude Campbell's presence. -- Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said that Afghanistan was still on the agenda for the NATO meetings in Wales on Sept. 4 and 5, but he later said it was unknown whether any representatives of the Kabul government would attend. -- In a later conference call with reporters, Charles Kupchan, senior director for European Affairs at the White House National Security Council, said that Afghanistan would be the subject of the first working session of the NATO meeting but he did not know if any Afghans would be present. -- "Obviously, we're in a fluid situation on the ground in Afghanistan, and we are trying to work out exactly who will be the representative of Afghanistan at the opening session," Kupchan said. "Obviously, this is a subject of much discussion at the summit so we look forward to finding that out." -- U.S. and NATO combat forces were on schedule to withdraw completely from Afghanistan at the end of this year. The U.S. and NATO have been pressing for a new Bilateral Security Agreement that would allow for the presence of about 9,800 U.S. troops and about 4,000 NATO troops next year. -- Karzai, who repeatedly has refused to sign a new BSA, has stressed that he will leave office on Sept. 2. Both candidates for president, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, have said they would sign the BSA once they were inaugurated, but Abdullah earlier this week announced that he was withdrawing from the United Nations-monitored recount. -- The U.S. and NATO had hoped to have a new president in place to sign the BSA and make commitments on continued economic support at the Wales meeting which will be attended by President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. -- However, the summit of the 25 NATO members will now likely be dominated by efforts to respond to Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and the threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and Syria. -- Campbell, who was serving his third tour in Afghanistan, formally replaced Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford on Aug. 26 as commander of the International Security Assistance Force. -- In his first message to the force, Campbell warned the troops to expect "periods of friction and frustration" in the coming months as the allies attempt to transition to the proposed follow-on force next year. -- "We find ourselves at a decisive phase of our campaign," Campbell said in his message. "In the midst of this summer's fighting season, political and security transitions are taking place simultaneously." -- In his Senate confirmation hearing in July, Campbell warned that the failure to reach agreement on a new BSA would bring an end to the U.S. and coalition's military presence in Afghanistan. -- In his Senate confirmation hearing in July, Campbell warned that the failure to reach agreement on a new BSA would bring an end to the U.S. and coalition's military presence in Afghanistan. -- "If they can't get through this election process coalition forces will not continue to stay there after 2014," Campbell said. -- In one of his last acts as ISAF commander, Dunford, who has been confirmed as the next Marine commandant, presided at a ceremony that underlined the difficulties facing Campbell as he seeks to solidify the gains made by the coalition and the Afghan National Security Forces. -

Six Killed in Suicide Attack At Afghanistan Intelligence Compound --- KABUL—Taliban insurgents attacked a fortified compound of Afghanistan's intelligence agency in the eastern city of Jalalabad Saturday, killing at least six people and injuring more than 30, Afghan officials said. -- About 5 a.m. local time, two attackers drove a car and a truck packed with explosives to the gate of the provincial headquarters of the National Directorate of Security in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan's most important city. The assailants blew themselves up at the entrance, clearing the way for six other insurgents to enter the compound, where they engaged in a firefight with security forces. -- "The terrorists got into the building but were quickly gunned down by security forces," said Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, a local police spokesman. -- The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Zabihullah Mujahid, the group's spokesman, said the fighters were armed with light and heavy weapons and had suicide vests strapped to their bodies. -- The explosion was unusually powerful: Witnesses say it damaged buildings several hundred meters away from the NDS compound, shattering glass windows across a predominantly residential neighborhood of Jalalabad. -- Homayun Zahir, the head of the provincial hospital in Jalalabad, said six dead bodies and 33 wounded people, most of them civilians, had reached his hospital. -- Noorshah Kamawal, a resident, was sleeping when the blast shook his neighborhood. "It was massive, it was like an earthquake," said Mr. Kamawal. Shortly after the explosion, he said residents poured into the streets to assess the damage and assist the wounded. -- "There was glass everywhere," said Mr. Kamawal. "There were people crying and ambulances. I saw women and children injured, and dead bodies that were being carried away." -- Mr. Kamawal said security around the NDS headquarters was tight, and that the road leading to it had been closed to traffic for several months. -- In a separate incident later Saturday, 11 men were shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the Western province of Farah. The shooting took place as the men were driving to bordering Iran, where they likely worked as day laborers, according to Jawad Afghan, the spokesman of the local government in Farah. Four men were also injured. -- No one immediately claimed responsibility for this attack. -- Saturday's attacks come as the Taliban are pressing an offensive across Afghanistan, exploiting a period of political uncertainty caused by a disputed election. --- With outgoing President Hamid Karzai due to step down on Tuesday, the two candidates are now focusing on hammering out the details of a power-sharing agreement. --- Messrs. Ghani and Abdullah next week are expected to jointly address a crucial North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in the U.K. through video link, Western officials said. At the meeting, member states will discuss their military and financial commitments to Afghanistan and its security forces after Dec. 2014, when the current mission ends. - WSJ,

Friday, August 29, 2014

رئیس شورای صلح نورستان در کابل ترور شد --- حاجی عبدالحلیم، رئیس شورای صلح نورستان شام امروز در شهر کابل ترور شد. -- محمد تمیم نورستانی، والی پیشین نورستان به خبرگزاری بخدی گفت: ̎حاجی عبدالحلیم پس از ادای نماز شام، زمانی که از مسجد به طرف خانه در حرکت بوده، از سوی یک مهاجم مسلح مورد هدف قرار گرفت.̎ آقای نورستانی گفت که مهاجم دستگیر شده است اما مقام های نظامی کابل تا هنوز در مورد وقوع این حادثه چیزی نگفته اند. این رویداد در نزدیک مسجد عبدالوکیل خان، در منطقه قول آبچکان کابل رخ داده است. -- حاجی عبدالحلیم، از چند سال بدین سو رئیس شورای صلح نورستان بود و توانسته بود شماری زیاد از مخالفان مسلح دولت را به پروسه صلح جذب کند. در سال ۱۳۹۱ در اوج فعالیت های شورای صلح نورستان، عبدالخلیل از قوماندانان مشهور طالبان همراه با افراد خود به پروسه صلح نورستان یکجا شد. عبدالحلیم، پیوستن این قوماندان را پیروزی و دستاورد بزرگ برای تامین صلح او امنیت در نورستان خوانده بود. فعالیت شورای صلح نورستان همواره با تهدید های جدی در این ولایت همراه بوده است و نزدیکی این ولایت با پاکستان ضریب ناامنی را افزایش داده است. هنوز انگیزه مهاجم از ترور، رئیس شورای صلح نورستان معلوم نیست. -- این در حالیست که روز گذشته، تظاهرات در کابل علیه والی بر حال نورستان به راه انداخته شده بود. معترضان خواستار برکناری حافظ عبدالقیوم والی نورستان هستند و می گفتند که با آغاز به کاری آقای حافظ عبدالقیوم دامنه ناآرامی ها در نورستان افزایش یافته است. به تاریخ ۲۹ اسد ۱۳۹۳، ولسوالی دوآب ولایت نورستان بدست طالبان سقوط کرد، این ولسوالی از مناطق استراتژیک این ولایت به حساب می آید. - خبرگزاری بخدی

Obama Urges Calm in Face of Crises in Ukraine and Syria --- WASHINGTON — President Obama confronted a pair of volatile international crises with restraint on Thursday as he said he was not close to authorizing airstrikes against Islamic extremists in Syria and played down the latest escalation of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. -- With tensions rising in Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Obama emphasized that a military response would not resolve either situation and pledged to build international coalitions to grapple with them. Despite pressure from within his own government for more assertive action, he tried to avoid inflaming passions as he sought new approaches. -- Mr. Obama confirmed that he had asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for options for military strikes in Syria to target the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which has established a virtual state straddling the border of those countries. But speaking with reporters before a meeting of his national security team, the president said no action in Syria was imminent because he had not even seen military plans. -- “We don’t have a strategy yet,” he said. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are.” -- His comment drew fire from critics and prompted aides to clarify that he was only talking about Syria. Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, posted on Twitter and went on television to say Mr. Obama did, in fact, have a strategy to combat ISIS in Iraq. He said it included military action, building an inclusive government, supporting Iraq’s military and recruiting regional partners. -- Mr. Obama seemed equally intent on managing expectations about what the United States may do in response to reports that Russia has sent forces into Ukraine. Although he said he expected to impose additional sanctions, he declined to call Russia’s latest moves an invasion, as Ukraine and others have, saying they were “not really a shift” but just “a little more overt” form of longstanding Russian violations of Ukrainian sovereignty. -- “I consider the actions that we’ve seen in the last week a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now,” Mr. Obama said. “The separatists are backed, trained, armed, financed by Russia. Throughout this process, we’ve seen deep Russian involvement in everything that they’ve done.” -- More, PETER BAKER, NYTimes

U.S. Identifies Citizens Joining Rebels in Syria, Including ISIS -- WASHINGTON — American intelligence and law enforcement agencies have identified nearly a dozen Americans who have traveled to Syria to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the militant group that the Obama administration says poses the greatest threat to the United States since Al Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. -- As ISIS has seized large expanses of territory in recent months, it has drawn more foreign men to Syria, requiring more American and European law enforcement resources in the attempt to stop the flow of fighters, senior American officials said. And as a result of the increasing numbers of men, ISIS is now recruiting foreign women as jihadist wives. -- .ISIS has become more attractive to would-be militants because, unlike Al Qaeda, it has seized territory that it rules by strict Islamic law. “ISIS is able to hold itself up as the true jihad,” said a senior American official. “They’re saying: ‘Look at what we are doing, what we’re accomplishing. We’re the new face. We’re not just talking about it. We’re doing it.’ ” -- ISIS’ attraction to some is based on its reputation for brutality. On Thursday, that reputation grew worse when it was revealed that it had waterboarded four hostages early in their captivity — including the American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded this month. -- Over all, American intelligence officials said the number of Americans who have joined rebel groups in Syria — not just ISIS — had nearly doubled since January. The officials now believe that more than 100 Americans have fought alongside groups there since the civil war began three years ago. -- The agencies have been able to specifically identify Americans fighting for ISIS based on intelligence gathered from travel records, family members, intercepted electronic communications, social media postings and surveillance of Americans overseas who had expressed interest in going to Syria, the officials said. -- Many more Europeans have joined the fight against President Bashar al-Assad — more than 1,000, according to many estimates. The British government has identified about 500 of its citizens who have gone to Syria, according to a senior British official. About half have returned to Britain, and a small number have died on the battlefield, the official said. -- Senior American officials acknowledge that as the conflict in Syria and Iraq drags on, it is becoming harder to track Americans who have traveled there. In many instances, the American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are learning that Americans are there only long after they have arrived. --- In the latest example of how difficult it is for the United States to track its citizens, the F.B.I. on Thursday was trying to verify reports that two more Americans had been killed fighting for ISIS in Syria. -- Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, at least four Americans have died fighting for rebel groups, including Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, a Minnesota man who was fighting for ISIS when he was killed last weekend by a rival group backed by the United States. -- Another challenge that the intelligence and law enforcement authorities say they face is a difference from previous conflicts: The Americans who have traveled to Syria to fight have little in common. The conflict has attracted both men and women, including some who were raised as Muslims and others who converted from Christianity, and they have come from different parts of the United States. - Read More, NYTimes

Unity Government Effort in Doubt as Afghan Candidate Boycotts Election Audit --- KABUL, Afghanistan — American and United Nations officials scrambled to salvage Afghanistan’s bitterly contested presidential election on Wednesday after one candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, decided to boycott the internationally brokered audit of the vote. -- American diplomats met with Mr. Abdullah in an effort to persuade him to continue negotiations aimed at forming a national unity government, according to aides to Mr. Abdullah. -- Meanwhile, the United Nations announced that it would continue the audit, the most exhaustive ever supervised by the world body, without the presence of observers for either of the candidates. -- After Mr. Abdullah’s team pulled out of an observer role in the audit, United Nations officials asked observers for his opponent, Ashraf Ghani, to also pull out, in order to maintain an appearance of impartiality in the process. The Ghani campaign agreed, and after a pause Wednesday morning, the ballot review resumed in the afternoon. -- Examination of the ballots and decisions on whether to invalidate them would be conducted by the Independent Election Commission, with independent observers overseen by the United Nations, according to the deputy head of the United Nations mission here, Nicholas Haysom. -- Mr. Haysom said the United Nations was still considering objections made to the audit process by Mr. Abdullah’s side, but said it was not possible to comply with his ultimatum demanding immediate changes to the process. -- “Self-evidently, candidates cannot set the rules for their own election, and this was accepted by both of the candidates in their agreement the 12th of July,” Mr. Haysom said, referring to the initial deal brokered with the help of Secretary of State John Kerry to establish the audit and to form a unity government. - Read More, NYTimes

U.N. says 'not possible' to finish Afghan vote audit by September 2 --- (Reuters) - Afghanistan's U.N. representative told President Hamid Karzai on Thursday that the audit of a disputed election would not be finished by Sept. 2, when Karzai had hoped to see a new leader inaugurated. -- The United Nations is supervising the audit of votes from a run-off ballot between the two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. Both men have claimed victory in an election meant to mark the country's first democratic transfer of power. -- In a meeting with Karzai, U.N. envoy Ján Kubiš told the outgoing president a "rigorous and credible audit required time, but could be completed around 10 September," said a U.N. statement. -- In a previous statement, Karzai had said the inauguration of Afghanistan's new president must take place a month after the original inauguration date of Aug. 2. -- "President Karzai is truly in a hurry for a quick conclusion of the election process," Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi told Reuters. "He has already done his packing. He is exhausted, like many other Afghans." -- The audit of votes hit a snag on Wednesday when Abdullah's team pulled its observers from the process, citing dissatisfaction with the way that allegedly fraudulent votes were being handled. -- Ghani's team subsequently also withdrew its observers at the U.N.'s request. -- "The audit must not only have integrity, it must be seen to be even-handed by all Afghans," U.N. deputy chief Nicholas Haysom told reporters on Wednesday. -- The audit has continued under U.N. supervision, but the hiccup has sparked widespread concerns that a U.S.-brokered deal between the two candidates may be in jeopardy. - Read More,

U.N. says 'not possible' to finish Afghan vote audit by September 2 --- (Reuters) - Afghanistan's U.N. representative told President Hamid Karzai on Thursday that the audit of a disputed election would not be finished by Sept. 2, when Karzai had hoped to see a new leader inaugurated. -- Given the resources available to US – and British – intelligence agencies, it seems strange that the attraction, influence, finance, and military strength, of the extremist group which calls itself Islamic State (Isis) came as such a surprise. -- As Patrick Cockburn observes in his excellent new book, The Jihadis Return, "though the swiftly growing power of Isis was obvious to those who followed its fortunes, the significance of what was happening was taken on board by few foreign governments, hence the widespread shock that greeted the fall of Mosul". -- It was evident, says Cockburn, that western governments entirely misread the situation in Iraq and Syria. -- For more than a decade, the US – backed by successive British governments, to the horror of many in Whitehall, notably the Foreign Office and some MI6 officers – adopted a simplistic, easy, and entirely misguided, approach towards a most complex and unstable part of the world. -- Whether it was bombing (Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan), or demonising dictators (Saddam in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, Assad in Syria) it was as though the US and UK governments never contemplated the extraordinary dangerous consequences of a power vacuum. -- It is even more dangerous when foreigners impose a deadline on the withdrawal of their forces (Iraq and Afghanistan). -- Western governments should have worked more closely, and more humbly, with Turkey, Iran, countries throughout the Middle East, and with Russia (whose leaders have been deeply concerned about radical Islamist extremism for rather longer than the west). The task is to persuade them they do have some essential common interests. -- It is not too late to pick up the pieces, and attack such drivers of extremism as poverty, alienation, and sectarianism. -- In the short term, humanitarian aid, supplying those fighting Isis with appropiate weapons, and dealing with Assad. -- "Sometimes you have to develop relationships with people who are extremely nasty in order to get rid of people who are even nastier", Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Conservative defence and foreign secretary, now chair of the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, told the Financial Times last week. Richard Dannatt, former head of the army, took a similar line. - More, Guardian,

نامزدان از خدا بترسند و به حال ملت رحم کنند --- خارجی ها ملت افغانستان را به عنوان گروگان در چنگال زورمندان قومی و ... گذاشتند و به این زورمندان بیشتر اهمیت دادند و هیچ گاه به مردم و خواست آنان توجهی نکردند -- اگر دیموکراسی را پدیده ای برای رشد جوامع می دانند و این که دیموکراسی کشورها را به سوی ثبات و امنیت می رساند و اگر دیموکراسی یک نظام مردمی است بدون شک دروازۀ ورود به این نظام، انتخابات است. رای مردم زمانی پاسخ می دهد که همه افکار، علایق دخیل در نهاد های زمینه ساز انتخاباتی نسج گرفته از باورهای دیموکراتیک و رشد یافته در فضای دیموکراتیک و زمینه سازی ها بر محورهای قانونی و اصولمند باشد. با این همه چرا روند انتخابات در افغانستان این گونه بی اعتبار شده است؟ -- موسی فریور استاد پوهنتون در برنامه نگرش گفت: سوال اصلی این است که دیموکراسی لیبرال غربی و لوازم آن آیا با شرایط افغانستان سازگار است یا خیر. دیموکراسی در کشورهای غربی سابقه ی یک یا دو قرن دارد و در کشورهایی که زمانی مستعمرۀ آن ها بوده مانند هند نیز یک قرن تجربه شده است. در افغانستان اما شرایط برای پذیرش و نهادینه شدن دیموکراسی آماده نیست. لازمه ی دیموکراسی انتخابات و لازمۀ انتخابات، دیموکراسی است. -- وی یکی دیگر از موارد مهم و ضروری برای نهادینه ساختن دیموکراسی را وجود احزاب سیاسی دانست و افزود: احزاب سیاسی محصول تجارب طولانی یک ملت است. احزاب راه را برای وصول و حصول قدرت و انتقال آن به طور مسالمت آمیز آسان می سازند. یک حزب به نمایندگی از وجدان اعضای خود یا به عنوان خرد جمعی اعضای خود در اولویت های سیاسی، اقتصادی و اجتماعی برنامه ای مشخصی دارد و در صورتی که به قدرت برسد آن را تطبیق می کند. -- در جامعه ی قانونمند احزاب و اشخاص برای رسیدن به قدرت سیاسی راه های مسالمت آمیز قدرت سیاسی را طی می کنند. احزاب با آزادی های تشکیلات، تظاهرات و حضور در مسایل مختلف جامعه به جذب افراد جامعه می پردازند. نبوداحزاب نیرومند در انتخابات 1393 و دو انتخابات قبلی ریاست جمهوری و پارلمانی از نواقص مهم نظامی بود که خارجی ها خصوصاً امریکا به خورد ما داد. اگر در انتخابات ما احزاب قدرتمند که ریشه در تاریخ افغانستان دارد وجود می داشت و نه این احزاب زیادی که وجود آن ها بی معنی است، انتخابات ما با موفقیت انجام می شد و دولت بعدی روی کار می آمد. -- فریور تصریح کرد: متاسفانه نوع نگاه رهبران سیاسی افغانستان به قدرت و رسیدن به آن متفاوت از کشورهای دیگر است. در دوران جهاد شرایط ایجاب می کرد که اسلحه به دست بگیریم ولی بعد از آن با شرایط صلح آمیز جامعه به احزابی نیاز است که به نیازمندی های کل جامعه در همه ابعاد و میادین پاسخ بدهد. اشتباه تنظیم های ما این است که نوع نگاه آن ها به قدرت همان نگاه سابق در زمان اشغال شوروی است. اکنون شرایط به کلی تغییر کرده است اما احزاب جهادی نتوانستند متناسب با شرایط جدید پس از سقوط دولت طالبان خود را سازگار سازند. -- دوم، حاکمیت علاقه مند نبود که احزاب قوی در کشور شکل بگیرد و وارد میدان رقابتی شود. از سوی دیگر خارجی ها نیز چنین اراده ای نداشتند تا با احزابی که ممثل افکار جامعه باشد و از اقشار مختلف مردم با دیدگاه های متفاوت نمایندگی کند، روبرو شوند. عوامل داخلی و خارجی سبب شد تا انتخابات ریاست جمهوری و پارلمانی در دو دور گذشته به خوبی برگزار نشود. در این راستا موسسه هایی که برای برگزاری انتخابات تعبیه شدند در دو کمیسیون برآمده از اعتماد ملت نبودند و بر اساس سهمیه بندی زورمندان قومی و مذهبی تشکیل شدند. -- موسی فریور خاطرنشان ساخت: با نگاهی به 13 سال گذشته می بینیم که مقام های حکومتی بین 2 تا 3 هزار تن به طور مشخص همواره جابجا می شده است گویا قحطی مردان و زنان سیاسی بوده است کس دیگری به جز این اشخاص در عرصۀ سیاست و قدرت حضور نداشت. خارجی ها ملت افغانستان را به عنوان گروگان در چنگال زورمندان قومی و مذهبی گذاشتند و به این زورمندان بیشتر اهمیت دادند و هیچ گاه به مردم و خواست آنان توجهی نکردند. هر نامزدی که پول و امکانات داشته رسانه ها در خدمت وی بوده و از همراهی نهادها و زورمندان برخوردار بوده است. نوع نگاه افراد فرصت طلب و به اصطلاح موقع شناس بر اساس میزان حمایت خارجی از نامزد بود. این نگاه نفی ارادۀ یک ملت، ظلم عظیم در حق یک ملت و قربانی های آن است. -- به باور استاد پوهنتون، جوان افغانستان باید قرائت جدیدی از 13 سال گذشته به عنوان بخشی از تاریخ کشور داشته باشند و برای پرهیز از تکرار این اشتباهات، منطقی، بیطرفانه و نقادانه بیندیشند. -- وی در مورد مشروعیت سیاسی حکومت وحدت ملی گفت: زعامت کشور باید بر اساس مشروعیت داخلی محاسبه شود و نه بر معیار مشروعیت خارجی. سیاسیون ملت را چنان در فضای زشت قومی غرق کردند که مجالی برای معقولانه اندیشیدن و تصمیم گیری منطقی به مردم ندادند. وقتی معیار رأی یک جوان تحصیلکرده در افغانستان به نامزد مورد نظر، زبان مشترک باشد پس انتخابات یک ملعبه و بازیچه است در حالی که باید به برنامه ها رأی بدهیم و نه به اشخاص. - AP

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Afghan Unity Government Effort in Doubt as Candidate Boycotts Election Audit --- KABUL, Afghanistan — American and United Nations officials scrambled to salvage Afghanistan’s bitterly contested presidential election on Wednesday, after one candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, decided to boycott the internationally brokered audit of the vote. -- American diplomats met with Mr. Abdullah in an effort to persuade him to continue negotiations aimed at forming a national unity government, according to aides to Mr. Abdullah. -- Meanwhile, the United Nations announced that it would continue the audit, the most exhaustive ever supervised by the world body, without the presence of observers for either of the two candidates. -- After Mr. Abdullah’s team pulled out of an observer role in the audit, United Nations officials asked observers for his opponent, Ashraf Ghani, to also pull out, too, in order to maintain an appearance of impartiality in the process. The Ghani campaign agreed, and after a pause Wednesday morning, the ballot review resumed in the afternoon. -- Examination of the ballots and decisions on whether to invalidate them would be conducted by the Independent Election Commission, with independent observers overseen by the United Nations, according to the deputy head of the United Nations mission here, Nicholas Haysom. -- Mr. Haysom said the United Nations was still considering objections made to the audit process by Mr. Abdullah’s side, but said it was not possible to comply with his ultimatum demanding immediate changes to the process. -- “Self-evidently, candidates cannot set the rules for their own election, and this was accepted by both of the candidates in their agreement the 12th of July,” Mr. Hayson said, referring to the initial deal brokered with the help of Secretary of State John Kerry to establish the audit and to form a unity government. -- Later, Mr. Abdullah met for several hours with the American ambassador, James B. Cunningham, and the United States special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Daniel F. Feldman. Aides to Mr. Abdullah said the Americans dropped efforts to persuade him to return to a role in the audit, and instead concentrated on salvaging talks for a national unity government in which both camps would share power to some degree. - Read More, ROD NORDLAND, NYTimes,

ISIS Conspiracy Theories Include One That It’s an American Plot --- The sudden rise of the militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has prompted a serious effort to make sense of the group’s appeal in the Arab world, the Syrian columnist Hassan Hassan wrote last week. -- “Since ISIS took over large swaths of Iraq, in particular, Arabic media outlets of all types have produced reports about the nature of the group and the source of its ideology,” Mr. Hassan wrote in The Guardian. “There is a collective soul-searching in the region, coming from everyone from ordinary people to clerics and intellectuals.” -- For instance, the Lebanese scholar Ziad Majed wrote on his blog that at least six factors from the recent history of the Middle East helped give birth to the militant movement, including “despotism in the most heinous form that has plagued the region,” as well as “the American invasion of Iraq in 2003,” and “a profound crisis, deeply rooted in the thinking of some Islamist groups seeking to escape from their terrible failure to confront the challenges of the present toward a delusional model ostensibly taken from the seventh century.” -- That sort of introspection is not for everyone, of course, so a popular conspiracy theory has spread online that offers an easier answer to the riddle of where ISIS came from: Washington. -- According to the theory, which appears to have started in Egypt and spread rapidly across the region, ISIS was created by the United States as part of a plot orchestrated by the former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton to replace the region’s autocratic rulers with more pliant Islamist allies. The evidence cited to back up this claim sounds unimpeachable: passages from Mrs. Clinton’s new memoir in which she describes how a plan to bolster the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was foiled at the last moment when the Egyptian military seized power on July 5, 2013, and deployed submarines and fighter jets to block an American invasion. -- If that plot sounds like the stuff of fiction, that’s because it is. The passages described by supporters of the Egyptian military on Facebook as quotes from Mrs. Clinton’s memoir were entirely fabricated and do not appear anywhere in the text of her book, “Hard Choices.” --- The fictional plot was reported as fact by Egyptian, Tunisian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Lebanese news organizations. -- More, ROBERT MACKEY, NYTimes,

Thieves damage civil rights icon Rosa Parks’ former Alabama home --- (Reuters) - Alabama police are seeking help in catching thieves who ransacked a Montgomery apartment building where black civil rights activist Rosa Parks lived when she was famously arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. -- The vandals damaged some items in Parks' onetime home, which serves as a small museum and is on the National Register of Historic Places, in their hunt for copper pipes and tubing, authorities said. -- The apartment was hit in "a random act of vandalism," Montgomery police Sergeant Denise Barnes said. The incident was reported to police on Monday. -- Targeted or not, “it is a travesty that someone could disrespect the dignity and honor of Mrs. Parks by causing immeasurable damage to her home," said Montgomery Housing Authority Executive Director Evette Hester. -- Thieves tore apart walls and plaster while stripping copper pipes from the Cleveland Court complex, which was vacant due to renovations aimed in part at turning Parks' apartment into a more expansive museum. -- Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and considered a key early development in the modern U.S. civil rights movement. -- Her apartment is furnished with period replicas that were only mildly damaged, according to Hester, who said the museum plans would press ahead. -- Parks lived in the apartment with her husband and her mother from 1951 to 1957. She died in 2005 at the age of 92. -- No arrests have been made in connection with the incident. - More,

اوباما: نامزدان ریاست جمهوری افغانستان توافق کنند --- باراک اوباما، رئیس جمهور ایالات متحده گفت که نیاز است تا رهبران سیاسی افغانستان برای حل جنجال ناشی از انتخابات آن کشور، به سازش های دشواری توافق کنند. -- رئیس جمهور اوباما گفت در حالیکه افغانها تلاش می کنند که برای نخستین بار انتقال دیموکراتیک قدرت را در تاریخ کشور شان تجربه کنند، رهبران افغانستان باید به توافقاتی نایل آیند که برای آیندۀ امنیت و پیشرفت کشور شان لازمی می باشد. -- آقای اوباما تاکید کرد که ایالات متحده به شراکت خود با افغان ها ادامه خواهد داد تا آن کشور بار دیگر برای انجام حملات تندروان بر ضد ایالات متحده مورد استفاده قرار نگیرد. -- فراخوان سازگاری و از خودگذری نامزدان از سوی رئیس جمهور اوباما در حالی صورت می گیرد که روند تفتیش مجدد و ابطال آرای انتخابات افغانستان با جنجال ها مواجه بوده و هنوز از اعلام نتایج خبری نیست. -- پیشتر از این نیز کاخ سفید از تماس تلیفونی رئیس جمهور اوباما با نامزدان ریاست جمهوری خبر داده بود که در آن هر دو نامزد به توافق سیاسی در مورد ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی ترغیب شده بودند. - More,

U.S.-brokered accord to salvage Afghan presidential election faces new problems --- KABUL — Afghanistan’s election crisis continued to deepen Tuesday as the campaign of second-place candidate Abdullah Abdullah warned that it will abandon a U.S.-brokered deal to end a political stalemate unless major changes are made in how millions of votes are being reexamined. -- Abdullah adviser Fazal Ahmad Manawi said the candidate has serious concerns that an ongoing audit of more than 8 million votes cast in a June runoff is not stringent enough to catch fraudulent ballots. He called the audit a “joke” and said new procedures must be implemented by Wednesday or Abdullah could walk away from the recount. -- “If by tomorrow morning our demands . . . are not accepted, our patience has ultimately run out,” said Manawi, who has been who was tasked by Abdullah with monitoring the recount. “We will consider this process a finished one, will not continue in it and not accept it, and the results will have no value to us.” -- The tension comes as the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan and international observers race to complete the audit, which was expected to result in the election of only the second Afghan president since U.S.-backed Afghan forces drove the Taliban from power in 2001. The process has taken on more urgency in recent days because outgoing President Hamid Karzai has stressed that he is leaving office in one week and expects his successor to be inaugurated next Tuesday. --- Preliminary results from the runoff that were released last month showed Ghani leading by a substantial margin, prompting Abdullah to allege widespread fraud and demand a recount. -- A spokesman for Ghani said he remains optimistic that the candidates, who met Tuesday night, can work out their differences. He declined to respond to Manawi, saying he suspects that Abdullah advisers are divided over tactics. -- But some senior Ghani advisers are growing increasingly frustrated by what they view as threats from the Abdullah campaign. -- Daoud Sultanzoy, a former presidential candidate who is now a top aide to Ghani, said that there was probably “fraud on both sides to some extent” and that that is “why we have an audit.” Threatening to pull out of the process, he said, is “selfish and egotistical.” -- “If they don’t show up, so what,” Sultanzoy said of the Abdullah campaign. “The international community gives them too much credence. Their pacifier falls out and they start crying. We should be tough, and people who threaten the stability in this country, we should not accommodate them.” --- In a statement Tuesday, the United Nations said it is reviewing Abdullah’s concerns and will “continue to work with both campaigns” to refine the recount process. But it stressed that the audit will continue even if Abdullah withdraws his support. -- “Should one campaign choose not to participate in the conclusion of the enormous exercise which they requested, the United Nations and the domestic and international observers will increase their participation so as to ensure the continuing credibility of the process,” the statement said. -- Most observers doubt that the audit will result in an Abdullah victory. But observers and U.S. diplomats were hopeful that Ghani and Abdullah could reach a deal on forming a coalition government. --- Sultanzoy countered by accusing some Abdullah supporters of “being reckless” in suggesting that an election outcome that is not in their favor could lead to violence. But if such a scenario plays out, he said, Ghani supporters will be prepared to handle it. -- “On the day of the election, those who voted for Dr. Ghani left their guns at home and came and voted. Our votes meant peace,” Sultanzoy said. “And the same people who came and produced peace on the day of the election, don’t you think they can quell hooligans and uprisings that cause damage to our national interests?” - Read More, Tim Craig, Washingtonpost

Afghan election audit disrupted as candidates declare walk-out --- (Reuters) - Afghanistan's disputed presidential election veered further off course on Wednesday after both candidates withdrew their observers from a U.N.-supervised audit of votes that was meant to resolve the crisis. -- The crisis over the outcome of the vote has raised the specter of instability, turmoil and perhaps even another round of fighting in a country already battling a potent Taliban insurgency. -- The audit was part of a U.S.-brokered deal to defuse escalating tension between rivals Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, who have both claimed victory in the ballot intended to mark the country's first democratic transfer of power. -- "We boycotted the audit process today because it is worthless for us. Let them carry on," Fazel Ahmad Manawi, Abdullah's chief auditor, told Reuters early on Wednesday. -- A few hours later, the United Nations asked Ghani's team to withdraw its observers in the interests of fairness and it had agreed, according to a team member, who said the withdrawal was unfair but prudent. -- "Today we requested the team of Dr. Ghani to review whether they should participate actively in the process," U.N. deputy chief Nicholas Haysom told reporters on Wednesday. -- "Underlying this request was a realization that the audit must not only have integrity, it must be seen to be even-handed by all Afghans," he said. -- After a pause on Wednesday morning, the audit resumed in the afternoon, Haysom said, adding he did not expect significant further delays as the audit proceeded without the physical presence of representatives from candidates' teams. -- "We continue to urge the return of both candidates to full participation in the process, and we stand ready to address their concerns whether they return or not," he said. -- Officials involved in the process say it is likely Ghani would eventually be confirmed president. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has twice flown to Afghanistan since a June 14 run-off vote to defuse tension and push the rivals to agree to cooperate. -- U.S. officials stepped in again earlier on Wednesday and held emergency talks with Abdullah, according to a member of his team. -- If the rival politicians needed a reminder of the militant threat, Afghan security forces were battling the Taliban for control of the northern province of Kunduz on Wednesday with heavy clashes also reported in parts of the south. -- The political crisis and fighting comes at a time of deep anxiety in Afghanistan as the United States, Kabul's biggest aid donor, and other NATO nations withdraw their troops after nearly 13 years of fighting Taliban insurgents. -- Chaos as Western forces pull out would be a huge embarrassment for those countries which have spent billions of dollars and lost about 3,500 soldiers in a bid to bring peace and stability. - More,

ادامه روند تفتیش آرا بدون حضور ناظرین نامزدان --- معاون کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات میگوید که روند تفتیش آرا امروز بدون حضور داشت ناظرین نامزدان ریاست جمهوری آغاز میگردد. بعد از هشدار تیم عبدالله عبدالله مبنی به اشتراک نکردن در روند تفتیش آرا در صورت پذیرفته نشدن خواست های شان، ملل متحد از تیم اشرف غنی احمدزی و کمیسون مستقل انتخابات نیز خواسته است که تیم احمدزی از این روند خارج گردد. روز گذشته فضل احمد معنوی مسوول تیم تخنیکی عبدالله هشدار داد که اگر تا فردا صبح خواست های آنها در لایحه ابطال آرا جا داده نشود روند را خاتمه یافته اعلام می نمایند و در آن اشتراک نمی کنند. -- امروز ناظرین این تیم کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات را ترک کردند و روند تفتیش آرا نیز تا کنون آغاز نشده است. عبدالرحمان هوتکی معاون این کمیسیون در نشست خبری چاشت امروز گفت که سازمان ملل متحد پیشنهاد نموده که ناظرین تیم اشرف غنی احمدزی نیز از روند بیرون شوند و کمیسیون با این خواست ملل متحد توافق نموده است. وی افزود که روند تفتیش آرا در حضور ناظرین ملل متحد، کمیسیون و ناظرین ملی و بین المللی بدون حضور ناظرین نامزدان پیش میرود. به گفته آقای هوتکی، روند هنوز متوقف است اما امروز به زودی آغاز میگردد. وی گفت که کمیسیون تلاش می نماید و این مساله را جدی گرفته است که روند در حضور ناظرین با جدیت و شفافیت پیش برود. آقای هوتکی گفت که باید این روند هر چه زودتر خاتمه یابد و نتایج نهایی انتخابات ریاست جمهوری اعلام گردد، زیرا این روند اثر منفی بالای زندگی مردم و وضعیت امنیتی در کشور گذاشته است. -- داود سلطان زوی مسوول تیم تخنیکی اشرف غنی احمدزی در نشست خبری گفت که یونوما از آنها خواسته است که از این روند بیرون شوند تا این پروسه بهتر پیش برود. وی گفت که تیم آنها این روند را بنا بر خواست یوناما به آنها واگذار کرده اما شرایطی را هم با یوناما در میان گذاشته است. به گفته آقای سلطان زوی، یکی از خواست های آنها شفافیت کامل در روند تفتش آرا میباشد که از جانب یوناما خواسته شده است. اما مسوول تیم تخنیکی احمدزی گفت که اگر یوناما کوچکترین حرکت را خلاف منافع ملی انجام بدهد برای تیم آنها قابل قبول نخواهد بود. - Read More,

Afghan president will not attend NATO summit next week: spokesman --- (Reuters) - President Hamid Karzai will not attend a key NATO summit next week because of his disagreements with Washington over Afghan security needs after most foreign troops leave his country at the end of 2014, his spokesman said on Tuesday. -- The Sept. 4-5 summit in Wales is meant to determine how much aid Afghan security forces will get after NATO's combat mission ends. The alliance wants a smaller force to stay beyond 2014 to train and advise the security forces but it needs the Kabul government's consent -- something Karzai has refused to give. -- "It is because of his views and his position on the continuation of U.S. and NATO military presence beyond 2014 (that he is not going to Wales)," Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi told Reuters. -- "There is no change in that and the conditions are the same," Faizi said, adding that Karzai had responded to the NATO invitation by saying either his successor as Afghan president or a member of the current government would attend instead. -- Karzai's relationship with Washington has soured during his final term in office and he has refused to sign a bilateral security deal with the United States allowing its troops to stay beyond this year, demanding certain conditions be met first. -- Those conditions include ending military operations on Afghan homes, taking steps towards making peace with the Taliban and returning Afghan inmates held at Guantanamo prison camp. -- Karzai's refusal to ink the deal has fueled anxiety among Afghans about the future, as a similar pact with NATO countries also remains unsigned as a result, raising the prospect of a full pull-out of international troops by the end of this year. -- Afghanistan's 350,000-strong security force currently costs about $6 billion to run and is mostly funded by foreign donors. If international forces leave altogether, much of the money pledged by the donors could also follow. -- The candidates to succeed Karzai after June's presidential election have both said they would sign the agreements, but they are locked in a dispute over the poll results and it could take weeks before a new president is installed. -- Officials in Kabul have suggested the most likely person to attend the NATO summit is the defense minister, but the government has not confirmed this. - More,

Monday, August 25, 2014

French Prime Minister Moves to Dissolve Cabinet --- PARIS — The collapse of the French government on Monday exposed widening divisions both within France’s leadership, and Europe more broadly, over austerity policies that many now blame for threatening to tip the eurozone back into recession. -- Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced that he would dissolve his government after a rancorous battle in his cabinet over whether the belt-tightening measures taken by President François Hollande — at the urging of Germany and European Union officials in Brussels — were impeding France’s recovery. -- The dispute broke into the open when Mr. Vall’s outspoken economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, insisted in an interview over the weekend that austerity had gone too far. “The priority must be exiting the crisis, and the dogmatic reduction of deficits should come after,” he told the newspaper Le Monde. -- He also took direct aim at the policies of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. “Germany is caught in a trap of austerity that it is imposing across Europe,” he said. -- The cabinet reshuffle precipitated by those comments was the second major shake-up since Mr. Hollande took over the presidency in 2012. Since then, the French economy has nearly flatlined, and Mr. Hollande has been dogged by some of the lowest approval ratings for a French president in decades. -- The government collapse did more than throw France’s politics into disarray. It also bared the growing disagreement between France and Germany — Europe’s largest economies — over whether Ms. Merkel’s prescription of austerity threatens to turn a five-year euro crisis into a long-term malaise of low growth and high unemployment. -- The announcement in Paris coincided with a visit by Ms. Merkel to Spain, where she praised Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for austerity measures that have included a freeze on public salaries and more flexible labor laws. While Mr. Rajoy credits the steps with restoring faint growth to Spain’s economy, the changes have not been popular. During the visit, the chancellor was forced to delay a planned speech after throngs of protesters booed her. -- Asked about events in France, Ms. Merkel told reporters that she wished Mr. Hollande success, but declined to comment on French domestic politics. But tension with the French government has been evident. -- In early August, after Mr. Hollande was quoted telling French reporters that a change in economic direction might be needed in Europe, a German government spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, crisply commented that the German government “sees no reason to undertake any correction in its policies,” and certainly not because of “rather glib statements from Paris.” -- Last week, Mr. Hollande acknowledged the problems his government faced, saying in an interview with Le Monde that austerity policies the country had been compelled to follow to meet the eurozone’s budget deficit target had made it nearly impossible to achieve a recovery after six months of zero growth and more than a year of weak economic activity. The eurozone consists of the 18 members of the European Union that use the euro. - Read More, NYTimes

Afghan leader amplifies pressure on Ghani, Abdullah to resolve differences by Sept. 2 --- KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai has reiterated that he will leave office Sept. 2, intensifying pressure on his two potential successors to resolve their differences soon to avoid plunging the country into political chaos. -- Karzai said over the weekend that a further delay in the inauguration of Afghanistan’s second president since the 2001 US.-backed war against the Taliban “is not an option.” On Sunday, he met with Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani to stress that he expects an ongoing audit of a runoff election between the two to be completed in time for him to hand over power next week. -- “The president said to them that he won’t stay in office longer than that period,” said Adela Raaz, a Karzai spokeswoman. She noted that Karzai has been in office a month longer than planned. --- Ghani, a former World Bank official, won the June runoff by a wide margin over Abdullah, a former foreign minister. But Abdullah, who had prevailed among 16 candidates in a first round of voting in April but did not win an outright majority, alleged widespread fraud in the runoff. -- Amid fears of civil unrest as Ghani and Abdullah faced off, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry brokered an agreement this month that called for an audit of the ballots and the formation of a unity government by the winner of the recount. -- About two-thirds of the votes have been reviewed, and some of the early findings are to be released Monday by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan. --- n Friday, President Obama called both candidates and urged them to complete the process as quickly as possible, the White House said. -- Jan Kubis, the U.N. special representative for Afghanistan, issued a statement calling for the “rapid conclusion of the vote audit process.” -- Still, as the results of the recount start becoming public this week, there are fears of a further delay in the formation of a few government. --- There are signs of potential trouble. Last week, several people were reportedly injured when a knife fight broke out in a compound where the votes are being recounted. A powerful Afghan governor and Abdullah supporter also warned last week that he would lead a “civil uprising” if the audit process was biased against Abdullah. -- Ahmad Zia Rafat, a political science and law professor at Kabul University, is pessimistic that a new government can be formed in a week. -- “This will take time,” he said. “I do not see Sept. 2 as feasible, and I do not know of any good solution for it.” - “This will take time,” he said. “I do not see Sept. 2 as feasible, and I do not know of any good solution for it.” - Read More, Washingtonpost

A big loser in West Coast quake: Napa Valley wineries --- The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Northern California on Sunday morning, bringing down thousands of barrels and bottles of high-priced wine, couldn’t have come at a worse time in wine country. The region, which has been battling one of its worst droughts in decades, was preparing for a premature harvest. -- The country’s well-known wine-making region, Napa Valley, was at the epicenter of the earthquake responsible for dozens of injuries and damages estimated to surpass $1 billion. And wine that bled out on cellar floors will make up a hefty chunk of the lost revenue. The valley’s more than 500 wineries generate some $13 billion a year for the regional economy, according to Napa Valley Vintners, a trade organization. -- California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared a state of emergency Sunday after the earthquake — the worst to rattle the Bay Area in 25 years — took out power lines, ignited fires, broke water mains, damaged numerous homes and businesses, and sent more than 120 people to the hospital, according to the Los Angeles Times. Nearly 100 houses and more than 30 buildings have been deemed too dangerous to enter. -- “It’s devastating. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Tom Montgomery, a winemaker for B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, Calif., told the Associated Press. He said the winery lost “as much as 50 percent” of its wine. -- In the wake of the quake, David Oppenheimer, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., told the Wall Street Journal the economic losses facing the valley could exceed $100 million. -- Winemakers were still calculating the damage on Sunday. - Read More, Washingtonpost,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

یک شمع فروزان دیگر مطبوعات افغانستان خاموش شد -- ولی احمد نوری - More,

شخصیت فرهنگی دیگری راه عدم را در پیش گرفت -- شیر صافی - باتاسف و تاثر عمیق شخصیت وطن دوست افغان، ادیب فرزانه، نویسنده نثر درخشان ، ژورنالیست ورزیده و فرهیخته فرزندی از تبار اندیشمندان کشورما؛ محمد سرور «رونا» مأمورسابقه وزارت امورخارجه افغانستان ،ژورنالست ونطاق اسبق رادیوافغانستان وناشرمجله وزین عقاب آریانا در آلمان،دار فانی را وداعنمود، رخ در نقاب خاک کشید و به رحمت ایزدی پیوست. -- محمد سرور «رونا» شخصیت ملي : عظمت ایمان،تقوا و جهاد فرهنگی و قلمی زنده یاد “رونا” ! روحیه بلند ایثار و فداکاری در راه خدا ؛ میهن و مردم از صفات بارز و ارزشهای دینوی و اخروی برخوردار است . شادروان رونا،ژورنالیست خبـیـر و آگاه و توانا بود، با نیروي بیان در تحلیل مسایل سیاسی ـ اجتماعی جامعۀ افغانی، از همان آوان جوانی با دهۀ دموکراسی نوپا قلم و قدم رنجه کردند؛ در راه دفاع از وطن و حفظ ارزشهای تاریخی و فرهنگی،درمقابل دشمنان رنگارنگ اعم از داخلی و خارجی در مونشن ـ آلمان یکتا بود، در شجاعت گفتار از هویت ملي افغاني چون دژ فولادین سپر بود. -- مدیر مسئول مجله عقاب آریانا ، نویسنده و سخنور آگاه دنیای ادب و فرهنگ زبان فارسی ، انسان وارسته ، مومن ، متواضع ، صميمی و راستکار بود که به رسالت روشنگرانه اش تا پای جان وفادار ماند. -- با درد و اندوه فراوان درگذشت این نستو مردی گسترۀ خرد،دانش و ادب را به خانوادهای داغدار و غمدیده؛ برای جمیع بازماندگان صبر جمیل و اجر جزیل و برای مرحوم مغفور «محمدسرور “رونا” بهشت برین ، رحمت واسعه و غفران الهی استدعا می نمایم. -- خداوند روحشان را غریق رحمت فرماید . آمين يا رب العالميـــن‏. - More, graanafghanistan

Does Afghanistan need a unity government? --- The US-brokered unity government in Afghanistan does not bode well for the future stability of the country. -- The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan announced on August 22 that an audit of 63 percent of the ballot boxes of the second round of presidential elections in Afghanistan has been completed, and that the adjudication process would begin on August 25. The race is close between the winner of the first round, Abdullah Abdullah, who garnered 45 percent of votes, and the winner of the highly contested run-off, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, whose share of 56 percent of votes is currently under investigation. -- The unprecedented audit of 8.1 million votes cast in the second round is being done under close and extensive international supervision, led by the United Nations and in the presence of some of the UN's top election experts. The objective according to the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, was "to excise large scale fraud from the millions of valid votes." -- The audit is the first part of a package proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and agreed to by the two candidates. The second part is the formation of a government of national unity (GNU), a power-sharing government with a president and a chief executive. -- While the 100 percent audit was a brave suggestion by Kerry to quell the rising tension and ensure the integrity of the electoral process, it could be argued that the formation of a GNU is an irrelevant step that undermines the election results and has no public seal of approval. The two candidates are as yet unelected in elections marred by massive fraud. -Of course the deal would benefit the candidates, as it guarantees them a seat of power whatever the results. The winner would be the president and the loser would become the chief executive with a chance of becoming the prime minister. It also benefits the Obama administration by presenting a rosy image of the post-election mess that lingers in Afghanistan. The US would also receive a signed a bilateral security agreement (BSA) before the end of 2014. -- However, for the people of Afghanistan, the political framework of the GNU agreed on July 12 and revived on August 8 is likely to bring more problems than it would resolve. A mixed commission designated to iron out the differences between the two sides is already facing discord. The two sides have offered widely divergent interpretations of the deal, provoking tensions on a daily. Strongman Ata Mohammad Noor, an Abdullah supporter, has threatened an uprising in case of fraud. --- A government of disunity? -- The election process has now taken almost five months, during which time we have witnessed the trading of accusations, insults, punches, clashes, and abusive language. We have also seen the two candidates in those Kerry-mediated press conferences kissing and hugging. These are familiar scenes in Afghanistan, as are the ongoing armed clashes in half of the country. Many of us remember the short-lived alliances of the 1990s that quickly fell apart and turned into new rounds of violence and bloodshed. -- Governments of national unity have been tried before, in several parts of the world. In most cases they were symptoms of a dysfunctional electoral process and did not necessarily lead to stability. They are known to bring momentary calm to tension between two sides, but are unable to remedy in the long term the underlying causes of the tension. In fact, research shows that in "multi-ethnic countries", GNUs have "manifested more ethnically based violence". -- Afghanistan has a highly charged multi-ethnic society, serious security challenges, and a fragile state structure that could so easily fall apart, if the wrong remedy is applied. In the past few months, partly due to the prolonged electoral process, the security situation has deteriorated and the Afghan National Army is facing serious challenges in 14 out of 34 provinces. The surge is reported to be unprecedented in the past thirteen years. --- The people of Afghanistan can do without further complications. They need clear election results after a thorough audit so that they know they have a legitimately elected president who will respond to their hopes and aspirations. They do not need yet another deal made by the same power elites that have time and again let them down with their internal feuding and their failure to create consensus and democracy. - Read More, Dr Massoumeh Torfeh,

Afghanistan's Moment of Truth --- On 12 July, the two candidates in Afghanistan's presidential race -- Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani -- agreed to resolve their contest through a complete audit of votes cast in the June run-off elections. The purpose of the audit -- secured with the assistance of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry -- is simple and essential: to weed out fraudulent ballots and determine the will of the millions of Afghans who braved Taliban threats to make their voices heard. -- The two candidates committed to accept the results of this audit regardless of the outcome. They resolved to form a government of national unity. Both candidates, together with the United Nations, asked President Hamid Karzai to postpone the inauguration of his successor until the audit was complete. -- This was a powerful -- and necessary -- act of statesmanship by all three leaders to help ensure the first peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan's history. -- The audit process continues apace in a way that is unprecedented in scale, depth of scrutiny and levels of oversight. -- More than 22,000 ballot boxes from across Afghanistan's 34 provinces were transported to Kabul by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the United Nations, coordinated with Afghan security forces and accompanied at all times by the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) and representatives of each campaign. -- Hundreds of Afghan observers, candidate agents, international observers and UN electoral experts from around the world have been mobilized to scrutinize the ballot boxes. -- Professional electoral personnel from the European Union, U.S. non-governmental organizations and the Asian Network for Free Elections have joined Afghan observers as the IEC opened, examined and, if needed, recounted ballot boxes in their presence. Transparency is labour and time-intensive: the audit has taken place in five warehouses, in two shifts, seven days a week. -- The candidates and their teams have been involved in every stage of the process. At their request, the United Nations provided expert advice on procedures and criteria for the invalidation of votes. -- Joint oversight ensured that candidate inputs and concerns were addressed. As new information came to light, the process was continually refined through special scrutiny, by which each candidate could select up to 3000 ballots for further review and recounting. -- The audit is now nearing the finish line with the review of more than 50 percent of the ballots. But its completion will depend on more than technical measures. Ultimately, the process rests on the willingness of the candidates to respect the results. -- The future of Afghanistan's political transition -- as well as international support for the Afghan army and police -- hangs in the balance. Economic stability in the war-ravaged and aid-dependent country is at risk. So, too, is the Afghan people's trust in democratic institutions and their political leaders. -- Afghanistan's leaders have a responsibility to honor the faith that voters have placed in democracy and to avoid the divisive ethnic strife that has marked so much of its history. -- Now is the time to count the ballots, make good on commitments, respect the results, and turn the page to a new era of opportunity and hope that the Afghan people so need and deserve. - More, Jan Eliasson,

«مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان در اوایل سپتمبر برگزار می شود» --- به نظر می رسد که بحران سیاسی بعد از دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری در افغانستان، به پایان اش نزدیکتر شده است. طبق گزارش دفتر ریاست جمهوری افغانستان در اوایل ماه سپتمبر، مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهور جدید برگزار خواهد شد. -- جانشین حامد کرزی، رئیس جمهور افغانستان به اساس اظهارات خوداش در اویل ماه سپتمبر سال روان میلادی سوگند وفاداری یاد خواهد کرد. کاخ ریاست جمهوری افغانستان روز شنبه طی یک اعلامیه گفته است که حکومت افغانستان «آماده برگزاری مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهور جدید به تاریخ دوم سپتمبر است». همچنان در این اعلامیه که پس از گفتگوی حامد کرزی با یان کوبیش، نماینده ویژه ملل متحد برای افغانستان به نشر رسید، آمده است که این تاریخ به تعویق نخواهد افتاد. -- با این حال، هنوز مشخص نیست که رئيس جمهور جدید افغانستان کی خواهد بود. از آغاز برگزاری دور دوم انتخابات در ماه جولای سال روان میلادی، این کشور در یک بحران سیاسی بسر می برد. بر اساس اطلاعات رسمی در نتیجه شمارش اولیه آرا، اشرف غنی وزیر اسبق مالیه در این انتخابات پیشی گرفته است،اما رقیب اش، عبدالله عبدالله، وزیر خارجه اسبق، او را به تقلب در انتخابات متهم کرد. -- در اوایل ماه آگست سال روان میلادی، هر دو سیاستمدار روی بازشماری کامل آراء و تشکیل یک حکومت وحدت ملی موافقت کردند. تا چندی قبل هیچ یک از نامزدان حاضر نبودند از موضع شان عقب نشینی کنند. -- ایالات متحده امریکا اصرار کرده بود که رئيس جمهور جدید باید در اوایل ماه سپتمبر سوگند وفاداری یاد کند. امریکا می خواهد قبل از برگزاری نشست سران ناتو در اواسط ماه سپتمبر که در مورد ماموریت بعدی پس از خروج نیروهای خارجی تا پایان سال 2014 میلادی از افغانستان، تصمیم گیری می شود، رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان در این نشست شرکت داشته باشد. -- در روزهای آینده، اولین نتایج شمارش تازه آرا بعد از تفتیش صندوق های منتشر خواهد گردید. گفته می شود که نزدیک به شش هزار صندوق به تفتیش گذاشته شده اند که تاکنون 520 صندوق بررسی شده اند. به قول نور محمد نور، سخنگوی کمیسیون انتخابات افغانستان به صورت مجموعی تا حالا 15 هزار و 145 صندوق بررسی شده اند که از مجموع آرا 66.34 درصد را تشکیل می دهد. - صدای آلمان

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Editorial Board: The wrong way to achieve political accommodation in Afghanistan --- WHEN PRESIDENT Obama announced in 2011 the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq, he was sanguine about that nation’s future. U.S. soldiers could be “proud of their success,” he said, and he was “confident” that Iraqis would “build a future worthy of their history as a cradle of civilization.” -- Today’s reality of civil war, humanitarian horror and political fracturing is at odds with Mr. Obama’s sunny predictions. So it is almost breathtaking that he remains committed to the same strategy, founded on the same debunked theory of human behavior, in Afghanistan. -- The strategy is to pull out all U.S. troops. The theory, unlikely on its face and resoundingly disproven in Iraq, is that leaders will be more likely to make political compromises if they feel threatened and abandoned than if they feel secure. -- Neither in Iraq nor Afghanistan did the debate concern prolonging the U.S. combat mission. The question rather was whether to station a modest number of troops — 10,000 to 15,000 was the range mentioned by generals — once that mission ended. Their job would be to train and support local forces and, crucially, to maintain some U.S. influence to continue nudging democracies in their political infancy toward compromise, human rights and civilian control of the military. -- Mid-level White House officials tried to push for such things in Baghdad even after the troop withdrawal. But they found themselves with little sway, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, without U.S. reassurance, unsurprisingly fell back on supporters in Iran and within Shiite militias. Progress that had been made in cooperation among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds was reversed; U.S.-trained professionals were booted from the defense and interior ministries in favor of sectarian loyalists. -- “People have said, ‘Doesn’t this show that you should never take the troops out of Afghanistan?’ ” a White House official said this week, according to the New York Times. Mr. Obama’s response, according to this official: “He said, ‘No, it actually points to the imperative of having political accommodation. There’s a limit to what we can achieve absent a political process.’ ” -- That’s true, of course. But what is the best way to promote political accommodation? Since Mr. Obama announced that he would pull all troops out of Afghanistan by the end of his second term, it’s not surprising that Afghan factions have begun looking for ways to hedge their bets and ensure their survival if order begins to break down. Two presidential candidates have each laid claim to the office, and Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s effort to broker a compromise is in danger. As The Post’s Pamela Constable reported Wednesday, “fears are growing that Afghanistan’s fragile transition process could collapse into violence.” -- What’s the best way to avoid such a collapse? Is it to offer support and assistance to those who take a chance at compromise? Or is it to wag a finger, lecture and walk away? Iraq over the past three years provided an answer. But Mr. Obama seems determined to run the experiment again. - More, Washingtonpost

کرزی: رسیدن به کاروان ترقی و پیشرفت تنها در آموزش نسل جوان و عمومی سازی تعلیم نهفته است --- کابل - حامد کرزی رئیس جمهور افغانستان در بیانیهء پانزده روزه رادیویی خویش گفت که مردم افغانستان دو روز قبل در ۲۸ اسد نود و پنجمین سالگرد استقلال کشور شانرا تجلیل کردند. رئیس جمهور کرزی با اشاره به فداکاری های بی شمار و حمایت بی دریغ مردم افغانستان و اراده شاه امان الله خان برای بازپسگیری استقلال افغانستان گفت: ”استقلالی را که امروز داریم ثمره تلاش ها و میراث پر افتخار مردم ماست.” -- حامد کرزی در این بیانیه خاطرنشان کرد که در دهه اخیر قرن گذشته، قشون سرخ شوروی سابق بر افغانستان تجاوز کرد و پس از آن، مداخلات آشکار و پنهان در کشور ما استقلال ما را به خطر مواجه ساخت. اما هموطنان ما مشترکاً خاک خویش را از اشغال شوروی و از این مداخلات آشکار و پنهان آزاد ساختند. این میراث مبارک آزادی را نسل های آینده ما نیز به خاطر خواهند داشت. رئیس جمهور افزود که بدون شک عزت، آزادی و استقلال افغانستان مدیون دو اصل می باشد، یکی ایثار و قربانی هر فرد این کشور و از هر خانه و دوم اتحاد، اتفاق و وحدت ملی مردم ما که از تجاوز اول انگلیس تا امروز هر خانواده افغان برای خاک خویش قربانی داده و این قربانی برای کشور ما آزادی و افتخار را نصیب کرده است. -- حامد کرزی ضمن تاکید بر اینکه مردم افغانستان با اتحاد و وفاق ملی و به قیمت خون آزادی کشور شان را کسب و حفاظت کرده اند، گفت: “امیدوارم که برای ترقی، پیشرفت و آبادی کشور دست به دست هم دهیم و به کاروان توسعه و انکشاف جهان خود را به زودترین فرصت برسانیم.” رئیس جمهور گفت که این کار تنها و تنها در آموزش نسل جوان، عمومی سازی تعلیم در کشور و تقویت احساس مسئولیت در مقابل وطن و هموطنان نهفته است. -- رئیس جمهور در اخیر بیانیه رادیویی اش گفت: من یقین کامل دارم که این احساس به طور کامل در مردم ما وجود دارد و اطمینان دارم که به بازوی جوانان ما و اراده قوی مردم ما، افغانستان بزودترین فرصت ممکن حرکت مداوم خویش را به سوی ترقی و انکشاف ادامه خواهد داد. - گران افغانستان

U.N. says Syria death toll tops 190,000, rights envoy raps world powers --- (Reuters) - More than 191,000 people were killed in the first three years of Syria's civil war, a U.N. report said on Friday, and the world body's human rights envoy rebuked leading powers for failing to halt what she branded a "wholly avoidable human catastrophe". -- U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said war crimes were still being committed with total impunity on all sides in the conflict, which began with initially peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule in March 2011. -- "It is a real indictment of the age we live in that not only has this been allowed to continue so long, with no end in sight, but is also now impacting horrendously on hundreds of thousands of other people across the border in northern Iraq, and the violence has also spilled over into Lebanon," said Pillay. -- Pillay, in a statement issued a week before leaving office, added: "The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis. -- "It is essential governments take serious measures to halt the fighting and deter the crimes, and above all stop fuelling this monumental, and wholly avoidable, human catastrophe through the provision of arms and other military supplies." -- The report by her Geneva office was based on data from four rebel groups and the Syrian government. They were cross-checked to eliminate duplicates and inaccuracies, including non-violent deaths or alleged victims later found to be alive. -- It said the number of men, women and children killed in the conflict as of April 30, 2014, totaled at least 191,369. Of them, some 62,000 - both civilians and combatants - were killed in the past year alone, Pillay's spokesman Rupert Colville said. -- The figure is more than twice the number of deaths documented a year ago and is probably still an under-estimate, Pillay said. - More,

U.S. considering taking fight against Islamic State into Syria --- (Reuters) - The United States is considering taking the fight against Islamic State militants into Syria after days of airstrikes against the group in Iraq and the beheading of an American journalist, the White House signaled on Friday. -- President Barack Obama, soon to end a two-week working vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, has not yet been presented with military options for attacking Islamic State targets beyond two important areas in Iraq, said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. -- But Rhodes made clear that going after Islamic State forces based in Syria is an option after the release of a video this week showing one of the group's fighters beheading American journalist James Foley and threatening to kill a second American, Steve Sotloff. -- "We will do what's necessary to protect Americans and see that justice is done for what we saw with the barbaric killing of Jim Foley. So we're actively considering what's going to be necessary to deal with that threat, and we're not going to be restricted by borders," he said. -- The U.S. effort against Islamic State thus far has been relatively limited. U.S. forces have conducted more than 90 airstrikes in Iraq to protect the Iraqi Yazidi religious minority and attack Islamic State positions around the Mosul Dam. -- Extending the fight into Syria would allow opportunities for disrupting the group's supply lines. Republican Senator John McCain told Reuters this week that Islamic State fighters have moved military equipment seized in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul into Syria and that they hold enclaves in Syrian territory that have been identified. -- A move into Syria, even only with air power, would be a reversal for Obama. He stepped back from a threat to launch airstrikes in Syria a year ago in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians it blamed on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. -- Time and time again over the past year, Obama has rejected greater involvement in the three-year-old Syrian civil war out of concern about getting entangled in a conflict with no clear positive outcome for the United States. -- But officials say the situation now is different because Islamic State militants represent a direct threat to Americans and American interests. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Thursday that Islamic State cannot be defeated without addressing the part of the group that is based in Syria. -- More,

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Robin Williams Reportedly Cremated Day After Suicide --- Robin Williams was cremated a day after he was found dead in his home, multiple outlets are reporting. -- RadarOnline was first to report that according to the actor's death certificate, of which the site has obtained a copy, "Williams was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the San Francisco Bay just one day after his death, on August 12." -- The certificate -- issued by the State of California, County of Marin -- also lists Williams' cause of death as "pending investigation." -- It is worth noting that under California law, only authorized persons may receive authorized certified copies of death records (parents, children of the deceased, attorneys, law enforcement, etc.) "Those who are not authorized to receive an authorized certified copy will receive a certified copy marked 'Informational, not a valid document to establish identity,'" according to Marin County's division of records website. Media is not listed under authorized persons. -- However, Richard N. Benson, who signed RadarOnline's alleged copy of Williams' death certificate, appears in the county's directory. -- TMZ, E! News, Us Weekly, Extra, New York Daily News and more have followed up with reports of the cremation. -- Williams was found dead in his Tiburon, California, home on August 11. According to the Marin County Sheriff's Office, the actor, who was 63 at the time of his death, hanged himself. At a press conference held August 12 -- the day he was reportedly cremated -- a rep for the sheriff's office said toxicology tests will determine if Williams had any substances in his system at his time of death. -- A couple of days later, Williams' wife Susan Schneider revealed he was diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson's Disease. -- The upcoming Emmys ceremony, to be broadcasted on NBC Monday, August 25, will honor Robin Williams with an "in memoriam" segment by his longtime friend, Billy Crystal. -- Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. - More, The Huffington Post | By Liat Kornowski

Chairman Royce Statement on Afghanistan --- Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on reported threats of Afghan officials seizing power -- “We should not support any extra-constitutional power grab in Afghanistan, especially from members of the Karzai clique. The only acceptable path to power is through the vote of the Afghan people, and I fully support the U.N.-backed audit process to determine the next legitimate president. Although the candidates must still work together and forge a national unity government, it would be foolish to ditch the democratic progress Afghanistan has made. Afghanistan cannot afford to revert to political infighting that would threaten international support and potentially lead to civil war.” - More, Press Release,

Statement by Ambassador James B. Cunningham on the expulsion of New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg --- Freedom of the press and the establishment of a vibrant media environment are important achievements for Afghanistan and its citizens in the country’s first dozen years of democracy. These gains are threatened by the decision yesterday by the government of Afghanistan to expel New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg. We deplore this decision, which is unjustified and based on unfounded allegations. -- This first expulsion of a journalist in post-Taliban Afghanistan is a regrettable step backward for the freedom of the press in this country. There is no mistaking the signal this sends to all journalists working in Afghanistan, whether they are Afghan, American, or any other nationality. I expressed today to President Karzai our strong concern about this unwarranted action. I asked him to affirm his government’s recognition of the importance of protecting the freedom of the press, as an important part of the legacy of his presidency. - Press Releases 2014,

U.S. Denounces Afghan Expulsion of New York Times Reporter --- The United States sharply criticized the government of Afghanistan on Thursday over its expulsion of Matthew Rosenberg, a New York Times correspondent, calling the move a threat to the country’s budding democratic system and a “regrettable step backward” for its press freedom. -- The criticism, made in a statement by James B. Cunningham, the United States ambassador to Afghanistan, did not explicitly request that the Afghanistan government rescind the decision to expel Mr. Rosenberg, who was given 24 hours to leave on Wednesday. -- But Mr. Cunningham’s statement bluntly reflected American anger with the government of President Hamid Karzai. “I expressed today to President Karzai our strong concern about this unwarranted action,” the ambassador’s statement said. “I asked him to affirm his government’s recognition of the importance of protecting the freedom of the press, as an important part of the legacy of his presidency.” -- Mr. Rosenberg was on a flight out of the country as Mr. Cunningham’s statement was released. The action against him, which The New York Times strongly protested, was the first public expulsion of a Western journalist in Afghanistan since the Taliban was ousted in the American-led invasion nearly 13 years ago. It came as the Afghanistan government is mired in a crisis over a disputed presidential election and as the United States is preparing to withdraw military forces at the end of this year. -- The expulsion order followed an article written by Mr. Rosenberg, published on Tuesday, on discussions among high-ranking officials about a forming an interim government as a possible way to resolve the electoral crisis, a step that would amount to a coup. -- The Afghan attorney general’s office said in a statement that the article was “considered divisive and contrary to the national interest, security and stability of Afghanistan.” But Afghan officials did not deny the article’s accuracy or specify what laws, if any, had been violated by its publication. --- “Freedom of the press and the establishment of a vibrant media environment are important achievements for Afghanistan and its citizens in the country’s first dozen years of democracy,” Mr. Cunningham’s statement said. “These gains are threatened by the decision yesterday by the government of Afghanistan to expel New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg. We deplore this decision, which is unjustified and based on unfounded allegations.” -- He called the decision “a regrettable step backward for the freedom of the press in this country.” -- Ambassador Cunningham also said “there is no mistaking the signal this sends to all journalists working in Afghanistan, whether they are Afghan, American, or any other nationality.” -- A few hours earlier, Mr. Rosenberg posted the expulsion order on his Twitter account, which called him a spy with “secret relations” — a new accusation. He also said that as he left, the chief prosecutor of Kabul and the border police escorted him through the Kabul airport immigration check. --- There was no immediate response to Mr. Cunningham’s statement from the Afghanistan government. But Mr. Karzai’s spokesman, Aimal Faizi, who has accused The New York Times of biased coverage, defended the expulsion decision earlier Thursday in a series of posts on his Twitter account and asserted that international journalists were welcome to “operate freely in Afghanistan.” -- Mr. Rosenberg’s use of unidentified sources in his reporting, Mr. Faizi wrote in one post, “has seriously put into question the credibility of the NYT.” - More, RICK GLADSTONE, NYTimes

به استقبال ٩٥ مین سالگرد استقلال افغانستان -- عزیزالله کهگدای Read More,

Calling Article ‘Divisive,’ Afghanistan Orders Expulsion of Times Correspondent --- KABUL, Afghanistan — The attorney general of Afghanistan on Wednesday ordered the expulsion of an American correspondent for The New York Times, Matthew Rosenberg, and barred him from re-entering the country. -- The action, the first public expulsion of a Western journalist since the Taliban regime, came less than a day after the office of the attorney general, Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, issued an order prohibiting Mr. Rosenberg from leaving the country while he was under investigation. -- Both orders related to an article written by Mr. Rosenberg that was published Tuesday by The Times. It said that high-ranking government officials were discussing forming an interim government as a possible resolution to the country’s current electoral crisis — an action that would effectively amount to a coup. -- The Afghan presidential election has been mired in recriminations, with the top two candidates claiming victory and accusing each other of fraud. -- Mr. Aloko’s office on Wednesday released a statement to news organizations — not including The Times — that accused Mr. Rosenberg of writing an “article that is considered divisive and contrary to the national interest, security and stability of Afghanistan.” The statement said the “attorney general decided that Matthew Rosenberg should leave the country within the next 24 hours, and he will not be allowed to re-enter the country.” -- The statement suggested that Mr. Rosenberg, 40, had presented his opinion in the article while “falsely attributing it to high-level government officials.” The article was based on high-ranking Afghan government sources, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fears of prosecution for sedition if their names were used, as Mr. Rosenberg noted in the article. -- A statement issued by the office of President Hamid Karzai, while not mentioning the expulsion, quoted the president as telling the head of the United Nations here, Jan Kubis, that a recent article in The New York Times “showed foreign interference and conspiracy in order to destabilize Afghanistan.” -- “This kind of article should not be allowed,” the statement read. -- Mr. Aloko’s own statement did not specify what, if any, laws had been broken, or what legal grounds there might be for such an expulsion, which is unprecedented in the 13 years of the government of Mr. Karzai. -- The attorney general’s statement said the decision had been made because Mr. Rosenberg “didn’t cooperate well during the interrogations” carried out by the attorney general’s office on Tuesday. -- Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, criticized the Afghan government’s action. -- government’s action. -- He said that Mr. Rosenberg would continue to report on Afghanistan and that “we’re appalled that a government would kick a reporter out for doing his job.” -- Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for President Karzai, said the decision to expel Mr. Rosenberg was made “at the very highest level,” which he said included not only the president, but also both vice presidents and several central ministers, who had a series of meetings since the publication of the article on Tuesday. -- “What is understood is that you are following a deep state agenda,” he said, emphasizing that he was referring to The Times generally and not just to Mr. Rosenberg. “I don’t want to go into it, but that is what is understood and that is what is seen.” -- Mr. Faizi’s “deep state” euphemism has often been used by some anti-American Afghans to refer to efforts by the American government to interfere in Afghan affairs. - More, NYTimes,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grand Mufti, Saudi's Top Islamic Leader: Islamic State And Al-Qaeda Are 'Enemy Number One Of Islam' --- RIYADH, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheik Abdulaziz Al al-Sheik, the highest religious authority in the country, said on Tuesday the militant groups Islamic State and al Qaeda were "enemy number one of Islam" and not in any way part of the faith. -- Although the mufti and other senior Saudi clerics have condemned Islamic State, al Qaeda and other groups before, the timing of Al al-Sheik's statement is significant given the gains by militants in Iraq. -- "Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims," he said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. -- He later compared them to the Kharijite movement in early Islam, which assassinated the Prophet Mohammed's son-in-law Ali for making compromises to a rival Muslim faction, and has been seen as heretical by most subsequent Muslim sects. -- Saudi Arabia follows the ultra conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam but sees Islamist militants, who staged attacks in the kingdom last decade, as posing a threat to its own stability. --- Riyadh has been a main supporter of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but has funneled arms and money away from Islamic State and al Qaeda towards other opposition groups. -- Wahhabi clerics, who hold senior government positions and lend the ruling al-Saud Islamic legitimacy, oversee a massive religious infrastructure paid for by the state and are sometimes dismissed by militants as being in the government's pocket. -- Thousands of young Saudis are believed to have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join rebel and militant groups, spurring concern within the authorities that they may eventually launch attacks on their own government. --- Saudi Arabia labeled Islamic State, al Qaeda, Nusra Front and other groups as "terrorist" in March and imposed long prison terms for offering them public support or giving them moral or material aid. -- Early this month King Abdullah made a speech attacking militant groups that used Islamic justifications, and urged Muslim scholars and leaders to fight against them. - More,

‘ISIS is enemy No. 1 of Islam,’ says Saudi grand mufti --- Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda were blasted by Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh on Tuesday as "enemy number one" of Islam. -- "The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism ... have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam," the kingdom's top cleric said in a statement -- He cited militants from ISIS, which has declared a "caliphate" straddling parts of Iraq and Syria, and the global al-Qaeda terror network. -- Last Wednesday, Saudi Arabia donated $100 million to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) to help combat terrorism. -- “Terrorism is an evil that must be eradicated from the world through international efforts,” Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir said during a ceremony at the United Nations in the presence of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. - More, Staff writer | Al Arabiya News,

مفتی اعظم پادشاهی سعودی: داعش دشمن درجه یک اسلام است --- ریاض - شیخ عبدالعزیز آل الشیخ مفتی اعظم پادشاهی سعودی دیروز چهارشنبه 20-8-2014 در بیانیه ای اعلام کرد که گروه داعش دشمن درجه یک اسلام است. وی از مردم سعودی خواست که از افکار و عقاید این گروه دوری کنند و برای مقابله با چنین گروه های منحرفی در کنار حکومت پادشاهی سعودی بایستند. به گزارش خبرگزاری سعودی، مفتی سعودی در بیانیه ای با عنوان “تبصره و ذکری” با بیان اینکه داعش دشمن درجه یک اسلام است گفت: “ایده های افراط گرایی و ستیزه جویی و تروریزم که جز ویرانی و قتل و نشر فساد چیزی به همراه نداشته هیچگونه ارتباطی با اسلام ندارد. بلکه مسلمانان اولین قربانی این اندیشه پلید و افکار منحرف تروریستی هستند.” -- آل الشیخ افزود: “از دیدن صحنه های جنایت داعش و القاعده و شاخه های وابسته به آنها نتیجه گیری می کنیم که آنها در واقع مصداق حدیث پیغمبر اسلام (ص) هستند که فرمودند:” در آخر زمان قومی بی خرد، خوش سخن، با رویا های احمقانه و قرآن خوانانی که فهم قرآن نزد آنها از حد زمزمه آن در گلو تجاوز نمی کند، ظهور خواهند کرد، این قوم دین اسلام را هدف خرافه ها قرار خواهند داد، هم چون شکاری که هدف تیرها قرار می گیرد. اگر چنین قومی را دیدید آنها را بکشید که قاتل این قوم روز قیامت پاداش خواهد داشت.” -- مفتی سعودی اظهار داشت: ”این گروه (داعش) را نمی توان جز اسلام و پیروان آن دانست بلکه این ها امتداد خوارج هستند که اولین گروهی که به دلیل تکفیر دیگران از دین خدا منحرف شدند و ریختن خون مسلمانان و مصادره اموال آنان را مباح دانستند.” وی در پایان از همه مسلمانان مخصوصآ مردم سعودی خواست برای توسعه آموزش و ترویج اندیشه اعتدال گرایی که دین ما اسلام از آن حمایت کرده است، تلاش کنند. -- وی خطاب به علمای اسلامی، استادان پوهنتون، نویسندگان، روشنفکران و دیگر شهروندان سعودی گفت: ”شما می توانید با برگزاری کنفرانس ها و بحث ها مردم را از حقیقت و ماهیت دین اسلام و اعتدال گرایی آن آگاه کنید و با گفتمان متمدنانه و بدون اتهام یا خائن دانستن کسانی که با ما اختلاف رای داشته باشند، در خدمت به دین و میهن خود تلاش کنید. همه ما در این کشور حقوقی داریم اما در قبال آن حقوق وظایفی نیز داریم. خداوند دین ما و میهن ما را از گزند فتنه ها و انحرافات مصون بدارد. از خداوند می خواهیم که اوضاع مسلمانان را بهبود بخشد.” - گران افغانستان

Obama Holds to Afghanistan Withdrawal Deadline --- WASHINGTON — President Obama may have ordered American warplanes back to Iraq, but he has not changed his mind about his other big military withdrawal. Mr. Obama told advisers this week that delaying the pullout of American troops from Afghanistan would make no difference there as long as the country did not overcome its political rifts. -- The president, a senior administration official said, was rejecting a growing chorus of arguments in Washington that the chaos in Iraq should prompt him to reconsider his timetable for withdrawing the last soldiers from Afghanistan by the end of 2016. -- “People have said, ‘Doesn’t this show that you should never take the troops out of Afghanistan?’ ” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “He said, ‘No, it actually points to the imperative of having political accommodation. There’s a limit to what we can achieve absent a political process.’ ” -- Mr. Obama’s comments were particularly pointed, given that Afghanistan’s leadership has been paralyzed for months after a disputed election to replace President Hamid Karzai. The stalemate between the two candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, led to fears this week that a cabal of Afghan government ministers with ties to the security forces would seize power and install an interim government. -- While Secretary of State John Kerry has been most closely identified with efforts to resolve the dispute — having parachuted into Kabul on two occasions to try to broker a deal — Mr. Obama has telephoned Mr. Ghani and Mr. Abdullah twice each to urge them to work out a compromise. -- With its ethnic overtones, the Afghan impasse has obvious parallels to the sectarian rifts in Iraq, which have hindered the formation of a new government and stoked the Islamic militancy there. Mr. Obama’s critics have been quick to draw the comparison. -- “I predicted what was going to happen in Iraq,” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said on CNN on Aug. 10. “I’m predicting to you now that if we pull everybody out of Afghanistan, not based on conditions, you’ll see that same movie again in Afghanistan.” -- Not all the criticism was partisan. Some veterans of the Obama administration argued that the collapse of the Iraqi security forces and the difficulty of forging political compromise in Baghdad were an ominous sign for Afghanistan’s future after the United States departs. -- “The entire Afghanistan strategy is based on Iraq,” said Vali R. Nasr, a former State Department official who worked on Afghanistan and Pakistan policy. “This argument that we can stand up a military to do what we ourselves can’t do hasn’t proven out in Iraq.” -- Mr. Nasr, now dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said the White House should leave behind a “credible force” to prevent the Taliban from replicating the advances of the Sunni militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and to give breathing space to Afghanistan’s fragile political process. -- Such a force, he said, would be larger than the dwindling presence planned by the administration — 9,800 troops in 2015, half that in 2016 and a vestigial force thereafter — but far smaller than the 101,000 troops that were in Afghanistan at the peak of American involvement in 2011. -- These arguments have registered in a White House confronting a cascade of crises. While there have been no formal deliberations over Afghanistan since the start of the airstrikes in Iraq, this official said, Mr. Obama has discussed the parallels with his senior aides. -- The absence of political accommodation in both countries, the president told them, sharply limits the United States’ ability to help. In Afghanistan, even the presence of nearly 29,000 American soldiers has done little to guide the country past its political crisis. -- Mr. Obama, his advisers note, did not pick the “zero option” in Afghanistan, which would have meant withdrawing all troops at the end of this year. The United States will marshal the support of NATO allies to train and equip Afghan security forces. And the president’s personal engagement in the issue since the June election is proof, they say, that the United States is not going to stand by as Afghanistan unravels. - More, MARK LANDLER, NYTimes

Afghanistan Orders Expulsion of New York Times Correspondent --- KABUL, Afghanistan — The attorney general of Afghanistan on Wednesday ordered the expulsion of an American correspondent for The New York Times, Matthew Rosenberg, and banned him from re-entering the country. -- The action, the first public expulsion of a Western journalist since the Taliban regime, came less than a day after the office of the attorney general, Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, issued an order prohibiting Mr. Rosenberg from leaving the country while he was under investigation. -- Both orders related to an article written by Mr. Rosenberg that was published Tuesday by The Times. It said that high-ranking government officials were discussing forming an interim government as a possible resolution to the country’s current electoral crisis — an action that would effectively amount to a coup. -- Mr. Aloko’s office on Wednesday released a statement to news organizations — not including The Times — that accused Mr. Rosenberg of writing an “article that is considered divisive and contrary to the national interest, security and stability of Afghanistan.” The statement said the “Attorney General decided that Matthew Rosenberg should leave the country within the next 24 hours and he will not be allowed to re-enter the country.” -- The statement suggested that Mr. Rosenberg, 40, had presented his opinion in the article while “falsely attributing it to high-level government officials.” The article was based on high-ranking Afghan government sources, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears of prosecution for sedition if their names were used, as Mr. Rosenberg noted in the article. -- A statement issued by the office of President Hamid Karzai, while not mentioning the expulsion, quoted the president as telling the head of the United Nations here, Jan Kubis, that a recent article in The New York Times “showed foreign interference and conspiracy in order to destabilize Afghanistan.” -- “This kind of article should not be allowed,” the statement read. -- Mr. Aloko’s own statement did not specify what, if any, laws had been broken, or what legal grounds there might be for such an expulsion, which is unprecedented in the 13 years of the government of Mr. Karzai. The government did cancel the visa of a Reuters correspondent for nearly a year, but both Reuters and the Afghan government kept that development secret and it was later rescinded. -- The attorney general’s statement said the decision had been made because Mr. Rosenberg “didn’t cooperate well during the interrogations” carried out by the attorney general’s office on Tuesday. -- Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, criticized the Afghan government’s action. -- “Matt is a terrific reporter who reported an accurate story,” Mr. Baquet said. “He was perfectly willing to talk to the Afghan government but obviously wasn’t going to reveal his sources.” -- He said Mr. Rosenberg would continue to report on Afghanistan and that “we’re appalled that a government would kick a reporter out for doing his job.” --- Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for President Karzai, said the decision to expel Mr. Rosenberg was taken “at the very highest level,” which he said included not only the president, but both vice presidents and several key ministers, who had a series of meetings since the publication of the story on Tuesday. --- “What is understood is that you are following a deep state agenda,” he said, stressing that he was referring to The Times generally and not just Mr. Rosenberg. “I don’t want to go into it but that is what is understood and that is what is seen.” -- Mr. Faizi’s “deep state” euphemism has often been used by some anti-American Afghans to refer to efforts by the American government to interfere in Afghan affairs. -- After Mr. Rosenberg was summoned by the attorney general’s office for what officials said would be an “informal chat” on Tuesday, officials there insisted that he sign a formal statement. At that point he asked for the right to have a lawyer present during any further discussions, agreeing to come back when he had such representation. -- His interrogator, Gen. Sayed Noorullah Sadat, the head of the directorate of internal and external security in the attorney general’s office, insisted that Mr. Rosenberg did not need to have a lawyer present, as there was no crime under investigation. He unsuccessfully pressed him to sign the statement. “Right now there’s no case, no legal charges, there’s nothing,” he said. --- Later Tuesday, a spokesman for the attorney general, Baseer Azizi, said that Mr. Rosenberg was banned from leaving the country “until this issue over this article is resolved,” and an order was lodged at the Kabul International Airport to prevent him from departing, according to officials there. -- The attorney general’s new position was apparently prompted by Mr. Rosenberg’s failure to appear for questioning on Wednesday morning, instead sending a letter from a Times lawyer requesting an extension because the lawyer was not immediately available to attend. -- Mr. Rosenberg objected to the attorney general’s suggestion that his story was concocted to cause dissension in the country. “The story is based on numerous sources both on and off the record and as yet no government official has challenged the accuracy of it,” Mr. Rosenberg said. “I have no stake in this election, I’m just reporting on it. In a country that I’ve covered for a long time, it’s really dismaying.” -- General Sadat asked Mr. Rosenberg to divulge the confidential sources cited in his article, and asked what proof there was that he had not invented them. Mr. Rosenberg declined to name them and noted that editors at The Times have internal checks on the use of anonymous sources and have to be satisfied that they are legitimate before publication. - Read More, ROD NORDLAND, NYTimes

When I Met Robin Williams in Afghanistan --- Robin Williams had his demons but it never stopped him from making troops laugh on the numerous standup tours he did in Iraq and Afghanistan. -- At the prefab dorms on the American base in Kandahar, I ran into my neighbor from the bunk next door. The military makes few concessions to visiting VIPs. Robin Williams was on his way to the showers down the hall, wearing a white t-shirt and a towel over his shoulder. It was the week before Christmas, in 2010. -- He was happy to talk. He said he did regular gigs on the USO holiday circuit. This wasn't his first time in Afghanistan, and he'd also played Iraq. On this trip, he brought along his friend, Lance Armstrong. The cyclist had turned the heads of the women in the dorm on his way back from the showers, wearing just a towel. He struck many people there, at the time, not in retrospect, as arrogant and cold. Robin Williams was something else. -- He was sweet and humble and spoke quietly. He seemed impressed by my job. He pointed to his heart, referring to his recent surgery, saying that he was taking life easier. His eyes at once were sad and lively. -- Later that night, this low-key man went out on stage with otherworldly energy. These were the two Robins that the obituaries this past week talk about. Hundreds of American soldiers in Afghanistan packed a dusty field. He joked about the deafening noise levels in the old C-130 transport planes and sex at his age, then approaching 60. He used language to make his host, the Navy Admiral who was the country's top military officer, blush. It was a fun standup routine. -- A couple years ago, I was walking one weekday morning down Court Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and came upon Robin Williams. He was standing in the middle of the block, the only person there. He was in a suit, which I presumed was his costume for a shot underway, though I didn't see any crew or anyone around him -- I crossed the street and shook his hand, half aware that I was disrupting his work. I told him I'd met him in Afghanistan. "Ah, that trip with Lance," he said, then glanced down, with those melancholy eyes. Armstrong was the disgraced champion by then and he was doubtless disappointed by what happened but didn't say so. I'm not sure he remembered our meeting in Kandahar, probably not, but it felt like the other day to me. - More, Matthew Kaminski,

Afghanistan orders New York Times reporter to leave over 'coup' article --- A New York Times reporter has been given a 24-hour deportation notice for writing an article about senior Afghan officials planning to form an interim government. -- Matthew Rosenberg, 40, was initially asked to visit the attorney general’s office on Tuesday to discuss his article about powerful officials “threatening to seize power” if the current electoral gridlock continued. He was asked to reveal the identities of his unnamed sources, a request the reporter refused. -- Rosenberg asked to leave the office, and was temporarily barred from doing so. He was eventually let go, but later learned from a TV report that he was under a travel ban. -- The situation escalated on Wednesday when, citing lack of cooperation in investigating his article, the attorney general’s office issued a deportation notice to Rosenberg, giving him 24 hours to leave the country. “[The attorney general’s office] found the article ‘Amid Election Impasse Calls in Afghanistan for an Interim Government’ was his own perspective pretending to have quoted from Afghan high ranking authorities,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement. -- “[The attorney general’s office] believes this article is causing dispersion and is against the national security and the stability of Afghanistan.” It further stated that Rosenberg would not be allowed back into the country upon his departure. -- The article stated that the continuing electoral stasis had propelled influential government figures to consider imposing a new government, which they hoped would spur the two rival presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, into a compromise. It further said that the officials interviewed were considering a coup to execute one, but to use the threat of such to bring stability. -- The article stated that the continuing electoral stasis had propelled influential government figures to consider imposing a new government, which they hoped would spur the two rival presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, into a compromise. It further said that the officials interviewed were considering a coup to execute one, but to use the threat of such to bring stability. -- The New York Times stated that the latest altercation marked the fourth time in 2014 that the Afghan government had complained over its coverage. - More, May Jeong in Kabul, Guardian,

George W. Bush takes ice bucket challenge --- KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) — Former President George W. Bush took the ice bucket challenge then nominated former President Bill Clinton to do it next. -- The challenge has caught on with notable figures participating in the campaign to raise money for the fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. -- In a video posted Wednesday on Bush's Facebook page, he says: "To you all who challenged me, I do not think it's presidential for me to be splashed with ice water, so I'm simply going to write you a check." -- The video, taken in Kennebunkport, Maine, then shows a smiling Laura Bush dousing him. She says: "That check is from me — I didn't want to ruin my hairstyle." -- Also in Maine this week, author Stephen King took the challenge, and then challenged John Grisham. - More,

Obama: US won't stop confronting Islamic State --- WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama pledged Wednesday to continue to confront Islamic State militants despite the beheading of an American journalist in Iraq, standing firm in the face of the militants' threats to kill another hostage unless the U.S. military changes course. -- Obama's remarks affirmed that the U.S. would not change its military posture in Iraq in response to the killing of journalist James Foley. Since the video was released, the U.S. military has pressed ahead by conducting nearly a dozen airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq. -- Calling the Islamic State a cancer, Obama forcefully condemned the group that seized territory in Iraq and Syria, and he called for a vigilant, relentless and global effort to curtail an organization he said is torturing, raping and murdering thousands of people in "cowardly acts of violence." -- "ISIL speaks for no religion," Obama said, using an alternative name for the Islamic State. "Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just god would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day." -- Obama spoke at a media center set up by the White House on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, where Obama is in the second week of his annual summer vacation. - More,

د هیواد نومیالۍ، نایب سالار عبدالوکیل خان --- زمونږ د هیواد د نومیالیو غازیانو او اتلو مجاهدینو څخه وه چی په ۱۲۵۴ ه کال د نورستان ولایت په کانتیوا نومی کلي کی زیږیدلي وه -- د ښه لیاقت او کفایت ښکاره کولو له امله په ۱۲۹۲ کال د کندهار ولایت د عسکری قومندان په حیث وټاکل -- او ۱۲۹۲ کال په پیښه کي چی د کندهار خلکو پاڅون وکړ د هغو ارامولو لپاره یی ښه فعالیت ترسره کړه او ریښتنولۍ نښان په اخستلو بریالۍ شو. دی په ۱۲۹۴ کال کی د ۲ لوا د غونډ قومندان او د کابل د کوټوالۍ د قومندان په حیث وټاکل شو. نوم وړی د امیر حبیب الله خان تر شهادت وروسته یی د ۱۲۹۷ کال په حمل کي د جنرالۍ رتبی ته ورسید او د کابل د دوهمی لوا او بیا د اسمار د لوا د قومندان په ټوګه مقررشو. -- کله چی د هیواد د خپلواکۍ اعلان او د انګریزانو سره دوهمه جګړه پیل شوه نوموړی د چترال په جبهه کی د دښمن قواوو ته سخته ماته ورکړه او په شایی وتمبول کله چی انګریزانو د شینوارو سیمه ونیوله او بیا د چترال او د طورخم سیمه سره بدله شوه عبدالوکیل خان نورستانی په ۱۳۰۴ کال کی د نایب سالارۍ رتبی او د سردار عالی نښان یی وګاټه او پر همدی کال د قطغن او بدخشان د عسکری قومندان په حیث مقرر شو. -- په ۱۳۰۸ کال کي د اعلیحضرت نادر شاه حکومت بیرته په خپل رتبه او حیثیت ومانه او د شمالی لوری پروان د امنیت راوستلو لپاره وګمارل شو او د دغه کال په سرطان کی د کوهدامن د دوهم ځل د پاڅون ارامولو لپاره له یوه کنډک سره هغی خواته ولیګل شو په ۱۳۰۹ کال د اسد په ۴ د کوهدامن په باغ صادق سیمه کی شهید شو او مړی یی له سرای خواجه څخه کابل ته راوړل شو او د مرجان په غونډۍ کی په درناوی سره خاورو ته وسپارل شو. --- د خدمتونو یادونی په ویاړ یی د دهمزنګ څلورلاری کی یو پرتمین څلۍ د هغه په نامه جوړ شو او د جلال اباد ښار کی هم یو ښوونځۍ د هغه په نوم ونومول شو نایب سالار عبدالوکیل خان دغه نښانونه اخیستی وه. --- د ده زامن فرقه مشر جنرال صفرجان غرزی ، جمیل جان ، وکیل محمد اسماعیل خان او د کابل پخوانۍ ښاروال محمد کبیر خان د عبدالوکیل خان نورستانی هغه زامن دی چی د کمونیستانو لخوا د څرخی پله په زندان کی په شهادت ورسیدل. - روح دی ښاد وی - زرداد شنواری --

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Afghanistan Bars New York Times Reporter From Leaving Country -- Article Described Discussions About Establishing Interim Government --- KABUL—The Afghan government Tuesday barred a New York Times reporter from leaving the country, spotlighting the escalating risks for journalists here amid a tense political transition. -- Matthew Rosenberg, 40 years old, a correspondent in the Times's Kabul bureau, said he was summoned for questioning by the Afghan attorney general's office on Tuesday after the newspaper published an article that described discussions within the top echelons of the Afghan government about establishing an interim government. -- Matthew Rosenberg, 40 years old, a correspondent in the Times's Kabul bureau, said he was summoned for questioning by the Afghan attorney general's office on Tuesday after the newspaper published an article that described discussions within the top echelons of the Afghan government about establishing an interim government. -- Mr. Rosenberg, a U.S. citizen who has previously worked for The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, said he declined to reveal sources for the article to the attorney general's office. -- Basir Azizi, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, confirmed Mr. Rosenberg had been officially blocked from leaving the country. -- "He has been asked by us to give us his source but he refused, and tomorrow he will come to the attorney general's office with his legal counsel," Mr. Azizi said. "His article is completely against Afghanistan's national interests and manipulates public perceptions." -- The travel ban drew swift condemnation from press-freedom advocates. --- "We call on Afghan authorities to lift all travel restrictions on Matthew Rosenberg immediately," said Committee to Protect Journalists Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. "Denying journalists freedom of movement is nothing more than a form of intimidation when Afghanistan's democracy is most in need of independent political reporting." --- Afghanistan has a vibrant local press, but top Afghan officials and local power brokers occasionally intimidate and threaten journalists. - Read More, Nathan Hodge, WSJ,

دواب ولسوالۍ د طالبانو له لوری محاصره شوه --- د نورستان ولایت د دواب ولسوالي په ودانۍ او په شاوخوا ټولو امنیتی پوستو وسلوالو طالبانو پراخ برید نن سهار پیل کړ د نورستان امنیتی چارواکو په خبره ولسوالۍ ودانۍ او شاوخوا امنیتی پوستی د طالبانو تر سختو بریدونو لاندی دی. -- بل پلو د نورستان ولایتی شورا غړي وایی چی شاید دواب ولسوالۍ د طالبانو په ولکه کی راشي. -- د نورستان د ولایتی شورای رئیس مولوی مزهبیار وایی چی له تیری شپی را په دیخوا د دواب پر ولسوالۍ د طالبانو برید خورا خطرناک دی دا وایی چی طالبانو څو امنیتی پوستی ماتی کړی او ولسوالۍ ودانۍ ته نږدی شوی دی نوموړی د نورستان والی او امنیتی چارواکی ګرم بولي چی تر اوسه په دی برخه کی بی خبره پاتی شوی او د طالبانو د مخنیوی په هڅو کی پاتی راغلي بل پلو د یادی شورا بل غړی ډاکټر شمس اصلزی وایی چی دولت د نه پاملرنی او د نورستان په ادارو کی د شته مشرانو بی غوری له امله د نورستان په زیاتو سیمو کښی طالبانو پراخ بریدونه پیل کړي او زیاتی امنیتی سیمی یی تر ګواښ لاندی نیولي. -- یوه باوری امنیتی سرچینی وویل چی د دواب ولسوالۍ له امنیتی ځواکونو سره یی د تیرو ۳ ساعتو را په دیخوا اړیکی پری شوی او هیڅ معلومات نشته چی وضیعت څه ډول دی. -- د نورستان دواب ولسوالۍ سره د یاد ولایت مرکزتړلی پروت دی چی د دی بریدنو سره د نورستان مرکز پارون هم په لوی خطر کی لویدلی. -- یوه باوری امنیتی سرچینه وایی چی د نورستان مرکز ته په لس کیلومټرۍ سیمه کانتیوا کی وسلوالو طالبانو لوی مرکز جوړ کړي او د عثمان جوهری په نوم د طالبانو ځایی مشر له لسګونو وسلوالو سره د نورستان د مرکزی برخی او پنجشیر کی د بریدونو لپاره تیاری نیسي. -- له تیرو څو میاشتو راپه دیخوا د نورستان د امنیتی وضیعت د خرابیدو خبر په داسی حال کی راځی چی د نورستان مرکز پارون اوسیدونکی شکایت لري چی د دی ولایت والی او امنیه قومندان یی په ولایت کی نشته -- د دواب پیښه او په نورستان کی وروستۍ نا امنی د دی ولایت امنیه قومندان پاسوال عبدالباقی خان منی خو وایی چی تر اوسه په دواب کی پولیس نه دی په شاشوی خو د طالبانو برید پراخ دی او تر اوسه جګړه روانه ده دواب د نورستان هغه ولسوالۍ ده چی څو ځله د اسلامی امارت ډلي له لوری نیول شوي. - زرداد شنواری

Nervous Afghans near political deadline --- KABUL — With a crucial deadline soon approaching to inaugurate a new president and an election ballot recount in a critical stage, fears are growing that Afghanistan’s fragile transition process could collapse into violence. -- The quickening pace of a protracted election audit and a flurry of meetings between aides to the two rival candidates this week have raised faint hopes that the country may have a new leader in office within the next two weeks, just in time to attend a NATO summit crucial to future foreign aid for Afghanistan. -- But Afghan and international observers here warn that the process could easily fall apart, with disputes persisting over the fairness of the ballot recount and the two candidates unable to agree on a division of power after a winner is declared. Under U.S. pressure, they agreed to form a national unity government with a president as well as a chief executive, but they differ strongly on the details. -- Despite pleas for patience from international officials, aides and allies of Abdullah Abdullah — the candidate who originally called for the ballot recount and charged massive fraud in a June runoff vote against rival Ashraf Ghani — continue to threaten that they will pull out of the process and call for civil unrest if Ghani wins a tainted recount and is named president. -- One powerful governor backing Abdullah threatened in June to form a “parallel government” after Abdullah lost the runoff, and last week he again called for a “civil uprising” and takeover of the capital if Abdullah loses the vote recount. There have been separate news reports that some officials close to the Afghan security services may be planning to install their own “interim government” if the political process falls apart. -- In the past several days, police and security vehicles have flooded the capital and sporadic gunfire has been heard. On Tuesday, a knife fight reportedly broke out at the heavily guarded election compound where the votes are being recounted, injuring several people. -- Although both candidates have signed a commitment to form a joint government as soon as the recount results declare one of them president, negotiating teams for Ghani and Abdullah are apparently still miles apart on how much power and authority the loser would be able to exercise as chief executive — a critical factor in dispensing patronage to powerful backers and allies. -- Uncertainty over what will happen in the next two weeks — whether Afghanistan will manage to install a new government or face violent challenges from forces unwilling to accept electoral defeat — is gripping a nation that has gambled its future on a deeply flawed first democratic transition of power. --- “Afghanistan is very fragile and unstable. We are right at the edge of making or destroying all the hopes that the people have for new leadership and a credible government,” said Abbas Noyan, a spokesman for Ghani. “Former adversaries need to become partners, but we have enemies on all sides, from the hardliners to the Taliban. If violence starts, a lot of people will be killed before it can be stopped.” -- Ghani, a former World Bank official, won the June runoff by a wide margin over Abdullah, a former foreign minister, and is likely to prevail in the recount. Abdullah, who got the most votes among 16 candidates in a first round in April, has alleged that both the runoff and the recount have been fraudulently stacked against him by Ghani and the outgoing government of President Hamid Karzai. -- The deadline to install a new president by month’s end is more symbolic than legal, since the original inauguration date slipped by several weeks ago. But with a NATO summit early next month and a much-delayed U.S.-Afghan security agreement awaiting a new president’s signature, the future of Western economic and military support for Afghanistan hangs in the balance. -- Karzai, who has led Afghanistan for more than a decade since the overthrow of the Taliban regime, says he intends to leave office by the end of the month, raising the prospect of a prolonged power vacuum if no one is confirmed to replace him. NATO leaders have said they will have to start plans to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan if the security agreement is not signed soon. --- “We hope and believe that the audit will be fair and transparent, but we know that invisible fraud is taking place,” Fazel Rahman Horia, a spokesman for Abdullah, said Monday. “If the outcome is not legitimate and does not represent the voters, we will guard the people’s vote and we will not let any illegitimate president enter the palace or any illegitimate ministers enter the ministries.” -- The threats may be part of Abdullah’s negotiating strategy, but the danger, observers said, is that the obstructionist mood could take on a life of its own, even without Abdullah’s imprimatur. -- Already, the departure of thousands of civilian foreign aid workers, as well as well-to-do Afghans anticipating the worst, is visible across the capital. Dozens of houses in affluent neighborhoods have “For Rent” signs on the door. Banks, restaurants and shops once frequented by foreigners are empty. Rows of idle cranes and other heavy equipment sit rusting in once-bustling construction yards. --- “This is the first time in Afghanistan’s history that we are trying to have an election that is not winner-take-all,” Noyan said. “What we need is to build a democracy based on merit instead of plunder, where institutions and law are respected. If we fail, 13 years of international effort will end, and we will have to go back to kindergarten.” - Read More, Pamela Constable, Washingtonpost

MATTHEW ROSENBERG, Amid Election Impasse, Calls in Afghanistan for an Interim Government --- A coterie of powerful Afghan government ministers and officials with strong ties to the security forces are threatening to seize power if an election impasse that has paralyzed the country is not resolved soon. -- Though it is unusual to telegraph plans for what could amount to a coup — though no one is calling it that — the officials all stressed that they hoped the mere threat of forming an interim government would persuade the country’s rival presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, to make the compromises needed to end the crisis. - Read More, NYTimes,

Citing election story, Afghanistan bars New York Times reporter from leaving country --- KABUL — Afghanistan’s attorney general banned a New York Times reporter from leaving the country Tuesday pending an investigation into a controversial story about purported plans by unidentified officials to take power if a political crisis continues. -- Matthew Rosenberg, 40, said Tuesday night that he was summoned to the attorney general’s office in the afternoon and asked numerous questions about the story. He said he rejected requests to reveal his sources and was told to return the next day with a lawyer to face more questions. -- “They did not explicitly tell me I couldn’t leave the country, but it was clear I was not free to go,” Rosenberg said. He said he was questioned by three men who were “polite but insistent” and who seemed equally concerned by the “idea” of the story and which officials and political leaders had spoken with him. -- Times international editor Joe Kahn later said in a statement: “The Afghan attorney general’s office has advised Matthew Rosenberg that he must remain in Afghanistan while an investigation into his article is ongoing. We are eager to work with the Afghan authorities to resolve any concerns about the article, which we feel is fair and accurate.” -- A spokesman for Afghan Attorney General Muhammad Ishaq Aloko told The Washington Post late Tuesday that Rosenberg was summoned to “clarify” his story and the sources he had quoted. -- The spokesman, Basir Azizi, said the Times story, which suggested that the officials’ plans might amount to a coup d’etat, could “create fear and confusion among the people” and that Rosenberg could not leave the country until the matter had been investigated. -- Rosenberg said he was “really confident” in the accuracy of his story, which said a number of government officials and other leaders with close ties to Afghan security forces were preparing to install their own interim government if the country’s current election impasse remained unresolved. The article said the officials hoped that the mere threat of such a takeover would prompt presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani to compromise and end the crisis. --- The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said it was “alarmed” by the travel ban and called on Afghan authorities to lift all restrictions on Rosenberg. “Denying journalists freedom of movement is nothing more than a form of intimidation at a time when Afghanistan’s democracy is most in need of independent political reporting,” CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said in a statement. - More, Pamela Constable, Washingtonpost,

For middle-class Kabul district, the insurgency comes home --- KABUL — Nestled at the base of the craggy mountaintops that loom over north Kabul, the middle-class neighborhood of Qasaba seems an unlikely place to be infiltrated by Afghanistan’s Taliban-led insurgents. -- It is ethnically diverse, in a country where bloody battles have been fought along ethnic lines, and its inhabitants hail from a generation of civil servants who worked for Afghanistan’s communist government in the 1970s. But Qasaba — flanked to the south by Kabul International Airport, and home to sprawling security compounds housing Afghan and foreign troops — emerged as a key new location for insurgent attacks this summer. -- Two brazen assaults here last month, including an hours-long siege of the airport launched from a residential building and a suicide attack targeting foreign advisers to the Afghan government, have residents worried they are now in the crosshairs of an insurgency that has long wreaked havoc in the rest of the country. As foreign troops prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year, this dusty district of small bazaars, pastel-colored mosques and Soviet-era housing blocs is bracing for stepped up attacks on the major government centers in their midst. --- For residents of Qasaba in Kabul’s northeastern reaches — where there are more watchtowers than trees, and more armored cars than Afghanistan’s famed, fragrant rose buses – theirs is a story of a once-quiet community now grappling with the encroaching violence. -- People here attribute the rise in violence to a newly paved road that they say allows militants to more easily slip in and out unnoticed, and to a large construction site that police said insurgents used to stage the airport attack after disguising themselves as workers. - Read More, Erin Cunningham,

Amid Election Impasse, Calls in Afghanistan for an Interim Government --- A coterie of powerful Afghan government ministers and officials with strong ties to the security forces are threatening to seize power if an election impasse that has paralyzed the country is not resolved soon. -- Though it is unusual to telegraph plans for what could amount to a coup — though no one is calling it that — the officials all stressed that they hoped the mere threat of forming an interim government would persuade the country’s rival presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, to make the compromises needed to end the crisis. -- After weeks of quietly discussing the prospect of imposing a temporary government, officials within the Karzai government said the best way out of a crisis that had emboldened the Taliban, weakened an already struggling economy and left many here deeply pessimistic about the country’s democratic future, might well be some form of interim government, most likely run by a committee. -- “But what will happen if the legal institutions, if they are not working?” asked Rangin Dafdar Spanta, national security adviser to President Hamid Karzai, though he declined to explicitly back any move toward an interim government and insisted a solution to the crisis must be in line with Afghanistan’s Constitution. -- It often happens that when power is seized during a political crisis, as in Thailand or Egypt, those taking charge argue that the step is essential to restore order and protect democracy in the long run. That is also the case here, where such a move is being advertised as a last resort to save democracy. It could also effectively discard the results of a presidential runoff election that, until it was derailed by allegations of fraud, had been promoted as a historic event in a country that never had a democratic transfer of power. -- “I see some people are really serious about it,” said a senior Afghan official. He said fears of a repeat of the civil war that engulfed Afghanistan in the years after the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1989 were driving the discussions. -- “It’s not only tactical, it’s real, and it’s because the memory of the crisis years ago in the 1990s is still fresh, and they don’t want to go to that,” the official said. -- That official and others interviewed in recent days spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing plans that could be considered seditious. The fact that they discussed the plans in advance suggests that they are using the threat of a coup to achieve political ends, not simply plotting in secret to execute one. -- The officials said they believed they would have the backing of Afghanistan’s army, police and intelligence corps. Though no concrete plans are in place, several officials said a committee would most likely be formed to run Afghanistan and that representatives of Mr. Abdullah and Mr. Ghani would be asked to join. Both candidates have dismissed the idea of an interim government. -- Many Afghans are liable to view any step to an interim government as a power grab by the men who surrounded Mr. Karzai for the last 12 years who may be seeking an excuse to preserve their power. -- The United States and European countries are loath to see Afghan officials make an end-run around Afghanistan’s Constitution, which would call into question the lives lost and billions spent by the West in Afghanistan. Yet, in the two months since the runoff, the Abdullah and Ghani campaigns have proved unable or unwilling to compromise. - Read More, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, NYTimes

Monday, August 18, 2014

Afghanistan Independence Celebration Days -- خاطرات جشن استقلال 1970

برای افغانها، هیچ روزی ارج ناکتر از 28 اسد نیست!/ کاندید اکادمیسین سیستانی --- ۲۸ اسد 1298ش (مطابق 18 اگست1919) ، روز اعلام استراداد استقلال افغانستان است. این روز،برای افغانهای آزادیخواه، وطنپرست وحریت پسند، یک روز میمون وبس عزیز است وهیچ روز دیگری به ارجمندی و منزلت این روز تاریخی نمیرسد. گرامی داشت از این روز، یک فریضه ملی دولت بشمار میرود. اعلام استرداد استقلال کشور، در۹5 سال قبل از امروز، نه تنها برای ما افغانها بسیارارجناک و با ارزش است، بلکه برای برخی از کشورهای آسیائی نیز الهام بخش بوده و جنبش های آزادی طلبی را در مستعمرات آسیائی انگلیس مهمیز زده است. -- باید خاطرنشان کردکه در تمام کشورهای آزادجهان، روزهای ملی و استقلال شان هرساله با مراسم خاصی تجلیل میشود ودرکشورما نیز درعهد اقتدار هر زمامداری تا کودتای ثور ، ازاین روز با برپائی یک هفته جشن بگونۀ شکوهمندی تجلیل شده و مردم دراین جشنها ابراز شادمانی کرده اند.زیرا تجلیل از روز 28 اسد، تجلیل از ثمرۀ خونهای ریخته شده فرزندان شریف این خاک برای استرداد استقلال افغانستان است. و باید با نیت قدر شناسی از جانبازی های آن فرزندان وطن،ازاین روز تجلیل شود. -- متاسفانه تجلیل ازاین روز بزرگ وارجناک در سالهای پس از کوتای ثور وبخصوص در دوران حکومت کرزی، بسیار کم رنگ وکم اهمیت شده است وصرف با خواندن یک پیام در زیر سقفِ تالارِ ارگ ویا در برون دروازۀ وزارت دفاع وگذاشتن یک اکلیل گل در پای منار یاد بود استقلال بسنده شده و بجای آن دولت هرچه در توان دارد از روز شهدا یا از 8 ثور هرچه با شکوه تر تجلیل میکند،ولی باید یادآورشد که هیج روزی نمیتواند جای روز 28اسد(روز اعلام استقلال ملی افغانستان) را بگیرد وهیچ مقامی بجز لویه جرگه افغانستان حق ندارد بر بزرگترین روزافتخار وسربلندی ملت آزادۀ افغان خط بطلان بکشد و آنرا از تقویم روزهای بزرگ ملی براندازد. - More,مطالبدری&article=16410

Durand Line; The Legal perspective --- Introduction: - In the nineteenth century, the Great Britain pursued and kept struggling for ‘forward policy’ in Asia and Russia as a ‘great power’ in the region annexed Central Asian countries and was moving toward South Asia. Afghanistan turned to be maneuvering ground between East and West blocks. After the defeating of the British India in the first Anglo-Afghan war (1838), Britain occupied Afghanistan in the second Anglo-Afghan (1878) war sparked by the coercive and intractable arrival of the Russian delegation to Kabul. Afghanistan became a ‘protectorate’ country of the British India following the ‘Gandamak Treaty’ in 1879. Afghanistan as a ‘buffer state’ between the ‘great game’ players came under the Russian attack and annexed Panjdeh, the Northwest part of Afghanistan in 1885. To block further expansion of the Russia, British India first demarcated northern boundaries of Afghanistan with Russia in 1887 and later signed the Durand Line (brokered by the British foreign secretary Mortimer Durand and Amir – Leader – Abdul Rahman of Afghanistan), which delineated the south, southeast and east borders of Afghanistan in 1893. -- The Durand Line, which splits Pashtuns tribe, ignited local people to attack and burn the British Boundary Commission in Wana, today’s North Waziristan of Pakistan in 1894 and the unrest spread across the Durand Land or ‘Pashtun-belt’ in 1897 (Northwest Pakistan and Southeast Afghanistan) and Britain deployed 60,000 troops to suppress the turbulence, (Bijan Omrani 2009) & (Waziri 2012). The successor of Abdul Rahman – his son – Amir Habibullah renewed the Durand Line agreement in 1905. Following the war for liberation in 1919, the British India recognized the independency of Afghanistan in an agreement, where Amanallah Khan – later the King – agreed upon his father’s (Habibullah) agreement of 1905. -- During the India Partition (1947), Afghan government expressed her concern about the Durand Line first to the U.K. (Ali 1990)[1] and later cast a negative vote when Pakistan was joining U.N. membership in 1948 (Wakman 1985)[2]. Two years later after the establishment of the Pakistan (July 1949) the Afghan parliament unanimously passed a resolution nullifying the covenants signed by Afghanistan and British India and declared the Durand Line a ‘bogus and fictitious’ border (Saqeem 2008)[3]. Pakistan that claims as a successor of the British India has been dominating the Durand Line since 1947 and sees the ‘frontier’ as de jure border (Durrani 2010)[4]. -- This paper tries to examine mainly the legal perspective of the Durand Line and also discussing whether Pakistan was/is the legitimate inheritor – successor state – of the British India. But prior to these two issues, it briefly touches upon the Gandamak agreement (1879). - Reas More, Khaama Press,

مقامات امنیتی: پاکستان در تلاش ایجاد یک ملیشه ی جدید علیه افغانستان در امتداد خط دیورند است --- مقامات امنیتی و دفاعی افغان میگویند که پاکستان دراین اواخر تلاش های را بخاطر ایجاد یک نیروی ملیشه یی در امتداد خط دیورند آغاز کرده است تا از آن بخاطر تحقق اهدافش در افغانستان استفاده کند. -- مقامات امنیتی و دفاعی این کشور در جلسه شورای امنیت ملی که بروز یکشنبه تحت ریاست حامد کرزی رئیس جمهور دایر گردید بود گزارش های شان را در رابطه به وضع فعلی امنیتی کشور و تحرکات پاکستان در امتداد خط دیورند ارایه نمودند. -- به اساس معلومات ارایه شده پاکستان به هر فردی که در این نیروی شبه نظامی شامل میشود ماهانه مبلغ سی هزار کلدار میپردازد و از آنها علیه اقوامی که در این طرف خط دیورند ساکن هستند استفاده خواهد کرد. -- در جلسه مقامات اردوی ملی افغانستان به تحرکات نیروهای نظامی پاکستان در نزدیکی خط دیورند نیز اشاره نمودند و گفتند که این تحرکات از طرف نیروهای قول اردوی 201 نظارت میشود و آماده گی های لازم در مقابل ان اتخاذ گردیده است. -- قبل از این شورای امنیت ملی افغانستان به تمام نیروهای امنیتی و دفاعی کشور دستور داده بود که به تحرکات مداخله گرانهء پاکستان به تمام نیرو جواب دهند. -- از سوی دیگر رهبران افغان سعی میکنند که به متحدین بین المللی شان نیز از مداخلات پاکستان شکایت کنند. ایمل فیضی سنخگوی رئیس جمهور افغانستان به رادیو آزادی گفت که رییس جمهور حامد کرزی در دیدار اخیرش با جان کری وزیر خارجه امریکا نیز از مداخلات پاکستان یاد آوری کرده است. -- به گفته اقای فیضی سیاست امریکا در مقابل پاکستان هنوز هم روشن نیست که این مساله شرایط را پیچیده تر ساخته است. - رادیو آزادی

Afghan Sikhs: one of the most vulnerable minorities in the world --- Sikhs from Afghanistan, including women and young children, risked their lives inside a shipping container to find refuge in Britain, but what were they attempting to escape from? -- The Sikhs of Afghanistan are one of the world’s smallest and most vulnerable minorities. -- Numbering no more than a few hundred families, they have endured persecution both from the Taliban and wider society in a country that is 99 per cent Muslim. -- If the migrants who were discovered at Tilbury Docks on Saturday are indeed Afghan Sikhs, as Essex Police claim, then they would have a clear motive for leaving their homeland. -- But that still leaves some unanswered questions. On the face of it, the Sikhs of Afghanistan would have enough fear of persecution to be able to make a formal application for asylum in Britain. Why this group chose to arrive illegally inside a shipping container is unclear. -- In addition, only a handful of Sikhs are left in Afghanistan: the vast majority live in India, particularly in Punjab. If, for the sake of argument, the arrivals at Tilbury are actually from India, they might choose to claim to be Afghans to reduce the risk of being deported. -- The group is highly unlikely to be carrying passports or any other identity documents, so it will be far from simple for the UK Border Agency to establish their true nationality. --- One possible method would be to discover what languages they understand. If the arrivals really have come from Afghanistan, then they would probably know Pashto, the language of the biggest ethnic group, or Dari, the nearest thing the country has to a lingua franca. -- If, on other hand, they are actually from India, then they would probably converse in Punjabi. -- No British-born, English-speaking official will be able to establish their true origins with any certainty. In the end, this is a task for skilled translators with ties to the Indian sub-continent. - More, David Blair, Telegraph

دو عکس العمل به هشدار والی بلخ - قهقهه و حرف جدی --- پس از آن که عطا محمد نور، والی بلخ، در مصاحبه با روزنامه واشنگتن پست هشدار داد که اگر داکتر عبدالله عبدالله برندهء انتخابات ریاست جمهوری اعلان نشود، مردم دست به "قیام مدنی" و "اشغال تاسیسات دولتی" خواهند زد، دو عکس العمل بسیار واضح مطرح گردیده است. خندیدن قهقهه اشرف غنی احمدزی، نامزد ریاست جمهوری افغانستان، در پاسخ به پرسشی درباره اظهارات والی بلخ، توجه شمار زیادی از استفاده کننده گان شبکه های اجتماعی را بخود جلب کرده است. آقای غنی پس از قهقهه نسبتاً طولانی به خبرنگار رادیو آزادی گفت: "این واقعاً حرفی قابل خنده است...هیچکسی قیام کرده نمی تواند. این یک تهدید میان خالی است." --- ک روز پس از نشر هشدار والی بلخ، جیمز کنینگهم، سفیر ایالات متحده امریکا در افغانستان به سراغ آقای نور رفت. آقای کنینگهم به صدای امریکا گفت: "من به او (والی بلخ) گفتم در صورتی که انتخابات به وفق نظر والی عطا یا افراد دیگر نرود، اظهارات و پی شبینی ها درباره ستیزه و اشغال ساختمان ها زیانبار است." سفیر امریکا گفت که نفس دموکراسی و مبارزات سیاسی در این اصل است که در پایان کار، برنده و بازنده ای می باشد که باید آنرا پذیرفت. --- عطا محمد نور هم زمان با آن که والی بلخ است رئیس اجرائیه ای حزب جمعیت اسلامی افغانستان و یکی از حامیان سرسخت داکتر عبدالله عبدالله است. ریاست جمهوری افغانستان به این اظهارات والی بلخ هیچ عکس العملی نشان نداده است. -- ستاد انتخاباتی داکتر عبدالله هم در این مورد تا حال توضیحاتی رسمی ارائه نکرده است اما پس از اعلان نتایج مقدماتی انتخابات ریاست جمهوری این ستاد از ایجاد "حکومت موازی" هشدار داده بود. - صدای امریکا

Ambassador James Cunningham’s Interview with VOA --- VOA: Governor of Balkh, Governor Atta Muhammad Noor, has once again warned of strife if Dr. Abdullah Abdullah is not announced the winner of the election. Are his remarks a major concern to you and to the United States? And what message did you give him in your meeting with Governor Atta recently? -- Ambassador Cunningham: Well I tried to make the case to him of the need to have a new president who has broad support among the Afghan people, both in terms of the welfare of Afghanistan but also in terms of having a partner that the international community can work with. Not just the United States, but all of Afghanistan’s international partners will want to see a president who is arrived at through a credible process. That’s what the audit will do. And a president who has broad support including, very importantly, among people who didn’t vote for him. -- I’ve been talking to Afghanistan’s political leaders for two years about the need to focus not just on the political competition of the election but what happens after the election in terms of the unity of the country, and many of them agree with that. The question is how to do it. -- So we talked about that, and I also told him that it is harmful, I think, to be making statements forecasting strife, occupying buildings, and that sort of thing, and if the election doesn’t go the way that Governor Atta or somebody else thinks it ought to go. It’s in the nature of political competition that one person wins and other people don’t win, and that just has to be accepted. That’s the nature of democracy. But in a democracy you also need to be able to talk to people who did not support you and try to get their support, and that’s what the candidates are doing now. - Read More,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

بمناسبت فرخنده روز ۲۸ اسد، جشن استرداد استقلال افغانستان - داکتر نجیب الله بارکزی -- Read More,

Julian Assange has had human rights violated, says Ecuador foreign minister --- Ecuador's foreign minister has accused the British government of having no real interest in finding a diplomatic solution to the confinement of Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has spent more than two years in the country's embassy in London. -- Ricardo Patino told the Guardian that he believed the UK was violating Assange's human rights by refusing to allow him to leave the building without fear of arrest. -- "I do not think there is a will [in Britain] to find a solution," Patino said, acknowledging that without a political or legal breakthrough Assange could spend years living in a handful of tiny rooms at the country's small west London embassy. -- "The British government hasn't taken any steps in that direction. We have made proposals, we have submitted documents, and all we have seen on the part of the British government is an increase in security to make sure Julian Assange does not leave the embassy, but there has been no political will or any steps taken towards a diplomatic solution to this. -- "Everyone around the world knows that the rights of Julian Assange have been violated." -- Assange, 43, has not set foot outside Ecuador's embassy since June 2012, after seeking political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two women. --- The foreign minister's comments followed reports on Sunday sourced to WikiLeaks insiders that suggested Assange is suffering from a potentially life-threatening heart condition, has a chronic lung condition and dangerously high blood pressure. -- Ecuador has asked Britain to allow Assange, in the event of a medical emergency, to be taken to hospital in a diplomatic car without risk of arrest, but the request was refused, said Patino. - Read More, Guardian,

Pakistan politician calls for civil disobedience --- ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician on Sunday called on thousands of anti-government protesters to stop paying taxes and practice civil disobedience until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif steps down, raising fears of instability in the nuclear-armed U.S. ally. -- Imran Khan, who heads Parliament’s third largest bloc, made the announcement at a rally in the capital calling for Sharif to step down over alleged voting fraud in the May 2013 election, the first democratic transfer of power in a country with a long history of military dictatorships. -- Khan also warned that his supporters would take over Parliament if Sharif does not resign within two days. -- “We decide today that we will not pay taxes to his illegitimate government, we will not pay electricity bills, gas bills,” Khan said to a charged crowd estimated at 10,000 to 15,000 people. “I urge all the traders to stop paying taxes.” -- Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, a dual Canadian citizen with a wide following who spends most of his time abroad, have mounted twin protests that have brought thousands of people into the streets in Islamabad. They accuse Sharif of rigging the election that brought him to power. -- Finance Minister and Sharif ally Ishaq Dar called Khan’s move unconstitutional, and Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid called the demand a “joke.” But both ministers told SAMAA TV that their government was ready to negotiate with Khan over his demands for electoral reforms within the constitutional framework. -- Pakistani Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said the government was setting up two separate committees of party leaders to open negotiations with Khan and Qadri. “We are ready to accept all of your constitutional and legal demands,” he said. -- While the crowds have fallen well short of the million marchers that both men promised, their presence and the heightened security measures have virtually shut down business in the capital. - More, Associated Press, Washingtonpost

Report: Strong quake hits southwest Iran --- TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s official news agency is reporting a 6.1-magnitude earthquake has hit a sparsely populated mountainous area near the Iraqi border. -- The Monday report said the quake hit the town of Murmuri, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) southwest of the capital Tehran at 7:02 local time (0232 GMT). There were no immediate reports of casualties or damages. -- The temblor could be felt in neighboring provinces and the U.S. Geological Survey put the quake’s measure at 6.3. -- Iran is located on seismic faults and earthquakes are frequent. In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a magnitude-6.6 quake that flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam. - Associated Press

ICRC says five aid workers seized in western Afghanistan --- (Reuters) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Saturday that five of its Afghan staff were kidnapped by a local armed group two days ago in the western province of Herat. -- "The incident happened when the team was traveling by road in Herat province on August 14," said Marek Resich, an ICRC spokesman in Kabul. -- He said the organization was working on multiple levels "to secure their safe return". -- In a separate incident, the Taliban abducted 13 people on Friday who had been working to clear mines in central Ghazni province and were traveling to the capital, according to a local official. -- "We have already spoken to elders in the area to use their influence and speak to the Taliban to release them," Shafiq Nang Safi, a spokesman for provincial governor, said on Saturday. -- The latest spate of kidnappings underscores the ongoing dangers faced by both Afghans and foreigners working for development and aid groups across the country. -- Last year, there were more than 230 attacks on the humanitarian sector in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations. -- The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS), which rescued three Indian citizens this week who had been kidnapped by the Taliban in Logar province, asked all foreigners to report to police before traveling in the country. - More,

نامـﮥ سرگشادۀ پوهنوال محمد اسمعیل یون عنوانی داکتر صاحب غنی احمدزی --- محترم داکتر صاحب اشرف غنی احمدزی! با انصراف از سخنان تصنعی و مقدماتی می خواهم از اصل مطلب آغاز نمایم. -- درینجا طبق رسم مردم، به مبارکی آنانی می روند که به قدرت رسیده باشند، و آنانی را که یارای رسیدن به دیدار نباشد پیام های تبریکی ارسال می نمایند، شادی می کنند، با افگندن طرۂ مو رقص و اتن برپا می کنند، و در برابر برنده، تبسم و تظاهر می نمایند، ولی من برعکس نه به مناسبت برد و مؤفقیت تان بلکه می خواهم ناکامی تان را برای تان تبریک بگویم. درست در همان لحظات آغازین که تا هنوز عرق جبین ملت نخشکیده بود و نماز شکرانه را به این مناسبت میمون اداء نکرده بود، نشانـﮥ ناکامی تان در همان وهله از دور ها پدیدار گشت. شکست شما زمانی آغاز شد که نتوانستید از رأی ملت در برابر دشمنان ملت و توطئه گران دفاع نماﺌید، نه خود و نه تیم نامتجانس و مذبذب تان به دفاع از آن، گامی بلند کردید و نه به غمخواران ملت از ترس بروز بحران اجازه دادید تا از آن دفاع نمایند، و نه برای ملت زمینه سازی کردید تا از رأی خویش دفاع نمایند. -- فرزندان بحران آفرین به بهانۀ بحران، بحران را بیشتر عمیقتر ساختند، و زمانیکه به نوع جرﺌت سیاسی و تــَـدَبـُـر تان در امور مملکتی پی بردند، خواست های خویش را ممتد ساختند، حتی تا سرحدی که پای جامعه جهانی و امریکا را در آن چنان دخیل ساختند که امتیازات بیشتری را به بازندۂ احتمالی در تناسب با برندۂ احتمالی قاﺌل شوند. -- از زمان بابای آدم تا به این دم هر قدر که تجربۀ دیموکراسی در جهان تکرار شده، بدانید، که با هیچ مفکر و هیچ بی فکری چنین بازی ای به وقوع نپیوسته است که هم برندۀ انتخابات باشی و هم ملامت، هم خموش و هم لگدمال، ولی جانب مقابل که در واقعیت امر ملامت است، همچنان سلامت باشد. هم امتیازات اپوزیشن را تصاحب کند و هم در پوزیشن بیشتر از نیم قدرت را به چنگ آورد. صاحب صلاحیت باشد ولی هیچ مسؤولیت نداشته باشد، هم امتیاز بگیر باشد و هم منتقد. افسوس بحال ملتی که رهبران سیاسی شان مصاب به چنین وبای مرض خطیر(مصلحت) باشند. --- هر آنکه به این ملت مظلوم به دیدۂ حقارت نگریسته و تکیه به جنگسالاران نموده بـِدان که فرجام نهایت ذلیل برایش در کمین است. داکتر نجیب نیز به همین اشخاص تکیه کرد، ولی فرجامش همان بود که همه دانند، کرزی به اساس رأی ملت رﺌیس جمهور شد ولی حلویات قدرت را به دهان جنگسالاران ریخت و شما که بیشتر و بلند تر از دیگران در برابر فساد و زورگویان قدرت، گلو پاره می کردید بیشتر و زود تر از دیگران به تهدید های جنگسالاران شانه خم نمودید.-- شما که بیشتر از دیگران تأریخ مطالعه کرده اید، آیا نیروی ملت بیشتر است یا نیروی جنگسالاران؟ یا اینکه (اقدام شما) تکرار فورمولـﮥ احتیاط مضر رﺌیس جمهور کرزی است که تحت نامه مصالح و مصلحت ملی، هم به منافع ملی ضرر رساند و هم مصلحت را به سخریه کشاند. --- مصلحت زمانی فراهم آید که میان عدالت و واقعیت توازن برقرار شود، نه اینکه بر ملت چنان واقعیت منفی تحمیل شود که تکرار تجارب آن منجر به زیان های بیشمار ملت گردد، بـِدان که این ملت، یک ملت صابر و صبور است. این ملت صابر در پهلوی خودت جنگسالاران، مفسدین، متملقین و ساﺌر اشخاص روزگذران را تحمل کرد زیرا با توجه به ماضی شما، به شما باور داشتند ولی این باور، قبل از باور راستین به (تحول و تداوم)، منجر به ناباوری شد. پشتون های غیور و رنجدیده و ساﺌر افغانان وطنخواه به عقب تو ایستادند، روشنفکر، ملا، اشخاص باسواد و بیسواد، دختران و پسران جوان، مو سفیدان و اشخاص صاحب رسوخ بخاطری در یک صف ایستادند تا از عذاب و رنج عوامل اصلی شر و فساد نجات یابند. ولی حال که شر و فساد، خود با (تحول و تداوم) از یک گریبان سر بیرون کرده بدان که قافلۀ ملت خود در پی درمان آن دست بکار خواهد شد: ---- واه از آن روزی که دزدان و مفسدین هر دو تیم با هم یکجا شوند و آنگهی امور برطبق مراد پیش نخواهد رفت، رﺌیس اپوزیسیون هم به بازوی رﺌیس اجراﺌیه خویش و هم به یمن بازوی نیم حکومت خویش وضع را بالاجبار مختل ساخته و مانع کار رﺌیس جمهور خواهد شد، در چنین حالتی رﺌیس اپوزیسیون که هیچ مسؤولیتی ندارد، باز موسیچـﮥ بی گناه خواهد بود ولی این رﺌیس جمهور خواهد بود که هم رنج و درد را تحمل خواهد کر و هم شرم ناشی از شکست در امور را به دوش خواهد کشید، لذات و سکرات نصیب اپوزیسیون و دشنام نصیب پوزیسیون، بدان که در چنین حالتی دَورانِ حاکمیت کرزی تکرار خواهد شد، تکرار چه که شکل و شمایل آن چندین بار مبتذل تر از آن خواهد بود. -- مردم به ارمان دعا به رﺌیس جمهور کرزی خواهد بود و از بطن تزویج (تحول و تداوم) و (اصلاحات و همگرايی) کودکی بنام (شرم) بدنیا خواهد آمد ولی چنان شرمی خواهد بود که بساط همه شرم های گذشته را خواهد چید و همه انگشت تحیر را بدندان خواهد گزید. -- بیاد داشته باشید که ساختن شرکت سهامی تحت نام (حکومت وحدت ملی) همین اکنون قوانین کشور و قوانین نهاد های انتخاباتی و ساﺌر ارگان ها را کمرنگ و بی اعتبار ساخته است، اعتماد مردم بر روند انتخابات دیگر از بین رفته است. چه جالب است که حال در افغانستان جریان مبتذل دیگری تحت نام انتخابات جلوه افروزی می کند. پس اگر جناب متفکر بزرگ جهان خواستار چنین حالتی باشند، مهربانی فرموده بسوی همچو یک حالتی قدم رنجه فرمایند و بدانند که در چنین حالتی حکومت شان حتی تا تدویر لویه جرگه هم دوام نخواهد داشت و سر از همین لحظه شکست شان را برای شان مبارک باد می گویم. -- Read More,مطالبدری&article=16403

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Afghanistan Running Out of Cash as Poll Deadlock Drags On --- KABUL — The Afghan government is running out of funds despite an influx of millions of dollars in aid as a deadlock over who won the election drives a sharp decline in revenues, already suffering from the drawdown of thousands of foreign troops. -- The government faces difficulty paying salaries next month and has once more gone cap in hand to donors for help, a senior finance ministry official said on condition of anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the topic. -- The U.S. embassy in Kabul confirmed Afghan officials had briefed them about their difficulty paying salaries and funding programs in coming months, but did not detail how donors planned to respond. -- "While the U.S. and the donor community... are working closely with Afghan authorities to avoid any major disruptions in critical services...resolving this situation requires action by Afghan authorities first and foremost," a State Department official said. --- Foreign powers have poured billions of dollars of aid into Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, but the country's next leader is unlikely to receive the same levels of financial support. -- The size of the gap to date is unclear, but the most recent data on the finance ministry's website shows domestic revenue in the first six months of 2014 fell 27.5 percent short of a target of 60.2 billion Afghanis ($1.1 billion). -- The ministry said current figures were not yet ready, although the senior official indicated the budget shortfall stands between $500 and $600 million. -- "If the election goes wrong we’ll not be able to manage, we will face huge problems beyond our control," said finance ministry spokesman Abdul Qadir Jaillani. --- Presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani have been locked in a bitter struggle for power for months, over accusations of mass fraud and rivalry between their camps that has pushed the country to the brink of a civil war. -- "Our humble request from the finance ministry is for both candidates to reach an agreement to avoid a further decrease in revenue and the economy," Jaillani added. -- Jaillani denied salaries were at immediate risk, although a host of projects to build and maintain roads, schools and clinics had been suspended for lack of cash, although he warned that resources were running low. --- NATO will discuss Afghanistan at a summit in Wales on Sept 4 and 5. Who, if anyone, will represent the country has become an increasingly pressing and awkward question as NATO seeks to bring the 13-year war to an end. -- Western nations had hoped the summit would be the crowning moment of their achievements in Afghanistan after 13 years of war. Instead, last week the alliance warned it would be forced to withdraw completely unless a new leader emerged soon. --- "The budgetary and economic situation is another reason to quickly conclude the election audit and install a new government of national unity that is capable of addressing Afghanistan's challenges," the U.S. State Department official added. A second conference to decide on aid for other government and civilian needs is set for November. -- "These are vital conferences for our country," Jaillani said. "If the election is not resolved by then it will affect the outcome of the conferences and have a negative impact overall on the economy." - Read More, REUTERS,

News Analysis -- As World Boils, Fingers Point Obama’s Way --- WASHINGTON — In this summer of global tumult, the debate in Washington essentially boils down to two opposite positions: It is all President Obama’s fault, according to his critics; no, it is not, according to his supporters, because these are events beyond his control. -- Americans often think of their president as an all-powerful figure who can command the tides of history — and presidents have encouraged this image over the years because the perception itself can be a form of power. But as his critics have made the case that Mr. Obama’s mistakes have fueled the turmoil in places like Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, the president has increasingly argued that his power to shape these seismic forces is actually limited. --- “Apparently,” he said in frustration the other day, “people have forgotten that America, as the most powerful country on earth, still does not control everything around the world.” -- While as a statement of fact Mr. Obama’s assertion may be self-evident, it was seen by adversaries as a cop-out and even by more sympathetic analysts as a revealing moment for a president whiplashed by international instability. -- “At least since World War II, presidents have been unwilling to discuss deficiencies in capability because they’re expected to do everything, and they like that sense of omnipotence,” said Jeremy Shapiro, a former Obama State Department official now at the Brookings Institution. “Obama has been trying to change that in the last year because he senses that the requirements of omnipotence have gotten so far out of whack with what he can actually accomplish that he needs to change the expectations.” -- The risk, naturally, is that the president looks as if he is simply trying to excuse his own actions, or inactions, as the case may be. -- “It’s become a refrain to the point where I think people are becoming quite critical that that’s his response to everything,” said Daniel L. Byman, a former member of the Sept. 11 commission staff now teaching at Georgetown University. “He’s not differentiating between things he can influence and those that he can’t.” --- The bill of particulars against Mr. Obama is long. In the view of his critics, he failed to stanch the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria when he rejected proposals to arm more moderate elements of the Syrian resistance. He left a vacuum in Iraq by not doing more to leave a residual force behind when American troops exited in 2011. And he signaled weakness to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, encouraging the Kremlin to think it could intervene in Ukraine without fear of significant consequence. - Read More, PETER BAKER, NYTimes

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tens of thousands protest Pakistan’s government --- ISLAMABAD — Tens of thousands of protesters rallied Saturday in Pakistan’s capital, defying the pouring rain to demand the prime minister step down in the biggest challenge yet to the country’s government. -- Imran Khan, a famous cricketer who now leads the country’s third-biggest political bloc, and a fiery anti-government cleric called for the rallies in Islamabad, focused on making Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif leave office and holding new elections. -- Sharif, who took office just a year ago in the first democratic transfer of power in a country long plagued by military coups, has said he’ll stay in power, raising fears of possible political instability in this nuclear power. -- “I’ll sit here and Nawaz Sharif, you decide. You have just one option — resign and hold re-elections,” Khan told supporters gathered Saturday in the lashing rain. -- Khan said that the current leadership was unacceptable. “We do not recognize them, we have to get justice, we have to get freedom from these types of rulers,” he said. - Read More, Associated Press, Washingtonpost

Border-Town Blues: Peshawar's Fortunes Fall Amid U.S.'s Afghan Exit -- Pakistani City Faces Tough Times as War Business Fades and Taliban Unrest Rises --- PESHAWAR, Pakistan—The end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, a 13-year conflict that made many fortunes in Peshawar, is bringing a bust to this Pakistani frontier metropolis that lives off cross-border trade. -- Though the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 brought lucrative supply contracts to Peshawar's merchants, it also spurred the creation of a separate Pakistani Taliban insurgency, which launched frequent bombings and shootings in the once-peaceful city. -- Now, the U.S. dollars are going—while the Taliban violence that devastated Peshawar looks set to stay. -- "We are facing the biggest challenge in our history," says Zahid Shinwari, president of the provincial Chamber of Commerce and Industry, many of whose members, faced with the double whammy of shrinking business and rising insecurity, are fleeing for safer parts of Pakistan or for Dubai. "This is a very grim situation." -- Still viewed by many Afghans as part of their historic homeland, Peshawar is capital of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province that shares the Pashto language and culture with Afghanistan. Sitting astride the main route to Kabul from the port city of Karachi, the chaotic city of 4 million has always been economically bound to the Afghan market. -- After the 2001 U.S. invasion, thousands of locals found jobs as truck drivers ferrying everything from food to uniforms to fuel from the port of Karachi and across the Khyber Pass for the U.S.-led coalition. Local industries flourished making supplies for U.S. bases, and for Afghan businesses that soaked up American aid. The maze of Pashto-language printing shops at Peshawar's storied Qissa Hiwani bazaar raked in big bucks printing Afghan textbooks and election campaign materials. --- All of this is coming to an end now that the U.S.-led coalition's mandate is expiring in December—and Afghanistan's economic bubble is deflating as foreign aid shrinks and uncertainty persists over the outcome of the country's June 14 presidential election. Though the U.S. plans to maintain some troops in Afghanistan if the country's next president signs a security agreement with Washington, it will be just a small fraction of the 100,000 American troops deployed there during President Barack Obama's surge in 2010-2012. -- "We depend a lot on Afghanistan, and it is a major setback to the business community in the province that this opportunity is ending," says Mr. Shinwari, whose own company was established in 2002 to make pipes for U.S.-funded reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. --- "There is hardly any work now," says Nawab Sher, general secretary of the All-Pakistan Oil Tankers Association, a body whose members once drove from Karachi to Afghanistan a fleet of 10,000 vehicles to satisfy the coalition's huge fuel needs. Most of these tanker trucks have been bought on credit, in expectation that the U.S. would stay in Afghanistan for decades. "For the next several years, we will have to live with the losses because nobody wants these vehicles now," Mr. Sher says. -- Amanullah Afridi says he had to sell his three trucks for a pittance. "It's a noose around our necks," he said, sipping tea with other truckers across the street from a Peshawar parking lot where Taliban insurgents burned down three vehicles with coalition cargo days earlier. "We borrowed heavily, and now have to pay it back." -- At the Qissa Hiwani bazaar, similar tales of woe are plenty. Ayas Ali, who runs one of scores of artisanal printing plants in the bazaar's narrow maze, says that his sales—virtually all of them Afghanistan-related—have shrunk by 50%. "Three years ago, business was booming," he says. "Now, the situation in Afghanistan is really bad, and so there is a lot less money to go around." -- For Fazl-e-Amin Adil, another print shop owner in the bazaar, even this year's Afghan presidential election proved to be a bust. After borrowing heavily to print campaign badges, Afghan flags and other election paraphernalia, Mr. Adil discovered that the demand has collapsed since the previous Afghan elections of 2009 and 2010, held in the heyday of U.S. involvement. "We ordered a lot of inventory and barely sold any—it has all been wasted," Mr. Adil said, showing his cramped warehouse. - Read More, WSJ,

اشرف غني: دملي وحدت په نامه ددولت رامنځته کول، دواک دويش مانا نلري --- ډاکتر اشرف غني احمدزي په خپلو وروستيو څرګندونو کې ويلي، چې دملي وحدت په نامه ددولت رامنځته کول، په دې مانا نه دي، چې له بايلونکي سره به قدرت شريکيږي. نوموړي زياته کړې، چې په هېواد کې د پرېکړې دوه مرکزونو شتون ناشوني دي او دعبدالله عبدالله سره لاسليک شوي توافقپاڼه په دې مانا نه ده، چې ګټونکی به له بايلونکی سره په بشپړه توګه واک تقسيموي. -- اشرف غني زياته کړه، هوکړې په دې شوې، چې ګټونکی کانديد به بايلونکی، داجرائيوي رئيس په توګه ټاکي او د جمهور رئيس له حکم سره سم به چارې تر سره کوي. دده په وينا، دافغانستان داساسي قانون پر بنسټ په هېواد کې رياستي نظام دی او جمهور رئيس ۲۰ مستقيم صلاحيتونه او ۲۱ نور لري، چې دغه صلاحيتونو ته مسوول او ځوابورکوونکی دی. -- د پرېکړه ليک پر بنسټ، د رايو تر شميرنې وروسته به جمهور رئيس ټاکل کيږي او لويه جرګه به دا پرېکړه کوي، چې په قانون کې تعديل راولي او کنه، چې دلومړي وزير پوسټ رامنځته شي. - روهی ویب

Maliki steps aside, easing Iraq’s political crisis --- BAGHDAD — Embattled Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki stepped aside Thursday, clearing the way for a new prime minister and an expansion of U.S. military assistance at a moment when a raging insurgency threatens to tear the country apart. -- The 64-year-old premier, who had provoked a political crisis by refusing to cede power after eight years, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his rival Haider al-Abadi in an appearance on state television, as Maliki announced that he will back the efforts of his “brother” in forming a government for the sake of Iraq’s unity. --- Maliki has become a deeply divisive figure but had clung to his position in the face of a growing consensus among Iraq’s politicians and the international community that only a new leader would have a chance of unifying a country experiencing growing sectarian divisions. Maliki, a Shiite, had been accused of marginalizing the minority Sunni population, providing an opening for Sunni extremist fighters belonging to the al-Qaeda splinter group the Islamic State. - Read More, Washingtonpost

Opinions - Fareed Zakaria: The fantasy of Middle Eastern moderates --- Hillary Clinton was expressing what has become Washington’s new conventional wisdom when she implied, in her interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic, that “moderates” might have prevented the rise of the Islamic State. In fact, the United States has provided massive and sustained aid to the moderates in the region. -- Remember, the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was created in Iraq and grew out of that country’s internal dynamics. Over the past decade, the United States helped organize Iraq’s “moderates” — the Shiite-dominated government — giving them tens of billions of dollars in aid and supplying and training their army. But, it turned out, the moderates weren’t that moderate. As they became authoritarian and sectarian, Sunni opposition movements grew and jihadi opposition groups such as ISIS gained tacit or active support. This has been a familiar pattern throughout the region. -- For decades, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been to support “moderates.” The problem is that there are actually very few of them. The Arab world is going through a bitter, sectarian struggle that is “carrying the Islamic world back to the Dark Ages,” said Turkish President Abdullah Gul. In these circumstances, moderates either become extremists or they lose out in the brutal power struggles of the day. Look at Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian territories. --- The Middle East has been trapped for decades between repressive dictatorships and illiberal opposition groups — between Hosni Mubarak and al-Qaeda — leaving little space in between. The dictators try to shut down all opposition movements, and the ones that survive are vengeful, religious and violent. There was an opening for moderates after the Arab Spring in 2011 and 2012, but it rapidly closed. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood had a chance to govern inclusively, but it refused. Without waiting for vindication at the polls, Egypt’s old dictatorship rose up and banned and jailed the Brotherhood and other opposition forces. In Bahrain, the old ruling class is following the example of the Egyptian regime, while the Saudi monarchy funds the return to repression throughout the region. All of this leads to an underground and violent opposition. “Because of the culture of impunity [from the government], there is a new culture of revenge” on the street, Said Yousif al-Muhafda, head of documentation at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, told Al-Monitor, a news and analysis Web site. -- In the Palestinian territories, Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, is indeed a moderate. But notice that the Israeli government and the West have happily postponed elections in the West Bank year after year — because they know full well who would win. Moderates don’t do well in an atmosphere of despair and war. - Read More, Washingtonpost

Key Abdullah ally warns of Afghan unrest if vote recount is ‘one-sided’ --- KABUL — A powerful Afghan governor and former militia leader, who had threatened mass protests in the wake of the disputed presidential runoff in June, warned Wednesday of a “civil uprising” if the ongoing ballot recount proves biased and his candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, is not named the winner. -- Attah Mohammed Noor, 50, had not been seen in public since the election controversy and was rumored to have fled Afghanistan. He came to the capital Wednesday and said he had been away undergoing surgery for shrapnel wounds suffered during the Afghan-Soviet conflict. -- Noor immediately issued a blunt challenge to the costly, high-stakes process that has been undertaken by Afghan and international officials to salvage the country’s first democratic transfer of power since the overthrow of the Taliban regime in 2001. -- “If the vote recount is one- sided or fraudulent, we will not bow down and accept the results,” he said in an interview. “We do not want a crisis, but we will defend the rights of our people. We will have a big civil uprising. . . . We will occupy government buildings and institutions. . . . We will boycott the process, and we will not recognize the next government because it will have no legitimacy.” -- His comments came a day after Abdullah’s rival, Ashraf Ghani, appeared to back away from a power-sharing relationship outlined in a joint-governing agreement both sides reached in June at U.S. urging, saying, “Dual authority is not possible.” --- Noor made similar threats in June after preliminary results showed Abdullah — who came in first in an initial round of voting in April but did not win a majority — losing to Ghani in the runoff. Abdullah alleged massive fraud and tensions mounted. Convoys of armed men were reported converging on Kabul, and Noor warned that he would create a parallel government if Abdullah lost. - Read More, Pamela Constable, Washingtonpost

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Robin Williams Suffered From Parkinson's Disease, Wife Reveals In Touching Statement --- As the world struggles to make sense of Robin Williams' death, his wife Susan Schneider revealed in a statement that the beloved actor was suffering from early stages of Parkinson's Disease: --- “Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid. -- Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles. -- Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly. -- It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.” --- Williams was found dead in his home in Tiburon, California, on Aug. 11, and according to the preliminary result of the forensic investigation, his cause of death was asphyxiation by hanging. -- In the days since the world learned of the actor's death, there has been an outpouring of emotion with family members, friends, co-stars and fans all taking time to remember Williams for his incredible talent as well as his spirit. --- Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. - Read More,

Ted Snider -- The American Response to ISIS: They’re Patterns, Not Coincidences --- The wide wake that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is leaving across the Levant is mysterious in a number of ways. How they have so easily overwhelmed a third of Syria and a quarter of Iraq is one. But perhaps most mysterious is the American response to the rise of the Islamic State. Though the ascendancy in the region of the very force the war on terror is supposed to eliminate from the region would seemingly be blipping away on the American radar, America was silent as ISIS advanced. And the only thing more mysterious than the American silence was the sudden explosion of that silence by the recent airstrikes on Iraq. Why was America so strangely silent as ISIS established the Islamic State, and why has America so suddenly changed its policy? --- America does whatever it wants. So, if they did not oppose ISIS, it’s because they did not want to oppose ISIS. And, if they did not want to oppose ISIS, it’s because, somehow, the ISIS advance was consistent with American interests in the region. - Read More,

Militants’ Siege on Mountain in Iraq Is Over, Pentagon Says --- WASHINGTON — Defense Department officials said late Wednesday that United States airstrikes and Kurdish fighters had broken the Islamic militants’ siege of Mount Sinjar, allowing thousands of the Yazidis trapped there to escape. -- An initial report from about a dozen Marines and Special Operations forces who arrived on Tuesday and spent 24 hours on the northern Iraqi mountain said that “the situation is much more manageable,” a senior Defense official said in an interview. -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking to reporters Wednesday night at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., said it was “far less likely now” that the United States would undertake a rescue mission because the assessment team reported far fewer Yazidis on the mountain than expected, and that those still there were in relatively good condition. -- Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, credited American airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops as well as efforts of the Kurdish pesh merga fighters in allowing “thousands of Yazidis to evacuate from the mountain each night over the last several days” and to escape the militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. - Read M ore, NYTimes

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

اشرف غنی: تمایلی برای تقسیم قدرت ندارم --- اشرف غنی احمدزی؛ نامزد انتخابات ریاست جمهوری گفته است که اگر رئیس جمهور شود به هیچ عنوان تمایلی برای تقسیم قدرت ندارد. -- وی می گوید: تشکیل دولت وحدت ملی بر اساس موافقتنامه‌ای که میان وی و عبدالله عبدالله با میانجی‌گری امریکا امضا شده‌، به این معنی نیست که برنده انتخابات قدرت را کاملا با بازنده شریک کند. -- احمدزی که در جمع خبرنگاران خارجی در کابل صحبت می‌کرد، گفت که وی موافقت‌نامه‌ تقسیم قدرت با عبدالله را امضا نکرده و خاطر نشان کرد که براساس این توافقنامه، برنده انتخابات، بازنده را "براساس فرمان" رئیس شورای اجرایی تعیین می‌کند و او "مطابق به دستور رئیس جمهوری" وظایف خود را انجام می‌دهد. -- احمدزی گفت: "قانون اساسی افغانستان، نظام ریاستی را لازم می‌داند. براساس قانون، رئیس جمهوری ۲۰صلاحیت مستقیم دارد و ۲۱ مورد صلاحیت دیگر هم دارد، کسی‌که رئیس جمهوری می‌شود مطابق این صلاحیت‌ها پاسخگو است." -- اشرف غنی احمدزی و عبدالله عبدالله روز جمعه گذشته در حضور جان کری، وزیر خارجه امریکا، توافقنامه‌ای را امضا کردند که اکنون دو طرف در مورد تفسیر آن به وضوح اختلاف نظر دارند. احمدزی در نشست روز گذشته به صراحت گفت اگر او رئیس جمهور شود، صلاحیت کامل را در اختیار خواهد داشت. -- احمدزی افزود: "دو مرکز تصمیم‌گیری ممکن نیست. وظیفه ریاست شورای اجرایی کاملا به اختیارات رئیس جمهوری وابسته است." -- اما عبدالله عبدالله دیگر نامزد انتخابات، یک روز پس از امضای این توافقنامه گفت: رئیس جمهوری بخشی از صلاحیت‌های خود را می‌‌تواند به شورای اجرایی که در دو سال آینده صدراعظم خواهد شد، بدهد. -- عبدالله گفت که در سند موضوع "تقسیم قدرت" گنجانیده شده است و هر دو نامزد می‌خواهند که افراد آنها در پست کلیدی وزارت خانه‌ها گمارده شوند. -- هردو نامزد انتخابات ریاست جمهوری کشور جمعه اعلام کردند که کمیسیون مرکب از نمایندگان هر دو تیم بر سر جزئیات تشکیل دولت وحدت ملی بلافاصله کار را آغاز می‌کنند. احمدزی روز گذشته اعلام کرد که تیم‌های تخصصی برای تفسیر مواد موافقت‌نامه سیاسی تشکیل شده و به زودی آغاز به کار می‌کند. -- در کنار آن بررسی تمامی آراء انتخابات، تحت نظر سازمان ملل ادامه دارد و کمیسیون انتخابات روز گذشته اعلام کرد که از فردا ابطال آرا را نیز آغاز می‌کند. -- این در حالی است که دو ستاد انتخاباتی هنوز بر سر معیارهای ابطال آرا به توافق نرسیده اند. در همین حال آندرس راسموسن منشی عمومی ناتو خاطر نشان کرده است: اگر مشکل انتخابات بزودی حل نشود و رئیس جمهوری جدید موافقت‌نامه ادامه حضور نیروهای خارجی را امضا نکند، ناتو شاید مجبور شود همه‌ای نیروهای خود را از افغانستان خارج کند. -- وی گفت: اگر برای حضور نیروهای خارجی در افغانستان چارچوب قانونی وجود نداشته باشد، آنها باید تا پایان سال جاری میلادی افغانستان را ترک کنند. -- قرار است نشست سران ناتو در ۴ و ۵ سپتامبر امسال در ولز بریتانیا برگزار شود و گفته شده که در این نشست هردو نامزد انتخابات افغانستان شرکت خواهند کرد. - افغانستان.رو

Mubarak Tells Court He Gave All For Egypt --- CAIRO — In his first public statement since his ouster in the Arab Spring revolts, former President Hosni Mubarak told a Cairo court on Wednesday that history would vindicate his self-sacrifice as a servant of the people. -- Called to testify about charges that he had directed the killing of protesters, Mr. Mubarak took the opportunity to recite the achievements of what he called a 62-year career of service to Egypt. “I exhausted my life fighting against enemies of the homeland,” Mr. Mubarak said. “The wheel of history can never roll backward, and no one can falsify the facts.” -- Once reviled for the brutality and corruption of his 30-year rule as president, Mr. Mubarak seems to be enjoying a modest revival in his reputation after three years of tumult that followed his ouster. A military takeover last summer brought to power another military-backed strongman, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and some Egyptians now acknowledge a measure of nostalgia for the stability of Mr. Mubarak’s era. Many more view him with growing indifference, as an old-timer watching from the sidelines as Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood swept into the presidency in Egypt’s first free election, and Mr. Sisi swept him out just 12 months later. -- Mr. Mubarak, 86, now lives in police custody in a military hospital overlooking the Nile, but on Wednesday, he sounded as proud and defiant as he did in his last speeches from the presidential palace on the eve of his ouster. Wearing a dark blue shirt open at the collar, he sat upright in the hospital gurney that has carried him into all of his many court sessions. He wore glasses and read a prepared statement. But his hair was still unusually thick and black for a man his age, just as it was in the photographs that once adorned billboards, police stations and public offices across Egypt. -- At times, Mr. Mubarak seemed to implicitly criticize his old office’s new occupant, Mr. Sisi, over his tacit support for Israel in its current battle with the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza. Mr. Mubarak dwelled at length on what he said was his own firm opposition to Israel and his support for the Palestinians. -- “I have managed relationships with Israel like a man walking a tightrope, without any compromise on national sovereignty or the Palestinian people’s rights,” Mr. Mubarak said. “Considering Palestinian interests, I have never hesitated a moment in providing Egypt’s aid to those under siege in Gaza.” -- His voice caught for a moment as he alluded to his own mortality. “Perhaps my talk today is the last I speak to the sons of my nation before life reaches its end, and the time has come, and I am hidden in Egypt’s pure dust,” he said. “I thank God, conscience at rest, that I spent my life fighting for Egypt and its children.” Echoing the advice of autocrats everywhere, he admonished: “Take care of the country’s unity. Stay close to its leadership.” -- But his own legacy was his main theme. “I never sought any position or power,” Mr. Mubarak said, recalling his military service in wars with Israel in 1967 and 1973 as well as Egypt’s economic expansion during his years as president. -- “We freed our economy, and opened it to the world, and provided a suitable atmosphere to attract investment,” he said, declaring that he had “achieved the highest growth rates in history.” -- None of that was relevant to the case: It was a retrial ordered after an appeals court overturned a 2012 conviction on charges of overseeing the killing of hundreds of Egyptians by security forces during the protests that ended his rule. The judge in that case had issued a life sentence even while acknowledging a lack of direct evidence that Mr. Mubarak had ordered the killings. --- The court said Wednesday that it would deliver its verdict in the retrial on Aug. 27. But even if acquitted, Mr. Mubarak may not walk free. In May, he was sentenced to three years in jail in a separate embezzlement case involving the diversion of public funds through a state-owned construction company for his family’s personal use. - More, DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, NYTimes,

Saudi Arabia gives $100 million to U.N. Counterterrorism Center --- Saudi Arabia donated $100 million Wednesday to a United Nations body established to coordinate and assist international counterterrorism efforts and called on other nations to match its support. -- “The goal is to help provide the tools, technologies and methods to confront and eliminate the threat of terrorism,” Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, said in presenting a check to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. -- Saudi King Abdullah provided seed money to establish the U.N. Counterterrorism Center in 2011. Since then, the center has held conferences and issued papers but had little direct impact on the ground. -- Money would go, for example, to countries with nascent terrorist activity that can’t afford counterterrorism technology or have not set it as a priority, he said in a separate interview. The center’s board could decide there is a “need for equipment for security at airports in the following countries. Who’s going to pay for it?” -- The center, al-Jubeir said, could work in collaboration with donor countries such as the United States that are willing to help with bilateral or regional assistance. President Obama has set assistance through regional partnerships as a primary U.S. counterterrorism strategy. -- “The thinking would be to look at different parts of the world and say, ‘This region needs more capacity in these areas — more equipment, more training,’ ” he said. “It all costs money. . . . In some cases, the center can go alone, in others it can provide incentive for matching funds.” -- While counterterrorism efforts are national priorities in countries such as Lebanon and Yemen, al-Jubeir said, others may have a “false sense of security.” -- “What we’re saying is that if terrorism grows in one part of the world, it’s only a matter of time before it gets to you. . . . Countries that have not experienced terrorism don’t recognize the importance of dealing with it.” - More, Karen DeYoung, Washingtonpost

Pakistan Calls Modi’s Remarks on Terrorism ‘Unfortunate’ --- NEW DELHI — Pakistan responded swiftly on Wednesday to a tough speech by India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, that accused Pakistan of conducting a “proxy war” against India. Pakistan called Mr. Modi’s remarks “unfortunate” and said it sought good relations with its neighbor. -- During a visit on Tuesday to the town of Kargil in the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir, Mr. Modi said that Pakistan “has lost the strength to fight a conventional war, but continues to engage in the proxy war through terrorism.” Kargil, which is near the disputed Indian-Pakistani border known as the Line of Control, was the site of a 1999 conflict between the two countries. -- Mr. Modi’s remarks reflected a toughening of his conciliatory initial approach toward Pakistan, which included inviting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in in May. Since then, however, cease-fire violations on the Line of Control have become more frequent. -- In a statement Wednesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that Mr. Modi’s remarks were “most unfortunate, especially as the leadership of Pakistan wishes to establish good neighborly relations with India.” The statement also said that Pakistan was the “biggest victim” of terrorism, which it said had claimed 55,000 of its citizens’ lives. - More, HARI KUMAR, NYTimes

Labour party candidate 'killed at random by terrorists' in Afghanistan --- Del Singh was shot in head and chest while eating at a restaurant in Kabul, an inquest hears --- A British aid expert and Labour party candidate was shot in the head and chest by terrorists while eating at a restaurant in Afghanistan, an inquest has heard. -- Del Singh, who was in Kabul to help ensure aid reached its intended destination, was dining in a restaurant frequently used by visitors because it was considered secure. -- The inquest in Winchester, Hampshire, was told that two insurgents armed with AK47 rifles were able to get into the Taverna du Liban restaurant after a suicide bomber set off a device outside. The explosion killed two men standing guard, and breached the steel security gate. -- A total of 21 people died in the attack, including senior UN officials, Afghan dignitaries and restaurant staff. The gunmen also died in the incident on 17 January. -- Central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short was told that Singh, 39, from Southampton, was an international development specialist who had extensive experience managing EU and UN projects in post-conflict countries including Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. -- At the time of his death, he was working as an aid adviser for an organisation called Tour Afghanistan and was monitoring the flow of aid into the country. -- A statement from Richard Ironside, a manager with Tour Afghanistan, said Singh and his team would always report their movements.-- He said the Taverna du Liban was deemed a safe place because it had a steel reinforced entry gate, security guards, strict searches and alternative exit points. -- Ironside said he received a phone call from Singh as the shooting unfolded. He said: "A call then came in from Del. He was saying 'I am at the restaurant, I am at the restaurant. I can hear firing in the background'." -- Ironside said he could hear gunfire before the phone went dead, the hearing was told. -- A postmortem examination showed that Singh had suffered four gunshot wounds – two to the head and two to the chest – that would have killed him immediately. -- Acting DI Matthew Potts, a British counter-terrorism officer, said it was believed the bomb outside had allowed the two gunmen to breach security and gain access to the restaurant. -- He said: "It does look like it was more of an indiscriminate attack on the occupants. Some staff and diners managed to escape the restaurant through the kitchen." -- Read More, Steven Morris and agency, Guardian,

Afghanistan's marathon presidential election brings country to standstill --- Government institutions are feeling strain after 11 months of process, with observers still auditing result -- Eleven months into Afghanistan's marathon presidential vote, strains are being felt across government institutions. -- The two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, made progress by publicly agreeing to respect the results of the audit, but it will take some time still for observers to go through all 8.1 million votes. -- Meanwhile, the rest of the country has ground to a halt, and stasis is most keenly felt in government bureaucracies, where senior officials have expressed concern over the potentially damaging effects of a prolonged stalemate. --- "The election has become totally frustrating for the people of Afghanistan, including myself," he said. "It is a defamation of democracy." -- The Taliban has refused to engage with the current government, as they rightly assume that the incoming administration will have different policies from its predecessor. Both the council and the Taliban, he said, are eager for new leadership. -- "We are very frustrated by the audit process. It is a great impediment and obstacle to our work." -- The economy minister, Abdul Arghandiwal, said his office was also suffering. -- "To implement our policies we need planning, and that has been difficult to do," he said. -- He excoriated the international community for withholding the funding that keeps the Afghan government running. Arghandiwal said donors had said they would wait until the new government signed a security agreement allowing troops to stay in the country beyond 2014 before releasing an estimated $1bn in funding. -- "Most of our projects are on hold, and if this situation continues it can only mean one thing: economic crisis." --- The electoral commission believes their observers – spread out at 100 tables in three hangars and working in two six-hour shifts every day – can complete their task in the next two weeks, in time to meet the end of August deadline. -- There are, however, variables at play beyond the control of the electoral commission. The speed of the audit process may pick up as it gets streamlined, but a likelier scenario is that the factors that have threatened to derail the audit may once again impinge on the process. -- There is the logistical task of putting together a full audit, the only one of its kind in the world, on a daily basis, not to mention the fact that the candidate observers are each pursuing irreconcilable goals of validating their votes while invalidating the other parties'. - More, May Jeong in Kabul, Guardian

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

د رایو له تفتشیه ښکاري چې د اشرف غني ۲ لکه او د عبدالله ۱۲۰ زره رایې باطلېږي --- د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ د انتخاباتو د دوهم پړاو د رایو تفتیش روان دی او داسي ښکاري چې له ۸ ملیونه او یو لک رایو څخه به شاوخوا ۲ لکه رایې د اشرف غني احمدزي او ۱۲۰ زره د عبدالله عبدالله باطلې شي. -- د سې شنبې تر ورځې څه باندې ۳۰ فیصده رایې بیا شمېرل شوي او تفتیش شوې چې په هغو کې د کمپیوټر په وسیله ۵۴ زره رایې د اشرف غني احمدزي وې او ۳۱ زره د عبدالله عبدالله وې. -- له دې سره سره له شمېرنو داسي ښکاري چې اشرف غني احمدزی تر خپل سیال ۱ ملیون او ۲ لکه ۱۰۶۰۲ زیاتې رایې لري. -- د ډیموکراسۍ انټرنشنل مشر ګلین کوان، چې د رایو د تفتیش یو نړیوال څارونکی دی وايي، داسې نه ښکاري چې روانې څېړنې دې پر اعلان شویو رایو ډېر اغېز وکړي او د رایو پایله دې بدله کړي. -- ده وویل:« دا ډېره ستونزمنه ده چې د یو ملیون رایو فرق دې په کې راشي، خواحتمال شته، خو که د نړۍ د رایو د بیا شمېرلو تاریخ ته وګورو، هر کاندید چې د رایو تر تفتیش او بیا شمېرلو مخکې وي د رایو تربیا شمېرلو وروسته هم، مخکې وي.» -- په تفتیش شویو رایو کې لویه برخه د هغو سیمو ده چې اشرف غني احمدزي پکې زیاتې رایې ترلاسه کړي دي. د اشرف غني احمدزي اکثره رایې په هغو سیمو کې باطله شوي دي چې ده تر ۵۰۰ زیاتې رایې ګټلي دي. دا ډول رایبکسونه د کندهار په پنجوايي پوري تړاو لري. -- همداراز د پکتیکا په برمل کې ۵۴۶، په سروزه (سرحوضه) کې۵۹۰ او اورګون کې زیاتې رایې باطلې شوي دي. -- ټاکل شوې ده چې په راتلونکو ورځو کې د کابل، بلخ، پکتیکا، لغمان، هرات، پکتیا، لوګر، فاریاب، کندهار، پنجشېر، تخار، غور، سرپل، پروان، بادغیس، بدخشان، بغلان، نورستان، جوزجان، غزني، کاپیساو میدان وردک او زابل ولایتونو رایې تفتیش شي. -- د میدان وردک ولایت د چک ولسوالۍ د رایو د یوه صندوق ۵۱۰ رایې او د هرات د انجیل ولسوالۍ د رایبکس ۹۰۰ رایې کاملاً باطلې شوې. -- عبدالله عبدالله ته په تفتیش شویو رایو کې تر ټولو زیاتې جعلي رایې په لوګر ولایت کې لوېدلي، په یو ځای کې ۵۹۴ او بل ځای کې ۵۹۱ رایې. همداراز د پکتیکا په جاني خېلو ولسوالۍ کې هم د عبدالله عبدالله ۵۷۹ رایې باطلې شوي دي. - تاند

Officials: Robin Williams apparently hanged himself with a belt --- (CNN) -- The tributes to Robin Williams flow from around the world as stunned friends and family search for answers about why the comic legend would take his own life. -- Investigators believe Williams, 63, used a belt to hang himself from a bedroom door sometime between late Sunday and when his personal assistant found him just before noon Monday at his home in California, according to Marin County Assistant Deputy Chief Coroner Lt. Keith Boyd. -- Boyd would not confirm or deny whether Williams left behind a letter, saying that investigators would discuss "the note or a note" later. -- The coroner's investigation "revealed he had been seeking treatment for depression," Boyd told reporters. -- "He has been battling severe depression of late," Williams' media representative, Mara Buxbaum, told CNN on Monday. "This is a tragic and sudden loss." -- The autopsy completed Tuesday morning showed "no indication of a struggle or physical altercation," which was consistent with the death being a suicide, Boyd said. -- The personal assistant found Williams "clothed in a seated position, unresponsive, and with a belt secured around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the closed closet door and door frame," he said. -- Williams' left wrist had cuts, Boyd said. A pocket knife was found near his body, and a red material consistent with dried blood was found on the knife, Boyd said. He said tests will be conducted to determine whether the substance is blood. -- Williams was last seen alive at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, by his wife, when she went to bed, Boyd said. He apparently went into a bedroom at an unknown time after that. His wife left the home at about 10:30 a.m. Monday, assuming Williams was still asleep. -- Williams' personal assistant, concerned because he wasn't responding to knocks on his door, entered the room and found him dead at about 11:45 a.m., Boyd said. - Read More,

سیگار: بخشی از سلاح‌های کمک شده آمریکا به ارتش افغانستان ناپدید است --- اداره بازرسی عمومی آمریکا برای بازسازی افغانستان موسوم به 'سیگار' در کلیک تازه ترین گزارش خود اعلام کرد که بخشی از اسلحه‌های که وزارت دفاع آمریکا به نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان کمک کرده، اکنون ناپدید است. -- براساس گزارش این نهاد شرکتهای طرف قرارداد و نیروهای امنیتی افغان در این روند مقصر هستند، ولی وزارت دفاع افغانستان به بی‌بی‌سی گفت که آنها حاضرند تمام اسلحه‌ها، تجهیزات و مهماتی را که نیروهای ناتو به نهادهای امنیتی افغان تحویل داده حساب پس دهد و اسناد تمام آنها موجود است. -- در گزارش تازه سیگار آمده که وزارت دفاع آمریکا به عنوان بخشی از فعالیتهای بین المللی خود تلاش کرده که نیروهای امنیتی افغان را تجهیز و آموزش دهد. در این راستا به نیروهای ارتش ملی و پلیس ملی افغانستان از سال ۲۰۰۴ تاکنون به مقدار ۷۴۷ هزار قبضه اسلحه و مهمات کمک کرده که ارزش آن به ۶۲۶ میلیون دلارمی‌رسد. -- سیگار تصریح کرده که این مقدار شامل ۴۶۵ هزار اسلحه کوچک همانند تفنگ، تفنگ چه، مسلسل، نارنجک انداز و تفنگ ساچمه‌ای بوده‌است. -- در این گزارش آمده که این نهاد مقدار این اسلحه‌ها را قبل از تحویل به نیروهای امینتی افغان، بعد از اینکه توزیع شده و کارایی آن در نیروهای امنیتی افغان را ارزیابی کرده که آیا اسلحه‌های که به نیروهای افغانستان داده شده توانسته که نیاز این نیروها را بر آورده کند. -- به گفته سیگار نظارت بر روند خریداری این سلاحها، انتقال و تحویل دهی آن به نیروهای امنیتی افغان منجر به دریافتهای ذیل شده‌است. -- سیگار افزوده که سیستم جامع اطلاعات مربوط به شرکتهای طرف قرارداد که این اسلحه‌ها در آن ثبت شده نشان می‌دهد که از ۴۷۴ هزار و ۸۲۳ قبضه اسلحه‌ای که شماره مسلسل آنها ثبت شده بود ۴۳ درصد ( حدود ۲۰۳ هزار ۸۸۸ قبضه اسلحه) ناپدید و یا اینکه شماره مسلسل آنها تکراری ثبت شده بودند. -- بیشتر از ۴۶ هزار شماره مسلسل در سیستم اطلاعات به صورت دوبار و یا سه بار ثبت شده بودند .-- در این گزارش آمده، وقتی این اسلحه‌ها به نیروهای امنیتی افغان داده شده نیروهای ارتش ملی افغانستان یک سیستم خودکار ثبت را به کار گرفته که این سیستم نیز نمی‌تواند مورد قبول و اعتماد باشد. -- براساس این گزارش در سال ۲۰۰۸ نیز بازرس وزارت دفاع آمریکا در مورد سیستم ثبت اسلحه ارتش ملی افغانستان ابراز نگرانی کرده بود. -- اسلحه‌های که به پلیس ملی افغانستان داده شده، هیج استانداردی برای حسابدهی آن وجود نداشته است. وزارت داخله/ کشور سیستم نگهداری کاغذی اسناد را دارا بوده و همچنین فهرست اسلحه‌ها در فایل‌های جداگانه برنامه اکسیل نگهداری می شده است. -- سیگار افزوده که کارمندان این نهاد به بررسی فیزیکی اسناد مربوط به پلیس ملی افغانستان پرداختند که در بررسی ذخیرگاه (دیپو) مرکزی اسلحه نیروهای پلیس ملی آنان دریافتند که اسناد ۵۵۱ قبضه اسلحه با فهرستی که در کتاب دارایی این نهاد بود، مطابقت نمی‌کرد. -- در ۲۲ انبار اسلحه پلیس ملی افغانستان، سیگار موفق نشده تا بررسی کامل را انجام دهد و قادر به تشخیص تعداد اسلحه شود. - More,

US fails to probe Afghan civilian deaths - Amnesty report --- The US has failed to properly investigate Afghan civilian deaths caused by their forces, human rights group Amnesty International says in a new report. -- Amnesty International alleges that even potential war crimes have gone uninvestigated and unpunished. -- The report focused primarily on air strikes and night raids carried out by US forces between 2009 and 2013. -- Nato told the AP news agency it would review the report and respond later. -- A spokesman told AP they take allegations of civilian casualties extremely seriously and fully investigate all reports. --- The number of civilians killed and wounded in the conflict in Afghanistan rose 14% last year, UN figures show. Nearly 3,000 civilians were killed and more than 5,600 were injured in 2013. -- Most casualties in 2013 were a result of roadside bombs laid by the Taliban or getting caught in the crossfire during ground battles between Taliban-led insurgents and Afghan forces. -- But Amnesty's 84-page report, Left in the Dark, focused on how the US investigates such attacks and what it describes as the failure of accountability for US military operations in Afghanistan. -- "Thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by US forces since the invasion, but the victims and their families have little chance of redress. The US military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses," said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International's Asia Pacific Director. - Read More, BBC,

محور ورځپاڼه: په افغانستان کې پاکستاني اورپکي؛ د ناټو جنیات --- په افغانستان کې دېره نړيوال ځواکونه په افغان جګړه کې د پاکستاني پوځيانو پر حضور او په افغان خاوره را ويشتونکو توغنديو سترګې پټوي. -- ځايي سرچينې وايي، د ننګرهار په ځينو ولسواليو د طالب اورپکو په هجوم کې تر نيمايي زيات پاکستاني پوځيان شامل دي، خو ناټو په دې جګړه کې د پاکستاني پوځيانو حضور ردکړی دی. -- که په افغانستان کې مېشت ناټو ځواکونه ومني، چې پر ننګرهار د طالبانو په هجوم کې پاکستاني پوځيان برخه لري، نو دا د يوه ګاونډي هېواد له لوري يرغل دی، چې نړيوال ځواکونه په تېره امریکا یې له افغان امنيتي ځواکونو سره په مخنيوي مکلف دي او دا له امریکا سره د ستراتيژیک تړون یو اصل هم دی. -- ځايي سرچينې وايي، د ننګرهار ولايت په ځينو ولسواليو د طالب اورپکو په هجوم کې تر نيمايي زيات پاکستاني پوځيان او ملېشه شامل دي. -- د وروستيو معلوماتو له مخې، په شېرزادو ولسوالۍ کې په چاڼيزو عملياتو کې ۱۲۰ طالب اورپکي وژل شوي، ۵۳ ټپيان شوي، چې ۱۵ يې مخ پټي پاکستاني پوځيان بلل شوي دي. -- ځايي حکومتي سرچينې وايي، د جګړې د غځېدو يو لامل دا دی، چې پاکستان د نړيوالو په ډاډ دې جګړې ته زور ورکړی او په افغانستان کې د مېشتو نړيوالو ځواکونو له دريځ داسې معلومېږي، چې د هغوی ملاتړ ورسره دی. -- د ننګرهار ولايت په حصارک ولسوالۍ د اختر په دويمه د شاوخوا ۲۰۰۰ پاکستاني طالبانو له لوري هجوم وروړل شو او ياده ولسوالي کلابنده شوه، چې د لومړنيو راپورونو له مخې، په دغه جنګياليو کې زیاته برخه پاکستاني پوځيان او ملېشه شامل وو، چې جګړه يې رهبري کوله. -- د دې جګړې په اړه، چې اوس له حصارک نور ولسواليو ته هم غځېدلې ويل کېږي، چې ټول جنګيالي د باجوړ ايجنسۍ او وزيرستانونو نه راکوچېدلي وو، چې دامهال په شېرزادو، بټي کوټ، شينوارو کې ناامنۍ جوړوي. -- د حصار ولسوال عبدالخالق له محور سره په خبرو کې وويل، د اختر له لومړۍ ورځې تر نن پورې دوه ځله په حصارک ولسوالۍ د پاکستاني جنګياليو او پوځيانو له لوري ډلييز بريدونه شوي، چې پکې تر ۲۳۰ پورې جنګيالي وژل شوي دي. ښاغلی عبدالخالق زياتوي، لس موټر پاکستاني پوځيان او اورپکي دوه ورځې وړاندې بيا د حصارک غرونو ته راد ننه شوي او د جګړې پلانونه جوړوي. -- دوی وايي، له ډېره وخته پاکستاني جنرالان حصارک ته راځي په کورونو کې له خپلو کسانو سره ناستې کوي او د جګړې طرحې جوړوي: ((دوی غوښتل، د حصارک ولسوالۍ ترڅنګ د ننګرهار شېرزاد او د لوګر ازره هم تر خپل بشپړ تسلط لاندې ونيسي، خو مات شول. پاکستاني پوځيان چې کله د حصارک په جګړه کې پاتې راغلل، نو يې د جنګياليو ګروپونو ته د هرې پوستې د لاندې کولو پر سر تر ۸۰ لکو پاکستانيو کلدارې ومنلې. -- له بل لوري په افغانستان کې مېشتو ناټو ځواکونو ويلي، چې ګويا پاکستاني پوځيان په ننګرهار کې په جګړه کې نه دي دخيل. -- خو ځايي خلک او د چارو شنونکي وايي، که په افغانستان کې مېشت ناټو ځواکونه ومني، چې پر ننګرهار د طالبانو په هجوم کې پاکستاني پوځيان برخه لري، نو دا د يوه ګاونډي هېواد له لوري يرغل دی، چې نړيوال ځواکونه په تېره امریکا یې له افغان امنيتي ځواکونو سره په مخنيوي مکلف دي او دا له امریکا سره د ستراتيژیک تړون یو اصل هم دی. -- د چارو شنونکی کبير رنجبر وايي، پاکستان امريکا متحده ايالاتو او برېتانيا ته نېږدې دی، نو له همدې امله يې ناټو هم ملاتړ کوي او په کړنو يې پرده اچوي. --- شنونکی محمد حسن ولسمل وايي، د افغان جنګیالیو په لیکو کې د بهرنیو وسله والو د ډېرېدلو یواځنی لامل د پاکستان په شمالي وزیرستان کې د عملیاتو ترسره کول وو؛ بل لامل دا دی، چې د بهرنیانو په ملاتړ پاکستان په دې هڅه کې دی،څو په افغانستان کې جګړې ته زور ورکړې؛ دا یو پیچلی استخباراتي جنګ دی، چې بايد افغان حکومت يې د مخنيوي لپاره پوره چمتو واوسيږي. - تاند

No justice for Afghan civilians killed by US forces, says Amnesty International --- Rights group says families of those killed are left without compensation by 'deeply flawed US military justice system' --- The families of thousands of civilians killed by US forces in Afghanistan have been left without justice or compensation, Amnesty International has said in a damning indictment of the US military as it withdraws from the country. -- In a report published on Monday, Amnesty said it had gathered evidence of "a deeply flawed US military justice system that cements a culture of impunity" in dealing with Afghan civilian deaths and injuries caused by US-led Nato operations since 2001. --- President Hamid Karzai has often castigated US forces for civilian casualties. Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) says it takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously and investigates each alleged incident. -- Amnesty researchers interviewed 125 Afghans who had first-hand information on 16 attacks that resulted in civilian casualties, as well as collating data from 97 reported incidents since 2007. -- An Amnesty spokesman said its data that thousands of civilians had been killed by US forces was based on UN reports on civilian casualties, a Science magazine investigation in 2011 and other sources, but it gave no total death toll. -- "After any incident in which civilians have been killed by US forces, (the US must) ensure … wherever there is sufficient admissible evidence, suspects are prosecuted," said the Amnesty report entitled Left in the Dark. -- It detailed a US bombing in 2012 when women were collecting firewood in the mountains of Laghman province. Seven women and girls were killed and seven more injured. -- Ghulam Noor, who lost his 16-year-old daughter Bibi Halimi in the attack, brought the bodies to the district centre after hearing Nato forces claimed that only insurgents had been killed. -- "We had to show them that it was women," Noor told Amnesty. "I have no power to ask the international forces why they did this. I can't bring them to court." -- Amnesty said villagers filed complaints with the provincial governor, but international forces are immune from Afghan legal processes and no one ever contacted family members to investigate the attack. --- Karzai, who will step down when his successor is chosen after an ongoing dispute about election results, welcomed the report after inviting Amnesty representatives to the presidential palace on Sunday. -- "I'm very happy that you have focused on something that is the main point of disagreement between Afghanistan and the US," he said, according to a palace statement. "I believe that civilian casualties should never happen. Together with you, we should stop them." --- Amnesty emphasised in its report that the "vast majority" of civilian deaths are caused by the Taliban and other armed groups in Afghanistan, which remains in the grip of a fierce Islamist insurgency. It said its report concentrated on the US rather than other members of the Nato coalition since it was the largest national force and was implicated in the majority of civilian casualties. -- "Amnesty International is aware of only six cases over the last five years in which members of the military have been criminally prosecuted for unlawfully killing Afghan civilians," it said. -- All Nato combat soldiers will depart by the end of the year, though a follow-up support mission of about 10,000 troops is planned if the next president signs security deals with the US and Nato. -- The deal with the US would continue to give so-called "immunity" to US troops, who would be prosecuted under their own legal system. -- The Isaf press office in Kabul referred enquiries about the report to the US Department of Defense, which was not immediately available to comment. - More, Agence France-Presse in Kabul, Guardian,

دویچه ویلی -- "رها شده ‌در تاریکی"، قربانیان حملات نیرو های امریکایی و ناتو --- گزارش جدید سازمان عفو بین الملل حاکی از آن است که عدالت در حق هزاران خانواده افغان که یک یا چند عضو شان را در جنگ امریکا و ناتو علیه طالبان از دست داده اند، اجرا نشده است. خانواده ‌هایی را که قربانی حملات هوایی نیرو های امریکایی اند، به سادگی می توان در شهر کابل یافت. لاجور پیرزنی که است که پنج عضو خانواده اش در بمباران نیرو های خارجی در ولسوالی سنگین ولایت هلمند کشته شده اند --- عبدالعلی، دیگر باشنده ولسوالی سنگین درد مشابه دارد. بعد از ظهر یک روز زمانی که جنگ شدیدی بین طالبان و نیرو های خارجی در گرفت، او چهار فرزندش را از دست داد. ولی هنوز کسی از او نپرسیده و عاملان این کشتار مجازات نشده اند. او عکس‌ های فرزندان و نواسه‌ هایش را نشان می ‌دهد و می‌ گوید: «یک دوپولی هم کسی به من نداده، این دولت است و این هم خارجی ها، بیایند اثبات کنند که اگر یک دوپولی به ما داده باشند. این‌ ها عکس های بچه‌ ها و نواسه‌ هایم است. اگر این طور نبود من خلاف می‌ گویم.» --- "رها شده در تاریکی" -- سازمان عفو بین الملل در گزارش خود تحت عنوان "رها شده در تاریکی" گفته است که عدالت در حق قربانیان جنگ نیرو های خارجی که در نتیجه بمباران، عملیات‌ های شبانه و حملات نیرو های خاص خارجی جان و مال شان را از دست داده اند، اجرا نشده است. ریچارد بینیت، رئیس بخش آسیا- پاسفیک سازمان عفو بین الملل روز دوشنبه در کنفرانسی در کابل گفت هزاران افغان از آغاز حملات نیرو های امریکایی در افغانستان کشته و یا زخمی شده اند، اما برای تعداد اندکی از قربانیان و خانواده های آن ها جبران خسارت داده شده است. آقای بینیت گفت: «حکومت افغانستان صلاحیت پیگرد قانونی نیرو های بین المللی را در افغانستان ندارد و نمی‌ تواند اعضای نظامی بین المللی را مورد تعقیب قرار دهد.» -- سازمان عفو بین الملل تاکید کرد که حکومت افغانستان باید میکانیزم‌هایی را در نظر گیرد که در آینده نیرو های ناتو و امریکا در صورت کشتار غیرنظامیان از تعقیب قضایی معاف نباشند. این مقام سازمان عفو بین الملل گفت که سیستم عدلی و قضایی نیرو های امریکا اغلباً در جلوگیری از کشتار های غیرقانونی و سایر بدرفتاری ها ناکام بوده است. رئیس بخش آسیا - پاسفیک سازمان عفو بین الملل گفت در هیچ یک از مواردی که این سازمان تحقیق کرده، عدالت در حق قربانیان اجرا نشده و جبران خسارت داعده نشده است. -- این گزارش جزییات ناکامی نیرو های امریکایی در حسابدهی در جنگ افغانستان را مستند کرده است و از دولت افغانستان می‌ خواهد تا حسابدهی در کشتار غیرقانونی افراد ملکی را در توافقنامه‌ های دو جانبه ای که با ناتو و ایالات متحده امریکا امضا می کند، در نظر داشته باشد. شماری از قربانیان حملات نیرو های امریکایی نیز در کنفرانس سازمان عفو بین الملل شرکت داشتند. آن‌ ها خواهان عدالت شدند و گفتند خساراتی که در نتیجه حملات ناتو و نیروهای امریکایی به آن‌ ها وارد شده باید جبران شود. --- عکس العمل سفارت امریکا و آیساف -- در همین حال سفیر امریکا در کابل گفت تلفات ملکی در سه سال اخیر کاهش یافته و بیشتر قضایای تلفات ملکی تحقیق و بررسی شده است. جیمز کننگهم، سفیر امریکا در کابل روز دوشنبه در یک کنفرانس خبری در پاسخ به سوالی در مورد گزارش عفو بین الملل، گفت این سازمان باید تمام جوانب را در نظر گیرد. او با اشاره به کشته شدن چهار غیرنظامی و زخمی شدن بیش از 30 تن در انفجار روز یک شنبه در کابل گفت که بیشتر تلفات غیرنظامی توسط طالبان صورت می گیرد. آیساف نیز با پخش اعلامیه ای گفته است تمام قضایای تلفات ملکی به صورت درست تحقیق می ‌شود. اعلامیه گفته است این قضایا در صورتی که شرایط اجازه دهد به صورت دقیق بررسی می‌شوند. آیساف هم چنان گفته است که بیشترین تلاش برای کاهش تلفات ملکی در جنگ افغانستان صورت گرفته است. More,

Iraqis Nominate Maliki Successor, Causing Standoff --- BAGHDAD — Under heavy pressure from the United States, Iraqi lawmakers took a significant step on Monday by choosing a replacement for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, widely blamed for their country’s polarized politics. But Mr. Maliki angrily rejected the move, vowing to fight in the courts and perhaps by use of force, throwing the country into new uncertainty even as it fights an onslaught by Sunni militants -- The change in leadership could help soothe Iraq’s sectarian fractures and unite the country under Mr. Maliki’s nominated successor, a member of his own Shiite party. But Mr. Maliki’s insistence that he is the rightful leader could just as easily tear Iraq further apart. -- Complicating the picture more was the United States, which helped orchestrate Mr. Maliki’s rise to power eight years ago but now holds him responsible for alienating the country’s Sunni minority and helping fuel the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Sunni extremist group. Territorial gains by ISIS in the north prompted a new military intervention by the United States — and gave Washington fresh leverage to demand political changes in Baghdad. --- President Obama welcomed the nomination of a new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, interrupting his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to announce in a televised statement that both he and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had congratulated Mr. Abadi on the phone, calling his nomination “an important step towards forming a new government that can unite Iraq’s different communities.” -- But Mr. Obama also reminded the Iraqis that America’s renewed military assistance — punctuated by the airstrikes that began pounding ISIS positions last week — was no solution to what he called the larger crisis in Iraq. “The only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government,” he said. --- Although Mr. Maliki is widely reviled in Iraq, he remains a formidable force, with relatives who command special security forces, courts that are heavily shaped by his influence and a history of exacting revenge on his domestic opponents. Mr. Maliki’s stubbornness presents multiple challenges to the United States, which wants to preserve Iraq’s cohesion while helping to stop ISIS’ avowed goal of creating a monolithic Islamic caliphate that ignores national boundaries. -- Mr. Obama spoke after a day of high political drama in Baghdad, where Mr. Maliki appeared on state television and blamed the United States for “standing beside those who violated the Iraqi Constitution.” The stage was set for more drama in the coming days, as the new nominee works to form a government, and Mr. Maliki pursues his bid to remain in power through a legal challenge or, as some worry, the use of the military to guarantee his survival. “We will fix the mistake,” he said, without being specific. - Read More, NYTimes

Monday, August 11, 2014

Reaction to death of actor and comedian Robin Williams --- REUTERS - Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead at age 63 on Monday from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, authorities said. -- Hollywood celebrities and many others who knew him paid tribute to Williams: -- His wife Susan Schneider said in a statement: “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken." --- President Barack Obama, in a statement making reference to the actor's many roles said: "Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. ... The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams." -- Director Steven Spielberg said in a statement: "Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal, and I can't believe he's gone." -- Comedian Steve Martin said on Twitter: "I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul." -- Actor Ben Stiller said on Twitter: "I met him when I was 13 and a huge fan and he was so kind and I watched him be kind to every fan I ever saw him with ... And with other actors he was so generous and brilliant. He made everyone feel special and equal around him even though he was the genius." -- Comedian Chevy Chase said in a statement: "Robin and I were great friends, suffering from the same little-known disease: depression. I never could have expected this ending to his life, and to ours with him. God bless him and God bless us all for his LIFE! I cannot believe this." -- Producer David E. Kelley, who created television show "The Crazy Ones" starring Williams, said in a statement: “The talent was legendary. But equally inspiring, perhaps more so, was his kindness and humanity. Gentle soul who touched us all.” -- Officials from Twentieth Century Fox Television, the studio that produced "The Crazy Ones," said in a statement: “Robin Williams was a comedy giant, and although we only knew him personally for a season, he was warm, funny and a true professional." - Read More,

NATO chief says will have to decide on Afghan pullout soon --- (Reuters) - NATO will soon be forced to take a decision on a total pullout from Afghanistan unless a deadlock over the country's election ends and a new president signs an agreement allowing foreign forces to stay, the head of the alliance said on Monday. -- Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Reuters the Sept. 4-5 NATO summit in Wales would be very close to a deadline for taking that decision. -- "Soon we will have to take tough decisions because if there isn't a legal basis for our continued presence in Afghanistan, we will have to withdraw everything by the end of this year and to do that we will have to start planning ... very soon," he said, without giving a firm date. -- NATO will end its combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of this year but plans to leave behind a smaller force to train and advise Afghan security forces in their fight against Taliban insurgents. -- To stay beyond 2014, NATO says it needs the Afghan government to sign agreements with the United States and NATO providing a legal basis for foreign troops to stay. -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign the agreement with the United States. The candidates to succeed him - Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah - say they would sign the agreements but they dispute the result of a run-off vote held in June and it could be weeks before a new president is installed. -- The delays in signing the accords have sharply reduced the time available for detailed planning of the post-2014 mission, causing anxiety at NATO headquarters, and Rasmussen indicated that the situation was now becoming critical. -- "Time is now of the essence and that is why we urge the Afghans to find a rapid conclusion of the presidential election process and we urge the new president to sign the legal arrangements as soon as possible after inauguration," he said. -- With Afghanistan recounting some 8 million ballots cast in the June run-off vote, and amid allegations by Abdullah of widespread fraud, there have been fears that the formation of a proposed unity government could drag on for months. -- However, both candidates have now signed an agreement stating that they will agree to a timeline for the electoral process and an inauguration date for the next president by the end of August. -- The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan currently numbers around 44,000 troops, including more than 30,000 Americans, according to the ISAF website. -- U.S. President Barack Obama outlined a plan in May to withdraw all but 9,800 American troops by the end of the year and pull out the rest by the end of 2016, ending more than a decade of military engagement triggered by the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in 2001. -- About 4,000 troops from other NATO nations were expected to stay on beyond 2014 to participate in the training mission. -- The Afghan presidential election limbo has created uncertainty over who, if anyone, will represent Afghanistan at the NATO summit, which will symbolically lower the curtain on NATO's years of combat in Afghanistan. - More,

Robin Williams found dead in his home in California. Actor, comedian was 63. --- . The Marin County Sheriff’s Office said that a preliminary investigation indicates the cause of death was a suicide due to asphyxia but that an investigation is continuing. His media agent said he had been battling depression. -- Long fueled by an alcohol and cocaine addiction, Mr. Williams was a motormouthed and unpredictable entertainer in whatever medium he was working, whether movies, television, Broadway, or gala performances before Prince Charles of England. “In England, if you commit a crime, the police don’t own a gun and you don’t have a gun,” he told an audience, referring to the tactics of London police toward criminals. “So it’s, ‘Stop . . . or I’ll say stop again.’ ” -- He was a satirist, an Oscar-winning dramatic actor and a mimic of everyone from Carol Channing to Jack Nicholson, from a British actor rendering “Hamlet” to a ghetto tough to Henry Kissinger channeling the morgue-voiced actor Peter Lorre. Mr. Williams delighted in singing Bruce Springsteen filtered through the voice of Elmer Fudd. He once said he took a crash course in Russian and was so good that he fooled real Russians into thinking he was one of them, “or else Czech or Polish.” -- Audiences gravitated to his profane comic riffs on guns, drugs, God and politics. Of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder and Hollywood-action-star-turned-California-governor, Mr. Williams equated his branding as a moderate Republican to “a Volvo with a gun rack — you don't see a lot of them.” --- Mr. Williams won an Oscar as best supporting actor for his portrayal of a therapist in “Good Will Hunting” (1997) after having been nominated three times for leading roles, for his portrayal of an irreverent disc jockey in “Good Morning, Vietnam” (1987), an inspirational boarding school teacher in “Dead Poets Society” (1989) and a distraught widower in “The Fisher King” (1991). -- As a Hollywood actor, he was almost always compelling but was uneven in his choice of roles, which shifted in the dramatic realm between riveting (“Awakenings”) and maudlin (“Patch Adams”) and in the comic sphere between the adroit crowd pleaser (“Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Birdcage”) and the thuddingly mediocre (“Night at the Museum”). --- Robin McLaurin Williams was born July 21, 1951, in Chicago and raised in a 30-room mansion in the affluent Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. -- His father, Robert, was a sales executive at Ford Motor Co., and his mother, Laurie, was a former model her son would later call a “Christian Dior scientist.” Each parent brought a much older child from a previous marriage into the family, leaving Robin to play by himself with 2,000 toy soldiers — giving each a different voice. - Read More, Adam Bernstein,

Robin Williams, Oscar-Winning Actor, Dead at 63 --- Legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams died on Monday, a suspected suicide. He was 63. -- The Marin County coroner said in a statement that the death was suspected "to be a suicide due to asphyxia." -- "Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late," said the comedian's spokeswoman Mara Buxbaum. "This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time." -- His wife, Susan Schneider, added: "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions." - Read More,

ملی غورځنگ: تقسیم قدرت، کشور را به سمت بحران سوق می دهد --- در حالیکه تلاش ها به هدف تشکیل یک حکومت وحدت ملی در کشور و عملی شدن مواد توافقات دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری در این رابطه در حال شکل گرفتن است، اما شماری از طرفداران احزاب سیاسی با این کار مخالفت می کنند. اعضای حزب سیاسی موسوم به ملی غورځنگ روز دوشنبه در یک نشست خبری نسبت به توافق اخیر نامزدان ریاست جمهوری عکس العمل نشان داده برخی از موارد توافقات آنان را خلاف قانون اساسی کشور خواندند. -- نظیم سمون یک تن از اعضای این حزب سیاسی می گوید که تقسیم قدرت به اساس این توافقات، کشور را به سمت بحران سوق خواهد داد: "مطابق این توافق اپوزیسیون در حکومت سهیم خواهند بود یعنی قدرت پنجاه - پنجاه فیصد تقسیم خواهد شد. این نه ایتلاف است و نه اپوزیسیون، بلکه این یک رشوت سیاسی است. حکومت های که بر اساس مصلحت ها و بر اساس معاملات سیاسی تشکیل می شود به هیچ صورت پاسخگوی ملت نخواهد بود. ما از کاندیدان می خواهیم که این توافقی را که صورت گرفته آنرا لغو نمایند." -- پیش از این، توافق دو نامزد در خصوص ایجاد پُست "ریاست اجرایی" شک و تردید های را در مورد تغییر نظام سیاسی این کشور و محدود شدن صلاحیت‌ های رئیس جمهور آینده به میان آورده بود. اعضای حزب ملی خورځنگ و برخی از آگاهان افغان، نسبت به ماده پنجم اعلامیه مشترک چهارچوب سیاسی که به تاریخ 21 سرطان مورد توافق دو تیم انتخاباتی قرار گرفته بود، انتقاد کرده اند. -- در این ماده آمده است: "تعیینات در مقام های کلیدی امنیت ملی، نهاد های مستقل و اقتصادی حکومت، با در نظرداشت اصل ایجاد تساوی و برابری بین انتخاب رئیس جمهور و رهبر اپوزیسیون صورت می ‌گیرد. مقامات وزارت ها، قضا، مقرری های کلیدی در سطح ولایات، با در نظر داشت اصل نمایندگی عادلانه، توسط رئیس جمهور به مشوره رهبر اپوزیسیون صورت می ‌گیرد." -- فیض الله ذکی سخنگوی تیم تحول و تداوم و محمد ناطقی یک عضو تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی در مورد به رادیو آزادی گفتند: "قانون اساسی هر تبعه افغانستان و هر سیاستمدار افغان را موظف می سازد که منافع علیای ملی را بالاتر از هر کتگوری منافع قرار دهد. تشکیل حکومت وحدت ملی بهترین وسیله تامین وحدت ملی، تامین ثبات و در نتیجه تامین صلح، آشتی و پیشرفت است. بخاطر اینکه در یک حالت غیر طبیعی و غیر نورمال ما قرار داریم، دو نامزد توافق کردند روی ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی و حکومت وحدت ملی این است که تیم اول رئیس جمهور است و تیم دوم سمت اجرایی را می گیرد در عین حالی که مقام رهبر اپوزیسیون را نیز ایجاد می کند." -- هر دو نامزد انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان روز جمعه در حضور جان کری وزیر خارجه امریکا از امضای اعلامیه مشترک خبر دادند که بر اساس آن دو تیم انتخاباتی توافق کرده ‌اند تا برای ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی در کشور برنامه ‌های مشترکی را روی دست بگیرند. گرچه دو نامزد انتخابات ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی را در کشور موثر می دانند، اما تحلیلگران افغان می گویند که چنین اقدام به نفع آینده افغانستان نخواهد بود. - رادیو آزادی

Egypt's Mubarak to defend himself in court Wednesday --- CAIRO – An Egyptian court has adjourned until Wednesday the trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his former interior minister and several other Interior Ministry officials charged with killing demonstrators during Egypt's 2011 popular uprising. -- Court judges are expected to hear testimony from Mubarak during Wednesday's court session, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter. -- On Wednesday, Ahmed Ramzi, head of Egypt's anti-riot police under Mubarak, said he had ordered the men under his command not to use violence against demonstrators during the uprising. --- On Saturday, Habib al-Adly, Mubarak's interior minister at the time of the uprising, accused the Muslim Brotherhood – the movement from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails – of collaborating with Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to kill demonstrators during the uprising. -- Speaking in court in the same trial, al-Adly claimed that police had not been armed during the uprising. -- In late 2012 Mubarak and al-Adly were both sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering the murder of demonstrators during the 2011 uprising. The court later ordered a retrial. -- Often called Egypt's "trial of the century," the Mubarak trial is being closely watched by millions of Egyptians who want to see the strongman – who monopolized the country's political life for three decades – brought to account. --- On Wednesday, Mubarak, a former air force commander, will be allowed to speak publicly for the first time since the fall of his regime more than three years ago. - More,

Amnesty International -- Afghanistan: No justice for thousands of civilians killed in US/NATO operations --- The families of thousands of Afghan civilians killed by US/NATO forces in Afghanistan have been left without justice, Amnesty International said in a new report released today. Focusing primarily on air strikes and night raids carried out by US forces, including Special Operations Forces, Left in the Dark finds that even apparent war crimes have gone uninvestigated and unpunished. -- “Thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by US forces since the invasion, but the victims and their families have little chance of redress. The US military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director. -- “None of the cases that we looked into – involving more than 140 civilian deaths – were prosecuted by the US military. Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored.” --- The report documents in detail the failures of accountability for US military operations in Afghanistan. It calls on the Afghan government to ensure that accountability for unlawful civilian killings is guaranteed in any future bilateral security agreements signed with NATO and the United States. - Read More,

NATO promises probe Afghanistan civilian deaths claim --- KABUL, Afghanistan - The NATO-led security force in Afghanistan quickly reacted to a report by Amnesty International accusing foreign forces of committing war crimes over a period of four years, claiming it always investigates allegations of abuses. -- "Claims are rigorously investigated and appropriate actions are taken to mitigate the possibility of civilian casualties in future operations," the International Security Assistance Force said in a statement Monday. -- Earlier Monday, the London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International released a report titled "Left in the Dark" which focused on airstrikes and night raids by U.S. forces and accused the international force of allowing apparent war crimes to go uninvestigated and unpunished. -- In investigations of 10 incidents that took place between 2009 and 2013, Amnesty found 140 civilians were killed, including pregnant women and at least 50 children. It interviewed some 125 witnesses, victims and family members, including many who had never given testimony to anyone before. -- "In many of the cases covered in the report, U.S. military or NATO would announce that an investigation was underway, they would not release any information about the progress, leaving victims and family members in the dark," Amnesty said. -- Meanwhile the international force has said it is reviewing Amnesty's report and will respond accordingly. -- The matter of civilian casualties has been a bone of contention between the Karzai administration and its western allies for a while now with nearly 20,000 civilians reportedly killed in the Afghan War since 2001. -- Karzai has repeatedly criticized NATO forces for night raids in civilian areas and the killing of innocent victims in air strikes. - More, Shadi Khan Saif, Monday, August 11, 2014,

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Daily Beast -- Amnesty: U.S. Concealed Troops’ War Crimes in Afghanistan as Recently as Last Year --- The stories of Afghans abducted, tortured, and left to die, allegedly by U.S. troops, is like a nightmare from the Bush years. But Amnesty International says it happened under Obama. -- The U.S. military has systematically covered up or disregarded “abundant and compelling evidence” of war crimes, torture, and unlawful killings in Afghanistan as recently as last year, according to a report by Amnesty International published today in Kabul. -- The human rights organization alleges that the U.S. military has routinely failed to properly investigate reports of criminal behavior and, in some instances, tampered with evidence to conceal wrongdoing. On the rare occasions when servicemen are held to account, the report found that the compromised military justice system seldom secured justice for the victims of enforced disappearances, killings, and abuse that included torture. -- “President Obama has admitted that ‘we tortured’ people in the past—but this is not the Bush administration, this is torture happening under Obama,” said Joanne Mariner, the author of the report. --- While torture and other abuses by the CIA and the military were sanctioned by the Bush administration, Obama entered office vowing to end such practices. There have been a number of prosecutions and punishments of military units that have committed crimes and atrocities in Afghanistan under Obama, but Amnesty says the White House has to do more to ensure his policy changes are respected in the field. -- A survivor of one of the most egregious assaults on civilians detailed in the report told The Daily Beast he had been forced to listen to the last gasps and sobs of his dying daughter, who was seven months pregnant, while the Americans threatened to kill anyone who moved. “She was calling out for help, maybe she wanted to share her last words before she left us forever,” said Muhammad Tahir, a civil servant. -- Four years after two pregnant women, two criminal justice officials, and a teenage girl were shot dead during a party to mark the birth of a grandson in Khataba Village, Paktia Province, Tahir and his family are still waiting to be interviewed as part of an investigation the U.S. military promised to carry out. -- “There is a shocking lack of accountability for the killing of Afghan civilians by U.S. forces, including civilians killed in circumstances that raise concerns about war crimes,” said Mariner. “There is very strong evidence that war crimes were carried out.” -- The report, titled “Left in the Dark,” includes detailed investigations of 10 incidents in which at least 140 civilians, including 50 children, were killed in dubious circumstances. In the aftermath of nine of these, eyewitnesses and families report that no one was ever interviewed by the U.S. military. --- A Pentagon spokesman did not deny the allegations in the report but reiterated U.S. policy on torture and war crimes. “The Department of Defense does not permit its personnel to engage in acts of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of any person in its custody,” said Maj. Bradlee Avots. --- According to the Amnesty report, a Special Forces unit had raided the house on February 12, 2010. Five people were killed, some by sniper fire, some at closer range. When the Americans realized that the pregnant women and children they had killed were unlikely to be insurgents, witnesses said they began to remove the evidence of what they had done. -- “When they understood they had hit the wrong place, they started pulling out the bullets from the dead bodies with their hands and their knives,” Tahir recalled. “America, the killer nation, we will never forgive you.” -- The day after the assault, ISAF announced that forces had stumbled upon the dead women after a firefight with insurgents. In the following days they would go on to brief the press with a series of lurid but inaccurate stories suggesting that there was evidence of honor killings or execution-style murders. -- “The immediate effort to cover up what had been done suggested that they realized it was a crime,” said Mariner. “And the changing story over time definitely suggests a cover-up.” -- Amnesty says Tahir’s family is just one of thousands who have waited in vain for justice for their missing, dead, or severely injured loved ones. Foreign forces in Afghanistan have immunity from local prosecution, leaving the U.S. military itself, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to investigate and try American troops when they are accused of criminal acts. --- The U.S. authorities first became aware of allegations against the Special Forces team operating out of Combat Outpost Nerkh in December 2012. The American-led miliary coalition denied the charges of abuse. But by February 2013, they had become so vehement that the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, ordered Special Forces to leave the province. -- “The U.S. knew about complaints, and that obviously raises concerns as to why this wasn’t stopped sooner, because the abuses went on. There were people who were disappeared as late as February” in 2013, said Mariner. --- The military insists that civilian deaths are investigated whenever allegations of unlawful killing are made. “In accordance with standard practice, the United States has investigated U.S. military personnel and civilian personnel, including contractors, for civilian casualties that are alleged to be not incident to lawful military operations. Investigation results can and have previously led to both criminal convictions, as well as adverse administrative actions,” said Avots. -- Read More,

Europe's fragile economy put to test as Ukraine, Iraq sour mood --- (Reuters) - Investors will gauge the strength of the euro zone's fragile economy this week as escalating conflicts in Ukraine and Iraq darken the mood globally. -- In stark contrast to the United States and Britain, which are growing strongly, economic output in the euro bloc is likely to have all but ground to a halt in the three months to June. Its star economy, Germany, is losing momentum and Italy is sliding back into recession. -- "The United States and the United Kingdom are going to be among the fastest-growing economies both this year and next," said James Knightley, an economist with ING. "In Europe, the situation seems to be going into reverse." -- The growing sanctions fight between Russia and the West over Moscow's backing of rebels in Ukraine and U.S. air strikes to block Islamist militants in Iraq are also upsetting the markets. -- On Thursday, the European Union announces economic output data for the 18 countries in the euro zone for the April-June quarter, and Germany will reveal its own gross domestic product for the same period. -- By these yardsticks, neither Germany nor the wider euro zone are expected to see much, if any, improvement on the first three months of the year. -- To compound matters, tit-for-tat sanctions between Moscow and the European Union and fears that Russia could even invade eastern Ukraine are already sapping business confidence and will eat into paltry economic growth later this year. -- Not only does Moscow supply about a third of the European Union's gas needs, trade ties in other areas between Russia and Europe run deep. -- German energy giant E.ON, for instance, has invested 6 billion euros ($8 billion) since 2007 in Russia, while chemicals firm BASF has a joint venture with Gazprom. -- "For a long time, the market has been ignoring the geopolitical risks," said Gregor Eder, an economist with Allianz, one of the globe's largest fund investors. -- "The escalation in Ukraine and a spiral of sanctions could be a turning point for that. Exports to Russia were already falling even before Ukraine and could fall further. The Iraq crisis increases nervousness further." - More,

Taliban in deadly attack on Nato convoy in Kabul --- Car suicide-bomb attack on armoured vehicles in Afghan shopping street kills 4 and injures 35 civilians, but troops escape --- A suicide car bomber attacked a Nato convoy moving through Afghanistan's capital on Sunday, killing at least four civilians and wounding more than 35 in an assault claimed by the Taliban, authorities said -- The blast struck two armoured vehicles in western Kabul, damaging a car and scattering debris across a highway lined with shops. Nato troops and Afghan soldiers cordoned off the scene after the blast. --- Civilians increasingly find themselves under fire as the US-led 2001 war draws to a close and Afghan forces take the lead in operations targeting the Taliban. - More, Guardian

As it happened: Erdoğan vows 'new era' after elected Turkey's 12th president --- Around 53 million people headed to the ballot box across Turkey on Aug. 10 to choose the country’s next president, with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan being elected by popular vote for the first time in the nation’s history. -- The three candidates, Erdoğan, who has ruled the country for 12 years as prime minister, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and a joint candidate of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş each called on their supporters to vote, but the turnout was lower than expected. -- Erdoğan was elected in the first round, sweeping more than half the vote in a result his opponents fear heralds an increasingly authoritarian state. --- The new president will serve a five-year term and has the right to stand for another stint in office. Outgoing President Abdullah Gül’s tenure will end on Aug. 28. -- More,

Erdogan wins Turkish presidency, allies say --- (Reuters) - Tayyip Erdogan was set to be Turkey's next president after local media credited the veteran prime minister with more than half the vote in a near-complete count and allies said Erdogan had won. -- After an election on Sunday that his opponents say may create an increasingly authoritarian state, broadcasters said Erdogan had 52.0 percent of the vote, 13 points more than his closest rival. Such a result would rule out a runoff round and seal Erdogan's place in history as Turkey's first directly elected head of state, a role expected to enhance his power. -- In a Twitter message confirmed by his office, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said: "Erdogan has become the first president elected by the people." The deputy chairman of his ruling AK party said Erdogan won with just over 52 percent. -- Erdogan himself said "the people have shown their will" but stopped short of declaring victory in comments to supporters in Istanbul. He said he would speak later at party headquarters in the capital Ankara once the count was complete. -- Turkey has emerged as a regional economic force under Erdogan, who, as prime minister for more than a decade, has ridden a wave of religiously conservative support to transform the secular republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923. --- The main opposition candidate, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, was on 38.8 percent with 90 percent of votes counted while Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish, left-wing People's Democratic Party was on 9.2 percent, said television stations CNN Turk and NTV. -- Turkey's electoral authorities are not officially due to announce their first results until Monday, with final figures due later in the week, but Erdogan, 60, is expected to make a victory address later on Sunday. -- In a tea house in the working-class Istanbul district of Tophane, men watching election coverage on television praised Erdogan as a pious man of the people who had boosted Turkey's status both economically and on the international stage. --- "Erdogan is on the side of the underdog. He is the defender against injustice. While the Arab world was silent, he spoke out against Israel on Gaza," said Murat, 42, a jeweler, who declined to give his family name. -- Opinion polls had put Erdogan, 60, far ahead of two rivals competing for a five-year term as president. Parliament has in the past chosen the head of state but this was changed under a law pushed through by Erdogan's government. -- He has set his sights on serving two presidential terms, keeping him in power past 2023, the 100th anniversary of the secular republic. For a leader who refers frequently to Ottoman history in his speeches, the date has special significance. -- A rapturous crowd cheered and chanted "Turkey is proud of you" and "President Erdogan" as he emerged from a school where he voted with his wife and children on the Asian side of Istanbul. He waved and shook people's hands. -- More,

په کامدیش کي د بي پیلوټه الوتکو په بریدونو کي ولسي وګړي شهیدان شوي --- د نورستان ولایت د کامدیش ولسوالۍ په کوشتوز سیمه کي د تیرو څو ورځو را په دیخوا د امریکا د بي پیلوټه الوتکو په هوایی بریدونو کي ولسي وګړي په نښه کیږی د کامدیش ولسوالۍ یو شمیر قومی مشران وايي چي د تیری پنجشنبي را په دیخوا په کوشتوز سیمه کي شاوخوا ۴۷ تنه ولسي وګړي شهیدان شوي نوموړو په خبره کله چي کلیوالو خلکو د خپلو مړو لټون کاوه بیا بیا پري هوایی بریدونه شوي او د ښځو او ماشومان په ګډون ګڼ شمیر خلک ژوبل شوي هم دي یاد قومي مشران د نوم د نه څرګندولو په شرط د نورستان په اوسني والي او امنیتي چارواکو تور پوری کوي چي رسنیو ته یی ناسم خبرونه ورکړي او ورته ویل شوي چي وژل شوي ټول د جنګیالیو ډلو پوری تړلي دي یاد مشران په هیواد کي شته رسنۍ هم تورنوي چي تر اوسه یی د کامدیش خبر په سمه توګه هیوادوالو او نړیوالو ته نه دي وړاندي کړي. -- بل پلو نورستان والي حافظ عبدالقیوم وویل چي دوي هم داسي خبر شوي چي وژل شوي خلک ولسي وګړي دي خو د دولت پلټني رواني دي او نور جزیات به وروسته خپاره کړي -- یو تن چي ځان عبدالستار پیژني او د کامدیش ولسوالۍ اوسیدونکي دي وايي چي تر اوسه پوری ولسي وګړو مړی نه دی ترلاسه شوی او خلک د بیا بمبار له وجي د خپلو کورنونه نشي وتلي -- دا په داسی حال کي ده چي په نورستان ولایت کي په دی ورستیو کي ورته پیښي ډیري شوي ولسي وګړی شکایت کوي د دوی کورنه هم بمبارد شي خو بیا هم په نورستان کي شته اداره سترګي پټوي او وژل شوي خلک د طالبانو په نوم ور پیژني - زرداد شینواری

Suicide bomber targets foreign troops in Kabul, four civilians killed --- (Reuters) - A suicide car bomber targeted a convoy of foreign forces in the capital Kabul on Sunday, killing at least four Afghan civilians, including children, and wounding dozens, Afghan security officials said. -- The attacker detonated his vehicle in a busy part of western Kabul, said interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. Two children and one woman were among the dead, a police statement said, while some 35 others were wounded. -- Local TV footage showed at least one ISAF military vehicle was slightly damaged in the attack. A spokesman for the NATO-led force in the country said they were looking into the incident but did not comment on the details. -- Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack. -- On Tuesday, a U.S. general was killed and over a dozen others were wounded when an Afghan soldier turned his gun on their delegation. He was the highest ranking U.S. official to be killed in action overseas since the war in Vietnam. - More,

"داعش ساخته و پرداخته خود ماست" /هیلاری کلینتون --- خانم هیلاری کلینتون، وزیر خارجه اسبق آمریکا در کتاب خاطرات خویش که تازه به زیور چاپ در امریکا آراسته شده است چنین می نگارد: ما وارد جنگ عراق، لیبا و سوریه شدیم و همه چیز بر وفق مراد و بسیار خوب بود. -- من به ۱۱۲ کشور جهان سفر کرده بودم و با برخی از دوستان این توافق حاصل شد تا به محض اعلام تاسیس داعش این گروه به رسمیت شناخته شود، اما ناگهان همه چیز فروپاشید. -- توافق شده بود تا دولت اسلامی )داعش( در روز ۵/ ۷/ ۲۰۱۳ اعلام شود و ما منتظر اعلام تاسیس آن بودیم تا ما و اروپا هرچه سریعتر آن را به رسمیت بشناسیم. -- اما با انقلاب مصر همه چیز در مقابل ما بدون هشدار قبلی فرو ریخت. اقدام هولناکی رخ داد. ما به توسل به زور فکر کردیم، اما اردوی مصر، اردوی سوریه یا لیبا نیست؛ اردوی مصر بسیار قدرتمند است و مردم مصر هیچگاه اردوی خود را تنها نمی گذارند. -- زمانی که ما با ناوهای آمریکایی به سمت اسکندریه رفتیم از سوی گروهی از زیردریایی های بسیار جدید با نام "گر گهای دریا" زیر نظر گرفته شدیم، این زیر دریایی ها به جدیدترین سلا حها و تجهیزات رهگیری مجهز بودند. -- زمانی که تلاش کردیم به دریای سرخ نزدیک شویم با طیاره های قدیمی میگ ۲۱ روسیه غافلگیر شدیم، اما مساله عجیب تر این بود که رادارهای نتوانستند بفهمند این طیاره ها از کجا آمدند و به کجا رفتند؟ -- ما ترجیح دادیم برگردیم. حمایت و پشتیبانی مردم مصر از اردو بیشتر شده بود. چین و روسیه نیز مخالفت خود را با این اوضاع اعلام کردند و ناوها بازگردانده شدند؛ هنوز هم نمی دانیم که چگونه با مصر و اردوی اش تعامل و برخورد داشته باشیم؟ -- اگر علیه مصر متوسل به قدرت م یشدیم شکست م یخوردیم و اگر م ر را رها م یکردیم چیز مهمی را از دست م یدادیم. مصر قلب جهان عرب و جهان اسلام است و ما تلاش داشتیم تا از طریق اخوان المسلمین و از طریق داعش این کشور را تحت کنترل درآورده و آن را تقسیم کنیم و پس از آن به کشورهای حوزه خلیج فارس برویم. کویت اولین کشوری بود که از طریق دوستان ما در آنجا آماده بود و سپس عربستان و بعد از آن امارات و بحرین و عمان در برنامه ما بودند و پس از آن منطقه عربی کاملا تقسیم م یشد و به صورت کامل آن را تحت کنترل در م یآوردیم. -- ما منابع نفت و گذرگا ههای آبی را تحت تصرف خود درمی آوردیم، اگر برخی از اختلافات میان آن ها وجود داشت اوضاع تغییر می کرد. -- به گزارش "تمدن نیوز" ، به نقل از نوشته روزنامه الاهرام، هیلاری کلینتون، وزیر خارجه سابق آمریکا در کتاب خاطرات خود که اخیرا در آمریکا چاپ شد، سطور فوق را نوشته است. -مطالبدری&article=16337

Hillary Clinton: 'Failure' to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS --- The former secretary of state, and probable candidate for president, outlines her foreign-policy doctrine. She says this about President Obama's: "Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle." -- President Obama has long-ridiculed the idea that the U.S., early in the Syrian civil war, could have shaped the forces fighting the Assad regime, thereby stopping al Qaeda-inspired groups—like the one rampaging across Syria and Iraq today—from seizing control of the rebellion. In an interview in February, the president told me that “when you have a professional army ... fighting against a farmer, a carpenter, an engineer who started out as protesters and suddenly now see themselves in the midst of a civil conflict—the notion that we could have, in a clean way that didn’t commit U.S. military forces, changed the equation on the ground there was never true.” --- “The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said. -- As she writes in her memoir of her State Department years, Hard Choices, she was an inside-the-administration advocate of doing more to help the Syrian rebellion. Now, her supporters argue, her position has been vindicated by recent events. --- Of course, Clinton had many kind words for the “incredibly intelligent” and “thoughtful” Obama, and she expressed sympathy and understanding for the devilishly complicated challenges he faces. But she also suggested that she finds his approach to foreign policy overly cautious, and she made the case that America needs a leader who believes that the country, despite its various missteps, is an indispensable force for good. At one point, I mentioned the slogan President Obama recently coined to describe his foreign-policy doctrine: “Don’t do stupid shit” (an expression often rendered as “Don’t do stupid stuff” in less-than-private encounters). --- “One of the reasons why I worry about what’s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States,” she said. “Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’etre is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank—and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat.” --- She went on, “You know, we did a good job in containing the Soviet Union but we made a lot of mistakes, we supported really nasty guys, we did some things that we are not particularly proud of, from Latin America to Southeast Asia, but we did have a kind of overarching framework about what we were trying to do that did lead to the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism. That was our objective. We achieved it.” (This was one of those moments, by the way, when I was absolutely sure I wasn’t listening to President Obama, who is loath to discuss the threat of Islamist terrorism in such a sweeping manner.) - More, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic,

McCain Says Limited U.S. Strikes on Militants in Iraq Are Not Enough --- WASHINGTON — President Obama’s authorization of limited military operations against militants in Iraq is not enough to counter a growing threat to the United States from “the richest, most powerful terrorist organization in history,” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said on Saturday. -- Speaking by telephone from Vietnam, where he was part of a bipartisan congressional delegation visiting Asia, Mr. McCain said in an interview that Mr. Obama was showing a “fundamental misunderstanding of the threat” presented by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, that is “deeply disturbing.” -- “The stated purpose — stated by the president — is to save American lives, not to stop ISIS, not to change the battlefield, not to stop ISIS from moving equipment farther into Syria to destroy the Free Syrian Army,” Mr. McCain said. “Obviously, the president of the United States does not appreciate this is not just a threat to American troops on the ground or even Iraq or Kurdistan. This is a threat to America.” - More, JONATHAN WEISMAN, NYTimes

Saturday, August 09, 2014

د عبدالله عبدالله او اشرف غني احمدزي جوړجاړي پر ولسواکي د خلکو باور زیانمن کړ --- په افغانستان کې د انتخاباتي لانجې د پای ته رسولو په هدف د جمعې په ورځ /اګست۸/ د اشرف غني احمدزي او عبدالله عبدالله ترمنځ د ملي یووالي د حکومت د جوړېدا په اړه یوه اعلامیه لاسلیک شوه. سره له دې چې ممکن دا جوړجاړی په افغانستان کې انتخاباتي جنجال پای ته ورسوي خو د خلکو پر رایو او ولسواکۍ ښايي د خلکو باور هم پای ته ورسوي -- له دې وروسته به نه یوازې دوهم کاندید بلکې درېم، څلورم… کاندیدان هم د انتخاباتو د نتیجې نه مني او په حکومت کې به د مساوي ونډې د ترلاسه کولو لپاره د ګواښ او تهدید شیوو ته مخه کوي. -- د عبدالله عبدالله او اشرف غني احمدزي ترمنځ د لاسلیک شوي سند پر اساس حکومت تقریباً د دواړو ترمنځ په مساوي ډول وېشل کېږي. که څه هم بریالی کاندید به ولسمشر وي خو ناکام کاندید نه یوازې په حکومت کې مساوي حق لري بلکې د اپوزیسیون مشري هم ترلاسه کوي. -- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر په ظاهره د دې غیردیموکراتیکې موافقې دفاع په دې خاطر کوي چې د ده په باور که دا کار نه وای شوی افغانستان د کورنۍ جګړې ښکار کېده. --- د امریکا د متحدو ایالتونو د سولې په انستیتیوت کې د افغانستان او منځنۍ اسیا د چارو رئیس سکاټ سمیت وايي چې د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري په منځګړتوب وروستۍ موافقې (د ښاغلیو غني او عبدالله) وښودله چې افغان مشران د عامو افغان رای ورکوونکو خلاف ولسواکۍ ته تیار نه دي. -- دی وايي، له بده مرغه په انتخاباتو کې درغلۍ شوي دي مګر دا هم حقیقت دی چې ملیونونو افغانانو د سر خطر په غاړه اخیستی او د طالبانو له تهدید سره سره یې رایه استعمال کړې ده. --- ښاغلی سمیت د واک وېش ناکام بولي او وايي:«ما په وروستیو کې په کمبودیا (۱۹۹۳)، کوټ پي اورس (۲۰۰۵)، کنیا (۲۰۰۷) او زیمبابوې (۲۰۰۸) کې د انتخاباتو په نتیجه کې څلور ګډ حکومتونه لیدلي چې جوړ شوي دي. -- د ده په وینا تر ټولو په ښه مورد کې حکومت یوازې توانېدلی چې حالات بېرته کړکېچن نه شي. -- خو دی په عین حال کې هیله لري چې د افغانستان نوی حکومت به اصلاحات راولي چې ولسمشر کرزي ورته توجه نه ده کړې. خو که د واک د شریکولو معنا دا وي چې بیا هم هغو فاسدو کسانو ته چوکۍ ورکړای شي چې د فساد له پلوه یې افغانستان ته په نړۍ کې د لومړۍ درجې نوم ورکړ، د افغانستان حالات به تر بدو بدتره شي. - تاند

In Afghanistan, the Two-Generation War --- Alongside the hardened veterans in the U.S. troops are young rookies who are eager to fight --- World War II ended in victory parades. Korea ended in stalemate. The Vietnam War ended in controversy, neatly captured in 1971 by veteran John Kerry (now secretary of state) when he posed the rhetorical question: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- The coming end of conventional combat operations in Afghanistan, after 13 years of fighting, doesn't resemble any of these models. Fought by an all-volunteer military, the war still draws young men who want to test themselves in combat, led by men who have already seen more than they sometimes care to remember. -- First Platoon of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment is a rarity in Afghanistan, one of the last conventional U.S. units still hunting for insurgents. --- The U.S. and its allies have closed, bulldozed or handed off to the Afghans all but about 70 of the 852 bases and outposts they held at the war's peak. American troops now number roughly 30,000, down from a high of 100,000. President Barack Obama has announced that he intends to leave 9,800 in the country after the end of the year, if the incoming Afghan president agrees. -- U.S. casualties have fallen dramatically as Afghan government forces have taken over the bulk of the fighting. In 2010, 499 Americans were killed in Afghanistan, the largest single-year toll of the war. So far this year fewer than 40 have died here. (Total U.S. deaths in Afghanistan since 2001 number more than 2,300.) -- Still, Afghanistan remains an unpredictable and dangerous place for international forces—a fact reinforced this week when an Afghan soldier opened fire at a military school in Kabul, killing U.S. Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, 55, of Schenectady, N.Y. He is now the highest-ranking American fatality of the war. The attacker wounded more than a dozen other Afghan and allied officers. -- Today, most U.S. conventional troops stay on relatively secure bases and do little fighting. On an average day, allied forces conduct just two dozen patrols, compared with hundreds of daily missions during the troop surge ordered up by Mr. Obama between 2010 and 2012. - More, WSJ,

Turkey's presidential elections: What is at stake? --- The upcoming presidential elections in Turkey might change significantly the political system in the country. --- There is little doubt that Prime Minister Recep Erdogan will win the upcoming presidential elections. His lead in the most recent public opinions polls is at least in double digits. -- Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was fielded as a joint candidate for the two largest opposition parties, centre-left People's Republican Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The third candidate is Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the Kurdish nationalist People's Democratic Party (HDP). Despite the fact that this is the first election in which the president will be elected by popular vote, following a constitutional amendment in 2007,enthusiasm for it is running fairly low. -- This election offers the Turkish voter the choice of two different models of presidency, where one would imply a de facto change in the system of governance. The election of either Ihsanoglu or Demirtas would maintain the fairly symbolic presidency in a parliamentary system. By contrast, Erdogan's election will turn it into a semi-presidential one. -- In recent remarks, Erdogan clearly expressed his preference for an active presidency: "A president elected by the people cannot be like the previous ones. As the head of the executive, the president uses all his constitutional powers. If I am elected president, I will also use all of them. I won't be a president of protocol." -- Erdogan certainly has some room to do that within the current constitutional provisions that determine the powers of the presidency. The concern, however, is that Erdogan is adamant about politicising the role of the president; as he himself said: he "won't be an impartial president". - More, A Kadir Yildirim,

ضمیه اعلامیه مشترک --- چهارچوب سیاسی که بتاریخ 21 سرطان 1393 (12 جولای 2014) مورد توافق هر دو تیم قرار گرفته است --- قسمت دوم: چارچوب سیاسی -- به تعقیب نتائج تفتیش با اعتبار و همه جانبه انتخابات که در قسمت اول تشریح شده است، کاندیدان تعهد مینمایند که یک موافقتنامه سیاسی را عملی نمایند که بر اساس آن برنده انتخابات به صفت رییس جمهور آغاز به کار نموده و بزودی حکومت وحدت ملی را ایجاد مینمایند که دارای مشخصات ذیل باشد: 1 - بمنظور توانمند ساختن مردم افغانستان و برای پاسخگویی به نیاز های تأمین صلح، ثبات، امنیت، حاکمیت قانون، عدالت، رشد اقتصادی، و عرضه خدمات، حکومت وحدت ملی برنامه همه جانبه اصلاحات را انکشاف داده و تطبیق می کند. 2 - رییس جمهور با برگزاری لویه جرگه روند تعدیل قانون اساسی را آغاز نموده و مقام صدراعظم اجرایی را ظرف دو سال ایجاد می نماید. 3 - تا زمانیکه مقام صدراعظم اجرایی بر مبنای قانون اساسی ایجاد گردد، وظایف صدراعظم اجرایی را رئیس اجرائیوی حکومت پیش خواهد برد. این مقام بلافاصله توسط فرمان رییس جمهور ایجاد شده و توسط شخصی که از طرف کاندید دومی انتخابات معرفی و از جانب رییس جمهورتایید گردیده باشد، اشغال میگردد. 4 - رییس جمهور مقام رهبر اپوزیسیون را ایجاد میکند. و کاندید دومی انتخابات شخص مورد نظرش را انتخاب مینماید تا این مقام را اشغال نماید. 5 - تعیینات در مقام های کلیدی امنیت ملی، نهادهای مستقل و اقتصادی حکومت، با در نظرداشت اصل ایجاد تساوی و برابری بین انتخاب رییس جمهور و رهبر اپوزیسیون صورت میگیرد. مقامات وزارت ها، قضا، مقرری های کلیدی به سطح ولایات، با در نظر داشت اصل نمایندگی عادلانه، توسط رییس جمهور به مشوره رهبر اپوزیسیون صورت میگیرد. 6 - رییس جمهور تعهد میکند که تداوم دررهبری مقامهای کلیدی ارگانهای امنیت ملی را برای حداقل 90 روزحفظ میکند. 7 - حکومت وحدت ملی تعهد میکند که در خلال یک سال اصلاحات بنیادی در نظام انتخاباتی را به هدف بهبود نا رسایی های انتخابات گذشته اتخاذ می نماید که توسط یک روند فراگیر وهمه شمول تهیه شده باشد. -- More, متن اعلاميه مشترك عبدالله و احمدزى

Friday, August 08, 2014

Turkish elections could shift president’s role --- ANKARA, Turkey — Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the front-runner in Turkey’s first direct presidential election on Sunday, says that if elected he will be an active head of state who “sweats, runs and rushes around” — not just a ceremonial figurehead as presidents have been in the past. -- It’s the kind of talk that leaves detractors, already alarmed at how much power Erdogan has concentrated in his hands, in a cold sweat. -- Until now, Turkey’s presidents have played a largely symbolic role although they can call general elections, approve or reject laws passed by Parliament and appoint prime ministers, the Council of Ministers and some high court judges. -- The position also has some dormant powers, including the power to call Parliament, summon Cabinet meetings and preside over them. Those powers are a legacy of Turkey’s 1980 military coup and have seldom been used. -- Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, says he intends to use these constitutional prerogatives to the full, effectively shaping the presidency into a more powerful position. He is widely expected to appoint an amenable prime minister, which would allow him to continue to rule Turkey pretty much in the same way as he did while premier. -- The Turkish leader, who has steered Turkey toward relative economic prosperity and enjoys widespread support in the Turkish heartland, argues that — as the first president to be directly elected by voters — he would have the mandate to rule with strengthened powers as head of state. -- Such comments by a leader who has displayed an increasingly authoritarian bent are raising concerns over democracy. In the past year, Erdogan has purged thousands of police and prosecutors, increased the powers of the intelligence agency and banned access to YouTube and Twitter as he fought off corruption probes that implicated the government and family members. --- Nihat Zeybekci, the economy minister, suggested in comments printed in Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday that the position of prime minister could become obsolete if Erdogan is elected. -- “There wouldn’t be a prime minister, there would be a chairman of the Council of Ministers. Someone who chairs the Council of Ministers, who summons it to meetings,” he said. -- The latent constitutional powers were devised as safeguards to allow the president to intervene in exceptional circumstances. They were largely formulated to allow the 1980 coup leader — who became president in a referendum — to take command if necessary. -- The power to chair the Cabinet “is essentially meant to be used under conditions of emergency. If there is a war or something,” said Ilter Turan, a professor at Istanbul’s Bilgi University. “It is not one in which the president calls a session and says: Let’s build a bridge. That’s not the idea.” -- Presidents take an oath to remain neutral when they come to power and the Constitution says they have to sever all ties with their political parties. It also states that the prime minister — not the president — is head of the executive. - Read More, Associated Press, Washingtonpost

U.S. expands airstrikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq --- IRBIL, Iraq — American warplanes and drones struck Islamist militants near this northern Iraqi city Friday, putting the U.S. military back in action in the skies over Iraq less than three years after the troops withdrew and President Obama declared the war over. -- The strikes were limited in scope but helped temper days of building panic across the north of the country as militants with the extremist Islamic State sliced through a string of towns and villages scattered on the outskirts of the Kurdish region and sent tens of thousands of civilians fleeing for their lives. -- The airstrikes also presented the first significant challenge yet to months of unchecked expansion by the al-Qaeda offshoot, which has swept through much of Iraq and neighboring Syria over the past year, annihilating its opponents, capturing valuable resources and declaring the creation of an Islamic caliphate in a nation-size chunk of territory. -- In Washington, the Pentagon announced three separate strikes by multiple aircraft against militant positions it said were firing on Kurdish forces protecting Irbil, saying that they had “successfully eliminated” artillery, a mortar position and a convoy of extremist fighters. Kurdish media and officials, who said the attacks had had a “devastating” impact on militant positions, claimed other, unconfirmed attacks that were farther afield. -- U.S. officials also stressed that the American intervention was narrowly aimed at the protection of American diplomats and officials living in Irbil, where the large U.S. consulate has swelled with evacuees from the embassy in Baghdad and where the U.S. military runs a joint operations center alongside Kurdish forces. -- “There are American military and diplomatic personnel in Irbil,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a news briefing in Washington. “The protection of American personnel in Iraq is a top priority and one that merits the use of military force.” -- He emphasized that the authorization for airstrikes “is very limited in scope” but did not rule out that there may be additional strikes to protect some of the tens of thousands of members of the minority Yazidi faith trapped by Islamic State fighters on a mountaintop. -- The government of current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki requested the U.S. intervention, Earnest said. But he and other U.S. officials made clear that more comprehensive U.S. engagement in the battle against the militants will not happen unless feuding politicians in Baghdad establish a more inclusive government capable of resolving Sunni grievances that facilitated the Islamic State’s rapid expansion. -- The Iraqi parliament is scheduled to choose a new prime minister, perhaps as early as Sunday, according to U.S. officials who have made clear their preference that Maliki stand down. - Read More, Washingtonpost

اعلامیه مشترک تیم های انتخاباتی در مورد نهایی سازی قانونمند دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری 1393 و تشکیل حکومت وحدت ملی --- شکی نیست که کشور عزیز ما در یکی از حساس ترین مراحل تاریخ سیاسی خویش قرار دارد. عبور موفقانه ازین مرحله حساس نیازمند داشتن یک دولت قوی و مشروع است که بر مبنای اجماع سیاسی و اراده استوار همگانی تشکیل گردد. در نتیجه درک مشترک از حساسیت وضع موجود، ضرورت شکل دهی به یک اجماع وسیع ملی به منظور انجام اصلاحات اساسی و ایجاد تحول بنیادی در حال مبدل شدن به باور عمومی قشر سیاسی جامعه ما میباشد. تیم های انتخاباتی شامل در مرحله دوم انتخابات بمثابه مراکز تبلور و تبارز اراده اکثریت قاطع ملت ما مسوول اند در همچو شرایط حساس در تشکیل حکومت وحدت ملی رسالت ایمانی و ملی خویش را ایفا نمایند. --- با باور مشترک به نکات یادشده و با وقوف به ضرورت حیاتی همکاری ملی، ما امضا کننده گان این سند به نمایندگی از هردو تیم انتخاباتی تصمیم گرفتیم تا موارد آتی را بحیث تصامیم مشترک به استحضار ملت شریف افغانستان برسانیم: -- 1. التزام و احترام به قانون اساسی جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان و حرکت در چهارچوب احکام و دستورات آن، سنگ بنای تمام اقدامات و اصلاحاتی خواهد بود که در حال حاضر و آینده مورد توجه قرار می گیرد. به همین منوال، حفظ دستاوردهای جهاد و مقاومت مردم افغانستان و تجربه پویای دموکراتیک سیزده ساله اخیر اصول راهگشا در تحقق برنامه ملی اصلاحات خواهد بود. -- 2. هردو جانب به تمامیت چهارچوب سیاسی که بتاریخ 21 سرطان 1393 (12 جولای 2014) مورد توافق قرار گرفت (مراجعه شود به سند ضمیمه شده) متعهد و پابند می باشند، بشمول ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی، ایجاد فوری پست رئیس اجرائیوی حکومت توسط فرمان رئیس جمهور، تشکیل لویه جرگه در مدت دوسال که پست صدر اعظم اجرائیوی را مورد مداقه قرار دهد، تعیین مقامات بلند رتبه مطابق به اصول توافق شده و برمبنای شایستگی، و اصلاحات، بشمول اصلاحات در نظام انتخاباتی. توافق روی این چهارچوب سیاسی که با حمایت همکاران بین المللی کشور ما حاصل گردیده، اساس توافق سیاسی است که در مطابقت با قانون اساسی افغانستان می باشد تا از تطبیق برنامه اصلاحات و تحول حمایت نماید، و ما متعهد هستیم که مفاد آنرا به یک موافقتنامه تفصیلی و پایدار در زودترین فرصت ممکن مبدل ساخته و به امضا برسانیم. همچنان، همکاری برای تحقق موفقانه امور تخنیکی، تعریف برنامه واحد ملی برای اصلاحات و تشکیل حکومت وحدت ملی را اولویت های عمدۀ خود می دانیم. -- 3. طرفین همانگونه که در بعد تخنیکی براساس معیارهای پیشنهادی ملل متحد برای تفتیش، بازشماری و ابطال، با تشکیل تیم ها عملاً روند تفتیش را بمنظور تامین شفافیت و اعتبار بخشی به پروسه از طریق کار متداوم در جریان پروسه تفتیش و پذیرش نتایج آن شروع کرده اند، تصریح می نمایند که در بعد سیاسی هم متعهد به همکاری صادقانه میباشند. بدین منظور طرفین کمیسیونی مشترک از اعضای دو تیم را موظف میسازند تا جدول زمانی تکمیل روند انتخابات را نهایی سازند، روی تاریخ تحلیف رئیس جمهور جدید توافق می نمایند، با هدف اینکه این امر تا هفته دوم ماه سنبله سال 1393 صورت می پذیرد، و متن موافقتنامه تفصیلی سیاسی را در پرتو قانون اساسی و چهارچوب توافق سیاسی مورخ 21 سرطان 1393 (12 جولای 2014) آماده می سازند - ومن الله التوفیق - داکتر محمد اشرف غنی احمدزی -- داکتر عبدالله عبدالله ----- ضمیه اعلامیه مشترک -- چهارچوب سیاسی که بتاریخ 21 سرطان 1393 (12 جولای 2014) مورد توافق هر دو تیم قرار گرفته است -- به تعقیب نتائج تفتیش با اعتبار و همه جانبه انتخابات که در قسمت اول تشریح شده است، کاندیدان تعهد مینمایند که یک موافقتنامه سیاسی را عملی نمایند که بر اساس آن برنده انتخابات به صفت رییس جمهور آغاز به کار نموده و بزودی حکومت وحدت ملی را ایجاد مینمایند که دارای مشخصات ذیل باشد: 1 - بمنظور توانمند ساختن مردم افغانستان و برای پاسخگویی به نیاز های تأمین صلح، ثبات، امنیت، حاکمیت قانون، عدالت، رشد اقتصادی، و عرضه خدمات، حکومت وحدت ملی برنامه همه جانبه اصلاحات را انکشاف داده و تطبیق می کند. -- 2 - رییس جمهور با برگزاری لویه جرگه روند تعدیل قانون اساسی را آغاز نموده و مقام صدراعظم اجرایی را ظرف دو سال ایجاد می نماید. -- 3 - تا زمانیکه مقام صدراعظم اجرایی بر مبنای قانون اساسی ایجاد گردد، وظایف صدراعظم اجرایی را رئیس اجرائیوی حکومت پیش خواهد برد. این مقام بلافاصله توسط فرمان رییس جمهور ایجاد شده و توسط شخصی که از طرف کاندید دومی انتخابات معرفی و از جانب رییس جمهورتایید گردیده باشد، اشغال میگردد. -- 4 - رییس جمهور مقام رهبر اپوزیسیون را ایجاد میکند. و کاندید دومی انتخابات شخص مورد نظرش را انتخاب مینماید تا این مقام را اشغال نماید. -- 5 - تعیینات در مقام های کلیدی امنیت ملی، نهادهای مستقل و اقتصادی حکومت، با در نظرداشت اصل ایجاد تساوی و برابری بین انتخاب رییس جمهور و رهبر اپوزیسیون صورت میگیرد. مقامات وزارت ها، قضا، مقرری های کلیدی به سطح ولایات، با در نظر داشت اصل نمایندگی عادلانه، توسط رییس جمهور به مشوره رهبر اپوزیسیون صورت میگیرد. -- 6 - رییس جمهور تعهد میکند که تداوم دررهبری مقامهای کلیدی ارگانهای امنیت ملی را برای حداقل 90 روزحفظ میکند. -- 7 - حکومت وحدت ملی تعهد میکند که در خلال یک سال اصلاحات بنیادی در نظام انتخاباتی را به هدف بهبود نا رسایی های انتخابات گذشته اتخاذ می نماید که توسط یک روند فراگیر وهمه شمول تهیه شده باشد -مطالبدری&article=16324

Rival Afghan presidential candidates sign deal to cooperate --- (Reuters) - Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates have signed a deal to cooperate on the formation of a government of national unity, both candidates told a news conference following meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. -- A joint declaration that both of the candidates signed, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, did not provide details on the government's framework, except to say that both sides would form commissions to work on its structure. -- The power sharing deal, agreed verbally during Kerry's last visit to Afghanistan a month ago, was intended to pull the country back from war along ethnic lines after both candidates claimed victory in an election marred by widespread fraud. -- "One of these men is going to be president but both are going to be critical to the future of Afghanistan no matter what," Kerry told reporters in Kabul. -- The two candidates, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah stood by Kerry as he spoke. -- The joint-declaration stated the candidates would agree to a timeline for the electoral process and inauguration date for the next president by the end of August. Afghanistan's Western backers hope an audit of votes will produce a legitimate president before a NATO summit in early September. -- The United Nations is supervising a full recount of all eight million votes cast in a June run-off vote, as agreed during Kerry's last visit to Afghanistan a month ago. -- "This audit is not about winning and losing, it is about achieving a credible result that people of Afghanistan deserve," Kerry added. -- The election was to mark Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power before most foreign troops pull out at the end of 2014. - More,

دافغانستان دولسمشرۍ کاندیدانو دملي یووالي دحکومت دجوړولو موافقه لاسلیک کړه --- دامریکا دبهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري په منځکړتوب د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ دواړو کاندیدانو دملي یووالي دحکومت دجوړولو پر سر په خپل منځ کې دهمکارۍ موافقه لاسلیک کړه. -- دواړو کاندیدانو اشرف غني احمدزي او عبدالله عبدالله دامریکا له بهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري سره له کتنې وروسته نن په یوه خبري غونډه کې وویل چې ګډه اعلامیه یې لاسلیک کړې ده. -- رویټرز خبري آژانس ددې اعلامیې یوه نسخه ترلاسه کړې خو په موافقه کې دحکومت دجوړښت تفصیل نشته مګر دواړو ویلي چې دیوه چوکاټ دجوړولو لپاره به کمیسیونونه وګوماري. -- دواړو خواوو تېره میاشت کابل ته دجان کیري دسفر په لړ کې په شفاهي ډول دملي وحدت دحکومت پر جوړولو سلا کړې وه. -- په خبري غونډه کې دامریکا دبهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري، په داسي حال کې چې اشرف غني احمدزی او عبدالله عبدالله یې ترڅنګ ولاړ ول، وویل: «له دغو دوو تنو څخه به یو ولسمشر شي خو دواړه به دافغانستان دراتلونکي لپاره مهم وي.» -- اشرف غني احمدزي د دې موافقې په ترلاسه کېدو کې د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري، دملګروملتو د خاص استازي یان کوبیش او ټولې نړیوالې ټولنې د رول مننه وکړه. -- په ګډه اعلامیه کې ویل شوي چې کاندیدان د اګست په پای کې دنوي ولسمشر دلوړې دمراسمو لپاره له ټاکل شوي مهالوېش سره موافق دي. - تاند

Afghan Presidential Rivals Agree to Sign a Deal --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s rival presidential candidates issued a joint statement on Friday, reaffirming their commitment to accept the results of an internationally monitored recount brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry and to abide by a power-sharing arrangement regardless of who prevails. -- While the communiqué added little to an earlier deal that collapsed, also brokered by Mr. Kerry less than a month earlier, this time both sides said they would sign it, although a copy of the agreement was not released immediately. -- Both candidates said they hoped a president could be inaugurated by the end of the month; at the same time, they emphasized they wanted the recount to be credible. -- “The country cannot take uncertainty; uncertainty is a threat,” said Ashraf Ghani, who was ahead in preliminary results from the second round. -- He said that Afghanistan needed to “practice consensus and tolerance” to avoid the plight of Syria and Iraq. Like those countries, Afghanistan has deep ethnic divisions, with Mr. Ghani apparently winning most of the votes of the largest group, the Pashtuns, and his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, winning among Tajiks, their traditional rivals. -- Mr. Abdullah said the two men had “committed ourselves to work together.” -- Mr. Abdullah, the leader in the first round, cried foul when Mr. Ghani gained substantially to win the second. Mr. Ghani’s camp said its candidate had benefited from a shift of votes among Pashtuns who had supported other, minor candidates in the crowded field of the first round of voting. -- The two men spoke Friday at a joint news conference that was also attended by Mr. Kerry and the top United Nations official here, Jan Kubis. -- At one point, Mr. Kerry referred a reporter’s question to “the next president,” and turned to the two candidates, who laughed nervously and jostled each other toward the podium. -- “I don’t think anybody here would doubt this is a major step ahead for Afghanistan,” Mr. Kerry said. “Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani and their campaigns have made a profound decision today.” -- Mr. Kerry acknowledged that the July 12 agreement he had brokered had unraveled, but said the new agreement was more detailed and addressed some of the areas disputed by the two sides. In addition to setting out the formal audit of the votes — essentially a recount under close international supervision — the deal calls for the formation of a national unity government giving strong positions to the losing side. A new post, called the chief executive, would go to the losing candidate, and key ministries would be shared between the two sides. -- In addition, the agreement provides for a conference to change the Constitution, creating a position of prime minister with executive powers alongside the president. - More, NYTimes,®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

U.S. Warplanes Strike Militants in Iraq --- DOHUK, Iraq — American warplanes struck Sunni militant positions in northern Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon and Kurdish officials said. The action returned United States forces to a direct combat role in a country it withdrew from in 2011. -- Two F-18 fighters dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery target near Erbil, according to a statement by Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary. Militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were using the artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Erbil, “near U.S. personnel,” Admiral Kirby said. -- The strike followed President Obama’s announcement Thursday night that he had authorized limited airstrikes to protect American citizens in Erbil and Baghdad, and, if necessary, to break the siege of tens of thousand of refugees who are stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. -- “As the president made clear, the United States military will continue to take direct action against ISIL when they threaten our personnel and facilities,” Admiral Kirby said, referring to the Islamic militants by another translation of their Arabic name. -- Kurdish officials said the American bombs struck on Friday afternoon in and around Makhmour, a town near Erbil. They reported an airstrike in the same location on Thursday, before the president’s announcement; the Pentagon denied that American warplanes carried out that earlier attack. -- Kurdish fighters, known as pesh merga, have been hard pressed in recent days by the militant fighters, who have seized several towns near Erbil from the Kurds and took the Mosul Dam, one of the most important installations in the country. The airstrike appeared intended to help stem the tide. -- “The airstrikes are being led by the U.S.A., and pesh merga are attacking with Katyusha,” said Halgurd Hekmat, a spokesman for the Kurdish fighters, referring to a type of Russian-made tactical rocket. - More, NYTimes,®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Kerry visits Kabul to push for fast recount in disputed presidential election --- KABUL — The Obama administration kept up pressure on the squabbling political rivals vying to be Afghanistan’s next leader, dispatching Secretary of State John F. Kerry to Kabul on Thursday as an audit of disputed presidential election results ground on. -- Kerry is seeking a commitment from the two top vote-getters that they will comply with the audit and abide by the results, while warning that the slow-moving and contentious review must not be further delayed. A successful transfer of presidential power in Afghanistan this year is a cornerstone of the U.S. plan to withdraw combat forces and end a war that has dragged on for nearly 13 years. -- The United States is endorsing an ambitious Afghan government schedule to complete the audit within 20 days, clearing the way for a new president to be inaugurated ahead of a NATO summit in Britain in September. --- “The secretary will encourage both candidates to work together in the spirit of collegiality and statesmanship, to ensure national unity and the means to build on the progress the Afghan people have achieved,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. -- Kerry held back-to-back meetings with each candidate Thursday night, as well as with the United Nations representative assisting the Afghan authorities overseeing the vote audit. - Read More, Washingtonpost

Obama authorizes possible airstrikes against Iraq --- President Obama has authorized airstrikes against Sunni Muslim extremists who punctured Kurdish defenses in a powerful offensive in northern Iraq on Thursday, and has sent U.S. military aircraft to drop food and water to besieged Iraqi civilians in the region. -- Obama, in a late-night statement delivered at the White House, said that strikes would be launched against extremist convoys “should they move toward” the Kurdish capital of Irbil, where the United States maintains a consulate and a joint operations center with the Iraqi military. -- “We intend to take action if they threaten our facilities anywhere in Iraq . . . including Irbil and Baghdad,” he said. -- Authorization for airdrops — an initial round of which was completed just before Obama spoke — and for potential airstrikes was a major development in the Iraq crisis that began in June. -- A senior administration official described the airstrike authorization as “narrow,” but outlined a number of broad contingencies in which they could be launched, including a possible threat to U.S. personnel in Baghdad from possible breaches in a major dam Islamist forces seized Thursday that could flood the Iraqi capital. --- U.S. aircraft also are authorized to launch airstrikes if the military determines that Iraqi government and Kurdish forces are unable to break the siege that has stranded tens of thousands of civilians belonging to the minority Yazidi sect atop a barren mountain outside the northern town of Sinjar. -- “As we can provide air support to relieve that pressure, the president has given the military the authority to do so,” the senior official said. He said that congressional leaders had been consulted, but that Obama had the legal authority as commander in chief to launch the strikes to protect U.S. personnel and national security interests. - More, Washingtonpost

فرمان حملات هوایی اوباما علیه جنگجویان عراق --- رئیس جمهور ایالات متحده دستور "انجام حملات هدفمندانه علیه جنگجویان اسلامگرا" را در عراق صادر کرد. -- بارک اوباما شام پنجشنبه در قصر سفید گفت، در صورت که شبه نظامیان به سوی اربیل، مرکز کردستان پیشروی کنند، او اجازۀ "استفادۀ محدود" از نیروی هوایی امریکا را جهت حفاظت از کارمندان امریکایی صادر کرده است. -- یک مقام ارشد حکومت ایالات متحده پس از سخنرانی آقای اوباما گفت که تا هنوز هیچ حملۀ هوایی نیرو های امریکایی در عراق صورت نگرفته است. -- اوایل روز پنجشنبه چندین رسانۀ امریکایی به شمول نیویارک تایمز از انجام عملیات هوایی در عراق خبر دادند اما وزارت دفاع امریکا آن را رد کرده گفت که شاید آن عملیات توسط طیاره های ترکی و عراقی انجام شده باشد. -- آقای اوباما افزود که او در ضمن اجازۀ تلاش های بشردوستانه به منظور حفظ جان هزاران عراقی غیر نظامی را صادر کرده است که "در قلۀ کوه بدون دسترسی به آب و نان گیر مانده و تقریباً با مرگ حتمی رو به رو اند." -- رئیس جمهور امریکا گفت" در صورت لزوم، اجازۀ حملات هوایی هدفمندانه را جهت کمک به نیرو های عراقی که تلاش دارند محاصرۀ غیر نظامیان را در قلۀ کوه (سنجار) بشکنند، نیز صادر کرده است." -- رئیس جمهور امریکا اضافه کرد که عملیات کمک رسانی هوایی به مردان، زنان و اطفال بی سرپناه در آن منطقه صورت گرفته و هواپیما های امریکایی از پیش عملیات کمک رسانی را آغاز کرده است. -- وزارت دفاع، شام پنجشنبه گفت که طیاره های امریکایی ماموریت انتقال و پرتاب مواد اولیۀ خوراکی را در نزدیکی شهرک سنجار انجام داده و دوباره منطقه را ترک کرده اند. -- اسوشیتدپرس گزارش می دهد، طیاره های اکمالاتی امریکایی که با جت های جنگی مشاعیت می شدند، مواد غذایی و آب آشامیدنی را برای هزاران عراقی که در قلۀ کوه سنجار گیر مانده اند، پرتاب کرده است. -- آقای اوباما این را هم گفت که کشورش "با سایر کشور ها و سازمان ملل متحد که خواهان اقدامات عملی به منظور پرداختن به بحران بشری عراق شده است" نیز مشوره می کند. -- آقای اوباما، در قصر سفید گفت "اینبار امریکا به منظور کمک میآید." -- رئیس جمهور امریکا یکبار دیگر بر عدم اعزام سربازان محاربه یی امریکایی به عراق تاکید ورزید. -- اعلامیه های اوباما نمایانگر دخالت عمیق امریکا در عراق، پس از خروج نیرو های نظامی این کشور در اواخر ۲۰۱۱ از آن کشور می باشد. --- شبه نظامیان و گروه دولت اسلامی عراق و شام، پنجشنبه بزرگترین بند برق عراق را در شهر موصل تصرف کردند. -- تصرف این بند برق، نیرو های داعش را قادر می سازد کنترول بزرگترین شبکۀ برق رسانی و منبع آب را که بر دریای دجله اعمار شده و از قلب بغداد می گذرد در دست گیرند. -- نیرو های داعش روز پنجشنبه پس از درگیری با نیرو های کردی، قادر شدند آنان را از شهر موصل بیرون کنند و اقلیت های ساکن در موصل را مجبور به فرار از منطقه نمایند. - More,

Divisions, Harsh Realities Plague Obama's Afghan Surge --- When President Obama took office six years ago, among the many burdens he inherited were two costly and complex wars: Iraq and Afghanistan. -- He campaigned hard against the U.S. invasion of Iraq, calling it the “wrong war” and made good on a promise to end American involvement. The White House touts that as a crowning achievement despite Iraq battling insurgency and sectarian strife. -- The other war — Afghanistan — has posed a different set of dilemmas for the president. --- Just this week, Obama was reminded of the grim realities of 13 years of military engagement when a man dressed as an Afghan soldier killed a two-star American general, the highest ranking officer killed in combat since 1970, according to the Pentagon. -- The insider attack, claimed by the Taliban, has raised concerns about the hazards of the president’s exit plan — and the fragility of his Afghan policies. --- It was the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington September 11, 2001 that got the United States in Afghanistan to start with. -- Former president George W. Bush ordered an invasion to top topple the Taliban government and al-Qaida terrorists who were being given sanctuary – in particular, al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden. -- The Taliban regime was toppled in about two months time, but bin Laden escaped capture, to be found and killed by American special operation forces under Obama’s command a decade later. -- Bush continued his policy of counterterrorism military operations in Afghanistan, but soon turned his attention towards Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as the number one national security threat against the United States. --- Critics say that switch in focus was a key misstep — one that would inform the narrative of Obama’s policy when he took office in 2009. - More,

Obama authorizes 'targeted airstrikes' in Iraq to counter militants --- Washington (CNN) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that he's authorized "targeted airstrikes" in Iraq to protect American personnel and help Iraqi forces. -- "We do whatever is necessary to protect our people," Obama said. "We support our allies when they're in danger." -- A key concern for U.S. officials: dozens of American consular staff and military advisers working with the Iraqi military in Irbil, the largest city in Iraq's Kurdish region. -- Obama said Thursday he'd directed the military to take targeted strikes against Islamist militants "should they move towards the city." -- Rapid developments on the ground, where a humanitarian crisis is emerging with minority groups facing possible slaughter by Sunni Muslim extremists, have set the stage for an increasingly dire situation. -- Thousands of families from the Yazidi minority are reportedly trapped in the mountains without food, water or medical care after fleeing the rampaging fighters of the Islamic State, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. --- Throngs of refugees, many of them Iraqi Christians, are on the run -- their largest city, Qaraqosh, now occupied by fighters who gave them an ultimatum, "Convert to Islam or die." -- Obama also said he'd authorized targeted airstrikes "if necessary" to help Iraqi forces protect civilians trapped on the mountain. -- "When we face a situation like we do on that mountain with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help, in this case a request from the Iraqi government, and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye," Obama said. "We can act, carefully and responsibly to prevent a potential act of genocide." -- The potential escalation of U.S. military involvement comes two years after Obama ended the Iraq war and brought home American forces. -- White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday that there is no chance of ground troops heading back. -- Obama acknowledged that many Americans are concerned about military action in Iraq. -- "As Commander in Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq, so as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq because there is no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq," Obama said. -- The President's announcement that he'd authorized airstrikes came after the United States airdropped meals and water in Iraq, sending humanitarian aid to trapped minority groups. -- "The mission was conducted by a number of U.S. military aircraft under the direction of U.S. Central Command," a senior U.S. defense official said. "The aircraft that dropped the humanitarian supplies have now safely exited the immediate airspace over the drop area." - More,

Egypt's Mufti rejects Brotherhood leader's death sentence, court urges rethink --- (Reuters) - Egypt's top religious authority has rejected a death sentence proposed for the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and 13 associates for murder and violence, but was asked by a court on Thursday to reconsider. -- Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood's general guide, and the other defendants were sentenced on June 19, but Egyptian law requires any capital sentence to be referred to Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt's highest Islamic legal official, for an opinion before any execution can take place. -- The Mufti's reports are not normally made public, but one of the three judges in the case said the Mufti had stated that "the investigations and evidence were not enough to carry out the death sentence". -- In a move unprecedented in the history of Egyptian law, the court asked the Mufti to reconsider and adjourned the hearing, in which it was due to either uphold or strike down the original sentence, until Aug. 30. -- "The Mufti did not give a religious opinion but interfered in the court's domain by evaluating the evidence of the case," the judge said. -- While many Egyptians have welcomed the army's toppling of elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi just over a year ago, there is growing unease at the scale and severity of a crackdown on his now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. -- Several thousand Brotherhood leaders and members have been arrested, many on terrorism charges, since Mursi's overthrow. --- President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief overthrew Mursi, said in the run-up to his election in May that the Brotherhood - Egypt's oldest and best organized political group - was finished and would cease to exist under his rule. - More,

Interpreters are caught in the crossfire in Afghanistan --- The Bundeswehr couldn’t work without them in Afghanistan. But local translators and interpreters often in danger because of their close relationship with foreign troops. Many even receive threats. --- "I wasn't aware of the risk at the time," said Ahmed (not his real name). Between 2010 and 2013, the young Afghan served as an interpreter for the German army, the Bundeswehr, and other ISAF troops from different countries under NATO command. The insurgents in his own country branded him a traitor for helping foreign armies. Three times, Ahmed received direct threats from the Taliban. On one occasion, they even planted explosive devices outside his house. Fearing for their lives, Ahmed and his wife left their home last year. --- The risky life of interpreters and translators -- Many assistants of international troops in Afghanistan have gone through the same ordeal as Ahmed. At peak times, the Bundeswehr alone employed some 1,500 local staff: as drivers, mechanics, guards or translators. 700 are still in the Bundeswehr's service today. Interpreters and language assistants play a particularly important role. Those civilians work together closely with the foreign soldiers on a daily basis. By hiring local staff the troops hope to win the trust and support of the local population and to avoid cultural misunderstandings. For the German soldiers, their work often proves essential for survival. "Afghan local staff are extremely important for the success of the mission in Afghanistan," said a spokesman of the Bundeswehr Operations Command. Speaking from his own experience, he said they're "often the key to success." -- But it's this visible collaboration with international troops that turns translators and interpreters into targets, said Linda Fitchett. She is the President of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), representing more than 80,000 translators and interpreters worldwide - together with its partner organizations FIT, IAPTI, and Red T. AIIC and its partners inform about the rights and obligations of interpreters, translators and their clients and employers. The organizations campaign for better protection and more support for their members during and after conflicts. - More,

John Kerry Makes Surprise Visit To Afghanistan To Meet Feuding Candidates --- KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Obama administration on Thursday stepped up efforts to press Afghanistan's two feuding presidential candidates to end their dispute over June elections, accept the results of an ongoing audit of all ballots and form a national unity government by early September. -- On an unannounced visit to Kabul, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made personal appeals to both candidates — former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai — to understand the urgency of finding a resolution before the upcoming NATO summit in Wales on September 4, according to officials traveling with Kerry. At that summit, NATO leaders are hoping to make decisions about their nations' roles in Afghanistan after the end of the year, when most combat troops will be withdrawn. -- Officials with Kerry said the summit would be an opportunity for the eventual election winner to present himself to the alliance and introduce his new cabinet, which, under a formula brokered by Kerry on his last visit to Kabul in June, would include the election loser appointing a new "chief executive officer" who would serve under the president. Once created, the Afghan government would convene a loya jirga, or nationwide assembly, to formalize the chief executive post as a prime minister, the plan envisions. --- Kerry, who will see current President Hamid Karzai on Friday before he leaves Afghanistan for an Asian security conference in Myanmar, met separately with Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah at the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul. No details of the discussions were immediately available beyond the small talk the officials made while reporters and photographers were present. He will meet with the candidates again on Friday. --- Since his last visit, Kerry has stressed the urgency of accelerating the audit and implementing the framework agreement and has reminded the candidates that Afghans and the country's international partners need clarity from the process and confidence that they and their supporters will be able to work together to implement reforms no matter who wins. - More,

جان کیري له افغان کاندیدانو وغوښتل چې د تفتیش نتیجه ومني --- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري پرون د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ له دواړو کاندیدانو سره په جلا -جلا کتنو کې له هغوی وغوښتل چې د جون د ولسمشرۍ د انتخاباتو پر سر لانجه پای ته ورسوي، د ټولو رایو د تفتیش نتیجه ومني او د سپټمبر تر لومړیو پوري د ملي یووالي حکومت جوړ کړي. -- د هغو امریکايي چارواکو په وینا چې د امریکا له بهرنیو چارو وزیر سره د کابل په سفر تللي، جان کیري له دواړو کاندیدانو اشرف غني احمدزي او عبدالله عبدالله وغوښتل چې د سپټمبر په څلورمه د ناټو تر سرمشریزې وړاندې د یوې حل لارې د موندلو فوري توب درک کړي. -- د بریتانیا په ویلز ایالت کې د ناټو په راتلونکې سرمشریزه کې د غړیو هیوادونو مشران هیله لري چې د روان کال -- له جان کیري سره ملګرو چارواکو وویل چې د افغانستان د انتخاباتو په پایله کې غوره شوی ولسمشر به د ناټو په سرمشریزه کې د افغانستان له لوري ګډون وکړي. -- جان کیري په داسي حال کې افغانستان ته سفر کړی چې د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ د دوهم پړاو انتخاباتو رایې تر ترتفتیش لاندې دي. سره له دې چې د رایو په شمېرلو کې د یوه کاندید د ناغېړیو له کبله څو ځلي ځنډ او خنډ پېښ شو خو اوس دا بهیر دوام لري مګر لا هم څرګنده نه ده چې د تفتیش په پای کې به دواړو خواوو ته نتیجه د منلو وي او که نه وي. -- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزارت وايي چې له اشرف غني احمدزي او عبدالله عبدالله سره د جان کیري په تېرو خبرو کې درې خواوو موافقه کړې وه چې بایلونکی کاندید به اجرايي ريیس کېږي. اجرايي ريیس به، چې تراوسه پوري په دې نوم کومه چوکۍ نشته، د ولسمشر ترلاس لاندې وي او ولسمشر ته به ځواب وايي. -- خو که دوه کاله وروسته د افغانستان لویې جرګې په اساسي قانون کې بدلون راوست، د اجرايي چارو د ریاست چوکۍ په صدرارت بدلېدای شي. -- د راپورونو له مخې عبدالله عبدالله په خپله نه غواړي چې اجرايي ریاست ومني. دی هڅه کوي چې دا چوکۍ یونس قانوني ته ورکړای شي او په خپله د اپوزیسیون مشر وي. خو د اشرف غني احمدزي انتخاباتي ټیم وايي چې د عبدالله ډله باید یا په واک کې شریک شي یا اپوزیسیون ومني. -- د متحدو ایالتو نو د بهرنیو چارو وزارت وايي چې تراوسه پوري له ۲۳۰۰۰ رایبکسونو څخه ۲۴۰۰ شمېرل شوي دي. - تاند

Edward Snowden gets 3-year residence permit in Russia --- MOSCOW, August 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Edward Snowden has been given Russia’s residence permit for three years, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena representing his interests said on Thursday. -- “He has got a three-year residence permit starting from August 1,” Kucherena told a news conference. -- Kucherena noted that Snowden might apply for Russian citizenship in the future. “He is also free to move across the country and travel abroad, but for a term not exceeding three months, since, according to the legislation, the residence permit may be cancelled,” Kucherena said. -- Edward Snowden must decide for himself whether to seek Russian citizenship or return to his homeland Anatoly Kucherena, said -- The lawyer specified that he helped Snowden to process the residence permit. “This was my initiative, since the temporary asylum requires yearly prolongation,” Kucherena explained. -- He stressed that there was no talk about getting a political asylum. “The case in hand is his temporary residence in the territory of the Russian Federation,” the lawyer added. -- Kucherena promised that Snowden would meet with journalists as soon as it would be possible. “As soon as there is such a possibility, he will be able to meet with you,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to talk on his behalf. He answers questions that he gets on the internet,” Kucherena said, adding that in case there were questions, Edward Snowden would make his best to answer them. - More,

Kerry makes stop in Afghanistan over election crisis --- (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Thursday in Afghanistan to speed up a resolution to the country's election dispute, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. -- Kerry will be meeting with presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani and President Hamid Karzai. The visit comes two days after Maj. Gen. Harold Greene -- a longtime officer who was leading efforts to train soldiers in Afghanistan -- was killed at a military training facility in Kabul. --- "The secretary will follow up on his July visit to Kabul and his subsequent phone calls to the candidates, encouraging both to help accelerate the audit process which they are both participating in, and make progress on the details of the political framework that they agreed to during the Secretary's last visit," Psaki said in a statement. -- "The Secretary will encourage both candidates to work together in the spirit of collegiality and statesmanship, to ensure national unity and the means to build on the progress the Afghan people have achieved." - More,

Kerry in Kabul to try to break deadlock over Afghan presidency --- (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Afghanistan on Thursday for his second visit in under a month to push a deal between the country's two presidential candidates on how to share power after an audit of a disputed election is complete. -- Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah shook hands on an agreement to resolve the election row after Kerry's visit in July, but they remain far apart on critical components of their pact to form a united government. -- Although a painstaking audit of all eight million ballots cast in the second round of voting is underway, neither candidate has openly endorsed the process and the deadlock has raised the spectre of violent conflict along ethnic lines. -- Afghanistan's Western backers hope the audit will produce a legitimate president before a NATO summit in early September, and Kerry will meet both candidates as well as President Hamid Karzai to drive forward the deal. -- While Karzai has said the next president will be inaugurated on Aug. 25, most officials involved in the process say the deadline is optimistic and it could take until the end of the month for a winner to emerge at the earliest. -- "We are hopeful the secretary can obtain a commitment by both candidates to a timeline for completing the audit and agreeing on the details of a national unity government," said a senior State Department official who briefed reporters en route to Kabul. -- NATO desperately wants Afghanistan to have a leader at the summit that was to be a crowning moment of its mission of more than a decade, and before Western combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014. - More,

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Steve Coll -- Dodging a Coup in Kabul, For Now --- “If they keep their commitments,” President Barack Obama said on Wednesday, referring to the two remaining contenders for the Presidency of Afghanistan, then the country “will witness the first democratic transfer of power” in its history. -- Secretary of State John Kerry forged those commitments last weekend, when he flew in to prevent a coup attempt and succeeded, for now. His dealmaking salvaged the possibility that, almost thirteen years after the United States and its allies installed Hamid Karzai in power, there would be a manageable political transition in Kabul. --- What are the odds? Four of the last six rulers of Afghanistan died violently at the hands of successors. Another, Mullah Mohammad Omar, slipped the noose and escaped into exile, where he remains, presumably in Pakistan. The possible “first” President Obama described must be considered against that recent history. The stakes for the United States and Europe are high: if Kerry’s deal collapses, Afghanistan faces the prospect of a sudden and violent civil war, one that would destabilize Pakistan and other neighbors, and renew the country’s attractiveness as a haven for international militants. -- Yet there is reason to think that Kerry’s compromise will stick. For more than a year, up until a few weeks ago, Afghanistan’s factional leaders—the United States military prefers to call them “power brokers” these days, not “warlords”—had acted as if they believed that the trouble of a civil war would be considerably greater than the ignominy of sharing power with one another, no matter who won the Presidential election. --- On Monday, July 7th, that changed suddenly. A network of northern Tajik governors, former intelligence and defense officials, along with an unknown number of army and police commanders, apparently activated a plan for a coup to install their favored Presidential candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister. They believed that Abdullah’s opponents had stolen the vote. Their target would have been the presidential palace in Kabul occupied by Hamid Karzai. --- There is little doubt the coup makers could have succeeded; they have the lion’s share of Kabul’s guns. The wider war they would have triggered would have turned hard and bloody, however. The northern militias would have found themselves in a conflict not only with the Taliban but also with previously pro-government Pashtuns aligned with Karzai and his favored Presidential candidate, Ashraf Ghani. The progress Afghanistan has made in health, education, life expectancy, communication, and urbanization since 2001 would have crumbled quickly. -- At a critical moment, however, apparently late in the night in Washington, President Obama telephoned Abdullah and talked him and his armed backers into standing down. After a shaky few days, during which it was not clear whether Abdullah was in full control of his supporters, Kerry landed in Kabul and opened negotiations. --- The question facing what used to be known as the Shura Nizar, or the Northern Alliance, is whether, if Abdullah loses the final count, the alliance can achieve more by compromise than by coup-making. The objective answer is yes, but there will be those of senior rank who will argue otherwise. --- One recent Afghan ruler who died peacefully in his sleep was King Zahir Shah. He was chased into exile in 1973, but returned in 2002 as the “father of the nation,” as a guest of President Karzai. The aging former king lived his last years on the extended grounds of the presidential palace, as a respected and even revered symbol of Afghan nationalism. He died in 2007 and was mourned at a thronging public funeral. -- Hamid Karzai has built a fortified retirement residence of his own in Kabul, near the presidential palace. If Kerry’s deal holds, he may yet live and die there peacefully, acknowledged as a constructive if idiosyncratic architect of national recovery. But if he and his allies—or Abdullah and his allies—miscalculate over the next few weeks, they will return their country, tragically, to the path of ruin. - Read More, The New Yorker, -- جلوگیری از یک کودتا در کابل -- نجیب الله بارکزی

Do You Want To Be Happy? Don't Set Your Expectations Too High --- Sure, money can't buy you love, but it's hard to imagine that winning rewards won't make us happy. -- It does, researchers say, but only if our immediate expectations aren't bigger than the size of the payoff. Disappointment squelches happiness. -- "Your happiness increases only if you do better than you expected," says Robb Rutledge, a neuroscientist and senior research associate at University College London. "Just having a bigger salary isn't enough to make you happy." --- Rutledge and his colleagues are trying to figure out how the brain calculates the determinants of happiness, which they think could be useful in diagnosing and treating depression and other mood disorders. To find this out, they first had 26 students play a decision-making game with small financial rewards. - More, Nancy Shute,

Is Your Watch Or Thermostat A Spy? Cybersecurity Firms Are On It --- There is a sharp divide in the technology world. One camp is racing to connect our devices to the Internet, to make everything — from the watch to the refrigerator — smart, so to speak. -- The other camp is terrified of what that means: everyday objects that can be hacked, easily, to spy on us and hand off valuable data to cybercriminals. The cynics are gathered in Las Vegas this week, at the security conference Black Hat. --- The Nest Hacker - People who hack for good have come to Mandalay Bay to share their research. -- Meet Grant Hernandez, 21, who is an undergraduate security researcher at the University of Central Florida, and he hacked one of the smartest smart devices on the market: Nest. The home thermostat uses sensors to tell when you're home and adjust temperature accordingly. With a shiny silver rim and black center, it kind of looks like a big eyeball. And Hernandez says, it's pretty easy to turn into a spy. -- Nest left the device on display at the conference unprotected. So by plugging in a USB, he can enter developer mode. -- "Entering into that mode allows you to upload your own code, your custom code, which then allows you to attack the existing code, implant your own and reboot normally, but maybe have something else running in the background," says Hernandez. -- If Hernandez wanted to, he could run to the Loews store, buy every Nest, reprogram it to shoot user data to him — and the customer wouldn't have a clue. -- "We have access to the device on the highest level and we can send stuff that Nest sends to us as well," he says. -- Nest, which is owned by Google, says security is "very important" and the company's "highest priority" is on remote, wireless hacks. This hack, which is to the hardware, does not compromise the security of the data that's inside the Nest servers. - More, NPR,

Former Israeli Ambassador Suddenly Can't Hear MSNBC When Asked About Spying On John Kerry --- Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren experienced a convenient technical glitch when asked Monday about a sensitive subject. -- After MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Oren about suspicions that Israel eavesdropped on Secretary of State John Kerry during his attempt to mediate peace negotiations last year, Oren said he couldn't hear Mitchell's question. -- “And I just have to ask you very briefly, in ten seconds, were you aware any of eavesdropping on John Kerry by Israeli intelligence?” Mitchell asked. -- Oren paused and blinked a few times before he replied, “Andrea, I cannot hear you, I’m sorry.” - More, The Huffington Post,

Former Guantanamo Bay Prosecutor: For Americans, Fear Is 'The New Normal' --- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been raging on for more than 12 years, but the Obama Administration hasn't yet figured out how to close Guantanamo Bay, and the "War on Terror" continues to inundate political rhetoric. -- Have these perpetual wars made fear an inherent part of the American psyche? Tara Maller, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that despite being a nation at war, she thinks Americans have become complacent. She said the public may be "hesitant to intervene because they don't actually feel the sacrifice or cost of the wars we've engaged in." -- "I actually think most Americans don’t know people who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan," Maller said. "They’re not touched on a personal level. It's unfortunate, but [a very small] percentage of the American public [has] actually felt the hardships of the conflicts themselves and actually might feel that sense of urgency." -- Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, agreed but had more to say about what exactly the majority of Americans are now tolerating: torture, keeping Guantanamo open and indefinite detention. He said this "decade of fear has become the new normal." -- "We have the equivalent of a 9/11 every month through gun violence. and we’re doing absolutely nothing about that," Davis said. "Yet we will give up our civil liberties and spend trillions of dollars to confront a threat that is legitimate but certainly being exploited for profit and power by a lot of people who have gotten enriched off the fear that has followed 9/11." - More, Huffington Post,

Father of general slain in Afghanistan attack remembers his son --- (Reuters) - The father of Major General Harold J. Greene on Wednesday described his son, killed in an Afghanistan insider attack a day earlier, as "unique to the military," a popular kid whose intellect led to his military success. -- In an interview at his home in upstate New York, Harold F. Greene told the story of a boy who made a city out of a sand dune, was so smart that Guilderland High School allowed him to skip his senior year, and, as an adult, shaped the weapons used by the military. -- "(He) was a kid I could be proud of," his father said. "It's our country that lost, really." --- Greene visited most of the U.S. combat zones during his military career, but was never put on the front lines. His role was more technical, dealing with the processes of developing and implementing weaponry. His father said that the drone program is a byproduct of his son's early career. -- "He was unique to the military," his father said. "He was performing a function that took in everything from research to development and he helped develop weapons systems that really help save a lot of lives in the field." -- As a captain, he married his wife, then-Captain Sue Myers. Myers, now a retired colonel, who is a professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where the family has a home. The couple has two children, Amelia and Matthew, who is a West Point graduate and a first lieutenant in the Army. -- Greene had received his second star as a general and was eligible to retire, but he opted to continue his career. -- He was shot and killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday. His body will arrive at Dover Air Force Base early on Thursday and he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. - More,

آغاز جنگ جبهه یی اردوی پاکستان در برابر قوای افغان --- به اساس معلومات یک مقام دولت افغانستان، ابعاد مداخلات پاکستان در این کشور وسیع تر شده است. این مقام که نخواسته نامی از وی برده شود به تازه گی از جنگ نیابتی و تجاوز آشکار پاکستان بر افغانستان پرده برداشته است. افزایش حضور نظامیان و مشاورین پاکستانی در صفوف مخالفین مسلح دولت، تشدید حملات راکتی، آغاز جنگ جبهه یی به حمایت مستقیم اردوی پاکستان در نقاط مختلف کشور، ازدیاد حملات انتحاری و گروهی و ترور شخصیت های سرشناس در افغانستان از مواردی اند که پاکستان به دست داشتن در آنها متهم می باشد. به نقل از منبع، پاکستان به این مسایل اکتفا نکرده و به توزیع تذکره های پاکستانی در برخی مناطق سرحدی افغانستان نیز پرداخته است. -- این منبع اسناد و ویدیو های را نیز نشر کرده است که نشان می دهد پاکستانی ها عملاً در جبهات، رهبری جنگ را به عهده دارند و به زبان پنجابی با یکدیگر صحبت می کنند. در اسناد ارائه شده تصاویری هم موجود اند که نشان دهنده مراکز آموزشی مخالفان مسلح در آن سوی خط دیورند هستند. به گفتهء همین منبع حملات راکتی و تهاجمی بر میدان هوایی کابل، حملات وسیع بر هلمند، ننگرهار، زابل، حمله موتر بمب در ولسوالی ارگون پکتیکا، نقض حریم هوایی در کنر و حفر خندق ها در امتداد خط دیورند از اقدامات اخیر پاکستان برضد افغانستان است. --- سوال اینجاست که هدف پاکستان در عقب اینگونه اقدامات چیست؟ -- به باور این مقام دولت افغانستان، پاکستان از حضور گستردهء احتمالی هند در این کشور نگران است. پاکستان ادعا دارد که هند در حال حاضر در ولایات مختلف افغانستان چهارده قونسلگری فعال دارد و چهارده هزار مشاور نظامی هند در اردوی ملی این کشور حضور دارند. گفته می شود این بهانهء است که پاکستان آن را بخاطر توجیه مداخلات اش در افغانستان بیان می کند. همین منبع گفته است اما دولت افغانستان در کنار آنکه این ادعا را رد کرده از حکومت پاکستان خواسته تا برای رفع این بدگمانی اش هیاتی را برای بررسی حقیقت این مساله موظف کند. -- به باور برخی آگاهان موقف نرم افغانستان در برابر اقدامات پاکستان سبب شده که این کشور همواره سیاست استعمارگرایانه را در برابر افغانستان در پیش گیرد و تلاش کرده تا یک حکومت دست نشانده در افغانستان داشته باشد و یا حداقل حلقاتی را در داخل حکومت ایجاد کند که از منافع پاکستان حمایت کنند. در این حال وزارت خارجه افغانستان گفته است، در صورت ادامه تخطی های پاکستان حکومت این کشور خاموش نخواهد ماند. مطرح ساختن این مساله به سطح بین المللی، قطع روابط اقتصادی و در نهایت پاسخ نظامی راه هایی اند که حکومت افغانستان برای جواب به حملات و مداخلات پاکستان در نظر دارد. -- احمد شکیب مستغنی سخنگوی وزارت خارجه افغانستان روز چهارشنبه در صحبت با رادیو آزادی گفت، آنان یادداشت اعتراض آمیز حکومت افغانستان در خصوص این تخطی ها را به سفیر پاکستان مقیم کابل، سپرده اند و انتظار پاسخ آن را می کشند: "ما منتظر پاسخ اعتراضی را داریم که از سوی حکومت افغانستان به حکومت پاکستان سپرده شده است. انتظار داریم تا در مواردی که از سوی حکومت افغانستان نسبت به آن اعتراض صورت گرفته پاکستان در نظر بگیرد و به اساس آن از تخطی ها جلوگیری صورت گیرد." -- حکومت پاکستان هم چنان گفته که شماری از اعضای تحریک طالبان پاکستانی در خاک افغانستان مصروف فعالیت اند. همین مقام دولت افغانستان گفته که حکومت پاکستان تهدید کرده است، در صورتی که حکومت افغانستان برضد طالبان پاکستانی در خاک خود اقدام نکند به گونه مستقیم بر مراکز این طالبان بمباران خواهد کرد. با آنکه حکومت افغانستان در رابطه به این هشدار تازه پاکستان تبصره نکرده، اما قبل از این گفته است که آماده هر نوع پاسخ به حملات پاکستان از جمله اقدام نظامی است. -- این در حالیست که از نزدیک به یک ماه مخالفین مسلح دولت با صد ها نظامی پاکستانی و حمایت این کشور در چندین ولایت افغانستان در برابر نیرو های امنیتی افغان می جنگند. از حدود چهار سال بدین سو حملات راکتی پاکستان بر مناطق شرقی افغانستان نیز ادامه داشته است که در جریان آن هزاران فیر راکت از آن سوی خط دیورند پرتاب شده اند. گفته می شود که در این حملات بیش از صد تن کشته و زخمی شده و حدود یک هزار و پنجصد خانواده مجبور به ترک خانه های شان گردیده اند. ما پاکستان همواره این اتهامات را رد کرده وگفته است که خود نیز قربانی تروریزم است. -- شماری از متخصصان معتقد اند که پس از این حکومت افغانستان باید تغییرات کلی را در سیاست اش در قبال پاکستان ایجاد کند و نه تنها از مجاری دیپلوماتیک بلکه به کمک متحدین منطقوی و بین المللی اش فشار لازم را بر پاکستان وارد نماید تا آن کشور از مداخلات اش در امور افغانستان، دست بردارد. - رادیو آزادی

Afghan troops’ rocky past offers clues into killing --- KABUL — Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer killed in a war zone in four decades, died not at the hand of a sworn enemy but from a burst of gunfire by a soldier in an allied army who had been largely paid, trained and equipped with American and NATO support. -- It will probably never be known what led the shooter, identified as a man in his 20s, to hide in a bathroom at a military training base near the capital Tuesday, then emerge and open fire on a delegation of visiting American and European military officers, before being shot dead himself. -- It was also unclear what provoked two other “insider attacks” this week: a firefight Tuesday between an Afghan police guard and NATO troops near the governor’s office in southern Paktia province, and an incident Wednesday in Uruzgan province in which an Afghan policeman poisoned his colleagues’ food, then shot at least seven of them before fleeing in a police truck, officials said. -- But the troubled 11-year history of the Afghan security forces, including the Afghan army, offers an ample range of possible explanations for such deeply disturbing incidents, whether aimed at Afghan cohorts or foreign military dignitaries. -- The army, the most professional and popular of the new defense forces, has drawn recruits from across the country who have been expected to replace local and ethnic loyalties with adherence to a national government and its defense. The aim has been to forge an army of about 80,000 men and officers who could be weaned from foreign tutelage by now and prepared to take on the Taliban alone, then gradually grow to as many as 120,000 troops. -- From the beginning, however, the project has been plagued with problems. Soldiers have gone AWOL and deserted in high numbers. Ethnic imbalances between officers and troops have been sources of envy and friction. Equipment has been old and expensive to replace. -- Perhaps most problematic, the American mentors who have “embedded” with Afghan units were slow to arrive, and Afghan fighting traditions – honed over decades of anti-Soviet guerrilla combat and civil war -- have been both more brutal and egalitarian than the orderly American ethos of haircuts, salutes and pre-dawn drills. -- In a 2009 report on the state of the Afghan army, the Rand Corp. and the Royal Danish Defense College found that while steady improvements were being made in professional skills and combat readiness, the army was still very much a “work in progress” and would need continued international support for the foreseeable future. Despite significant gains in some areas, the report said, “operational effectiveness remains very much in the balance.” - More, Pamela Constable, Washingtonpost

A 100-Year Legacy of World War I - More, NYTimes,

Afghanistan still dangerous place: US lawmakers --- WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Condemning the killing of Maj. Gen. Harold J Greene in an attack on a military university in Kabul, top American lawmakers on Tuesday said Afghanistan remained a dangerous place. -- "This incident is a reminder that despite the steps taken by ISAF, Afghan National Security Forces and government to mitigate insider threats, Afghanistan is still a dangerous place and force protection remains a critical mission," said Senator Jim Inhofe. -- A ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said the US owed a debt of gratitude to the men and women in uniform and that could be repaid by a reaffirmation to support the loved ones they left behind. -- "As the president withdraws our forces, it is critically important that we listen to our commanders on the ground to determine what is necessary to safely accomplish our mission in Afghanistan. We owe that to all of the brave service members who have volunteered to go into harm’s way in defense of the nation," Inhofe added. -- Saddened by the loss of life, Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. Buck McKeon said because the Taliban had been unable to succeed militarily against Afghan and coalition forces, they were continuing to conduct headline-grabbing insider attacks. -- "Many Americans and their allies have fallen in the effort to defeat a terrible enemy, and this incident demonstrates their courage. The event only underscores the importance of leaving Afghanistan when the job is finished -- rather than stubbornly adhering to arbitrary political deadlines," McKeon said. -- Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, said his thoughts and prayers were with the families of those killed or injured in the attack. In recent years, there had been some progress in lessening the green-on-blue attacks, but obviously not enough, he remarked. -- "Many brave US forces are working hard to help stand up the Afghan forces so they can continue to take the lead in Afghanistan. That is the honorable mission for which this US officer and others have sacrificed. They don’t deserve to be victims of such cowardly terrorist attacks," Royce concluded. - More,

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

یک ژنرال آمریکایی در تیراندازی دانشگاه نظامی کابل کشته شد --- در اثر تیراندازی یک فرد در لباس ارتش افغانستان به کارمندان یک دانشگاه نظامی در کابل و همکاران خارجی آنها، یک ژنرال آمریکایی کشته و ۱۵ نفر از جمله فرمانده دانشگاه و یک ژنرال آلمانی زخمی شدند. -- ژنرال هارولد گرین بلندپایه ترین مقام نظامی بین المللی است که از زمان سقوط طالبان در سال ۲۰۰۱ کشته می شود. -- به گزارش آسوشیتدپرس او معاون بخش «فرماندهی مشترک انتقال امنیتی» بود که در مقدمه چینی برای خروج نیروهای آمریکایی در پایان سال جاری دست داد. -- وزارت دفاع افغانستان اعلام کرده "یک تروریست" که لباسی مشابه لباس ارتش به تن داشت، به روی کارمندان دانشگاه دفاعی مارشال قسیم فهیم در غرب کابل و همکاران خارجی آنها آتش گشوده است. -- به گفته وزارت دفاع، در این حمله "یک شخص که لباس نظامی به تن داشت، در آکادمی نظامی افغانستان بر منسوبین اردوی ملی و همکاران خارجی شان شلیک کرد که در اثر آن یک افسر خارجی کشته و شمار دیگری از افسران افغان و خارجی زخم برداشتند." -- این وزارتخانه اعلام کرده است: "مجروحین به اسرع وقت به شفاخانه انتقال و فرد حمله کننده توسط سربازان اردوی ملی کشته شد." -- این در حالی است که بی بی سی مطلع شده که تیراندازی، پس از یک مشاجره لفظی اتفاق افتاده است. -- منابع مطلع در وزارت دفاع به بی بی سی گفته اند که مهاجم یک سرباز افغان بوده که سه سال پیش به استخدام ارتش افغانستان درآمده بود. -- حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان این حمله را محکوم کرده است. -- در خبرنامه ارگ ریاست جمهوری آمده است: "رئیس جمهوری افغانستان حمله بر منسوبین اردوی ملی و مربیان خارجی را که مصروف بازدید از تاسیسات نظامی اکادمی و توانمند ساختن نیروهای نظامی افغانستان بودند، کار دشمنانی دانست که نمی خواهند این کشور صاحب نهاد های نیرومند شود." -- محمدافضل امان، رئیس اداره عملیات ستاد ارتش افغانستان به بی‌بی‌سی فارسی گفت که در جریان تیراندازی، ژنرال غلام سخی فرمانده اکادمی ملی نظامی زخمی شده‎است. -- آقای امان قبلا به خبرگزاری فرانسه گفته بود که نیروهای خارجی هم متحمل تلفاتی شده‌اند. -- این افسر وزارت دفاع تاکید کرد که هنوز اطلاعات دقیقی درباره این رویداد در دست نیست و تیم‌های تحقیقات حقوقی و اطلاعاتی وزارت دفاع در محل رویداد سرگرم تحقیق هستند. -- دفتر مطبوعاتی ناتو در کابل گفته که تایید می‌کند که در مقر اکادمی نظامی واقع در قرغه در غرب کابل حادثه‌ای رخ داده اما هیچ توضیحی درباره چگونگی آن ارائه نکرده است. -- دانشگاه نظامی کابل که از آن به عنوان اکادمی ملی نظامی یاد می‌شود، سال گذشته با حضور حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان و فیلیپ هاموند وزیر دفاع وقت بریتانیا کلیک گشایش یافت. -- آقای امان گفت که دو نهاد آموزشی مربوط وزارت دفاع افغانستان در داخل محوطه دانشگاه نظامی واقع شده که یکی اکادمی ملی نظامی و دیگری اکادمی عالی افسران ارتش است. -- او افزود که نیروهای بریتانیایی و آمریکایی به این دو نهاد کمک مالی می‌کنند، اما مدیریت آنها به دست وزارت دفاع است. -- BBC

US general Harold Greene killed by Afghan soldier --- A US general has been killed in an attack by an Afghan soldier at a British-run military academy near Kabul, US officials say. -- Maj Gen Harold Greene is the highest ranking US military official to have been killed since US-led combat operations in Afghanistan began. -- At least 15 soldiers - two British, several Americans and generals from Germany and Afghanistan were wounded. -- Officials said the Afghan soldier who opened fire had been shot dead. -- Gen Greene was the deputy commanding general for the Combined Security Transition Command, involved in preparations for the withdrawal of coalition troops at the end of the year. -- Correspondents say that the attack raises new doubts about Nato's ability to train Afghan forces as Western countries gradually withdraw. -- The Pentagon described "insider attacks" as a "pernicious threat". -- The attacker was a soldier who was recruited three years ago, Afghan defence ministry sources told the BBC. -- The incident is said to have occurred late morning or lunchtime after an argument between Afghans and an armed Afghan soldier. -- The Afghan soldier opened fire from a guard post at a large group of senior Afghan and international troops. -- By the time he had emptied the magazine of his US-issue M16 rifle, more than a dozen people had been shot, our correspondent says. -- The Afghan commander of the British-led officers' academy, Gen Gulam Sakhi, was among those wounded. -- The training academy, which first took cadets last October, is modelled on UK military academy Sandhurst. -- It will be the only British military presence in Afghanistan when operations end this year. - More,

U.S. general dead, German general wounded in Afghan attack --- (Reuters) - A U.S. general was killed and more than a dozen people were wounded on Tuesday, including a German general, in the latest insider attack by a man believed to be an Afghan soldier, U.S., German and Afghan officials said. -- The U.S. Army said late on Tuesday the slain general was Major General Harold Greene, a senior officer with the international military command ISAF. He was the most senior U.S. military official killed in action overseas since the war in Vietnam, military officials said. -- "These soldiers were professionals, committed to the mission," U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno said in a statement, referring to the soldiers killed and wounded in the attack. -- Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters that "many were seriously wounded," and the gunman was killed in the attack, which took place on Tuesday at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, a training center in Kabul. -- The attack raised fresh questions about the ability of NATO soldiers to train and advise Afghan security forces as western nations gradually withdraw. The U.S. and German generals were on a routine visit, the Pentagon said. -- A U.S. official said the gunman fired on the foreign soldiers using a light machine gun. Afghanistan's Defense Ministry described him as a "terrorist in army uniform." -- The German military said its general was one of 14 coalition troops wounded in Tuesday's attack, adding that his life was not in danger. Seven Americans and five British troops were among the wounded, an Afghan official said. -- Past insider attacks have eroded trust while straining foreign efforts to train Afghanistan's 350,000-strong security force and prepare them to fight the Taliban once most U.S. and NATO forces depart. -- U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with General Joe Dunford, who commands U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan, about the incident, Kirby said. He said the shooting was being investigated jointly by Afghan authorities and the international military coalition that is winding down its long mission in Afghanistan. -- The Afghan president was quick to condemn the attack, saying the delegation had been visiting the facility to help build the country's security forces. -- U.S. military officials said it was too soon to say whether the high-ranking officers had been specifically targeted by the shooter. -- "We remain committed to our mission in Afghanistan and will continue to work with our Afghan partners to ensure the safety and security of all coalition soldiers and civilians," Odierno said. - More,

هیواد: افغانستان تحت تجاوز مستقیم کشور های همسایه --- روزنامه های چاپ امروز کابل در کنار مطالب مختلف بازهم تبصره های را در مورد بن بست های انتخاباتی و احضار شدن سفیر پاکستان به نشر رسانیده اند. -- روزنامهء ویسا در صفحه اولش با خط درشت به نقل از سخنگوی رئیس جمهور کرزی نوشته که گفته ثبت کننده صدای منسوب به کریم خلیلی باید محاکمه گردد. در ادامه همین مطلب آمده است که ادعا در مورد موثق بودن این صدا تجاوز بر حریم شخصی و تهدید برای امنیت عامه است. -- روزنامه محور نوشته که حامیان عبدالله عبدالله صدا ها را به صورت غیرقانونی ثبت می کنند. در این مطلب آمده که به اساس معلومات دقیق یک گروه تخنیکی از طرفداران عبدالله دستگاهی را نصب کرده اند که توسط آن مکالمات تیلفونی شنیده می شود و ایمیل های که از افغانستان فرستاده می شوند مورد مطالعه قرار می گیرند. -- روزنامه سرنوشت در سرمقاله اش نوشته که تشنج های انتخاباتی حل خواهند شد اما افغان ها از موقف نامزدان و بخصوص از موقف تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی ضربهء جبران ناپذیری را متحمل شدند. -- روزنامه آرمان ملی سرمقاله اش را زیر عنوان هم زمان با تفتیش آرا باید باطل شدن آرا نیز اعلام گردد نوشته است. -- بخشی دیگری از روزنامه های کابل به مساله احضار سفیر پاکستان از سوی وزارت خارجه افغانستان تمرکز دارند. -- روزنامه دولتی هیواد سرمقاله اش را زیر عنوان: "افغانستان تحت تجاوز مستقیم کشور های همسایه" نوشته است. روزنامه نوشته با توجه به این که افغانستان با کشور های بزرگی مثل امریکا قراردادی ندارد ممکن تجاوز همسایه ها بر افغانستان بیشتر از این مشکل ساز گردد. -- و در سرمقالهء روزنامهء دولتی انیس آمده که تجهیز نیروهای امنیتی افغان با وسایل عصری و پیشرفته بهترین راه برای جلوگیری از مداخلات نظامی سایر کشور هاست. -- روزنامه سرنوشت در مطلبی به نقل از شکیب مستغنی سخنگوی وزارت خارجه افغانستان نوشته است که پس از این حملات پاکستان بی جواب نخواهد ماند. سرنوشت در ادامه نوشته که اگر این مشکل از سایر طریقه ها حل نگردد گزینه حمله نظامی وجود دارد. -- سرمقاله نویس روزنامه محور پیشنهاد کرده است که برای جلوگیری از ادامه حملات توپخانه یی پاکستان باید جامعه جهانی و بخصوص سازمان ملل متحد مداخله کند. - رادیو آزادی

U.N. Reports Dire Impact on Children in Gaza Strip --- GENEVA — As a 72-hour cease-fire took hold in the Gaza Strip, a United Nations official said Tuesday that Israel’s nearly monthlong offensive against Hamas, the militant Islamist organization that runs Gaza, had had a “catastrophic and tragic impact” on children in the territory and that reconstruction would require many hundreds of millions of dollars. -- The conflict has killed 408 children and injured 2,502, Pernille Ironside, the head of the Unicef office in Gaza, said, briefing reporters in Geneva by telephone. About 373,000 children have had traumatic experiences and need psychosocial support, she said. -- “There isn’t a single family in Gaza which hasn’t been touched by direct loss,” Ms. Ironside said. “The impact that has on the ability of children to cope cannot be overstated.” -- The weaponry used in the assault on Gaza caused amputations and maiming, she added. “This happened before the eyes of children,” she said. “They have seen their friends and their parents die.” -- The United Nations and other humanitarian agencies are at the limit of their ability to cope with the fallout from the assault, which Ms. Ironside said had far surpassed the combined impact of two previous conflicts, in 2008-09 and in 2012. About 270,000 people have sought shelter at around 90 centers run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and at least 200,000 others have taken refuge with family members, friends or neighbors. -- The damage inflicted on Gaza’s power and water infrastructure has led to acute shortages of clean water for several weeks. What is available is used only for drinking and is not sufficient for basic hygiene, Ms. Ironside said, giving rise to scabies and other contagious diseases. -- Shelling and bombing have damaged 142 schools — 89 of them run by the United Nations — , and multiple strikes on Gaza’s sole power plant and other infrastructure have left it beyond repair, Ms. Ironside said. The cost of reconstruction will run to “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars,” she said. -- But stringent Israeli controls on goods going into Gaza severely constrained past efforts at rebuilding, Ms. Ironside said. She urged an end to Israel’s blockade. “The international community cannot accept the rebuilding of Gaza on the same terms as before,” she said. - More, NICK CUMMING-BRUCE, NYTimes

روهی ویب -- محور ورځپاڼه: دعبدالله پلویان په ناقانونه ډول غږونه ثبتوي --- دکره معلوماتو پر بنسټ دپخوانۍ شمالي ټلوالې یوې تخنیکي ډلګۍ داسې یوه دستګاه لګولې، چې پرمټ یې تلیفوني مکالمې اوري او په افغانستان کې تبادله کېدونکي ایمیلونه څاري. -- وروسته له هغې چې دافغانستان ملي امنیت دهمپالنې ډلې ته دتلیفوني غږونو د ورکولو ادعا رد کړه، دتلیفوني مکالمو درسوایۍ په منابعو پسې څېړنې زیاتې شوې. وروستي معلومات په ډاګه کوي، د عبدالله د پلویانو دغه تخنیکي ډلګۍ لاهم د غږونو په ثبت لګیا ده، او هېڅ امنیتي ارګان یې پروړاندې اقدام ندی کړی. -- دولسمشر ددویم مرستیال د غږ له خپراوي وروسته په عامه کچه وېره خپره شوې، چې د عبدالله پلویان محرمو اسنادو ته د لاسرسي هڅه کوي او ښايي د هېواد په کچه ځینې محرم رازونه هم د لیک کېدو له ګواښ سره مخ وي. -- دمعلوماتو پر بنسټ د پخوانۍ شمالي ټلوالې یوې ډلې داسې یوه دستګاه لګولې، چې پرمټ یې په هېواد کې تلیفوني مکالمې ثبتوي او په افغانستان کې تبادله کېدونکي ایمیلونه څاري. دولسمشر ددویم مرستیال د غږ له خپراوي وروسته په عامه کچه وېره خپره شوې، چې د عبدالله پلویان محرمو اسنادو ته د لاسرسي هڅه کوي او ښايي د هېواد په کچه ځینې محرم امنيتي او نور رازونه هم لیک کړي. -- شنونکي وايي، کله چې دغه ټيم د حکومت د دويم سړي غږ ثبتولی شي، نو د حکومت له مهمو امنيتي رازونو نيولې، د خلکو تر سرمايو پورې معلومات تر لاسه کولی شي. دوی وايي، دغه کسان متعهد نه دي او کېداشي دا ډول محرم اسناد بهرنيو استخباراتو، وسله والو مخالفينو او مافيا ته په واک کې ورکړي. -- دچارو شنونکی محسن هادي په دې باور دی، چې کېدای شي، د هېواد د امنيتي غونډو او امنيتي کسانو خبرې هم تر طالبانو، ای اېس ای او ايراني څارګرو پورې ورسول شي. دی وايي، په دې برخه کې د هر افغان ژوند په خطر کې دی، ځکه مافيا ته ډېر اړين معلومات په لاس ورتلای شي او هغه يې له مخې خپل کار کولای شي. -- وروسته له هغې چې دافغانستان ملي امنیت دهمپالنې ډلې ته دتلیفوني غږونو دورکولو ادعا رد کړه، دتلیفوني مکالمو د رسوایۍ په منابعو پسې څېړنې زیاتې شوې. وروستي معلومات په ډاګه کوي، چې د عبدالله د پلویانو يوه تخنیکي ډلګۍ لاهم د غږونو په ثبت لګیا ده او هېڅ امنیتي ارګان یې پروړاندې اقدام ندی کړی. -- وروسته له هغې چې دافغانستان ملي امنیت دهمپالنې ډلې ته دتلیفوني غږونو دورکولو ادعا رد کړه، دتلیفوني مکالمو د رسوایۍ په منابعو پسې څېړنې زیاتې شوې. وروستي معلومات په ډاګه کوي، چې د عبدالله د پلویانو يوه تخنیکي ډلګۍ لاهم د غږونو په ثبت لګیا ده او هېڅ امنیتي ارګان یې پروړاندې اقدام ندی کړی. --- درې کاله وړاندې په مزارشریف ښار کې دوه داسې کسان د غږونو له ثبتونکو وسایلو سره لاس په لستوڼي ونیول شول، چې له ډېره وخته یې دتلیفوني مکالمو او الکترونيکي اړیکو ناقانونه څارنه کوله. په نیول شوو، کې یو یې بلخ دوالي عطامحمد نور نږدې خپلوان و. دیادې پیښې په تعقیب دکابل په برچي سیمه کې هم څلور کسان دتلیفوني غږونو دثبتولو په تور څارل کېدل، چې له نیولو وړاندې وتښتېدل، خو وسایل یې رسنیو ولیدل او په اړه يې ويل کېدل، چې په محمد محقق پورې تړلي دي -- دغه هڅې له وړاندې روانې وې، د مخابراتو وزارت یوه سرچینه وايي، ځینې داسې دستګاوې شته، چې دغه وزارت یې په اړه اندېښنه لري، خو ددوی په باور ملي امنیت باید په جدي ډول د دې ډول قضایاوو پلټنه پسې ووځي او خلکو ته دمحرمیت په اړه یې اطمنان ورکړي. اوس شنونکي ډېره پړه په ملي امنيت اچوي، چې په دې برخه کې يې له لومړي سره هېڅ راز اقدام ونه کړ او دا د پوښتنې وړ ده، چې ولې پټه خوله پاتې دي. -- دولسمشر وياند ايمل فيضي وايي، دولسمشرۍ پر دویم مرستیال محمد کریم خللي لګول شوی تور چې ګواکې هغه دولسمشرۍ ټاکنو په بهير کې لاسوهنه کړې ده، بې اساسه او یو تکذیب دی: (که چېرې دا سم هم وي، د دغه غږ خپرول، چې دافغانستان دولسمشر ددویم مرستیال دڅرګندونو ترسرليک لاندې " په یوه ځانګړې او محرمانه ناسته کې" ترسره شوي دي، دهغه دصحت لرلو ادعا، دعامو خلکو او دوه عام شخصیت دشخصي حریم لپاره یو جدي ګواښ بلل کيږي.) --- دولسمشر وياند وايي، له عاملينو سره به يې هر څه ژر قانوني چلند وشي.

U.S. General Is Killed in Attack at Afghan Base, Officials Say --- KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan soldier shot a United States Army major general to death and wounded a German brigadier general and at least 14 other foreign and Afghan military service members on Tuesday at a military training academy on the outskirts of Kabul, officials of the American-led coalition said Tuesday. The major general appeared to be the highest-ranking member of the American military to die in hostilities overseas since the Vietnam War. -- The coalition officials said a senior Afghan commander also was among the wounded. The officials declined to identify any of the victims by name. The identity of the gunman was not disclosed, either, but a Pentagon spokesman told reporters in Washington that he had been killed. -- The Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, also said officials believed the gunman was “a member of the Afghan national security forces,” but he had no other details about him or the circumstances of the shooting. -- Admiral Kirby also said the shooting, the first so-called insider attack in months in Afghanistan, was an inherent risk of the war, calling it “a pernicious threat and always difficult to ascertain.” -- The German military confirmed that one of its brigadier generals serving in Afghanistan was among 15 coalition-led troops wounded in the shooting, described as “presumably an internal attack.” The general was being treated for his injuries, which were not life-threatening, the Germans said in a statement. -- Other details of the shooting were sketchy, and the coalition, in an official statement, would only confirm that one of its service members had been killed in what it described as “an incident” at the Marshall Fahim National Defense University in Kabul. The coalition declined to specify any further details, saying it was still working to notify the family of the deceased. -- Tensions at the military academy ran high in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, which took place around noon, and foreign troops appeared to be on edge, fearful of another attack. -- Massoud Hossaini, a photographer for The Associated Press, said that he arrived at the camp’s gate ahead of other journalists, and just as coalition armored vehicles were pulling out of the compound. A coalition soldier manning the roof-mounted gun on one of the vehicles shouted for Mr. Hossaini to “get away,” and then fired an apparent warning shot. -- “I don’t know what he fired. It was fired near our car,” he said, adding that he left the scene straight away. -- In images of the incident released by the AP, the coalition soldier appeared to be firing a warning flare. -- The Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement that a “few people were wounded” in the shooting, and that they had been immediately evacuated to a hospital. It described the attacker as “wearing Afghan National Army uniform,” which has long been a standard description offered after Afghan troops attack their foreign counterparts. -- Other Afghan and coalition officials said they believed the gunman was an Afghan soldier. The coalition, in its brief statement, said the incident had involved “local Afghan and ISAF troops,” using the initials for the International Security Assistance Force, the formal name of the NATO-led coalition. - More, NYTimes,®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Monday, August 04, 2014

Troops join rescue as China earthquake kills more than 390 --- (CNN) -- Troops joined rescue operations in Yunnan province, southwestern China Monday following a 6.1-magnitude earthquake but the search for survivors was hampered by rainfall and aftershocks. -- At least 398 people have been killed, and 1,801 injured by the quake that struck on Sunday afternoon, state-run media has reported. -- The quake struck at 4.30 p.m. local time (4.30 a.m. ET). The majority of the casualties occurred in the city of Zhaotong, Ludian County. -- The epicenter of the quake was recorded in Longtoushan Township, 23 kilometers (14 miles) southwest of Zhaotong, and tremors were felt almost 200 miles away. Hundreds of aftershocks have been recorded following the initial tremor. -- Beijing has allocated 600 million yuan ($97 million) for relief efforts, Xinhua reported Monday. -- It is a fairly remote, partly mountainous area. Many live in low-rise houses made of wood and bricks or plaster, which make them prone to collapse. - More,

Michael Brenner -- The Afghan Delusion --- Counter insurgency has been at the heart of the "war on terror." It has failed -- in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The main reasons are readily identifiable. Some are generic; others specific to time and place. War kills a lot of civilians as well as combatants. That holds for "precision" drone strikes as well as mainforce operations (1). That is one. That breeds resentment and hostility. Consequently, the potential pool of recruits for the bad guys grows exponentially -- especially in tribal societies. It's like trying to remove water from a boat by scooping it in the stern and dumping it in the bow. This has become an American specialty. In Iraq, we went one step further in creating a potent enemy movement from scratch. --- Long-term foreign presence alienates the locals. That is two. Nobody likes to be dictated to by foreigners, nobody likes legions of soldiers tramping around their country, nobody likes to be belittled or disparaged. It's is not just Texans who warn: "Don't Mess With T....." This is true even where the foreigners do provide some tangible benefits. Yet, the unstated premise of the GWOT is that the United States must hang around in order to make sure that the terrorists are fully suppressed and that there can be no resurrection. For that is a logical corollary to the commitment to a policy of zero tolerance for uncertainty when it comes to terrorism. This is the Mother Delusion. -- Long-term success depends on creating stable political systems wherein security is provided by competent local authorities, including military and police, considered legitimate by the populace. That is three. In short, nation building and state building. It is treacherously difficult. Historically, the United States has tried its hand at that on many occasions, in many places. Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba: several times each. Iraq, Afghanistan: all-out effort, absolute failure. Somalia, Mali: partial effort, failure. Let's not forget Vietnam. The Philippines is the half-way exception. Of course, it was culturally a far more congenial place to attempt social engineering. It also took 46 years of occupation; that translates into staying in Iraq until 2049 and Afghanistan until 2047. (Post-war Japan and Germany are irrelevant to this assessment given the unique, unreplicable circumstances). --- Afghanistan saw its share of torture. Personal testimony is now confirming longstanding reports that torture was routine at Begram and endemic at bases in Kandahar, Oruzgan, and Wardak provinces as well as elsewhere in the South and East (2). In the early years, most of the persons abused were innocent of any terrorist associated action. Many were seized (and then abused) on the word of local warlords who made fortunes trafficking rivals, competitors, other tribal leaders or just anyone whose delivery filled a quota of "Taliban." So a 12-year-old boy sex slave, or the wrong Qasim, or the illiterate farmer who bore the same name as the deputy Foreign Minister -- all fed the American chain of prisons. Most of these prisoners suffered some type of physical abuse, many tortured, several killed. This practice went on unabated for a number of years. The warlords, the drug lords and a motley assortment of other entrepreneurial types were America's staunchest Afghan supporters in the towns and villages where they were the indigenous backbone of the occupation. The boy's story is a perfect parody of the times. He was confined in the compound of a pro-American local personage who had been falsely accused of being a Taliban by an envious local rival. The boy was presumed guilty by the Army's standard of propinquity. His "liberation" led to solitary confinement in a Guantanamo cage -- euphemistically known later as "protective detention." --- Three aspects of this stunning record deserve mention in regard to delusion. First, Americans generally cannot accept that torture was an official policy or that so many Americans would participate in carrying it out. Second, the critical element in this abusive behavior was vengeance. The people who committed these acts were animated by the same passions felt by most Americans. In this sense, they were acting as the peoples' surrogates. Torture of persons for whom there was not a shred of evidence of wrongdoing had no instrumental purpose. They were stand-ins for al-Qaeda and the Taliban. In fact, the Taliban as an organization had dissolved by a natural process of defection and acceptance of a new order in a manner very similar to how it has first emerged. They seeped back into society from whence they had come -- reverse osmosis. There were virtually no violent acts directed against American forces in Kandahar and elsewhere in the South between 2002 and 2004. We needed an enemy, so we imagined one. Thanks to this mentality, the real thing actually did rematerialize. Acute demand generated the desired supply. At first in the form of zombie enemies, later the real thing. The terrorism market mechanism worked. Supply emerged to meet the demand. -- Third, the American occupation in Afghanistan was as feckless and incompetent as the fiasco in Iraq. This conclusion is unavoidable in light of the record. This applies to the Army's war against a phantom terrorist enemy, to the ignorance that led to the occupation enterprise becoming hostage to local warlords, and to nation-building programs whose primary success was in lining the pockets of the warlords and American contractors. -- The corresponding delusions are: Americans are a moral people incapable of evil deeds and evil policies; the United States observes the rule of law and the precepts of humanity in dealing with other peoples; we are an exceptionally competent society that knows how to get things done and to perform daunting tasks with efficiency and honesty. - More,

نامهء به دکتور عبدالله / داکتر حلیم تنویر -- چندی قبل هم برایت توصیه نامه ای فرستادم .فشرده آن چنین بود --- هر نکته که میگویی،با تأنی و تدبیر بگو -- هر قدمی که برمیداری، با احتیاط و متین بردار -- هر سخنی که بیان میداری، خدا را شاهد باش و مردم را با حرمت از نظر دور میانداز --- ولی میدانم که توصیه مرا نخوانده ای . زیرا آنچه را که بخاطر خیر مردم و شخصیت خودت بود نه تنها عملی نشد بلکه برعکس آن کار های صورت گرفت که ملت ما را به مآیوسی کشانید. -- اکنون در بین مردم احساس می گردد که دیگر عبدالله به پروسه انتخابات علاقمندی ندارد و هر عمل شما را بعنوان یک کار بحران زا تصور نموده و شما را مسوول بحران های جاری در کشور می دانند. -- شما در برابر امریکاییان از خود کرنش و فرمانبرداری نشان داده و از قبل تمایل نشان داده وموافق به امضای موافقتنامه استراتیژیک بوده اید تا امریکایی ها از تو خشنود باشند و راه رفتن به اداره آینده را برایت سهل تر سازند. اما امریکایی ها هرگز اینکار را نخواهند کرد. زیرا دموکراسی اصول خود را که انتخابات است از دست خواهد داد. -- شما میدانید که اگر دراین دوره تصاحب قدرت را از دست دادید که برگشتن تان در صحنه سیاست حتی منحیث حزب مخالف ناممکن خواهد بود. شما تا هنوز راه و روش حکومتداری را درست نشناخته اید تا به مردم منحیث راهبری سیاسی تان از قبل معرفی می نمودید. --- شما تا هنوز در هیچ بحث سیاسی شرکت ننمودید تا مردم بدانند که در آینده اگر قدرت سیاسی را داشتید، چه خواهید کرد؟ -- شما در چانه زنی ها سیاسی سعی نمودید که بحران کشور را منحیث یک وسیله رسیدن و یا تقسیم قدرت به دیگران مطرح نمایید و موضوع تقلب را منحیث یک اصل مطرح نمودید. --- اکنون که شمارش دوباره ارا جریان دارد ، در صندوق های بررسی شده تعداد رأی تقلبی شما هشت برابر بیشتر از آرای تقلبی دکتور اشرف غنی است.. اکنون می خواهید که باز هم از کج روشی ها استفاده نموده و شمارش آرا را متوقف ساخته و آنرا برسمیت نشناسید. بدین گونه شما میخواهید انتخابات را به مشکل مواجه ساخته و آرمان های ملت افغانستان را بخاطر عقده گشایی ها و یا سود بردن ها، به نیستی مواجه سازید. --- آقای عیدالله... آیا شما از خداوند ترسی بدل راه داده اید ؟ که روزی در حضور پروردگار خواهید ایستاد و اعمال تان یک به یک شماریده خواهد شد. آیا بازهم در شمارش اعمال تان به خداوند خواهید گفت من قبول ندارم...زیرا دراین شمارش اعمالم تقلب صورت گرفته است. -- اگر اینقدر سماجت از خود نشان میدهید، پس چرا در برابر مسوولین امریکایی دست برسینه فرمانبرداری میکنید. شاید تصور کنید که اگر فرمانبرداری نکنم، روزی پول هایم در بانک نیویارک منجمد خواهد شد و من نخواهم توانست تا از مغازه ملیونر های امریکایی برایم دریشی و نکتایی خریداری نمایم. -- اما بجای نکتایی، خواهش میکنم به پا های برهنه کودکان افغان بنگر...آنها به یک امید سازنده و ارتقای کشور شان نیاز دارند. شاید تو راضی باشی تا ازین چانه زنی ها بگذری...اما با حواریون نابخرد و نابکار خویش در یک معرکه قرار داری. آنان ترا نمی گذارند تا خودت تصمیم بگیری ...میخواهند تو را در آتش حسادت خویش همچو هیزم خشک بسوزانند. سعی کن تا تو، خود باشی نه اینکه تو،به دهل دیگران اتن نمایی. -- سعی کن تانو با شخصیت نیک خویش الگوی همکاری و همبستگی در افغانستان گردی، نه یک فرد تجزیه طلب و خشونت گرا. -- نگذار که انتخابات بدنام و ناکام گردد. ناکامی پروسه انتخابات، سرافگنده گی همه افغان ها خواهد بود. -- به امید همان روز باز هم توصیه ای خود را تکرار میکنم -- با احترام - محمد حلیم تنویر -مطالبدری&article=16257

Princess Fights Leaks and an Eviction Notice in Manhattan --- Tutankhamen, Richard III, Archduke Ferdinand — throughout history, the deaths of monarchs have set off wars, revolutions and writing careers. Now, the passing of the last of the imperial Ottoman Turks has led to a battle over the rent-controlled apartment of an Afghan princess on the Upper East Side. -- In 1945, Ertogroul Osman moved into a two-bedroom walk-up apartment on the top floor of a three-story commercial building on Lexington Avenue south of 74th Street. Though it had a handsome mansard roof at the time and a prime uptown location, the stout 34-foot-wide property was practically a hovel compared with the 124-acre Yildiz Palace in old Constantinople where Mr. Osman was born and where his grandfather Abdul Hamid II ruled from 1876 to 1909. Had the empire not been dissolved, Mr. Osman would have taken the throne in 1994. -- Instead he spent 64 years in the same apartment until he died in 2009 on a trip to Istanbul with his second wife, Her Imperial Highness Zeynep Osman, who had joined him on Lexington Avenue after their marriage in 1991. Like her husband, Ms. Osman’s royal family had had to flee its home in Afghanistan in the 1920s. -- Now Ms. Osman, who was born in Turkey, fears she may be forced out of her New York home. -- After her building was sold in 2011 for $10.1 million, her new landlord, Avi Dishi, went by to see her that October. -- More, MATT A.V. CHABAN, NYTimes

افغانستان د پاکستان سفیر احضار کړ او احتجاجلیک یې وروسپاره --- د پاکستان له پر له پسې توغندويي بریدونو او د طالبانو په لیکو کې د پاکستاني پوځیانو د شتون په باب د اسنادو له ترلاسه کېدو وروسته د افغانستان د بهرنیو چارو وزارت د پاکستان سفیر احضار کړ او د افغانستان د حکومت احتجاجلیک یې وروسپاره. -- د پاکستان له پر له پسې توغندويي بریدونو او د طالبانو په لیکو کې د پاکستاني پوځیانو د شتون په باب د اسنادو له ترلاسه کېدو وروسته د افغانستان د بهرنیو چارو وزارت د پاکستان سفیر احضار کړ او د افغانستان د حکومت احتجاجلیک یې وروسپاره. -- د پاکستان له پر له پسې توغندويي بریدونو او د طالبانو په لیکو کې د پاکستاني پوځیانو د شتون په باب د اسنادو له ترلاسه کېدو وروسته د افغانستان د بهرنیو چارو وزارت د پاکستان سفیر احضار کړ او د افغانستان د حکومت احتجاجلیک یې وروسپاره. -- په غونډه کې وویل شول د پاکستان پوځ د دوو هیوادونو ترمنځ د مخکینیو موافقو، د نړیوالو قوانینو او اصولو او د ښه ګاونډیتوب د ارزښتونو خلاف د ورانکارو فعالیتونو د زیاتولو او د تروریزم د ملاتړ ترڅنګ په وروستیو څو ورځو کې د کونړ ولایت پر دانګام او شیګل ولسوالیو د توپونو او راکټونو حملې زیاتې کړي دي. -- د افغانستان د باندنیو چارو وزارت ویندوی همداراز وویل، د ننګرهار ولایت پر حصارک ولسوالۍ د شاوخوا زرو کورنیو او بهرنیو طالبانو بریدونه د پاکستاني سلاکارانو په مرسته تنظیم شوي وو. -- ننګرهار ولایت د حصارک په وروستیو حملو کې ۱۳۰ وسله وال طالبان ووژل شول. -- د افغانستان د بهرنیو چارو وزارت د پاکستاني چارواکو دا ادعا رد کړه چې ګني پاکستاني طالبان د حملو لپاره د پاکستان له خاورې افغانستان ته اوړي. -- پاکستان په وروستیو ورځو کې دوه ځلي په اسلام اباد کې د افغانستان د سفارت شارژدافېر د بهرنیو چارو وزارت ته احضار کړ او احتجاج یې پرې وکړ. - تاند

Michael O'Hanlon -- The Risks in Focusing on Withdrawal From Afghanistan --- Barack Obama has spoken frequently of his desire to have a legacy as the president who ended two wars. U.S. military forces left Iraq on his watch and, under a strategy unveiled in May, he plans to withdraw the final U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan in 2016, just before leaving office himself. -- But whatever his motivations, President Obama would be doing his successor, and the country, no favors with such a policy. Read More -- More, WSJ,

Karzai rejects claim deputy was involved in vote fraud --- (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday rejected allegations ‮‮‮‮‮‮‮‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬that one of his deputies had orchestrated a fraud against a longtime rival in Afghanistan's recent presidential election. -- On Sunday, campaign aides of Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister and one of the candidates for president, released an audio recording they said was of Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili encouraging vote-rigging in favor of Ashraf Ghani, the other contender. -- Aimal Faizi, Karzai's spokesman, on Monday dismissed the recording as a fake. Khalili's and Ghani's teams also rejected the recording. -- "This is a serious threat and violation to someone's security and privacy, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice," Faizi told Reuters. -- The two rounds of voting in the presidential election should have provided the first democratic transition of power in Afghanistan's history. Instead, they have been tainted by allegations of mass fraud. -- Abdullah's team accuses Karzai of rigging the vote and favoring former World Bank technocrat Ghani. The preliminary results of a U.N. audit show Ghani leading by about a million votes, but Western diplomats say they expect at least a quarter of the votes will be invalidated. - More,

10 foods to eat so you never have to diet --- These powerhouse foods help keep unwanted pounds at bay, and it has nothing to do with counting calories and fat grams. -- This herb does more than just give meals extra flavor and scent—it can also help keep your tummy flat through its naturally occurring chemical allicin, says registered dietitian and Nutritious Life founder Keri Glassman. “Allicin kills off harmful bacteria in your digestive tract to keep your gut healthy and functioning, which means less bloat.” Also, Korean researchers discovered that this member of the onion family may have an anti-obesity effect thanks to proteins being stimulated in the liver. Toss garlic in almost any poultry, pasta, or veggie dish, or add it to dressings and sauces. -- More,

Troubled audit of Afghan presidential vote resumes, but new troubles emerg --- KABUL — Afghanistan’s troubled presidential vote audit resumed Sunday, but one candidate’s team continued to boycott the review and issued wildly mixed signals about its intentions while the other candidate’s agents bickered endlessly over which ballots seemed suspicious. -- The confusion and melodrama hinted at a deepening disaster at a crucial moment in Afghanistan’s transition to full democratic rule, which is occurring as Taliban insurgent violence continues and Western troops pull out. -- Although the election process is now technically back on track after weeks of delays and disagreements, and both candidates are under international pressure to accept the results and get a new president installed, it seemed clear that political pique and mistrust over the crucial issue of fraud can still derail the entire exercise. -- Officials from the United Nations, the U.S. Embassy and the Afghan election commission tried to put a positive face on the situation, but their efforts were overshadowed by a stream of belligerent and contradictory comments from the camps of presidential rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah. -- While officials stressed that both sides had agreed on the general framework for the audit and a joint governing plan after a winner is declared — the essence of a deal brokered by Secretary of State John F. Kerry last month — they were vague on many of the details and implied that key differences remained unresolved. --- U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham, in a phone conversation with journalists Sunday evening, praised statements from the United Nations and Abdullah’s campaign indicating he had decided to rejoin the audit, calling it “welcome news.” The ambassador “commended both candidates” for their commitment to the audit and the political process. - More, WASHINGTONPOST

"اختلافات انتخاباتی، افغانستان را به خطر بی ثباتی مواجه کرده است" --- برخی از روزنامه ها و نشریه های جهان در شماره های اخیر شان در کنار مسایل دیگر مطالبی را در مورد جنجال انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان نیز نشر کرده اند. --- سندی تایمز -- نشریه سندی تایمز می نویسد روند تفتیش آراء دور دوم انتخابات افغانستان که چند بار به تاخیر افتاده است به روز یکشنبه بدون حضور ناظرین عبدالله عبدالله یکی از دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری از سر گرفته شد. این نشریه نوشته است که ادعای های تقلب اولین پروسه دیموکراتیک انتقال قدرت را در افغانستان با جنجال رو به رو ساخت و این امید را نقش بر آب کرد که این انتخابات یکی از دستآورد مهم تلاش های نظامی و ملکی به رهبری امریکا پس از 2001 به این سو در افغانستان پنداشته شود. -- سندی تایمز می نویسد که اختلافات ایجادشده میان عبدالله عبدالله و اشرف غنی احمدزی در حالی افغانستان را با خطر بیشتر بی ثباتی مواجه کرده است که نیرو های ناتو از این کشور خارج می شوند و خشونت در تمام افغانستان افزایش یافته است. این روزنامه در ادامه نوشته است که قرار بود رئیس جمهور جدید در دوم ماه آگست مراسم تحلیف را به جا آورد اما تاریخ نو برای برگزاری این مراسم تعیین نشده است. به نوشته سندی تایمز این مساله باعث مایوسی بیشتر تعداد زیاد افغانان، سازمان ملل متحد، ناتو و دیپلومات های خارجی مقیم کابل شده است. --- واشنگتن پوست -- روزنامه واشنگتن پوست در یک مطلب در مورد جنجال انتخاباتی در افغانستان به نگرانی یان کوبیش نماینده خاص سازمان ملل متحد در این کشور اشاره کرده است. واشنگتن پوست می نویسد که یانکوبیش به روز جمعه با ابراز نگرانی به خبرنگاران در کابل گفته است که هر تاخیر و وضعیت مبهم بر آینده این کشور تاثیر بسیار منفی بر جای خواهد گذاشت. به نوشته روزنامه طی دو روز گذشته صد ها تن از ناظرین بین المللی به کابل آمدند تا از روند تفتیش آراء انتخابات نظارت نمایند. واشنگتن پوست می نویسد که این بخشی از تلاش های است که هدف آن نجات پروسه انتقال سیاسی است. -- More, رادیو آزادی

Poll: Has Afghanistan's reconstruction been worth the cost? --- The cost of reconstruction in Afghanistan has surpassed the total spent under the Marshall Plan in post-war Europe, a US government report has revealed. Read our news report here. -- The report states: "The [Marshall] Plan has been called 'one of the most successful long-term projects in American foreign policy.' A Congressional Research Service report says the Marshall Plan delivered about $13.3 billion to its aid recipients before disbursements ended in June 1952." --- Poll: Has Afghanistan's reconstruction been worth the cost? -- But has it ultimately been worth it? As British and other western troops prepare to leave the country at the end of the year, and stalemate persists in the presidential elections, we ask you to have your say in the poll below. - By Telegraph Comment,

Wiretapped: Israel Eavesdropped on John Kerry in Mideast Talks --- SPIEGEL has learned from reliable sources that Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on US Secretary of State John Kerry during Middle East peace negotiations. In addition to the Israelis, at least one other intelligence service also listened in as Kerry mediated last year between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states, several intelligence service sources told SPIEGEL. Revelations of the eavesdropping could further damage already tense relations between the US government and Israel. -- During the peak stage of peace talks last year, Kerry spoke regularly with high-ranking negotiating partners in the Middle East. At the time, some of these calls were not made on encrypted equipment, but instead on normal telephones, with the conversations transmitted by satellite. Intelligence agencies intercepted some of those calls. The government in Jerusalem then used the information obtained in international negotiations aiming to reach a diplomatic solution in the Middle East. -- In the current Gaza conflict, the Israelis have massively criticized Kerry, with a few ministers indirectly calling on him to withdraw from peace talks. Both the US State Department and the Israeli authorities declined to comment. -- Only one week ago, Kerry flew to Israel to mediate between the conflict parties, but the Israelis brusquely rejected a draft proposal for a cease-fire. The plan reportedly didn't include any language demanding that Hamas abandon its rocket arsenal and destroy its tunnel system. Last year, Kerry undertook intensive diplomatic efforts to seek a solution in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but they ultimately failed. Since those talks, relations between Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been tense. -- Still, there are no doubts about fundamental support for Israel on the part of the United States. On Friday, the US Congress voted to help fund Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system to the tune of $225 million (around €168 million). -- More,

The Children of War: A Humanitarian Catastrophe Unfolds in Gaza --- Israel's incursion into the Gaza Strip triggered a bloody war. Brutal images of dead and injured Palestinians have circulated widely, but a cease-fire still appears to be a long way off. --- The death toll is mounting on both sides. According to Tuesday media reports, 53 Israeli soldiers have died along with three civilians. More than 1,100 Palestinians have reportedly been killed in the fighting, most of them civilians. Dozens of children have been among them, and there is no sign the violence is going to stop anytime soon. Despite international efforts to at least establish a temporary ceasefire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address on Monday evening that the offensive will continue until the tunnels used by the Palestinians to hide and launch rockets into Israeli territory are neutralized. "We need to be prepared for a lengthy campaign," he said. -- During the three weeks the war has lasted thus far, the women have learned that there are different kinds of threats. They recognize the thundering noise of F-16 fighter jets, and they can distinguish between the reverberating detonation of bombs dropped from the air and the dull thud of tank artillery. Shells from ships off the coast are always fired three at a time and produce a ghostly echo. When it is quiet in Gaza City, the drones buzz in the hot air like nervous insects. But it is rarely quiet, and whenever a ceasefire is agreed upon, it is almost immediately violated. -- For days, US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have tried unsuccessfully to put an end to the fighting. Their goal is a humanitarian ceasefire that would last several days, so that an agreement could be negotiated to guarantee a long-term cessation of violence. The plan calls for Hamas to stop launching attacks on Israel, while Israel would pull back its army. Egypt would also open the Rafah border crossing to allow both people and goods to pass through once again. -- But on Friday evening the Israeli government rejected the proposal for a prolonged truce. The majority of the Israeli cabinet called for a continuation and even intensification of the attacks on the Gaza Strip. A high-level Middle East conference in Paris, which Kerry attended over the weekend, made little headway. -- Many in the US and Europe are seeing such unfiltered reality in Gaza for the first time. Reports in newspapers tend not to include the most brutal of images. But pictures and videos posted directly by Gaza Strip residents are unfiltered and often originate from the victims themselves. -- One mobile-phone video in particular has been viewed almost 2 million times on YouTube. It shows a young man in a turquoise T-shirt searching for his family members in the wreckage of Shejaiya, only to be shot dead by Israeli snipers. -- The pain of losing a child is no different for a parent in Tel Aviv or Beit Hanun. But the two sides are not suffering equally in this war -- and it doesn't take a comparison of the casualty numbers to reach this conclusion. In contrast to Israel, where people still go to work and the beach despite rocket warnings, normal life no longer exists in Gaza. The people of Gaza, unprotected and at the mercy of the violence, are suffering most of all. Streets are empty and life is concentrated into small spaces, all of them illusions of safety, such as hospitals, schools and international facilities. Last Thursday, when an Israeli missile struck a UN school where many families had taken refuge, 16 people died and more than 200 were wounded. On Tuesday, Israeli air strikes heavily damaged the Gaza Strip's only power plant. -- More, Der Spiegel,

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Stars and Stripes -- Afghanistan to cost more than Marshall Plan, watchdog says --- KABUL, Afghanistan — By the time its combat troops depart at the end of 2014, the United States will have appropriated more money trying to fix Afghanistan than it did on the Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover economically after World War II, according to an analysis by a government watchdog. -- The comparison in the latest quarterly report of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction draws attention to the mixed results of U.S. investments in Afghanistan — $104 billion appropriated since 2002 — versus the success of the Marshall Plan, which is credited with helping to spur the economic revival of Western Europe. -- The Marshall Plan cost about $13.3 billion at the time, but dollars during the 1950s could purchase much more than today’s dollars. Adjusting for inflation and stated in today’s dollars, the Marshall Plan investment would be equal to $103.4 billion, SIGAR concluded. Using the same adjustments, the SIGAR report, calculated that the actual investment in Afghanistan equals more than $109 billion. -- The intent and focus of the two programs — one launched in the midst of war and the other after peace was restored — differ significantly, making comparisons difficult. Although the U.S. investment in Afghanistan has not brought extensive change, nonetheless there have been improvements that should be maintained, analysts say. This will require continued commitment by the U.S. and other countries, even after combat troops withdraw. -- The intent and focus of the two programs — one launched in the midst of war and the other after peace was restored — differ significantly, making comparisons difficult. Although the U.S. investment in Afghanistan has not brought extensive change, nonetheless there have been improvements that should be maintained, analysts say. This will require continued commitment by the U.S. and other countries, even after combat troops withdraw. -- But what the billions of dollars spent in Afghanistan have achieved remains an open question. - More,

Why the US Spent More on Afghanistan Than on the Marshall Plan -- There are several reasons the U.S. has spent as much as it has in Afghanistan, to so little avail. --- Recently, it has emerged in a report that the United States has spent more on reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan than it spent on the Marshal Plan, which resuscitated Europe after the Second World War. -- According to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), congressional appropriations for reconstruction in Afghanistan have reached $109 billion in today’s dollars. On the other hand, the Marshall Plan delivered $103 billion in today’s dollars to 16 European countries between 1948 and 1952. However, reports comparing reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and the Marshall Plan do not generally take into account the fact that the Marshall Plan appropriations constituted a much greater proportion of the U.S. economy in the 1940s than Afghanistan reconstruction efforts do today. While the U.S. has spent $109 billion out of a $13-15 trillion economy on Afghanistan over 13 years, in 1948-1952, it spent $103 billion out of a $2 trillion dollar economy (adjusted) in only four years. -- Nonetheless, the fact that the U.S. spent so much money on Afghanistan while getting so little from its efforts shows that many obstacles must yet be overcome for Afghanistan to fully stabilize. More than half of the money, $62 billion has been spent on building up the Afghan military, which essentially had to be built from scratch. The Marshall Plan, on the other hand, aided the economies of European countries and not their militaries directly. -- Unfortunately, much of the American money in Afghanistan has been misspent or thrown at projects without first judging their viability or necessity. For example, a $2.89 million storage facility has gone unused for over a year. This goes to show that the U.S. solution of throwing money at problems, both domestically and internationally, has its limitations. Using money effectively to come up with desired outcomes is more important than spending large amounts of it on token projects. -- Major worries regarding the Afghan army include lax oversight of weapons, many of which cannot be tracked, and which could find their way to the Taliban. More importantly, an army’s effectiveness or lack thereof often comes down to morale and discipline, factors that extend beyond how much money it gets. Emphasizing morale and discipline, so that the Afghan army does not go the way of some Iraqi units in northern Iraq, involves local, tribal and social factors in Afghanistan. These are not simply matters of pay. Additionally, the solution to Afghanistan’s security issues will need the cooperation of Pakistan, which is a political issue. -- The report’s findings also go to show that decisions on how to spend money are best made by people on the ground with detailed knowledge of the needs of Afghanistan instead of being made by planners in the U.S. One of the most glaring examples of mistakes made by U.S. planners involved the U.S. Department of Agriculture spending $34.4 million towards a soybean project in the face of evidence that the crop was “inappropriate for conditions and farming practices in northern Afghanistan, where the program was implemented.” - More,

کمک آمریکا به افغانستان بیش از کمک به بازسازی اروپای بعد از جنگ بوده --- اداره بازرسی عمومی آمریکا برای بازسازی افغانستان موسوم به 'سیگار' در تازه ترین کلیک گزارش خود اعلام کرد که بودجه‌ای که ایالات متحده از سال ۲۰۰۲ تا ۳۰ ژانویه سال ۲۰۱۳ به افغانستان کمک کرد حدود یکصد و چهار میلیارد دلار بوده که بیش از بودجه طرح مارشال برای بازسازی ۱۶ کشور اروپای غربی بعد از جنگ جهانی دوم است. -- براساس گزارش سیگار، آمریکا به ۱۶ کشور اروپایی برای اجرائی شدن طرح مارشال حدود سیزده میلیارد و ٣٠٠ میلیون دلار کمک کرده بود. -- در گزارش جدید سیگار آمده که با محاسبه میزان کاهش ارزش پول در این مدت، ارزش یک دلار در سال ۱۹۵۰ با ده دلار در سال ۲۰۱۴ برابری می‌کند. -- این گزارش افزوده که ارزش میزان کمکهای آمریکا به افغانستان، براساس ارزیابی‌های اقتصادی نیز با میزان کمکهای که در طرح مارشال به اروپا شده بود، مساوی است. -- اداره بازرسی آمریکا برای بازسازی افغانستان افزوده است که کمک آمریکا به بریتانیا، یعنی دریافت کننده بیشترین کمک در چارچوب طرح مارشال، به سه میلیارد و ٣٠٠ میلیون دلار بالغ شد که ارزش امروز آن به بیست و چهار میلیارد و ٧٠٠ میلیون دلار می رسد. تنها در سال ٢٠١٤، آمریکا اندکی کمتر از یک چهارم این مبلغ را به افغانستان کمک کرد. -- سیگار افزوده که تنها تفاوت بین طرح مارشال و کمک به بازسازی افغانستان این بوده که بودجه طرح مارشال برای ساختمان سازی، بازسازی ارتش و پلیس کشورهای اروپایی به مصرف نرسید ولی در افغانستان این طرحها اولویت داشتند. -- این گزارش خاطر نشان کرده که تحلیلهای انجام شده برابری قدرت مالی این دو کمک اقتصادی آمریکا را نشان می‌دهد. -- براساس این گزارش بیشتر این کمک‌ها در بخش تامین امنیت، ایجاد حکومتداری خوب و ایجاد تسهیلات در زمینه توسعه اقتصادی و اجتماعی در افغانستان هزینه شده است. -- بر اساس یافته‌های این گزارش، مسایلی که باعث شکست مصارف این پولها شده نیز نبود سیستم شفاف حسابدهی، برنامه ریزی لازم، کمبود ساخت و ساز و سایر تهدیدهای امنیتی و جانی هستند. -- جورج مارشال وزیر خارجه آمریکا در دوران ریاست جمهوری ترومن در ۱۹۴۸ بعد از ختم جنگ جهانی دوم پیشنهاد کرد که آمریکا برای بازگرداندن ثبات اقتصادی به اروپای بعد از جنگ و بازسازی اقتصاد رو به نابودی آنها، برنامه‎ چند جانبه‌ای را با موافقت دولت­های اروپایی تهیه و اجرا کند. -- در سال ۱۹۴۸ نمایندگان ۱۶ دولت ( اتریش، انگلستان، ایتالیا، ایرلند، ایسلند، بلژیک، پرتغال، ترکیه، دانمارک، سوئد، سوئیس، فرانسه، لوکزامبورگ، نروژ، هلند، یونان) برای تشکیل کنفرانس همکاری اقتصادی اروپا در پاریس گردآمدند. -- این کشورها سپس برنامه‎ای اقتصادی برای سالهای ۱۹۴۸_۱۹۵۲ ریختند که طرح بازسازی اروپا نام گرفت و پس از آن سازمان همکاری اقتصادی اروپا برای اجرای آن طرح بوجود آمد. -- طرح مارشال یکی از طرحهای موفق طولانی مدت آمریکا در تاریخ سیاست خارجی این کشور قلمداد می شود. -

Saturday, August 02, 2014

French and German leaders mark WW1 anniversary --- The French and German presidents will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Germany's declaration of war on France on 3 August 1914. -- Francois Hollande and his German counterpart, Joachim Gauck, will make a joint tribute in Alsace to soldiers killed during World War One. -- They will also lay the first stone for a memorial at Vieil Armand cemetery. -- On Monday events will be held in Belgium to mark Britain's declaration of war on Germany. --UK Prime Minister David Cameron will take part in that ceremony in recognition of the day that Britain went to war. -- Some 30,000 men were killed in the mountains around Vieil Armand, known in German as Hartmannswillerkopf. -- The cemetery there contains the remains of 12,000 unidentified soldiers -- Mr Hollande and Mr Gauck will pay tribute to the sacrifice those men made and celebrate the importance of the modern Franco-German relationship in Europe. -- They will lay the foundation stone for a Great War memorial and exhibition centre on the site, which is due to open its doors to the public in 2017. -- The two leaders will meet again on Monday in the Belgian city of Liege, where heads of state from across Europe will mark the escalation of the war after Germany invaded Belgium. - More,

Saudi king labels Israeli offensive in Gaza a war crime --- Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz criticised on Friday international inaction over Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which he described as mass slaughter and “war crimes against humanity”, in a speech read out on his behalf on state television. -- “This [international] community, which has observed silently what is happening in the whole region, [is] indifferent to what is happening, as if what is happening is not its concern. -- “Silence that has no justification,” he was quoted as saying. -- He also slammed militants who he said were killing innocent people and mutilating their bodies in contravention of Islamic teachings and called on the region’s leaders and religious scholars to prevent Islam from being hijacked by militants. -- King Abdullah named no groups but was apparently referring to violence in neighbouring countries, including Iraq and Syria, where the Islamic State has captured swathes of territory, killing scores of people and forcing Christians to flee. -- The Saudi king warned that the fighting in Gaza will lead to a generation of children who will grow up knowing nothing but the language of violence. He called on Muslim leaders and the international community to unite against what he described as state terrorism and terrorism by groups. -- More, Reuters & AP,

Gaza situation is intolerable, UK foreign secretary says --- (Reuters) - Britain believes the situation in the Gaza Strip has become intolerable and could lead to an increase in anti-Semitic attacks on British Jews, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a newspaper interview to be published on Sunday. -- Hammond told the Daily Telegraph he was receiving thousands of emails from Britons "deeply disturbed" at events in Gaza since Israel launched an offensive against Hamas and other guerrillas in response to a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes. -- "The British public has a strong sense that the situation of the civilian population in Gaza is intolerable and must be addressed — and we agree with them,” Hammond said. -- He called for an immediate ceasefire without conditions. -- "We understand that Israel has concerns, we understand that Hamas has concerns. We are not saying we’re not interested in those," he told the paper in an interview conducted on Thursday. -- "But we cannot allow them to stand in the way of a humanitarian ceasefire. We have to get the killing to stop." -- Palestinian officials say the Gaza death toll has risen to 1,675, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 63 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has killed three civilians in Israel. - More,

Congress Passes Visa Extension for Afghan Translators --- House and Senate unanimously vote to grant 1,000 visas for translators threatened by Taliban --- The Senate unanimously passed an extension to the U.S. visa program for at-risk Afghan translators who worked alongside U.S. troops on Friday, shortly after the number of available visas ran out and hours before Congress was set to leave for summer break. -- The move to authorize an additional 1,000 visas was a small spot of bipartisan unity amid congressional gridlock, as senators bickered over final legislative actions before heading to August recess. The House of Representatives also passed the measure by unanimous consent on Wednesday. --- The program—which provides U.S. visas for Afghan military translators who are living under threat of Taliban retribution attacks—has been criticized over the years by refugee advocates for its bureaucracy, opaqueness, and slow pace. -- However, advocates say that recent reforms to the program have improved it to the point where this is the first year the U.S. State Department has run out of the number of visas it was authorized by Congress to distribute. -- “The State Department ran out of visas for the first time ever in Afghanistan. It’s great but we need more,” said 1st Lt. Matt Zeller, who runs the group No One Left Behind and has been on Capitol Hill this week lobbying along with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project for an additional 1,000 visas. -- Zeller praised the passage of the extension in the House on Wednesday. -- “When was the last thing that passed unanimously?” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “The last amendment was the renaming of a post office.” -- “Everyone realized it was a national security issue, everybody realized it was the word of the United States and its honor that was on the line,” Zeller added. -- The plight of Afghan translators has received increased media attention as the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, leaving U.S. partners open to payback attacks from the Taliban. -- Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) and Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.), who spearheaded the visa extension in the House, praised the program on Wednesday for helping bring Afghan translators “who served shoulder-to-shoulder with our troops, to safety in the United States.” -- “A failure to provide these additional visas ensures the many brave translators the U.S. promised to protect in exchange for their service would be left in Afghanistan, hiding, their lives still threatened daily by the Taliban,” the congressmen said in a statement. -- They added that the State Department has been distributing an average of 400 visas per month in 2014, after reforms—including the appointment of a coordinator between the State Department and the agencies that conduct security and background vetting of the visa candidates—were made to the program. - More,

باختر - حمله صدها طالب پاکستانی وافغان برچند قرارگاه نظامی در نورستان پایان یافت --- نزدیک به صد طالب مسلح ، سربازان پولیس محلی وغیرنظامیان درتازه ترین درگیری ها درولایت نورستان صبح روزگذشته کشته وزخمی شدند. -- این درگیری ها درپی حمله گسترده صدها طالب پاکستانی وافغان برچند پوسته پولیس محلی در ولسوالی برگ متال آغازشد وتا نیمه شب گذشته ادامه داشت. -- درجریان این درگیری طالبان ده ها خانه را که گفته می شود بیشترشان وابسته به سربازان پولیس محلی است آتش زدند ونزدیک به بیست زن وکودک را کشتند. -- درین حال باشنده های ولسوالی برگ متال با انتقاد از مقامات محلی می گویند که والی ، قوماندان پولیس وبیشترین مسوولان نظامی نورستان درحال حاضر برای سپری کردن عید درکابل به سرمی برند. -- آنان با ابرازنگرانی می گویند که اگربه زودی نیروهای بیشتربه ولسوالی برگ متال اعزام نشود این ولسوالی با ادامه حملات تروریستی به دست طالبان مسلح سقوط خواهد کرد. -- یک قوماندان پولیس سرحدی درشرق کشور به آژانس خبری باخترگفت که دراین درگیری نزدیک به شصت طالب پاکستانی وافغان وچهل غیرنظامی وسربازان پولیس محلی کشته وزخمی شده اند. -- اوتایید کرد درجریان این حمله طالبان ده ها خانه یک روستا را که بیشترشان وابسته به سربازان پولیس محلی است آتش زده اند. -- این قوماندان پولیس سرحدی می گوید که دو واحد نظامی ازپولیس واردو به ولسوالی برگ متال شتافتند و درکنار نجات سربازان درمحاصره ، مهاجمان را با تحمیل تلفات سنگین مجبوربه فرارساختند. -- ساکنان ولسوالی برگ متال می گویند که درجریان این حملۀ طالبان ازجمله آتش زدن یک قریه توسط افراد این گروه هژده غیرنظامی به شمول زنان وکودکان کشته وده تن دیگرشان زخم برداشته اند. -- گفته این روستا نشینان دراین حمله طالبان پاکستانی وافغان تلفات سنگینی دیده اند ودرحال حاضر اجساد شان درهر گوشه وکناربه چشم می خورد. -- گزارش های رسیده ازولسوالی برگ متال حاکیست که علی الرغم پایان درگیری ها ساکنان این ولسوالی با نگرانی درخانه های شان مخفی شده اند. -- ولایت نورستان درشرق افغانستان با داشتن سه صدو بیست کیلومتر مرزبا نوار دیورند همواره گواه حضور وفعالیت گروه های تروریستی ازجمله طالبان مسلح وجنگجویان پاکستانی این گروه ، اعضای القاعده وتحریک طالبان پاکستانی بوده است. -- مقامات محلی افغان می گویند که این گروه ها ازسوی آی اس آی سازمان استخبارات پاکستان تجهیز وحمایت می شوند تا درافغانستان دست به حملات تروریستی بزنند. -- سال گذشته نظامیان افغان یک افسرآی اس آی سازمان استخبارات پاکستان را که گفته می شود مسوول این اداره در نورستان بود دستگیرکردند.

Afghans take time off for holiday but fear for future --- KABUL — The sun was warm and the crowds were thick at the Kabul Zoo on Thursday. Families picnicked on the grassy grounds, strolled in their holiday finery and hoisted children to see the flamingos and monkeys in their wire-mesh enclosures. -- While the international community sounded urgent alarms about the stalled and disputed Afghan presidential election — and a few officials held marathon meetings to get a suspended ballot audit back on track — everyone else in Afghanistan took the week off. -- By chance, Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan, began Monday, then segued Thursday into the weekly holiday that culminates with Friday prayers. Exhausted by the high-stakes electoral crisis that has dragged on for months, people were grateful for a respite from the tension and a chance to enjoy simple pleasures. -- Even the two presidential rivals, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, took a break from acrimony this week and left for vacations abroad. With the vote audit on hold until Saturday, it seemed as if the entire political crisis had gone on leave. --- Yet the carefree bustle in the capital barely masked the anger, anxiety and disillusionment that Afghans of all political views expressed this week. Every Afghan adult remembers the early 1990s, when the political order collapsed amid ethnic and religious violence that lasted a decade. On Thursday, many were clearly worried it could happen again. -- “Everything has come to a standstill. Nobody is breathing, and nothing can move until we have a new president,” said Rahmatullah, a 50-year-old engineer who grew rich on international construction contracts that have now stopped dead. -- “We all greet each other and say ‘Eid Mubarak’ [a blessed Eid], but then immediately we all start talking about the elections,” he said. “Will there be a winner? Will there be violence? Will we have a government at all?” --- At the jam-packed zoo Thursday, Afghans representing all walks of life and political affiliations — an army soldier, a college student, a house painter, a public administrator, a security guard — expressed deep concerns about the future, especially the fear that their country could spiral into wider violence and collapse if the election fails and a new government is not formed. --- The inauguration of the new president was supposed to take place Saturday, but experts say it could indeed be many weeks, even months, before a final winner is declared and sworn in or the joint national government proposed by U.S. officials can be formed. --- Despite their eagerness for a solution, several zoo visitors said they were far from convinced that the U.S.-brokered agreement between Ghani and Abdullah for some form of national unity government could work. Such an arrangement, they said, would leave the power balance unclear and the new government open to permanent infighting, rather than allowing things to stabilize. --- “The problem in Afghanistan is that the losers never respect the winners,” Amanullah said. “Most of us citizens don’t really care whether Ghani or Abdullah wins, as long as we get one person in charge who can make decisions and rule the country. You cannot have two lions in one cage.” -

میراث رئیس جمهور کرزی --- حامد کرزی، رئيس جمهور افغانستان در آستانه ای کناره گیری از قدرت پس از بیش از 10 سال تلاش برای رهبری افغانستان از خاکستر حکومت طالبان به یک نظام نوین دیموکراتیک، کارنامه ای مختلطی را از خود به میراث خواهد گذاشت. -- برخی از افراد نزدیک، چهره های علمی و مؤرخان با ستایش از کارکرد کرزی می گویند که او به حیث یک سیاستمدار زرنگ، افغانستان را یکپارچه نگهداشت و آن را در مسیر پیشرفت، دیموکراسی و قانون مداری حرکت داد. -- اما، منتقدانش می گویند که رئیس جمهور کرزی در ریشه کن کردن فساد گسترده ای دامن گیر حکومتش بی میل یا ناتوان بود، جنگ سالاران نیرومند محلی را نتوانست مهار کند و نیز در ایجاد نهاد های شایسته و پایدار برای ارائه خدمات موثر به مردم افغانستان کوتاه آمد. --- داکتر رنگین دادفر سپنتا، تحصیل کرده ای غرب و وزیر خارجه ای پیشین افغانستان که در حال حاضر به عنوان مشاور امنیت ملی آقای کرزی در ارگ ایفای وظیفه می کند، می گوید که رئيس جمهور کرزی قدرت را در یک مقطع حساس تاریخ افغانستان در دست گرفت و با ایجاد یک دولت فراگیر ملی زمینه ای گفت و گو و مشارکت همه گروه های قومی افغانستان را در قدرت سیاسی فراهم ساخت: -- "رئیس جمهور کرزی مقدرات کشوری را در دست گرفت که در واقعیت فاقد مجموعه ای نهاد های دولتی بود و شهروندان و اعضای ملت افغانستان پراکنده بودند." -- داکتر سپنتا به رادیو آزادی گفت که رئیس جمهور کرزی در ایجاد و انسجام نهاد های امنیتی، دفاعی و خدمات ملکی در کشوری که پس از چندین دهه هرج و مرج به یک دولت منزوی و از هم گسیخته مبدل شده بود، نقش مهمی را بازی کرد. --- جنگ داخلی خونین میان جناح های گوناگون مجاهدین در سال های 1990 میلادی که به اساس گزارش ها بیش از شصت هزار غیر نظامی را در کابل کشت و نیز زیربنا های کشور را به شدت آسیب رساند و در پی آن رژیم استبدادی طالبان که با اِعمال نسخه ای سختگیرانه ای از شریعت اسلامی دختران را از رفتن به مکتب، زنان را از کار در بیرون از خانه و مردم را از تماشای تلویزیون و فلم های سینمایی منع می کرد، افغانستان را به انزوای بین المللی کشانده بودند. -- با سرنگون شدن رژیم طالبان به همکاری ایتلاف بین المللی به رهبری ایالات متحده در سال 2001، افغانستان تحت رهبری حامد کرزی وارد یک دوره ای جدید شد. ---کنفرانس بین المللی در شهر بن آلمان در دیسمبر سال2001 با حضور چهره های برجسته ای ملی و بین المللی سیاسی برگزار شد که در نتیجهء آن آقای کرزی برای یک دوره شش ماهه به عنوان رئیس ادارهء موقت برگزیده شد. -- پسانتر در سال 2002، رئیس جمهور کرزی برای دو سال دیگر در قدرت ماند و در سال 2004 میلادی او در نخستین انتخابات دیموکراتیک ریاست جمهوری در تاریخ افغانستان برای پنج سال به حیث رییس جمهور افغانستان انتخاب شد. --- جیمز دابینز نماینده ای خاص ایالات متحده برای افغانستان و پاکستان که نقش مهمی را در جریان کنفرانس بن در سال 2001 بازی کرده بود، در هنگام گواهی دادن در برابر کمیته ای روابط خارجی مجلس سنای امریکا در 18 جولای سال 2014 کارکرد رئیس جمهور کرزی را ستود: -- "فکر می کنم که او [رئیس جمهور کرزی] در قرار دادن افغانستان در مسیر قانون اساسی و دیموکراسی سهم عمده ای داشته است. فکر می کنم که او در گرد هم آوردن گروه های مختلف قومی و زبانی و مذهبی و غلبه بر موانع ازین نوع به طور چشمگیری کار خوبی انجام داده است." --- افغانستان تحت اداره ای رئیس جمهور کرزی که از حمایت امریکا برخوردار بوده است، پیشرفت چشمگیری کرده است: نزدیک به 8 میلیون شاگرد، که یک سوم شان دختر اند، به مکتب می روند، بیش از 50 کانال تلویزیونی خصوصی در سطح ملی و بین المللی فعالیت می کنند، شمار نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان به بیش از 350 هزار می رسد، نهادهای جامعه ای مدنی و حقوق بشری فعال اند و سازمان های بین المللی فعالانه سرگرم تلاش ها از بازسازی گرفته تا ظرفیت سازی و نهادسازی اند. -- کرزی در سال های نخست ریاست جمهوری اش از روابط دوستانه ای با اداره ای به رهبری جورج دبلیو بوش رئیس جمهور پیشین امریکا برخوردار بود و دلبر غرب خوانده می شد. -- اما، در سال های آخر، روابط میان او و ادارهء جدید در واشنگتن به رهبری بارک اوباما رئیس جمهور ایالات متحده شاهد افت و خیز های سیاسی بوده است. دابینز اذعان می کند که روابط میان کابل و واشنگتن در چند سال گذشته به گونه ای جدیی رو به وخامت گذاشته است. --- در سال 2009 میلادی، ننسی پلوسی رییس پیشین مجلس نمایندگان ایالات متحده، در مصاحبه اش با رادیوی عامه ای ایالات متحده، کرزی را یک شریک بی اعتبار خواند و گفت که او شایسته ای افزایش نیروهای امریکایی و همچنین کمک های غیر نظامی نیست. -- رئیس جمهور کرزی هم به نوبت خود نیروهای بین المللی به رهبری امریکا را در افغانستان به ناتوانایی در آوردن امنیت کامل در سراسر افغانستان مقصر دانسته و نیز آنها را به دست داشتن در بخش عمده ای از فساداداری در زمینه ای کمک های خارجی با افغانستان متهم کرده است. --- با این حال، برخی ها کرزی را به ناتوانی یا بی میلی در پرداختن و مبارزه با فساداداری گسترده ای که بر حکومتش سایه افگنده است، ملامت می کنند. ادریس رحمانی محصل دوره ای دوکتورا و تحلیلگر سیاسی در امریکاست. -- او استدلال می کند که مهمترین نقطه ای ضعف رئیس جمهور کرزی در حکومتداری و رهبری سیاسی او به مفهوم نوین است. رحمانی در صحبت با رادیوآزادی می گوید: " او [رئیس جمهور کرزی] یک رهبر سیاسی نوین و منطبق با انتظارات کنونی زمان و افغانستان نبوده است. مطمئاً، او یک سیاستمدار قرن هجده و حکمران قرن نوزده بوده است." رحمانی معتقد است که بی اعتمادی کرزی به کابینه اش سبب شد که او شبکه ای خصوصی از افراد خود را ایجاد کند که توسل به این کار، به گفته ای رحمانی، کُلِ نظام را به هم ریخت. -- رحمانی معتقد است که بی اعتمادی کرزی به کابینه اش سبب شد که او شبکه ای خصوصی از افراد خود را ایجاد کند که توسل به این کار، به گفته ای رحمانی، کُلِ نظام را به هم ریخت. "رئیس جمهور کرزی در سال های اول ریاست جمهوری خود با جامعه بین المللی اتحادی را ساخت و با استفاده از قدرت جامعه جهانی خواست که نفوذ مجاهدین و تأثیر شان را بر حکومت و قدرت سیاسی در افغانستان کم بسازد که این کار را کرد." اما رحمانی می گوید پسانتر که رئیس جمهور کرزی با امریکاییان مشکل پیدا کرد، به مجاهدین روی آورد و آنان را متحدان خود ساخت و در برابر ایالات متحده ایستاد. --- ولی برای ویلیام دَلرمپل مؤرخ اسکاتلندی و مؤلف و نویسنده ای کتاب "بازگشت یک شاه"، کرزی شخصیت ملی و از چهره های تاریخی است که به باور او با توجه به رقابت ها با پاکستان، به هیچ وجه وظیفه ای بدی را انجام نداده است. او می گوید که میراث کرزی بیشتر بستگی دارد به آنچه که پس از او اتفاق خواهد افتاد: "اگر افغانستان با یک دیموکراسی با افت و خیز در منطقه حرکت کند و از وقوع جنگ داخلی جلوگیری شود، دیموکراسی و اقتصاد بازار ادامه یابند و افغانستان به طور عمده به دست طالبان سقوط نکند، فکر می کنم که او به خوبی به عنوان یکی از چهره های تاریخی به یاد خواهد ماند." دلرمپل می گوید که دوره ای ریاست جمهوری کرزی به عنوان یک عصر طلایی یاد خواهد شد: "اگر همه چیز بار دیگر به دامن یک جنگ داخلی سقوط کرد، دوره ای کرزی به حیث یک دوره ای که در آن زنان به مکتب می رفتند و رفت و آمد به شهرها نسبتاً در فضای امن انجام می شد و زمانی که مردم بر یک دیگر شان راکت و گلوله پرتاب نمی کردند، به یاد خواهد ماند." -

Friday, August 01, 2014

Additional Visas Authorized for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program --- Press Statement - John Kerry, Secretary of State -- For 13 years, thousands of Afghans have worked alongside our troops and our diplomats, often at great personal risk and many have even lost their lives. When I was in the Senate, I was proud to support the creation of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to keep faith with so many Afghans and Iraqis who stood by the United States. I came into the State Department determined to keep our promises to these brave men and women. That is why I welcome today’s approval of bipartisan legislation in the Senate authorizing 1,000 additional visas for the Afghan SIV program, which follows passage of this legislation in the House on Wednesday. Congress has stood by us in making sure that the United States remains committed to helping those who helped us. -- Over the past year, the State Department and our colleagues at other agencies have streamlined the SIV application process and reduced backlogs. As a result of these efforts, well before the end of fiscal year 2014, we have nearly reached our statutory cap of 3,000 visas for Afghans who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government. Passage of this legislation enables us to continue visa issuances for these deserving individuals who faithfully served with us. -- I want to particularly thank my former Senate colleagues, Senators Jeanne Shaheen and John McCain, as well as their counterparts in the House, Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Adam Kinzinger, for their leadership on this issue. We look forward to further cooperation with Congress as we seek authorization to continue this program in fiscal year 2015. More than 11,000 Afghans and their family members have benefited from SIV programs, and we are eager to welcome many more. --

U.S. Congress backs more visas for Afghans who worked with troops --- (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Friday authorizing 1,000 more visas for Afghan civilians who worked with American troops and diplomats - often risking their lives - sending the measure to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law. -- The bill, passed unanimously, expands the 2009 Special Immigrant Visa program to 4,000 from 3,000 visas. The House of Representatives passed the measure, also unanimously, on Wednesday. -- The measure is intended to assist Afghans who worked for Americans, mostly as interpreters and guides, during the 13-year-long war and to ease the difficult process of getting visas to come to the United States. -- Many of the Afghans have had to go into hiding while waiting for visas because the Taliban views them as traitors to their homeland because they worked for the United States. - More,

U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham Welcomes Agreement on Audit Criteria --- I welcome today's announcement by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) that the IEC has adopted the recount and invalidation criteria proposed by the United Nations and based on Afghan law and international best practices. The audit is an immense undertaking, requiring hard work and commitment from the many people involved. With the adoption of the invalidation criteria and the other efforts the IEC is making to improve the audit process, the audit must now move forward more quickly and efficiently. Both candidates should instruct their teams to participate fully and constructively in the audit when it resumes on August 2. -- Our goal remains for the audit to be completed and for the new President to be inaugurated by the end of August. That is ambitious, but the international community is supporting the process to the fullest extent. As Secretary Kerry said recently, "The time for politics is over. The time for cooperation is at hand." With cooperation among the campaigns, the international community and the Afghan authorities, this process can be concluded in a way that reflects the wishes and aspirations of the Afghan people. --

W.H.O. Says Outbreak of Ebola Virus Is Outpacing Control Efforts --- ABUJA, Nigeria — In an ominous warning as fatalities mounted in West Africa from the worst known outbreak of the Ebola virus, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday that the disease was moving faster than efforts to curb it, with potentially catastrophic consequences including a “high risk” that it will spread. -- The assessment was among the most dire since the outbreak was identified in March. The outbreak has been blamed for the deaths of 729 people, according to W.H.O. figures, and left over 1,300 people with confirmed or suspected infections. -- Dr. Margaret Chan, the W.H.O. director general, was speaking as she met with the leaders of the three most affected countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — in Conakry, the Guinean capital, for the introduction of a $100 million plan to deploy hundreds more medical professionals in support of overstretched regional and international health workers. -- “This meeting must mark a turning point in the outbreak response,” Dr. Chan said, according to a W.H.O. transcript of her remarks. “This outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries.” - More, NYTimes

Political Memo |​​NYT Now -- Foreign Crises Fade on Congressional Campaign Trail --- WASHINGTON — Crises in Gaza, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine have dominated the news this summer and even grabbed the attention of many Americans who are usually indifferent to international affairs. Yet the events might as well be in a parallel universe for all the notice they are getting in this year’s congressional campaigns. -- Candidates are not raising such subjects in appearances or television ads, except for some Republicans who are broadly blaming President Obama, strategists in both parties say. Nor are local reporters or voters asking about them. -- The focus, as in most nonpresidential election years, is on domestic issues — jobs, health care, reproductive rights — that are closer to home for voters fatigued by more than a decade of military engagement abroad. In 2010, Republicans capitalized on voters’ disgruntlement with a spotty economic recovery and Mr. Obama’s just-signed health care law to capture a majority in the House and increase their Senate minority. -- The recent debate over what to do about the surge of Central American children illegally crossing the border from Mexico is no exception, despite its foreign roots. Voters see the border turmoil as a domestic issue, something happening here rather than “over there,” according to party strategists and independent analysts. - More, NYTimes

امریکا از طرح ملل متحد در مورد روند تفتیش آرا استقبال کرد --- سفیر امریکا در کابل از هر دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری می خواهد تا در پروسه تفتیش آرا که از روز شنبه از سر گرفته خواهد شد، شرکت کنند. -- جیمز کننگهم در خبرنامهء که عصر دیروز پخش شد، گفته است: از طرز العملی که سازمان ملل متحد در مورد تفتیش و باطل سازی آرا تهیه کرده، استقبال می کند. --- بر اساس این طرح، کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات افغانستان، مطابق قانون اساسی این کشور و معیار های بین المللی، دارای صلاحیت تفتیش و باطل کردن آرا است. -- جیمز کننگهم سفیر امریکا در کابل در اعلامیهء گفته است: هر دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری باید به تیم های خود رهنمایی کنند که به صورت کامل و سازنده در روند تفتیش که از دوم اگست یعنی روز شنبه از سر گرفته می شود، شرکت کنند. -- آقای کننگهم گفته که هدف ایالات متحده واضح است که رئیس جمهور نو افغانستان تا اخیر ماه اگست مراسم تحلیف را به جا آورد. --- اما برخی اختلاف ها هنوز هم میان دو تیم موجود است. تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی می گوید: مهم ترین خواست های آنها در این طرح جا داده نشده است. --- سید آقا فاضل سانچارکی سخنگوی تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی به رادیو آزادی گفت: آنها از نخست خواهان دادن صلاحیت های عمومی برای سازمان ملل متحد بودند زیرا به گفته وی، کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات نزد آنها بی اعتبار است. -- آقای سانچارکی همچنان ابراز تردید کرد که اعضای این تیم در پروسه تفتیش و بازشماری آرا به روز شنبه شرکت کنند: -- " تا زمانی که ملاحظات ما به صورت جدی، در نظر گرفته نشود، چه روز شنبه و یا روز بعدش روند تفتیش آغاز شود، ما نمی توانیم وارد این روند شویم بخاطریکه قناعت ما تا حالا حاصل نشده و اگر تفتیش به خاطر تفتیش باشد، می توانند آنرا شروع کنند. اگر تفتیش به خاطر تامین شفافیت انتخابات باشد، با این شکل لایحه و روند، هدف بر آورده نمی شود." --- پیش از این کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات افغانستان گفته بود: این بار روند تفتیش آرای دور دوم انتخابات بر اساس طرزالعمل جدیدی که هر دو تیم انتخاباتی آنرا پذیرفته اند به پیش خواهد رفت. -- رئیس کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات افغانستان گفت: این طرزالعمل به اساس چک لست قبلی و پیشنهاد های سازمان ملل متحد تهیه شده است. -- با آنکه تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی در مورد این طرزالعمل از نادیده گرفتن برخی خواست هایش سخن می گوید، اما تیم تحول و تداوم می گوید: از این طرح سازمان ملل متحد استقبال می کند. --- طاهر زُهیر سخنگوی تیم انتخاباتی اشرف غنی احمدزی می گوید، بخش اعظمی از خواست های تیم رقیب آنها پذیرفته شده است: -- " هر چند که ما در برخی از قسمت های این طرح، ملاحظات خاص خود را داشتیم و داریم اما با آن هم از این طرح استقبال کردیم و از آن حمایت می کنیم. حال که سازمان ملل متحد طرح را ساخته، فکر کنم دیگر دلیلی وجود ندارد که باز هم پروسه تفتیش آرا به سکته گی و کُندی مواجه شود بلکه بر اساس این طرح، پروسه تفتیش باید به سرعت پیش برده شود." --- از برگزاری دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان حدود یک و نیم ماه می گذرد. -- سازمان ملل متحد از هر گونه تاخیر در مورد تفتیش آرا هشدار داده است. یان کوبیش نماینده خاص این سازمان برای افغانستان می گوید: تاخیر در این روند تاثیر خیلی منفی و بزرگ بالای وضعیت سیاسی و اقتصادی افغانستان خواهد داشت. -- حدود دو هفته از آغاز روند تفتیش گذشته و تا حالا سه بار این روند متوقف شده است. قرار است شنبه پروسه باز شماری از سر گرفته شود و این در حالیست که از جدول زمانی تعیین شده برای این روند، فقط یک هفته آن باقی مانده است. -- رادیو آزادی

Game of thrones: Afghan leadership vacuum raises summit questions --- (Reuters) - Who, if anyone, will represent Afghanistan at next month's NATO summit is becoming an increasingly pressing and awkward question for the alliance, as it seeks to withdraw most of its troops and bring a long and deadly engagement closer to completion. -- Afghanistan's two presidential candidates remain at loggerheads, unable to agree who won an election the West hoped would signal a smooth transition of power and confirm Kabul's readiness to take over the running of the war-torn nation. -- A day before the new leader was due to be sworn in at the presidential palace in the Afghan capital, and four months after the first round of voting, the incumbent, Hamid Karzai, remains in place. -- Diplomats say that he could be invited, or pick who represents the country, at Celtic Manor in Wales on Sept. 4-5. -- The prospect of Karzai's participation raises technical problems - the constitution deems his term is already complete. - More,