10 NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan

NATO announced that some of its soldiers were killed in the explosion of a suicide attack in Afghanistan.

Afghan security sources quoting NATO officials who are based in Afghanistan announced that six NATO soldiers were found amongst the bodies of the dead in a martyrdom mission. These soldiers were trying to secure the region along with Afghan forces.

According to this report, another explosion in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan took the lives of four Canadian NATO soldiers on Friday.

Another soldier was killed in southern Afghanistan but the details surrounding his death have not been released yet.

In another attack on a military base in the east of Afghanistan at least six people and one police officer were killed. The Taliban has taken responsibility for all of the attacks.

Islam Times

Forces under the command of America killed five members of one family in Afghanistan

An Afghani policeman announced that the forces under America’s command killed five members of one Afghan family during their attack on Logar.

General Mustafa Muhsini, the chief of police in Logar, added: “This tragedy took place in the village Dasht Charkh at a time when the forces under America’s command attacked a civilian building.”

He added: “Abd al-Rashid and four of his children were killed in air and ground strikes. Another member of this family was injured.”

This general stated: “The victims were farmers and the police did not have any reason to think that they were cooperating with terrorists or criminals in the Logan province.

But, an American spokesperson stated that the forces under America’s control killed five fanatics in this area and arrested a suspect.

General Muhsini stated in regards to the attack: “This attack did not have the cooperation of the Logan province.”

Ghulam Ihsan, a citizen of Logan, stated: “Hundreds of villagers gathered near the house of Abd al-Rashid and formed a protest.”

He added: “The citizens are very angry. If we stay calm the foreigners will continue to come and kill us – just as they killed many people in the Kandahar and Helmand provinces.”

More than American soliders are stationed in Logar and Wardak which is located to the west of Kabul, Afghan’s capital.

Islam Times

CIA’s role in smuggling heroin throughout the world

Afghanistan fulfills 90 percent of the world’s need for heroin which has close to 200 billion dollars of profit. Since America’s attack on this country, on the 7th of October, 2001, drug production has risen by 33 percent. America has spent over 177 billion dollars while being in this country for 7 years while having the most advanced military on the planet.

With all of the sources that America has at its disposal, the level of heroin production is at unprecedented levels.

The general feeling is that this is not a coincidence. If one remembers, when the CIA started operating in the Vietnam War, the area became known as the golden triangle because of its heroin production. After the war ended in 1975, in 1979 Afghanistan was being looked into.

It is not hard to imagine that the CIA has something to do with the heroin production in Afghanistan and then smuggling it all over the world. There is a lot of money in such an operation and they have a history of such actions. Also, if the American army wanted to find out where heroin was being produced and then shut down the plants they could without much difficulty – but they don’t. Their non-action is louder than words.

Islam Times

Suicide has defeated American Soldiers


st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }
<!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:35.4pt; mso-footer-margin:35.4pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>
/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-ansi-language:#0400;
mso-fareast-language:#0400;
mso-bidi-language:#0400;}

Suicide amongst American soldiers reached its height in 2008.

According to the latest reports by American commanders, 143 American soldiers committed suicide in 2008. The reasons for suicide were severe stress and psychological disorders caused by their extended presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before this, the highest number of suicides amongst American soldiers was 115 in 2007.

American military figures, answered the criticisms of the families of these American soldiers in respects to them being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan by saying that suicide has more than one cause.

At the same time as this report, the English defense forces reported that one fourth of their casualties in Iraq resulted from suicide.

According to this report, from amongst the 178 English soldiers which have been killed in Iraq, 42 of them committed suicide.

Islam Times

US-Russia Tensions Escalate Over Closure of Afghan Supply Base

Manis Air Base

Manas Air Base

The threatened closure of a key Pentagon supply base in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, with serious implications for the Obama administration’s planned escalation of the US-led war in Afghanistan, has deepened tensions between Washington and Moscow.

The Manas air base, located near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, is the major air link between the US military and American occupation forces in Afghanistan. Last year, at least 170,000 US military personnel passed through the base on their way to or from Afghanistan, together with 5,000 tons of military equipment. Approximately 1,000 US troops are stationed at the base, together with smaller contingents from France and Spain.

After initially dismissing Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s announcement Tuesday that his government intended to close the Manas base as a mere bargaining ploy (Kyrgyzstan made a similar threat in 2006 but relented after the US increased its rent for the facility), official Washington appeared by Thursday to be treating the matter with deadly seriousness.

“Frankly, we thought it was a negotiating tactic, and we were ready to call their bluff,” an unnamed military official told the Wall Street Journal Thursday. “But it’s becoming clearer that, no kidding, they want us out.”

The strategic importance of the base has become even greater with the Obama administration’s announced plan to send an additional 30,000 US troops into Afghanistan over the next 18 months in an attempt to quell the growing popular resistance to the American occupation. The escalation would nearly double the size of the US military force in the country, which now numbers 36,000. Another 32,000 troops from other NATO countries are also participating in the occupation.

The critical role played by the base has also been underscored by the mounting crisis Washington confronts in relation to its principal overland supply route to Afghanistan from Pakistan—the Khyber Pass—which accounts for some three-quarters of the supplies for US forces. On Monday, resistance fighters blew up a 90-foot iron bridge in the Khyber Pass, severing the route and at least temporarily halting all supplies for US and NATO troops. The attack follows a series of increasingly bold ambushes that have left supply trucks in flames and military vehicles in the hands of the guerrillas battling the occupation.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs Thursday described the base in Kyrgyzstan as “vital” to the US war in Afghanistan and declared that the White House was searching for ways to “remedy” the situation.

“This is something that the US government continues to discuss with Kyrgyzstan officials,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters Thursday. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t have other means and other options that we can pursue.”

Asked about the threatened closure of the Manas base, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that it was “regrettable that this is under consideration by the government of Kyrgyzstan,” but insisted that the action would not block Washington from escalating its colonial-style war in Afghanistan.

“We hope to have further discussions with them,” she told reporters at a State Department press conference. “But we will proceed in a very effective manner no matter what the outcome of the Kyrgyzstan government’s deliberations might be.”

Clinton added that the Pentagon was “conducting an examination as to how else we would proceed” given the loss of the Kyrgyz base.

According to unnamed Pentagon officials quoted Thursday by the Associated Press, in the scramble to find replacement facilities Washington is considering reviving its strained relations with Uzbekistan, where the US previously enjoyed the use of a former Soviet air base to supply its operations in Afghanistan. US forces were kicked out, however, after Washington was compelled to cut off military aid to Uzbekistan following a 2005 bloodbath in the eastern town of Andijan, where government troops killed several hundred civilians. Regaining use of the base would entail a rapprochement with Uzbekistan’s dictator Islam Karimov.

Kyrgyz President Bakiyev’s announcement of his intention to shut down the US base followed a meeting in Moscow Tuesday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Moscow promised an aid package to Kyrgyzstan worth over $2 billion.

The package includes $150 million as a direct grant–an amount equal to the total annual US funding for the country, including money for the Manas base–another $300 million in the form of a loan granted with nominal interest and $1.7 billion pledged for the construction of a hydroelectric plant. In addition, the Kremlin pledged to cancel $180 million in Kyrgyz debt owed to Russia.

The proposed Russian aid package is the equivalent of roughly twice the annual budget and half the total gross domestic product of Kyrgyzstan, whose impoverished population has confronted increasing hardship in the wake of the worldwide financial meltdown.

“At a time of economic crisis, this is serious and important support from Russia [that] will help underpin economic growth in Kyrgyzstan,” declared Bakiyev.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov insisted at a press conference Thursday that the timing of the president’s call for the base’s closure, on the heels of the Russian aid offer, was “a mere coincidence.”

“The Russian decision to grant a major loan has nothing to do with the pullout of the US air base from Kyrgyz territory,” declared Chudinov.

For his part, President Bakiyev linked the decision to popular opposition in Kyrgyzstan to the US presence, which was inflamed in 2006 when an American airman shot and killed a Kyrgyz truck driver. He also insisted that when the base first opened in 2001, as the US launched its invasion of Afghanistan, it was seen as a temporary measure.

“Kyrgyzstan met the wishes of the United States and offered its territory for the antiterrorist struggle, which was a serious contribution to the struggle,” he said. “We talked about a year or two, but now it has been eight years. We have repeatedly discussed the questions of the economic compensation to Kyrgyzstan with our American partners, but have not been able to come to understanding at this point.”

Kyrgyz officials said that the US would have 180 days to close the base and withdraw all personnel once formal diplomatic notes were exchanged communicating the government’s decision. While the parliament was to have voted on the measure Friday, government officials announced Thursday that it would not take it up for at least another week.

The denials of the Kyrgyz government notwithstanding, it is clear that the decision to close the Manas base is driven by Moscow’s opposition to the US military presence in a region that it has for centuries regarded at its sphere of influence.

These tensions flared into the open last August, when the US-backed regime in the former Soviet republic of Georgia sent troops into the break-away region of South Ossetia, triggering a Russian military response that ejected Georgian forces from both South Ossetia and the Black Sea breakaway region of Abkhazia. Moscow subsequently recognized the independence of both territories.

Fueling the conflict is the US policy of incorporating Georgia and Ukraine into the NATO alliance, the drive to set up a missile-defense system on Russia’s borders, and the attempt to ring Russian territory with military bases in Central Asia and the Baltic states.

At issue is the growing rivalry between Moscow and Washington over control of the region’s strategic energy reserves, a key objective that underlies the US war in Afghanistan just as much as its intervention in Iraq.

For its part, the Russian ruling elite, despite the recent financial losses resulting from falling energy prices, clearly sees the reestablishment of Moscow’s influence in the former Soviet republics as decisive for its interests and worth significant investments.

The regimes in Central Asia have attempted to exploit this rivalry to their own advantage, tilting in one instance towards Russia and in another towards the US in an attempt to extract the most favorable deals.

The deal between Moscow and Kyrgyzstan is part of an increasingly aggressive challenge by the Kremlin to US interests.

The day after the announcements of the aid package and the intended base closure, Russian President Medvedev announced during a summit meeting of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) a plan to establish a 10,000-strong rapid reaction force composed primarily of Russian paratroopers to “rebuff military aggression” in the region and combat “terrorism.”

“These are going to be quite formidable units,” Medvedev stressed. “According to their combat potential, they must be no weaker than similar forces of the North Atlantic alliance.” The force would reportedly include token units from other former Soviet republics, including Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. There were indications that Moscow sees the Manas base as a potential headquarters for the force, once it is evacuated by the Americans.

The Russian government has also indicated it intends to set up air and naval bases in Abkhazia, a plan that drew protests from the US State Department and NATO.

In addition to the aid to Kyrgyzstan, Moscow also this week signaled it would act favorably on a $2.77 billion loan to neighboring Belarus, while Medvedev signed a deal with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to set up a joint air defense system, an apparent response to the US missile-shield scheme in Eastern Europe.

Finally, Cuban leader Raul Castro secured a $354 million aid package during an eight-day visit to Moscow, the first high-level contact between Russia and Cuba since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which ended decades of Soviet subsidies to Havana. It is evident that Moscow sees renewed ties with Cuba—90 miles off US shores—as a rebuke to Washington’s own interventions in the former Soviet republics.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said that Moscow had several days earlier given a “positive response” to US requests to transport nonmilitary supplies across Russian territory to Afghanistan.

“We hope that we and the United States will hold special and professional talks on this issue in the near future,” said Karasin. “We will see how effectively we can cooperate.”

But this kind of “cooperation” is precisely what Washington has attempted to avoid. It has sought to preclude any Russian influence over the fate of Afghanistan and weaken Moscow’s power throughout the region.

The quest for non-Russian supply routes for the Afghanistan occupation is linked inexorably to the strategic goal of finding non-Russian routes for the transport of the oil and gas wealth of the Caspian Basin, thereby placing it under US domination.

Involved in this increasingly bitter dispute and in the Obama administration’s drive to escalate the US intervention in Afghanistan is the threat of a far wider and potentially catastrophic military conflict between the world’s two largest nuclear powers.

informationclearinghouse

Glasnost In London – War Fever In Washington

Lord West

Lord West

What used to be called “Cool London” looks more like “Crash London” these days. Of all the leading industrial nations, Britain has so far suffered more than any other nation, even the United States.

Most major banks, even venerable names like Barclay’s and Lloyd’s, are on life support. The financial district around Canary Wharf is beginning to look like a ghost town, as offices close and whole floors of financial drones are fired. Gloom pervades just about everywhere.

Meanwhile, two senior British officials have created a sensation by finally speaking some hard truths that contradict all the lies spewed out by Washington and London about the bogus “war on terror.”

Lord West, the security minister of Britain’s Labor government (equivalent to the US Homeland Security chief), dropped a bombshell last week by declaring that his nation’s military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan had actually fueled global radicalism against Britain and the US as well as domestic “terrorism” in the United Kingdom.

According to the outspoken minister, the Western power’s recent policies in the Muslim world were encouraging what we term terrorism. Interestingly, I happened to be in London at the time, promoting my new book, American Raj, which argues precisely the same point.

West described as “bollocks” former PM Tony Blair’s claims the US-led “war on terror” had nothing to do with growing Islamic radicalism. This comes soon after Britain’s foreign secretary, David Miliband, urged an end to the use of the term “war on terror,” which he called deceptive and misleading.

In an extraordinary move, cabinet minutes of Tony Blair’s decision to invade Iraq may shortly be made public, raising the possibility of serious criminal charges against some senior British officials. At minimum, the sanctimonious Blair is likely to be exposed as a liar and hypocrite in his claims the Iraq war was justified and necessary.

Many Britons are calling for war crimes trials against their former leaders and are angered by plans to send more British troops to Afghanistan. Britain’s soldiers have become as much auxiliaries in the American military machine as were Nepal’s renowned Gurkha troops in the British Empire.

While glasnost sweeps London, in Washington, it’s déjà vu and love your government. President Barack Obama vowed to continue President Bush’s war policies in Afghanistan and intensify the eight-year-old conflict by doubling the number of US troops and aircraft there in coming months.

In addition, Washington is rife with rumors that the Obama administration plans to dump the US-installed president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, and replace him by one of four CIA-groomed candidates. The problem is, three new stooges won’t be any better than one old stooge.

London is warning Washington both against a precipitous change of regime in Kabul that would be widely viewed as crass political manipulation and against a plan to arm tribes in neighboring Pakistan that the US used in by now totally fragmented Iraq.

Obama’s dismaying eagerness to expand the war demonstrates political inexperience and a faulty grasp of events in Afghanistan. A change of administration in Washington, and departure of the reviled Bush, offered an ideal opportunity for Washington to declare a pause in the Afghan War and reassess its policies. It also presented an ideal opportunity to offer negotiations to Taliban and its growing number of supporters.

The Afghan War will have to be ended by a political settlement that includes the Taliban-led nationalist alliance that represents over half of Afghanistan’s population, the Pashtun people. There is simply no purely military solution to this grinding conflict – as even the Secretary General of NATO admits.

But instead of diplomacy, the new administration elected to stick its head ever deeper into the Afghan hornet’s nest. The bill for an intensified war will likely reach $4 billion monthly by midyear at a time when the United States is bankrupt and running on borrowed money from China and Japan.

The 20,000–30,000 more US troops slated to go to Afghanistan will also be standing on a smoking volcano: Pakistan. The Afghan War is relentlessly seeping into Pakistan, enflaming its people against the NATO powers and, as Lord West rightly says, generating new jihadist forces.

Polls show most Pakistanis strongly oppose the US-led war in Afghanistan and the grudging involvement of their armed forces in it. Intensifying US air attacks on Pakistan have aroused fierce anti-American sentiment across this nation of 165 million.

Why is President Obama, who came to power on an antiwar platform, committed to expanding a war where there are no vital US interests?

Oil is certainly one reason. The proposed route for pipelines taking oil and gas from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea coast run right through Taliban-Pashtun territory.

Another reason: Americans still want revenge for 9/11. In the absence of a clear perpetrator, Taliban has been selected as the most convenient and identifiable target though it had nothing to do with the attacks and knew nothing about them. The 9/11 attacks were mounted from Germany and Spain, not Afghanistan, and planned by a group of Pakistanis. Washington is yet to offer a White Paper promised in 2001 “proving” the guilt of Osama bin Laden in the attacks.

There is also the less obvious question of NATO. Washington arm-twisted the reluctant NATO alliance badly for the US-led forces as their vulnerable supply lines come increasingly under Taliban attack. Here in Europe, the majority of public opinion opposes the Afghanistan War as a neocolonial adventure for oil and imperial influence.

The US could survive a defeat in Afghanistan, as it did in Vietnam. But the NATO alliance might not.

The end of the cold war and collapse of the USSR removed the raison d’être of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which was created to resist Soviet invasion of Western Europe.

According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of America’s leading strategists, NATO serves as the primary tool for America’s strategic domination of Europe. Japan fulfills the same role for the US in Asia. The Soviet Union used the Warsaw Pact to dominate Eastern Europe.

The US also uses NATO to help deter the creation of a truly united – and rival – Europe with its own unified armed forces. The EU will not become a truly integrated national state until it has its own independent armed forces.

NATO’s defeat in Afghanistan would raise questions about its continuing purpose and obedience to US strategic demands. Calls would inevitably come for empowerment of the European Defense Union, an independent European armed force that answers to the EU Brussels, not to Washington.

This, I believe, is one of the primary reasons why vested interests in Washington – notably the Pentagon – have prevailed on the new president to expand the war in Afghanistan by claiming that America’s influence in Europe depends on victory in Afghanistan.

The US and its allies cannot be seen to be defeated by a bunch of Afghan tribesmen. Coming after the epic defeat in Vietnam and the trillion-dollar fiasco in Iraq, defeat in Afghanistan is simply unthinkable to the military-industrial-petroleum-financial complex that still seems to be calling many of the shots in Washington.

Lew Rockwell

Let’s Rethink Military Escalation in Afghanistan Before It’s Too Late

Why is our government sending an additional 30,000 US soldiers to Afghanistan? So far, not even members of the Obama administration seem able to answer this question. Last week, The Nation’s Robert Dreyfuss had a chance to ask Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen why they’re pushing to double our troop presence in Afghanistan. Both Gates and Mullen said that while they’re thinking about the war in Afghanistan in terms of a 3-5 year time frame, their immediate goals are unclear. What’s more, a final decision has not been made yet to commit those additional brigades.

Like Dreyfuss says, the fact that a final decision hasn’t been made is key, because it opens the door slightly for a much-needed public debate about what 30,000 more soldiers can possibly achieve. Some of the big questions that must be addressed include whether those extra troops alone will be able to secure a lasting peace for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States? That seems highly unlikely, considering each military operation targeting insurgents–like the one yesterday that killed 15 militants and 16 innocent civilians (including two women and three children)–only fans the flame of Afghan fury toward the United States.

Just as important, we must ask how are we planning to pay for this escalation, considering our economic crisis at home and the fact that so much of this war has been paid with borrowed money. And is committing tens of thousands more troops really the best way to help a war-torn nation with 40 percent unemployment and some 5 million people living below the poverty line? Proponents of escalation like Karin von Hippel, an Afghanistan expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, suggest that 30,000 more troops will make a psychological impact. But wouldn’t a more profound psychological impact come from to sending humanitarian aid, creating jobs, and getting Afghanistan away from what Secretary of State Clinton recently called a “narco state?”

Perhaps Andrew Bacevich, an international relations professor at Boston University, and author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, put it best in yesterday’s NY Times when he said,

“There’s clearly a consensus that things are heading in the wrong direction. What’s not clear to me is why sending 30,000 more troops is the essential step to changing that. My understanding of the larger objective of the allied enterprise in Afghanistan is to bring into existence something that looks like a modern cohesive Afghan state. Well, it could be that that’s an unrealistic objective. It could be that sending 30,000 more troops is throwing money and lives down a rat hole.”

Throwing money and lives down a rat hole is exactly what Derrick Crowe found on Daily Kos recently, when he did the math to figure out how many troops might actually be called for in Afghanistan. Crowe points out that by the military’s own standards, a successful counterinsurgency could require 655,000 troops throughout Afghanistan, or, if the military simply wants to go after surge proponents like the 14 million Pashtuns, we’re still talking 230,000 troops.

If that’s the case, then why send 30,000 soldiers at all? Is it to get us used to the idea that this is just the beginning of a long, drawn out, unwinnable quagmire of Vietnam proportions? Vice President Biden has grimly assessed there will be “an uptick” in casualties from the initial military escalation in Afghanistan. Already we have lost over 600 US soldiers–155 of which died in 2008 alone–to say nothing of the thousands of Afghan civilian casualties. Imagine how many more will die in this “uptick.” Imagine what escalation will cost on every level, and then let the debate begin to rethink a solution.

insight-info

Who Cares about Omar Khadr ?

Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr is probably the greatest shame on Canada, because two governments, the Liberals under Paul Martin and the Conservatives under Harper have both made the overt decision to leave him in prison. The case against him is insane.

He was a child, aged 15. He was in Afghanistan because his parents took him there. His father and mother are militant Muslims. He was in a building that US commandos suddenly attacked. When people in the building shot back, they bombed the building and blew it to bits. Then they approached the building, and a US soldier got killed by a hand grenade thrown from the ruins of the building. When they entered the ruins Omar was still alive, but, others were too. In a revised report, they made him the only one left alive. He has been charged with murder. He was shot at close range by bullets (plural).

The case is insane for several reasons:

1) He is a child soldier, which means he is a victim of war not a war criminal.

2) Evidence was changed to make him the only person by inference who might have thrown a hand grenade.There is no witness that he did.

3) Soldiers killed while attacking a house in a foreign country cannot be victims of murder. They are casualties of war.

4) People in a house being attacked by foreigners are engaged in self-defense.

full article: www.insight-info.com

Judge Orders Release of Uighurs at Guantanamo

Guantanamo Bay

Guantanamo Bay

U.S. human rights and civil rights groups lauded a federal court decision Tuesday that orders the release of 17 Muslim minority Chinese men who have been held without charges for seven years at the infamous U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But despite the praise of the organisations, it is uncertain whether the decision will actually mean freedom for the detainees anytime soon.

The ruling is the latest in a string of rebukes by the federal judiciary of Pres. George W. Bush’s detention policies of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. naval base leased from the Cuban government.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina calls for the government to end its detention of the men, Chinese Uighurs who were arrested in Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion there, and bring them before U.S. courts to address their status in habeas corpus lawsuits.

‘I think the moment has arrived for the court to shine the light of constitutionality on the reasons for the detention,’ Urbina said, contending that the continued detention of the men was no longer lawful since they lost their status as enemy combatants.

In June, a federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. military improperly labeled Huzaifa Parhat, a Chinese Muslim held at Guantanamo Bay, an ‘enemy combatant’. The court ordered that he be released, transferred, or granted a new hearing.

Nonetheless, Parhat and his 16 associated have remained behind bars, embroiled in controversies over where to send the men, who said that they had initially fled Western China for Afghanistan because of government pressure and would likely face persecution and possibly torture if they were released to Chinese authorities.

But Tuesday’s ruling gives some hope to rights groups that the detainees will finally be released into the U.S. for a hearing before Urbina next week.

‘This is a landmark decision that represents a stinging rejection of the Bush administration’s unconstitutional Guantanamo policies. The situation facing the Uighurs is a stark reminder of the legal and moal quagmire Guantanamo,’ said Jameel Jaffer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, in a statement.

‘The judge was right to rule that this kind of detention is unlawful because the Constitution prohibits indefinite imprisonment without any charges,’ he said.

But some of the rights groups remained cautious and urged the government to act quickly to release the Uighur detainees.

‘The government should not drag its feet, but should immediately release these men from their unlawful confinement at Guantanamo,’ said the senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch, Jennifer Daskal.

In a release from Amnesty International, the organisation said that it was ‘thrilled’ by the ruling, but noted that past rulings from federal courts have fallen on deaf ears within the Bush administration.

‘Today’s decision is a huge victory for the rule of law and fundamental liberties,’ said Larry Cox, the executive director of Amnesty International USA. ‘However, this decision will mean little to the detainees if it is ignored, as other court opinions have been in practice by the Bush administration.’

‘How many times does the Bush administration need to be told that detainees are entitled to essential rights?’ continued Cox. ‘All the remaining detainees in Guantanamo Bay must be either charged and tried or released immediately.’

Despite the pleas and insistence from the rights groups, the Bush Justice Department appears unlikely to cooperate fully with the order.

A lawyer for the department, John O’Quinn, asked the judge to stay the order so that the government could consider filing an appeal, but Urbina rejected the request and announced his intention to release the detainees to Uighur families living in the Washington area.

O’Quinn suggested that existing laws may force the government to take the Uighur detainees into immigration custody if they enter the United States because they are, the administration alleges, tied to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a Uighur separatist group that Washington says has links to al Qaeda.

Urbina reportedly reacted angrily to the Justice Departments apparent intentions.

‘All of this means more delay, and delay is the name of the game up until this point,’ he said, insisting that the government leave the Uighurs alone and that the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security would be afforded opportunities to make their views clear in next week’s hearing.

The alleged involvement of the Uighurs in Guantanamo with the separatists’ movement is what initially spurred their detention by the U.S. even though they claimed that they were not in Afghanistan as anti-U.S. fighters but rather to escape harsh treatment by the Chinese authorities.

The alleged connection to al Qaeda is what initially got the Uighurs the ‘enemy combatant’ status that the U.S. used to detain prisoners strictly under the authority of the executive branch.

But in the summer case of Parhat, the government conceded that while the Uighurs were still designated enemy combatants, they were not considered significant threats or ‘to have further intelligence value’.

After the court ruled against the administration in that case, the government decided not to retry Parhat and removed his status as an enemy combatant. The last of the Uighurs were absolved of the ‘enemy combatant’ status in September.

full article: www.insight-info.com

Turning Away From American State Terrorism

Elections 2008

Elections 2008

The choice we face in November is very clear. It is a choice to continue to support the US terror war, or to turn away from this path of unlimited destruction. This lie-based war is all about terrorism –whether America actually fights terrorism or promotes its use. To
find the answer to this conundrum all we have to do is turn our gaze to Pakistan.

In Pakistan we find the complete history of the American “war on terrorism,” from its Cold War origins nearly thirty years ago to its present incarnation in the illegal American aggression in Pakistan’s Frontier region (FATA, Federally Administered Tribal Areas) and in American attempts to reignite the Cold War with Russia. The latest cross-border attack against Pakistan in South Waziristan, which involved American helicopters and ground troops, costing 15 villagers their lives, represents the first steps in American attempts to escalate its war into a reasonable facsimile of another world war.

Once again, America claims that its aggression against Pakistan is a legitimate act of self-defense against the “Pakistani Taliban” (TTP,Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan), who, it is claimed, are responsible for America’s faltering war effort in Afghanistan. Wednesday’s
aggression was another attempt to get TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud (branded “public enemy number one” by the US) or one of his top commanders. Mehsud is the key to understanding America’s true role in the terror war, that of state terrorism planner and facilitator, in order to later assume the role of defender against the terrorism it causes.

Baitullah Mehsud assumed control of the TTP from its founder, his infamous cousin Abdullah Mehsud. Abdullah was a prisoner at Guantanamo before being inexplicably released to return to Pakistan, where he founded the new Taliban splinter group. On his second day in S. Waziristan he instigated the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers
from the building of the Gomal Zam Dam, beginning the TTP fight against America’s adversaries in the region.

Setting the pattern for all future American terror attacks, the American media reported that America’s secret allies, the TTP, were “al Qaida linked.” Whenever and wherever the Western media uses the expression “al Qaida linked,” to describe terrorist attacks, they are referring to American terrorism. This is also painfully true about those sinister forces that killed 3,000 American civilians on September 11, 2001. American/”al Qaida” terrorism always targets civilians, even American civilians. Next to the US military, al
Qaida is the greatest killer of innocent Muslims in the world.

full article: www.insight-info.com

« Older entries