Afghanistan

"A heroin epidemic is on fire all across America. Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares currently."  William Edstrom (10/17/2016)

There was a time when the women of Afghanistan - at least in Kabul - were out there. They were allowed to study, they were doctors and surgeons, walking free, wearing what they wanted. That was when it was under Soviet occupation. Then the United States starts funding the mujahideen. Reagan called them Afghanistan's "founding fathers." It reincarnates the idea of "jehad," virtually creates the Taliban. And what happens to the women? In Iraq, until before the war, the women were scientists, museum directors, doctors. I'm not valourising Saddam Hussein or the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, which was brutal and killed hundreds of thousands of people - it was the Soviet Union's Vietnam. I'm just saying that now, in these new wars, whole countries have slipped into mayhem - the women have just been pushed back into their burqas - and not by choice. I mean, to me, one thing is a culture in which women have not broken out of their subservience, but the horror of tomorrow, somebody turning around and telling me: "Arundhati, just go back into your veil, and sit in your kitchen and don't come out." Can you imagine the violence of that? That's what has happened to these women. In 2001, we were told that the war in Afghanistan was a feminist mission. The marines were liberating Afghan women from the Taliban. Can you really bomb feminism into a country? And now, after 25 years of brutal war - 10 years against the Soviet occupation, 15 years of US occupation - the Taliban is riding back to Kabul and will soon be back to doing business with the United States. I don't live in the United States but when I'm here, I begin to feel like my head is in a grinder - my brains are being scrambled by this language that they're using. Outside it's not so hard to understand because people know the score. But here, so many seem to swallow the propaganda so obediently. Arundhati Roy

"What kind of a stake could Americans really have in one of the most impoverished lands on the planet, about as distant from us as could be imagined, geographically, culturally, and religiously ? Yet, as if to defy commonsense, we've been fighting there - by proxy and directly - on and off for thirty years and with no end in sight." The United States of Fear: Tom Englehardt

As President Obama unveils his plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan, we speak with Ohio Congressmember Dennis Kucinich. "The United States is going deeper and deeper into debt," says Kucinich. "We have money for Wall Street and money for war but we don’t have money for work...for healthcare. We have to start asking ourselves, 'Why is it that war is a priority but the basic needs of people in this country are not?'" from Rep. Kucinich on Afghanistan War: "We’re Acting Like a Latter Day Version of the Roman Empire" (12/2/2009)

Manhunting in the Hindu Kush, Civilian casualties and strategic failures in America’s longest war (10/15/2015)

Afghan Street Children Beg For Change (12/30/2013)

Afghanistan Reconstruction Watchdog John Sopko Accuses Bureaucrats Of Blockading His Reports (5/9/2013)

The Afghanistan report the pentagon doesn't want you to read (2/10/2012)

The New York Times recently reported that there are 22,000 homeless children living in New York City.

Thinking of how the U.S. has used its resources here in Afghanistan, where more than a trillion has been spent on maintaining war and occupation, I feel deep shame.  In 2014, the U.S. will spend 2.1 million dollars for every U.S. soldier stationed in Afghanistan.  Convoys travel constantly between US military bases, transporting large amounts of fuel, food and clean water -- luxury items to people living in refugee camps along their routes – often paying transportation tolls to corrupt officials, some of whom are known to head up criminal gangs

While the U.S. lacks funds to guarantee basic human rights for hundreds of thousands of U.S. children, and while U.S. wars displace and destroy families in Afghanistan, the U.S. consistently meets the needs of weapon makers and war profiteers. (From Here.)


Prisons, Drones, and Black Ops in Afghanistan (2/12/2012)

Let's Hear From the Spies (11/24/2011)

Let This Operation Be the Last (2/14/2010)

Russia, NATO and Afghanistan: High stakes Great Game By Eric Walberg

An Open Letter to President Obama From Michael Moore

Karzai Was Hellbent On Victory. Afghans Will Pay The Price (11/3/2009)

Rethink Afghanistan

Afghanistan, Another Untold Story

Rory Stewart

Afghanistan explained (Noam Chomsky)

Turquoise Mountain

Americans Are Deeply Involved In Afghan Drug Trade

U.N.: Opium Trade Soars in Afghanistan 26 Jun 2008 Afghan opium cultivation grew 17 percent last year, continuing a six-year [US] expansion of the country's drug trade and increasing its share of global opium production to more than 92 percent, according to the 2008 World Drug Report, released Thursday by the United Nations.

Links

War on Drugs

CIA

Afghanistan's opium drug economy

SIGAR

Af/Pak Daily Brief

Anand Gopal, Global Dispatches

Atlantic Wire

Rethink Afghanistan

Bibliography

The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan: Michael Hastings

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes: Anand Gopal

Ending the War in Afghanistan: A Primer; Phyllis Bennis

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