Posts tagged Taliban
By CBC News
Malala says Taliban used bullets to silence her, but failed
Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by Taliban, marks 16th birthday with UN speech
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who drew global attention after being shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education, has told the United Nations she has the strength and courage to continue her campaign despite her ordeal.
- Malala’s 10 most inspiring quotes from her UN speech
The teenager was honoured at the UN headquarters in New York City on Friday, where she addressed the UN Youth Assembly with a speech advocating global education.
“Here I stand, just one girl among many. I speak so those without voice can be heard,” she told the UN audience, adding everyone has the “right to live in peace and to be treated with dignity.”
She recalled the day she was shot on a school bus on Oct. 9, 2012.
“They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed, and out of that silence came thousands of voices.”
The teen also said she will not be stopped from speaking out in support of human rights.
“The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.
“I’m not against anyone. Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group. I’m here to speak for the right of education for every child,” she said.
Malala said the Taliban and other extremist groups are motivated by fear of equality and the power of education when they attack students, teachers and schools.
The teen appeared at the United Nations alongside former British prime minister Gordon Brown — now the UN special envoy for global education. Brown delivered a petition demanding education for all.
Yousafzai has become an international figure as a symbol of resistance to the Taliban’s efforts to deny women’s rights. She is also among the nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The UN has designated July 12 as Malala Day.
Yousafzai was brought to Britain from Pakistan’s Swat Valley for specialist treatment after she was shot in the head at point-blank range by a gunman last October.
She left a hospital in Birmingham in February following a surgery in which doctors mended parts of her skull with a titanium plate and inserted a cochlear implant to help restore hearing on her left side.
Some 500 youth leaders from 85 countries will be on hand in New York to hear Yousafzai speak. This was her first public speech since the attack.
Her speech was delivered amid the release of new UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) research showing 48.5 million children of primary school age and living in areas of armed conflict are not getting an education.
According to the report by UNESCO and the Save the Children aid agency, the total number of children of primary school age who are not getting an education has fallen from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011, but during that period the percentage of youth in conflict-affected countries who aren’t at primary school rose from 42 per cent to 50 per cent.
In Syria, about 3,900 schools have either been destroyed, damaged or are occupied for non-educational purposes, the report released on Friday said.
The report says more than a fifth of Syrian schools have been made unusable since the conflict began in March 2011.
Copyright © CBC 2013
Republished with permission.
By Pete Papaherakles
Could gaining control of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) be one of the main reasons that Iran is being targeted by Western and Israeli powers? As tensions are building up for an unthinkable war with Iran, it is worth exploring Iran’s banking system compared to its U.S., British and Israeli counterparts.
Some researchers are pointing out that Iran is one of only three countries left in the world whose central bank is not under Rothschild control. Before 9-11 there were reportedly seven: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Iran. By 2003, however, Afghanistan and Iraq were swallowed up by the Rothschild octopus, and by 2011 Sudan and Libya were also gone. In Libya, a Rothschild bank was established in Benghazi while the country was still at war.
Islam forbids the charging of interest, a major problem for the Rothschild banking system. Until a few hundred years ago, charging interest was also forbidden in the Christian world and was even punishable by death. It was considered exploitation and enslavement.
Since the Rothschilds took over the Bank of England around 1815, they have been expanding their banking control over all the countries of the world. Their method has been to get a country’s corrupt politicians to accept massive loans, which they can never repay, and thus go into debt to the Rothschild banking powers. If a leader refuses to accept the loan, he is oftentimes either ousted or assassinated. And if that fails, invasions can follow, and a Rothschild usury-based bank is established.
The Rothschilds exert powerful influence over the world’s major news agencies. By repetition, the masses are duped into believing horror stories about evil villains. The Rothschilds control the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the IMF, the World Bank and the Bank of International Settlements. Also they own most of the gold in the world as well as the London Gold Exchange, which sets the price of gold every day. It is said the family owns over half the wealth of the planet—estimated by Credit Suisse to be $231 trillion—and is controlled by Evelyn Rothschild, the current head of the family.
Objective researchers contend that Iran is not being demonized because they are a nuclear threat, just as the Taliban, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Qadaffi were not a threat.
What then is the real reason? Is it the trillions to be made in oil profits, or the trillions in war profits? Is it to bankrupt the U.S. economy, or is it to start World War III? Is it to destroy Israel’s enemies, or to destroy the Iranian central bank so that no one is left to defy Rothschild’s money racket?
It might be any one of those reasons or, worse—it might be all of them.
Pete Papaherakles, a U.S. citizen since 1986, was born in Greece. He is AFP’s outreach director. If you would like to see AFP speakers at your rally, contact Pete at 202-544-5977 .
(CNSNews.com)- The number of suicides among U.S. Army active duty and reserve personnel in 2012 is higher than the total combined military fatalities from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan over the same timeframe.
Even without Army data for October, the number of deaths believed to be suicides among U.S. Army personnel from January through September still surpass the combined military combat deaths in Afghanistan from January up to October 22.
In 2012, there have been a total of 247 suspected suicides among Army active and reserve duty personnel. Of those, 158 have been confirmed as suicides and 89 remain under investigation.
According to the Afghanistan Index database maintained by the Brookings Institution, there have been 222 combined military deaths in 2012 among active and reserve components from “hostile causes,” as of Sept. 28. (p. 11 Figure 1.17)
An additional 40 military fatalities were the result of “non-hostile causes,” which means they were fatalities not caused by the Taliban, insurgency forces or Afghan forces – so-called “green-on-blue” attacks.
Brookings compiles Operation Enduring Freedom-related statistics based on its monitoring of the Department of Defense.
By Agence France-Presse
KABUL — NATO was accused of killing eight women Sunday in an air strike, capping a black weekend in which six soldiers were shot dead by presumed Afghan colleagues and a Taliban assault caused unprecedented losses on one of the biggest military bases in the country.
The US-led International Security Assistance Force initially said an air strike targeted around 45 insurgents, but later expressed its sincerest condolences over “possible ISAF-caused civilian casualties” numbering five to eight.
Civilian casualties have strained relations between the United States and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In June, ISAF ordered an end to air strikes on homes, except as a last resort.
Sunday’s attack came shortly before dawn, in Alingar district of Laghman province, east of Kabul, as women set off to collect fire wood, said Afghans.
“In this raid, eight women are killed and another eight women are wounded,” provincial spokesman Sarhadi Zwak told AFP.
A crowd of tribesmen carried bodies to the provincial capital, Mihtarlam, shouting “death to America, death to the Jews” outside the governor’s office, an AFP reporter said.
Karzai expressed sadness over the deaths and condemned the killing of eight women, and what his office said were seven other women wounded, ordering a delegation to travel to the area to investigate.
In Zabul province, part of the south where the 10-year Taliban insurgency is traditionally strongest, four NATO soldiers were shot dead and two wounded after being scrambled to help police repel an insurgent attack, officials said.
Details of the incident were murky.
Last week, in a little town in eastern Afghanistan, a Taliban captain and his men decided to hole up in a family compound. They were chased by NATO and Afghan forces. A firefight broke out, and the coalition troops called in an air strike.
The next day, the villagers brought the results of that strike to the provincial capital: 18 corpses, including five women and seven children.
It was the latest in a series of disturbing incidents involving airstrikes on civilian homes. In the last six months, coalition planes have bombed these residences 10 times. “Seven resulted in civilian casualties,” Bombing Afghan Homes, a NATO spokesman, tells Danger Room.
So now the commander of coalition forces has issued a new order, severely restricting an air war that was already near its all-time low. Airstrikes on civilian homes are not allowed — even if the residences are being used by militants. The question is: can the new directive bring down civilian casualties, while still allowing troops to fight effectively?
US defence secretary says Pakistan is offering safe havens to terrorists as he arrives in Kabul for Nato talks
Leon Panetta in Kabul, where he called on Pakistan to do more to crack down on militants.
The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, has said the United States is reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan because of the safe havens the country offers to insurgents from neighbouring Afghanistan.
In some of the strongest language used by a US official to describe the strained ties between Washington and Islamabad, Panetta said: “It is difficult to achieve peace in Afghanistan as long as there is a safe haven for terrorists in Pakistan.”
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — An Afghan man recounted Monday the harrowing tale of how an American soldier on a killing spree burst into his home in the middle of the night, searched the rooms, then dropped to a knee and shot his father in the thigh as he emerged from a bedroom.
The staff sergeant is now in custody, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, most of them children, and then burning many of the bodies. The name of the 38-year-old soldier was not released because it would be “inappropriate” to do so before charges are filed, said Pentagon spokesman George Little.
Sunday’s attack in southern Kandahar province comes as anti-Americanism already is boiling over in Afghanistan after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month and a video of Marines urinating on alleged Taliban corpses was posted on the Internet in January.
If the attack unleashes another wave of anti-foreigner hatred, it could threaten the future of the U.S.-led coalition’s mission in Afghanistan. The events have also raised doubts among U.S. political figures that the long and costly war is worthy.
NATO and member countries said the slayings were a blow to the alliance’s efforts to the sacrifice in lives and monecultivate trust but would not affect the timeline to hand over security operations to Afghans by the end of 2014. The White House said U.S. objectives will not change because of the killings.
Outraged Afghan lawmakers called for a suspension of talks on how to formalize a long-term U.S. military presence in the country and demanded that the shooter face trial in an Afghan court.
By MIRWAIS KHAN and HEIDI VOGT, AP
BALANDI, Afghanistan — An American soldier opened fire on villagers near his base in southern Afghanistan Sunday and killed 16 civilians, according to President Hamid Karzai who called it an “assassination” and furiously demanded an explanation from Washington. Nine children and three women were among the dead.
The killing spree deepened a crisis between U.S. forces and their Afghan hosts over Americans burning Muslim holy books on a base in Afghanistan. The burnings sparked weeks of violent protests and attacks that left some 30 people dead. Six U.S. service members have been killed by their Afghan colleagues since the Quran burnings came to light, but the violence had just started to calm down.
“This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven,” Karzai said in a statement. He said he has repeatedly demanded the U.S. stop killing Afghan civilians.
The violence over the Quran burnings spurred calls in the U.S. for a faster exit strategy from the 10-year-old Afghan war. President Barack Obama even said recently that “now is the time for us to transition.” But he also said he had no plan to change the current timetable that has Afghans taking control of security countrywide by the end of 2014.
The tensions between the two countries had appeared to be easing as recently as Friday, when the U.S. and Afghan governments signed a memorandum of understanding about the transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan control — a key step toward an eventual strategic partnership to govern U.S. forces in the country.
But Sunday’s shooting could push that agreement further away.
“This is a fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. Whatever sliver of trust and credibility we might have had following the burnings of the Quran is now gone,” said David Cortright, the director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and an advocate for a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“This may have been the act of a lone, deranged soldier. But the people of Afghanistan will see it for what it was, a wanton massacre of innocent civilians,” Cortright said.
Five people were wounded in the pre-dawn attack in Kandahar province, including a 15-year-old boy named Rafiullah who was shot in the leg and spoke to the president over the telephone. He described how the American soldier entered his house in the middle of the night, woke up his family and began shooting them, according to Karzai’s statement.
NATO officials apologized for the shootings but did not confirm that anyone was killed, referring instead to reports of deaths.
“I wish to convey my profound regrets and dismay at the actions apparently taken by one coalition member in Kandahar province, said a statement from Lt. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, the deputy commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan.
There’s some disturbing rhetoric flying around in the debate over the National Defense Authorization Act, which among other things contains passages that a) officially codify the already-accepted practice of indefinite detention of “terrorist” suspects, and b) transfer the responsibility for such detentions exclusively to the military.
The fact that there’s been only some muted public uproar about this provision (which, disturbingly enough, is the creature of Wall Street anti-corruption good guy Carl Levin, along with John McCain) is mildly surprising, given what’s been going on with the Occupy movement. Protesters in fact should be keenly interested in the potential applications of this provision, which essentially gives the executive branch unlimited powers to indefinitely detain terror suspects without trial.
The really galling thing is that this act specifically envisions American citizens falling under the authority of the bill. One of its supporters, the dependably-unlikeable Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, bragged that the law “basically says … for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and that people can be jailed without trial, be they “American citizen or not.” New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte reiterated that “America is part of the battlefield.”
Officially speaking, of course, the bill only pertains to:
“… a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”
As Glenn Greenwald notes, the key passages here are “substantially supported” and “associated forces.” The Obama administration and various courts have already expanded their definition of terrorism to include groups with no connection to 9/11 (i.e. certain belligerents in Yemen and Somalia) and to individuals who are not members of the target terror groups, but merely provided “substantial support.”
The definitions, then, are, for the authorities, conveniently fungible. They may use indefinite detention against anyone who “substantially supports” terror against the United States, and it looks an awful lot like they have leeway in defining not only what constitutes “substantial” and “support,” but even what “terror” is. Is a terrorist under this law necessarily a member of al-Qaeda or the Taliban? Or is it merely someone who is “engaged in hostilities against the United States”?
Here’s where I think we’re in very dangerous territory. We have two very different but similarly large protest movements going on right now in the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement. What if one of them is linked to a violent act? What if a bomb goes off in a police station in Oakland, or an IRS office in Texas? What if the FBI then linked those acts to Occupy or the Tea Party?
You can see where this is going. When protesters on the left first started flipping out about George Bush’s indefinite detention and rendition policies, most people thought the idea that these practices might someday be used against ordinary Americans was merely an academic concern, something theoretical.
But it’s real now. If these laws are passed, we would be forced to rely upon the discretion of a demonstrably corrupt and consistently idiotic government to not use these awful powers to strike back at legitimate domestic unrest.
Right now, the Senate is openly taking aim at the rights of American citizens under the guise of an argument that anyone who supports al-Qaeda has no rights. But if you pay close attention, you’ll notice the law’s supporters here and there conveniently leaving out those caveats about “anyone who supports al-Qaeda.” For instance, here’s Lindsey Graham again:
“If you’re an American citizen and you betray your country, you’re not going to be given a lawyer … I believe our military should be deeply involved in fighting these guys at home or abroad.”
As Greenwald points out, this idea – that an American who commits treason can be detained without due process – is in direct defiance of Article III, Section III of the Constitution, which reads:
“No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
This effort to eat away at the rights of the accused was originally gradual, but to me it looks like that process is accelerating. It began in the Bush years with a nebulous description of terrorist sedition that may or may not have included links to Sunni extremist groups in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.