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Video: Dragon of Afghanistan: Bruce Lee lookalike adored by youth, reviled by Islamic fundamentalists
Video: With No Timetable for Withdrawal, Trump Expands War in Afghanistan While Threatening Pakistan
At least four people have been killed in a fresh US drone attack on Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, police officials say.
Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial police department, said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fired a missile at a car in Goshta district, located 35 kilometers (20 miles) east of the provincial capital of Jalalabad, late on Thursday.
He further noted that the assault targeted a group of Taliban militants and those killed in the airstrike were members of the terrorist group.
Taliban militants, however, have not yet made any comments on the incident.
A similar attack in the Khas Kunar district of Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Kunar killed at least seven people earlier in the day.
On May 4, a drone strike in the Momand Dara district of Nangarhar Province left at least seventeen people dead. A local Taliban militant commander was reportedly among the dead.
A drone raid in the Chapa Dara of Kunar Province killed least three people on April 28.
The United States carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
While Washington claims the targets of the drone attacks are al-Qaeda militants, local officials and witnesses maintain that, in most cases, civilians have been the victims of the attacks over the past few years.
Afghanistan faces a security challenge years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but many areas in the country are still witnessing violence, which threatens stability.
At least 13,500 foreign forces remain in Afghanistan despite the end of the US-led combat mission, which came on December 31, 2014. The forces, mainly from the US, are there for what Washington calls a support mission. US-led NATO says the forces will focus mainly on counterterrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.
GUEST: David Swanson, author, activist, and blogger. His books includes Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union and War is a Lie and When the World Outlawed War. Follow him on Twitter.
TOPIC: David reacts to the news that Bowe Bergdahl has been released— and that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue.
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Friday, June 6, 2014.
- painful extended period shackling;
- exposure to extreme heat and cold;
- abusive treatment while naked, hooded or blindfolded;
- waterboarding numerous times;
- isolation in tiny cells;
- other times in overcrowded ones forcing detainees to sleep in shifts;
- permanent trauma-creating torture and ill-treatment;
- severe beatings;
- continuous blaring noises or music;
- 24-hour bright light or total darkness;
- extended sleep deprivation periods;
- painful stress positions for long periods;
- being sodomized;
- denied food, too little, or inedible kinds;
- painful force-feeding for hunger strikers;
- prisoners experiencing it call it torture;
- denied medical care;
- forced confessions for crimes not committed;
- hung from steel bars in cells or metal hooks in interrogation rooms for extended periods;
- kept in tubs of ice water creating hypothermia;
- threatened with or attacked by dogs;
- electro-shocking; and
- other physical and psychological cruel, abusive and degrading treatment.
Tens of thousands of lives have been lost in Afghanistan over the last twelve years, and hundreds of thousands more have been destroyed because of the direct consequences of war and the war-induced breakdown of public health, security, and infrastructure. Shannon has had a central role in all this….
The twelfth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was marked by a peace vigil at Shannon on Oct 13th that was attended by close to 40 people. Gardai maintained an overt presence, despite the peaceful nature of this and all previous vigils. They were reminded of their responsibilities to uphold the law by those attending the vigil, and to end the practice of turning a blind eye to the warplanes passing through Shannon. As always, they maintained a stony silence when asked if they were concerned in any way about who or what might be on those planes.
Tens of thousands of lives have been lost in Afghanistan over the last twelve years, and hundreds of thousands more have been destroyed because of the direct consequences of war and the war-induced breakdown of public health, security, and infrastructure. Shannon has had a central role in all this, as over the last twelve years millions of armed troops have turned the airport into a staging post for U.S. military operations abroad. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, for which Shannon provided logistical support, have been characterised by war crimes, human rights abuse (including kidnapping and torture by the U.S. authorities) and costs mounting to trillions of dollars. And these costs have of course been borne by the people of the U.S., Ireland and every other country now suffering the pain of austerity.
Support for today’s anti-war demonstration at Shannon was evident as passers-by acknowledged and encouraged those taking part. This was hardly surprising, given the findings of the recent PANA poll which showed that over three quarters of Irish people believe Ireland should have a policy of neutrality.
Given the behaviour of the Gardai at Shannon over the last twelve years, and given the numerous references by members of the force to “advice” and “instructions” and “protocols” relating to the searching of planes and the policing of anti-war demonstrations, their attitude was sadly also not surprising. For the duration of the vigil they erected barriers at an arbitrary point before the airport entrance, and refused to let demonstrators past it. When asked why they were doing so, they simply refused to answer.
What was even more bizarre was the spurious arrest of two members of Shannonwatch prior to the vigil today, under the Public Order Act. They were at the airport taking photographs, which is not illegal, but were handcuffed, taken into custody and released around an hour later. There were no U.S. military aircraft evident at the airport at the time, so the bizarre behaviour of the Gardai may have more to do with the presence of two luxurious Middle East VIP jets, registrations N777AS and N757MA.
If the Airport Police and Gardai had anticipated a security risk from someone taking photos of one of these aircraft someone in authority could have declared the car park in which the arrests took place to be a temporarily restricted area. They are entitled and empowered to restrict certain areas for a limited time but they didn’t do that, Nonetheless the arresting officer did his best to convince the Shannonwatch members that the place was permanently restricted (which it isn’t) and that they had broken the law by being there (which they hadn’t).
It’s not the sort of security that the U.S. military would expect at one of their airbases, but it’s what they’ve got at Shannon.
About the authors: Shannonwatch is a group of human rights and anti-war activists based in the mid-West of Ireland. Email: [email protected]