Wikileaks - documents released (links) Mood:
special Now Playing: U.S./NATO occupiers worry under their own trumped up fear mongering Topic: WAR
Thanks to the heroic leakers in the US military and to Julian Assange and the hundreds of Wikileaks staffers and volunteers: Iraq War Logs was released Friday. Its 391,000 records reveal the standard operating procedures of a huge military occupation over the years 2004 - 2009.
Ray McGovern writes that Assange was presented the Sam Adams Award for integrity from Veteran Intelligence Professions for Sanity Saturday in London by Daniel Ellsberg and Craig Murray. The New York Times reported Sunday that Assange is a "hunted man," having been denied residency in Sweden, or in any country where the U.S. government's influence is significant enough to endanger him. The Robert Gates (Defense) and Robert Gibbs (Obama's Press Secretary) team repeats the same threat they did in July when Afghan War Diary came out: Wikileaks somehow "may have blood on their hands," for letting the truth out.
But who is the more dangerous force with blood on its hands? The U.S./NATO occupiers, whose presence destroyed civil society in Iraq, and fueled the sectarian violence, based on aggressive war, planned to last a generation by Bush and Cheney! See They Hate Us for Our Occupations by Glenn Greenwald.
The major news media, including the NY Times, is spinning their own messages, consistent with their unquestioning reportage of the unjust, immoral US war -- based on lies -- these many years. World Can't Wait is coompiling the best analysis we can find on our site, and will keep digging for what people living in this country need to know.
Abuse, rape, torture, murder of detainees: Hundreds of incidents of abuse and torture of prisoners by Iraqi security services, up to and including rape and murder. These are so egregious that the UN is calling for further investigation.
Civilians are dying in greatest numbers: Rumsfeld always said "we don't do numbers" on civilian deaths. Iraq War Log reveals that they kept some numbers. The US & allies killed civilians much more frequently than those they identified in the Log as "insurgents." Still, we'll never know the total.
Hundreds of civilians killed at checkpoints: Robert Fisk says, "Out of the 832 deaths recorded at checkpoints in Iraq between 2004 and 2009, analysis by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggests 681 were civilians. Fifty families were shot at and 30 children killed. Only 120 insurgents were killed in checkpoint incidents."
Private contractors non-uniformed, unsupervised, wreak havoc: Blackwater (now Xe) and the thousands of civilian "security" operatives got away with murder, over and over again. And there are even more contractors in Afghanistan now than the larger troop force Obama sent in.
400,000 documents on Iraq. Make sure you make a donation to Wikileaks - their source of funding was recently cut by the US Government.
Here's the release on their site:
At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.
The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 'civilians'; 23,984 'enemy' (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 'host nation' (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 'friendly' (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the 'Afghan War Diaries', previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivallent population size.
WASHINGTON - Depressed soldiers who seek help for suicidal thoughts have been publicly mocked by higherups, military medical experts told the Daily News.
The bullying involves "humiliating-type behavior in ranks, formations, where soldiers were singled out and identified as someone who is suicidal, publicly ridiculed, and things along that nature," said Army Maj. Gen. Philip Volpe.
"They call a person out in front of a formation and chew 'em out" in a misguided effort at "tough love," said Bonnie Carroll, a retired Air Force major and head of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. "They tell them, 'You dishonored your unit. You're worthless.'"
Volpe, who with Carroll led the Pentagon's suicide-prevention task force, said he has witnessed bullying - and in one case relieved a lieutenant colonel who was verbally abusing a distraught soldier.
As military suicide rates continue to rise as a result of multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army and the other services have struggled to erase the longstanding stigma of seeking professional help.
"Does the issue of stigma and soldiers being stigmatized exist? Yes. Have soldiers been demeaned, belittled, ostracized? The answer is yes," said Col. Chris Philbrick of the Army's Health Promotion, Risk Reduction Council.
Military electronic systems have long operating lifetimes, sometimes longer than the shelf lives of components in those systems. When a semiconductor supplier, for example, decides to discontinue an integrated circuit (IC) that is used in defense and aerospace systems, this can pose problems for both prime contractors and military program managers. Fortunately, this need for a continuing supply of older electronic components, not only for military platforms but for industrial, medical, and commercial products, has given rise to a growing segment of the electronics industry that supports hard-to-find and obsolete components as distributors for leading component manufacturers. This level of support often involves not only buying up excess inventory of discontinued parts at an electronics components manufacturer, but acquiring their intellectual property (IP) to remanufacture those parts when necessary.
Lansdale Semiconductor, for example, manufactures more than 3000 ICs in their original packages (about 850 as sole source). Used in both military and commercial wireless applications, these ICs were originally produced by companies such as Fairchild Semiconductor, Freescale Semiconductor, Motorola, Intel, National Semiconductor, Raytheon Semiconductor, and Signetics. Founded in Lansdale, PA in 1964, the company was relocated to Phoenix, AZ in 1976. In addition, a wafer fabrication facility in Santa Monica, CA was purchased in 1983, moved to Tempe, AZ in 1993, and sold to Primarion with an agreement for continuing support for foundry services. The company is certified and approved by the United States Department of Defense Supply Center, Columbus (DSCC) to manufacture parts for the Qualified Products List (QPL) and is a Qualified Manufacturer (QM) under the MIL-PRF-38535 Qualified Manufacturing List (QML), as well as an ISO 9001/2000 supplier, supporting the commercial, industrial, military, and aerospace industries. The QML plan was modified to allow Lansdale to list its parts regardless of whether the die was fabricated by Lansdale or by the original manufacturer. Lansdale’s President, R. Dale Lillard, explains the company’s mission: “From the beginning, Lansdale has specialized in aftermarket technology manufacturing and supplies for discontinued semiconductors and ICs. We are dedicated to that goal, assuring our customer base that older discontinued semiconductor, RF, and other IC technology product supplies will continue to be available. Our mission is to manufacture important integrated circuits forever. When you buy a replacement part, you want it to work exactly the way the original part worked. And we are talking about radar and other critical military systems.”
Secure Components LLC is another supplier of obsolete and hard-to-find components. Formed in 2008, the firm is an AS9120 compliant, certified small business, operating in Norristown, PA. As with many obsolete parts suppliers, Secure Components has qualified for a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code (506Y0), which is a code issued by the Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS) to identify a commercial or government entity; it can also be assigned by a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and recorded by DLIS. The company supplies hard-to- find, new surplus, and government surplus parts to companies working on prime government contracts, with full traceability to prior government contracts.
The firm supports the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, and the US Marines, as well as prime contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Co. and numerous subcontractors. Its extensive list of partners include Tobyhanna Army Depot, Tinker Air Force Base, NAVAIR, USMC Yuma, and the US Coast Guard. Secure Components, which is assigned CAGE code 506Y0, has participated in more than 200 government contracts since 2008 as a prime contractor. The DSCC-approved vendor guarantees that all of its products from QML- 19500 approved manufacturers comply with all provisions specified in the MILPRF- 19500 standards.
Another dependable supplier of hard-to-find electronic components is Rochester Electronics, founded in 1981 and headquartered in Newburyport, MA. The company is licensed and authorized by over 50 semiconductor manufacturers to provide a continuing manufacturing source for mature/discontinued products. The list includes Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Analog Devices, Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, Intersil, National Semiconductor, and Texas Instruments. Rochester maintains inventory for over 10 billion semiconductor die, and manufactures thousands of different devices and ICs in a variety of packages, from commercial grade to space-qualified packages. Th e company, which is certified to ISO- 9001:2008 and QML MIL-PRF-38535, maintains a design and technology office in Rockville, MD. Earlier this year, the company certified its facility in Newburyport, MA to AS9120 requirements, the aerospace quality management system for stocklist distributors. The AS9120 certification provides suppliers with a comprehensive quality system focused on areas impacting aerospace distribution. Rhe AS9120 standard addresses chain of custody, traceability, quality control, records availability and counterfeit awareness. Also earlier this year, Rochester was chosen as one of the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems 2009 Supplier Excellence Award recipients. In 2007, Rochester received the Chinese Reliable Electronic Component Supplier’s Classification (RECS) by China’s Ministry of Industry, a joint administrated program by the China Electronic Purchasing Association (CEPA) and the China Quality Association for the Electronics Industry (CQAE). Rochester is authorized by a long list of quality electronics component manufacturers, including Agere Systems, Agilent Technologies, Analog Devices, IBM, International Rectifier, Lucent Technologies, Xilinx, and Zilog.
Summit Electronics Corp., with a line card that includes 3M, Actel, Advanced Power Technologies, Agilent Technologies, Alpha Wire, Altera, American Technical Ceramics, Analog Devices, California Eastern Laboratories, IBM Microelectronics, Raytheon Semiconductor, Rockwell Semiconductor, Samsung Semiconductor, TRW, and various divisions of Tyco Electronic, brings 40 years experience to the stocking and distribution of discontinued and hardto- find electronic components. Product lines include current transformers, diodes, ICs, memory, resistors, rheostats, transistors, and vacuum tubes. Founded in 1961 under the name of Thor Electronics, Summit Electronics (CAGE code 1T8PO), maintains a large reference library and computer database with data on current and obsolete parts.
The Harry Krantz Company has provided critical program support and electronic components to defense, aerospace, and industrial manufacturing for over 70 years. The firm maintains over 700,000 in-stock units of obsolete, hard-to-find and end-of-life components. Founded by Harry Kranz in the “Radio Row” section of Manhattan in New York, NY, the company has been guided by three generations, first by Harry’s son Richard and then his son Jeff. The privately held, family-run business has adapted to the changing needs of customers’ end-of-life system requirements by tracking down and acquiring hard-to- find components, including passive components, electromechanical parts, interconnections, and semiconductors.
Smith Semiconductor, Inc. is another company started to help aerospace and defense customers with procurement of obsolete or hard-to-find electronic components. Founded in 2000 (CAGE code 1UFG1), the firm stockpiles over 14 million items in support of automotive, commercial, medical, military, and space industries. The company markets excess inventory for other firms, using more than 40 different global sourcing web sites to connect sellers with buyers. Smiths has received contracts from defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, and Raytheon Co.
H&R Enterprises, based in Chatsworth, CA, is another wholesale electronic distributor for obsolete and hard-to-find parts. Founded in 1970, the company has over 200 million ICs in stock, consisting of 300,000 line items, housed in a 30,000-sq. ft. facility. Parts include capacitors, connectors, diodes, ICs, and transistors. The company serves industrial, commercial, and military markets worldwide.
A number of companies have made full use of the Internet to build and update inventories of obsolete and hardto- find components, including 4 Star Electronics, Inc., Online Technology Exchange, Inc., and USBID, Inc. Like many online services, 4 Star Electronics’ web site allows quick searches by part number and online quotes for pricing. The company claims over 100,000 line items for same-day shipping, maintained in a 25,000-sq. ft . facility, with a global network and proprietary search utility providing access to over 50 million components worldwide.
The ANSI/ESD-S20.20 certified and ISO 9001:2008 certified electronic components distributor was founded in 2001 and is authorized for obsolete and hard-to-find components by many leading manufacturers, including Analog Devices, Burr-Brown, Fairchild, Linear Technology, Maxim Integrated Products, Microsemi, Motorola, and Texas Instruments. Online Technology Exchange carries both new and obsolete ICs, including analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), digital-to-analog converters (DACs), memory, and digital signal processors (DSPs). USBID offers a database with more than 35 million lines of inventory, including MIL-STD-883 and Method 5004 screened products. Based in Palm Bay, FL, the company (CAGE code 1XJX0) is ISO 9001:2008 certified as part of its quality management system.
technology of warfare - Scientific American Mood:
don't ask Now Playing: Terminate the Terminators Topic: WAR
Apologies for omitting important references regarding my claim that we are witnessing a "profound escalation of warfare". The article copied below is an editorial in the July 2010 issue of Scientific American. In addition, there is a much better article of this new threat to peace in the same issue titled "War of the Machines" which is only (legally) available in hardcopy format. I'm sure most on this list will appreciate that Hezbollah is mentioned as being a perpetrator of this new technology while no mention is made of Israel which does in fact already use robotic warfare technology on Palestinians.
When U.S. forces invaded Iraq in 2003, they fought a traditional war of human on human. Since then, robots have joined the fight. Both there and in Afghanistan, thousands of “unmanned” systems dismantle roadside IEDs, take that first peek around the corner at a sniper’s lair and launch missiles at Taliban hideouts. Robots are pouring onto battlefields as if a new species of mechanotronic alien had just landed on our planet.
It is not the first time that the technology of warfare has advanced more rapidly than the body of international law that seeks to restrain its use. During World War I, cannons shot chemical weapons at and airplanes dropped bombs on unsuspecting cities. Only later did nations reach a verdict on whether it was acceptable to target a munitions factory next to a primary school.
Something similar is happening today with potentially even more profound and disturbing consequences. As Brookings Institution analyst P. W. Singer describes in “ War of the Machines,” the rise of robots leads to the frightening prospect of making obsolete the rule book by which nations go to war. Armed conflict between nation states is brutal, but at least it proceeds according to a set of rules grounded both in international law and in the demands of military discipline. It is not true that anything goes in the heat of battle. “Such rules are certainly not always followed, but their very existence is what separates killing in war from murder and what distinguishes soldiers from criminals,” writes Singer in Wired for War, his recent popular book on the military robotic revolution.
Those rules are stretched to their breaking point when robots go to war. The legal and ethical questions abound. Who is accountable when a Predator’s missile hits the wrong target? Missiles from errant drones have already killed as many as 1,000 civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Does responsibility reside with a field commander in the Middle East where spotters identified the “target of interest”? Or should blame be apportioned to the “remote pilot” stationed at a military base near Las Vegas who launched the strike from 7,000 miles away? And what about a software engineer who might have committed a programming error that caused a misfire?
Considering rules of engagement for war-at-a-distance raises a surreal set of questions. Does the remote operator in Nevada remain a legal combatantin other words, a legitimate enemy targeton the trip after work to Walmart or to a daughter’s soccer match? Would an increasingly sketchy line between warrior and civilian invite attacks on U.S. soil against homes and schools?
Remote-controlled robots are here to stay, and rules can be worked out to regulate their use. But the more serious threat comes from semiautonomous machines over which humans retain nothing more than last-ditch veto power. These systems are only a software upgrade away from fully self-sufficient operation. The prospect of androids that hunt down and kill on their own accord (shades of Terminator) should give us all pause. An automatic pilot that makes its own calls about whom to shoot violates the “human” part of international humanitarian law, the one that recognizes that some weapons are so abhorrent that they just should be eliminated.
Some might call a ban on autonomous robots naive or complain that it would tie the hands of soldiers faced with irregular warfare. But although robots have clear tactical advantages, they carry a heavy strategic price. The laws of war are an act not of charity but of self-interest; the U.S. would be weakened, not strengthened, if chemical and biological weapons were widespread, and the same is true of robots. They are a cheap way to offset conventional military strength, and other nations and groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon are already deploying them. The U.S. may not always be the leader in this technology and would be well advised to negotiate restrictions on their use from a position of strength. We can never put the genie back into the bottle, but putting a hold on further development of this technology could limit the damage.
The organization best placed to work toward a ban is the International Committee of the Red Cross, the guardian of the Geneva Conventions. A good starting point would be to convene a summit to consider armed, autonomous robots in the same framework as chemical and biological agents. The scientific community at large should get involved with this issue much as the Pugwash movement has worked toward nuclear arms control. Now is the time to take steps to ensure that a war of the machines remains nothing more than a science-fiction nightmare.
Whos fault: Burning Quran Dove church is endangering troops Mood:
accident prone Now Playing: USA crusade in middle East whips up freenzy and hate in the states Topic: WAR
The USA crusade in Middle East whips up frenzy and hate here in the states, as the Quran is planned on being burned in a bonfire. As this hate event ramps up in the US press, I can’t help but think how all this "Muslim hate" is being stirred up by our occupation, attack, and murder spree we have openly and gleefully waged on our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Look no further than our own national policy to see why this is in flames (pun intended) and this type of outward public display of pure hate is proudly waged, at the same time as the US flag is being waved.Look no further than our ongoing military presence and blood letting, torture, and desecration of their lands, mosques, library's, utilities, water supplies, museum, and homes.
The military should not be shocked or surprised in the slightest way. This is what killing does. This is the ramifications of the US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and is done in spirit of the hate and killing we wage, now to be displayed in our (sic) civil society. The burning(s) should be welcomed as "one more straw" as we continue to fuck over a country and a whole race of people.
Let the witch hunts begin that the USA government started. America has opened Pandora’s Box. The devil is in the air. Wave your flag. Teach your children to resist. Educate yourself and loved ones on how we brought this upon our selves, by waging world wide hate and using our military against innocent people/civillians from all over the world. .... Peace!
KABUL, Afghanistan — The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warned Tuesday an American church's threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book could endanger U.S. troops in the country and Americans worldwide.
Meanwhile, NATO reported the death of an American service member in an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday.
The comments from Gen. David Petraeus followed a protest Monday by hundreds of Afghans over the plans by Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center — a small, evangelical Christian church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy — to burn copies of the Quran on church grounds to mark the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States that provoked the Afghan war.
"Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence," Petraeus said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Muslims consider the Quran to be the word of God and insist it be treated with the utmost respect, along with any printed material containing its verses or the name of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect to the Quran is deeply offensive.
In 2005, 15 people died and scores were wounded in riots in Afghanistan sparked by a story in Newsweek magazine alleging interrogators at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay placed copies of the Quran in washrooms and flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk. Newsweek later retracted the story.
Responding to Petraeus' comments, Dove World Outreach Center's senior pastor Terry Jones acknowledged Petraeus' concerns as legitimate.
"Still, we feel that it is time for America to quit apologizing for our actions and bowing to kings," Jones said in a statement released by his church. "We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam. We will no longer be controlled and dominated by their fears and threats. It is time for America to return to being America."
The church, which made headlines last year after distributing T-shirts that said "Islam is of the Devil," has been denied a permit to set a bonfire but has vowed to proceed with the burning. The congregation's website estimates it has about 50 members, but the church has leveraged the Internet with a Facebook page and blog devoted to its Quran-burning plans.
The American's death brings to at least six the number of U.S. forces killed in Afghanistan this month, along with at least four other non-American members of the international coalition.
Engagements with insurgents are rising along with the addition of another 30,000 U.S. troops, bringing the total number of international forces in the country to more than 140,000.
At least 322 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far this year, exceeding the previous annual record of 304 for all of 2009, according to an AP count.
Petraeus is asking for 2,000 more trainers and field troops for the international force, NATO officials said Monday. It was unclear how many would be Americans.
Also Tuesday, authorities confirmed the ambush killing of a district chief by suspected insurgents in the northern province of Baghlan on Monday afternoon. Nahrin district chief Rahmad Sror Joshan Pool was on his way home after a memorial service for slain anti-Soviet guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud when rocket-propelled grenades hit his vehicle, setting it on fire, said provincial spokesman Mahmood Haqmal.
Pool's bodyguard was also killed in the attack, and one militant died and two were wounded in the ensuing fire fight with police, Haqmal said.
Five children were killed and five wounded in Yaya Khil district in the southern province of Paktika when an insurgent rocket fired at an Afghan army base hit a home Monday evening, provincial government spokesman Mokhlais Afghan said.
Kidnappers also seized two electoral workers and their two drivers in the western province of Ghor, according to deputy provincial police chief Ahmad Khan Bashir. Insurgents have waged a campaign of violence and intimidation to prevent Afghans from voting, especially in rural areas, while some pre-election violence has also been blamed on rivalries among the candidates.
Associated Press writers Slobodan Lekic in Brussels, Travis Reed in Miami, and Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.
FORT CARSON, Colo. – The suicide rate among soldiers at Fort Carson is on track to drop by about 45 percent this year compared with 2008, as the U.S. military takes steps to ease what has been an increasing problem.
Commanders at the Colorado Army post said Wednesday they were trying to determine reasons for the decline and cautioned the rate could climb in the months ahead.
"There is not a silver bullet," post commander Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins told a meeting of military and civilian mental health experts. "I can't point to one single thing."
However, a campaign to make mental health experts more accessible to soldiers and to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help might be among the factors behind the drop, said Brig. Gen. Jim Pasquarette, deputy commanding general for support at the base.
Most of the Fort Carson soldiers who recently took their own lives were considered good soldiers, Perkins said. Few had problems with drugs or alcohol. Three-quarters had no criminal record in the Army, and 85 percent had no financial problems.
"It's the ones who have done everything right .... They're the good guys," he said.
Suicide rates are measured in deaths per 100,000 people.
Fort Carson's rate was 44 per 100,000 in 2008, and this year is on track to total 25 per 100,000, Pasquarette said. The figures include all soldiers assigned to the post, whether they commit suicide overseas or at home.
The Army's overall suicide rate is about 22 per 100,000.
The Defense Department has been rushing to combat rising numbers of suicides. More than 1,100 servicemen and women killed themselves between 2005 and 2009, and the overall numbers are rising this year.
A report commissioned by Congress and released last week said the Pentagon should create a high-level office to establish strategy and coordinate suicide prevention efforts across the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force.
Another report issued by the Army in July said commanders need to address a broad range of risk-taking behavior to reduce the suicide rate.
In El Paso County, which includes most of the offices and housing at Fort Carson, the suicide rate is about 26 per 100,000, Perkins said.
KABUL, Afghanistan — There is a “fair chance” that a NATO jet inadvertently killed five Afghan civilians during a shootout with Taliban fighters in a village in southern Afghanistan earlier this week, an American official said Saturday.
Notes from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other areas of conflict in the post-9/11 era. Go to the Blog »
Some details were still unclear, but a local Afghan official and two witnesses said that the civilians were killed Thursday afternoon when a NATO aircraft fired on a house after a firefight with Taliban militants who had attacked a NATO convoy. The Taliban were operating in Luchak, a farming village in central Helmand Province, the epicenter of the insurgency. When the convoy arrived in Luchak, about a half-dozen Taliban fighters opened fire from behind a wall next to a house.
After a 10-minute exchange of fire, the insurgents ran away, the witnesses said. Then, about 10 minutes later, a pair of helicopters appeared in the sky, the villagers said.
Maj. Michael Johnson, a NATO spokesman, said the aircraft was a plane that had come in support of the troops on the ground.
The witnesses said the aircraft fired on the house, killing five men inside. Two Afghans were wounded.
“Afterwards some of the other villagers and I went to the house and we saw a man and woman crying and screaming for the dead,” said Khair Mohammed, who lives in Luchak. “It was a very bad scene.”
Another villager, Hajji Baz Muhammad, gave a similar account, adding that the Taliban dominated Luchak and often used it to ambush NATO troops. Mr. Muhammad said that the Taliban had decreed that everyone turn off their cellphones after 6 p.m.
“The Taliban have a lot influence here,” he said.
Major Johnson said a team had been sent to the area to figure out what happened, but its report was not yet complete. He said it was likely, though, that NATO had killed the civilians. “They feel there is a fair chance that those seven causalities were caused by us,” he said.
Most NATO troops in the area are American or British.
More civilians are being killed and wounded now than at any time since the American-led war here began in 2001. The overwhelming majority of civilians are killed by insurgents, according to the United Nations and other aid groups.
Still, the issue is an extremely delicate one between the Afghan and American governments. American and other NATO commanders have sharply restricted the use of airstrikes against insurgents. In most cases, soldiers caught in a firefight may not call in airstrikes to kill insurgents who are hiding in houses in populated areas, unless the NATO soldiers are in danger of being overrun.
On Saturday, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan took up the matter with President Obama in an hourlong video teleconference. A statement released afterward by Mr. Karzai’s aides said he had given Mr. Obama a letter calling for a “strategic review” of NATO’s campaign, based on the “rightful demands of the people of Afghanistan that terrorism cannot be fought in Afghan villages.”
In its own statement, the American Embassy said that Mr. Obama and Mr. Karzai discussed a variety of subjects, including civilian casualties. It made no reference to Mr. Karzai’s request.
Sharifullah Sahak contributed reporting from Kabul, and an Afghan employee of The New York Times from Helmand Province.
While US private Bradley Manning under interrogation may be made into an scapegoat, the question is whether it was he who transferred over 92000 documents on to his computer and then passed it on to WikiLeak or was it Julian Assange who with the help of insiders in Pentagon managed to gain access to classified archives stored in a safe house? Julian rather than feeling scary on being pointed out is in upbeat mood and is tantalizingly giving interviews to the media justifying his act and asserting that ‘bastards must be sorted out’. He has interacted with media in London knowing that majority of British are against war on terror and US policies.
Now, Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old intelligence analyst deployed to eastern Baghdad, who reportedly leaked the video of the event to Wikileaks and may have been involved in leaking those 92,000 documents as well, is preparing to face a court-martial and on a suicide watch, branded a "traitor" by a US senator, his future execution endorsed by the ranking minority member of the House of Representatives' subcommittee on terrorism, and almost certain to find himself behind bars for years or decades to come.
Logically, WikiLeak after delivering a severe blow to US military by exposing demonic behavior of US soldiers operating in Iraq should have either been blacked out or kept under strict watch. No such thing was done as a result of which it has repeated its act at a much bigger scale and created a worldwide stir second time. If WikiLeak was not in Washington ’s control, New York Times, a mouthpiece of CIA, should not have been among the drumbeaters. Guardian also tows official policy and is a not a rebel newspaper; and so is Der Spiegel. So why this highly damaging report has been allowed to go public; it is simply bewildering? It indicates another failure of US, which will further aggravate the jumble in which the US is intertwined.
If we go by the so-called veracity of documents accusing Pakistan of its linkage with Taliban since 2004 and presence of Haqqani network and Al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, one fails to comprehend as to why the US military failed to take physical action against known targets particularly when it has been making extensive use of drones against suspected targets in FATA? Why did they keep sleeping over it for over five years and why the sudden hullabaloo now? Why have the top guns of USA led by Hillary started to hound Pakistan so viciously? There is something cooking.
I reckon many more suchlike revelations exposing Indo-US-Israeli grimy designs and dirty games would take place in coming months when US military would get stranded and helpless in Afghanistan . In Iraq deep hostility between British senior military commanders towards their American allies revealed in classified government documents was leaked to Daily Telegraph. The US military was described as ‘a group of Martians’. Anatol Lieven in his article titled ‘The National Interest: All Kayani’s Men’, confirmed that Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan was created to pitch it against Pak Army and enmesh it in fighting on home ground irreversibly. NY Times identified brother of Karzai as a CIA operative and a major opium dealer and having close ties with Taliban. David Obeg, Chairman House of Appropriations Committee vehemently maintained that Afghanistan is a similar quagmire like Vietnam that could bankrupt Obama’s domestic agenda. He said US had unreliable partners in Vietnam and now in Afghanistan . It had been predicted by economic wizards that American economy would be spiraling out of control sooner than later and would reach critical point by end 2010 and implode by mid 2011. USA has become a bankrupt country. Americans being largest consumers in the world are unable to borrow further monies to buy cheap goods from China , Japan and other Asian countries. Demand for dollar has evaporated; dollar status as a reserve currency and its usefulness is being questioned more vocally. Dollar value is fast deprecating and its banks are closing.
Whereas it is a reality that no US think tank, newspaper or official has ever written a single sentence on Indo-US-Israeli-Afghanistan nexus and their designs against Pakistan , WikiLeak has lifted the curtain. Although under US pressure head of this website has attempted to minimize the damage by telling an Indian news reporter that all reports less the ones pertaining to Pakistan were unreliable, it cannot be denied that US military has suffered the most from this disclosure. What is most worrisome for US military operating in Afghanistan is the exposure of names of their Afghan informers and some within Taliban ranks working as double agents? Their fate is sealed since the Taliban would never spare them. This factor will further shrink US battle intelligence capability, thereby compounding their problems during ongoing testing times.
Thanks to few upright people in USA and western countries as well as whistle blowing independent websites, the world is now getting more educated about deepening mess in Afghanistan . Sooner than later, pieces would start falling in right places and real picture would emerge, which had been kept hidden all these years. There have been occasional reporting of use of excessive force by ISAF in Afghanistan, about torture tales in Gitmo, Bagram Base and Abu Gharib jails, but none could imagine the scale and gruesome nature of atrocities against Afghans as disclosed by WikiLeak. 150 bombing incidents on civilians killing mostly women and children had never been reported. Wedding ceremonies, funerals, children school buses and passenger buses have not been spared by trigger happy Yankees. Jets, gunship helicopters and drones have caused maximum casualties. Logs have also indicated use of Blackwater to capture or kill marked Taliban. WikiLeak has provided incriminating material for their trials for committing war crimes.
There were strong reasons for sacked Gen McChrystal to restrain his swashbuckling cowboys from firing indiscriminately and causing large scale civilian fatalities. Hawks in Obama Administration had constantly pushed him for quicker results without caring for human destruction. Irked by their haughty behavior, he decided to call it a day. Is there some connection between WikiLeak-Rolling Stone-McChrystal? Moreover, is there a connection between Times Square incident, visit of three rasping top US leaders to Islamabad in July, WikiLeak revelations, Cameron’s derogatory remarks and Karzai’s diatribe?
WikiLeak has inadvertently provided a golden opportunity to Pakistan to expose hidden designs, subversive activities and black deeds of occupation forces in Afghanistan and to blunt their smear campaign. The world is now eagerly looking towards whistle blowing websites like WikiLeak to throw light on following ambiguities: 1. Other than the declared objectives of USA, what was the hidden motivation to occupy Afghanistan? 2. What was the purpose behind setting up a huge intelligence centre at Jabal-al Siraj near Kabul comprising six intelligence agencies? 3. How did Osama bin Laden and whole lot of Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders’ laird in Tora Bora slip out in December 2001, which subsequently became the key cause of US intractable troubles in Afghanistan? 4. Is Osama dead or alive and if alive where is he located? 5. How did defeated, ousted fugitive Taliban managed to regroup so speedily and started hitting back at occupation forces from 2003 onwards? 6. Details of harrowing atrocities committed by Northern Alliance warlords against captured Taliban and Pakistani prisoners after the fall of Taliban regime in December 2001. 7.
Details of $3 billion spent by CIA to win loyalties of corrupt Afghan warlords to help form a government in Kabul under puppet Hamid Karzai. 8. Details of profits earned from illegal drug trade in Afghanistan and who all shared the profit to run covert operations against Pakistan and Iran. 9. Particulars of tens of Pakistan specific training camps and intelligence setups of RAW-Mossad in Afghanistan and their methods of indoctrination of suicide bombers. 10. Idea behind Af-Pak policy and why did it fail to kick off. 11. How come 16000 foreign troops coupled with 9000 Afghan troops backed by massive aerial and ground firepower failed to overpower few hundred ill-equipped Taliban in Marjah which has jeopardised US offensive drive in southern and eastern Afghanistan?
To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war.
Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.
We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events. Only on the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much substantive discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this particular war.
And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes, represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world.
This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's -- hit list. High level Administration figures recently refused to take nuclear weapons off of the table when discussing a possible attack against Iraq. What could be more destabilizing and unwise than this type of uncertainty, particularly in a world where globalism has tied the vital economic and security interests of many nations so closely together? There are huge cracks emerging in our time-honored alliances, and U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to damaging worldwide speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust, misinformation, suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is fracturing the once solid alliance against global terrorism which existed after September 11.
Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of the duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim. The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher.
This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.
In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken us to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This Administration's domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition, under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic growth. This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the crisis in health care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to provide adequate funding for homeland security. This Administration has been reluctant to better protect our long and porous borders.
In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.
Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another devastating attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy. Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the augmenting support of those nations who can supply troop strength, not just sign letters cheering us on.
The war in Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far, yet there is evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its hold in that region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the peace in Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again flourish in that remote and devastated land.
Pakistan as well is at risk of destabilizing forces. This Administration has not finished the first war against terrorism and yet it is eager to embark on another conflict with perils much greater than those in Afghanistan. Is our attention span that short? Have we not learned that after winning the war one must always secure the peace?
And yet we hear little about the aftermath of war in Iraq. In the absence of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize Iraq's oil fields, becoming an occupying power which controls the price and supply of that nation's oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we propose to hand the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?
Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in devastating attacks on Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear arsenal? Will the Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by radicals, bolstered by Iran which has much closer ties to terrorism than Iraq?
Could a disruption of the world's oil supply lead to a world-wide recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our callous disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased the global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even more lucrative practice for nations which need the income?
In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous consequences for years.
One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the savage attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of having only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on which it is nearly impossible to exact retribution.
But to turn one's frustration and anger into the kind of extremely destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged with the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the greatest superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word.
Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation of Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which over 50% is under age 15 -- this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical and biological warfare -- this chamber is silent. On the eve of what could possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our attack on Iraq, it is business as usual in the United States Senate.
We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings.
To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral traditions of our country". This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to be having a good result in Iraq. Our mistake was to put ourselves in a corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we allow more time.