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12 Jan 2012 10:12


World: Reaction to shocking Marine corpse desecration video extremely strong

  • The actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps. This matter will be fully investigated.
  • A statement from the Marine Corps Headquarters • Angrily criticizing a video, posted on YouTube, that appears to show Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters. However the video, which has floated around YouTube for the past day, has not been verified. The Pentagon, however, said there is no indication that the video isn’t authentic. The video has drawn a number of angry responses from officials as varied as Sen. John McCain, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Council on Islamic-American Relations. In Karzai’s case, he called the video “completely inhumane.” If the video is accurate, he’ll find us agreeing with him. source

06 Dec 2011 00:04


World: Afghanistan: We need foreign aid for at least twelve more years

  • Your continued solidarity, your commitment and support will be crucial so that we can consolidate our gains and continue to address the challenges that remain.
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Thanking those who pledged their support of Afghanistan during an event on Monday, in which representatives from about 100 nations and international groups met on Monday to discuss the continued financial support of the war-torn country through 2024. Foreign troops plan to exit the country by 2014, but the country will need financial help building and sustaining its own security forces. The nations there offered support — but only on the condition that the next stages in the country avoids violence and terrorism, supports the constitution, and continues to build a positive human rights record. Absent from the meeting was Pakistan, who boycotted the United States’ presence after a deadly, controversial border attack last month.  source

20 Sep 2011 11:34


World: Ex-Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani killed by attacker

Rabbani, president of Afghanistan from 1992 and 1996 and the leader of the Afghan Peace Council, was reportedly killed Tuesday. This is a serious blow to any sort of diplomatic process with the Taliban. source

12 Jul 2011 11:06


World: Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai’s half-brother assassinated by bodyguard

Ahmad Wali Karzai, a powerful guy in his own right who survived numerous prior assassination attempts, was reportedly killed at the hands of the Taliban. source

15 Jun 2011 17:37


World: Robert Gates: Hamid Karzai will leave power in 2014

  • The long Karzai goodbye: Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that despite previous suggestions he might try to change the Afghan constitution to let him serve a third term, Hamid Karzai is now telling people privately he’ll leave power in 2014. What the nature of America’s presence in Afghanistan would be without Karzai is hard to say; whatever comes of the fight against the Taliban, the government he’s been running is thoroughly corrupt, if much less brutal than the alternative. Neither has his alliance with the U.S. seemed in good faith at times — remember when he threatened to join the Taliban, or admitted his administration was taking literal bags full of cash from Iran? Here’s hoping a different leader can stem the tide of corruption. source

25 May 2011 16:54


Politics: Sen. Max Baucus calls for quicker Afghanistan withdrawal

  • The President has announced that this July will mark the beginning of a transition of security responsibility to Afghan forces. However, in my view the transition plan is too slow. We need to begin handing responsibility of security to Afghan forces immediately and aim to have most US combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next year. We should leave behind only a small force to hunt down and kill terrorists in Afghanistan, and to help the Afghan military perform their duties.
  • Senator Max Baucus • Calling for both a quicker withdrawal of troops, and a quicker transfer of responsibility from the U.S. military to Afghan security forces. That these conversations are starting to crop up is unsurprising; the death of Osama bin Laden, the ostensible reason the U.S. entered Afghanistan to begin with, makes this the most politically opportune time to voice such sentiments. And while the concerns in leaving quicker are by no means negligible, with a government as steeped in corruption as the Afghanistan’s is, and under a leader like Hamid Karzai (famously volatile, takes bags of money from Iran, once threatened that he might join the Taliban), what is the ultimate definition of success for the U.S. involvement there? source

15 Dec 2010 10:24


Culture: Who did Zuckerberg beat out to become Time’s “Person of the Year”?


14 Nov 2010 12:01


World: Hamid Karzai to Americans: Mind calming down this war stuff?

  • The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan … to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life.
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Suggesting that the U.S. needs to scale back its military operations in Afghanistan so as to encourage a less volatile situation in the country. The U.S. doesn’t plan to change course, however: “We understand President Karzai’s concerns,” an anonymous military official (the best kind!) said, “but we would not be as far along as we are pressuring the network had it not been for these very precision operations we do at night.” Karzai claims he made the comments to encourage more candor between the two countries, which have often had a “grudging” relationship in the past. source

25 Oct 2010 09:53


World: Great! Afghan government taking money from Iran, won’t stop

  • They have asked for good relations in return, and for lots of other things in return. And we have also asked for lots of things in return in this relationship. This is a relationship between neighbors and it will go on and we will continue to ask for cash help from Iran.
  • Afghan president Hamid Karzai • Admitting his government takes money from the Iranian government (a payment of around $1-2 million every other month, by the way). But here’s the kicker – even though they’ve been called out for it, they don’t plan to stop. The U.S. has been funding your nation for how many years, buddy? This is something you just don’t do if you’re working with the U.S. In other news, Karzai wants his country’s local media to “defame The New York Times just as they have defamed us.” The Times broke the story a couple days ago. Karzai claims they wrote it to defame his chief of staff, Umar Daudzai. source

12 Jun 2010 11:26


World: Hamid Karzai has zero confidence in pretty much everybody

  • The president has lost his confidence in the capability of either the coalition or his own government to protect this country. President Karzai has never announced that NATO will lose, but the way that he does not proudly own the campaign shows that he doesn’t trust it is working.
  • Former Afghan intelligence director Amrullah Saleh • Explaining his feelings about Hamid Karzai’s take on the war. Essentially, he has no confidence in either his country or his coalition. He reportedly thinks the Americans were behind the attack (on a national peace conference, no less) that led to Saleh’s resignation. He and one other top security official resigned in the wake of the attack. A diplomat hiding behind anonymity agrees: “Karzai told me that he can’t trust the Americans to fix the situation here. He believes they stole his legitimacy during the elections last year. And then they said publicly that they were going to leave.” source