Monday, May 18, 2009

The US and Pakistan’s Aerial Bombing Will Kill Civilians and Make More Terrorists

From Voices for Creative Nonviolence

May 13, 2009

by Abdul Malik Mujahid

During the last thirty years of wars in Afghanistan, Afghan civilians have had one safe place to escape to: Pakistan.

They fled the Soviet invasion. They fled civil wars. They fled US bombing. Pakistan took care of millions of these Afghan refugees.

Now that safe haven with its lush green valleys is burning with bombs. And the hosts, the people who themselves welcomed Afghan refugees, at times literally into their homes or into campsites on their farms, are on the run. They are streaming out of Swat, Dir, and Buner, and registering as refugees in Mardan and the fertile valleys of Pakistan. The UN says about two million Pakistanis have been displaced during the last year of drone attacks, bombing and fighting.

Pakistan is bombing its own land and its own people who are caught between the Taliban and the Americans.

Whomever I talk to among Pakistanis, it seems, there is an emerging consensus. They hate both the Taliban who blast schools and the Americans who bomb Madrasahs. Both kill civilians.

The Soviets could not win by bombing Afghanistan, although even today, bomblets and mines left over by the Soviets kill and injure 60 Afghans a month.   Read article

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cost of Iraq war will surpass Vietnam's by year's end

From the Los Angeles Times

If Congress approves the latest funding request, as expected, the Iraq war will have cost about $694 billion, making it the second most expensive conflict in U.S. history behind World War II.

By Julian E. Barnes
April 11, 2009

Reporting from Washington -- The amount of U.S. money spent on the Iraq war will surpass the cost of Vietnam by the end of the year, making it the second most expensive military conflict in American history, behind World War II, according to Pentagon figures provided Friday.

If Congress approves the supplemental funding request submitted this week by the Obama administration, the cost of the war will rise by $87 billion for 2009, including a previous supplement approved during the Bush administration.

Added to the amount spent through 2008, it would mean the Iraq war will have cost taxpayers a total of about $694 billion. By comparison, the Vietnam War cost $686 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars and World War II cost $4.1 trillion, according to a Congressional Research Service study completed last year. Read story

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rage Is Good

The Nation

March 6, 2009

Hopefully, the demonstrations planned on Wall Street April 4 by United for Peace and Justice and other groups will contribute to the global uprising. Our president and Congress need the pressure.

The world has turned against American hegemony before: against the Vietnam war, against the World Trade Organization and against the invasion of Iraq. On all three occasions, the world was right and Washington was wrong.
On this occasion, the global economy is being devastated by the Wall Street crash. Hundreds of millions are are hurtling into extreme poverty, export industries are collapsing, currencies being destabilized.
As the conservative French president Nicolas Sarkozy says, "Laissez-faire, c'est fini." (Laissez-faire is finished.)
As nations blame Wall Street and move to protect their people, the protests need not be anti-American nor anti-Obama. Sarkozy cannot be accused of being anti-US. Neither are Iceland nor Ukraine. The global opposition might just may be what we need, an organized populist counterforce to the business and banking lobbies entrenched in Washington. Read article