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جوري
03-27-2010, 08:37 PM
US Troop Deaths Double in Afghanistan


Updated: 44 minutes ago

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Sebastian Abbot
AP



KABUL (March 27) - The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban's momentum.

Those deaths have been accompanied by a dramatic spike in the number of wounded, with injuries more than tripling in the first two months of the year and trending in the same direction based on the latest available data for March.

U.S. officials have warned that casualties are likely to rise even further as the Pentagon completes its deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and sets its sights on the Taliban's home base of Kandahar province, where a major operation is expected in the coming months.

"We must steel ourselves, no matter how successful we are on any given day, for harder days yet to come," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a briefing last month.

In total, 57 U.S. troops were killed here during the first two months of 2010 compared with 28 in January and February of last year, an increase of more than 100 percent, according to Pentagon figures compiled by The Associated Press. At least 20 American service members have been killed so far in March, an average of about 0.8 per day, compared to 13, or 0.4 per day, a year ago.

The steady rise in combat deaths has generated less public reaction in the United States than the spike in casualties last summer and fall, which undermined public support in the U.S. for the 8-year-old American -led mission here. Fighting traditionally tapers off in Afghanistan during winter months, only to peak in the summer.

After a summer marked by the highest monthly death rates of the war, President Barack Obama faced serious domestic opposition over his decision in December to increase troops in Afghanistan, with only about half the American people supporting the move. But support for his handling of the war has actually improved since then, despite the increased casualties.

The latest Associated Press-GfK poll at the beginning of March found that 57 percent of those surveyed approved his handling of the war in Afghanistan compared to 49 percent two months earlier. The poll surveyed 1,002 adults nationwide and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution, said the poll results could partly be a reaction to last month's offensive against the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Helmand province, which the Obama administration painted as the first test of its revamped counterinsurgency strategy.

Some 10,000 U.S., NATO and Afghan forces seized control of the farming community of about 80,000 people while suffering relatively few deaths. But the Taliban continue to plant bombs at night and intimidate the locals, and the hardest part of the operation is yet to come: building an effective local government that can win over the loyalty of the people.

"My main thesis ... is that Americans can brace themselves for casualties in war if they consider the stakes high enough and the strategy being followed promising enough," O'Hanlon said. "But such progress in public opinion is perishable, if not right away then over a period of months, if we don't sustain the new momentum."

A rise in the number of wounded - a figure that draws less attention than deaths - shows that the Taliban remain a formidable opponent.

The number of U.S. troops wounded in Afghanistan and three smaller theaters where there isn't much battlefield activity rose from 85 in the first two months of 2009 to 381 this year, an increase of almost 350 percent. A total of 50 U.S. troops were wounded last March, an average of 1.6 per day. In comparison, 44 were injured during just the first six days of March this year, an average of 7.3 per day.

The increase in casualties was partly driven by the higher number of troops in Afghanistan in 2010. American troops rose from 32,000 at the beginning of last year to 68,000 at the end of the year, an increase of more than 110 percent.

"We've got a massive influx of troops, we have troops going into areas where they have not previously been and you have a reaction by an enemy to a new force presence," said NATO spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale.

The troop numbers have continued to rise in 2010 in line with the recent surge. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that a third of the additional forces, or 10,000 troops, are already in Afghanistan. They plan to have all 30,000 troops in the country before the end of the year.

U.S. officials have said they plan to use many of the additional forces to reassert control in Kandahar province, where the insurgents have slowly taken territory over the past few years in an effort to boost their influence over Kandahar city, the largest metropolis in the south and the Taliban's former capital.

Many analysts believe the Kandahar operation will be much more difficult than the recent Marjah offensive because of the greater dispersion of Taliban forces, the urban environment in Kandahar city and the complex political and tribal forces at work in the province.

The goal of both operations is to put enough pressure on the Taliban to force them to the negotiating table to work out a political settlement to end the war - a process the U.S. believes will only gain momentum once the militant group has lost traction on the battlefield.

"Until they transition to that mode, then we will have fighters ready to take shots at us and plant IEDs (improvised explosive devices)," said Lt. Col. Calvert Worth Jr., commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines Regiment in central Marjah.
http://www.aolnews.com/world/article...istan/19416920
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Supreme
03-27-2010, 11:10 PM
It's always a tragedy when the youth of one's country go off to fight in a foreign war that concerns people most Americans neither care nor know anything about.

Nevertheless, and however harsh this sounds, those US casualties are just a drop in the ocean, and microscopic compared to Vietnam.
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جوري
03-27-2010, 11:11 PM
there is no draft in the U.S as far as I am concerned they are bringing death and misery upon themselves!
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aadil77
03-27-2010, 11:27 PM
[BANANA]alhamdulillah:shade:[/BANANA]

*CIA is on to me:nervous:*
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KAding
03-27-2010, 11:33 PM
Not a good development. As long as Afghanistan does not have a reasonably stable and powerful central government it will not know peace.
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AhlaamBella
03-27-2010, 11:36 PM
Originally Posted by Gossamer skye
there is no draft in the U.S as far as I am concerned they are bringing death and misery upon themselves!
True! Though a lot of soldiers don't want to be there and hate what they are doing.
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Argamemnon
03-27-2010, 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by KAding
Not a good development. As long as Afghanistan does not have a reasonably stable and powerful central government it will not know peace.
The U.S. couldn't care less about Afghanistan, they are there for other reasons.

http://www.counterpunch.org/prysner03122010.html

The U.S. NEVER wages war to "benefit" other nations (maybe with the possible exception being European nations because they are part of the "West").
Reply

جوري
03-27-2010, 11:43 PM
Originally Posted by KAding
Not a good development. As long as Afghanistan does not have a reasonably stable and powerful central government it will not know peace.
lol.. yes the forces of good are being deployed:

Afghanistan sitting on a gold mine
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...i8ul_AHEXmOGzQ

the only reasons the 'forces of good' are anywhere at all is to rob sovereign nations of their sovereignty and wealth while bringing plagues, destruction and moral decomposition!

2: [11] When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only want to make peace!"
[12] Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not.
Reply

جوري
03-27-2010, 11:44 PM
Originally Posted by AhlaamBella
True! Though a lot of soldiers don't want to be there and hate what they are doing.
:sl:

pardon my vulgarity when I say 'screw 'em' they deserve all that they have coming to them and may it be a hundred times worse than what they do to others in this life and hereafter insha'Allah

:w:
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aadil77
03-27-2010, 11:48 PM
Originally Posted by Gossamer skye

2: [11] When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only want to make peace!"
[12] Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not.
SubhanAllah can't rep you, but you have to teach me how you come out with these verses, they can't get more relevent than this
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KAding
03-27-2010, 11:50 PM
Originally Posted by Argamemnon
The U.S. couldn't care less about Afghanistan, they are there for other reasons.

http://www.counterpunch.org/prysner03122010.html

The U.S. NEVER wages war to "benefit" other nations (maybe with the possible exception being European nations because they are part of"the "West").
I disagree. Falling levels of violence will lead to a similar situation as in Iraq, there it was agreed between the Iraqi and US government that US forces will entirely leave the country by the end of 2011. I also am not convinced that Afghanistan, one of the poorest and least developed countries on this planet, is such a great economic prize for US capitalism.

More violence will not induce the US to leave Afghanistan. A stronger Afghan government that has authority over its own territory will.
Reply

جوري
03-27-2010, 11:54 PM
Originally Posted by aadil77
SubhanAllah can't rep you, but you have to teach me how you come out with these verses, they can't get more relevent than this
:sl:
Islam the true religion of Allah swt is always relevant and hence all their hatred and war mongering for as advanced as they think they are, they are nothing but naked monkeys who fancy themselves civilized!

:w:
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KAding
03-27-2010, 11:57 PM
Originally Posted by Gossamer skye
lol.. yes the forces of good are being deployed:

Afghanistan sitting on a gold mine
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...i8ul_AHEXmOGzQ

the only reasons the 'forces of good' are anywhere at all is to rob sovereign nations of their sovereignty and wealth while bringing plagues, destruction and moral decomposition!

2: [11] When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only want to make peace!"
[12] Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not.
I disagree. The US has no more chance to 'rob' Afghanistan of its resources than it did to rob Iraq of its oil. Despite spending billions and losing thousands of men in Iraq the US doesn't even have a privileged position in the Iraqi oil business. It is paying market prices and the field is dominated by non-American oil companies!

Just don't see how it would be any different for Afghanistan, never mind the fact that Afghanistan has hardly even started mining this supposed "wealth of mineral resources".
Reply

جوري
03-27-2010, 11:57 PM
Originally Posted by KAding
I disagree. Falling levels of violence will lead to a similar situation as in Iraq, there it was agreed between the Iraqi and US government that US forces will entirely leave the country by the end of 2011. I also am not convinced that Afghanistan, one of the poorest and least developed countries on this planet, is such a great economic prize for US capitalism.

More violence will not induce the US to leave Afghanistan. A stronger Afghan government that has authority over its own territory will.
Afghanistan was the final nail in U.S.S.R's coffin soon to be the final nail in the U.S.A's coffin.. you said it yourself, you shouldn't estimate age old stoics who can live on water and tree leaves, especially when you are sending over hooters frequenting, pig skin consuming liquor chugging sexually deviant school drop outs!

all the best
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جوري
03-28-2010, 12:00 AM
Originally Posted by KAding
I disagree. The US has no more chance to 'rob' Afghanistan of its resources than it did to rob Iraq of its oil. Despite spending billions and losing thousands of men in Iraq the US doesn't even have a privileged position in the Iraqi oil business. It is paying market prices and the field is dominated by non-American oil companies!

Just don't see how it would be any different for Afghanistan, never mind the fact that Afghanistan has hardly even started mining this supposed "wealth of mineral resources".
and the white dudes are in south Africa for oil too or diamonds?
it really doesn't matter which lala land news you listen to that has formed or shaped your opinion.. facts are facts and from where we are standing these are the facts, the U.S will stand to lose more troops and I say let 'em!

all the best
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Argamemnon
03-28-2010, 12:26 AM
Originally Posted by KAding
I disagree. Falling levels of violence will lead to a similar situation as in Iraq, there it was agreed between the Iraqi and US government that US forces will entirely leave the country by the end of 2011. I also am not convinced that Afghanistan, one of the poorest and least developed countries on this planet, is such a great economic prize for US capitalism.

More violence will not induce the US to leave Afghanistan. A stronger Afghan government that has authority over its own territory will.
Those who have invaded Afghanistan surely know why they are there. It's extremely illogical to believe that they are there to benefit the Afghan people and nation. There might be other "strategic" reasons you and I are not aware of. Do you really believe they are losing thousands of soldiers and billions of $$$ because they want prosperity and peace in Afghanistan? Hahaha! :D
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Argamemnon
03-28-2010, 12:37 AM
Originally Posted by KAding
I disagree. The US has no more chance to 'rob' Afghanistan of its resources than it did to rob Iraq of its oil. Despite spending billions and losing thousands of men in Iraq the US doesn't even have a privileged position in the Iraqi oil business. It is paying market prices and the field is dominated by non-American oil companies!

Just don't see how it would be any different for Afghanistan, never mind the fact that Afghanistan has hardly even started mining this supposed "wealth of mineral resources".
http://www.alternet.org/world/91123/...28aad82b451f4d
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KAding
03-28-2010, 11:53 AM
Originally Posted by Argamemnon
Those who have invaded Afghanistan surely know why they are there. It's extremely illogical to believe that they are there to benefit the Afghan people and nation. There might be other "strategic" reasons you and I are not aware of. Do you really believe they are losing thousands of soldiers and billions of $$$ because they want prosperity and peace in Afghanistan? Hahaha! :D
No of course not. The US is there because it considers Afghanistan a threat to its national security. The solution to that problem is to set up a capable and strong Afghan state. Whether they will succeed in doing that is another matter.

Nevertheless, it was the state of anarchy and civil war that made it possible for enemies of the US to seek refuge in Afghanistan in the first place. That problem has not been resolved.
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KAding
03-28-2010, 12:12 PM
It is in the US strategic interest that oil keeps flowing at good prices. It is not in the US strategic interest, let alone worth hundreds of billions of tax money and thousands of dead soldiers, to make Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP rich. Three of these aren't even American companies! Iraq has signed a lot of oil contracts, the majority of them with non-US companies. If they are indeed a US client state they aren't very good at it! Perhaps you can explain how that contract with Exxon Mobil is going to recuperate the more than $700 billion spent on the war?

You can say a lot about Saddam, but he had absolutely no problems just selling his oil on the world market. The invasion of Iraq did nothing to help make cheap oil available to the US. It certainly is NOT a cost-effective way to gain access to cheap oil.

Btw, a lot of the information in that article is very much out of date. There is already a new SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) that explicitely states that there will be no permanent US bases in Iraq. The political situation in Iraq makes such bases pretty much impossible.
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Argamemnon
03-28-2010, 09:01 PM
Originally Posted by KAding
No of course not. The US is there because it considers Afghanistan a threat to its national security. The solution to that problem is to set up a capable and strong Afghan state. Whether they will succeed in doing that is another matter.

Nevertheless, it was the state of anarchy and civil war that made it possible for enemies of the US to seek refuge in Afghanistan in the first place. That problem has not been resolved.
Let's assume you are right and that the Taliban was a major threat to the U.S. This still doesn't change the fact that this war led to unimaginable destruction and death and suffering of civilians. It turned major urban concentrations into 'ghost towns'.

Some obvious questions arise: for example, have Cuba and Nicaragua been entitled to set off bombs in Washington, New York and Miami in self-defense against ongoing terrorist attacks? If not, why not? As always, the perpetrators are well-known and act with complete impunity.

What about Palestinians, would you agree that they are entitled, for example, to bomb Dutch, British and American cities to punish those governments for supporting Israel's terror and warcrimes and illegal occupation? If not, why not?

Does only the U.S. have the right to "retaliate" when faced with terrorist attacks? If you take into account the scale of crimes, undoubtedly U.S. state terror causes far more destruction and death and suffering throughout the world. But of course since those people are not Americans but Nicaraguans, Cubans, Chileans, Afghans or Arabs, they don't matter.
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shuraimfan4lyf
03-29-2010, 08:23 AM
Originally Posted by aadil77
[BANANA]alhamdulillah:shade:[/BANANA]

*CIA is on to me:nervous:*
Allahu akbar! :) and the NSA :p
Reply

Argamemnon
03-29-2010, 05:30 PM
Should Haiti Declare a "War on Terrorism" against the U.S?

On December 27, 1993, Emmanuel "Toto" Constant and his FRAPH (Revolutionary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti) death squads began firing on the Haitian shantytown of Cite Soleil. They then circled the town with gasoline and burnt several hundred homes to the ground, forcing some fleeing residents- children included- back into their burning homes at gunpoint.

Two months before this attack, in October, 1993, the U.S. navy vessel, USS Harlan County was dispatched to Haiti carrying 200 troops to ostensibly pave the way for previously ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return to power. As the ship approached the Port-au-Prince wharf, Constant and his men staged a riot and the USS Harlan was unable to dock. As a result, the populist President's scheduled return was aborted.

During Constant's three-year reign of terror, his FRAPH death squads butchered several thousand Haitian civilians. So how is it that one of the world's leading terrorists is free and living in a nice, two-story home in the quiet Laurelton neighborhood of Queens, New York?

After the U.S. military entered Haiti in 1994, Constant, who by then had a criminal subpoena and a warrant for his arrest, escaped an uninspired "search" by U.S. soldiers and slipped into the U.S. on a tourist visa. He was eventually captured and placed in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities for over a year. In 1995, the Haitian government requested Constant's extradition on charges of murder, torture and arson; however the U.S. suspended his deportation, claiming that Haitian courts could not handle the extradition and instead gave Constant a green card to live and work freely in the U.S.

In truth, it appears that the government's change of heart on the extradition began after Constant revealed on the television news magazine "60 Minutes," in December, 1995, that he had been on the CIA payroll during Haiti's military rule (1991-1994). Constant then sued the U.S. government and threatened to reveal other CIA missdeeds in Haiti if he was not released- a strategy that worked in Constant's favor. This list of misdeeds are believed to include CIA involvement in the 1991 coup that forced democratically-elected President Aristide out of the country, and that Constant staged the Port-au-Prince riot in October 1993 at the direction of the CIA to provide the U.S. with a reason to withhold President Aristide from Haiti.

Currently, as cluster bombs and daisy cutters fall on Afghanistan, the United States is a friendly host to terrorist Emmanuel Constant, responsible for the murders of thousands. The government refuses to extradite him to Haiti despite substantial evidence of his involvement in death, arson and torture and despite several requests from the Haitian government. Constant himself states that FRAPH still operates in Haiti, and he plans to return soon. The double standard here is interesting and goes unreported in the mainstream press. The U.S. justifies the Afghanistan war on much the same premise and may even expand that war to several other alleged "terrorist-harboring" countries such as Iraq and Syria. To date, the Haitians have no plans to begin bombing the United States.

http://www.hopedance.org/home/other-news/1010
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KAding
03-29-2010, 05:32 PM
Originally Posted by Argamemnon
Let's assume you are right and that the Taliban was a major threat to the U.S.
Well, the Taliban as such is not a threat to the US, certainly not a major threat. But other organizations that operated in the chaos of Afghanistan and in areas nominally controlled by the Taliban.

This still doesn't change the fact that this war led to unimaginable destruction and death and suffering of civilians. It turned major urban concentrations into 'ghost towns'.
I would dispute that. You need to keep in mind that Afghanistan was already in a serious civil war before the US intervention. There was no real functioning state, there were many different armed factions, there was still active fighting, particularly in the north. There was no peaceful, let alone united Afghanistan before the US intervention. In fact it was in the 1990s that major urban areas like Kabul and Mazar-I-Sharif got besieged and shelled. Millions of people fled the violence in the 1990s.

Since 2002, however, after the Taliban melted away and a new government was installed, millions returned again.

From the UNHCR:
http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/v...age=49e486eb6#
The return of more than 5 million refugees since 2002 has increased the estimated population of Afghanistan by over 20 per cent. In the areas of highest return, as many as one in three people is a returnee. This level of return has put a strain on receiving communities struggling to cope with already limited resources. While reconstruction and development efforts have advanced, security has become more problematic, and Afghanistan's capacity to absorb more returns is limited, without further targeted support.
That five million returned in only 8 years simply isn't compatible with the claim that major urban cities are being turned into 'ghost towns'. In cities like Kabul 25% of the population are in fact returnees! Right now violence in Afghanistan is very much a rural phenomenon, cities are only occasionally involved when car bombs or suicide attacks take place.

Some obvious questions arise: for example, have Cuba and bNicaragua been entitled to set off bombs in Washington, New York and Miami in self-defense against ongoing terrorist attacks? If not, why not? As always, the perpetrators are well-known and act with complete impunity.

What about Palestinians, would you agree that they are entitled, for example, to bomb Dutch, British and American cities to punish those governments for supporting Israel's terror and warcrimes and illegal occupation? If not, why not?

Does only the U.S. have the right to "retaliate" when faced with terrorist attacks? If you take into account the scale of crimes, undoubtedly U.S. state terror causes far more destruction and death and suffering throughout the world. But of course since those people are not Americans but Nicaraguans, Cubans, Chileans, Afghans or Arabs, they don't matter.
I disagree that the US involvement in Afghanistan is causing large scale destruction and death. That assumes there was no large scale destruction and death before the US intervened. The US took sides in an on-going conflict and that has actually improved the situation compared to before. That 5 million out of 7 million refugees returned after 2002. According to the UNHCR another 600,000 to 800,000 are expected to return in the next 3 years. The country has also seen good economic recovery since 2002. Neither of these facts are compatible with the claim that the US intervention caused massive destruction and death. But the war continues, that is correct.
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Argamemnon
03-29-2010, 07:17 PM
Originally Posted by KAding
The US took sides in an on-going conflict and that has actually improved the situation compared to before.
War in Afghanistan – a Severe Violation of the UN Charter

Urgent Appeal to the UN Human Rights Council

On the occasion of the 8th Session of the Human Rights Council in the Palais des Nations in Geneva, an informal meeting on the topic: The Humanitarian Tragedy in Afghanistan – Human Rights violations and Health Effects took place on Wednesday 4 June. Adressing their interested audience, among them many students, the speakers drew a gloomy picture, and called for the international community to act.

thk/Geneva. The speakers on the panel were the Afghan political scientist and Middle East expert, Professor Mohamed Daud Miraki, the pulmonologist and specialist for internal medicine, Dr Daniel Güntert from Switzerland and the former Special Rapporteur of the UN and Professor at the Geneva School of Diplomacy Dr Alfred de Zayas. The panel discussion was headed by Dr Karen Parker, president of the NGO International Educational Development and the Association of Humanitarian Lawyers.

Daud Miraki informed about the present shocking situation in Afghanistan. Miraki, who had just returned from a visit to Afghanistan, drew a disillusioning picture: After seven years of war (longer than World War II), the country is in a desolate condition. Despite all assertions by the military exponents, no successful reconstruction work has been done. Neither was the number of illiterates decreased nor was the number of school-leavers increased. The so-called humanitarian help is for the benefit of international organizations for the greater part, but only to a small extent for the benefit of the people. The number of people going hungry is steadily increasing , fields lie fallow, as the people do not dare to work on their fields in fear of fighting and bombardments by the occupation forces.

However, poppy growing works well, especially in those areas that are under allied control. The Karzai government that Miraki described as a puppet regime dancing to America’s whistle is not rooted in the population and the majority disdain this government. Its influence does not reach beyond the borders of Kabul and it is oriented towards the US and their allies; its influence is waning, however.

The people in Afghanistan deeply despise the methods of the occupation troops. Their brutal violence when pursuing the alleged terrorists is indescribable and represents a severe violation of the Geneva Convention and Human Rights. Arbitrarily, men are taken from their homes kidnapped, then tortured and killed without any reason. The people are tired of this disaster and want the occupying forces to leave as soon as possible.

Professor Miraki also mentioned another severe problem, i.e. the contamination of the environment by the use of new and unknown weapons, especially DU bombs. Due to constant bombing, whole areas have become uninhabitable, as happened in Iraq. People in these areas are suffering from terrible diseases, especially from cancer and genetic deformations. The incidence of cancer deaths and malformations in newborns has risen dramatically. Miraki documented his statements with numerous pictures and statistics. He did not conceal his sympathy with the people’s resistance against American troops and their allies. These actions have nothing to do with terrorism, Dr Miraki claims; instead they are a legitimate armed fight against illegal occupation.

In the second speech, the pulmonologist Dr Daniel Guentert described the effects of uranium weapons on the human organism. He pointed out how radioactive nano-particles, resulting from the use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons, are incorporated in the body and destroy cellular structures there with devastating effects on the human organism.
The effect on human health depends on the dosage, the frequency and the duration of DU exposition. A high dosage contributes to an acute deficiency of the human airways and to death within a few days. Lower dosages cause unspecific symptoms (fatigue, loss of hair, diarrhoea, etc.), a deficiency of the immune system, different inflammatory responses (kidney failure, chronic respiratory infections), chromosomal damage (leads to malformations in newborns) and different forms of cancer (lung cancer, liver cancer, skin cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma etc.). We know that there is a linear dose-effect relation for ionising radiation in a cumulative manner.

The damage, done to human cells by DU particles incorporated into the human body is increased up to thousand folds compared to the damage done by X-rays. After an explosion of DU-ammunition an enormous heat develops, in which DU oxidizes to Uraniumoxide (UO2), which is insoluble; this burning metal has tendency to produce submicron particles like a fine dust with tiny particles of 1-10 μm or even less. Inhalation is the major route of exposure leading to internal contamination with uranium. These tiny particles pass the airways and enter the alveoli; the smaller ones (< 5 μm) penetrate the alveolar membrane and enter the vessels and the cardiovascular system respec¬tively. This means that exposed soldiers or other persons inhale tiny radio¬active particles which are stored in the lung tissue and also in other organs via the cardiovascular system.

Various epidemiological studies on Uranium miners and workers in the nuclear industry have been performed. These studies have shown an excess relative risk of lung cancer and lung fibrosis associated with the exposure to uranium. An increase in different types of cancers (lymphopoietic, brain, kidney, breast, prostate and lung) among uranium process workers could be observed. Investigations from Lauren Moret of Gulf War veterans, who were exposed to DU, showed that they suffered from brain tumours and different brain malfunctions.

The assessment of the carcinogenic risk from DU is complicated by the dual toxicity of uranium, radiological as well as chemical. DU has been shown to induce transformation of different human cells (osteoblast cells) to a carcinogenic phenotype and chromosomal aberrations or genetic damage in blood samples among Gulf War veterans. The main target cells after inhalation of DU are macrophages and epithelial cells. Macrophages are mainly involved in our immune defence system. They produce different mediators for regulation pro- and anti-inflammatory reactions. The inflammatory response is a key component of host defence; but excessive, persistent and pathological inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of diseases and cancers. The facts are frightening and show the devastating effects of these weapons whose use, as Karen Parker has already pointed out several times, is forbidden, since it represents a severe violation of the Geneva Convention.

The last lecture was held by Professor Alfred de Zayas. He focused on the international law aspects of the Afghanistan tragedy. He called to mind that the United Nations had been created in order to establish and maintain peace, not to wage war. The function of the Security Council is to facilitate peace-making, not to impose peace by massive bombing, resulting in the peace of the graveyard. According to article 2(3) of the UN Charter all 192 member States of the United Nations are obliged to settle disputes through peaceful means. Trying to impose “unconditional surrender” on the Taliban raises the spectre of genocide.

We must pause and ask why, for the past seven years, the United Nations have been waging war in Afghanistan. Is such behaviour consistent with the UN charter? Is it for or against the people of Afghanistan? Tens of thousands of civilians have already been killed in the name of the United Nations. The countryside has been polluted by the use of chemical agents and depleted uranium weapons. This is contrary to the Geneva Red Cross Conventions of 1949 and to the imperative of protecting the environment of the planet, which is the common heritage of all mankind.

In the last two decades, it appears that the sacred duty of the Organization has been hijacked for purposes of maintaining the hegemony of the most powerful states. Whereas self-determination is recognized as jus cogens or peremptory international law, the Afghan people are being denied this right. It is time to stop the bombing and the “collateral damage” afflicted on the civilian population. It is time to withdraw all foreign troops, which are perceived by the majority of the Afghan population not as liberators, but rather as occupiers.

Indeed, the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine requires the United Nations to protect the Afghan population from the destruction of their livelihoods and of their environment. Continuing this war is as senseless and criminal as the United States bombing campaigns against North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s. Massive reconstruction assistance will be required to amend the damage already done. We owe it to the people of Afghanistan in the name of human rights and international solidarity.

During the final discussion several participants called for the allocation of these severe violations of human rights to the Human Rights Council, together with the urgent appeal to immediately appoint a Special Rapporteur both for Afghanistan and for Iraq (cf. box). In defiance of the world public the US and their allies can do as they please. The use of DU weapons has repeatedly been called a stealthy genocide. The UN has mechanisms at hand that allow an immediate investigation into these proceedings. We may not allow international law being violated under the pretence of women’s liberation, democracy and war on terror while the community of states remains silent. The meeting set a clear signal that cannot be without effect.•

http://www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=597
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Argamemnon
03-29-2010, 07:36 PM
Can you imagine the outcry, if Muslims bombed American or European cities or rural areas with DU? Can you imagine how they would react, if due to constant bombing, whole areas in the U.S. or in the UK became uninhabitable, as happened in Iraq?

And if people in those areas were suffering from terrible diseases, especially from cancer and genetic deformations? And if due to bombing "tens of thousands" of people died?

In my opinion, it's not far-fetched to assume that the U.S. would retaliate with whatever illegal weapons they have and perhaps with nuclear weapons.
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IlyasHasib38
03-29-2010, 11:04 PM
America needs to pull out. I don't understand what "threat" poor afghan peasants pose to USA.
It should be clear that war in Afghanistan is a distraction, and Obama's eagerness to expand the conflict only proves that mothers of american soldiers, boys and girls who were thrown to face death and humiliation just to distract American society from REAL problems, will see their children die every single day.

If someone really thinks that NATO troops will find Osama bin Laden there, then that person is fooled. People behind this war will only benefit from long conflict. Moreover, even if they find and kill bin Laden, what change will it bring?
They may bomb every muslim in the region and there will always be some other muslims, who will again say "let's live according to Shariah"; maybe in America itself. This means new American bombs, more dead soldiers.

EU/UN/NATO leaders do not care about their citizens' safety, they don't care about dead soldiers, who have families in their countries and who die everyday in Afghanistan. All they care is that they have enough money flow from heroine industry in Afghanistan, which reached its peak after Taliban's retreat.
It is almost 10 years and no progress in any direction AT ALL. Good job, "western civilization", you gave up your ideals of freedom to your marxist anti-human tyrants; but why do you care - its all them evil cave-dwelling muslim terrorists' fault, right?!
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