By Kathy Kelly and Joshua Brollier
June 2, 2010
Islamabad— “Our situation is like a football match. The superpower countries are the players, and we are just the ball to be kicked around.” This sentiment, expressed by a young man from North Waziristan, has been echoed throughout many of our conversations with ordinary people here in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. Most are baffled that the United States, with the largest and most modern military in the world, can’t put a stop to a few thousand militants hiding out in the border regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
May 31st, 2010
Islamabad—Journalists and activists rallied today at the National Press Club in Islamabad to condemn the Israeli assault on the Free Gaza Flotilla which reportedly killed at least 19 people and injured dozens. The convoy of ships, which aimed to deliver over 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza strip, was 65km from the Gaza coast in international waters when it was attacked. According to the Free Gaza Movement’s twitter feed at http://witnessgaza.com/,six of the casualties were Turkish activists and 10 were internationals aboard the Mavi Marmara ship, the flotilla’s lead vessel.
by Kathy Kelly and Josh Brollier
May 24, 2010
Refugee Family Living in Shah Mansoor
Islamabad—Abir Mohammed, a refugee from Bajaur, says that the battles which raged in his home province since 2008 have dramatically changed his life. We met him in a crowded Islamabad café where he politely approached customers, offering to shine their shoes. He isn’t accustomed to shoeshine work. But, he needs to earn as much money as possible before reuniting with family members who await him, near Peshawar, in a tent encampment for displaced people.
May 18, 2010
by Kathy Kelly and Josh Brollier
Islamabad—On May 12th, the day after a U.S. drone strike killed 24 people in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, two men from the area agreed to tell us their perspective as eyewitnesses of previous drone strikes.
Patient Waiting for War’s End
Through the Soviet invasion and occupation, the Afghan civil war and now the United States war and occupation, a young man named Zainullah, around 25 years of age, has seen war his whole life. But you’d never know it by his engaging smile and his relaxed countenance. Zainullah currently lives at a paraplegic center in Hayatabad, Pakistan, a suburb of Peshawar, the capital city of the North-West Frontier Province. He is originally from the Helmand province of Afghanistan, which has been one of the most intense battlegrounds during the “war on terror” launched by the United States in 2001.
by Kathy Kelly and Joshua Brollier
May 14th, 2010
Schoolkids from Swat: Photo taken by G. Simon Harak
In May of 2009, under tremendous pressure from the United States, the Pakistani military began a large-scale military operation in the Swat District of Pakistan to confront militants in the region. The UNHCR said the operation led to one of the largest and fastest displacements it had ever seen. Within ten days, more than two million people fled their homes.
Now, a year later, our small delegation visited the Swat District. After a breathtaking ride through the Hindu Kush mountains, traveling in a pick-up truck from Shah Mansour in the Swabi district, we arrived in Swat’s capital, Saidu Sharif.
By Fran Quigley
For NUVO Newsweekly
April 14, 2010 Drone Wikipedia Commons
The no-frills YouTube video looks like it could be the chronicling of an ambitious science fair project. Inside a spare Indiana warehouse, a young man launches a thin two and a half foot black cylinder into the air, where its propeller blades keep it hovering vertically. Then it moves slowly across the warehouse, past the Purdue University and ROTC signs, before easing its way back into the waiting hands of the same young man who launched it.
March 30, 2010
If the U.S. public looked long and hard into a mirror reflecting the civilian atrocities that have occurred in Afghanistan, over the past ten months, we would see ourselves as people who have collaborated with and paid for war crimes committed against innocent civilians who meant us no harm.
Two reporters, Jerome Starkey (the Times UK), and David Lindorff, (Counterpunch), have persistently drawn attention to U.S. war crimes committed in Afghanistan. Makers of the film “Rethink Afghanistan” have steadily provided updates about the suffering endured by Afghan civilians. Here is a short list of atrocities that have occurred in the months since General McChrystal assumed his post in Afghanistan.
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: 200 S Dearborn
The U.S. war in Afghanistan is over 8 years old and a certified disaster for Afghani civilians and Western troops alike. Despite an anti-war majority in the United States, the Obama administration is now getting set to send tens of thousands more troops and urging already reluctant allies to do the same.
Besides causing more death and destruction, this surge will only reinforce Afghanis’ legitimate hatred of the decades of foreign domination that their country has endured. Billions that might have gone for healthcare, jobs, education and housing both in the U.S. and Afghanistan will once again be sucked into the military budget vortex, with Obama escalating the record military spending of the previous administration.
By Abdul Malik Mujahid
November 3, 2009
It was way past midnight in Chicago when I was awakened by a phone call. “Congratulations,” someone was saying in Hindi, “Indira Gandhi is dead”. It took me a while to properly understand what he was saying. He was an Indian, and I was shocked to hear his celebrative tone on the death of his leader and his assumptions that as a Pakistani I must be happy as well.