Reply Fri 8 May, 2009 07:20 pm
Ah. I see. I grant you we're in a mess. I can't see us coming out of it too soon, either. I have little faith in warfare as any solution to conflict.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 8 May, 2009 08:13 pm
Not that I'm gonna go and eviscerate my wrists, I'll just hang around, see what else we could possibly dream up to divide us even further.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 12:36 am
Corporal Sean Binnie, 22, from the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who was killed in southern Afghanistan. 7th April 2009 Photograph: MoD/Crown Copyright/PA

0 Replies
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 09:03 am

PAKISTAN: In Mardan and Swabi districts, a humanitarian nightmare is brewing. More than 200,000 people have fled, another 300,000 are on the move or about to leave, according to the UN, adding to another 550,000 people displaced by earlier fighting in the tribal belt and North West Frontier province.

As aid workers rush to erect camps, supplies are limited and tempers quickly fray. Yesterday afternoon a riot briefly erupted in Sheikh Shahzad camp, near Mardan, as angry villagers looted UN supplies. Gilani has appealed for international help with the ballooning humanitarian crisis that affects up to one million people, according to the UN. He promised the army would strive to end the crisis quickly " an outcome that appeared highly unlikely.
Not everyone has escaped. An unknown number of besieged residents remain trapped, unwilling or unable to leave their homes. Hunkered behind thin walls they survive with no electricity, dwindling water supplies and in fear of stray bombs and gunfire.

Those left behind fear what lies ahead. Reached by phone Khaista Bibi, 55, a resident, said she had hardly eaten in two days. "The situation seems impossible."


PAKISTAN ARMY BEGINS BATTLE: Pakistani army troops have entered Taliban-held areas in the northwest of the country, hours after thousands of people were ordered to evacuate the area.

Major General Athar Abbas told Al Jazeera that ground forces had gone in on Sunday after fighter aircraft bombed suspected Taliban positions.

"It has already started from the two directions these [Pakistani] armed forces are operating," he said.

Pakistan's military had earlier appealed for residents in the Swat valley, a region in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) where Taliban fighters are based, to "declare war" on their opponents.

The military's call came as hundreds of thousands of people fled Swat valley.

"The military is making a passionate and fervent appeal to the brave and patriotic citizens of Swat that they should stand up and declare a war against the miscreants who have undermined the peace and stability of the valley," read a military statement passed to Al Jazeera.

'Shoot on sight'

The military earlier lifted a curfew in Swat to allow residents to leave, before reimposing it at 3pm local time (09:00 GMT).

Some residents feared they could be caught in the fighting after the military went back on a decision to extend the period of time residents had to leave, and issued a "shoot on sight" order for anyone found violating the curfew.

About half a million people are believed to be leaving the region, in addition to more than 550,000 people displaced from Swat and nearby areas since August because of the fighting.

"They're leaving in huge numbers," Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Peshawar, the provincial capital, said.

"They're taking what belongings they can, selling their cars for a pittance to get some money. Even respectable families who lived in big houses have become IDPs [internally displaced people] - refugees in their own land."

Chris Lockyear, the head of Doctors Without Borders' Pakistan operations, said: "Hundreds of thousands of people who have moved out of their homes are now seeking shelter and water.

"If they don't get these basic essentials, then their health is going to be seriously at risk," he told Al Jazeera.

"We know there are a number of casualties who desperately need treatment in a very short space of time."

Civilian flight

While the roads out of Swat have been packed with refugees, the military has locked down roads leading into the valley.

"The government wants to ensure that the Taliban cannot re-enforce their positions," Hyder reported.

Helicopters and warplanes targeted Taliban hideouts in Mingora, Swat's main town, and other areas in the valley, Nasir Khan, a military spokesmen in the area, said.

"It's a tough battle. They're operating in small groups. They don't fight a pitched battle, but we're closing in on them, squeezing them and have cut their supply lines," he said.

A statement on the military's website said between 180 to 200 fighters had been killed in the last 24 hours of operations.

In recent days, the military has battled the Taliban in the area, often imposing curfews on residents without notice.

"You can't put a time line on [an attack], but the movement of people [from the area] would clear the path for the military to bring in the boots on the ground," Hyder said.

Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan's prime minister, has called the military's operations against local Taliban members a "war of the country's survival".

While Washington has been enthusiastic about Pakistan's offensive on Taliban positions, the fighting has caused a humanitarian crisis in the NWFP - one that the local government has been unprepared to deal with.

'War of survival'

Despite the huge influx of refugees to IDP camps in nearby Mardan, there has been little evidence of the local government's presence.

Many local government officials are thought to have gone into hiding since the collapse of a recent peace pact between the government and Taliban forces, fearing that they could become targets for the Taliban.

"The only people who have really responded to this crisis have been the international aid agencies and the local population - volunteering in the camps and opening their homes," Hyder reported.

Sitara Ayaz, the minister for social welfare in the NWFP, said: "We are providing [people with] the first basic necessities. Eighty per cent of these people are not in the camps - only 20 per cent are in the camps.

"In all the camps all the UN agencies they are there and the local government are there. Nobody is going on leave, all of the government people are in the field."

There are fears that the fighting may spread closer to the camps, with reports of Taliban fighters being seen in parts of Mardan.


Lostnsearchng --- I'm thinking of you and your family.
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 09:31 am
I was interested to read Xenoche's and Olga's comments here. Yes we are in a mess. No, there doesn't appear to be an easy solution. Hardly surprising, when the world is so unbalanced. I don't believe that the main problem is a physical/logistical one however - i believe it is a mental problem.

Like to hear any thoughts on this
If anyone has any time for it
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 05:55 am
Thank You Endy,
It means a lot.... Smile
Still hoping for 'peace'!!!
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 07:25 am
i believe it is a mental problem.

Aldous Huxley thought that too. It in his Ends and Means and other places.

That we want peace but we don't want what it takes to get it. The argument runs in Hitler types though.

It can be brought down to over-population and the consequent realities of that.
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 07:37 pm

Thanks for putting me onto Huxley. I didn't know much about him, (apart from Brave New World) so i've been doing some research and will post up something soon. (It's fascinating and inspiring)
0 Replies
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 07:45 pm
lostnsearching wrote:

Thank You Endy,
It means a lot.... Smile
Still hoping for 'peace'!!!

Really good to hear from you, my friend
I will be watching and hoping, too
Keep safe

0 Replies
Reply Wed 27 May, 2009 09:45 pm

I have been following the reports from Pakistan by Imran Khan (the retired cricketer) who is sending regular dispatches from the country to Al Jazeera English

- If he can keep himself alive - i really think he is going to become a valuable war correspondent
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 12:54 am
In memory of the young men who have died in Afghanistan recently:

Anthem for Doomed Youth
by Wilfred Owen

What passing bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

0 Replies
Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 07:32 am

i have been trying to write about the wars and all the rest, for about two months now. I can't do it. I'm unable. It is a huge **** up. A disgrace.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:33 pm

Open Letter

You must think I was born yesterday, mate

You must think I'm what I ain't

I know what I hear

And I know what I see

I know who's bugging me

And all the people looking up

You see them as your ready rub

Smoke 'em while you've got 'em, B

You ain't foolin' me

When you go to fight the war

When you're crawling on the floor

When it's you who takes the fall

Maybe you'll be free

Endymion 2009
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 05:13 pm
Surprised Endy!!!!!

So very good to see you're back!

You must think I was born yesterday, mate

You must think I'm what I ain't

I know what I hear

And I know what I see

I know who's bugging me ......

Yes! Yes indeed.

0 Replies
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 04:41 am

Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit, 9/11's Living Monuments

Obama’s Turning Point
by Philip Giraldi,

The cloud of war
By James Carroll

Death by Bananastan
by Jeff Huber

From Women's Lib to Viagra
Gary Younge

0 Replies
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 06:08 am

Decade of Violence

Military Cross hero, Sergeant Michael Lockett, killed in Afghanistan

Honourable men, like Michael Lockett and Mattie Hull and other British troops who have paid the price in Iraq and Afghanistan, will not be forgotten.

None of them can be returned to their families, just as this little girl's family cannot be returned to her.

Just as this British soldier and veteran of Iraq, can not be returned to his mother, who, in her own words said that her son was already dead when he leaped from a rooftop in South London.

When all this suffering and waste of humanity is over, we will look back at these wars with shame.
By 'we', I do not refer just to the war promoters and enablers, the liars in government and the corporate barons. I'm talking about us, the proletariat, the people who have made quite clear the fact that the majority of us believe these wars should end.

So, where is the anti-war movement?

We are now in year 2009. During last month alone (August) 456 Iraqis are known to have died, with 1,739 wounded. The US are still there, in Iraq - with 130,000 troops (that doesn't include contractors) and they have taken recent high casualties. Why are they still there?

Why are British troops still dying in Afghanistan?

For what?

To win?

Win what? For whom, exactly? You don't win freedom by stealing other people's.

There is nothing for us in Afghanistan, but defeat. The trans-Afghanistan pipeline which the US are determined to 'secure' will never be secured by them outside of genocide.

What we must come to terms with, I believe, is the fact that we were never in a position to 'win', because the very reason we went there in the first place was a lie.

We (The British) were told by our government that we were going into Afghanistan to protect the people.

"We're in the south to help and protect the Afghan people to reconstruct their economy and democracy. We would be perfectly happy to leave in three years time without firing one shot.”

These were the words of John Reid Quote (Reuters April 2006 Kabul)

Our government deceived us, just like they deceived us about Iraq.

Their deceit has led us to this point.

I don't want to see any more British troops killed to save the faces of the politicians, who so disastrously and unforgivably, made the wrong choices following the events of 9/11.

I don't want to see any more little girls and their grandmothers driven insane with grief, like the ones in Herat.

I don't want to see any more traumatised soldiers taking their lives.

For a little while I need the space to mourn. Not just for British servicemen who have given up their lives in good faith, but for nearly a decade of death and destruction, A decade that has seen a million Iraqis annihilated, human rights and human lives squandered. Civil rights taken away. The Geneva Conventions ripped up.

After that, it is time to start speaking out against the escalation of aggressive war. It's time to put aside 'sides' " and be nothing more than human. Black, brown or white; red or blue; left or right-wing or somewhere in the centre" those things are secondary for each of us in this lifetime, because first and foremost we must answer to ourselves, to who we are inside. What we are prepared to sacrifice individually, with regards the morality of continuing to allow and support these aggressive wars.

Let's not forget that every one of us bares a responsibility to future generations. Those who will inherit our world and our actions and inactions with it.
With that in mind, I believe there comes a time when destruction transforms into self-destruction. Before we allow those who dictate our foreign policy to drive us over that tipping point, we must speak out. Or there will be many more like Sergeant Michael Lockett MC " and all the other men, women and children who have died in nearly a decade of violence.

Endymion 2009
0 Replies
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 04:38 pm

Know Your Enemy- Yes, but who are We?

The place is a dirt track lit by stars. If you were to look back at night-time Afghanistan from your spaceship, you would see great patches of nothing. If you picked an Afghani up and flew them to the States and dropped them off, they would probably think they had smoked too much opium and fallen down a star encrusted kaleidoscope " belonging to a lizard god with flashing red eyes and a spinning head.

Afghani people (on the whole) do not have television.. They haven't seen any of it. They don't know who Rambo or Bambi are, They've never seen Star Trek, or Star Wars. Many don't even have a radio. They don't have libraries, washing machines, computers or electric guitars. Most are illiterate. Many speak a different language to each other .
They live in a world populated by feuding tribes who are often of different racial background to each other.
They are one of the poorest countries in the world (fourth poorest) and each has a life expectancy of just 44 years.

Crazy isn't it? In a world where you wake up in the morning and flip a switch to get a cup of coffee, then sit down in front of a screen to take in any part of the world, that there are still people living as we (the Celts) were living once, back in the days when the sight of a Roman ship sailing up to our shores could ignite panic.
A time when the sight of bright coloured silk on a roll could still make a woman's knees go weak.

Of course we didn't have an assorted collection of Russian weaponry to fall back on when the Romans rowed into town, but then, the Romans didn't have flying machines, remote controlled from back home, with which to drop bombs on us.

Here, we were farmers facing the Empire. We hadn't learnt guerilla warfare yet (I don't speak for Scotland, in saying that). Our resistance was forced into hiding in the hills... but then, the Romans were not using tracking devices from space, to locate and pinpoint us,

The Romans set about straightening our roads, squaring off our houses, cleaning up our hygiene act and introducing us to global warfare. Most notably, they dangled wealth in front of our half starved faces and asked, “What price, you?”

Any who stood against them and tried to drive them from these shores was a terrorist, to be chased down and killed or (if you were a prize catch, such as Caradoc,) taken back to Rome as a trophy and house pet. They imprisoned us, beat us and tortured us.

Okay, so it was a long time ago, but in today's world, really, how can we fail to see the unfairness of war waged against a country of dirt poor farmers and tribal warriors, who face an occupying force wielding devastating computerized weaponry?
Wasn't there a time when being Goliath wasn't fashionable?

As for the 'terrorist' threat, it is laughable to suggest that the Afghani people are hell bent on destroying anyone outside of their country. How? With what? They don't even have an air-force, Their army isn't much more than a token. What are they going to do, dope us to death? So a terrorist hid in their country. So ******* what? Bin Laden was schooled in Britain and trained in warfare by the Americans. Does that make us all his accomplice?

Afghanistan's people have more to worry about than some distant, paranoid, consumerist society. (And I include Britain in that description, along side the US).
Putting food on the table is a their first concern. (Between wars, at least).

These people should be protected from the modern, industrialised, corporate world of corruption, not bombed into it. Yes, their women suffer " but no more (and even less so) than women in many other countries, for instance, the Congo (where women are afraid to report rape, in case they are facially disfigured as a punishment) or Saudi Arabia (where women still have NO suffrage).
Women have been voting in Afghanistan since the 60s, and there are women MP s " (even if they are treated extremely badly). They should be allowed to develop in their own time, in their own way and with their own voice.

The Afghani people are (as much as any of us are) an innocent people, who have suffered more war than we could ever imagine, as we sit here in our safe (ish) world of internet. They fought off the ******* Russians, for god's sake, (at great cost to them) they deserve at very least, the chance to a fair election and a fair, worldwide appraisal of the necessity for continuing to allow ANY massive, corporate run super power to occupy them.
To photograph their retinas, to ignite them in flames, to steal their precious pipeline.

I mean, who do we imagine we are? The Romans?

Endymion 2009
0 Replies
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 05:04 pm
I agree with you, endy.
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 11:19 am

edgar - that means a lot

Thank you for posting

Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 11:37 am

Just glad to see you back, Endy.

To be brief.

Sun Tzu on the Art of War.

"keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

Blowing you a kiss from Florida
0 Replies

Related Topics

  1. Forums
  2. » Revolution
  3. » Page 62
Copyright © 2023 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/25/2023 at 04:10:10