Afghanistan aid conference signals indefinite foreign occupation

Mike Head

The truth is that the US and its allies, and all those who have collaborated with them, are guilty of war crimes.

The United States and its allies convened a so-called aid conference for Afghanistan in Tokyo last Sunday, where donor countries pledged to provide about $4 billion a year in civil programs beyond 2014, when most foreign combat troops are scheduled to leave the country.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, head of the country’s puppet regime, absurdly declared: “Today’s Tokyo conference will go down in the developing history of Afghanistan as a milestone on the country’s long journey to self-reliance, prosperity, stability and peace.”

The truth is that more than ten years after the October 2001 US-led invasion, which has devastated Afghanistan and its people, the conference was another preparation for an indefinite de facto foreign occupation. The one-day Tokyo gathering, attended by about 70 countries and organisations, was the third recent step taken by the Obama administration to cement Washington’s grip over Afghanistan far beyond the troop “draw down.”

Just a day before the Tokyo meeting, the US nominated the Afghan regime as its 16th “major non-NATO ally” (MNNA), making it formally eligible for military training, loans of equipment, and financing to lease weaponry.

Clinton: Assad's Days Are Numbered

Stephen Lendman

Washington planned regime change [in Syria] over a decade ago. It bears full responsibility for months of violence and thousands of deaths.

At a Tokyo Afghan donor's conference, Hillary Clinton barely stopped short of declaring war. Time is running out to save Syria, she told reporters. Kofi Annan's admission about peace failing is a "wake-up call for everyone." "The sand is running out of the hourglass." "It should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime their days are numbered." "The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a begetting of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there's a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be dangerous not only to the country, but the region."

Ban Ki-moon marches in lockstep. Like Kofi Annan, he's a reliable imperial tool. In a separate Sunday news briefing, he said:

"It is crucial for the Security Council... to pressure the parties to prevent any further escalation of the conflict." "President Assad must understand that things cannot continue as they are. Fundamental change is needed." "Syrian people have suffered too long and too much. I sincerely hope that the member states of the UN Security Council will look into this issue more seriously... sharing the common responsibility by taking collective action as soon as possible."

The Human Rights Council also runs cover for Washington. On July 6, it concluded its 20th regular session. It adopted a resolution on Syria pointing fingers the wrong way. It blamed Assad for Western-generated violence, saying:

"(T)he Council strongly condemns the widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights and the continued extrajudicial killings and prosecution of protestors, human rights defenders and journalists." "The Council reiterates the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for the use of violence and encourages the international community to ensure against impunity."

The Collapsing US Economy and the end of the world

Paul Craig Roberts

What’s the good of nuclear weapons if you can’t use them?” - Bill Kristol

In a recent column, “Can The World Survive Washington’s Hubris,” I promised to examine whether the US economy will collapse before Washington in its pursuit of world hegemony brings us into military confrontation with Russia and China. This is likely to be an ongoing subject on this site, so this column will not be the final word.

Washington has been at war since October, 2001, when President George W. Bush concocted an excuse to order the US invasion of Afghanistan. This war took a back seat when Bush concocted another excuse to order the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a war that went on without significant success for 8 years and has left Iraq in chaos with dozens more killed and wounded every day, a new strong man in place of the illegally executed former strongman, and the likelihood of the ongoing violence becoming civil war.

Upon his election, President Obama foolishly sent more troops to Afghanistan and renewed the intensity of that war, now in its eleventh year, to no successful effect.

These two wars have been expensive. According to estimates by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, when all costs are counted the Iraq invasion cost US taxpayers $3 trillion dollars. Ditto for the Afghan war. In other words, the two gratuitous wars doubled the US public debt. This is the reason there is no money for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the environment, and the social safety net.

Americans got nothing out of the wars, but as the war debt will never be paid off, US citizens and their descendants will have to pay interest on $6,000 billion of war debt in perpetuity.

Not content with these wars, the Bush/Obama regime is conducting military operations in violation of international law in Pakistan, Yemen, and Africa, organized the overthrow by armed conflict of the government in Libya, is currently working to overthrow the Syrian government, and continues to marshall military forces against Iran.

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