From the Archive: One year ago, 30 U.S. soldiers – many from SEAL Team 6 – died when a helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, deaths that ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern said, tragically, were in vain. Though the war has faded from view, the killing goes on, 46 U.S. dead in July, eight more last week.
More than a decade after the 9/11 attacks and George W. Bush’s “war on terror,” U.S. justice remains mired in Kafkaesque legal swamps at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram, places where murky theories about “unlawful combatants” mean detainees have no real rights, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
For decades, Amnesty International has been a respected name in the cause of human rights, but its recent hiring of Suzanne Nossel, a longtime U.S. “humanitarian interventionist,” has swung the organization more behind the Afghan War and the use of U.S. military force, Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley write.
Whenever U.S. forces inflict massive civilian casualties, it’s a “mistake” or the fault of the targets because they were “hiding” in populated areas. Yet, when civilian deaths occur in the country of a “designated enemy,” all ambiguity is swept aside and no excuses are accepted, a double standard addressed by John LaForge.
Street protests in Chicago targeted a NATO summit where President Obama was promoting a gradual military withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, protesters challenged the continued need for this expensive alliance designed for the Cold War, reports Lawrence S. Wittner.
The horrible toll of war is not only inflicted on soldiers and their families but on the doctors and nurses who care for the wounded. For the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of the injured are flown to Landstuhl in Germany, where the medical personnel suffer from seeing the consequences of combat, writes Michael Winship.
By definition, “terrorism” applies to attacks on civilians for political ends. But the U.S. government has revised the term to cover any attack on Americans, including soldiers fighting anywhere in the world, a misuse of the concept that is hampering a deal to free a U.S. POW, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
U.S. news correspondents often compete to cover Americans wars with an eye to making a name or building a career. But – when the wars drag on or when problems are just festering – the news media quickly loses interest, ironically setting the stage for more wars, as Danny Schechter writes.
Exclusive: Despite what Official Washington thinks it knows, the real error on Afghan policy after the Soviets left in 1989 was not the abrupt cutoff of U.S. aid but nearly the opposite, continued CIA support for the Islamist mujahedeen and rejection of peace overtures from Moscow, writes Robert Parry.
The secret of President Obama’s strategic agreement with Afghan President Karzai is that U.S. Special Forces will continue raids to kill Taliban leaders who won’t make peace — even as the new accord is sold to the American public as an end game to the long war, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.