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A WAR WITHOUT A CLEAR ENEMY – WAR ON DRUGS

In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared drugs as public enemy number one and introduced a war on drugs called “Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act 1970. The act was to set out to reduce or eliminate the production, supply and consumption of illegal drugs. As Nixon made the war official, it was actually Woodrow Wilson who had set a Narcotics Tax in 1914 and Reagan that left a lasting legacy in 1980s. After a year in the office, Reagan stated: “We’re taking down the surrender flag that has flown over so many drug efforts; we’re running up a battle flag.” With this, his administration introduced mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences resulting in an explosive rise in the American prisons that continues today.

Many consider the 1960s as a colorful time and the heyday of drug use where hippies smoked marijuana, children living in the ghettos pushed heroine and Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor urged the world to try LSD. But in fact some data of surveys done then tells another story. In a 1969 Gallup poll, only 4% of American adults said they had tried marijuana and parents would use scare tactics saying that marijuana would cause acne, blindness and sterility.

In the 1970s drugs became glamorous but were still misunderstood. The1981 book The Truth About Drugs — The Body, Mind and You by Gene Chill and John Duff asserted that cocaine wasn’t addictive and Gallup poll in 1973, 12% said they had tried marijuana.

During these 42 years, the U.S Government has spent $2, 5 trillion dollars fighting the “war on drugs”. Despite the ad campaigns, increased incarceration rates and a crackdown on smuggling, the number of illicit drug users in America has risen over the years and now sits at 19.9 million Americans and a large portion of their supply makes its way into the country through Mexico. The U.S. International Narcotics Control Strategy has reports that 90% of cocaine, for example, reaches the United States through its southern border and drug-related violence in Mexico has gotten so bad that it is now spreading over into states such as Arizona, which has suffered a rash of kidnappings and ransoms as well as Arizona’s 370-mile border with Mexico serves as the gateway for nearly half of all smuggled marijuana.

 

In the beginning…

How did this menace hit the continent? Well it started around 30 years ago when hundreds of thousands of Central Americans immigrated to the US, many illegally. While the generation that immigrated to seek a better life for themselves and their family worked hard, unfortunately many of their children grew up to become gang members involved in different criminal activity.

The Latin Kings are said to be the largest and most organized Hispanic street gang in America. This gang can be dated back to the 1940s in Chicago, Illinois when Puerto Ricans on the north side of the city and the Mexicans on the south side organized themselves into a defense group to protect their communities. Their main intention was to unite “all Latinos” into a group against any oppression and to help each other to overcome racism and prejudice.

The next and most vicious and dangerous of them all is MS”, “Mara”, or “MS-13, a criminal gang that originates from Los Angeles and has spread to Central America, Canada and many parts of the United States. The ethnicities vary from Salvadorans, Hondurans, Guatemalans and Nicaraguans.

 

 

 M18

The third largest is called 18th Street gang also known as M18, Calle 18, Barrio 18, La18 or Mara-18 in Central America. It’s a ruthless, multi-ethnic transitional criminal gang that started in Los Angeles, California and has tens of thousands of members in the city alone. Their membership goes from USA, Central America, South America and as far as to Australia.

FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiated in September 2005 a huge raid against suspected gang members making 660 arrests across the country. As many gang members were deported back to Central and South America, the crime and murders rose rapidly across Latin America. By 2005, homicides in Honduras had risen to nearly 2,500 a year for instance and these countries became a route for drug trafficking quite fast. The major findings in a report by the Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center, which has not been publicly released, states that about 900,000 gang members live “within local communities across the country,” and about 147,000 are in U.S. prisons or jails. Same report also concludes that many states will experience an increased gang membership and crime activity as the gang member’s recruits new members from campuses and rural schools. The gang also uses the internet more sending encrypted emails either to recruit or communicate throughout the U.S. and other countries.

MEXICO – A country ravaged by drug

The exotic landscape draws many tourists every year and the financial district houses the Mexican headquarters of major corporations, Hewlett Packard and IBM including Mexico’s top private schools with heavily armed guards but as the fight against the drug cartels escalates, attackers and cartel members have reached into the most guarded districts.

When the United States Coast Guard shut down the Caribbean cocaine route, the trade shifted to Mexico.

This drug war has gone so far that it is threatening the stability of the countries in central and South America. Around 50,000 have died in Mexico including 3,000 public servants, policemen, soldiers, judges, mayors and dozens of federal officials and the violence is getting worse. The corruption and infiltration of cartels has spread to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and some Caribbean nations as well.

The Guatemalan government has lost large areas of the country and including some of its prison as the government has been infiltrated by the mafia. The countries of Central America’s northern triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) are now among the most violent places on earth and has become more deadlier even than most conventional war zones.

When Texas requested more National Guard protection from the Mexican drug cartels, the Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair stated that the Mexican government had lost control of its own territory. President Felipe Calderón responded by pointing out that his nation shared a border with “the biggest consumer of drugs and the largest supplier of weapons in the world.”

The Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared a war against the drug cartels just day after being sworn into office in 2006 when he sent 6,500 troops to end the execution style killings between the two rival drug gangs. The following year, Calderón’s public security minister Genaro Garcia Luna removed 284 federal police commissioners; all suspected of corruption and replaced them with a hand-selected group of officers who successfully arrested several drug lords. The drug cartels answer to this was vicious violence where 5,300 people were killed in drug-related crimes in 2008 and over 1,000 have died this year.

The boys are searching for something they can be a part of, and the gang offers them all the things they miss in their life. Money, attention, unity and brotherhood but all this has a price. The boy says that the gang becomes their family and that they look after each other. The young boys who are picked up as members starts working as lookouts or guardians (little drug shops) and then they start getting paid for killing people. In Mexico Juarez, a person can get killed for 1000 pesos equal to $85. On the surface it looks like the perfect thing to join but the membership results in two things and that is either in prison or 6 feet under.

The city of Juarez, Mexico is right next to El Paso, Texas and it is the murder capital of the world and so far this year, more than 2,000 people have been murdered in the city.  Despite the efforts of the Mexicans government to tackle the situation, corruption has spread to all levels of the government that they feel like they are losing the fight. Some have even gone so far to state that it is far safer to travel to Afghanistan and Iraq today rather than to cities like Juarez.

The members of the drug cartels has done their part by guaranteeing that their drug reaches the U.S. this was shown when U.S. officials raided a southern California warehouse and discovered a lighted and ventilated tunnel that was 4 feet (1,21 meters) high and 1,800 feet ( 548,6 meters) long crossing into Mexico. 25 tons of Marijuana was seized during the raid. This tunnel was just one of the 75 tunnels along the Mexican border discovered the last 4 years.

In 2011, there were 1,200 National Guard Troops along the Mexican border while there are deployed more than 28,000 U.S. troops along the South Korean border with North Korea. It is being spent millions of dollars to secure this border and not one single unauthorized entry has happened across the Korean border and at the same time, the U.S. government has said that it cannot secure the U.S. border with Mexico as some in the Obama administration believes it would be “a violation of human rights” to put up a fence or to implement extra security on the border while the drug trafficking and violence continues to cross over the border and into the U.S.

Although Obama and his administration won’t admit it, it is in fact a shared war that they all have to take part in. The cocaine and other drugs smuggled and sold by the cartel is bought and used by Americans making them the largest consumers. The relationship is give and take and in return the cartels purchase weapons. The automatic weapons, from AK-47s to M4’s are almost 90% American made and purchased in the US legally. More than 6,700 licensed gun dealers have set up shop within a short drive of the 2,000-mile border, from Texas to San Diego, California. “Straw Buyers” purchase these weapons for traffickers at small gun shops and large gun shows. One Mexican -American once bought more than 100 assault rifles, 9-mm handguns and other high-powered weapons at multiple shops over several months and the cartel paid him $40 per gun.

According to Mexican government officials, as many as 2,000 weapons enter Mexico from the US daily and fuel an arms race between competing Mexican drug cartels and since 1996, a total of 63,000 guns have been smuggled into Mexico. This has leaded to that the Mexican cartels now control large areas of Mexican territory and dozens of municipalities as well as having influence in the politics.

 

Since 2007, a total of 7,882 drug cartel related deaths have occurred. In Iraq, the number of US soldiers killed since 2003, is less. The Mexican government has spent $7 billion to fight the drug cartels. In some cases, the government has sent 6000 soldiers to a province to fight the cartels.

The U.S. Justice Department has stated in the previous months last that the Mexican gangs are the “biggest organized crime threat to the United States.”

In Phoenix, Arizona, homicides have increased with kidnap and execution style killings. In Southern California, Americans have been abducted by armed groups tied to the Tijuana drug trade. In the past month, the town of Juarez, right across the US border had over 250 deaths and President Calderon ordered 5,000 more troops and federal police to the town but it seems like it hasn’t done any difference.

The drug traffickers working for the drug cartels are recruiting young boys and the younger they are, the better. Texas high schools have reported that cartel members have visited their campuses many times in search for young boys. In 2010, a 14 year old was arrested as he had become a head-chopping cartel assassin with no remorse. “I slit their throats,” he stated and his sister helped him to dump the bodies on the freeways. The boy with the nickname “El Ponchis” (The Cloak) was found guilty of torturing and beheading and was sentenced to three years in Mexico.

In September 2011, a sack of heads was found near an Acapulco elementary school and a blogging reporter’s headless corpse was dumped in front of a major thoroughfare in the Texas border town of Nuevo Laredo. Her head, along with headphones and computer equipment, was found in a street planter.

For decades, the Colombians would have the Mexicans transport cocaine for them unless they sent the cocaine directly into the U.S. on planes or speedboats but this came to an end in 1990 when the United States tightened the Colombians main smuggling point in the Caribbean and Florida and cooperated with the Colombian government to fight the cartels. The Colombians then had to rely on the Mexicans who used to smuggle across areas that was difficult to monitor. The Mexicans saw this as an opportunity and bought out every last single competitor and within few years, they gained dominance in the global illicit drug trade.

The number of people murdered in the drug war inside the United States between 2006 and 2010 exceeds the US-troop death toll in the Iraq War since it was launched in 2003, according to a Narco News analysis of FBI crime statistics.

The US drug-war homicide also is nearly three times greater than the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001, the same analysis shows.

Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, had the highest number of violent deaths at 1,206, followed by the beach resort town of Acapulco, with 795. But despite the high numbers of deaths, the Calderon administration takes credit for capturing 22 of 37 most important cartel leaders. Chris Sabatini, policy director for the Americas Society, stated naively that he didn’t expect the violence to spread over into the U.S. He doesn’t care much of it as long as the violence stays south of the border but the facts show that the cartels and violence is consuming the U.S. slowly but surely.

Legalized drugs – Desperate or a clever move?

Presidents from Guatemala and Colombia have raised the possibility of legalization in their countries and the region, with politicians from Costa Rica, Mexico and El Salvador joining the debate and possibility.

Although decriminalization doesn’t guarantee and end to the violence and crime, it could give the government some free space and profit the supporters suggest. This suggestion is supported by many business man as well as the drug war and crimes has caused problems for Latin America’s business and economics by weakening the state institutions, infiltrating judicial systems and the government.

The debate over the legalization was brought by the Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina. When he met with the Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes at the summit, he proposed decriminalizing the drug war in Central America as a way to put an end to the violent cartel activity that is moving through the region leaving many deaths behind them. Funes seemed to like the idea in Guatemala City but by the time he returned home, he had a change of heart. “I am not in agreement with decriminalization of production, trafficking or consumption of drugs,” he said in an attempt to “avoid erroneous interpretations.” This did not come as a surprise as the region is dependent and under a strong influence of the U.S. who is against legalization. To legalize is a bold move and it would most probably not work for the U.S. if the government legalizes the use of marijuana, then that means that people will be able to buy it from other places rather than only from drug dealers leaving other stronger drugs behind. To sell these other drugs will either be easy or hard since people will use more marijuana than other drugs because its legal and drug dealers and cartels will become more violent and aggressive to sell the other drugs as well. For one thing, if marijuana makes up 60 percent of the cartels’ profits, that still leaves another 40 percent, which includes the sale of methamphetamine, cocaine, and brown-powder and black-tar heroin. If marijuana were legalized, the cartels would still make huge profits from the sale of these other drugs as people can buy marijuana from drug dealers who can push stronger drugs on them at the same time.

The positive and negative sides of this issue can be seen in countries and cities that has legalized and liberalized the law are:

Portugal

In 2001, Portugal became the first European country officially to abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs. Those found guilty of possessing small amounts are sent to a panel made up of a psychologist, a social worker and a legal adviser who will advise on appropriate treatment.

Italy

Drug laws were relaxed in 1993 to define very small amounts of drugs (usually less than half a gram) as being for personal use. People found with smaller amounts do not face criminal prosecution, though they are placed on a users’ register.

California

The passing into law of Proposition 215 in November 1996 did not legalise marijuana in California but created a new exemption from criminal penalties for its medical use for those with a doctor’s recommendation, which can be made either in writing or verbally. This November the state will vote on a plan, called Proposition 19, to let adults possess small amounts of marijuana and let local government tax its sale.

The Netherlands

The Dutch classify cannabis in all its forms as a soft drug and the smoking of it, even in public, is not prosecuted. Selling cannabis, although technically illegal, is widely tolerated in coffee shops which, however, must keep to a five gram maximum transaction and sell only to adults. Recent moves have been made to tighten these controls in response to drug tourism.

Switzerland

Zurich’s Platzpitz park needle exchange project in the mid-1980s led to the decision by authorities not to police the park on the grounds that it would focus drug use in one place. The experiment ended after the number of addicts in the park rose from a few hundred in 1987 to more than 20,000 in 1992.

Obama’s failed war

When President Obama head to Colombia last week for the Summit of the Americas, he was going to face some difficult and important questions that no president before him has really had to answer. As the U.S. drug war entered its fourth decade, the leaders of South and Latin America are demanding changes and reforms from the largest importer and consumer of drugs but they failed to come to an agreement as several key leaders failed to show up to the meeting.

 

Since the 1970’s, the U.S. government has pursued a militarized and aggressive policy against illicit substances. Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil have all taken steps towards decriminalization as they have suffered the most from ruthless cartels. Guatemala’s new President, Otto Perez Molina, a former general believes in decriminalizing the narcotic trade saying this would get remove money laundering, smuggling, arms trafficking and corruption not to mention the violence and deaths.

President Obama admitted in January 2004 that the war on drugs was failing:”The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws..We need to rethink how we can operate the drug war”. Since then, he has shown little interest on the war on drugs. He knows that he cannot end the drug war but has urged to focus on increased prevention and treatment over incarcerations after being too much focused on arrests.

 

U.S. authorities say that there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs operating inside the United States and according to federal statistics; these 1 million gang members are responsible for up to 80% of the violent crimes committed in the U.S. each year. A growing percentage of It is Spanish speaking gangs are becoming a dominant key factor in every city in the United States.

 

The White House on their side defenses their war by presenting some facts:

  • Overall drug use in the United States has dropped substantially over the past thirty years. The number of Americans using illicit drugs today is roughly half what it was in the late 70’s.
  • There has been a 46% drop in current cocaine use among young adults over the past five years, and a 68% drop in the rate of people testing positive for cocaine in the workplace since 2006.
  • The potential production capacity for pure cocaine in Colombia has declined from an estimated 700 metric tons of potential cocaine production in 2001 to only 280 metric tons in 2009 —a 60% drop.
  • Legalization remains a non-starter “because research shows that illegal drug use is associated with voluntary treatment admissions, fatal drugged driving accidents, mental illness, and emergency room admissions.”

 

Statistics

When Nixon announced the war on drugs in 1971, the US kept just 0.2% of its population behind bars but today, it incarcerates close to 0.8% of its population – 2.25 million Americans. A further 5 more million are on parole or probation. In total, more than 7 million people in the US are under correctional supervision. If they were all gathered together they could form the 13th biggest state of the union by population. Most of the prisons are overcrowded and private prisons are increasing as it profits unbelievably. Human rights organizations have long condemned the “inhuman exploitation in the United States” where it is said that the prisons house over 2 million – mostly African-American and Hispanics coming as no surprise. For the tycoons who have invested in the private jails, this is a working goldmine for them. Here the prisoners come to work every single day and work full time without any excuse and vacation, and if they aren’t happy about the 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they just get locked up in isolation cells. Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations. Some of the companies are IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling as warm bread.

Corporate stockholders making money off the prisoner’s do everything they can for longer sentences in order to expand their employment rather than rehabilitate the inmates. A study presented by the Progressive Labor Party accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.” An example of this is the prison in Virginia, Lawrenceville where the CCA has an ultra-modern prison where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost “good behavior time” at a rate eight times higher than those in state prisons.

Another helpful thing was the passage of the “three strikes law” (life in prison after being convicted of three felonies). This made the already existing prisons overcrowded and necessary to build 20 more new federal prisons.

According to California Prison Focus, no other society in the world and in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens. From less than 300,000 in 1972, inmates increased to 2 million by the year of 2000, minus those with probation. This is the opposite of what Obama suggested years ago, rehabilitation rather than punishment but it has obviously been failing as notorious gang members who enter prison continues to commit crimes inside and outside when they are released. Other Gang leaders give orders from prison to those on the outside such as selling drugs and committing murder. But it doesn’t stop there, because the drugs reach all the way into the prisons as well. Most of it is smuggled in by visitors or sent in by different techniques or smuggled in and sold by “dirty” prison guards.

The National Survey on Drug Use estimates that almost 23 million Americans are illicit drug users making it 8,9% of its adult population from 2008-2009 when it was only 8%. The number of marijuana users has gone up from 14.4 million in 2007 to 17.4 million in 2010. As illicit drugs, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and some other prescription drugs was used making marijuana the most commonly used drug with more than 17 million users in 2010. This is because marijuana is the most common drug for first-time users, according to the study. Among people who started using drugs in the year before the survey, 62% said they first used marijuana, 26% first used prescription drugs like tranquilizers and stimulants, and 9% first used inhalants.

America is clearly going on the wrong track when it comes to the war on drugs and their imprisonment habits. Instead of focusing on putting drug users behind bars to profit from them, they should focus more on treating this as an illness, not as a crime. People need help to fight the need and urge for drug or to treat the problem that pushes them to use drugs. Those who are guilty are the drug smugglers and sellers who profits from consumers. U.S. should rather target the big fish in the pound and legalizing is not the answer. That would mean going from bad to worse.

 

Hatef Mokhtar

Karzai complaining but no American is listening

Afghanistan was already burning under the heat of the ties which got thawed when some miscreants’ irresponsible marines burnt the holy book hurting the faith of the very Afghan from the base.

The rage took 30 lives of civilians and 6 lives of soldiers but the relations of the bleeding US – Afghan partnership in the war of terrorism is yet to face another severe blow to their already strewn crumbling strategic ties. But the incident which happened in the dawn of 12th March 2012 at 3:am not only killed the innocent people but has also revealed the true insight of the cost of war which Afghanistan and its people have faced and bear in this 10 year long struggle started by US.

Whatever the positive developments which took place in Afghanistan under the leadership of ISAF and International community lead by US has now been blackened by these kinds of ruining incidents which has created major dent in the hearts of Afghans and their trust in the approach taken by these allied forces.

When Quran burning incident happened in the beginning of this 2012 the General of ISAF said that training program will be started which will teach soldiers of ISAF to identify the religious material and its believes in the Afghan society but till now the reality hasn’t changed and has remained the same with even more worsening situations being created by the insane and psychological crippled soldiers working in the intense pressurized environment of the defense services making them vulnerable to lose their sensibilities making them a killing machine which has no sight to identify between good or bad.

Even though there were reports and bases are known to have the facts about Taliban strong holds in the suffered Panjwai area but that doesn’t means that anybody will go on a hunt and will play the game with the lives of innocents. No religion, no culture taught to kill children and women but the world has witnessed always that it is the innocents who have always paid the price of senseless war started in the in the addiction of power but ended in with guilt and shame.

The killing of 16 civilians in Panjwai has made the Americans to rethink on their withdrawal timetable which was planned keeping in thought to provide the necessary stability to the under established Afghan forces.
Staff Sergeant Robert Bales who is believed to be a suspect the one who had committed this heinous massacre of the innocent civilians has been moved to an unidentified location in Kuwait when asked the American lead ISAF authorities said that they don’t have detention facilities in Afghanistan but our question is that when they knew about the situations being faced by the forced in the past during this war then why the authorities didn’t setup the facilities to handle such crisis.

This kind of irresponsible statements and misleading attitude towards the plight of Afghan people shows the casual approach of the concerned authorities.
Another statement made by Michael Waddington, an American military defense lawyer said the decision to remove the suspect was likely a security call.
“His presence in the country would put himself and other service members in jeopardy,” Waddington said.

U.S. authorities showed their Afghan counterparts the video of the surrender to prove that only one perpetrator was involved in the shootings, the official said.
Some Afghan officials and residents in the villages that were attacked have insisted there was more than one shooter. If the disagreement persists, it could deepen the distrust between the two countries.

Panetta, in a series of meetings with troops and Afghan leaders Wednesday, said the U.S. must never lose sight of its mission in the war, despite recent violence including what appeared to be an attempted attack near the runway of a military base where he was about to land.

It wasn’t clear whether it was an attempt to attack the defense chief, whose travel to southern Afghanistan was not made public before he arrived. Panetta was informed of the incident after landing.

“We will not allow individual incidents to undermine our resolve to that mission,” he told about 200 Marines at Camp Leatherneck. “We will be tested we will be challenged, we’ll be challenged by our enemy, we’ll be challenged by ourselves, we’ll be challenged by the hell of war itself. But none of that, none of that, must ever deter us from the mission that we must achieve.”

Karzai who talked and informed about the complete truth of the terror by an eyewitness named Rafiullah who got shot in his leg and was found by AP photographer lying covered in the blanket along with other 15 The tensions between the two countries had appeared to be easing as recently as Friday, when the U.S. and Afghan governments signed a memorandum of understanding about the transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan control – a key step toward an eventual strategic partnership to govern U.S. forces in the country.

But Sunday’s shooting could push that agreement further away.

“This is a fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. Whatever sliver of trust and credibility we might have had following the burnings of the Quran is now gone,” said David Cortright, the director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and an advocate for a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“This may have been the act of a lone, deranged soldier. But the people of Afghanistan will see it for what it was, a wanton massacre of innocent civilians,” Cortright said.

“This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven,” Karzai said in a statement. He said he has repeatedly demanded the U.S. stop killing Afghan civilians. Nevertheless the situation becomes bad to worse now. If the pleas of nation’s President have no effect then how can other authorities are listened by those who believe that they are the boss of all societies. Karzai said he was sending a high-level delegation to investigate and deliver a full report.
Twelve of the dead were from Balandi, said Samad Khan, a farmer who lost all 11 members of his family, including women and children. Khan was away from the village when the incident occurred and returned to find his family members shot and burned. One of his neighbors was also killed, he said. It was unclear how or why the bodies were burned.

“This is an anti-human and anti-Islamic act,” said Khan. “Nobody is allowed in any religion in the world to kill children and women.”
Khan demanded that Karzai punish the American shooter.

“Otherwise we will make a decision,” said Khan. “He should be handed over to us.”
Residents in Alkozai village also demanded that Karzai punish the American or hand him over to the villagers. The four people killed in the village were all from one family, said a female relative who was shouting in anger. She did not give her name because of the conservative nature of local society.

“No Taliban were here. No gun battle was going on,” said the woman. “We don’t know why this foreign soldier came and killed our innocent family members. Either he was drunk or he was enjoying killing civilians.”
The Taliban called the shootings the latest sign that international forces are working against the Afghan people.

“The so-called American peace keepers have once again quenched their thirst with the blood of innocent Afghan civilians in Kandahar province,” the Taliban said in a statement posted on a website used by the insurgent group. U.S. forces have been implicated in other violence in the same area.
Hailing Karzai for justice is of no use as He really has no control over the foreign powers and their missions. He can only request them, plead them but cannot order them to do as needed. Until n unless the US and its allies will not feel their responsibilities in carrying their offensives in the suspected regions of this war ridden country nothing can be done.

Obama administration must think about it and should work in the complete direct coordination not only with their forces and concerned authorities but also with the local population in order to achieve the 100% success rate of their mission’s objectives. However the circumstance has now gone beyond repair when it comes to local strategic partnerships on the ground and dealing with targeted enemy.

Today Afghan society is standing on the juncture where future is favoring the rise of Taliban and demise of those who have helped in getting rid of the former (Taliban) with no proper system which they can trust and count upon for generations to come in near future.
President Barack Obama phoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to express his shock and sadness at the killing and wounding of Afghan civilians. He offered condolences to the grieving families of those killed and to the people of Afghanistan.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama called the attack “tragic and shocking” and not representative of “the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.” He vowed “to get the facts as quickly as possible and to hold accountable anyone responsible.” But what is the use of making phone calls and showing the concern while making commitments which has no real meaning in the execution of the actual justice which may not even see the light of a day.

Americans are good administrators and great strategic planners and based on these natural qualities they should also give proper training to their implementers along with the security forces who operate and handle some of the worst terror scenarios across the world. Americans have always played a responsible role in making this world a better place but still there are many areas where they still need to work on especially on the psychological state of their forces as these the ones who face the worst and operate in the greatest level of stress. If they given proper look out and address to their exiting issues only then the true ground position will get improved and not only they will react in a more positive and lawful manner but also their families will also be made comfortable about their status.

Quran burning – A Fatal Ignorance by the West

Saturday 19th 2012 another day in the Afghan war history and an addition to the decade old Quran burning series; after 9/11 the global viewpoint has changed 360 degree against the various cultures and religions especially Islam which has faced the maximum wrath of entire world.

The launch of war on terror campaign which has claimed thousands of lives and has made millions homeless had never given a sight of peace in the hearts of those who have suffered from it the most. The uncultured and discriminatory behavior of the US armed forces and their ministers has never focused on how to train their forces and officers culturally instead of this they just no how to pull the trigger of their guns.

Thousands have soldiers have been targeted because of these silly mistakes done by few insane and careless. These incidents which has been witnessed from Guantanamo to US and from Iraq to Afghanistan has not only brought down the trust in the respectable American policies and their vision to the world but has also blackened the global image of the USA, US President Barack Obama and Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force had also offered their apologies and issued directives that all coalition forces in Afghanistan will undergo training no later than March 3 so they can identify religious materials and handle them correctly.

These kinds of irresponsible apologies and statements given by such a responsible persons and authorities would not only highlight the ignorant behavior but also lack of cultural knowledge and disrespect towards other religions, cultures and societies.

The scenes from toilets flushing of Qurans to Burning it by Churches / People and Soldiers defines the growing stress and negativism among the US Marines and authorities who from the very start had kept at bay from the cultural training in which they can identify various cultures existing in the environments of their specific operations. It is necessary for a nation who has set great examples and has been playing a leadership in diplomatic and economic / social circles of this world to give at least a basic know-how of the global civilizations and about their beliefs.

The world where these operation of so called ‘War on Terror’ are going on requires special purpose vehicle which can take initiatives to improve the curriculum of the armed forces being sent and operating in these regions like Iraq and Afghanistan. These kinds of incidents of Quran burning or any acts of disrespect widens the fault line which has already deepening between West and the Muslim world even it affects the opinions of those nations which are secular or non-aligned.

These acts increase hatred in already vulnerable and affected corners of the globe hence; heightening the level of risks and uncertainties to the operations and peace efforts which the respective nations are making to bring normalcy and prosperity in the region.

There are three things in Afghanistan which the forces should keep in their mind while doing / committing any such acts which are:

1.) Afghan people top priority and belief is their faith, their religion which is the stream of their life which includes Quran, their customs, and their religions duties.

2.) Afghan people are very patriotic and they can die for their land. The feeling of nationalism is very high.

3.) Afghan families and their society which comes among the most and forms their world. It includes many things such as following of ancient tribal code of hospitality, self respect, dignity, culture, their traditions, their norms which define their persona and their horizons.

The US and International Security Alliance Force must learn from the history and the past experiences of the Communist forces too had did the same mistakes and remained ignorant towards their occupants land, their traditions, their faith and enforced their misconceptions which neither do good nor spread positivity instead it did more harm and damage the repo of the repute.

Because of these irresponsible and ignorance acts Barack Obama who took over the seat of a global leader by storm has lost his legitimacy among the Muslim world in specific where his constant failures and slow implementation of key policies has ruined his image and efforts on which he has came to the power.

He and the world must take lessons from the past instances that if anyone who so ever it was had tried to enforce their system and had shown the ignorance of once civilization, culture and its beliefs then either he had lost his power or in some cases the ruling nation had suffered the huge setbacks to its own missions and purposes.

Earlier the same things were done by Communists in their invaded territories and even in other countries where they used facilitate the government or had influence but what everyone had saw and known to the fact that they never got successful in making their image clean and their system acceptable because they had enforced their own perceptions and had never respected the local faith and traditions, if Obama or his authorities are serious enough to bring peace and prosperity to the disturbed regions like Afghanistan then they must first make their forces trained in moral and ethical values, they must lessen down the kind of command pressures on the existing forces involved in the various operations in these regions like Iraq and Afghanistan which is taking toll on them psychologically.

If US say it promotes and protects human rights and their values then it must first start showing signs of acceptance of traditional beliefs and the values which exist in the lives of people of these so called disturbed countries like Afghanistan. Even if they are criminals or even they are using the good for bad but in order to keep maintain your efforts of peace and global unity with democratic values you need to handle the matter with due respect when it involves something sensitive like Quran.

People accept others systems and shows acceptance to it with their full adherence to its norms when the enforcing party shows its acceptance towards their values and beliefs they have with due respect and care in handling even at times of investigation or proceedings if something unlawful has been found.

Then only one can promise a more stable and neutral community with full acceptance to the global norms otherwise it becomes the much needed boon for the extremists who look out for these kinds of matters and take the advantage of the situation against those who are doing good and want to do good for the people and countries like Afghanistan where just because of foolishness of few irresponsible’s the entire nation has turned against which has so far not only claimed lives of innocents but has also threatened the presence of the personnel’s working on the peace missions.

The Darker Side of Afghan Media

Someone has rightly said that a nation is what its media portrays to the world. The better the media system in that nation, the better would be image of that nation in global perspective. Usually, media is considered to be a platform which provides us support to voice our emotions and sentiments.

However, with the entrance of corporate sector in this noble profession, things have changed a lot. An apt example of media being corrupted due to vested interests can be seen in Afghanistan. Media in this nation has played an extremely negative role in portraying the nation’s image in front of the global community.
When communists lost control over this war-stricken country, media which always remained under their full control and influence took a sigh of relief as it was free to bring out only the truth to the people. However, before too long, the nation again entered another difficult phase wherein the divide in the society and hunger for power pushed the entire nation into the early ages and media which sought a better future after the departure of the communist came directly on the target of the fundamental powers which ruled the nation.
This was a time when all media operations were stripped off and journalism became a toy to those who did not even know the meaning of expression and freedom. Situation became more and bleaker with each passing day. The glimpse of media’s presence only lived in the name of extremist radio which played the only programs according to the propaganda of the extremists from the only surviving radio station at that time. The situation remained grim and very exploitative in nature for the entire fabric of media which should support the nation by all means. Freedom only remained in terms of saying yes to the fundamentalist leaders. Nonetheless, this was also a time when media in Afghanistan got an opportunity to make its presence felt in the ravaged nation where lives were vandalised by discrimination.
When American forces attacked Afghanistan, everyone thought that this would turn out to be another systematic invasion carried out by another power which had earlier supported Afghanistan in its struggle against the communist forces. However, things changed quite differently and what happened next was quite intriguing for the people of this country.
As this war reached its conclusion, the nation got a new leader in the form of Hamid Karzai and entered a new phase in which the much awaited democracy was implemented in the country. The Karzai government started to bring together the shattered society of Afghanistan’s natives who had been fighting with their unwritten destinies for several decades.
When Karzai took charge of his country, there was no development. There was hardly a kilometre of highway which remained in good condition. There was no infrastructure of power, energy, connectivity, education, communication and broadcasting which was destroyed during the civil war and later by the extremist Taliban.
The work done by Karzai in bringing together a nation which was fighting its own people within its own borders is commendable. He has done what no earlier leader in his governance could do for the country.
In such times, it is very sad to see how media has taken up the task to bring out the darkest facts of his governance. Media even blames the government and authorities for indulging in corrupt practices and its large scale acceptability. Instead of playing the role of a responsible pillar of a democracy, all that media is doing is defaming Karzai government through all possible means. Media has never highlighted and took the responsibility to show the world what good and positive things Karzai and his government has done after the fall of Taliban.
Today, what media propagates about him and against his role as a President of Afghanistan is far from reality and is also based on hypocrisy of those who are running a mouth piece of their own tribe or who pays good amount of money to the sold out media of Afghanistan. Whatever activities the media is able to do in Afghanistan and to what level is only due to the good policies of the Karzai government and its vision for a better future of the country.
Now that media has tasted it and is enjoying a good level of freedom of speech, it is crucial that it should also understand what its duties are in this country which is waking to a new dawn. Rather than just being a criticising agency, it should play the pivotal role of finding solution to different issues and communicating with the government.
Afghan media now enjoys the country wide access and coverage through more than 75 channels and establishments. It is time that this fourth pillar of democracy should sit back and think what they are contributing to the growth of this nation. They need to understand that they are just creating a state of confusion among the authorities who have helped them in the past and even now to get free from the clutches of extremists and invaders who had no vision for their community and country.
Afghanistan is standing on the crossroads of prosperity and failure and even a single wrong move is enough to push the entire country and its communities backwards into the dark times. In such crucial times, it is so disheartening to see Afghan media doing coverage of false realities just to support a few power hungry political frenzy people without even caring to know the truth behind their support. The media perhaps does not know or does not want to acknowledge the fact that they have evil backing from the foreign lands who want the country to suffer and surrender to them.
It is true that Karzai government has not been successful on a number of fronts, but then we cannot out rightly forget what they have contributed to the growth of the nation. It was Karzai only who brought Pakistan, Iran and other neighbours to one table to support his country for stabilizing further. How can we forget that he is the only leader in the last 40 years who has served the purpose of Afghan traditions and unity on political and cultural terms?
There is no denial that media is very important and its freedom is crucial for a nation which has struggled to survive with its identity and values. Its existence and presence plays an important role to form a unified society which is aware and relates to all human beings living in the boundaries of a nation. It is the mirror of a nation which if becomes corrupt may destroy the image of a country and also the mind sets of others who see their country as great.
Propaganda is acceptable only to some extent. It cannot cross its limits to defame the authority and governance of a country which is working hard to make its nation prosper. For a healthy nation and stable society, a responsible media and its agencies doing coverage on ethical grounds are needed. The corporates who only work for their own interests cannot bring the much needed change in a new nation like Afghanistan.
We demand that media in this country should stop being a mouth piece for unethical propaganda which just operates to earn money and does not stand for truth and appreciating positive developments taking place in the surroundings.

NYC Mayor follows Bashar al Assad’s footsteps – Occupy Wall Street

 

Since 2008 the world has seen and been witnessing many revolutions which either being dealt with force or sometimes with love but as the year passes and the world stepped in to the second decade of this century the year 2011 started with bang. A wave, a tide which filled the world and common man to stand against the growing drawbacks of capitalism, from last 11 months the world has been witnessing the sea of revolutions across Arab world and their dictators but what no-one had predicted was the movement which started in those countries who live and work the opposite way unlike their middle east partners.

The 99% movement started with a few handfuls by the general public which suffered under the enormous greediness of 1% wealthy humans now stand guarded for their rights and share in the nation’s treasuries which were filled by collecting the money from these taxpayers. These are those people who work day and night to ear the two meals a day and meet their both ends meet. These are those who work as laborers, servants, those who belong to both blue-collar and white-collar segment of employees, those who belongs to lower and middle class of society.

The day global recession started the effected population was not industrialists or corporate or bureaucrats but the common public who faced layoffs, salary cuts, bank account closures, loan cancellations, demotions and many such financial horrors which crippled the entire family survival and their personal existence. This resulted in the agitations and revolt which exposed the entire failure of the agencies and political turmoil across the entire world map particularly in Western economies which are so-called the growth drivers of the world economy at large.

Trillions of dollars of wealth was misused in the name of aid and assistance by the banks and government which was the hard-earned tax payers’ money. Un-accountable loans and non traceable credit transactions’ were noted. Even those banks that have treasuries / bills of trillions of dollars were declared insolvent hence making common people to lose their entire life savings and its availability. Many banks and corporate took the un-wanted advantage of declaring bankruptcy and government bailout packages which too went in an unaccountable manner nevertheless losing the remaining reserves of the poor man’s money.

The wealth must be shared equally and accordingly not just on the basis of one’s profile and desires of investments. Governments are for governance and not for corporate interests. The widening gap of national wealth must be addressed in a viable and sensible manner. The policies are for nations and for people not for only elites who are just one percent and the rest who builds the nation are 99%. Otherwise what’s the use of being democratic and developed if we suffer and others enjoy even after looting a common man’s savings.  What’s the use of giving Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Obama if Mr. President cannot even addressed his own peoples’ demand and cannot silent their grief.

What’s the difference between the NYC Mayor Mr. Michael R. Bloomberg and the Dictators of Arab World who has also been using force against their own people, what kind of justice is this if the democratic and liberal country like America who is role model of democracy and freedom for the world will use force and the mayor of its most wealthiest city reacts like Hitler then invisible creator may know where these innocent people who are just want answers to their sorrows and problems and that too in a peaceful manner not even disturbing an insect in their way.

The respected Government of the United States and the city mayor must answer the world, the world that they always dictated the terms of peace, freedom, non-violence, democracy, liberty and human rights, justice and many such things which even at times of theirs action didn’t follows and curbed, suppressed the public by flexing their muscles on the harmless and empty-handed peaceful citizens just to remove the stains from the false and hollow image of un justified system which made its own people helpless, poor and needy but still the war to fight for demands continues.

World and the respective government especially the respected authorities of the US should now start a process of reforms and remedial policies which would not save them from collapsing but also the rest of the world’s structure.

 

NATO – Deterrent of Unification

Overview:

After World War II the shadow of another possible war now looming over the sky which if comes into picture the enemy at the gates will bang it will full lightening; the name of that shadow was Cold War era which started immediately after the much daunted D-Day. The fear of Soviet invasion was irresistible as after the war more than half of the Europe was under communist control & influence. So the Western European countries of UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands & Luxembourg signed the Treaty of Brussels on 17th March 1948 which is considered as the precursor of NATO.  But in order to counter balance the power of Soviet Union participation of US was necessary, so the talks to form new alliance started immediately after it. These talks resulted into the formation of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on 4th April 1949 with the signing of North Atlantic Treaty in Washington D.C which increased the horizon of a complete military alliance including the members of Treaty of Brussels & new members the US, Canada, Italy, Iceland, Portugal, Norway & Denmark with its headquarters based in Belgium with its Parliament General Assembly which meets at an Annual Session.  But the first few years of its formation were full of crisis as the influence of US was a major concern in the organisation which resulted into French withdrawal from NATO & development of French nuclear deterrent. With the start of Korean War NATO galvanised its military structure under the command of US Marines. However after the formation of Warsaw Pact by the Eastern Bloc, NATO started developing its standardization program for its arsenal systems.   The reason for its non involvement in Falkland War was that since its formation & as its name suggest that NATO always want to limit itself above the Tropic of Cancer so, since the southern hemisphere is not under its operational limit NATO kept itself out of that.

Post Cold War: After the collapse of USSR & the German reunification in 1990 NATO has increased its member states & limits which has now crossed the borders after the Prague summit of 2002 held for the first time in the Eastern Bloc country which enlarged its horizon by including Albania, Croatia, Poland, Latvia, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Mauritania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania has been brought under the NATO umbrella while Ukraine & Georgia were told that they will be included as a prominent members. The inclusion of these states irked Russia who has now threatened NATO of withdrawing from CTE which was signed between RUSSIA & NATO as a peace agreement due to the posting of US anti missile defence system which as per Russia’s concern will trigger a new arms race in the region. The first NATO intervention was in 1995 bombings of Bosnia & Herzegovina and in 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. With the inclusion of Turkey, Spain & Greece NATO now controls almost all the bordering points with Russia.

Post 9/11 Terror Attacks:  caused NATO to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Charter for the first time in its history. The Article says that an attack on any member shall be considered to be an attack on all with invocation of its Article 5 NATO invaded Afghanistan in 2001 & consequently invading Iraq in 2002 under its military force command of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Groups under NATO:

EURO – Atlantic Partnership,

Individual Partnership Action Plans,

Contact Countries

2008-2009 Recession: NATO which has 70% of total world’s defence budget announced huge budget cuts due to the economic meltdown in the majority stake holding countries of US & Western Europe Which accounts 43% by the US alone & the 15% by UK, France & Germany.

Future Enlargement plans of NATO are for Asia to confront China’s rise & the nuclear crisis of North Korea, Iran, Burma, Pakistan & Syria.

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