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WAR: About that War

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Fred Reed

The web is covered in stink today because of a reporter for the Associated Press, Julie Jacobson, who photographed the death of a Marine whose legs had just been blown off. The kid was Joshua Bernard, a Lance Corporal of 21 years. When the photo appeared, Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense [sic] furiously tried to get the AP to quash the photo.

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AP

A Swedish charity accused American troops Monday of storming through a hospital in central Afghanistan, breaking down doors and tying up staff in a search for militants.

The allegation that soldiers violated the neutrality of a medical facility follows the reported deaths of Afghan civilians in a U.S. airstrike in the country's north last week. An Afghan human rights group said Monday the strike on two hijacked fuel tankers may have killed as many as 70 civilians in Kunduz province.

 

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Counterpunch / John V. Walsh

Obama is an enormous gift to the Empire.  Just as he has silenced most of the single-payer movement, an effort characterized by its superb scholarship exceeded only by its timidity,  Obama has shut down the antiwar movement, completely in thrall as it is to the Democrat Party and Identity Politics.

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CBS News

A portion of American taxpayer dollars slated for development projects in Afghanistan is alleged to end up in the hands of the Taliban, the GlobalPost reports. The United States Agency for International Development is investigating if its funds are being used by contractors to pay the Taliban for protection – from itself.

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AP

The U.S. patrol had a tip that Taliban fighters were lying in ambush, and a Marine had his weapon trained on the trees 70 yards away. "If you see anything move from there, light it up," Cpl. Braxton Russell told him.

Thirty seconds later, a salvo of gunfire and RPGs — rocket-propelled grenades — poured out of the grove. "Casualty! We've got a casualty!" someone shouted. A grenade had hit Lance Cpl. Joshua "Bernie" Bernard in the legs.

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AP

An American aircraft blasted two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing up to 90 people, including insurgents and dozens of civilians who had rushed to the scene to collect fuel, Afghan officials said.

NATO officials initially insisted that there were no civilians in the area when the attack occurred about 2:30 a.m., but alliance chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen later acknowledged some civilians may have died.

 

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Washington Post

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates indicated Thursday that he is open to increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, voicing a shift in his position as the administration ponders a military assessment expected to lead to a formal request for additional forces.

Gates, in a briefing at the Pentagon, also defended the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, rebutting suggestions that it is time to pull out. His remarks came just hours before the Army announced that it will extend the tours of about 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan for between two weeks and two months amid an intensifying Taliban insurgency.

 

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Reuters

On Sept. 2, 2008, U.S. and Iraqi troops smashed in the doors of Iraqi journalist Ibrahim Jassam's home, shouting "freeze" and holding back snarling dogs before they hauled him off into the night in his underwear.

A year later, neither Jassam and his family nor global news agency Reuters, which employed him as a freelance TV cameraman and photographer, have been told exactly why he has been detained for all this time by U.S. military forces in Iraq.

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McClatchy News

The prospect that U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal may ask for as many as 45,000 additional American troops in Afghanistan is fueling growing tension within President Barack Obama's administration over the U.S. commitment to the war there.

On Monday, McChrystal sent his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan to the Pentagon, the U.S. Central Command, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and NATO. Although the assessment didn't include any request for more troops, senior military officials said they expect McChrystal later in September to seek between 21,000 and 45,000 more troops. There currently are 62,000 American troops in Afghanistan.

 

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McClatchy News

With the deaths of 4 U.S. soldiers Tuesday, the U.S.-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan now has lost more troops this year than in all of 2008, and August is on track to be the deadliest month for American troops there since U.S. operations began 8 years ago.

Just as Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is considering asking for  more U.S. troops even as opinion polls show that a majority of Americans think the war in Afghanistan isn't worth the cost.

 

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Reuters

The situation in Afghanistan is grave, but victory can be achieved with a change in strategy, the commander of Western forces in the country said.

No indication whether U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, who commands more than 100,000 U.S. and NATO troops, would ask for still more reinforcements to carry out his new strategy.

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McClatchy News

With the deaths of four U.S. soldiers Tuesday, the U.S.-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan now has lost more troops this year than in all of 2008, and August is on track to be the deadliest month for American troops there since U.S. operations began nearly eight years ago.

The numbers reflect the rising pace of combat in Afghanistan and come at a difficult time, just as Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is considering asking for more U.S. troops even as opinion polls show that a majority of Americans think the war in Afghanistan isn't worth the cost.

 

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arclein

In fact, this fatalistic view is wrong empirically and morally. Empirically, because war clearly stems less from some hard-wired "instinct" than from mutable cultural and environmental conditions; much can be done, and has been done, to reduce the risks it poses. Morally, because the belief that war will never end helps perpetuate it.

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Reuters

The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating along with U.S. public support for the war, Washington's top military officer said as he left open the possibility of another increase in troops.

"I think it is serious and it is deteriorating, and I've said that over the past couple of years -- that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated," said Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
 

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AP

A series of explosions targeting government and commercial buildings struck Baghdad today, killing at least 75 people and wounding more than 300, Iraqi police and medical officials said.   The blasts in the capital followed a string of attacks in Iraq this month that have claimed hundreds of lives and raised concerns about the ability of Iraqi security forces to keep the lid on violence in advance of an American withdrawal.

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