BBC: "At least 69 people have been killed and scores injured in an explosion at a public park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, officials say. The park was crowded with families, some celebrating Easter. Many victims are said to be women and children. Police told the BBC it appeared to be a suicide bomb. A Pakistan Taliban faction said it carried out the attack. Pakistan's president has condemned the blast and the regional government has announced three days of mourning."
Tuesday’s attack killed 141 including many children in grisly battle lasting several hours. The Pakistan military has launched massive air strikes in its remote border region against the Taliban in retaliation for the massacre in a Peshawar school on Tuesday morning that left at least 141 dead, 132 of them children. [more inside]
The Interpreters We Left Behind. "As our troops pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we're abandoning fixers and translators to the dangerous countrymen who view them as traitors. Asylum in the U.S. could be their last hope. If only we'd let them in."
“I’ll tell him how important education is, and that I even want education for your children as well. And I would tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.’” - Malala Yousafzai (previously), shot by the Taliban a year ago, talks to the Daily Show's Jon Stewart about what she would do if a gunman came to shoot her again, as they have promised.
Inside the Nanga Parbat Murders — One of the worst massacres in mountaineering history happened this summer in Pakistan. Will it happen again? from Outside Online, July 30, 2013 (more details in Climbers Recount Murder on Famous Pakistan Peak at National Geographic and Chilling Accounts of Nanga Parbat Massacre at Climbing). One Pakistani Taliban group claimed the attack was retribution for a U.S. drone strike that killed Wali-ur-Rehman on May 29, 2013. After a dangerous investigation by Pakistani Army forces and local police, 20 perpetrators were arrested by August 19, 2013.
August was one of the deadliest months in Afghanistan, for both civilians and soldiers. The death toll was increased by so-called 'green-on-blue' attacks by members of the Afghan National Army and police forces on ISAF and US forces. [more inside]
Details given for friendly audience about tactics, mistakes, funding and even entrepreneurial opportuneship.
"Latino converts to radical Islam have been connected to terrorism cases in this country with increasing frequency — and officials are trying to understand why."
Acid attacks and wife burnings are common in parts of Asia because the victims are the most voiceless in these societies. graphic pictures under the fold
Former US Congressman Charlie Wilson, popularized in the book and movie "Charlie Wilson's War", died at 76. [more inside]
Pakistan in Peril. "The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via]
Right at the Edge. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
Pakistan’s Phantom Border. "Pakistan is often called the most dangerous country on earth. Increasingly, its people would agree. Despite nearly $6 billion in U.S. military aid for the border region since 9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and homegrown terrorist groups have eroded the border with Afghanistan, inflicting a steady toll of suicide bombings. Going where few Westerners dare—from Taliban strongholds to undercover-police headquarters—the author sees what’s tearing the country apart."
Stumbling into chaos: Afghanistan on the brink. A report from the Senlis Council think tank claims that the Taliban has a permanent presence in more than half of Afghan territory and the country is in serious danger of falling back into their hands. The Canadian and British governments disagree.
Mike Hawash pleads guilty to conspiring to provide services to the Taliban and will testify against his friends that attempted to travel to Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. After the previous MeFi threads about Mike here and here, this ought to be quite a suprise for some. No update yet on the Free Mike Hawash site.
american taliban perhaps utah could do some sort of exchange with out of work minders in kandahar? nytimes link
Violence and Repression in Western Afghanistan. "A man who was severely beaten by Ismail Khan's forces described to Human Rights Watch the effect of the repression: 'At any time I feel that I am in danger. When I leave my house, I do not know if I will return. I do not know whether something will happen to me, if there will be some car crash, or that I will be hit in the back of the head.' Another witness talked about how his community's hopes after the hated Taliban regime was ended have been deflated: 'What has changed in Afghanistan? All our hopes are crushed. We are completely disappointed. Look-all the same warlords are in power as before. Fundamentalism has come into power, and every day they strengthen their power.'
The light of liberation and liberty descends upon Afghanistan.
The light of liberation and liberty descends upon Afghanistan.
Pakistani man denies having sex with Taliban American. Not that there's anything wrong with it.
Finally, finally, finally!! Someone in the mainstream media is finally asking some questions. Lots of people (here and abroad) have known about this book for some time. I think it deserves some checking into.
Did Homophobia Corrupt Walker, the American Taliban soldier? Articles argues that there was more to the disturbance in Walker's life than merely reading Malcom X.
An American Taliban Abdul Hamid, age 20, is an American. He is not a naturalized citizen or disaffected Arab-American youth rebelling against Western culture. He is a white, educated-sounding, apparently middle-class American, a convert to Islam who came to Afghanistan six months ago to help the Taliban build a “true Islamic state.” The question is, how long before the movie comes out? Wonder what his parents think...
Berkeley does it again... The Berkeley City Council is considering condemning the US attacks on Afganistan as acts of terrorism. The best quote: "Berkeley has always been an island of sanity in terms of the war madness that has prevailed in this country," Spring said. "The U.S. is now a terrorist. According to the Taliban these are terrorist attacks." (Via the WSJ Opinion Page)
Taliban gets rich from drug trade. So, how long will it be until copping a buzz is considered "aiding and abetting terrorism"? Also, between these charges and the legitimate threats to safety presented by actual terrorism, does the already severely diminished Fourth Amendment really stand a chance?
Biden to propose reconstruction if Afghanistan attacked. Sounds good to me.
We may end up not needing to attack Afghanistan at all. The Taliban seem to be doing a marvelous job of destroying themselves just worrying about what we might do.
Paratroopers? Or cruise missiles? What will America's military response be if the Taliban are determined to be liable? The Russians certainly didn't too well with a conventional military attack on Afghanistan.
Taliban seeks "friendship" with the U.S. Despite their myriad human rights violations and long-standing involvement in a brutal and bloody civil war, the Afghani Taliban government wants to open diplomatic relations with the U.S. Is there really anything to gain by having friendly relations with a nation under UN sanction which treats their own with brutality and has threatened and defied us at every turn?