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Afghanistan

Earthquake Emphasizes Need For More Help For Afghanistan

An earthquake which has been called the deadliest in two decades hit Afghanistan on June 22. The latest reports indicate that nearly 1000 people have died and the death toll is likely to increase as more reports are received from remote, cut-off areas. It is feared that crucial rescue help needed in the first 24 hours or so may not reach many people buried under rubble. Rescue effort has also been hampered by heavy rain in several areas, according to initial reports. Some reports have already quoted survivors as stating that entire villages have been devastated. In assessing the situation three factors should be considered. Firstly, Afghanistan has already been in the middle of a very serious humanitarian crisis for quite some time.

Afghan Groups Challenge Effort To Seize Billions From Central Bank

New York – Afghan civil society groups are opposing the effort by a group of 9/11 families and other U.S. victims to seize billions of dollars from the Central Bank of Afghanistan to satisfy judgments against the Taliban. In an amicus brief filed yesterday, they argue that the $3.5 billion in blocked assets belongs to the people of Afghanistan and should be used to stabilize the economy and alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe there. At issue are $7.1 billion that the previous government of Afghanistan placed in the New York Federal Reserve. After the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Biden Administration froze the funds. In February, President Biden signed an executive order effectively allocating half for humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and leaving half subject to litigation brought by some of the 9/11 families.

Devastation In Postwar Afghanistan

Following 20 long years (2011-2021) of brutal war on Afghanistan by the U.S.-led military coalition, which ended up delivering the country to the Taliban in August 2021, 23 million Afghans now face a devastating humanitarian crisis: severe and acute hunger, economic bankruptcy, healthcare system collapse and unbearable family indebtedness. People in Afghanistan are today facing a food insecurity and malnutrition crisis of “unparalleled proportions,” Ramiz Alakbarov, deputy special representative for the U.N. secretary general, reported on March 15. “The rapid increase in those experiencing acute hunger – from 14 million in July 2021 to 23 million in March 2022 – has forced households to resort to desperate measures such as skipping meals or taking on unprecedented debt to ensure there is some food on the table at the end of the day.”

Former Top Pentagon Advisor Col. Doug Macgregor On Russia-Ukraine War

Former senior advisor the Secretary of Defense Col. Doug Macgregor joins Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate for a candid, live discussion of the Russia-Ukraine war and his time in the Trump administration when an Afghan withdrawal was sabotaged and conflict with Iran and Syria continued.

Biden’s $7 Billion Afghan Heist

With his Executive Order redefining Afghanistan’s Fiscal Reserve as a slush fund to be disbursed on his whim and with the stroke of his pen, President Biden has taken what may well be the final step in an experiment gone amok. The U.S. first attempted to make Afghanistan into a Western democracy, instead installed a kleptocracy, made Afghans endure 20 years of violence and then left in a whirlwind of chaos. With Biden’s latest move to deprive Afghanistan of its monetary reserves, the nation is likely to come full circle, turning once again into a failed state that, in the absence of economic recovery, will become a breeding ground for extremism and the recruitment of terrorists.

Valentines Day Vigil To Promote Aid To Afghanistan

With the UN reporting that hunger in Afghanistan could kill more civilians than the 20-year Afghanistan war, an international debate is raging over the policy by the U.S. and other governments about getting aid to that country. The president just announced a plan to confiscate $7 Billion in Afghan funds and set aside half of it for families of 9/11 victims and to create a "third-party trust fund" to pay for humanitarian aid with the other half. Critics of the decision, including those who worked for the former U.S.-backed Afghan government, lambasted Biden's decision saying that the currency reserves belong to the Afghan people. With those debates as a background, peace groups and humanitarian groups are coming together in a Valentine's Day Vigil to memorialize the loss of life and to ask that the U.S. change its policies. 

‘Operation Cyclone – Ukraine Edition’ The Real plan?

For almost three months, the Western mainstream media, in a move not dissimilar to its previous assertions that Saddam Hussein had the capability to launch WMDs within 45 minutes, or that Iran was building a nuclear bomb, has repeatedly claimed that Russia is planning an ‘imminent’ invasion of its Western neighbour Ukraine – under the rule of the successive US-EU friendly governments of Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky since the 2014 Euromaidan, a CIA and MI6-orchestrated regime change operation launched in response to then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s November 2013 decision to suspend an EU trade deal in favour of pursuing closer ties with the Russian Federation.

The Terrible Fate Facing The Afghan People

On February 8, 2022, UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) Afghanistan sent out a bleak set of tweets. One of the tweets, which included a photograph of a child lying in a hospital bed with her mother seated beside her, said: “Having recently recovered from acute watery diarrhea, two years old Soria is back in hospital, this time suffering from edema and wasting. Her mother has been by her bedside for the past two weeks anxiously waiting for Soria to recover.” The series of tweets by UNICEF Afghanistan show that Soria is not alone in her suffering. “One in three adolescent girls suffers from anemia” in Afghanistan, with the country struggling with “one of the world’s highest rates of stunting in children under five: 41 percent,” according to UNICEF.

When Cruelty Is The Point – US Decides To Kill More Afghan People

Last summer, after decades of killing Afghans in Afghanistan, the U.S. government decides to move its occupation forces out of that country. The operation was badly prepared, (or intentionally sabotaged by the Pentagon), and ended in chaos. More than 120,000 Afghans, most of them higher educated ones, were also taken abroad. This alone was severely damaging to Afghanistan. The U.S. also froze the $7+ billion reserve funds of the central bank of Afghanistan which have been held in New York. This is the Afghan peoples money. Part of the total funds are reserves that private Afghan banks had deposited with the central bank. It is money that ordinary Afghan people had deposited at those private banks. Now the Biden administration, ignoring the various owners of those funds, has decided to steal all of them.

National Day Of Action: Love To Afghanistan

After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, Peace Action welcomed the withdrawal of troops from the country and an end to the war. Yet when the United States military pulled out of Afghanistan, the Biden administration also responded by choking off assets to Afghan banks and the economy by freezing the reserves of the Afghan Central Bank held in the U.S. They also imposed sanctions on those doing business with Afghanistan and cut aid. Jobs and income disappeared, people cannot afford to buy food and mass starvation is now occurring. The Afghan people are suffering now more than ever. Hunger could kill more now than in two decades of war.

US Sanctions On Afghanistan Could Be Deadlier Than 20 Years Of War

Economic sanctions have, in recent years, become one of the most important tools of U.S. foreign policy. There are currently more than 20 countries subjected to various sanctions from the U.S. government. But if more Americans knew how many innocent civilians actually die as a result of these sanctions, would the worst of them be permitted? We may be about to find out in Afghanistan. Sanctions currently imposed on the country are on track to take the lives of more civilians in the coming year than have been killed by 20 years of warfare. There’s no hiding it any more. Projections through the winter estimate that 22.8 million people will face “high levels of acute food insecurity.”

Biden Covertly Continues US Forever War Against The Afghan People

Contrary to the narrative of U.S. politicians and journalists, the August 2021 withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan did not mark the end of the United States’ so-called “forever war” but rather a shift in U.S. policy—from direct military intervention and occupation to one based on economic sanctions and indirect political subversion. Although the tactics changed, the goal is the same: the accumulation of wealth and power through class warfare against the Afghan people. Just days after Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15th, Washington took measures to turn off the flow of funds to the new government and paralyze the Afghan banking system. The Treasury Department quickly issued a freeze order on nearly $9.5 billion of the Afghan Central Bank’s assets held in U.S. financial institutions, including the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Are Western Countries Determined To Starve The People Of Afghanistan?

On January 11, 2022, the United Nations (UN) Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths appealed to the international community to help raise $4.4 billion for Afghanistan in humanitarian aid, calling this effort, “the largest ever appeal for a single country for humanitarian assistance.” This amount is required “in the hope of shoring up collapsing basic services there,” said the UN. If this appeal is not met, Griffiths said, then “next year [2023] we’ll be asking for $10 billion.” The figure of $10 billion is significant. A few days after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, the US government announced the seizure of $9.5 billion in Afghan assets that were being held in the US banking system. Under pressure from the United States government, the International Monetary Fund also denied Afghanistan access to $455 million of its share of special drawing rights, the international reserve asset that the IMF provides to its member countries to supplement their original reserves.

The Capitalist Death-Drive, Afghan Sanctions, Attack On Medicare

Lee Camp looks at how the capitalist system sits at the heart of the worst problems facing society. In this history lesson, Camp takes you back to the feudal system, to the creation of corporations and currency, to the modern system that’s destroying the lives of the poor today. The ruling class don’t even try to hide the inhumanity that keeps the system running anymore, now that it has become almost impossible to ignore. This leaves it up to popular movements to end the capitalist system and create something new. Then, Camp reports on the police brutality victims who don’t gain as much attention as those murdered by cops, and Marilyn Manson’s #MeToo allegations. Afghanistan’s economy is suffering under US sanctions after the 20-year war on the Afghan people.

Media Forget Afghan Plight As US Sanctions Drive Mass Famine Risk

As the United States withdrew militarily from Afghanistan in August, US TV news interest in the plight of the country’s citizens spiked, often focusing on “the horror awaiting women and girls” (CNN Situation Room, 8/16/21) to argue against withdrawal (FAIR.org, 8/23/21). Four months later, as those same citizens have been plunged into a humanitarian crisis due in no small part to US sanctions, where is the outrage? Experts warned of an impending humanitarian crisis in the wake of the US withdrawal (IRC, 8/20/21). In recent months, the messages have become more urgent. A UN report (10/25/21) warned that “combined shocks of drought, conflict, Covid-19 and an economic crisis in Afghanistan have left more than half the population facing a record level of acute hunger.”
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