2004-06-04T20:23:16.843-04:00On Wednesday, five Doctors Without Borders workers were killed in the province of Badghis. The killers rode on motorcycles and Taliban claimed responsibility later in the day. All five employees were part of the Dutch branch of Doctor Without Borders (Artsen Zonder Grenzen). Hélène de Beir was 28 years old and was assigned to be projectcoordinator. She was from Belgium and she was to turn 30
2004-06-01T20:45:46.366-04:00There's been some buzz about Karzai visiting California next week. He'll be at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on June 11th. The after that he'll be at the University of California in Davis.
2004-05-31T00:42:30.526-04:00Pamela Constable, an Afghan Voice favorite, has a new article in the Washington Post today that contends that Karzai is busy trying to broker a backroom deal with the Northern Alliance to preserve his own position and to make sure they--the Northern Alliance warlords--don't create any mayhem. That's old news however; these talks have happened sporadically over the past two years. The most
2004-05-30T23:38:50.083-04:00This is kind of off-topic, but I thought it'd be interesting to note. According to new evidence uncovered by the German military, German soldiers fathered more than 50,000 children during the occupation of Holland during the Second World War. Oh, the Germans stopped counting in 1944 so the number is likely to be a bit higher.
2004-05-30T23:22:26.000-04:00When it comes to counterterrorism, there is often talk about removing "the walls" between the intelligence agencies to that they can coordinate better and share intelligence with each other. Well, perhaps we ought to remove another so-called wall, this one between the CIA and Special Forces. The Christian Science Monitor's Ann Scott Tyson explains.It was "High Noon" in Afghanistan. On the dusty
2004-05-29T23:51:21.993-04:00I don't think anybody noticed or cared but during the second part of last night's Nightline, Ted Koppel read the names of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Even though there were only names and no pictures, it was touching. For the record, 122 American servicemen and women have died in Afghanistan.
2004-05-28T22:28:23.526-04:00Read this quote from a militiaman who just turned over his weapons."We have our freedom, so I won't miss this gun," he said, patting the steel barrel. "They said the army will protect us now. They said the government will find us jobs, but we'll see. I have some land, but there's no water, and now they're cutting down all the poppy. What will happen to men like me, I really don't know."Neither do
2004-05-27T22:44:22.013-04:00On March 16th, the much-praised Washington Bureau of Knight Ridder reported on the "Information Collection Program," or ICP, a "U.S.-funded effort to collect intelligence in Iraq" run by the Iraqi National Congress, which is headed by the infamous Ahmed Chalabi. The story was basically that the INC fed the world-press with ICP-information that was known to be false and dubious. All this
2004-05-26T21:14:25.560-04:00Hamid Karzai has been named the recipient of the 2004 Philadelphia Liberty Medal. Karzai will be following in the footsteps of people like Jimmy Carter, Thurgood Marshall, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel in 1994, Shimon Peres and Colin Powell. I wonder what he'll do with the $100,000 that he will accompanies the medal.
2004-05-24T22:17:36.023-04:00Both the New York Times and the Financial Times (subscription required) are bashing NATO over its fiasco in Afghanistan. As frequent readers of Afghan Voice know, I have criticized NATO over its unwillingless to ensure success in Afghanistan. It's not that NATO has been unable to provide security Afghanistan; it's just that NATO's members are not willing to sacrifice. Allow me to quote the New
2004-05-24T21:32:43.013-04:00We want to wish Dan Darling much success over at the American Enterprise Insitute here in Washington D.C. We have one question for Dan, however. Where will he live and how is he going to pay for it? In a semi-related note, go read Dan's Winds of War and Nathan's Central Asia Briefing, which contains some news from Afghanistan.
2004-05-21T16:46:31.846-04:00A front-page article in the New York Times says that Abu Graib was run by people who had served in Afghanistan and who had brought the interrogation rules that applied there with them to Iraq. The difference is that al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters are not protected by the Geneva Conventions, which does apply—or is supposed to be applied—to prisoners in Iraq. (See the Gonzalez memo [PDF].) But does
2004-05-20T21:56:00.436-04:00Gang violence in Northern Virginia is getting more attention. Finally! Last Sunday night, a high school freshman was shot and killed about a mile from where I live. The week before that, in Alexandria, both hands of a 16-year old were chopped of with a machete. And you thought East L.A. was bad.
2004-05-18T23:44:49.743-04:00What kind of effect is the prisoner-abuse scandal having in Afghanistan? Well, according to Der Spiegel magazine, German military lawyers have advised Special "KSK" Forces not to take any prisoners as to avoid handing them over to the Americans. The magazine quoted military lawyers as there being "too many open questions" about the status of prisoners in the wake of the scandal at Abu Graib. So
2004-05-18T23:18:18.523-04:00The Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) program was started back in October of 2003 with the aim of disarming of Afghanistan's militias. The DDR-program started in Kunduz, a province in the north that borders Uzbekistan, where some Afghans really intended to start a new life. Some others merely wanted to cash in on the incentives provided (usually a good amount of cash and some
2004-05-18T22:29:17.646-04:00Aziz Poonawalla is attending the 12th annual International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine conference in Kyoto, Japan and he's blogging from there. Now usually I don't link to these kinds of things, but that all changed when I found out that he managed to take a picture of an airplane with the images my heroes on it...* * Just some comic relief...
2004-05-14T20:15:58.296-04:00In the past few days, the Human Rights Watch and a former Afghan police colonel have claimed that there is systemic abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan. It doesn't have me worried, though. It is estimated that only about 300 prisoners are held by the U.S. military in Afghanistan. And then there was that article in the New York Times detailing U.S. torture of senior al-Qaeda members. Yes, torture.
2004-05-12T17:23:42.846-04:00Afghan children seem to in need of pens, of all things. I have already mobilized some immediate family to pitch in. You should too.
2004-05-11T17:09:44.246-04:00NPR's Renee Montagne has a nice report on Afghanistan's mullahs. It should be recognized that Islam in general and mullahs specifically have a very permanent role in Afghan society. They can ultimately help establish democracy or they can work to topple it when it doesn't satisfy their demands.
2004-05-10T19:32:39.186-04:00If everything goes according to plan, Afghan Voice will have its very own correspondent* from Afghanistan by September to cover the elections. The correspondent's name will remain anonymous given that he is the father of this blog's author. (Interesting factoid: the correspondent's stay in Afghanistan will be his first since January 1980!) * Full disclosure: the correspondent will be on
2004-05-10T15:05:46.340-04:00NEW BLOGGER: Expect some changes, while I try out some things.
2004-05-07T21:04:14.950-04:00KARZAI ON NPR: For those interested, you can now listen to NPR's interview with Hamid Karzai.
2004-05-05T15:07:38.200-04:00THE LOGIC NEXT STEP: Noted the contempt towards the United Nations and Kofi Annan lately? I have. Some criticism is well-reasoned; other criticism is livid ranting. But if the United Nations is such a horrible and ineffective institution (and in some instances it is, I'm sad to say), wouldn't it make sense to criticize President Bush's decision to leave America's exit strategy/plan to implement
2004-05-03T21:37:08.983-04:00THEY'RE COMING... Big Bird and his friends that is! Apparently, Sesame Street is coming to Afghanistan as part of an education video that will be distributed throughout schools in Afghanistan.
2004-05-03T18:44:19.856-04:00TOP-SECRET PENTAGON SLIDES YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW ABOUT: General John Abizaid held a briefing on Friday from Central Command in Doha, Qatar. And he showed some interesting slides. The first slide breaks down the number of forces currently in Afghanistan.US FORCES: 20,300 OEF COALITION: 2,024 NATO/ISAF: 6,221The reason for the unusually large amount of American soldiers in Afghanistan is