US soldier discloses how unarmed Afghans were hunted for sport

Jeremy MorlockAn American soldier has pleaded guilty to being part of a “kill team” who deliberately murdered Afghan civilians for sport last year.

Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 23, told a military court he had helped to kill three unarmed Afghans. “The plan was to kill people, sir,” he told an army judge in Fort Lea, near Seattle, after his plea.

The case has caused outraged headlines around the world. In a series of videotaped confessions to investigators, some of which have been broadcast on American television, Morlock detailed how he and other members of his Stryker brigade set up and faked combat situations so that they could kill civilians who posed no threat to them. Four other soldiers are still to come to trial over the incidents. Continue reading US soldier discloses how unarmed Afghans were hunted for sport

American Jews are taking back their power from Israel

???????????(By Philip Weiss) The last month has seen the greatest change in the US relationship with Israel in more than 40 years, maybe since the 1973 war, or possibly even Suez, or the creation of the state. We see President Obama repeatedly faulting the Israeli prime minister’s conduct, politicians boycotting the Israeli p.m.’s speech in Washington, and suggestions in the official pressthat Democrats are going to run against Israel in the next election season. The 1991 fight between George Bush and Yitzhak Shamir that helped elect Bill Clinton and Rabin doesn’t approach what we are seeing today. Yesterday the White House chief of staff got rousing cheers in Washington from J Street, the liberal Zionist group, as he slammed Israel as an occupier: “An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.” Continue reading American Jews are taking back their power from Israel

Somebody educate John Bolton

US-sadam(By Bill Van Auken) The New York Times Thursday published a prominent opinion piece entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”

The author was John R. Bolton, a former State Department official and, for a brief period, US ambassador to the United Nations, under the administration of George W. Bush. He became an influential figure in the administration after serving as a lawyer in the Bush campaign’s successful operation to steal the 2000 election by stopping the vote count in Florida. Continue reading Somebody educate John Bolton

No room for mistrust in exceptional circumstances

In article published earlier this week in the New York Times, former Interior Minister of Afghanistan, Mr. Daudzai raised serious questions over Ashraf Ghani’s judgment and understanding of the Pak-Afghan effort against terror. Coming off as overly skeptical, the former Interior Minister claimed that Pakistan’s goals and objectives are markedly from those of Afghanistan’s, and that Pakistan’s response so far has been largely tactical and self serving. While Mr. Daudzai has had previous experience working with the Pakistani administration since he served as an ambassador, it seems perhaps a little disrespectful to imply that Ashraf Ghani has been unable to read the situation.

Cooperation and trust the only way forward for AF-PAK

Continue reading No room for mistrust in exceptional circumstances

Woes of public sector education


Contrary to repeated multilateral and national commitments to provide education for all, and despite terming education a basic human right, widespread illiteracy still remains a daunting challenge, especially across the developing world. The increasing reliance on the private sector in providing education is considered to be one major hurdle preventing this desired goal of universal education.

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SIM card verification a positive step in fight against terror

Pakistan has ordered mobile phone users to register their Sim cards in a national database which is being compiled as part of efforts to curb terrorism. As this huge logistical enterprise draws to a close, the BBC’s M Ilyas Khan looks at how anti-terror measures are being implemented.

Men gather around a canopy set up by a mobile phone company near a small rural market in Tirkhi Nangyal, a small village about an hour’s drive south-east of the capital Islamabad.

Continue reading SIM card verification a positive step in fight against terror

Islam seems to be missing in Muslims


farkhandaRecently, in Afghanistan a young girl by the name of Farkhunda was burnt alive by a zealot mob who believed that she had torn the pages of the Quran in a holy place. No one checked the facts and the young girl was kicked punched and burnt long will we allow this insanity to overpower our commitment to God. Why would some people act violently in matters like these? Is there no tolerance and compassion even if she was guilty of doing what she was accused of.

Continue reading Islam seems to be missing in Muslims

The minorities of India

(By Praful Bidwai) Has India’s mainstream media decided to pay mere lip service to secularism and liberalism while ignoring daily attacks on them by the extremist Sangh Parivar in which the Bharatiya Janata Party is embedded? Going by the media’s silence on several recent developments, that seems to be the case.

No newspaper noticed the irony of a representative of the Sangh Parivar – the very current that inspired the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi – being invited to the unveiling of his statue in London. This event was organised mainly by the Tories, who never had any love lost for Gandhi, with an eye on the British-Gujarati vote in the coming election. Continue reading The minorities of India

Failing society and its grim consequences

By Kamila Hyat

Even as tragedy surrounds us, what is still more tragic is the fashion in which we allow thinking to be distorted and events twisted to fit specific notions. In many cases these notions are social constructs, built by a media that follows a specific, narrow tunnel of thought and apparently seems hell-bent on ensuring no one looks far beyond its confines.

The fact that the media is essentially united in its perspective, despite the multitude of channels, means that the tunnel it has set up is a constricted one with no windows or peep holes that would allow in light.

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Justice for all… political parties

Justice is justice only when it is applied to all 

In the last few weeks, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has seen the state come down hard on it. With arrests of MQM’s workers, search operations of the MQM headquarters and extracted statements from criminals makes it clear that the MQM is under siege. Let there be no doubt, if there are criminals among the MQM then they should be caught, prosecuted under a free trial and justly sentenced if found guilty.

Continue reading Justice for all… political parties