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AFGHANISTAN

Aug 16 06:00

Afghanistan: Boris Johnson urges Western nations not to ‘prematurely recognise’ Taliban regime

Boris Johnson has urged other Western nations not to “prematurely recognise” the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, as he denied its sudden takeover is a surprise.

After chairing an emergency meeting, the prime minister said his priority is to get remaining UK nationals – and Afghans who have helped its mission – out of the war-torn country “in the next few days”.

But he also asked foreign capitals to hold back from recognising the likely new Taliban-led government in Kabul until after discussions at the United Nations and Nato this week.

“We don’t want anybody bilaterally recognising the Taliban,” Mr Johnson said, speaking in Downing Street.

“We want a united position amongst all the like-minded, as far as we can get one, so that we do whatever we can to prevent Afghanistan lapsing back into being a breeding ground for terror.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And yet British diplomats have remained in Kabul!

Aug 16 05:58

Taliban admits to possible return of amputations, stonings and executions: ‘It is up to Islamic laws’

Amputations, stonings and executions of criminals could return in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, the organisation has admitted.

As its fighters prepared to assume power in Kabul, the militant Islamist group insisted it would protect the rights of women, the media and diplomats.

But, asked about violent punishment of offenders – a hallmark of brutal Taliban rule in the 1990s – a spokesman said: “That is up to the religious followers and the courts. They will decide about the punishment.”

Asked specifically about the chopping off of hands and feet, stonings and state killings, Suhail Shaheen told the BBC: “I can’t say right now. It is up to the courts and the judges and the laws.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Saudi Arabia has stonings, beheadings, and crucifixion, but you never hear the corporate media talk about that!

Aug 16 05:53

Taliban Take Kabul, U.S.-Backed Afghan Puppet Government Sent Packing

The Taliban today have more control over the various provinces of Afghanistan than before the US invaded in 2001.

Additionally, they now have billions in assets and US weaponry that was given to Afghan's puppet government by the US.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 16 05:46

Afghanistan’s military collapse: Illicit deals and mass desertions

The spectacular collapse of Afghanistan’s military that allowed Taliban fighters to walk into the Afghan capital Sunday despite 20 years of training and billions of dollars in American aid began with a series of deals brokered in rural villages between the militant group and some of the Afghan government’s lowest-ranking officials.

The deals, initially offered early last year, were often described by Afghan officials as cease-fires, but Taliban leaders were in fact offering money in exchange for government forces to hand over their weapons, according to an Afghan officer and a U.S. official.

Over the next year and a half, the meetings advanced to the district level and then rapidly on to provincial capitals, culminating in a breathtaking series of negotiated surrenders by government forces, according to interviews with more than a dozen Afghan officers, police, special operations troops and other soldiers.

Aug 16 05:39

Who is Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban's political bureau head, likely to be next Afghanistan President

The security situation in Afghanistan is changing quickly with evacuations of citizens, embassy staff by their respective countries as the Taliban edges closer to take control over Kabul. President Ashraf Ghani, along with National Security Adviser Hamdullah Muhib and head of the administrative office of President Fazel Mahmood Fazli has left for Tajikistan while some lawmakers have fled to Islamabad.

There is uncertainty about the future of leadership in the country, once again, signaling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan.

While reports say a delegation of Taliban and Afghanistan leaders will leave for Qatar for power transfer talks and who will take over as supreme head, speculations are there that Taliban's political bureau head Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is likely to be the President.

Aug 16 05:33

Passing The Buck: Biden Blames Trump For Taliban Takeover Of Afghanistan

President Joe Biden issued a statement Saturday from the White House announcing his decision to surge U.S. troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban's surging land acquisition and blaming his decision on the policies of former President Donald Trump.

Biden announced in the statement that he would transfer an additional 1,000 troops to Afghanistan to complement the 1,000 troops already in the nation and the 3,000-troop surge he declared last week, a defense official explained. The president announced the move was needed after he inherited a tenuous situation from the previous administration, insisting that Trump had cut a deal with the Taliban in 2019 that put them in a powerful military position. Biden further denounced Trump's decision to roll back American forces stationed in the nation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 16 05:32

Dominic Raab was ON HOLIDAY as Taliban encircled Afghan capital, reports say, while UK Ambassador said to be remaining in Kabul

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was on vacation as the Taliban closed in on Kabul, British media reports. Raab has been forced to wrap up his holidays, as PM Boris Johnson has called an urgent meeting on events in Afghanistan.

Raab flew back to Britain on Sunday, days after it became clear that the situation on the ground in Afghanistan was rapidly evolving and the fall of Kabul was only a matter of time. Taliban militants entered the country’s capital on Sunday, while Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

It was not immediately clear where the top UK diplomat was vacationing while the pro-Western Afghan government effectively fell apart. The Foreign Office refused to disclose the minister’s holiday destination to media.

At the same time, the diplomatic service said that the British envoy in Afghanistan was at his working place and the mission continues to operate.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That means that Britain will recognize the new government.

Aug 16 05:31

As the Taliban closes in and the troops rush to avert disaster, the US is offering its citizens LOANS to flee Afghanistan

The US exit from Afghanistan is beginning to look more and more like 1975’s humiliating fall of Saigon, but American citizens fleeing the country need not fret – Uncle Sam has offered them loans to buy plane tickets.

That’s right, those decapitation-phobics who don’t want to fall into Taliban hands can get a “repatriation” loan from the US State Department. The usual terms and conditions surely apply.

The US Embassy in Kabul dangled the offer last week, when it advised all American citizens in Afghanistan to leave immediately “using available commercial flight options.” It provided a State Department email address for those who needed to apply for airfare financing. The loans were mentioned again when the embassy sent out a similar security alert on Thursday, offering essentially the same advice.

Aug 16 05:29

US failure in Afghanistan signals ‘irreversible erosion’ of American hegemony: Russian senator

A Russian senator says the US failure in Afghanistan goes beyond the failure of individual US presidents and depicts the “irreversible erosion” of American hegemony over the world.

Former US President Donald Trump blames his successor Joe Biden for the US failure in Afghanistan, Aleksey Pushkov wrote in his Telegram channel on Sunday.

He continued, “But Bush Jr., Obama and Trump himself have failed there. Biden only finally formalized the failure with a decision on a complete withdrawal of troops, completing what his predecessors had begun and continued.”

Trump, in a Friday statement, slammed Biden over “the tragic mess in Afghanistan,” adding, “Do you miss me yet?”

Aug 16 05:28

Boris to Recall Parliament as Afghanistan Withdrawal Branded Biggest Blunder ‘Since Suez’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly recall Parliament in order to debate the crisis in Afghanistan, which has been described as the biggest foreign policy blunder “since Suez”.

Following Taliban forces taking over many cities throughout Afghanistan and entering the capital of Kabul on Sunday morning, Boris Johnson will recall parliamentarians from their summer recess for at least one day this week to debate the situation in Afghanistan.

“The Prime Minister is expected to recall Parliament this week to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. The timing is to be confirmed with the Speaker,” a Number 10 Downing Street source told The Guardian.

Aug 16 05:28

Biden Prioritized LGBT Agenda in Afghanistan as Terrorists Took Over

While Afghanistan was falling to Taliban terrorists, the Biden White House prioritized the LGBT agenda in foreign policy, flying the rainbow flag above the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to mark Pride Month.

“The month of June is recognized as (LGBTI) Pride Month,” the embassy posted on Twitter in June. “The United States respects the dignity & equality of LGBTI people & celebrates their contributions to the society. We remain committed to supporting civil rights of minorities, including LGBTI persons.”

Aug 16 05:27

Chaos and killings at Kabul airport: US forces open fire as Afghans mob tarmac

Kabul International Airport has been overwhelmed with scenes of disorder and confusion as panicked Afghan residents and foreign nationals hoping to find seats on the last flights leaving the country have dashed to the airport, with reports of several deaths after US troops were said to have fired in the air to disperse a desperate crowd of thousands.

Witnesses said at least five people were killed at the passenger terminal, where thousands of Afghans gathered in the hopes of catching a flight out of Afghanistan, following a Taliban takeover of the capital.

Witnesses reported seeing bloodied bodies lying on the ground just outside the terminal building on Monday.

American troops were said to have fired shots in the air to disperse thousands of Afghans crowding onto the tarmac.

Aug 16 05:17

Ron Paul on Afghanistan, U.S. House Floor, 03/17/11

Aug 16 05:17

Tucker: It's time to hold our leaders accountable

Aug 16 05:08

Russia has no concerns that Afghanistan will resemble Islamic State — diplomat

Russia does not think that Afghanistan under the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) will turn into a version of the Islamic State, Russia’s Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said on Monday.

"No, I don’t have this concern," he replied to a question on the matter. "I saw in reality the Taliban fighting ISIS (outlawed in Russia) and fighting it viciously unlike the Americans and the whole of NATO, including the Afghan leadership that fled, who did not counter ISIS and only pandered to it. Representatives of the highest Taliban leadership were telling me that they only have this to say to ISIS: there will be no captives."

The presidential envoy also called for monitoring developments in Afghanistan step-by-step because it is easy to stray away from reality "with a rich imagination." "I told you the main thing. The Taliban, as they said and I feel it too that there is a great deal of sincerity here, do not want to repeat their sad destiny for a second time," he concluded.

Aug 16 05:08

5 Dead at Kabul Airport as US Troops Open Fire, Cause Stampede

U.S. forces fired in the air at Kabul’s airport on Monday to prevent hundreds of civilians running onto the tarmac, a U.S. official said.

“The crowd was out of control,” the official told Reuters by phone. “The firing was only done to defuse the chaos.”

Aug 16 05:07

People Are Clinging to Landing Gears of Jets Taking Off (and Falling to Their Deaths) — Anthony Blinken: ‘This Is Not Saigon’

He's right, this is a hundred times worse than Saigon. Saigon held out for another 3 years after the US military withdrew

Aug 16 05:06

‘West has done what it’s done’: UK defence secretary breaks down as he explains some people ‘won’t get back’ from Afghanistan

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was visibly distraught and appeared to choke back tears as he was explaining that his government will likely not be able to evacuate everyone it wants to from Taliban-seized Kabul.

Wallace spoke to LBC on Monday to describe the ongoing effort to fly out holders of British passports and allied Afghan citizens from Kabul International Airport. The Afghan capital was seized on Sunday by Taliban fighters, but the airport remained under control of US forces guarding it for the evacuation effort.

Lead elements of the British Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade are on the ground working with the Americans to ensure that as many people that London wants to bring out of Afghanistan can do so as possible.

Aug 16 05:05

‘Hacked’ account of Afghan embassy in India denounces self-exiled ‘traitor’ president in unprintable tweet

The official Twitter handle of Afghanistan’s embassy in India has blasted the country’s ex-President Ashraf Ghani for ‘effing’ everything up and fleeing the country. The account was reportedly hacked.

Ghani departed Afghanistan on Sunday amid the Taliban’s capture of the capital Kabul, and later stated that he had resigned his office to prevent bloodshed during the transition of power. A tweet posted by the official account of the Afghan embassy in New Delhi blasted the ex-leader, saying Ghani “screwed and f**ked everything up” and “fled with his crooks.”

“We apologize to everyone for serving this fugitive. May Allah punish the traitor,” the message said.

Aug 16 04:51

The Taliban won. Here’s what that could mean

Afghans woke fearfully to both a new and old reality Monday with their country under the control of the Taliban, the Islamic fundamentalist group that ruled Afghanistan with a brutal hand for five years before a U.S.-led invasion ousted it from power in 2001.

The Taliban captured major population centers with breathtaking speed last week, culminating in the fall Sunday of the capital, Kabul, and the ongoing flight of foreign diplomats, including ones from the U.S. There were reports Monday of chaotic scenes — and at least two deaths — at Kabul’s international airport amid the crush of people desperate to flee the country.

The millions of Afghans left behind now face a radically different government, and lifestyle, from the one they have known over the last two decades.

Aug 15 21:45

Taliban Take Kabul, U.S.-Backed Afghan Puppet Government Sent Packing

The Taliban today have more control over the various provinces of Afghanistan than before the US invaded in 2001.

Additionally, they now have billions in assets and US weaponry that was given to Afghan's puppet government by the US.

Aug 15 10:53

President Ashraf Ghani flees Afghanistan as Taliban enters capital Kabul

Taliban insurgents entered the Afghanistan capital Kabul on Sunday and an official said President Ashraf Ghani had left the city for Tajikistan, capping the militants’ lightning push for power.

A senior Afghan interior ministry official said Ghani had left for Tajikistan, while a foreign ministry official said it was not known what country he would land in.

A representative of the Taliban said the group was checking on Ghani’s whereabouts. Some local social media users branded him a “coward” for leaving them in chaos.

Taliban fighters entered the presidential palace and took control of it, two senior Taliban commanders in Kabul said. The Afghan government did not confirm this.

Aug 15 10:52

FLASHBACK: President Biden Said Last Month Taliban Retaking Afghanistan Was "Not Inevitable"

President Biden said last month that the Taliban would not quickly retake the country as U.S. troops leave the country.

Aug 15 07:23

Frenzy of Helicopters Over U.S. Embassy As The Taliban Enters Kabul

Aug 15 07:22

Taliban's Mullah Baradar to be Afghanistan's new President as Ashraf Ghani resigns

In a breaking development, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani will tender his resignation as the government surrendered to the Taliban forces in Kabul on Sunday. According to sources, Taliban negotiators have moved to the Afghan presidential palace to prepare for a 'transfer' of power. Following talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators, an interim government led by the Taliban has been announced. The new Afghanistan government will be reportedly led by top Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. As per sources, Mullah Baradar has entered the presidential palace with the help of Qatar, which has been helping the Taliban and Afghan govt negotiate, and with the green light of the US.

Aug 15 06:36

Escobar: All Roads Lead To The Battle For Kabul

The Taliban’s big splash was to enter Kunduz, which is still not completely subdued. Kunduz is very important strategically. With 370,000 people and quite close to the Tajik border, it’s the main hub of northeast Afghanistan.

Kabul government forces have simply fled. All prisoners were released from local jails. Roads are blocked. That’s significant because Kunduz is at the crossroads of two important corridors – to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. And crucially, it’s also a crossroads of corridors used to export opium and heroin.

Aug 15 06:25

Afghanistan on the brink of Taliban takeover as fighters enter Kabul – live updates

The German foreign ministry has said it is closing the German embassy in Kabul and asking German nationals to leave Afghanistan, Reuters reports.

Aug 15 06:19

Washington Finalizes Agreement With Doha On Housing Thousands Of Afghans - Reports

The US government is working on finalizing an agreement with Qatar to temporarily house thousands of Afghan nationals who worked with the US military, CNN reported on Saturday, citing an informed source.

The source noted that the number of refugees could go up to 8,000. If the deal is sealed, the first group of 1,000-2,000 Afghans may "soon" arrive in Doha.

"We are evaluating all available options. We have no announcements to make on third-country relocation sites for Afghan [Special Immigrant Visas] SIV applicants," a State Department spokesperson told CNN.

Aug 15 06:13

VIDEOS show Taliban fighters lounging in luxurious ex-home of US-backed warlord as pundits blame grift for collapse of Afghan army

The Taliban has shown off a lavish home that belonged to Afghan army marshal and close US ally Abdul Rashid Dostum, prompting pundits to opine that the decadent abode illustrated why the country’s military had wilted so quickly.

In videos resembling an episode of MTV’s iconic house tour program ‘Cribs’, Taliban fighters can be seen lounging in the ostentatious interior of former vice president Dostum’s residence in Mazar-i-Sharif. The northern city was captured by the militants on Saturday, after government forces there allegedly surrendered shortly after fighting broke out.

Aug 15 00:08

Taliban Take to The Skies

The Taliban on Saturday took to the skies with helicopters they seized from the US-backed Afghan puppet government just two or three days ago.

Aug 14 12:56

US Embassy will be evacuated in 72 HOURS and staff are already being rushed to Kabul airport as Taliban closes in: First of 3,000 Marines arrive and refugee crisis begins

The US Embassy in Afghanistan will be evacuated in 72 hours under the protection of the military, and some staffers have already arrived at the Kabul international airport, according to reports.

US defense officials told CBS that it could be just a matter of a couple days before the Taliban seizes control of Kabul, a city with more than four million people.

Before the middle of next week, everyone will have been evacuated from the Embassy except for special agents from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service and top decisionmakers, including the ambassador, CBS reported.

Aug 14 12:54

Scoop: Biden braces for brutal loss

The Biden administration is preparing for the fall of Kabul and a retreat from any U.S. diplomatic presence in Afghanistan — a stunning reversal of expectations.

It's looking increasingly likely to high-ranking aides to President Biden that the U.S. will have no enduring diplomatic presence in Afghanistan beyond Aug. 31 — the date Biden has promised the full troop withdrawal will be complete.
Why it matters: It's a major reversal from even a few weeks ago.

The working assumption in Biden’s inner circle had been that Kabul could hold for the short term, allowing the U.S. to stay diplomatically engaged and help Afghan women secure their rights beyond the U.S. withdrawal.

The 3,000 Marines and soldiers going in to help with the evacuation will also be gone by Aug. 31, we're told.

Aug 14 06:43

Whites Made Up 85% of US Soldiers Who Died in Afghanistan

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) is the war in Afghanistan.

Note: By the way, the very low percentage for Hispanics has me worried that the military might be counting Hispanics different from the way most of the federal government counts Hispanics, rather like lots of police departments are out of sync with the now standard way which is to treat Hispanic ethnicity as overruling race. Maybe the military is only counting as Hispanic people who don’t put down a different race such as white or black?

So that 85% white figure might include some Hispanics who identify as racially white.

Also, men did 97.9% of the dying for the U.S. in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, whites made up 82.6% of the dead American soldiers:

Aug 14 06:43

Hold the Generals Accountable This Time

If, after the horrors of this week in Afghanistan, the 4-Starry-eyed generals responsible for this 20-year March of Folly are not held accountable, there will be still worse to come. None were held accountable for the disasters of Vietnam or Iraq, and now the allegedly smart 4-Star Generals and Admirals are – get this – preparing for war with China and Russia.

"Civilian control" of the military is a fiction when the Departments of Defense and State are headed by windsock politicians like Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton, not to mention President Barack Obama who lacked the spine to stand up to political generals like David Petraeus. This was clear as a bell 12 years ago, when on March 24, 2009, Obama announced his first surge of troops into Afghanistan.

Aug 14 06:42

US says it hopes to see more resistance from Afghan forces

The United States hopes to see more resistance from the Afghan military against the Taliban, the Pentagon says, stressing that government forces in Afghanistan have the upper hand on paper despite their recent losses.

Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Friday that Afghan forces have the tools to push against the ongoing fierce Taliban offensive.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Except that a lot of those Afghan forces see the Taliban as liberators, not invaders.

Aug 14 06:40

Weapon seizures 'massive boon' for Taliban as cities fall

The United States spent billions supplying the Afghan military with the tools to defeat the Taliban, but the rapid capitulation of the armed forces means that weaponry is now fuelling the insurgents' astonishing battlefield successes.

"We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools -- let me emphasise: all the tools," US President Joe Biden said when defending his decision to withdraw American forces and leave the fight to the locals.

But Afghan defence forces have shown little appetite for that fight and, in their tens of thousands, have been laying down their arms -- only for the Taliban to immediately pick them up.

The Taliban's social media is awash with videos of Taliban fighters seizing weapons caches -- the majority supplied by Western powers.

Aug 14 06:38

McConnell calls for US airstrikes to stop Taliban advance

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday that the U.S. should start conducting airstrikes against the Taliban and provide support to Afghan forces to stop the insurgent group from capturing the Afghan capital amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

McConnell said in a statement that “it is not too late to prevent the Taliban from overrunning Kabul. The Administration should move quickly to hammer Taliban advances with air strikes, provide critical support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) defending the capital, and prevent the seemingly imminent fall of the city.”

“If they fail to do so, the security threat to the United States will assuredly grow and the humanitarian cost to innocent Afghans will be catastrophic,” the Kentucky senator warned.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Okay Mitch; here's your rifle...

Aug 14 06:38

Taliban Claim Control Over Capital of Southeastern Paktika Province

The Taliban movement* announced the capture of Sharana, the capital of the southeastern Afghan province of Paktika, on Saturday.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, tweeted that the building of the governor's administration, the police headquarters, and other public facilities were under the control of the Islamist movement. The militants also seized the armaments of government troops who switched sides.

Aug 14 06:30

Russian & Chinese Armies Pledge Deepened Military Cooperation As Afghanistan Unravels

On the heels of the latest joint Russian-Chinese strategic drills, dubbed 'Sibu/Interaction 2021' and held in northwest China's Ningxia region this week, China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe announced Friday that the Chinese and Russian armies have agreed to boost military cooperation in order to ensure "stability" and "protect peace" globally. Crucially this comes at a moment the security situation is unraveling amid lightning fast Taliban advances in Afghanistan as US troops exit.

"The world has been swept by a large-scale pandemic and is witnessing a lot of changes. In these conditions, the armies of China and the Russian Federation will strengthen strategic interaction and comprehensive pragmatic cooperation," Fenghe was quoted as saying by China's foreign ministry.

Aug 14 06:30

Taliban on Track to Capture Afghanistan Capital of Kabul in Just Days

Kabul: The Afghan Taliban tightened their territorial stranglehold around Kabul on Saturday, as refugees from the the terror group's relentless offensive flooded the capital and US Marines returned to oversee emergency evacuations.

With the country's second- and third-largest cities having fallen into Taliban hands, Kabul has effectively become the besieged, last stand for government forces who have offered little or no resistance elsewhere.

Taliban are now camped just 50 kilometres (30 miles) away, leaving the United States and other countries scrambling to airlift their nationals out of Kabul ahead of a feared all-out assault.

US embassy staff were ordered to begin shredding and burning sensitive material, as units from a planned re-deployment of 3,000 American troops started arriving to secure the airport and oversee the evacuations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 14 06:19

A Saigon Moment Looms in Kabul

August 12, 2021. History will register it as the day the Taliban, nearly 20 years after 9/11 and the subsequent toppling of their 1996-2001 reign by American bombing, struck the decisive blow against the central government in Kabul.

In a coordinated blitzkrieg, the Taliban all but captured three crucial hubs: Ghazni and Kandahar in the center, and Herat in the west. They had already captured most of the north. As it stands, the Taliban control 14 (italics mine) provincial capitals and counting.

First thing in the morning, they took Ghazni, which is situated around 140 kilometers from Kabul. The repaved highway is in good condition. Not only are the Taliban moving closer and closer to Kabul: for all practical purposes they now control the nation’s top artery, Highway 1 from Kabul to Kandahar via Ghazni.

That in itself is a strategic game-changer. It will allow the Taliban to encircle and besiege Kabul simultaneously from north and south, in a pincer movement.

Aug 14 01:09

Taliban on Track to Capture Afghanistan Capital of Kabul in Just Days

The US spent over $2 trillion on the war and $143 billion propping up Afghanistan's puppet government over nearly 20 years only to see it all fall in a matter of days with little resistance.

Aug 13 12:15

'Desperate' situation erupts around US embassy to Afhanistan

Aug 13 09:39

Pics/Videos: Taliban captures hundreds of US military vehicles, drones to keep taking over Afghanistan

On Friday, the Taliban seized control of Firoz Koh, the provincial capital of Ghor, Afghanistan, marking at least 17 Afghan provincial capitals the Taliban have seized in the span of a week. Videos and photos have surfaced on social media showing the Taliban taking over swaths of U.S.-donated military equipment that the Taliban is using to continue overtaking Afghanistan.

Taliban forces have reportedly captured around 100 U.S.-made Humvees and MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) as well as U.S. ScanEagle drones left behind and the Kunduz Airport.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You paid for all this!

Aug 13 07:58

US Asks Taliban to ‘Spare’ Its Embassy in Coming Kabul Battle

As Afghanistan continues to fall apart at the seams, the Taliban invasion of Kabul appears imminent, and the odds of the Ghani government handling that attack are not good. This has the US considering what to do about its embassy there.

Early in the day, officials talked openly about the idea that the embassy would be relocated to the Kabul Airport, to make it easier to evacuate outright if the security situation gets any worse. The situation getting worse seems inevitable.

Indeed, the Biden Administration is sending some 3,000 troops to Kabul to facilitate the evacuation, and is planning to remove all but the core staff . The troops are scheduled to arrive within 48 hours.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'm sure the Taliban is willing to forgive and forget here!

Aug 13 07:56

Report: China Prepared to Recognize a Taliban Government if Kabul Falls

The US has been warning the Taliban that if the group takes control of Afghanistan by force, a Taliban government wouldn’t be recognized internationally. But as the Taliban is making rapid gains, regional countries are preparing to accept reality.

According to a report from US News, China is prepared to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan if Kabul falls. The report cited anonymous US and foreign intelligence officials and said new Chinese assessments on the realities on the ground in Afghanistan prompted Beijing to prepare for formal relations with the Taliban.

China has previously pressured the Taliban to pursue a political settlement with the US-backed Afghan government, but now Kabul has little leverage. The Taliban has been overrunning provincial capitals, and the US is predicting Kabul could fall within 90 days.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If Kabul falls?!?

Aug 13 07:43

Pakistani Forces Clash With Afghan Protesters at Border Crossing Shut by Taliban

Pakistani forces clashed on Thursday with hundreds of Afghans stranded on Pakistan's side of a commercially vital border crossing with Afghanistan after its closure by Taliban insurgents, Pakistani security officials said.

Aug 13 06:59

TALIBAN’S UNSTOPPABLE FORCE ROLLS THROUGH AFGHANISTAN, TOWARDS KABUL

The Taliban are riding the high wave, and it’s been happening for nearly three months.

The beginning of August, however, was significant in many ways.

So far, the group has captured 65% of Afghanistan and have taken or threaten to take 11 provincial capitals of the country’s 34.

Faizabad, in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, on August 11th became the ninth capital to be seized by the Taliban.

Since August 6th, the group has also captured Faizabad, Farah, Pul-e-Khumri, Sar-e-Pul, Sheberghan, Aybak, Kunduz, Taluqan and Zaranj.

Fighting continues to be extremely intense in Kandahar city.

The Afghan Armed Forces are providing a semblance of resistance in some parts, especially in the besieged northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. President Ashraf Ghani visited the city to rally the troops, it appears to have had some result, but it all seems too little too late.

Aug 13 06:21

Afghanistan: Major cities fall to Taliban amid heavy fighting

The Taliban seized the cities of Ghazni and Herat on Thursday, in the most dramatic string of captures since launching their offensive.

Taking the strategically important Ghazni increases the likelihood the Taliban could take the capital Kabul.

There is also heavy fighting in the second largest city, Kandahar.

The insurgents have moved at speed, seizing new territories almost daily, as US and other foreign troops withdraw after 20 years of military operations.

The city of Qala-I-Naw also fell to the Taliban, who now control about a third of the country's regional cities and most of northern Afghanistan. The group's rapid advance has dealt a crushing blow to government security forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 13 06:00

Taliban close to capturing US Embassy; 3,000 troops deploying to evacuate it

On Thursday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed two U.S. Marine Corps infantry battalions and one U.S. Army infantry battalion— a force of about 3,000 U.S. troops — will deploy to provide security as the U.S. Embassy in Kabul cuts its civilian personnel amid rapid Taliban territorial gains across Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 13 05:44

Official: Canada sending forces to close Afghan embassy

Canadian special forces will deploy to Afghanistan where staff in Canada's embassy in Kabul will be evacuated before it closes, a source familiar with the plan told The Associated Press.

The official, who was not authorized to talk publicly about the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, did not say how many special forces would be sent.

Just weeks before the U.S. is scheduled to end its war in Afghanistan, the Biden administration is also rushing 3,000 fresh troops to the Kabul airport to help with a partial evacuation of the U.S. Embassy.

Aug 13 05:15

Afghanistan faces CIVIL WAR as rival factions & Al-Qaeda seek foothold in country, UK defence secretary says

Internal conflicts in Afghanistan could lead to civil war and create a breeding ground for terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has warned, as a Taliban offensive closes in on Kabul.

Wallace told the BBC on Friday that the West needed to learn from history that competing interests have always undermined the idea of Afghan unity.

“Britain found that out in the 1830s, that it is a country led by warlords and led by different provinces and tribes, and you end up, if you’re not very careful, in a civil war – and I think we are heading towards a civil war,” the defen?e secretary cautioned.

While the Taliban’s extensive territorial gains create the impression that a single entity is consolidating power in Afghanistan, the reality is that the militant group is made up of people with competing loyalties, according to Wallace. The Taliban “break down underneath the title into all sorts of different interests,” he says.

Aug 13 05:10

The US Is Bombing Its Equipment That Has Been Captured by the Taliban

As the Taliban is rapidly advancing in Afghanistan, the US has stepped up airstrikes in the country. A Pentagon official told NBC News that the US is conducting one to five airstrikes a day in Afghanistan. Most of the strikes are targeting equipment the Taliban has seized from the Afghan military, including equipment and weapons provided by the US.

US airstrikes have destroyed tanks, MRAPs, humvees, and D30 artillery pieces. US airstrikes have also killed civilians. In one instance in Lashkar Gah, the US bombed a health clinic and a school, killing 20.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You paid for all those tanks, MRAPs, humvees, and D30 artillery pieces, and now you get to pay for the bombs to blow them up!

Aug 13 05:03

Germany Will Withhold Aid from Afghanistan If the Taliban Implements Sharia Law

Germany’s foreign minister said Thursday that his country will stop giving foreign aid to Afghanistan if the Taliban takes over the country and implements “Sharia Law.”

“We provide 430 million euros [$505 million] every year, we will not give another cent if the Taliban takes over the country and introduces Sharia law,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, according to Reuters.

Maas’ comments suggest Germany could keep giving Afghanistan aid even if a future government is Taliban-controlled, as long as the group doesn’t impose strict laws as it had in the past. The Taliban’s harsh treatment of women is one of the main talking points for hawks who argue the US should continue the war. Even George W. Bush claimed he cared about Afghan women when he spoke out against President Biden’s withdrawal.

Aug 12 12:05

US embassy calls on all American citizens to leave Afghanistan IMMEDIATELY, right after Taliban claims to capture 2nd largest city

Amid the whirlwind advance of the Taliban, the US embassy in Kabul has urged all American citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately, offering to loan them cash for plane tickets if necessary.

Aug 12 11:52

It’s Going To Be Really Awkward If The Taliban Takes Kabul By September 11th

Taliban literally partying in captured palaces as Afghan forces drive away from front lines as fast as their US-supplied gear will allow...

Aug 12 11:14

Taliban captures key cities Herat and Ghazni, leaving Kabul increasingly isolated

The Taliban captured two strategic cities on Thursday, leaving the Afghan capital of Kabul increasingly beleaguered and cut off from the rest of the country.

The city of Herat, Afghanistan's third-largest city and a major urban center in western Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban on Thursday evening local time, with the militant group taking control of the governor's office and Herat police headquarters, according to Afghan officials.

That morning, the city of Ghazni, a provincial capital on the road to Kabul, also fell to the militant group after "long and intense fighting," according to Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of Ghazni provincial council.

A Taliban spokesman tweeted Thursday that the city had been seized, including the governor's office, police headquarters and prison. CNN cannot independently verify the Taliban's claims.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier." -- Rudyard Kipling.

Aug 12 10:39

US embassy calls on all American citizens to leave Afghanistan IMMEDIATELY, right after Taliban claims to capture 2nd largest city

Amid the whirlwind advance of the Taliban, the US embassy in Kabul has urged all American citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately, offering to loan them cash for plane tickets if necessary.

“The US Embassy urges US citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options,” read a security alert from the diplomatic outpost on Thursday. The embassy offered loans to Americans unable to afford plane tickets home, and assistance with immigrant visas for foreign family members.

The alert went out shortly after the Taliban claimed to have captured Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city. Earlier, they claimed victory in the city of Ghazni, 150km (95 miles) from the capital. Ghazni is the 10th Afghan provincial capital to fall to the Taliban since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan began in May.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No way to sugar-coat this; the US lost this one. And the Taliban didn't need F-15s and nukes!

Aug 11 13:35

Taliban Rapidly Taking Over Afghanistan Amid U.S. Surrender

I guess you don't need "F-15s and nuclear weapons" to take on the US government after all!

Aug 11 08:30

Much of Northern Afghanistan Falls to the Taliban

The Afghan government had been losing ground to the Taliban for weeks, and provincial capitals were starting to be contested. This weekend, the floodgates opened and the Taliban rapidly overran a number of key cities, seizing no less than five provincial capitals.

With the military pushing into Helmand to try to chase the Taliban out of Lashkar Gah, a provincial capital they took over a week ago, the Taliban forces in the north seized a large amount of northern Afghanistan.

It took just a really bad weekend for the Taliban to end up seizing Sheberghan, Sar-e Pul, Taloqan, and even the strategically important city of Kunduz. Meanwhile, the Taliban fighting in Helmand spilled over into neighboring Nimruz, and captured the capital of Zaranj.

Aug 11 08:26

Twilight of the 20-Year Occupation of Afghanistan: U.S. Soldiers Sent to Kill and Die—For What?

Michael Davis was 11 years old when the war in Afghanistan started, 19 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. military and 21 years old when he arrived in Afghanistan’s Wardak province as part of a combat engineering unit tasked with finding improvised explosive devices (IEDs). “I came from a really small town in central Washington from a working-class background. I had nowhere to go; [I] messed around in school too much and didn’t have a college future,” Davis explained. “I didn’t want to be stuck working on [a] farm. I joined [the military] in 2009, right in the middle of the housing collapse.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For oil and opium, that's what for.

Aug 11 07:58

Taliban captures NINTH Afghan regional capital in less than a week – reports

The Taliban has continued assaults on major Afghan cities, reportedly capturing the nine provincial capitals in less than a week. The US earlier said it will press the militants to stop their attacks during peace talks in Qatar.

The militants have seized Faizabad, the capital of the northwestern Badakhshan province, bordering Tajikistan, after several days of intense fighting, during which both sides suffered heavy losses, local lawmaker Zabihullah Attiq told AFP.

Another local politician, Ahmad Jawid Mojadadi, confirmed the loss of the town to the New York Times.

Faizabad became the ninth provincial capital to fall as a result of Taliban assaults in less than a week. The other two cities captured on Tuesday were Farah, the center of the region of the same name, and the capital of Baghlan, Pul-i-Khumri.

Aug 11 07:51

Taliban Overruns 8 Large Cities In Less Than A Week - Pentagon Says "Not Much" Can Be Done

The New York Times on Tuesday afternoon is reporting that the Taliban has now overrun its seventh and eighth provincial capitals. Pul-e-Khumri in the north became the latest regional capital to fall. A Kabul-based Times correspondent stressed that it fell "without fighting to the Taliban, eighth city in less than a week and second in less than 24 hours." In perhaps a huge understatement, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby admitted things "clearly not going in the right direction" in Afghanistan.

Amid the US troop exit, which is said to be essentially complete, the Biden administration appears to be shrugging its shoulders, saying the US-trained Afghan forces have all that they need to repel the Taliban. "Ultimately, our view is that the Afghan security forces have the equipment, numbers and training to fight back that will strengthen their position at the negotiating table," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday.

Aug 11 07:45

Buchanan: Is America Becoming A Failed State?

Suddenly, Sunday, a riveting report came over cable news:

The U.S. embassy was urging all Americans to “leave Afghanistan as soon as possible.” Message: Get out while you can.

Adding urgency was news that three northern provincial capitals, including Kunduz city, had fallen to the Taliban, making it five provincial capitals overrun since Friday.

The huge investment in blood and treasure by the United States over two decades to remake Afghanistan appears about to be wiped out, whole and entire, and we appear about to sustain our worst diplomatic and political defeat since the fall of Saigon.

Not once in this century has the U.S. decisively won one of the wars it launched - in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen or Libya. And the sole superpower status we enjoyed as the 21st century began is gone with the wind.

Aug 11 07:27

US Envoy Deployed to Negotiate an End to Taliban Offensive

In the face of major Taliban gains, the US has dispatched Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy for the Afghan peace process, to Qatar. According to The Associated Press, Khalilzad delivered a warning to the Taliban on Tuesday that any government that takes power in Afghanistan by force would not be recognized internationally.

“Ambassador Khalilzad will be in Doha to help formulate a joint international response to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan,” the State Department said in a statement on the envoy’s trip. “He will press the Taliban to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement, which is the only path to stability and development in Afghanistan.”

Senior Afghan officials and Pakistan’s National Security advisor Moeed Yusuf, have also traveled to Doha in an effort to jumpstart peace talks, and the Taliban maintain a political office in the city.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 11 06:52

US Intel Predicts Imminent Fall of Kabul to Taliban: 'Everything is Moving in the Wrong Direction'

As Taliban fighters capitalise on the American military departure from Afghanistan, retaking ground from Afghan government forces and seizing at least seven provincial capitals, President Joe Biden on Tuesday insisted that he did not “regret” his decision to end the 20-year campaign.

Afghanistan’s capital may fall to the Taliban* insurgent group fall far sooner than previous US intelligence reports suggested amid a spiralling disintegration of security across the nation, reported The Washington Post.

The current situation in the Islamic Republic has prompted a revision of the dire intelligence assessment made in June that suggested Kabul could be overrun by Taliban militants within six to 12 months of the departure of US and NATO forces from the South Asian country, writes the outlet.

Aug 11 06:52

Taliban Reportedly Seizes Afghan Army Headquarters at Kunduz Airport - Videos

The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated dramatically over the past week, with the Taliban capturing at least nine provincial capitals. The offensives come amid the ongoing withdrawal of US and coalition forces. All foreign forces apart from a 500-troop strong contingent of Turkish troops is expected to be gone by the end of August.

Afghan government officials have confirmed that Taliban* fighters have seized the army headquarters at Kunduz airport, thus bringing to an end the militia's campaign in the region.

Unauthenticated video footage purported to have been filmed at the airport, including footage released by the Taliban's Telegram channel, shows fighters standing inside or near the base, and posing with trophy equipment, including a rotorless Mil Mi-24 helicopter gunship on a runway.

Aug 11 06:48

'Hundreds' of Afghan Soldiers Allegedly Surrender to Taliban Outside Kunduz

Afghan government forces have managed to retake control of Farah, the capital of the eponymous province in the country's southwest.

Hundreds of Afghan government soldiers who had retreated to Kunduz airport after the Taliban* claimed to have captured the northern city, surrendered, according to provincial council member Amruddin Wali.

"This morning, hundreds of soldiers, police and members of the resistance forces who were stationed at the airport surrendered to the Taliban with all their equipment," Amruddin Wali said .

Aug 11 06:41

Pakistan Accuses Afghan Officials of Embezzling Billions of Dollars of Aid Funds Amid Taliban Gains

The attack by Pakistani politician on the "inefficiency" of the Afghan security forces came just hours before the scheduled meeting of Moscow-led ‘Extended Troika’ talks in Doha, Qatar which will include China, Pakistan and the US. Russia last month criticised the Afghanistan government for "stalling" the Doha Deal over a "power struggle".

Pakistan on Wednesday accused the Afghanistan government and generals of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) of embezzling billions of dollars of reconstruction and military aid funds amid a sweeping offensive by the Taliban*, which now controls at least eight to nine provincial capitals.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"The last official act of any government is to loot the nation." -- Michael Rivero

Aug 11 06:40

Taliban fighters now in complete control of Afghanistan’s borders with Uzbekistan & Tajikistan, Russia’s Defense Minister claims

The Taliban has taken complete control of Afghanistan’s borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, Russia’s defense minister revealed on Tuesday, noting that the terrorist organization has promised not to move across either frontier.

“For us, it is important [to note] that the borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have been taken under control by the Taliban,” Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu told a youth educational forum on the outskirts of Moscow.

The Taliban, which is registered in Russia as a terrorist organization, “promised not to make any attempts to cross the border and attacks on neighboring territories,” Shoygu said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Taliban are now equipped with all the weapons and vehicles the US abandoned when they pulled out!

Aug 11 06:18

Biden Administration is preparing for Afghanistan capital Kabul to fall to the Taliban in as little as four weeks – despite previously predicting the city would be able to defend itself for a year

US Intelligence officials are warning that the Afghan capital of Kabul could fall to Taliban forces in as little as a month, despite a huge security force that far outnumbers the rogue group previously triggering claims that the city would be able to defend itself for at least a year.

As stability in the region continues to erode, the Washington Post reports that the White House is currently bracing for the fall of Kabul, with an accelerated decline of security in the city taking it's toll over the last several weeks.

Initial intelligence estimates had pegged the fall of Kabul to Taliban forces at six to 12 months following the departure of the US military.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If we had stayed out of Afghanistan, we would have saved roughly $3 trillion ... enough to pay for the infrastructure bill without raising taxes!

Aug 11 06:04

All Roads Lead to the Battle for Kabul

The ever-elusive Afghan “peace” process negotiations re-start this Wednesday in Doha via the extended troika – the US, Russia, China and Pakistan. The contrast with the accumulated facts on the ground could not be starker.

In a coordinated blitzkrieg, the Taliban have subdued no less than six Afghan provincial capitals in only four days. The central administration in Kabul will have a hard time defending its stability in Doha.

It gets worse. Ominously, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has all but buried the Doha process. He’s already betting on civil war – from the weaponization of civilians in the main cities to widespread bribing of regional warlords, with the intent of building a “coalition of the willing” to fight the Taliban.

The capture of Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province, was a major Taliban coup. Zaranj is the gateway for India’s access to Afghanistan and further on to Central Asia via the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).

Aug 10 08:07

The Taliban Has Almost Entirely Retaken Afghanistan After Biden’s U.S. Surrender [VIDEO]

President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has left the country in shambles and the Taliban wasted no time in striking, now controlling large swaths of the country as the remaining Afghan forces give little resistance.

Aug 10 07:06

Taliban captures 6th provincial capital weeks after rejecting reports of a ceasefire, amid fallout from US withdrawal

The Taliban has seized control of its sixth provincial capital in Afghanistan within a matter of days, according to a spokesperson for the group, as the militants continue to secure territory after America’s military withdrawal.

The military victory for the Taliban was confirmed by the deputy governor of Samangan Province, home to the city of Aibak. Speaking to AFP, Afghanistan official Sefatullah Samangani declared that “the Taliban have captured the city of Aibak and have complete control over it.”

The Taliban formally took control of the city on Monday, after a “senator surrendered” and asked Afghanistan to withdraw its forces from the area to avoid further conflict.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid declared on Twitter that the city center was completely under its control, while the governor, the police chief, the intelligence department, and all its affiliates were cleared.

Aug 10 06:22

Uproar after German parliament committee head suggests preparing for INTERVENTION in Afghanistan...again

Germany should make its military forces “available” for another operation in Afghanistan to stop the Taliban from conquering it, the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee head said. His fellow MPs did not share the sentiment.

US President Joe Biden should stop America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Norbert Roettgen, the head of the German parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, told the German FAZ newspaper on Sunday. Roettgen said he was concerned about the prospects of Taliban militants taking control of Afghanistan by force, if left undeterred in the wake of the US pullout.

“This drama is looming. It is not [gone] that far yet. It is up to us… to stop this,” Roettgen said, adding that “our own security” and “responsibility for the majority of Afghans” demand it. The MP also said the ongoing US pullout, which is expected to be completed by early September, could be the “the first major policy disaster” for Biden.

Aug 10 06:12

Thousands of Russian, Uzbek & Tajik troops rehearse turning back enemy offensive on Afghan border amid fears of Taliban incursions

Large-scale wargames have been held in Tajikistan, bringing together soldiers from three former Soviet republics to practice targeting enemy combatants and securing the border with neighboring Afghanistan, as the US withdraws.

On Tuesday, the commander of Russia’s Central Military District, which helped to organize the drills, told TASS that the battle simulations were an important part of “protecting our countries from military aggression” in an increasingly unstable part of the world.

“We are completing joint exercises of the armed forces of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation,” he said, adding that “for the first time, the use of multiple service branches with massive aviation, reconnaissance and artillery support is being conducted, based on the experience we have gained from the conflict in Syria.”

Aug 10 06:11

The Taliban Is Retaking Afghanistan. Good News for America?

In America, the number-one cause of death for people under age 50 is drug overdose. Here are the numbers:

Year Total Overdose Deaths
2014 47,055
2015 52,404
2016 63,600
2017 70,237
2018 67,367
2019 70,630

Some estimate the tally for 2020 will be over 90,000. Whites are the vast majority of these deaths, and most of these overdoses are caused by synthetic opioids, especially Fentanyl, as well as heroin.

Afghanistan supplies no Fentanyl or other similar drugs, but it is the top source for heroin.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Aug 10 05:58

Sixth Provincial Capital Falls as Taliban’s North Afghan Offensive Continues

Fighting across northern Afghanistan continued after massive weekend losses,with a sixth provincial capital having fallen to the Taliban. This time, the small town of Aybak, capital of Samangan, fell Monday afternoon.

It’s not as big of a loss as cities like Sar-e Pul and Kunduz, but shows that the Taliban’s huge weekend offensive did not necessarily with the weekend. This continues a trend that could rapidly leave the north of Afghanistan in Taliban hands.

In addition to those cities, the Taliban also took Sheberghan, Taloqan, and the southwestern capital of Nimruz. The Afghan government is focusing on a new propaganda push, focusing on selling the idea that losing five capitals in two days isn’t that big a deal.

Aug 09 21:42

Taliban Rapidly Taking Over Afghanistan Amid U.S. Surrender

I guess you don't need "F-15s and nuclear weapons" to take on the US government after all!

Aug 09 05:04

US Embassy Alerts All Americans To Depart Afghanistan "Immediately" As More Provincial Capitals Fall

Over the weekend a second provincial capital has fallen to the Taliban, this time in the north of Afghanistan, just days after the southern Nimruz province which borders Iran fell reportedly with barely any resistance from US-trained Afghan national forces.

On Saturday Sheberghan, the capital of Jowzjan province, was captured at a moment the US State Department has sounded the alarm for any American citizens still remaining in the country, with just a little over a month to go until Biden's Sept.11 complete troop exit deadline. The US embassy in Kabul had urged Americans to leave the war-torn country "immediately" while noting they can't rely on government flights.

Aug 08 06:18

Taliban captures second Afghan provincial capital in as many days, after withdrawal of US troops – reports

Taliban fighters reportedly entered the capital of Afghanistan’s Jawzjan province on Saturday, amid a large-scale offensive that saw the group take over the main city of the southwestern Nimroz province just a day earlier.

The militants swept through nine out of 10 districts of the northern province, which borders the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, before forcing their way into the regional capital, Sheberghan, local official Mohammad Karim Jawzjani told the AP news agency.

The Afghan central government said the strategic city hadn’t yet fallen and that fighting was continuing in the streets. However, sources told TOLONews the security forces were in control only of the provincial airport, in Khwaja Dako, some 17km (10 miles) from Sheberghan.

Aug 08 06:18

'US really messed it up': PM Imran on Afghanistan situation

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the United States "really messed it up in Afghanistan" as he questioned the American motive of Afghan invasion in the first place and then their subsequent attempts of seeking a political solution with the Taliban from a position of weakness.

The prime minister's remarks come as the US military and Nato are in the final stages of winding up involvement in Afghanistan, which has seen a Taliban resurgence across Afghanistan.

"I think the US has really messed it up in Afghanistan," the premier said during an appearance on PBS NewsHour, an American news programme, aired on Tuesday night.

Aug 07 06:07

US sends in B-52 bombers and Spectre gunships to bombard the Taliban in a desperate bid to stop advance on three key cities in Afghanistan

US President Joe Biden has ordered B-52 bombers and Spectre gunships to target Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan who are advancing towards three key cities.

The Cold War-era strategic bomber first flew in the 1950s but is still used due to its 70,000lb payload and range of more than 8,000 miles.

They are being supported by the AC-130 Spectre gunships which are armed with a 25mm Gatling gun, a 40mm Bofors cannon and a 105mm M102 cannon - which can provide pinpoint accurate fire from the air.

Aug 06 11:41

Resurgent Taliban take provincial capital, kill Afghan govt spokesman

Taliban insurgents captured an Afghan provincial capital and killed the government's senior media officer in Kabul on Friday amid a deteriorating security situation as U.S. and other foreign troops withdraw.

A police spokesman in southern Nimroz province said the capital Zaranj had fallen to the hardline Islamists because of a lack of reinforcements from the Western-backed government.

Aug 05 10:49

TALIBAN NEAR CAPTURE OF LASHKAR GAH, AS FIGHTING REACHES KABUL

Aug 05 09:20

The War in Afghanistan

In May, the HBO television network aired a new two-part documentary exploring America’s ongoing opioid epidemic entitled The Crime of the Century. The first episode summarized the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the crisis, specifically that of Sackler family drugmaker Purdue Pharma and its deadly prescription painkiller, OxyContin. Part one also thoroughly investigates the complicity of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the deceptive marketing by the drug company to obtain U.S. government approval for oxycodone despite its high risk of abuse and dependency, just as the pharmaceutical lobby bribes lawmakers in Washington. Later, the second half of the series charts the current rising use of even more powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl. During COVID-19, the number of fatal overdoses have reportedly spiked in an epidemic already estimated to be taking nearly 50,000 lives per year.

Aug 05 07:19

European Court Orders Austria to Halt Deportation to Afghanistan

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) brought an injunction against the Austrian government to stop the deportation of an Afghan national, claiming the security situation in the country is currently too unstable.

Austrian had rejected the Afghan’s asylum claim and planned to deport him before the European court’s ruling.

The Austrian Interior Ministry denied the ruling is a blanket ban on all deportations to Afghanistan, but the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung noted that the court’s reasons were not specific to the individual asylum seeker’s case but were based on a general concern about security in Afghanistan, which has caused several other countries to stop deportations to the country.

The Interior Ministry noted that the ban on that individual’s deportation to Afghanistan would last until the end of August, but other cases will be looked at on an individual basis.

Aug 05 06:58

A dream that died in the dust: Twenty years after the War on Terror began, the West is abandoning Afghanistan and Iraq is still in chaos. What a bitter legacy, paid for in blood, writes DOMINIC SANDBROOK

The scene is only too familiar. On the dusty plains of Afghanistan, a trail of refugees heads for the beleaguered capital. On the streets of Kabul, a car bomb outside the home of the defence minister kills eight people.

In the western city of Herat, people huddle in their homes as enemy rockets pound down. And in the southern province of Helmand — where hundreds of British servicemen lost their lives in recent years — dozens of civilian bodies lie rotting on the country roads.

Such is the news from Afghanistan, where the resurgent Taliban have made extraordinary gains in recent days. Across much of the country, their white flag now flies unchecked.

You might be forgiven for thinking you've read this all before. It's a quarter of a century since the Taliban swept to power in much of Afghanistan, imposing a hideously oppressive Islamist regime that treated women as slaves and banned films, TV, music and dancing.

Aug 05 06:39

The War in Afghanistan: The Real ‘Crime of the Century’ Behind the Opioid Crisis

In May, the HBO television network aired a new two-part documentary exploring America’s ongoing opioid epidemic entitled The Crime of the Century. The first episode summarized the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the crisis, specifically that of Sackler family drugmaker Purdue Pharma and its deadly prescription painkiller, OxyContin.

Part one also thoroughly investigates the complicity of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the deceptive marketing by the drug company to obtain U.S. government approval for oxycodone despite its high risk of abuse and dependency, just as the pharmaceutical lobby bribes lawmakers in Washington.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Aug 05 06:24

US Demands Pakistan Keeps Its Borders Open for Afghan Refugees to Implement New Resettlement Plan

On 2 August Washington announced the expansion of its resettlement programme for Afghans who aided US troops in the country amid the growing Taliban threat.

Despite the reluctance of Pakistan's government, the United States has told Islamabad to keep its "borders open" so that Afghan refugees can enter the country.

According to experts, the move is likely to strain already tense relations between the two nations.

Pakistani newspaper The Dawn reported that a senior US State Department official, while briefing journalists on the new US refugee admission programme for Afghan nationals, said, "In a place like Pakistan, it'll be important that their borders remain open."

"Obviously, if people go north or if they go via Iran to Turkey, they have an opportunity both to enter the country as well as register with either the government or with UNHCR," the official was quoted as saying.

Aug 04 07:05

Afghanistan war: Bodies on the streets as fighting traps Lashkar Gah residents

"The Taliban will have no mercy on us and the government won't stop the bombing."

The resident of Lashkar Gah in southern Afghanistan is one of thousands trapped or fleeing for their lives as fighting for control of the city rages between militants and government forces.

The BBC is not naming some interviewees in this article for security reasons.

"There are corpses on the roads. We do not know if they are civilians or the Taliban," the man told the BBC Afghan service in an interview on Whatsapp. "Dozens of families have fled their homes and settled near the Helmand river."

Other terrified locals told the BBC they had seen bodies lying in the streets.

Capturing the besieged Helmand provincial capital would be of huge symbolic value to the insurgents as they continue their rapid advance after the pullout of foreign forces. Helmand was the centrepiece of the US and British military campaign.

Aug 04 06:37

In Between Taliban and COVID

Does it take a genius to gather that the colossal failure of the USA’s war in Afghanistan is identical to the disastrous ‘war against COVID’? It’s certainly clear that it is pretty much the same people who devised the fatal strategies that led to a grandiose defeat in these two unnecessary conflicts. We deal with people who adhere to the concept of war of destruction. These are people who do not seek peace, harmony or reconciliation neither with nature nor with other segments of humanity.

Our pandemic ‘strategists’ believed that it was within their powers to wipe SARS CoV 2 from the face of the earth. They were similarly convinced that the Taliban could be eradicated. They were, obviously, catastrophically wrong.

Aug 04 05:21

Taliban Commander Leading Assault on Afghan City Was Part of Prisoner Swap US 'Pressured' Kabul Into

Heavy clashes are taking place between Afghanistan forces and the Taliban* in several Afghan cities following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from the country, despite ongoing peace talks between the government and the Islamist militant group in the Qatari capital of Doha.

As the Taliban* continues to advance on major cities in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of US and NATO forces, the group’s commander overseeing an assault on Lashkargah is one of thousands of former prisoners released by the Afghan government last year, The Wall Street Journal cites Afghan and Western officials as saying.

The prisoner release was part of the US deal with the Taliban, signed on 29 February, to encourage negotiations between the group and the Afghan government, allowing for a cease-fire and eventual withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan.

Aug 03 10:13

Wrong Lessons from the Afghanistan Debacle and Defeat

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, interventionists are not learning the real lessons in their defeat in Afghanistan. Instead, they are coming up with all sorts of reasons as to why their Afghanistan intervention turned out to be such a big debacle. They say that they’ve learned how to do better with future interventions.

One of the favorite lessons they have learned from this fiasco is encapsulated in the phrase “forever wars.” Some interventionists now say that converting the Afghanistan war into a “forever war” was the big mistake. They say that what they should have been done is just invade, quickly capture or kill Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda, and quickly oust the Taliban regime and replace it with a pro-U.S. regime. Then, quickly get out. No “forever war.”

Aug 03 08:48

David Cameron's Afghan Translator Whom Taliban Dubbed 'Infidel Who'd Die Like a Dog' Denied Refuge

More than 40 former military commanders earlier signed an open letter warning “time is of the utmost essence” to help Afghans who served alongside British forces to settle in the UK in the face of a “resurgent Taliban” as US and NATO withdraw forces from the country.

A former Afghan interpreter who once worked with ex-UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been repeatedly denied sanctuary in Britain, preventing him from being rescued from the Taliban*, a retired senior British officer has warned, according to the Daily Mail.

Known as Shaffy, the 32-year old father-of-five worked for the British military in Afghanistan until January 2013, both on the frontline and with visiting senior officials, such as Cameron. The translator has seen his application rejected multiple times in line with the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) because of how he was dismissed from his job, which he calls “an injustice that could cost me my life”.

Aug 03 07:40

Biden Accelerates Bombing in Somalia as End of Afghanistan War Nears

The U.S. military on Sunday confirmed its third airstrike against al-Shabaab militants in Somalia in less than two weeks, stepping up the tempo of strikes against the al-Qaeda-linked extremists even as American involvement in Afghanistan comes to a close.

U.S. officials said Sunday’s strike was conducted in support of Somali government forces fighting al-Shabaab in the country’s central Galmudug state. The U.S. launched airstrikes in the same region on July 20 and 23, marking the first strikes in Somalia during the Biden administration.

“This is another major blow to al-Shabaab’s means to wage war against the Somali people. The airstrikes destroyed a large al-Shabaab firing position engaging Danab and SNA forces as they approached,” the Somali Ministry of Information stated.

Aug 03 07:26

Afghan President: ‘Sudden’ U.S. Pullout (After 20 Years) Fueling Taliban Wins

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani on Monday blamed the “sudden” withdrawal of U.S. troops for his country’s deteriorating security situation, as Taliban insurgents closed in on three provincial capitals and hit the Kandahar airport with rocket artillery.

Ghani told his parliament that the “sudden” decision of the United States to withdraw its troops after two decades allowed Taliban forces to run wild. He said he warned the Americans there would be “consequences” for pulling out so quickly.

“The reason for our current situation is that the decision was taken abruptly,” he said.

Ghani added the Taliban has grown beyond the “scattered and inexperienced movement” defeated by U.S. forces 20 years ago, becoming “an organized command and leadership, backed by an unholy coalition of international terrorism and its supporting circles.”

Aug 02 07:06

More US contractors have died in Afghanistan than US troops — but the Pentagon doesn't keep track

The Washington Post reported this week that a cache of materials about the war in Afghanistan revealed that the US mission there was failing spectacularly, leading to increasing service member and contractor deaths — not to mention tens of thousands of civilian casualties over the past two decades.

The internal documents obtained by the Washington Post have increased scrutiny of one of the most solemn ways the war is felt — the body count. Over 2,300 US troops have died during the course of the war, along with 1,145 NATO and coalition troops. Presently, there are about 13,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

Those tolls are likely exceeded, however, by that of the US contractors who quietly performed some of the war's most dangerous functions — and whose deaths the Pentagon has never felt obligated to report to Americans.

Aug 02 07:05

Pakistan reopens Afghanistan border crossing held by Taliban

Pakistan on Monday reopened a major southwestern border crossing with Afghanistan that is currently under Taliban control on the Afghan side, Pakistani customs officials said, allowing over 100 trucks carrying goods to cross into Afghanistan.

The Chaman-Spin Boldak crossing, a key port for landlocked Afghanistan, had been closed by Pakistan for commercial traffic since fierce fighting for control of the crossing erupted between Taliban insurgents and Afghan security forces earlier this month.

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