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NEWS
September 16, 2007
Forget about the benchmarks on progress in Iraq. They were an alien notion, imposed from Washington, and they're irrelevant. Also, recognize that Congress will not be able to assert any control of the war effort; the votes aren't there, for now at least. On top of that, give up on reconciliation among the Iraqis; it's not happening now, and it won't happen until a lot more water has gone over the dam. So what's going on? President Bush, in announcing a modest troop reduction that had to happen anyway, talks about "return on success"; that's a less than clever slogan that doesn't merit further discussion.
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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 28, 2014
If you want to understand the chaos that is now Iraq with ISIS on the rise and almost everything America thought it had built crashing down, don't miss Frontline's "Losing Iraq" at  10 tomorrow night on PBS. No one on TV has done better investigative and long-form journalism on Iraq than Frontline. Period. And Tuesday's "Losing Iraq" is a stunning catalog of American ignorance, arrogance, lies and senseless death and destruction. If you thought you were over George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, this will make you seethe all over again at them and publications like the New York Times, which let Team Bush sell its lies and lead thousands of young Americans to their deaths.
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NEWS
By COX NEWS SERVICE | September 18, 2003
WASHINGTON - The illegal drug trade in Afghanistan threatens the prospects for a new democratic government, the head of the United Nations' drug office said. "If we let the opium economy become too ingrained in the system, with too many players engaged in this drug power game ... I think Afghanistan could become a failed state," Antonio Maria Costa said by phone from his office in Vienna, Austria, where he serves as executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. The office's 2003 annual survey of opium production in Afghanistan is expected next month, and Costa said it will show that the country continues to produce about three-fourths of the world's supply.
NEWS
September 16, 2007
Forget about the benchmarks on progress in Iraq. They were an alien notion, imposed from Washington, and they're irrelevant. Also, recognize that Congress will not be able to assert any control of the war effort; the votes aren't there, for now at least. On top of that, give up on reconciliation among the Iraqis; it's not happening now, and it won't happen until a lot more water has gone over the dam. So what's going on? President Bush, in announcing a modest troop reduction that had to happen anyway, talks about "return on success"; that's a less than clever slogan that doesn't merit further discussion.
NEWS
By ABUKAR ALBADRI AND ROBYN DIXON and ABUKAR ALBADRI AND ROBYN DIXON,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 15, 2006
JAWHAR, Somalia -- Islamist militias tightened their hold on southern Somalia yesterday by seizing control of a major strategic town, ousting a group of secular warlords in a brief, decisive battle just a week after driving them from the capital city of Mogadishu. The nation's transitional government, based in Baidoa, asked the African Union to deploy peacekeeping troops. The AU supports the transitional government but has not approved the deployment. The Islamic militants of the Islamic Courts Union have strongly opposed the presence of foreign troops in the country and threatened to halt talks with the transitional government if they sought AU help.
NEWS
By Douglas M. Birch and Douglas M. Birch,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | October 6, 2004
KABUL, Afghanistan - Quiet and wary, looking a little apprehensive, Abdul Fatah finally gave up the life of a hired gun yesterday. The baby-faced, broad-shouldered 32-year-old from the plains of Logar province, south of Kabul, has spent his adulthood as a warrior in a private militia fighting against Soviet forces, the Taliban and his commander's rivals. Killing has been his profession, war a way of life. All that ended officially after Fatah showed up at a United Nations compound here to receive a gold-colored medal, a certificate of thanks signed by President Hamid Karzai, and several hundred pounds of wheat, beans, salt and other staples.
NEWS
By Alissa J. Rubin and Alissa J. Rubin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 20, 2002
KABUL, Afghanistan - Hamid Karzai adopted a risky political strategy yesterday with the Afghan leader's decision to include several warlords in his inner circle and retain several key ethnic Tajiks in top government posts. Karzai was inaugurated as the nation's transitional president later yesterday, and the nine-day grand council, or loya jirga, drew to a close. The Cabinet was approved by a show of hands among the more than 1,500 delegates here at the loya jirga but many seemed more resigned than genuinely pleased with his choices.
NEWS
By Douglas Birch and Douglas Birch,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | April 9, 2004
KABUL, Afghanistan - It was troubling news from a place with an unfamiliar name. Troops loyal to one of Afghanistan's most powerful and notorious warlords swept into the northern provincial capital of Maymana yesterday, brushing aside security forces of the U.S.-backed central government and forcing the governor to flee. Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum seized control of the city near the Turkmenistan border as more than 600 of his fighters advanced from three directions, said Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali.
TOPIC
By G. Jefferson Price III and G. Jefferson Price III,PERSPECTIVE EDITOR | December 2, 2001
Somewhere in the primer on world diplomacy there must be a suggestion that European waterside towns are good places to gather warlords for a display of reconciliation. This occurred to me as I read about the gathering of Afghan warlords in the German town of Koenigswinter, a quaint place on the banks of the Rhine River just outside Bonn. Beginning last week, the leaders of the victorious Northern Alliance, have been talking there with other factions - including representatives of the former king of Afghanistan - with an eye to putting together an interim government to run that country.
NEWS
January 12, 2002
WARLORDS are back in Kandahar, Mazar-e Sharif, Herat and Jalalabad. Armed thugs roam Kabul, robbing innocent folk. Highwaymen menace life on the road. Aid agencies cannot protect their vehicles or food from thieves. This return toward the conditions of 1992-96 in Afghanistan is not a surprise. Nor is it a refutation of the logic of U.S. intervention. It is what was expected, what would happen if nothing were done. The provisional prime minister, Hamid Karzai, has begun to do something, ordering armed men who are not uniformed police off the streets of Kabul.
NEWS
By Jere Van Dyk | September 28, 2006
NEW YORK -- The e-mail came from a journalist in Karachi. "Ur old friend Yunus Khalis died today in the age of 95. His son Anwar ul-Haq has been appointed as his successor." I read the message many times. Yunus Khalis was dead. The president of Afghanistan had issued a statement of condolence. As war raged in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan this summer, I sadly thought of the guerrilla leader I had met so many years ago. I last saw him three years ago in his house near Jalalabad. I had hoped to meet him again.
NEWS
By ABUKAR ALBADRI AND ROBYN DIXON and ABUKAR ALBADRI AND ROBYN DIXON,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 15, 2006
JAWHAR, Somalia -- Islamist militias tightened their hold on southern Somalia yesterday by seizing control of a major strategic town, ousting a group of secular warlords in a brief, decisive battle just a week after driving them from the capital city of Mogadishu. The nation's transitional government, based in Baidoa, asked the African Union to deploy peacekeeping troops. The AU supports the transitional government but has not approved the deployment. The Islamic militants of the Islamic Courts Union have strongly opposed the presence of foreign troops in the country and threatened to halt talks with the transitional government if they sought AU help.
NEWS
By ROBYN DIXON and ROBYN DIXON,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 14, 2006
NAIROBI, Kenya -- Somalia's Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Gedi condemned the international community yesterday for standing by while his countrymen suffered during years of bloodshed, and he called for concrete support for the country's transitional government. "It is inhuman to watch and wait and see. It's unacceptable to watch this punishment of the Somali people," Gedi told diplomats gathered here for a seven-nation conference on Somalia's future. The conference took place in the wake of a victory last week by Islamist forces over warlords in Mogadishu, the country's largest city and nominal capital.
NEWS
By KARIN VON HIPPEL | June 11, 2006
WASHINGTON -- For the first time in 15 years, Mogadishu is ruled by one faction. This time, it is not one of the many warlords who have dominated its neighborhoods since Somalia officially collapsed in 1991, but rather the city is now under the control of the Islamic courts. These courts are run by a mix of Islamic fundamentalists and conservative clan-based Islamic leaders who want to establish strict Sharia law in Mogadishu, and will likely want to spread their power beyond the former capital.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 8, 2006
MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Islamist leaders in control of the city reportedly agreed to talks with the country's transitional government yesterday, a move some analysts said could provide the first hope of stability after 15 years of anarchy. But the streets of the capital bristled with tense, heavily armed militias on edge over any attempt at a counteroffensive by an alliance of rival warlords reportedly backed by the United States. The Bush administration has not admitted backing the alliance of warlords against the Islamists, though an analyst with the International Crisis Group, John Prendergast, said CIA backing for the warlords to the extent of $100,000 to $150,000 a month was "crystal clear."
NEWS
By DOUGLAS BIRCH and DOUGLAS BIRCH,SUN REPORTER | May 28, 2006
Outside the First District police headquarters in New Orleans last September, a squad of heavily armed officers waded through water along Basin Street toward Canal. They were quitting, they said. After Hurricane Katrina, the floods, the looting, the collapse of basic services, even the police didn't feel safe. For a few days, the residents of the Gulf Coast got a taste of life in the world's failed states - dozens of countries, from Haiti to Sierra Leone, where electricity and potable water are scarce, governments feeble and the rule of law a daydream.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 28, 2001
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - As warlords have carved out chunks of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, the lawlessness that gave rise to the strict Islamic movement in the mid-1990s has begun to spread, once again, across this country. The U.S.-led military campaign that began Oct. 7 has succeeded in eradicating most of the Taliban and al-Qaida from Afghanistan, but it has returned to power nearly all of the same warlords who had misruled the country in the days before the Taliban. The warlords have all pledged loyalty to the interim government in Kabul.
NEWS
By Douglas Birch and Douglas Birch,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | April 10, 2004
KABUL, Afghanistan - His job is best described by the movie High Noon. In that tale, a retiring lawman in the American West ignored the advice of his fearful friends by choosing to return to town to confront an outlaw just released from jail and his gang. Ali Ahmad Jalali, former Howard County soccer dad, returned to Afghanistan to become interior minister, the person battling the country's warlords. "This is the wild west," Jalali says in his office, where a portrait of President Hamid Karzai is on prominent display.
NEWS
By KIM BARKER and KIM BARKER,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | October 7, 2005
KABUL, Afghanistan -- One of the first winners announced in Afghanistan's historic parliamentary elections is a women's rights activist who gained fame by calling militia leaders "criminals" at a constitutional conference, according to unofficial results released yesterday. Malalai Joya, 27, who received 7,813 votes, placed second among 47 people vying for the five parliamentary seats in western Farah province. Even though about a quarter of parliamentary seats are reserved for women, Joya won her seat outright.
NEWS
By Paul Watson and Paul Watson,LOS ANGELES TIMES | September 18, 2005
KABUL, Afghanistan - Staring down from campaign posters plastered around town, a familiar face taunts Zulmai Khan. It is Abdul Rauf Mukhtar, a candidate for Afghanistan's parliament in northern Takhar province. He is also the man Khan accuses of killing five members of his family 10 years ago. Like many Afghans, Khan thought the Electoral Complaints Commission would prevent warlords from running in today's election for the 249-seat lower house of parliament and 34 provincial councils.
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