Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Feb 12, 2014

US Drone Crashed in Jalalabad not in Herat

This is a correction note on my earlier post "America's drone war stoned by Afghans" on January 29. In that post, I made a reference to a news on Iranian government's propaganda channel, Press TV. It said that the American drone had crashed in Herat, without naming a source. Later, I investigated and found out that the drone was crashed in Jalalabad city, in eastern Afghanistan which is populated by Pashtun tribe. The drone was crashed after technical problems and before the Taliban notice the drone was taken away from the area by U.S. forces.

Those who follow the news on the Middle East and Afghanistan know that Iran has a hostile foreign policy towards the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and in the Gulf. Being under a direct control of the government, Iranian media use any opportunity to galvanize Afghans against the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Why does Iran want to sabotage the U.S. presence in Afghanistan? The answer is simple: Iran thinks the United States may use Afghanistan as a platform to attack Iran. In December 2011, an RQ-170, a C.I.A. stealth drone crashed in Iran. Later, Iran complained to Afghanistan about the U.S. drone and claimed that the drone had flown from Afghanistan into Iran's airspace. So, an ultimate goal for Iran is to kick out the U.S. troops from Afghanistan and its media does not shy away from lying and distorting any news against the United States.

Jan 29, 2014

America's Drone War Stoned by Afghans

Apparently this drone has crashed three weeks ago. According to PressTV, the unmanned drone has crashed in western province of Herat. From people's words in the video, it appears that the incident has happened in a Pashtun area. Nothing has yet said or published online by American officials in Afghanistan to disclose any details about the incident.

The militants has claimed they have shot it down and then they have taken away the wreckage of aerial vehicle. Since the incident happened in Herat province, which is coterminous with Iran, it might be possible that the Taliban have sold it to Iran. If the Taliban have not sold it to Iran, then, one would wonder, what use the wreckage of drone may have to the Taliban? Apparently nothing and they may destroy it by throwing stones at it, as they do in this video.

A friend of friend who had shared this video on his facebook page sarcastically titled "the stranded pilgrim." According to some, this beast has done a great job, so far, on going after the Al Qaeda members and the Taliban militants. Most of the operations have been taking place in Southern Afghanistan, alongside the borders with Pakistan. The area is predominately populated by Pashtun tribe, a major ethnic group in Afghanistan.

In particular and related to this incident, a plausible guess would cast on American drone operation on Iranian soil, otherwise Herat has not been a hotbed of Taliban activities. Previously, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has often been accused of supplying weapons and funds to the Taliban. It is also possible that the drone had cruised alongside the border of Afghanistan adjacent to Iran to observe the Taliban's movement on the border.

Apr 8, 2011

Malalai Joya's Pointless Tour to The U.S

Malalai Joya is currently touring the United States and I am a bit confused at what she hopes to accomplish here. She speaks poorly of the U.S, NATO, International Communities, and everyone in Afghanistan. She sometimes appears to be a feminist, sometimes a politician, and sometimes a human rights activist. Some believe that she fails to fulfill all these roles, but rather wants to be the center of attention.

She does not have a clear agenda as to when she wants the NATO troops out of Afghanistan. She also demands US withdrawal from Afghanistan, a demand she shares with the Taliban. If NATO troops leave Afghanistan Joya would not have chance to speak out like now.

Here what she says:

“The Afghan people are squashed between three enemies: the Taliban, warlords, and occupation forces.”
She always rants and raves about government, the Taliban, NATO forces and warlords which are all pointless. Warlords have no power anymore; they were devastated and disarmed four years ago. They have no voice in the Afghan public domain, and if they do, they have no influence.

Joya is ignorantly supporting the Taliban right now because their demands match hers. The Taliban asks U.S forces withdrawal as well.

Here is another pointless claim of hers:
“The reason they refused to give me a visa, I think, is because I exposed the wrong policies of your government, and I talk about the reality of the so-called ‘war on terror,’ and I talk about the war crimes your government is committing in the name of the American people,” said Joya. “These are the reasons they are afraid of me and do not let me enter the U.S.”
I don't know who would be naïve enough to believe that she correctly understands the situation in Afghanistan. Joya is living in her own hysterical, and sometimes paranoid, world that she created from the Afghan public sphere. She has little voice in the country, even among women. Her typical speech always descends into a rant against the government, tribal leaders and foreign forces that often get her into trouble.

While representing her country, she portrays a very bad image of Afghanistan and, more specifically, Afghan women. She believes that the situation women are in today is worse than than their situation was under the Taliban. I disagree. She ignores the fact of hundreds of thousands of girls going to school today and thousands of women employed by numerous government and NGOs since 2002.

I would suggest instead of repeating everything that she used to say five years ago, she should come up with an idea. She can raise money for building schools for girls; she can be a good feminist and work specifically for women’s rights. She can raise money for widows and homeless women, who are now in despair. Malalai Joya must understand that she has not left room for herself in Afghanistan because she's always in fight with quite everyone in power there.

Jun 22, 2010

Mullah McChrystal Must Be Drunk

General McChrystal's remarks on Obama and Biden and others is already echoed through the media in the United States. God knows what he has been thinking with expressing such bizarre statements. I am having doubt that those comments are direct and are not have taken from the context.
But when he apologizes, this assures us that General has said something wrong.

There are many things to consider before writing about him, especially, during his command since 2009 in Afghanistan. I trawled through Afghan media to find Afghans reactions because this might bring a big shift in Kandahar operation which is planned to be happen in the next coming months but I couldn't find anything up to now.

Why Mullah McChrystal? Well, Mullah is Farsi word and means master, anyone who has enough knowledge in his (not her because mullah masculine name) profession is called Mullah. McChcrystal can be a mullah in Afghanistan but Mullah is also a notorious name for someone who is doing something wrong or screwed up, like McChrystal.

It is hard to hope that he will not be fired as everyone at the White House is angry at him right now. But lets hope for a big changes in U.S strategies fighting against Taliban. May be a new general with a new strategy is needed but who can be like McChrystal? May be the answer is no one.

Jan 6, 2010

The profiling issue from an Afghan traveling to the U.S.

Note: Already published on CNN

After the unsuccessful terror attack on an American jetliner by suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, a 23 year-old Nigerian, security at international airports is getting tighter. In the days after the incident, President Obama vowed to “disrupt and dismantle” every possible threat against the U.S. and ordered enhanced screening and security procedures for all flights, domestic and international. These measures are smart, but they increase the concerns for those travelers who might be suspected by their nationality or religion.

Last week, a viewer called into CNN, to say that anyone who has a Muslim name should not be allowed to fly into the U.S. I have been profiled just because I am coming from Afghanistan, have a Muslim name and identify myself as an Afghan. I personally believe that judging travelers on their ethnicity and religion is not fair. Psychologically, it is disturbing and annoying to be interrogated just because of your nationality. Instead, the security should be reformed and new technology should be developed and used to determine who is actually dangerous.

After the recent incident, there is much discussion in the media about profiling, security screening and issuing special security checks for people coming from mostly Muslim countries. The new order for an extra security check for bag and pat down includes 14 countries. Afghanistan is one of them.

I personally feel comfortable with any kind of security measures that take place at the airports, and I do not find it offensive even to be strip-searched as long as security is the reason. I am from Afghanistan, and I have always experienced tight security at international airports and it doesn’t bother me. But the only thing that concerns me is profiling. As an Afghan, I have faced lots of difficulties at international airports. The security personnel at the airports asked me questions I have never heard, and inquired repeatedly about my destination.

For example, this past August when I got my visa from the U.S. embassy in Kabul to come to the U.S. to attend college, I was stopped at the Dubai airport and questioned more than ever before even though I have traveled to the U.S. before. The security at Dubai international airport was not honestly to check my bags but instead the security worker interrogated me about what I have been doing all my life, questioning me as if I were a member of al Qaeda or the Taliban. Even though I had already passed through security, my bags had been checked and the security personal had stuck a special security sticker on my passport - the security personnel didn’t let me on board while I was in line. He kept me until all passengers were boarded. While he was holding my passport in his hand, he moved around and finally found a camera and a scanner to take my picture and scan my passport. I got on the plane only five minutes before the boarding gate closed. It made me upset and annoyed just because I was profiled based on my nationality. The effect didn’t leave me until I reached my destination.

It is true that most of terrorist attacks have targeted Westerners, and that most terrorists are Muslim. But it is bigoted to judge people according to their religion or nationality. Such extreme measures would be profiling people based on their race, not evaluating them as individuals.

Since September 11, 2001, the security at airports has been effective enough to prevent terrorists from entering the United States, but the case of AbdulMutallab proved that the U.S. intelligence was not capable or failed to conduct a pre-emptive action.

Thus, as the U.S. admitted that its security failed to prevent the Christmas Day attack, al Qaeda has proven itself to not be confined to Afghanistan and Pakistan, but that it is also in Gulf countries like Yemen. The security was not smart enough to track down a 23-year-old man wandering around and boarding at an Amsterdam airport.

It is good to have to be checked to ensure security but it is devastating to be treated and interrogated the same manner as a suspected person, just because I am sharing the same type nationality. In August 2007, a 7-year-old Muslim boy was stopped in the U.S. three times on suspicion of being a terrorist. Also, in August 2009, the Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan, was stopped for questioning at Newark Liberty International Airport which enraged his fans in India.

Finally, it would be good to investigate and recognize the suspected person before issuing him/her a visa and before traveling to the United States. Profiling is wholly inappropriate and will enrage people who are innocent. Looking for Muslim names and names similar to al Qaeda members that are blacklisted is not smart. Profiling based on nationality breeds anger only. Instead there should be effective and aggressive plans to track down the threats from those who are truly dangerous.

Please go to CNN crossroad blog page and read the critics at the bottom of this post

Feb 15, 2009

At Duke University

It is almost a week I am in US at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on a fellowship program about media.
As a Duke Media Fellow, we attend special seminars about media and democracy, led by Duke University faculty, leading journalists and guest lecturers. We are also be able to attend regular Duke University classes and work with faculty and staff to pursue independent projects.

It is great opportunity to learn from other fellows about media challenges in US, France, Germany, South Africa and Georgia. For more information about this program, please visit this website for this program.