Thursday, June 01, 2006
Resistance Escalates to US Occupations of Afghanistan & Iraq
Afghan Puppet Leader Denounces US Action
Updated 6/1/2006 8:38 PM ET
By Paul Wiseman, USA TODAY
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan President Hamid Karzai denounced U.S. soldiers on Thursday for having fired their weapons to escape a mob in Kabul.
A member of his Cabinet, meanwhile, said the Afghan government has launched its own investigation into how a traffic crash on Monday spiraled into the worst violence in the capital since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
"The coalition opened fire, and we strongly condemn that," Karzai said in a radio address to the nation in Pashto, his native language. However, he left unclear whether he was accusing the American soldiers of firing into the crowd.
Karzai spoke a day after Afghanistan's parliament passed a non-binding resolution that called for local prosecution of U.S. troops responsible for the crash.
U.S. Ambassador Ronald Neumann said in an interview broadcast Thursday by National Public Radio that U.S. troops here couldn't be punished under local law. "But should the investigation reveal some wrongdoing, I'm sure the military would follow up on its own," he said.
Karzai's government, backed by a 23,000-strong U.S.-led coalition and 9,000 NATO troops, already is fighting an intensifying Taliban insurgency in southern and eastern Afghanistan.
Kabul, however, has been relatively free of violence.
Monday's violence appears to have been unrelated to the Taliban rebellion. It started when a U.S. military truck careened downhill into a crowded intersection on the outskirts of downtown Kabul. The truck hit as many as 12 vehicles and killed five people.
The U.S. military said the truck's brakes had gone out. But bystanders reacted with fury to what many here saw as a deliberate act of aggression by U.S. soldiers.
"It's an accident if it involves one car, but not when it involves several cars," Kabul bookseller Mohammed Daoud, 36, said Thursday.
As hundreds of Afghans rushed at the stalled American convoy, U.S. troops opened fire — but only over the heads of the crowd, according to the U.S. military.
Kabul's chief of highway police, Gen. Amanullah Gozar, told the Reuters news agency that one of the vehicles in the U.S. convoy fired into the crowd, killing three people.
"The last car directly fired at people. Others fired into the air," he said. "It was forced to do so because some 1,000 people were rushing, some with stones and sticks toward the convoy. I witnessed it."
After the convoy fled, rioters trashed the offices of the U.S. aid group CARE and looted shops for hours. U.S. military spokesman Col. Tom Collins said Wednesday he had been informed by the Afghan Ministry of Health that the toll from the unrest had risen to 20 dead and more than 160 wounded.
By Thursday, Kabul's streets had mostly returned to their typical chaos: moneychangers shuffling thick decks of afghanis, the local currency; teenage boys peddling cellphone cards; merchants pushing carts filled with mangos.
One thing had changed: Hundreds of Afghan soldiers, police and plainclothes security personnel patrolled the streets and bazaars, overseeing the activity in an obvious show of force.
Karzai's government is trying to figure out what prompted the violent outburst after the crash.
"An investigation is going on to find out why a traffic accident became the cause of a violent demonstration," Masauda Jalal, a women's rights official and member of Karzai's Cabinet, said Thursday. She said the government knows the "U.S. military would not deliberately hurt Afghan civilians," but "the public's awareness is lower."
"There was some anti-American element," Neumann told NPR. "But actually, from my own observation, it was less focused anti-American than I think is being portrayed. "
A common theory is that the crowd's spontaneous protest "was hijacked by criminals and armed men," said Nader Naderi, spokesman for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Many here worry that the speed with which anarchy engulfed Kabul on Monday exposed the government's weakness. "Karzai has no power," said driver Malik Jan, 46. "His police couldn't stop the demonstrations."
Contributing: Wire reports
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Awni al Kalemji to address anti-Bush demonstration in Vienna
Pro-zionist left splits mobilisation
War president Bush, scheduled to come to Vienna on June 21, will face protest action also in Austria as in nearly any other place in the world he is coming to. The amplitude and resonance of the mobilisation reflects the widespread popular feeling against the American Empire imposing its rule by the permanent war.
The most important element is, however, not quantity but quality. The coalition of forces organising the protests invited Awni al Kalemji, the spokesman of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance, as one of the main speakers. This means that the Iraqi Resistance, in favour of which al Kalemji will speak, has gained a lot of terrain in comparison to the past years. We just want to remember the vicious campaign of isolation and criminalisation not only the Iraqi Resistance but also the anti-imperialists supporting it suffered. Thus the very fact that the proposal of the anti-imperialist to lend the word to Kalemji is a big step ahead.
Obviously this did not pass uncontested. The pro-Zionist parts of the left, which has been integrated into the imperialist system, led by the Socialist Youth and the Communist Party broke away from the coalition. They did not even accept to mention the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. They are determined to carry on the campaign against the anti-imperialist forces, which they continue to slander as anti-Semitic, and the Iraqi as well as the Palestinian Resistance.
While this was not surprising the really unfortunate aspect is that the mainstream Muslim leadership aligns with Social Democracy and the pro-Zionist forces. This stems from the fact that the Social Democrats are offering a lot of privileges and all day live support different to other European countries providing also some shelter from excessive institutional harassment. In return they have been enjoying the loyalty of the Muslim leadership which provides for that no anti-imperialist mobilisation is supported.
Anti US riot in Kabul brutally repressed
by the Left Radicals of Afghanistan
When the residents of the area, saw the sadist killing, and damage, gathered immediately and threw stones against US coalition convoy, the angry crowd chanted slogans as ” Death to USA”, “Death to occupiers”, “Death to Karzai”, “They are plunderers”, “They are murderers”, “Go to your homes”, “We want a fair justice for our victims and the perpetrators must be punished and draw to an open trial”. While the wrathful crowd were stoning and chanting in the incident area before the US- coalition convoy, the US-coalition forces opened constantly fire on the disarmed irate people and left more than 87 death and 256 injured totally. Finally, they succeeded to disperse the furious crowd and open way to escape from the spot. But, the suffered people once again filled the roads and stood for the revenge.
The anti US coalition demonstrations were participated by tens of thousands people such as school students, wage labourers, youths, unemployed individuals and other layers of the society.
Now, more than 200 youths, students and labourers have been detained and facing dreadful investigation and brutal tortures, humiliation and probably long period sentences.
We urgently call upon all local and international Left, workers and anti imperialist forces to condemn the massacre by the US forces and express their solidarity with the people of Afghanistan under occupation. Please demand strongly and urgently the release of all 200 new detainees.
Send your protest letters to President Karzai: firstname.lastname@example.org and Interior Ministry: Imashal@yahoo.com and a copy to Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA): email@example.com
End to occupation!
End to brutal military operations!
Stop killing of innocent civilians!
Release all detainees
Full call for solidarity:
After US massacre in Kandahar: withdraw occupation troops!
by Left Radicals of Afghanistan, Jalalabad
Last week the US and coalition forces under the name of “ISAF” (Assistance and Cooperation) heavily air attacked civilian in Panjwai district of Kandahar province. The air attacks launched after the armed opposition started their military operation against invader forces led by US in Kandahar. Following the heavy deadly fighting, that imposed numerous casualties to the imperialist forces and local government, made the USA and coalition forces wrathful to take revenge in the area where the attacks were carried out. So, they turned fire on poor villages of Panjwai where according to US and local government resources around one hundred are dead and according to people and witnesses that reported to the local “independent media” there are hundreds of dead and injured.
Anti-War Protests Continue At Port Of Olympia
May 31, 2006
By Tracy Vedder
OLYMPIA - A protest became a melee on Olympia's waterfront Tuesday as sheriff's deputies arrested 22 people who stormed the port's gate. And war protesters were back on the line Wednesday night -- as are the deputies.
The protesters hope to disrupt shipments of war supplies heading to Iraq.
For more than a week, the two sides have held their ground on Olympia's waterfront. The military transport ship Pomeroy continues to load cargo bound for Iraq, including Stryker vehicles and other military supplies for the Stryker Brigade from Ft. Lewis. Its escort of Coast Guard boats is always present.
On the other side, the protesters with their anti-war slogans and signs, keep constant vigil.
All week, there were jolts of confrontation. But Tuesday night it turned ugly. Protesters pulled down the port's front gate, then sat down with linked arms, blocking access.
Police and protesters have different versions of what happened next. Protester Jeff Berryhill was one of the first arrested, he describes it this way: "I walked in, I let the cops know this is going to be peaceful we have no intention of doing anything of vandalizing anything of trying to be confrontational."
But Chief Criminal Deputy Dan Kimball with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office says others were threatening his officers: "They began to throw objects at the officers, including about a half full plastic pop bottle, and the last straw was a fairly large rock."
The end result was deputies arresting 22 protesters. Some believe the violence clouds the issue.
"I mean, the real issue here is the occupation of Iraq," says Olympia Councilman T.J. Johnson, "and the fact that our community is now directly connected to what is going over there."
Port staff aren't taking any chances this time around. They moved a heavy cargo container across the gate, and it won't be easy to get around.
What does the rest of Olympia think? Opinions are mixed. We overheard one woman tell another she wouldn't be voting for any councilmember who supported the protesters. Others were sorry they missed the action.
But World War II vet Leonard Nord thinks no matter what your opinion about the war in Iraq, to try and disrupt supplies the soldiers need is a disgrace.
"And I resent the use of public facilities for denying our troops the right to defend themselves, I resent that."
And it's not over. As long as the Pomeroy is in port, protesters plan to camp out here. The Pomeroy could leave port as early as Wednesday evening.
The equipment it carries is in support of the Fort Lewis Stryker Brigade, which is returning to Iraq for its second tour of duty there.