Forever Under Construction

All is well in Kabul markets

Posted in Afghanistan, Not in the news by homeyra on October 11, 2008

Bitter-sweet and brillante! Afghan blogger Ali Ramezani writes:

“Today I am breathing effortlessly and I am filled with legitimate pride for my country.
While the whole world is shaking in the fever of the fall of stocks, the 10% decrease of the Dow-Jones indictor sets a record and the inflation is rampant in most well off countries, my ancient country and its valiant people have no reason to worry.
The Dow-Jones indicator of the local market in Kabul remains stable in the face of this worldwide financial crisis.

Even though we are the most globalized country in the world, and have no resemblance to Iran or China – who have stayed out of the harm’s way due to lack of international trade or because of a nationalized economy – no, our international trade starts in Kabul itself and extends throughout the world. Yes, we have investments everywhere.

Our loyal costumers are waiting for us all over the world: one has passed out on a street corner, dozing off while waiting, another in a bar; one in Hollywood, one in Bollywood, all waiting impatiently for our healing white powder.

From this corner of the world I congratulate the economic sense of my country’s leaders. Do you realize that if Kabul’s market had crashed what calamities would befall the world? A financial crisis in Kabul’s Market is tantamount to the collapse of welfare for humanity.”

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This image is from a while ago, this is the source. I have photoshopped and included the latest estimates: Production in 2005: 4,519, in 2006: 6,724

Why a low point? “In July 2000 the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar banned poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. An international delegation led by the United Nations Drug Control Program visited Afghanistan to study the impact of Omar’s ban. […] That in less than a year Afghanistan has gone from being the biggest opium producer in the world to providing a trickle of the global supply may be the single-most successful drug moratorium in modern history…” read more

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The Untold Story

Posted in Books, Iraq, Not in the news by homeyra on July 9, 2008

Don’t forget to check Reclaiming space for the untold story of Iraq: “Two excellent recent videos discussing Iraq and US foreign policy.”

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Blackwater’s bright future: No matter who wins the White House, the security firm is shooting for lucrative work, by Jeremy Scahill

The Loop

Posted in Iran, Not in the news, Nuclear by homeyra on June 28, 2008

Iran accused of hiding nuclear studies

Iran rejects nuclear weapons allegations

IAEA Chief demands full disclosure from Iran

Iran and IAEA agree on action plan; US, Europeans not satisfied

Iranian FM: US in no position to dictate nuclear terms … … …

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We have all seen the above headlines starting all over again and again and again. Probably you haven’t read a full IAEA report, neither have I. None of the news articles usually gives a clear picture.

In an interview, Scott Ritter, former Chief United Nations Weapons Inspector In Iraq and Marine Corps intelligence officer, explains (emphasis are mine):

IAEA Report: “In May, the media characterized a report by the IAEA into Iran’s uranium enrichment program as evidence that Tehran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program. […] the media misrepresented the report and likely did not thoroughly review its findings. “We have a situation where the IAEA has published several technical reports all of which state there is no evidence Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. None. Zero.

How the IAEA report was drafted: “(Intelligence) information has been provided to the IAEA […] we all know that it’s basically intelligence provided to the agency by the U. S. of America, a nation openly hostile to Iran, a nation that has a track record of fabricating, exaggerating, and misrepresenting intelligence data. […]

because the United States has such a dominating role in the United Nations Security Council and in the Board of Governors the IAEA couldn’t ignore the information it receives from the United States about Iran.

The IAEA can’t go to Iran with information that isn’t serious. So they say it’s serious and it needs to be investigated. So they go to Iran and the Iranians say, correctly so,this is bullshit.’ You’re basically serving as a front to the CIA. The CIA is asking intelligence based questions about issues that are not relevant to the safeguards agreement […]

The IAEA acknowledges that what it’s asking Iran to answer has nothing to do with its mandate of the nuclear non proliferation treaty. […] Iran is saying it’s not their job to answer the CIA’s questions. So the IAEA reports that Iran is not being forthcoming on these issues and now it’s unnamed diplomats, i.e. American and British diplomats, who say they are very concerned because Iran’s refusal to cooperate only reinforces their concern that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

“This is purely CIA instigated tripe. When we get down to the nuts and bolts of the technical question of Iran’s uranium enrichment program and whether or not there’s any infrastructure in Iran that supports a nuclear weapons program and the IAEA technical find says there is none […]” Read the article

See also: The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was, by Scott Ritter

Previous posts: The case against Iran

Oh, one last thing!

Not in the News

Posted in Afghanistan, Not in the news by homeyra on June 20, 2008

Permanent bases and strategy towards China long-term US objectives in Afghanistan in Real News Network or in Youtube

Aijaz Ahmad, Real News Network senior analyst:

-[…] major news about Afghanistan never gets discussed. For example, a very important thing very much in the news today with respect to Iraq is this agreement that the Bush administration’s trying to sign with the al-Maliki government which gives the United States the right to have bases in Iraq in perpetuity, which creates a situation in which the Iraqi courts don’t have any […] jurisdiction over American soldiers and so on and so forth. Now, never has it been discussed in the US media, and even in most of the scholarly journals, that the United States actually did sign such an agreement with the Karzai government in Afghanistan in 2005, three years ago.

– So they have a deal for bases in Afghanistan.

– In perpetuity. That never became big news in the United States. (Video and transcript here)

Real News Network: More on Afghanistan

See also The Imaginary Rise and Fall of Al-Qaida