>In other words, U.S. policy of intentionally starving the Afghan people through economic sanctions on Afghanistan is going as planned. As many predicted, blocking funds from the Taliban and curtailing foreign aid and assistance would lead to a rapid financial meltdown and exacerbate the ongoing famine plaguing Afghanistan. How long before capitalist apologists blame this all on ‘socialism’ and find every excuse in the book to exonerate the sanctioners?

Taliban special forces in camouflage fired their weapons into the air Saturday, bringing an abrupt and frightening end to the latest protest march in the capital by Afghan women demanding equal rights from the new rulers. Also on Saturday, the chief of Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, which has an outsized influence on the Taliban, made a surprise visit to Kabul. The women's march, the second in as many days in Kabul, began peacefully. Demonstrators laid a wreath outside Afghanistan's Defense Ministry to honor Afghan soldiers who died fighting the Taliban before marching on to the presidential palace.

[2014] WikiLeaks statement on the mass recording of Afghan telephone calls by the NSA
The National Security Agency has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic (and international) phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013. Both the Washington Post and The Intercept (based in the US and published by eBay chairman Pierre Omidyar) have censored the name of one of the victim states, which the latter publication refers to as country "X". Both the Washington Post and The Intercept stated that they had censored the name of the victim country at the request of the US government. Such censorship strips a nation of its right to self-determination on a matter which affects its whole population. An ongoing crime of mass espionage is being committed against the victim state and its population. By denying an entire population the knowledge of its own victimisation, this act of censorship denies each individual in that country the opportunity to seek an effective remedy, whether in international courts, or elsewhere. Pre-notification to the perpetrating authorities also permits the erasure of evidence which could be used in a successful criminal prosecution, civil claim, or other investigations.

C.I.A. Report: Use feminism to reduce Western opposition to military occupation of Afghanistan [2010]
This classified CIA analysis from March outlines possible PR strategies to shore up public support in Germany and France for a continued war in Afghanistan. After the Dutch government fell on the issue of Dutch troops in Afghanistan last month, the CIA became worried that similar events could happen in the countries that post the third and fourth largest troop contingents to the ISAF mission. The proposed PR strategies focus on pressure points that have been identified within these countries. For France it is the sympathy of the public for Afghan refugees and women. For Germany it is the fear of the consequences of defeat (drugs, more refugees, terrorism) as well as for Germany's standing in NATO. The memo is a recipe for the targeted manipulation of public opinion in two NATO ally countries, written by the CIA. It is classified as Confidential/No Foreign Nationals.

Assistance to women was always a tiny trickle until some crisis shone a spotlight on the plight of a specific group and then large funds would be torpedoed in with little sustainable impact. The struggle to help Afghan women have ordinary lives requires long-term partnership and an understanding of what Afghanistan really is. It cannot be fixed with the wand-waving flick of regime change or inserting women into institutions not ready to value their contributions. It will be fixed by a long-term commitment with humility and understanding about the dangerous uphill journey women and their families had just begun.

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Everything about Afghanistan.

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