The European Union has blocked the release of a documentary on Afghan women who are in jail for so-called “moral crimes”.The EU says it decided to withdraw the film – which it commissioned and paid for – because of “very Read More…
An US soldier admitted to a judge yesterday that it was a “bad decision” to fire a machine gun at an unarmed teenager while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.
Private Andrew Holmes, 21, pled guilty to the murder of a civilian yesterday, a year after initially proclaiming his innocence. Speaking in a military courtroom outside of Seattle, Washington on Thursday, Holmes took responsibility for the killing and also admitted to drug use and keeping a finger from the victim as a souvenir.
The case may not ever have progressed to this point had Holmes not posed in front of the slain 15-year-old boy, mugging for the camera while holding up the head of the dead teenager.
Holmes said he used a heavy machine gun to shoot “six to eight rounds at the man,” but added that he has “regretted it ever since.”
“I remember when this whole thing down and they pulled his dad and his brother down there and they were sitting there looking at their son and brother and he was on the ground. It was a terrible thing. I wish I could have done things different, I wish I would have had time to process what was actually going on. There was a lot of confusion that day,” says Holmes, reports KPLU News.
Five soldiers in all from the Army’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been charged with participating in three “thrill kills” in Afghanistan from last year. Cpl. Jeremy Morlock pled to three counts of premeditated murder earlier this year and as a result was sentenced to 24 years behind bars.
Holmes says Morlock launched a grenade at the victim during the incident and said he wasn’t too sure how to react. “I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Holmes said yesterday, “but I had a terrible feeling that Cpl. Morlock was up to no good.”
“I looked at the young man. He was standing there like a deer in the headlights,” Holmes said to the judge yesterday. “I knew I should have taken cover, but instead I pulled the trigger.”
By pleading guilty to the crime of unpremeditated murder, Holmes worked out a deal with prosecutors that will spare from him receiving a sentence of life in prison. Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, who is being considered by court-martials as the “ringleader” of the January 2010 incident, still stands to face trial. He is expected to go before a judge in November.
The Zardari government should review its policy of aligning Pakistan to the US war in Afghanistan.Senior Pentagon official Mark Lippert has testified to the US Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon would consider a range of options if Pakistan did not cooperate against terrorism.Mr. Lippert appeared before the committee for his confirmation hearing as US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.During his testimony, Mr. Lippert exposed how far he is prey to the American biases
against Pakistan. For one thing, he said that it was Pakistan’s responsibility to ensure that attacks did not emanate from its territory, once again raising the bogey of the Haqqani network, which according to intelligence reports operates out of Afghanistan, not Pakistan.
For another, he claimed the ability of militant groups to find safe havens in Pakistan posed a significant threat to US forces. This ignores the reality that the great mass of attacks on US forces comes from Afghanistan itself, and is rooted in that people’s resistance to foreign invasion and occupation.
The implication of Mr. Lippert’s remarks are that the US is contemplating military action against Pakistan, something which the Pakistani ruling elite should consider in a thorough review of foreign policy, which should include a clear decision to get out of an unfortunate and one-sided alliance.
It seems that Washington has developed wrong ideas about Pakistan after the Abbottabad raid and thinks it can use military means to impose its will. The US may not be aware of it but it should know that the Pakistani nation would fiercely resist any such attempt.
The incumbent government should also keep in mind that Pakistan is the source of its ability to rule, and its dependence on the US means that it is going against the wave of public opinion all in exchange for a presumed ability to stay in power. It should remember that being out of power in their own country is better than not having a country at all.
The fate of all those who acted as US lackeys should be kept in mind. The US is an ungrateful master. It is trying to prop up India as its regional counterweight to China.and is supporting India’s desire for regional hegemony. These wishes also include a number of prejudices against Pakistan, which India wishes the US to share. It appears that it has succeeded.
This should be the new reality to which the ruling elite must accommodate itself. It is only after breaking the alliance presently existing that the US can be convinced that accepting Indian prejudices as policy is a bad idea, and it must restore balance to the relationship that must proceed as that between two sovereign equal states.
NATO, ISAF carried out attack on purpose: Pakistan Army International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) carried out the cross-border attack on purpose and there are no expectations of any results coming from the inquiry.
Russia is sending a flotilla of warships to its naval base in Syria in a show of force that suggests Moscow is willing to defend its interests in the strife-torn country as international pressure mounts on President Bashar Assad’s government.
Russia Considers Blocking NATO Supply Routes The rapidly unfolding situation is starting to tilt the scales in Russia’s favor. Without secure routes in the north or Pakistan to push around anymore, a Russia embargo on overflights or rail shipments would really put NATO over a barrel.