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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Aesthetics sacrificed for functionality

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Take a tour in the latest in comfort for the modern day prisoner:


Makes me want to sell my inner city town house and go shopping in Cuba
posted by Travis, 9:52 am | link | 0 comments |

NHS volunteers treat Taliban in frontline hospital

The Sunday Times
December 23, 2007

Stephen Grey, Camp Bastion, Helmand DOCTORS and nurses from the NHS have left Christmas behind to be volunteers in the Afghanistan war, treating British soldiers in a frontline field hospital. Deployed to the bleak Helmand desert, they are on 24-hour stand-by to treat the most devastating wounds in a bloody war.

At least half the staff at the field hospital in the British base at Bastion are volunteer reservists from the NHS who come to Afghanistan on three-month tours. Their greatest pride is that almost every British soldier who reaches their care will return alive to their family or unit.

Among the worst things is trying to help soldiers come to terms with their injuries, which may mean the loss of their arms or legs. “These guys are fit young men before,” Saunders said. “It’s very traumatic for them. When a young man loses a limb, his whole life is turned around. We try to give them psychological support.”

Operating under the Geneva conventions, staff at the field hospital treat not only British casualties but also civilians and the Taliban. Nobody is armed inside the hospital, and sometimes the Taliban are nursed in the same ward as the British, side by side.

“When the Taliban are in intensive care they are generally sedated; when they are awake they have a guard, although we don’t have guns here at all,” said Clare Dutton, a senior military nurse from Selly Oak who was running the intensive care unit.

“We treat everyone the same – everybody gets the same treatment – except that British soldiers are repatriated as soon as possible.”

Watch a video of the radiographers at Camp Bastion
posted by Travis, 9:43 am | link | 1 comments |

Al Qaeda's Media Savy New Years Resolution

Detroit Free Press, United States
December 20, 2007
CAIRO, Egypt

Al Qaeda has invited journalists to send questions to its No. 2 figure, Ayman al-Zawahri, in the first such interview offer by the increasingly media-savvy terror network since the 9/11 attacks.

The invitation is a new twist in Al Qaeda's campaign to reach a broader audience, and represents an attempt by al-Zawahri to present himself as a sophisticated leader rather than a mass murderer.

"I think their media capability is sophisticated as ever," said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert and professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. "It shows how this group with 7th-Century ideology is exploiting 21st-Century media capabilities."

It said it would take questions until Jan. 16, after which al-Zawahri would answer them at "the soonest possible occasion." It did not say whether his answers would come in writing, video or audiotape.

Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahri have given a few interviews to Western and Arabic news media since they first rose to prominence in the 1990s. But neither has been interviewed since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the subsequent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, which toppled Al Qaeda's patrons, the Taliban, and sent Al Qaeda's leaders into hiding.

Since then, al-Zawahri has emerged as Al Qaeda's most prominent spokesman. He has appeared in at least 16 videos and audiotapes this year, compared to four for bin Laden.

Hoffman said al-Zawahri is also trying to boost his own image to look more like a true leader as opposed to a "homicidal thug."
posted by Travis, 9:41 am | link | 0 comments |

And the final scores are in...........

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Here are figures for foreign military deaths in Afghanistan since the Taliban government was toppled in 2001:

United States 476

Britain 86

Canada 76

Spain 23

Germany 26*

Other nations 66


And More than 10,000 Afghan people have died from war related incidents since 2001
posted by Travis, 5:16 pm | link | 0 comments |

Stress, a common cause of Cancer........

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Guantanamo prisoner dies of cancer

The US has drawn international criticism for holding foreign captives for years without charge [AFP]
An Afghan detainee has died from cancer at US naval base prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, US authorities have said.

Abdul Razzak, 68, who was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for colorectal cancer, was pronounced dead by a doctor at the base on Sunday morning, the US military said in a statement.

He was the fifth prisoner to die in captivity since the detention and interrogation camp opened in 2002, Commander Rick Haupt, a spokesman for the military's Joint Task Force Guantanamo, said.

The other four deaths at Guantanamo, which currently holds about 290 prisoners, were the result of apparent suicides, according to the US military.

Haupt said Razzak was detained in Afghanistan in January 2003 and was a "committed jihadist", then aged 64.
posted by Travis, 4:54 am | link | 3 comments |