By November 21, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Occupation 2024: U.S. Troops Aren’t Leaving Afghanistan Next Year


This week, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced startling news that the United States and Afghanistan had finalized an agreement that could see American military presence in Afghanistan until 2024. This received virtually no attention in the mainstream corporate media. What does Afghanistan get out of this deal? In short: billions of dollars of international assistance will continue to flow into Kabul bank accounts.

The deal was approved by an Afghan grand council of elders starting today. President Hamid Karzai, for his part, demanded that U.S. President Obama write a letter acknowledging American military mistakes over the past 12 years of military presence in the region. This was apparently too much for President Obama, as Wednesday, Kerry insisted that the deal was reached without such an apology.

In fact, Kerry asserts, “President Karzai didn’t ask for an apology,” he claimed, “There was no discussion of an apology. I mean, it’s just not even on the table.”

Now the draft continues with the Afghan loya jirga, for further refinement. The original language of the security agreement that was posted on the Afghan Foreign Ministry website last night was substantially different from earlier versions given to journalists.

While Kerry insisted there would be no White House apology for illegal actions in Afghanistan, he did suggest there might be some communication from President Obama to Karzai in the next few days.

“It’s very important for President Karzai to know that the issues that he’s raised with us for many years have been properly addressed, and it’s very important for us to know that issues we have raised with him for a number of years are properly addressed.”

Strangely, this is the same man who used to regard himself as a peace activist. Even stranger, extending U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 is a move by the Obama administration that reaches well beyond the deadline for pullout set by former president George W. Bush. Drone use and “collateral damage” has surpassed that of the former president by many times. Wars have been extended beyond what Bush had said. Guantanamo Bay’s detention center has been given extension after extension, directly by president Obama. All of this has left many legitimate peace activists wondering how President Obama was ever awarded a Nobel Peace Prize?

(Article by Isa Abu Jamal; image via Foreign Policy)

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