War of Terror Expanded into Pakistan; Obama Considers 10,000 More Troops for Afghanistan

By Kenneth J. Theisen
The Obama administration continues to escalate its undeclared war in Pakistan, while contemplating further escalation in Afghanistan. On April 1st, the U.S. launched two missiles that struck in the Orakzai region of Pakistan. Local officials stated that at least 10 people have been killed in the missile strike. Another dozen were wounded. Since last August more than 3 dozen U.S. missile strikes have killed at least 300 people in Pakistan according to reports from Pakistan.
As a candidate, and now as president, Obama has made clear that he will continue to violate international law by attacking people in Pakistan. Even though his administration no longer uses the word, “war on terror,” it has no problem continuing a war of terror. Pakistan government officials have publicly protested the repeated attacks as violations of Pakistan sovereignty, while quietly going along with them.



There is abundant evidence that war crimes were committed by the Bush Administration. Indeed more evidence appears on an almost daily basis.
The question is very simple: Will any officials of the Bush administration who are responsible for the “war on terror” be indicted and held accountable for those crimes?
People of conscience must insist on accountability for the actions of U.S. officials. The status of the United States as a major world power does not make its officials less accountable for their crimes than the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia or any other country. It is the obligation of citizens who recognize that no country or government is above the law of human decency, as currently embedded in international law, to demand public accountability in a court of law. Only then will it be clear that this country repudiates the course set by the Bush administration on the issues of “preemptive war” and treatment of prisoners.


Iraq: Let The Numbers Speak

By Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi
I pride myself in being a scientist and a researcher. I built my academic career on theories and numbers. As a teacher, I teach my students that everything is based in science - everything has reason. For this reason, I am always frustrated with myself when I find I am overwhelmed with feelings on specific topics.
One such topic is the occupation of my country, Iraq. On this subject I find that I cannot always be dispassionate. I cannot be the researcher and observer and discuss it without feeling or emotion as I am sometimes expected to do. I find myself doing research on the damages caused by the war and occupation, and my head buzzes with anger, my eyes burn with tears of desperation at the state of my country.
Six years after the attack and the pain is as fresh and cutting as it was in March 2003. This year, I decided, I would view it as a scientist. I would not attack the subject with emotion. I would let the numbers speak for themselves. This year I will sit back and play the part of the analyst- the researcher- on this topic that is closest to my heart.
Six years into the occupation…


Drawdown Plan May Leave Combat Brigades in Iraq

Analysis by Gareth Porter
WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (IPS) - President Barack Obama has given military commanders a free hand to determine the size and composition of a residual force in Iraq up to 50,000 troops, apparently including the option of leaving one or more combat brigades or bringing them from the United States, after the August 2010 deadline for the ostensible withdrawal of all combat brigades now in Iraq. Although the ostensible purpose of the combat brigades remaining in Iraq would be to protect other U.S. troops in the country, they would also provide the kind of combat capability that U.S. commanders have wanted to maintain to deal with a broad range of contingencies.

The fact that the commanders have the option to nullify Obama’s pledge to removal all combat brigades raises serious questions about whether he has given up control over his Iraq policy.

Obama declared, in a speech at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina that by Aug. 31, 2010, "[O]ur combat mission in Iraq will end". But he confirmed earlier indications from administration officials that the residual force would be from 35,000 to 50,000 troops - far higher than Democratic congressional leaders had previously been led to expect by Obama.


Obama: Bagram Prisoners Be Damned

By Dennis Loo

Contrary to his public pronouncements about taking the "moral high ground," "restoring due process," ending torture, and that "no one is above the law," the Obama administration declared on February 20, 2009 that the hundreds of prisoners in Bagram, Afghanistan being held by US forces and subjected to torture and murder since our invasion of Afghanistan, do not have the right to challenge their indefinite detentions or the fact that they have been tortured.
They are, according to this new White House, outside the law that the Obama team has made such a fetish of claiming that they uphold. 


Swat: Beyond the Valley of the Hanging Chains

The US War On Terror Is Transforming a Wonderland into a Gangland

By Uzma Aslam Khan
refugees in Swat ValleyAs a teenager, I visited the Swat Valley in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. It was a short stop; my family and I were on our way to a longer trip in the Kaghan Valley. I remember my father saying he would show us Swat one day. He would take us into the mountains and through the meadows and lakes so I could finally see the geography that had for years conjured up images of freedom and space in my cramped, city-bound imagination. And not only mine: for centuries Swat had been popular with visitors from all over South Asia, and from the rest of the world, not only for its beauty but for its rich history and aesthetic. Like Kashmir, it was once a princely state, and people knew it for its profound cultural dynamism.
I also remember loving the name “Swat.” Pronounced s-waath in Pushto, it is spoken as two syllables, not one, and it is a soft, whispery kind of word, something you might hear in a feather if you leaned very close.
We never did return. And now it is as if Swat is not s-waath but so-what.


Reject the excuses for imperialist war in Afghanistan

By Kenneth J. Theisen
On October 7, 2001 the U.S. launched “Operation Enduring Freedom,” or what has become to be known as the Afghanistan War. Within months, the Bush regime thought that this war was won by U.S. imperialism. But much like the sign on the aircraft carrier that stated “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq, victory has proven to be illusory in Afghanistan as well. The Bush regime left office last month without victory in that country. But the Obama administration, as the new representative of U.S. imperialism, is intent on winning the Afghanistan war. Obama portrays the war in this Central Asian country as the good war or the real war on terror. On February 17th he announced that he will deploy at least 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, many Obama supporters, including even some progressives, have bought into the arguments that justify the continuation and even the escalation of this war. As I write this, the Obama administration is conducting a high-level review of this war and how to achieve victory for U.S. imperialism there. But victory for U.S. imperialism, even if possible, is not in the interests of the Afghanistan population or the people of the world.
We need to examine some of the reasons—excuses--given to justify this war and its continuation.


Wake up Call: World Can’t Wait and Other Activists Visit the ‘Army Experience’


by Elaine Brower

On Monday, February 16th about 50 activists decided to take a trip to the Franklin Mills Mall right outside Philadelphia, PA to get their look at a new "store". "The Army Experience" (AEC), as it is called, built by the taxpayers to the tune of $12 million, attracts local kids to play video games, most of which are high tech simulations of combat situations.  

The group was made up of members from all over the area. World Can’t Wait from New York City and Philadelphia; Delaware Valley Veterans of America; Iraq Veterans Against the War;alt Veterans for Peace from the Philadelphia area; CodePink Women for Peace; Granny Peace Brigade; and, the Brandywine Peace Center converged on the mall at about 10:30 AM, greeted by a heavier than usual security force.
As a little background, let me explain. This 15,000 sq. ft. center has the look of a brand new spaceship, clean, polished and full of gadgets and was opened in August, 2008. On the website it announces in a welcome message:

"Providing unique insight into the Army Experience Center is an unparalled interactive experience designed and built by the world’s premier land force – the United States Army." "See what excitement is all about!"



War Games in Northeast Philadelphia


by Peter Lehu

Picture rows of tweens in comfortable armchairs playing shoot'em up video games.  The air is filled with the sounds of bootsteps, the percussion of machine gun fire, the same repeated scream of anguish every time the enemy is hit.  The kids (mostly boys) are in their glory, their eyes onlyalt turning from the screens to slurp at soft drinks.  Seems like a mostly harmless way for kids to relax on a wintry Saturday afternoon, right?  Now picture army recruiters circling around these kids, chatting with them, congratulating them on particularly skillful kills.  If you are a parent your protective instincts should be blazing right now. 

To play war video games is the main reason teens and children visit The Army Experience, a $12 million entertainment and recruiting center that was opened recently by the US Army in Franklin Mills Mall in Northeast Philadelphia.  Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, the Army is testing a new strategy by associating the amusements that children and teens already enjoy--like video games, sports, and movies--with the experience of being a soldier.  If the Franklin Mills Army Experience entices enough kids to join up more of these centers will be built throughout the country. 


How to Make Friends


On January 23, 2009 President O-bomb-a ordered Pakistan drone attacks on innocent men, women and children indicating he can kill faster and cheaper than the Republicans.

Illustration and caption by John Murphy

Luis Barrios, Other Fighters: 2 Month Sentences for “Close Down the School of the Americas” Protest


On January 26th, a Federal judge in Georgia convicted and sentenced Luis Barrios, Kristin Holm, Sr.alt Diane Pinchot, OSU, Al Simmons and Theresa Cusimano to two months each in jail for carrying the protest against the School of the Americas onto the Fort Benning military base in Georgia. A sixth defendant, Louis Wolf, was sentenced to six months of house arrest.
Like Guantánamo, the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia is associated with torture and crimes against humanity.  While these crimes took place "on site" at Guantánamo, for over 25 years the School of the Americas has been a "training" facility, where military personnel from all over Latin America have been given instruction that they then put to use once returning to their respective countries. It has gained the nickname of the "School of Assassins" for the number of its graduates that have been linked to such crimes as the infamous killing of four nuns in El Salvador in the 1980's.



World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.