Afghanistan and Pakistan

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Afghanistan and Pakistan

WASHINGTON -  

SONALI KOLHATKAR
Co-author of "Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the
Propaganda of Silence," Kolhatkar said today in response to Obama's
statement this morning: "When the president talks about 'defeating' Al
Qaeda, it is crucial to ask what exactly that means. Does it mean
killing every last member of Al Qaeda? When the president talks about
'corruption' in parliament, does he understand that he's referring to
criminal warlords we hired to fight the Taliban?" Kolhatkar is
co-director of the Afghan Women's Mission.
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DAVID HARRIS
Harris recently wrote the piece "The next chapter in the war on terror," largely about U.S. policy in Afghanistan:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/18/EDVQ1609JC.D...
An author and journalist, Harris has written books that inclue "The
Crisis: The President, the Prophet and the Shah -- 1979 and the Coming
of Militant Islam." He has been an editor at the New York Times
Magazine and Rolling Stone.

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DAVID HARRIS
Harris recently wrote the piece "The next chapter in the war on terror," largely about U.S. policy in Afghanistan:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/18/EDVQ1609JC.D...
An author and journalist, Harris has written books that inclue "The
Crisis: The President, the Prophet and the Shah -- 1979 and the Coming
of Militant Islam." He has been an editor at the New York Times
Magazine and Rolling Stone.

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PRATAP CHATTERJEE
Chatterjee just wrote the piece "Policing Afghanistan: Obama's New
Strategy," which outlines the role of DynCorp and other companies
there: http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15328 .
He said today: "Most of the international community and the Afghans
don't want the U.S. to be bombing. The Afghans that I met when I was
there last November were concerned that the people the U.S. is training
are corrupt.
"The U.S. government is spending all this money to fight the Taliban,
but what most Afghans want is development: water, sanitation,
electricity, jobs. Most of what the U.S. government has done along
these lines hasn't helped them -- money was essentially funneled back
to profiteering U.S. firms. Afghans don't want all these U.S. workers
and experts coming in -- they want to do things themselves, perhaps
with some international assistance with the basics."
Chatterjee is managing editor of CorpWatch. His latest book is called
"Halliburton's Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company
Revolutionized the Way America Makes War."
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ALI AHSAN Ahsan
is a U.S.-based Pakistani lawyer and was involved in the lawyers reform
movement. He said today: "Obama is outlining enormous involvement in
Pakistan: financial, extreme military involvement and a very overt
demand of performance from Pakistan. I'm tempted to be hopeful that
some of this could help development of democratic institutions, but
those are the promises that were made in the 1980s and were sacrificed
at the altar of the military. It could also foster ever greater
resentment. This seems similar to the situation in Egypt, where the
regime does unpopular things for the benefit of the U.S. and a few
people in the country."

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