Middle East

The US slaughter in Afghanistan makes the Chinese creeping colonisation of Urumqi look like a picnic, bemoans Eric Walberg

Last week's riots in Urumqi, resulting in 180 deaths, recall similar protests in Tibet last year, though only 19 people were killed there. Both Uighurs and Tibetans exiles demonstrated during the Chinese Olympics, to little effect. Both regions, remote from the heart of Han China, were taken over under the communists, and are important strategically and as storehouses of mineral wealth to feed the new capitalist China's voracious appetite. They remind us that old-fashion colonialism is alive and well. Neither the Uighurs nor the Tibetans have any hope of independence, but they rightly would like the Han to be less greedy and invasive.

NATO pays Taliban for security and a Canadian is appointed governor of Kandahar. When will the madness cease, asks Eric Walberg

1/1/9 -- The war in Afghanistan is spreading its tentacles around the world. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai are now attributed to elements trying to divert the Pakistani military away from the Afghan border areas.

The Taliban's Tet has begun. Interpret Laura Bush's clarion call "to stand by Afghanistan" as you will, says Eric Walberg

19/6/8 -- Two landmarks were passed in Afghanistan in June 2008 -- British troop deaths surpassed 100, and monthly official coalition deaths now outnumber official coalition deaths in Iraq.

Princess Patricia, a Taliban takeover. Oh, the horror of it all, gasps Eric Walberg

5/6/8 -- News from Afghanistan makes no sense. On the one hand there are up-beat stories like the recent Canadian Operation Rolling Thunder in Pashmul, Kandahar. "I started the operation on a hospital operating table and I'm ending it with everybody coming back safely. I couldn't be happier," beamed Major Grubb, leading the 2nd Battalion of the bizarrely named Princess Patricia's Light Infantry Company.

In addition to a bumper opium harvest, the US is reaping the whirlwind in Afghanistan, warns Eric Walberg

14/2/8 -- According to Gideon Polya, based on UNESCO data, the US invasion of Afghanistan has led to as many as 6.6 million unnecessary deaths.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html