by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

August 19, 2021

KABUL – With recent protests against the Taliban by Afghans brave enough to voice their dissent against the coming brutal regime, the Taliban is now beginning to show their true colors by shooting protesters and going door to door executing former Afghan government workers and those who worked with the United States.

The Taliban ruthlessly gunned down protesters Tuesday for simply raising the former Afghan Nation flag in protest of the Taliban.  The brutal crackdowns were witnessed in Jalalabad, Kabul, and other areas in the country.  Clearly, there is a will for freedom by some in the country.  Perhaps we and our allies left to soon?

There were earlier reports being filed by sources on the ground that the Taliban was beginning to go door to door in Kabul to exterminate U. S. collaborators, former government officials, and Afghan military personnel.  Those reports have now been confirmed and describe summary execution by hanging, gunshot, or beheading. 

In one apartment building, neighbors heard loud pounding on the door with shouting orders to open the door.  When the door is opened the Taliban goon squad enters and declares the chosen individual an enemy of the state and then proceed to drag them out of their home or execute them in their own home in front of family and neighbors.  The goon squad leaves telling residents that they too will be executed if caught hiding “enemies of the state”.

The current top targets are former Afghan military and top government officials that can pose a threat to the Taliban’s consolidation of power.  However, one has to wonder what former president Hamid Karzai was doing meeting with top Taliban leaders yesterday?  Is he now complicit in Taliban goals and coming crimes against humanity?

The fascist Taliban must be stopped and what little flame is burning in the those protesting against Taliban brutality must be flamed into a roaring fire.  Death to Tyrants.

“Give me liberty, or give me death!” – Patrick Henry


by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

August 17, 2021

KABUL – As the Taliban promise piece with a smile and verbal assurances there are disturbing signs their statements are as trustworthy as the Devil.

Sources in various regions of Afghanistan filed reports of Taliban goon squads patrolling populated areas ready to enforce the harsh realities of Sharia Law.  There were reports of a woman summarily executed in the Takhar provinces for being in public without a burka and unaccompanied by a male family member.

In Kabul, Taliban vehicles loaded with armed militants were filmed patrolling residential areas for activists, civilian government workers, and former military personnel.  As they speed down the street, gunshots can be heard.

This is just the beginning, after hearing that the Taliban was confiscating private weapons, we now have reports coming in of Taliban “officials” going door to door hunting for other western collaborators and adding names to lists.  There have also been reports of summary executions.  This all comes after Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid declared women’s rights would be “respected” within the framework of Sharia law and that Afghans who had worked for the country’s now-defunct US military would be granted amnesty.

Prior to the post-9/11 US invasion, which deposed the Taliban government in 2001, the group severely restricted women’s freedoms, confining them to their homes without a male chaperone and enforcing strict dress codes.

According to the State Department, the situation on the ground in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving, with thousands of Americans and allies being evacuated as a result of the Taliban’s rapid sweep across the country.


by The Chicago Times Staff

August 16, 2021

PORT-AU-PRINCE — On Monday, Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency raised the death toll from Saturday’s earthquake to 1,419 and the number of injured to 6,000, many of whom had to wait for help in the sweltering heat, even on an airport tarmac.

The quake, which struck about 125 kilometers (80 miles) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, nearly destroyed some towns and triggered landslides, complicating rescue efforts in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.  When the earthquake struck, Haiti was already dealing with a coronavirus pandemic, gang violence, worsening poverty, and political uncertainty in the aftermath of President Jovenel Mose’s assassination on July 7.

And the devastation is expected to worsen as Tropical Depression Grace approaches Haiti on Monday night, bringing strong winds, heavy rain, mudslides, and flash flooding.  Rainfall could total 15 inches.

According to officials, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake destroyed over 7,000 homes and damaged nearly 5,000 others, displacing approximately 30,000 people.  Hospitals, schools, offices, and churches were also damaged or destroyed.

Local officials had to negotiate with gangs in the seaside district of Martissant to allow two humanitarian convoys a day to pass through the area, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  The agency labeled Haiti’s southern peninsula a “hot spot for gang-related violence,” where humanitarian workers have been attacked on numerous occasions.

The area has been “virtually unreachable” for the past two months, according to the agency, due to roadblocks and security concerns.  According to agency spokeswoman Anna Jefferys, the first convoy of government and United Nations personnel passed through on Sunday, and the United Nations World Food Program plans to send in food supplies.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a one-month state of emergency for the entire country, and said the first government convoys had begun transporting aid to areas where towns had been destroyed and hospitals were overcrowded.

Only last month, the country of 11 million people received its first batch of coronavirus vaccines donated by the United States through a United Nations program for low-income countries.


by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

August 16, 2021

KABUL — Thousands of Afghans flocked to Kabul’s main airport on Monday, some so desperate to flee the savage Taliban that they clung to a military jet as it took off and fell to their deaths.

At least seven refugees were killed in the chaos, according to US officials.

The crowds gathered as the Taliban asserted control over the 5 million-person capital following a lightning advance across the country that took just over a week to oust the country’s Western-backed government. There were no major reports of abuses or fighting, but many residents remained at home and were fearful after the insurgents took over and looted prisons and armories.  However, in other parts of the county there have been reports of the Taliban starting the process of summary execution  of opposition and the systematic physical, psychological, and sexual abuse of women.

The International Committee of the Red Cross reported that thousands of people had been injured in the fighting across Afghanistan.  Security forces and politicians surrendered their provinces and bases without a fight, most likely believing that the two-decade Western experiment to remake Afghanistan would fail in the face of a resurgent Taliban. 

“The world is watching events in Afghanistan with a heavy heart and deep concern about what lies ahead,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Afghans swarmed the international airport’s tarmac as the US military and others continued evacuation flights.  Some climbed into taxiway-parked planes, while others dangled precariously from a jet bridge.

US troops took up positions to protect the active runway, but the crowd rushed past them and their armored vehicles.  The sound of gunshots could be heard.  A helicopter did low runs in front of a US Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III as it attempted to take off, attempting to drive people off the runway.  A group of Afghans was seen hanging onto the plane just before takeoff, and several others were seen falling through the air as the plane quickly gained altitude over the city. 

According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, US forces killed two people in the melee who were carrying weapons.  He stated that 1,000 additional US troops would be deployed to secure the airfield and supplement the 2,500 already present.

All flights at the airport, military and civilian, were halted until Afghan civilians were cleared from the runway, according to Kirby.  Hundreds of people remained trapped late Monday night, witnesses said, between American forces attempting to push them out of the airport and Taliban forces attempting to keep them in.

The Biden administration were taken aback by the Taliban offensive.  A US military assessment issued just days before the insurgents entered Kabul with little to no resistance predicted that the capital would fall within months.

The defeat threatened to undo 20 years of Western efforts to remake Afghanistan, which had resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Afghans as well as more than 3,500 US and allied troops.  The initial invasion in 2001 deposed the Taliban and dispersed al-Qaida, which had planned the 9/11 attacks while hiding in Afghanistan.

Women were largely confined to their homes under the Taliban, who ruled in accordance with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law, and suspected criminals faced amputation or public execution.

In recent years, the insurgents have attempted to project a more moderate image, but many Afghans remain skeptical.  Taliban have been know to stone women to death for the slightest infraction.


by The Chicago Times Staff

August 15, 2021

PORT-AU-PRINCE — The death toll from Haiti’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake rose on Sunday as rescuers raced to find survivors amid the rubble ahead of a potential deluge from an approaching tropical storm.

The Caribbean island nation’s earthquake on Saturday killed at least 724 people and injured 2,800, with thousands more displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes.  Survivors in some areas were forced to take refuge in streets or soccer fields with their few salvaged belongings, while overcrowded hospitals scrambled to care for the injured.

The devastation, however, is expected to worsen with the arrival of Tropical Storm Grace, which is expected to hit Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday, bringing torrential rain, flooding, and landslides.  The National Hurricane Center in the United States predicted 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with up to 15 inches in some southern parts of the shared island.

The earthquake struck the southwestern part of the poorest country in the hemisphere, nearly razing some towns and causing landslides that hampered rescue efforts in a country already dealing with a coronavirus pandemic, a presidential assassination, and a wave of gang violence.

According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter was about 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, and aftershocks continued to jolt the area on Sunday.  Some families in the badly damaged coastal town of Les Cayes salvaged their few belongings and spent the night on an open-air football pitch.  People waited in line at a local street market on Sunday morning to buy what little was available: bananas, avocados, and water.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a one-month state of emergency for the entire country, saying he was rushing aid to areas where towns had been destroyed and hospitals were overcrowded.  A former senator chartered a private plane to transport injured people from Les Cayes to Port-au-Prince for medical treatment.

The previous death toll from Haiti’s Office of Civil Protection was 304 as of Sunday’s count.

According to the agency, over 7,000 homes were destroyed and nearly 5,000 were damaged.

Hospitals, schools, offices, and churches were all hit hard.

Hospitals were overburdened at a time when Haiti was dealing with a pandemic and a lack of resources to combat it.  Only last month, the country of 11 million people received its first batch of coronavirus vaccines donated by the United States through a United Nations program for low-income countries.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010 struck closer to densely populated Port-au-Prince, causing widespread devastation.

The Haitian government put the death toll at over 300,000, while a US government-commissioned report put it between 46,000 and 85,000.


by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

August 15, 2021

KABUL – Afghan government surrenders Bagram airbase to Taliban.  As the Taliban seize control of the government, the US embassy has issued new advice to American citizens attempting to flee the country.

Previously, nationals were directed to the Kabul airport, but the embassy informed them that the airport was now “taking fire,” and the security situation had changed.  “We are instructing U.S. citizens to shelter in place,” the embassy said in a statement.

The embassy also posted a Repatriation Assistance Request form and advised Americans not to call the embassy for flight updates or details.

Many in the US government are calling this an embarrassment for our country and shameful that Biden can only provide a “shelter in place” advisory to US civilians left in Taliban hands.