06-24-2018  1:39 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

Marion County deputies investigating suspicious death

LYONS, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement officials are investigating after a man was found dead in a pond near his home in Lyons.The Marion County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to the scene Saturday afternoon after the body was found. Detectives also responded to the scene because the...

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...


How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...


Authorities investigating fatal Minneapolis police shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota state authorities are investigating after Minneapolis police shot and killed a black man they say was firing a handgun as he walked outside.A demonstration was planned for Sunday afternoon at a police precinct headquarters and a vigil near the north Minneapolis...

Jews, Muslims in Berlin team up on bike rides against hatred

BERLIN (AP) — Some 25 Jews and Muslims rode tandem bicycles through the German capital on Sunday in a protest against growing anti-Semitism and attacks on Muslims in the country.Some were rabbis and imams, others included women in headscarves and Jewish community members donning skullcaps...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...


Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brigitte Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54.The model, actress and reality star and her 39-year-old husband Mattia Dessi released a statement to People magazine Saturday saying their daughter Frida was born Friday in Los Angeles and weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces (2.3...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

'Jurassic World' sequel stomps its way to 0 million debut

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs still rule the box office."Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" surpassed expectations to open with 0 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canada theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. While that total didn't approach the record-breaking...


Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

Trump officials pledge to reunite families amid border chaos

Trump administration officials say the U.S. government knows the location of all children in its custody after...

Trump tweets, hard-right voters hamper GOP immigration push

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican apprehension over President Donald Trump's next tweet and fear of riling...

Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser said in an interview published...

US Defense chief to visit China amid S. China Sea tensions

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of "intimidation and coercion" in...

Libyan coast guard intercepts 450 migrants bound for Europe

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's coast guard intercepted Sunday some 460 African migrants, including dozens of children...

Peter Schurmann New America Media

Ed. Note: Four years ago, Afghanistan was at the forefront of debate in the race for the White House. This year, neither candidate appears willing to make more than a passing reference to what has become America's longest war on record. Journalist and author Fariba Nawa says that reticence stems from a desire on the part of a majority of Americans to "get out and move on." Nawa was born in Afghanistan and came to the United States at the age of 10. She is the author of "Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman's Journey Through Afghanistan."

NAM: The term "forgotten war" is increasingly being applied to America's ongoing involvement in Afghanistan. Is it accurate?

Fariba Nawa: When a country loses a war, of course, people want to forget about it. I hate to say it but unless Americans have had some type of personal involvement in Afghanistan, or they identify with a certain cause, i.e. women's rights, they have stopped caring. Also, there have been many comparisons made between Vietnam and Afghanistan, and I think it's a crude comparison. Vietnam involved the draft, serious anti-war marches, a critical media and 50,000 dead soldiers. Vietnam is etched in America's consciousness, but not Iraq or Afghanistan. Afghanistan has unfolded like a video game, one in which America is the loser but can pretend it didn't happen. The [U.S.] government and public sentiment is about getting out and moving on. Forget about the 2,000 dead American soldiers, forget about the billions of dollars spent in reconstruction money, forget about the women and children of Afghanistan. The distance and lack of media coverage makes it easier to forget. Iraq has been forgotten and so will Afghanistan it seems.

NAM: So-called "green-on-blue" killings, involving Afghan allies turning their guns on American and NATO service members, are on the rise. How will this effect American thinking on the war?

Nawa: It makes the American public want to pull out the troops sooner. The insurgents are outwitting the foreign troops. They use sheer fear and religious hatred to convince Afghans to support them. But the Taliban also point to NATO as responsible for civilian casualties, corruption in the Afghan government and the lack of jobs in the country, to draw support for itself. The Taliban have become media savvy. They were even on Twitter not too long ago. The fact is that the insurgents are responsible for more civilian casualties than NATO's attacks.

Public support for the foreign presence is wearing thin in Afghanistan as well, but that doesn't mean they want Americans out. Americans see it this way: They don't seem to want us there and we don't want to be there. So why are we there? That's a simplistic view that fails to understand the multi-dimensional reality. It's a specific population that doesn't want U.S. troops there. Many [Afghans who hold this view] are supported by Pakistan's military establishment. Ask the women, men with jobs, the educated and technocrats how they feel, and they will beg for [U.S.] troops to remain, though they want the focus to shift from combat to reconstruction and nation building. There's been a call for peacekeeping troops from Afghans but NATO is not engaging in that conversation.

NAM: You mentioned an acquaintance of yours is returning to be with family in Kabul. What is your sense of day-to-day realities there?

Nawa: Afghans here come and go all year-round to visit family, to sell and buy land, and to work. Afghans live life despite the dangers. After 30 years of ongoing violence, there's a resilience that allows them to pick up and move on. They have lavish weddings, and now there are concerts in some cities and festivals in Kabul. Kids go to school where it's relatively safe and men and women both work if they have jobs. People listen to music, they watch TV, they visit each other's homes. I'm in daily contact with Afghans on Facebook and Twitter.

NAM: What is the Afghan American community looking or hoping to hear from the presidential race here in the United States?

Nawa: We want to hear the candidates address the issue more. Both candidates are too quiet. The public's apathy has allowed the government to stay mute. Again, it's hard to discuss a losing war. But we need to know what will happen once the troops pull out. Several thousand troops will remain to train the Afghan National Army. What if a bloody civil war breaks out? What will these "non-combatant" troops do? How much aid money will continue to reach Afghanistan and for what projects? What will happen to women and minorities who are in grave danger when the Taliban return? We need the candidates to give us the answers to these questions. The candidates cannot only talk about domestic issues and forget about the rest of the world. The American public's desire to ignore the world will not make the rest of the world go away.

NAM: Do you see significant differences between Republicans and Democrats in their approach to Afghanistan?

Nawa: Not really. The differences are minimal. I think both parties want to wash their hands of the problem because it's too complicated and costly.

NAM: What is your thinking on 2014, the planned withdrawal date for NATO and American forces?

Nawa: It's going to happen so let's talk about the next chapter. We need to prevent a civil war like the one that occurred in the 1990s. Afghanistan's biggest menace – aside from ethnic tensions inside the country -- is its neighbors. Pakistan's secret service has won the Afghan war through manipulation, blatant lies and betrayal. Pakistan received billions in U.S. aid money while it trained Taliban troops to attack NATO troops in Afghanistan, and it continues to do so. Iran has its own insidious agenda. Neither are looking out for Afghanistan's interest.

Afghanistan was geographically determined as a buffer zone and that needs to change for it to become a successful nation-state. It can happen if these neighbors are "convinced" to stop supporting rival factions and a strong Afghan leader (not Karzai) encourages national unity. Afghanistan has billions in natural resources, including minerals, gems and natural gas. Opium and heroin cannot remain the staple of the economy like it is now. The Taliban will probably legalize that trade once again. They outlawed cultivation, but they made their money from trafficking and processing of opium into heroin in the 1990s.

I think the US and NATO need to stay engaged politically and continue with reconstruction efforts, support a growing youth movement fighting against extremism, support the media boom that's educating Afghans all across the country, support the millions of girls and boys going to school. Much good has happened in the last 11 years and I'd like to see that progress continue and spread across the country. I'm afraid if the U.S. and the international community turn their back and forget Afghanistan, all that good will be undone. And worst, those al Qaeda terror camps we once saw on TV footage will easily return. If not al Qaeda, then some other rogue group out to hurt innocent Americans.

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