Monday, 31 October 2011

Kill Team Saw Afghans As Savages

"We talked about payback," Morlock said, adding that the first "opportunity" took place on January 15, 2010 during a patrol of a village called La Mohammad Kalay.
Morlock said he and another soldier, Private Andrew Holmes, came across a teenage farmer, alone in a field. They waved him to come close and the young man obeyed.
"They're pretty compliant when dealing with us," Morlock said, explaining how he then used a grenade to kill the Afghan youth, after which Holmes opened fire to make it look like a legitimate firefight.
"We thought it was an OK idea to do this," Morlock said, adding that after the killing there was a celebratory mood in the platoon, with lots of "high fiving."

UNHCR Attacked In Kandahar - Video

US Machinations In Persian Gulf

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Queen Of My Soul

A bit of relief from the grief. The AWB live - all 30 minutes. Ever thought it was strange that the funkiest band in history of music came from Scotland? It's not really. Saw them live at at private party in Glasgow in 1978 at the Saints and Sinners (Now King Tut's Wah Wah Hut). Unforgettable. Chill to the Dundee Horns, my friends. Without price or limit of time.

More 'Progress' In Afghanistan As Nato Suffers Worst Day In Kabul

In September 2010, a total of 2,781 Afghan soldiers fled their posts. In September 2011 5,574 got wise and departed. Progress, according the the US Defence Department. The situation appears ripe for another White House 'Mission Accomplished' moment.

100 Years of Bombing - For What?

November 2011 marks the centenary of a world-historic event. An Italian pilot, Guilio Cavotti dropped the first bombs from an aeroplane on to the oasis of Tagiura outside Tripoli. The development of aerial bombardment was more than just a military revolution. It changed both war and peace. We are seeing the legacy of it on our screens every day and every bloodstained week. Who would Jesus Bomb?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Kabul Attack On Nato - AP Clip

13 NATO Troops Killed In Kabul - Short Clip

DOD Says War Going Well On Day 16 NATO Troops Die



DOD Report On 'Progress' In Afghanistan 10 years on. Full Report Here. Worst US casualties in Kabul to date being reported today by an unfortunate coincidence for DOD, ISAF, NATO.

Calvin Gibbs Pleading Not Guilty

Gibbs, wearing a dress uniform, sat silently and mostly expressionless for the remainder of the three hours, staring straight ahead as the judge and attorneys for both sides went through the process of choosing a jury panel. He occasionally glanced at prosecutors or prospective jurors.
In the end, five panelists were selected, two enlisted personnel and three officers, the highest-ranked a colonel.
About 30 witnesses are expected to testify during the court-martial, slated to run at least through next week at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, according to Army spokesman Major Christopher Ophardt. More.

Afghanistan Another Vietnam? Who Would Have Thunk It?

What do the American people think? That is the couple of dozen who know that there is a war on in Afghanistan and the half of them who are interested. Only 34% support it apparently. The previous low was 35% in December, 2010. I wonder if those polled were given the option 'Don't give a shit'? Now that would have been an impressive percentage. More here. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Further Deterioration In Afghanistan

It is at best a feeble argument when Nato says that there is no contradiction between the UN data and the alliance’s claims of progress, saying they have different “definitions.” Outstanding in the argument is that Nato’s study of violence does not include anything instigated by the alliance.
Of course, we cannot expect Nato to tell the world the truth that the war in Afghanistan is going extremely poorly and its claims of progress are unfounded. If anything, as the UN report notes, the year 2011 has become even worse than previous years.
The UN report notes that there is a major increase not only in the number of attacks mounted by the insurgents but also in the complexity of such operations involving multiple bombers and gunmen.
The UN reports say that as of the end of August, the average monthly number of incidents stood at 2,108, up 39 per cent over the same period a year earlier. It did not provide comparable data. The figures include insurgent attacks as well as assaults by Nato and Afghan forces on Taliban figures and positions. More here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Gadaffi - Cheerleading For A Lynching

Excuses Trotted Out For 10 Years Of Failure In Afghanistan


US intelligence is claiming that the Pakistan intelligence service and military have been supporting the Taliban for the last 10 years. They have produced a 'former Taliban commander' at a press conference to say that he was trained by the Pakistani Army. The name they have given him is 'Najib' but why not just call him 'Abu Jihadi al Ahmedinejad' or 'Curveball'. Isn't it strange that they are just coming out with this rubbish now? Just as they are about to retreat drawdown with their tails between their legs in time for Obama's re-election campaign. Two implications of it :
1. If true,  then the US intelligence must be pretty crap to take 10 years arriving at this conclusion
2. If untrue, it's another ham-handedly clumsy piece of propaganda for them to produce. You know,
WMD's with 40 minute deployment capabilities, Anthrax attacks, Nuclear bombs from Iran, assassination plots against the Saudis in restaurants with Mexican hitmen, kind of thing. 
Slices of yellowcake and coffee all round.

UN Night Raid Report Was Flawed

Officials from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said that a United Nations report released in July included only a small fraction of the night raids in which civilians died.
The AIHRC collaborated with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in compiling the report on civilian casualties, which said that only 30 civilians were killed in targeted raids in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2011.
The report said 80 per cent of the 1,462 civilian deaths it counted in the six-month period were cause by the Taliban - mostly from improvised explosive devices. It said only 14 per cent of the fatalities were caused by "pro-government forces."
The report credited Isaf with cutting civilian casualties in night raids by 15 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.
Officials at the AIHRC told IPS that the number of night raids UNAMA investigated could only have been a very small proportion of the total number.
Commission officials said the most night raids are carried out in Taliban-dominated areas and people are not able to register complaints.

From Tolo News.

Gadaffi Buried In Secrecy

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Arise Ye Wretched Of The Earth

In Arthur Koestler's masterpiece, Darkness At Noon, his next-door cellmate in the Russian prison constantly taps out the message - 'Arise Ye Wretched Of The Earth'. Maybe that is what is happening with  many of the awakenings across the globe. A kind of collective rage against hopelessness, greed, venality, squalour and political cynicism. Tune in to the protests across the world here.

The Bloated Afghan Army

From The Pakistan Observer
There has always been a debate in Pakistan and at international forums about the bigger size of keeping and financingan army in Pakistan, which the time has proved is in real terms a strategic asset of the country vis a vis nuclear deterrence. Way back the Musharraf administration cut its size and since then, despite the need of adding more troops up to corps level, no extra recruitments have been made. The deployments were made only after thinning out troops from the crucially volatile eastern border where the threat of Indian assault has always remained. Every country tactically keeps its reserve troops at the striking positions, but Pakistan, keeping the financial constraints in mind, has not filled the gaps created by huge deployment of over one hundred thousand troops along its western borders. 
But look at the size and number of troops Kabul has resorted to induct in the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and Afghan intelligence agency RAAM. The number of all three has now reached 300,000 with only 2% Afghan Pushtun representation. In addition to that Afghanistan is reportedly raising another 350,000 army, besides four lashkars of locals (50,000 each) and the process of their recruitment, induction and training has already been started, mostly in collaboration with their Indian counterparts. It is startling to know that a separate corps containing 80,000 troops had been raised in India during the last five years, which has reportedly been imparted training by the British and Israeli instructors near the Nepal borders and deployed in four phases in Afghanistan. These troops are either in uniform or in plain clothes working at different tasks, including the training of Fazlullah-like Pakistan’s most wanted terrorist leaders, who have been provided safe havens in Kunar right under the know and nose of NATO and ISAF, Kabul and Governor of Kunar province.
The idea is that the Americans would not directly attack on ground, instead the anti-Qaddafi squads-like trained armed men would make incursions into the Pakistan territory and the TTP would join them in case Pakistan does not bow to the pressure. The question is why Afghanistan, which is not able to properly feed its people, which has no security stake inpresence of NATO-ISAF-Indian troops, has opted to keep such a bigger number of troops and for what when the war is within the country and not with any neighbouring country. It is feared that this would be used against Pakistan and at later stage against Iran. The question is that whether the US idea of Afghan National Army is economically sustainable?
—Peshawar

Special Offer - Hurry While Stocks Last

The fake war veterans memorabilia(see earlier posts) were a winner (unlike the cowards themselves). We made a bomb. Oops, bad phraseology. Here's another winner. The 'Bullshit Business Card Printer'. Suitable for militarists, neocons and right wing fantasists everywhere. 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Summary Execution Of Gaddafi Loyalists

The bodies were found on Sunday on the lawn of the abandoned Hotel Mahari in Sirte, which saw heavy fighting last week as NTC forces battled for control of the city.
"Some had their hands bound behind their backs when they were shot," Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
"This requires the immediate attention of the Libyan authorities to investigate what happened and hold accountable those responsible." Full details.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Afghan Ministers Embezzled Millions


KABUL: At least two Afghan cabinet ministers have embezzled millions of dollars of public money, the country’s anti-graft chief said at the weekend, adding to Western pressure on President Hamid Karzai to clean up his government.
Donor countries say corruption in Karzai’s administration is endemic, and a fundamental threat to their efforts to stabilise the country ahead of the end-2014 deadline for foreign combat troops to quit the country, having handed security responsibilities to Afghan institutions.
Billions of dollars in foreign aid have flowed into the country since a US-led military operation threw the Taliban out of government 10 years ago, but the cash has paid for only limited infrastructure and development work, while violence is at its worst since 2001.
“There are former ministers too, but two or three current cabinet ministers have embezzled millions of dollars,” said Azizullah Ludin, a Karzai appointee who heads the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption, speaking in his Kabul home.
Ludin said he had sent the cases to the Attorney General’s office which will decide whether or not to prosecute, but he did not name the ministers involved or give details. “Corruption in Afghanistan has damaged our reputation, withheld foreign aid and created distance between people and the government,” Ludin said. “This must be stopped.”
REUTERS

Saving Yemen From The UN - By James Gundun

While Ki-moon promised a “clear stance against impunity for gross human rights violations,” the issue remains shrouded in ambiguity. Constructed on a flimsy platform, the UNSC’s resolution welcomes “the engagement of the Gulf Cooperation Council, reaffirming the support of the Security Council for the GCC's efforts to resolve the political crisis in Yemen.” However the GCC's Saudi-bankrolled diplomacy is unwelcome amongst Yemen’s youth and civil movement. Brokered in April between Saleh’s officials and the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the GCC's initiative functions as a stalling mechanism before morphing into an instrument of control. Read more.

Neocon Defeat In Iraq

The talks broke down because Moqtada al-Sadr's members of parliament and other Iraqi nationalists insisted that US troops be subject to Iraqi law. In every country where they are based the US insists on legal immunity and refuses to let troops be tried by foreigners. In Iraq the issue is especially sensitive after numerous US murders of civilians and the Abu Ghraib scandal in which Iraqi prisoners were sexually humiliated. In almost every case where US courts tried US troops, soldiers were acquitted or received relatively brief prison sentences. Full Article.

Whither The Arab Spring?

Elsewhere, violence, obstruction, sectarianism and a stalling of progress are causes for concern. In Syria, where more than 3,000 are estimated to have died since protests against the Assad regime began in March, there were a reported two dozen more killings on Friday, and no indication that the death of another dictator had given pause for thought. In Yemen, the most chaotic state of the region and home to the most venomous branch of al-Qa'ida, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has so far declined to reply to Friday's UN Security Council resolution calling on him to go. More.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Israel's Favourite Arab Dictator

Both Assad senior and Assad junior advocated resistance against Israel. This slogan was hollow, serving the regime merely as an insurance policy against any demand for freedom and democracy. The Syrian "resistance" government has not uttered a peep on the Golan front since 1973. Instead, the "resistance" regime was and still is ready to fight Israel to the last Lebanese, and if that doesn't do the trick - then to the last Palestinian. Full article

Egypte - L'Apres Revolution

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Playstation Games About Afghanistan Are Already On Sale

You can buy these games from me along with the fake war veteran (FWV) memorabilia. As far as Obama, Clinton and Biden are concerned, the whole thing might as well be a computer game generated for fake war veterans. Complete with sub-intelligent music as a soundtrack for the loboto-strategies and 'policies'. Change we can all believe in. Drink deep of the thick and meaty broth of insanity, my friends.

More Drone Attacks In Libya Than In Pakistan

With the reported death of Gaddafi, the numbers are coming in regarding how much of a war Obama’s non-war has become. Between April 21 and October 21 unmanned Predator drones have conducted 145 airstrikes in Libya, says Pentagon spokesman George Little.In Pakistan, however, where drone surveillance and strikes have become practically commonplace and have caused concern not just from locals but concerned Americans upset over the massive civilian deaths caused by the crafts, the number of drone strikes has decreased. This year the US has launched only 57 drone strikes in Pakistan, where the American military attempts, and often fails, to locate militants from neighboring Afghanistan who, like former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin laden, have taken refuge. More.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Footage Of Death Of Gaddafi

Fall Of Gadaffi - Early Thoughts


This is not the end of Libya's problems although it will be simplified as such by much of the MSM. There are many left in Libya and the adjacent countries with no love for, and no need for the west and their surrogates. Islamists and Salafists are obvious examples. They are well financed and backed and armed by Qatar. Belhaj controls much of Tripoli. There is big potential for a flashpoint there involving Zintant and the secular groupings. The risk of possible theological conflict with the 
Sufis has already been illustrated in the destruction of tomb shrines.
Not to forget the Gadaffi loyalists. There are still significant numbers around particularly in the south and some parts of Tripoli. The Warfalla and Gadhafa tribe, after what they have suffered in Bani Walid and Sirte are likely recruits to any guerrilla war.
And like any potential state implosion we have the external forces getting ready to play their part: US, France, Britain and Qatar.
Tribal fighters from Chad, Mali and Niger could make themselves available for a pro-Gadaffi guerilla war in the south. Much violence is store yet for the Libyan people unfortunately.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

'Precision' Deaths In Afghanistan

In the first known case of friendly fire deaths involving an unmanned aircraft, Marine Staff Sgt. Jeremy Smith, 26, and Navy Hospitalman Benjamin D. Rast, 23, were killed on April 6 by a Predator drone in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, after Marine commanders mistook them for Taliban.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the unreleased Pentagon report found that Marine officers on the scene and the Air Force crew piloting the drone from halfway around the world were unaware that analysts watching the live video feed from a third location in Terre Haute, Ind. had doubts about the identity of the targets.Using a written chat system to communicate with the pilots, the analysts initially wrote that the two figures in question were “friendlies,” suggesting they were American troops. But a few seconds later, they changed their assessment, writing they were “unable to discern” who the figures were.The report faults poor communications, mistaken assumptions and “a lack of overall common situational awareness,” but found that no one involved was “culpably negligent or derelict in their duties.” Thanks to Antiwar.com.

56% Of Afghans See Troops As Occupiers

According to a survey published on Tuesday by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 56 percent of Afghans now see the foreign troop contingent as an occupying force. Furthermore, only 39 percent of those surveyed said they saw ISAF as a guarantee for security, well down from the 45 percent result found in the same survey in 2010. Fully 60 percent think that the country will descend into civil war once NATO forces withdraw. Babak Khalatbari, head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation's Afghanistan office, said on Tuesday that the results were "a matter of concern." Not bad for ten years' work ,eh?  Full report.

Francois Hollande Elected By French Socialists

Let's hope he sees off the disastrous, strutting little neocon, Sarkozy


Fox Werritty Scandal And The Civil Service

Craig Murray is brilliant on this today. My only interjection on his forensic analysis is to say that at the heart of this is the way the Civil Service has been marginalised. This was honed to suit their own venal and secretive needs by the last government (Blair and Brown versions) but has obviously continued. It is that marginalisation and vacuum which leaves space for the Werritty's and the rogue ministers. Since it has been going on for years where were the complaining voices of the Cabinet secretaries since 1997, yes including O'Donnell since 2005? For him to be reporting on the abuses resulting from his own negligence in this respect is just one of the bitter ironies. Another is found in the answer to 'who is the Minister responsible for the Civil Service?' Full marks if you said David Cameron.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Latest Night Raid Carnage - Karzai Demands Explanation

Two women among the dead in this latest bungling massacre. How many of these incidents do we never hear about.
Hamid Karzai’s office said two other members of Sameh Jan Sherzad’s family were also detained in the operation in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday in eastern Wardak province’s Chaki Wardak district. The statement said NATO must say what actionable intelligence it had that led to the raid on the former lawmaker’s family.
The U.S.-led coalition has grappled with fallout from other such raids in the past, but insists such operations are necessary to cement security gains in the war-ravaged nation and to target key insurgents. Full story.

Australia to Spend $6Bn In Afghanistan By 2014

Australia's Ministry of Defence said the country will have spent about $6 billion on the war in Afghanistan by the time its troops 'leave' in 2014.
Defence minister Stephen Smith defended the country's decade-long involvement in the Afghan conflict in The Australian parliament on Sunday.
"It is in our national interest to be in Afghanistan, not just with our alliance partner, the United States, but also with 47 other members of the International Security Assistance Force acting under a United Nations mandate," Mr Smith said.
Australia has about 1,550 troops in Afghanistan, most of them based in Uruzgan province. The country has lost 29 of its soldiers in Afghanistan over the past 10 years. I wonder how may Aussies agree that squandering $6 billion, to say nothing of the lives, is in 'the national interest'

Just Don't Call It A Militia


Impunity, Militias, and the “Afghan Local Police”

This report documents serious abuses, such as killings, rape, arbitrary detention, abductions, forcible land grabs, and illegal raids by irregular armed groups in northern Kunduz province and the Afghan Local Police (ALP) force in Baghlan, Herat, and Uruzgan provinces. The Afghan government has failed to hold these forces to account, fostering future abuses and generating support for the Taliban and other opposition forces, Human Rights Watch found.

NATO Bred Mistrust In Afghanistan

Two leading Canadian military historians, Jack Granatstein and David Bercuson, have just conducted a review of the “Lessons Learned” in Afghanistan for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and they conclude “Canada should think long and hard” before entering into any coalition similar to NATO’s operations in Afghanistan.“We cannot escape the conclusion that NATO has not functioned well, either politically or militarily, in Afghanistan,” their report says.

George Galloway On The Fox Conspiracy

If Fox had resigned a week before, we might never have known what we know now. We must make sure his resignation doesn't mean the whistle has gone and it is over. What has been revealed is beginning to look like some of the things that happened around Harold Wilson's Labour government of 1974-1976, about which I'm currently writing my next book, Street Fighting Years, published next year.In that period, shadowy figures on the far-right were plotting against democratic government in Britain.Money was swilling around front organisations such as G.B.75, set up by the founder of the SAS and other disgruntled military figures, media magnates with their noses out of joint and obscure millionaires, some of them working for foreign powers.

They hoped to remove the elected prime minister they considered to be an agent of Moscow, and replace him with the Duke of Edinburgh or Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Duke's cousin.
In this case, the plot has been against a Tory government regarded as not quite conservative enough by the contemporary heirs and successors of these conspirators.
What has been revealed is a plot to eventually install Fox as the leader of this country at the head of a government in thrall to foreign powers, in this case the United States and Israel.
If you thought we already had such a government, that goes to show how far-out this coterie really are. Though merely the Defence Secretary, Fox was building his own foreign policy.
And through his struck-off "charity" Atlantic Bridge (who were still operating from Fox's office in parliament as a non-charity until last year, and still a working charity in the US) building an "Atlantacist" economic policy with the aim eventually of withdrawing Britain from the European Union. Its interlocutors in the States were the Gun-Nut, Climate Change Deniers and assorted Looney-Tunes of the far-right Tea Party, who see the likes of Brain of Alaska, Sarah Palin, as their idol.
Fox, indeed, told me that he thought Palin was "hot" and, for a variety of reasons, I think he meant politically though he might have been talking about a post-nuclear strike Palin for all I know. A vast sum of money was sunk into this project, only the tip of this iceberg so far.

Some of the money from a private intelligence company chaired by a former high US securocrat official, Chester Crocker, from a Finnish billionaire lobbyist for Israel, who owns an arms company in the US and whose father founded the Israeli arms industry, and from men from the undergrowth of Britain's Hedge Fund community, went into Atlantic Bridge. The rest went into the funding of Fox's private office when in opposition and into his "friend" Adam Werritty's myriad "not-for-profit" firms. When Fox was shadow health secretary, Werritty was a "health consultant".
When he became defence spokesman for the Tories, Werritty's business metamorphosed into a "defence consultancy".
We are entitled to know just what influence in the Cabinet was purchased.

Was the controversial decision to refuse to back Palestinian statehood, when the vast majority of other countries did so, a casualty of the Fox Conspiracy? What about the decision to change the law of the land so that Israeli officials suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity, like former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, could once again visit London without fear of arrest, as she almost was, after a London judge issued a warrant two years ago? This secret money - hundreds of thousands of pounds - was used to jet Werritty around the world for business, and no doubt, pleasure, in Britain's war minister's shadow.
In the Christine Keeler affair, the then Tory War Minister John Profumo was merely getting his leg over a prostitute.

This minister was getting a leg-up into Downing Street by exposing the country's interests to foreign lobbyists and multi-millionaires.It really doesn't get much more serious than that.
I told you last week that I travelled with Fox throughout Vietnam, an odyssey charted by former Labour minister Chris Mullin in his latest Diaries.
Fox abruptly left Mullin and I in Vietnam and headed off for a few days' rest and recreation, alone (Werritty would have been in short trousers then) in the resort of Phuket.

But what lies beneath? For that we will have to trust honest, free independent investigative journalism.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Somalie - Faim De Guerre

La Somalie endure aujourd’hui la plus grave crise humanitaire au monde, selon l’ONU. La population est contrainte de fuir les provinces ravagées par la famine. Certains choisissent de rallier Mogadiscio, une capitale en guerre où les humanitaires ont les pires difficultés à leur venir en aide.

US Aggression Drones On

The first report about computer virus infecting US military networks came on October 8 from Wired magazine. It reported that the virus captured strokes on a keyboard in drones’ cockpits at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, making it tricky for the pilots who remotely fly assault drones like Predator and Reaper.
It became known that the problem was detected over two weeks ago, but the spyware proved to be a high-end program and the military IT specialists were unable to erase it from the system or quarantine it.
"We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back," a source told Wired.
The US military has shared no information on whether the virus has also been trying to extract any classified data from the military networks.
So far it remains unknown how the network became infected – was it an orchestrated attack or did the virus get into the secured network accidentally? More.

Iranians Protest US Accusations

Film clip here.

Scepticisme Du Complot Iranien

Occupy Wall Street Goes Global

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Tentacles Of The Fox/Werritty Sleaze Machine

Werritty's links to another businessman may also attract interest. It has emerged that an obscure company called Pargav financed his trips. Pargav was partly funded by Tamares Real Estate, an investment company owned by Poju Zabludowicz, chairman of Bicom. It was also funded by the Good Governance Group (G3), a private investigations company staffed by former MI6 officers and founded by Andries Pienaar, a South African who once worked for the security giant Kroll.
The Observer has established that Pienaar has extensive interests in the defence sector. G3 boasts the defence contractor BAE Systems as a client, and its sister company, investment firm C5 Capital, of which Pienaar is a director, focuses on the security sector, seeking investment in "niche sectors that mitigate risk and protect assets and lives – such as cyber security, biometrics, detection and communications". C5 is known to have been interested in buying cyber security firms which had contracts with MI5. Foxy's friends say his resignation is a blow to the country. In fact it is a blow to only two countries - America and Israel. Full story of the questions that have to be answered here.

Fox Werritty Scandal - News In Pictures


MP who called for values and decency turns out to be hypocritical sack of shit

Image

Liam Fox's standards not as high as he absolutely promised they were. (Daily Mash)

Fox Resignation - How The Story Broke

Who, then, was Adam Werritty? "Adam Werritty is not an MoD employee. He is a friend of the secretary of state," the MoD said. But Boulter was adamant Werritty was Fox's official adviser, and he said he had his business card to prove it. "Adviser to the Rt. Hon. Dr Liam Fox MP", the card read under the House of Commons Portcullis logo.
On 19 August the Guardian revealed Werritty's existence, but our questions did not stop there. How many meetings had this unofficial adviser set up? Who had he met? Defence bosses? Generals? Heads of state? Did he often travel abroad with Fox? Did they meet up at the MoD's HQ on Whitehall? Full Story.

US Patrol In Kunar

It's A Balloons For Intel Strategy after 10 years of  failure to judge by this footage.
 

Friday, 14 October 2011

Pics From Trafalgar Square Demo

Some of my own pics from the London anti-war demo which I attended last weekend.

Afghan Energy Wars

Kill/Capture Details Exposed

Courtesy of Reality Zone.There’s precious little independent information detailing the thousands of operations U.S. forces undertake in Afghanistan to kill Taliban leaders or take their soldiers off the battlefield. So two researchers decided to mine the press releases the NATO military command announces about those missions for hidden patterns. And The Guardian even plotted their findings on a Google map.
Analysts Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn combed their inboxes for 22 months’ worth of press releases from the NATO command, known as ISAF, dating from Sept. 1, 2009. They couldn’t exactly draw conclusions about whether all the kill-or-capture missions announced in the press releases have worked.But they could determine how ISAF marks success. The raids detailed in the ISAF releases show a “steady general increase in reported kills and captures each month until June 2011,” Strick van Linschoten and Kuehn write. The subsequent decline might be caused by an “unsustainable pace of capture‐or‐kill operations and the departure of General Petraeus.”
But the researchers found more than that. They were able to get a sense of where the raids occur; how frequently they took place; and how many Afghans — insurgent and civilian — they affected. To represent that data, they turned to the Guardian’s Simon Rogers and his Data Blog.
Using data tools like Tinderbox and Google Maps overlays, the team created a series of visual representations of the raids’ impact. Rogers and Strick van Linschoten were kind enough to share the map above with Danger Room. Toggle over it, and you’ll get a province-by-province breakdown of how many people were killed and detained; how often operations to kill or capture them took place; and what the ratio is of suspected insurgents iced and nabbed.http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/isaf-data/#more-60006

US steps up plot pressure on Tehran | euronews, world news

US steps up plot pressure on Tehran | euronews, world news

Palestine - Etats Unis Continuent Menacer Leur Veto

Bahrein Arms Deal Hypocrisy

Five Democratic senators wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday to ask her to delay a planned $53 million arms sale to Bahrain because of the island kingdom's continued violence against protesters.
"We recognize the administration's commitment to the United States' strategic relationship with Bahrain... However, the Bahrain government's repressive treatment of peaceful protesters during the past several months is unacceptable," the senators wrote in their Oct. 12 letter, obtained byThe Cable.
"The United States must make it clear to the government of Bahrain that its ongoing human rights violations and unwillingness to acknowledge legitimate demands for reform have a negative impact on its relationship with the United States."
The letter's signatories were Senate Foreign Relations Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee chairman Robert Casey (D-PA), Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), Sens. Robert Menendez(D-NJ), Benjamin Cardin(D-MD), and Ron Wyden(D-OR).
The letter accuses the Bahrain government of torture and notes reporting by Human Rights Watch that states Bahrain's government has killed 34 protesters, arrested 1,400 more, and dismissed 3,600 people from their jobs for anti-government activities.
"Completing an arms sale to Bahrain under the current circumstances would weaken U.S. credibility at a critical time of democratic transition in the Middle East," the senators wrote.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA) has not commented on the issue and requests for comment were not returned.
Wyden and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) have each introduced a resolution in their respective chambers to prevent the U.S. government going through with the sale, which would include 44 armored, high-mobility Humvees and over 300 advanced missiles, 50 of which are bunker-buster missiles similar to those sold secretly to Israel in 2009.
"Selling weapons to a regime that is violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent and violating human rights is antithetical to our foreign policy goals and the principle of basic rights for all that the U.S. has worked hard to promote," Wyden said.
"Human rights ought to matter in our foreign and military policy," McGovern said in his own release."Supporting regimes that violate the basic rights of their people is not just morally wrong - it's also not in our national security interests. Now is not the time to sell weapons to Bahrain."
The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain, and fear of endangering its home base is one reason many have speculated that the Obama administration has maintained ties with Bahrain's monarchy despite the domestic crackdown. Bahrain is also a client state of Saudi Arabia and policymakers have voiced fears that a victory by the predominantly Shiite protest movement would strengthen Iranian influence in the country.
The State Department argued in its Sept. 14 notification to Congress that the proposed sale will contribute to U.S. national security "by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East."
Meanwhile, Bahrain's parliament this week issued a vote of no confidence to the appointment of the new U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain Thomas Krajeski because he met with opposition groups in Washington before arriving in Manama.
"This diplomat has a volatile agenda against Bahrain and the nation and we can't accept having him here," said Bahrain member of parliament Ali Ahmed, who is president of the Al Menbar bloc of lawmakers. "We are here to represent the people and they don't want him and our wish should be respected."

Thursday, 13 October 2011

NATO Wrong-footed By Dutch Pull Out


NATO has expressed surprise at the Dutch decision to reduce the number of its police trainers in the Afghan province of Kunduz. The defence ministry says it took the decision because of a lack of recruits to train.
Speaking in Brussels today, US Lieutenant General William Caldwell, head of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan, said he would be astonished if there weren’t enough recruits in Kunduz since recently they have actually had to turn people away.
Earlier, national quality newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported that "there are hardly any policemen in Kunduz willing to be trained by the Dutch.”
The reason is the restrictions on the mission imposed by politicians back in The Hague. The Dutch government only just managed to win parliamentary backing for the mission, in exchange for guarantees that the police trainees would only be trained for law enforcement but not for combat.
But NRC reports that “this mandate ... clashes with the reality in the North Afghan province”. As a result, it has proved difficult to fill a class with recruits that meet the Dutch demands.

The Real Werritty Scandal - By Craig Murray

But the deal between Cameron, Fox and O’Donnell is that O’Donnell will not address the much more important question of who funded Werritty and why. Having claimed there was no wrongdoing, O’Donnell will say Mr Werritty’s finances are private and should not be made public. It was on that basis that Werritty agreed to give financial details to Sue Gray in the Cabinet Office yesterday.
The Cabinet Office will only look for direct evidence of a little grubby money-making for introductions to Fox. But what is actually happening is much worse and much more serious. Who paid for Werritty’s eighteen overseas trips with Liam Fox and his stays in exclusive hotels in the World’s most expensive destinations? What does he live on?
The answer is that Werritty is paid by representatives of far right US and Israeli sources to influence the British defence secretary. It has been discussed within the MOD whether Werritty is being – knowingly or otherwise – run as an agent of influence by the CIA or Mossad. That is why the chiefs of the armed forces are so concerned, and why there is today much gagging at the stitch up within the Cabinet Office. Full story.

22 Months Of ISAF Press Releases

ISAF officials have long presented the capture‐or‐kill operations as one of the most effective parts of the military mission in Afghanistan. They regularly release large figures describing the number of ‘leaders’, ‘facilitators’ and ‘insurgents’ that were killed or captured, to illustrate the success of the campaign. AAN’s latest report, by Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, is based on an analysis of all ISAF press releases over the last 22 months.
The report, which covers the period from 1 December 2009 to 30 September 2011 and included 3,771 ISAF press releases, provides important baseline data, as well as an insight into how ISAF sees the success of their operations. The numbers provided by ISAF show a steady general increase in reported kills and captures each month until June 2011, with a slight decrease over the winter (2010-11). After June 2011 there is a steady decline in almost all of the analysed metrics, which may be linked to unsustainable pace of capture‐or‐kill operations and the departure of General Petraeus.

The data shows differences in operational pace and impact across the country, and provides insight in the use of ISAF terminology with regard to ‘leaders’ and ‘facilitators’ and reveals some important inconsistencies. The data further suggests that ISAF is pursuing a ‘networked’ targeting strategy, targeting not only specific individuals (presumably on the basis of evidence) but also others perhaps only tangentially connected to them (for which there may be no evidence of wrongdoing).
The Guardian (UK) newspaper was given access to the compiled press release data and has produced visualisations to accompany this paper, which can be viewed here.
For the full report please click here.

Uniting The World Against Iran - Biden's 'Come To Jesus' Moment

When the White House wheels Biden out, you just know that it is a turkey-fest. The lame attempt by the US to manufacture world resentment against Iran has blown back in their faces already.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Iranian 'Assassination' Plot - Latest US Debacle

Robert Baer, ex CIA Analyst interviewed on this latest US propaganda here (audio clip).

Afghanistan Opium Production Increases

US Base, Bagram, Afghanistan

A view of the US Bagram Military Base in Afghanistan

US 'At War' In Pakistan - Panetta


Amid rising anti-American sentiments in Pakistan over covert US drone raids in the Asian country, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has admitted that Washington is fighting a war on Pakistani soil.
While the US government has always declined to publicly discuss its aerial attacks in Pakistan, Leon Panetta said on Tuesday that there are a lot of reasons for the US military operations in Pakistan, AFP reported. 
The American military chief, who was also the previous CIA director, said Washington and Islamabad have a "complicated relationship" because of America's war in Pakistan.  The US often carries out drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal regions, claiming that the militants are their target. But locals say civilians are the main victims of the non-UN-sanctioned US strikes.  The issue of civilian casualties has strained the relations between Islamabad and Washington with the Pakistani government repeatedly objecting to the attacks.  Attacks by unmanned American aircraft have left dozens of people dead in the volatile region over the past weeks.  The aerial attacks, initiated by former US president George W. Bush, have been escalated under President Barack Obama.  Islamabad has repeatedly condemned the attacks, insisting that they violate Pakistan's sovereignty.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

No Matter How Far Wrong You've Gone, You Can Always Turn Around

Afghan Torture - Whose Fault?


A new United Nations investigation has found that Taliban suspects have been subjected to "systematic" torturein prisons run by Afghanistan's intelligence service and police. The report, released Monday, says nearly half of 324 detainees in the study reported abuse — ranging from being beaten with cables to having their genitals twisted until they lost consciousness. Afghan prisons depend on American money and trainers. Is this something the U.S. should have spotted and stopped?

The U.S. has some explaining to do: The U.N. report "paints a devastating picture of abuse," says Alissa J. Rubin in The New York Times, although it doesn't say that the U.S. knew about the abuse. Still, "such widespread use of torture in a detention system supported by American mentors and money raises serious questions" about whether American officials were complicit or "benefited from information obtained from suspects who had been tortured."
"U.N. finds 'systematic' torture in Afghanistan"
Obama's policies haven't helped matters: "As soon as he came into power, Obama promised no CIA official would be investigated or prosecuted for torture," says Jonathan Turley at his blog. So really, how does the U.S. expect to "seriously object to the lack of investigation or prosecution of torture" in Afghanistan? It's time to admit that critics of this war we're right all along: We'll never manufacture the "democratic utopia" George W. Bush promised.
"United Nations: Afghan government torturing prisoners"
This could ruin our plan to leave: The U.S., Britain, and their allies are trying to build up Afghanistan's security forces so they can take over when foreign combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014, says Julian Borger at Britain's Guardian. But torture destroys the government's credibility and fuels the insurgency. And if this is how Afghan forces treat their own people, our plan to increase the roster of Afghan soldiers "could make the problem worse rather than better" — and cripple our exit strategy.
Via NYT.