Friday, 31 August 2012

AQ In Syria

In March, jihadist cells conducted seven major operations in Syria, and by June they were up to 66. Half were in Damascus, according to one reliable count. Jihadist websites are now regularly reporting the martyrdom in Syria of suicide bombers from Palestine, Yemen, Jordan, and other states. Many Syrians have joined the jihadi cells as well. The Assad regime blamed its troubles on al Qaeda from the start. In fact, it was only after nonviolence failed that the door opened for Zawahiri and his followers. Assad’s brutality aided Zawahiri, who has always preached that jihad is the only answer — that democracy and political action are false gods. The majority of the Syrian opposition remains independent of al Qaeda, but they are desperate for help after 18 months of war and take whatever aid is offered. From Here

The NATO Dilemma in Afghanistan

Damaged cooperation between Afghan security forces and their international allies would make the formation of a stable security apparatus impossible in the country. The Afghan army and police are still in the process of reconstruction. From 2014 onward, after international troops have left Afghanistan, they are supposed to entirely take over responsibility for the country's security.
But before it can do that, Afghan security forces have to receive intensive training from their NATO partners. Joint operations against insurgents can be seen as one part of the training. But this so-called "partnering strategy" don't seem to be possible, according to Schetter.
"The training of Afghan soldiers is now being conducted with wooden rifles. They are trying to demilitarize Afghan soldiers on all levels. But training on wooden rifles can only get you so far - it is more difficult to re-enact serious situations than with real weapons and ammunition.""
The NATO dilemma in Afghanistan | Asia | DW.DE | 31.08.2012

Assange Expects Year Long Stay in Ecuadoran Embassy

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange expects year long stay in Ecuadoran Embassy | GlobalPost:

We Are Betraying Them - Envoy

Paralympics Opening Ceremony: Envoy's heartbreak at watching soldiers wounded in Afghanistan take part | Mail Online:

Poll Shows Drop in Republican Support for Afghan War

Post-ABC News poll shows drop in Republican support for Afghan war - The Washington Post:

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Afghan Soldier Kills Nato Troops

Afghan 'soldier' kills Nato troops - World News, Breaking News -

Ghazni Provincial Council Chief Killed

Ghazni provincial council chief killed by unknown gunmen - Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan Online Newspaper:

Karzai Sacks Intelligence Chief

KABUL. August 29. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has sacked the country's intelligence chief, a statement released by Presidential Palace on Wednesday said.
"At an extraordinary meeting in the Palace this morning, President Hamid Karzai thanked Eng. Rahmatullah Nabil, for his two- year service as the Director General for the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and wished him success in the new job," the statement added.
According to the statement, the former head of National Directorate for Security (NDS) or spy agency would soon take over as an ambassador to a foreign country.
Prior to his two years as the NDS chief, Mr. Nabil had served for six years as the director of the President's Protective Service guard.

Afghanistan Veterans' Obama Plot - Don't Ask, Don't Tell

There is a curious reticence about this story. When US Military personnel are compiling guns and explosives to remove their Commander In Chief, who happens to be the US President, why isn't this headline news? I know the perpetrators are wingnuts and goopers, to use the American terminology, but they are US service members and serving soldiers. Can you imagine the brouhaha if the equivalent happened here in the UK? Or anywhere really.
Part of the coyness by the US media may be down to the Republican Convention taking place and the US Presidential campaigns being underway. They could use the excuse that such a story could skew the debate. But that kind of logic has never stopped the US media, all sectors, from swarming all over scandal-type stories in the past. 
They could also use the excuse that the murder trial of the conspirators for killing one of their ex-comrades and his innocent girlfriend could be compromised. Again, such sensitivity has been conspicuous by it's absence from the US newswires in previous times. 
I suspect that the truth is that the story is too grotesquely embarrassing for America, even for the vulgar, venal, celebrity-worshipping and superficial sections of the US commentariat. Maybe they can't believe it. Blowing up the president by 'our boys', the heroes of Helmland - that really would be change you could believe in. 
But, on a serious note, the underbelly of US society, not just the military which reflects it, is about to be on show once again in all its ugliness to the whole world. The fanatic who massacred his fellow Americans at the Sikh temple was a racist bigot and ex-soldier. The four accused in this case will turn out to be nothing much different. This story has legs and will run. Even after Obama gets his second term. LINK

Monday, 27 August 2012

Up To 100 Korans Burnt By US Military

Up to 100 Korans and other religious materials were burned by US soldiers in the February incident in Afghanistan that sparked several days of rioting and attacks in the country, the US military has said.
The US Army earlier announced that six soldiers received "administrative punishments" for their part in the burnings.
But the military investigation, whose findings were announced today, rejected suggestions that the soldiers involved had malicious intent to defame Islam.
Instead, distrust between US troops and their Afghan partners was cited among the reasons for the incendiary incident. LINK

Green On Blue In Laghman - Even The Accounts Are Chaotic

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US troops plotted to kill Barack Obama

US troops plotted to kill Barack Obama - Americas - World - The Independent:

Karzai's Plan to Reintroduce Disqualified Interior Minister

Rumours Surface of Karzai's Plan to Reintroduce Disqualified Interior Minister:

The Attack On Syria

The poster reads: "First we counted martyrs. Then we counted massacres. And now we're counting the number of destroyed cities."

Green On Blue Toll Now at 42 This Year

The latest 'isolated incident' claimed two US soldiers.
Rogue Afghanistan Soldier Kills US Troops |

Taliban insurgents behead 17 civilians in Afghanistan

Not much ISAF/ANA 'law and order' around this part of Afghanistan:
Taliban insurgents behead 17 civilians in Afghanistan - Asia - World - The Independent:

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Obama On Syria's 'Chemical Weapons'

Another WMD scam? Certainly the satraps in the UK were quick to jump on Obama's bandwagon. His spin men probably wrote the press releases for them. Somebody should tell both governments that they themselves used chemical weapons against civilian districts in Fallujah. The results are seen down to the present day. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Myopic Slant - Clip

NYT Calculates Human Cost of the War - Minus The Civilians

Calculating the Human Cost of the War in Afghanistan -

US Fatalities Reach 2000 - Who Cares?

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Why is Afghanistan Obama's Taboo Subject?

For all these reasons, and perhaps others, President Obama has largely shirked the traditional commander in chief duty of mobilizing political and public support for the wars he is leading. In contrast with President Bush, who clearly believed in the wars he led and sought every opportunity to try to rally the public to the war cause, President Obama seems far more ambivalent about some of his war duties. MORE
Observation - Who wants to be associated with a prodigious example of abject failure? 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

US Support For Troops 'Bumper Sticker Deep'

Americans tune out as Afghan war rages on - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times:

Pentagon Launches PSYOPS Blitz On Taliban, NATO Populaces

The Trench: Pentagon Launches PSYOPS Blitz On Taliban, NATO Populaces:

Robert Fisk In Syria

I asked about the rebels' weapons and the clutch of conscripts staggered into the room under the weight of rockets, rifles, ammunition and explosives. "Take this," the General said, grinning as he handed me a two-way radio, a Hongda-made HD668 taken two days ago off a dead Turkish fighter in Saif al-Dowla a few hundred metres from where we were sitting. "Mohamed, do you hear me?" the radio demanded. "Abul Hassan, did you hear?" The Syrian officers roared with laughter at the disembodied voice of their enemy, perhaps in the same block of buildings. We took this ID from the "terrorist", the General said. "Citizen of the Turkish Republic" was printed on the card, above a photo of a man with a thin moustache. Born – Bingol (Turkey) 1 July 1974. Name: Remziye Idris Metin Ekince. Religion: Islam. More

Monday, 20 August 2012

Debacle In Slow Motion

The US debacle in Afghanistan: "The Obama administration and the Pentagon have no answer to this deepening debacle except ever-wider violence. US bombing raids and missile strikes continue to take a heavy toll, both among Afghan civilians and across the border in Pakistan, in the Pashtun-speaking regions where there is widespread sympathy for the insurgents fighting in Afghanistan against the occupation forces.
This process unfolds without the American people having any say. Neither President Obama nor his Republican challenger Mitt Romney have spoken publicly about the wave of attacks on US soldiers by their Afghan allies. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans take a break from their mutual mudslinging to discuss US policy in Afghanistan. Both parties invoke the same slogans—the “war on terror,” the struggle for “freedom and democracy” against the Taliban—without any examination of the colossal cost of the 11-year war for the Afghan population, as well as the American."

BBC to broadcast soldiers being fatally wounded in Afghanistan

BBC to broadcast soldiers being fatally wounded in Afghanistan - Telegraph
"In one extraordinary video screened for the first time, Kingsman Darren Deady, 22, is seen just moments after he was shot through the chest in 2010.
As he pleads for medics to “hurry up", doctors desperately attempt at least nine times to insert a drip, the Sun reported.
The documentary, to be screened after the watershed at 9pm, captures the chaos just minutes after he and Captain Andrew Griffiths, both from Arnhem Company, 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, were fatally wounded." 
Maybe one day they will get round to showing actual civilian fatalities

US Gen. Dempsey in Afghanistan Over Green On Blue Attacks

PressTV - US Gen. Dempsey in Afghanistan over rise in insider attacks:

Trust Deficit

New Zealand To Pull Out Of Afghanistan

New Zealand had planned to withdraw its forces by around October 2013, but Mr. Key said they would now probably leave in the early part of next year.
“While decisions still have to be finalized, it’s likely it will take place in the earlier part of 2013 rather than the later,” he said at a news conference in the capital, Wellington.
Among the casualties on Sunday was the first of the country’s female soldiers, a 26-year-old medic, to be killed in the Afghan war. She and her two colleagues died early Sunday as they were traveling in a convoy of vehicles to a forward operating base to take one of the members of their patrol to a doctor. The deaths brought to 10 the number of New Zealand soldiers who have died since the country’s forces were deployed in 2003. Earlier this month, two soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in a gunfight, also in Bamiyan. MORE

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Assange - Interview With Craig Murray

US drone strikes in Pakistan kill 13

Sensitive of them to launch these attacks during Ramadan.
US drone strikes in Pakistan kill 13 in flurry of weekend attacks | World news |

Karzai Accepts Taliban Office In Qatar

Karzai 'accepts' Taliban office in Qatar by aljazeeraenglish

Operational Failures In Afghanistan

Someone  should tell Rajiv that the whole enterprise is an operational failure.

Obama's Operational Failures of the War in... by NewsLook

More 'Isolated' Incidents

The Trench: "The reality is that the Taliban don't need to retake lost territory in the immediate future. Panetta is simply trying bait the insurgency into a disadvantageous battle with superior armed forces, one conducted in the open and under NATO air support. While guerrillas have a harder time swimming in low water, Taliban continue to operate in many parts of the country as the group awaits Washington's withdrawal from the southern provinces. In order to drive down American and European support during NATO's surge, the Taliban's leadership then launched a "spectacular" strategy that has successfully contributed to the war's downward trend in Western polls."

US Casualties On The Rise

US casualties in Afghan war rise during summer by presstv

Suicide Attack - Kunduz 2010

Attaque suicide à Kundunz - no comment by nocommenttv

UN leaves Syria to its bloody fate - Robert Fisk

Robert Fisk: UN leaves Syria to its bloody fate - Robert Fisk - Commentators - The Independent:

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Taliban and NATO coalition argue over recent civilian deaths in Afghanistan

A NATO statement last week said they had bombed (on the Pakistani side of the AfPak border) compounds in the 'vicinity' of 'suspected' militants. There were six fatalities. Vicinity and suspected. Two reasons why nothing else has to be said to condemn that stance. #warcrime
Taliban and NATO coalition argue over recent civilian deaths in Afghanistan | News | National Post:

Recent Film From Afghanistan - Discretion Advised

Recent film from Al-Emara Studio Da Ishgalgarano Anjaam in Afghanistan. Graphic in places. Don't know what the deal is here but interesting to get a point of view which is not filtered through the lens of western observers and editors.

Herat Blast Kills 4 Civilians

Herat Blast Kills 4 Civilians:

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Degenerative Brain Disease Threatens Afghan War Vets

Degenerative Brain Disease Threatens Afghan War Vets:

OPSEC To Swifboat Obama - Poetic Justice?

Special ops group attacks Obama over bin Laden bragging, leaks | Reuters:

3 reasons Obama and Romney Don't Mention Afghanistan

You've guessed the first one - they haven't got a clue.
3 reasons Obama and Romney aren't talking about Afghanistan - The Week:

Turkey Condemns 'Terrorism' In Afghanistan

Turkey condemns terrorist attacks in Afghanistan Anadolu Agency:

The U.S. Plot to Blow Up the Afghan Ministry of Defence

The U.S. Plot to Blow Up the Afghan Ministry of Defense | U.S. |

Green On Blue Timeline To February

NATO troops killed by Afghan security forces: Timeline of rogue attacks - BlogPost - The Washington Post:

The Assange Saga - Good Precis

541 days ago an electronic tag was fastened to the ankle of Julian Assange and ever since he has lived under house arrest in a UK manor home. Though no formal charges have at any point been laid against Assange he has been prohibited from leaving the Norfolk estate unless reporting to police or attending court. The house arrest was ordered by UK authorities pending their decision to allow Assange to be extradited to Sweden for questioning.
From the confines of the manor, Assange, as the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, has overseen the release of the Spy Files, the Global Intelligence Files, the Guantanamo Files, and, notoriously, the Cablegate Files – and in doing so has brought scathing criticism upon the US government, intelligence companies and the military.

More Israeli Sabre Rattling

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Suicide Attackers, Motorcycle Bomb Kill More Than 45 in Afghanistan

Suicide Attackers, Motorcycle Bomb Kill More Than 45 in Afghanistan | Hawaii Reporter:

Why Taliban Are So Strong

The harsh reality is that an increasing number of Afghans are turning to the Taliban, having grown mistrustful of Nato and Afghan forces.
In remote parts of the country where the government rules only on paper, the Taliban are often preferred.
"Americans are like Kuchi nomads," a tribal elder from the south-east once told me. "They come with their tents for some time and before you know them, they leave."