AFTER months of military leaders' attempts to curb killings of coalition troops by the Afghan forces serving beside them, US general John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, called an urgent meeting of his generals last week to address the rising death toll after the killing of six US Marines trainers on August 10.
In a series of recent steps, the military decreed that US and NATO service members should always carry a loaded magazine in their weapons. Another initiative is a program dubbed ''Guardian Angel'' that calls for one or two soldiers to monitor the Afghans during every mission or meeting, officials say.
The ''angels'', whose identities are not disclosed to the Afghans, must be prepared to fire on anyone who tries to kill a coalition service member.
The military has also analysed the so-called ''green on blue'' attacks, discovering that only a handful have clearly been due to Taliban activity - a worrying development that suggests a malaise within the Afghan forces that raises the risk that personal rivalries and cultural clashes could complicate the NATO training program.
The ''insider attacks'' come at a politically delicate time, just months before a US presidential election and amid increasingly vocal complaints from parents of dead marines and soldiers that could diminish support among Americans for what is already an unpopular war.
In the 48 hours after General Allen's emergency session, there were two more such attacks. Those assaults left two Special Forces trainers dead and two other US soldiers wounded.
I expect to see the good General called back to DC or 'reassigned' or some other demotion when the next attempt occurs and our guys shoot the 'friendly' Afghans. You don't really expect Bambi and his minions (including the current bobbleheaded SecDec Pointsetta) to allow this type of behaviour, do you?
And oh yeah, expect the GIs to be either quckly arrested of shot in the 'crossfire.'
[Jerusalem Post] The son of late Libyan dictator Muammar Qadaffy ... one of those little rainstorms from the Arab Spring... , Saif al-Islam Qadaffy,
He's the one with the PhD from the London School of Economics whose dissertation was written for him by several generous Harvard econ. professors or perhaps the Monitor Group, but at any rate not by his own dear little hand...
will go on trial in Libya next month for the charge of urging supporters to kill demonstrators and rebels during last year's uprising in the country, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.
Saif al-Islam Qadaffy will face execution by hanging if he is found guilty, according to the report.
Assuming they let him live long enough to be hanged...
Qadaffy will be tried in Libya and the International Criminal Court ... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ... at The Hague will play no role in the trial, The Telegraph reported.
CAIRO: An Egyptian court has ordered a popular TV presenter and a chief editor of an independent daily to face trial for insulting the country's newly elected president. The Cairo court charged controversial TV presenter Tawfiq Okasha with suggesting the killing of President Muhammad Mursi during his nightly TV show. The court also referred the chief editor of El-Dustour daily, Islam Afifi, for his newspaper's harsh criticism of Mursi.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...
Court referrals escalate the unfolding standoff between Egypt's president and his opponents in the media.
Last week, members of the upper house of Parliament chose new editors for state-owned newspapers despite demands for a vote by newspaper staff or an independent media body. Around half the seats in the upper house of Parliament are controlled by Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood group. The editors were appointed by members of the upper house, in the same manner as under former President Hosni Mubarak, prompting the Egyptian Journalist's Syndicate to condemn the selection process. Hundreds of journalists came out to the streets to protest.
Meanwhile, Okasha's network El-Faraeen, or the Pharaohs, was ordered off the air after he warned Mursi not to attend the funeral of 16 Egyptian soldiers killed in a militant attack this month in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. He said the "spilling" of Mursi's blood would be permissible and alleged the Brotherhood was behind the attack close to the border with Israel.
Okasha is popular both for his scathing criticism of the Brotherhood and also of the youth groups and activists behind last year's uprising that toppled Mubarak. Okasha was a member of Mubarak's ruling party before it was dissolved.
Nearly a month after he was sworn-in, Mursi met with media chiefs and promised there would be no restrictions on press freedoms. Under Mubarak, reporters were jailed and fined for writing about his health, for example. Mursi's spokesman Yasser Ali told reporters later Thursday that the president had nothing to do with the court's decision on the two media figures and that he continues to support press freedoms.
Yasser's lips then fell off and flapped on the floor. Mursi could stop all this with one public statement, but he hasn't. And won't.
(CNN) -- Ten Yemeni hard boyz infiltrated Egyptian soil two months ago and trained local Jihadi cells in the Sinai peninsula, a security official said Friday.
"Several foreign men were spotted shopping in the market by residents and we received intelligence that they were in communication with Jihadist cells in Al Mukataa, a remote area south of Sheikh Zuweid in Northern Sinai," said a security bigshot associated with Egypt's North Sinai's border guards, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We hope to capture them in our ongoing raids. They could be hiding in Jabal-Al Halal -- a rugged mountain terrain in central Sinai."
The Yemeni hard boyz were smuggled into Sinai from Sudan among groups of African migrants who have been sold to Bedouin who traffic refugees into Israel for cash, said Ibrahim Al Menei, a Bedouin leader from the Swarkeh tribe who has spearheaded a committee of hundreds of men to curb the illegal trafficking of Africans through the Sinai.
"Word spread among the community that these Yemeni hard boyz were training Jihadi cells in Sheikh Zuweid. The intelligence officers were aware of their presence," Menei told CNN.
(Rooters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange berated the United States on Sunday from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy where he has sought refuge from arrest, challenging President Barack Obama This is a teachable moment... to end what he called a witch-hunt against his whistle-blowing website. Rooters, if anyone, should know that one man's whistle-blower is another man's Quisling. But we never hear much about Quisling from Rooters, do we?
Speaking from within the London mission to avoid being placed in long-term storage Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! by British police who want to extradite him to Sweden for questioning over diddling interns rape allegations, Assange said the United States was fighting a war against outlets like WikiLeaks.
Pitching himself alongside Russian punk band Pussy Riot ... who at least can sing, kinda... sorta... and since Saddam and Muammar are both moulderin' in the grave...
and the New York Times ...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize... newspaper, Assange said the United States risked shunting the world into an era of journalistic oppression. He did not mention the rape allegations.
Since he will be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy, he can't go to Ecuador. He could, in theory, spend the rest of his miserable life in the embassy.
Sort of reminds me of the story of Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary who spent 15 years in the US embassy. Except, of course, that Cardinal Mindszenty actually was a hero - he had been imprisoned and tortured by the communists. Unlike Julian, who is merely a legend in his own mind.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia ||
I hope he has the "all Ecuadorian" cable TV package to keep his mind stimulated.
There is a BIG difference between standing on a balcony at an embassy and standing on a mountain in Ecuador. One is safe, and the other gives the illusion of safety. Maybe Assange should contemplate that fine distinction. :-)
This is really fascinating. This guy is such a maroon. Each step along the way gets closer and closer to exposing his (probably) Chinese handlers. So far, they have been perfect in enabling this little man without showing their hands.
Unless he does something really foolish, he will probably outlive the current Government of Ecuador at which point he will be kicked out and then the game will continue in Sweden.
Malik Riaz in power corridors
Writing in Jang Hamid Mir stated that Zardari and Gilani replaced Musharraf's dictatorship but followed his policies. Musharraf's close associates encircled them. Malik Riaz the real estate tycoon wrote a column in his own newspaper praising Musharraf for dismissing Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The article was actually written by a senior journalist for him. In return he got contracts from Musharraf. The Q League leaders also became close through their sons while an Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who ain't the sharpest bulb on the national tree... companion was employed by Malik Riaz as his lawyer with an eye to the future. When the Chief Justice got after Gilani, Gilani should have resigned but Malik Riaz told him not to because he was going to get the Chief Justice to resign instead. After that he bought many who had not sold out to Musharraf.
'Aitzaz is not my hero!'
Columnist Hamid Mir wrote in Jang that he was once devoted to Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and had quarrelled with many people while defending him but when in the Court Aitzaz heard attorney general Irfan Qadir insulting the Court he did nothing in reaction. At that point Mir decided he was no longer his hero. He did not defend Gilani competently and he doesn't agree with people who say the trial was a foregone conclusion even had Aitzaz tried.
Gilani, the longest PM?
Daily Jang had Hamid Mir opine that PM Yousaf Raza Gilani was said to be history's strongest prime minister of Pakistain but he got rid of five finance ministers in four years while removing six finance secretaries. Had he been transparent in governance he would have steered clear of the likes of Malik Riaz.
To the columnist of 'kaptaan'
PMLN leader Senator Pervez Rasheed wrote in Jang directed his rejoinder to columnist Haroon Rasheed without naming him, calling him kaptaan ka kaalam nigar. Imran Khan said Malik Riaz should lift the Koran and tell whom all he had paid off. Upon which Ch Nisar Ali Khan of PMLN had said Malik Riaz should also say how much he financed the PTI marches from Rawalpindi to Lahore. The style of the kaalam nigar was that he quoted the Koran followed by Hadith and then referred to his and Khan Sahib's joint saint. While he eulogised Imran Khan he constantly ran down the PMLN.
Imran Khan's lies
PMLN leader Senator Pervez Rasheed wrote in Jang that Imran Khan applied in writing to Chief Minister Punjab Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... in 1987 saying he had no personal house and be given a plot from CM's discretionary quota of plots. He was given one in Faisal Town's posh locality. Later he stated that he had won it as prize from Punjab government after defeating India.
Nawaz Sharif businessman, not politician!
Deserting politician and new Tehrik Insaf leader Javed Hashmi told Jang that Nawaz Sharif was a big businessman but not a big politicians whereas Imran Khan was a big cricketer but a much bigger politician. He said he had never said that he would live and die for the PMLN.
Imran Khan's bloggers run wild
Writing in Express Nusrat Javeed stated that the lovers of Imran Khan were running wild at the internet attacking and defaming media persons who they thought were bought up by Zardari or Nawaz Sharif. The party will advance to new destinations only after it is done with blackening the faces of mediamen.
'I am not sitting at Zardari's feet!'
Quoted by Express former president of Supreme Court Bar and human rights ...which often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless... lawyer Asma Jahangir stated that she was not sitting at the feet of Zardari but Hamid Khan of Tehrik Insaf was seen sitting next (baghal mein) to Imran Khan. She said it was difficult today to criticise the Army and the Judiciary but she was doing it. She was not involved in promoting her friends as judges but the faction of Hamid Khan was busy doing it.
Staring at judge, go to jail!
Reported in Express the Islamabad High Court sent an officer of the CDA to jail for a strange offence. The DG Planning was standing in front of the judge and staring at him. On which the judge stated that bureaucrats had become Pharaohs and were threatening the courts. The officer was set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece! and sent to Adiala Jail.
Railways, ours and India's
Reported in Jang Pakistain Railways had only 100 locomotives out of which only 85 were on track pulling passenger trains. It has 430 locomotives out which 46 can be brought on track after small repairs. Forty years ago Pakistain ran 360 trains but in 2012 it was running only 85 passenger trains and there were no freight trains running. In India, the railways was running 9,000 trains daily with an average of 25 bogies. India had 8,000 locomotives.
Sheikh Rasheed in America
Columnist Nazeer Naji wrote in Jang that Sheikh Rasheed should not have been surprised when he was tossed in the clink Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! at an airport for five hours when he visited the US. Sheikh Rasheed has been on record once that he was involved in training youths for Indian administered Kashmire in a jihadi camp. India had labelled the Kashmire freedom fighter as Orcs and similar vermin and now America too was calling them the same.
Peace with India, with honour!
Columnist Hamid Mir wrote in Jang that peace with India was okay but it should be achieved with honour and those Indian agents convicted of terrorism in Pakistain should not be released for the sake of peace with India. He referred to fellow journalist Ansar Abbasi who opposed the release of an Indian agent from Pak jail. An Indian TV anchor criticised Hamid Mir for scaring Zardari off from releasing an Indian prisoner.
Can media lampoon Army and Judiciary?
Quoted in Express federal information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira stated that if the media was so brave it should also criticise the Army and the Judiciary. It was easy to make fun of national politicians but it took real moral courage to make cartoons of the Army chief and the Chief Justice and some Orcs and similar vermin hiding in some parts of the country.
Hamid Khan should return the fee!
Owned by Malik Riaz daily Jinnah said on the front page that lawyer Hamid Khan can get his licence to practise annulled if he doesn't return the fee collected by him from Malik Riaz after joining Tehrik Insaf and refusing to represent him. It was against the law to first take the fee and then refuse to represent a client without returning the received fee.
Chechnya and Timor compared
Writing in Jang Nazeer Naji stated that East Timor in Indonesia was awarded independence because the Christians living there could create their own country. But the Chechen Mohammedans struggling against Russia for their independence were not given the same right because no Mohammedan country was supporting their movement.
Crush the Qadianis!
World famous leader of Mohammedans Pir Azharul Hassan Gilani told Jinnah that the 'guru' of the Qadianis had toured America and got a lot of support there which proved that he was busy concocting conspiracies against Pakistain and the world of Islam. He said he would fight the Qadianis on every front.
Handled by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon for the US president and senior adviser Ron Dermer for the prime minister, they focus essentially on a four-point plan embodying Israel's requirements for delaying an attack.
1. President Obama will formally inform the two houses of congress in writing that he plans to use military force to prevent Iran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon. He will request their endorsement. Aside from this step's powerful deterrent weight for persuading Iran's leaders to give up their pursuit of a nuclear bomb, it would also give the US president the freedom to go to war with Iran when he sees fit, without have to seek congressional endorsement.
The problem being that the our beloved president will never see fit to go to war with Iran.
2. To underscore his commitment, President Obama would pay a visit to Israel in the weeks leading up to election-day and deliver a speech to the Knesset solemnly pledging to use American military force against the Islamic Republic if Tehran still refuses to give up its nuclear weapon program. He will repeat that pledge before various other public forums.
3, In the coming months up until Spring 2013, the United States will upgrade Israel's military, intelligence and technological capabilities so that if President Obama (whether he is reelected or replaced by Mitt Romney) decides to back out of this commitment, Israel will by then be in command of the resources necessary for inflicting mortal damage on Iran's nuclear program with a unilateral strike.
debkafile's military sources note that an influx of these top-grade US military resources would bridge the gap between American and Israeli ticking clocks for an attack on Iran, and dispel the fear in Jerusalem that delay would give Iran time to bury its key facilities in "zones of immunity" - outside Israel's reach for serious damage with its present capabilities.
Sure. Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today.
4. If points 1-3 can be covered -- and Netanyahu and Barak are convinced the US really means to strike Iran next spring - our Washington and Jerusalem sources report that Jerusalem may be coming around to agreeing to hold back a lone Israeli attack this autumn.
One hopes this means the Israelis have information that Iran's nuclear work has again been slowed, but one suspects they are now pinning their plans on a Mitt Romney win in November.
Those sources report that President Obama has not rejected the plan.
Another way of saying he has not agreed to it....
Donilon was told to keep on talking to Netanyahu and Barak.
Of course being a double dealer himself, the One would ponder "what if I agree to all this, and the [expletives] still attack before election day?". It's not like he's ever played Chicago politics to consider such an scenario.
The problem is, Obama is known for his weakness against Iran. Both Israel and Iran know this. If this is true, then some extra diplomatic pressure might be helpful, but everyone just might ignore it too.
Feverish media speculation about an attack on Iran has penetrated Israelis' highly developed shell of apathy. But they're lining up for protective kits without undue stress -- like Americans doing the Christmas shopping early
Fighting AQ in Afghanistan, assisting AQ in Syria. Fails the test, but very British.
British Army are in Cyprus to support the conflict in Afghanistan. The army has a reserve battalion ready to be deployed in 48 hrs notice who are the 2 Royal Anglians during Op Herrick 13-14. The airbase. RAF Akrotiri, is a base to 'decompress' the soldiers back from Afghan before they go back to UK. It is a strategic point of logistics between Afghan and UK both soldiers and equipment. The army is also there to protect the listening posts which catches radio frequencies and can listen in like a spying device but on a large scale. They look like large nets and are suspended by two large poles.
[Jerusalem Post] Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... officials, some with close ties to Iraqi PM Maliki, using a network of financial institutions and oil-smuggling operations that are providing Tehran with a crucial flow of dollars, 'New York Times ...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize... ' reports.
Iraq has been helping Iran skirt economic sanctions imposed because of its nuclear program, using a network of financial institutions and oil-smuggling operations that are providing Tehran with a crucial flow of dollars, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
In some cases, Iraqi government officials are turning a blind eye to trade with Iran, while other officials in Storied Baghdad are directly profiting from the activities -- with several of them having close ties to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the Times said.
US President Barack Obama The campaign's over, John... acknowledged the problem last month when he barred a small Iraqi bank, the Elaf Islamic Bank, from any dealings with the American banking system, the newspaper said.
At the time, the president said that the bank had "facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of Iranian banks that are subject to sanctions for their links to Iran's illicit proliferation activities."
And yet Iraqi banking experts told the Times that Elaf Islamic Bank was still participating in the Iraq Central Bank's daily auction at which commercial banks can sell Iraqi dinars and buy dollars. Through these auctions, Iran is able to bolster its reserve of dollars that are used to pay for much-needed imports.
The Times, citing sources in the B.O. regime, current and former American and Iraqi officials and banking and oil experts, said Washington has privately complained to Iraqi officials about financial and logistical ties between Storied Baghdad and Tehran.
In one recent instance, when Obama learned that the Iraqi government was aiding the Iranians by allowing them to use Iraqi airspace to ferry supplies to Syria, he called Maliki to complain, and Iranian planes then flew another route, the Times said.
Iranian organizations apparently have gained control over at least four Iraqi commercial banks through Iraqi intermediaries, which would gives Iran direct access to the international financial system, from which they are barred by the economic sanctions, the Times said.
The problem with illegal Iraq-Iran trade has become well-enough known in Storied Baghdad that it has roiled Iraqi politics, the newspaper said.
"We want to question the central bank and the banks that are involved," Ali al-Sachri, a member of Parliament, told the Times. He said he was concerned that the huge dollar transfers threatened the economic stability of Iraq by depleting the country's foreign reserves.
Iran's ability to trade and the incoming flow of dollars is crucial to the country because the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations ...what started out as a a diplomatic initiative, now trying to edge its way into legislative, judicial, and executive areas... and individual countries are squeezing its economy, the paper said.
Gee, remember all the D.C. foreign policy establishment eggheads who told us that we "want" a strong relationship between Iraq and Iran and that it's "healthy" for the region? That's why we "had" to bring Iran in for the regional talks on Iraq.
But when we start seeing the results of Iran and Iraq's cooperation, we don't like it.
Posted by: American Delight ||
The last UN observers who deployed in Syria four months ago to monitor Annan's failed cease-fire will leave after midnight on Sunday, when their mandate expires. They will leave a "liaison office" open in Damascus after their departure, though its size and role have not been finalized, a UN spokeswoman said.
"The comfort for me is that the UN will stay in the country," General Babacar Gaye, head of the departing UN Supervision Mission in Syria, told reporters in Damascus. "The United Nations is committed to ending violence, committed to triggering dialogue between the parties."
Brahimi, a Nobel Peace laureate,
Given the others who've been given that, it's a wonder the gentleman admits to it...
will have a new title, Joint Special Representative for Syria. Diplomats said the change was to distance him from Annan, who had complained that his Syria peace plan was hampered by a divided Security Council.
In an interview with France 24 television, Brahimi said he would soon meet with the Security Council.
"We are going to discuss very seriously how they can help," he said. "They are asking me to do this job. If they don't support me, there is no job. They are divided, but surely they can unite on something like this and I hope they will."