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Norks to nullify Kaesong agreements
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Outnumbered U.S. troops defend Afghan frontier
This is the type of hand-wringing story that will set the stage for Bambi to say, "it's too hard, heck with it" and abandon Afghanistan.
KUNAR VALLEY, Afghanistan, May 17 - Lieutenant Joshua Rodriguez, a U.S. platoon commander guarding the Afghan-Pakistan frontier, reckons he is lucky to be alive. Two weeks after he set up an outpost with 20 Afghan soldiers and seven Americans overlooking a key Taliban smuggling route, some 80 insurgents attacked them hard at daybreak.

"We were very close, very close," he said, days after the fight, holding his fingers a fraction of an inch apart.

As the Taliban threatened to overrun the base, his sniper put down his long-range rifle and grabbed a shotgun. Then he dropped the shotgun and picked up hand grenades. The enemy had come within throwing distance of the outpost's razor wire.

"They were trying to get in from everywhere. It was a miracle," Rodriguez said.

Yet although they managed to fend off the fighters and prevent the outpost from being overrun that day, they abandoned it a few days later, leaving the cross-border smuggling route through the vast Suna Valley unguarded.

A few days earlier, NATO troops at another outpost called Barialai were less lucky. The Taliban overran the position, killing three Americans, two Latvians and five Afghan soldiers.

U.S. commanders are rushing thousands of reinforcements to the south of Afghanistan to take on the Taliban in what Washington considers a make-or-break year for a war it now views as its main security priority.

Here in the east of the country, the official line from top commanders is that they now have all the troops they need. But down on the ground, in the high mountain passes on the east bank of the Kunar river which guerrillas have been using to smuggle fighters and weapons in from Pakistan for decades, the soldiers of 6/4 squadron tell a different story.

The fighting is hard and constant, and they do not have enough men to stop the Taliban infiltrating across the border.

Before it was overrun, the Barialai post overlooked two valleys, Hlegal and Daring, that are used as smuggling routes. The U.S. troops say they know the names of insurgent commanders who are living in the two valleys, but do not have enough forces to clear them.

In January, U.S. commanders sent an extra 700 troops to the area south of 6/4 squadron's territory. The new troops are just "a drop of water" in the sea, said one soldier who asked not to be identified while discussing the shortage of manpower.

Officially, 6/4 squadron controls a stretch of border through two provinces, Kunar and Nuristan. But they have not had enough manpower to visit Nuristan for months. Mountain passes there are guarded by the Afghan police. "They called us two times ... a few months ago when they were attacked by insurgents. We sent a combat assault team and we repelled the attack. Since then they haven't called us. Nobody knows what is happening up there," the soldier added.

In Kunar, helicopters race to the remote outposts throughout the night, bringing the isolated troops food, water and ammunition. Artillery back at their base booms constantly, lighting up the valley with explosions and flares.

Captain Jay Bessey, commander of the squadron's Charlie troop is overseeing the construction of a new fortified combat outpost where a small contingent expects to be under constant attack. Drawing fire was part of the reason for being here.

"When the enemy is focused on attacking us here he is not focused on attacking the road crew who is building the road up. He is not attacking the guys that are working on the schools over in the neighbouring villages," he said. "You know, this is part of the job."
Posted by: Steve White || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Outpost lightly manned, and out guys nearly get overrun, then days later abandon the area and route to the infiltrators from their sanctuaries "over the border". Make or break year. etc.

Ok, where are the Liberals and Dems? About now they and the press usually start screaming "Vietnam".

I guess we will not see any of that since Candidate Obama promised to "win" Afghanistan, and for them to stir up Vietnam woudl choke the efforts off -- and leave Obama looking like LBJ. "Hey Hey Barak Hussein, how much blood till it leaves a stain?"

Never happen. Press is in the bag. Country is going down the damn sewers because the electorate is mal-informed and the "true believers" in the press are cheer leading better than anything Stalin or Goebbels could have put up there.
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/18/2009 2:30 Comments || Top||

#2  More troops just mean more targets for the Taliban since ROE make it challenging to take the fight to them. And ROE are probably appropriate, since we can't compete on the propaganda front, so every enemy casualty is an 'innocent civilian' (or ten, and all young girls at that.)
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/18/2009 18:41 Comments || Top||

#3  Outnumbered U.S. troops defend Afghan Mexican frontier

Circa 1870. [or for that matter, BP in 2009]
Posted by: Procopius2k || 05/18/2009 20:38 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Four Colombian soldiers killed in rebel minefield
A reminder that not all terrorism is Islamicist in origin. Perhaps now that the Tamil Tigers have been beaten we'll read that FARC and ELN are next.
BOGOTA - Four Colombian soldiers were killed and two civilians wounded Saturday when a soldier stepped on a land mine while on patrol near the northeastern town of El Tarra, the army reported. The army blamed Marxist guerrillas with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s second largest rebel group.

The soldiers belonged to a mobile unit specializing in anti-guerrilla warfare operating in the Norte de Santander department, on the border with Venezuela.

The blast wounded a young woman and her newborn child, a source at the army’s 30th Brigade told AFP. The civilians were flown to a hospital in an army helicopter, the source said.

On Friday, three police officers were killed and one wounded when guerrillas with another group, the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ambushed a patrol in Cubara, also near the border with Venezuela.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Waziristan next, says Zardari
Pakistan is to extend its war on the Taliban beyond Swat into the fiercely independent tribal areas bordering Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda leadership are believed to be hiding.

‘We’re going to go into Waziristan, all these regions, with army operations,’ President Asif Ali Zardari told The Sunday Times in an interview. ‘Swat is just the start. It’s a larger war to fight.’ He said Pakistan would need billions of pounds in military assistance and aid for up to 1.7 million refugees, the biggest movement of people since the country’s split from India in 1947.

To help take on the militants, the Pakistan army is for the first time to accept counter-insurgency training from British and American troops on its own soil.

‘We need to develop our capability and we need much more support,’ said Mr Zardari. ‘We need much, much more than the $1 billion (military aid) we’ve been getting, which is nothing. We’ve got 150,000 troops in (the tribal areas) — just the movement of that number would cost $1 billion.’

The army is planning to open new fronts in Waziristan and Darra Adamkhel. Waziristan is the headquarters of the militant Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, led by Baitullah Mehsud, who has been named as the mastermind behind the assassination of the former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. Mr Zardari appealed for $1 billion in aid for refugees.

‘If we are to win the hearts and minds of these people we need to be able to relocate them back into civil society, rebuild their houses and give them interest-free loans to restart their businesses,’ he said. ‘If we don’t they will turn against the government and we will lose the impetus we’ve managed to create in the country against the Taliban.’

The Taliban were said to be holding out in Sultanwas, a mountainous valley in Buner. All access to Swat, where the army said a house-to-house search was under way for Taliban leaders in Mingora, was banned.

Mr Zardari insisted that the army was committed to defeating the Taliban. ‘I think the casualties speak for that, the displacement speaks for that,’ he said. He claimed that officers sympathetic to the militants had been purged. ‘I’m confident the army perceives the Taliban as much of a national threat as we do.’

He added: ‘You cannot fight this war only on the battle (field). You also have to fight it on the economic front — you have to offer something to the youth.’
Posted by: Pappy || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We need much, much more than the $1 billion (military aid) we’ve been getting,

So we can further expand our nuclear weapons capability (What? You actually believe we'd spend it fighting our own allies?)
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/18/2009 18:44 Comments || Top||

Pakistan to take Taliban war into Tribal Areas
LAHORE: Pakistan will soon extend its war on the Taliban to the Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan, President Asif Zardari said on Sunday. "We're going to go into Waziristan, all these regions, with army operations," he told The Sunday Times in an interview. "Swat is just the start. [There's] a larger war to fight."
Easy, Killer, let's see you handle the minor leagues first ...
They need to win something, or India will take them as seriously as they deserve, instead of how they want.
He said Pakistan would need billions of pounds in military assistance and aid for up to 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), on account of the operation. "We need much, much more than the $1 billion [military aid] we've been getting, which is nothing," Zardari said. "We've got 150,000 troops in [the Tribal Areas] -- just the movement of that number would cost $1 billion," he added.
We all saw this coming. Give generously or the mighty Pak army will be grounded.
Perhaps it's time for a series of op-eds in the Times of India and the #1 Urdu language paper about how pathetic the mighty Pak army actually is, proved by their inability to go to war unless they get beaucoup bucks from the Amis.
Zardari may get the cash but the US administration is less likely to accede to his wish of being given US drones, claimed a Times report. "I want drones," Zardari had said. "I want transfer of technology so I can manufacture them at home and use them myself."
Posted by: Steve White || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "I want transfer of technology so I can manufacture them at home and use them myself."

Just call Hobby Lobby - they sell lots of radio control model airplane kits.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/18/2009 18:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Mr 10% can find lots of drones in any mosque on Fridays.
Posted by: ed || 05/18/2009 22:52 Comments || Top||

Qaeda commander among four militants arrested
KARACHI: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested four dangerous and wanted persons belonging to the Al Qaeda and other banned religious outfits after a brief encounter in the city and seized a huge cache of explosives, chemicals and materials from their possession.

The brother of Al Qaeda commander Qari Zafar is among the arrested persons; the culprits were planning on targeting high profile personalities and were also involved in the killing of intelligence officials, said CID (Investigations) SSP Choudhry Mohammad Aslam Khan while speaking at a press conference on Sunday.

The arrested militants include, Mohammad Anwar alias Mohammad Asim alias Jabar alias Qasim alias Yasir alias Abu Darda, Rehan alias Mehmood, Azim alias Yousuf and Ghulam Haider alias Baba. Four of the militants' associates, Jahangir, Saifullah, Azam and Misbahuddin managed to flee the scene.
Golly, they've got almost as many names as an English prince!
SSP Khan said that he, upon receiving a tip off, constituted two teams led by DSP Arif Aziz and DSP Asif Usman. The teams conducted a raid at the militants hideout located on the upper floor of the Khokhar Clinic, Model Colony.
What is it about jihadis and medial facilities? Hamas hid Sgt. Gilani from the Israelis in the basement of the Gaza City hospital.
"We received a tip off that militants belonging to banned religious organisations are engaged in a secret meeting, upon which, the raid was conducted," added SSP Khan.

When the team conducted the raid, the terrorist opened fire on them, however, the team managed to make the arrests and also recover huge caches of explosives, weapons, chemicals and other materials used in making bombs.
In Bangladesh opening fire on the RAB leads to a crossfire. You Paks have a lot of work if you're going to measure up ...
The recovered explosive materials include 50 kilograms of C-4 Wabox high explosive, 22 kilograms of Sulphur powder, 100 meters of detonating cord, four iron cylinders and 35 gallons of nitric acid, while the recovered electronic items include 1,000 different types of capacitors, 25 timer devices, an integrated circuit, more than one thousand resisters, 200 boards, regulators, switches, integrated circuits and relays (communication devices), LED, crystals, transistors, scolding wire, iron beat, a drill, cutters, a screwdriver set and fuse elements. Two Kalashnikovs and two TT pistols were also recovered from the possession of the militants.
I'm not sure I'd want a crossfire in the midst of that kind of inventory...
SSP Khan further said that during the initial course of interrogation, the terrorist, Anwar, was identified as a resident of Model Colony and the brother of Qari Zafar. It should be noted here that Qari Zafar is consider to be a Al Qaeda commander and also the Sindh chief of the banned religious outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ). Zafar is wanted by the CID and his name is mentioned in the CID Red Book, as he was the mastermind behind the bomb blast in the Marriott Hotel, Karachi.

Anwar and his companions, Habibullah Burmi and Maulvi Abdul Muttalib, were arrested in May 2003 and 583 kilograms of explosives, five hand grenades, two Kalashnikovs were recovered from their possession. However, Anwar disappeared after he was released on bail. SSP Khan revealed that Anwar was recruiting people for terrorism on the directives of his brother, Zafar; he has sent various persons to Miran Shah for training.

Through public transport, Anwar sent different types of chemicals, electronic devices used in making bombs and suicide jackets to his brother who used them in different terror activities. The accused, Rehan, is affiliated with Al-Qaeda and resides in Ranchore Lines. He, along with Arab militants, was trained at Masakar-ul-Farooq. Rehan was a logistical supporter for the Arab militants; he looked after them, provided them with shelter and medical treatment, while Azim alias Yousuf, is a native of Afghanistan and was temporarily residing in Toori Bangash Colony. He is affiliated with Tehreek-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud. Azim was trained in Afghanistan and participated in the fight with the security forces there. He recently was trained in bomb making in the camp of Qari Zafar.

The militant, Ghulam Haider, is a resident of Lyari and is affiliated with banned outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyab (L-e-T). He was trained at Masakar Tayyaba and helped in all the activities of L-e-T and is currently working for LJ.

According to the initial investigation, the militant Anwar, on the directives of Qari Zafar, via Jahangir and Saifullah alias Keamari Wala, has killed Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials Ibrahim and Fazal in March 2008.

The arrested militants planned to target high profile personalities and also kidnap traders for ransom. They were also collecting donations from Karachi to send to Qari Zafar.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

1,000 Taliban killed in military offensive: Malik
ISLAMABAD/MARDAN: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday that more than 1,000 Taliban had been killed in the military’s three-week offensive in Swat. “More than 1,000 Taliban, including two commanders, have been killed while their training centres and bases have been destroyed,” Malik told a press conference in Mardan.

The minister called on the Taliban to lay down their weapons. “The army offensive will continue until the Taliban are flushed out ... the Taliban are on the run, they will be eliminated at any cost,” he said after visiting a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Malik said security forces were hunting for the leaders of the Taliban in Swat. “Those leaders, those commanders, who are controlling the Taliban, obviously we’re going to hit them. We’re not going to spare them,” he said. “You’ll hear good news soon.”

Malik said Dir and Buner districts are under the complete control of the government, and the IDPs from these areas could return home. He said that scores of displaced families had already left camps to return to Buner. However, the minister urged people to flee from Mingora – the main town of Swat around which intense clashes have erupted – but said IDPs could return to some other areas in the valley that troops had cleared.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As far as I can tell, the correction factor for Pakistan casualty announcements appears to be 0.03, so they've probably actually killed about 30 Taliban.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/18/2009 18:53 Comments || Top||

1.5 million IDPs registered so far: NWFP minister
PESHAWAR: NWFP Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain said on Sunday that the number of registered internally displaced persons (IDPs) – at relief camps and elsewhere – from Swat, Buner and Lower Dir has risen to over 1.5 million, while the total number of IDPs is now estimated to be over 2 million.

Addressing the media, the minister said that 150,000 IDPs from various troubled areas had been registered over the last 24 hours.

Iftikhar appealed to donors and philanthropists for aid to help IDPs, and said every displaced family would be given Rs 25,000. He said that displaced families would also be given ‘adequate funds’ to enable them to resettle in their hometowns.

He hoped the federal government would soon send the funds announced for IDPs, and said that if required, the provincial government would suspend its Annual Development Programme and instead use the development funds to settle the IDPs. He said every relief camp would be provided an ambulance.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Must be a lot of Taliban out there for a population of over 1.5 million to not be able to mount a resistance against them - especially considering how poorly most of the 'bunnies fight.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/18/2009 18:56 Comments || Top||

Pakistan urges civilians to flee from Swat
ISLAMABAD - The Pakistani government on Sunday urged people stranded by a military offensive against Taliban militants in the Swat valley to try to get out. Many civilians are believed to still be inside Mingora, the main town in Swat, after the army launched an offensive more than a week ago to stop the spread of Taliban influence.
Run away!
“I appeal to the people of Mingora and other parts which are under aggression, as soon as they get an opportunity, the curfew is relaxed, they should come out,” Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik told reporters.

The army said intense exchanges of fire were taking place on the outskirts of Mingora. Malik also said security forces were hunting for the leaders of the Taliban in Swat. “Those leaders, those commanders, who are controlling the Taliban, obviously we’re going to hit them. We’re not going to spare them,” he said. “You’ll hear good news soon.”
Posted by: Steve White || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

US special squad killed Benazir
NEW YORK (Online) - Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on the orders of the special death squad formed by former US vice-president Dick Cheney, which had already killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and the army chief of that country.

The squad was headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed commander of US army in Afghanistan. It was disclosed by reputed US journalist Seymour Hersh while talking to an Arab TV in an interview.
Seymour Hersh? We know it's not true, then. But really, he needs to resume the anti-psychosis meds -- he's clearly been hearing that voice again.
Hersh said former US vice-president Cheney was the chief of the Joint Special Operation Command and he clear the way for the US by exterminating opponents through the unit and the CIA. General Stanley was the in-charge of the unit. Seymour also said that Rafiq Al Hariri and the Lebanese army chief were murdered for not safeguarding the US interests and refusing US setting up military bases in Lebanon. Ariel Sharon, the then prime minister of Israel, was also a key man in the plot.

A number of websites around the world are suspecting the same unit for killing of Benazir Bhutto because in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV on November 2, 2007, she had mentioned the assassination of Usama Bin Laden, Seymour said. According to BB, Umar Saeed Sheikh murdered Usama, but her words were washed out from the David Frosts report, he said.

The US journalist opined that it might have been done on purpose because the US leadership did not like to declare Usama dead for in the case the justification of the presence of US army in Afghanistan could no more be there, hence no reason for operation against Taliban.

On the other hand, the diplomatic analysts believe that BB murder is still a fable and it is for the reason Asif Zardari and other govt authorities are stressing UN probe in the murder case, also paying huge sums for it.

Another website has disclosed that Benazir was put to death in order to roll back Pakistan nuclear programme and the take over its nukes and India, Israel and the US, were making hectic efforts to deprive Pakistan of its atomic capability so as to bring to under their control.
We can only hope that last is true... except for Israel, which has more immediate concerns.
Posted by: john frum || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  On behalf of all the guys here at Mosad/RAW/Masons dinning & checkers club, I protest!
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 05/18/2009 5:52 Comments || Top||

#2  First rule of Masons Dining & Checkers Club!
Posted by: Excalibur || 05/18/2009 7:44 Comments || Top||

#3  I knew Hersh was OTL, but he sounds certifiable.
Is there a 5150 in the works?
Posted by: Elmereter Trotsky8859 || 05/18/2009 18:50 Comments || Top||

#4  It was disclosed by reputed US journalist Seymour Hersh while talking to an Arab TV in an interview.

This statement says it all. I take it that reputed means "purportive or supposed." Could also mean left-wing extremist.
Posted by: JohnQC || 05/18/2009 18:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Hersh has split personalities: One personality says something off the wall for the foreigners and the college radicals, the other personality is reined in by editors who actually know something about the law. I choose not to speculate about any other personalities inhabiting his cobweb-strewn psyche.
Posted by: Jonathan || 05/18/2009 18:57 Comments || Top||

#6  Damn, Cheney is *that* good. He can control SUV sunroof latches with his mind!
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/18/2009 19:35 Comments || Top||

#7  So Sy? What's stopping them from wasting you? The threat of being unmasked by crack Pakistani investigative journalism?
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/18/2009 19:35 Comments || Top||

Separation Anxiety As U.S. Prepares To Leave Sadr City
BAGHDAD -- The unthinkable is happening in Sadr City as the U.S. military begins to shut down its outposts to meet a June 30 deadline to withdraw from Iraqi cities.

Separation anxiety is growing among residents, local leaders and American soldiers in the sprawling, impoverished Shiite district that was once the most dangerous battlefield in Baghdad for U.S. troops.

"When the Americans leave, everything will be looted because no one will be watching," an Iraqi army lieutenant newly deployed there said. "There will be a civil war -- without a doubt," predicted an Iraqi interpreter. Council members have asked about political asylum in the United States.

Mohammed Alami, a local leader who calls himself the U.S. Embassy's unofficial representative in Sadr City, is among those expecting mayhem.

"This is the most dangerous decision being made," he said recently after a meeting at a U.S. outpost in Sadr City. "We will lose the security. The insurgents will come back. I will be the first one targeted."

The deadline, the first of three that chart the withdrawal of U.S. troops, will test Iraqi forces and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's assertion that his government stands ready to assume primary control over security. The Iraqi government insisted on the deadlines last year during the negotiation of a security agreement.

For the Obama administration, the deadline and the months that follow will be a key test of whether a campaign promise to withdraw "responsibly" is feasible. Some U.S. officials have begun to see it as a potentially perilous turning point, if violence surges as the military loses influence, mobility and combat power.

"The bottom line is they are not ready for us to give over the cities," a senior U.S. military official said on the condition of anonymity to speak critically of the Iraqis. "If we do, and all indications are that they will make us leave, we will be in a firefight to get back in and stop the violence. And we will lose soldiers."

De Facto Authorities

Several key details about the June 30 deadline remain unresolved. Iraqi leaders have not said how many, if any, mechanized units and outposts they will let the Americans keep in Baghdad and Mosul, a northern city riven by violence. And there is no consensus on the definition of combat troops.

The U.S. military built dozens of small combat outposts and joint security stations in 2007 as part of a strategy that helped turn the tide in a war that many at the time viewed as a lost cause. By injecting tens of thousands of American soldiers into volatile neighborhoods, the then-incoming commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, reversed course on his predecessor's goal of pulling back U.S. forces and leaving the Iraqis in the lead.

The first few months of the campaign were the deadliest in the war for American troops.

The inner-city outposts became the de facto authority in scores of neighborhoods in Baghdad and other largely lawless cities. Soldiers gathered timely street-level intelligence on Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents. They splintered extremist groups by putting thousands of insurgents on the payroll.

Sadr City, the bastion of the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia commanded by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, became one of the deadliest battlefields for U.S. soldiers, who at times fought in Sadr City in tanks.

Last May, after a spate of heavy fighting in Sadr City, Sadr ordered his militia to stand down and allowed the Iraqi army to assume control of the northern sector. U.S. troops remained in control of the lower quadrant.

After months of being shunned by local leaders, the Americans, with $100 million to spend on reconstruction projects in Sadr City last year, soon began making friends. They employed 1,500 men as unarmed neighborhood guards. Local businessmen and other leaders who secured U.S. contracts now drive around in Mercedes-Benzes; one recently indulged in the latest fad in Baghdad: a Hummer.

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/18/2009 01:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Doe the Iraqi's and Øbama have the mental and intestinal flexibility to move the deadlines? We shall see.

I feel like I'm watching a movie where the teenager drives off the cliff while frozen at the wheel. He could have turned away but doesn't.
Posted by: tipover || 05/18/2009 1:52 Comments || Top||

#2  I saw this yesterday and thought about posting it, but - like all the other WaPoagenda-driven junk - it has no opposing point of view. All 25 million Iraqis now wish the Americans would stay? All the American military commanders think it's a mistake? All because Obama got elected? What happened to "analysis"? [shakes head] It just makes me tired.
Posted by: Bobby || 05/18/2009 6:05 Comments || Top||

#3  "...we will be in a firefight to get back in and stop the violence. And we will lose soldiers."

Anyone with a lick of sense could figure that out, but that POS weasel in the WH is too busy trying to turn the US into the mother of all nanny states. Bastard should burn in hell.

Posted by: Zorba || 05/18/2009 19:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Time's up. You need to get your shit together. The US no longer babysits for 50 years.
Posted by: ed || 05/18/2009 22:42 Comments || Top||

#5  too bad that the council leaders will probably get that asylum in the US they want
Posted by: funky skunk || 05/18/2009 23:23 Comments || Top||

US, Iraqi forces target Syrian-based network
Long War Journal
Iraqi and US special operations forces took aim yesterday at al Qaeda's Syrian-based network operating in northern Iraq. The joint forces conducted an operation to take down senior leaders of Abu Khalaf's facilitation network operating west of Mosul along the Syrian border.

The special operations forces raided a compound near Tall al Hawa, a town in Ninewa province about 12 miles east of the Syrian border near the Tal Kujik border crossing point. The operation netted three of Abu Khalaf's associates, Multinational Force Iraq stated in a press release. One of the men was wanted for his involvement in car bomb attacks in the region.
Rest at link
Posted by: ed || 05/18/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I know it's just torturing myself (uh, REAL torture) to think it, but wouldn't it be nice to see a Syrian-based network hit hard, in, uh, Syria?? Of course even the last president (best war-time leader since Truman, easily) balked at that, or something. Speaking of which, with weasels like Powell surely writing their tell-all-but-actually-tell-lots-of-one-sided-b.s. memoirs before the adults probably do, how long will we have to wait to know the real story about things like the Great Wimping Out of 2003-2006, etc.?
Posted by: Verlaine || 05/18/2009 4:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Remember those helicopters captured on a cell phone camera in Oct 2008? US strike in Syria "decapitated" al Qaeda's facilitation network
Al Qaeda leader Abu Ghadiya was killed in yesterday's strike inside Syria, a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal. But US special operations forces also inflicted a major blow to al Qaeda's foreign fighter network based in Syria. The entire senior leadership of Ghadiya's network was also killed in the raid, the official stated.

Worth reading. Makes one wonder what goes on where there are no video cameras.
Posted by: ed || 05/18/2009 6:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Also remember the Israeli raid on the mysterious whatever-it-was complex. Had to be some degree of cooperation with US (and maybe Turkey) on that. Just how much cooperation, and how 'active' we should never know.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/18/2009 19:04 Comments || Top||

Sri Lanka
Video of Sri Lanka battlezone - claims to be May 17 in English title
Posted by: 3dc || 05/18/2009 00:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Good um, morning ...
Posted by: Steve White || 05/18/2009 03:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  First chance I've had to check Rantburg today - why is the last comment before 8 am?

What have I missed?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/18/2009 18:21 Comments || Top||

#2  It looks like the database went down this morning. I had to restart it and reset the directory permissions. No idea what caused it.
Posted by: Fred || 05/18/2009 18:29 Comments || Top||

#3  PolterJuice
Posted by: Frank G || 05/18/2009 18:34 Comments || Top||

#4  It looked tampered with.
Posted by: Fred || 05/18/2009 18:42 Comments || Top||

#5  I blame Pelosi.

Posted by: Parabellum || 05/18/2009 18:44 Comments || Top||

#6  (Hi Fred!)
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/18/2009 18:54 Comments || Top||

#7  It looked tampered with.

Would the temperer have had access to commenter's IP addresses?
Posted by: Iblis || 05/18/2009 18:56 Comments || Top||

#8  Happy Birthday: May 18th.

Frank Capra - died 1991 (94) "It's a Wonderful Life"

Perry Como - died 2001 (88) "Chesterfield Supper Club"

George Welch - died 1954 (36) "Shot down Japanese planes at Pearl Harbor - WWII Ace"

Dame Margot Fonteyn - died 1991 (71) "British prima ballerina assoluta"

Pernell Roberts - 81 "Adam Cartwright - Bonanza" (Now)

Jeana Yeager - 57 "Round the World" flight" (Now)

Tina Fey - 39 "Writer, comedian, actress - Saturday Night Live" (Now)

On this day in history: May 18th.
1652 – Rhode Island passes the first law in North America making slavery illegal.
1896 – The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal is constitutional.
1910 – The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley.
1917 – The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed, giving the President of the United States the power of conscription.
1944 – Battle of Monte Cassino – Conclusion after seven days of the fourth battle as German paratroopers evacuate Monte Cassino.
1953 – Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier.
1958 – An F-104 Starfighter sets a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph.
1974 – Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.
1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
1992 – The Archivist of the United States officially announces the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/18/2009 19:06 Comments || Top||

#9  You don't suppose the crash had to do with the recent appearance of Ang** H*rm*n, do you?
Posted by: SteveS || 05/18/2009 19:35 Comments || Top||

#10  Which Patti has the Tony

The Robber Bridegroom


Les Miserables

Sweeney Todd

Sunset Boulevard


Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/18/2009 19:55 Comments || Top||

#11  Hi, Fred!

How's it going? :-D
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/18/2009 20:07 Comments || Top||

#12  How are you feeling, Fred?

I've had "Rantburg withdrawal symptoms" all day. That could make a person mighty riled. If someone messed up your system, let us know. I'm sure we can form a vigilante committee to hunt 'em down and make 'em watch "Barbarella" sixty times in a row.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/18/2009 22:19 Comments || Top||

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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Frank G

Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2009-05-18
  Norks to nullify Kaesong agreements
Sun 2009-05-17
  Tamil Tigers say they surrender
Sat 2009-05-16
  Sri Lanka president declares victory in civil war
Fri 2009-05-15
  60 Talibs killed in Swat
Thu 2009-05-14
  Morocco dismantles Salafiya Jihadiya cell
Wed 2009-05-13
   113 deaders, thousands flee Somalia festivities
Tue 2009-05-12
  Pak commandos dropped into Taliban stronghold
Mon 2009-05-11
  200 Taliban killed in Swat operation
Sun 2009-05-10
  Scores dead as drone hits S. Wazoo Mehsud stronghold
Sat 2009-05-09
  1.2 million people leave Buner, Swat other areas
Fri 2009-05-08
  Gilani orders all-out war on Pak Taliban
Thu 2009-05-07
  Sufi Mohammad's son killed in Lower Dir shelling
Wed 2009-05-06
  Mashaal: Hamas wants 10 year cease-fire
Tue 2009-05-05
  Pirates captured after attacking the wrong ship
Mon 2009-05-04
  Khaled Mashaal re-elected Hamas political leader

Better than the average link...

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