COLLECTIVE MADNESS


“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Ugly in Afghanistan

Musharraf says Americans need to prepare for the likelihood that more U.S. troops will be needed in Afghanistan and that they will be there many years. The former president of Pakistan said so in Iowa Saturday.

Pervez Musharraf, who resigned under pressure last year, said it would be "disastrous" for the United States to pull out of Afghanistan now. If the Taliban are allowed to return to power, he said, they surely would allow al-Qaeda terrorists to rebuild strength in Afghanistan, destabilizing the region and posing a major threat to the United States.

Musharraf says we need to stay.A few days ago an Afghan soldier killed some Americans in their sleep. Today we have a bold attack where 8 Americans are killed and their Afghani police cohorts are kidnapped? Is this a new tactic? Infilltrate from within? Keep the Americans nervous, sleepin with one eye open, suspicious of their Afghani allies?

Is Musharraf right?


_________________
Hat tip: Doug


Eight U.S. Soldiers Dead in Bold Attack in Afghanistan

By SABRINA TAVERNISE and SANGAR RAHIMI
Published: October 4, 2009 NY Times

KABUL, Afghanistan – Groups of tribal militia attacked two American outposts in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, the American military said, killing eight American soldiers and two Afghan police officers in a bold attack that was the deadliest for American soldiers in months.

The attack took place on Saturday night in the Nuristan province, a remote area that shares a border with Pakistan.

Tribal fighters staged the attacks from a mosque and from a village close to the outposts, small bases shared by American and Afghan forces, the military said in a statement on Sunday. The military did not say whether the outposts had been overrun.

The commander of the American unit, Col. Randy George, called the strike "a complex attack in a difficult area."

U.S. troops have had trouble there before: nine American soldiers were killed when 200 insurgents stormed their small outpost in the village of Wanat in 2008.

The governor of Nuristan province, Jamaluddin Badar, reached by telephone on Sunday, said that 11 Afghan police officers, including the district police chief, had been kidnapped in the strike. He described one of the outposts as a district police station, and identified the attackers as Taliban fighters, not tribal militia.

The attack took place in the Kamdish district in the eastern part of the province, he said. The American military statement said American forces had "effectively repelled the attack and inflicted heavy enemy casualties," but did not give the location of the attack.

Mr. Badar said the fighting left at least five dead insurgents in the area. He believed the insurgents had come from Pakistan after military operations pushed them out of bases in the area, and that the operation was led by a Taliban commander in the area named Dost Muhammed.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahed, claimed that Taliban fighters overrran the outposts. He said Taliban fighters were holding the district police chief, and an intelligence chief hostage. He said seven Taliban fighters had been killed, and that the fighters eventually withdrew because the area came under bombardment.

The area had suffered civilian casualties in the past, and villagers there are extremely wary of American forces.

American forces had planned to pull out of the sparsely populated area, as part of a stragetic shift to place more troops in heavily populated centers. The American military statement said that plan "remained unchanged."

The battle of Wanat in 2008 is being described as the ''Black Hawk Down'' of Afghanistan, with the 48 American soldiers and 24 Afghan soldiers outnumbered three to one in a four-hour firefight that left nine Americans dead and 27 wounded in one of the bloodiest days of the eight-year war.


Is it all about , dare I say, oil and gas?




63 comments:

  1. WASHINGTON (AFP) – By openly declaring their views on the Afghan war, US military leaders have placed President Barack Obama in a bind as he faces a fraught decision over the troubled US-led mission.
    Obama has refused to quickly approve a request from his commanders for a major troop build-up in Afghanistan, insisting first on a full vetting of the current strategy.
    But while a war council takes place behind closed doors at the White House, top military officers have made no secret of their view that without a vast ground force, the Afghan mission could end in failure.
    "They want to make sure people know what they asked for if things go wrong," Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense, told AFP.

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  2. A real bad omen for Obama losing the Chicago Olympics on round one. Anyone feel his power slipping?

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  3. I ain't feeling his damned feet, Afpakistan to hell or not.

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  4. A one-eyed, half-drunk Private would take one look at those mountains in Waziristan, and say, "We gotta keep'em from getting back there." "We gotta Block, That."

    That means at least one in ten of our highly gifted, Hahvahd eddycated, elite, General Corp should be able to figure it out (optimistic, I know, but it's a nice mornin here in the midsouth.)

    The good news is that it's desert, and not jungle. 250 to 300,000 guys as good as the ones we've got now, with plenty of air support should be able to do this deed. That's if they really let them "get after'em."

    I don't have much faith in the crystal. His ROE suck, and I think he's being disingenuous only asking for forty thousand. That's not nearly enough.

    I'd just as soon bring our guys home, and then after they kill another couple thousand of our slimy-assed civilians we'll send a force over there to do it right.

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  5. Obama is in a bind. On one hand he promised to take care of the problem in Afghanistan and Pakistan but he has a problem which comes from within his own party. He can do what he promised to do, Finish the job in south Asia or he can knuckle under to his party. His problems won't be with the Republicans but with his base and the Democrat controlled Congress, not to mention four solid leftist votes on the Supreme court.

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  6. We're stuck with COIN whether we like it or not. We need to get the troop strength right to make it work or say the hell with it.

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  7. We better say, "to hell with it," while we still can. The problem with my three hundred thousand troops is, they can "pacify" Afghanistan, but they can never "leave" Afghanistan. They will "be there' throughout eternity.

    In Iraq, there was always the likelihood, that down the road you could build (let develop) a "Real" government, with a "Real" Army, and Police force. They had technical training, and ability, a history of civiilization, a fairly well educated work force, and MOST important, lots, and lots of "Oil MOney."

    Afghanistan has NONE of those things. It is the "Tar Baby's" Tar Baby.

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  8. ...and say the hell with the whole thing.

    Otherwise, we're throwing away blood and treasure.

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  9. Afghanistan...is the "Tar Baby's" Tar Baby.

    You think maybe that George Bush knew this?

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  10. I'm, absolutely, positive George Bush knew this.

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  11. George Bush wanted to get an Army in the Oil Patch. 9-11 gave him the opportunity. He knew he could never "control" Afghanistan.

    Bush's big failing wss Tora Bora. He didn't have the Gonads (or, he couldn't get the backing from Congressional leaders) to Nuke the assholes when he had'em penned up.

    If "nuking" them was impossible, he should have moved heaven, and earth to get an "American" Blocking Force in there. Anyway, the bastards got away, and the rest is, as they say, "history."

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  12. "...and say the hell with the whole thing.

    Otherwise, we're throwing away blood and treasure."

    I agree with you guys. Although, sending in enough troops for a mini-surge might not be a bad if the idea is to save a little face by going in, killing a few Taliban, declaring victory and pulling out quickly. As Rufus pointed out, there will always be another chance to try and get it right.

    After eight years its time for a reset.

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  13. KABUL – Militant fighters streaming from an Afghan village and a mosque attacked a pair of remote outposts near the Pakistani border, killing eight U.S. soldiers and as many as seven Afghan forces in one of the fiercest battles of the eight-year war.

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack for coalition forces since a similar raid in July 2008 killed nine American soldiers in the same mountainous region known as an al-Qaida haven. The U.S. has already said it plans to pull its soldiers from the isolated area to focus on Afghan population centers.

    Fighting began around dawn Saturday and lasted several hours, punctuated by American airstrikes. Jamaludin Badar, governor of Nuristan province, said the two outposts were on a hill — one near the top and one at the foot of the slope — flanked by the village on one side and the mosque on the other.

    Nearly 300 militant fighters flooded the lower, Afghan outpost then swept around it to reach the American station on higher ground from both directions, said Mohammad Qasim Jangulbagh, the provincial police chief. The U.S. military statement said the Americans and Afghans repelled the attack by tribal fighters...


    200-300 Tribal fighters. Well, that tribe is now a target. We need to push the Afghan Police and National Army ahead of us as we send a message about the terrible price of what they did. We're there and we need to exert authority. If we don't soon hear about a major operation that cleaned out this nest, we will know that it is definitely time to leave.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. One of the worst actions taken by this country in the last century was helping the muzzies defeat the Ruskies.
    ...it would have been THEIR Eternal Tar Baby, instead of ours.

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  16. "Afghanistan...is the "Tar Baby's" Tar Baby."
    ---
    Rummy knew this.
    Bush was not his own man enough not to take advice from morons like Rice and Powell.

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  17. You are right there Whit. Hard cold reality showed that when culling elephants, it is best to kill the entire herd. Tribal culls make sense to me.

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  18. Officials were tight lipped on attack, but like normal, info leaked like crazy.
    about 7 hours ago from web

    Unreported from reliable source: Casualties still coming in from Nuristan.
    about 8 hours ago from web

    Reports that 8 troops and 2 ANSF KIA.
    My first info came yesterday, so reports just breaking are old. Unreported:
    casualties still coming in.
    about 8 hours ago from web

    Yon on Twitter

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  19. Be wary, O Europe, above all, of liberal internationalist Americans bearing gifts of multilateralism. An America that does not assert, rudely and brusquely, its own interests and views first through Nato and elsewhere, an America that sings sweet songs of multilateral interdependence is, surely, a superpower that has decided to simply go along with what everyone else does, which is another way of saying it has tired of supporting the free riders, which is another way of saying that it, too, says one thing but might do another, and what it might do is not show up when the big battalions are finally needed.

    Prudent Europeans fear and do not trust, above all, an America that does not put its own interests first and carry the rest along in train. Re-read Raymond Aron. Europe will soon enough face an Iranian nuclear weapon along with its massive dependence upon Russian natural gas, even as its military strength declines yearly – hourly – and in important respects it is today at least arguably more dependent on the American security guarantee, not less, than at any time since 1990.


    This guy is, as Ace (from whom I stole this) puts it, wordy; but he's worth a read. It's not too long.

    They made a Multilateralism and called it Peace

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  20. Analysis: A look at US airstrikes in Pakistan through September 2009

    A look at the data on the US air campaign against Taliban and al Qaeda networks in Pakistan. Civilian casualties are surprisingly low while the most al Qaeda leaders have been killed in territories belonging to 'pro-government Taliban leader' Mullah Nazir.

    Read more:

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  21. Rufus,
    They'd give anything to have back the America that they loved so much to hate.

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  22. "top military officers have made no secret of their view that without a vast ground force, the Afghan mission could end in failure."
    ---
    Yon was telling them this 3 years ago.

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  23. You damned right, Doug. They gotta be shittin their drawers along about now.

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  24. If the Taliban has infiltrated the police and army, then what?

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  25. I'll tell you something else. Our average General ain't worth warm piss.

    How could that fight go on that long without reinforcements? Where was the V-22's, and the Gunships loaded with the "reactionary force?"

    300 targets? The hills should have been "bouncing" with all the ordnance. Fucking Generals think war is all about "their helicopters are hard to keep clean." Piss.

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  26. hdgreene:

    There is also the legend of the US Dollar. Fortunately, there is now another legend waiting to take over:
    From a BBC ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8289250.stm ) article about the International Monetary Fund helping the poor by helping their masters:

    The money is essentially created by the IMF so, according to French ministers, there is no cost to the taxpayer.

    The allocation of special drawing rights (SDRs) was agreed by the G20 summit in April.

    The Mighty Special Drawing Rights! Bow down before the Special Drawing Rights! Sell your soul for a Special Drawing Right! Run over your Grandmother. Your Mother!

    The former currency of international trade was called the greenback, because of its distinctive, pale green color. Has anyone even seen a Special Drawing Right? Does that fact make it harder to counterfeit — or easier? Or is it a counterfeit currency to begin with? And if no one has seen a Special Drawing Right, can anyone draw a Special Drawing Right? Cartoonist could draw a US dollar when ridiculing it. Try drawing a Special Drawing Right! And this whole idea of International Special Money — is that “Special” as in Special Olympics?

    Gold can neither be created nor destroyed. But we know from the BBC that Special Drawing Rights can be created (at no cost to the taxpayer). But can they be destroyed? In other words, is this specie specious? International Money Fun!

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  27. If the Taliban has infiltrated the police and army, then what?

    Just like Vietnam, Deuce. They've made their judgement on who will win, and are acting accordingly.

    With what you've heard out of Washington in the last year, what side would you join? remember, your life is at stake.

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  28. If the Taliban has infiltrated the police and army, then what?

    Wadda mean, "if"? You know they have.

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  29. General McChrystal's Wrong-Headed Rules Of Engagement (ROE ...

    The Rules of Engagement now in effect in that war zone are designed to appease the faint hearted rather than win a war…According to military spokesmen, the ROE has been tailored to soften the possibility of civilian casualties. General Stanley McChrystal issued the new ROE restrictions on the use of military force to reduce the risk of further alienating the population… “Tying our Warfighter’s hands behind their backs is past unsatisfactory…it’s criminal! [Colonel Wayne Morris, USMC (Ret)]

    The New Media Journal: Rules of Engagement & Other Stupid Decisions

    A word of advice to the elite “Conservative” Blog Sites:
    If you have not worn the uniform or fought for your county, I would suggest you blog on another subject matter.
    As I was about to publish this post, I received the below comment from an “old gramma” on another website:

    I am too familiar with what goes on with our troops in Afghanistan. My grandson, who grew up in my home, spent 15 months in the Korengal Valley = aka The Valley of Death. They went through over 1,000 firefights, undermanned, all but abandoned on rocky shelves they pickaxed out of the mountainsides – no running water, housing only what they could cobble together – no hot meals, no heat in the brutal Hindu Kush winters, etc etc – they lost many.

    They are going back – and all they accomplished has been lost with the NRE’s…it’s worse now than any time from the first year! How are they supposed to feel? The new ROE says THEY must, when it comes to it, sacrifice their very safety/lives to ensure no civilians get hurt!
    This is Gen. McCrystals New Rules of Engagement…we need to hold his feet to the fire.
    This is what we need to get out to the people
    .”

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  30. Rufus:
    If the left is allowed to consolidate it's power, that multilateralism will result in paralysis, chaos and ultimately, a reactionary despotism in the name of security.

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  31. "They are going back – and all they accomplished has been lost with the NRE’s…it’s worse now than any time from the first year!
    How are they supposed to feel?

    The new ROE says THEY must, when it comes to it, sacrifice their very safety/lives to ensure no civilians get hurt!
    "

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  32. For now we are operating under COIN. If the tide turns solidly against us and we are staring defeat in the eye, we must decide whether we are once again at war with the people of Afghanistan or wish to leave them to their own devices.

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  33. Right now, we're "occupiers" just like Israel. It's a hell of a place to be in.

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  34. When you have to do the hard work, the heavy lifting, the whirled screams bloody murder.

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  35. Rufus is right. There is no there, there. So if Obama agrees with us, we'll have to give him credit.

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  36. As much as I hate Obama, he's in a spot I wish he wasn't in. He kinda put himself there with all of his big, uninformed talk on the campaign trail. But, be that as it may, WE are in a pickle. We are in a "Mess."

    It would take a hell of a man to get us out of it, and I'm pretty sure obama's not that man.

    This is one case where I'm damned glad it's not "me."

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  37. You're right, Whit. If he can find the balls to say, "fuck it, we're outta here," I'll support him.

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  38. The thing is, we have way too small an Army for the obligations we've piled on ourselves. If we put a couple of hundred thousand men in there, we would be in a hell of a mess if something "serious" broke out somewhere else.

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  39. Man, the NY Times has been headlining that poor woman for 8 hours.
    ...they have a video about a 20 year old dancing instructor whose body and mind were almost completely destroyed by contaminated hamburger.

    Upshot is, buy @ COSTCO, cook well enuff to kill them bugs.

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  40. Cracking the Education Monopoly

    You'll like This, Doug. Some Good News. In LA, of all places.

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  41. American Journalist Sued in Canada Over al-Qaida Disclosures.

    ...

    Williams is being sued by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, over his claims that Islamic terrorists stole 180 pounds of nuclear material from the school's nuclear reactor.

    ...

    Williams, who has a Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, "broke no American statute and his alleged violation of Canadian law took place not in Canada, but at his home in Pennsylvania," according to a press release from Tracy Hood, director of No Compromise News, which is chronicling Williams' case...

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  42. The following is Mark Steyn's view on his experience after being sued under Canadian human rights laws along with McClean's for an article he wrote there attacking islamofascism:

    "I’ve learned a lot of lessons during my time in the crosshairs of the [Canadian human rights investigator Jennifer Lynch]mob. Although the feistier columnists have spoken out on this issue, the broad mass of Canadian media seems generally indifferent to a power grab that explicitly threatens to reduce them to a maple-flavoured variant of Pravda. One boneheaded “journalism professor” even attempted to intervene in the British Columbia trial on the side of the censors. As some leftie website put it, “Defending freedom of speech for jerks means defending jerks.” Well, yes. But, in this case, not defending the jerks means not defending freedom of speech for yourself. It’s not a left/right thing; it’s a free/unfree thing. But an alarming proportion of the Dominion’s “media workers” seem relatively relaxed about playing the role of eunuchs to the Trudeaupian sultans.

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  43. SNL actually has a fairly funny Obama skit. I Ain't Done Nothin

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  44. Works for SAFEWAY Too, Rufus, beats the Hell outta Socialized Medicine, Semi-Socialized RomneyCare, and etc!

    ---
    John Mackey The Conscience of a Capitalist

    "President Obama called for constructive suggestions for health-care reform," he explains. "I took him at his word." Mr. Mackey continues: "It just seems to me there are some fundamental reforms that we've adopted at Whole Foods that would make health care much more affordable for the uninsured."

    What Mr. Mackey is proposing is more or less what he has already implemented at his company—a plan that would allow more health savings accounts (HSAs), more low-premium, high-deductible plans, more incentives for wellness, and medical malpractice reform. None of these initiatives are in any of the Democratic bills winding their way through Congress. In fact, the Democrats want to kill HSAs and high-deductible plans and mandate coverage options that would inflate health insurance costs.

    The Whole Foods health-care story has been largely ignored by proponents of a government-run system. But it could be a template for those in Washington who want to drive down costs and insure the uninsured.

    Mr. Mackey says that combining "our high deductible plan (patients pay for the first $2,500 of medical expenses) with personal wellness accounts or health savings accounts works extremely well for us." He estimates the plan's premiums plus other costs at $2,100 per employee, and about $7,000 for a family. This is about half what other companies typically pay. "And," he is quick to add, "we do cover pre-existing conditions after one year of service."

    Whole Foods also puts several hundred dollars into a health savings account for each worker.This money can be used to cover routine medical expenses, like drug purchases or antismoking programs. If that money is not used in a year, the workers can save the money to pay for expenses in later years.

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  45. Yon got kicked out by the Brits too, Linear, for writing what the grunts have known for years about poor equiment and
    NOT ENOUGH HELICOPTERS.
    ---
    I finally understand why he's so adamant about not having any advertising.
    Some people really do stand up for their beliefs, amid all the fraudsters and fakirs.

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  46. The problem is, Doug, those things weren't in any bills the "Republicans" brought to the floor in the last two hundred years, either.

    Simply put, when your ass is sitting on "Death Row," it's too damned late to say, "Ah'm Sorry."

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  47. Worst losses for a year as Taleban storm Nato outpost

    David Sparkman wrote:
    Where was the intelligence on this attack? Assembling 300 fighters, solders, takes time and coordination. Ah that is right, the CIA is no longer sticking its neck out for an ungrateful American government.
    P.S. We should have transported in a counter attack force behind their lines while the battle was raging to cut off their retreat. The attack would have been stopped as soon as they realized what we were doing. A new idea? No that is what Julius Cesar did in 36 BC when Germans attacked one of his legions.
    October 5, 2009 12:16 AM BST on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (13) Report Abuse Permalink

    Morton Clark wrote:
    My son is there, so I have a direct stake in the outcome. As to that the Obama 'strategy' and 'rules of engagement' are fraught with risk to American and coalition forces. Additionally, the strategy Obama has in place cannot be matched with the number of forces we have. Too big a hill to climb. Either Obama starts acting on the advice of his commanders, or someone tell him he is in over his head and the troops fear his 'leadership.'

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  48. Don't know why you're always bashing the GOP unfairly, Rufus, 'cept that they offend your socialist desires! :-)

    The GOP's Health-Care Alternative

    The nexus of their plan is redirecting the $300 billion annual tax subsidy for employment-based health insurance to individuals in the form of refundable, advanceable tax credits. Families would get $5,700 a year and individuals $2,300 to buy insurance and invest in Health Savings Accounts.
    (The Fascist Dems hate that: Giving people A CHOICE)

    Low-income Americans would get a supplemental debit card of up to $5,000 to help them purchase insurance and pay out-of-pocket costs. They would have an incentive to spend wisely since up to one-fourth of any unspent money in the accounts could be rolled over to the next year. The combination of the refundable tax credit and debit card gives lower-income Americans a way out of the Medicaid ghetto so they can have the dignity of private insurance.
    ---
    GOP alternatives that have been introduced in the House: H.R. 77; H.R. 109; H.R. 198; H.R. 270; H.R. 321; H.R. 464; H.R. 502; H.R. 544; H.R. 917; H.R. 1086; H.R. 1118; H.R. 1441; H.R. 1458; H.R. 1468; H.R. 1658; H.R. 1891; H.R. 2520; H.R. 2607; H.R. 2692; H.R. 2784; H.R. 2785; H.R. 2786; H.R. 2787; H.R. 3141; H.R. 3217; H.R. 3218; H.R. 3356; H.R. 3372; H.R. 3400; H.R. 3438; H.R. 3454; and H.R. 3478.

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  49. While many Americans are fed up with private insurance, opinion polls consistently show a majority think government-controlled health care would be worse. There are problems in the private insurance market, and the Republican plan takes steps that can help.

    States could provide one-stop insurance shopping through new Health Care Exchanges rather than giving the federal government control, as most Democratic plans would do. And it frees up Medicaid money and provides added resources to the states to target additional help to those with disabilities and low incomes. It also calls for auto-enrollment to expand insurance coverage: People will have many options and opportunities to select insurance, but if they don't make an active choice they can be automatically enrolled in private policies financed by the tax credit.

    Who will control the system? Doctors and patients, or politicians and regulators? That's the crux of this year's health-care debate. The Republican proposal makes the choice clear.

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  50. ElBaradei says nuclear Israel number one threat to Mideast: report
    www.chinaview.cn 2009-10-04 22:44:00 Print

    TEHRAN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that "Israel is number one threat to Middle East" with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported.

    At a joint press conference with Iran's Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, ElBaradei brought Israel under spotlight and said that the Tel Aviv regime has refused to allow inspections into its nuclear installations for 30years, the report said.

    "Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses," ElBaradei was quoted as saying.

    Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear capabilities, although it refuses to confirm or deny the allegation.

    "This (possession of nuclear arms) was the cause for some proper measures to gain access to its (Israel's) power plants ... and the U.S. president has done some positive measures for the inspections to happen," said ElBaradei.

    ElBaradei arrived in Iran Saturday for talks with Iranian officials over Tehran's nuclear program.

    Leaders of the United States, France and Britain have condemned Iran's alleged deception to the international community involving covert activities in its new underground nuclear site.

    Last month, Iran confirmed that it is building a new nuclear fuel enrichment plant near its northwestern city of Qom. In reaction, the IAEA asked Tehran to provide detailed information and access to the new nuclear facility as soon as possible.

    On Sunday, ElBaradei said the UN nuclear watchdog would inspect Iran's new uranium plant near Qom on Oct. 25.

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  51. Can someone throttle that man?

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  52. The Internal Focus of ISAF Free Range International

    This guy and some of his commenters describes how COIN should work and how it's not working for us, except with the Marines.
    ---
    Typical French convoy moving from the FOB in Kabul. A year ago the French took a bit of an ass whopping outside of Surobi and to their credit they have not backed down. Not backing down is good - but it has nothing to do with counterinsurgency. Being able to drive around Kabul Province in old crappy armored personnel carriers does nothing to win the COIN fight but it does alienate the population.

    Earlier in the week I had one of those trips from hell which make being in Afghanistan such a drag. The drive between Jalalabad and Kabul takes less than 2 hours on a good day. Last Sunday the drive took over 12 hours – 9 of them spent sitting in a traffic jam just outside the the Poli Charki pass. The reason I was stuck with thousands and thousands of Afghans is that the French army had closed the road between Kabul and Jalalabad. They had (again second time in a week about the 50th time this year) rolled one of their armored vehicles and insisting that no traffic pass the accident scene until it had been recovered. The vehicle went over the side of the road into a ravine so the recovery required an industrial size crane which did not even arrive on scene until around five hours after the accident. That is five hours worth of traffic which should have been flowing freely but ISAF does not think that way. Whatever impact their actions have on the Afghans seems to be irrelevant to ISAF commanders – a mindset which is 180 degrees out from our recently upgraded, improved counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine.

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  53. Why throttle him, whit?

    Those that have nuclear capability are a greater threat than those that do not.
    That is just an obvious fact of life. There can be no accidental discharge if there is no weapon.

    And even an accident is a nuclear threat to the region. The Isreali have successfully launched an orbital satellite. Those two capacities in the hands of religious fanatics is a threat to the whirled, according to some here.

    You may see a distinction between the Abrahamic religions, but Mr Campbell and his devotees do not. I don't.

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  54. You're entitled to your opinion but if you see no difference between the Islam, Christianity and Judaism your opinion means nothing to me.

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  55. whit said...
    Right now, we're "occupiers" just like Israel. It's a hell of a place to be in.


    I understand what whit was trying to say...

    America is in places that is it not liked....

    however

    Israel is not an occupier...

    It is a liberator of it's own historic lands..

    There would be NO Jerusalem, Galilee, Hebron, Bethlehem (etc etc) without Israel/Jews...

    The frank truth? the Arab are the occupiers...

    where do they come from?

    ARABIA....

    they have spread across the middle east destroying the native peoples since 640 ce...

    berbers, kurds, druze, jews all predate by thousands of years the arabs in the middle east..,

    so no Israel is not an occupier, no matter if the fiction that billions of people believe otherwise, facts are facts..

    America is screwed at this time as obama WANTS America to be knocked down a few pegs

    Obama wants America to be traumatized against war against anyone...

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  56. The only reason I supported the crappy V22 debacle is I figured that in a place like Afghanistan you could park a couple of dozen in the middle of the country, put a "fast reaction" battalian in place, and have some fire-pissing, heavily armed trigger-pullers, and ass-kickers Anywhere in country in an hour, hour and a half, tops.

    With VTOL they could drop in on anybody's six, and give some Indians are really bad day (Jus like ol Julius done done.)

    But, no; Your average jerk-off general sees a new VTOL, and thinks, "Personal Taxi."

    I will double goddamn guarantee you that while those Marines were fighting for their lives there was, at least, a half-dozen Majors, and Lt. Cols being taxied around in V22's. Piss

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  57. from Doug's post:

    Afghanis would prefer their woman die than have a male medic see her bare legs.

    "Motor vehicle accidents (MVA's) are frequent and bad in Afghanistan. This one was worse than most - a van full of woman and children was t-boned by a white corolla which tried to enter the by-pass without giving way. This accident occurred about 600 meters away from the Jalalabad FOB. A Brigade commander who was oriented on the people of Afghanistan could have the few high speed roads in his area covered with flying columns of mixed gender troops tasked to respond to MVA's or other medical emergencies. Talk about building good will with the local people - few things could be easier and safer to do than responding to medical emergencies with trained, properly equipped medic units. We stopped to lend a hand but were told by the police (correctly) that it would be a bad idea for a male foreigner to tend to the critically injured women. Most of the children were killed in the crash so there was little to be done for them. A female medic would be worth her weight in gold in situations like these. A couple of unarmored paramedic trucks could be on the road daily visiting police posts, chatting up villagers - in short doing what I do. Although that would conform perfectly with our current COIN doctrine it will never happen because of risk aversion from on high.

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  58. Kill all the men over eight and start over.

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