The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Monday, October 25, 2010

News of the Day for Monday, October 25, 2010

Note: Whisker is on the second planet of the Aldebaran system for a few days. I'll be holding down the fort as best I can, but posting may come at odd times and be abbreviated. I have had to depend on Aswat al-Iraq for the security update today as western media seem interested only in the WikiLeaks documents. --- C

Reported Security Incidents


Director-General of the Iraq Electricity Ministry, Saad Bakr, is assassinated while on his way to work.

A soldier and a civilian are injured by a sticky bomb in Daura.

A government employee and 3 bystanders are injured by a bomb attached to his car.

Payroll of the east Baghdad Rusafa’s Education Directorate is stolen by an armed gang.


A senior police officer escapes an assassination attempt.

Other News of the Day

Asharq al-Awsat reviews the political fallout in Iraq over the WikiLeaks document dump. It's about what you might expect -- Maliki's opponents say it discredits him, he says it's all a plot to undermine him, the Kurds are trying to sail above it all.

Former Australian PM John Howard gets shoes thrown at him on live TV in protest of the Iraq war. The assailant is not identified but is presumably Australian.

Kurdish PM Barham Salih asserts that Kurdistan must manage its own petroleum resources.

Fresh evidence that US soldiers handed over detainees to a notorious Iraqi torture squad has emerged in army logs published by WikiLeaks.

NYT's Timothy Williams and Omar Al-Jawoshy report that Iraq soldiers are heavily into drugs, including stuff I never even heard of.

“Pills are cheaper than cigarettes and they make you more comfortable and relaxed,” said Nazhan al-Jibouri, a police officer in Nineveh Province in northern Iraq. “They help us forget that we are hungry, and they make it easier to deal with people. They encourage us during moments when we are facing death.”

Some senior police and army officers said that because drug abusers were typically among their most fearless fighters, they were loath to take disciplinary action against them.

Afghanistan Update

Hamid Karzai says, "Sure I take money from Iran. And?"

A local official claims 25 people, including civilians, were killed in a NATO airstrike in Baghran, Helmand. In a more detailed description of what appears to be the same incident, AP reports there was a raid and a firefight preceding the air strike. NATO claims 15 insurgents were killed, by locals say the air strike destroyed a mosque and killed civilians. NATO denies attacking a mosque. ""People are very angry," said eyewitness Salah Ayap, a 26-year-old driver in Maigan village where the incident took place. He said foreign troops arrived in the village around 2 a.m. and there was a fierce gunfight before the airstrike. Only two walls and one small room of a building he described as a mosque were now standing, said Ayap, and villagers were digging the dead out from under the rubble with farming tools and washing them for burial." To get a sense of how this is playing in Afghanistan, TOLO reports "Nearly, 25 people were killed on Monday after Nato forces targeted a mosque in an air raid, provincial security officials saidM. Dead bodies are still under the rubble and efforts are underway to dig them out, officials said."

A Dutch aid worker is kidnapped on the highway between Takhar and Kunduz provinces.

A Taliban "shadow governor" is killed by a NATO airstrike in Takhar Province.


dancewater said...

It is striking to me how much attention the Wikileaks papers are getting in Europe, and how little in the USA.

I have found a lot of new pictures in the Guardian (UK) and Spiegel -- and are putting them up on my FACES OF GRIEF blog.

And I am trying to find the reports on the incidents that injured two Iraqi girls I know (Salee and Rusal) but no luck so far. They were shot at by a US gunship on November 6 or November 7 in 2006 in Hasswa. Their brother and another child in the neighborhood were killed in the attack. No adults were even injured.

This war is a monstrous hideous evil, and it is the American people who are the hideously evil perpetrators of this war of aggression. Most of them are too immoral to even realize what they have done.

dancewater said...

I don't think the link worked, so here it is again: