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

Sunday, February 13, 2011

News of the Day for Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reported Security Incidents

Samarra

Suicide bomber targeting Shiite pilgrims at a bus depot kills 48 on Saturday. The pilgrims had gathered to mark the death of Hasan al-Askari, the 11th Imam. (Note: The destruction of the golden dome of the mosque in Samarra commemorating the Askari Imams was a major trigger of sectarian violence in February, 2006.

Baghdad

One police officer killed, 2 injured in an attack using silenced weapons.

Other News of the Day

Hundreds demonstrate in Samawa, Muthanna Province on Saturday to demand improved government services and economic opportunity. Meanwhile, intensive security measures have been implemented in Ramadi in advance of a planned demonstration there. Note that these are highly disparate parts of the country.

In response to recent protests, the government says it will provide the first 1,000 KwH of electricity free to each consumer. Of course, it only helps if you actually have electricity . . .

Parliament approves 8 ministerial nominations. However, nominations for the sensitive security-related posts have yet to be made. The PM retains these responsibilities.

Afghanistan Update

Death toll in attack on police base in Kandahar yesterday now stands at 18, mostly police.

The U.S. has postponed a scheduled tri-lateral meeting among U.S., Pakistani and Afghan diplomats, apparently due to the continued detention of U.S. citizen Raymond Davis in Pakistan. This is a very strange case which has not gotten nearly the attention or critical analysis that it should here in the U.S. Davis, as you undoubtedly know, killed 2 Pakistanis in Lahore; a U.S. consular vehicle on the way to the scene struck and killed another. Davis is a civilian security contractor who the U.S. has claimed has diplomatic status, although they have not explained his job, why he was armed and why he had implements of spycraft. I just work here, but it seems pretty clear the Pakistanis think he was a hired assassin. The U.S. is awfully eager to pry him loose. -- C

Three killed in a clash between insurgents and foreign forces in Kunar. Although this article does not make it entirely clear, it implies the dead were civilian bystanders.

3 comments:

The Wiz said...

I've been reading several blogs out of the Mid East since about 2004. Since the invasion of Iraq and George Bush's call for democracy, the people of the ME have been debating just that. And when they saw the first of the Purple Finger elections in Iraq, they were fascinated. They asked why can't we do that? When will we get our chance to pick our own government?

Pres Bush may not have planted the seed of democracy in the ME but he certainly poured a lot of water on that struggling tree. Now in Tunisia and Egypt, that tree has begun to bloom.

Where will the next branch flower? I can see buds forming in Iran, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, and more. Perhaps it will be in full bloom across the ME and N Africa soon. It may also spread through Asia.

Many here will disagree but there is little doubt that Bush has been a big influence on ME politics and the current push of democracy.

dancewater said...

That is total bullshit.

And Bush did not pour water on anything - he spilled blood - LOTS AND LOTS OF BLOOD. And this did not improve anyone's life at all, and did not spread any democracy beyond the democracy of death.

And you will not find 10 people in all those countries listed who would agree that Bush had anything to do with these protests and demands for freedom.

dancewater said...

I knew you were going to show up and repeat the ridiculous lies pushed by the neocons sooner or later. I was wondering what took you so long.