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, April 10, 2011

News of the Day for Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reported Security Incidents


A jeweler and his son are killed by armed robbers equipped with silenced weapons, who make off with bags of jewelery. It is often unclear whether these incidents are common crimes, but as this AP report states, "attacks on jewelry stores and banks have begun to surge — possibly funding some insurgent activities, officials say."

Sticky bomb explodes in Mahmoudiya, injuring the car's two passengers. VoI also reports four people injured by a roadside bomb near the international train station in Alawi district.


The car of journalist Suran Omar explodes outside his house while he is asleep. Omar had been critical of the Kurdish government. There were no injuries.


A policeman is assassinated near his house.

Baghdadi village, Anbar Province

A U.S. military patrol [sic] is struck by a road side bomb. No information on casualties at this time.

Other News of the Day

Tens of thousands of Sadrists protest remarks by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that U.S. troops may remain in Iraq for years. Demonstrations are regularly scheduled for April 9, the anniversary of the staged toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square, but this protest was fueled by the reaction to Sec. Gates's statement. Excerpt from the report by Tim Arango and Khalid D. Ali of the NYT:

The protesters were whipped up by comments drafted by Mr. Sadr, who is continuing his religious studies in Iran but who sent a message to the crowd threatening to reconstitute his militia, the Mahdi Army, if the American military did not leave this year.

“The first thing we will do is escalate the military resistance activity and reactivate the Mahdi Army in a new statement which will be published later,” Mr. Sadr’s representative, Salah al-Obaidi, told the crowd. “Second is to escalate the peaceful and public resistance through sit-ins.”

Then there's that People's Mujahedeen situation. PMOI says Iraqi forces killed 33 people and injured 300 in an attack on its camp Ashraf on Friday, but Iraqi officials say only 3 people were killed. The U.S. has called on the Iraqis to provide humanitarian assistance to the PMOI camp, but the Iraqis have refused. PMOI claims the wounded are not receiving medical care. Reporters Without Borders has condemned what it says is a blackout on news from the camp. For those who need a reminder, this is a leftist Iranian opposition group which was harbored by Saddam Hussein and labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. Now the Iraqi government is friendly to Iran, and so is hostile to the group; but PMOI now enjoys the protection of the United States, although the U.S. has yet to officially lift the designation that it is a terrorist organization.

It seems Iraq is afflicted with a plague of phony sheiks engaged in extortion rackets against professionals. This story by WaPo's Stephanie McCrummen is a little light on the background, but it seems the U.S. propped up some self-styled "sheiks" as part of its political strategy, and the Maliki government does the same. These guys start flashing the bling and throwing their weight around like typical gangsters.

Afghanistan Update

Roadside bomb kills three tribal elders in Bala Buluk district, Farah province. They were on their way to a meeting of elders from around the region.

Bomb attack on an Afghan army bus injures 7 soldiers on 3 civilians on Saturday afternoon.

Gen. Petraeus says Al Qaeda has a minimal presence in Afghanistan and is not making a comeback. "The top commander of U.S. and NATO forces said Saturday that while some al-Qaida fighters have been searching for hide-outs in rugged areas of eastern Afghanistan, he does not think they are making a comeback inside the country. "There is no question that al-Qaida has had a presence in Afghanistan and continues to have a presence - generally assessed at less than 100 or so," Gen. David Petraeus told reporters at the coalition's headquarters in the Afghan capital." Well okay then. What exactly are we doing there?

Hamid Shalizi reports for Reuters that sentiment against the presence of westerners and non-Muslims is growing among Afghanistan's clerics.

An ISAF soldiers is killed in northern Afghanistan, no further details at this time.


dancewater said...

'Well okay then. What exactly are we doing there?'

I think we are doing war just for the hell of it at this point. Lots of money to be made for the war-mongers, so they keep on doing it.

It never was about a threat to the US or catching some criminals. Those were just lies.

dancewater said...

Some pictures of the protests in Iraq yesterday:

Anonymous said...

all these fronts are revenge for 9/11

dancewater said...

They are still burning Bush in effigy and burning the US flag in Iraq.

They hate the US for destroying their country and their lives.

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