Monday, August 13, 2007

NY Times Notes British Failure In Premature Iraq Withdrawal

While the violence in those areas patrolled by the US is finally on the wane as al-Qaeda’s brutallity created a Muslim backlash which has resulted in Iraqis swearing on the Koran to defeat the terrorists, the Southern area of Iraq where British forces operated has been a mixed bag. The UK had the responsibility to deal with the Shiia southern strongholds, deemed moderately challenging given the American’s responsibility for the Sunni areas and the mixed provinces around Baghdad. Now the NY Times is trying to claim the UK has failed in the south of Iraq, and that failure is due to their premature depature - the same premature they and their liberal allies in Congress want the US to execute:

Read more ....

Also: Surge Produces Impressive Drop In Carnage

Ominous Developments in Afghanistan

CNN reports:

Taliban militants attacked a coalition military base in southern Afghanistan for the second time Saturday and the third time this week, the U.S.-led coalition said. It warned the ambushes could "possibly be a rehearsal for a much bigger attack, possibly an attempt to completely overrun the post." Afghan and coalition soldiers at Firebase Anaconda in Uruzgan province fought off the attackers Saturday. Several Taliban militants were killed, and two insurgents were wounded and taken into custody.

Read more ....

War Crimes 'Rampant' In Somalia

All sides have committed war crimes in Somalia's conflict this year, according to lobby group Human Rights Watch.

It says the worst abuses have been by Ethiopian soldiers, who are supporting the government against insurgents.

Read more .....

U.S. Military Starts New Iraq Offensive

BAGHDAD - The U.S. military launched a new offensive on Monday aimed at cracking down on Sunni and Shiite extremists, according to a statement.

The statement singled out Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaida in Iraq and said the Shiite extremists were being backed by Iran. The military has stepped up its rhetoric recently against Tehran, which is accused of supplying militias with arms and training to attack U.S. forces. Iran denies the allegations.

Read more .....

Afghan Forces Thwart Taliban Attack, Kill Nine

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Afghan security forces killed nine Taliban insurgents as they were preparing to attack a district police headquarters close to the Pakistan border, a provincial police chief said on Monday.

"We had intelligence that a sizeable group of Taliban militants were gathered in Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border in an attempt to overrun the district police headquarters," said Sayed Agha Saqib, police chief of the southern province of Kandahar.

Read more ....

Iraq's Al-Maliki Plans Crisis Conference

BAGHDAD - Sunni politicians maintained a hard line Monday after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki invited key Sunni and Kurdish allies to a crisis conference in a desperate bid to reach a compromise among Iraq's divided factions.

With the political process stalled, the U.S. military pressed ahead with its efforts to crackdown on the violence, launching a new offensive against extremists on both sides of the sectarian divide.

Read more ....

Friday, August 10, 2007

Things Continue To Progress In Iraq

The path towards a success in Iraw is still be travelled as events continue to head in the direction we need to actually have a huge success in Iraq. First off just look at this long listing of actions against al-Qaeda and their allies. So many it makes no sense to snip a few here at the site.

Read more ....

Nanotechnology And The Future Of Warfare

From the blog Responsible Nanotechnology:

Having received numerous email requests for my presentation on “Nanotechnology and the Future of Warfare” given at the recent World Future Society conference, I have uploaded the document as a PDF. You can view it here -- and let me know what you think!

How Indonesia Is Winning Its War On Terror

In early June, the Indonesian authorities made a stunning capture. After pursuing a suspected militant to a safe house in central Java, police say they shot him in the leg as he tried to flee. The target was Abu Dujana, the alleged head of the military wing of the extremist group Jemaah Islamiah (J.I.). That same day, the police made more busts. A squad of Indonesian commandos stormed into a home in Yogyakarta, nabbing Zarkasih, whom the authorities say is a veteran jihadist and J.I.'s overall leader. And just a few months earlier, the police uncovered an arsenal of deadly bombmaking materials in another house in central Java, including potassium, TNT, detonators and ammunition for a grenade launcher, all of which might have been used for a massive new terror attack.

Read more ....

Eradication Key To Afghan Anti-Drug Plan

The US and UK on Thursday unveiled a new counter-narcotics plan for Afghanistan, including a stronger eradication effort, in an attempt to deal with the growing poppy cultivation problem in the war-torn country.

American officials said the coalition's current strategy had achieved some positive results in the more stable northern part of the country. But they conceded that there was a growing problem in the south, which has become increasingly unstable as the Taliban continue their offensive against US and Nato troops.

Read more .....

Police Terrorized By Taliban -- Washington
Afghan, Pakistan Jirga Won’t Stop Violence -- Khaleej Times
Pakistan Gunships Pound Taliban, Al-Qaeda Amid US Pressure -- Yahoo News

Russian Military Bragging About Overflights

The Russian government continues its strange game of imperial ambitions, this time bragging about using Soviet-era bombers to overfly American-patrolled airspace. Moscow says it's reviving a grand tradition of Russian audacity by eyeballing American pilots. Americans say that Moscow is reviving a grand tradition of Russian baloney:

Read more ....

Homes Burnt In E Timor Violence

Scores of homes have been burnt in two districts in East Timor, amid protests triggered by the appointment of a new prime minister.

The worst violence was in Viqueque and Baucau in the east, both strongholds of former ruling party Fretilin.

Read more ....

Fierce Fighting Rocks Mogadishu

Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has been rocked by the sound of fierce fighting during a two-hour gun battle between insurgents and government forces.

A BBC correspondent says the sound of the clashes echoed across the city, leading to widespread fear.

Read more ....

Japan, U.S. Sign Deal On Military Secrets

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and the United States sealed a deal on defense secrets on Friday, in a show of solidarity days after a powerful opposition leader publicly rebuffed a U.S. request for continued support for its Afghan operations.

A smiling Foreign Minister Taro Aso greeted U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer at the ministry in Tokyo, before they signed and exchanged copies of an agreement Japanese officials said would facilitate the exchange of classified information.

Read more ....

Threats From North Korea Again

Over 50 Killed In Southern Philippines Fighting

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine troops shelled Muslim rebel positions and raked them with helicopter fire overnight on the southern island of Jolo after a day of intense fighting in which at least 58 people, including 26 troops, were killed.

The fighting which broke out on Thursday morning is the heaviest in the volatile Philippine south for almost three years, but the military said it suspended operations at daybreak on Friday following a request from the provincial governor.

Read more .....

More from Herald International Tribune...

British Clear Most Of Afghan 'Green Zone'

British forces have cleared Taliban from the majority of the crucial "Green Zone" in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, a senior commander has revealed.

The narrow strip of lush vegetation which cuts through the desert province along the Helmand river had provided a refuge and ideal fighting ground for the extremists, offering a degree of cover unavailable in the surrounding desert.

Read more ....

Iraq -- War News Updates August 10, 2007

Record Death Toll Of British Troops In Iraq -- Telegraph
Dangerous Time For British Forces In Basra -- Telegraph
U.S. Troops Navigate Fault Lines Of Sect And Tribe -- MSNBC
U.S. Seeks U.N. Help With Talks On Iraq -- MSNBC
U.S. Helicopter Forced Down South Of Baghdad -- MSNBC
15 Die In Iraq Violence; U.S. Chopper Down -- CBS News
Jordan Yields Poverty And Pain For The Well-Off Fleeing Iraq -- International Herald Tribune
UN To Vote On Bigger Iraq Mission -- BBC News
Guard Unit Home After Record Combat Tour -- CBS News

U.K. Military Bloggers Gagged By The MoD

Wide-ranging new guidelines which strictly limit the way military personnel can blog and post messages on internet bulletin boards have been introduced by the Ministry of Defence.

Read more .....

My Comment: Fallout from the U.S.'s New Republic case.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What's Happening In Syria?

For years the Assad regime has had trouble if Islamist militants. They also make tactical and operational alliances with the radicals.

But this Reuters report is still very interesting.

The lede:

Syria is facing a violent campaign by Islamist militants and six border soldiers died in attacks launched from inside Iraq, a senior Syrian security official said on Thursday.

This is the first time Syria has publicly disclosed details of the fight against militants, which has intensified this year.

“We are conducting operations against terrorist cells and we have taken martyrs,” Mohammad Mansoura, head of the Political Security branch of Syria’s intelligence apparatus, told a closed door session of an international security conference on Iraq.

“Raids have yielded arsenals of weapons including suicide explosive belts. Our border forces have come under 100 attacks from inside Iraq. Six soldiers died and 17 were injured,” he said in a speech obtained by Reuters in a translated copy.

Read more .....

Iraq -- Task Force Warhorse: Classical Counterinsurgency On Haifa Street

By Wesley Morgan, who is currently embedded in Iraq. Wes writes for The Daily Princetonian and was invited to embed in Iraq by Gen. David Petraeus. His assignment in Iraq is sponsored and financed by Public Multimedia Inc.

In the tactical operations center here on Forward Operating Base Union III, a huge poster is emblazoned with the slogan “Army Strong – Cav Tough.” From what I’ve seen in the past few days as I’ve lived and ridden with the Stryker cavalry Task Force based here, called Task Force Warhorse, that slogan is true enough, but could just as well read “Army Strong – Cav Smart.” This unit – two cavalry troops and an infantry company, headquartered by the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry – has been in three different areas of operations in the past year and has been engaged in an enormous spectrum of operations, from neighborhood cleanup to a multiple-day, full-squadron assault on enemy positions.

Read more ....

Captured Iraqi Video Of An Insurgent Attack

Can't Run, Can't Hide, Can't Make a Deal -- A Good Summary on Iraq

August 8, 2007: There are now 162,000 American troops in Iraq, the most ever. The surge tactics, of constantly chasing after terrorist groups, has left more of the terrorist leaders vulnerable. This week, the guy who planned the two bombing attacks on the Shia Al Askaria (Golden Dome) mosque in Samarra was killed up north. In nearby Mosul, the local Sunni Arab community is becoming even more vicious, knowing that their politicians have been unable to obtain amnesty for the terrorist leaders who have been presiding over the bombers and death squads in the northern oil city. The Sunni Arabs must have Mosul, because it's where about a third of Iraq's oil is. If Iraqi gets split up into a federated union, the Sunni Arabs need oil. But the Kurds want the oil as well, and are ready to ignore U.S. calls for calm, and launch an ethnic cleaning campaign. All the Sunni Arabs would be driven out of Mosul. To do this would risk fighting with American troops, but the Kurds, and other minorities in the area, are fed up with Sunni Arab terrorism, and want either peace, or peace through revenge.

Read more ....

Scores Killed In Fighting At Strategic Darfur Town

KHARTOUM, Sudan - Fighting over a strategic town in southern Darfur has killed many rebels and government forces over the past week, and the Sudanese air force has bombed several villages, rebels and international observers said Thursday.

The clashes began Aug. 1 when rebels captured the town of Adila, where Sudanese troops were stationed to protect the only railway linking Darfur to the capital of Khartoum, rebels said.

Read more .....

Sri Lanka Civil War -- Done In By A Booming Economy

August 9, 2007: The LTTE is being seen as an empty threat. The collapse of LTTE forces in eastern Sri Lanka, and inability to carry out a promised terror campaign, has encouraged government forces, and made Tamil civilians more willing to resist LTTE pressure (to volunteer, or donate money.) The navy continues to destroy LTTE gunrunner boats off the northern coast, while the air force bombed an LTTE base on the northern coast. These bases are disguised as fishing villages, but better intelligence has led to the discovery of which "fishing villages" are simply masquerading as smugglers bases.

Read more ....

A Change In The Tide In The Iraq War?

$750M Sought To Airlift Armored Vehicles To Iraq

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has asked Congress for nearly $750 million to urgently airlift needed armored vehicles to troops facing roadside bombs in Iraq, according to budget documents.

The emergency funding request would allow the military to fly many of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to troops rather than send them by ship, which takes weeks. The flight takes 13 hours, allowing for same-day delivery, said Lt. Col. Ed Thomas, an Air Force spokesman.

Read more ....

More from Willism.

Cdn Colonel: Fight Against Taliban Not Ending Any Time Soon

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CP) - A Canadian colonel serving in Afghanistan says the fight against the Taliban isn't about to end any time soon.

Christian Juneau, deputy commander of Canadian troops in southern Afghanistan, said today it is premature to talk about an end to the hostilities in the war-ravaged country. Juneau's comments come a few days after Asadullah Khalid, the governor of Kandahar, predicted NATO forces would defeat the Taliban in the not too distant future.

Juneau says it's hard to know whether the war will end in two, three or 10 years.

The colonel acknowledged that while Taliban insurgents can't match NATO forces in terms of military might, they are still capable of deadly strikes.

Iraq War News Updates -- August 9, 2007

A summary of Iraq War News for August 9, 2007

US Military: Kills 8 Terrorists, Detains 29 In Iraq – Voice Of America
Two More British Troops Killed In Iraq – Telegraph
Four UK Troops Die In Iraq In 48 hours -- Reuters
Sadr City Fighting Kills About 30 – CNN
US, Iraqi Forces Kill 30 Iranian-Backed Special Groups Operatives – Fourth Rail
Major U.S. Raid in Sadr City Targets Shiite Militia Faction – Washington Post
Iraq Report: Pressing al Qaeda In Diyala And The North – Weekly Standard
Roadside Bomb Attacks In Iraq Reach An All-Time High – Independent
Explosives From Iran Weakening Security In Iraq, Commander Says -- CNN
Thousands Make Iraq Pilgrimage Despite Fears – MSNBC
Shiites March Peacefully In Baghdad – International Herald Tribune
Baghdad On Alert For Shia Festival – Guardian
Iraq Report Hints: More Time Needed -- Yahoo News
The Tenuous Case for Strategic Patience in Iraq: A Trip Report – CSIS Reports
Burns: Analysis Of The Surge & Endgame – INDC Journal
Analysis: Military Makes Gains in Iraq – ABC News
The Surge Is Working. What Now? – The National Examiner
Commentary: Rational Optimism on Iraq -- Commentary Magazine
An Iraqi Interpreter’s Story – Middle East Journal
Renewed Hope For Abandoned Iraqi Interpreters – Times Online
Disaster Looms As 'Saddam Dam' Struggles To Hold Back The Tigris – Independent
Iraq: Suicide Bombers Seen As Phantoms Of Death -- Radio Free Europe
Labor Dept: 1,001 Contractors Have Died In Iraq – Houston Chronicle
Sun Tzu and the Art of Border Security – Captain’s Journal
Talks On Iraq Open In Damascus – Tigerhawk
Sunni Fighters Find Benefits In Alliance With U.S. – MSNBC
Iran Urges US Pull-Out From Iraq – BBC News
Polls Show Shift In Attitudes On Iraq Following Military Inroads – Houston Chronicle
New Republic Iraq Stories Questioned – Washington Post

You May NOT Get What You Wish For

Syria Reveals Army Deaths From Militant Campaign

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria is facing a violent campaign by Islamist militants and six border soldiers died in attacks launched from inside Iraq, a senior Syrian security official said on Thursday.

This is the first time Syria has publicly disclosed details of the fight against militants, which has intensified this year.

Read more ....

Territorial Wars R.I.P.

Daniel Drezner on the decline of territorial wars .......

Rebels Kill 20 Philippine Troops

At least 20 Philippine soldiers have been killed by suspected Islamic rebels on the southern island of Jolo.

Ten of the victims died when gunmen ambushed a military convoy near the town of Maimbung.

Read more ....

My Comment: 80% of the Muslim population support the Islamic rebels ..... this war will be going on for a very long time.

Russia Sparks Cold War Scramble

Russian bombers have flown to the US island of Guam in the Pacific in a surprise manoeuvre reminiscent of the Cold War era.

Two Tu-95 turboprops flew this week to Guam, home to a big US military base, Russian Maj Gen Pavel Androsov said.

Read more ....

My Comment: Nothing changes........

Still At War - But Two Koreas Agree To Meet

The presidents of South and North Korea took the world by surprise yesterday by simultaneously announcing that they would soon hold their first summit in seven years in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

But while stockbrokers opened champagne, opposition politicians smelt a rat. Conservatives denounced the summit as a stunt to boost the prospects of liberal candidates in the South Korean presidential elections, which are due to take place in December.

Read more .....

State Of Emergency Expected In Pakistan

Pakistan’s embattled president, Gen Pervez Musharraf, may declare a state of emergency today following a meeting with his senior security chiefs and political leaders.

Speculation that an emergency was imminent was fuelled when Tariq Azim, an information minister, said the government may impose one because of "external and internal threats".

Read more ....

More news from:
Musharraf Decides Against Emergency -- Yahoo News
Musharraf Steps Back From Political Brink -- Times Online
US Aid Ban Threatens Alliance, Says Pakistan President Musharraf – Telegraph
Musharraf Rejects Emergency Rule -- BBC News
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice 'Sways Musharraf On Emergency' -- CNN News
Rice Acts Over Pakistan ‘Emergency’ -- Financial Times
In Pakistan, A Groundswell Of Opposition To Musharraf's Military -- International Herald Tribune

Update: 16 Pakistani Troops Missing; Feared Abducted

Global Military Spending Hits $1.2 Trillion

Fom Say Anything Blog .....

Afghanistan -- Canadian Troops Make Difference

Encouraging news out of Afghanistan for Canadians was President Hamid Karzai's insistence in Washington that the Taliban posed no threat to his government.

A continuing threat to Afghan people, yes, but not to the regime as a whole.

It was an unusual observation by a ruler whose control in the country is claimed by critics to be precarious, possibly transitory and wholly dependant on the presence of foreign troops to keep barbarians from breaking down the gates.

Read more ....

British Military Asks U.S. Forces To Leave Afghan Province

SANGIN, Afghanistan: A senior British commander in Afghanistan's Helmand Province said he had asked the U.S. military to withdraw its special forces from his area of operations because the high level of civilian casualties they have caused was making it difficult to win over local people.

A U.S. military spokesman denied the request was ever made, either formally or otherwise, but the dispute underlined differences of opinion among NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan on tactics for fighting Taliban insurgents and concerns among soldiers on the ground about the consequences of civilian casualties.

Read more .....

Russia And Georgia: On The Brink Of War

Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports that Russia has fired missiles into Georgia. The paper states: "Vano Merabishvili, Georgia's interior minister, said that two Sukhoi attack aircraft entered Georgian airspace from Russia at 7:30 pm last night and fired at least one air-to-surface missile towards the village of Tsitelubani, 40 miles west of Tbilisi. The missile carved a 5-metre deep crater into a corn and potato field but failed to detonate." Merabishvili told the paper by telephone: "We cannot understand why this has happened. This village has no political or military importance. But less than 5 kilometres from the area is a Georgian tracking radar, and it is my view and the view of our military that this was the target." Rushing to the scene, Georgia's president Mikhail Saakashvili condemned the raid as an yet another effort to destabilize his nation.

Read more ....

Update: Russia And Georgia Lock Horns Over Missile

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Iranian Nukes: Bringing The Bear To Bear And The Iraq Endgame

Iraq, Iran, the U.S., and Russia ...... a must read post from Tigerhawk.

You Think ....

Yemen, Another Front In The War On Terror

From Strate-Sphere ..... an observation.

"Grim Milestone" Reached: 500 Palestinian Arabs Killed By Each Other This Year

We have reached the "grim milestone" of 500 PalArabs that we have been able to document violently killed by each other this year.

Since we started the self-death count 13 months ago, we have documented 705 violent deaths of Palestinian Arabs due to infighting, honor killings, "work accidents," shootings during funerals and weddings, children picking up bombs being built by their parents, and similar self-inflicted incidents.

Read more ....

The Arsenal Of The Iraq Insurgency -- It's Made In China.

This year, many truckloads of small arms and explosives direct from Chinese government-owned factories to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been transshipped to Iraq and Afghanistan, where they are used against American soldiers and Marines and NATO forces. Since April, according to a knowledgeable Bush administration official, "vast amounts" of Chinese-made large caliber sniper rifles, "millions of rounds" of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and "IED [improvised explosive device] components" have been convoyed from Iran into Iraq and to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Read more .....

Investigation Reveals Ties Between Turkish al-Qaeda and Iraq

A firefight with U.S. military forces on June 23 near the town of Hawija in northern Iraq exposed the presence of Turkish al-Qaeda operatives. It also revealed their probable role in facilitating a flow of jihadis to Al-Qaeda in Iraq on behalf of al-Qaeda, as well as the identities of two of the operatives and their backgrounds and roles (Terrorism Focus, July 10; MNF-I Statement, June 28). Additional details provided since that time as a result of the continuing investigation by U.S. military authorities serve to reinforce the validity of the implications reported in Terrorism Focus on July 10. The identity of a third individual, Ahmed Sancar (also known as Khattab al-Turki), killed in the June 23 firefight south of Kirkuk, has been announced by U.S. military officials (, July 20). Sancar, also Turkish, was characterized by the U.S. military as a "senior" leader in al-Qaeda, and as a "key" financier and facilitator for the group. In a significant finding, the cell's leader, Mehmet Yilmaz (also known as Khalid al-Turki), was said to be a "close" associate of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. These conclusions continue to reinforce the magnitude of the loss suffered by al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Turkish al-Qaeda organization in the June 23 firefight. These revelations also highlight the difficulty that al-Qaeda will have in replacing the Yilmaz cell in order to restore the flow of jihadis into Iraq from the north to its previous rate.

Read more ....

U.S. Says Iran- Supplied Bomb Is Killing More Troops In Iraq

BAGHDAD: Attacks on American-led forces using a lethal type of roadside bomb said to be supplied by Iran reached a new high in July, according to the American military.

The devices, known as explosively formed penetrators, were used to carry out 99 attacks last month and accounted for a third of the combat deaths suffered by the American-led forces, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, said in an interview.

Read more ....

My Comment: Iran has been complicit in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of Americans for the past 28 years. The Beirut barracks, their support of terrorist organizations and their facilitators, their involvement against the west in Iraq and Afghanistan. If this is not a hot war ..... what is?

Somalia -- Poor Prospects for Peace

August 7, 2007: Most of the 400,000 Mogadishu residents who fled the major fighting in February-April belonged to clans that opposed the new government (which is supported by clans from outside Mogadishu, and several thousand Ethiopian troops). Since May, about 120,000 of those refugees returned. But that brought back many of the Islamic radical clan gunmen who are intent on regaining control of Mogadishu for their clans. The increased fighting since June has caused another 30,000 people to flee the city. Now the government and Ethiopian troops are again clearing out neighborhoods believed to be harboring terrorists.

Read more ...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hamas, Fatah In Secret Talks: Haniya Aide

Gaza City - The Hamas movement is holding secret talks with the rival Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a member of the dismissed Hamas government said Tuesday.

The discussions are aimed at resuming the general dialogue between the two movements which are entangled in a political stand-off, after Hamas beat Fatah in deadly Gaza street battles and assumed sole control of the Gaza Strip in mid-June.

More news ...
Additional news from Israel and her neighbours:
Terrorists Dupe Israelis On Weapons Deal -- WND
Israel And Hamas Resume Contacts Over Soldier -- Khaleej Times

Author Tells U.S. Army He Made Up Stories Published in New Republic

Reason #2836 for why this blog exists .....

Israel Warns Against Travel In Mideast

What do they know that we do not .....

Pakistan -- Terrorism Updates August 7, 2007

Pakistan Army Strikes Tribal Area -- BBC News
Pakistan On The Precipice -- The Futurist
Pakistan Bombards Militant Hide-Outs -- Yahoo News
Paradoxical Policies For Pakistan and Iran -- Counter Terrorism Blog
All Freed 'Terrorists' In Pakistan To Be Re-arrested -- Times Of India
Pakistan: Lawmaker Supports Jihad And End To US Ties -- AKI
Pakistan President Rejects US Al-Qaida Strike Bid -- Jerusalem Post
Foreign Strike Inside Pakistan Will Amount To War: Niazi -- Daily Times
Pakistan Strikes Two Al Qaeda Camps In North Waziristan -- Fourth Rail

Lebanon Civil War Watch

Violence Breaks Out In East Timor

The war for independence is over, but long term sectarian strife will be there for a very long time ....

Pakistan Forces Destroy Militant Hideout

MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan - Helicopter gunships and artillery on Tuesday bombarded two militant hideouts that had been used to launch attacks on security forces in a troubled tribal region near the Afghan border, the Pakistani army said.

Spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad said forces targeted a pair of compounds in Daygan, a village about 10 miles west of North Waziristan's main town of Miran Shah after receiving "credible intelligence that militants were present there."

Read more .....

ANALYZING AL QAEDA VIDEOS: Things Are Not As They Appear

Neal Krawetz, a researcher and computer security consultant, gave an interesting presentation today at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas about analyzing digital photographs and video images for alterations and enhancements.

Using a program he wrote (and provided on the conference CD-ROM) Krawetz could print out the quantization tables in a JPEG file (that indicate how the image was compressed) and determine the last tool that created the image -- that is, the make and model of the camera if the image is original or the version of Photoshop that was used to alter and re-save the image.

Read more ...

Darfur Rebels Agree on Approach to Peace Talks, U.N. Says

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 6 — Eight rebel groups from the chaotic Sudanese region of Darfur agreed Monday on a common platform for peace talks with the government, the United Nations announced.

After three days of talks in Arusha, Tanzania, the rebel factions reached a framework on “power-sharing, wealth-sharing, security arrangements, land and humanitarian issues, for the final negotiations” with the government, which could begin with two or three months, according to a statement from the United Nations and the African Union. Details of these agreed-upon elements, which have historically proved deeply divisive, were not immediately available.

Read more ....
Update: Sudan Not Enthusiastic On Darfur Rebel Platform: U.N. Envoy

Afghanistan -- War News Updates August 7, 2007

Taliban Weigh Hostage Fate After Bush And Karzai Meet -- Reuters
Taliban Warns Of 'Bad Result' For Hostages -- MSNBC
Father Of 2 South Korean Hostages Waits And Hopes -- International Herald Tribune
Taliban Launch Frontal Attack On Base -- Yahoo News
Over 20 Taliban Militants Killed in Attempt to Overrun Afghan Coalition Base -- FOX News
Bush And Karzai Divided On Iran's Role In Afghanistan -- International Herald Tribune
Bush, Karzai Hold Summit On Strategy -- LA Times

Russian Military Jets 'Drop Bomb On Georgia'

Two Russian military jets invaded Georgian airspace last night and fired a missile that narrowly missed a village, Tbilisi claims.

Georgia said that it had “incontrovertible evidence” that Russian aircraft had bombed its territory and said that it would raise the matter at the United Nations Security Council.

Read more ...
More from Yahoo News....

Iraq -- War News Updates August 7, 2007

Roadside Bombs Kill 4 US Troops In Iraq -- Yahoo News
26 U.S. Troops Killed In 1 Week In Iraq -- CBS News
US Says UK 'Has Failed In Basra' -- Telegraph
As British Leave, Basra Deteriorates -- MSNBC
How We Are Beating al-Qaeda -- The Sun
Baghdad Curfew Announced Ahead Of Shi'ite Festival -- Reuters
Iraqi Prime Minister Visits Turkey -- Yahoo News
Turkey pressures Iraq PM on Kurds -- BBC News
Al Qaeda Is Guilty Of Monstrosities In Iraq - No Matter What Anyone Says -- New York Daily News
Commentary: Why I Have Come to Iraq -- TCS Daily
Bread and a Circus, Part II of II -- Michael Yon
The Brookings Report On Iraq -- Belmont Club

Monday, August 6, 2007

Bush, Karzai Say They Are Aligned Against Taliban

CAMP DAVID, Maryland (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed on Monday to finish off the Taliban, which Karzai said was a defeated force that attacks civilians but is not a threat to his government.

Karzai, visiting the United States amid renewed concern about worsening violence in Afghanistan and the threat from militant hide-outs across the border in Pakistan, said he was building up his army and police with U.S. help.

Read more ....

The Iraq Government -- The Untimely Recess

The withdrawal of the Accord Front from Maliki's cabinet and the persistence of the parliament on taking a month long recess is a major embarrassment for Baghdad and Washington alike and for anyone who was looking forward to seeing some political progress in Iraq before the September milestone.

When it comes to the recess, two main factions can be identified as the cause of the deadlock:

Read more ....

'Plot Would Have Killed Thousands'

Terrorists who had planned to detonate gel-based explosives on U.S.-bound flights from London last August would have achieved mass devastation, according to new information from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

"I think that the plot, in terms of its intent, was looking at devastation on a scale that would have rivaled 9/11," Chertoff told ABC's Pierre Thomas. "If they had succeeded in bringing liquid explosives on seven or eight aircraft, there could have been thousands of lives lost and an enormous economic impact with devastating consequences for international air travel."

Read more ....

Iraq War News Updates -- August 6, 2007 Evening

Iraqi Political Crisis Grows -- Yahoo News
More Ministers Pull Out Of Crumbling Iraq Cabinet -- Reuters
Iraqi Political Crisis Grows -- Breitbart
Latest U.S. Poll Shows Growing Support For Iraq War Policy -- USA Today
Analysis: Military Shows Gains in Iraq -- Breitbart
America Accuses Iran As Baghdad Talks Open -- Telegraph
Abandoned By Britain: The 91 Iraqis Who Risked All -- Times Online

80% of Filipino Muslims Support Abu Sayyaf Terrorists

Filipino Congressman Wahab Akbar from the war-torn Mindanao region of the Philippines claims that 80% of Muslims support the Al-Qaeda linked terror group Abu Sayyaf.

Read more ....

The Continuing Hostage Crisis In Afghanistan

Pakistan Ambassador -- U.S. Intel Is ‘Absolutely Incorrect’

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States blasts Barack Obama and the National Intelligence Estimate conclusion that Pakistan is a safe haven for Al Qaeda.

Read more ....

New al Qaeda Video Released

The new AQ video announced Thursday is out - looks like the focus of their threats is on embassies and consulates. The Blotter has an item, as well.

via CNN and Laura Mansfield:

The video begins with a computer animation sequence showing a reproduction of the March 2006 attack on a US Embassy vehicle in Karachi, Pakistan, that killed four people including one American diplomat. In the attack, an explosives-packed car rammed a vehicle carrying the American diplomat.

Read more .....

One Wonder's How Long Has This Been The Case

Qaeda Member Threatens U.S. Embassies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American al Qaeda militant Adam Gadahn warned the United States and its allies on Sunday that the militant network would target diplomats and embassies in retaliation for U.S.-led actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda released a one-hour, 17-minute video showing a computer-animated depiction of the 2006 suicide attack on a U.S. diplomatic vehicle in Karachi, Pakistan, in which American diplomat David Foy died, according to the Web site of terrorism expert Laura Mansfield.

Read more ....

East Timor Erupts In Violence After New Prime Minister Named

DILI, East Timor: Xanana Gusmão, a leader in the struggle for independence, was named East Timor's new prime minister Monday, triggering fresh violence in the capital a year after bloody street battles led to the collapse of the government.

Despite hopes that the appointment would end months of political tension, the country's largest party immediately slammed the decision as illegal. Youths in Dili, the capital, set up barricades of burning tires and set a tax office on fire, witnesses said.

Read more .....

North, South Korean Soldiers Exchange Fire

SEOUL, South Korea - North and South Korean soldiers briefly exchanged gunfire along their border Monday, the office of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

North Korean soldiers fired several shots toward a South Korean guard post in the eastern part of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula. South Korean soldiers immediately returned fire, a statement said.

No South Korean soldiers were hurt. It was unclear if anyone was hurt on the northern side and comment there was not immediately available.

Read more ....

Three Killed In Sri Lanka As UN Envoy Begins Visit

COLOMBO (AFP) - At least one soldier and two Tamil rebels were killed in Sri Lanka on Monday as a top UN rights official began a four-day visit to the embattled island, the defence ministry said.

The trooper died in a mine blast in the northern district of Vavuniya, the ministry said, adding that four soldiers were also wounded in another blast in the Jaffna peninsula, further north.

Read more ....

More from the BBC News

Commentary From Robert Fisk: Mistrust Fuels Cycle Of Violence In Lebanon

When, oh when, will the Lebanese Christians stop destroying each other? General Michel Aoun's Free Democratic Party (colour them bright orange) stood yesterday, along with their pro-Syrian allies, against the Phalangist candidate Amin Gemayel, former president and father of the assassinated incumbent MP, Pierre, murdered - by Syrians? By rival Christians? You name it - last year.

For Gemayel, read authority, the power of the democratically elected parliament, the government of Lebanon and, much more to the point, the US-supported government of Lebanon. For Aoun - who once claimed to be "liberating'' Lebanon from Syria in a disastrous 1990 war, but who would now like to be Syria's president in Lebanon - it was a heady moment. His candidate, Camille Khoury, may not win, but he will reformulate the politics of Lebanon where "pro-Syrian" may become once more a respectable political label.

Read more .....

Darfur Rebels Want Talks

ARUSHA, Tanzania - Almost all of Darfur's splintered rebel factions have agreed to hold peace talks with the Sudanese government within three months, U.N. and African Union officials said Monday.

After four days of meetings, the rebel factions reached a "common platform" for talks with the government on issues such as power- and wealth-sharing, security, land and humanitarian issues, the AU's envoy to Darfur, Salim Ahmed Salim, and the United Nations special envoy to Darfur, Jan Eliasson, said in a statement released after the meeting.

Read more .....

More news .....

and more from the BBC

‘Rival To Nato’ Begins First Military Exercise

Russian and Chinese troops are joining forces this week in the first military exercises by an international organisation that is regarded in some quarters as a potential rival to Nato.

Thousands of soldiers and 500 combat vehicles will take part in “Peace Mission 2007”, organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia. Russian officials have also proposed an alliance between the SCO and a body representing most of the former Soviet republics.

Read more ....

Afghanistan -- War News Updates August 6, 2007

Bush And Karzai Discuss Security -- Yahoo News
Taliban Warn Of More Kidnappings -- Yahoo News
Bush, Karzai Responsible For Fate Of Koreans: Taliban -- Reuters
British Will Be In Afghanistan 'For 38 Years' -- Telegraph

Iraq -- War News Updates For August 6, 2007

Suicide Truck Bomb Kills 28 In Iraq -- Yahoo News
Suicide Attack Rips Through Northern Iraqi City, Killing Dozens -- International Herald Tribune
Blast Rocks Northern Iraqi Town -- BBC News
Armed Robots To Go To War In Iraq -- Telegraph
U.S. And Iran Meet To Discuss Iraq Security -- Reuters
Pentagon Can't Account for Missing Weapons -- ABC News
The Brookings Report On Iraq -- Belmont Club
Smith From Iraq On Sacrifices and Syrians -- Threatswatch
The Joint Campaign Plan - Flexibility For Iraq -- Threatswatch
Iraq Transitioning To Success -- Strata Sphere
al-Qaeda Has Lost Iraq - No Question II -- Strata Sphere
Iran Arming Iraqi Militias Via Chinese Arms Purchases -- Threats Watch

President Bush Signs Law To Widen Legal Reach For Wiretapping

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 — President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

Congressional aides and others familiar with the details of the law said that its impact went far beyond the small fixes that administration officials had said were needed to gather information about foreign terrorists. They said seemingly subtle changes in legislative language would sharply alter the legal limits on the government’s ability to monitor millions of phone calls and e-mail messages going in and out of the United States.

Read more ....

U.S. Congress Approves Wiretap Bill -- Guardian

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Top Republican 2008 White House Hopefuls eserved The Right To Launch US Strikes Against Al-Qaeda In Pakistan

Bush, Karzai Hold Strategy Talks On Afghanistan

CAMP DAVID, Maryland (Reuters) - The struggling, six-year effort to rebuild war-ravaged Afghanistan and defuse the threat from Taliban and al Qaeda militants hiding over the border in Pakistan will dominate talks this weekend between U.S. President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The more immediate crisis of trying to free 21 Korean hostages seized by the Taliban last month will also be high on the agenda for the talks, which began on Sunday.

Read more ...

Also more from Yahoo News ....

U.S. Congress Approves $460B Pentagon Budget

WASHINGTON - The House approved modest changes to President Bush's record Pentagon budget proposal early Sunday, but Democrats signaled plans to resume a more contentious debate over the Iraq war after the August recess.

The House's $459.6 billion version of the defense budget, approved on a 395-13 vote, would add money for equipment for the National Guard and Reserve, provide for 12,000 additional soldiers and Marines, and increase spending for defense health care and military housing.

Read more ...

U.S. Claims Victories Against Al Qaeda In Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi government forces claimed a series of victories on Sunday against al Qaeda militants in a central province of Iraq that has been one of the heartlands of the Sunni militant insurgency.

On the stalled political front, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office said he had refused to accept the resignations of six cabinet members from the main Sunni bloc in parliament, who triggered a crisis by quitting last week.

Read more ......

US Kills Shrine Bomber; Mortars Kill 13
US Military: Coalition Forces in Iraq Kill 4 Suspected Terrorists, Capture 51
Suicide Bombers Destroy Last Peace In Baghdad

UN Darfur Force 'Will Be Too Weak'

United Nations officials in Sudan fear that the hasty plan to send a 26,000-strong peacekeeping force to Darfur, approved by the Security Council last week, will backfire because its mandate is too weak.

Senior aid workers and UN staff on the ground are strongly critical of the deal, hurriedly struck in New York with the backing of Britain, France and the US, immediately after Gordon Brown's first visit as Prime Minister to the organisation's headquarters.

Read more ....

Virtual Jihad Hits Second Life Website

Islamic militants are suspected of using Second Life, the internet virtual world, to hunt for recruits and mimic real-life terrorism.

Police and the intelligence services are concerned that it may have been infiltrated by extremists to proselytise, communicate and transfer money to one another. Radicals may also be responsible for “virtual” terrorist attacks in which buildings depicted on the website are blown up.

Read more ....

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Rebel Commanders Arrive For Darfur Talks

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Reuters) - Field commanders from Darfur rebel factions flew in for a second day of unity talks on Saturday, boosting hopes they will agree a bargaining position ahead of peace negotiations with the Sudanese government.

Around a dozen rebel groups are attending the African Union and United Nations-sponsored meeting in the Tanzanian resort of Arusha, which is due to continue until Sunday. The AU and U.N. also hope to set a date and venue for peace talks with Khartoum.

Read more .....

Darfur Rebels In Talks About Talks

Two Palestinian Militants Killed In Israeli Air Raid Against Southern Gaza

2 Dead, 6 Hurt In Israeli Strike On Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip --Two Palestinians were killed and six wounded in an Israeli air strike on two vehicles near the southern Gaza Strip's border with Egypt on Saturday evening, eyewitnesses and hospital staff said. The Israeli military confirmed it carried out an attack in the area, near the Rafah frontier crossing, but could not immediately give details.

The militant Islamic Jihad group said some of its members were in at least one of the two struck by Israeli missiles -- a Mercedes and a pickup truck parked next to it. Eyewitnesses said several explosions came from the pickup after the attack, suggesting that it had been carrying explosives.

The group said its operatives had fired a rocket into Israel shortly before the air strike, but it was not clear if they were the same group hit by the Israeli strike.

Three Turkish Soldiers Killed In Roadside Attack

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Three Turkish soldiers were killed on Saturday when their vehicle was blown up by a remote controlled explosive device laid by Kurdish rebels on a rural road, security forces said.

The deaths follow some of the heaviest fighting since the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) started its spring offensive this year, with 11 killed in clashes earlier in the week.

Read more .....

The Civil War In Lebanon Continues

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Says War On Terror 'Phony'

Washington — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday the Bush administration is waging a "phony war" on terrorism, warning that the country is losing ground against the kind of Islamic radicals who attacked the country on Sept. 11, 2001.

A more effective approach, said Gingrich, would begin with a national energy strategy aimed at weaning the country from its reliance on imported oil and some of the regimes that petro-dollars support.

Read more .....

My Comment: The goals that Newt Gingrinch proposes are thoughtful and perceptive, especially in recognizing the threat and where it is coming from. Unfortunately, the world's addiction to oil is real ...... and if anything .... our dependence on it from unstable countries will only increase.

Afghanistan -- War News Updates August 5, 2007

British Make Initial Gains Against Taliban -- Telegraph
Another Record Poppy Crop In Afghanistan -- CBS News
The Forgotten South Korean Christian Hostages -- Michele Malkin
Iran Gives Taliban Hi-Tech Weapons To Fight British -- Times Online

Iraq -- War News Updates August 5, 2007

Iraqi Soccer Players SOB At Homecoming Celebrations! -- Gateway Pundit
In Iraq, A Perilous Alliance With Former Enemies -- Washington Post
U.S. Soldier Found Guilty In Iraqi's Murder -- Reuters
U.S. Forces Kill Mosque Bomber In Iraq -- Reuters
Iraq's National Electricity Grid Nearing Collapse; Cities Short Of Water... -- PR Inside
Iraq’s National Electricity Grid Nearing Collapse -- MSNBC
Former Members of Baath Party Being Exterminated by Militants in Southern Iraq -- BBS News
Iraq Summit To Focus On Powersharing -- Reuters
U.S. And Iran To Meet Again In Baghdad -- CBS News
In Iraq, A Perilous Alliance With Former Enemies -- MSNBC
Al-Qaeda Mastermind In Samarra Killed, Iraqi TV Reports -- M & C
Al-Qaeda Has No Presence In Ramadi Anymore -- US Commander -- Kuwait News Agency

The Politics And Abuse Of Foreign Aid To Africa

A new book called The Bottom Billion by Oxford economist Paul Collier shows that Bono is half blind in calling the nations of West to pour huge new sums of cash into Africa. As the Economist reports: "Take Nigeria. Over the past 30 years or so, it has received some $280 billion 'with depressingly little to show for it.' Plainly, vast dollops of aid have gone down the drain. In one of many statistical cameos, he cites a study showing that only 1% of 20 million British pounds of aid sent to Chad actually reached the rural health clinics that were its intended target."

Algerian Army Kills 16 Qaeda Militants: Papers

ALGIERS (Reuters) - The Algerian army, stepping up a counter-offensive after attacks by al Qaeda's north Africa wing, has killed around 16 of the group's fighters in the past three days, newspapers reported on Saturday.

At least 13 members of the al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb were killed near borders with Tunisia in Tebessa province, some 634 km (396 miles) east of the capital Algiers, independent dailies Liberte and El Khabar said.

Read more ...

Taliban, Afghans Seek Venue For Hostage Talks

GHAZNI, Afghanistan (Reuters) - The Afghan government and Taliban kidnappers on Saturday sought a venue for negotiations to try to free 21 South Korean Christian hostages held for more than two weeks, the provincial police chief said.

A South Korean delegation was in Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul, where the church volunteers were snatched, seeking direct talks with the kidnappers.

But Seoul has told the insurgents there is a limit to what it can do since it has no power to concede the main Taliban demand for the release of rebel prisoners in Afghan jails.

Read more ....

Nato Airstrike Kills Senior Taliban Leaders

Nato is reported to have killed at least two senior Taliban leaders in an airstrike north of Helmand as they were watching a public execution.

The bombing took place in the northern district of Baghran on Thursday, a district entirely controlled by the Taliban.

The Taliban's commander for southern Afghanistan, Mansoor Dadullah, was among those targeted, according to unconfirmed reports.

Read more .....

Senior Darfur Rebel Leader Blasts Arusha Talks

Unlike the previous post, this one makes more sense,

U.N. Chief: Momentum In Darfur

Hell is going to freeze over .....

Suicide Car Blast Kills 9 In Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb at a busy bus station in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least nine people and wounding 35 others, officials said.

Elsewhere in the region, four soldiers and 10 militants were killed in a checkpoint shootout.

The attacker rammed an explosive-laden car into another vehicle near a bus packed with passengers in Parachinar, a town in the North West Frontier Province, said Mohammed Kamal, a local police official.

Read more ....

Update: 22 killed in guerrilla raid and suicide attack in Pakistan (Reuters)

Friday, August 3, 2007

U.S. Capitol Police Step Up Security Fearing Terror Attack In Next Six Weeks

An increased threat of another al Qaeda attack between now and Sep. 11 of this year has caused Capitol Police officials to step up security on Capitol Hill, Roll Call reported.

An unnamed Capitol Police source told Roll Call that Congressional security officials were recently made aware of the potential threat by federal anti-terrorism authorities.

Read more .....

Pakistan: In The Line Of Fire -- A Comprehensive Report

This year has been one of tumult and challenge for the administration of President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. Last year, he had tried to deal with the twin threats of "legitimate" Islamists and terrorists who were threatening to undermine the nation. Within the National Assembly's 342 seats, there are 63 seats that belong to members of a coalition of six Islamist parties known as the MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal or United Action Front). The MMA members of parliament forced a compromise when Musharraf tried to water down the so-called Hudood Ordinances. These religious laws were introduced by the dictator Zia ul-Haq in 1979 with the full blessing of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, which is now the main member of the MMA coalition. The Hudood laws meant that any woman who complained of being raped could be found guilty of adultery if she could not provide four (male and Muslim) witnesses.

Read more .....

President Bush Rreassures Pakistan's Musharraf Over Attack Warnings

One In 11 British Muslims Backs Suicide Bombers, Says Brown Aide

As many as one in 11 British Muslims agree with and proactively support terrorism, a Government adviser has warned police.

Haras Rafiq also told officers at Scotland Yard that up to 20 per cent of the Muslim population ' sympathise' with militants, while stopping short of being prepared to 'blow themselves up'.

Read more ....

More commentary from Western Resistance.

Iran Bank Hit Hard By Sanctions

The best way to get to an enemy is trough their pocket book.

Fierce Fighting Between Lebanese Army And Islamists

NAHR AL-BARED, Lebanon (AFP) - Lebanese soldiers fought fierce battles on Friday with Islamists holed up inside a Palestinian refugee camp, with eyewitnesses reporting fires raging in a small area still controlled by the militants.

An AFP correspondent saw two Katyusha rockets being fired from within Nahr al-Bared camp north of Tripoli by the militants, with one projectile hitting a nearby power station.

Read more .....

Commentary: The General And The West: -- How Pakistan Is Being Lost

For a good while now it has been hard to see what the point of General Pervez Musharraf is.

When he took power in a bloodless coup eight years ago, many Pakistanis dared to hope for an end to decades of misrule, by civilians as well as generals, that had bankrupted the country and buckled its institutions.

Read more ....

Congo Army 'Attacks Uganda Barge'

Congolese men in military uniforms have attacked a barge anchored in Lake Albert in western Uganda, killing one person, Uganda's army says.

The barge is owned by Canadian oil company Heritage and was being used to carry out oil exploration in the lake.

A Congolese commander this afternoon confirmed the incident to the BBC but said the Ugandans fired first.

Read more ....

How The U.S. Spies On Its Enemies Now Declared Illegal

Pakistan Raps ‘Irresponsible’ Obama Remarks

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan criticized U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday for saying that, if elected, he might order unilateral military strikes against terrorists hiding in this Islamic country.

Top Pakistan officials said Obama’s comment was irresponsible and likely made for political gain in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Read more ....

Update: More from FOX News ....

My Comment: What a great way to treat our allies.

Darfur Rebel Factions Gather For Talks

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Reuters) - Darfur rebel factions began arriving in Tanzania on Friday for African Union-United Nations sponsored negotiations aimed at reconciling their differences ahead of peace talks with the Sudanese government.

The talks to end the four-year conflict in western Sudan have taken on a new importance since the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday approved the deployment of 26,000 peacekeeping troops and police to stem the bloodshed in Darfur.

Read more ....

Update: Key Darfur Rebel To Boycott Talks

Afghanistan -- War News Updates August 3, 2007

Pakistan Urges UK To Pull Out Of Afghanistan -- Telegraph
Amnesty Urges Taliban To Free Hostages -- Yahoo News
Taliban, SKorea Seek Venue For Hostage Talks -- Yahoo News
Afghans Check Reports Of Civilian Bombing Deaths -- Reuters
South Korea Tells Taliban It Has Limited Influence -- Yahoo News
S. Korea Hopes U.S. Can Free Hostages -- CBS News
Seoul Pins Its Hostage Hopes On U.S.-Afghan Summit -- International Herald Tribune
U.S. Strikes Taliban In Afghanistan -- Yahoo News

Iraq -- War News Updates For August 3, 2007

54% Lack Confidence in Bush's Ability As Commander in Chief -- UPI/Zogby Poll
Iraqi Soccer Champs Return Home -- MSNBC
Homecoming For Iraqi Soccer Team -- Yahoo News
Iraqi PM To Visit Turkey, Iran Next Week -- Yahoo News
Commentary: Why The Latest Good News From Iraq Doesn't Matter -- Slate
4 American Soldiers Killed In Baghdad -- ABC News
Iraqi Progress 'Disappoints' US -- BBC News
Operations In Iraq's North; Mosul's Emir Killed -- Fourth Rail
Iraqi Security Forces Order Of Battle: August 2007 Update -- Fourth Rail
Iraq: US Forces Capture 17 Suspected Terrorists In Raids Along Tigris River -- International Herald Tribune
Iraq: Al-Qaeda 'Parade' In Baquba -- ADN Kronos

Pakistan -- Red Mosque Siege Survivor Speaks

I expected her to cry, or at least show some emotion, as she recalled the ordeal she went through when Pakistani commandos stormed Islamabad’s Red Mosque compound three weeks ago.

"I saw some of my classmates die before my eyes," Aslam, a 20-year-old student at the Red Mosque madrassah (religious school), told me matter-of -factly.

Read more .....

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wild Colombia Coast A Focus Of Drug War

BUENAVENTURA, COLOMBIA — At the sound of approaching patrol boats, the drug smugglers hurriedly fled their camp hidden among the mangroves, leaving behind a wealth of evidence.

The Colombian Coast Guard's raiding party arrived to find a still-warm makeshift stove, short-wave radios, satellite phones, enough AK-47 assault rifles to arm a platoon, and, buried under freshly turned mud, 8 tons of cocaine.

Read more .....

My Comment: Narco terrorism, narco war, narco aggression .... a war that will always go on as long as long as prohibition against drugs is official government policy.

At Least Soneone Is Happy With The Price Of Oil.

U.S. House Dems Upset Over Split On War

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reversed herself on Iraq strategy Wednesday, revealing a fight within the Democratic Caucus over how much Democrats should compromise to gain agreement with Republicans on the unpopular war.

Progressive Caucus leaders were fuming after they walked into a meeting with Pelosi to find out that she had decided to allow a vote Thursday on an Iraq bill they consider too mild.

Read more .....

Syria Plans War Of Attrition In The Golan Heights

Is Syria preparing for war?

Dangerous Partners: Targeting the Iran-Hizballah Alliance

An indepth article from Policy Watch.

Why The Silence?

Terrorism Updates From SATP -- August 2, 2007

An excellent blog covering terrorism in South-West Asia.
It is updated daily.

Terrorism And Civil War News From Pakistan -- August 2, 2007

US Admiral Concerned About Al Qaeda Havens In Pakistan -- Daily Times
Pakistan Parliament Faces Threat Of Militant Attack -- Yahoo News India
Terrorists May Target MPs: Intelligence Officials -- Daily Times
Suicide Attack Foiled In Pakistan -- Outlook India

Ingushetia: Militant Attacks Increase As Cracks Emerge Within Leadership

August 1, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Devotees of John le Carre's novels will recall how with uncanny foresight he chronicled in "Our Game," published in 1994 just months before the war in Chechnya erupted, the aftermath of a major uprising against Russia in Ingushetia.

Even though the two republics are contiguous and their peoples close ethnic kin, and despite the clear sympathy for his Chechen counterpart, Djokhar Dudayev, evinced by Ingushetia's President Ruslan Aushev, Ingushetia was not drawn into the Chechen war, although it provided refuge to a huge number of Chechens fleeing the fighting.

Read more ....

Afghan Women's Struggle For Equality

Terrorists in Their Own Words

Islamist terrorists have long been at war with the United States and frequently have proclaimed their determination to win the war. In fact, they see their enemies' unwillingness to acknowledge this war as an act of cowardice. If their enemies refuse to wear the mantle of warrior, terrorists assume that they are weak, lacking in honor, and spiritually infe­rior—and the notion that their enemy is vulnerable emboldens them. Failing to acknowledge that we are at war only encourages the enemy to be more warlike.

Conclusive proof that terrorists are at war with us requires little more than reading their own words. A compilation drawn from translations of a number of authoritative sources illustrates the nature of the challenge that America and its allies face and what needs to be done to combat it.

Read more ......

Two Dead In Gaza Factions Clash

Palestinian Civil War watch .....

More from Counter Terrorism Blog.

Africa Pledge More Troops For Darfur As Unrest Claims Dozens

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - African Union (AU) members on Thursday pledged to put more troops into the UN-approved peacekeeping mission in Darfur, where fresh tribal violence left dozens dead.

Ambassadors to the pan-African body gathered at its Addis Ababa headquarters to raise troops for the force, which faces the daunting task of stabilising the war-torn Sudanese region.

Read more ....


Study Reveals War Toll On U.K. Troops' Mental Health

Members of the armed forces who bore the brunt of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering a mounting toll of post-traumatic stress, alcoholism and family breakdown, an extensive examination of mental health in the military has found.

The study sampled 5,500 service personnel, focusing on the 20% deployed for more than 13 months over a three-year period between 2001 and 2006 - the maximum term set by government guidelines.

Read more .....

My Comment: My father fought on the Russian side for four years on the Russian front during World War II. One thing I learned is that war affects everyone ..... and will last a lifetime.

Afghanistan -- War News Updates August 2, 2007

S. Korean Envoys To Meet With Taliban -- Yahoo News
South Korea, Taliban Seek Meeting Place -- MSNBC
Media Mess: False Report of Rescue Operation Aired -- Breitbart
Taliban Commander: ‘We May Prolong the Crisis’ -- MSNBC
Canada Says Will Change Afghan Focus To Training -- Yahoo News
South Korea Has Complex Reaction To Afghan Hostage Situation -- International Herald Tribune
Four Kidnapped Afghan Court Officials Found Killed -- Yahoo News

Iraq -- War News Updates For August 2, 2007

Iraq: Suicide Bomb Kills 13 -- Yahoo News
Proposal Expands U.N. Mandate In Iraq -- Yahoo News
UN Resolution Seeks To Expand Role In Iraq -- Guardian
Iraq Snapshots Give 2 Views -- International Herald Tribune
Jury Finds Marine Guilty of Conspiracy -- ABC News
3 More GI Deaths Reported In Iraq -- CBS News
Iraqi Mosul Al Qaeda Leader Killed -- CNN
Al-Qaeda Warlord Killed, Emirs Arrested In Iraq Crackdown -- Yahoo News
U.S. Defense Secretary: Political Difficulties In Iraq Underestimated -- CNN
Sunni Bloc Bolts Iraqi Cabinet -- L.A. Times
Bombing Of S. Korean Forces'' Headquarters In Irbil Thwarted -- Kuwait News Agency

8 Killed, 20 Wounded In Mogadishu

A culture of warlords, corruption, ethnic and religious intolerance, the complete collapse of the rule of law ......... a "Lord of the Flies" society for adults.

The Palestinian Civil War Continues

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New Al Qaeda Web Ad Threatens 'Big Surprise'

A new al Qaeda propaganda ad, headlined "Wait for the Big Surprise" and featuring a digitally altered photograph of President George Bush and Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf standing in front of a burning White House, was posted on the Internet today.

Read more ......

My Comment: Let's hope that they are just pontificating.

Analysis Says Iraq War Could Cost $1 Trillion

WASHINGTON -- The war in Iraq could ultimately cost well over a trillion dollars -- at least double what has already been spent -- including the long-term costs of replacing damaged equipment, caring for wounded troops, and aiding the Iraqi government, according to a new government analysis.
Article Tools

The United States has already allocated more than $500 billion on the day-to-day combat operations of what are now 190,000 troops and a variety of reconstruction efforts.

Read more ....

My Comment: Wars are expensive in lives and treasure, and the final cost of this war will not be known for a very very long time. One must also look at the cost if the U.S. and its allies did not invade Iraq. Again ..... this will never be known. In the end ..... what is important ..... is that the West wins, and that the extremists in the Middle East do not consolidate their power and influence.

Intel Chief Hints At Bigger Spy Program

(CBS/AP) President Bush's spy chief sought to defend Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against charges of lying to Congress in a technically worded statement Tuesday hinging on when the government's terror surveillance program got its name. He hinted — as Gonzales has — that there's more to the program than has been made public.

Senate Judiciary Committee members have questioned whether Gonzales told the truth when he testified last week that a 2004 confrontation between administration officials was not about the president's secret eavesdropping program, dubbed the terrorist surveillance program.

Read more here...... and ....... here.

Comment: Surveillance programs are overseen by Senate committees. If senators are aware of these programs but are trying to use this information for purely partisan purposes ..... I will let you the reader decide on what punishment should be meted out.

Hope For Darfur?