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Djotodia seeks exile in Benin
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Afghanistan
Karzai Condemned Killing of Child in US Airstrike
[Tolo News] President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
on Friday condemned the killing of a 4-year-old boy by ISAF in southern Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
province last week, reaffirming his demand for a quick end in foreign troops operations on Afghan homes.

Karzai met with the governor of the Helmand province Naeem Baloch and learned of the boy's death on Wednesday.

The boy apparently was hit when shots were fired by ISAF force protection security patrol, on a threat that passed by a compound, ISAF statement said. According to the statement, medical care was immiediately provided to the maimed boy but, the child died.

"We condemn the killing of this boy in the strongest terms," said Amil Faizi, Karzai's front man.

"We have been calling for the complete end of military operations in residential areas. This demand has not been taken seriously by foreign troops and the result is civilian casualties, including women and kiddies," he said.

The NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
statement said the mission "deeply regrets any civilian casualties caused by this Arclight airstrike" and pledged to investigate the cause of the incident, which also maimed two women.

At the heart of the Kabul-Washington tensions is Karzai's refusal to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that would allow the Pentagon to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan after the current combat mission ends in December.

Pentagon officials wanted that the BSA sign by the end of last year so funding and a deployment schedule could be in place in time to ensure a smooth transition when Afghanistan resumes control of its own security during the phased pullout.

All US and NATO troops must be out by Dec. 31, according to the agreements governing the mission's end stages.

There are currently 42,700 US troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led force that is due to withdraw by the end of 2014.
Posted by: Fred || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [165 views] Top|| File under:


Kabul, Taleban talks going nowhere
Analysts see no hope of success as neither Afghan govt nor militants appears sincere.

Afghan forces will provide security for the vast majority of polling stations in the upcoming presidential elections, an official said on Saturday, a key test for the country as Nato troops withdraw.

A plan for security arrangements at the poll has been sent to the Afghan election commission for review, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told reporters in Kabul.

“Based on our assessments, security can be provided to 6,431 polling centres out of 6,845 centres. The plan will cover 93.96 per cent of the country,” Sediqqi said. “Around 414 centres will remain inactive, which is a small percentage and will not affect the election process,” he said without elaborating on their exact locations.

The bulk of Nato’s remaining troops in Afghanistan are due to pull out by the end of 2014 and a credible presidential election is seen as crucial to stability.

More than a thousand polling centres remained closed in the 2009 election, mostly in the southern and eastern provinces, and the polling was marred by allegations of fraud.
Bet you're surprised by that...
Afghanistan’s election on April 5 will be the country’s first ever democratic transfer of power, and the election is viewed as a test for 12 years of international intervention since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.

It also remains a key test for around 350,000 Afghan security forces who have recently taken over full security responsibility from Nato, as the force completes its withdrawal.

“The biggest change this time is that security for the elections will be provided by Afghan security forces,” Sediqqi said.

President Hamid Karzai cannot stand for a third term, and 11 candidates are vying to succeed him. Among the leading contenders are former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, who ran against Karzai in 2009, the president’s low-profile elder brother Qayum Karzai and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.

Overshadowing the elections is Karzai’s delay on signing a security deal to allow some US troops to remain in the country after 2014. If the agreement endorsed by an assembly of elders is passed, up to 16,000 US troops will stay in Afghanistan to help fight Al Qaeda insurgents and train the national army.

There are fears that if a deal is not reached — and the legal status of US forces has been a major sticking point — all American troops will pull out and local forces will struggle to contain the Taleban. In this so-called “zero option” scenario, whoever emerges victorious after April 5 will face a much tougher task in maintaining Afghanistan’s fragile stability.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  1975 = Post-2014 "Fall of Saigon" in 3, 2, 1 ...

Fear notteth, my dear Afghans + Amerikans, our new BFF + OWG "Co-Superpower" IRAN is coming - they're coming, I say!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/12/2014 20:36 Comments || Top||


Africa Horn
U.S. military secretly sent team of advisors to Somalia
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military secretly sent a small team of advisors to Somalia last month to assist with operations against militants, the first time U.S. troops have been stationed there since two helicopters were shot down and 18 American soldiers were killed in 1993. The three-man advisor detachment is based at the airport in Mogadishu.
So it's a very small team.
The U.S. soldiers assist a force of more than 18,000 under the auspices of the African Union, which has been heavily backed by the United States and other Western countries since deploying to Somalia in 2007 with logistics help, intelligence and planning, the officials said.

The Americans also are helping Somalia’s fledgling security forces, which have struggled to assert control beyond Mogadishu and have often been the target of fierce attacks from the Shabab, an Islamic militant group with ties to Al Qaeda that ruled large parts of southern Somalia before being driven from power by the African force.

Though the initial advisor presence is small, a senior Defense Department official said the U.S. was hoping to expand it in the coming year.

“This is something that’s been in the works for a while,” said the U.S. official, who was speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss details of the U.S. effort.

Eventually, troops will be on six-month rotations, deploying from a U.S. base in nearby Djibouti, he said.

The advisors “liaise with Somali security forces and provide planning and advisory support to” the African Union troops, according to a statement issued by the Pentagon.

It was unclear whether U.S. Africa Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in Somalia, was planning to increase the equipment provided to the African troops and whether the U.S. would eventually take on a direct role in the stabilization effort.

Concern about the Shabab has led the U.S. to pay close attention to Somalia, with drone flights from the base in Djibouti and periodic raids by special operations troops.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [327 views] Top|| File under:

#1  179 days isn't so bad, and we'll be TDY. Back to Okinawa in no time at all. This shouldn't last long.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/12/2014 3:13 Comments || Top||

#2  1950, Truman, MAAG, Vietnam....deja vu?
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/12/2014 8:46 Comments || Top||

#3  On a good day, the Somali government exercises true sovereign authority and control of many city blocks of Mogadishu. To aid its "government" in any way is essentially a way to pour money into another African shi*£hole with utterly meaningless effect on strategic US interests.
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 01/12/2014 12:54 Comments || Top||

#4  They weren't advisors, they were there to see if they could copy the culture to raise the standard of living in Detroit.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 01/12/2014 15:44 Comments || Top||

#5  ...Glenmore, with the current class of A$$-Clowns now running our foreign policy "show," Vu Déjà (the feeling you have never seen something before) is more like it...
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 01/12/2014 18:25 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Tunisia will not follow Egypt in listing Brotherhood as terrorist group
[Al Ahram] Tunisia's presidential chief of staff, Adnan Nasr, said Saturday that his country will not follow Egypt's decision to list the Moslem Brüderbund as a terrorist group.

"Tunisia has great reservations over how the crisis in Egypt is being managed. We know that in all political crises need peaceful solutions. However,
if you can't say something nice about a person some juicy gossip will go well...
there doesn't seem to be any ... and for that we expect difficulties in exiting the crisis," said Nasr in interview with Algerian Al-Shorouk newspaper.

Nasr further added that his country is not "obliged or concerned" by the recent memo issued by the Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
informing its members of Cairo's desision to tag the Islamist group as terrorist.

On 25 December, the interim government declared Mohammed Morsi
...the former president of Egypt. A proponent of the One Man, One Vote, One Time principle, Morsi won election after the deposal of Hosni Mubarak and jumped to the conclusion it was his turn to be dictator...
's Moslem Brüderbund a terrorist group, accusing it of links with recent attacks on state institutions and on churches since Morsi's ouster.

The Islamist group denies the accusations.

Rached El-Ghancouchi, the head of Tunisia's defacto ruling Al-Nahda Islamist party, which is ideologiclly affaliated with the Moslem Brüderbund, also critcised Egypt's decision to ban the Moslem Brüderbund.

In a statement on 27 December said that the Egyptian government's move aimed to target the gains of the January 25 revolution, freedom and democracy, and was singling out a political group that is committed to democracy and peaceful activism.

Last Week, Qatar a firm backer to the Moslem Brüderbund, said designating the Moslem Brüderbund a terrorist group was "a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy" against demonstrators.

In response, Egypt summoned Qatar's envoy in Cairo to protest what it described Doha's interference in Egyptian internal affairs.

The decision to designate the Brotherhood a terrorist group also raised the concern of the US State Department, which feared it might hinder the transitional roadmap announced since Morsi's ouster 3 July 2013.

US officials have added that the administration of President Barack Obama
If you like your coverage you can keep it...
is not considering, or even discussing, designating the Moslem Brüderbund a terrorist organization.
Posted by: Fred || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [149 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Egypt's Al-Sisi Says to Run for President if 'Public Demands'
[An Nahar] Egypt's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stepped closer on Saturday to confirming a widely anticipated presidential bid, saying he would stand in elections if there was a popular demand, state media reported.
And what are the odds of that?
Sisi is easily the most popular leader in Egypt after toppling Islamist president Mohammed Morsi
...the former president of Egypt. A proponent of the One Man, One Vote, One Time principle, Morsi won election after the deposal of Hosni Mubarak and jumped to the conclusion it was his turn to be dictator...
in July, and military officers have told Agence La Belle France Presse he had support within the army to stand in the election due to take place later this year.

His comments come just days ahead of a referendum on a new constitution, the first in a series of polls the military-installed government says will restore elected rule following Morsi's ouster.

"If I nominate myself, there must be a popular demand, and a mandate from my army," the state newspaper Al-Ahram quoted him as saying at a conference with Egyptian officials.

Although he enjoys wide support for toppling the unpopular Islamist, Sisi is reviled by Morsi's supporters for what they call a "coup" against Egypt's first freely elected president.
Posted by: Fred || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [147 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


US proscribes Ansar Al-Sharia, fingers leaders and doubles Chris Stevens murder bounty
[Libya Herald] Washington has branded Ansar Al-Sharia in Benghazi, Derna and Tunisia, terrorist organizations and named three leaders as most wanted. It has also doubled to $10 million the bounty on the heads of anyone involved in the 11 September 2012 consulate attack, in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three colleagues were murdered.

The named individuals listed by the State Department are Ahmed Abu Khattalah, (Benghazi) Sufian bin Qumu (Dernah) and Seifallah Ben Hassine, commonly known as "Abu Iyad" (Tunisia). The last was rumoured to have been seized in late December in Misrata, by US special forces. Ansar Al-Sharia in Tunisia denied the claims.

The effect of the naming of these three groups and individuals, is that as far as Washington is concerned, anyone who supports or deals with them will be deemed to have committed an offence. Property and investments held in the US will also be seized.

The State Department note on the proscriptions said that since they were created separately after the fall of the Qadaffy regime, Ansar Al-Sharia in Benghazi and Dernah had been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets, frequent liquidations, and attempted liquidations of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya.

In particular, said the note, they were involved in "the 11 September, 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annexe in Benghazi, Libya. Ansar Al-Sharia in both Benghazi and Dernah continued to pose a threat to US interests in Libya.

The note concludes with the new that the bounty for information as been doubled.

"Today, the Department of State updated its Rewards for Justice website (www.rewardsforjustice.net) to include a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual responsible for the 11 September, 2012 Benghazi attacks".
Posted by: Fred || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [220 views] Top|| File under: Ansar al-Sharia

#1  I read that as "doubles Chris Christie murder bounty."
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 01/12/2014 12:17 Comments || Top||

#2  The press is doing that for free, Eric.
Posted by: Pappy || 01/12/2014 12:41 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
ROK, U.S. to conduct annual military drills in late Feb
SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States will start their annual military drills next month, military officials said Thursday, despite North Korea's rejection of family reunions citing the planned exercises. The computer-based simulation, called Key Resolve, will be held for two weeks in late February to early March to improve the combined forces' operation and combat capabilities to deter threats from the North.

The Combined Forces Command (CFC) said forces of the two nations are currently preparing for the exercise, without elaborating on the details of the schedule and participating forces.

"This exercise is one of two major annual combined exercises on the Korean peninsula. Key Resolve focuses on crisis management and command and the control of alliance forces," the CFC said in a release. "We will exercise and train in accordance with our current alliance arrangements."

Following Key Resolve, a joint field training exercise called Foal Eagle will run through the end of April to test the combat readiness of South Korea and U.S. forces.

The large-scale drills are expected to draw a strong irrational response from the North, which has routinely denounced them as a practice invasion. Although Pyongyang has routinely called the annual training a rehearsal for a northward invasion, its rhetoric turned more hostile last year under young leader Fat Boy Kim Jong-un, even threatening nuclear strikes against the South and the U.S.

Seoul's defense ministry said it will hold the joint drills as planned.

"As long as the military exists, training is necessary," ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. "Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises are defensive drills."

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin earlier predicted the high probability of North Korean provocations between late January and early March, apparently mindful of unprovoked attacks in response to the drills.

According to military officials, South Korean and U.S. forces have recently stepped up their vigilance, as the North may launch provocations in protest of the allies' joint drills.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [230 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ah, a "computer-based simulation."

Much better than cruising in below-zero temps off the NorK coast.
Posted by: Pappy || 01/12/2014 12:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Would be fun to announce an all comers Banjo Pickoff and BBQ right at the edge of the DMZ. Feats of strength, gun-shows and Western Country Musik included. 1000 year old Egg meets 1 month old Whiskey.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/12/2014 12:44 Comments || Top||


Norks Reject Proposal of Family Reunions
North Korea on Thursday rejected South Korea's proposal for fresh reunions of families separated by the Korean War during the Lunar New Year holidays.

The North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland on Thursday accused media and government officials in the South of making "impudent remarks and actions" as well as carrying out military drills. But it added, "If the South has nothing new going on and is willing to discuss our suggestions, we will meet another day in good time."

"How can the separated family members meet comfortably when shells and bullets are being fired and the South again is bracing for a large-scale joint military exercise," with the U.S., it added.

A Unification Ministry official said this implies family reunions cannot take place unless South Korea halts joint military drills with the U.S. and agrees to talk about resuming package tours to the Mt. Kumgang resort.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [164 views] Top|| File under: Commies


India-Pakistan
Ban on arms, pillion-riding
[DAWN] The Sindh government on Friday imposed a ban on pillion-riding and carrying of weapons in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana for five days to ensure security on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi, a bigwig said.

The official added that cellphone services might be suspended on 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal.

A notification issued by the home department stated that the ban on pillion-riding had been imposed starting from the midnight of Friday and Saturday and it would remain in force till Jan 15.

Similarly, during these days carrying and exhibiting of weapons would not be allowed as the authorities have cancelled special permits to carry arms till Jan 15.
Posted by: Fred || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [208 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  The pillions are organizing with the Teamsters.

Posted by: Shipman || 01/12/2014 12:45 Comments || Top||


36-year-old suicide bomber identified
[DAWN] Police authorities investigating the Thursday kaboom that killed CID SP Mohammad Aslam Khan and his two guards concluded that a jacket wallah had rammed his explosives-laden pickup into the slain police officer's bulletproof SUV when his motorcade was passing through the Lyari
...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot....
Expressway.

Earlier, the police thought that it was a remote-controlled blast. However,
those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things...
the Sherlocks found human remains at the scene of crime and a hospital examination showed that the pieces were of some unidentified person.

"Police brought several body pieces -- two hands, one foot, broken parts of bones -- on Thursday night to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre," said Police Surgeon Jalil Qadir on Friday. "The body parts of all three slain coppers were intact...the body parts belonged to the fourth person who died due to the blast."

CID official Raja Umer Khattab said since the suspected suicide bomber's both hands were intact, his fingerprints were sent to the National Database and Registration Authority for identification.

Later in the evening, Nadra informed the police that the fingerprints were matched with those of a 36-year-old man, Naeemullah, son of Rafiullah. He was a resident of the Pirabad area, according to the Nadra record.

SSP CID Niaz Ahmed Khoso confirmed to Dawn that the suicide bomber was identified as Naeemullah, who belonged to the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain.

His father, the SSP said, ran a madressah in Pirabad. The elder brother of the alleged suicide bomber was murdered in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
after he returned from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...

SSP Khoso, a member of an investigation team being led by DIG-CID Zafar Bukhari, said that it emerged that a Suzuki pickup was used in the bombing.

SSP-Investigation (East) Munir Ahmed Sheikh also corroborated these views and said: "Initial investigation suggested that the suicide bomber targeted SP Aslam's vehicle."

He said that the Sherlocks also found one piece of an unknown vehicle. It was shown to a mechanic who said that it might belong to Suzuki pickup.

He said other pieces of the vehicle used in the suicide kaboom were not found since it was a huge blast and there was a possibility that the pieces of the vehicle might have been spread in a big area.

The officer in charge of the CID's anti-terrorism unit, Raja Umer Khattab, said: "It was a vehicle-laden suicide attack on the vehicle of SP Aslam".

He said that members of two separate investigation teams and Sindh police chief Shahid Nadim Baloch visited the crime-scene on Friday.

The official said that a piece found from the blast site suggested that it was of a vehicle between 600CC and 1000 CC.

He said that the bomb weighed around 100 kilograms.

He explained that the suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into SP Aslam's SUV from the left side. The kaboom was inside the vehicle, which contained 'empty drums', he added.

He said that the bully boyz had carried out a proper recce of the route of the slain police officer and took advantage of a 'weak point', as the suicide bomber hit the SUV when it reached at an interchange.

SP Khan, better known as Chaudhry Aslam, along with his two guards -- Sub-Inspector Mohammad Kamran and Constable Farhan Ahmed -- was killed in a huge kaboom on the Lyari Expressway near Essa Nagri within the jurisdiction of the PIB Colony cop shoppe.
Posted by: Fred || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan

#1  This foot looks a lot like his.
Posted by: Steven || 01/12/2014 1:23 Comments || Top||


Chaudhry Aslam's killing: Case registered against TTP chief
[DAWN] Police in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
have nominated Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
in the FIR for the bombing that killed senior police officer SP CID Chaudhry Aslam Khan and his two guards earlier this week.

The FIR was registered at the PIB Colony cop shoppe nominating both the TTP chief and front man Shahidullah Shahid for the alleged killing.

The banned bad boy organization had claimed the credit for killing the senior police officer, touted by some as "the bravest anti-terror cop" in the country.

Police authorities investigating the Thursday kaboom concluded that a jacket wallah had rammed his explosives-laden pickup into the slain police officer's bulletproof SUV when his motorcade was passing through the Lyari
...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot....
Expressway.

The police had earlier believed that it was a remote-controlled blast. However,
a poor excuse is better than no excuse at all...
the Sherlocks found human remains at the scene of crime and a hospital examination showed that the pieces were of some unidentified person, suspected to be the suicide bomber.

Since the suspected bomber's both hands were intact, he was identified through his fingerprints by Nadra records as 36-year-old Naeemullah, son of Rafiullah and a resident of the Pirabad area. Police said Naimullah's father Rafiullah was the caretaker of a local madressa (Islamic seminary).

Security agencies have taken both the suspected suicide bombers father and brother under arrest.

Police said the elder brother of the alleged suicide bomber was murdered in Karachi after he returned from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
, also to carry out a failed suicide kaboom.

Authorities are still carrying out further investigation.
Posted by: Fred || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [174 views] Top|| File under: TTP


Iraq
Residents Return to Fallujah Despite Tension
[An Nahar] Residents of a hard boy-held city on Storied Baghdad
...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate...
's doorstep began slowly returning on Saturday amid a tense calm.

Most businesses reopened in Fallujah and government security operations in nearby areas were put on hold after heavy overnight rain restricted the use of aircraft and heavy vehicles, a day after police and rustics retook hard boy-held areas in the nearby Anbar thriving provincial capital Ramadi.

Gunmen seized all of Fallujah,
... the City of Mosques, which might have somthing to do with why it's not called Center of Prosperity or a really nice place to raise your kids...
just 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Storied Baghdad, and parts of Ramadi last week, the first time Death Eaters have exercised such open control in major cities since the insurgency that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Both cities lie in Anbar province, a sprawling desert region that borders Syria where U.S. and Iraqi officials have warned for months that jihadists have been able to establish training camps and rear bases.

The United Nations
...an organization which on balance has done more bad than good, with the good not done well and the bad done thoroughly...
and NGOs have said civilians lack access to essential supplies such as food and fuel because of the crisis, while Washington has piled pressure on Storied Baghdad to focus on political reconciliation, in addition to ongoing military operations.

The main route linking Storied Baghdad to Fallujah was packed with vehicles, an Agence La Belle France Presse journalist said, as residents of the former bully boy bastion began making their way back after fleeing days earlier.

Most of the city's businesses had also reopened on Saturday, according to the journalist.

But tribal leaders said a combination of anti-government rustics and fighters loyal to the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
... the current version of al-Qaeda in Iraq, just as blood-thirsty and well-beloved as the original...
(ISIL) were deployed on the outskirts of Fallujah.
Posted by: Fred || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [173 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Abbas Says He Won't Make Concessions On Jerusalem
[Ynet] In firery Ramallah speech, Paleostinian president Abbas says 'Paleostinian people won't kneel, and we tell the world, listen... without east Jerusalem as a capital of the state of Paleostine, there will be no peace between us and Israel'
And there you have it: jihad by international pressure. All hail the cleverness of The Smartest Man In The Room and his secretary of state, The Third Smartest Man In The Room, who now have exactly what they worked for.
Abbas reveals himself to be a moderate Palestinian: instead of demanding all the land between the Jordan and the Med in a single gulp, he'll settle for the pre-1967 borders. After that's done he'll then demand all the land between the Jordan and the Med. See? A moderate...
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/12/2014 09:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority

#1  so that's it. No pretense. Build out East Jerusalem, now
Posted by: Frank G || 01/12/2014 12:19 Comments || Top||

#2  .....without east Jerusalem as a capital of the state of Paleostine, there will be no peace between us and Israel'

Translation:
As long as there is an Israel, there will be no peace between us.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/12/2014 12:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Wasn't E. Jerusalem offered up a few years back in a grand deal? And a riot broke out instead? Do I mis-remember?
Posted by: Shipman || 01/12/2014 12:47 Comments || Top||

#4  when your only concession is a lack of the violence your thugs will surely still maintain, you aren't negotiating, you're extorting. Starve a little with no power and lights, move backwards as the settlements and borders expand and you'll see things differently
Posted by: Frank G || 01/12/2014 15:12 Comments || Top||

#5  "there will be no peace between us and Israel"

Compare the shitty life in Ramallah with that in Tel Aviv.

Then think about who is coping better with the lack of your "peace".
Posted by: European Conservative || 01/12/2014 15:37 Comments || Top||


Hamas: Sharon's death leaves us 'confident in victory'
[Ynet] Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, front man says Paleostinians 'feel extreme happiness'; Fatah official: We wanted to see Sharon at the ICC

Hamas, the turban Paleostinian rulers of the Gazoo Strip who seized power of the coastal region two years after Ariel Sharon ceded Israeli control of the region, hailed the former prime minister's death Saturday as the "departure of (a) criminal."

"We have become more confident in victory with the departure of this tyrant," said Hamas front man Sami Abu Zurhi, whose movement preaches the destruction of the Jewish state.

"Our people today feel extreme happiness at the death and departure of this criminal whose hands were smeared with the blood of our people and the blood of our leaders here and in exile."

There was no immediate comment on the death from Paleostinian President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas
... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial...
, with whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sharon's successor as Likud party leader, has been holding US-sponsored peace talks.

Abbas' political party Fatah, however, echoed rival Hamas' condemnation of Sharon, and blamed him for the death of Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004.

"Sharon was a criminal, responsible for the liquidation of (Paleostinian president Yasser) Arafat, and we would have hoped to see him appear before the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
as a war criminal," said Jibril Rajub, a bigwig of the Fatah party.

Leading Paleostinian political figure Mustafa Barghouti told the BBC that while no one should gloat at his death, Sharon had taken "a path of war and aggression" and had left "no good memories with Paleostinians".

"Unfortunately he had a path of war and aggression and a great failure in making peace with the Paleostinian people," Barghouti added.

In its obituary of Sharon, the Paleostinian news agency Ma'an said he, "promoted efforts to take over Arab-owned lands and give them to Jews, with the intent of preventing Arabs who had fled from returning."

Regarding the 1982 Leb War, the Paleostinian news agency claimed that Sharon "presided over the bloody Israeli invasion of Leb... (which) killed around 20,000 Lebanese and Paleostinians, and was brutal even by the standards of the ongoing civil war."

"In the most notorious episode of Sharon's career, he presided over and facilitated the massacre of around 3,500 unarmed Paleostinian civilians in Sabra and Shatila in southern Beirut by Israeli-supported Lebanese Phalangist militias," the news agency wrote.

As a result of Israel's Sharon-led entrance to Leb, Ma'an claimed he was in fact responsible for the formation and rise of power of Hezbollah: "The brutality of the invasion of Leb united previously divided Lebanese factions against Israel and led to the creation of the Lebanese political party and turban group Hezbollah."

In Gazoo, the Hamas Islamists whose political fortunes rose with the Israeli withdrawal savored Sharon's demise. Sharon had unilaterally disengaged from Gazoo, pulling out of the coastal enclave despite mass protests in Israel.

The decision was controversial and the images of Jewish settlers attacking IDF soldiers violently split public opinion.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/12/2014 09:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [548 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

#1  Better warn these Hamas fuckers to wait three days at least.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/12/2014 12:48 Comments || Top||

#2  beware of the new Bulldozer Djinn.

Vroom Vroom, Clank Clank in your dreams, Sami
Posted by: Frank G || 01/12/2014 13:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Geez, an old man passes away and that's a cause for celebrtion? Grasping at straws much?
Posted by: AlanC || 01/12/2014 18:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Comes from spending your life soaking in bitterness, Alan.
Posted by: Pappy || 01/12/2014 19:37 Comments || Top||

#5  Worried about a comatose 85 year old man?
Posted by: gorb || 01/12/2014 19:54 Comments || Top||

#6  The passing of lion Ariel Sharon is one, but methinks the following is the greater ...

* TOPIX > [Jersey Journal] OBAMA'S GREATEST CHALLENGE IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS GETTING OUT: [John] FARMER.

* SAME > US WAR GAINS IN IRAQ LOST OR THREATENED [wid Loss].

* JAPAN TIMES > OPED: AMERICANS SHOWING SOUND ISOLATIONIST INSTINCTS.

IIRC, isn't "isolationism" by the US, or any other Great Power or World Nation, in direct contrance to the premises of good OWG Globalism???

versus

POTUS OBAMA = USA = "GETTING OUT" as linked to ...

* DEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND > SLATE = US POLITICIANS WANT TO FAST-TRACK THE SUPER-SECRET, SUPER-CRITICIZED [post-2015 "borderless" + "anti-sovereign"] TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership].

* AFP > OBAMA SAYS HE'S UNDER "NO ILLUSIONS" AS WHITE HOUSE CONFIRMS IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL TO TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 20.

IMO the Bammer saying he's under "no illusions" means or infers he is well-aware of various high-profile Islamist Mullahs times declaring that IRAN NEEDS + M-U-S-T DEV NUCLEAR WEAPONS SSSSSHHH
....CCCCCCCC EVEN THOUGH TEHRAN SAYS PUBLICLY IT WON'T???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/12/2014 20:32 Comments || Top||


Israel to build 1,400 new homes in West Bank
We really did see this coming, it's been telegraphed for weeks.
Israel announced plans on Friday to build 1,400 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, territory the Palestinians want for their future state.

The announcement is likely to anger Palestinians
They'll roll they eyes, grimace fiercely, and make faces in response...
and could cast a shadow on US-led peace efforts. Israel’s housing ministry said 800 new houses will be built in the West Bank and 600 in east Jerusalem.
Israel is never giving back East Jerusalem. Never. They might as well build all the housing there and persuade the Paleos to move on.
The statement had been expected after Israel released 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners in late December, part of a deal made last summer when Palestinian-Israeli peace talks resumed. It was the third of four pledged prisoner releases.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, condemned the announcement, saying it undermines the “American efforts aimed at creating a peace track toward a two-state solution.” The announcement was expected earlier in January but was postponed, apparently to avoid any coinciding with last week’s visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry. While Israel is not obligated to halt construction under the peace talks, Kerry has urged restraint and said the building raises questions about Israel’s commitment.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/12/2014 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority

#1  And in other news, Israelis build houses in Israel.
Posted by: SteveS || 01/12/2014 0:32 Comments || Top||

#2  the cost of losing wars of aggression and intransigence in taking last best final offers
Posted by: Frank G || 01/12/2014 9:26 Comments || Top||

#3  While Israel is not obligated to halt construction under the peace talks, Kerry has urged restraint and said the building raises questions about Israel’s commitment
Um, Mr. Secretary, No, this doesn't raise any questions about Israel's commitment. It reinforces it's commitment to keep it's people safe and a subtle signal for you to STFU.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 01/12/2014 10:15 Comments || Top||



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