Hi there, !
Today Wed 05/18/2011 Tue 05/17/2011 Mon 05/16/2011 Sun 05/15/2011 Sat 05/14/2011 Fri 05/13/2011 Thu 05/12/2011 Archives
445213 articles and 1572508 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 62 articles and 145 comments as of 3:22.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area: WoT Operations    WoT Background    Non-WoT        Politix    Posting Order
Pakistan's parliament condemns US bin Laden raid
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 4: Opinion
3 00:00 Zebulon Thranter9685 [297] 
4 00:00 Spique Hatfield8822 [382] 
2 00:00 AlanC [316] 
4 00:00 JosephMendiola [414] 
12 00:00 JosephMendiola [567] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
0 [293]
0 [314]
7 00:00 Spique Hatfield8822 [449]
2 00:00 Frank G [368]
5 00:00 Delphi [371]
4 00:00 Alaska Paul [475]
0 [309]
0 [311]
0 [329]
0 [317]
6 00:00 Oscar [338]
0 [314]
1 00:00 American Delight [327]
0 [309]
0 [305]
0 [301]
2 00:00 tu3031 [663]
0 [362]
5 00:00 Admiral Allan Ackbar [365]
0 [295]
0 [306]
0 [317]
0 [344]
0 [300]
1 00:00 JohnQC [327]
0 [294]
2 00:00 Dale [316]
Page 2: WoT Background
0 [266]
3 00:00 JosephMendiola [417]
5 00:00 Redneck Jim [324]
4 00:00 ryuge [333]
1 00:00 JosephMendiola [381]
0 [256]
0 [286]
0 [284]
0 [279]
4 00:00 Alaska Paul [315]
1 00:00 newc [306]
1 00:00 Bill Clinton [312]
2 00:00 Pappy [328]
2 00:00 Nimble Spemble [321]
0 [264]
0 [269]
Page 3: Non-WoT
3 00:00 Barbara Skolaut [393]
9 00:00 Spique Hatfield8822 [440]
0 [280]
0 [265]
8 00:00 JohnQC [312]
14 00:00 European Conservative [546]
0 [270]
7 00:00 USN,Ret. [311]
0 [272]
13 00:00 phil_b [365]
0 [243]
Page 6: Politix
6 00:00 Black Bart Sperert2436 [431]
2 00:00 Lumpy Elmoluck5091 [339]
0 [251]
-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Ben Stein: "Arab Spring" is a fraud
Now, I am going to tell you the truth about the so-called "Arab Spring," and about the Middle East generally right now.

First, the "Arab Spring" as a force for democracy, human rights and peace in Egypt seems to me to be a fraud.

The dictator and his entourage who were kicked out in Egypt were pro-West, a bit restrained on Israel, open to free enterprise, and resistant to Iranian-sponsored terror.

Egypt is now rapidly becoming anti-Israel, pro-Iran, pro the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group Hamas, and very far from being pro-human rights. They are arresting businessmen right and left in Egypt just for the crime of being successful. They have arrested Mubarak's sons, and have said they plan to try Mubarak.

The most potent of the political forces in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, hates the United States, loathes Israel, condemns the killing of bin Laden (whom they praised as a martyr), and have been wedded to terror for their entire existence.

Oh, P.S, they are closely connected with Adolph Hitler.

They will probably take over Egypt completely sooner or later.

As the terrorist government of Syria cracks down on its own people, the U.N. Security Council does exactly nothing about it.

Has anyone noticed that the common denominator of all the successful Arab street movements is that they are sympathetic to Iran? When the dust settles, Iran is going to own the Middle East - except for maybe Saudi Arabia, if we have the guts to help them (which I very much doubt).

We are going to lose our pals in Bahrain - not nice guys, but pals of the U.S.A. anyway - and we are going to lose our pals in Yemen, and it will possibly have an actual al Qaeda government.

There is a gigantic regional coup by Iran taking place. We are doing very little, if anything, to stop it.

We are going to regret helping the Egyptians kick out Mubarak as much as we regret helping Khomeini force out the Shah.

You can call it "Arab Spring" if you want. But with Iran now the regional superpower, it is a lot more like an extremely bleak Mideast winter.

You heard it here first.
Posted by: Delphi || 05/15/2011 15:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [382 views] Top|| File under:

#1  True. Sadly, this all very, very, true.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 05/15/2011 17:53 Comments || Top||

#2  I think the Iranians may not have started it, but they will quickly move to support elements favorable to them.

However, I can't believe the Iranians are very happy with what's going on in Syria.
Posted by: Bobby || 05/15/2011 18:35 Comments || Top||

#3  I think the Iranians may not have started it, but they will quickly move to support elements favorable to them.

Gee, sounds like Iraq.
Posted by: Zebulon Thranter9685 || 05/15/2011 19:17 Comments || Top||

#4  There are Seculars in the Middle East, but they are powerless. The "arab spring" was nothing more than a final jihad for islamonazi dictatorship.
Posted by: Spique Hatfield8822 || 05/15/2011 23:06 Comments || Top||

Failed Taliban offensive as redux: Media overlooks coalition victories
When it comes to the war in Afghanistan, it’s easy for the insurgents to make headlines, even when their attacks meet with total failure. On May 8, the Taliban launched a major attack on Afghan government targets in the insurgent’s spiritual capital of Kandahar. Press reports called it a “vengeance attack” for the killing of Osama bin Laden a week earlier. Time magazine forebodingly compared it to the 1968 Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War. The general tone of the coverage was thick with knowing dread.

The outcome of the attacks was far from the doom presaged in the press. “All of the Taliban involved in the Kandahar attack were either captured or killed,” a military source with detailed knowledge of the offensive told The Washington Times. “Needless to say, not the greatest start to their vaunted spring offensive.” In late April, the insurgents announced the offensive would begin on May 1, but the heroin poppy season was not over and the leadership may have been preoccupied with what our source euphemistically called “revenue-enhancing activities.” The most significant event on May 1 was when the Pakistan-based Haqqani terrorist network sent a 12-year-old boy wearing a suicide vest into a marketplace in eastern Afghanistan, killing seven civilians and wounding 34, including women and children.

The promised large-scale offensive didn’t materialize on the date promised, and throughout the week, that sector was relatively quiet. This was no accident. According to the International Security Assistance Force, the ground for the Taliban defeat had been well prepared. “It’s not like we were sitting around waiting for the Taliban to do something,” our source said. “Throughout the winter we were extremely aggressive. We pressed the fight.” During the first week in May, the number of Taliban complex attacks was lower than during the same period in 2010. “The Taliban don’t have the same sanctuaries or weapons caches they used to have,” our source said. “And a lot of their higher level leaders are gone.”

The series of attacks in Kandahar reached none of their assumed objectives. No Afghan government public buildings were seized and the insurgents inflicted few casualties. The most underreported good news story was that the defense of the city was conducted by the Afghan National Security Forces. “The ANSF did a really good job,” our source said. “They were calm; they were capable.”

Army Maj. Gen. John Campbell, commanding general of Regional Command East, told reporters on May 10 that for the men and women in uniform out on the front lines, it can sometimes feel like “Groundhog Day,” the same things happening day in and day out. But when insurgents launch an attack, there is a media tendency to dramatize it. Bad news - the fact of an attack - often gets a lot more attention than good news, such as the enemy’s complete failure to reach its objectives and the solid performance of our Afghan allies in battle. The May 8 attack in Kandahar was a case in point. The old press adage “if it bleeds, it leads” doesn’t seem to apply if it is the enemy who is bleeding.
Posted by: trailing wife || 05/15/2011 16:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  > Time magazine forebodingly compared it to the 1968 Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War.

Would be a very apt comparison! Media lied. Offensive failed.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 05/15/2011 17:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Uncle Walter Conkrite isn't here to lie to the American people this time, and perky Katie Couric has about 7 viewers. Our MFM has lost the battle, and we need to make sure these symps lose their war on us
Posted by: Frank G || 05/15/2011 17:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Strategy Page says the Taliban are giving up their IED campaign since they can no longer justify the cost since we are finding so many of them and killing the bomb crews. The talibs are switching to suicide bombers until they run out of Paki madrassa fodder. Boomers have no effect on us but tough for the Afghan civilians. Still, it's less than 1% of the damage of allowing Pakistani surrogates to mass and attack Afghan cities.
Posted by: Zebulon Thranter9685 || 05/15/2011 19:35 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Obama's indecision on Syria inexcusable
Posted by: ryuge || 05/15/2011 09:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Just Stall until the dcision is made for you, then crow about the decision YOU PROMPTLY Made.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/15/2011 10:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Inexcusable, yes; but eminently and easily explainable.
Posted by: AlanC || 05/15/2011 10:21 Comments || Top||

Our withering sovereignty!
By General Retd Mirza Aslam Beg

The Abbottabad episode of May 2, 2011, provides the opportunity to restore our national sovereignty and establish a new level of relationship with our immediate neighbours and countries beyond. It is a ‘blessing in disguise’ to restore national honour and dignity. In fact, the 2/5 episode was a hoax and a big lie, the same as the 9/11 episode was a big lie for an excuse to launch a crusade against the Muslim world.

Osama’s look-alike prisoner from Bagram was picked up and brought to Abbottabad and killed in cold blood in front of his family members, who were living there. In fact, OBL had been killed in Afghanistan some time back and his body may still be lying in a mortuary in Afghanistan. They showed a bullet-ridden picture of Osama, which was two years old, and another photo that had no resemblance with him. His body was dumped into the sea to hide the crime committed in such a clumsy manner. The 2/5 episode was the finale of the 9/11 lies and was meant to achieve three main objectives:

i With the mission accomplished, Obama was to gain political advantage in the forthcoming elections;

i To find an excuse for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

i To defame the Pakistan government, its armed forces and the ISI.

On all the three counts, the US President has gained and Pakistan now is reeling under pressure, blaming its own armed forces and the ISI for the failure to safeguard territorial sovereignty, not knowing that we ourselves have pillaged the country’s sovereignty as a matter of political expediency. It is a sad story, but needs to be remembered.

With the first military takeover of Ayub Khan in 1958, the Americans entered Pakistan and established their tentacles, and got so entrenched that they were able to boot out Ayub Khan, when they found him getting too big for his boots. Ironically, a political movement was launched to replace him with Yahya Khan, who became the catalyst for the dismemberment of Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took over as the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was a visionary leader and statesman, and did not fit into the ‘American agenda of Great Game on the Global Chessboard’. Thus, he became an unwanted leader, because he opened the way to China; he asked King Faisal to assume the leadership of the Muslim world and also laid the foundation for Pakistan’s nuclear programme. Therefore, he had to be punished and “made a horrible example” at the hands of a military dictator and a compliant judiciary.
Posted by: john frum || 05/15/2011 08:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [414 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hell, I thought this was going to be an article about America.
Posted by: JohnQC || 05/15/2011 9:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Pakistan supports several armies, none of them American, which roam around, killing Muslims mainly. These armies are not dogs, for dogs would not bite the hand that feeds them. These armies suck the sovereignty right out of Pakistan.

Pakistan will be a great country, when -
it stops killing its neighbors,
it stops paying armies, which kill Paks,
it stops lying, or at least agrees on its lies,
it does something for its citizens (& not the madrases or army), and
it stops thinking about its pride and starts doing something for its people.

Posted by: whatadeal || 05/15/2011 10:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Me, too, JQC. Not sure how you sneak a look-alike into the bedroom without the wifee noticing, unless they were under a "spell" like Dinnerjacket.
However, General Aslam Beg is showing his true conspiracy colors and is thought to be connected to AQ Khan and the rumored rogue nukes. The proximity of Binny's compound to the Khan's and the ISI is disconcerting to say the least, and he should not be dismissed as another nutjob.
Posted by: Lumpy Elmoluck5091 || 05/15/2011 13:37 Comments || Top||

#4  IIUC HAMID MIR > OBL desired to improve, empower Islam + Islamism via JIHAD which required the cooper = combined might, etc. of the various sectarian Militant Groups which likely would not had occurred IFF US TROOPS WERE NOT IN THE MIDDLE EAST = MUSLIM LANDS IN THEIR CURRENT SCALE OR BETTER???


Which is not in Pakistan's interests as per Pak's own perceived "Manifest Destiny" = desire to become a "Great State/Power" in its own right???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/15/2011 22:27 Comments || Top||

Left in India worried
[Bangla Daily Star] The Left parties face their darkest hour in Indian politics, if not marginalisation, as they have been voted out of power in two key states of West Bengal and Kerala in the assembly elections.

The only state the Left hangs on to power is Tripura, where too they face tough challenge from Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee.

The Left leaders said they would introspect on the reasons for their electoral rout in West Bengal and the narrow defeat in Kerala. However,
The obscurantist However...
there is considerable unease among the Left leaders about their future.

The Left's ouster from power in West Bengal and Kerala came two years after their worst performance in the parliamentary polls in May 2009 when their tally of seats reduced drastically.

The concern is whether the Left is becoming increasingly irrelevant in Indian politics.

The Left's defeat in Kerala was not entirely unexpected as the southern state is always known as a "pendulum" state, where the voters never brought a single political party or alliance back to power after one term. Power in Kerala has always swung between the Congress-led alliance and the Left Front.

The defeat in Kerala was narrow -- by just three seats. However,
The emphatic However...

the Left's drubbing in West Bengal at the hands of Trinamool Congress came as a shock to many.

Sources in Left parties admitted to having ideological flux in them for long. There is also acknowledgement that the Left has embraced a capitalistic and bourgeois set-up, which consequently affected it with all its negativities including corruption.

The Left has oscillated between quasi socialism and a grudging acceptance of private capital, reflective of an ideological tug of war and has been ambivalent for long in its relationship with the Congress party.

At the state level in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, the Left has taken on Congress as its main rival while at the national level it joined hands with the latter to keep the "communal" BJP at bay.

The Left has oscillated between supporting and opposing Congress at the national level from time to time, and went to the extent of sharing the dais with the BJP and other non-Congress parties before the 1988 parliamentary polls.

Now the question in political circles is: will Mamata emerge triumphant in Tripura where the Left has been in power for the last 18 years at a stretch and is to face fresh elections to the state assembly by January 2013.

Analysts in Agartala are not entirely ruling out Tripura going the West Bengal way. The worries were palpable when Bijan Dhar, central committee member and Tripura unit general secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), told news hounds in Agartala that there is a possibility of the wave of change reaching Tripura too.

His remark came after the announcement of the West Bengal poll results on Friday.

The ever-popular However...

we will introspect where we are going wrong and take necessary steps for course correction," Dhar said.

Trinamool Congress in Tripura, like in West Bengal, is keen to fill the place of the opposition left void by the organisational meltdown of Congress party in both the states.

The advantage for the Left in Tripura is that there is no viable alternative to it in the state as Congress has been in doldrums organisationally and lacked good leadership there since the death of Samir Ranjan Barman and Sudhir Ranjan Majumdar.

Analysts said Mamata was so engrossed with West Bengal that she hardly found time to nurture her party's base in Tripura. Having grabbed power in West Bengal now, she can focus on the north-eastern state.

But Trinamool has a long way to match up to the organisational strength and leadership of CPI(M) in Tripura. The party in the state was earlier headed by an expelled Congress leader Dulal Das, who has been replaced by a retired professor.

Trinamool Congress had unsuccessfully contested a few assembly seats in the elections in 2008 and then in local civic body polls.

The all-purpose However...

a couple of dissident CPI(M) state committee members of Tripura were believed to be helping Mamata to strengthen Trinamool Congress in the state.

Securing power in Tripura will help Mamata's ambition for a greater role in national politics of India, said sources in Trinamool Congress.
Posted by: Fred || 05/15/2011 00:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [567 views] Top|| File under: Commies

#1  The concern is whether the Left is becoming increasingly irrelevant in Indian politics.

The left is becoming increasingly irrelevant in everyone's politics. I am almost thinking I might live long enough to see the repudiation of the entire socio-fasciast New Freedom/New Deal/Square Deal/Great Society/Obamacare. Almost time to go pray.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 05/15/2011 6:12 Comments || Top||

#2  India is becoming increasingly a self-confident, middle class society.

There are still many millions mired in rural poverty, but they see through the media how millions of Indians live comfortable middle class lives, and while they may not achieve that lifestyle. They see their children could.
Posted by: phil_b || 05/15/2011 8:32 Comments || Top||

#3  And despite this and India being a nuclear power with a space program they are still receiving aid from the west.

I'm all for their success but it's time to cut the apron strings and let the kiddies succeed or fail on their own.
Posted by: AlanC || 05/15/2011 9:00 Comments || Top||

#4  I might live long enough to see the repudiation of the entire socio-fasciast New Freedom/New Deal/Square Deal/Great Society/Obamacare/Raw Deal

Just a slight editorial change--if you don't mind.
Posted by: JohnQC || 05/15/2011 9:47 Comments || Top||

#5  There are still many millions mired in rural poverty, but they see through the media how millions of Indians live comfortable middle class lives, and while they may not achieve that lifestyle. They see their children could.

Huh? You've spent how much time in India?

India has an illiteracy rate over 55%, the vast majority of the rural poor living in poverty have little or no access to the media. Besides, even if they did, they CAN"T READ!

I have done lots of work in the Indian countryside with the rural inhabitants. They are mostly indolent, tribal and have no inclination to get educated, or educate their children. Most
Americans understanding of India is grossly out of
touch with reality.

There is a HUGE problem with illegals from Bangladesh and other places not to mention the fact that India is made up of dozens of different ethnic groups, most of whom have no sense of nationalism.

Your post indicates you have no idea of the reality on the ground there. The "middle class" in India is very thin compared to here, and only the wealthy really live well. Hell, our poor drawing welfare and bennies live better on par than a substantial percentage of the middle class there. Next time I go, (October 2011 for 2 to 3 months) you can come with me. You'll have to rough it though, we'll be living with the Indians as the Indians live...and it ain't comfortable.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man || 05/15/2011 11:50 Comments || Top||

#6  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_in_India

Adult literacy rate: 74.04% (2011)
Youth literacy rate: 82% (2001)
Posted by: john frum || 05/15/2011 12:04 Comments || Top||

#7  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_in_India

Adult literacy rate: 74.04% (2011)
Youth literacy rate: 82% (2001)

Wikipedia? Really? That is wildly optimistic, kind of like the way the US Government estimates that there are between 12 and 20 million illegals in this country.

Even the CIA World Factbook only puts the literacy rate at 61% of the adult population, defined as age 15 and older.

Sorry chief, but the reality is that illiteracy is much higher than the Indian Govt. wants to admit. And, my Indian wife and family scoff at the suggestion that India literacy rate is what the government claims.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man || 05/15/2011 15:50 Comments || Top||

#8  SAM, depending on when she left India, your wife's experience may be somewhat out of date as well as having a female bias (lower). India has a mass adult adult literacy program for many years.

This is an Indian link so take it FWIW, but you can see trend lines.
Posted by: Zebulon Thranter9685 || 05/15/2011 19:52 Comments || Top||

#9  Actually using literacy rate is kinda borked for quite a few countries as different governments define it differently. For example while India has a 61% literacy rate via the CIA factbook China touts over 91% (with 95% of all males over 15 being literate). Mind you they define literacy as: "One who can recognize more than 1500 Chinese characters (for a farmer) and 2000 characters (for an office worker or urban resident)".

Both UNESCO and NAAL use different definitions of literacy as well with UNESCO's being: "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society."

When compared to the Chinese version of literacy you can see there's a MAJOR difference in definitions.

That all being said I'm of the view that countries like China and India have what I would call a thin veneer of the appearance of a growing middle class which appears in the more populous cities. Easy way to really observe this is to view the countries respective consumption of types of goods. A broad and strong middle class would have a large consumption of luxury goods and capital goods, a less strong middle class would see these kinds of goods exported and large consumptions of things like cereals, foods and other raw commodities.

Anyways thats just my opinion.
Posted by: Valentine || 05/15/2011 19:56 Comments || Top||

#10  Half the Indian population has a mobile phone.

Half of rural households have a TV with very rapid growth rates.

Mobile internet connections are doubling every year, mostly in rural areas.

I've been to India and lived with Indians (Tamils), albeit middle class Indians. I realize India is a complex mix of languages, castes, and ethnic identity.

I also lived in Asia for 10 years and have seen the poverty for myself.

Nonetheless the communications revolution is happening rapidly in India.
Posted by: phil_b || 05/15/2011 20:24 Comments || Top||

#11  If you want a metric of the size of the middle class, I'd use LCD HDTV sales.

About 1 million are sold every month in India.

Interestingly, this is slightly more than China.
Posted by: phil_b || 05/15/2011 20:39 Comments || Top||

#12  IOW, Post-Abbottabad/OBL PAKISTAN can't wage war agz India fast enough???

Keep your fingers crossed.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/15/2011 22:30 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
6Govt of Pakistan
4Govt of Syria
1Jemaah Islamiyah
1Govt of Iran
1al-Qaeda in Iraq

E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Gulf War I
The Way We Were

Hair Through the Ages

On Sale now!

A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Scooter McGruder
john frum
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Frank G
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2011-05-15
  Pakistan's parliament condemns US bin Laden raid
Sat 2011-05-14
  US charges six with aiding Pakistani Taliban
Fri 2011-05-13
  Dronezap kills several in Pakistan
Thu 2011-05-12
  ISI Confirms Mullah Omar in Pakistain
Wed 2011-05-11
  Qadaffy forces tossed from Misrata. Again.
Tue 2011-05-10
  U.N. Team Blocked from Syria's Daraa as Regime Arrests 'Thousands' in Banias
Mon 2011-05-09
  Syrian troops, tanks enter Homs, Tafas
Sun 2011-05-08
  Gunfire disrupts pro-Osama rally
Sat 2011-05-07
  Drones kill 17 in North Waziristan
Fri 2011-05-06
  Fidel, Meshaal criticise way Osama was killed
Thu 2011-05-05
  Pakistan warns US not to stage more raids
Wed 2011-05-04
  No release of Bin Laden death pic
Tue 2011-05-03
  US: Pak Compound was Built Specifically for Bin Laden
Mon 2011-05-02
  Osama bin Laden sleeps widda fishes
Sun 2011-05-01
  Osama bin Laden dead

Better than the average link...

Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
WoT Operations (27)    WoT Background (16)    Non-WoT (11)    (0)    Politix (3)