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Army takes Sultanwas, kills 81; Mullah Fazlullah maybe titzup
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
Investigators found that 60-65 Taliban and 20-30 civilians were killed, not 140
KABUL (AP) -- The U.S. military said Wednesday at least 20 civilians and 60 insurgents died in a disputed U.S.-Taliban clash earlier this month, contradicting the Afghan government's assertion that 140 civilians were killed.

Meanwhile, another airstrike by NATO-led forces killed eight civilians Tuesday following a clash with militants in southern Helmand province, the military alliance said.
Civilian death compensation is the Afghan version of welfare fraud.
Preliminary findings from the earlier clash could not conclusively determine the number of people killed during the May 4-5 battle in Bala Buluk district of western Farah province, the U.S. military said in a statement.

The clash has soured already tense relations between the U.S. military and the Afghan government. In an attempt to soothe these relations, America's top envoy in Afghanistan joined President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday in extending their condolences to the families of the victims near the site of the battle.

The U.S. military statement said its aircraft destroyed several rural buildings where insurgents were regrouping after the fight, in which some 300 militants had participated.

Col. Greg Julian, the chief U.S. military spokesman, said eight buildings were targeted, and 13 missiles were fired from U.S. military aircraft during the battle.

Investigators found that 60-65 Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting and "at least 20-30 civilians were killed," said Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, a U.S. military spokeswoman.

The statement detailing the findings cautioned that "a review of the physical evidence is inconclusive in determining the exact number of civilian and insurgent casualties."

NATO troops were attacked by a group of 25 insurgents in the Nawa, south of Helmand's capital Lashkar Gah, on Tuesday and they called in air support. "Tragically, it is believed that eight civilians were killed as a result of the airstrike," the NATO statement said.

It also alleged that militants used the civilians as human shields. NATO said it would not have carried out the airstrike if it knew civilians were in the area.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/20/2009 13:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Story Link
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/20/2009 13:30 Comments || Top||

#2  You don't understand - just like all the jobs Obama is saving - those 20-30 civilians if not killed would have multiplied to 140 in a year or two if still alive and co-mingling.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/20/2009 13:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Am I the only person here that thinks that if you are holed up in a bunch of rural buildings with Taliban whether you are woman or child or not you are NOT a civilian. What we consider a child is different over there where they marry off their kids at 8 and 9 yrs old and start carrying AK's at the same age
Posted by: funky skunk || 05/20/2009 15:35 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
Nork pointman on inter-Korean relations executed
Most of this is behind a subscription firewall.
SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korea executed its pointman on South Korea last year, holding him responsible for wrong predictions about Seoul's new conservative government that has ditched a decade of engagement policy toward Pyongyang, sources said Monday.

Choe Sung-chol, who as vice chairman of the North's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee had pushed for bold reconciliation with Seoul's previous liberal governments, disappeared from public sight early last year amid reports that he was fired.
[BANG] "You're fired!"
Rumors spread in January that he was forced to work at a chicken farm, but a number of sources privy to North Korean internal affairs told Yonhap News Agency that Choe was executed last year to shoulder the blame for inter-Korean relations, which changed drastically with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's inauguration.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/20/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  North Korea executed its pointman on South Korea last year, holding him responsible for wrong predictions about Seoul's new conservative government that has ditched a decade of engagement policy toward Pyongyang, sources said Monday

Looks like they don't like it. I wonder why. Well whatever the reason is I'll take it. More, please.
Posted by: gorb || 05/20/2009 1:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Yikes! Tough gig up there in Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, failed foreign policy mavens in this country get lucrative consulting contracts.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/20/2009 2:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Rumors spread in January that he was forced to work at a chicken farm

Got fed to the chickens, eh?

The Norks who found what was left probably made soup out of his hair, too.
Posted by: gorb || 05/20/2009 3:34 Comments || Top||

#4  A staffing policy that could be in place here. Remember vincent foster?
Posted by: Skidmark || 05/20/2009 7:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Hmmm. How does that pencil out? Does he have some value working with chickens or do they save more by having him whacked?
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 05/20/2009 10:25 Comments || Top||

#6  WORLD MILITARY FORUM > IIUC HINT OF FUTURE SOUTH KOREAN-TAIWAN ALLIANCE:TAIWAN TELEVISION MEDIA CONTINUES TO USE BACKGROUNDS DEPICTING SOUTH KOREAN MOUNTAINS???

* SAME > IIUC NEW RUSSIAN NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL STRATEGY SEES USA AS RUSSIA'S PRIMARY COMPETITOR, MILITARY THREAT THRU YEAR 2021 [next 12 Years = approxi Year 2020-2025 rounded off]. RUSSIA FAVORS GEOPOL CONSOLIDATION WID CHINA, INDIA, AND BRAZIL AGZ USA, DESIRES TO HELP CHINA BREAKOUT AND DEFEAT US ANTI-CHINA STRATEGY OF ISOLATING/CONTAINING PLA TO FIRST ISLAND CHAIN ARC OR LESS.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/20/2009 19:20 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Taliban forcibly recruit people against military
LAHORE: A Taliban arrested from a Taliban training camp destroyed by security forces in Swat district’s Matta tehsil has revealed that the Taliban forcibly recruit and train people to fight against the military, a private TV channel reported on Tuesday.

The arrested Taliban said he was a student of a seminary from where the Taliban took him and asked him to join them for fighting the army.“They said you will have to fight against the army and threatened to kill me if I did not join them and got training,” the channel quoted the arrested Taliban as saying.

He said another 150 persons were being trained at the camp when the security forces destroyed it.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/20/2009 01:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  Impressing.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 05/20/2009 6:09 Comments || Top||

#2  their version of the employee free choice act
Posted by: lord garth || 05/20/2009 7:25 Comments || Top||

#3  An echo, not a choice.

Smells just like the Tamil Tigers. I'm sure the UN will be against actually dismantling this sort of thing. It's their culture, after all.

Posted by: Fred || 05/20/2009 8:09 Comments || Top||

#4  The UN approves of forcing ppl to do things against their will, if it's for the good of the ummah.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/20/2009 8:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Sounds like some of our Universities and Colleges....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/20/2009 10:53 Comments || Top||

#6  sounds like a damn excuse they know just may help them get out of trouble. every man in this country has a weapon and would fight anything else they thought was an injustice so why not this? Especially if they feel they are shaming their religion so why does no one ever do it against the taliban. Sounds like the old i was just following orders bit too me
Posted by: funky skunk || 05/20/2009 12:15 Comments || Top||

#7  ISRAEL FORUM NEWS > EGYPTIANS WHOM MARRY ISRAELIS MAY LOSE THEIR CITIZENSHIP.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/20/2009 21:37 Comments || Top||

#8  sounds like a damn excuse they know just may help them get out of trouble. every man in this country has a weapon and would fight anything else they thought was an injustice so why not this? Especially if they feel they are shaming their religion so why does no one ever do it against the taliban.

Hey, e.e. cummings, this is the Pakistani NW, not Afghanistan. One, not every man in Swat carries a weapon. The Taliban at this point are the equivalent of the VC or the Mexican drug cartels. There's a lot of them, any opposition to them is either scattered or intimidated, and the lcoal authorities are either sympathetic, intimidated, or bought off.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/20/2009 22:53 Comments || Top||


Family forced to marry daughters to Taliban
Talibunnies, like al-Qaeda, never learn ...
LAHORE: An army unit has rescued a family who are claiming the Taliban tried to force them to marry off their daughters to members of the group in Matta tehsil of Swat, according to a private TV channel. The mother of the girls told the channel, "They were forcing us ... we did not want to marry off our daughters to them."
"Hrarrrr! I'll have yez, me proud beauty!"
She said the Taliban also shot and injured the girls' father, Hidayatullah, for not agreeing to their demand.
"Marry me, bibi!"
"Never, you cad!"
"Mahmoud, shoot the old man!"
[BANG!]
"Owwwww!"
"Father!"

Troops then launched a daring effort to rescue the family, and shifted them to a safer location, said the channel, adding that three troops were injured in the operation.
"My heroes!"
Posted by: Steve White || 05/20/2009 01:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan


Five burqa-clad Arabs arrested in Mohmand
At least 13 militants were killed in a clash with security forces following arrest of five burqa-clad Arabs, one Afghan national and a local man in Mohmand Agency on Tuesday. Four of the five Arabs are Saudi nationals -- Ahmed, Ali, Mohammad and Obaidullah -- and one Libyan national, Abdullah.
I realize I'm ignorant about that part of the world, but I've never heard of a Saudi who wasn't at least bin Daddy. Could it be that the arresting authorities took the information from their fake Pakistani passports?
The Afghan national has been identified as Habibullah and the local man as Shad Ali. They were detained at the Khapakh checkpost. The Afghan was living in Chakdara area of Lower Dir.

When troops were taking the detained men to Ghalanai, about 60 militants attacked them in an area between Ziyari Kando and Nasapai. The clash continued for more than two hours, an official spokesman said.

Security forces shelled militants' positions from Ghalanai with mortars and cannons. Thirteen terrorists were killed and the others escaped. Two vehicles of militants were destroyed, the spokesman said. Security personnel brought the body of one militant to the Ghalanai FC camp; the other bodies were taken away by the attackers. The administration sealed all entry points to the tribal region and beefed up security to apprehend the fleeing militants. Troops also launched a search operation in Mian Mandi Bazaar.

The spokesman said the detained militants had been hiding in Kareer Qandaharo and Kung Khwayzai for several days and they had attacked the Khapakh post.

'They came to Pakistan via Afghanistan which is financing them,' he alleged.
Afghanistan paid? Where would they get the money to hire fancy Saudi jihadis?
He said SMGs, hand-grenades, Kalashnikovs, passports and other important documents had been seized from them and their vehicle had been impounded.
All marked 'Made in Pakistan", except the vehicle.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/20/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1 

Eee! Put the burqas back on!
Posted by: Kofi Claitle6576 || 05/20/2009 8:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Don't look like Saudi transvestites to me. More like Paki's.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/20/2009 10:02 Comments || Top||

#3  Are they wearing pointy toed slippers too?
Posted by: Hellfish || 05/20/2009 12:14 Comments || Top||

#4  Four of the five Arabs are Saudi nationals

Surely not as they are our allies!!!
Posted by: Paul2 || 05/20/2009 13:13 Comments || Top||

#5  #3: Are they wearing pointy toed slippers too?
Posted by: Hellfish|


Nah, in fact it was the combat boots that gave 'em away - didn't have any pretty bows in the laces.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/20/2009 13:57 Comments || Top||

#6  Why not give them sex change operations and make their transformations permanent?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 05/20/2009 14:39 Comments || Top||


16 More Terrorists Killed in Operation Rah-e-Rast:
The security forces – during the last 24 hours have killed 16 more miscreants as part of the Operation Rah-e-Rast – which is making headway as planned.

An ISPR update communiqué issued on Tuesday says that an officer and three soldiers embraced Shahadat and 16 others including an officer were injured in clashes with the miscreants in different parts of Malakand Division. In Peochar, the security forces are consolidating their positions in the valley by conducting search and destroy operations. During clashes one soldier got injured while 2 miscreant-terrorists were killed.

As far as the situation in Matta is concerned, the security forces have surrounded and are conducting cordon and search operations inside the town where exchange of fire took place between security forces and miscreant-terrorists. Resultantly, one officer (Maj Abid) and one soldier embraced Shahadat while seven soldiers were injured near Nazarabad, north of Matta.

The troops have successfully got cleared more than 40 houses in Kanju and area ahead of Takhtaband Bridge where fierce clashes are taking place at both places.

Almost 14 miscreants were killed during exchange of fire with security forces at Takhtaband – while two soldiers embraced Shahadat – and eight others were injured. The operation to clear Sultanwas in Buner is continuing where the security forces are conducting cordon and search operations in various parts.

Meanwhile, another report says that almost 2.2 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] from the affected areas have so far been registered while still more are awaiting the process of registration. With this digit – credible sources in the NWFP government said on Tuesday that a decisive action is being carried out against the militants in Malakand division and that operation will continue until the last of the Taliban dens is destroyed. The figure of the IDPs has been confirmed by UNHCR.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/20/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq
DoD denies Iran's charge of training Kurdish 'terrorists
The US Defense Department on Tuesday rejected accusations from Iran that Washington was training "terrorists" in Iraq's Kurdish region and countered that Tehran was meddling in Iraq.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday charged the United States was plotting against Tehran on its western border, "spending money and handing out weapons to be used against the Islamic republic" of Iran. Iran's supreme leader said in a televised speech in the western Iranian province of Kordestan that the United States was paying money to young Kurds "to create mercenaries."

The border region with Iraq has often seen deadly clashes between Iran's armed forces and the Kurdish separatists. Iranians have targeted the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an Iranian Kurdish separatist group which has launched attacks on Iran from rear-supply bases in the Kurdish mountains of northern Iraq.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/20/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:


Three dead, ten wounded in Iraq violence
Three Iraqi civilians were killed and 10 wounded in violence on Tuesday while police also found the body of man who had been stabbed to death at an unknown date. Two of the civilians were killed and five wounded in a roadside bomb in Taji, 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Baghdad, an area where Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents have long operated, an interior ministry official said.

In the main northern city of Mosul, a third civilian was killed by unknown gunmen. The body of the fourth was found in the centre of the city, regarded by US commanders as Al-Qaeda's last urban bastion in Iraq. Four people were also wounded when a bomb went off 70 kilometres (45 miles) northwest of Mosul.Separately, the US military said that soldiers killed a civilian after he failed to stop his car at a checkpoint in Mosul on Monday.

South of Baghdad, a local US-allied militiaman was wounded in a roadside bombing in Jarf Sakha. Known as Sahwa or Awakening Councils, the militias, made up of predominantly Sunni Arab tribesmen and former insurgents who have turned against Al-Qaeda, are frequent targets for attack by the jihadists and their allies.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/20/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like Saturday night in New Orleans. Except for the roadside bomb part. Generally gang hits or crossfires.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/20/2009 10:42 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
IDF forces arrest three wanted Palestinians overnight
IDF forces arrested three wanted Palestinians in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley Tuesday overnight, the army said.

The three were taken for interrogation by security forces
Posted by: Steve White || 05/20/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:


Mashaal reportedly fires deputy Hamas leader
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has dismissed his deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk due to opposition over policy regarding reconciliation with Fatah, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Syassa reported on Tuesday. According to the report, the Damascus-based Mashaal fired both Abu Marzouk and another senior official, Imad al-Almi, following Syrian and Iranian pressure. The two Muslim countries, the paper wrote, were unhappy with the two officials' calls to create a more independent decision-making mechanism within the organization.

The two were also targeted for voicing their objections to actions taken by Mashaal within the context of negotiations between Hamas and Fatah - actions that were guided by Damascus and Teheran.
'Targeted' takes on a different meaning in Hamastan ...
The officials have already been replaced by two Hamas members described as supporters of Mashaal. One of them is Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan.

The dismissal of Marzouk and Almi reportedly caused uproar among the senior Hamas leadership in Damascus and the Gaza Strip, with heavy criticism leveled against Mashaal and his actions. Several members accused Mashaal of attempting to redesign the organization's leadership based on Syrian and Iranian intelligence assessments and instructions, who in return, provided Hamas with financial support.
Wear your steel-toed shoes to work tomorrow, boys ...
Posted by: Steve White || 05/20/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under: Hamas


IAF bombs Gaza targets in retaliation for Kassam attack
Several hours after Palestinians fired a Kassam rocket into a Sderot residential area for the first time in over two months, the IAF responded by bombing targets in the Gaza Strip.The army said it attacked two weapons production sites in Gaza City and four smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border. Four people were reportedly wounded in the strikes.

The Kassam launched earlier by terrorists in the Strip slammed into a storeroom in the backyard of a home. A woman was lightly wounded and evacuated to Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital. Several other people were treated for shock, while both the storeroom and the house sustained damage.

The rocket was a 115-millimeter projectile, a police source told the Jerusalem Post. A police bomb disposal team retrieved the rocket's remains for analysis shortly after the attack.

The attack came as Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno was touring the town with Noam Schalit, father of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. The two visited the home where the rocket landed, and Schalit told residents of the town he identified with their plight.

"We went through a war like this in the North and heard plenty of booms," he said. "Straight after arriving in Sderot, the Color Red warning siren was sounded and we heard the loud boom. Unfortunately we are all-too familiar with this." Schalit added that he "doesn't envy Sderot residents" and that he wished the town quiet. Alemanno said he hoped the attack was an isolated incident and that it wouldn't lead to another war and more rocket-fire. He said the fundamentalists were a problem for the entire Western world, not just for Israelis, and vowed that the City of Rome would help Sderot residents repair the damage cause by the Gazan rockets. He also said the city had decided to grant Gilad Schalit honorary citizenship and that Noam would be invited to the city to accept it on his behalf.

Tuesday's attack also came a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met US President Barack Obama in Washington and the latter said the situation in Sderot was unacceptable, adding that he'd seen the situation there himself.
President Obama may not have meant to send a message, but it was received anyway... the difference between n00bs and the experienced. But then, he's still climbing a very steep learning curve. Perhaps, like Bibi, he'll have a second go after he's had a chance to digest his current experiences.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/20/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  adding that he'd seen the situation there himself

Zinggggg!
Posted by: gorb || 05/20/2009 0:54 Comments || Top||

#2  They ARE a bit dense in Gaza, aren't they?
Posted by: European Conservative || 05/20/2009 15:07 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Six killed in wave of terror across southern Thailand
Terrorists Suspected separatist militants shot and killed a teacher, two soldiers and a civilian Tuesday in a fresh wave of violence in Thailand's restive Muslim-majority south, police said.

Police said at least three people had launched an ambush on the 41-year-old elementary school teacher as he travelled to school in troubled Yala province. Security forces now provide teachers with a guarded escort to and from work, but police said the elementary school teacher had not been part of the protected convoy on Tuesday.

Militants ambushed an army foot patrol later Tuesday and shot dead two rangers in neighbouring Pattani province, police said. Meanwhile a 39-year-old Muslim man on his way to play football was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Narathiwat province on Monday evening, police said.

Plus:

Two elderly women were shot dead and their bodies set on fire on Wednesday in the latest atrocity in the troubled far south, police said. They blamed the murders on terrorists separatists. They said a 62-year-old woman and her 78-year-old mother-in-law returning home by motorbike from a market in Pattani province were killed in a drive-by shooting. Police in the district of Panare said they found the bodies badly burned in the middle of the road at the scene of the killing.

One soldier was also slightly wounded when a small bomb exploded several metres from the bodies as he went with police to investigate.
Posted by: ryuge || 05/20/2009 06:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:


Sri Lanka
Mario's family found in lagoon with gunshot wounds to heads
COLOMBO: LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran made two last-minute attempts to escape to India or Malaysia, but these came too late as the Sri Lankan navy had put up a effective naval blockade by then. Media reports said on Wednesday that Prabhakaran’s family has been found shot dead.

These failures left no option for Prabhakaran, who had earlier hoodwinked and outmaneuvered the Sri Lankan security apparatus, to stay put in the northern war zone and fight to the last. Prabhakaran made these attempts as Sri Lankan forces made major advances into the rebel-held territory this year, naval spokesman D K Dasanayake said.

Reports said that Prabhakaran’s wife Mathivathani, daughter and younger son Balachandran were found shot dead on Wednesday.

Their bodies, having gunshot wounds in the head, were found a day after pictures of Prabhakaran’s body were released by the Sri Lankan authorities. The bodies were found in the Nandi Kadal lagoon area barely 600 metres from where the LTTE supremo’s body was recovered by the army. Balachandran was barely 13. Prabhakaran’s wife and daughter were not in Europe as believed but right there with the Tamil Tiger chief.

Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Karuna, who was the Eastern commander of the LTTE before he fell out with Prabhakaran in 2004, and Daya Master, who surrendered to the army recently, have “positively identified” the LTTE supremo’s body.
Posted by: john frum || 05/20/2009 17:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now maybe Sri Lanka can be at peace...
Posted by: 49 Pan || 05/20/2009 18:21 Comments || Top||

#2  So who plugged the family?
Posted by: Steve White || 05/20/2009 19:48 Comments || Top||

#3  It probably wasn't Yakov Yurovsky. He's been dead for awhile. But it was probably the same idea.
Posted by: Fred || 05/20/2009 20:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Yeah, and the shining path was wiped out some time ago. Copycat arsehole time starts now...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 05/20/2009 21:03 Comments || Top||


Tamil civilians relate their tales of life under the LTTE
Heavily edited for length, very long (2300 words). A story mostly untold until now, what it was like to be an ordinary Tamil who supported the LTTE.
The people in the internment camps want to talk and be heard. Everyone of the over 190,000 men, women and children want to tell their stories. They are fed up with the grand narratives in which they have been used as vulnerable victims by the LTTE and its sympathisers, by the Sri Lankan Government and its embedded spin doctors (and a swindler?) and now increasingly by the UN, the NGOs and the humanitarian industry.
You said it, brother.
Many of whom I spoke to were very bitter about and angry with the LTTE. They felt they had been lied to and had lost confidence in them. Everyone of them confirmed that the army had shelled indiscriminately causing heavy civilian casualties and that the air force had repeatedly aerial-bombed civilian locations. All of them were relieved to have escaped the conflict zone and from LTTE control and to be in the IDP camps.

Most of the initial movements seem to have been voluntary – as the fighting arrived nearer, people moved interior to places they perceived as safe. There were some instances of LTTE cadres ‘guiding’ them to ‘safer’ locations. Though some people reluctantly moved there wasn’t an indication of systematic coercion. Many still had confidence in the LTTE to fight back and fearing worse things on the government controlled side, preferred to move en-masse to places they considered safe.

But when the fighting intensified and the towns fell one after the other, and particularly after Killinochchi (rebel capital) was captured, the people realised it was a lost cause. They wanted to escape. Until then there weren’t many deaths due to shelling by the army and the LTTE did not apparently have to nor use much coercion to move civilians around.

Around the time Killinochchi fell people were given strict orders by the LTTE as to where they should be moving. The violators were dealt with severely – initially shot and injured and later shot and killed. In the backdrop of intensive shelling by the army, the herding of civilians by the LTTE and the big plan to create a human shield had begun. So did the attempts by the people to escape.

But the escape became more difficult as the days progressed. The punishment for trying to flee was getting more severe. One middle-aged man, Shivakumar, said, ‘they (LTTE) started keeping sentries. These sentries and the intelligence department people were the most problematic. If you get caught you were put for ‘pani’ (meaning deployment in the frontlines to dig trenches at gun point). By this time, ‘the sentries and the fear of failure were the only two things that prevented us from attempting to escape,’ said Shivakumar.

There were also instances of the LTTE selling food items that came as aid and using food as a tool to control people. Naturally the lack of food created agitations. There was an instance reported when the civilians overpowered a LTTE group and broke open a consignment meant for 600 LTTE cadres in the front line — fully recognising the brutal consequences.

The shooting by the LTTE increased. When they shot and injured fleeing civilians, Maaran said, ‘they brought and dumped them in the hospital.’ ‘There were many innocent people particularly those who have family members in the LTTE who are too scared to come to this side, so they were planning to escape to India.’ But of course this became more dangerous after the navy tightened their cordon. ‘If their fears are allayed, they too will come,’ he said.

‘There were people who paid the LTTE sentries to allow them to go. Some got caught paying and were punished. Cadres from the LTTE intelligence wing and the ‘police’ kept a close watch on all of us. If families were conversing together they suspected that we were plotting to escape and would beat us up,’ said Maaran. ‘Any signs of us preparing to leave was detected and dealt with. The conscription by the LTTE became severe.

What we hear from people are heart-rending stories, but we also occasionally hear of a compassionate LTTE cadre who shot in the air and let the civilians escape or the story about a brave soldier who jumped into the lagoon risking his life to save an injured woman.
Sure. There are some humans among the rank and file.
Some of those who escaped also expressed a sense of dejection. They feel cheated by the LTTE. ‘Those in the movement said that they will protect us, that they will block the army’s progress and retaliate. They were telling stories,’ said Parameshwary. While the government is to be blamed for conducting a brutal military campaign with scant regard for civilians, the LTTE is to be blamed for the way they had used the civilians, causing great loss.

The people are so crushed and dispirited that it might have dried up their support for the LTTE or for a separate Eelam. Unless the government swamps them with their high-handedness, brutality and insensitivity when dealing with the displacement and resettlement situation these people are ready to try out alternatives. They have been and are ready to try out alternatives. They are willing to do that partly because of the LTTE’s brutal mis-adventure of an endgame.
Hopefully this means they've been defeated enough, and can make a clean break with the past. Stop for negotiations, then what happens?
Posted by: gromky || 05/20/2009 10:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:


How I played Donkey Kong to Mario: a long interview with SLA General Fonseka
Q: The closure of the sluice gates of Mavil Aru was the turning point of the whole military operation to wipe out the LTTE. How do you compare the LTTE then and now?
Mavil Aru = a reservoir controlled by LTTE but serving a government area. The Tigers turned off the flow (casus belli for this particular conflict), and the Army surprised them by growing a pair.
A: I am grateful to Prabhakaran for selecting Mavil Aru. It was the correct place to start off this military battle. It had created the best environment to start attacking him to destroy terrorism. The LTTE was considered to be one of the powerful terrorist outfits in the world due to certain propaganda at that time. From Mavil Aru we disproved all those views. This military thrust to destroy the LTTE has pushed Prabhakaran - who was born and bred in the beaches of Welwattithurai-back to the beaches of Puthumathalan.

Q: What were the obstacles that you have faced so far?

A: No major obstacles other than the false propaganda and the criticisms by unpatriotic people. But the continuous flowing of ammunition and weapons were another main obstacle to defeat the LTTE. If the paths for this flow were blocked the Army could have defeated the LTTE faster than this. The main obstacle in our military thrust was that the LTTE had enough fire power. Because of this the solders had made lots of sacrifices from their lives to limbs.

Q: The LTTE was considered as one of the most powerful terrorist organisations in the world. How do you define them today?

A: Some interested parties - locally and internationally tried to make the outfit high. They tried to bloat up Prabhakaran's image. These groups including the Tamil extremists work hard to create a picture that the LTTE could not be defeated. They made people to worship the LTTE. On the other hand, the Tamil diaspora, who believed in separate land for Tamils, is responsible for these misleading propaganda. Because of them the LTTE and Prabhakaran had become heroes. But we have proved to the world that they are not so capable. The LTTEers are not heroes, but only a group of terrorists.

Q: What do you think was the success behind the repeated war victories?

A: It is the political leadership with the commitment of the military that led the battle to success. We have the best political leadership to destroy terrorism in this country. It was never there before to this extent. The military achieved these war victories after President Mahinda Rajapaksa came into power.
Emphasis mine. Can't say that enough times. They made a decision to win the war, and guess what happened? They stuck with it, and surprise surprise they achieved victory.
He, who believed that terrorism should and could be eliminated, gave priority do go ahead with our military strategies.And no Defence Secretary was there like the present Secretary Gotabhya Rajapaksa who had the same commitment and knowledge on how to crush the LTTE. Finally, they gave me the chance of going ahead with the military plan.

I always got the fullest support from the Air Force for the Northern operation and the Police and the STF helped me in the Eastern liberation.

Amidst military battles that were sweeping the terrorists in each area that they stepped into, the political hierarchy too had fought a battle locally and internationally to convince LTTE sympathizers. The firm decision of the political hierarchy not to go for talks with the LTTE terrorists until they lay down arms had contributed significantly to all these war victories. On the other hand, nobody can challenge the sacrifices that the Army had made. We did not create dramatic moves but did sincere work to crush the LTTE. Especially we were confident of what we were doing.
Translation: We initiated a war of attrition, and we had more men than they did. Given the political will, success was a foregone conclusion.
I always set an example for the people under my command and made them understand that only sincere work would bring good outcome.

Q: Were you confident from the beginning that the Army could defeat the LTTE?

A: Yes, I was aware of the capabilities of the LTTE. We also knew the strength, weaknesses and the shortcomings of the LTTE. And we started attacking these points correctly.
"They had fewer men than us."
"We used the intel we had to best advantage."
Q: Do you think that the changes, like appointing young officers as GOCs to lead the battle, you brought into the Army had resulted in this success?

A: I did not select these officers because they are young. But they were appointed as I thought they were the best to command the battle. I went to the lines and picked up the capable people. I had to drop those who had less capacity to lead the battle. Some of them are good for other work like administration activities. Therefore, the good commanders were chosen to command this battle. I thought seniority was immaterial if they could not command the soldiers properly. I restructured the Army and changed almost all the aspects of the organisation. I made the Sri Lanka Army a more professional Army. Everybody had to work with a sense of professionalism.

People of the North and East were brain washed by the LTTE which claimed that the Sri Lanka Army was an inhuman military. They showed the soldiers as rapists and murders, but today the reality has come to light through professionalism. One can guess it from the results that the Army has produced.

Q: The Army can now boast about the success of the world's biggest rescue operation. How do you plan to rescue the rest?

A: We have completed it over 80 percent and still the terrorists hold the innocent people under their custody. The soldiers would take the remaining hostages out of the LTTE soon. Inch by inch we are reaching our target. As this is totally a hostage rescue mission, the military has certain constraints in using the full fire power, but we are very close to completing the rescue mission.

Q: It is reported that the LTTE is trying to destabilise the East. Will there be room for them to rise?

A: It is impossible due to two reasons. One is that Tamils themselves would not allow them to come up. The second is that the Sri Lanka military will not let the LTTE to rise. We have and will take every initiative to ensure no terrorist will survive there. Without the support and the faith of the ordinary people the LTTE cannot survive. There is no room for the LTTE infiltrators to destabilise the East or North as both the military and public keep a sharp eye on them.
"Mario's dead, dumbass."
Q: What would be the future of the LTTE?

A: I do not think that there is a future for the LTTE and Prabhakaran's day dream is no more.
"We ripped out the enemy's heart and drank his blood."
Q: Do you mean that the LTTE would not raise its head again?

A: Future is no future for the LTTE. And Sri Lanka military would ensure that there is no future for the LTTE. The LTTE will be forgotten by everybody soon.
"What did you not understand about what I just said?"
Posted by: gromky || 05/20/2009 09:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Donkey Kong" = MILWAUKEE STUDENT UNION ARCADE???
+ BAMBI + WHITESNAKE'S TAWNEY KITAEN as KAREN in the MILWAUKEE MISTS???

We're missing JOUST, ETC. aren't we???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/20/2009 18:37 Comments || Top||

#2  0/Joust.... etc.
Posted by: .5MT || 05/20/2009 21:02 Comments || Top||


Good morning
Posted by: Steve White || 05/20/2009 00:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Morticia Adams?

Aaaaah, youth, (the original) Morticia Adams was my first real crush. (still have a thing for her (and females that look like her) till this day :-)
Posted by: Spairong Lumumba1031 || 05/20/2009 2:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Happy Birthday: May 20th.

William Fargo - died 1881 (63) "Wells, Fargo & Company"

James Stewart - died 1997 (87) "Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve"

David Hedison - 82 "The Fly - Felix Leiter" (Now)

Anthony Zerbe - 73 "Lieutenant KC Trench in the private detective series Harry O" (Now)

Joe Cocker - 67 "English rock/blues singer" (Now)

Cher - 63 "Botox storage facility" (Now)

On this day in history: May 20th.
1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.
1891 – History of cinema: The first public display of Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope.
1902 – Cuba gains independence from the United States.
1916 – The Saturday Evening Post publishes its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting ("Boy with Baby Carriage").
1927 – By the Treaty of Jedda, the United Kingdom recognizes the sovereignty of King Ibn Saud in the Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, which later merged to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
1927 – At 07:52 Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, on the world's first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
1932 – Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland to begin the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot.
1940 – The first prisoners arrive at a new concentration camp at Auschwitz.
1956 – In Operation Redwing, (shot Cherokee), the first United States airborne hydrogen bomb is dropped over Bikini Atoll.
1969 – The Battle of Hamburger Hill in Vietnam ends.
1983 – First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science.
1989 – The Chinese authorities declare martial law in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations, setting the scene for the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/20/2009 2:50 Comments || Top||

#3  Mmmmmm. Morticia . . . .
Posted by: gorb || 05/20/2009 3:35 Comments || Top||


#5  Anthony Zerbe - 73 "Lieutenant KC Trench in the private detective series Harry O" (Now)

...I remember him as the lead zombie in Charlton Heston's The Omega Man. Scared the dickens outta me.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 05/20/2009 5:10 Comments || Top||

#6  I remember Zerbe from somewhere else - maybe one of these - In television he has played numerous guest roles in TV series including Naked City, The Virginian, The Big Valley, Route 66, The Wild Wild West, Twelve O'Clock High, Bonanza, Mission Impossible, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-0, Mannix, It Takes a Thief, The Chisholms, Ironside, Cannon, Columbo, The Rookies, The Streets of San Francisco, The Rockford Files, The Equalizer, Harry O, Kung Fu, Little House on the Prairie, Dynasty, Highway to Heaven, Murder She Wrote, The Young Riders & Frasier.

Posted by: Bobby || 05/20/2009 5:55 Comments || Top||

#7  That "No PETA Zone" shot . . . Cousin Itt, what are you doing!
Posted by: Mike || 05/20/2009 8:07 Comments || Top||

#8  Wow, one case of definitely improving with age.....
Posted by: Snetch the Prolific4955 || 05/20/2009 15:25 Comments || Top||

#9  "David Hedison - 82 "The Fly - Felix Leiter" (Now)"

Thanks, GB. I didn't know he was still alive. And he's still a hottie.... :-D
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/20/2009 17:48 Comments || Top||

#10  You're welcome Barbara. Sorry no "Daily Toosh Shots" of the guys, I'll try harder.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/20/2009 18:35 Comments || Top||

#11  We would appreciate it, GB. ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/20/2009 20:26 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2009-05-20
  Army takes Sultanwas, kills 81; Mullah Fazlullah maybe titzup
Tue 2009-05-19
  Prabhakaran dead as a rock!!!!!
Mon 2009-05-18
  Norks to nullify Kaesong agreements
Sun 2009-05-17
  Tamil Tigers say they surrender
Sat 2009-05-16
  Sri Lanka president declares victory in civil war
Fri 2009-05-15
  60 Talibs killed in Swat
Thu 2009-05-14
  Morocco dismantles Salafiya Jihadiya cell
Wed 2009-05-13
   113 deaders, thousands flee Somalia festivities
Tue 2009-05-12
  Pak commandos dropped into Taliban stronghold
Mon 2009-05-11
  200 Taliban killed in Swat operation
Sun 2009-05-10
  Scores dead as drone hits S. Wazoo Mehsud stronghold
Sat 2009-05-09
  1.2 million people leave Buner, Swat other areas
Fri 2009-05-08
  Gilani orders all-out war on Pak Taliban
Thu 2009-05-07
  Sufi Mohammad's son killed in Lower Dir shelling
Wed 2009-05-06
  Mashaal: Hamas wants 10 year cease-fire

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