If the "surge" was such a rip-roaring success, why is it we are not reading or hearing about all the members of Al Qeada or the insurgents who have been killed or captured?
Friday, August 1, 2008
Afghanistan attacks on the rise
A suicide bomb at the Indian embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul killed 60
Attacks by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have hit record highs this year with hundreds of civilians killed, including 19 aid workers.The violence is spreading insecurity which has hampered relief work, aid groups said.
Unrest had spread to once stable areas and welfare agencies were forced to scale back aid delivery even as drought and food price hikes put millions of people in difficulty, the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (Acbar) said on Friday.
"So far this year the number of insurgent attacks, bombings and other violent incidents is up by approximately 50 per cent on the same period last year," said Acbar, a grouping of about 100 Afghan and international non-governmental organisations.
Anja Debeer, co-ordinator of Acbar in Afghanistan, told Al Jazeera that the attacks had "greatly affected" the aid group's capability to operate and aid workers were being subjected to threats and kidnappings.
"Access to people in the greatest need of aid becomes more and more limited and so we will be less effective and efficient," she said.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 11:23 AM
The relative calm in Iraq is hanging by a thread and it has nothing to do with the so-called success of "the surge."
Muqtada al-Sadr has promised to work with the Iraqi government but ONLY if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agrees to stop President Bush's plan of establishing semi-permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.
The mainstream media in the United States also fails to provide any information on the number of insurgents or members of Al Qaeda who were killed or captured during the "surge." All the American public hears about is how the "surge" was a roaring success, but in any war there are always casualties of the enemy but the "surge" apparently didn't bring about any casualties of the insurgents or Al Qaeda.
There is a report this morning that the top officials of Al Qaeda in Iraq have left and are now setting up operations along with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Firebrand cleric tells followers not to attack Iraqi government forces
By Nicholas Spangler and Mohammed Al Dulaimy McClatchy Newspapers
BAGHDAD — Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr on Wednesday offered full support for Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's government if it refuses to sign an agreement President Bush has sought to allow semi-permanent stationing of U.S. troops in Iraq. Sadr warned at the same time that he would oppose any agreement between Iraq and the United States.Sadr's followers have abandoned active resistance in recent months, as Maliki's government has asserted its authority in military offensives around the country. Sadr's statement, posted Wednesday on his Web site, said that elements of his insurgency had erred in targeting fellow Iraqis and called for a centralized resistance directed only against U.S. occupiers.
Declaring that resistance to an occupier "is a legitimate right by human reason and in Islamic and human law," he called on Shiite clerics to "issue their fatwas against signing any agreement between the government and the occupier, even if it is for friendship or any other purpose." » read more http://www.mcclatchydc.com/iraq/story/46011.html
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 10:33 AM
Lieberman To Introduce Resolution Praising Success Of Surge ‘Against Enemies Who Attacked America On 9/11′»
This morning, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) held a press conference to express their “pleasure” about President Bush’s statement this morning regarding what he described as “encouraging news from Iraq” and “the success of the surge.”
Lieberman then announced that he and Graham would do their part in celebrating the surge by introducing a resolution in the Senate “recognizing” its “strategic success” in “the central front in the war on terror.” Then, Lieberman went slightly off course, not seeming to recognize just who attacked the United States on 9/11 and from where:
LIEBERMAN: That’s why Senator Graham and I are introducing a resolution recognizing the strategic success that the surge has achieved in a central front — the central front of the war on terror against the enemies who attacked America on 9/11/01, and expressing our thanks to our troops who’ve made that success possible.
It might insult someone’s intelligence to point out the obvious fact that the terrorists who carried out the September 11, 2001 terror attacks operated out of Afghanistan, not Iraq. And despite the right wing’s insistence, even the Pentagon has confirmed that “no direct link” ever existed “between late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda network.”
But Lieberman’s claim indicates that he does not understand the wider problem — namely that the surge prevented the U.S. from sending more troops where they are needed, in Afghanistan. In January 2007, just one week after Bush announced his surge policy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that “U.S. commanders in Afghanistan have recommended an increase in U.S. force levels, in part to deal with an expected upsurge in Taliban violence.”
But the troops went to Iraq at the expense of Afghanistan and since then, the security situation there has become worse than its ever been since 2001. U.S. commanders and even Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen have recently acknowledged that they do not have the troops or resources necessary to combat the Taliban and Al-Qaida threat in Afghanistan because of Iraq. Moreover, a new report directly links the troop shortages there to the Taliban’s comeback.
Instead of crafting resolutions declaring victory in “the central front in the ‘war on terror,’” perhaps Lieberman and Graham should spend more time figuring out where that “central front” is.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 2:44 AM
Dressed to Kill
Why the number of female suicide bombers is rising in Iraq.
Special Guest Columnist
Updated: 12:16 PM ET Jul 30, 2008
Muslim female suicide bombers are on the rise. Even before women attackers claimed dozens of lives in Monday's coordinated attacks on Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and political protesters in Kirkuk, women had carried out more than 20 missions in Iraq this year—the most violent one yet for the women of Al Qaeda. But for those of us who have studied the phenomenon, the assaults should not come as a surprise.
For almost 10 years, we have warned that women would start playing a more aggressive role in groups like Al Qaeda. As more men are captured or killed by security forces worldwide, it was inevitable that terror groups would consider other options to keep their cause alive.
Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader notorious for his videotaped beheading of a foreign captive, may have been one of the first to recruit women, but his death in 2006 hardly brought the drive to an end.
From 2003 to 2006, the rate of female suicide bombers in Iraq was relatively low—five attacks in three years. But in 2007, the increase was exponential. And by the end of this year, there will likely be 50 or more attacks conducted by women mujahidaat in Iraq.
Female fighters are hardly new; Muslim women have proved adept and astute warriors since the birth of Islam in seventh-century Arabia. That, however, fails to answer the question about why modern women—the givers of life—are willing to commit suicide for their cause. Many non-Muslims believe that men choose this course for religious reasons, in the hope that 72 virginal houris will greet them as martyrs in paradise.
Women, however, do not choose suicide for reasons of faith or feminism. Too few Western scholars acknowledge that women conduct acts of violence to protect their men, country and future generations.
While much is unknown about suicidal mujahidaat, there is no doubt that many choose this course to avenge the loss of male family members—especially their sons. A simpler argument revolves around the word "protest."
Women in Iraq today are either using violence to protest the loss of their society or the loss of their country to an occupation they don't believe in. Recall that the first two female bombers in March 2003, who detonated themselves days after U.S. forces entered Baghdad, declared on television that their primary motive was to protect Iraq from a foreign invader.
Continue reading NEWSWEEK story here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/149531
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 1:54 AM