Monday, September 20, 2010

Binocular Snapshot for 9/20/2010

LastDayWatchers zoom out with your lens as you continue to see the results of the mounting failures

Bullets Trump Ballots in Deciding Afghanistan's Future

"Given the parlous security situation, it took deep reserves of courage for more than 2,500 candidates to contest the 249 parliamentary seats, and for 3.6 million to go to the polls to choose their parliament — their sacrifice makes the alleged fraud even more cynical. But the Taliban will claim the low turnout as a victory, having called a boycott of the poll and disrupting it by violence, preventing voting particularly in the Pashtun south and east, where the civilian population is key to the U.S.-led counterinsurgency effort"

"The fact that the 3.6 million votes cast on Saturday was the lowest tally of the four elections held since 2001 is a testament to the resurgence of the Taliban insurgency"

"The distribution of power in Afghanistan is clearly going to be determined by the outcome of efforts to broker a political solution among those who wield military force on the ground. And in that respect, Saturday's vote was, unfortunately, a sideshow"

"The debate over corruption is tacit acknowledgment that the administration's approach to combating corruption in the central government wasn't working."

"Officials say that Mr. Karzai's interference in high-profile investigations has made it more difficult for the U.S. to prosecute the anti-corruption campaign. "Not that anti-corruption efforts aren't important, but we're not where we ideally want to be, [so] what is achievable in the current political climate?" the military official asked.

National-security officials are also debating the role corruption plays in inciting the insurgency, the military official said. The question is how much of the insurgency is created by a perception that local officials are corrupt, compared with other factors such as Pakistan providing sanctuary for militants, local tribal issues, and the sense that local security forces aren't providing adequate protection."

Bodies of three kidnapped election workers are found in Afghanistan

"Afghan authorities said Sunday that they recovered the bodies of three election workers kidnapped Saturday during parliamentary balloting marked by violence and reports of widespread fraud.

The election workers were abducted Saturday morning as they were taking ballots to a polling station in the northern province of Balkh, provincial spokesman Munit Ahmar said.

"They were ambushed by the Taliban," he said. "They were all shot with Kalashnikovs."

At 9 o'clock scan without losing focus on the so-called "biting" sanctions and "isolation" of Iran, asking yourself who is really isolated Iran or Israel?

Turkey president cancels talks with Peres, but plans to meet Ahmadinejad

"Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Monday that he would no longer be able to meet with President Shimon Peres on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, citing time constraints.

Gul will meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, however, telling reporters in New York that he expected the international row over Tehran's contentious nuclear program to top the agenda for many at the conference."

Gul will not meet Israeli president

"Turkish president says he does not have time to meet with Israeli president during the UN general assembly in New York

Ties between Turkey and Israel, once strategic allies, had already been deteriorating following Israel's war on Gaza in December 2008.

In the aftermath of May's raid on the vessels heading for Gaza, Turkey withdrew its ambassador and cancelled joint war games between the countries.

Gul underlined that Ankara still expected Israel to apologise for the deadly raid and pay compensation, adding that an apology on its own would not suffice.

"An apology by Israel will not mean that all is forgotten, all is over, and that we should bury the dead and take care of the living," he said"

Special report - Tracking Iran's nuclear money trail to Turkey

"Turkey and other U.S. allies have been allowing Iranian banks with suspected links to Tehran's nuclear program to do business within their borders, frustrating Western countries trying to put a financial squeeze on the Islamic Republic"

"An examination of classified reports and interviews with Western diplomats, government and intelligence officials underscore that Turkey and others have resisted international pressure to make it harder for Iran to finance its uranium enrichment program."

"Turkey's blossoming financial-economic relationship with Iran provides Iran with a gateway to the entire European financial system," according to an intelligence report on Turkey and Iran provided to Reuters by a diplomat. "The fact that Turkey is allowing itself to be used as a conduit for Iranian activity via Turkish banks and the Turkish lira is making it possible for Iranian funds in Turkish guise to make their way into Europe."

Then at 11 & 5 o'clock the extension of terror expands

At least 23 soldiers killed in Tajikistan ambush

"Heavily armed Islamic militants ambushed a military convoy in eastern Tajikistan, killing at least 23 soldiers and dealing a severe blow to this impoverished nation on Afghanistan's poorly secured northern border.

The Sunday ambush is the deadliest attack on security forces in years and underscores the dangers the Islamic militants pose to the government of this ex-Soviet nation"

"The ambush comes at a time of rising tension following a string of blasts. A suicide bombing against a police station in the northern city of Khujand earlier this month claimed two victims and wounded 25"

Days later, a bomb was detonated in a disco in the capital, Dushanbe, wounding seven.

Military activity in the Rasht Valley has picked up in recent weeks as authorities seek to capture 18 men still on the run after a daring prison breakout last month.

Only seven of the 25 fugitives, who included many Muslim fighters and government opponents, have been captured.

The attackers were led by Mullo Abdullo, a Muslim commander who came to prominence during the civil war that devastated this former Soviet republic in the 1990s"

Riots in Pakistan turn deadly

"A series of attacks in Karachi leave at least 17 dead as security forces struggle to gain control of the city"

Two persons from minority Shi'ite community, two from a Sunni religious group and two others from a political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were gunned down in different neighbourhoods in the city. Karachi has been on edge since the stabbing death of MQM figure Imran Farooq in London on Friday. Shia leader Tanvir was then shot and killed on Sunday. Gunmen opened fired on his funeral procession, triggering riots and violence throughout Pakistan's largest city"

Attacker blows himself up in Somali presidency

"A suspected Al Qaeda-linked attacker disguised as a government soldier blew himself up Monday inside the presidential compound in Mogadishu, a security official told AFP.

It was not immediately clear whether any other casualties resulted from the attack, which took place as a convoy of the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was entering the compound"

For a 100% accurate report read the May 15th Prophecy written at LastDayWatchers

This article receives 4**** Stars for being so spot on in its analysis regarding true realties on the ground in Afghanistan

Bullets Trump Ballots in Deciding Afghanistan's Future

"The Taliban's military momentum diminishes its incentive to compromise, and the leaders of the Northern Alliance that fought the Taliban for years and brought President Karzai to power are fiercely opposed to the restoration of the movement to any position of power. Still, the distribution of power in Afghanistan is clearly going to be determined by the outcome of efforts to broker a political solution among those who wield military force on the ground. And in that respect, Saturday's vote was, unfortunately, a sideshow"

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Legacy of a Surge

"Most important, the surge never brought about the political reconciliation for which it was supposed to provide space. The impasse over formation of the next government has gone on for so long (over six months) that it has become a well-established form of political theater. The disillusionment of the Iraqi population is clear in poll results, such as a survey by the International Republican Institute in June showing that 59% of Iraqis think the country is on the wrong track--a substantial increase over the portion who thought that six months earlier"

The End of an Insurgency

"Finally, insurgent groups that are voluntarily given sanctuary by another country win insurgencies -- that is totally defeat the government they are fighting -- twice as often as they lose. The value of haven is fairly self-evident: insurgents can use a secure space to train, organize, rest, refit, and, if necessary, hibernate. The loss of a haven, moreover, correlates strongly with defeat. Of those groups that had one and then lost it, only one in four went on to win its fight. This was certainly true for the Greek communist insurgents: after failing to seize control of Greece in the waning stages of World War II, the communists attempted to overthrow the Greek government. Until the middle of 1949, they enjoyed haven in Yugoslavia. Within one year of Yugoslavia closing its borders to the insurgents, the movement collapsed."

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