Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Binocular Snapshot for 10/12/2010

LastDayWatchers you need to know while you are viewing in your lens the failures mounting up

Afghans say Nato 'as bad as the Taliban'
If the US-led Nato counterinsurgency strategy depends on winning civilian 'hearts and minds', they're losing badly

"our analysis found that Afghans blamed international forces as much, if not more, than insurgents. Few spoke warmly about the Taliban. But the vast majority described international forces as equally brutal toward civilians, and equally, if not more responsible for civilian casualties, detention abuses and other concerns.

They said international forces were often indiscriminate, and that many civilian deaths could have been prevented through better targeting, intelligence or coordination (pdf). "When an accident happens, or there is an attack against Nato troops, then Nato troops react and start firing on people. They never think about those around them as human. They think every person on the street is their enemy," said a man from western Herat province.

Most alleged more horrific stories of international forces shooting people point blank in front of their families, of kidnapping women and returning their dead bodies, or of firing on or abusing children. Many also accused international soldiers of giving weapons or supplies directly to the Taliban; transporting insurgents to peaceful areas, of international forces planting bombs or mines or paying suicide bombers and then blaming the Taliban.

Many Afghans said the fact that the insurgency was spreading despite the increase in troops made them doubt international intentions (pdf) in Afghanistan. "The international forces are not honestly trying to bring peace. In 2001 and 2002, they could eliminate all the Taliban in a week, but now there's only a handful and they don't seem to be able to get rid of them," a man from southern Kandahar province said.

Though many rumours and negative characterisations are intentionally spread by the Taliban, we heard these negative perceptions as much from relatively pro-western and educated urban populations as from those ethnicities and geographic areas least sympathetic to the Taliban movement and its propaganda (pdf).

Our analysis also suggested that while propaganda and bias against foreigners play an important role, these negative perceptions have spread so widely because they ring true with legitimate grievances against international forces. Insurgents looking to paint the international community in a bad light need look no further than the last nine years of civilian casualties, incidents of abuse, and harsh detention conditions 

acts easily exaggerated due to the general lack of transparency or accountability of international forces to the Afghan public."

Attack on NATO helicopter in Afghanistan kills one

"(Reuters) -Afghan insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade into a NATO helicopter after it landed on Tuesday, killing one person and wounding eight troops, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Twenty-six people, including Afghan security forces and ISAF troops, were traveling on the helicopter at the time of the attack, at an outpost in Kunar province near the Pakistan border.

"The CH-47 Chinook helicopter had just landed and was off-loading through the rear ramp when an insurgent RPG was fired into the cargo bay," ISAF said.

One Afghan interpreter was killed in the attack and eight people were wounded, seven of them ISAF troops and one from the Afghan Border Police.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack.

"As it was landing to drop forces we fired an RPG, killing an unknown number of soldiers, and the fighting began," Zabiullah Mujahid told Reuters.

Jet fighters and helicopters were sighted in the area of the attack soon after, a witness said.

ISAF had initially said the cause of the blast was not immediately clear, but later confirmed the attack in eastern Kunar, a remote, lawless region where insurgent activity is high.

Taliban insurgents have in the past shot down helicopters of foreign forces, but successful attacks on NATO aircraft are relatively rare in the now 10-year-old conflict.

In October 2009, two helicopter crashes killed 11 U.S. soldiers and three U.S. civilians.

Violence in Afghanistan has soared to its highest levels since the removal of the Taliban by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001, despite the presence of nearly 150,000 foreign troops.

More than 2,000 foreign troops have been killed since the start of the war and over half of those have died in the last two years as insurgent violence has intensified."

The Harden heart will become weaker in his position as God bring on The Time of Jacob Troubles

Netanyahu's "moratorium for recognition" deal draws home fire

"Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's offer to trade a settlement construction moratorium for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation-state, which he put before the Knesset at the opening of its winter session Monday, Oct. 11, was not only summarily rejected by the Palestinian Authority and criticized by the Obama administration; it also ran into heated criticism at home, much of it coming from inside the prime minister's own Likud and his coalition allies.

"The concept of the Jewish nation-state (not in the religious but national sense) is widely accepted. Indeed, Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and its nation-state has been taken granted by much of the world too for more than a century. It is the way Netanyahu is harping on it and its timing in the context of the stalled negotiations with the Palestinians that has drawn fire as doing more harm than good.

What is the point of raising a question that should not be raised at all, least of all in the most provocative context of the settlement freeze? And why open an old wound, namely, the steadfast Arab refusal to accept the Jewish state in 1947 when plenty of new one have accumulated since?

Former defense minister Moshe Arens, one of Likud's founders, said in an interview that the dynamics of reality and the co-existence of Jews and Arabs within the democratic Jewish state speak much louder than words."

So read what is about to happen next with 100% accuracy inside the May 15th Prophecy written at LastDayWatchers


Anti-government rally held in Macedonian town

Clinton makes diplomatic call to splintered Balkan states