Sunday, November 21, 2010

Binocular Snapshot for 11/21/2010

LastDayWatchers as you continue to see the results of God curse of the Bush/Obama Administrations in Iraq

US soldier shot dead in north Iraq

"BAGHDAD — An American soldier in Iraq died of his wounds on Sunday after being shot, the US army said in a statement.

"A United States Forces-Iraq soldier died of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire Sunday during advisory operations in northern Iraq," it said, adding that the soldier's name would be released once his family was notified.

His death was the first of a US soldier in Iraq as a result of hostile action since two American troops were killed by an Iraqi army comrade who opened fire on them on an Iraqi base on September 7.

It brings to 4,429 the number of US soldiers who have died in Iraq since the US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003, according to an AFP tally based on data from independent website

Nearly 50,000 American troops remain stationed in Iraq, focused on training and advising Iraqi security forces as well as conducting joint counter-terrorism operations with local forces.
All US soldiers must leave Iraq by the end of 2011 under the terms of a bilateral security pact."

Iraq TV reporter gunned down in home: police

"Gunmen killed a young television news reporter in his home in the restive northern city of Mosul on Sunday, in the latest in a series of deadly attacks on journalists in Iraq, police said.

Mazin Mardan, in his mid-20s, was a correspondent for Al-Mosuliyah satellite television channel, covering hard news and carrying out interviews for the city's local station.

"Unknown gunmen raided the house of Mazin Mardan of Al-Mosuliyah satellite channel in the Al-Sadiq neighbourhood, east Mosul," police Major Mohammed al-Hayali said. "They killed him and they escaped."

The shooting occurred at around 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) in the city, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Baghdad, Hayali said.

In October, the International Press Institute press watchdog said more journalists had been killed in Iraq this year than in all of 2009.

The same month, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Iraq a lowly 145th place for media freedom out of 175 countries, and in September said the Iraq conflict has been the deadliest for the media since World War II.

And according to the "Impunity Index" released in April by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Iraq has the worst record of any country for solving the murders of reporters."

Notice now how much  "weaker" are the positions of Israel (lost = little big brother Britain - big little brother United States & found = blind naked brother Israel), just as the May 15th Prophecy said would occur with 100% accuracy on every position; weaker on Iraq (noted above)

Weaker regarding Afghanistan

West marks another military retreat at NATO summit

"The NATO summit's agreement of Saturday Nov. 2010 on staged handovers to Afghanistan security forces by 2014 is a good fit for Taliban's longstanding fundamental demand for foreign troops to quit Afghanistan as the precondition for talks on an end to the war that will restore them to power in Kabul, DEBKAfile's military sources report.

Taliban's response Saturday night addressed elements left out of the NATO statement: The Americans and NATO face defeat in Afghanistan, said Taliban - notwithstanding US troops reinforcements and changes of generals – a jab at Gen. David Petraeus, who recently too over command of the war.

The Afghan insurgents took the NATO statement as the Western alliance's admission that it cannot defeat them, had lost the will to do so and sought only an elegant way out of spelling out the word defeat; "transition" to Afghan security forces sounds more honorable.

But even that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are not willing to concede. Therefore, the fighting will continue to rage as Washington uses the NATO blueprint for maneuvers to open indirect or direct negotiations with the Taliban for ending the war.

The insurgents will moreover press their attacks – less to seize more territory than to drive bigger wedges among Western allies, taking advantage of the badly disunited front US President Barack Obama found in Lisbon.

Exit timelines vary from one NATO leader to another.

According to the summit document, "The transition process towards Afghan control of security matters is to begin in July of next year and end with full Afghan control by the end of 2014." The alliance also signed a document reinforcing its long-term commitment to Afghanistan's security even after NATO combat operations end.

2014 was not defined explicitly as the date for ending combat operations.

On administration official said Saturday that the President would personally decide when conditions were ready for US troops to draw down. The Pentagon called 2014 "aspirational" and US Secretary of State called it "a goal not a timeline."

Meanwhile, two of the larger NATO contingents are not waiting for any goals or timelines; they are on their way out of Afghanistan.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is getting ready to recall 3,850 French troops next year, while British Prime Minister David Cameron has withdrawn the 9,500-strong British contingent from direct combat activity.

On Nov. 14, British Commander-in-Chief Gen. Sir David Richards said bluntly, "You can't defeat the Taliban or al Qaeda militarily, only contain them…"

"The war, started to oust the Taliban for sheltering al Qaeda after the September 11, 2001 attacks, is widely seen as having gone badly for the United States and NATO, with about 2,225 troops killed so far"

U.S. President Barack Obama, who is due to review his Afghanistan war strategy next month, has already committed to a gradual drawdown of U.S. troops from July 2011, his counterpart Hamid Karzai saying he wants Afghans in control by 2014.

That target was agreed by NATO leaders in Lisbon on Saturday, although some U.S. and NATO officials have said a spike in violence and problems in building up a capable Afghan army and police force to take over could make it hard to meet the goal.

Mark Sedwill, the top NATO civilian representative in Kabul, said last week the transition could spill over into 2015 in some of the most violent areas of Afghanistan.

Obama said on Saturday his aim was to halt major combat operations by the end of 2014 but others were cautious.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said no security vacuum would be left behind and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the transition would be shaped by security rather than timetables.

The Taliban dismissed all such talk as "irrational."

"Because until then, various untoward and tragic events and battles will take place as a result of this meaningless, imposed and unwinnable war. They should not postpone withdrawal of their forces even be it for one day"

Weaker regarding Iran

"The Western powers are even more at odds on the Iranian nuclear issue than they are on Afghanistan"

No coherent, agreed plan for dealing with Iran's approaching attainment of a nuclear weapon has been laid out in Washington, London, Paris or Berlin – or even an agreed strategy for their nuclear talks with Iran early next month.

Tehran, like the Taliban, is therefore preparing to harden its bargaining stance at those talks, encouraged by US-led Western retreats from Iraq, Lebanon and now Afghanistan to assume that Washington will continue to give way."

Iran to hike atomic output despite possible talks

"An Iranian lawmaker dealing with foreign policy said on Sunday Iran will increase its production of nuclear fuel despite a possible resumption of talks with major powers over its disputed uranium enrichment programme.

Iran will probably try to blunt international pressure on it to curb enrichment once it resumes talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The venue and agenda of the talks have yet to be agreed upon.

In remarks that could deepen Western suspicion Iran will try again to avoid addressing its enrichment drive, Kowsari joined other Iranian officials in asserting that Tehran may not discuss its nuclear programme at all.

"From the viewpoint of the Islamic Republic, the nuclear issue has been finished and raising that in this round of negotiations has no point" 

Weaker at  protecting their blind & naked brother,  Israel

MI chief: Tel Aviv may be target in next war against Israel

"Israel should not be misled by a recent lull in regional violence, outgoing Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said Sunday, adding that Jerusalem's enemies were continually building up their military power.

Giving farewell remarks during his final cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Yadlin said that "Israel's deterrence is very strong but the lull shouldn't mislead anyone, the opposite is true. Our enemies are strengthening and arming."

Yadlin also warned that a future potential war involving Israel could see fighting "on more than one front ," adding that "Tel Aviv could also become a front."

"There is a struggle against Israel's very existence, against which national awareness and intelligence must be readied," Yadlin said

His comment came after less than a week after warning Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Iran was busy setting up two new nuclear installations

The MI chief, who will be replaced by Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi after concluding his five-year term, also spoke of Iran as the greatest threat facing Israel, "not only in the nuclear respect."

"Iran is sending its long arms to aid anyone who is working against Israel," Yadlin said.

Weaker on their own Liberty's & Freedoms, as they sell their lukewarm, gullible sleepwalker citizens  to buy the new reality!

Obama says understands ire over airport screenings

"President Barack Obama has asked security officials whether there's a less intrusive way to screen U.S. airline passengers than the pat-downs and body scans causing a holiday-season uproar.

For now, they've told him there isn't one, the president said Saturday in response to a question at the NATO summit in Lisbon.

"I understand people's frustrations," Obama said, while acknowledging that he's never had to undergo the stepped-up screening methods.

Passengers at some U.S. airports must pass through full-body scanners that produce a virtually naked image. If travelers refuse, they can be forced to undergo time-consuming fingertip examinations, including of clothed genital areas and breasts, by inspectors of the same sex as the passenger.

Obama said he's told the U.S. Transportation Security Administration: "You have to constantly refine and measure whether what we're doing is the only way to assure the American people's safety. And you also have to think through, are there ways of doing it that are less intrusive."

At this point, that agency and counterterrorism experts have told him that the current procedures are the only ones that they think can effectively guard against threats such as last year's attempted Christmas-day bombing. A Nigerian man is accused of trying to set off a bomb hidden in his underwear aboard a flight from Amsterdam with nearly 300 people aboard.

Obama said that in weekly meetings with his counterterrorism team, "I'm constantly asking them whether is what we're doing absolutely necessary, have we thought it through, are there other ways of accomplishing it that meet the same objectives."

For now it sounds like there aren't, and travelers will face potential pat-downs and scans.

"One of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created a whole security apparatus around us that causes huge inconvenience for all of us," Obama said.

The new scans show naked images of the passenger's body, without the face, to a screener who is in a different location and does not know the identity of the traveler. The U.S. has nearly 400 of the advanced imaging machines deployed at 70 airports, expanding to 1,000 machines next year. So not all airports have them and not all travelers are selected for scans.

The hands-on searches are used for passengers who don't want those scans or when something suspicious shows in screening, or on rare occasions, randomly."

"We're doing this because the terrorists keep getting more creative about what they do to hide explosives and, you know, crazy things like underwear," she said. "So clearly there is a need. … Everybody is trying to do the right thing."

But when asked by host Bob Schieffer whether she would submit to such a search herself, Clinton replied, "Not if I could avoid it. No. I mean, who would?"

"I don't think any of us feel that the discomfort and the delay is something that we like. But most people understand that we've got to keep airplanes safe"

As the heavy holiday travel season got under way, John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), acknowledged on Sunday that the law enforcement-style patdowns, performed as an alternative or additional screening measure, can be unexpectedly intrusive.

U.S. homeland security officials have no plans to back away from air passenger security patdowns despite a traveler uproar that they violate privacy rights

Weaker on the so-called "War on Terror"

Al-Qaeda wing to target US economy

"Al-Qaeda's Yemen-based wing has threatened more small-scale attacks against the US to inflict economic damage, particularly to the aviation industry.

The group, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said it had cost just $4,200 to mail two parcel bombs from Yemen to the US last month. The bombs were intercepted in Britain and Dubai, sparking a worldwide security alert.

Alerted to the late October bomb plot by Saudi intelligence, security officials chased the packages across five countries, trying over the next two days to prevent an explosion that could have come at any moment.

AQAP said it is part of a new strategy to replace spectacular attacks in favour of smaller attacks to hit the US economy, according to a special edition of the online Inspire magazine, released on pro-al Qaeda websites and made available by both IntelCenter and the Site Intelligence Group.

"It is such a good bargain for us to spread fear amongst the enemy and keep him on his toes in exchange of a few months of work and a few thousand bucks," the statement said.

"We are laying out for our enemies our plan in advance because as we stated earlier our objective is not maximum kill but to cause [damage] in the aviation industry, an industry that is so vital for trade and transportation between the US and Europe".

AQAP said: "Two Nokia mobiles, $150 each, two HP printers, $300 each, plus shipping, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses add up to a total bill of $4,200. We will continue with similar operations and we do not mind at all in this stage if they are intercepted.

"To bring down America we need not strike big."

Soon after the discovery of the explosive printers, AQAP had also claimed responsibility for the crash of a UPS cargo jet in Dubai in September, but US officials have said that there were no indications that the parcel delivery company's aircraft had been brought down by an attack.

The US stepped up airline passenger security after a Nigerian man tried to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in December last year."

"even when the world's counterterrorism systems work, preventing an attack is often a terrifyingly close ordeal"

Part of a new strategy to replace spectacular attacks in favor of smaller attacks to hit the U.S. economy, according to the special edition of the online magazine, made available by both Ben Venzke's IntelCenter, and the Site Intelligence Group.

To bring down America we do not need to strike big, the editors write. With the security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve less players and less time to launch thereby circuventing U.S. security, they conclude

Those who monitor Jihadist sites say the publication, posted Saturday, is a radical departure from the shadowy claims of responsibility common to most al-Qaida groups. We have never seen a jihadist group in the al-Qaida orbit ever release, let alone only a few weeks after, such a detailed accounting of the philosophy, operational details, intent and next steps following a major attack, says the IntelCenter's Venzke.

The fact that the group is able to pump out this propaganda shows al-Qaida is still able to operate with relative freedom, says the Carnegie Endowment for Peace's Christopher Boucek. U.S. officials have repeatedly requested that Yemen step up its counterterrorist operations, and share more intelligence and access to terrorist suspects."

"AQAP was formally formed at the beginning of 2009 when Yemen-based militants joined forces with Saudi extremists who fled a sustained crackdown by security forces in their country."

Yemen’s government, backed by US military and financial assistance, has vowed to step up its battle against the group but Sana also faces an economic crisis, a southern secessionist movement and an on-off rebellion in the north, amid fears that it is in danger of becoming a failed state.

Yemen is the Arab world’s poorest country and the government struggles for control in rural areas where tribes retain significant influence. AQAP has proved into it is able to remain active and employ increasingly sophisticated modes of attack in spite of security operations mounted against it."

Weaker in covert operations, weaker in overt operations, weaker in diplomacy, weaker within it's economies and on and on the May 15th Prophecy could go, to see exactly where this weakness will lead to next, read the 100% accuracy of the May 15th Prophecy written at LastDayWatchers