Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Binocular Snapshot for 11/24/2010

LastDayWatchers the excuses which is really a "Lie" steaming from the "Decision Points" leading to God curse of the Bush/Obama Administrations as more of the "Awakening" are put to sleep

Police: 11 killed in attacks across Iraq

"BAGHDAD - Eleven people have been killed across Iraq in separate drive-by shootings and bombings including one that targeted members of an anti-al-Qaida militia, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.

In the most deadly attack, a roadside bomb killed four people in the town of Shurqat, 155 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad.

Three of the dead were members of the Sons of Iraq, a Sunni militia that has been instrumental in lessening al-Qaida's deadly role in the country. Members of the group are often targeted by al-Qaida out of revenge and to intimidate others from joining them.

A Shurqat police official said that first a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in the town, which is just north of Saddam Hussein's hometown, Tikrit.

No one was killed in that bombing but as people gathered nearby to assess the damage, another roadside blast exploded just five minutes later and killed the three Sunni militia members and one bystander. Ten civilians were also wounded by the second blast.

Dr. Abdullah Hassan of the Shurqat hospital confirmed the death toll.

Later Wednesday, three people were killed in separate incidents in Baghdad and the southern city of Basra.

An Iraqi army brigadier general was killed when a bomb attached to his vehicle exploded in the southwest of the capital, police and medical officials said.

Gunmen in a speeding car shot and killed an employee of the Housing Ministry in a Sunni neighborhood in the western part of the capital, police said.

And in Iraq's second-largest city, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, a prominent Shiite tribal leader was killed by gunmen in a drive by shooting, police and medical officials said.

Late Tuesday, a surgeon and an engineer at Baghdad International Airport were gunned down in a mostly Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad, police said. A worker at Yarmouk hospital confirmed the killings.

Separately, police and hospitals officials said an Education Ministry professor was shot in another Sunni area in northeastern Baghdad.

Police also said a passer-by was slain in a drive-by shooting in the northeastern city of Kirkuk.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media."

Pentagon offers grim status report on Afghanistan

"Reporting from Washington — The Taliban insurgency has spread to more of Afghanistan in recent months and violence has reached new highs, though there have been "slow and incremental" security gains in areas of the south where tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops have deployed, according to a Pentagon report released Tuesday.

Though NATO and Afghan forces have "increased pressure on insurgent networks over the past several months, the insurgency has proven resilient" and "will retain operational momentum in some areas" as long as the Taliban can use neighboring Pakistan and Iran as sanctuaries, the report says.

It adds that the number of Afghans rating security as "bad" is at its highest level since the survey began in 2008, a trend the report concludes was due "to the steady increase in total violence over the past nine months."

The sobering appraisal, which examines developments from April through September and is required by Congress, contrasts with the more upbeat assessment heard in recent days from President Obama and senior military officers, who have emphasized signs that the war is turning around and that momentum is shifting away from the Taliban.

Release of the report comes days after Obama and other NATO leaders meeting in Lisbon endorsed a plan for NATO troops to turn over primary security responsibility to Afghan forces by 2014, a four-year transition that reflects the magnitude of the difficulty remaining in Afghanistan.

The 2014 date was an attempt by the White House to deemphasize Obama's announcement last year that the U.S. would begin drawing down its troops in Afghanistan in July 2011, news that deepened suspicion among Afghans and others in the region that the U.S. would leave, thus enabling the Taliban to return to power.

That concern remains a deep source of the insurgency's resilience and the unwillingness of many Afghans to reject the Taliban, the report says: "The Taliban's strength lies in the Afghan population's perception that coalition forces will soon leave, giving credence to the belief that a Taliban victory is inevitable."

A senior Pentagon official who briefed reporters Tuesday on the report focused on the positive, saying that "we've seen a lot of encouraging signs over the last six or seven weeks" in the period not covered by the report. But he added that "in no way is anybody guaranteeing success."

He and other officials spoke on the condition they not be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The previous Afghanistan assessment issued by the Pentagon, in June, concluded that the U.S. faced "severe challenges" and that the security situation was continuing to "deteriorate." The assessment released Tuesday found that security conditions over the last three months were "relatively unchanged" in the 124 districts deemed by international forces to be "key terrain."

Three districts in the east and one in the south have seen security worsen, meaning residents and troops in those areas now face "frequent threats," while in two other districts, in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, conditions have improved.

With nearly 100,000 U.S. troops and nearly 50,000 other foreign forces now in Afghanistan, "we are pushing the Taliban out of the populated areas," a senior State Department official said. But he acknowledged that the gains remained "fragile" and that the Taliban, even when driven out of cities and towns, continued to have influence.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, is said by aides to be deeply concerned that lasting gains in Afghanistan are impossible unless Pakistan's military takes more decisive action against members of the Afghan Taliban who have taken refuge in Pakistan's tribal areas, including North Waziristan and Baluchistan.

"Insurgent safe havens along the border will remain the primary problem to achieving a secure and stable Afghanistan," the report says.

"We've asked them to take more significant action," the senior Pentagon official said. He refused to provide more details, but the report notes that Pakistan has agreed to allow coalition personnel at its military headquarters in Baluchistan.

The report is similarly blunt about the problem of corruption, which it says "remains a key reason for people supporting the insurgency."

A senior State Department official said corrupt Afghan police are the major source of the problem, because they have the most contact with ordinary Afghans.

The report notes that the Afghan government's commitment to combat corruption at the local level "remains unclear."

Causing the Failures to continue to mount up

Iran ramps up uranium enrichment despite shutdown

"Production was interrupted at least briefly, but despite sanctions and a reported virus, Iran increased output and apparently built up the number of centrifuges producing nuclear fuel, the IAEA says.

Despite international sanctions and reports in the Western media that a computer virus had damaged sensitive equipment, Iran ramped up its production rate of enriched uranium and apparently worked out technical glitches to increase the number of delicate centrifuges producing the nuclear fuel, the latest quarterly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency indicates

The quarterly report, delivered to the agency's board of governors, offers a snapshot of a nuclear program that the United States and its allies have vowed to curb. They suspect Iran is seeking to build atomic weapons in violation of its treaty obligations. Tehran vehemently denies the charge, saying it is enriching uranium for peaceful uses.

Iran has continued construction on nuclear facilities and mining for raw uranium as well as the production of the nuclear fuel that has alarmed Western and Israeli leaders.

The Islamic Republic had accumulated about 7,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium by this month, according to the report, theoretically enough to build nearly three nuclear weapons if the material was further purified to much higher levels. Tehran has slightly increased its rate of production to nearly 290 pounds a month, compared with a previous monthly rate of no more than 265 pounds.

From a cursory look it did not appear that this month's interruption affected Iran's total enriched uranium claims, said David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, an arms-control think tank. "The lasting damage didn't seem to be that great. Production went up slightly."

Iran has also produced 73 pounds of uranium enriched to 20%, which it says is needed for a Tehran medical reactor. Salehi said Tuesday that Iran plans to begin fueling that reactor in about a year.

During a Nov. 5 inspection, Iran was feeding enriched uranium into at least 4,756 of its nearly 9,000 centrifuges, almost 1,000 more than during an Aug. 28 inspection and the highest number since May 2009, when the number of devices operating began to fall. The dramatic increase suggests that Iran had ironed out technical glitches that had for months kept more than half its centrifuges idle, but it may not take into account any damage that might have occurred later in November."

And the extension to expand

"At least 24 people were killed when a car bomb exploded in northern Yemen Wednesday"

in an attack which the government blames on the local branch of al Qaeda, a local journalist told CNN.

Two children were among the dead, and an additional four people were hurt, Yemen Post editor in chief Hakim Almasmari said.

The car drove through a Shiite Muslim religious celebration being held by members of the Houthi group in Jawf province, he said.

Almasmari said he had spoken to government officials who blamed al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemeni wing of the network calls itself."

Therefore the May 15th Prophecy bring to your remembrance inside the Recommended Reading the actions that fulfill God's Word "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all may be dammed who believe not the truth"

The Two Most Essential, Abhorrent, Intolerable Lies Of George W. Bush's Memoir

"These days, when we think of George W. Bush, we think mostly of what a horrible mess he made of the economy. But his even more tragic legacy is the loss of our moral authority, and the transformation of the United States of America from global champion of human rights into an outlaw nation.

History is likely to judge Bush most harshly for two things in particular: Launching a war against a country that had not attacked us, and approving the use of cruel and inhumane interrogation techniques.

And that's why the two most essential lies -- among the many -- in his new memoir are that he had a legitimate reason to invade Iraq, and that he had a legitimate reason to torture detainees."

The Lie Continues

"The lie in question does not concern specific evidence used to justify the war, or even spurious assertions that were part of the selling of the war, such as about a supposed alliance between a regime and a terrorist group.

Misrepresentation in the sales campaign involved outright falsehoods less than it entailed rhetorical artifices that got Americans to make just enough of a perceptual leap to believe what the administration wanted them to believe. The lie instead is Bush's contention—which he continues to make, most recently in his memoir—that the launching of the war was the product of a long and careful deliberation which considered all the relevant evidence and all the available alternatives to an invasion.

Froomkin notes that Bush's contention in his book that he came to the decision to invade “only reluctantly and after a long period of reflection” is a “flat-out lie.”

From the 100% accuracy of the May 15th Prophecy written at LastDayWatchers


Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan

Israel 'infiltrating' phone network