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by CTuttle

“It’s Just Damage Limitation Now”

7:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

My only regret of living here in the tropics is having to get up at two in the morning, to catch ‘Up’…!

Now, there was a flurry of news and views, all across Asia and the Middle East, that bears noting…

In Afghanistan, with the sudden halt in joint ISAF operations

Afghanistan: “It’s Just Damage Limitation Now”

Why did you write No Worse Enemy: The Inside Story of the Chaotic Struggle for Afghanistan?

I’d been travelling to Helmand for five years, first in 2007 with the Brits, then later mostly with the U.S. Marines, covering every major operation since the war in the south was taken seriously.

Despite new troops, extra resources and new polices, it kept getting worse.

It was more dangerous for me and the troops I was with, Afghan security forces didn’t seem to be improving, and perhaps most importantly, locals were not being won over but instead were complaining of civilian casualties, damage to their homes, being inconvenienced and disrespected, or preyed upon by the Afghan police.

Yet in the second half of 2010, statements from Kabul, Washington and London kept talking of progress, goals being met and the Taliban being on their last legs.

This was the exact opposite of what I had been seeing, so I felt that I had to write this book

Et Tu, Brute…? Crocker: Taliban Infiltration Worse Than US Will Admit

Now, It’s rather amusing that neocons luminaries, such as Ross Douthat: It’s not about the video, and, Jennifer Rubin, recognize the problem, but can’t see the forest for the trees…

White House dumps false cover story on embassy attacks?

For a week various Obama administration figures, including the White House press secretary, have insisted that the attacks on U..S. embassies in the Middle East were a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video. But that excuse has not held up to even superficial scrutiny… {…}

I’m not sure what that even means. But in any case, the administration, perhaps recognizing their cover story on the attacks was blown, is now backpedaling fast.

There is all the more reason now to get to the bottom of this, to hold hearings and for the president himself to answer questions. If it is now conceded that this was more than a spontaneous uprising the questions remain: Was there an intelligence failure? And is the president’s purported Middle East policy a flop?

Jennifer did cite Foggy Bottom’s and the WH’s frantic back-pedaling…

Ms. Nuland…

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by CTuttle

Palestinians Plan For Large-Scale ‘Naksa’ Protests

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

The 44th anniversary of Naksa Day (6 June 1967) is fast approaching… As Wikipedia describes it… “…was the day of the Naksa (“setback”), the mass displacement and dispossession of Palestinian Arabs during and after the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.’ Wiki goes on to note it’s the second mass displacement after the Nakba Day (May 15, ’48)…

But of course, again, one’s ‘setback’ would be an other’s National holiday… Jerusalem Day… …”an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day a minor religious holiday to thank God for the 6-day victory and for answering the 2,000-year-old prayer of ‘Next Year in Jerusalem.’”

Well, as Bibi, flush from his recent victory lap through D.C., flatly stated today…

PM: We’ll continue building, developing Jerusalem

“We need to continue our actions, to continue the building [and to continue] the development,” the prime minister said in a speech ahead of Jerusalem Day at the yeshiva that has played a great role in the growth of religious Zionism.

Israel, Netanyahu said, “is in a great struggle but we have [made] significant accomplishments. Forty-four years ago, IDF soldiers realized the prophets’ vision and returned Jerusalem to its proper place.

In other words, Netanyahu: We are committed to the “unity of Jerusalem” with US support…

Well, La di dah… Palestinians to march on Israel borders: Fatah

…Palestinians will march on Israel’s borders from neighbouring Arab states on Sunday to mark the 1967 Six Day War, a top Fatah commander said, calling on the United Nations to protect the protesters.

“We, who hope to return to our lands in Palestine, are planning a peaceful rally this Sunday” at the Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian borders with Israel as well as the Gaza Strip, Fatah commander in Lebanon Munir Maqdah said..

Maqdah urged Arab states and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, a 12,000-strong peacekeeping force stationed at Lebanon’s southern border with Israel, to “ensure the protection of this peaceful gathering.”

He said a committee joining Palestinian and Lebanese factions as well as civil society groups would issue a statement in the coming days detailing the plans for Sunday’s protests, which could include setting up tents at Israel’s borders. The 1967 Six Day War saw Israel defeat four Arab armies in six days, and saw it take over east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

So naturally… Official says Israeli army gearing up for large protests…

…Israel’s army is gearing up for large protests, its chief of staff said Tuesday.

“There’s a new player in the Middle East – the street,” Benny Gantz said. “The IDF has drawn lessons from the Nakba Day events and knows it may find itself facing large-scale popular protests in the coming months.”

As the rightwing rag, Jpost reports…

Palestinians prepare for ‘Naksa’ marches on borders

Hundreds of thousands join Facebook campaign to mark “setback” of Six Day War; IDF to deploy larger forces along northern frontiers.

…The website “Third Palestinian Intifada” and its Facebook page, “Countdown to the Third Palestinian Intifada,” have posted detailed plans for marches on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza, as well as processions to Jerusalem’s Al- Aksa Mosque, on three separate dates before and during the war’s anniversary.

The group’s “plan of action” calls for mass rallies on June 3, 5 and 7 – the Friday leading up to the Six Day War anniversary, the date on which the war began and the date Israeli troops took Jerusalem, respectively. [...]

…Ofir Gendelman, the Prime Minister’s Office spokesman for Arabic media, said Israel is ready to use “any means necessary” to protect its borders.

“Activity on Facebook calling for people to march on the borders has grown in recent weeks, and there are pages telling people exactly where to go,” he said. “Of course we’re familiar with this activity both on Facebook and Twitter, and have been for some time. We’re prepared for any eventuality, whether by use of the police, army, security forces, Foreign Ministry and of course the Prime Minister’s Office, to provide a security response to attempts to enter into our territory.

“These people want 300 or 400 casualties in order to create a media and geopolitical tsunami to distract the world’s attention from what’s happening in Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, and to direct it at Israel,” he said.

“We must remember that not all those who click ‘like’ on Facebook are going to board a bus and ride to the border. There’s a difference between clicking ‘like’ and taking the personal risk of trying to breach the border,” he said.

I’m certain the other side will get the message – that we won’t let anyone in, whatever the price. They won’t get in.

The borders under our sovereignty will be maintained, whatever the price.”


I pray that the casualty rate is drastically lower than “the 300 or 400 casualties in order to create a media and geopolitical tsunami…”


Btw, this Robert Fisk article is a must read…

Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says?

President Obama has shown himself to be weak in his dealings with the Middle East, says Robert Fisk, and the Arab world is turning its back with contempt. Its future will be shaped without American influence…

The ‘Arab Spring’ has indeed turned into the ‘Arab Summer’…