Monday, June 07, 2010

Amnesty International Blame U.S. Attack on Civilians

Amnesty International publish pictures of civilian victims who died in a missile attack on an alleged Al-Qaeda camp in Yemen. Many women and children are among the 50 civilians who lost their lives in the attack and that had been carried out using Tomahawk cruise missiles, parts of which can still be identified as of U.S. origin. The incident caused debates within the Yemenite parliament and finally led to an official condemnation by Amnesty International.

Similar attacks have been frequently reported from the tribal region of Waziristan which is situated in Northern Pakistan. Those attacks usually result in high death tolls among the civilian population while their efficiency in the so-called fight against terrorism has rarely been confirmed.

Pictures of the Yemen attack are available on a video, taken from an Al-Jazeera special "Behind the News", published by the Arabic channel of Al-Jazeera.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

AFGHANISTAN - Kabul Talks with the Taliban

Important UPDATES further down !

Today, the Afghan "Peace Jirga", a meeting of 1500 tribal leaders, decided to endorse President Karzai's plan for direct talks with the Taliban. After a secret meeting between representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban and which took place in the Republic of the Maldives recently, there is now new hope for the Karzai administration to survive by inciting a kind of peace process, based on the idea of neutralizing moderate groups of the Taliban. Nevertheless, the conflict is far from reaching its end as militant groups of the Taliban are not willing to get into talks with Kabul before all foreign troops leave the country.

BACKGROUND - Secret meeting on the Maldives
This secret meeting had already been planned in London in the first half of February 2010, whereupon, according to People's Daily Online (PR China), the French Press Agency AFP published some basic information on February 17. The meeting between President Karzai's special envoyee and seven persons that are closely related to the Taliban was to be held in a luxury hotel on the Maldives without any representatives of the Maldivian government (or even without their knowledge).
Comment: An Invitation to Paradise
As it seems to be a Big Spender's invitation to paradise to smoothen rough things, you should always keep in mind: You might be able to prepare the stage, but you can't predict the outcome of the drama ! Ulysses

For additional information and a description of recent events, please, refer to my latest Afghanistan blog post. Further material has been presented in another blog post of mine dealing with the retreat of U.S. troops from a difficult region.

UPDATE June 5, 2010:

A poor statement on "Peace Jirga" results from the
U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE, as represented by:

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary

Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 4 (local date!)

QUESTION: Do you have any comment about President Karzai’s loya jirga – peace jirga?

MR. CROWLEY: I think the Embassy put out a statement on that. I think we will continue to support the Afghan-led efforts on reconciliation and reintegration. We thought the peace jirga accomplished its objectives and has provided some – a national consensus to pursue a political strategy to reduce the danger posed by the insurgency. And we will be – continue to support Afghanistan as it goes forward.

UPDATE June 7, 2010:

U.S. forces announce that at least 10 servicemen were killed in one of Afghanistan's most bloodiest days up to now. [Al-Jazeera].
Two days later, a German source spoke of 12 servicemen killed and referred to the last incident of that kind in 2008. [W.W.]