The spring has come to Afghanistan but that has not been a good and bucholic sight but one in which the Taliban are attacking the NATO-UN forces with a much more important danger for the coalition troops. Including SPANISH troops. Yes, I know that our Army is guided as if it were a NGO (what in Spain some people consider a Srta.Pepis Army), but, whatever the Government says, the mission has everything to do with WAR. Yes, it involves protecting the weak, but it also involves attacking and defending them and the military from the Taleban. Something that is carefully forgotten both by political bodies and MSM bienpensants because that is not modern...
So the offensive against the Taliban has started in the South of Aghanistan. And the 1st day has produced, as a result, the caught a Taleban leader who was fleeing disguised in a burqa!
Europe continues its (ours) whinning about war, as if US and Israel were the warmongers (never us!). Of course, that is why we have not sent more troops to Aghanistan. Of course, that makes easier blaming them for all the bad things in this world.
But the major symptom of this illness of pacifism, it's -apart from our dear President-, the one shown by Italian Senate. The lower House of Italian Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Afghan mission, after some days of uncertainty which have involved the Parliament voting against PM Prodi, his dimission -accepted by the President of the Republic Napolitcano- and his acceptance (again) as head of the Government. But some of the Italian bloggers do not agree with the decission of the liberals and right-wingers, who has voted with the Prodi's Socialists.
For example, Paolo di Lautreamont from Le Guerre Civile, says "E' inaccettabile che la Cdl voti con Prodi il rifinanziamento alla missione italiana in Afghanistan. Non è questione di immagine, ma di fatti concreti. L'approvazione significherebbe, in realtà, dover subire una rete di ricatti, blocchi, dinieghi, degli antiliberali". Translation: "It's not acceptable that Cdl -Coalizioni di Liberali- voted with Prodi the refinancing of the Italian mission in Afghanistan. This is not a question of image, but of concrete acts. The approbation will mean, really, to support the antiliberals" -liberal in Europe means the ones fighting for freedom, not leftits-.
But he adds something very important for Spain:
Ciò aggraverebbe la strategia e il ruolo dei nostri soldati, costretti a ridurre -di fatto- la loro capacità difensiva/offensiva, questo mentre lo stesso Zapatero sta aumentando effettivi armamenti delle truppe spagnole, come ricorda Gianandrea Gaiani su Libero di oggi.
"This is going to worsen our soldiers (the Italian ones), because their capacity, both offensive and defensive, is going to be reduced, just at the same momment in which Zapatero is increasing the weaponry effectiveness of the Spanish troops, as Gianandrea Gaiani points out in Libero di oggi".
So, why is he increasing the effectiveness if Afghanistan is so peaceful and quite and we are there in a peaceful and humanitarian-only mission?
Mariosecchi.net also looks at the paradox of the right-wingers, who are supporting the Prodi's Government in three basic issues: foreign policy (Afghanistan), economic policy (pensions) and institutional matters (electoral reform).
Taliban claimed they have kidnapped an Italian journalist, Mastroiacomo, from La Reppublica, because he was "spying for British" and that they are interrogating him. I guess they are doing a civilizations' alliance-way-of-interrogation, that is, a very desagreeable one. I am not suprised that Massimo D'Alema is worried about him (thanks to La Pulce di Voltaire). His release is not going to be immediately obtained, it seems.
As Canadian blog The Black Rod tells us (via Dust my Broom), the Taleban claim that they have arrested between 60 and 70 people and many of them had been killed, charging them with "spying for UN and NATO troops". But they are not actually spies: they are simply people who work for the government, aid groups or NATO military.
And now a new problem can be considered: the day-by-day growing pressence of the Taliban in Pakistani region of Waziristan, which borders with Afghanistan. So important is this presence, that US expert in terrorism, Bill Roggio, writes in his blog: "Taliban losses in Afghanistan, gains in Pakistan":
The Talibanization of western Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Baluchistan has an impact of the situation in Afghanistan. The tribal agencies of North and South Waziristan are openly referred to as Talibanistan. Bajaur is a operational base and staging area into Afghanistan for mid-level al-Qaeda commanders, and senior al-Qaeda command (bin Laden and Zawahiri) are believed to be operating from nearby Dir.
Now, the question is: What is doing Pakistan at his respect? Till US Vice-President Cheney's visit, it sounded as nothing (well, it really was nothing). But after his visit, Mullah Omar's deputy Obaidullah (left) was captured by Pakistani security forces. Of course, Pakistan has denied this arrest has something to do with Cheney's visit:
The official, however, said the arrest of Mullah Obaidullah, who was defence minister in the ousted Taliban regime, had no link with Mr Cheney's visit and the action which led to his arrest had been planned in advance based on good intelligence.The official declined to give further information but said that two others, who were captured along with Mullah Obaidullah "could be" Amir Khan Haqqani, a Taliban commander in Zabul, and Abdul Bari, the former governor of Helmand province.
Anyway, I made referrence some days ago to the annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board. If you read it, there is a surge in poppy (opium) production. There has been some calls from both the World Bank and the UN because this could make even more difficult the reconstruction, as people are more interested in opium business as they are earning more money. The UN (and US) is also worried because of the "dramatic increase" in cannabis growing, which begins a "new and disturbing trend".
And, even if you are going to laugh, Face the Truth reports that radical left has proposed to buy the Afghan opium to use it to make pharmaceutical substances. The problem is they are going to buy it from Taleban and warlords. So, they are considering to finance the same people who are killing our troops. These things make me wonder if human beings are as rational as we tend to think ourselves...
[NOTE: do not tell this proposal to Joan Saura, Catalan Conseiller of Interior, who said that he was for the legalization of all drugs... He would jump of joy]
Lastly, I want to finish this post pointing out the high number of conversions into Evangelical Christianity from Afghan Islamic people (among other Middle East countries). Of course, TIME magazine has called them radical, even if this people are facing death for their conversion.
Resumiendo el peaso post sobre Afganistán, en este país la primavera trae las flores, la alergia y... el ataque de los talibanes. Precisamente, como se sabe que el buen tiempo iba a "mejorar" las condiciones para este ataque, la OTAN había pedido refuerzos, refuerzos que fueron negados principalmente por Italia, Francia y España.
Italia, especialmente, se encuentra en otro momento, vamos a decir, dífícil. El voto del Senado de hace escasas semanas, en contra de que las tropas italianas estuvieran en Afganistán, hizo que Prodi, actual Presidente del Gobierno italiano, tuviera que dimitir. Sin embargo, poco después, Napolitano, el Presidente de la República, volvía a ofrecer a Prodi formar Gobierno, lo que il Professore aceptó. Así que era necesario volver a votar la presencia de las tropas italianas en Afganistán.
La Cámara Baja votó mayoritariamente que sí, porque Prodi no fue apoyado por los de su Gobierno (hmmm) si no por Berlusconi y los liberales. Este voto ha sido muy criticado por distintos blogueros italianos que consideran que, de esta forma, están realmente manteniendo a sus enemigos políticos en el Gobierno.
Ahora bien, si algo me ha sorprendido (realmente, no...) es que el especialista italiano en cuestiones militares Giani ha afirmado que Zapatero ha aumentado la capacidada tanto ofensiva como defensiva de nuestras tropas en Afganistán. ¿Alguien sabe algo de esto? Porque creo que no ha pedido permiso -o yo no tengo noticia, lo cual con la cantidad de información, no será raro- para ese aumento. Tampoco sé si esto es una consecuencia de un análisi concienzudo de la situación, o simplemente una consecuencia de la muerte de la soldado Idoia Rodríguez hace unos días.
A todo ello, se une la noticia del secuestro del peridista italiano de La Repubblica Mastroiacomo, quien ha sido acusado por los talibanes de "espiar para Inglaterra" y a quien "estamos [por los Talibanes] sometiendo a interrogatorio". Ni me quiero imaginar cómo deben estarle interrogando.
Sin embargo, no será éste el primero ni el último, porque sólo en este año, los talibanes han secuestrado entre 60 y 70 personas, de las que la mayoría aparecen después asesinadas, acusadas de espionaje. La realidad, es que son simplemente personas que trabajan para la ONU, organizaciones de ayuda humanitaria o las fuerzas de la OTAN.
El problema de esta Primavera en Afganistán es que los talibanes están usando al vecino Pakistán para organizarse y el número de los que allí residen aumenta cada día. La zona, llamada Waziristan, ya es conocida como Talibastán. Durante bastante tiempo, EEUU estaba pidiendo a Pervez Musharraf (ese amigou, que parar tener estos amigous es mejor tener sólo enemigous) que hiciera algo. Pero (¡qué curioso!) no han hecho nada hasta que el Vicepresidente Cheney ha viajado a Pakistán. Entonces han dicho raudos y veloces que habían detenido al diputado/representante del Mullah Omar, llamado Mullah Omaidomar. Claro, ellos han negado terminantemente que tenga nada que ver blah, blah, blah...
También han detenido a otro Talibán que se había disfrazado con un burka. Maravilloso, ¿eh?
Como ya he dicho, en primavera florece el campo y también las amapolas. Y el opio. Y el negocio del opio. Desde hace bastante tiempo las agencias internacionales han venido advirtiendo del incremento exponencial del comercio del opio afgano, con los señores de la guerra y los talibanes repartiéndose el negocio. Ahora, además también ha crecido de manera muy importante el comercio de cannabis/marihuana. Y los radicales de izquierda italianos han pedido que se compre el excedente de opio para usos farmacológicos, sin darse cuenta de que se lo iban a estar pagando a ... los talibanes y los señores de la guerra. Que no se lo digan a Joan Clos...
Links used to write this post:
Die Nato hat sie lange angekündigt, nun ist sie da: die Frühjahrsoffensive gegen die Taliban. 5000 Soldaten sind im Einsatz. Die Nato-Verbände sollen in der südlichen Provinz Helmand gegen die Taliban kämpfen und sie »entscheidend schwächen«. Das klingt gut, aber es ist Augenwischerei. Die Taliban lassen sich mit Kanonen nicht entscheidend schwächen. Krieg ist ihr Handwerk.
KABUL, Afghanistan Afghan soldiers caught a senior Taliban commander at a checkpoint who was wearing a burqa, while NATO forces on Wednesday fought Taliban militants in the second day of the alliance's largest-ever offensive in Afghanistan. Mullah Mahmood, who is accused of helping the Taliban detonate suicide bombs, was caught Tuesday in Kandahar province while wearing the all-encompassing Islamic veil worn here by women, NATO said.
As the spring sets in Taleban fighters in Pakistan's tribal region of Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan, are increasingly visible. This bodes ill for the coalition forces in Afghanistan. But it also highlights problems for Pakistan's government. It is faced with the prospect of the Taleban and their allies trying to consolidate their expansion eastwards inside North West Frontier Province (NWFP). They have already carved out two safe havens in NWFP. They were able to do so after signing deals to the west in the tribal districts of South Waziristan and North Waziristan with the Pakistani government in 2004-05.
The lower house of Parliament voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of keeping Italy's military contingent in Afghanistan, approving a decree that refinances all Italian missions abroad. The measure had caused rifts in Prime Minister Romano Prodi's center- left coalition, but the Chamber of Deputies gave overwhelming backing to the decree, with a bipartisan 524-3 vote. The decree now goes to the Senate, where the governing center-left commands only a razor-thin majority. Italy's mission in Afghanistan, involving 1,800 troops, has split Prodi's forces because some Communist coalition allies oppose the troop deployment. Any defections in the upper chamber of Parliament could lose the vote for the center-left. However, the conservative opposition, led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, backed the mission in the vote Thursday and is expected to do the same in the Senate, ensuring passage of the measure.
Guerrilla spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf said the reporter worked for La Repubblica. Speaking by satellite phone from an undisclosed location, he said the reporter had confessed to spying after being picked up in neighbouring Helmand province yesterday. He added: "He was pretending to be a journalist, but when we investigated we found he's working for the British troops. "We're interrogating him and the other two." The Rome-based newspaper said it has been unable to contact reporter Daniele Mastrogiacomo in Kandahar province since Sunday.
The United Nations says it fears that Afghanistan may grow even more poppies in 2007 - at a time when current levels are already running at record output. Poppy production rose 25% in 2006, according to the US State Department. The UN says although production of poppies, used to make heroin, has fallen in the north and centre, a sharp rise is likely in the lawless south. It also cites a dramatic increase in cannabis growing, which it describes as a new and disturbing trend.
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