For a good overview of the current Iran hostage crisis here’s a selection of links:
EU referendum covers the Rules of Engagement, my comment is that British Naval Regulations have always been of the strict “damned if you do, damned if you don’t ” variety, and they have always relied on the judgement and courage of their captains.
58 killed in Waziristan Jirga fails, aliens dig their heels in Aqeel Yousafzai
PESHAWAR: At least 58 people have been killed in fresh clashes between foreign militants and pro-government tribesmen in the South Waziristan tribal region, officials and residents said on Friday. The death toll from the raging battle includes 46 foreigners and 10 locals, a security official told The Frontier Post. He added the rivals were trading heavy rocket and mortar fire till nightfall. As tribal elders and religious scholars pressed on with tense negotiations to broker a fresh truce between the warring groups, the source revealed, two paramilitary troops were also killed in the hostilities. Sporadic fighting continued for a third day in Azam Warsak, Kalusha and Sheen Warsak areas near Wana. Tribal followers of Maulvi Nazir claimed capturing eight Uzbeks with bombs and landmines. â€œThe tribespeople are in possession of the dead bodies of some of the foreigners,â€ said a member of the dominant Wazir tribe. He confirmed the jirga had made little progress towards ending the intermittent clashes.
This fighting will continue for the local Wazir tribes have had enough, and while some Taliban leaders might think to control or direct this effort, it’s out of their hands. I’ll stick by what I said earlier:
The locals are now emboldened, and the past submerged honor feuds thatÂ have been biding their time will now allÂ surface. Thatâ€™s unstoppable, noÂ matter that Hamid Gul and Mullah Daddullah might be trying toÂ stop this.Â
The Wazirs also got some aid from the Pakistan Security forces when they asked, as this Article from Dawn points out, although the military officially denies this.
Official sources said a mortar shell hit the home of one Qimat Khan Sarkikhel in Ghwakha area, killing the two children.
Security officials said army fired artillery from the brigade headquarters in Zari Noor Colony and pounded hilltops in Shin Warsak area.
They said tribesmen and supporters of militant commander Maulvi Nazir, in coordination with the security forces, had dislodged foreigners from the hilltops and captured bunkers after heavy artillery shelling.
They said the security forces had provided human and material assistance to the group which had launched a campaign against the foreigners, particularly Uzbeks.
They said the army had fired artillery in retaliation and the security forces had entered Shin Warsak to assist the pro-government tribesmen.
The sources said the clashes intensified at about 2pm on Friday and the rival groups targeted each otherâ€™s positions with mortars and rockets in Azam Warsak, Jaghundai, Kalosha, Shin Warsak and Ghwakha areas.
They said 12 combatants, seven of them foreigners, had been killed. The foreigners were hiding in a government school. At least 15 people from both sides were wounded in the gunbattle.
All across the muslim world we are seeing muslim vs muslim violence, and it will continue. This is the ancient power struggle of the Islamic world, and the payback Islamic leaders, both secular and religious, gained by nurturing extremism: The crows always come home to roost.
Here’s an exampleÂ of how the locals feel, from a letter to theÂ editor inÂ Dawn:
Every second day a psycho appears from nowhere and explodes himself in the name of Islam. How much longer will the people continue to suffer at the hands of those who relish building empires on the corpses of poor people?Â
So by creating secret armies of extremists to use againstÂ neighbors,Â muslim leadersÂ sow the wind and the resultant whirlwinds are indiscriminate in their destruction.
Along with that we have the Taliban desperate to begin the Spring offensive and resorting to Press Gangs, and that has now backfired. Bill Roggio has more on this here, please take a few minutes to read the comments, there’s an interesting debate in them.
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Iran has performed the expected act of broadcasting the captive Sailors on state run Iranian Television. (Remember: Iranian citizens can’t see opposing views anymore because the government confiscated Satellite dishes, and restricted internet access in the preceding months.) They have stated they will free the woman captive, and she appeared on Iranian TV in the requisite scarf.
Tony Blair has stated that they are stopping all interaction with Iran excepting that to do with freeing the hostages. To up the ante Iran has demanded that Britain apologize before they will release the sailors.
Powerline has a good post with analysis and updates in it.
Earlier posts here withÂ lots of links to the articles on this and analysis.
Nothing political here, this is just a test to embed video, I picked this one because it’s humorous to both sides of the political aisle, and well done.
[ Editor: I’ve since removed the video even though it worked fine because the embed code causes errors on the page, and edit mode automagically wrecks the embed code unless you are willing to redo the HTML each time you save it. I’ll keep looking for better ways that will validate without me needing to be a code monkey for every video post.]
Â Here’s a picture of where my readers come from, as you can see they are spread over the world, but mostly in the US. You can see folks from the mid-east, troops from Diego Garcia (That dot in the Indian Ocean,) and from
all seven six continents.
I express strong views on the site, butÂ things that nobody should differ on are basic facts around any event or situation. Where readers see facts omitted or incorrect, I sure would like to hear about it in comments. Also, if you have anÂ opinion I welcome it, that’s not an open invitation to argue my opinion however, more an invitation to hear your opinion whether opposed or not.
This is either very encouraging news or very good government agitprop, the Daily Times reports that Baitullah Mehsud has fled to Afghanistan, and is in cohorts with “Indian Agents” and Hekmatyar. From the Daily Times:
ISLAMABAD: Intelligence agencies have informed the Interior Ministry that Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Taliban in Waziristan, fled to Afghanistan on Friday. Sources told Daily Times on Tuesday that the intelligence reports mentioned that Mehsud had several meetings with â€œIndian spiesâ€ and former Afghan premier Gulbadin Hekmatyar in Afghanistan this week. The reports said that Hekmatyar had met Mehsud at an undisclosed location, while Indian intelligence officials met him at Mazar-e-Sharif. The sources said that the intelligence agencies could not get the details of the meetings and Mehsudâ€™s close aides in Waziristan were unaware of his whereabouts. Mehsud and his group are accused of involvement in several suicide attacks in Pakistan.
No, not this Mad Max
It was this Mad Max:
KIEV: A Russian businessman with suspected links to organised crime known as “Mad Max” was shot dead outside a court in Kiev where he had just been sentenced for extortion, police said.
Maskim Kurochkin, who had been in jail in the Ukraine since November 2006, was killed in the internal courtyard of the courthouse as he was getting into a police van, police spokesman Volodymyr Polichchuk told said.
He died soon after from his wounds, the spokesman said, adding that one of the three police officers who was escorting the prisoner had been hit by the same bullet and had to be hospitalised.
“A policeman was wounded. Kurochkin is dead,” a judge at the court, Anatoli Iaselski, was quoted as saying by online daily Ukrayinska Pravda.
The fatal shot was said to have been fired by a professional and came from a nearby nine-floor building, the online daily Korrespondent said.
More from Reuters