cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


Afghanistan: shred and be shredded

1. the day the general made a misstep by Mark Perry


James Clad, a former Pentagon deputy assistant secretary of defense for South Asia, is one of the prominent doubters. "It's not clear to me that what we're facing in Afghanistan is a counter-insurgency," he says. "In fact, I'm quite sure it's not. It's more likely that it's a Pashtun civil war. Which means we're applying the wrong fix to the wrong kind of problem."

Clad finds himself agreeing with Graham Fuller, a former Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Kabul, who last week wrote that "the 'objective' situation in Afghanistan remains a mess. We are not now winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan; indeed, we never can, and certainly not at gunpoint". Fuller continued by saying that "most Pashtuns will never accept a US plan for Afghanistan's future, [while] the non-Pashtuns - Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, etc - naturally welcome any outside support in what is a virtual civil war".

yes and do they get that 'outside support' and who from? [scratching head] read more @ asia times

2. UK Ainsworth warns against Afghan withdrawal -- Condi's old talking points, still good after all these years hmm? hey what's next a mushroom cloud?

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth says the argument that al-Qaida has moved to Pakistani safe havens does not justify troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. "Some argue that al-Qaida are now located in the borderlands of Pakistan, so there is no point staying in Afghanistan," the British official wrote in Wednesday's issue of The Times of London.

"But if we were to abandon Afghanistan, who believes they would not take root there again? Who thinks this would make Britain safer? We would just have to do it all over again."

Suggesting even far off places like Britain cannot be safe from such terrorists, Ainsworth rejected any notion of a "fortress Britain." "If we abandon Afghanistan now, as it has been before, it would only be a matter of time before we felt the consequences," he warned.

hard to believe anyone still dares make the 'we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here' argument, but they do. read more @ upi asia

3. Gates: the responsibility is *YOURS* people of Afghanistan. here hold this bag.

KABUL, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Tuesday linked the pullout of troops from Afghanistan to the situation in the militancy-ridden country.

"The transition of security responsibility that begins in July 2011 will be gradually and based on condition on the ground," he told a joint press conference after meeting President Hamid Karzai at his Palace.

He also added that, "We would proceed this, province by province as conditions permits."

This is the first visit of the Defense Secretary after President Obama unveiled new strategy for Afghanistan last Wednesday in which he announced sending in extra 30,000 troops to the war-torn country to bolster war on militants.

There are already more than 100,000 NATO-led troops in Afghanistan with 68,000 of them Americans fighting Taliban-led insurgency and al-Qaeda operatives.

"Our troops are here only as long as it takes to help you defeat your enemies, we will fight by your side until Afghan forces are large enough and strong enough to secure the nation on their own as they have already done in Kabul," Gates said.

read more @ chinaview

4. Iran: no military solution for Afghanistan, but don't listen because it' know...IRAN

TEHRAN (FNA)- Afghanistan's problems cannot be solved through military solutions, an Afghan analyst said on Monday, referring to a US and NATO offensive on the southern province of Helmand in Afghanistan on Friday.

"The operation - codenamed as 'Cobra's Anger' - in Helmand is not the first and not the last one of its kind and it won't be a determining move. Rather, the problem of this country has no military solution and anyone imagining that Afghanistan's problem can be resolved through military solution has committed an epoch-making mistake," Ahmad Saeedi told FNA.

Saeedi also reiterated that the only solution to Afghanistan's problems is common understanding among Afghans and the cooperation among the regional and trans-regional countries.

read more @ fars news agency

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