Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gadafi y su familia

Al qaida en Yemen


26 militants, 10 soldiers killed in Yemen fighting -- AP

Yemen violence kills soldiers, militants in south -- Reuters

Four Yemeni soldiers killed in clash with 'Qaeda' -- AFP

More Troops Dead In Continuous Battles In South Yemen -- Yemen Post

Seven troops killed in al Qaeda attack in Yemen, official says -- CNN

AQAP chief Nasir al Wuhayshi reported killed in southern Yemen -- Long War Journal

Yemen Navy Stops Suicide Attack Off Abyan Coast -- Voice of America

Yemen navy foils suicide attack: ministry -- AFP

Report: Yemen's navy foils potential boat attack -- Jerusalem Post

Yemen Navy Sinks Explosives-Laden Boat Trying To Hit Warship – Ministry -- Yemen Post

Gulf of Aden Security Review - August 29, 2011 -- AEI Critical Threats

Al-Qaeda Timeline in Modern Yemen History -- Yemen Post

Yemen profile -- BBC

Sesenta y seis norteamericanas bajas en un mes

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane.


¿Quién manda en los "rebeldes libios"?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Detenido un militar jordano por cincelar su nombre en la Alhambra de Granada

Un oficial del ejército jordano, enviado por el Gobierno de su país junto a otros delegados para comprar un avión en Sevilla, está en libertad con cargos, pendiente de juicio después de ser sorprendido inscribiendo su nombre «con un objeto punzante» en una pared del piso superior del Palacio de Carlos V, junto a una hornacina, suceso del que informó IDEAL el 14 de agosto. El acusado mostró su desconocimiento sobre la ilegalidad de este tipo de actos cuando declaró ante el juez, porque en su país «era algo habitual».

Más en José R. Villalba, diario Ideal.es, Un enviado del Gobierno de Jordania, imputado por un delito contra el patrimonio en la Alhambra de Granada.

Turquía sigue bombardeando territorio iraquí

Syrian WMD sites worry US and Israel


The Wall Street Journal -- U.S., Israel Monitor Suspected Syrian WMD.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vae victis: la "justicia" de los "rebeldes" libios"

Siempre podía ser peor...

En un hospital improvisado, en una tienda de campaña marcada claramente con el símbolo de la media luna roja.

Algunos de los muertos estaban en camillas, unidos a goteos intravenosos.

Otros, en la parte trasera de una ambulancia tiroteada.

Algunos estaban en el suelo, aparentemente tratando de huir arrrastrándose cuando las balas los alcanzaron.

Treinta cadáveres en descomposición por el calor, muchos con las manos atadas a la espalda, ya sea con esposas de plástico o cuerdas.

Uno, con un paño en la boca.

Casi todas eran negros.

Kim Sengupta, diario The Independent, Rebels settle scores in Libyan capital.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nigeria U.N. office hit by massive bomb

Un suicida empotró su coche-bomba.

Mi Amigo Santi dice que la embajada Española está bastante cerca del lugar de la explosión.

"This is very likely the work of Boko Haram and, or, AQIM (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) and is a serious escalation in the security situation in Nigeria," the unnamed security official told Reuters.

CBS News -- Nigeria U.N. office hit by massive bomb

El perro de un Soldado



Su dueño cayó en Afganistán a comienzos de este mes.

abc.news -- Slain Navy SEAL's Loyal Dog Remains by His Side at Funeral.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Forum iudicum

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Identificación de imágenes con google images


Supongo que ya conoceréis esta "herramienta".

En una ventana, abres la imagen que quieres identificar.

En una segunda ventana, abres google images.

"Arrastras" la imagen con el ratón de una ventana a otra.

Google se encarga de encontrar la imagen -en distintos tamaños y páginas web- y, de regalo, te ofrece imágenes similares.

Ejemplo: http://bit.ly/nqMybL

Más opciones en Búsqueda por imágenes.

Khan Academy

La academia Jan (Khan Academy) es una organización educativa sin ánimo de lucro creada en 2006, por Don Salman Khan con la finalidad de "proveer educación de alta calidad a cualquiera, en cualquier lugar".

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit educational organization, created in 2006 by MIT graduate educator Salman Khan with the stated mission of "providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere".

Khan Academy webpage

Fotos de Libia

The Boston Globe, The Big Picture, Libya on the brink of change

Military Working Dog Medevaced with Shot Paw

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why Islam isn't innocent


Copio de Strategy Page, Why Islam Isn't Innocent:

August 16, 2011: Twenty nations account for over 95 percent of terrorism activity in the world.

Of these twenty (Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Uganda, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria.

Palestinian Territories, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Colombia, Algeria, Thailand, Philippines, Russia, Sudan, Iran, Burundi, India, Nigeria and Israel), all but four of them (Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Colombia and Burundi) involve Islamic terrorism.

In terms of terrorism fatalities, the top four nations (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia) accounted for 10,400 dead last year, 75 percent of the world total.

All of these were the result of Islamic radicalism, often directed at other Moslems, and not just non-Moslems (“infidels”).

This has been the case for decades, and the Moslem world does not like to dwell on this fact.

Many Moslem leaders admit that there is a lot of Islamic terrorism, but insist that it’s all the fault of Infidels who are making war on Islam, so some Moslems feel compelled to fight back.

The catch-phrase Moslem leaders like to repeat is that Islam is the “religion of peace.” It is not, and the historical record makes that very clear.

And not just the historical record.

Currently you find Moslems attacking Buddhists in Thailand, Jews everywhere, Baha'is in Iran and Christians in Egypt, Iraq, the Philippines, Pakistan, Malaysia and elsewhere.

This is not a sudden and unexpected outburst of Moslem violence against non-Moslems.

It is normal, and at the root of Islamic terrorism.

While this violent behavior represents only a small number of Moslems, it is a large minority (from a few percent of a population, to over half, according to opinion polls).

Moreover, the majority of Moslems has not been willing, or able, to confront and suppress the Islamic radicals that not only spread death and destruction, but also besmirch all Moslems.

This reveals a fundamental problem in the Islamic world, the belief that combining righteousness with murderous tactics is often the road to power and spiritual salvation.

Throughout history, when these tactics were applied to non-Moslems, they often failed.

The non-Moslems were unfazed by the religious angle, and, especially in the last five hundred years, were better able to defeat Islamic violence with even greater violence.

Thus, until quite recently, the Moslems fought among themselves, and left the infidels (non-Moslems) alone.

But after World War II, that began to change.

Naturally, this began to show up first in the Middle East.

During the Lebanese civil war of 1975-1990, Christian and Moslem Arabs fought bitterly over political, cultural and, ultimately, religious differences.

The capital, Beirut, was divided into Christian and Moslem sections by the Green Line.

The name came from the fact that in this rubble filled no man's land, only grass and weeds survived.

And that the line on a ceasefire map was drawn in green.

There have been a lot more Green Lines since then.

Few realized it at the time, but this war was but the first of many major conflicts between Christians and Moslems in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Many of the earliest Moslem converts were Christians.

And many of the peoples Moslem armies unsuccessfully sought to conquer were Christian.

The original Crusades, which modern Moslems portray as Western aggression, were actually a Western attempt to rescue Middle Eastern Christians from increasing Islamic terrorism and violence.

But Islam as a political force was in decline for several centuries until the 1970s.

Then things changed, and they continue to change.

Fueled by oil wealth and access to Western weapons and technology, Islamic radicals saw new opportunities.

Islam was again on the march, and few have noticed the many places where it was turning into religious war with Christians and other non-Moslems.

In Asia, we have a Green Line between India and Pakistan.

Inside India, many Moslem communities remain, and feelings aren't always neighborly.

Indonesia and the Philippines suffer growing strife between Moslems and non-Moslems.

Malaysia has fanatical Moslems persecuting more laid-back ones, and non-Moslems in general.

China has a large Moslem community that generates an increasing amount of violence.

Russia and America have formed a curious partnership to deal with Islamic-based terrorism coming out of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And in Chechnya, Russia faced Islamic-inspired violence all alone in the 1990s.

Africa has a rather dusty Green Line south of the semi-arid Sahel region.

Many African nations are split by increasingly sensitive religious differences.

The Moslems are in the north, Christians and animists in the south.

Nigeria, Chad and Sudan are among the more violent hot spots at the moment.

When the Moslem Somalis stop fighting each other they will return to raiding their Christian and animist neighbors to the south.

The Middle East still contains many non-Moslems.

None have their own country, except for Israel.

But Egypt contains five million Copts, native Christians who did not convert to Islam.

Similar small Christian communities exist throughout the Middle East, and growing hostility from Moslem neighbors causes many to migrate, or get killed.

Moslems also have turned their righteous wrath on dissident Moslem sects.

The Druze and Alawites are considered by many Moslems as pagans pretending to be Moslems.

Similarly, the Shias of Iran and neighboring areas are considered less orthodox, not just for their admitted differences, but because many adherents openly practice customs of the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian religion.

These differences are less frequently overlooked today.

To survive, many Druze have allied with Israel, and most of the current Syrian leadership are Alawites who pretend to be more Shia than they really are.

Even Europe has a Green Line.

The Moslems in the Balkans (Albanians and Bosnians) have been a constant source of strife for the last decade.

Moslem migrants in Europe face even more persecution because of all those Green Lines, and this makes it easier for radical groups to recruit and carry out their crusade against Christians.

In many European cities with Moslem minorities, there are neighborhoods non-Moslems are advised to stay out of.

But the Green Lines are about more than religion.

A lot of it is politics.

One of the reasons Islam ran out of steam centuries ago was that the Moslem areas never embraced democracy, and intellectual progress.

Until the 20th century, most Moslems lived as part of some foreign empire, under local totalitarian monarchs.

The foreign empires are gone, but democracy has had a hard time taking hold.

The dictatorships are still there.

And the people are restless.

Radical Islam arose as an alternative to all the other forms of government that never seemed to work.

In theory, establishing "Islamic Republics" would solve all problems.

People could vote, but only Moslems in good standing could be candidates for office.

A committee of Moslem holy men would have veto power over political decisions.

Islamic law would be used.

It was simple, and it makes sense to a lot of Moslems in nations ruled by thugs and thieves, especially if the people are largely uneducated and illiterate.

Islamic Republics don't work.

The only one that has been established (not counting others that say they are but aren't) is in Iran.

The major problems were twofold.

First, the radicals had too much power.

Radical religious types are no fun, and you can't argue with them because they are on a mission from God.

Most people tire of this in short order.

To speed this disillusionment, many of the once-poor and now-powerful religious leaders became corrupt.

This eventually sends your popularity ratings straight to hell.

It will take a generation or so for everyone in the Moslem world to figure out where all this is going.

This is already happening in Iran, where moderates are getting stronger every day, but everyone is trying to avoid a civil war.

While the radicals are a minority, they are a determined bunch.

The constant flow of Islamic radical propaganda does more than generate recruits and contributions in Moslem countries; it also energizes Moslem minorities (both migrants and converts) in Western countries to acts of terrorism.

In the United States, you find such Moslems getting arrested several times a year for attempting to carry out religious violence.

Radicals throughout the Moslem world continue to take advantage of dissatisfaction among the people and recruit terrorists and supporters.

To help this process along they invoke the ancient grudges popular among many Moslems.

Most of these legends involve Christians beating on Moslems.

To most radicals it makes sense to get people agitated over faraway foreigners rather than some strongman nearby.

Most radicals lack the skills, money or ability to carry their struggle to far-off places.

So most of the agitation takes place among Moslem populations.

Any violent attitudes generated are easily directed at available non-Moslems.

Thus we have all those Green Lines.

But the more violence you have along those Green Lines, the more really fanatical fighters are developed.

These are the people who are willing to travel to foreign lands and deal with non-believers, and kill them for the cause.

We call it terrorism; the fanatics call it doing what has to be done.

Not surprisingly, Moslems get motivated to do something about Islamic radicalism when the violence is literally next door.

That's why terror attacks in the West are so popular.

The infidels are being attacked, without any risk to those living in Moslem countries.

Iraq changed all that, and during the course of that war (2004-7) the popularity of Islamic terrorism, in Moslem countries, declined sharply because the terrorists were killing so many Moslems.

That, in the end, is what has killed, for a while, most Islamic terrorism in Iraq.

But this time around, it would be nice if the Moslem world got their act together and expunged this malevolent tendency once and for all.

The Boston Globe, The Big Picture, Afghanistan, August 2011.

The Boston Globe, The Big Picture, Afghanistan, August 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cinco años

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Francia ofrece a España blindados prestados para el contingente desplegado en Líbano

Copio de Á. Collado, La Gaceta, Francia ofrece a España blindados prestados para el contingente desplegado en Líbano:

La industria francesa de Defensa, ante la precariedad de medios del Ejército de Tierra español y en el empeño de ganar posiciones en los programas de renovación de vehículos, ha hecho una oferta sin precedentes: prestar blindados a prueba para el contingente desplegado en El Líbano sin más coste para el Gobierno que su mantenimiento.

La empresa gala Nexter se lo planteó en julio al Ministerio de Defensa.

En fuentes militares reconocen que las tropas españolas todavía se mueven entre las milicias de Hezbolá que operan en la frontera con Israel en los blindados de ruedas BMR, calificados de “obsoletos” por el propio ministerio que dirige Carme Chacón.

El retraso que acumula el Gobierno de Zapatero en el programa para la renovación del parque de blindados de ruedas del Ejército –unos 1.200 BMR en diferentes versiones– hace que las empresas aspirantes al contrato de fabricación –de alrededor de 1.300 millones– intenten afinar sus ofertas y adelantarse con compromisos previos sabedores de la precariedad de medios de las FAS y de la urgencia que debería tener Defensa en paliar el problema; al menos, en las misiones de más riesgo.

Los franceses de Nexter, asociados en España a la firma radicada en Barcelona Ibersystems, siempre han sido los más agresivos y hace más de un año plantearon una oferta de alquiler de sus blindados de última generación, del tipo llamado 8x8, para ser empleados en las misiones internacionales de más riesgo: la guerra de Afganistán y la operación de la ONU para interponerse entre las milicias chiíes e Israel en la frontera libanesa (Finul).

La idea fue rechazada por Defensa pese al frenazo dado al programa de adquisición de los 8x8.

Después, tanto Nexter como el resto de las principales empresas competidoras se ofrecieron para empezar la fabricación de vehículos sin pedir dinero por adelantado.

Pese a ello, el programa sigue igual de parado y el Ejército tiene que estirar aún más la vida útil de los viejos BMR, blindados que cumplieron a satisfacción en las misiones de los años ochenta y noventa en los Balcanes, pero que en las guerras de Irak y, sobre todo en Afganistán, han quedado en evidencia por ser muy vulnerables a los artefactos explosivos de los talibanes.

Defensa los ha retirado del país asiático después de las bajas sufridas por las tropas españolas víctimas de unas minas de fabricación artesanal –los llamados IED–, que son el arma favorita de la insurgencia.

Los BMR fueron reemplazos hace un año en Afganistán por los RG-31, blindados de pelotón específicamente diseñados contra las minas, pero que sólo sirven para transporte de tropas –no son blindados de combate– y para misiones muy específicas.

Puesto el parche en la misión de la OTAN, sigue el problema en el conjunto de las unidades de infantería y caballería en suelo nacional –los RG-31 sólo están en Afganistán– y también en el Líbano.

Desde mayo, las fuerzas de Finul han sufrido varios ataques con parecido procedimiento al que siguen los talibanes afganos: los artefactos caseros contra las columnas de blindados.

En julio atacaron así a cuatro vehículos franceses y resultaron heridos 6 militares galos.

Dos meses antes hubo bajas italianas.

Defensa compró vehículos blindados de sección modernos, los pequeños Lince, para equipar a las tropas en El Líbano, pero el blindado de pelotón en el que se mueven la mayoría de los soldados sigue siendo el viejo BMR, según reconocen en fuentes militares.

Las fuerzas francesas, como las del resto de los principales países europeos, además de estadounidenses y canadienses, disponen en las misiones de guerra de los 8x8, tanto en Afganistán como en El Líbano.

En el Estado Mayor del Ejército consideran “imprescindible” la urgente jubilación de los BMR y la gradual entrada en servicio de los modernos 8x8, proyecto diseñado en 2007 para el que ya se ha perdido la legislatura con Carme Chacón de ministra.

Es un retraso que amenaza la operatividad del Ejército.

La guerra de los aviones no tripulados en Pakistán


Piratería en Benín

Al qaida en el Sinai


Officials: Egypt to target Al Qaeda cells said to be training in Sinai -- CNN

Egypt Deploys Troops Against Al Qaeda-Inspired Militants -- FOX News/AP

Army, police deployed in North Sinai -- The Daily News Egypt

Special forces deployed to Sinai to restore security -- Almasry Alyoum

Egypt: Sinai governor, Salafists deny armed militants presence -- Bikyamasr

Egypt's military deployed to Sinai to defend from potential terror attacks -- Almasry Alyoum


Por favor, no olvidéis a mi Papá // Don´t forget about my Dad, please

Lecciones letales en Misurata

Video editado:



Video original, sin editar:





Reading the rebels in Misurata, Libya -- At War/New York Times

Sobornos italianos en Afganistán


Afganistán y Londres










Friday, August 12, 2011

Yihad en Colmenar Viejo (Madrid)


"Los musulmanes —advierte—, si hacemos la guerra y morimos, creemos que vamos al cielo. Eso es lo que dice el Corán".

Copio de Carlos hidalgo, diario ABC, Alta tensión en Colmenar Viejo:

Colmenar Viejo está que arde.

Han pasado tres días desde que se desencadenara una noche de caza de brujas en el pueblo de marroquíes contra dominicanos y los nervios siguen a flor de piel.

El rumor de que miembros de bandas latinas acudirán al municipio este sábado para «vengar» a sus compatriotas no ha hecho más que incidir en la herida abierta entre la amplia comunidad magrebí: si de por sí ya tienen rabia porque uno de sus jóvenes, Mohamed, sigue muy grave tras ser apuñalado, la amenaza de una nueva reyerta interracial se la toman como un pulso.

Y dicen que van a responderlo.

En Colmenar no se habla de otra cosa desde el lunes por la noche.

Una pelea entre dos chavales, un dominicano («Francis») y un marroquí (Mohamed) se saldó con el primero clavándole un cuchillo en la axila izquierda al otro.

Pero la tragedia no había llegado a su fin.

Porque doscientos magrebíes la emprendieron no sólo con el presunto agresor, que ya está en prisión por intento de homicidio, sino con los cuatro compatriotas que le acompañaban y con un puñado de comercios regentados por dominicanos.

Locales cerrados por miedo

Ayer, estos negocios permanecían cerrados.

La encargada de uno de los bares objeto de la venganza no se atrevió a reabrir.

Sabe que hay muchas ganas de revancha, y no quiere que vuelva a pillarle en medio.

Según explicó a ABC, la propia Guardia Civil le ha advertido de que, en caso de que Mohamed empeore, sus amigos podrían volver a la carga.

El fin de semana está a la vuelta de la esquina y las noches son el caldo de cultivo de los violentos para lanzar piedras y amenazar de muerte a esta pequeña parte de la comunidad latina de Colmenar.

Los propios chavales que podrían haber estado involucrados en los altercados repetían ayer sus amenazas.

«Las bandas latinas han escrito en algunos foros de internet que van a venir el sábado con pistolas, a por nosotros. Es gente de Alcobendas.

Si vienen, aquí va a haber guerra», dice uno; otro joven añade: «Como lo hagan, ya están avisados unos amigos míos de Lavapiés, Miraflores de la Sierra, Soto del Real y Guadalix... Los musulmanes —advierte—, si hacemos la guerra y morimos, creemos que vamos al cielo. Eso es lo que dice el Corán».

La conversación se desarrolla en el esquinazo que frecuentan una veintena de jóvenes marroquíes noche y día.

Ahora están en Ramadán, y el hambre, aseguran, los pone «más rabiosos».

Alí, de 24 años, está en prisión: «Me pegué con un policía en Ceuta y me echaron un año y ocho meses. El policía me arrancó un diente y yo le arranqué otro».

Ahora, el juez le ha dado 20 días de permiso y se acaba de enterar que «Francis», el presunto agresor de su amigo Mohamed, está en Soto del Real, la misma cárcel donde él cumple condena. «A ver si me entero de en qué módulo lo han metido....», dice, con aires de revancha.

Buena parte de la comunidad marroquí culpa a las autoridades policiales de Colmenar de lo que está ocurriendo.

Acusan a la Policía Local de «racista» y critican los cacheos a los que la Guardia Civil les somete.

El Instituto Armado está reforzando estos días su presencia en la localidad, incluso trayendo patrullas de otros puestos cercanos.

«Nos da igual —insisten los chavales marroquíes—; como los cómplices del que acuchilló a Mohamed salgan a la calle, van a morir».

«¡Que se maten ellos!»

En un bar del centro del pueblo nadie quiere dar su nombre.

Pero todos hablan.

También les ha llegado el rumor del posible ajuste de cuentas que planean las bandas latinas.

Una vecina de toda la vida lo zanja rápido: «¡Que se maten entre ellos! ¡Así hay más trabajo para todos y menos ayudas!».

Otro «parroquiano» tiene algo muy seguro: «Si la quieren liar, acabarán liándola.

Las fiestas de los Remedios van a estar este año muy “calentitas”».

Se refiere a los festejos locales, que darán inicio muy pronto, el 26 de agosto.

A la vuelta de la esquina, prácticamente.

Algunos vecinos españoles tampoco se fían de la efectividad de la Policía Local de Colmenar Viejo.

«¡Como tengamos que confiar en la Policía de elite que tenemos...! ¡Son unos “gallinas”!», se burlan.

Ayer, durante las casi cuatro horas que ABC permaneció en el centro de la localidad apenas se vio un coche patrulla de la Policía Local.

Aunque los residentes en la zona aseguran que se dejan caer por el barrio sobre todo de noche, que es cuando más peligro existe.

Lo cierto es que, al cierre de esta edición, el día de ayer había transcurrido con total normalidad.

No hubo incidentes.

Pero sí se mantenía una tensión verbal que acabó con insultos y amenazas a los periodistas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mercenarios en Somalia ("U.S. Relies on Contractors in Somalia Conflict")

Foto: AP.

El señor Rouget, es un fornido ex oficial del ejército francés, que mandó un grupo de "combatientes extranjeros" durante la guerra civil de Costa de Marfil en 2003, fue condenado como mercenario por un tribunal sudafricano y pasó una temporada en la guardia presidencial de las islas comores, un archipiélago conocido por los intentos de golpe de Estado allí ocurridos.

Hoy trabaja para Bancroft Global Development, una compañía estadounidense de "seguridad privada" que el Departamento de Estado ha financiado indirectamente para que entrene a las tropas africanas que han luchado en Somalia contra as shabab.

Mercenarios.

Alguien tiene que hacerlo, ¿no?.

Ya.

Más en:

Jeffrey Gettleman, Mark Mazzetti And Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, U.S. Relies on Contractors in Somalia Conflict.

Katharine Houreld, Huffington Post, Bancroft Global Development, U.S. Group, Advises African Troops In Somalia.

Un grupo "hacker" destruirá Facebook el cinco de noviembre de 2011



Matt Cantor, Newser: We're Gonna 'Kill Facebook' on Nov. 5

Ellis Hamburger, Bussines Insider, Hacker Group Anonymous Vows To Destroy Facebook On November 5

Doug Gross,CNN, Hacker group vows to 'kill Facebook'

Emil Protalinski, ZDNet, Anonymous does not support killing Facebook on November 5

¿Por qué el día cinco de noviembre? Porque es la noche de Guy Fawkes


Jorge Castañeda: Grave Lessons

Copio de Jorge Castañeda, Time Magazine, Grave Lessons:

"They uncovered his face, now clear and serene, and bared the chest wracked by 40 years of asthma and months of hunger in the wilds of the Bolivian southeast. Then they laid him out in the laundry room at the hospital of Nuestra Señora de Malta, raising his head so all could look upon the fallen prey. As they placed him on the concrete slab, they ... asked the nurse to wash him, comb his hair, and trim the sparse beard. By the time journalists and curious townspeople began to file past, the metamorphosis was complete: the dejected, angry and disheveled man of the day before was now the Christ of Vallegrande ... The Bolivian army had made its only field error after capturing its greatest war trophy. It had transformed the resigned and cornered revolutionary ... into the magical image of life beyond death. His executioners had bestowed a human face upon the myth that would circle the world."

I wrote these lines about Che Guevara's death and the pictures of his body 15 years ago about another time, another place and another photograph.

But they may help us understand the dilemma faced by Barack Obama and the U.S. with regard to a different death and a picture we may never see.

A hideous image of a destroyed, distorted face and corpse confirms nothing; the photograph of a cleaned-up, open-eyed, well-treated body is proof of death but creates a martyr. With time, we will know which was the better solution: the Bolivian or the American one.

For Guevara's admirers, any comparison between the Argentine doctor and Osama bin Laden is hateful; for the al-Qaeda faithful and many others, any analogy between their fallen idol and a communist infidel is worse than heresy.

But the conundrums resulting from their respective executions are not dissimilar.

Guevara was executed in October 1967 because there was no solution to the complications his capture would have entailed.

To try him in Bolivia risked thousands of protesters' storming embassies all over the world and Fidel Castro's sending special-ops teams to rescue him; it was not an option.

Having the U.S. fly him to the Panama Canal Zone (the equivalent of Guantánamo) would have simply confirmed that Guevara was fighting imperialism, not a Bolivian army of peasants and poor workers.

Much the same seems to have happened in Abbottabad.

First, as in Bolivia, and regardless of instructions or intentions, taking bin Laden alive would have created an insoluble problem.

There are valid legal and moral issues here, but there were also real-world questions without good answers.

If taken alive, where would he have been tried? In the U.S. — in New York, which would not allow a trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to take place? Who would have tried him? The International Criminal Court, which the U.S. does not belong to? A Pakistani court? All the contradictions of the Guantánamo process would have been reproduced, but in spades.

However weakened bin Laden and al-Qaeda might have become, there would have been no shortage of devotees across the Muslim world and elsewhere who would have protested, or taken American hostages and demanded bin Laden's release.

Then would have come the problem of the body. Even after al-Qaeda acknowledged bin Laden's death, the incredulous persist.

The best way to discredit skepticism about his killing would be to show the photographs.

But doing to him what the CIA and the Bolivian military did to Guevara almost 45 years ago would have perhaps wrought the same counterproductive feat: bestowing upon Osama bin Laden a clean, serene, exemplary image just right for martyrdom.

The analogy can be taken one step further.

The Bolivians claimed for 40 years that Guevara's body had been cremated in order to avoid the emergence of a memorial of any sort.

It turned out, according to the Cubans, that he was not cremated at all.

His remains were recovered near a cemetery in Vallegrande and taken to Cuba in 2007, where a shrine was built to house them.

The Americans buried bin Laden at sea for many reasons, but one certainly was the need to ensure that there be no shrine, no meeting place, no memory with a site to support it.

The U.S. decision may have had nothing to do with this historical speculation; we may never know.

We do know a lesson we learned nearly half a century ago, that the best way to avoid an effigy of martyrdom is to dispose of the material basis for it.

But there is a downside to no face, no body and no picture: in the eyes of many, insufficient proof of death.

Skepticism vs. glorification — not an easy choice.

Castañeda, a global distinguished professor at New York University, is the author of Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Islam hoy TV


Un nuevo canal de televisión en la red que la Comunidad Islámica en España pone a su disposición: Islam hoy TV.

If we don´t know what we are doing...




The Library of Iberian Resources Online (LIBRO)


The Road to War in Serbia: Trauma and Catharsis

The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies Sponsored by Georgetown University

Fotos de lo que pasa en Inglaterra


Guerra entre EEUU y Francia por el Sahel

Copio de www.correodiplomatico.com, Guerra entre EEUU y Francia por el Sahel:

Francia y Estados Unidos libran desde hace algún tiempo una auténtica guerra –velada, eso sí– por el control del Sahel, un no man’s land desértico que comprende Níger, Malia, Mauritania y el sur argelino.

Los servicios franceses de seguridad e inteligencia temen ver la región, tradicionalmente bajo control del Hexágono, invadida por las huestes estadounidenses.

Ante una tal eventualidad, los galos multiplican sus esfuerzos a todos los niveles para evitar ser suplantados sobre el terreno por sus rivales americanos.

Ambos países invocan oficialmente la lucha contra la rama magrebí de Al Qaeda para justificar su presencia en el Sahel.

No obstante, analistas y expertos invocan el interés geoestratégico de la zona, tanto por su ubicación, siendo la frontera de separación natural entre el África subsahariana y el Magreb, como por lo ingente de los recursos naturales que alberga, uranio y petróleo fundamentalmente.

En este sentido, Washington no ha cesado de incrementar la presencia de efectivos en la zona, a través de diferentes iniciativas, como la Pansahel o Transahel, y multiplicando su colaboración con ejércitos locales, como el argelino por ejemplo, argumentando siempre la lucha contra el terrorismo.

Para cortar el camino a los estadounidenses, los franceses han reforzado su implicación directa sobre el terreno con las fuerzas militares autóctonas.

Es el caso de Mauritania, donde el ejército galo lucha mano a mano con las milicias locales en la lucha contra Al Qaeda en el Magreb Islámico (AQMI).

El Elíseo justifica esta presencia por la necesidad de mejorar las capacidades, logísticas y humanas, del ejército de Nuakchot, para lo cual Francia ha acogido a varios oficiales mauritanos en sus academias militares en terreno francés.

A nivel material, a finales de 2010, Francia entregó a Mauritania, entre otros, cuatro aviones Tucano con una “finalidad formativa”, y se prevé la entrega de nuevos aparatos durante los próximos meses.

La ayuda francesa no se limita al aspecto militar y París presionaría sobre la UE para obtener grandes ayudas financieras para el país magrebí como “gesto” por la colaboración de Nuakchot en la lucha contra el terrorismo, el narcotráfico o la inmigración clandestina.

París desarrolla iniciativas similares, a través de los mismos o diferentes foros internacionales, para con el resto de países de la región, tratando de ganarse sus favores con vistas a limitar el impacto de la presencia americana en el Sahel.

¿Nos vamos al carajo?


Enlace

Is the world going bankrupt? -- Der Spiegel online

El oro de Mefisto



Eric Frattini -- El oro de Mefisto

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The US military's secret military


Copio de Nick Turse, al jazeera, The US military's secret military:

Somewhere on this planet a US commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you're done... for the day.

Without the knowledge of much of the general American public, a secret force within the US military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world's countries.

This Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has generally been ignored by the mainstream media, and deserves further attention.

After a US Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden's chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the US military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight.

It was atypical.

While it's well known that US Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it's increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has often remained out of the public scrutiny.

Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that US Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency.

By the end of this year, US Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120.

"We do a lot of travelling - a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq," he said recently.

This global presence - in about 60 per cent of the world's nations and far larger than previously acknowledged - is evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.

The rise of the military's secret military

Born of a failed 1980 raid to rescue American hostages in Iran, in which eight US service members died, US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was established in 1987.

Having spent the post-Vietnam years distrusted and starved for money by the regular military, special operations forces suddenly had a single home, a stable budget, and a four-star commander as their advocate.

Since then, SOCOM has grown into a combined force of startling proportions.

Made up of units from all the service branches, including the Army's "Green Berets" and Rangers, Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos, and Marine Corps Special Operations teams, in addition to specialised helicopter crews, boat teams, civil affairs personnel, para-rescuemen, and even battlefield air-traffic controllers and special operations weathermen, SOCOM carries out the United States' most specialised and secret missions.

These include assassinations, counterterrorist raids, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, foreign troop training, and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations.

One of its key components is the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, a clandestine sub-command whose primary mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists.

Reporting to the president and acting under his authority, JSOC maintains a global hit list that includes US citizens.

It has been operating an extra-legal "kill/capture" campaign that John Nagl, a past counterinsurgency adviser to four-star general and soon-to-be CIA Director David Petraeus, calls "an almost industrial-scale counterterrorism killing machine".

This assassination programme has been carried out by commando units like the Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force as well as via drone strikes as part of covert wars in which the CIA is also involved in countries like Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen.

In addition, the command operates a network of secret prisons, perhaps as many as 20 black sites in Afghanistan alone, used for interrogating high-value targets.

Growth industry

From a force of about 37,000 in the early 1990s, Special Operations Command personnel have grown to almost 60,000, about a third of whom are career members of SOCOM; the rest have other military occupational specialties, but periodically cycle through the command.

Growth has been exponential since September 11, 2001, as SOCOM's baseline budget almost tripled from $2.3bn to $6.3bn.

If you add in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has actually more than quadrupled to $9.8bn in these years.

Not surprisingly, the number of its personnel deployed abroad has also jumped four-fold.

Further increases, and expanded operations, are on the horizon.

Lieutenant General Dennis Hejlik, the former head of the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command - the last of the service branches to be incorporated into SOCOM in 2006 - indicated, for instance, that he foresees a doubling of his former unit of 2,600.

"I see them as a force someday of about 5,000, like equivalent to the number of SEALs that we have on the battlefield. Between [5,000] and 6,000," he said at a June breakfast with defence reporters in Washington.

Long-term plans already call for the force to increase by 1,000.

During his recent Senate confirmation hearings, Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven, the incoming SOCOM chief and outgoing head of JSOC (which he commanded during the bin Laden raid) endorsed a steady manpower growth rate of 3 per cent to 5 per cent a year, while also making a pitch for even more resources, including additional drones and the construction of new special operations facilities.

A former SEAL who still sometimes accompanies troops into the field, McRaven expressed a belief that, as conventional forces are drawn down in Afghanistan, special ops troops will take on an ever greater role.

Iraq, he added, would benefit if elite US forces continued to conduct missions there past the December 2011 deadline for a total American troop withdrawal.

He also assured the Senate Armed Services Committee that "as a former JSOC commander, I can tell you we were looking very hard at Yemen and at Somalia".

During a speech at the National Defense Industrial Association's annual Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict Symposium earlier this year, Navy Admiral Eric Olson, the outgoing chief of Special Operations Command, pointed to a composite satellite image of the world at night.

Before September 11, 2001, the lit portions of the planet - mostly the industrialised nations of the global north - were considered the key areas.

"But the world changed over the last decade," he said.

"Our strategic focus has shifted largely to the south ... certainly within the special operations community, as we deal with the emerging threats from the places where the lights aren't."

To that end, Olson launched "Project Lawrence", an effort to increase cultural proficiencies - like advanced language training and better knowledge of local history and customs - for overseas operations.

The programme is, of course, named after the British officer, Thomas Edward Lawrence (better known as "Lawrence of Arabia"), who teamed up with Arab fighters to wage a guerrilla war in the Middle East during World War I.

Mentioning Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, and Indonesia, Olson added that SOCOM now needed "Lawrences of Wherever".

While Olson made reference to only 51 countries of top concern to SOCOM, Col.

Nye told me that on any given day, Special Operations forces are deployed in approximately 70 nations around the world.

All of them, he hastened to add, at the request of the host government.

According to testimony by Olson before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year, approximately 85 per cent of special operations troops deployed overseas are in 20 countries in the CENTCOM area of operations in the Greater Middle East: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

The others are scattered across the globe from South America to Southeast Asia, some in small numbers, others as larger contingents.

Special Operations Command won't disclose exactly which countries its forces operate in.

"We're obviously going to have some places where it's not advantageous for us to list where we're at," says Nye.

"Not all host nations want it known, for whatever reasons they have - it may be internal, it may be regional."

But it's no secret (or at least a poorly kept one) that so-called black special operations troops, like the SEALs and Delta Force, are conducting kill/capture missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen, while "white" forces like the Green Berets and Rangers are training indigenous partners as part of a worldwide secret war against al-Qaeda and other militant groups.

In the Philippines, for instance, the US spends $50m a year on a 600-person contingent of Army Special Operations forces, Navy Seals, Air Force special operators, and others that carries out counterterrorist operations with Filipino allies against insurgent groups like Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf.

Last year, as an analysis of SOCOM documents, open-source Pentagon information, and a database of Special Operations missions compiled by investigative journalist Tara McKelvey (for the Medill School of Journalism's National Security Journalism Initiative) reveals, the US' most elite troops carried out joint-training exercises in Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Germany, Indonesia, Mali, Norway, Panama, and Poland.

So far in 2011, similar training missions have been conducted in the Dominican Republic, Jordan, Romania, Senegal, South Korea, and Thailand, among other nations.

In reality, Nye told me, training actually went on in almost every nation where Special Operations forces are deployed.

"Of the 120 countries we visit by the end of the year, I would say the vast majority are training exercises in one fashion or another.

They would be classified as training exercises."

The Pentagon's power elite

Once the neglected stepchildren of the military establishment, Special Operations forces have been growing exponentially not just in size and budget, but also in power and influence.

Since 2002, SOCOM has been authorised to create its own Joint Task Forces - like Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines - a prerogative normally limited to larger combatant commands like CENTCOM.

This year, without much fanfare, SOCOM also established its own Joint Acquisition Task Force, a cadre of equipment designers and acquisition specialists.

With control over budgeting, training, and equipping its force, powers usually reserved for departments (like the Department of the Army or the Department of the Navy), dedicated dollars in every Defense Department budget, and influential advocates in Congress, SOCOM is by now an exceptionally powerful player at the Pentagon.

With real clout, it can win bureaucratic battles, purchase cutting-edge technology, and pursue fringe research like electronically beaming messages into people's heads or developing stealth-like cloaking technologies for ground troops.

Since 2001, SOCOM's prime contracts awarded to small businesses - those that generally produce specialty equipment and weapons - have jumped six-fold.

Headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, but operating out of theatre commands spread out around the globe, including Hawaii, Germany, and South Korea, and active in the majority of countries on the planet, Special Operations Command is now a force unto itself.

As outgoing SOCOM chief Olson put it earlier this year, SOCOM "is a microcosm of the Department of Defense, with ground, air, and maritime components, a global presence, and authorities and responsibilities that mirror the Military Departments, Military Services, and Defense Agencies".

Tasked to coordinate all Pentagon planning against global terrorism networks and, as a result, closely connected to other government agencies, foreign militaries, and intelligence services, and armed with a vast inventory of stealthy helicopters, manned fixed-wing aircraft, heavily-armed drones, high-tech guns-a-go-go speedboats, specialised Humvees and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, as well as other state-of-the-art gear (with more on the way), SOCOM represents something new in the military.

Whereas the late scholar of militarism Chalmers Johnson used to refer to the CIA as "the president's private army", today JSOC performs that role, acting as the chief executive's private assassination squad, and its parent, SOCOM, functions as a new Pentagon power-elite, a secret military within the military possessing domestic power and global reach.

In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raids, joint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans.

Once "special" for being small, lean, outsider outfits, today they are special for their power, access, influence, and aura.

That aura now benefits from a well-honed public relations campaign which helps them project a superhuman image at home and abroad, even while many of their actual activities remain in the ever-widening shadows.

Typical of the vision they are pushing was this statement from Admiral Olson: "I am convinced that the forces … are the most culturally attuned partners, the most lethal hunter-killers, and most responsive, agile, innovative, and efficiently effective advisors, trainers, problem-solvers, and warriors that any nation has to offer."

Recently at the Aspen Institute's Security Forum, Olson offered up similarly gilded comments and some misleading information, too, claiming that US Special Operations forces were operating in just 65 countries and engaged in combat in only two of them.

When asked about drone strikes in Pakistan, he reportedly replied, "Are you talking about unattributed explosions?"

What he did let slip, however, was telling.

He noted, for instance, that black operations like the bin Laden mission, with commandos conducting heliborne night raids, were now exceptionally common.

A dozen or so are conducted every night, he said.

Perhaps most illuminating, however, was an offhand remark about the size of SOCOM.

Right now, he emphasised, US Special Operations forces were approximately as large as Canada's entire active duty military.

In fact, the force is larger than the active duty militaries of many of the nations where the US' elite troops now operate each year, and it's only set to grow larger.

Americans have yet to grapple with what it means to have a "special" force this large, this active, and this secret - and they are unlikely to begin to do so until more information is available.

It just won't be coming from Olson or his troops.

"Our access [to foreign countries] depends on our ability to not talk about it," he said in response to questions about SOCOM's secrecy.

When missions are subject to scrutiny like the bin Laden raid, he said, the elite troops object.

The military's secret military, said Olson, wants "to get back into the shadows and do what they came in to do".

Nick Turse is a historian, essayist, and investigative journalist. The associate editor of TomDispatch.com and a new senior editor at Alternet.org, his latest book is The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Verso Books). A version of this article originally appeared on TomDispatch.com. The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

¿Están ganando los talibán?


Fuente/Source: icasualties.org. Patterson Clark/The Washington Post. Published on August 6, 2011, 10:19 p.m.

El motín de Londres // London riots



London riots -- The Boston Globe, The Big Picture

British riots spread on third night of violence -- Yahoo News/Reuters

London riots: Guerrilla warfare erupts as no one knows where mob will strike next -- The Telegraph

London burns at hands of the mob as the PM finally flies home: Gangs armed with petrol bombs and poles on THIRD night of riots and cynical looting -- Daily Mail

Surrender! Powerless police let the mob seize the streets, looting shops and starting fires in their wake -- Daily Mail

London riots escalate as police battle for control -- The Guardian

London riots: violence escalates across London -- The Telegraph

Hackney rioters directly target police -- The Guardian

Riots spread from London in third day -- Washington Times

London boroughs on alert after third night of violence -- The Guardian

David Cameron flies back to UK for emergency meeting on riots -- The Guardian

UK's Cameron cancels vacation amid London riots -- Yahoo News/AP

3rd Night of London Riots, British PM Cuts Vacation Short -- Voice of America

London violence extends into third day -- Al Jazeera

More than 200 arrested in London riots -- MSNBC

Building set ablaze in south London, riots escalate -- Reuters

London riots spread to Hackney: Telegraph reporter's eyewitness account -- The Telegraph

Second night of violence in London – and this time it was organised -- The Guardian

Police Clash With Rioters in London, 215 Arrested -- Voice of America

London violence raises 2012 Olympic concerns -- AP

London riots: how did the Metropolitan police lose control of the capital? -- The Guardian

London riots: Timeline and map of violence -- BBC

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