This past month, much of the attention focused on Afghanistan centered on the release of thousands of classified documents from the war effort by WikiLeaks. While the consensus appears to be that nothing significantly new was revealed by the release, the picture painted by the documents remains rather bleak. NATO and the United States now have 143,000 troops in Afghanistan, set to peak at 150,000 in coming weeks as they take a counter-insurgency offensive into the insurgents’ southern strongholds. Taliban control remains difficult to dislodge, and once removed from an area, Taliban forces often return once larger forces leave a region, especially in rural areas where local government presence remains small. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (47 photos total) GALLERY HERE.
The Afghan Taliban say they have one thing in common with the Americans: they’re both getting played by Pakistan.
The Afghan Taliban logistics officer laughs about the news he’s been hearing on his radio this past week. The story is that a Web site known as WikiLeaks has obtained and posted thousands of classified field reports from U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and hundreds of those reports mention the Americans’ suspicions that Pakistan is secretly assisting the Taliban—a charge that Pakistan has repeatedly and vehemently denied. “At least we have something in common with America,” the logistics officer says. “The Pakistanis are playing a double game with us, too.”
Pakistan’s ongoing support of the Afghan Taliban is anything but news to insurgents who have spoken to NEWSWEEK. Requesting anonymity for security reasons, many of them readily admit their utter dependence on the country’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) not only for sanctuary and safe passage but also, some say, for much of their financial support. The logistics officer, speaking at his mud-brick compound near the border, offers an unverifiable estimate that Pakistan provides roughly 80 percent of the insurgents’ funding, based on his conversations with other senior Taliban. He says the insurgents could barely cover their expenses in Kandahar province alone if not for the ISI. Not that he views them as friends. “They feed us with one hand and arrest and kill us with the other,” he says. CONTINUED
The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 was a conflict that formed out of the rival imperialist ambitions. Although the Russians recovered from initial setbacks to hold off the Japanese armies in Manchuria and along the Yalu River in Korea, the Japanese mastery of the seas proved to be decisive. The Russian fleet took eight months to sail from the Baltic Sea to relieve the besieged Russian forces at Port Arthur, the warm water port on the Pacific Ocean the Russians had so desired. The formidable Russian fleet is destoryed on arrival by the Japanese in a devastating battle at Tsushima Straits on 27th May 1905. (Above, a Chinese man unperturbedly rakes in front of a destroyed Russian warship at Port Arthur). Taken from Iconic Photos.
The Do Not Call Registry now has over 200 million numbers. For those of you too young to remember, telemarketers put up a real fight to keep the system from going into effect.
WTF is this fish called?
Can We Cut Crime by Changing Cafeteria Menus? read here
From Black and WTF.
During the worst years of the Depression (1933-1934) the overall jobless rate was 25% (1 out of 4 people) with another 25% taking wage cuts or working part time. The gross national product fell by almost 50%. It was not until 1941, when WWII was underway, that unemployment officially fell back below 10%. – Provided by RandomHistory.com
This is what happens when you put a brick inside a washing machine. When it happens, you will laugh, and you’ll watch it again.
Today’s picture shows a coal miner at the end of the day’s work. The picture was taken in 1942, at the Montour number 4 mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company. There is something truly “American” about this picture. I love the way the guy manages a big smile after a hard day of work. Old Picture of the Day.
Russian Techno Dog. This mutt has the moves -all he needs is a willing partner.
The Sinking of PT-109 (1943) (on this date it was sunk)
While on patrol in the Pacific during WWII, USS PT-109 was run down by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. The much smaller American boat was torn apart by the impact, and two seamen perished. The surviving crew, commanded by future US President John F. Kennedy, swam to safety on a nearby island and survived on coconuts for days before Solomon Islanders scouting the area found them. Kennedy’s actions made him a war hero. What did he use to send a message to Allies requesting a rescue? More…
Foreign al Qaeda commanders have taken on top leadership roles in al Shabaab, the terror group that controls much of southern Somalia and recently carried out a double suicide attack in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
The foreign commanders have trained in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan, and many have entered Somalia over the past year to assume top leadership roles in Shabaab. The al Qaeda commanders come from Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, and the United States. READ HERE.
I just returned from South Africa — a country I have visited for the past nine years every summer. With me were 23 doctoral students all studying American higher education. As part of their doctoral program, they participate in a two credit course on South African higher education, history, and culture. I have been teaching this course for many years, but am continually intrigued by my students’ reactions to discussions of race in South Africa. I thought I’d share some of their reactions. As you read, please keep in mind that this is a diverse student group, with Black, White, and Latino students of various ages, faiths, and socio-economic backgrounds. Over the years, I’ve also taken Asian and Native American students with me to South Africa.
One of the first reactions my students have takes place right after being introduced to some South Africans. You see, many South Africans will introduce themselves and very quickly make their race known. Because of the recentness of Apartheid, race permeates the air in South Africa. Many of my students are shocked by the immediate racial identification. They are also surprised by the frankness around discussing issues of race. South Africans tend to be quite comfortable talking about race unlike many Americans. MORE
Originally posted 2010-08-02 13:19:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter