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Old 2010-02-22, 05:31   Link #6181
SaintessHeart
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Now this is interesting.....shit from hell, no doubt.

NATO Airstrikes Kill 20 Civilians

Quote:
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG And HABIB ZAHORI

KABULA coalition airstrike killed at least 20 civilians in southern Afghanistan, officials said Monday as allied forces worked to crush pockets of Taliban resistance in Marjah and win over wary civilians.

The airstrike Sunday hit a group of minibuses carrying women and children in a remote part of the south near the border between Uruzgan and Daykundi provinces. The area is hundreds of miles from Marjah, where the largest offensive since 2001 is now in its second week. But the airstrike nonetheless illustrated one of the major problems faced by coalition forces as they try to win the trust and support of civilians in Marjah and throughout Afghanistan: figuring out who is a friend and who is a foe.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Afghanistan task force said its forces believed the minibuses were carrying insurgents who were on their way to attack Afghan and NATO troops. It engaged the minibuses with "airborne weapons," NATO said in a statement.

Troops then went to the scene "and found women and children," the statement said. It took the wounded to be treated at a NATO facility.

Afghan and NATO officials ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

NATO didn't say how many people it believed had been killed in the strike. But Khudai Rahim, the deputy governor of Uruzgan, said that preliminary reports put the death toll between 20 and 25 people, all civilians and many of them women and children.

He said the provincial government had dispatched a fact-finding team to the site and hoped to have more details later Monday.

Civilian casualties have for years stoked anger among ordinary Afghans and been used by the Taliban as a propaganda tool. President Hamid Karzai has also repeatedly criticized NATO for killing civilians; his latest statement on the issue came Sunday in a speech opening the new session of Afghanistan's parliament.

Aware of the damage to the war effort caused by the accidental killing of civilians, U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top NATO commander, ordered the rules of engagement tightened when he arrived this past summer. The result: the number of civilian casualties caused by coalition forces dropped by a third last year. In contrast, the number of people killed by the Taliban and other militants rose by about 40%.

Still, Gen. McChrystal and President Karzai say the number has to come down much further if the coalition and the Afghan government are to prevail over the Taliban and its allies.

"We are extremely saddened by the tragic loss of innocent lives," Gen. McChrystal was quoted as saying by the NATO statement. "I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people, and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission. We will redouble our efforts to regain that trust."

The NATO statement said Gen. McChrystal had already spoken to President Karzai and expressed his sorrow and regret for the incident.

The coalition and Afghan forces fighting in Marjah have also accidentally killed civilians since the offensive began after midnight on Feb. 13. So far, at least 19 people have been killed in the offensive, along with at least 13 coalition troops and one Afghan soldier. Coalition commanders worry that the civilian deaths will undermine the operation's ultimate goal restoring the authority of the Afghan government in the southern town and convincing the people there to throw in their lot with the government and the coalition.
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Old 2010-02-22, 06:33   Link #6182
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They wanted to win civilians over and ended up killing them instead. Great work NATO! You deserve an award for this!
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Old 2010-02-22, 09:32   Link #6183
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
They wanted to win civilians over and ended up killing them instead. Great work NATO! You deserve an award for this!
I don't think they wanted to do it. Bad intelligence I guess, but since most part of intel on the ground come from SIGINT/ELEINT rather than the more reliable HUMINT, airstrikes on civvies and blue-on-blue incidents like these are bound to happen.

Heck to make matters worse, the Talipigs made civilians stand on the roofs while they engage NATO troops from the houses. Bunch of lowlife dogs.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2010-02-22, 09:35   Link #6184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I don't think they wanted to do it. Bad intelligence I guess, but since most part of intel on the ground come from SIGINT/ELEINT rather than the more reliable HUMINT, airstrikes on civvies and blue-on-blue incidents like these are bound to happen.

Heck to make matters worse, the Talipigs made civilians stand on the roofs while they engage NATO troops from the houses. Bunch of lowlife dogs.
I can believe that they didn't want to do it, but if you ask me, they should've taken better precautions to prevent this "collateral damage" like relying on HUMINT instead of SIGINT. The whole reason they're there is to "liberate" civilians from the talibans, and doing things half-@$$ed like they are now won't help. Now that civilians died, those who lived won't exactly see them favourably. That's what really matters if they're trying to win over civilians.
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Old 2010-02-22, 09:47   Link #6185
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
I can believe that they didn't want to do it, but if you ask me, they should've taken better precautions to prevent this "collateral damage" like relying on HUMINT instead of SIGINT. The whole reason they're there is to "liberate" civilians from the talibans, and doing things half-@$$ed like they are now won't help. Now that civilians died, those who lived won't exactly see them favourably. That's what really matters if they're trying to win over civilians.
Well they can't take any risks. 2 busloads of insurgents/supplies is enough to cause trouble and put down over a hundred marines.

We are not talking about those normal ones. We are talking about those who have fought as the mujahideen or with the SOF and survived. As compared to the marines, they have had tons lot more combat experience, just that they are not well-armed enough.

Since vehicles, let alone buses are uncommon in a failed state like Afghanistan, it is not surprising that NATO would think that they are ferrying insurgents and blow them apart with PGMs. It is a terrible mistake caused by pessimism, but avoiding it is like putting a few thousand civilians and a few hundred Marines' lives at stake.

From a military standpoint, it is tragic. From an idiot generalising civilian's standpoint, it is atrocity. From a well-informed standpoint, well it depends on how well the person is informed, and how much knowledge he can apply. Can't exactly blame anyone for their opinion except for the 2nd example.

Besides the only functional organisation with top-notch HUMINT is the Israeli Mossad. Putting a bomb in a car headrest and setting it off on time is a few hundred times harder as compared to blowing up a couple of cars then scraping leftovers for DNA verification.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2010-02-22, 10:42   Link #6186
MeoTwister5
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So much for computer-guided pinpoint precision military technology.
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Old 2010-02-22, 10:45   Link #6187
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Well, I'm not saying it's an atrocity as I'm not the best informed person on this matter, but I will say that it is quite stupid for the US military, which already takes up so much US tax money and other sources of finance, not to have top-grade equipment and use it. It's also stupid to make the kind of assumptions that all buses in Afghanistan carry insurgents and end up causing accidents like these.
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Old 2010-02-22, 10:46   Link #6188
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
So much for computer-guided pinpoint precision military technology.
Those PGMs are not guided by DNA lol. They are guided by satellites or lasing systems. But if we can have a system that detects capsicin content from a satellite, it would work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
Well, I'm not saying it's an atrocity as I'm not the best informed person on this matter, but I will say that it is quite stupid for the US military, which already takes up so much US tax money and other sources of finance, not to have top-grade equipment and use it. It's also stupid to make the kind of assumptions that all buses in Afghanistan carry insurgents and end up causing accidents like these.
Most lol, most. Besides the equipment can't be all top grade, US is suffering from a really huge deficit and they have to roll-back their military.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2010-02-22, 10:51   Link #6189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
They wanted to win civilians over and ended up killing them instead. Great work NATO! You deserve an award for this!
I'm' thinking you'd make a great General. Seems like you have all the answers and know how things are over there.
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Old 2010-02-22, 11:06   Link #6190
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by justinstrife View Post
I'm' thinking you'd make a great General. Seems like you have all the answers and know how things are over there.
Most of us here don't know what the heck is EXACTLY going on down there, one reason being most ops are conducted by Special Forces and field agents of intelligence agencies like the CIA. Majority of the ISAF are there to do guard duty and policing, other than training.

Counterinsurgency seems to be a rather messy operation. Hopefully they didn't run something like the Phoenix Program back in Vietnam.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2010-02-22, 11:22   Link #6191
Tsuyoshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Most lol, most. Besides the equipment can't be all top grade, US is suffering from a really huge deficit and they have to roll-back their military.
Yes, they have to bring the soldiers back. Problem is, they haven't been trying to do that until recently, when Obama made his announcement of his plans to bring them all back by next year iirc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinstrife View Post
I'm' thinking you'd make a great General. Seems like you have all the answers and know how things are over there.
If I were General, I'd take all the soldiers back to the US and conduct a hostile takeover of the white house and run things myself. The world needs a revolution
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Old 2010-02-22, 11:59   Link #6192
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_471324.html

Quote:
Obama's Health Care Proposal Lays Blueprint For Democratic Action

President Obama officially released his own health care reform proposal on Monday in a last-ditch effort to unite the Democratic Party around some sort of comprehensive legislation.

Coming days before the much anticipated bipartisan health care reform summit this Thursday, the 11-page White House proposal is being pitched as a foundation upon which lawmakers can build. Presidential aides stressed repeatedly on a call with reporters Monday that Republicans will have opportunities to amend it.

"We view this as the opening bid for the health meeting," said Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer. "We took our best shot at bridging the differences. We think this makes some strong steps to improving the final product. It is our hope the Republicans will come together around their plan and post that online prior to the meeting so that the American people have a chance to go look at it... and be thoroughly informed heading into this meeting."

But it clearly remains a Democratic effort. Working off the Senate's bill while melding key provisions from the House's version, White House officials are proposing to add another $75 billion in costs to the legislation, bringing the total up to $950 billion over the next decade -- all of which will be offset by increased revenue.

Among the major changes in the president's proposal:

* It removes the $100 million in Medicaid funding that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) had secured for his home state of Nebraska -- funding that, after intense criticism, even Nelson now wants removed.

* It adopts the House's more generous measures to help individuals purchase insurance, and adopts the Senate's approach when it comes to penalizing individuals who don't buy insurance -- basing the penalty on flat dollar assessments rather than a percentage of income, and including a "hardship" exemption for families who simply cannot pay the fine.

* It closes the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole" coverage gap by 2010 -- choosing the House's language rather than the Senate's (which would provide a 50 percent discount for only certain drugs in the hole). How this conforms to the deal that the White House cut with the pharmaceutical industry at the beginning of the health care reform process is unclear.
Story continues below

* It adopts the Senate's model for health insurance exchanges (virtual marketplaces for consumers to compare and buy coverage) making them state-based as opposed to national. One plugged-in activist told the Huffington Post that this could be because it would be impossible to pass national exchanges into law using the Senate's simple-majority reconciliation process.

* It adopts the Senate's abortion provisions, which are more moderate than the aggressively anti-choice measures adopted in the House.

* It uses the Senate's revenue provisions, though it goes a long way toward pacifying those concerned about the so-called "Cadillac tax". The threshold at which health care plans would be hit by that tax would be raised from $23,000 for a family plan to $27,500. And the provisions would not kick in at all until 2018.

* It includes a new wrinkle: establishing a national health insurance authority that would help states combat insurers that institute unreasonable premium increases. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced this same proposal last week.

* Finally, despite a late-stage push for the White House to include a public option for insurance coverage in the final bill, the president's proposal does not include any element of government-run insurance.

"There is not a public option in here," said Pfeiffer, before insisting that the president does support the provision.

READ THE FULL PROPOSAL


obamaproposal -


With the health care summit scheduled for this Thursday, the White House is hoping that this foundation will get even a sliver of support from the Republican caucus. But aides aren't holding their breath. Calling for an up-or-down vote on the bill, Pfeiffer nevertheless declined to surrender the idea that Democrats would pass the legislation in the Senate using reconciliation -- the parliamentary process that precludes filibusters.

"This package is designed to help us [use reconciliation] if the Republican Party decides to filibuster health care reform," said Pfeiffer. "That was certainly a factor that went in to how we put this proposal together."

Obama's proposal is designed to fill the role traditionally played by House and Senate negotiators in conference committee -- bringing together disparate factions around one cohesive reform package. White House aides said that they consulted and worked with members of Congress when drafting their approach. Whether they have the necessary support of the Democratic Caucus to get it passed, however, is still very much an open question.

"The proposal we are putting on line is informed by our discussions with the House and the Senate leadership," Pfeiffer said. "But it is the president's proposal."
EDIT: Nevermind. I started reading the plan and this is some moderate bull crap. 70% of people want a public option in the US and the congress is afraid to legislate something that the people actually want. Too funny.
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Old 2010-02-22, 12:27   Link #6193
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Unsustainable Spending - Excellent Article

This is from a Canadian but it is an excellent article about our US spending.

It's a cold, cruel fact that we cannot afford the entitlement programs. Pretending we can and borrowing trillions to finance it can only end in disaster.

The big question is, will the idiots promoting the increase of these entitlements come to their senses before they destroy the entire economic system of not only the US but of the world.


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...ng_104503.html


Quote:
It should have been grasped, decades ago, that the constant transfer of resources from the productive to the unproductive must eventually tip the ship. And when it does, real people go over the side, who get angry when they are thrown in the water. There are consequences to that anger.

The idea that we can spend our way out of a debt crisis - or what I called above, "Keynesianism gone nuts" - has already been rejected by the Tea Party movement in the U.S., and has always been rejected by voters of conservative tendency. They know what's wrong with the present order, and have an important teaching function to the rest of the electorate, which doesn't get it yet.
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Old 2010-02-22, 12:36   Link #6194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
This is from a Canadian but it is an excellent article about our US spending.

It's a cold, cruel fact that we cannot afford the entitlement programs. Pretending we can and borrowing trillions to finance it can only end in disaster.

The big question is, will the idiots promoting the increase of these entitlements come to their senses before they destroy the entire economic system of not only the US but of the world.


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...ng_104503.html
So its referring to the corporations that don't actually produce anything of value for all the government subsidies and unaccounted contracts they get, right? ... or rather the smaller fraction of executive branches within those corporations?
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Old 2010-02-22, 12:40   Link #6195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_471324.html



EDIT: Nevermind. I started reading the plan and this is some moderate bull crap. 70% of people want a public option in the US and the congress is afraid to legislate something that the people actually want. Too funny.
50% of people don't pay income taxes. Your point?

Public option is a bad idea. As is this healthcare bill that the politicians in congress are trying to pass. We.Can't.Afford.It.

It's high time we start cutting or removing social programs as well as getting rid of entire Federal Departments. I'd start with the Departments of Education, Agriculture, etc. Bump the retirement age up for Social Security. Remove all forms of Welfare/Food Stamps, etc. Give young people the option to completely opt out of Social Security while we haven't put in 40+ years worth. The system is going bankrupt as it is. Get rid of the Politicians' Pensions. Give them term limits. Force them to use Airlines for their travel instead of Private Jets and Military Jets in some cases(yes I'm looking at you Pelosi).
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Old 2010-02-22, 12:51   Link #6196
Reckoner
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I'm not going to debate the merits of this program versus other options, but we elected people to actually represent us, and that hasn't been happening so far.

I almost believe this is part of Obama's plan. To make sure he did everything possible to find a bipartisan agreement until he is forced to use the reconciliation process and pass whatever he wants, and then shove this partisanship of the Republicans in their faces come mid-term elections and beyond.
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Old 2010-02-22, 12:54   Link #6197
justinstrife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I'm not going to debate the merits of this program versus other options, but we elected people to actually represent us, and that hasn't been happening so far.

I almost believe this is part of Obama's plan. To make sure he did everything possible to find a bipartisan agreement until he is forced to use the reconciliation process and pass whatever he wants, and then shove this partisanship of the Republicans in their faces come mid-term elections and beyond.
The Democrats are already facing the possibility of losing one of the two houses in Congress come November elections. The Public does not want this Healthcare bill. Passing it is at the peril of those in power currently.

We haven't truly had politicians represent us in decades. They're all tied up in special interests. Whether it be Corporatins, Lobbyists, Unions, Foreign Interests, etc.
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Old 2010-02-22, 13:57   Link #6198
mg1942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
So its referring to the corporations that don't actually produce anything of value for all the government subsidies and unaccounted contracts they get, right? ... or rather the smaller fraction of executive branches within those corporations?
No.

It's referring to this:

Quote:
For our governments have created vast bureaucracies, employing immense numbers whose livelihoods depend entirely (whether they realize it or not) upon the capacity of profit-earning people to pay constantly increasing taxes.

It should have been grasped, decades ago, that the constant transfer of resources from the productive to the unproductive must eventually tip the ship. And when it does, real people go over the side, who get angry when they are thrown in the water. There are consequences to that anger.
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Old 2010-02-22, 15:18   Link #6199
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Old 2010-02-22, 15:47   Link #6200
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Originally Posted by Zu Ra View Post
Having lived in Saudi for 4 years, I have to say that this almost a revolution. The restrictions imposed on women there are some of the most extensive in the middle east. Imo, King Abdullah's doing a great thing in giving women a greater role in their society. I hope this will be the first step of many towards easing said restrictions.
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