Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Causation or Coincedence?

Announcement of withdrawal schedule THEN the barbarian undertakes what is being called a "brazen" attack.

And, curiously, Hamid Karzai still wants Marshall Dillon outta Dodge:

Some guests included provincial governors attending a conference due to begin on Wednesday over the transition of civil and military responsibility from foreign forces to Afghans, two Afghan officials said.

Last week, Obama announced plans for an initial withdrawal of 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, with another 23,000 to leave by the end of 2012, sparking concern the Afghan security forces were not ready to take over.

But President Hamid Karzai said the plan stood.

"This insurgent attack cannot stop our security transition process," Karzai said in a statement.

Yep. That Taliban crime family; quite the negotiating partner. Good luck with that Clyde.

I suspect the violence will continue to escalate between now and 2014, the Taliban hoping thereby to hasten our exit, and soften up their indigenous negotiation partner via that intimidation. Hate to say it, but it appears to be ending up to be a lot of wasted effort, blood and treasure on our part. Was that inevitable? Should we have stuck out implementation of COIN or was that wishful thinking? Are we going to be allowed to base some level of operations in Afghanistan, as we deal with the festering Pakistan?

Damned if I know.
The brazen raid came only a week after President Barack Obama announced a phased withdrawal of combat troops to 2014, and it raised more doubts about the ability of Afghan security forces to battle insurgents.

It needed a NATO helicopter to finally finish off the attackers, and NATO trainers helped oversee the Afghan police response to the raid.

After several explosions, attackers entered the hotel late on Tuesday and made their way to the ballroom, a hotel receptionist said.

Some carried tape recorders playing Taliban war songs and shot at anyone they saw. Guests jumped from second and third floors to escape, the receptionist told Reuters, asking not to be identified.

Li'l Kim closing up the schools of higher ed. in Noko. Why?

Because NoKo is just so darned prosperous that they don't need the schooling. Paradise on Earth has arrived. Right?

Naw.Kim needs some slave labor to slap some make-up on the ugly truth.

Pyongyang has told the North Korean people that the nation will have achieved its aim of becoming "a great, prosperous and powerful nation" in 2012, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founder of the reclusive state, Kim Il-sung.

Reports in South Korea indicated that the government in Pyongyang on Monday ordered all universities to cancel classes until April of next year. The only exemptions are for students who will be graduating in the next few months and foreign students.

The reports suggested that the students will be put to work on construction projects in major cities while there are also indications that repair work may be needed in agricultural regions that were affected by a major typhoon recently.

Oh, and we can't have any of those kids demonstrating or acting up. Wouldn't be consonant with the fact that we're so damn prosperous. Just ask those desperate souls in our gulags, and the teeming multitudes trying to get in to our shining city on the hill:

Analysts in Japan claim there may be other reasons behind the decision to disperse the students across the country.

"One reason is that there is a possibility of demonstrations at university campuses," said Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University and author of a number of books on the North Korean leadership.

"The leadership has seen the 'Jasmine Revolution' in Africa and it is very frightened that the same thing could happen in North Korea," he said. "They fear it could start in the universities."

Professor Shigemura also said that North Korea has purchased anti-riot equipment from China in recent months, including tear gas and batons, while there has been an increased police presence at key points in Pyongyang in recent months.