Monday, September 25, 2006

Global 2 Local News Round-up and Comment

Local TA Called Up to Fight War on Terror (TM)

Territorial Army recruits from Gloucestershire are being called up for duty in Afghanistan. This is on top of 100 TA people being called up from Somerset too. They are to be based in the thick of the insurgency in Helmand province. We’ve had press reports of the ferocity of the fighting and how the US/UK had underestimated the insurgency they are facing. I think there is a huge amount of what is going on there that does not add up. Take the number – a June assessment of the strength of the Taliban’s active fighters by the coalition put them at 2000 to 5000 active fighters. By June the Coalition claimed it had killed 1200. Add into this the big 'Operation Medusa' they have just completed which they say killed 500 militants. So the coalition should have killed between 36% and 90% of the Taliban's fighters – an attrition rate that should see them wiped out shortly. Yet the war grinds on and on without an end in sight. The Soviet war and attempt to re-model Afganistan began in 1979 and ended in defeat in 1989. Ten years.

Also of note that there is no word of civilian casualties in all this? Take this snippit of news that shows the brutal war unfolding;

This week they [US forces] launched a drive in Andar [province], searching houses and raking buildings with helicopter gunship fire into a Taliban compound. At least 35 people died including a mother and two children. "We've warned people they may see soldiers shooting in their villages. I tell them this is the price of peace and freedom," said US commander Lieutenant Colonel Steven Gilbert.

The price of freedom of death – and they wonder why there is a growing insurgency?

"Nobody saw this coming. It's pretty dire," admitted one official in Kabul.

Local MP Opposes Airport Expansion

The MP for where I live, Stephen Williams, is backing the anti-airport expansion. Glad to hear it. I got a thing through the letterbox stating;

"Climate chaos is 'too important to ignore' says Lib Dem MP".

All we need now to stop climate chaos is a miracle! I have been reading Monbiot’s stuff in the guardian and the section on the climate deniers was very interesting. My favourite quote was from a petition that stated;

"We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of the carbon dioxide increase. Our children will enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life than that with which we now are blessed. This is a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution."

Not only are they saying that a CO2 increase is not a problem – but that its good for us. Weyhay! Guess who championed this bonkers petition? Yes, the Daily Mail’s Hate correspondent Melanie Phillips. You can’t make it up.

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