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April 12, 2011

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The Marines under fire were watching streaming video of the battlefield being fed to them by an armed Predator overhead. They saw a number of "hot spots," or infrared images, moving in their direction.
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Spackerman:The upshot is that the drones will probably continue to take a robotic knee while tensions cool.
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Rolston: who were about as real to them as sprites in a video game.

Up, down, A, B, left, right.

Also Gary - the "2 US servicemen mistakenly killed by drone attack in Afghanistan." link goes to an article about Japan.

In many ways, the ideal would be for the government in Afghanistan to ask us to leave. And for us to then do so. (To, no doubt, cries of "we didn't mean it!!!") That would also allow us to totally tereminate all the military aid that we give Pakistan, which would make the Pakistani military (including the ISI) less than delighted -- and have a lot fewer resources to do things that we would really rather they didn't anyway.

Seems like a solid win for us. Even before we consider the benefits of having a current example of "Ask the Americans to go away and they will."

Technology will triumph.

Actually it sounds kind of like someone used the technology incorrectly. In another, less technological context, they could have called in artillery on friendly forces.

Bruce Rolston has been blogging since 2002.

Thanks for that, Gary; I used to be a frequent reader, and then something happened, and it's been a few years since I visited. One of my few memories is that Flit was a fairly frequent target of criticism from the long-defunct WarbloggerWatch.

Thanks, Ugh: fixed. Stupid Typepad editor doesn't show you your link after you paste it in, and I use Spartan Clipboard to keep 100 or so buffered cuts stored, and in short, I blame Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood.

In many ways, the ideal would be for the government in Afghanistan to ask us to leave.
We aim to please! (We don't even charge $68k for a replacement Hellfire.) Afghan Leader Questions U.S. Military Operations.
KABUL, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai on Saturday appeared to call for NATO and the United States to cease military operations in Afghanistan
Golly!
[...] but then issued a clarification saying that he was referring only to specific operations that had caused civilian casualties.
Close enough. We could call it a day.

Or we could just kill a lot more civilians. That's no problem; we'll keep doing that.

Especially since the line between "civilians" and the highly professional uniformed Taliban troops is so clear.

In an emotional speech on Saturday in the eastern city of Asadabad, in Kunar Province, the Afghan president told relatives and neighbors of civilian victims that he sympathized with their plight. “With great honor and with great respect, and humbly rather than with arrogance, I request that NATO and America should stop these operations on our soil,” he said. “This war is not on our soil. If this war is against terror, then this war is not here, terror is not here.”

Mr. Karzai’s remarks were made at a memorial service for the victims, in the presence of local officials as well as the second highest ranking American general in Afghanistan, David M. Rodriguez. “Our demand is that this war should be stopped,” Mr. Karzai said. “This is the voice of Afghanistan.”

But what's really important is:
[...] American officials were angered by Mr. Karzai’s remarks, said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the dispute with the Afghan president.
And, hey, who has more troops and money in Afghanistan? Us or Karzai?

And, say, how did he get that job, anyway? Anyone need reminders?

Meanwhile:

A few hours after the speech, Mr. Karzai’s spokesman, Waheed Omer, said the president’s remarks had been in the context of two recent cases of civilian casualties in Kunar Province, one of which NATO conceded had killed nine children in error. In the other case, Afghan officials maintained that 65 civilians had been killed, but NATO officials still insist the victims were insurgents, although an investigation is under way.

The president had meant that such operations leading to civilian deaths should be stopped, Mr. Omer said. “Civilian casualties have been a great source of concern to the president and people of Afghanistan and a big reason behind the current disagreements between our government and the international forces,” Mr. Omer said in a statement, which he described as a “clarification” of the speech.

It's good to have paid flacks. Lots of stuff in Afghanistan constantly needs clarifying.

First story:

[...] The speech was made after Mr. Karzai visited survivors of the air raids in Kunar. When he was shown a 1-year-old child whose leg had to be amputated, he wept openly, along with many in the crowd around him.
Win!

Yes, it's sickening, and as it happens, Afghans won't need help killing each other without U.S. money and troops.

We really don't need to keep "helping" them like this.

Ask President Karzai.

Before someone "clarifies" what he means.

Let me highlight:

[...] In a speech in early February, he compared NATO’s civilian Provincial Reconstruction Teams to plumbers that should leave when they finished making their repairs. Privately, his government has asked the United Nations to reduce its number of offices and narrow its mission.

Mr. Karzai also said Monday that the Afghan government was studying the options for a strategic partnership agreement with the United States and that in three months he would convene a jirga — a meeting of elders — to discuss the terms Afghans wanted for the agreement.

A bit more info on the tit-for-tat between ISI and CIA, though mostly just a retreading backgrounder.

More on Raymond Davis, with some fascinating details, if you missed this.

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