Peripheral Revision

Unfiltering history as we live it

Important news goes unnoticed

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+In all the headline grabbing attention given to the western attack on Libya (and the disaster in Japan) many otherwise prominent stories have been relegated to the margins. Here are some of the would-be front pagers (well…should-be) that have gone relatively unnoticed. By no means exhaustive -PR+

UN tally of Afghan civilian deaths twice as high as NATO number
Pentagon: US is committed to long term presence in Afghanistan
Afghans protest against US military bases
Iraq, U.S. debate if U.S. troops should stay
+Clinton warns Iran not to meddle, while Obama meddles in Iran -PR+

UN tally of Afghan civilian deaths twice as high as NATO number

Amid mounting tensions in Afghanistan over civilian deaths at the hands of coalition troops, two dramatically different death tolls emerged this week.

Figures released by the United Nations show that there were 5,191 civilian deaths in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.

According to a new analysis published in Science Magazine, that’s twice the number of civilian deaths counted by allied military forces on the ground.

Read the full story here

Pentagon: US is committed to long term presence in Afghanistan

AHN, March 15, 2011

The United States is committed to a long term presence in Afghanistan even as the scheduled transition of security from US-led international forces to those of the Afghans is completed by 2014, top Pentagon officials told US lawmakers on Tuesday.

“Headquarters elements will be retained, even as combat elements thin out to facilitate and enable ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) operations,” the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Floyurnoy, said in her testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“When the (US) President first announced the strategy at West Point, he was very clear that we were making an enduring, long-term commitment to Afghanistan and the region, having made the mistake historically of walking away and then paid a very dear price for that. So that’s been clear from the beginning. It’s an important message to emphasize as we begin this transition process,” she said in response to a question from Senator Joe Lieberman (Ind-Ct).

Read the full article here

Afghans protest against US military bases

Press TV, Mar 17, 2011

People in Afghanistan have staged protests to voice their opposition to plans for permanent US bases in their country.

The U.S is seeking to set up permanent military bases here in Afghanistan. This has stirred hot debates in the Afghan media ever since President Hamid Karzai confirmed the reports.

The US is now holding talks with President Karzai to get the final go-ahead for the establishment of the military bases…

…While it seems that President Karzai has not yet made up his mind, local people have strongly opposed the idea of permanent US bases in the country. They took to the streets in protest against the presence of U.S and NATO forces.

Civilian casualties often caused by air strikes and night raids, have deepened the popular opposition to the US-led occupation as protesters believe their presence is further escalating the unrest….

…As far as the idea of permanent military bases in Afghanistan is concerned, many here blame the U.S for leading a double standard policy. They say on one hand, the U.S talks about the withdrawal of its forces, but on the other, it wants to establish permanent bases in this war torn country.

Read the full article here

Iraq, U.S. debate if U.S. troops should stay

Lara Jakes, AP, March 20, 2011

The American invasion of Iraq was supposed to take only a few months: a quick blitz to depose dictator Saddam Hussein, find and dismantle weapons of mass destruction, and go home.

Eight years later, thousands of U.S. troops remain in Iraq — and their mission might not be accomplished until far into the future.

Despite a security agreement requiring a full U.S. military withdrawal by year’s end, hundreds if not thousands of American soldiers will continue to be in Iraq beyond 2011.

Just how many will stay is the heart of a tense and hushed debate among U.S. and Iraqi officials who want the fragile democracy to stand alone for the first time since the U.S.-led war began March 20, 2003 — but fear it could fall apart without military support.

“Nobody wants foreign forces in his country, but sometimes the situation on the ground has the final say on such matters,” said Sunni lawmaker Yassin al-Mutlaq in an interview last week. “Right now, nobody can decide.”

About 47,000 American service members are in Iraq now, down from a peak of 166,000 in October 2007. As of last week, 4,439 U.S. service members have been killed and the war has cost taxpayers more than $750 billion.

U.S. military officials and Western diplomats in Baghdad say the number of troops now being considered to stay ranges from a few hundred, who would work under the U.S. Embassy, to tens of thousands, likely clustered in bases far off the beaten path, where they will have little interaction with Iraqi civilians.

A senior adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the U.S. is quietly suggesting to Iraqi officials that up to 20,000 service members stay. The adviser spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions, and American officials have refused to discuss how many troops might remain if Iraq asks for a continued large force.

Read the full article here

+Clinton warns Iran not to meddle, while Obama meddles in Iran -PR+

Clinton warns Iran against meddling in Gulf

Mathew Lee, AP, March 19, 2011

Clinton said the United States “has an abiding commitment to Gulf security” and that “a top priority is working together with our partners on our shared concerns about Iranian behavior in the region.”

“We share the view that Iran’s activities in the Gulf, including its efforts to advance its agenda in neighboring countries, undermines peace and stability,” she told reporters after an international conference on the crisis in Libya. At that meeting, she met with numerous Arab officials who complained that Iran was fomenting unrest Bahrain and elsewhere.
Read the full article here

Obama addresses Iran youth, not leaders, in New Year message

CNN Wire staff, March 21, 2011

resident Barack Obama on Sunday used his annual commemoration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, to underscore his administration’s repeated argument that the Iranian government is on the wrong side of the popular, pro-democracy movement sweeping across the region.

“We all know that these movements for change are not unique to these last few months,” stated Obama in a Sunday press release. “The same forces that swept across Tahrir Square were seen in Azadi Square in June of 2009.”

Read the full article here


Written by peripheralrevision

03/22/2011 at 1:02 am

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