Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 10 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceFebruary 10 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News

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There is no Commentary this morning, but there IS news, trimmed copy courtesy of my MP3 Angel ChrisM

Washington DC is essentially closed down for the 3rd day today due to a massive snowstorm which has blanketed an area from Detroit all the way to the Carolinas. Congressional sessions have been canceled.

The White House IS open for business however and held a meeting with the Democratic leadership. Another bipartisan meeting is to be held soon in regard to the administration's health care reform plan. The Republicans may boycott, and since it will be televised, it might be suggested to set up chairs for them and televise the empty seats.

There's also snow in Afghanistan, where it has closed the only usable re-supply highway in the Eastern region, Salang Pass, 12,000 feet.

In the South of the country, the US is preparing for a surge[tm] in Helmand province, but unlike previous sorties into the region, the Talib ARE NOT withdrawing into the hills and seem to be reinforcing for a showdown.

The people who live in the area are refusing to leave as well.

Juan Cole @ Informed Comment with a number of 'If's:

Helmand Afghanistan DistrictsThe refusal of locals to leave in any large numbers may be what prompted US commanders to begin telling the people of Marjah to 'stay inside their homes' and stay out of the way of the fighting.

This message is a 180 degree reversal of the earlier message, that locals should leave.

CBS News reports embedded with the US Marines outside Marjah, to the southwest of the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah. This report gives the impression that substantial numbers of civilians have left or are leaving, but this assertion appears not to be true.

The NATO / Kabul plan is to chase the Taliban out of Marjah, win local hearts and minds, and garrison it with Afghan army troops in the aftermath to ensure that the Taliban do not return. This plan requires that the operation not do so much damage to the city and kill so many locals that they are alienated in the long term. It also requires trustworthy Afghan troops who won't just abuse their authority and who are good enough war fighters to fend off a Taliban return. [MORE]
Meanwhile, in the UK: "Military hospitals 'close to breaking point' as British troops prepare..."

So exactly HOW do we plan on holding ground in Afghanistan? Just like the Wild West! Forts everywhere... Right now there are nearly 400 U.S. and coalition bases in Afghanistan and there are at least 300 Afghan Army and Afghan National Police bases, "...most of them built, maintained, or supported by the U.S.". See: The 700 Military Bases of Afghanistan, TomDispatch via T R U T H O U T.

It's also notable that there are SOME people who are not interested in peace in Afghanistan (you'd think they'd be highly suspect in market bombings and other destabilization activities in the country as well):
"...two-thirds of the Pentagon's personnel in Afghanistan are private military contractors, unaccountable to military law or ethics, swaggeringly overbearing, and not in any hurry to help improve the poor security situation that assures their firms' current and future profits" --Marie-Dominique Charlier, Le Monde Diplomatique, February 2010 [link unavailable]

The nominee for head of the National Relation Labor Board, Craig Becker was rejected 52-33 by the senate yesterday after a cloture vote and a filibuster by the Republicans. His seat may remain vacant for another year now (as U.S. employees scramble for what's left of their job-related rights in the downsizing of American employment opportunities and concurrent grifting by employers. Senator Shelby is holding up 72 nominations and there is talk about changing Senate nomination rules.

The space shuttle Endeavour has arrived at the International Space Station with an observation dome... A skylight if you would. Up to now, all observations have been done with a camera.

An Atlas rocket is also ready to be launched today (in about 45 minutes), directly at the sun, with an instrumentation package intended to shed some light on our light source.


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Recorded & transcribed by Da' Buffalo Amongst Wolves

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