Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: 11/18/07 - 11/25/07

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    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Somebody 'Splain' how I'm wrong

    Walmart is importing $75 tp 50 Billion USD in Chinese goods and toys.

    Some of the toys had lead in the paint, as a kid I used to play with solid lead soldiers.

    And recently it was discovered some of the beads on the kids toys just happen to be date rape drug.

    They apologized for the toxic toys and recalled them all???

    We caught the Chinese smuggling date rape drugs as beads on kids toys and no one got busted?
    They let them recall the drug toys....

    Boy I guess the Colombians missed this one, make toys out of cocaine and if you get caught just recall the drugs, ahhh ahemm "TOYS".

    I'm sure my facts must be wrong there is no way the USA Gov. would let the Chinese smuggle drugs and give the drugs back.

    SOMEBODY "SPLAIN" this to me.


    Chinese perspective (w/corrections ) American Economy

    China's actions should trigger SEC. Investigation Insider Trading...

    China hackers penetrate Pentagon ...

    China blackmailing USA, China ...

    Beijing will not do Anything against Iran's Interests

    Pearl Harbor of cyber war

    China is presenting some NEW dangerous paradigm threats in asymmetrical warfare.
    ( and don't forget space weapons )


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    Swat opinion from Swat

    What goes wrong in Swat?

    Shahzada Alamgir Swati

    One wonders what is going on in Swat. Obviously all is not well. All that is appearing in newspaper columns indicates our lack of understanding. We are unable to perceive what is actually going on there. Is it only the issue of demanding Shariah implementation? Is it the government's denial of budging on the demands of the militants? Should the government resort to such an extreme action if it is just a political or religious issue?

    In fact, most of the people but also the well-informed media men are not aware that it is neither an issue of Shariah implementation, nor is it sense of deprivation, etc. Shariah was the demand of Sufi Muhammad of Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) about three decades ago. At that time there were neither Taliban nor al Qaeda. He was not receiving backing or funding from any foreign country. This indigenous movement led to an agreement with the then provincial government of Aftab Sherpao. However, the courts' name was changed such as Ilaqa Qazi's adalat, etc, which are still working. During the Taliban move, Sufi Muhammad went to Afghanistan along with 500 minor students. Later in a fierce fight, all his students were killed. He fled back to Pakistan and went into hiding. This put him in a great dilemma as parents and relatives of those innocent students were outraged. Sufi was left with no option but to stage-manage his surrender to the authorities in order to save himself from being killed by the locals.

    In his absence, Sufi's son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah, known as 'Molvi Polio' and 'Mullah Radio', took control of his father-in-law's madrassa. The military operation in North and South Waziristan resulted in the expulsion of a number of foreigners including Arabs, Uzbeks and Tajiks, who sneaked into Swat Valley and chose Maulana Fazlullah's area as their hideout. Molvi Polio's background gives us some dubious accounts of his past life, but as locals talk about, he was expelled from a madrassa near Rawalpindi on a charge of unnatural offence. He remained involved in criminal activities and emerged as a gang leader who used to collect bhatta using a den inside a Dir cave. Locals' resentment was evident from the fact that they stayed away from sending their children to his madrassa when suddenly he took over the charge after Sufi Muhammad's 'disappearance'.

    Wealth started pouring in along with mysterious movement of unknown faces. Brand new high powered four-wheel vehicles started roaring around. Fazlullah got bodyguards and started moving on a black stallion with a double-edged sword in his hands. Some locals also got attracted towards him, thanks to his generosity and hospitality. As things unfolded, it came to the fore that al Qaeda and Taliban-connected foreigners, most of them Tajiks and Uzbeks, were the source of stuffing his kitty. This is, however, a myth as from where had those men of al Qaeda and Taliban who were supposed to be on the run got money? Those whom we call men of al Qaeda are not supposed to be in the age group between 20 to 30 but 50 to 65. They must be of Osama or al-Zawahiri's age. They are the people who, in their 30s, joined jihad against Russia in the early 1980s and later joined the Taliban in Afghanistan. They never went back, even when the tide turned against them after 9/11. But the people we see around Fazlullah, none of them happens to be in the 50s or 60s. They are all youth and battle-worthy mercenaries. I am sure al Qaeda and Takfiris mostly consist of people from the Middle East and Arabian Africa.

    Let us find out who are the men around Fazlullah in Swat and Baitullah Mahsuod in Waziristan. According to AFP, Reuters, AP, Asia Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times reports, these Chechens, Uzbeks and Tajiks are criminalswanted by their respective governments. Many of them sought refuge in Afghanistan after President Islam Karimov launched a crackdown against them. Many of them took part in the Chechens' war against Russia and the bloodshed unleashed by Putin's army led them to seek refuge in areas along the Pak-Afghan border. These people's presence in Swat is no more a mystery. The question is how they got heavy weapons, money and men? The question is why they chose Swat and other areas? It was understood that Pakistan Army's 90,000 troops are deployed at the porous Pak-Afghan border; a few miles of it has also been fenced. NATO forces are vigilant on the other side of the border. When locals in Waziristan, sensing that those foreigners had nothing to do with Islam and were exploiting their hospitality, they took arms against them, killed many of them and forced others to flee. Why they chose Swat as their next hideout is not difficult to answer, but here we will have to see who actually happens to be the mastermind of all that has happened and what is going to happen.

    It is everybody's guess that there is someone working from behind the scenes who does not want this unrest to end. The unrest is engineered to go out of proportion, sending a strong message to the world that the strategic assets of Pakistan can go into extremists' hands. Therefore, think-tanks are suggesting to the US administration to shift this arsenal to California lest there is no time left. The game plan is different from what is being seen on the surface. An Indian think-tank's website has claimed that New Delhi has its ground assets placed in Swat Valley and Pakistan army commanders' conversation is being recorded and passed on to Fazlullah and his men. Pakistan's Director General Military Operations had mentioned the hand of enemy countries and the Peshawar Corps Commander endorsed the fact that Fazlullah's men are using highly sophisticated equipment. That is why the government saw a technical difficulty in jamming more than 100 radio channels through which the 'Mullah Radio' delivers secret messages and jihad or Shariah sermons. Peaceful citizens of Swat and surrounding areas are terrified. Fazlullah and his followers are threatening them against moving to safe places and using them as human shields. Ancient archaeological sites, which date back to the Buddhist era, are under threat of extinction. It is time to stop their advance, extirpate them from their roots and clean the Valley of their influence, once and for all. But at the same time there is need to introduce social reforms, development plans and transformation into the mainstream of society. This has to be taken as an opportunity to knock out the unwanted and pave the way for a permanent solution. The government will have to solve problems, it will have to remove the sense of deprivation and injustice and restore the confidence of locals who are peace-loving and equally patriotic.

    The writer, a resident of Swat, is an academic, author of a number of books on history and archaeology

    Ray Robison UpDATE, Outlook



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    Afghans flip for cellphones

    Afghans flip for cellphones

    Kelly Cryderman, CanWest News Service Published: Saturday, November 24, 2007

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - In a country where roads are often impassable, travel is fraught with danger and recent history recalls many Afghans taking the long road to Pakistan just to make a call, the mobile phone is king.

    Afghanistan's cellphone networks may be new and terribly unreliable, but they're spreading like wildfire across the country, aiding everyone from women entrepreneurs, to criminal gangs operating in the desert, to regular Afghans who previously couldn't call their relatives.

    "It is due to this public call office that I am supporting my family," said Kandahar City resident Qudratullah, 24, who operates a tiny kiosk called a PCO where the many Afghans who can't afford cellphones can pay to make calls.

    "I want to be a teacher or a businessman," said Qudratullah, who is able to pay for classes that would put him in Grade 10 in Canada and who, like many Afghans, has only one name.

    Across the courtyard from Qudratullah's wooden shack is foodstuff shopkeeper Mohammed Anwer Zarif, who said just a few years ago he had to travel to Kabul, Herat or Pakistan to place his product orders. He said there was no other reliable way to communicate.

    Now he can just call his suppliers when he needs a new shipment. "Then quickly they send the stuff," Zarif said.

    The telecommunications industry was close to non-existent before the Taliban were overthrown in 2001. But there's room for tremendous growth now: Few land lines exist in Afghanistan and just four million of its 32 million inhabitants are mobile subscribers.

    "It's right at the heart of our investment promotion," said Omar Zakhilwal, president and CEO of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency, which licenses and promotes businesses across the country.

    There are many challenges, including that many Afghans live in areas without regular electricity to charge their phones. Fuel for the generators running the cellphone towers and hiring the security are expensive.

    Still, a company called Etisalat became the fourth service provider in August and there's room for even more competition, Zakhilwal said.

    The cellphone industry is growing, he said, because it realizes a quick profit relative to other businesses. Security, moreover, isn't as big a concern as in other sectors. Criminal elements or the Taliban, who regularly battle Canadian Forces in Kandahar province, know they need the cellphone towers that are springing up.

    "The insurgents in the south, in any part of the country, absolutely rely on the services of the mobile phone," Zakhilwal said. "It's a benefit for everyone, friends or foes."

    Even so, there was an attack on a cellphone card dealer this past week in volatile Kandahar City. A gang of armed robbers opened fire on a vehicle and made off with some $75,000 US worth of cellphone cards. The driver of the vehicle was unhurt.

    Large parts of the country, where the central government has little or no control, are still racked with periodic violence. Many foreign companies are leery about doing business in Afghanistan.

    But not so much for the mobile industry, Zakhilwal said. Five years ago there was no investment in the sector, but next year it's poised to hit US$1-billion, he said.

    This is also needed for Paki, on many levels.
    Crucial for Info WAR, Afghan and Pakti as was in Iraq.


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    Authorities in Pakistan imposed a food blockade

    Islamabad, Nov 23 (PTI) Authorities in Pakistan have imposed a food blockade and a 12-hour curfew in the country's north-western Swat valley to put pressure on militant followers of pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah.
    As army troops continued their operations against the militants across Swat and the nearby Shangla district, authorities took steps yesterday to prevent food supplies reaching the rebels.

    Check posts were also established at Kabal, Kanju and Sangotha "all strongholds of the Fazlullah's men" to ensure that arms, ammunition and other supplies did not reach the militants.

    Food supplies going to Khwazakhela, Charbagh, Kalam, Madyan, Bahrain, Matta and Shangla, all areas that were over-run by the militants, would be seized, officials said.

    Fazlullah's spokesman Sirajuddin warned that the militants might unleash suicide bombers if authorities did not lift the blockade.

    Authorities also clamped a 12-hour curfew from 2 am this morning in the Swat valley.

    The army's signal corps has also blocked Fazlullah's illegal FM radio station. The military has set up five FM channels, including one using Fazlullah's radio frequency that is broadcasting Quranic verses to counter the cleric's broadcasts, Dawn newspaper reported.

    Gunship helicopters and artillery are still being used to pound suspected militant positions. However, local residents have said that two civilians were killed in Khwazakhela and two others in Kabal.

    The troops continued their advance towards Alpuri, a key town in Shangla district, by engaging militant positions around the Shangla-Kandao pass. PTI

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    Mark Cuban and Brian de Palma making al Qaeda propaganda

    Money for Death
    During World War II, Hollywood produced hundreds of patriotic films to support the war effort. Many actors and actresses also enlisted to serve their country on the front lines. One of the most famous Hollywood directors of the time, Frank Capra, produced the "Why We Fight" series to help explain why our nation was fighting the Nazi and Japanese.

    Hollywood was united in our nation's joint effort to defeat the threat of worldwide fascism. But, times have changed. Now, Hollywood producers and directors are still going to war but this time they're waging war against our own military and against our nation's intelligence gathering agencies. Does the word "treason" have any meaning?

    One of the latest despicable films to be produced against our military came from the twisted mind of Brian de Palma. The film, "Redacted," was funded by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. It was produced through Cuban's Magnolia Pictures. (Cuban also founded HDNet, which airs on DirecTV. "Redacted" was shown repeatedly on this network a week ago.)

    "Redacted" portrays our U.S. Marines as a bunch of boozing, dope smoking racists, murderers and rapists. Film critic Michael Medved saw the film recently and described it this way: "It could be the worst movie I've ever seen … the out and out worst, most disgusting, most hateful, most incompetent, most revolting, most loathsome, most reprehensible cinematic work I have ever encountered."

    Medved says he "was close to vomiting when I saw the film … It is a slander on the United States of America …
    ( list of fims I won't go to, note the "stars" in these al Qaeda propaganda films, watch their careers nose dive )
    "Redacted," however, isn't the only Hollywood attack in recent months on our battle against worldwide Islamo-fascism. Hollywood has given us "The Shooter," with Mark Wahlberg, which attacks our intelligence services; "The Bourne Ultimatum," another attack upon our intelligence agencies; "Lions for Lambs," an anti-military diatribe starring ultra-liberal Robert Redford; "In the Valley of Elah," about a man who fights the military bureaucracy; and "Rendition" starring Reese Witherspoon. In this film, she plays the wife of an Egyptian man who is kidnapped by our government and sent to a secret "torture" camp overseas.

    al Qaeda will promote these films on the Internet to stir hate, and cause the loss of American troops lives, Robert R. what are your residuals on that?

    Money for Death
    UPDATE: 11.26.07
    "Redacted" - which "could be the worst movie I've ever seen," said critic Michael Medved -took in just $25,628 in its opening weekend.
    Don't worry al Qaeda will promote the film, ohh they wont pay depalma will thay opps.


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    Ops and Intel update:

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 A September raid near the Syrian border uncovered what U.S. military officials term "an al-Qaida Rolodex" of hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq.

    A senior U.S. military official in Baghdad has confirmed to CNN that the raid netted documents listing the identities of more than 700 foreign fighters believed to have entered the country in the past year.

    The official said the documents, along with other intelligence, indicated that as many as 60 percent of the foreign fighters were from Saudi Arabia and Libya, CNN reported.


    Hackers Abuse Domain-Name Trust
    November 20, 2007
    By Andy Patrizio

    Using variations on trusted, popular domains has long been a common tactic for scammers, spammers and porn sites. But cyber criminals have devised a new twist on the misspelled domain-name trick by hijacking IP addresses. And they tried it on Yahoo.

    To fix the old problem, server-based security products would trace the IP address of the server behind the domain. Once the IP address resolved the misspelled domain name, the products would then compare the IP address against a database of known fraudulent sites or questionable locations. So if a site were masquerading as eBay but the filters found it was really a server in China that had only been established one week earlier, it would block access.

    In the case of Yahoo, security firm Finjan said hackers exploited an unused IP address within Yahoo's hierarchy and used that as the domain address behind a forged Google Analytics domain name. This fooled the Web-filtering products into believing a person was going to a highly trusted Yahoo domain. The victims never knew they were on a malicious Web site, and neither did the security mechanisms on the network.

    "They managed to resolve the domain name to an IP address owned by Yahoo. How they added an address into a DNS server to appear to be an IP address owned by Yahoo is unknown," Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO of Finjan, told He added that Yahoo, while responsive and quick to shut down the compromised address, did not disclose exactly what equipment was behind the compromised IP address.


    Australian police get go-ahead on spyware

    A new law gives Australian police the power to install spyware and Trojans on suspected criminals' computers.
    By Munir Kotadia
    Special to CNET
    Published: December 15, 2004, 8:18 AM PST

    Australian police have been given the power to install spyware and Trojans on suspected criminals' computers under the new Surveillance Devices Act.

    The Surveillance Devices Act allows both federal and state police to use key logging and tracking software when investigating offenses that carry a maximum sentence of three years, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Neil Campbell, national security manager of IT services company Dimension Data, said the laws needed updating because of confusion when dealing with new technologies. Campbell previously spent six years working with the Australian Federal Police computer crime team.

    "If the police intercept SMS messages that have not yet been delivered, should that be classified as a telephone interception or as a regular search? Getting a search warrant is relatively easy--you need to show reasonable grounds that executing the search will provide evidence as to the commission of an offense. But getting an interception warrant is difficult," Campbell said.



    Pak-Afghan border to be guarded with new system Saturday November 24, 2007 (0226 PST)

    KABUL: Afghanistan will install electronic Sensor system on a number of spots on the border areas of the country to avoid cross-movement of the anti-social elements, security officials said .

    Brig Gen Said Amanullah Saddat deputy chief of the border police in the Interior Ministry told Pajhwok Afghan News preliminary works for installation of the electronic machines had been completed.

    Speaking during a certificate distribution for 27 Rapid-Action Forces graduates for the eastern Nangarhar province, he said the project would cost $45m to be provided by United States.

    Though it was not know when the project would be functional but Sadat said that cross border movement was the attention of both Kabul and Islamabad due to the increasing terrorist activities.



    ISNA - Tehran
    Service: Foreign Policy

    TEHRAN, Nov. 23 (ISNA) Iran's ambassador to Russia said that Iran is ready to provide the Islamic states with its nuclear technology on the condition that the IAEA principles are obeyed.

    Emphasizing on the nationalization of the nuclear science in Iran, Gholam Reza Ansari said, "These are technologies that have been acquired by Iranian scientists."


    US Admiral Timothy Keating: US more prepared than ever to face threat from Iran

    November 23, 2007, 6:29 PM (GMT+02:00)

    The admiral, head of US military operations in 41 countries, said the United States military machine is undiminished after four years of fighting in Iraq and more prepared than ever to face any threat from Iran. He spoke in Bahrain Friday, Nov. 23, after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad labeled the US army "shabby" and said the West had "rusty and disabled weapons." Adm. Keating went on to say: "Because of our continued presence and exercises we've had… the Fifth Fleet and Central Command's ability to provide for peace and stability is even better than before."




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    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Taliban as Tribe

    Al Qaeda and its affiliates: A global tribe waging segmental warfare?

    Basic dynamics of classic tribes

    ( links are mine: Examples: Gerald )

    As people banded together to constitute primitive societies thousands of years ago, the first major form of organization to emerge was the tribe. Its key organizing principle was kinship, as expressed through nuclear and extended family ties, lineage segments (notably, clans) that spanned various families and villages, and claims of descent from a common, often mythologized, even god–like ancestor. The tribe's key purpose (or function) was to infuse a distinct sense of social identity and belonging, thereby strengthening a people's ability to bond and survive as individuals and as a collective.

    A classic tribe may be tied to a specific territory and the exploitation of resources found there. It may spell an evolution from the hunter–gatherer life of nomadic bands to a more settled, agrarian, village lifestyle. It may span various villages and hamlets, and its size may grow to several thousand people. It may harden its identity as a tribe, as a result of conflicts with outsiders. And it may lack the formal institutional hierarchies that characterize chiefdoms and states — the two types of societies that come next in evolutionary theory. Yet even if these or other observations made by scholars are added to the definition of the tribe, kinship remains its essence.

    As tribes grow, clans usually coalesce inside them — clans being clusters of families and individuals who claim a particular lineage and, because of this, act conjointly in a corporate manner. Typically, a clan has its own legends, rituals and ceremonies, its own lands, households and other properties, a "Big Man" or an elder to represent (but not rule) it, and perhaps a particular function, such as progeny who often serve as priests or warriors. Mutual defense and aid are keenly important in clan systems; indeed, an insult or threat to any one member is received as an insult or threat to all — as is also the case for a tribe as a whole vis–à–vis other tribes and outsiders.

    While lineage and marriage ties can keep small tribes together, they alone do not suffice to keep large tribes and clans integrated. This eventually requires the rise of a variant on the kinship principle: fraternal associations and corporate orders based more on a sense of brotherhood than blood — what anthropologists call "fictive kinship." Such associations may combine individuals from various families and villages for a specific, corporate purpose. Examples include secret brotherhoods as well as age–grade, warrior, healing, ceremonial, and religious associations. While some may derive directly from lineage (e.g., a clan), others do not — yet all emulate kin–like relations. The larger and more complex a tribe becomes, the more important such brotherhoods become. (In modern times, these are often called clubs, gangs, and secret societies.)

    Kinship considerations permeate everything — all thought and action — in a tribe and its constituent segments. One's identity is less about one's self than one's lineage — lineage determines most of one's identity as an individual and submerges it in the tribal whole. This applies also to one of the most important activities in a tribe: arranged marriage — it too is about the linking of families, not individuals. From our distant remove, varied economic, political, and cultural activities may appear to occur in a tribe; but seen in their own light, tribes lack such differentiation — everything one does in a tribe is done as a kinsman of one kind or another. In tribal milieus, strategy and tactics revolve around what might be called kinpolitik, far more than realpolitik.

    Without going into details about just how complicated kinship charts and calculations can get, individual identities and possibilities in tribal/clan societies are both fixed and fluid at the same time. Lineage positions mean they are fixed, because of to whom an individual is born, and when. Moreover, as a rule, tribe trumps clan, trumps family, trumps individuals — binding all into a nested social (but not political) hierarchy. Yet, kin and their associates operate off lateral as much as vertical ties; for example, a person can choose which relative (say, which distant cousin) to ally with on which issues and under what circumstances. This can make for very flexible social possibilities that resemble not only circles within circles, but also circles across circles. This offers extensive room for maneuver, which can be used for promoting rivalries as well as alliances.

    As individuals, families, clans, and tribes as a whole assert their place and maneuver for position, maximizing honor — not power or profit — is normally their paramount motivation. This emphasis is often thought to flow from the fact that tribes arose in subsistence times, way too early for power or profit to matter. But there must be more to the explanation, for the pattern persists in modern sorts of tribes and clans. Wherever people, even powerful rich people, turn tribal and clannish, honor — as well as its concomitants: respect, pride, and dignity — come into serious play in social interactions. Thus, warlords and warriors fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other tribal zones are renowned for the value they place on upholding codes of honor and avoiding shameful humiliation. Everybody wants to gain honor for themselves and their lineage, clan, and tribe; no one can afford to lose face, for that would reflect badly not only on them as individuals but also on all their kin.

    Tribes behave more like balance–of–honor than balance–of–power systems.

    ( Example: In the consideration of a bribe, the reason for the bribe maybe more important than the amount, a bribe that would violate their sense of honor would be shameful, humiliating offer.
    While a bribe for the same action but for the reason of supporting a distant relative, by marriage, in a different tribe might be appropriate... Gerald )

    Excellent article.

    There is a lot of talk around the blogsphere about anthropologists in the war effort, and many anthropologists are quite touchy about the subject. Alas my beloved anthropology is a bit of a bastard child, having being reinvented several times.
    The main issue is about "Doing no Harm" and anthropology has a dismal history.

    Anthropology had a hand in the Genocide by the British on the island off Australia, even I have a block about it.
    And the American Indians and their treatment at the hands of the anthropologists.

    But it should be recognized absense of action can also be harming, seeing the problem and doing nothing can also be a violation of "do no harm".

    Anthropology is a very powerful tool.

    From a paper I wrote in Friday, August 24, 2001 10:18:30 PM

    Has anthropology left a heritage of unfinished business? Have we been the handmaidens of colonialism, do we continue to be? Our history is rife with examples of how more advanced cultures have dealt with less technologically developed cultures, the African blacks and slavery, the American Indians and reservations, the Tasmanians and genocide.

    How could anthropologists and Universities have made errors of this magnitude? Why couldn’t they see the error? Could we see an error of the same magnitude now? What would we look for?

    I’ve used semontics (see Tomaselli’s book "Appropriating Images" ) to investigate our current anthropological paradigm, looking for areas where it doesn’t adhere to it’s own standards of clarity or argument within its own ontology....


    Is anthropology still the handmaiden of colonialism through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank? My 'computer science project" is a form of Guerrilla anthropology using the Internet as a "social change engine". Using anthropology's strongest tool that of 'exposure'

    I'm developing a concept I

    originated, I believe it is a powerful new concept a new tool for

    anthropologists. As an Internet anthropologist this may be a potential

    new branch of Applied anthropology "Guerrilla Anthropology.

    This concept stems from 'Guerilla Warfare' where a small force with few

    resources and little financing is able to war with a much powerful and

    much better equipped force and win. Vietnam was a case in point.

    In Guerrilla Anthropology the Internet is used as a 'social change

    engine' Probably the most powerful force anthropologist have is 'Exposure'.

    Matthew Brady's timed exposures of the Civil War's fallen bodies, faces

    of the maimed and the captured exposed the horrors of war for the first

    time, romanticized. Jacob Riis powder flash photos of "Bandits

    Roost",exposed slums, which helped develop the first building codes. Or

    Lewis Hine's photos that helped establish child labor laws.

    Observation, synthesis, action and exposure is the essence of applied

    anthropology, it is in this tradition and shadow I've formed the concept

    for my project.

    Binny beat me to it: "How has one man in a cave managed to out-communicate the world's greatest communication society, in the world?"



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    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Map Afghan & Pakti: Musa Qala,


    11.12.07: Allies move into town held by Taliban
    11.12.07, explainer: the fight for Musa Qala
    11.12.07: Afghan troops enter Musa Qala
    10.12.07, analysis: The Afghan war in microcosm
    10.12.07: Troops ready for final assault on Musa Qala
    10.12.07: Map of the region
    10.12.07, Richard Norton-Taylor: It's time for power to shift
    09.12.07: Fierce battle rages for Taliban stronghold

    Click on map or HERE
    Other paki maps:

    Musa Qala, Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan.
    Musa Qala Valley fly over.( Googles resolution for most of Musa Qala valley is about 10 miles, while Sajin's resolution is better than 1 mile ( 4000 feet.)
    , shockwave-flash@!flashvars#autostart=false&token=89f_1195778770" href="" id="">

    Musa Qalah District, village maps
    , shockwave-flash@!flashvars#autostart=false&token=ae1_1195779028" href="" id="">

    Hickory Farms

    al Jezzra on Musa Qala
    , shockwave-flash@" href="" id="">

    Royal Irish Easy Company Musa Qal'eh

    , shockwave-flash@!flashvars#autostart=false&token=fb1_1172483246" href="" id="">

    Danish forces battle it out with Taliban in the town of Musa Qala, in Southern Afghanistan, Helmand Province.
    , shockwave-flash@!flashvars#autostart=false&token=e12f146f46" href="" id="">

    Sangin Flyover
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    , shockwave-flash@!flashvars#autostart=false&token=471_1191694015" href="" id="">


    .UPDATE: 11.27.07
    Taleban Ghost Town

    The atmosphere is subdued as many residents have left town and local business has declined.

    By Aziz Ahmad Shafe in Musa Qala (ARR No. 275, 27-Nov-07)
    The hospital in central Musa Qala is padlocked, and the district government office has been completely demolished by Taleban militants. The bazaar is quiet, with none of its former bustle.

    Foreign air strikes have also done a lot of damage – many houses lie in ruins, and there are big holes in surrounding fields.

    Hajji Nazar Mohammad, an elder in the Musa Qala district, said many people had fled the district in fear.

    "More than 75 per cent of the residents have gone," he said. "The only people left are those who couldn't afford to go. We are in a very bad economic situation."

    One shopkeeper, who did not want to be named, said that his business had fallen by 80 per cent.

    "I am lucky, though," he said. "Most of the other shops have closed completely."

    The shopkeeper seemed nervous, and kept saying he did not want the Taleban to see him talking to me. He was not the only one. A lot of people refused to talk out of fear of the insurgents.

    I was accompanied by an armed Taleban guard, who I think was recording my interviews. So no one was saying anything against the insurgents.

    Some people complained about a lack of water, and said their gardens and crops had dried up. I saw many gardens in which all the flowers were dead, but I suspected that the owners had left town.

    There are no schools open in the district, although some young boys are receiving a religious education in mosques.

    The Taleban control the district the same way they did when they were in power in Afghanistan. The only difference is now there are no men from the committee for "the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice" patrolling the streets.

    "We do not punish people for their hair and beards right now," explained the Taleban district governor. "But once we take over the country, we will treat people according to the orders of our supreme leader Mullah Omar."

    The governor does not have his own office, and I met him at someone's house.

    The insurgents have their own FM radio station covering Musa Qala district. Like other Taleban institutions, the station does not operate out of a particular office. The mobile radio station is on the air from seven in the morning until midday and then from three to seven in the evening.

    The station, which has just two members of staff, even takes commercial advertisements.

    One thing the Taleban have done is establish security in Musa Qala. When it is time to go and pray, shopkeepers can leave their doors open. No one would dare steal anything.

    People are pleased that the Taleban have brought security, but at night they fear air strikes by the international forces.

    That is one of the reasons why the militants do not maintain permanent offices and meet in secret locations.

    The Afghan authorities claim that there are foreign Taleban in Musa Qala, but in the 24 hours that I was there I could not find any, although I made great efforts.

    Local residents and Taleban members deny that there are foreigners among them. There are men from other areas of Afghanistan, though – southern areas like Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul, and even from as far afield as Ghor and Faryab in the north.

    The town's residents seemed unconcerned about the presence of these Afghan outsiders. All they want is for the schools to open, for the Taleban to allow health workers into the area, and reconstruction work to get under way.

    But Taleban officials say they will not allow international projects in areas under their control. The international community is not implementing real projects, they say.

    I left the district with the help of the Taleban militants. But I was really afraid on the way back. Family members told me the Afghan police had come round asking for me. Then I learned that two other reporters had been arrested for travelling to Musa Qala. (See Police Target Journalists After Taleban Trip, ARR No. 272, 8-Nov-07.)

    So I did not go home. Coming back had turned out to be more dangerous than going into Taleban country.

    Aziz Ahmad Shafe is a journalist based in Helmand.

    UPDATEl 12.07.07
    British, US, Estonian, and Danish troops have been inserted by helicopters on the outskirts of Musa Qala City. A large ANA unit is in a blocking position as the three-pronged assault on Musa Qala has begun. Coalition forces thwarted an ambush in Farah province leaving 17 Taliban dead including a local commander. Three Taliban died after a roadside bomb they were planting prematurely exploded.





    Chronology of events in Musa Qala: FROM AFGHA.COM

    October 17, 2006: British forces pull out of Musa Qala City after signing a peace agreement with local elders. Security responsibility handed over to them in exchange for keeping Taliban militants out and the evacuation of British troops from the area.

    October 20, 2006: Taliban forces claim victory saying they forced the British to withdraw from Musa Qala.

    December 3, 2006: UK and Danish patrol engage Taliban fighters in a massive gun fight outside of Musa Qala City. Air strikes are called in killing several militants.

    January 26, 2007: An ISAF air strike targets and kills regional Taliban commander in Musa Qala. The commander is later identified as Mullah Ibrahim.

    February 2: Hundreds of Taliban storm Musa Qala City. Police are disarmed and the Taliban flag is raised above the district headquarters. The band of Taliban fighters is led by commander Mullah Ghafoor who is also the brother of slain commander Mullah Ibrahim.

    February 4: An ISAF Air strike successfully kills Mullah Ghafoor and his bodyguards near the city limits.

    February 10: Hundreds of Taliban remain in the city. The situation is tense and chaotic; hundreds of families flee fearing an impending invasion. Taliban fighters dig in, lying booby-traps and fortifying positions.

    February 11: Helmand governor Asadullah Wafa tells reporters over 700 foreign fighters are operating in his province. Chechen, Uzbek and Pakistani fighters are among the nationalities listed.

    February 13: Taliban reportedly capture Helmand's Washir district.

    February 14: ISAF air strikes kill third Taliban commander just outside of Musa Qala. He's identified as Mullah Manan, a top regional commander, and is thought to be a key player in the Musa Qala take-over.

    February 19: Taliban seize Bakwa district in neighboring Farah province. They are quickly evicted two days later.

    February 26: Reports of Musa Qala’s worsening situation begin to trickle out. Some tribal elders are still under house arrest, Taliban are reasserting their iron grip on the public.

    March 5: Reports of Taliban seizing Helmands' Nawzad district emerge.

    March 6: ISAF’s Operation Achilles is launched in northern Helmand aimed at securing the site of the Kajaki dam complex, easily the most vital reconstruction project in southern Afghanistan.
    March 29: President Hamid Karzai, Defense Minister RahimWardak and Helmand Governor Assadullah Wafa speak in Helmand's capital urging the Taliban to leave Musa Qala.

    April 4: Taliban hang three men in Musa Qala they suspected of spying for ISAF. The victim's according to the Taliban, provided information that led to the death of Mullah Manan.

    April 18: Defense Minister Wardak ominously announces the government plans to recapture Musa Qala.

    June 24-28: Four Afghan men are hanged for allegedly spying for American forces. Locals claim that the Taliban closed all of the schools in Musa Qala, force females to wear a Burqa and be accompanied by a male relative when traveling in public and that a Taliban FM radio program airs during the day. A hefty Taliban tax has also been imposed on the impoverished citizens and tales of forced military conscription have merged. -IRIN report

    July 5: The Taliban launch an armed incursion from Musa Qala into neighboring Sangin district. A malfunction in their mortar system caused an explosion which killed three Taliban and left three others injured. No civilian or coalition casualties are reported. Pajhwok report

    July 22: Taliban fighters launch a coordinated ambush against a joint Afghan-Coalition patrol in southern Musa Qala near the Shaban village. Coalition forces utilize close air support which drop four 500lb. bombs on two compounds. More than 24 fighters are believed to have been killed during the onslaught. CJTF 82 report

    July 23: As the combined Afghan-Coalition patrol leave the destroyed compounds in the Shaban village, Taliban reinforcement launch a second ambush and attempt to shoot down a Coalition helicopter with a surface to air missile but miss. An additional 24 Taliban fighters and two mid-level commanders died in the encounter. CJTF 82 report

    July 26: Taliban fighters ambush an ANA patrol in southern Musa Qala. Coalition advisers on site with the ANA unit call in close air support to help attack 16 compounds occupied by Taliban insurgents. Two munitions are dropped on the highest concentration of insurgents leaving over 50 Taliban confirmed killed and an unknown number wounded. CJTF 82 report

    Musa Qala residents claim the air strikes left up to 16 civilians’ dead and scores injured.

    August 15: Coalition and Afghan forces push deeper into Musa Qala. Taliban militants ambush the patrol in the Regay village (5-km north of Shaban village). Close air support is called in to bomb an entrenched Taliban unit firing from a trench line. 4 Taliban fighters are killed and two wounded. CJTF 82 report

    August 16: A second ambush occurs against a joint Afghan-Coalition patrol in Regay. A small arms and light artillery duel ensues leaving an unknown number of Taliban killed and wounded.
    CJTF 82 report

    August 25-27: Taliban fighters ambush a joint Coalition-Afghan patrol seven-kilometres south of Regay village, referred to as the Musa Qala Wadi. Coalition forces respond with small arms, machine gun and MK-19 fire which killed some 12 Taliban fighters. CJTF 82 report

    The next day it was determined the Taliban platoon was in charge of protecting a large heroin lab. A large cache of ‘opium-processing chemicals such as ammonium chloride, liquid ammonia and charcoal’ were found along with various guns and ammunition. The lab and chemicals were subsequently destroyed. Hours later, Taliban militants launched a salvo of 82mm mortars at the advancing Coalition patrol but missed leaving one civilian wounded. CJTF 82 report

    Another ambush occurrs north of Regay after the mortar salvo. Taliban fighters firing from trenches and compounds are met by Coalition artillery and small arms fire. 12 Taliban are killed during the clash, including 3 who are shot dead at close range in the trench line as ANA forces conducted a search. CJTF 82 report

    August 29: A second Taliban run heroin lab is discovered by Coalition forces in the village of Khyajehdad, Musa Qalah District. This lab, only 5-kilometers away from the other Taliban heroin lab, was also defended by a platoon of insurgents. CJTF 82 report

    August 30: More trench warfare in Regay village. Entrenched Taliban fighters unleash a barrage of RPG and small arms fire at a joint Afghan-Coalition patrol using trenches and compounds as defensive positions. As Taliban reinforcement began to arrive in trucks, close air support is used to destroy the vehicles and engage the trench lines. More than a dozen Taliban died in the assault. CJTF 82 report

    August 30: Taliban insurgents ambush a joint Afghan-Coalition patrol seven kilometers south of Regay village, nearly the same spot that the August 25th clash erupted. An unknown number of Taliban died during the clash. CJTF 82 report

    September 5: Afghan Auxiliary Police backed by Coalition advisers are ambushed in the Musa Qala Wadi area. Taliban reinforcements soon arrived and begin firing from a trench line. Close air support is called in and to bombard the trench system leaving up to 24 Taliban fighters dead. CJTF 82 report

    September 25: Afghan Army soldiers battle with Taliban insurgents in the Musa Qala Wadi region. After several dozen Taliban fighters ambush the Afghan-Coalition convoy from trenches and compounds, Coalition artillery and air strikes are used against the Taliban positions leaving an estimated 61 Taliban killed. One Coalition soldier died from wounds suffered after an RPG struck his position, four others are wounded. CJTF 82 report

    October 19: Joint Afghan-Coalition patrol is ambushed in the Musa Qala Wadi area. The pitched six-hour battled came to an end after close air support was called in and bombed the entrenched Taliban fighters. At least 72 Taliban fighters are believed to have been killed from the air strikes. CJTF 82 report

    October 20: Further clashes erupt in the Musa Qala Wadi region. The protracted engagement left nearly 36 Taliban fighters dead. An Afghan civilian provided the location of a freshly placed IED which averted its detonation against a Coalition vehicle.
    CJTF 82 report

    October 31: Mullah Abdul Salaam, a Musa Qala Taliban commander and leader of the Alizai tribe, holds direct negotiations with the central government in hopes of defecting peacefully. The former governor of Helmand, Sher Mohammad Akhunzada, is also an Alizai tribesman and has recently asserted his desire to return to power.

    November 9: A local Afghan journalist for Ariana Television is arrested and questioned after he conducted a trip into Musa Qala City with three other journalists. He is later released.

    November 12: A British armored group leads a charge through the upper Sangin Valley and into southern Musa Qala. Some 50 armored vehicles, including the highly touted Viking and Mastiff vehicles, surround the southeastern area of Musa Qala City. Daily Telegraph

    November 14: French Mirage 2000 fighter jets are flying over Musa Qala as a show of force to deter enemy activities in Musa Qala. Report

    November 28: Tribal elders in Musa Qala claim Afghan and Coalition raids into the City center are set to begin. Hundreds of families have fled fearing the impending onslaught.

    November 29: Musa Qala Taliban commander Enqiadi tells local reporters he commands 2,500 fighters in the district. "Last year we used guerrilla attacks," he said. “This year we will organize frontal assaults. Our lines are so strong that the foreigners will never break them. The foreigners say they are going to launch a major operation in Musa Qala. We are ready for that. In Musa Qala alone, we have 2,500 fully armed fighters. It will be very easy for us to resist the attack. We want to take the whole province this winter." IWPR report

    December 3: A Coalition air strike near Musa Qala kills Mullah Sainy, the Taliban commander who kidnapped an Italian journalist last March; four other Taliban died in the raid. The Coalition later confirms the raid and identifies the slain commander as Mullah Ikhalas.

    December 5-6: Helmand Governor Asadullah Wafa declares the Coalition's assault on Musa Qala has begun. ISAF drops leaflets over the city urging the remaining residents to flee the city center. ISAF forces are reportedly within 2 miles of Musa Qala City. A British recon soldier is killed and two others are wounded after their patrol engaged an IED near Musa Qala.



    Its started 12.08.07 Massive operation aims to retake Taliban town

    Afghan troops capture 31 insurgents including group commander


    Mullah Mateen Akhond and Mullah Rahim Akhond have been captured by joint forces, Sunday, December 9, 2007; 3:53 AM

    MORE UPDATE: musa qala: Situation report.


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    The Pakistan Problem

    The Pakistan Problem
    And the wrong solution.
    by Bill Roggio
    11/21/2007 12:00:00 AM

    ( death or theft )

    AS CONCERN BUILDS within Washington's political, military, and intelligence circles over the rise of the Taliban and al Qaeda in northwestern Pakistan, the search for a proper policy to deal with the threat has come to the forefront. Earlier this week the New York Times leaked details of a classified recommendation for a new strategy to assist the Pakistani government in dislodging the Taliban and al Qaeda from their entrenched positions there, where the groups have effectively established a terror sanctuary. In short, the recommendation consists of funding and arming Pashtun tribes, reinforcing the paramilitary Frontier Corps, providing additional Special Forces trainers, and assigning additional teams from the Special Operations command to target high value targets whenever such opportunities arrive.

    The plan is being sold as somewhat analogous to the highly successful counterinsurgency campaign in Anbar province, where tribal leaders and former insurgent groups banded together to fight al Qaeda in Iraq and its allies with the aid of Coalition forces. But the situation in Anbar is not comparable to the situation in the Pakistani northwest, and there is little reason to believe that a strategy like that reported in the Times will succeed in this more hostile environment.

    The conflicts in Iraq's Anbar province and Pakistan's tribal areas are fundamentally different, and while both provinces are dominated by a strong tribal culture, al Qaeda's draws support in each for different reasons. In Anbar, the tribes and insurgent groups aligned themselves with al Qaeda in Iraq largely
    because they viewed al Qaeda as an ally in the fight against American occupation. However, they turned on the terror group once it became clear that al Qaeda threatened their very existence. In Pakistan, the Pashtun tribes have by and large openly supported the Taliban and al Qaeda since the groups first formed. The Taliban, with the help of the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence agency, was born in the Pashtun tribal belts, and al Qaeda fighters and its senior commanders are welcomed among the Taliban supporting tribes there.

    Also, the counterinsurgency campaign proposed for Pakistan is not at all similar to that executed in Anbar province. In Anbar, the tribes organized to fight al Qaeda only after they realized the error they had made in aligning with them. And the tribes openly fought al Qaeda of their own accord before seeking help from the U.S. Marine and Army units in Ramadi.

    Only later would U.S. troops play a significant role by nurturing the tribal movement, known as the Anbar Awakening, which ultimately formed the core of local resistance to al Qaeda. The U.S. military provided funding, helped organize local tribal security forces, encouraged the Iraqi government and military to allow Sunni tribesmen to join the army and police, and had the tribal security forces integrated into the military by reorganizing the units into Provincial Security Forces.

    The Pakistani counterinsurgency plan, on the other hand, explicitly calls for U.S. forces to take a hands-off role in the Northwest Frontier Province. Unlike Anbar, the closest U.S. troops would come to direct involvement in Pakistan would be the embedding of Special Forces trainers into the Frontier Corps and Pakistani military. U.S. forces would not be able to come to the direct aid of Frontier Corps units.

    The proposed Pakistani counterinsurgency plan would instead rely on the Pakistani Army to conduct the counterinsurgency operation and to buttress the Frontier Corps, itself a failed counterinsurgency force with a long history of deserting, or surrendering to the Taliban outright, whenever the situation becomes difficult. The Pakistani Army's track record in battling Islamic extremists in the tribal areas is equally troubling.

    The 2005 South Waziristan Accord (also known as the Sara Rogha Accord) and the 2006 North Waziristan Accord were both negotiated after the Pakistan military suffered a slew of defeats at the hands of Taliban and al Qaeda forces. After the signing of these "peace accords," the Taliban and al Qaeda conducted a vicious campaign against any tribal member suspected of working with the Pakistani government or U.S. intelligence. Beheadings of "U.S. spies" were a daily occurrence.

    Given this history of capitulation, relying on the Pakistani military to protect those tribal leaders opposed to al Qaeda and the Taliban without the support of U.S. forces seems certain to place any anti-al Qaeda elements in grave and immediate danger. During the rise of the Awakening in Anbar province in 2006, the anti-al Qaeda tribal leaders were nearly defeated. The first iteration of the Awakening, called the Anbar Revenge Brigades, was routed after al Qaeda assassinated its leaders and murdered or intimidated its fighters.

    The Awakening was only able to survive the al Qaeda onslaught with the direct support of the U.S. Marines and soldiers based in Anbar. U.S. forces provided
    protection for the group's leaders, as well as air support, financing, and communications and other equipment to bolster its efforts. U.S. forces also conducted joint operations with the Awakening's fighters and coordinated operations between the Iraqi police and Army. Despite this U.S. support, the Awakening was close to being defeated after al Qaeda conducted a massive terror campaign up and down the Euphrates River Valley in the winter and spring of 2007. Al Qaeda used suicide bombs, chlorine gas attacks, and targeted assassinations against the tribal leaders and their supporters.

    In Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, al Qaeda and the Taliban have extended their influence well beyond the tribal agencies and into its "settled" districts. The tribal agencies of Bajaur, Mohmand, and North and South Waziristan are firmly under Taliban control, and the Orakazai, Kurram, and Khyber regions are on the verge falling into that camp as well. The Taliban recently took control of the settled districts of Swat and Shangla, and two more are effectively off limits to the central government, as the police and military will not stray from their bases in those areas.

    Under these conditions, arming anti-al Qaeda and anti-Taliban tribes and bolstering the Frontier Corps without solid support from both the Pakistani and the American military would be a death sentence for any tribe foolish enough to join the fight. The United States must get its counterinsurgency strategy in Pakistan right the first time, lest it risk the annihilation of any potential allies that remain in the region. But Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province isn't Anbar. More, not less, direct support from the United States military will be necessary for such a strategy to have any chance of success.



    NO shortage of paranoia in Pakti Military.


    I have a differnet conclusion.
    And I agree with Bill this is a high risk until the Pashtoons recongize al Qaeda as an enemy of Pakti.

    I think it is more likely tribes will join in this to get weapons for the Taliban.

    In Iraq it took the Iraqis a while to spot al Qaeda as the enemy, this paradigm shift has not occurred in Pakti. I think it is possible to create this rift.

    But the plan does provide other opportunities.

    I'm sure Army Staff anthropologist will have important input.

    If they are going to use a cookie cutter then they better be sure the dough is the same!!!


    Virtual Life of Abdullah Mehsud.

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