Yesterday the Grey Lady had this little Marja update…

Taliban Hit Back in Marja With a Campaign of Intimidation…

…Though Marja has an occupation force numbering more than one coalition soldier or police officer for every eight residents, Taliban agitators have been able to wage an underground campaign of subversion, which residents say has intensified in the past two weeks.

“After dark the city is like the kingdom of the Taliban,” said a tribal elder living in Marja, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of the Taliban. “The government and international forces cannot defend anyone even one kilometer from their bases.”

The new governor of Marja, Haji Abdul Zahir, said the militants were now holding meetings in randomly selected homes roughly every other night, gathering residents together and demanding that they turn over the names of anyone cooperating with the authorities.

Mr. Zahir said the Taliban also regularly issued “night letters,” posted at mosques or on utility poles, warning against such collaboration, and often intimidated residents into providing them with shelter and food, even in densely populated neighborhoods of the city, which has a population of 80,000.

“They are threatening and intimidating these people who are cooperating,” he said in a telephone interview. “They have been involved in the area for a long time and they know how to intimidate people. They threaten them with beheadings, cutting off hands and feet, all the things they did when they were the government.”

Hmmm… It sounds like the Taliban aren’t heeding Mullah Omar’s fatwa…!

Today, several prominent AfPak sites announced the ‘new’ operation targeting Kandahar…

First, Spencer’s, and then Registan’s, I did happen to mention at both sites that it wasn’t particularly newsworthy… But I digress…

Kandahar is the spiritual home of the Taliban and, interestingly, where Karzai’s little bro is a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council… Small world…?

Its truly amazing that we drive on to the next objective before securing the first objective…

Handling Marjeh’s Poppy & Other Concerns

…Unfortunately, the Marines are refusing to compensate farmers for any damage they cause to their poppy fields. This is counterproductive—as the farmer himself strongly hinted, there remain strong ties to the Taliban in the area (more on that below): the Taliban, in fact, rescued Marjeh from predatory government officials some time ago and had set up a relatively stable set of economic and judicial institutions. If the Marines are going to destroy those, and there are many reasons why they should, they have to immediately provide alternatives or risk brutalizing the very people they need to win over.

As alluded to by many non-MSM sources; Mullah Baradar’s arrest was possibly counter-productive…!

Even the exiting UN special envoy, Kai Eide had a word or two on the subject…

Kai Eide lashes out

In a BBC interview, the former UN mission chief, says Pakistan’s recent arrests of Taliban leaders have damaged peace prospects

It seems that ‘moderates’ are truly Persona non grata, globally…

CTuttle

CTuttle

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