The Rwandan Election

Paul Kagame is headed for a landslide victory at the Rwandan polls. Exit polls indicate 93% of the electorate voted for him. If some Western media commentators could vote in Rwandan elections, the number would likely be even higher.

Take Stephen Kinzer, who wrote a biography of Kagame subtitled “Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed it”. Earlier this year, Kinzer wrote in the UK Guardian about the stakes of Rwanda’s election:

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The Afghan War Diary Data – an initial look

An initial look at the first 76,000 records in the “Afghan War Diary” leaked by Wikileaks yields some important information, much of which has been known or suspected by analysts for years. Given the sheer size of the database, there is a great deal more to be learned, but here are some initial findings.

Casualty data

The first impression is one of an extremely lopsided war, like all wars of occupation, where occupied casualties are vastly higher than those by the occupier.

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The Drug War in Afghanistan – the Dyncorp connection

Just reading some of the 800+ hits on the drug war in Afghanistan, and these are real – the US is fighting a drug war in Afghanistan. There are DEA agents running around arresting people, there are troops eradicating poppy in farmers fields, and they are finding and burning piles of opium, heroin, hashish, and marijuana.

One thing I keep coming across is mentions of DynCorp, a private military contractor, in lines like this: “DYNCORP reps have confirmed that they are being told by senior provincial police officials that the CoP is taking bribes, involved in drug trafficing, etc.”

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Reading the incidents in Pakistan – some notes

[Analysis of the Wikileaks Afghan War Diary]. I pulled out the 170-or-so incidents that mention Pakistan and are actually in Pakistan. A lot of them involve coordination with the Pakistani military, getting it, failing to get it, etc. An observation post comes under indirect fire, they track the point of origin, discover it’s in Pakistan, try to get permission to attack the point, and either do or don’t.

For example, this one dated October 16, 2009:

Event Title:D10 0523Z

C/3-509TH IN (ABN)

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Afghan War Diary incidents in Pakistan

[Analysis of Wikileaks’s Afghan War Diary]. I thought it might be useful to show a map of the (approx. 170) incidents in the Afghan War Diary that mention Pakistan and also take place within Pakistan’s borders. I will be reading the summaries to see what happened here, but take a look at it – there are incidents in Balochistan, FATA, and NWFP.

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