May 29, 2009

May 29, 2009

<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8”?>

<!—‘carousel’ defines the behavior of a set of images and/or videos that are selected by
an array of thumbnails, with accompanying text. A thumbnail, its image(or video) and its
accompanying text are grouped collectively into data objects referred to as an “element”

Prior to the definition of the elements there’s some information that’s specified to define
the appearance of the carousel itself. These tags should always precede the tags which
instantiate elements.

Careful: tag names and attributes, as parsed by Flash, are case sensitive!

<!—‘background’ specifies the carousel’s background color and or an optional background image
(GIF, JPEG, PNG) as well as an X and Y offset from the upper left corner for positioning that
background image—>

<!– rotate specifies the rate at which the carousel will rotate –>

<!—‘thumbnails’ specifies the nature of your thumbnail images: their width and height, as well
as the “gap” – the number of pixels between them, and “orientation” is whether they are
stacked vertically or horizontally. The first of the thumbnail’s upper left corner will be placed
at the “X” and “Y” offset from the upper left corner of the Flash movie. —>

<!—nested within the ‘thumbnails’ tag is information about images that can be superimposed
over the thumbnails to indicate whether they are for the currently selected image/movie
(the “onIndicator”), or whether they aren’t (the “offIndicator”), or whether the mouse is
currently over the thumbnail (the “overIndicator”). Because these are place OVER the thumbnails
the X & Y values are offsets for positioning these indicators relative to the upper left
of each thumbnail image—>

<!—‘mainView’ indicates the size and position of the ‘main’ image or video loaded by clicking
the thumbnails. If the image or video isn’t the same width or height specified, they will be
scaled to fit. The X & Y values are horizontal and vertical offsets from the upper left of the
Flash movie for placement of this image or video—>

<!—‘clickIcon’ is optional, but recommended for when the first element in the carousel is a
video. Videos will automatically start to play if its thumbnail button is selected, but on initially
loading this carousel we don’t start playing the video… so this image can provide indication
to the site visitor that clicking on the video will start playing it. This image will be placed
OVER the ‘mainView’ video… so the X and Y offsets are relative to the upper left of the mainView

<!—‘controllerSkin’ is the URL for an .SWF file containing the look-and-feel elements of
the video controller. This URL should always be specified if the carousel is playing back video. —>

<!—A number of text regions (‘textBox’) can be defined for the carousel. These tags specify
their placement relative to the upper left of the Flash movie. The names given to the textBox
is used to indicate which textBox to place an element’s text within, so they should be unique
within a given carousel—>

<!—An element must contain a thumbnail image and a mainView image or movie. Images can
be in GIF (not animated), JPEG or PNG format. SWF movies ought to work as well!
Image elements also support an optional ‘link’ attribute, which defines a URL to link
to when the image is clicked on. —>

<!—‘text’ items for an element is optional, and may contain limited HTML as supported by Flash.
The ‘box’ attribute signifies which textBox a given piece of text should be rendered into.

Multiple ‘text’ items are supported if they signify different ‘box’ (textBox) areas, otherwise
subsequent ‘text’ items overwrite prior ones. —>


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Pakistani nation determined to wipe out militants

Pakistan is absolutely determined to wipe out the Taliban militants from Malakand and the recent wave of terrorist bombings shows that insurgents are feeling the pressure of the country’s ongoing military offensive, Islamabad’s envoy in Washington said.

Pakistan is not confronted with a desperate situation as a result of militant retaliation, Ambassador Husain Haqqani stated.

“It’s not a desperate situation. It actually affirms the fact that the Pakistani government has made a decision with the support of the Pakistani people to take all extremists and terrorists on and the extremists are feeling the pressure, which is why they are hitting the government and its personnel in cities,” he told BBC America.

The envoy said the bombings are a cause of concern but added “that is the kind of retaliatory mechanisms that terrorists adopt everywhere in the world” as happened in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“When they (terrorists) come under pressure in their strongholds, they try and attack in other places. That is why there has to be a comprehensive strategy to fight terrorists.”

That is why, he continued, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan and NATO, are all working together to try to develop a long-term comprehensive strategy.

“The main function of this comprehensive strategy should be to deprive the terrorists of new recruits.” In answer to a question, he said, “the fact that the intelligence services are being targeted by the terrorists is confirmation that the terrorists consider the Pakistani security service their primary target.

Haqqani reminded the world that the Pakistani army has sacrificed a lot in the fight against terrorism and their continuing sacrifices underline their vital role in this anti-terror fight.

The envoy said some people in Pakistan felt in the past an affinity for some extremist groups based on their causes and there was some kind of confusion in the society.“The American military presence in Afghanistan has been a lightning rod for various groups within Pakistan.”

The confusion in Washington or elsewhere relates to an interpretation of Pakistan’s past history, he remarked. “The Pakistani nation realizes that terrorism is an existential threat to Pakistan and they support their military, they support their intelligence services in fighting this menace.”

He said Pakistan will prove with its actions that it is the world’s frontline state in the fight against terrorism.

(Via APP & BBC) Pakistan Moving to Swat the Taliban

MyDD diarist Shaun Appelby has an interesting analysis of the situation in the Swat Valley:

As far as military strategies go it would appear that this is a sound one, given the numeric superiority but unwieldy nature of the army.  Occupying the surrounding countryside before descending on Mingora is effective and a significant departure from the half-hearted efforts of years past.

But as we know the real challenge of ‘complex wars’ is political, not military, and in that respect the Pakistani civilian government seems to be achieving some success, both in uniting political factions behind this operation, at least for now, and mobilising public opinion against the Taliban as a matter of national sovereignty and security:

Also this Bill Moyers interview with Juan Cole on Friday is a must read and puts things in perspective. Money quote:

Juan Cole: We have a Gallup Poll now, 60 percent of the Punjabis, who are the majority group in Pakistan, say that it’s very negative that there should be Taliban operating in Pakistan. And only ten percent say that it’s a positive. So in Pakistan, as a whole, this is a small group. It’s not a mainstream, big, mass movement.