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Residents foil bomb plot in Baghdad burb
Today's Headlines
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Page 1: WoT Operations
1 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [316] 
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7 00:00 Pappy [326] 
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4 00:00 Super Hose [293] 
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1 00:00 Seafarious [249] 
1 00:00 Robert Crawford [261] 
1 00:00 tu3031 [266] 
10 00:00 Super Hose [372] 
5 00:00 Old Patriot [302] 
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13 00:00 Super Hose [277] 
13 00:00 Old Grouch [259] 
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20 00:00 Aris Katsaris [410] 
21 00:00 Paul [248] 
4 00:00 Shipman [263] 
14 00:00 Stephen [345] 
2 00:00 Bulldog [251] 
14 00:00 Raj [247] 
4 00:00 tu3031 [257] 
3 00:00 john [256] 
7 00:00 Super Hose [251] 
4 00:00 Carl in N.H. [260] 
5 00:00 Super Hose [290] 
2 00:00 Seafarious [258] 
4 00:00 Paul Moloney [265] 
3 00:00 Old Patriot [251] 
6 00:00 Chuck Simmins [258] 
10 00:00 Anonymous [715] 
-Short Attention Span Theater-
Give the Guy Some credit - Clinton brokers landmark Aids deal
I’m not the biggest fan of Bill Clinton, but Bill certainly has taken what Bob Geldoff said to heart.
BBC - EFL

Four companies that produce generic Aids drugs have agreed to reduce the cost of the drugs for millions of people in developing countries under a deal brokered by former US President Bill Clinton.

The companies in India and South Africa say they will provide the medication to several nations in Africa and the Caribbean at less than a third of the cost of patented versions.

Aids organisations have hailed the deal as a breakthrough, with the potential to save millions of lives.

Mr Clinton said treatment could begin in places where until now there had been virtually no medicine and no hope.

Nine countries in the Caribbean, as well as Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania will receive the low-cost medication.
The agreement was reached after advisors from the William J Clinton Presidential Foundation worked with the drugs firms to find ways to cut costs.

Under the deal, the price of a generic triple-drug regimen will be less than 40 cents a day, as opposed to more than $1.50 for the same patented medicines.

"This agreement will allow the delivery of life-saving medicines to people who desperately need them," Mr Clinton said.

He said he hoped up to two million people would receive the cut-price drugs by 2008.

Mr Clinton has secured partial funding from wealthier nations to help the countries pay for the drugs and for improvements in the countries’ health systems.

Ireland, for example, has committed $58.3m over five years to Mozambique. Canada has also agreed to be a commit funds.

The four African nations have each secured additional funds from other sources, including the World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Analysts say the companies are able to provide the drugs at cheaper prices by cutting marketing and distribution costs because the treatments are so well known there is no need for them to be advertised.

Profits from drugs used for other ailments not related to Aids can also used to offset the cost of providing cheaper Aids treatments. In addition, already existing drugs do not have the burden of large research and development expenses.

The high cost of anti-retroviral drugs is a big issue in poor countries, with campaigners often arguing that drug companies’ profit margins are too large.

In southern Africa, only 50,000 out of four million Aids sufferers are receiving required treatment. Aids campaigners have welcomed Mr Clinton’s initiative as an important step forward. There will still be the same type of availability and logistics problems that are causing high death rates during childbirth that OP pointed out.

"Providing Aids treatment to those who most urgently need it in poor countries is the most urgent health challenge the world faces," said Dr Lee Jong-Wook, director of the World Health Organization.

Irish rock star Bono, a leading Aids activist, said the deal "marks a crucial breakthrough in the Aids emergency, showing that we can, and must, wage a successful war against this preventable and treatable disease".


Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 5:21:39 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is good, but the price of the drugs is not the main issue in the spread of AIDS in Africa. There are cultural and lifestyle issues that need to be addressed or there will be huge dieoffs, or we will have a continent hanging onto dear life with drugs. That issue will have to be faced by Africans themselves if there is going to be any real progress. One must clean up one's act or one will die. Plain and simple.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/24/2003 18:49 Comments || Top||

#2  I’m not the biggest fan of Bill Clinton, but Bill certainly has taken what Bob Geldoff said to heart.

The guy waits until now to do this when he had a full two terms in office to get the ball rolling?
I'm not impressed.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 18:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Now all we have to do is convince Africa's politicians and despots that AIDS is a disease, and not a conspiracy.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/24/2003 19:13 Comments || Top||

#4  "PROFITS FROM DRUGS USED FOR OTHER AILMENTS...USED TO OFFSET THE COST"

Ain't no free lunches.
Posted by: Stephen || 10/24/2003 19:45 Comments || Top||

#5  Ain't no free lunches.
True - anyone else who uses a drug will be footing the bill in part. Still, there are few other people in the world who have the hoorse power to pull this type of project together. This is the best use of his position that I have seen him make. I think I know what motivated him to move on this, but regardless plenty of people will be potentially helped. Indigenous training centers for helath professionals would also help as well as a few roads as well.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 21:09 Comments || Top||


’Iceman’ Grabs Shark to Save Men
Well PETA might be pissed, but I don’t think they’ll bother this guy.
An Icelandic fishing captain, known as "the Iceman" for his tough character, grabbed a 660-pound shark with his bare hands as it swam in shallow water toward his crew, a witness said Thursday. The skipper of the trawler "Erik the Red" was on a beach in Kuummiit, east Greenland, watching his crew processing a catch when he saw the shark swimming toward the fish blood and guts -- and his men.
Captain Sigurdur Petursson, known to locals as "the Iceman," ran into the shallow water and grabbed the shark by its tail. He dragged it off to dry land and killed it with his knife.
Don’t be f***ing with the Iceman.
"He caught it just with his hands. There was a lot of blood in the sea and the shark came in and he thought it was dangerous," Frede Kilime, a hunter and fisherman who watched from the beach, told Reuters by phone from Greenland.
Frede, where’s the video camera? You coulda been rich!
Icelandic author and journalist Reynir Traustason, who knows the trawler captain, said the act was typical of the man. "He’s called ’the Iceman’ because he isn’t scared of anything," he said. "I know the people in that part of the world. They are really tough."
Evidently...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 11:16:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  -Sign this guy up!! Force Recon or Navy Seal potential....
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/24/2003 11:18 Comments || Top||

#2  It is clear that Iceland doesn't need an army.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/24/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

#3  That is one tough Mother. No wonder nobody messes with Iceland.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/24/2003 11:37 Comments || Top||

#4  This guy could teach our SF a thing or two.
Posted by: Charles || 10/24/2003 11:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Sounds like a typical "Icelandic" saga to me. A 660lb Shark that was dead would still be almost impossible for anyone to "drag up to dry ground". But having just watched the World's Strongest Man Contest this could be a welcome new addition to the feats of strength.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 10/24/2003 11:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Snorri!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/24/2003 12:59 Comments || Top||

#7  Normally, I wouldn't swim in the ocean with a chum-fest in progress. In this case I would do whatever Iceman told me to do. It is doubtful that the 600lb shark rolled over and played dead while Iceman was dragging him. Hope he was wearing some gloves.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 15:06 Comments || Top||

#8  Pity this guy's grandchildren. They're going to hear about the time granddad killed a shark barehanded for the rest of their lives.
Posted by: BH || 10/24/2003 16:38 Comments || Top||

#9  Last time I saw "Iceman", "Maverick" was bailing him out over the Indian Ocean...and Kelly McGinnis was dropping a quarter in the Jukebox cause "She'd lost that lovin feeling..."
Posted by: Capsu78 || 10/24/2003 16:38 Comments || Top||

#10  BH >> Yeah, sorta like when I tell my kids about the time I single handedly destroyed an Iraqi Armor Battalion with nothing but my dog tags and P-38 can opener. I still get the eye rolling routine.

.....Never under estimate the power of the dog tags and the P-38 can opener........
Posted by: Paul || 10/24/2003 17:19 Comments || Top||

#11  Capsu - interestingly enuf (for me at least) I had lunch Wednesday at the bar/restaurant the "Take me to bed or lose me forever, Goose" was filmed at: Kansas City BBQ on Market St., downtown San Diego - still there, and still a plaque inside noting the filming, lol - their claim to fame
Posted by: Frank G || 10/24/2003 20:06 Comments || Top||

#12  Chiraq issued statement condemning Capt.Petursson for unilateral action.GreenPeace called Capt. a war criminal.Democrats running for President blamed Bush for allowing Iceland deadly knife technology.CIA leaked memo to NYT that predicted a "shark incident in the near future",and that Condi Rice ignored memo.Arafat stated attack was another Israeli roadblock on road to peace.UN declare peacekeepers need to be sent to area until power-sharing agreement between sharks and fishermen is worked out.
Posted by: Stephen || 10/24/2003 20:11 Comments || Top||

#13  Stephen, you forgot: The Ursus Front- of allied miltant polar, grissly and black bears have pledged to avenge this unprovoked attack on a brother carnivorous predator.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 21:13 Comments || Top||


A sad day for aviation: Final take-off for Concorde
It’s not WoT, but it’s certainly not Peshawar...
Concorde has taken off for the last time, ending three decades of supersonic travel. Three flights are under way and will converge on Heathrow airport to touch down at 1600 BST, cheered on by thousands of onlookers.
It would be fitting to hold a champagne toast to the old bird. But it’ll have to be a beer. Maybe a French beer.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 10:15:12 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The word "French" expalins why it failed quite well.
Posted by: Charles || 10/24/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Charles, although tongue in cheek and possibly flip, your comment is right on the money as to why the bird is not flying anymore. Beside the future lack of parts and maintainability that was caused simply by the laxity of the French in safely maintaining their runway operations as well as plan maintenance. The Brits are livid and that is one reason Branson wants to buy a few birds and keep it going but the French control the parts and overhaul end of things. Be pretty expensive to retool that kind of setup.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 10/24/2003 11:51 Comments || Top||

#3  no not peshawar, govt spending lots of money on international prestige, euro cooperation, yadda yadda - definitely on topic.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/24/2003 12:05 Comments || Top||

#4  ..I've seen a couple of reports that one reason the UK and France have been so adamant to retire Concorde instead of letting Branson get them is that once he does, the world will quickly find out just how much it cost to operate those magnificent birds - something the general public isn't generally aware of.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 10/24/2003 12:13 Comments || Top||

#5  The French put the knife to Concorde, it's true, but BA sank it in. She could could have kept flying if BA'd passed her on to Branson but the national carrier didn't want to lose face by seeing the flagship aircraft lost to a competitor.

Concorde was a bigger drain of Air France than it ever was to BA (which actually managed to make a small profit in the later years), and an irksome reminder that US business preferred London to Paris. Nevertheless, I don't think you can blame the French for everything contributing to Concorde's decline, for BA's inability to provide economical maintenance, for the economic after-effects of 9-11, or for the fact that so many people and countries objected to having Concorde overflights in the early days. The fact remains that without the French, Concorde would never have taken to the air in the first place, and for that you have to be grateful to them.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 12:15 Comments || Top||

#6  It's easy to see why Lockheed backed out of the "SST" race. Neither the Concorde nor the Soviet TU-144 were truly profitable. They were international status symbols, period. Both cost their representative governments billions to build, to operate, and now to retire. Note that there are few, if any, follow-on supersonic aircraft waiting in the wings.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/24/2003 12:20 Comments || Top||

#7  FOD didn't help the Concorde, either. I saw the prototype at Fairbanks International Airport in February 1973 when it was there for cold weather testing. They would shut down the plane and cold soak it for 3 days, then run it up and fly it. Good simulation, by God! It was -55F that week. Pretty impressive aircraft. There is a prototype on display at the Imperial War Museum, Air Wing, at Duxford, England. Bulldog, take a trip up there. Well worth the while.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/24/2003 13:05 Comments || Top||

#8  Concorde was nothing like a prestige project in the sense that the Apollo project was. The original, albeit misconceived, plan was for the supersonic airliner to be a profitable passenger jet filling a vacant niche in the air travel business. It was a brave project originating in Britain which became internationalised when the government belatedly realised it would be too expensive to continue with alone. The French were at an ealy stage of developing their own SST, were reaching the same conclusion as regards expense, and so the nations agreed to pool resources.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 13:09 Comments || Top||

#9  AP, Had the opportunity to visit Duxford recently but didn't take it up :(. Will have to make do with the V-weapons at the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth, next week. Ho hum.

Was overflown by Concorde and the Red Arrows a month ago at an outdoors concert, though. Things could be worse.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 13:14 Comments || Top||

#10  Old Patriot, did you ever see the Discovery Channel show on the TU-144 accident at teh Paris air show? I found the episode facinating.

The was a write-up on detonation propulsion in Popular Science about a month ago that I am reading through. Such an engine might make SST travel economical but even noisier. It will certainly be useful in missile technology.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

#11  Here's a link to one of the pulse detonation sites: Caltech

Poular Science had better pictures. Looks as if Pratt Witney, GE and some Aussie in hos garage are racing to finish a working application. Eventually, the goal is to build a hybrid with a turbo-prop.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 17:35 Comments || Top||

#12  SH, I don't watch television - too noisy! I did see some of the photos of the crash, and the aftermath. The TU-144 had a number of crashes, most of them fatal to all aboard, as well as a couple of times a group on the ground.

Something like the TU-144 and Concorde makes sense for very long trips, such as Moscow-Vladivostok, or London-Singapore, but not economical for such 'short' trips as London-New York. Could have used something more comfortable - and faster - on the Travis-Tan Son Nhut run in the early '70's. especially coming home!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/24/2003 20:21 Comments || Top||

#13  The major reason supersonic air travel never got profitable is the Congressional ban on commercial supersonic overflights of the US. This followed agitation by a NIMBY/luddite combination which included everyone from farmers who were worried that their cows might be upset to greenies paniced over potential ozone damage. Blocking the transcontinental routes made the US airlines uninterested in SSTs... an important reason Lockheed dumped its SST project. And without the American companies involved in supersonic travel, the entire Pacific rim travel market was left unexploited.

It would be interesting to see what we might have now if Congress hadn't been stupid 30 years ago. At the minimum, 30 years of technological improvements...
Posted by: Old Grouch || 10/24/2003 21:03 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
You aren't going to believe this...
Miss Earth, 2003 international beauty pageant being held in Manila on November 9. Words fail me. My turban has unravelled. My curly-toed slippers have gone limp. My AK feels so... so... empty.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 19:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [344 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They like beauty contests in Manila.

It looks like the Afghans could be contenders, don't it ?
Posted by: buwaya || 10/24/2003 19:58 Comments || Top||

#2  She's a California girl. Got out of Afghanistan in '96. Bet some Mullah's head's exploding seeing this shit.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 20:02 Comments || Top||

#3  Anyone who wants this lady to wear a burqa has some major issues.
Posted by: Matt || 10/24/2003 20:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Now that, folks raises the morale of the Rantburg troops. However, we must have equal time for the Religion of Peace™, so without further ado, I present to you: (*drum roll*)

Ramadan on the Net!

Only a few feasting days left 'till October 275h!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/24/2003 20:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Er, October 27th......Ah, she is a bonnie lass!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/24/2003 21:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Glenn at Instapundit has a better picture, just in case you need one.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 21:38 Comments || Top||

#7  I wouldn't be surprised if she had lived in Fremont someplace. Lot of expat Afghanis there.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 21:39 Comments || Top||

#8  Read the Guestbook for 'Ramadan on the Net!'.

Especially this one:

ALAL BARAZANI

I WISH MUSLIMS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD A VERY
HAPPY RAMADAN KAREEM. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO
REQUEST THE MUSLIMS TO PRAY IN THIS HOLY MONTH FOR THE SUCCESS OF MUJAHADEEN ...... PARTICULARLY IN IRAQ AND PALESTINE FIGHTING THE TYRANTS OF THE CENTURY.
24 October 2003 - GERMANY


Words fail me.....

Oh and Miss Afghanistan look Hot too.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/24/2003 21:52 Comments || Top||

#9  Ah, shit. Ramadan starts ON MY BIRTHDAY?!
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/24/2003 22:12 Comments || Top||

#10  So how long before someone in her family issues a fatwa against her, for bringing dishonor to them.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/24/2003 22:41 Comments || Top||

#11  "Whiskey,Democracy,Sexy!"
Posted by: Uncle Joe || 10/24/2003 22:45 Comments || Top||

#12  Viva,"Whiskey,Democracy,Sexy!"
Posted by: Raptor || 10/25/2003 7:53 Comments || Top||


10 civilians killed in ambush in northern Afghanistan
Ten civilians, including five women and two children, have been killed in a "terrorist" ambush in northern Afghanistan, state television reported on Friday. The ambush occurred at 9:30 pm on Thursday when a vehicle carrying 12 people was attacked on a road in Samangan province, which borders Tajkistan and Uzbekistan, the report quoted a local commander, Rahmatullah, as saying. The vehicle had been travelling from the village of Shirkar, 60 kilometres east of the provincial capital Aybak, when it was hit by three anti-tank rockets, then peppered with small arms fire. Ten civilians were killed, another person injured and a child left unhurt, according to the report. Nine attackers fled the scene. Samangan province has largely escaped the violence which has beset many areas of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001. The Taliban has launched a series of bloody attacks in southern Afghanistan in the past few months but the hardline Islamic movement has traditionally had few supporters in Samangan.
I wonder if it's Talibs or Uzbeks from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 16:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Taliban going for the hard targets now I see.

Later a Taliban commander was quoted as saying "Yeah, and my men would've killed them all, if it weren't for that meddling kid and his vicious Teddy bear attack."
Posted by: Paul || 10/24/2003 17:22 Comments || Top||


Afghans May Talk With Ex-Taliban Official
EFL AP from Newsday
The Afghan government might hold talks with a former top Taliban official, but only if it determines he has no complicity in terrorism or crimes against the Afghan people, the president’s spokesman said Thursday. Former Foreign Minister Abdul Wakil Mutawakil recently offered to assist President Hamid Karzai’s government in quelling tension inside the country in exchange for his freedom from U.S. custody.
Looks like he is not necessarily headed for Miami as speculated.
Karzai recently said he welcomed members of the Taliban rank-and-file not responsible for the hard-line movement’s actions, presidential spokesman Jawid Luddin said. Some responses came from Afghans in Pakistan who say they are resisting pressure to return home to fight foreign troops and Karzai’s central government.
So much for the Pakistani Welcome Wagon.
Luddin said the highest-level contact so far has come from Mutawakil. "Now that we have received these contacts, the question is whether we will respond to it. We haven’t decided yet," Luddin said. Taliban insurgents mounted increasing attacks over the summer against international troops, aid workers and government forces. On Thursday in southern Afghanistan, some 1,000 Afghan forces and more than 300 coalition troops were hunting down former Taliban leaders. Recent reports suggested Mutawakil returned to his hometown Kandahar. However, Luddin said Thursday that Mutawakil, considered a moderate in the Taliban regime, is still held at Bagram, the U.S. military headquarters north of Kabul.
Moderate Taliban only beat their own wives...
Karzai’s government no longer recognizes the Taliban as a movement. If the government were to talk with any former Taliban members it would only be on an individual basis "and based on national interests of Afghanistan," Luddin said.

Also the BBC has an article:Afghan disarming is beginning.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 1:43:20 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Afghan government might hold talks with a former top Taliban official, but only if it determines he has no complicity in terrorism or crimes against the Afghan people, the president’s spokesman said Thursday.

Might be a tough smell test there, Abdul.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 15:07 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Saudi Arabia warns non-Muslims: Respect Muslim rules in Ramadan
Saudi Arabia warned Western residents on Wednesday that they must respect the Muslim prohibition on eating, drinking and smoking in public during daylight hours in Ramadan, the holy month that is expected to start next week.
Well, okay. I guess that means that during December the world's Muslims are going to be jolly and festive and give gifts to everybody in sight, right?
The Interior Ministry said penalties would be imposed on any non-Muslim who violates the ban in shops, streets or places of work. Punishment could range from the termination of one's work contract to deportation. "Being a non-Muslim is no excuse... deterrent measures will be taken against violators," the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
"We insist that you, too, be dour and humorless. It's a cultural thing, y'know..."
Meanwhile, the "black cloud" of pollution hanging over Cairo will prevent this year's sighting of the crescent moon marking the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Egypt's mufti was quoted as saying Wednesday.
Maybe God sent it, to punish you for lacking any vestige of a sense of humor?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 16:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe it's another Creeping Death. Long overdue, IMHO.
Posted by: BH || 10/24/2003 16:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Sounds like mucho OT for the Religious Police.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 16:44 Comments || Top||

#3  That's cool, I can respect that. I'll just move the BBQ inside and position the fan to blast the smell to the largest Muslim rich environment that I can target.

...or...

Maybe I'll tape some BBQ to my body under my clothes and them go pray at the local Mosque.

....or....

After eating (with BBQ sauce all over my face) I'll walk downtown sporting my "Proud God Fearing Infidel since 1970!" t-shirt. The one with the crosses all over it. ...or better yet my "Pork...the other white meat!" t-shirt.

Decisions, decisions....

Posted by: Paul || 10/24/2003 17:33 Comments || Top||

#4  It's a good time to take vacation, 'cause you don't want to be anywhere near these folks during Ramadan. They tend to get a bit... testy about mid-way into it.


Posted by: Pappy || 10/24/2003 18:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Ramadan well and truly sucks the big one.

BTW, there is one other restriction that you failed to mention: fornication.

Aramco Muslims have "special hours" during that month. In practice, they party / feast all night, so they drag in 2-3 hrs late and leave for lunch and don't return. When they get home they crash - and that's the day. Just thought you might wanna know.

One of the funniest things is when "sundown" comes and you can't find any of the guards - they're all on the floor sitting on their prayer rugs with a picnic going on.

For non-Muslims it just sucks and then sucks some more. Except for how nice and quiet it is at work. No yammering at high volume. No holding groups prayers in the cubicle next to yours. Peace. Quiet.
Posted by: .com || 10/24/2003 18:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Wait I thought this was the Religion of Tolerance (tm)!
Posted by: Val || 10/24/2003 21:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Another funny thing is when Ramada ends, the number of Saudis who drive off the causeway returning from Bahrain to the Saudi mainland mysteriously rises...
Posted by: Pappy || 10/24/2003 22:45 Comments || Top||


70 protestors detained in Saudi Arabia
Saudi security forces detained around 70 demonstrators as they put on a show of force across the kingdom Thursday to quell a wave of protests called for by an exiled opposition group. All of the arrests were in provincial towns. In the capital, a massive deployment by riot police prevented any demonstration by sympathisers of the banned London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA). Some 50 people were detained in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, five of them women. Another 13 were picked up in Hail, north of Riyadh, and at least five were arrested in Dammam, in the oil-rich Eastern Province. According to an official version of the demonstrations carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), a "limited number of individuals" rallied on Thursday afternoon in Jeddah, Hail and Dammam, drawing "a number of people who came out of curiosity or because they knew what was going on." Security forces moved to halt the protests "to safeguard public order," SPA said.
Public order being defined as the princes' heads...
Participants "are being interrogated and will be referred to the Islamic court," the news agency added.
"Bailiff! Flog them all!"
In Jeddah, "around 100 people tried to demonstrate on Andalus Street in Midan al-Bawakher (Ships Square) on Thursday afternoon, but security forces confronted them, arresting about 50, including five women, while the rest dispersed," said one witness contacted from Riyadh. Some of the protesters, who chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) as they fled, took cover in a supermarket, the witness said. Security forces continued to patrol the streets after the demonstration was dispersed, he added.
Did they arrest the guys carrying groceries?
In Hail, 13 people, who attempted to march in a vegetable market in the center of the city, were all rounded up by security forces, witnesses said. In Dammam, dozens of people attempted to march from a mosque in the center of the city calling for the release of detainees but were stopped by security forces who arrested at least five protesters. Security forces, including riot units, had deployed in the area around the mosque, blocking roads leading to the site of the protest. The attempted demonstrations were called by MIRA to denounce what it termed "injustice and corruption in the kingdom" following a rare rally in Riyadh last week. In the capital, a massive police deployment around the mosque that was meant to serve as the starting point for the demonstration prevented it ever taking place, a correspondent at the scene said. Dozens of police cars and jeeps used by riot units and special forces patrolled the area around the mosque in the al-Rabwa suburb of Riyadh. Ambulances and civil defense cars were also seen parked around the area, but there was no sign of any rally well after the planned starting time following afternoon prayers. Police vehicles prevented motorists from entering sidestreets leading to the mosque and pedestrians were turned away from its immediate vicinity.
"Youse gotta permit to go to that mosque?"
Checkpoints were set up on a main road leading to the neighborhood, and police stopped some cars.
"Hmmm... Y'ain't from around here, air yew?"
The Saudi authorities had warned they would not tolerate any further street protests after a rare rally in a main thoroughfare of Riyadh on October 14 that had been called by MIRA to demand the release of detained dissidents. Protests "violate existing rules and anyone who takes part in them will be subjected to deterrent punishment meted out by the Islamic court," Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said late Wednesday. His ministry issued a statement saying that 83 of the people arrested at last week's rally, including three women, were still in custody and would appear in court.
Unless the calaboose burns down first, of course...
"Authorities arrested 271 people, of whom 188 were freed after proving that they had been drawn into the crowd and acted out of curiosity," a spokesman said.
"Get outta here, and don't let me see you in my Islamic courtroom again!"
Another warning came from the head of the kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council, Sheikh Saleh bin Mohammad al-Luhaidan, who said in remarks published by the daily Okaz Thursday that demonstrations were "demagogic" and authorities were duty-bound to "stand up firmly" to such activities. Calls for demonstrations and sit-ins "amount to calls for strife, and to an attempt to spread vice and undermine security," he said.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 15:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Authorities arrested 271 people, of whom 188 were freed after proving that they had been drawn into the crowd and acted out of curiosity," a spokesman said.
Uh, exactly how do you prove such a claim? The correct defense is that they were "tempted" - that'll work every time in Islam.
Posted by: .com || 10/24/2003 18:24 Comments || Top||

#2  The pressure cooker gets stoked another little bit..
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/24/2003 21:27 Comments || Top||


Kuwaiti Islamist scholar arrested in Yemen
"The Kuwaiti Islamist scholar Jaber al-Jalahma was arrested by Yemeni anti-terrorism police at Sanaa airport, as he was boarding a Qatar Airways flight" late Thursday, a police official said. "Jalahma is known for his extremist ideas and was arrested many times by Kuwaiti security authorities due to his extremist opinions and attitude."
"Now it's our turn..."
He added that the "Kuwaiti ambassador in Sanaa has not yet been informed of the Kuwaiti scholar's arrest."
"We wanted it to be a surprise..."
Sanaa has made no official announcement of the arrest of Jalahma, who, according to the official, arrived in the Yemeni capital some days ago.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 15:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [249 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's time for the Wizard to take away this guy's "scholar" credentials and change his turban to a black-and-white prison stripey one...
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/24/2003 15:51 Comments || Top||


Down Under
Bob Brown finds China doesn’t like free speech (unlike Bush)
’Chinese agents’ kicked out guests
CHINESE secret service agents stopped guests of the Australian Greens from entering the public gallery to hear Chinese President Hu Jintao’s speech to Parliament, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.
hahahaha oh, so you mean unlike Bush they don’t like free speech? Bob wasn’t planning to shout him down anyway, he saved that special rudeness for the leader of the FREE world.
Although he admitted he had no proof the men were Chinese agents, Senator Brown said he was willing to make the claim.
Paranoid AND rude. Please somebody kick him out next election.
"Our invited guests from the Chinese Democrats and the Tibetans had their privileges removed," he said.
Oh, so a really GOOD cause got sidelined because you were so busy big-noting yourself by criticising the President of a country with a great human-rights record instead.
"They were prohibited from the gallery and put up behind glass. What’s more, a Chinese secret service agent was there to determine who did and who didn’t get into the gallery on our invitation." Senator Brown said the Chinese agents stopped his guests, including the chairman of the Federation for a Democratic China Australia division, Chin Jin, at the entrance to the public gallery and phoned Speaker of the House Neil Andrew’s office. "A check was then made with Mr Andrew’s office and he then redirected ... the Tibetans and Mr Chin, representing the democratic movement in China, out of the gallery and up into the school children’s place behind glass and without interpreter facilities," he said.
the school children’s place: right where Bob Brown should have been put yesterday
"That’s just outrageous."
Don’t pretend you care, Bob, you’re just covering your arse against charges you don’t care about anything except bashing America
Posted by: Anon1 || 10/24/2003 1:10:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [247 views] Top|| File under:

#1  look at me! look at me! I'm Bob Brown
Look at me! look at me! I'm Kerry Nettle
look at us, look at us, look at us!!!!!
look at us now! look at me, mum!

ps: rantburg sorry I left but I have found a really EXCELLENT boyfriend who i reckon i'm gonna marry one day
Posted by: Anon1 || 10/24/2003 1:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Bush handled those two idiots with such good grace and humour yesterday, he won a lot of fans here.

Oh and the "thousands" of protestors was just 3 thousand. NOt 20 thousand, just 3 thousand students and unemployed rabble bussed in from sydney and melbourne.

makes me wonder where they get the money to hire the busses and print the expensive colour posters. Oh and the stickers.

I ripped every one down that I saw!
Posted by: Anon1 || 10/24/2003 1:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Go, Bush, Go! And good on John Howard, too!!!!
every "stop bush" poster I saw got ripped or defaced, and I encourage others to do the same.
Posted by: Anon1 || 10/24/2003 1:31 Comments || Top||

#4  So,if Tibet is such a good cause how come Johnny didn't raise it with Hu? Oh shit, sorry, have to strengthen those economic ties instead. btw, when was the last time the US raised this issue with China? Don't know the answer that's why I'm askingthe question.

re bashing america, yeah, well, he does that, agree he should be a more unbiased, my preference is for bashing just about any country including Uzbekistan, China, US, Albania, Montenegro, France, Germany, UK, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Israel, Syria, Turkmenistan (that's a good one, nothing like naming days/months after yourself or your relatives), Italy, Nigeria, Liberia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Russia, Georgia (no, not the state), Egypt, Turkey, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Greece, Honduras, Nicaragua, Algeria, Libya...damn, the list is too long, easy enough to find fault with all of them
Posted by: Igs || 10/24/2003 1:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Igs, February 1972.
Posted by: Brian || 10/24/2003 2:10 Comments || Top||

#6  Welcome back,and congrtulatins A1
Posted by: Raptor || 10/24/2003 8:07 Comments || Top||

#7  It's so much more fun calling George Bush and Ashcroft fascists, killers and dictators - they don't have truncheons - unlike the real fascists, killers, and dictators
Posted by: Frank G || 10/24/2003 8:32 Comments || Top||

#8  He should've used the line the Kennedy's have made famous around here:
"Do you know who I am?!"
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 8:47 Comments || Top||

#9  I'm somewhat amazed that the speaker had so much control over who could attend the speach.
Posted by: Yank || 10/24/2003 11:32 Comments || Top||

#10  At least the speaker had good sense not to cause a international incident. Although, Brown being tortured in a Beijing prison does have it's merits.
Posted by: Charles || 10/24/2003 11:50 Comments || Top||

#11  tu3031 - John Kerry's used that line, too (surprised?).

The story goes like this - years ago Kerry's in this Beacon Hill bar and approaches 2 women. They talked for a few minutes, but the chicks don't yet know how priviledged they are to be in his presence. Finally Kerry says, "Don't you know who I am?"

One of the chicks says, "Yeah, you're Bob Lobel" (nightime sports anchor on Channel 4).

Oh, the humility...
Posted by: Raj || 10/24/2003 12:27 Comments || Top||

#12  Raj: We'll that counts. JFK (yes, those are the initials) thinks he's at least an "honorary Kennedy".
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 12:50 Comments || Top||

#13  So much for socialist solidarity. Whatever their faults, the Red Chinese leaders do show quite a bit of interest in feeding their people and in development projects that will raise the standard of living and provide some kind of security against famine.
Naturally, this puts them in direct conflict with the Greens, common Marxist ideology notwithstanding.
The Chinese leaders are less willing than the Greens to adopt policies that would starve billions or keep them in the slavery of subsistence agriculture.
Commie thugs and slave drivers show far more fundamental humanity than the touchy-feely Greens. Ironic, isn't it?
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/24/2003 13:10 Comments || Top||

#14  OK, last Kerry comment today. A week or two ago someone here mentioned John Fitzgerald Kerry.

The aforementioned middle name is incorrect. It's MUCH worse.

John. Forbes. Kerry.
Posted by: Raj || 10/24/2003 13:31 Comments || Top||


Europe
Followup: Saudi-funded school suspends teacher in Bonn
A private Saudi-funded school near the western German city of Bonn has suspended a teacher who allegedly urged students to wage a holy war against the west. The teacher, who has not been identified, was suspended after the King Fahd Academy came to the attention of the German authorities as being a suspected magnet for Muslim extremists. He reportedly used Friday prayers at the school mosque to urge his young listeners take part in a jihad, or holy war. The news magazine Der Spiegel has identified the teacher as Anas B.
Yeah. That nails down who he is pretty tight...
German education officials are concerned that the school is increasingly emphasising religious instruction over academic studies. They said some hardline Muslims have moved near to Bonn to enroll their children at the school, including several who are allegedly being investigated by federal prosecutors for links to the al-Qaeda network. The parent of one King Fahd Academy student was put on trial in September on suspicion of being linked the al-Tawhid group and its plot to attack Jewish targets in Germany. Al-Tawhid's aims include killing all Jews and overthrowing the state of Jordan.
Other than that, they're just regular Joes... Or Abdullahs...
After the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, German police began tracking the movements of many Muslim militants. Three of the suicide hijackers lived in Hamburg undetected for years. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder expressed concern about the school during his visit to Ridyah earlier this month. Saudi officials guaranteed the chancellor that they would review the matter.
"Oh, yasss... We'll certainly look into it. Don't worry about a thing, infidel dog...
The school enrolls 470 children of all ages and opened in 1995. About 200 of its students are Germans.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 16:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  My bet is... he ain't named "Gunther".
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 16:25 Comments || Top||


Italians round up six Red Brigades bad guys
In a series of pre-dawn raids across the country Friday, Italian police arrested six alleged Red Brigades terrorists suspected of killing a Labor Ministry consultant in 1999 — the first attack by the left-wing terrorist group in over a decade. Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the suspects might also be involved in the slaying of another labor consultant shot last year. "With this operation the main root of the new Red Brigades has been cut," Pisanu told reporters. "The operation, still under way, can have deep repercussions on the organization of the Red Brigades," said Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Fine idea. Round 'em up. I'm not particular — bad guys are bad guys, whether they own turbans or not...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 15:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Haven't heard anything from the Red Brigade in quite a while.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 17:46 Comments || Top||

#2  The are kind of like the Duran Duran of the terrorist world.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 17:47 Comments || Top||


Germans aim to Grab British Nukes
GERMAN defence chiefs want Europe to seize control of Britain’s nuclear weapons under breathtaking EU army plans. The Sun can reveal the UK would be forced to share its arsenal with the Germans — who are banned from possessing their own nukes. Documents circulating in Germany’s defence ministry will send a chill through the Pentagon as they expose how EU states want the new Euro army to rival Nato. An eight-page dossier passed to The Sun states: “Another difficult and delicate area will have to be addressed. That is the transfer of national nuclear weapon capabilities of certain EU countries. They should also be integrated within the European defence system. This needs extensive consultation and the assistance of the non-nuclear states to decide what to do with those weapons.” Last night shadow defence secretary Bernard Jenkin stormed: “Only British Prime Ministers should have their finger on the nuclear button. This paper proves what Tony Blair cannot admit — that people in Europe DO want an EU army which will threaten Nato.”

Germany renounced nukes after World War II — although it has accepted US missiles on its soil. The devastating document calls for an entirely NEW EU defence department. MEPs would be HANDED the power to send UK troops into battle. A new EU navy AND an elite commando unit are demanded. Meanwhile Britain and France risk losing their independent voice on the UN Security Council to a Brussels official. An EU army staff COLLEGE to rival Nato’s would be built — in Germany. Britain’s defence firms would also be FORCED into working with EU rivals. The report states: “To ensure its own military and political influence in Nato the EU has to duplicate military capabilities so it can act independently of the United States.” It adds: “A European army legitimised and financed by the European Parliament is the visionary goal of German policy.” US defence chiefs are so worried about the Euro army they demanded urgent talks in Brussels. US military chiefs have already warned it will wreck the Nato alliance.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 10/24/2003 10:01:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [410 views] Top|| File under:

#1  US military chiefs have already warned it will wreck the Nato alliance.

It's time to throw in the towel on this. If the EU wants to field its own army to the detriment of NATO, then let it go. And the UK needs to decide what it wants to do - it can't expect to exercise some kind of autonomy while being part of the EU.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 10:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh, The Sun. How lovely and unbiased.

"This paper proves what Tony Blair cannot admit — that people in Europe DO want an EU army which will threaten Nato."

Right on the first part. But how would it "threaten NATO"?

"MEPs would be HANDED the power to send UK troops into battle."
Only if UK chooses to take part in such a defence alliance and/or integrated army.

"Meanwhile Britain and France risk losing their independent voice on the UN Security Council to a Brussels official."

Oh, yes, our magical mind rays shall brainwash the UK public into giving up their vote at the security council, and signing onto a single common Foreign Policy.

When was the last time UK has been forced to do anything it didn't want to? Has it been forced to enter the Eurozone? Has it been forced to enter the Schengen treaty?

Where does the Sun get it that UK will suddenly be forced to join a European army or a European common foreign policy if it doesn't so want it? Precedent consistently goes in favour of the EU letting member-states opt out of whatever it is they don't want to take part in.

"US military chiefs have already warned it will wreck the Nato alliance."

Why is that? Because it will make EU member states less dependent on American assistance? Why would NATO be any less powerful if a Euro-Army existed? Why can't NATO change to have two strong poles, US on the one hand and the Euro-army on the other, and include all those other countries that will be part of neither? E.g. Canada, UK, Turkey, whatever.

And if countries like Israel and India are allowed to have nukes, I don't see why Germany oughtn't have them.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/24/2003 10:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Aris, Germany isn't allowed to have nukes because of some minor incidents called WW1 and WW2. As for Nato, it was supposed to be a defense force of not just Europe, but the world. The French, Germans, Belguims and Luxemberg have all decided they want a opposing force. Why do they want to challenge the US not economically, but Militarily?
Posted by: Charles || 10/24/2003 11:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Why do they need British nukes?

Why not phrawnce's? Phrawnce has a tendency to share things.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/24/2003 13:06 Comments || Top||

#5  "Aris, Germany isn't allowed to have nukes because of some minor incidents called WW1 and WW2."

I rest my case. Those "incidents" happened 60 and 80 years ago.

It'd be much more reasonable to forbid Russia of having nukes because of two little (and much more recent) incidents called "Cold War" and "communistic totalitarianism".

"As for Nato, it was supposed to be a defense force of not just Europe, but the world."

That's quite wrong - read its charter again. It only provides mutual defense in case of an attack by enemy forces on Europe, North America or Turkey. Actions outside this fall outside NATO's authority. But either way this is irrelevant.

"The French, Germans, Belgium and Luxemberg have all decided they want a opposing force. Why do they want to challenge the US not economically, but Militarily?"

And have you stopped beating your wife?

If you want Europe to be useful it has to be strong. If it wants to be independent it has to be strong enough to act independently. Such strength can only be found in unity.

You call that "opposing" force? I call that an independent force.

You can't both mock Europe for uselessness and ineffectiveness, and yet attack all attempts to create something effective in its place.

That makes me believe that you people *want* Europe to remain weak.

So far, Europe is an economic giant but a military dwarf. It's time for the situation to change.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/24/2003 13:15 Comments || Top||

#6  I don't know what all the hoopla is about. The EU is doomed. As for Aris, perhaps the fact the Phrawnce and Germany intend to 'lead' (whether that happens or not, it is their goal) and the fact that the frogs WANT to be a competitor of the US might be what Charles is talking about. Besides, the EU won't be able to survive. Just look at the condition of the two of the largest economies, France and Germany. Their economies are horrible and getting worse. At least we can thank France for proving, once again, that even Socialism-lite doesn't work. Ha. We can safely continue to mock the EUnuchs. If this is Europes way of trying to create something effective...*shudder*. And one other thing, outside of the UK, when has Europe ever been 'useful'?
Posted by: Swiggles || 10/24/2003 13:41 Comments || Top||

#7  Aris, you guys didn't do too well the last time the Germans changed from a military dwarf to something more substantive. You can thank Bulldog (perfidious Albion) for not speaking German today.

Because it's Friday, let's break out into song:

"...Sleep, baby, sleep, in peace may you slumber,
No danger lurks, your sleep to encumber,
We’ve got the missiles, peace to determine,
And one of the fingers on the button will be German.

Why shouldn’t they have nuclear warheads?
England says no, but they are all soreheads.
I say a bygone should be a bygone,
Let’s make peace the way we did in Stanleyville and Saigon.

Once all the Germans were warlike and mean,
But that couldn’t happen again.
We taught them a lesson in nineteen eighteen,
And they’ve hardly bothered us since then.

So sleep well, my darling, the sandman can linger,
We know our buddies won’t give us the finger.
Heil--hail--the Wehrmacht, I mean the Bundeswehr,
Hail to our loyal ally!
MLF
Will scare Brezhnev,
I hope he is half as scared as I..."

Posted by: Brian || 10/24/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

#8  Heard this morning that now not only France but also Spain, Germany and Italy are busting budget accords regarding the Euro. Me thinks there are many problems instore for the EU.
Posted by: Lucky || 10/24/2003 14:22 Comments || Top||

#9  Don't worry Brian the EU Army will have the benefit of:

1. The French General Staff
2. The German Civil Affairs Dept
3. Luxemburgs manpower.
4. Belgium's terrain.

(But not Italy's tradition)
Posted by: Shipman || 10/24/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||

#10  Don't worry Brian the EU Army will have the benefit of:

1. The French General Staff
2. The German Civil Affairs Dept
3. Luxemburgs manpower.
4. Belgium's terrain.


5. British food.
6. Spanish beer.
7. Greek efficiency.
8. Czech navy.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 14:48 Comments || Top||

#11  9. Served by rude French waiters.
Posted by: Raj || 10/24/2003 15:07 Comments || Top||

#12  Aris,

I don't have a problem with NATO being tubed in favor of the EU - as long as we can still get help from the UK. Most of the security problems in the world are not in Europe - for those that are - there is certainly enough GDP in Europe to support your own security needs.

the ME, South America, and the Pacific Rim are where the US needs to be. NATO is pure overhead for the US. I'm sure we can work out individual deals with Poland and Turkey.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 15:22 Comments || Top||

#13  Screw it. They really wanna be OPFOR, let 'em.

Hope they like humiliation, 'cause they're gonna get a lot of it.
Posted by: mojo || 10/24/2003 16:59 Comments || Top||

#14  Brian> I thank everyone who fought in WW2 on the side of the allies.

And I also hate the racist fucks who would still treat Germany as an evil nation that must be set apart and kept on a leash. How would you feel it if white men in the Southern US were all disarmed just in case they go bad and decide to reinstitute slavery, hmm? It's no matter that 140 years have passed, right?

Germany is atleast as democratic and free as UK is, and if there's a fear of it turning bad again, it's no worse a fear than the *UK* or *any* other nation turning bad. The leash that must contain Germany shouldn't be any tighter than the leash that contains any civilised nation, be it Germany, France, UK or the USA.

Swiggles> Whatever.

When has the EU been useful? To you personally, perhaps never. But it has made Ireland a prosperous nation, it has helped solidify democracy in Greece, Spain and Portugal, it has given Cyprus reunification talks a real hope after 30 years of consistent futility, and, oh let me quote:
http://www.freedomhouse.org/research/freeworld/2003/akessay.htm
"Bulgaria’s civil liberties improved amid consistent attempts to bring the county’s political, economic, and social environment in line with European standards, "

"Slovenia’s civil liberties improved as a result of legislation satisfying European Union membership requirements."

"Turkey registered forward progress as a result of the loosening of restrictions on Kurdish culture. Legislators made progress on an improved human rights framework, the product of Turkey’s effort to integrate into European structures."

You don't understand, nor have you ever bothered to find out, how each wannabe fascist has found in the European Court of human rights an iron opponent, have you now?

For you "help", means nothing more than going to places and smashing things up. And "financial contribution" is only mentioned about when you are providing it to some place and EU doesn't. When the opposite occurs you are quite quite ignorant. People who whine about Germany and France not giving aid to Iraq, should remember that these countries have been bearing most of EU's economic burden in assisting the Eastern European nations.

But hey, that's not part of the "War on Terror" so I guess it doesn't count, right? As shortsighted as ever...
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/24/2003 17:25 Comments || Top||

#15  For the love of GOD! Let them have their way! They've been living on the "defensive" cheap for the last 50 plus years. It'll save the US billions that we can use at home!

I wouldn't be too worried about it. The EU can't sustain anything more than Parade Ground Puppies anyways.

Then the US can start a Distance Diplomacy (TM) policy. If it's closer to any EU country than the US, it the Euro's baby. Then we'll see what "real" (cough) European "resolve" (cough, hack) in "action" (like they know what that word means) looks like.

The fact that most of those countries are tough on talk, but weak on action makes it all the more hilarious.

I feel for the Brits (The Warriors). It's like watching a friend dying of cancer.

The Germans troops can't be discounted (to do so would be foolish), however, German society has become so "wussified" (TM) that it would cause massive political turmoil when they were deployed for direct combat missions.

The French, well, do I REALLY have to say anything here. They got nukes and STILL can't get any respect.

And "Oh God! You better hide the wife and kids when the Luxenbergers and Belgian "Waffler" hordes start deploying.

Greece, of course, can deploy the infantry "comfort troops" for morale.

This is the best idea the EU has had since a Italy proposed a new EU law forcing France to import, sell, and actually use soap and deodorant!
Posted by: Paul || 10/24/2003 18:03 Comments || Top||

#16  This is OT, but does anyone know whether this Guardian story is legit: Blow to Chirac as presidency poll favours Sarkozy If so is Sarkozy a good guy?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 18:24 Comments || Top||

#17  Aris, I'm not trotting out the Morganthau plan here. Let's remember that if it wasn't for Truman where Greece would be today (got your Russian phrase book handy?). I am saying there is a propensity for Europeans to plunge the Continent and, subsequently, the world into war and that if it wasn't for the tender mercies of the Anglo-American alliance, Western Europe would be either a) pastoral landscapes or b) locked into mechanical alliances on the verge of total war. Your entire efforts at integration happened with our winks and nods and if you dare to believe that you will remake the polarity of the world and we will hold the bag for you, you are sorely mistaken to the point of a JDAM.

As for the South, that was already done in Reconstruction. We used a similar template in Europe.

Ultimately, I just liked the song from Tom Lehrer. I trust the Germans with leadership in Europe -- I do not trust Gerhard Schroder to do it. As it stands, Greece has nil chance in hell of reaching real power in Europe unless you continue the rotating model which, flatly, does not work (viz. the US Presidency / Vice Presidency before the twelth Amendment*). So if you don't stand to gain, why are you buying so heavily into Europe?

*If anything is wrong in my grammar or Constitutional law, I just woke up.
Posted by: Brian || 10/24/2003 20:13 Comments || Top||

#18  Brian, more history lessons about matters I know already, with a heavy nationalistic bias about the saintly vs the horrid nations, and the rest of us being poor victims saved by your mercy?

Greece was part of that "Anglo-American" alliance, thank you very much. Greeks fought for Europe's freedom just as bravely as Brits or Americans fought for it. And if you can't express gratitude towards *all* the hero soldiers of that war, then don't bother mentioning it all.

And don't talk about Truman, if you don't want me to talk about Johnson or Nixon.

"and if you dare to believe that you will remake the polarity of the world "

Are we a free continent or aren't we? What is this "polarity" of the world that you are talking about? Is it the "America shouts and the rest of us have to obey" principle?

In a free world the "polarity of the world" shall change the way that free nations will be successful in making it change, economically or politically. If we want to be stronger economically and you are sabotaging it, then that's the act of an enemy. Likewise on the political or the military level.

But my view of the world concerns the struggle between democracy against tyranny, something in which America and EU are natural allies and it's best if *both* are strong and as united within themselves, and with each other, as can be. I don't want to see the US broken up. It's people here that want to see the EU broken up instead.

Your view of the world is nationalistic to the core. The "pole" you are defending is not the pole of "democracy" or of "freedom" or of whatever, but simply the pole of the "Anglo-american" alliance.

An attitude which I find both outdated and disgusting, and in the end deeply bigoted.

Were people in the American South really not allowed to bear weapons for 60 years after the War? I'm guessing it was a much more brief period than that. Banning Germany from having nukes has likewise long outlived its purpose. Especially after the end of the Cold War.

"As it stands, Greece has nil chance in hell of reaching real power in Europe"

And Hawai has nil chance in hell of reaching real power in the US. Or Alaska. Or Wisconsin.

"So if you don't stand to gain,"

We who? Europeans? Greeks? Atheneans? Residents in my block of flats? My family? Or me specifically? Which "you" are you referring to?

Greece is part of Europe. Why am I buying so heavily into it? What should I be buying so heavily into instead? Asking me why I support Europe, is like asking me why I support Greece when I should be asking for Athens to secede from the rest of the country instead.

Why should I feel any more patriotism for Greece than I feel for Europe? I'm a part of both. And the latter is somewhat more likeable in general than the former.

Once again your outdated nationalistic outlook
blinds you to the fact of greater allegiances than those of the nation-state.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/24/2003 21:08 Comments || Top||

#19  Aris:

"As it stands, Greece has nil chance in hell of reaching real power in Europe"
And Hawai has nil chance in hell of reaching real power in the US. Or Alaska. Or Wisconsin


Silly comparison Aris. US states aren't nation-states. You know better than that.

You claim that the view of people here is "nationalistic." In fact, you've made that point a few times in the past. OK, fair enough.

But how is being patriotic towards the EU not a form of nationalism? If European nation-states are going to become like U.S. states (which you suggest in your comment that "Hawaii has a nil chance of reaching real power in the U.S.") then what you are supporting in a "nation" of Europe. That's fine too, but how is that not being "nationalistic"?

Once again your outdated nationalistic outlook blinds you to the fact of greater allegiances than those of the nation-state.

So your allegiances are to what? You say to Greece and Europe. Are they more than that???

But, look, if the EU wants to have it's own credible military (which makes it even more "nation-like"), including with nukes, hey, have a party.

But there is a cost for this. Are Europeans really willing:

1. To support the cost of a military, even if it means significantly reducing social welfare programs?

2. Change the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty?

3. Give up the advantages of NOT having nuclear weapons on their soil, i.e., become PRIMARY targets in a nuclear war?

Frankly, a great many Americans would prefer to get our forces out of Europe. It's costly, and really not worth it for us any more.

None of this worries me at all. And if the EU wants to take on regional conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, I'm for it. We'll be fine.

Posted by: R. McLeod || 10/25/2003 2:40 Comments || Top||

#20  "So your allegiances are to what?"

Peace, democracy and freedom. Above all. Best served IMHO by transnational unity in a voluntary federation.

"But how is being patriotic towards the EU not a form of nationalism?"

Because I wouldn't mind it (when and if it becomes possible) if the EU eventually became part of an even larger world federation.

The difference between your outlook and mine, is that yours is divisive while mine strives for unity.

Ofcourse there's a cost in having a European military. Right now border nations like mine, countries that don't have the privilege of safe shores, are paying it already, paying greater part of our budget on military than America or Britain does. About what 6% of our GDP versus the 4% that America gives? And needing an obligatory conscription rather than the all-voluntary forces that US can have.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/25/2003 21:25 Comments || Top||


German plans for Euro-army ’show Blair is deceiving Britain’
Hands up, who’s surprised. EFL
The German military high command wants to create a fully fledged European army that would report to a European Union government and be financed by the European Parliament, documents obtained by the Tories show. They claimed last night that a memorandum written by senior Germany army officials on the future of European defence proved that Tony Blair was deceiving the British people by claiming there were no plans to create a unified EU military force. The document reflects a common view at the highest levels of the Germany military that the only way to achieve efficient and effective defence in Europe, where spending on the military is far lower than in America, is the full pooling of national resources.
We saw that coming.
It says plans for an EU army should be based on the "democratic principles" defined by the Convention on the Future of Europe, which drew up the draft EU constitution.
Oh! It’s just another "tidying up" exercise then.
"Consequently, a European army legitimised and financed by the European Parliament is the visionary goal of Germany policy." It adds: "The European army should have joint structures that go beyond the ones already in place. Therefore there is a need for a joint defence system, common legislation and standardisation." Assuming that a fully fledged EU government would have been set up within about 10 years [this is just a "conspiracy theory" - see below], it adds: "The army would report to the EU government and to the EU Parliament. Through a deployment law Parliament should decide if deploying troops is an option or not."
"...an option or not." That’s like France and Germany sending troops to help depose Saddam was an "option."
Addressing the sensitive issue of nuclear capabilities, it says these should also be "integrated within the European defence system". Britain and France are the only EU countries with a nuclear deterrent. The memorandum acknowledges the need to define the future relationship with Nato. "A decision should be made about possible collaborations of the EU army with the UN, the Security Council or with Nato itself.
Isn’t it about time NATO reconsiders the status of Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg as members?
The document reflects the long-term thinking of many German politicians and military officials. Although Berlin’s official policy is far less ambitious than that outlined in the memorandum, the extent to which Gerhard Schroder’s government is pushing for closer integration is already causing serious concern in London.
But not enough to make Blair do anything serious to stop it.
At his monthly press conference yesterday, Tony Blair, who launched plans for more co-operation on European defence at St Malo in 1998, said the Government would not support German-led plans for an independent European defence headquarters. The ideas also have the backing of France and Belgium. Mr Blair would oppose any EU defence plans threatening the supremacy of Nato, which he described as the cornerstone of European security. "We don’t want duplication and we certainly don’t want competition with Nato."
I’d like to believe you, Tony. Really.
Mr Blair stressed that EU defence should develop in a way compatible with Nato. But Europe should have a proper defence capability where Nato or America did not wish to get involved.
And that would happen when ... um ... ?
As the Tories launched a national petition for a referendum on the EU constitution yesterday, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said those in favour of Europe were failing to make the case for British participation effectively enough because there isn’t one. "I believe there is a crisis of complacency among those who support Britain’s EU membership," he said.
Or maybe they know that keeping schtum is their best chance of success.
But he gave warning of uncritical pro-EU sentiment from "starry-eyed integrationists whose ideological fervour gives ammunition to superstate conspiracy theorists".
That theory has plenty of evidence to support it. Lying b******.

Bush needs to kick Blair’s butt on this one.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 6:35:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [345 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Blair needs his butt kicked for two reasons. First for trying to hide behind his finger (does this expression exist in English btw?) on the fact that European federalists do want (by definition) a federal state, which would include a defense alliance or preferably an integrated army.

Secondly because by pretending to hide it, he makes people assume it's a bad thing.

"Mr Blair would oppose any EU defence plans threatening the supremacy of NATO"

Who is Blair to force NATO membership to the whole of Europe? Is this bastard forgetting yet again that there exist EU member-states that aren't part of NATO?

Forgive me but I don't remember the EU or France or Germany or whatever trying to stop any Eastern European countries from becoming NATO member states.

It's the vile Blair that wants to restrict the free options of these nations. It's Blair that wants to stop countries from forming any alliances that don't obey Big Brother NATO. What a democratic institution NATO is, btw, right?

Go on opposing these plans for your own country, as long as you let other countries do as they will, rather than trying to bind them to your plans of unopposed "NATO Supremacy", Mr Blair.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/24/2003 8:47 Comments || Top||

#2  note bulldog's and aris's comments, it does seem Tony will have a hard time maintaining the middle way - a britain that is part of the european socio-economic community, yet remains fully sovereign,not part of a federal superstate. From the comments here it seems that Tony cant thread the needle (I sympathize with his attempts to try) but then im not sure that Aris's eurofederalism really represents the state of things in europe - I note that both he AND bulldog have reasons to emphasize it. A comment from TGA might help. Alternatively, is there a copy of the proposed EU constitution available? Or is it not done yet?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/24/2003 9:05 Comments || Top||

#3  "Alternatively, is there a copy of the proposed EU constitution available?"

This is the draft:
http://european-convention.eu.int/bienvenue.asp?lang=EN

Or more specifically here:
http://european-convention.eu.int/DraftTreaty.asp?lang=EN

Pick your language.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/24/2003 9:54 Comments || Top||

#4  bienvenue translates as draft treaty? Geez, my French is rusty.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/24/2003 10:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Secondly because by pretending to hide it, he makes people assume it's a bad thing.

Close, Aris. He is hiding it, and that's because he knows people will regard it as a bad thing, if they know what it is he's actually up to. It's called conning.

...trying to hide behind his finger (does this expression exist in English btw?)

You can say "hide behind his hat." Never heard of "finger" before.

Where has TGA got to?!
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 10:28 Comments || Top||

#6  Bulldog> He could have been an actual leader and said "Yes, the other European countries plan to form a common army -- it's possibly a useful idea for many of the continental nations, but UK shall *not* join in such a venture in the predictable future as we feel it goes against our own priorities of retaining full responsibility for our own defense and foreign policy".

See? Neither hiding it from the public, nor sabotaging the rest of the Union, neither forcing his country to do anything its public isn't willing to do.

In short, being an actual leader rather than a worm.

The "hiding behind his finger" thing is a Greek expression - I typed it out and then paused and wondered if it's actually used in English or not.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/24/2003 11:05 Comments || Top||

#7  Aris, You're right. I wouldn't go so far as to call Tony Blair a worm, but he's certainly trying to worm his way through avoiding having to be honest with any of the interested parties (the general UK population, true NATO allies and the EU federalists).

Despite what you say, I don't think you'd find many European nations prepared to join the Franco-German axis in a military alliance, for the simple reason that it would be ineffectual. It wouldn't work independently of NATO, unless its members are prepared to spend one hell of a lot more on defence than they currently do (and do you think France and Germany will do that?) and remaining as part of NATO it would have to toe the NATO line; being under UN/UNSC command it would be barracked in perpetuity or limited to overseeing atrocities in third world countries, so what's the point? For other nations, joining such a body would be like entrusting your home's security to the grey-haired Professors of the Department of Pacifist Studies in the local university. Eastern Europe won't be interested, and neither will any other members of "New Europe", unless traitorous politicians like Blair put starry-eyed integrationism ahead of hard-nosed practicality. Wait and see.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 11:47 Comments || Top||

#8  ...And yes, I did write "traitorous politicians like Tony Blair". His determination to betray British sovereignty is nothing short of treachery.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 11:51 Comments || Top||

#9  And yes, I did write "traitorous politicians like Tony Blair". His determination to betray British sovereignty is nothing short of treachery.

I think an important issue is - apart from France and Belgium (and Greece?), which may have found German rule agreeable in WWII, who in Europe is going to be comfortable with the idea of German command without the mediating effect of American power?
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/24/2003 16:05 Comments || Top||

#10  apart from France and Belgium (and Greece?), which may have found German rule agreeable in WWII, who in Europe is going to be comfortable with the idea of German command without the mediating effect of American power?

Yes. This question has not yet been put to rest in Europe. Nor is this the first time that the German military has sought use/control/influence over nuclear arms developed by allied nations. During the Cold War, when NATO was discussing whether and how US & British nuclear arms might come under the command of NATO commanders from other countries, Tom Lehrer wrote a satirical song called the MLF Lullaby. Some of the lyrics (from memory):

Sleep baby, sleep - in peace may you slumber,
No danger lurks, your peace to encumber.
We've got the missiles the peace to determine
And one of the fingers on the button will be German.

Why shouldn't they have nuclear warheads?
England says No, but they are just soreheads.
I say a bygone should be a bygone -
Let's make peace the way we did in Stanleyville and Saigon.

Once all the Germans were warlike and mean but
That couldn't happen again.
We taught them a lesson in 1918 and
They've scarcely bothered us since then ....


So sleep baby, sleep, the Sandman will linger,
We hope our buddies won't give us the finger.
MLF will scare Brezhnev - I hope he is half as scared as I!


Sharing the ability to deploy nuclear weapons will not be done lightly and -- fairly or not -- memories of World War I and World War II will play a role in public opinion on the matter. One reason Blair would like to gloss over the whole issue of an EU defence force.
Posted by: rkb || 10/24/2003 19:37 Comments || Top||

#11  Aris, in case this is a phrase you're not familiar with, to "give the finger" means in English to give a rude gesture that says f*ck you to the recipient.

Apologies if you already knew that ... didn't want to assume.
Posted by: rkb || 10/24/2003 19:40 Comments || Top||

#12  The unwillingness of European leadership to speak plainly on EU/NATO issue is not a good sign for future.Let's face it,for anyone to speak of
seperate EU and NATO forces is either lying or is an idiot.For example,Germany is not going to have an EU panzer division and a different NATO panzer division.She will have 2 divisions to be used as German govt. decides.For now all anyone is really talking about are 2 planning staffs-one w/Americans,one w/out.There cannot be a true EU army until national governments have been rendered
powerless.If there are national components in EU army,the national govt. can withhold them from use if doesn't approve of action.There cannot be an EU ARMY until there are no national components,just a homogenous military.
Posted by: Stephen || 10/24/2003 20:48 Comments || Top||

#13  Stephen> You want to make it sound an all-or-nothing situation but that's not the case.

E.g. there's the example of simply having a defense "solidarity" clause in the new constitution, in which participating member states pledge assistance in case of an enemy attack.

Britain wants to veto this. Pledging to defend each other is *bad* for some reason it seems, even if UK itself is allowed to opt-out.

There's the idea, also expressed in the draft constitution, of the EU possibly asking member states which have the capabilities *and* the willingness to undertake missions. (no integrated army, just utilisation of national ones).

Nah, Britain ofcourse doesn't want that either. Why? It supposedly also undermines NATO or something, somehow.

rkb> I know what "giving the finger" means, I just didn't know if "hiding behind one's finger" existed as a phrase in English.

I have the distinct impression that others have repeated the same xenophobic song in a neighbouring thread. How nice to condemn entire nations for things that happened 60 years ago. Yes *of course* Germany can turn evil again. America can also turn evil and so can the UK. Can you prove it won't happen? No, I guess you can't. Nobody can claim to know what the future will bring.

Sharing one's nuclear capability shouldn't be done lightly. But frankly I doubt *anyone* outside of Britain (a Britain filled with xenophobic tabloids) is very much scared of Germany anymore. Perhaps Poland has a different attitude, I wouldn't know, but you'd have to ask a Pole for that. And even Poland would be *lots* more scared of Russia (which already has lots of nukes) than of Germany.

Besides... we already know that UK itself would never partake in such a defense alliance, therefore it wouldn't be *UK* that would be sharing its capabilities, it would be France.

And I don't believe other countries have any moral right to stop her from so sharing them with Germany (or with the EU as a whole) if she so wants to.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/24/2003 21:27 Comments || Top||

#14  Aris,
To have a true EU Army is an all or nothing situation.If the EU military consists of national
forces,it is an alliance,not a unified force.Any time a member nation disagrees with policy it would withhold it's forces-as France,Germany did in Iraq runup with Turkey.French defiance of basic EU economic policy indicates powerlessness of current EU.For there to be a viable integrated EU military,there can be no national components-no German panzer division assigned,no British submarines assigned,no Greek
F-16 sq. assigned,etc.There would have to be a common EU military manned by individuals and financed by common tax on all EU members.Just as there are no Texas aircraft carriers,Alaskan ski battalions,Ohio airborne divisions paid for by those states assigned to US military.There are simply units with individuals from Texas,Ohio,Alaska,etc. paid for by taxes on everyone in US.What about State National Guards?First no state can afford to pay for its own active duty unit.Major equipment is given to state National Guard units by federal govt.No state could afford to buy its own F-16s for example.The US system means Massachussets cannot withhold its military if its' Governor doesn't approve of US policy,because it has no military to withhold.
If the EU military is not to be just NATO LITE(no US),it will require a genuine EU,with EU foreign policy,EU common taxation,EU common weapons,training,doctrine.Of neccessity this will require vastly weakened national Governments.
Posted by: Stephen || 10/25/2003 0:20 Comments || Top||


Saudi-funded school in Germany ’linked to terrorist attacks’
EFL
Explosives and a testament like those written by suicide bombers have been found at the home of a man linked to a Saudi-funded school, German secret service sources said yesterday, intensifying pressure for the institution to be closed. The King Fahd Academy in Bonn was set up eight years ago with £10 million from the Saudi royal family, and was hailed as a "cultural wedge bridge between Germany and the Arab world". Now it is alleged to be a magnet for Islamic fundamentalists. A spokesman for the city of Bonn said: "According to information from intelligence sources, people have been observed at the school over the past few months who have contact with terrorists or are themselves suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks. By that I mean teachers and the parents of pupils."

One parent, identified only as Sayed M, 39, an Egyptian, went on trial last month charged with plotting bomb attacks on Jewish sites in Germany. Several houses near the school, including those of some parents, have been raided in recent days, German intelligence said. At the home of one man linked to the school explosives, bomb-making instructions and a statement in the style of suicide bombers’ wills were found. The discoveries have fuelled a simmering row between Berlin and Riyadh, heightened when Chancellor Gerhard Schroder told his hosts during a visit to Saudi Arabia: "This must be stopped."

Pupils, including girls in headscarves, were observed continuing with lessons in Arabic and mathematics as normal yesterday, watched at the gates of the gold-domed building by armed guards. Although 40 per cent of the 500 pupils have German citizenship and will probably spend their lives in the country, education officials are concerned that only one to two hours a week are dedicated to learning German. Religious instruction is give eight to nine hours. Textbooks seized last week by police and examined by experts are said to have a "disturbing" content and to present a "very narrow interpretation" of Islam. A teacher at the school was filmed by German television calling for a holy war "in the name of Allah" during prayers at a mosque attached to the institution. The teacher was suspended.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 5:00:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Saudi Arabia. £10 million. King Fathead Academy. Taught in Arabic. Wahabbi "textbooks", Islamic Jihad / Holy War "Prayers." Explosives. Bomb manuals.

So, uh, what evidence do the German authorities think is still lacking to stop them from shutting this snakepit down and rounding up everyone who has ever even been there for intensive interrogation and investigation? Let's see some of that vaunted German efficiency, guys - this is probably a gold mine, if done thoroughly and without delay...

Can you say Izzoid Assholes Trojan Horse?

Add Saudi-funded "Mosques" and "Learning Centers" and "Cultural Organizations" and "Spokespersons" and Lobbyists and Imam "Training" Centers and "Foundations" and Sellout Ex-Officials and PC Paranoia and Home-Grown Anti-Whatever Tools, ad infinitum ad nauseum.

Repeat, worldwide. Global WoT. Evolving eventually into the truth:
Global Sentient Self-Preservation from Izzoid Insanity.

Bulldog - I recognize some govts and entities are probably too far gone / infiltrated, thus anesthetized, such as Pfrawnce and Al Guardian, but what's your take? Will the EU, collectively, "get it" in time? Sorry, prolly like asking "How many holes does it take to fill Albert Hall?" I'm wondering the same about our PC Military, Education System, and Press.

Sadly, my take is that it will probably take several more 9/11 & Bali sized events - spread liberally across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Fred - Thank you. And thanx to the Internet. It would be incredibly lonely out here without Rantburg.
Posted by: .com || 10/24/2003 6:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Active "infiltration" by Islamists, I suspect, is minimal. The danger is from what you identify as entities and governments anaesthetised and corrupted by subversive elements from within. Look at France. I'm sure JFM could give a far better analysis than me, but from what I understand the problem runs from the top down and can be summed up in one word - appeasement. The unwillingness to confront aggression from minorites for fear of appearing non-PC and/or setting off embarrassing civil disobedience and upsetting the precious status quo.

And this cowardice is bolstered by the anti-American European left-leaning middle class liberal 'elite.' The danger is no doubt as exaggerated by some as it is unjustly dismissed by others. One often hears of imminent "sharia in France, and even "sharia in Britain." I can't see the former happening, frankly, and the latter to me is laughable, but I do expect, like yourself, an almost inevitable increase in violence. Perhaps not all countries will keep on top of it, and perhaps paradoxically, those societies which have not encouraged more than a modicum of integration at the cultural interface, will come off worst.

Schroeder tells Saudi Arabia "This must be stopped." It's his job to make it stop, and if asking the Saudis politely doesn't make that happen, he's (or his successor's) going to have to be prepared to get his (or her) hands dirty.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 7:22 Comments || Top||


Cleric Denies Links to Casablanca Blasts
A Moroccan cleric accused of links to an extremist group implicated in May suicide bombings in Casablanca denied the charges Thursday and told a court he did not want to be extradited to Morocco, his lawyer said.
"Morocco! Are youse nuts! Youse gots ta get me outta here! What kind of mouthpiece are youse anyways?"
Mohamed Rafik was one of three people arrested Saturday in northern Italy. He was accused of being tied to the extremist movement Salafiya Jihadia, which Moroccan officials have linked to the May 16 bombings that killed 45, including 12 attackers. The three men also are accused of having collected money for terrorists in Morocco. Defense attorney Fausta Viola said Thursday’s preliminary hearing at an appeals court in Brescia was the first step in a lengthy process, and she was waiting for clarification of the charges against Rafik from Morocco and the Italian court. ``The accusations made at the moment are very vague, there are no documents from Morocco, it is more a rough sketch of an accusation,’’ she said.
"A watercolor of a warrant! A doodle of a demarche! A crayola of a claim!"
Judicial sources in Rabat confirmed earlier this week that Morocco was requesting the extradition of suspects Rafik, Mohamed Raouiane and Daoud Ouaaziz. Because of European Union rules, Italy may not be able to extradite the men if they risk receiving the death penalty.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
``With the climate that there is in Morocco, it would not be sensible for him to return, and he does not want to return to the country to face charges for something he has not done,’’ Viola said.
"Lies! All lies!"
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 12:29:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  morocco making big play for world cup hosting so has to string up as many jihadis as possible--- soccer over jihad-- -- works for me!!
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/24/2003 1:49 Comments || Top||

#2  And jug time in Morocco actually means jug time, not sleeping guards and cell doors that lift off the hinges...
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/24/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||


Access to 9-11 Suspect’s Statements Nixed in Germany
The German government again refused Thursday to give lawyers access to statements made to U.S. interrogators by the Hamburg terror cell’s suspected al-Qaida contact. The decision complies with conditions set by U.S. authorities, who supplied the statements strictly for use by security agencies. Access to the statements was requested by lawyers defending a Moroccan suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks. A letter from Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s office, dated Oct. 22 and read aloud by the judge presiding over the trial of Abdelghani Mzoudi, says Germany’s foreign intelligence agency would be ``discredited’’ if it handed over statements from Ramzi Bin al-shibh. ``The breach of secrecy would make the Federal Intelligence Service appear unreliable worldwide,’’ likely leading foreign agencies to stop supplying information needed to ensure the security of German troops abroad, the letter said.
That's zackly what would happen, intel agencies being more concerned with their data than with political correctitude...
Earlier this week, the Interior Ministry cited similar reasons for barring the Federal Criminal Office - Germany’s equivalent of the FBI - from allowing court access to the material. Mzoudi, 30, is charged with 3,066 counts of accessory to murder and membership in a terrorist organization for allegedly aiding the Hamburg al-Qaida cell that included hijackers Mohamed Atta, Mohammed al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah.
That’s a lot of counts. Even with German sentencing guidelines Mzoudi will be on ice for quite a while.
Mzoudi’s attorneys have argued that the testimony of Binalshibh - a Yemeni captured in Pakistan on Sept. 11, 2002, and now in U.S. custody - is crucial to their client’s ability to pass information back to HQ case. Binalshibh is believed to have been the key contact with Osama bin Laden’s organization. The U.S. Department of Justice already rejected a request for Binalshibh to testify in person. Access to the documents also was denied in the trial of Mounir el Motassadeq, convicted in February on the same charges Mzoudi faces and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Each year of that sentence would expiate the deaths of 204.4 people, or 17 people a month. Roughly every two days in jug wipes the slate clean of one dead American for Mounir...
Mzoudi attorney Guel Pinar said the defense team was considering a response.
Along the lines of "Rats!"
No reply has yet been received to a separate defense request for access to testimony from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the suspected al-Qaida mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot who also is in U.S. custody.
Guess!
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 12:19:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If the krauts spill, they'll never see another scrap of US intel, or British or Aussie, probably. Not worth it for this shmoe.

And German subpoenae aren't likely to pull much weight with the DOD, anyway.

"No. Next..."
Posted by: mojo || 10/24/2003 2:57 Comments || Top||

#2  But, it may mean this guy gets off scott free.
Posted by: rkb || 10/24/2003 6:02 Comments || Top||

#3  But, it may mean this guy gets off scott free.
I doubt it. The German courts aren't as stupid as ours are. They will find a way to convict him, if they have enough evidence to do so. The fact that he was brought to trial at all strongly suggests they have sufficient evidence to put him away for 30,000 years (10 years per charge, 3066 charges, served non-concurrently) or so.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/24/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
The picture which shames US army
Hat tip: WSJ Best of the Web.
Is this the best they’ve got? Go to the link to see these shocking pictures.

Whoever's got my keys, you've got one chance. 'Fess up now!By Yvonne Ridley
Does that name sound familiar?
A secretly taken picture of an American soldier frisking an Afghan child has shocked human rights campaigners across the world.
It’s just... I can’t find the words... terrifying.
The picture was given to Al-jazeera.net by the Islamic Observation Centre to highlight the plight of children in Afghanistan.It will now be shown to delegates and discussed at the Washington Conference on Civil Liberties in America on Saturday, 25 October.
It’s not in America, it’s in Afghanistan. Oh, hell. Set up the war crimes trials anyways.
Taken by a strategically placed camera, and using a telephoto lens, the undercover photographer snapped a four-year-old child having his clothing searched by a heavily armed US soldier.
Get his name! I want him court martialed!
The child and his friends were playing in the village of Zermit in Paktika when American soldiers, hunting for Taliban fighters, arrived. "Those children could have been carrying explosives," said an unapologetic US Major Peter Mitchell who was shown the picture by Aljazeera.net.
At least the major had the good grace not to burst out laughing in their faces.
Major Mitchell, a US marine and spokesman for US Central Command, added: "The troops on the ground in Afghanistan will respond accordingly to whatever threat in that environment exists. Maybe they received intelligence that children were carrying explosives and that the children could be used against coalition forces. Coalition forces will do whatever it is they need to do to protect themselves. In times of conflict their personal security comes before hearts and minds."
Amen.
Trigger fingers ???????
"If someone is offended because a four-year-old is being searched they should know that the security of forces will always come first."
Amen again.
Aljazeera.net was given another picture also taken in Zermit village, at the same time, which appeared to show nervous-looking, armed US soldiers aiming their weapons at a sheep during a house search.
Must’ve been pissed that the troopies were checking out their girlfriends.
Not everyone shares Major Mitchell’s views of the child search. Mauri Saalakhan, director of the Peace and Justice Foundation in America said he was shocked when shown the pictures by Aljazeera.net. "My first reaction is concern for the welfare of the children of Afghanistan. It is quite possible tragedies could unfold if trigger-nervous US soldiers look at these children as potential security risks."
Take a pill, Mauri. A big one. Slow day in fifth column land?
"We will raise awareness about this and will certainly be discussing the issue at the civil liberties conference later this month in Washington," added Saalakhan.
Yes, do that. Look like a total fool to anyone but your fellow travelers.
Yasser al-Sirri, director of the Islamic Observation Centre based in London, said one of his correspondents based in Afghanistan and Pakistan had taken the picture, but wished to remain anonymous so he could continue his work. "This is a shocking picture. We want Aljazeera.net to show the world what the Americans are doing in Afghanistan. It is a picture which will shame the US military," added Ansiri, spokesman for the centre which is a human rights organisation.
Grasping at straws are we?

If you're new to this site and confused, click on the hyperlinks for more detail.

Yvonne is a nutcake British reporterette who was once arrested by the Taliban for sneaking into the country in the wake of 9-11-01. She blamed the CIA for that. She later converted to Islam. Her politix would be hard left if they had any coherence.

Islamic Observation Centre is an Islamist fifth column headquartered in London. Karim Touzani and Kacem Bakkali, who assassinated Ahmed Shah Masood two days before 9-11-01 were carrying letters of introduction from IOC. They were signed by Yasser al-Sirri, the organization's director. When al-Qaeda bigs depart this vale of tears, their obituaries are often issued by OIC.

Yasser al-Sirri (I corrected the spelling in the article), described as "the mouthpiece of al Qaeda in Britain," was convicted in Egypt and sentenced to death for a bomb attack that killed a 12-year-old girl, which is why he now lives in Britain. He was arrested in October, 2001, but I guess he was released for the usual lack of evidence reasons, the witnesses being dead and all.

The Peace and Justice Foundation is one of the Islamic front groups in the U.S. Lately it's been the mouthpiece for Craig and Cindy Corrie, the parents of Rachel (Saint Pancake) Corrie.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 9:59:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [248 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So... when will Al-Jitzz show pictures of Saddam's ( or the Taliban's) mass graves?

Thought not....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/24/2003 10:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Jeez why are the kids smiling?

Perhaps its the new coat?
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/24/2003 10:16 Comments || Top||

#3  We need the high resolution one to see the smiles and coats.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/24/2003 10:18 Comments || Top||

#4  Forget for a moment the frightful mistreatment of women and children that daily go on in the countries that comprise most of Al-Jazeera's viewership. Look simply at today's NYT story about the fairly commonplace gang-rapes that occur in that bastion of Liberte, France, and puzzle as to how the moral all-stars of the "human rights community" can knot their knickers over something as benign as this.
Posted by: af || 10/24/2003 10:26 Comments || Top||

#5  Mr.Ansiri & Mr.Saalakhan can go suck the big one. Cry me a river pansies. Whey they get on point and lead a patrol through an un-friendly village looking for hostiles then they can talk. Until then I suggest they know their roles and shut their mouths. We are utilizing our experiences from Viet Nam, if they don't like it, f*ck'em.

"It is quite possible tragedies could unfold if trigger-nervous US soldiers look at these children as potential security risks."

-we don't get 'trigger-nervous', but we do get 'trigger-happy' if some a-hole is turning some 9-yr old into the tnt mule of Kabul.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/24/2003 10:43 Comments || Top||

#6  I'd bet that the "frisking" wasn't really a security measure, but rather a joke. You know that kids like it when adults treat them just like other adults; I can see the same thing applying here.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/24/2003 10:48 Comments || Top||

#7  I can tell you what happened. The kids saw the troops frisking the adults and playfully told our guys to "hey, fwisk me too". And when the soldier playfully padded the kid down, some photographer snapped the pic to show how evil we are.
Posted by: Bill || 10/24/2003 10:57 Comments || Top||

#8  Robert & Bill, you gents are probably right. I've been unable to download the picture so I can't tell. However, my thoughts regarding Ansiri & Saalakhan still stand. I hate listening to Monday morning quarterbacks (some guy behind a desk w/a cup of starbucks in a warm office) when it comes to military ops. It's never good practice to second-guess the commander on the scene unless you've been there.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/24/2003 11:16 Comments || Top||

#9  I added the pic into the article. I also moved it from Afghanistan to Fifth Column. The guys involved are more than Monday-morning quarterbacks. Al-Sirri is an active player, and not on our side.
Posted by: Fred || 10/24/2003 11:19 Comments || Top||

#10  disregard my last about the pic...I see it now. Can't tell by the resolution if its real deal or just the guys playing w/the kids.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/24/2003 11:24 Comments || Top||

#11  Fred. Yeah, I knew that, but it's funny how AlJiz and the lovely Yvonne never bring that up. Classic lefty propaganda.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||

#12  What makes some of you think that the child is not being frisked? It'd be a ridiculous breach of security not to frisk *everyone*, regardless of age or sex.

"Here, my desert flower, stick this plastique in your burqua. Mahmoud Jr. will carry the fuses and detonators. I'll collect it back from you once we pass the checkpoint."

This still pic means nothing. Video would have been more convincing. If the soldier playfully frisks the kid, so the kid thinks it's more just a fun game, it wouldn't be so bad. But then that wouldn't promote Yvonne's agenda, would it?
Posted by: Dar || 10/24/2003 12:03 Comments || Top||

#13  Rachel (Saint Pancake) Corrie.

HA! That's a good one.
Posted by: Charles || 10/24/2003 12:05 Comments || Top||

#14  "A secretly taken picture of an American soldier frisking an Afghan child has shocked human rights campaigners across the world."

Agreed, Dar. Only a complete moron would think frisking's something you do only to people over a certain age. You frisk because you're looking for concealed items. It follows that the concealee will conceal those items where they're least likely to be discovered. If the friskers aren't frisking the kiddies, they'll conceal the items on the kiddies. unless they're as stupid as our Yvonne.

The woman's on another planet.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 12:29 Comments || Top||

#15  One thing the picture does show is that it's not the Afghan kid who's humping a 65-pound pack 5,000 miles from home.
Posted by: Matt || 10/24/2003 12:34 Comments || Top||

#16  Why don't they also tell about an 11 year old kid with explosives who killed several Israeli soldiers when they let him approach them as he was crying. That occured in Jenin so why should it be any different in Bagdad?
Posted by: Barry || 10/24/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#17  The objective of this whining from the fifth column is simply to force the implementation of new rules that will make it easier for their terrorist friends to conceal weapons on children. The Left has already institutionalized the inviolability of mosques and other "holy sites", allowing their exploitation as arsenals and terrorist sanctuaries.
It is the terrorists and their hypocritical swine apologists who exploit and abuse children, just as they desecrate holy sites with weapons caches.
There is nothing peaceful about peace activists. They are not dupes or naive fools, they are ruthless power-seeking hypocrites and murder-apologists whose every pronouncement is calculated to assist the totalitarian enemy.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/24/2003 13:00 Comments || Top||

#18  Just wanted to drop a note. Post or not as you see fit...

An incident yesterday prompted me to think (as well as to boil with anger)...

I live in NYC. I was walking thru Union Square. A jackass was putting up a big banner that said "Stop Bush". The "S" in Bush was a Swastika. Now, I'm no fan of Bush (settle down), but I told the guy the Swastika was incredibly offensive. ME: "You saying the USofA is a Fascist state ie Nazi Germany?" HIM:"Yes". I walked away as he screamed at me. Across the street I run into "Jews for peace" or something like that. IMHO opinion they have the blood of innocent people on their hands. I told them so. They yelled at me (as opposed to TO me). I walked away again. Ruined my day.

I read this site almost everyday. Tho posters are able to back up their opinions with intelligent comments that reflect a knowledge of history. The views of people who actually serve(d) in the military is also a welcome viewpoint. I don't agree with everything, but I can least respect the opposing position. I was raised a liberal (small "L") Jew. Married a girl raised Catholic. My father in law is an ex marine. My brother in law is gay. And everybody gets along! I think this mix of people enables me to be somewhat objective and see how things play out in the "Real" world.
That's all....
Posted by: pill || 10/24/2003 13:11 Comments || Top||

#19  Here's Yvonne's bio from the BBC when the Taliban had her back in 2001:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1570394.stm

Some interesting tidbits in there. Especially, her kid's daddy.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 16:17 Comments || Top||

#20  The picture is hilarious, If you had been there, you would have seen the gum or the Lifesavers come out next - without a doubt.

We lost a helo trying to medivac a sick kid from the Afghan mountains in the middle of winter.

It's not just the GI's with the gum and Lifesavers bit, I'm sure soldiers from every Western country do the same thing. One reason that soldiers like kids is that some of these GI's probably have kids that old or younger at home and miss them.

Heard a story once about some Air Force guys after WWII that arranged to air drop toys and candy to kids throughout West Germany. Without authorization they began to fly over East Germany and drop as well.
Some officer pitched a fit, but the load master told him something to the effect of, "sir, the damn commie kids like toys and candy too." The crew continued to make drops into East Germany.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 17:59 Comments || Top||

#21  Mr.Ansiri: "Drats Abu! Our high tech weapon delivery system plans have somehow fallen into enemy hands. Foiled again!!!

Female suicide bombers (Isreal and Chechnya), Pics of Paleo kids dressed up in suicide garb,
History of Vietnamese kids employed in the same fashion (shoebox bombs, grenades strapped under their armpits and told to go touch the US planes, etc)

Some people just don't get it!

God bless the Marines!


Posted by: Paul || 10/24/2003 18:24 Comments || Top||


Great White North
My God, it’s an Epidemic......
From Mark Steyn:

EFL - Mark’s take on Cretin’s handshake with Mahathir.


My own theory is that, just as Canada was the only western nation afflicted by SARS, so too it may be the only western nation afflicted by Sudanese Vanishing Penis Syndrome. This ran rampant round Khartoum last month, after reports that foreigners were shaking hands with Sudanese men and causing their penises to “melt away”. I’m not a trained physician – if I were, I’d have left Montreal and be working in Houston – but, insofar as I understand it, in Khartoum what happens is that the foreigner shakes hands with the Muslim and the Muslim subsequently discovers that he has “lost his penis”. But, in this distinctively Canadian variant, what happens is that the foreigner shakes hands with the Muslim and it’s the foreigner – the Canadian – who discovers that his manhood has completely disappeared. No doubt M Chretien entered the room intending to treat Dr Mahathir to a vigorous Bush-like demonstration of moral clarity only to shake his hand and get that strange shrinking feeling.
Posted by: mercutio || 10/24/2003 9:14:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A lurker being self-outed.

Ouch! As a long time Yukoner, I can tell you that there are lots of reasons for the shrunken/lost penis syndrome beyond the Mark Steyn theory:

The biggest is:

It's frigging cold!

I'm getting old!

Too many beers!

I have been married to my wife for 10+ years. I need a hot shower just for foreplay. Kidding, but when she takes an evening shower, Peter had better work or else!

Seriously though, I would like to apologize for the Canadian weiners that have been making their increasingly irrelevant comments known.
Posted by: Yukonbill || 10/24/2003 22:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Wait, has Chretien EVER had a penis?

Of his own, that is.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/24/2003 22:16 Comments || Top||


Serious threat behind El Al airliner diversion
CTV News has learned that a security threat of the highest order was the reason an Israeli El Al airliner flying from Tel Aviv was diverted away from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. "There was a threat of a missile and officials say that it was so credible that they decided not to take any chances. That is why they put the helicopters in the air with forward-looking infrared radar, searching for any kind of signature around the airport that might indicate where the terrorists may be hiding," CTV’s Mike Duffy said.
Originating in Tel Aviv, the plane was first ordered to land in Montreal but it was diverted to Hamilton when it became airborne.
Clarification: the plane landed in Montreal at an unused airport (Mirabel, cargo only) and then flew to Hamilton (about 30 minutes from Toronto)
The diversion was ordered by Transport Canada, based on a tip from Israeli security sources. Once in Hamilton, the jetliner carrying nearly 200 passengers was surrounded by police tactical teams with helicopters hovering overhead. "The matter is now being investigated by the RCMP, CSIS, Transport Canada and the Peel regional police," Transport Minister David Collenette said from Ottawa. Collenette refused to discuss the nature of the threat, other than to say it was "specific to the El Al flight." Airport spokesperson Ken Mitchell said the plane had been diverted to Hamilton because of an undisclosed threat to the aircraft and Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. The El Al flight runs daily to Toronto and Los Angeles, from Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. Passenger Shawn Davidson said people on the plane remained calm even though they had little information. She added she believes "El Al is the safest airline in the world." Security for the airline carrier includes armed guards at check-in, on-board marshals and extensive luggage searches.
...but if they ever privatize it, I wouldn’t fly with them.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/24/2003 12:52:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mirabel is NOT an unused, cargo-only airport.
Posted by: Angua || 10/24/2003 3:19 Comments || Top||

#2  I stand corrected. I thought it was closed. Still, according to their website, seems only one airline is using it.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/24/2003 10:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Mirabel was a white elephant built 40mi north of Montreal. Passengers and airlines never liked it and always preferred local Dorval (recently named Pierre E Trudeau International) despite government attempts to force people to use it. They have basically given up, as the name change at Dorval indicates.
Posted by: john || 10/24/2003 15:03 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Rome asks Pakistan to add 16 Italians to UN’s Qaeda list
Italy has asked Pakistan to add 16 Italian nationals to a United Nations consolidated list of Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects for their arrest and handing over to the United States. Rome’s request claimed that the 16 men got terrorism training in Pakistan.
Not Afghanistan, notice...
“We’ve received the request and are working on that. One of our intelligence agencies has observed that these individuals may be in Afghanistan,” a senior civilian officer said. “We will arrest them if they cross into Pakistan,” the officer said. He said if arrested, the men will be handed over to the US after investigation. Another intelligence agency claims that the 16 are Italian nationals of Tunisian origin. He said they were never trained in Pakistan as suggested by Italy.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
On the recommendations of the two Pakistani intelligence agencies, Islamabad has asked Rome to provide evidence suggesting the individuals’ presence in Pakistan.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 21:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:


7 more tribesmen held
Authorities along the Afghan border have taken 94 tribesmen into custody and were negotiating with tribal elders for the surrender of seven people wanted for sheltering Al Qaeda suspects. The crackdown was launched early this month in South Waziristan. On October 2, eight suspected Al Qaeda fighters were killed and 18 others captured in a raid by Army troops. Two soldiers also were killed. Ahmad Said al-Khadr, an Egyptian-Canadian dual national and suspected Al Qaeda financier, was believed to have fled the area during the gun battle. Authorities began closing down businesses belonging to members of three tribes to pressure them to surrender the men who sheltered the Al Qaeda gunmen in their homes. A deadline for their surrender expired on October 7. Stepping up the pressure, 19 tribesmen were detained in the past two days, bringing the total number in custody from three tribes to 94. The administration in the tribal regions has the authority to arrest an entire tribe, if any of its members break the law under the so-called code of “collective responsibility”. Such actions can continue until the wanted men surrender.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 21:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:


Wafaqul Madaris asks seminaries to refuse govt grants
The Deobandi seminaries’ examination board ‘Wafaq-ul-Madariss Al-Arabia’ (WMA) directed seminaries under its control not to accept government grants otherwise their affiliation with the WMA would be cancelled.
"Touch that government dough and you, too, will become a Prestigious Unaccredited University™." Guess they can offer degrees by e-mail then...
This decision was taken at a WMA executive council meeting in Multan on October16 at Jamia Khairul Madaris, presided over by Maulana Hanif Jhalendri, WMA president. Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Secretary General Maulana Fazlur Rehman attended the meeting as a special guest. 200 religious scholars from all over the country attended. “The Wafaq will follow this decision strictly because the government is providing conditional grants to seminaries and this money is provided by America and other Western countries to secularise seminaries,” Mr Jhalendri told Daily Times on Thursday. In the Punjab, more than a thousand seminaries receive government grants.
Oh, no, Mr. Bill! Not... ummm... secular seminaries? Isn't that a contradition in terms?
The WMA also decided to include English, Math, Science and Social Studies in the syllabus up to matric. There have been other changes in the higher classes’ syllabus, especially in Tafsher, Hadith and Fiqa subjects to remove Shia scholar’s views from the syllabus.
Wouldn't want to have that sort of contamination. Don't know how they got in there in the first place...
The WMA is considered the largest seminary examination board and 7,044 seminaries are affiliated with it, out of which 2,655 are in the Punjab, 2,457 in Sindh, 405 in the NWFP, 394 in Balochistan and 33 in Azad Kashmir. In the 2002-2003 session, 120,000 students appeared for various levels of examinations.
That's a lot of Islamic automatons...
The Education Ministry also earmarked $600 million for seminary reforms and only those that register with the ministry and adopt the government-recommended syllabus are given financial assistance, computers and modern laboratories. Mr Jhalendri said the WMA was already teaching English and Math etc and didn’t need the government to tell it what to do so that the government could justify controlling seminaries with its money. He said once a seminary accepted a government grant, it would be constrained to accept government restrictions.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 19:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:


Chinese "AWACS Killers" Might be Sold to Pakistan
Confirming China’s acquiescence to support Pakistan in dealing with the strategic challenge posed by Indo-Israel military collaboration, reliable European defence experts have claimed that Chinese "AWACS Killers" would concrete Pakistan’s defense reciprocally.
I can’t blame the Chinese for trying to develop a weapon called "AWACS Killer". They know they are our enemies.
FT-2000 commonly known as "AWACS Killers", surface to air missile (SAM), designed by Chinese experts are considered to be the most appropriate option, if the USA refuses to provide the same kind of "AWACS" to Pakistan which are being sold to India by Israel under the approval of Washington.
Ah, trying to blackmail the United States into selling AWACS to you. Then you will buy the FT-2000’s from China anyway.
Indian clarification that it will use the Phalcons in only ’Kargil type of intrusions’ has failed to assuage authorities in Beijing, who believe that the India-Israel-Russia Il-76-Phalcon deal is deleterious for regional peace as Phalcons are force-multipliers and would dramatically alter the conventional weapons balance in the region.
The Chinese Communists in Beiljing consider AWACS to be "force multipliers." I wonder whether they tell that to the rank-and-file of the Party.
The European experts indicate that Pakistan may take the same option followed by China when the USA vetoed the Israeli decision to provide AWACS to China. China had warned Israel that its decision to cancel the sale of an advanced airborne radar system could hurt bilateral relations. But Israel bowed to American pressure in July 2000 and scrapped a $250m deal to sell China a Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS).
Ehud Barak’s decision to sell AWACS to China back in 2000 was absolutely despicable. Yet another reason to love Israel’s Likhud Party.
The US administration, according to the defence source, have indicated that they would help Pakistan in countering the conventional weapons imbalance affected in the region by India-Israel Phalcon deal only if the congress agrees to such a proposal. Analysts here believe that the US congress seems to be in no mood, however, to assent to any of such proposal tabled by the administration.
A little bias, or ignorance to be generous, from the PakTribune. The US administration CANNOT sell AWACS to Pakistan unless Congress approves. (And selling AWACS to Pakistan would guarantee such technology would fall into Chinese hands.)
Posted by: Sorge || 10/24/2003 10:06:45 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  According to StrategyPage.com, the FT-2000 has a range of only 100km, while the Phalcon has a range of 400km. Using the FT2000 as an AWACS killer is "literally a long shot".
Posted by: Joel || 10/24/2003 13:26 Comments || Top||

#2  If it is effective, the "AWACS Killer" at least reduces the range and coverage of AWACS.

A 100 km anti-aircraft missile seems to me quite a stretch. What would it home on ? Turn off the AWACS while the missile is in flight and the thing would not have a powerful enough active radar to find a target. Turn the AWACS on again after the missile passes.

Am I mistaken ?
Posted by: buwaya || 10/24/2003 13:43 Comments || Top||

#3  The 400 KM range of the system is at high altitude against B-52s. At mid-altitude against a Mig-23 it might be 150 km.... Once it get close enuf the missle might be able to use an active seeker. But I'll bet the whole FT-2000 thing is over sold. Course now I was wrong about the SA-6....
Posted by: Shipman || 10/24/2003 16:09 Comments || Top||

#4  If the range is in fact 100km against high-altitude targets, then the FT-2000 is in fact overrated. It seems Pakistan is trying a pathetic scare tactic on us, more than anything else.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/24/2003 16:56 Comments || Top||

#5  From height a lockdown aircraft like several AWACS style aircraft could be well away from Pakistan and still have coverage of such an elongated land mass.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 18:07 Comments || Top||


US planning to co-opt MMA?
This seems like the worst thing the US could do, but I have never understood American policy towards Pakistan anyway. They don’t seem to realise that the MMA is already coopted into the establishment of Pakistan, and that they wouldn’t be able to run private armies, support the Taliban, and churn out thousands of brain washed Jihadis if the Pak Army didn’t want them too.
The United States attempt to reach out to the religious political forces in Pakistan and get them to participate in the process of governance is a positive step but may not work out as intended, say sceptical liberal and political observers. The issue is being debated since the US ambassador to Pakistan Nancy Powell’s September 24 visit to Peshawar where she met with politicians from different parties including leaders of the ruling Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal government. The US move seems to try to replicate its experiment in Tajikistan where Islamists have joined the government following hectic efforts to get them to do so by the US and European governments.

Keen political observers in Pakistan, however, say it may not be possible to replicate the experiment here. “The fundamentalists in Central Asia are different. There it is more about non-participation in governance,” says Juma Khan, a Peshawar-based political analyst. Unlike Central Asia, religio-political parties in Pakistan have always participated in the political process. They have a vote-bank and they mobilised it pretty well in the last elections. Today, they rule the NWFP and are in the coalition government in Balochistan. “They have no reason to change their spots. They are in government on the basis of the very ideology which is anathema to the liberal forces in Pakistan and abroad. Why should they leave that anchor and begin to dance to a different tune,” asks another political observer.

This is an important argument. For the Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal to take a different political line would mean looking like any other party. “If they have to become liberals they might as well merge themselves in the PPP,” says an observer. Khan also points to the fact that in Pakistan the “situation is worse than Central Asia”. “The state supports fundamentalism and petro-dollars from the Arab states have made fundamentalists even stronger in Pakistan.”

During her meeting in Peshawar with senior leaders of a liberal political party, the US ambassador talked of her country’s successful experiment in Central Asia where Islamists were threatening the former communist-led Tajikistan government. She hoped a similar experiment in Pakistan might yield some good results. “That is what I understood when I sought her opinion on the MMA’s role,” says a leader of the party. This politician, who is also a member of the conservatives-dominated Frontier Assembly, said he did not agree with the American diplomat. “I told her that she should not treat Pakistani fundamentalists with those in Central Asia. The fundamentalists in Central Asia are completely different from those in Pakistan.”
The Islamists in Tajikistan where much more modernist, and mostly drawn from several clans who had been kept out of the power structure after the collapse of the Soviet Union. They may have wanted Sharia, but the Pakistani Islamists are in a completely different century from them.
The US government is working on the same pattern in Afghanistan also. They are trying to co-opt conservative leaders like former president Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani and Rasool Sayyaf. But Khan has strong objection to the US approach in Afghanistan. “The Americans have made a mistake by allowing former jihadi leaders to be a part of the government in Kabul”. That may be so but the policy cannot be entirely faulted. It is at least an attempt to try and reach out to the religious right and see if the rightwing would be amenable to becoming a part of the process of governance. “What can anyone lose,” says an analyst in favour of the approach. “They are politically powerful and can’t be wished away. It won’t do any good to ignore them. Reaching out to them may not do much good but neither can it do any more harm than their presence in the system is already capable of doing,” he says.
Taken with the alleged recent moves to negotiate with moderate Taliban, through Mutawakkil, it looks as if the Americans are cutting some deals that might lead to even more blowback.
The US and the European countries continue to stay in touch with the MMA government in Peshawar. Even the World Bank continued negotiations for a loan to Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani government. Donor countries, unexpectedly, did not cut off any aid to the Frontier government despite the fact pro-Taliban MMA is ruling the province. TFT approached the US embassy spokesman Bruce Kleiner in Islamabad to seek his government’s opinion on the issue but his office said that he was busy. Despite many calls, Mr Kleiner did not respond to TFT.
I beginning to think that America will hand over Afghanistan to the Islamists, to allow themselves an exit strategy. An Islamist run Afghanistan would be a natural ally to Pakistan, which is the reason they have been supporting the Taliban resurgence, through the MMA for deniability, all along.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/24/2003 12:27:47 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Everyone is corruptible when they're all competing for the bejeweled turban...
Posted by: Brian || 10/24/2003 2:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Re Afghan - My impression is that Rahabani is not as bad as Abu Sayaf, and was long considered an enemy by the Taliban and its supporters. In particular he was willing to ally with Russia, India and Iran pre 9/11, so he's no pal of the ISI. Not a pal of afghan womens rights either, but thats another story. It might have been better if Massoud had lived, but he didnt, and we are stuck with dealing with whats available in afghan. I dont know enough about mutawakil to comment - it does strike me that in afghan people routinely switch sides - its more a tribal society than an ideological one, despite Taliban efforts to change that.

Pakland is a different story, of course. I appreciate your point of view, but my impression from other sources is that the Paki army is NOT 100% jihadi, there are substantial elements who, if not Kemalist, genuinely see the logic of and support Perv's reversal of alliances. Like Perv they want to get the maximum out of the US and give the least possible - but they WILL give if pressed. As opposed to hardline elements, and the bulk of the ISI, which are still pulling in the opposite direction. So Pak policy is a mass of contradictions - they'll arrest AQ arabs in Punjab and Karachi, and even hesitantly in NWFP, but wont touch Taliban. They'll reluctanty cooperate with US activities on the border, but wont openly let the US cross the border, and do as little as possible themselves (with the most hardline elements surreptiously cooperating with the Taliban) Perv wavers between an olive branch to India, limiting infiltration to Kashmir, but never stopping it. Arresting local jihadis when they get out of hand, or threaten vital state interests. Refusing to align with secularist parties against the fundies, but apparently trying to split the fundies to make his rule easier.

As for the US we will put up with this, in the absence of a clear alternative, and with so many balls in the air elsewhere. AS long as we are getting SOME cooperation - which we are.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/24/2003 9:22 Comments || Top||

#3  That may be so but the policy cannot be entirely faulted. It is at least an attempt to try and reach out to the religious right and see if the rightwing would be amenable to becoming a part of the process of governance.

I agree. You can't wish them away and you can't kill them. So what to do? I understand that it's tough to let them play in the democracy game if their goal is to undermine democracy. But we have groups like that here in our own congress (that actively try to undermine democracy) and we manage. Granted, they don't go around killing people, so it's not the same. But, as they say, you catch more flies with honey and you might as well try. If it doesn't suceed then go on to plan B.
Posted by: B || 10/24/2003 9:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Liberalhawk,
I agree with everything you said about Pakistan's dual policy, I guess our ownly point of disagreement is that I don't see it as acceptable that while we are pumping billions of dollars in a futile attempt to stablise Afghanistan and sure up Karzai, the entire Taliban leadership is right across the border openly recruiting Jihadis which launch raids which have killed 4 Americans and 400 Afghans this year.
I also see the continued operating of hundreds of Jihadi training camps in Pakistan as highly dangerous, because even if the different Emirs know to keep their attacks on America strictly rhetorical, it is only a matter of time before some of their followers 'go rogue' and attack Western targets again.
And the difference between Jihadis and Pragmatists in the Pakistani Army is over played really, they have a lot more in common than not. The both feel maintaining the Armies dominant role over the country is vitally important, they both want the country to continue spending 30% or more of it's budget on them, they both support the proxy war/Jihad in Kashmir, they both support the sharing of weaponry with states like North Korea, and the Generals all expect to retire to huge mansions, built on land confiscated from peasants. In fact, the military creator of the Taliban, Major General Nasarullah Babar, was as secular as they come, and a strong supporter of Benazir Bhuttos party, but that didn't prevent him for getting the idea of bringing the Taliban to power.
At the very least, when it comes to their region, the Pakistani Army is 100% Jihadi in the feelings towards India, and the secular types and the Jihadi types both believe it is in Pakistans interest to disintergrate India, dominate Afghanistan, and become the dominant regional player in both Central Asia and South Asia. The only difference between them is the rhetoric they use, and the fact that the Secularists might drink wine at home and the Islmamists don't.
BTW, before he seized power in a military coup in Pakistan, General Zia ul Haq was a secularist, known for his drinking, and helping to put down the Black September revolt by the Palestinians in Jordan. But once he became leader, he opened the Jihadi genie in the country, sponsoring radical madrassas, changing the ciriculum of ordinary schools to include political indoctrination, introducing the Huddod ordinance and the blasphemy law. But he was never pious in his private life. He also cultivated all the current Generals, and one of the promising officers that he was particularly supportive of, was a young Musharaf, who was rapidly promoted by Zia, along with a handful of other officers who are known as Jihadis. Going forward to 1999, when Musharaf was brought to power in a military coup, Pervez actually had nothing to do with it himself (he was in an airplane circling over Karachi when it occured), but the very same Jihadi Generals he was buddies with led the coup, and then put Musharaf in power because he was a more acceptable face than them.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/24/2003 19:15 Comments || Top||


Nuggets from the Urdu press
Samiul Haq supports Kalabagh Dam
London-based Dr Shahid Masood was quoted by Insaf as saying that in Pakistan very strange alignments were taking place. While the MMA was completely opposed to General Musharraf and parties aligned to him like PPP Sherpao group were not able to support Kalabagh Dam, Maulana Samiul Haq had suddenly decided to go along with General Musharraf and back his scheme of building the Kalabagh Dam. He said the PPP was opposed but the enemy of Musharraf, the Nawaz League, was in favour of it.
It sounds like Sami has been weaned away from the MMA, i’m sure his price wasn’t too high.

We will settle with them!
Jamaat Islami leader Munawwar Hassan told Khabrain magazine that “we” will have to settle with the lobby that is asking the government to recognise Israel. He said friendship with Israel was tantamount to nursing a snake in one’s cuff. He said now Hindu lobby was emerging at the side of the Jewish lobby.

Whip these women!
According to daily Pakistan chairman of Moonbat Mohabat International, Pir Syed Tahir Shah Kazmi Zanjani, said that fashion models appearing on catwalks should be punished by the government. He said Islam did not allow nakedness and obscenity and the only punishment for such whoring women was whipping and stoning to death. He said that such women excited men to commit sin.

Women’s hockey is not ‘obscene’!
According to Khabrain, former federal minister and president of Women’s Hockey Federation in Pakistan Ms Shahida Jameel said that Council for Islamic Ideology was wrong in saying that women’s hockey was spreading obscenity in the country. She said the Council should instead say something about stopping the spread of narcotics in Pakistan.

Courts against Islam?
Writing in Insaf Maulana Abdur Rasheed Arshad said that a judge of the Sindh High Court had recently passed a judgement giving equal share in inheritance to a woman while there is a clear edict in the Quran that she should receive half a share. He said the judge while quoting the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights violated the charter of the Quran. He said the UN was a slave girl of the Jews and could not be in favour of the Muslims.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/24/2003 12:14:29 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He said that such women excited men to commit sin.

And we all know that the average Paki man is easily excited to commit sin.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 0:21 Comments || Top||

#2  I volunteer to spank this one. Just doing my duty for Allah.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/24/2003 8:46 Comments || Top||

#3  As I said earlier in the week, these people really, really need to get laid more.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 8:50 Comments || Top||

#4  what could an optimist glean from the above

1. The MMA is divided
2. There is a lobby in Pakistan that wants Pakistan to recognize Israel
3.Pakistan has fashion models who walk on catwalks
4.Pakistan has Women's hockey
5. Pakistan has at least one judge who is willing to override sharia on a case of inheritance law.

Not quite a 100% loony county after all?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/24/2003 10:17 Comments || Top||

#5  She said the Council should instead say something about stopping the spread of narcotics in Pakistan.

-I think they're gonna throw her in prison for making too much sense.

He said the UN was a slave girl of the Jews and could not be in favour of the Muslims.

-The big "Joo" conspiracy rears its ugly head again. These guys need to start looking in the mirror for the source of their problems.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/24/2003 11:09 Comments || Top||

#6  On the other hand, I have to side with the Council about women's hockey. There's just something so wrong about giving women wooden clubs.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/24/2003 11:16 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Iran offers help to Iraq. Really.
Iran offered on Friday to help Iraqi reconstruction efforts by offering its former enemy an oil swap arrangement that could help Baghdad boost crude export revenues. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi also promised a credit facility of up to $300 million and offered cross-border electricity and gas supplies. "We stand ready to supply our electricity and gas to Iraq and to facilitate its oil exports through our oil terminals or enter into a swap arrangement that can amount to 350,000 barrels per day," Kharazzi said in the text of a speech he is due to deliver to a donors' conference on Iraq. "We have envisaged a comprehensive package of economic cooperation comprising development aid, investment, trade, tourism, project financing and so on," the text said.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 15:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One question: what's the angle?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 16:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Probably Iran would like Iraqi oil exported from Iranian ports. Iran would get fees, jobs, prestige and best of all, would be able to make the accounting system incomprehensible and thus get more pricing freedom and be able to evade OPEC production limits.
Posted by: mhw || 10/24/2003 17:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Gives them a "legal" foot in the door in IRAQ, one that isn't obviously a takeover move. They could have a presence to support the arrangements and avoid having to sneak their folks over the border. Number one on the Shia mullah's list has to be joining all Shia's together for protection, given the history with the Sunni's. The joining of Iran and southern IRAQ together as a Shi'ite nation has to be their Holy Grail (oops - obviously a bad metaphor.)
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/24/2003 19:07 Comments || Top||

#4  Once oil is flowing from Iraq through Iranian ports there is a certain amount of economic momentum that is established. To break momentum and send the flow through another route involves fighting economic inertia. This cost associated with this breaking economic momentum at a future date gives Iran leverage over Iraq.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 21:34 Comments || Top||


Iraqi official says limited German, French help won’t be forgotten
A top Iraqi official attending an international conference on raising funds to rebuild Iraq warned Thursday that France and Germany’s limited donations would not be forgotten. Ayad Allawi, the current head of Iraq’s U.S.-appointed governing council, said he hoped German and French officials would reconsider their decision not to boost their contributions beyond funds already pledged through the European Union. "As far as Germany and France are concerned, really, this was a regrettable position they had," Allawi said. "I don’t think the Iraqis are going to forget easily that in the hour of need, those countries wanted to neglect Iraq."
Guess TotalFinaElf won’t be getting those leases after all.
"The people of Iraq have a hard road ahead of them, filled with both risk and opportunity," Annan said at the opening of the donors’ conference for Iraq in Madrid, Spain. "Let us not leave them to travel that road alone." Some countries have balked at funding programs in post-war Iraq, citing the go-it-alone approach taken by the United States and Britain ahead of the conflict. Germany, France and Russia — the chief opponents of war before the U.S. invasion — sent lower level officials to the conference. Those countries have been opposed to what they see as too much U.S. control of the reconstruction process.
So contribute to the UN fund.
The United States has committed $20 billion to the effort. Spanish Economy Minister Rodrigo Rato said last Friday he hoped $15 billion to $20 billion would be raised, but Foreign Minister Ana Palacio told CNN last week that as little as $6 billion could be raised for a trust fund that the World Bank, United Nations and Iraqi authorities would manage.
$6 billion will help, and the donor list will allow the Iraqis to decide with whom they’ll do business in the future.

After the Brits and Aussies, our primary ally in Iraq may turn out to be Iraq. It'll be interesting to see how long the attention span is: whether it'll grow into a solid post-occupation alliance, or if it'll become an arms-length friendship like we have with the Kuwaitis. Or if they'll eventually revert to pre-war type in the name of Arab Solidarity™...
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 12:49:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This could be a good sign... Even if concepts such as "cause & effect" have never been taught to them before, they already do understand concepts such as betrayal. The anti-war crowd's post-war stinginess and tireless efforts to maintain / prevent the overthrow of Saddam's regime, as clear historical facts, should be made obvious in those new textbooks, folks.
Posted by: .com || 10/24/2003 7:03 Comments || Top||

#2  I wouldn't be surprised if the new Iraqi textbooks make the point clear, but I doubt any US textbook will ever mention the perfidy of our "pacifists".
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/24/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Some countries have balked at funding programs in post-war Iraq, citing the go-it-alone approach taken by the United States and Britain ahead of the conflict. Germany, France and Russia -- the chief opponents of war before the U.S. invasion -- sent lower level officials to the conference.

Fine. If they don't want to throw in, then they don't have any say whatsoever - criticism or otherwise - on what goes on in Iraq. TotalFinaElf lost their Iraq oil contracts? Tough shit.

Those countries have been opposed to what they see as too much U.S. control of the reconstruction process.

The reason why the U.S. controls the reconstruction process is because the U.S. committed the most resources and effort. Germany, Russia, and especially France can go screw themselves.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#4  So much for French oil contracts.
Posted by: Charles || 10/24/2003 11:44 Comments || Top||

#5  american tax payer money spent on reconstruction will be spent with american companies - periord.
Posted by: Dan || 10/24/2003 12:07 Comments || Top||

#6  Might be good to spend some with Iraqis too, eh? As for the Frogs, let them go jump.
Posted by: Nero || 10/24/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||



Residents foil bomb plot in Baghdad suburb
Edited for length and to make sense out of the usual al-Guardian scatter-shot style.
US soldiers and Iraqi police prevented a coordinated bomb attack yesterday when they seized three suspected militants, including one thought to be from Syria, on a stretch of road in Baghdad known as "detonation valley". The arrest of a Syrian would, if confirmed, lend support to claims by US and Iraqi officials that foreign fighters from Iran and Syria are entering Iraq to fight coalition troops.
As noted by Rantburg months ago.
The foiled multiple bomb attack involved a car packed with explosives, and two roadside devices. The attack was averted when three men in a white car were stopped after a tip-off from locals, said General Abbas Nasr Hussein, chief of police in Ad Doura, a suburb in the south of Baghdad. The car, which was loaded with explosives, had been seen driving back and forth along a road leading from the main market in Ad Doura past a palace which is occupied by the US military. Half an hour later, residents alerted police to an improvised explosive device packed into a rusting exhaust pipe. At midday, police found a third remote-controlled bomb hidden in bushes by the side of the road, about 500 metres from the market. The devices were described by Iraqi police as "designed to kill and maim". In each case US troops were called to conduct controlled explosions.
Thanks to the residents.
Gen Hussein said the road in Ad Doura was used by US soldiers patrolling the south of the Iraqi capital. Yesterday’s attempted attack was the sixth incident there in the past month. The three arrested men were being interrogated by US military police last night. The police chief said that one of the suspects, an Iraqi believed to be in his early 20s, said he was given $200 for his part in the attack, but had not said by whom yet.
"Ahmed, the pliers, please."
"Are you sure that’s permitted, Jack?"
"Dammit, this mope is trying to kill my people!"
"My people, too. Here’s the large pliers."

At the Ad Doura bus station yesterday, witnesses expressed their anger at the attacks which are increasingly claiming Iraqi lives. Mohammed Haji, a bus driver, said: "Those who conduct such attacks, who support the old regime, are nothing more than corrupt pharaohs turned to rats. Every attack on US soldiers makes us more likely to be hurt and them more likely to stay. "I don’t wish the Americans any harm, but they shouldn’t be here for much longer, for everyone’s sake."
We agree with you, Mohammed. Just keep helping us flush out the pharaoh rats and we’ll leave.
Farouk al-Sharaa, Syria’s foreign minister, said earlier this week that there was evidence of fighters crossing from Syria into Iraq. The three official crossings were strictly controlled, he said, but people were "crossing without permission" at other points along the 400-mile frontier. He likened this to the problems faced by the US in controlling its border with Mexico.
Except the poor schmoes from Mexico aren’t coming to California to try and kill us, Farouk.
In an interview with western journalists, Mr Sharaa said that Syria was "not gloating over [the Americans’] misfortunes in Iraq... If Iraq is not stable, this will be reflected negatively in the neighbouring countries."
He’s correct, but not in the way he thinks.
Although Syria supports Palestinian militant groups, it opposes Islamist extremists and observers say it would be alarmed if they became established in Iraq.
Perhaps because the Syrians are beginning to understand cause-and-effect?
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 12:14:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [715 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We're winning.
Iraq is not going to be free until it frees itself, until its people steps up and takes responsibility for what goes on in their own country. The US, indeed any country can only do so much to help, but the hard and important work is theirs to do. It looks like they are doing it.
Posted by: Ben || 10/24/2003 4:29 Comments || Top||

#2  It does, indeed, look like some Iraqis realize this is their life in the balance... it can turn out well if they'll take responsibility (Arabs, it's a new word, but a very important one. Try it. You'll like it. Eventually, anyway.) - and it can turn into another Pakiland factional zoo of anarchy, if they won't.

Syrian FM - This is classic butt coverage. Insurance. Pfeh.
Posted by: .com || 10/24/2003 7:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Read the Baghdad blogs. To quote from one, the most recent, Healing Iraq:

"Are these people sane? I mean what are they thinking? Is this our latest form of 'resistance'? Threatening our own children for getting some shiny new schoolbags. I am trying very hard to understand. This so called resistance is getting hated more and more by Iraqis everywhere. I'm sure this will only add to that scorn exponentially. They are losing any sympathy they may have had earlier. The terrorists have turned out to be MUCH dumber than I thought."

They know who the enemy is, better each day.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/24/2003 9:01 Comments || Top||

#4  encouraging article.
Posted by: B || 10/24/2003 9:45 Comments || Top||

#5  I was going to cite Zeyad's blog, too, but Bulldog was on top of it. The encouraging thing is the common people are getting their first tastes of actual freedom in decades, and they are sick of being victims of Ba'athists and fundamentalists. They realize that the sooner peace and order returns to Iraq the sooner the Coalition forces will leave and they can determine their own destinies.
Posted by: Dar || 10/24/2003 12:10 Comments || Top||

#6  Put Syria at the top of the To Do List...late 2004/early 2005 looks good.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/24/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#7  I wonder where Zeyad falls in the Iraqi bell curve. Reading the few other genuine Iraqi blogs is less encouraging, though not exactly negative... sometimes seeming to expect magic fixes (Riverbend) and, at other times, appearing to be pandering a bit (Salman Pax) to the media - which are just to the Left of Trotsky. One thing is clear - Zeyad's first-hand accounts and descriptions ring far truer than the pontification and editorial pieces.

I wish there was some way to show support for him other than just reading him. I suggest that Iraq has enough dentists (or can import them) -- but it doesn't have enough articulate + intelligent natives like Zeyad. This guy needs to be on Iraqi TV everyday doing exactly what he does in his blog - putting words to the feelings and giving voice to moderate intelligent people. Kudos to the man, he's a class act.
Posted by: .com || 10/24/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||

#8  Zeyad still needs to be careful, too much publicity can still get a fellow killed in Iraq.
Posted by: Tresho || 10/24/2003 18:09 Comments || Top||

#9  The UK has things getting better and better in Basra.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 21:38 Comments || Top||

#10  "The arrest of a Syrian would, if confirmed, lend support to claims by US and Iraqi officials that foreign fighters from Iran and Syria are entering Iraq to fight coalition troops." Sheesh, is there no end to Al Guardian's Ministry of Truth semantics. The capture of a Syrian, if confirmed, would not lend to support to US claims that foreign fighters are entering Iraq, it would confirm them in absolute terms.
Future headline:
"The discovery of Osama bin Laden's head impaled on the White House flagpole, if confirmed, would lend support to recent Pentagon claims that bin Laden had been killed."
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/24/2003 23:38 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Explosives Found
State news agency Antara reported that police on Tuesday discovered 24 bags of explosives at a rented house belonging in Talise, East Palu, Central Sulawesi. The 600 kilograms of South African-made ammonium nitrate was reportedly owned by Basir (34) and Ilham (35). The two men, both from Makassar, had been staying in the rented house for the past two months.
"What'd you boys intend fertilizing with that 600 kilograms of boom stuff?"
Central Sulawesi was hit by waves of deadly violence earlier this month, with masked gunmen killing 12 Christians in Morowali and Poso districts. In response to the violence, police have shot eight suspected attackers and arrested another eight. The attacks had raised concerns of a return to the Muslim-Christian violence that left about 1,000 people dead in Poso over 2000-2001 until a government-sponsored truce.
The violence won't return if the coppers keep shooting the instigators...
This week authorities replaced Poso district’s police chief and military commander. Senior Commissioner Abdi Dharma on Wednesday replaced Senior Commissioner Budi Astono as Poso Police chief. Central Sulawesi Police chief Brigadier General Taufiq Ridha ordered Dharma to immediately restore public order and security in Poso and Morowali.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 17:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:


Two More Sentenced Over McBlast
Two men have been sentenced to jail for deliberately concealing information that could have prevented last year's deadly bombing at a McDonald's restaurant and car showroom in Makassar, South Sulawesi province. Makassar District Court on Thursday convicted Muchtar Daeng Lau (35) and Hamid Razak (63) of failing to notify authorities ahead of the December 5 terrorist attack that killed three people and injured 15. Lau was sentenced to seven years in jail, while Razak received a two year sentence. Police have said Razak is the father of the main suspect in the bombing, Agung Hamid, who remains at large. Authorities have charged 16 suspects with involvement in the attack. Eleven have now been sentenced and one has been acquitted. Prosecutors have said some of the suspects have admitted to membership in the Laskar Jundullah Islamic militia group and received explosives training in the Philippines.
So, how'd you guys like Mindanao?
Some have also been linked to members of regional terrorism network Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been blamed for last year’s Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people. Police have said the motive of the McDonald's attack was to make a symbolic anti-American strike. US fast-food franchises in Indonesia have often been the target of protests and attacks by Islamic groups over recent years.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 17:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:


Police to charge Poso attackers under antiterrorism law
National Police chief Gen. Dai Bachtiar said on Friday that all the attackers in Central Sulawesi regencies of Morowali and Poso would be charged under the antiterrorism law. Dai said that although the attackers were motivated by vengeance from past conflicts, the attack had violated Antiterrorism Law No 15/2003.
"Dire Revenge™ is no excuse!"
Police have, so far, detained 16 suspects and gunned down six others in shoot-outs since violence broke out again on Oct. 10. From the suspects and those killed, the police seized two M-16s, three LA firearms, a number of FN pistols and 232 bullets.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 16:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:


Pakistan to deport Hambali's brother and other Indonesian suspects
Pakistan will shortly deport the brother of terror suspect Hambali and 18 other Malaysian and Indonesians who were arrested last month on suspicion of having links with the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a senior interior ministry official said Friday. "The decision has been taken to deport them and the process will start in the next couple of days," head of the interior ministry's crisis management cell, Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, told AFP.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 16:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:


Iran
’The Iranian People are Deeply Disappointed With the Islamic Revolution’
Interview with Nobel Prize winner Ebadi

From Memri:

EFL ---

Question: " The situation in Iran seems stagnated. All elections show a sweeping majority supporting reform, but there is no reform. Some even believe there is a need for a new revolution."

’Ebadi: "I think that the age of revolutions is over. Similarly, there is no guarantee that another revolution will bring anything better than what happened to us 24 years ago. After years of observation, I reached the conclusion that revolutions never accomplish what they promise. What I call for is a reform movement that will include all areas of political, social, and cultural life, and, naturally, human rights. The Iranian people are deeply disappointed with the Islamic Revolution. During the Islamic Revolution and the war in Iraq that followed it, an immeasurable number of families lost their sons and providers. The nation lost the best of its young men, and millions of Iranians were forced into exile. Covering the expenses of this revolution will continue for entire generations. The only way out of this is reform by peaceful means. Khatami is not the only one calling for reform, and just because his government has failed does not mean that the reform movement has failed. In any event, Khatami’s second and last term will end, but this means that there will be no hope for our people."


Posted by: mercutio || 10/24/2003 9:40:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Iranian people are deeply disappointed with the Islamic Revolution.

Hey, that's what happens when one tyranny is replaced with another. And guess what? It's all their doing. A bitter harvest, no doubt, but as they say, you reap what you sow.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 22:57 Comments || Top||


Africa: West
Allah’s Polio Plan
EFL
LAGOS, Nigeria -- Squeezing droppers into the mouths of tearful toddlers, health workers launched an emergency drive Friday to vaccinate Nigerians against polio as a spreading outbreak threatened worldwide efforts to eradicate the disease.

Teams raced to immunize 15 million African children at immediate risk -- a four-day effort impeded by rumors among Muslim fundamentalists that the vaccine was part of a U.S. plot to spread AIDS and render Muslims infertile.

"The Western world has never wished Muslims well," said Yakubu Husseini, a 20-year-old teacher coming out of Friday prayers in the northern city of Kano. "Why should they expect us to believe that vaccines they make these days are not another frontier to wage war against Muslims?"
Fine, make your own.

Three predominantly Muslim states in northern Nigeria -- Kano, Kaduna and Zamfara -- have either delayed or refused permission for the vaccination drive, with Zamfara demanding proof the vaccine is safe, something U.N. officials say has been repeatedly supplied.

Failure of previous vaccine initiatives in northern Nigeria have aided the disease’s spread internationally, recently leading to the crippling of nearly a dozen children in at least four other West African nations -- Ghana, Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso -- according to the U.N. World Health Organization.

Nigeria currently has 192 known cases, several of them in Lagos state, where the disease was previously thought to have been wiped out.

The Nigerian outbreak started in Kano state during the summer. Experts blame insufficient coverage during mass polio campaigns and routine treatment.

In some areas only 16 percent of children were immunized during a campaign last year. The WHO says 15 million children are at risk regionally in the current outbreak.

In Kano, where state officials said Friday they were delaying the vaccine drive without explaining why, a group of men leaving the city’s main mosque discussed the decision.

"Allah knows better than all Western powers combined," said Ya’u Kabir, a 26-year-old Muslim theology student. "He has guided the Muslim community since the time of old. This he did without immunization. We do not need it."
Easy to say until it strikes a child you know.

Give them a Darwin award. This is a culture that is embracing natural selection.
Posted by: Tom || 10/24/2003 7:01:14 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [335 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The Western world has never wished Muslims well," said Yakubu Husseini, a 20-year-old teacher coming out of Friday prayers in the northern city of Kano. "Why should they expect us to believe that vaccines they make these days are not another frontier to wage war against Muslims?"

We dont need to. We canot compete with your own stupidity......
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/24/2003 19:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, and he's a teacher, for crissakes. Gee, I wonder where they get it from???
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 20:06 Comments || Top||

#3  A good idea, spread the rumor that vaccination is a Zionist plot to destroy Islam and hope that people believe it.
Posted by: LC || 10/24/2003 21:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Darwin Awards.... the winner please.
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/24/2003 21:06 Comments || Top||

#5  So flippin' sad. I've got a couple of ex-polio patients in my clinic at work, and they are crippled in ways I wouldn't wish on anyone.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 21:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Teams raced to immunize 15 million African children at immediate risk -- a four-day effort impeded by rumors among Muslim fundamentalists that the vaccine was part of a U.S. plot to spread AIDS and render Muslims infertile.

Damn, this is so useless. If this is how these asswipes want to live, then fine. Stop the aid, terminate all flights, transport, and trade into their part of the globe, and wait until every last one of them are dead, DEAD, DEAD.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 21:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Meanwhile we Zionist lackeys have eliminated polio in our degenerate society.
Posted by: Denny || 10/24/2003 21:45 Comments || Top||

#8  I'd say let their stupidity be the end of them, but, sadly, having an unvaccinated population puts everyone in danger.

Bastards. I hope all the imams catch it and die.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/24/2003 22:14 Comments || Top||

#9  Polio vaccines an attempt to spread HIV? Oh puh-leeze. Can you say "paranoid?"
Posted by: Korora || 10/25/2003 0:18 Comments || Top||

#10  And this guy is a teacher? Good grief, how bloody stupid can you get?
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 10/25/2003 6:32 Comments || Top||


Caucasus
Igbal Agazadeh Reveals Organizers of October 15-16 Clashes
Fractured syntax courtesy of Baku Today...
Deputy of Milli Majlis and chairman of Umid party Igbal Agazadeh arrested on charges of organizing October 15-16 massive disorders in Baku [Note: The festivities were associated with the election of Ilham Aliev as hereditary president] gave interview to ANS reporter.
All these actions have been planned beforehand after October 12 meeting of opposition parties. The main goal was to occupy Freedom Square by force and ensure massive inflow of the people to create base for Isa Gambar's leader of Musavat party coming into power. I think Isa Gambar and his deputy Rauf Arifoglu are to be blamed for clashes on October 16 in Baku. Igbal Agazadeh informed that wooden sticks used by party supporters during clashes have been brought to Musavat headquarter beforehand. In the end Mr. Agazadeh appealed ton his fellow party members. You should avoid any confrontation and illegal actions.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 16:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front
Alamoudi charged with dealings with Libya
A prominent US Muslim political activist, who helped the Pentagon set up its Islamic chaplain program, was charged Thursday with having had financial dealings with Libya, the Justice Department said.
Oh, I am so surprised! Quick, Ethel! My pills!... No, the orange ones!
Abdurahman Alamoudi, of Falls Church, Virginia, was charged in an 18-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, said Paul J. McNulty, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. McNulty said the charges against Alamoudi, a 51-year-old native of Eritrea, included prohibited financial transactions with Libya, money laundering, misuse of a passport and unlawful procurement of US naturalized citizenship.
"Other than that, he seems to be clean..."
An energetic advocate of Islamic causes, Alamoudi founded the American Muslim Council, the American Muslim Foundation as well as the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council, a group that helped create an Islamic chaplain program in the US military.
And we saw how well that worked...
The chaplain program has come under intense scrutiny since the September 10 arrest on suspicion of espionage of US Army Captain James Yee, a Muslim chaplain who worked with al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Ummm... Yeah. That's what I meant...
The indictment handed down Thursday, which carries a maximum penalty of 105 years' imprisonment on conviction, alleges that "from November 1995 to September 2003, Alamoudi devised a scheme to obtain money from Libya and other sources overseas." That money, it alleges, was intended "for transmission into the United States without attracting the attention of" various federal agencies, including the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and Department of Homeland Security. "The purpose of this scheme was to hide the amount of money he controlled, how and where he obtained it and what he did with the money," said the indictment.
I wonder what he intended to do with all that dough?
It alleges that on August 13, 2003 "Alamoudi received a phone call at his hotel in London, England, from a person with a Libyan accent who stated he had 'something' for Alamoudi.
"For me? Oh, you shouldn't have!"
"Almoudi received from the individual a briefcase containing 340,000 dollars ... which he transferred to his own luggage, leaving the briefcase behind.
"I'll just put it in here with my socks and underwear. No one will notice..."
The indictment "identifies the source of the cash as the Islamic Call Society, a branch of the Government of Libya," McNulty said in a statement.
Is that part of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunicaitons? "Hello? Operator? I'd like to make an Islamic call, please... Yes. It'll be collect..."
Federal authorities said last month that Alamoudi was arrested on September 28 at Washington's Dulles International Airport upon his return from an extended overseas trip and made a brief appearance in federal court in Alexandria the following day. According to the indictment, Alamoudi "attempted to transport the 340,000 dollars out of England, to deposit it in banks in Saudi Arabia and attempted" to transfer it into the United States "while evading currency reporting requirements."
Tusk. Tusk. You can get some serious jug time for that sort of thing. Like 105 years. Shoulda just bumped somebody off...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/24/2003 16:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does anyone here get to listen to the Batchelor & Alexander Show on ABC Radio out of NYC? I hear it on tape delay at 1 a.m. It's an excellent show for Rantburg netizens, with analysis and conspiracy theories that curl my toes (especially in the middle of the night). They have one recurring guest, John Loftus, who always has "deep inside" information. Last night he was on saying that Alamoudi is directly linked to Grover Norquist.

True? Not true? When I'm sleep deprived, it's hard to tell...
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/24/2003 16:36 Comments || Top||


Middle East
U.S. Woos Yemen to Fight Terror Without War
EFL from Rueters Worldview

SANAA, Yemen - The United States used the full might of its armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to rout its enemies. But when it came to Yemen, Washington chose diplomacy over conflict. I thought we were aggresive unilateralists.

The country known to the Romans as Arabia Felix -- Happy Arabia -- is today an impoverished hotbed of Muslim militancy and lawlessness. I would provide the Latin phase for outhouse, but I only remeber the phrase: semper ubi sububi - always wear underwear. It is also the ancestral home of Saudi-born al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, whom many Yemenis admire.

The United States, burdened with costly conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, is trying to win over the support of Yemenis with tactics less bloody and cheaper than war. I thought war was good for the multinational corporations that we are beholden to.

It is equipping and training Yemeni security forces in anti-terror tactics and giving the coast guard patrol boats, while building roads and clinics and fighting illiteracy. Wait a minute - this clinic and road building stuff is Bin Laden’s job.

This has cost Washington up to some $100 million a year in military and other financial aid to Yemen, in stark contrast to the $87 billion earmarked for Iraq and Afghanistan.

"You can’t have stability without development and you can’t have development without stability," the U.S. ambassador to Yemen, Edmund Hull, told Reuters. A decade ago I would never have suspected that the US would be providing nation-building type aid to Yemen.

Analysts say Washington’s approach to the situation is wise, given the difficulties Yemen’s government is facing because of its cooperation with the United States.

They say authorities in Yemen, where nearly half the 20 million population live on $2 a day, are torn between U.S. aid and the rising anti-American sentiment among tribal and Islamic chiefs and ordinary Yemenis over perceived pro-Israeli U.S. bias.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, analysts say, the United States kicked in the back door, but in Yemen it went for a diplomatic solution. I beg to differ. In Iraq we came through the front door after knocking for a six month period. We also sent Spec-ops through the windows and JDAM’d down the chimney. The Big Bad Wolf wishes he could of had our skills.

"Busting in the door in Yemen would be like knocking down a wasp hive," Evan Kohlman, senior terrorism analyst at the Investigative Project, a Washington think tank which runs one of the biggest databases on Islamic militancy, told Reuters. Could be right - hope we don’t have to find out.

"It would certainly shake the trees but we might be a bit surprised at what we shook out. It could be very bloody."

Shortly after the U.S. war in Afghanistan to hunt down al Qaeda, media speculation was rife that Yemen, Somalia and Sudan would be next in a second phase of the war on terror.

But trying to improve its reputation as a haven for Muslim militants, Yemen began a massive security crackdown in the first military operation against al Qaeda outside Afghanistan.
In the areas that the government actually controls.

"It seems Yemen remains the back door to the Saudi militants on the Arabian peninsula and it is how al Qaeda members sneak in and out," said Jeremy Binnie of London-based Jane’s Sentinel.

A transit route for the incense trade 3,000 years ago, Yemen is now a favorite spot for drugs and arms smugglers due to its strategic position on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, its porous 1,100-mile border with Saudi Arabia and its long, poorly controlled coastline. If they begin to behave, trade will return. Location, location, location.

The United States views this part of the region as one of the most combustible in the world and patrols its seas from a military base in Djibouti on the Red Sea coast opposite Yemen.

The FBI plans to set up an office in the capital Sanaa this year. A U.S.-backed computerized border control system has been installed, though it is often hampered by power cuts.

In return for U.S. support, Yemen has arrested dozens of al Qaeda suspects, allowed American warships free use of its waters and opened its air space to U.S. warplanes. This is quite surprising.


The government has also banned the carrying of weapons in cities and towns. But it has had little success in its campaign to seize millions of unlicensed arms in Yemen.

"This is a significant political move in a country...where a man wearing a Kalashnikov is like a businessman wearing a tie," said Philip McCrumm of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

To stamp out Islamic extremism, Sanaa has tried to put religious schools under its control. But critics say the government has little power outside the main cities and that the most radical schools remain untouched.

Despite the crackdown, two suspects in the Cole bombing are still at large. But analysts express cautious optimism over the security efforts.

Sanaa has complained that the U.S. aid does not cover the costs of the war on terror. But the U.S. approach is winning approval from some Yemenis.

"There is an old saying: You have to touch the hearts and minds of the Yemenis to win them over. If you oppress them they are willing to sacrifice everything (to fight) for their dignity," said Faris Sanabani, editor of the Yemen Observer. This is a very hopeful and positive message and it came from Reuters.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 2:26:28 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The country known to the Romans as Arabia Felix -- Happy Arabia -- is today an impoverished hotbed of Muslim militancy and lawlessness.

I seem to remember that the Romans occasionally named things with a STRONG sense of irony.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/24/2003 19:19 Comments || Top||


Caribbean
Senate Declares Castro Winner of the Test of Wills - votes to end Cuba ban
The United States Senate has voted in favour of lifting a 40-year-old ban on Americans travelling to Cuba. In a major rebuff to President George W Bush, Senators voted 59 to 36 to bar the use of government money to enforce the travel restrictions. The vote follows a similar move by the House of Representatives last month. The White House has said Mr Bush will veto the bill if it is backed by Congress. Senators called for the travel restrictions to be lifted, saying it made no sense to ban Americans from visiting Cuba while they were allowed to go to countries like North Korea. Republican Senator Mike Enzi said: "For 40 years we’ve said ’sanctions’, and for 40 years it hasn’t worked," referring to the failure of the ban to unseat Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
What does the senator believe the benefit for the Cuban people and the American people will be by increasing cash flow to Castro’s government?
But the White House said it was premature to lift the ban. "The administration believes that it is essential to maintain sanctions and travel restrictions to deny economic resources to the brutal Castro regime," it said in a statement. Mr Bush has his eye on anti-Castro Cuban American voters in the key state of Florida in next year’s presidential election, but many senators believe that is too narrow a view, our correspondent says. About 160,000 Americans visited Cuba legally last year, as members of groups with special dispensation or travelling via Canada and Mexico. Cuba has said it expects about a million Americans to visit in the first year if the ban is lifted. The Senate vote was welcomed by the Cuban Government, which hopes American tourism will boost hard currency earnings to pay for food imports.
I’m sure the Venezualan government and the FARC will be cheering as well. The same saps who keep whining that driving an SUV is supporting OBL can now fly to Cuba this providing cash for killers in Columbia.
"This is further evidence that both chambers of the US Congress and a majority of the US people favour lifting the travel ban," said Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque. "I wonder what new trick Washington will invent to stop this becoming law."
Hopefully the trick in called a Veto.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 1:07:49 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [372 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What does the senator believe the benefit for the Cuban people and the American people will be..

The Cuban people will surely benefit more than Castro by lifting this ban. The reason is that people travelling to Cuba, and especially Cuban-Americans, will make sure that the money they spend will go to the pockets of ordinary Cubans, and not some designated tourist area where the tourist dollars are skimmed by the Castro regime.
If they don't already exist, watch Castro impose his own restrictions on people entering Cuba, if this ban is lifted.
I do think though that the timing of lifting this travel ban is a bit off. Why couldn't they wait until Castro kicks the bucket and negotiate with whoever takes over; the carrot and stick approach.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/24/2003 13:40 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm wth Rafael. Let the market do it's magic. If I thought the embargo would work I'd say stay with it.... but 30 years of evidence suggests that it is ineffective. Besides... I hate going through Canada.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/24/2003 14:22 Comments || Top||

#3  With the number of leftists traveling to Cuba and kissing El Jeffes buttocks its hard to remember we still had a travel ban against Cuba.

I'm also with Rafael except I don't think it goes far enough. I would: (i) Removing all sanctions from Cuba and force Castro to impose his own to stay in power. (ii) Reoopen the American Embassy in Cuba so that Cubans don't have to risk the straits to get to American property. (iii) Put a carrier or two off the coast in international waters and declare that any Cuban that makes it there will be given citizenship. (iv) Do it all in rapid succession to try to implode Castro's regime just as the flood of Germans caused the implosion of East Germany.
Posted by: Yank || 10/24/2003 16:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Personally, I think it's a good thing.

If I were King of the Forest, I would have already crushed Fidel like a bug using the Might of America. I'm not talking about the military, I'm talking about consumer goods and tourists.

Imagine fleets of high altitude bombers carpet bombing the island, not with incendiaries and high explosives, but with copies of the Sears catalog and this week's WalMart sale flyer. You'd get conversations like this:

Lupita: Look Jose, washing machines. And blue jeans. And sneakers. Oh, and sewing machines are on sale. I always wanted a sewing machine.
Jose: Shut up, Lupita. We are poor, impoverished Cubans, with sucky lives because we are fighting the Yankee Imperialists. How much is that fishing rod?

The air assault would be followed by waves and waves of ninja tourists in bermuda shorts and hawiian shirts carrying cheap japanese cameras. Like Bob and Ethel from Flint, Michigan:

Jose: You must be rich imperialist oppressors to be able to travel outside your country.
Bob: Nah, I'm just a plain blue collar factory worker from Flint. This year we decided to leave the RV in the driveway and visit Cuba because the flight from Miami was only 50 bucks.
Jose: You're not rich? But you own a recreational vehicle? And the government lets you travel? Madre de Dios! Socialism bites the Big One! I hate that *bleep*er Fidel.
Ethel: Well, if you don't like Fidel, why don't you vote for someone else?
Jose: Hey, now there's an idea!

Communism wouldn't have a chance.
Posted by: SteveS || 10/24/2003 16:33 Comments || Top||

#5  That's a hell of a plan.
Posted by: Matt || 10/24/2003 17:12 Comments || Top||

#6  That's a hell of a dumb plan. Fidel would gather the products, sell it to tourists, and use the money to finance revolution across the world. He has been doing it for forty years, he won't change now.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/24/2003 17:28 Comments || Top||

#7  Seems like the Republican Congress has been telling Bush to stuff it recently. Any idea what if anything is going on?
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/24/2003 18:58 Comments || Top||

#8  big push by Agricultural sector states to get the ban on food (read grain and corn) sales to Cuba lifted. I don't know whether it's a good thing or not, but if we let the death of castro lead to a succession to other than a pro-democracy gov't we've failed
Posted by: Frank G || 10/24/2003 19:53 Comments || Top||

#9  I think what you are seeing with Cogressional attitude toward Cuba is strictly votes and demographics. Cubans are a demographic factor only in Florida where they are very important. Senators from states other than Florida have little to lose from teeing off the Cuban ex-patriots. Bush needs Florida so I would think he will veto.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 21:25 Comments || Top||

#10  Just noticed another BBConline article: Who lobbies Bush on Cuba. - haven't read it yet.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 21:48 Comments || Top||


Africa: Southern
Group: Zimbabwe Gov’t Uses Food As Weapon
EFL Ap from Newsday
Zimbabwe’s government is using food as a weapon, denying it to political opponents as nearly half its people face starvation, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
HRW is criticizing a socialist regime run by a black dictator; most NGO’s don’t do that.
The group said the government and ruling party punish opponents by manipulating the supply and distribution of subsidized food, as well as the registration of people eligible for international relief. In a 51-page report, the New York-based group said corruption and profiteering are rampant at the government’s Grain Marketing Board, which oversees distribution of most staple food. It said officials divert large quantities of grain at tremendous profit to the black market and neighboring countries. "Select groups of people are being denied access to food," Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the group’s African division said in a statement. "This is a human rights violation as serious as arbitrary imprisonment or torture."
Takes a little longer to kill people, too...
Human Rights Watch said food is used as a weapon against members of the main opposition party and people presumed to support it, teachers, former commercial farmworkers and those living in urban opposition strongholds. "That’s a lie," George Charamba, the spokesman for President Robert Mugabe, said in a telephone interview. "It sounds like a very familiar lie to which we are too busy to respond."
Yes, its not to hard to figure out what you are busy at.
The report also criticized international donors for preventing international food aid from going to black farmers who received land confiscated without compensation from white farmers under Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform program. However, Richard Lee, regional spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program, said he was unaware of any such conditions imposed by donors.
There was an article about a week ago about a South African minister being held hostage at a farm in Zimbabwe for taking unauthorized pictures. I have not seen any follow-up. I speculate that the pictures were of a farmer who didn’t need any food aid due to actual crop life on his plantation.
Human Rights Watch, aid workers and political analysts in Zimbabwe said people without ruling party membership cards are routinely denied access to government-subsidized food and often prevented from registering to receive international relief. "No party card, no food," said John Makumbe, a political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe.
That’s not much of a barrier; any fifteen year old in the US can fake an ID card.
The government and state-controlled press have reported 40 deaths from malnutrition in the second city, Bulawayo. No figures are available for the rest of the country. "We expect the situation is much worse in other areas, particularly in Matebeleland north and south," said Makumbe, who also advises the Famine Early Warning System monitoring food supplies in the region. Human Rights Watch said the government compounded food shortages and consolidated its control by preventing private merchants, the opposition party and all but a handful of aid groups from importing grain. More than 220,000 tons of grain imported by the government have simply vanished, according to diplomats in Zimbabwe.
Maybe the truck drivers got hungry on the drive. In Martin Stanton’s book about the US military efforts assisting with humanitarian relief in Somalia, he said that the Somali food convoy drivers were notorious for feigning a breakdown so that they could sell their load to local thugs after the rest of the convoy moved on.
Human Rights Watch said it appears grain bought by the government abroad was diverted to foreign markets and the local black market, where reports indicate ruling party politicians and favored businessmen can make a 220 percent profit.
That’s a superior return on investment unless the payment is in Zimbabwe currancy.
The group said the grain board is run by former police, military and intelligence officials who report directly to Mugabe’s Cabinet in what Makumbe and other analysts called the militarization of key government industries and ministries. The government blames food shortages on prolonged drought and donor withdrawal. However, Lee, the WFP spokesman, said drought has eased in the region, and donors have not withdrawn humanitarian aid.
They might be hinting at the fact that Kadaffy stopped giving them free oil. This oil was probably retailed at an infinite mark-up percentage.
Britain, Zimbabwe’s former colonial ruler, committed a further $8.5 million Thursday to emergency food aid after receiving assurances that politics would not interfere with the handouts.
In what form were those assurances?
Human Rights Watch said the government often uses war veterans and ruling party militants, groups blamed for the widespread violence and intimidation, to distribute food. International relief organizations such as WFP have strongly resisted government attempts to take over food distribution, Human Rights Watch said. Relief groups have briefly suspended operations in some areas because of government interference and threatened to pull out entirely if the government persists in trying to politicize food aid.
But I bet the government provided "assurances" that the interference would stop.
However, the government still punishes opponents by manipulating the list of people eligible for international aid, said Human Rights Watch. Makumbe said party officials and traditional leaders are instructed to exclude opponents from the lists. Lee acknowledged there had been interference, some of it serious, but said the vast majority of incidents were minor. Charamba, Mugabe’s spokesman, called Human Rights Watch a tool of the British government and dismissed the report as an attempt to support the hardline anti-Mugabe position of Australia, Britain and Canada. "We don’t even dignify it by denying it," he said.
When a regime starts calling Canada hardline, you know that regime is very far from reality.

Here are links to several other World Wire articles (various sources) of interest concerning Africa:
A. Smugglers use tankers to steal Nigerian Oil.
B. Boys Bond in West Africa Child Trade (includes more details about the children found performing hard labor in Nigerian rock quaries).
C. Libyans Hope for New Start After Sanctions Lifted.
D.Old Secrets Return to Haunt ANC.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 12:54:54 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Another $100 on Zimbabwe please. I got this Famine Pool locked up.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 13:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Looks like Mugabe doesn't have all the courts under his thumb. BBC has: Zimbabwe court backs Daily News. Gutsy judge.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 13:45 Comments || Top||

#3  Dawg bites man.
Now this is a headline.

Weapons Used As Food!
Ak-47s Served to the Masses Buffet Style.>
Sneeze guard not a problem say locals.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/24/2003 16:59 Comments || Top||

#4  There was a great Python sketch about defending one's self from an attack with fruit.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 17:38 Comments || Top||

#5  There was a great Python sketch about defending one's self from an attack with fruit.
As long as it wasn't durians - that would be considered using WMD! Biological and chemical weapons are banned by any number of treaties.

I have a solution for the problems in Zimbabwe. We convince all our illegal aliens to go there. Can you imagine Mugabe trying to deal with five million Mexicans all demanding welfare and food stamps?
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/24/2003 20:36 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Followup: Man and daughter get prison for tax fraud
Looks like Robert Lee and Crystal got plenty of time to plot their revenge against THE MAN...
He claimed phony refunds on returns as a way to seek reparations for slavery
A federal judge sentenced Robert Lee Foster of South Richmond, a supporter of slavery reparations, to 13 years in prison yesterday on his fraud convictions for preparing and filing phony income-tax claims. His daughter, Crystal Demetria Foster of Quinton — to whom, by mistake, the IRS sent a half-million dollars for one of those bogus claims — screamed and cried when she heard her 37-month sentence for her part in the tax-fraud conspiracy.
Good luck, Robert Lee. Maybe President Sharpton will pardon you...
She gave birth to her second child about three months ago, while jailed, and begged U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams to reconsider. He refused."I just want to be at home with my two children," she said. "I just want to be able to take care of them because no one else can."
Too bad, so sad...
After Williams left the bench, Crystal Foster cried louder and clung to her lawyer, David Lassiter Jr., and eventually sat on the floor. She had to be helped from the courtroom as U.S. marshals took her into custody. The family and friends of the Fosters who nearly filled the courtroom bitterly complained among themselves that the sentences were unfair.
Wonder who did their taxes?
Father and daughter were tried by a jury July 20. Both were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Robert Foster, 51, was convicted also of four counts and Crystal Foster, 25, of one count of making false claims against the government. Robert Foster, an accountant and tax preparer, was accused of filling out federal income-tax returns for his daughter and three other people. On each he claimed large refunds, purportedly for taxes withheld on undistributed capital gains on investments. In fact, there were no investments or taxes withheld. Foster said making the claims was a political stand on the issue of slavery reparations - a proposal for payments to descendants of slaves to partially compensate for the harm done by slavery and its aftermath in this country.
Sorry. Go to Jail. Go directly to Jail. Do not collect $500,000.
Only Crystal Foster’s return produced a refund. She received a check for $507,490.91, including interest the IRS tossed in because of a delay.
Thought you were the lucky one, didn’t you Crystal? And wasn’t that big of the IRS to toss her that extra dough?
According to testimony yesterday, Crystal Foster gave her mother $50,000. She bought a $40,000 Mercedes-Benz. She paid off some student loans. She transferred $100,000 into Robert Foster’s checking account.
Thanks, baby girl...and Power to the People!
After the IRS realized its mistake and sought to get the money back, about $266,000 was recovered. The judge ordered joint restitution by the Fosters of the rest. Robert Foster, who has claimed the federal court has no jurisdiction over him, told the Associated Press he is a citizen of the Moab Tiara Cherokee Kituwah Nation. That is an obscure group in Charlotte, N.C., whose members claim they are descendants of African Moors who came to the New World before Europeans.
Maybe the aliens bought them here...
Both Fosters also tried to fire their lawyers to be represented by a member of that group, Drew Sherref El of Charlotte. Williams denied that after determining Drew Sherref El was not a lawyer.
Awww, c’mon Judge. That probably would’ve been a riot! Ya killjoy!
But yesterday, when asked by the judge if he wanted to speak before sentencing, Robert Foster said again that Drew Sherref El is his lawyer and he asked to delay sentencing because he was not represented. Williams refused.
Scamming to the bitter end. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Robert Lee.
Robert Foster’s lawyer, Thomas L. Johnson Jr., said after court that his client appeared "stark and stoic" after sentencing.
A 13 year bid will probably do that to most people.
Lassiter said in court that Crystal Foster was deeply under her father’s influence and believed that she was entitled to slavery reparations from the government. When the huge IRS refund arrived, she took it as confirmation of that.
It’s not her fault! He’s a Svengali! Only when they caught did she see the light!
Her father’s advice, the AP reported, was to spend it. She did, Lassiter said, in the way someone would who had won a lot of money in the state lottery.
Look soon for Robert Lee to sue the IRS for sending his daughter an illegal refund and jamming him up like this. Maybe Mr. El will file it for him.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 12:47:14 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Word.
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/24/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#2  True dat.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/24/2003 12:55 Comments || Top||

#3  See? Just mo playa hatin' by THE MAN!
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/24/2003 13:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Crystal Foster told the truth!
Posted by: BH || 10/24/2003 13:11 Comments || Top||

#5  Frei Mumia!
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/24/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#6  Free Lunch!
Posted by: Shipman || 10/24/2003 16:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Can I borrow the Mercedes while your in the big house? I'll gas it up.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 18:04 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Three soldiers killed in Netzarim infiltration
JPost Reg Req’d
Three IDF soldiers were killed and two wounded, one seriously after a terrorist infiltrated an army base in the northern Gaza Strip community of Netzarim before dawn Friday morning.
And Arafat will cry for international human shields peacekeepers to protect the Paleos when the Apaches and F16s deliver the cause/effect lesson
Two of the soldiers killed were women, and the seriously wounded soldier is also a woman. The male soldier was moderately wounded. The wounded were airlifted to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for treatment. The identities of the three soldiers killed were released Friday afternoon:
Sgt. Sarit Schneor-Sinyor, 19, of Shoham. Sarit will be buried Sunday at 2 PM in the military section of the Ramle cemetery.

Staff-Sgt. Alon Avrahami, 20, from Or Yehuda. Alon will be buried in the military cemetery in Holon at 2 PM.

Sgt. Adi Osman, 19, Kfar Saba. Adi was buried in Kfar Saba’s military cemetery Friday afternoon.
The male soldier wounded in the attack is recovering after surgery to remove the bullet lodged in his shoulder, and the woman is still undergoing surgery. "She was very seriously wounded, a doctor at the hospital said.

At approximately 4:15 AM a terrorist affiliated with Hamas and armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and grenades approached the military base from the south side of the Netzarim community using the darkness and dense mist as cover. The terrorist cut through the fence and headed towards the living quarters housing female soldiers and army drivers. The terrorist entered the female soldiers’ living quarters and in the first room shot and killed Sgt. Adi Osman and wounded a second soldier in the room with her He then continued into the second female soldiers’ room where he killed Sgt. Sarit Shcneor.
Female soldiers? what no toddlers and infants and baby ducks available for slaughter? Paleo Pussies
The terrorist then left the female quarters and headed towards the drivers quarters where he shot and wounded one of the soldiers as he was standing at the entrance to the complex. At that time Staff-Sgt. Alon Avrahami reached the site and was shot and killed by the terrorist. The terrorist then fled with soldiers from the Shimshon battalion in pursuit. Troops caught up with the terrorist and killed him just tens of meters outside of the community as he was attempting to flee.
*bang* - OW!
halt
!
A second terrorist affiliated with the Islamic Jihad who accompanied the other terrorist reached the security fence but when the shooting began he fled back into Gaza, a senior IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post.
"Feet, don't fail me now!"
The officer noted that during the night there were three other attempted infiltrations in which three terrorists were killed. One when a terrorist attempted to infiltrate Nisanit in the northern Gaza Strip and was shot and killed by soldiers. The second involved the three Israelis wounded as they drove on the Kissufim road and the terrorist was shot and killed. And the third was when soldiers shot and wounded a group of Palestinians carrying a ladder who attempted to cross into Israel north of Kibbutz Nahal OZ. In addition terrorists fired anti-tank rockets a IDF positions near Neve Dekalim and shots were fired at positions at Morag and other Israeli communities in Gush Katif.

Meanwhile the IDF is investigating the charges of Sgt. Adi Osman’s sister Einat who claims that a month ago her sister’s commanding officer demanded that the female soldiers at the base hand over their weapons because of budget cuts. according to Einat the female soldiers did not have weapons at the time of Friday morning’s attack.
That sort of thing will certainly attract Paleos, like flies to honey...
The part of the fence that encompasses the military base had no electronic warning systems or devices and is just a regular security fence. The rest of the fence around the Netzarim community does have electronic measures. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed joint responsibility for the attack.
Yassin targetted?
In a call to the Associated Press, a caller identified the attacker killed by soldiers as Samir Fouda, 21, a Hamas terrorist from Gaza’s Jebaliya refugee camp, and said the other attacker escaped.
That's the guy who beat feet. How's now the toast of Jebaliya...
Netzarim residents were alerted at 4.30 in the morning and asked to close the lights in their homes and remain inside. With the first gunshots, IDF soldiers immediately began searching for the perpetrator despite the heavy fog that enshrouded the area. After the terrorist was shot and killed, security forces continued to search to ensure there were no other terrorists lurking in the community. At the same time the Karni road used to enter the north Gaza Strip was closed to traffic as security forces also combed the area for additional suspects.

The wounded were treated at the site by medics and airlifted to the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon after the heavy fog prevented them from being taken to the Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. Netzarim resident Itzik Wazana told the Jerusalem Post that close to 4 they were alerted by a siren and told to remain in their homes, lock the doors and shut lights. "We were told to remain behind locked doors, the medical and emergency response teams were deployed and all the other residents were told to remain inside," he said. "We heard heavy gunfire, and slowly information began to dribble through of the scope of the disaster," he said. Four hours after the attack the residents were permitted to leave their homes after soldiers completed searching the community. The Karni Netzarim road remained closed to traffic.

Late Thursday, in another attack, three members of an Israeli settler family traveling in a car were lightly wounded in a roadside shooting in southern Gaza. The three were cut by shattered window glass and suffered other injuries when their car swerved. The army said troops shot and killed the attacker.
Posted by: Frank G || 10/24/2003 9:05:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Killing female soldiers in their sleep. The epitome of Palestinian cowardice.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/24/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#2  One guy cut through a fence of a military outpost and managed to kill 3 people? Sounds like a security problem to me.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 11:15 Comments || Top||

#3  No alarm systems by that part of the fence AND the women might not have had guns anymore? I think the Commanding Officer might be in trouble.
Posted by: Charles || 10/24/2003 12:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Sgt. Sarit Schneor-Sinyor, 19, of Shoham. Sarit will be buried Sunday at 2 PM in the military section of the Ramle cemetery.

Staff-Sgt. Alon Avrahami, 20, from Or Yehuda. Alon will be buried in the military cemetery in Holon at 2 PM.

Sgt. Adi Osman, 19, Kfar Saba. Adi was buried in Kfar Saba’s military cemetery Friday afternoon


They don't mess around like we do. Name 'em bury 'em, cry, acquire targets.

I'm told that giving the names of the victims out ASAP works to dispell anxiety.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/24/2003 16:18 Comments || Top||


Korea
U.S. charges N. Korean ’agent’
A Santa Monica man suspected of working as an agent for North Korea pleaded guilty to federal charges in Los Angeles U.S. District Court.
Guess we can remove the quotes around "agent" in the title.
John Joungwoong Yai, 59, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in South Korea, was charged on Thursday with failing to notify U.S. officials that he was an agent for North Korea as required by law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He also pleaded guilty to three felony charges of giving false statements to U.S. Customs Service officials and failing to declare more than $18,000 in cash brought into the country, authorities said. "He is accused and has pleaded guilty to acting as an agent for North Korea; he was not accused or charged with espionage," said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. "In order for us to prove a case involving espionage, there’s certain legal criteria that must be met."
Looks like we hit a ground-rule double instead of a home run.
Court documents said Yai worked as an agent in the United States from December 1997 to April 2000, obtaining classified information for North Korea and recruiting other agents to meet with North Korean officials abroad. The documents also said fax and e-mail communications between Yai and his North Korean contacts were written in code to conceal the true content. One of the charges against him stems from an April 20, 2000 incident at the Los Angeles International Airport. According to authorities, Yai and his wife, Susan Youngja Yai, had returned to the U.S. after meeting with a North Korean official in the Czech Republic and Vienna. The couple declared $10,000 but actually carried $18,179 in cash, authorities said. The money was confiscated, but when Yai attempted to reclaim it in August 2000, authorities said he made additional false statements, resulting in other felony charges.
So he’s stupid and greedy.
Mrs. Yai previously pleaded guilty to failing to declare the $18,179. He was sentenced to one year of probation in September 2003 and ordered to pay a $500 fine, authorities said. Yai was arrested last April and released on bond. He appeared in court Thursday to enter a plea and will remain free on bond until his sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 26 by U.S. District Judge George H. King.
Um, is that wise?
In entering the guilty pleas he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
With more to come!
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 12:55:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What is it about April and the Czech Republic???
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/24/2003 1:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Prague is beautiful in the springtime.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/24/2003 10:50 Comments || Top||

#3  In entering the guilty pleas he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

I wonder - is this guy going to lose his citizenship also?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 11:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Cops a plea and they kick him loose on bail? That's smart.
How long before he's in Pyongyang checking out 2 bedroom condos on Big Kimmie Blvd.? If he's not already.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/24/2003 15:21 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Palestinian Woman Sentenced for Bombing
An Israeli military court on Thursday sentenced a Palestinian woman to 320 years in prison for her role in a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem pizzeria that killed 15 people, two of them Americans. According to a transcript of the trial, Jordanian-born Ahlam Tamimi, 23, was the first woman to be recruited by the Izzadine el-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the violent Islamic Hamas movement.
Wonder what her reward is in Paradise?
The prosecution said that she helped plan the Aug. 9, 2001 bombing of the packed Sbarro restaurant and escorted the suicide bomber to the site, where he set off a powerful charge in the guitar case he was carrying. Among the dead in what the court judgment called "a satanic act" were toddlers, teenagers and elderly. Judith Greenbaum, 31, a school teacher from Passaic, N.J., and Malka Roth, 15, daughter of immigrants from New York, were among the dead. Hamas has claimed responsibility for most of the 104 suicide bombings against Israelis during the current three-year comment, killing more than 400 people.
We know, and we’ll remember.
The court said that Tamimi, who joined Hamas while a media student at a West Bank university, had a month previously planted a bomb in a downtown Jerusalem supermarket. That blast caused extensive damage, but no injuries. She was sentenced to one 20-year term for each of the Sbarro victims and one more for her other activities.
Even with good behavior and early parole, Tamimi will be about 183 years old when she’s released.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 12:45:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mind game time.

Sorry, Tamimi, jail's all full, the Americans have offered you a cell at GTMO.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/24/2003 1:48 Comments || Top||

#2  she gets an electric cucumber and a packet of raisins
Posted by: Anon1 || 10/24/2003 1:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Need one ask which "west bank university"?
Posted by: mojo || 10/24/2003 2:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Mojo, I am guessing that it was a, err, "Vocational-Technical" school specializing in, umm, electronics and demolitions technology.

Yeah, that's it, it's an accredited school, not an underground bombmaker's shop...
Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 10/24/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||


Iran
Iran Turns Over Nuclear Program Documents
Iran gave the U.N. nuclear watchdog a dossier meant to dispel fears it is trying to make atomic bombs, but a Tehran envoy acknowledged Thursday the files omitted key information about a bomb-making ingredient found in the country.
The unclean infidel dog ate it!
Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s chief delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency, suggested to The Associated Press that the dossier did not specify the origin of traces of highly enriched weapons-grade uranium found in his country by agency experts.
"Uhhh... I dunno. Somebody left them there... Oh. We said that before, did we?"
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has called that discovery the most troubling aspect of Tehran’s nuclear activities, and diplomats recently said that Iran was expected to explain the origin of those traces. ElBaradei suggested Thursday he expected the dossier to contain that information, linking it to IAEA efforts to verify Iranian assertions its nuclear programs are peaceful. "We have asked ... to know the origin of the equipment," he said. "I was assured that the report I got today is a comprehensive and accurate declaration."
"But if it isn’t, no problem. We’re the IAEA."
The United States accuses Iran of running a weapons program and points to the discovery of highly enriched uranium as strong evidence of such activity. Iran insists the traces, found in environmental samples, were inadvertently imported on equipment meant to generate electricity and says it does not know where the equipment originated because it was purchased through third parties.
"It’s a mystery to us!"
When asked Thursday if the dossier specified where the equipment came from, Salehi repeated that argument, suggesting that the information was missing. "How can you give the (equipment’s) origin ... if you have taken it from the intermediaries on the foreign market?" Salehi said. But earlier, after meeting with ElBaradei, Salehi said the dossier answers all "open questions" about Iran’s nuclear programs. "We have submitted a report fully disclosing all our past activities in the nuclear field," he said.
Brazen, isn’t he?
The IAEA has said traces of highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium were found on centrifuges at a plant in Natanz, about 300 miles south of Tehran. Minute quantities of the substance also were found at the Kalay-e Electric Co., just west of Tehran. An agency report also noted tests by Iran that experts say make little sense unless the country was pursuing nuclear weapons. Diplomats familiar with the situation said any failure by Tehran to clear up concerns about the weapons-grade uranium would damage its case ahead of a Nov. 20 meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors. If the board finds that suspicions remain about a possible weapons program, it could find Iran in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That would mean U.N. Security Council involvement and possible international sanctions.
Except the French have already said that there won’t be any sanctions.
To verify Tehran’s claim about the origin of the uranium, the IAEA needs to match traces found in Iran to isotope samples from the country from which the contaminated equipment allegedly came. If the samples do not match, arguments by the United States and its allies that Iran enriched the uranium as part of an arms program would be strengthened. Diplomats have told AP that Pakistan is the most likely country of origin for the centrifuges. But that nuclear power is not a member of the nonproliferation treaty and does not have to cooperate with the IAEA.
Not withstanding the fact they’re allies and all, ya know.
Iran previously insisted it would continue enriching uranium to non-weapons levels. But on Tuesday, Iran told the foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France it would suspend uranium enrichment and sign a protocol allowing spot checks of its nuclear programs. ElBaradei said Thursday he was expecting a letter "in the next few days ... agreeing to the conclusion" of the additional protocol.
Thus providing the French the cover to veto any resolution regarding sanctions from the UN.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/24/2003 12:39:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Iran is really starting to sound familiar....
Posted by: Charles || 10/24/2003 11:46 Comments || Top||

#2  This agreement is bogus. Iran will only "suspend" enrichment; it reserves the right to resume. In interview in Le Monde, an Iranian honcho was asked directly about this loophole and didn't answer the question, just ran around it talking about past injustices, etc, from West...

haven't we seen this precedent set by Clinton-N. Korean '94 agreement? Let's not be dupes to Iranians or Weasels. History has shown us the result of such head-in-the-sand policies.
Posted by: michael || 10/24/2003 12:31 Comments || Top||

#3  The logical next step is to blanket the country with inspection personnel, with an eye toward unannounced checks. The first instance of obstruction, should it happen, would be a good indication that something else is going on.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/24/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Someone once said "Trust but verify." Still wise words.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 10/24/2003 17:12 Comments || Top||

#5  I am sure they are developing nukes, but I am resonably sure that they will not threaten the US forces with the Nukes. I am willing to play chicken with them while this plays out. Already the hard-liners are protesting that the governement signed the protocol. It will be intersting to see how the Iranian government assuages its peoples pride without letting on that they still intend to develop nukes.

Wonder how the Iraian Nobel Laureate feels about Iran's efforts to develop nukes.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/24/2003 18:20 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2003-10-24
  Residents foil bomb plot in Baghdad burb
Thu 2003-10-23
  Sudan refuses to close down Hamas and Islamic Jihad offices
Wed 2003-10-22
  1 killed, 2 critical in premature Nablus car boom
Tue 2003-10-21
  Iran agrees to UN nuke inspectors
Mon 2003-10-20
  Five helizaps in Gaza
Sun 2003-10-19
  3 convicted for trying to kill Perv
Sat 2003-10-18
  Army kills Hamas man, two other Paleos in Gaza
Fri 2003-10-17
  Yasser declares state of emergency
Thu 2003-10-16
  Bali boom boy gets life
Wed 2003-10-15
  4 Americans murdered in Gaza
Tue 2003-10-14
  Turkish embassy in Baghdad boomed
Mon 2003-10-13
  Hassan Hattab deposed?
Sun 2003-10-12
  Al-Ghozi departs gene pool
Sat 2003-10-11
  Indonesian church torched, two killed by armed men
Fri 2003-10-10
  U.S. Nabs Fedayeen Saddam Leader

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