Hi there, !
Today Mon 10/27/2003 Sun 10/26/2003 Sun 10/26/2003 Sat 10/25/2003 Fri 10/24/2003 Thu 10/23/2003 Wed 10/22/2003 Archives
Rantburg
420478 articles and 1477408 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 39 articles and 200 comments as of 7:55.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area:                     Posting Order
Jordan charges 108 with terrorism
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
0 [273] 
3 00:00 Super Hose [325] 
2 00:00 Charles [267] 
6 00:00 Qaraqul [306] 
9 00:00 B [317] 
8 00:00 Fred [305] 
12 00:00 B [321] 
1 00:00 LC FOTSGreg [275] 
1 00:00 Old Patriot [268] 
5 00:00 Frank G [267] 
14 00:00 Jarhead [310] 
4 00:00 Dave [310] 
0 [276] 
0 [264] 
2 00:00 Frank G [269] 
5 00:00 Charles [261] 
1 00:00 .com [269] 
2 00:00 Super Hose [267] 
0 [257] 
2 00:00 .com [264] 
9 00:00 .com [265] 
18 00:00 .com [326] 
0 [259] 
1 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [257] 
0 [593] 
1 00:00 Frank G [255] 
2 00:00 .com [257] 
12 00:00 NotMikeMoore [383] 
13 00:00 Jarhead [321] 
4 00:00 Jarhead [334] 
5 00:00 Dave [309] 
3 00:00 Not Mike Moore [271] 
5 00:00 mojo [263] 
13 00:00 Aris Katsaris [343] 
0 [270] 
0 [261] 
12 00:00 Old Patriot [262] 
2 00:00 Raj [272] 
23 00:00 .com [329] 
-Short Attention Span Theater-
Multi-culturalism at its Finest
From Mark Steyn:

EFL - read the whole thing:

In August, in Sydney, the pack leader of a group of Lebanese Muslim gang-rapists was sentenced to 55 years in gaol. I suppose I ought to say “Lebanese-Australian” Muslim gang-rapists, since the accused were Australian citizens. But, identity-wise, the rambunctious young lads considered themselves heavy on the Lebanese, light on the Australian. During their gang rapes, the lucky lady would be told she was about to be “fucked Leb style” and that she deserved it because she was an “Australian pig”.
But, inevitably, it’s the heavy sentence that’s “controversial”. After September 11th, Americans were advised to ask themselves, “Why do they hate us?” Now Australians need to ask themselves, “Why do they rape us?” As Monroe Reimers put it on the letters page of The Sydney Morning Herald:

As terrible as the crime was, we must not confuse justice with revenge. We need answers. Where has this hatred come from? How have we contributed to it? Perhaps it’s time to take a good hard look at the racism by exclusion practised with such a vengeance by our community and cultural institutions.

Indeed. Many’s the time, labouring under the burden of some or other ghastly government policy, I’ve thought of pinning some gal down and sodomising her while 14 of my pals look on and await their turn. But I fear in my case the Monroe Reimers of the world would be rather less eager to search for “root causes”. Gang rape as a legitimate expression of the campaign for social justice is a privilege reserved only unto a few.

......

Once upon a time we knew what to do. A British district officer, coming upon a scene of suttee, was told by the locals that in Hindu culture it was the custom to cremate a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre. He replied that in British culture it was the custom to hang chaps who did that sort of thing. There are many great things about India – curry, pyjamas, sitars, software engineers – but suttee was not one of them. What a pity we’re no longer capable of being “judgmental” and “discriminating”.

......

Islam For All approvingly reported the other day that, at present demographic rates, in 20 years’ time the majority of Holland’s children (the population under 18) will be Muslim. It will be the first Islamic country in western Europe since the loss of Spain. Europe is the colony now.

Or as Charles Johnson of the Little Green Footballs website drolly suggested: “Maybe we should start a betting pool: which European country will be the first to institute shari’a?”


Gaul, without a doubt - and Fred? I still loathe chickens.
Posted by: mercutio || 10/25/2003 6:27:04 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [317 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Here's where many (some? most? your Aunt Harriet?) Merikans certainly differ with the other Western countries: the topic is Crime and Punishment. Not crime and rehab, or crime and color TV, or crime and a kickass Law Library, or crime and "the Loaf" - Crime and Punishment. Y'know, where it's not like a summer camp for Advanced B&E, it's actually an unhappy experience.

If the "I am so much holier than thou my feet don't get wet when I walk on water" types want to pretend that it's revenge and racism and that they are the true arbiters of justice and tut-tut over cocktails, then they will reap what they are sewing: brutal recidivism - and decay. I pity Anon1 and the rest of our Aussie friends.

I'm going to cover my butt:
$10 on the Nederlanders and $10 on zee Pfrench.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 19:13 Comments || Top||

#2  The rates of gang rape seem awful high in the moslem communities in Westen countries. I don't know if that has always been a sport in all ghettos or whether this is something particular to Islamic immigrants. Maybe allowing the kids to go out on dates would encourge the guys to learn to treat women as people. It would probably just increase the rate of date rape.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:25 Comments || Top||

#3  I'd say it's mainly 2 things (prolly much more to it):

1) In Islam, any female who isn't "properly" covered can be treated with contempt - as a whore. These Muslim gangs just use that as an excuse. Some have realized that the cops aren't coming, so the pretense seems to be falling away - they're just "wilding" - the term used by those asshats in the Central Park jogger rape - because they can get away with it.

2) As for the cops not coming... It's a Fort Apache thing... The "satellite ghettos" of not-quite-so-Gay Paree, for example, are isolated and dominated - something out of the futuristic nightmares (A Clockwork Orange - Malcom McDowell's parent's apt, for example) - perfect for local gangs. Probably similar to the "projects" housing in some major US cities.

That's my take from everything I've read, anyway.

So let's hear it for Liberal social-engineering via publicly-funded / subsidized housing policies!
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 20:48 Comments || Top||

#4  sounds like a good campaign for NOW to undertake: energize French, Norwegian, etc. women to take back their society....but no, they'd rather attack Bush...the irony is immeasurable
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 21:06 Comments || Top||

#5  .com I think you're right--but as a student at a state university in the Midwest in the 70's I found it humorous that the "ragheads" always were dating the fat girls
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 22:26 Comments || Top||

#6  As terrible as the crime was, we must not confuse justice with revenge.

Ah, revenge is an indivisible part of justice and what exactly is wrong with that? If it isn't part of justice, why bother with a trial and imprisonment? Why bother with doing anything about crime, it's just revenge afterall.
Posted by: Jabba the Nutt || 10/25/2003 23:04 Comments || Top||

#7  Frank G "they'd rather attack Bush" the irony is you are whining about the man who will be the best financed candidate in American history since he's paid off all the special interests--Oil, pharma etc--he'll be re-elected by the sheeple--don't worry--but don't even try to play him as a "victim"
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 23:47 Comments || Top||

#8  “Why do they rape us?”
What a pc dumb-ass.I guess Mz.Reimers is a propponet of the"I raped her cause she was wearing a halter top"defense.Reminds of the idiots who excuse a crime saying"It is not his fault,your Honor.He is the product of a poor,disenfranchised home.His daddy beat him and his Mamma din't love him".What a load.
Bet she would be screaming for a little revenge if she was on the recieving end of 14 depraved punks?

Could it possably be because these ass-wipes are taught at an early age that women are chattel.
Anon1,what is happening to the other rapists(this leaders"followers")? Do the get a pass on gang rape?

NMM,I see 2"Sheeple" here the punks who followed the head-punk,and you.You are the one controlled by the touchy,feely,"Can't we all just get along" Liberial Elit.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/26/2003 7:52 Comments || Top||

#9  NMM, for your sake, I hope you are still in your teen years. It's ok to be such an idiot then.
Posted by: B || 10/26/2003 8:07 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
Why We Fight: There she is..... Miss Afghanistan
Miss Afghanistan Vida Samadzai Click headline to view an actual picture, lest your imagination get away from youwalks during the presentation of the 60 candidates for Miss Earth 2003 International Beauty Pageant in Manila on October 23, 2003. The 25-year-old Kabul born beauty left Afghanistan in 1996 to live in California. Samadzai who is taking up international business at University Cal State Fullerton plans to visit Kabul soon. Miss Earth coronation night will be held on November 9

One good example is worth a thousand theories

Posted by: Frank Martin || 10/25/2003 6:34:47 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Lass that launched a thousand Fatwas.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/25/2003 19:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Besides the FATWAs She's Purty.

Dorf
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/25/2003 19:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Now she's going to be a target of the Taliban.
Posted by: Charles || 10/25/2003 20:13 Comments || Top||

#4  yeah but Miss Australia kicks her butt (my office peers concurred with me on this - even the camel toe experts) Wow!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 21:24 Comments || Top||

#5  Keep your camel toe peepers to yourself. I prefer cut-offs.
Posted by: Daisy Dukai || 10/25/2003 22:40 Comments || Top||

#6  why you are concerned?? Seems as she is winning from your sister
Posted by: Qaraqul || 10/30/2003 2:52 Comments || Top||


Karzai to clip commanders' wings
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to sack two northern commanders and several key officials in a bid to extend his own authority beyond capital Kabul. The shake-up, the most extensive since Karzai assumed leadership in 2001, affects Ustad Atta Mohammad and General Abdul Rashid Dostum, besides governors and police chiefs of four provinces loyal to them. Atta is the commander of a military corps while Dostum has been serving as Karzai's adviser in security and military affairs. The revamp follows a security meeting earlier this week in Kabul and intense fighting between Atta and Dostum's supporters in the north earlier this month. Karzai faces the dual challenge of controlling military commanders allied with him and countering the threat posed by regrouping Taliban fighters.
Take the one and put them in charge of rooting out the other...
Atta said he and Dostum would be given new positions in the central government after the shake-up. "We will be moved to Kabul. We will be based in Kabul, but it is not yet clear what positions we will be given," he said. The governors and police chiefs of Sari Pul, Balkh, Samangan and Jszjan provinces may also be given new positions. Though Atta welcomed the impending revamp, Dostum's reaction is not yet known. Despite being on the side of Karzai, Atta and Dostum run their own private armies and fight intermittently among themselves.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 13:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Karzai to Clip Commanders Wings

This is very similar to the methods used by Tyson at their Chicken stickin' factories. But the warlord Colonel Hu-San Dars probably knows more.

Sorry Fred. Couldn't resist.
Posted by: Penguin || 10/25/2003 18:04 Comments || Top||

#2  It may not be in the US's interest to have Karzai ruling all of Afghanistan. In fact, if Karzai actually holds sway in all of Afghanistan, this will be the first time in history that Afghanistan has ever had a central government will more than a nominal hold over the provinces. My impression of Karzai is that he is a smooth talker, but no friend of America. It's better if there is a balance of power among the various factions within the country. Journalists have taken to calling the leaders of these factions warlords, but that's a lot like calling Karzai an American puppet - both characterizations are off the mark. If power becomes truly centralized in Afghanistan, the result may be closer to what has happened in Africa - the tribe in power starts massacring the losers.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/25/2003 18:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Dostun is a survivor and a butcher. I don't know anything about the other guy, but he can't be any Boy Scout either. I wouldn't be surpsied if one moves his forces into Tajikistan and the other into Uzbekistan.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Comrade Dostum wasn't it at one time, but of course he's a good muslim now (well he reduces his whisky intake during ramadan - it's the thought that counts...) A former ally of Hekmatyar too & a man who found a rather novel use for the humble T-55. He was re-branded as a staunch foe of the fundies during the Afghan campaign, guess no one thought to ask Ismail Khan what side Dostum was on when thr Talibs attacked Herat...
Posted by: Dave || 10/26/2003 17:58 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Yemen to free 150 repentant Al Qaida suspects
"We're sorry. Can we go home now?"
Judge Hamoud A Hetar, member of Yemen's Supreme Court, said on Thursday that 150 detained on suspicion of belonging to Al Qaida would be released during the upcoming Ramadan according to directives of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"Have a nice holiday, boys! See you later!"
"The 150 men are those who have already declared their repentance and their rejection of all forms of violence and extremism, and they have not been involved in punishable acts," said Al Hetar who is also the chairman of the committee in charge of conducting dialogue with extremists in jails.
"Who? Us? No, no! Certainly not!"
He said the committee, made up of five religious scholars, is still holding dialogue sessions with a group of 18 extremists to persuade them to join the mainstream. He expected that the committee would receive more people of those who have willingly surrendered themselves to authorities after Hatat battle last June. Al Hetar confirmed that some 40 men, accused of having committed sabotage and terrorist acts such as the bombings of the American USS Cole (October 2000) and the French super tanker Limburg (October 2002), would be referred to trials. He did not set a date for the beginning of the trial.
Guess they weren't sorry enough...
Meanwhile, three wanted men were killed and three securitymen injured in a shootout on the outskirts of Sanaa. The spokesman said the other two men were arrested and would be referred to courts. The incident happened when security forces were chasing the group that is accused of making sabotage acts including murder, armed burglary, highway robbery, and car plundering.
"You guys're goin' to the calaboose, and you ain't comin' out 'til you say you're sorry!"
"How about the dead guys?"
"Guess they ain't gonna say they're sorry, are they?"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 13:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The 150 men are those who have already declared their repentance and their rejection of all forms of violence and extremism, and they have not been involved in punishable acts," said Al Hetar who is also the chairman of the committee in charge of conducting dialogue with extremists in jails.

Mr Hetar, I am from California and a part owner of the Golden Gate Bridge. Now I'd like to sell my stake in it, and I was wondering if you'd be game for an investment.....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/25/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Should make them wear GPS capable tracking collars for life.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:41 Comments || Top||


Kuwait pins big hopes on tourism
The 15th session of International Tourism Organisation was inaugurated by Chinese Prime Minister at a colourful ceremony. The UN deputy secretary general, ministers, ambassadors and heads of 143 international delegations have attended the ceremony that took place in the Chinese parliament complex. High-ranking officials of the tourism department in GCC countries were also present. Nabeela Mubarak Al-Anjari, assistant under secretary for tourism affairs at the ministry of information headed the Kuwaiti delegation. Al-Anjari underscored Kuwait's keenness on developing tourism in the country. She said that the country had worked out a comprehensive strategy for next twenty years to promote tourism.
"Honey, why don't we take our holiday in Kuwait? The sand's so lovely this time of year..."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kuwait should 'sell' one of its offshore islands to, say, Japan. Japan can then build hotels and casinos on the island, and offer discount fares from China, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The Kuwaitis thought OIL was profitable!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/25/2003 15:16 Comments || Top||

#2  The sand's so lovely this time of year..."

That's not funny. That's just damn mean. I wish I'd said it.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/25/2003 15:56 Comments || Top||

#3  Kuwait should 'sell' one of its offshore islands to, say, Japan.

Japan hell, sell it to Thailand. Now there is a population that knows how to party.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 18:01 Comments || Top||

#4  I was in the gulf before Gulf War I. We made port calls in Bahrain and once in Dubai. We considered ourselves quite lucky as one ship had to make a liberty call in Kuwaitt. They said it sucked worse than Tyson chicken...
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:45 Comments || Top||

#5  Have the Kuwaitis considered that most people take vacations as a couple or family, and that usually includes women? And that most Western (and for that matter Japanese, South American, etc.) women aren't about to put on a burkha/abaya/bathrobe and walk two paces behind their "owner"? Have they really thought this through?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 10/25/2003 21:10 Comments || Top||

#6  Barb - The long answer is nope. The short answer is no. Clues are in very short supply, up there.

In fact, the local joke in Dhahran back during my first foray to Saoodiland in '92 was that the Kuwaitis, having an Arab sort of inferiority complex, try to out-Saudi the Saudis. The K's are very strange people, IMHO.

Imagine the weird tan-lines you'd get...
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 22:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Don't worry all the Kuwaiti hotels will soon be filled by lard-assed American businessman representing KBR and Halliburton--great staging area for them that's ascairt of Baghdad while they carve up the spoils the Bushies have for them and charge the US Gov $1.59/gal for gas that is available on the OPEN MARKET for $1
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 22:38 Comments || Top||

#8  NMM - Aw geez - did ya hafta go troll on us? Shit man, think up something with teeth and substance. You're getting too lame to even respond to. Last call.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 22:45 Comments || Top||

#9  Didn't listen to NPR today didja .com?

Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 22:58 Comments || Top||

#10  From Thailand? Are you that stupid?
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 23:10 Comments || Top||

#11  Sorry forgot you're too busy having fun w/15 y/o girls
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 23:17 Comments || Top||

#12  Pfuck you - I'm no pedo, you cocksucking asshole.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 23:20 Comments || Top||

#13  Now you're REALLY boring me .com start personal attacks--you get it right back-- so kiss me arse--and think twice about calling people stupid
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 23:52 Comments || Top||

#14  No sweat bitch, though I'd suggest you made it personal as your comment was obviously stupid and I don't think it remotely compares to calling someone a pedophile.

So I reiterate, fuck you. You're a troll and now you've made it very personal, indeed.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 23:57 Comments || Top||

#15  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn it was meant to be humorous but obviously you are so angry about something it escapes you--we've disagreed in the past but usually have been civil--I apologize if you took my comment the wrong way
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/26/2003 0:06 Comments || Top||

#16  "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn..."

Right, apology not accepted as it lacks any degree of sincerity. I am, indeed, civil if approached in a civil manner. You could contribute, as I've said before, but you occasionally insist on being a pointless troll posting second-hand drivel.

And now, in your lazy halfwit style, you've made it very personal and even fucked up a simple apology. I guess you just can't help yourself.

Fuck you.
Posted by: .com || 10/26/2003 0:19 Comments || Top||

#17  .com,

give NMM a break bro. You know he probably had a bad day working on the Kucinich campaign circuit....
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/26/2003 0:40 Comments || Top||

#18  Jarhead - Oh man, that would be depressing - everyday! LOL!
Posted by: .com || 10/26/2003 0:49 Comments || Top||


U.K. Warns of Attacks in Saudi Arabia
Britain’s Foreign Office said Friday it believed that "terrorists may be in the final phases of planning attacks" in Saudi Arabia.
Another "Green Alert"™ day!
The Foreign Office gave no details about its information, but said its warning against all but essential travel in Saudi Arabia remained in place. The Foreign Office said it had updated its travel advice, saying, "We advise British nationals against all but essential travel to Saudi Arabia. We believe that terrorists may be in the final phases of planning attacks." A statement posted on the department’s Web site advised travelers to make sure they had confidence in their security arrangements and that visitors to military buildings should take special care. A U.S. counterterrorism official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American authorities were unaware of any recent intelligence that would lead to new alerts in Saudi Arabia. Instead, U.S. officials have received a steady stream of information in recent months suggesting al-Qaida operatives in the kingdom were close to mounting an attack.
Feeling different parts of the elephant?
The FBI urged extra vigilance for possible terror attacks and violence against Muslims during the upcoming Islamic holy month of Ramadan. In its weekly bulletin to 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies, the FBI says it has no credible information that an attack is planned by al-Qaida or any other terror group during the period of fasting and reflection that begins next week. But attacks overseas have been timed in the past to coincide with symbolic dates, the FBI says, adding that "the possibility of such an attack in the United States cannot be discounted."
The Islamists have as many symbolic dates as they have holy places.
On Thursday, Australia warned that another terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia "may be in the final stages of planning" and urged its citizens to avoid going there. The Australian government did not elaborate but it also authorized families of Australian Embassy staff to leave Riyadh, the Saudi capital. The official Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday that the country had arrested 600 people suspected of having al-Qaida links. The Saudi ambassador to London, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said in London on Wednesday that more than 400 of those suspects remained in custody.
Hopefully being introduced to truncheons.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 1:22:39 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [329 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Islamists have as many symbolic dates as they have holy places.

And your point is??? The Christian tradition I grew up in also has both holy days and holy places.

If the war on terror disintegrates into a war on any sincerely held religion, it will ultimately be as pernicious and dangerous to our society as bombs going off in our streets.

It's a separate matter that some Muslims have been taught to hate in the name of their religion. And yes, I've read the Quuran and some of the other tradition, it's not one I agree with and yes, it does provide a rationale for violence and oppression. But let's continue to use high-precision weapons in the fight against Islamic terror, okay? I object to attacks that are likely to inflict substantial collateral damage to my own religious tradition.
Posted by: rkb || 10/25/2003 6:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Speaking of holy dates, ramadan is usually a bloody month in Algeria, as this fasting time is seen as especially favorable for jihad (this doesn't stop muslim leaders from urging pause for, let's say, US afghan aerial campaign). Note that mobs of french muslim youths partially use its ending as an excuse for random acts of vandalism (this is especially true in some Lyon areas, such as the Part-Dieu train station, which has seen its part of ransacking; one such incident was shown on tv from surveillance cam in 1998 I think).
Christian end of the year is also seen as interesting for jihadists, and european security forces are working overtime when christmas nears : IIRC 1999 plot against Strasbourg cathedral, "millennium bombings" plot, planned (chemical? a NBC suit was seized) attacks against russian interests in Paris last year, plus churches bombings in Indonesia 1999/2000?,... Respect for other religion is not always two-way.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/25/2003 7:28 Comments || Top||

#3  rkb,it seems all a Muslem has to do is walk out into an empty field and that field becomes Holy.
Seeing as every act of terror commited by a Muslem terrorist is done in the name of Islam makes this a religious war,even though we do not see it this way.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/25/2003 7:37 Comments || Top||

#4  I agree -- war has been declared on us in the name of Islam.

I simply took exception to the tone of Steve's comments which seemed to me to dismiss the idea of holy days or holy places of any kind. The French / German secular model is not one I want to embrace.
Posted by: rkb || 10/25/2003 8:36 Comments || Top||

#5  I got $19 that sez Raptors right.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/25/2003 8:44 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm with Raptor and Steve - Islamic Holy Days! stock up on 'splosives and AK ammo! what a load of crap. They defile Hindu, Jewish and Christian holy sites (As a Catholic - I guess the Paleos pissing in the Church during the standoff last year allows me to kill as many muslims as I wish using the Islamic Logic™?) yet whine and seethe over any real or imagined slight.
I say F*&k 'em, grow up, quit beating your women, join the modern world, get an education, and quitcher bitching and then they might get an ounce of respect. Until then they get what they deserve
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 8:55 Comments || Top||

#7  It's true that Orthodox and Catholic holy days, saints' days, and feast days are frequent, but the Orthodox and Catholic fedayeen seem to have found other ways to paradise than to kill babies.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/25/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#8  RKB, "The French/German secular model ?
Unless it's changed--France and Germany shut down for religious holidays like Aug 15th--Ascension and a host of other Catholic Holy Days certainly not recognized in the US
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 10/25/2003 11:34 Comments || Top||

#9  I don't have a problem with the Saudis asking guests of their country to respect Ramadan. Our culture has become degraded by a collective attitude of not paying attention to holidays that are not translated into a day off from work.

I see a real tendancy for days like Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day to be celebrated by loafing. We take the kids to a parade on Memorial Day each year and spend summer vacation touring sites that are important to our countries heritage.

As a Catholic, I don't do much with feast days. Probably should. I certainly respect the Muslims that participate in Rammadan with devotion. I have as little respect for moslems that bend the observance of Ramadan into a scam as I have for slackers in the States. For those who warp a religious holiday into a jihadi event, hopefully someone will roast their stomachs in hell. Fie on their mustaches to boot.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 12:04 Comments || Top||

#10  rkb, I'm not attacking Islam for their holy days, I'm after Islamists and Islamofascists who hide behind the skirts of their religion with their "holy place this" and "holy day that". I'm a Catholic and I manage not to kill infidels on any day, holy or not.

I suspect we're in violent agreement -- just lower that AK in yer hand, 'k?
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||

#11  just lower that AK in yer hand, 'k?

Hey, I don't shoot no stinkin' AK-47!! My weapon of choice is a SigSauer 229 or occasionally a Beretta 92F. 9mm semi auto handgun all the way.

Yes, I'm one of those *armed* and bellicose women.
Posted by: rkb || 10/25/2003 14:50 Comments || Top||

#12  Personally, I prefer something heavy, like the old M1, or an SK, using 7.62 military rounds. With a heavy weapon, once you run out of bullets, you can use it as a club until it gets too slippery to hold on to, then you throw the damned thing. Of course, my Dad said that at Bastogne, his favorite weapon was a 155MM howitzer, at zero elevation and zero deflection, fired from 75 feet away. The Germans in their Panzers didn't like it too much, but you can't have everything.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/25/2003 15:20 Comments || Top||

#13  It's Rantburg, so...

[rant]
"I don't have a problem with the Saudis asking guests of their country to respect Ramadan."
Obviously, none of you has been a "guest" in lovely Saudi Arabia during Ramadan. Do you realize you can't have a Coke, a cup of coffee, or even a fucking drink of water during daylight for a fucking month? All Day Long. Yet you are still required to work a full day while they are sleeping off last night's hedonism - and getting paid full time, though money's not the point... the absurdity and stupidity and arrogance is the point.

Challenge: Try it for one week. Just one. Then report back with the same blase air.

What does not eating or drinking or smoking or fornicating during daylight hours accomplish? Zip. For a Muslim it's supposed to cleanse something or make one holy or some kind of drivel. A special facial expression or secret handshake would have the same effect. But you aren't a Muslim - so why include YOU? Cuz they'd defect in droves, otherwise. This is simple human control crap. Period.

Sorry, but it really REALLY SUCKS. I can draw you a few scenarios where you would squeal, too. It's not hard, unless you lack imagination and forget how much LUCK is involved in your good fortune to be born free and raised to be semi-tolerant. Your good intelligence completed that last bit, not your religion. I had a few Catholic friends growing up - and they had some seriously harsh shit to say. I guess you guys have long-ago papered over the daily doses of pain and constant public humiliation -- or were fortunate enough that you weren't attending a Catholic school -- and, of course, the additional extra-special bonus good fortune that it wasn't a religious state.
[/rant]

Just a few thoughts to flesh it out and balance the scales.

Regards the actual thread topic, I prefer the Colt 45 ACP 1911. :)
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 17:19 Comments || Top||

#14  .com, I never left the pier in Jeda - didn't want to, we were just there to gas up. Did spend several days or weeks of Ramadan in Bahrain. Bahrain wasn't too bad during Ramadan in the 1990 or so, still it was no Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street. I have heard that Jeda is more like Bahrain than Riyad with respect to total freeking bizzaro austerity. Is that correct?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:51 Comments || Top||

#15  Sorry, forgot - I am partial to 5 inch 54 cal, usually with an ilum round follwed by lots of HE.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:54 Comments || Top||

#16  Regards the actual thread topic, I prefer the Colt 45 ACP 1911. :)

A classic. My hands are a bit too small to control it well after 20 or 30 rounds, tho, so I stick to the 9mms.
Posted by: rkb || 10/25/2003 20:54 Comments || Top||

#17  SH - I haven't been there, myself. You don't need "papers" (a letter with stamp, etc. from Immigration) anymore to cross province broders (you did back in early 90's), but I didn't get the chance to check it out this trip... work... sleep... work...

I wanted to see, since it has the only bona-fide resort areas with great beaches and mountains complete with apes and cool weather at altitude, but no joy. It seems to be a bit wilder than Dhahran, but that's where the Mutawas have been so active recently, too, for about the last 2-3 yrs. I guess it must be a bit looser to get their attention, but no personal knowledge.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 22:24 Comments || Top||

#18  .com I feel your pain--but didn't you also mention that you made a shitload of money being "victimized" by these Wahhabi constraints while stuck in that Hell-hole--and went there of your own free will? If it sucked--you were well compensated by your American corporate masters so I would think you shouldn't complain/whine as a loyal employee
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 22:46 Comments || Top||

#19  NMM - You are truly a classic ptool dumbass.

I wasn't working for any American Corporate Master, shithead, I was an independent contractor - both trips.

As for making a shitload of money - you don't. The reason you can save money there is that there is damned little to spend it on and the tax break you get since you enjoy none of the goodies (freedom, infrastructure, police who actually do their jobs, well-stocked supermarkets, T&A cable TV, etc.) that anti-American fatass self-hating gutless dickwads like you take for granted.

I was making LESS in fact, but from the first trip I knew I'd be able to save money if I was willing to live in a shithole apartment and not waste it.

I stayed longer than 1 year for one reason only:
to try to make up for the 60% loss as my IRA custodians frittered away my Rollover 401K in my first year out of country.

If you knew 1 percent of what you think you know, you'd be dangerous. As it is, you're just another laughable asshole full of 2nd and 3rd hand BS.

You're a total moron.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 23:08 Comments || Top||

#20  So .com you were stupid enough to get paid on a 1099 while your Republican friends screwed up your IRA--fund managers are sure as hell not Democrats----so you were the dumbass tool that got screwed by your own! I love irony--and if you had a clue or loved your country you'd be here paying taxes to support your war-mongering president like the rest of us
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 23:57 Comments || Top||

#21  Since I was self-employed for 17 of the last 25 years, I've paid more taxes out of my pocket than you probably ever will. I paid the max on Soc Sec (and since self-employed, it was 150% to cover for no employer) for the whole 17 yrs. I'm glad to say I've helped in that regard to rid the world of the Taliban and Saddam.

You, on the other hand, would probably like to see them back, as your post implies. Fits you to a "T", too.

You truly are a total moron who hasn't had an original thought in years.

I don't know the politics of the fund managers - your knee-jerk reaction assumption that they are Pubs is rather telling. Only an idiot would make it, in fact. You really are a ptool and a pfool.

Now toddle off to NaziMedia for a reload. Or is your knee too tired? Regardless, piss off, halfwit.
Posted by: .com || 10/26/2003 0:06 Comments || Top||

#22  Actually I personally know fund managers and they are all GOP players--have never met a Democrat on Wall St
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/26/2003 0:12 Comments || Top||

#23  So that's a wrap, huh? The expert Not Mike Moore who sputters drivel finally writes a complete coherent sentence and it's based on personal knowledge? [palpitations]

I'd give you kudos, if you could follow this pattern regularly - and hadn't made me a personal enemy this fine day.
Posted by: .com || 10/26/2003 0:24 Comments || Top||


Britain
Interview with Tony Blair’s foreign policy guru
A glimpse into the mindset of a tranzi mastermind. Opinion, not news, but important as this man has Blair and the EU’s ear. Slightly EFL.
If there is one man who can explain why Tony Blair went to war in Iraq, sent troops to Afghanistan and wants to join the euro, it is a tall, cultured man in Brussels called Robert Cooper. He is the foreign policy guru who, on secondment to No 10 in the years before the September 11 attacks, influenced much of the Prime Minister’s thinking on international affairs. It was also Mr Cooper who, five years ago, persuaded Mr Blair to push for a European military capability. Then, presciently, in the months before the World Trade Center attack, he started badgering the Prime Minister to think seriously about the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

When the war on terrorism began, he was made Britain’s special representative on Afghanistan. Later, with military action against Iraq looming, he argued for a new form of imperialism, based not on territory but on western values such as human rights, democracy and Coca-Cola. Now he has been posted to Brussels as right-hand man to Javier Solana, Europe’s foreign and security policy supremo. But he retains close links with Downing Street, where his ideas are held in great respect. In Whitehall and beyond, he is valued for his independence of mind. Unusually for a civil servant, he has a licence to print as well as to think: next week he is publishing a book, The Breaking of Nations, that sets out his ideas.

Some are horrified by his influence on Mr Blair; Tam Dalyell, the Left-wing Labour MP, once described him as a maniac. But the Prime Minister greatly values his ability to "think out of the box". "I am an idealist," he says, as he stride towards a Brussels cafe. "I still have my Sixties instincts. I do not understand why people would want to fight each other - or sometimes why they would not."
Unusually, I’m with Tam - he’s a fool or a maniac.

Snip - some twaddle about "disaffected people in the world", Europe’s 9-11 being inevitable, and how Cooper "was astute enough to see the danger that the power vacuum in Afghanistan posed to the wider world." (Well, he certainly earned his Xmas bonus with that revelation.)

"You stop [a European 9-11] by spreading civilisation, by creating good government. We have to try to put ourselves into the situation where there has been another major terrorist incident - using biological weapons in a European city, for example. Imagine what you might do, then do it in advance."
Like nuke Tehran? I think he means: invade Iraq.

Although he rejects the analysis that there is a "clash of civilisations" between Christianity and Islam, he thinks the West has still not sufficiently understood the new threat. "In the Cold War, we were dealing with a civilisation which was very similar to ours. The people we are dealing with now are much more foreign. Maybe we need more anthropologists."
Patronising, evasive and advocating an ludicrously inappropriate waste of taxpayers’ money: you’d never guess this was a flower-powered civil servant.

The Cooper theory is that there are three types of country: pre-modern, defined by chaos and lack of state control, such as pre-war Afghanistan; the modern nation state within clear boundaries, such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq; and post-modern, in which the nation state is collapsing into a bigger order - the European Union for example.
The "Cooper theory" blends the blatantly obvious with the fantastic. The "collapse of nation states into a bigger order" has happened before, many times. Never worked satisfactorily where people were anything like as diverse as those of the EU.

The post-modern world, which prefers diplomacy to war, must realise that pre-modern countries are dangerous not because they are strong but because they are so weak that they can become ciphers for people such as Osama bin Laden. It must also understand that the modern and pre-modern worlds operate in different ways. "You cannot treat people like Saddam Hussein the way you treat your neighbours," Mr Cooper says. "If we have a problem with France and Germany, we negotiate. But there are leaders you cannot negotiate with."
Riiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhhhht. So let me get this straight - Bush and Chirac must be bosom buddies communicating on the same wavelength, whereas Chirac and Saddam must have regarded each other as coming from Venus and Mars, respectively. No negotiating possible there, then.
He could be right about the post-modern state. But he's making the assumption that France is in fact a post-modern state by his definition. Iceland, Denmark, and Germany might be, but France demonstrably isn't...
He argues that the attack on Iraq was justified to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups. He still thinks that such weapons may be found. Even if they are not, he says, "I find it difficult to regard the fall of Saddam as a bad thing".
Well he gets 1 point for Basic Rationalizing Abilities.

As an aside, Mr Cooper has an interesting theory that it is particularly difficult for oil-rich countries to become democracies. "If you have a state that does not have to raise taxes because the money flows out of the ground, it can survive without democracy."
Because such countries are ruled by thug law, and always have been. I’m sorry, is there something profound to this? What about Venezuela?
Oil is a sticky substance. It's difficult to keep it off the fingers, which also become sticky. There's a lot of money to be made being the autocrat of an oil-rich nation...

It was the realisation that the chaos of the pre-modern world could so easily destroy the order of the post-modern one that prompted Mr Cooper to develop his ideas about a new imperialism. "Decolonisation left the world with a lot of weak states," he says. "For a while they lived on the capital that had been left behind then survived because the Cold War gave the superpowers a reason to prop them up. But now we have seen states collapse and in Afghanistan we saw how dangerous that can be. If you want to avoid havens for terrorists, you have to bring these countries back under control."
Wow, imperialism. Isn’t only what bad Yankees do?

Although he appears to share some of the American neo-conservative views, he rejects the idea that there is an "axis of evil" that must be neutralised one country at a time. Iran and North Korea should be dealt with in different ways, he says.
Saying things like this, is really impressive in Brussels, apparently.
The fact that they're members of the Axis of Evil doesn't mean they have to be dealt with in the same manner. It simply means they're evil and have to be dealt with. They could even be dealt with diplomatically and politically. Stop being evil, and you're no longer a part of the axis, are you?
Mr Cooper believes that cost will limit the number of imperial adventures. "In the old days, the imperialists used to exploit people; now they pay for them. The temptations of imperialism are very limited as a result."
The forriners are too expensive to enslave nowadays, do you mean?! WTF is all this imperialism stuff?!

Mr Cooper is concerned by America’s global dominance. "I would be more comfortable in a world where power was less concentrated," he says.
And this is why...he wants the collapse of nation states and a pan-continental European government. Mad.
It doesn't sound like he's thought that through. We used to have a world in which power was less concentrated. Competition between nation states is what gave rise to Holy Alliances and Axes. We fought two world wars and a cold war because power was less concentrated. What he's actually worried about is that the United States will misuse its power. If you buy the America as World Bully Boy theory, he could be right. If you buy the theory that our own post-modern currents are pushing us toward the same kind of world view as Europe and Canada, he's wrong. Left to its own devices, I think we'd have seen more of the Europe-Canada movement, rather than the raw projection of power we've seen in the past two years. Had Binny waited another ten years we might have been far enough down that road that our reaction wouldn't have been the same as it was in 2001 — big mistake on his part. The big mistake on Cooper's part is that his world view doesn't include enough Vandals and Visigoths and Avars and Huns...
Mr Blair, caught between Europe and America, is in an awkward position.
Blair holds European transnationalist/imperialist views, but respects the power of American authority, and the ability to change things for the better. Something Europe can’t. Trouble is, he doesn’t realise that this is not because America wants to change the world, only that American influence is a byproduct of her economic and political success. Europe, obssessed with ever increasing government and deliberate socialistic paternalism will never equal America.
Unless America goes down the same post-modern path, of course...
"He finds himself as the main advocate of Europe in the United States and that is unhealthy for him and it is unhealthy for the US. I think Blair is a European basically."
He’s one of us or one of them. Either/or. Fundamentally different. You cannot be a good European and pro-American. European federalism is all about opposition to the United States. That can’t be stated often enough.
Blair, I believe, has made the decision to take the U.S. at its word. Europe, under Chirac's leadership, won't do that. Chirac, in the same position as Bush, would be looking out for France's interests rather than an abstract good. Chirac, I am sure, regards Bush (along with those of us who share his opinions) as naive...
The transatlantic tensions over Iraq, Mr Cooper argues, can be explained by the fact that, as a post-modern concept (Post-Modernism? How passe!), the EU is based on multi-national negotiations and the rule of law, while the US, a modern state in his definition, sees the world in terms of power. That is why the Americans have less time for the United Nations than does Europe.
...the EU is based on multi-national negotiations and the rule of law. Bureaucracy, bureaucracy, government interference in the minutiae of daily life, and bureaucracy: there’s the EU. And the US - doesn’t respect the rule of law?
It's that individual liberty thing. It's a concept that's viewed with discomfort in Europe. You never know what people might do, y'know...
While the US would benefit from taking the rule of law, symbolised by the UN, more seriously, the EU also "needs to think a bit more in terms of power," he says. "We cannot just sit back and leave the rest of the world to America."
Because Europe has treated the world so well in the past. Can’t possibly let the world fall victim to the US — that would be terribly neglectful.

That is why he supports the idea of a European defence force as a support, rather than a rival, to Nato. The Americans are far from happy about the idea.
Because it’s not intended to support NATO. It’s intended to do the exact opposite.

Mr Cooper, foreign policy guru first in Britain and now in Europe, says with candour: "Influencing foreigners is really difficult."
Depends on how you do it, and whether those people want to hear lectures from an idealistic transnationalistic socialist, or someone else...

The Telegraph have a leader piece criticising Cooper in the same paper today. Here’s an excerpt:

"Like Mr Blair, he makes a fetish of the UN and of treaties, whether on nuclear proliferation, landmines or global warming. The two men see themselves as part of an internationalist tradition that, at its best, is a noble one. Yet it brings problems of its own. Without the nation-state, it is hard to see how governments and other organisations can be properly accountable. A world where well-meaning technocrats made the rules - whether through the UN, the EU, the International Court or whatever - would leave little space for democracy."

It’s charitable to refer to "well-meaning technocrats". History’s full of "well-meaning" authoritarians. Marx, Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini, Kim Jong-Il, Mao, Mohammed... and their "well-meaning", usually transnationalist, philosphies. It’s amazing how many people learn squat from history, and also from the stark realities of the world around them. Politics as religion.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/25/2003 8:00:13 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [343 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "We fought two world wars and a cold war because power was less concentrated. "

I thought that we had fought two world wars and a cold war because there existed tyrannical countries that wanted to bring the whole world under their control?

------

"The "collapse of nation states into a bigger order" has happened before, many times"

Almost never voluntarily, always with the force of guns.

"Never worked satisfactorily where people were anything like as diverse as those of the EU"

Or you could choose to say that it has never worked satisfactorily when it was done by the force of guns, and it has *always* worked satisfactorily when it was done voluntarily.

-------

"The fact that they're members of the Axis of Evil doesn't mean they have to be dealt with in the same manner. It simply means they're evil and have to be dealt with "

I thought it also meant that they belonged to some kind of "axis"? And though I have no difficulty seeing Iran and N.Korea belonging to the different ends of an elongated axis that goes from N.Korea and passes to China then Russia and reaches Iran, I do have difficulty seeing Iraq belonging to that same axis.

Now if al Sadr has his way, Iraq will definitely become part of that axis, but not under Saddam Hussein it wasn't.

"He’s one of us or one of them. "

Well it's difficult to be both a European and an American, as they are two different continents. Unless you have dual citizenship or something, which I don't think Blair does.

As for your twisted interpretations of what European federalism means, those are your own twisted interpretations alone.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/25/2003 10:39 Comments || Top||

#2  "Stop being evil, and you're no longer a part of the axis, are you?"

But Fred, where's the fun in that? Then you'd have to concentrate on making the citizens of your countries' lives better, and getting along with the neighbors rather than trying to subvert and destroy them....
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 11:56 Comments || Top||

#3  The UN is a collection of failed states and despots trying to leech the wealth from the civilized world while maintaining the slavery of their own people. That Europe views the UN as symbolic of the "rule of law" is a sad comment on what Europe REALLY thinks of the rule of law.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/25/2003 12:04 Comments || Top||

#4  We used to have a world in which power was less concentrated. Competition between nation states is what gave rise to Holy Alliances and Axes. We fought two world wars and a cold war because power was less concentrated.

I'd disagree with the presumption that a lack of concentration of power caused two world wars. I would argue that it was precisely 'concentration of power' that transformed the First World War from a regular Balkan bust-up to continent-wide slaughter. The concentration of power that was manifested to unprecedented proportions in the form of the pre-war alliances (in the form of mutual defence agreements) magnified the conflict to an unprecedented scale - it did precisely the opposite of halting conflict, it powered-up the conflict.

I thought that we had fought two world wars and a cold war because there existed tyrannical countries that wanted to bring the whole world under their control?

Do your homework, Aris. A single anarchist managed to trigger WWI because the European world had set itself up in two evenly balanced opposing camps. Few people saw the conflict coming. Happened 90 years ago. One hundred years ago the alliances were coalescing.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/25/2003 13:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Bulldog> I'd say that a single anarchist managed to trigger WWI, only because there already existed countries there eager to invade their neighbours at the slightest provocation...

Austria invaded Serbia and for what? The actions of a lone gunman, with no proof that the Serbian government itself was behind it? If it wasn't for this Austro-German imperialism, WWI wouldn't have happened.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/25/2003 17:34 Comments || Top||

#6  Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, in Bosnia. The suspicion (well founded, IIRC) was that the Serbian government was involved.

The point I am trying to make is that WWI resulted from a scenario which appeared stable - alliances which seemed capable of mutual destruction to an impartial observer (though of course each side was confident of its own assured success should war happen - I think that in 1914 every nation told itself that "it'll be over by Christmas") and therefore unlikely to declare war on one another. However, when the butterfly flapped its wings that June day in 1914, that bipolar world which seemed to consist of nothing more than two mirror images collections of powers propping against one another, began its slide down a slippery slope ending in military confrontation on all fronts and war of unimagined cruelty and destruction.

There was nothing at all fundametally different about the attitudes or ambitions of the Triple Alliance and her opponents in the German/Austro-Hungarian axis. They had constructed a bipolar world out of practical necessity arising from their aggressive and imperialistic behaviour. Today, it's the European federalists who advocate a division across the Atlantic, and they do it for no good reason. There isn't a need for a showdown between America and 'Europe', and to encourage one is to risk repeating the mistakes of the past. Maybe there won't be military confrontation between the US and Europe, but confrontation of one sort or another is guaranteed if Europe is steered in the direction advocated by "Old Europe".
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/25/2003 19:33 Comments || Top||

#7  "The suspicion (well founded, IIRC) was that the Serbian government was involved. "

And since when was it okay to invade nations based only on suspicions?

"Today, it's the European federalists who advocate a division across the Atlantic, and they do it for no good reason. "

No, it seems to me that it's American fanatics who advocate this division, and more divisions inside the continent as well. Don't you remember Rumsfeld's "Old Europe vs. New Europe"? Even Chirac at his worst hasn't said anything so breathtakingly stupid.

European federalists want unity inside the continent. And yes they want this continent to be a prosperous and powerful one. *Because* we know how horrible the alternative is.

But this is interpreted as a "division across the Atlantic" only by those who consider every single thing only by how it affects America. Only by those who believe that every single political movement is either an ideological ally or an ideological enemy of America.

Don't you remember the Estonian referendum and how it was the threat of Russia that was mentioned when debating entry into the EU? And I assure you that in Greek and Cypriot minds it's the threat of Turkey, not of America, that's in people's mind when an EU with defense capabilities is considered a good thing to have.

But people who think that America is the one and only point of interest in the globe, will keep on thinking this "pole" as a pole directed against America. And idiots like Chirac will keep on encouraging that logic with their rhetoric. And it couldn't be more misguided.

"There isn't a need for a showdown between America and 'Europe', and to encourage one is to risk repeating the mistakes of the past."

And who is encouraging it if not those who consider a powerful EU as a defacto enemy of America?

Why do you keep on translating "we want to be as powerful as you" into "we want to be your enemy"?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/25/2003 20:24 Comments || Top||

#8  Actually it was Serbian imperialism and Austrian reactionary behaviour.

Pity that Wilhem II didn't update the Russo-German Reinsurance Treaty negotiated under Bismarck, eh, Aris?


You could have the same effect as if Germany develops the bomb...European domination by Berlin.
Posted by: Brian || 10/25/2003 20:34 Comments || Top||

#9  Uh Aris--didn't Chirac basically tell the Eastern European wannabees to STFU? I'm sure being in Greece you're for a strong Europe to counter-balance American power--only because small politically insignificant countries in Europe wish/hope for the worst for the US--and I say this as a liberal Democrat--we're tired of your European perfidy and lack of gratitude--Fuck Europe
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 22:56 Comments || Top||

#10  NotMikeMoore> And haven't I repeatedly condemned Chirac's attitude? Haven't I called him despicable and an idiot and several other things?

So unless you disagree with me and you approve of the guy, what in the fucking hell is your point? Or is it general racism of the "Chirac is European, Chirac is bad, therefore all Europeans are bad" variety?

"Fuck Europe"

I'm sure that all those European nations (what were they, 20 different nations or so? Half the continent openly supporting you, and even countries that opposed you like Germany and Greece still allowing you to use their bases?)
that supported you in the War of the Iraq will be happy to see this *American* lack of gratitude -- the same lack of gratitude that we have seen towards Europe in their support at Afghanistan. The same lack of gratitude that I predicted long ago.

Because American ignoramuses always choose to remember the things that they want to remember; and they consistently forget all the rest.

"Fuck Europe", eh? Then why don't you tell all European troops to abandon both Afghanistan and Iraq? I'm sure you can do it alone, fighting wars on three and four fronts with no assistance whatsoever.

Brian> Yeah, we are all quaking in our boots for the fear that Berlin may get nukes. *rolls eyes* Still living 60 years in the past aren't you? Or is it 80?

And I can't claim to know nearly as much about WW1 as others of you here do, but I still don't see how Serb "imperialism" is to blame for a neighbouring country invading them because of an assasination commited by a lone nationalist.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/25/2003 23:14 Comments || Top||

#11  general racism against Europe--? Time to buy a clue Aris most people in America (for now) are Euro background--so the racism charge is laughable--but what about Chirac telling eastern Europe to STFU? If you truly don't see a mutual interest between Europe and the US in this battle--as an American liberal I'm soooo done with you people! It's that stupid Euro centric view of people like you who push Americans into the dumbass Republican point of view--whatever happened to pragmatism? LOL
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 23:28 Comments || Top||

#12  --Or is it general racism of the "Chirac is European, Chirac is bad, therefore all Europeans are bad" variety?--

How about Chiraq is phrench, cultural exception, you know?

The "old Europe/new Europe" comment was not stupid, it was insightful. Maybe you're too close to it and can't see it????

I also wouldn't call it general racism against Europe. We Americans may be ignorant on history over the millenia, but jeezus, it's 1930s-40s again, staring Europe in the face, and Europe can't see it.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/25/2003 23:59 Comments || Top||

#13  NotMikeMoore> "Time to buy a clue Aris most people in America (for now) are Euro background--so the racism charge is laughable--"

How naive of you. If you go back enough all humans are of African background but that hasn't stopped people from being racist against modern-day Africans, has it now? And most Bosnian Muslims were of Serb ethnic origin, but that didn't stop the Christian Serbs from massacring them just because. And Arabs and Israeli are both Semites, so no Arab could *ever* have racist hatred against the Jews.

Perhaps American enjoy making all those nitpicky distinctions between bigotries. We here, we call them all "racism", as they are all the exact same thing.

"but what about Chirac telling eastern Europe to STFU? "

Once again, what about it? I've condemned him already, what else do you want? Torch an effigy of him?

"The old Europe/new Europe comment was not stupid, it was insightful."

Oh, yes, how very insightful. If he'd included UK, Spain and Italy in the "old Europe", and countries like Belgium in the "new", it might have even been just a tiny bit accurate, though not very useful for propaganda purposes towards the illiterate historically and geographically.

"it's 1930s-40s again, staring Europe in the face, and Europe can't see it."

Oh yeah, I've heard that before. Saddam was a new Hitler and not attacking him would have meant the sure destruction of Western Civilisation. And hundreds of tons of WMDs are gonna be discovered any day now. Europeans just couldn't see these indisputable facts (the way that they couldn't see the connections between Saddam and 9/11) just because we were too blind to see them.

Whatever.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 10/26/2003 1:40 Comments || Top||


Europe
Aluminum Nuke Tube Businessman Trial Begins
From Deutsche Welle, EFL
The trial of a 57-year-old German business man accused of attempting to ship aluminum tubes to North Korea began on Wednesday in the southwestern German city of Stuttgart. The man, identified as Hans-Werner Truppel, the head of German company Optronic, is charged with trying to ship 214 tubes that prosecutors say were destined for the Stalinist country’s nuclear weapons program. The tubes were intercepted on a French freighter at the Egyptian port of Damietta en route to North Korea in April after French authorities received intelligence from the German secret service. Truppel is charged with breaching German arms export regulations along with two employees of a Hamburg-based shipping firm who sought to conceal the shipment by declaring that the tubes were for the Chinese aeronautics industry.
[
]
The case has already taken another dramatic turn after a report appeared in the German news magazine Der Spiegel claiming that a high-ranking North Korean diplomat, Yun Ho Jin, made contact with Optronic in the 1980’s. Jin was Pyongyang’s representative at the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the time.
[
]
Experts from the IAEA, the German Foreign Ministry and the German Federal Intelligence Service are expected to testify at the trial. A verdict is expected on Dec. 17. If found guilty, Truppel could face up to 15 years in prison for the sale of the tubes. German-made aluminum tubes are in high demand around the world. They are especially popular with countries pursuing nuclear weapons programs due to the fact the tubes are an integral component in high-precision equipment used in the enriching of uranium – a basic ingredient of nuclear bombs. It is believed that the apprehended tubes were heading for a facility where they were to be used in the building of gas ultra-centrifuges used in the process of enrichment.
[
]
Nuclear weapons experts say the gas ultra-centrifuges to be built with the tubes could have produced about 10 kilograms of enriched uranium within two years. North Korea said recently it had already produced enough weapons-grade plutonium for six atomic bombs by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/25/2003 7:17:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [325 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There is a great old viking movie starring Richard Widmark where some culture kills a few guys by placing them on the Iron Horse - a combination of roller coaster ending in an iron maiden. I would like for this guy to ride the horse.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:57 Comments || Top||

#2  The Long Ships?
Posted by: snellenr || 10/25/2003 21:25 Comments || Top||

#3  That's the one.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/26/2003 10:38 Comments || Top||


Terror Charges Dropped Against Swede
A Swedish judge ruled Friday that a 37-year-old man who once said he worked for Osama bin Laden could not be charged under the nation’s new terrorism law, but instead could be detained for two weeks for illegally possessing weapons.
"Told you not to keep the RPG in the house!"
Oussama Kassir was arrested in his Stockholm apartment Tuesday and prosecutors alleged he was conspiring to commit a terror act. Prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnstroem said police confiscated several weapons in Kassir’s apartment but she refused to elaborate. Before Friday’s hearing was closed to reporters, Kassir admitted having several illegal weapons in his apartment.
Which were ...
Judge Ann-Britt Jansson ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge Kassir under the terrorism law. That gives prosecutors two weeks to decide whether to charge Kassir for weapons possession.
Hmmm, lessee, he’s admitted to keeping illegal weapons, should we charge him? Hmmmm ...
Kassir was the first person arrested under a law enacted July 1 that applies harsher punishments for terror-related crimes. The law says any crime that seriously hurts a state or government institution can be considered a terrorist act.
The Swedish Patriot Act! Wonder when Alec Baldwin will be protesting?
Hilding Qvarnstroem would not say what types of terrorist acts authorities believed Kassir was planning or where he allegedly would carry them out. She also said the law’s definition of what constitutes a terrorist crime is unclear, which she believed contributed to the court’s decision. "It’s hard to tell where to draw the line," she said.
Killing people and blowing stuff up is a good place to start.
Kassir’s lawyer, Bengt Soederstroem, said he was not surprised the terrorism charges were dropped. "The material presented by the prosecutors was very thin," he said. Hilding Qvarnstroem said she did not know whether prosecutors would pursue allegations of terrorism against Kassir. Kassir was referred to, but not named or charged, in a U.S. federal indictment issued by a grand jury in Seattle in September 2002, U.S. law enforcement officials told the Associated Press. U.S. officials said there are no charges against Kassir, but he is of interest to them.
As in Gitmo, here you come!
That indictment accused James Ujaama of trying to set up an al-Qaida-linked terrorist training camp in Oregon. He pleaded guilty in April. Prosecutors allege that Ujaama showed a ranch to two alleged emissaries of Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical London cleric known for supporting Islamic terrorism, U.S. officials said. They said one of those was Kassir, who identified himself as being employed by bin Laden, officials said. The Lebanese-born Kassir moved to Sweden in 1984 and became a citizen in 1989. He spent several months in prison in 1998 for assaulting a police officer and possessing drugs.
Wotta solid citizen!
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 1:32:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Every country has a right to determine who can roam their streets freely. Hope the Swedes will forward this guy's fingerprints, retina images and a DNA sample so that the rest of us can keep him out of our countries.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 12:07 Comments || Top||

#2  "My apologies, Your Honor, but those weapons are merely an expression of my cultural heritage!"
Posted by: Raj || 10/25/2003 12:39 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
Anti-War protests today
Communists and other malcontents Anti-war protesters gathering in Washington, San Francisco
Protesters began converging on the nation’s capital Friday for what they hope will be the largest anti-war demonstration since the fall of Baghdad.
(Since Saddam was deposed)
Organizers predicted tens of thousands of people would turn out Saturday in Washington for a march and speeches calling for the removal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Thousands of demonstrators also were expected to flock to San Francisco at the same time for the largest protests there since April, when more than 10,000 people filled the streets. ’’The U.S. government has no right to try and recolonize Iraq,’’ said Peta Lindsay, national youth and student coordinator for International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), which organized the protests with another group, United for Peace and Justice.
(Two notorious communists organizations)
To counter the anti-war demonstrations, the Washington chapter of Free Republic, an independent grassroots conservative group, also planned a rally for Saturday at the U.S. Capitol, where organizers expect about 1,000 people.
(Go Freepers!)
’’We support our troops and the commander in chief and their mission,’’ said Kristinn Taylor, co-leader of the group. Organizers of the anti-war protest in Washington said they expected most of the protesters to be high school and college students from 140 cities in the United States and Canada. They planned to gather at the Washington Monument before marching to the White House and Justice Department. Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Martin Luther King III were among those expected to speak.
(Clark and king....YUCK)
ANSWER coordinator Brian Becker said Muslim groups, veterans, and families who have loved ones in Iraq or in the military also plan to attend.
(No matter how REMOTELY connected)
’’We feel compelled to take part in this because we think this war is wrong,’’ said Charley Richardson, one of the co-founders of the group Military Families Speak Out. ’’It never should have been fought in the first place.’’
Richardson’s 25-year-old son, Joe, returned from Iraq over the summer. Richardson said his son supports ’’very strongly’’ his parents’ right to speak out.
(So Joe supports FREE SPEECH, go figure)
Wonder if Joe actually supports what Pop's saying?
Vietnam veteran David Cline said he will attend the protest because he sees a lot of ’’eerie parallels to what we went through 30 years ago.’’ Cline is the national president of the 3,500-member Veterans for Peace.
So the other millions of vets are for war? Most of these members have some VERY loose claims to the title ’veteran’.
For the San Francisco protest, ANSWER and several other groups Bay Area United Against War, Not in Our Name, United for Peace and Justice, and the Vanguard Foundation arranged transportation so that protesters from Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and 27 California cities could attend.
These guys really don’t get the U.S. or our values. They wanted Saddam to stay in power and they claim we trying to ‘colonize’ Iraq? I think some drug company could make a fortune on supplying these people some anti-depressants. If you want to view some candid talk from these people try www.protestwarrior.com.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 10/25/2003 10:51:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I say we start a fund to send these people to North Korea. I'm sure kimmie-boy would like some help mining limestone or making combat boots on 50 yr old machines. As an added bonus they will get fed a diet of 1/4 cup cracked corn and sour cabbage soup. Hmmm.... a good vegitarian meal....

Think of the weight they will loose!

I hope that protest warrior is able to get their signs visable on the TV coverage. Unfortinately it will probably be edited out
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/25/2003 11:35 Comments || Top||

#2  "Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Martin Luther King III"

There is a sinister irony to this. Ramsey Quisling Clark was AG at the time of the Martin Luther King Jr and Robert Kennedy assassinations in 1968; he was J. Edgar Hoover's boss. Left-wing conspiracy theorists accuse practically everyone who held office at the time of complicity in the assassinations, except, strangely enough, the most obvious suspect, Clark himself.
Earlier, Clark had definitely been involved in the unlawful harrassment and monitoring of anti-war protestors.
In the years since, Clark has shown an almost comically dogmatic (and often degrading) adherence to all things red and anti-American, from his trips to Hanoi during the war, to his service as a registered agent of the Iranian government during the hostage crisis of 1979-80.
More recently, he was Saddam Hussein's lawyer in the United States, providing an obvious but widely ignored financial conduit from Baghdad to ANSWER.
Is this ideological slavery the result of ass-covering by Clark? Or perhaps even a kind of blackmail? Does some old commie somewhere have the goods on his misconduct as AG, possibly including the RFK and MLK assassinations; to be revealed only if Clark ever stops his idiotarian dog and pony show?
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/25/2003 11:43 Comments || Top||

#3  With the giant collection of homeless in San Francisco, it ought to be easy to collect some protesters. They will be the ones that take a slug out of a bottle in a paper bag every fifty yards.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 11:47 Comments || Top||

#4  UPDATE! If you have CSPAN they are carrying the protest live. The speeches run the gamit from repugnant to just plain funny. BTW: I saw no more than 5k at the Capital Mall (give or take a k).
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 10/25/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#5  BTW: I saw no more than 5k at the Capital Mall (give or take a k).
The BeachBoys gave a free concert on the mall in 1980, while I was working in DC. There were about 400K there, maybe more, including about 8000 DC undercover police and narcos. They didn't make any arrests for two weeks after the show, then nailed 42 dealers, including one closely linked to Marion Berry.

On a good day, there are more than 5000 people on the mall just enjoying the sunshine!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/25/2003 15:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Believe it or not, an NPR reporter at the scene has actually been confronting the protestors with hard questions, asking them for example whether they would have the US simply abandon Iraq to its fate.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/25/2003 17:35 Comments || Top||

#7  Believe it or not, an NPR reporter at the scene has actually been confronting the protestors with hard questions, asking them for example whether they would have the US simply abandon Iraq to its fate.

Oh c'mon, quit yanking our chain AC, you know NPR doesn't do that!
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 18:06 Comments || Top||

#8  No, Steve, I know it's like bin Laden contributing to Mogen David Alom, but it's true. She's probably gotten her pink slip by now, though.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/25/2003 19:01 Comments || Top||

#9  UPADTE 2: I guess the crowd grew when the cameras left. DC Cops estimate the crowd @ 20-30k. Far below the ANSWER estimate of 100k. In SF the crowd numered 2k. Heck there are more hippies in SF thatn that.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 10/25/2003 21:34 Comments || Top||

#10  Chicken soup from chicken sh!t, I guess.
Posted by: BMN || 10/25/2003 22:32 Comments || Top||

#11  I was catching the protest on C-Span in between innings of the World Series....pretty funny stuff. Every other speaker had an ajenda which had nothing to do w/Iraq; i.e. - free Cuba, reparations, lesbo/homo equality, Paleo problems, blah, blah, blah. Not one coherent argument for leaving Iraq or how to do so. All of them just made blanket statements condemming Bush w/out any sort of facts or cogent train of thought. Heck, I'll give any American citizen a fair chance to make a logical argument. Unfortunately, logic is lost on these morons.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/25/2003 23:52 Comments || Top||

#12  Morons=Anyone not marching in goosestep lock step with the Republican views of yours I'm sure
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/26/2003 0:01 Comments || Top||

#13  NMM: negative, my friend. If someone makes an argument based on facts (unlike you) with some sort of logic (again, usually unlike you) I will ceede(sp?) them the point. However, if they get up and blather insane rhetoric (like you) about things that have nothing to do w/the topic (again, like you) and make personal attacks on people (like you) I don't give them much respect. BTW - I'm not a Republican much to your dismay, although I will tell you the goosestep is a hard close order drill to perfect especially in jungle boots :)
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/26/2003 0:50 Comments || Top||


Iraq
In Iraq - Local Entrepreneurs are only Open to Bid on Sub-contracts
EFL -

This article is anecdotal, but if it is representative, the situation needs to be remidied immediately.

Fri October 24, 2003 10:30 AM ET
By Suleiman al-Khalidi
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi businessman Sabah Issa gazes from his window at the walls of the palace which once protected Saddam Hussein and now shelter the foreign occupiers who will shape Iraq’s capitalist future.

"The Americans are hiding behind the fence," said Issa in his lavish office in Baghdad’s Masbah district, where satellite connections link him to a global market hungry for a slice of potentially lucrative opportunities in the new Iraq.

"The fence between them and me is too high, I can’t reach them," he said.

Issa echoes the frustration and disappointment of many Iraqi businessmen in this sprawling city where communications remain difficult and fear rules the streets. Businessmen willing to swallow their national pride in the hope that the U.S.-led occupation would at least generate billions of dollars in work for Iraqis are increasingly disillusioned.

It may just be either be too conservative about the Bathist connections of existing companies or the bid process may be too rigid - i.e. Iraqi companies have never participated as US government contractors before so there may be a bureaucratic Catch 22 in play.

Middlemen are thriving, but there is little access to U.S. contractors, and local businesses complain that foreign firms are being favored.

"You will not find anyone more capitalist than I am," said Faisal al-Kedairy, chief executive of Dofar Pharmaceutical Industries. His family once plied trade routes from the Gulf to India for the British empire.

"All we are asking for is to be able to compete on a level playing field (with foreign firms)."

Prominent Iraqi businessmen said Washington was riding roughshod over local interests in its effort to attract global business.

They said allowing access to foreign investors without providing safeguards for Iraqi businesses was a recipe for disaster and reneged on earlier promises of support.

"There are rights which Iraqis are entitled to have," Bunnia said. "We were made to understand that this was taken into account in the laws being promulgated but what we have seen is the opposite."

Iraqis wanted the U.S. administration to limit foreign ownership in Iraqi concerns to 49 percent, something that has not happened. The only sector in which foreigners cannot own companies is natural resources, which in Iraq means oil.

Many Iraqis feel that the U.S.-backed moves to lift controls on foreign ownership in most sectors except oil leaves them at the mercy of Western firms and other highly capitalized companies in the Gulf well placed to snap up undervalued assets.

They say Iraq’s reconstruction can succeed only with strong Iraqi involvement.

"If the Iraqis themselves don’t do the new Iraq, no great power will do the new Iraq," Bunnia said. "Iraqis have to be given a chance to rebuild their country."

For the medium to large firms that are working with U.S. contractors, small subcontracts to rehabilitate schools across the country are simply not enough.

They are waiting for lucrative multi-million dollar tenders to revamp many of the public buildings that were bombed or looted in the war to overthrow Saddam.

"Let the Americans get the lion’s share, but we aspire to become partners so that they can develop us -- but not by owning concerns 100 percent, with us ending up as mere workers for them.

"It’s very difficult for the Iraqi to stomach this. It’s like you have kicked out the Iraqi from his house without giving him anything in return."

If this is prevalent experience, we need to do some immediate tinkering. Discouraging Iraqi participation in a capitalist economy sends an extremely wrong message.


Roger Trilling of the Village Voice (hattip to Global Security) thinks the resoning may be more sinister.Bush’s Golden Vision: President Sees Election Cash in Rebuilding Iraq
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 3:10:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I also think that one major reason for not awarding contracts to people who have built up a successful business under Hussein is simply that it's difficult to trust them. What did they do under Hussein to be successful? What connections do they still have to the Baath Party, and to Hussein? What skeletons are THEY hiding in their closet?

Also, having them work as subcontractors provides a degree of safety for the US coalition government, by not being directly connected to people that somewhere, someone in Iraq probably hates with a passion.

As for the Village Voice, it doesn't even make good toilet paper.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/25/2003 19:10 Comments || Top||


Police Chief Killed in Amarah
The coalition-backed police chief of this major southern Iraqi city was shot to death as he left a mosque after prayers.
That's when most victims seem to get shot, isn't it?
Brig. Hamid Hadi Hassan al-Abe was leaving the al-Hussein mosque after Friday prayers when he was gunned down by assailants firing from several locations, police Maj. Kathim Mohsen Hamadi said. The attackers escaped, Hamadi said. Several hundred men, many of them armed with rifles and pistols, turned out Saturday for the funeral service of al-Abe, who will be buried in the Shiite holy city of Najaf. Hamadi said al-Abe had a good relationship with British occupation authorities, who are responsible for this city about 75 miles north of Basra. Iraqis who work with the U.S.-led coalition have been targeted by insurgents, who are most active in the Sunni Muslim areas to the north and west of Baghdad. However, Amarah is populated primarily by Shiite Muslims, who have been generally more accepting of the occupation because of their suffering under the former regime of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni. "We can't accuse anyone right now," Hamadi said. "We face many problems here, mostly tribal problems. There is a shortage of security. Part of the problem is that some people consider people who cooperate with the coalition to be spies."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 13:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:


Donors pledge $33 bn to Iraq
Donors have pledged $33 billion in reconstruction aid to Iraq, a senior Spanish minister told an international Iraq donors' conference yesterday. "Total financial resources are $33 billion," Spanish First Deputy Prime Minister Rodrigo Rato told the closing session of the conference in Madrid. The figure appeared to include $20 billion pledged to Iraq by the United States before the donors' conference began on Thursday but does not include aid in kind or export credits.
Oh. So that makes it $13b. Guess it's better than nothing. Quite a bit better than noting, in fact...
The conference organisers said the $33 billion pledged represented a great success. But it still fell short of the estimated $56 billion Iraq's Governing Council assesses it needs by 2007. The main non-US donors include Japan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, for their part, said they would provide loans of up to $9.25 billion over the next three to five years to help stabilise Iraq's economy, which has been shattered by wars, 20 years of rule under Saddam Hussein and 13 years of international sanctions. Japan confirmed it would pledge $5 billion in grants and loans by 2007 — the second biggest contribution after the United States — while Saudi Arabia offered $1billion and Kuwait put in $1.5 billion. The pledges delighted Iraqi government spokesman Adel Abdul Mehdi. "Iraq today is being born again. It's being reborn. A new era is blossoming today," Mehdi told the conference yesterday evening. World Bank and UN economists put Iraq's needs by 2007 at $36 billion. Iraq's US-installed interim Governing Council estimates a further $20 billion are needed for security, the oil sector and the environment. That takes the overall requirement to a mammoth $56 billion by 2007 — around $18 billion next year alone. But most of the aid offered in Madrid, which officials in the US delegation had earlier said would amount to $18.5 billion, is in loans rather than grants and a proportion has already been spent. Nonetheless, US Treasury Secretary John Snow was at pains to insist: "Prompt, generous donations today will help the Iraqi economy regain its feet, reducing the total cost to donors and Iraqis alike."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 13:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sigh. If only the outlook for Afghanistan was half as rosy... They just can't seem to let go of their "culture"... Can you say doomed?

Re: Iraq... This is really encouraging, though it's claimed to be insufficient for the GC's "plans"... They may have to live within a budget - a novel concept in Arabia. There is real hope for Iraq in the near-term if we don't have to hump the entire load. We are going to be very busy...

Iran, being in the same lucky boat as Iraq in terms of resources, but far ahead in terms of what the general population will support and their lack of the deep religious and ethnic chasms, should recover much quicker and cost us far less in the aftermath, eh?

The NorKs have wabbit and roe deer farms, not to mention a zinger of an editorial staff - but hey, they'll be SKor's problem...

Lessee, what natural resources does SyrLeb have?
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 20:00 Comments || Top||


U.S. Helicopter Goes Down Near Tikrit
TIKRIT, Iraq - A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter was shot down Saturday by ground fire near Tikrit, a center of Iraq (news - web sites)’s anti-U.S. insurgency, U.S. officials said. The U.S. command in Baghdad said five soldiers were injured.

Two helicopters were flying when the second one in the formation was hit by a projectile, believed to be a rocket propelled grenade, witnesses said. An AP reporter at a U.S. base several hundred yards away saw the striken aircraft spin out of control in the air then fall to the ground.

The downed craft could later be seen, engulfed in flames and lying amid brush in a field as a plume of thick black smoke rose into the sky. The second copter hovered overhead.

It was the second time a U.S. helicopter has been downed by hostile fire since President Bush (news - web sites) declared an end to major combat in Iraq on May 1. The last copter to be shot down was in June.

"A helicopter did go down," Capt. Jefferson Wolfe, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, said. "We can confirm it. It was a Black Hawk. We are investigating."

n Baghdad, the U.S. military command said the five people on board were injured but were "safely evacuated." The command did not say why the helicopter went down but added that after it crashed it received ground fire.

An injured person was seen being removed from the site on a stretcher. Black Hawks ordinarily have a crew of three and can carry an additional 11 passengers.

The downing came at a time when U.S. officials have been warning that thousands of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles remain unaccounted for after the fall of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)’s regime and pose a threat to U.S. military aircraft. RPGs, also fired with a shoulder device, are a weapon frequently used by insurgents for ambushes on American forces.

Tikrit, the hometown of ousted leader Saddam Hussein, lies in the heart of the "Sunni Triangle," the region of central Iraq north of Baghdad that has seen mutliple attacks every day against U.S. forces. The region is where Saddam drew his strongest support, and his loyalists are now believed to be leading resistance to the U.S.-led occupation.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, on a three-day tour of Iraq, was in Tikrit earlier Saturday visiting the main U.S. garrison there. He left the city hours before the helicopter was shot down and was in the northern city of Kirkuk, U.S. officials said.

. . .

Time to take off the farking gloves and treat Tikrit (and its people) as HOSTILE.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/25/2003 12:37:12 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I repeat my solution to this problem. March everyone of these yahoos out into the desert and leave them there to fend for themselves. Why should we provide food/water/shelter for them?
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 10/25/2003 13:18 Comments || Top||

#2  I was saying this before the war, and I'll say it again. There are times when you have to make a example of a place. It may be too late now, but Tikrit, as the home of Sammy's tribe, should have been leveled. I don't think very many other Iraqis would have complained.
Posted by: Steve || 10/25/2003 13:26 Comments || Top||

#3  What do 100 D-9s or D-10s with push blades running side by side look like?

FUN

dorf
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/25/2003 17:02 Comments || Top||

#4  I started out scoffing at this notion, but according to globalsecurity.org the population of Tikrit is only 28,000 -- might actually be practical. Might be useful to couch it as a challenge... if Saddam doesn't show up at a Coalition base by such-and-such a day, Tikrit will be destroyed.

Fallujah is a tougher problem -- a quarter million folk is a lot of refugees to take responsibility for (and we'd have to, eventually).
Posted by: snellenr || 10/25/2003 17:32 Comments || Top||

#5  So where are the outraged posts? Last time I posted a comment like Steve's I had 20 pfools come out of the woodwork wanting to nail me up.

I agree it's obvious that the Sunni Triangle should be crushed - it's all they seem to understand. All that treating them with any level of civility gets you is tribal merc BS ("Yes, we will guard the pipeline: $1000/km/month") or ambushes and sheltering of foreign asshats.

Sheesh.

Hmmmm. Prolly part of that Conspiracy of Steves thing, huh?
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 17:35 Comments || Top||

#6  .com, we're doing our best -- but also trying to include some content in our rants in keeping with Fred's wishes to stay pertinent :-)
Posted by: snellenr || 10/25/2003 17:38 Comments || Top||

#7  snellenr - Excellent implied slur.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 17:55 Comments || Top||

#8  .com -- wasn't meant as a slur in your direction (I'm not that subtle), and sorry you took it that way. Was actually thinking of myself much more, and will be trying to moderate my suggestions of de-D/T'd B-83s and hovering blimps in the future.
Posted by: snellenr || 10/25/2003 21:11 Comments || Top||

#9  snellenr - sorry, I've been distracted watching the Northern Ice Cave Jooos play the Southern Sun People Jooos in the the Series...

No sweat and no offense taken - it made me think about what I type, too... and it was damned good!

I'm not sure I'm cut out for this thinking real hard about being relevant - or not. That's not the way I work.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 22:07 Comments || Top||


Moqtada accuses US of plotting violence in Karbala
Iraqi Shiite Muslim leader Moqtada Sadr accused the United States yesterday of making war on him and fomenting civil strife in the city of Karbala, where his supporters clashed with a rival’s followers one week ago. “I declare I had nothing to do with any of the bloodshed and violence against anyone,” said Sadr, whom coalition officials have said is under investigation for links to several attacks involving his supporters. “I said before we must raise the slogan of non-violence and peaceful resistance,” the young scholar told thousands at the Kufa mosque, 150 kilometres south of Baghdad.
"That's why we decided to raise our own army and set up our own government."
Sadr said US forces were blaming him for last week’s clashes between his militia, the Mehdi army, and the followers of preeminent Shiite scholar Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. “The Americans have used this division to make a war on me and discredit the Medhi army, especially since I declared a new government which does not make any difference between any group,” Sadr told worshippers.
"That's right. There's no difference among any of the groups in Iraq. They're all subordinate to me."
He rejected the notion of any feud between the Shiite factions. “There is no war between the Shiites, like the liar satellite channels claim,” he said, alluding to the Arab television stations Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya which many Iraqis perceive as endorsing Saddam Hussein’s old regime. Sadr argued that he stood on the side of the just while the Americans looked to stir unrest among the country’s 15 million-strong Shiite majority. “It is a war between right and wrong. The occupation was "supporting the attackers (in Karbala) giving them ammunition and weapons,” he said. Sadr lashed out at the Iraqi police for helping US troops. Earlier in the week several Sadr supporters were detained in a raid on the Al Mokhayam Mosque in Karbala, which Americans insist was conducted by Iraqi police.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Look, kid - if we wanted ya dead, you'd BE dead..."
Posted by: mojo || 10/25/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#2  If only truth and honesty were even the tiniest part of Islam. Even after everything I've experienced and read - I still can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that every spokesdink / apologist and every "leader" in Islam is an accomplished inveterate liar.

"He rejected the notion of any feud between the Shiite factions."
Just a coincidental localized rash of incredibly rapid Spontaneous Human Combustion, I guess.
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 20:17 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Mahathir accuses Western democracies of terrorising world
The man simply can't control his lips...
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday accused the "great exponents of democracy" of "terrorising the world" after the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Mahathir did not specify any country by name in a speech in this central Javanese town, but his comments appeared to be aimed at two of the outspoken leader's favourite targets, which include Australia, the United States and Israel.
There are three kinds of people in this world: those who can do simple arithmetic and those who can't.
"We see states launching vicious, massive retaliation, not just to kill suspected terrorists but (also) his family, his home, his village and his town," said Mahathir, who is under fire for comments last week in which he maintained that "Jews rule the world."
He'll keep on yammering until he dies of old age and/or incoherence...
"It would be ridiculous to think that such attacks do not terrorise the innocent. In fact the terror is even greater, it is systematic and executed with heavy weapons in the hands of trained soldiers."
As opposed to Islamic terrorism, which is random and executed with light weapons in the hands of half-trained fanatics...
Mahathir, 77 is leaving office later this month after 22 years in power. He has transformed Malaysia, which is 60 per cent Muslim, from a tin- and rubber-producing former British colony into one of Asia's most wealthy and industrialised nations. In the past, he has accused US President George W Bush of trying to "out-terrorise the terrorists" with an ill-directed war on Al-Qaeda and said Australia's Prime Minister John Howard behaved like a "white-man sheriff in some black country."
On the other hand, it wasn't Malaysia's towers that were destroyed, and it wasn't Malays who were incinerated in Bali...
Mahathir said that after Sept 11 "the great exponents and practitioners of democracy believe that the way to spread doctrine and to break down resistance is by terrorising the world."
Only a part of it. If you're not a member of the turban and automatic weapons club, what do you have to worry about?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mahathir accuses Western democracies of terrorising world

Really? I voted for the Terror Party at the last election and they didn't even recover their deposit. I've said it time and time again: The Global Terrorcrats, The International Random Attack Party and the Monster Raving Nuke the World parties shouldn't have split the vote. Seems as though some other western democracies out there have the terrorising organised though, which I'm pleased to see.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/25/2003 19:52 Comments || Top||

#2  BD - That's, that's just beautiful, man! Tugs at my heartstrings, though I'm jealous cuz the Monster Raving Nuke the World party wasn't listed on my absentee ballot. (sniff) Prolly yet another act of subtle-sabotage-enroute-to-global-domination by the Conspiracy of Steves.

Mahathir ranks as one of the most transparent disingenuous terror-enablers on the planet. His every utterance is pure entertainment. Eventually, those organized (with a 'z' - snicker) democracies will get around to him. I'm sure he'll still be waving his arms - unless he croaks, first. Go ahead, call me a dreamer. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 10/25/2003 20:35 Comments || Top||


Terror Networks
And I expect you back here next Tuesday, without fail......

Al-Jazeera reporter freed on bail

Alouni became well-known for his work in Afghanistan
A journalist from the al-Jazeera television network who stands accused of belonging to an al-Qaeda cell has been granted bail by a Spanish judge, court sources say. Tayseer Alouni who is best known for interviewing Osama Bin Laden after the 11 September attacks on the United States, was arrested in early September in southern Spain.

He was charged with providing money and information to al-Qaeda operatives and recruiting fighters for the group.

Lawyers for Mr Alouni presented a report from doctors asking that he be released from jail and Judge Baltasar Garzon accepted, setting bail at 6,000 euros ($7,000), the National Court said.


$7,000 whole dollars? Oh yeah, he’ll definitely hang around for his hearing with all that riding on it.....


His wife reportedly raised concerns about his health last month, saying he had suffered a heart attack while he was covering the war in Iraq. No wonder she was worried - do they still have the Inquisition in Spain?

Court sources said the bail had been paid and Mr Alouni should be released from a prison on the outskirts of Madrid this afternoon.

Under the terms of his bail, he cannot leave the country without the court’s permission and he must report each week to the court nearest his home.

Spanish police arrested the journalist on 5 September at his home near the southern city of Granada on orders from Mr Garzon.

The judge included Mr Alouni in the indictment he handed down against Osama Bin Laden and 34 other terror suspects.

Mr Alouni, who has both Spanish and Syrian citizenship, is a well-known war correspondent in the Middle East for the Qatar-based Arabic satellite television network.

He was the Kabul correspondent for al-Jazeera during the Afghanistan war, and one of the only journalists allowed by the hardline Taleban regime to operate from the areas in its control.

He was criticised by some for helping the station secure videotapes from Osama Bin Laden in the months after the 11 September attacks.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar’s government has been one of the US’s firmest allies in its international war on terror.

Who was that bounty hunter who tracked down Luster in Mexico? DogBreath or something? Better get him a ticket to Syria.
Posted by: mercutio || 10/25/2003 6:50:55 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I am a Duane "Dog" Chapman fan. Aroooooo...
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 19:09 Comments || Top||

#2  This was a huge mistake. There a plenty of Muslims in Spain who would, and I will, help this reporter escape. Although, tracking him might be a good thing.
Posted by: Charles || 10/25/2003 20:11 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Egypt launches crackdown on Christian converts
Egypt has launched a crackdown on Christian missionaries. About two dozen Christians have been arrested by Egyptian police over the last week, Christian sources said. They said many of them were Muslims who recently converted to Christianity.
That's often a fatal condition, isn't it?
The Barnabas Fund, which seeks to support the Christian presence in the Islamic world, said the crackdown began on Oct. 21 when Christian activists were arrested in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. The group said the first of those arrested were two converts from Islam as part of a police investigation that began in Cairo and expanded to Alexandria. "Local Christians fear the arrests will continue and many other converts from Islam, who have been living quietly as Christians may now be arrested in the next few days," the group said.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:


Boilerplate...
Rantburg was conceived as a repository for news about the War on Terror, and I'd like to keep it that way. This is not an opinion journal, and despite the amount of smartassery in the commentary, it's not really a place to mouth off for the sake of seeing your own words on somebody else's site. There are lots of forums and chat rooms you can go to for that.

Your opinion is welcome. But if you post something, tie it to a hard news article that's related to the site's subject matter. Pure opinion, be it "I think Iraq sucks" or "I think war sucks" doesn't go here. Get your own weblog. I'll dump your post, even if I agree with the subject matter. I'll just dump it a little faster if I don't.
Same applies to "Tyson Chicken" sucks...

Thanks for your support,

The Management
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 17:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But Fred! Tyson Chicken does Suck!

(just kidding) This is, unfortunately a needed announcement. Hopefully you will not have to go to a 'registered user' system.

I've seen too may weblogs go to the 'First Post' and such. Lets keep things on-topic. I like this log and would hate it be buried in crap.

Besides... everyone knows Foster Farms Chickens are the best. :)
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/25/2003 17:33 Comments || Top||

#2  suggestion Fred? - when you delete a post cuz it's too off-topic/opinion/crap whatever, could you leave the title? I never remember what was deleted, and therefore don't know if it was one of my stupid rants or comments that got it booted
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 20:25 Comments || Top||

#3  second Frank's suggestion -- maybe a "penalty box" with just the names of the poster, and the number of deleted articles -- avoids the yabbos just putting the rancid content in the headline.
Posted by: snellenr || 10/25/2003 21:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Hmm What brought this on?
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 22:18 Comments || Top||

#5  What brought this on?

Mike Tyson I think, though I'm not sure.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/25/2003 22:58 Comments || Top||

#6  So no more Iceman? No more penis snatchers?
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/25/2003 23:55 Comments || Top||

#7  damn, I guess I'm screwed......C'mon, mouthing off just for the sake of it is my bread & butter baby! I gots not other game.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/26/2003 0:32 Comments || Top||

#8  We have a Sort Attention Span theater section. The article was on the evil of the Tyson's chicken factories. I know nothing about Tyson's chickens, but I know it was neither WoT, nor was it silly enough to go into SAST.

I left the first paragraph and kept the comments. That's what I'll be doing with all but outright Islamotrolls from now on.

I delete very few articles. This is the first in over a month. I'm too easy...
Posted by: Fred || 10/26/2003 9:19 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Strained Navy experiments with smaller strike groups
Global Security from Chicago Tribune

By James Janega EFL

Here is an example of the type of initiative that Rumsfeld is alluding to in his memo.

Hoping to double the forces it can send to hot spots around the world, the Navy has begun experimenting with deployments of small strike groups of ships to reduce the Navy’s reliance on its heavily used aircraft carrier fleet.

The Navy also plans to dramatically overhaul the schedule for deploying military personnel on ships, reducing the time between deployments and creating a less predictable schedule. This will be a family buster.

Officials have characterized the plans as a means to be more responsive to unpredictable and more numerous threats in the post-Cold War era.

The Navy’s prototype Expeditionary Strike Groups pair 2,200 Marines and their equipment aboard amphibious assault ships with a mix of Navy destroyers, cruisers and submarines that provide defensive measures and the ability to launch cruise missiles at targets far inland. This is one good idea that makes sense for situations like Liberia and Somalia.

Snipped out a large chunck for brevity, but the whole article is worth reading as well.

Though six-month cruises will still occur, some ships likely will be sent for longer, while others could be dispatched to trouble spots for only a month or two. Returning ships would be kept on alert for a time, ready to head back out to sea on short notice. Following typical six-month maintenance schedules, they would be ready to go out after just four or five months of training--more than six months faster than earlier, a senior Navy official said.

Pentagon strategists who support the plan talk about its promise of doubling the "employability" of carriers by either speeding them out to sea or keeping them ready in the event of an emergency. Though carriers will be the first to employ the new timetables, other ships would follow.

Critics say the plan leaves unanswered many questions, including what impact more frequent cruises will have on an aging fleet.

"The people and the ships and the aircraft, and all of the subsystems, are all going to be worn out," Baker said. "It should be a temporary step in anticipation of a short-term need. But it’s being couched as a permanent change.

The Hose’s simple answer for solving this problem for ships other than carriers. Have a blue and gold crew assigned to two ships. Keep one ship in the US and deploy the other out of Naples, Bahrain or wherever. Rotate the crew’s back and forth using the stateside asset for training.

This will work because the Navy uses or (used?) a standardized Engineering Sequencing System to operate equipment and a standardized planned maintenace system. Most of the ships have been built cookie cutter style. Even the equipment has been standardized - one type of fire pump installed across the board.

The advantage: to get a ship to the Persian Gulf the transit is two weeks ... just to cross the damn Atlantic. Tack on another two weeks to get to the gulf. Month there and a month back chews up two months of a six month deployment.

Historically ballistic missile submarines have been assigned two crews to keep an expensive asset operating.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 3:47:27 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No matter how carefully you optimize the employment of your assets eventually you come to the point where you cannot cover all your requirements. If we want to continue to carry the fight to the enemy we are going to have to face the fact we need to expand the military.

This does not mean building more of what we have now. The type of thinking behind the Expeditionary Strike Groups is also what needs to go into the the acquisition of new assets. Do we buy a new carrier or two LHDs? An Arleigh Burke DDG or a flotilla of Storm class PFs to work with SEALs?

Time to invest in new military units, questions is what do we buy?
Posted by: Bruce || 10/25/2003 17:08 Comments || Top||

#2  This is the kind of stupid decision making that is made by paper-pushing clueless, ambitious 24 year old aides who think they have it all figured out and leaders who are losing touch with "the little people". "Who cares what THEY want, this is what WE want and we're in charge. If they don't like it, they can get out."

Well, hey,come to think of it, I think I will. Great way to lose your best and brightest and all of those training dollars, overnight.

That type of arrogance bodes nothing but an ill wind.
Posted by: B || 10/25/2003 17:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Bruce, I was talking about the longer deployments, not your post :-}
Posted by: B || 10/25/2003 17:28 Comments || Top||

#4  Next time someone claims that the Democrats and the "peace" movement aren't hurting our ability to defend themselves, ask them what would happen if we tried to expand our military to cover our commitments properly.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/25/2003 17:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Some truths have always been true. One of them is it is not what weapon is used but how it is used.

I think if the Navy retains any weapon system it should be the carrier. Yes, they are expensive, but they are absolutely indispensible for the strategic defense of the United States.

Divided forces even in the context that is being discussed would be diffusing the strength of our Naval/Strategic forces.

There is no question that our ground forces need to be expanded. We are in a war and this requires more people.

Now the Navy has been toying with the idea of PT like boats for a few years. The concept is very sound but the only way to effective project this kind of Naval power is with air cover and the only air cover we have that is deployable literally with days is the US Carrier forces.

I think it is fatuous to even think about diluting a tried and true weapon system.
Posted by: badanov || 10/25/2003 18:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Let us hope that in future they ensure that disease prevention is taken seriously, too. A large percentage (of the small force) of the Marines who were in Lebanon came down with malaria, and were found not to have been taking the preventive meds, using insect repellent, etc. Gruntdoc blames it on command not following through.
*Liberian Marine Malaria *
...when force protection, in this case malaria, isn't pushed, hard, from the top down, it will not get done.
Posted by: John Anderson || 10/25/2003 18:31 Comments || Top||

#7  The Navy also plans to dramatically overhaul the schedule for deploying military personnel on ships, reducing the time between deployments and creating a less predictable schedule

Look, the discussion of smaller boats v/s aircraft carriers aside, I can say, on good authority, that the leaders are making a huge mistake. Someone needs to alert Navy leadership that they have GREATLY underestimated the family crisis this will create. They are taking the 1950's/1960's mentality of family life and trying to impose it in the 21st century. It's not going to work. The decision won't be to divorce or to suck it up, it will be not to make another move. Around the rank of chief or Lcdr, when the kids aren't babies and the spouse is looking at quitting another job, they will find it more attractive to punch.
Posted by: B || 10/25/2003 19:01 Comments || Top||

#8  The best time to punch was during the Clinton years. There was a good economy - plenty of jobs. Deployment schedules were getting ridiculous. Fianlly, to meet draw down numbers they were giving us cash incentives ... to get out.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 21:04 Comments || Top||

#9  That's true, but I think one reason why many people didn't get out was because the Reagan benefit was still being felt and there were good quality people to work with, reasonably good pay and (unless you got the cash incentive) enough years invested that it was worth it to stick out a few more years until retirement.

But there is a different issue today that senior leadership seems unable to grasp: the service member's choice on whether to stay or get out is based on an entirely different set of factors than it would have been even 5 years ago. If Rumsfeld et al apply their own experience to get in the head of todays families...they will be missing the boat.

I don't think they realize the dramatic decrease in a spouse's identity with Navy life. Rather, they find their identity through their own career and their children's school, sports, etc. This means that they are much more emotionally vested in their community life than they are in their Navy life. Consider also that male spouses, not so long ago, were relatively rare; now they are common. And many of the Navy wives are ex-service members as well.

You'd get married, go to sea, come home and be looking at nothing but more sea time, sea time and more sea time. Would YOU choose to be bounced around every two years, lose all that is important to you when you could just have your spouse find an ok job to keep you afloat long enough to find a job that lets you have a life??

These leaders and their paper pushing aides are completely out of touch if they think they can bounce families around and maintain those long deployments. The decision stay in and force the spouse to quit that good job. is tough enough as it is. Frequent or long deployements will make that decision a no-brainer.
Posted by: B || 10/25/2003 22:31 Comments || Top||

#10  Yeah B and the "Evil Bill CLinton" is still pulling the strings on the US military--has nothing to do with the fat cat tax break that has left the US gov with less money to take care of the military--BTW last time I looked--it was a VOLUNTARY service
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 23:12 Comments || Top||

#11  Yeah B and the "Evil Bill CLinton" is still pulling the strings on the US military--has nothing to do with the fat cat tax break that has left the US gov with less money to take care of the military--BTW last time I looked--it was a VOLUNTARY service
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 23:12 Comments || Top||

#12  That's right NMM - it is voluntary. That, in case you missed it, was my point. Good people are getting sick of the sacrifices they are being asked to make for people like you, who not only fail to appreciate them, but actively work to undermine their efforts. My point is that they can and will walk if they are also asked to sacrifice their familes. If you weren't such a blind believer in the liberal faith, you'd realize it's everyone's loss if our military is weakened. But not you, right? Who needs to have real fights against real terrorists when you can show how strong you are by flinging insults at THE MAN(TM)?
Posted by: B || 10/26/2003 1:42 Comments || Top||


Korea
Dr. Jekkyl speaks for North Korea - awaiting statement from Mr Hyde.
EFL from BBC

North Korea says it is prepared to consider a US offer of a security guarantee to end the deadlock over its alleged nuclear weapons programmes.

The North Korean foreign ministry spokesman told the official KCNA news agency: "We are ready to consider Bush’s remarks on the ’written assurances of non-aggression’ if they are based on the intention to co-exist with the DPRK (North Korea) and aimed to play a positive role in realising the proposal for a package solution on the principle of simultaneous actions."

The ministry spokesman said it had a "simple and clear" request. SHOW US THE MONEY.

"What we want is for both sides to drop guns and establish normal state relationship to co-exist peacefully," he said.

"The unilateral demand that one of the two belligerent parties forces the other party to drop guns and come out first with its hands up can never be met." It works for the police. See the parallel.

Mr Bush has ruled out North Korea’s demands for a non-aggression treaty, which would require Congressional approval and could tie Washington’s hands in a conflict. Why would it tie US hands in a conflict. We ignore International Law, right. We’re the evil unilateralist that demand six sided talks.

Exactly what kind of security guarantee the US is willing to offer will still have to be negotiated, says the BBC’s Jonathan Head. But Pyongyang’s positive language raises the possibility that inconclusive multilateral talks over its nuclear ambitions may be resumed, says our correspondent.

The latest development comes as a delegation from China’s Communist Party is visiting North Korea in an effort to restart the talks. The official Chinese news agency Xinhua described the trip as a good will visit but gave no more details. Kimmie yells, "uncle, uncle, I’ll go back to the table now."
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 3:22:31 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1 

The latest development comes as a delegation from China’s Communist Party is visiting North Korea in an effort to restart the talks. The official Chinese news agency Xinhua described the trip as a good will visit but gave no more details.

Kimmie yells, "uncle, uncle, I’ll go back to the table now."


Yeah, I bet the fact of something like 10 Chinese divisions, fully 10% of their entire armed forces, moved to the Chinese/NKor border over the last month or two has kinda' gotten their "attention" at last.

Thanks,
Greg
Posted by: LC FOTSGreg || 10/25/2003 20:33 Comments || Top||


Africa: Southern
The persecuted Scots who are transforming an African nation
The Army of Steve™ thanks Frank for the tip! EFL.
FARMER Peter MacSporran has proved more resilient even than the crops he has managed to grow under the blazing African sun. But the tenacious Scot’s continued role in one of the blighted continent’s rare success stories is now being threatened by Zimbabwe’s despotic leader Robert Mugabe.
Peter MacSporran? I guess you can't find a name more Scottish than that...
MacSporran was forced to flee Zimbabwe last year after armed gangs of so-called War Veterans seized white-owned farms on Mugabe’s orders. Together with dozens of other white farmers, MacSporran, the former president of Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), crossed the border to neighbouring Zambia. There, the farmers have helped transform the country into a self-sufficient food producer, to the extent that Zambia will this year export maize for the first time in decades. But amid the hate-filled politics of post-colonial Africa success is often short-lived. MacSporran is facing the threat of expulsion from Zambia as friends of Mugabe, embarrassed by his success on their doorstep, seek to discredit him and his colleagues.
How, how ... thuggish!
Zambia has become an agricultural success almost overnight. Its farmers have produced a record maize crop of well over 1.2 million tonnes this year. About 50,000 tonnes was grown as a first time effort by the white victims of Mugabe’s "land reform" programme. Elizabeth Phiri, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, said: "That’s double the quantity Zambia produced the previous year." Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, farm productivity has declined rapidly in the wake of the eviction of 4,500 white farmers from their land. Aid agencies blame the policy on the food shortages which have left millions of Zimbabweans on the brink of starvation.
Lots of people + no agriculture = starvation.
Last week MacSporran and the 150 white farming families in Zambia — at least half of whom have Scottish backgrounds — were once again the focus of Mugabe’s sinister attention. Reports in Zimbabwe’s Mugabe-friendly newspapers accused the white farmers of trying to re-colonise Zambia. One of the president’s leading spin doctors, Nathan Shamuyarira, has even accused them of trying to re-colonise Africa and has urged the Zambian government to expel them.
Powerful bunch, those 150 farmers.
Sinister, too, growing all that corn...
"This is all rubbish and jealousy on the part of President Mugabe," said MacSporran, who is rapidly gaining local hero status among white and black farmers in the area around the Zambian capital Lusaka. He added: "The Zambian government has given us a fantastic welcome. They say that if we obey their laws, we can stay as long as we like." Nevertheless, informed sources in both Harare and Lusaka say that Mugabe still has the power to influence some African leaders. A source close to the former Zambian president Dr Kenneth Kaunda said: "Some of Zambia’s leaders might be influenced by what he says."
Kenny’s old and doddering, it wouldn’t be hard.
MacSporran, who was born in Irvine and brought up on the Isle of Mull, left Scotland in 1972 to attend a friend’s wedding in what was then Rhodesia and decided to stay. He soon became the country’s best known farmer and was elevated to the presidency of the country’s farmers union in 1994, a post he held for two years. He was shocked by Mugabe’s land-grabbing policy which devastated the industry he and his fellow white farmers had built. "I never ever dreamed it was possible that President Mugabe would embark on such a lunatic and chaotic course of action," says the 54-year-old father-of-three.
The International Community™ didn't dwell on that part during the civil war...
Two years ago, MacSporran’s farms were surrounded by Mugabe’s war veterans and he was forced to flee to Harare. "Today my farms are occupied by Mugabe’s nephews. Everything has been ripped down and stolen," he said. "My whole life’s work was in ruins. After sitting around and hoping for a miracle, a few of us got together and decided we couldn’t wait any longer for a regime change. Some went to Mozambique. But I decided on a new life in Zambia.
Too bad we couldn’t arrange for him to get a visa to America.
"One day I just packed my bags and drove to the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia," recalled MacSporran. "I drove to Lusaka and took up an offer to start again. Soon I joined forces with other Zimbabwean farmers and we formed a company that helps others from Zimbabwe to set up farms here. Now, there are hundreds of Zimbabwean farmers working in Zambia and in years to come, there could be thousands." MacSporran’s company, Agriculture Advisers International, works closely with the Zambian government and is given financial support from, among others, the European Investment Bank and Barclays Bank International. "A Zimbabwean looking for land and work in Zambia has no collateral but most have excellent financial track records," he said. "I know these guys are some of the greatest farmers in the world. About 50% of the CFU members in the mid-1990s were of Scottish origin. It’s in our blood to kickstart things, to move on when the going gets tough, not to give in. This is the Second Great Trek, if you like. I’m proud to say it’s led by Scottish Africans." Two black commercial farmers have also found their way to Zambia from Zimbabwe and MacSporran expects more to follow as the economic situation across the border worsens.
Not just the white farmers being attacked in Bob-land? Ya don’t say!
MacSporran, who grows crops on the 1,000 hectares of land he leases outside Lusaka, added: "At long last the Zambians have decided to make farming the driving force in the economy. We’ve been told that we are more than welcome. We did not create the Zambian success story but we are proud to be part of it. Even though many of us are living very humbly in Zambia, we have hope in our hearts once again." Although he still has a love for Scotland and recognises the threat posed by Zimbabwe’s tyrannical president, MacSporran has put down roots in Zambia and is determined to stay. "When things were really grim in Zimbabwe, after my farms were taken over, I contemplated returning to Scotland,. But no longer. I’m a Scottish African."
What a great guy.

Back in August, we had a story about Zim farmers showing up in Uganda, also looking for land. Zimbabwe's loss could be Africa's gain, assuming the Armed Struggle™ can be restrained from despoiling them as soon as they achieve some prosperity.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 2:22:26 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The contrast with the article below is beautiful.
People who care about their workmanship do a much better job.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/25/2003 14:56 Comments || Top||

#2  All in all, it seems like a job well done for the forces of multiculturalism in Zambia. Nothing breaks down racial barriers like cooperation, hard work, and success. Success does breed envy, so I hope these Scots have their kit bags packed for the next tribal purge.

The term "Scottish African" is sublime and avoids the knotty context of colonialism, but will it draw fire from conservative African groups because of its racial ambiguity?
Posted by: Mr. Torrent || 10/25/2003 16:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Mr MacSporran may have only spent 30 years in Zimbabwe, but the majority of the other farmers in Zimbabwe and Zambia are local born. It's unfortunate that a Briton has been feted as the representative of Zimbabwe's 'expat' farmer community as this reinforces the image of white farmers in that country as being 'foreign', when the fact is that most have spent as much of their lives in that country as black Zimbabweans of the same age. Mugabe's persecution of them is nothing more than racism; a pogrom of causcasians. They're Zimbabweans in every sense and shouldn't have been compelled to leave, for any reason.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/25/2003 18:53 Comments || Top||

#4  A great black thinker, economist Walter Williams, writes that often property rights are more important to prosperity than democracy. South Korea is a great example.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:35 Comments || Top||

#5  Good post! expected nothing less from the army of Steve :-)
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 21:11 Comments || Top||


International
Factory Farming Needs to End
I worked for years in the poultry industry, mostly for Tyson, doing anything from catching the chickens from the houses to slitting their throats in the killing room of the slaughter houses. I was so disgusted and enraged by my experiences at their slaughter plant in Grannis, Arkansas that I came forward with a sworn complaint against the company, the plant manager, and several workers, and have now set up a website to further spread the word of how the greed of this corporate giant is victimizing society and animals alike.

[snipped. Thanks for your opinion.]

Virgil Butler
Posted by: Virgil Butler || 10/25/2003 1:49:43 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Peshawar.
Posted by: someone || 10/25/2003 13:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Great. Another social climber trying to improve his station by showing how much better he is than a chicken. Thanks for the entertainment. Now, go back to your coop.
Posted by: badanov || 10/25/2003 13:57 Comments || Top||

#3  We were not evacuated for a bomb threat until a bomb was found and the sheriff ordered Tyson to do so.

Where'd the bomb come from?

Anyone want to make a guess?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/25/2003 14:02 Comments || Top||

#4  This corporate control over our land, water, and air as well as the food many of us eat has got to stop. =

How many times must they insist on unfurling the Hammer and Sickle until they realize Communism doesn't work?
Posted by: Raj || 10/25/2003 14:56 Comments || Top||

#5  Better than a chicken?
Does that make him a turkey?
Posted by: Dishman || 10/25/2003 15:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Living in Hawai'i where the chickens run wild and start crowing at 2:00 am, I can truthfully say I loathe chickens and where can I get some of those dry ice bombs? Chickens are nothing but vermin with feathers and the only good thing you can say about them is that they taste like rattlesnake.
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/25/2003 15:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Notice the obiligatory attack on the Clean Air Act? This guy is a fraud. Bush wants to eliminate some of the excessive stupidity that made its way into the act in the first place, so that those plants that want to try to clean up their act can afford to do so without spending half their funds on "environmental impact studies". We are a nation over-regulated and over-taxed. The idiots like the one writing this article are part of the reason behind it. In their mind, every little act needs to be controlled by the Federal government. I don't doubt that some of the things that Tyson does is bad - remember, too, that Tyson and the Clintons were so closely in bed together you couldn't stick Tyson without pinning the other two with the same needle.

My family raised chickens as part of our food chain. We also raised cows, pigs, rabbits, and turkeys for food, as well as a half-acre garden. I ate WELL as a kid, because we did do those things. So did my grandparents and a half-dozen other relatives. Now, it's virtually impossible for anyone to do that unless they live 40 miles from town, down a one-lane country road, and the signpost's down.

The people at PETA are idiots that should be ignored. They have no clue as to what life is like in the real world. We in this country have it so easy - even the poor among us are better fed than many "middle class" people in other nations. Unfortunately, PETA wants to change that, in order for them to 'feel good' about themselves, while they have no idea how their ideas and beliefs will hurt the rest of us.

ANY group that wants to FORCE someone else to do something because that group thinks it's a good idea is the moral equivalent of the Islamofascists that want to FORCE us to believe the way they do. Let's just kill them both - they don't understand that the freedom to choose what to do, when and where to do it, and when to REFRAIN from doing something, are personal rights granted by God, and their little prattle to the contrary violates our individual rights. That makes them enemies not to be tolerated.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/25/2003 15:43 Comments || Top||

#8  I can truthfully say I loathe chickens

I believe anyone who has ever had to live around chickens hates them. Filthy, cruel animals. They deserve to be slaughtered painfully and eaten.

OP -- I dislike Tyson because they inject their chickens with sulfur water. I suspect it's just the natural water at the processing plant for this area, but it still sucks.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/25/2003 16:16 Comments || Top||

#9  Cripes. Let me go take a nap on a Saturday afternoon, and what happens?
Posted by: Fred || 10/25/2003 17:07 Comments || Top||

#10  But, Virgil, wasn't Tyson a top supporter of the Clintons?
If human rights activists can ignore abuses when their side does it, as in Sudan, Iran, NK, ad nauseum; then animal rights activists can surely do the same.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/25/2003 17:29 Comments || Top||

#11  I can truthfully say I loathe chickens I believe anyone who has ever had to live around chickens hates them.

One of the jobs my father had around the house growing up in the country was, each afternoon, to pick a chicken out of the yard, wring its neck, and carry it to my grandmother to prepare the evening meal. To this day he won't willingly eat chicken.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 18:11 Comments || Top||

#12  On my first ship I was in charge of the sewage system because I owned repair department - kind of a fringe benefit. I got to know quite a bit about excrement in general. My advice to Virgil is: in case case of an explosion in a chicken coop, Super Hose recommends closing your mouth and eyes immediately.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 21:19 Comments || Top||

#13  The rights activist fighting for chickens are the same people defending a man's right to pull the feeding tube from his defenseless wife so that she may starve to death. Do we really owe these folks the time of day??
Posted by: RickA || 10/25/2003 22:51 Comments || Top||

#14  Do we really owe these folks the time of day??

Rick, we owe them the right to open their mouths, we still retain the right to plug our ears.

If some touchy-feely vegan wants to whine about chickens that's cool w/me....I'll just tell them about the beautiful 8-point I shot last week....mmmm them's good eats! Ted Nugent for President.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/26/2003 0:14 Comments || Top||


Africa: West
Liberia wobbles
Liberia's top rebel official threatened on Friday to withdraw from a new power-sharing government, jeopardizing a peace process intended to end 14 years of near-constant war in the devastated West African nation. Sekou Conneh, head of Liberia's largest rebel movement, said rebels' nominations for government positions are being unfairly rejected by Gyude Bryant — a Monrovia businessman chosen by all parties to the peace deal as chairman of Liberia's interim administration. "When we're not fully represented and not allowed to take our offices, we will pull out of the government and go back to revisit the accord," Conneh said.
"Yeah. We still have some ammunition..."
The warring sides signed the accord shortly after ex-President Charles Taylor went into exile on Aug. 11. "In fact, Gyude Bryant will have to leave that place (the chairmanship) to save the Liberian people," Conneh said in an interview broadcast on state radio.
"To save the Liberian people?"
"Yeah. To save 'em from us."
"Hokay. As long as we're clear on that point..."
Conneh's rebels, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, laid siege to the capital, Monrovia, after a 3-year-fight against Taylor.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 13:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:


Africa: East
Qaida Planned New Embassy Attack
But since it never happened, guess it wasn't a threat...
A Kenyan police report based on an interrogation of a terror suspect showed that al-Qaida operatives planned to destroy the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in June with a truck bomb and a hijacked plane loaded with explosives. The report could explain why the U.S. Embassy was closed June 20-24 and why Kenyan officials banned flights from June 20-July 8 to and from Somalia. Those actions suggest some knowledge of the plot by U.S. and Kenyan authorities. The suspect who described the plot to attack the embassy in June, Salmin Mohammed Khamis, is among six men whose murder trial begins Monday in the hotel attack. In the police report, Khamis does not comment on the hotel attack, which killed 13 people including three Israelis. Instead, the 27-year-old Kenyan gives an insider's account of the embassy plot, for which he has not been charged.

The interrogation started with Khamis deciphering a coded e-mail from Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a key suspect in the hotel bombing who remains at large. The e-mail "invited" Khamis to participate in "al-Qaida activities." Next, Khamis told interrogators he attended a meeting of al-Qaida operatives in May in the coastal town of Malindi. Nabhan was there, as were two unidentified Somalis and one unidentified Arab. Together, the men hatched the plot to attack the embassy and "took an oath binding them together (in) secrecy," the police statement said. Khamis' job was to drive a truck from Mombasa to Nairobi. Once there, he was to load the truck with explosives assembled in a house in the Eastleigh neighborhood, home to thousands of Somalis. "From Eastleigh, the suspect was to drive the motor vehicle from the place to the U.S. Embassy with his friends on board, to carry (out) the suicide mission of the bombing of the embassy," the police report said.

Meanwhile, Nabhan and a second group were to charter a small plane at Nairobi's Wilson Airport. Their pretense was they were heading to Somalia with a payload of "khat," a mild stimulant grown in Kenya and chewed by many Somalis. Instead, they planned "to load a bomb called 'jumbo' and hijack the plane (and) bomb the U.S. Embassy simultaneously with the first group," the report said. From the statement, it appears the day of the attack had not been set and it was not clear if Khamis' arrest helped foil the plot. But the police statement ends with the assessment that "the mission could have been accomplished." Getting near the heavily fortified embassy with a truck would have been difficult. But chartering a small plane is easily done at Wilson, where few questions are asked and thousands of pounds of khat are flown each day to Somalia. The U.S. Embassy refused to comment on the police report and Kenyan police officials were not immediately available. In May, a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Qaida was targeting foreign embassies in Kenya.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 13:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't even know that having a real embassy in Kenya is the way to go. Maybe we can convert a double-wide or something. If we do go with the full embassy option can we build it out of legos so it is easy to reassemble after each bombing.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 20:29 Comments || Top||

#2  have you seen the new Legos? Extremely cool but expensive, and not easy to assemble - I'd stick with concrete and steel
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 21:04 Comments || Top||


Middle East
‘Israel open to nuke disarming’
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said that Israel, which has never publicly admitted to having atomic weapons, would be willing to get rid of any nuclear arms it may have if there was peace in the Middle East. Despite Israel's refusal to deny or confirm the possession of a nuclear arsenal, non-proliferation analysts estimate that the country has anywhere from 100 to 200 atomic weapons. "(It is) good news, at least, that Israel agreed that in the long term they need to get rid of their nuclear weapons capability or the nuclear weapons that they have," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview with Austria's Die Presse newspaper in Vienna. It was not immediately clear when and how Israel had communicated this to the IAEA. "However they (Israel) are saying they cannot do that except in the context of a comprehensive peace, when their right to exist is fully recognised by all the countries of the region," he said in the English transcript of the interview, obtained by Reuters.
That tosses the ball back into Syria's court, I'd say...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 13:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That tosses the ball back into Syria's court, I'd say...
More like a live hand grenade, but other than that, right on!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/25/2003 15:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Agree with all that this is an amazing concession by Israel. I also suspect that they will want to put the weapons "in escrow" initially, just to be sure that any agreement is worth the parchment it's written on -- although Egypt & Israel are legally at peace, it seems as though Egypt has suspended most of the trade & cultural programs that were initially put into place.
Posted by: snellenr || 10/25/2003 17:36 Comments || Top||

#3  The only way I see this happening is if the US signs a formal mutual defense treaty with Israel, in which case an attack on Israel by the Arabs would be construed as an attack on the US.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/25/2003 18:30 Comments || Top||

#4  except in the context of a comprehensive peace, when their right to exist is fully recognised by all the countries of the
region


ie: when hell freezes over. Ha ha...I think that's smooth.
Posted by: B || 10/25/2003 18:45 Comments || Top||

#5  The only way I see this happening is if the US signs a formal mutual defense treaty with Israel, in which case an attack on Israel by the Arabs would be construed as an attack on the US.

Regardless of a treaty, Bush would jump in and help Isreal anyway. He's not the type of person to just let Isreal be destroyed.

Paleo terrorists is something Isreal has to handle on it's own. ( Although under the table I'm sure we're lending Intel and money ) However if several armies attack Isreal, we will step in and wipe them out. It's not the "6 Day War" anymore. And we actually have a President that is willing to take Military action against the ME, even if it's alone.
Posted by: Charles || 10/25/2003 20:53 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon
Syria wants peace efforts with Israel revived
Syrian Prime Minister Naji Al Otari said on Thursday the Arab state would welcome a revival of efforts for peace with Israel based on the outcome of previous efforts and UN resolutions. Al Otari's remarks came some two weeks after Israel carried out its deepest air strike in Syria for about three decades, triggering increased tension in the region. "Syria, which is keen on peace and exerted intensive efforts to combat terrorism, asserts that it would be in favour of any serious bid for just and comprehensive peace," said Otari.
Dump the hard boys. Then we can talk.
Al Otari, addressing European and Arab businessmen in Damascus at a conference to promote business with Europe, accused Israel of wrecking efforts for Arab-Israeli peace. "Israel, at every stage of the stages that aim at bringing peace to the region, works to foil the efforts exerted for this goal and to bring the region back to the circle of tension, violence and turbulence," he said.
"It's all their fault!"
Peace talks between the two neighbours, broke down in 2000 over the future of the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East War. Israel has said it was willing to return to the negotiations table without any conditions. Syria's longstanding stance is that any fresh efforts should build on the outcome of a decade of talks. Al Otari urged the European Union to use its good offices in the region to remove all weapons of mass destruction including Israel's nuclear arsenal.
Worried, are you?
Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons, but it tries to maintain a policy of ambiguity over its nuclear status. Syria, facing US accusations of developing chemical weapons, has asked the UN Security Council to help transform the Middle East into a "zone free of weapons of mass destruction". Syria says Washington blocked the move.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:


Pro-Syria demonstration in Beirut. Surprise!
About 50 Lebanese pro-Syrian activists staged a demonstration on the road to the US embassy Wednesday to protest a vote by US legislators to impose sanctions on Damascus. "Whoever touches Syria alienates himself from all the Arabs," read a banner carried by the demonstrators.
"Well, most of them anyway... A whole lot of them..."
The marchers, outnumbered by the soldiers and police who surrounded them, gathered at a police barrier on the northern outskirts of Beirut and the road leading to Awkar, two kilometres away, where the embassy is located. The US House of Representatives voted last week to sanction Syria for its alleged ties to terrorist groups and purported efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
The legislation also calls on Damascus to pull out its almost 20,000 troops deployed in Lebanon. Before reaching President George W. Bush's desk, the measure must be approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then by the full Senate, which is expected in the coming weeks.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:


Hezb abducted Israeli in Abu Dhabi
An Israeli businessman held by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and key to a proposed prisoner swap was kidnapped on an illicit trip to Abu Dhabi and then taken to Lebanon, Israeli security sources said on Wednesday. The revelations followed an Israeli Supreme Court ruling against an appeal by businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum's family to keep details of his abduction in late 2000 under wraps. The family fears publication could jeopardise Israeli efforts to secure the return of Tannenbaum, 57, and the bodies of three soldiers ambushed by Hezbollah in exchange for freeing several hundred Arab prisoners held in Israel.
Lousy idea. I hope to hell they don't go through with it...
The security sources said Tannenbaum went to the capital of the United Arab Emirates—which does not have diplomatic ties or a peace treaty with Israel—to pursue private deals of an unknown nature. It was not clear how he reached Abu Dhabi, given that Israeli passport-holders are barred from the country. Tannenbaum was accompanied by an Israeli Arab who secretly worked for Hezbollah and arranged the businessman's abduction through Iran to Lebanon. Hezbollah earlier said Tannenbaum, a reserve Israeli artillery colonel, was a Mossad agent who arrived in Lebanon of his own free will.
Yeah, yeah. Everybody's a Mossad agent... I wonder what involvement, if any, the Abu Dhabi authorities had in the snatch? Seems like it would be difficult to spirit the guy out of the country without the local cops noticing.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It was not clear how he reached Abu Dhabi, given that Israeli passport-holders are barred from the country.

This fact makes it obvious that he took a gamble. He lost, and the Israeli government should not be under any obligation to makes deals to secure his release.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/25/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Jordan charges 108 men with terrorism
Jordan's military prosecutor said yesterday that 108 men from southern Jordan have been charged with terrorist acts that led to the deaths of several people. Maj. Fawaz Al-Utoum said the suspected terrorists were also charged with illegal possession of automatic arms, illegal possession of explosives, importing arms for illegal use, illegal gatherings and rioting. Nineteen of the men are still at large. Others have been released on bail and will be tried soon in State Security Court. The indictments stem from shootouts in November 2002 in Maan, 210 kilometres south of Amman, that killed five people, including two police officers.
Jordan at least takes that stuff seriously...
The indictment sheet, published Wednesday in a Jordanian daily and confirmed by Utoum, said Mohammed Ahmed Al-Chalabi, better known as Abu Sayyaf, called on his followers to rebel against the public authority, the mayor of Maan city and the police chief.
I think I've lost count of the number of Abu Sayyaf's in the Islamist world...
Abu Sayyaf, arrested last month, is also being tried with 12 other terrorist suspects accused of conspiring to carry attacks against American targets, including the US Embassy and Jordanian bases where the alleged plotters believed US troops were stationed. Abu Sayyaf is suspected of ties to a banned militant group, called Takfir wal Hijra, or Repentance and Flight, that advocates isolation from the "sinful" world.
Takfir is more a philosophy (of violence, of course) than an organized movement. Takfiri tried to kill bin Laden when he lived in Sudan because he wasn't Islamist enough...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [593 views] Top|| File under:


Blast damages Arab Israeli MP’s car
A low-impact explosion lightly damaged the car of an Arab Israeli MP as his wife, who escaped uninjured, started the engine in Haifa yesterday, sources close to Issam Makhul said. “An explosion set the car on fire when she turned on the engine,” Amin Nakhle, fellow member of the Arab Israeli leftist Hadash Party, said. “The device had been placed under the car but did go off completely,” he added. “His wife Suad managed to get out and was not hurt.”
"Honey, we've had a couple bomb threats. Why don't you warm the car up today?"
"Okay, dear."
Makhlul, 51, had been about to leave his family home in Haifa, in northern Israel, in another car parked next to his wife’s, Nakhle said. “I think the political climate in Israel where ministers and MPs call for punishing and killing all those who actively support peace, prompts some people to carry out such acts,” he said.
Who'd you cheese off? Hamas? IJ? Maybe PFLP-GC — car bombs are more their style, aren't they?
The device weighed less than one kilogram, Israeli police sources said. “It is difficult to say who carried out this operation. I don’t have any personal enemies,” Makhlul told public radio, adding that he believed the blast was motivated by “nationalist” sentiment. However, Israeli parliamentary security officials quoted by the radio, said threats against Arab Israeli MPs come from “criminal elements” within their own community rather than from extremists in Israel. Makhlul, who has been an MP since 1999, will now be protected by personal guards.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/25/2003 12:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  JPost article speculated right-wing extremist Jews were the culprits
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||


Africa: West
Nigerian Muslims Refusing Polio Drops for their Children
An emergency drive to vaccinate Nigerians against polio as a spreading outbreak threatens worldwide efforts to eradicate the disease faces suspicions among Muslim fundamentalists.
Muslim fundamentalists, again.
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. "The Western world has never wished Muslims well," said Yakubu Husseini, a 20-year-old teacher coming out of Friday prayers in Kano. "Why should they expect us to believe that vaccines they make these days are not another frontier to wage war against Muslims?"
Notice the occupation of the wacko muslim—a teacher. What do you think he’s teaching his students?
International immunization campaigns have slashed the number of countries where poliovirus is still breeding to seven — Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Niger and Somalia. Ninety-nine percent of all new polio cases in the world are in Nigeria, Pakistan and India.
What do those seven countries have in common? Poverty? Rivers and heat? Sure, something else as well: they all have large muslim populations.
Nigerian Muslims have become increasingly suspicious of vaccine initiatives since 1996, when families in Kano accused New York-based Pfizer Inc. of using an experimental meningitis drug on patients without fully informing them of the risks.
Note to Pfizer: don’t ever give them another life-saving medicine. You save their children, they seek to destroy you.
"Allah knows better than all Western powers combined," said Yau 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."
"Ignorance now, igonorance ever, ignorance forever."

So don't take the freakin' immunizations. No skin off my fore. Don't bitch because your children are dying, though. But I guess that would be too much to ask.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/25/2003 11:21:17 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [383 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oh well, Darwinism at work.....
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 10/25/2003 11:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Darwinism at its finest. Let them all kick, then.
Posted by: Raj || 10/25/2003 11:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh well. Less of them.
Posted by: badanov || 10/25/2003 11:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Had a fifth grade teacher that had had polio when she was a child. She was a gentle soul, may she rest in peace. It is discouraging to see a scourge like polio make a rebound due to human ignorance.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 11:51 Comments || Top||

#5  One of my classmates had polio. Ours was one of the first schools that offered students in Louisiana the experimental drugs being tested in large numbers at that time. That was 1953 or 1954, if I remember correctly. BIG needle in those days - no sugar cube, no dropper on the tongue. Bruce had to wear a leg brace, and one leg was shorter than the other. NONE of us wanted that kind of a problem for ourselves. I think 90% of my class was innoculated.

Bruce died last year, at 55. People who survive polio don't necessarily ever TOTALLY recover from it, and it shortens lifespans considerably.

The military REQUIRED polio immunization. Between school and the military, I think I've been inoculated against polio about 20 times. So far, it's worked. Can't say anything about long-term side effects - no one in their right mind would even ATTEMPT to try to discover side effects from polio vaccine from all the other fun things I've done to my body myself, or with the military's 'help'.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/25/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||

#6  I still have a large scar on my left arm from my own polio vaccine in 1977 (I was born in 76', in Cuba.) Every time I see it I remember that it was possible to beat back the scourge thanks to progress and science. Muslim fanatics are against both. That's why we fight.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/25/2003 14:39 Comments || Top||

#7  Old Patriot - What your friend probably died from is the condition now known as "Post-Polio syndrome".

Basically, Bruce's nervous system, having been stressed by the polio virus, didn't recover fully and used up most of its reserves in the battle. After which, it had no reserves left over for the (more) natural ravages of old age.

Rather like a fuse that _almost-but-doesn't-quite_ blow during a power surge.. it's forever after more sensitive to the next surge to come along.

I feel for you, buddy. Been there, done that. Saulk, despite his minor failings in personality, was a hero who should have statues erected in his memory across the entire planet.

Ed Becerra.
Posted by: Ed Becerra || 10/25/2003 15:51 Comments || Top||

#8  "Why should they expect us to believe that vaccines they make these days are not another frontier to wage war against Muslims?"

He's right. This is how we make war against the savages. Wait till he sees a toilet.

Posted by: Shipman || 10/25/2003 15:53 Comments || Top||

#9  I feel for you, buddy. Been there, done that. Saulk, despite his minor failings in personality, was a hero who should have statues erected in his memory across the entire planet.

Can we install them by air-drop? Heck, if you can put a guidance package on a slug of concrete, why not a statue?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/25/2003 16:10 Comments || Top||

#10  Ed and OP, I have a few post-polio patients in my clinic at work. Ed's right about how the syndrome really runs you down over time -- multiple joint deformities, loss of limb and spine function, lowered resistance to infections, etc.

It's my observation that the post-polio patients are amongst the more noble people on this planet -- they refuse to give in, they keep fighting, and they have a lot of grace about them.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 18:00 Comments || Top||

#11  I started to say how evil and stupid these people are, but I also remembered Christian Scientists. I've worked with several christian scientists - all world-smart, modern in accepting current technology, and all-around excellent people to deal with. I just don't get how a parent could do this - refusing what the rest of the world accepts as a cure. Similar thinking between the groups, different conditions - I just don't get it, and will always grieve for children suffering the consequences for their parent's beliefs
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 21:38 Comments || Top||

#12  all world -smart, modern in accepting current technology HUH? Those are the idiots that refuse medical care because of a heretic named Mary Baker Eddy and you have respect for those assholes?!--you must have loved Jim Jones--he only was responsible for 900 some deaths--their bogus religions has killed more
Posted by: NotMikeMoore || 10/25/2003 23:03 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Ted Kenney's speech at UC Irvine
Ted Kennedy today gave the annual Peltason Lecture at UC Irvine. It alternates between the left and the right — apparently, last year they had Jeane Kirkpatrick.

Kennedy was good-humored and eloquent. Calm, composed and stately. He started off by saying, "I hope I'm not gonna be asked about Arnold...Arnold's something different. I love Arnold. Why wouldn't you if he has you by the ankles and upside down?"

His speech, which lasted about forty-five minutes, focused on the issues of Iraq, the economy, education and health care.

Let me start with one of his admirable qualities — his bipartisanship. He was in favor of working with the Republicans to pass a prescription drug benefit even though that would favor the Republicans in the upcoming elections. Many Democrats do not want such a measure to pass precisely for that reason. This suggests that he really believes in following the course that he believes is best for the people he represents, irrespective of petty political squabbles. That was refreshing.

He also made an interesting observation in reply to a question (apparently about the Arab perception of America) at the end of his speech. In the Arab world, it seems that people hate America in countries whose leaders suck up to America (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Egypt) and vice versa (e.g. Iran). And that America is missing a real oppurtunity by not capitalising on that sentiment.

Having said that, there was plenty that I disagreed with.

He went into the (by now) standard screed about how we went into Iraq under false pretenses.

He said that the end of the Cold War gave America unparalleled power — and that power was now America's foremost problem. How absolute power corrupts absolutely. How to create a free and prosperous Iraq we should: 1) Involve the UN more and 2) bring our troops back home.

But the only thing holding that place together is American (and coalition) troops on the ground. And he wants to bring them back? The most disastrous thing for Iraq would be for American to pull out now. Even Howard Dean agrees, that the situation being what it is, for better or worse, we must see Iraq through this.

He also said that "it makes no sense to try and bypass the United Nations", and that America should "share with the UN the process of reconstruction", which would give it "legitimacy", and "remove the stigma of occupation".

Seriously, the great United Nations? Which has degenerated into nothing but a "talking shop for third world dictators and their European apologists".

Think about it. What is the logical basis for checking every step with the United Nations? There is none. By its very nature, the UN gives totalitarian regimes the same vote as free nations, and stresses endless "dialogue" over real action. It is nothing but a road block towards real, effective action. Isn't it a moral abomination when Tariq Aziz, who was a brutal dictator's spokesman, can wear a suit and have a voice equal in dignity and importance (and media coverage) to nations which value and protect the freedom of individuals?

Kennedy was also big on "rights". He spoke of "social justice", and the "right to health care", and the "right to higher education".

Huh? Where did these rights come from? At whose expense? The way I see it, social security and social health care is just a huge transfer of wealth from high-income people to the rest of society — enforced by the state.

This is a very slippery slope. In large parts of Europe, extensive social security cannot be overturned simply because the number of people dependent on it outnumber the people paying for it. Any party that opposes it will immediately get voted out of power. It's a vicious cycle. The "right" to health care and higher education is but the first step down that hill.

But more speciously, this is the first step towards the emotionalization of the issues. Social justice. Health care. Higher education. Who but the most brutal, heartless person would be against it? Opposing such issues automatically makes you the Grinch. What is missing is a thorough analysis of both the moral and the practical justifications for such measures. Who pays for this? Where does the buck stop?

There is some very delicate sleight of hand going on here. The American constitution only guarantees equality of oppurtunity, not equality of results. What Kennedy is arguing for is equality of results. In health care, and in higher education. That brings us another step closer to a collectivist, communist, state-controlled paradise, doesn't it?
Posted by: Vivek || 10/25/2003 10:30:42 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [334 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let me start with one of his admirable qualities — his bipartisanship.

WTF? And the article goes downhill from there.
Posted by: Raj || 10/25/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#2  The prescription drug benefit is actually a benefit for large automotive manufactures. The big three would like to foist a large portion of its health care expenditures for retirees onto the taxpayer. My company sent e-mail'd talking points to all salary personnel. The company assigned us PIN's to a voice mail system for calling our congressmen. We had instructions to demand that Congress get off its butt and move on this issue.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 21:13 Comments || Top||

#3  Fat Boy lost his bet to Shumer and Hillary on the Sox- Yankee series, so now he's supposed to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" on the Capitol steps wearing a Yankee cap. Please God let there be a video camera there when this happens.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/25/2003 23:52 Comments || Top||

#4  his car has still killed more people then my gun........
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/26/2003 0:04 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon
Syria Sees Islamic Resurgence
Registration required EFL
Two decades after Syria ruthlessly uprooted militant Islam, killing an estimated 10,000 people, this most secular of Arab states is experiencing a dramatic religious resurgence. Friday Prayers draw overflowing crowds. More heavily veiled women and bearded men jostle unharried among city pedestrians. Family restaurants on the outskirts of Damascus do not serve alcohol, and one fashionable boutique even sports a sign advertising Islamically modest bathing suits. Syrian experts on religious matters and others attribute the phenomenon — more creeping than confrontational — to various factors. Islam is proving appealing through much of the Arab world, including Syria, as a means to protest corrupt, incompetent and oppressive governments.

In Syria, some experts attribute the sudden openness of the phenomenon to a far more local fear. The hasty collapse of the Baath government next door in Iraq stunned Syria’s rulers, particularly the fact that most Iraqis reacted to the American onslaught as if they were bored spectators. In the face of threats from the United States and Israel, Syria seeks to forge nationalist sentiment with any means possible, experts believe, including fostering the very brand of religious fundamentalism that it once pruned so mercilessly. "This is an attempt at mobilization," said Abdul Razzak Eid, a well-known political writer in this historic city, the country’s second largest, 210 miles north of Damascus. "They want to create an aggressive feeling against the Americans." It is, he and others note, a dangerous game. Experiments at fostering fundamentalist movements to counter some perceived threat can backfire. "There is no overt political Islam," Mr. Eid said, "but they are building a base, and the moment they have the chance, they will act to become fanatic, extremist movements."

Syria, of course, knows about extremist movements. Increasingly violent skirmishes with the Muslim Brotherhood prompted President Hafez al-Assad to move against them in 1982, sending troops to kill at least 10,000 people and smashing the old city of Hama. Hundreds of fundamentalist leaders were jailed, many never seen alive again. Syria’s various secret services then tracked radical militants around the world — one reason the government could provide so much helpful information to the United States about Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11 attacks. Domestically, though, Hafez al-Assad did two things that helped foster the current resurgence. He built hundreds of mosques, trying to counter the sense among Syria’s Sunni Muslims that his minority Alawite sect was religiously suspect. He also founded myriad schools to study the Koran, which Syrians say in recent years dropped the gentle Sufi Islam once prevalent here, replacing it with the more intolerant Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia. Some Syrian intellectuals say militant Islam has peaked. They say the government manipulates the religious resurgence as a safety valve, periodically loosening the restraints to see who is involved so they can be monitored."The regime on this issue continues to put the question in a very drastic way, `It’s either us or a Taliban government,’ " said one Syrian intellectual. Such experts say the government opened the doors to jihad in Iraq to see who would go, detaining those who made it back alive. Islamic activists make up the biggest block of political prisoners, human rights activists say.

Virulent sermons delivered by young mullahs like Sheik Mahmoud al-Ghassi, who leads a mosque in the working-class district of Saqhour, provide the most startling example of the careful line negotiated by the politically inclined. In his sermon last Friday, he attacked the "atheist dogs" waging war in the region. He painted economic sanctions threatened by the United States Congress as part of an Israeli plot to control all from the Nile to the Euphrates. He even offered mild criticism of his own government for relying on international organizations like the United Nations to rescue Syria. Islam is the only weapon required, he said. "The Koran is stronger than America," shouted the tall, thin, bearded sheik, his voice rising to fevered pitch. "Be prepared with all your strength so that the enemy of God shall be intimidated." By the time he finished the hourlong sermon cataloging the multiple evils facing Syria, many of the hundreds of worshipers in his rough concrete mosque were weeping. Sheik Ghassi — known as Abul Qaqa, the name of one of the early followers of the Prophet Muhammad and the Arabic word for the sound of clashing swords — demurred when asked directly whether he would like to see an Islamic state in Syria. But in the course of an interview, he suggested that Islamic rule here would be something organic once everyone realized that the faith can solve the country’s problems. In the call and response segment at the end of the prayers, when the sheik called for freeing the prisoners from Guantánamo, he was answered with a resounding "O Lord!" When he called on God to preserve Syria’s rulers, the volume diminished considerably. A few of the young men around the sheik sport military fatigues, and he has distributed various videotapes in this heavily Sunni Muslim city — something impossible in Syria without government approval — that show them going through calisthenics and paramilitary training exercises.

It would be funny, if it weren't so tragic, that each of these guys, one after the other, is convinced he's smarter than the last guy and that the last guy's mistakes don't apply to him. When you make deals with the devil, they don't redound to your benefit.

Syria's managed to build this ediface themselves. They helped invent, then bought, the Pan-Arab story — remember the United Arab Republic? What was cynical propaganda a couple generations ago has become TRVTH™ to the current generation of party hacks by simple repetition. Meanwhile, the world's changed out from under them. There's only one Baathist government left in the world, two if you count Paleostine and they don't admit to it. Even before Iraq collapsed, Baath parties had taken on the aura of quaint atiquity that used to accompany 85-year-old Russian grand dukes in exile in Paris. They represented an idea whose time has gone. If they were able to change with the times, they'd drop the tin hats and the military parades, fire the minister of information, and become secular socialists. The problem is that they've painted themselves into an ideological corner by anti-Zionism, which tosses them into the same pile as the religious ideologues in Iran and further afield. The terrorism business used to be a secular pursuit and they didn't get out when the religious goons took over. Having followed the path of Armed Struggle™, they find themselves in lockstop with whomever else happens to be travelling the same direction.

The people travelling the same direction aren't the same ones the Syrians started the trip with, and now they're not even sure what the destination might be. To Sheikh al-Ghassi, Islam is the answer, regardless of the question. To the Boy President, Islam is another means of controlling The Masses™. Someday, perhaps when we've become more articulate as a nation, The Masses™ will catch on to the idea that they don't exist. We may someday see hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of individuals, each with his or her own home, hearth, family, lares and pentates, snarling at the authoritarians that they'll do as they damned well please, thank you. But we're still in the early stages and there are going to be setbacks before the world reaches critical mass. Syria will probably be one...
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/25/2003 9:28:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "...Sheik Ghassi — known as Abul Qaqa, the name of one of the early followers of the Prophet Muhammad and the Arabic word for the sound of clashing swords — ..."

..First, is there ANYBODY in this part of the world who doesn't have a freakin' alias?
Secondly, I'm gonna ask Sheik Gassy - I mean, Ghassi - to hold up his Koran and see how well it deflects a Mk84 JDAM.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 10/25/2003 10:28 Comments || Top||

#2  "Abul Qaqa"? I hope the 'q' is pronounced like a 'k'.

Seriously, who's surprised? Syria's been using the religious loons to wage a proxy war, and now the snake's looping back to strike them.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/25/2003 11:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Abul Qa-Qa? Can't imagine anyone can take him seriously with that name.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 17:55 Comments || Top||

#4  Now that Baathism has fallen flat on its face, Assad is turning to Islamist private armies to bolster his rule. What he is doing is like someone breeding poisonous snakes in his own backyard - getting bitten is only a matter of time.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/25/2003 18:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Ba'athism was always such a wanky ideology - you're only an Arab if you have faith in the 'eternal mission' of the Arab Nation etc etc. Even fellow Arabs like Fouad Ajami were of the opinion that Aflaq was full of shit.
But in the course of an interview, he suggested that Islamic rule here would be something organic once everyone realized that the faith can solve the country’s problems. Wasn't that Ali Belhaj's line: How will you reduce the tax burden if the FIS come to power? You'll pay women salaries to be housewives - where will the money come from? What will you do about the foreign debt? Ah, there will be an islamic solution!
Seriously though, has the boy Asad never heard about what happened to Sadat? Isn't it slightly daft to encourage a Sunni revival when most (all?) Sunnis see Nusayris (Alawites) as disgusting heretics?
Posted by: Dave || 10/26/2003 18:31 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Masked Israeli troops arrest two militants in raids on two Palestinian hospitals
Hamas finds another place isn’t safe for a hide out
Dozens of Israeli troops wearing black ski masks and armed with assault rifles raided two West Bank hospitals before dawn Saturday, arresting two suspected Palestinian militants, including a critically injured patient.
Unplug ’em and haul em away
Around 3 a.m., troops pulled up in jeeps and swept into the two hospitals in the city of Nablus, confining doctors and other staff to rooms for more than an hour as they kicked open doors in room-to-room searches, witnesses said.
"I’m sorry visiting hours are....hey!...."
The operation followed several similar raids in recent weeks, including cases where soldiers arrested militants hiding in hospitals. It raised fears among doctors and human rights groups that, after three years of fighting, hospitals were no longer neutral ground.
sounds like the Paleos already made that clear
In Nablus’ Anglican Hospital Saturday, soldiers entered the intensive care unit and snatched Khaled Hamed, a 25-year-old member of the militant Hamas group who was badly injured Wednesday when explosives inside a car he was riding in went off accidentally. One man was killed in the blast and another injured.
badly injured and not getting better .....
Dr. Annan Abdel Hak said Hamed lost two fingers in the blast and suffered bleeding in his brain and light burns on his body. "I explained to the soldiers how critical his condition is," said the doctor said. "Then they removed the machines from his body."
finish the job
Hamed had planned suicide bombing attacks, a military source said, adding that troops took him in a military ambulance to an Israeli hospital where he was in stable condition. Elsewhere in the city, troops stormed Rafidiyeh Hospital and arrested an armed member of the violent Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The military said troops found the man, whom Palestinians identified as Jawad Ishtayeh, 27, hiding in the hospital’s cellar and armed with a pistol.
what was that about neutral ground?
Palestinian security sources said the man was not a patient and was apparently using the hospital as a hide-out. An American peace activist witnessed the arrest raid in the hospital, where he was recovering from light gunshot wounds to his leg. He said he was hurt along with a fellow activist from Australia by Israeli army gunfire after dark Friday during clashes in the city’s Balata refugee camp. "Around 3 a.m. I was woken up with a flash light shining in my face. I opened my eyes and had an M-16 pointed in my face," said Mark Turner, 24, from Boulder, Colo.
"I was so scared I wet myself. I had to pray to St. Pancake for strength"
He said soldiers in black ski masks and bullet proof vests stood at the foot of hospital beds for more than an hour, pointing guns at staff and patients and warning people not to make a sound. Phone lines were cut, and soldiers made some doctors and nurses to lie on the ground and told patients to put their hands in the air, Turner said. Another soldier filmed patients with a hand-held video recorder. As they left, Turner looked from a hospital window and saw one man being arrested.
"Hi, there, Mahmoud. Visiting somebody?"
"Ummm... Yeah. My grandmaw."
"Stick 'em up!"
Saturday’s raids were the third and fourth Israeli military sweeps of Palestinian hospitals in the last two months. Israeli army spokeswoman Maj. Sharon Feingold said Palestinian militants were making a new strategy of hiding out in hospitals to avoid arrest, and that troops would continue to search for them. "Hospitals should not be used to harbor terrorists," Feingold said.
Just an extension of their strategy of riding around in ambulances...
Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat accused the Israelis of violating international human rights laws with the raids. "This is a very grave measure by the Israeli army," Erekat said. "This is the most flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention when hospitals are not safe anymore from Israeli atrocities."
Bwahahaha - why can’t Saeb catch a stray bullet?
I think the requirement is that combatants from both sides not use hospitals for military purposes. Not even freedumb fighters...
In August, troops patrolling Nablus fired at three Palestinian fugitives hiding on the roof of Rafidiyeh Hospital, killing one and seriously wounding two. The men had sought refuge in the hospital during an Israeli arrest sweep and ignored pleas from doctors to leave. Four days later, troops snatched the two injured men, carrying them out of the hospital on stretchers. On Sept. 24, about 50 Israeli troops surrounded and stormed a hospital in the northern West Bank town of Qalqiliya, searching for Mikdam Jaber, a militant from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, who had a bullet wound in the stomach from a clash with troops earlier in the day. Fellow militants carried him out a back door and escaped before troops could arrest him, witnesses said. The director of Rafidiyeh Hospital, Husam al-Johari, expressed outrage that soldiers were searching hospitals for militants among patients but also anger that militants were using hospitals as hide-outs. Yet he said he and his staff are powerless to force the militants out.
"Don’t kill us!"
"We are not police, we are doctors first," said al-Johari. "We don’t have the ability to stop people from coming in, to check ID’s, to act as a policing force in the hospital."
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 9:15:53 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bravo! They want conventions honored? Take this for a convention: terrorists will be apprehended at any place, at any time, and in any way. If your culture approves of civilian bus bombings and child suicides, your militants are fair game at any place, at any time, and in any way. Bus bombers, suicidal maniacs, and their leaders don't honor international conventions. Go ahead -- be outraged about that!
Posted by: Tom || 10/25/2003 11:45 Comments || Top||

#2  "We are not police, we are doctors first," said al-Johari. "We don’t have the ability to stop people from coming in, to check ID’s, to act as a policing force in the hospital."

I am not a doctor but doesn't part of the Hippocratic oath state, without equivocation: First, do no harm?

These people are neck deep in a culture of nihilism and Marxist inspired violence. It would seem to me one of the more prudent measures a physician can take is to ensure he doesn't allow terrorist to hide in his facility to escape justice.
Posted by: badanov || 10/25/2003 12:04 Comments || Top||

#3  It's really not the doctor's responsibility to monitor the doors of the hospital--in any large American city the public hospitals have security guards that can make arrests and detain. That's what needs to be done in the Palestinian hospitals if they don't want anymore midnight visits!
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 10/25/2003 12:11 Comments || Top||


Hamas hit hard by assassination policy
The Jerusalem Post is not an extremist publication. However, consider what it said on 10 September: "The world will not help us; we must help ourselves. We must kill as many of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders as possible, as quickly as possible, while minimising collateral damage, but not letting the damage stop us. And we must kill Yasser Arafat, because the world leaves us no alternative." For the leaders of Hamas, those words are a reality as they struggle to survive an all-out Israeli campaign to eradicate them that has driven them deep underground and paralysed the organisation’s operations. Many have been killed. Others have narrowly escaped death.

Hamas’ security apparatus has been penetrated: the Israelis are getting a stream of precise information on the movements and plans of the leadership. Air strikes are launched at short notice following tip-offs by informers within Hamas. The vast network of informers, real or alleged, that the Israelis are said to have built up spreads panic and distrust. Scores of Hamas footsoldiers have been arrested or shot in Israeli sweeps through Gaza or the West Bank. Despite threats of retaliation, Hamas has not carried out any major attacks in recent weeks, apparently the result of the Israeli campaign and the extent of the penetration of the organisation’s security. Collaborators daub the roofs of target vehicles with dye invisible to the naked eye but easily detected by sensors in the Israeli helicopters. A militant riding in a donkey cart fooled nobody: he was killed by a missile fired from a helicopter in Khan Yunis. Disguises are worn; use of mobile phones is kept to a minimum. Leaders no longer attend funerals of militants killed by the Israelis.

Our prediction: Israeli operations, including undercover forays by Mossad, will intensify and spread in the coming months. But suicide bombers will not abandon their mission. The dirty war continues.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/25/2003 8:48:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Awwwww, da poor Hamas and Islamic Jihad babies - did dem get a boo-boo?

GOOD!

Hope Yas-ass gets a bigger one.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 10/25/2003 9:32 Comments || Top||

#2  God bless Mossad. They are back, rested, ready and coming for Hamas and Hezbollah murderers...
Posted by: badanov || 10/25/2003 12:07 Comments || Top||

#3  No more tit-for-tat.
Posted by: Lucky || 10/25/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Wanna deal them a really BIG blow? Kill Rantissi and Yassin.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/25/2003 13:18 Comments || Top||

#5  Nice line about all the informers in Hamas. Get 'em looking at each other funny. Maybe catch a few freebies when they start shooting the grunts they don't like the looks of...
Posted by: mojo || 10/25/2003 13:23 Comments || Top||


Caucasus
Chechen Rogues’ Gallery
The main names I know are Basayev, Abu Walid, and Gelayev, but I figured that these folks would make a lovely addition to Thugburg.
Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has brought charges in absentia within the framework of the criminal case instigated into the hostage taking in Moscow’s Nord-Ost theatre, the press service of the office reported on Wednesday. Charges were brought against Shamil Basayev, Khasan Zakayev and Gerikhan Dudayev. They are charged with organizing a criminal community, organization and directing a terrorist act and hostage-taking. All three men have been put on international wanted lists. Investigators have established that in 2001-2002 Shamil Basayev planned and organized a number of terrorist acts in Moscow – like bomb blasts in public places and hostage taking. The criminal pursued a goal to apply pressure to the Russian authorities and to make the latter order to withdraw troops from Chechnya.
I haven't seen Khasan referenced before. I'd guess he's a relative of Akhmed Zakayev. Same with Gerikhan, presumably a relative of former presidente and master bandido Dzhokar Dudayev.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 10/25/2003 1:57:55 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:


Russia sez Gelayev’s in Georgia
A bit of a follow-up to the Georgian denials ...
Chechen field commander Ruslan Gelayev has created a stable system of interregional drug trade between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, representative of the regional headquarters for the anti-terrorist campaign in the North Caucasus Col. Ilya Shabalkin told Interfax on Thursday.
So he has contacts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and I imagine that there are IMU folks in Tajikistan. The IMU was said to have had a role in coordinating the hostage seige last October.
"According to rebels, who have surrendered to police, Ruslan Gelayev and his group are based in Svanetia, Georgia. He has friendly relations with a number of regional leaders and businessmen, and he is involved in commerce via dummy companies," Shabalkin said.
Pleasant fellow. Maybe liberalhawk was right and he’s just renting ...
Some of Gelayev’s rebels are based in the Pankisi Gorge, Ahmet, Duisi and Dumasturi.
The rest are in Chechnya.
"The rebels think that living conditions in Georgia are much better than those in the Chechen highlands. Besides, they receive food and medical aid, which was initially intended for refugees, from international non-governmental organizations functioning in Georgia," Shabalkin said.
They may be functioning in Georgia, but they’re based in Riyadh ...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 10/25/2003 1:55:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:


Africa: Southern
Zimbabwe protesters arrested
Zimbabwe police have arrested scores of demonstrators as they tried to protest against worsening economic conditions they blame on mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe’s government. Witnesses said riot police armed with batons sealed off a square in the capital Harare’s city center Wednesday, trapping National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) activists who had gathered to demonstrate against chronic shortages of fuel, foreign currency and food.
Could have been worse, they could have been parboiled and served with barbecue sauce: Congolese "beef".
A Reuters correspondent saw about a dozen protesters loaded into a truck while riot police, some with police dogs, stood guard over another group. NCA members said as many as 400 people were arrested and taken to police stations. NCA spokesperson Ernest Mudzengi said Wednesday police arrested the group’s chairman Lovemore Madhuku in the crackdown at Africa Unity Square, near parliament and Mugabe’s town offices. "The NCA activists were protesting against the problems of fuel, the problems of transport, escalating inflation and all the other problems facing Zimbabweans which are a result of bad governance, which is itself the result of a defective constitution," Mudzengi told Reuters.
All starting with a thug in power.
Police had no immediate comment on the arrests.
"We will say no more!"
Posted by: Steve White || 10/25/2003 1:43:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It takes a serious talent for f******Up to make Rhodesia a beggar state.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/25/2003 8:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Of course Amnesty International and Human rights Watch an all the other anti-american ankle biters will be all over this, right? Anyone?.........*crickets chirping*........
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 8:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Anyone know whether the widespread disatisfaction is coherent enough for Mugabe to get the boot. If so who would replace the guy? Somebody worse?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 9:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Internally he's still pretty strong due to his control of the police and brownshirt youths...the tipping point will be if So Africa sees so many refugees that they join an effective blockade of Bobland. If he can't give goodies, food, gas, or money to his minions to stay in control, he'll be ousted (and hopefully killed by mobs along with his kleptocratic wife Grace). The countrie's been run so far into the shithole that whoever takes over will have a rough time, and probably revert to thugism out of habit
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 11:46 Comments || Top||

#5  Thank you, Frank. I guess Kadaffy wounded Bob pretty badly when he stopped the free oil for land deal.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 11:48 Comments || Top||

#6  yw - it's sad to think that Rhodesia used to be a major exporter of food/grain. The land redisribution from whites (who knew what they were doing) to Bob's cronies has destroyed their agrarian economy. I've heard that many of the farmers have relocated to adjoining countries. Who went where? - look at the food supplies in a couple years and you'll be able to guess pretty accurately. Africa will be a festering sore for a long time
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 12:11 Comments || Top||

#7  Frank G,
Winds of Change has a link to an article about Zambia's recent doubling of its grain production. Evidently the persecuted farmers who fled Bobland, remembered how to farm. The persecuted Scots who are transforming an African nation
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 12:24 Comments || Top||

#8  Interesting article SH, I just hope Bob doesn't send someone to whack him
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 10/25/2003 12:42 Comments || Top||

#9  good catch SH - Zambia ho!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/25/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#10  The BBC has another article on the reopeing of Bob's favorite paper, the Daily News.
With a front-page headline saying "We're back", the daily went on sale on Saturday, for the first time since it was shut down by police six weeks ago.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/25/2003 14:47 Comments || Top||

#11  I'm still not used to the idea of Scots being:

1. Persecuted
B. Farmers
III. Being so patient.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/25/2003 15:50 Comments || Top||

#12  There's a world of us Scots that would take offense at those words, laddie, so be careful! Actually, my ancestors came to America to guard Savannah from wild injuns, then married into the tribe... hoodathunkit
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/25/2003 18:57 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
39[untagged]

Bookmark
E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Thugburg
RSS Links
Gulf War I
The Way We Were
Bio

Merry-Go-Blog
Hair Through the Ages










On Sale now!


A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Seafarious
Pappy
lotp
Scooter McGruder
john frum
tu3031
badanov
sherry
ryuge
GolfBravoUSMC
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Gloria
Fred
Besoeker
Glenmore
Frank G
3dc
Skidmark
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2003-10-25
  Jordan charges 108 with terrorism
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

Better than the average link...



Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
54.92.148.165
Paypal:
(0)    (0)    (0)    (0)    (0)