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-Short Attention Span Theater-
"Silly Rabbit"
OK, way off topic, but after you see "Kill Bill", you’ll never hear those words without a chill running down your neck:
IT’S SO, so wrong. And that’s why you love it. What could be more satisfying to watch than Uma Thurman plunging a blade between her opponent’s ribs? Is there any greater pleasure in life than the sound Lucy Liu makes as she glides across a conference table in order to swiftly decapitate the guy that dissed her? Could Uma be any more deliciously dirty as she bends a teenage boy over her knee to spank his sorry ass with a 25-inch Samurai sword?
I give it five stars!!
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 1:13:51 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kill Bill has lots of buzz. My doc saw it and loved it in spite of the gore. Great cartoon factor he said.
Posted by: Jabba the Nutt || 10/14/2003 18:21 Comments || Top||

#2  totally agreed - I saw it saturday
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 19:08 Comments || Top||


Model airplane crosses the Atlantic
For those of you still contemplating building your own cruise missiles in the garage...
He may be legally blind and partially deaf, but 77-year-old Maynard Hill can still perform miracles with balsa and glue: In August the retired engineer stunned the hobby world by building the first model airplane to cross an ocean. The Spirit of Butts Farm sailed from Newfoundland to Ireland in 38 hours and 52 minutes, shattering world aeromodel records for flight time and distance. Strict rules set by the Switzerland-based Fédération Aéronautique Internationale demand that a model weigh no more than 11 pounds. So Hill and his 12-man team spent five years developing a miniature satellite-guided autopilot capable of navigating the Atlantic. Even more daunting was how to fly 1,888 miles on less than a gallon of fuel, which was all Spirit’s tank could hold and still make weight. Hill started by swapping out the stock carburetor in his four-stroke, 10cc engine for a smaller one that sucked less gas. He then wired the engine with an electronic ignition and spark plug capable of burning Coleman lantern fuel, which explodes with more gusto than the Glo fuel most hobbyists use, he says. Another fuel-saving trick: Hill tuned Spirit’s engine to putter along at an average 49 miles per hour. The result? "A typical model engine can go for 10 minutes on 12 ounces of fuel," Hill says. "Mine can go for about six hours."
I think there were more details in the print version. Regardless there is a good pic at the link as well.
Posted by: Dar || 10/14/2003 1:08:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Great, now bombs can come over with minaturized Jihadi's.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 13:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Great, now bombs can come over with minaturized Jihadi's.

Like Noor Tantray?
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 14:49 Comments || Top||

#3  I thought small planes weren't a problem. What's Blix's opinion.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

#4  With small planes, basically high-tech RC's, you are going to still have a payload problem. I think that the Jihadis are looking for stock or modified stock equipment that they can boom, bio, or make a chem attack with. Why go to all that effort of transcontinental or intercontinental transport when one can smuggle in a package and use a Toyota for transport.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 17:45 Comments || Top||

#5  Alaska Paul, the little plane has merit for a terrorist because terrorism is about making people petrified. Lots of folks saw North by Northwest.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 19:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Keep in mind that the payload restriction on this particular model is an artifact of the rules, and not an inherent limitation of the vehicle itself. Given its wing-loading and power loading, the little device should be able to carry several pounds of additional payload, more than enough for certain terrorist devices.
It is also possible, obviously, to build a much larger model, say, 50 pounds or more gross weight, with the same basic technology.
It would not necessarily have to be capable of transoceanic flight, either, since the launch point could be a camelshaggistan-registered container ship in mid-ocean or a mosque in some sort of dhimmi enclave, say, Berkeley or Ottawa.

Reginald Denny, the 1930s Hollywood character actor, was also an RC enthusiast. He used that experience to start building radio-controlled target drones for the military before World War 2, and eventually founded the Radioplane Corporation, still in business as a division of Northrop-Grumman.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/14/2003 20:28 Comments || Top||

#7  As a kid growing up in Louisiana, I used to be fascinated by one hobby shop in Alexandria. The guy that owned it had built a 1/32 scale Lockheed Constellation, powered by 4 electrically-started engines, with working flaps, rudder, retractible gear, the whole nine yards. At that scale, the aircraft was some 11 feet long, and had a wingspan of about 10 feet. IIRC, he said it had a five-hour cruise limit at 75mph, using radio-controlled variable-pitch props. Remember, this was in the late 1950's - this thing was built of some pretty heavy wood (Balsa won't handle that much stress), and about 16 coats of laquer, which is HEAVY. Predator can loiter around 16 to 18 hours.

The capability to do damage to someone, somewhere, at some time, isn't limited. There are dozens of ways it can be done. The only way to keep these fruitcakes from doing what they please is the threat of us coming down on them like a ton of bricks from high orbit. Only the threat of massive, unrestrained retaliation can restrain madmen. Clinton's half-hearted retaliation to Embassy and other bombings led directly to 9/11. UBL and Al Qaeda were shocked by Bush's response, because it was so different from Clinton's. They're still trying to recover.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/15/2003 1:14 Comments || Top||


German man charged with teaching dog to give Hitler salute
Hat tip: Drudge. Edited for brevity.
A German man is to appear in court charged with teaching his dog to give the Hitler salute. The black sheepdog-mix, named Adolf, has been taught to lift his right front paw up straight in the salute on command. Police were called to the scene in Berlin when Roland T, 54, shouted at passers-by last year. When a patrol arrived, he allegedly showed them the trick he had taught his dog, gave the salute along with Adolf, and shouted: "Sieg Heil." Now he has been charged with using symbols of unconstitutional organisations. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison.
"Great goose-stepping greyhounds, Batman, what a diabolical scheme!"
Posted by: Dar || 10/14/2003 9:55:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [307 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison.

Is that in dog years?
Posted by: Penguin || 10/14/2003 11:25 Comments || Top||

#2  I guess tyranical dictatorships that destroyed the country are a touchy subject, huh?
Posted by: Charles || 10/14/2003 13:30 Comments || Top||

#3  No Woof Blitzkreig jokes please.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 14:04 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm sure there will be calls to put the dog to sleep. While I am not a PETA person, just cutting the dogs leg off should be sufficient. We can all learn moderation from Isalm if we care to listen. I hear it... "Peace Train holy rolling.."
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 15:15 Comments || Top||

#5  But the dog was not a purebred! Notify the RSHA immediately! Racial defilement!

____________borgboy sez: "'just say no' to mixed race mutts!"
Posted by: borgboy || 10/14/2003 15:19 Comments || Top||

#6  T ro'T is in a heap of trouble, I think.

BTW, would he be a hundfuehrer?(from Great Escape)
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 15:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Just re-train the dog to use its back leg instead.
Posted by: Mom || 10/14/2003 23:31 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
Details Of The Taliban “Great Escape”
From Jihad Unspun, so watch the spin:
More details are emerging about the jail break in the city of Kandahar, the birth place of Taliban. Jang, Pakistan’s most respected Urdu daily have released details concerning the recent escape of 41 Taliban and high ranking prisoners from the prison in Kandahar. The escapees included the Minister of Defense for Taliban Mullah Aubaid Ullah and many other high ranking commanders. The deputy inspector general of Police for the region, General Mohammed Salam told reporters that more than 40 prisoners escaped by digging a tunnel under the walls of the compound. Salam acknowledged Mullah Aubaid Ullah as one of the escapees but declined to name the others.
"I can say no more"
Taliban spokesman Haji Abdul Lateef has also confirmed the report and said that among the escapees was also the brother of Mullah Aubaid Ullah, Mullah Abdullah, another high ranking Taliban official and a commander named Aziz Agham who mounted a number of successful attacks in the months before his capture earlier this year.
Is there more than one "Mullah Abdullah"? I seem to see that name alot.
A senior government intelligence official said that the escape may have been “an inside job” as five jail guards are currently unaccounted for however the Taliban could have taken them hostage in order to guarantee safe passage during their escape.
At least that’s the story I’d tell if I was one of the five.
The governor of Khandahar Yousuf Pushtoon having declared the incident “a serious matter” has ordered a search of the entire province. Confirming the suspicion that the release of Taliban Foreign minister Mullah Wakil Mutawakkil could be linked to the escape, an official of the Afghan government confirmed that the government is looking into the possibility that Mullah Mutawakkil was linked to the escape. Afghan police say 20 of the escapees have been caught however other news reports contradict this. Considering only two of the escapees had been identified there is much speculation that this claim is nothing more than an effort by police to save face for the very angry governor and the Karzai government.
"Mahmoud! Round up 20 of the usual suspects, quick! And put another 21 on ice for later!"
In the aftermath of the escape, the government is also cracking down on suspected Taliban spies inside police and army units. The superintendent of the jail was instantly relieved of his job, while 10 other officials have been arrested.
Sounds like a good move, unless they manage to escape, too...
The Taliban prisoners were originally caught in the fighting in Zabul, and were to be delivered to the Americans and possibly shipped to the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One intelligence official said that the theory presented by government of the Taliban digging a tunnel under the jail was to hide the fact that it could not successfully guard one of the most important Taliban officials ever caught, namely Mullah Aubaid Ullah. The official said that in actual fact, twelve members of the elite Taliban Rapid Reaction Force, created when Commander of the Faithful Mullah Omar when he met recently with his regional corps commanders to revise strategy, attacked the base and ushered the Taliban officials out of the prison to safety.
Taliban Rapid Reaction Force? What, they the ones with the fast motorcycles?
So then, to cover up, the gummint hurry-churry, chop-chop, dug the tunnel we saw on the teevee this weekend. I knew it all along...
Government officials said the Friday night escape could not have been carried out without the assistance of guards. Taliban Commander, Mullah Sabir, was quoted by Gulf News as saying that the group paid bribes of 100,000 Afghanis ($2,000) to the prison authorities for each of the escapees however this report remains unconfirmed.
That sounds likely.
A lot more likely than the Elite Taliban Rapid Reaction Force descending upon the provincial jug and picking 41 prisoners to make off with...
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 9:49:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I imagine that the US is quite realistic about what will happen to Taliban members who are left in Afghan jails. It seems unlikely to me that anyone of importance escaped - not to disrespect the brother of Mullah Aubaid Ullah, Mullah Abdullah, another high ranking Taliban official and a commander named Aziz Agham. I'm sure tehy will tell their grand children of the courageous escape from the prison guarded by 900 ruthless infidels.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 12:28 Comments || Top||


Hundreds of Afghan, U.S. Troops Raid Camp
Hundreds of Afghan troops backed by U.S. soldiers and helicopters attacked a suspected Taliban hide-out, killing at least four rebels and capturing eight others. One Afghan soldier was killed and five others were wounded. Jan Mohammed Khan, governor of the central Uruzgan province, said the captured Taliban appeared to be residents of Uruzgan and the neighboring province of Zabul. The raid started Monday in the Chaar Cheno district, an area about 90 miles northeast of Kandahar that is believed to be a Taliban stronghold, after troops surrounded the suspected camp, police chief Haji Mohammed Akhtar said. It was continuing Tuesday, but Akhtar gave no other details. "We will either kill or capture these Taliban," Akhtar said.
If you kill them, they can’t escape from jail later.
A U.S. military spokesman at Bagram confirmed U.S. troops were involved in the raid in an e-mail. "Coalition forces in support of Afghan militia are engaged in combat operations against anti-coalition forces at this time," Col. Rodney Davis said. "We prefer not to say more while operations are ongoing."
"I can say no more"
On Monday, gunmen ambushed a vehicle carrying two Americans, but no injuries were reported. The attack occurred on a dirt road in the southern Zabul province when the Americans were en route to the nearby Ghazni province, said Haji Mohammed Ayub, police chief in Zabul. He did not disclose their identities and only said they were working on a road construction project in the area. "We know Taliban are behind these attacks," Ayub said. "They want to disrupt peace."
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 9:03:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Taliban is against the Western invention of the smooth road. It uspsets their purity of bodily essence.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 12:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Yes, the Taliban believe that stepping on a land mine ascends you into manhood.
Posted by: Charles || 10/14/2003 13:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Yes, the Taliban believe that stepping on a land mine ascends you into manhood.

And if you were cruel, pro-Holocaust, and Islamic enough, into the celestial Playboy suite.
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||


UN gives more power to peacekeepers in Afghanistan
The United Nations Security Council has empowered the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, known as ISAF, to operate throughout the country. Until now, ISAF's mandate has been confined to in and around the capital, Kabul. Large areas of Afghanistan are unsafe with analysts saying half of the provinces are high risk. The resolution gives ISAF a broad mandate, leaving specific deployment decisions to NATO, which currently leads the peacekeeping force. NATO wants to send troops to several provincial towns, starting with a deployment of up to 400 German soldiers in the northern city, Kunduz. In the longer term, the alliance wants to create what are termed "islands of security" in other urban centres, however, critics say this is too little, too late.
Critics always say that, though, don't they?
Outside Kabul, Hamid Karzai's administration has little authority and almost every day, remnants of the Taliban carry out attacks.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/14/2003 00:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

#1  actually Karzai govt has had control for a while of 3 or 4 provinces surrounding Kabul, and has taken control of Bamiyan and Paktia provinces. BBC, critizing the German move as too little, now says that Konduz is relatively safe and stable. Well gee, why didnt you tell us that earlier, Beeb? Haven heard much from Jalalabad lately, is that now under Karzai control as well?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 9:55 Comments || Top||

#2  All power flows from the UN. Feel the rays of hope spreading from a UN resolution. Now we can have progress.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Ah, this is appropriately called Center of the Universe Syndrome™...
"All goodness and light flows outward from here - and here is wherever [insert entity, such as the UN] happens to be."

Oh yeah, sure sounds like the UN to meeeee.
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||

#4  Germans,who have this "thing" about using their troops abroad, weren't willing to go beyond Kabul without UN approval.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 15:32 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Clerics shaken by public anger at Saudi’s religion cops
From World Tribune.com
Saudi clerics appear alarmed by the increased attacks on religious police. Leading clerics have appealed to Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Aziz to bolster support for the religious police in wake of street fights in several cities as well as attacks in the kingdom-controlled media. The clerics met with Saudi leaders and appealed to them to increase enforcement of Islamic law.
"Make 'em sto-o-o-o-p!"
The religious police, termed the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, has been termed brutal by leading Saudi columnists. In 2002, the police were blamed for the death of 15 female students who were prevented from leaving a burning building because they were deemed as improperly dressed.
That little tactical error will endear the religious police to the population!
Over the last month, Saudi journalists and witnesses have described arrests by religious police of married couples who were strolling in Saudi cities, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The brazen hussy!"
"And with her own husband, too!"
In September, religious police and bystanders clashed as officers tried to arrest young pedestrians. Last week, the governor of Mecca, Prince Abdul Majid, was called on to replace many of the religious police officers at the Grand Mosque. The mosque is the site of pilgrimage for millions of Muslims every year. Columnist Hissah Al Oun described the beatings of elderly women by religious police who patrolled the mosque. Al Oun said the Saudi and foreign pilgrims had been trying to find a seat closer to the house of worship when they were attacked.
Sounds like a group of thugs who have become a law unto themselves.
"The soldiers began kicking the women in their stomachs," Al Oun wrote. "Some fell down with their belongings scattered in all directions. Some of the soldiers even used their hands to push the women, an act that Islam strictly forbids."
Sensitivity training needed here.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 7:32:40 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [248 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A Jordanian friend once told me that it was common for religious police in Jordan to stake out girl's schools. They would wait outside in minivans. If they noted a young man loitering in the area or worse yet looking in the windows, they would grab kid throw him in the van and shave his head.

My daughter is 10; I am beginning to see things there way.

My friend says that it was always pretty obvious to the boys neighbors what had happened. Evidently, chemotherapy is uncommon in Jordan.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 20:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Saudi clerics appear alarmed by the increased attacks on religious police.

Translation: the public is getting tired of your crap. Are you listening?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/14/2003 20:34 Comments || Top||

#3  "Some of the soldiers even used their hands to push the women, an act that Islam strictly forbids."

So, in the name of Islam, it's OK to mutilate a girl with a clitorectomy, honor-kill your daughter / sister / cousin, and execute a woman for________________________ (fill in the outrage here) in a soccer stadium, but pushing a woman is strictly forbidden.

Allah forbid, you wouldn't want to cross the line.
Posted by: Hyper || 10/14/2003 20:45 Comments || Top||


Saudi Police Fire Warning Shots At Human Rights Conference
Saudi police fired into the air during a rare demonstration Tuesday and arrested up to 50 protesters calling for greater reforms during the kingdom’s first human rights conference. Police fired the warning shots to disperse the protesters and made the arrests, witnesses said. Authorities also set up roadblocks to prevent them from reaching the conference building, they added.
Still unclear on the concept, I see.
Looks like demand is greater than supply...
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 2:26:46 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [237 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Saudi Royals define paranoid.

I'm sure others can confirm this... The way Saudi streets are built, you do have regular intersections where two streets cross - but in most intersections, there are no left turns allowed (by concrete blocks, usually) from the major street. If you multiply this hundreds of times and think about it, what it results in is two things: 1) a LOT of U-turns are required to get anywhere and 2) you can choke down the traffic in a city with a surprisingly small number of roadblocks. Think about it. This is by design. Any time the Royals have a paranoia attack or are looking for some fugitive, the roadblocks come out and I guarantee you they get a good look at every car traveling the streets in very short order. Only in ArabLand will you see this sort of de-engineering of otherwise normally designed streets to satisfy this security "need."
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 14:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Soddy apologist: You don't understand. The worst human rights abuse is to give them rights.
Vulcan: That is not logical.
Soddy apologist: Look at those ears! You must be Iblis!
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 14:45 Comments || Top||

#3  Dot com:

Famously Haussman designed the boulevards of Paris to be too wide for revolutionaries to blockade against govt troops. The govt of Austria in the 1850's blocked developement of the land outside the old city walls, which could therefore be used by the army as a field of fire against rebels approaching the imperial palace int he old city. The Ringstrasse and accompanying development werent implemented till a more open govt was in place.

This is SOP for an autocracy, of whatever religion.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 15:30 Comments || Top||

#4  the news here is not the Saudi reaction, its that there were demonstrations AT ALL.

Rallies in Saudi and Iran on the same day - hmmm.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 15:47 Comments || Top||


Saudis Give Suspected Terrorists to U.S.
Saudi Arabia has handed over "more than three" American terror suspects to the United States, the interior minister said in remarks published Tuesday.
"More than three"? That's four or more, right?
Prince Nayef gave no details of their arrests, their identities or what they were charged with. "We ... handed to America the Americans wanted in cases related to the United States. They were handed over and they are more than three," Nayef was quoted as saying by the Saudi Press Agency. He did not say when the transfer occurred. Asked if the extradited Americans were wanted in terror cases, Nayef replied: "So it was said."
Hummm, "more than three" American terror suspects in Saudi. Wonder who they might be? (It goes without saying that they aren’t going to give back anyone who can link Saudi to anything, right?)
Nayef also said the kingdom arrested four armed men near the border with Iraq on Monday. "We think they are wanted (suspects) because they were fleeing" Saudi Arabia, he was quoted as saying.
"I mean, if you want to leave the paradise on earth that is Saud Arabia, there must be something wrong with you."
Prince Nayef said those arrested near the Saudi town of Arar, close to the Iraqi border, might be wanted in the hunt for Islamic extremists.
Or not
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 9:15:23 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [314 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The article didn't really say whether the persons were to be delivered whole or in assorted ziplock bags.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 12:41 Comments || Top||

#2  My guess is the delivery will be made with the prisoners all stuffed into a oil barrel.
Posted by: Charles || 10/14/2003 13:28 Comments || Top||

#3  That's 3.1 if you count the head in the bag that they threw in as a bonus...

-Vic
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 18:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Check the bags. Super Hose predicts that man will be an Indian, one will be Pakistani and one will look like a Saudi that has residue from Starbucks on his shirt along with the bullet holes.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 20:12 Comments || Top||

#5  Farmhands?
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/14/2003 22:13 Comments || Top||


Two Asians, One Saudi Die in Bid to Clean Alrashid Mall Sewer
Two Asians and a Saudi suffocated while cleaning a sewer at the prestigious Alrashid Mall.
Dontcha hate it when that happens?
The accident occurred around 1.15 p.m. yesterday, when an Indian and a Pakistani member of the mall’s maintenance team along with their Saudi supervisor attempted to clean the sewer. The Pakistani laborer climbed down the manhole first despite warnings from the mall’s staff to wait until it was safe.
"Do not go in there!"
"Aw, it ain't nothin'! Why, my Uncle Abdullah once... Gasp!" [Thud!]
When the Pakistani fainted, his Indian colleague climbed after him, but he also lost consciousness.
"Mukkerjee! Don't do it!"
"I gotta save Mahmoud!"
"Why?"
"I dunno. I... Gasp!" [Thud!]
Maintenance officials say that normally workers wait before entering a sewage tank so that the gas has time to escape. “But these two did not follow the safety precautions,” an official said. The Saudi supervisor then climbed down the manhole to rescue his two workers.
"Guys? Guys? Hey! Wake up!"
Mall officials, who by then had alerted the Civil Defense, asked him to wait, but he refused saying that any delay could cost the lives of his workers. Once in the sewer, he too collapsed.
"Gasp!' [Thud!] [Splash!]
The Civil Defense team was quick to respond and reached the scene shortly afterward, but by the time the three men were brought to the surface they had died.
"Ahmed! Biohazard gear and gaff hooks! Make it quick!"
"Right, chief!"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/14/2003 00:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Training film for Confined Spaces Hazards.....
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 7:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe OSHA really is a small town in Wisconsin.

Dorf
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 7:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Been there,done that.Hydrogen sulfide and methane displace o2.
Frigging amatures.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/14/2003 8:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Not so funny for me. As a former firefighter, you read about volunteer firefighters dying every year in these types of rescues. Yeah, everyone should know better, but it's still sad.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/14/2003 8:29 Comments || Top||

#5  I was a Gas Free Engineer and fire-marshal on my first ship. There are many instances of contractors and sailors being overcome by hydrogen-sulfide, carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide during tank work. Sometimes an SCBA can get torn off while climbing through an impediment. In many cases you lose several "rescuers" as well.

That said - I find it interesting that a Pakistani would attempt to save an Indian. I also find it astonishing that a Saudi supervisor would sacrifice himself for the Pakistani and Indian. If this story is accurate, it should provide us with hope. The composition of the three-some looks unlikely to me. I suspect that the story has been embellished by our Saudi friends.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 12:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Of course it isn't funny. It isn't funny when an idiot plumber gets burried in a 10 foot deep trench that just collapsed either, but it happens. It can be avoided with training and practice. Remember common sense is an uncommon commodity.

Dorf
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 12:49 Comments || Top||

#7  "I also find it astonishing that a Saudi supervisor would sacrifice himself for the Pakistani and Indian."

You got that right. If this little ethnic lineup was accurate, and it does have the ring of truth to it (the rescue attempt does not) the Saudi "Supervisor" would've been up on the 3rd Floor at the Starbucks. All day. There are far fewer tables & chairs than there are Saudis who want to sip and stare in Al Rashid Mall, so they don't give 'em up once they get 'em...
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 14:49 Comments || Top||

#8  Didn't something similar to this happen in Kenya not even a year ago? If I remember correctly, some chick lost her cellphone down the latrine and paid person 1 to retrive it. Person 1 collapses and in goes person 2 to save person 1 and so on and so fourth. Well live and learn...
Posted by: acheampong || 10/14/2003 15:19 Comments || Top||

#9  "Well live and learn..."
Or not.
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 15:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Happens all the time in silos as well. Methane builds up in the bottom from rotting cattle feed, somebody goes in and collapses, second person sees them, thinks heart attack, goes in, repeat, etc. I believe 5 dead from one family is current record.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 15:51 Comments || Top||


Britain
Rowan Williams: Terrorists can have serious moral goals
Some people actually think that the Archbishop of Canterbury is a serious thinker and theologian:
Rowan was much funnier when he was teamed with Martin on Laugh-InThe Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, yesterday urged America to recognise that terrorists can "have serious moral goals". He said that while terrorism must always be condemned, it was wrong to assume its perpetrators were devoid of political rationality. "It is possible to use unspeakably wicked means to pursue an aim that is shared by those who would not dream of acting in the same way, an aim that is intelligible or desirable." He said that in ignoring this, in its criticism of al-Qa’eda, America "loses the power of self-criticism and becomes trapped in a self-referential morality."
Translation: the United States shouldn’t fight against Al-Qaeda. It should realized that while terrorism, "must always be condemned," nevertheless Al-Qaeda and other groups like them can "have serious moral goals" as well as "an aim that is intelligible or desirable." If the US doesn’t do that it "loses the power of self-criticism and becomes trapped in a self-referential morality" which presumably means that Americans will be "trapped" by the idea that killing innocent American men, women and children is a bad thing. Then there’s this:
I'm really tired of the self-criticism thing. I'm ready to see piles of beturbanned corpses, and it won't bother me if they're hideously mutilated.
Dr Williams said that no government should act as its own judge on whether to launch military action against a rogue state. "Violence is not to be undertaken by private persons," he said. "If a state or administration acts without due and visible attention to agreed international process, it acts in a way analogous to a private person. It purports to be judge of its own interest."
Translation: on September 12, 2001, George W. Bush should have called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council and asked that body what it would permit the United States to do about the murder of 3,000 of its citizens. Which presumably means that we’d still be waiting for the sanctions on Afghanistan to take effect.
The USA, last I looked, was a sovreign state, not a "private person." As a sovreign state, to "provide for the common defense," it has a responsibility to judge its interests — most especially when it comes to protecting its citizens.
Posted by: Christopher Johnson || 10/14/2003 8:35:00 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's comforting to know that a high-level official in a moral authority such as the Church of England feels so strongly about this issue. I expect he'll announce soon that Satan is not evil, but merely misunderstood.
Posted by: Dar || 10/14/2003 20:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Will no one rid us of this meddlesome priest?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/14/2003 20:57 Comments || Top||

#3  Christopher Johnson, just wanted to note I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks!
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/14/2003 21:10 Comments || Top||

#4  You're quite welcome.
Posted by: Christopher Johnson || 10/14/2003 21:12 Comments || Top||

#5  "It is possible to use unspeakably wicked means to pursue an aim that is shared by those who would not dream of acting in the same way, an aim that is intelligible or desirable." He said that in ignoring this, in its criticism of al-Qa’eda, America "loses the power of self-criticism and becomes trapped in a self-referential morality."

Oh, no! We would never want to be trapped in a self referential morality. I would rather be killed. So this band of merry men in white would rather we dabble in moral relativism instead of protecting ourselves and wiping out scum that have vowed to destroy us.

I am glad that we broke away from the Church of England. I hope that the UK does too, if the church leadership does not reform themselves and get rid of these white-robed nutcases.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 21:15 Comments || Top||

#6  Sounds like *someone* needs to visit WTC 'ground zero' and then the mass graves of Iraq. Then the mass graves of Germany where another 'rogue state' was appeased back in the 30's.

Dammit sometimes you just have to go in and open a large canister of whup-ass to get your message across. We have tried it this 'international' way for what? 10, 20 years? And all it got us is 3,000 innocent victims dead.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/14/2003 21:54 Comments || Top||

#7  Hello, boys! Everybody say "fatwa"!
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/14/2003 22:17 Comments || Top||

#8  The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, yesterday urged America to recognise that terrorists can "have serious moral goals".

So do we, Doc. The question is: would you rather that the U.S. attain its goals in Iraq and the Middle East, or the Islamofascists attaining their goals worldwide?

(Hint: If they do, Doc, you'll be out of a job)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/14/2003 22:30 Comments || Top||

#9  Is he representative of what passes for religion in Great Britain? Oh, poor old England!
Posted by: Uncle Joe || 10/14/2003 23:45 Comments || Top||

#10  Unfortunately, he does. A self-described "hairy lefty," he represents the classic pattern of left-of-centre infection and corruption of a once-respected institution. Once they establish control of their host, there is often no stopping until their host's credibility resources are consumed, and/or it is destroyed. Other examples besides the CoE include AI, the BBC, the NYT (and many other newspapers), the UN...

If the CoE wants to retain some respect, it needs to put the brakes on the sort of melt-down morality espoused by Williams. He has no concept of leadership, just reactionism.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/15/2003 4:16 Comments || Top||


Europe
"Operation GMO" - New VRWC branch
Via Merde in France:
’You might not see things yet on the surface, but underground, it’s already on fire.’- Y.B. Mangunwijaya
Just as the word spreads that the counterculture in France is pro-market and pro-American (article about Sabine Herold), Revue-politique.com has forwarded me the following statement about the ’Operation GMO’ demonstration announced for 2 November (very quick English translation by ’Merde in France’):
The increasingly likely presence of American media groups, including one major TV network, as well as support for this demonstration from several French politicians that spoke out in favor of America’s operations in Iraq, are making for a nice autumn season for France’s libertarians and republicans. For some political figures, the coming together of the libertarian and republican camps is giving rise to an authentic hope that a large French libertarian-republican political current could absorb the up and coming elements of the French right as Chirac’s gaullists, the remnants of the old Gaullist right which tried to stop its decline by forming the UMP, loses its strength.

For some, this political current, which distinguishes itself by its uninhibited positions on secularity in reaction to Islam’s spread in Europe, is openly pro-Atlantic, federalist European, and clearly favorable to Israel’s policies, could represent a new generation especially because it is building on two huge victories — the succesful demonstration on June 15 initiated by Liberté Chérie, and the development of a news web site running counter to French media, Revue-politique, read everyday by approximately 15,000 readers.

The age of the movements’ leaders is also of interest to the political personnalities that are observing its emergence: almost all are in their 30s with a few 40 year olds. Independant, free, the decision to carry out ’Operation GMO’ is not without a precise objective, the target is well designated: José Bové and all he stands for, and beyond him a break with the Chiraco-Gaullism now on its last legs. The ’next generation’, the new right, the label doesn’t matter, Liberté Chérie and Revue-Politique are leading the charge.
LFM, will you be one of our spies???? Or you could be like brain-terminal.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 12:43:19 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The labels don't matter as long as they come forward with implementable solutions that translate into results.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 12:51 Comments || Top||


Ramstein Air Base move ’won’t happen’
Can you feel the ground shifting under your feet? The Germans can...
Closing the US air force base at Ramstein in Germany is "inconceivable" and is "not going to happen", the commander of Nato forces said. Marine General James Jones, who also commands US forces in Europe, said the nucleus of irreplaceable forces will remain where they are, including Ramstein Air Base, which lies about 140 kilometres southwest of Frankfurt. "It is inconceivable to me — and anyone else — that you would close Ramstein and move it 500 kilometres to the east and rebuild it," Jones told reporters at the Pentagon. "That’s simply not going to happen."

The Pentagon is reviewing the placement of US forces around the world in an effort to determine if they could respond to a crisis more quickly from different locations. The US military has already been expanding into Eastern European nations, and concerns have arisen in Germany that the Americans will shrink their longstanding presence in the country because of the disagreement between Washington and Berlin over the war in Iraq. "The centre of gravity in Europe is still in Western Europe — that’s where the structures are, that’s where the majority of our own US bases are — but the centre of activity is clearly shifting," Jones said.

There were also concerns the US Army’s 1st Armored Division would go to the United States rather than return to its base in Wiesbaden when it leaves Iraq, which would hurt the region’s economy. Jones said the military, out of concern for the soldiers’ families, has recommended that all of the divisions in Iraq return to their original base before any decisions are made regarding the US military presence in Germany. The Pentagon has also not reached any final conclusions on what the US military "footprint" abroad will be in the future. "This is still a pre-decisional time that we’re in in terms of what the future European footprint might look like, what the future Pacific footprint might look like," he said.
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/14/2003 11:13:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You might not have to rebuild it, I'm sure the Soviets left some pretty large airbases in Eastern Europe that the US could move into with some minor upgrades.

Personally I think Eastern Europe is too far away from the action. I big base in India or Iraq would be better.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 11:21 Comments || Top||

#2  I imagine the 1st Armored will stay in Iraq for the next few decades. Hopefully with short business excursions to the neighboring locales.
Posted by: CRS || 10/14/2003 11:24 Comments || Top||

#3  I sense a man desperate to keep his command in a relatively pleasant environment.

Life may not be optimal in, say, Poland or the Czech republic now, but given the dollars and the superior entreprenurial (sp?) spirit there, "if you build it, they will come."
Posted by: Ptah || 10/14/2003 12:04 Comments || Top||

#4  "Inconceivable" - "The Princess Bride" pop into anyone else's head????
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 12:34 Comments || Top||

#5  It also seemed, at the time, difficult to believe that we would move out of PSAB after dumping so many dollars into that base (and, subsequently into the bank accounts of the Bin Laden family).
Posted by: BossMan || 10/14/2003 12:34 Comments || Top||

#6  Ptah:

I think it will be more like, "if we come, they will build it."
Posted by: Mike || 10/14/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#7  Bulgaria, too, Sophia Sideshow is an interesting blog.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 12:50 Comments || Top||

#8  The problems from the ME have begun to leech in many directions. Moving forces to the East makes sense to me. I think we will eventually be involved north of Afghanistan as well. We need shorter logistics legs.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||

#9  I think we'll most likely move into Poland and Iraq. From there we will have a better vantage point of the ME, the current battle-ground. Maybe even move a base into Turkey.

I'm sure that would please Murat.
Posted by: Charles || 10/14/2003 13:22 Comments || Top||

#10  Gee...let's see...moving Ramstein from Rheinland-Pfalz to the Czech Republic...hmmmm....the wives would be all for it. Saves them the bus ride to go "crystal shopping."
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 10/14/2003 13:35 Comments || Top||

#11  "inconceivable" - the Princess Bride popped immediately to my head. Hehehehehee. Great movie.
Posted by: Jabba the Nutt || 10/14/2003 18:31 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
Foggy Bottom’s Friends
Major EFL and via Brothers Judd:
(Editor’s note: This is adapted from , "Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens American Security," which you can buy from the OpinionJournal bookstore.)

The date was April 24, 2002. Standing on the runway at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, the cadre of FBI, Secret Service and Customs agents had just been informed by law-enforcement officials that there was a "snag" with Crown Prince Abdullah’s oversized entourage, which was arriving with the prince for a visit to George W. Bush’s Western White House in Crawford, Texas. The flight manifest of the eight-plane delegation accompanying the Saudi would-be king had a problem. Three problems, to be exact: One person on the list was wanted by U.S. law enforcement authorities, and two others were on a terrorist watch list.

This had the potential to be what folks in Washington like to refer to as an "international incident." But the State Department was not about to let an "international incident" happen. Which is why this story has never been written--until now....


The Middle East Institute, officially on the Saudi payroll, receives some $200,000 of its annual $1.5 million budget from the Saudi government, and an unknown amount from Saudi individuals--often a meaningless distinction since most of the "individuals" with money to donate are members of the royal family, which constitutes the government. MEI’s chairman is Wyche Fowler, who was ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1996-2001, and its president is Ned Walker, who has served as the deputy chief of Mission in Riyadh and ambassador to Egypt.

Also at MEI: David Mack, former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs; Richard Parker, former ambassador to Algeria, Lebanon, and Morocco; William Eagleton, former ambassador to Syria; Joseph C. Wilson, career foreign-service office and former deputy chief of mission in Baghdad;
---

So, Joe, who do you know???? This is getting curiouser and curiouser.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 1:46:08 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [233 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Aren't there laws aginst this sort of bull pucky?
Posted by: Raptor || 10/14/2003 18:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Good to see that Joe is not a lobbiest for big business. Nice to have a foriegn lobbiest living with a CIA oficial that is party to classified information. As long as it's in the family.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 21:05 Comments || Top||


Susan Sontag assails US ambassador
Left-wing U.S. author Susan Sontag criticised the US ambassador to Germany, Daniel Coats, on Sunday for failing to attend a Frankfurt ceremony where she received a prestigious peace prize. "He should be here while a citizen of his country receives this prize," she told 700 German dignitaries in Frankfurt and a national television audience, "so that I could harrangue him and embarass him to his face."
He probably didn't come because he doesn't like you, Suzy...
Sontag, 70, who has criticized US wars from Vietnam to Iraq, said the ambassador had declined an invitation to the ceremony in June, directly after the award was announced. Coats’ absence was a deliberate expression of the "ideological position" of the U.S. administration.
Ambassador Dan Coats apparently is aware of which country he represents... the United Staes of America and its President, George W. Bush.
Sontag, who has written both novels and essays, referred in her acceptance speech to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s attack on "Old Europe" earlier this year, when France and Germany led opposition to US intervention in Iraq. "We cannot do without the old," said Sontag,
"I mean, look at me! I'm old."
a sceptic who enraged Americans after the September 11 attacks by writing, "Whatever may be said of the perpetrators, they were not cowards." Sontag however had been infuriated at the "inertia" of the European Union nations, when they refused to intervene militarily in the Balkans in the 1990s to prevent ethnic conflict.
You like Old Europe? Fine. Go hang out and sulk with all your amis Francopessimismes.
Bitch, bitch, bitch. With some people it's a verb. With others it's a noun...
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/14/2003 11:32:37 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dan Coats, a former Senator, has done more in an afternoon nap for America than Ms. Sontag has in a lifetime. Her whining and crying for attention in the winter of her miniscule career warms my heart.
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 11:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Bravo to the Ambassador! If he gets in trouble, then we should rally to his support.
!
Posted by: Ptah || 10/14/2003 12:05 Comments || Top||

#3  I wasn't aware that there was any obligation for an Ambassador to show up at cermonies to celebrate private citizens. I thougth their obligation was to represent their home country to the host country.

It's funny, that whole "Whatever may be said of the perpetrators, they were not cowards." thing keeps popping up. Sontag said it, Bill Maher said it, and Mark Steyn said it. Sontag and Maher took heat and Steyn did not. Perhaps its not the saying but the anti-American bile behind the statement that caused Maher and Sontag to feel the heat.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 12:55 Comments || Top||

#4  --"We cannot do without the old," said Sontag,--

She's 70, right? Oh, yes we can, Susan. This isn't your fight.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||

#5  As I commented on Sunday ambassador Coats wasn't the only one who went AWOL in Frankfurt...
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/14/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#6  TGA, my apologies. Here is your post from Sunday, with your excellent comments. As always, I appreciate your viewpoints and your willingness to debate. Thanks also from this American!
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/14/2003 13:12 Comments || Top||

#7  Sontag however had been infuriated at the "inertia" of the European Union nations, when they refused to intervene militarily in the Balkans in the 1990s to prevent ethnic conflict.

That's what happens where "Old Europe" is concerned. Still think we "can't do without the old"??
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/14/2003 13:50 Comments || Top||

#8  Sontag, a sceptic who enraged Americans after the September 11 attacks by writing, "Whatever may be said of the perpetrators, they were not cowards."

No, they were religous maniacs with delusions of Porn Paradise dancing in their heads. Deluded sociopaths, but not cowardly deluded sociopaths...
Posted by: mojo || 10/14/2003 13:53 Comments || Top||

#9  Ok, does this strike anyone else as something straight out of high school? As in, "None of the popular or cool kids came to my poetry reading....they all went to the football game instead! Waaaah!"
I don't know how old Mr Coats is, but if he was one of the unfortunates like me who was forced to read her dreck in college, I can understand precisely why he stayed away.
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/14/2003 13:59 Comments || Top||

#10  Yank---actually, Dinesh D'Souza said that the hijackers weren't cowards on Maher's show, to which Maher replied that we were the cowards for bombing from a great height. That's what got him in trouble with his sponsors.

I read Sontag's piece after September 11, and it was just drivel. That's what pisses me off as much as anything---that there vast herds of "intellectuals" and "writers" who couldn't think or write their way out of a wet paper bag. And I'm supposed to respect their judgment? I think not.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 10/14/2003 14:09 Comments || Top||

#11  "Left-wing U.S. author Susan Sontag…"

Can you say "an understatement"?
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 14:16 Comments || Top||

#12  How stupid is Susan Sontag? She's so stupid that she doesn't understand how life would be for her if she actually lived in Europe, instead of pining to make the USA into Europe. Here in the US she can be Dr. Sontag, Susan Sontag, Ms. Sontag, Susan, Sue or even Suzie.

In France, she would be known as "the Jew Sontag." And nothing else. And to prevent herself from being excluded from the oh-so-most-important circles on the Left Bank, she'd have to wind her screed even further to the left.

She doesn't get it: her success is entirely due to her being an American.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/14/2003 15:28 Comments || Top||

#13  Angie, thanks for the clarification. It proves the point though. It wasn't so much the words, but the attitude that America was wrong, coming days after Sept 11 that really ticked people off.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 15:36 Comments || Top||

#14  And I suppose Sontag thinks the Jews provoked Haman, ro'Hitler, and Fishie?
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 15:47 Comments || Top||

#15  Oh, yes, the maunderings of a "public intellectual", which I define as " someone that you know what they are going to say, as soon as you see their name supered under their chattering head on TV". They've certainly been a big help lately...
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 10/14/2003 16:02 Comments || Top||

#16  Maybe Coats had some er ... ambassadorial duties to perform. I'm sure he wouldn't stiff such an important intellectual. Maybe Peewee's Big Top was on cable. I'd love to see Peewee dubbed in German. It would be better than Hoss Cartright dubbed in Japanese.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 16:04 Comments || Top||

#17  Formula 1 was running a few hours earlier....
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/14/2003 16:21 Comments || Top||

#18  Dissed her ass.
Good,the bitch is a bitch.(was that redundant)
Posted by: Raptor || 10/14/2003 18:15 Comments || Top||

#19  Formula 1 was running a few hours earlier

Praise Allah, Ferrarai again dwells in circle of winners. Rubino (pbuh) protects the infidel Schumacher.

Next stop.... the Malay Entity.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 22:00 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Had me going there for a minute........
From MEMRI:
The independent weekly Al-Safeer discussed the issue of ethnic representation in new Iraqi institutions. It stated that "there are many demands that create obstacles on the way [to obtaining freedom]. There are those who impose themselves on the people, claiming that they are the majority, and that the others are [a] minority
 We, my brothers, when we want to build Iraq and strengthen the march of freedom, should use the criterion of competence and expertise in our selection [of administrators], otherwise we will be the losers
 The ethnicity issue in Iraq is a very serious one, which may splinter the country into small states, and this is what the Zionists want
"
Even when they get it right, they get it wrong......
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/14/2003 2:16:03 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [240 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gutterball in the beer frame.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 15:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Because the Zionists have just been itching to start populating lovely downtown Tikrit?
Posted by: Braniac || 10/14/2003 18:33 Comments || Top||


101st Bags Aso Hawleri, Senior Ansar al-Islam Member
U.S. forces in Iraq have captured a senior member of Ansar al-Islam. The capture of Aso Hawleri late last week in the northern city of Mosul has not been public announced. He was taken into custody by soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division. No other details were immediately available.
"I can say no more"
The official said Hawleri is thought to be the third-ranking official in Ansar al-Islam, most of whose leaders were believed to have fled their stronghold in northern Iraq before U.S. forces invaded in March.
Moved to guest lodging in Iran.
U.S. and Kurdish forces destroyed the group’s main base in the early weeks of the war. Ansar had taken control of a slice of the Kurdish-controlled area near the Iranian border, enforcing a version of Islam only slightly less stringent than the Taliban in Afghanistan. Their mountain strongholds were in an area not controlled by Iraqi government forces.
That’s AP speak for "Saddam had no connection to terrorists".
The Kurdish-Arab extremist group carried out suicide bombings, car bombs, assassinations and raids on militiamen and politicians of the secular Kurdish government, killing scores of people over the last two years. U.S. officials say Ansar sent about a dozen people through al-Qaida camps in 1999 and 2000 and experimented with biotoxin ricin in 2002.
It was Ansar that gassed the dog in the video.
In late August, Gen. John Abizaid, commander of all forces in Iraq, told reporters that elements of Ansar al-Islam had migrated south into the Baghdad area, presenting an increased terrorist threat. It remains unclear whether Ansar has played a role in any of the recent terror-style bombings in Iraq, including the Aug. 19 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad that killed 22 people.
Hard to say, car bombers are a dime a dozen.
Ansar’s top leader, Mullah Krekar, was taken into custody in the Netherlands in September 2001 and is now in Norweigan custody, according to U.S. officials.
Well, he’s living in Norway, at any rate.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 12:03:27 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  OK, that title should be "101st ABN", "AD" being Armored Division. Sorry.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 12:06 Comments || Top||

#2  "101st" works...
Posted by: Fred || 10/14/2003 15:01 Comments || Top||

#3  thugburg doesnt list this guy - theyve only got 2 active Al ansar guys, Krekar and someone named Shafae. Krekar is in Norway, and if not jugged is at least presumably under surveillance and inactive. So is Shafae in Iraq? Did we bag the number 2 guy in country, or the number 1?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 16:38 Comments || Top||


Suicide bomber at Turkey’s Iraq mission
A suicide bomber killed himself and wounded two people when his car exploded outside the Turkish embassy in Baghdad, the U.S. military says.

Colonel Pete Mansoor said a car was driven towards the entrance of the heavily-fortified mission. It blew up, killing the driver and wounding one Turk and one Iraqi.

Turkey’s parliament last week agreed to send troops to join American and other foreign troops trying to stabilise Iraq after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in April.

U.S. troops sealed off the area around the embassy with razor wire and turned journalists away as ambulances and a fire crew rushed to the scene.

An angry crowd gathered nearby, and Iraqi police fired into the air to disperse them.

Iraqi guerrillas have attacked U.S. troops and foreign and Iraqi targets seen as linked to the U.S.-led occupation of the country.

A Turkish foreign ministry official in Ankara condemned the attack. "Just like the attack on the United Nations, this attack shows the security situation in Iraq is terrible," the official said.

"Allies of the United States must move quickly to help stabilise the country," the official added.
Posted by: tipper. || 10/14/2003 10:59:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [240 views] Top|| File under:


Iraqi Shiite Factions Clash in Karbala
EFL:
Rival Shiite Muslim factions clashed overnight in this holy city, and several people were killed or injured, witnesses said Tuesday. Iraqi police surrounded the offices of one of the faction leaders. The Karbala clash appeared to be part of a power struggle in the majority Shiite community between forces of firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a strong opponent of the U.S. military occupation, and followers of religious leaders who have taken a more moderate stand toward the Americans.
Our "friend" al-Sadr has been pushing his luck.
The trouble started about 10 p.m. when al-Sadr’s followers tried to take over the shrine of Imam al-Hussein, one of the principal religious sites in the city.
Bad move.
Witnesses said al-Sadr’s forces and those loyal to Grand Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite Muslim cleric, used small arms and rocket-propelled grenades during fighting that ended after sunrise. Al-Sadr’s forces withdrew to another mosque where they were surrounded by police. Residents said that up to 10 people were killed and more than a dozen wounded, but the figures could not be confirmed. Police were refusing to talk to journalists, and the atmosphere in the city, located about 50 miles southeast of Baghdad, was tense. On Tuesday, about 50 Iraqi policemen surrounded al-Sadr’s office in the al-Mukayam mosque. Dozens of members of al-Sadr’s militia, the "al-Mahdi Army," were barricaded inside. Residents said police were rounding up al-Sadr’s forces, arresting and beating some of them.
Goody, I’m liking the Iraqi police more and more.
U.S. and Polish troops set up checkpoints about a half-mile from major religious shrines and were carefully checking people for weapons.
Staying away from the "holy places" and letting Iraqi police handle it themselves.
In Najaf, where al-Sadr lives, aide Hassan Al-Garawi claimed the cleric’s forces had taken control of Karbala and denied that al-Sistani’s forces had resisted them. It appeared the comment was meant to avoid any conflict with al-Sistani, whose prestige and influence within the majority Shiite community far exceeds that of the youthful al-Sadr.
Maybe Grand Ayatollah Ali has also had enough of al-Sadr and will slap him down.
Meanwhile, about 100 people gathered at the main mosque in Fallujah, a Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad, to demand the release of a cleric arrested a day earlier by U.S. troops. Sheik Jamal Shaker Nazzal had been an outspoken opponent of the U.S. occupation. The previously unknown "Hamza Platoon" handed out flyers to the crowd threatening more attacks on U.S. troops unless the cleric is released. "Sheik Jamal was arrested by the infidel American forces," the flyers said. "We warn the American forces and the Iraqi police of continuing to detain him ... we will respond to this dirty act with all our might."
"Yar, we be the Hamza Platoon, we bad!"
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 9:25:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

#1  this looks big. Al-Sadr finally made his move, and lost. Sistani and Hakim can't leave him be any more, they have to finish the job.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 9:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Hamza Platoon = Iraqi F Troop
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 10:24 Comments || Top||

#3  ..On the other hand, these guys finally put together a unit of smaller than brigade size. Maybe they're running out of gunnies?

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 10/14/2003 11:01 Comments || Top||

#4  Ayatollyaso...

Let's get Junior al-Sadr some more of whatever Denny Kucinich's been smoking...
Posted by: mojo || 10/14/2003 11:11 Comments || Top||

#5  Grand Ayatollah

Wouldn't that be a great name for the Mother of All SUVs?
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 11:37 Comments || Top||

#6  "Sheik Jamal was arrested by the infidel American forces," the flyers said. "We warn the American forces and the Iraqi police of continuing to detain him ... we will respond to this dirty act with all our might."

In the long run, our guys will roll right over them. In the short run, look for these palookas to set up temporary alliances with Saddam (and anybody else who's interested) - he provides the cash and supplies the weapons from his numerous caches, while they carry out the attacks.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/14/2003 16:15 Comments || Top||


Explosion Rocks Turkish Embassy in Iraq
A strong explosion rocked the area near the Turkish Embassy on Tuesday, but police sealed off the area and it could not be determined if the chancellery had been damaged. The private Turkish television station CNN-Turk reported that two people were injured in the blast and that windows were shattered. Turkish NTV television said the two were embassy employees. The blast came after Turkey’s Parliament approved the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq as part of a peacekeeping force sought by the United States. But many Iraqis sharply oppose any Turkish troops on the country’s soil.
I guess when they said "No" they meant "No".
The blast occurred two days after a powerful car bomb exploded at the Baghdad Hotel, home to U.S. officials and members of the Iraqi Governing Council. At least eight people including the bomber were killed.
Fox is reporting this as another car bomb, developing.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 8:36:29 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [745 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Seems that 2 assailants died and two embassy personel (guards?) got wounded, some windows smashed and a part of the surrounding security wall had collapsed, no major damage.
Posted by: Murat || 10/14/2003 9:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Update: A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives at the gates of the Turkish Embassy on Tuesday, killing at least one person and wounding two or three others, witnesses and U.S. soldiers said. The car tried to ram through the gates of the embassy in the Iraqi capital in the mid-afternoon and suddenly exploded, witnesses said. U.S. troops and Iraqi police sealed off the area and would not permit journalists and others to approach the building.
Turkish NTV television said two embassy employees were hurt. In Ankara, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman strongly condemned the attack and said the incident shows "how grave the security situation in Iraq is" and "how strong the need is for everyone to immediately contribute to ensure security and stability in the country." Iraqis fear that neighboring Turkey seeks to dominate or grab territory in their country, or that the deployment will cause friction with Kurds in northern Iraq. On Tuesday, radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said there would be no difference between Turkish soldiers and members of the U.S.-led force, which he wants to leave the country.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 9:06 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm now inclined to let the Turks patrol Sadr city without media minders...
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 10:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Stratfor Report... Apologies for length...
================================================
Shared Control: The Price for Turkish Troops in Iraq
Oct 13, 2003
Summary

Following tough negotiations on a Turkish deployment to Iraq, it
appears likely that Ankara will join Washington in exercising
control over the occupied country. Though this will not halt
attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, it could aid the United States in
attempts to gradually extricate itself from the main burden of
fending off the guerrilla war.

Analysis

Under pressure from the government and despite significant public
opposition, the Turkish Parliament recently passed a motion in
favor of sending troops to Iraq. Ankara now has a green light to
negotiate with the U.S.-led coalition authority on conditions for
the deployment -- initially planned for about 10,000 troops. U.S.
and Turkish officials likely will begin talks on the details in
the coming days; officials in Ankara say the negotiations could
take up to two weeks, according to the Turkish Daily News.

In the weeks leading up to the U.S. attack against Iraq, Turkey
refused to send troops into the conflict or to allow U.S. forces
to use its soil as a staging point. So what has caused the policy
reversal? This analysis, drawing on the statements of Stratfor
sources within the Turkish government as well as from the public
statements of U.S. and Turkish leaders, will examine that
question, as well as what Ankara seeks from Washington in
exchange, and how the negotiations might end.

Turkey: At Geopolitical Crossroads

These are fascinating days for Turkish decision-makers: Since the
Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power
late last year, the nation has been in the process of reinventing
its geopolitical course and priorities. And when a nation is at a
crossroads, it can take any -- even the most unexpected -- path
if that is best suited to its national interests.

The last such instance for Turkey came after World War I, when
Kemal Ataturk founded the modern state. Forging a geopolitical
direction, however, took several years: First, Ataturk turned
against entente -- the alliance of Western powers to which the
United States belonged -- and defeated British-Greek intervention
between 1919 and 1922 with some military help from another
fledgling state, Soviet Russia. However, Ankara later formed a
long-lasting association with the West -- first with Germany and,
since the end of World War II, the United States.

Ankara is now re-examining its path again. What distinguishes
this Turkey from that which existed until the end of last year,
however, is that the current government no longer is restricted
to the role of junior ally in its relationship with foreign
powers. Ankara feels the time has come for Turkey to follow a
course defined by its own national interests, regardless of how
that fits with or detracts from the goals of other powers.

Thus it was that Ankara denied Washington permission to base
combat forces on Turkish territory in March: The government did
not see such a move as benefiting national interests. But seven
months later, the situation has changed. Officials in Ankara
realize that, for all the risks involved, it would be better for
Turkey to intervene militarily in Iraq than to continue bowing
out. Ironically, as it strikes a more independent geopolitical
stance, the new government is finding it beneficial to again
drift closer to Washington.

Turkish Forces in Iraq: What's at Stake

Several major national interests make it imperative for Ankara to
intervene militarily in Iraq on the side of the United States --
and foremost among these is to ensure that nothing can threaten
Turkey from the south. From the Turkish perspective, this
requires several steps.

First, officials in Ankara believe, the new government in Baghdad
should be either pro-Turkey or at least friendly toward Turkey.
This means the Turkish government should exert some influence in
Baghdad -- something that would be easier to do if its troops
were deployed in significant numbers to Iraq. Ankara fully
understands that the United States intends to wield controlling
influence in Iraq for years to come -- and this will be no
problem for Ankara if Washington agrees to give it "second in
command" status.

Second, Turkish leaders fear that Iran could become a dominant
power in Iraq or share that role as the main ally of the United
States. In either case, this would exclude Turkish influence:
Turkey and Iran have struggled over what is now Iraq for
centuries, including through bloody wars. It now appears that
Iran is better positioned to win this game, given its strong ties
with and influence over the Shiite majority in Iraq. To reverse
the odds, it seems Turkey must put troops on the ground in Iraq.

Third, Turkey feels it must resolve the Kurdish question. Though
Ankara limits this goal officially to the elimination of the PKK
guerrilla group (now known as KADEK) operating in southeastern
Turkey and northern Iraq, its larger strategic goal likely goes
much further than that. It appears Ankara seeks to weaken all
Kurdish militant forces in Iraq, by military defeat if necessary.
If Iraqi Kurds stand idly by while U.S. and Turkish units crush
KADEK units, Kurdish control of northern Iraq would be
diminished. However, if Iraqi Kurds intervene and launch attacks
against Turkish troops as they have threatened, Ankara would have
an opening to wage a military campaign against all Kurdish
militants in Iraq. Moreover, it is almost certain that U.S.
troops would intervene on the Turks' behalf -- which would play
nicely into Ankara's hand.

Fourth, Ankara wants a share of the energy wealth found in
northern Iraq, including obtaining a major say for Turkish
companies in the country's energy sector. Again, putting troops
on the ground will aid this endeavor. Though Turkish troops
initially would be deployed outside Kirkuk and other northern oil
fields, Ankara possibly could expand its military presence on the
pretext of escalating violence.

Fifth, Turkey needs to strengthen itself economically and
militarily to meet its geopolitical goals in Iraq and elsewhere.
If Ankara sends troops to Iraq, lawmakers reason, Washington
might return the favor in the form of loans -- both from
Washington and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- as well
as military hardware.

Finally, being able to pursue its own agenda without alienating
the United States is certainly an attractive opportunity for
Ankara in Iraq, where officials believe -- likely correctly --
they can reinvigorate the erstwhile alliance by sending forces to
help relieve embattled U.S. forces.

Turkish troops almost inevitably would come under repeated
attacks in Iraq, but from Ankara's point of view, this strategy
might be less risky than standing idly by while other powers gain
influence over the country. Moreover, it appears to us that
Turkish leaders, though speaking of the deployment as that of
peacekeeping forces, would not really mind if they become
embroiled in combat: The more Turkish soldiers are fighting in
Iraq, the better Ankara's chances for influencing future
developments in the country and region.

The Payoff: Ankara's Demands

In accordance with these goals, Ankara is laying out the
following negotiating points in its dialogue with Washington,
Turkish government sources tell Stratfor:

* Certain eradication of PKK/KADEK units and their infrastructure
in Iraq, either through U.S., Turkish or joint action.

* A U.S. guard for Turkish supply lines through Kurdish areas to
the Sunni Triangle. This would be in addition to an absolute
guarantee from Washington that the Kurds would never receive de
facto or de jure independence.

* Iraq should be a united state with a pro-U.S. and pro-Turkish
government, and the role of Turkomen in the Iraqi government
should be increased.

* Assurances or cooperation from Washington to ensure that power
will not be transferred to Iraqi Shiites as proxies of Iran, and
no role for Tehran in Iraq. Ankara will ask Washington to abandon
its strategy of relying on Iran and Iraqi Shiites as its main
ally against the Sunni resistance movement, arguing that Turkey
should fill that role.

* A slice of the Iraqi oil industry, second only to that of the
United States. In particular, Turkey should have a major say on
how Iraqi oil in the north is treated and where revenues go. By
the same token, Turkish firms should become major participants in
oil deals in the north.

* No role for Saudi Arabia and other Arab states in the future
Iraq -- a goal that Ankara believes Washington seeks itself.

* More financial aid from the United States and IMF.

* New deliveries of large amounts of modern military hardware to
the Turkish army, at significant discounts.

* A green light for Turkish forces to combat and defeat Iraqi
Kurds if there are any attacks against Turkish supply lines in
northern Iraq. This is a non-negotiable point from Ankara's
position, sources tell Stratfor. If supply lines are attacked,
Turkish military control of Iraqi Kurdistan -- perhaps shared
with the U.S. military -- should be established, Ankara is likely
to suggest.

* Turkish forces in Iraq should operate under Turkish command,
though it is possibly that Ankara will coordinate with the U.S.
command on counterinsurgency operations.

Though Ankara understands its demands are bold, it sees the
United States as desperate to get Turkish troops in Iraq,
believing that no one else -- not even a coalition cobbled
together from dozens of nations -- will really be able to aid
U.S. troops on the ground, given the inherent divisions between
goals and languages of participating countries and the Turks'
prior experience in the Iraqi climate and terrain. If Washington
accepts these conditions, Ankara will renew its full alliance
with the United States, but on a more equal footing than before.
In exchange, Ankara will fully commit itself to pacifying Iraq,
up to the point of completely but gradually taking over the
counterinsurgency war from Americans, thus releasing U.S. troops
for their force projection goals in Iraq. Basically, Turkish
forces would do all the fighting and U.S. forces would be
stationed in Iraq for strategic purposes. But this would be the
case only if Washington accedes to Turkey's demands.

Washington's Viewpoint: Turkey or U.N.?

Turkish negotiations with Washington over the Iraq deployment
will be difficult indeed. Washington has its own vision for Iraq,
and an overly strong (from its perspective) Turkish role and full
accession to Ankara's demands does not fully fit in. However, the
Bush administration is likely to agree to most of Turkey's
negotiating points, for several reasons.

For one thing, the time for Washington to decide how to defeat
the Iraqi resistance movement is rapidly running out, before U.S.
President George W. Bush's re-election chances diminish beyond
repair and before the financial costs of operations in Iraq
become economically unbearable. Who would be able and willing to
make a timely difference on the ground in Iraq? Surely not
Honduras. In Stratfor's mind, it appears that only the Turkish
army, which is strong in both numbers and training -- as well as
familiar with the war theater and local guerrillas' tactics -- is
a viable option.

That would require much more than the initial 10,000-strong
deployment -- but the Turkish General Staff has a follow-on plan
to rapidly expand its military presence in Iraq. The end goal
also would require significant and continued human sacrifices,
but the tolerance among the Turkish army and public for these are
higher than those of Americans.

Another reason Washington is likely to accept most of Ankara's
demands is that a Turkish deployment would largely extricate
American forces from the war, allowing them to serve the goal
they came to Iraq with in the first place: To project force
against other countries in the region that are deemed to be
potential U.S. foes, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia or Iran.

Moreover, if Washington makes a deal with Ankara quickly, the
United States would stand a chance of outmaneuvering its
opposition within the U.N. Security Council over Iraq: With a
massive deployment of skilled Turkish soldiers on the ground,
Washington could simply cancel its draft resolution requesting
U.N. authorization for foreign troops. This would keep the Bush
administration from having to cede control over Iraq to the
United Nations -- though that control would have to be shared
with Ankara.

It would seem that in Washington's eyes, this is the lesser evil.

================================================
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 11:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Damn. If you'll delete this response, I'll clean out the excess breaks and resubmit. Important content, I think.
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#6  Though Ankara understands its demands are bold, it sees the United States as desperate to get Turkish troops in Iraq.

Same line of thinking caused didn't work well for them when they refused to allow our troops on their soil. Apparently, they plan to try the same logic this time.

If you ask me, this is a twice burned situation for both sides.
Posted by: B || 10/14/2003 11:40 Comments || Top||

#7  Hmmm. Ok, uh, um, please don't delete this! Ever! Deletion is so skeery! Please oh please don't throw me into the briar patch!
;)
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#8  They bombed a Islamic countries Embassy?! What ever happened to Brotherly Love!?
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 13:12 Comments || Top||

#9  "They bombed a Islamic countries Embassy?"
This would be the second islamic embassy, the first big car bomb hit the Jordanian embassy, consulate, visa shop or whatever it was.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 13:22 Comments || Top||

#10  B,

As Murat can tell you, the Turks control the headwaters of the Tigris/Euphrates river system.
If the Marsh Arabs are to get their wetlands back to full bloom, we'll need their help.
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 10/14/2003 13:54 Comments || Top||

#11  the reason to avoid UN control is to avoid a UN lackey forcing ex-baathist types into the govt, and subverting the US goal of democratization and regional transformation. A strategy that, at turkish request not only forecloses Kurdish autonomy, but turns away from the Iraqi shiites, will essentially do the same thing. If the admin plays off the Turks against the UN thats one thing. If they give in to the Turks on all of the above demands out of pique at the UN, and focus on congruence of short term strategic interests with Turkey (against iran and Saudi, for example) we will be making a big long term mistake.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

#12  Personally, I find this appalling. I dislike almost every word of it and am hoping beyond hope it doesn't pan out this way. It Sucks. After the guts to go and the guts to win, it really sucks to be gutless now - and to an unacceptable extent, IMHO, lose the peace. Fucking nitwit Sunni's. They will lose, sooner or later, one way or another, but they just had to be asshats. Sigh. The Kurds deserve much much better - and the Turks deserve a shit sandwich. I hope these smug StratFor Foggy Bottom refugees are wrong.
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 14:19 Comments || Top||

#13  Ernest...maybe so. But seems to me that all parties are willing to admit that the Turks are, once again, offering to cover our backs, with the expectation that once we allow them to do so, they will be in a much better position to stab us in it.

If this were the horses, both sides seem to be desperately betting on the long shots in an effort to make up for past losses. Never a good idea...IMHO.

As they say...when you make deals with the devil, expect to get burned.
Posted by: B || 10/14/2003 15:30 Comments || Top||

#14  dot com:

I agree, in essence. (I would be willing to give the Turks a tad more than that, including cooperation against the PKK, guarantees against Kurdish INDEPENDENCE, and maybe even toss in some control over the oil industry (better the Turks than the French:) but, NOT a centralized, sunni arab controlled state)

But THAT means we need a source of troops other than the Turks - at least to improve our bargaining position with the Turks. Now maybe we'll have enough locals trained, and things will be calm enough to just pull the 101st out in January, and pull the 4th ID out in the spring. Or maybe not. Army Reserve/NG is already hurting - do we really want to gut future recruitment for the Army NG/R? That means additional foreign troops other than Turks, and THAT means cutting a deal at - yes - the UNSC. I hope we're not giving away the store there, but I also hope we ARE negotiating seriously.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 15:44 Comments || Top||

#15  Negotiating "seriously" with the Turks is meaningless as whenever it becomes inconvenient for them, they just don't honor it. How is that a deal?

Tapyip proved himself to be willing to make very bold, brinksmanship moves to advance his position at US expense. We all are aware and openly acknowledge that he is doing it again. I just don't understand the denial of the mess that is being created here.

Sure, you could say that paying a high price for a car is not such a bad deal if it is the only car for sale. But I think we need to keep in mind that no price is worth it if the car's got a 90% chance of blowing up in your face. This is not a good idea...no matter how bad we need it. Just like dealing with them the last time ended up being a bad idea...no matter how desperately we needed it.

There are no surprises here. We learned all we needed to know when they screwed us last time. Tapyip is bold enough to try again. Fooled us one..shame on them.
Posted by: B || 10/14/2003 16:50 Comments || Top||

#16  LH - I'm not sure what to call information like this... political chicanery and betrayal? It's certainly the gutless cynical choice of convenience over obligation that I feared and talked about here when this began. Fuck both the UN and Turkey. If this crap is true, well, it would be hard to make me feel more disgusted. The poor Kurds, not to mention our dishonored dead.
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 16:54 Comments || Top||

#17  well, if you ask me (not that anyone is), this is all just as pathetic as watching an abusive relationship.

I know he hit me before...but he won't do it again. He promised! Besides, he really didn't mean it the first time. I neeeeeed him...no one else will have me. It will be different this time.

Not.
Posted by: B || 10/14/2003 18:28 Comments || Top||


Baghdad residents support US presence
Majority of Iraqis still do not get how the evil aggressors are jeopardizing their country. "Pulling out" remains unpopular with the locals...
More than two-thirds of Baghdad residents would like to see US troops stay longer than a few more months, a poll says. But many still have sharply mixed feelings about their presence. The Gallup poll has found 71% of the Iraqi capital’s residents felt US troops should not leave in the next few months. Just 26% felt the troops should leave that soon. But a sizeable minority felt there were circumstances in which attacks against those troops could be justified. Almost one in five (19%) said attacks could be justified, and an additional 17% said they could be in some situations. These mixed feelings from Baghdad residents come at a time when many in the US are calling for the troops to be brought home soon.
For illustrative purposes, we should be shown an opinion poll that has not revealed "mixed feelings".
When Gallup set out recently to poll residents of Baghdad on their feelings about the war, US troops and the future of their country, the biggest surprise may have been public reaction to the questioners. The response rate was close to 97%, with some people following questioners around the streets begging for a chance to give their opinions, said Richard Burkholder, director of international polling for the organisation. Almost six in 10 in the poll (58%), said US troops in Baghdad have behaved fairly well or very well, with one in 10 saying "very well". Twenty percent said the troops have behaved fairly badly and 9% said very badly. Six in 10 Baghdad residents said that within the past four weeks they had been afraid at times to go outside their homes during the day.
...We see again, for the upteenth time, how the brave international anti-warriors are not speaking for the "occupied" Iraqis, or the "imperialistic" US/coalition. Just who do they speak for? (No prizes)
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/14/2003 6:20:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...when many in the US are calling for the troops to be brought home soon.

Um, who are those people? I mean, outside of the loony left that started organizing their "peace" marches while the WTC rubble was still smoking.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/14/2003 7:10 Comments || Top||

#2  It was amusing this weekend to see Tom Friedman lecturing a group dominated by anti-administration types that moral seriousness was in order and that it was time to buckle down for the long haul in Iraq.
Posted by: Hiryu || 10/14/2003 9:12 Comments || Top||

#3  What goofy numbers! 26% want us to leave. It is safe to assume that the 19% who justify attacks, and 7% of the 17% additional, came from that 26%. 4% are on the fence, so probably should be counted as those who see attacks justified in some circustances. Remaining 6% probably out of the 71% wanting us to stay, but only if we behave ourselves: I.e. as we do now.

Not too hard to agree with them: *IF* we start being stupid, then we deserve to get our asses handed to us. But we won't, 'cause we're smarter than that, and HAVE learned from Vietnam.

Just not the lessons THEY wanted us to learn.
Posted by: Ptah || 10/14/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||


AP: 1/4 of U.S. Troops Lack Body Armor
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly one-quarter of the 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq still have not been issued a new type of ceramic body armor strong enough to stop bullets fired from assault rifles. Delays in funding, production and shipping mean it will be December before all troops in Iraq will have the vests, which were introduced four years ago, military officials say.

Congress approved $310 million in April to buy 300,000 more of the bulletproof vests, with 30,000 destined to complete outfitting of the troops in Iraq. Of that money, however, only about $75 million has reached the Army office responsible for overseeing the vests’ manufacture and distribution, said David Nelson, an official in that office.
Typical SNAFU.
Angry members of Congress have denounced the Pentagon. They say up to 44,000 troops lack the best vests because of the sluggish supply chain, significantly more than the Pentagon figure. Relatives of some soldiers have resorted to buying body armor in the United States and shipping it to their troops, congressional critics say.

The House version of an $86.7 billion Iraq spending bill passed last week would include $251 million for body armor and for clearing unexploded munitions, although it’s unclear if additional money would speed up the process at this point. President Bush’s original request included no more money for body armor.

The military’s Interceptor vests, introduced in 1999, include removable ceramic plates in the front and back that can stop bullets such as the 7.62mm rounds fired by Kalashnikov rifles common in Iraq and Afghanistan. Older-model vests can protect against shrapnel and other low-speed projectiles but not high-velocity rifle rounds. Several soldiers serving in both countries have credited the Interceptor vests with saving their lives. Each vest and its plates weighs more than 16 pounds and cost more than $1,500.
Dang, must have some expensive dinnerware in there.
The shortfall in Iraq came because the military’s need for body armor outstripped its ability to make and deliver the Interceptor plates, said Nelson, the Army’s deputy product manager for outfitting soldiers. The Army already had boosted production to supply soldiers fighting in Afghanistan when planning for the Iraq war began in earnest last year, Nelson said. Production of the plates surged a year ago from about 3,000 per month to 6,000 to 10,000 per month, Nelson said. Current production is about 25,000 plates per month, and the Army is working to double that to 50,000 per month, he said.

``It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of capacity to manufacture these devices,’’ the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Gen. Richard Myers, told a Senate committee last month. ``We’re making them as quickly as we can.’’ Nelson said the Army originally hired three companies to make the plates: Armor Works LLC of Tempe, Ariz.; Ceradyne Inc. of Costa Mesa, Calif; and Simula Inc. of Phoenix.

The Army recently added three more companies to make the inserts, Nelson said: Point Blank Body Armor Inc., a division of DHB Industries, of Carle Place, N.Y.; ProTech Armored Products, a subsidiary of Armor Holdings Inc., of Jacksonville, Fla.; and ForceOne LLC, of Spruce Pine, N.C. To help meet the demand, all six companies also are making heavier versions of the bulletproof plates, which can be manufactured quicker and easier, Nelson said.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/14/2003 12:41:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [245 views] Top|| File under:

#1  QA is very important in the manufacture of ceramica, and especially important with this application. My guess is that getting them right is tough.

The Stryker plates have been recalled, I saw recently. Another example of the difficulty in ceramics manufacture.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/14/2003 8:39 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't think that Congress understands that a manufacturing operation is not like a light switch. Gen Myers' numbers look like a single-shift single facility operation going to multi-shift then multi-facility.
Also at 50,000 a month how long do we plan to keep up that rate of production. There are certainly some uses for the plates in applications with the Navy, Marine embassy duty, Coast Guard, FBI, ATF and DEA, but that won't last forever.
Which other contries do we export the vests to? Do we want to be facing Columbian druglords and Jehadis with these vests on? Eventually, we will have to ramp down production and lay people off. That problem is down the road, though. Time to make some political hay in the present.

QUAGMIRE, got your QUAGMIRE here. NO PLAN FOR THE PEACE, got your NO PLAN FOR THE PEACE here.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 15:08 Comments || Top||


Iraqi oil minister escapes assassination
Iraqi Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr Al-Uloom and an aide to Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi escaped an assassination attempt in Baghdad hours after a deadly bombing in the capital, a council source said. “Bahr Al-Uloom and Nabil Al-Musawi, Chalabi’s deputy on the Governing Council, were attacked in the Al-Mansur district at around 7:30 p.m. Sunday,” the source said. “The two men were traveling in the same car in a five-vehicle convoy when the motorcade came under fire from a speeding car,” he said.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/14/2003 00:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [249 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon
Lebanon won’t let Palestinians buy land
JPost Reg req’d
A bill which would have allowed Palestinians to buy property in Lebanon has been withdrawn, prompting accusations of racism and discrimination, the Arabic Aljazeera network reported.

An estimated 390,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon, half of whom live in UN hellholes camps.

On Monday any hopes of ever owning their own property were dashed when Lebanese Parliament speaker Nabih Berri withdrew draft legislation which would have lifted a ban on Palestinian refugees from owning property in Lebanon.

The current legislation forbids the acquisition of real estate by all non-Lebanese persons "who do not possess citizenship issued by a state recognised by Lebanon."
"or adequate false identification"
"[Berri] withdrew from the agenda the bill presented by 10 deputies which aimed to amend a text banning Palestinians from acquiring real estate," the dean of the house Kabalan Issa al-Khuri told Aljazeera.

"This subject is divisive among Lebanese," Berri said. "The acquisition by Palestinians of real estate would damage the Palestinian cause because that way the refugees would remain in Lebanon and never return to Palestine," he added.
"We really really don’t want em...you know what happens to your property values when a UN Paleo camp is nearby?"
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri believes that the time was not right to grant Palestinians living in Lebanon such rights, but that the "unjust" ban would one day be lifted, the Arabic network reported.
When the fish is dead?
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 5:47:57 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under:

#1  NIMBY bastards.
Posted by: BH || 10/14/2003 17:52 Comments || Top||

#2  That's pan-Arab solidarity for you.
Posted by: Mike || 10/14/2003 17:57 Comments || Top||

#3  Will this earn the Lebanese Palestinain style Dire Revenge?
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/14/2003 18:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Nope....can't have this. If we sell them land, then they might stop killing Joos (just maybe) and that's a risk we're just not willing to take.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/14/2003 18:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Maybe the "Palestinians" should ask "Why does everybody hate us?"
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 10/14/2003 18:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Well, everywhere the Paleos go, they s--t in their messkits or their hosts punchbowls. The hosts are getting kind of gunshy, so to speak.

Anybody know the story on how Egypt treats their Paleo contingent? It seems that everyone is NIMBY with respect to the Paleos.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 19:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Kicked out of Kuwait, persona non grata in Iraq, and forbidden to own land in Lebanon.

But everyone insists the Israelis take them in.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/14/2003 19:23 Comments || Top||

#8  As far as I know, they have never been permitted to own land in Lebanon (from 1948). I seem to recall that they were also prevented from purchasing land, pre-1967, in the West Bank.

I vaguely recall that they were not permitted to enter Egypt proper when Egypt held Gaza.

So this is nothing new, just the same old attitude.
Posted by: buwaya || 10/14/2003 19:42 Comments || Top||

#9  Mummar booted them out as well. The idea is that there is no Palestinian problem unless there are refugees. In all other case refugees eventually become citizens. With the Palestinians the UN is allowing the creation of 3rd generation refugees with the right of return to some place they have never lived. I like the idea, though, maybe being 1/124 Penobscot, I can boot some poor sap off of my tribal lands in Concord, NH.

Saw a group of Palestinians camped out in the site of a demolished building in Alexandria in 1988. They are probably still there. Wonder what it feels like to be everybody's pawn.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 21:43 Comments || Top||

#10  One of my friends is a Palestian Christian from Bethlehem. Hamas does not like them, so he felt that it was time for him and his family to R-U-N-N-O-F-T, i.e., leave. Now he has built a good life for his family here, with no worries about getting gunned down by Paleo gunnies or IDF stray rounds.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 22:35 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Another technological advance.
From ScrappleFace.
(200310-14) -- A new cellular phone with global positioning technology will direct Muslim devotees toward Mecca for prayer, and Muslim fanatics toward Israeli bus stops and other large gatherings of "infidels".

Targeted at the Middle Eastern Muslim market, the GHD911 comes equipped with an electronic compass to direct the faithful toward Mecca. For a small additional charge, members of Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al Qaeda and other social service organizations can get the Martyr-ola plug-in which directs the customer to the largest concentration of infidels within a 500 mile radius.

"Many of our customers live in desert areas where it’s difficult to determine direction," said an unnamed spokesman for the manufacturer. "The GHD911 will allow them to effectively perform their two most important duties -- Salat, the five-times daily prayers, and jihad."

The phone also includes an animated tour of heaven, with realistic depictions of the dozens of virgins who await the shahid, or martyr. The GHD911 also features two "hot terminal ports" that can be wired to any device which requires a brief jolt of electricity triggered remotely.

"We’re not sure what our fanatical customers will do with that feature, but our focus groups said it was essential," the spokesman said. "With the GHD911 we think we have invented the next wireless killer app."
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 4:24:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:


Iran
Ledeen on the Mullahs
EFL to 25
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei loudly proclaimed that the United States was entering an Iraqi quagmire (Vietnam metaphors are in great favor among the world’s dwindling number of tyrants), but he and his regime seem rather deeper in the muck of late. It couldn’t happen to a more worthy bunch, and it’s especially gratifying to see Khamenei, Rafsanjani, and the other mullahcrats swinging in the wind, as world opinion turns against them.
Now let’s see them twist in the wind à la Mussolini.
It is particularly satisfying to see this crowd of old white men humiliated by intrepid women, one Shirin Ebadi — the unexpected recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the other Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian journalist — murdered last summer in the infamous prisons of the Islamic Republic because she dared to photograph the regime’s thugs beating up student demonstrators.
"But Mr. Ledeen, you don’t understand. Those students were in favor of giving the people power and the right to disagree."
"I understand that very well."

The Kazemi obscenity exposed the regime’s basic characteristics, from its murderous attacks on those who try to tell the outside world the truth about the Islamic Republic, to its instant denial of any accusation or criticism, to its crafty routine of constantly-changing "explanations." As with earlier murders of its pro-democracy critics, the regime first denied that there was a murder at all ("she fell and bumped her head"), then admitted that something untoward had happened ("we are investigating"), then found someone to put on trial (most likely a convenient scapegoat). In the last two weeks, Iran has been sternly denounced by the European Union, and warned that if the mullahs’ human-rights practices do not improve, the EU will invoke sanctions.
"The EU has threatened sanctions. Eek."
Would that our secretary of state were so outspoken.
If wishes were horses

The Kazemi affair was very embarrassing to the Islamic Republic, and the Nobel award to Ms. Ebadi was a slap in Khamenei’s face. Just when the democratic opposition was floundering — the result of savage beatings, thousands of arrests and torture, and near-total abandonment by the feckless leaders of the West — the Norwegian committee sent a message of hope and inspiration: Do not despair, we are with you. All of a sudden, the Iranians see again that there are people in the West who understand their plight, and support their struggle. Ms. Ebadi is no mere symbol of resistance to tyranny; she is the real deal, having survived nine months in the horrific Evin prison in Tehran, and 25 years of isolation and oppression from the regime (she was a judge under the Shah, fired by Khomenei after the revolution of 1979, denied the right to practice law, and forced to scratch for a living as a school instructor). There will be monster celebrations when Ms. Ebadi returns with her medal later this year, and the regime will be hardpressed to justify further repression. She will be a dagger aimed at the regime’s heart, and the mullahs will feel the first pricks of the dagger’s point right away, as she has agreed to represent the Kazemi family in legal action against the regime.
"Gulp!"
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 3:36:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [245 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front
Weapons stockpile found in home of dead Florida gun dealer
Some residents of a central Florida neighborhood remain evacuated this morning -- because police investigating the murder of a local gun dealer found hundreds of military weapons and bombs inside his house. Scott Quinn was found dead by his girlfriend early yesterday at his Sanford home. Police say they found more than 400 weapons, including live bombs, neatly stacked in the bedroom.
That’s a little excessive, even by Afghan standards.
Pretty daggone kinky, if you ask me. She's lucky she made it out alive...
About ten area homes remain evacuated because of fears the bombs might explode. Military experts are expected at the scene this morning to continue going through the weapons and explosives. Several of the more dangerous pieces were taken to a landfill to be detonated. Investigators say Quinn was murdered but aren’t releasing further details. An autopsy will be performed this week to determine the cause of death.
Florida, huh? Hummmmm.....
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 1:53:28 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [315 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What's more... those weapons have been there for *years* and Bush was never able to find them!

Wes Clark could have found them... with his x-ray vision...
Posted by: snellenr || 10/14/2003 15:32 Comments || Top||

#2  He's not a terrorist. He just likes to fish - lazy style.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 16:06 Comments || Top||

#3  DuPont Spinner™
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 21:38 Comments || Top||

#4  He's not a terrorist. He just likes to fish - lazy style

Lazy? Efficient! Those Lake Mary Bass don't take bait anymore.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 22:03 Comments || Top||

#5  What's that? (sniff) I smell a "Threat Matrix" plot.
Posted by: esp || 10/14/2003 23:47 Comments || Top||


(Ex)General re-invents Peace Corps! Kennedys claim copyright violation!
"Clark Calling for Civilian Reserve Corps"
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Flack Writer

WASHINGTON - Democrat Wesley Clark says if elected president, he would create a corps of civilians who could be called up for service in national emergencies much like the National Guard.

Every American age 18 or older could register for Clark’s civilian reserve, listing skills that could aid the country in a disaster. Registration is voluntary and would involve a commitment to serve any time for five years.
(I assume this actually means that they could be called up for a six month "tour" anytime during a five year window.)

In times of national emergency, such as floods, forest fires or terrorist attacks, the president would have the power to call to duty up to 5,000 civilian reservists. Tours would last as long as six months. Congress could authorize more to be mobilized.

Civilian reservists also could be sent overseas for jobs like reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq.
($100/mo and all the bullets you can catch!)

Those who are called to duty would receive health care, a stipend, and the right to return to their jobs when their service is completed. Clark spokeswoman Kym Spell said the program would cost about $100 million a year and would be part of the Department of Homeland Security.

In a speech prepared for delivery Tuesday at New York’s Hunter College, Clark said the reserves "will reinvigorate America’s ethic of service, tap the vast reservoir of skill, generosity, and energy that is the American people, and call millions more Americans to duty."
(yadda yadda)

Clark, a retired four-star Army general, also called for an expansion of the AmeriCorps national service program created by President Clinton.
(Bill oughta sue too...)

Clark’s speech is the first of four that he will give over a month outlining his campaign agenda. Others will focus on health care, the economy and national security.
(Coming soon to a Lefty University near you!)
Posted by: mojo || 10/14/2003 1:43:47 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [254 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Personally I think this idea is stupid. Expand and reform the peace corps instead of creating a new program.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 15:42 Comments || Top||

#2 

It almost sounds like he wants to create a ready reserve of people to be called up as combat support services troops, except with absolutely no military training involved. It sounds like a bad idea to me.

Posted by: Phil Fraering || 10/14/2003 18:52 Comments || Top||


Dennis the Menace: Good Guys™ out, Patsies™ in!
You have to scroll down a ways. Hat tip LGF
And now, Dennis Kucinich:
I’m the only candidate who has a plan to get out of Iraq. We need to get the U.N. in and the U.S. out.
"We need to EXPERIENCE Sharia to know what it’s like."
We have to bring our troops home. And I think that issue alone will cause many Americans to flock to my campaign when they see there’s a real alternative to this endless spending of the resource of this country and waste of lives which the Iraq debacle has become.
"Not to mention the waste of funds that could be better allocated towards cowardice and appeasement."
I’m not only in favor of ending the occupation, but stopping the waste of our tax dollars and bringing our troops home, the American people will be aware that they do have a choice.
The choice to get you a job flipping burgers.
Here Dennis stops the pundit resumes.

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri was wrong. People are that unrealistic, and one of them wants to be President!
Does anyone know what the term for an allergic reaction to brain tissue is?
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 1:43:02 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [249 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It is truly tragic to see someone with an advanced case of colorectal cranioinsertion. I think Dennis is past the point where even explosives and/or powerful winches can help. Somebody needs to call a specialty excavating company to help this poor soul.
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/14/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm hoping he wigs out and runs as an independent.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 16:00 Comments || Top||

#3  NO,SH,no.The Dems need all the help they can get.(snicker)
Posted by: Raptor || 10/14/2003 18:10 Comments || Top||


Korea
Another DPRK Scientific Breakthrough!
Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- The Branch Institute of Construction and Building-Materials under the Academy of Sciences of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has developed lagging materials with foam from plant-steeped water.
It’s some type of thermal insulation, I guess. Looks like somebody discovered it while making grass soup.
Its heat conduction is 0.08 watt per meter kelvin. It does not break under the pressure of five mega Pascal. It has been widely used in the newly built factories, dwelling houses and stockbreeding farms including the recently face-lifted Yonggwang Street.
That’s nice, Yonggwang Street was looking a bit shabby.
Its raw material is inexhaustible in the country.
We got plenty of grass!
Its production cost is low but the quality is good.
Quick, call the Nobel Committee!
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 12:44:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [313 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like Pyongyang has developed advanced Daub & Wattle construction.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Working their way towards thatch...
Posted by: Seafarious || 10/14/2003 13:13 Comments || Top||

#3  I know the poster meant "logging" but "lagging" seems so much more appropriate.
Posted by: FormerLiberal || 10/14/2003 13:23 Comments || Top||

#4  Look! They're returning to 12th century ways! What a great way to save money for Nuclear missles!
Posted by: Charles || 10/14/2003 13:32 Comments || Top||

#5  Coming up next: Kim Jong Il Discovers Mud!
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/14/2003 13:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Definition by WordNet Dictionary:
LAGGING - used to wrap around pipes or boilers or laid in attics to prevent loss of heat; insulant, insulating material, insulation.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 14:04 Comments || Top||

#7  I wonder if it will pick up the funnies.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 14:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Wonder if you can get some at Home Depot? I was thinking of remodeling....my house needs more juche.
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/14/2003 14:39 Comments || Top||

#9  tu3031,

No Kimmie-boy invents Mud.

And tomorrow -- Bricks!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/14/2003 14:51 Comments || Top||

#10  [Tries desperately to think of a graceful way to defend commenting on a post he didn't read all the way through, thereby rendering Steve's correction moot. In a flash, FormerLiberal knows what do to! He cries:]

"Mary, help!"
Posted by: FormerLiberal || 10/14/2003 17:42 Comments || Top||

#11  It's fun to see if you can recognize the commercial product they have "invented." One of the discoveries they have described seems to be that you can take the lightest of the ash remnants (fly ash)of burning coal in a boiler and use it as an additive in cement.
I hope they are not paying too much money to the bozo who has smuggled an old materials science book into the country. It must be like being the Connecticutt Yankee in King Arthur's Court for the guy.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 21:36 Comments || Top||


Iran
Tehran’s nuke program aiming for a November test?
Excerpted from Michael Ledeen’s latest column for National Review Online, dealing with the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi.

Meanwhile, back in Foggy Bottom, the State Department continues to try to arrange some kind of modus vivendi with the mullahs. The latest back-channel negotiations have revolved around Iran’s nuclear program, both because there is serious concern in Washington and because it would be very difficult for Secretary Powell to sell the American people on a rapprochement with Iran if Tehran were known to have developed nuclear weapons (remember that Rafsanjani declared, in December, 2001, that if Iran had an atomic bomb it would be used against Israel).
I’m not so sure that Secretary Powell is personally in favor of a rapproachment with Tehran--remember, it’s his job to be the "dove," just as it’s Rummy’s job to be the "hawk"--but Ledeen is probably right about the feelings of some State department underlings. ’Scuse the interruption.
So, in addition to the formal talks between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the mullahs, the State Department dispatched a former Middle East correspondent of a leading American newspaper to talk to the Iranians. Today he will report near-total failure.
I doubt that anyone’s surprise meter twitched.
The Iranians bluntly told him that the uranium-enrichment program will continue, that the United States is surrounded by enemies in Iraq, and if Washington increases the pressure on Iran there will be terrible consequences.

Some of this is bluster, but for the most part it is an honest statement of Iran’s intentions. As reported here some weeks ago, the Iranians believe they now have all the necessary components for a nuclear bomb. The only question is how long it will take them to assemble and test it. Khamenei had hoped to be able to test an atomic bomb by the third week in October, but his scientific advisers recently told him they could not make that deadline. They are now aiming for November 4 or 5, the anniversary of the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran during the revolution.

Are they really this close? I’ve not seen this reported anywhere else; on the other hand, Michael Ledeen is really well plugged-in to what’s going on in Iran.

There is another November date our leaders should take seriously: the 25th, the anniversary of the disappearance of the twelfth imam, and thus the most significant date in the Shiite calendar. Reports from Tehran suggest that the mullahs would like to celebrate that anniversary with a big-time terrorist attack against America.

Faster, please.

What he said.
Posted by: Mike || 10/14/2003 12:42:11 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [416 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mentioning the words "Khamenei" and "atomic bomb" is the same sentence can't be a good thing. Time to reposition our air power and gear it up for a strike.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/14/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Ahem. Well I'd say congratulations are in order. The Black Hats have certainly supplied a casus belli obvious even to a Foggy Bottom Lifer. [golf clap] In honor of their relentless efforts, it is only fair that we come up with an appropriate reward. I'd say it ranges from an Osiraq-style surgical strike to a fullscale decapitation campaign for the Black Hats, Revolutionary Guard, and that gaggle of turbans on the Revolutionary Council. For this latter option, let's not forget that party invitations to the Iranian public should go out in a timely manner.
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 14:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, having a atomic device suitable for testing (showing off, really) is a lot different from having a deliverable weapon. The science was worked out by the Manhatten Project, it's getting your hands on enough weapons grade enriched uranium. I think it was six kilograms, and you can do a simple gun type bomb. This would get the neighbors attention, and that wouldn't be a good thing for them. They may be opperating on the "once we have a bomb, the US will think twice" theory.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 15:29 Comments || Top||

#4  Slightly off topic but where did the term Foggy Bottom come from. I know it means the US State Department but beyond that...
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 15:39 Comments || Top||

#5  Questions I keep coming up with related to this (as well as NK) are "What is the approximate yield of a fission core from a U.S. nuclear device" and "Can the F-117 deliver one?" It just strikes me that the Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapon testing programs run the risk of an tragic accident...
Posted by: snellenr || 10/14/2003 15:47 Comments || Top||

#6  Yank - good question - and not even Cecil Adams has the answer, which means no one has asked him this question, yet. You can do it here:
http://www.straightdope.com/

They always come back with the research and results. Give 'em a shot!
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 16:08 Comments || Top||

#7  "What is the approximate yield of a fission core from a U.S. nuclear device"

The B61 series is a variable yield device, 0.3 up to around 350KT in four steps. The B61-11 penetrator is a fixed yield weapon, size unknown. The biggest is the B83 "dial-a-yield" H-bomb, up to one megaton.

"Can the F-117 deliver one?"

F-117/B1 are strictly a conventional weapons platforms, the B52 and B2 carry the nukes. B2 can carry up to 16 B61 series weapons.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 16:21 Comments || Top||

#8  "where did the term Foggy Bottom come from"

It's the old name for the neighborhood in D.C. where the State Department now is located.

The area originally housed workers from such nearby industries as Godey's lime kilns, the Washington Gas and Light Company, the glass works, the Abner/Drury and Christian Heurich breweries, and Cranford's Paving Company. The population of Foggy Bottom came to consist primarily of poor immigrants who lived close to work. These people were mostly of German and Irish extraction. Foggy Bottom was described in those days as being low and swampy with fogs settling in over the river banks and mixing with smog from the gas works. Today, the development of a parkway along the Potomac, the trend toward restoration and preservation of neighborhood areas, the proximity to memorials, the Department of State and such high-rise buildings as the Watergate have lent Foggy Bottom a special place in the city. However, the late 19th-century working class neighborhood is still discernable from its immediate surroundings. Foggy Bottom serves as a visual reminder of Washington's little known industrial heritage.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 16:27 Comments || Top||

#9  Foggy Bottom is the part of DC where the main State Dept building sits. It is at a relatively low point where fog can collect.

I often find Ledeen unrealistic about the prospects for the Iranian opposition and alarmist about the capabilities of the Iranian regime, but the fact that he reports the mullah's as behaving confidently is disturbing. I have always thought the Iranian mullah's to be calculating adversary that would not move prematurely.

If I were them, I'd delay testing, but work hard on the delivery system so as to minimize the interval between test and deliverable weapon. I would also feign cooperation with the UN so as to buy time for my weapons program and increase its support for hastening a US withdrawal from Iraq. I would calibrate my interference in Iraq so that the US would be frustrated enough to withdraw prematurely but that the incompetent UN administrators and/or weak Iraqi government could still plausibly take over. Then I'd test my nuke as part of a move to reassert power in the region. A weaponized nuke would enable me to limit the return of US forces to the region. A realistic estimate of the optimal timeframe would be 15-24 months.

If they test now, the mullahs force us into a more confrontational posture at what appears to be a suboptimal time. This indicates that the mullahs must be confident that they can drive us out of Iraq and that the world will not support harsh measures, like a blockade, in response to a test. Of course, it could also mean that they are truly desperate to cling to power, but there is no evidence that they have much to fear from a bunch of spoiled university students and a pacifist lawyer.

An even worse scenario involves them going for a final showdown with the Great Satan by testing a nuke and then claiming to have smuggled a nuke into the US or an allied country. But such a move is ultimately suicidal.

These mullahs come from the part of the world that invented chess. Unlike Osama and his ilk, I'd expect them to think several moves ahead. If they test a nuke, we need to make sure we understand what other capabilities they possess.
Posted by: JAB || 10/14/2003 16:31 Comments || Top||

#10  So how 'bout we get ready and nuke the nuke?

That would be so cool and would really send a message.

And it would be darn difficult for anyone to raise much of an objection.

I would so love to see that.
Posted by: Michael || 10/14/2003 17:33 Comments || Top||

#11  Steve: (snipping detailed answer of another, related question :-) )

We can't drop a fusion bomb on them -- it wouldn't be deniable.

Removing the deuterium/lithium/etc from an existing device would be simple (a forced "fizzle", as it were) and at least somewhat deniable. We'd probably have difficulty with a detailed analysis by the Iranian equivalent of our NEST teams, presuming that (a) they exist and (b) they're anything like the ones in Clancy's novel.
Posted by: snellenr || 10/14/2003 18:09 Comments || Top||

#12  An even worse scenario involves them going for a final showdown with the Great Satan by testing a nuke and then claiming to have smuggled a nuke into the US or an allied country. But such a move is ultimately suicidal.

Absolutely -- it'd be an act of war that would literally require that we attack them immediatly, with whatever assets we had available.

Further, if they carried out their threat to set off a nuke in one of our cities, American political opinion would nearly instanteously turn in favor of making an example of the Iranian leadership (although we'd once again attempt to do it without direct (deliberate) attacks on civilian targets).
Posted by: snellenr || 10/14/2003 18:14 Comments || Top||

#13  American political opinion would nearly instanteously turn in favor of making an example of the Iranian leadership (although we'd once again attempt to do it without direct (deliberate) attacks on civilian targets).
IMO, such a detonation would lead to the American public demanding that Iran be made an example. There would be no concern whatever for "civilian casualties" or world opinion, and any politician who tried to temporize would be swept aside. For Iran, the best-case scenario would be a 24-hour ultimatum to hang all of the mullahs and then surrender, or face annihilation. Their worst case: Annihilation first, then the ultimatum.
Posted by: Old Grouch || 10/14/2003 19:02 Comments || Top||

#14  Agree that my worst case scenario is extremely unlikely. I was just trying to think this situation through a few more moves, assuming Ledeen is right on his facts and that the mullah's are reasonably shrewd, rational players. It troubles me that they would feel confident to test at this time. To me this most likely indicates that they are very confident they can run us out of Iraq in short order.
Posted by: JAB || 10/14/2003 19:42 Comments || Top||

#15  They would be stupid to run the test - so they will run the test.

A test should only be answered with a convensional response. Whack all the site swe know about with tomahawks.

They will obviously expect this and will have moved some of the equipment before the test.

From there we'll play it by ear, but expect something totally nonsensical - like what you would expect from Sadaam.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 21:25 Comments || Top||

#16  The Iranian Black Turbans have threatened to attack Israel with their Shahab-3 missles. To do this means they are nuts and
1) Full of BS
2) Not or partially full of BS.

If No. 1, then we keep going and plan for 2.

If No. 2, then we better have a plan. The Iranians are serious about destabilizing Iraq and discrediting the US. Their actions in Iraq and their treatment or rather harboring of Al Qeda personnel show their attitude and intentions. They know that we are spread thin in Iraq. Now is the opportunity to strike at what they perceive as weakness. They need an ass kicking.

If Iran acquires nuclear capability, it is a death warrant for her people. If this nuclear situation is not dealt with soon, it will run away and the nightmarish scenarios envisioned in postings above will be very real. Folks, the stakes are as high as it gets in this WoT. The only thing worse would be an asteroid hit.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 22:10 Comments || Top||

#17  There would be no concern whatever for "civilian casualties

Actually there would be concern... the idea would be to maximize them.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 22:15 Comments || Top||

#18  Well, if the black turbans do attack Israel, they're not as rational as I assumed above and our problems go away instantly.

But Alaska Paul is correct that their consistently belligerent behavior, including harboring Al Queda and not pretending real hard to comply with the nuclear monitoring regime, indicate that their intel makes them confident that they can run us out of Iraq. What scares me is that their intel in Iraq is probably pretty good.

As this thread has shows, they are probably not crazy, bluffing or desperate, which are the only other plausible explanations for their seemingly confident behavior in the face of a US presence in the Gulf and 2 neighboring countries.
Posted by: JAB || 10/14/2003 23:14 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Arafat criticized by acting PM manuvering for corpse position
EFL
Qureia repudiates Arafat’s choice for acting interior minister
The new Palestinian premier on Tuesday publicly repudiated Yasser Arafat’s choice for the powerful post of interior minister, escalating a bitter quarrel that has cast doubt on prospects for reviving a stalled U.S.-backed peace plan.
but sheds much light on the struggle to have the right allies when Arafats dies
The latest spat began when Arafat appointed longtime confidant Hakam Balawi as acting interior minister. But on Tuesday, after a meeting of the Palestinian National Security Council, Qurei was asked if Hakam Balawi was the acting interior minister. Qurei said, "No."
"Him? I don't even like him. Why should he be interior minister?"
"The National Security Council will take over the role of interior minister until the end of term of the interim government," Qurei added, indicating that the Arafat-led Council will temporarily be in control of Palestinian security forces.
It will be very important to have as much muscle as possible on post Arafat day.
Arafat reconfirmed Balawi’s appointment Tuesday. "He (Balawi) is not interior minister, but acting interior minister," said Arafat at his Ramallah compound. Qurei had supported another candidate, Nasser Yousef, for the job, and his disagreement with Arafat over the position led to a fallout between the two.
Too bad Luca Brasi isn’t available.
Posted by: mhw || 10/14/2003 12:28:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [239 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now now boys. The Death Ray should be back online by the end of the week. So play nice, bide your time and stockpile ammo for the coming festivities.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/14/2003 13:59 Comments || Top||


Africa: West
Chuck alleges conspiracy
Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor alleged on Tuesday that unidentified enemies were planning to attack Nigerian peacekeepers in his country and put the blame on him. Taylor left Liberia in August to take up an offer of political asylum in Nigeria, but said he feared a plot to turn the people of his host country against him and persuade them to compel him to leave.
Oooh, a Evil Plan(tm).
"The strategy afoot is to orchestrate a scene whereby Nigerians and other soldiers serving in Liberia are brought in harm’s way with armed combattants believed to be my loyalists, so as to attribute it to Charles Taylor," he said, in a statement.
He’s talking about himself in the third party, clear sign of paranoia.
"It is their plan that at such a time, and God forbid, the people of Nigeria would then look at me with jaundiced eyes and consider me an enemy of the Nigerian people, thus exposing me to danger," he said. "They would consider me a terrible guest and react negatively toward me. This type of sinister orchestration now in the works is evident by constant statements associating me with disruption, unpeaceful and diabolical actions. All lies!"
"Lies! All lies! They're out to get me! An' I din't do nuffin'!"
Bwahahaha!! Our evil plan is working!
Many Nigerians are already opposed to Taylor’s exile in a luxury villa in the southeastern city of Calabar. Nigeria’s journalists’ union and bar association have both called for the former warlord to be kicked out to face war crimes charges at a UN-backed special tribunal in Liberia’s neighbour Sierra Leone. But President Olusegun Obasanjo, while warning Taylor not to interfere with developments in his homeland, has insisted the asylum deal was necessary to get him out of Liberia and restart a moribund peace process there.
Ollie wouldn't like to see the precedent set of a fellow head of state being handed over to a war crimes court. Y'never can tell what the future holds. Especially in Nigeria.
So Chucky is afraid that there are going to be attacks on Nigerians, and they will be blamed on him. I guess that means that we can expect attacks on Nigerians at any time. Might as well blame Chucky, I mean, we don’t want to disappoint him.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 10:25:53 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [240 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How is he so aware of the plans?

Nigeria should announce they've discovered plans to whack Mr. Taylor and blame it on the Nigerian government. Then they can whack him (grab his bank account) and point fingers.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 11:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Good idea Yank, except we sneak in and steal the bank account before Nigeria. Alittle extra money for Iraq would be nice.
Posted by: Charles || 10/14/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#3  we sneak in and steal the bank account before Nigeria

We don't have to sneak in, Chuck will send the money right to us. I got a e-mail that sez so!
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 14:23 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon
Report: U.S. investigating suspected Iraqi money stashed in Syria
American officials suspect government-controlled banks in Syria are holding up to three billion dollars in Iraqi assets looted by former leader Saddam Hussein, according to a report in Time magazine, due to be published Monday.
Sammy’s 401K plan, I’ll wager.
The magazine, quoting an unnamed senior U.S. official, said Washington has demanded Damascus return the money and is not satisfied with Syria’s cooperation. The U.S. is eager to determine that the "money is not funding violence against Americans in Iraq, or being drawn down by regime officials and supporters," the report said. For months, Washington has quietly insisted that Damascus give up the funds, according to Time. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell made the demand during a meeting in Damascus in May with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, the magazine reported.
"Give it up, Bash, or I’ll send in the IRS!"
Senior Syrian officials have been given the names of at least two suspect banks and provided with account numbers, the report added.
"Thanks, we were looking for those."
Meanwhile, Syrian army chief of staff Hassan Turkmani on Sunday expressed sorrow over the American stance which "directs false accusations against Syria, like supporting terrorism and holding it responsible for the escalation of the Iraqi resistance against the American forces."
Syria will hang on to the money while they wait and see which way the wind blows. They might give it back to the Iraqi government at some point to try and get back in their good graces, or it might disappear into young Bashar’s retirement account.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 10:13:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Actually it is possible that Bashir does not know much about the Saddam money because he relies heavily on his dad's advisers and these advisers are not fully loyal but are fully opportunistic.
Posted by: mhw || 10/14/2003 11:15 Comments || Top||

#2  It's Wormtongue's bad advice that is getting Bashar in deep doo-doo.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 13:59 Comments || Top||

#3  What about the 37 bill in a French,or has that been written off.
Posted by: Raptor || 10/14/2003 19:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Raptor---You're talking about the Oil for Palaces™ program money during the Iraq sanctions? Maybe the UN has the audit report on their website.....
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 19:50 Comments || Top||

#5  Nice one
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/24/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Report: Mubarak’s son survives assassination bid
Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, has recently survived an assassination attempt, while driving on the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway, the Islamic Media Monitor (Al Marsad) reported, citing Egyptian fundamental sources.
The London-based body said that in the course of the attempted assassination bid, Gamal’s personal driver was wounded. It added the attempt took place when Gamal was on his way back from a tour in Alexandria. The report, however, did not provide details on the precise date of the failed attempt.
Furthermore, the report said, citing sources in Egypt, that Gamal survived the assassination attempt due to the armored vehicle he was driving in as well as the presence of armed body guards.
Armored limos and good bodyguards make all the difference.
The Islamic Media Monitor is headed by Yasser El Sari and has close contacts with Islamic movements in Egypt and other Arab states. After some two decades in power and currently in his mid-70s, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is widely suspected of grooming his 39 year-old son for succession. Gamal’s name has often been mentioned in the public arena in this context.
Daddy Mubarak ain’t gonna like this.
Posted by: Steve || 10/14/2003 9:56:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [237 views] Top|| File under:

#1  expect a crackdown on the muslim brotherhood with a roundup of the Usual Suspects©
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 10:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Mr Yasser Al-Sirri has close ties to Binny and the Boys as well. FYI, Mustafa Hamza, who planned the operation by Gama'a to take out Daddy Mubarak in 1995 in Addis Ababa (which obviously failed), is now a close associate of Binny (probably hiding out with Saad, Saif, Saleh, and the rest of the Tier Two dirtbags in Iran).
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 10/14/2003 10:22 Comments || Top||

#3  It would be interesting if the muslim brotherhood thugs that Egypt recently let out of prison (because they espoused non violence) were part of the get Gamal gang.
Posted by: mhw || 10/14/2003 11:00 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Controlling Falling Currency
The recent slide in the dollar ought to be a cause for rejoicing that the long-awaited rebalancing of the global economy is finally in train. But while the US currency’s fall is long overdue, the manner in which it is happening gives some cause for concern that its correction will lead to a levelling down, rather than a smooth rebalancing, of the regional contributions to global growth.
I understand the concern about a ’leveling down’ which is a byword for deflation, but mild deflation can have benefits for the U.S. manufacturing base, that is, what is left of it
The US has been the only engine of growth in the world economy for too long. The best solution would be for the dollar to fall gradually along with a pick-up in internally-driven growth in Europe and Asia. Changes in the relative growth of domestic demand, not the slow and uncertain shift of relative prices caused by exchange rate movements, should lead this rebalancing. However, there has been more action on currencies than on growth. The reference to flexible exchange rates in the recent Group of Seven statement in Dubai was widely seen as an innovation, sparking the dollar’s latest sell-off. Yet the accompanying "agenda for growth", touted by the US and UK as a new commitment to structural reform across the industrialised world, was in reality a thin and unconvincing reiteration of existing aspirations.
This statement was a veiled reference to China’s gamesmanship on currency rates, where they are trying to tie the yuan to a fixed US rate.
And while the Japanese have tested to destruction the failed idea that currency manipulations are an adequate substitute for economic reform, the upward pressure on the yen against the dollar is of no help in fanning the tiny sparks of growth to ignite a sustained recovery in its beleaguered economy. Above all, the swelling US current account deficit, driven by a fiscal deficit clearly out of control, makes the dollar’s fall a risky business.
In one sense the author is right. Falling rates in the US will drive money out elsewhere, giving the US fewer imports and adding the threat of inflation. It will also have a positive effect on the US industrial base, making US exports cheaper.
The US administration’s claim that the current account deficit was of little concern, reflecting merely investors’ overwhelming desire to own high-yielding dollar assets, always looked unconvincing. Those investors are often Asian central banks manipulating currencies, not fund managers maximising returns. And they are financing the fiscal consequences of the Bush administration’s irresponsible tax cuts rather than business investment splurges.
Growing revenue for government is irresponsible in itself, and given a choice, tax cuts will always have a positive effect on BOTH the economy and government revenues
The need to fund the current account deficit is dogging the dollar. Prices of Treasury bonds fell last week along with the currency. If the dollar’s slide gathers pace, it could tip from a benign rebalancing into a dangerous spiral of a falling currency and asset prices.
My understanding of general deflation is that speculators are the ones who get hit the hardest. Almost no one else takes a real big bad hit from falling prices.
True, asset prices are showing some resilience. The Federal Reserve’s insistence that it will keep interest rates low is helping to support Treasuries, at least at shorter durations. And US stocks, despite improbably lofty valuations, have so far proved largely immune to the dollar’s slide. But precarious balances in financial markets have a way of collapsing suddenly. And if they do, the perils of the US administration conniving at a slide in the dollar while itself borrowing ever more dollars from increasingly reluctant investors will become starkly clear.
This is an unlikely outcome to a falling dollar. Bond rates going lower will hurt the current holders of bonds, but will also attract new players into the market. This dovetails nicely into the beginnings of the 2004 political season, I hope.
Posted by: badanov || 10/14/2003 9:33:16 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And Econopundit says rebutting a Krugman article:

...Second misrepresentation: genuine mathematical models, like the Yale multi-country trade and US macroeconomic models are definitely not predicting that a "crisis could erupt at any time." (Far from it, they're predicting a robust recovery even in the face of Iraq reconstruction costs!)...

But he will be setting up the Damocles index to see if Krugman is right.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 10:49 Comments || Top||

#2  The link at the top of the page for this entry is fracked up.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/14/2003 10:55 Comments || Top||

#3  It's fixed.

When posting, put the headline text in the Title box and the link to the original article in the Source box. They'll be combined by the program to form the link.
Posted by: Fred || 10/14/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

#4  OHHHHHH.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Falling currencies are almost always a sighn that something is wrong with your economy. Yes sure, a weak dollar may boost your exports but if you import more than you export that's a weak consolation.

"German businesses have contributed to making Germany the world’s largest exporter for the first time in 11 years, raising optimism that unpopular wage capping has boosted the competitiveness of German industry.
According to a report in the Financial Times Deutschland, Germany recorded $62 billion (€55.6 billion) in exports in August, over 7 percent more in dollar terms than the United States, the consistent world leader. The report, based on figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), shows that Germany has been ahead of the United States in terms of export levels since April this year.
(Deutsche Welle)

Germany has been able to boost exports even with a strong euro. It boils down to that: Quality always sells.
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/14/2003 16:15 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Palestinian caught with gun, knife in baby stroller
JPost - Reg Req’d; Remember this story the next time an "innocent Paleo" is killed accidently
Border Policeman arrested a Palestinian woman at the Hizma checkpoint north of Jerusalem on Tuesday after they found a knife and gun hidden in a baby stroller she was traveling with. The woman, 20, from the village of al-Azzariyah, east of Jerusalem, claimed that she accidentally took the weapons from the cab she was traveling in.
The tip-off was the baby hanging from the gun rack...
Meanwhile on Tuesday, IDF Paratroopers arrested a wanted Tanzim militant in the West Bank village of Kadum, west of Nablus. The man was reported to have hidden two explosive devices and a gun in his home garden.
"I bought em at Home Depot"
"'Spectin' a good crop of explosives this year, Mahmoud?"
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 8:02:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe they were the baby's. The Paleo version of "Leave No Child Behind"?
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/14/2003 9:04 Comments || Top||

#2  The woman ... claimed that she accidentally took the weapons from the cab she was traveling in.

"and the safest place I could think to put them until I turned them into the authorities was underneath my child"

Posted by: Dripping Sarcasm || 10/14/2003 9:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, yeah, I believe that she accidentally took the weapons and put them in the stroller instead of her own child. Sure. Happens all the time.
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/14/2003 15:00 Comments || Top||


IDF orders 15 Palestinians deported to Gaza Strip
JPost Reg req’d - sounds like better than these mooks deserve. I say kill em
OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky signed deportation orders to the Gaza Strip Tuesday for 15 administrative detainees being held in Israeli prisons in Judea and Samaria.

The prisoners will be transferred to the Erez Crossing in the Strip where they will be held for 48 hours in order to give them time to appeal the directive.

The military issued such expulsion orders only once before, when it forced three relatives of Palestinian terror suspects to move from the West Bank to Gaza last year in hopes of deterring future attacks on Israelis.

The military did not identify the 15 detainees, who have already been moved to an army lockup in the Gaza Strip and have two days to appeal the decision.

Israel’s Supreme Court later approved the practice, which has been denounced by human rights lawyers as a violation of international law. The Israeli government argues that expulsions, along with house demolitions, create an important deterrent against suicide bombings and other attacks on Israeli civilians.

Tuesday’s decision affects 15 Palestinians held in so-called administrative detention, without charges or trial. The army said in a statement that the 15 were being held on suspicion they helped militants carry out attacks on Israelis, but that they were not directly involved and had "no blood on their hands." They cleaned up

Daniel Reisner, the head of the military’s legal department, said most were members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups, and were suspected of being accomplices in attacks on Israelis. Reisner said they were not being tried because Israel feared its intelligence sources could be revealed in such proceedings. snitched on by West Bank informants huh?

The military did not identify the 15 detainees, who have already been moved to an army lockup in the Gaza Strip and have two days to appeal the decision.

Palestinian Cabinet minister Arafat toady Saeb Erekat denounced the expulsion orders as a violation of international human rights conventions.
with which the Paleos have only intermittent knowledge
"It’s a very dangerous step," Erekat told The Associated Press. "This is not an act of self-defense. This is an act that deserves the condemnation of the United States, the European Union and other members of the international community."
"Even the other planets in the Federation"

Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 7:59:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I would've put them on a small boat and launched them into the Mediterranean. Whatever shore they landed on (besides Israel proper) that would accept them is where they stay.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/14/2003 11:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Um, Ere-catty? Cry me a river and drown.
Posted by: Atrus || 10/14/2003 16:40 Comments || Top||


Africa: West
Transitional Goverment set to Take Power in Liberia
A temporary interim short-lived transitional government is set to take power in Liberia Tuesday to prepare for elections in 2005. Little-known businessman Gyude Bryant is about to be sworn in as the head of a new power-sharing government.
Less well known than his younger brother Kobe
Warring factions chose Mr. Bryant at peace talks in Ghana after former President Charles Taylor went into the doghouse exile in Nigeria. Mr. Bryant will take over for Interim President Moses Blah, who has served since Mr. Taylor’s departure in August.
"Mr. Blah’s term has been, well, ...unexceptional"
Rebel negotiator Moses Jarbo says he has full confidence in Mr. Bryant. "He comes in with a new perspective that is a business leader, someone who is not corrupted by all of the politics," observed Mr. Jarbo. "I think that all of us who are for peace in our country really believe that Gyude Bryant will take us to that next level."
"Arnold Schwarzenegger was unavailable, so we went with our second choice"
Mr. Bryant arrived in the capital, Monrovia, on Monday under the escort of U.N. peacekeepers now deployed in Liberia. Thousands of cheering Liberians greeted their next leader, chanting We want peace, after 15 years of nearly continuous civil war.
? ...strange chant...perhaps they meant "We want peace", after 15 years of nearly continuous civil war
Rebels say the war is now over and they have promised to start disarming right after the inauguration. Mr. Taylor issued a statement from exile in Nigeria, backing the peace process, and said the international community, which chased him from power, must now deliver for the good of Liberians.
Oh god, if Chuck’s in favor it’s not gonna work
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 7:50:25 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top|| File under:


Korea
KCNA: U.S. Abuse of United Nations under Fire
Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- Rodong Sinmun today in a signed commentary denounces the United States for getting more undisguised in its attempts to tighten sanctions and blockade against the DPRK and stifle it by force of arms through the United Nations. U.S. President Bush, addressing the UN General Assembly session some time ago, brought forward again "the issues of nuclear development and missile diffusion" by the DPRK and proposed drafting "a new resolution for checking dealings in weapons of mass destruction" and called upon all the UN member nations to support it.
Ha! Your disguise has slipped! We see right through your stifling and drafting! You said stuff a long time ago, and it was, uh, brought forward again! Ha! And you want support for it! Ha!
Lurking behind it is a heinous intention of the U.S. to use the UN as a leverage of realizing its policy for stifling the DPRK, the commentary says, and goes on (and on and on...):
The adoption of a UN "resolution" on sanctions and blockade against the DPRK would be an open encroachment upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and, at the same time, a violation of norms of international law. The United Nations is not a tool for the U.S. military intervention and aggression and the UN member nations are not henchmen of the U.S.
UN (scare quotes - ooooh!) "resolutions" are abnormal, lurker! Especially if they’re against us! Yer all puppets and tools and henchguys! Stop it! Stop right this minute!
Uh oh - now you’ve gone and done it! Dear Leader’s holding his breath, again! Quick, someone, open a Chateau Latour ’61! No - the jereboam! Now show him the label... Whew! Close one!

The U.S. has resorted to high-handed and arbitrary practices, and, as it they were not enough, dares try to use the UN for a leverage of the attainment of its aggressive goal.
Yeah! What I, uh, almost said! You cannot use the UN as a leverage! It is daring and makes no sense! Ha!
It is a criminal act that can never be tolerated for the U.S. to try to impose international sanctions and blockade on the DPRK under the pretext of "checking the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
It’s a criminal, pretext! And, uh, that’s much more dangerous than proliferating WMD’s, fools! Everyone knows this! You can never be tolerated!
In working to cook up a "UN resolution" designed to form an international encirclement ring around the DPRK, the U.S. seeks to abuse the name of the UN in a bid to legally and more zealously step up its policy to isolate and stifle the DPRK. The more desperate the U.S. tries to lay an international ring around the DPRK, the worse the hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. will grow, and this will not be favorable to the U.S. itself.
Mmmm, did I say cooking? Oh, wait, uh, you’re designing a cirle thing, and it’s like a ring and it sorta goes around the DPRK and it isn’t nice or anything! You’re zealous and you have policies and desperate stuff - and the ring thing I ’splained and everything getting hostile to stuff... I feel faint... (Hey, he passed out, bring a glass of -- oh, so he can’t have any? Uh, okay, water it is... wake up!) and it’s all international and everything...
The DPRK has already warned that it would regard sanctions and blockade against it as a war. The U.S. should not carry the developments into extremes but drop its foolish attempts to isolate and stifle the DPRK.
Yes it would be as a war! (Can I get just a teensy taste? Please?) There are extremes! Isolate fools! (That’s the real Juche!) And more stifling warnings! (I’m so tired of White Slag Extract ’99!) And carrying the DPRK blockades sanctions. (I’ll give you my daughter...) And if there’s one thing besides fiery lakes of, uh, fiery stuff, it’s UN abuse! (Okay, okay, both of ’em - you got a thing for twins, right? I need a nap...) Ha!
Posted by: .com (juchy songofagun) || 10/14/2003 4:54:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "the UN member nations are not henchmen of the U.S."

How come we never get henchmen? Even Hillary Rodham Clinton's got henchmen!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 7:42 Comments || Top||

#2  You just need the right suppliers - mostly I get mine included with the latest Volcano Lair upgrade...
Posted by: mojo || 10/14/2003 11:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Damn, they ALWAYS see through our evil plans! All this backstabbing America has gotten from the UN is merely a smokescreen for our nefarious plot against the DPRK.
Ptah, your rating on this latest rant is....?
Posted by: Baba Yaga || 10/14/2003 14:49 Comments || Top||


Middle East
The Enemy Within
The cards looked innocuous enough. Their heading was bland and uninformative: "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia/Royal Saudi Air Forces/Prince Sultan Air Base/ReligionDepartment/Communities Section." Then followed a listing of Web sites, including Islamtoday.com and discoverislam.com. Islamtoday.com describes itself as "a forum to call people to Allah"; Discoverislam.com offers a series of posters that "communicate the beauty of Islam, and yet are gentle enough to sway any heart, Muslim and non-Muslim alike."
These wallet-size cards were given out at a Saudi "Cultural Fair," where visitors could also pick up free copies of the Koran and browse displays on Islam. But a "Cultural Fair" is one thing, and a United States Air Force Security Forces headquarters is another. According to Bill Tierney, a former military intelligence officerandUNSCOM inspector, a Muslim interpreter who worked at Air Force headquarters at Prince Sultan Air Base went to the fair, took a few hundred of the cards and put them on his desk, inviting all and sundry to take one.

As the article points later, this is illegal behavior which the Air Force tolerated, we keep treating Saudi Arabia as if they were our Lords and Masters.

It is, of course, bitterly ironic that all non-Muslim religious activities are severely restricted in Saudi Arabia, and that American military personnel have been forced to abide by those restrictions. But the recent allegations of espionage at Guantanamo Bay are only a hint of just how risky the military’s stance toward Saudi Arabia and Islam in general really is. Since September 11, the military has been nothing if not eager to present a welcoming face to Muslims. Eager enough to turn a blind eye to possible connections to terrorism?

You bet. Even the military has been poisoned by leftist suicidal ideas.

Let us hope that the hearings to be held beginning today by Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, on the prevalence of radical Muslim infiltration in our military and elsewhere will trim some of the most dangerous excesses of this sensitivity.

Senator Kyl has been exemplar so far. I look forward to those hearings.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/14/2003 4:44:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front
Kucinich Announces Candidacy
Democrat Dennis Kucinich, the liberal four-term congressman who has been steadfast in his opposition to the Iraq war, formally kicked off his presidential bid Monday with a harsh critique of U.S. foreign policy. "America cannot put its foot on the accelerator of war and advocate peace," the Ohio lawmaker, who favors a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, told several hundred cheering supporters in the chambers of the Cleveland City Council.
Like, let’s trade in the Hummer of Hate for the VW micro-bus of happy thought, and let ourselves be guided by the steering wheel of love.
I've been waiting with baited breath for so long! I can finally take the mullet from under my tongue...
His candidacy a long shot at best — Kucinich trails many of his rivals in fund raising and public opinion polls — the White House hopeful used the announcement speech to stress his anti-war stance, his opposition to international trade pacts and his support for a single-payer, universal health care plan.
The single TAX-payer, that is.
"Freedom bids us to free ourselves from the shackles of violence," he said. "When peace becomes innermost, it then becomes outermost in our communities and our nation."
and our hindmost should be foremost, as the clock-radio of righteousness begs us to dig the goodies. Yo, don’t bogart that drag, man.
Like, wow, man! Listen to the colors!
Kucinich said that if elected president, he would look for nonviolent ways to solve the world’s problems, including the Israeli-Palestinian tensions in the Middle East.
White flag. The self-described urban populist also said he would order a study of reparations for blacks whose ancestors were slaves. I feel your pain, but no dough.

The Democratic candidate called for cutting the Pentagon budget by about 15 percent, arguing that it would free up billions of dollars without undermining national security. "It would instead enhance the economic security of our nation," he said.
Just like Clinton.
Kucinich, who has been campaigning for months, made the announcement in his native Cleveland, the first stop of a multistate tour that will include Michigan, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Iowa. The kickoff speech at City Hall served as a reminder of Kucinich’s political triumphs and bitter disappointments. Elected in 1977, the 31-year-old "boy mayor" guided a city that two years later became the first since the Depression to go into default.
Purely coincidence
Helluva job. Helluva job. If he did that for Cleveland, just think what he can do for the whole country...
Kucinich faced death threats, and was forced to wear a bulletproof vest when he threw out the first ball at a Cleveland Indians game.
Michael Moore for Veep.
He barely survived a recall election but lost his bid for re-election by a landslide. Then, in the 1990s, he made a political comeback, winning a state Senate seat and eventually capturing a U.S. House seat in 1996.
Which he will release from captivity when his manifesto is printed in major newspapers.
Kucinich began campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination some eight months ago but trails many of his well-established rivals in money and name recognition.
Small donor base, only so many head shops and most of those back the Greens.
He raised $1.7 million during a three-month period ending June 30 and hopes to show an additional $1.5 million when campaign finance reports are filed Wednesday.
Think "Woody Harrelson"
"He doesn’t have the appeal or the resources. He’s just out there on a limb," (gibbering and swinging by one arm), said Erwin Hargrove, a professor emeritus of political science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. "I’m sure that he’s just trying to make an argument for what he believes in." Kucinich vowed to appear not only on the presidential ballot but as a candidate seeking re-election to his House seat. He must file for both by Jan. 2, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.
Hedge you bets some more, run for municipal shaman.
"One way or another, come January 2005, I will be taking an oath of office," said Kucinich, who promised to support the Democratic presidential ticket even if it doesn’t include him.
Whether they want him to or not.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/14/2003 3:09:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Kucinich vowed to appear not only on the presidential ballot but as a candidate seeking re-election to his House seat."

that always inspires confidence
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 7:25 Comments || Top||

#2  He raised $1.7 million during a three-month period ending June 30 and hopes to show an additional $1.5 million

This twit raised $3.2 million? Was it Martian money?
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 7:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Not to bash the good people of Ohio, but WTF? This moron managed to default Cleveland Ohio. Had to wear a bulletproof vest to a baseball and they still elected him to the senate? What they be puttin' in da water?
Posted by: Swiggles || 10/14/2003 8:14 Comments || Top||

#4  state Senate, not U.S Senate. If you have enough moonbats collectivizing and inbreeding, even someone as kooky (and genuinely goofy looking) as Dennis the K can get enough votes, especially on a split ballot
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 8:30 Comments || Top||

#5  Kucinich vowed to appear not only on the presidential ballot but as a candidate seeking re-election to his House seat.

...and he's also running for Skipper of Spaceship Earth, which completes the hat trick.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 8:42 Comments || Top||

#6  Well, looks like the clown act arrived right on time. Now, where are the jugglers?...
Posted by: mojo || 10/14/2003 10:55 Comments || Top||

#7  The reason Kicinich has survived and thrived so long, despite running Cleveland into the ground is that he thrives on hydrogen sulfide.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/14/2003 11:16 Comments || Top||

#8  James Trafficant was from Ohio as well. Clearly Ohio is trying to compete with California and Florida for the weirdest political climate position.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 11:19 Comments || Top||

#9  and Jerry Springer was mayor of Cincinatti IIRC
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 11:53 Comments || Top||

#10  Traficant was from the West Virgina edge of the state. Kucinich's from Cleveland.

Springer, well, at least Cincinnati stopped voting for him after that little matter of paying a prostitute with a personal check.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/14/2003 12:29 Comments || Top||

#11  Cincinatti hookers take checks?

Wow.
Posted by: Fred || 10/14/2003 14:23 Comments || Top||

#12  Fred,
The Cincinatti hookers do, but you better have two forms of ID. I grew up in Akron and remeber the days when Dennis' Cleveland became the Mistake By the Lake. Traficant would make a better president - he has better hair.

There are a couple of Ohio women in Congress that are also Bin Laden appologists like the lady in Washington state.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 16:17 Comments || Top||

#13  Wasn't the hooker in question 'cross the border in Covington, KY.

I miss Traficant... there is no one left to "yield the balance of common sense in the House" back to the chair!
Posted by: eLarson || 10/14/2003 17:57 Comments || Top||

#14  Geez, I thought the guy who brought us Fire on the Cuyahoga and legislation against psychotropic weapons in space already declared his candidacy.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/14/2003 18:19 Comments || Top||

#15  The crooked river fire was before Dennis' time to my recollection. If I'm right that was in the days of Ralph Perk - he who remnoved all the porno from the news stands in the airport. The river fire was back in the days of the Kent State shooting and the nickel beer night riot at the stadium. Ah those were the days.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 21:12 Comments || Top||


International
Islamic nations cite U.S. ’threat’
The host of the world’s largest summit of Islamic nations has denounced the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, saying they represented a threat to "the very survival" of the worldwide Muslim community.
I thought Muslims themselves did that, but anyway, go on...
"We are gathered here at a time characterized by great challenges confronting the Muslim Ummah (community)," Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said. "The threats of unilateralism, globalization and terrorism, the precarious situation in the Middle East and the uncertain future of Iraq ... have only served to threaten our very survival." Syed Hamid was speaking at the opening of the foreign ministers meeting of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), preparing the way for a summit by national leaders later this week that will be preoccupied with the occupation of Iraq. The gathering marks the body’s first summit in three years, when terrorism has clouded the world’s view of Islam and Muslim nations are incensed by the continuing occupation of Iraq and by Israel’s repeated crackdowns against Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Don’t get the two occupations mixed up now, d’ya hear?
"There is no cause. Only effect..."
A day after a twin suicide car-bombing rocked a Baghdad hotel where officials of the U.S. occupation authority stay,
U.S. occupation authority???
Syed Hamid said that the Muslim world was deeply worried by the worsening situation in Iraq, saying security was "at its lowest."
And we don’t see you doing anything to help out. See below re. the peacekeepers.
Stabilizing Iraq and ending U.S. occupation of the country has led to a dispute within Muslim countries over whether to dispatch peacekeepers, desperately sought by the United States to ease the burden on its 130,000 troops inside the country.
desperately sought???
But only Turkey so far has agreed to send peacekeepers without control over the country first being shifted to the United Nations.
Really? What about Poland? Oh, you mean from Muslim countries.
In that case, how about Albania?
Pakistan, another U.S. ally, is trying to get a proposal on the summit agenda for the OIC to send a peacekeeping contingent under a U.N. mandate. Though several nations have said they would consider sending troops only under U.N. auspices, the Pakistani proposal for an OIC contingent has not made it onto the agenda. The U.S.-picked Iraqi Governing Council is being welcomed at the summit, despite concerns raised in preceding weeks by host Malaysia about its legitimacy. The powerful Arab bloc has said the council is transitional and legitimate enough, for now.
Oh gee, thank you. For now
Iraq is represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, and by Ayad Alawi, current holder of the council’s rotating leadership. A resolution welcoming the Governing Council will be approved, but will also stress that full sovereignty should be returned to Iraq, as well as control over its oil.
Yes, especially the oil. Don’t forget the oil. What about the oil, is it in the resolution? Put it in bold. And underline it. Twice.
Surely you're not suggesting it's all about oi-i-i-i-i-l?
"Foreign occupation of Iraq today is a reality (as is) the existence of the provisional Governing Council," Syed Hamid said. "However, foreign occupation of the country must be brought to an end as soon as possible. ... It is our moral duty to assist the people of Iraq to regain their sovereignty and integrity."
Where was your moral duty when Saddam was in power?
Then it was their moral duty to make sure Sammy stayed in power.
Syed Hamid also lashed out at Israel, saying that "the Israeli army’s vicious military campaigns, provocations and destruction of Palestinian homes will only lead to a spiraling upheaval in the already volatile situation. Israel should immediately cease ... all acts of violence, terror, provocation, incitement and destruction in the occupied Palestinian territories," Syed Hamid said.
No waving fingers at the Palestinians! That’s clear incitement.
Malaysia, a moderate Muslim nation, has been a longtime critic of Israel and of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad denounced both nations over the weekend for allegedly trying to spark a wider Middle East war following Israel’s airstrike against an alleged Palestinian militant training camp in Syria. Other speakers at the meeting also denounced Israel’s policies, including its threats to deport Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who is prevented from leaving the occupied territories by Israel and has sent longtime envoy Farouk Kaddoumi to represent the Palestinians.
Whereupon Kaddoumi stated that Armed Struggle™ was the only way to go...
Echoing a widespread feeling among the member states, Syed Hamid complained that the 34-year-old Organization of the Islamic Conference is crippled "by its inability to move with time, to project and develop an Islamic perspective of events and issues affecting the Islamic world today."
Inability to move with time... we already knew that.
Malaysian officials say their nation, as chair for the next three years, will strive to transform the organization into an effective advocate for Muslim interests. OIC Secretary-General Abdelhouahed Belkeziz said that the Muslim world was being threatened by "enormous dangers."
Giant squid? Killer whales? Aliens? Asteroids? Educated women? AK-less weddings?
"They are so overwhelming that they are probably unequaled in contemporary Islamic history," Belkeziz said. "Islam itself stands accused."
And in many cases convicted. Perhaps its time for self-examination and introspection? Give Rowan Williams a call. He knows all about that.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/14/2003 2:05:02 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [237 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Anytime the Islamic leaders of the world want to get serious about their failings I'll be happy to listen to their complaints about American screw-ups.
Posted by: Hiryu || 10/14/2003 9:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Malaysia has been bashing the US since September 11th, whining that we don't give enough Aid, that the US is attacking Moslems. The US is Malaysia's largest trading partner, I think its time the US government shows some disapproval (travel restrictions, visa restrictions, trade restrictions) to help the Malaysians clarify their stance.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 11:13 Comments || Top||

#3  I agree with Yank, this shithead Mahathir has been spouting some of the most vile,anti-American rhetoric of anybody. Time for somebody to smack him down a few notches. Then again, that guy is a Grade A nutjob, not on the scale of Lil' Kim of the NorK's, but trying his hardest to catch up.
Posted by: Swiggles || 10/14/2003 14:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Based on our detractors - the US must be headed in the right direction. Don't forget Chavez, Chretien, and Castro. We do need to do more to pissoff Vincente Fox.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 16:19 Comments || Top||

#5 
a threat to "the very survival" of the worldwide Muslim community.
God, I hope so!
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 10/14/2003 17:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Mathiar has been a pain in the neck since before September 11, though I found it real funny when he blamed George Soros a couple years ago for single-handedly destroying the Malaysian economy.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/14/2003 18:27 Comments || Top||


Iran
Iranian Force Has Long Ties to al-Qaeda
The article is about the Qods Force and serves as a now complement to the Saad bin Laden story. Most Rantburgers could probably have figured this out weeks ago.

The elite Iranian force believed to be protecting Saad bin Laden and two dozen al Qaeda leaders is one of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ five branches, and has been given the mission of "exporting the Islamic revolution" by training, arming and collaborating with foreign terrorist groups -- even those who do not share Iran’s fundamentalist Shiite brand of Islam.

They’re equal opportunity terrorists enablers.

The Jerusalem Force, also known as the Qods Force, is highly trained and well-funded. It has provided instruction to more than three dozen Shiite and Sunni "foreign Islamic militant groups in paramilitary, guerrilla and terrorism" tactics, according to a recent U.S. intelligence analysis.

Groups including Hezbollah, or Party of God; the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas); and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have received arms and training at one of several specialized sites in Iran, according to that document.

Doesn’t that kind of knock down the idea that all of the Paleo resistance is strictly a homegrown phenomenon?

The Jerusalem Force’s former commander, Ahmad Vahidi, allegedly helped plan the 1994 bombing of the Amia Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 civilians were killed and 230 injured, according to Argentine intelligence officials and others.

The group has also maintained ties with the al Qaeda terrorist network for more than a decade, according to U.S. and European intelligence officials. Senior al Qaeda leaders first met and formed a tactical alliance with the nascent Jerusalem Force in Sudan in the early 1990s, according to intelligence officials. The group was creating terrorist training camps there at the same time that Osama bin Laden had begun to create his own financial and training infrastructure.

Al-Qaeda training camps were reportedly reopened in Sudan back in May, is the IRGC still subcontracting the place as a terrorist training center?

The group has also maintained ties with the al Qaeda terrorist network for more than a decade, according to U.S. and European intelligence officials. Senior al Qaeda leaders first met and formed a tactical alliance with the nascent Jerusalem Force in Sudan in the early 1990s, according to intelligence officials. The group was creating terrorist training camps there at the same time that Osama bin Laden had begun to create his own financial and training infrastructure.

Bin Laden’s second-in-command, Ayman Zawahiri, used his decade-old relationship with Vahidi, then commander of the Jerusalem Force, to negotiate a safe harbor for some of al Qaeda’s leaders who were trapped in the mountains of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in 2001, according to a European intelligence official.

One question: what is Vahidi doing now? Is he dead or did he get kicked upstairs or something?

The group is "a state within a state, and that is why they are able to offer protection to al Qaeda," one European intelligence analyst said. "The Force’s senior leaders have long-standing ties to al Qaeda, and, since the fall of Afghanistan, have provided some al Qaeda leaders with travel documents and safe haven."

Tap, tap, tap ... no surprise there.

The organization’s autonomy from Iran’s elected leaders underscores the deep split between the moderate government of President Mohammad Khatami and the unelected hard-line clerics who control much of the nation’s security apparatus.

Khatami, who has repeatedly denied that senior al Qaeda figures are in Iran, has no control over security organs such as the Revolutionary Guard, which answer to the office of the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Although Iran is a Shiite Muslim nation, the Jerusalem Force’s willingness to work with rival Sunni Muslim organizations has made it particularly dangerous as a liaison between Iran and other Islamic groups that share its goal of destroying secular Muslim states.

Or wiping out the Great Satan ...

The Jerusalem Force has agents in "most countries with substantial Muslim populations," according to the U.S. analysis. "Their mission is to form relationships with Islamic militant and radical groups and offer financial support either to the groups at large or to Islamic figures within them who are sympathetic to the principles and foreign policy goals of the Iranian government."

Sounds a lot like the old Comintern ...

The Force’s training regime includes psychological and guerrilla warfare operations, with emphasis on the use of hand grenades, mines, booby-trap techniques, camouflage and ambushes. Its terrorist-related training includes assassinations, kidnapping, torture and explosives, according to the U.S. intelligence analysis.

You might want to add this article together with this FAS piece on the Qods Force and the IRGC that says that it trains Afghans, Iraqis, and "North Africans" (Egyptians, Algerians, and Tunisians) who fought in the Afghan War, plus provided support to jihadis in Egypt, Turkey, and Chechnya. If that’s true, then the ayatollahs had a lot more to do with setting up the global terror network to begin with than is generally believed.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 10/14/2003 1:37:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:


Caucasus
Azerbaijani PM Pledges Free Elections
Hereditary Prime Minister Ilham Aliev pledged Monday that this week’s presidential election will be free and fair, warning that authorities will deal sternly with anyone who resorts to violence other than police and poll watchers of course.
He’ll still insist that they were free and fair after he gets 95% of the vote.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said Monday that the presidential campaign had been manipulated to favor Aliev, who is seeking to succeed his ailing father Geidar Aliev. The 80-year-old leader appointed his son prime minister in August after dropping out of the race after blotting half his brain in a stroke for health reasons. The group said election commissions were stacked with Aliev’s supporters and non-governmental organizations were prevented from monitoring the vote.
That’s so unusual in that part of the world, too.
It also accused officials of obstructing opposition rallies and said police had detained and beaten hundreds of opposition activists. ``The direct result of the government-sponsored campaign against the opposition is that ... elections in Azerbaijan will be of questionable legitimacy, regardless of the fairness and transparency of the election-day procedures,’’ Human Rights Watch said.
"Cheez, you’d think this is Burma or something!"
Voters in this oil-rich Caspian Sea coast nation will decide Wednesday on a successor to Aliev’s father who has ruled for the last decade since taking power after a military coup.
Does this election count as a peaceful transfer of power?
Aliev told a news conference that election rules and procedures had been established to make falsification impossible. ``These elections will be held democratically ... they will be transparent and free,’’ Aliev said, adding that ``if someone wants to destabilize the situation, he will get a corresponding response. We will not allow a riot or military coup.’’
"One coup every hundred years is enough, and we had our one thanks to dear old dad!"
Also Monday, two members of a pro-government party suffered second and third-degree burns after setting themselves on fire outside the Central Election Commission headquarters in Baku to protest against opposition candidate Isa Gambar’s participation in the race.
Idiots. Obviously they hadn’t been let in on the true score.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/14/2003 12:49:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top|| File under:


Middle East
Israeli troops return to Rafah camp
Israeli troops and armour have rolled into a strategic Gaza Strip refugee camp in an apparent resumption of what the army had called an open-ended operation to search for arms-smuggling tunnels. Palestinian witnesses say at least 40 tanks and armoured personnel carriers have entered Rafah, a militant bastion on Gaza's southern border with Egypt, from two directions before dawn, encountering little resistance. Israeli forces took large areas of the camp last Thursday and quit three days later. The UN Relief and Works Agency said about 1,500 people had been left homeless as a result of last week's operation.
Now they can add a few more to the list...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/14/2003 00:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [236 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "we're baaacckkkk"
Posted by: Frank G || 10/14/2003 7:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Ummm, doesn't the fact that they're in a refugee camp make them homeless already? Would they now be considered like Double Secret Homeless? Or is it just me?
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/14/2003 8:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Time to build new sorry camp.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 9:18 Comments || Top||

#4  "Did you miss us?"
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/14/2003 9:22 Comments || Top||

#5  " Vacations over! Everybody shoot anything in a black mask! "
Posted by: Charles || 10/14/2003 13:41 Comments || Top||


Iran
Saad is Binny’s Heir
Now replace Iran with "Afghanistan" and "Taliban" and see how much more interesting this article becomes ...
Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden’s oldest sons, has emerged in recent months as part of the upper echelon of the al Qaeda network, a small group of leaders that is managing the terrorist organization from Iran, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.
Tap, tap, tap ... my surprise meter didn’t even budge. Must be the weather.
Saad bin Laden and other senior al Qaeda operatives were in contact with an al Qaeda cell in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the days immediately prior to the May 12 suicide bombing there that left 35 people dead, including eight Americans, European and U.S. intelligence sources say. The sources would not divulge the nature or contents of the communications, but the contacts have led them to conclude that the Riyadh attacks were planned in Iran and ordered from there.
I’m guessing they weren’t asking them about the hot summer movie line-up and the latest on Ben Affleck and J-Lo, though ...
Although Saad bin Laden is not the top leader of the terrorist group, his presence in the decision-making process demonstrates his father’s trust in him and an apparent desire to pass the mantle of leadership to a family member, according to numerous terrorism analysts inside and outside of government.
He’s the heir apparent, depending on whether or not Binny continues to breath or if al-Zawahiri is running the show.
My guess is that Binny's not and Ayman is — but I think Ayman's probably acting as regent because he doesn't have the personality to command loyalty the was Binny did before he became paste...
Like other al Qaeda leaders in Iran, the younger bin Laden, who is believed to be 24 years old, is protected by an elite, radical Iranian security force loyal to the nation’s clerics and beyond the control of the central government, according to U.S. and European intelligence officials. The secretive unit, known as the Jerusalem Force, has restricted the al Qaeda group’s movements to its bases, mostly along the border with Afghanistan.
Jerusalem Force = Qods Force and they’re part of the IRGC. The whole idea that these folks are being protected on IRGC military bases also tends to put to lie the whole "house arrest" shtick the ayatollahs have been trying to sell for awhile. So this is where Zarqawi goes where he comes back from Iraq.
Also under the Jerusalem Force’s protection is Saif al-Adel, al Qaeda’s chief of military operations; Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, the organization’s chief financial officer, and perhaps two dozen other top al Qaeda leaders. Al-Adel and Abdullah are considered the top operational deputies to Osama bin Laden and his second-in-command, Ayman Zawahiri, who communicate with underlings almost exclusively through couriers.
Jeez, is there any al-Qaeda leader other than the Terrible Two who isn’t in Iran?
Not many at the moment.
The presence of Saad bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders in Iran has become part of a debate within the governments of the United States and Saudi Arabia over the best way to reduce Iranian support for terrorism. U.S. officials have sent stern warnings to the government of President Mohammad Khatami that Iran’s harboring of senior al Qaeda operatives would have repercussions for a nation the Bush administration has labeled part of the "axis of evil."
Funny how that happens with state sponsors of terrorism ...
But it's on the back burner for now, on simmer. My guess is that they're going to try and keep it there until after the election, on the assumption Iran's going to be a tougher nut to crack — and the fact that Iraq's gobbling up a lot of military resources.
Intelligence officials believe that although the State Department is eager to renew talks with Iran on a variety of issues, primarily its nuclear program, it is not clear whether that nation’s civilian government could deliver its end of any bargain, especially if it entailed turning over al Qaeda leaders.
There’s a word for that ... it’s called impotence. If they can’t get their own military to obey them, then someone who can needs to take action.
"Iran will continue to pursue an asymmetric strategy in which they court Western acceptance, while maintaining their surrogate leadership roles within the Islamic extremist community," a U.S. intelligence analysis says.
There’s a word for that two, it’s called being duplicitous. Either you’re civilized or you’re not.
It's also a function of their system of parallel governments. Khatami may (occasionally) be perfectly sincere in wanting Iran to be a civilized country, but since he can be overruled by his religious overlords he's... well, you're right. He's impotent.
Similarly, Saudi Arabia, which in recent years has tried to thaw relations with its larger and more powerful neighbor across the Persian Gulf, is trying, unsuccessfully, to persuade Iran to extradite Saad bin Laden and others suspected in the Riyadh bombing. Saudi officials estimate there are up to 400 al Qaeda members there.
That’s quite a few, methinks. More than the dozen or so that some folks have been claiming and God knows how many more we don’t know about are being hosted by the IRGC.
"Those people are in Iran and somebody must be helping them. The question is who?" Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador, told the San Francisco Chronicle last month. "This is the problem with Iran. The people who we can deal with can’t deliver, they can’t lead eight ducks across the street. And the guys who can deliver, they’re not interested."
Proof that even a broken clock is right twice a day.
As a child, Saad bin Laden was at his father’s side in Afghanistan in the mid-1980s when Osama bin Laden formed the Al Qaeda network. The younger bin Laden was groomed to take a leadership role in the terrorism organization. He is fluent in English and is computer-literate, two qualities rare among al Qaeda leaders and assets that have enhanced his importance beyond his family name. Yet Saad has only recently emerged as an important target for the CIA, FBI and other organizations trying to disrupt the terrorist network. It has only been since his arrival in Iran in the last year that he has assumed a more active role in directing al Qaeda, and that he has been identified as a senior leader. Before that, analysts said, he often sat with his father in leadership meetings but seldom spoke and was not given a voice in deliberations.
Showing him how to run the family business ...
Many experts believe, for example, that he also had direct involvement in coordinating a series of bombings on May 16 that killed 45 people in Casablanca, Morocco.
Morocco was said to be a Zarqawi hit and Riyadh was al-Adel’s baby. So is Saad just a figurehead or is he running the show?
Kenneth Katzman, a terrorism analyst for the Congressional Research Service, said Saad "is touted as his father’s stand-in. Because his father is incommunicado, a lot of people are looking to Saad to give them direct instructions." While there is broad agreement that Saad bin Laden’s role within al Qaeda has grown increasingly important in the past six months, not everyone agrees he is now a senior operational commander. One U.S. intelligence official said Saad is "more of a player than most of the offspring, but not that significant." Osama Bin Laden has more than two dozen children with five wives.
But it's Saad's name that keeps popping up, not the names of his brothers.
But European intelligence officials and independent analysts said Saad bin Laden, while not the most important al Qaeda leader, is helping to make key operational decisions and is an important part of al Qaeda’s logistical network. Some analysts believe he was very close to Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, who was captured in March. "Saad is capable of mounting operations against the West because he knows the West very well," said Rohan Gunaratna, director of terrorism research at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore. "Saad has been very close to his father, almost functioning as his bodyguard."
The bodyguard position appears to be a definite sign within al-Qaeda that you’re headed for bigger and better things. KSM, Tawfiq Attash Khallad, Abu Hazim, and at least one of the al-Ghamdis all served in this capacity at one point or another in their careers.
Saad bin Laden is one of the eldest sons of bin Laden and his first wife, Najwa Ghanem, a Syrian who is also the terrorist leader’s first cousin. The couple had 11 children, but Osama bin Laden has taken at least four other wives and divorced one, according to biographies in the Arab press and U.S. officials. Born in Saudi Arabia, Saad bin Laden spent time with his father in Afghanistan during the war against the Soviet occupation. His father returned to Saudi Arabia in 1989, but left in 1991 to settle in Sudan. Again, Saad accompanied him. When bin Laden returned to Afghanistan in 1996, so did Saad. According to one terrorism expert, Osama bin Laden was filmed in Afghanistan admonishing al Qaeda members not to expect their children to take leadership positions in the movement unless the children were willing to work hard for the cause. Bin Laden then singled Saad out for praise as a hard worker and said he was proud of his son.
Daddy's good boy...
Gunaratna said that an analysis of bin Laden’s satellite telephone calls from 1996 to 1998 showed that more than 10 percent were placed to Iran, demonstrating the ongoing contacts with Iran during that time.
Unfortunately the largest # of calls went to the UK ...
That would be to Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri, and his "ambassador," Abu Qatada.
Officials said there is also evidence that another key liaison between the hard-line Iranian factions and al Qaeda is Imad Mugniyah, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists.
You think?
Mugniyah, a Lebanese national and senior Hezbollah leader, is responsible for the kidnapping and murder of several Americans, as well as the hijacking of aircraft and the bombing of U.S. military barracks in Beirut in the 1980s, according to the FBI and CIA. Before Sept. 11, 2001, he was responsible for the deaths of more Americans than any other terrorist. According to court testimony of former al Qaeda operatives, Mugniyah met bin Laden several times in Sudan in the mid-1990s and agreed to train al Qaeda combatants in the use of explosives and other techniques in exchange for weapons. A description of Mugniyah’s ongoing role was provided to authorities by a member of the Jerusalem Force who defected to Britain earlier this year. In a February interview with the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sarq al-Awsat, the defector said Mugniyah remained in Iran and had personally "planned the escape of dozens of al Qaeda men to Iran." The defector, Hamid Zakiri, said Mugniyah served as "a liaison officer with Dr. Zawahiri and with commanders of other fundamentalist organizations." Zakiri said that among those Mugniyah aided were bin Laden’s youngest wife, Amal al-Saddah, and her infant child, whom he provided with safe passage from Afghanistan through Iran to her homeland of Yemen as the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan began. European intelligence sources said that much of Zakiri’s information had been verified.
I think that Zakiri’s story is somewhere here on Rantburg. Nice to have it confirmed that most of it was true.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 10/14/2003 12:36:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The translation of Zakiri's interview is available here excerpts:
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "You say that you were in important security centers. It is natural that people ask you whether there really is a connection between Iran and Al-Qa'ida. And what do you say about Sa'ad Osama bin Laden being in Iran?"

Zakiri: "The subject of the connection of the intelligence of the [Revolutionary] Guards, not of the [Iranian] government, with the Al-Qa'ida organization and other fundamentalist groups such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad goes back to the 1980s. After the assassination of [Egyptian president] Anwar Sadat, a number of Egyptians who were responsible for the crime came to us, and the [Revolutionary] Guards intelligence established relations with them. Later, we went to Lebanon, where we got acquainted with many non-Shiite revolutionary activists."

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "Did you know about the plans to attack the World Trade Center in New York?"

Zakiri: "No, but we had in our headquarters models of the two towers, the White House, the Pentagon, and the CIA building at Langley. Thus, Imad Mughnia came to Iran, met with a number of top officials in the security apparatus of the Leader [Khamenei] and gave them a letter from Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, which said: 'We need your help to carry out a most important mission in the land of the 'Great Satan.'' The issue was presented but his request was denied. Afterwards, it was decided by the head of our department and Natiq Nouri's deputy, head of the investigations section in the Leader's [Khamenei's] Office and his representative in the Higher Council for Security, to entrust Mughnia with keeping the relations with Al-Zawahiri and his comrades, provided he did not get involved in their activity."

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "Where is Imad Mughnia today?"

Zakiri: "He is still in Iran and is continuing his activity. I think that he planned the escape of dozens of Al-Qa'ida men to Iran, some of them with their families. Before that, bin Laden's wife arrived, the young Yemenite woman with her son, and we handed them over to Yemen. Perhaps Sa'ad Osama bin Laden [too] entered Iran through Mughnia."
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/14/2003 5:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Friggin' nepotism! It's everywhere! Even with these scumbags.
They got any tollbooths in Iran?
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/14/2003 9:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Saad Bin Laden beat out his brothers, Dejected Bin Laden, Dispirited Bin Laden, Dumpy Bin Laden, Grieving Bin Laden, Depressed Bin Laden, and Michael 'Moore' Bin Laden for leadership of the organization.
Posted by: ---------<<<<-- || 10/14/2003 9:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Another very big story. Verification of connection between Hezbollah and Al-qaeeda - Hezbollah moves closer to the top of the US hit list. Plus the Iranian angle.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/14/2003 9:52 Comments || Top||

#5  "Tanks to the West of me,
Commandos to the East,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with Saad."

Sure would like to have those GPS coordinates.
Posted by: BH || 10/14/2003 11:18 Comments || Top||

#6  I wish Delta Force could do a snatch and grab on this guy and some clowns in Pakistan. It would be fun to play the "of course we didn't grab the guy that you didn't have," game.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 16:25 Comments || Top||


Africa: East
Sudan's Turabi to keep backing beliefs that caused arrest
Upon his release after more than two years of house arrest, hard-line Islamic leader and opposition figure Hassan Turabi pledged Monday to stick to the principles that led to his incarceration. "I will continue working for the same principles for which I was arrested: democracy, freedom of expression and human rights," the smiling, healthy-looking Turabi — dressed in a white robe and turban — told reporters at his home.
You can assume what his interpretation of democracy, freedom of expression and human rights is from his attire...
Sudanese authorities pardoned Turabi Monday. He had been arrested following calls to expand political reforms in Africa's largest country. His release comes amid international and local pressure to introduce political reforms and expand human rights in Sudan, where the government has been criticized for cracking down on opposition groups and closing reformist newspapers. Hundreds of supporters greeted Turabi outside his home in the capital, hugging him and shouting, "Allahu akbar," or "God is great." Sheep were slaughtered to welcome the leader on his return.
The sheep were hoping he wouldn't get sprung. But does anybody think about the sheep? No-o-o-o-o!
Turabi was once a top ally of Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir and the main architect of the Islamic fundamentalist government that was set up in the 1990s. But in 1999, the two had a falling out; el-Bashir accused Turabi, the speaker of parliament, of trying to grab power and stripped him of his position. Fathi Khalil, the Sudanese Bar Association president and a member of the Sudanese Council for Human Rights, said Turabi's pardoning will boost efforts to create a new Sudan built on "real justice and constitutional rights."
More shariah! Oboy!
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/14/2003 00:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Even though he was one of the most important Islamists in the world, and was responsible for Sudan's Islamisation and destabilisation of it's neighbours...Turabi always seemed to me to be more of a politician than a fanatic.
Maybe it was the French education, but he sure seems to talk a lot about human rights and democracy. He might not have tried to actually implement them when he was still a major player in Sudan's politics, but he always talked about them.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/14/2003 1:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Sudan almost immediately forged ties with Iran following the former's formation of a sharia-based Islamic state. But the Khartoum regime is far from a band of strict theocratic ideologues. They also could care less about human rights (Paul is right I would guess; Turabi is merely sound biting taking a page from his studies in the West). They are (like a lot of countries) all about self interest. When the heat was on in 95 over their support for terrorism, they gave up Carlos (Illych Ramirez Sanchez) to the Froggies after we spotted him in Khartoum (he wasn't wanted by us at the time). Sudan went even further and offered us their entire files on what Binny and Co. were up to in (and out of) Sudan. But both the White House (thanks Bill...not) and the Bureau (you too flatfoots) weren't interested. And they have been very cooperative thus far in the post 9-11 era. But "Sudanese Council for Human Rights?" Hehe...that's almost funny if it wasn't so sad....that being what the current regime has done to the non-Muslims in the south and west. Anyway....just a bit of historical perspective.
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 10/14/2003 10:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Must have become institutionalized like in Shawshank Redemption. He knows that he can no longer survive in freedom.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||


International
Our "allies" are at it again
Via Lucianne:
The European Union is the world’s rising superpower, poised to overtake both America and Japan as the biggest trade and investment force in China, according to a strategic policy paper published by Beijing yesterday. The Chinese government said the EU was transforming the global landscape with its successful currency launch and strides towards a joint foreign policy, defence (not in my lifetime), and judicial union. Describing EU integration as "irreversible", Beijing marvelled at Europe’s 25-35 per cent share of the global economy and its projected 450 million population after expanding into the former communist bloc next year.
(I wonder whose accounting tricks were marvelled at more???)
The white paper follows a flurry of Sino-EU ventures, including the Galileo global satellite system, described as a direct challenge to the American GPS monopoly in space.
Now the good stuff:
The two sides are also working together on nuclear research. France and Germany have been pushing hardest for closer ties with China, hoping to cash in on a lucrative market but also to develop a strategic alliance as a counterweight to American power after the diplomatic trauma of the Iraq war.
(Their UN "alliance" worked so well the last time....)
Last June, the French defence minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, proposed sharing sensitive military technology with Beijing. She called for a softening of the arms embargo imposed on the country after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
"Yes, they're still dead. But that was a long time ago. We were all much younger then..."
The Chinese already have the world’s second biggest defence budget, £40 million annually, but they have to rely on outdated weaponry bought from Russia and Ukraine.
(boo hoo, that’s what happens when you have no creativity and have to steal ideas. Wasn’t there a frog tank article in the past couple of days???Yesterday’s white paper said the ever-closer military ties rendered the EU embargo a relic from the last century. China’s efforts to court Brussels reflect a new mood of respect for the EU across Asia. India is also rushing to upgrade its ties with Europe, recruiting extra staff to lobby EU officials and MEPs.
Wonder if India will have to throw Israel overboard???
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 12:20:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [365 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I put this is 3x and I'm done. Sorry about the bad link.

Posted by: Anonymous || 10/14/2003 0:22 Comments || Top||

#2  The Axis redux? The 'Other' Axis of evil?

I guess it's a strong combination: EU's defense non-force combined with Chinese 'technology.' In times of war I call that a target-rich environment.
Posted by: badanov || 10/14/2003 8:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Wet French dreams. Germany likes the Chinese market, but a "strategic alliance", especially directed against the U.S. is BS.

Alliot Marie is a bitch though. (Pardon my French)
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/14/2003 9:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Last June, the French defence minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, proposed sharing sensitive military technology with Beijing. She called for a softening of the arms embargo imposed on the country after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Well, that's enough reason to cut off the intel flows, if we haven't already. Not that it'll help much, what with the Dems just as anxious to supply Beijing with information...
Posted by: mojo || 10/14/2003 10:59 Comments || Top||

#5  The west in general has been drooling over China, postulating great opportunities if the Chinese market ever opens up. If we're in at the ground floor when that happens, oh boy. Problem is it may take a revolution and change of governments to open up the markets to the extent these people predict. Until then the PRC is not a friend of the west.

India has been a total failure at marketing themselves. They have everything China has (except the prison labor) and they're generally Democratic and generally speak English and generally trying to improve.

The West has been licking the boots of the wrong Asian protosuperpower if you ask me.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 11:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Yank -- that's been going on forever. I remember a book about General Stilwell that explained America's 19th century China policy much the same way.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/14/2003 12:30 Comments || Top||

#7  The Chinese government said the EU was transforming the global landscape with its successful currency launch and strides towards a joint foreign policy, defence, and judicial union. Describing EU integration as "irreversible", Beijing marvelled at Europe’s 25-35 per cent share of the global economy and its projected 450 million population after expanding into the former communist bloc next year.

This paper is more of the same propaganda that's been coming out of Beijing since China turned communist. The Chinese have been predicting American decline since they've been putting out position papers. Here's a link to Chinese views about America from the National Defense University. It's basically a load of wishful thinking about American decline.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/14/2003 12:30 Comments || Top||

#8  RC was that B. Touchmans book? Stillwell and the American Experience in China?

Just think 300 million celestials needing lamp oil. Or just think 1 billion chinee each needing one Whopper... same old story.

BTW: Gen. Marshall had Stillwell down in his little black book to lead the invasion of France. (In 1942).
Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 14:12 Comments || Top||

#9  Just think 300 million celestials needing lamp oil. Or just think 1 billion chinee each needing one Whopper... same old story.

Actually, the Chinese market is already pretty big for mass market items and services produced by American firms. American fast food chains are sprouting up like mushrooms across China. Kodak's third largest market in the world is China, where it has a 60% market share. Compare Kodak's share in China with its 10% share in Japan, and it is pretty clear that China's economy is already way more open than the Japanese economy.

I see Buicks in China, but nowhere else in the Far East - I wonder if American cars have retained some cachet in spite of all the Chinese ideological rhetoric. Just as the car on display at Chiang Kai Shek's old mansion in Nanking is a Buick, Mao arrived in Tiananmen Square at the time of the liberation in a Jeep. Note that the Chinese drive on the right side of the road, unlike in much of East Asia.

The Indian economy is overhyped, possibly because of the significant high-tech services component of its economy - the problem is that India is not equally open to the kind of light manufacturing that is propelling the Chinese economy forward. And it was light manufacturing (toys, clothing, shoes, et al) that got the East Asian economies on the trail to prosperity. When some people look at India, they see only what they want to see.

The truth is more complex, namely that the Chinese economy appears to be taking off, but the Chinese seem dead set on casting us as their enemy. China is CINO (Communist in name only) - the leadership is casting off state-owned factories as fast as they can without touching urban unrest. In place of Communist ideology, they have adopted the fascist ideology of the former Nationalist government. In other words, China today is pretty much similar ideologically to Chiang Kai Shek's regime pre-liberation, which resembled Franco's Spain and Mussolini's Italy, albeit on a continental scale.

The Indian economy continues to stagnate due to the dead hand of government regulation, and no amount of cheerleading will change this. Are the Indians our friends? I doubt it - the Indian government mainly sees itself benefitting from playing the US off against China and Pakistan. I think they'll sell us down the river at the first opportunity. Note the recent meeting between the Chinese and Indian leaders, where the Indian Prime Minister said (and I paraphrase) "when China and India stand together, the world must take notice". It's the same old the West is oppressing us rhetoric we've been hearing from the Indians since their independence. In the first place, their backing of the Soviet Union was why we struck up a strong relationship with Pakistan. The Indians are pure opportunists with chips the size of cinder blocks on their shoulders - calling them friends is an overstatement of the highest order.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/14/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

#10  Barbara Tuchman was a teriffic writer / historian. I have The Guns of August (WW-I root causes) and The First Salute (Amer Revolution) - both awesome. I already miss her - the fall of communism and the rise of the jihadi terrorists are certainly target-rich environments for someone of her talent.
Posted by: .com || 10/14/2003 15:22 Comments || Top||

#11  I have The Guns of August (WW-I root causes) and The First Salute (Amer Revolution) - both awesome.

Barbara Tuchman's basic (and erroneous) point of view was that nobody was responsible for WWI - the mobilizations on both sides triggered the war. The truth is more complex - WWII was basically WWI replayed, but this time with the Allies in the role of appeasers. If the Entente Powers had appeased the Kaiser in WWI, and allowed Germany and Austria-Hungary to expand in Europe, the result would have been German control of the European continent a full 2-1/2 decades earlier. Tuchman wrote well, but her conclusions were erroneous - if Germany had not been bent on expansion, WWI would not have occurred - its root cause remains German expansionism in Europe.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/14/2003 15:45 Comments || Top||

#12  ZF, Your reference to Kodak's disproportionate market share in China needs to acknowledge that Kodak's main global rival is Fuji. I would imagine that Japanese products have a very hard time making headway in China. Re. the fast food outlets - I can vouch for that personally. After a particularly nasty bout of gastroenteritis near Chengdu eight years ago, it was chicken burgers from the city's KFC which restored my appetite. There were 25 McDonalds in Beijing, even then.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/14/2003 16:37 Comments || Top||

#13  I think the French are getting a little twitchy with dictatorship withdrawal. US knocks off one French-subsidised nut case? Support a bigger one. Very sophisticated, no?

Let's see how eager Europe is to be dragged along on this adventure.
Posted by: BJD (The Dignified Rant) || 10/14/2003 17:26 Comments || Top||

#14  Both Indians and Chinese have proven to be exceptional workers and wonderful capitalists when removed from their own governments limitations. I think the Indians are more likely to remove those limitations since they are unafraid of revolution.
Posted by: Yank || 10/14/2003 18:00 Comments || Top||

#15  Your reference to Kodak's disproportionate market share in China needs to acknowledge that Kodak's main global rival is Fuji. I would imagine that Japanese products have a very hard time making headway in China.

Animosity against the Japanese is at a very low ebb. Japanese pop is all the rage in China, and the execrable Hello Kitty phenomenon (another Japanese import) rages out of control even among full-grown Chinese women. China's current Great Satan is the US - note that there are numerous expatriate accounts of the Chinese cheering bin Laden's men on even as it was televised live in China. The current ideological thrust in China is to think of the Japanese as fellow Asians (except when the Chinese are looking to get concessions from them, in which case the Japanese are cast as WWII-era villains). The current Chinese slogan is Asia for the Asians, which actually mirrors to a T the propaganda approach taken by the Japanese during their conquest of East Asia during WWII.

The basic point here is that the Chinese buy American products for reasons unrelated to what they think of US foreign policy (which is shaped by unrelenting Chinese propaganda outlets like the People's Daily and Xinhua newswires, not to mention leftist newswire agencies like Reuters, AP and AFP). These reasons include quality, image and suitability to their needs. The Chinese buy American goods for the same reason that Americans buy foreign goods - these goods meet their needs at a reasonable price.

Re. the fast food outlets - I can vouch for that personally. After a particularly nasty bout of gastroenteritis near Chengdu eight years ago, it was chicken burgers from the city's KFC which restored my appetite. There were 25 McDonalds in Beijing, even then.

In Shanghai, I kept on running into American fast food outlets within easy walking distance of each other (in one instance, two McDonalds were separated by a hundred yards). I have run into McDonalds outlets even in Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, which is pretty out in the sticks.

There is a significant market for US capital goods in China. For many American companies, it won't be the biggest market for a while, if ever - China is still a poor country and will remain so for decades. But the range of goods the Chinese buy is pretty wide, and the Chinese seem to believe in buying from several sources whenever possible. In one particular rural area where the Chinese were blasting through some hills to make roads, I saw excavators and cranes from Hitachi, Hyundai and Caterpillar. China continues to buy a large number of planes from the US, despite what some commercial airplane analysts have described as Boeing's diminishing competitiveness in that segment. The Chinese market for American products is not currently huge, but it is definitely far bigger than the Indian market for many products.* And that is why so many foreign companies are clamoring to get into China.

* While I was working as a numbers guy at a Fortune 50 corporation, China was a rounding error. India was not even a rounding error - the subject of India never even came up.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/14/2003 18:10 Comments || Top||

#16  Both Indians and Chinese have proven to be exceptional workers and wonderful capitalists when removed from their own governments limitations. I think the Indians are more likely to remove those limitations since they are unafraid of revolution.

Actually, the Chinese government is rapidly dismantling the barriers to the expansion of the Chinese economy. In my travels through China, I have noted the emigration of farmers and laid-off workers from China's Rust Belt to the coastal cities where most of the foreign multinational corporations (and subcontractors for foreign MNC's) have set up shop. The recently-arrived wait at bus stops for factory recruiters (just as illegal Latin American laborers wait at NY day labor hubs - it's just uncanny how similar the arrangements are). Every time I've visited China, another area is being developed, new foreign-owned plants have sprung up like mushrooms and nice new roads paved over what used to be farmland.

The danger from China isn't that it will implode - it's that it will grow strong and then assert its revanchist territorial claims across East Asia. The current Chinese leadership has Chiang Kai Shek's fascist mentality (when he ruled all of China), which is that China has been humiliated and needs to reassert its greatness. The historical Chinese way of reasserting China's greatness has been military expansion, contrary to Chinese claims of peaceful intent.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/14/2003 18:25 Comments || Top||

#17  Personally, I would like to see as many vibrant economies throughout the world as possible. I'm not much of a zero-sum guy.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 21:19 Comments || Top||

#18  Thanks Zhang Fei....

Is the launch still on for tomorrow? I'd pay serious money to be there.

Posted by: Shipman || 10/14/2003 22:10 Comments || Top||

#19  Is the launch still on for tomorrow?

I have to believe so. This is either going to work, or it's going to be a big fireworks display. My reservations about the Chinese space program notwithstanding (given its transparent military applications), I have to say the astronauts going up are better men than I - under no circumstances would I risk life and limb heading up in one of those rocket-fueled tin cans. Given the Chinese record of poor quality control, these guys are really taking their lives into their own hands.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/14/2003 22:26 Comments || Top||

#20  Thanks for the info from me, too, ZF. I must say, it seems to me as though Chinese popular attitude towards the Japanese must have mellowed somewhat since I was there. I learned that it was not good for your plans to, as a westerner, associate with Japanese, as the smiling locals could be quite devilishly unhelpful. On one train journey, from Jinjiang to Chengdu, the locals in our carriage gave incorrect information to our Japanese friends, meaning that they dd not get off at Chengdu's north station, but went on to another city - we, fortunately, only got off at the second station the train stopped at in Chengdu rather than our intended stop, the south station. The Japanese pair had already informed us that they had not been universally welcomed whilst in China. I don't think that we as Brits were every treated in a hostile manner. Do you know if the Zhuhai orgy incident has reignited old animosities?

I got a jist of official attitudes towards the anglophone world from reading the China Daily. Slanderous propaganda, as I recall.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/15/2003 4:39 Comments || Top||

#21  I must say, it seems to me as though Chinese popular attitude towards the Japanese must have mellowed somewhat since I was there. I learned that it was not good for your plans to, as a westerner, associate with Japanese, as the smiling locals could be quite devilishly unhelpful. On one train journey, from Jinjiang to Chengdu, the locals in our carriage gave incorrect information to our Japanese friends, meaning that they dd not get off at Chengdu's north station, but went on to another city - we, fortunately, only got off at the second station the train stopped at in Chengdu rather than our intended stop, the south station. The Japanese pair had already informed us that they had not been universally welcomed whilst in China.

People in the interior have less actual contact with Japanese pop culture and real live Japanese. In the coastal areas, employees quickly learn that the best companies to work for are Western companies, followed by Japanese companies, followed by companies from the rest of East Asia (with Korean and Taiwanese companies at the bottom), followed by (private) Chinese companies. In the coastal areas, the relatively good conditions at Japanese firms, coupled with continuous exposure to Japanese pop culture have undoubtedly offset some of the propaganda barrages emanating from the central government.

Note that this artificially-generated animosity has almost zero impact on Chinese purchasing decisions. They still buy Japanese watches, cameras, cell phones, computers, cars, air conditioners, et al, without hesitation. In this respect, Chinese consumers are like consumers everywhere.

Do you know if the Zhuhai orgy incident has reignited old animosities?

I'm sure the Chinese are in high dudgeon over this incident, which was probably trumped up in the run-up to the anniversary of China's turning communist on Oct 1.* It's just another item they've added to their sack of grievances, just as the Germans used to do, just prior to WWII. These Chinese carry out these periodic mass campaigns before major national festivities to stoke Chinese nationalism. Like sheep, ordinary Chinese always respond with appropriate displays of indignation.

I got a jist of official attitudes towards the anglophone world from reading the China Daily. Slanderous propaganda, as I recall.

The English version of the People's Daily is mild compared to the Chinese version. To get the flavor of the naked propaganda posing as news, read it using Altavista's translation engine. It's an eyeful.

* The Japanese tourists, like tourists from much of relatively more-prosperous East Asia, probably did patronize local prostitutes - but this occurs on a daily basis. The professional liars at the Chinese Propaganda Ministry just chose to focus on a specific day, claiming that the Japanese were looking to humiliate the Chinese. And this is completely typical - taking events out of context is integral to how the Chinese lie.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/15/2003 10:06 Comments || Top||

#22  Points noted, ZF.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/15/2003 17:07 Comments || Top||


Africa: East
Security Council Welcomes Security Agreement in Sudan's Conflict
The United Nations Security Council today welcomed security agreements reached between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) that would help settle the long conflict.
This one will no doubt work better than all the previous agreements...
The transitional military agreement, signed late last month, deals with the status of the two forces and arrangements for their integration. An internationally monitored ceasefire will come into effect from the date of a comprehensive peace agreement. It also forbids the use of the Government's and the former secessionist armies to maintain domestic law and order, except in certain emergencies.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/14/2003 00:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It also forbids the use of the Government's and the former secessionist armies to maintain domestic law and order, except in certain emergencies. - the criminal element lobbied heavily for this concenssion from the warring parties.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/14/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||



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  Turkish embassy in Baghdad boomed
Mon 2003-10-13
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Sun 2003-10-12
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Sat 2003-10-11
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Wed 2003-10-08
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