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1 killed, 2 critical in premature Nablus car boom
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Singer/songwriter Elliott Smith dies, aged 34
Not the typical Rantburg subject matter, so feel free to delete, Fred. But it’s the saddest news I’ve heard today.
US singer-songwriter Elliott Smith has died, according to reports. Websites and various radio stations are reporting that the singer passed away yesterday (October 21) at the age of 34. A statement from the Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner’s office states that his death was apparent suicide. MTV.com reports, "A single knife wound that appeared to be self-
inflicted was evident on the body, though police detectives are investigating the incident for foul play and/or other possibilities."

Born in 1969 in Nebraska, Smith started his music career as a member of Portland, Oregon band, Heatmiser, in the early 90s. He earned plaudits for his 1994 debut solo release Roman Candle, with critics comparing his stripped down, melancholic melodies to the likes of Nick Drake and Neil Young. His 1997 album, Either/Or, brought him wider acclaim, though his greatest mainstream success followed the same year’s Oscar nomination for the song Miss Misery from his score for Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting. His music has since featured regularly on other movie soundtracks, including Wes Anderson’s New York disfunctional family drama, The Royal Tenenbaums. Amazon.com hailed his second self-titled album "one of the most understated and incredible albums to emerge from the indie-rock scene in the 1990s." He released five albums during his brief career, and was apparently working on a new album, nominally titled From a Basement on the Hill.
Posted by: growler || 10/22/2003 11:23:47 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I dunno, I'm more depressed by the death of racecar driver Tony Renna in a testing accident today.
Posted by: Hiryu || 10/22/2003 16:32 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
Al Qaeda importing Chechens, Saudis, and Yemenis to Afghanistan
A "new species" of well-trained terrorist has infiltrated Afghanistan’s capital, posing an increasing threat to the already shaky security situation in the country, the head of an international peacekeeping force said.

How is that different from the old one?

According to intelligence reports, the militants come from Saudi Arabia, Yemen or the Russian republic of Chechnya, Lt. Gen. Goetz Gliemeroth, commander of the 5,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, said on Tuesday.

The usual suspects, from the looks of things, though there aren’t any Pakistanis for local flavor or Algerians for ruthlessness.

He said many already have been caught or killed in operations along the rugged, mountainous border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida operatives are believed to be hiding.

"Apart from, if I may say so, the typical terrorist, we’ve got a new species," Gliemeroth said at a regular briefing. They are "excellently trained and ... they also have improved technique at hand."

There were reputed to have been al-Qaeda camps set up in Sudan and Georgia right after the Riyadh bombings, plus whatever MILF can churn out in Mindanao and the Kashmiri Killers in Azad Kashmir. Though given the aftermath of the Battle of Zabul, I would say that they still have a long ways to go. The addition of more Yemenis to the mix could be another effect of recent merger between them and al-Qaeda.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia have conducted anti-terrorist raids following repeated calls by the United States to do more to curb Islamic militancy after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in America.

With varying degrees of willingness and success ...

Gliemeroth said it was unclear if the terrorists were working in tandem with a particular group.

"Whether al-Qaida or special envoys from (renegade warlord) Gulbuddin Hekmatyar or representatives of al-Qaida, I guess it’s a mixture," he said. "Against suicide bombs, there is no waterproof protection."

The German general said their intention was to bring the international terrorist campaign to Afghanistan. "Apart from doing harm to the integrity of the country ... they will try to infiltrate Kabul because it is the capital."

They might been behind the bus bomb earlier this summer then. I wonder if al-Qaeda plans on taking another shot at Karzai?

Gliemeroth refused to say what countermeasures had been taken against the terrorists or how many had infiltrated the Afghan capital. "If there are only 15, the damage could be tremendous."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 10/22/2003 4:35:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Surprise meter reads 0.000000000000000000
Posted by: Spot || 10/22/2003 17:30 Comments || Top||

#2  The honeypot is working.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/22/2003 17:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey, as a US taxpayer, I demand that we be reimbursed by the Russians for the Chetchens that we kill. Keep the scalps and lets negotiate.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 18:33 Comments || Top||

#4  If these fools had better sources than Al Jizzmo and the local iman, they might remember all the jihadis who went there last year and the year before and start wondering what became of them. Instead, they have probably been assured that B-52s and SF operators will hightail it back to the States at the very sight of Holy Warriors waving AKs.

As I've said before, every jihadi rat-bastard who faces our guns in Afghanistan is one less to blow up a bus in Israel, an apartment building in Russia, or a McDonald's in California.
Fresh meat for the grinder.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/22/2003 19:51 Comments || Top||


Taleban turn against Mutawakil
The hardline Islamic Taleban movement is reported to have disowned its former foreign minister in Afghanistan, Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil. The current government of President Hamid Karzai says it is considering whether to hold talks with Mr Mutawakil, the most senior Taleban to have been held in US custody. There continue to be conflicting reports on Mr Mutawakil’s whereabouts and whether he has been set free by the US. Recently President Karzai repeated an offer of an amnesty for all Taleban members deemed not to have innocent blood on their hands. A spokesman for Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar told the BBC Pashto service on Tuesday that Mr Mutawakil "does not represent our will".
"No decapitations? No amputations? No slapping women around? He obviously doesn't represent our views... He must be killed!"
Mr Mutawakil has been traditionally seen as a moderate member of the Taleban which has been increasingly active in south-east Afghanistan in recent months. He surrendered to US forces some months after the US-led operation to oust the Taleban began in October, 2001. Recent days have seen a wave of reports and denials about Mr Mutawakil’s status. On Tuesday a spokesman for President Karzai, Jawid Ludin, seemed unsure himself as to Mr Mutawakil’s whereabouts. "I have no accurate information," he told the BBC Persian service.
Have you looked in Peshawar and Quetta? That's where all the Talibs seem to live...
On Monday Mr Ludin appeared to confirm earlier reports saying that Mr Mutawakil had been released from detention at the US airbase at Bagram, near Kabul. But he has now told the BBC that: "So far as we understand he is still under arrest and not yet released. I don’t know if he is in Kandahar or Bagram." However other reports say he is under US protection at the Kandahar airbase, fearing attack from his former Taleban comrades.
So he's not jugged, he's just in danger of being slaughtered by is old friends...
The BBC’s Rahimullah Yusufzai says Mr Mutawakil’s aides have all along claimed that the US military authorities made two offers to Mr Mutawakil while he was in their custody at the Bagram airbase. They say he was invited to join the Karzai government as a spokesman and adviser to the Afghan president or to seek political asylum in a Western country. Though the US government has refrained from commenting on the issue, Mr Mutawakil’s colleagues say the offers are still valid. They believe Mr Mutawakil would like to stay away from Afghan politics for the time-being and would prefer asylum in an Arab country.
"He'd also like a bullet-proof vest and some bodyguards, please..."
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/22/2003 6:36:53 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Front man for Mullah Omar is a prety thankless assignment. At least he didn't spout a bunch of nonsense about how we were getting our butts kicked. I think he just left that to the press.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 12:28 Comments || Top||



Arabia
Bahrain Parliament Stops Silliness; Siren to Wail
Bahrain parliament refuses ’silly’ motion to ban sultry singer
Manama |By Mohammed Almezel, Bureau Chief | 22-10-2003
From the Gulf News
The Bahraini parliament yesterday refused to debate a motion, introduced by Islamist members, aimed to ban the Lebanese singer, Nancy Ajram, from performing in the kingdom.
See the picture... Allah’s trousers musta gotten a little cramped...
A majority of the MPs said the house had "more important issues" to discuss in the session. One MP said the motion was "silly".
"But she’s a temptress! We live for examining these issues! Please?"
Meanwhile, the sultry artist, who arrived in Bahrain on Monday and due to stage a completely-sold concert tonight told Gulf News she was "happy" with the publicity.
"Oh yes. I am to hope everyone to have this knowledge and of the most ever tickets!"
A majority of the MPs managed to take the motion off yesterday’s agenda saying it the parliament was supposed to debate more serious issues. "This is just silly; we cannot just waste the parliament’s time over these sorts of things," MP Ali Al Samahiji told Gulf News.
"I’ve got front row, center, myself. Leaving the wife at home, too! It’s a big island, long drive home, it’ll be really dark - so I’ll stay in town at a um, er, hotel - yeah a hotel. I think that would be much safer."
He pointed out the parliament yesterday discussed a motion for a biannual bonus pay for limited income public employees and a revision of the teachers’ cadre. Also on the agenda was a proposal to join the UN convention to combat terror financing.
"After our aides hammered out the details and prepared the documents, we Parlimentarians all had tea. It was tough work... finding just the right kind of tea."
Speaking to Gulf News in the Gulf Hotel, where she signed fans autographs, the 20-year-old Nancy said she had "all the respect" for the MPs opinion. "However, I present a respectable art, and this evident of the thousands who came from nearby countries to attend the concert."
"Yes, I am with the truth always in this way."
She said she was happy with all the uproar she caused here. "All the publicity, even the bad ones, is good for me," she said.
"Can’t a girl be these days too careful. I only can booty shake in the certain places, you know."
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 7:18:42 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pretty nice.That Siren can Wail my booty.

Opps,did that come out of my mouth?
Posted by: Raptor || 10/22/2003 10:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Sultry Siren? And some!
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 11:04 Comments || Top||

#3  She got my turbine turban a-spinnin. Heh heh.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/22/2003 11:48 Comments || Top||

#4  Come here to the US, we'll treat you MUCH better.
Posted by: Charles || 10/22/2003 13:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Sultry Siren? And some!

For some reason Fred hasn't said this so I guess I will:

"Oh by Allah! She's got ... curves, and those, those, those, THINGS on her chest -- I've got to go ... shoot my gun!"
Posted by: Steve White || 10/22/2003 13:42 Comments || Top||

#6  ROFLMAO!!! Geez, what a mess. Thx, SW!
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 13:52 Comments || Top||


Uppity Femalian Asks Endless Questions (AN Commentary)
Denying Women Rights
Maram Abdul Rahman • Al-Watan
From The Arab News
Why don’t we start from where others have left off? Why do we always have to reinvent the wheel every time? Why don’t we benefit from the experience of others, building on their successes and failures? These and other questions struck me when reading the numerous articles and comments about the recent announcement on municipality elections. All of the articles stated that the voting would be confined to men with no participation by us women. We have been told that women’s contributions, if any, can come through consultative committees, but even here we don’t know how long it will take for these committees to be established. Judging from past experience, this may take from 10 to 70 years or it may never take place. Examples of what I am talking about abound — women’s education, women’s identity cards and allowing women to attend Shoura Council sessions.
"Hey, I got your contribution right here... now get your fanny back in the kitchen and STFU!"
To be frank, after reading all the articles and comments, I wish the announcement had never been made. That at least would have guaranteed that everyone, male and female, was treated equally. The natural thing is to see news about elections being received with joy by everyone. For women like me, however, there was no such joy. We were told we would neither be part of the team that was going to contest the match nor among the fans in the stadium. Matches held in my country have only men as players, referees and fans.
"Oh no you don’t, that’s our male-bonding time!"
Why? Is it because Islam says so? This can’t be the case since the greatest adviser to the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his life was a woman; she was his wife Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, who was also a great teacher for Muslims.
"Bitch! How dare you dredge up historical facts!"
Is it because people expect that problems would be caused by women’s participation in public life? This is an excuse widely used and is a distortion used to obscure the correct image of our religion.
"I told you to STFU! I’m calling your Imam..."
Will things remain unchanged, or will our children and grandchildren be able to debate the situation? Is it destiny that leads us into the same tangled mess everytime we find ourselves at a crossroads? Why do we first prohibit something and then begin discussing whether to allow it or not and how?
"Yes and Yes and Cuz it keeps everyone under our control! Sheesh, stupid woman!"
The announcement of elections coincided with practical steps being taken by a neighboring state which has given its women their political rights while for the past 40 years, we have done nothing but discuss the issue. It is sad to see countries that are not our equal in terms of historical, geographical, economic and religious influence moving ahead of us when it comes to women’s rights.
"Then don’t look! Phreakin meddlers..."
Are we being punished for being women? What have we done to deserve such treatment? Was there a woman among those who violated the sanctity of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah? Was there a woman among those who terrorized people in Riyadh and Alkhobar? Was there a woman among those who hijacked our country and its religion and tarnished the image of both?
Yes and Cuz you are wymyns and Who knows? and Prolly. Now shaddup!"
Are we witnessing the “Time of Ignorance” (the pre-Islamic era) when baby girls were buried alive by fathers who feared they would bring shame on the family? That time is far in the past thanks to the coming of Islam, which has illuminated the world and dissipated much of the darkness that engulfed the region.
"Questions, questions! If ya don’t remember your place we’ll bring back the Good Old Days! It wasn’t that long ago, Bitch!"
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 6:35:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [344 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nice sarcasm but it could have been done without the epithets which almost destroy the point being put across
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/22/2003 7:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Epithets? Get a grip - and a name, coward. If you're so easily distracted then your grip is tenuous, indeed.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 7:35 Comments || Top||

#3  My name is Philip L. Terry II Yellville,Arkansas and my grip on reality is fine
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/22/2003 7:38 Comments || Top||

#4  To .com sir, I was trained by both My Father And Mother to show respect in both word and deed even when it concerns my enemies so forgive me
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/22/2003 7:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Okay, Philip L. Terry II Yellville,Arkansas - good for you. The only form of apology you'll get from me is that you didn't know that this is a sore point with me. I emphasized the male stupidity and innate inbred bias to sharpen the point.

On numerous occasions, I debated my Saudi "friends" (all male of course) about their treatment of women. The show-stopper was when I would ask them how they expected to compete in the world when they throw away half of their brainpower at birth. Only one twit ever tried to reason past that. He suggested that, since this had been their custom and society for so many generations, Saudi women were now less intelligent. I almost choked with laughter and responded that, if anything, the opposite was more likely true. Attempts to suppress such things invariably lead to a more canny approach - and I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that Saudi women were not only still very intelligent, but much smarter in hiding it to avoid censure and in manipulating their dull droll husbands. Long history in this topic for me... but you couldn't know that.

As for you, if you want it done differently, Philip L. Terry II Yellville,Arkansas, then post articles yourself. Meanwhile, thank you oh so very very much for your comments and congratulations on your ability to stand up on your hind legs and bray that you are Philip L. Terry II Yellville,Arkansas. [golf clap] This may, or may not, be true.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 8:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Oooo, you're a sneaky one. Now I feel bad - I, too, (believe it or not) was raised by such good people and to uphold such worthy ideals. I guess in my 50+ years I've devolved into a crusty old cynic - and I'll almost admit I've lost my way in the process. Sigh. Okay, back to the topic of Islam's treatment of women...
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 8:21 Comments || Top||

#7  Even if it's a sore point with you.By useing such language you verify men who you oppose quite correctly in this matter which is a abomination.As for my name someday you can come to Yellville and find it
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/22/2003 8:23 Comments || Top||

#8  My own feelings as stated above is abuse of women both physicaly verbally and mentally is a abomination to God and mankind not just by Islamists but by all other cultures
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/22/2003 8:43 Comments || Top||

#9  The Arab problem is worse than simply discarding half their brain power: the three or four first years atre crucial for the future intellectual
performance of the child (and in no small part for his future health) and it is women who do
99% of the care at these ages so the quality of
those women is crucial for the development of the child. In Muslim countries, and specially in fundamentalist ones, they do their utmost for having their women being as uneducated and stupid as possible (in addition for giving them second-rate medical care thus ensuring birth
defects).


One of mathematics greatest geniuses was Evariste Galois: until the age of 18 he didn't attend the
school: he was educated by his mother. You won't
find any Galois between muslims.

Posted by: JFM || 10/22/2003 8:43 Comments || Top||

#10  This all started for me on my very first day in Saudi back in '92 when I "met" a bunch of kids waiting for their school bus outside my apartment building in Al Khobar. Over the span of 14 months I became "friends" with them and saw the transformation of one of the girls from a regular kid full of life and giggles into a ninja (aka MOB - Moving Black Object) - fully veiled and wearing an abaya. Life and laughter gone from her eyes, she was soon to be cut off from going to school - but they did let her finish that school year. I wanted to stuff her into a steamer trunk and ship her out of that hell to Merika. One day, she just wasn't there, anymore.

As with all heartfelt issues, it was personal - and now I offer no quarter to these assholes. And Phillip, if you wag your finger at me again, I'll come thru Yellville when I return to the US and break it off. They are assholes. And yes, it's true of anyone so blind, no matter who nor where it happens. Islam just has the market more or less cornered, at the moment. BTW, you can put Phillip (or whatever you choose) in your responses (type into the Your Name box) instead of the default Anonymous before you hit Submit. ;-)

JFM - you are absolutely correct about the first few years being crucial and an accurate indicator of future health or problems. As for keeping them stupid, constantly pregnant, clitorectomies, no separate identity papers and utterly dependent - including financially, honor killings - the whole panoply of Islamic cruelty toward women, I look forward to the day when these topics are on the OIC Agenda, instead of Joooos Running The World, and "Study science and technology - so we can have bombs, too!" idiocy. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 9:11 Comments || Top||

#11  My name is not Paul Wolfowitz.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/22/2003 9:15 Comments || Top||

#12  To .com sir,I'm not wagging my finger against you but against myself because for many years I struggled with this problem we are talking about and still do. So if You don't mind please not mix trash with otherwise sound comments And I personally apologize If I offended You
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II || 10/22/2003 9:26 Comments || Top||

#13  LH - Ha! Are you sure? You've been pretty heavy on the "hawk" and light in the "liberal", lately... ;->

Phillip - Skip over "the trash", please. No apology needed - this is open discussion and we can agree, or disagree, or agree to disagree. No harm, insult, or problem. I like honesty, even when it hurts me - no other way to improve myself. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 9:34 Comments || Top||

#14  I will do that.To the point at hand I'm also sadden and enraged about what happens to Women both here and abroad.Becuase from what I have read and occasionally see and hear it has gotten worse over the past few years worldwide.And it's a problem that should be annilated out of society
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II || 10/22/2003 9:56 Comments || Top||

#15  Phillip--What's happening to women here that has you saddened and enraged? I'm curious, because in my opinion women have more power and options than ever before.
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 10:10 Comments || Top||

#16  Casual comments that treat abuse as a joke that are more frequant in every day conversation the increase of attacks and disregard of Women and the general lack of true punishment for this type and other abuse
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II || 10/22/2003 10:17 Comments || Top||

#17  Well, some British men certinaly feel as though the state's idea of parental rights makes some sexes more equal than others:

Organisers of a rally to support fathers' rights are expecting 1,000 people to join them in central London on Wednesday. The rally ... has been organised to highlight the plight of fathers and grandparents who have been separated from their children by the family courts. The group believes judges and policy makers usually act in the mother's best interest.

There's nothing very funny about state prejudice against fathers.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 10:30 Comments || Top||

#18  Bulldog--An excellent point. I also want to note that our consulting practice here in Pittsburgh was recently bought out by another company. We're becoming a separate company under them, however, and our appointed president will be a woman. Without being a "minority"-owned small business, we can't bid on state projects.
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 10:40 Comments || Top||

#19  Mr. Terry: Rantburg is not a genteel tea-sipping social circle holding our cups just so with our little pinkies pointed in the air. It's occasionally crude, sometimes rude, and generally dripping with sarcasm, wit and a fair bit of cynicism. If you can't handle these things, perhaps you'd be better off somewhere else. No, no, I'm not censoring you, I'm giving you advice. dot-com isn't about to change his ways, and I'd be pissed unhappy if he did.

As to the treatment of women, you'd have to search far and wide to find a group of men who would treat women better with more equality and more respect than the denizens of Rantburg. We got it, we understand, and we're pissed unhappy that certain parts of the world don't get it.

To dot.com -- don't change, buddy, don't change.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/22/2003 10:41 Comments || Top||

#20  "Casual comments that treat abuse as a joke that are more frequant in every day conversation the increase of attacks and disregard of Women and the general lack of true punishment for this type and other abuse"

Philip, to equate casual comments (no matter how common) with the way women are treated in most of the Islamic world (honor killings, sanctioned beatings, virtual slavery) is the most sickening form of moral relativity. By making such a claim you diminish the abuse these women suffer far more than any casual comments possibly could. Get a thicker skin and take off the blinders.
Posted by: Yank || 10/22/2003 10:42 Comments || Top||

#21  Causal comments shows how tolerant the nation is getting with this issue
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II || 10/22/2003 10:46 Comments || Top||

#22  SW - Tanx. You want that in 10s, 20s or 50s? Ben Franklins are just so inconvenient at the Taco Bell drive-thru, y'know? BTW, I really miss TB, among other addictions. I'm straight, now, but looking forward to returning to my bad habits - assuming you guys turn the job market around! Things not be looking so good, yet.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 10:47 Comments || Top||

#23  Mr Philip

It seems you have a little problem at understanding the situation of women. I suggest you do the following: have someone make you casual remarks and jokes about you: this is the situation of the western woman, then have him beat you, enslave you and remove a highly sensitive part of your individual.

The thing I find the more repugnant about moral relativism and "no war" types is that at the end the victims, the true victims, are abandonned to their fate of opression, torture and death in order to please the little egos of some firstworld mama boys.
Posted by: JFM || 10/22/2003 11:25 Comments || Top||

#24  To SW about the Genteel tea sipping social circle comment where the heck are you coming from I learned my values mainly from my Dad who was a acoholic shortly before He met my Mom.He also served a full tour of duty as A Navy Seaman during the Vietnam War which also included The Ticonderoga during The Gulf Of Tonkin Incident plus also being a fervent Republican and NRA supporter.Working 35 years as a blue collar worker without losing much His formidable temper,Finally dieing of cancer while only caring for Mom's well being.During all these things He was humble but could take on anyone at any time
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II || 10/22/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#25  Causal comments shows how tolerant the nation is getting with this issue
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II 2003-10-22 10:46:58 AM


Phillip, I KNOW that you won't believe me today, since you're very likely new here. But if you'll just hang on for a few days, you will soon learn what others have already said: Rantburgers PASSIONATELY believe in equal rights, fair treatment, etc. The "casual comments" that you (temporarily I hope) object to here are the outgrowth of watching the Bill Clintons of the world use flowery language PRETENDING that he's a defender of women ALL-THE-WHILE sexually harassing each and every one that he could corner.

Yes, we're "rude" (if one follows the politically correct definition). Yes, we're "crude" (ditto). But you will NOT find any Rantburgers who believe in anything other than the complete and total equality of the sexes--PERIOD. Sit back, watch, and in a day or two or three you'll be agreeing with me!
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 10/22/2003 11:27 Comments || Top||

#26  To JFM being Part Cherokee from sides of the family what more can be said derogatory about being Mixed race when many groups from all sides believe I have no right To exist And being overweight I,ve experienced plenty of these casual comments to know their effect
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II || 10/22/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||

#27  Y'know, comments threads like that, through mostly OT, are what make me wish for a "revert back to full comments" option when one has to browse thru 35+ articles and 200+ comments. Apart from peeks at various backgrounds, it all adds up to a picture of the USA quite different from the mainstream media clichés. And there is a voyeuristic thrill too. Hummm...
Oh, and wimmen are our equal, mostly. Many are much more intelligent than me, I'd even say.
Posted by: A real Anonymous || 10/22/2003 11:42 Comments || Top||

#28  When talking about casual comments and toleration I'm meaning the general attitude of people in my area
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II || 10/22/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||

#29  Hey, this is great. I just told my 'poem reading' cousin about this site to help him understand what this war is about. He's of the opinion that Haliburton needed more cash. I also told him to have his facts straight before he adds that crap to the comments.
Posted by: Lucky || 10/22/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#30  Oh, and his handle should be Outlaw. I hope he stops by.
Posted by: Lucky || 10/22/2003 13:05 Comments || Top||

#31  In my neighborhood they've opened up "Tempura" - it's a combination Japanese restaurant/shelter for lightly battered women.

lighten up Phillip


Posted by: Frank G || 10/22/2003 15:39 Comments || Top||

#32  In my neighborhood they've opened up "Tempura" - it's a combination Japanese restaurant/shelter for lightly battered women.

-LOL, good one.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/22/2003 16:20 Comments || Top||

#33  As a slight adjunct to this topic: Does anyone know the Islamic and/or "Middle Eastern" cultural stance on abortion?
Is abortion legal or tolerated "over there"?
Posted by: Uncle Joe || 10/22/2003 23:37 Comments || Top||


AN Editorial: The Maytag Repairman’s Lonely Vigil Continues
Editorial: Attitude Problem
22 October 2003
Demographics 101...
Everyone knows that unemployment is the big issue in Saudi Arabia. With half the population under 15, jobs have to be created for the mass of young Saudis soon to enter the work force. Otherwise, there is going to be a social and economic calamity. No country can afford a mass of unemployed, disgruntled youth.
The Problem...
That is the rationale behind Saudization. But Saudization is confronted by a major and so far insurmountable problem — the unwillingness of young Saudis to work in blue-collar jobs. They want to work in banks, in offices, at worst in shops. But not with their hands. Who has come across a Saudi plumber? A Saudi electrician? A Saudi street cleaner? It is left to the Indians, the Filipinos, the Egyptians and the Bangladeshis to do the work.
The Culture...
It does not make sense. A plumber, an electrician, can earn far more than an office manager. In Europe and the US, they take home big money. In the UK the average plumber earns at least three times what a shop assistant does. The ratio is not much different here. So why this reluctance to work with one’s hands? It is sheer laziness and snobbery.
The Result...
The economy suffers too. The remittances home from expat workers are estimated at a staggering SR70 billion a year. That money could be working for the Saudi economy, growing it, if all those jobs were in Saudi hands.
The Failure...
Saudization has effectively ignored this. Its fixation is still on white-collar jobs. The most recent decision is the Saudization of 25 job functions in the sales sector, in stores selling clothes, toys, car spares and mobile phones. That is fine, but white-collar jobs are not going to provide anything like enough jobs to meet expectations. The focus has to move to electricians, plumbers, carpenters and similar such jobs. Around 60 percent of expatriate workers are employed in such work. That is an awful lot of jobs. They are the key both to providing young Saudis with gainful employment and to ending the cash drain out of the country.
The Rationale...
There is a further consideration. No country can allow itself to be dependent for its maintenance and the performance of many of its service industries on foreigners who could leave at a moment’s notice. Imagine if Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, for example, developed serious differences and Filipinos had to leave; most of the hospitals would grind to a halt. A country cannot be considered truly developed and in charge of its destiny until all jobs, from no collar to gold collar, are performed in large part by its own citizens.
The Hope...
We are told that things may be changing. There is talk about more vocational training for young Saudis. But only when the man who comes to fix the leak is Saudi, only when the nurses are Saudi, will we know that things have actually changed.
The End...
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 6:10:30 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think the solution to the problem is to stop shielding citizens from the result of their own actions. I mean this with respect to positive as well as negative effects. For instance, if a Saudi works hard and becomes a brain surgeon there ought to be an economic reward for his struggle. If a Saudi choses to goof off in school and doesn't want to work a job that he has the capability to perform, his parents should have to foot the bill for him to goof off rather than transfer the cost of his goofing off to society in general.

The pilgrims seemed to have become more prosperous after they chucked the Mayflower Compact. This may be, in part, deceptive because holding some property in common may have been very necessary for the survival of the colony in the beginning stages.

Personally, I don't care if the Saudis hire contract labor to fix pipes and clean up poop. The manual labor certainly seems to work for the Paki's and Phillipino's.

Maybe, the Saudis can't become such an economic dynamo that they can have every one pulling their weight at the white collar level. They certainly have the raw capital to make this happen. It would require massive immediate privitazation, private protery rights and a committment to "no bribe" government. (I agree with Walter Williams with regards to economics.)

I think my strategy is every bit as unlikely as a Saudi cleaning up poop. Most likely case will be that the Saudis will continue to enable their dead-weight until their government at the end fo the economic plank. The House of Saud will then fall, everyone will blame the Americans, and we will feel much shame.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 10:05 Comments || Top||

#2  I agree with you .Com,but it will take change of hearts and/or minds of the People first then comes the change of policy in the government which may not happen in Our lifetime
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II || 10/22/2003 10:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey, I'm feeling pretty bad, already. This seems to be my day for it. I mean here I am, whiling away the days in heaven thanks in particular to those years of actual hard work and personal privation in Saoodiland. Do I wanna give it back so some Saudi twinkie from a favored clan who DID screw off in "university" can strut about, own a palacial home, drive a Lexus SUV, spend all day on the phone with his wife and mistress, and brag endlessly to his family and friends how important he is? Hmmmm. I'll get back to you on that - when it's all gone, K?
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 10:41 Comments || Top||

#4  I had a long long talk with a Saudi friend, Khaled, on this topic once - which is one reason why I chose to post it. He told me about painting the interior of his home himself - which completely amazed - and horrified - his wife. She assumed throughout the 4 or 5 days it took him that at any moment he would drop the roller in disgust and "call a worker" to finish it.

She was ashamed of him for doing it. He, on the other hand, was proud and pleased - and I certainly praised his get it done attitude.

He had done it because her parents were coming to stay for a month or so. Before he could even open his mouth, his wife lied to them and bragged about how much money they had spent with a professional decorator to repaint the house interior. He told me he had never been so angry with her - or as humiliated. Certainly, with her attitude, she would have had a heart attack if he'd tried painting the exterior - where their neighbors could see it was him. I do not know if he made her apologize after her parents left - this happened just a little over a week before I made my exit. I thought her attitude was very telling.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 10:57 Comments || Top||

#5  I read after 9/11 that the Saudis required their foreigners to get checking accounts if they want to get paid.

Too much money going out of the country.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/22/2003 11:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Weren't the Kuwaitis in the same boat before Sammy's sojurn into the country in 1990? I do not see these societies changing from the top down. They are too rotted out. I do not see them changing from the bottom up up, witness the experience .com has shared with his Saudi friend and his friend's wife. If the people do not change, then other external issues at work will force change. The House of Saud rotting, the Jihadi nutcases activities, changes in the energy market will stress the country and those that cannot adapt will go through some very hard times until they fall by the wayside, die, or the lightbulb comes on and they adapt.

In the case of these oil-rich welfare states, I see nothing but hard times for the people there in the future. Even if they throw off the yokes of these super rich slug leaders, what does one do after the revolution? I do not hold out much hope for them.

The effort we are making in Iraq is a noble effort. But for those like the Saudis, it seems like the population has to "bottom out" before the big picture gets better. I won't wish that upon anybody, even the Paleos.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/22/2003 11:25 Comments || Top||

#7  Not me - my pay was wired directly to my US bank. There are several types of foreign workers - I was on a Biz visa - so I didn't have an Iqama (Saudi ID booklet like a passport) - and that's required to get a checking account. I had a savings acct without one so I could cash paper when forced to. Those with Iqamas do probably have to have a bank account (savings or checking; as I had to have a saving acct back in '92) in order to cash their checks. They may have direct deposit, today, but I'd bet that it must be to a Saudi bank. As for limiting outflow, I don't think they do, at least not yet. What we used to do is cash a check at the bank, go to Amex, and wire some of it to a bank, but also buy a shitload of traveler's checks, and save 'em up. I left that first year+ contract with a 3" stack of 'em. Today, they prolly have limits on the wire amount, but that won't stop you from accumulating TC's for the difference you have you can save.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

#8  I have never understood, what exactly happened to the Spanish Empire. With all those resources pouring in from the New World, I would have expected Spain to have remained a superpower for longer than they did.

Is this a simular phenomena?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 12:37 Comments || Top||

#9  SH, I seem to remember something from my history lessons about Spanish gold saturating the European market. Booty from Central and South America sent the value of precious metals plummeting across Europe, and reliance upon the plunder business bankrupted the Spanish economy. But I bet there was more to it that that alone...
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 12:51 Comments || Top||

#10  The Spanish Empire was based on slavery and violence and eventually collasped from corruption and high taxtion of the colonies
Posted by: Observer 80 || 10/22/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

#11  SH--From my readings, Spain seemed to have collapsed exactly because they were bringing home so much booty. After ridding Spain of the Moors, you had a restless class of adventurous spirits who were perfectly suited to becoming conquistadors in the New World. Then with the plundered gold and silver pouring back they had rampant inflation. Additionally, with all the grandiose adventure tales of conquistadors conquering entire kingdoms and becoming rich, the "menial" jobs like farming didn't look so appealing, and the New World beckoned.

I'm very curious how Iraq will fare with all the oil revenues supposedly distributed equally among the population. That seems to me to be a recipe for rampant inflation as well.
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 12:59 Comments || Top||

#12  I'm not a Catholic basher and may God bless the Pope and all but it does seem to me that all the Catholic countries kind of droped off the back. It is my opinion, lame as it may be, that the greatest leap forward of mankind came after the Protestant reformation and the liberal thoughts it allowed. Of course with all due respects to the post medieval whatsyamacallit.
Posted by: Lucky || 10/22/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#13  Lucky I agree with your statment as for the Renisance which most scholars state was the beginning of the modern age it eventually led to modern socialism
Posted by: Observer 80 || 10/22/2003 13:27 Comments || Top||

#14  That is the rationale behind Saudization. But Saudization is confronted by a major and so far insurmountable problem — the unwillingness of young Saudis to work in blue-collar jobs. They want to work in banks, in offices, at worst in shops. But not with their hands.

Long-standing tribal/cultural problem and not just restricted to the Saudis (I saw it in some of the UAE emirates), or to their civilian sector.
Posted by: Pappy || 10/22/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#15  Hindsight makes everything so easy...
Spain should've founded GOPEC and withheld much of the booty to keep prices artificially high. Mebbe they should've kept one or two pet Moors as financial advisors...
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 13:49 Comments || Top||

#16  Saudization has been the mantra for 20 years. Makes you wonder if it's just an isssue that's brought up for consumption when convenient. Did party cadres in the good ol' USSR in the '80's still believe in the Dictatorship of the Proletariat? Doubt it.
It's not just there aren't enough Saudi plumbers and electricians, but there aren't natives who are willing to foray into the private sector. The govt. sector absorbs most graduates and those who do go into the private sector generally make less or at least have fewer benefits than their public sector counterparts.
Example: My company had a position open and wanted to hire a Saudi English teacher to show how it was in the Saudization spirit. Fine, I said. After many weeks of resumes, interviews and phone calls, I offered a certified translator the position. Had great English and personality. The guy was working for a small firm at the time, and had only a morning schedule. Seemed "with it". No, he said. Why, I said. I'm not a teacher, he said. I know that, I said. I will train you. Remember our interview? You and I will work on it for three months, and you'll be fine.
Long story short, he declined and we didn't hire anybody. I found out through a non-teaching Saudi colleague that the real reason was the guy didn't want to be at work at 7:00, finish at three and have to teach 5 classes in between. Supervisor, OK. Grunt teacher, not OK. And we offered him the equivalent of $36,OOO/year to start with the understanding that he'd be fast-tracked to a higher office eventually.
And now the Kingdom is gonna get nukes from Pakland? Is the nuke sector going to be Saudized too?
Posted by: Michael || 10/22/2003 14:24 Comments || Top||

#17  On a largely unrelated note, I thought I should mention that Gordon Jump, the Maytag Repairman, died about a month ago.

A largely useless bit of information, but given the title, I thought it worth mentioning.
Posted by: Anonymous || 10/22/2003 14:38 Comments || Top||

#18  .com

Moors were cast out because, between other things,
they were acting as a fifth column for the Turks and
I failed to notice any Moor getting a Nobel in economics. Now, if Spain had kept its Jews...
Posted by: JFM || 10/22/2003 15:08 Comments || Top||

#19  Alaska Paul-
Regarding pre-90-91 Kuwait, I thought I read that part of their problem when the neighbors decide to come over the border, in addition to being drastically outnumbered, was that most of what constituted the Kuwaiti Defense Force at the time were undermotivated Pakland mercs.

Supposedly now they've got enough actual Kuwaitis motivated to do the fighting, but who knows.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/22/2003 18:14 Comments || Top||

#20  Omninous,
At that time, I beleive Kuwaitt had an actual trust fund that oil dollars went into. The fund paid enough out to each citizen that they actually didn't have to work at all. This may be a myth.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 18:38 Comments || Top||


Europe
Netherlands: Five held over ’imminent’ terror attack
Dutch police, acting on intelligence provided by the secret service, have detained five suspects for allegedly plotting a possible terrorist attack. According to a statement issued by the national prosecutor’s office, the arrests were made on Friday after investigators received information about an imminent terrorist attack. It said: "The five are suspected of preparing an explosion, being members of a criminal organisation and forging passports." No details were released about a possible target or how the attack was to be carried out. The identities of those arrested were also kept secret and a prosecution spokesman declined to give further details.

The suspects were detained in four Dutch cities and brought before a district judge today. One was released due to lack of evidence and the remaining four had their custody extended by 10 days, the statement said. Investigators confiscated computers, computer discs, video tapes, cassettes, a fake driver’s licence and a fake passport during raids at the suspects’ homes. The suspects are from Amsterdam, Amersfoort, The Hague and Schiedam, prosecutors said.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 7:10:32 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, I certainly hope that the prosecutor has rock-solid proof that the attack was absolutely "IMMINENT", or else the media will be all over him.
Sure they will...
Posted by: Uncle Joe || 10/22/2003 23:42 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
Anti-War Protesters Plan Weekend Protests
Just in case nobody had plans this weekend...and "Free Mumia!!!"
Anti-war groups are planning their largest demonstrations since after the start of the war in Iraq, with thousands expected at rallies Saturday in Washington and San Francisco.
Thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands!!!
Protesters are expected from 140 cities in the United States and Canada, organizers said Tuesday. They hope to foment public pressure that will force the withdrawal of U.S. troops. With Congress poised to authorize $87 billion for Iraq’s reconstruction, "Now more than ever it is critical that we stand united in our effort to turn this all around," said Leslie Cagan, an organizer for United for Peace and Justice.
"We’ll need this money for the Reparations Program when President Sharpton takes office! Or Vice President Kucinich’s Peace Academy!"
The protests are being organized by Cagan’s group and also International ANSWER, or Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, which led earlier protests. Their largest was in January in Washington, where police said 30,000 participated. Organizers said nearly a half million protested.
30000, half a million...what’s in a number???
The last protest in Washington, in late March, drew only a few thousand people. Organizers hope to attract far more this weekend.
Hope, pray, beg. Hurry up! We’re becoming irrelevant!
Police are planning for more than 40,000. "We expect it’s going to be a big day," said Sgt. Scott Fear, a Park Police spokesman. The department has canceled days off for its officers, and will have extra horse and motorcycle patrols.
Fear said organizers have been working with authorities, and the protests should be mostly peaceful.
...or they will feel the wrath of SGT. FEAR!!!
In March, about 65 people were arrested after climbing police barricades closing off Lafayette Park, which is across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.
Great! More "I fought THE MAN!" war stories for 65 shitheads...
The protests in Washington are scheduled at 11 a.m. EDT at the Washington Monument, followed by a march to the White House and Justice Department (news - web sites) at 1:30 p.m. Speakers will include former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Martin Luther King III, Bob Edgar, president of the National Council of Churches, and Fernando Suarez del Solar, the father of a Marine who was killed in Iraq.
The Usual Suspects and what appears to be their new poster boy. A genuine dead Marines father. He’s got a right to his opinion, but the people who are using him have absolutely no shame.
"We honor and support our troops, but we are deeply opposed to the mission on which President Bush has sent them," said Stephen Cleghorn of Washington, a member of Military Families Against the War.
Suuuuuuure you support them, Steve.
He said his stepson is serving with the Army in Baghdad.
Anyone care to Google?
Presidential candidate Al Sharpton and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., will lead a Black Voices for Peace march.
What, no Jesse?
In San Francisco, organizers are expecting thousands of protesters to participate in a 2 p.m. EDT rally followed by a march through downtown.
Thousands, millions, billions! They’ve been away awhile. I’ve missed them.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 4:42:27 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [403 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thank God! I was afraid I'd have to mothball my "Free Winona" t-shirt.
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 16:52 Comments || Top||

#2  Anti-war groups are planning their largest demonstrations since after the start of the war in Iraq, with thousands expected at rallies Saturday in Washington and San Francisco.

Note to idiot protestors: the operation in Iraq is only a smaller part of a bigger "war", in which our safety and security are at stake. Go live in a place that's under the constant threat of terrorism and then decide - is that really the way you want to live your life?

Protesters are expected from 140 cities in the United States and Canada, organizers said Tuesday. They hope to foment public pressure that will force the withdrawal of U.S. troops. With Congress poised to authorize $87 billion for Iraq’s reconstruction, "Now more than ever it is critical that we stand united in our effort to turn this all around," said Leslie Cagan, an organizer for United for Peace and Justice.

Translation: "We'd rather see Saddam back in charge of things in Iraq."

In San Francisco, organizers are expecting thousands of protesters to participate in a 2 p.m. EDT rally followed by a march through downtown.

Because in San Francisco, they don't have anything better to do.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/22/2003 16:55 Comments || Top||

#3  btw - Jesse's out in LA panhandling for the grocery clerks on strike. Bet the union's paying his way. He won't make it to Washington unless these groups come up with more swag than the union
Posted by: Frank G || 10/22/2003 17:02 Comments || Top||

#4  Please anything to get Jesse out of my state! But I suspect that he will take a leave from the grocery strike and be bop up to SF for a quick protest and photo op. Sgt Fear please feel free to crack any protestor on the hands/feet/noggin if they so much as smirk at you. You get double if you crack Kusinich/Jackson/Sharpton accross the knees. Triple for ANY member of ANSWER or any step father of a serving GI.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/22/2003 17:12 Comments || Top||

#5  Dont get mad, get organized!: visit "protest warriors" a group dedicated to reacting to the leftist propaganda at these events. They join the protest and then insert their own placards in the midst of the protest such as :

- Except for slavery, fascism, communism war hasnt solved anything

- Saddam only kills his own people, its none of our business.

and so on. Illustrating with satire the asinine nature of the leftist arguments in support of tyranny.

Frankly, these guys are hilarious. Check out their photo gallery and read their responses from the protesters, It'll crack you up.

Protest Warriors:
http://www.protestwarrior.com

Protest Pics:
http://www.protestwarrior.com/images/protest_gallery/us/index.htm

Posted by: Frank Martin || 10/22/2003 17:13 Comments || Top||

#6  I have seen the web site of del Solar and I find deeply disturbing the fascist ideology permeating it. It could be an Aztec fascism but it is still a fascism. BTW before someone speaks of the Aztecs as good guys victims of the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Spaniards let me recall you that they killed 80,000 people in one major festivity and that the reason Cortez and a mere 500 survivors of the Noche Triste could conquer Mexico is because everyone else had had enough of
them and their sacrifices. The fact this guy vindicates himself as an Aztec tells LOTS about him. It also tells lots about those who associate with him.
Posted by: JFM || 10/22/2003 17:14 Comments || Top||

#7  In addition transcript (and a nice commentary).

These people are scary. Example:

OLD MAN:
I hate to point out that the Constitution itself sucks; there's a lot wrong with it. There's no right to healthcare, no right to education, no right to jobs, none of that is in there. Racism, anti-gay bigotry, none of that is outlawed by the Constitution. Those are the things that need to be in a real peoples' constitution. It's important to point out because we keep defending the Constitution, but it's a Constitution that's extremely weak and does not represent what people need. And when we defend the Constitution we have to go one step further and say "this is what a real constitution should look like."
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/22/2003 17:26 Comments || Top||

#8  I want to know how in hell the AP can run a story about ANSWER and not mention the fact that they area a communist (even Stalinist) front organization. This story makes them sound oh-so-peaceful.
Also, let's pull out of Iraq and let chaos reign - yeah, that'll be peaceful! F***ing idiots.
Posted by: Spot || 10/22/2003 17:26 Comments || Top||

#9  Yay! More big dumb puppets!
Posted by: BH || 10/22/2003 17:27 Comments || Top||

#10  (Sorry, previous post got clipped - my fault. Lets try again)

Protest Warrior intends to 'infiltrate' the Washington protest with they sarcastic signs. If you want to be involved (I wish I could) see the website.

In addition Protest Warrior has infiltrated a meeting of A.N.S.W.E.R. and have a transcript (and a nice commentary).

These people are scary. Example:

OLD MAN:
I hate to point out that the Constitution itself sucks; there's a lot wrong with it. There's no right to healthcare, no right to education, no right to jobs, none of that is in there. Racism, anti-gay bigotry, none of that is outlawed by the Constitution. Those are the things that need to be in a real peoples' constitution. It's important to point out because we keep defending the Constitution, but it's a Constitution that's extremely weak and does not represent what people need. And when we defend the Constitution we have to go one step further and say "this is what a real constitution should look like."
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/22/2003 17:31 Comments || Top||

#11  Hmmm.... I'm thinking it would be a lot of fun to hop on BART and head into The City with a "Bring Back Saddam" sign.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/22/2003 18:44 Comments || Top||

#12  That's pretty funny, Dishman. For a disclaimer, put an asteric on the end and at the bottom of the sign, put a disclaimer in small print that says, "just kidding"

I saw a nutcase in Berkeley in the 60s with a sign that said "Nuke the gay baby whales."
What it meant, I know not to this day.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/22/2003 18:53 Comments || Top||

#13  I especially like this bit from the transcript:

"...just don't buy anything for a few hours...We've against this administration, so why should we contribute, you know, to the economy of this country?"

The person saying this would be better off, you know, unemployed.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/22/2003 19:04 Comments || Top||

#14  Anyone care to Google?

I'll take that. Our Mr. Cleghorn got several hits, but his stepson likely won't have the same last name, so googling won't tell us anything about him.

Oh, but there is plenty about pater.

He shares a letter allegedly written by his stepson here (you must scroll down or do a "find" on Cleghorn), in which the stepson reports that morale is low and we need more troops and we're generally in a quagmire. Unfortunately, none of the letters have dates (he mentions Father's Day, though, so presumably the letter was written in June).

Next up is this editorial about the death of Philip Berrigan, war protestor.

If I read this aright, the young Cleghorn, while a soldier in 1971, was court-martialed and spent a month in jail for refusing to hide the cross he wore on his uniform. The first few paragraphs, at least, of this letter is a must-read.

Currently, J. Stephen Cleghorn, PhD, is involved with the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness in DC. He's had "over 25 years of experience in homeless and human services in the public and private sectors."

In other words, he's a professional activist.

Why would the stepson of a fellow who'd been court-martialed, who was very close to '60s anti-war activists, go into the military, anyway? Maybe Cleghorn hasn't been his stepfather very long.

NOTE: I have no way, of knowing, of course, whether the Stephen Cleghorn of Military Families Speak Out/Military Families Against the War is the same Stephen Cleghorn as Berrigan's mourner is the same Stephen Cleghorn who's a homeless activist. But they all seem to live in DC.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 10/22/2003 19:04 Comments || Top||

#15  Thanks, Angie. Sorry you got stuck with the dirty work...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 19:18 Comments || Top||

#16  FREI MUMIA!!!
Posted by: Dave D. || 10/22/2003 19:32 Comments || Top||

#17  My thought was to aim to get on TV with the most blatantly stupid sign I possibly could.
"Bring Back Saddam", "Saddam was ELECTED" and "Support the Arab National Socialist (Baath) Party" all strike me as amusing.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/22/2003 19:32 Comments || Top||

#18  If the protesters are against the war - that's fine w/me. I absolutely support the 1st Amendment. They can whine, piss & moan all they want, it's their right. However, using some grieving father to further an ajenda is pathetic. Half of their ajenda has nothing to do w/Iraq. I.E. - racism, living wage, homo life style, palestinians for puppies, arabs for kittens blah,blah, fricken blah. Nothing like a couple thousand wall to wall long-haired tye-dye wearing jerry garcia wannabe maggot infested peace pansies to enlighten us. 90% protesting something they've never experienced or been through. Most of the young college morons are there because its "hip" to protest the big bad Bush. I could go on all day about these schleps. I like the whole protest warrior angle -that's good to go, wish I thought that up.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/22/2003 19:38 Comments || Top||

#19  Dishman- I vote for the, Support the Arab National Socialist (Baath) Party sign. The other protestors probably won't be smart enough to understand it, so you'll be cool with the crowd! Don't forget to put "Free Mumia!" and on the back of your placard, just to give them that extra edge they so deserve.
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 20:41 Comments || Top||

#20  Spot...you really have to wonder about that, don't you!
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 20:44 Comments || Top||

#21  As a left-watcher since the 60s, I see some definite indications that a sudden and very dramatic upsurge in violence will be the coming trend for these groups. Their previous tactics have failed completely, and authoritarians always resort to violence if other means fail.
Among other indications, a number of radical trend-setter outlets, notably the Guardian and its US imitators (LA Times, etc.), have taken an increasingly favorable tone toward serious violence by radicals. The most brazen example is probably the Guardian's subtle but unmistakable effort to incite the assassination of President Bush.

It is important to understand that only the level of violence will be new, not the use of violence itself, so new and much more lethal tactics should be an easy transition. Thanks to media collusion, it has never been obvious to the public at large that lower levels of violence, and the ever-present threat of violence, have long been a crucial and carefully managed component of these demonstrations.

Heretofore, most of this has been associated with groups of enforcers who adopt a distinctive appearance (masks, black shirts, etc.) in an effort to provide the main force and its organizers with "plausible deniability". If their assaults, vandalism, and intimidation get so far out of hand that even collaborationist media take note, the organizers can always characterize the blackshirts as a small band of hangers-on and malcotents taking advantage of the larger and more peaceful group.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as analysis of arrest records shows. The vandals are easily identified as active associates of various "respectable" activist groups.

A notable increase in the intensity of violence by animal rights terrorists is another good indication, since this is also an important trend-setting element for the radical left as a whole.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/22/2003 21:09 Comments || Top||

#22  Atomic -- I've had the same fear you do. It's not going to be pretty over the next 10 to 15 years.

I suspect that if Bush is re-elected, we'll soon hear about a new group calling itself the "Weatherman".
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 22:43 Comments || Top||

#23  What I wouldn't give for a pair of 70,000 watt speakers, a recording of 200 F-111s coming in for a bomb run, and a BIIIG truck to pull it through the protest march! Mount one speaker on the grill, the other on the fifth wheel, and crank the sound up to around 600 dB. Need a RELLY good set of earplugs, along with strong, sound-killing acoustical tile, but can't you just see these dumb bumpkins soiling their pants?? THAT's how to put a stop to dumb "peace protests" - which in reality are anti-American protests. Throw in the sound of a squealing pig, a braying ass, and a herd of donkeys stampeding off a cliff, just for accuracy.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 22:45 Comments || Top||

#24  Uhmm.. Old Patriot..
I'd really rather not be on the same planet as a 600 dB noise of any kind.
It's a logarathmic scale. 432 dB works out to about 1 megaton at 1 meter.
Sorry to nit-pick. That's a pet peeve of mine.

Otherwise I like the idea.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/22/2003 23:49 Comments || Top||

#25  Maybe Rantburg should have a sign design contest for the best idiotic signs making fun of the protesters.
Posted by: Uncle Joe || 10/22/2003 23:55 Comments || Top||

#26  Why is it the "brave dissenters" and "people of peace" always find the strength to attack American Presidents, but always sit on their hands( or worse, openly swoon) when tyrants and dictators come to town? Castro in town? big celebration!, how many people live in his dungeons? Robert Mugambe? How many have died at his hand? Was there ever EVER a protest against Saddam? Libya, Cuba, North Korea all kill people with utter disregard to human rights, Yet the sit side by side with democratically elected and accountable governments in the UN, rendering it completely impotent to act on this cancer on humanity.

Once upon a time liberals stood up for liberty and decency. Now they stand against anything that is American, just because its American.

Until the U.N. Puts some requirements on its membership ( you cant be a head of state if you wear a uniform, that means you "el jefe") I cant understand why were are there. Its just disgusting to me.
Posted by: Frank Martin || 10/23/2003 0:09 Comments || Top||

#27  against anything that is American, just because its American.

You've got it.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/23/2003 0:21 Comments || Top||

#28  OK, Dishman, we'll settle for 432 db.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/23/2003 0:24 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
US Now Convinced: KSM Killed Pearl
Al Qaeda Chief Tied to Murder
U.S. Says 9/11 Planner Killed Wall Street Journal’s Pearl
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

EFL and Fair Use
U.S. investigators have concluded that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was slain by Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the senior al Qaeda leader believed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, sources familiar with the case said yesterday.

Although Mohammed has long been suspected of playing a direct role in Pearl’s kidnapping and death -- and was named by two Pakistani defendants as the actual killer more than a year ago -- U.S. officials said previously that they did not have enough evidence to confirm those allegations.

But two U.S. officials said yesterday that new information obtained in recent months has confirmed that Mohammed slit the reporter’s throat with a knife in January 2002. Mohammed was captured in March at a safe house in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and has since been held and interrogated by U.S. forces at an undisclosed location.

"It is true that the U.S. government now believes that KSM was responsible for Pearl’s death," said one U.S. official, referring to the common shorthand used to identify Mohammed. "Before, we simply didn’t know, but we have now moved towards thinking that we do. Our view on the likelihood that he did it has certainly hardened."

The official declined to comment on what evidence led to the new U.S. view of the case, which was first reported yesterday by the Journal.

The conclusion adds a new element to the portrait of Mohammed. An ethnic Pakistani, he has been identified as one of Osama bin Laden’s closest aides, but was previously viewed primarily as an organizer and coordinator of large-scale terrorist attacks.
-- More --
© 2003 The Washington Post Company
Confirmation. I hope our guys haven’t been wearing gloves with this scumbag... certainly, they should take them off, now - he is forfeit.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 12:22:24 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does this rule out the possible al'Fuqra tie to Pearl's murder, or has this just tied al'Fuqra to al'Qaeda?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 13:44 Comments || Top||

#2  I'd be willing to bet that he is being held in relative comfort because he is being milked for any additional information he may have on future attacks. That is if he is even talking. I remember reading that when captured he was concerned for his family, namely his 2 or 3 young sons. It wouldn't suprise me to find out that they've been moved to be close to him. I'd hope he is being kept in a hole in the ground and getting the shit kicked out of him daily,perhaps losing an appendage or two along the way, but I seriously doubt it. If he really did kill Pearl - he'll get a pass on it. Justice isn't always blind.
Posted by: Mike || 10/22/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||


Jamaat’s immoderate worldview
The Islami Jamiat-e Tulaba (IJT) is the powerful ‘student wing’ of the Jamaat-e-Islami. It held its ‘mammoth’ international march in Lahore last Monday, from its seat of power at the Punjab University New Campus to the headquarters of the JI at Ichchra. The chief of the Jama’at-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, delivered the keynote address. He said that his party wanted a Pakistan with a ‘sovereign’ parliament out of the stranglehold of the generals. He also wanted a united country to confront India as the next door enemy and the United States as the global imperialist enemy. The biggest challenge, he admitted, was unemployment in the country, which was exacerbated by terrorism. He said that Pakistan was under attack from terrorism like other Islamic states and its ulema were being killed. He condemned the trend of blaming Islamic movements for such terrorism.
Despite the fact that he's one of the bigger supporters of terrorism...
The firebrand secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Munawwar Hassan, then went on to announce that America and Europe were scared of Islam as a global power. He believed that America was particularly frightened after seeing the jihad in Afghanistan from close quarters. He concluded that the Islamic world was clearly divided into two parts: the rulers were all slaves of the West and the masses who were angry because their dreams had been smashed to pieces. A representative of Turkey’s Saadat Party repeated the charge that the entire world was under threat from the Zionists, and the Muslims were bearing the brunt of their secret plans. He said the leadership of the Islamic world against this evil had fallen to Pakistan, the only state capable of accomplishing the job.
Pakistan, of course, being the light of the Islamic world...
Fiery anti-West speeches were also delivered by representatives of religious parties from Bangladesh, Bosnia, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Zambia, etc. The third three-day grand congregation of IJT was held at the Punjab University New Campus, proving once again that the university was completely controlled by the ‘student wing’ while its ‘general’ vice chancellor looked on. Clearly, the message delivered by the ‘international’ congregation of religionists was extremely isolationist. It sought to inculcate alienation from the rest of the world because it was dominated by the West. The youth that had gathered at the IJT rally was regaled to a frightening vista: the West-dominated world was against the ‘umma’ and the ‘umma’ was helpless because it was ruled by ‘slaves of the West’. The agenda was set somewhat like this: by next year let us give a heave-ho to the government in Islamabad, then call India to account through some more jihad and, after that, somehow wage war against the evil of the United States and the Jews.
That's pretty much Qazi's plan of action in a nutshell. JI, along with JUI and JUP and a few other grups of lesser importance, make Pakistan unique in the world, in that the country's effective rulers are now the leaders of these religious parties and their (deniable) militia arms. Perv and the military "control" them only to the extent of keeping them out of formal power, where they could actually try to put their plans for khilafa into effect, instead indulging an incremental approach that they hope isn't going to result in open warfare with the West before the Islamic world is ready for it. Qazi, Fazl, Sami, Noorani, and their creations — Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Syed Salahuddin, and all the other jihadi leaders — make their money (and they make a good living, indeed) by being indignant, by being "fire-breathing", by delivering stem-winders and over-the-top rhetoric, rather than by thinking. To me, they represent even more of a threat than the Soddies, because they're exporting Pakistanis all over the world, carrying with them the seeds of that unreasoning hatred and desire for confrontation.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/22/2003 7:46:46 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  interesting that not only JI sees Pakland as the center for the Jihad, but that jihadis from africa etc see it that way as well. I wonder though how many of the the Africans are actually of Pakistani origin (in South Africa for example) Also wonder how this relates to info suggesting that AQ sees Iraq as the principle battleground - the chance to bring down the Americans as Afghanistan brought down the Soviets. Is it that AQ has an Arab point of view, versus JI's South Asian focus, despite their historic alliance? Or is it Iraq first, Pakistan second?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/22/2003 9:26 Comments || Top||

#2  I believe it could be something like this:
Al Qaeda is a product of the Arab world, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahabis of Saudi Arabia. The JI is very similar to the Muslim Brotherhood, but rather than just being an "offshoot", it is a major transnational political movement in its own right, which has made its own major contribution to Islamist thought (such as it is).
Just like the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is dominant, so the Pakistani branch of the Jamaat-e-Islami is dominant over the Bangladeshi, Indian and to some extent the South East Asian branches. There ultimate aim is to bring about the disintegration of India, and in combination with the destruction of Israel, the new Caliphate will reach from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans.

But I think the most important reason for why all these rabid Islamists for around the world showed up in Pakistan to voice their support, is that such a conference simply couldn't happen anywhere in the Arab world, not even in Saudi Arabia. In contrast, the Islamists can do just about whatever they want, because they have the protection of the state.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/22/2003 9:41 Comments || Top||

#3  Yet another Islamist snake-pit that needs a good and thorough napalming.
Posted by: Craig || 10/22/2003 11:05 Comments || Top||

#4  They think we are scared of them? Pehaps they didn't learn the lesson of Pearl Harbor or 9-11.

Note to religious fanatics worldwide - we are nice, we value individual liberty and civil rights, but start the suicide bombs over here and expect to feel the wrath of the giant. We've still got the gloves on and one hand tied behind our back and we are kicking your backward behinds. Imagine what it will be like when we take the gloves off and give it all we've got. We can turn you into glass right now if we want to. Lucky for you, that's not what we want, yet. Blow up a couple of coffee shops and discos over here and watch the shift in our attitude occur overnight. We still won't go for the glass option, but don't expect us to keep the gloves on.
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 11:45 Comments || Top||

#5  I find this article very disturbing. It's like we are watching a replay of Hitler all over again. All we need is for these students to do is raise their hands and chant Hail Hitler.

It's as if I'm watching a terrible car wreck about to occur in slow motion and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 11:53 Comments || Top||

#6  "call India to account through some more jihad and, after that, somehow wage war against the evil of the United States and the Jews".

Is he on drugs? First wage jihad against India - what are the chances that this could go nuclear - then take on the United States and then finally the 'all-powerful' Jews? Now there's a plan that doesn't let reality stand in its way. What a moron.
Posted by: Dakotah || 10/22/2003 12:26 Comments || Top||

#7  "I find this article very disturbing. It's like we are watching a replay of Hitler all over again. All we need is for these students to do is raise their hands and chant Hail Hitler. "

But the real question - is Perv Hindenburg? or worse, Von Papen?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/22/2003 12:30 Comments || Top||

#8  And on a lighter note are the jihadis going to try to get the Spear of Longinus, the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant? Or is all that haram?
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/22/2003 18:05 Comments || Top||


Jaish dissident escapes bid on life
A dissident of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) on Tuesday escaped an armed attack on his life in Sharafabad area when he was entering a mosque to offer Isha prayers. Abdullah Shah Mazhar, who is among 12 commanders of the Khuddamul Islam (KI), as the banned JM is now known, was expelled from the party by the party leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, a few months ago over some differences, was entering Jama Masjid in Sharafabad when two armed men riding a motorcycle pulled up outside the mosque and opened fire. Maulana Mazhar ducked while a police constable, Mazhar, guarding the mosque, fired in the air forcing the men to flee. The police said the constable did not target the armed men due to presence of groups of people at the spot. “Yes, Mr Mazhar was attacked at the mosque, but he escaped unhurt,” DIG (Operations) Tariq Jamil told the Daily Times. Mazhar, who has now formed his own group, Al-Furqan, was not available on telephone when this reporter tried to contact him. Maulana Masood Azhar, of the Indian Airlines plane hijacking fame, expelled 12 leaders of the group in June. Abdullah Shah Mazhar and Abdul Jabbar were prominently among those.
Apparently the dissidents weren’t happy at the millions of rupees being skimmed off the top of the Jaish’s finances by Masood Azhar and his relatives. I don’t believe there is any ideological difference between the two.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/22/2003 7:41:11 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [254 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Side note to Paul

Thanks for your posts re Pakland politics, groups, etc. I dont often respond, as I simply dont have anything valuable to say. I read them quite avidly though.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/22/2003 9:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Ditto - the number of splinters is daunting. Thx!
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 9:41 Comments || Top||

#3  No problem, I always figured that someone might find the background info useful, and then I found Rantburg and it seemed like just the place I was looking for.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/22/2003 9:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Paul--I second... um, third... what LH sez. I'm not knowledgeable enough to comment on the situation, but I do appreciate the opportunity to bone up on it.
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 10:05 Comments || Top||

#5  Thanks Paul. It is a plus for me to have a regular "go to" place where I can find well-grounded and reasoned commentary on issues of interest to me.
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 10/22/2003 10:38 Comments || Top||

#6  Yeah Paul thanks for enlightening us on this mystical land. I especially enjoy the Nuggets from the Urdu Press. Always good to hear what "actresses" Bubbli and Billo are up to and how the latest Fuhush Naked Dance riot went.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 15:03 Comments || Top||

#7  Paul, I don't know much about Pakistan or India but I know who to ask. Newsday has some articles that seem to indicate that India is trying to reach out to Pakistan. Is this real? And is there a chance that India's effort will be met with any reciprocation. Here are the links:
Indian Deputy PM to Hold Kashmir Talks and India Offers Plans on Pakistan Relations I don't know whether to be an optimist or a realist. Will Lucy just pull the football away again?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 15:25 Comments || Top||

#8  I am not too optimistic, India and Pakistan have held talks 3 times in the past 5 years, but nothing substantial ever comes from it. The Indians will complain about Pakistan's use of Kashmir as a proxy war against them, but say that if the 2 countries put Kashmir on the backburner, they will be able to move forward in other areas. Pakistan will say that they are willing to move forward in other areas, but only after the Kashmir issue has been solved. And that will likely be that until Indian elections next year.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/22/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||


’Big explosives find’ near Bombay
Indian police say they have found a huge supply of explosives near the city of Bombay (Mumbai). Four people have been arrested after police stopped a van carrying the suspect material. The police say they found 700 detonators and 750 kilograms of ammonium nitrate in the van which was intercepted early on Wednesday. Bombay was hit by a double bomb attack blamed on Islamic militants in late August that left some 50 people dead. The van was stopped in the town of Vasai, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Bombay, the AFP news agency reports. Police say the van may have been heading for Bombay.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 10/22/2003 7:08:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Anyone know if they lucked into this or did a "little bird" tell them about it?
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 16:04 Comments || Top||


Maoists forced kidnap officer into eight-hour route march
...Subjected hapless captives to many excruciating hours of communist philosophising
EFL

A British Army officer kidnapped by Maoist rebels in Nepal was released yesterday and described being abducted and marched for eight hours to a remote camp. Lt Col Adrian Griffith, kidnapped with three Gurkha soldiers and three porters, said he and his group had been treated well during 40 hours in captivity.

Col Griffith, looking fit, told The Daily Telegraph that the rebels appeared in the village of Lekhani, 180 miles west of Kathmandu, on Sunday evening wearing plain clothes. He said his group was "abducted" while on a mission to recruit Nepalese into the Gurkhas. After taking Col Griffith and his men aside, the Maoists "made it clear they wanted a word with us, some distance away". As they began their march into the remote countryside "it soon became clear ’some distance away’ meant a very long way. "We were marched by stages through the night. It’s difficult to know how far. We had no idea how long they would keep us." After eight hours Col Griffith and the six people abducted with him stopped at a hut where they were allowed to rest and sleep. "We were fed rice and lentils and slept on the floor on wooden boards for two nights."

Col Griffith, chief of staff at the Gurkha camp in Kathmandu, said: "They told us the reason for taking us was to publicise their cause. They chose me because they could explain to me in Nepali what their points were." Having served all his working life in the Brigade of Gurkhas, Col Griffith speaks fluent Nepali. Senior Maoists spent one-and-a-half days expounding their philosophy and then asked Col Griffith to explain British army recruitment activities in the area.

At midday yesterday the Maoists said they were releasing their prisoners and the group were taken to a road where the rebels had arranged for a private vehicle to drive them to the city of Pokhara, 40 miles from where they were captured. Before they drove off, the rebels gathered villagers, "made a five minute speech about what they believed, shook hands and off we went". From Pokhara the men were flown by helicopter to Kathmandu, where they arrived last night.

During their captivity the rebels wore civilian clothes and did not display any arms, Col Griffith said. He added that a BBC team including Michael Palin had been filming his unit but did not witness the abduction and the rebels did not appear interested in them. Palin told the BBC that Col Griffith and his team had disappeared "shortly after it got dark. "We’d stopped filming. The recruiting officer came to our tent looking a bit uncomfortable and said he had been approached by some people from the local area who wanted to talk to him and to some of the Gurkha officers. "After half an hour we understood they wanted to take the Gurkhas and the British officer for further discussions with what they called their high command. There was not really anything much one could do. The Maoists run a lot in these areas, so they left and we hoped they would be back that night."

A British military source in Kathmandu said the army was delighted they were back safe but had no intention of amending recruiting practices which were "fair and well run".
"We want to tell the Maoists that they don’t scare us that easily. One and a half days of philosphy and finger-wagging? Our men can take weeks of that s*** without breaking. One and a half days of Chinese opera - now that’s something we’d have to take seriously."
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 5:29:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One and a half days of Chinese opera - now that’s something we’d have to take seriously.

I figure an hour or so should do the trick. Chinese opera's a lot like haggis - definitely an acquired taste. For a taste of this practically extinct art form (the opera, not the haggis), grab a copy of Farewell My Concubine from the video store.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/22/2003 9:27 Comments || Top||

#2  No thanks, ZF. Had the opportunity to experience some Chinese opera whilst in Lijiang. After hearing the accounts of those traumatised souls who had been before, though, we decided to spend the evening supping Tsing Tao in a rat-infested bar.

I quite like haggis. Couldn't have lasted four years in Scotland otherwise...
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 10:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Zhang Fei: How coincidental (not *wink*) you should say that! I happen to be interning in a Chinatown museum (Museum of Chinese in the Americas) whose latest exhibit is Chinese opera - the Cantonese kind :P

P.S. I've grown from agnostic to leaning "semi-Deist" recently -- WAY too many coincidences in life for a God to be lacking ...
Posted by: Lu Baihu || 10/22/2003 10:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Q: Are we talking Chinese Opera pre-49 or post-49? Is Jiang Ching involved?

Maybe these guys are onto something, though...

Should we hire Germaine Greer & Betty Friedan to give a lecture series on Modern Femnism, rather than torturing the Gitmo detainees with friendly translators and rock music?
Posted by: snellenr || 10/22/2003 10:40 Comments || Top||

#5  "...So fight! Fight! Fight! for Washington State!..."
Posted by: mojo || 10/22/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

#6  If hostages have trouble with several hours of heavy moaist indoctrination, British Officers can be enrolled in Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio) for a semester. Any normal person who can remain sane after that type of extended moaist indoctrination should be proof for life against all inodctrinations. My younger brother graduated from Oberlin in the late 80's. It took family members a number of years to de-program him.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Chinese opera is at least entertaining. Have you ever tried to sit through Beethoven's Fidelio?
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/22/2003 13:47 Comments || Top||

#8  Bulldog,
I find haggis a major improvement over "bangers". Spent a week at an RAF base north of Norwich, during a NATO exercise. Gaaaackkkkk!!!!!!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 13:59 Comments || Top||

#9  That's right, Mojo! Tom Tuttle from Tacoma, Washington would never cave to the Commies!
First thing I thought of when I read this. Hope they didn't make him wash the People's Truck...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 14:47 Comments || Top||

#10  OP, Norfolk bangers? Not your average British sausage then? Personally, I've never had haggis able to match the best British sausages/bangers, though admittedly the quality of both can vary wildly.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 18:22 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Lax Security Blamed for U.N. Casualties
EFL AP from Newsday

UNITED NATIONS -- An independent panel accused the United Nations on Wednesday of major security failures that put hundreds of staffers at risk and caused unnecessary casualties when U.N. headquarters in Baghdad was bombed Aug. 19. It criticized U.N. officials for not requesting security from U.S.-led coalition forces.

The panel’s report also cited widespread violations of U.N. security procedures, inadequate assessments of threats to the United Nations after the U.S.-led war in Iraq and immediately before the bombing, and a lax attitude by U.N. leaders and management to security issues.

Still, the report stopped short of holding any individual accountable. Besides Kofi, the other responsible guy done got himself blowed up.

"The failure of the U.N. system to comply with its own security regulations and directives left the organization and its staff and premises open and vulnerable to the type of attack that was perpetrated on Aug. 19, 2003," the report said.

After the attack, the U.N. Staff Union, which represents 5,000 staff members worldwide, called for an independent investigation into security in Baghdad. Secretary General Kofi Annan launched an internal investigation and asked former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari to chair an independent panel.

Ahtisaari’s report will be studied closely "and steps taken to ensure early implementation of its recommendations," U.N. deputy spokesman Hua Jiang said.

The panel said security still needs to be improved for the skeleton staff of U.N. employees still in Iraq. Most international staff were ordered to leave after the Aug. 19 attack and a second bombing outside U.N. headquarters, on Sept. 22.

It said that the Security Council’s unanimous approval of a resolution last week authorizing deployment of a multinational force in Iraq offers a possible alternative for security so the United Nations could return to Iraq without having to rely on the U.S.-led coalition. Oh, please no. Not again.

"Such forces will need to offer adequate security coverage for U.N. operations in the field, including control of U.N. perimeters, security of U.N. movements, and the close protection of U.N. staff as required," it said.

Pretty quick independent report. Unions usually frown on having their membership blown into smithereens.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 2:06:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Still, the report stopped short of holding any individual accountable.

My, how......UN!
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 14:13 Comments || Top||

#2  so the United Nations could return to Iraq without having to rely on the U.S.-led coalition

What does that mean? Is that a weak attempt to blame the US? The report said it was the UN's own fault for failing to comply with their own security regulations. Weak, as ususal.
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Not sure it can be placed squarely on de Mello. Seems like his office was deliberately targeted. And with 500-plus (non-UN estimate) UN people in Baghdad, that's a lot of suspects in the blame-pool.
Posted by: Pappy || 10/22/2003 19:29 Comments || Top||


U.S. Troops Order Comfort, With Fries on the Side
Soldiers Looking for a Taste of Home Make for a Booming Business at Iraq’s First Burger King
By Theola Labbé
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 19, 2003

EFL and Fair Use
BAGHDAD -- Welcome to Iraq, home of the Whopper.
Deep inside Baghdad International Airport, past a vehicle search, a body search and four checkpoints, soldiers are lined up for burgers and fries. They have come by plane from Mosul, 220 miles north, for onion rings. They have picked up Chicken Royale sandwiches while picking up buddies flying back from a two-week home leave. They have begged and borrowed Humvees, making up any excuse for a trip to the airport and a reminder of what the pink mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise oozing from a fresh Whopper tastes like.
To paraphrase Robert Duvall’s character from Apocalypse Now, "It smells tastes like freedom."
"It tastes like home, yes it does," said Staff Sgt. Mark Williams, 50, from Pittsburgh, after tearing off a chunk of his Whopper with cheese.
Lucky stiff - this is making me hungry!
The former Saddam International Airport now houses Iraq’s first Burger King. Part creature comfort, part therapy for homesick troops, its sales have reached the top 10 among all Burger King franchises on Earth in the five months since it opened. The shiny metal broiler spits out 5,000 patties a day.
-- More --
© 2003 The Washington Post Company
I’ll take a Double Bacon Whopper with Cheese, large fries, and a medium Coke! Huh?
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 1:38:04 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

#1  .com, they don't deliver - you'll have to go there. You're also required to spend 24 hours on guard duty around the perimeter before being 'privileged' to place an order.

Makes for a damned expensive cheeseburger!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 14:07 Comments || Top||

#2  But if ya gotta do the guard duty gig anyway, well then, it's a bonus, right??!!?!!

"its sales have reached the top 10 among all Burger King franchises on Earth"
This indicates that walking through fire on top of any other onerous duties hasn't deterred customers. ;-)

Mebbe, if they had the cajones, putting a Starbucks, BK, McD, KFC, Wendy's, Taco Bell, and a Jack in the Box in a heavy underground bunker with razor wire, concrete anti-vehicle gauntlet, and the world's greatest ventilation system (to get rid of the deep fat fryer output) in downtown Baghdad would prolly set new records for sales. I picture having a dummy version at ground level as an idjit-magnet. If we could figure out how to get the people in & out without them getting shot by the Ba'athists who used to have the Baba Habas franchise, we'd boost our retirement funds by about 1000000x. ;^)
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 14:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Gonna have to be Turkey Bacon if they want to sell to anyone besides our guys and the 300 Iraqi Christians.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/22/2003 17:54 Comments || Top||

#4  I wondered if anyone would notice. First thing I did after getting to Thailand was to go to BK and order exactly that meal.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 20:24 Comments || Top||


U.S. Soldiers Bringing Media to Tikrit
EFL Ap from Newsday

TIKRIT, Iraq -- The media revolution that has filled the vacuum left by the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s propaganda machine has so far bypassed the former ruler’s hometown.

But Abdul Khader -- an engineer working near an antenna and transmitter tower on the ruins of a former ministry building -- is hoping to change that, with the help of U.S. soldiers.

Soon after the fall of the Batthist Government, several freewheeling papers, radio and television outlets sprung up. People were suddenly able to buy satellite dishes and watch international channels of their choice, or listen to local radio stations now denouncing Saddam as a ruthless dictator.

But the media advancing across Iraq’s larger cities missed Tikrit and the predominantly Sunni province that surrounds it.

The antenna that was linked to Saddam’s information ministry and spewed his propaganda across Tikrit was bombed in U.S. air raids. Whatever was left was looted in the nationwide unrest that followed the regime’s collapse.

A first step was setting up the transmitter in Tikrit, 120 miles north of Baghdad, to carry radio and television signals from the U.S.-backed Iraqi Media Network to people across the northern Salah Ad Din province of 1 million residents.

For the past two months, Cox’s team has supplied Abdul Khader’s tower and has one radio and television station functioning from the Tikrit University building in this town of 120,000. The costs exceeded $100,000.

"We started from scratch, buying digital cameras, studio equipment," said Capt. Chris Ambrosio, of Garland, Texas.

Three weekly newspapers are distributed in Tikrit but are published in Baghdad because there is no printing press here. One of them, the Salah Ad Din, is the most "genuinely" Tikriti paper, dealing with local news, Cox says. The two others, Al-Youm and Al-Sabah, distributed in the neighboring provinces, are viewed as mouthpieces of the U.S. troops.

Although all the papers are funded by the U.S. interim administration at a cost of $17,000 per paper per week, Cox maintains they herald a free and independent media.

"There is no censorship. We only ask two things: you can’t incite violence and your stories must be fair and balanced," said Cox, adding that criticism of the coalition forces by the papers’ staff is welcome.

"When we leave, we want the Salah Ad Din to be a self-functioning paper," he said. "If I ever come back to visit Iraq, I would like to see the editor and the newspapers still working."

The chief editor of Salah Ad Din was threatened twice and later moved his family to Baghdad for safety.

Rasul Halil, one of three Iraqi policemen guarding the transmitter, points to a potholed wall from an attack five days ago when unknown assailants opened fire from behind the garbage dump. No one was wounded.

Back in the engineer’s office, only the AM and FM radio signals work. The television transmitter brought in last week worked for only one hour before it broke down and Abdul Khader is waiting for a replacement.

"There is so much I need but it is a beginning, a new world," he said. "I am working for my country’s sake, not for the Americans."

Hope this works out. The papers won’t last in all likelihood. Maybe the Fedayeen will like ABBA.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 12:54:21 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under:

#1  some in Tikrit will like it, then the tough guys will have to crack down on them...creates dissension among the populace - good idea
Posted by: Frank G || 10/22/2003 16:00 Comments || Top||


Rumsfeld Casts Doubt on Turkish Troops in Iraq
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
EFL... From AP
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday left open the possibility that Turkey’s offer to deploy thousands of troops to Iraq -- a move seen just weeks ago as a critical breakthrough for U.S. diplomacy -- could be dropped because of Iraqi opposition.
Awriiiiight!!! They’re listening!
Turkish officials have indicated in recent days that the proposed deployment, approved by the Turkish Parliament on Oct. 7, could unravel if opposition remains strong.
Good, maybe even they realize they’d be targets. Nawww, they wouldn’t care, methinks.
Asked whether the Bush administration’s interest was waning, Rumsfeld suggested that the Turks had set conditions that might not be met. "What the Turkish government did -- at least my understanding of it -- was they said that under certain circumstances they would be willing to offer forces, subject to finding a method" that satisfied all parties, including their own government and the Iraqi Governing Council, he said.
"Yes. We are allies. Here’s our list."
"List? WTF?"
"It is only a small matter. We want the Kurdish region -- and the oil."
"Uh, okay... Hey, I’m gonna have to call some people... we’ll get back to you, K?"

"That process is under way," Rumsfeld added. "Whether it will ultimately find a method of satisfying everybody, I don’t know. I hope so because obviously we would like additional forces to be available."
"But we’re not quite that desperate or stupid. So, uh, don’t call us, we’ll call you..."
Another senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States still wants Turkish troops in Iraq but is encountering resistance from the Iraqis. Iraqi objections are based in part on the views of Iraq’s Kurds, who make up about a third of the country’s 25 million people. They are sensitive to the legacy of nearly 400 years of Ottoman rule in Iraq.
"Don’t you Merkins watch your own movies? Ever see Mignight Express? Did ya get it? Doh!"
A 15-year insurgency by Kurdish rebels in Turkey ended in 1999, but the rebels now have bases in northern Iraq and the potential to resume fighting. Turkey fears that Kurds living in an autonomous area of northern Iraq could declare independence, rekindling the insurgency in Turkey.
Don’t worry about the bad Kurds. It would be smart if we did not screw over the good Kurds. They will help us take care of the bad Kurds - because it is the one thing that will demonstrate their goodwill, integrity, and intentions beyond doubt. Hands down, they are the class of Iraq.
Turks are mostly Sunni Muslims and their predecessors -- the Ottomans -- favored Iraq’s Sunnis, sidelining the Shiite Muslims, now a majority in Iraq. A large community of ethnic Turks, known as Turkomans, also live in Iraq.
It’s a rainbow thing. I like strawberry, myself.
Rumsfeld was careful to note that the U.S. government appreciates the Turkish offer, coming from a longtime U.S. ally whose population strongly opposed the U.S. decision to invade Iraq. "We certainly appreciate their coming forward as they have," he said.
"But the, uh, Turkish demands, however, have given us pause... (Hey, did you guys read this shit?)"
The administration pushed hard for a Turkish troop contribution in part because it wants an international force to take the place of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division when it completes its scheduled one-year tour of duty in Iraq. It also wants more Muslim troops in Iraq to reinforce the administration’s argument that the occupation effort is not purely American.
And that, as any RB regular can tell you, has far less value than risk attached.
Rumsfeld said the Bush administration is in discussion with several other countries about possible troop contributions for Iraq, but Turkey is the only one so far to offer large numbers.
"We were hoping for a ’big win’ with Turkey..."
A day after the Turkish Parliament’s vote to approve the troop deployment, the American-appointed Iraqi Governing Council told L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator in Baghdad, that it opposed a Turkish military presence but was willing to discuss it.
"Yes, of course we will talk to you about it, but make no mistake, lunch is on you..."
On Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was taking into account the view of the Iraqis. "We aren’t longing to send soldiers to Iraq," he was quoted as saying by Turkey’s semi-official Anatolia news agency. "If the Iraqi people say, ’We don’t want anybody,’ there’s nothing else we can do," Erdogan was quoted as saying. "If wanted, we’ll go. If not wanted, we won’t go. We haven’t made a definite decision."
But the Iraqis and Kurds have - thanks, but no thanks."
On Monday the prime minister noted that the parliament had already given its blessing. "But the developments after that authorization became different," he said. "As the Turkish government we fulfilled our responsibility. From now on it is up to them [the Americans]."
"Curses, foiled again!" (Was Simon Legree a Turk - or a Pfrenchman?)
Of the 156,000 coalition troops in Iraq, Rumsfeld said 132,000 are American and 24,000 are from other nations, including Britain, Poland and Spain.
Floating this story is the best news I’ve read in several weeks - and means they are thinking about it, at least. Let’s hope that the arrogance of the Turkish demands makes this an obviouse no go decision - I’ll bet that is what has gummed up the gears on this stupid idea. Thanks, Erdogan, keep it up. Yo Dubya, read my lips: stretched is better than sabotaged or screwed, bubba.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 10:29:37 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But the Iraqis and Kurds have - thanks, but no thanks."

Perhaps I missed the news report, but didn't they actually skip directly to "Hell, no!"?
Posted by: snellenr || 10/22/2003 10:49 Comments || Top||

#2  "Stretched is better than sabotaged or screwed"

So true, so true.
Posted by: Daniel King || 10/22/2003 10:56 Comments || Top||

#3  Woo Hoo! Great News!!

Do you ever wonder who the guy(s?) was/were (probably at Foggy Bottom) who kept insisting that the Turks, despite all appearances to the contrary, would allow us to use their country as a northern front in the war on Iraq? I can't help but to wonder if those fools are the same ones who keep insisting that, despite all appearances to the contrary, it's a good idea to use Turkish troops in Iraq. Fortunately, the administration doesn't seem to be as gullible this time. At least the Iraqi's aren't falling for it. Either way, I'm glad.
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 10:57 Comments || Top||


Terror Networks
Damn Rumsfield.... never happy with the status quo
October 16, 2003

TO: Gen. Dick Myers
Paul Wolfowitz
Gen. Pete Pace
Doug Feith

FROM: Donald Rumsfeld

SUBJECT: Global War on Terrorism

The questions I posed to combatant commanders this week were: Are we winning or losing the Global War on Terror? Is DoD changing fast enough to deal with the new 21st century security environment? Can a big institution change fast enough? Is the USG changing fast enough?
It’s great to see these questions are being asked. This reminds me of Microsoft’s management... never happy with their progres in the market place and always looking at every situation like they’re the underdog. It’s exactly what you want your leadership to be doing.
DoD has been organized, trained and equipped to fight big armies, navies and air forces. It is not possible to change DoD fast enough to successfully fight the global war on terror; an alternative might be to try to fashion a new institution, either within DoD or elsewhere — one that seamlessly focuses the capabilities of several departments and agencies on this key problem.
Interesting idea... but I think it would cause more bureaucracy, not less.
There's probably a need to bring a number of military and non-military functions together as drivers. One is the money chase, tracking the money flow from the princes and the charities to the ultimate consumer. Breaking up the former is the job of FBI or CIA, while disposing of the latter is a military function. Another is the non-armed fundamentalist structure that directly drives the jihadis — JI, JUI and JUP in Pakistan, the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world, Hezb ut-Tahrir in Europe and Central Asia, and groups like MILF in Southeast Asia. These aren't susceptible to direct military attack because of political and diplomatic considerations, but even if we wiped out every jihadi presently in business, they'd grow back within a few years because of the funnel organizations.
With respect to global terrorism, the record since Septermber 11th seems to be:
We are having mixed results with Al Qaida, although we have put considerable pressure on them — nonetheless, a great many remain at large.
What we've been doing to date has been working. Every time they poke their heads up for an operation, they lose more of their cadre. One thing we might consider doing is provoking them into operations, preferably before they're quite ready...
USG has made reasonable progress in capturing or killing the top 55 Iraqis.
Granted. I expected Sammy to be toast by now. Uday and Qusay stuffed and mounted was a great blow to the Bad Guys. I do believe we should be publicizing some of the information we get out of them, though. The public's in the dark once they disappear into military custody. A bit of carefully released detail would help with public support for the war effort. We need that. People have a short attention span.
USG has made somewhat slower progress tracking down the Taliban — Omar, Hekmatyar, etc.
Hekmatyar's the only one I regard as failure at this point. He should have been dead or in custody long ago. It's my opinion that if the Karzai forces can't manage to catch him or Mullah Omar, elements of the Northern Alliance should be tasked with the job. We tend to approach their capture as a military problem and rely on Karzai's Pashtuns as our tools. The Tadzhiks and Uzbeks and Hazaras have more incentive to take both of them out, as well as to deal with the Taliban resurgence.
With respect to the Ansar Al-Islam, we are just getting started.
It's my impression that Ansar has been dealt with as a military force. The Kurds should be supported in dealing with attempts at resurgence and with its ancillary groups, such as Jamaat Islami, which is Ansar without the guns. What's coming to constitute the "Ansar" in the Sunni triangle is outsiders, which have to be dealt with severely by military and intelligence means. We need to have an Iraqi domestic intelligence service set up under our own control to do collection and first-level reporting on these groups as they form. The other part of Ansar is al-Tawhid, which represents a problem in an of itself. Zarqawi should be at the top of our internal "most wanted" list at this point.
Have we fashioned the right mix of rewards, amnesty, protection and confidence in the US?
We've worked on it, sometimes with good results, sometimes not so good. Keep adjusting as needed, based on the feedback they're getting in the field...
Does DoD need to think through new ways to organize, train, equip and focus to deal with the global war on terror?
We should never stop thinking of new ways to fight wars.
The most effective thing we could do is organize hunter-killer teams, driven by intel, to take out the major terror nodes. The downside of this politically is that the left and the NGOs will describe them as death squads — which is what they have to be. Terror has to be fought with counter-terror in some instances. Close coordination with Israel on this point is advisable, and we can learn from the Soviet experience by recruiting KhAD agents in Afghanistan. We can also learn more from the Indians, who've been fighting the jihadis for longer than we have. They know the structures, the communications methods, and how the controllers and runners work.
Are the changes we have and are making too modest and incremental? My impression is that we have not yet made truly bold moves, although we have have made many sensible, logical moves in the right direction, but are they enough?
Sensible and logical is usually the way to go. We have to go with what works, rather than building something that should work and then taking our chances on whether it does or not.
Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?
Probably not. For one thing, we need detailed intelligence on the madrassahs themselves. Then we need action, both covert and political against them. The covert action should result in the unfortunate accidents that sometimes afflict Saudi princes. The political action should range from shutting down their funding to ridiculing them in their local press. The counter-propaganda campaign is where we're falling down hardest. The movers behind the madrassahs are notably corrupt, and there should be a constant attempt to push the point home to their followers. And if we can't find something — it's there, think Mullah Diesel and Mullah Sandwich — set it up...
Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists’ costs of millions.
That comes under the propaganda campaign. The jihadis are looking for all the answers. Point out the feet of clay of their leadership and even 72 virgins loses its luster...
Do we need a new organization?
Hunter-killers, integrated collection management, local national intel collection and reporting. That would be a big start in the right direction...
How do we stop those who are financing the radical madrassa schools?
Light of day, in some cases. The princes want to avoid direct confrontation with us because they know they'd lose militarily even though we'd be damaged politically and diplomatically. That will probably call for more declassification than we're currently comfortable with. But even the Paks eventually shut down Al-Rashid Trust. We absolutely have to follow up in a timely manner, though, when they change their names and go back into business a week or a month later...
Is our current situation such that "the harder we work, the behinder we get"?
I don't think so. We have to keep in mind that we're still in the early stages. We took Qaeda and the Taliban as an effectively monolithic organization and broke it into chunks. Now we've got to keep going after each of the chunks until we've broken them into smaller pieces, until they're incapable of coordinating and eventually slink back into the general population. We also have to recognize the unity of terrorism, both as an Islamist phenomenon which include Chechnya and the Takfir wal-Hijra killers as well as Qaeda and the Palestinian structure that's fostered by Iran; and as a mindset that includes everything from the IRA to Colombian drug runners.
It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog.
I'm not sure we're going to win in Afghanistan until we've neutralized Pakistan's fundamentalist establishment and the ISI. Even when we "win", the end result isn't going to be particularly palatable. The country has problems that transcend its religious base, and we're not going to be able to solve them, short of deporting the population. Iraq is a different story entirely, with the possibility of individual freedom there for its people to take. Our military problem is the jihadis swarming into the country, the left-over Baathists, and Moqtada Sadr. Once we get Saddam things may settle down with the Baathists, and the jihadis offer us the opportunity to kill them without having to go into their home countries after them. Kill enough, and they may stop coming, especially if we've got a counter-propaganda campaign working on the "root causes" (to whit, their preachers). That leaves Moqtada, and the Iraqi police and the legitimate ayatollahs should be encouraged and enabled to deal with him permanently.
Does CIA need a new finding?
Maybe. We're not in a position to say here on Rantburg...
Should we create a private foundation to entice radical madradssas to a more moderate course?
Good idea. One thing we should be doing is to enhance our relationships with non-wahhabi Muslims, staring with Sufis and Ismailis, then with non-Iranian controlled Shiites. Where we put any money into the religious conflicts, it should be for these guys, whom the Sunnis in general and the wahhabi/qutbists in particular are tromping over just as ruthlessly as they're tromping Christians, Jews, Hindus, Zoroastrians and anyone else.
What else should we be considering?
"Private foundations" to deal with things like restructuring Somalia, developing Djibouti and Eritrea into real countries... Enhancing relations with Yemen's secularists... Putting pressure on Syria, which will probably be the next military action if Assad can't be nudged into internal reforms... Cooperation with the Russians on Chechnya... Avoiding a repeat of the money we dumped into Georgia with no return... Recruiting and training units at the battalion level to fight alongside U.S. forces; I'd recommend starting with Afghanistan and probably Iraq, but also looking at places like Taiwan or even southern Sudan. They'd be trained to U.S. standards and used in the same manner the British use the Ghurkas... Give me a few days. I'll think of some more...
Please be prepared to discuss this at our meeting on Saturday or Monday.
Wish I was invited...
Thanks.
The left and the media will try to portray this as we are losing the war on terrorism and it’s all Bush’s fault. The fact is this internal memo makes me even more comfortable with our current leadership. They are showing themselves to be focused, they don’t underestimate their enemies, they view each situation from the perspective of being the underdog and they are always questioning their own policies to determine if they could be doing even better.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 10/22/2003 10:28:55 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [845 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I agree that this memo shows Rumsfeld in good light as he challenging his people.

But, whoever leaked this should be punished severely.
Posted by: JAB || 10/22/2003 10:51 Comments || Top||

#2  How do we stop those who are financing the radical madrassa schools?

Cut all ties between Saudi Arabia and the civilized world?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 10:56 Comments || Top||

#3  I agree, at the very least whoever leaked this should be fired immediately. If there is a possiblity of criminal charges then they should be filed as well.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 10/22/2003 10:57 Comments || Top||

#4  From the AP...

"Three members of Congress who met with Rumsfeld Wednesday morning said the defense secretary gave them copies of the memo and discussed it with them. "

I guess we know how the memo got to the public now ;)
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 10/22/2003 11:02 Comments || Top||

#5  I don't see how the media will be able to spin this negatively, but I'm sure they will!
Posted by: g wiz || 10/22/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#6  The memo makes clear that Rumsfeld is challenging his subordinates to confront the problem of global terrorism head-on, and come up with solutions even if they entail drastic changes to our way of operating.

Unfortunately, this is being spun (and I'm sure this is just the beginning of the spin) as "pessimism" in some cynical political game to erode public confidence in the Administration's conduct of the WoT.

Forget dismissal or criminal charges against whoever leaked this memo; whoever did it deserves to be shot.
Posted by: Dave D. || 10/22/2003 11:22 Comments || Top||

#7  "Do we need a new organization?"

Don't think so,we have SOC(Special Operations Command),give them more troops,more/better/state of the art equipment,all the support they want.Give them the authority to go where they need to go,do what needs to be done and let them get on with buisness.

Posted by: Raptor || 10/22/2003 11:24 Comments || Top||

#8  It is so refreshing to see a real person dealing with the issues, instead of pretending the world actually runs on sound bytes and that policies should be carved in stone - so they can bash you with it the instant reality passes them by. I worked for a real person, a thinking and creative person, like this once - and it was challenging and fun. I don't know how this leak will play out, but this memo has renewed my faith in Rummy - and our chances of seeing the WoT to the end and, thus, the survival of the US and our way of life. I hope it gives all of the leaf-eaters a massive case of heartburn.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 11:52 Comments || Top||

#9  Slightly OT : about the pace of the WOT (not an original thought; read it on a forum yesterday. Original thoughts are not my style).
Given the various reports of islamofascists longing for GWB's demise during your next elections (or even "a democrat president that would bring back the US in the UN"), and the hatred he seems to generate among fundamentalists, wouldn't it make sense for AQ & co. to launch attacks now or in the near future. Shortly before the election would be counterproductive (americans would rally behind him); after would be pointless; but acting while the iraqi situation is not yet undercontrol, media coverage is not favorable and legitimacy of the war uncertain, would certainly harm the candidacy of GWB.
Does anybody believe US politics may be taken in account by AQ strategists?
Posted by: A real Anonymous || 10/22/2003 12:07 Comments || Top||

#10  The spin has already started, and as predicted here by Dave D. - USA Today is reporting Rumsfeld's "pessimism" on the WOT. If Rummy stays true to form, he'll set the record straight....not that it will stop the spin machine of the leftist media.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/22/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#11  I don't know whether AQ takes into account US politics... I personally think they are far to unorganized now to have strategic focus of that nature. Before our response to 9/11, I think they most likely did view things in that nature but now they strike me as a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. They are killing more muslims with their recent attacks than us infidels... Any attack on the US from now till the election would make a Bush re-election more likely. Most rational people are at the very least unsure of whether the democrats can prosecute the war on terror. The only thing the Democrats can hope for is that enough people forget 9/11 before the election for them to win.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 10/22/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#12  AQ is very aware of US politics. They believe that they can weaken our resolve and run us out of the middle east. Their actions in that region are, and have been, calibrated to make it politically painful for US leaders to be there. September 11 hopefully changed this by forcing us to view our presence in the ME as worth the cost in blood, treasure and political capital. But AQ and other islamofascists are still betting they can prevail as they did in Mogadishu.
Posted by: JAB || 10/22/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||

#13  I guess we know how the memo got to the public now ;)

Yes, and if this memo were supposed to be confidential in any way, I hope it had some sort of "canary" built into it so the leaker can be arrested and slammed in jail.

We're at war; it's time we started acting like it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 13:49 Comments || Top||

#14  The only problem with this memo is that it misses the most critical premise: do current members of the government, at any level and in any branch, feel comfortable with the status quo? If they do, they need to be fired. There's a lot of work to be done, and the biggest handicap we have are people who are too stubborn, too stupid, or too deeply ingrained in the way things "have always been done" to make the necessary changes to meet the challenges we face. There needs to be a massive firing spree in DC and elsewhere, with new faces willing to do things that need to be done, instead of pissing and moaning about "we've always done it this way". That's what led to the problem in the first place.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 15:03 Comments || Top||

#15  I am not so sure they are aware of U.S. politics. If they were, then the timing of 9/11 was a major mistake. It would have better served thier purposes if GWB was not in office. Could this be a problem of contracting-out terrorist ideas and plans to cells without direct control?
It is hard to believe that UBL would have chosen to kill 3,000 Americans on Bush's watch instead of Clinton's.
Posted by: Sgt.DT || 10/22/2003 15:16 Comments || Top||

#16  It is hard to believe that UBL would have chosen to kill 3,000 Americans on Bush's watch instead of Clinton's.

He had no reason to believe Bush would be any different; the previous Bush had left Saddam in power and had not seized control of Kuwait's oil fields.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 16:21 Comments || Top||

#17  Rummy is a man among mice. Unfortunately, the mice control the entire Democratic party.
Posted by: someone || 10/22/2003 16:33 Comments || Top||

#18  About troop numbers there's hundreds of thousands soldiers laid off in the past few years in China,Nepal,Nigeria,Europe,Canada and Central America that can be screened,recruited and re-trained in short time by promising citenzenship after ten years of service. The US does this already but in a limited basis with immigrants.By placing already trained officer and NCOs over them and deploy them like the French Foriegn Legion we can bring most of the overseas troops home
Posted by: Observer 80 || 10/22/2003 19:00 Comments || Top||

#19  I don't see the memo as damaging at all and I doubt Rummy would care that much that it is on the street. I watched a facinating CSPAN show where the camera person tagged along with different members of Rummy's staff throughout the workday and conducted mini-interviews.

Most of what is in this memo was in the show as well. I liked watching Peter Pace explain what his function was. The camera person hung with Victoria Clark and you got a feeling for how the different meetings were arranged.

Rumsfeld is so active that his desk does not have a chair. I read some criticism in Rantburg the other day that implied that the DOD won the war and then just went status quo until the other day when oversight was handed to Condi Rice. That story didn't jibe with the flavor I got from CSPAN.

As for A'Quedas goals and strategy, someone on Rantsburg recommended this article called Al Qaeda’s Fantasy Ideology By Lee Harris. I found it enlightening and encouraging. Don't let any quagmire dwellers get ahold of this article as it would ruin Christmas.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 20:31 Comments || Top||

#20  Observer said:
About troop numbers there's hundreds of thousands soldiers laid off in the past few years in China,Nepal,Nigeria,Europe,Canada and Central America that can be screened,recruited and re-trained in short time by promising citenzenship after ten years of service

That isn't much different than what the Romans did when they became so ennervated that they wouldn't fight to defend themselves. This isn't a good idea at all.
Posted by: R. McLeod || 10/23/2003 1:26 Comments || Top||

#21  Why not I have no problem with other races
Posted by: Observer 80 || 10/23/2003 9:00 Comments || Top||


Middle East
A Moderate Muslim Speaks
From Memri:

EFL & Fair Use - read the whole thing - it’s a hoot.


Sheikh Mansour Al-Rifa’i ’Ubeid, formerly Egypt’s Under Secretary for Religious Affairs in charge of mosques and the Koran, wrote an article in the religious weekly Aqidati, which is published by the official Egyptian daily Al-Gumhuriya. The article titled "Treason and Deception are in Their Blood," attacks Jews. The following are excerpts from the article:(1)
"The Jews lived their whole lives in a nest of corruption, propagating vile and fighting virtue. Therefore, Allah - through the Prophets - cursed them throughout time because they constantly propagated treason, be it their way of life and their way of dealing with people... They worship and venerate money, using it to breed depravity and to raze values. Because of this Allah, be He praised, said [Koran 5: 78-79]: ’The heretics among the Israelites were cursed by David and by Jesus the son of Mary because they rebelled and acted violently. They did not counsel each other from committing evil, but [indeed] did it and therefore their deeds are sinful.’ Allah be He praised, did not curse all the Jews, since there is a group amongst them that has known Allah and believed in Him... Some of the Jews, though a minority, have decency and conscience.

"Among the [Jews’] foolhardy acts and false claims is their saying: ’We have no obligation towards the gentiles.’ [Koran 3: 75] Meaning, anyone who is not Jewish... has no rights and his money is fair game. [So] a Jew will not be condemned nor punished if he attacks a gentile. [And] if a gentile entrusts a Jew with money, and the Jew appropriates it - it is [considered] his right. Furthermore, according to them [i.e. the Jews], they [even] thank him for his deed, because the Jews are used to disavow the gentiles’ deposits. They know that the Torah instructed them to deal [honestly] with deposits but their deplorable nature and their selfishness make them twist the words of the Torah according to their wishes.
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/22/2003 10:41:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [317 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think this is what's called "projection".
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 23:01 Comments || Top||


Latin America
Colombian terrorists seek combat jets
From Geostrategy-Direct, requires subscription...
A unit of the terrorist group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, is attempting to purchase combat aircraft and helicopters to protect drug cartels, according to Brazil’s intelligence service.
That will make things interesting, and will up the ante, too.
The FARC 23rd Front, which controls exit routes used by the drug cartel headed by Diego Montoya Sanches, is attempting to purchase one combat aircraft and three light helicopters on the international black market, the Brazilian Internet newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo reported last week.
The newspaper stated that a British mercenary arrested in Dallas in August said he had been hired to buy a jet or turboprop aircraft for the FARC. I wonder how long they think that they could keep the a/c hidden before it is hit on the ground or blown out of the sky. The mercenary, David Brian Tomkins, was in Colombia in May and June and then in Rio in July.
He also attempted to buy three light helicopters that could be outfitted with rockets, machine guns and grenade launchers.
That should bring Blackhawks and other heavy iron in like flies on s--t to stomp them out.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/22/2003 9:23:46 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:


Mexico Reform Plan Eyes Voters, Campaigns in U.S.
EFL Rooters from Worldwire

This whole concept baffles me. It looks like Fox is calling for his own regime change through this initiative.

MEXICO CITY - President Vicente Fox is crafting a bill that would allow absentee voting by Mexico’s 10 million citizens living abroad, a move that could push Mexican election campaigns across the border into the United States.

Under current rules, Mexicans can only vote inside the country, a requirement that effectively disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of expatriates, many of them undocumented workers in the United States. It forces those who want to vote to pay for trips home and, for illegals, to undertake potentially dangerous efforts to sneak across the border.

Fox’s bill could change that, granting a long-sought political right to a migrant community that sends about $1 billion home to Mexico every month.

U.S. cities like Los Angeles and Chicago with large Mexican populations could see Mexican politicians flying in for stump speeches and putting up political billboards in Spanish.

But with the measure needing approval from Congress, Mexico’s parties are likely to do some old-fashioned politicking before deciding whether or not to back it.

With the status quo, money flows into Mexico without the contamination of ideas. Mexican workers in the US (green card or other) send huge amounts of cash to their families and just worry about the next day’s work and whether the family can afford to get Grandma hip replacement surgery in San Antonio.

Now Vincente is going to enfranchise a large number of voters that have contaminated by capitalist ideas and might want life in Mexico to be more like it is in the US. Sounds like a bad plan to me.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 9:01:38 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [429 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I like it! it announces their loyalties and delegitimizes the efforts to grant illegals the benefits of jumping the turnstiles over those applying legally. Those making the efforts to immigrate legally are what has made the country strong. Those sneaking in have little respect or "pride of ownership" when they get in via amnesties. Fox is doing us a favor, and the Donks a huge catastrophe when the mixed-loyalty argument comes up
Posted by: Frank G || 10/22/2003 21:09 Comments || Top||

#2  You stole my thunder, Frank. By voting, the illegals in the US are stating that they are Mexican citizens. I'm sure that the Donks will still try to get them on the voting rolls in the US. Duel er dual citizens, don't ya know.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/22/2003 21:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Mexican candidates have been campaigning for years in the U.S. for donations and support. The U.S. Latino/Chicano community is obviously one of the wealthiest and most influential communities in all of Latin America and they exert a lot of pull on the politics in their home countries.

Fox has been a disappointment. He was a pro-American, pro-business conservative and chumy with Bush. But obviously he's a politician and not above pandering to anti-Yanqui sentiment and pushing hard for every (wrong-headed) immigrant initiatives.

The WOT has meant that we've had little time to think about things in our own hemisphere. Much as they carp about Yanqui imperialist interference in their politics, there is nothing that they hate more than being ignored.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 10/22/2003 22:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Going to be interesting to see how this squares with CA driver's licenses and motor-votor...
Posted by: Pappy || 10/22/2003 23:37 Comments || Top||


Korea
Break-out the Rock Salt as S Korea slush scandal spreads
EFL BBC from Worldwire

South Korea’s main opposition has admitted it is implicated in a scandal that has already threatened the country’s presidency.
The Grand National Party (GNP) issued an apology after lawmaker Choi Don-woong said he had received 10bn won ($8.5m) from conglomerate SK Group prior to presidential elections last year. And good riddance to those dirty boys. That’s why they ended up in the opposition.

Prosecutors have already charged Choi Do-sul, a confidant and former aide to President Roh Moo-hyun, with taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from SK Group after Mr Roh won December’s presidential poll. Wait a minute, now what do we do. Where’s the next party. Neither of these two parties can be trusted...

The slush fund scandal has now engulfed all three of South Korea’s main political parties.

Also under interrogation is Lee Sang-soo, a member of a new reformist faction which recently broke away from the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP). Do we have a Reform Party?

President Roh is due to meet the leaders of four main political parties over the weekend to urge them to agree to his proposed referendum.

Each party has voiced opposition to the plan, concerned that it would be unconstitutional or a ploy to boost his support ahead of parliamentary elections in April.

The president is currently without a power base in the National Assembly. He split from his own party, the MDP, last month, after it was wracked by mass defections to other parties.

An MDP splinter group of Roh loyalists holds just 42 seats, compared to the 149-seat majority the GNP enjoys.

Mr Roh’s popularity ratings have plummeted from more than 80% to below 30%. Mr Roh needs a war pronto. Hey Kimmy, a little help for my main man in the south. Fire some of them there Silkworms so Mr Roh can look a little presidential.

He has been tarnished by political scandals, an economic recession, and tension over the South’s relations with the North and the United States.

Polls suggest that Mr Roh would survive a referendum.

Its worse in Kenya. The BBC has an article: Kenya’s biggest graft inquiry halted. Evidently, the judge for the inquiry was implicated.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 8:49:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [254 views] Top|| File under:


Middle East
Nablus: Bomb explodes prematurely in Hamas car
JPost - Reg Req’d Darwin’s law among the less-than-trained
One Hamas terrorists was killed and at least two other Palestinians were in a critical condition Wednesday night when a bomb they were carrying in their vehicle exploded in the northern West Bank town of Nablus, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said.
Bwahahaha
The three Palestinians were driving in a car in the eastern part of the city when the explosion took place shortly after 10pm local time.

The car was totally destroyed.

Palestinians named the Hamas terrorist killed as Raad Saad.
And I’m Real Saaaad too
Media reports said the men were traveling with at least one weapon and several small explosive devices, saying it was possible that one of the bombs had accidentally detonated.

The IDF said it was aware of the blast, but stressed the army was not involved in the incident.

Posted by: Frank G || 10/22/2003 7:59:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [672 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Don't you just hate it when you boom too soon?
Posted by: Stephen || 10/22/2003 20:22 Comments || Top||

#2  was it good for them? didn't think so

correctamundo stephen!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/22/2003 20:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Potholes will ruin your day when you're a bomber. They have drugs for that premature stuff.

Here's hoping for a kink in the IV tube of the morons who survived.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 21:18 Comments || Top||

#4  It doesn't get any better than this. Scratch two terrorists.

That's two more we don't have to remove forcibly later on.
Posted by: badanov || 10/22/2003 21:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Messing with armed explosives, especially with homemade triggering systems is REAL touchy. More of these work accidents indicates that Hamas is having trouble getting the good components and competent help is getting scarce. SDUs. Self-Destructive Units. All right.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/22/2003 21:36 Comments || Top||

#6  Do they still get the raisins? Does Mutual of Nablus pay the claim?
Too bad, so sad, Raad Saad.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 22:39 Comments || Top||

#7  Too bad, so sad, Raad Saad.
Sounds like one of those old Burma Shave signs along the highway,

Can't stay?
Won't pray?
Boom your
Troubles away.
Burma Shave
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 23:21 Comments || Top||


Africa: North
GSPC offers support to al-Qaeda
This is to be expected, now that they’ve merged. The Algerian gunnies are well on their way to even more international infamy than they’ve racked up ten years and 100,000 bodies after their civil war began.

An Algerian Islamic guerrilla group, which kidnapped 32 European tourists this year, offered its support to the al Qaeda network early on Thursday morning (NZT).


It was the first time the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) had publicly stated its backing for al Qaeda, and security experts in Algeria said it indicated they may collaborate in attacks.

Did these people miss all the "North Africans" who turned up in Europe earlier this year working for Zarqawi?

It was relatively unknown abroad until it claimed responsibility for kidnapping adventure tourists in separate incidents in the southern Algerian desert early this year.

That’s because most who run into the GIA or the GSPC generally don’t live to tell the tale ...

Although the GSPC has not publicly voiced support for Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network before, Algerian and US authorities have long suspected the two had links.

"We strongly and fully support Osama bin Laden’s jihad (holy war) against the heretic America as well as we support our brothers in Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Chechnya," GSPC leader Nabil Sahraoui, also known as Abou Ibrahim Mustafa, said in a communique obtained by Reuters.

And people still don’t believe that the Chechens or MILF are part of the terror network ...

Security analysts in Algeria said that in a change of strategy, linked to the recent removal of Hassan Hattab from the leadership, the GSPC was offering protection in Algeria to al Qaeda fighters and may also be planning fresh attacks.

"Sahraoui is the man who brought in a group of al Qaeda’s terrorists into Algeria a few months ago," a senior security specialist told Reuters.

Algeria’s armed forces have over the past year stepped up attacks on rebel pockets and, according to media reports, killed several members of al Qaeda.

They killed al-Qaeda’s ambassador last year, though I’m assuming he’s been replaced if Sahraoui is bringing in imports to fight for him. We also now have confirmation that Hassan Hattab is no longer the GSPC supremo.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 10/22/2003 4:28:35 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The GSPC is also flush with cash after Germany laundered 5 million Euros through Libya for the release of the Sahara hostages...
Posted by: seafarious || 10/22/2003 17:36 Comments || Top||

#2  The GSPC is also flush with cash after Germany laundered 5 million Euros through Libya for the release of the Sahara hostages...
Posted by: seafarious || 10/22/2003 17:36 Comments || Top||


Caribbean
Guantanamo Troops Must Surrender Laptops
EFL from Newsday

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Guantanamo troops are being ordered to surrender their laptop computers for security sweeps 72 hours before leaving the U.S. base in Cuba, officials said Tuesday.

The new security precautions were announced as a team of military investigators wrapped up their assessment of security gaps at the Guantanamo base where 660 suspected terrorists are being held.

The team arrived earlier this month after two interpreters and a Muslim chaplain were arrested on charges ranging from espionage to disobeying orders. Other security precautions were expected after the team briefed military officials at the base this week.

"We all recognize it’s a necessary process," said Army Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, detention mission spokeswoman. "There haven’t been any complaints."

Troops in the Joint Task Force, responsible for the detention mission, have been asked to surrender laptops they own and other personal items such as electronic organizers before departing the base. If the items clear inspection, they will be returned to the troops at the airport terminal.

Inspectors will be searching for classified materials or other documents meant to stay on the base. All personal information -- including e-mails or pictures -- can be viewed by inspectors.

"Everything on the hard drive would be accessible for security personnel to look at," Hart said.

Better late than never I guess. Hope they don’t seize the Playstations - that would be cruel an inhuman with GITMO social life being what it is.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 4:23:00 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front
Saboteurs attack Calif., Ore. transmission towers
Reuters, 10.21.03, 7:04 PM ETLOS ANGELES, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Environmental extremists could be involved in the attempted sabotage of two giant electricity transmission towers on Monday, the head of a California police department said on Tuesday.

Officials said a man Chicken. Stay and face down THE MAN, why don’t you?fled after he was discovered late Monday afternoon apparently removing nuts and bolts at the base of a transmission tower near Anderson in northern California.

About two hours earlier near Klamath Falls in Oregon, around 150 miles (240 km) north of Anderson, someone was discovered tampering with the base of another transmission tower, police and utility sources said.

"I think it is more than just a coincidence. It certainly has the overtones of some sort of domestic terrorist activity," Sounds like standard Enviromental "Protest" these days Anderson Chief of Police Neil Purcell Jr. said, adding he had turned the investigation over to the FBI.

Purcell said the three men who saw the man at the transmission tower near Anderson described him as an overweight white male with long gray hair and a beard wearing wire-rimmed glasses Check the names on the Fast Food lawsuit. He fled in a vehicle with Washington state plates.

The Western Area Power Administration, a federal agency, owned the transmission tower, part of a 115 kilovolt power line which carries electricity from two nearby hydropower dams.

WAPA spokeswoman LaVerne Kyriss said the agency had managed to repair the tower and said the incident was "very serious."

"We took care of that (the repair) immediately ... We don’t know if this is an isolated incident," she told Reuters.

The earlier incident in Oregon involved a transmission tower owned by Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp, a unit of Scottish Power Plc

Jackasses.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 10/22/2003 3:15:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [347 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...described him as an overweight white male with long gray hair and a beard wearing wire-rimmed glasses...

Damn! Another Jerry Garcia sighting!
...and no one had a camera!
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 15:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Hopefully they'll check the other towers in the vicinity.

And perhaps they'll eventually across some electrofried econutball along the way.
Posted by: eLarson || 10/22/2003 15:25 Comments || Top||

#3  New FOX special: "When Santa Claus Attacks!"
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 15:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Most of these are way out in the country. This perp was just lazy. Too lazy to try to sabotage one out of sight of the highway, I guess. Maroon!
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 10/22/2003 15:42 Comments || Top||

#5  "New job openings, hundreds to be hired! No experience necessary, will train. Security for high-tension power lines. Must be able to sit a horse for ten-twelve hours at a time, willing to spend days backpacking, must be able to work unsupervised. Horse, camping gear, rifle, and immunity-from-procecution card supplied. Apply at the Homeland Security office nearest you!"
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 15:50 Comments || Top||

#6  If one of these idiots actually knocks a tower over, the wires will probably set fire to the forest and burn up a bunch of spotted owls. Then we'll get treated to "news" stories on NPR on how "Bush's Forest Policies Kills Endangered Species."
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 10/22/2003 15:51 Comments || Top||

#7  overweight white male with long gray hair and a beard wearing wire-rimmed glasses

tu3031 - Damn, you beat me to it!

BTW, I saw about a dozen of these clones at the Dean rally in Copley Square last month, like it's a surprise.
Posted by: Raj || 10/22/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

#8  In spite of my glib comment, this really is a serious act of terror they're attempting. Taking down those towers would cause millions--if not billions--of dollars worth of damage along the west coast. That could seriously hinder the economy not just in the west but nationwide in the stock markets.

This is some serious terrorism way beyond the burning-down-housing-developments or spiking-trees scale, and I hope serious penalties are in place for those who attempt it.
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 15:58 Comments || Top||

#9  Not to mention the lives it would endanger.

The green/brown terrorists have gotten away with it for too long. Time for a MAJOR crackdown.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 16:15 Comments || Top||

#10  I had a different take on this. I thought somebody must have bounced a protection money check to the shiek of the lumberjacks.

Seriously, if this is ELF, then they are stupid because they don't have the training to work around high tension lines. I worked in a power plant; I think this one will take care of itself. The end result will be a pile of smoldering goo and a pair of boots.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 16:38 Comments || Top||

#11  Anderson is a small town. It probably wouldn't be difficult to form an armed citizen patrol.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/22/2003 17:02 Comments || Top||

#12  Motion sensors, ground-weight sensors, and a fast-response team with a helo gunship is my prescription.
Posted by: mojo || 10/22/2003 17:19 Comments || Top||

#13  Say it ain't so, Comic Book Guy!
Posted by: BH || 10/22/2003 17:30 Comments || Top||

#14  I think Comic Book Guy would be too much of a capitalist to do this. He uses all that electricity to make bootleg video tapes and download nekkid pictures of Captain Janeway.

Dar- Most of these types would be really happy with zillions of bucks worth of economic disaster. Just brings us close to the joyful luddite, short-lifespan, agrarian heaven they think we should live in.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/22/2003 17:44 Comments || Top||

#15  an overweight white male with long gray hair and a beard wearing wire-rimmed glasses

and

This perp was just lazy. Too lazy to try to sabotage one out of sight of the highway, I guess.

Doesn't sound like a hiking-out-of-sigh-of-highway type of guy, to me...
Posted by: snellenr || 10/22/2003 18:04 Comments || Top||

#16  Two of these incidents on the same day in the same area are a very unlikely coincidence. That they were 150 miles apart is a fair, though not definite, indication of an organized group being responsible.
It may or may not be part of a larger, and very ominous, trend: I believe that a dramatic increase in lethal violence is in the offing on the radical left. See my comments on a different string.

We will probably not see this before the end of primary season next year. The 2000 election provided a lot of practice for activists who seek to de-legitimize the democratic process (a necessary pre-condition for revolution).

The nomination of a "moderate" Democrat (Lieberman, Clark, etc.) as opposed to a left-appeaser (Kucinich, Dean), would lead to claims that the latter were cheated. This, in turn, rationalizes claims of dis-enfranchisement, a stereotyped rationale for violence and lawlessness in left-wing dogma.

If one of the radicals is nominated (an unlikely contingency), the big uprising will have to wait until the Dem candidate is humiliated in the general election.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 10/22/2003 21:35 Comments || Top||

#17  The worst thing these nutcases could do is to go violent. It will bring a violent counter-reaction (more likely, over-reaction) from the people who just want to live in peace. As long as the problems don't affect the average citizen, the average citizen keeps going about his business as if nothing's going on. But just as the case with Flight 93, and with the more recent passenger reactions to perceived threats, bringing down power lines, or causing death and destruction in the US among ordinary citizens, will cause the average citizen to say "enough"! When that happens, the left will be too stupid to get out of the way, and will be ripped apart, possibly even bodily. Do NOT mess with Joe Average - if he gets mad, the dogs of war won't just be loose, they'll be half-starved, whipped, maddened, frenzied, and ready to do some serious damage!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 22:57 Comments || Top||

#18  OP, these nutcases have already gone violent, but the press has been silently failing to connect the dots. Arsons, sabotage, threats, and pipe bombs are NOT peaceful protest.

We've been lucky that they haven't killed anyone yet, but that's mainly because they haven't really tried.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 23:13 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Majority of Palis support continuation of terror
Well, what did we expect? Hat tip LGF
Fifty-nine percent of Palestinians believe that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad should continue their armed struggle against Israel even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created, a new survey shows.
"For the Religion everything, for those outside the Religion, nothing."
Similarly, 80 percent of Palestinians say that, under those circumstances, the Palestinians should not give up the "right of return."
But most of them think the Israelis need to give up the right of respiration.
The poll of Palestinians, Israeli Jews, and Israeli Arabs was released in Washington on Wednesday by Itamar Marcus, founder of Palestinian Media Watch and written by pollster Frank Luntz. It was conducted by two polling firms, the Public Opinion Research of Israel and The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion.

The poll also examined Israeli and Palestinian attitudes towards the US and towards terrorism.

Nintey-six percent of Israeli Jews say the people who piloted the planes on September 11 were terrorists, while 37 percent of Palestinians share that view.
I take it most of those 37% believed it was laudable.
Slightly more than one in four - 26 percent - of Palestinians believe Israelis planned the 9-11 attacks.
Of course. Intellect is illegal there
Forty-two percent of Palestinians and 61 percent of Israeli-Arabs stated that they support the people who are attacking Americans in Iraq. Zero percent of Israeli Jews said they did.

Marcus said he believes such opinions are "not coming from a vacuum" and that the survey demonstrates a "connection between Palestinian media and education and Palestinian beliefs and opinions."
Plus the penalties associated with not deceiving oneself.
During the Iraq war, Palestinian Authority-sponsored television glorified the killing of American soldiers, a theme that has continued until now in various media, Marcus said.
Posted by: Atrus || 10/22/2003 1:45:44 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is anyone surprised? [no]

Will this persuade the Europeans/UN/other usual suspects to quit backing the "Palestinians"? [need I ask?]
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 10/22/2003 13:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Any poll on how they feel about retaliation? Got a feeling the numbers would be a little different...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 14:41 Comments || Top||

#3  "Forty-two percent of Palestinians and 61 percent of Israeli-Arabs stated that they support the people who are attacking Americans in Iraq"

Im surprised at that - while plenty of Israeli Arabs are far from moderate, for them to be that much more anti-US than Pals in the territories is rather surprising. Almost to the point of making me wonder about the poll in general.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/22/2003 14:44 Comments || Top||

#4  I think Israel needs more than a fence. A division of bulletproof bulldozers comes to mind.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 14:50 Comments || Top||

#5  That's why I'm skeptical about any lasting peace in that region. The booming will continue forever, until, like it says in the Apocalypse, if the final days were not shortened, there would be no one left alive.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/22/2003 15:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Glass.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/22/2003 15:57 Comments || Top||

#7  I still want to know why Congress wasn't debating a declaration of war after Arafat's thugs killed our ambassadors.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 16:19 Comments || Top||

#8  I shocked, SHOCKED! To see that the Paleos really are terrorists! The only answer is to wipe out 59% of them and then there will be peace. Also lets cut off ALL funding to the PA until such time they have stopped terrorists activity in areas that they control.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/22/2003 17:03 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Anti-missile system to use blimp 25 times larger than Goodyear’s
Special to World Tribune.com
GEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT.COM
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The United States has been developing what could become a new concept in destroying enemy ballistic missiles in their boost phase.

The concept calls for stationing a huge blimp out of enemy aircraft or missile range that would detect preparations for and launch of any enemy ballistic missile. The blimp would then relay the information to fighter jets that would shoot down the enemy launcher or missile.

The project has been sponsored by the Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency. The agency has awarded Lockheed Martin a $40 million design and risk reduction contract to advance a project to develop and demonstrate a prototype of a high-altitude airship that could remain in the air for one month.

Lockheed Martin executives said the airship would be 500 feet long, 160 feet in diameter and have a volume of 5.2 million cubic feet. This would be about 25 times larger than the blimps seen at athletic events.

"We share the Missile Defense Agency’s vision for the high altitude airship and the many roles it can serve over our domestic borders and distant theaters of operation," said Al Barber, vice president at Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors.

"Its long time on station and ability to carry different payloads will provide multi-mission capabilities not possible with other assets. When launched, the HAA will commence a new era in flight."

The project calls for the demonstration of the airship in 2006. The first phase of the project involves drafting a concept of an airship that can remain afloat for one month at an altitude of 65,000 feet. The facility would have a payload of two tons and provide 10 kilowatts of power.

Israel and the United States have been experimenting with BPI concepts since 1996. Israel had envisioned a network of unmanned air vehicles that could remain in the sky for several days at a time to monitor enemy ballistic missile activities.

But the Lockheed Martin project calls for one facility that would remain stationary. The airship would also have autonomous flight control capabilities.

In another development, two U.S. contractors have conveyed a proposal to the Pentagon to upgrade the E-8C aircraft into a system that would rapidly detect a missile launch as well as estimate its point of impact.

Northrop Grumman and Textron Systems drafted the proposal. Under the proposal, Textron would mount its Theater Airborne Warning System on the J-STARS [Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System] aircraft.

Sorry guys, but every time I read this, I keep looking for Doctor Evil. Besides, the folks at VillainSupply.com have beaten them to it:

"Stealth planes? Modern armored attack helicopters? Jets? Missiles? BAH! There was a time when supervillainy wasn’t about flashy hardware, but about sheer evil genius and its application against a timid populace; in other words, style mattered over technology. Those were the days of the evil zeppelin, and Steambender Industries LLC presents the latest in lighter-than-air malevolence: the Z313 Zeppelin of Death.
Armed with a patented Hypergauss Death Beam Cannon and air-to-air flak launchers, the Z313 features virtually flat payload/range curves for military airlift applications, i.e. very large cargo capacity is allied to low fuel consumption and very long endurance. The length of four 747s, the Z313 can carry 1,000 tonnes of cargo, and features sumptuous onboard accommodations designed with the supervillain in mind.* It can travel four times as fast as the world’s biggest cruise ship at a top speed of 110 knots; and can cross the Atlantic and back without refueling, with a 6,000 plus mile range. The zeppelin’s mylar-coated skin comes in a variety of fashion colors, and can be adorned with the logo of your cabal or evil NGO.

Price: US$50,000,000.
*other modern airships use cheap noncombustible helium, supposedly for safety purposes. The Z313 is filled with good old-fashioned hydrogen; this highly combustible gas can be detonated spectacularly by an obvious and accessible red self-destruct button on the bridge."


Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 10/22/2003 1:19:47 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sorry guys, but every time I read this, I keep looking for Doctor Evil.

The blimp will have a big "ORBITZ" logo on it.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/22/2003 13:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Who cares about the blimp.... I want to see the hangar.

Based at Moffett maybe?
Posted by: Shipman || 10/22/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#3  I guess it'll be a helluvalot bigger 'n the wind tunnel! And that puppy holds a 1/4 scale of the Shuttle. Peanuts. 8-)
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 14:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Didn't we discuss something similar to this here a month (or so) ago? It was in the Afghan loitering JDAM dispenser genre -- "paint it to look like clouds" -- Fred, let us know if you need help with the royalties...

I keep looking for Doctor Evil.

"Up in the sky, look at that huge..."
"Johnson! Isn't that a giant..."
"Woody!... usw... (only A.P. bit I can watch more than once...)
Posted by: snellenr || 10/22/2003 14:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Shipman -
Well, to put it in perspective: the Akron class dirgibles that the USN flew in the 30s were not quite 800 feet long, and they operated out of Moffett Field quite nicely - at 500 feet, the BMD Blimp will have more than enough room to operate. The same would go for Lakehurst.
Sadly though, the granddaddy of them all - the Goodyear Airdock in Akron, OH - is at this time not capable of handling airships, even though the BMD blimp could end up being built in Akron by Lockmart:
http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/business/6895449.htm

It's possible that the BMD Blimp could be built down at the Goodyear facility at Wingfoot Lake, where their blimp fleet is presently based - the WF hangar can take two fully inflated blimps at 200 feet each, with room to spare. The Airdock (there's actually two there, the big one everybody knows and a much smaller one that dates to 1910)had its southern end closed off towards the end of WWII when Goodyear was getting ready to build F2G Corsairs there. The northern end still opens - and they do so from time to time to make sure it works, it's a local event when it does - and the Airdock itself is used for storage of some pretty incredible stuff. When I was invited in there in 1990, one of the things sitting in there was the fullsized shuttlecraft mockup from the original Star Trek series.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 10/22/2003 14:28 Comments || Top||

#6  What about the USAF 747 that is being developed (last I heard) by Boeing and Lockheed that is to use a laser to knock down missles?
Posted by: Michael || 10/22/2003 14:30 Comments || Top||

#7  I sure hope this fares better than some of the other airship programs I've seen started, then dropped. We were going to build a fleet of 20 370-foot airships, each equipped with radar, IR imaging systems, and more, to patrol the US/Mexico border, but nothing ever happened. We were going to use the same airships off the coast of the US to stop drug smuggling, but nothing ever happened. We were going to use huge airships for ocean surveillance, but nothing ever happened.

Lot of good ideas, but the Heavier-than-Air boys rule the day, and put a lid on anything actually being done.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 15:16 Comments || Top||

#8  "Captain Scarlet, please report to Cloudbase immediately."
Posted by: Curt Simon || 10/22/2003 15:37 Comments || Top||

#9  The DEA has been using unmanned blimps to monitor drug-runners from Roosevelt Roads for a number of years.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 16:39 Comments || Top||

#10  Old Patriot,
I agree with your statement about heavier-than-air-crowd.Just because technology is old doesn't make it useless.One of US Army's problems is how to get armor to battlefield.If there were some heavy-lift dirigibles capable of carrying pallet w/4-6 M1s at a cruising speed of about 100mph(4-5
times faster than surface ships)you could put a batt. of armor anywhere in world in 24 hrs.When not needed deflate and store.
I am suprised the greens haven't started campaign to bring back steam engine transport(aka Stanley Steamers).Acceleration sucks,but what kind of acceleration do diesel buses and garbage trucks have,or need.The idea of steam power sounds insane,but...
Posted by: Stephen || 10/22/2003 16:59 Comments || Top||

#11  Based at Moffett maybe?

Last I heard, there was a plan afoot to dismantle Hangar One. And as I remember, the last time I passed by there I saw a couple of cranes all set up, probably for just that very purpose. (maybe I'll take a little trip out that way after work today just to see what's up)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/22/2003 17:06 Comments || Top||

#12  I would hope that the design includes compartmentalization. We don't need the Titanic of the air.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 18:42 Comments || Top||

#13  Slightly OT---Stephen---The Stanley steamer was a fascinating automobile. It still only got 12mpg, but it represents constant improvements in the steam engine, boiler, preheat, etc. Here is a nice link. Someplace on my computer I have a diagram of the process, if I can find it.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/22/2003 19:28 Comments || Top||


Latin America
Bolivia may be just the start
EFL National Post from World Wire

Wracked by deep social and racial divisions and plagued by profound economic problems, Bolivia has just passed through its worst crisis in two decades.

But it is the rest of Latin America that should feel uneasy.

Weeks of deadly clashes between government troops and indigenous peoples, leftist labour leaders and student groups saw Bolivia’s streets barricaded, its capital placed under siege and its elected president forced to flee.

While Bolivia’s revolution may be rooted in poverty, it is also anchored in racism and has a distinctly undemocratic leftist flavour.

After decades of being left out of the country’s power structure, Bolivia’s native peoples took the lead in weeks of violent protest that left dozens dead and the country paralyzed before former president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada finally resigned on Friday and fled to Miami.

The trigger for the massive street protests was a government plan to sell Bolivia’s natural gas to the United States and Mexico by exporting it to Bolivia’s archrival Chile. But the proposed pipeline project was a symbol for something much more troublesome -- the government’s inability to improve the economy or to transform a long entrenched culture of social exclusion that has effectively shut out the Indian majority.

Despite two decades of democratic reform and economic turmoil, Bolivia remains the poorest country in South America. Unemployment officially stands at 12% and six in every 10 people live on less than US$2 a day.

Agriculture, the backbone of the country, employs more than half the workforce but it accounts for only about 23% of the country’s gross domestic product. And only 2% of Bolivia’s land is arable.

For most farmers, who overwhelmingly are natives, the future holds hope for nothing more than a hardscrabble existence. Twenty per cent of indigenous children die before their first birthday and 14% more die before they reach school age.

Nearly two decades of economic liberalization, in which successive governments, under the guidance of the International Monetary Fund, have privatized public companies and mines and moved to modernize the oil and gas industries, has failed to improve the lives of ordinary people.

"The constitution is like a mirror, but we have never seen our faces reflected on it," says Felipe Quispe, a leader of the indigenous Pachakuti Party and one of the opposition leaders who led the street protests.

Evo Morales, a fiery leftist opposition leader of Aymara Indian descent and another leader of last week’s rebellion, wants to see the creation of a constitutional assembly of Indian people to create a new Indian-led government.

Mr. Morales lost Bolivia’s past election by just 1% of the vote to the now-deposed president, Mr. Sanchez de Lozada. Rather than wait for another turn at the polls in 2007, he jumped at the opportunity to lead a mob in the streets.

In the past, Mr. Morales has said, "Latin America must build many Cubas" and has promised "oil and gas must return to the Bolivian people."

In Miami, Mr. Sanchez de Lozada charged: "Democracy is under siege by co-operative groups, political groups and unions that don’t believe in it."

He angrily predicted the alliance of Indian coca growers and leftist labour leaders that forced him to resign may lead to "a narco-labour government that could lead to the disintegration of the country."

By removing Bolivia’s president through street protests, democracy may already be damaged right across Latin America.

Huge swaths of Central and South America are vulnerable to just the same combination of opportunistic populism, economic despair and racism. Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Mexico and most of Central America all have racial and class tensions similar to those of Bolivia.

Indigenous movements may already be reshaping Latin America’s political arena.Bolivia’s revolution could be the spark that ultimately ignites something far more significant than a simple reform movement.
Like many Americans, I don’t pay much attention to South America. I think that we are going to discover that that is a big mistake here shortly.

Another article of interest is from Newsday: Dumping of Bolivian President Not Unusual
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 1:08:50 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In the past, Mr. Morales has said, "Latin America must build many Cubas

Now there is something to look forward to. But I guess from Mr. Morales POV, getting to be another Castro wouldn't be too bad.
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Of course, B, if you're "another Castro" you get gifts, visits, and all sorts of perks from America's Democrat party.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 13:46 Comments || Top||

#3  That explains Clinton's cigar fetish, RC...
Posted by: Raj || 10/22/2003 14:32 Comments || Top||

#4  George HW Bush, William J Clinton and George W. Bush have all dropped the ball in Latin America since the end of the cold war. We've ignored them instead of weeding out the last vestiges of communism by enforcing reforms along with a constant pushing of capitalism and democracy.
Posted by: Yank || 10/22/2003 15:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Nearly two decades of economic liberalization, in which successive governments, under the guidance of the International Monetary Fund, have privatized public companies and mines and moved to modernize the oil and gas industries, has failed to improve the lives of ordinary people.

Graft and corruption.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/22/2003 17:26 Comments || Top||

#6  I remember staying overnight with a player on an opposing hockey team in Missisagua, Ontario when I was a kid. I came home and asked my dad why the kid had long hair and was really in to KISS while all the kids in my Junior High had graduated on to STYX. My dad explained that the Candians just found out that Americns wore their hair long in the 60's. It was 1978 at the time.

Is it possible that the news that the demise of the communist/socialist type of economy has not reached South Americ yet?
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 19:04 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Kerry claims U.S. botched deal with France/Russia on eve of war.
Senator John F. Kerry (A proud Vietnam Vet) declined to provide specifics yesterday about his televised comment Monday night that French and Russian officials at the United Nations were poised to compromise with the Bush administration on the eve of the Iraq war. In a brief interview in Manchester yesterday, Kerry said that he believed his information was solid and that he intends to focus on the issue in the coming weeks as he continues to critique President Bush’s foreign policy and attempts to distinguish himself from the eight other Democrats running for the White House. "I have it on the highest authority" that the French and Russians were prepared to make an offer at the UN, but were rebuffed by American officials intent on going to war, Kerry said. "I’m going to talk about it more publicly at a later time."
Hey I am just running this up the flagpole to see if this has any traction.
He would not disclose details of the position the countries, which opposed the US-led military offensive, were prepared to take or identify the source of the information. For weeks, Kerry has been seeking to clarify his position on the war in Iraq, which he voted to support in the Senate but which he has criticized since the spring as poorly planned.
Heck I never thought he would actually do something.
He has tried to focus attention on the UN’s role in the conflict. Kerry has said he would have preferred that the United States pursue more diplomacy before the war and seek a UN vote supporting the use of force against President Saddam Hussein of Iraq.
The U.N. is known so well for diplomacy/appeasement. I hear that Clinton was the source of this information. He found out after the meeting that he declared Al Queda was the biggest threat to the U.S. Does anyone really believe anything that the French/German/Russian say? Oh I forgot John F. Kerry (D-Vietnam Vet) believes!

People who make the charge that we don't pursue diplomacy just as assiduously as we pursue military action simply don't read the papers.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/22/2003 1:07:58 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [254 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kerry's a vet? [/sarcasm]
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Wasn't Kerry the one who slaughtered all the civilians?
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 13:18 Comments || Top||

#3  John Kerry is French. You can tell just by looking at him! This will get tons of attention and disappear in a few weeks siince no evidence was given.
Posted by: Charles || 10/22/2003 13:18 Comments || Top||

#4  Charles: keep your liberal garbage on YOUR side of
the Atlantic, at least while I haven't crossed it.

BTW: John Kerry is supposed to be a Vienam Vet. Anyone knows if he was Vietcong or if he was NVA?
Posted by: JFM || 10/22/2003 13:29 Comments || Top||

#5  "I have it on the highest authority" that the French and Russians were prepared to make an offer at the UN, but were rebuffed by American officials intent on going to war, Kerry said.

KERRY LIED!!

Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/22/2003 13:29 Comments || Top||

#6  The big question -- is this classified information that Kerry was told in his official capacity in the Senate? If so, was it declassified, making it permissible to talk about it? If it wasn't declassified, then shouldn't this spell the end of Kerry's political career and the beginning of his career as a convict? Will the lefties who hyperventilated over the Plame leak twitch an eyebrow over this?

If it's not something he was officially told, where's the claim coming from?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 13:41 Comments || Top||

#7  How could Clinton be the source? Kerry is referring to diplomatic exchanges in March 2003, not to Clintons statements of January 2001.

Its got to be either a Bush Admin source (somebody in the state department?)or a russian or french source. I hope for Kerry's sake hes not relying on a Russian or French source.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/22/2003 13:44 Comments || Top||

#8  when are the dems going to understand what the iraq war was about. it had nothing to do with the un or wmd. we had to do this to show our enemies that were not weak (a perception they have of us because of billy). iraq was the logical choice, biggest, baddest guy on the block who was intent on causing us harm one way or another. right in the middle of our enemies and they took notice. but they are getting their balls back escpecially with all our dems running around stating how we fucked up. has anyone noticed the increase in attacks in iraq? there is a def link between what our politicians say here and the actions of syria, iran and sods.
Posted by: Dan || 10/22/2003 13:48 Comments || Top||

#9  And I'm supposed to care what that French-looking idiot says - why, exactly?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 10/22/2003 13:56 Comments || Top||

#10  For one thing, Barbara, he's running for President of the United States. That means he's getting his point across not only in the US but throughout the entire world. When an idiot speaks and no one hears, no damage is done. When an idiot blabs to the entire world, it's kinda hard to say "no harm, no foul".

Kerry is a perfumed idiot who has pandered a single line into a political career: "I'm a Vietnam Vet". So am I, but I'm not an idiot on top of it.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 14:02 Comments || Top||

#11  Couple of points. First it was Senator Bob Kerry who was involved in the massacre of a Vietnamese village. He was a Seal, lost his leg in Vietnam, and I think dropped out of politics after the story came out.

Bob Kerry went up against Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 1992 and John Kerry attacked him for trying to use his war record against Clinton, saying it was irrelevant.

The interesting thing is John Kerry seems to indicate any deal, would have been preferable to going into Iraq without an additional UN vote.
Posted by: Yank || 10/22/2003 15:22 Comments || Top||

#12  B:

"Wasn't Kerry the one who slaughtered all the civilians?"

I think that was supposed to be Bob Kerry, the other politico-named-Kerry-who-was-decorated-in-Vietnam.

They need to give us a program or something to keep these guys straight.


Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 10/22/2003 15:26 Comments || Top||

#13  Kerry's source is allegedly a man.. and looks rather similiar.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/22/2003 15:47 Comments || Top||

#14  John Kerry is defending the French, which is not likely to make him real popular with the electorate.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/22/2003 16:03 Comments || Top||

#15  By Feb.2003 it was obvious the Bush administration would not agree to any plan that left Saddam in power.If France had any "plan" that agreed to peaceful removal of Saddam w/out war it would have been leaked/revealed long ago to discedit Bush administration.The details of this "plan" are probably more of pre-March bs;Saddam agrees to unlimited inspections(w/details meaning what unlimited means to be worked out later)and gets reduction in embargo.S.O.S.
Posted by: Stephen || 10/22/2003 16:40 Comments || Top||

#16  I don't think Kerry is French. Just before he began his presidential campaign, he discovered his jewish background... Must be part of the consp... Move along. Nothing to see here. Approved candidate. Shake his hand. Move along.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 16:42 Comments || Top||

#17  BTW,this is Kerry who keeps marring rich women-
latest ib French.
Posted by: Stephen || 10/22/2003 16:42 Comments || Top||

#18  I don't think Kerry is French.

-apparently he isn't Irish either; (this just came out). Although he never corrected that assumption amongst his Irish-American constituents in Boston. He just recently said that "he never claimed to be Irish" though most folks thought he was.

I know he is a silver star recipient for his actions on extracting a SF team. He was the C.O. of a brown water navy p.t. boat apparently. I respect his service but am not impressed by his lame & tired campaign tactics.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/22/2003 19:14 Comments || Top||

#19  I keep wondering how long it's gonna take before Mrs. Ketchup decides to pull the feeding tube on this losers campaign.
I hear he got his inside dope from Grady Little.
Yeah, I'm still bitter...
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/22/2003 19:33 Comments || Top||

#20  Carl in N.H. 2003 : Thanks for clarifying that. If I was Dean, I'd start circulating the Bob Kerry story around, secure in the knowledge that plenty of people would simply ass.u.me they are one in the same.
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 20:26 Comments || Top||


Every Soldier a Rifleman
As Democratic presidential candidates trade sound-bite complaints about the Army being overextended in Iraq, one man in a position to make changes has announced a plan that could genuinely improve the Army’s predicament.
Donald Rumsfeld also proposed changes a while ago, but I haven’t heard anything since.
Schoomaker plans to fix the situation by taking the existing pool of soldiers and dividing them into 48 brigades instead of the current 33, according to Defense News. He will also re-train the troops to turn all soldiers into riflemen first, specialists in logistics and other subfields second. The reorganization will mark the most fundamental change in Army combat organization since the 1950s, and soon after it is implemented should relieve the Army’s current overextended state, by improving the ratio of soldiers deployed overseas relative to those at home.
Stealing the Marines’ playbook. About time too.
Though it might appear that Schoomaker is merely making an accounting change, he’ll actually have a deep impact. The main elements of Schoomaker’s reorganization:
1. Increase the number of brigades: Schoomaker plans to take the Army’s 33 maneuver brigades and spread their personnel across 48 brigades. He’ll then take support brigades — those that do artillery, supply and maintenance, for the most part — and sprinkle their personnel across the 48 as well. This will push support roles down to the brigade level.
I hope they’ll implement this along with Rumsfeld’s proposal to convert support personnel into combat. The current ration of 85% support to 15% combat soldiers is just insane.

2. Make every soldier a rifleman: The support troops in the new brigades will have to be more versatile as soldiers. Where under the current structure troops have completed basic training then gone immediately into their specialized fields of logistics, etc., the new structure will require a higher level of combat proficiency from each soldier.
Damm right.
To be sure, there may be some problems with the reorganization, which increases the mixture of weapons and functions at a lower level of the force. The changes will require a ramping up of training for soldiers, so that all can be skilled in combat arms. Commanders who previously dealt only with combat troops will now need to lead logistics and other supporting forces as well. And training support soldiers, who will now be spread across 48 brigades instead of concentrated in their own few brigades, will be decentralized and thus made more complicated.
Descentralizing a big organization usually makes things less complicated, not more.

This is the same economy of scale argument that see-saws back and forth, year by year. There are advantages to having support deployed at the brigade level, but there are other advantages to having support held centrally. For instance, the centralized supply and repair depot can maintain a larger and more varied parts inventory. Specialized skills — the kind that might get called upon from one brigade once or twice a year — can be kept efficiently employed servicing a number of widespread units. Think engine overhauls, for instance.

There are also the problems of command specialization. Maneuver brigade commanders concentrate on moving and shooting. They already have a certain number of supply and maintenanc people attached, but it's a minimal thing, just enough to keep moving (I'm assuming things haven't changed much since my day, back in the Paleolithic...) Taking a 3- or 4 battalion maneuver brigade and tacking on artillery and additional support battalions makes it not a brigade; it makes it a regiment, like the Soviets used to organize around, and like the Army used in WWII. Over the course of years, we've come to rely on the flexibility of the brigade concept, and we've moved away from the regimental idea. We've concentrated the bulk of direct support at division level because it's allowed us to task organize on the fly, rather than cross-leveling among subordinate regiments. Heavy (or heavier) maintenance is also concentrated at division level, for the same economy of scale reasons.

I think the ultimately workable solution is a separate supply and maintenance service, with military organization and maybe pay, but without the combat functions, for rear echelons — maybe corps and above, plus theater-level supply and maintenance depots and stateside. (A lot of these jobs are done by contractors now, by the way, and a few are sometimes done at division level.) I know the rear echelons can shift and in modern warfare there are no rear areas, but there are areas that are more secure and less susceptible to attack. (In that respect, there weren't any "rear areas" in WWII, either, at least not until we had absolute air superiority. Even though Saigon or Danang were susceptible to rocket attacks and sabotage, they were considerably more secure than, say Camp Carroll or the Rock Pile.) Training and maintaining the brigade and division-level supply and maintenance people as riflemen makes sense — though keep in mind that infantry tactics nowadays have moved away considerably from the rifleman in the trench. Training and maintaining the guys in the rear areas who're never going to see combat isn't cost-effective.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/22/2003 8:03:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Excellent article - and the logic behind Schoomaker's plan seems solid. I hope it proves true in the implementation. There are far more good guys than gutless Weasley Clark political climbers in this incarnation of the Army, so the odds are pretty good. Restructuring is inevitable in the face of changing conditions and missions. And without a doubt, at the individual's level, the jarheads have this one right! I hope the redeployment plans free up some garrisoned troops to go with this plan. Thx for the post!
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 8:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Why reorganize around Brigades? Why not go back to the Regimental structure (currently, Brigade = Regiment, but without the name and link to history) - there is a lot of history there that could be useful for morale purposes. Current battalions have a "regimental link", but battalions from different "regiments" are combined to form a Brigade. Just reform the Regiments.
Posted by: Spot || 10/22/2003 8:49 Comments || Top||

#3  This is a pretty logical reorganization, given that brigades now appear to have more firepower than divisions used to, just decades ago. Note that in the recent conflict, brigades sliced through entire Iraqi divisions like a knife through butter.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/22/2003 9:32 Comments || Top||

#4  I think they are missing something: operational mobility. The Armed Forces need a higher Airlift/Sealift capacity to become a true global menace. (Menace to our enemies of course.)

Note: Liberalhawk; I've posted the defense of yesterday's comment on my website.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/22/2003 9:47 Comments || Top||

#5  The current ration of 85% support to 15% combat soldiers is just insane.
Sorge--I'm curious about your reasoning on that. One reason there is such a lopsided ratio is because modern combat requires so much more supplies than it used to. Automatic weapons go through ammo much faster, and the introduction of vehicles--land and air--added the requirements of fuel, spare parts, repair and recovery units, etc. Not too mention the expanded medical facilities, creature comforts, engineers, yada yada yada.

Then, take into account that we're one of only a handful of nations prepared to deploy and fight anywhere around the world, which only adds to the logistical needs.

This is intended as a criticism--I'm just curious why you feel that ratio is something that needs to be changed?
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 10:01 Comments || Top||

#6  I believe Rumsfeld's biggest contribution to-date (solely in terms of hardware) has been his commitment to the "No Soldier is a Crusader crewman" principle. Apart from its similarity in size to Fred Silverman's "SuperTrain" concept, I'm envisioning the collective anguish-yodel that would sound when the Pentagon announced the shipment of several U.S. Crusader brigades to the Middle East...
Posted by: snellenr || 10/22/2003 10:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Dar: More GIs shooting IS more enemies dying, yeah?
Posted by: Lu Baihu || 10/22/2003 10:18 Comments || Top||

#8  Lu--Um, yes, but how does that address the 85/15 ratio? 15% of 100,000 is 15,000, and 15% of 200,000 is 30,000, so should we just expand the military by a few hundred thousand to get more shooters, in your opinion?
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 10:43 Comments || Top||

#9  The current ration of 85% support to 15% combat soldiers is just insane.

Depends on what you mean by a combat soldier. American troops have a lot of assets at their fingertips, compared to even the British. The American combat infantryman's job is not to use his rifle to take out the enemy - it's to draw out the enemy so that he can be pounded to pieces by artillery (tube, rocket or flying). The support units cited probably include artillery and MLRS as well, since they stay well back from the front. The supply train for artillery units is probably significant as well. Given the extent to which we use area weapons (i.e. bombs and shells) to destroy the enemy, I'm not surprised about this ratio. Logistical demands for units equipped with attack (Apaches and Hueys) and transport (Blackhawks) helicopters are also non-trivial. Helicopters are even more maintenance intensive than fixed wing aircraft - note how many people are in the Air Force (hundreds of thousands) compared to how many aircraft are actually flying (thousands). But this emphasis on firepower is a good thing - this was why we sustained casualties at a much slower rate than the Soviets during WWII - we used shells while they used men.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 10/22/2003 10:46 Comments || Top||

#10  Basic now is much different then in 1974,In 74 we were not taught hand-to-hand,etc.,pugal sticks had been eliminated.Check out one of the History or Discovery Channels Documentories on military basic training,you old dogs will see the difference.After Basic the only time I picked-up a weapon was for gaurd duty and even then with no magazine,part of this time in Korea.
One of the greatest mistakes is support personel are given very little combat training after Basic.I believe basic should be longer,currently Basic training for the Army is 6.8 weeks as opposed to Marine Basic wich is 12 weeks.I believe that Army Basic should be at least 12 weeks with the last 4 weeks dedicated to Advanced Infantry Training.With a 4 week refresher training/year at a minimum.
One of my young cousins got back from Iraq a couple months ago(Army Reserve).He is truck driver and complained that almost as soon as he got in theater the Army stuck a rifle in his hand and assigined him to a combat unit.Guess he did not realize that a soldier's Primary MOS is 11b30(11bush).
He was part of the same convoy as Pvt.Jessica Lynch(I could swear she was one of the trainies I saw on one of those docus I mentioned above)
Posted by: Raptor || 10/22/2003 11:01 Comments || Top||

#11  "More shooters" doesn't necessarily hold true.
In the Air Force, only a very small number actually fire anything. The tooth/tail ratio is much lower. Steve denBeste wrote an excellent article on the subject, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

In conducting offensive maneuvers, you want to be able to concentrate capability into an unstoppable thrust. Armor works well in this regard because it concentrates the capabilities of the support personnel into a small focus. On the other hand, in attrition or defensive operations, armor gets chewed pretty heavily.

Another point is that the objective of war is not necessarily to kill the enemy. It is far more effective to force the enemy to surrender. Without basic supplies (like food) an army very quickly ceases to exist.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/22/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||

#12  Zhang Fei

"Only a very brave man would NOT be a hero in the Red Army" Stalin

One of the reasons the Soviets suffered horrific casualties (even after Stalingrad) was their method for clearing minefields: sending people. Another one was their abyssal health service.
Posted by: JFM || 10/22/2003 12:03 Comments || Top||

#13  Dar--Many rear positions can be moved to the civilian sectors, security guards at bases, for example. Others should be integrated into the combat units--like certain intelligence-gathering capabilities. I believe the Army needs some old-fashioned MOS increased; such as MP's (who might see as much combat as infantry), Infantry itself, and short-range artillery. (Short-range artillery being useful in mountain warfare.)
Posted by: Sorge || 10/22/2003 12:31 Comments || Top||

#14  With all the known benefits of British-style Regimental system I have often wondered why no reformer hasn't tried introducing it in US Army.
Turn brigades into Regiments w/6 batt. sized units.3 combat,1 recon,supporting arms(art.,mortars,mlrs,etc.)and Regimental Support Sq.
(medical,eng.,supply,etc.).Soldiers assigned to Regiment stay in Regiment.The problem of Regimental insularity would be cured by tours w/Rangers,assorted Command schools,"aggressor"
units,schools,training units,etc.For every 6 or so combat Regiments a support Regiment.I would also break up Army Reserves and instead have a reserve company for each combat batt. and equivalent reserves for Regt.Support Squadrons.

Posted by: Stephen || 10/22/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#15  Sorge--I see some of your points, but I am very wary about migrating some jobs to civilian sectors. Civvies can choose to walk out or strike without notice, and the recent experience in Iraq in which insurance rates were too high for contractors to work there is also a problem. Additionally, civilians aren't required to adhere to the same code of conduct or COMJ.

I understand you're talking about positions in the rear, which I understand to mean here in the States, since there really is no "rear" in the areas like Afghanistan or Iraq. However, in times of crisis (e.g. another 9/11 attack), I wonder how many civvies in such positions would stick to their posts instead of saying, Screw it! and going home to their families. I certainly wouldn't trust them in anything but non-essential positions like many are now (food service, custodial duties, etc.).
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 13:14 Comments || Top||

#16  Question: Will this mean more riflemen or just the same over-stretched bunch of line doggies we have right now?

A buddy of mine whose boyfriend serves in the Old Guard claims that things have gotten tough enough that even those guys are going to be shipping out for Iraq, after a stop by Fort Polk for urban combat training.
Posted by: Hiryu || 10/22/2003 13:32 Comments || Top||

#17  I think anyone serving outside the continental US or Alaska should be given combat orientation and taught a bit about small unit tactics before being deployed - that includes Air Force flyboys as well as Navy seamen. If nothing else, it'll give them a better idea what the guy in the foxhole or Humvee has to put up with ALL the time. In the time of war or conflict, drafting these folks for perimeter defense won't be such a stress for them, if they've had that much training.

I'm an old southern farm boy, so I've hunted most of my life - since I was five or so with my dad, finally 'graduating' at 13 or 14 to hunting on my own. When the Army grabbed the five of us Air Force enlisted for perimeter duty one day in Vietnam, I was the only one that had actually had much experience with guns. Two of the guys were from New Jersey and California, and had only fired weapons during basic training - not even on getting orders for Vietnam (mistake - they were SUPPOSED to, but the range was closed for some reason).

Combat is NOT something people should be forced to learn by "total immersion".
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 13:47 Comments || Top||

#18  One of the ways that the Navy dealt with a massive drawdown of forces during the Clinton years was to decommission most of the oilers and tenders and outsouced the work. My second ship was the USS Yellowstone(AD-41), a destroyer tender that was decommisioned in 1994.

The end result worked pretty well. I'm sure there were some sustainability issues, but the tooth to tail ratio improved and ships continue to deploy sucessfully.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 14:55 Comments || Top||


Iran
Parvin Darabi: Open Letter to Shirin Ebadi
The day we, at Dr. Homa Darabi Foundation, a human rights organization defending the right of women against religious, cultural and social abuse, heard the news of an Iranian woman winning the Nobel Peace prize for 2003, were elated with joy. People called and emails kept coming congratulating us for such a great honor bestowed upon our countrywoman. We even cried with joy. Then we started reading the news and interviews with you Mrs. Ebadi and our joy was reduced to sorrow and despair. We stayed quiet for a while but we feel that it is time for us to speak.

Ms. Darabi is so nice, she waited this long to denounce, and in the meantime I was the only kook out there speaking against the nice Iranian woman. Grrrr.

Didn¹t you defend the mother of a 7 years old girl who had been killed by her father and stepbrother? And, weren¹t you disgusted by the Islamic laws that allow a father to kill his own daughter? We still have the tape of the interview you had with CNN where you called the judge and the Islamic court the shame of humanity. How is it that all of sudden they conform with humanity?

Because Islam and the prophet have to be, must be, blameless. Otherwise, she would have to rely on reason.

We are also puzzled why did you remove your Islamic hijab in Europe? If hijab is such a good thing then why did you not wear it in Europe? Why do you have to wear it in Iran? Isn’t it the fact that you are forced to wear hijab in Iran based on Islamic laws against the laws of human rights? Or you wear the hijab in Iran because the Iranian men (mostly Muslims) are wild animals and you need protection from them? Or is it because you are a woman afraid for her life?

Ebadi claimed it was because she respected the laws of Iran. It would be more credible if she also denounced said law as unjust.

We would appreciate to know what Islam do you practice? Wasn¹t it Islam that fired you from your appointed position as a judge bestowed upon you at such an early age (since you are 56 years old now and Iran has been an Islamic Republic for the past 25 years then you must have been in your late twenties, barely out of university, when you were appointed a judge) by the late Shah of Iran? If Islam is such a tolerant and peaceful religion shouldn¹t you have been a practicing judge instead of a legal aide? Didn¹t you read the Islamic requirements for a judge? For your information Mrs. Ebadi we have it stated here, taken from Khomeini¹s book. Since you do not seem to be bothered by Islam and Khomeini then you may agree with him.

Jimmah Carter made the blunder of the century by withdrawing support from the Shah of Iran. Carter is by far the worst president we’ve EVER had.

The Islamic requirement for a judge is that "the person have reached puberty, know Koranic laws, be just, not have amnesia, not be a bastard and not be of a female sex."

Ebadi is one of the few non-mythical ’moderate Muslims’ we hear about. ’Moderate Muslim’ is just not good enough.

That is why you were removed from your position as a judge and allowed to work as a legal aide, not even as an attorney. We hear that you don¹t mind a human being¹s value be measured against the value of camels and cows as long as it is the same number of cows and camels for both men and women. We hope you do disagree with the Islamic laws that values a man¹s left testicle more than a woman¹s life, don¹t you?

Basically, Mrs. Ebadi is the Erin Brockovich of Iran (pseudoreasoning included.) How nice for the Mullahs.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/22/2003 7:47:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "If Islam is such a tolerant and peaceful religion shouldn¹t you have been a practicing judge instead of a legal aide? Didn¹t you read the Islamic requirements for a judge?"

Maybe cause she doesnt beleive that the positions of the ayatollahs who rule Iran actually represent Islam. OR if she does, she has enough sense not to say so. Since she actually wants to pull off a revolution, not sit in exile and make faces. If I was Khatami,id be much more pleased about whoever wrote this stuff than about Ebadi. Someone screaming that Islam is evil is not going to achieve regime change in Iran, not in a hundred years. Hell,if I were Khatami I'd send the Darabi Foundation money, they keep making the point I want to make - my opponents hate Islam.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/22/2003 9:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Note - I meant Khameni, not Khatami. Bad enough they have a dual govt, do the names have to sound so much alike:) ?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/22/2003 10:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Sorge-
I'll agree that Carter is quite stupid. But you don't think the Shah would have been overthrown by Khomeini anyway regardless of our support?
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/22/2003 11:01 Comments || Top||

#4  Ominous--with our support, he would have had a fighting chance. I don't believe in inevitability, had the Shah counted on us, an old-fashioned repression/fracturing campaign could have worked.
Posted by: Sorge || 10/22/2003 12:21 Comments || Top||

#5  Besides, Ominous, if Carter had the courage and the needed ruthlessness, he could have assisted the Shah in pulling the "Hanse Davion" trick.

FYI: For those who don't get the reference, in the novels written about the "Battletech" wargame, Prince Hanse Davion had a problem of 'turbulent priests', more or less. He arranged to slow them down and gain some desperately needed time by having a tanker truck full of highly toxic insecticide crash near their headquarters.

Strikes me that this sort of 'accidental' incident would prove rather useful the next time there's a meeting of the "kill 'em all, let Allah sort 'em out" Islamic Idiots...

"Whoops! Sorry, didn't THINK that the chemical plant would leak that badly.. did anyone in the conference center survive? No? What great.. err.. TERRIBLE! Yeah, what TERRIBLE news!"

Heh.

Ed Becerra
Posted by: Ed Becerra || 10/22/2003 15:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Ed, have you read this BBC article? It sounds like the nuclear capitulation has actually caused some rifts in Iran. I can't tell whether there is actual discord or this is being overblown by the BBC - hopeful that there really are moderates in Iran.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 15:15 Comments || Top||

#7  Ed, Sorge- I thought we were backing a losing horse with the Shah, but wanted to understand the reasoning behind thinking otherwise. Thanks.

Ed- I thought that Davion name sounded familiar.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/22/2003 17:33 Comments || Top||

#8  Sorge, you're wrong -- Buchanan was the worst President ever. He let SC secede from the Union. Carter is a runner up, though.
Posted by: Brian || 10/22/2003 20:03 Comments || Top||


Home Front
What’s Wrong With the CIA (Analysis)
Herbert E. Meyer Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003
EFL and Fair Use
The following is adapted from a lecture at a Hillsdale College seminar titled “The History, Purpose and Propriety of U.S. Intelligence Activities,” held on Sept. 14-18, 2003.
It’s obvious that something is wrong with the CIA. The 9/11 attacks were, by definition, the worst intelligence failure in our country’s history. More recently, we have had trouble locating Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and have been consumed by the flap over whether the CIA signed off on President Bush’s accurate observation in his State of the Union speech that British intelligence believes Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase uranium ore in Niger.

In each of these cases, the CIA was asleep at the switch, not quite on the ball, or tossing a banana peel under the president’s feet. In the midst of a war in which intelligence must play a central role, we need a CIA that is razor sharp and playing offense, not one that blindsides the country or embarrasses the commander-in-chief. So what’s the problem? Before answering this question, we need to acknowledge two points:
First, intelligence is the riskiest, toughest business in the world. Compared with trying to project the future of world politics or discovering a country’s most closely guarded secrets, day trading in the stock market is child’s play and exploring for diamonds is a piece of cake. In the intelligence business, no one gets it right every time – or even most of the time – and it’s easy to take potshots at honorable people who are doing their best under difficult circumstances.

The second point is that the CIA employs some of the hardest working and most decent men and women I have ever known. They are absolutely wonderful; we are lucky to have them and we owe them our gratitude.
Problems in Structure and Culture
The problem with the CIA lies within its structure and culture. It doesn’t match the task, because the analytic side of intelligence is unlike any other function of government. It is unlike budget-making, diplomacy, or the setting of policy for trade or agriculture. Intelligence is like science, which means that success depends utterly on having the most brilliant people studying a problem. Only they will know how to go about finding the right answer – and how to communicate it clearly and early enough to make a difference. As geniuses like Albert Einstein and Jonas Salk remind us, in science there is no substitute for sheer intellectual firepower – in other words, for brains. This is why scientific research institutes hire the smartest people they can find, and why they place scientists at the top who are even more brilliant to manage the team and, when necessary, to decide which of their proposed experiments to back and which to stop. That’s why so many leading research institutes are headed by Nobel laureates. And it’s why the big breakthroughs in science come from research institutes rather than government-operated labs.
-- Much More --
Okay Spooks, Ex-Spooks, and Amateur Spooks, have fun! Much of his analysis seems on-target to me, but I’m in that last category...
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 7:32:32 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They wouldn’t concede that it was the logic of the situation that comprised the evidence, rather than some purloined document from the safe in Leonid Brezhnev’s office.

Humph. I don't think that is a problem just in the intelligence services, I think that is a problem of our time. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that I think that summarizes the very definition of the Democrats...with the exception that the Democrats wound not be willing to accept the document as proof either. The idea that you can just wish for a good result (end hunger, poverty, air pollution) and make it happen without even attempting to forsee any of those pesky logical consequences, is truly a strange phenomenon of our time.
Posted by: B || 10/22/2003 10:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Other staggerring CIA mistakes include missing Tet Offensive in 1968(whatever knowledge local CIA
personnel may have had,the Agency never told Pres.
or Westmoreland a nation-wide assault was about to be made by Communist forces),getting completely wrong stregnth of Soviet Union economy and what percentage was military,and being clueless about Soviet Union's collapse.With continuing failures large and small(can't identify
Chinese embassies,can't infiltrate Al Queda-even tho dropout can wander over and be meeting top leaders within a couple weeks)there has to be drastic reform of CIA.Personally,I think it should be split into 3 agencies-Operations,Intelligance gathering and Analysis.
Posted by: Stephen || 10/22/2003 12:16 Comments || Top||

#3  I think it's more of a human nature thing...
we tend to see what we want to see
Posted by: dcreeper || 10/22/2003 12:19 Comments || Top||

#4  Gotta be careful here - all us old spooks do. There's a fine line between what we can say and what we can't. I'll try to provide the best picture possible without stepping over the line. My comments are more appropriate for military intelligence functions, but in many cases also apply to civilian agencies, from CIA to State, that have their own intel functions.

The major problem with all intelligence agencies - CIA, DIA, military service units, whatever - is the unwillingness of much of the senior leadership to report bad news. That goes from discovering prior mistakes (I.E., we goofed) to telling the president he goofed to "oh, shit, we didn't expect THAT!". There's also the very real problem of non-intelligence people being given positions of leadership in intelligence organizations. If you don't know the language, if you don't know the processes, how the HE$$ can you manage a unit that has to work within those processes every single day? It's like swimming with concrete boots - it just doesn't work. The Air Force and Army are finally getting leadership positions filled with people with the proper experience, but you're still more likely to find an intel unit run by a former flyboy or grunt who has to be given a desk job for some reason than an officer that's grown up within the ranks.

Second problem (I've actually observed this in the Air Force and Army, not so much in the Marines): in the enlisted ranks, there are a lot of very brilliant people actually doing the work. Unfortunately, "Intelligence" doesn't rank among the top jobs in most branches of the military, and the officers assigned are those considered "unfit" for some of the more demanding positions. There are exceptions, but for every exception I can point out five officers that ended up in Intelligence because they were passed over for more "important" jobs, or were de-rated pilots that usually feel like they've been "put out to pasture", and operate that way. That attitude needs to be changed, and quality people assigned to leadership positions in the Intel field. Another, personal sore point, is that Intel is not even considered when making such nice policy decisions as "up or out", longevity, flexibility, or command and control. A sidebar to that is that most commanders don't think too highly of Intel, and treat the grunts in the cages like dirt. I once made a thorough suggestion that the Warrant Officer program be re-introduced in the Air Force, to allow senior NCOs who have proven leadership qualities be allowed to take over officer positions in the field where both experience and officer rank were required. Even though a senior general officer approved of the overall suggestion, it didn't even get an acknowledgment from the "hallowed halls" of the Pentagon. It would have "diluted" the overall officer program to do what both the Army and the Marines do with outstanding results.

Third, the way the civilian world treats military intelligence personnel ("military intelligence is an oxymoron") pushes a lot of people out of the field that otherwise could have proven decisive. Some of the stories I heard from folks inside that were stationed in the DC area during the Clinton administration highlight the problem. The left's problem with intelligence is that it can't control it, so it's got to be bad, and has to be hobbled. I haven't seen a major turnaround in the Bush administration, probably because too many Clinton-era "middle managers" still muddy the water.

Just an anecdote: as a young staff sergeant at Tan Son Nhut in 1971, I reported seeing tank tracks in southern Laos. Ten senior Air Force officers criticized my observations, saying I'd "confused them with bulldozer tracks". A week later, an ARVN unit was attacked by three Russian-made PT-76 amphibious tanks about a hundred miles from where I'd reported the tracks. If you make the best possible determination, backed up with years of experience and personal knowledge, it won't help if the leadership refuses to accept it.

Intel sucks, because everybody dumps on it.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 13:35 Comments || Top||

#5  OP: Great post, thanks.
Posted by: Matt || 10/22/2003 19:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Old Patriot:

Everything you say sounds right on the money. From my own experience, my job was to get the intel in the field. I left it to the military team to get my sorry butt in and out. But I know lots of guys who tried to "Lord it" over the team that was supposed to get them in and out of an op.

That's not to say I didn;t work with the team(s) I was assigned to, didn;t try to prepare for the physical "rigors" of the mission, nor failed to attend military briefings though I know many field analysts who did all of the above. I always tried to train with the team I was going in with before the mission, tried to attend the briefings, gave what input I could, and took the PT necessary to make sure I was in decent enough physical condition to complete the mission.

Lots of guys didn;t do any of the above. Lots of them succeeded magnificently. Lots more never made it back from an op.

Sometimes, in intel, things go wrong. Usually they do, in fact. An op can be going fabulously successful - and then turn to complete sh*t in a matter of a few heartbeats.

If you're in good shape, in good rapor with your teammates, and have decent, if not perfect intel on the nature of the area, the mission, and the mission's goals, you stand a good chance of surviving an op, even if you get captured.

If, on the other hand, you lose your guts, your goal, your mission, your will, or any of a dozen other things - like the CIA did about 20 years ago, you end up holding your ass in both hands and wondering why the enemy knows everything you're trying to do or everything you know.

Posted by: LC FOTSGreg || 10/22/2003 20:27 Comments || Top||


Korea
N. Korea Rejects U.S. Nuke Program Offer
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Tuesday rejected President Bush’s offer of a written pledge not to attack in exchange for the communist nation agreeing to scrap its nuclear weapons program.
Is it possible for a surprise meter to read negative numbers?
North Korea, in a radio broadcast, stuck to its stance that it would settle for nothing less than a formal nonaggression treaty that would legally bind the United States not to launch a pre-emptive strike against the isolated country.

Bush on Monday rejected North Korea’s demand for such a treaty, which would require Senate approval. But he left the door open for some form of written pledge in which the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia would jointly give North Korea assurances that it would not be attacked if it promises to dismantle its nuclear program.
Cross our hearts and hope you die!
``It is a laughing matter and is not worth considering,’’ the state North Korean Central Broadcasting Station said in a dispatch monitored by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
Oh well, we tried. Back to engaged apathy.
``We have demanded that the United States drop its hostile policy toward the (North) and sign a bilateral nonaggression treaty with us. We have not demanded some kind of security guarantee.’’
"And we demand a pony!"
Bush made his proposal at a summit of 21 Asia-Pacific leaders in Bangkok, Thailand. The summit ended Tuesday with a call for a restart of multinational talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff. Bush’s overture was a subtle yet significant shift in Washington’s approach. The United States had earlier insisted that North Korea created the nuclear crisis and so it must move first to end it. Pyongyang paid no heed and began taking steps that could give the country several more nuclear bombs in addition to the one or two it already is believed to possess.

North Korea fired at least one short-range missile off its east coast on Tuesday, rattling the gathering of Pacific Rim leaders and giving urgency to the yearlong nuclear crisis.
Oh c’mon! Who’s going to be rattled by a Silkworm test?
A delegation of U.S. lawmakers hope to meet with North Korea’s reclusive leader Kim Jong Il and discuss the crisis during a rare visit to Pyongyang next week.
Try the grass soup, fellas.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/22/2003 12:21:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  several more nuclear bombs in addition to the one or two it already is believed to possess.

I'll believe it when I see it.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/22/2003 0:25 Comments || Top||

#2  North Korea on Tuesday rejected President Bush’s offer of a written pledge not to attack in exchange for the communist nation agreeing to scrap its nuclear weapons program.

Tough shit, then. Time to mobilize the sea interdiction forces. Nothing goes in or out through NK ports.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/22/2003 1:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh c’mon! Who’s going to be rattled by a Silkworm test?

Mulberry trees.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 10/22/2003 7:05 Comments || Top||

#4  That's one way to spin it RC
Posted by: Shipman || 10/22/2003 8:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Personally, I've lost the thread.
Posted by: Bulldog || 10/22/2003 8:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Bulldog - Boo, hiss!
Are we surprised that the the Norks rejected our offer? Kimmie sez: No, we also want Happy Meals, choo-choo trains, and ...
Posted by: Spot || 10/22/2003 8:58 Comments || Top||

#7  I guess Kimmey realizes that this IS NOT the Clinton Administration. If this had been them they (NK) would be building (and exporting) nukes by now. Let them eat grass soup with ants! MMM MMM yuck!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/22/2003 10:26 Comments || Top||

#8  "And we demand a pony!"

As short on food as they are, I figured they would demand an elephant.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/22/2003 11:06 Comments || Top||

#9  Elephant?
Can we give them a couple white ones?
Oh, sorry, Korea not Siam.

The treaty the NorKs want has about zero chance of being approved by the Senate. Maybe we should start saying that explicitly.
Posted by: Dishman || 10/22/2003 11:22 Comments || Top||

#10  Ominous - They have other prey on their minds...
Useful Animals Multiplied in DPRK
Pyongyang, October 21 (KCNA) -- Useful animals have been protected and multiplied in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Many stock farms in Pyongyang, North Phyongan and South Hwanghae provinces are breeding a large number of profitable animals such as pheasant and roe deer.
Stock farms in provinces, cities and counties set pheasants and roe deer free in mountains and fields during the autumn general mobilization period for land management every year.
Recently the North Hwanghae Province released some 10,000 pheasants and North Phyongan Province thousands of pheasants in mountains and fields.
The pheasants and roe deer released in North Hwanghae Province over the past 26 years total more than 215,000.
The government has taken steps to plant many trees in places good for useful animals to live in and provide conditions favorable for their inhabitation.
Great efforts are being directed to a solution to scientific and technical issues arising in breeding and multiplying pheasants and roe deer.
Posted by: .com || 10/22/2003 11:23 Comments || Top||

#11  Nothing has changed. Bush went to Asia last week. Everyone was a-titter about the NORKS. Bush offered a bone. The NORKS did not bite. Kimmie is against the ropes and making threats, but I have not heard "sea of fire" and other thermal rhetoric. The bottom line is that it is up to the Chinese and the SKors if they want to enable this sick, self-destructive society or they will just let it self crater and maybe people there will have a hope for a decent life. 50 years of this mad hatter society is enough.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 10/22/2003 11:44 Comments || Top||

#12  Why bother with an embargo? If you are shooting anti-ship missiles into your own territorial waters unannounced, only a moron will sail to your country. They have embargoed theirselves.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 12:24 Comments || Top||

#13  Is it possible for a surprise meter to read negative numbers?
Must be, mine's been doing it all week. Not only about the WoT, but also the Democratic Party hopefuls (desperates) for the White House (or any meaningful job, anything will do! I'll even rake leaves!), and most of what Hollywood has spewed. I'm beginning to believe there's a black hole loose somewhere in the region, with all the sucking sounds I keep hearing.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 10/22/2003 14:41 Comments || Top||


Home Front
Cold Steel’s Mongoday Warriors Take to the Field 
Interesting army training story.
Staccato bursts from the M 240 machine gun pierced the chilly night air around Fort Wainwright from September 10–13. Rogue Cortininan Liberation Forces (CLF), roaming unchecked around Birch Hill, were eventually overcome by the “Mongolian Horde.” 

Sound strange? Not at all. The event was part of a grueling exercise for officers of 2nd Battalion, 1st infantry Regiment (Cold Steel). Moving long distances, carrying heavy rucksacks, and executing numerous small unit missions – all with very little food and sleep – were just a few of the challenges the officers faced while participating in their first “Mongoday.” 
LTC David Wisecarver, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment Commander, initiated the four-day training event for the battalion’s officers based on a tradition from the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment. As enacted in the Ranger Regiment, Mongoday is an exercise conducted in the spirit of the Mongoday warriors of Genghis Khan – the most courageous military unit in the history of combat.
Much more at the link.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/22/2003 12:06:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They only had one M240? No wonder it took them four days--everybody had to take turns!

"Mongoday" seems to be the Mongol equivalent of "Kamikaze"--kind of a dubious name to pick for the exercise?
Posted by: Dar || 10/22/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Glad I read the whole article. I thought Mongoday wasa Blazing Saddles film festival.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/22/2003 14:00 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2003-10-22
  1 killed, 2 critical in premature Nablus car boom
Tue 2003-10-21
  Iran agrees to UN nuke inspectors
Mon 2003-10-20
  Five helizaps in Gaza
Sun 2003-10-19
  3 convicted for trying to kill Perv
Sat 2003-10-18
  Army kills Hamas man, two other Paleos in Gaza
Fri 2003-10-17
  Yasser declares state of emergency
Thu 2003-10-16
  Bali boom boy gets life
Wed 2003-10-15
  4 Americans murdered in Gaza
Tue 2003-10-14
  Turkish embassy in Baghdad boomed
Mon 2003-10-13
  Hassan Hattab deposed?
Sun 2003-10-12
  Al-Ghozi departs gene pool
Sat 2003-10-11
  Indonesian church torched, two killed by armed men
Fri 2003-10-10
  U.S. Nabs Fedayeen Saddam Leader
Thu 2003-10-09
  Iraqi Leaders Don't Want Turkish Troops
Wed 2003-10-08
  Algeria pounds Salafist HQ

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