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Germany to Deport Hundreds of Islamists
Today's Headlines
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 4: Opinion
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Arabia
Saudi calls for denying safe haven to terrorists ahead of anti-terror meet
Saudi Arabia called for denying proponents of violence a safe haven and said an international conference it plans to host next month was part of its drive to combat terrorism.
Does that mean they're going to chop the heads off a few holy men as examples?
Now now, let's not be hasty ...
The oil-rich kingdom "calls on all peace-loving states to pursue a comprehensive action in the framework of international legitimacy to eradicate terrorism," King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz said in a message to more than 2.5 million Muslims performing the annual hajj pilgrimage. "Combating terrorism requires international cooperation against harboring terrorist elements and groups and preventing them from using the territories of the countries in which they live as a springboard for their subversive activities, irrespective of motives and arguments," they said in the message, carried by the official SPA news agency.
Wonder if that means Dawood Ibrahim's going to be returning to Olde Mumbai any time soon?
The call appeared to be directed at Western countries, chiefly Britain, hosting opponents of the Saudi regime whom Riyadh has occasionally linked to the violence practiced by Islamist extremists at home.
Oh. I see. I'd be happy to see Britain dump all the al-Qaeda front men and cannon fodder infesting her streets, but I'd hate to see them arrive in Soddy Arabia to heroes' welcomes.
An international counter-terrorism conference due to be held in the Saudi capital Riyadh from February 5 to 8 is "one manifestation of the kingdom's persistent efforts to combat this global scourge," Fahd and Abdullah said. The gathering will be attended by counter-terrorism experts and representatives of countries which have been the target of terrorist attacks, the Saudi leaders added. Since May 2003, Saudi Arabia has been battling a wave of terror by presumed Islamist extremists from Al-Qaeda, who have killed more than 100 people and wounded hundreds more in a spate of bombings and shootings.
Finally settled on a definition of terrorism, have we?
Saudi Arabia, whose ties with the United States were strained in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks in which 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudi, was exempted by a U.S. federal judge from prosecution over the attacks. The United States has been invited to next month's conference in Riyadh. King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah marked the start of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha on Thursday with a call on Muslims to disavow terrorism, which they said was taboo in Islam, a point they have repeatedly made.
Has it repeatedly worked? Or is this another in a long string of failed utterances?
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If I were a US based or other western country
anti-terror expert, I'd balatantly refuse to attend
any conference occuring on Soddy soil.
If they ask why, I would simply say I am afraid for my life due to the shabby record of the dumb princes in controlling Al Qaeda in the kingdom.
If this woudn't wake them up, nothing will.
Posted by: EEoZ || 01/23/2005 4:47 Comments || Top||


Britain
UK Staw Snubs US Hawks: Will Tell Sec. Rice - UK No Help
UK suffering from "soft power" addiction. Fools
JACK STRAW has drawn up a dossier putting the case against a military attack on Iran amid fears that President George W Bush's administration may seek Britain's backing for a new conflict. Straw and his officials fear that hawks in Washington will talk the American president into a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, just as they persuaded him to go to war in Iraq. The foreign secretary has produced a 200-page dossier that rules out military action and makes the case for a "negotiated solution" to curbing the ayatollahs' nuclear ambitions amid increasingly bellicose noises from Washington. He will press home the point at a meeting with Condoleezza Rice, the incoming secretary of state, at a meeting in Washington tomorrow. The document says a peaceful solution led by Britain, France and Germany is "in the best interests of Iran and the international community". It refers to "safeguarding Iran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology".
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [397 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hope Condi tells Jack where he can stick his "200-page dossier." Diplomatically, of course...
Posted by: PBMcL || 01/23/2005 0:12 Comments || Top||

#2  It's a telling comment on EUropean masculinity when Condoleeza Rice has more testosterone than all her EUropean counterparts put together. Hope she finds her way to elective office in four years.
Posted by: RWV || 01/23/2005 0:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Jujitsu time: we should say we have no we have no problem with a nuclear Iran, provided that such an Iran be governed by the people, not fascistic bloodthirsty mullahs determined to obliterate Israel and to strangle Iraqi democracy. In other words, come at this from a completely different angle: bypass the govenrment and the asinine EU3 farce of negotiations with said government, and signal a true win-win for the Iraqis: they can have nukes, provided they overthrow the mullahs and reject jihad.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:23 Comments || Top||

#4  safeguarding Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology”.

No problem with that, so long as it's a truly democratic, mullah-free Iran that's in possession of such technology.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:30 Comments || Top||

#5  Britain's "special" relationship with Iran makes them a non-entity when the adults have to take care of Iran. Condi knows this
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 0:31 Comments || Top||

#6 
The UK certainly has earned our respectful attention to its opinion about this matter. Most people would think so. Maybe, though, the Brits are just fools who lack masculinity, and we should stick their opinions up their butts.
.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 01/23/2005 0:31 Comments || Top||

#7  It's a telling comment on EUropean masculinity when Condoleeza Rice has more testosterone than all her EUropean counterparts put together.

A friend of mine would say that it's a telling comment on Conservatives' gender politics, when they feel the need to attribute balls to women they admire, and deny them from all men that they dislike.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 0:45 Comments || Top||

#8  Brevity's the soul of wit. Try again, A.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:46 Comments || Top||

#9  nice try MS and Aris. Straw's on teh wrong side of this argument and while we appreciate their help elsewhere, their defense of Israel's presence leave's the US as the only arbitrator of OUR position. We'll do as we see fit and deal with the consequences
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 0:49 Comments || Top||

#10  By taking use of force off the table, the Euros are giving up one of their strongest negotiating positions. Back to Munich!

On the other hand, maybe that's not their game at all. Maybe it's about getting business for friends at the expense of EU taxpayers.
Posted by: Dishman || 01/23/2005 2:07 Comments || Top||

#11  Indeed, Dishman. It's Germany and France that are desperate for export contracts, not the mullahs. With each tick upward of the euro, another tenth of a percent is knocked off of German GDP growth projections, which were anemic to begin with. The bribery in these "negotiations" is bribery of the EU by Iran, not v-v.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 2:29 Comments || Top||

#12  Straw reminds me of this famous image Peace in our time.
We all know how well that worked out.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/23/2005 2:59 Comments || Top||

#13  The foreign secretary has produced a 200-page dossier that rules out military action and makes the case for a “negotiated solution” to curbing the ayatollahs’ nuclear ambitions amid increasingly bellicose noises from Washington.

Apparently, Mr. Straw doesn't seem to understand that the reason that bellicose noises from Washington would be increasing is because negotiations already underway haven't borne any fruit. Iran's mullahs want The Bomb, and they're not likely to negotiate their capabilities away.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/23/2005 4:32 Comments || Top||

#14  Straw man and Europe are appeasing Iran all the way on this as are. I mean the mullahs since these 'negotiations' have been going on have flipped on thier position more then John Kerry ever did, we want nukes its our right, we won't get them, we will get them rah rah rah. It has been clear for even me too see that the Mullahs are fast on thier way to an A-bomb , be it sht type or hydrogen bomb there determined to get it and its so fcking crystal clear! , argghhhhh i just hope America and others with the guts stop them, count us Euro's out we'd much rather appease, sorry :(
Posted by: Shep UK || 01/23/2005 4:45 Comments || Top||

#15  Does an Iranian 20 inch diameter ball of weapons- grade Uranium weight more or less than Straw's 200 page British "dossier" ??

Natanz Delenda Est
Posted by: EoZ || 01/23/2005 5:02 Comments || Top||

#16  I see Straw wants to follow in the footsteps of his betters and promise the British "Blood, Sweat and Tears".
Only this time I am afraid it will be radioactive tears.
Posted by: EoZ || 01/23/2005 5:08 Comments || Top||

#17  Ya ever heard the expresion"Nuttless Wonder",Aris?
Without the threat of force,how are the EU3 going to convince Iran to give-up the bomb?
Are they going to use harsh words and spit balls?
How about hugs and kissies?
Posted by: Raptor || 01/23/2005 6:27 Comments || Top||

#18  "The document ... refers to 'safeguarding Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology'."

There's the elephant in the room. Iran has no legitimate reason to be investing so much in pursuing a nuclear programme for non-military purposes. To pretend that they do is deceit. Everyone acknowledges this, even the BBC! Blair and Straw really must think the British public are a bunch of idiots.

The reason Blair's acting like this? The (probable) May General Election. It's possible he's just stalling for time rather than permanently gone soft. Interstingly, I haven't heard the Tories calling Blair's bluff over Iran. Maybe they will, or maybe they'll be thinking exactly the same as Blair: now is not a good time to be getting into another conflict in the ME.
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/23/2005 6:33 Comments || Top||

#19  Where's Blair?
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/23/2005 8:41 Comments || Top||

#20  Ya ever heard the expresion"Nuttless Wonder",Aris?

No, but am not surprised there's more balls references involved. What's with the testicular obsession?

Without the threat of force, how are the EU3 going to convince Iran to give-up the bomb?

Never said they are. In this respect TGA was much more optimistic than I.

WMDs were a card that the West could only play once. With the Iraqi hand a total failure, nobody not directly threatened (e.g. Israel) is gonna care to commit forces to war simply because of WMDs *again*. Not UK, not so-called "New Europe", and not even the United States.

Not unless a WMD attack actually occurs. Then you may get to revitalize interest in the subject.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 10:44 Comments || Top||

#21  Pay attention to MEEEEEE!
Posted by: ME || 01/23/2005 11:17 Comments || Top||

#22  Why pay attention to Aris? He is a proven liar and bigot, per his posts here earlier.
Posted by: OldSpook || 01/23/2005 11:41 Comments || Top||

#23  Looooooooooook at ME! Looooooook at ME!
Posted by: ME || 01/23/2005 11:44 Comments || Top||

#24  " No, but am not surprised there's more balls references involved. What's with the testicular obsession? "

Need not be explained. If Aris had any he would know.
Posted by: tex || 01/23/2005 11:51 Comments || Top||

#25  "Then you may get to revitalize interest in the subject."

No, the tens or hundreds of thousands of dead and dying would probably do that.
Posted by: Mark E. || 01/23/2005 11:51 Comments || Top||

#26  ATTENTION:The ME in posts 21 and 23 is a faux me.I am the original Me.
Posted by: Me || 01/23/2005 12:41 Comments || Top||

#27  RWV wisper Israel in a European's ear, and see how much testesterone he got.
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/23/2005 12:44 Comments || Top||

#28  ask Cheri Blair how much she'd weep if Israel was nuked. I bet tears would fall for the dead Israeli arabs and....that's it
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 13:03 Comments || Top||

#29  Frank, interesting observation about Cherie. I think the same is true of the Clintons. Hillary's ability to put that over on the Large NY Jewish constituency is impressive evidence of her political acumen.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/23/2005 14:47 Comments || Top||

#30  Hillary's been very busy since 911 doing the political equivalent of a dozen botox injections. She supported the war, started saying sensible things about the military and generally has shown herself to be a very useful counter to the Deaniac idiotarians in her party.

If she were to diligently court white southern urban and suburban families over the next three years, she might well stand a chance as a JFK-Truman-style hawkish lib for president in 2008. A long shot, sure, but she should be watched carefully.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 15:54 Comments || Top||

#31  lex, good point, but her makeover is skin deep. Most anti-hildabeast already know the Clinton's chameleon powers
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 16:11 Comments || Top||

#32  OldSpook> "He is a proven liar and bigot, per his posts here earlier."

OldSpook is still upset that I've once called religious commandments against contraception to have been the result of powermad individuals that want to outpopulate the competition.

Oldspook has an interesting definition of "lie and bigotry", defined as "everyone who insults my religion, claiming it the product of powermad people rather than god-made".

Hiya, Oldspook. Why don't you link to the thread that so-called "proved" my lies and bigotry, to let everyone else decide by themselves who's the liar here?

lex> If Aris had any he would know.

Refer back to #7.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 16:34 Comments || Top||

#33  back to *ignore* until soporifics and strawmen are passe
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 16:43 Comments || Top||

#34  Go, Aris! You are really making your points! I'm sure I speak for OldSpook and the rest of us here at Rantburg in saying that you are the enlightening beacon that these threads warranted. Thanks for coming back and making everything clear for us. You da man!
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 16:44 Comments || Top||

#35  You are most welcome.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 16:47 Comments || Top||

#36  Again, Aris, thank you for the field guidance. Your boundless energy makes this a special place, dear Aris.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 16:48 Comments || Top||

#37  And once again, you are most welcome.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 16:57 Comments || Top||

#38  WMDs were a card that the West could only play once.

If Iraqi WMDs were a poker game then Saddam was bluffing and Bush called his hand. To me and I daresay many, many Rantburgers, Iraq was unfinished business leftover from 1991, a ending long, long overdue. That WMDs were there were a good 'card to play' becuase every itel agency on earth said were still there.

With the Iraqi hand a total failure,

Kill ratios in favor of the Coalition in the quadruple digits, and Iraq is a failure?? Elections less than a week away and Iraq is a failure?? A functioning civilian government and a growing market economy and Iraq is a failure??

nobody not directly threatened (e.g. Israel)

Unless my geography is off Greece is directly in the line of fire of ICBMs Iran could build, or already have built. You are not threatened? For real?

is gonna care to commit forces to war simply because of WMDs *again*.

That is a lie carried forth by Sen Barbara Boxer when she railed against Dr. Rice: Iraq is a total failure and the only reason the Coalition went to war was WMDs. The Resolution that gave Bush his war powers mentioned WMDs but not just as the sole raison d'guerre. You want links? Ask for them and I will show you.

You lied, Aris. Now, apologize.

Not UK, not so-called "New Europe", and not even the United States.

You suck at poker Aris. You've already lost this hand.

Not unless a WMD attack actually occurs. Then you may get to revitalize interest in the subject.

Let me take a guess. You would prefer to see a CBR attack before any action is taken. If not, then why this remark?
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 16:59 Comments || Top||

#39  Aris, That was tex, not lex. I have no problem with you, Aris, when you add fact-based arguments concerning the topic under discussion.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 17:01 Comments || Top||

#40  I don't necessarily agree with the sentiment as you already know, Tom, but the statement itself is just stunning! And Aris's response brings a single tear of joy to my eye, which I shall delicately dab away with a tissue ;-) (Unfortunately, I neglected to acquire an appropriate supply of lace-edged hankies while living in Brussels. My apologies to all for my oversight.)
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 17:03 Comments || Top||

#41  Badanov and lex, please do not chastise our dear Aris. Without his guidance, we may miss out on minor power plants, chicken and catfish farms, and other amenities. Do we want to risk being surpassed by the likes of North Korea? No, we must heed the field guidance of dear Aris. Mind your tongues, or it will be off-to-the-camps with you.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:07 Comments || Top||

#42  No, we must heed the field guidance of dear Aris. Mind your tongues, or it will be off-to-the-camps with you.

As long as it's a Dude Ranch. ;o)
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 17:10 Comments || Top||

#43  ok y'all...having sarcastic fun at Aris's expense? Why wasn't I told?..... LOL
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 17:12 Comments || Top||

#44  yucks aside, the fact is that no one knows what the f*** to do about the mullahs. We have nothing but shitty options, and time is working against us. As are the Europeans. All we can do is trust W's poker skills.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 17:13 Comments || Top||

#45  One more little "Brussels" joke, tw, and it will be off-to-the-camps with you too. We must not offend dear Aris. He is the enlightening beacon that these threads warrant. Please, dear Aris, more field guidance.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:13 Comments || Top||

#46  The Iraqi WMD hand was an utter failure in the eyes of the public, because none were found.
As such the WMD is not a rhetoric that anyone will care to repeat.

"To me and I daresay many, many Rantburgers, Iraq was unfinished business leftover from 1991, a ending long, long overdue. "

Yes, that's exactly what I believe it was also -- not something actually connected to the "War of Terror", but just an unfinished business leftover from 1991.

Unfortunately you fail to understand how such an argument is *horrible* for the supporters of the so-called necessity of the Iraq War.

Yes, millions of people worldwide believe it was leftover business from "Gulf War I". From my experience, such people tended to have *opposed* the war of Iraq.

"Unless my geography is off Greece is directly in the line of fire of ICBMs Iran could build, or already have built. You are not threatened? For real?"

You want to try to convince the Greek people that they are threatened by Iranian Nukes? Good luck -- it will be a miserable failure.

"The Resolution that gave Bush his war powers mentioned WMDs but not just as the sole raison d'guerre. You want links? Ask for them and I will show you. "

Give them to me -- added info is always good to have. However the point is moot: WMDs were the firstmost reason used to propagandize the necessity the war, and it proved bogus. WMD are the reason that's stuck in everyone's minds.

Since we're talking about politicians convincing their populations of the necessity of a second WMD war when the first one proved unnecessary WMD-wise, my argument remains such, no matter how many other "reasons" for the war there were -- including as you said finishing with the unfinished business of Gulf War I.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:14 Comments || Top||

#47  thhank you for speaking for the American public opinion, Aris, the only opinion that will matter
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 17:18 Comments || Top||

#48  lex> Sorry for confusing you with tex.

Frank> Dude, look back at the "ignore" of #33.

badanov> "Let me take a guess. You would prefer to see a CBR attack before any action is taken. "

What I would have *preferred* would have been action to have been taken against the "networked" actual chief supporters of terrorism, Iran and Syria, instead of having all the hawks waste all their military and political capital on the isolated petty "leftover-from-Gulf-War" thug Saddam Hussein.

"If not, then why this remark?"

Because I know the difference between my preferences and reality. Nobody's going to take military action against Iran, with the possible exception of Israel, REGARDLESS of what I'd "prefer".

This is my estimation of *reality*, not a declaration of my "preferences", which I've made clear a long time ago.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:20 Comments || Top||

#49  Give them to me -- added info is always good to have. However the point is moot: WMDs were the firstmost reason used to propagandize the necessity the war, and it proved bogus.

You argument is this: Oh, so you have proof? It doesn't matter because I am right and you are wrong.

Did you not state in this thread that WMDs were the sole cause for war? If you stated this position and it has proved to be wrong, doesn't that negate your argument of WMDs being the sole cause for war? And if your argument is negated doesn't that mean you are wrong and are in fact, subsequent to being shown to be wrong, lying to further or maintain your position? Explain to me this logic.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 17:20 Comments || Top||

#50  sometimes I pay attention to a dump, sometimes I just wipe and go on - extrapolate to your own posts, TY
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 17:22 Comments || Top||

#51  badanov> "Let me take a guess. You would prefer to see a CBR attack before any action is taken. " What I would have *preferred* would have been action to have been taken against the "networked" actual chief supporters of terrorism, Iran and Syria, instead of having all the hawks waste all their military and political capital on the isolated petty "leftover-from-Gulf-War" thug Saddam Hussein.

Answer my question. It is a simple yes or no answer. Do not qualify it, do not attempt to add to it. Do you prefer to see a CBR attack before any action is taken?
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 17:23 Comments || Top||

#52  Did you not state in this thread that WMDs were the sole cause for war?

No, to my knowledge I've never stated that, neither in this thread nor anywhere else.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:24 Comments || Top||

#53  Do you prefer to see a CBR attack before any action is taken?

No, I don't prefer to see any attack by Iran whatsoever, whether CBR, Nuclear or conventional. I've consistently *supported* the overthrow of the mullahs of Iran.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:27 Comments || Top||

#54  Then you must agree that WMDs were not the sole cause for war, right?
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 17:27 Comments || Top||

#55  Thank you, thank you, thank you dear Aris! I sincerely hope that neither Iran's nor the Great Satan's ICBMs fall short and obliterate you there in the cradle of democracy. For surely the clash that appears inevitable for numerous reasons since the American hostages were taken in Teheran over 25 years ago will violate somebody's air space, and it could be yours. But take heart whatever happens, dear Aris, for surely you are the enlightened one and your field guidance here at Rantburg can avert a catastrophe for Europe and Iran. Please, dear Aris, give us more field guidance and we will strive to understand your wisdom and implement your wishes.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:29 Comments || Top||

#56  "To me and I daresay many, many Rantburgers, Iraq was unfinished business leftover from 1991, a ending long, long overdue. "

Yes, that's exactly what I believe it was also -- not something actually connected to the "War of Terror", but just an unfinished business leftover from 1991.

Not true. Neither W nor Cheney nor anyone in Bush's war cabinet, with the exception of Wolfowitz, had any desire to overthrow Saddam prior to 911. In fact Cheney and W clearly and repeatedly stressed their aversion to interventionist foreign policies throughout the 2000 election campaign.

Wolfowitz is the only senior Bush admin official who supported regime change prior to 911, due to both a longstanding realist hostility to Iraq's aggressive and destabilizing influence in the region (Wolfowtiz wrote his PhD thesis on this back in the 1960s) and to what his associates will describe as his deep personal anguish over Bush Sr's abandonment of the Kurds and the Marsh arabs in 1991.

Obviously, Bush's calculus changed significantly after 911. Wolfowitz had long pointed out the risks of leaving Saddam in power; the experience of 911 magnified these risks and strengthened Wolfowitz's hand and tipped Cheney, Rumsfeld and the other realpolitikers over to his side.

As to the justification for the war, of course the admin played up, foolishly IMHO, the WMD angle, but this was never Wolfowitz's preference, and I doubt it was Rumsfeld's or Cheney's, either. It was most likely State, ie the pro-EU, pro-UN faction, that played this up rather than stressing regime change and democracy in Iraq, as Wolfowitz would have preferred. In particular it was Colin Powell (and Tony Blair) who foolishly and disastrously convinced W to push for a completely unnecessary second UNSC resolution, in furtherance of which Powell prepared his infamous WMD presentation.

Had the case been made very simply that the US will not tolerate breaches of UN resolutions by nations that have used WMD against their own people and that have sponsored terrorists who seek to attack the US and its allies, then we could have gone to war far earlier and had, I believe, much more support from friends of democracy here and abroad. Perhaps not a majority in southern Europe or France, but definitely in Britain and perhaps Germany as well.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 17:29 Comments || Top||

#57  Sure.

The problem is that they were the chief card in the rhetorics/propaganda game.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:30 Comments || Top||

#58  No, I don't prefer to see any attack by Iran whatsoever, whether CBR, Nuclear or conventional. I've consistently *supported* the overthrow of the mullahs of Iran.

So you agree that the war in Iraq is a just war, that inasmuch as there may have been WMDs or not, the Iraq war is the right war for the right reasons.

I say this because you did state that you would rather a CBR attack not take place before action is taken, that you approve of preemptive wars.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 17:30 Comments || Top||

#59  The problem is that they were the chief card in the rhetorics/propaganda game.

Is war a game to you, Aris?
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 17:31 Comments || Top||

#60  It's all a game to dear Aris.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:34 Comments || Top||

#61  I will agree that emphasizing WMD vs Saddam was a colossal political mistake that has reduced our leverage re the mullahs' drive for nukes. But the fact of the matter is that it was Blair and Powell and the arabists at State who argued for this disastrous political message, not the advocates of democracy such as Wolfowitz.

Powell is on his way out the door. Wolfowitz is still in his job. Bush's inaugural address showed very clearly which side he's on this time. There will be no more f***-ups designed to appease the foolish "realism" of State's arabists and Tony Blair.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 17:36 Comments || Top||

#62  My last comment "Sure", was in response to badanov's question.

"So you agree that the war in Iraq is a just war, that inasmuch as there may have been WMDs or not, the Iraq war is the right war for the right reasons. "

I think it was a morally justified war, in the sense that any war is justified when it overthrows a brutal dictator in favour of democracy.

But no, from a practical perspective it *wasn't* the right war for the right reasons at *all*. There were several other dictators in the region, whose overthrow would have been more beneficial to the region, and much more harmful to global terrorism. And I believe that USA politicians would have understood that, were it not for the fact that "leftover of Gulf War I" and delusions of military omnipotence, was clouding their brains.

The overthrow of Saddam is equivalent to invading Spain to overthrow Franco in World War II, instead of invading Normandy.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:36 Comments || Top||

#63  The Iraqi WMD hand was an utter failure in the eyes of the public, because none were found. As such the WMD is not a rhetoric that anyone will care to repeat.

So when the almost-inevitable military strikes are made against Iranian nuclear facilities, you think they will be justified by the protagnoists as being for what purpose, exactly? Every man and his dog (Greek public aside, perhaps) knows that Iran is developing nuclear technology. It's not just every major intelligence service (as was the case with Iraq). Only a handful of idiots and mullah apologists don't disagree that Iran's intentions are to use that technology for military purposes. Do you occasionally pause to think things through? Or do you think, egocentrically, that White House and Number 10 spin is designed for the benefit of apparently blissfully ignorant Greek audiences?
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/23/2005 17:39 Comments || Top||

#64  Oh please, Enlightening Beacon, provide us a list of preferred dictators for overthrow in the region. In order, please. Your field guidance is most needed, for badanov and lex are apparently not thinking clearly.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:40 Comments || Top||

#65  " I think it was a morally justified war, in the sense that any war is justified when it overthrows a brutal dictator in favour of democracy.

So your statement earlier in this thread that the war in Iraq was a failure was in fact a lie then. And you are repudiating something you said in the same thread you are saying it.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 17:41 Comments || Top||

#66  So when the almost-inevitable military strikes are made against Iranian nuclear facilities, you think they will be justified by the protagnoists as being for what purpose, exactly?

Play at the futures, Bulldog. Since I don't believe such strikes will happen by either USA or Europe, the question is moot.

The rest of your post is babble.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:42 Comments || Top||

#67  By Jove, badanov finally gets it! It's all a game to dear Aris.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:43 Comments || Top||

#68  So, lex, do you now also see the folly in opposing our dear Aris, or do you need more field guidance?
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:45 Comments || Top||

#69  Tom, darling, you just can't send me to the camps for telling the truth about my too-short time in Brussels, and what I didn't acquire there. I'm quite sure that Aris understands.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 17:47 Comments || Top||

#70  Tom, you repeated that at #60.

So your statement earlier in this thread that the war in Iraq was a failure was in fact a lie then.

I said that the Iraqi-WMD hand was a failure. I've since made it clear that I'm talking about the propaganda game and how the WMD's rhetoric is perceived in the eyes of the public.

I'm tired of you inventing things I supposedly said, in order to catch me at a fictional lie.

When you are willing to read more carefully, I'll be here.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:47 Comments || Top||

#71  What you believe is crap, Aris. You believe that 'WMD is not a rhetoric that anyone will care to repeat'. Babble, if ever I read it. Do you think the Iran crisis isn't about nuclear weapons? Do you think Israel can afford to tolerate a nuclear armed Iran? They weren't too tolerant of Osirak, were they? What you believe is your own fantasies, product of your own blinkered prejudices, and are quite ignorant of reality.
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/23/2005 17:48 Comments || Top||

#72  ignore
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:48 Comments || Top||

#73  I'd bet on strikes by Israel. Osirak, Part II. Yeah, yeah, the facilities aren't as concentrated as Saddam's were, blah blah. The crucial fact here is that mullahs with nukes pose an existential threat to Israel, and Israel has and will respond pre-emptively to destroy such threats, to the great relief of the Euros and the rest of us-- despite what you read in your newspaper. It's obvious that the Euros lack both the will and the ability and that we lack the political cover. But the Israelis have all three.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 17:48 Comments || Top||

#74  With the Iraqi hand a total failure,

Then explain that statement you made in this thread. Did you not intend to statethat the war in Iraq is a failure?
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 17:50 Comments || Top||

#75  Lest there be any confusion, "ignore" always means "ignore the Enlightening Beacon of our dear Aris".
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:51 Comments || Top||

#76  lex, whether the Israelis or the US take the mullahs' toys out the fact is - teh Euro-3 are spineless pussies and whores to the mullahs, and no allies of the US in the global war forpeace
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 17:51 Comments || Top||

#77  Do you think the Iran crisis isn't about nuclear weapons?

Sure it is.

you think Israel can afford to tolerate a nuclear armed Iran?

That's for Israel to decide. I'm sure it'll weigh the pluses and minuses of an attack on Iran, better than USA managed to weigh the same about Iraq.

Since I've made it explicitely clear (e.g. #20, #48) that I believe in the possibility of an *Israeli* attack, your post remains babble.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 17:52 Comments || Top||

#78  ignore y'all
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 17:53 Comments || Top||

#79  ignore
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:53 Comments || Top||

#80  FWIW, I don't find Aris as obnoxious as some do because it's a good thing IMO to have one's opinions tested now and then by a gadfly. Regardless of whether he's arguing in good faith or not. Too often, even the best blogs-- dare I say Rantburg too-- become echo chambers. The Iran conundrum merits a fresh approach. Not all bad therefore to cast a cold eye on the mistakes made WRT to the selling/diplomacy of the Iraq War.

I'd like to know more about Musharraf's people's clandestine efforts in the east. Is regime change within 18 months totally out of the question? Will the mullahs truly have all they need to go nuclear by then? Just asking.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 17:53 Comments || Top||

#81  What you made explicit was 'WMD is not a rhetoric that anyone will care to repeat' and 'Sure it [the Iran crisis] is [about nuclear weapons]'. So, with that and your admission/denial that the war in Iraq has been a success, you're really piling up irrational and contradictory statements in this thread. You don't have to wonder why most of us here don't take your opinions very seriously.

Can't... ignore... Aris meltdown... too good to miss...
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/23/2005 18:00 Comments || Top||

#82  "Then explain that statement you made in this thread. Did you not intend to statethat the war in Iraq is a failure?"

No, as I've explained since, the whole "cards" analogy refers to the propaganda/rhetoric game. This is a reference on the WMDs rhetoric in specific.

But as a point of fact I *do* believe that the Iraqi War was a failure in the sense of it utterly failing to do anything good for the wider region, and the wider "war on Terror".

From the point of view of the *Iraqis* it may have been a success (in the sense it overthrew Saddam) -- but that did little harm and may have even done much good to the Iranian and Syrian regimes, and the true "axis of evil" they represent.

I hope you've heard the term Pyrrhic victory.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 18:00 Comments || Top||

#83  "What you made explicit was 'WMD is not a rhetoric that anyone will care to repeat' and 'Sure it [the Iran crisis] is [about nuclear weapons]'."

You see these statements as contradictory? Interesting.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 18:02 Comments || Top||

#84  But as a point of fact I *do* believe that the Iraqi War was a failure in the sense of it utterly failing to do anything good for the wider region, and the wider "war on Terror".

Let me see if I can get this straight. You think the war in Iraq is a failure, but you think it is a just war.

That alone is a lie, Aris. You simply cannot be for a war, but be against it. It is one or the other. You may think that just because a language allows you to state that position that it is an honest exposition of your views, but I think it just makes you a snake oil salesman little better than Saddam or the Mullahs, or Barbara Boxer, et al.

You stated at the top of this thread that you think the war is a failure. You said so; you tried to refute it when I pointed it out and now you are back again, telling us the war in Iraq is a failure.

You have got to be the most dishonest poster in Rantburg. It is no wonder many, many others cannot stand you because your only consistentcy has been yoour trying to take two sides in an argument you are losing.

What Old Spook said really resonates with me now. You really are a liar and a bigot.

Grow up Aris. Learn to be honest first before trying to perform your intellectual gynastics before the rest of us.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 18:08 Comments || Top||

#85  Now all we need is for lex to see the Enlightening Beacon for what he is and our work here is done.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 18:11 Comments || Top||

#86  Fascinating. Aris, have you ever asked yourself why, time and time again, you keep getting into fights with people?
Posted by: J.T. Sorenson || 01/23/2005 18:12 Comments || Top||

#87  From the point of view of the *Iraqis* it may have been a success (in the sense it overthrew Saddam) -- but that did little harm and may have even done much good to the Iranian and Syrian regimes

Nonsense. The Iranians fear two things above all: foreign invasion and a domestic uprising. There was no risk of the latter after 1991, so the second Iraq War was immaterial to that issue. As to a domestic uprising, Iraq's democratic evolution is without question stoking pressure within Iran for reform. Sistani is not Iran's puppet. It is nothing but bad news for the mullahs to have a neighboring example of elected shi'a leaders living peacefully with Kurds and refusing to attack sunni fascists in their midst.

As to Syria, do you really believe that Boy Assad would not have preferred that his fellow ba'athists remain in power? Your analysis depends completely on a ba'athist victory over Iraqi democrats. I'll bet on the latter, thanks.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 18:13 Comments || Top||

#88  You'll notice, lex, that I never got my list from the Enlightening Beacon for #64.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 18:16 Comments || Top||

#89  Let me see if I can get this straight. You think the war in Iraq is a failure, but you think it is a just war. That alone is a lie, Aris. You simply cannot be for a war, but be against it. It is one or the other.

You know what? You're insane.

I was against the Iraq War because of practical concerns, but at the same time I had no moral objections to it.

It's the same reason that I don't believe Taiwan should invade China -- would they have the moral right? Sure. Would they be bloody stupid to do it? Yeah.

If such logic is too complicated for you, we're done talking. If you think me necessarily a liar because I can object to a war for practical reasons even when I have no moral objections, then we don't inhabit the same universe.

Aris, have you ever asked yourself why, time and time again, you keep getting into fights with people?

It's a question with an easy answer: Because I'm opinionated, stubborn, and arrogant.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 18:27 Comments || Top||

#90  Because I'm opinionated, stubborn, and arrogant.

hey! at least you have 'unintentionally honest' to go for y'all too
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 18:33 Comments || Top||

#91  What's the deal with personal attacks on Aris? I think he makes good points as a support to his argument. You may disagree with his views, but I don't think aris can be accused of being illogical. In fact, from what I've read on this thread at least, aris is far more objective than other posters who have resorted to making nasty emotional personal attacks on him. Like lex says, " Too often, even the best blogs-- dare I say Rantburg too-- become echo chambers."

I read that a military expert from the Heritage Foundation, James Carafano, basically confirms some of the things that aris has alluded to - that US military action against Iran at a stage where there are no verifiable imminent threats from Iranian nuclear strikes could cause many deaths of American and coalition troops in Iraq as blowback.
A ground war with Iran would be unsustainable, Carafano said in an interview.

"We couldn't do another large scale ground operation without a major mobilization that would require mobilizing basically all of the national guard," he said.

"Even if we wanted to do that, it would be pretty obvious because it would take us months if not years to get the national guard up and ready to go."

Even a limited US attack on Iran, which shares a 1,450-kilometer (900-mile) open border with Iraq, would invite Tehran to use its influence among Iraq's Shiites to sabotage the separate peace US forces have enjoyed in southern Iraq. The same is true in Afghanistan, which has a 900-kilometer (560-mile) border with Iran.

"When you're trying to stabilize Iraq and you've got this long border between Iran and Iraq, and you're trying to keep the Iranians from interfering in Iraq so you can get the Iraq government up and running, you shouldn't be picking a war with the Iranians," said Carafano.

"It just doesn't make any sense from a geopolitical standpoint," he said.

Moreover, he said, it's unknown to outsiders how close Iran is to gaining a nuclear weapon, or what the US military has learned about its efforts, further obscuring the course of action the United States may take.

Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 18:34 Comments || Top||

#92  I was against the Iraq War because of practical concerns, but at the same time I had no moral objections to it.

So address why you think it is a failure. I have a problem with folks who tell me they are for something but they are against something. It tells me they are either dishonest or they haven't decided.

Which is it with you? You can't be both for and against the war. It really is one or the other or else you are just a dishonest broker of a disjointed, dishonest personal opinion.

It's the same reason that I don't believe Taiwan should invade China -- would they have the moral right? Sure.

They no more have the moral right to invade Taiwan than you do to take two positions on the same debate and then try to convince others you really have on position.

It's not washing, Aris. You need to decide.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 18:37 Comments || Top||

#93  apparently you haven't been here long 2X or you missed a lot
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 18:37 Comments || Top||

#94  2xstandard, you are apparently not reading Aris closely enough. All I want is for him to state a single position and to stick to it. He has so far not only failed to do this he wants to convince me he can answer a simple yes or no question with something else or by changing the subject.

That isn't insightful. That is dishonest.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 18:40 Comments || Top||

#95  "lex> If Aris had any he would know. Refer back to #7."
" A friend of mine would say that it's a telling comment on Conservatives' gender politics, when they feel the need to attribute balls to women they admire, and deny them from all men that they dislike."

I dont dislike you either Aris. I just dont agree with almost everything you post in Rant. You make yourself an easy target. Cant you see that ? You really piss me off when I read the crap you post concerning red state - blue state comparisons. Red, blue, ( American Style ) you obviously have a warped and confused concept of both.
There are only a few men I truly do not like and some of them have balls. There are men I DO like and some have no balls. Man, woman, dog, Jackass, some have balls and some do not. Conservative, Liberal, Canadian, American - None of this applies.
Posted by: tex || 01/23/2005 18:46 Comments || Top||

#96  2xstandard:

At this point in time we have no idea what will happen with Iran if we invade, but we do know what could happen if Iran does manage to make a nuke and place it on missiles we know it has.

Your source has really stepped in it, I think. There is no indication that a ground war is in the offing, but there is every indication of what could happen when the Mullahs get a nuke. Then all the Major's arguments fall apart because it will be at that point our troops are in true moral danger and war becomes ineviable, mobilized national guard or not.

It will be then time to take military action even if it is an air war.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 18:48 Comments || Top||

#97  I think you'll find that Israel didn't fax Saddam Hussein advance notice of their intention to take out his nuclear toys either, 2xstandard. They were actually quite sneaky about preparing for it. My prediction: when and if the strikes come, they will be primarily or entirely aerial, and Iran will probably be warned that any military response on its part will not be met with gloved fists. Whether Israel or the US, or both, do the de-fanging, it won't be a National Guard operation.
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/23/2005 18:49 Comments || Top||

#98  Can anyone give me some links to any analyses, by reputable military strategists, that discuss how we might have undertaken an assault on either Syria or Iran without first getting set up in Iraq? I've gone through the last 4 years of Parameters, but no dice. Thanks in advance...
Posted by: Dave D. || 01/23/2005 19:00 Comments || Top||

#99  Aris threw out the chum and the suckers went for it as usual.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/23/2005 19:00 Comments || Top||

#100 
What's the deal with personal attacks on Aris?

That's pretty much the only way some Rantburgers know how to discuss an issue.
.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 01/23/2005 19:06 Comments || Top||

#101  Someone should remind the EU that the mullahs were partiallhy responsible for the election of Ronald Reagan. Had the Iranians not humiliated Jimmy Carter through the embassy hostage crisis, the American people might not have rejected quite so emphatically in favor of Ronald Reagan and the world would be a much, much different place. (Of course OPEC and 21% interest rates didn't help Mr. Peanut either)
Posted by: RWV || 01/23/2005 19:07 Comments || Top||

#102  Gotta love any thread AK joins, 'cause it will be loong and full of good info and snarky commentary. Anyway, enough about my happiness.

Come on AK, give us a list! It seems your list includes: Syria, Iran and Soddyland. Now, rate 'em, just like "American Bandstand". Which should the USA dance with first, second, etc. Personally, I think we should have them ALL on our list.

Let me give you my personal list.
1. Iraq
Now, if I need to go anywhere else in the area and take care of any bad boyz, we bring in a Corps or so and have at it. (AK, please look at a map and see who the neighbors of Iraq are). Makes it very easy. Bonus points for destroying an Arab strongman.

By the way, AK, a Corps includes 2 Divisions +. Like say, 3ID (conquerors of Bagdad) with 1CAV, (liberators of Pyongyang), the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment along with an Artillery Brigade and a few Aviation Brigades. More proven combat power than the entire EU right there, buddy.

So, where could we go now?

Syria? Damascus in 10 days, unless we farm it out to our competent friends in the IDF. Unfortunately, if the IDF did, they'd lead the USA in the number of Arab capitals taken 2-to-1. I guess that means we'd have to knock off Soddyland or poor Lebanon to tie it back up.

Soddyland? Riyadh is a long drive, so our main risk is from break-downs as opposed to the SANG. We'd also need to occupy the Gulf coast area too to protect the ARAMCO installations.

Iran? Tough nut to crack, invasion-wise. Of course, we would be able to open 2 fronts and dominate the airspace to start. We need to think this one over because the the PEOPLE of Iran love us and we don't want to give them a reason to change that.

So, here's looking at you, AK!
Posted by: Brett || 01/23/2005 19:09 Comments || Top||

#103  Oh, by the way, Aris, the reference to testosterone is an American cultural thing. Manliness is still held in esteem in this country and the cowboy is the ultimate expression of that. Manliness is a concept that has been bred out of most Continentals, which could be one reason that your birthrates on a path to self extinction. American women still have enough faith in their men and their future to have children.
Posted by: RWV || 01/23/2005 19:16 Comments || Top||

#104  Brett: A technical clarification.

A US Corps can have as few as two divisions and as many as four. They are at the threatre level task organized to what the theatre commander wants and to what the appointed corps commander can do.

As for the composition: again, corps are task organized according to what the unit is expected to accomplish. In GWI the US XVIII and US VII corps went in with two artillery brigades each (about 100 tubes/launchers per brigade), to my knowledge the heaviest concentration of artillery assigned to a corp in US history.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 19:18 Comments || Top||

#105  "I have a problem with folks who tell me they are for something but they are against something."

Do I think you have the right to gamble all your money in Las Vegas? Yes, you have it. Do I think you *should* gamble it all? No, you shouldn't.

So does that mean I'm for or against gambling, badanov? You have the moral right to do it, but it's bloody stupid and a bad idea -- kinda like the war on Iraq.

As for me, I have a problem with those clowns who can't think that guts (or "balls") is all you need, and haven't yet figured the use of other organs such as the brain.

All I want is for him to state a single position and to stick to it.

Objecting to the Iraq War because of practical concerns but not having moral objections to it has been my consistent position since before I ever came to Rantburg, badanov. It's been my consistent position since before the Iraq War started, badanov.

On matters of consistency, don't try to mess with me. Since I am NOT a liar, and since I *am* an honest debater, I have a much better capacity to remember what I've spoken and what I've believed and what I've argued.

So all your rest of your post, I think I'll ignore. Be more civil next time, and care more about my actual words than about your random insults, if you want better results.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 19:42 Comments || Top||

#106  "Oh, by the way, Aris, the reference to testosterone is an American cultural thing."

No, worries, I can figure it quite well, given how the most Neanderthalian Greeks display similar worship of machismo.

Our cultures aren't that different, with Greece being a red-state in a mostly blue Europe and all.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 19:53 Comments || Top||

#107  As for me, I have a problem with those clowns who can't think that guts (or "balls") is all you need, and haven't yet figured the use of other organs such as the brain.

So, how about identifying them for us rather than throw out a generality about 'balls.'

Oftentimes in a world in which leftists want to emplace policies which get more Americans killed, it takes 'balls' and 'guts' to oppose such insanity in the name of preserving life.

You have a problem with masculinity: I think that having 'balls' or guts' in a military setting saves lives.

I thank God we have people in our American leadership, political amd military, who have the 'balls' and the 'guts' to do the right thing in spite of all that could befall them in a dangerous world.

You want to seperate 'balls' and 'guts' from having intelligence and I can tell you the two are not incompatible. So, I believe your 'problem' is that you are trying to establish a canard that people with 'balls' or 'guts' cannot be highly intelligent. You are so wrong.

I believe that you have such an aversion to the truth you cannot honestly and forthrightly state your position on a simple matter. That may be intelligence to you but to me its just a lack of 'balls' or 'guts' on your part to be honest on these and other exchanges.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 19:58 Comments || Top||

#108  "Peace in our time."
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/23/2005 20:00 Comments || Top||

#109  So, I believe your 'problem' is that you are trying to establish a canard that people with 'balls' or 'guts' cannot be highly intelligent.

No, I'm not. I'm simply displaying two things:
a) Annoyance at the worship of *mindless* machismo.
b) Annoyance at the anti-feminist effort to combine "manliness" and "bravery", as if they're connected.

Waiting for your next insulting attempt to misinterpret my words.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 20:06 Comments || Top||

#110  heh heh - he said "anti-feminist". what a girl.
Posted by: Beavis || 01/23/2005 20:12 Comments || Top||

#111  I'm still waiting for your list of preferred dictators for overthrow in the region, Aris. In order, please. (#62 & #64)
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 20:21 Comments || Top||

#112  a) Annoyance at the worship of *mindless* machismo.

There is no 'mindless machismo' in a combat zone. And the folks in combat on the ground are often highly educated and highly intellgent people, more than likely far more so than your recently graduated self. Machismo and intelligence are not incompatible.

b) Annoyance at the anti-feminist effort to combine "manliness" and "bravery", as if they're connected.

They can be conncted. And feminism is incompatible with masculinity. Admit it, this is another canard you are trying to create.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 20:22 Comments || Top||

#113  Still waiting for that list, three hours later. You are crap as a Monday morning quarterback, Aris.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 20:38 Comments || Top||

#114  Tom, I've given it quite often. So I think I'll just "ignore" your request.

But for Brett's sake, my list has been for a long time 1. Syria/Lebanon

The next step would always be determined by how the situation would develop from then, and how the regimes of the region would behave, and how much forces you'd have available and other factors such as Turkey's attitude -- crushing Saddam, or bypassing Iraq entirely, or turning Kurdistan independent but letting Saddam keep the rest of Iraq: those would all be options.

The good thing about the Syria/Lebanon option is that it gives you immediate benefits *without* needing it to be just a stepping stone. Even if, gods forbid, you were hopelessly entagled there and unable to move further, the loss of the Damascus regime would still be a great blow to the Islamic terrorism axis.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 20:41 Comments || Top||

#115  Bullshit, Aris. You boasted: "...from a practical perspective it *wasn't* the right war for the right reasons at *all*. There were several other dictators in the region, whose overthrow would have been more beneficial to the region, and much more harmful to global terrorism." Tell us who they were, Aris.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 20:44 Comments || Top||

#116  That's it!?! The "several other dictators" was Syria/Lebanon!?! And you think that was a better "play" than Saddam!?! What a load.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 20:47 Comments || Top||

#117  That's what I'm talking about when I mention that delusions of military omnipotency was another factor of what made people think that Iraq was a good option.

You are always talking about a "sequence" of targets to be hit, as if victory is always certain, as if results are predetermined.

Iraq was the battlefield that gave you the least benefits in the case of victory, and the greatest losses in the case of defeat.

You should have chosen the battlefield that gave you the opposite: greatest benefits in the case of victory, and smallest losses in the case of defeat.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 20:50 Comments || Top||

#118  If you want "several other dictators", then Tehran and Sudan are in the list, whose defeat of either would provide greater benefits than the defeat of Saddam Hussein. As I've often spoken.

But I was responding mainly to Brett's comments on a sequence. You can always calculate your first move with precision. The second move always depends on what the opponent plays.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 20:53 Comments || Top||

#119  So incredibly stupid that I'm just going to "ignore" it. I used to think Aris was bright but arrogant. Now I think he's just arrogant.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 20:59 Comments || Top||

#120  That's your fourth "ignore" in this thread alone, Tom. How many tries do you need before you get it right?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 21:04 Comments || Top||

#121  That's what I'm talking about when I mention that delusions of military omnipotency was another factor of what made people think that Iraq was a good option.

So you have deemed Iraq a military failure?

Remember, this is a yes or no question.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 21:06 Comments || Top||

#122  So you have deemed Iraq a military failure?

No.

But it tied up so many troops that occupying Syria or engaging Iran became impossible.

Remember, this is a yes or no question

More foolish dichotomies you demand me to accept. I do not accept them. In the real world, the words "partial success" or "partial failure" also exist.

Everything's either a complete success or a complete failure according to you? No inbetweens at all?

Do you know the term "Pyrrhic victory" at all?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 21:13 Comments || Top||

#123  Ignore dear Aris, the former Enlightening Beacon. Remove his portraits from your public places. You will be better off getting your field guidance from dear leader Kim Jong Il. Minor power stations and modern chicken and catfish farms are preferable to uninspired Greek geek rantings. You want this kind of stuff? Go to:
http://rantburg.com/poparticle.asp?HC=Main&D=2005-01-23&ID=54408
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 21:15 Comments || Top||

#124  Tom's 5th ignore. In this thread alone.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 21:17 Comments || Top||

#125  More foolish dichotomies you demand me to accept.

Maybe it is a foolish dichotomy, but I feel that in the absence of any personal honesty on your part, I have to nail you down to a position; otherwise you will be protesting about what you didn't say.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 21:18 Comments || Top||

#126  If you don't want me to protest about the things I didn't say, don't ever lyingly claim about me saying them. I'm much more honest than you.

Either way I gave you that no-or-yes answer you desired. Now please answer me the question I asked you:

Do the terms "partial success" and "partial failure" exist for you or is it always an all-or-nothing?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 21:22 Comments || Top||

#127  Not all or nothing, but as much as I can get.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 21:23 Comments || Top||

#128  Goodnight, y'all.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 21:25 Comments || Top||

#129  We don't know at this point how the war will turn out, but I know that if we evaluate it as a failure, or even as a partial failure when the war is clearly not over, that would be a defeat.

Aris gleefully is starting to use the term pyhrric victory as just another rhetorical stab at America and all our military forces are doing to rid the world of terrorism.

I believe Aris is not on the US's side with regard to the war on terrorism.

Aris, take it how you want, Complain to Fred, make accusations all you want, but until I hear an abject apology from you to everyone in Rantburg and everyone in the US military you have besmirched with your hateful writings, I will consider you against the US efforts to fight the war on terror.

Have a nice life, Aris.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 21:33 Comments || Top||

#130  OldSpook is right (#22) -- Aris is a liar and a bigot. This is all a game to him -- his positions warp to fit his "game" and he plays with words and ideas and people solely to provoke and gain masochistic attention. You will learn nothing from the perspective of this sheltered Greek geek. He is little more than Murat with a better vocabulary. Shun him.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 21:36 Comments || Top||

#131  Tom, this is the 6th "ignore" post you've made.

And given how you and Frank have repeatedly *admitted* you were playing games with me and having me for your "chewtoy", it's ironic that you accuse *me* of playing games.

My positions have never warped. On that respect you simply lie. Or perhaps you simply fail to comprehend a person who's political positions don't fit your preconceptions about the only possible positions to hold on any issue.

badanov> I have supposedly now "besmirched" people with my hateful writings? Do you actually know the meaning of that word?

"We don't know at this point how the war will turn out, but I know that if we evaluate it as a failure, or even as a partial failure when the war is clearly not over, that would be a defeat"

No, accepting facts is the only way we have of changing the course of this. It's when you remain in denial that you keep on making the same mistakes over and over again. Such history tells us.

"I will consider you against the US efforts to fight the war on terror."

You may consider the moon made from cheese for all I care.

I'm sure that attitude makes for an easy conscience, if you think that everyone who criticizes you must be evil.

The Hitlers and Kims of the world have a usage for people like you.

Goodnight, again.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 21:48 Comments || Top||

#132  Aris is a fifth columnist.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 21:52 Comments || Top||

#133 
Re #129 (badanov): I believe Aris is not on the US's side with regard to the war on terrorism. ... I will consider you against the US efforts to fight the war on terror.

Do you think, badanov, that Aris is merely objectively on the side of the terrorists or that he also is subjectively on the side of the terrorists?
.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 01/23/2005 22:16 Comments || Top||

#134  Why pay attention to Aris? He is a proven liar and bigot, per his posts here earlier.
Posted by: OldSpook || 01/23/2005 11:41 Comments || Top||

#135  Why pay attention to Aris? He is a proven liar and bigot, per his posts here earlier.
Posted by: OldSpook || 01/23/2005 11:41 Comments || Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Big Russian mistake
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/23/2005 13:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [420 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Despite Russian denials, the timing of this meeting adds greater suspicion.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 13:48 Comments || Top||

#2  However, by pandering to regimes such as Assad's, not only will Putin not have restored Russia's clout, he will convince people that he has learned nothing from his Soviet predecessors' downfalls.

Putin defends the indefensible. Why put time, effort, and resources into relationships with nutcase regimes like Syria and Iran? The only thing Iran offers is cash for building reactors. But a cash-rich MM govt poses a threat to Russia by exporting radical Islam. Putin needs to look at the big picture.

When there are so many positive opportunities in dealing with the West and Japan, e.g., the energy sector, why hang out with losers? But now with the high levels of corruption in Russia, investors are being scared away. It's like Russia is a grown-up abused child acting out behaviors it grew up with.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/23/2005 14:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Putin's showing yet again his miserable political judgment. Not to mention weakness: Russia doesn't gain any "clout" in the middle east by cozying up to a second-right ba'athist backwater like Boy Assad's regime. If he were making overtures to the Saudis and to Iran at teh same time, and showing some dexterity in doing so, then we could view this as part of an intelligent, well thought out strategy for restoring Russian influence with states that matter in the region.

As it is, this is yet another clumsy effort by a ruler whose power in his own land is rapidly diminishing. I'll bet that Putin is pushed out of power before his current term ends. He's a witless puppet of the security forces.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 16:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Putin's own power base may be shaky. There are a lot of ex-Soviet generals who are unhappy about the peeling away of ex Soviet republics towards the US and the West more generally. Putin put a lot on the line in Kiev and lost - publicly (at least in the short run). His submarines are sinking, his economy is in really bad shape yet he and his people remember when they were a superpower. Not a good combination ... it tempts one to try to recover glory days quickly.

There's an old principle I learned from my aikido sensei years ago: beware of going on the mat with an opponent who is less skilled or weaker than you. S/he will do unpredictable things that may get you very hurt. Weak opponents collapse or attack at unexpected and disadvantageous times and if we're not careful, we'll end up falling badly.

That's one reason I worry about Putin and Russia right now.
Posted by: rkb || 01/23/2005 16:11 Comments || Top||

#5  Futures market, anyone?

I'll put odds on Putin's ouster as follows:
by end of 2005: 20%
by end of 2006: 40%
by end of 2007: 70%
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 16:15 Comments || Top||

#6  The obvious conclusion from the events of the past ten months (YUKOS, Beslan, Ukraine) is that Putin's not really in charge. No politician with any handle on reality would have compiled such a miserable string of disasters.

Screwing the pensioners in the midst of an oil and commodities bonanza shows an especially nice touch. The Russian people are desperate for political stability and a firm hand to cleanse the state of corruption, and Putin is giving them instability and still more corruption.

He can't be that stupid. A more likely explanation is that Putin isn't calling the shots; it's the forces behind that bogus company that won the YUKOS "auction", ie FSB elements in league with mafiya groups, who are driving policy now.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 16:21 Comments || Top||

#7  beware of going on the mat with an opponent who is less skilled or weaker than you.

Hurray! I just knew my several virginally white belts would come in handy some day. ;-P

Seriously, rkb, you raise good points. Wild flailing makes Putin/Russia's recent moves understandable to me, coupled with lex's analysis.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 23:49 Comments || Top||

#8  I'll bet that Putin is ousted within six months of the next 25%+ decline in oil prices. Maybe by mid-2007 (these crashes always seem to happen in August).
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 23:54 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
Pentagon report: 'Limited capability' to thwart N. Korean missile
President Bush's fledgling missile defense system should provide a limited capability to thwart a North Korean missile attack, the Pentagon's top weapons tester said in a report made available Wednesday.
Oh. Well. If it's not 100 percent effective we shouldn't have it, right?
A system "testbed" put together by Boeing Co. "should have some limited capability to defend against a threat missile from North Korea," Thomas Christie, the Pentagon's director of operational testing, said in his annual report to Congress on top U.S. weapon programs. "Ground testing has improved our confidence that military operators could exploit any inherent capability that may exist in the testbed, if needed in an emergency," he wrote. He said it was not possible to estimate the system's capability with "high confidence" because of a lack of flight testing of the Pentagon's costliest weapons program. But Philip Coyle, Christie's predecessor as the Pentagon's top weapons tester and now an adviser to the private Center for Defense Information, said it was not even possible to estimate with "low confidence." The interceptor missiles "have no demonstrated capability to defend against a real attack because they have only been tested with artificial targeting aids, with location beacons onboard the target and with advance information about the attack that no enemy would provide," Coyle said by email. Since October 1999, the interceptors have hit their targets in five of eight highly scripted flight tests.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has delayed a decision to put the system on alert. Bush had initially planned to do so by the end of last month. The first eight interceptor rockets were installed in silos last year -- six at Fort Greely, Alaska, and two at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Christie's analysis preceded the December 15 test failure of what was to have been the first full flight test of the interceptor, designed to deliver a "kill vehicle" that collides with enemy warheads to pulverize them. Last week, the head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, blamed the failure on a "very minor" software glitch that he said could be easily fixed.

The Pentagon plans to spend roughly $10 billion a year for the next six years on a restructured drive to protect against ballistic missiles carrying warheads that could be tipped with chemical, nuclear or biological warheads. Christie said tests so far had demonstrated the system's "basic functionality." Boeing is the prime contractor for the ground-based leg designed to knock out warheads in space. Northrop Grumman Corp. handles the command-and-control system. Raytheon Co. builds the kill vehicle. Lockheed Martin Corp. and Orbital Sciences Corp. make the booster rockets.
Posted by: tipper || 01/23/2005 10:27:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [238 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The strategy here is an interesting one. While the Norks may want to have a missile that can hit the US, that is no end in itself. They would want a missile that can attack Skor and US forces in the South, a US fleet, or Japan. But this requires a scenario for their almost singular interest: the conquest of the South. So such a weapon could only be useable in one of two situations: either as part of a complex and integrated invasion; or, as a complete wild hare of a madman.

The third possibility, and one hardly considered, is if the Norks launch against China. This could accomplish several things, from the Nork point of view. First of all, they might think it would free them from Chinese domination, much like the Vietnamese fought a war (and did rather well) to send China a message. It could also severely cripple the Chinese military, if used during a multi-Corps concentration of a military exercise. Or they could launch against Beijing, decapitating China and perhaps reducing it to a military junta of competing warlords.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/23/2005 10:48 Comments || Top||

#2  It's way too late to undo a lot of the damage Bubba did to the strategic defense program, especially after wrecking DoD's RLV projects.

The only choice we have left to us is a bad system or no system at all.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 01/23/2005 10:48 Comments || Top||

#3  So, how's the Airborne Laser project coming along?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/23/2005 15:20 Comments || Top||

#4  This vehicle would go from marginal to nearly complete effectiveness with one small change: a proximity-fused nuclear warhead.
Both advocates and opponents commonly don't realize that ICBM defense was extensively researched in the 50s and 60s, leading to the briefly operational Safeguard system in 1974. It had been taken for granted from the beginning that exploding a nuke in space or the high atmosphere was justified to keep one from exploding in a city or a vital military installation.
The long technical and political struggle to develop a new ABM system is based entirely on the difficulties of doing it without resort to nuclear explosives. Safeguard used stone-age electronics, but there was little doubt of its effectiveness.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 01/23/2005 17:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Early missile defense:

Nike Zeus (1958-1961)
Nike X (1961-1967)
Sentinal (1967-1969)
Safeguard (1969-1976)

Additionally, the nuclear warhead version of the Nike Hercules was operational at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Though intended for use against nuclear-armed bombers, it had higher flight performance than the current Patriot and was believed to have a capability against IRBMs (like those deployed in Cuba) and first-generation SLBMs.

In recent years, there have been several Michael Moore style pop-culture "exposes" on the nuclear Nike program, all of which tacitly assume every LLL myth about nuclear weapons and then some. For example, they go out of their way to pretend that the weapons were absurd, as dangerous as the ones they were meant to stop, and even (in the case of a documentary about Nike sites in Chicago) to pretend that there was a substantial contamination danger from the sites themselves.

It appears that hostile media-cult propagandists want to pre-empt any revival of the idea, lest it prove wholly workable and their allies' ability to hold the American people hostage be mitigated.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 01/23/2005 17:56 Comments || Top||

#6  NK has to only *believe* their strike might not make it through, then armageddon reigns down on them. I wouldn't like their odds
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 18:00 Comments || Top||

#7  Incidentally, I strongly suspect that some of Israel's Arrow interceptors have nuclear warheads, making them effective against a much larger range of enemy missiles, including any that Iran is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 01/23/2005 18:17 Comments || Top||

#8  The Claremont Institute's MissileThreat.com provides an excellent overview of the subject, with regular updates.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 01/23/2005 18:25 Comments || Top||


Field Guidance, Source of Victory
KCNA -- Leader Kim Jong Il has given field guidance to the Rakwon Machine Complex and various other economic establishments, inspiring the Korean people in the general onward march for the Songun revolution.
That's what it takes, by Gum! Field guidance! Without field guidance, who'd know what to do?
And all this time I thought juche was self-guiding ...
His field guidance always instills confidence in victory and optimism into the mind of the servicemen and people and serves as the source of strength for working great miracles.
People are still talking about the time he pulled a Stilton cheese out of a comrade's cloth cap...
There being no rabbits to be had ...
The Songun revolutionary leadership he has continued from the first day of Juche 84 (1995) encouraged the servicemen and people who had been in deep sorrow over the demise of President Kim Il Sung to turn out to create the revolutionary soldier spirit and the Kanggye spirit and light the torch of Songgang. It was in January 1998 that he visited Jagang Province. In hard winter days he guided on the spot the work in many industrial establishments without rest. Though officials accompanying him earnestly asked him to have a rest, he continued his on-the-spot guidance.
"Stop with the field guidance, Your Highness!"
"No! I ain't done yet!"
Inspired by this, the army and people started to operate one factory after another, constructed minor power stations, modern chicken and catfish farms in different parts of the country and completed a vast land rezoning in a short span of time, thus laying a solid foundation for building a great prosperous powerful nation.
How could they have possibly done it without his sage advice?
Through what have been done in the country in difficult days, the Korean people have keenly realized that his energetic revolutionary activities bring earlier the victory of the Korean revolution. Greatly inspired by his uninterrupted field guidance from the beginning of the year, the army and people are striving hard to effect a revolutionary upsurge to celebrate the 60 anniversaries of the Workers' Party of Korea and the liberation of the country as grand festivals of victors.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [238 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Not just Leader Kim Jong Il, but President Kim Il Sung, too. Interesting that the father is downgraded here as well as the son. And what Leader did in the past, not what he is doing now. Hmmm.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 4:39 Comments || Top||

#2  It's working.
Posted by: Dishman || 01/23/2005 6:36 Comments || Top||

#3  "...modern chicken and catfish farms..."

"Leader, how d'ye get the little buggers to stay in the ground like that?"
"It ain't easy!"

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 01/23/2005 8:17 Comments || Top||

#4  Juche 84
A revolutionary little red wine from the rock farms of the Land of the Morning Sun and just a hint of Songon.
Hmmmmm... YKTWBAGNFAB..
Posted by: Shipman || 01/23/2005 8:34 Comments || Top||

#5  *holds up card* 8.9

Excellent performance, with the right amount of ass-kissing well lubricated by BS. Very promising.
Posted by: Ptah || 01/23/2005 16:07 Comments || Top||

#6  9.1
I especially liked:
"...minor power stations, modern chicken and catfish farms... thus laying a solid foundation for building a great prosperous powerful nation..."
A lightbulb in every room, two chickens in every pot, and lots of glow-in-the-dark nuclear-waste-contaminated catfish -- keep up the field guidance!
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 16:16 Comments || Top||

#7  Does "field guidance" mean using a tree branch instead of a whip to properly inspire the masses?
Posted by: Stephen || 01/23/2005 18:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Sounds like the battle to win NK hearts and minds is still going on.
Posted by: Pappy || 01/23/2005 20:57 Comments || Top||


Europe
Icelanders apologise to Iraqis for invasion
Iceland invaded Iraq? Who knew?
A group of people from Iceland have taken out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times apologising to Iraqis for the invasion of their country.
More than 4,000 Icelanders paid for the ad, which demands that Iceland be immediately removed from the list of invaders in the so-called coalition of the willing.
Iceland has no military and has contributed only its government's verbal support for the US-led invasion in 2003.
A recent Gallup poll indicates that four out of five Icelanders want their country to remove its support, but the Government has ruled out any policy change.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/23/2005 10:17:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [332 views] Top|| File under:

#1  To think these people were once Vikings is just sickening. It just proves the power liberalism and socialism to transform people into sheep.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 01/23/2005 23:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Scrappleface again?
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 23:16 Comments || Top||

#3  They're "apologizing" for verbal support???

It appears that Putzophilia has made its first appearance in Iceland. Will it spread? Stay tuned.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/24/2005 0:01 Comments || Top||


The Dangers of Exporting Democracy (as opposed to say, fascism)
No, let's not have democracy spread. Let's have Islamofascism and communism.
Although President Bush's uncompromising second inaugural address does not so much as mention the words Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror, he and his supporters continue to engage in a planned reordering of the world. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are but one part of a supposedly universal effort to create world order by "spreading democracy". This idea is not merely quixotic - it is dangerous.
You get too many democracies in this world, there's the danger the natives'll start doing as they damned well please.
It's much better to have a world ordered by better people who know about these things.
The rhetoric implies that democracy is applicable in a standardised (western) form, that it can succeed everywhere, that it can remedy today's transnational dilemmas, and that it can bring peace, rather than sow disorder. It cannot.
As I've pointed out before, "democracy" is shorthand for "freedom" and "liberty." If you listen to Bush's speeches, he uses all three words just about interchangeably. Democracy is, of course, a political system, whereas the other two are actually concepts. Freedom and liberty are used interchangeably by nearly everyone, though, as Jonah Goldberg pointed out a couple years ago, there are differences between the two. "Freedom", in Baathist and other Fascist usage, accrues to the state, and in Western usage it accrues to the individual.

Liberty is generally understood to accrue to the individual exclusively. Liberty is not necessarily limited to democracies. We have a republic, and more individual liberties than "democracies" like Pakistan or Bangladesh. An oligarchy, a constitutional monarchy, even a democratic centralist system, could theoretically guarantee its citizens' liberties. Fascism and its Baathist descendants by definition cannot; they're built on the very basis of near-static social class. Neither can most non-Baathist authoritarian states — look at Zimbabwe and Sudan, Ivory Coast and Turkmenistan. Liberty says that one man's opinion is as good as another's, that one man (or woman) is as good as another. This makes each life precious, not something to be wasted on national aggrandizement or adventurism. The Guardian seems to have something against this concept. I suppose it's because of that English social class heritage.
It's because of the cross between the French Revolution and its fraternité and 20th century progressivism with its under-the-cover socialism. Some people are just plain smarter, so they should rule the world. They won't behave like Plato's disinterested philosophers, however; their goal is an ordered society with themselves in charge. For all their brave words about equality, it's strikingly fascist in its execution.
Democracy is rightly popular. In 1647, the English Levellers broadcast the powerful idea that "all government is in the free consent of the people". They meant votes for all. Of course, universal suffrage does not guarantee any particular political result, and elections cannot even ensure their own perpetuation - witness the Weimar Republic.
Had the Weimar Republic been based on the idea of individual liberty, that all men are guaranteed their liberty and that no government has the power to take it away without the citizen abrogating it, that in fact the government is the guarantor of liberty, then Hitler never would have happened.
Electoral democracy is also unlikely to produce outcomes convenient to hegemonic or imperial powers. (If the Iraq war had depended on the freely expressed consent of "the world community", it would not have happened).
Luckily, we don't have a world government. If the human race is very lucky we won't have a world government. Ever.
If the "world community" had the sense of liberty that Fred laid out above, there would have been no need for an intervention in Iraq, since Saddam would have been smothered in his crib.
But these uncertainties do not diminish its justified appeal. Other factors besides democracy's popularity explain the dangerous belief that its propagation by armies might actually be feasible.
The Guardian, like the left in general, values "peace" more than they do liberty. Sheep are very peaceful while they're grazing...
A peace in perfect order, with wise men schooled in the finest schools patiently explaining to the masses what's good for them. In a sad way it's not like the desire in the Arab world for a caliphate, only the progressive caliph doesn't need a bejeweled turban, an open account at the state bank will do nicely.
Globalisation suggests that human affairs are evolving toward a universal pattern. If gas stations, iPods, and computer geeks are the same worldwide, why not political institutions? This view underrates the world's complexity. The relapse into bloodshed and anarchy that has occurred so visibly in much of the world has also made the idea of spreading a new order more attractive. The Balkans seemed to show that areas of turmoil required the intervention, military if need be, of strong and stable states. In the absence of effective international governance, some humanitarians are still ready to support a world order imposed by US power. But one should always be suspicious when military powers claim to be doing weaker states favours by occupying them.
And one should always be suspicious of high hatters who make the condescending assumption that the Natives can't handle their own affairs.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [787 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But one should always be suspicious when military powers claim to be doing weaker states favours by occupying them.--

Don't we have a base or 2 in England????

Much better to not have put bases in Germany after WWII, I guess.


Posted by: anonymous2u || 01/23/2005 1:06 Comments || Top||

#2  A money quote at the link:

"Europe proves the point. A body such as the European Union could develop into a powerful and effective structure precisely because it has no electorate other than a small number of member governments. The EU would be nowhere without its "democratic deficit", and there can be no legitimacy for its parliament, for there is no "European people". Unsurprisingly, problems arose as soon as the EU moved beyond negotiations between governments and became the subject of democratic campaigning in the member states."

Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 1:13 Comments || Top||

#3  But one should always be suspicious when military powers claim to be doing weaker states favours by occupying them.

Question is: Do they leave cab fare in the morning?
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 1:15 Comments || Top||

#4  Hobsbawm's an old-time leftist and soviet-worshipper. Hard to take him seriously, especially when this marxist criticizes appplying "universla patterns" to "the world's complexity". Didn't stop Hobsbawm from using his scientific socialist barometer to gauge every social development under the sun for seventy years....
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 1:18 Comments || Top||

#5  "Spreading democracy" aggravated ethnic conflict and produced the disintegration of states in multinational and multicommunal regions after both 1918 and 1989.
The author is right.

as Jonah Goldberg pointed out a couple years ago, there are differences between the two
What a laugh. Jonah Goldberg isn't exactly an authority on political theories. He's a glib journalist who has his BA (maybe) in psychology and anthropology. Sorry, but quoting a pedestrian hack writer and associating "gravitas" with his thoughts doesn't pass muster.

I'm still not convinced that democracy is answer to effecting world peace. Rather it could cause more instability.

Lack of freedom does not breed poverty or terrorism. Look at China - it's doing very well and it's not a democracy nor is it a terrorist threat. It's quite stable. Whereas bringing self-rule to former EU colonies in Africa, for example, has made living conditions worse there and a breeding ground for extremists. South Africa is a swampland of crime and disease for its own people. Even apartheid was better than "freedom." Also look at countries like Egypt, Pakistan, and Jordan with their military dictators and monarchy. You actually want those "subjugated" people to have more liberty and freedom... to get more anti- American and to throw in their lot with la Bin Laden en masse?

Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 3:46 Comments || Top||

#6  The Guardian and the left has become like Robespierre after the death of the King...calling for the suppression of the very rights they claimed to support and condoning suppression and terror to achieve their "goals".

I now think that Bush's speech was just a plain, old fashion victory speech. As average citizens, we tend to think it was John Kerry he was fighting. But Kerry was almost irrelevant - any smoe could have been plugged into his place. Bush was fighting against George Soros and the left's failed ideas set forth plainly in this Guardian article - that the masses must be ruled by people "who know best".

For the next four years at least, we have a man who understands that the United States is a government "of the people". And his administration will put for the idea that individuals are more capable of governing themselves than are a small group of ambitious, unelected know-it-alls, who once given power will ALWAYS abuse it.
Posted by: 2b || 01/23/2005 4:57 Comments || Top||

#7  China is stable?? The Chinese oligarchy is holding on to power by its teeth and toenails, praying to the gods it doesn't believe in that nothing goes funny. The noises against Taiwan are an attempt to distract its people and the world from that reality. At the moment the growing educated middle class is gorging itself on computers and Gucci dresses and other trinkets, but at any moment they will start to think politically, and the whole pyramid of cards will fall. Or, should the U.S. embargo Chinese exports (imports?), the entire country may well revolt.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 5:19 Comments || Top||

#8  why liberty?

I don't know if this was posted yesterday and I know we aren't supposed to link blogs - but this rocks! I need say no more - this says it all for me.
Posted by: 2b || 01/23/2005 6:12 Comments || Top||

#9  oops... here's the right link:
link

Posted by: 2b || 01/23/2005 6:14 Comments || Top||

#10  2x,I suggest you take a look at the economy of China's rural areas,Thet are not doing very well.
Posted by: Raptor || 01/23/2005 8:00 Comments || Top||

#11  There's always been dangers to democracy, mainly by those who oppose it.

This professor, is not different from Zarqawi (link).

Thankfully, I put my money on our smart guys like forefathers (ie Franklin) who understood that the balance of power is granted by the public, who can claim responsibity for it's government, not life-term King, Caliph, Warlord, or Chairman. It's up to the people to decide if they want to go western or form their own local style of democracy.

Basically the very principles of democracy are being ignored by these two clowns, for various motives I'm sure.

Anyway thanks professor for this sophisticated commie bullshit. (into the shredder) 8-)
Posted by: (-Cobra-) || 01/23/2005 13:25 Comments || Top||

#12  The argument that democracy will be the panacea for the world's ills is too much theory and not enough realism.

Consider India - a democracy yes, yet look at the squalor and poverty of its 300 million people. In fact, India ranks well below communist controlled countries like China and Russia in terms of human development rankings:
That the Human Development Report ranks India at 127, with China more than 30 places ahead, sums up our situation. Of the four countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — that are supposed to burst upon the world scene, India is an embarrassment; Brazil and Russia are more than 50 ranks ahead of India on the human development index.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-998574,curpg-2.cms

China is stable?? The Chinese oligarchy is holding on to power by its teeth and toenails, praying to the gods it doesn't believe in that nothing goes funny.
China's GDP continues to rise each year, and while its true urban residents have experienced the most increase in their pocket pockets, this past year from what I read, rural residents also benefited from a growth in per capita GDP.
The incomes of Chinese residents increased rapidly, the statistics indicate. In the first half of 2004, urban residents' disposable incomes reached an average of 4,815 yuan (600 US dollars), up 11.9 percent. The average cash income of farmers reached 1,345 yuan (160 US dollars), up 16.1 percent, the largest increase since 1997.

Also this fall, China's leadership , being well aware of its restive farmer class, announced they would pass laws to protect the property rights of farmers and to extend other basic rights to farmers that were enjoyed previously by urban residents.
http://newsgd.com/business/laws/200407130019.htm

I'm rather skeptical of academics like Sharansky having the USA going off half cocked on a crusade to implement his "uotopia" ideal around the world with nothing more to support this argument of democracy= world peace than Sharansky's hopes and dreams. As I said earlier, there are countries like South Africa that are worse off for democracy than they were as a British colony or even when they were under the rule of apartheid oligarchy. African peoples as suffered considerably after they were encouraged by the West to plunge themselves into self-rule, self determination, democracy of sorts. Also, these same "liberated" countries are ripe as staging grounds for terrorists in the future.Otoh, Kuwait Quatar and the UAE are not democraies but the peoples there are doing okay with shared wealth from oil revenues. Also these 3 countries are generally pro-West. Even with regards to Saudi Arabia, say what you will about the double dealing of the royal princes, S.A. is far more stable and in the main more pro-USA as a result of the House of Saud being in control. If S. Arabia became a democracy tomorrow, there's no doubt in my mind that the majority of Saudi people would vote in a gov't that would be far more dangerous and antagonistic to American interests.

Democracy looks good on paper, but in reality it's not the wonder elixir for world peace that some people think it is. In fact, it can have the opposite effect. In this century, the greatest cost to innocent human lives came as a result of misguided dreamers. Marx and Lenin thought that communism would produce a heaven on earth and yet the communists seizing power in Russia and the gulag created by Lenin killed far more millions of people than the Russian Tsar would ever do.

That's not to say that Sharansky is like Lenin or Marx, but on the otherhand, all three are dreamers and dreamers rarely consider the law of un-intended consequences when they spread their ideas as being so easy, so perfect for mankind.

Or, should the U.S. embargo Chinese exports (imports?), the entire country may well revolt.
The same could be said for Americans "revolting" if they could no longer buy cheap "made in China" lining the shelves of local yokel Wal-Marts.

Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 16:28 Comments || Top||

#13  local yokel Wal-Marts

ahhhh how some phrases tend to expose the speakers. Dblstd would rather have a "progressive dictatorship" that allows a rise in living standards. Show me where that's happened? No? Then STFU about democracy's chances where it's never been in place.
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 16:42 Comments || Top||

#14  Dblstd would rather have a "progressive dictatorship" that allows a rise in living standards.
My point, lost on you obviously, is that the mainstream Americans benefit from Chinese goods - who do you think purchases the Chinese goods stateside- ghosts? And btw, check the soles of your shoes and the tags on your shirts before you pretend to support only made in America goods.

So in response to tw's comment who claimed that if the US imposed trade sanctions on China there would be a "revolt" I said Americans would be pissed too and might "revolt" at the incumbent politicians if this happened.

With regards to political systems that are in effect around the world, my point is that there is no one size fits all nor is there any guarantee that democracy implemented around the world is a good idea for world peace or for pro-America interests. Some countries now that are stable do not have a democratic government. To force those same countries to embrace democracy might very well cause instability, much bloodshed of innocent people, and the end result might be that the newly democracized countries would be anti-USA.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 17:03 Comments || Top||

#15  Of course timing matters, 2x, but that doesn't invalidate the overarching policy goal of aiding the eventual triumph of democratic forces. Wolfowitz did not urge Reagan to oust Ferdinand Marcos immediately in 1981; he waited until Aquino's forces were strong enough to take power in 1985. The point is that, without a commitment to democracy as a strategic goal, the default option for any great power's foreign policy will be business as usual, and in an age of increased communications and expanding democracy, this will put us behind the curve.

If we did not have global communications and a global community of western-inclined, English-reading elites, then simply playing chess and Kissinger-style realpolitik games would be sufficient to guide our policy. The problem with that approach is that democratic movements in our era have an odd way of springing up spontaneously and quickly gaining overwhelming force, as in Ukraine recently, or Poland in 1980, or the Philippines in 1985, etc etc. Far better to signal in advance where our sympathies lie, and encourage governments to align themselves accordingly, rather than react helplessly when the next People Power wave passes us by.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 17:10 Comments || Top||

#16  dbl - my point was only that- yes, we currently have great imports from China in terms of purchasing power. However, in times of conflict, Mexico and Central America would happily provide same at equal or slightly higher costs. The US is wellprepared IMHO to make the cost difference negligible. In other words, China needs us more than we need them.
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 17:16 Comments || Top||

#17  WRT cheap Chinese goods, the much-maligned WalMart's highly computerized inventory and purchasing system has driven significant excess cost out of their domestic as well as international purchases. They have, f'r instance, a direct computer-to-computer connection between daily sales logs and the production managers at the nearest Procter&Gamble factories, covered by pre-negotiated purchase orders. Thus, precise quantities are manufactured and leave the factory floor daily, shipped directly to the stores that needs to replenish their shelves with Crest, Tide, Pampers, etc. Under the circumstances, WalMart could actually more easily switch to non-Chinese suppliers than many higher cost retailers, and with less noticeable cost up charge to the consumer.

Also, it is highly likely that, as is the experience of French winemakers, the changeover would be long-term to permanent. And you mustn't forget that unlike, say, European shoppers, Americans tend to stock up on the one hand, and simply buy more things overall than they need on the other. So its likely that a gap in supply on the store shelves of hairbrushes and Barbie dolls would not cause much in the way of the hardship leading to revolt on the part of American consumers, as compared to a substantial proportion of Chinese workers suddenly, and possibly permanently, idled.

Which is my long-winded way of saying What Frank said. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 23:49 Comments || Top||


Russia Throws Support Behind E-3 On Iran
Same cast of folks that enabled Saddam, how curious
Russia on Friday threw its backing behind a European initiative to persuade Iran to give up any nuclear technology that could be used for military purposes, and joined France in urging the United States to join the effort. The unprecedented public show of unity on the issue followed a string of reports suggesting that the United States had hardened its stance on Tehran's atomic program and might be contemplating military action, a suggestion that the Bush administration has not denied outright.

Following two days of talks in the Russian capital, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his French counterpart, Michel Barnier, stressed in unison that the only way to reach a reliable agreement with Iran was through the political dialogue that France, Britain and Germany launched 16 months ago. Both ministers also made clear that in order to succeed the initiative needed more active support from the United States. "We are working in parallel to the Europeans, we are backing their efforts," Lavrov told the International Herald Tribune after a press conference Thursday night, adding that his government was in contact with Iranian officials on a regular basis.
"After all, we have contracts to protect, and that reactor we're building is quite lucrative," he added emphatically.
Barnier welcomed his host's support. "The Russians' backing is very important for us," the French minister said in an interview Friday. "Three large European countries have enough credibility to launch this dialogue, but for it to succeed we need both Russia and the United States to be behind us." Barnier and Lavrov met alone on Thursday before joining their defense ministers Friday for a meeting of their countries' Security Cooperation Council, held every six months. The issues discussed included the fight against international terrorism and the situation in the Middle East and in Iraq, but Iran appeared to dominate the agenda.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [398 views] Top|| File under:

#1 
I expect that Europe will hang together and hang tough in its insistence that Iran refrain from the further development of nuclear weapons. I expect that, if necessary, Europe will impose economic sanctions and will sustain them.
.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 01/23/2005 0:34 Comments || Top||

#2  China won't go along with sanctions. France and Russia will play their usual behind-the-scenes games of sanctions-busting.

The only good outcome here is a democratic overthrow of the mullahs by the Iranian people. Then they can have all the nukes they want, and trade to their hearts' content with Russian, the EU whores, China, whomever.

Faster, for chrissake.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:38 Comments || Top||

#3  I expect that when Mike's disappointed in #1 above, he'll move the goal posts again
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 0:51 Comments || Top||

#4  Europe will never impose sanctions here. From their perspective, the worst outcome-- a nuclear Iran menacing Israel and the new Iraqi democratic government-- isn't all that bad. Especially if it slaps the US warmongering hegemon in the face and also hands out billions of euros worth of contracts to Renault, Siemens, Airbus, LUKoil etc.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:55 Comments || Top||

#5  Remember, the "carrots" being dangled are not for the Iranians, they're for the EU Dwarves. The mullahs couldn't care less about economic incentives; they've already lined their pocketws with millions. It's the EU3 who are being bribed.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Same cast of folks that enabled Saddam, how curious


'Tis better to hang together than separately....
Posted by: anonymous2u || 01/23/2005 1:01 Comments || Top||

#7  If the euro stays at $1.30, or goes even higher, then Germany's chances of avoiding negative economic growth are next to nil. The EU export secotr is desperate for foreign contracts. The simple, objective fact of the matter is that Germany and France need Iran's business much more than Iran needs their business. This is simply rope-a-dope by EU whores.

Faster, dammit.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 1:11 Comments || Top||

#8  a nuclear Iran menacing Israel and the new Iraqi democratic government-- isn't all that bad

A nuclear Iran is not a menace to a Shiite dominated gov't in Iraq.

A nuclear dominated N. Korea, however, is a definite threat to the USA.

If you are saying that a nuclear Iran is a threat to Israel, perhaps that is true though I doubt Iran would ever use its nuclear capability against Israel. But if Isreal sees it as a threat then Israel, not the USA, should do something about it.

Let's keep the threats against which country straight. The USA has enough on its plate with Afghanistan, Iraq, and N. Korea without picking a fight with Iran because Israel's peace of mind is troubled.


Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 1:17 Comments || Top||

#9  I don't have a problem with that logic. As I say, the best outcome is a democratic Iran that, if it choose to pursue nukes, as it almost certainly would, will at least refuse slip this technology to AQ and hizbullah proxies.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 1:21 Comments || Top||

#10  Didn't the old>Soviet Union and the new>Russia govt.sell Iran most of their nuc technology and hardware.
Posted by: curie || 01/23/2005 1:26 Comments || Top||

#11  I expect that Europe will hang together and hang tough in its insistence that Iran refrain from the further development of nuclear weapons. I expect that, if necessary, Europe will impose economic sanctions and will sustain them.

Mike S., what action do you see forthcoming once Iran successfully tests a nuclear device? Can you envision any sort of effective interdiction being made by this same group that is so actively appeasing Tehran's terrorist sponsors?

I cannot and see no reason that Iran should be allowed to make the least progress towards nuclear capability of any sort. Please state why you feel the Iranians should be permitted even the least latitude towards such ends.
Posted by: Zenster || 01/23/2005 1:30 Comments || Top||

#12  Please state why you feel the Iranians should be permitted even the least latitude towards such ends.
We have tolerated N.Korea, Pakistan, India, Russia, France, Israel, and God knows how many other countries to have nuclear capabilities. We may need to tolerate Iran having nuclear capability too.

The mullahs are pragmatists. They are sellig oil to China and the EU and getting very rich by it. Iran has never shown any interest in expanding beyond its borders. It's an odd man out in the ME, much like the Kurds. Iran is non-Arab. If anything the mullahs want to consolidate their powers in Iran and maybe get palsy-walsy with their Shiite cousins in Iraq, and then make even more money by fixing high oil prices in the future.

Pakistan is at greater risk for allowing AQ to get its hands on nuclear devices than Iran, which is a Shiite country. Iran may turn a blind eye to Sunni AQ folks hiding in its country but Iran is a target itself long term of AQ so I can't see Iran letting OBL getting too close to its nuclear facilities. That would be the Shiite mullahs signing their own death warrants. It makes no sense. If anything the mullahs want nuclear capabilities as a deterrent to US dreams of regime change and also the mullahs want to protect themselves against S. Arabia in the event SA falls into the hands of Sunni radicals.

As I say, the best outcome is a democratic Iran
A"democratic Iran" does not guarantee that it will be pro-USA. When the Shah ruled Iran, it was not a democracy but it was pro-USA. Turkey is a democracy of sorts but it is anti-USA.




Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 1:58 Comments || Top||

#13  Currie,
Russia is providing Iran the (up to 3 or 4 1000MW) power reactors that will produce enough plutonium for dozens of bombs each year. The uranium enrichment tech is western European origin via AQ Khan and Euro carelessness, as well as unscrupulous Euro businessmen.

If Israel or the US decides to take out a nuclear armed Iranian mullocracy (either conventionally or with nukes), why wouldn't the mullahs launch all their nuke armed missiles at the infidels. Other than Israel, the nearest infidels are in Europe and Russia. Israel has a limited ABM system. How goes the EU and Russian antiballistic and cruise missile defences?

If Iran successfully nukes Israel as they have repeatedly said they will, why wouldn't Israel reserve 50 or so of their nukes for continental Europeans and Russia, who aided and abbetted the mullahs nuclear ambitions, and nearly wiped out the Jews 60 years ago?

Finally when enough unstable nations get nukes, at what point can it become adventageous for A to clandestinely nuke B and set up C to take the blame (who may be the real enemy target)? What is the optimal response for B if it cannot determine with certainty who attacked it?
Posted by: ed || 01/23/2005 2:21 Comments || Top||

#14  A"democratic Iran" does not guarantee that it will be pro-USA

Obviously, a democratic Iran will be vastly more sympathetic to us and our interests than any mullahcracy ever could be. Right now, popular sentiment in Iran is wildly pro-US. Even Nick Kristof has affirmed this.

I would much rather have a democratic Iran with nukes than a mullah-led Iran harboring AQ and determined to get nukes and continuing to attack us and Israel via proxies. That's an easy choice.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 2:25 Comments || Top||

#15  What part of "Death to America." do you not understand? It has been the standard Iranian chant for 20 years. That and "Death to Israel." So we are just expected to ignore that and all the other evidence like support and aid to terrorists by Iran in hopes the E3 will contain Iran. What a joke I can't believe anyone is that simple minded.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/23/2005 2:27 Comments || Top||

#16  Right now, popular sentiment in Iran is wildly pro-US.
University students' sentiment ( a limited sector) in Iran is anti-mullahs. But they are not "wildly" pro-USA.

Even Nick Kristof has affirmed this
And Nick Kristof lives in Iran? Or at the very least is Nick Kristof an ex-patriate Iranian?

Obviously, a democratic Iran will be vastly more sympathetic to us and our interests than any mullahcracy ever could be.
I don't see an obvious connection between a democratic Iran with pro-USA sentiments. ME'ers hate Israel. Even the newly liberated Iraqis would not let Jewish Iraqis vote in the upcoming election. Perhaps a non-mullah dominated Iran might tolerate America, a bit less than Turkey does because Iran is oil-rich and doesn't need our "stinkin" US aid, but I don't see Iranians wildly pro-USA as long as they perceive us as showing favoritism to Israel.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 2:39 Comments || Top||

#17  What part of "Death to America." do you not understand
I understand that at this very minute N. Korea has the capability of blowing LA and SF and Seattle to smithereens and I understand that the leader of N. Korea is a certifiable nutcase.

If I need to live with that CERTAIN VERIFIED threat 24/7, then you can live with the perhaps, maybe, what if scenario of Iran developing nuclear weapons in the future that could be, perhaps, not really be threat to Israel.

If you are going to pee your pants about nuclear weaponry threats, it might be prudent to consider first the threat that is in our back yard as of yesterday, a threat that hangs like a Damocles sword over American citizens.

Nukes are a threat but let's get our priorities straight.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 2:49 Comments || Top||

#18  Alright lets DO get our priorities straight, NK either has or is extremely close to having a couple of nukes (nothing I've read says otherwise). The US has always treated NK with kids gloves for two reasons and thats because of Seoul and the US troops garrisoned in Korea, one those factors have moved further south in order to avoid an actual first strike of potentially wiping the troops out. But not for a moment has anyone cept lunatics suggested that we wouldnt lose hundreds of thousands of civilians if NK shelled Seoul. Even if we did a first strike we couldn't prevent the dug in artillery from causing horrendous civilian casualties. THAT is why its much harder to take out the NKor nukes, with Iran we know they don't have the nukes yet NOR the possibility of directly causing that widespread damage. Curtailing the Iranians is hard as hell to do when the Europeans and Chinese and Russians want to break any sanctions or blockades in order to both sell weapons to the Iranians and exploit their potential resources. You want to take out the NKors? Fine present a plan thats proving more effective than what we're doing right now, NO ONE trusts them as anything but a bunch of lunatics (I think even the Chinese govt. knows that).
Posted by: Valentine || 01/23/2005 2:58 Comments || Top||

#19  Fine present a plan thats proving more effective than what we're doing right now, NO ONE trusts them as anything but a bunch of lunatics (
That's the point. We are not doing anything about NK and so we Americans as well as our ally Japan must live with the threat from NK's nuclear capability.

So I'd suggest that our ally, Israel, needs to do the same as Japan and as West Coast Americans do.

My point is what makes Israel's concern a greater worry to us than our own worry in America and Japan's worry? I see no reason that the USA should hurl itself into a war with Iran when we are not doing the same with NK.

Life is filled with lots of uncertainties. I think if Israel wants to fight Iran, they can go to it but then Israel is on its own because to do a pre-emptive strike against Iran is unwise.

I don't want to fight wars on Israel's behalf, do you?

The same would be true if India decided to attack Pakistan because it got tired of worrying about Pakistan's nuclear capability. Tough. India would be on its own for being impetuous.I sure wouldn't want our GI's dying on India's behalf.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 3:12 Comments || Top||

#20  I don't want to fight wars on Israel's behalf, do you?
Who cares? It's only the joos. If Iran intends to annihilate them, it's not our problem... any more than it was when the Germans wanted to.
/sarcasm off

The problem is that Iran has a STATED INTENT of killing all the Jews.

I'm not convinced that the mad mullahs are deterred by MAD, and neither are the Israelis.
Posted by: Dishman || 01/23/2005 3:51 Comments || Top||

#21  First things first, this ain't just about Israel so cram that load of crap, this is about a state thats actively been advocating and funding terror for the last 30+ years with full intents on doing as much active damage to israel and the US as possible. Second Japan you apparently didn't read my post clearly, I said we aren't doing anything PRO-actively other than what we are currently doing (which is basically ignore them whenever they start whining or threatening, NK is more dependent on outside help to sustain its hold than Iran is, there is an effectively little to no trade with North Korea currently its more fragile than Iran) and on that note we cannot take a more active stance without endangering anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of people. With Iran we CAN take an active and an aggressive move before that situation becomes untenable. Some of you don't seem to grasp, you can't always fight what you wish to fight you have to fight the wars you can win and influence.

P.S. Oh and just to be sure I'm not going to vent outrageously here, are you by any chance doublestandard from the belmontclub btw?
Posted by: Valentine || 01/23/2005 3:54 Comments || Top||

#22  bah inserted Japan in there for absolutely no reason, I should add also that Japan is directly in range of their medium missiles (we know of no missile tests from NK that can reach us even though they have missiles designed to hit Alaska). I am much more scared of NK passing warheads to Iran than I am of them launching a missile, they know in their case they too risk utter annihilation and that somewhat moderates at least the military levels of thinking, this is unlike the iranian mullahs and their govt. however who have no qualms apparently about sacrificing their entire nation into "martyrdom" by nuclear fire.
Posted by: Valentine || 01/23/2005 3:58 Comments || Top||

#23  ..though I doubt Iran would ever use its nuclear capability against Israel.

If given the opportunity at a casino to make a bet on that, how much of your money would you be willing to risk?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/23/2005 4:37 Comments || Top||

#24  Money isn't a satisfactory wager... DS would only be out money, while the Israelis would be dead.
Would DS accept a wager against liability and culpability if Iran nuked Israel?
Posted by: Dishman || 01/23/2005 4:49 Comments || Top||

#25  Then they came for me--and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Posted by: 2b || 01/23/2005 5:37 Comments || Top||

#26  Double Standard has an interesting aproach here..

The Israely face the threat of getting nuked by Iran ? Its their problem !

India is harassed by Islamo terror, tough, its their problem !

This is not exactly the wisest policy (long term).

What if one day the 3E, Russia Iran and China gang up on the US ???
would it then be: tough, its a US problem ?

Hopefully not , because we would like to stand by our allies and friends (for what it's worth).

Incidentally I think you are missing the point.
This is not about Israel. I think Nuclearized Iran
is very undesirable in the region and may have a tremendous destabilizing influence on the ME and most of Asia. Barring tactical short term reasons I thing it is an important strategic interest of the US to avoid adding an unstable term to the ME and Asia nuclear power equation.
Posted by: EoZ || 01/23/2005 6:21 Comments || Top||

#27  So your solution is to do nothing,by your appeasing attitude you have no problem if the Somalis and Sudannese go nuke.Why not allow Mexico have nukes,by your logic that would be ok,after all they are no threat to us.Hell let every insane,murderous country in the world have nukes,after all it is not a direct threat to us.Just how long do you think it will be before these mad dogs start lobbing nukes at each other and we get caught in the Fallout or catch 1 or 3 because we are in the way.
Posted by: Raptor || 01/23/2005 7:19 Comments || Top||

#28  #26
Russia+Iran+China,Axis......this is the second time I've heard of such a thing. Easy to type but I wouldn't bet on it. and since it hasn't happened...its fair to speculate I guess...
During Vietnam the Soviets and Chinese bickered like hell.(actually fighting in 70s)
#13
radionucleotides can be detected which can give investigators strong indications of origin. and our satellites can detect the boost phase of missiles and cruise missiles to a lesser extent.
A physicist and/or rocket scientist might help us here?
Posted by: Curie || 01/23/2005 7:58 Comments || Top||

#29  Curie, Good point. Russia and China have too many points of friction for there ever to be an issue that overcomes them. But a Eurabia China alliance is not so far fetched and offers something for everyone; trade for Europe, Technology for China, Cover for Arabs (and Persians and Medes and Paks and whoever else needs cover). Sure China will have to deal with Islam, but that is in the future, after getting Siberia's resources.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/23/2005 8:27 Comments || Top||

#30  much as things change - they stay the same.

I can't see the Russia, Iran, China axis turning out any better than it ever has in the past. I agree, the stars could temporarily align, with the petty goal of harming the west - but long term, the marriage if doomed. Once Iran has nukes, it's going to step up it's quest for the caliphate, with Russia most immediately in it's sights due to already existing conflicts in the Cascaus. China will not want to give up it's lucrative western markets and Russia's reputation as a whore will limit it's prospects for a long term marriage.
Posted by: 2b || 01/23/2005 13:58 Comments || Top||

#31  The original question goes back to does the US come on board & back the the French/German/Brit/& now Ruskie diplomatic venture? Debateable imo. On one hand some of our polticos will want to look more magnanimous and back such diplomacy but I think Lex nailed the realistic outcome: China won't buy off on sanctions & France/Germans/Russia will pay them lip service but will continue to work back room deals w/the mullahs. After oil for food, the kornet missile/nvg and other sanction busters I've not much trust in the French/Ruskies/Germans. In the end, does it hurt us to back this diplomatic effort? I think it's prolly a waste of time in the long run but I'm willing to jump on board if only for the sake of the Brits. All the while we need to be getting as much ground intel as possible about how the iranian programs are going. The spy rings need to get set up. Trust but verify. Verifying potential F-117/B52/JDAM/Tomahawk targets I mean. I'm sure the pentagon wonks are already or have already planned the strike on Tehran.

A democratic Iran is an obviously good thing to have - nuke free or not. I couldn't begin to speculate on how far off that is.
Posted by: Jarhead || 01/23/2005 14:13 Comments || Top||

#32  So your solution is to do nothing,by your appeasing attitude you have no problem if the Somalis and Sudannese go nuke.
I am not saying that we should do nothing. What I am saying is:
a) to recognize that various countries outside ourselves already own nuclear weapons and that your argument about the "worry" of nukes getting into the hands of terrorists if Iran gets nukes is empty. Pakistan, a wobbly US ally except for its military dictator, is far more likely to have its broad spectrum leadership and general population co-operate with Sunni extremists led by OBL and yet you have no "worry" with that nation.
b)Europe has engaged Iran diplomatically, as they should, because EU countries are within nuclear striking distance from Iran. And because the EU is a major trade bloc with Iran, they have considerable influence they can bring to bear on Iran. Iran is becoming very rich through trade. Why would the mullahs want to throw away its existence, its future with a nuclear strike on Israel or an EU country like Italy? Diplomatic pressure is being used against NK. The same can be done with Iran.
c)We have our hands full militarily with Afghanistan and Iraq, especially the latter. The USA cannot afford to provoke Iran right now without full scale blow back. Who would we have in our corner to help us if that happened? The UK would be pissed at the US's impetuous action that put their troops at grave risk who are stationed in S. Iraq. Ditto Australia. Not to mention that American citizens state side would be royally pissed at the WH for wading into another war with 2 in hand, and this 3rd war on Israel's behalf. There is no way on earth that stateside folks will support a war for Israel. You think that's callous? That's realistic. Btw, did Israel go to war with us against communists in Vietnam? I don't think so. So take your predictable whine anti-semitism and stick it up your a**.

As for the following comment:
why wouldn't Israel reserve 50 or so of their nukes for continental Europeans and Russia, who aided and abbetted the mullahs nuclear ambitions, and nearly wiped out the Jews 60 years ago
If you honestly think Israel would contemplate doing this, then Israel is no true friend of anyone except herself. Many more millions of Christian men and women from the EU and from Canada and the USA died at the hands of the Nazis than Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Where it not for Christian soldiers valiently fighting the Nazis, there would be no Israel today, no Jews alive in continental Europe. If Israelis and Jewish Americans alike neither recognize nor have gratitude for the sacrifices of Christian nations during WWII, than it is very sad indeed.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 14:15 Comments || Top||

#33 
Re #11 (Zenster):

what action do you see forthcoming once Iran successfully tests a nuclear device?

I think Europe would impose economic sanctions.

Can you envision any sort of effective interdiction being made by this same group that is so actively appeasing Tehran's terrorist sponsors?

I don't think Europe is "actively appeasing Tehran's terrorist sponsors.

Please state why you feel the Iranians should be permitted even the least latitude towards such ends.

I don't think they should be permitted. I also don't think the USA will take military action, and the USA can't impose economic sanctions, because we have practically no trade with Iran.

I also don't think Israel can effectively bomb Iran's nuclear program.

So, Europe's threat to impose economic sanctions is the only game in town, in my opinion.
.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 01/23/2005 14:18 Comments || Top||

#34 
Re #12 (2xstandard):

The mullahs are pragmatists. They are sellig oil to China and the EU and getting very rich by it.

Iran is not getting rich. The country's economy is stagnating. Unemployment and bankruptcies are growing. Iran sorely needs trade with Europe.
.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 01/23/2005 14:20 Comments || Top||

#35  The Europeans are selling tickets to a game that the Iranians ahve already said they aren't going to play. It may be the only game in town - but only suckers are going to buy.
Posted by: 2b || 01/23/2005 14:30 Comments || Top||

#36  Mike S., 2xs meant the mullahs themselves getting rich, not the populace in Iran. What you say about the country's economy as a whole is accurate.
Posted by: Jarhead || 01/23/2005 14:34 Comments || Top||

#37  Mike S.: "I also don't think the USA will take military action..."
ROTFL
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 15:27 Comments || Top||

#38  The only reason that the NORKS are still in business is that other countries (and that includes the US until recently) have brought some kind of aid to the regime. This has enabled the NORKS to keep their military machine alive, when the government should have collapsed.

With high oil prices, Iran is awash with cash. They use their excess cash to buy reactors for electricity [snicker] when they are flaring off enough gas to handle that. Hell, I read a report that Bam is still not rebuilt after the earthquake. The Chinese are doing some $35 billion in improvements in the oil sector. The Chicoms despirately need oil to fuel their economy.

Iran is in the catbird seat. They will keep Baby Assad afloat. Hisb'Allah is being financed by Iranian money. The Paleos and the PA and Hamas are waning, while Hisb'Allah is poised to run the terror show against Israel because they got the cash flow.

Instead of building up their country and their people, the MMs think respect will come from carrying a big nuclear stick. The EU-3 and Russia are looking for a piece of the financial action to make up for the loss of Iraq, AND they want to stick it to the US. They have convinced themselves that Iran under no circumstances will rattle its sabre against them. Delusional thinking. These are dangerous times.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/23/2005 15:34 Comments || Top||

#39  Mike, the Germans are in desperate economic straits. They are far more dependent on manufactured exports than any other European nation, and the high euro is crushing their export sector. German economists contend that if the euro remains in the current 1.30 range, then German GDP growth will not even reach 1% this year, which means unemployment will go even higher and Schroeder's government will fall. The Germans desperately need new export markets such as Iran.

As for the mullahs, they're swimming in oil wealth and have no need for new trade partners. Their game is purely about increased influence and leverage abroad and continuing their monopolization of power at home, ie repressing any democratic voices. Trade and growth are the least of their concerns.

The "negotiations" with the EU3 are a farce. It's the Euros, esp the Germans and the French, who are desperate for trade carrots, not the mullahs. Sanctions will not happen unless and until the euro falls by 40%. Not bloody likely anytime soon....
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 15:43 Comments || Top||

#40  DS: Why would the mullahs want to throw away its existence, its future with a nuclear strike on Israel or an EU country like Italy?

So you don't believe their stated intention of destroying Israel? What if they end up feeling like they've nothing to lose?
Posted by: Dishman || 01/23/2005 16:29 Comments || Top||

#41  So you don't believe their stated intention of destroying Israel?

They want to destroy Israel, but they've never wanted it enough to threaten their own existence. It's typical to mock them by calling them "mad mullahs" but in truth they've never once revealed themselves mad or self-destructive.

What if they end up feeling like they've nothing to lose?

Yeah, that's the actual problem of a nuclear Iran. NOT that it will automatically mean the nuclear bombing of anywhere, but rather that a nuclear Iran will scare away intervention because of the fear that (through invasion or bombing or support of revolution) we'll bring them to the point of "nothing to lose"

In short they're themselves playing the game of M.A.D. from the *other* side. Call them the M.A.D. Mullahs.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 16:55 Comments || Top||

#42  Great points, Aris! I'm a little unclear on how they aren't threatening their very existence at this very moment, but I'm sure you can enlighten me. Please, dear Aris, come back and give us additional field guidance so we here at Rantburg can fully understand your perspective.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 17:00 Comments || Top||

#43  2xstandard, you clearly do not understand, or are ignoring, that this is an existential threat for Israel. Losing any war means extermination of the entire population at the hand of the Arabs. Under the circumstances, why should they not strike a few blows at those whose attempt/acquiescence to the previous, partially successful genocide attempt forced the establishment of an independent Jewish nation, and whose current actions would have led directly to completion of that attempt except for the remnant in the rest of the world and the rump population in the U.S.?
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 17:33 Comments || Top||

#44  2xstandard, you clearly do not understand, or are ignoring, that this is an existential threat for Israel. Losing any war means extermination of the entire population at the hand of the Arabs

Here's what I understand, tw. The mullahs have used rhetoric against Great Satan since the days they drove the Shah out of power, and nothing has come of their threats.

The mullahs are getting very rich and very accustomed to the perks of selling oil to the EU and China. Though the mullahs may still use rhetoric against the US and Israel, these same mullahs are not going to do anything whatsoever to jeopardize their power.

Israelis better get used to the fact that it is not liked by the majority of UN countries and especially its neighbors. Some countries like Egypt and Jordan and Turkey have civil relations. But some countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran loathe Israel. What causes the latter 2 countries not to act on their desire to annihilate Israel is simple self-preservation, the desire of the ruling class in Iran and Saudi Arabia to continue motoring along in their corrupt self-serving ways.

The West would not permit a nuclear strike against Israel [ yes, even the greatly maligned French and Germans] to happen without major devastating results to Iran and its rulers. On the other hand if Israel [ or the US] launched a pre-emptive attack against Iran based on iffy intelligence causing blowback on coalition troops in Iraq, this would be a disaster for Israel politically. The few allies Israel has - the leadership of the USA, UK, Australia - would quickly face outrage from their own citizens back home as the body bags from Iraq increased to new highs.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 19:00 Comments || Top||

#45  2xstandard, it would take a very strange reading of history to say that the Christian nations of Europe fought Hitler on the behalf of the Jews. Most Europeans obediantly turned the Jews over to the Nazis as good riddance to bad rubbish. The nations that destroyed Hitler, the communist USSR, the Christian USA, and the Christian United Kingdom, did so for their own national survival. Jews were not a concern. As for Israelis thanking the Europeans, I think more of them thanked their God that they were no longer at the mercy of the Europeans.
Posted by: RWV || 01/23/2005 19:31 Comments || Top||

#46  2xstandard seems to have a very strange reading of a lot of things.
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/23/2005 19:35 Comments || Top||

#47  Every nation, including Israel, does what is in its best national interest. Any extras that accrue from actions involving national interest are an added plus.

Christian nations fought for their own national interest and also these same nations liberated Jews from death camps and also they helped establish Israel and through generous foreign aid helped Israel flourish. Three million Polish Christians were annihilated by the Nazis. The first people killed in death camps were Polish Christians, so stop with only the Jews died in death camps and the Christians all helped send Jews to death camps. That's a lie. If you want to carry around unreasonable grudges about Christians, Christians don't have to look very far back to realize that Jewish dominated Bolsheviks did their own purges against Christians in Russia and the Ukraine.

There is evil in every group. No one group is perfect. It makes more sense to look at the positive elements in each group rather than dwelling on evil segments.

Right now Israel is faced with a choice. It can act on iffy intelligence about Iran and attack it before the diplomatic channels are exhausted. But Israel should realize that if it does this, it has to live with the very high risk of causing blowback to coalition troops in Iraq and the subsequent loss of support from its allies, the US, UK, and Australia.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 21:44 Comments || Top||

#48  Yup you're starting to sound like the same DoubleStandard from BelmontClub, who by the way was also a troll that just ruined any sane discussion by always changing the subject to Bush or Israel being at fault.
Posted by: Valentine || 01/23/2005 22:05 Comments || Top||

#49  generous foreign aid Riiiight.

Jewish dominated Bolsheviks Members, yes. Dominated? Only if Lenin, Stalin, and hundreds of others were secretly circumcised.

But Israel should realize that if it does this, it has to live with the very high risk of causing blow back to coalition troops in Iraq and the subsequent loss of support from its allies, the US, UK, and Australia. Just like when Israel destroyed the Osiraq complex.

Oh, and Israel is highly aware that the world in general doesn't like it, at best, and is actively working for its destruction, at worst. If the survivors of the camps and their descendants gave a damn, they would have walked en masse into the sea years ago.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/24/2005 0:02 Comments || Top||

#50  The nations that destroyed Hitler, the communist USSR, the Christian USA, and the Christian United Kingdom, did so for their own national survival. Jews were not a concern
National survival is the reason all countries act the way they do and that would include Israel's motivations. If extra benefits accrue as a result of these actions/policies, than all the better.

Not just Jews were murdered by Hitler. In Poland, 3 Million Christians were annihilated a fact which some Jews would rather not consider, as pointed out in an article posted here a day or 2 ago, because this fact might take away from attention given to the Jewish Holocaust.

The millions of Christians that fought in WWII for national interest ended up saving alot of Jews from going into Hitler's ovens. Christian EU nations and the US were instrumental in having Israel established and due to these same Christian nations' tax supported largesse re: foreign aid to Israel over the years, Israel is a stable democracy. Jewish largesse alone could not have been enough for Israel to survive. To not be grateful for Christian nations' help for Israel and for liberating Jews from death camps in WW!! is despicable.

If Israelis truly feel as spiteful and narrow minded as you feel, rwv, then perhaps they should have rejected the billions of foreign aid they have taken from gentile taxpayers the past 50 years. And lest you think of Jews as always and only in "victim" status, perhaps you have forgotten that the Jewish dominated Bolsheviks did their fair share of crimes against Christians. You have this nonsensical idea that Christians stood by in WWII twiddling their thumbs letting Jews get murdered, but the fact of the matter was most nations, including the US, had no miliary to speak of except for the UK and Russia, and most nations were still trying to recover from the Crash and Depression. If Jews and Israelis have nothing but contempt for Christians then I think they should stop pretending Israel is the West's best ally in the ME. Western nations, the USA in particular, are still by and large Christian dominated.

If Israel wants to pursue what's best for Israel by attacking Iran with no regard to consequences for coalition troops in Iraq, then Israel should be prepared for losing the support of countries like USA, the UK, and Australia. Blame for the deaths of coalition troops in Iraq as a result of blow back from Israel's impetuous attack on Iran will rest on Israel's shoulders.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 21:03 Comments || Top||

#51  The nations that destroyed Hitler, the communist USSR, the Christian USA, and the Christian United Kingdom, did so for their own national survival. Jews were not a concern
National survival is the reason all countries act the way they do and that would include Israel's motivations. If extra benefits accrue as a result of these actions/policies, than all the better.

Not just Jews were murdered by Hitler. In Poland, 3 Million Christians were annihilated a fact which some Jews would rather not consider, as pointed out in an article posted here a day or 2 ago, because this fact might take away from attention given to the Jewish Holocaust.

The millions of Christians that fought in WWII for national interest ended up saving alot of Jews from going into Hitler's ovens. Christian EU nations and the US were instrumental in having Israel established and due to these same Christian nations' tax supported largesse re: foreign aid to Israel over the years, Israel is a stable democracy. Jewish largesse alone could not have been enough for Israel to survive. To not be grateful for Christian nations' help for Israel and for liberating Jews from death camps in WW!! is despicable.

If Israelis truly feel as spiteful and narrow minded as you feel, rwv, then perhaps they should have rejected the billions of foreign aid they have taken from gentile taxpayers the past 50 years. And lest you think of Jews as always and only in "victim" status, perhaps you have forgotten that the Jewish dominated Bolsheviks did their fair share of crimes against Christians. You have this nonsensical idea that Christians stood by in WWII twiddling their thumbs letting Jews get murdered, but the fact of the matter was most nations, including the US, had no miliary to speak of except for the UK and Russia, and most nations were still trying to recover from the Crash and Depression. If Jews and Israelis have nothing but contempt for Christians then I think they should stop pretending Israel is the West's best ally in the ME. Western nations, the USA in particular, are still by and large Christian dominated.

If Israel wants to pursue what's best for Israel by attacking Iran with no regard to consequences for coalition troops in Iraq, then Israel should be prepared for losing the support of countries like USA, the UK, and Australia. Blame for the deaths of coalition troops in Iraq as a result of blow back from Israel's impetuous attack on Iran will rest on Israel's shoulders.
Posted by: 2xstandard || 01/23/2005 21:03 Comments || Top||


Most Dutch See Muslims as Threat
A large majority of Dutch people are afraid of Muslims, according to a poll taken after the murder of a Dutch filmmaker critical of Islam. The poll, conducted by TNS NIPO in the Netherlands, as well as in Spain and Italy, since the November murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected radical Islamist, showed only 19 percent of Dutch people do not see the presence of Muslims in the country as a threat. Home to almost one million Muslims or 6 percent of the population, the Netherlands' reputation for tolerance and social harmony has been shattered by the murder and a wave of attacks on mosques and churches and death threats against politicians.

Racial tensions surfaced again this week after a Dutch woman killed a youth with Moroccan roots after he stole her bag. Highlights of the poll, to be launched formally tomorrow, were published by De Volkskrant daily yesterday. The newspaper said the results were surprising given that Spain and Italy were much more frequently confronted with illegal immigration of Muslims from North Africa than the Dutch. The survey showed 67 percent of Dutch people had no contact with Muslims and 65 percent hardly know anything about Islam in spite of broad coverage in the media. Those who see Muslims as a threat say they are afraid they will eventually have to live under Islamic religious rules. Those living outside big cities, women and the well educated were more likely to have negative views, the newspaper said. Half the Dutch polled said they would move house if their neighborhood became more dominated by immigrants and the same proportion said they were afraid women would no longer be able to move about freely in public because of Muslims.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Those living outside big cities, women and the well educated were more likely to have negative views

There's hope. Security moms and armed liberals, unite. You have nothing to lose but your dhimmitude.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:50 Comments || Top||

#2  When is it time to take back one's own government?
Posted by: STATE || 01/23/2005 0:56 Comments || Top||

#3  Criminey, they're turning purple-ish red!

Oh, wait, our red isn't their red - Blue, they're turning Blue!

Oh, wait, they already are blue.

Pink????
Posted by: anonymous2u || 01/23/2005 0:58 Comments || Top||

#4  they're afraid - question is...what do they do about it?
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 1:03 Comments || Top||

#5  Hey, another Red State. Too bad its in Europe.
Posted by: JackAssFestival || 01/23/2005 1:25 Comments || Top||

#6  Let them mature a bit and then propose them to leave that useless UE and become a United State. :-)
Posted by: JFM || 01/23/2005 3:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Question is: What are the nice Dutch going to do about it? Move to a neighboring country?
Posted by: Glereper Craviter7929 || 01/23/2005 21:28 Comments || Top||

#8  "Hey, another Red State. Too bad its in Europe"

"Let them mature a bit and then propose them to leave that useless UE and become a United State. "

They have same-sex marriages in Netherlands, you know. :-)
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 21:33 Comments || Top||

#9  Shun Aris. He is obsessed with same-sex marriages and masochism.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 21:41 Comments || Top||

#10  Aris is a fifth columnist who revels in American deaths.
Posted by: badanov || 01/23/2005 21:53 Comments || Top||

#11  And badanov is Elvis in disguise!
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/23/2005 21:56 Comments || Top||


Germany to Deport Hundreds of Islamists - Magazine
German officials are drawing up lists of hundreds of Islamic militants to be deported from the country under a new law making expulsions easier, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday. Der Spiegel said authorities were already using their powers under an immigration law introduced this month in conducting an operation dubbed "Aktion Kehraus" ("Action Sweep Out").
Sounds like a step in the right direction. Better to expel since it appears impossible to get anybody convicted in a German court.
The Interior Ministry declined to comment on the report beyond saying that deportations were a matter for Germany's 16 federal states. Under new rules, potential deportees will not be able to use normal legal channels to challenge an expulsion order. A special panel of the Federal Administrative Court will be responsible, with no right of appeal.
No appeal! I give the left about 2 days to start the Nazi comparisons.
Der Spiegel said judges were expected to deal with up to 2,000 cases per year. Since the revelations in 2001 that Arab students who had lived for years in Hamburg led the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Germans have questioned their liberal laws under which some suspected militants even draw welfare benefits. Interior Minister Otto Schily has suggested that evidence of training at an al Qaeda camp should be clear grounds for expelling a foreign national. Distributing videos calling for "holy war" could also be punished the same way.
Posted by: JAB || 01/23/2005 11:48:24 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A start. May be hope for Deutschland yet.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Ohhh, the EU police won't like this.

This should be...interesting.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 01/23/2005 1:08 Comments || Top||

#3  I vote they get deported right into Judge Garzon's courtroom at the Audencia Nacional in Spain.
Posted by: Seafarious || 01/23/2005 5:01 Comments || Top||

#4  My guess is the EU courts will shoot this down but in the man time the Germans will get a lot of "refugees" off of their welfare rolls. Not enough to save their economy but it's a start.
Posted by: RJSchwarz || 01/23/2005 13:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Control yourself woman, RB is a serious forum.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/23/2005 15:56 Comments || Top||

#6  The EUcrats will kill this asap. It conflicts with "human rights" and their plans to save the EU on the backs of islamic imigrants.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/23/2005 21:08 Comments || Top||

#7  How about areesting them?
I just hope the next place the deportees blow up is in Germany.
Posted by: Glereper Craviter7929 || 01/23/2005 21:30 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
The Backbone Campaign
Via Lucianne and co-written by Philipp Heinz (any relation to a certain ATM???

A group of Democratic Party activists had a delivery for the Democratic National Committee but couldn't find anyone willing to take possession of their prize. The group -- the Backbone Campaign -- is not only unhappy with the Bush administration, but they find their own party somewhat compliant because many will not stand up to President Bush and his policies.
(Of course they're standing up, it's just that W's running over them.
They claim even their party leaders "have no spine." So they brought along a 70-foot one. It takes about half an hour for the campaign members to assemble the "spine," arranging the drapery covered "vertebra" just so and then festooning it with banners reading "Health Care," "Human Rights" and "No War."
(Geez, Freud would have a field day w/all these oversized puppets.)
Barbara Bain, a member of the Backbone Campaign, is unhappy with most politicians, including the Democrats. (wow, something we can agree on!)
"Once they are elected in office, they make no real changes," the 34-year-old woman said. "It is time for progressive movement in this country.
>."(and what was 1932-sh to 2004??? -0 those who do not remember history...)
According to her, the campaign wanted to tie in with the ideals of the Progressive Movement from the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries. The group is offering a "Backbone Award" as a symbol of courage to politicians they think have shown spine. Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, has got one. The Backbone Campaign has promised others to senators who led the effort to block the appointments of Secretary of State-nominee Condoleezza Rice and Attorney General-designate Alberto Gonzales.

The Backbone Campaign was formed by artists and activists
the usual suspects, I wonder if all this complaining is just another art form?
on Vashon Island, Wash., in January 2004. They wanted to use their creativity to put forth a positive agenda and to thank elected officials who "show spine" and stand up to the Bush administration. Once a member of the group complimented a politician with the words "he deserves a Backbone Award." And little later they asked themselves "Why not bring the DNC a giant backbone," Bill Moyer, executive director of the Backbone Campaign, said.
W/ someone else's money, nothing less attractive than an old hippie-type.
"The Democratic Party keeps lurching towards the Republican Party," said Warren Potas, who is among the small crowd of protesters. He holds up a "Howard Dean" sign, a link to Potas' choice during last year's Democratic primary season. "The Democrats used to stand for individual rights," the 54-year-old from Washington said, listing abortion, gay rights and protection of data privacy as key issues.
all very, very progressive ideas at the turn of the 20th century
"Bush is turning this country into a tyrannical theocracy." He referred to Republicans as "they" and compared them to characters in the movie "Star Wars": "They were cheering for Darth Vader. In fact, Darth Vader is the role model for their government."
Another thing we can agree upon.
I find their lack of faith... disturbing.
The group carries the giant puppet of a human spine three blocks to DNC headquarters. As the puppet rolls through the streets, festival artists lead the about 100 spectators singing and calling for a "backbone agenda" in politics. Life is just a stage, after all.
They're in the infantile stage, but it is a stage.
"We are not a threat to the Democratic Party," Moyer shouted at the DNC office building, where about a half of dozen employees stepped onto a balcony to watch the spectacle. "We are its future, its only future. Without the support of the progressive base, the Democratic Party is doomed to irrelevance.
Uh, oh, they're waking up!
We wish to bring attention to the historical crossroads at which the Democratic Party stands and the impact on the relationship between the Democratic Party and the growing Progressive Movement." He said the upcoming months are crucial for Democrats. "The choices that the Democratic Party makes in the next month will resonate through history. They will either unite us or trigger an exodus of voters from the Democratic Party," Moyer said.
Uhh, that already began on 9/11, perhaps you heard of it? It was in the papers back then for about 3-4 days.
Barbara Bain stood disappointed, carrying the golden "Backbone Award" like a baby in her arms. She wanted to deliver the trophy into the hands of the first Democrat coming out of the building to speak with her. The group sings on and on its little song: "Old Growth's connected to Clean Air; Clean Air's connected to Healthcare; Healthcare's connected to Fair Tax."
Ever hear of Bruce Springsteen? He wrote a song called, "Glory Days," IIRC.
But nothing happens. The only reaction: Three policemen arrive to guard the huge glass door of the DNC office. "We are not allowed to go in," Bain said. "I think they have no spine."
Maybe not, but Evita's got the balls.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 01/23/2005 2:00:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Attach some ribs on them bones. Make 'em real visible to highlight the hunger problem. And glue some boobies on those ribs to show their empathy with women's issues. And...
Posted by: ed || 01/23/2005 2:59 Comments || Top||

#2  ..Oh, yeah, man. Dean as CINCDNC and these idiots doing 6th grade science projects as his backers.
It'll be interesting, if nothing else*S*

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 01/23/2005 8:47 Comments || Top||

#3  As much backbone, as say, a giant puppet? Artists, we got to have artists.
Posted by: Hupereger Gligum6929 || 01/23/2005 10:01 Comments || Top||

#4  Artists will get mowed down like last autumns sheep unless they are lead by men men men men in pink cardboard tanks.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/23/2005 15:59 Comments || Top||

#5  abortion, gay rights and protection of data privacy as key issues...

Sure, there's a winning platform for national elections. Nothing stirs up the populace like data privacy. OTOH "gay rights" does indeed stir the people to act. Oh wait, vast majorities of Democrats turned out in Missouri and ten other states to knock down gay marriage....

Well, then, maybe abortion will do the trick. Legal abortion, now! uh, you mean it's been legal for thirty-two years?

Never mind. No war for oil! Halt the occupation of Venezuela! Fair play for Cuba!
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 16:04 Comments || Top||

#6  lex, Dont forget the Carile (sp?) group.

A bunch of moonbats were gathered at westlake mall in seattle during the inarguation. Same old claims - haliburton - corporations - Carile group - Cheeney - Blood for oil.

The good news is that hardly anyone paid any attention to them. Until they thought up the great idea of swaying people to their side by blocking rush hour traffic in front of the Federal building. I'm sure that stunt swayed a lot of folks alright.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/23/2005 16:10 Comments || Top||

#7  It's almost painful to watch my former party struggle with the question of why they keep losing more and more elections. It seems like every time a voice of reason pops up and advises laying off the hatred, knee-jerk obstructionism, pessimism and negativism, a bunch of loonies shouts him down. Frankly, I don't think they're going to figure it out. Ever. Dunno what new coalition will arise from this mess, but I sense it will be a long time in coming.

Like I said, it's almost painful to watch. Almost, but not quite...
Posted by: Dave D. || 01/23/2005 16:12 Comments || Top||

#8  WTF is it with Seattle? Why such a high concentration of moonbats there? A low-rent, slacker version of San Francisco??
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 16:13 Comments || Top||

#9  Dave, you probably mean the Carlyle Group .
Posted by: rkb || 01/23/2005 16:15 Comments || Top||

#10  Ummm... no. I'm not familiar with it. What's the connection there?
Posted by: Dave D. || 01/23/2005 16:26 Comments || Top||

#11  The South used to be called "the Solid South" because the southern states ALWAYS voted solidly Democratic. Not any more and not for a while. Do the Democrats have any clue as to why not? I don't think so.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 01/23/2005 20:27 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Pentagon's secret spy unit broadens Rumsfeld's power, Part 2
The Pentagon, expanding into the CIA's historic bailiwick, has created a new espionage arm and is reinterpreting U.S. law to give Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld broad authority over clandestine operations abroad, according to interviews with participants and documents obtained by the Washington Post.
That'll take a minimum reinterpretation. The Pentagon controls the military intel branches. And it can task CIA resources. Pretty high winds in this here teapot...
The previously undisclosed organization, called the Strategic Support Branch, arose from Rumsfeld's written order to end his "near total dependence on CIA" for what is known as human intelligence. Designed to operate without detection and under the defense secretary's direct control, the Strategic Support Branch deploys small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists alongside special operations forces.
Amazing! That's certainly never happened before... Errrhhh... Has it?
Military and civilian participants said in interviews that the new unit has been operating in secret for two years -- in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places they declined to name. According to an early planning memorandum to Rumsfeld from Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the focus of the intelligence initiative is on "emerging target countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, Philippines and Georgia." Myers and his staff declined to be interviewed.

The Strategic Support Branch was created to provide Rumsfeld with independent tools for the "full spectrum of humint operations," according to an internal account of its origin and mission. Human intelligence operations, or "humint" -- a term used in counterpoint to technical means such as satellite photography -- range from interrogation of prisoners and scouting of targets in wartime to the peacetime recruitment of foreign spies. Perhaps the most significant shift is the Pentagon's bid to conduct surreptitious missions, in friendly and unfriendly states, when conventional war is a distant or unlikely prospect -- activities that have traditionally been the province of the CIA's Directorate of Operations. Senior Rumsfeld advisers said those missions are central to what they called the department's predominant role in combatting terrorist threats.

The creation of the espionage branch, the scope of its clandestine operations and the breadth of Rumsfeld's asserted legal authority have not been detailed publicly. Two longtime members of the House Intelligence Committee, a Democrat and a Republican, said they knew no details before being interviewed for this article. Pentagon officials said they established the Strategic Support Branch using "reprogrammed" funds, without explicit congressional authority or appropriation.

Rumsfeld's ambitious plans rely principally on the Tampa-based U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, and on its clandestine component, the Joint Special Operations Command. Rumsfeld has designated SOCOM's leader, Army Gen. Bryan Brown, as the military commander in chief in the war on terrorism. Known as "special mission units," Brown's elite forces are not acknowledged publicly. They include two squadrons of an Army unit popularly known as Delta Force, another Army squadron -- formerly code-named Gray Fox -- that specializes in close-in electronic surveillance, an Air Force human intelligence unit and the Navy unit popularly known as SEAL Team Six. Lt. Gen. William Boykin, deputy undersecretary for intelligence, acknowledged that Rumsfeld intends to direct some missions previously undertaken by the CIA. He added that it is wrong to make "an assumption that what the secretary is trying to say is, 'Get the CIA out of this business, and we'll take it.' I don't interpret it that way at all."

CIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher said the agency would grant no interviews for this article. Assistant Secretary of Defense Thomas O'Connell, who oversees special operations policy, said Rumsfeld has discarded the "hidebound way of thinking" and "risk-averse mentalities" of previous Pentagon officials under every president since Gerald Ford. "Many of the restrictions imposed on the Defense Department were imposed by tradition, by legislation and by interpretations of various leaders and legal advisers," O'Connell said in a written reply to follow-up questions. "... In my view, many of the authorities inherent to (the Defense Department) ... were winnowed away over the years."
Posted by: tipper || 01/23/2005 10:25:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It sounds to my civilian ears like Rumsfeld is providing Special Forces with the tools they need to do their job. Especially as the CIA has proved not up the job of providing real-time information on the distant and exotic locations where the various Forces like to operate these days.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 14:09 Comments || Top||

#2  once again Rumsfeld makes me proud of his foresight and tasking. The CIA has years of repair/replacement of deadwood
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 14:17 Comments || Top||

#3  How about if we withdraw SF and replace it with media pundits and other assorted blabber mouths. Don't forget the bullseye for their foreskinheads.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 15:07 Comments || Top||

#4  We have seen the enemy, and it is MSM.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 15:08 Comments || Top||


Pentagon Forms New Intelligence Department
It is claimed that the US Secretary of Defense has formed a new intelligence department and is reviewing US law to provide greater authority for the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over espionage activities in foreign countries. The Washington Post, a prominent US newspaper, published Pentagon documents and interviews and said that a new intelligence department called the "Strategic Support Branch" had been formed by Rumsfeld to end his "near total dependence on CIA".
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 9:39:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Competition is a good thing. More inputs, less conformity, less centralization = better intel.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 12:53 Comments || Top||


International-UN-NGOs
Follow-up on 'The Lincoln Letter'
Comic strip for Sunday, Jan 23.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/23/2005 9:53:10 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under:


Unraveling the UN Gordian Knot: Another Thread Pulled
American prosecutors are investigating claims that a second senior United Nations official involved in the oil-for-food scheme may have been paid off by Saddam Hussein after an Iraqi-born American businessman struck a plea-bargain deal last week. The testimony of Samir Vincent, who pleaded guilty to acting as a covert agent for Baghdad, indicates that Saddam's manipulation of the scheme began at its inception in 1996. Attention has previously focused on how, from 1998, Iraq skimmed off proceeds from the programme and issued vouchers for oil sales to its foreign supporters. In his testimony, however, Vincent, 64, detailed links with the Iraqi regime dating back to 1992. He made the claim that a UN official, who has not yet been named publicly, received cash payments from iraq in 1996 in his statement submitted as a "co-operating witness" to the United States federal court in Manhattan. A copy of the papers has been obtained by The Telegraph.

According to the indictment, Vincent was among a group of Iraqi officials and agents who agreed on the scheme to reward those who co-operated with Saddam with the oil vouchers. For his part, Vincent was allegedly rewarded with five oil contracts which he sold for between $3 million and $5 million. Federal prosecutors in New York and congressional investigators in Washington believe that the evidence of the former Iraqi Olympic athlete, who became a wealthy US oil trader with connections at the top of the Republican and Democrat parties, represents a crucial breakthrough that will lead to further indictments. Benon Sevan, the former head of the oil-for-food programme from which Saddam skimmed at least $1.7 billion, is already under investigation by federal prosecutors.
Wonder if his UN diplomatic immunity applies?
A CIA report published earlier this month claimed that Mr Sevan was allocated vouchers by Saddam to sell 7.3 million barrels of Iraqi oil through a Panamanian-registered company. According to the UN, Mr Sevan's name may have been used by a corrupt Iraqi official in a scheme to line his own pockets. Mr Sevan has denied any wrongdoing.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Tee hee. I love it when a plan unravels in front of the whole world.

Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 4:51 Comments || Top||

#2  That assumes they are watching -- or that they care. Sigh.
Posted by: true nuff || 01/23/2005 6:39 Comments || Top||

#3  This scandal is slowly starting to unravel. The US may be able to prosecute a selected few, but the financial reputation of the UN will be forever discredited. The next step after exposure will be to squeeze the UN's pocketbook and force them to reform. Do not hold your breath. What will happen is that the UN will continue its slide into irrelevance. Take a look at how the tsunami disaster relief was handled. Some can-do nations with air and sealift capabilities made it happen, not the UN.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/23/2005 15:51 Comments || Top||

#4  Go after Banque Paribas. Rip up their banking charter in NY State. Sic 'em, Attack Dog Spitzer!
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 15:57 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Sri Lanka denies using tsunami aid to buy weapons
"Yet."
Posted by: Seafarious || 01/23/2005 6:57:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No need. Just shift the budget in the books from the pork barrel, keep'm happy internal development column and move it to national defense without having to touch a single farthing of aid money. See , we didn't touch the aid money at all. Just coincidence our military budget suddenly grew.
Posted by: Hupereger Gligum6929 || 01/23/2005 10:06 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Iran Seeks Missile Parts From U.S.
Iran continues to seek missile parts via the United Arab Emirates. U.S. officials said Iran has established front companies in the UAE for the import of missile components from the United States. They said the Iran's state-owned Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group was behind the smuggling effort. The FBI has arrested an Iranian-born businessman on charges that he illegally smuggled equipment for Iran's missile program. The indictment, released on Jan. 11, said Mohammad Farahbakhsh, 43, sent pressure sensors and other equipment from a Stamford, Conn. company to the United Arab Emirates. From the UAE port of Dubai, the missile sensors were shipped to Iran. Farahbakhsh, a resident of Los Angeles, holds both Iranian and U.S. citizenship.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 11:53:40 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [254 views] Top|| File under:

#1  jail his ass for life - those parts are destined for missiles to kill Americans, and of course, the Joooooos
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 12:48 Comments || Top||

#2  I have an idea; let's give them the parts they seek, just put them inside other missiles with explosive heads and aim them at the residence of Khamenei and his cronies.

"Here's your missile parts, Assholes!!!!"
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/23/2005 15:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Mohammad Farahbakhsh needs to be loaded into a cruise missile warhead shell and delivered through a mullah bedroom window in Qom.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 15:17 Comments || Top||

#4  You won't be able to keep Caro Syrup, kite string and gunpowder away from them forever.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/23/2005 16:16 Comments || Top||

#5  Plains of glass, stretching from Iraq to Afghanistan. No demand for Caro Syrup, kite string and gunpowder.
Posted by: Tom || 01/23/2005 16:23 Comments || Top||


Iran has broken Western alliance against its nuclear activities: analyst
Political analyst and nuclear physicist Ali Khorram said here on Saturday that achieving scientific and industrial development is the key for Iran's success in its nuclear talks with the European Union. Until six months ago, not many people were aware of Iran's scientific progress and nuclear status, and this also influenced the process of the nuclear talks, Khorram told the Mehr News Agency. But after International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei's reports revealed Iran's scientific and industrial expertise in regard to the nuclear fuel cycle and centrifuge construction, its nuclear status actually served as an engine for Iran's diplomacy, he said.

This scientific development made European countries and the United States realize that they could no longer persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear fuel cycle program, Khorram stressed. It also proved that threats to attack Iran's nuclear installations would not be effective, since nuclear technology has taken root in Iran, he added. Khorram, who served for years as Iran's representative on UN disarmament and human rights commissions, noted that the fact that the Islamic Republic made it known that it might withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was another factor that helped expedite the process of nuclear talks. He stressed that the right to withdraw from the NPT is stipulated in the treaty as a clear right for all signatories, adding that a country which withdraws from the NPT has committed no wrong according to international law.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 10:27:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [240 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A brilliant tactical maneuver: this Iranian is trying to recast Iran's nuclear drive in purely nationalist terms: he presents Iran's deceptions and nuclear march as a sign of national "scientific progress" and a source of national pride.

This should be a warning to both Bush and the EU Dwarves. The goal here should be to enable the Iranian democratic opposition by every means at our disposal, accelerate the overthrow of the mullahs, and do so in a way that emphasizes our solidarity with Iranian democratic nationalism. Bush should signal that we have no problems with a nuclear Iran, provided that such an Iran be governed by the people, not fascistic bloodthirsty mullahs determined to obliterate Israel and to strangle Iraqi democracy.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Lex, while I like your aims and clear understanding of the widespread nationalism of Iranians, it would seem we are approaching a fork in the road.

For very pragmatic reasons, we cannot allow a nuclear Iran and the probability of an overwhelming democratic revolt in advance of the theocracy govern nuclear Iran is remote.

The sands in the hour glass are running low, a democratic coup is not probable any time soon, and a theocracy with nukes is virtually certain in arguably a year to year and a half.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 0:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Then the only feasible option is to let the Israelis do the dirty work. So be it.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 1:06 Comments || Top||

#4  The green ones, are fascists for openspace.
The aqua ones, are fascists for whale watching.
Posted by: raise your hand || 01/23/2005 1:16 Comments || Top||

#5  Let's be clear. A theocratically ran Iran with nukes is the equivalent of giving prominent terrorist groups nuke weaponry. Bush Doctrine warns of the nexus between terrorists and WMD. Now, how many al Qaeda are in Iran?
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 1:37 Comments || Top||

#6  Yes,yes. Europeans are a valuable allies.
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/23/2005 11:31 Comments || Top||

#7  What "Western alliance" against Iran's nuclear activities?

D'ya think they mean us, the Aussies, the Israelis, and (maybe) the Brits?

The continental Euros aren't against it; they want to sell Iran equipment. And they not-so-secretly hope Iran will nuke Israel and the US.

Guess they think the Iranian nuclear crocodile will eat them last....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/23/2005 11:39 Comments || Top||

#8  Barbara, it seems to me the Euro thinking on the matter goes something like, "Well, we wouldn't nuke Iran, so why would they nuke us? Whereas that horrible Bush wants to attack them. Q.E.D." They honestly don't seem to have got as far as hungry crocodiles. Not high level thinking in my opinion, but then I'm American, too. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#9  The Germans are desperate to increase exports. The high euro is killing any chance for economic growth in Germany and France this year. The only "negotiation" here is the terms which the Iranians will dictate to the EU3. It's the Iranians who are holding out the carrot, not the EU3.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 16:24 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan/South Asia
Is PML-N being merged into PML?
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership is facing excessive difficulties in selecting new PML-N provincial presidents and general secretaries to re-organise the party before the local body elections and it is likely that party may merge into ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML), sources told Daily Times on Sunday. PML-N President Mian Shahbaz Sharif had dissolved the party's central and provincial organisations in December 2004 and promised to select new leadership within 45 days, but sources claimed that no effort had been made so far in selecting new leaders.

After Shahbaz's departure to New York and in the light of government's reconciliation offer to the opposition, former provincial leaders think that the time of merger has arrived. However, other party sources rejected the proposal of PML-N's merger into PML and said that Sharif brothers were facing problems in the appointment of new leaders because of a power tussle between former PML-N Punjab president Zulifiqar Ali Khan Khosa and former secretary general Khawaja Saad Rafique. Sources said that Nawaz Sharif had informed Rafique in November 2004 that the provincial leadership was not satisfied with his performance and was likely to replace him.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 6:02:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Inquiring minds want to know....
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 21:27 Comments || Top||


Muslims face problems because of disorder, says Khanzada
Who'da ever thunk such a thing?
LAHORE: Muslims are facing social and economic problems because they are not united, said Colonel (r) Shuja Khanzada, the Punjab Minister for Chief Minister's Inspection Team (CMIT), while talking to a student delegation on Sunday. The minister said that adopting information technology and modern education would develop Muslim countries. He urged youths to devote their energies in achieving modern education.
Rather than memorizing the Koran? Good idea...
Khanzada said that it was unfortunate that Muslims were not self-reliant despite having enormous resources. The minister said that the Punjab government had introduced education reforms and new universities and colleges were being set up across the province along with computer labs in all primary schools. "The reforms have resulted in reducing the drop-out ratio," he added.
The problem with self-reliance actually doesn't stem from education. Ignorant men are often self-reliant. Self-reliance comes from being left to make one's own mistakes and learn from them.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 5:54:43 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [341 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I suspect in this case, he is implying that "You can be self-reliant, or you can wait for Allah to do it for you. Don't bet on the latter."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/23/2005 19:25 Comments || Top||

#2  along with computer labs in all primary schools Riiight. In a country filled with madrassahs because the government never saw education as a public responsibility.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 22:02 Comments || Top||


2 linked to Sui rape case held, released
LAHORE: Police on Sunday arrested two doctors wanted in Dr Shazia Khalid rape case, but released them later, ARY news channel reported. It said Jaferabad Police arrested Dr Muhammad Ali, the chief medical officer at a Sui hospital, and his colleague Dr Muhammad Usman in a raid and released them after investigation. The channel said that law enforcement agency officials from Sui captured the Jaferabad Police Station and held some staff. Policemen fled their offices and took refuge at the Kashmore Police Station, the channel quoted unofficial sources as saying. Balochistan Home Minister Shoaib Nosherwani denied the report.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 5:34:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:


Israel-Palestine
Israel to U.S.: Step up pressure on Syria to aid Abbas
Israel plans to ask the United States to offer assistance to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and help him contend with any threats to his rule.
That should work well...
According to government sources, Israel will tell the U.S. administration that the main threat to Abbas' leadership comes from Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. "Anyone who wants Abu Mazen [Abbas] to succeed must increase the pressure on them," one source said over the weekend. Officials added that Hezbollah's attacks in the Har Dov region last week were provocations aimed at disrupting the recent Israeli-Palestinian thaw. Israel will, however, oppose any attempt to view the initial steps against terror taken by Abbas last week as fulfillment of the PA's obligations under the first stage of the road map peace plan and as justification for skipping straight to final-status negotiations, sources said. They expressed fears that the PA will arrive at an international conference in London on March 1, which was called to strengthen Abbas' government, and declare that it has fulfilled its first-stage road map obligations, leaving the ball in Israel's court.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 12:01:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Israel will, however, oppose any attempt to view the initial steps against terror taken by Abbas last week as fulfillment of the PA’s obligations under the first stage of the road map peace plan and as justification for skipping straight to final-status negotiations, sources said.

I don't understand why they're doing this. When the Israelis are satisfied that Mazen is doing what he is obligated to do, then the time would be right to assist Mazen, and not a moment before. The Paleos have to demonstrate something they've not been adept at doing so far - showing good faith.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/23/2005 15:26 Comments || Top||


Iraq-Jordan
Watch This Iraqi Election Ad!!!!!!!
Posted by: anonymous2u || 01/23/2005 13:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [249 views] Top|| File under:

#1  AWESOME! thanks, A2U.
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 13:44 Comments || Top||

#2  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Burke
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 14:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Advertisements like this one have been running for some months on Kurdistan TV. Same style, same music, same message. One I remember showed people going about their daily lives while a bomb is ticking in a tank. The wires to the bomb are cut at the last minute. A powerful message.
Posted by: Mina || 01/23/2005 14:54 Comments || Top||

#4  The only thing missing was one of the ordinary Iraqis drawing a minigun and blowing those masked assholes away! :)
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 01/23/2005 15:24 Comments || Top||

#5  Great ad! Well put together. Simple but powerful message.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/23/2005 15:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Good ad! Gives me hope. I think that the nay-sayers and MSM are going to be in for another rude awakening with this vote too.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/23/2005 16:05 Comments || Top||

#7  Whoa!! That is incredible. I can just see the Iraqi bloggers in this! Betting the MSM will actually be as quiet after this election as they were after the Afghan election. Forgetting that the "sensational story" is the story of election day, not the violence of the day.
Posted by: Sherry || 01/23/2005 16:49 Comments || Top||

#8  Incredible!

I am in tears at the power and beauty of this ad.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/23/2005 17:09 Comments || Top||

#9  I just e-mailed the link to Cavuto, Hannity, and Hume at FoxNews. Hopefully one of them will give the ad an American audience.

ABCNBCCBSCNN certainly won't.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/23/2005 17:17 Comments || Top||

#10  Talk about being on target!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 01/23/2005 18:56 Comments || Top||


Terror Networks & Islam
If your wife leaves Islam Kill her if you are in a Moslem country, otherwise just leave her
A brother came to me and Asked "What does he do if his wife told him that she no longer desires to be a muslim....

Praise be to Allaah.

Undoubtedly if this is the case, she has chosen kufr over eemaan. She does not want to stay a Muslim and she is insulting Islam and its symbols... In this case she is a kaafir and an apostate, so it is not permissible for him to stay married to her, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives" [al-Mumtahanah 60:10]

....If she does not repent then the ruling of Allaah should be carried out on her, which is execution, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever changes his religion [leaves Islam], execute him."

But if that is not possible and there is no Islamic rule or sharee'ah law in his country, then at least he should separate from her completely; it is not permissible for him to live with her after she has clearly stated her kufr.

Shaykh 'Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen
Posted by: mhw || 01/23/2005 12:15:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [245 views] Top|| File under:


Israel-Palestine
India, Israel Bolster Defense Relations
India and Israel have been steadily improving defense and military relations in one of the most significant relationships in the Middle East. A new report by an Indian researcher detailed the defense and military relationship between Jerusalem and New Dehli. Entitled "India-Israel Partnership: Convergence and Constraints," author Harsh Pant said the Indian-Israeli alliance can alter the balance of power in both the Middle East, South Asia and beyond. "In sharp contrast to the back-channel security ties that existed even before the normalization of bilateral relations, India now seems more willing to openly carve out a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship with Israel, including deepening military ties and countering the threat posed by terrorism to the two societies," the report said. In a report published by the Middle East Review of International Affairs, Pant said the Indian-Israeli relationship was bolstered by the visit to India of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in September 2003. This marked the first visit to India by an Israeli prime minister and "signaled the sea change in relations between the two states" and led to New Dehli's $1.1 billion purchase of three Phalcon airborne early-warning aircraft in March 2004.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 11:54:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [331 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pakistain's distress.
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/23/2005 12:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Like it. Here's a quasi-alliance we should be at the center of: India + Israel + Australia + Japan. This, not NATO, should be the focus of our diplomatic and defense efforts in the next decade.

All democracies, all technologically superior, all of them clear-eyed about the islamofascists AND the larger threat, from China.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 12:56 Comments || Top||

#3  I knew that the joos were looking for a new deli, but is this kosher?
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 15:46 Comments || Top||

#4  "I'd like some matzos, some gefilte fish, a jug of Mogen David, and some nice chapatis if they're fresh!"
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 18:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Ak! It's the dreaded HINJEWS!!!

Posted by: Wuzzalib || 01/23/2005 22:21 Comments || Top||


Israel Willing to Halt Military Operations
The Israeli military is willing to suspend operations against Palestinian militants if they call off attacks, Israeli leaders said Sunday, signaling a shift in position that could help pave the way toward a cease-fire after more than four years of fighting. The announcement, made by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, came as Palestinian leaders appeared to be closing in on a truce deal with Islamic militants. The new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has been in Gaza since last Tuesday pressuring militant groups to halt their attacks on Israeli targets. Abbas hopes a truce will lead to the resumption of peace talks.

Mofaz said in a radio interview that Abbas has received assurances from two militant groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that they will halt attacks on Israel for at least a month. During this time, a more detailed agreement, including the terms of possible political participation of the opposition groups, would be negotiated, Mofaz said. He did not say how he learned about the cease-fire. Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said Mofaz's claim was premature, but that an agreement was extremely close. "Things are moving in the right direction. I am not talking about weeks. I'm talking about days," Shaath said. Abbas, who was scheduled to return to his West Bank headquarters on Sunday, extended his stay in Gaza by an extra day to finalize a deal, Shaath said. Representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said Sunday that no agreement had been reached, but that the talks with Abbas were progressing.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 10:43:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Israeli military is willing to suspend operations

Israeli hudna!
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 14:34 Comments || Top||

#2  snicker - about time they learned to talk the "hudna" talk!
Posted by: 2b || 01/23/2005 14:39 Comments || Top||


Iraq-Jordan
The Night The Soldiers Came
I think Tim Blair's on the Acceptable Blogs list...
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/23/2005 8:27:10 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [348 views] Top|| File under:

#1  instaed of spending all his time reading the koran and praying why won't imaad find a damn job
Posted by: smokeysinse || 01/23/2005 10:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Moslem victimhood 101.
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/23/2005 11:17 Comments || Top||

#3  My bullshit detector's pegging on this one.

But assuming any of it is true, what's his problem? He had the dirty magazines; he had the Koran in the same room. They were already together; the soldiers just made it more obvious.

And yeah, beating his mother because he got caught by someone else doing something his religion says he's not supposed to do is a perfectly normal response. Wanker.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/23/2005 11:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Sniff, sniff.....
"And then, they asked to borrow my porn.... and didn't say they would return it! Do you know how hard it is to get porn here?"
Posted by: Mark E. || 01/23/2005 11:55 Comments || Top||

#5  The bottom line:

The guy abused his mom because she found out about his stash. That is the real crime.

She tried to help him by getting some counseling or taking anti-depressants, and he refused help. He would be homeless without her.

He is worthless, not working. Tell me there is no opportunities for him to do at least some volunteering to build his resume.

He is just a fat coddled slob.

His new found religious zealotry coupled with his obvious mental problems makes him a good pick for a first round draft choice to be a suicide bomber.

He's 32 and uses swimsuit clad photos for smut? Life is waaaayyy too short for soft core pornography.

Posted by: Penguin || 01/23/2005 14:36 Comments || Top||

#6  typical douchebag.
Posted by: Jarhead || 01/23/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#7  typical WaPo contact for their agenda
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 15:06 Comments || Top||

#8  Life is waaaayyy too short for soft core pornography.

LOL! You available for 2008?
Posted by: Carl with a K || 01/23/2005 16:09 Comments || Top||

#9  This ridiculous article finally completes the MSM's long descent into self-parody. It asserts that a guy was caught with porn and beat his mother bacause of it, then asks us with a straight face to accept him as the victim, and tacitly assumes not only that this is our fault but that this is the kind of "victimization" that fuels the insurgency.

The instituational media are the enemy, insane gibbering monsters who have invented their own inverted whorehouse value system and foisted it on the rest of society.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 01/23/2005 17:09 Comments || Top||

#10  The little secret here is that the vast majority of western MSM correspondents do not have a clue as to what is happening inside the countries they're covering. They often lack language skills and more importantly, almost always lack good sources within the circles of power in the host country. The result is that most foreign dispatches are simply recycled shit patched together from wire services and local papers, with lots of comments from western thinktankers thrown in to buttress a predetermined story angle.

The blogosphere will have the greatest impact on foreign news reporting, IMHO. Intelligent local bloggers can very quickly eviscerate the incompetent reports of any foreign correspondent.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 17:16 Comments || Top||

#11  I'm betting the article was a joke. Or else the author lost a bet with a hack short-story writer whose tale of an angry male loser/wanker failed to make it into the New Yorker. Lose the bet, you print my story, with names and scenery changed.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 18:26 Comments || Top||

#12  I stopped reading when the dude hit his mom. If he had some pics of girlies, I'm positive they were in less than swimsuits.
Posted by: nada || 01/23/2005 23:31 Comments || Top||


Infidel Combat Robots Set for March-April Iraq Arrival
Great Jumpin Jihadi! Infidel combat bots aren't shown in the Koran.
The Army is preparing to send 18 of these remote-controlled robotic warriors to fight in Iraq beginning in March or April. Made by a small Massachusetts company, the Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems (SWORDS) will be the first armed robotic vehicles to see combat.
"Killbots? We got yer killbots...right here."
Military officials like to compare the roughly 3-foot-high robots favorably to human soldiers: They don't need to be trained, fed or clothed. They can be boxed up and warehoused between wars. They never complain. And there are no letters to write home if they meet their demise in battle.
And if there were, a Autopen signature would be fine.
But officials are quick to point out that these are not the autonomous killer robots of science fiction. A SWORDS robot fires only when its human operator presses a button after identifying a target on video shot by the robot's cameras. "The only difference is that [the human operator's] weapon is not at his shoulder, it's up to half a mile a way," said Bob Quinn, general manager of Talon robots for Foster-Miller Inc., the Waltham, Mass., company that makes the SWORDS. As one Marine fresh out of boot camp told Mr. Quinn upon seeing the robot: "This is my invisibility cloak."
"And plus four on my hit points."
The $200,000 SWORDS will carry standard-issue squad automatic weapons, either the M249, which fires 5.56 mm rounds at a rate of 750 per minute, or the M240, which can fire about 700 to 1,000 7.62 mm rounds per minute. The SWORDS can fire about 300 rounds using the M240 and about 350 rounds using the M249 before needing to reload. All its optics equipment — the four cameras, night vision and zoom lenses — were already in the Army's inventory. Its developers say its tracks, like those on a tank, can overcome rock piles and barbed wire, though it needs a ride to travel faster than 4 mph. Running on lithium ion batteries, it can operate for one to four hours at a time, depending on the mission. Operators work the robot using a 30-pound control unit that has two joysticks, a handful of buttons and a video screen. Mr. Quinn says that configuration eventually may be replaced by a "Gameboy"-type of controller hooked up to virtual reality goggles.
Can someone get me a copy of the Koran? There's something I need to look up...
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 2:26:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  nerds will rule!
Posted by: nerd || 01/23/2005 7:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Can someone get me a copy of the Koran? There's something I need to look up...

Methinks Islam needs a new prophet to update and reassure jihadi cannon fodder that they will still go to paradise even if they get creamed by a wheelchair packin' heat, and not just get their soft bits stimulated by a variety of obliging household gadgets for all eternity...
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/23/2005 7:21 Comments || Top||

#3  Bulldog,
Just imaging the joys of the poor Jihadis when they are diddled by 70 virgin Food Processors.

I would select the cucomber slicing blades....

Can you hear me Chortling ??
Posted by: EoZ || 01/23/2005 7:37 Comments || Top||

#4  they will still go to paradise even if they get creamed by a wheelchair packin' heat

ROFLMAO
Posted by: Shipman || 01/23/2005 8:45 Comments || Top||

#5  ROFLMAOPIMP!!
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 01/23/2005 9:36 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't forget the actual downside. Pity the poor grunts that will get told they have a mission to save private SWORDS when the batteries run out or it breaks down forward of the line.
Posted by: DO || 01/23/2005 10:47 Comments || Top||

#7  " #6 Don't forget the actual downside. Pity the poor grunts that will get told they have a mission to save private SWORDS when the batteries run out or it breaks down forward of the line."

Very simple answer. Send in another robot to tow it back home or even better blow it up in place if it is surrounded by splodydopes.

SWARM THIS !!

I'd rather lose ten $200K robots than a single soldier.

I just wish these bots had a cool auto mode where they shot all warm, moving bodies with out IFF codes if cut off from thier operator. Sigh
Posted by: Dexter M. Duck || 01/23/2005 16:10 Comments || Top||

#8  Love the pic! Awesome!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/23/2005 16:12 Comments || Top||

#9  those are Khaddaffy's Fembots with machine guns in their jumblies
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 16:31 Comments || Top||


Govt assures Iraqis that it can protect voters on election day
BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government pledged to do everything in its power to protect voters from insurgent attacks during next week's national elections, as militants announced they'd killed 15 captive Iraqi national guardsmen for cooperating with the Americans.

Faced with the persistent violence - and expectations it will increase - Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib announced further security measures for the Jan. 30 balloting, in which Iraqis will choose a new 275-member National Assembly and 18 provincial councils. Al-Naqib said Baghdad's international airport would be closed for three days starting on the eve of the balloting.

The nighttime curfew in Baghdad and other cities will be extended and restrictions imposed on private vehicles to guard against car bombs, he said, adding that all leaves and passes for police and military forces have been canceled for the election period. "We have mobilized all our forces as a government," al-Naqib said.

Still, the minister did not play down the gravity of the security threat, nor the difficulties facing this country in organizing and conducting a nationwide election in the midst of a virulent insurgency. "There are dangers and there are threats to throw the elections process into chaos, but we hope that our security plan will be up to the standards. We don't rule out an escalation from the terrorist forces," he said.

Sunni Muslim rebels have vowed to disrupt the balloting, and Sunni clerics have urged postponement until the security situation improves. But leaders of the Shiites, estimated at 60 percent of Iraq's 26 million people, have demanded an election, believing their majority status will bring them power long denied by Sunni Arabs.
Delay to please the Sunnis means no election ever. Funny how the Shi'a and Kurds know that, and the MSM doesn't.
U.S. and Iraqi officials believe most of the country is secure enough for elections except Baghdad and three mostly Sunni Arab provinces - Anbar, Ninevah and Salaheddin. Although Iraqis there will have the chance to vote, insurgent attacks and intimidation may produce a disappointing turnout. Al-Naqib said the situation was improving in Ninevah, which includes Mosul, after a series of U.S. and Iraqi military operations. He said 11 people "specializing in beheadings" had been arrested in Ninevah in recent days.

Security fears may have been responsible in part for discouraging even many of the estimated 1.2 million Iraqis living abroad from registering to vote. Niurka Pineiro, an official of the International Organization for Migration that is handling the vote in 14 countries, said some people were scared that when they go to polling places in those countries "some sort of mayhem may break out." The agency extended the deadline for registration by two days - until Tuesday - to allow more Iraqi exiles to register.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/23/2005 12:44:45 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [247 views] Top|| File under:


Israel-Palestine
Abbas merges PA security apparatuses into three main bodies
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has chaired a meeting for the PA national security council yesterday in Gaza city during which practical steps were approved on uniting the different security apparatuses into three main bodies. The conferees, who grouped commanders of all security bodies, also emphasized the importance of deploying PA security forces along the borders of the Gaza Strip with the 1948 occupied lands. The council issued a statement affirming that the main reason for the step was restoring general discipline to the Palestinian street and ending the state of chaos. It also asked the "Israeli" government to resume negotiations over implementation of the roadmap peace plan tabled by the USA. The council proposed a reciprocal declaration of non-violence, an end to settlement drives, knocking down the separation fence, releasing all detainees, allowing the return of deportees and re-opening PA offices in eastern Jerusalem among other things.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [245 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The council proposed a reciprocal declaration of non-violence, an end to settlement drives, knocking down the separation fence, releasing all detainees, allowing the return of deportees and re-opening PA offices in eastern Jerusalem among other things.

In your dreams. The Palestinians will have to achieve a bit more than rearranging the lines of command to get more than a hudna from Israel.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/23/2005 4:57 Comments || Top||

#2  From today's Jerusalem post

Mortar shell misses IDF post, explodes nearby

Explosive device thrown at IDF tank

Palestinian gunmen fire at central Gaza IDF post
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/23/2005 12:37 Comments || Top||

#3  sounds like a hudna
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 13:00 Comments || Top||

#4  I remember reading that Arafat had divided the security apparatus into 18 (?) separate organizations to make it easier to play one off against the other and neutralize possible power challenges.
Posted by: 11A5S || 01/23/2005 17:15 Comments || Top||


Iraq-Jordan
Talabani: We Have Received Assurance For Kirkuk
Head of Kurdistan Patriotic Union (PUK), Jalal Talabani said they had taken a written assurance to restore Kirkuk to its old statute. Talabani speaking to Kurdish Parliament set forth that he had received written security at the time his contacts with President of Iraq, Gazi Al-Yawer, Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Iyad Alawi, English and American ambassadors for reuniting Kirkuk to its old status. Head of YNK stated that the parties had insured to adhere to the Article 58 of agreement they signed and said: ''We will never forgot Kirkuk. We have accorded upon an agreement in implementing Article 58 into practice, restoring Kirkuk to its old statute, providing exiles with return and sending the Arabs Saddam Hussein established in the area to their old residences. A committee will be formed for this purpose.'' Jalal Talabani pointed out the commission cited would start its works after oncoming elections and said Kirkuk's broken off parts would be tied to the city. It has been reported that 108.000 Kurds who had been deprived of their voting rights will vote in Iraqi elections.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [239 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq Won't Be Drawn Into Civil War, Hakim Says
The leading candidate in a Shiite alliance expected to dominate Iraq's Jan. 30 elections said yesterday that majority of Shiites would not be dragged into a civil war despite a series of bloody attacks on them. Abdel Aziz Al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, told Reuters in an interview that Al-Qaeda operative Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi was leading a campaign to try to divide Shiites and Sunnis but would not succeed.
"Nope. Nope. Ain't gonna do it. They'd have to kill us first!"
"We are strongly standing in the face of this evil plan and any sectarian sedition," Hakim said. Hakim survived an assassination last month — a suicide bomb attack on his party's headquarters which for Zarqawi's group claimed responsibility. Hakim became SCIRI leader after his brother Mohammed Baqer was killed by a suicide bomb outside Shiites' holiest shrine in the city of Najaf in 2003. In the latest attacks on Shiites, a suicide bomb at a wedding party south of Baghdad killed at least 12 people and a blast at a Shiite mosque in the capital killed 14 on Friday. Hakim said these were all attempts to spark civil war. "It began with assassinating Mohammed Baqer Al-Hakim and it is continuing now with the attacks yesterday on a Shiite mosque and on the Shiite wedding," Hakim said.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [247 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Excellent. Everything depends on the shi'a leadership, who are behaving brilliantly. I have a feeling that the elections will be far more successful than any of us now expects.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 15:50 Comments || Top||


Iraq deputy PM Promises Kurds Trial In Halabja For "Chemical Ali"
I'd guess he's toast if that happens. Ramsey Clark must be taking the gas pipe...
Ali Hassan al-Majid, a jailed cousin of Saddam Hussein, will be tried in Halabja, at the scene of the crime that earned him the sinister nickname of 'Chemical Ali', Iraq's deputy prime minister vowed on Saturday. Speaking to Kurdish families whose relatives were gassed here in 1988, Barham Saleh said: "We will bring you Chemical Ali, so that he can be tried in front of the families of the victims of the gassing." "The representatives of the Halabja victims should ask the next government to allocate part of the Iraqi budget to the reconstruction of the town, in order to allow its inhabitants to erase the scars of the gassing," he said.

On March 16, 1988, the forces of the then President Saddam Hussein dropped chemical gas on Halabja, killing up to 5,000 peole, as part of a campaign to crush a Kurdish rebellion. The cases of Chemical Ali and former defence minister Sultan Hashem Ahmed from the toppled regime were the first to be heard before the special Iraqi tribunal last month.
Posted by: Fred || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hopefully they'll have lapse security around the lynchee defendant
Posted by: Frank G || 01/23/2005 0:15 Comments || Top||

#2  And when the guy is convicted, he should be executed in a gas chamber.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/23/2005 4:39 Comments || Top||

#3  Cyanide or Mustard, BaR?
Posted by: Dishman || 01/23/2005 6:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Cocktail d'jour.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/23/2005 8:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Hang 'em.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/23/2005 12:32 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan/South Asia
Cruisin' for a Bruisin': Iran Meddles in Pakistan
Pakistan, one of America's most important allies in the war on terror, has blamed Iran for fuelling a growing insurgency in Baluchistan, the strategically sensitive province where militant tribesmen have recently launched a series of terrorist attacks. Officials in Islamabad believe Iran is encouraging "intruders" from its own Bal-och community to cross the 550-mile border with the Pakistani province, and give support to the rebels. "All this violence is a part of a greater conspiracy," a senior government official told The Telegraph. "These militants would not be challenging the government so openly without the back-up of a foreign hand."
Grain of salt time: The Paks usually blame someone else — and usually RAW, the Indian intel service — every time something goes "boom." I've yet to see one of those claims substantiated.
Pakistan's support would be important for any United States-led action against Iran, whose fundamentalist regime was last week put firmly in the sights of the second Bush administration by the vice-president, Dick Cheney, who said: "You look around the world at potential trouble spots - Iran is right at the top of the list." Pakistan's ISI intelligence service set up a unit in the provincial capital, Quetta, last year to monitor suspected Iranian activity in Baluchistan. Officials say that in addition to directly supporting the insurgency, Teheran's state-controlled radio has launched a propaganda campaign against Islamabad.
That's a more easily substantiated claim. Even though they've cried "wolf" dozens, even hundreds of time, I suppose there's the possibility that there's something lupine in the area...
"Radio Teheran broadcasts between 90 and 100 minutes of programmes every day which carry propaganda against the Pakistan government," said a former interior minister. He added that Iran was suspected of providing financial, logistical and moral backing for the insurgency. Iran is said to be taking advantage of unrest among tribesmen who claim to have been denied the benefits of Baluchistan's natural gas fields. Earlier this month, rebels disrupted gas production in a series of rocket and mortar attacks, which killed eight people.
Yar! That war them Bugtis! 'At's what Bugtis do best!
However, Islamabad is delaying a formal complaint to Teheran in the hope that private diplomatic channels may prove more effective. Meanwhile, large numbers of troops are hunting rebels in the province. In the latest attack, a bomb exploded near an army lorry in a crowded market in Quetta yesterday, killing eight civilians and a soldier - an assault that Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the country's information minister, blamed on "enemies of Pakistan".
Posted by: Captain America || 01/23/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [246 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Faster, dammit.
Posted by: lex || 01/23/2005 0:29 Comments || Top||



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

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

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2005-01-23
  Germany to Deport Hundreds of Islamists
Sat 2005-01-22
  Palestinian forces patrol northern Gaza
Fri 2005-01-21
  70 arrested for Gilgit attacks
Thu 2005-01-20
  Senate Panel Gives Rice Confirmation Nod
Wed 2005-01-19
  Kuwait detains 25 militants
Tue 2005-01-18
  Eight Indicted on Terror Charges in Spain
Mon 2005-01-17
  Algeria signs deal to end Berber conflict
Sun 2005-01-16
  Jersey Family of Four Murdered
Sat 2005-01-15
  Agha Ziauddin laid to rest in Gilgit: 240 arrested, 24 injured
Fri 2005-01-14
  Graner guilty
Thu 2005-01-13
  Iran warns IAEA not to spy on military sites
Wed 2005-01-12
  Zahhar: Abbas has no authorization to end resistance
Tue 2005-01-11
  Abbas Extends Hand of Peace to Israel. Really.
Mon 2005-01-10
  Sudanese Celebrate Peace Treaty Signing
Sun 2005-01-09
  Paleos vote

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