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Syria Opposition Rejects Assad's Reconciliation Plan
Today's Headlines
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Economy
Meet Jack Lew: Tim Geithner's Replacement
Posted by: tipper || 01/07/2013 20:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1228 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In keeping with his second term theme Obama is picking the biggest Prick he possibly can to keep the FORWARD momentum toward the Detroitification of America on track.
Posted by: airandee || 01/07/2013 20:56 Comments || Top||

#2  IIRC TOPIX > POST-FISCAL CLIFF/DEAL DEMOCRATS SEEK US$1.0TRILYUHN MORE IN NEW TAXES.

IIUC, the new anti-"Cliff" "Fiscal Deal" between the Bammer + Boehner was actually only part of a larger negotiation???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 23:05 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Bored Japanese gets kicks from Syria war tourism
Japanese trucker Toshifumi Fujimoto is bored with his humdrum job, a daily run from Osaka to Tokyo or Nagasaki hauling tanker loads of gasoline, water or even chocolate.

Yet while the stocky, bearded 45-year-old could spend his free time getting a jolt of adrenaline by bungee-jumping or shark hunting, he puts his life on the line in a most unusual way.

He's become a war tourist.

Fujimoto's passion has taken him from the dull routine of the highway to Syria, where as part of his latest adventure in the Middle East's hot spots he shoots photos and video while dodging bullets with zest.

He was in Yemen last year during demonstrations at the US embassy and in Cairo a year earlier, during the heady days that followed the ouster of longtime president Hosni Mubarak. Later this year, he plans to hook up with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
But for the moment, he is wrapping up a week's tour of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, which for going on six months has been one of the hottest spots in a conflict that has cost more than 60,000 lives, according to UN figures.

He already spent two weeks in the war-torn country at the end of 2011, taking advantage of a tourist visa, but this time he has entered the country clandestinely from Turkey.

Dressed in a Japanese army fatigues and armed with two cameras and a video camera -- Japanese, of course -- Fujimoto heads for whatever frontline he can every morning to document the ongoing destruction of Syria's second city and one-time commercial capital.

Fujimoto, who doesn't speak English, much less Arabic, has picked up a few words, such as "dangerous" and "front line."
The only way to interview him was to make use of Google Translate.

"I always go by myself, because no tour guide wants to go to the front. It's very exciting, and the adrenaline rush is like no other.

"It's more dangerous in Syria to be a journalist than a tourist," he said, describing how "each morning I walk 200 metres (yards) to reach the 'front', and I'm right there on the firing line with soldiers of the (rebel) Free Syria Army."
"It fascinates me, and I enjoy it," he says, as some FSA fighters stop him in one of the Old City's streets to have their picture taken with him.

"Most people think I'm Chinese, and they greet me in Chinese," he smiled.

He takes his time getting his shots right, as the rebels he hangs out with shout from both sides of the street: "Run! Run! There are snipers. Run!"

But he ignores them, finishes shooting and casually walks away with photos that he will later post on his Facebook page to share with his friends.

"I'm not a target for snipers because I'm a tourist, not like you journalists," he told a reporter. "Besides, I'm not afraid if they shoot at me or that they might kill me. I'm a combination of samurai and kamikaze."

Fujimoto won't even wear a helmet or a flack jacket.

"They are very heavy when it comes to running and it's more fun to go to the front without anything. Besides, when they shoot it's fun and exciting."

Fujimoto said his employers don't know he's in Syria.

"I just told them I was going to Turkey on holiday; if I'd told them the truth, they'd tell me I'm completely crazy."

But though some might doubt his sanity, no one can question his financial foresight, which is rooted in the sadness of his personal life.

Fujimoto is divorced, and says "I have no family, no friends, no girl friend. I am alone in life."

But he does have three daughters, whom he hasn't seen for five years, "not even on Facebook or the Internet, nothing. And that saddens me deeply," he said as he wiped away a tear.

So he's bought a life insurance policy, and "I pray every day that, if something happens to me, my girls might collect the insurance money and be able to live comfortably."

Fujimoto doesn't make any money off his photography, and spent $2,500 (1,894 euros) out of his own pocket for the flight to Turkey. Then there's another $25 a day that he pays a local resident, who puts him up in his house and gives him Internet access.

In his week in Aleppo, he has covered all the battle fronts -- in the districts of Amariya, Salaheddin, Saif al-Dawla, Izaa -- and though he's shared many of the images he's captured, one of them has stuck in his mind.

He opened a file on his laptop to show the partly decomposed body of a seven-year-old girl in Saif al-Dawla, gunned down by a sniper, which has lain unclaimed for months.
One wonders if any of his daughters could be the same age, but there was no way to pry more out of him, as he wept every time they were brought up.

"I love children, but Syria is no place for them. A bomb can snuff out their lives at any moment," he said, as some FSA fighters asked him to join them in Saleheddin and he ambled off down the street toward the sound of fighting.
Posted by: Beavis || 01/07/2013 13:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1216 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hauling tanker loads of gasoline, water or even chocolate.
0_o
Posted by: Shipman || 01/07/2013 16:04 Comments || Top||

#2  "Most people think I'm Chinese, and they greet me in Chinese,"

An interesting little tidbit. I would expect Russian to be more common as a 2nd language in Syria. But then we're talking the Free Syrian Army here. Maybe they have a different set of patrons.
Posted by: SteveS || 01/07/2013 16:05 Comments || Top||

#3  He won't last long.(Bugle plays Taps)
Sayonara.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 01/07/2013 17:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Darwin in action.
Posted by: Barbara || 01/07/2013 18:51 Comments || Top||

#5  I suspect Assad has given orders to not shoot at any Chinese-looking individuals, given the aid he's presumably getting from China, and the rebels won't do anything against someone Chinese-looking because they'd prefer to avoid having the Chinese government increase aid to Assad. I just had a peek at the Chinese GDP. It is now larger than all of the Muslim countries put together. ($7.2b vs $6.1b).
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/07/2013 18:53 Comments || Top||

#6  The fact that this guy is running around without getting shot tells me that a lot of the civilian casualties are collateral damage from being used as human shields by the rebels. And if this guy consents to being used as a human shield, he will end up a statistic.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/07/2013 18:56 Comments || Top||

#7  He doesn't sound like a happy guy. Look's like an extreme version of "suicide by cop".
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/07/2013 19:15 Comments || Top||

#8  May he find what he is looking for.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man || 01/07/2013 19:39 Comments || Top||

#9  Mr. "Half-Samurai, Half-Kamikaze" may have to return home soon iff Nippon finds itself involved in major shooting war agz China come April-June 2013 over the disputed Senkakus. IFF HE WANTS TO BE, STAY A HAPPY "WAR TOURIST" IN SYRIA + LATER IN AFGHANISTAN, HE SHOULD KEEP HIS HIS FINGERS CROSSED THAT SOME KIND OF PEACEFUL COMPROMISE CAN BE REACHED SOON.

------------

Latest on China-vs-Japan [USA?] vee Net ...

* TOPIX > [Daily Star.LB] TOKYO CANNOT YIELD TO THE CONFLUENCE OF BEIJING IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.

Or in the East China Sea either.

* WAFF > JAPAN SENDS FIGHTER JETS AFTER SECOND EVER CHINESE INVASION OF ITS AIRSPACE.

* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > JAPAN PM SHINZO ABE SINGS [WW2 = Imperialist/Militarist] NATIONAL ANTHEM AS STEP TO "TAKE BACK JAPAN".

* SAME > MYANMAR'S TIES TO INDIA, JAPAN, + WESTERN NATIONS CONCERN CHINA.

"Mahanist" Rising China + competition for East Indian Ocean warm-water ports.

Taiwan, Hainan, + Myanmar = China + PLAN's rough mil equivalent of Pearl Harbor, Bremerton/
Bangor, + [future] Norfolk???

* SAME > NEW US LAW [Obama-signed NDAA 2013] SEEKS ANSWERS TO [secretive]CHINESE NUKE TUNNELS, i.e. the so-called "Underground Great Wall" of far, deep Tunnels + Complexes where China + PLA allegedly stores much of the country's nuclear LRBMS + Warheads.

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 23:37 Comments || Top||


U.S. gives unstable Lebanon 200 armored vehicles
The United States has given 200 armored vehicles to Lebanon, the Lebanese army said on Monday, bolstering forces that have been struggling to deal with sectarian violence inflamed by the war across the border in Syria.

The M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs) arrived by ship to Beirut on Sunday, the army said in a statement. A Lebanese security source said the army now had 1,200 APCs.

A U.S. diplomat said the shipment of vehicles would support the Lebanese armed forces' “capabilities and their mobility and ability to respond to crises. It is also to protect borders and internal stability.”

The diplomat, who preferred not to be named, said the vehicles were used but were all in “very good working order and will be refurbished here in Lebanon”.

The United States has provided more than $140 million in equipment and assistance to the Lebanese armed forces in the past six months, including six Huey 2 helicopters, a 42-metre coastal security craft, more than 1,000 guns - including grenade launchers -- and 38 million rounds of ammunition.
Posted by: tipper || 01/07/2013 12:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I had no idea M113s were still being manufactured. This is pretty old tech ... talking 1960's/1970's armored vehicle.
Posted by: Phinenter the Lesser1556 || 01/07/2013 15:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Per the article used, but with enough sandbags, screens, tack-on plate, a serious urban ride.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/07/2013 15:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Are they the aluminium-skinned ones, that burst into flames at the drop of a hat?
Posted by: Muggsy Mussolini1226 || 01/07/2013 17:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Handing out 'sandbags', hoping they'll protect against the Syrian flood...
Posted by: Pappy || 01/07/2013 18:19 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Americans never give up your guns
I know. It is Pravda. However, one cannot trust our main-stream media to provide honest reporting without injecting their agenda-driven biases. There are some good points made by Pravda in light of the current gun-grabbing efforts by the left-wing politicos. Trust for their ruling politicians is a low as it is for ours.
These days, there are few things to admire about the socialist, bankrupt and culturally degenerating USA, but at least so far, one thing remains: the right to bear arms and use deadly force to defend one's self and possessions.

This will probably come as a total shock to most of my Western readers, but at one point, Russia was one of the most heavily armed societies on earth. This was, of course, when we were free under the Tsar. Weapons, from swords and spears to pistols, rifles and shotguns were everywhere, common items. People carried them concealed, they carried them holstered. Fighting knives were a prominent part of many traditional attires and those little tubes criss crossing on the costumes of Cossacks and various Caucasian peoples? Well those are bullet holders for rifles.

Various armies, such as the Poles, during the Смута (Times of Troubles), or Napoleon, or the Germans even as the Tsarist state collapsed under the weight of WW1 and Wall Street monies, found that holding Russian lands was much much harder than taking them and taking was no easy walk in the park but a blood bath all its own. In holding, one faced an extremely well armed and aggressive population Hell bent on exterminating or driving out the aggressor.

This well-armed population was what allowed the various White factions to rise up, no matter how disorganized politically and militarily they were in 1918 and wage a savage civil war against the Reds. It should be noted that many of these armies were armed peasants, villagers, farmers and merchants, protecting their own. If it had not been for Washington's clandestine support of and for the Reds, history would have gone quite differently.

Moscow fell, for example, not from a lack of weapons to defend it, but from the lying guile of the Reds. Ten thousand Reds took Moscow and were opposed only by some few hundreds of officer cadets and their instructors. Even then the battle was fierce and losses high. However, in the city alone, at that time, lived over 30,000 military officers (both active and retired), all with their own issued weapons and ammunition, plus tens of thousands of other citizens who were armed. The Soviets promised to leave them all alone if they did not intervene. They did not and for that were asked afterwards to come register themselves and their weapons: where they were promptly shot.

Of course being savages, murderers and liars does not mean being stupid and the Reds learned from their Civil War experience. One of the first things they did was to disarm the population. From that point, mass repression, mass arrests, mass deportations, mass murder, mass starvation were all a safe game for the powers that were. The worst they had to fear was a pitchfork in the guts or a knife in the back or the occasional hunting rifle. Not much for soldiers.

To this day, with the Soviet Union now dead 21 years, with a whole generation born and raised to adulthood without the SU, we are still denied our basic and traditional rights to self defense. Why? We are told that everyone would just start shooting each other and crime would be everywhere....but criminals are still armed and still murdering and too often, especially in the far regions, those criminals wear the uniforms of the police. The fact that everyone would start shooting is also laughable when statistics are examined.

While President Putin pushes through reforms, the local authorities, especially in our vast hinterland, do not feel they need to act like they work for the people. They do as they please, a tyrannical class who knows they have absolutely nothing to fear from a relatively unarmed population. This in turn breeds not respect but absolute contempt and often enough, criminal abuse.

For those of us fighting for our traditional rights, the US 2nd Amendment is a rare light in an ever darkening room. Governments will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from maniacs and crime, but are in reality, it is the bureaucrats protecting their power and position. In all cases where guns are banned, gun crime continues and often increases. As for maniacs, be it nuts with cars (NYC, Chapel Hill NC), swords (Japan), knives (China) or home made bombs (everywhere), insane people strike. They throw acid (Pakistan, UK), they throw fire bombs (France), they attack. What is worse, is, that the best way to stop a maniac is not psychology or jail or "talking to them", it is a bullet in the head, that is why they are a maniac, because they are incapable of living in reality or stopping themselves.

The excuse that people will start shooting each other is also plain and silly. So it is our politicians saying that our society is full of incapable adolescents who can never be trusted? Then, please explain how we can trust them or the police, who themselves grew up and came from the same culture?

No it is about power and a total power over the people. There is a lot of desire to bad mouth the Tsar, particularly by the Communists, who claim he was a tyrant, and yet under him we were armed and under the progressives disarmed. Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns. Oh, no, they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question. They hate guns in those whom they have slated for a barrel to the back of the ear.

So, do not fall for the false promises and do not extinguish the light that is left to allow humanity a measure of self respect.
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/07/2013 11:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental. The entire point of having fundamental rights is to prevent well-meaning politicians from making well-intentioned tweaks. Fundamental rights are too important. We can't let it happen.
Posted by: Iblis || 01/07/2013 13:38 Comments || Top||

#2  When Pravda speaks up for our rights and American MSM speaks up for those who would deny our rights I don't know who to believe anymore. My guess is that this article will never appear in Pravada's Russian version and is intended for strictly American consumption. But how do I know? I know all too well the crap that is coming from the likes of ABC News. How do I even know anymore what is really going on in Russia? If I can't believe ABC on guns, how can I believe them on the likes of Russia, China or Iran?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 01/07/2013 15:28 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't see this going well for this govmint if further attempts are made to dismantle the 2nd Amendment. Washington is but a small island in a large freedom-loving country.
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/07/2013 15:38 Comments || Top||

#4  ...but the Beltway looks at the world like this.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 01/07/2013 15:51 Comments || Top||

#5  "In holding, one faced an extremely well-armed and aggressive population Hell-bent on exterminating or driving out the agressor" > SUMS UP QUITE CLEARLY THE CONSTITUTIONAL PREMISE + RIGHT OF AMERICANS TO OWN, CARRY, + STORE GUNS/FIREARMS, + THE NEED "FOR A WELL-ARMED MILITIA".

Iff the sovereign US Standing Army = Armed Services were ever defeated or destroyed by a dedicated opposing Enemy, the latter - in Sole or in Group - could not hope to quickly or successfully invade + occupy America widout dealing wid its well-armed Citizenry whose personal firearms or weapons technology(s) is par, near-par, superior or even dominant to the military technologies of any Enemy or group of Enemies.

TO PARAPH ABRAHAM LINCOLN - AMERICANS CANNOT BE DEFEATED BY ANY FOREIGN STATE POWERS. THE ONLY REAL THREAT TO AMERICA OR AMERICANS STEMS FROM WITHIN, I.E. A "HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND".

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 19:26 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Study reveals rocketing sense of entitlement on U.S. campuses
Posted by: DarthVader || 01/07/2013 09:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1237 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The concept of selfism finds it's origins on the knee, not the campus. The campus only provides credentialing and a networking of like minds.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 10:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Something that is learned all too well in the lower grades.
Posted by: Pappy || 01/07/2013 12:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Where are the do not feed wildlife signs?. You don't feed wildlife because they become dependent.
Posted by: Dale || 01/07/2013 13:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Dunning-Kruger on a massive scale. In a nutshell - the less you know about something, the higher you rate your abilities.
Posted by: SteveS || 01/07/2013 14:57 Comments || Top||

#5  They laughed when I strode into the ER with my cuttin face on. But when I asked for the #7 truncheon and 2 pair of triceps they suddenly stopped.

It's all about your moves, your attitude and what you've seen on TeeVee and watched on the YouTubes. Anyone can do anything with the proper attitude. They may not do it well, but they can try, and trying should be enough amirite?
Posted by: Shipman || 01/07/2013 16:03 Comments || Top||

#6  Of course they're special...until they're not.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/07/2013 17:41 Comments || Top||

#7  I think it's a function of demographic change. From lowest to highest self-esteem, the ethnic/racial groups are ordered as follows: Asians, Caucasians, Hispanics, blacks.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/07/2013 18:37 Comments || Top||

#8  just remember: "you're unique! Just like everyone else"
Posted by: Frank G || 01/07/2013 19:33 Comments || Top||

#9  It's not genetic, it's cultural. Attitudes are learned.
Posted by: lotp || 01/07/2013 19:36 Comments || Top||

#10  It's not genetic, it's cultural. Attitudes are learned.

I'd be surprised if it were anything but genetic. It's not unique to humans - different breeds of dogs exhibit distinct ranges of temperaments.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/07/2013 19:59 Comments || Top||

#11  And of course, my wife says the administration is pushing for student success! Which means they all get A's to C's and screw it if they actually learn or not.


And of course, now with Tyrantcare, they're not hiring fulltime faculty now, just part timers. At least the oil industry can't and won't do that.
Posted by: Silentbrick - Schlumberger Squishy Mud Division || 01/07/2013 20:25 Comments || Top||

#12  They are clueless. They are entitled to the massive debt. Our country has a demographic ponzi scheme going and the current generation in college is gonna get stuck and they voted for it.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/07/2013 23:18 Comments || Top||


Science & Technology
Is January Chinese ASAT Testing Month? - (Union of Concerned Scientists)
China seems to want a special entry in Rantburg's "Idiot of the Day" listing. To quote the NASA blogs "Top officials in China seem to be unaware of the Kessler syndrome." ...the idea of cascading collisions or Satellite Billiards in Space ...
Or they figure it's others with more in space who have a lot to lose. United States, for instance.
In 2007 and 2010 China conducted anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons tests, both on January 11. Rumors circulating for the past few months suggest that some within the U.S. defense and intelligence community believe China is preparing to conduct another ASAT test.

The first media report on these rumors appeared in October. China's Ministry of Defense challenged the information in that report, but in November contacts in China told us an announcement about an upcoming ASAT test was circulated within the Chinese government. We were unable to find a public statement confirming plans for a test in the Chinese media or on publicly accessible Chinese government websites. Then, just before Christmas, a high-ranking U.S. defense official told us that the Obama administration was very concerned about an imminent Chinese ASAT test.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Water Modem || 01/07/2013 00:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [502 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ION BIGNEWSNETWORK > [Sina] US MILITARY AMBITION IN EAST ASIA FOILED BY REALITY.

ARTIC = ...
- US has too many Debts, no longer has enough $$$.
- US Navy CVBGS dare not patrol at will widin the "First Island Chain".
- New USDOD concept of "Offshore Control", as empowered by resort to China-containing/hugging, anti-PLA "economic blockades", to serve as adjunct to an increasingly obsolete "Air-Sea Battle" whcih the US still intends to use vee China beyond the "First Island Chain" - SEE FIRST ABOVE.

* SAME > [CNBC] 2013: THE YEAR JAPAN INCREASES ITS MILITARY ROLE IN ASIA?

* SAME > [Sina] JAPAN AIRBORNE BRIGADE [paratroopers] MULLS DRILL TO RETAKE ISLANDS.

Overwhelming Paratrooper + Heliborne. Commando-SPECOPS Assault, ,+ irregardless of any mass casualties incurred by same, is likely the main method by which China + PLA will conventionally strike TAIWAN.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 1:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe they can practice on the errant Nork unit.
Posted by: Skidmark || 01/07/2013 10:40 Comments || Top||

#3  See FREEREPUBLIC this AM > FOUR CHINESE SURVEILLANCE SHIPS PUSH THEIR LUCK WID JAPANESE PATIENCE.

and

* SAME > THE STARK EVIDENCE OF US, UK NAVAL DECLINE.

IMO Artic also read, DECLINE OF THE UNSC AS WE KNOW IT.

Not good news for desired future OWG-NWO as Seapower, along wid ground elements, is likely to remain in the forefront = "tip of the spear/baton" as per post-UNO OWG Peacekeeping.

MORESO IFF THE US = US-ALLIES FAIL UTTERLY IN ELIMINATING THE ROOT CAUSES OF MILITANT OR RADICALIST ISLAMISM, WHERE THE ONLY COUNTRIES, IDEOS THAT HAVE TO CHANGE ARE THOSE IN THE NON-ISLAMIC WORLD.

INSTEAD OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD ADOPTING WESTERN-STYLE LIBERAL DEMOCRACY/SECULARISM, THE US-WEST OR NON-ISLAMIC WORLD BECAME STEADILY BUT IRREVERSIBLY ISLAMIZED BECAUSE OF THE DRIVE TO FORCIBLY IMPOSE LEFTISM-GLOBALISM = GLOBAL SOCIALISM.

OH THE HIJAB-MANIY!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 19:04 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Al-Qaeda chief's brother arrested in Syria: Report
[Iran Press TV] The brother of al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri
... Formerly second in command of al-Qaeda, now the head cheese, occasionally described as the real brains of the outfit. Formerly the Mister Big of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bumped off Abdullah Azzam with a car boom in the course of one of their little disputes. Is thought to have composed bin Laden's fatwa entitled World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders. Currently residing in the North Wazoo area. That is not a horn growing from the middle of his forehead, but a prayer bump, attesting to how devout he is...
has reportedly been tossed in the calaboose.
Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
by Syrian military forces in the city of Dara'a, southwest of the capital Damascus
...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world...

The 59-year-old Mohamed al-Zawahiri was arrested while he was meeting opposition gunnies in Dara'a, the English newspaper The Independent reported on Friday.

According to the daily, Western intelligence agencies fear the arrest could lead to the detention of more al-Qaeda members in Syria.

Zawahiri spent 14 years in prison in Egypt on charges of being involved in the liquidation of former president Anwar Sadat in 1981 and taking part in terrorist acts.

Ayman, 61, became the head of al-Qaeda in 2011. In May 2011, US Navy SEALs claimed they killed former al-Qaeda leader the late Osama bin Laden
... who is no longer with us, and won't be again...
in Pakistain.

Ayman has called for military action against the Syrian government.

Reports say hundreds of al-Qaeda forces of Evil are active in Syria under the banner of the al-Nusra Front group.

Last month, the US State Department designated the al-Nusra Front group as a terror organization linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Turkey, Qatar, and Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face...
are reportedly arming and funding gunnies fighting the Damascus government to implement Western plans in the Arab county.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the gunnies fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.

Several international human rights
...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty...
organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored gunnies of committing war crimes.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [771 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

#1  Pic please.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 1:21 Comments || Top||

#2  According to the daily, Western intelligence agencies fear the arrest could lead to the detention of more al-Qaeda members in Syria

anyone else see something wrong here?
Posted by: Frank G || 01/07/2013 11:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Mohammed al-Zawahiri denies humanitarian visit, arrest in Syria
Posted by: tipper || 01/07/2013 12:12 Comments || Top||

#4  That Picture, I read daily for his Death, Maiming would be all right too, if it's serious enough.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 01/07/2013 17:25 Comments || Top||


London Says Assad Speech 'Beyond Hypocritical', Berlin Sees 'No New Insights'
[An Nahar] Britannia denounced Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs...
's speech on Sunday calling for a conference of national dialogue to end the Syrian conflict as "beyond hypocritical," as Germany said the address offered "no new insights."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Assad's first speech to the nation since June was full of "empty promises" and would "fool no-one".

In an address to an ecstatic audience in a Damascus
...Home to a staggering array of terrorist organizations...
theater, Assad described the opposition as "slaves" of the West and outlined a reconciliation plan aimed at resolving a civil war which according to the U.N. has claimed more than 60,000 lives.

He called for a conference of national dialogue to be followed by a referendum on a national charter and parliamentary elections.

Assad also called on foreign powers to end their support for rebels seeking to bring down his regime.

Hague took to Twitter to vent his anger about the speech, writing: "AssadSpeech beyond hypocritical. Deaths, violence and oppression engulfing Syria are his own making, empty promises of reform fool no one."

Prime Minister David Cameron
... has stated that he is certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite, which means he's not. Since he is not deeply ideological he lacks core principles and is easily led. He has been described as certainly not a Pitt, Elder or Younger, but he does wear a nice suit so maybe he's Beau Brummel ...
earlier reiterated his calls for the Syrian leader to stand down.

"My message to Assad is go," he told BBC TV. "He has the most phenomenal amount of blood on his hands."

Meanwhile,
...back at the Hubba Hubba Club, Nunzio wondered: Where the hell was Chumbaloni? And where was his $600?...
Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister, said "unfortunately the Assad speech contains no new insights."

"Instead of martial tones again, he should finally free the way up for a transition government and a political new start in Syria," he added in a written statement.

And he called for Assad "not only to vaguely declare the readiness for a ceasefire, but to finally stop the violence of his troops".
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [392 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  The Poms defining hypocrisy? Pull me another pint of Guinness please.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 1:30 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Soldier killed, 5 hurt in southern Thailand
A soldier was killed and five others wounded in an ambush on the outskirts of a village in Pattani province early yesterday morning.

Six soldiers in a military truck were fired at by terrorists militants. At least two gunmen on a motorcycle were waiting for the truck to pass on a bridge in a village bordering Muang district. When the truck approached the bridge, the men sprayed bullets at the vehicle, woundng the six soldiers on board. The soldiers drove away and returned fire briefly as they did so. The gunmen later fled.

The gunfight left the six soldiers wounded, two of them seriously. One of them later died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Investigators recovered spent bullet casings from the scene to determine the weapons used. The army truck will also be examined. Its front windshield and doors on both sides were riddled with bullet holes. There were pools of blood inside the passenger compartment.

An intelligence report suggests attacks against security forces are likely to intensify this year.

Meanwhile, a former terrorist insurgent has urged anyone thinking of joining separatist movements to reconsider.

Mukta Leekaji, a representative of a group of former terrorists insurgents who recently turned themselves in to authorities, yesterday called on active terrorists insurgents and their sympathisers to stop using violence.

He said he and his friends had earlier been persuaded to join terror insurgency movements. He said that matters only worsened once they did so. Some of his friends lost their lives in violent attacks, causing hardship to their families.

Mr Mukta spoke during a peace-building event held by the Fourth Army in Pattani yesterday. More than 1,200 Islamic leaders, local leaders and former terrorists insurgents attended.

One killed, one injured in Narathiwat attacks

A woman was killed and another seriously injured in two separate gun attacks in Narathiwat province on Saturday night.

The first attack occurred at 6:20 p.m. in Si Sakhon district when the pillion rider of a motorcycle opened fire with an AK-47 rifle at the kitchen of a defense volunteer's base, intending to kill some volunteers standing nearby. The gun shots missed the volunteers but hit Anchalee Laochan, 23, the wife of a defense volunteer, killing her instantly.

The other incident which took place at 6:25 p.m. in front of a garment factory at Ban Yalaebo. Nipataya Awae, 19, was shot in the back while driving home on a motorcle by the pillion rider of another motorcycle which followed her from a market in Rueso district town.

Ms Nipataya was seriously injured.
Posted by: ryuge || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [602 views] Top|| File under:


Arabia
House of Saud's doomed bid for survival
It's Iran. They still don't like those Bedouin parvenus running things in Mecca.
[Iran Press TV] Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face...
's latest budget announcement - the biggest in the kingdom's 80-year history - had the world's financial press swooning last week. It came as an almost delirious distraction from the relentless austerity news coming out of the United States and Europe.

USD219 billion is to be pumped into the Saudi economy by the government in Riyadh. In an age of capitalist austerity, the Saudi spending plan may seem like socialism on steroids.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [404 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Assad calls for 'purely Syrian' solution
[Iran Press TV] In his rare public appearance, Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Trampler of Homs...
offered on Sunday a plan for putting an end to the country's 22-month-old crisis stoked up by the West and some regional puppet regimes, assuring his friends and foes that he did not have the least intention of stepping down and that he would steadfastly protect his people against those he described as 'slaves of foreign powers'.

Assad outlined a new peace initiative, a strategic roadmap and proposed the formation of a national reconciliation conference and a new government and constitution while at the same time he warned against the intervention of Western and regional powers through funding the jihad boys.

The crisis in Syria which had already begun to deepen and plunge the country into irretrievable chaos now seems to have partly ameliorated. Yet, stability is far off or even impossible although the gangs have reached a temporary military and political impasse.
The crisis in Syria which had already begun to deepen and plunge the country into irretrievable chaos now seems to have partly ameliorated. Yet, stability is far off or even impossible although the gangs have reached a temporary military and political impasse.

Syria is faced with two grave threats which in one way or another nullify any efforts directed at establishing peace and stability in the country. On the one hand, the al-Qaeda elements which make up a considerable part of the opposition have infiltrated into the country and on the other hand, the opposition is reportedly funded by the West and Arab dictators in the region.

On October 28, 2012, the Syrian army conducted a mop-up operation on the outskirts of Deir al-Zour, a city situated about 420 kilometers northeast of Damascus
...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy...
, engaged a group of gunnies and rubbed out Ammar Nawar al-Hajr, an al-Qaeda leader. In a recent development, 59-year-old Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri has been tossed in the clink
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
by Syrian military forces in the city of Dara'a, southwest of Damascus. He was arrested while he was having a meeting with opposition gun-hung tough guys in Dara'a.

The gun-hung tough guys insist that Mohamed al-Zawahiri was engaged on a humanitarian mission and that he had, in fact, 'proposed a local truce to enable aid to get through.' The assertion roughly runs counter to the so-called fatwa his brother Ayman al-Zawahiri has issued, calling for a jihad against the "pernicious, cancerous regime" of Bashir al-Assad.

The fatwa of the al-Qaeda leader against the government of Bashir al-Assad consolidated the gradually surfacing assumption that the rebellion in Syria was of a different stock in comparison to what was happening in other Arab countries and that it was being funded and guided through a mysterious network.

In his speech, Assad reinforced that the conflict was not one "between the government and the opposition but between the "nation and its enemies."

"The one thing that is sure that those who we face today are those who carry the al-Qaeda ideology. There are those who seek to partition Syria and weaken it. But Syria is stronger... and will remain sovereign... and this is what upsets the West."

However,
some men learn by reading. A few learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves...
al-Qaeda is not the only party which contributes to unrest and dissension in Syria. The US and the West are also responsible for the Syrian mayhem. Among others, the UK seems to take the most interest in and to be the staunchest supporter of a regime change or euphemistically speaking a 'revolution' in Syria. British Prime Minister David Cameron
... has stated that he is certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite, which means he's not. Since he is not deeply ideological he lacks core principles and is easily led. He has been described as certainly not a Pitt, Elder or Younger, but he does wear a nice suit so maybe he's Beau Brummel ...
has indicated Britannia is ready to step up its support for the Syrian opposition and warned that "nothing is off the table. I want a very clear message to go out to President Assad that nothing is off the table ... I want us to work with that opposition, to help shape that opposition, to advise and work with that opposition, so that we can see the speediest possible transition in Syria."

As if everything is in its place, and everybody is enjoying their lion's share of human rights
One man's rights are another man's existential threat.
and democracy in the UK, Cameron commenced pontificating about democracy in the Arab country, spoke of a transition of power and predicted a "a future for Syria that is democratic and inclusive, with full support for human rights and the rights of minorities."

Syria has never "rejected a political solution" but the problem is, as Assad said, "With whom should we talk? With those who have bad boy ideology who only understand the language of terrorism? Or should we negotiate with puppets whom the West brought...We negotiate with the master, not with the slave."

In point of fact, the problem is that neither the al-Qaeda nor the West-backed gun-hung tough guys have the least proclivity to construct an effective, diplomatically-centered dialogic relation with the government of Assad and prevent a crippling crisis from snowballing into a tortuously uncontrollable tight spot. From the outset, the West and the regional puppet regimes have called on Assad to step down and abandon the country to the care of the multiethnic and multinational gun-hung tough guys who do not even follow a selfsame agenda. US President B.O. has explicitly called on Syrian President Bashir al-Assad to step down. He also issued an executive order for the immediate freezing of all assets of Damascus and the prohibition of Americans from engaging in any transaction involving the government.

"We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led," Obama said in a statement. "For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside."

Obama's words have not only been reflected by Arab puppet regimes in the region but also been placed high on their agenda. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, has called for an Arab military intervention in Syria.

"It is better for Arab countries themselves to intervene out of their humanitarian, political and military duties and do what is necessary to stop the bloodshed."

The prospect of a Syria in the hands of the al-Qaeda Islamic fascisti is calamitously bleak and bare enough even without the presence of the US and the UK, which cherish gloomy musings for the country and will readily turn Syria into another Afghanistan.

What appears to be a definitive solution to the crisis in Syria lies in Assad's own words that any resolution must be "purely Syrian and ratified by referendum, including a charter drafted at the national dialogue conference."
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [494 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  "Mohammed al-Zawahiri ... tossed in the clink" > PIC(S) PLEASE.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 1:12 Comments || Top||

#2  He has not led," Obama said in a statement.

But he does appear to be winning !
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 2:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Gee, where have we seen that lately in the US?
Posted by: lotp || 01/07/2013 7:09 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Minority Ismaeli Shia Leader Refuse Sectarian Representation in Yemen National Dialogue
[Yemen Post] A top leader from Yemen's minority Ismaeli Shia sect denounced politicians who called on the national dialogue preparatory commission to specify seats for Ismaelis in Yemen to ensure they are represented.

Abdullah Shaban, a leader within the Ismaeli sect in Yemen told Yemen Post that sectarian representation in the national dialogue is not what Yemen needs today and that all should enter the dialogue sessions as Yemenis operating within political parties and not religious sects. "We need to put sectarian differences behind us and Ismaelis do not want seats within the national dialogue because of their sect," said Shaban.

He added, "Ismaelis over the years have been involved in the political process in Yemen without having their own party. We joined other parties hoping to serve the country and not the sect."
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [443 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Abbas orders official use of 'State of Palestine'
[Al Ahram] The Paleostinian president has ordered his government to officially change the name of the Paleostinian Authority to 'State of Paleostine'
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [492 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority

#1  Getting ready for SSSSSHHHHH ...CCCCCC the "Jordanian Spring"???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 1:14 Comments || Top||

#2  The PA has the LR Artillery, or soon will have it, to suppor the forward base/camp in side Jordan???

* BIG NEWS NETWORK > IRAN PLEDGING LONG-RANGE MISSLES FOR HAMAS.

OFFICIALLY 'tis for use by Hamas agz the wily dastardly Israelis.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 1:19 Comments || Top||

#3  'State of Palestine'

A more polite synonym for FUBAR? "After being destroyed by a tornado, the mobile home park was in a complete state of Palestine."
Posted by: SteveS || 01/07/2013 1:55 Comments || Top||

#4  IRAN PLEDGING LONG-RANGE MISSLES FOR HAMAS.

Just what the Paleos need - yet another reason for the Juices to kick the snot out of 'em.
Posted by: SteveS || 01/07/2013 1:57 Comments || Top||

#5  After serving a Mother's Day all you can eat seafood buffet...with turned seafood...the restaurant's bathrooms were in a complete state of Palestine.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 01/07/2013 12:33 Comments || Top||

#6  LOL, but gak.
There's an RB illustration... (please no)
Posted by: Shipman || 01/07/2013 15:51 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Moroccan MP arrested for corruption
[MAGHAREBIA] A Moroccan MP in the Chamber of Councillors was jugged
Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages!
on corruption charges last week in Kenitra after being caught red-handed taking a bribe.

Mohamed El Hassiani, who represents the Constitutional Union party, is also the president of the Sidi Yahya El Gharb commune. He was apprehended in a café on Wednesday (January 2nd) while allegedly in the act of receiving a 200,000 dirham (18,000 euros) bribe from a businessman,
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [401 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Palestinian PM Fayad Blasts Arab Donors For Non-Payment Of Pledges
[Ynet] The Paleostinian government is close to being "completely incapacitated," largely because Arab countries haven't delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in promised aid, the Paleostinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
...Fayyad's political agenda holds that neither violence nor peaceful negotiations have brought the Paleostinians any closer to an independent state. The alternative to both, violent negotiations, doesn't seem to be working too well, either...
said in an interview Sunday.
They're busy, and y'all aren't important anymore. Sorry. Perhaps you ought to consider living within your actual means, instead of on promises.
Hard to live within their means when they don't have any...
Hard to have any when you promote very large families living on welfare, discourage effective education and loot the productive assets you're given.
According to him, if allowed to continue, the unprecedented financial crisis will quickly double the number of Paleostinian poor to 50 percent, as well as boosting the political appeal of the Islamic cut-thoat Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, while discrediting him and other proponents of a nonviolent path to statehood in the West Bank, Gazoo Strip and east Jerusalem.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1219 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority

#1  Inter-Arab squabbling? Who's ever heard of such a thing?
Posted by: American Delight || 01/07/2013 5:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Just one more example of the cancer that is the entitlement society.

Why in hell should so many people be allowed to live, if not thrive, on the largess of others. This is nothing more than large scale panhandling, sort of like San Francisco.
Posted by: AlanC || 01/07/2013 15:38 Comments || Top||

#3  "You cheap chislin' bastards!"
Posted by: Muggsy Mussolini1226 || 01/07/2013 17:06 Comments || Top||

#4  At least panhandlers in S.F. aren't strapping suicide vests to their rags.
Posted by: American Delight || 01/07/2013 18:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Want them to pay up? Tell them you'll have a bunch of their Pali "brothers" move to their countries.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/07/2013 19:18 Comments || Top||

#6  The PA in Gaza-West Bank is a Govt. widout any sovereign physical land to call its own - IFF THE PA CAN'T DEFEAT + TAKEOVER FROM ISRAEL, ITS ONLY REALISTIC + POLITICAL CHOICE IS TO CONQUER SOVEREIGN LANDS FOR ITSELF FROM NEIGHBORING ARAB-MUSLIM STATES.

Read, JORDAN.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 22:40 Comments || Top||

#7  That would be the Jordan that kicked them out once before for being undesirable neighbors?

Based on their progress in building a thriving economy and functional government over the last 50 years, I fully expect that when the next century rolls over, the Paleos will still be living in "refugee camps", squabbling amongst themselves and trying to mooch off an Arab world that only cherishes them for their nuisance value to Israel and the West.
Posted by: SteveS || 01/07/2013 22:53 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Activists wary as India rushes to justice after gang rape
[REUTERS] It's no surprise the Indian street wants faster, harsher justice for sexual crimes after a horrific gang rape that rocked the nation, but some activists worry the government will trample fundamental rights in its rush to be in tune with popular rage.
"Which activists?"
"Some."

Last month's rape of a physiotherapy student on a moving bus and her death on December 28 in hospital triggered a national debate
... an expenditure of personal wind at the national level that leads to face-making and other histrionics but can't be shown to have ever solved an issue ...
about how to better protect women in India, where official data shows one rape is reported on average every 20 minutes.

Many women's rights groups are cautiously hopeful the protests and outrage that followed the crime can be channeled into real change - fast-track courts for sexual offences and a plan to hire 2,500 new women police in Delhi are measures already in the works.

But legal experts and some feminists are worried that calls to make rape punishable with death and other draconian penalties will cramp civil liberties and are unconstitutional. They say India needs better policing and prosecutions, not new laws.

"If there are not enough convictions, it is not because of an insufficiency of law, but it is the insufficiency of material to base the conviction on," said retired Delhi High Court judge R.S. Sodhi.

Five men have been charged with the student's rape and murder and will appear before a New Delhi court later on Monday. They are due to be tried in a newly formed fast-track court in the next few weeks. A teenager also accused will likely be tried in a juvenile court.

Ahead of Monday's court appearance the five still had no defense lawyers - despite extensive interrogations by the police, who have said they have recorded confessions - after members of the bar association in the South Delhi district where the case is being heard vowed not to represent them.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1193 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like lawyers spruiking for more money for lawyers.

Personally, I'd put them in stocks in central Delhi, with only women allowed access.

If they are still around after that, then by all means try them.
Posted by: phil_b || 01/07/2013 4:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Pants around their ankles and iron bars supplied after a few hours.

That way they get to experience the humiliation and violence of their victim.
Posted by: phil_b || 01/07/2013 4:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Indelicate question but, does anyone know the religions of the involved?
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/07/2013 15:07 Comments || Top||

#4  Dunno, rjschwarz, but I know which way I'd bet. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara || 01/07/2013 15:28 Comments || Top||

#5  I asked that before rjschwarz, didn't get any response but judging by the MSM avoiding mentioning it at all costs - I suspect we're in a game of 'Guess that Religion-of-Peace'....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/07/2013 16:33 Comments || Top||

#6  Ah. "Draconian". I knew it would be in there someplace...
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/07/2013 17:31 Comments || Top||

#7  They were Hindus and Sikhs.

The defendants have been named as Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh, Vijay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta.
Posted by: phil_b || 01/07/2013 18:54 Comments || Top||

#8  They were Hindus and Sikhs.

As far as I can tell India's Muslims as a whole tend to be rather well behaved. Which makes sense when you consider that it has the third larged population of Muslims in the world - and very few of them want to live in Pakistan.
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/07/2013 23:04 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
EU Reiterates that Assad Must 'Step Aside'
[An Nahar] The European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
reiterated Sunday that President Basahar Assad must step aside to allow a political settlement after the Syrian leader called for a national dialogue in a much-awaited speech in Damascus
...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world...
A front man for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a short statement: "We will look carefully if there is anything new in the speech but we maintain our position that Assad has to step aside and allow for a political transition."

The 27-nation bloc first demanded Assad step down in mid-August 2011, just a few months after the beginning of the uprising against his regime.

Ashton at the time said that "the EU notes the complete loss of Bashir al-Assad's legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people and the necessity for him to step aside."

The EU has imposed 19 rounds of sanctions against the Damascus regime since the 21-month conflict began in March 2011, including a wide range of trade and financial measures as well as an arms embargo.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [381 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


Arabia
Yemen Court Jails Five Qaida Militants
[An Nahar] A Yemeni court specializing in terrorism cases sentenced five Yemenis to between four and 10 years in prison Sunday on charges of membership in Al-Qaeda and for plotting to carry out terrorist attacks.

Key defendant Mohammed Muawada was placed in durance vile
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
for 10 years while three accomplices were given a 6-year prison sentence each and the fifth one was sentenced to four years in jail, according to the verdicts announced by judge Hilal Mahfal.

Four other suspects were released on parole while two were set free.

All 11 had been locked away
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
on charges of "membership in Al-Qaeda" and "plotting to attack vital installations, military camps, foreign embassies" as well as security officials across Yemen.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [583 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
4 Arabs arrested for hurling firebombs at east J'lem home
[Ynet] Four teens and two Arab men were locked away
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
by Border Guard forces while hurling Molotov cocktails and fireworks at the Meyuchas house where Jewish families reside in Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood. No injuries were reported.
File under "Boys will be boys". This kind of thing goes on all the time over there. Every once in a while we mention it here at Rantburg.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [782 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Execue them, all is well.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 01/07/2013 3:03 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Egypt's Morsi adds more Brothers to his cabinet
[CS MONITOR] Egypt swore in 10 new ministers on Sunday in a Cabinet shake-up aimed at improving the government's handling of the country's ailing economy ahead of talks this week with the International Monetary Fund over a badly needed $4.8 billion loan.
Because Islam is the answer. To everything.
The reshuffle, which President Mohammed Morsi had promised in response to public anger over Egypt's economic malaise, affected two key ministries, the interior and finance. It also solidified Islamist control of the government, putting three portfolios in the hands of members of the president's Muslim Brotherhood.
Funny how it worked out that a cabinet reshuffle meant more Muslim Brothers. I'm sure the world financial community gets the message...
The dire state of Egypt's economy was punctuated Sunday by new central bank figures that put December's foreign currency reserves at $15.01 billion, down $26 million from a month earlier. The reserves have dropped by more than half since the uprising that ousted longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [368 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Iraq
Maliki warns of foreign agendas to fuel Iraq political crisis
[Iran Press TV] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
... Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party....
has warned against what he calls foreign agendas to fuel the country's political crisis.

Addressing a ceremony marking the 92nd anniversary of the founding of Iraq's armed forces, Maliki on Sunday warned against foreign interference, saying it would push the country toward sectarian violence.

"Competition and polarization exists in the region, and what is surrounding us, sectarian tension, is affecting Iraq badly," Maliki said in a speech to army officers in Storied Baghdad
...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate...
's heavily fortified Green Zone.

He also called for unity in Iraq and stressed that the country's problems must be solved by national dialogue.

Iraq has been the scene of anti-government demonstrations since December 23 when bodyguards of Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi were tossed in the slammer
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
on terrorism-related charges.

The demonstrators allege that the arrests were made on sectarian grounds and demand an end to anti-terrorism laws. But the government says it is up to parliament to decide on abolishing those laws.

On Wednesday, Maliki said Storied Baghdad would use force to end the protests in Anbar, where protesters have blocked off a highway linking Iraq to Syria and Jordan. The Iraqi government says there are foreign agendas behind the protests.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [389 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq


India-Pakistan
PPP ready for talks with Taliban, says Kaira
[Dawn] Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Saturday the PPP was ready for talks with everyone, including bully boys.

"The PPP is ready for dialogue with anyone, even the Taliban," he remarked while answering a question here.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain has offered the government 'conditional talks' for peace.

He said the nation was worried about the announcement made by Dr Tahirul Qadri about his planned march on Islamabad on Jan 14. "Dr Qadri should better approach the Election Commission of Pakistain if he has any objections to the electoral process," he said.

Mr Qadri should first decide about taking part in the election and then get his party registered with the ECP in line with the constitutional process, he added. Mr Kaira said the caretaker set-up would be formed after consultation with all stakeholders.

He said anything against the Constitution was unacceptable and all suggestions within the domain of the Constitution would be welcomed.

He said the PPP was pursuing the reconciliation policy because it believed in the unity of people and not in their division. The PPP had kept all its coalition partners on board while taking decisions.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [382 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Africa North
Egypt barring Bahais from enrolling in public schools
Dangerous as it is to be a member of one of the dhimmi religions when Islam is on the march, to believe in other than the accepted dissentions is even more dangerous. While Baha'i was founded by a Muslim visionary/heretic in Persia about 150 years ago, the world headquarters is in Haifa, because in the Middle East only the nation of the Juices allows them to worship freely.
[Jpost] Egypt's Education Minister Ibrahim Ghoneim on Sunday reiterated that members of the Bahai religion could not enroll in Egyptian public schools, according to Egypt Independent.

"The Constitution only recognizes the three Abrahamic religions," Ghoneim reportedly said, "And as religion is a subject taught in schools, they do not meet the requirements for enrollment."

Ghoneim's statement came on the heels of similar comments he made in November, in which he asserted that Egypt "only recognizes three religions, and the Bahai faith is not among them. Thus their children do not have the right to register in government schools."

Tensions between Egypt's rulers and Bahais have intensified since 1960, when the government confiscated their assets and sold them in a public auction. At that time, the Egyptian government accused Bahais of being loyal to Israel.
Just another step down the primrose path so well outlined by those who have gone down it before.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [507 views] Top|| File under:

#1  and one of the 3 recognized religions has almost no one left in egypt



Posted by: lord garth || 01/07/2013 0:22 Comments || Top||

#2  The second one is being wiped out, too.
Posted by: lotp || 01/07/2013 6:59 Comments || Top||


-Obits-
Islamic sendoff for Qazi Hussain Ahmed in Peshawar
Ululululululululu *deep breath* ulululululululu...
[Dawn] The funeral prayers of former Jamaati-e-Islami (JI) chief, Qazi Hussain Ahmed
...the absolutely humorless, xenophobic former head of the Pak Jamaat-e-Islami. He was also head of the MMA, a coalition of religious parties formed after 2001 that eventually collapsed under the weight of the holy egos involved. Qazi was the patron of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar during the Afghan mujaheddin's war against the Soviets. His sermons are described as fiery, which means they rely heavily on gospel and not at all on logic. Qazi once recommended drinking camel pee for good health, but that was before his kidneys went...
were held on motorway Ring Road in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
on Sunday, January 6, 2012, DawnNews reported.

The funeral prayers were led by JI Chief Syed Munawar Hassan
... The funny-looking Amir of the Pak Jamaat-e-Islami. He joined the National Students Federation (NSF), a lefty student body, and was elected its President in 1959. He came into contact with the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) Pakistan and studied the writings of Mawlana Syed Abul Ala Maududi, The Great Apostasizer. As a result, he joined IJT in 1960 and soon he was elected as President of its University of Karachi Unit and member of the Central Executive Council. He was Assistant Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistain in 1992-93, and became Secretary General in 1993. After years of holding Qazi's camel he was named Amir when the old man stepped down in 2009...
, and were attended by a large number of political and religious leaders including Central Amir of Jamaat e Ulema Islam (JUI-F) Fazlur Rehman, Chairman Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf
...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations....
President, Javed Hashmi, JUI-F leader, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, JI leader Liaquat Baloch, Former Senior Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
Minister, Siraj Ul Haq, JUI-Sami Chief, Maulana Samiul Haq
...the Godfather of the Taliban, leader of his own faction of the JUI. Known as Mullah Sandwich for his habit of having two young boys at a time...
, Professor Khurshid Ahmed, former MNA Shabeer Ahmed Khan, senators, members of the parliament, officials, ex-local government representatives, and a large number of workers of JI.

After the prayers, his body was shifted to Ziarat Kaka Sahib in Nowshera district where he was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard.

Earlier today, Ahmed's body was brought from Islamabad to his residence in Peshawar.

Many party workers and supporters from all over the country were traveling to Peshawar to attend the funeral.

President of Pakistain Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Federal Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor and Chief Minister offered condolences over the death of the veteran politician and called it a great loss.

Pakistain Mohammedan league- Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Muttahida Qaumi Movement
...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead...
(MQM) chief Altaf Hussain and Religious scholar and Minhaj-ul-Koran International chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, among others, also offered condolences over the demise of the former JI chief.

The 74-year-old religious scholar had died in Islamabad of cardiac illness.

Ahmed was suffering from cardiac disease for quite some time and turned critical three days ago.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed, 74, was also a prominent religious scholar, Islamic theologian, Islamic democracy advocate.

Qazi joined JI in 1978 and was elected as the party's ameer (chief) in 1987, a position he would be re-elected to on two more occassions before finally stepping down in 2009. He served as the party's ameer for 22 years.

Last November, he escaped an attack unhurt when a jacket wallah detonated explosives near his convoy in the Mohmand tribal agency.

This article starring:
Fazlur RehmanJUI-F
Hafiz Hussain AhmedJUI-F
Liaquat BalochJamaat-e-Islami
Qazi Hussain AhmedJamaati-e-Islami
Samiul HaqJUI-Sami
Syed Munawar HassanJamaati-e-Islami
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [636 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Israel grave threat to global peace: Chomsky
[Iran Press TV] Renowned American academician Noam Chomsky
...intellectual and political theorist of a socialist persuasion. He is noted for being so far out in left field he can't see the shortstop on every issue he pushes...
has slammed the West's allegations against Iran's nuclear energy program while it turns a blind eye to Israel's 'grave threat to the global peace.'
"Yes. A grave threat. Very grave. Harrupmph."
"The 'Iranian threat' is overwhelmingly a Western obsession, shared by Arab dictators, though not Arab populations," Chomsky wrote in a Friday article at AlterNet.
"Not at all. Certainly not. I've asked them."
The prominent analyst alluded to numerous polls which confirm that citizens of Arab countries perceive Israel and the US as a serious threat and sometimes considerable majorities regard Iran's nuclear capabilities as "a counter to these threats."
"Yes. Very much a counter-threat. Harrupmph."
"The Non-Aligned Movement has vigorously supported Iran's right to enrich uranium, most recently at its summit meeting in Tehran last August," Chomsky added.
"I was there, you know."
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
"Yes. That was bad of them. Very bad. A sign of incipient aggression. Harrumph. Harrumph."
Iran argues that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the ineffective International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
"And who could dispute that statement. Q.E.D. Harrumph."
The analyst made reference to the 1998 remarks by former head of the US Strategic Command Gen. Lee Butler who said "It is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East," only Israel should have a powerful nuclear weapons arsenal which "inspires other nations to do so."
"That means 'Quod Erat Demonstrandum.' That's Roman. Very old. Very old. Harrumph."
Chomsky described Israel as "the only nuclear power" in the Middle East and argued, "The United States will not allow measures to place Israel's nuclear facilities under international inspection. Nor will the U.S. release information on 'the nature and scope of Israeli nuclear facilities and activities.'"
"They do that because they're Imperialists, you know. Look at all the times Israel has used those nuclear weapons. And they won't even let me into the country. Harrumph."
The analyst pointed out that establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East requires the cooperation of the nuclear powers, including "the United States, and Israel, which refuse."
"Ibid. Harrumph."
"The United States will not allow measures to place Israel's nuclear facilities under international inspection. Nor will the U.S. release information on the nature and scope of Israeli nuclear facilities and activities," he added
"That's Roman, too. I know lots of Roman because I'm a brilliant linguist. Harrumph."
The prominent academician
"Yes. I'm very famous. Harrumph."
also pointed to the December remarks by Dennis Ross, Elliott Abrams, the former top advisers to Barack Obama
I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go...
and George W. Bush, at The Times of Israel who assured that if the standoff over the Iranian nuclear energy program is not resolved diplomatically in the coming year, it will be resolved militarily by the end of 2013.
"The consequences will be grave. Very grave. I make these predictions of war regularly and they come true like clockwork. Harrumph."
Chomsky pointed to the failure of diplomatic channels aimed at establishing a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East and argued that the sole reason behind such failure is that "virtually nothing is reported in the United States about the fate of the most obvious way to address 'the gravest threat.'"
"Kill all the Jews. Harrumph."
This article starring:
Dennis Ross
Elliott Abrams
Noam Chomsky
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [611 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And how do I know this? Because I'm CHOMSKY, dammit!
CHOMSKY! Remember the name...CHOMSKY!
Posted by: Chomsky || 01/07/2013 0:33 Comments || Top||

#2  CHOMSKY Grave threat to peace.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 01/07/2013 2:56 Comments || Top||

#3  Chomsky, Brzezinski, Kissenger....are there no fresh minds? Bring me an American, an encourager, preferably a Methodist, Presbyterian, or Baptist, someone from Indiana, Kentucky, or Kansas who has never written a book but worked silently and diligently with his or her hands. Someone who can ignore a slight and walk away from conflict, I want to hear from them.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 6:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Did you remember the name? It's CHOMSKY! CHOMSKY, dammit! CHOMSKY!
Posted by: Chomsky || 01/07/2013 16:47 Comments || Top||

#5  Chomsky, Brzezinski, Kissenger....are there no fresh minds?

Rather says something about the US intelligentsia, eh>
Posted by: Pappy || 01/07/2013 18:17 Comments || Top||

#6  Indeed it does Pappy. Indeed it does.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 19:09 Comments || Top||

#7  re B. @ 3; i think the type of folks you are describing live here @ the 'burg......(so to speak)
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 01/07/2013 21:44 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Yemen Charges Local Man With Spying For Mossad
[Times of Israel] 'Jewish national' named as Ibrahim al-Dharqhi, 24, to go on trial in next few days.

Authorities in Yemen have charged a local man with spying for Israel and he will soon be put on trial in Aden, officials said on Friday.

Named as Ibrahim al-Dharahi, 24, a computer engineer, he was said to have confessed to spying on behalf of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [412 views] Top|| File under:


Fifth Column
Strategy Page: SOCOM Spies Told To Stand Down
The CIA has persuaded Congress to rein in Department of Defense plans to increase the number of its intelligence operatives.

In particular, the CIA wants fewer non-SOCOM (Special Operations Command) spies from the Department of Defense.
Posted by: Water Modem || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1232 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He may be a fine Irishman, but a bit of what Dunnigan says, needs some salt. The target of the agency appeal to Congress, not mentioned herein, is their nemesis over at Bolling AFB, the Defense Intelligence Agency. The other aspect or reality, is the obvious reduction in administration participation or interest in clandestine collection activities and missions. Following the Money as the old saying goes, generally reveals at least a few potential motives.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 0:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Remember the revolt when they tried to subordinate DoD intel to a Czar? Big dirty fight. DoD won that round, but the bureaucrats are always back to expand their domain and power.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 01/07/2013 8:48 Comments || Top||

#3  That picture reminds me of the Chicken Joke.

"A farmer wanted to raise chickens and sell them for food, he quickly found that people wanted more chicken Drumsticks than chickens."

So he invested in Hybrid Chickens(With 6 legs each).

A friend came by one day withgood wishes and found the hapless farmer sitting and crying, he said "What's wrong?"

The crying farmer said "I can't catch them".

Beware, the unexpected will bite you in the ass.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 01/07/2013 10:23 Comments || Top||

#4  Following the Money as the old saying goes, generally reveals at least a few potential motives.

In this case, it'd be among the top two motives.
Posted by: Pappy || 01/07/2013 10:57 Comments || Top||

#5  ARTIC read, POOR ECONOMY, FISCAL CLIFF(S?), DEFICITS.

Sub-read, "USDOD" IS MOVING AWAY FROM A NATIONALIST "US DEFENSE DEPARTMENT" TOWARD A POST-NATIONALIST, OWG GLOBALIST "GLOBAL DEFENSE DEPARTMENT/AGENCY" [Space Strike/"Star" firepower]. THE FUTURE OWG MIGHTY USSA = OWG WEAK USRoA GLOBAL SSR WANTS A POLITICALLY-ORIENTED, POLITICALLY-CONTROLLED INTERNAL "KGB" + "KOMMISSAR" CORP FOR THAT???

[LATE 1960'S BRIT SHOW "UFO" + "S.H.A.D.O" SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, ALIEN DEFENSE ORGANIZATION here].
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 22:55 Comments || Top||


-Short Attention Span Theater-
What Caesar told his centurians - Small Wars Journal
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1057 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yuuuupp.

OOOOOOOOOOOO, You just know we're D-O-O-M-ED - DDDOOOOOOMMMMEDDD, I TELL YA - iff our future
"No war-thru-2050-iff-not-2100" OWG-NWO = SPACE GOVT-ORDER DISCOVERS THAT "E.T."s ARMAMENT WAS NOT BASED ON CHOCOLATE M&M'S AS PRESENTLY BELIEVED!

* TOPIX, FREEREPUBLIC > MILITARY WOMEN IN NO RUSH TO JOIN INFANTRY.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 0:37 Comments || Top||

#2  The managers took over.

They kept the peacetime career box checking system over battlefield performance. We have more generals per soldier today than we had in WWII.

They became political commissars who at most grudgingly, and more often gleefully to fulfill that promotion box, implemented PC over military culture that had worked effectively for generations. It's not a Tea Society, it a brutal killing machine (see Sherman - war is hell).

There's a reason that in the Constitution the writers make a declaration of a separate law governing land and naval forces. It's not civil society.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 01/07/2013 8:43 Comments || Top||

#3  When the military [like the educational system] became a government 'petri dish' for fairness and equality of outcomes, the outcome was entirely predictable. Proofs can be found in the now long standing Department of the Army Centralized Promotion System and the grooming of legions of senior enlisted to serve in positions within the so-called "enlisted chain of command" as virtual union stewards and diviners. The loss of authority from these two now widely accepted measures, has been devastating to leaders and the good order and discipline of the Army. Following Vietnam and troubles within the ranks [mainly within US Forces Germany] we came to a fork in the road and took it. Unfortunately, I doubt there is any going back.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 9:29 Comments || Top||

#4  Unrelated, but with my good ear I am listening to Fox and the Chuck Hagel SECDEF nomination discussions. The argument repeated time and time again is Hagel's voting against Iranian sanctions. Someone please inform me of the success of Iranian sanctions to date ?

The other frequent heard argument against Hagel's nomination is his comment regarding the so-called "Jewish Lobby" in Washington. Am I then to understand there is no large Jewish political influence in Washington, lobby or otherwise ?

Could it be that the Washington power elites are not comfortable with someone so unlike themselves, a warrior leader who clearly speaks his mind ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 9:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Someone please inform me of the success of Iranian sanctions to date ?

The success is determined by those who hold power and that is to avoid doing anything real for as long as possible till its way too late or incredibly costly.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 01/07/2013 10:52 Comments || Top||

#6  Spot on P2k. Also noted are Al-Qaeda defeated and on the run, and the Assad regime falling in 36 hours.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 10:56 Comments || Top||

#7  Signs we are in deep trouble:
When lawyers in Washington have to be called to determine the acceptability of the ROEs on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan. When you cannot get a decision out of Washington in a timely manner because everyone is weighing the public relations and political correctness consequences. When "hearts and minds" replaces "winning" as the goal of war effort. When the warriors are leaving the military early. When ticket-punching becomes the path to promotion rather than performance on the battlefield. Military budgets are the first budgets to be considered for cutting.
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/07/2013 11:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Someone please inform me of the success of Iranian sanctions to date ?

Overall, about 50-60 percent effective. The major problem is a) the number of waivers granted to foreign nations by Washington and b) the number of nations who are willing to ignore or break sanctions. Not exactly a sterling display of American leadership or power.

Am I then to understand there is no large Jewish political influence in Washington, lobby or otherwise ?

No monolithic one, if I understand correctly. Then again it could just be a matter of echoing the Secretary of State's "vast right wing conspiracy". Not accurate, but not exactly endearing to those it's applied to, either.

Could it be that the Washington power elites are not comfortable with someone so unlike themselves, a warrior leader who clearly speaks his mind?

Yes, it's quite an accomplishment to alienate both sides of the Senate aisle, plus a significant portion of the House, plus your supposedly-erstwhile political party (the affiliation to which is being touted by the White House as a display of 'bipartisanship'.)

The pejorative supposedly applied to Senator McCain during his Hanoi Hotel days may not be applicable here. However, it's my experience that one doesn't anger fire-support or the corspmen and expect prompt assistance later.
Posted by: Pappy || 01/07/2013 17:29 Comments || Top||

#9  Beoserker: More-honorable-than-everyone-else unafraid-to-speak-their-minds Warrior-types with chests full of medals were always at the forefront of the sales push for the honorable decision to sell out to the Soviets at the 'end' of the Vietnam War what eventually amounted to three whole countries with a combined population of... if I'm reading this right, about 29 million people.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 01/07/2013 18:26 Comments || Top||

#10  Thing nails it.
Posted by: lotp || 01/07/2013 19:30 Comments || Top||

#11  The thing is, the Israel Lobby is the one that sticks up for Israel, which is what the honourable former Senator claims to object to... but the Israel Lobby has a strong non-Jewish contingent.

The Jewish Lobby spends at least as much time fighting for Progressive issues as it does for Israel, and some Jewish groups, like those J Street asses, lobby hard against Israel.

Dear Mr. Hagel is more than a bit disingenuous when he argues against the Jewish Lobby, given I haven't heard him being described as any kind of conservative. The wonder is that he hasn't gone off about those slimy Neocons *wink, wink*.

But in the end none of that political stuff matters as much as the facts that
1) the gentleman has managed to annoy a large number of his former colleagues in the Senate, by all accounts, and
2) he has a history of poor office management practices. How is he to manage the entire Department of Defence when he couldn't even handle a bunch of political aides and interns?
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 22:13 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
Twin Suicide Attack at Afghan Tribal Meeting Kills Five
[An Nahar] Two jacket wallahs struck a meeting of community leaders in a southern Afghan town near the Pakistain border on Sunday, killing at least five people and wounding 15, officials said.

One gunman on foot opened fire on guards at the entrance of the council building in Spin Boldak, forced his way inside and let 'er rip, while a second attacker rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the outside walls.

The Kandahar provincial government said that the dead were a child, a health vaccinator, a member of the shura (council), a shopkeeper and a person there to register himself for an identity card.

"All the maimed were civilians who had come to the meeting to discuss their problems with shura members," it said in a statement, adding that three people were being treated for serious injuries in Kandahar city hospital.

The building partially collapsed due the impact of the blasts, with some of the injured pulled from the rubble during a search operation to check for buried bodies.

Taliban front man Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed the Islamic fascisti were responsible, saying eight people, mostly police, were killed, though provincial officials reported no security forces had died or been injured.

Witnesses said two kabooms were heard followed by small arms fire in Spin Boldak, a volatile town 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Kandahar city.

"Every Sunday the local shura meets at the administrative building, that is where the attack happened," said Mohammad Ali, the border police chief.

About 40 residents were attending the meeting to lodge complaints with tribal elders or to petition them for assistance.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [588 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Assad Slams Palestinians Who Treat Syria Like 'Hotel'
[An Nahar] Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Horror of Homs...
accused Paleostinian groups he did not identify on Sunday of treating the country like a "hotel", in his first public speech in seven months.

Assad praised every "honorable Paleostinian in Syria who has served (the country's interests alongside) his Syrian brother and not treated Syria like a hotel, leaving it when circumstances become difficult."

His comments appeared to be an allusion to Islamist group Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, which had its headquarters in exile in Damascus
...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat...
before quietly moving abroad and declaring its support for the uprising against Assad.

Syrian members of the Moslem Brüderbund movement, from which Hamas sprung, were among the first to participate in the revolt when it erupted in March 2011.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [432 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  The 5 Star Cluster, Royal Bashir Hotel caters to the Russian, a more distinguished and cosmopolitan guest.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 1:48 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Renowned French economist to join Obama's team
[FRANCE24] La Belle France's Esther Duflo, a star economist who was once named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, has been nominated by US President Barack Obama
Ready to Rule from Day One...
to help shape US global development policy.

La Belle France's Esther Duflo, a world renowned economist, has been nominated by US President Barack Obama to join a government body dedicated to advising the administration on global development policy.

Called the Global Development Council, the group was founded by Obama in 2010 to help shape US development efforts abroad.

While Duflo's nomination will likely be viewed with a sense of pride in La Belle France, it comes as Obama's leadership continues to be dogged by unflattering comparisons in the media to European-style socialism. Just Friday, the cover of financial news magazine The Economist depicted Obama wearing a beret, red neckerchief and a striped mariner shirt, under a headline that read "America turns European". The article criticised the country's recent fiscal-cliff deal as "lousy", saying its mismanagement bore striking similarities to the "mess in the euro zone".
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dat basically was said on FOX NEWS' "THE FIVE", I.E. THAT IN FORMALLY PASSING THE ANTI-DEADLINE, OBAMA-BOEHNER "FISCAL CLIFF DEAL" THE US GOVT. HAS VOTED TO "BECOME LIKE EUROPE"???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 0:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Lovely! A French academic twist to community organizing, they've had it so right for so long. Will carpaccio soon be added to BBQ'd wings as an allowable EBT expenditure? Will Duflo also suggest the top 2 percent be required to pay a bit more in taxes.....say 75% ?

Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 1:24 Comments || Top||

#3  A renowned French economist. From France. The country that is such an economic success that its citizens are moving to Russia. Hey, isn't John Kerry French? The plot thickens...
Posted by: SteveS || 01/07/2013 1:36 Comments || Top||

#4  Don't dis the Russians Steve. Given the 13% flat individual income tax, 15% tax on dividends and maximum 20% corporate income tax it may be almost time to consider Russia a relocation option.
Posted by: AzCat || 01/07/2013 6:54 Comments || Top||

#5  ...not counting the semi-official 'protection' tax.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 01/07/2013 9:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Esther Duflo (born October 25, 1972) is a French economist, Co-Founder and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Duflo is an NBER Research Associate, serves on the board of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD),and is Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research's development economics program.

Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health, and policy evaluation. Together with Abhijit Banerjee, Dean Karlan, Michael Kremer, John A. List, and Sendhil Mullainathan, she has been a driving force in advancing field experiments as an important methodology to discover causal relationships in economics.


Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries

Well, at least her appointment implies what status we will have in the world under The Big O.

Zimbabwe, here we come...
Posted by: Au Auric || 01/07/2013 10:16 Comments || Top||

#7  The city names have yet to be changed, but we are Zim.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 10:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Detroit = Mukumburo - Michigan = Mashonaland Central ...
Posted by: Au Auric || 01/07/2013 10:30 Comments || Top||

#9  A French economist? Yeah, that's what we need (sarc)
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/07/2013 12:03 Comments || Top||

#10  I suppose robert mugabe was too ill to accept the position.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 01/07/2013 16:22 Comments || Top||

#11  They couldn't find a Chinaman?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 01/07/2013 16:30 Comments || Top||

#12  Highly regarded as a leading Social Economist.

NRO - I think that this is another straw in the wind signaling the transformation of the quantitative social sciences into somewhat more experimental disciplines.

The Atlantic - Much of the work that we now think of as economics, political science and other social sciences will likely be displaced by some hybrid of biology, experimental economics, psychology and other fields that can evaluate hypotheses for the quantified prediction of human behavior through structured falsification tests... Even in its current embryonic form, experimental economics already suffers from excessive rhetorical generalization from what some specific group of college sophomores did with $30 to fairly grand statements about human nature... This new approach will dominate what we now think of as classical economics. This will likely not address a lot of territory now covered in economics, including, for example, many of the issues related to the stimulus debates. These kinds of topics will of course remain interesting, and work will still be done on them in an academic setting; it will simply be even more obviously non-science, and be done down the hall in the history, philosophy and literature departments.
Posted by: mossomo || 01/07/2013 17:15 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Libya GNC chief escapes assassination
[MAGHAREBIA] Libyan General National Congress (GNC) President Mohamed Magarief evaded liquidation Saturday (January 5th) in Sabha, Al-Arabiya reported. Several bodyguards suffered injuries during a three-hour shootout at Magarief's hotel.

In other news Saturday, the body of an officer from Benghazi's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was found in the Sidi Faraj area of the city, Libya Herald reported. Lieutenant-Colonel Nasser Al-Moghrabi was killed execution-style by a single gunshot to the head.

Under the former regime, the slain officer worked for Moamer Qadaffy's reviled internal security services in Benghazi.

Moghrabi's murder comes three days after masked gunman kidnapped CID head Abdulsalam al-Mihdawi in the al-Hawari neighbourhood of Benghazi.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [600 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Arabia
Saudi women permitted to work in female accessories shops
[Al Ahram] Saudi women will be permitted to work in shops selling female accessories as long as they are subject to the rules of Islamic Sharia, confirmed Abdel-Latif Sheikh, head of Saudi government committee "Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice" (PVPV) Saturday.
"Ah, yes. Women selling ladies' underwear. An interesting theological subject. Who better to sell to women than women? After all, they can't go consulting men about their scanties, can they? But women, seeing all those underpants and titties... I mean bosoms... I mean brassieres... and corsets... and... and flimsy night dresses... and... Victoria's Secret catalogs... and... and... Oh, Gawd! I must shoot off! I mean my gun! I must shoot off my gun...!"
Speaking to Saudi newspaper Al-Madina, Sheikh explained that the PVPV will be authorised to restrict women from this type of work if they violate Sharia law.
"In any.. [huffa puffa!]... in any [puffa!] respect, mind you! And we'll be stopping by the ladies' underwear places regularly to check up on 'em, you betcha!... Ow. I think I just hurt myself."
In December 2011, the Saudi grand Mufti issued a fatwa (religious edict) prohibiting women from working in accessories and lingerie shops describing the job as "criminal and disrespectful."
"You know what women are like with temptation!"
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [500 views] Top|| File under:

#1  good one!
Posted by: Whomoper Oppressor of the Danes1311 || 01/07/2013 10:17 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Iran welcomes Assad peace initiative for Syria
[Iran Press TV] An aide to Iran's diminutive President Mahmoud Short Round Ahmadinejad has welcomed Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad's
Leveler of Latakia...
initiative for peace.

In a meeting on Sunday with visiting Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad, senior presidential advisor Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi said Assad's peace plan matches the six-point peace plan the Islamic Theocratic Republic unveiled recently.

Earlier on Sunday, Assad voiced his readiness for dialogue with the opposition and political parties in Syria. The Syrian leader also proposed general elections, adoption of a new constitution as well as a national reconciliation conference.

"The Syrian president's new initiative clears the way for a stronger presence by Syria in politics and in resolving [ongoing] problems, and I believe that anyone who claims to be a supporter of the Syrian nation and its progress must support this plan," Samareh Hashemi stated.

For his part, Al-Miqdad said the majority of Syrians consider Assad a symbol of resistance, integrity and unity, and back him.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [389 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


India-Pakistan
Pakistani Soldier Killed in Shooting in Kashmir
[NY Times] Pak and Indian troops exchanged gunfire across the disputed Kashmire border early Sunday, leaving one Pak soldier dead in a relatively rare fatal confrontation between the two neighbors.
Look for a shootout with infiltrators - probably Lashkar-e-Taiba - in a couple days.
As usual, the rival armies, which have been engaged in a face-off in Kashmire for decades, disagreed about who started the shooting or what happened next.

Pakistain said Indian troops crossed the disputed boundary, known as the Line of Control, into Pak-controlled territory, where they attacked a remote outpost and maimed two soldiers, one of whom later died.

"Our army troops effectively responded and repulsed the attack successfully," said a Pak military front man, speaking on condition of anonymity
... for fear of being murdered...
. "Indian army troops left behind a gun and a dagger."

But the Indian military said that its troops had not crossed into Pak territory and that it was only responding to an unprovoked Pak shelling across the Line of Control that destroyed a civilian house.

"None of our troops crossed the Line of Control," Col. Jagadish Dahiya, an Indian Army front man, told Rooters. "We have no casualties or injuries."

The clash was an unusual breach of an almost decade-long cease-fire that has largely held between the two rivals, whose leaders have concentrated on building economic and diplomatic ties.

In the last major shooting, in September 2011, Pakistain claimed to have lost three soldiers while India said one of its officers was killed. There have been other, smaller, festivities in recent months.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [677 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Arabia
Saudi says its air force has not struck Al Qaeda in Yemen
[Al Ahram] Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face...
n fighter jets have not attacked al Qaeda targets in Yemen, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Saturday, denying a newspaper report that some strikes attributed to U.S. drones were made instead by the kingdom's air force.

Britannia's Times newspaper on Friday cited an unnamed U.S. intelligence source as saying "some of the so-called drone missions are actually Saudi Air Force missions".

Asked to comment by news hounds in Riyadh on Saturday, Prince Saud said, "This is not true." He did not elaborate.

Any evidence of Saudi involvement in air strikes in Yemen risks damaging Riyadh's efforts to target snuffies there by complicating its relationship with the government in Sanaa and with Yemeni tribal leaders, who control large parts of the country, including areas where al Qaeda members are present.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [392 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Syrian forces kill large numbers of militants, seize arms
[Iran Press TV] The Syrian Army has killed many foreign-backed bully boyz across the country, and confiscated a large cache of weapons from terrorists.

Syrian government forces launched attacks against bully boyz inside and outside the flashpoint cities of Daraya, An-Nabk, Homs, Hama, and Douma on Sunday and killed a large number of them, the official SANA news agency reported.

The forces also rendered ineffective large supplies of arms, ammunition, and explosives, held by the bully boyz in their hideouts. In addition, the government forces confiscated large numbers of RPG launchers and machineguns.

Also on Sunday, a unit of the Syrian armed forces ambushed forces of Evil in the Tebat al-Imam town in the Hama countryside, and seized weapons.

An Army unit also confiscated weapons and munitions from cut-thoats, who were travelling in a vehicle in the town of Nawa in the Daraa countryside.

The confiscated weapons include sniper rifles, assault rifles, bullets, detonators, and wires for bombs.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the bully boyz fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.

Several international human rights
...which are often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless...
organizations have accused foreign-sponsored bully boyz of committing war crimes.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [668 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  An Army unit also confiscated weapons and munitions from cut-thoats, who were travelling in a vehicle in the town of Nawa in the Daraa countryside.

Many of our rural weapons interdiction advisory teams have had experience in Chechnya. We certainly appreciate their expertise and assistance.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 2:12 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Suspected militant hideouts blitzed in Orakzai tribal region
[Dawn] Bombardment by Pak military jets killed eight suspected bully boyz in Orakzai Agency
... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers...
whereas three persons, including the son of a tribal leader, were killed in another unrelated firing incident in Khyber tribal region on Sunday.

Security sources while talking to Dawn.com said that Pak military jets bombarded three suspected turban hideouts, killing eight suspected bully boyz and injuring another in Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency.

More details were not available till the filing of this report.

Security sources claimed that 92 per cent area in Khyber tribal region had been cleared out of turban infestation.

In another unrelated incident, three persons were killed and a woman was injured when unknown gunnies, riding a cycle of violence, opened fire in Khyber tribal region.

According to sources the son of a tribal leader was traveling in a passenger vehicle from Chipri to Jamrud when unknown gunnies opened fire on the vehicle.

Security forces cordoned off the area as investigations into the incident went underway.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [610 views] Top|| File under: TTP


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Detroiter Claims 911 Call Of Stolen Van With Gun Was Ignored
[DETROIT.CBSLOCAL] While Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Interim Police Chief Chester Logan explore a restructuring of the city's police department, some residents are expressing frustration with how their calls are being handled.

Detroiter Rachelle Guyton said she called 911 around 6:30 a.m. Saturday to report that her 2003 Chrysler Town & Country minivan had been stolen from an apartment building in Palmer Park -- but it wasn't the van she was worried about.

"I have a gun under my car seat, and when I called the police department to explain this to them and try to have them help... they didn't give me any attention. They told me I had to wait until 8 o'clock to call back. What if someone gets shot with this? What if a child gets this in his hand? I'm responsible, and I just can't have that on my conscience," Guyton told WWJ's Terri Lee.

Guyton, who has a CCW permit for her 9-millimeter Smith & Wesson, said she's disappointed in how her call was handled, especially with all the talk about guns surrounding the city's recently released crime statistics for 2012 -- numbers which show the highest murder rate in the city in nearly 20 years.

"They're not trying to make anything a top priority, they won't send a car out here to investigate, they won't do anything. So, I'm stuck here not concerned about the car whatsoever. I will take the bus, you know, that's not important. The importance here is the gun and the safety for other people," said Guyton.

Detroit police declined to comment on the situation.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Appears she does not quite understand the operative word or implied intent with regard to Concealed Carry Permit.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 1:11 Comments || Top||

#2  I can sympathize with the poor woman's feeling of responsibility, but one gun, more or less, will not make a damn bit of difference in Detroit.

P.S. Don't leave your gun in the car, dumbass.
P.P.S They steal minivans nows?
Posted by: SteveS || 01/07/2013 1:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Ditto Steve. Surely somewhere there must be former Fast and Furious program BATF agents are reading this whilst pounding their fists and weeping uncontrollably.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 1:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Perhaps it's common practice to claim a gun is involved in a crime in order to get any response from the police?

Diminishing returns and all that.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/07/2013 11:27 Comments || Top||

#5  P.S. Don't leave your gun in the car.

If you are a law-abiding citizen, as are nearly all concealed carry permit holders, sometimes you don't have any option but to leave the firearm in the car. It's either that or leave it at home. If you are going to a government building, you are restricted from taking the firearm into the building. In some States you cannot take the firearm into work or leave your firearm in the car at work due to legal restrictions. Nearly all universities have extra-legal additional requirements regarding firearms on campus even if you have a CCP. Some States have a legal provision for establishments to post requirements against carrying in their business. You either leave the firearm in the car or illegally take it with you (good news is that the violation is often only a misdemeanor). I'm just mentioning this because problems are created for people who are law-abiding citizens by restricting places where you can carry and cannot carry.
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/07/2013 12:00 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Imran Khan strongly condemns US drone strike
[Dawn] Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf
...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations....
(PTI) Chairman Imran Khan
... aka Taliban Khan, who who convinced himself that playing cricket qualified him to lead a nuclear-armed nation with severe personality problems...
has strongly condemned a US drone strike in Wazoo which claimed over a dozen lives on Sunday.

In a statement issued by the PTI media center, Imran Khan called upon the authorities to take the nation into confidence about the details and identify those killed in the drone attack.

The PTI chairman said that drone attacks were a violation of international laws and also violated the country's illusory sovereignty.

He said that the government had turned Pakistain into a banana republic and the US authorities were allowed to hit and kill any civilian at will inside Pak territory. Imran Khan expressed grief over the loss of lives.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [410 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Home Front: WoT
US deports Iranian accused of nuclear smuggling
[Ynet] Amirhossein Sairafi pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy, money laundering and violating 1995 Iran trade embargo

US immigration officials have deported an Iranian businessman found guilty of illegally shipping equipment to Iran that authorities said could be used in the country's nuclear program.

Amirhossein Sairafi pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy, money laundering and violating the 1995 Iran trade embargo and was sentenced to more than three years in prison.

He was released Thursday from a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Sairafi was then deported from reliably Democrat Chicago, aka The Windy City or Mobtown
... home of Al Capone, a succession of Daleys, Barak Obama, and Rahm Emmanuel,...
on a commercial flight.

Sairafi was accused of helping ship specialized vacuum pump equipment to Iran through a free-trade zone in the United Arab Emirates.

US authorities say the equipment can be used in the enrichment of uranium, a process that can produce reactor fuel as well as material for nuclear weapons.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [676 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Before deporting him, we should publicly thank him for his "cooperation and important intelligence information he provided in return for a shortened sentence".

Have a nice return to Iran, Sairafi
Posted by: Frank G || 01/07/2013 9:54 Comments || Top||

#2  A modest stipend indiscreetly deposited in Switzerland, would be most fitting as well.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 10:09 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm surprised he wasn't given the Nobel Peace Prize or the Medal of Freedom (sarc).
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/07/2013 15:32 Comments || Top||

#4  a flashdrive with an apparent Stuxnet twin on it sewn into the lining of his shoes or luggage would've been nice too. Hilarity ensues
Posted by: Frank G || 01/07/2013 19:28 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
A Mindless Debate over U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
At the best of times, military manpower totals are a largely meaningless metric. The issue is never whether there are 6,000 men and women or 30,000. The issue is what they are deployed to do, what roles and missions they perform, what combat role they will play if any, how well funded and equipped they are, and how they support an overall strategy, plan, and effort to achieve a real strategic result. In an insurgency, and in an effort to conduct armed nation building in a failed state, military manpower is an even less meaningful metric than usual. The issue is the future size of the civil-military effort, not the military effort alone. Any debate or analysis of the future U.S. role in Afghanistan that does not tie the two together is little more than intellectual and media rubbish.

What really matters, however, is that there are no public U.S. plans that show how the Obama administration will deal with either the civil or military aspects of this transition between now and the end of 2014, or in the years that follow. The few metrics that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the U.S. government have made public only cover past combat performance, and they show there has been no meaningful military progress since the end of 2010. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have never issued a remotely credible report on the progress and impact of the civilian surge or any aspect of the civil aid program. At this point in time, this lack of public and transparent plans and reporting makes it impossible to determine whether there is a real transition plan or a disguised exit strategy. All that is clear is that the United States is likely to spend at least $150 billion more on the war by the end of 2014 and suffer well over a thousand more casualties.

In fairness, to the U.S. military and General John Allen, their recommendations to President Obama almost certainly went far beyond the public debate over the leaks of total military manpower options that have become the focus of far too much of the media and far too many think tanks. Moreover, it is the function of the U.S. military to provide military advice, not overall plans that include the civil and military aspects of the war. The missing civil half of any public plan is the responsibility of the State Department and USAID, neither of which has ever produced a meaningful, detailed, public report on the nature and effectiveness of their civil efforts in either the Afghan or Iraq wars. In spite of the very real efforts and sacrifices of their personnel in the field, neither has shown real leadership in Washington, and their promises to produce plans and effectiveness measures have never been kept.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Pappy || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [416 views] Top|| File under:

#1  BLUF: All of this talk and hand wringing about Afghanistan's ability to get it's act together is meaningless blather. Afghanistan will never be able to get it's shi* together. We are at war with terrorist elements Pakistan and will remain so as long as Pakistan has a nuclear capability. Afghanistan is little more than a very costly operational platform.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 1:04 Comments || Top||


Africa North
ElBaradei calls for opposition alliance in Egypt's parliamentary elections
[Al Ahram] Reform campaigner and founder of the Constitution Party Mohamed ElBaradei
Egyptian law scholar and Iranian catspaw. He was head of the IAEA from December 1997 to November 2009. At some point during his tenure he was purchased by the Iranians. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for something in 2005. After stepping down from his IAEA position ElBaradei attempted to horn in on the 2011 Egyptian protests which culminated in the collapse of the Mubarak regime. ElBaradei served on the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, a lefty NGO that is bankrolled by the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as George Soros' Open Society Institute. Soros himself serves as a member of the organization's Executive Committee.
announced in a Sunday press statement that his party is keen on allying with revolutionary and democratic forces in the coming parliamentary elections.
Elbaradei added that this coalition will campaign to win the largest number of seats in the coming parliament in order to "be in command of pressure tools that will help create a better future for Egypt."

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [466 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Britain
Cameron Says Britain Would Fight to Keep the Falklands
[An Nahar] Prime Minister David Cameron
... has stated that he is certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite, which means he's not. Since he is not deeply ideological he lacks core principles and is easily led. He has been described as certainly not a Pitt, Elder or Younger, but he does wear a nice suit so maybe he's Beau Brummel ...
said Sunday Britannia was prepared to fight militarily to keep the Falkland Islands if necessary, in the face of renewed Argentinian rhetoric over their future.

Cameron said Britannia had "strong defenses" in place on the islands and fast jets and troops were stationed there.

President Cristina Kirchner said this week that Argentina was forcibly stripped of the Falklands by Britannia in "a blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism" and demanded they be handed over to Argentina.

Cameron insisted he was "absolutely clear" that Britannia would defend the islands with military force.

In an interview on BBC TV, he said: "I get regular reports on this entire issue because I want to know that our defenses are strong, our resolve is extremely strong."

Asked whether Britannia would fight to keep the islands, he replied: "Of course we would, and we have strong defenses in place on the Falkland Islands, that is absolutely key, that we have fast jets stationed there, we have troops stationed on the Falklands."

Cameron said this week that the 3,000 residents of the Falklands had a strong desire to remain British and would have a chance to express their views in a referendum on their political status to be held in March.

The islanders are expected to vote strongly in favor of continued union with Britannia.

Census data released in September showed that 95 percent of residents considered themselves to be either Falkland islanders, British, or from Saint Helena, another British overseas territory in the South Atlantic.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [490 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If the Argentine economy gets any worse, you may have to, Dave.
Posted by: SteveS || 01/07/2013 1:40 Comments || Top||

#2  I hope he isn't counting on Champ for assistance.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 1:48 Comments || Top||

#3  Best way to avoid the fight is to convince the Argentines that they won't just give in. I'd let slip that they might go after naval ships in port this time to ensure the Argentine public knows there is a war on, a war they started.

Since Galtieri (sp?) spent a good deel of effort ensuring fighters landed at different bases than they took off from to hide the number of splashed I would assume this sort of thing might be important to a leadership hoping to avoid embarrassment.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/07/2013 15:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Accompany that with a scheme (that you can deny as just an idea) that you propose to agree to a soverneignty change with lease option so the current inhabitants can remain there. Even if you never intend to go there, leaking that sort of thing allows you to appear flexible and thinking out of the box.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/07/2013 15:11 Comments || Top||

#5  Or leak that the only thing Liz hasn't done that she really wanted to do in this life is push the big red button.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/07/2013 15:57 Comments || Top||

#6 
I hope he isn't counting on Champ for assistance.


C'mon, you know perfectly well that Bammers would jump right in! OK, on the side of the Argentine junta, but...
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 01/07/2013 16:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Fight with what? Aren't they downsizing the military?
Posted by: davemac || 01/07/2013 17:43 Comments || Top||

#8  To reiterate #7, FIGHT WID WHAT?

Unless I've missed something, the scenario is real that the UK may be fighting more than just Argentina, i.e. the Mercusor Bloc.

Lest we fergit, come 2014 the current "UK" may poten become England + Wales less Scotland???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 18:43 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Al-Qaeda targets more Mali territory
[MAGHAREBIA] Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Ansar al-Din fighters were spotted Saturday (January 5th) in a convoy of some 100 weapons-filled vehicles bound for the northern Mali town of Mopti, Al-Arabyia reported. Ansar al-Din military leader Omar Hamaha reportedly passed through Timbuktu before heading to Mopti to begin an assault on the town.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [608 views] Top|| File under: Ansar Dine


Home Front: Politix
Obama Back at White House after Hawaii Vacation
[An Nahar] U.S. President Barack Obama
B.O....
and his family arrived back at the White House on Sunday after spending their Christmas vacation in his native Hawaii.

Obama, the first lady and their daughters touched down at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington aboard Air Force One shortly after 11:00 am local time (1600 GMT) before riding a helicopter back to the White House.

Obama, wearing a white shirt and a blue blazer, placed his arm around eldest daughter Malia as the first family descended from Marine One helicopter onto the White House lawn in bright winter sunshine.

The president began his vacation on December 21, but was forced to interrupt it on December 26 and fly back to Washington to pressure politicians to forge a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

After an 11th hour accord was reached that saw taxes rise on only the richest Americans but delayed decisions on spending cuts for a further two months, Obama returned to Hawaii on January 2.

U.S. media is reporting that the president will announce on Monday that he is nominating Chuck Hagel, a Republican and former U.S. senator from Nebraska, to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993....
at the helm of the Pentagon.

Obama has signaled early second term efforts on gun control and immigration reform after being sworn in at his inauguration in two weeks time.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [636 views] Top|| File under:

#1  HI vacation ends, teevee viewing returns to normal. :-(
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 1:26 Comments || Top||

#2  So the fam stayed from 12/21 to 1/6?
Posted by: BA || 01/07/2013 9:37 Comments || Top||

#3  Nice vacation, while the country went down the Tubes,enjoy yourself Narcisist asshole.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 01/07/2013 10:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Mind the disparaging of useful and hardworking anatomical orifices through inaccurate comparisons RJ.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/07/2013 10:14 Comments || Top||

#5  RJs description is mild. Jefferson funded a journalist who said in print: Adams was a rageful, lying, warmongering fellow; a “repulsive pedant” and “gross hypocrite” who “behaved neither like a man nor like a woman but instead possessed a hideous hermaphroditical character.”
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/07/2013 15:47 Comments || Top||

#6  Obama, wearing a white shirt and a blue blazer...

What, no pants?
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/07/2013 19:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Mooch wears his
Posted by: Frank G || 01/07/2013 19:57 Comments || Top||


Olde Tyme Religion
What a Car Bomb in Iraq Means for the Civil War in Syria
by Walter Russel Meade

Iraq's and Syria's troubles are closely related--a fact the mainstream media often forgets, choosing instead to stubbornly define the Syrian war as a fight for democracy against a dictatorship and the violence in Iraq as a contained sectarian conflict. This shortsightedness fails to recognize that across the Middle East Sunnis and Shia are engaged in a struggle for political power and religious legitimacy. Sunni rebel groups backed by Sunnis in the Gulf are fighting a Shia regime in Damascus backed by a Shia theocracy in Iran. The same is happening in Iraq, where a Shia authoritarian regime backed by Iran is fighting Sunni groups backed by the Gulf Arabs. Other actors, like the U.S., Turkey, and the Kurds, make this a truly volatile international conflict. And it is Iraq where all of this is going to erupt next, writes Henri Barkey here at the AI:

Today Iraq is held together by a shoestring. . . . The Saudis have not given him [Maliki] much quarter and would like to see him go. He has made an enemy of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as each accuses the other of putting sectarian interests ahead of regional interests and stability. Turks provided refuge to the Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, who escaped following his indictment on charges of helping Sunni death squads to operate in Baghdad. This increasing regional rift may be music to the ears of many Iraqi Sunnis, who have been heard saying, in effect, "the Ottomans are back in Istanbul, the Umayyad are about to re-conquer Damascus, and next Sunni Abbasid power will return to Baghdad."
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [388 views] Top|| File under:


India-Pakistan
Three political activists shot dead in city
[Dawn] Tension gripped parts of New Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
after the killing of two Sunni Tehrik
...formed in Karachi in 1992 under by Muhammad Saleem Qadri. It quickly fell to trading fisticuffs and liquidations with the MQM and the Sipah-e-Sahaba, with at least a half dozen of its major leaders rubbed out. Sunni Tehreek arose to become the primary opposition to the Deobandi Binori Mosque, headed by Nizamuddin Shamzai, who was eventually bumped off by person or persons unknown. ST's current leadership has heavily criticized the Deobandi Jihadi leaders, accusing them of being sponsored by Indian Intelligence agencies as well as involvement in terrorist activities...
activists on Saturday hardly an hour before a Muttahida Qaumi Movement
...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead...
activist was rubbed out and his brother was maimed near the Nagan traffic intersection in a targeted attack, police said.

Only a day ago, a Sunni Tehrik member in charge of the Baldia sector was killed and his associate was maimed in a targeted attack.

In New Bloody Karachi, the police said, 31-year-old Abdul Razzaq aka Mamu and 29-year-old Mohammad Ali aka Pilot were targeted near a roadside paan shop by gunnies riding a cycle of violence.

Following the shooting, the attackers sped away.

"Razzaq sustained a single bullet wound in the head, while Ali was hit by three bullets in the chest, neck and hand," said Bilal Colony SHO Inspector Mohammad Mohsin.

The police Sherlocks later collected nine spent bullet casings at the scene of the crime in Sector 5-J and shifted the bodies to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.After the incident, random gunfire in the locality forced traders to pull down shutters while transport gradually disappeared from roads. Normality had not returned to some parts of New Bloody Karachi till sunset.

A front man for the Sunni Tehrik condemned the killing of the two active members of the party's New Bloody Karachi sector.

"Within a month we have lost nearly a dozen workers in targeted attacks. The authorities have been informed time and again
about a serious threat to our workers in every district of the city but they have yet to pay heed," he said.

"We believe the political activists' killings are part of an organised campaign to disturb Bloody Karachi peace just before the crucial elections in Pakistain's history."

Within an hour, gunnies targeted two brothers associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement at their puncture shop near the Nagan traffic intersection, police said.

An official at the Sir Syed Town cop shoppe said two men riding a motorbike pulled up at the shop, one of them walked into it, pulled out a pistol and fired multiple shots at the two brothers before fleeing with his waiting accomplice.

"As a result of the firing, 29-year-old Shahzad and his elder brother Dilshad, 35, sustained gunshot wounds," said Sir Syed Town SHO Inspector Balaghat Hussain.

"They were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where Shahzad died and Dilshad is said to be in a critical condition."

He said the victims were New Bloody Karachi residents and had been running the puncture in the area for the past many years.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [577 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Syria Opposition Rejects Assad's Reconciliation Plan
[An Nahar] The opposition Syrian National Coalition rejects a reconciliation plan outlined by Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Leveler of Latakia...
in Damascus
...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat...
on Sunday, front man Walid al-Bunni told Agence La Belle France Presse by phone.

"We said at the founding of the National Coalition that we want a political solution, but ... there are now over 60,000 deaders. The Syrians did not make all those sacrifices in order to bolster this tyrannical regime," he said.

Bunni said that the speech was directed primarily at the "international community, which engaged in a real effort to create a political solution that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people and ends the tyranny of the Assad family regime."

Assad will not accept "any initiative that does not restore stability to his regime and put him at the helm of control", Bunni said.

The president, he added, has "excluded the possibility of any dialogue with the rebels".

"He wants negotiating partners of his own choosing and will not accept any initiative that could meet the aspirations of the Syrian people or ultimately lead to his departure and the dismantling of his regime."

Assad's call to dialogue "excludes those who revolt" and is addressed to "those who did not rise up or who will gladly accept the return of stability despite all the sacrifices made by the Syrian people," Bunni said.

Assad in a rare speech denounced the opposition on Sunday as "slaves" of the West and called for national dialogue to draft a new charter and pave the way for legislative polls.

He said the conflict was not one between the government and the opposition but between the "nation and its enemies."

"Just because we have not found a partner, it does not mean we are not interested in a political solution, but that we did not find a partner," he told the audience.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [933 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  It's not a good sign, Pencilneck, when you find yourself willing to negotiate and your enemy unwilling.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 01/07/2013 16:22 Comments || Top||


Syria conflict between nation, enemies: President Assad
[Iran Press TV] Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Supressor of the Damascenes...
says the ongoing conflict in his country is not between the state and opposition but between the nation and its enemies.
From the graphic at Iran Press, it looks like Pencilneck has shaved his little Hitler mustache, presumably so he doesn't look like Adolph.
In a key speech on the situation in the country, Assad said on Sunday that his government will always extend its hand for dialogue with the opposition and political parties.

The Syrian president, however, said that the government "will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West."

"Government will call for a comprehensive national dialogue" in the near future, he said.

"Syria wants peace and reconciliation," he said, adding that "Armed groups must halt terrorist acts."

The president added that the constitution will be subjected to referendum and that general amnesty will be announced.

Assad warned that that there is an "agenda to partition Syria" but stated that "the nation is for all and we all must protect it."

"Any initiative must be based on Syrian vision," Assad said, adding "we are to go ahead with own political process."

The president went on to say that the Geneva initiative on the transition in Syria was ambigiuous. He also said that "Any talk of revolution in Syria is just bubbles of soap."

The Syrian president lauded people in the villages that tried to block the enterance of gunnies from Turkey, adding that "the nation is for those who protect it."

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the gunnies fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.

Several international human rights
When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much...
organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored gunnies of committing war crimes.
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [392 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


Africa North
Diplomats: Yemeni Jihadists Have Base In Sinai
[Ynet] A senior US diplomatic source told the Daily Beast that "Western officials believe that foreign Jihadists, possibly from Yemen and Somalia, are among the several hundred faceless myrmidons operating close to the Israeli border in Egypt's Sinai desert."
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [406 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Morsi, Egyptian Army, + MB are where, today???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/07/2013 1:13 Comments || Top||


Good morning
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1393 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Birthday Gam Shot

Lyndsy Fonseca [Filmography](age 26)



Intelligent Design


Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/07/2013 3:39 Comments || Top||

#2  If the proposal had been indecent, Louise would have been in motion, or at least smiling.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/07/2013 8:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Just goes to show, "Youth is not wasted on the young."
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/07/2013 12:06 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
PA nabs members of terror group that declared 3rd intifada
[Jpost] Paleostinian Authority security forces in the West Bank have nabbed
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
members of a new terrorist group who recently declared the beginning of a third intifada against Israel.

In a video posted on Youtube last month, nine masked men from Hebron declared the establishment of a new group called the Brigades of National Unity and called for a third intifada.

A front man for the group vowed to pursue the fight against Israel until the liberation of all of Paleostine, "from the river to the sea."

He said that the group has decided to launch the third intifada against Israel from the heart of Hebron so that it would expand to the rest of the Paleostinian territories.

The front man also threatened that his group would kidnap IDF soldiers and other Israelis "if Israel continued to kill and arrest" Paleostinians.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [680 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
U.S. Says Assad Plan 'Detached from Reality'
[An Nahar] Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs...
's road map to end the civil war ravaging his country is "detached from reality" and he should step down, the U.S. State Department said Sunday.

Assad's speech "is yet another attempt by the regime to cling to power and does nothing to advance the Syrian people's goal of a political transition. His initiative is detached from reality," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Nuland also said that Assad's proposal undermined the work of special U.N.-Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, and "would only allow the regime to further perpetuate its bloody oppression of the Syrian people."

"For nearly two years, the Assad regime has brutalized its own people," she said.

"Assad has lost all legitimacy and must step aside to enable a political solution and a democratic transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people."
Posted by: Fred || 01/07/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [485 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  File under - It takes one to know one
Posted by: Procopius2k || 01/07/2013 8:46 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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3Govt of Pakistan
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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

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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
Mon 2013-01-07
  Syria Opposition Rejects Assad's Reconciliation Plan
Sun 2013-01-06
  Dronezap in South Wazoo send 18 TTP Jihadis to their rewards
Sat 2013-01-05
  Syria jets, troops wage offensive on rebels near capital
Fri 2013-01-04
  New U.S. Drone Strike Kills Three Qaida Suspects in Yemen
Thu 2013-01-03
  Iran to Citizens: Flee Isfahan
Wed 2013-01-02
  Fourteen Killed as Nigerian Troops Clash with Islamists
Tue 2013-01-01
  Pakistan: Six charity workers shot dead
Mon 2012-12-31
  Qaeda in Yemen offers bounty for killing US ambassador, troops
Sun 2012-12-30
  Pakistan reports 21 tribal policemen kidnapped, found dead
Sat 2012-12-29
  At Least 15 Killed in Sect Attack in North Nigeria
Fri 2012-12-28
  Militants kill two, kidnap 22 Pakistani soldiers
Thu 2012-12-27
  Somalia sets 100 days for Al Shabab militants to surrender
Wed 2012-12-26
  6 Killed in Attack on Nigerian Church
Tue 2012-12-25
  Drone Strikes Kill Six Qaida Suspects in Yemen
Mon 2012-12-24
  Tunisia arrests 16 al-Qaeda suspects

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