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Baghdad psycho booms 13
Today's Headlines
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Page 2: WoT Background
6 00:00 RWV [264] 
1 00:00 Frank G [273] 
2 00:00 D. Rumsfeld [260] 
11 00:00 True German Ally [299] 
16 00:00 Sgt. Mom [271] 
28 00:00 Frank G [265] 
12 00:00 Brett_the_Quarkian [264] 
5 00:00 Snoluck Thrusing8442 [261] 
2 00:00 raptor [308] 
2 00:00 Frank G [270] 
1 00:00 tu3031 [272] 
1 00:00 anonymous2U [815] 
9 00:00 Fred [807] 
11 00:00 Shipman [263] 
19 00:00 Zhang Fei [281] 
10 00:00 Douglas De Bono [420] 
2 00:00 Sock Puppet of Doom [266] 
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4 00:00 JAB [293] 
7 00:00 J. Edgar Hoover [276] 
14 00:00 Shipman [266] 
6 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [263] 
75 00:00 Frank G [260] 
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3 00:00 Mrs. Davis [265] 
6 00:00 2b [292] 
31 00:00 tu3031 [287] 
4 00:00 Fred [264] 
3 00:00 Raj [252] 
5 00:00 Fry Ash Is Us [275] 
3 00:00 Raj [263] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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3 00:00 The Incredible Mufti [288]
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5 00:00 Rafael [412]
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2 00:00 buwaya [310]
7 00:00 Pappy [263]
2 00:00 Brett_the_Quarkian [297]
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11 00:00 True German Ally [275]
3 00:00 Capt America [268]
2 00:00 .com [252]
3 00:00 smn [265]
2 00:00 Frank G [264]
5 00:00 too true [265]
7 00:00 phil_b [262]
8 00:00 trailing wife [245]
12 00:00 mojo [306]
19 00:00 Frank G [801]
3 00:00 Frank G [272]
6 00:00 phil_b [258]
11 00:00 raptor [279]
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17 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [261]
Page 4: Opinion
1 00:00 crazyhorse [299]
5 00:00 Bomb-a-rama [295]
22 00:00 Classical_Liberal [288]
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6 00:00 badanov [276]
32 00:00 cingold [275]
14 00:00 Secret Master [288]
"Travelers" become political pawns .
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/13/2004 01:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wouldn't mind them at all if they actually gave a f*ck about anyone else. When travellers (and we're not talking pretty handpainted horsedrawn caravans - more like £50k caravans pulled by Mercedes/ Motorway Maintenance trucks) move into the area, incidences of burglary, petty theft and casual assault rocket. The land they've illegally pitched on is usually left a mass of human waste, dead animals, burnt mattresses/cars etc.. If they behaved like humans then they'd be treated humanely. Until then, f*ck 'em.
Posted by: Howard UK || 12/13/2004 10:57 Comments || Top||

#2  hehehe I knew you would love this Howard. See the problem is over here we have that same type of people but they don't have the nice travel trailer. They do have the big truck however and it's likely to be a Damiler product as well.

I found it interesting how this guy is going to " get even." Perhaps they all should be alowed to travel to a small island.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/13/2004 12:37 Comments || Top||

Mockery, calumny and scorn: these are the weapons to fight zealots
Posted by: tipper || 12/13/2004 03:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ask Voltaire: scorn, laughter, calumny and abuse are vital to those who confront bullies.

I'm confident that Mel Brooks would definitely agree.
Posted by: Zenster || 12/13/2004 3:56 Comments || Top||

#2  "Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt"
-- Henry V, Act II, Scene IV
Posted by: HV || 12/13/2004 6:45 Comments || Top||

#3  "Civil, well-reasoned discourse"
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 8:56 Comments || Top||

#4  definitely a good point

we need more sarcasm about Islam

Instead of saying 'Mohammud was a pedophiliac as shown by him having sex with a 9 year old'


'notwithstanding his having sex with a 9 year old and notwithstanding his fonding of Aisha's breast during her period, Muslims consider Mohammud to a a moral examplar for all time and are required to model their behavior on the behavior of Mohammud'
Posted by: mhw || 12/13/2004 9:28 Comments || Top||

#5  I've said since 9/11 that the worst thing about picking a fight with the US is not that you will get your ass-whuppin', but that you will be ridiculed mercilessly while you are getting your ass-whuppin'. Ridicule is a very powerful weapon, especially in a war with a PR element.
Posted by: BH || 12/13/2004 10:04 Comments || Top||

#6  I posted last year on the virtues of Precision-Guided humor:"As bullets and bombs find their mark, so does laughter prove as fatal to the humorless and fanatical. That we can laugh at them means we do not fear them, that they have been cut down to size and they have no more power over us. So pillory them with parody, scourge them with scornful laughter, fling the cream pie of derision in their direction, metaphorically de-bag them and giggle at their inadequate marital tackle, hector them ceaselessly with light-bulb jokes, knock-knock jokes, yo-mama-osama jokes, savage them with satire, lambaste them with dirty limericks and punish them with puns. A fanatic can handle anything but being laughed at..."
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 12/13/2004 10:27 Comments || Top||

#7  And besides that they have small reproductive organs to go with their small minds.
Posted by: J. Edgar Hoover || 12/13/2004 15:04 Comments || Top||

Japan, slumbering military giant, stirs
As expected, Japan's cabinet extended the deployment of up to 600 troops in Iraq for another year, though they are largely sequestered in their high-tech desert fortress. This move was billed as unflinching support for its ally the United States and a helping hand to war-torn Iraq. A new defense policy unfurled the following day, however, showed that after a half-century, Tokyo's military and global aspirations, like a once-slumbering giant, may just be starting to stir.

The cabinet, in endorsing the new five-year defense policy, also cracked the door open just a bit, lifting a decades-old arms-export ban, citing as justification an "immediate" need for a joint missile-defense system with the United States. Only certain exports to the US will be allowed - the general ban was not lifted. And for the first time, the defense-policy outline singled out other nations as security concerns - understandably North Korea, but also China.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: tipper || 12/13/2004 9:44:10 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Just wait until they find out that by building up their national defences, all of a sudden their economy will start to strongly improve.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/13/2004 10:15 Comments || Top||

#2  "Samawah is not a combat zone", Koizumi said
It's vewy vewy safe, weally.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 10:21 Comments || Top||

#3  moose: One of the unique things about the Japanese military is that it buys exclusively Japanese products. The Japanese do not buy weapons or technology from abroad. That means that some systems, such as their MBT, may not be as capable as what they might have purchased on the international market, but others like missle defense systems may be farther advanced because of Japanese strengths in micro-electronics.

The Japanese are currently more than capable of defending their homeland. In that regard, all they need to keep doing is upping the tech in their systems. Their economic boost would come if they began to export their weapons systems.

As with other cultures in the region, Japan also presents a specific governmental / business interface. For all intents and purposes, big business is government in Japan, through MITI, with the "mafia" running in second place. Japan, from MacArthur onward, is a technocracy, not a democracy.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 12/13/2004 10:27 Comments || Top||

#4  If Japan feels they have a real military again, they may question the need for funding all those U.S. troops on its soil. Yes, Japan pays the lion's share of the cost of keeping the U.S. military there.
Posted by: gromky || 12/13/2004 10:54 Comments || Top||

#5  gromky: If Japan feels they have a real military again, they may question the need for funding all those U.S. troops on its soil. Yes, Japan pays the lion's share of the cost of keeping the U.S. military there.

US troops on Japanese soil is the cost of the US nuclear umbrella. If they're not there, Japan will never really know if that umbrella extends to them. Without the nuclear umbrella, confrontations with the Chinese over intrusions by Chinese ships becomes a lot trickier. (Unless by a real military, gromky is including the nuclear triad).
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/13/2004 12:26 Comments || Top||

#6  My guess would be that Japan could be a nuclear power in six months from the go signal. They're one of the few countries with the tech but not the materials. And I suspect they would be able to buy the materials in a heartbeat.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 12/13/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

#7  CS: My guess would be that Japan could be a nuclear power in six months from the go signal. They're one of the few countries with the tech but not the materials. And I suspect they would be able to buy the materials in a heartbeat.

I think delivery is a bit more of a problem. Even if Japan goes nuclear, developing the triad (air - ALCM's, sea - SLBM's, land - ICBM's) of delivery vehicles is going to take time.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/13/2004 12:38 Comments || Top||

#8  This is the inevitable result of the North Korean situation. The US has been warning China that eventually Japan would rearm to defend herself and apparantly the Chinese called, and are now finding out the west isn't bluffing.

The genie is much harder to get back into the bottle. I suspect China will work dilligently to resolve the North Korea issue in the coming months (assuming the North Korean leader isn't dead).
Posted by: rjschwarz || 12/13/2004 12:46 Comments || Top||

#9  You bring up an interesting point, rjs - Kimmie's demise - and that can be a whole range of possibilities from "heart attack" to dioxin poisoning to retirement.

A story I saw last night sez that SKor is headed for recession... If Kimmie falls, who will pick up the pieces / feed the masses, etc.? SKor looks unlikely to be able to help much - besides, if they were smart they would learn a lesson or three from Germany's re-unification debacle. China? What an interesting dent (dip) that would make in their growth charts. The US? Phat phucking chance.

Those with hardcore knowledge of the China / NorK minutia should spend a minute playing this out and let us know what they think is likely and the fallout it will produce. I haven't seen anyone actually address the issue - and it is coming soon, IMHO.
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 12:57 Comments || Top||

#10  Within minutes of Kimmie's retirement he would cease breathing. This may indeed already have happened -- he's been out of sight for a long time, relatively speaking.

As for his people, their only first need is rice and multi-vitamins. Lots of rice and multi-vitamins. Follow that with seed, and the entire nation will be occupied with farming for the next five years. Only once they trust that they'll no longer need to keep a reserve of babies and old folks for the larder, will the North Korean economy need to take the next step: formation of an industrial sector to employ the excess population.

In my humble opinion, of course. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 13:33 Comments || Top||

#11  .com, beware the conventional wisdom. Even though I've seen first hand how infrastructure goes to sh** in communist countries and consequently have some appreciation of how much it will cost to fix, at the same time I don't think NKor will be another EGermany. Give them capitalism, access to know how, not a lot of capital and markets and they will fix it themselves.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/13/2004 16:58 Comments || Top||

#12  phil_b, you may be correct, but my understanding is the Norks are going to take a long time to readjust to the real world, a lot longer than the East Germans.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 17:02 Comments || Top||

#13  Yep. Civil society has been destroyed in N. Korea. 3 generations to rebuild?
Posted by: Shipman || 12/13/2004 17:19 Comments || Top||

#14  Shipman, its only been 2 generations since the Korean war after which SKor was a wrecked agrarian society. Now they are beating the Japanese at their own game. The only world the NKors need to adjust to is the Skors and that will happen quickly - just a few years.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/13/2004 18:15 Comments || Top||

#15  I don't think the Korean(ness) of S. Korea was destroyed during the war... I think the Korean(ness) of N Korea may have been destroyed over the past 50 years. Hope to be wrong. Always funny, what the the Korean call the Japaneese (when colonial masters) The Lazy People.
Posted by: Shipman || 12/13/2004 18:35 Comments || Top||

#16  Its been remarked the only country in the world there are no chinatowns is Korea, becuase the chinese can't make money there (i.e. the Koreans are better at it)
Posted by: phil_b || 12/13/2004 18:46 Comments || Top||

#17  Phil_b, you are seriously underestimating the hell hole NorK has become. With as many reports of starvation and cannabalism as we are getting I suspect we will find an entire country that resembles Dachau more than post-communist Albania.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 18:56 Comments || Top||

#18  Stalinist regimes that eradicate civil society poison those societies for generations. If Russia has lost a generation, and it has, then NKor will lose at least two generations.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 18:58 Comments || Top||

#19  phil_b: Its been remarked the only country in the world there are no chinatowns is Korea, becuase the chinese can't make money there (i.e. the Koreans are better at it)

Actually, there are Chinese sections in Korean cities. But the ethnic Chinese population has tended to emigrate - typically to Hong Kong, Taiwan or the US - because until recently, they were barred from owning property in South Korea. As in Japan, discrimination against ethnic Chinese is extensive, leading many to attempt to mask their national origin.

Here's an excerpt from a State Department report:

The Republic of Korea is a racially homogeneous country with no ethnic minorities of significant number. Citizenship is based on blood, not location of birth, and Koreans must show as proof their family genealogy. Ethnic Chinese born and resident in Korea cannot obtain citizenship or become public servants and may have difficulty being hired by some major corporations. Due to legal as well as societal discrimination, many formerly resident ethnic Chinese have emigrated to other countries since the 1970's.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/13/2004 19:12 Comments || Top||

N.Korea Says Reconsidering Place at Nuclear Talks
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea is seriously considering its role in talks on its nuclear plans because of what it sees as a concerted campaign to topple the North's ruling system, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The United States had launched a psychological campaign to persuade people there was a crisis in the North, including mass defections by generals to China, said a lengthy statement published by the official KCNA news agency.

"Under this situation the DPRK is compelled to seriously reconsider its participation in the talks with the U.S., a party extremely disgusting and hateful," it said. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Although the North used trademark ambiguity in its wording, the ministry spokesman appeared to be referring to six-country nuclear talks that involve the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. The five regional powers are seeking to persuade the North to ditch its nuclear weapons ambitions in return for aid and security guarantees.

The latest remarks represented a hardening of Pyongyang's position since it said in a ministry statement on Dec. 4 that the North would not return to the six-party talks until re-elected President Bush had assembled his new team and Washington had decided its policy. "Now that the U.S. is trying to shake the backbone of the DPRK, not content with hurling mud at it, the DPRK is compelled to say something to the U.S.," Monday's statement said.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Zenster || 12/13/2004 12:57:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can these NK idiots be ignored until they take the matter seriously? All their yapping has gotten really tiresome.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/13/2004 10:40 Comments || Top||

#2  2.5? I dunno - the "not even a button of a general officer’s uniform" is a nice touch. I'd say a 2.8. Then again, the downplay in vitriol may mean the NorKs are really worried.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/13/2004 11:11 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 11:13 Comments || Top||

#4  The United States had launched a psychological campaign to persuade people there was a crisis in the North, including mass defections by generals to China...

Fools! It's all in your minds! Those darned 'Merkins has hip-no-tized ya in believing you're hungry! LIES! ALL LIES!
Posted by: mojo || 12/13/2004 11:27 Comments || Top||

#5  who ya gonna believe? The Americans? Or your lying empty belly?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 11:43 Comments || Top||

#6  Fred... a picture's worth 1,000 words! LOL!
Posted by: 2b || 12/13/2004 12:22 Comments || Top||

Spanish Leader Denies Gain From Bombings
"No, no! Certainly not!"
Spain's prime minister, heckled Monday by opposition lawmakers, angrily denied his Socialist party instigated anti-government rallies on the eve of a general election to reap political benefit from the Madrid train bombings. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also accused former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of misleading Spaniards by blaming Basque militants for the bombings, even after evidence of an Islamic link emerged and accumulated. Thousands of demonstrators — spreading the word by cell phone text message — convened protest rallies outside then-ruling Popular Party offices in Madrid and other cities on March 13, two days after the bombings that killed 191 people.

They accused Aznar's pro-U.S. government of making Spain a target for al-Qaida by endorsing the Iraq invasion — and the next day, the opposition Socialists won the election. Under Spanish law, political rallies are banned the day before an election. "We did not know about, plan, participate in, instigate or support the demonstrations on March 13," Zapatero said at a raucous session of a parliamentary commission probing the bombings.
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 12:49:22 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Such a petulant chin. Poor Bambi.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 19:40 Comments || Top||

#2  nice forehead too! Born to press it to the floor, bowing to Mecca five times a day...
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 19:42 Comments || Top||

European Experts Urge Reviewing Schoolbooks on Islam
Europe should review its schoolbooks on Islam as a good start for introducing the true image of the Muslims' religion, European experts recommended on Sunday, December 12. "A lot of factual mistakes, misleading perceptions are prevalent in schoolbooks in Europe all over the past years, we have to admit," Wolfgang Hoepken, the director of Germany-based Georg Exkert Institute, told a three-day Euro-Arab Dialogue conference that opened here earlier in the day.

The Institute has analyzed several textbooks presented to school children in European countries on Islam. "There is relatively little on Islam in these selective texts," Hoepken said.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: tipper || 12/13/2004 2:28:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  “We have to know more on what’s going on in Islam


"which is no threat to western society,”

Oh, well, nice try, buster! We've already learned about taqiyya, according to first part of the sentence.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 2:36 Comments || Top||

#2  And so the process of Dhimmification continues.
Posted by: N Guard || 12/13/2004 10:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Clean up your textbooks' treatment of the US while you're at it.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 11:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Any chance they'll include a review of the textbooks the EU provided to the Palestinians? www.MEMRI.org translated the new textbooks not long ago, and "vicious" doesn't begin to describe them.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 13:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Similarly, a number of participants have urged Muslim and Arab countries to clear their schoolbooks of “exaggerated fears” of the Other. Ashmawi’s study found that textbooks in Arab countries say, for example, that Moguls could have vanished all of the Muslim civilization if they were not defeated in Al-Quds. “This is unjustified exaggeration that should be removed also,” she maintained.

Well, the Morguls did manage to kill off an increadibly large fraction of the civilian populations of what Moslem countries they did conquer. I'm not sure this is an exageration.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 12/13/2004 14:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Europe should review its schoolbooks on Islam as a good start for introducing the true image of the Muslims’ religion, European experts recommended on Sunday, December 12.

Sounds like something the Paleos could use, but in their case, it's the stuff about everything else BUT Islam that needs to be checked for accuracy. Especially the writings about Jews, in particular.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/13/2004 18:41 Comments || Top||

Turkish leader warns of terror wave if EU rejects membership
Posted by: tipper || 12/13/2004 02:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let us in or else!
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 2:29 Comments || Top||

#2  "Let me in, Let me in, little infidel pig or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!"
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 7:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Turkey is a secular state........
Posted by: Dutchgeek || 12/13/2004 7:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Well, for how long, that is the question. Nothing is permanent.

Of course, my comments were in jest, interpretting the headline rather than the story.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 7:54 Comments || Top||

#5  EU? Read Germany and France
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 8:23 Comments || Top||

#6  The jihadi impulse is never too far below the surface, is it?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 8:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Frank, da point? That Eiffel tower is in grave danger?
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 8:28 Comments || Top||

#8  if the EU rejects Turkey as a member and confirms itself as a Christian club.
Sad to say, but Europe hasn't been Christian in a long time.
Posted by: Spot || 12/13/2004 8:53 Comments || Top||

#9  Turkey is right - they are being jerked around by the EU.

Too bad they chose Chirac over the US when they refused permission to go into northern Iraq. The Sunni triangle would be quiet by now, their Kurdish problem would be on the mend as Kurds moved back to northern Iraq from the Turkish mountains to which they fled, and they would have the gratitude of US friends rather than the normal perfidy of France and her allies.

A pity, you know? But not a damned thing we can do about it. So have fun, Turkey, being jerked around by Les Franks et al ....
Posted by: too true || 12/13/2004 9:21 Comments || Top||

#10  Sobiesky, I was only pointing out to the Turks where they need to look.....surely Poland didn't take the lead on this, although our good friend Aris says any member could....riiigghhhtt
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 10:00 Comments || Top||

#11  Turkey is right - they are being jerked around by the EU.

And the Turks didn't see this coming? Hahahaha...

On the other hand, it would probably be a good thing if the EU rejects Turkey's membership. Being willing to shaft the U.S. for short-term political gain and then warning of a "wave of terror" if not given membership in the EU don't strike me as the hallmarks of a potential good neighbor.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/13/2004 11:03 Comments || Top||

#12  Resorting to idle threats now... Turkey in the EU?? Mwahahahahaha! The touchy-feely mob aren't going to have that - even their love for an ethnically diverse Europe won't overcome their disgust at Turkey's human-rights record. Much seething and panty-knots to come...
Posted by: Howard UK || 12/13/2004 11:09 Comments || Top||

#13  surely Poland didn't take the lead on this, although our good friend Aris says any member could....riiigghhhtt

Haven't been reading up on Ukraine, have you? A situation when Poland did take the lead of the EU.

Keep your sarcastic "riiiigghhhtt"s to yourself. They are as ignorant as the rest of you.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 11:40 Comments || Top||

#14  Re Ukraine, Aris is right. The EU has worked exactly as it should, with an unambiguous support for democracy from the elites, the huge magnet of EU prosperity inducing Ukrainian fence-sitters to support Yushchenko, and the political flexibility to let Poland take the lead. The problem we have is EU elites' behavior outside Europe, mainly in the middle east.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 11:47 Comments || Top||

#15  thanks Aris ;-)
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 12:01 Comments || Top||

#16  Damn. I thought he said he was going to leave.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 12:29 Comments || Top||

#17  And here they go: The troll and the clown. The one who thinks his ignorance is a virtue to be praised, and the one who proudly tries to pretend to be even slower than he actually is (isn't having much success -- can't be slower that fully stopped after all).
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 12:41 Comments || Top||

#18  Someone on this board long ago mentioned that if Turkey joined the EU that would mean the EU has a direct border with the Middle East and al of its problems. Problems that Europe doesn't want to deal with.

This fact alone seems to ensure Turkey will never make it until the Middle East quiets down significantly.

So what ever happened to Israel's push to become a member of the EU?
Posted by: rjschwarz || 12/13/2004 12:42 Comments || Top||

#19  Someone on this board long ago mentioned that if Turkey joined the EU that would mean the EU has a direct border with the Middle East and al of its problems. Problems that Europe doesn't want to deal with

If so, that's a foolish argument. The dysfunctional middle east is already throwing its toxic waste into the EU's back yard and will continue to do so whether Turkey's in or out. Al Qaeda's already heavily penetrated major European cities. I would think it makes more sense to have Turkey inside the EU tent pissing out than v-v.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 12:45 Comments || Top||

#20  Murat - Where are you???? You don't have anything to say about this?
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 12/13/2004 12:49 Comments || Top||

#21  I would think it makes more sense to have Turkey inside the EU tent pissing out than v-v.

If this politico's threats are to be taken seriously, it seems a weak liability like Turkey would either be pissing within the tent from inside it or pissing up against it from outside, seeing as Erdogan thinks it's little more than a conduit for Islamist nutjobs. That's a more accurate analogy.

I'm in favour of Turkish membership as a way of limiting the insane federal ambitions of EU federasts and Franco-centralist neo-Gaullists, but if Turks start threatening to rain down Muslim barbarity on their more civilised neighbours if they don't get their way and get in... Perhaps they had better try again later. What a load.
Posted by: Bulldog || 12/13/2004 12:57 Comments || Top||

#22  Isn't Murat with Gentle? Or was?
Posted by: Alaska Paul In Nikolaevsk, Alaska || 12/13/2004 13:00 Comments || Top||

#23  Dang Aris, you might hurt my feelings, if I cared....
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 13:02 Comments || Top||

22: I thought that was Mr. Davis?
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 13:19 Comments || Top||

#25  RE: Poland, the point was well taken even if Aris missed it.

Poland is one of the most Christian countries in Europe but it isn't at the forefront of rejecting Turkish membership -- the much more secular, almost anti-Christian countries like France and Germany are.
Posted by: too true || 12/13/2004 13:37 Comments || Top||

#26  Frank, don't care about my opinion (indeed I wish that you were indifferent enough about my person that you wouldn't care to troll for me) -- but please do try to care about facts.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 13:39 Comments || Top||

#27  too true> I think the reason that France and Germany are to the forefront of objecting to Turkish membership is actually their fear of an influx of worker immigrants from there -- it would probably not be Poland that'd receive them.

I don't think that Christianity or lack thereof really plays the greatest of parts -- though to some point I guess it may be true, that the less conservative nations might have an additional reason to not want the membership of a conservative country like Turkey, especially one of this size.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 13:44 Comments || Top||

#28  I don't think that Christianity or lack thereof really plays the greatest of parts

Don't kid yourself.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 13:47 Comments || Top||

#29  Mrs Davis> That'd be helpful if it actually contained an argument. Can you (or "too true") tell me *why* you think the Christian nations would have an added reason to include a Muslim nation in the EU but the "anti-Christian" nations wouldn't?

As I said socially conservative-vs-socially progressive might be a better explanation.

But a stark "don't kid yourself", Mrs. Davis, is just rude for rudeness sake. Please, expand your reasoning, and don't automatically think that anyone who disagrees with you must be merely deluding themselves.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 13:55 Comments || Top||

#30  happy orkomosia, learn a little, say a lot?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 14:40 Comments || Top||

#31  How are Turkey and western European countries natural/compatible allies? It seems a forced union despite geographical closeness.
Posted by: Jules 187 || 12/13/2004 14:47 Comments || Top||

#32  You're right, Fred: Murat (I forget which iteration) and Mr. Davis fought over Miss Gentle, and Mr. D won, which is why that Murat turned mean. It was quite a tale Mrs. D told us that evening.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 14:58 Comments || Top||

#33  RC: #16 Damn. I thought he said he was going to leave.

Broken promises. Same ol'.
But, it would be a perfect modus operandi for a politician! Aris, you could have a bright future. Think about it...
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 15:08 Comments || Top||

#34  Since I'm not a politician, and I don't owe any of you either money or votes, there's a difference between a promise and a statement of intent.

Saying "I won't post again since you are all imbecilic jerks" or something similar, does not exactly qualify as a "promise" in my books. It's more of a declaration.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 15:22 Comments || Top||

#35  a declaration you won't back, typical, and a shame
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 15:24 Comments || Top||

#36  One signed copy of "Howe to Win Friends and Influence People" to our Turkish friend.
Posted by: Capt America || 12/13/2004 16:13 Comments || Top||

#37  Sort of like the Declaration of Indepence. That's why we colonists all consider ourselves subjects of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and North America and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith .
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 16:20 Comments || Top||

#38  It's called "Changing one's mind" -- but that idea may be overnuanced for you. The experience did teach me however that if I ever decide to leave again, I neither need nor will I bother to announce it.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 16:27 Comments || Top||

#39  So it could happen with no warning? Like the Rapture?
Posted by: Fry Ash Is Us || 12/13/2004 16:36 Comments || Top||

#40  And appropriately, no one will care either. :)
Posted by: Orson Buggy || 12/13/2004 17:42 Comments || Top||

#41  now that's a nym - Orson :-)
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 17:44 Comments || Top||

#42  The moral is ... it is like Beetlejuice, the moment you call his name, he's back with all the label props like 'imbecillic, ignorant, etc., yada, yada'. No feeding, please.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 18:08 Comments || Top||

#43  ... it is like Beetlejuice, the moment you call his name

More accurately "the moment you troll for him". There's a difference: For the trolling to be successful besides the invocation of the Name, you'll also have to add mixtures of insufferable and wilful cluelessness. For even better results you'll need to display that quality while simultaneously trying to claim it for my person.

As for the labels, I'm a member of the reality-based community, and both eager and proud to deal in facts -- people who hate this, people like Frank who spew their ignorance as if they are proud of the vomit they cast before the world -- I have utter contempt for those people and am not ashamed to show it.

Mrs. Davis "don't kid yourself", Robert "I thought he left", Frank's trolling and sarcastic "thank you"'s, Sobiesky's own personal attacks.

...check, check, check. Frank never cared to either defend or concede his point (typical troll behaviour), Mrs Davis lack of argumentation for the sake of the easy applies-to-everything phrase....

Anyone cares to discuss political points as I did in #13, #27, #29? Nope, didn't think so -- you'll just insult and jeer, without any strength to back your punch. You are still contemptible maggots.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 19:44 Comments || Top||

#44  You are still contemptible maggots.

Coming from you, I accept the compliment
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 19:48 Comments || Top||

#45  Poor little Aris. No one will play nicely with him. Don't be surprised if he picks up his keyboard, stamps his feet and goes home without warning.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 19:50 Comments || Top||

#46  ...I'm a member of the reality-based community...

LOL Wonderful quote! So many of us are reality-based, but it takes a real visionary to ascend to the highest levels of self-importance and logical incomprehensibility.
Posted by: Bulldog || 12/13/2004 19:54 Comments || Top||

#47  Aris: "Anyone cares to discuss political points as I did in #13"

Lemme see: "Keep your sarcastic "riiiigghhhtt"s to yourself. They are as ignorant as the rest of you."

Kettle, meet pot. Pot, meet kettle.
It is just amazing that you see the fault in everyone but yourself. Well, it is not that amazing. I learned to expect that from people of your political leaning. I am sorry to say...
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 19:54 Comments || Top||

#48  LOL - hurts as much as being called a "cracker", don't it?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 19:56 Comments || Top||

#49  AK, I want ya here. Sometimes I enjoy reading your thoughts even though I usually disagree with them.

Just don't wimper when ya get flamed. And there are lotsa flame-throwers here, my friend.
Posted by: Brett_the_Quarkian || 12/13/2004 20:11 Comments || Top||

#50  AK, why don't you go get a Victor D. Hanson piece at NRO (or Ralph Peters, etc.), "fisk" it with your commentary and post here!

That way, YOU initiate the conversation! Set the tone, baby.
Posted by: Brett_the_Quarkian || 12/13/2004 20:14 Comments || Top||

#51  I read today where the foreign minister of France wants and apology for the Armenian Genocide. Thats a non starter. Turkey will never admit to it. If it walks like a duck talks like a duck, it is a duck. It was a genocide. So whats France telling Turkey?
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/13/2004 20:16 Comments || Top||

#52  So whats France telling Turkey?

'Get on your knees and beg'?
Posted by: Bulldog || 12/13/2004 20:21 Comments || Top||

#53  Aris sees the world thru the lens of socialist historicism and as a result terms like 'progressive' make sense to him. While he is better than he used to be, he still has a problem dealing with issues that don't compute in his world view and resorts to 'facts'. To quote an Indian Marxist friend of mine. 'Never get into an argument over facts with a Marxist. They will always have more facts than you do.' The point being a fact per se is the most worthless thing in the world, becuase there is an infinite supply of them.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/13/2004 20:23 Comments || Top||

#54  And from what I've read of prominent Marxists, many of said facts were made up on the spot. Aris doesn't specialise in facts - he specialises in wordplay and sophistry.
Posted by: Bulldog || 12/13/2004 20:26 Comments || Top||

#55  my take on Aris - he goes for EU-baiting like a hungry trout. He assumes he knows more about America than those living here because the whole world conforms to his EU-centric worldview.Yes, I'm a bad boy for baiting him, and I'll get a chunk of EU German coal in my stocking for Xmas, but it's fun, dammit, because he responds exactly the way he bitches at me about. Pot meet kettle is a good call, Sobiesky, he just can't see the irony. I firmly believe the all-smothering EU-nanny state is a tragic mistake for many fine european countries, who desperately want the economic benefits without understanding the selling-out of their political rights to un-elected, un-appointed EUro-crats. France is playing them for suckers, with German help. We'll see how easy it is to get out without losing all econ benefits
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 20:31 Comments || Top||

#56  I wasn't even trying to troll him. He's just such a know-it-all asshole, he thinks he has to respond to everything.

Anyone cares to discuss political points as I did in #13, #27, #29?

With you, Aris? I'd rather go through LASIK again.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 20:35 Comments || Top||

#57  So, RC, which of us is the troll, and which the clown? :-)
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 20:37 Comments || Top||

#58  I'll be the clown, since they're the natural enemies of mimes.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 20:38 Comments || Top||

#59  If you go back 2 or 3 years in the RB archives you will see that Aris used to drive me nuts. He is a chronic avoider of issues that don't fit in his worldview. The irony is the issues he is right about get lost in the noise resulting from the issues he avoids.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/13/2004 20:40 Comments || Top||

#60  Bulldog, phil, I'm definitely not a Marxist.

The point being a fact per se is the most worthless thing in the world, becuase there is an infinite supply of them.

Mere listing of facts aren't enough because people must also use logic in order to apply the facts. But other than that, your friend didn't have a point. In order to battle someone who is well informed you have to know your own mind and know *why* you are opposing them. If you don't know why you disagree with him well enough to make a reasonable argument against him, then it's time to change your mind, rather than resort to mockery.

But what exactly are *you* saying -- that people shouldn't use facts in their arguments? If so, that's as horrible as Bush's mockery of the use of numbers in his debate with Gore.

"and as a result terms like 'progressive' make sense to him"

LOL! There are lots and lots of people here who consider "conservative" a meaningful term, and yet you have a problem with "progressive"?

But if it makes you feel better I only use the word "progressive" in reference to societal issues, not economic ones. Namely those issues where "conservation of traditions" and fear of change is the main (non-) argument of the so-called right-wing. And where changing out of those traditions (aka society progressing) is the main motivation of the so-called "liberals/left-wing"

I've never used "progressive" in reference to economical issues.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 20:43 Comments || Top||

#61  And there Aris goes again, failing completely to get someone's point because, frankly, he can't comprehend the language well enough.

Bulldog's point is that facts are most often little more than anecdotes, and useless for reaching a conclusion. You can find, for example, instances of Stalin being incredibly compassionate. Those instances are facts, but are useless because they don't adequately explain the reality.

Another example is your depiction of conservative positions. There are no doubt instances where fear of change is the "main argument", but that's not the general case, and the anecdote is useless as explanation.

It's a wonderful straw man, though, and no doubt believing it makes you feel better about yourself.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 20:57 Comments || Top||

#62  I firmly believe the all-smothering EU-nanny state is a tragic mistake for many fine european countries, who desperately want the economic benefits without understanding the selling-out of their political rights to un-elected, un-appointed EUro-crats.

Wow. both unelected *and* un-appointed?

Frank, you say "He assumes he knows more about America " and yet it's *you* who's condemned the EU, it's not me who's condemned the USA. How many times have you seen me discuss USA's internal issues and USA's internal politics? Other than support of same-sex marriage ofcourse, which hardly concerns the USA alone.

You have as much right to your hatred of the EU as anyone, and it wouldn't bother me. It's the fact that's it's an utterly *ignorant* hatred that I despise. It's the fact you honestly seem proud of that ignorance.

On my part I'd rather have some abstract "nanny-state" that gets blamed by the Brits but which I know has in practice *increased* my freedoms rather that *twenty-five* "nanny states" that diminish them.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 20:57 Comments || Top||

#63  Robert Crawford> That was phil, not Bulldog.

"point is facts are most often little more than anecdotes, and useless for reaching a conclusion"

And I vehemently disagreed with him.

"You can find, for example, instances of Stalin being incredibly compassionate."

And that's a fact that shows even mass-murdering dictators can be compassionate when the mood strikes them.

If you want a complete picture, then you *add* facts to form the picture, you don't just guffaw and say "I have no use for steenking facts". You don't close your eyes/ears and hum.


Another example is your depiction of conservative positions. There are no doubt instances where fear of change is the "main argument", but that's not the general case, and the anecdote is useless as explanation.

Even when it's not the "main" argument, "conserving tradition" always remains a big part in the minds of those people who think that something being so-and-so for thousands of years is an argument in favour of preserving it so-and-so for the next thousand as well. You'll see that in each case tradition is brought forward only by one side of the argument, the one not coincidentally labelled "conservative" one.

Some times ofcourse they won't call it "tradition", they'll call it "values of the founders of our nation" instead. Or "Christian morality". Or "Judeochristian heritage". "Or Christian roots of European civilisation". Or something.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 21:07 Comments || Top||

#64  "abstract" or otherwise, nanny-states, by definition, don't increase freedoms, ya statist nut. Why, if you graduated today, are you here arguing with us...get a life, get out, and celebrate! Jeeebus! troll, clown, or loser, which would you rather be?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 21:07 Comments || Top||

#65  Well "troll" is definitely something I don't want to be, and I'd rather be the loser than the clown. So, yeah "loser" is the choice.

As a sidenote it feels obnoxious when you insert things about my personal life into a discussion about something else. I don't comment on *your* life.

On your worthless existence and stupidity yes, as they are evidenced in the thread *here*. But I don't search the net for tidbits of your life you may be posting elsewhere. Once again I'd ask you to become *less* interested in me that you are.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 21:16 Comments || Top||

#66  This is almost getting as bad as LGF. Pretty soon, we'll all be putting little AK and Murat to bed, having a nightcap or two together, asking each other about our kids, and saying nighty-night.

Of course, some other token antagonists might s-troll through...

OK, nevermind, it is fun after all. :)

Not that I have much against LGF; it just got a little sappy after registration.
Posted by: Asedwich || 12/13/2004 21:17 Comments || Top||

#67  And as a sidenote:

"abstract" or otherwise, nanny-states, by definition, don't increase freedoms,

That's why I had "nanny-state" in quotes, ofcourse. You give it that label, that doesn't mean I accept it.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 21:18 Comments || Top||

#68  LOL, OK, then, Loser it is. I aim to please, if I aim at all....
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 21:22 Comments || Top||

#69  Trolls are not real. What ever they say is just that, trolling for the desired result, disruption and thread jacking. Aris is not a troll. Aris is a real person with his own perspective. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't cause him to become a troll.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/13/2004 21:23 Comments || Top||

#70  SPOD - you have to scroll all the way up to #17 to see where that came from..... I guess I'm the Troll. RC took Clown. Aris chose the other
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 21:26 Comments || Top||

#71  Has anyone noticed how Aris and Murat seem to show up together, flame around for a few days then disappear at the same time to return again afew days later? Coincidence? I think not.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 21:29 Comments || Top||

#72  A complaint about the "reality based community" thingy: it's wearing a bit thin. I take it it's meant to be a put-down of the "faith-based community". But then does the reality based community include atheist conservatives? For instance,among bloggers people like Steven den Beste, Jon Ray, and Keith Burgess Jackson. The conservative atheists subscribe to a different reality than the leftist atheists do. So which reality is the real reality? :-)
Posted by: HV || 12/13/2004 21:58 Comments || Top||

#73  HV> Actually "reality-based community" is a label given us, not one we've invented for ourselves.


'In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 22:09 Comments || Top||

#74  It would keep the comments section a bit shorter if some posters refrained from "Aris-baiting" whenever a posting about the EU comes up. :-)

Re Turkey: The question is not so much whether the EU can accomodate Turkey. The heart of the matter is: What kind of an EU do we want? This is the question the Turks can't answer for us.

As long as we can't define what Europe is now and what we want it to be in the future, we should pause.

If we want a real close European unity, with a common policy, I just don't see how Turkey could fit in. If we opt for a free trade zone with an association of states (some of them closer associated than other), we can go ahead and even take in the Maghreb and the Caucasus, maybe even Russia. But this is not what the founders of the European Union wanted.

What we definitely need (with Turkey or without) is a profound de-bureaucratization of the EU and a vigorous democratization at the same time. If we fail to do both, the European Union will not last... with Turkey or without it.

Right now the decisions that affect our lives the most are already cast in Brussels while we the people have only a very limited control and say over them.

The Euro was decided without us, the European Warrant was decided without us and the European Constitution is intended to be decided without us. Thousands of EU regulations that deeply affect our daily life are also decided without any meaningful participation of the people.

The EU that demands high standards of democracy from new members could need a healthy dosis of the same.
Posted by: True German Ally || 12/13/2004 22:22 Comments || Top||

#75  It would keep the comments section a bit shorter if some posters refrained from "Aris-baiting" whenever a posting about the EU comes up. :-)

Jeez...who let the adults in?

Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 22:33 Comments || Top||

Turkey's Radical "Fringe" Returns to View
It's the sort of scene that rattles Turkey's Western-looking establishment: angry demonstrators raising fists for Islam and waving posters supporting Chechen separatists, the Iraq insurgency and hard-line Palestinian factions such as Hamas. "Islamic resistance will win!" chanted nearly 400 protesters, including women wearing green headbands with Quranic verses - similar to those worn by suicide bombers in farewell videos.

Radical cries from the fringe - like these in Istanbul last weekend - are driving concerns that the Muslim nation's push toward Europe may stir momentum in the opposite direction. Ahead of a key European Union vote Friday, pro-Islamic political groups appear ready to seek gains if Ankara's bid to join the EU falters and more extremist elements could use the East-West split as fresh ground for recruits in a country still stunned by bombings last year linked to al-Qaida. "Turkey is like a firewall between radical Islam and the West," said Dogu Ergil, a political science professor at Ankara University. "The consequences if the firewall comes down are scary."

It's already been shaken. Turkish authorities are still trying to assess the alleged role of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden in attacks last November in Istanbul's European side. Some 60 people, including the British consul-general, were killed in bombings at two synagogues, the British Consulate and the headquarters of London-based HSBC bank. Turkey's top military officer says terrorism is Turkey's top domestic threat. In response, authorities have clamped down on underground funding networks for Chechen rebels and are watching a growing trend of political Islam in Turkey for signs of drifting into radical orbits.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 12:23:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Turkish military has withdrawn from 70 years of excluding Islam from politics and Islam has been encroaching ever since. As the mullahs are now the most organized, persistent, and funded force in the country, I expect that after one generation, Turkey will look a lot like the rest of the muslim countries.
Posted by: ed || 12/13/2004 0:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Ed, trend's there. But I am not sure there will be much of Islam's influence left in one generation. Anywhere.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 2:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Turkey like the rest of the Muslim countries?
What exactly do you mean?
Sounds like you have no idea what you talk about, and know zero to extremely less about Turkish history.
Posted by: Murat || 12/13/2004 5:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Turkey like the rest of the Muslim countries?
What exactly do you mean?
Sounds like you have no idea what you talk about, and know zero to extremely less about Turkish history.
Posted by: Murat || 12/13/2004 5:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Murat, they say that repetition is a mother of wisdom, but I make an exception in your case.

Here is what ED said: "I expect that after one generation, Turkey will look a lot like the rest of the muslim countries."

So, that is not history, that is future projection. I think it will not pan out, not because Turkie is in some way different from the muslim ME countries, but because Islam will lose big time in the next 25 years.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 5:29 Comments || Top||

#6  Ya know, Murat, instead of lamentations about our ignorance of the Turkish history, why don't you explain why you think this Ed's idea does not have a chance of transpiring...based on history, how it is reflected in present situation and what are your projections into future. Oh, and without any impromptu namecalling. That would be something novel.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 6:06 Comments || Top||

#7  SOBiesky, Turkey is since 1921 a democractic republic, that's 3 or 4 generations now (more than most countries on earth), even you should realise that it would take a hell lot of change to reverse that (something like America becoming comunist)
Posted by: Murat || 12/13/2004 6:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Murat, it took a firm hand of Turkish military to hold Turkie on that path. It is not as firm anymore. I hope that you are right.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 6:57 Comments || Top||

#9  Democracy and a secular government are not cast in stone. They are dynamic balances that must be reaffirmed regularly or they will disintegrate into chaos, sliding to one side or the other of tyranny.

Will that happen in Turkey? I hope not. But the reality is that it could happen ANYWHERE if people are not vigilant - including in the US - given a generation or so who are raised to disrespect the demands of democracy and adhere to any extremist ideology.
Posted by: rkb || 12/13/2004 7:24 Comments || Top||

#10  rkb, xactly. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 7:36 Comments || Top||

#11  Sobiesky said: Murat, it took a firm hand of Turkish military to hold Turkie on that path. It is not as firm anymore. I hope that you are right.

First I see no any sign that Turkey becomes radicalized, sure there are always a few nudheads (where don't you have them). Secondly take Iran for example, it is actually Iran that is militarily hold Theocratic and not vice versa, the same counts more or less for the Arab kingdoms too.
So compared yes we did have some military coups in our past but on the contrary to what people might imagine or think about Turkey, it is very hard to say Turkey is a militaristic country.

I for my part would bet my money on the democratic system instead of the Theocratic systems you fear (they are doomed to follow the path of Communism)

I know that the Muslim rethoric is played by the politicians a lot, even as an argument to get Turkey in the EU. But Turkey becoming fundamentalistic is really out of touch, near to unrealistic.

Posted by: Murat || 12/13/2004 8:04 Comments || Top||

#12  Murat, in Iran, the military is a tool of mullahs, not vice versa.

In Turkie, military was a guarantor of secular nature of the state. Often with a firm hand. The target in the past were mostly communists, but that is another religion, too.

I hope that you are right. I have some friends in Turkie, and I have to say that they are a bit worried, especially the females.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 8:13 Comments || Top||

#13  Turkish history? Like the Armenian Genocide?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 8:16 Comments || Top||

#14  Yea, Frank, I would like to see Murat once acknowledging that it happened and although he can blame mostly Ottomans for it, they were Turks. His Turkish history starts in 1921, curiously, but the Armenian genocide was still going on until 1923.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 8:26 Comments || Top||

#15  C'mon, Murat can't acknowledge it without facing jail time!
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 8:28 Comments || Top||

#16  RC, Rantburg has jail? Hmmmmm. :-)
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 8:30 Comments || Top||

#17  We wish!

But, no, it's illegal to bring up the Armenian Genocide in Turkey.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 8:50 Comments || Top||

#18  Sobiesky,

Well I don't know what kind of friends you have then, are you sure they are in Turkey?

And what Armenians concern, fuck them who cares. It was war and people die end of story. You guys better concentrate on the genocide in Iraq right now.
Posted by: Murat || 12/13/2004 10:38 Comments || Top||

#19  Sounds like you have no idea what you talk about, and know zero to extremely less about Turkish history.

How about refuting what was said?

You guys better concentrate on the genocide in Iraq right now.

And now, back to the Moonbat Hour, starring Murat.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/13/2004 11:13 Comments || Top||

#20  Welcome to Brinkmanship 101. It's the "Let us in or we shoot Grandma" routine. Problem is:

1. The Europeans aren't sure that Grandma won't get shot anyway. Once the metaphorical Islamic-radical genie is out of the bottle (even for threat/demonstration purposes), it's going to be hard to put it back,

2. The EU won't be the 'EU' if Turkey becomes a member (even if Grandma doesn't get shot),

3. The Europeans are trapped by their decades of rhetoric and 'tolerance'; either way they decide, they (and Grandma) "lose".

As far as Iraq is concerned, whatver is going on there, it sure as hell isn't genocide. The only that really got massacred was the Arabs' high opinion of themselves.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/13/2004 11:48 Comments || Top||

#21  I doubt the theocrats will gain much traction in Turkey. The durability of Turkey's secular democracy has been shown by the ease with which Turkey has accomodated the coming to power of an Islamist party in recent years.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 11:53 Comments || Top||

#22  cool...another new Murat. His english varies between sounding more westernized but less accomplished than Murat 1. He's starts very smooth, but his emotions get the better of him. More interesting than Murat II, on a par with Murat I.
Posted by: 2b || 12/13/2004 11:59 Comments || Top||

#23  Is Murat a Turkish name? I always thought of it as a Napoleanic Field Marshall's name. Or does Murat mean stupid in Turkish?
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 13:16 Comments || Top||

#24  MD: Is Murat a Turkish name? I always thought of it as a Napoleanic Field Marshall's name.

Murat is an Arabic name. Napoleon's Murat may have had Arab ancestors (perhaps Christian, perhaps Muslim). Napoleon himself was of Italian (Corsican) origin.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/13/2004 13:51 Comments || Top||

#25  Since Armenian genocide's been mentioned here you go.

"France has said it will ask Turkey to acknowledge the mass killing of Armenians from 1915 as genocide when it begins EU accession talks.
French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Turkey had "a duty to remember".

Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 12/13/2004 13:58 Comments || Top||

#26  Here's were Prince Achille and Princess Murat ended up. The princess was the neice of G. Washington.
Nice place 'eh?
Posted by: Shipman || 12/13/2004 14:04 Comments || Top||

#27  Aris-and that's as it should be (although France has a few facing-ups to do in its own closet of "duties").
Posted by: Jules 187 || 12/13/2004 14:06 Comments || Top||

#28  a fixer-upper, Ship
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 14:16 Comments || Top||

#29  (although France has a few facing-ups to do in its own closet of "duties")

I'd like to see them own up to their destruction of the Natchez, the last of the Mississippian mound-builders. There are much, much bigger crimes in their closets, but this one particularly pisses me off.

They'll never do it, of course, because it interferes with the easy story blaming "Americans" for "killing all the Native Americans".
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 14:28 Comments || Top||

#30  I think Murat ran away. Bummer.
I was hoping he would tell us what ethnic group we're committing genocide against. Maybe the Kurds? I mean, they have a very special place in the Turkish heart.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 12/13/2004 17:13 Comments || Top||

#31  Poor Murat. Everytime he shows to bring up American genocide, that Armenian "thing" seems to magically pop up in the conversation and kick him in the ass.
Bye Murat.
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/13/2004 17:26 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
McCain gives Rumsfeld 'no confidence' vote
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 15:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  McCain finally comes in from the cold. Now we know who's been leading the push for Rumsfeld's resignation.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/13/2004 15:50 Comments || Top||

#2  I can now say for sure who ISN"T going to get my vote during the primaries.
Posted by: Secret Master || 12/13/2004 15:56 Comments || Top||

#3  "If Bush is fer it, I'm agin it" - McCain
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 12/13/2004 16:05 Comments || Top||

#4  the Manchurian Egomaniacal Candidate
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 16:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Well, that settles it, doesn't it? Rummy gets no confidence from Johnny RINO.
Posted by: Capt America || 12/13/2004 16:15 Comments || Top||

#6  This just in...under continued "no confidence" pressure from Senator McCain, Rummy has sworn off of steriods. McCain to restore confidence at 11:00 pm.
Posted by: Capt America || 12/13/2004 16:17 Comments || Top||

#7  what an ass!
Posted by: legolas || 12/13/2004 16:48 Comments || Top||

#8  Somebody wanted Rummy's job, huh.
Posted by: anonymous snark || 12/13/2004 16:51 Comments || Top||

#9  Aside from the personality issues, some of which are not uncommon in politics (the ego/attention thing), McCain has actually often shown very limited savvy on military matters. He panicked quickly after the start of the Afghanistan operation. His harping on troop numbers here (and his bizarre suggestion that every relevant linguist, civil affairs, and special forces body hasn't long since been thrown into the Iraq fight) is basically another demonstration of incomprehension -- no matter how popular it has become as a mythological explanation of imperfection, er, I mean "quagmire". (A friend at Army intel agrees that the troop # issue has become the "dog ate my homework" excuse for some Army commanders who've failed to adapt effectively in Iraq)

Just because McCain typically avoids the jaw-dropping schtoopidity of most congressional and media figures on military matters shouldn't obscure just how mediocre his grasp seems to be. A real military hero he is, a military genius he shows no signs of being ....
Posted by: Verlaine || 12/13/2004 17:07 Comments || Top||

#10  1. McCain is no RINO. His positions on health care, abortion, and a range of other issues put him outside the Dem party.
2. He is NOT stupid. He may have panicked briefly on Afghanistan, but by and large hes been pretty good.
3. Do you really think Iraq has managed optimally? I dont. And yes, I still dont see a clear explanation for why we didnt go in with more troops. You want to blame Turkey? We should have had a contingency plan for that. As far as I can see it was because Rummy decided that changing the way the Pentagon does business was more important than getting the best possible outcome in Iraq. But go ahead with Rummy can do no wrong, if you must.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 12/13/2004 17:25 Comments || Top||

#11  Seems to me that Rumsfeld has done a far better job anticipating force requirements in Iraq than McCain did anticipating the effect of his horseshit Campaign Finance "Reform" bill.
Posted by: Dave D. || 12/13/2004 17:29 Comments || Top||

#12  McCain's not necessarily a RINO, and I agree his judgment's no worse than your average Senator's. But that's the point: he's a mediocrity who's been inflated by the MSM into their favorite Republican Bushwhacker. I don't have anything against him, and there are a few things to like about him, but I don't particularly trust his judgment regarding Rumsfeld. I could be wrong but suspect it's heavily personal, as are most of his complaints with Bush.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 17:31 Comments || Top||

#13  What Dave said. Campaign Finance Reform is a lasting embarrassment, the most foolish and useless piece of legislation to come from the Hill in many years
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 17:33 Comments || Top||

#14  No, it's not "Rummy can do no wrong", it's "Rummy's the best man for the job".
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/13/2004 17:34 Comments || Top||

#15  I'm convinced CFR sprang from his moral vanity and his guilt as one of the Keating five - he had to be holier than thou, regardless of whether the law was good for America
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 17:35 Comments || Top||

#16  Lex i dontt think McCain is a mediocrity, and well, Bushies who live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones. I mean really.

DaveD - maybe so. Camp Finance reform can always be tweaked again. The opportunity to transform the middle east that Iraq presented, may not come again. The consequences are much greater here.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 12/13/2004 17:36 Comments || Top||

#17  Tweaked? And you think Iraq's a screw up?
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 17:37 Comments || Top||

#18  Depends on your definition. I think we will still probably beat the insurgency, ultimately, and i think the Shias and Kurds will make a democracy, of sorts. And it would be disaster to get out now, and its probably still worthwhile that we went in.

But we're sure as hell inhibited in doing anything else anywhere else that requires large numbers of troops. We dont have a model that anyone else in the region is particularly interested in following, in particular Sunni Arabs, who make up most of the region. Maybe we can get things to the point where its OK in 4 or 6 years. But we've wasted a hell of a lot of time - IF we had gone in with sufficient force, we might have been able to head off much of the insurgency - wed certainly have been able to get reconstruction started faster and better - and been able to hold Iraqi elections now in better circumstances. Things could be much better than they are now. That things are not much worse has more to do with the valor and competence of our troops, and the real commitment and courage of ordinary Iraqis, than it does to Rummy.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 12/13/2004 17:44 Comments || Top||

#19  LH, I'll be the first to admit that Rummy's arrogant and that we probably should have had more troops, but you and the MSM hyenas are vastly overestimating the impact that more troops would have had on Iraqi stability. The fact is that most of the military/security difficulties we face now are due not to Rumsfeld's strategic our failures but to his successes, specifically, the unanticipated wwiftness of our overwhelming victory last April over the Iraqi forces that forced the Ba'athist hardliners underground.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 18:02 Comments || Top||

#20  Turkey's action WAS the problem because it delayed the combat in Fallujah by 18 months during which time the terrs made the place a hell hole and centere for metstasizing thier insurrection.

How many troops should have been sent to Iraq when, LH?

It took three years to get elections in Afghanistan, two in Iraq. So Afghanistan must be 50% more screwed up than Iraq?

As to being inhibited from doing anything anywhere else, I agre the Clinton administration reduced the Army by at least 2 divisions too many. I expect that eror to be rectified shortly.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 18:13 Comments || Top||

#21  One thing I see, again and again, is that people who think Iraq is going badly for us seem to think that establishing a peaceful democracy there is our **ONLY** objective. It is not: it is a highly desireable outcome, one well worth fighting for; but there are many, many other reasons why we are over there. And chief among those reasons is to obtain something we've never had before, something absolutely indispensable for moving forward with the war on Islamist terrorism: a land base adjacent to Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

A larger list of likely reasons for our going into Iraq is here.
Posted by: Dave D. || 12/13/2004 18:37 Comments || Top||

#22  1. McCain is no RINO. His positions on health care, abortion, and a range of other issues put him outside the Dem party.

McCain's biggest constituency is McCain. As for him not being a RINO, it was interesting that a few years back, after a recall petition (which he initially dismissed) began gaining traction, he quickly tacked rightward.

McCain ran unopposed in the primary. Frankly, I wish someone had run against him. If the Libertarian candidate hadn't been a Harry Browne clone, I'd have voted for him instead.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/13/2004 19:10 Comments || Top||

#23  McCain is the poster boy for what defines a RINO. In 2001, the Club for Growth gave him the RINO of the Year award stating:

"Senator McCain wins for voting against final passage of the Bush tax cut and for a key anti-tax cut amendment by Democratic Leader Tom Daschle; for offering his own amendment that would have gutted the Bush tax cut; for teaming up with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) to push massive new health care regulations; and for becoming the chief Republican Senate sponsor of the bill to make all federal airport screeners federal employees."

It's maneuvering for the 2008 Presidential Run plain and simple.

If the war goes well, he's on record as being strong on defense. If it goes badly, he's on record as having been one of the few Repubs to have criticized the current administration.

Come on folks - it couldn't be any clearer.

When Hillary echos his comments, that will signal the official start of the 2008 campaign.
Posted by: Curious1 || 12/13/2004 20:44 Comments || Top||

#24  IF we had gone in with sufficient force, we might have been able to head off much of the insurgency

You know this, how, exactly? Do you have a palantir that lets you see into alternate realities?

Do you know what other limits on troop availability were?

Do you know what the limits in supplying troops were?

How would more troops have stopped a pre-planned, pre-supplied campaign of terrorism?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 20:47 Comments || Top||

#25  McCain is probably panicking that Rudy seems already to have the "moderate, independent straight-talker" niche in the next primary sewn up. Unlike Rudy, of course, he has no idea how to discipline and market himself to actually win this primary.
Posted by: someone || 12/13/2004 21:04 Comments || Top||

#26  Mrs D - Amen on #20.

I just have one question: Who's better at his job, McCain or Rummy?

If one thinks the answer is McCain, then the job of a Senator is to be primarily self-serving, self-aggrandizing, and self-promoting - and not much else. *slaps forehead* Duh! No wonder he & Skeery were such good buds! And Skeery & Teddy - bigger Duh! And Harkin! And Feinstein! And Boxer! And Leahy! And Rockefeller! Sheesh! And all this time I was thinking they were supposed to be something special...

Okay, now I get it. McCain's a friggin Senate Star, alright.
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 21:08 Comments || Top||

#27  The criterion for Election to the Senate is that one's shit don't stink. That's why they're all such good buddies.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 21:26 Comments || Top||

#28  McCain is rightly honored for something he did/was many years ago, a POW War Hero with dignity and valor. He is not infallible, altruistic, and humble, as he has proved many times since. If he switched places with Zell Miller he be labeled a phony, corrupt, hypocrite. The fact he tweaks his nominal party, to the delight of the MSM, is what makes him a star. What has he done lately? I hear tell he and Kerry sold out possible POW/MIA's in VN. Was that ever looked at, or was it too radioactive? McCain should NEVER be allowed to gain the reigns of power in any governmental position
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 21:32 Comments || Top||

Dean touts his strategy for DNC
Former presidential candidate Howard Dean yesterday made a national pitch to head the Democratic Party, saying he will create a 50-state strategy to win new voters.
"We're gonna win New Hampshire! An' we're gonna win Texas! An' we're gonna win Saskatchewan! An' we're gonna win...!"
"I really believe we have to stand up for being Democrats," Mr. Dean said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"Otherwise, what are we? The Reform Party? Look what happened to them! Yeeeeargh!"
"We have a message to sell. I frankly think it's a better message than the Republicans'; we've just got to figure out how to get it out there."
"Maybe if we all holler together, real loud..."
"Get the net, Terry!"
Mr. Dean was the only one of eight candidates for Democratic National Committee chairman to appear on the Sunday talk shows. Other candidates are: former Rep. Martin Frost of Texas; former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk; former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb; former Clinton administration chief of staff Harold Ickes; former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard; New Democratic Network President Simon Rosenberg; and South Carolina political strategist Donald Fowler.
That's a very distinguished list of has-beens and never-beens...
The former Vermont governor said the Democratic Party has to "look at what the Republicans do well" and establish a grass-roots base of office holders.
What they do well is beat Democrats...
On Saturday, Mr. Dean told party leaders, "I want to do what the Republican National Committee does; they're better organized than we are."
"More articulate, too! Yeeeeargh!"
All of the candidates addressed the Association of State Democratic Chairs on Saturday in Orlando, Fla., although Mr. Dean said yesterday he has not decided whether he will seek the vote in February to replace outgoing party chief Terry McAuliffe. "I am going to run if I think that I can win, if I think they really want me," Mr. Dean said.
"But only if they like me, they really, really like me!"
Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat and assistant minority leader, declined to endorse Mr. Dean on ABC's "This Week."
"Nope. Nope. Ain't gonna do it. And despite my name, I do not lead a gang of train robbers, so you can just drop that!"
"I'm not going to be endorsing Howard or any particular candidate. I hope we find the right person," Mr. Durbin said. "Howard Dean made an ass of himself a great contribution to the American political scene. I want him as part of the leadership of the Democratic National Committee, even if he's not the chairman."
"I was thinking maybe he could be the court jester to Harold Ickey..."
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, who served on the September 11 commission, said last week that Mr. Dean would do a good job as chairman but "he's going to have some 'splainin' to do, as Ricky Ricardo used to say."
"Which Howard Dean are we talking about?" Mr. Kerrey asked. "If we're talking about the Howard Dean who was governor of Vermont, I would say, fine. But if it's the presidential candidate Dean, I would say, probably, no." The New Republic published an editorial opposing Mr. Dean, saying, "The liberal base is simply not large enough to win a national election."
Posted by: tipper || 12/13/2004 9:53:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pop quiz, Howard: who is Dale Earnhardt?
Posted by: Matt || 12/13/2004 10:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Go, Dean, go!

Howard might have recieved a briefing on Earnhardt. Unlikely, but possible. Better to ask, "What number is most associated with Dale Earnhardt?" Acceptable answers would be "#1" or "3".
Posted by: gromky || 12/13/2004 10:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Is Dean a moderate pretending to be a nut, or a nut pretending to be a moderate? Either way, good riddance
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 11:33 Comments || Top||

#4  If Dean was smart he'd get on the Howard Stern show while Howard is still on FM, and still ticked at the Republicans. If that doesn't generate a buzz he might as well forget it because he's yesterday's news.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 12/13/2004 12:51 Comments || Top||

#5  With any luck he'll be rebuffed by the Dems' elites, he'll scream (as it were) and cry and take the MoveOn and Kos idiotarians with him into a new leftie party. Which would force normal, sane, moderate, hawkish Dems no choice but to try to form a new party that would peel off sensible, liberatarian-inclined non-religious RINOs like Giuliani-Arnold-McCain and dominate the political center.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 13:01 Comments || Top||

#6  "I’m not going to be endorsing Howard or any particular candidate..."

Until it becomes obvious who the frontrunner is.
Posted by: Raj || 12/13/2004 13:26 Comments || Top||

#7  dominate the political center.

And never, ever win an election.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 14:00 Comments || Top||

#8  "We have a message to sell. I frankly think it’s a better message than the Republicans’"

We wait with bated breath to hear that message, Mr. Dean. But based on this last election, we're fear there isn't one, excepting always, "Vote for us. We're not Republican."
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 14:28 Comments || Top||

#9  Is it too early to form a Republicans for Dean 2008? Maybe if we are nice Hillary will pick him for a running mate?
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 12/13/2004 16:21 Comments || Top||

#10  Dean touts his strategy for DNC

"Insanity... let's give it a shot!"
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/13/2004 16:25 Comments || Top||

#11  LOL Tu!
Posted by: Shipman || 12/13/2004 17:25 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
T-rays to detect terrorists
IMAGING technology could be used to detect terrorists as easily as it could find cancer, researchers believe.

Devices using TeraHertz, or T-rays, are being developed in laboratories around the world that will like never before see through clothing, packaging and other objects.

Safer and clearer than X-rays, T-rays are emissions between infra-red and microwaves.

T-rays enable scientists to analyse the composition and density of things the rays contact, and also to image them.

"Most molecules vibrate in the TeraHertz frequency, so if you can detect them with T-rays, you can get a very good fingerprint," Professor Derek Abbott, from Adelaide University said.

"T-rays pass through things like food packaging, clothing, plastic and cardboard enabling us to analyse what's inside.

"This means they can be used to detect and identify weapons of metal or plastic, illicit drugs or biological hazards like anthrax, even if they were hermetically sealed.

"You can find out much more about the substance than you would with optical, infra-red or X-ray imaging, and this helps to identify it precisely."

Leading scientists from the US, Europe, Asia and Australia will converge on Adelaide from Thursday to discuss the latest advances in T-ray technology.

Prof Abbott said scientists had recently discovered that T-ray technology could be used to detect cancer and it could also identify explosive compounds.

He said it had the ability to be used in food safety and quality monitoring, disease detection, airport security, postal scans for drugs, explosives or bio-weapons and military threat detection.
Posted by: tipper || 12/13/2004 8:01:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Isn't this a spin off of the Zionist Death Ray™?

Muslims will never allow it then.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/13/2004 20:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Terahertz? Heinz-DeathRay™
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 20:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Will they destroy the terrorists upon detection?
Posted by: Bulldog || 12/13/2004 20:12 Comments || Top||

#4  BD, you just turn the dial and they are cooked in thirty seconds with the added benefit they glow in the dark. I've heard that Muslims cooked this way, taste just like pork.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/13/2004 20:29 Comments || Top||

#5  The frequencies between infrared and microwaves are usually called millimeter waves. In college I worked with a professor who was developing a milimeter wave system to image hidden weapons about 30 years ago. I am not sure how this "terahertz" stuff differs from these millimeter wave systems that have been around for a while.
Posted by: HV || 12/13/2004 20:53 Comments || Top||

#6  This technology has been around for about 10 years. It's another reason why Bell Labs were a national treasure.


The researchers used laser pulses each lasting only 100 femtoseconds (one tenth of a trillionth of a second) to generate, detect, and measure electromagnetic pulses -- T-rays -- each lasting a picosecond (a trillionth of a second).

They transmitted the T-rays through various objects, using an imaging system of lenses and mirrors to focus the signals and to analyze changes in the T-rays as they passed through the objects.

They characterized the materials by measuring the amounts of distortion -- from absorption, dispersion and reflection -- of the T-rays passing through to a detector. Those going through the lean portions of a slice of bacon, for example, are distorted into a different waveform than are those passing through the fatty portions.

A digital signal processing unit processes the data and translates it into images that appear on a computer screen.

The image of a slice of bacon shows different levels of T-ray transparency for lean and fatty areas. Since fat absorbs almost no T-rays, it looks white; meat absorbs roughly 25 times as many T-rays, so it looks dark.

The digital signal processor was programmed to recognize the characteristic shapes of transmitted waveforms and identify the particular material at the spot illuminated by the T-ray beam. This information was obtained for every point or "pixel" on each object.
Posted by: RWV || 12/13/2004 21:44 Comments || Top||

Guantanamo Briton might go mad from confinement: Father
The father of a Briton held at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has spoken of his fears for his son's deteriorating mental, saying that solitary confinement is driving him mad. Azmat Begg told BBC radio that his son Moazzam Begg, he has been tortured by the U.S. guards, and that he was being driven insane by being confined in a solitary cell. "From what I gather from different sources, it looks that he is deteriorating very badly and things are going badly physically and mentally," Begg said. "I don't know how a person can stay in solitary confinement for such a long time and remain normal.
I doubt his normality when he went in there...
"He has been there nearly three years in solitary confinement without even a guard, just being watched by a camera. "It is a long, long battle, which I can fight but I don't think he can survive that long." Begg said he fears that by the time his son's case reaches the courts he would not be fit to defend himself. "By that time, mentally he will be finished. He won't be able to say anything. He will be a cabbage," Begg said.
Or maybe a rutabaga. That'd be a good thing for prospective jihadis to think about before rushing off to fight the infidels...
"By that time, mentally he will be finished. He won't be able to say anything. He will be a cabbage. Why do they want him to go mental? Is it because he has seen a lot of cruelty and a lot of irregularities and violations of human rights? That is possibly why he is kept aside, so he doesn't talk about what he has seen to the other prisoners."
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 6:03:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In'shallah!!!
Posted by: borgboy || 12/13/2004 18:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Let me see....he goes mental, or he blows up someone for Allah?
I choose he goes mental any day!!
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 12/13/2004 18:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Article: He will be a cabbage.

Why not a chili pepper?
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/13/2004 18:14 Comments || Top||

#4  Okay, somebody has to say it:

How can we tell the difference?
Posted by: N Guard || 12/13/2004 18:17 Comments || Top||

#5  A cabbage? sell him to the NK's
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 18:52 Comments || Top||

#6  Mmmmmm: CABBAGE. Fried with bacon? Yum.....
Posted by: Mark Z. || 12/13/2004 19:35 Comments || Top||

#7  When a jihadi goes mad, we're talkin' MAD. Works for me. Put him on LOW and let him simmer for a few more years. Same with the rest of them. Probably cheaper to keep them on ice than to have tribunals, with all the ACLU type buzzing around like flies.
Posted by: Alaska Paul In Nikolaevsk, Alaska || 12/13/2004 21:07 Comments || Top||

#8  I thought being hooked up with allen kept all that stuff from happening to you? I mean I read it on authority of some Mufti or Shiek someplace didin't I?

So of course this guy Begg is wrong according to the holy word of allen and all.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/13/2004 21:18 Comments || Top||

#9  He will be a cabbage

Fine with me. Cabbages can't fly airplanes into buildings or blow up buses or behead poor bastards that fall under their tender mercies.
If you're lucky, pops, maybe he'll hang himself.
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/13/2004 22:06 Comments || Top||

#10  Or maybe they both will. No sympathy. Zero. Zilch. Nada. FOAD, Daddy. If any attention is due you, it is because you're at least partially responsible for the little monster.
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 22:18 Comments || Top||

#11  I spent nearly a decade in the GULag. Whether you return as a cabbage is all up to you.
Posted by: True German Ally || 12/13/2004 22:27 Comments || Top||

Babes in Arms: Report leans toward women in combat

Internal Army documents advocate changing Pentagon rules on mixed-sex units in a way that critics say will risk placing female soldiers in ground-combat situations.
    The Nov. 29 briefing to senior Army officers at the Pentagon, presented as part of the service's sweeping transformation of its 10 war-fighting divisions, advocates scrapping the military's ban on collocation -- the deployment of mixed-sex noncombat units alongside all-male combat brigades.
    The briefing contained the phrase: "The way ahead: rewrite/eliminate the Army collocation policy."
    To some in the Army, the confidential briefing proves that the service is moving toward a decision to put women within direct combat units, despite statements denying such plans, including a Nov. 3 Capitol Hill briefing for senior congressional staff members by Army and Pentagon officials.
    According to one aide, the Nov. 3 briefers assured the staff members that the Army was complying with the collocation rule and did not want it changed.
    "We are not collocating," a senior congressional aide quoted the presenters as saying.
    But the Army's Nov. 29 paper suggests otherwise, and critics of the plan, both inside and outside the Army, argue that it is part of an overall plan to override a 1994 policy prohibiting women from serving in direct land combat.
    The Times reported last week on an internal May 10 briefing that portrayed the Army as in a bind. The briefing states the Army does not have enough male soldiers to fill the FSCs if they were to collocate with combat brigades and thus required to be men-only.
    All-male FSCs, the paper states, "creates potential long-term challenge to Army; pool of male recruits too small to sustain force."
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 3:17:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No, I better not say what I was gonna say...
Posted by: Capt America || 12/13/2004 16:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh go ahead. Your a Captain.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 16:50 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm sure the members of the 507th Maintenace Company will be impressed by the debate.
Posted by: Don || 12/13/2004 17:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Once this happens, we are officially a nation of wussies.
Posted by: Crereper Angimble7527 || 12/13/2004 17:14 Comments || Top||

#5  A completely straight question-
if upper body strength and speed are not problems with the females in combat, are there other difficulties? (I don't have an opinion on this yet because I don't know enough about it.)
Posted by: Jules 187 || 12/13/2004 17:17 Comments || Top||

#6  They call us babes in arms
but we are babes in armour.
They laugh at babes in arms
but we'll be laughing far more.
On city street and farms
They'll hear a rising war cry.
Youth will arrive,
let them know you are alive,
make it your cry!

They call us babes in arms
they think they must direct us.
But if we're babes in arms
we'll make them all respect us.
Why have we got our arms,
what have we got our sight for?
Play day is done,
we have a palce in the sun
we must fight for.
So babes in arms to arms!
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 17:17 Comments || Top||

#7  NOW better not scream - this is what they wanted.
Posted by: anonymous2U || 12/13/2004 17:18 Comments || Top||

#8  Memo to NOW, Pat schroder, et al:

Beware of what you ask for, 'cause you might jus' git it. Heh heh.
Posted by: N Guard || 12/13/2004 18:33 Comments || Top||

#9  Get a grip people. Rummie is the one pushing the organization structure that leaves no choice that combat support personnel are up front and close to the action. Its the combat support units who are getting the higher ratio of casualties than the traditional combat units in Iraq. There is no front line. If you want the females 10k from the fighting then you better not send them into country. If you don't send the females that means someone else has to fill the requirement. Same pay and same chance for promotion, but different risks? The safe jobs stateside for one specific group and danger for the other. That'll really hurt morale. This is the inevitable consequences of choices made decades ago. It is the slippery slope fulfilled. Now you have to live with it. Make the best of the situation. Insist that the physcial standards for the soldier are tied to the physical situation the soldier is to operate, not just the MOS [military occupational specialty]. No waivers, no dumbing down.
Posted by: Ebbavith Slineck2977 || 12/13/2004 20:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Well I got no problem with it not a bit.
Just like Startship Troopers and the Space Marines.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/13/2004 20:50 Comments || Top||

#11  If she's a better shot, will that prompt the guy next to her to do a bayonet charge? Inquiring minds wanna know!

I see it now: Formation of the 1st Amazon Brigade...

Sillies aside, I have zero problem with this - if they are meeting the same specs then fold 'em in and let the bad guyz pay. My mother at 36 was a better shot than I was at 14, and I had 20/10 vision. My grandfather had to teach me to shoot - she had no patience when she was packing heat, heh.

I believe this is so obviously inevitable that it screams. The only proviso is as others said above - same specs, no dumbing down - that will get people killed. And no humping on guard duty, either - unless using those rubber ball gag thingys. And no... well, you get the idea: fight before fun.
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 21:19 Comments || Top||

#12  I believe this is so obviously inevitable that it screams.

And it will become even more so when we field nanotech body armour with strength augmentation and biomonitoring / medic systems built in and autonomous ground robots w/ weapons systems that respond to commands from authorized voices. The latter in the not too distant future, the former aren't far behind.

In the meanwhile, .com is right - there are no front lines anymore and support roles are equally dangerous. Let's get people qualified to do those roles so they don't get themselves and others killed. And if it washes out women and men who joined for a job but who aren't cut out to be soldiers, that's a good thing for all concerned. The Army's a bad place to run a jobs program when there are real wars to fight.
Posted by: better stay anon .. heh || 12/13/2004 21:48 Comments || Top||

#13  better stay anon .. heh

ROFL!!! Wimp, heh. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 21:57 Comments || Top||

#14  ugly ills (rape and worse) visited upon women soldiers will be the MSM meme of the decade, mark my words. Jessica Lynch- all-the-time.
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 21:59 Comments || Top||

#15  All of what follows is, I believe, common sense - and my opinion. The answer to most of such "crimes of passion" as rape - and I definitely use the word passion only to mean out of control, not passionate - is habituation. Familiarity, constant contact, leads to myn (particularly, lol!) not seeing wymyn as objects. When they do what you do every day, alongside you, talk to you, joke with you, save your ass & vice versa, you don't see them as a sexual object - unless you're well and truly screwed up. Check out the profiler info available (not the sociology tripe) and you find the one-time rapist is usually in one of 3 environs: under peer pressure - a group acceptance situation, out of control due to lowering of social strictures such as drunk, or obsessive about the victim as in put on a pedestal with no personal contact. Habituation - doing something frequently so that it loses its novelty, pulls the potential victim into the potential aggressor's social space - makes them real, removes the mystery and fear of rejection, permits the tension-easing banter that tears down the pedestal. A serial aggressor is something else entirely - a predator - but they are obviously a tiny minority of the potential aggressors.

Make it normal and it will be normal.

Humans can become accustomed to, inured to, or oblivious of almost anything. Walk to the edge of the cliff and your knees are weak the first time. Thirty trips later you're ready to dangle your feet over the edge and eat lunch. Habituation. Humans are funny critters, and usually quite predictable and trainable.
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 22:15 Comments || Top||

#16  I was in a unit (a video documentation unit) which deployed into interesting situations, and was about 1/3rd female to 2/3rds male, and which went on field excercises all the time... and since we all considered ourselves committed professionals, and well-adjusted grownups, who all had Significant Others at home... all the members of the team much preferred bunking in under the same roof, all together with the video gear (for which we were all responsible) and the other members of our team...(and hanging up a blanket as some sort of concession to what little privacy was available!)than having to camp out with strangers, on the other side of wherever, whom we didn't know, and didn't trust.
As for getting it on, in the field, with one of the guys that you work with? Ewwww.
Secont point: my daughter is a field wireman in the Marines. It's a combat support-type job, and I have to admit, she was better prepared for a situation like that, than I ever was as an Air Force very-much-in-the-rear-echelon-type. She was in Kuwait and in Iraq last year, and one of the things she said about the merits of various locations was that she rather preferred being somewhat forward, rather than in-the-rear-with-the-gear, because there, everyone was armed, loaded, looking after each other as a Marine, and paying attention. Make of that what you will.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 12/13/2004 22:16 Comments || Top||

Minister: U.S. pressures will not scare Lebanon
Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs, Ghazi Zeiter, called for the cooperation and cohesion between Syria and Lebanon against the pressures placed on both countries. Zeiter said during his meeting with popular factions that Lebanon will never feel afraid from the U.S. pressures. He also stressed on the importance of the cooperation with Syria and the commitment to the national unity. The Assembly of Scholars in Amel Mount, Lebanon, also emphasized that the recent Lebanese national rally in Beirut indicated the Lebanese opposition to the UN Security Council resolution No. 1559 that interferes in Lebanon's internal affairs. The Assembly also criticized the U.S. Ambassador in Beirut for interfering in Lebanon's domestic affairs in a way that violets the diplomatic norms.
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 7:44:08 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Lebanon will never feel afraid from the U.S. pressures - our protector, Syria, will be right here behind us! Uh, right?...hey! where'd ya go, Bashir?"
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 20:02 Comments || Top||

Albright Seeks to Replicate Her Stunning N.Kor Success in Iran
The following article was signed by Madeleine Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration, and by seven former foreign ministers: Robin Cook of Britain, Hubert Vedrine of France, Lamberto Dini of Italy, Lloyd Axworthy of Canada, Niels Helveg Petersen of Denmark, Ana Palacio of Spain and Jozias van Aartsen of the Netherlands.

Foreign ministers from France, Germany and Britain meet with Iran's top nuclear negotiator this week at a moment of enormous consequence. The United States will not be there, but the subtle signals it will send from a distance will have a tremendous impact on the outcome. There are some who believe that Washington expects, and perhaps hopes, that the talks will collapse altogether. But if the United States and Europe are to be successful in preventing a radical regime from gaining nuclear weapons, there will have to be much greater coordination and new approaches on both sides of the Atlantic.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: sludj || 12/13/2004 1:02:16 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ugh....what nonsense and a sure fire blueprint for failure.

And so Halfbright rears her ugly head. And she still hasn't learned anything from her previous failures.
Its no wonder the mullahs are playing their hand the way they are with this befuddled old crow blathering this appeasing garbage.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 12/13/2004 15:10 Comments || Top||

#2  it makes no difference what her success/failure ratio is, what matters is: what Brooch was she wearing?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 15:22 Comments || Top||

#3  History repeats itself; the first time as comedy, the second as farce.

Surely this woman is familiar with my philosophy?
Posted by: Uncle Karl || 12/13/2004 15:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Frank,

You beat me to the Brooch comment.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 12/13/2004 15:47 Comments || Top||

#5  great minds....
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 15:48 Comments || Top||

#6  American and European heads of state must emphasize that the West does not seek to deny Iran the right to a peaceful civilian nuclear energy program under the necessary safeguards.

"Now, just hold still while we strap these remote-control explosive-decapitation packs to the back of your heads...Don't worry, the turbans will cover them..."
Posted by: mojo || 12/13/2004 16:01 Comments || Top||

#7  I had a nighmare the other night. Something about me being stupid drunk and waking up the next morning with Mad Albright on one side and Janet Reno on the other. Its mad, mad I tell ya.
Posted by: Capt America || 12/13/2004 16:21 Comments || Top||

#8  "Refrain", you bastards!
Or....we'll have to ask you again!
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/13/2004 16:24 Comments || Top||

#9  Oh, dear God...

"While it is unclear whether this deal will ultimately halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, only a unified approach will enable Europe and the United States to find out."

We can't afford to wait and "find out", you idiots. Iran's nuclear ambitions must be crushed, NOW.
Posted by: Dave D. || 12/13/2004 17:25 Comments || Top||

#10  Sounds a lot like Albright doesn't have a helluva lot to do nowadays. Maybe she should go get a job at Wal Mart or something.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/13/2004 17:36 Comments || Top||

#11  "While it is unclear whether this deal will ultimately halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, only a unified approach will enable Europe and the United States to find out"

Shut down this farce. This is more idiotic genuflecting before "multilateralism" while refusing to recognize the reason that we and the Euros are not and will not be "unified": they're more opposed to the threat of US force vs Iran than they are to Iran getting nukes.

The simple, blindingly obvious truth here is that on the crucial question of enforcement, we and the Euros are on different sides. And without enforcement via serious sticks-- military measures, sanctions, a blockade-- no agreement will mean anything.

This disgraceful episode represents nothing more than the complete humiliation of the West by pisspot kleptocrats. Well done, Maddie.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 17:39 Comments || Top||

#12  Maybe MA will teach the Black Turbans how to dance the Juche way.
Posted by: Brett_the_Quarkian || 12/13/2004 17:59 Comments || Top||

Feature: 'A President should create enemies'
Recently an article was published in Iran's press entitled 'An Ideal President' by Ali Motahhari. The article is worth pondering upon from various aspects. Ali Motahhari is the son of the prominent ideologue of the Islamic Republic, Morteza Motahhari who was assassinated in the first months after the 1979 Revolution. Hadi Bolouki, the staff of Iran's reformist daily Etemad has written an article analyzing Motahhari's remarks. His article is entitled 'A President Should Create Enemies'. The following are parts of Bolouki's article:

Ali Motahhari believes that an ideal Iranian president has to firmly believe in the notion that Islam is a global power which does not need borrowing from other economic powers of the world, for Western economy and democracy are both rejected and unreliable.
That's why Islamic societies are so productive, and we in the West always have to steal technological advances from them, buying anything more technologically advanced than a claw hammer from them. Democracy, as we all know, is a Jewish plot, foisted upon the world. The so-called "laws of economics" are overridden by the Koran, and can safely be ignored...
Now I would like to ask him that based on which Islamic teaching we should avoid using others' experiences?
'Cuz if it didn't happen to Mohammad, it didn't happen. Everybody knows that.
Accepting the power of Islam is not equal to the negation of the economic might of socialist and capitalist systems. Can Motahhari who says that the economic rules of Islam are enough for running a society, help me with a source or a reliable book on Islamic economics over which all Muslim figures have reached a consensus? What is the pattern of Islamic economics? Has the Islamic Republic of Iran's economic performance in the past 25 years been a symbol of Islamic economics? If yes, in which sector?
The rubble sector. The rubble produced by the Bam earthquake puts to shame the amount of rubble produced in similar intensity earthquakes in other, less Islamic countries, like Mexico, Taiwan, and California. I'd also point out that the corpse counts from Bam are orders of magnitude higher. Why are the decadents states of the West (and the East) incapable of producing the heaps of deaders that are common in Islamic natural disasters? Even Turkey, caught up in the heresies of Kamalism and subject to regular earthquakes, is incapable of achieving numbers approaching those recorded departing this vale of tears in Iran.
Why is Motahhari ignorant of the fact that the general economic principles of Iran's Constitution have been inspired by the world's common and already-tested economic rules? Although the Islamic Republic has tried to give an Islamic color to all its aspects by adding an Islamic suffix to everything, one can hardly consider the Iranian economy as an Islamic one.
Adding the Islamic suffix seems to have made the economy fairly ineffective, though...
The absolute negation of western democracy is neither possible nor useful. Who can deny the fact that on many occasions western democracy and civilization have served human societies.
Ayatollahs deny it all the time. The principle is that societies need to be ruled by pious men with turbans and automatic weapons, with roving bands of fascisti keeping a contented Islamic populace in line. The ideal world government involves a caliph, seated on brocade cushions, wearing a jeweled turban and surrounded by bearded holy men, ruling the entire world, his coffers full of glittering gold provided by submissive dhimmis. On holy days, he can appear on his balcony, with Nubians fanning the flies away, and toss a few handsful of that gold to the cheering, beturbanned populace. Iran is only the first step in achieving that dream, an example to the rest of the world of what to expect.
Ali Motahhari says that an ideal president should be able to create enemies.
Now, I'd say that the ideal president should be willing to create enemies if necessary, but shouldn't go out of his way to do so. There's a good case to be made for pragmatism vs. warm milk — G.W. Bush vs. Jimmy Carter — but I can't see the case for truculence. Bob Mugabe and Kim Jong Il aren't what I'd call good role models for the world's governing classes, though I'd also add that the ayatollahs aren't, either.
If Motahhari could take a look at the problems of Iranian society and the number of its present enemies as well as the isolation of Iranians at world level and the issue of brain drain, then he would perhaps give a second thought to his description of an ideal president. Doesn't he really know that the weak management system and the contradictory policies of different governmental sectors have made many detach themselves from the system? How is it that certain people believe that the key to the survival of the Islamic Republic is the isolation of allies and provocation of enemies?
My guess is that the Islamic Republic is following a path similar to the one Saddam Hussein was following: taking upon itself the trappings of a superpower without building the economic and civil base to support it. That's why the fascination with nuclear weapons power, long-range missiles, this or that group of "special" revolutionary guards, and the involvement in the Wonderful World of Terror. And it's also why their economy sucks, the unemployment rate's high, and 41,000 people can be killed in a single earthquake — what money doesn't go into the ayatollahs' pockets and subsidizing new mosques and other religious institutions (basically the same thing) goes into projecting power, rather than into bettering the lives of the citizenry. This makes sense from the Fascist (true meaning of the word) point of view of Fearless Leader and his henchmen, as the citizenry's there to serve the state, rather than the state being there as a reflection of the citizenry.
"An ideal president has to be well aware of his legal authorizes within the framework of the Constitution and has to be a defender of civil rights." says Motahahri. But according to Iran's Constitution, what are the authorities of the president?
For startsies, he's two steps down the power ladder, behind Fearless Leader and behind the Expediency Council. He's basically a mid-level manager, responsible for keeping the majlis in line...
If as an example a president can win 90% of the votes, will he be granted the same authorities or not? Is the president allowed to tackle the violation of other state organizations? As the one in charge for the security of its citizens, is the president allowed to replace the police head of even a small town? So through which means can a president defend civil liberties? Does Ali Mortahhari know that President Khatami won more than 80% of the votes, but he is not given even 20% of his legal authorities?"
He may have noticed, but he prob'ly doesn't care, since Khatami's not of his party. But a lot of that fault lies with Khatami and his warm milk personality. If Rafsanjani was president, even with 50.0001 percent of the vote, the Islamic Republic's presidency would be wielding a lot more power. But Khatami doesn't have his own bands of blackshirts roaming through the cities, armed with everything from sticks to automatic weapons, willing to do battle with his rivals.
Motahhari notes that a good president has to be interested in cultural issues and should try its best to correct peoples' social behavior even their driving. He says that the Hashemi Rafsanjani administration under the pretext of development ignored justice and describes Khatami's government a cultural invader.
"I mean, if he had his way, we'd hardly kill anybody!"
I would like to ask Motahhri who is really in charge of cultural affairs in Iran? Who draws up the general principles in this field? The theological schools? Universities? Friday prayer leaders? The state Broadcasting Organization or the press? Which one of the mentioned sectors is supervised by the president and which one of them feels obliged to find an answer to its misdeeds once questioned? This is while after a quarter of a century since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the rates of divorce, accidents, unemployment and addiction are all on the rise while respect for civil rights has declined."
Could have something to do with a deadlocked government, whose real priorities lie with power projection rather than with the state of the national economy. But more likely it has to do with a contempt for and impatience with the gummint as a whole, both the hardline black turbans and the warm milk "reformers" who haven't been able to reform anything. Khatami's a Karensky, not a Lenin. Rafsanjani's a Bukharin, not a Stalin. But don't feel too threatened. The Papal States languished in backwardness, ruled by holy men, for hundreds of years, Italia's black hole of poverty and misery. If it drops the silly great power pretensions, Iran could enjoy a similar run.
Motahhari who refers to the Iran-Europe negotiation as a black spot in Khatami's record has to be reminded of the fact that the general policies of the system are drawn up somewhere else rather than in the presidential palace. Motahhari notes that it's better for the Iranian president not to be a cleric and to justify his assertion he says that clerics are responsible for guiding people and propagating Islam, however as a president you should handle executive tasks and thus you are always prone to criticisms and protests, so your image may be tarnished.
At least we can agree on something, if for different reasons...
Therefore it's better for the clerics to keep away from such posts which may hurt their status!! According to Motahhari it's only the clerics whose status has to be safeguarded. Doesn't it mean that for Motahhri the non-clerics should serve the clerics as a scapegoat in times of hardships? Where does this discriminatory approach come from?
That's a reflection of the fact that the citizenry exists to serve the state, and the clerics are the embodiment of the state.
In all one can say that Ali Motahhri's article is full of contradictions and flaws and is in direct contrast with the Iranian Constitution and the realities in Iranian society.
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 9:37:39 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [815 views] Top|| File under:

#1  --taking upon itself the trappings of a superpower without building the economic and civil base to support it.--

Anyone remember that ST:TNG ep where Geordie was stuck aboard a ship of stoopids who only advanced by stealing everyone else's stuff? Because they wanted acclaim/power/acknowledgement, the usual stuff?
Posted by: anonymous2U || 12/13/2004 17:30 Comments || Top||

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Control Missile and Nuclear-Weapons Programs
From The New York Times, an opinion article by Vali Nasr, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and by Ali Gheissari, a professor of history at the University of San Diego.
.... [Iran's] Revolutionary Guards were formed in May 1979 by young rebels loyal to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; their job was to combat the well-organized leftist militias that had challenged clerical control of the revolution. The guards evolved into a full-fledged military force during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's, and were involved in many of the key campaigns. They also played a direct role in the organization and training of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Badr Brigade in Iraq.

While the guards had a lower profile in the 1990's, the victory of the reformist Mohammad Khatami in the presidential election of 1997 led the conservative clerical leadership to give them new support. In exchange for the guards cracking down on advocates of reform, the government gave them generous financing for troop training and new heavy-weapons systems - including giving them oversight of missile and nuclear research programs - as well as increases in salaries and benefits. The guard corps expanded its intelligence service, paramilitary ranks and even its air and naval capacity. It now has close to 150,000 soldiers, making up about a third of the nation's military.

Today the guards are commanded by a group of ideological conservatives, notably Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, who has even criticized the government for its willingness to negotiate with Europe over the country's nuclear activities. These commanders share strong personal bonds forged in the Iran-Iraq war, during which many were involved in ferocious campaigns that involved chemical attacks. They hold common views on Iran's regional dominant role, the nature of the country's external threats, and protecting the values of the revolution.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 12/13/2004 7:46:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  an Islamic Mafia in charge of the nukes and missiles. These assholes can't be rehabilitated. Kill.Them
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 8:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Probably similar to Saddam's "elite" -- we need to kill most of them and destroy their weapons in the first strike so they don't melt away and become "insurgents".
Posted by: Tom || 12/13/2004 8:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Tom, right, albeit... I think that regular Reza Iraniani would have quite a score to settle with them Islamogoons, too.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 8:34 Comments || Top||

#4  The conclusion of the article points out that the RGs are acting independently from the Mullaz and are equally corrupt. Iran is a tough nut. The fact that it has the potential for division into at least 2 corrupt factions works to our advantage. Worth tracking here @ Rantburg.

It is possible to envision independent minded RG generals with which we could do business. I tend to agree that the regular forces are the most likely hope for sparking regime change. Ambitious RG generals, JDAM and coffee house students are next in order of probability.

Something's gotta happen before they get nukes. Unfortunately it is doubtful we can take them out militarily so regime change by any means necessary must be our goal.
Posted by: JAB || 12/13/2004 22:56 Comments || Top||

U.S.- European discord over Iran is deepening
U.S.- European discord over Iran is deepening


WASHINGTON - Despite a renewed American effort to repair relations with Europe, a disagreement between the Bush administration and European leaders over how best to persuade Iran to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program has deepened in recent weeks, diplomats on both sides say. The diplomats said the disagreement focused on what Europeans maintained was the crucial next step in their drive to persuade Iran to move beyond its recently agreed upon voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment activities to the point of abandoning them outright.
Europe wants to ply them with gold while America is still tending towards the use of lead.
Envoys from Britain, France and Germany gained Iran's agreement to suspend a vital part of its nuclear program last month.
Which part and whether it was large or small, partially shut down, mothballed or merely given a new coat of paint remains unclear at this time.
The accord was later endorsed by the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear monitoring agency. Both the European and Iranian officials who negotiated the accord said it was voluntary and temporary.
Which, in Iranian terms, means nothing of the sort needs to be done whatsoever about complying with anything that was discussed.
Permanent cessation is subject to further talks in which economic and political benefits for Iran are to be discussed.
As yet, the definition of "permanent cessation" is highly variable. Europe's interpretation involves a time span that allows for another significant round of big ticket infrastructure builds in Iran, while America is leaning more towards smoking holes in the ground.
But in recent interviews, European diplomats said that to gain a permanent cessation, the Bush administration must participate in talks with Iran and signal a willingness to be a part of an eventual final accord involving economic incentives and a discussion of security guarantees for Iran.
Such a quid pro quo involving Iran is only possible if Tehran demonstrates the slightest ability to keep their word about anything at all. This is largely regarded as a low-odds longshot by most domestic diplomats.
"We have a deal with Iran that is not perfect," said a European diplomat. "We have to develop it into a permanent suspension. But we will succeed only if we can provide a lot of carrots."
Which is just fine with America, but only so long as the "carrots" are shaped like really big sticks.
"We will not obtain a comprehensive deal on Iran without the United States." A diplomat from a different European country said the "biggest carrot" that could be offered Iran would be several hundred megatons a discussion about an eventual normalization of relations with the United States, including possible guarantees that Iran would not be attacked or subverted.
American foreign policy experts attribute these concerns to our government's crash course development of really big stick-shaped carrots.
"It would be very helpful if the United States also embraced this view," the diplomat said of the need for American involvement.
Just as soon as our latest crop of "carrots" comes in.
But he said that when some Europeans recently raised this issue with Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser and secretary of state designate, they failed to convince her.
"Iran has this distinct credibility problem with all of us across the pond, see?"
A senior U.S. official said the administration was "deeply worried" about the entire European approach because it could lull the United States into a false sense of security. Any such deal, he said, could easily be subverted or circumvented, much as North Korea did after it agreed in 1994 to freeze its production of weapons-grade fuel at one reactor, only to renege on the accord and embark on what the United States charges is a plan to produce weapons-grade fuel at another, clandestine location.
A plan which Iran has lifted directly from North Korea's playbook.
Another senior administration official said there was also no confidence within the administration in the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor Iran's compliance even with the accord hammered out by the Europeans.
Mind you, that's merely the one citing "voluntary suspension." Any mention of "permanent cessation" is normally greeted with hysterical laughter in Tehran and terse discussions of throw-weights in Washington DC.
The official said that the Europeans had agreed to excessive limits on the agency's ability to inspect Iran's facilities including blindfolds, earplugs plus some really, really thick mittens, and that there was the added problem that Iran might pursue weapons programs at facilities that Western experts had been unable to locate or identify.
Once again, this is where those several hundred megaton "carrots" come in.
European diplomats, responding to these criticisms, said that while their deal with Iran was fatally flawed, it represented the best hope for reaching an accord that would be accepted by the rest of the world, particularly Iran's fairy Godmothers, Russia and China, two players with economic ties to Iran. To get American involvement in the next phase of negotiations, European envoys said they told Iran that if it failed to comply with its agreement, they would join with the United States in referring the Iranian issue to the UN Security Council for possible further actions, including economic sanctions.
Russia and China will, of course, veto such sanctions so that Iran can finish growing its own "carrots."
To some U.S. officials, the European attitude may be well intentioned but also naive and based on a fundamental misreading of Iran's lies intentions. What is needed, they contend, is a unified willingness to demand action and to threaten sanctions against Iran. Bush administration officials add that while bombing Iranian nuclear sites or taking other sorts of military action are not being contemplated now, they are not ruled out for the immediate future. The European-American differences on the issue show few signs of being resolved soon, despite a trip this week by Secretary of State Colin Powell to three European-American meetings and a planned trip to Europe by President Bush after his inauguration in January.
The big money is on some major arm-twisting over this.
"The Europeans are barking up the wrong tree if they think the U.S. can bring the Iranians to the table to get an agreement on this," said Patrick Clawson, deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy and an Iran specialist. "What is needed," he said, "is for the entire international community - the Europeans, the Chinese, the Russians and the United States - to tell the Iranians to make a deal on this or face the consequences.
This will happen at the same time snow flurries start gusting in hell.
Right now, what the Iranians say they want from the United States goes far beyond what the administration would be willing to offer."
As it typically has been. Always making with the deal-breakers.
The Europeans have begun discussion of an array of economic benefits that would accrue to Iran if it headed toward a full cessation of its suspicious nuclear activities.
How will the Europeans be able to tell that a "full cessation" has ocurred? They cannot tell anything of the sort right now and nobody's going to show them all of the Iranian facilities anytime soon.
Among them, according to the Europeans, would be a reaffirmation of Iran's right to have a peaceful nuclear energy program, including access to nuclear fuel on international markets in return for an agreement to return the fuel once it is used.
Pebble or thorium based reactors, maybe. U-238 fuel rods? Never!
Iranian access to Western high technology and discussing the establishment of the Middle East, presumably including Israel, as a zone free of all nuclear weapons, are also under consideration.
It's really difficult to imagine Israel surrendering all, or even some, of their nuclear weapons anytime soon. Unilateral cooperation by Iran will remain the most likely scenario.
U.S. officials say, however, they are suspicious of any partial deals that do not encompass an end to Iran's support of insurgents in Iraq and to groups that carry out attacks on Israeli citizens, including Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and militant factions within the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Major sticking points for Iran, seeing as how these are sources of national and patriotic pride for them.
But European diplomats say they are prepared to enter into a discussion of these matters, and also of Iran's repressive practices at home, in what they are describing as "phase two" of their talks with Iran.
Phase two means: "We'll ignore all the wife-beating if you just promise not to cheat at cards anymore."
"Of course, the earlier the United States gets into the talks, the better," said a senior European diplomat, adding that the main incentive to Iran is to end the Western threat of economic and political isolation.
And any possible use of those really, really big stick-shaped "carrots."
Posted by: Zenster || 12/13/2004 2:47:39 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "European discord over Iran is deepening"

What does that remind me of...?

Saudi 'surrounding' popped in. Power of associations... It has the same neverending quality.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 6:01 Comments || Top||

#2  ...discord over Iran deepening...

No surprise there. The good guys don't want the black turbans to have nukes. The unserious allies either don't care if they have nukes, or worse, may actually want the turbans to have nukes as a check on US power.
Posted by: Mark Z. || 12/13/2004 7:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Europe is caught in a philosophical malaise. Western philosophies can be placed on a four-square grid of "realism" and "idealism" on one side and "optimism" and "pessimism" on the other. America is realistic and optimistic. Russia is idealistic and optimistic. But Europe is realistic and pessimistic. Their attitude is that "Things will drag on like this for years, in slow decline, then get much worse." And this is why America, and eventually Russia, will overtake Europe in just about everything. It is born of 1500 years of war, with idealism and optimism burned out of them, and condemns them to an existence of appeasement, surrender, diplomatic failure, meanness, and inadequacy. It is rather repulsive to most Americans, typified in things like dour French movies, where people are bored and unhappy, and remain bored and unhappy.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/13/2004 9:33 Comments || Top||

#4  The "negotiations" farce continues. The EU Dwarves aren't on our side here. They would much prefer a nuclear Iran that menaces Israel and does lucrative (for the Euros) deals with the EU Dwarves to a non-nuclear Iran contained through aggressive sanctions and the real threat of US force.

The goal of the negotiations sham is to contain the US, not Iran.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 9:44 Comments || Top||

#5  European envoys said they told Iran that if it failed to comply with its agreement, they would join with the United States in referring the Iranian issue to the UN Security Council for possible further actions, including economic sanctions.

Which would of course happen one week after the Iranians HAVE the weapons. ;)

The timeline is important. I'd love to see European leaders supporting this idea explain it chronologically, so everyone could get a real picture of what they are supporting. Don't dodge the question, Europe-when does the period of grace expire? Will that be too late to take alternative action (besides sanctions)? If action was finally needed, would we see UN II, where you back away from threats you have no intention in carrying through on?

Always with Europe, the MO is to scramble to fix problems after only after they've gotten so big that you CAN'T fix them and choose to "tolerate" them. Doing so seems to have the tendency to produce millions of dead people.
Posted by: Jules 187 || 12/13/2004 10:15 Comments || Top||

#6  European envoys said they told Iran that if it failed to comply with its agreement, they would join with the United States in referring the Iranian issue to the UN Security Council for possible further actions, including economic sanctions.

Ooooh, that'll be something, won't it? There'll be twelve years worth of resolutions for Iran to allow inspections, there'll be sanctions, Food-for-Oil 2 (and the accompanying UN scandal), and numerous calls to come clean while the mullahs play the UN like a fiddle.

I can't believe that it's happening again.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 12/13/2004 10:31 Comments || Top||

#7  Yep. Looks like the UN problem that President Bush rightly raised (that its words do not match its deeds) is going to disappear of the radar screen so that everyone in Europe can pat themselves on the back on being so diplomatic and so clever in solving the Iranian problem. 'Cept, their solution just covers it up. When a cat turds in a box, he covers it up so everyone can eat their pate; in a couple of weeks, people figure out that covering it doesn't mean it's gone away.
Posted by: Jules 187 || 12/13/2004 10:40 Comments || Top||

#8  "European envoys said they told Iran that if it failed to comply with its agreement, they would join with the United States in referring the Iranian issue to the UN Security Council"

Make light of it if you will, but the Iranians realize that if they get just ONE MORE referral to the Security Council they may be suspended from ALL after school activities, have to attend Study Hall…and may not get to graduate with their class! They’re quaking in their sandals in Tehran all right.
Posted by: Justrand || 12/13/2004 10:47 Comments || Top||

#9  Europe wants to ply them with gold while America is still tending towards the use of lead.

Large volumes of lead, at high velocity.
Posted by: mojo || 12/13/2004 11:24 Comments || Top||

#10  It's Europe that's being plied with gold. The mullahs don't care about economic carrots; they've already skimmed off millions and couldn't care less about the economic wellbeing of their miserable subjects.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 11:29 Comments || Top||

#11  Justrand - Would that be No Pass, No Pray?
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 11:34 Comments || Top||

#12  This is the same fault line that we always break with on the Europeans. They always just want to talk about "doing it" so they never have to actually get around to "doing it". No wonder their birth rate is falling so low.
Posted by: 2b || 12/13/2004 12:19 Comments || Top||

#13  Ah, what's a few million dead compared to the importance of EUropean ideals? You can't kill an idea!
Posted by: Dishman || 12/13/2004 17:20 Comments || Top||

#14  Cheap PD cheap. Rerun. Still funny.
Posted by: Shipman || 12/13/2004 17:28 Comments || Top||

Iranian woman journalist freed on bail, then hospitalized
An Iranian woman arrested in a judicial clampdown on reformist journalists was freed on bail but needed hospital treatment due to her detention, her husband told AFP on Saturday. According to Ahmad Beigloo, journalist Fereshteh Ghazi "was kept in solitary confinement for 38 days and had to be checked into hospital as she was not in a good physical or mental shape".
Another head wound, huh?
The woman was arrested over her articles on women's rights published on Internet sites. She was released on bail of 500 mln rials (about $57,000). In recent months, Iran's conservative-run judiciary has arrested a number of pro-reform journalists accused of publishing propaganda against the Islamic regime, acting against national security, disturbing public opinion and insulting religious sanctities, according to AFP. Four confined reformist journalists, three of them recently freed, have written letters of repentance, saying they were "brainwashed" by foreigners and "counter-revolutionaries". Two weeks ago the European Union lodged a formal protest with Iranian authorities over the arrest and harassment of journalists, staff of non-governmental organizations and members of religious minorities, AFP added.
Posted by: Seafarious || 12/13/2004 10:48:17 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Iranian woman journalist freed on bail, then hospitalized

My guess is that her "release" from jail was off of a third story balcony.
Posted by: Zenster || 12/13/2004 1:12 Comments || Top||

#2  My guess is that she was raped and tortured, then set free as an example pour les autres.
Posted by: too true || 12/13/2004 9:15 Comments || Top||

#3  saying they were "brainwashed" by foreigners and "counter-revolutionaries".

Ooooh, stealing a few catch phrases from Mao's Little Red Book? How original! I'm sure that'll be good for a few erections / wet panties at Berkeley.
Posted by: Raj || 12/13/2004 12:24 Comments || Top||

Bam reconstruction trend criticized
Majlis is not satisfied with the trend of reconstruction of the quake-hit city of Bam , the rapporteur of Majlis Development Commission said Saturday. Vali Azarvash also told Fars News Agency that a delegation of lawmakers visited Bam recently and discussed the pending problems of residents. "Bam reconstruction needs a proper timetable. Lack of a suitable distribution system is linked to the delay in Bam reconstruction," he added. Commenting on the absence of new roads and transportation minister since the former minister's impeachment, Azarvash said President Mohammad Khatami will introduce the new minister soon to Majlis. Some 35,000 people perished and more than 70% of buildings were destroyed in the devastating quake that hit Bam on Dec. 26, 2003.
[snippet from another article]: The Deputy Mayor of Bam in civil affairs said that out of 18 billion toman credit ($20,400,000) allocated by the government to the reconstruction of the city only 500 million tomans ($568,000) has been handed over to city officials — Fars News Agency.
Posted by: Seafarious || 12/13/2004 10:41:54 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ... out of 18 billion toman credit ($20,400,000) allocated by the government to the reconstruction of the city only 500 million tomans ($568,000) has been handed over ...

Gee, some $20,000,000 gone missing. Sounds exactly like the sort of money needed to make those expensive things called "nuclear bombs." As usual, Iran's mullahs continue to feast upon their people's flesh.

Any takers on when the rest of all this reconstruction money is going to show up?

Posted by: Zenster || 12/13/2004 0:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Heh - mebbe in that expensive Mecca Apartment on another thread, lol!
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 0:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Yes, the mullahs are desperate for more trade and economic opportunity for their suffering people. Right.

I'd guess that less than 20% of the $20 mil went to the nuke program. The rest paid for another holy mercedes S-class fleet or two plus some beachfront villas plus substantial additions to certain Geneva numbered accounts.
Posted by: lex || 12/13/2004 0:51 Comments || Top||

#4  Well, IIRC the Iraqi insurgency effort was costing them $70M / month...
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 0:59 Comments || Top||

#5  Ah! A new export market. Crean the peeples boilers Loo Young!
Posted by: Fry Ash Is Us || 12/13/2004 15:59 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Rights group reveals new U.S. abuses in Afghanistan
Human Rights Watch said that it discovered new evidence that three more detainees have died in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. The New York-based group also accused the Bush administration of "dragging its feet" on investigations that might have prevented the abuses of Iraqi detainees. It said in an open letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that the United States is continuing to fail to probe the abuses or prosecute the guilty, noting that the U.S.-run jails in Afghanistan aren't operating according to the rule of law. Human Rights Watch also demanded the U.S. army to release an internal report on its Afghan detention facilities, which U.S. authorities promised to release several months ago.
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 7:43:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "...and a pony! We want a pony, too!"
Posted by: PBMcL || 12/13/2004 21:29 Comments || Top||

#2  This is getting aggravating, folks. So pass the word, take no more prisoners, okay? Hopefully, if there are none to be abused, Human Rights Watch will not get pissed off.
Posted by: D. Rumsfeld || 12/13/2004 21:40 Comments || Top||

Pakistan Denies CIA Has Bases on Its Soil
Pakistan on Monday denied a newspaper report that the CIA has set up covert bases in the country's remote tribal regions to hunt for Osama bin Laden and stop him from plotting another attack on the United States.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
The report in Monday's New York Times, citing anonymous American officials familiar with the operation, said the CIA had concluded that bin Laden was being sheltered by local tribesmen and foreign militants in northwestern Pakistan, and was suspected of controlling an elite terrorist cell that could be aiming to launch a "spectacular" attack against America. President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who has faced heavy criticism at home for his strong ties with Washington, has previously acknowledged that a small number of American experts were working with Pakistani troops in their operations against al-Qaida militants. But he has denied that U.S. forces — deployed in their thousands in neighboring Afghanistan — are actively hunting bin Laden on Pakistani soil.
"They're... ummm... doing something else."
"There are no CIA cells in Pakistan ... in our tribal areas, and there is absolutely no truth in this New York Times report," said army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan.
"Nope. Nope. Never happened."
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 1:06:13 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  SOP.
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 13:07 Comments || Top||

#2  It's also SOP for the Times and the WaPo to break stories like this one, that might do some damage to operations and maybe even get somebody killed.
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 13:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Fred - too true... but then what's a humint life compared to a "breaking" story, eh? Hey, then they can decry the lack of humint with another round of stories. Win-win in MSM-think.
Posted by: .com || 12/13/2004 13:21 Comments || Top||

#4  "Because we live according to the credo that your right to know supercedes your right to exist..."

-- Reporters in most of Gary Burbank's skits

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 12/13/2004 13:55 Comments || Top||

#5  Since late 1979 there's been a U.S. military presence in the NWFT and the FIT (primarily the Parchinar Salient area)..Initially we trained the muj to operate against the Soviets. Over the years, close but tenious ties were established with local tribesmen. These ties have greatly assisted our efforts to track down OBL and "foreign fighters" that remained in the region due to marriage among the locals.

Still blood is more important than friendship which is fleeting at best. It will take time to bring OBL (if he's still alive) out. I would suggest sometime around Pres. Bush's second inauguration.
Posted by: Snoluck Thrusing8442 || 12/13/2004 22:50 Comments || Top||

Africa: Horn
Report: Cease-Fire Breaking in Sudan
Cease-fire violations are on the rise in Sudan's bloodied Darfur region and the fighting is "poisoning" peace talks, where government and rebel negotiators met Monday for the first time, officials said. Thirteen violations of a cease-fire agreement were confirmed in September and 54 were documented between October and mid-December, said Assane Ba, a spokesman for the African Union, which is mediating the talks. "That means the violations are growing" in the western Sudan region, where the crisis has left tens of thousands dead and nearly 2 million homeless, Ba told reporters at the site of the talks in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.
Comes as a surprise, huh? I know. It floored me, too.
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 12:54:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There was one?
Posted by: BH || 12/13/2004 13:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Lies all lies!
Posted by: raptor || 12/13/2004 14:26 Comments || Top||

Israel to Pull Troops for Palestinian Vote
Israel will withdraw its troops from Palestinian towns for 72 hours during next month's Palestinian presidential election, the defense minister said Monday, signaling that a deadly weekend attack on an Israel army post is not derailing fledgling peace efforts. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz also said it is in Israel's interest to coordinate next year's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip with the Palestinians — a marked departure from Israel's initial insistence to act unilaterally.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the new Palestinian leadership is not doing enough to restrain militants. "By now, we don't see any change," Sharon said of Palestinian efforts. The comments marked the first time since Yasser Arafat's death last month that Sharon criticized the Palestinian leader's moderate successor, Mahmoud Abbas, although he did not mention Abbas by name. Later Monday, Israel's military chief, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, said militants are trying to undermine the new Palestinian leadership, but he hinted that Israel's patience is growing thin. "We have no choice but to act ourselves," Yaalon said at a briefing in the Gaza Strip. "That is what we are doing and that is what we will do unless someone on the other side takes responsibility and starts to deal themselves with the terror groups."
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 12:14:37 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kinda like when the toll collectors all disappeared before Sonny Corleone drove up the causeway...
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/13/2004 22:14 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
A mouthful of tripe ( A Study in academic pretention)
PROFESSOR Elspeth Probyn shouldn't be so modest. In Wednesday's The Australian she denounced "Andrew Bolt's annual column in the Herald Sun on how useless academics are." Actually, professor, I have never claimed all academics are useless. In that column last month, I discussed only a few stand-outs -- ones who'd had work of dubious benefit financed by a $500 million-a-year system of Australian Research Council grants that seems unfocussed, wasteful and far too clubby. I wondered, for instance, how members of ARC committees could hand each other big grants, including one of $880,000 to study the "the classed, racialised and ethnicised dimensions of the bodily experience" in Japan.
I'm still waiting for my check to study the effects of liquor on multiethnic hookers. Maybe I didn't use obscure enough terminology in my grant application?
Did such grant-making help explain why the humanities in particular have become so insular and self-indulgent? Probyn, professor of gender studies at Sydney University and author of Sexy Body, tackled none of my arguments in her piece, simply wailing: "Would (Bolt) care that it hurts to be told that your 50-or 60-hour work week is pointless?"
If your 50- or 60-hour work week consists of pounding sand with a claw hammer, yeah, it's pointless...
Pointless? Now that I've checked Probyn's own faddish work — and who has paid her to do it — I can understand why she seemed to take my criticisms personally. Or why she sure should. In 2000, she received an $11,000 grant from the ARC to study The Making of Mod Oz: the roles of the food media in the construction of contemporary identity. In 2001, she won another $137,500 to ruminate over Practices and performances of alimentary identities: a comparative analysis of the food media and their audiences. And that same year she shared a $118,000 ARC grant to study Girl Cultures: the effect of media on young women's self-representations.
Yep. That's what I'm doing wrong. Gotta reword that synopsis...
That last study involved such things as quizzing girls on "their reaction to Sara-Maria Fedele (de facto star of the first Big Brother series) as a focal point for analysing both young women's interest in the Big Brother format and, more broadly, their responses to popular discourses of protection which circulate around their media consumption".
"Opacity factor 99 percent and rising, captain!"
I suspect, from their bloated titles, you'd understand her other studies even less, so I'll let Probyn describe what she's up to in one article, using her best English: "I argue that queer theory needs to extend its theoretical reach beyond an increasingly over-privileged and narrow use of sexuality."
I think I'll see if I can't work some hetero theory into my application. Maybe that'll help. And I'll use that "increasingly over-privileged and narrow use of sexuality," too. Do you think I'll have to attribute it? Does she want a royalty?
Which has her doodling:
The mouth machine registers experiences and then articulates them — utters them. In eating we may munch into whole chains of previously established connotations, just as we may disrupt them. For instance, an email arrives, leaving traces of its rhizomatic passage zapping from one part of the world to another, and then to me.
A chain letter?
'UNSOLICITED, it sets out a statement from a Dr Johannes Van Vugt, in San Francisco, who on October 11, 1999, National Coming Out Day in the US, began an ongoing 'Fast for Equal Rights for persons who are gay, lesbian and other sexual orientation minorities'.
Wowsers! Lemme write this down: "The machine of desire registers experiences and then articulates them — utters them. In chasing hookers we explore whole chains of previously established connotations, just as we may disrupt them. [That'd be the spike heels, fishnet stockings, and Quik-Release™ Wonder Bras. Or should I explain that? Mebbe I should let the imagery speak for itself?] For instance, an email arrives, leaving traces of its rhizomatic [since I have no idea what rhizomatic means, if anything, I'll have to use it at least once] passage zapping from one part of the world to another, and then to me."

'UNSOLICITED [or maybe solicited, since we're gonna get lotsa money to write about hookers], it sets out a statement from a Dr Johannes Van Vugt [I gotta find somebody with a "van" or a "von" in his name to cite], in Baltimore's Hustler Club, who on [insert date here], National Boudoir Acrobatics Day, began an ongoing 'Fast for Equal Rights for persons who are heterosexual but with marked proclivities toward trapezes, German shepherds and Jolly Green Giant Cream Corn'."
And, no, it doesn't get any more readable -- or meaningful.
I thought it was profound.
Several questions zap into my thinking machine as I eat my dinner of connotations, leaving traces of their rhizomatic passage on my shirt. What exactly are Probyn's students learning that is of use to them? Or us? Why are we paying for her to write such dismal stuff, and so turgidly? And what does it say about the ARC that Probyn is just one of many academics who have received grants of $100,000 or much more to subject us to even more such arid theorising? But let me be as clear as I can so even Probyn understands: I am not criticising all academics in asking these questions. This time I've named only her.
Posted by: tipper || 12/13/2004 10:28:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [807 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, professor, at least I can recognize bullshit when I read it.
Posted by: Spot || 12/13/2004 11:29 Comments || Top||

#2  I think you do a disservice to tripe, equating this BS with it
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 11:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Elspeth bin Probyn agin, has she?
Posted by: mojo || 12/13/2004 12:13 Comments || Top||

#4  In eating we may munch into whole chains of previously established connotations, just as we may disrupt them.

Um, I eat food because I'm hungry. Damn this simplisme cowboy patriarchially constructed paradigm...
Posted by: Raj || 12/13/2004 13:13 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm still waiting for my check to study the effects of liquor on multiethnic hookers.

I hate to break it to you, but... it's been done. Kinda.
Posted by: BH || 12/13/2004 13:16 Comments || Top||

#6  Fred, if your opening sentence is less than half a page long of closely written text, with no less than 10 footnotes, forget it. Whatever your field of inquiry, it is recommended that approximately 20% of the words be buzzwords common in that field, and you have at least 4 appendices. Good luck: I think this could be a valuable study, extending our psycho-social understanding of the sub-genre immensely, and perhaps even guiding future government endeavors.

And now I'm going to wash out my mouth with soap.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 14:09 Comments || Top||

#7  What is "rhizomatic" you ask? Here it is. Sounds to me like a way to justify f*cking off: no really, it's a [poem, art, essay, etc.] because I say it it!
Posted by: Spot || 12/13/2004 16:46 Comments || Top||

#8  Sounds like the Australian Research Council pays out a helluva lot better then my Zionist overseers, and coherence or relevance does not appear to be a prerequisite for a grant.
I may have to play out my option, become a free agent and start raking in the Big Bucks!
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/13/2004 16:56 Comments || Top||

"Rhizome" is one such term. It's opposed to the model of "the tree" which symbolizes hierarchical structures, extreme stratification, and linear thinking.

Arborescent systems are hierarchical systems with centers of significance and subjectification, central automata like organized memories. In corresponding models, an element only receives information from a higher unit, and only receives a subjective affection along preestablished paths. (16)
Deleuze and Guattari also cite an essay by Pierre Rosenstiehl and Jean Petitot who denounce arborescent models:

Accepting the primacy of hierarchical structures amounts to giving arborescent structures privileged status ... In a hierarchical system, an individual has only one active neighbor, his or her hierarchical superior. ... The channels of transmission are preestablished: the arborescent system preexists the individual, who is integrated into it at an allotted place. (16)
The result of the tree model, in its various cultural and social manifestations, is a heavily restricted economy, a structure of power and dominance.

Thus the authors speak of dictatorship theorems. Such is the principle of root-trees, or their outcome: the radicle solution, the structure of Power. (17)

Right. Got it. Now the word can come tripping off my tongue and I can give people who don't know that it's a made-up word the hairy eyeball of innalekshul superiority. Thanx.
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 18:29 Comments || Top||

Sorry title was all capped :). Damn surprise meter is not working again. I think it's out of batteries...
Posted by: Ol_Dirty_American || 12/13/2004 8:28:40 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [420 views] Top|| File under:

#1  sleazy immoral unethical POS - and the guy he pardoned, too
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 11:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Investigators are looking into a series of deals that took place in the months after his pardon from Clinton. If criminal wrongdoing is established in these deals, he could be subject to prosecution.

oh please, oh please!

This whole scandal feeds into my suspicion that the Clintons and the Dem party have long standing connections to organized crime, that is happy to join with anyone, no matter how bloody, to make a buck. It seems to start with Truman, (even the encyclopedia's note that he got his start as a cog in the The Pendergast Political Machine). Kennedy's election (well established fact that the mob rousted up the needed votes for victory and killed him when Bobby got tough), the love of Castro, and Clinton's association with Marc Rich just to name the most obvious.

If one has no convictions or morals, why not? Organized crime is more than willing to fund any candidate that will appoint the judges or fund those huge social projects that are so easy to skim off the top. Look at the left's most ardant supporters and you will see well known mob controlled entities: Teamsters, Publishing, Hollywood, Boxing, etc.
Posted by: 2b || 12/13/2004 11:04 Comments || Top||

#3  2b:
Well, you'll get no argument from me about the Donks being totally corrupt and without morals BUT, well, as much as it pains me to say it.... Don King is a Republican!
Posted by: Secret Master || 12/13/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

#4  Yeah, and he sounds great when he talks, but wasn't he kissing Castro on another thread?
Posted by: 2b || 12/13/2004 13:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Don King, mobster?

Posted by: 2b || 12/13/2004 13:50 Comments || Top||

#6  Does anyone know if a presidential pardon can be voided or revoked?
Posted by: phil_b || 12/13/2004 16:17 Comments || Top||

#7  I don't think it can.....
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 16:20 Comments || Top||

#8  So, Rich was already close to Saddam when Clinton pardoned him. Either Clinton was grossly negligent (willfully blind?) in checking out who he was pardoning, or he knew it.

That does not look good.
Posted by: Dishman || 12/13/2004 17:05 Comments || Top||

#9  If the trunks are smart they'll let this simmer till say, September '07.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 17:07 Comments || Top||

#10  Does anybody know how much money Slick was paid for the Mark Rich pardon?
Posted by: Douglas De Bono || 12/13/2004 23:30 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Chrenkoff's Afghanistan Round-up (part 7)
Long, but worth it. Also posted at OpinionJournal.com and Winds Of Change. Go ye, and read.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 7:58:11 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

A Hostile Land Foils the Quest for bin Laden
Severely EFL
The war in Afghanistan inflicted severe damage on Al Qaeda, forcing it to adapt to survive, intelligence specialists agree. Today, they say it functions largely as a loose network of local franchises linked by a militant Islamist ideology. But Mr. bin Laden remains much more than just an iconic figurehead of Islamic militancy, most American intelligence officials now say. From a presumed hiding place on the Pakistani side of the Afghan-Pakistan border, he controls an elite terrorist cell devoted to attacking in the United States, the officials say they suspect. They contend that he personally oversees the group of Qaeda operatives, which he hopes to use for another "spectacular" event, like the Sept. 11 hijacking plot. American counterterrorism analysts say this special Qaeda unit is probably dispersed, though they do not know where. This "external planning group" can communicate with regional affiliates around the world to work with them when needed, one senior intelligence official said. "There is a strong desire by bin Laden to attack the continental United States, and he wants to use the external planning node to do it," the official said. But the United States has failed to penetrate the group and has no idea when or where it will try to strike, the officials acknowledged. Intelligence officials would not provide any details of how they reached their conclusions about Mr. bin Laden's current role, which have not previously been reported.

Has Hot Pursuit Cooled?
As a result of the restrictions, American military and intelligence personnel in Afghanistan are no longer really hunting for Mr. bin Laden, an intelligence official said. They are trying to provide stability for Afghanistan's new government while battling a local Taliban insurgency and a scattering of Qaeda fighters. On Saturday, the United States military began an offensive in Afghanistan to pursue those militants. While the United States conducts some air operations over Pakistan, they are tightly controlled. Unmanned Predator drones are authorized to fly over Pakistani airspace, but only with approval from the Pakistani military chain of command, frequently leading to costly delays, C.I.A. officials say.

Hoping to collect more intelligence, the C.I.A. opened secret bases with small numbers of operatives in Pakistan in late 2003, but it has been unable to use them for aggressive counterterrorism operations, intelligence officials say. The operatives, many of whom are C.I.A. paramilitary officers, depended on Pakistani Army commanders, whose views on cooperation with the C.I.A. vary widely, American officials say. "There are real limits on our movement" inside Pakistan, said one American official, and it has deeply frustrated intelligence officers. A C.I.A. spokesman declined to discuss any aspect of the clandestine bases. Pakistani officials said that the Americans were instantly identifiable and unlikely to succeed working alone. They say the Americans are escorted to prevent them from being kidnapped or killed, or their presence exposed, which would be damaging to the Pakistani government.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 12/13/2004 1:21:53 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

Marines learn how to fight for Allah
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 12/13/2004 01:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Know your enemy. Then crush him balls first. It's a good plan.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/13/2004 1:44 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm not sure, but couldn't the claim be made that, by their actions, Islam could claim them as converts?
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 13:02 Comments || Top||

#3  One marine had returned only six weeks ago from a seven-month posting in Iraq. He will be going back soon. “It’s what I do,” he said. Had the course taught him anything he had not learnt in the field? “It’s helped me to know how the enemy thinks and appreciate how sophisticated they are.”

If he were in charge, how would he deal with the Iraqis? “I’d kill them all,” he replied. “They don’t know what democracy is.”

There may still be a lot to learn.

Sounds like a good Marine to me.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 12/13/2004 13:23 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
U.S. Soldiers Run in First Afghan Marathon
Posted by: Steve White || 12/13/2004 12:07:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And here I thought the first marathon was when the Taliban ran for the border.
Posted by: Steve || 12/13/2004 11:44 Comments || Top||

#2  That one didn't have sponsors.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/13/2004 11:57 Comments || Top||

#3  the ISI doesn't count?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/13/2004 12:00 Comments || Top||

#4  No tee shirts.
Posted by: Fred || 12/13/2004 13:57 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Egypt trade deal with Israel stirs debate
From the Rantburg Industry & Trade Desk:
Egypt's coming trade agreement with Israel and the United States is stirring a debate in Egypt, with business executives saying it could create 250,000 jobs in a year and politicians saying it favors Israel. As part of an accord scheduled to be signed Tuesday in Cairo, goods produced in certain areas in Egypt with a minimum Israeli content will gain tariff-free access to the United States. The deal is one of several moves that signal hopes of reviving the Mideast peace process after the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat last month. The secretary-general of Egypt's Ready-Made Garment Exporters Association, Magdy Tolba, and the vice chairman of the Chamber of Textile Industries, Mohammed Kassim, said the agreement should give such a boost to clothing manufacturers that they will hire 200,000 to 300,000 workers in the first 12 months after it is implemented early next year. Tolba forecasts Egypt's garment exports to America will jump from the current $560 million a year to at least $1 billion by the end of 2005.

The job-creation predictions are dismissed as wildly exaggerated by Rifaat el-Said, the leader of the opposition party Tagammu, and by a former economic minister, Moustafa el-Said. The two are not related. If it would create 250,000 jobs, "I would sign the agreement," said Rifaat el-Said, whose left-wing party opposes Egypt's diplomatic relations with Israel until there is submission to peace with the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Seafarious || 12/13/2004 10:09:03 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good. If this goes through, Israel will have a useful weapon to force Egypt to behave better, as Egypt needs the jobs considerably more than Israel needs the cost savings. The last I heard -- about 1990-- Egypt was gaining population at the rate of 1 million every 9 months. Idle hands being the Devil's playground, and all that.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/13/2004 6:43 Comments || Top||

#2  "Idle hands being the Devil's playground"

True. And more dangerous in the region, because Islamic ideology tends to presure towards release by whacking than by wanking.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 12/13/2004 7:02 Comments || Top||

#3  with business executives saying it could create 250,000 jobs in a year and politicians saying it favors Israel.

See here, Mr. Politician, this is the practical application of a concept known as capitalism. In optimal arms-length transactions, trade works for the benefit of both parties, to the utter amazement of members of academia, the mainstream press and the Democratic party (to the extent they can be differentiated)...
Posted by: Raj || 12/13/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2004-12-13
  Baghdad psycho booms 13
Sun 2004-12-12
  U.S. bombs Mosul rebels
Sat 2004-12-11
  18,000 U.S. Troops Begin Afghan Offensive
Fri 2004-12-10
  Palestinian Authority to follow in Arafat's footsteps
Thu 2004-12-09
  Shiites announce coalition of candidates
Wed 2004-12-08
  Israel, Paleostinians Reach Election Deal
Tue 2004-12-07
  Al-Qaeda sez they hit the US consulate
Mon 2004-12-06
  U.S. consulate attacked in Jeddah
Sun 2004-12-05
  Bad Guyz kill 21 Iraqis
Sat 2004-12-04
  Hamas will accept Palestinian state
Fri 2004-12-03
  ETA Booms Madrid
Thu 2004-12-02
  NCRI sez Iran making missiles to hit Europe
Wed 2004-12-01
  Barghouti to Seek Palestinian Presidency
Tue 2004-11-30
  Abbas tells Palestinian media to avoid incitement
Mon 2004-11-29
  Sheikh Yousef: Hamas ready for 'hudna'

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