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Nasrallah: Bush and Rice should 'shut up'
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 2: WoT Background
1 00:00 Danking70 [6486] 
1 00:00 .com [6473] 
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
5 00:00 Bobby [6466]
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3 00:00 Robert Crawford [6465]
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Africa North
Gaddafi son backs Bush on reform
The son of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi says he agrees with US President George W Bush that the Middle East needs democracy.

The lack of democracy meant in some nations the wrong people were promoted to key posts, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi told Austria's Die Presse newspaper.

But he said Libya was not yet ready for major reform and needed to focus on its economy and attracting investment.

Analysts say Mr Gaddafi is his father's most trusted unofficial envoy.

He was believed to have been instrumental in Libya's drive in 2003 to abandon attempts to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons after months of secret negotiations with London and Washington.

Tourists

Mr Gaddafi, 33, said in the interview his goal was to improve the quality of life for Libyans.

That meant a need to reform the state-run economy and carry out privatisations to attract foreign investors and US oil companies, he said.

"Libyans want a better life. They want reforms and good relations with Europe and the United States," said Mr Gaddafi.

"They want to see foreign investment and more European tourists in Libya."

Although ties with the US have improved in recent years, Washington has still not resumed full diplomatic links with Libya.

Col Gaddafi has eight children, seven of them sons.
Posted by: tipper || 02/10/2006 18:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6486 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What secrets did we learn when Libya turned over the WMD program?

Has anything been written? I've heard some nuclear stuff from the AQ Khan network.

Posted by: Danking70 || 02/10/2006 21:22 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Al-Qaeda in South Africa
Although the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, did not start the deterritorialization of al-Qaida, it certainly accelerated the process. The destruction of Osama bin Laden’s training camps and overthrow of his primary sponsor, the Taliban government in Kabul, scattered the militant leader’s associates in search of new logistical bases and places to hide. An initial assumption in Washington was that the terrorist network would try to relocate to Somalia, the one country in the world with an even greater degree of prolonged state collapse than Afghanistan under the Taliban.

On the face of it, Somalia seemed to offer ideal conditions — a fractured and partially radicalized Muslim population, poor state security structures, proximity to high-profile Western targets in neighboring states — and, indeed, it was Washington’s primary terrorism-related concern in Africa. But losing Afghanistan has had a different and more dangerous effect than was perhaps anticipated, propelling al-Qaida more swiftly in a direction it was already headed. Rather than relocating, it is reaching outward, tapping its roots into as many diverse local communities as it can. As the Paris-based Islam scholar Olivier Roy notes: “What is new is that with al-Qaida, converts are now considered full members. For al-Qaida, converts are not just tools to get past security. It’s a way for them to become a global movement. In just about every al-Qaida cell over the past eight years, we have seen converts. It’s structural, not just accidental.”

One area of growing concern in this regard is southern Africa. Along with Nigeria in the west and Somalia in the Horn, South Africa resides at the top of the State Department’s list of worrisome states in Africa with regard to terrorism. This is in some ways counterintuitive. In its 2002 National Security Strategy, the Bush administration placed an emphasis on the threat posed by weak states in an age of globalized terrorism. South Africa is the most stable and prosperous country on the continent and has the best equipped police, military and intelligence structures. Its 2 million Muslims seem, for the most part, unreceptive to calls to extremism, and none of its neighboring states, though beset by varying degrees of state weakness, have anything like the more combustible mix of large Muslim populations, grinding poverty and social desperation that have rendered other points on the continent vulnerable to radicalization.

The rising security concerns about South Africa and its region thus prompt new thinking about the strategies of al-Qaida and the types of societies, states or regions that attract modern international terror-related activity. What signs of extremism or extremist activity are emerging from southern Africa? What drives radicalization and renders societies susceptible to it? What are the “goods” and “bads” drawing foreign extremists to the region? How does southern Africa fit into the global terrorism jigsaw puzzle? Finally, what internal measures and forms of external engagement can counter the threat?

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 01:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  “It is unclear to what extent terrorist groups are present in South Africa; however, the activity of al-Qaida and affiliated persons or groups in South Africa and Nigeria, home to Africa’s largest Muslim population, is of growing concern.”

Certainly agree with all that, but when you see the administration (they call themselves "comrades") of SA President Thabo Mbeki snuggling up next to Iran and making statements in support of Iran's nuclear development, it kind of solidifies one's belief that SA may be in the thick of it as well. Another post-aparthied proof of the pudding is SA's and the ANC's quiet removal of Israel from it's holiday card list. Something to monitor.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/10/2006 7:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Seems to me, and I'm just thinking aloud here, but whenever the asshole quotient in one place, along with a coupla other factors, approaches some strange-brew threshold, a sort of critical mass is reached and it becomes an asshat magnet. Hence alQ crawls up from out of the sewers to spawn.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 7:26 Comments || Top||

#3  This is in some ways counterintuitive.

Only if one relies strictly on intuition.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 11:10 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Islamists make strong showing in Kuwait gov't
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah on Thursday issued a decree approving a 16-member new Cabinet that includes three Islamists and saw the exit of two leading liberal ministers. Six ministers in the new government are members of the ruling Al Sabah family — including Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al Ahmad Al Sabah. The family continues to hold the key porfolios of interior, defence, foreign affairs and energy. Like the previous lineup, the new Cabinet includes only one woman minister, Maasouma Al Mubarak, who retained the planning ministry.

The naming of Kuwait's 22nd Cabinet since independence in 1961 came just two days after the emir asked his nephew Sheikh Nasser to form a new government. He also appointed his half-brother, former interior minister Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah as crown prince, thus maintaining the two posts separate since they were first split in 2003, a step that was welcomed by most Kuwaitis.

Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah, the deputy premier and defence minister in the outgoing Cabinet, was promoted to first deputy prime minister and also handed the key defence and interior ministries. Foreign Minister Mohammad Al Sabah retained his post and promoted to deputy premier. Sheikh Ahmad Fahd Al Sabah, another nephew of the emir, retained the portfolio of energy, combining the ministries of oil and electricity.

Sheikh Nasser, 65, replaced 76-year-old Sheikh Sabah, who had been prime minister since 2003 after becoming emir following the ouster by parliament of former ailing ruler Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah. The unprecedented ouster followed a crisis over succession after the death on January 15 of Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

Besides the prime minister, the new Cabinet has five new faces, including Yussef Al Zalzalah, an Islamist Shiite MP and former university professor, appointed commerce and industry minister, replacing liberal Abdullah Al Tawil. A member of the Islamic Constitutional Movement, or Muslim Brotherhood, former MP Ismail Al Shatti, was appointed minister of communications.

Moderate constitutional expert and academic Adel Al Tabtabai was named education minister in place of Rasheed Al Hamad and Sheikh Ali Al Jarrah Al Sabah was appointed minister of social affairs and labour, replacing Faisal Al Hajji, a leading liberal figure.

Abdullah Al Muhailbi, chairman of the municipal council and a prominent tribal figure, was named minister of municipality and environment, a new post in the Cabinet. Abdullah Al Muatuq, an Islamist, retained the Awqaf and Islamic affairs portfolio in addition to the justice post. Former justice minister Ahmad Baqer, an MP from the hardline Salafi movement, was not retained.

For only the second time in Kuwait's history, the new Cabinet has two Shiite Muslim ministers instead of the usual one. They are Zalzalah and Mubarak. The first time was in 1992.
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6518 views] Top|| File under:


Britain
Britain belongs to Allah, claims radical cleric!
If you thought that the absence of rabid cleric Mullah Omar Bakri Muhhammed has downed the deluge of vitriolic utterances against all things western in England, well then think again.

Anjem Choudray who has been described as a henchman of the 45 year old Syrian born Mullah Bakri has sparked off a new controversy by declaring that England belongs to Allah and he would spread Allah's teachings all over the world. "Who said that you own Britain anyway? You belong to Allah. Britain belongs to Allah, the whole world belongs to Allah. There isn't anywhere on the earth that I won't propagate God's law," The Sun quoted Choudray as saying on BBC2's Newsnight.
Except in the places where he might get thumped, which unfortunately doesn't include Britain.
Forty-two-year old Choudray, who is also a lawyer, further said that the placards displayed at a demo in London against the controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed were approved by cops. "They had all been checked by police before the demonstration," he said, even as the Met Police denied of any "knowledge of placards being checked in advance of the demonstration."

Bakri left UK on his own accord and the British government banned him from returning back as his presence was deemed "not conducive to the public good". Bakri had reportedly urged the faithful to wage Jihad against England and turn it into an Islamic state. He had asked the faithful to "sacrifice their lives" and in a statement on an Islamic website, urged them to destroy "big buildings". He had also glorified the killing of non-Muslims.

Choudray worked with Bakri before the latter left England.
Posted by: tipper || 02/10/2006 10:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  All your british are belong to us!

(couldn't resist)
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/10/2006 10:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Britain belongs to Allah, claims radical cleric!

And it does until the limeys sprout a set and begin clamping down on patently seditious activity.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/10/2006 11:26 Comments || Top||

#3  One way ticket to Beirut for Mr Chowdery.
Posted by: Howard UK || 02/10/2006 11:38 Comments || Top||

#4  like my dad says the reason the empire fell apart is because we stopped killing the natives
Posted by: a || 02/10/2006 12:04 Comments || Top||

#5  "Britain belongs to Allah, the whole world belongs to Allah."

Hes got the whole world, in his hands!
Hes got the whole wide world, in his hands!
Hes got the whole world, in his hands!
Hes got the whole world in his hands!
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/10/2006 13:58 Comments || Top||

#6  "king of kings, and lord of lords, reigneth
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!"
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/10/2006 14:00 Comments || Top||

#7  World we have a problem! This guy is saying that its his way or the highway to heaven awaits everyone not on the same page. Me thinks that these clerics have low IQ's, as it is apparent that when your tactic rests on a proclaimation of "convert or die", your only going to promote a backlash that has a probability of back firing against you. The second major shortcoming to this reasoning is that associated random violence has some probablity of taking out the messiah they are waiting for. How could any of these clerics not understand this? I've always believed that the Lord works in strange ways, strange would be his arrival in the body politic as an infidel, but whose mission and conversion is cut short due to the random violence of some mortal man, out of control, acting to the limits of a mind unable to grasp his own stupidity.
Posted by: Snoluth Snineck5289 || 02/10/2006 14:16 Comments || Top||

#8  Forty-two-year old Choudray, who is also a lawyer,...

Danger, Will Robinson! A jihadi who's a lawyer! Can there be a more despicable person thing upon this earth?
Posted by: BA || 02/10/2006 14:49 Comments || Top||

#9  I think these folks may have the solution to this moron. A company Purveying British cluebats Apply the product liberally. Especially to UK born converts.

It is not a race therefore it's not racism. It's a dangerous ideology and philosophy. The governmets of our several countries will do nothing to stop it. It looks as if it is going to be left to the citizens to up root it.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/10/2006 15:09 Comments || Top||

#10  The diversity and multiculturalist mush brains of academia and the west are finally starting to learn the lessons taught by the phrase "with freedom comes responsibility": no institution must be compelled to be inclusive of the people and ideals that intend it's destruction.
Posted by: Hyper || 02/10/2006 15:46 Comments || Top||

#11  I will believe that Britain belongs to Allan (bees pee upon him) the day I see him sitting down to a plate of bangers 'n mash, washed down with a pint or two.
Posted by: SteveS || 02/10/2006 16:49 Comments || Top||

#12  I'll bet Allan drinks John Courage.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 17:25 Comments || Top||

#13  Re: #7 - "the limits of a mind unable to grasp his own stupidity"

You answer what ye ask. It never occurred to this mook. It's just a bridge too far.

There are many camps, groups, collections of humanoids, who suffer this same incestuous circle-jerk mental malady. Darwin Award candidates, all.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 22:28 Comments || Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Beslan trial stirs Russian death penalty debate
A senior prosecutor asked a court in southern Russia on Thursday to sentence to death the only attacker known to have survived the siege of Middle School No. 1 in Beslan in September 2004, rekindling a contentious debate over capital punishment in the country.

Summing up the state's case against the attacker after an emotionally wrought trial, the deputy prosecutor general, Nikolai Shepel, said the gravity of the terrorist siege, which ended with the deaths of 331 hostages, warranted a penalty of death, despite a government moratorium on executions that has been in place since 1996.

His appeal came only two days after President Vladimir Putin reiterated his personal opposition to the death penalty, but said that he would move cautiously in seeking its final abolishment in Parliament, years after Russia committed to doing so.

"The court's decision should have a sobering effect on those who want to go down the path of terrorism, so that they know their only future is an unmarked grave," Shepel said in his closing remarks, shown on television.

The bloody siege in Beslan, along with other terrorist attacks, have prompted some officials here to call for the restoration of capital punishment, at least for such serious crimes. But the step would contradict not only Russia's international commitments, but also a Constitutional Court ruling in 1999 that declared the death penalty unconstitutional as long as jury trials were not universal.

Since that ruling, jury trials have been established in most regions, but in practice they are used inconsistently. The Beslan defendant, Murpashi Kulayev, is being tried before a panel of judges, for example.

Kulayev admitted taking part in the attack on Beslan, in which the attackers rounded up more than 1,000 hostages at the school, but he denied responsibility for any of the deaths, most of which occurred when the siege ended in a convulsion of explosions and gunfire on the third day.

His trial, which began last summer, has provoked anger and grief among survivors and relatives of the Beslan victims, rather than a sense of justice.

On Thursday, with the prosecution wrapping up its case against Kulayev, several relatives announced a hunger strike, protesting that the trial had been neither objective nor thorough.

"The true culprits have not been named," one of them, Ella Kesayeva, said, Interfax reported.

A verdict could be announced within days.

President Boris Yeltsin agreed to a moratorium on capital punishment in 1996 as a condition of joining the Council of Europe, an international organization representing 46 nations that oversees legal, political and human rights issues. Russia promised to submit legislation erasing the death penalty from its criminal code by 1999 but has yet to do so. Russia is the council's only member to still have it on the books.

In 1999, Yeltsin commuted the death sentences of 716 prisoners, and government executions have reportedly not been carried out since the moratorium was announced, though the separatist government in Chechnya continued to do so under Islamic law until at least 1999.

In an interview with Spanish journalists on Tuesday, Putin said he would defer to Parliament's position on the issue, but he spoke against the capital punishment, as he has before. "Any punishment has several goals," he said. "They include correction and retribution. There is no correction in the case of the death penalty, only retribution."

Even so, polls suggest that a majority of Russians still favor the death penalty, as do some legislators, and this has stalled its abolition in Parliament despite repeated efforts to introduce legislation.

The Communist leader, Gennady Zyuganov, said Thursday that the Beslan attack underscored the need for capital punishment.

"I think that the country is not mature enough for the abolition of the death penalty," he said, according to the official Russian Information Agency.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 00:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  On Thursday, with the prosecution wrapping up its case against Kulayev, several relatives announced a hunger strike, protesting that the trial had been neither objective nor thorough

Flagrante delicto
Posted by: badanov || 02/10/2006 1:36 Comments || Top||

#2  The death penalty should be strictly reserved for cartoonists who mock the prophet. Conspiracy to murder infiel children should get you a suspended sentence and probation on a first offense.

/cough...cough
Posted by: Mark Z || 02/10/2006 13:40 Comments || Top||

#3  "The true culprits have not been named," one of them, Ella Kesayeva, said, Interfax reported.

You mean like the Saudis?

To hades with any debates over the death penalty. Just declare a mistrial and set the guy free ... in downtown Beslan.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/10/2006 21:28 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
North Korea requests fertilizer aid
Impoverished North Korea has requested 150,000 tons of fertilizer from South Korea, months after the communist nation demanded that the U.N. World Food Program halt emergency food shipments, an official said Thursday.

The North requested last week that South Korea begin delivering the fertilizer by the end of the month in time for spring, said South Korean Vice Unification Minister Rhee Bong-jo.

The Seoul government "plans to determine its position after reviewing various situations, taking necessary procedures," Rhee told reporters.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that the North asked for an additional 300,000 tons to be delivered later in the year. Government officials said they couldn't confirm the report.

South Korea has periodically sent the North rice and fertilizer. Last year, it sent 500,000 tons of rice and 350,000 tons of fertilizer. From 1999 through 2005, South Korea sent nearly 2 million tons of fertilizer to the North, Rhee said.

The appeal for aid comes after the North said its food situation had improved and demanded an end to international food aid, instead requesting long-term development assistance.

North Korea has relied on foreign handouts to feed its 23 million people since disclosing in the mid-1990s that state-run farms had collapsed after the loss of Soviet assistance and decades of mismanagement. A resulting famine is believed to have killed 2 million people.

In December, the WFP shut down its programs that had been feeding some 6 million North Koreans, also halting the intensive monitoring that was requested by international donors to ensure the food reached those in need.

South Korean food aid — delivered directly to the North Korean government rather than through international aid groups — comes with less stringent monitoring requirements, raising concern that it might be diverted to the communist regime's military or elite.

However, the South Korean government insists its donations are delivered to ordinary citizens.

South Korea's fertilizer aid "has greatly helped North Korea enhance its agricultural productivity and improve its food situation," Rhee said Thursday.

The North's appeal comes amid deadlocked international efforts to persuade the communist country to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

The talks, which involve the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, have made no progress in implementing a breakthrough agreement in September in which the North pledged to end its nuclear programs in exchange for aid and security assurances.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 01:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought there was enough happy horsesh*t up there.
Posted by: Skidmark || 02/10/2006 1:46 Comments || Top||

#2  So why doesn't South Korea man up and stop giving North Korea the aid. It would lead to regime change much quicker.
Posted by: bgrebel || 02/10/2006 1:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Today they ask for fertilizer, tomorrow detonators...
Posted by: Jake-the-Peg || 02/10/2006 4:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Send Jimmah.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 5:12 Comments || Top||

#5  jummah was born to produce fertilizer.
Posted by: RD || 02/10/2006 5:59 Comments || Top||

#6  bgrebel -

Because the Norks have a long list of S.Korean politicos who they've compromised with bribes.
Posted by: Elmains Spomomp5231 || 02/10/2006 7:20 Comments || Top||

#7  Then there's the strange desire to "join" somehow with one's ancestors and howl at the moon... or sumthin'...
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 7:28 Comments || Top||

#8  Send them all the fertilizer that they want.
AFTER they pay for it, in gold.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/10/2006 8:31 Comments || Top||

#9  The boot you lick is the boot that kicks.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/10/2006 8:37 Comments || Top||

#10  Impoverished North Korea has requested 150,000 tons of fertilizer from South Korea, months after the communist nation demanded that the U.N. World Food Program halt emergency food shipments, an official said Thursday.

Don't they have plutonium? Use that instead.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/10/2006 9:36 Comments || Top||

#11  It is a sad man that views being in deep shit as an improvement in his position.
Posted by: RWV || 02/10/2006 10:40 Comments || Top||

#12  We'll be happy to air drop of several thousand tons of ammonium nitrate, complete with Deisel fuel slurry, directly over North Korea's major military installations.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/10/2006 11:49 Comments || Top||

#13  Why don't they use Rodong Sinmun editorials?
Posted by: Whomotch Ebbereck3593 || 02/10/2006 13:17 Comments || Top||

#14  Want some diesel to go with your fertilizer?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 13:32 Comments || Top||


Europe
Swedish Government Shuts Down Both Free Speech And Political Speech
The Swedish government has moved to shut down the website of a far-right political party's newspaper over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The site's host, Levonline, pulled the plug on the website of the Swedish Democrats' SD-Kuriren newspaper after consulting with the government.

It is believed to be the first time a Western government has intervened to block a publication in the growing row.

Kuriren editor Richard Jomshof said the government was breaking the law. "We have to do something about it. This is illegal. They can't do this just because we are a small magazine," he told the BBC News website.

The Swedish Democrats are a small anti-immigrant party with no representatives in parliament, but a few local elected officials.

Jomshof said the newspaper had a print run of about 30,000. He had asked readers to send in their own Muhammad cartoons, but he denies intending to offend Muslims.

His website briefly posted a picture showing Muhammad from the rear, looking into a mirror, with his eyes blacked out - an image he said was about self-censorship. "It was directed at the Swedish government and Swedish magazines," Jomshof said. "They are cowards for not standing by the Danish people and Jyllands-Posten [Danish newspaper which first published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad last year]."

Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds described Kuriren's move as "a provocation" by "a small group of extremists". "I will defend freedom of the press no matter what the circumstances, but I strongly condemn the provocation by SD-Kuriren. It displays a complete lack of respect," she said in a statement.

Levonline CEO Turkel Nyberg told the BBC News website his company had pulled the plug on the site after discussions with the foreign ministry and the security police. "It seemed like it could be a bad for us and for others to have the site up. The problem was the content, which was these Muhammad pictures," he said.

He said he had been told by the government that Arab media were carrying reports about SD-Kuriren's call for cartoons about Muhammad.

Sweden - which opposed the war in Iraq and is a leading donor to the Middle East - has largely avoided becoming the target of Muslim anger over the cartoons.

The SD-Kuriren website is currently back online via a back-up server. "All they did was close down some links to the server. We have other links that are still working," Jomshof said.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/10/2006 13:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He said he had been told by the government that Arab media were carrying reports about SD-Kuriren's call for cartoons about Muhammad.

He's scared. He's terrified at what they might do. The backing off is not to avoid "offending", it's an admission of fear of the hordes. The fear of all MSM is so evident, it's sickening.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/10/2006 13:37 Comments || Top||

#2  This was the flinch that they were waiting for. Now they'll pour it on extra heavy.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 02/10/2006 14:00 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm not surprised. The swedes haven't had any backbone for the past 100 years at least.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/10/2006 14:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Oh it's fear of the locals. Sweeden is run by Dhimi political elites. "Sweden has the second-largest percentage Muslim population in Western Europe. France has the highest Muslim population percentage, 7 percent"
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/10/2006 14:51 Comments || Top||

#5  The liberal press has long sided with the muzzies and against the west. Now they get their due. I don't feel sorry for them.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 02/10/2006 15:15 Comments || Top||

#6  "I will defend freedom of the press no matter what the circumstances..."

Except of course under these circumstances. How very hypocritical.
Posted by: Rafael || 02/10/2006 19:54 Comments || Top||

#7  I have worked with and like both the Swedes and the Danes. I think the difference between the two countries is best illustrated in that the Danish Queen Margrette's bloodline runs back to Harald Bluetooth and viking days while Sweden's King Carl Gustav traces his back to one of Napoleon's Marshalls, Count Bernadotte, a Frenchman. King Carl Gustav is a good king, but his royal motto is: "For Sweden - With the times." Queen Margrette's is "God's help, the love of the people, Denmark's strength"
Posted by: Ebbeagum Sheth4081 || 02/10/2006 21:22 Comments || Top||


Al G: France secretly upgrades capacity of nuclear arsenal
France has secretly modified its nuclear arsenal to increase the strike range and accuracy of its weapons. The move comes weeks after President Jacques Chirac warned that states which threatened the country could face the "ultimate warning" of a nuclear retaliation. ATTENTION: IRAN
A military source quoted yesterday by the Libération newspaper claimed France had tinkered with its nuclear weapons to improve their strike capability and make this threat more credible.

The source said there had been two major changes: the bombs can now be fired at high altitude to create an "electromagnetic impulsion" to destroy the enemy's computer and communications systems; and the number of nuclear warheads has been reduced to increase the missiles' range and precision.
a little late and behind the times?
During his surprise speech, which was made in January, President Chirac said: "The number of nuclear warheads has been reduced in certain of the missiles in our submarines".
Military experts said this was not a step towards disarmament, but a move to improve the performance of the weapons. Until now each submarine carried 16 French-made M45 missiles, each fitted with six nuclear warheads. After being fired, each warhead would separate to hit a different target, in effect giving each submarine 96 nuclear bombs.
or nothing if you are too non-simplisme to use them
In reducing the number of warheads, down to one per missile in some cases, the weapon is lighter and has a longer range. It can also be targeted more accurately.

Libération speculates that while potential targets are "secret", it is clear they include the Middle East or Asia, and that its military contacts suggest the changes are aimed at adding "flexibility" to France's nuclear deterrent.
longer range needed because the De Gaulle can't leave the Med without breaking down
"These evolutions are aimed at better taking into account the psychology of the enemy," defence minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said after President Chirac's warning in January.

In a speech to MPs, she added: "A potential enemy may think that France, given its principles, might hesitate to use the entire force of its nuclear arsenal against civilian populations.

"Our country has modified its capacity for action and from now on has the possibility to target the control centres of an eventual enemy."

French government sources said the president's speech, given at a nuclear submarine base in Brittany, was not targeted specifically at Iran - despite Tehran's decision to continue its nuclear programme - or at individual terrorist organisations, but at countries that posed a direct threat to France itself.

It is also seen as an attempt to justify the more than €3.5bn (£2.4bn) a year France spends to maintain its estimated 300-350 nuclear weapons more than a decade after the end of the cold war.

"The ultimate warning restores the principle of dissuasion," the military source told Libération. The president is not talking about a choice between an apocalypse or nothing at all."

The paper says according to its information "ultimate warning" could take two new forms.

The most demonstrative would be to fire a relatively weak warhead into a deserted zone far from centres of power and habitation. The more radical option would be to explode a bomb at an extremely high altitude with the aim of creating a brief but enormously strong electromagnetic field which would disable or destroy all non-protected electronic systems in the area.

During the cold war France's "ultimate threat" involved firing nuclear bombs into Soviet military divisions and large cities
before the Chirac and De Villepin ( a man - given away by the adam's apple) era
Posted by: Frank G || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pretty strong message. Somebody is angry about the Car BQ's I'd say.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/10/2006 7:07 Comments || Top||

#2  But he's only got one thingy on his sash - and no schprockets.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 7:10 Comments || Top||

#3  That's a good thing, Sphrockets and throwing stars mean Dictatorship.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/10/2006 8:34 Comments || Top||

#4  "before the Chirac and De Villepin ( a man - given away by the adam's apple) era"

Yup back in the old days, when France was tough and stood with the West - when her leader was Socialist Francois Mitterand :-)
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/10/2006 9:42 Comments || Top||

#5  France's nuclear weapons have never been directed solely against the Warsaw Pact, but in the direction of all threats (de Gaulle's tout azimut)
Posted by: SwissTex || 02/10/2006 11:33 Comments || Top||

#6  During the Cuban missile crisis De Gaulle was first to rally America, before the British and the Germans.
Posted by: JFM || 02/10/2006 12:36 Comments || Top||

#7  As far As I'm concerned this is ALL good (and All bad for the ass-hats...)
Posted by: sHaKeY || 02/10/2006 13:18 Comments || Top||

#8  "These evolutions are aimed at better taking into account the psychology of the enemy," defence minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said after President Chirac's warning in January.

Interesting! She used the "psychology" word of their enemy. Iran's the only one popping up on the radar in that arena right now, methinks! And, I honestly gotta wonder what the MM's think about being threatened by France (of all people) and by a female "Defence Minister," to boot!
Posted by: BA || 02/10/2006 14:12 Comments || Top||

#9  SSSssshhhhhh! It's s'posed to be a secret!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/10/2006 19:15 Comments || Top||


EU Justice Commissioner calls for 'return to dialogue' with Muslims
Dozens of academics, media advocates and Muslim leaders discussed the balance between freedom of expression and respect for religious faith, as a senior EU official called for an urgent "relaunch of dialogue" with the Islamic world. At a three-hour conference in Paris, led in part by the Arab Commission for Human Rights, speakers sought to defuse the spiraling anger and violence over the Prophet Muhammad caricatures that were published in European newspapers, including several in France. "Freedom to express oneself has never meant the right to just say anything," said Regis Debray, a French intellectual. "The freedom of each person both begins and ends with the protection of the rights of others."
That's kind of a perversion of libertarianism, isn't it? I can accept the proposition that your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose, but legally words aren't justification for battery. I'm not aware of any right not to be offended, or I'd have been suing people and/or having them jugged since I was a tad.
The conference's sponsors included Paris-based media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders and several Muslim groups.
Pretty eager to toss it in, aren't they?
Meanwhile, EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini said the row over the cartoon was an opportunity for relaunching a dialogue with the Islamic world. Frattini denied that he was proposing that journalists censor themselves, but reiterated that the media should show responsibility with such sensitive material in future.
"But, really, don't go censoring yourselves, now. Just... ummm... show responsibility. Right. That's the ticket."
"We see the urgent need to come back to the dialogue," he told reporters after talks in Brussels with a Muslim leader, Mohammad Sharif of the World Islamic Call Society. "It's a common interest for journalists, for Muslim people, for Christian people, for Arab states, for European states ... to exploit this crisis as a good opportunity to relaunch the dialogue," Frattini said.
Yeah. That's what you need: dialog. They tell you what to do, and you say "Yes, sir."
Sharif underlined the depth of feeling felt by the Islamic world over the cartoons. "You cannot respect human dignity by creating campaigns of hate," he said, calling the drawings a "humiliation" of the Islamic prophet.
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What's that sucking sound I hear?
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 2:38 Comments || Top||

#2  It's the EUrocrats felching their own rear ends. These are the same folks who would like to require all journalists be licensed by the UN.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/10/2006 3:27 Comments || Top||

#3  ...said Regis Debray, a French intellectual.

That's where I stopped reading (and started laughing)...
Posted by: Raj || 02/10/2006 8:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Maybe these guys should talk to their cabbies and waiters once in awhile and find out what the EUROPEAN street thinks.
Posted by: Perfesser || 02/10/2006 9:35 Comments || Top||

#5  "You cannot respect human dignity by creating campaigns of hate," he said, calling the drawings a "humiliation" of the Islamic prophet.

Like the campaigns of hate against Israel? Like the campaigns of hate againts Jews? Like the campaigns of hate against America? Like the campaigns of hate against any westerner? Like the campaigns of hate against infidels? Like the campaigns of hate against the "wrong sort" of muslims? Like the campaigns of hate against Christians? Like the campaigns of hate against...

No really, Sharif,. Did you talk about those? Or just the "campaign" of the west's editorial lampooning of the threats of death and destruction from muslims, the terror attacks, the suicide bombers and the spittle that flies in our direction daily?

Did you discuss how if muslims promise to refrain from all the above, the need to hold up such an "offensive" mirror would disappear?

No, huh. Just discussed the need for us to shut up and submit.

Seems the demand is to walk a very narrow and one-sided street. Absolute rot.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/10/2006 12:38 Comments || Top||

#6  What if the US opened up the borders to any Europeans that wanted to move here? How long would it take for Europe to be 70% muslim?
Posted by: Formerly Dan || 02/10/2006 13:44 Comments || Top||


Great White North
As a cartoonist I must apologize
Today's editorial cartoon from Donato at the Toronto Sun. Could of knocked me down with a feather.. so quiet the Canadian press. And so cowardly. Please see the link for the full cartoon effect, I couldn't get the image to post, sorry (don't know how- help?). But here's the text.

As a cartoonist I must apologize to the Muslims who are rioting over the recently published cartoons of Mohammed. They found them offensive and upsetting and I agree. I personally would never draw such a cartoon, but instead, have respect for their religion and culture and confine my drawings to heavily armed, masked men threatening death to a young woman or the pure act of beheading a man live for the TB cameras.

Donato’s sig

Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  oooh. ouch. Truth hurts.
Posted by: 2b || 02/10/2006 0:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Some dimwit Qanuck appeaser apologizing to the barbarians. Figures. First glance at the headline and I thought it would be Toles apologizing to the US Troops for being such an asshole. Sheesh. Silly me.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 2:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Sarcasm is wasted on Muzzies. A big stick, now...
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 5:28 Comments || Top||

#4  Cartoon
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 02/10/2006 6:30 Comments || Top||

#5  Was I too hard on him? The "respect" thingy sorta threw me, made me see red. Nothing there to "respect", IMO... Any more than I respect a virus. They both just do what they do - sans intellect or other higher function. Same same.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 7:19 Comments || Top||

#6  After seeing the cartoon, I think you were too hard on him. He's using irony or veiled sarcasm to make his point.
Posted by: Crairong Omomotch6492 || 02/10/2006 7:50 Comments || Top||

#7  Okay, CO, I'm partially shamed, heh. My thoughts about the "respect" bit still stand, though. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 7:57 Comments || Top||

#8  He's using irony or veiled sarcasm to make his point

Not so veiled, I like it.
Posted by: Steve || 02/10/2006 8:11 Comments || Top||

#9  Humour in Canada leans to the British dry wit and tongue in cheek style, as we see here. Donato is right pissed off - no cartoon, just words. Andy doesn't do words. It's impact is greater on Canadians who are familiar with Andy's work, perhaps.

This ain't an apology. Quite the opposite.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/10/2006 10:40 Comments || Top||

#10  The public page editor of the Chicago Tribune recently wrote that 'a good political cartoon is a sharp stick to the eye'. I think Mr. Donato's cartoon works in that regard.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/10/2006 11:24 Comments || Top||

#11  What the hell are you guys (and gals) thinking or drinking? Donato is clearly making fun of those Islamists so offended by a cartoon...wake up and read it again(..and again)...give your head a shake please.
Posted by: sHaKeY || 02/10/2006 13:05 Comments || Top||

#12  Whutch - biggest thanks for providing the cartoon :)
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/10/2006 13:17 Comments || Top||

#13  Don't feel bad, .com. I've had more blatant irony or veiled sarcasm fly past the intended target too. And right here at RB, for that matter.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 13:28 Comments || Top||

#14  Oh, I don't feel bad, NS.

As I said, to show "respect" for Islam is tantamount to "respecting" a viral infection. What's to respect? Hell, no one has ever presented anything factual about the practice of Islam that could command my least approval, much less "respect".

So he was snarky. Okay. We get equal or better examples 20-30 times a day here at the 'Burg.

And yes, you are among the premium snarkers and specialize in subtlety - which is often lost on Neanderthal knuckle-dragging mouth-breathing Conan types -- like me. :-)
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 20:26 Comments || Top||

#15  It wasn't you I was thinking of, 'cause you know you pick up on it. But CS, that's another story. He's dense as lead.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 20:28 Comments || Top||

#16  Heh. Mebbe he's made of administratium or dhimmium... or he's actually just a disingenuous asshole troll. Effectively, same same.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 20:34 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
GOP Congressman and Former POW Rips John Murtha
Amid cheers, whistles and two standing ovations, U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) took fellow Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.) and the U.S. media behind the proverbial woodshed for a verbal walloping.

"Most of you know, at the end of last year, a liberal congressman from Pennsylvania insisted we immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq," Johnson told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. "When I heard this, it made my blood boil."

Johnson was referring to Murtha, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, who has been quoted as saying that the U.S. Army is "broken, worn out" and may not be able to meet future military threats to the nation.

"It hurt to think what the men and women in harm's way would believe when they heard the news that someone in Congress was not behind America's mission," Johnson said. "It hurt to think what the military families here at home would believe when they learned that people in Washington did not support the troops. And it hurt me to think that some people would just give up on our men and women in uniform.

"What would Iraq be like if the United States pulled out?" Johnson asked. "What would Iraq be like if we left and allowed dangerous people like the head of al Qaeda, (Abu Musab al-)Zarqawi, to run the country?"

Johnson, without naming Murtha, compared criticism of the war and demands for withdrawal with his own experience during the Vietnam War. A 29-year Air Force veteran and highly decorated pilot, Johnson fought in both the Koran and Vietnam wars. After being shot down over North Vietnam, Johnson spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, half of that in solitary confinement.

"I do know what it's like to be far from home, serving your country, risking your life and hearing that America doesn't care about you," Johnson said, choking back tears.

"[Hearing] your Congress doesn't care about you. Your Congress just cut off all funding for your war. They're packing up and going home and leaving you." Johnson added he was "scared to death" by such talk because years ago, he was afraid he would be left in Vietnam "forever."

"I know what it does to the mission," said Johnson, "and so help me God, I will never, ever let our nation make those mistakes again."

Johnson told the packed hall that Congress needs to give U.S. troops "the tools for ultimate success," including "the best armored trucks they can drive, the best weapons they can fire, and the best ammunition they can use."

The troops need something else though, Johnson said -- "[F]ull faith that a few naysayers in Washington won't cut and run and leave them high and dry." Knowing they are fully supported by Congress, is "mandatory for mission success and troop morale," Johnson argued.

"Any talk, even so much as a murmur, of leaving now or political timelines just emboldens the enemy and weakens the resolve of our troops in the field."

Johnson accused the U.S. media of predicting "gloom and doom" and ignoring or giving inadequate coverage to successes in Iraq. "What makes me angry at the critics is that we are making great progress in Iraq," said Johnson. He listed last January's election in Iraq and the December vote on the Iraqi Constitution.

"Remember the December vote on the constitution," Johnson asked, "when people came out in droves to make their voice heard? You wouldn't have known about it because there was so little mention of it here in the American press."

Johnson also connected the Iraq mission to both 9/11 and the wider war on terror. "We were attacked. We are at war against terrorists. We need to stay there for as long as it takes if we want democracy to take root in tyranny's back yard."

The Republican congressman picked up an earlier theme from President Bush's second presidential campaign: "We must fight the bad guys over there, not over here."

Johnson told the crowd that there are confirmed reports of al Qaeda cells "plotting here on U.S. soil."

"What part of al Qaeda do you want operating here in America?" he asked.

Insisting withdrawal was not an option, Johnson called criticism of the war "Democratic nonsense" and compared it to the "peaceniks and people in Congress and America" who "started saying bad things about what was going on [in Vietnam].

"The people of Iraq are thirsting for something more. They are risking their lives in the name of a new government. We must stay the course if we want to foster a stable Iraq and create hope for millions in the Middle East," Johnson said.

Last November Murtha told reporters, "It is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering; the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region.

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised," Murtha added, according to the A.P. report on his comments. "It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion.

Last December the Associated Press also reported that Murtha, who is the top Democrat on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, predicted President Bush would "make it look like we're 'staying the course'" but that troops would be "withdrawn within a year anyway."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/10/2006 18:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think Sam Johnson rocks. I used to get to hear his stump speeches and casual give 'n take on the campaign trail there in Texas. 100% genuine and 100% approachable. He's the Real Deal and when he talks, those who know shit from shinola tune in.

Google the man. THIS is the voice of vets.

He'd make an AWESOME addition to the GOP 2008 ticket, methinks.

Rudy/Sam...
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 20:16 Comments || Top||


Libby authorized to share NIE data on Iraq with reporters
A former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney told a federal grand jury that his superiors authorized him to give secret information to reporters as part of the Bush administration's defense of intelligence used to justify invading Iraq, according to court papers. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in documents filed last month that he plans to introduce evidence that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, disclosed to reporters the contents of a classified National Intelligence Estimate in the summer of 2003.

The NIE is a report prepared by the head of the nation's intelligence operations for high-level government officials, up to and including the president. Portions of NIEs are sometimes declassified and made public. It is unclear whether that happened in this instance.

In a Jan. 23 letter to Libby's lawyers, Fitzgerald said Libby also testified before the grand jury that he caused at least one other government official to discuss an intelligence estimate with reporters in July 2003. "We also note that it is our understanding that Mr. Libby testified that he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by his superiors," Fitzgerald wrote.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan refused to comment. "Our policy is that we are not going to discuss this when it's an ongoing legal proceeding," he said. William Jeffress, Libby's lawyer, said, "There is no truth at all" to suggestions that Libby would try to shift blame to his superiors as a defense against the charges.
I don't buy it either, this smells like wishful thinking by a reporter

Libby, 55, was indicted late last year on charges that he lied to
FBI agents and the grand jury about how he learned CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity and when he subsequently told reporters. He is not charged with leaking classified information from an intelligence estimate report.

Plame's identity was published in July 2003 by columnist Robert Novak after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused the administration of twisting intelligence about Iraq's efforts to buy uranium in Niger. The year before, the CIA had sent Wilson to Niger to determine the accuracy of the uranium reports. Wilson's revelations cast doubt on President Bush's claim in his 2003 State of the Union address that Niger had sold uranium to Iraq to develop a nuclear weapon as one of the administration's key justifications for going to war in Iraq.
Sigh, Bush never said any such thing. He said British intelligence reports suggested Iraq had sought to buy uranium in Africa. Brits still stand by that.
On Thursday, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said Cheney should take responsibility if he authorized Libby to share classified information with reporters. "These charges, if true, represent a new low in the already sordid case of partisan interests being placed above national security," Kennedy said. "The vice president's vindictiveness in defending the misguided war in Iraq is obvious. If he used classified information to defend it, he should be prepared to take full responsibility."

In the summer of 2003, White House officials — including Libby — were frustrated that the media were incorrectly reporting that Cheney had sent Wilson to Niger and had received a report of his findings in Africa before the war in Iraq had begun. In an effort to counter those reports, Libby and other White House officials sought information from the CIA regarding Wilson and how his trip to Niger came about, according to court records.

Fitzgerald, in his letter to Libby's lawyers, said he plans to use Libby's grand jury testimony to support evidence pertaining to the White House aide's meeting with former New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 01:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  AP, Yahoo, FOX, are running the headline: Libby: White House 'Superiors' OK'd Leaks

very misleading headline. As the 2006 elections draw near look for even more anti-Bush Admin truthiness than usual from our ".4th estate" wankers.

Tony Locy

Posted by: RD || 02/10/2006 6:39 Comments || Top||

#2  From Powerhouse -

"Unclear"? How is it "unclear"? The NIE has been declassified since the summer of 2003, and we have quoted from it many times since then. These proceedings from the House of Representatives show that the NIE had been declassified no later than July 21, 2003. So it's not exactly a mystery whether "that happened in this instance." There are only two alternatives here: either AP reporters are too lazy to spend 30 seconds on Google to educate themselves as to what happened during the ancient history of 2003, or they write articles that are deliberately misleading.

By the way, the 2002 NIE was the document that indicated that the consensus of all American intelligence agencies was that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and was a substantial threat to American security. No mention of that in the AP story, either.
Posted by: Elmains Spomomp5231 || 02/10/2006 7:17 Comments || Top||

#3  I posted the following on a liberal website and they went nuts: "Dick Cheney (as the Vice President) is one of the few people in the U.S. that has classification authority in the U.S. Because of that he can authorize the dissemination of any classified document or activity that he wants." Of course the statment I made is true but it was like knocking down a hornets nests. I still don't see what this has to do with the Valerie Plame case and why Fitzgerald choose to make this public. I suspect that Fitz is still fishing and realizes he case is on very shaky ground.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 02/10/2006 12:14 Comments || Top||

#4  Tehre is a game of chicken going on between Libby and the WH. They have thrown him to the wolves in the sense that he isn't getting legal support from the WH. That makes it expensive for Libby. I am certain that he knows embarrassing things. I am also certain that he needs assistance with legal fees. Connect the dots.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 12:34 Comments || Top||

#5  No Nimble,

It's a total con. Someone [Patrick Fitzgerald/staff/media or all three] is trying to get the WH and Libby to bite on a rumor.
Posted by: RD || 02/10/2006 21:16 Comments || Top||

#6  Fitz is a total twat.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 21:18 Comments || Top||


Pillar shows his true colors
The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year has accused the Bush administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Paul R. Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, acknowledges the U.S. intelligence agencies' mistakes in concluding that Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass destruction. But he said those misjudgments did not drive the administration's decision to invade.

Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war," Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration "went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," Pillar wrote.

Pillar's critique is one of the most severe indictments of White House actions by a former Bush official since Richard C. Clarke, a former National Security Council staff member, went public with his criticism of the administration's handling of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and its failure to deal with the terrorist threat beforehand.

It is also the first time that such a senior intelligence officer has so directly and publicly condemned the administration's handling of intelligence.

Pillar, retired after 28 years at the CIA, was an influential behind-the-scenes player and was considered the agency's leading counterterrorism analyst. By the end of his career, he was responsible for coordinating assessments on Iraq from all 15 agencies in the intelligence community. He is now a professor in security studies at Georgetown University.

White House officials did not respond to a request to comment for this article. They have vehemently denied accusations that the administration manipulated intelligence to generate public support for the war.

"Our statements about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein were based on the aggregation of intelligence from a number of sources and represented the collective view of the intelligence community," national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley said in a White House briefing in November. "Those judgments were shared by Republicans and Democrats alike."

Republicans and Democrats in Congress continue to argue over whether, or how, to investigate accusations the administration manipulated prewar intelligence.

Yesterday, the Senate Republican Policy Committee issued a statement to counter what it described as "the continuing Iraq pre-war intelligence myths," including charges that Bush " 'misused' intelligence to justify the war." Writing that it was perfectly reasonable for the president to rely on the intelligence he was given, the paper concluded, "it is actually the critics who are misleading the American people."

In his article, Pillar said he believes that the "politicization" of intelligence on Iraq occurred "subtly" and in many forms, but almost never resulted from a policymaker directly asking an analyst to reshape his or her results. "Such attempts are rare," he writes, "and when they do occur . . . are almost always unsuccessful."

Instead, he describes a process in which the White House helped frame intelligence results by repeatedly posing questions aimed at bolstering its arguments about Iraq.

The Bush administration, Pillar wrote, "repeatedly called on the intelligence community to uncover more material that would contribute to the case for war," including information on the "supposed connection" between Hussein and al Qaeda, which analysts had discounted. "Feeding the administration's voracious appetite for material on the Saddam-al Qaeda link consumed an enormous amount of time and attention."

The result of the requests, and public statements by the president, Vice President Cheney and others, led analysts and managers to conclude the United States was heading for war well before the March 2003 invasion, Pillar asserted.

They thus knew, he wrote, that senior policymakers "would frown on or ignore analysis that called into question a decision to go to war and welcome analysis that supported such a decision. . . . [They] felt a strong wind consistently blowing in one direction. The desire to bend with such a wind is natural and strong, even if unconscious."

Pillar wrote that the prewar intelligence asserted Hussein's "weapons capacities," but he said the "broad view" within the United States and overseas "was that Saddam was being kept 'in his box' " by U.N. sanctions, and that the best way to deal with him was through "an aggressive inspections program to supplement sanctions already in place."

"If the entire body of official intelligence analysis on Iraq had a policy implication," Pillar wrote, "it was to avoid war -- or, if war was going to be launched, to prepare for a messy aftermath."

Pillar describes for the first time that the intelligence community did assessments before the invasion that, he wrote, indicated a postwar Iraq "would not provide fertile ground for democracy" and would need "a Marshall Plan-type effort" to restore its economy despite its oil revenue. It also foresaw Sunnis and Shiites fighting for power.

Pillar wrote that the intelligence community "anticipated that a foreign occupying force would itself be the target of resentment and attacks -- including guerrilla warfare -- unless it established security and put Iraq on the road to prosperity in the first few weeks or months after the fall of Saddam."

In an interview, Pillar said the prewar assessments "were not crystal-balling, but in them we were laying out the challenges that would face us depending on decisions that were made."

Pillar wrote that the first request he received from a Bush policymaker for an assessment of post-invasion Iraq was "not until a year into the war."

That assessment, completed in August 2004, warned that the insurgency in Iraq could evolve into a guerrilla war or civil war. It was leaked to the media in September in the midst of the presidential campaign, and Bush, who had told voters that the mission in Iraq was going well, described the assessment to reporters as "just guessing."

Shortly thereafter, Pillar was identified in a column by Robert D. Novak as having prepared the assessment and having given a speech critical of Bush's Iraq policy at a private dinner in California. The column fed the White House's view that the CIA was in effect working against the Bush administration, and that Pillar was part of that. A columnist in the Washington Times in October 2004 called him "a longstanding intellectual opponent of the policy options chosen by President Bush to fight terrorism."

Leaked information "encouraged some administration supporters to charge intelligence officers (including me) with trying to sabotage the president's policies," Pillar wrote. One effect of that, he said, was to limit challenges to consensus views on matters such as the Iraqi weapons program.

When asked why he did not quit given his concerns, Pillar said in the interview that he was doing "other worthwhile work in the nation's interest" and never thought of resigning over the issue.

For the future, Pillar suggests that the CIA and other intelligence agencies, now under Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte, remain within the executive branch but "be given greater independence."

The model he cites is the Federal Reserve, overseen by a board of governors that serves for fixed terms. That, he said, would reduce "both the politicization of the intelligence community's own work and the public misuse of intelligence by policymakers."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 00:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," Pillar wrote.

Pillar's critique is one of the most severe indictments of White House actions by a former Bush official


LOL! Talk about spin. Pillar is scrambling like a dog on linoleum to get ready for the revelations that there were WMD's in Iraq, so he's singing a new tune. Yet MSNBC tries to spin this as an indictment against Bush. Um, no, this is the most severe indictment of our intelligence services to date.

Good try though.
Posted by: 2b || 02/10/2006 0:36 Comments || Top||

#2  28 years? That puts him into the Carter years for a starting point...Amazing how certain people can retire a career. Pillar of stupidity.
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 02/10/2006 0:44 Comments || Top||

#3  It's convient for him to speak now. He can be someone to blame. A new pu8nching bag has arrived. This guys maiddel name has to be Failure. 9 will get you ten he is a dhimmi as well.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/10/2006 0:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Pillar of fools? Maybe pillar of book deals?
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 02/10/2006 1:05 Comments || Top||

#5  Just so you all know, this guy is the mastermind behind a lot of the CIA leaks against the administration and he wants more independence for the intelligence agency he worked to politicize as his reward.

Let's suppose, just for a moment, that all or even half of the shit that he's saying is true. He decided to launch his own campaign, outside of and apparently in active contempt of official channels and civilian oversight like the SSIC so that he could bring down an administration whose policies he didn't agree with. You'd think that the left, which is all up in arms over the NSA program going on without the FISA stamp, would appreciate the danger of what this POS represents.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 1:37 Comments || Top||

#6  This guy is issuing a mea culpa. He admits that the intelligence information "was politicized". He's trying to worm his way out of responsibility by saying that, "Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war".

He further says that, the administration "went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

It's a weak argument but considering the fact that it's about to become crystal clear that Saddam indeed had WMD's, he's attempting to making the impossible argument that the Bush Administration didn't pay attention to their admitted politicized and faulty information, so it didn't matter anyway.

Good luck with that argument, loser.
Posted by: 2b || 02/10/2006 3:15 Comments || Top||

#7  Sheesh. The spin is dizzying. Glad he was finally "retired" from his career working for our enemies. Now, if possible, throw his ass in prison for any classified data that can be tracked back to his sorry ass. It'll be even sorrier.

I favor Hunter / Killer Teams, myself.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 3:24 Comments || Top||

#8  Common Sense must not be up yet. Of course we "Republicans" are just trying to slime the messenger.
Posted by: SR-71 || 02/10/2006 5:00 Comments || Top||

#9  the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

And that's bad because?
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 5:31 Comments || Top||

#10  Dan, Just so you all know, this guy is the mastermind behind a lot of the CIA leaks against the administration and he wants more independence for the intelligence agency he worked to politicize as his reward.

The Perp [looks like Mr. peepers]
Posted by: RD || 02/10/2006 6:52 Comments || Top||

#11  Barney Fife w/o the uniform. And just as effective.
Posted by: Crineting Crusing1151 || 02/10/2006 8:07 Comments || Top||

#12  Question - were Jimmah and this man separated at birth?
Posted by: Raj || 02/10/2006 8:50 Comments || Top||

#13  Georgetown University is certainly where he belongs. He'll get lots of support for his Whitehouse bashing from his colleagues over there. Comfortably pensioned, he can do his bashing ("worthwhile work" as he refers to it) fully in the open and take full credit vs slinking around behind the "green door" as a worthless pipe smoking, PhD, Pentagon hating, gov'ment bureaucrat. Non-disclosure is a sad joke. Phuechs like Pillar and Sandy Berger and others who are entrusted with national security and betray those trusts should be flogged until dood.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/10/2006 9:19 Comments || Top||

#14  Barney Fife w/o the uniform
lol!!
Posted by: 2b || 02/10/2006 10:33 Comments || Top||

#15  Just another d**kless desk jockey back in Langley who NEVER listened to the ops people - another one of those CYA types that came to the forefront under Bush-I and Clinton.

Thats why he is "former" - his type are being shown as the incompetent boobs that they are. THEY are the ones that got us into this mess on 9/11, with their old-boy insider ways. And the only way the agencies can reform is to get dead weight like this out of the way.

Goss is doing a so-so job from what I hear on tossing senior weenies like this cheesedick over the side so agressive and effective people can take their place.

Yes - peopel like this piss me off. Not only are they being disloyal, they are skating close to the edge in talking about classified matters, and on top of that, they are slanting the hell out of what they say. Whats worse is this particular jerk knows there's no way to easily and conscisely refute him without revealing compromising important information - so he will get away with his slanted and disingenuous statements
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/10/2006 10:39 Comments || Top||

#16  Paul R. Pillar in a treasonous anti-american traitor who along with democrats, liberals and those in the anti-war movement are aiding and abetting the enemy. People like him are a threat to the security of the U.S.

President Bush is fighting the noble GWOT and all his critics from the left do is whine while they offer no solutions of their own.

Wimps like Pillar and those on the left who oppose President Bush should all be hung for treason.
Posted by: I.M Right || 02/10/2006 12:02 Comments || Top||

#17  How long until his first Saudi-funded speaking engagement?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/10/2006 12:33 Comments || Top||

#18  "He decided to launch his own campaign, outside of and apparently in active contempt of official channels and civilian oversight like the SSIC so that he could bring down an administration whose policies he didn't agree with. You'd think that the left, which is all up in arms over the NSA program going on without the FISA stamp, would appreciate the danger of what this POS represents"

Dan, in fairness, a rogue operator and leaker, even a treasonous one (which is arguable I suppose - i really havent followd this closely) is not the same kind of danger to liberty that an executive branch determined to act with no legal constraint is - NOTE WELL: Im not saying that the NSA program IS the exec branch acting without legal constraing - AFAICT its a pretty complex issue, worth investigation as Sen Spector will do, without prejudgement - but for the left that (unfortunately IMO) HAS rushed to judgment, the judgement theyve rushed to is a pretty serious thing.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/10/2006 13:54 Comments || Top||

#19 
Redacted by moderator. Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity. Please correct the condition that applies and try again. Contents may be viewed in the
sinktrap. Further violations may result in
banning.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/10/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||

#20  liberalhawk:

If you take all the comments above on Mr.Paul R. Pillar, there is nothing nothing uncommon about them.

To those on the right, anyone and any organization
that opposes or criticizes President Bush on the GWOT/Iraq War, is a treasonous Anti-American traitor who is aiding and abetting the enemy.

To them President Bush is above the law and criticism because he is leading the fight against the enemy and his intent is to "win" no matter what it takes, To them the means justify the end result.

Yesterday, I had some of these folks on the right have the audacity and unmitgated gall to suggest that the Democratic Party is "endangering" the security of the U.S.. They then went on state that democrats will never regain power in this country because they will NOT defend it.
Statements such as that i consider to be utterly ridiculous and the people who say stuff like that really need to check themselves.
I think they are unhinged and unstable.
Posted by: Common Sense || 02/10/2006 15:54 Comments || Top||

#21  You think so, do you?

"Upon the cunning loom of thought We weave our fancies, so and so." -- Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Posted by: Darrell || 02/10/2006 16:05 Comments || Top||

#22  Darell:

If I'm not mistaken youre on of the people that stated that you believe that democrats are "endangering" the security of the U.S. nor do you think that they will "defend" the U.S. against its enemies.

That is a hell of a statement that to me borders on slander and is highly insulting.

Please explain your rational
Posted by: Common Sense || 02/10/2006 16:12 Comments || Top||

#23  Not biting, No Sense. Have a nice day. Try not to mix your straw men with your red herrings.
Posted by: Darrell || 02/10/2006 16:23 Comments || Top||

#24  a rogue operator and leaker... is not the same kind of danger to liberty that an executive branch determined to act with no legal constraint is

Explain that to the people who die as a result of the leaker.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 16:35 Comments || Top||

#25  Please don't feed the troll.
Posted by: SR-71 || 02/10/2006 16:53 Comments || Top||

#26  Darrell:

RNC brainwashing is a terrible thing. It turns people into mindless robots..

YOU have a good day..
Posted by: Common Sense || 02/10/2006 16:54 Comments || Top||

#27  Cute. A new troll. They all say the same thing.
Posted by: DragonFly || 02/10/2006 17:17 Comments || Top||

#28  liberalhawk:

To a certain extent, yes, as far as the liberties of the average citizens are concerned but the campaign that Pillar and his fellows have led over the last couple of years is basically one where you have senior officials in an intelligence agency becoming actively involved in domestic politics while continuing to serve in their positions in government. Their rationale for this is that the administration is too bad for them to sit back and do nothing, but the reality is that they have ignored all of the legal options available to them in favor of a sub-rosa campaign against a sitting government. If senior serving officials of the military (not civilian appointees) did the same thing, wouldn't that raise issues as far as civilian control of the military is concerned? I think it's fair to say so. Similarly, the willingness to embrace Pillar and Co. in certain quarters while simultaneously being concerned about illegal actions on the part of the NSA strikes me as rather hypocritical and tribal given that their paradigm is that when my guys go illegal on intel it's okay, when your guys do it's an outrage. Then there is also the point that the NSA program according to Risen is aimed at al-Qaeda, whereas Pillar and Co. are aimed at the administration.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 17:52 Comments || Top||

#29  I agree. CIA officials taking political positions compromise their position and does the country a huge disservice.

For example, if a CIA official wants to second-guess those in Congress or the Executive branches who have responsibility for making such decisions (and are held accountable in general election by "the people") then they should be like any other citizen and pull the voting lever to express their views.

This should be the case irrespective of which party holds power.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/10/2006 18:33 Comments || Top||

#30  Darrell

9.7 extra points for Red Herring & Strawmen in the same short sentence.
Posted by: 6 || 02/10/2006 18:33 Comments || Top||

#31  Here's the synopsis from Pillar's written work:

Pillar has a preference for negotiations as the way to solve conflicts. From his earliest work, the guy focused on situations where the outcome was not victory. Time and again, he has said that military solutions are not solutions. With regard to Iraq, whether it goes well or poorly, it goes poorly — if terrorism is the question. Clearly Mr. Pillar was never on board with George Bush’s fundamental premises in the Global War on Terror, so it should be no surprise that he is having secret meetings around the country criticizing US policy.

Why did this guy have a job at the CIA?

Posted by: Captain America || 02/10/2006 19:43 Comments || Top||

#32  Dan's post is well-spoken as well as knowledgeable. The same can be said for State.

This isn't mere whistle-blowing, it is sedition.

He is far too kind, IMHO, to the seditionists.

I prefer Hunter / Killer Teams.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 19:52 Comments || Top||

#33 
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/10/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Was WMD search in Iraq thorough?
A former special investigator for the Pentagon during the Iraq war said he found four sealed underground bunkers in southern Iraq that he is sure contain stocks of chemical and biological weapons. But when he asked American weapons inspectors to check out the sites, he was rebuffed.

David Gaubatz, a former member of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations, was assigned to the Talill Air Base in Nasiriyah at the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His job was to pick up any intelligence on the whereabouts of senior Baathists and weapons of mass destruction and then send the information to the American weapons inspectors gathering in Baghdad that would later become the Iraq Survey Group. For his intelligence work he received accolades and meritorious service medals in 2003 and prior years. Before the war he helped uncover a spy in the Saudi military. He also assisted with the rescue and repatriation to America of the family of Mohammed Rehaief, the Iraqi lawyer who helped save Private Jessica Lynch.

Mr. Gaubatz said he walked the streets of the largely Shiite city of Nasiriyah, interviewing local police, former senior civilian and military leaders in Saddam Hussein's regime, and local civilians.

Between March and July 2003, Mr. Gaubatz was taken by these sources to four locations - three in and around Nasiriyah and one near the port of Umm Qasr, where he was shown underground concrete bunkers with the tunnels leading to them deliberately flooded. In each case, he was told the facilities contained stocks of biological and chemical weapons, along with missiles whose range exceeded that mandated under U.N. sanctions. But because the facilities were sealed off with concrete walls, in some cases up to 5 feet thick, he did not get inside. He filed reports with photographs, exact grid coordinates, and testimony from multiple sources. And then he waited for the Iraq Survey Group to come to the sites. But in all but one case, they never arrived.

Mr. Gaubatz's new disclosures shed doubt on the thoroughness of the Iraq Survey Group's search for the weapons of mass destruction that were one of the Bush administration's main reasons for the war. Two chief inspectors from the group, David Kay and Charles Duelfer, concluded that they could not find evidence of the promised stockpiles. Mr. Kay refused to be interviewed for this story and Mr. Duelfer did not return email. The CIA referred these questions to Mr. Duelfer.

"I have no doubts the sites were never exploited by ISG. We agents begged and begged for weeks and months to get ISG to respond to the sites with the proper equipment," Mr. Gaubatz said in a telephone interview. He returned to his wife and daughter in July 2003, and then wrote letters about the sites to more senior officials in military intelligence. But he said he never received any satisfactory response and says that to this day the sites have never been fully checked out.

He says the reasons he was given by the survey group were that the areas of the sites were not safe, they lacked manpower and equipment, and at the time the survey group was focusing activities in northern Iraq. "The ISG team was not organized nor outfitted for this mission in my opinion and were only concerned to look in northern Iraq. They were not even on the ground during the first few weeks of the war, and this was the most critical time to go out and exploit sites. I feel very comfortable in saying the sites were never exploited by ISG," he said. In one instance a few inspectors did come out once to follow one lead, Mr. Gaubatz said. But they lacked the equipment and manpower to crack the bunker. "An adequate search would have required heavy equipment to uncover the concrete, and additional equipment to drain the water."
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 17:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I really hate conspiracy shit, since 95+% is utter bullshit, but this gives pause. If there's any smoke here, if Gaubatz (and any others who will corroborate) checks out, surely there are folks in both the admin and congress who will want to go a bit further and see if there's a fire.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 22:51 Comments || Top||


Former state of Michigan worker admits to issuing fake IDs
she will face up to 16 months in prison. She remains free on a $5,000 unsecured bond

The anticipated sentence is grossly inadequate, considering the significance of the offense in this kind of war. How about 5 years?
Posted by: Crairong Omomotch6492 || 02/10/2006 08:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This type of thing was once referred to as "Fifth Column" activity. Just a tad more serious than a simple criminal act. The diversity and affirmative action focused hiring practices of governmental agencies are a welcome mat for those who wish to carry out such activities. I can still remember when this sort of thing was referred to simply as treason.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/10/2006 9:38 Comments || Top||


Muhammad cartoon in (Philadelphia) Inquirer draws protest by Muslims
Feb. 06, 2006. Muslims offended by the Inquirer's decision to reprint a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad that has inflamed the sensibilities of their co-religionists across the world picketed the newspaper this morning. The cartoon, originally published in a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September, depicts Islam's chief prophet with a lit bomb inscribed with Arabic letters stuck in his turban. It ran in Saturday's editions of The Inquirer with a story about the dilemma faced by the media over reprinting a cartoon that has led to wounded feelings, burnt flags and torched embassies worldwide.

According to Islamic tradition, any pictures or images of Muhammad are considered sacrilegious. Bullshit. But the Danish cartoon is particularly insensitive, the two dozen local protestors contend, because it perpetuates a stereotype of Islam as a militant religion. "It's disrespectful to us as a people," said Asim Abdur-Rashid, an imam with the Majlis Ash'Shura, an umbrella group for mosques in the Delaware Valley. "It's disrespectful to our prophet to imply that he's a prophet of violence."

Amanda Bennett, the Inquirer's executive editor, and deputy managing editor Carl Lavin talked with the protestors outside the building. "Neither I nor the newspaper meant any disrespect to their religion or their prophet," Bennett said in an interview. "I told them I was actually really proud of them for exercising their right to freedom of speech."

But Bennett stood by the decision to publish the cartoon, saying it "is one of the things newspapers do to communicate directly with people" about issues important to all communities.
Rest at link.
Posted by: ed || 02/10/2006 07:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Heh. As someone pointed out yesterday (?), these cartoons are like a asshat magnet. Surveil the "protests" and take LOTS of pictures. Just announce that anyone wearing a mask will be stopped, questioned, and ID'd.

If they're willing to come out of the closet and prove they're not ready or willing to be Americans, y'know - the Mythical Moderates some keep blabbering about, but insist on being bona-fide Muzzy First™ assholes, hey - I think we should memorialize the event, at the very least.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 7:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Piss on them if they can't take a joke. Religion of peace my a$$.
Posted by: anymouse || 02/10/2006 14:10 Comments || Top||


DHS Operational Briefing on the Secure Border Initiative
Some excerpts:

[Border Patrol] Chief Aguilar: "What we have seen recently is, in the San Diego area, that is where the highest level of our assaults against our officers has occurred, over 80 incidents since the beginning of the fiscal year.

"In Laredo, Texas, over a period of three days during the week of the 24th of January, three shootings, literally back to back. Luckily, none of our officers were hit, but very dangerous situations. And over in the McAllen sector, the Rio Grande Valley area of South Texas, two shootings against our boats in the water, also where our agents were fortunately not hit, but again, a very serious type of situation...

"What I'm going to show you right next, very quickly, is going to be a very, very short video. I want you to listen to the -- and I hope we're able to pick it up -- I want you to listen to the ongoing communications between the officers and what's occurring.

"This is our actual video cameras and rockings that are occurring. This is the U.S. side. This is Mexico. Our officers are pinned up against the wall. Trying to recover the officers that are pinned against the wall. You will see the size of the rocks. Those things can hurt you very bad.

"Officers are right here. These are officers in San Diego with protective gear, trying to pull out one of their officers that is pinned down also. I want you to see this so that when you hear about rockings, these are not pebbles that are being thrown at our officers. This is the inside where one of our officers did take a rock to his eye. That's blood.

"Okay. This is the size of a rock. Now, the next shot is going to be the inside of a vehicle where our officers are in a war wagon, protected. You will hear the rocks hitting the vehicle. This is in our Yuma sector.

"And now, just to show the callousness of the smugglers, this is in Yuma, a Cocopah tribal police unit actually being hit. This is a smuggler, police unit, this is our officer -- I'll read the caption. "19 people in the vehicle, including two minors and a pregnant woman in that vehicle." What we'll show up here is our border patrol helicopter and our unit continuing to assist the police officer. The driver was apprehended...."

" There has been 108 percent increase on the number of assaults against our officers as compared to the fiscal year before. That number is 778 assaults against our officers last year. There have been 192 this fiscal year, since the beginning of the fiscal year. Now, fiscal is October to now. I don't have the numbers handy on the actual officers that have had stitches or taken rounds or things of that nature. I can get that for you later on..."
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 00:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:


Many Gitmo prisoners never saw battle
The majority of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay naval base are not accused of committing hostile acts against the United States or its allies, and only a small percentage were captured by U.S. forces, a review of government documents has found. "The large majority of detainees never participated in any combat against the United States on a battlefield," concluded a report compiled at Seton Hall University's law school, in New Jersey, and given to Reuters on Thursday.
Good. We got them in time.
The report analyzed unclassified government summaries of evidence the military used in 2004 hearings to decide whether 517 Guantanamo detainees were enemy combatants. One of the authors, Seton Hall law professor Mark Denbeaux, represents two Guantanamo prisoners.

The summaries do not use prisoners' names nor do they include secret evidence the review panels considered.

But the analysis provides a picture of who is being held indefinitely at the detention camp the United States set up in Cuba in 2002 to hold suspected terrorists captured in the war against al Qaeda and its Taliban supporters in Afghanistan. The study said 55 percent were not accused in the documents of committing hostile acts against the United States and its coalition allies. Among those where the location of capture was listed, only 5 percent were captured by U.S. forces. The rest were taken by Pakistani forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or by the Northern Alliance, an Afghan militia that helped U.S. forces oust the Taliban.

Some were sold to the United States by bounty hunters who then disappeared, making it difficult to verify their claims that the detainee had terrorist connections, the report said. It included copies of leaflets distributed in Afghanistan urging people to "get wealth and power beyond your dreams" by turning in Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

The report said the government documents contained formidable evidence that a few Guantanamo detainees are dangerous men with powerful positions in terrorist groups. Eleven percent had met Osama bin Laden and one participated in al Qaeda meetings discussing the September 11 attacks before they occurred, the report said. Another is a high-ranking Taliban member who tortured, maimed and murdered Afghan citizens in Taliban jails, it said.

"The evidence provided for most of the detainees, however, is far less impressive," the report said.
So in the sweep we got some high-level al-Q boys and some low-level mooks.
Only 8 percent were characterized in the government documents as al Qaeda fighters and 16 percent as Taliban fighters, the report said. Some of the rest were considered al Qaeda or Taliban "members," under a definition so broad it could apply to anyone believed to have ever spoken to an al Qaeda or Taliban member, the report said.

Others were deemed "associates" of terrorist organizations, though half the groups cited are not on U.S. government lists of groups it considers terrorist organizations.

The report questions whether associating with the Taliban really makes someone an enemy combatant, since the Taliban government controlled nearly all aspects of Afghan citizens' lives, and conscripted boys as young as 12 to fight. One detainee was considered an enemy combatant because he was conscripted into Taliban forces as a cook's assistant, the report said.

Other evidence cited in the documents as proof of enemy combatant status included possessing AK-47 or Kalashnikov rifles, staying at guest houses while traveling through Afghanistan, possessing a Casio watch or wearing olive drab clothing.

U.S. officials at Guantanamo have repeatedly said that the detainees provide valuable intelligence information and were carefully selected from among more than 8,000 men taken captive during the Afghanistan war. A few dozen of those who underwent the 2004 enemy combatant reviews have since been released. The population has been whittled down to about 490 through diplomatic negotiations and through an annual review process that continues.

Only 10 have been charged with war crimes and Pentagon officials have said only 50 to 75 ever would be charged.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 00:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How about smelling flowers through their roots?
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 5:30 Comments || Top||

#2  LOL grom..pushing up wilted daisys.
Posted by: RD || 02/10/2006 6:55 Comments || Top||

#3  The majority of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay naval base are not accused of committing hostile acts against the United States or its allies, and only a small percentage were captured by U.S. forces, a review of government documents has found.

"The large majority of detainees never participated in any combat against the United States on a battlefield," concluded a report compiled at Seton Hall University's law school, in New Jersey, and given to Reuters on Thursday.


The report analyzed unclassified government summaries [Don't think the classified stuff may have more info that has related details on collection methods?] of evidence the military used in 2004 hearings to decide whether 517 Guantanamo detainees were enemy combatants. One of the authors, Seton Hall law professor Mark Denbeaux, represents two Guantanamo prisoners.


And the Professor was in Afghanistan? When and where. Oh, but he doesn't have to. He's a lawyer. He can make any absurd claims he wants.

Message - this is a war, not a procedural process before a bench in peacetime.
Posted by: Elmains Spomomp5231 || 02/10/2006 7:14 Comments || Top||

#4  I guess "smelling flowers through their roots" sounds better in original Hebrew.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 7:50 Comments || Top||

#5  One detainee was considered an enemy combatant because he was conscripted into Taliban forces as a cook's assistant, the report said.

So a US army cook's assistant doesn't qualify as a combatant?

Hooboy, they do NOT want to start sawing on the limb they've climbed onto.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/10/2006 12:30 Comments || Top||

#6  It's a lovely image, gromgoru, once one realizes an actual action isn't meant (my first thought was lying amongst the reeds breathing air through anothre reed while the hunters cast about impotently). And not one taught in my Heebrew School classes, even if we did read Amoz Oz in the original.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/10/2006 12:35 Comments || Top||

#7  How about smelling flowers through their roots?

That's a good one, sounds like poetry to the Capn.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/10/2006 14:32 Comments || Top||

#8  This affects their status how? Many of those released have returned to terrorist activity. The "Human Rights" people and MSM must think we have their attention span.

I have AADD and I have a better grasp of the real struggle than 99.9% of the MSM and a much better concept of "human rights" than most of these communist and socialist front groups.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/10/2006 14:56 Comments || Top||

#9  Actually, this is very old news. The authories said as much when Gitmo was opened (or not long thereafter). Part of the reason for the tribunals held there was to determine who belonged there, and who could safely be let go.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/10/2006 19:20 Comments || Top||


Bush describes foiled LA terror plot
President Bush today, in a speech to shore up public support for the war on terrorism, provided fresh details of a foiled plot in 2002 by Al Qaeda to hijack an airplane and fly it into the Library Tower in Los Angeles, using Asian recruits armed with shoe bombs.

In remarks to the National Guard Assn. here, Bush cited that effort as just one of many manifestations of Al Qaeda's determination to attack the United States again, as he urged Americans to remain vigilant and back the war effort.

Later in the day, National Homeland Security Adviser Frances Townsend provided a few additional details on the so-called "West Coast plot." The plot's existence has long been known, although details surrounding it have remained murky.

Bush, who is under fire for ordering a domestic surveillance program as a part of the war on terrorism, was not highlighting the 2002 incident as a way to bolster support for the eavesdropping, Townsend said.

Rather, the president's remarks were "intended to stress the point that terrorism is a global problem requiring a global response that uses all the tools of national and international power," she said.

The chief White House counterterrorism official refused to say whether the National Security Agency spying program had helped disrupt that plot against Los Angeles.

In a speech in October, Bush said the U.S. and its allies had disrupted at least 10 Al Qaeda plots against the West, including three planned attacks on American soil, and stopped at least five additional attempts to scout out targets in this country.

The White House then issued a list of such foiled plots, citing potential 9/11-style airliner attacks, a plan to blow up an apartment building, and surveillance of gas stations, bridges and tourist sites nationwide.

Some law enforcement officials questioned whether some of those incidents constituted a true, imminent threat. Others said the plot against the Library Tower, which was renamed the US Bank Tower in 2003, never progressed beyond the planning stages.

In his speech this morning, Bush said that only a month after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, top Al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheik Mohammad, the 9/11 mastermind, had "set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast."

Mohammad assigned the job of planning the attack on Los Angeles to a terrorist named Hambali, also known as Riduan Isamuddin, a leader of an Al Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia called Jemaah Islamiyah. J.I. already had carried out a series of deadly attacks in that region, Bush said.

The plan called for Hambali to recruit Asians for the attack because they would be less likely to arouse suspicion than people of Middle Eastern descent, he said.

"Hambali recruited several key operatives who had been training in Afghanistan. Once the operatives were recruited, they met with Osama bin Laden, and then began preparations for the West Coast attack," the president added.

In her briefing, Townsend said four U.S. allies from South and Southeast Asia played a role in disrupting the plot, but she would not name those countries, citing ongoing counterterrorism operations. She also said she could not discuss how the suspects were captured, their names or the current status of the alleged plotters, except to say that they were in custody.

"Once the plot leader was captured [in February 2002], at that point other members of the cell believed the plot was canceled and was not going forward," she said.

Townsend said Mohammad had personally trained the plot leader in how to make and use "shoe bomb" explosives like those used by convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid, and that he conspired with Isamuddin in recruiting the plotters.

She would not say whether Reid's plot and the alleged operation to fly a hijacked plane into the West Coast's tallest building were connected. Reid unsuccessfully tried to detonate an explosives-filled sneaker while on a commercial flight from Paris to Miami on Christmas Eve in 2001, and was convicted of terrorism charges in Boston.

Townsend said it was the "analytic judgment" of the U.S. intelligence community that the Library Tower was the target because the alleged plotters only mentioned the tallest building on the West Coast.

In response to questions, Townsend defended Bush's characterization of the alleged plot as a successful example of a "disrupted" terrorist plot. She said the plot was thwarted before it could get underway, and that U.S. intelligence officials never knew when the hijacking was scheduled to take place.

"We didn't know what plane or what flight. We knew that they were going to fly a plane into the tallest building on the West Coast," Townsend said. "We didn't have a day or week."

Bush noted earlier that "by working together, we stopped a catastrophic attack on our homeland."

The foiled West Coast plot, he added, stands as a reminder of a "relentless and determined enemy" with global reach and serves as a cautionary episode.

"We cannot let the fact that America hadn't been attacked in four and a half years, since September the 11th, lull us into an illusion that the threats to our nation have disappeared," he said.

"The terrorists are weakened and fractured. Yet they're still lethal," the president said.

Bush spoke after unveiling a bust of himself at the National Guard headquarters. He had served in the Texas National Guard during the Vietnam War era.

To date, more than 360 National Guard members have died in the war on terrorism.

"We hold their loved ones in our hearts, and we lift them up in our prayers," the president said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 00:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under:

#1 
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 21:38 Comments || Top||


Alien smuggling suspect shoots at AZ Border Patrol officers
U.S. Border Patrol agents were fired on by a suspected immigrant smuggler west of Yuma Tuesday night, officials said. The gunfire came at the end of a 20-mile chase of a motorhome packed with illegal immigrants, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Gramley said.

The incident began about 10 p.m. Tuesday when a citizen called in a tip about a large group of apparent immigrants who were seen getting in the motor home several miles west of Yuma. Agents tried to stop the motor home as it drove west on Interstate 8 near Andrade, Calif., but the driver wouldn't stop until the tires were flattened by a spike strip after about 20 miles.

As the vehicle stopped, the driver reportedly fired one shot from a pistol at the agents, striking the rear tail light of a Border Patrol vehicle. The driver and 22 illegal immigrants got out of the motor home and began running. All were captured. The agents apparently didn't realize they had been fired upon until some of the immigrants warned them.

The driver was a 26-year-old U.S. citizen from San Diego who wasn't identified. The Border Patrol turned him over to the FBI and will seek unspecified charges.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The occupants were just shootin' varmints in the back yard, was all...
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 02/10/2006 6:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Smugglers like this should be shipped out to Gitmo and interrogated. Smugglers were allies with the Zman in Iraq in the war there, just a natural relationship. Just need to make sure that no such relationship was developing here. Don't need to prosecute, just get info. I'm sure the treatment will be better remembered by the perp than 72 hours he'd be held in detention before bond busted him out in SD.
Posted by: Elmains Spomomp5231 || 02/10/2006 7:06 Comments || Top||

#3  I absolutely love that "Mobile Home" some joker put a lot of thought into making it, right down to the dummy "Settin" on the back porch.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/10/2006 8:43 Comments || Top||

#4  I'll be in the market for one of those units after 15 April.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/10/2006 10:13 Comments || Top||

#5  'll be in the market for one of those units after 15 April.

OK, cofee and that one finally woke me up!! LOL

and Wutch, lov that flying gable!!
Posted by: RD || 02/10/2006 12:42 Comments || Top||

#6  Now, that thar's an RV, Clark! Don't go gettin' attached to it, though, it'll be leavin' in a month or two!
Posted by: Cousin Griswold || 02/10/2006 14:21 Comments || Top||

#7  Where's the big '80s style Satellite dish?
Posted by: 6 || 02/10/2006 18:46 Comments || Top||

#8  looks like there's a loft - how about a hot tub over the radiator?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/10/2006 19:06 Comments || Top||


U.S. sees increase in border attacks by Mexican gangs
Mexican criminal syndicates are stepping up their attacks on American agents patrolling the border as homeland security officials here intensify efforts to stem the flow of immigrants and drugs into the United States, American officials said Thursday. In recent months, scores of border patrol agents have been fired upon or pelted with large rocks as well as with cloth-covered rocks that have been doused with flammable liquid and set ablaze. Since October, agents have been attacked in more than 190 cases.

Most of the attacks have occurred along the border near San Diego, but shootings have also been reported along the border in Texas near the cities of Laredo and McAllen. In the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, there were 778 attacks on agents, up from 374 in the previous fiscal year, homeland security officials said. One rock struck an agent in the eye; a gunshot hit an agent in the leg. The officials could not say precisely how many officers had been injured.

"This is what we're facing," said Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar, who played a videotape at a news conference on Thursday that featured a patrol car riddled with bullets and agents scrambling for cover as stones rained down on them. "This is a very serious type of situation."

The homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, who led the news conference, said officials planned to continue their efforts to secure the border. This week President Bush asked Congress to increase the homeland security budget by nearly 6 percent. The Border Patrol would receive an extra $459 million to hire 1,500 new agents, bringing the total force to about 14,000. An additional $410 million would be allocated to add 6,700 beds for detainees so that fewer illegal immigrants would have to be released before being deported. Another $100 million would be spent on cameras, sensors and other detection technology.

Chertoff said the department planned to focus on illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico, who have typically been released after apprehension because of shortages of bed space. Last fall, he expanded the use of summary deportations, a process known as expedited removal, in which illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico are detained and then deported without seeing an immigration judge.

As for the violence on the border, the officials said Mexico had deployed 300 federal police along its side of the border to help out. But many of the Mexican gangs remain deeply entrenched. Last week, immigration officials announced that they had seized a cache of weapons in Laredo, including materials for 33 explosive devices, assault weapons and machine gun assembly kits. Officials believe the weapons were intended for criminals in Mexico.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  rule is: deadly force if threatened. The US atty in SD has been good about standing by agents in any fatal shooting investigations. They need us to watch their backs. Flaming rocks and shooting should have one fatality - those doing the original throwing or shooting at our agents . Case closed
Posted by: Frank G || 02/10/2006 0:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Just suckering them into another Columbus, New Mexico event. They'll overplay their hand and then the narco-terrorist bosses and their political stooges will be in the same docket as Saddam. And I suspect that the border zone will start about 50 miles closer to Mexico City than it is today.
Posted by: Elmains Spomomp5231 || 02/10/2006 7:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Solve the problem by shooting back. Rock-throwing can be countered by the use of rubber bullets.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/10/2006 13:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Just put army guard units there with live ammo and telling them if some steps across the border, shoot them.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/10/2006 14:05 Comments || Top||

#5  Rock-throwing can be countered by the use of rubber bullets.

DU works too.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 14:17 Comments || Top||

#6  As for the violence on the border, the officials said Mexico had deployed 300 federal police along its side of the border to help out.

A sherriff of one of the border counties in Texas basically called Chertoff a blowhard (not in so many words) the other night on H&C. He said the DoHS has WAY underestimated the number of total attacks (the only count attacks on Feds, but the Sherriff said his guys are shot at regularly). And, noting the above statement, the Mexicans are helping out, just not us!
Posted by: BA || 02/10/2006 14:17 Comments || Top||

#7  the Mexicans are helping out, just not us!

If you believe the smugglers doing the shooting are not Federales.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/10/2006 14:21 Comments || Top||

#8  Jim Bohannon is on right now [Guam time] on the topic of MS-13 - its violent agendas, methodisms and proliferation into 33 of 50 Amer states.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/10/2006 23:04 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Religious violence leaves 35 dead in Pakistan, Afghanistan
Sectarian Muslim violence marred the holiest day of the Shiite calendar, with at least 35 people killed and more than 100 injured in attacks and clashes in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The violence erupted with a suspected suicide attack on Shiites in Hangu, northwestern Pakistan, as they celebrated Ashura, a mourning festival for the seventh-century death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson. Officials suspected militants linked to Sunni Muslims for the initial attack, which came with Muslim sentiment around the world already near boiling point over cartoons of Prophet Mohammed first published in a Danish newspaper.

Officials said 31 people -- both minority Shiites and rival Sunnis -- died in a possible suicide bombing and subsequent rioting by enraged Shiite mobs, prompting the army to move into the town. More than 50 were injured. Provincial police chief Riffat Pasha said 23 people died in the initial attack and in armed clashes between Shiites and Sunnis in Hangu.

Separately, four people died when gunmen fired on a minibus in Saidan Banda near Hangu and four truck drivers were shot dead after a mob torched their vehicles in the nearby Ibrahimzai area, a senior security official said.

In neighbouring Afghanistan four people were killed and 94 wounded during clashes between the two sects in the western city of Herat, said Energy Minister Ismail Khan, a former governor of Herat. Hundreds of troops were rushed to Herat as street battles raged in the usually peaceful city.

The annual Ashura festival marks the death of Imam Hussein at Karbala in modern-day Iraq in 680 AD. The festival is observed on the 10th day of the Muslim calendar's first month of Muharram. Many Shiites mark the ceremony by publicly wailing and by flagellating themselves with knives attached to chains.

Pakistan had massively beefed up security for the Ashura parades, which have often been targeted by Sunni extremists. During Ashura in 2001, 12 people died in fighting between Sunnis and Shiites. Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said army and paramilitary forces had moved into Hangu to control the unrest after the attack ripped through Shiite devotees in the town's main bazaar. He said announcements had been made from local mosques urging calm, while security had been boosted across the country. But Hangu's mayor Ghaniur Rehman said the situation was "very bad" and witnesses reported continuing gunfire in the town, around 175 kilometres (110 miles) west of Islamabad, hours after the first incident.

In contrast, the sectarian clash in Herat was first of its kind in Afghanistan for years, despite the country's war-torn history and an ongoing insurgency by the ousted Taliban movement. Two Shiite mosques in the city were torched and several cars set ablaze, while shop windows were smashed as men hurled stones and beat each other with sticks, residents said. The fighting appeared to have erupted after Shiites wrote slogans on cars belonging to Sunnis that praised Imam Hussein.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:


International-UN-NGOs
200+ NGOs and parliamentarians appeal for peaceful solution to Iran nuclear issue
Over 215 Parliamentarians and Non- Governmental organizations are appealing for a peaceful solution on the issue of Iran's nuclear program. They are headed by Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima, who launched the appeal Tuesday in Hiroshima, and include MEP Angelika Beer, President of the European Parliamentary delegation on Iran, and Gerard Onesta MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament.

Non-governmental organizations that have signed the appeal include International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Greenpeace, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF),the Association of World Citizens, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and Abolition-2000, a network of over 2000 NGO's calling for a worldwide ban on nuclear weapons.
"Sure, it ain't MAD and the Cold War - but it's something to get worked up about..."

The appeal has been organized by Friends of the Earth (Australia and Flanders in Belgium), Citizens Action for nuclear disarmament, and Mayors for Peace. In Belgium the Flemish section of Friends of the Earth was able to get signatures of both nearly 20 MP's and over twenty mayors from the different democratic political parties in Belgium, said a statement issued by the group.
And we know how influential the Belgians are.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:


Weekly Piracy Report 31 January-6 February 2006
Suspicious crafts February 02 2006 at 0130 UTC in position 19:38.8N - 039:04.0E, Red Sea. A craft was detected on radar by a container ship underway at port bow. D/O altered course to starboard and the craft also altered course, increased speed and tried to come close. Craft showed misleading navigational lights thus making it difficult to know its direction. D/O directed searchlights and craft moved away.

Recently reported incidents

February 05 2006 at 0745 UTC in position 01:20.7S - 116:58.9E, Balikpapan anchorage, Indonesia. Four robbers in a yellow speedboat approached a chemical tanker. Two robbers armed with knives boarded via anchor chain whilst the other two remained in the boat. Robbers escaped with a liferaft. IMB piracy reporting centre alerted the Indonesian authorities who recovered the life raft.

February 04 2006 at 2010 LT at Callao anchorage no.1, Peru. Three robbers armed with long knives and iron bars boarded a bulk carrier at forecastle. C/O raised alarm and crew mustered. Robbers stole forward life raft and escaped in a 5m length boat. Port authority informed.

February 01 2006 at 0130 LT in position 05:52.7S - 106:00.3E, Merak anchorage, Indonesia. Five armed robbers boarded a bulk carrier via poop deck and entered engine room. They attacked duty oiler and tied him up. They stole a large quantity spares and escaped.

January 31 2006 at 0030 LT at Chittagong Alpha anchorage area, Bangladesh. A boat approached at port bow of a product tanker underway. Crew went forward to investigate. In the meantime four robbers boarded at poop deck. They threatened duty A/B with knives, stole ship’s stores and safety equipment and escaped. Port control and coast guard informed.
And from the "Better Late Than Never" Desk:

January 29 2006 at 1936 LT at inner Guayaquil anchorage, Ecuador. Four robbers armed with guns and iron bars boarded a container ship. They broke open two containers and stole cargo. Shore guards onboard fired warning shots. Robbers returned fire and escaped. Coast guard informed, who patrolled anchorage area.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq
Secular faction joins Iraq's Sunni alliance
The main political alliance representing Iraq's ousted Sunni Arab elite won a new boost Thursday with the accession of a second secular faction to its parliamentary bloc, making it by a long way the second biggest in the legislature. The secular National Dialogue Front led by Sunni Arab politician Saleh al-Mutlaq said its 11 MPs were joining the Joint Council for National Action, giving it a total of 80 seats in the 275-seat Parliament, comfortably ahead of the 53 seats held by the main Kurdish alliance.

Mutlag's faction was the second secular movement to make common cause with the Sunni religious parties of the National Accordance Front. The Iraqi National List, an alliance of secular and leftist parties led by secular former premier Iyad Allawi already announced the accession of its 25 MPs to the new Joint Council last month.
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder if the best thing that could have happened in the middle east was a government that required coalitions to operate. Nothing like a balance of powers to keep the extremists in check and teach the children how to share.

I thought they should have divided up the country - but I now think I was wrong. Good luck to the Iraqis.
Posted by: 2b || 02/10/2006 0:20 Comments || Top||


US sets up new Iraqi prison system
The United States, which came under fire for abusing detainees in Iraq, has spent millions of dollars creating a new prison system there as part of a programme to revamp the criminal justice system from top to bottom. A Bush administration official, who asked not to be named, said around 70 US "correctional experts" including prison wardens, managers and instructors, had been involved in getting the new Iraqi correctional service up and running. The US experts established a training academy for Iraqi guards and administrators near Baghdad in December 2004, and the first class graduated the following month. "They have now graduated 4,029 Iraqi correctional officers, including 20 women who have undergone nine-week training courses," the official said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:


Iranian diplomat warns against illegal entry into Iraq
A key Iranian diplomatic figure in Baghdad has warned against the illegal entry of Iranian pilgrims into Iraq.

"The illegal entry of (Iranian) pilgrims into Iraq will be met with various difficulties and serious danger," said First Deputy Ambassador to Baghdad Hossein Zolanvar in an interview with IRNA here on Wednesday.

Zolanvar said Iraqi police have arrested more than 20 Iranians who, in recent days, have tried to cross illegally into Iraq to do pilgrimage or participate in the Ashura procession mourning the martyrdom of the third Imam of the Household of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, Hazrat Hossein ibn Ali (AS), and 72 of his companions. He said many Iranian families have called the embassy voicing concern over the fate of their loved ones and the embassy is busy following up their cases.

Elsewhere in the interview, Zolanvar touched on a deal between Iran and Iraq for the exchange of pilgrims, saying those interested in visiting Iraq's holy sites can join pilgrimage groups for this purpose. He said the groups would be allowed to visit only the provinces of Najaf and Karbala considering the security conditions prevailing in other provinces of the country. Pilgrimages to other provinces such as Kazemein and Samarra pose risks and are banned, he added.

The least the pilgrims can expect if they undertake pilgrimages to those prohibited provinces will be arrest and imprisonment, he said. There are currently over 100 Iranians jailed in various prisons in Iraq on charges of illegal entry, including for pilgrimage purposes.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If the civil government of Iraq just starting shooting any illegal foreigner caught with weaponry, the "insurgency" would really calm down quick.
Posted by: Crairong Omomotch6492 || 02/10/2006 7:48 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Kofi sez Palestinian elections show voters want clean governments
Secretary General Kofi Annan said Thursday that Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections should send a lesson to rulers and politicians in the Mideast and the world that voters want stable governments that are not corrupt and can serve their people.
Lucky for him the voters don't have a choice in who gets to be secretary general...
Annan said he didn't view Hamas' success and recent election gains by the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt and religious parties in Iraq as a rejection of secular parties in favour of Islamic parties in the Middle East. "I think if the regimes in power were seen to be delivering, were seen to be close to the people, I am sure the results would have been quite different," the secretary general told reporters in response to a question about the wider significance of the success of Islamic parties in the region.
Wonder how Hosni took that...
Annan stressed again that no one can anticipate the results of democratic elections. The results in Egypt, the Palestinian territories and elsewhere show that Islamic groups were well organised, he said. And in the case of the Palestinians, Hamas has had a record of offering social services, of being organised and disciplined, "and of not being corrupt." "What were the people voting for? Were they voting for a clean government? Were they voting for peace? Were they voting for a stable environment in which their kids could go to school? Or were they voting for the Hamas manifesto?," Annan asked, referring to the document that calls for Israel's destruction. "My sense is that they were voting for a peaceful and stable and well organised Palestine. So it's a lesson and a message for all rulers and politicians in the region, and everywhere in the world, that people want good government, and they will vote for people that they believe will offer that. I am not ready to accept that it is a total rejection of secular movements and a total swing to Islamic parties," Annan said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Annan asked, referring to the document that calls for Israel's destruction. "My sense is that they were voting for a peaceful and stable and well organised Palestine

And there in a nutshell is the reason why the UN is such a useless, toothless, waste of our tax dollars. They have no sense.
Posted by: 2b || 02/10/2006 0:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Who the f*** cares what an unelected bureacrat thinks.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/10/2006 1:13 Comments || Top||

#3  Amen, phil-b. He's just staff.

Bolton's "suggestion" that the "UN Secretariat come down to the council every day at 10:00 sharp to brief the members on whatever the UN is working on that day" is dead on the money - in more ways than one.

Re-establishing who be da boss and who be da help is looong overdue. And this shit about Kofi running around holding press conferences - what for? He's no Head of State. He's zip -- a disgraced corrupt flunkie. The instant he's out (in December, if not sooner), if the successor doesn't grant him immunity, he should be toast. If he does get immunity, then the successor should be toast. Withholding funding is the way to make it so. Enough of this pointless clown, all of these scheming Tranzi thieves, already.

The UN is a dead rat on the kitchen floor.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 3:12 Comments || Top||

#4  Hamas as clean government. Pegs the irony meter.
Posted by: SR-71 || 02/10/2006 5:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Kofi expects the UN's UNRWA bailiwick to double in size in a few years.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 5:41 Comments || Top||

#6  SR-71,

That's only because they haven't been in power like Ararat was for years receiving tons of Euro money to misdirect. Now is their turn. You can't be corrupt if you're not getting the means to be corrupt with. Once that little problem is solved, it will be business as usual, just different bosses.
Posted by: Elmains Spomomp5231 || 02/10/2006 6:56 Comments || Top||

#7  kofi is partly right

basically the Paleos had a choice between a corrupt bunch who recognized Israel but conspired to murder Israelis and an untested party which promises to murder Israelis but hasn't done much of it in the past year

there was no anti corruption peace candidate

on the other hand if someone had been running on a 'clean up the corruption and live peaceably with Israel' platform, they probably would have been murdered
Posted by: mhw || 02/10/2006 11:57 Comments || Top||

#8  WOW! First, Bob wants white farmers back in Zimbobwe, then Harry Reid's tied up in the Abramoff "scandal", and now this? My YJCMTSU meter needs a rest, and I'm only on page 2 of RB today!
Posted by: BA || 02/10/2006 13:46 Comments || Top||

#9  Lol, BA - spot-on, bro. Everyday, day after day, no let-up, no respite, we are assualted by amazing examples of CogDis. When they are the norm, as is the case today, well - it tends to wear me down... which is probably the intended aim of the BS vendors, anyway.

I prefer Hunter / Killer Teams.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 20:39 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Malaysia: PM Says 'Huge Chasm' Between West And Islam
Kuala Lumpur, 10 Feb. (AKI) - Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Friday warned that a "huge chasm has emerged between the West and Islam," mainly because of Muslim frustrations over Western policies in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Many in the West directly identify Islam with violence, and view a Muslim as “a congenital terrorist,” Abdullah told an international conference in Kuala Lumpur on the future relationship between the West and the Muslim world. “They (the West) think Osama bin Laden speaks for the religion and its followers. The demonisation of Islam and the vilification of Muslims, there is no denying, is widespread within mainstream Western society,” Abdullah, and Islamic scholar said.
Now, why do you think that is?
But he suggested Muslims must also play a role in overcoming the current friction. They should halt their "sweeping denunciation of Christians, Jews and the West" as well as violence and terror perpetrated by fringe groups, he said.
Yeah, that'd help.
Malaysia currently chairs the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). About 60 scholars, academics, religious leaders and writers from Europe, US and Muslim countries are participating in the two-day meeting, which will discuss mutual misperceptions and the impact of globalization on the Muslim world.
Posted by: || 02/10/2006 08:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But he suggested Muslims must also play a role in overcoming the current friction. They should halt their "sweeping denunciation of Christians, Jews and the West" as well as violence and terror perpetrated by fringe groups, he said

Likely to happen (___)
Somewhat likely (___)
Quite unlikely (___)
No chance in bloody hell(XX)
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/10/2006 9:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Friday warned that a "huge chasm has emerged between the West and Islam," mainly because of Muslim frustrations over Western policies in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Some things never change. An old excuse is one of them.

Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/10/2006 9:39 Comments || Top||

#3  lets push them into this chasm :) no lets push them into a cartoon walled chasm.
Posted by: ShepUK || 02/10/2006 9:41 Comments || Top||

#4  Perhaps the Muslims should just seal their borders, destroy their airports and ports, and try to recall the emigrants. That would certainly show us in the West and preserve their own cultures.

We promise to send in relief from time to time when Allah becomes ummerciful with natural disasters.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/10/2006 11:26 Comments || Top||

#5  Malaysia: PM Says 'Huge Chasm' Between West And Islam

Wrong! The only "huge chasm" that exists is between Islam and reality. Much of the non-Islamic world has no major problem with reality. Islam, on the other hand, is not even on speaking terms with the truth.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/10/2006 11:42 Comments || Top||

#6  lets push them into a cartoon walled chasm.

Thank you, ShepUK, that was good for a bellylaugh.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/10/2006 11:44 Comments || Top||

#7  Wonder when that "chasm" that runs through Tehran is gonna get wider? April Fools' Day is fast approaching.
Posted by: BA || 02/10/2006 14:43 Comments || Top||

#8  "huge chasm has emerged between the West and Islam"

Whaddaya mean emerged?

It's been that way for 1400 years. It's just that the West is finally beginning to notice. Again.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/10/2006 21:53 Comments || Top||


Sharia Lite : Caning Free
Familiarity breeds content in Cianjur sharia campaign

West Java's Cianjur regency took a gradual approach to the introduction of sharia, with a five-year "familiarization", or information, program for residents. Kussoy, the former head of the Cianjur religious affairs office who was at the forefront of the sharia campaign, said the implementation of Islamic law in educational, cultural and social spheres would not take the hardline approach of another sharia area, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam.

"There won't be public canings and the like. We will only implement sharia through moderate approaches in order to change the habits and lifestyle of people in line with Islamic norms," Kussoy told The Jakarta Post recently.

Sharia, a wide-ranging system of conduct regulating many aspects of life, is derived from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, Islamic tradition and the Koran.
Religious clerics in Cianjur, with Tasikmalaya one of two West Java regencies introducing sharia, say its implementation was justified because of the majority Muslim population. Kussoy defined several points of the draft bylaw, now under deliberation at the regental council, as the requirement for women to wear headscarves in public, as well as for Muslim elementary school students to earn a certificate attesting to their ability to write Islamic calligraphy and read from the Koran in order to graduate to junior high.

The idea of implementing sharia emerged during a Muslim congress in Cianjur in 2001, after the introduction of regional autonomy, when local religious figures gave their input to Kussoy, then the religious affairs office chief. They agreed that sharia was the best system to halt declining public morals, but decided on taking a gradual approach to its introduction to the regency's two million Muslims before submitting a bylaw.

"We started by asking people to perform congregational prayers and encouraged headscarf use among Muslim women," said Kussoy, who now heads the Cianjur Islamic Research and Development Council. Signboards were erected along main streets in the regency capital of Cianjur, with instructions from the Koran in the original Arabic calligraphy, including "Do virtuous acts, stay away from wrongdoing" and "The civilized woman is one who wears the headscarf", with their Indonesian translation below. Regent Wasidi Swastomo and local legislators also supported the move, although it was agreed sharia would not apply to the area's 16,000 non-Muslims.

Despite the 2004 Regional Autonomy Law stipulating that religion is the domain of the central government in the officially secular state, Kussoy said sharia was not illegal because it was the public's wish. "As long as the people are not against the law, then they have the right to determine their own lives," he said.
Posted by: Classer || 02/10/2006 01:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lol. Place a frog in cold water...

The endpoint of instituting Shari'a is certainly out there to be seen for what it is: pure barbarism and the death of any notion of freedom.

Allow it, let that camel get its nose under the tent-flap, and no matter how slowly it is implemented -- you get what you deserve.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 20:43 Comments || Top||

#2 
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 21:33 Comments || Top||

#3  "West Java's Cianjur regency took a gradual approach to the introduction of sharia, with a five-year "familiarization", or information, program..."

Coming soon to a country near you...Canada...Norway...who knows who else?

This "information" approach to imposing sharia on non-Muslims seems to be gathering a lot of steam lately.
Posted by: Jules || 02/10/2006 22:08 Comments || Top||


Al-Qaeda tried to outsource LA skyscraper plot to Hambali
Al Qaeda's original plan for 9/11 was to use a fifth commercial jet to bring down the 73-story Library Tower in Los Angeles, the tallest building west of the Mississippi. But Osama bin Laden believed an attack on both coasts was too ambitious and put it off for six months, intelligence sources told ABC News.

President Bush today revealed details of the foiled terror plot in a speech at the National Guard Memorial Building in Washington.

"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, had already set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast," Bush said.

During a typical weekday, more than 3,000 people work in the tower.

"Al Qaeda's crazed obsession in using airplanes as weapons is because it guarantees that it could create a mass causality or atrocity," said Sajjan Gohel, a terrorism expert with the Asia Pacific Foundation.

Los Angeles police chief William Bratton said the city had been repeatedly targeted.

"We've been targeted a number of times — not only the Library Tower," he said, "but the [Los Angeles International] airport was also going to be the target of an al Qaeda-sponsored event."

Six months after the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda found itself under siege in Afghanistan. So Khalid Sheik Mohammed decided to contract out the Los Angeles attack. He turned to a terrorist named Hambali, the leader of an al Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia.

"Rather than use Arab hijackers as he had on September the 11," Bush said, "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed sought out young men from Southeast Asia whom he believed would not arouse as much suspicion."

ABC News has learned Hambali recruited at least four men, including a pilot. Al Qaeda came up with a plan to break open a secure cockpit door using shoe bombs like those worn by al Qaeda operative Richard Reid before he tried to blow up an airliner in 2001.

"They are able to figure out what are the obstacles in front of them and figure out ways around those obstacles and they can do it in real time," said Dick Clarke, former White House counterterrorism czar and now an ABC News consultant.

Disaster was averted when one of Hambali's hijackers was captured in early 2002 by officials in an unnamed country, and he began identifying other members of the plot. Within five months, Hambali was arrested.

Law enforcement officials say Los Angeles, Washington and New York remain top al Qaeda targets.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/10/2006 00:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, had already set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast," Bush said.

Now, that's a really interesting statement. The flight 93 hijackers claimed to have a bomb on board. And the circumstances of that crash are slightly intriguing. I'm thinking here of the 911 call from the fellow who locked himself in the bathroom. The 911 operator heard an explosion and a whooshing sound right before the call disconnected, and the operator was promptly told by the FBI to shut up.

In addition, there are a great many folks (mostly moonbats, I know) who don't believe that the flights and subsequent fires were enough to bring the towers down. The fireballs accomponying the crashes were certainly pretty impressive -- more than one might expect from aviation fuel. If the attacks were supplemented with explosives on the aircraft, it may explain the fireball and the great structural damage done to the towers. It wouldn't have to be all shoebombs, either. A few suitcases added by al Qaeda/Iraqi/whoever baggage handlers would do the trick. Remember the oddity of Atta's baggage? Remember Hussain al-Hussaini went from Oklahoma City to employment at Logan?
Posted by: Rory B. Bellows || 02/10/2006 1:23 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Qassem: Hizbullah rejects foreign plots
Hizbullah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem denied the resistance is "a platform used by some parties to carry out plots against others" on Wednesday, in response to accusations Syria was using Hizbullah to harm Lebanon. During an interview with the National News Agency, Qassem rejected plans to turn Lebanon into an arena for U.S. and foreign tutelage "for the sake of strengthening certain parties at the expense of others, or for settling scores from Lebanon." Qassem stressed the only condition for his party's full and open cooperation in Lebanese society was "no relations with the Israeli enemy." Pointing to Hizbullah's relations with both the March 8 and March 14 camps, Qassem highlighted "the need for cooperation between all parties to save the country."

"The resistance had acknowledged previously the 'quartet' [Hizbullah, Amal, the Future Movement and Progressive Socialist Party] and voiced its support for the Future Movement and MP Saad Hariri," he said. "But even while MP Walid Jumblatt didn't acknowledge the quartet, we have never discontinued our contacts or cooperation with the Future Movement."

He said Hizbullah's statement of understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement on Monday was solely due to the fact that the FPM was the only group that agreed to such a document. Despite labeling relations with the Lebanese Forces as "normal," Qassem accused its leader Samir Geagea of "trying to give strategic dimensions that lead to separation instead of rapprochement." Geagea "is trying to accuse Hizbullah of doing things that are not in Hizbullah's best interests," he said. Qassem said Hizbullah's "one clear agenda" was to "rebuild the country," adding that the resistance "doesn't serve anyone and is not a passage for the plots of other sides to be carried out."
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Starting with the plot to undermine Islam by teaching children that 2 + 2 = 4?
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 5:33 Comments || Top||


Nasrallah: Bush and Rice should 'shut up'
Heading a march by hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslims in Lebanon on Thursday, Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said U.S. President George W. Bush and his secretary of state should "shut up" after they accused Syria and Iran of fueling protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

Addressing some half a million Shiites who turned up despite bad weather to commemorate Ashoura, Nasrallah urged Muslims around the world to keep up the protests as long as no apology has been received for the offence. "Defending the prophet should continue all over the world. Let Condoleezza Rice and Bush and all the tyrants shut up. We are an Islamic nation that cannot be silent when they insult our prophet or our sacred beliefs."

"Today, we are defending the dignity of our prophet with a word, a demonstration but let Bush and the arrogant world know that if we have to, we will defend our prophet with our blood, not our voices," Nasrallah said, drawing heavy applause from the crowds.

Bush had urged governments Wednesday to stop the violence, including attacks on Western diplomatic missions in parts of the Muslim world. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had also accused Iran and Syria, both backers of Hizbullah facing pressure from the West, of deliberately stoking rage among Muslims. "Efforts for compromise are being made while the offensive campaign is gathering steam and more newspapers are publishing the cartoon. There will be no compromise before we get an apology," Nasrallah said.

The head of Lebanon's resistance party also said there would be no compromise until a Danish apology is served, and media laws prohibiting the insult of Muslim religious sanctities are passed around Europe. "We want European parliaments to draft laws that ban newspapers from insulting the Prophet. If they don't do this, it means they intend to go on insulting our beliefs," he said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And Nastyrallah should fuck off. Sideways.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/10/2006 0:10 Comments || Top||

#2  think this stinking pile of trash won't get taken out with his patrons? riiiggghht
Posted by: Frank G || 02/10/2006 0:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Islam is an insult to itself. May Allan guide a missle to your beard, Nasrallah.
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 02/10/2006 0:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Sooo mature Nasraihateyou.
Posted by: bgrebel || 02/10/2006 2:03 Comments || Top||

#5  Too bad we are too civilized to reply with JDAM.
Posted by: SR-71 || 02/10/2006 5:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Enough talk.
Connan the Barbarian.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 5:14 Comments || Top||

#7  I'm thinking you're referring to this bit:
"if we have to, we will defend our prophet with our blood"

Works for me, too.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 7:44 Comments || Top||

#8  He'd better hope they keep talking.
Posted by: Perfesser || 02/10/2006 9:34 Comments || Top||

#9  in reality nasrallah doesnt give two s**ts whats published in Denmark. This is a golden opportunity to try to pry the Sunni Muslims in Lebanon away from their alliance with the Maronites and Druze, and to try to keep up Syrian influence, and to keep anyone from disarming Hezb. Better to talk about the cartoons, and keep the subject away from the investigation of the Hariri assasination.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/10/2006 9:45 Comments || Top||

#10  if we have to, we will defend our prophet with our blood

Isn't that Allan's job? Therefore aren't they all guilty of shirk?
Posted by: eLarson || 02/10/2006 9:57 Comments || Top||

#11  I don't think that he will like it when they stop talking. Some men talk and some men do. President Bush talks and then does. I foresee this weenie roasting soon.
Posted by: RWV || 02/10/2006 10:46 Comments || Top||

#12  Nah, RWV. Like most the other Islamic "leaders", my bet is he's no where to be found when the JDAM's come rainin' down.
Posted by: BA || 02/10/2006 14:24 Comments || Top||

#13  BA - "he's no where to be found when the JDAM's come rainin' down" - those lines have a nice ring to them, you ought to write them into a song.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/10/2006 15:58 Comments || Top||


Saudi prince slams Iran's nuclear program
The Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States denounced Iran's uranium enrichment program, but also criticized U.S. policy toward countries seeking nuclear weapons as inconsistent. Iran's pursuit of a nuclear program is worsening tension in the Middle East, Saudi Prince Turki Faisal said in a speech late Wednesday. "It escalates the tensions, and brings about competition which is unneeded and unnecessary and uncalled for," Prince Turki told an audience of about 250 political and business leaders in a speech organized by the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

Turki, 60, questioned the use of possessing weapons he said the Iranian people would never allow their leaders to use. "Where is Iran going to use these weapons?" he asked. "If their intention is to bomb Israel, then they will kill Palestinians, Syrians, Jordanians and Saudis, as well. If they intend to bomb the United States, for example, they will kill other people, as well. Where is the value of having a weapon of destruction that people know you are not going to use?"

Prince Turki said Iranians support their government's uranium enrichment program partially because they see a double standard in U.S. policy. "They see the U.S. government negotiating with North Korea ... and they see the U.S. signing a nuclear peace agreement with India ... and they see the U.S. turning a blind eye completely to Israel, although Israel has the most nuclear weapons in our part of the world," he said.

Faisal called on U.S. officials to advocate a totally nuclear-free Middle East instead of picking and choosing whose nuclear programs to oppose.
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Note that the statements in paragraph two clearly imply that Iranian use of nuclear weapons to kill Americans and, of course, the evil Joooos would be just fine if only those were the only casualties.
Posted by: AzCat || 02/10/2006 5:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Prince Turki, remember that name. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the subject, I urge you on the strongest possible terms to read the linked article.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/attacks/story/0,1320,906034,00.html

Turki is NOT our friend. Him putting his dog into the fight so late in the game is a direct indicator of whose side he's on.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/10/2006 11:55 Comments || Top||

#3  There's no double standard, the standard is that only responsible countries should have access to nuclear power and weapons.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 02/10/2006 12:29 Comments || Top||

#4  Haven't the Saudis been financing Pakistan's nuclear researches for several decades? If so, then it's just that he doesn't want Shiites to get that which so rightfully belongs to their natural Sunni Arab overlords.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/10/2006 12:46 Comments || Top||

#5  Great link, Zenster. Thanks.
Posted by: Darrell || 02/10/2006 16:37 Comments || Top||

#6  Its only mere fission-type uranium, not plutonium, ergp there are no WMDS in Iran, or North Korea, or Syria, or Cuba, or ......@, thus any US-led invasion unconditionally and undeniably proves how and why horribly defective, error-prone, incompetent, unreliable, dishonest anti-Salad/Soccer rapist abuser molester Fascist Socialist Male Brute Americans need a kinder, gentler, Motherly Communist Totalitarianist woman/women to show them the way to anti-Sovereign OWG MarxHeaven.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/10/2006 23:12 Comments || Top||


Washington quietly backs Iran reformers
Posted by: Fred || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good. I hope there are plenty of takers. How much is revealed here should only be the tip of the iceberg - and only the squeaky-clean bits. Take the clue, Persians. Your moment approaches...
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 2:36 Comments || Top||

#2  A day late and a dollar short.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/10/2006 5:17 Comments || Top||

#3  "R2 your my only hope"
Posted by: bk || 02/10/2006 11:10 Comments || Top||


Iranian Analyst: Russia, China main losers in Iran nuclear row
International affairs analyst Ali Khorram on Monday described the votes of Russia and China at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors to report Iran to the UN security Council as “big mistake.” Speaking to the Mehr News Agency, he said that Russia and China have realized that they didn’t benefit from reporting Iran to the Security Council and instead they lost many things.

The IAEA Board voted on Saturday to report Iran to the UN Security Council, but the top UN body will take no action until an IAEA report on Iran is delivered in March.

At last week’s meeting in London, the United States and the EU3 (France, Germany, and Britain) cheated Russia and China by claiming that they only wanted to report Iran to the UN Security Council to put pressure on Tehran to return to the previous status quo (when uranium enrichment related activities were suspended), the analyst argued. But this time Iran was not intimidated and declared that it would suspend implementation of the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and resume large-scale industrial enrichment, the university lecturer stated.

Khorram described all the measures Iran took after being reported to the Security Council as “right” and “timely”, adding that Iran made a mistake when it agreed to suspend some of its nuclear activities under pressure by the EU trio in the last two-and-half years. On the recent position adopted by some officials from Russia, China, and the European Union, according to which there is still room for diplomacy, he said, “The EU3, Russia, and China are well aware that they will not gain anything from sanctions and a military strike (against Iran) and it would be to their own detriment.

He advised the Iranian government to be firm in its decisions and prepare the grounds for resumption of uranium enrichment.

Khorram advised the West not to play with the dignity of the Iranian people. The West can prevent the situation from becoming worse by recognizing Iran’s rights within the framework of the Russian proposal before Iran starts uranium enrichment, he noted. He also said that at this juncture Iran should treat the world respectfully and with dignity.

“The five permanent members of the Security Council should think about the consequences of their action and know that Iran can carry out a lot of measures to resist the possible sanctions which will probably last for two years,” he observed.

Rattling the sabre scimitar...
Posted by: Pappy || 02/10/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sanctions are the least of the MM's worries, Ali baby. Got an asbestos ass? If not, you'd better arrange to be elsewhere, come April Fools...
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 3:29 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't think we will try "sanctions" of the ecconomic type or a trade embargo in the middle east again. I think the sanction Iran is going to get are the "executive" type.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/10/2006 3:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show seems to believe that Israel will fix Iran's little problem for us. Not that he's any kind of legitimate expert, but we're told his show is the primary news source for the young voter demographic. Interesting thinking -- yes there is a problem, but since Israel will fix it, we needn't worry ourselves about it.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/10/2006 7:36 Comments || Top||

#4  Heh, TW. The Don't Worry - Be Happy Kool Aid Kiddies. Yeah, that's Stewart's speed, screed, and understanding level.
Posted by: .com || 02/10/2006 7:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Iranian Analyst: Russia, China main losers in Iran nuclear row

BGO (Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious)
Posted by: Zenster || 02/10/2006 11:58 Comments || Top||

#6  The KKK (Komedy Kool-Aid Kids)musta not gotten the news that as soon as we kick the Iranian door down, things will quickly accelerate into a regional battle (Syria-SoLeb/Paleos-Iran) and more.

Better sooner than later.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/10/2006 14:36 Comments || Top||

#7  Dare the UNO approve and deliver sanctions unto IRAN at roughly the same time Iran is testing its SHIHAB-4 - OOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPSSSSSSSies! How does Britney keep getting herself into these
dilemmas/problems!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/10/2006 22:59 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Debate over cartoon publishing polarised
The furore over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed is continuing, with more public figures buying in on opposite sides of the debate.

The UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, says he does not understand why any editor would publish the cartoons at this time.

''It is insensitive, it is offensive, it is provocative, and they should see what has happened around the world,'' he said.

However the Somali-born Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali is condemning media outlets who have not published the cartoons.

Ms Hirsi Ali is an outspoken critic of Islam's treatment of women who worked with the murdered Dutch film maker, Theo van Gogh.

She says it is the duty of journalists to publish the cartoons.

"Shame on those politicians who stated that publishing and re-publishing the drawings was unnecessary, insensitive, disrespectful and wrong," she said.

"I am of the opinion that Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark acted correctly when he refused to meet with representatives of tyrannical regimes who demanded from him that he limit the powers of the press."

While reiterating his support for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, Mr Annan said: ''I am for that, but as I have indicated in the past freedom of speech is not a license. It does entail exercising responsibility and judgment and quite honestly I cannot understand why any editor will publish cartoons at this time which inflames, and pours oil on the fire.''

Mr Annan has previously condemned the violent protests that the cartoons have ignited.
Posted by: tipper || 02/10/2006 10:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So:I have a question. I read a lot of history and in many western history books of the period from the rise of Mohammad to the Crusades you will find pictures of Mohammad. Usually taken from Muslim terxts.
Should we (the West) now be expected to censor our own history books to appease Muslims?
Posted by: Cluper Pholuter4519 || 02/10/2006 12:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Have your history books told you of all the times Muslims have used accusations of blasphemy to have their enemies killed, or at least terrorized? Malicious accusations of blasphemy are an Islamic artform, or racket, if you prefer.
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 02/10/2006 12:41 Comments || Top||


Curse of the Moderates by Charles Krauthammer
Mr. Krauthammer, as usual, makes it all clear. Elevated from the opinion page.
As much of the Islamic world erupts in a studied frenzy over the Danish Muhammad cartoons, there are voices of reason being heard on both sides. Some Islamic leaders and organizations, while endorsing the demonstrators' sense of grievance and sharing their outrage, speak out against using violence as a vehicle of expression. Their Western counterparts -- intellectuals, including most of the major newspapers in the United States -- are similarly balanced: While, of course, endorsing the principle of free expression, they criticize the Danish newspaper for abusing that right by publishing offensive cartoons, and they declare themselves opposed, in the name of religious sensitivity, to doing the same.

God save us from the voices of reason.

What passes for moderation in the Islamic community -- "I share your rage but don't torch that embassy" -- is nothing of the sort. It is simply a cynical way to endorse the goals of the mob without endorsing its means. It is fraudulent because, while pretending to uphold the principle of religious sensitivity, it is interested only in this instance of religious insensitivity.

Have any of these "moderates" ever protested the grotesque caricatures of Christians and, most especially, Jews that are broadcast throughout the Middle East on a daily basis? The sermons on Palestinian TV that refer to Jews as the sons of pigs and monkeys? The Syrian prime-time TV series that shows rabbis slaughtering a gentile boy to ritually consume his blood? The 41-part (!) series on Egyptian TV based on that anti-Semitic czarist forgery (and inspiration of the Nazis), "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," showing the Jews to be engaged in a century-old conspiracy to control the world?

A true Muslim moderate is one who protests desecrations of all faiths. Those who don't are not moderates but hypocrites, opportunists and agents for the rioters, merely using different means to advance the same goal: to impose upon the West, with its traditions of freedom of speech, a set of taboos that is exclusive to the Islamic faith. These are not defenders of religion but Muslim supremacists trying to force their dictates upon the liberal West.

And these "moderates" are aided and abetted by Western "moderates" who publish pictures of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung and celebrate the "Piss Christ" (a crucifix sitting in a jar of urine) as art deserving public subsidy, but who are seized with a sudden religious sensitivity when the subject is Muhammad.

Had they not been so hypocritical, one might defend their refusal to republish these cartoons on the grounds that news value can sometimes be trumped by good taste and sensitivity. After all, on grounds of basic decency, American newspapers generally -- and correctly -- do not publish pictures of dead bodies, whatever their news value.

There is a "sensitivity" argument for not having published the cartoons in the first place, back in September when they first appeared in that Danish newspaper. But it is not September. It is February. The cartoons have been published, and the newspaper, the publishers and Denmark itself have come under savage attack. After multiple arsons, devastating boycotts, and threats to cut off hands and heads, the issue is no longer news value, i.e., whether a newspaper needs to publish them to inform the audience about what is going on. The issue now is solidarity.

The mob is trying to dictate to Western newspapers, indeed Western governments, what is a legitimate subject for discussion and caricature. The cartoons do not begin to approach the artistic level of Salman Rushdie's prose, but that's not the point. The point is who decides what can be said and what can be drawn within the precincts of what we quaintly think of as the free world.

The mob has turned this into a test case for freedom of speech in the West. The German, French and Italian newspapers that republished these cartoons did so not to inform but to defy -- to declare that they will not be intimidated by the mob.

What is at issue is fear. The unspoken reason many newspapers do not want to republish is not sensitivity but simple fear. They know what happened to Theo van Gogh, who made a film about the Islamic treatment of women and got a knife through the chest with an Islamist manifesto attached.

The worldwide riots and burnings are instruments of intimidation, reminders of van Gogh's fate. The Islamic "moderates" are the mob's agents and interpreters, warning us not to do this again. And the Western "moderates" are their terrified collaborators who say: Don't worry, we won't. It's those Danes. We're clean. Spare us. Please.
Posted by: tipper || 02/10/2006 09:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Moderates? What moderates?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/10/2006 12:35 Comments || Top||

#2  In the Muslim world, accusations of blasphemy are instruments of intimidation. Works over here, too. The riots and burnings are terrorist recruiting tools.
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 02/10/2006 12:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Mr. K's reminded me of this: Where were the Muslims when "Piss Christ" came out? "Last Temptation of Christ?".
Posted by: Ptah || 02/10/2006 17:35 Comments || Top||

#4  No surprise, the mods elevate a Krauthammer article on "mods".

Nice job Brownie
Posted by: Captain America || 02/10/2006 18:39 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2006-02-10
  Nasrallah: Bush and Rice should 'shut up'
Thu 2006-02-09
  Taliban offer 100kg gold for killing cartoonist
Wed 2006-02-08
  Syrian Ex-VP and Muslim Brotherhood Put Past Behind Them
Tue 2006-02-07
  Captain Hook found guilty in London
Mon 2006-02-06
  Cartoon riots: Leb interior minister quits
Sun 2006-02-05
  Iran Resumes Uranium Enrichment
Sat 2006-02-04
  Syria protesters set Danish embassy ablaze
Fri 2006-02-03
  Islamic Defense Front attacks Danish embassy in Jakarta
Thu 2006-02-02
  Muhammad cartoon row intensifies
Wed 2006-02-01
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Mon 2006-01-30
  UN Security Council to meet on Iran
Sun 2006-01-29
  Saudi Arabia: Former Dissident Escapes Assassination Attempt
Sat 2006-01-28
  Hamas leader rejects roadmap, call to disarm
Fri 2006-01-27
  Hamas, Fatah gunmen exchange fire in Gaza

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