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Mysterious explosion kills 7, injures 16 in Iran
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Africa North
Libyans protest in Benghazi against new leaders
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Monday to show their frustration with leaders who came to power after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown.

In the biggest demonstration in Benghazi since the revolt against Gaddafi started in the city, between 20,000 and 30,000 protesters filled the central Shajara square and nearby Abdel Nasser Street, a witness told Reuters.

They chanted "The revolution started in Benghazi" and demanded changes to Libya's interim leadership, the National Transitional Council (NTC), and the removal from government of anyone associated with Gaddafi's rule
Well, that didn't take long
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 15:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [331 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Worse is the enemy of bad enough...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 12/12/2011 16:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Hat tip, MM.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 16:26 Comments || Top||

Egypt denies 'Post' report of Hamas bases in Sinaii
"No one can bring in military tools or erect missile bases in Sinai," Egyptian official claims.

An Egyptian official has denied a Jerusalem Post report that Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, has established forward bases and rocket production facilities in the Sinai Peninsula in an effort to protect them from Israeli air strikes.

The Post revealed Sunday that Israel has called on Cairo to increase its efforts to restore order in Sinai and to prevent attacks, but the Egyptian military has held back from dismantling the Hamas infrastructure in the peninsula.

"No one can ever bring in military tools or erect missile bases in Sinai. Egypt would not allow such a breach to its illusory sovereignty," Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted an Egyptian official as saying in response to the Post report.

The official added that Sinai is completely under the control of the Egyptian authorities and that the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel remains in place.

He further supported his refutation of the existence of Hamas bases and weapons production facilities in Egypt by pointing to the presence of UN peacekeepers in northern Sinai who, he claimed, would be aware of such a development were it to occur.

More than a dozen Egyptian army battalions allowed into Sinai with Israel's permission (required because of limits placed on Egyptian forces there under the peace treaty) are still operating there, although with limited success in stopping terrorist activity and arms smuggling to the Gazoo Strip.

Recent arms smuggled into Gazoo have included advanced weaponry stolen from Libyan military storehouses such as Russian- made shoulder-to-air missiles.

Israel's primary concern with Sinai is that it is being used by Paleostinians to launch attacks into Israel while taking advantage of the open southern border.

The IDF has beefed up its forces along the border and recently established a new regional brigade that is responsible for defending Eilat and nearby areas.

On Thursday, the IDF bombed a car traveling in northern Gazoo and killed a senior Aksa Martyrs Brigades operative who the army said was plotting an attack.

The Islamic fascisti were supposed to cross from Gazoo into Sinai and then into Israel, similar to the attack that took place in August when eight Israelis were killed.

The bombing of the car is part of an IDF understanding that since it cannot operate in Egypt it needs to stop such attacks while they are still in the planning stages in the Gazoo Strip.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lips moving?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 8:25 Comments || Top||

Libya Ex-Rebels Deny Attempt to Kill Army Officer, Say Ready to Withdraw If Government Protects Facilities in Tripoli
[Tripoli Post] Libyan revolutionaries who liberated the capital Tripoli and toppled the Qadaffy regime denied accusations that they attempted to kill Colonel Khalifa Hifter who claims to be in charge of a Libyan army.

The rebels say the alleged national army does not even exist and has played no role in protecting the strategic facilities in the capital Tripoli and does not have any presence on Libya borders.

A front man from Zintan revolutionaries denied that his fighters, who protect the Tripoli International Airport and other economic strategic facilities within the capital, ever tried to kill the former Qadaffy military assistant and the commander of the infamous Chad War.

Speaking to the News Agency that Dare Not be Named, Khalid el-Zintani, front man for Zintan revolutionaries, said his fighters did not try to kill Hifter and blamed the festivities occurred on Saturday evening on the Colonel's failure to notify them of his arrival.

"What do you expect fighters to do, when a heavily armed military convoy tries to pass checkpoints [in the direction of the airport] without previous notification?" el-Zintani said.

When asked about the "National Army" which Hifter claims to be its Chief of Staff, el-Zentani said the military is too poorly organized for them to submit to its authority, as quoted by AP.

"Until now, we don't know anything about the Libyan national army. Who is in charge, where the military bases are, what is its chain of command or even how can rebels join it?" said el-Zintani.

"On the ground, the so-called national army is nothing yet," he stressed.

It is a common fact that Libyans do not agree on those who claim to lead the national army and in the case of the revolutionary fighters who toppled Qadaffy they do not trust those who served in high ranks with the former dictator. Hifter is one of those controversial officers at least until he left the country and went to exile.

Hifter was the commander of the Libyan army during the Chad war from 1986 to 1987. But he was defeated and taken prisoner with a large number of Libyan soldiers by the Chadian army and in due time he went to exile to join the opposition group outside Libya.

El-Zintani said that rebels were ready to hand the airport to a government agency "only if it is capable of protecting the airport from intrusions."

Mukhtar al-Akhdar, the Zintan fighters' commander at the airport, also disputed the legitimacy of the so-called national army and its very authority.

"If this is a real army, why don't they go protect the borders instead of trying to take over the airport?" he said.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [691 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Months, not years?
Posted by: Pappy || 12/12/2011 10:08 Comments || Top||

#2  why don't they go protect the borders instead of trying to take over the airport

Airport's an important border post.
Posted by: lotp || 12/12/2011 11:24 Comments || Top||

War crimes charges pressed against 3
[Bangla Daily Star] The prosecution yesterday submitted formal war crimes charges crimes against Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
leaders Motiur Rahman Nizami
...During the liberation war of 1971, Nizami formed the Al-Badr Force and acted as its supreme commander. The Al-Badr militia took active part in rape, extortion, looting and killing of Bangladeshis who supported the liberation, including a pre-planned massacre on December 14, 1971, when the Al-Badr militia along with Pakistan Army rounded up hundreds of doctors, professors, writers, and other Bengali intellectuals, and executed them...
, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and Muhammad Kamaruzzaman to the International Crimes Tribunal.

Charges against Jamaat Ameer Nizami include genocide, rape, torture, abduction and confinement of Bangalee people in Pabna and other regions, and abetment of and attempt or conspiracy to perform such acts during the country's 1971 Liberation War, said prosecutor Zead Al Malum.

Mojaheed, secretary general of the party, has been charged with similar crimes committed in greater Faridpur, he added.

Kamaruzzaman, who is the assistant secretary general of Jamaat, faces charges of crimes against humanity. His areas of operation were Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Tangail and Sherpur, Malum said.

"Kamaruzzaman was the chief coordinator of Al Badr [an auxiliary force of the Pak occupational army] during the war," he told The Daily Star.

Prosecutors, however, would not elaborate the charges brought against the Jamaat trio, who are now behind bars on charges of war crimes.

The three-member tribunal fixed December 18 for taking the charges into cognisance.

It also directed the prosecution to submit formal charges against Abdul Quader Molla, assistant secretary general of Jamaat, before it on the same day.

The four Jamaat leaders were present during the proceedings.

Earlier, Sherlocks in their report submitted to the prosecutors brought 20 specific charges against Nizami, 12 charges against Mojaheed and eight charges against Kamaruzzaman.

The charges included crimes against humanity, genocide and attempt, abetment of and attempt or conspiracy to commit any such crimes and complicity in or failure to prevent commission of any such crimes.

Under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, such offences carry a maximum sentence of death.

The tribunal earlier framed charges against Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi
...Islamic orator and politician. He was a former Member of Parliament in the National Assembly of Bangladesh from 1996 to 2008, and is one of the most prominent leaders of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami...
and took charges against BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury into cognisance.

At present, five Jamaat and two BNP leaders including Salauddin Quader Chowdhury face war crimes charges.

While Salauddin is in jail, the other BNP leader Abdul Aleem is on bail due to illness.

In October, Sherlocks had submitted a 411-page probe report on Nizami, 366 pages on Mojaheed, 327 pages on Kamaruzzaman and a 385-page report on Quader Molla.

During the country's nine-month Liberation War, Jamaat had collaborated with the Pak forces.

About 30 million Bangalees were killed and about 2 million Bangalee women were violated by the Pak forces and their collaborators.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [366 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

Home Front: WoT
U.S. Proposes Unmanned Border Entry With Mexico
Posted by: Skidmark || 12/12/2011 00:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [807 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is that what they're calling it now?

I guess we're unmanned in more ways than one now.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 12/12/2011 7:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Janet Incompetano trying to beef up the Obama votes before 2012
Posted by: Frank G || 12/12/2011 8:35 Comments || Top||

#3  So we put a fence up with Canada. Hey, why doesn't "Incompetano" sick her TSA on them. Oh yeah, that maybe would work. I wonder who is pulling her strings.
Oops! that was a duh moment!.
Posted by: Dale || 12/12/2011 9:10 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm not sure if it really makes a difference anymore. Like the guy says in the article, they can cross anywhere else along the border illegally. It sounds like it would be a convenience to American tourists and campers and a major quality of life issue for the Mex's in the little town. Not sure if they need to spend 2+ million on it. How about a turnstile with a closed channel telephone?
Posted by: bigjim-CA || 12/12/2011 9:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Was there some years back. It's been an unguarded crossing for ages; basically you row across to the town.

Like bigjim sez - I don't think you need a $2 million station.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/12/2011 10:13 Comments || Top||

#6  I don't think you need a $2 million station.

Bite your tongue!
Posted by: Unneeded Station Builders, Inc. || 12/12/2011 13:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Does it work both ways? Can I now just wander into the state of Sonora and look for a job?
Posted by: mojo || 12/12/2011 13:20 Comments || Top||

#8  Sure. I wandered across for a beer. It's in the middle of Nowhere. Then again, that was some 20 years ago, and we didn't have a bunch of folks getting worked up about it.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/12/2011 13:38 Comments || Top||

#9  Does it work both ways? Can I now just wander into the state of Sonora and look for a job?

Yeah. You can look all you want. I guess it depends on what kinda work you're looking for whether you'll find it or not. If you're in the "security" business there might be opportunities.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 12/12/2011 13:44 Comments || Top||

#10  Just don't ask for any free education, health care, welfare, human rights, property rights, legal rights, etc., etc.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 12/12/2011 13:46 Comments || Top||

#11  "Just don't ask for any free education, health care, welfare, human rights, property rights, legal rights, etc., etc."

No point in doing that anyway, EU - they haven't got any of that stuff.
Posted by: Barbara || 12/12/2011 13:51 Comments || Top||

#12  It worked so well for the town of Rock Ridge (Blazing Saddles reference). just put up a tollbooth and make them go back for a sh*t load of dimes!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/12/2011 14:07 Comments || Top||


So iff all the Mexicans, etal. are now to be moving to CONUS, what Mexicans or other will still be living or staying back in Mexico, etc. proper???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2011 18:46 Comments || Top||

#14  Lotsa US retirees?
Posted by: Pappy || 12/12/2011 19:31 Comments || Top||

#15  And hopefully Jesse Ventura.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 12/12/2011 19:45 Comments || Top||

Pakistani Taliban spokesman denies peace talks
[Dawn] A Pak Taliban front man and another commander have denied the group is in peace talks with the government.

The faceless myrmidons contacted The News Agency that Dare Not be Named by telephone Sunday, a day after Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, recognised by many as the Pak Taliban's deputy chief, announced the group was negotiating with the government. He was the first named commander to confirm talks.

Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan denied the claims, saying there would be no negotiations until the government imposed Islamic law, or Shariah, in the country. He has previously denied reports of peace talks by unnamed commanders and intelligence officials.

"Talks by a handful of people with the government cannot be deemed as the Taliban talking," Ehsan told The News Agency that Dare Not be Named by telephone from Qazi's guesthouse an undisclosed location.

Maulvi Faqir Mohammed has long been identified as the group's Bajaur head. But he reportedly decamped to Afghanistan in recent years to escape army operations. He has long been identified as head of the Pak Taliban in Bajur and said a deal with the government there could be a "role model" for the rest of the border region.

But another commander, Mullah Dadullah, also now claims to be Taliban chief in Bajur. Dadullah contacted the AP on Sunday and denied the group, also known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or TTP, was negotiating with the government.

"As TTP chief responsible for Bajur, I am categorically saying there are no talks going on between the government and the Tehrik-e-Taliban at the Bajur level or the central level," Dadullah said, also speaking from Qazi's guesthouse an undisclosed location.

Ehsan, the front man, said Dadullah rather than Mohammed was the head of the Pak Taliban in Bajur.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [359 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  HMMM, HMMMM, Pak Taliban versus Afghan Taliban???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2011 2:12 Comments || Top||

As last US troops leave Iraq, Obama and al-Maliki meet to chart next steps in relationship
With the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq in its final days, President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met at the White House Monday to discuss the next phase of the relationship between their countries.

The withdrawal of all American troops on Dec. 31 marks the end of a nearly nine-year war that has been deeply divisive in both the U.S. and Iraq. While Obama and al-Maliki have pledged to maintain strong ties, the contours of the partnership between Washington and Baghdad remain murky, especially with Iran eager to assert influence over neighboring Iraq. And serious questions remain about Iraq’s capacity to stabilize both its politics and security.

Yet the end of the war still marks a promise kept for Obama, one the White House is eager to promote. In addition to his meeting with al-Maliki, Obama will mark the milestone Wednesday when he speaks to troops at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. And he thanked service members and their families for their sacrifices when he attended the annual Army-Navy football game Saturday.

The number of U.S. troops in Iraq has dwindled to about 6,000, down from 170,000 at the war’s peak in 2007.

Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, met with al-Maliki in the Oval Office Monday morning. The meeting was expected to focus heavily on how the U.S. and Iraq will continue to cooperate on security issues without the presence of American troops. Iraqi leaders have said they want U.S. military training assistance for their security forces but have been unable to agree on what type of help they’d like or what protections they would be willing to give American trainers.
Posted by: tipper || 12/12/2011 11:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [323 views] Top|| File under:

Islamic Jihad challenges Hamas with help from Iran
Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, it hasn't faced a real challenge to its rule. Until now.

Today, its main rival is Islamic Jihad, which until recently was considered compliant with Hamas's proxies. But in recent months, Islamic Jihad has made a quite a leap in its capabilities and military infrastructure. This is a direct result of Iran's divergence of funds traditionally allocated to Hamas to Islamic Jihad instead. According to some estimates, Iran's support has given Islamic Jihad, a rocket arsenal that compares in its quantity and quality with that of Hamas.

The main cause for the Iran-Hamas split was the Palestinian terrorist group's decision to abandon the Assad regime in Syria and begin moving its political-military bureau out of Damascus. Reportedly, most of the senior Hamas command has already left Syria and a headquarters that once had hundreds of operatives now has only a few dozen left.

Western intelligence agencies are tracking Hamas operatives to discern where the new headquarters will be established. Among the leading candidates are Egypt, Sudan and Jordan. Qatar is also a possibility but Khaled Mashaal, head of the bureau, is said to want to be close to the Gaza Strip.

The departure from Damascus be a short term benefit to Israel. Without a clear base and a patron like Assad, Mashaal and the overseas branch of Hamas will be weakened and might have difficulty sustaining the logistical support they had been providing for the group's Gaza-based activities.

Iran's decision to slash its funding of Hamas is also hurting the group and Hamas is searching for new sources of income, such as its decision last month to fine the Bank of Palestine $150 million on bogus charges.

As a result, Hamas does not want -- at the moment -- a major confrontation with the Israel, since an attack on Israel would hinder its fund-raising efforts. This is thought to be one of the reasons why Hamas preferred not to get involved in this weekend's attacks against Israel.
Posted by: ryuge || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [755 views] Top|| File under: Islamic Jihad

#1  Islamic Jihad, though Sunni, actually supported Iran during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
Posted by: Lord Garth || 12/12/2011 0:29 Comments || Top||


Silly US-WESTERN INTEL, next thing you know they believe a GLOBAL-SCOPED JIHAD = synonymous wid CONQUERING THE WORLD!

["PINKY & THE BRAIN" TV Toon here].
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2011 2:18 Comments || Top||

Barack Obama demands Iran return downed US drone
I've been waiting for this. Now Iran can conduct a 3 way auction with the US, China and Russia.
President Barack Obama on Monday acknowledged a US drone was in Iranian hands for the first time and said the United States has asked Tehran to return the sophisticated spy aircraft.

"We've asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said at a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
So he didn't 'demand'...
It was the first open confirmation by the Obama administration that Iran was in possession of the drone, which Tehran says it brought down as the plane was flying over the country's territory.

Obama, however, shed no further light on the plane's mission or why it failed to return to a base in Afghanistan.

"With respect to the drone inside of Iran, I'm not going to comment on intelligence matters that are classified," he said.

The bat-winged RQ-170 Sentinel, designed to evade radar for surveillance flights, was on a CIA mission when it went missing, US officials, speaking anonymously, have said previously.
Posted by: tipper || 12/12/2011 18:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [573 views] Top|| File under:

#1  After Jan. 2013, I predict Barack Obama will have a second career peddling impotence drugs.
Posted by: Slatle Bumble5851 || 12/12/2011 19:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Papa drone - in between rounds of golf, and of fund-raising - asks for return of baby drone.
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 12/12/2011 19:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Did Obummer try stomping his indecisive feet?
Posted by: gorb || 12/12/2011 19:31 Comments || Top||

#4  ION TEHRAN TIMES > IRAN DEMANDS AFGHANISTAN EXPLANATION ABOUT US DRONE, i.e. why it entered Iranian Airspace via their country.

WHY, KABUL, WHY - spelled W-I-I-I - WHY, D *** YOU!?


* SAME > [US-led] WEST CANNOT PROVOKE ANOTHER REGIONAL CRISIS, EX-FOREIGN MINSTER [Ali Akbar Velayati], as the same are not handling or reacting well to the chaos wrought by the crises the US-West have already induced.


US-West "Talking the Talk, but N-O-T able to Walk the Walk"???


* BHARAT RAKSHAK > {Asia Times] IRAN LOOKS TO ITS ALLIES, i.e. Russia + China for anti-US critical support + response in wake of Drone shootdown = incident.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2011 21:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Wake me when Bambi does anything besides whine.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/12/2011 23:38 Comments || Top||

Iran to 'reverse engineer' US drone
Iran claimed that it had begun exploiting a US drone equipped with the latest radar evading technology on Monday as officials warned that the downed machine could be shared with America's rivals.

Parviz Sorouri, an MP on parliament's foreign policy committee, said that Iranian experts were in the final stages of recovering the data from the surveillance drone, which was captured on Iranian territory last week.

Tehran has paraded the loss of the drone as a blow to the US and claimed it plans to reproduce the technology. It said its security forces had shot the drone down using previously secret air defence systems.

The drone, which is made from the latest 'stealth' technology, has been presented as a valuable windfall for its defence scientists.

"Our next action will be to reverse-engineer the aircraft," Mr Sorouri said. "In the near future, we will be able to mass produce it. Iranian engineers will soon build an aircraft superior to the American (drone) using reverse engineering."

Other Iranian officials have hinted that it could allow American rivals such as China the opportunity to acquire the technology. American officials used diplomatic pressure to recover similar technology on helicopter that crashed in Pakistan during the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader.
Posted by: tipper || 12/12/2011 11:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [754 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let me get this straight, they are going to work backwards to make a forward design?
Posted by: swksvolFF || 12/12/2011 12:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Are they also going to "reverse engineer" the rest of the infrastructure? (Which, technology-wise, is most of the system.)
Posted by: PBMcL || 12/12/2011 13:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Good. That will keep they busy.
Posted by: mojo || 12/12/2011 13:19 Comments || Top||

#4  So they're gonna a whole fleet of yellow fake drones. Gotcha...
Posted by: Steve White || 12/12/2011 13:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Bummer says he's asked the Iranians to give it back. LOL.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 12/12/2011 14:46 Comments || Top||

#6  Our troll is back?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 15:20 Comments || Top||

#7  stand back- Wily E. Coyote, supergenius at work.
Posted by: Percy Schwarzeneggar9107 || 12/12/2011 15:22 Comments || Top||

#8  Now that we're all into sharing, maybe Israel could use the technology.
Posted by: gorb || 12/12/2011 17:32 Comments || Top||

#9  It worked so well with the Saeqeh. I'll bet they have at least the same success.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 12/12/2011 19:04 Comments || Top||

Iran to practice closing oil hub Strait of Hormuz
TEHRAN - A member of the Iranian parliament's National Security Committee said on Monday that the military was set to practice its ability to close the Gulf to shipping at the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil transit channel in the world, but there was no official confirmation.

The legislator, Parviz Sarvari, told the student news agency ISNA: "Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure."
Posted by: || 12/12/2011 11:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [919 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That should be an interesting exercise to watch. Do they need someone to play OPFOR or will they just ignore that part of the game?
Posted by: SteveS || 12/12/2011 13:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Good time for our ships to practice sinking Iranian ships...
Posted by: Steve White || 12/12/2011 13:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Iran has a small navy. Sinking it would most likely be the outcome of closing the Straits.
Posted by: JohnQC || 12/12/2011 13:48 Comments || Top||

#4  That's what happened last time.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/12/2011 13:56 Comments || Top||

#5  Park'em next to the Iran Ajr.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 12/12/2011 15:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Someone tell Greenpiece that Iran is hunting whales in the Strait of Hormuz.
Posted by: gorb || 12/12/2011 17:36 Comments || Top||

#7  More likely it'll be small attack craft, minisubs, mine laying (farther up the straits) and other non-conventional warfare tactics.

It'll be... interesting... to see what happens.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/12/2011 17:54 Comments || Top||

#8  I'm hoping that we are watching them closely.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/12/2011 17:55 Comments || Top||

#9  China has begun deploying "dual-use" giant drilling platforms = rigs in the SCS capable of being quickly armed wid LR RECCE + TACMISSLE SYS, fka in Euro during WW2 as "SEA/CHANNEL FORTS".

Dare Iran in the PG be as serious as China in the SCS???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2011 18:53 Comments || Top||

#10  This remains one of my favorite video clips of all time: http://www.navybook.com/nohigherhonor/vid-prayingmantis.shtml, at 2:12 into the clip.
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 12/12/2011 19:26 Comments || Top||






ARTIC = indics that, outside of Central Asia land routes, it costs the USAF approxi US$14,000 per tonne to airlift supplies into Afghanistan, OVERLAND SUPPLY ROUTES ARE LONGER + TIME-CONSUMING, BUT ALSO FAR CHEAPER.

IOW, Russia + by extens CAR [Central Asia Region] Routes are still a QUESTION MARK AS RUSSIA WON'T CONFIRM OR DENY THAT IT WILL CLOSE THE ROUTES.



In sum, IMO any de facto Iran-led closure of the Straits of Hormuz only makes the Overland = Russia + CAR Routes more important to the US-NATO efforts in Afghanistan be it pre-2014 or post-2014. Also read, BAD FOR THE UNDER-THREAT-OF-NEW-RECESSION-OR-DEPRESSION-IN-2012 USA.

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/12/2011 21:44 Comments || Top||

Iran will definitely strike Turkey if attacked
Iranian official reiterates anger over Turkish agreement to house NATO facilities, threatens "grave consequences."

An Iranian security official said that Iran would "definitely" strike NATO positions in Turkey if it were attacked, according to a Monday report by the Turkish daily Hurriyet.

“We are closely monitoring the relations with Turkey in the National Security Commission of the parliament. Iran has warned Turkey before that the deployment of the system will have grave consequences." said Hossein Ibrahimi, vice-chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission.

Ibrahimi also referenced a similar threat made at the end of November by Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace division. "General Hajizadeh’s remarks are entirely true and when we are attacked, it is our natural right to defend ourselves,” Hurriyet quoted Ibrahimi as saying.

Tehran has made clear its displeasure at Turkey's September decision to deploy a NATO missile early warning system, which Iran sees as a US ploy to protect Israel from any counter-attack should the Jewish state target Iran's nuclear facilities.

Once-warm relations between Iran and Turkey have been strained this year due to the missile shield and Ankara's outspoken criticism of Syrian President Bashar Assad's violent crackdown on popular unrest.

Turkey and Iran, the Middle East's two major non-Arab Muslim states, are vying for influence in the post-Arab Spring region and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's military adviser accused Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of setting its foreign policy to please Washington.
Posted by: || 12/12/2011 11:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [489 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I remember reading "Soldier" by Anthony Herbert, in which he describes his unit in Korea disintegrating, and him falling back as (I think ) a Private, and somehow ending up on a hilltop defended by a Turkish troops. In the end, the Turks ran out of ammo - so they fixed bayonets, and launched a massive bayonet charge downhill, against the very surprised Chinese attackers - an attack that drove through the attacking forces - and back to friendly lines.

Herbert's conclusion: "If you ever have to be with a military unit that is out of ammunition, and surrounded by a massive number of screaming enemy attackers - go with the Turks - they mean business.

Now - that was about 60 years ago - let's hope that the Turks' fighting spirit lives on. The Iranians couldn't get anywhere 30 years ago, fighting for eight years against an Iraqi Army that folded in 15 minutes against Desert Storm formations.
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 12/12/2011 19:18 Comments || Top||

#2  the Islamist influence might cut into that "fighting spirit"
Posted by: Frank G || 12/12/2011 19:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Certainly the Islamists have jailed a great many of those trained to call upon that spirit. Especially given all the claims that Muslims do not fight other Muslims (a canard of the first water, but never mind).
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/12/2011 20:27 Comments || Top||

Juppe Says Syria 'Undoubtedly' behind Attack on UNIFIL
[An Nahar] French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Sunday that Damascus
...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world...
was "undoubtedly" behind Friday's kaboom against a French UNIFIL patrol in southern Leb.

some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them...
the top French diplomat noted that he had no evidence to substantiate his claim.

Asked during an interview with TV5MONDE, Radio La Belle France Internationale and Le Monde whether he believed the attack was a "message" from Syria, Juppe said: "There's no doubt."

"We have strong reasons to think that this attack came from there," he said, noting that Damascus used Hizbullah for such attacks in the past.

"I don't have proof," he stressed, while adding that the group was Syria's "armed wing."

Juppe added: "We have again asked the Lebanese government to protect UNIFIL."

The minister on Friday condemned the attack in which five French troops were maimed, saying La Belle France would not be intimidated by such "vile acts."

"I condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly attack that was carried out against UNIFIL (U.N. Interim Force in Leb) this morning, wounding five French peacekeepers," Juppe said on Friday.

A roadside kaboom in the southern coastal town of Tyre maimed five French soldiers and two civilians when it exploded as their vehicle drove past.

The chief of staff in Gay Paree said four peacekeepers were "very lightly maimed" and the fifth "a bit more seriously" but without life-threatening injuries.

La Belle France is "determined to continue its involvement with UNIFIL (and) will not be intimidated by such vile acts," Juppe said.

UNIFIL patrols have been the target of a string of unclaimed roadside kabooms in recent years, including two previously in 2011.

Friday's blast came amid heightened tension over the bloody uprising in neighboring Syria, with some warning the unrest could spill over into Leb.

There have been constant fears that the UNIFIL force stationed in the south of the country would be an easy target should the unrest reach Leb.

Spain currently commands the 12,100-strong UNIFIL force, which was founded in 1978 and expanded after a 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah.

La Belle France has one of the largest contingents with 1,300 soldiers.

In July, six French UNIFIL troops were maimed, one of them seriously, in the southern coastal town of Sidon, in an attack similar to Friday's. In May, six Italian peacekeepers were maimed in Sidon, also in a roadside kabooming.

Three Spanish and three Colombian peacekeepers were killed in June 2007 when a booby-trapped car went kaboom! as their patrol vehicle drove by.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [318 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Berri Slams 'Bid to Depict Some Bekaa Towns as Criminal'
[An Nahar] Speaker Nabih Knobby Berri
Speaker of the Lebanese parliament, a member of AMAL, a not very subtle Hizbullah sock puppet...
on Sunday noted that "there's an attempt to depict some towns in the Bekaa" as dens for criminals.

During a meeting with Ahmed Zeidan, the manager of dairy company Liban Lait who was freed Sunday in the Bekaa Valley after a 4-day kidnap ordeal, Berri said some "major and brave towns" are being labeled as criminal, although "these towns are home to honorable people and decent tribes, but unfortunately a few individuals are tarnishing the image of these towns."

Army troops managed on Sunday to liberate Zeidan, who was kidnapped at gunpoint on Wednesday by five unknown abductors.

He was found on the outskirts of the town of Brital in the Bekaa, reported Future News on Sunday.

His abductors were also tossed in the slammer, it revealed.

It added that they were found in possession of foreign currency, light weapons, different military equipment, and a considerable amount of drugs, as well as an advanced wiretapping device.

LBC television reported that three Lebanese and a Syrian were behind Zeidan's abduction.

They are in a critical situation and were incapable of even asking for a ransom for the kidnapped because they were being chased by security authorities, it added.

In addition, it revealed that Berri played a role in the release where he exerted his political pressure ensure Zeidan's liberation.

Answering a question about the abductors, Berri said Sunday: "The thing is not as it seems like; there's a skilled gang employing individuals and this thing will be thoroughly investigated by the relevant security forces."

The speaker denied that any random had been paid to the kidnappers.

"There are exploited individuals, and there's no doubt that the financial situations and living conditions in the Bekaa ... and the permanent state of poverty are all things that are being taken advantage of," Berri added.

Answering another question, Berri said: "We cooperated with the Lebanese army, and we are not a separate legitimacy. We are a legitimacy led by the state and the security forces are performing their duty and there is coordination."

Berri warned that "this act will leave negative repercussions, especially amid these circumstances and especially that the abductee is a member of one of the dear families in Sidon."

"The army has the information and we were in constant contact with it and it knows everything," Berri stressed.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [346 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

#1  In addition, it revealed that Berri played a role in the release where he exerted his political pressure ensure Zeidan's liberation.

Think Jesse Jackson, backed by AKs and RPGs.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/12/2011 10:17 Comments || Top||

#2  I spotted him first.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 15:37 Comments || Top||

#3  We'll send you his ears as a trophy if we find 'em.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/12/2011 17:55 Comments || Top||

Hizbullah Condemns Decision to Release Four 'Israeli Agents'
[An Nahar] Hizbullah criticized on Saturday military tribunal judge Alice Shabtini's decision to release six convicted Israeli spies, questioning her motives and deeming the incident as a dangerous development, reported the daily An Nahar on Sunday.

The Hizbullah-backed al-Manar television station reported: "This is a dangerous precedent seeing as the accused only served a little more than a month of their 5 to 10-year sentences."

It questioned the purpose of the release, the judge's motives, and the timing of the incident.

"Who is she trying to prove herself to seeing as she is one of candidates to head the Higher Judicial Council?" it wondered.

Shabtini had released four of the six accused who have been convicted of collaborating with Israel, reported An Nahar.

The permanent military tribunal had sentenced them to 10 to 15 years in prison and they have been jugged for two years and ten months, it added.

The four accused, who are members of the Alam family, won an appeal to reconsider their sentence and they were released, it explained.

Hizbullah deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem
... the Grand Vizier of the Hezbullies...
condemned the release of the accused, saying that it did not take into consideration their "rich history" of collaborating with Israel.

He stressed that the party will follow up on the issue through the "normal means," reported An Nahar.

Shabtini told the daily that the decision to release them was unanimous.

She revealed that three of the released are very ill and they were costing the state heavy expenses.

She refuted claims that she took the decision to release them independently from the court, saying that four other officers also took the decision with her.

"I study each case very thoroughly and we all reached an agreement to release the four individuals," the judge stressed.

"I follow the law and what it stipulates," she added.

"Israel is my only enemy and all people should all be judged equally," Shabtini said.

Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [318 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

Error in Detonating Tyre Bomb Saved UNIFIL Soldiers
[An Nahar] The bomb that targeted the French unit in the United Nations
...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks...
Interim Force in Leb on Friday exploded a few moments before the soldiers arrived at the scene, reported the daily An Nahar on Sunday.

Security sources told the daily that casualties may have taken place had the bomb been detonated at the appropriate time, given the size and method in which it exploded.

They explained that an error may have occurred and therefore the bomb went kaboom! at the wrong time.

Five French soldiers and two civilians were maimed on Friday by a powerful roadside kaboom that targeted a UNIFIL patrol in the southern coastal city of Tyre.

The explosives were placed in a garbage bin in the area of al-Nabaa on the road that leads to Burj al-Shamali in Tyre.

The blast left a one-meter deep crater and caused damages to nearby houses.

MTV on Saturday reported other security sources as saying that the bomb was remotely detonated with the assailant being located some 150 meters northwest of the blast site.

"The kaboom took off a few meters before the French unit reached the bomb, meaning the attacker had committed a mistake in the detonation," they explained.

...back at the precinct house, Sergeant Maloney wasn't buying it. It was just too pat. It smelled phony...
Prime Minister Najib Miqati said on Saturday that French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe's statements that such attacks will not intimidate his country's UNIFIL troops is a sign of La Belle France's commitment to the international force.

A French U.N. patrol was attacked on July 26 and Italian peacekeepers were targeted on May 27.

UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas denounced the attack but vowed it would not deter his troops from fulfilling their mandate.

Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [322 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Arabs! Can't do anything right.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 2:47 Comments || Top||

Virtual embassy, US trap to recruit spies
[Iran Press TV] Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi says the Washington's move to set up a virtual embassy for the Iranians is a trap for espionage.

"Those who might be deceived by the website of this virtual embassy must be warned that this (initiative to open a virtual embassy) is a form of bait to entrap them for spying," IRNA quoted Moslehi as saying on Sunday.

Moslehi said the website follows the same line as the former US Embassy in Iran, adding that an embassy can only be established with the approval of both countries involved.

He went on to say that the opening of an embassy has different stages and what the Americans propose as a virtual embassy is invalid.

The virtual US embassy for Iranians went online on December 6 more than three decades after the closure of the US diplomatic mission in Tehran.

On November 4, 1979, a group of revolutionary Iranian university students, who described themselves as 'Students Following the Line of Imam [Khomeini],' took over the US Embassy in Tehran, insisting that it had turned into a hub of active espionage and scheming aimed at overthrowing the nascent Islamic Theocratic Republic establishment.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [315 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  On November 4, 1979, a group of revolutionary Iranian university students...took over the US Embassy in Tehran

So how's that whole Islamic Revolution thingie working out for youse guys? An Islamic paradise? Peace and prosperity for everyone? Or is the whole thing starting to feel a little scratchy after 30 years of the same old same old.
Posted by: SteveS || 12/12/2011 3:38 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Lowe's pulls ads from TV show about US Muslims
Posted by: Skidmark || 12/12/2011 00:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [335 views] Top|| File under:

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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2011-12-12
  Mysterious explosion kills 7, injures 16 in Iran
Sun 2011-12-11
  Syrian Opposition Reports Deputy Defense Minister Killed
Sat 2011-12-10
  Rival Yemeni forces said to quit streets of Taiz city
Fri 2011-12-09
  Twenty trucks torched in attack at Nato terminal in Quetta
Thu 2011-12-08
  Yemen's unity government announced
Wed 2011-12-07
  New coalition government formed in Yemen
Tue 2011-12-06
  Afghanistan: Kabul shrine attacks 'kills 34'
Mon 2011-12-05
  France Reduces Tehran Embassy Staff after Attack on British Mission
Sun 2011-12-04
  Iran police arrest 12 over embassy rally
Sat 2011-12-03
  US Hands Over Camp Victory to Iraq
Fri 2011-12-02
  Syria Sanctions Target Assad Brother, 16 Other Senior Figures
Thu 2011-12-01
  UK expels Iran diplomats after embassy attack
Wed 2011-11-30
  Egypt's elections go smoothly amid protests
Tue 2011-11-29
  Iranian brownshirts seize 6 British embassy staff
Mon 2011-11-28
  Enraged Pakistanis burn Obama effigy, slam US

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