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Bombs kill at least 80 in Kirkuk
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Page 4: Opinion
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
A very imperfect NA Union for the rich.
Posted by: 3dc || 07/17/2007 03:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Iff I remember correctly, DOUG STEPHEN Show > CANADA will be American in everything except country name and legal sovereignty by 2050, whereupon they'll prob vote to become part of the USA anyway - ditto MEXICO by 2080-2100. JIM BOHANNON Show Pert > Iff the major nations of the world intend to begin exploring deep space, they will need the resources that only OWG and a peaceful world order can provide.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 07/17/2007 3:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Ready the tinfoil hats!
Posted by: JSU || 07/17/2007 3:48 Comments || Top||

#3  Cue in the 1957 Rome Treaty... start with economical integration and infrastructure convergence, and end happily on the way to a transnational/postnational super-State... all this outside of democratic decision-making and carried out by technocrats and bureacrats bypassing national sovereignty. Do you really need tinfoil hats?
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 07/17/2007 4:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Joe, do you really want a 51st state of Prince Edward Island?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 07/17/2007 7:17 Comments || Top||

#5  Ya know, I don't like this any more than any other 'burger around here. But, this is happening anyways (at least w/ Mexico) through illegal immigration, so I figure what's the harm in combining w/ Mexico anyways? At least, then we'd have a LOT smaller southern border to patrol.
Posted by: BA || 07/17/2007 9:08 Comments || Top||

#6  ...so I figure what's the harm in combining w/ Mexico anyways?

Because most of us do NOT want it, and, we don't want it shoved down our throats without consultation!

Is it clearer for you now?
Posted by: Natural Law || 07/17/2007 9:57 Comments || Top||

#7  Chill, NL. I was saying that "tongue in cheek", my friend! I don't want it either, and I especially don't appreciate the sneaky way it's being done. My point is, parts of America are "little Mexico Cities" already, and if we completely ignoring illegal immigrants anyways, we (ultimately) get the same effect. I don't appreciate either approach to get there, my friend.
Posted by: BA || 07/17/2007 10:15 Comments || Top||

After 5 Years In U.S. , Terrorist Cell Too Complacent To Carry Out Attack
SAN CLEMENTE, CA —Five years after settling in southern California and trying to blend into American society, a six-man terrorist cell connected to the militant Islamist organization Army of Martyrs has reportedly grown too complacent to conduct its suicide mission, an attack on the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

According to cell leader and boat owner Jameel al-Sharif, the potentially devastating operation, which involves breaching the station's reactor core and triggering a meltdown that could rival the Chernobyl disaster, "can wait."
"We remain wholly committed to the destruction of America , the Great Satan," al-Sharif said. "But now is not a good time for us. The season finale of Lost was such a cliff- hanger that we have to at least catch the first episode of the new season. After that, though, death to the infidels."

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/17/2007 00:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336070 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is from the Onion, btw :-).
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 07/17/2007 7:22 Comments || Top||

#2  I really wish that submitters would identify the Onion articles as such in the headline.
Posted by: Rambler || 07/17/2007 8:14 Comments || Top||

#3  This is a six-week old article that appared in the Onion and is a spoof...how does such rubbish get onto Rantburg?
Posted by: HammerHead || 07/17/2007 9:02 Comments || Top||

#4  It must be true if you read it on the internet.
Posted by: ed || 07/17/2007 9:06 Comments || Top||

#5  I find it rather funny, like often with the Onion; it's been a certain time since a Scrappleface was posted here, but I think those spoofs have a place here, if announced as such (no big deal here, though, no need to shame Besoeker or something), and reserved for opinion or local IMHO.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 07/17/2007 9:16 Comments || Top||

#6  The problem with Onion articles is they are just as likely to reflect reality as twist it. F'r instance, that one about the honourable former Senator John Edwards, esq.: it turns out that he really is campaigning to end bad things. From a press release on the same day about New Orleans link

Finally, Edwards believes we need to protect the city and the region from weather and crime. As president, Edwards will do whatever is necessary to ensure that Katrina never happens again

That said, Onion articles are funny, and we need such things to keep us from going mad these days.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/17/2007 10:44 Comments || Top||

#7  I think this is exactly what happened to a number of Soviet sleeper agents, however. They were sent to the US filled with a number of lies in their heads and living here more or less turned them without the CIA or anyone even trying.

Not sure it would work with a terrorist cell though.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 07/17/2007 11:42 Comments || Top||

#8  How do you expect me read this trash information if you keep showing Grace and her caboose on the right. My mind....keeps....wandering....What was I saying?
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839 || 07/17/2007 15:14 Comments || Top||

#9  You were talking about Grace's caboose . . . .
Posted by: gorb || 07/17/2007 17:43 Comments || Top||

#10  Grace's caboose is certainly a delightful topic to .....................oh yeah, talk about.

Posted by: AlanC || 07/17/2007 18:00 Comments || Top||

#11  no visible means of support, either....
Posted by: Bobby || 07/17/2007 18:21 Comments || Top||

#12  maybe a separate area for humor
Posted by: mhw || 07/17/2007 19:44 Comments || Top||

#13  Onion is prime fodder, identified early on. Great satire.

maybe a separate area for humor
my concern is if I'm booted for noncompliance
Posted by: Frank G || 07/17/2007 20:54 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Getting the facts straight about the old-new Russia

In the six or seven years in which they interacted on a regular basis, Vladimir Putin's police state and journalist Fatima Tlisova had a mostly one-way relationship. Ms. Tlisova's food was poisoned (causing a nearly fatal case of kidney failure), her ribs were broken by assailants unknown, her teenage son was detained by drunken policemen for the crime of not being an ethnic Russian, and agents of the Federal Security Services (FSB) forced her into a car, took her to a forest outside the city of Nalchik and extinguished cigarettes on every finger of her right hand, "so that you can write better," as one of her tormentors informed her. Last year, the 41-year-old journalist decided she'd had enough. Along with her colleague Yuri Bagrov, she applied for, and was granted, asylum in the United States.

Ms. Tlisova and Mr. Bagrov are, as the wedding refrain has it, something old, something new: characters from an era that supposedly vanished with the collapse of the Soviet Union 16 years ago. Now that era, or something that looks increasingly like it, seems to be upon us again. What can we do?

The most important task is to get some facts straight.

Fact No. 1: The Bush administration is not provoking a new Cold War with Russia.
That it is seems to be the view of Beltway pundits such as Anatol Lieven, whose indignation at alleged U.S. hostility to Russia is inversely correlated with his concerns about mounting Russian hostility to the U.S., its allies and the likes of Ms. Tlisova. In an article in the March issue of the American Conservative, the leftish Mr. Lieven made the case against the administration for its "bitterly anti-Russian statements," the plan to bring Ukraine into NATO and other supposed encroachments on Russia's self-declared sphere of influence. In this reading, Mr. Putin's increasingly strident anti-Western rhetoric is merely a response to a deliberate and needless U.S. policy of provocation.

Yet talk to actual Russians and you'll find that one of their chief gripes with this administration has been its over-the-top overtures to Mr. Putin: President Bush's "insight" into the Russian's soul on their first meeting in 2001; Condoleezza Rice's reported advice to "forgive Russia" for its anti-American shenanigans in 2003; the administration's decision to permit Russian membership in the World Trade Organization in 2006; the Lobster Summit earlier this month at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport (which Mr. Putin graciously followed up by announcing the "suspension" of Russia's obligations under the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty).

This isn't a study in appeasement, quite. But it stands in striking contrast to the British government's decision yesterday to expel four Russian diplomats over Mr. Putin's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the former FSB man suspected of murdering Alexander Litvinenko in London last November with a massive dose of polonium. "The heinous crime of murder does require justice," British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said yesterday. "This response is proportional and it is clear at whom it is aimed." Would that Dick Cheney walked that talk.

Now turn to Fact No. 2. Russia is acting with increasingly unrestrained rhetorical, diplomatic, economic and political hostility to whoever stands in the way of Mr. Putin's ambitions.

The enemies' list begins with Mr. Putin's domestic critics and the vocations they represent: imprisoned Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky; murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya; harassed opposition leader Garry Kasparov. It continues with foreign companies which have had to forfeit multibillion-dollar investments when Kremlin-favored companies decided they wanted a piece of the action. It goes on to small neighboring democracies such as Estonia, victim of a recent Russian cyberwar when it decided to remove a monument to its Soviet subjugators from downtown Tallinn. It culminates with direct rhetorical assaults on the U.S., as when Mr. Putin suggested in a recent speech that the threat posed by the U.S., "as during the time of the Third Reich," include "the same claims of exceptionality and diktat in the world."

None of these Kremlin assaults can seriously be laid at the White House's feet, unless one believes the lurid anti-Western conspiracy theories spun out by senior Russian officials. And that brings us to Fact No. 3. Russia has become, in the precise sense of the word, a fascist state.

It does not matter here, as the Kremlin's apologists are so fond of pointing out, that Mr. Putin is wildly popular in Russia: Popularity is what competent despots get when they destroy independent media, stoke nationalistic fervor with military buildups and the cunning exploitation of the Church, and ride a wave of petrodollars to pay off the civil service and balance their budgets. Nor does it matter that Mr. Putin hasn't re-nationalized the "means of production" outright; corporatism was at the heart of Hitler's economic policy, too.

What matters, rather, is nicely captured in a remark by Russian foreign ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin regarding Britain's decision to expel the four diplomats. "I don't understand the position of the British government," Mr. Kamynin said. "It is prepared to sacrifice our relations in trade and education for the sake of one man."

That's a telling remark, both in its substance and in the apparent insouciance with which it was made: The whole architecture of liberal democracy is designed primarily "for the sake of one man." Not only does Mr. Kamynin seem unaware of it, he seems to think we are unaware of it. Perhaps the indulgence which the West has extended to Mr. Putin's regime over the past seven years gives him a reason to think so.

Last night, Ms. Tlisova was in Washington, D.C., to accept an award from the National Press Club on behalf of Anna Politkovskaya. "She knew she was condemned. She knew she would be killed. She just didn't know when, so she tried to achieve as much as she could in the time she had," Ms. Tlisova said in her prepared statement. "Maybe Anna Politkovskaya was indeed very damaging to the Russia that President Putin has created. But for us, the people of the Caucasus, she was a symbol of hope and faith in another Russia--a country with a conscience, honor and compassion for all its citizens."
How do we deal with the old-new Russia? By getting the facts straight. That was Politkovskaya's calling, as it is Ms. Tlisova's, as it should be ours.

Mr. Stephens is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. His column appears in the Journal Tuesdays.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 07/17/2007 10:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thank you Bret Stephens! It has seemed both Dems and Republicans alike have turned to wearing rose colored glasses when looking at the "New Russian State"! How our President can be so enamored of Putin that he can't analyze what Is thrown up in his face. Putin's actions are likened to that of a pirate willing to "legally" pillage not only from his neighbors, but from his own
country. He deals in lies, extortion, torture, and even murder to ensure his grip on power. It is "PC" for both our parties to not see what he has done, and is doing. I guess this is so because to not see is easier, in that nothing need be done about it then. But if it is happening to you or in your own backyard (the Brits) the stench can't be ignored. The British are not letting the murder a Russian journalist on their soil to go by without investigation.
To their credit and often at at their peril, many local journalists have written and spoken in defence of the truth in their own former Soviet dominated countries. It is time we listened to them. Its time we took our heads out of the sand and hold accountable those "New " Russian leaders whose actions we find so rank, instead of listening to their siren platitudes.

I stand with Ms. Tlisova and Mr. Bagrov, both journalists seeking political asylum for their efforts to expose the dishonor and criminality of Vlad Putin. Putin is not a man to be trusted. Thank you Bret Stephens for speaking up. Slats
Posted by: Slats Phomort7029 || 07/17/2007 19:58 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
Preventing the West from Understanding Jihad
Via Jihad watch
By Walid Phares
In the years that followed 9/11, two phenomena characterized the Western public's understanding of the terrorists' ideology. The first characteristic stemmed from the statements made by the jihadists themselves. More than ever, Islamist militants and jihadi cadres didn't waste any opportunity to declare, clarify, explain, and detail the meaning of their aqida (doctrine) and their intentions to apply Jihadism by all means possible. Unfortunately for them, though, those extremely violent means changed the international public opinion: the public now was convinced that there was an ideology of Jihadism, and that its adherents meant business worldwide.

From Ayman al Zawahiri in Arabic to Azzam al Amriki in American English, via all of the videotapes made by "martyrs" in Britain, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the public obtained all the evidence necessary. Against all the faulty academic literature of the 1990's, the statements by the jihadists themselves were very convincing.

The second phenomenon of help to the public was the surfacing of a new literature produced by alternative scholars, analysts, journalists, experts, and researchers who, from different backgrounds and countries, filled in some of the gaps is "jihadi studies." Producing books, articles, and blogs from Europe, India, the Middle East, and North America, a combination of Third World-born and Western-issued scholarship began to provide the "missing link" as to what Jihadism is all about. These factors came together to shift the debate from "Jihad is spiritual yoga" to "Why didn't we know it was something else as well?" And this triggered in response one of the last attempts to prevent jihad from being understood.

In the 1990's, apologist literature attempted to convince readers and audiences in the West that jihad was a "spiritual experience only, and not a menace." [1] That explanation has now been shattered by Bin Laden and Ahmedinijad. So in the post-9/11 age, a second strategy to delay public understanding of Jihadism and thereby gain time for its adherents to achieve their goals has evolved. It might be called the "good cop, bad cop" strategy. Over the past few years, a new story began to make inroads in Washington and the rest of the national defense apparatus. A group of academics and interest groups are circulating the idea that in reality jihad can develop in two forms: good jihad and bad jihad.
When researched, it turns out that this theory was produced by clerics of the Wahabi regime in Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood, as a plan to prevent jihad and Jihadism from being depicted by the West and the international community as an illegal and therefore sanctioned activity. It was then forwarded to American- and Western-based interest groups to be spread within the Untied States, particularly within the defense and security apparatus. Such a deception further confuses U.S. national security perception of the enemy and plunges democracies back into the "black hole" of the 1990's. This last attempt to blur the vision of democracies can be exposed with knowledge of the jihadi terror strategies and tactics, one of which is known as Taqiya, the doctrine on deception and deflection. [8]
Rest at link
Posted by: ed || 07/17/2007 09:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336069 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: WoT
US army officer puts 'solution to Iraq war' on eBay
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 07/17/2007 08:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ah, you gotta love capitalism! I wonder if Bushitler/Cheney will make a bid?
Posted by: BA || 07/17/2007 9:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Ahem, if he is an Army officer, and he has ANY information that is germane to the issue, he has a DUTY to report it to his superiors, not put it up for bid at auction...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 07/17/2007 11:47 Comments || Top||

#3  The solution is to transmit the launch codes for the entire compliment of missiles/warheads to ONE of our Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines. Target? The MME!
Posted by: Natural Law || 07/17/2007 12:33 Comments || Top||

#4  It's probably similar to my secret plan for any given team to win the World Series.
Posted by: kelly || 07/17/2007 14:05 Comments || Top||

#5  I'll buy it if it involves removal of US troops from urban areas of Iraq; allows ethnic cleansing to clear all Shiites south of the Tigris River in Baghdad; permits heavy air bombardment against ANY built up area controlled by terrorists; flattening of al-Sadr's rat-hole; halts Iranian movement into Iraq; imposes disproportionate retaliation as the first rule of engagement; annihilation any mosque where a cleric declares jihad terror against an American; removal of the Iraqi Parliament from office and grants regional government status to Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites (out of Iranian control); imposition of shoot on sight orders against anyone selling de-cap videos; imposes depopulation of unauthorized persons from within 5 miles of an oil pipeline (secured urban sections being excepted); destruction of the nearest 4 buildings to an IED explosion site or sniper nest, and the nearest mosque; air support to hair-trigger search and destroy missions conducted by the Iraq Army.

What? No more defenses of the status quo?
Posted by: McZoid || 07/17/2007 20:24 Comments || Top||

War Wimps, Sycophants
Linda Heard, sierra12th@yahoo.co.uk
An interim White House report card on Iraq paints a grim picture. Yet, just as he did following the publication of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) report last year, George W. Bush is making true to his promise to stay even if Laura and Barney, his dog, are his only two supporters.
Presumably that's because it's essential that he do so.
A British multiparty commission set up by the Foreign Policy Center has called upon Britain’s new Prime Minister Gordon Brown to come up with a clear exit strategy from Iraq and to “actively and urgently...pursue changes of policy from our allies”.
My feeling, to date without any concrete evidence, is that Brown is going to be Britain's Zapatero.
Thus far, Brown has kept his Iraq policy close to his chest although due to distinctly anti-unilateralism statements made by several of his ministers known to be anti-war, he is being accused in some quarters of sending mixed signals to his “friends” in Washington.
I don't consider Mark Malloch Brown a "mixed signal." Since he appears comfortable in the circle he's moving in, and since the circle he's moving in is the Labour government, I'm guessing the Labour government is much like Mark Moloch.
Given that the American and British publics are overwhelmingly hostile toward the war and more than 60 percent of Iraqis support insurgent attacks on coalition troops, to use an expression oft quoted by Dr. Phil when he disapproves of his guests’ behavior, “What are they thinking?”
What I'm thinking is that it doesn't matter whether every American with the possible exception of Laura and Barney decides they don't want to be at war with head-chopping Islam. Head-chopping Islam is at war with us and will be until we all wear turbans and burkas. I'll settle for killing the enemy wherever we can come to grips with them, and while I'm not fond of the idea occasionally expressed here of wiping out all of Islam, I'm not too disturbed by the thought of collateral damage. As we've seen with Lal Masjid, the collateral damage is often enough willing to be there and the bitching doesn't come until after they've become casualties. We're expected to be civilized so they don't have to.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 07/17/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336094 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

#1  NEWSMAX > EXPERTS AGREE: MAJOR TERROR THREATS [to USA] LOOMS. Summer 2007 or not. Also, some Pert personages still hold that a number of nuke devices were indeed snuck over the US border by Latino crime gangs paid/contracted by Terror, and have been set up and are only awaiting orders to strike = detonate. Pert > iff a small 10-kiloton nuke device had been used on 9-11 instead of two airliners, one Milyuhn people would've died on 9-11 in Manhattan.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 07/17/2007 3:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Whereas wiping out all of Islam strikes me not only to be a good idea but a necessary public health measure.
Posted by: Excalibur || 07/17/2007 11:26 Comments || Top||

#3  How far are they prepared to go to stand up to Bush and his failed agenda?

When the islamo-cockroaches come to wipe their collective a$$es with your face...don't call me for sympathy.
Posted by: anymouse || 07/17/2007 14:23 Comments || Top||

#4  From her bio...

While acknowledging that she is a daughter of Wales, Linda considers herself to be a true citizen of the world. A period of over 30 years away from her country of birth - living and working in 16 different countries - has taught Linda a powerful lesson: we are all brothers and sisters under the skin. It is this principle, which has guided Linda more than any other in her passionate penmanship on behalf of victims of racism, discrimination and injustice, whether the perpetrators are individuals or states.

Linda’s road has often been a lonely one since she refuses to align herself with any political system, party, activist group, or campaigning society. Without the constraints of ‘belonging’ and having to toe an official line, she strives to be an objective observer of the international political arena.

However, after many years spent in the Arab world, including Dubai - where she was the Editor of both the Emirates In-flight and the Dubai Airport publications - Linda has grown to love the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf. “When I hear the hauntingly beautiful call of the muezzin, I know I’m home,” she is known to say.

Due to decades of witnessing so many good things about Arab culture - hospitality, compassion, charity and respect for family values - Linda feels that the Arabs, and even Islam, are currently being maligned by leaders of Western powers to suit their own power-led agendas. “Portrayals of Arabs as backward or barbaric have long been themes of Hollywood movies,” she says, “and since September 11, the often gagged and compliant Western media has followed suit. The truth is very different.”

Linda urges critics of the Arab world - most of which have never even met an Arab, let alone visited an Arab country - to spend some time in the United Arab Emirates. “This is the place where in little over three decades the desert sands have been rolled back to make way for parks, gardens and golf courses; home of the world’s tallest building; the constructor of the world’s only man-made islands able to be seen from space, and most importantly, where citizens from almost every country live together in peace and harmony,” she says.

The writer’s greatest ambition is to witness an end to the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people in her lifetime and a viable Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. She would also like to see a multi-polar world instead of one where a hyper-power is able to ride roughshod, unchallenged.
Posted by: tu3031 || 07/17/2007 14:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Arabist skank
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 07/17/2007 16:41 Comments || Top||

#6  She would also like to see a multi-polar world instead of one where a hyper-power is able to ride roughshod, unchallenged.

Hmmm ... is she rooting for Riyadh vs. Teheran or is there room for an eventual nuclear Indonesia in her dreams?
Posted by: lotp || 07/17/2007 16:55 Comments || Top||

#7  As far back as 2003, Daniel Pipes said we should base in the desert, support native counter-terror and not Islamic clerics, and work against 3rd party interference. There is nothing to stop us from taking retroactive notice.
Posted by: McZoid || 07/17/2007 20:48 Comments || Top||

#8  Hmmm...WMDs "didn't exist"? Frankly, nothing has shaken my belief that Iraq Baathists sent them to Baathist Syria. And nobody lied about their probable existence; statements made by US leaders were well founded and presented with due diligence.

Frankly, after the Anthrax scare in the Fall of 2001, I thought it was the beginning of something much bigger. I defend each and every precaution taken, even if the prospects were not as bleak as first thought.

Re. Anthrax attack victims, I believe that half survived, and most deaths occurred without warning. After the first deaths, NOBODY directly sniffed powder found in envelopes as did the first victim, who did exactly that. THANKS FOR THE WARNING!
Posted by: McZoid || 07/17/2007 20:57 Comments || Top||

The Coming War in Pakistan
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 07/17/2007 10:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336082 views] Top|| File under:

#1  America has given Pakistan about one billion dollars annually since 2001 to fight the War on Terror and was dissatisfied with the results as regards the Taliban. Analysts maintain Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, was playing a double game regarding militant Islamic extremists in his country. While Pakistan had handed over about 600 Arab Islamists, among them many al-Qaeda members, to the United States since 9/11, it left the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban virtually untouched, and even covertly supported it against NATO in Afghanistan. The reason for this, these analysts say, is that Pakistan wanted to reestablish a presence in Afghanistan via the Taliban to counter the India-friendly Kabul government.

Pakistan will never make peace with India. Their dispute serves the exact same regional purpose as the Israeli - Palestinian conflict does for the Middle East: Namely, providing a constant excuse for war-footing, military control of government, use of proxy terrorism to satisfy advocates of Holy war and a slough of other minor reasons.

Old Patriot has it right. Pakistan needs to be dismantled and redistributed between India and Afghanistan. This instantly would choke off a vast pipeline of Islamic jihad, end the interminable hostilities in Kashmir and bring critical stability to India as its own democratic process finds even stronger roots.

The manifold benefits of such a move totally outweighs any usefulness of Pakistan's continued existence. Any campaign in Pakistan should have this as its ultimate goal. Leaving intact the Islamist presence in Pakistan is wholely counterproductive in fighting the Global War on Terrorism.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/17/2007 16:44 Comments || Top||

#2  "an offensive into the Swat Valley "

Eponym or Onomatopoeia ?
Posted by: Maggie Gruck8118 || 07/17/2007 18:52 Comments || Top||

#3  To paraphrase a pro-CHINA Netter > Pakistan is so busy focusing on its hate and competition wid INDIA its ignoring China's efforts to dominate and take it over.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 07/17/2007 21:40 Comments || Top||

Pakistan's Al Qaeda zone poses dilemma for Musharraf
With conditions in Pakistan reaching a boiling point, President Pervez Musharraf faces a tough dilemma in the militant-infested frontier zone where Al Qaeda’s leaders are allegedly holed up, analysts say.

The US has pressured the president to use the momentum from last week’s operation against Lal Masjid to launch a decisive operation along the frontier. Meanwhile, Taliban militants in North Waziristan cancelled a peace deal signed with the government last September, increasing the sense of insecurity. However, analysts say Musharraf also knows that the region’s fiercely independent tribes have “bloodied the noses” of all who have tried to subdue them.

“Musharraf is in a very difficult position with very limited choices,” Rasool Bakhsh Raees, professor of political science at the Lahore University of Management and Sciences, told AFP. He said the president had been “considerably weakened” by a political crisis over the suspension of Pakistan’s chief justice. Musharraf should not push the limits of the public support for the Lal Masjid raid, he added. “The use of force has to be very prudent, you cannot crack everybody’s head and [then] hope to relax. That is equally dangerous,” Raees said.

Force has rarely been a successful policy in the tribal areas. The region provided thousands jihadis against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s — and welcomed back Taliban and Al Qaeda militants who fled the US-led invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11. Army operations in North Waziristan and neighbouring South Waziristan to drive out the Taliban have left more than 700 soldiers and 1,000 militants dead, while angering the Pashtuns. This led to the signing of several peace agreements between the government and tribal elders. However, US and NATO officials have slammed the accords, saying they have led to an increase in multinational troops fighting the Taliban in southern and eastern Afghanistan. Washington has even stated that Al Qaeda has regrouped in the region and used the peace pacts to enhance its ability to carry out attacks on international targets.

Political analyst Rahimullah Yusufzai, an expert in Afghan and tribal affairs, said it was unlikely Musharraf would go for an onslaught against the militants in the tribal areas. “I don’t think he can afford to,” Yusufzai said. “In Islamabad he had to do something, it was hurting his image. But this is a very different situation.”

Operations in Waziristan — which effectively pit Pakistani troops against Pakistani tribesmen — were often unpopular with the army’s rank and file, he said, not least because of the danger involved. Yusufzai said the government was focusing on efforts to exploit divisions within the Taliban militants operating in the tribal areas, some of who want to expel foreign militants in line with the government’s wishes. Even less likely is an operation on the Swat Valley just outside the tribal zone, which was the site of several attacks in the last week and where a radical militant cleric with ties to the mosque, Maulana Fazlullah, is based. “Musharraf will not do anything abruptly. He knows the consequences,” Yusufzai added.
Posted by: Fred || 07/17/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

#1  Its a great place to test his WMD.
Posted by: 3dc || 07/17/2007 2:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Fight terror; don't fight terror. That's a dilemma?
Posted by: McZoid || 07/17/2007 6:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Force has rarely been a successful policy in the tribal areas.

Force has never been tried in the tribal areas. And I mean right back to the Raj.
Posted by: Excalibur || 07/17/2007 11:37 Comments || Top||

#4  However, analysts say Musharraf also knows that the region’s fiercely independent tribes have “bloodied the noses” of all who have tried to subdue them.

I'd like to see these goat herders try and bloody the nose of a B-52 while it ARCLIGHTs the f&*k out of them. Fending off Pakistan's ineffectual military doesn't count as actual battle. We need to give these cretins a taste of real Made in the USA-style destruction.

“Musharraf is in a very difficult position with very limited choices,”

Musharraf's intentional fence sitting has already cost far too many American lives. It's time to fight or f&*k and we need to throw him under the bus if he doesn't get on board pronto.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/17/2007 14:54 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
The many faces of the “Al Qaeda’s”
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 07/17/2007 06:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Which means the odd stasis in the war on terror these past six years could be about to loosen up, and a front that has proven oddly cold might be about to catch fire.

Something wicked this way comes?
Posted by: doc || 07/17/2007 8:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Al Qaeda has not only failed in its attempts to trigger region-wide uprisings against the Middle East’s secular governments, it has also lost the ability to launch strategically meaningful attacks — that is, attacks resulting in policy shifts by its targets.

Though its strategic alliance with the media, academic and celebrity elites of the West provides it with the leverage it had lost through military defeat.
Posted by: Excalibur || 07/17/2007 12:08 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Death & Politics
Posted by: mrp || 07/17/2007 13:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336084 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Joseph Bottum. I began to fall asleep 6 paragraphs into the article. The man needs to take a course in writing, especially in how to express his thoughts concisely. Quantity does not equal quality.
Posted by: Throger Thains8048 || 07/17/2007 18:14 Comments || Top||

#2  That's unfortunate, TT, because you missed this gem in Part V:

Our contemporary political question might be put this way: How much of the premodern does the modern need in order to flourish? How many of the political and scientific gains of modern times rest on the assumed continuation of premodern institutions and sensibilities?

It’s possible to take this merely as the perennial worry of modern conservativism: At what point ought one to stand athwart history yelling Stop? At what stage does one insist This far and no further? How much of the Christianity that was present at the nation’s founding does the American experiment require in order to continue today? How many modern democratic freedoms depend on traditional manners to prevent their social escalation into self-destruction?

But there is more here than simply the long-running battle between liberals and conservatives over the social application of the Enlightenment. The problem of how to treat the past is as old as modernity itself. Indeed, in a certain sense, this is the defining problem of modern times, and it resurfaces in every generation’s political quarrels. Society, as Edmund Burke famously declared in 1790, is “a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are yet to be born”—to which Thomas Paine just as famously replied in 1791, “I am contending for the rights of the living, and against their being willed away and controlled and contracted for by the manuscript-assumed authority of the dead.”

The distinction between the natural order and the social order helps clarify the quarrel. Except insofar as we are procreated beings, we do not owe to previous generations the brute fact of reality. The physical world is the given—in both senses of the word: the premise of our existence and the gift of creation. Those who went before did not make this globe, and they did not bequeath the natural order to us; they merely left it. “The earth belongs to the living and not to the dead,” as Thomas Jefferson insisted in an exchange of letters with James Madison in the fall of 1789.

As it happens, those letters ostensibly concerned the power of modern democratic governments to borrow money—hardly the first place one would think to look for deep thoughts about the political meaning of death. But the exchange between Jefferson and Madison turned quickly into the question of whether public debts incurred in one generation must be paid in another and thus to considerations of whether the dead can bind the living.

What Madison saw is this: The social world, unlike the natural, genuinely has been inherited. It is the manufactured. The social order was built, maintained, and left to us not just by a vague and nameless antiquity but by particular people, within living memory, whose serial deaths link us to the past. We receive the buildings they put together, the languages they spoke, the books they wrote, the ideas they had, the economic opportunities they made possible, the moral consequences of the things they did, the memories they left in us—just as others will receive ours. “The improvements made by the dead form a debt against the living, who take the benefit of them,” Madison wrote back to Jefferson. “This debt can not be otherwise discharged than by a proportional obedience to the will of the authors of the improvements.”

This 1789 correspondence marks a fascinating moment in the history of the American Founding. It shows Jefferson at his most rhetorically brilliant and simultaneously at his most autodidactic and eccentric. (He includes in his letters, for instance, long and slightly inaccurate mathematical calculations, based on a French census, of the number of years necessary to form a generation.) It shows Madison, as well, at his most wise and simultaneously at his most convoluted as he tries to construct counterweights to revolution in the aftermath of a revolution. Jefferson wants the new world to stay new, and so he rejects public debt as the past binding the present. Madison wants the new world to find stability, and so he accepts public debt and the consequent role of prior generations. But both of them—to their credit—see that the simple logic of an immediate political problem forces them to decide about the living uses of the dead.
Posted by: mrp || 07/17/2007 19:57 Comments || Top||

#3  Based on that concise reasoning 'gem' in part V, I would suggest tenure be extended to Prof. Bottum
at the padded wing in Belleview.
Posted by: Phinater Thraviger || 07/17/2007 23:39 Comments || Top||

Truthers eating their own
This time, they've gone too far. A group of 9/11 conspiracy theorists - whackos who deny that jumbo jets brought down the World Trade Center - is on the attack. But their latest target isn't the government, which they claim destroyed the buildings with explosives. They're using a vicious Internet assault to pick on an elderly widow.

"They're dirty sons of bastards! They are not real men," feisty Ellen Mariani, 69, told me. Ellen lost her husband aboard United 175 on Sept. 11, 2001. "They have no respect for women, no respect for the dead and no respect for little children who now have been orphaned."

Ellen is the subject of a blistering battering on the Web site of an outfit that calls itself "9/11 Researchers." While conspiracy theories are nothing new - Rosie O'Donnell gave voice on "The View" to the belief the government was involved - these bozos blast fellow conspiracy groups for not going far enough.
You can read more at the link. The context is that she's a bit of a Truther herself.
Posted by: Seafarious || 07/17/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336077 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't think she's a truther herself, it seems more like she thinks the gvt is covering some unpleasant facts; seems reasonable to me, one RB commenter of days past (not a regular) had an interesting theory which purported that 9/11 had support from iraq, iran, bosnia, "rogue elements" of soody arabia and pakiland, and that it was in fact not the "lone gunman" terror act done by renegade AQ, but a concerted, organized effort by a transnational, islamic para-governmental web.

IE a true act of unconventional *warfare*, not a terror strike.

And you could probably imagine the russians/chicoms are not too far behind that islamic terror web, or even be paranoid and think it's a proxy.

This seems interesting to me, though of course, there's no way to know if this is a valid theory. And anyway, I'm pretty sure there had been LOTS of CYA by the cia, the fbi, the clintonistas (cf . the Oklahoma bombing & the 1993 WTC bombing iraq possible connections),... to hide huge failures, and possibly blame it on GWB, so, unless you're in the loop, the whole truth about 9/11 is yet for future historians to write.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 07/17/2007 4:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Not sure about your hypothesis, except the Blame it on W part is a given.
Posted by: doc || 07/17/2007 8:52 Comments || Top||

#3  From the folks that believe that steel can't melt...
Posted by: tu3031 || 07/17/2007 9:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Yeah, tu - how did we make steel before jet fuel? Burning coke, if I remember correctly. Can coke melt steel? Not without a draft.
Posted by: Bobby || 07/17/2007 18:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Perhaps if one tried Pepsi, instead...

/ducks, runs.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/17/2007 20:26 Comments || Top||

#6  I laugh at these articles. I can only note that when I encounter a "truther" they rarely can verbalize their "theories" mostly they refer me to movies and episodes of the X-files. I also note that I back tracked their websites, and I can not find any link to offer a comment. I can only conclude that most of these folks are seriously delusional. The serious question that all my opponents can not answer is "What would the Neo-Cons gain from their Conspiracy?" Martial Law over the country? What real "Robber Baron" would wish to see all commerce within our country come to a grinding halt? Any greedy politico would want any conspiracy to line their pockets!
The mistake of the "moonbats" is to try to tie naked greed with religious fantacism, the 2 do not coincide.
Posted by: Raider Ray || 07/17/2007 22:17 Comments || Top||

#7  It is my experience that many of these folks have grown more irrational as they continue to ingest their of fermenting Y2K Spam stockpile.
Posted by: Super Hose || 07/17/2007 23:13 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
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Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2007-07-17
  Bombs kill at least 80 in Kirkuk
Mon 2007-07-16
  Major Joint Offensive South of Baghdad, 8,000 troops
Sun 2007-07-15
  N Korea closes nuclear facilities
Sat 2007-07-14
  Thai army detains 342 Muslims in southern raids
Fri 2007-07-13
  Hek urges Islamist revolt in Pakistain
Thu 2007-07-12
  Iraq: 200 boom belts found in Syrian truck
Wed 2007-07-11
  Ghazi dead, crisis over, aftermath begins
Tue 2007-07-10
  Paks assault Lal Masjid
Mon 2007-07-09
  Israeli cabinet okays Fatah prisoner release
Sun 2007-07-08
  Pak arrests Talibigs
Sat 2007-07-07
  100 Murdered in Turkmen Village of Amer Li
Fri 2007-07-06
  Failed assasination attempt at Musharraf
Thu 2007-07-05
  1200 surrender at Lal Masjid
Abul Aziz Ghazi nabbed sneaking out in burka
Wed 2007-07-04
  12 dead as Lal Masjid students provoke gunfight
Tue 2007-07-03
  UK bomb plot suspect 'arrested in Brisbane'

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