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Former CAIR Director Sentenced
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Gigolo school raided for overcharging students
Hat tip: Drudge. Edited for brevity.
Police raided a gigolo training center in Panchiao and arrested nine of the school’s operators for overcharging students, officials said yesterday. The operators allegedly inflated tuition bills by adding in expensive clothes and mobile phones, police officer Liu Tai-shun said.
You need the clothes for your "date" and the phone to line up your next "date"--they sound more practical to me than textbooks!
During the raid on Wednesday night, police officers seized fancy clothes, earrings and lecture notes as evidence, officers said. The school’s operators ran classified ads offering ``well-paid moonlighting jobs’’ and collected up to NT$200,000 for several weeks of training courses, police said. Men can legally work as hosts in bars and clubs, but it’s illegal to solicit sex from customers. A local newspaper reported that the school gave lectures on eloquence, posture, dancing and popular games played at gigolo bars for the potential "male public relations workers," a Taiwanese term for gigolos. "They were also lectured on taboos at the bars, such as wearing white socks, smoking while walking or walking across the dance floor," it said.
What about black socks with shorts? Can you chew gum and walk? Is the "Electric Slide" taboo?
Posted by: Dar || 11/14/2003 12:37:10 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And, in a similar vein, a prostitution raid in AZ nets 72, including a 60-year-old prostitute. Among the requests:
One man wanted a woman to run in sneakers to get her feet sweating before donning stiletto heels; another wondered whether being in a wheelchair was a deal-breaker; and one woman wanted to join in with her boyfriend for his birthday. One man called Crystal to ask if he could bring his soldier friend, recently returned from Iraq. He was told not to. "He deserves a little better than being thrown in jail," said Detective Shari Decker, who posed as Crystal.

"Oh, the shame!"
Posted by: Dar || 11/14/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Were they charging by the load?
Posted by: Raj || 11/14/2003 15:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Why are they all bald?
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 15:36 Comments || Top||

Today’s Bleat
James Lileks is on today:
There have been many things I’ve wished to write about this week. Michael Moore went to Germany and slammed America up and down for all the usual reasons – we don’t have passports! We only speak English! Our stupid minds! Stupid, stupid! We’re not like the cultured Europeans, who – aside from their occasional continent-shattering spasms of facism – are the epp-ee-tomay of culture and enlightenment. This, in the same week that a survey of EUians named Israel as the greatest threat to world peace.
(Sometimes I swear that if a European hits his thumb with a hammer when no one’s around, he shouts GODDAMN JEWS!)
Go read the whole thing.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 11:45:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  let him stay there
Posted by: Dan || 11/14/2003 11:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Michael Moore went to Germany

The perfect audience. Those Europeans will eat him up like...whatever they eat over there. He must be right, after all, he won an oscar!!!
Posted by: Rafael || 11/14/2003 12:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Perhaps Mr. Moore could be persuaded to visit Iraq and denounce America next to one of the death pits.
Posted by: mhw || 11/14/2003 12:34 Comments || Top||

#4  Perhaps Mr. Moore could be persuaded to visit Iraq and denounce America next to one of the death pits.

No.. He wouldn't want to get his hands dirty... after all he is an important man. A visionary. Much too busy to deal with trivial things like facts. He is above such things.

He is a legend in his own mind...
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 13:44 Comments || Top||

#5  What's really odd to me is that Mr. Lileks is so damned in tune with the America that M. Moore claims to represent. I advise all to comb Lileks site. In some places I can literally smell 1963.
I will stay at The Gobbler before I die.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 16:20 Comments || Top||

Meet the Radical Cheerleaders
Edited for laughs:
They fight bombs with pompoms and kick high for consciousness.
The Radical Cheerleaders, a loose network of young, mostly female activists, have put a new face on protest. Using the same moves performed by a high school pep squad, they’ve heckled for livable wages at an Alabama Taco Bell, chanted anti-war rhymes on Boston Common and marched in the Saskatchewan Pride Parade.
"We do for our fellow activists what cheerleaders do for sports players: we get people going," said Betsy Housten, 24, of the New York City Radical Cheerleaders. Housten has cheered at the mayor’s doorstep to demand citywide recycling and at a burlesque club to raise money for a feminist bookstore. Now her group is collecting anti-globalization cheers for a trip to Miami, where large demonstrations are planned for Nov. 19-21, when Pan-American leaders meet to discuss the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
That’s next week, we need pictures.
"It’s not just the same "1, 2, 3, 4, we don’t want your racist war" stuff that’s been around since the sixties," Housten said.
Cheers have changed, agenda still the same.
There are squads in Phoenix, San Diego and Ottawa and on several college campuses, with names like the Rocky Mountain Rebels and the Memphis Dirty Southern Belles. Many have their own Web sites, featuring cheers and links to other activist groups. Some, like the New York cheerleaders, use Internet newsgroups and telephone hot lines to organize practices and rallies. It’s hard to estimate the number of radical cheerleading groups in the country, since nobody’s keeping track. Their largest gathering to date was in 2001, when squads from all over North America attended a convention in Ottawa. Organizers expect about 1,000 cheerleaders to protest in Miami.
Well, they’ll be more entertaining than the other puppets.
The cheerleaders’ reach extends beyond North America: In 2000, O’Hara said, American activists started a cheerleading squad outside the International Monetary Fund meeting in Prague. It included women from all over Europe. "Now there are squads in Sweden, London, Warsaw and Ireland," said 26-year-old Emily O’Hara, a founder of the New York squad who is known on the protest circuit as Mary Christmas. "It’s becoming this new crazy thing there."
You’ll got the "crazy" part right.
Groups like the Radical Cheerleaders contribute to the sense of festivity at a political rally, says Todd Gitlin, a social activism expert and professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Another example of why journalism continues it’s downward slide.
"Often people who organize demonstrations want to do more than apply their presence to political ends," Gitlin said. "They want to project a presence that seems like an embodiment of their values. Cheerfulness says, ’we are having a better time than they are. It promises recruits, ’stick around, you’ll have more fun.’"
Hot chicks will do that.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 9:21:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  known on the protest circuit as Mary Christmas

Does this line of work have a union, does it pay a living wage, health insurance?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

#2  We should contract out the cheerleading to some hot babes from, oh say, Thailand.
Posted by: mhw || 11/14/2003 10:00 Comments || Top||

#3  San Diego huh? Strange - they make a big impact since I've never heard of them.... subtle protests are the new wave?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/14/2003 10:28 Comments || Top||

#4  "It’s becoming this new crazy thing there."

At least they're self-aware.
Posted by: BH || 11/14/2003 10:32 Comments || Top||

#5  "It’s not just the same "1, 2, 3, 4, we don’t want your racist war" stuff that’s been around since the sixties," Housten said.

For that I welcome them as well, I'm sick of the same old Vietnam chants. Be original for a change and perhaps people will listen. I agree with Frank, I've not heard of these lasses. I don't remember any real protests in San Diego at all. There was a pro-troops rally or two near the Mirimar Marine base but no protests.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 11:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Some images I found (couldn't get the links to work). They appear to be about what you would expect:

Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 11:31 Comments || Top||

#7  It really looks like 'peace' riots are the place to hook up with ugly, hairy chicks. Those Doc Martens are tres sexy, much more so than plain ol' cheerleader outfits.

The anarchists also wear masks alot- are they practicing wearing burqas when they turn the U.S. into a socialist sharia paradise, I wonder?
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 11:35 Comments || Top||

#8  1234, we're for peace, love and cute furry animals
Posted by: Lucky || 11/14/2003 11:48 Comments || Top||

#9  1, 2, 3, 4, we don't want your freedom no more.
5, 6, 7, 8, give me a Burqa and put me in my place!
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 12:02 Comments || Top||

#10  Granola Gurlz on Parade! Never seen so many braided armpits before in my life.
Posted by: Dar || 11/14/2003 12:25 Comments || Top||

#11  Reminds me of this:

Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 12:32 Comments || Top||

#12  Housten has cheered at the mayor’s doorstep to demand citywide recycling and at a burlesque club to raise money for a feminist bookstore.

cheerleaders against burlesque? Apparently, the irony escapes them.

1,2,3.4, look at me and look somemore..5,6,7,8 attention we can generate....9,10,11,12 we've discovered and discovered well....13,14,15,......at 16...if we can bounce up and down, men think we're swell.
Posted by: B || 11/14/2003 12:55 Comments || Top||

#13  Playboy photoshoot we don't want to see: The Girls of ANSWER.
Posted by: BH || 11/14/2003 13:33 Comments || Top||

#14  Arrrgggg!! My Eyes! MY EYES! Damn you Yank! My Eyes!

No wonder they want to be in a Burqa.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 13:38 Comments || Top||

#15  the old '60's chants are infinitely adaptable, and not just for leftie causes.

I guess you guys dont remember "2,4,6,8 Israel is a JEWISH state"
"1,3,5,9 no such land as Palestine"
"2,4,6,8 let my people emigrate"
"2,4,6,8 open up the iron gate"

and then there was the lefty originated, but suitable for any budget related protest
"they say cutback, we say fightback"
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 13:46 Comments || Top||

#16  Arrrgggg!! My Eyes! MY EYES! Damn you Yank! My Eyes!

Ugly enuf to stop a D-9?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 16:24 Comments || Top||

#17  I'm into it! Yeah! Just like my college days:

My blood runs cold! My memories have just been sold! My Angel in a center.... uh, these girls ain't real pretty, are they?

W.W.J.G.D. -- What Would J. Giles Do?
Posted by: Secret Master || 11/14/2003 19:49 Comments || Top||

Afghans Say Four Suspected Militants Killed
Afghan forces killed four suspected Islamic militants when they tried to overrun a government base near the border with Pakistan, an official said on Friday.
I think when they try to overrun your base, they’ve pretty much confirmed they’re militants.
The clash took place in Shaplung in the southeastern province of Khost on Thursday night and lasted for an hour before the attackers retreated to Pakistan, said Kheyal Baaz Khan, a top provincial military official. "I do not know the size of the enemy’s force involved in the attack," Khan told Reuters by satellite phone. "But I do know that four Taliban or al Qaeda members were killed in their abortive attack in which no government soldier was harmed."
That’s good, keep it up.
He did not have further details of the clash in remote Shaplung. Afghan officials say Taliban and al Qaeda guerrillas use Pakistani territory to orchestrate raids on Afghan soldiers, U.S.-led forces and aid workers.
Everyone says that, except the Paks.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 9:33:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:

#1  suspected Islamic militants. 'cause, you know, they might have been Methodists.
Posted by: BH || 11/14/2003 10:36 Comments || Top||

#2  suspected Islamic militants. 'cause, you know, they might have been Methodists.

Or Fijiian throwbacks looking for Methodists...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/14/2003 13:45 Comments || Top||

Arabs trot out the conspiracy theories
EFL & Buttloads of Fun!
The bombing that killed 17 people in the Saudi capital is intensifying pressure for democratic reform in Saudi Arabia, and is likely to undercut the militants’ support among Arabs who previously sympathized to some degree with their goals.
Democratic reform has long been underway in Soddy Arabia. At least in theory. This is one reason we are pulling our troops from thier country. If they do attempt these reforms, and our troops are stationed there it gives the appearance of being orchestrated by the United States government. Nevertheless, I have to commit to hanging by my thumbs.
While some have 4, 3, 2, 1, ... rejoiced over Saturday’s suicide car bombing, many in the Arab world are shocked [shocked I tell you!] that it targeted women and children Arabs and Muslims.
That’s because Arabs and Muslim are innocent. Do I smell a voice of reason...?
Khalid al-Sultan, 32, a catering company employee, called it "un-Islamic." Abdul-Rahman al-Sheikh, a 41-year-old businessman, said al-Qaida militants are "not only a threat to the people in the kingdom but also a threat to humanity and our peaceful religion."
As he spoke a .45mm slug could be heard whistling by his head...Just when it looked promising...
That feeling was not universal, however. In Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, many Arabs have fallen back on conspiracy theories about America and Israel engineering the bombing — or at least letting it happen — in order to reveal discredit Islam for having violent tendencies.
‘Fallen back on conspiracy theories’? Hmm, that would imply that for a period of time they had moved forward towards reason?
"I have the feeling that those who did it can’t be Muslims.
Nope can’t be. Not us. Move along. Nothing to see here....
Why not Americans?"
Ah ha!
lawyer Fatma Lasheen said in Cairo. "The American Embassy closed the day of the operation. And if not, why didn’t they foil this operation if they knew about it? Don’t you think it is strange?"
Yes, indeed it is very strange. Sniff, sniff something stinks in here....Do you smell something?
Posted by: Dragon Fly || 11/14/2003 8:33:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sorry fellow Rantburgers. I blew it this morning. First I fail to title this article...then I double posted it. I shrink in shame.
Posted by: Dragon Fly || 11/14/2003 8:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Death by banana split!
Posted by: Dar || 11/14/2003 9:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Dar, that sounds painful. Can the punishment still be applied if the victim has been to the Sudan recently? ;)
Posted by: Brian || 11/14/2003 10:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Fifty lashes with limp democratic party rhetoric.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/14/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Fifty lashes with limp democratic party rhetoric.

That's it, I'm calling the Hague. Nobody deserves that, even double-posters.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 11:42 Comments || Top||

#6  "The American Embassy closed the day of the operation. And if not, why didn’t they foil this operation if they knew about it? Don’t you think it is strange?"

Sorry, due to budget cuts, the CIA's Farsight Program remote psychic viewers couldn't determine the exact location of the bombings in Ridyadh. That or the Mossad's agents had their psychic dampers on.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 11/14/2003 18:38 Comments || Top||

15 al-Qaeda members attacked Riyadh complex
About 15 members of the Al-Qaeda terror network attacked the housing compound in the Saudi capital, including two suicide bombers, a newspaper reported Thursday. "About 15 elements took part in the operation during which two fighters died and the others fled after the explosion," Asharq al-Awsat reported, quoting a statement carried on a web site known as "farooq" and attributed to Al-Qaeda.
I thought that was "heroically retreated"?
The attackers, who came from three directions, used vehicles belonging to the Saudi special security forces, says the statement.
Prince Nayef should be denying that any time now...
"Most of the assailants got out of their vehicles before opening fire on guards in two armoured vehicles and soldiers posted in front of the complex. Guards died in the clash." The militants "blew up a huge steel gate" at the compound entrance "before two suicide bombers drove two vehicles inside and blew themselves up. "The other combattants withdrew immediately after the explosion and police forces hunted for them for hours using helicopters."
But being Soddies they somehow didn't manage to find them...
But, the statement says, "they fled towards Iraq", before warning that suicide bombers would soon no longer be required to carry out such operations. The statement also says the number of dead inside the compound was "far higher" than the 17 dead reported by the authorities.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Soddies said today that maybe they were intending to kill infidels after all, so it was no biggie.

Debka (yes, I know, the National Enquirer of the WOT) mentions indirect "ceasefire" talks between the Soddy royals and Al Queda -- presumably to formalize the protection deal they've had all these years. Such spin is consistent with talks of this nature.

Now that we are in Iraq, Soddy is certainly less strategically relevant to us than they've been in decades. It's time to move against the elements in their ruling family responsible for funding and appeasing Al Queda.
Posted by: JAB || 11/14/2003 17:18 Comments || Top||

UK on second highest terror alert
Britain’s security services have been put on their second highest state of alert amid intelligence of an al-Qaeda attack, the BBC has learned. The internal "severe general" alert is said to be unconnected to US President Bush’s forthcoming UK visit. It follows warnings about plans by al-Qaeda supporters from North Africa. The alert means security will be extra tight around potential targets. Sources say no attack is imminent, and there is no intelligence of a specific target.

The internal alerts are for the security services only, including the police, the army and MI5, and not usually made public. The UK is officially on high alert, but within this the internal and usually secret level has gone from "substantial" to "severe general". BBC correspondent Margaret Gilmore said: "It may be that they have information which points to people who they have suspicions about, that maybe they put on extra vigilance there. "It is rare to be put on this highest alert... but these are warnings very much for the security services, these are not warnings aimed at the public because there is not a lot the public can do about them." She added: "Obviously it’s a further complication in the security nightmare surrounding the Bush visit, but it is not connected to that." The Home Office has refused to comment, saying it never discusses threat levels unless there is a specific threat.
Posted by: Bulldog || 11/14/2003 9:35:17 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [348 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No doubt the mossad is working with MI5, 10 Downing, the CIA, Big Oil Companies, and the Stonecutters to carry out these attacks.
Posted by: Stonecutters || 11/14/2003 21:52 Comments || Top||

#2  Dont forget Skull and Bones, the Free Masons, and Microsoft..... oh and the Moose Lodge too :).
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 23:26 Comments || Top||

UK judge rejects Zakayev extradition to Russia
A British judge on Thursday rejected Russia's bid to extradite Chechen rebel leader Akhmed Zakayev, saying it was politically motivated. Judge Timothy Workman said he had found Russia was "seeking extradition for the purposes of prosecuting Mr Zakayev on account of his political opinions."
His political opinions include killing large numbers of people...
Russia had sought his extradition on 13 counts including murder, kidnapping and soliciting others to murder during the war in the breakaway region.
That's what I said...
But Judge Workman, giving his ruling in London's Bow Street Magistrates' Court, said that he believed Zakayev might be tortured if he returned to Russia. "It would be unjust and oppressive to return Mr Zakayev to Russia," he said. The judge quoted one witness as saying: "Chechens are almost always tortured" and said he believed the evidence of another witness who testified that he had been held in a pit for six days and tortured with electric shocks to force him to make a statement against Zakayev.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [352 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Russians do that? Since when?
Posted by: Lucky || 11/14/2003 12:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Is a firing squad 'torture'?
Posted by: Raj || 11/14/2003 12:26 Comments || Top||

#3  This sounds like the same reasoning that keeps Hook Boy staying in the UK. Except they are not going to torture him in Yemen, just executing him is all they want.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/14/2003 21:08 Comments || Top||

#4  The judge is correct.
The Russians routinely torture
the Chechens, both civilians and
It's not a secret for anyone
except those willfulully ignorant and
plain malicious.
Posted by: Boris A.Kupershmidt || 11/14/2003 23:24 Comments || Top||

Al-Qaeda Threat to Bush
Al-Qaeda terrorists using the cover of anti-war protests are a real threat to the safety of US President George W. Bush during his state visit to London next week, Britain’s most senior policemen have warned, The Times newspaper said Wednesday. “We are not so concerned about some anti-war protester throwing rotten fruit at the president. Our worry now is the more dangerous elements who may be here,” said a senior Scotland Yard source quoted in the newspaper. The report came the day after anti-war demonstrators accused the government of blocking their right to protest in central London against Bush’s visit from November 18 to 21.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 23:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Remember the zero factor, someone has attempted to assassinate every American President elected in a year beginning with a zero, or something like that. Everyone made a big deal about that when Reagan was shot (1980) but not when George W. Bush was elected (2000). Not that I give credence to that sort of thing but this talk of assassinations brought me back to the 80s.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 8:38 Comments || Top||

#2  "attempted to assassinate every American President elected in a year beginning with a zero"

except with FDR the assasination attempt came BEFORE the 1940 election. And was there an attempt on Harding (1920)?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 9:24 Comments || Top||

#3  They're either assassinated or they die in office, not necessarily in the year they're elected. Reagan surviving being shot, elected in 1980 broke the chain.

Kennedy, elected 1960, assassinated.
Roosevelt, (re-elected) 1940, died in office.
Harding, elected 1920, died in office.
McKinley, elected 1900, assassinated.
Garfield, elected 1880, assassinated.
Lincoln, elected 1860, assassinated.
Harrison, elected 1840, died in office of pneumonia.

The pattern appears to have kicked in sometime between James Monroe and Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too.
Posted by: Fred || 11/14/2003 9:41 Comments || Top||

#4  This was a curse put on the US by a seminole indian chief who was hanged - Tecumish...something like that (excuse me because I cannot remember the full name) that every US prez elected in a year ending in 0 would be killed/Die in office. And every prez that was elected in year ending in 0 did die in office till Reagan. I do not believe the curse stated "assassinated" but would die in office.
Posted by: Dan || 11/14/2003 9:46 Comments || Top||

#5  It was Tecumseh's brother, the racist false prophet Tenskwatawa.
Posted by: Korora || 11/14/2003 10:00 Comments || Top||

#6  Our worry now is the more dangerous elements who may be here,” said a senior Scotland Yard source quoted in the newspaper.

Like say, followers of Abu Hamza? (this includes the likes of Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/14/2003 10:38 Comments || Top||

#7  ...and they were Shawnee, not Seminole.

(god i love rantburg)
Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 11/14/2003 11:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Does al qaida REALLY want to give Tricky Dick Cheney the keys to the War Machine, after having rubbed out Dubya?

Can they possibly be that stupid? Hmmm, Magic 8 Ball says 'yes'.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 11:46 Comments || Top||

#9  The issue here is that a democracy has a well thought out chain of command and transfer of power. If they kill Bush the US will be extermely pissed (even those that hate Bush will probably be upset) and Cheney will take over and probably be a little more forcefull in his prosecution of the war.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 11:56 Comments || Top||

#10  my bad - thank you Carl in N.H for correcting me.
Posted by: Dan || 11/14/2003 12:04 Comments || Top||

#11  damned antiseminoles
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 13:00 Comments || Top||

#12  Wasn't meant as a gotcha, Dan, I just love the interesting trivia-laden tangents that occur so much here...

Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 11/14/2003 13:27 Comments || Top||

#13  I've long thought of Dick Cheney as a life insurance policy. Nobody wants to see President Cheney right now (including Cheney himself).
Posted by: Dishman || 11/14/2003 13:41 Comments || Top||

Down Under
Australian TV unplugs Hezbollah channel
Hat tip: Allah. EF Length, Seething, & Whining
The Lebanese group Hizb Allah’s satellite channel al-Manar has been removed from the package of channels offered by a pay-TV service in Australia. The suspension from the Television and Radio Broadcasting Services(TARBS) came last week, in response to an investigation opened by the country’s broadcasting watchdog last October.
"They’re broacasting what?"
The inquiry initiated by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) is looking into whether the station has breached the criminal code act. “The material we viewed was of sufficient concern for us to commence an official investigation," a spokesperson for the authority told reporters.
Chief editor of the Australian-based the Arabic Telegraph, Antwan al-Qizzi diagrees that the decision was not based on the channel’s material. “I believe the decision is a pure political one and has nothing to do with the content,” al-Qizzi told Aljazeera.net.
“This move stems from the Australian government’s earlier banning of the Hizb Allah organisation,” he added. In June Australia banned the Lebanese group as Australian intelligence has linked it to “terrorist activities”.
The chief editor believes the government’s scrutiny of Hizb Allah’s media outlet is due to “external pressures”. Like the Jooos? Wait for it...
“The decision is influenced by the overall global media domination which is mainly controlled by the Americans and the Israelis.”
Yep. It’s the Zionists alright, dang it!
Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia Israeli Jewish Affairs Council is satisfied with the Australian’s broadcast authority’s inquiry.
Well, that’s what his ZOG overmasters told him to say.
"Al-Manar is basically a propaganda tool for Hizb Allah, spreading terrorist incitement about its fight against Israel and, more recently, the US actions in Iraq," said Rubenstein in a statement.“The channel glorifies suicide bombings and demonises the West. Perhaps even worse, al-Manar’s web site provides contact details for donations to Hizb Allah,” he added.
Rubenstein primarily critised al-Manar’s TV programme al-Shatat, Arabic for Diaspora, currently running on the channel. "The potential for a programme such as this to stir up violent anti-Semitism among those predisposed to believe it to be true is obvious."
But al-Qizzi believes otherwise. "The show presents historical accounts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has nothing to do with terrorism. Look at all the programmes and channels out there, many incite violence and terror.”
But not many of them give contact information for terrorists.
The 26-episode show, which began broadcasting on the channel on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan is based on a document entitled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The document has been largely discredited as a forgery.The US State department has contacted the governments of Syria and Lebanon over The Diaspora saying it is "anti-semitic". Al-Manar announced it will continue broadcasting the show in spite of the criticism.
"At least until you pull the pl..."
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/14/2003 4:12:43 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Drat. I was hoping to catch the next episode of Jihad-a-Go Go.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/14/2003 17:23 Comments || Top||

Arab TV station cut for terror fund probe
An Arabic language television station has been pulled off the air while the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) investigates whether it has broken new anti-terrorism laws. The ABA is investigating the Lebanese station Al Manar for possibly funding terrorism. Al Manar director of foreign news Ibrihim Mousawi, who is based in Beirut, denies they have been seeking donations for the group Hezbollah. "We do ask for donations, we do put an ad to help get donations for the Palestinian people and I believe this is something completely legal and legitimate — they are not terrorist organisations," he said.
Everybody knows they're Freedumb Fighters™...
Al Manar is available by subscription on TARBS World TV service. A spokesman for TARBS says the decision to take the channel off air was a proactive measure while the investigation was underway.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

U.S. freezes assets of 15 [terrorists] in Italy
The U.S. Department of the Treasury said Wednesday it has designated 15 people as terrorists for their involvement in al Qaeda cells in the Italian cities of Milan, Cremona and Parma. The Italian government has frozen the assets of the cells within Italy, where most of the 15 are in custody. The U.S. designation is a sign of support of Italy’s effort to have the United Nations declare the 15 as terrorists.
Why do they need the UN’s permission to declare someone a terrorist???
The U.S. designation freezes any assets the 15 had in the U.S. and bars transactions with U.S. nationals. U.N. designation will require all U.N. member states to take similar actions.
Yeah I’m sure Syria and Iran are right on it.
Members of the cell in Milan forged passports, collected donations and helped with the illegal entry and transport of recruits through Italy to Iraq to fight coalition forces, the Italian government said. The Milan members also recruited people to send to Ansar al-Islam camps in Iraq by way of Syria, the Italian government said. The U.S. government and the United Nations consider Ansar al-Islam, which operates in northern Iraq, a terrorist organization with links to al Qaeda. Also, some of the 15 acted for or on behalf of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a Jordanian with ties to al Qaeda, the treasury department said. The Bush administration considers Zarqawi an al Qaeda terrorist who fled to Iraq from Afghanistan in May 2002 for medical treatment and then stayed to organize terror plots with Ansar al-Islam. Zarqawi is suspected of orchestrating the bombing of Jordan’s embassy in Baghdad in August, which killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens more. He also is being tried in absentia for last year’s killing of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman, Jordan.
The Treasury Department said some of the 15 acted on behalf of other terrorist leaders, including Ramzi Mohammed Abdullah Binalshibh, who was involved in planning the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Eight of the suspects were born in Tunisia. The others are from Egypt, Somalia, Iraq, Morocco and Libya, officials said. The United States and other nations have designated 342 people and groups as terrorists and terrorist supporters. Those nations have frozen more than $136.8 million and seized more than $60 million in terrorist-related assets, the Treasury Department said.
Include some Saudis and the dollar figure increases exponentially.
In October, the Treasury Department announced it was freezing the assets of the al Akhtar Trust, a Pakistan-based entity supporting al Qaeda in Afghanistan that had taken over for the Al Rashid Trust, which the United States also designated a terrorist support organization. The 15 in Italy are charged with participating in the following crimes, according to the Treasury Department:
• Fabricating, receiving, providing and hiding forged documents to be used to help people reach military camps in Iraq and move throughout Europe so they can maintain contact with other cells and help illegal immigrants enter Italy and other European countries.
• Recruiting people to train in military camps, mainly in Iraq.
I doubt there are any military training camps in Iraq now, not the typical kind anyway.
• Collecting money for terrorist-related activities.
• Organizing actions to carry out the terrorist cell’s plans.
• Planning to commit international terrorist activities in Italy and the rest of Europe.
Europe has been the Islamofascists best buddy, why would they antagonize them??
• Providing forged documents to terrorists living in Europe and the Middle East.
• Maintaining contacts in Europe, the Middle East, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia and Afghanistan.
• Sharing religious and extremist ideals.
• Providing cell members with weapons and explosives.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/14/2003 12:56:44 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Old Europe has been the Islamofascists best buddy.. My appologies to Italy and our other friends.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/14/2003 13:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Recruiting people to train in military camps, mainly in Iraq. Tell me again how the Iraq War is not part of the WOT.

I hope the documents that David Kay is studying bear fruit.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 15:28 Comments || Top||

Oops! Did you drop this?
EFL & Buttloads of Fun!
A Dutch jet fighter accidentally dropped a bomb near Paris military observers during a NATO exercise in Norway, but a luckier second error meant it did not explode, Norway’s armed forces said Friday. The Dutch F-16, training with Belgian and Norwegian planes, dropped the bomb Thursday about 120 meters (400 ft) from three observers in a hut on a firing range in central Norway. But no one was hurt because the French made 500lb (227 kg) bomb, which could have blown in the hut’s windows, malfunctioned.
A hut? Was it thatched?
Norwegian and Dutch experts were examining why the bomb went astray, a Norwegian armed forces spokeswoman said. The three in the hut have been offered counseling to overcome the shock.
Posted by: Dragon Fly || 11/14/2003 12:47:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The three in the hut have been offered counseling to overcome the shock.

Shock? The bomb didn't go off! There was no shock wave.

Now being counseled for surprise I could understand, as in "WTF!!!! Pieter, you idiot!!!! The damned thing was loaded!!"
Posted by: Steve White || 11/14/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

#2  I'd turn down the counseling in exchange for a new pair of skivies.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 15:32 Comments || Top||

The three in the hut have been offered counseling to overcome the shock.
That's pathetic! It was definitely an awshit moment, but counselling? Puh-leese.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 11/14/2003 19:16 Comments || Top||

#4  I'd turn down the counseling in exchange for a new pair of skivies.

That, SuperHose, is a classic.
Posted by: Raj || 11/14/2003 19:42 Comments || Top||

#5  HA! When OUR Air Force mistakenly drops bombs on allies, at least they go off. Must have some QC problems in those munitions plants.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 20:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Could've been a Swedish bomb - those things don't work after 4pm.
Posted by: Pappy || 11/14/2003 20:50 Comments || Top||

#7  If 9/11 had happened here,we'd still be giving counseling to Osama:"It seems you still have some serious anger issues,Osama.Tell me about your father.Are you angry at your father,Osama?And put that sword down,OK?"
Posted by: El Id || 11/14/2003 21:21 Comments || Top||

That’ll Teach Them
Turkish Prosecutor Sait Kunt has requested the court to sentence 16 suspects including Yavuz and Kemal Uzan to 96 thousand years in prison on charges of corruption and embezzlement.
96,000 divided by 16 suspects = 6,000 years each.
The prosecutor has also denounced directors of Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), Capital Market Board (SPK) and Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) on charges of misusing their authority.
This is the guy we need to prosecute Eron.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 10:33:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That should be Enron. More coffee, please.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 10:34 Comments || Top||

#2  The Uzan clan deserves it, but I am afraid they'll manage to find some super lawyers who get them free in no time. I think 1000 years of it is to pay of motorola:
Motorola vs Uzan
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 10:43 Comments || Top||

#3  6,000 years is a long time. Will they share their cell after the first 100 years?
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 11:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Thanks for the link Murat. That was an impressive fine! It must have been a truly amazing scheme...
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/14/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

#5  I can't stop giggling over the prosecutors name: Kunt. I can't believe that Kunt sentences me! Oh come on you were thinking it too.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/14/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#6  Cyber Sarge -- If Murat's any indication, there are a LOT of them over there.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/14/2003 13:41 Comments || Top||

#7  6,000 years is a long time. Will they share their cell after the first 100 years?

After they're dead, tossing all the rotting corpses into ONE cell should save some space.....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/14/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

#8  RC. That wasn't funny, that was mean and I am a slow typist.

Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 16:29 Comments || Top||

#9  Six thousand years - so how many years is that with time off for good behavior?
Posted by: A Jackson || 11/14/2003 18:35 Comments || Top||

#10  Parole in 4003, they could handle it.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/14/2003 20:37 Comments || Top||

Germany: ’Anti-Semitic’ MP expelled
Good riddance. Slightly EFL.
Germany’s main opposition party has voted to expel one of its MPs from its group in parliament, after a speech widely criticised as anti-Semitic. The CDU’s Martin Hohmann said that the Jewish people were responsible for many crimes during the Russian Revolution.

Despite the expulsion vote of 195 to 28, with 16 abstentions, Mr Hohmann retains his seat in parliament. A separate procedure to strip him of his party membership could take years, if he challenges it in court. The leadership originally resisted calls to expel Mr Hohmann, but his speech caused so much offence that it was forced into an embarrassing U-turn. The row has overshadowed the party’s proposals for economic and social reforms, aimed at rivalling the government’s, and came as it was enjoying being well ahead of the ruling Social Democrats in opinion polls. The decision was the first time the CDU had expelled one of its MPs and followed a show of support from some party members upset by Mr Hohmann’s treatment. Party leader Angela Merkel said it had been a hard day for the party. "The result is quite clear but it also shows that it was a very difficult decision in human terms for many colleagues," she told reporters. "I believe it is politically the right thing."

The BBC’s Ray Furlong, in Berlin, says the result is actually quite embarrassing for the party. He said the CDU has always argued that Mr Hohmann was an isolated case but the vote result will strengthen critics and political rivals who allege that far-right views are more widespread in the party. A separate move to expel Mr Hohmann from the party is underway but will take much longer and be more difficult.
Posted by: Bulldog || 11/14/2003 7:45:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [364 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I appreciate that Germans took this seriously - though I would hope that this doesnt hurt the CDU too much, since on issues impact the life and death of Jews TODAY the CDU is better than the SDP.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 9:27 Comments || Top||

#2  And I was just about ready to give up on Europe.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/14/2003 18:55 Comments || Top||

#3  The Germans are becoming just like us.
They have the evil party, the Social Democrats,
and the stupid party, the Christian Democrats.
The latter have proven to be too dimwitted in not
quickly and decisively getting rid of the odious Hohmann, and now are reaping the well-deserved rewards with their stupidity being confused for malevolence.
Posted by: Boris A.Kupershmidt || 11/14/2003 23:35 Comments || Top||

European rights court condemns Turkey for torturing lawyers
Warning: this was a reeeeeal sloooooow loading page

STRASBOURG : The European Court of Human Rights condemned Turkey for torturing lawyers or treating them in an "inhuman and degrading" manner to force them to confess to having aided Kurdish separatists.
Not that I’m against lawyer-torture, mind you. But this is the sort of stuff that made the Europeans stiff the Turks over membership in the EU. Since the Kurdish revolution will probably be back in a big way in less than 10 years, and the EU is real proud of its moral superiority to everyone else, this sort of thing would be embarrasing from an EU member.
A group of 16 lawyers had complained to the court over their detention in 1993 for alleged involvement in criminal activities and their treatment while in custody.

The lawyers said they received death threats and were insulted during their detention, which lasted for between seven and 25 days. Some of them were forced to strip off their clothes, hosed down with ice-cold water or otherwise humiliated to extract their confessions, they said.

The court on Thursday ordered Turkey to pay the lawyers from 1,210 to 36,000 euros in pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.

The lawyers said the real reason for their detention was their human rights activities and that they had represented people appearing before Turkey’s state security courts.

They were arrested after security forces extracted a confession from a member of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in which he alleged they had helped Kurdish separatists.

The lawyers said they had been held in chilly and wet cells, forced to sleep on the floor, and were even blindfolded from time to time. They were only allowed to visit the bathroom twice a day and received one slice of bread per day as food.

The court condemned the "dire conditions of detention -- cold, dark and damp, with inadequate bedding, food and sanitary facilities -- as well as... that they were insulted, humiliated, slapped and terrified into signing any document that was put before them."

It also found some of the lawyers had "suffered physical and mental violence at the hands of the gendarmerie during their detention. That ill-treatment had caused them severe pain and suffering and had been particularly serious and cruel," and constituted torture under European rights laws.

By a vote of six to one, judges found that Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits torture, inhuman or degrading treament, had been violated.

It also condemned Turkey for failing to investigate the allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and unanimously found that the plaintiffs’ right to liberty, security and respect for private and family life had been violated.
Posted by: Patrick Phillips || 11/14/2003 7:23:32 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [370 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It looks like an equal treatment issue. They shouldn't be torturing just lawyers that they believe are involved with the PKK. That's discrimination.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:19 Comments || Top||

#2  From 1993, guys. May be old news. PKK was much more active then.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 11/14/2003 8:48 Comments || Top||

#3  You should never, never torture lawyers.

Beheading them is much quicker, cleaner, and leaves no after-taste. The fewer lawyers in this world, the better chance we have of remaining at least nominally free men.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/14/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Wrong, wrong, wrong.

FIRST you stake the lawyer to the ground by means of a pointy stick and a large mallet. THEN you seperate the head from the body. Finally, you douse the remains in gasoline or kerosene, and apply a match. Remember to spread the ashes over a wide area to disperse the evil.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 13:42 Comments || Top||

#5  You folks should lighten up - remember, it's 99% of the lawyers who give the other 1% a bad name...
Posted by: PBMcL || 11/14/2003 23:53 Comments || Top||

Russia on the edge of demographic catastrophe
Eeeeek! The Chinese are coming, according to Pravda. EFL big time.
Russia is on the way to slow extinction. Demographers calculated that by the end of 2075, Russian population will decrease threefold, and on the huge 1/6 of the Earth’s soil but some 50-55mln people will remain. Scientists claim that the "demographical winter", which has frozen the country from the mid 90ies, has been spreading from Russia’s north. Murmansk region is one of the most depressing.
No sunlight, no summer, no income, no jobs, rusting navy, no men, women pissed at the few men around, why would any of this be depressing?
Rate of population decrease in Russia has no precedent for peaceful time. From 1992 the population has been constantly decreasing, and by 2000 it was 3mln less than in 1992. Only in 11 regions the rate is close to zero (thus, about the same number of people are being born and die), among them Ingushetia, Dagestan and Chechen Republic (despite of the wars and rivers of refugees).
They’re blasting the bejeebus out of the Chechers and they’re still multiplying faster than everyone else!
The rest of Russia is in "demographic coma": in 27 regions number of deaths was 3 times that of births in 2000, in 2001 there were 43 regions like that, and 65 of them in a year 2002. This relationship between birth and death rates lead to the quick ageing of the nation. Scientists speak about "Russia the decrepit".
They were saying that when Czar Nickie was in power, but we digress.
This is why scholars are serious when they claim that Russia should expect a huge expansion from China and other overpopulated South-East Asia countries as a salvation.
What was Zheng saying about the Middle Kingdom yesterday? Maybe the New Kingdom will move north.
In Murmansk region population reproduction levels are below the average for Russia. In 1989 every woman in Murmansk gave birth to approximately 1.8 babies, and in 1997 this statistics fell to 1.1. This simply means that most families in the region have one kid, or the parents give up such a luxury at all. Specialists think that if the situation will remain such for another 60-80 years, then Kolskiy peninsula will be blank. The main reason behind low birth rate in Murmansk region is a socio-economical instability. Every third family is officially behind the poverty line.
Everywhere else in the world, poverty means a high birth rate. You can draw a near-linear, inverse line between birth rate and income. Only in Russia does this rule not work.
Other important reasons are urbanization level, divorce dynamics, high abortion rate, growing number of drug addicts and spreading of AIDS. Murmansk also is amongst regions with the highest abortion numbers. To compare with the world, while in Murmansk 60 females in 1000 of those who can have children use abortion, only 5 do so in Germany, 7 in Austria and 13 in France. Research found out the majority of women who used abortion did not want to have a baby because they did not have a family. An unlucky marriage ended up in divorce is very typical for modern Russia.
The Russians are screwed, basically. Death rate is high, TB, HIV, and alcoholism are killing them off, birth rate is low, poverty is endemic, kleptos are stealing everything they can, and they have either hungry (China) or kooky (Muslim) neighbors. Wonder when we’ll have to fight the WoT there?
Posted by: Steve White || 11/14/2003 1:16:16 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Heck, they can start taking all the folks who want to come here for all I care. We're gonna be full up in about 20 years.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 7:42 Comments || Top||

#2  I read a statistic that the abortion rate in Russia has been ridiculous for years. Something to teh order of three abortions for each live birth. I vaguely recall that repeated abortions can result in eventual sterility. It's like demographic suicide.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Demographic shifts are crap. When the population gets lower attitudes about overpopulation are likely to change and people are likely to have more babies.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 8:44 Comments || Top||

#4  to follow up on yank - a lower population would relieve housing shortages in Russian cities, historically one of the reasons for small families in urban Russia and central Europe.

Though that might not impact TB, HIV etc. Of course a govt that figures out the importance of public health might. If Uganda can get HIV under control, why not Russia?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

#5  In Siberia there are already more illegial chinese than ethinic Russians.
Posted by: Dan || 11/14/2003 9:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Russia should: (i) Sell the Kuril Islands to Japan in return for Japanese participation in building a bullet train from Moscow to Vladivostok. Sell them the Sakhalin Island as well if they want it. (ii) Take the British Hong Kong constitution and laws and apply them to Vladivostok to promote trade and make the area a huge commercial hub. (iii) Promote immigration into the region with cheap land deals. Especially among non-Chinese to offset the demographic shift in thefar east Dan mentioned. (iv) Sell the Russian pacific fleet or make it into a tourist attraction (watch out for tetnus). Russia is in no position to power project and building up a friendship with Japan and their big fleet is more useful anyway at this point.

Eastern Russia could be their California if the Russians treated it right if they followed Yank's 4 point plan!
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 12:15 Comments || Top||

#7  Global Warming is gonna do wonders for Siberia.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 14:02 Comments || Top||

#8  A few thousand children are adopted from Russia every year by Americans. Some families still have 5 or 6, but the last couple end up in an orphanage. It's best if they have their children while young due to the lack of quality med care.

I'm glad we got our daughter when we did.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 21:09 Comments || Top||

France criticised by 22 of Europe’s elder statesmen
Twenty-two of Europe’s wise men, from ex-prime ministers to Nobel prize winners, have denounced France’s insistence on secularising the European Union and establishing a strict separation between Church and state. In an essay in yesterday’s Le Monde, the elder statesmen said in Europe, Christianity was "at the root of the fundamental notion of the individual".
Conveniently leaving out where Christians got the idea.
They said Christianity had a paradoxical history, as it both created the European conscience and caused wars. The role of religion had been debated throughout centuries of intellectual and scientific advance, but had ultimately always come down to a choice for individuals and their consciences, they added.
Not quite what Jacques and Valery had in mind.
The authors included former presidents Richard Weizsaecker of Germany, Mario Soares of Portugal and Arpad Goncz of Hungary.
Big hitters.
The remarks were directed both at the authors of the new EU constitution, which contains no reference to Christianity, and at France, where President Jacques Chirac is considering a new law to reinforce the secularism of national institutions. "Everything we see today shows the limits of a narrowly ’secularist’ vision in European societies," the essay said. "The end of ideological oppression and the rise of various forms of fundamentalism lead to a better understanding of reality."
Wonder who they aimed that at?
Posted by: Steve White || 11/14/2003 12:37:16 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Secularity in France is different than in the USA: in France it was made by atheists against the Churchs (mainly the Catholic one but there also measures against the Protestants and Jews) were while in the USA it was made by believers except all of them were not of the same obedience and they didn't want a state favoring or prosecuting people for their religion.

In France governement forceibly closed lots of confessional schools and replaced them with state schools aimed at manufacturing good atheists.

In the US oathes are pronounced on the Bible

Posted by: JFM || 11/14/2003 1:07 Comments || Top||

#2  JFM,

The US Constitution called for no establishment of a national religion, because the forefathers saw the danger of having government using God's name for oppression - many of them felt that Anglican chruch was flawed in theis way.

For example, prior to the revolution there was a famous court case in Virgina where Patrick Henry defended local farmers that had been charged with not paying tithes to the Church. The court protcted the right of the Church to effectively collect taxes from the local populace regardless of local economic conditions.

Within the last several years the atheist crowd has used the separation of chirch and state idea that is drawn from a letter that Jefferson wrote.

The current use of this letter by the ACLU and others closely matches what is happeneing in France. The end result is that many parents are opting out of public education.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:47 Comments || Top||

#3  from y understanding of French and european history JFM is more on the mark than Super. Historically the European left wanted the govt to proactively secularize civil society - far beyond the wall of seperation idea - for reasons that go to the historic linkage of the church with rightist regimes, the left wanted to actively ban PRIVATE Catholic schooling, not just cut off state funding. There is NOTHING like that in the US, largely cause of our historic legacy of relative (if not always quite absolute) seperation.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 9:36 Comments || Top||

#4  La France is a Muslim Nation, why the surprise?
Posted by: Greg || 11/14/2003 11:30 Comments || Top||


Don't let the ACLU and others transform America from a secular country into an intolerant atheistic country.

Now a few stories about France's secularity:

When De Gaulle was President and travelling in a foreign country the program set by the foreign country included a mass. Mme De Gaulle was to lift to take the communion and De Gaulle made her sit telling "We cannot do so. France is a secular country". In other words, two devout Catholics were not free to commulgate.

Before WWI, the Combes cabinet constituted files about religious practice between officers.

After WWI, the governement was not as agressive in religious matters, however General Gamelin owed his nomination as chief of staff to his atheism and the protection of Daladier, an influential atheistic politician. Gamelin was the chief of staff in 1940, he was the guy who ignored the potential of Armored Divisions and who had left the Sedan region unprotected thus allowing the Germans to surround the main body of the French Army. Paul Reynaud, the Prime Minister, had tried to fire him before the German attack but had to drop the idea due to the opposition of Daladier .

Posted by: JFM || 11/14/2003 15:40 Comments || Top||

Germany Will Send Terror Suspects to U.S.
Germany's supreme court said Thursday it has approved the extradition of two Yemenis to the United States, where they are wanted on charges of supporting al-Qaida. The Federal Constitutional Court said Sheikh Ali Hassan al-Moayad and his alleged assistant, Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed, could expect a fair trial in the United States, rejecting the complaints they filed against lower-court decisions backing extradition. The final decision on extradition lies with the German government. The two were arrested Jan. 10 in a sting operation at a Frankfurt hotel, where they had expected to meet a wealthy American Muslim. U.S. and German authorities say they learned in December 2001 that al-Moayad was involved in supplying money and militants for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network as well as to the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas. According to papers from a Brooklyn federal court supporting the extradition request that were released in March, al-Moayad told an FBI informant that he supplied $20 million, recruits and weapons to bin Laden in the years before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. If convicted in the United States, al-Moayad would face up to 60 years in prison. Zayed, who faces a conspiracy charge, could be jailed for up to 30 years.
We'll be looking forward to making them at home...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

Fifth Column
Jethro Tull Frontman makes stupid remarks about U.S. & Bush
(edited for brevity)
"Americans are in a dreadful pickle at the moment, being they’re the villains of the planet as far as roughly half the population of the world is concerned. Half the world pretty much hates Americans."
and now, pretty much half of us hate you Ian.
Ian Anderson —the Scottish-born, English-bred singer-songwriter who usually leads Jethro Tull, but is now in the midst of a thought-provoking solo tour — insists he isn’t America bashing. He’s just telling it like it is. Anderson will admit, though, to being less than a fan of President Bush — or British Prime Minister Tony Blair, for that matter. "Bush and Blair haven’t got the faintest clue what a real war is," Anderson says. "As a couple of guys who have at their disposal considerable forces in the way of weapons of mass destruction, it seems somewhat cynical to be engaging in an act of invasion on foreign soil without the sanction of the international community and with guns blazing. Frankly, I hope both of them have an early demise."
I wonder if he was as bitchy w/Clinton when he attacked Bosnians without UN permission
Why is the skin flute-twirling rocker behind the ’70s FM classics "Aqualung," "Locomotive Breath" and "Bungle in the Jungle" suddenly waxing political? Actually, it isn’t so sudden. Anderson has always been that most rare of rockers — an articulate one — as evidenced by his lyrics, interviews and song introductions. His "Rubbing Elbows With Ian Anderson" tour, coming to Red Bank on Friday, is the musician’s chance to finally let it rip verbally. In each city, Anderson will invite a local radio or TV personality and several audience members to join him onstage for an evening of conversation and music. There’ll be Q&As, acoustic performances of Tull songs and, most interestingly, a local musician performing an original song backed by Anderson’s band. The format sounds either novel or nutty or just plain stupid. Anderson says it can be a little of both.
I’ll take the latter
The question of which topics emerge during the "Rubbing Elbows" chat segments is what sets Anderson off on a diatribe about the ongoing American-led war in Iraq. "I like to sound the audience out a little bit," Anderson says. "I usually bring your president into the conversation at some point, and perhaps Tony Blair. I like to hear the audience divided, as they always are, over the pros and cons of Bush policy and the Iraq so-called war." Anderson scoffs. "I mean, you know, to call it a war is to attempt to dignify a spurious invasion as something that sounds rather grand. As a career-molding war for you-know-who. I mean, to call it a war is just a disgrace.
you're right oh Rommelian one, it wasn’t a war it was a pummeling.
"But that’s not an area that I go into in any depth (during the shows) because I’d get my pussy ass kicked by some American barbarian. For a lot of people, that’s dangerous talk, because they are keen supporters of flag-waving nationalism and, dare I say, retribution and revenge, which is what they see this as being. I find that utterly deplorable and incomprehensible because I’m that fucking stupid. I hate to see the American flag hanging out of every bloody station wagon, out of every SUV, every little Midwestern house in some residential area. It’s easy to confuse patriotism with nationalism."
It's easy to confuse reflexive dissent with thought...

This, Anderson warns, is one reason America has become unpopular overseas. "Unfortunately, the way the world sees it," Anderson says, "we don’t look kindly on the flag-waving stuff anymore. In Europe, the only time you see flag-waving is at soccer games when people beat the (excrement) out of each other. A lot of flag-waving goes on there.
Yes, Soccer, the best reason to pull out the flag and fire bomb the opposing teams grandstands!
"But most of the time, we keep the flag-waving out of normal society these days, because we know that it just engenders old animosities — we old Europeans who are a little sadder and wiser as a result of having the (excrement) beaten out of us a number of times, and our cities and national monuments destroyed, because we wouldn’t stand up the first time. We’re probably a little more sanguine about this than the very sensitive American psyche, which has not experienced or had to endure these offenses on its home turf."
But twice in the last century sent its blood and treasure to help clean up the mess on Euroturf...
Some Americans may disagree in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, though 56-year-old Anderson is referring to the bombing of England and other European countries during World War II.
Yes. I've read about when the Germans bombed London and the Brits just shrugged it off and went back to negotiating...
"I sympathize with the American people," never mind I just called you a bunch of xenophobic facist bastards two paragraphs ago and hate your Hitleresque president he says, "who I have the highest regard for as being warm, invitational and mostly pretty good ambassadors around the world. The fact that they, we, count them as being the bad guys — flag-waving ain’t gonna do it. We have to work over the next two or three generations, not the next two or three months or two or three years. We’re talking about a multi-generational, skillfully worked job of re-education socialism, of stepping out into the world gently and showing a kinder and a more human face i.e. turn into a bunch of cake eating prancers. We have to correct the misunderstandings. We have to correct the prejudices. And we won’t correct them by sending in the tanks and the guns and the bombs and the missiles. Which has never done any good except stopping slavery, facism, nazism, and communism. We are all going to have to learn that sad lesson — that what was done in Iraq is the wrong thing. We had Saddam Hussein pretty much under control.
Except for his penchant for domestic corpse production, of course...
"The lesser of evils at the time was to play the game; send the weapons inspectors back in; do the stuff via the United Nations. To do what was done by Blair and Bush is, I think, a great sin for which I suspect both of them will pay in terms of career and reputation in the way that it is written up in history. But some folks, just like Sigfried and Roy, will do anything for the show-biz buzz. And the show-biz buzz of being out there doing the big, spectacular Las Vegas show with a bunch of poor animals — you know, so Bush and Blair will do the same thing for the different buzz that comes with the power of political leadership. These are powerful forces that folks are playing with. To have that power is something you can’t take lightly. You have to realize there are people out there whose lives you may affect by what you do."
Ian Anderson, I always just thought your band sucked - now I have a good reason to despise you. Flute playing wanker.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 4:28:32 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [373 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Here's a good one bro's. Heard this shit coming home from work today on the local radio station. The comments, hi-lighted, and cross-outs are mine. Ian Anderson = Tool. Though I'm sure Murat jerks himself off silly to his flute shit.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 16:30 Comments || Top||

#2  I've f*cking hated them ever since they stole the Grammy from Metallica.
Posted by: BH || 11/14/2003 16:33 Comments || Top||

#3  BH, please don't forget M-TV in your hatred. They wouldn't play that song by 3 Doors Down because they thought it gave tacit approval of the war when in reality it supported the troops. Self-righteous dumshitz.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 16:35 Comments || Top||

#4  So what is Ian's military record? Does anyone know?

You had Saddam under control? Do you want to go to Downtown Bagdad and say that? Or perhaps from the side of one of the mass graves? Asshat!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 16:36 Comments || Top||

#5  "I think you're all a bunch of ignorant, flag-waving, imperialist thugs, but please come to my show and buy my shit!"

What a piece of excrement. I sort of hope somebody 'rubs their elbow' all over this guys temple, with vigor.

Anyway, most of 'the world' is full of leftist crazies, so who gives a wank what they think?
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 16:40 Comments || Top||

#6  Why do we, or anyone, listen to these twits?!? Tell ya what, Ian, don't tell us how to save civilization for pathetic ingrates like you, and we won't tell you how to play the flute standing on one foot.
Posted by: Kirk || 11/14/2003 16:51 Comments || Top||

#7  Kirk, Was that his foot?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 16:59 Comments || Top||

#8  Actually, this reminds me of the Madonna/Britney kiss thing. Goes like this - An aging rocker, poor album sales, not much interest in their music anymore (they only had about 2 good songs anyhow), start a controversy to at least get your name out there again, i.e. make insulting comments to foreigners in their own country and call it 'honest debate'. F*ck Ian Anderson the only interest I have in him is putting my foot up his ass.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 17:08 Comments || Top||

#9  Why do these idiots think they have all the answers? Their entire world is wrapped up in getting a venue to play their music, coming up with new music, plugging themselves and their music, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Why do they think that makes them a military genius? Idiotarians of this stripe should stick to trying to play music, instead of thinking. Based on the output, it obviously hurts them.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/14/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||

#10  The Jethro Tull 1972 album title "Thick as a Brick" is one of the more accurately named albums it seems.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 18:22 Comments || Top||

#11  To do what was done by Blair and Bush is, I think, a great sin for which I suspect both of them will pay in terms of career and reputation in the way that it is written up in history.

I'm willing to bet similar sentiments were said of... Churchill.
Posted by: Raj || 11/14/2003 19:33 Comments || Top||

#12  Badanov,

Are you sure about the no vagina thing?

This guy is the epitome of old, obscure, pompous, lame classic rock dinosaur. This guy was already dated and played out by 1978.

This guy is the real life Spinal Tap. How does he manage to even get an interview or a single fan coming to his shows? Does the name Jethro Tull get posted in big letters at the top of the marquee? "Jethro Tull and Puppet Show" not "Puppet Show and Jethro Tull"?
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 11/14/2003 20:01 Comments || Top||

#13  Does the name Jethro Tull get posted in big letters at the top of the marquee? "Jethro Tull and Puppet Show" not "Puppet Show and Jethro Tull"?

I thought Jethro Tull was the drummer?
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 20:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Too old to die - to young to rock n roll!
Posted by: Secret Master || 11/14/2003 20:26 Comments || Top||

#15  Tokyo, right on. And I bet Ian Anderson can't turn it up to '11' either. I knew Nigel Tufnel, I grew up with Nigel Tufnel, Ian Anderson your no Nigel Tufnel.........

CF, apparently his military record includes a stint in the Greek Army where he was a Battalion Commander's personal 'comfort boy'. He joined based on their famous mottto "never leave your buddy's behind." He then tried a lat move to the French Foreign Legion, but they even saw him as too pathetic to be a pass-around-bitch for their ex-cons........
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 22:05 Comments || Top||

#16  I always sort of liked some of his more obscure albums: Heavy Horses, Stormwatch, and A. Guess I won't be buying any CDs to replace my vinyl albums anytime soon.
Posted by: Mike || 11/14/2003 22:50 Comments || Top||

Great White North
Canada bans three Palestinian groups
Hat tip to Damian Penny, EFL
Three Palestinian resistance groups have been added to the banned list by Canada, meaning that it is now a criminal offence to belong to or assist them in any way.

The Palestine Liberation Front, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command on Thursday joined 31 other groups on the list of organizations banned by Canada.

Federal Solicitor-General Wayne Easter said that the groups have “knowingly engaged in terrorist activity” and warned that there are “severe penalties [for people who] participate in, contribute to, or facilitate the activities of a listed entity."
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/14/2003 2:07:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Really weird dynamic going on in canookia. They hate Dubya, don't care for Americans, and coddle terrorists immigrants from the M.E. And then they go completely Orwell and sic the Royal Canadian Thought Police loose, attacking their erstwhile 'allies' against Israel.

Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 15:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Welcome to the world of Chretien.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/14/2003 17:59 Comments || Top||

Pertro Canada gets oil and gas rights in Syria
A contract on oil and gas excavation and production was signed in Damascus yesterday between Syrian Petroleum Company ( SPC ) and Canadian Pertro Canada Co. The contract was signed by Oil and Mineral Resources Minister Ibrahim Haddad and SPC’s General Director Ahmad Muaala on the Syrian side, and Petro - Canada’s Department. According to the said contract, Syrian government grants SPC and Petro Canada the exclusive right to excavate for oil and its productions in the region north of Syria.
It is all about the oil, I guess a little thing like Canadian citizens being tortured wasn’t important.
Maher Arar, a 33-year-old Ottawa computer engineer, was arrested Sept. 26, 2002, during a stopover in New York and deported to Syria, where he was interrogated for more than a year and tortured.
Oh, I forgot. It’s the US government’s fault.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 9:56:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I know Syria has some reserves but I thought they were a small player on the global market.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 20:45 Comments || Top||

Indians to buy Russian aircraft carrier?
From Pravda, pass the salt lick. Edited to clean up the English.
On November 11, 2003 Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. Their meeting is of major importance for Russian shipbuilders. During an unofficial meeting, both leaders plan to reach mutual agreement concerning Russia’s transfer of its aircraft-carrier Admiral Gorshkov to India. The aircraft-carrier has been rusting away awaiting its hour for many years while being moored at one of the military wharfs of "SevMash" production facility.
Yessiree, Bob, nuttin’ like a Indian aircraft carrier to scare the bejeebus out of the turbans. Except maybe an American aircraft carrier. Especially an American aircraft carrier.
Among those purely "technical" aspects, there also exist several "political" ones prepared for discussion between the two leaders. However, it appears that those will be mainly "political" aspects playing crucial role in deciding Admiral Gorshkov’s destiny.

According to the information from several Internet Agencies, Putin’s primary concern is to persuade India to change its discriminatory import politics towards Russia. Such strategy has been explicitly explained in a document addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation. Present-day India is second after EU in the amount of law suits aimed at Russia antidumping investigations. Experts have noted that the main reason for such high rate of law suites is due to the fact that India still has not accepted Russia as a country with a kleptocratic developing market economy for sale to the best-connected apparatchik. As a result India refuses to consider Russia’s production priced and prefers to calculate prices using its own methods.

What does it mean in reality?
Please, let’s not mention reality when discussing Russia.
In the course of the initial talks about the aircraft-carrier "Admiral Gorshkov, India has made its own calculations according to its own methods, relying on their own sources of information and trusting their own experts. In the end, their offer varied greatly from ours. According to our experts, if Mr. Putin and Mr. Vajpayee finally reach consensus, Admiral Gorshkov will most likely be Indian.
They’ll just do a little horse-trading.
However, there still remains a "political" aspect of the current negotiations. The aspect mainly concerns Europe than it does India. According to western media sources, India is thinking about purchasing American Orion airplanes for navy patrol. India motivates its actions in the following manner. It claims that Russia has persuaded India to purchase three IL-38 airplanes in a single packet with Admiral Gorshkov as well as several seaborne airplanes MIG-29K and bombers. It turns out, that such information is an absolute lie. Russia has never even attempted to link its trade of its IL-38’s with Admiral Gorshkov. In addition, the fact that India is willing to purchase American Orions has nothing to do with IL-38’s contract of acquisition.
Er, so what? But having India fly Orions in international air space just off the Pak coast would be entertaining.
As for the aircraft-carrier, certain actions have already been taken in regards to its acquisition. India plans to purchase the aircraft-carrier along with twelve seaborne airplanes. Everything seems to be working out well. The only remaining thing is for the both parties to reach consensus.  
So the Indians will get a bargain-basement full aircraft carrier. Wonder if they’ll do a port call in Karachi?  
Posted by: Steve White || 11/14/2003 12:53:42 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [434 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Unfortunately it's not as cheap as its made out to be. Though the ship itself is being offered for nothing, the Ruskies are charging a shit load about 500 million, for the upgrade, plus there is the cost for the Mig29s and mini-Awacs helos, the total is expected to be about 2 billion. And its quite a drastic upgrade (see here). Also I believe that this is supposed to be a temporary setup only until the indigenous aircraft carrier (known as air defence ship) is complete. In addition they are also looking to buy a second hand carrier from Britain. India's only current ship INS Viraat was also ex-British the HMS Hermes.

BTW, Steve you can un-strike the 'rusting away' comment, it really is a rust bucket.
Posted by: rg117 || 11/14/2003 1:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Jeez, they've been talking about this for years. I think the Turks wouldn't let it through the Bosporus (sp) because the engines don't work, and no way in hell will Turkey allow something that big to be towed through.

I think it's a big waste of money. IMO, They ought to buy a new supertanker from Hyundai and fly Helos and UAVs off of it.
Posted by: Pete Stanley || 11/14/2003 1:46 Comments || Top||

#3  If the reactor is operational, you might be able to use the power plant to provide utility service to a remote area of the country. Other than that - paint it white and name it the Elephant.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Tom Clancy has another piece of fiction correct when he points out in several novels that the Indians view it as the "Indian" Ocean. With a decent economy, no real enemies (the Paks? Don't make me laugh!), nukes, and what they see as a historical tradional of martial prowess, they are beginning to throw their weight around. Their "assistance" in Sri Lanka was one of the starting points. Bangladesh another.

The Aussies ought to be uncomfortable, with both India and Indonesia far too close for comfort.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 11/14/2003 8:43 Comments || Top||

#5  Mixed feelings. First its a pride purchase. India doesn't really use the exbritish aircraft carrier they currently have. If they get in a war its a target they can't afford to put in harms way (much as the Bientocynco DeMayo during the Falklands war). So there really is no point. Stupid waste of money.

On the other hand, I'd like to see India have two carriers when France only has a single, non-working one.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 8:46 Comments || Top||

#6  A carrier is also a handy thing to have around in case of natural disaster...

But I'm with Mr. Stanley on this... But I'd purchase one of those white elephant high-speed container ships for the purpose.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 9:43 Comments || Top||

#7  Yank makes a good point. I don't think the Indians have the ability to conduct a carrier fleet operations. I am talking about aircraft here and technology. But the British claimed that India wasn't ready for self-rule and they proved them wrong. In that area of the world, a Carrier is a HUGE military advantage, especially against the PRC. I thought the PRC was trying to buy this Rusting Ruskie Rowboat? Anyways it will make the Indian a MAJOR power in the region and maybe a counter-balance to the PRC. 50/50 the damn thing sink on the way to India.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/14/2003 11:31 Comments || Top||

#8  No doubt the Russians have bondo-ed up the dents and poured saw dust in the engines to keep it working during the sales process. Hope the Indians kick the sides and check under the waterline, they could be buying the world's 2nd most expensive Aircraft Lemon (after the chuck d gaulle, of course).
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 11:53 Comments || Top||

#9  One of the major problems with the Admiral Gorshkov is that it's not a very versatile carrier - more like the US "Iwo Jima" class helicopter carriers than one of our Nimitz-class ships. It's primarily designed to handle VTOL or STOL aircraft, has no real catapult capability (limiting take-off weight), and has a really crappy arrestor gear system. The "Kitty Hawk" would be a far better purchase, but the US probably wouldn't sell a US ship. Also, the Indians are probably trying to get a nuke-fueled ship since oil is scarce in India. Either way, the Indians are taking half-steps designed more for propaganda than military capability.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/14/2003 11:58 Comments || Top||

#10  The India aircraft carriers have been used in the past. In the 1971 war with Pakistan INS Vikrant (now decomissioned) was used to attack Pakistani Ports.
OP, with respect to it being not a very versatile carrier, that's true. But it will be going through a major overhaul (see this pic for what it will look like). Which is why it will cost so much.
As far for buying the 'Kitty Hawk', I think that would be much too huge for India, I don't think they are interested in it.
Like I said, the Gorshkov is intended to be a temporary setup. It is to help India gain more experience and understanding of how to operate large ships/carrier. The Chinese are taking a slightly different approach. They've been buying old carriers and converting them into floating museums/amusement parks. Though that doesn't give them experience fighting off a carrier, it is allowing them to learning maintaining large vessels something they didn't do before.
Finally, with respect to the Nuke-Fuel I think this will still be oil based. India is working on a nuclear reactor for submarines (which they call Advanced Technology Vessel) but that is years away. They may put it in the Indian built carrier if it is ready by then.
Posted by: rg117 || 11/14/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#11  A carrier is a stupid idea for India, and/or China. Carriers are about power-projection. India and China have no interests beyond a slightly extended fighter range so what advantage do they have moving the runway a bit further out? Mid-air refueling is a much better solution for their tactical issues.

Developing nations get the idea that Skyscrapers are what make developed nations wealthy so they build them and they are still poor. They think carriers are what make developed nations navies unbeatable so they build them and they tend to sit in port for fear they'll be sunk. This is often compared with the cargo cults in the pacific. Its a mentality they need to get beyond. The carrier will cost a fortune to get in the first place, then even more to pay for the crew, their supplies, and the fleet required to ensure the ships safety. And for what missions? To be able to attack Pakistan from the sea rather than flying planes out to sea and cutting in? To attack nations along the coast of Africa or the Middle East without the ability to drop in troops?
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

#12  Welcome to Honest Ivan's House O' Surplus!

Our prices are INSANE!
Posted by: mojo || 11/14/2003 15:26 Comments || Top||

#13  OP, America does sell or give ships away but I have never heard of the US selling something that could cause trouble down the road. I think we have even balked at providing Arleigh Burke class destroyers to Taiwan as a negotiated reunification would then hand that technology to the Chinese.

It will be very hard to build a navy around a carrier. For local defense it is more economical to go for the airfield option. A carrier will need submarines to screen for it. Normally it would require destroyer screens as well - they might be planning on using CAP aircraft to perform that function.

Here are some things that an emerging nation needs to conisder before they purchase a carrier:

1. How much will it cost me to outfit the carrier with planes?
2. Do I have the expertise to outfit an air detatchment to keep these planes running while the carrier is bobbing through the water?
3. Do I have enough pilots who can land a plane on a carrier including in heavy weather?
4. How do I plan to protect the carrier in heavy weather?
5. Which countries will this carrier most likely be operating against?
6. Does the Opfor have the capability to saturate my defenses with cruise missiles that can hit a target with accuracy?
7. Do I have amn exhisting navy that can screen and support this carrier?
8. How do I plan to resupply this carrier when it is operational?
9. Can I prtect this carrier from submarine attack?
10. Do I have the teams necessary to coordinate AAW, ASW and ASuW warfare from this platform?

Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 16:36 Comments || Top||

#14  I expect there will be plenty of tragicomic footage to come out of this misadventure. Not to mention multiple Darwin Award candidates. I don't think much of squids, but naval aviators have to be pretty good [not to mention insane] to deal with carrier ops- that sh*t ain't easy.

Why a 3rd world frigate navy needs to invest in a carrier is another question.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 18:08 Comments || Top||

#15  It is much more absurd that Thailand has a Harrier Carrier than India does.

SH- I think the Gorshkov is diesel/gas-turbine, so using it as a portable reactor is a non-starter. Though I read somewhere the Indian Navy wants to lease a Russian nuke sub. Again.

As for your questions, and rg117 might know this better, Indian naval purchases the last 15-20 yrs. look very carrier-battle group support oriented. As for opponents, I'd be surprised if the Pak sub force were up to anti-carrier ops. The Chinese PLA navy probably has practiced for this, but the Indian Ocean is a long cruise from Guangzhou or wherever their sub bases are.

I also thought the Indians already had IL-38s. They want the new ones or something?
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 11/14/2003 18:26 Comments || Top||

#16  Though I read somewhere the Indian Navy wants to lease a Russian nuke sub. Again.
I thought they were supposed to be leasing two Akula (Shchuka-B) SSNs, Fernandes mentioned something about this in Moscow a while back, not heard anything since though. Shchukas would probably upset the Paks somewhat, they're supposed to be pretty quiet, at least by Russian standards.

Posted by: Dave || 11/14/2003 18:35 Comments || Top||

#17  Interesting note on US Naval sales. The US sold the USS Phoenix (a Pearl Harbor survivor) to Argentina who renamed it the General Belgrano. When the UK was gonna sink it they realized the modern torpedos were built to smash up the thinner modern hulls and not the overly thick WW2 variety. Luckly they had a few older torpedos with less agility and such but larger warheads. The Belgrano still would have survived if the Argentines had actually chipped the old paint off each time they repainted the ship, but they didn't, and the watertight doors would no longer dog shut and she sank.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 18:35 Comments || Top||

#18  Shchukas would probably upset the Paks somewhat, they're supposed to be pretty quiet, at least by Russian standards.

I'm puzzled by the nuke sub thing. Lots of people who have worked/served on them have told me that a nuke is generally louder than a diesel of the same vintage. So one would think the Paks or whomever, would have an easier time finding a nuke boat over a diesel of about the same age. Unless India has major force projection aspirations, their boats wouldn't need the range of nuke engines. If I were them I'd just buy more Kilos or those German Type 209's they already have.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 11/14/2003 18:52 Comments || Top||

#19  Ominous Whatever, I stand corrected. India has quite a few more ships than I expected. They don't have an abundance of oilers but the ones they do have the gear for underway replenishment.

The Soviet Union was finishing its first real carrier when their country fell apart. Don't know that I would want to buy their first try. For instance, gas turbine powering of a carrier strikes me as a very bad idea.

The data link for carrier battle group ops is critical to defending the high value units. Thier fleet better be all Russian - as it looks to me - or data might not be compatible.

If all their assets are operational; they should be able to knock the stuffing out of anyone in that area of the world.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 21:14 Comments || Top||

#20  Sounds like they're looking more toward Indonesia than Pakland, where they have a long land border.

Also think about the Chinese, who are cultivating Myammar(sp?)(former Burma).
Posted by: Pappy || 11/14/2003 21:27 Comments || Top||

#21  I'm puzzled by the nuke sub thing. Lots of people who have worked/served on them have told me that a nuke is generally louder than a diesel of the same vintage.
AFAIK the Akula/Akula-II is the quietest boat the Russians have produced to date, there were rumours that the USN have problems tracking the things when they come visiting. According to FAS they carry anti-ship/submarine missiles as well as torpedos, so they pack more of a punch than the export version of the Kilo. Not sure how important considerations about prestige were when the Indians decided to lease the boats (we're big boys now, we've got our own SSNs!) & I don't know how well the Indians will be able to operate/maintain them.
Posted by: Dave || 11/15/2003 3:31 Comments || Top||

#22  Diesel subs are incredbibly quiet when they are submerged because they are running on battery power. Nuke subs have become quieter as different methods of eliminating sound from operating pumps and such have been developed and employed.
Diesel subs are limitted by their need to snorkle to run their deisels to charge their batteries and their need to refuel.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/15/2003 9:11 Comments || Top||

What’s all that smoke?
Oh it’s from the gun...

OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta--according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Posted by: Rawsnacks || 11/14/2003 8:12:14 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [395 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If I obtained a Top Secret memo, I would turn it in to the FBI with an explanation of how I obtained it. That's just me.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 20:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh Great, another leaked Memo! LOL!

I mean come on Democrats. You must've seen this coming from a mile away. Oh No, don't tell you blew all your money on the Saddam Hussein 1,000,000,000 to 1 long shot.

Posted by: Daniel King || 11/14/2003 20:41 Comments || Top||

#3  Where the hell do they think AQ got the nerve gas to kill that doggie with?
Posted by: PETA || 11/14/2003 20:55 Comments || Top||

#4  Super Hose -- personally, I think this memo should have been released by the administration. They're facing a public that's loosing its nerve to press the fight, thanks to the Democrats, their allies in the press, and the curious leaking of documents that always contradict the administration.

That this one gets out means that either the administration is engaging in the war of leaks, or that its allies have decided to do so.

Check out some of the timing information, too. The Senate Intelligence Committee got the memo on October 27; less than two weeks later Senator Levin was going before the press and claiming he had never seen any evidence of connections between Iraq and al'Qaeda.

He was lying.

Of course, I think this memo will disappear down the press' memory hole, like the Hannity memo. It would be too risky for the press to ask Democrats tough questions about what they knew, when they knew it, and why they lied about it afterwards.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/14/2003 21:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Weekly Standard site is now unreachable. Slashdot effect or DoS?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/14/2003 22:34 Comments || Top||

#6  They've been farked*,RC. I got this message,
"HTTP Error 500-13 - Server too busy." Everybody in the government may be trying to read this article. You should try again later.

* for the uninitiated, it's a term used at http://www.fark.com/ to indicate over activity at a server caused by its readers.
Posted by: Gasse Katze || 11/14/2003 23:09 Comments || Top||

#7  That's also what "slashdot effect" means.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/14/2003 23:22 Comments || Top||

#8  Farked and Slashdotted or the slashdot effect. It is when a very popular blog or site links to a article. Suddenly everyone is accessing the article and the server gets overwhelmed.

I think the slashdot effect predates farked. At least I know sites were getting slashdotted in the late 90's.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 23:30 Comments || Top||

#9  I've got the whole damned thing saved and am going to post it as soon as the clock strikes midnight here at Rantburg so that we can all have fun with this tomorrow.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/14/2003 23:37 Comments || Top||

Hitchens pulls out a big hammer, and nails it.
Although I disagree with them, the only folks who make any sense opposing this war are those dyed-in-the-wool pacifists who always oppose violence. All others seem to have some other disagreeable politcal aspiration. Now it is certainly true that there are those who support the war who have equally disagreeable political aspirations.

But Hitchens hammers through both groups, and gets on with whats right.

Those who murder the officials of the United Nations and the Red Cross, set fire to oil pipelines and blow up water mains, and shoot down respected clerics outside places of worship are indeed making our point for us. There is no justifiable way that a country as populous and important as Iraq can be left at the mercy of such people. And—here is my crux—there never was.
Posted by: rawsnacks || 11/14/2003 12:47:32 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

Security and Economic Trends in Postwar Iraq
Click on the title link to see the chart. You may have to register with the NY Times to see it.

How are things really going in Iraq? That’s a tricky question. First, it is inherently difficult to measure progress in counterinsurgency warfare and nation-building efforts. Second, reports of the latest violence -- including the deaths of more than 50 American and other coalition troops in the first two weeks of November -- and the highly partisan debate in Washington dominate the news coverage, overshadowing more in-depth analysis.

This chart, compiled largely using United States government information, tracks a number of trends in Iraq that can help shed light on how the situation is evolving. Of course, this being war, the data is inevitably fluid, subject to constant updating by the government. Nevertheless, what we have is still better than the filtered information usually heard from the true believers of the left and right.
Posted by: Patrick Phillips || 11/14/2003 9:06:16 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [314 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oops! Forget to mention that I got this via Vodkapundit.
Posted by: Patrick Phillips || 11/14/2003 9:08 Comments || Top||

US helicopter foils Iraqi strike
Edited for freshness.
US troops using helicopter gunships have killed seven Iraqis suspected of preparing rocket attacks on a US base in northern Iraq, the US military said. The attack near Tikrit appears to be part of a more forceful coalition response to increased Iraqi resistance.

US officials said the Apache attack late on Thursday targeted an encampment with bunkers about 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit. One Iraqi suspect was wounded while another escaped, said a spokeswoman for the 4th Infantry Division. US soldiers later went to the area and discovered more than 600 missiles and rockets in two bunkers and on a flatbed truck, one of three vehicles destroyed by the Apache fire, the spokeswoman said. She said the suspects had targeted the US army’s Speicher base when they were spotted by the Apache, which was on a reconnaissance mission.
Posted by: Bulldog || 11/14/2003 7:54:47 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  At a certain point you have got to wonder just how much money was spent on all these armaments. Sadaam could have but plenty of shares of Microsoft with his cash.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Unfortunately, the evidence is that the Baathist/criminals/Islamofascists have plenty of money left and plenty of weapons left. However, the coalition is finally becoming more adept at using Iraqi informers.
Posted by: mhw || 11/14/2003 8:40 Comments || Top||

#3  It also lookes like a change in policy at Central Command. In the last two weeks, increasing number of news reports, and news releases, refer to enemy casulties. This is a change from a policy where nothing was ever said about enemy losses. In at least two e-mails to CentCom over the last several months, I begged them to make this change. A careful reading of e-mails and blogs from Iraq, and the odd news story or two, told us that the enemy was suffering disproportionate casulties, but CentCom policy was to avoid body counts. With the mood in the United States at a delicate stage, they appear to have decided to let us know how well we are doing, in all respects. Hooray!


Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 11/14/2003 10:15 Comments || Top||

#4  In a guerilla war destroying enemy's morale is of still greater importance than in conventional war. That is why you have to make everyone (both the fighters and the sympathisers) know when the guerillas suffer setbacks, that ten or twenty guerilleros fall for very soldier.

The second thing is that you have to try to avoid giving soft targets (like Italian carabinieri, who
are closer to police than to real army) to the guerilla: not only because they provide them with morale-boosting successes but because they allow the guerilla to "learn the office" against the soft troops until they can stand against your elite troops: it is far better to force the guerillas to learn against your crack units so they are killed and don't live to improve.
Posted by: JFM || 11/14/2003 15:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Also nice to get the word out there that, contrary to what ABC-CNN-CBS-NBC want you to believe, every helicopter incountry isn't being blasted out of the sky by RPG wielding Iraqis that hate America.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 20:26 Comments || Top||

Iraq worse than Vietnam
The U.S. death toll in Iraq has surpassed the number of American soldiers killed during the first three years of the Vietnam War, the brutal Cold War conflict that cast a shadow over U.S. affairs for more than a generation. A Reuters analysis of Defense Department statistics showed on Thursday that the Vietnam War, which the Army says officially began on Dec. 11, 1961, produced a combined 392 fatal casualties from 1962 through 1964, when American troop levels in Indochina stood at just over 17,000. By comparison, a roadside bomb attack that killed a soldier in Baghdad on Wednesday brought to 397 the tally of American dead in Iraq, where U.S. forces number about 130,000 troops — the same number reached in Vietnam by October 1965. The casualty count for Iraq apparently surpassed the Vietnam figure last Sunday, when a U.S. soldier killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack south of Baghdad became the conflict’s 393rd American casualty since Operation Iraqi Freedom began on March 20.
Yup. We should prob'ly just hang it up and go home...
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 5:18:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

#1  From 1962 to '64,most of the fighting was done by the Vietnamese.Surprising that the Reuters chose the time period just before the Americans started sending serious ground troops over,no?

I should also mention that the casualty rate for the American troops is many,many times over that of the US troops in the first two years of WWII.Now that is shocking,Murat.
Posted by: El Id || 11/14/2003 6:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Never mind that from 1961 to 1964 we were only peripherally involved in Vietnam, only providing air support, advising/training, with no more than 17,000 troops involved on the ground.

The gulf of tonkin resolution didn't happen until August of 1964 (three years after the "start" of vietnam war).

A better comparison would be starting in 1965 some time in the middle, when troop levels reach 60,000.

If you want to get pedantic about it, why not start measuring from 1991, when Operation Desert Storm happened? We've been flying combat missions ever since.

If you'd bother to normalize the data, you'd see that the casualty rate per 1000 soldiers in Vietnam was about 10x it is the Iraq.

But even then, the information is meaningless because the conflicts are completely different. Vietnam was a combination of military campaigns mixed with wide spread guerilla combat.

But not that that will deter you from dragging up whatever specious links that you can show that the US is doomed to failure.

p.s. How many turkish troops have died fighting the Kurdish rebels? Even reading the Turkish government sites, that conflict sounds more like vietnam than the US in Iraq.
Posted by: RussSchultz || 11/14/2003 6:42 Comments || Top||

#3  El+Russ,agreed.Typical of Murat.Always trying to compare apples and oranges.
Posted by: Raptor || 11/14/2003 7:37 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm surprised that it took Reuters this long to develop this angle. They will keep this bogus comparison in the can for any future conflict as well.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:21 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm almost looking forward to 2008 when Hillary is president. Finally an end to all the diaper-clad liberal crying, moaning, carping & spoon banging. Let the payback begin.
Posted by: eyeyeye || 11/14/2003 8:24 Comments || Top||

#6  what month did US marines arrive at Da Nang in '65? that would seem the suitable "start date" for comparison purposes.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 9:42 Comments || Top||

#7  There's no telling how many Americans were killed in the early phases of the Vietnam conflict... a lot of it was black.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 9:46 Comments || Top||

#8  A Reuters analysis of Defense Department statistics showed on Thursday that the Vietnam War, which the Army says officially began on Dec. 11, 1961, produced a combined 392 fatal casualties from 1962 through 1964,

Reuters doesn't know diddly squat about the Vietnam War. If they did, they wouldn't be publishing misleading crap like this.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/14/2003 10:05 Comments || Top||

#9  eyeyeye:

I'm almost looking forward to 2008 when Hillary is president...Let the payback begin.

That's what I said in 2000: "Let's see what the Republicans do when there are endless investigations into whether, possibly, perhaps, at some time in the past, someone, somewhere, might've made an extra dime because of their friendship with Bush, which will not cease until everyone in the damn country has been subpoenaed."

After 9/11, my interest in partisan "payback" waned. Considerably.

Say, Murat, you wouldn't want to try to stop being so bleeding predictable, would you? "What's this? A link to an 'All is lost' article which goes out of its way to make specious comparisons? Must be Murat's doing."
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/14/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#10  Vietnam KIA rate (according to Reuters numbers) would be about 2 percent.
In Iraq, the numbers come out to about 3 tenths of one percent!
Quite a comparison!
Posted by: Greg || 11/14/2003 11:27 Comments || Top||

#11  LH - 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landed, 8 March 1965. As early as '62 we had a helo squadron there in support of S.Nam vs. the V.C. After Tonkin and Pleiku LBJ finally grew some nuts (but not any brains) and you all know the rest. Also as early as August '65 during OPERATION STARLITE the V.C. were dealt their first huge defeat of the war when the 7th Marine Regiment essentially destroyed the 1st V.C. Regt. It was the first truly combined arms/tactical operation for us. 1 Battalion by helo, 1 by foot, & 1 by amphib assault - trapped the V.C. on the Van Tuong Peninsula, 1,000 V.C. KIAs as a result.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 12:37 Comments || Top||

#12  Makes you wonder why Reuters didn't compare the Iraq fatalities to American fatalities in the first two years of WWII (Sept. 1, 1939 to Sept 1, 1941). Iraq fatalities are probably MUCH LARGER. I googled for the WWII figures, couldn't find them. The sites I found either had total figures only, or by-year figures starting in 1941. Do any of you guys know a site, off the bat, that has fatalities to 9/1/41?
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/14/2003 13:35 Comments || Top||

#13  Angie - no, I don't have a site, but I can give you a few 'ferinstances' that may help.

The Japanese bombed and sank the USS Panay, an American gunboat on the Yangtse in 1937(?) that killed something like 12 and wounded 30+. They also sank three Standard Oil tankers, with loss of civilian lives. The US Destroyer Reuben James was sunk by a German submarine on Oct 31, 1941, leading to the deaths of some 60 US sailors. There were some dozen other events, ranging from minor to major, where US personnel were killed, mostly considered "accidental", during wartime situations where American embassy personnel were under attack along with the rest of the local population. Total numbers from all sources is probably around 250, below current Iraqi losses.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/14/2003 14:09 Comments || Top||

#14  And don't forget the Pearl Harbor attack occured in 1941. There were a few nasty naval engagements in 1942 as well. If you only consider ground pounders you have a point, otherwise WW2 clearly wins.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 16:29 Comments || Top||

#15  To quote someone here or at LGF...

"If this is worse that Vietnam can we start beating up the hippies now?"
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 16:47 Comments || Top||

#16  Gentlemen, grasp your truncheons!
Posted by: Sgt.DT || 11/14/2003 17:59 Comments || Top||

#17  DT & SHIP, I am with you! Lets got crack some hippie noggins!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/14/2003 18:41 Comments || Top||

#18  Old Patriot---thanks, but the Panay was before 9/1/39, and the Reuben James was after 9/1/41, so those are outside my time frame. (I'm only going to compare apples to oranges, not to meteorites or hedgehogs, like Reuters.)

And it was 115 on the Reuben James.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/14/2003 19:04 Comments || Top||

#19  Lessee...the Turkish military announced a few months back that about 230 soldiers were to be tried for huuman rights abuses, including the rape of a Kurdish woman. What's that in proportion to the number of Turkish soliders involved in ops against Kurdish rebels?
Posted by: Pappy || 11/14/2003 21:33 Comments || Top||

#20  Murat - what is about "Yup. We should prob'ly just hang it up and go home... "

there is no we here. nice find but totally offbase. the first three years of vietnam were, for american forces, no where near the intensity of the war in iraq.

Angie Schultz - learn your history. the first two years of wwii was very bloody for american forces (1941-1943).

Do any of you guys know a site, off the bat, that has fatalities to 9/1/41??? Are we talking about american casulties or allied? because there were many battles from poland - france - low countries - africa

if you are comparing american casualties in iraq to the 1939-1941 periord your comparsion is skewed. we were not officially at war during this period, there were a few instances, as old patriot pointed out, but no major combat for american forces. but we did have major combat in iraq.
there is now way iraq can come even close to the losses of wwii. wwii clearly wins in all categories - except for speed and violence of the american forces.

Posted by: Dan || 02/18/2004 12:12 Comments || Top||

Occupation enters critical phase
In many respects, the current political conditions in Iraq are very similar to those of Vietnam 40 years ago.

In Vietnam, one of the major goals of the various US administrations, from Harry Truman’s to Gerald Ford’s, was to create a viable government in South Vietnam that had the support of the Vietnamese people but which would also be a proponent of US interests in Southeast Asia. In order to achieve this goal, Washington supported a handful of South Vietnamese leaders, from Bao Dai to Nguyen Van Thieu. Yet all of these leaders were corrupt and did not represent the interests of the Vietnamese people.
No no no, Chalabi is different he may be a criminal and sentenced by a Jordanian court to 22 years in prison with hard labour, [ 31 charges of embezzlement, theft, misuse of depositor funds etc. etc. ] after the collapse of the businessman’s Jordanian bank. But he is definitely not as corrupt as those Vietnamese and he represents fully the Iraqi people even if he was not in Iraq for 30 years. :)

In Iraq, the administration of President George W Bush faces similar political concerns that successive US administrations faced in Vietnam, while at the same time suffering from what many Americans feel is an unacceptable casualty rate that was only seen in the later years of US involvement in Vietnam.

There is growing concern in the US over the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq; according to an ABC/Washington Post opinion poll released on November 2, for the first time a majority of Americans disapprove of the administration’s handling of the conflict in Iraq. Additionally, the poll indicated that 60 percent of the US population find the current casualty rate unacceptable. Subsequently, continued US casualties have prompted the administration to pursue quickly a policy that has already been labeled "Iraqification", eerily similar to the failed "Vietnamization" policy of the 1960s and 1970s.

The policy of "Iraqification" involves training Iraqi military and security forces in order to have them replace US forces; the intent is that Iraqis will eventually fight Iraqis for the interests of the US government. Yet there is no reason to believe that this policy will be any more successful than it was in Vietnam. As in Vietnam, the type of individual who is willing to fight his own population in the interests of a foreign power is often corrupt and fails to make an effective fighter. The success of this policy relies on whether the Bush administration can marginalize Iraqi guerrilla forces and prevent them from gaining support among the civilian population.

At present, it is not clear whether the Bush administration is achieving this goal. While Washington has succeeded in establishing a central bank, circulating a new currency, restoring some essential services, and appointing a governing council made up of Iraqis, resistance to the US presence has been growing. The attacks by insurgent fighters have also become more deadly, culminating in the November 2 attack on a US Chinook helicopter that killed 16 US soldiers and wounded 21 more. The first week of November was the deadliest week for US soldiers since early in the war, with 36 soldiers losing their lives. And just this Wednesday, a truck bomb suicide explosion outside the camp headquarters of the Italian military police in Nasiriyah in southern Iraq killed 17 Italian personnel and at least eight Iraqis.

In the past month, US officials admit, attacks on the some 130,000 US troops in Iraq have grown to three dozen a day. Contradicting Bush’s claim that the "desperation of resistance is proof we are winning", the continued and now increased resistance speaks to a different theory: that Washington thus far has failed to root out Ba’athist elements and independent resistance groups, and has also been unable to prevent certain segments of Iraqi society from actively sympathizing with these fighters.

The clashes between resistance fighters and US forces in the streets of Iraq continue to anger the Iraqi population, who blame the US for the current instability in the country. Recent polls from Iraq show that much of society now views US forces as occupiers rather than as liberators. These feelings of distrust can be expected to intensify the longer US and guerrilla fighters continue to battle in the cities of Iraq.

The source of many Iraqis’ anger is the overwhelming force frequently used by US soldiers in response to attacks and civil disruptions. While this strategy is effective in large, open terrain such as the desert and when dealing with regular military units, it is typically ineffectual when used in dense urban environments filled with people carrying out their daily lives. Instead, this policy may virtually guarantee otherwise avoidable losses of civilian life and also add to an increasingly negative image of the US presence.

The more Iraqis who have a negative image of the US presence, the greater the risk that otherwise uninvolved Iraqis will either cooperate, support or sympathize with anti-US guerrillas. This is already evident in cases of resistance by Iraqi civilians; for example, in the Sunni triangle city of Abu Ghraib, US troops have been consistently fighting both residents and guerrillas. Unless US forces are willing to lock down these cities completely, conducting operations in places such as Abu Ghraib seems counterproductive and may only embolden the guerrillas.

In addition to stimulating resistance, operations in cities such as Abu Ghraib, along with the use of overwhelming force, hurt the image of US involvement in Iraq. For instance, New York Times reporter Alex Berenson recently reported that in Abu Ghraib US troops "fired on a photographer trying to cover the fighting and barred reporters from viewing the scene". While such controversial images may be suppressed in the US, they are not elsewhere; as well as on Arab television, European news networks frequently show videos of US troops responding with overwhelming force in the middle of busy market streets. Instead of attempting to prevent these images from reaching the outside world, greater peacekeeping training must be given to US forces to prevent their fighting methods from turning off not only Iraqi society, but also the wider world.

The continued inability to pacify Iraq will lead to a failure of US objectives in the country and in the region as a whole. One of the main US objectives in Iraq is to create a viable Iraqi government that has the support of the Iraqi people, but that will also be congruent with US interests in the Middle East. It is not clear whether this objective is still possible. Noah Feldman, a New York University law professor who served as a consultant to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, warned London’s Daily Telegraph that "any democratically elected Iraqi government is unlikely to be secular, unlikely to be pro-Israel, and frankly, moderately unlikely to be pro-American".
Solution: find a pro American Saddam

Feldman’s statement points to one of the most fundamental dilemmas the Bush administration faces: that a democratic Iraq may be an Iraq unfriendly to the US. Furthermore, it highlights the difficulty that Washington is discovering in finding an Iraqi government that supports US interests while also garnering the support of the Iraqi people - a situation that Washington never managed to accomplish in Vietnam. In fact, even Ahmad Chalabi, a member of the governing council who is close to the Pentagon, stated, "The Americans, their methods, their operations, their procedures, are singularly unsuited to deal with this kind of problem."

But the US cannot leave Iraq unless Washington is willing to face a loss of influence in the region and the world. If the US were to pull out of Iraq without establishing a strong authority there, the country would likely fall into civil war that could result in territorial fragmentation. The Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shi’ites in the south could easily plunge into internecine conflict; this perhaps explains why, since Iraq’s creation, the country has been largely run by authoritarian leaders who have repressed political dissent, thus securing the stability of the state. Furthermore, outside powers would inevitably become involved in any Iraqi civil war, creating the possibility of Iraq’s Shi’ite south becoming enveloped in the affairs of Iran - a bordering Shi’ite Islamic republic - or the Kurds of the north attempting to create a greater Kurdistan. These outcomes would be considered setbacks to US interests.

The continued inability to pacify Iraq reflects the larger problem faced by Washington of successfully interacting with Arab and Muslim societies. Facing countries with values quite contrary to the United States’s, Washington has failed to provide these societies with a desirable cultural model to follow. Attempts to do so have only enraged Muslim societies and have resulted in a major polarization between the interests of Washington and the interests of these societies.

In light of this, Vice President Dick Cheney’s claim that "we are rolling back the terrorist threat at the very heart of its power in the Middle East" could not seem further from the truth. Subsequent surveys by various groups, such as the Pew Research Center, show that hatred toward the US has been rapidly growing in almost all countries throughout the world, especially Arab and Muslim ones that feel that the "war on terror" is simply a "war on Islam".

This polarization will result in more attacks on US interests abroad and possibly at home. Even individuals such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are beginning to question official rhetoric. He admitted in his recent leaked memo that the US "lack[s] the metrics to know whether we are winning or losing the global war on terror". Because the US is too powerful for any state actor to attack, and because hatred for the US is spreading across the planet, individuals in a position of relative weakness will use the most effective means of damaging US interests: engaging in terrorist tactics.
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 3:52:46 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [492 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Abizaid: Iraqi resistance forces number at most 5,000: general

Does the US have also generals who know how to count? Only 5000 people carry out an average of 30 attacks on coalition troops daily = 900 attack/monthly? Yeah sure, Saddam must have hired Rambo!
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 4:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Murat, you really want to think this through. If Iraq fails, there is a "final solution" to the entire middle east threat the US sees, that only the US and few other countries can utilize. You really don't want it to come to that. You may not like us there, but, if the terrorists start coming here, political will and public support for a "final solution" to our problem will grow.
Posted by: Ben || 11/14/2003 4:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah and the final solution is the nuking of halve of the world, you must be a classmate of Rummy, Benny.
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 4:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Sorry Murat, I don't think you understand. Ben is not being outrageous. It wouldn't matter if it was Rumsfeld or some Democratic president's defense secretary.

The whole point of the Bush Strategy is to prevent exactly the scenario Ben describes. You don't understand the mood of this country after 9/11. You don't understand what it would be like here if something more terrible happened. The pressure to totally destroy the Middle East would be unstoppable if tens of thousands of Americans were killed in terrorist attacks.

What do you think we would do? Give up? Make mean faces?

There wouldn't be a choice for the political leadership. None. Not if an American city was smoldering or decaying from a bio-weapon attack. We don't want to get to that point, which is why Iraq MUST work.

Dream on all you want, but the truth is that we would not retaliate with 150,000 troops. We'd retaliate with 15 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

You should be scared, very scared, about a failure in the Middle East.

And please, explain your math. If I accept your 900 attacks monthly figure, what's out of line with 5,000 terrorists doing that? Most of these attacks involved very small numbers or remote control IED. You could pull that number off with half as many as Abizaid estimates.
Posted by: RMcLeod || 11/14/2003 5:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Also Murat, I think you would do well to read the reactions here to this posting about 100,000 Americans dying from an Al Queda attack.

Don't misjudge Rantburgers as out of the mainstream. Just the opposite. You want a true picture of how Americans feel, read the responses to that post.
Posted by: RMcLeod || 11/14/2003 5:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Yeah RMcLeod,

Explain also to me what the Iraq occupation has to do with the Al Qaeda attack or 9/11, Bush himself acknowledged there was no link, are you implying to know better? Fighting terrorism is a must no disagreement here, but occupation of Iraq is different and without a link to 9/11.
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 5:34 Comments || Top||

#7  On the contrary Murat, hitting Iraq was vital to taking out terrorist interests according to Dan Darling's take on it. Terrorists don't usually play out in the open where its easy to see their bases and attack them, this is especially true of a decentralized organization such as Al Quaeda. Tell me Murat if you think hitting Iraq was such a bad idea, what do you think Turkey would do when it was found out that there were Al Quaeda elements infiltrating their country for terrorist purposes and using their neighbor Iraq as a safe haven to fall back to, rebuild and plan their operations?
Posted by: Val || 11/14/2003 6:06 Comments || Top||

#8  Ben is simply telling the truth, Murat.

I was raised in small, working class town. My family were all Democrats, as I was for much of my life. And every one of them would DEMAND a massive retaliation against every country that fosters Islamicist terror if tens of thousands of Americans were killed in the sort of attack that al Qaeda promises.

I too, with my multiple graduate degrees and my middle class lifestyle, would demand the same. My daughter was just a mile or so from the World Trade Center on 9/11. I will be damned if I will see her in a burqa or allow any additional attacks on us to go unpunished. And that means punishment for those who support, fund, encourage and enable the attacks as well as for those who carry them out.

I'll say it again -- if the Islamic people and their governments do not rein in the terror, there WILL be death on a scale you can hardly imagine. Europe may (or may not) roll over and join a renewed caliphate under the threat of terrorist bombings, but the United States will not. Period.

Finally, you are wrong about Iraq and 9/11. The connection is at least indirect and is pretty clear. Saddam Hussein may have had some indirect role in that attack, as there is some evidence he encouraged the first attack on the World Trade Center in the early 90s. But whether or not he was directly involved in 9/11, he was one clear sponsor of a variety of Islamacist terror groups. That support included money, safe passage and refuge within Iraq and, in the case of Ansar al Islam, chemical cookbooks for serious poisons, along quite possibly with sufficent amounts of biological agents to execute bioterror attacks.

For a long time the US tolerated this activity. We protected the Kurds (as we did not protect the southern Shia, to my great dismay) with nearly 10 years of expensive, tiring overflights and vigilance. After 9/11, and with clear evidence that Hussein would connive to encourage terror attacks on the West, it was time to say "Enough!".

Pray that the effort to establish a secure, stable and free Iraq succeeds, Murat. Because the alternative isn't for the US to go slinking home a la Vietnam. This time the alternative is much, much worse and it won't be the US that bears that burden.
Posted by: rkb || 11/14/2003 6:32 Comments || Top||

#9  Eh,Chalabi was tried by a secret court in Jordania,which conviently handed out a conviction dozens of pages long just days after being formed.This despite the fact that the alleged crimes were wholly within the purview of ordinary criminal law.Fair trial,it was not.But then again the concept may not be familiar to you.
Posted by: El Id || 11/14/2003 6:43 Comments || Top||

#10  Val, rkb,

No Val, that’s not true the Al Quaeda was hiding in Afghanistan and the Taliban formed their core and funding source, attacking the Taliban was justified. But on Iraq there was no single link with the Al Quaeda found, Bush confirmed this. One cannot attack and occupy a country on baseless theories without firm proof on harbouring or funding those terrorists you mean.

There are PKK terrorists in Iraq and Turkey made raids on them in the past, but that fact is more to blame on the no-fly zone effect which ripped northern iraq out of the Iraqi government control, also here one could not accuse the former Iraqi government on harbouring the terrorists.

Iraq was attacked for supposed possession of WMD weapons that have never been found. When the supposed Iraqi WMD possession claim flopped people turned to the blah blah of freeing Iraq of a dictator and bringing democracy for justification. So Val I don’t buy your Iraq story of being a safe haven for Al Quaeda, if so why didn’t the USA show any proof till now (because there ain’t any proof?). Yes I found and still do find attacking and occupying Iraq a bad idea since no solid reasons existed but only fabricated justifications.
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 7:01 Comments || Top||

#11  Iraq was attacked for supposed possession of WMD weapons that have never been found. When the supposed Iraqi WMD possession claim flopped people turned to the blah blah of freeing Iraq of a dictator and bringing democracy for justification.

Murat, you just keep on reposting the same old numbskull crap, day in day out. We know you didn't support the war, we know you prefer fascist Ba'athism to prospective democracy, and we know you're an enemy of western liberal values. Do you honestly think that you're going to convince anyone here that you're right about these things? Why don't you give it a rest?
Posted by: Bulldog || 11/14/2003 7:11 Comments || Top||

#12  Could you convince me of the opposite I tell Buldog, why don't you start with summoning the reason of the Iraqi occupation, instead of applauding the fabricated justifications.
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 7:19 Comments || Top||

#13  Murat, every time you post your shit people generously waste precious minutes of their lives explaining to you why the war was justified, but you ignore their arguments. I'm not going to waste any more of my time on you.
Posted by: Bulldog || 11/14/2003 7:23 Comments || Top||

#14  Jarhead, Iraq and Jugoslavia have nothing in common to compare, Jugoslavia was civil war with attrocities, Iraq an oilwell.
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 7:59 Comments || Top||

#15  Jarhead, Iraq and Jugoslavia have nothing in common to compare, Jugoslavia was civil war with attrocities, Iraq an oilwel.
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 8:00 Comments || Top||

#16  The US claims terrorist groups and Saddam fedayeen behind the attacks and rank them as follow:
1 The return party : This group consist of former Baas members and want Saddam reinstated. Mostly active in the middle and western parts of Baghdad, Sallahadin and Anbar provinces

2 army of Muhammad : Also this group advocates the return of Saddam, and believed to be formed by hundreds of former intelligence service members, their prime targets are those who are believed cooperating with the occupation forces and are one of the groups claiming the responsibility of the UN headquarter bombing. Active in Bagdad, Mosul and Fallujah.

3 the Fedayeen : militia that wants Saddam reinstated.

4 Muntada al Vilaya:: A radical shia Islamic group pursuing to fight the occupation and establishing a Islamic republic modelled to Iran.

5 Ansar Al Ýslam:: A Kurdish Sunnite group active in northern Iraq, believed to hold connection to the Al Queada by the US

6 Abu Musa Zerkavi:: A Jordanian radical with connections to Al Queada

The first three work for Saddam agreed, but what about the other three? Are the Kurds and Shia also Saddam loyalists?
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 8:01 Comments || Top||

#17  Murat, the big mistake we make is trying to justify the invasion of Iraq with the technical reasons such as WMD or Al Quaeda. These are irrelevant excuses. In the initial days of this WOT, Saddam was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. We invaded Iraq simply because it was there and we could. You did not get the message? OK, next is Syria. Still not sure? Watch Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. Not because we dislike you. We just want you to leave us alone. Until you, your fellow citizens, your governments, your religeous leaders collectively realize that jihad is a failed cultural idea, the pain and suffering that you and other innocents blame on us will only increase. Do not complain. do not wax indignation, because frankly, we don't care. Just be a man. Leave us alone.
Posted by: john || 11/14/2003 8:32 Comments || Top||

#18  Murat seems to think that what is at stake right now is political maneuvering. Coming from a culture where it is far preferable to lie than to admit a mistake, correct it and go on to accomplish the goal, he concentrates on trying to prove the US wrong.

I've worked with people like Murat from the Middle East and from Europe. On several occasions, we (my company and I as team leader) simply dropped them from the software development team and went on to do the job ourselves. In the short run they "won" because we didn't (couldn't, in their eyes) force them to do things our way. Since then, the company and the products we built by ourselves have been very successful, whereas our ex-partners have failed to launch an equivalent product, gain new major customers or achieve our financial success. As a result, the company I was with has been able to provide many more high-paying jobs and secure lifestyles while the unemployment in their countries has skyrocketed.

Had those ex-colleagues from France, Germany and the Middle East been willing to admit when they didn't understand the requirements or to ask for training on new tools rather than try to bluff their way through ... if they had reported the actual state of affairs rather than pretending things were going well on their end ... we would have worked together to ensure that we all succeeded and that they too would benefit.

You see, Murat, I am not particularly bothered when you point to setbacks or errors the US makes. I come from a culture where that is the first step to learning how to do a really great job of what we take on. In the meanwhile, Turkey is in denial about its vanishing chances of ever being accepted as a full member of the EU and it has destroyed its security partnership with the US. Doing so was certainly a choice you could make. Continuing to do so is also your free choice.

The one choice you do NOT have is to avoid the consequences of those choices.
Posted by: rkb || 11/14/2003 8:54 Comments || Top||

#19  rkb hit it on the head. We try to reason with people like Murat with truth and reality, when the mentality of most of the ME (and the Arabs in particular) is that lying to the kuffir (sp?) is not only acceptable but demanded by their moon-god. Personally, I ask who gives a muRAT's ass what an ignorant twit like him thinkgs? He brushes off what many of you are saying re a massive al-qaeda strike. It wouldn't matter if Al Sharpton was president, if one of our cities is attacked with a WMD, the population would demand a terrible retribution. But I don't think it will come to that, for two reasons: first, we'll succeed in Iraq. Second, assuming failure in Iraq, the WMD attack will be against Israel. And she will take out the arabs. I firmly believe that if we fail in Iraq, that the world will see what a modern nuclear weapon can do to a city. Horrible? Yes. Avoidable? Only if the idiots like murat and the rest of the ME wake their stupid asses up.
Posted by: Swiggles || 11/14/2003 9:03 Comments || Top||

#20  "Jarhead, Iraq and Jugoslavia have nothing in common to compare, Jugoslavia was civil war with attrocities, Iraq an oilwel."

-Murat, please read my original post again and answer the question - instead of dancing like Fred Astaire. Now, I say again - a simple yes or no will suffice. Did you agree or not? I did not ask about what your opinion of Iraq was, but we can get to that. I knew I was asking too much of you. I'm not offended you couldn't even complete a simple task though. It's really not your fault afterall. Your just a product of your environment.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 9:39 Comments || Top||

#21  Steve Den Beste has an essay that hits many of the same themes as Ben did above. (Great minds run in similar channels.)
Posted by: Mike || 11/14/2003 9:43 Comments || Top||

#22  Dammit who let Murat into the Chocolate Covered Sugar Bombs?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 9:48 Comments || Top||

#23  murat # 5 and 5 are connected, - those are the largely foreign Al - Qaeeda fighters. While possibly responsible for the more dramatic bombings, they probably represent a minority of the insurgents. They also MAY be coordinating with the Baathists.

4 - whats your cite? If that the Al-Sadr people, theyre not currently actively opposing the coalition.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 10:04 Comments || Top||

#24  Murat - Listen to what these comments are saying. No matter who is in office we would retailate with massive nuclear war.

Iraq has everything to do with 9-11. Terrorism does not happen in a vacumm. States sponsor terrorism and Iraq is right in the middle of our enemies.
Iraq was taken out becuse of Saddams beligerent history with us. We could not just go and take out the Sods - Iran is a big nut to crack (could still go either way). In Iran at least there is an opposition voice - in Iraq there was not. Syria is too small and landlocked. But Iraq is right in the middle of these bastards - have you heard the statement "All roads in the Middle East go through Bagdad". Taking out the Saddam put the fear of Allah in our enemies minds (you do not hear Iran and Syria calling the US the great satan like you used to). What we did is having an affect.
Our war on terror is not agaisnt just Al-Queda - it is against ALL TERRRORISM. For too many years countries of the region hit the United States with no fear of reprisal - no more - we are going to take ALL OF THEM OUT!

You still go back to oil thing - get over it. And Yugo war was not really a civil war but the last war of World War 1.

Posted by: Dan || 11/14/2003 10:09 Comments || Top||

#25  Coming from a culture where it is far preferable to lie than to admit a mistake, correct it and go on to accomplish the goal, he concentrates on trying to prove the US wrong.

Another one of the annoying "habits" of people in that part of the world is blaming others for their own self-inflicted problems.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/14/2003 10:11 Comments || Top||

#26  Good riddance Dan,

Mail your representative that they should drop a nuke on Washington to start with, since most of the terror in the world is US financed.
Posted by: Murat || 11/14/2003 10:49 Comments || Top||

#27  Murat, listen to RMcLeod and rkb and the others, they are telling the truth. You are completely missing the point, you keep arguing the connections between al-Qaeda and Iraq, and justifications for the war, but what it really comes down to is: if the US gets hit with WMD none of that will matter. It won't even get to the debate phase. And it won't be because bush=hitler or Ashcroft is a nazi, or any of the other lefty conspiracy bs. It'll be because they won't have a choice because that's what the US people will demand.
Posted by: BH || 11/14/2003 10:59 Comments || Top||

#28  since most of the terror in the world is US financed.

Dear Murat, now you've done it! Expect a "call" from your handler for letting the truth out. Should've kept this a secret. Whatever else you say, don't mention Shrub's, Capt. Morgan's, Wolfie's, CP's, and Stir Fry's involvement on the day of PoliceFireAmbulance. Or you'll have to be...er, um,... fired.
Posted by: CIA operative 8001 || 11/14/2003 11:54 Comments || Top||

#29  they won't have a choice because that's what the US people will demand.

Still not convinced Murat? Checkout Bush's popularity ratings just after 9/11. Both Democrats and Republicans at par. You do understand that Bush has the support of at least half the population of the US? And that was pre-9/11. Bush does not exist in a vacuum you know.

BTW, in answer to your question about why Iraq was invaded, even if it is about oil, let me ask you this: so what? What's your problem with Iraq finally being able to pump oil again into the world market?
Posted by: Rafael || 11/14/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||

#30  Oh horse pucky!
You are all full of it about this massive retaliation thing. What Murat doesn't say, but possibly instinctively knows, is that the US would not have the cojones to "retaliate" against anybody, even if one or two Merkin cities were obliterated. Who would you all retaliate against? The US is not officially at war with Syria, Iran , Saudi or Pakistan. And certainly the US are not at war with the majority of those people. So retaliating as has been stated here would amount to no less than genocide against said people, and the American populace would be against such an option. The whole LLL segment would be against it, including all the liberal media. The most that could happen is that a massive draft would be implemented so that all the problem countries would be occupied, and forcibly pushed into the 21st century, thereby draining the 'swamp' that is the ME.
Posted by: da Contrarian || 11/14/2003 12:19 Comments || Top||

#31  Murat: "Let your yes be yes and your no be no." That's my free advice for you today. For all of you who haven't lived through the previous Murat cycle (months and months ago), be advised that nothing you write will alter his mendacity in the least.
Posted by: 11A5S || 11/14/2003 12:21 Comments || Top||

#32  da Contrarian,

I'm not so sure your scenario holds if there is in fact an attack on US soil that kills tens of thousands.

OTOH I suspect that most of the terror cell leaders realize this and will try to keep the attacks below that threshold. If not, I do think you and many will be surprised at the upwelling of anger and demand for retaliation. LLL notwithstanding, the average American is beginning to realize the joy with which many celebrate American deaths. The average American doesn't ask him/herself what we've done to deserve that -- they reasonably conclude that those sons of bitches intend to harm their children and their way of life, and they decide to strike back.

It's happened more than once in past history. It could happen again.
Posted by: rkb || 11/14/2003 12:38 Comments || Top||

#33  Murat's right in a way. How much US Foreign aid does Turkey receive? We are helping them oppress the Kurd's! It's not right! We should stop all foreign aid and pull our troops out of that shit hole of a country! I'm sure once Iraq is stable we can open a base there.
Posted by: Swiggles || 11/14/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#34  You do not understand the american people - if we are hit with wmd we will retailiate against all terriorist countries in the middle east. and the people of the united states will not loose any sleep over it. We are peace loving people but if it comes down to our cities and children or destroying syria, iran, sody, pakland ect - we will do it just like we would of destroyed the soviet bloc if our cities were targeted.
and remember we were not officially at war with saddams iraq but look at where we are now. so do not take solice in the fact we would not retailiate with massive destruction - we will.
Posted by: Dan || 11/14/2003 12:56 Comments || Top||

#35  Murat - please explain to us all what US financed terror you speak of.
Besides the usual Joooos....... Every civilized country (even Turkey) has the right to defend themselves.
Posted by: Dan || 11/14/2003 13:03 Comments || Top||

#36  Yeah RMcLeod, Explain also to me what the Iraq occupation has to do with the Al Qaeda attack or 9/11, Bush himself acknowledged there was no link, are you implying to know better? Fighting terrorism is a must no disagreement here, but occupation of Iraq is different and without a link to 9/11.
Ok, Murat, I'll feed the troll. Please read this carefully, I won't say it but once.

Bush is a helluva lot smarter than the dummycheats and most of his foreign detractors say. He understands things at the gut level, as well as the intellectual level. Here are the points this administration has made, over and over again. Unfortunately, all the "Bush is as dumb as rocks" crowd don't listen. Should I include you in that group?

1. The people that attacked the United States on 9/11 were Islamic fundamental extremists. Nothing other than what they think is 'right' or allowed. The United States is the "great Satan", because we think differently. Bush knows this. He also knows that these fundamentalists have no qualms about doing anything that would hurt the United States and its interests around the world, including working with anybody they thought could further their goal. Saddam Hussein was such a person.

2. Hussein has much to hate the US for, and would be only too glad to help a proxy inflict pain and injury on this nation. There are, and were, indications that Hussein helped with the planning and financing of part of the 9/11 attack, whether you want to believe that or not. Intelligence documents found in Iraq confirm this, but we already knew the link existed. Denying it is stupid, childish, and on the part of the dummycheat party in the United States, tatamount to treason.

3. The United States is in this for the long haul. the War on Terrorism isn't just a war against Al Qaida. It's a war against fundamentalist extremists of one religous faith that believe they can impose their will upon the United States by force. There ae parts and pieces of that extremist group (and many others, some associated with al-Qaida, some not, but ALL included in the WoT) in many nations.

4. Bush attacked Afghanistan first, because that's where Al Qaida was the most prevalent, where their training camps were, and where there was little possibility of the local government doing anything about it. That forced Al Qaida underground, made it harder for them to plan and carry out operations, and made it more expensive for them to do ANYTHING. That was a major but indecisive blow.

5. Iraq was next because there were existing UN resolutions that gave legitimacy to the US use of force (despite what the idiotarians in France, Germany, and the US dummycheat party say). Iraq is also centrally located in the Middle East, has huge oil reserves, and has borders with several other state sponsors of terror, including Syria, Iran, and the financing of Saudi Arabia. Having the United States in Iraq puts heavy pressure on ALL these governments. The creation of a democratic, peaceful, and free Iraq threatens the totalitarian governments in the rest of the Middle East - "if they can do it, why can't we?"

6. With a strong military force in Iraq, the United States puts Iran between two large, well-equipped, well-trained, and EXPERIENCED military forces - in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Syria is isolated from the rest of its Middle Eastern cohorts, caught between Iraq, the Mediterranean, Turkey, and Israel/Jordan. Jordan is not friendly with Assad and his government, Israel would LOVE to destroy the Syrian military threat to their existence (and their sponsorship and aid to Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinial Liberation Front, and whoever else they can use as proxy to wage war on Israel). Syria is, and should be, nervous.

We're already seeing some of the fallout in the Middle East from our actions in Iraq. Egypt is 'opting out' of the Arab fiasco. Saudi Arabia and Yemen are cracking down on extremists. Libya has changed its tune. There's a growing unrest in Iran. Pakistan is trying to ride the dual beast of Islamic jihad and friendship with America - poorly.

The United States prefers to deal with people in an open and friendly manner. Kick us in the face, as Al-Qaida did on 9/11, and you see the other side of us - the mean, evil, wicked, bad, nasty, cruel and heartless side of us.

"Better to be the friend of a dog than the enemy of a tiger." The United States can be as friendly as a young puppy. We can also make a tiger look like a pussycat in our ferocity. I strongly suggest you, and the rest of the world, read and understand what I've just said.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/14/2003 13:33 Comments || Top||

#37  Iraq was wagging it' tongue after the UN weapon inspectors were sent packing. Clinton played up "they are in a box" angle. After 911 that wasn't our only option. WMD was a brilliant ruse to take out a ME thugocracy that was showcasing it's bully stance against the US. I'm stoked that we are actively going after, not only AQ whatever that really is, but shit hole governments of the ME. Murat rejoice dude, You'll someday be able to get a good paying job pumping Iraqi oil. You'll be dripp'n in Iraqi prosperity.
Posted by: Lucky || 11/14/2003 13:44 Comments || Top||

#38  Murat: One of the big cultural differences between america and most of the rest of the world is how we play the game of brinkmanship.

Far and near easterners will test our limits, and in general we don't respond, because we don't want the fight. This is bad strategy on our part, as it gives the Easterner no idea of where his limits are. Far to often this has led to everything from stabbings to nations being lost.

Think about it, the terrorists traded two towers for two countries. Because they just didnt know where their limits where...
Posted by: flash91 || 11/14/2003 14:11 Comments || Top||

#39  Murat, da Contrarian:

Check this out: The Three Conjectures. It isn't a question of who is linked to what, or whether we have the "stones" to retaliate. WMD is a suicide bomb for 1.3 billion.
Posted by: BH || 11/14/2003 15:29 Comments || Top||

#40  The problem with nuclear weapons is that they have no effect on conventional conflicts. They are effective for MAD purposes, but that's about it. We and the Soviets had a nuclear standoff for forty years, during which conventional and non-convential conflicts raged back and forth across the globe.

We never used nukes in any of those, and we wouldn't use them now. As Dr Strangelove pointed out, they are all doomsday weapons, to be used only when you're about to be wiped out yourself, and only to take the other guy with you down to hell. The Israeli's have several hundred of them, and it is clearly understood that's the time they would use them.

Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if one of the aims of the al-qaeeda 9/11 attack was to try to provoke a nuclear response against population centers in the middle east. Then instead of having a small percent of people in the middle east advocating jihad, every man, woman, and child would be after us. This in turn would create chaos on a maassive level, which would suit al-qaeeda just fine.

Can't hit entire populations because their governments are corrupt. Won't happen.

Posted by: Slumming || 11/14/2003 15:47 Comments || Top||

#41  "The problem with nuclear weapons is that they have no effect on conventional conflicts."

-Aside from ending WWII?

"Can't hit entire populations because their governments are corrupt. Won't happen."

-Though I do understand your underlying point. Again, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, two cities. I'd say the Japanese government was pretty corrupt at the time and by most standards fanatical. We did not need to hit anymore.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 16:00 Comments || Top||

#42  Jarhead: correct. I should have said no effect on convential wars short of total war. The balance there was 2,000,000 American casulties invading the home islands vs 150,000 Japanese. Plus WW II was a total war. Us vs them. Good guys vs Bad guys. 50,000,000 dead by the time it waqs over. Compared to that another 150k was a drop in the bucket. I still stand by the idea that thye won't be used by us (or the Russians) for anything short of total war, or a nuclear attack on us by another government such as the N Koreans.
Posted by: Slumming || 11/14/2003 16:53 Comments || Top||

#43  You are all full of it about this massive retaliation thing. What Murat doesn't say, but possibly instinctively knows, is that the US would not have the cojones to "retaliate" against anybody, even if one or two Merkin cities were obliterated. Who would you all retaliate against? The US is not officially at war with Syria, Iran , Saudi or Pakistan. And certainly the US are not at war with the majority of those people.

So retaliating as has been stated here would amount to no less than genocide against said people, and the American populace would be against such an option.

Apologies to this poster, but you're wrong. If even a part of an American city was destroyed we would retaliate and hard. The terrorists and many others make a mistake if they think our only option is all-out nuclear retaliation. That's on the table, but not necessarily the first response.

Scale of the damage to us would matter and the response would be in proportion to that scale and more.

For example in one scenario, say 5,000 Americans dead, you could go for the EMP attack. Detonate nukes in the atmosphere and destroy all of the region's electronics. You could do that over Cairo, Damascus, Tehran, Riyadh without killing anyone, but literally frying everything with a circuit. Destroy airports. Attack and destroy major military bases.

Result: no banking, no transportation, no health care, no communications. Crippled militaries. Thousands of mostly military casualites, but likely many thousands of civilians too...though they would die for secondary reasons (car accidents, stray bombs, deaths in hospitals, etc.)

Go up the scale a notch, say 5,000-50,000 Americans and you destroy all military infrastructures, the ports, industrial areas, even oil refineries. Throw in some EMP for good measure. Result: abject poverty for decades, tens of thousands killed.

Want some more? Say over 50,000 Americans killed? Add scenarios 1 & 2 and sprinkle in the complete destruction, by conventional bombing, of the commericial centers of major cities and capitals. Result, anarchy, many hundreds of thousands dead. Stone age economy.

Over 50,000 Americans dead? All of the above, and 250Kt devices detonated on every major city with a population over 100,000.

Anyone who thinks that the American people wouldn't support such scenarios is living in a dream world. It would be DEMANDED and those politicians and others who demurred would be ruined. There is no question of this.

Posted by: R. McLeod || 11/14/2003 19:01 Comments || Top||

#44  I think it's safe to say a terrorist attack on the scale of 100,000 dead would mean WW3. And it would give new meaning to the phrase "with us or against us". Alliances would have to fall in line rather quickly. But suffice it to say, I can't even imagine a terrorist attack on that scale.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/14/2003 19:42 Comments || Top||

#45  EMP? Maybe. Direct nuclear attack on a city? Not unless it was preceded by a nuclear attack on an American city by a recognisable enemy. Which really means a government that has nukes itself. "What if terrorists buy a device and set it off?" Then it's time to line up the entire CIA and execute them, because that would be a failure of intelligence beyond belief.

Nukes have been around over fifty years, and no one has used them since Nagasaki. And please remember that at that time there was no concievable threat of retaliation in kind.

The US government put out a booklet about twenty years ago called "On the Effects of Nuclear War." Should be required reading.
Posted by: Slumming || 11/14/2003 19:50 Comments || Top||

#46  Provided this - that a WMD attack on say, New York City, is nuclear - then it's guaranteed that nukes will fly the other way. Guaranteed.

America will be enraged - which is reason enough. But consider this - much of the rest of the world will be severely damaged as well. The Chinese economy? Likely to collapse. The Russians? Set back a further few decades. Europe? Probably a generational recession. The only way to retain any sort of confidence in the world economy would be an ugly, but certain response sure to end the threat once and for all.

The Middle East will have, in a single act, signed its own death-warrant.

Posted by: Vic || 11/14/2003 21:01 Comments || Top||

#47  Slumming, roger. I understand your point. Been to Japan, Okinawa, Korea, know the WWII angle pretty well. I would submit the possibility of a terrorist action (w/a sovereign country tacitly backing them) taking American lives on par or greater to 9/11 being seen as worthy of 'total war' retaliation in the average U.S. citizen's eyes.

However, the scenario I foresee would be more in line w/the "Clancy-esque" Sum of All Fears (book of course not that p.o.s. pc movie). Terrorist group acquires wmd of their choice (possibly low grade but enough to kill 3-5,000 U.S. folks), infiltrates southern border of U.S. as per normal illegal traffic. I'm originally from Detroit and know that a lot of Arabs could pass for hispanics. Sets the the thing off in Houston, Dallas, San Antone, etc. Again, this could be nuke, bio, chem, heavy duty dirty bomb, whatever. I don't think too far fetched or impossible of an op given our problems on the border. Wasting the CIA over this type of breach is still up for debate.

The bottomline for us to figure out is who takes credit and where were they harbored? I'd say that whatever country harbored them (we'll use Yemen just as an example) gets EMP as per McLeod's post for sure. Massive conventional bombing retaliation, obligatory jdams, and t.hawks come next. Marine Exp. Unit gets there within a week, lands. Kicks in the door. Army too heavy off the bat too get there for at least a month minus 82nd or 101st. The nuclear component would more then likely come from Marine artillery pieces that have nuke tipped rounds. They exist. Yes, we would use them imho too eradicate small cities (as we push inward) that were terrorist strongholds. I could even see their use in the eastern Pak mountains for OBL/AQ extermination if we were so inclined. (That's another story w/obvious political complications too long for me to post here.) I think the American people would back this course of action.

The center of gravity in all this (and the sticky part) is determining which country and too what degree did they allow terrorists to plot such an attack. It could be one hard to prove or very easy depending again on our intel and its ability to disseminate what info it collects. Also, for the very same reason, said countries in the ME may take extra pre-cautions to keep their 'dogs in line' in order to prevent such a response as I describe above. I agree in part that nuking the entire ME may not be our response for obvious reasons. However, I would not rule our nuke use on confirmed or highly probable countries that harbored or gave tacit approval to said terrorists.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 22:46 Comments || Top||

#48  Jarhead says that the difficulty would be determining who were enemies.

Actually, it would not be. Determining who was responsible for the attack might be hard, but determining who our enemies were would not be. In the presumed disaster-scenario of an American city being nuked by a smuggled A-bomb with 100,000 dead, "With us or with the terrorists" would no longer be rhetoric. It would become an ultimatum.

Every nation on earth would be informed that they would either cooperate fully with us, and I mean 100.0%, or they would face destruction. The first nation which so much as hesitated in responding fully to any request we made, no matter what it was, would be made an example of.

I think the mistake Jarhead made was the assumption that in such a scenario we'd be looking for those directly responsible, and only strike them once we were sure. That's not correct. It would rather be the case that we would be looking for everyone who had either the intention or ability to carry out such an attack, whether involved in that particular attack or not.

Once it had been demonstrated that any splinter nations who deeply oppose the US were capable of causing mass slaughter here, the US would immediately defang all of them, even if they could not conceivably be accused of involvement.

This would include peremptory orders to India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran and any other nation who had or was suspected to have developed nuclear weapons (except Israel!) to immediately (i.e. within two weeks) surrender them to us, along with all fissionables and any other material which might be used to prepare such weapons in future. No "inspections", no negotiations, no UNSC resolutions; a simple straightforward ultimatum with a hard deadline and no compromises accepted. They would get one chance and one only to completely divest themselves of nuclear weapons or the potential to create them, and any who refused would not live to regret it. In the aftermath of any American city actually being nuked surreptitiously, the new American nuclear doctrine would be that any nation not on a short list which gained nuclear weapons would immediately be destroyed.

Nations who cooperated fully, unconditionally, willingly, rapidly, unhesitatingly would be safe, even if they'd been heavily implicated in the past. Any nation who refused to cooperate, or who delayed, or who only partially cooperated, or who tried to deceive us and got caught doing so would be in the crosshairs.

And I want to emphasize that it would not matter in the slightest whether any given nation was complicit in the attack, or whether they were suspected of being complicit in the attack. If one of our cities gets nuked, the US government would proceed to make sure that it was not possible for it to happen again.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste || 11/15/2003 1:46 Comments || Top||

KDPI demands to know the fate of six of its peshmergas
The president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (KDPI), Mala Abdullahi Hasanzada, in a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations, demanded to know the fate of the six of peshmergas (freedom fighters) given to Iran, according to the weekly Hawlati. In the letter, Hasanzada indicated that the peshmergas were handed over to Iran by the Islamic Movement of Iraqi Kurdistan (IMIK), led by Mala Ali Abdul-Aziz. Since the establishment of the Kurdistan de facto state, the IMIK has handed over to Iran a number of Kurdish opposition refugees in south Kurdistan, including members of the KDPI, Komala and other Kurdish opposition organisations in eastern Kurdistan. The IMIK has been supported and funded by Iran and was imposed on the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Halabja and Hawraman provinces via the Tehran Accord of 1997.
It sounds like it's time to shut IMIK down...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

Italy sends 50 more carabinieri to Nasiriyah
Fifty Carabinieri paramilitary police have left Italy for the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, where 18 Italians were killed in the suicide bombing of their headquarters the day before. However the force's commanding officer, General Guido Bellini, will remain in Rome, his office said. He had earlier been expected to join the outbound contingent for a morale-boosting visit to Nasiriyah. The 50 paratroopers from the elite Tuscania squadron based in Livorno flew out from the northern city of Pisa, a defence ministry spokesman said. "Their departure had been pre-arranged as part of the normal rotation of personnel in Iraq in two days' time," and was not connected to Wednesday's suicide bomb attack on the force's headquarters in Nasiriyah, the spokesman told AFP.
But it still looks good, and it sends a message to the Bad Guys...
The troops recently returned from peace missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to carabinieri headquarters.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [342 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "it sends a message to the Bad Guys"

even more important, it sends a message to the friendlies.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 10:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Thank you, Italy.
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/14/2003 11:29 Comments || Top||

#3  I only have a basic knowledge about the Carabinieri, but they are a very tough and brave organization, and not used to caving from threats. They have fought the Mafia throughout all of Italy (inculding Sicily) for around 50 years. I can't imagine what that would take, but I know there is a long history of them being targeted by car bombs and assassinations in their pursuit. They don't give in, and from all acounts, neither will Berlusconi.
Posted by: John || 11/14/2003 13:16 Comments || Top||

#4  It is not a problem of bravery, the problem is that by training they are essentially a police force and that their instinct is at arresting people, reading them their rights, avoiding excessive use of force when what is needed is a military force trained at seeking and destroying the enemy
Posted by: JFM || 11/14/2003 16:12 Comments || Top||

#5  Cose Turche has some good stuff:

(I really wonder if the muslim trying to take the cross out of the school started something:)

...Reportedly, the police chief who searched Mamour's house replied to the objections of Mamour's wife (an Italian convert to Islam) by saying: "your husband wanted holy war, no? well, we're here precisely to give him holy war, don't worry, we'll satisfy all your demands" - which sent the woman even more berserk, protesting the "invasion" of her home and asking to see her husband and where had they taken him and he'd done nothing wrong and how dared they. At which stage, the police chief replied: "you keep quiet, madam, or there's handcuffs waiting for you too".

She then spoke to the media about how her husband had been misunderstood, and that he'd only really said he thought was in Iraq was unjust. Of course he said a lot more, but what's a good burka-clad wife to do, if not support her Jihad-loving husband....
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 22:39 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Coup rumors in Mindanao
A top Army official in south-central Mindanao declared their forces’ solid support to the administration of President Arroyo amid fresh rumors of coup in the country.

Maj. Gen. Generoso Senga, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander based in Maguindanao, just laughed off rumors about coup plots in the country following the controversial impeachment issue against Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Narciso Abaya Jr. also played down and described as recycled story the reported plot to destabilize the Arroyo administration.

Senga made the assurance on Wednesday after a published report came out recently, where a retired commodore of the Navy has been identified as one of those going around military camps in Mindanao in the past three weeks “recruiting” commanders to join a plot to destabilize the Arroyo administration.

The report also showed that the ongoing recruitment “is very strong in Mindanao.”

“Now we are more solid. We are fully supportive of our government. We are adhering to the chain of command, and our soldiers remain loyal,” Senga stressed.

“I’ve been going around in my area of jurisdiction in past days visiting our troops. I’m emphasizing to them that we should remain loyal to our Constitution and respect the chain of command,” he added.

At the same time, Senga stressed that there was no truth to the coup report, saying that they were only “gossips” aimed to confuse the public.

Senga recalled that nobody from his men joined the Oakwood mutiny in Makati.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/14/2003 1:46:49 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Time to send in the 1st SFG.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 15:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Of course they said the same thing just before the Oakwood Mutiny too....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 17:01 Comments || Top||

MILF attacks Maguindanao exec’s house
COTABATO CITY - A board member in Maguindanao province survived an armed attack on his house by suspected Muslim Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels, an Army official reported Thursday.

This developed as two MILF guerrillas were killed and a soldier was injured in a clash inside Buliok complex in Pikit, North Cotabato.

Maj. Julieto Ando, Army’s 6th Infantry division spokesman, told radio station dxMS here that MILF rebels, led by Commander Abdul Wahid Tundok of the Front’s 104th Brigade, peppered with bullets the house of Maguindanao provincial board member Datu Aziz Uttoh in barangay Lower Salvo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, on Tuesday around 11 p.m.

Ando said civilian volunteer-member escorts of Uttoh returned fire, resulting to a two-hour firefight before Tundok’s group fled leaving two live rocket propelled grenade ammunition.

According to Ando, the attack came after the November 9 incident in same town, where Tamano Tundok, brother of Commander Abdul, shot dead Bobby Sinsuat, a close security escort of Uttoh, near the public market.

“We asked both the government and MILF Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities to look into the incident for it was a violation to the existing cease-fire agreement,” Ando said.

The government and MILF declared a bilateral truce on July 19 as part of confidence-building measures in preparation for the resumption of the peace talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to end the decades-old rebellion in Mindanao.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said their fighters in the field are strictly observing the cease-fire.

Earlier on the same day in Pikit town, Col. Isagani Cachuela, Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, said wounded Cpl. Juanito Estoque of the 40th Infantry Battalion was conducting a routine foot patrol with other soldiers around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, when they were fired upon by suspected Pentagon members in Buliok.

Cachuela said the soldiers managed to return fire, killing two of the suspected Moro rebels before the latter fled.

The rebels left behind one M-14 and M-16 rifles and assorted ammunition.

“The armed group is under MILF commander Wahid Halil,” Cachuela noted.

Buliok complex is situated inside the 220,000 hectare Liguasan Marsh in the borders of Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces, was MILF’s former lair that fell in the hands of government after February 11 war in Central Mindanao.

Meanwhile, the Task Force Detainees, a nongovernment human-rights organization in Western and Central Mindanao, found a powerful United States-made bomb in barangay Talitay, also in Pikit.

Western and Central Mindanao Task Force Detainees regional officer Danny Reyes said they were conducting an ocular inspection in the area Wednesday morning, when his colleagues found the unexploded explosive.

Reyes said the bomb could have been dropped by the government’s airplanes at the height of February 11 war in Buliok, but did not explode.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/14/2003 1:44:25 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [468 views] Top|| File under:

Anyone know anything about IranianGirl?
This is a blog by a highschool or college girl in Tehran that I’ve followed since last March. She hasn’t posted now in 10 days which isn’t like her. Has anyone heard anything about her?
Posted by: mercutio || 11/14/2003 5:59:41 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I dont know what happend - I have not been following it.

It is an interesting blog. I might continue viewing it (if it continues). Perhaps she has been forbidden from posting for Ramadan? I hope she's ok.

From one of her (Oct 27) postings - and in interesting insight :

You know, that Islamic teachings that I talked about are still continuing in schools, but now nobody gives a damn to what they say & just tolerate the classes to get the mark & pass the course
Believe me that In the Koran & religious beliefs classes all of the students are napping or talking with each other or doing something else, & no one even listen to all those boring things that are just repeated each year by books that are full of lies & reliable teachers.
Even if you ask the teacher a question she talks about an hour & gives a hundred examples that have nothing to do with what you asked. At last she can’t say a right word in the answer of that question & can’t persuade anyone. Actually that’s their usual way, they preach for hours & fill your mind with confusing things but never give you a logic reason to prove what they say & you just have to assume that Islam is the best & guides you to the best way…
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 18:11 Comments || Top||

#2  She drops out for a week or more every so often.
Posted by: Dishman || 11/14/2003 19:20 Comments || Top||

Home Front
The Wackos Have Landed,
A few articles from the upcoming rumble in Miami. I only linked to one:
’Pagan witch’ casts her spell
A spark of anti-corporate activism was lit Thursday night. By a witch. In the back yard of a church. Starhawk, a pagan witch and author from Mendocino, Calif., conjured up some spiritualist theory to convince about 80 listeners they should join thousands of others in protest against the Free Trade Area of the Americas meeting next week in Miami. Clad in a billowing blue shirt, wild gray hair framing her face, Starhawk exhorted her audience by the light of a bonfire behind the Unitarian Universalist Church on Northwest 21st Avenue. Her spellbound fans surrounded her in a circle lit by tiki torches. There were infants and retirees, sandaled paganists in robes of blue or black, women with tattoos and flowing skirts. They punctuated her words with applause or hoots, or clanging tambourines, bells or drums.
Starhawk, who declined to reveal her given name, railed against the FTAA, which is meeting in downtown Miami next Wednesday through Friday. The summit involves ministers from 34 nations, excluding Cuba, who seek to create a hemisphere-wide free trade area. Some 20,000 protesters, ranging from union workers, environmentalists, and advocates for the poor, are expected to march through Miami in opposition to the proposed trade agreement. Police are also prepared for smaller groups of black-clad anarchists to cause disruptions and property destruction.

Schools Practice Lockdowns, Prepare For Worst
There are 15 Miami-Dade County public schools within the "target zone" of the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference. School officials say that they are prepared for any problems that might arise from their proximity to the conference. Many of the schools within the zone have been practicing "code red lockdowns" since September in preparation for the FTAA. In a lockdown drill, gates are locked; doors are locked; security double-checks all doors as they make their rounds; and students stay in their rooms until all is clear.
Some schools are preparing in other ways, from keeping extra snacks on hand to securing air vents with duct tape. The tape keeps outside air that could contain tear gas from entering the school by recirculating the air that’s already inside. Teachers have been reminded to take an overnight bag with a change of clothes. All next week no students will be allowed outside during the school day. All physical education classes and any classes normally held in portable classrooms are canceled for the week. Classes in most schools will go on inside the buildings as normally scheduled, but for those parents who plan to keep their children home, school officials say the absence will be excused.

Miami Ready for Free Trade Protesters
Thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets of Miami to protest trade talks next week, and while many of them say they will demonstrate peacefully, police are preparing for extremist groups bent on wreaking havoc. More than 40 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have spent months training for the possibility of trouble at the Free Trade Area of Americas meeting that starts Sunday and runs through next Friday. Police have assigned thousands of officers to response teams, staged mock protest encounters, readied fire trucks that could double as water cannons, and plan to construct a security fence around the hotel where the talks will be conducted. Also, the city adopted an ordinance that bans protesters from carrying guns and lumber, among other things.

Miami law boosts police powers to arrest protesters
City officials made it easier Thursday for police to arrest protesters as downtown Miami steeled itself for massive demonstrations next week at the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit. Miami City commissioners unanimously approved a controversial law that gives police sweeping authority to arrest protesters, who predict the measure will allow authorities to trample on their free speech rights. Police Chief John Timoney pushed for the measure, saying it was needed to protect his officers and the public. The newly passed law limits what people can carry during parades or large public gatherings -- including rifles, knives, slingshots, brass knuckles, rocks, golf balls, knives, water balloons, glass bottles and thick sticks. Commissioners did write in exceptions to the stick provision, allowing for the puppets and stilts favored by some of the anti-globalization demonstrators. But, technically, the puppets are in violation unless fully assembled.

Downtown Miami braces for trade talks, protesters
The downtown area will bustle with police, protesters, and trade officials at next week’s free trade talks. But missing will be many of the business people, lawyers and students who usually fill the streets. Downtown businesses are bracing for thousands of protesters expected for the Free Trade Area of the Americas meeting where trade ministers from 34 nations, except Cuba, will debate creating the largest free trade area in the Western Hemisphere. Some law firms will relocate or allow employees to work from home. Cruise lines will move their ships north to Port Everglades. Most courts will be closed or curtail operations. Police will close a number of downtown streets and restrict access to parts of downtown near the meeting. Some business owners say they’re not taking any chances.
"I put all my life into this store and I don’t want anybody to destroy it overnight," said Avi Cohen, owner of Seaman’s Sound Inc., an electronics store close to where protests will take place. Cohen said he’ll board up his windows early next week, and will close for the latter part of the week when the biggest demonstrations are expected. He and some friends also plan to sleep in the store all week to make sure there aren’t any problems.
Some businesses are defiantly choosing to remain open. "We cannot cave into this," said Eileen Alvarez, owner of Cafe Con Leche, a coffee shop that opened in May. "I agree with what (the protesters) believe in. I just don’t agree with how they deal with it." Alvarez said that while she will remain open and will serve protesters, police and journalists, she’s concerned about the loss of her regular customers for the week. "I’m a small business owner," she said. "I don’t know if I can survive."
Can somebody tell me why any city in their right mind would agree to host any of these meetings?
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 2:12:44 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [383 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They couldn't have had idiots like this back during the age of merchantilism or in the age of barter.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 15:17 Comments || Top||

#2  They need to host these things in cities where its cold, or no fun to visit on holiday. Keeps the idiots away.
Posted by: RussSchultz || 11/14/2003 15:52 Comments || Top||

#3  S. Beach is a freak show. It was just a matter of time before it was 'San Francisco-ized' by the whackos of the left.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

#4  The cops are too soft on these people. Here in Sacramento they did not start cracking skulls until the busted the police line. I would be more proactive and crack them when tried to bust the police line. You be surprised how many backed off after the first couple of idiots were popped and carted away.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/14/2003 15:56 Comments || Top||

#5  Good Question Steve.

Here in Seattle (for the WTO riots) the 'Anarchist's took over a building. The seattle mayor said 'Thats ok'. When they starting destroying shops and businesses the seattle mayor said 'Thats ok. Just arrest the worst ones - but dont impose on their "rights" '.

When Y2K came around and the seattle residents (you know.. the people who pay his salary...) wanted to hold a fair or celebration at the seattle center the mayor said "Thats not ok. We might have terrorists!". (There was little, if any cause for this fear BTW).

The next election the seattle mayor wanted to serve another term and the seattle residents said 'Thats not ok. Take a hike!'.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/14/2003 16:23 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't worry. Miami isn't Seattle or San Fransisco... Folks in Miami live for international trade, legal & otherwise and the coppers all got them killer flashlights.

And trust me.... these guys sound like easy pickings for the local mug-a-tourist industry.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 16:34 Comments || Top||

#7  Starhawk...oh man. I've actually had a couple of brief run-ins with her...which I enjoyed very much. A person who is completely defenseless when confronted with rational thought. Why she ever traveled so far from her lair I don't know. Shipman: I was thinking the same thing....she might as well staple a bullseye to her forehead. At least we're exporting our whatckjobs. With any luck...she'll stay.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 11/14/2003 16:44 Comments || Top||

#8  Can somebody tell me why any city in their right mind would agree to host any of these meetings?

Maybe the local police are looking for some stick practice... one can hope, anyway. :)
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 11/14/2003 17:13 Comments || Top||

#9  Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?

If the B.C. Sheriffs don't get 'em, the mugger industry sure will. And there won't be any love coming to them from Calle Ocho, either.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 17:19 Comments || Top||

#10  There must be a few planners and instigators, they need surveillance and quick jugging. The rest are cannon fodder and chaff. Jug the biggies and there will be peace in many metropolitan areas around the western world.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/14/2003 19:10 Comments || Top||

#11  The massive "protests" will stop when local police have '68 Chicago flashbacks two events in a row.Has to be twice in a row for the idea to sink in and the followers quit attending.Then the hard core will be left,who want a confrontation,which will drive away any of the peaceful types,further discrediting cause and making it easier for authorities to deal harshly with rioters.
Posted by: Stephen || 11/14/2003 22:22 Comments || Top||

#12  Current Chicago practice is to threaten to sue the crap out of anyone who damages property. The war protests were relatively well-behaved as a result.
Posted by: eLarson || 11/14/2003 23:22 Comments || Top||

Africa: East
Severe fighting in western Sudan
The international community should pay more attention to continued clashes in western Sudan, the head of the United Nations refugee agency has said. Diplomats have described the fighting in Darfur as "ethnic cleansing" with Arab militias, possibly backed by the government, destroying entire villages.
Prior to Turabi’s fall from grace in 2001, al-Qaeda fighters fought alongside the Sudanese military against the SPLA. The NYT and other sources reported that al-Qaeda training camps were being reopened in Sudan after the Riyadh bombings, implying that at least some kind of accomodations had been reached with the NIF government. There were also reports that a lot of al-Qaeda gold was being shipped to Sudan from Iran in August-September 2002. If al-Qaeda is back in good with General Bashar, these militias could be their handiwork.
UNHCR chief Ruud Lubbers says some 500,000 people have fled their homes. The chaos there is in contrast to the situation in the south, where an end to 20 years of civil war is now in sight.
Until the next cease-fire is broken, anyway ...
"There is severe fighting there. There are people driven out of their houses," Mr Lubbers said. "It is a very dramatic problem and to be frank even the international community is not sufficiently aware." Mr Lubbers urged the Sudanese authorities to grant full access to humanitarian organisations.
Not that the NIF is likely to listen to them ...
Mr Lubbers is busy trying to prepare for the potential return of several million displaced people. It will be, he acknowledged, a huge task which will strain the region’s shattered infrastructure. "The level of poverty and destruction in the south is very intense so even here we have a responsibility, sometimes to inform people maybe it is too early to go home," he said. Mr Lubbers met the leader of southern rebels John Garang to discuss logistics.
Sounds like the Balkans all over again. I included this primarily due to the reference to Arab militias rather than government troops carrying out the ethnic cleansings because if al-Qaeda is back in business in Sudan it could easily be their handiwork as way of paying back the NIF for letting them operate in their country.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/14/2003 1:56:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [367 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let's hear some more about how they should be removed from thr State Sponsors of Terrorism list.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 15:23 Comments || Top||

#2  and certainly suggestive of al-Qaeda doing dirty work for a political entity.
Posted by: rawsnacks || 11/14/2003 15:23 Comments || Top||

#3  That should be General Bashir, Bashar is the Syrian dictator.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/14/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

#4  "It is a very dramatic problem and to be frank even the international community is not sufficiently aware."

Mr Lubbers urged the Sudanese authorities to grant full access to humanitarian organisations.

They'll "grant" access after they've ethnically cleansed the place...

So where is the East Timor type outrage from the left? There is none and we may find, looking back, that East Timor was the last humanitarian war the left ever supported. They've gone over to the other side because of their insane Bush-hatred.

And where are the Euro bigmouths?

Thought so.
Posted by: R. McLeod || 11/14/2003 16:25 Comments || Top||

#5  Dammit, tip jar for sure this weekend. Only on Rantburg.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 16:26 Comments || Top||

#6  The international community is soft and have been soft on the military regime in Sudan.Knowing that due to their softness,more than two million south sudanese were killed by the successive regime from the North.It is only the Bush administration that has opened its eyes to the problems and pledge of the downtrodden sudanese people(specially the southerners). There are even elements in The Eu countries doing business with the military Junta in Sudan and paying lip services to the atrocities occuring there( beside china and Russia).What in the world did we do to deserve these?!We are now scattered all over the world, separated from our own families and love ones. Iam praying with all my heart and with all my soul so that Bush must be re-elected, so that he can finish what he begin with. For me Bush is a true leader who is trying to bring peace to the whole world. I do believe firmly that The almighty God is going to give him victory in the coming election to bring comprehensive peace to the whole Globe.
Posted by: Martin Stephen || 10/06/2004 9:10 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Algeria launches new attack on the GSPC
Algeria’s military has launched a new search-and-destroy operation against a major Islamic insurgency group. The search-and-destroy operation has taken place in several areas of Algeria. So far, about 20 insurgents have been killed over the last week, some of them near the border with Morocco. Over the weekend, 10 insurgents were killed in two separate military operations in an offensive called Dafdaa. In the Ghelesan province west of Algiers, troops killed two insurgents and captured machine guns, night-vision and communications equipment. In the southern governorate of Saideh, troops killed eight insurgents and detained another three. Algerian security sources said eight machine guns were captured.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/14/2003 1:48:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front
Dems fail to follow own advise on Judicial Nominees (Big Surprise)
Tip to Zogyblog
Here is would the Dem had to say about judicial nominees prior to President Bush:

* Tom Harkin (D-IA) "Have the guts to come out and vote up or down
.And once and for all, put behind us this filibuster procedure on nominations." (Cong. Rec., 6/22/95, S8861)
* Joseph Biden (D-DE) "everyone who is nominated is entitled to have a 
 vote on the floor."
(Cong. Rec., 3/19/97, S2540)
* Richard Durbin (D-IL) "If, after 150 days languishing on the Executive Calendar that name has not been called for a vote, it should be. Vote the person up or down."
(Cong. Rec., 9/28/98, S11021)
* Carl Levin (D-MI) "If a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate is prepared to vote to confirm the President’s appointment, that vote should occur."
(Cong. Rec., 6/21/95, S8806)
* Edward Kennedy (Drunk-MA) "If our 
 colleagues don’t like them, vote against them. But give them a vote."
(Cong. Rec., 2/3/98, S292)
* Dianne Feinstein (Dits-CA) "Let’s bring their nominations up, debate them if necessary, and vote them up or down."
(Cong. Rec., 9/11/97, S9165)
* Tom Daschle (Dimwit-SD) "I find it simply baffling that a Senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination."
(Cong. Rec., 10/5/99, S11919)
* Patrick Leahy (Dork-VT) "I have stated over and over again 
 that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported."
(Cong. Rec, 6/18/98, S6521)
* Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) The filibuster "has unfortunately become a commonplace tactic to thwart the will of the majority."
(Cong. Rec., 1/4/95, S36)

Of course NOW that advise is null and void because of the ’EXTREME’ nature of teh Bush appointees. He appointed a Black, Hispanic, Females, and a Catholic! Very extreme choices.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/14/2003 12:02:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good post Cyber Sarge. The only up or down vote needs to be getting some of these schmucks outta office. My home state is responsible for Levin but the great state of Mass has had forever to get rid of that boozing blow-hard......
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 12:11 Comments || Top||

#2  I bet there a lot of people learning to hate the internet now that their old comments can be dredged up by almost anyone and their hippocracy displayed.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 12:16 Comments || Top||

#3  The GOPers really, REALLY need to get this type of story out there and really start exposing the incredible hypocrisy of the socialists. At least California and S. Dakota should pull their heads out and kick those scumbags out of office. Absolutely ridiculous.

And oh yeah, the liberals really hate it when the blacks get off the plantation, don't they?
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 12:29 Comments || Top||

#4  VAMark, good idea, please track down the quotes and enlighten us.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 14:08 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm hoping that transcripts from the filibuster are used in campaigns. There should be some incoherent stuff in the recors around hour 18 and beyond.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 15:39 Comments || Top||

#6  Also, please provide the names of all those who DIDN'T get to the floor for a vote. Thanks.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 15:53 Comments || Top||

#7  * Tom Daschle (Dimwit-SD) "I find it simply baffling that a Senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination."
(Cong. Rec., 10/5/99, S11919)

* Patrick Leahy (Dork-VT) "I have stated over and over again … that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported."
(Cong. Rec, 6/18/98, S6521)

* Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) The filibuster "has unfortunately become a commonplace tactic to thwart the will of the majority."
(Cong. Rec., 1/4/95, S36)

Very interesting.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/14/2003 17:18 Comments || Top||

#8  Never heard back from VAMark....surprise, surprise.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 17:50 Comments || Top||

#9  Now that raping, murdering drunkard from Massachussetts has referred to these nominees as "neanderthals." Man, the vitriol, bitterness, and intolerance from the 'progressives' is making them insane. Somebody give Teddy a bottle of Dewar's, he's going into shock from going 39 hours without a drink!
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 18:50 Comments || Top||

#10  Get over it Anon. that was years ago. Move on. Besides Ted didn't do anything wrong and if he did well.... it was years ago... let's all be friends. No harm no foul.. no bloated body.

Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 19:12 Comments || Top||

Former CAIR Director Sentenced
The former head of an Islamic charity that was accused of having ties to terrorism was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to bank and visa fraud.
Another guilty plea, some cops are doing a good job.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff sentenced Bassem Khafagi, formerly of Ann Arbor, to 10 months of time already served in prison. Khafagi, 41, pleaded guilty Sept. 9. Khafagi admitted during the September hearing that he passed bad checks at two banks for thousands of dollars in 2001, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins said in a statement. Collins said Khafagi also "confessed ... he made false material statements" on his nonimmigrant visa application on Nov. 8, 2000, in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Wonder what else they got on him?
An immigration judge ordered Khafagi deported in August. He is expected to be deported soon to his native Egypt, where he is to join his wife and U.S.-born children, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Egyptian, and applied for a visa in Kuwait? Humm.
Khafagi had been in custody since January, when he was arrested in a hotel near LaGuardia Airport in New York. At the time of his arrest, he was community affairs director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and terrorist advocacy group based in Washington. The FBI said Khafagi is a founding member of the Ypsilanti-based Islamic Assembly of North America, a charity that purports to promote Islam. Officials said earlier this year that they were investigating the organization for possible links to terrorism.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 11:07:31 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [699 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why can't we keep him in US prison where we can keep an eye on him? It's not like he's gonna become less militant in Egypt...
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/14/2003 11:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Why can't he fall in front of a bus on the way to the airport?
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Two or three times.
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/14/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

#4  How can the Arabs continue to cry ‘VICTIM’ when their leaders plead guilty to TERRORISTS charges. I am beginning to think that maybe they are guilty and NOT victims of racial bias. No wonder the President doesn’t invite these idiots to the White House! BTW: Has everyone heard enough about Islam to last them a lifetime?
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 11/14/2003 11:39 Comments || Top||

#5  Let's hear some more from Cair on how they never getinvited to the White House for substantive policy making.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 15:41 Comments || Top||

East Asia
Japan’s rough year in space: Mars probe to crash
After losing one or two satellites to solar flares last month, it looks like Japan has not had a good year in space. Edited for brevity.
Japan’s snake-bit space probe to Mars, the Nozomi (“Hope”) mission, seems to have run out of hope and out of luck, the Tokyo newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported Thursday. Quoting Japanese space officials, the newspaper said the probe appeared to be incapable of entering a survey orbit as planned on Dec. 14. Unless it is steered aside, the probe will crash onto the planet and possibly contaminate it with earthly microbes. Nozomi blasted off on July 4, 1998, and was supposed to reach Mars by the end of the following year. On board were a camera and several other instruments to study the Martian atmosphere from orbit. Once in space, the craft remained in an elongated Earth orbit as it stored up energy through several swing-by maneuvers with the moon. On Dec. 20, 1998, in the midst a high-speed dash to within 600 miles (960 kilometers) of Earth, Nozomi fired its main engine to thrust itself towards Mars. But something went wrong with the rocket firing, and the probe wound up so far off track that two corrective burns had to be made the next day. By the time the probe was back on its proper course, its remaining fuel wasn’t enough to brake itself into the desired survey orbit once it arrived at Mars.
More at link--this has been years in the making.
Posted by: Dar || 11/14/2003 10:32:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "crash onto the planet and possibly contaminate it with earthly microbes."

How much 'earthly' biological material can be on the vehicle? Enough to terraform Mars? Hell, given a couple of more of these accidents and we could just start colonizing the place.
Posted by: Sean || 11/14/2003 11:20 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 11:23 Comments || Top||

#3  "Not In Our Name"
Posted by: Lucky || 11/14/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||

#4  Hitting a planet at trans-orbital speeds isn't likely to leave much besides a (fairly) large crater...
Posted by: mojo || 11/14/2003 12:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Any chance of it hitting Kucinich?
Posted by: Matt || 11/14/2003 13:04 Comments || Top||

#6  Op and Anon - LOL
Posted by: Matt || 11/14/2003 14:00 Comments || Top||

#7  Mars needs Women. Kucinich needs Woman. I don't like the setup.

Tom<----------Going long on Carib. Bauxite.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 16:22 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Iraqi immigrant sues Saddam’s regime
Edited for brevity.
Saddam Hussein’s henchmen once tortured Abdullah Alkhuzai, threw him in prison, executed his brother and made his parents pay for the bullets. Now Alkhuzai, a legal resident of the United States who lives in Overbook [Pittsburgh, PA], is suing Saddam’s regime in federal court for cruel and inhuman treatment. The lawsuit was filed in Pittsburgh on Monday. It names as defendants the Republic of Iraq; Saddam; the estates of his sons, Uday and Qusay; Ali Hassan al-Majid (nicknamed "Chemical Ali" for his gassing of Kurdish civilians in 1988); and eight other ex-officials who are thought to be in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Viewers across the United States may have seen Alkhuzai on TV in April. As Saddam’s rule crumbled, the networks aired a 12-year-old videotape of Iraqi prisoners being beaten and tortured by his lieutenants. Alkhuzai, a Shiite Muslim who was 20 at the time, was one of the victims. He says it was only a fraction of what he endured under Baathist rule. The lawsuit claims that Chemical Ali threatened Alkhuzai and his family with execution and torture, subjected him to stabbings and electrocutions, beatings and coercive interrogations, starvation, dehydration, confinement in subhuman conditions and lack of medical care. As a result, the suit says, he suffered permanent injuries.

[Alkhuzai’s lawyer, Regis] McClelland emphasized that Alkhuzai is suing Iraq, not the United States. "Some people have gotten it in their heads that Iraqi assets now belong to the U.S.," McClelland said. "Those assets should be available to pay Saddam’s victims." Seventeen former American prisoners from the first Gulf War who endured months of torture also filed suit against Iraq and won. The court awarded them millions of dollars from Iraq’s frozen assets in the United States, but the Bush administration has moved to block the payments, saying the money should be used to rebuild Iraq. And in September, a federal judge in New York ruled that the families of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks could not claim any part of about $1.7 billion in frozen Iraqi assets in the U.S. because President Bush signed an executive order in March converting Iraqi assets in the U.S. into property of the United States government.
Posted by: Dar || 11/14/2003 9:26:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, when & if we locate Sammy, we'll be sure and hand him a subponae to your little shindig, pal.
Posted by: mojo || 11/14/2003 12:27 Comments || Top||

#2  "Those assets should be available to pay Saddam’s victims." - Sort of moronic when you think about it. Could you sue the First National Bank for property damages caused by a bank robber leaving a hold-up of their bank? The robber certainly had assets in his possession when he caused the damage.
Saddam and his regime stole assets from the Iraqi people. The US is in the process of returning these assets to the Iraqi people. No fair intercepting a large chunk of the cash just because you moved to Pittsburg and hired a lawyer.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 15:52 Comments || Top||

Blast Kills 4 Troops in Southern Russia
An explosion apparently caused by a remote-controlled bomb ripped through a house in southern Russia on Friday, killing four Interior Ministry soldiers and wounding at least eight, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. The blast occurred after the troops had entered the house for a security check, said Lt. Sergei Kozhemyaka, a ministry officer. One of the four dead soldiers was a sapper, said Matina Khodziyeva, a spokeswoman for the Ingush Interior Ministry.
For you young folk out there, sapper is a very old term for a demolitions specialist.
She said eight Interior Ministry soldiers had been wounded, while Kozhemyaka put the number at 11. The house was in the village of Troitskaya, in the region of Ingushetia, which borders war-shattered Chechnya. Troops frequently check for militants and weapons in Ingushetia and other Russian regions around Chechnya, from which rebels launch attacks.
Well, they found some. Or rather, the rebels found them.
Three of the wounded soldiers were in critical condition, Khodziyeva said. It was the third major attack against authorities in Ingushetia this week. On Monday, a deputy prosecutor was wounded when a bomb detonated under his car seat. Later that day, an Interior Ministry soldier was killed and one was wounded when they tried to search a car.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 8:56:03 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Time for the UN to intervene in order to stop this unilateral war in Chechnya!
Posted by: Greg || 11/14/2003 11:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Anyone else notice that since the Rooskies kicked the shit out of the chechens for that theater thing, their terrorists have been rather quiet?

Just a thought.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 11:31 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
RPD - Arab Technological Breakthrough
RPD = Remote Piloted Donkey
Smugglers in Algeria have reportedly come up with a novel way to get their contraband into Morocco - donkeys, with tape recorders on their backs. A taped message is repeated, saying "Err", Arabic for "walk", so that the donkeys do not stop as they follow the smugglers’ tracks unaccompanied. However, the customs service learnt of the ruse and has killed 200 of the donkeys, says the El Khabar newspaper.
After they stopped laughing.
The border was closed 10 years ago after a bomb attack in Morocco. But the the killing of donkeys have sparked protests by some villagers who say the action is criminal.
Hacking a family to death is OK, but killing a donkey is a crime.
They say that killing the animals would not put an end to smuggling. The trained donkeys leave Bab El-Assa in Algeria laden with goods for Morocco. When they reached Ahfir in Morocco, they are met by smugglers who unload their cargo. The animals are then sent on their return journey loaded with different goods bound for the Algerian market.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 8:42:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [355 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm surprised the donkeys aren't intercepted and new "goods" (bombs and/or tracking devices) placed on them, then resent on their mission. Killing the donkeys is just dumb.
Posted by: Yank || 11/14/2003 8:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Donkeys are obsolete... the smugglers need to fund the Strategic Camel Initiative.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/14/2003 9:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Steve I needed a coffee alert for this one...

Donkeys wearing tape recorders that say Err Err Err = funny.

Killing said innocent donkeys = not funny
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/14/2003 11:56 Comments || Top||

#4  The donkeys should be intercepted and loaded with bacon and other pork products, then sent on their way.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

#5  The tape recorded messages need to be reprogrammed and the donkeys sent back whence they came, without the contraband, maybe just with a load of camel chips, or something of similar value.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/14/2003 13:15 Comments || Top||

#6  Possible weapons systems variants of the Remotely Piloted Donkey:

Global Donkey
Stealth Donkey
Chobham Donkey
X-Donkey (testbed for hypersonic donkey travel)
Joint Strike Donkey
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 18:37 Comments || Top||

#7  Uh oh, could islam be on the brink of deploying a GPS guided SmartDonkey?

LGE announced that the company has completed the development of a GPRS mobile phone (model: G5300) equipped with a compass and programmed to indicate direction.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 20:18 Comments || Top||

#8  If they buy the islamic cell phones with GPS, here is what is going to happen: They will send the donkeys full of explosives and the donks will trot off to Mecca, where they will blow up.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/14/2003 22:04 Comments || Top||

Morocco pushes ahead
EFL & Praise
Following a major overhaul of the nation’s Family Code of laws -amended for the first time since 1957 - Moroccan women are no longer required to live under the lifetime guardianship of male family members.
Ah, this is good news....
They also have the right to file for divorce, while polygamy has been rendered almost impossible. They now share household property with their husbands. And the ancient practice of repudiation without a court’s consent has been outlawed.
After 30 years of fighting, more than 60 women’s associations, hundreds of nongovernmental organizations, and hundreds of thousands of Moroccan women watched last month, as King Mohammed VI declared before the Moroccan parliament in Rabat that "women are equal to men under the law."
I believe he is sincere. In my travels to Morocco and Tunisia I was struck by how relatively open and decent both countries were, at least to local women. The long term problem for both Morocco and Tunisia is the way the men treat women from Western countries. Their treatment of Western women is tragic. If you are a woman visiting from, say France America, you are likely to be groped and heckled. I once saw a woman in Tunisia encircled by a group of men and nearly assaulted. They are soooooo brave. That is until I ran up and watched them scatter like candyasses.
Only Tunisia can Western be treated like garbage cans has preceded Morocco in such revolutionary reforms to their Family Code and yet without addressing the question of inheritance.
It’s a start.
"There is something new in Morocco, which is pretty strong compared to other Arab countries - human rights organizations, which greatly supported the women’s movement," explains Rabéa Naciri, president of the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women. A combination of the new king’s democratization process, foreign pressure, and disillusionment with Islamic extremism, led to the Family Code’s reform, according to Fatima Sadiqi, professor of gender studies at the University of Fez.
‘Gender studies’?...Before you know they will have sitcoms like Everybody Loves Raymond.
It wasn’t until the king himself, "commander of the believers" and claimed descendant of the prophet Muhammad, spoke, that religious conservatives relented.
...Hmm ‘descendant of the prophet Muhammad’...One reform down many more to go....
Posted by: Dragon Fly || 11/14/2003 8:08:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  thanks for an interesting post.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 9:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Too bad about the polygamy thing though, Morocco sounded like a good retirement deal for Jarhead up until that point ;)
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/14/2003 9:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Stay tuned for the backlash when the Wahabbits move in to keep Morocco in line.
Posted by: BH || 11/14/2003 10:34 Comments || Top||

#4  This is good news. Morocco is too capitalist and modern to keep their heads in their ass and their society in the 11th century. This gives the the islamofascists another place to worry about, further diluting their ability to concentrate their efforts.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/14/2003 11:38 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Israeli robot helicopter stolen
An Israeli company developing a state-of-the-art pilotless helicopter has blamed the theft of its prototype at the weekend on industrial espionage. The helicopter, which weighs 14 kilos (30 pounds) and is 1.5 metres (five feet) long, was snatched by burglars at Steadicopter’s Kefar Maccabi plant. It had just completed its final test flights, the company said on Tuesday.

The burglars took no money or computer software during the break-in, leading the company to suspect espionage. "We’re convinced that the thief was working for our competitors because he went directly to the helicopter’s location and broke only the guard-rails to that room," said Steadicopter Chief Executive Officer Tuvya Segal.

Mr Segal said the helicopter was unique in that it was capable of independent flying without remote control. "Many companies have tried but none of their tests worked," he said. Police took fingerprints at the plant as an investigation got under way. Correspondents note that Israel has long been a world leader in developing pilotless reconnaissance aircraft and its Pioneer drone is currently in service with US forces in Iraq. Its new helicopter features vertical take-off and the ability to hover.
Thanks, Beeb, we’d never have guessed...
Posted by: Bulldog || 11/14/2003 7:50:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Worked out to provide extra publicity for their new product.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Its new helicopter features vertical take-off and the ability to hover.
Thanks, Beeb, we’d never have guessed...

What they are talking about that is new is that this helicopter does it automamously, without remote control by a human pilot. They program in the flight path and the chopper does the rest.
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 8:24 Comments || Top||

#3  I see this stuff every time I pass the local model airport. ;)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/14/2003 10:27 Comments || Top||

Latin America
Venezuela denies British agents investigating Al Qaeda ops
Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel is denying reports that Britain's foreign intelligence service, MI6, is investigating alleged al-Qaeda operations in Venezuelan territory ... "on numerous occasions the British government has ratified that it does not have any type of inquiries into Venezuela's anti-terrorist policies."
"Nope. Nope. Ain't happening."
Rangel was responding to a report in Britain's Sunday Express that MI6 was investigating narcotics and arms-trafficking via Venezuela allegedly financed by Al Qaeda ... yet, National Guard (GN) General Alexis Maneiro had earlier told reporters that his troops had seized 3.5 tons of cocaine in eastern Sucre State after a tip-off from MI6.
A lucky guess?
Maneiro had not commented the existence or otherwise of any smuggling network with ties to Osama Bin Laden's terrorist organization, but he did say that Venezuelan authorities would "continue working with M16 agents ... this is going to continue ... low profile and giving us all the support we need and require."
Keeping it out of the papers would make it lower profile, wouldn't it?
President Hugo Chavez Frias' opponents continue to accuse him of supporting terrorists, including Colombian rebel groups ... but Chavez has repeatedly denied the allegations, arguing that it's part of black-propaganda efforts aimed at discrediting his government within the international community.
"They're all against me! You're against me, too!"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As if it would be possible to continuously resupply FARC operations through miles of jungle without support of the Venezualan government.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:50 Comments || Top||

Hugo orders Venezuela's armed forces on 24/7 alert
President Hugo Chavez Frias ordered Venezuela's armed forces on 24/7 alert, warning of deep-laid opposition plots for violence and electoral fraud during the upcoming signature campaign petitioning referenda on his rule and that of 38 elected opposition officials. The opposition has responded with accusations that it is the government that is itself planning violence over the 4-day campaigns. Chavez Frias says he has conclusive evidence that a group of Venezuelans "are still thinking of a coup adventure ... I call on the Armed Forces to be alert 24/7." Speaking to military police in Caracas, the President did not identify the groups and/or their international allies ... but the latter reference is clearly specific to continuing attempts by Washington D.C. to interfere in Venezuela's domestic political affairs. Chavez' opponents accuse him of ruling like a dictator and say the government is fabricating plots to frighten voters away from supporting the call a referendum against him. They highlight increased security measures and the recent creation of army reservists as a clear indication of the President increasing his military power base.
I don't think Hugo intends to go, regardless of how the recall movement turns out. It's just this feeling I have...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He would have to move to Cuba. It's not going to happen.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:51 Comments || Top||

Home Front
US hacker sentenced for Al Jazeera attack
A Californian man has been fined and sentenced to community service for hacking into the website of satellite TV network Al Jazeera during the US-led war in Iraq. The hacker rerouted visitors to a page featuring an American flag and the motto "Let Freedom Ring".
They let him off with a tap on the wrist...
At a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, US District Judge Howard Matz told web designer John William Racine: "I don't think of you as an evil person ... but this was a crime. It wasn't just a childish prank."
He's right, of course, whether we agree with Racine's sentiments or not. We're not at war with Qatar or even with al-Jizz. I spend enough of my time trying to keep hackers out of our server to sympathize...
Judge Matz sentenced Racine, 24, to 1,000 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine. Racine, also known as John Buffo, promised the judge he would never do such a thing again. Prosecutors said the Qatar-based Arabic television broadcaster did not respond to US government inquiries about whether the hacking caused it any financial losses. Racine posed as an Al Jazeera employee to get a password to the network's site, then redirected visitors to a page he created that showed an American flag shaped like a US map and the patriotic motto, court documents said. In June, Racine pleaded guilty to wire fraud and unlawful interception of an electronic communication.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  For his community service I think he should infiltrate as many terrorist web-sites as possible and turnover all the information he can gather to the FBI.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:54 Comments || Top||

#2  They should deduct the time he spent hacking into Al-Jizz from the sentence. That was community service if I ever saw it.
Posted by: Dar || 11/14/2003 9:33 Comments || Top||

#3  I think that Super Hose has a grand idea. Maybe he should suggest it to the FBI?
Posted by: rabidfox || 11/14/2003 9:34 Comments || Top||

#4  Pardon me, but didn't al'Jazeera admit to letting terrorists use their offices for planning?

I'm with Dar; what he did WAS community service.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/14/2003 9:39 Comments || Top||

#5  Assume, just for the sake of argument, that the Feds already have hacking operations set up, not to post patriotic stuff on bad guy websites, but to collect information. Would you want an outsider, an amateur with great muddy boots and a loud voice, tromping in and drawing attention to the system's vulnerabilities, many of which you may have exploited yourself?

If I was the Feds, and if I didn't have such operations up and running, I'd expect to be fired, because I wouldn't be doing my job.
Posted by: Fred || 11/14/2003 9:49 Comments || Top||

#6  Fred, we're talking about the modern CIA and FBI here. The CIA swore they couldn't get anyone into al'Qaeda -- never mind the Marin County dipshit that got in. And the FBI seems to have an unwritten rule requiring them to screw up terrorism cases.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/14/2003 10:51 Comments || Top||

#7  Seems that he has the asymetrical warfare thing down. So, why doesn't the DIA/NSA/CIA hire this guy? Heart seems to be in the right place.
Posted by: Sean || 11/14/2003 11:48 Comments || Top||

#8  Dammit, Fred, do you have to go and spoil this by bringing logic into it?

That is a very good point you made. If they were so naive to give this guy the info he needed, there were likely some spook hackers with their fingers in Al-Jizz's files way before this. Now AJ has probably spent some good time and money to close their previously wide-open doors.
Posted by: Dar || 11/14/2003 15:53 Comments || Top||

#9  Bravo John Buffo! If at all possible I'd like to do 100 hours of your community service for the community service you provided.
Posted by: Mike || 11/14/2003 16:26 Comments || Top||

Georgian opposition demands Shevardnadze's ouster
Georgia's main opposition leader on Thursday demanded the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze, saying he saw no chance for further talks to resolve a crisis triggered by a disputed parliamentary poll. "There is no alternative to the resignation of Shevardnadze," Mikhail Saakashvili, the leader of Georgia's main opposition party, told thousands of supporters in parliament square in central Tbilisi. "Shevardnadze has been trying to hold these talks to win time but I have nothing to talk to him about."

However another opposition leader said earlier she favoured more talks to resolve the deadlock over the November 2 election, which opposition parties say was stolen from them by the authorities. "We are ready to meet the government, to have negotiations with them and we really want to find a solution," said Nino Burdzhanadze, outgoing parliamentary speaker and leader of her own bloc, which competed separately in the election. Talks between Georgia's authorities and the opposition on resolving the political crisis broke down in disarray on Wednesday, with both sides refusing to meet conditions on how to open negotiations on the disputed poll. About 1,000 supporters of the opposition thronged outside parliament on Wednesday to push demands for a new election or Shevardnadze's resignation. Western powers have appealed to both sides to resolve the crisis peacefully, hoping to avoid a resurgence of the unrest and separatist violence that shattered the ex-Soviet state in the early 1990s.
Looks like Ed might be toast. I'd be more comfortable about Georgia if there was a peaceful handover of power, the result of an election. First presidents have this tendency to be presidents-for-life. If they chase him out of office they'll be starting over again.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Shev reminds me of certain American sports figures - doesnt know when its time to bow out gracefully - he hangs on, and it obscures his genuine past accomplishments.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/14/2003 9:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Things are starting to reach critical mass:
Five armoured vehicles, four trucks and three buses with soldiers in body armour were seen outside the Interior Ministry by Reuters correspondents on Friday. The ministry is about two km (about one mile) from the parliament building where more than 10,000 Georgians were taking part in a mass opposition rally to call for President Eduard Shevardnadze to quit. The ministry has said it would not use force against the crowd unless protesters tried to switch their action to government buildings. Troops at the scene declined to comment. Thousands of Georgians ignored an emotional appeal by Shevardnadze on Friday to stay away from the mass opposition rally or face pushing the country of five million closer to ''civil war.'' At the rally, which was the biggest since a disputed November 2 parliamentary election sent hundreds into the streets, Georgia's main opposition leader, Mikhail Saakashvili, called on the veteran leader to come and meet his people or step down from power.
So, who will the troops support, the people or Shevardnadze?
Posted by: Steve || 11/14/2003 13:44 Comments || Top||

#3  But the people are stupid. They may demand change. People in high places may lose their positions.
Posted by: Lucky || 11/14/2003 14:05 Comments || Top||

Africa: Southern
Zim court rules media chiefs to stand trial
A Zimbabwean court has ruled that four directors of the country's only private daily should stand trial for publishing last month without a licence. The four, who own the Daily News, a banned paper fiercely critical of the government, were arrested last month after they resumed publication following a court ruling that they must be issued with a licence. They had sought to have charges against them quashed at the Magistrates court. "I am of the view that clearly there is a reasonable suspicion that an offence was committed ... [and] it is proper that the accused be placed on remand," said magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe. The four, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Rachel Kupara, Brian Mutsau and Stuart Mattinson, had spent two nights in police cells in Harare following their arrest. Their arrest followed that of a co-director, Washington Sansole, in the second city of Bulawayo, who was released following a High Court order. Some 18 workers, including journalists, were arrested shortly after an edition of the Daily News hit the streets on October 25, but they were later released without charge.
I haven't been reading a lot about this in the New York Times.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/14/2003 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I haven't been reading a lot about this in the New York Times.

I guess it isn't fit to print.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/14/2003 0:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Bob got them into a more sympathetic court I see.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/14/2003 8:58 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2003-11-14
  Former CAIR Director Sentenced
Thu 2003-11-13
  House-to-House Raids in Saddam Hometown
Wed 2003-11-12
  24 Italians dead in Nasiriyah boom
Tue 2003-11-11
  New Afghan Operation Under Way
Mon 2003-11-10
  Soddy troops head to Mecca
Sun 2003-11-09
  18 Held in Oct. Hotel Attack in Baghdad
Sat 2003-11-08
  Major attack in Riyadh
Fri 2003-11-07
  Accusation of a coup plan as Mauritania election nears
Thu 2003-11-06
  Attack of the Meccaboomers
Wed 2003-11-05
  Iranian role in Hakim assassination?
Tue 2003-11-04
  Pakistan Army Kills Two Al-Qaida
Mon 2003-11-03
  Soddies shoot it out with Bad Guys in downtown Mecca
Sun 2003-11-02
  13 dead as US helicopter shot down
Sat 2003-11-01
  Pak opposition leader arrested on treason charges
Fri 2003-10-31
  Ivory Coast Uncovers Assassins Plot

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