Mistake No. 1: Impersonating a police officer.
Mistake No. 2: Making a traffic stop.
Mistake No. 3: Stopping an off-duty state trooper. I hate it when that happens.
Shalom Gelbman, 22, of New Square, N.Y., made all three mistakes, state police said. Gelbman, with a strobe light on his dashboard and his high beams flashing, pulled a car over Wednesday night on the Palisades Interstate Parkway, police said. Inside the car was state Trooper Seamus Lyons, who arrested Gelbman. It was clear to Lyons that Gelbman wasnât a colleague, authorities said, because of his license plate number and the equipment he had in his car. "License and registration, pleas......Oh, shit..."
Gelbman was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal impersonation, police said, and was cited for having unauthorized equipment in his car, a dark blue Mercury Grand Marquis with tinted windows. Gelbman was also ticketed for driving without a registration or insurance. He was released on $5,000 bail after being arraigned in Clarkstown Justice Court. Easiest arrest Trooper Lyons ever made.
The Ultimate Differential Theory of US Armed Forces
Upon encountering a snake in the Area of Operations (AO)
Airborne: Lands on and kills the snake.
Air Force, O-6 and above: "Get that damned snake off the fairway!"
Armor: Runs over snake. Never knows it,as well as where he is on the battlefield. Continues directly ahead wondering what all those new buttons in his turret do.
Army Aviation: Has GPS ten digit grid to snake. Stands off at a range greater than any other weapon system and destroys snake with precision fires at a cost equivilant of one Mercedes 350SEL. Returns to base for fighter management and a "cool one".
Army Shrink. Attempts to get snake to explain its sexual feelings about its mother.
Chaplain. Tries to get snake to attend services, mend its ways.
Combat Controllers: Guides snake elsewhere.
Combat Engineer: Studies snake. Prepares in depth analysis based on obscure 5 series FM about how to defeat snake using counter mobility assets. Complains that maneuver forces donât understand how to properly conduct doctrinal counter-snake operations. (Engineer School tries to hide the fact that M9 ACE proves ineffective against snakes).
Field Artillery: Kills snake with massive Time On Target barrage with three Forward Artillery Brigades in support. Kills several hundred civilians as unavoidable collateral damage. Mission is considered a success and all participants (i.e., cooks, mechanics and clerks) are awarded Silver Stars.
Infantry: Snake smells them, leaves area.
Military Intelligence, G-2: Sanke? What snake? Only four of 35 indicators of snake activity are currently active. We assess the potential for snake activity as LOW.
Judge Advocate General (JAG): Snake declines to bite, citing professional courtesy.
Marines, ForceRecon: Follows snake, gets lost.
Marines, Infantry: Kills snake by accident while looking for souvenirs. Local civilians demand removal of all US forces from Area of Operations.
Mech Infantry: Runs over snake, laughs, and looks for more snakes.
Military Intelligence, S-2: Reports to ground troops that snake is a non-combatant. Six Infantry wounded. MI states that if the ground forces would have read the nesting diagram provided in the 24 page enemy intel report, they would have known the snake was a possible threat.
Military Police, Criminal Investigation: Handcuffs snakeâs head to its tail, reads it its Miranda rights, then proceeds to beat snake to a pulp with night stick.
Missileers, Air Force: Lays in target coordinates to snake in 20 seconds, but canât receive authorization from National Command Authority to use nuclear weapons.
Military Police, Field: Snake safely infiltrates rear area of operations.
Navy SeaBees: Build snake elaborate rec room, complete with secret still.
Navy, SEAL: Expends all ammunition and several grenades, then calls for naval gunfire in failed attempt to kill snake. Snake bites the SEAL, and dies of salt water poisoning. Hollywood makes film in which SEALS kill Muslim extremist snakes.
Navy, Surface Action Group: Fires off 50 cruise missiles fro several ships, kills snake and makes presentation to Senate Appropriations Committee on how Naval forces are the most cost-effective means of anti-snake force projection.
Ordnance: IDs snake as having improper scales. Deadline snake and order parts against snake. Parts come in 15 days later but the snake has been upgraded to FMC due to scrounging of parts through improper channels.
Para-Rescue: Lands on snake upon descending, thereby injuring it, then feverishly works to save the nakeâs life.
Pilot, A-10: Has Global Positioning Satellite coordinates to snake. Canât find snake. Returns to base for refuel, crew rest and manicure.
Pilot, Air Force, B-52: Pulls ARCLIGHT mission on snake, kills snake and every other living thing within two miles of target.
Pilot, Air Force, F-15: Misidentifies snake as enemy Mil-24 Hind helicopter and engages with missiles. Crew chief paints snake kill on aircraft.
Pilot, Air Force, F-16: Finds snake, drops two CBU-87 cluster bombs, and misses snake target, but gets direct hit on Embassy 100 KM East of snake due to weather (Too Hot also Too Cold, Was Clear but too overcast, Too dry with Rain, Unlimited ceiling with low cloud cover etc.) Claims that purchasing multimillion dollar, high-tech snake-killing device will enable it in the future to kill all snakes and achieve a revolution in military affairs.
Pilot, Air Force, Fighter, Generic: Mis-identifies the snake as a HIND and engages it with missiles. Crew Chief paints snake on airplane.
Pilot, Air Force, Transport: Receives call for anti-snake equipment, and delivers two weeks after due date.
Pilot, Army, AH-64 Apache: Unable to locate snake, snakes donât show well on infrared. Infrared only operable in desert AOâs without power lines or SAMâs.
Pilot, Army, HH-53 Jolly Green Giant: Finds snake on fourth pass after snake builds bonfire, pops smoke, lays out flares to mark Landing Zone. Rotor wash blows snake into fire.
Quartermaster: Encounters snake, then loses contact. Can not identify who owns snake by hand receipts. Orders new snake through supply channels. Request is denied by higher authority; issuing the unit a snake will bring the manager to a zero balance; one snake must remain on hand at all times as per their bossâ guidance.
Ranger: Plays with snake, then eats it.
Signal, Enlisted: Tries to communicate with snake . . . fails despite repeated attempts. Complains that the snake did not have the correct fill or did not know how to work equipment a child could operate.
Signal, Officer: Informs the commander that he could easily communicate with the snake using just his voice. Commander insists that he NEEDS to videoconference with the snake, with real-time streaming positional and logistical data on the snake displayed on video screens to either side. Gives Signal Corps $5 Billion to make this happen. SigO abuses the 2 smart people in the corps to make it happen, while everybody else stands around, bitches, and takes credit. In the end, GTE and several sub-contractors make a few billion dollars, the two smart people get out and go to work for them, and the commander gets what he asked for only in fiber-optic based simulations. The snake dies of old age.
SJA: Swear they saw something like that on the Discovery Channel . . . spend weeks arguing if it was a snake or not.
Special Forces: Makes contact with snake, ignores all State Department directives and Theater Commander Rules of Engagement by building rapport with snake and winning its heart and mind. Trains it to kill other snakes. Files enormous travel settlement upon return.
Supply: (NOTICE: Your anti-snake equipment is on backorder.)
Transportation Corps: "Snake? What snake? We were sleeping in the truck."
War Correspondent: Decides snake is patriotic nationalist agrarian reformer being molested by imperialist U.S. forces, asks snake for directions to nearest bar. If bitten by snake, charges U.S. troops with neglect of duty to protect freedom of the press.
Reminds me of the old joke: Each service is ordered to "secure" a building. The Marines destroy it, the Army establishes a defensive parimeter, the Navy paints it gray, and the Air Force leases it for 5 years.
Really, you canât make this stuff up.
Pottery artist Grayson Perry, who creates vases depicting subjects like death and child abuse, has won this yearâs Turner Prize. Perry accepted the award in a dress, as his female alter-ego Claire, thanked his wife and said he was "stunned". Imagine Shirley Temple as a 50 year old crack hoe. Follow the link for a picture, put your coffee down first.
Wearing a purple dress with large bows and frills, Perry told a ceremony at the Tate Britain gallery in London: "Well, itâs about time a transvestite potter won the Turner Prize. "I think the art world had more trouble coming to terms with me being a potter than my choice of frocks. Really I only want to thank one person, thatâs my wife Philipa because sheâs been my best sponsor, editor, support and mainly my lover." Well, they do say love is blind.
His vases include Weâve Found The Body Of Your Child, which shows a baby lying helpless on the ground while its mother is apparently restrained by a gang.
Perry's kinky personal life aside, I think the pots represent a vast improvement in the Turner prize, in that throwing a pot actually requires some sort of skill, and the artwork is meant to be vaguely representational. Recent winners include the faulty fluorescent light in a bare room. I could've entered my kitchen in the contest.
Hey .com! - I was as stunned as anyone else when I saw that photo! (and that after seeing the crowds in London welcoming the Rugby Union *World Champions* - talk about a contrast...)
You do have a point though, with Damien Hirst and that bint who never tidied up her bed around, we're not doing ourselves any favours!
Posted by: Tony (UK) ||
12/08/2003 14:28 Comments ||
Tony - it just seems to be a "thing" there - art must be completely wacky or it's not art - the Turner Prize has been pretty wild for several years now, no? I get the eye-candy channel on cable (know what I mean? wink, nudge...) and the "shows" in London are always incredibly bizarre. Here I am typing away on my PC and some poor girl comes tromping out wearing wacky-tacky blinking xmas lights (which I pick up in my peripheral vision), what looks like shredded clear plastic garbage bags, and maxi-pads in semi-strategic locations. WTF? Uh, yeah, right... high fashion. Gulp! Dunno what it is, but the artsy crowd has left the bldg - and maybe the planet!
Sorry - no offense to any individual meant - just a repeating phenom that boggles!
"A popular choice among the public, he beat off competition from the favourites, the Chapman brothers."
Sometimes it's more fun coming in second
Posted by: R. McLeod ||
12/08/2003 16:14 Comments ||
Harry Potter is not a transvestite. Everybody wears robes at Hogwarts.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 17:33 Comments ||
Dunno what it is, but the artsy crowd has left the bldg - and maybe the planet!
I caught an interview with some artistic types courtesy of the beeb & yes, most of them seem to have been resident on cloud 9 for some time...
Why's the Turner Prize always go to fruitcakes &/or people who think a flickering fluorescent tube's art - cos the judges are terrified that the nasty philistine public won't notice or care otherwise. By awarding it to the likes of Tracy Vermin they can at least guarantee that Brian Sewell will start foaming at the mouth & generate them some publicity.
I just finished Oriana Fallaci's book The Rage and the Pride. Then I read the article and followed the link, and being forewarned, I put down my can of sardines in olive oil. This sick s--t (potter and pots) fits in with Oriana's observations on the sickness and decadence of the west. We are going to pay a HUGE price or lose the WoT if we have the population going for this "dreck." We have issues, folks.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
12/08/2003 18:58 Comments ||
Someday I will walk in to a grand livingroon and notice a vase on the mantle decorated with rudimentary illustrations depicting child abuse. Now, I'll know to complement the proud homeowner on his award winning art piece. Maybe I will ask him about the guy who wore a turkey on his head also.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 21:11 Comments ||
College football fans, get ready to crown not just one, but possibly two national champions.
And get ready for a new round of controversy.
Thatâs because the computer rankings had Oklahoma as the countryâs top team Sunday while the human poll voters picked Southern California.
Itâs exactly what the Bowl Championship Series was designed to avoid, with the prospect of a split title certain to renew cries for a playoff.
"I donât think anyone will know who the legitimate national champion is unless all three teams in consideration get the opportunity to play one another,ââ LSU coach Nick Saban said.
Despite getting walloped by Kansas State 35-7 on Saturday night, Oklahoma will take its 12-1 record to the Sugar Bowl against LSU, which won the Southeastern Conference championship by beating Georgia 34-13.
The winner in New Orleans on Jan. 4 automatically captures the coachesâ title under the BCS format. BULLSHIT
USC, which finished third in the BCS rankings, could win The Associated Press championship by beating No. 4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl. If SC beats Mighty Michigan, who beat defending national chaimpion OSU Itâs a title by my, super tough standards
``Iâm not an expert on this, but if the No. 1 team at the end of the regular season wins its bowl game, how are they not the No. 1 team outright?ââ USC receiver Mike Williams asked. ``But we donât play LSU or we donât play Oklahoma, so youâll never know.ââ
The No. 1 team in the AP poll has never dropped after winning its bowl game.
When the BCS contract expires after the 2005 season, a one-game championship might be instituted after the bowls. That would be too late to fix this yearâs mess.
``The No. 1 team is not playing in the game that theyâre billing as the championship game,ââ USC coach Pete Carroll said. ``Something didnât come out right.ââ Thats because the Sugar Bowl should not be the championship bowl. Period.
In the final BCS standings, Oklahoma was first with 5.11 points based on its top spot in five of the seven computers, the 11th-toughest schedule and a quality win over Texas. Yea Texas really kicked ass this year. The Sooners were third in both polls. But they couldnât win their conference! Bullshit OU, you had your shot and you choked, finni, Mo Fk
``At the end of the year, weâre No. 1 in the system,ââ Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. ``F@#k y@uLSU (12-1) was second with 5.99, edging out USC (11-1) by 0.16 in the second closest finish in the six-year history of the BCS.
The Trojans got 79 of the 128 first-place votes in the polls but finished third in five computers because of a weak Pac-10 schedule.
``In a way it doesnât make sense,ââ USC cornerback Will Poole said. ``Theyâre going to have to do something about the BCS. Maybe they need to pull the plug.ââ
LSU was second (but third before the last game) in the polls and six computers and edged out USC based on a tougher schedule. LSU and USC were each picked first in one computer. LSU had a tougher schedule my ass, no touher, LSU would have their hands full of OR St.
``What we have are three very deserving teams and only two of them are in the game,ââ said Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, who coordinates the BCS. With new boat payments
``Iâm glad weâre bringing the No. 1 and 2 teams in the BCS together. But I have empathy for USC. FUCK YOU, (excuse me Rantburg) Itâs hard to sit here and do cartwheels.ââ
The dream matchup for the Rose Bowl, a traditional pairing of Big Ten and Pac-10 champions with national title implications, is the doomsday scenario for the BCS. Thats because the BCS sucks and is run by people who drink bottled water.
Itâs the third time in four seasons that a team in the top two in the polls didnât make it to the BCS title game. The Pac-10 has been the victim twice and remains the only BCS conference not to put a team in the title game in the six years of the system. Try this, Sugar Bowl=LSU=$$$=OU=Hype=losers=OU#5=OU in Holiday bowl vs WSU!
``It is most unfortunate that the other elements of the BCS standings gave overruled the two polls and taken USC out of the national championship game,ââ Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said.
The BCS avoided disaster those years because No. 1 Oklahoma beat Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl and No. 1 Miami beat Nebraska in the 2002 Rose Bowl.
The No. 2 teams in the polls won their bowl games those years and could have won the AP title if the top-ranked teams lost. The only way to avoid a disputed finish this year is if Michigan (10-2) beats USC. Which they have a very good chance to do as they are a badass bunch of dooods!
``You would like the No. 1 and No. 2 team to be playing each other, but USC still has a chance to win a share of the national championship,ââ LSU quarterback Matt Mauck said. ``I think it is kind of messed up, but thereâs still a chance for everyone who thinks they are deserving to have a part of it.ââ No Mofk, Itâs craven ass f@#king..
There was talk two years ago when Nebraska made the title game without winning the Big 12 to make a winning a conference a requirement to make the championship game. There are sure to be more calls for that change because of Oklahoma. (By the way do you notice the illiterate nature of this report, and Iâm barely litirate)
``With the events this year, weâd be foolish if we didnât look at it again in the spring,ââ Tranghese said. But hey weâve got LSU in the big game against OU and If we win SC can go FO
Despite the controversy, there are still two intriguing matchups. .
``I think weâre going to have the national championship game right where we are,ââ Tournament of Roses president Mike Rife said. ``Weâre going to thoroughly enjoy having the Pac-10 and Big Ten back with us again.ââ Iâll comment on this latter!
Three days later, LSU will play Oklahoma in what will almost be a home game for the Tigers at the Superdome in New Orleans -- a short drive from LSUâs campus. ($$$?)
This game features the countryâs two best defenses. Bullshit, OU couldnât even stop KSU from scoring pell-mel in a championship game. Oklahoma leads the nation, allowing only 255.6 yards per game, slightly better than LSUâs 259.5. The Tigers have the top scoring defense at 10.8 points per game compared to Oklahomaâs third-best 14.9. Means F@#kinf nothing!
``We have a blockbuster game,ââ Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan said. ``Thereâs no doubt about it. FUCK YOU@
The BCS is a scam. USC is the #1 team in the US. OU is playing in the "National Championship game but they are only second in their conference, ie, KSU is better than OU. USC lost to Cal early when teams are still coming together, shit happens but SC won their conference outright. OU?
But hey. Iâm an fan, I love the Rose Bowl. Itâs my personal favorite sports event of the year. And Iâm an SoCal fan. So having them in the Bowl an Jan 1, 3:oo pm is what I die for. There is nothing better than a Rose bowl, with itâs kickoff in the sun and itâs finnish under the lights. America!!!
So what Iâm getting at is the BCS is a scull-FUCK! In Luckyâs opinoin, play the bowels as per tradition. After the bowls #1 plays #2!
Now if Michigan beats USC, does that mean whoever beat Michigan before is better than USC? This is all so confusing! Why can't we just have bowls set-up based on W-L records?
Posted by: Charles ||
12/08/2003 3:36 Comments ||
I agree that USC got screwed by the polls, who should have dropped OU to 4th...either that or there should have been a provision that to include conference championships into the formula. That said, LSU clearly belongs in that game, and I honestly believe that SC would get run out of the stadium by LSU defense. Oh and one more thing the city of New Orleans loses lots of money when LSU plays because most of their fans drive down the day of the game. If the bowl officials had their way LSU was not their choice.
On one level, this is the best of all possible situations...certainly for the game played in Pasadena. The Rose Bowl actually and really means something this year.
It isnât bad for USC either...especially with the Rose Bowl falling on January 1, and if USC wins....four days later they have that Ho-Hum bowl...Oh Yeah, thatâs right, the Sugar.
And the controversy of having a split championship is probably good for the BCS itself also....Letâs face it, itâs been a hell of an exciting year in College Football...viewership of the games have got to be way up...and there are two Bowls this year that are must see.
So pretty good fo the BCS, also.
The only thing that really sucks is that the Coaches Poll is contractually bound to vote the National Championship to whoever wins the Sugar Bowl.
What would be really interesting would be if they ran the BCS numbers after the Bowl games....LSU #2 beats OU #1 (in the BCS), USC #1 (in the AP and the Coaches Poll) beats #4 Michigan...
Then let the AP, the Coaches, and the 7 Computers have at it.
That would be....interesting, and should determine the Actual National Championship.
Hey, Hey....that isnât too bad...Iâve got to stop now and dash off a suggestion letter to Mike Tranghese.....lol
Of course, Iâll be lolling on some beach in the NorthEast of Brazil on Jan 1 and way out of the loop....sob!
BCS is a joke. Hope this is the death of it. Have a true playoff by the Conference Champs until someone wins out like the pros. Cut out the patsie games the first three weeks of the season. Have them start right into the conf schedule. Playoffs done by X-Mas, Natl Champ Bowl on New Years day. Simple enough. Would stop these types of situations & bring back sanity to the game. All bowls except for the big 4 are a waste, and there's only one bowl that usually matters every year. I know, probably a loss of revenues for some teams, too bad, college sports have become a scam.
What I find to be the most ridiculas thing is that in both the AP and Coaches polls there are people still voting OU #1, right after they got their asses kicked.
The BCS is a piece of crap for sure, but leaving OU #1 on your (the voters, that is) poll vote is the sort of old fashioned bullsh*t that the BCS was supposed to help get rid of, and here it clearly didn't.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats ||
12/08/2003 9:50 Comments ||
All things considered, I'm happy to be interested in the Rose Bowl again this year... wish they'd move it back to a Pac-10/Big-10 battle again. (MSU '77)
By the time our troops get through in Iraq (10,15 years from now), the University of Baghdad will probably be able to beat USC AND Florida State, and eake out a tie with LSU. You KNOW you have a good team when your tight end catches a 40-yard touchdown pass and weaves through a MINEFIELD to score! 8^)
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
12/08/2003 11:56 Comments ||
BWWAAAAAHAAAAHHAAAAAAAA, F^%$K YOU BCS. I remember the 1998 Big 12 Championship game of KSU vs Tex A&M. Its the Wildcat's turn to break one off in the BCS committee. BWWAAAAHAAA HHHHAAA.
No one in their right mind (except the OK people) thinks anyone but USC and LSU should play for the national title. While I am a LSU fan, my heart goes out to USC and I am let down that the two are not paired up in the Sugar bowl. I think USC would say the same!
Lucky, you are way off base. The BCS bites but it was created to end the B.S. shared national Championship and ensure that #1 played #2. The human polling element is lame. Sportswriters voting, creating controversy, selling newspapers? Never.
That being said, if anyone has a beef it should Michigan. OU screwed the pooch but they will still beat LSU. Michigan, however is going to smoke USC's bag on national television.
USC's problem is that they have a BS schedule and they lost to no talent Cal. If USC wants to be somebody then they need to play somebody. I.E. a top ten team. Their athletic director should start adjusting the 2004 schedule now.
Like I said, it's a moot point given that they will be playing Michigan.
A renegade Afghan warlord was arrested in a tribal area of Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan. However, a spokesman for the warlord, Bacha Khan Zadran, denied the claim, saying his boss had travelled to Pakistan for medical treatment and was not in custody.
"Nope. Nope. Never happened."
Zadran, whose forces have sporadically fought the U.S.-backed Afghan government, was arrested about Dec. 1 by Pakistani paramilitary troops guarding the border in an area where local tribesmen often support pro-Taliban militants fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan, said Syed Zaheer-ul Islam, a local administrative official. Zadran was taken into custody along with three other unidentified Afghans at Dirdoni, a border checkpoint 180 kilometres southwest of Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province, said Islam. He refused to say why Zadran was arrested, whether he had been charged, why there was a delay in announcing his capture or whether Pakistan was discussing the case with Afghanistan.
My guess is drunk and disorderly...
Zadran spokesman Gamay Mohammedi said by satellite phone from eastern Afghanistan on Sunday that the warlord was in Pakistan for medical treatment. "He is in a hospital in Lahore for treatment for his heart," Mohammedi said, adding that he had just spoken with Zadran. The warlord was briefly appointed governor of Afghanistanâs Paktia province in December 2001, but he was removed from the post after local officials, backed by their own militia, refused to allow him to enter the city and take office.
"Him? You named him as governor? No way in hell!"
Since then, his forces, which had allied themselves with U.S. troops in past military operations, have repeatedly tried to take small patches of territory in Afghanistan in defiance of the central government in Kabul. Authorities in Kabul say Zadran also had set up numerous checkpoints in Afghanistanâs neighbouring provinces of Paktia and Khost, extorting money from passersby.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/08/2003 1:12:51 AM ||
Top|| File under:
The Saudi authorities say security forces have shot dead a suspected Islamist militant in a gun battle at a petrol station in the capital, Riyadh. The interior ministry said Ibrahim al-Rayes was listed among 26 most wanted terror suspects last week. Security services said they attempted to arrest him after residents provided information as to his whereabouts. The authorities had offered a reward of more than $1m for the capture of any of the 26 suspects on the list. Guess somebodyâs gonna get paid.
A statement by the interior ministry read on state television, said the security forces had shot al-Rayes after he opened fire on them. Thatâs handy, donât have to worry about any embarassing questions being answered.
The statement said false identification papers, a hand grenade, ammunition and pistols had also been seized. Witnesses said three other people were also detained in the raid by the security forces. However the security forces have declined to comment on this. "We can say no more"
Update: Saudi security forces killed one of the country's most wanted terrorist suspects and a second militant in a gun battle Monday on the southern edge of the capital Riyadh, the Interior Ministry said. The dead man was identified as Ibrahim Mohammed Abdullah al-Rayes, a Saudi who was on a list of the country's 26 most wanted men that the ministry released Saturday.
Earlier, a security official speaking on condition of anonymity said a second militant was killed in the clash in the Sweidi neighborhood on the capital's southwest. He was not identified by authorities. The security forces tried unsuccessfully to persuade the two militants to surrender, the official said. The official did not say whether anyone was captured, but witnesses told The Associated Press that one man was arrested.The witnesses, who would not give their names, said gunfire had erupted, then special security forces stormed a building in the area. They said helicopters flew overhead after the gun battle, apparently searching for other militants who may have escaped from the building.
One of the 26 Saudis wanted by the Saudi Police left a letter for his family telling them that he went to Iraq for Jihad against the infidels!
Gosh! This indicates that many others have done the same and it is some thing accepted or even blessed by them. We are sure that the CPA and GC will increase their efforts to watch the borders with KSA especially during the Hajj season. Some of the Qaida members may be smuggled after Hajj. Get ready to catch them.
EFL, keep salt handy
The suicide bomb attack at the Muhaya residential compound in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on November 9 in which at least 17 people were killed - most of them foreign Arabs - was neither an episode of global jihadi terrorism nor part of a conspiracy to destabilize the House of Saud. A Pakistani undercover intelligence operator who recently returned from Riyadh told Asia Times Online that the attack was in fact the result of a deep divide within Saudi society between strict religious conservatives with little exposure to the outside world, and a more "liberal" element with the money and power to indulge in restricted activities.
The compound attacked on November 9 was inhabited mainly by Lebanese, Palestinians and Egyptians, and it had earned notoriety as a "pleasure ground" for Saudi "playboys" in a country in which prostitution is outlawed.
They boomed it because there are whorehouses there? How is that not terrorism?
Apparently, some of the female residents of the compound were well known for their "exotic erotica", for which they were showered with money and gifts. The goings-on in the compound were seemingly known to the authorities, including agents of the Saudi religious police - the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice - but nothing had been done about it, much to the anger of conservatives who wanted to "eliminate the evil in their society" and what they called the "Arab brothel of Riyadh".
So they boomed it? Haven't they ever heard of zoning laws? Community associations?
It was as a result of this anger that the conservatives decided to bomb the complex, according to the Pakistani intelligence agent.
First, I'd hesitate to take the word of a "Pak expert" if he told me cheese went well with crackers or beer complements pretzels. Second, since Qaeda has claimed credit for the booms, it looks like an effort to blacken the reputation of the victims regardless of what the truth might actually be. Third, I know lots of people whose activities I don't approve of. I've yet to explode car bombs anywhere near them.
Initially, after the attack, several conservative groups stepped up their calls in support of the enforcement of strict rules in the country, but under immense pressure and the house arrest of two leading clerics by the Saudi government, these segments condemned "these acts of terror". The Saudi government has officially blamed al-Qaeda, even though the group is highly unlikely to be the culprit.
Even though they said they dunnit. Where do they get these people?
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
12/08/2003 7:42:05 AM ||
Top|| File under:
Hmmm.......interesting theory on the bombing as an expression of moral outrage. I give it a 2.5, but maybe out of ignorance. Maybe alot has been lost in translation from Arabic.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
12/08/2003 8:11 Comments ||
Walid Phares (U of Florida Atlantic department head and MSNBC analyst) agues that the attack was part of operation 'exterminate Maronites in Arabia'. Maronites are Christian but speak Arabic.
This tidbit of Pakiwacki intel could easily be true. The game in Saudi is about walls and guarded entry gates. What goes on outside the compounds - out there is the shit - is under the control of the mutawas. What goes on inside the compounds is something else, entirely. Inside, women dress normally, there are "clubs" and group shopping arrangements to acquire "flat-nosed beef" and, occasionally, more exotic products and services.
In '92, on Anzac Day, a particular compound in Al Khobar, containing two clubs (called Manhatten and Cheers) sold out of all forms of alcohol by about 3:00 PM. And I mean everything. When I came in with a friend after work, about 4:30 PM, there were Aussies passed out all over the compound. In yards, on sidewalks, in the street. Looked like a scene from a Sci-Fi Movie where everyone had suddenly died in mid-step. It was a trip and, as I said, the well was dry.
In Al Khobar, the exotic services have moved over to Bahrain - you just need to know which hotels have which variety, Syrians, Russians, whatever - all safely across the causeway.
In Riyadh, in the middle of the country, they haven't got this convenient escape - so I'm sure there are compound which specialize. To stay in business, they have to offer services to Saudis - and those Saudis keep them open and hold the mutawas at bay. Such compounds are invariably owned by a protege clan of a Royal of some rank - never directly. There is juice to be paid to each level of the scheme. The Al Rashid and Al Bustan families come to mind as they own compounds and a myriad of business across the Kingdom - and they are seriously connected. Living in an unnamed compound until last April meant that I could get an unmonitored and direct satellite Internet link - otherwise very very illegal. Only about $100 USD / month. All Internet connections are supposed to go thru the single official connection to the outside world - so they can ban / block everything that they don't want their people to see. You would be amazed at what is blocked - the list of sites is enormous. There are ways around such proxies, of course, but I don't want to ruin it for those still there.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of hypocrisy and special favors and juice and connections and baksheesh and general insanity that passes for the norm there. I thought you might find it of interest.
I can understand Rich Saudis working haram deals to get porn, booze, drugs and hookers. But pork? It's tasty and all, but good BBQ and sausage doesn't seem worth the effort. Or am I understanding "flat-nosed beef" incorrectly?
The Saudi government has officially blamed al-Qaeda, even though the group is highly unlikely to be the culprit.
Let's see, muslims murdering innocent civilians for "religious" reasons. Call it what you want, but that is qaeda's M.O. How about from now on we just call them MULSIM murderbots, and leave it up to the Islamists to assign credit to the Muslim murder group of its choosing.
Posted by: Islam Suck ||
12/08/2003 11:36 Comments ||
but good BBQ and sausage doesn't seem worth the effort
OW - What I left out is that compounds tend to segregate, sometimes by policy - sometimes by taste, and in the Westerner-dominated compounds (the type I lived in the last 2 yrs I was there) this delicacy (and you guessed correctly) is sorely missed. So there were shopping expeditions organized to fill many orders - and I won't tell how they got it thru the causeway Customs. Believe me, the guys look, too, if they decide to get serious with you. My long gray beard made me memorable and they never really checked any car I was in - a cursory look and stamped the form.
But some Saudis & Bahraini Arabs indulge themselves frequently. When I went to Bahrain I always had breakfast at a place near the Grand Mosque called Ryk's Kountry Kitchen - Cajun / Tex / Mex - and there were regulars, including Arabs, chowing down on Ryk's homemade pork sausage, etc. I recommend the Lumberjack plate - 5.50 BD (approx $15 USD).
Hey, you don't know what you've got till it's gone - I had dreams about Italian sausage pizza - and for whatever reason, you couldn't get that type of sausage except at the Aramco Commissary - off-limits to poor contractors like me. Now, in Thailand, I've quenched that craving and dream very different dreams! ;->
.com Don't forget Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and his Kingdom Compound. King Fahad's youngest son (and supposedly favorite; he is minister without portfolio) and his Jedawel compound got blasted back in May. Many more stories abound.
Posted by: Michael ||
12/08/2003 14:27 Comments ||
In Kuala Lumpur (and surrounding area) in Malaysia it was pretty relaxed from what I saw of hotel and restaurant menus. I was only there twice - longest stay was a week. I'm sure it gets "stricter" as you move out away from the zones trafficked by tourists and int'l business types.
Never been to Indonesia - but we know from the Bali hit that they had a similar pattern prior to JI going active under the gentle guiding hand of spiritual leader Bashir. Now I'd guess that very few places dare - since the Gov't hasn't the stones to go after the JI in a serious fashion. Big on zapping the cannon fodder, but...
Michael - So it was the Jedawel compound in Riyadh that was hit? I never heard anyone report the name - I was here in up-country TL, then. There's a Jedawel spot in Al Khobar, too.
I've never been to Riyadh - which must be where the Kingdom Compound is? Back in '92 you had to have some sort of letter to cross province borders. I got stopped on a jaunt up to take a look at Al Khafji, but the guard let us go through on condition we came back before his shift ended... we (Americans, Brits) were actually appreciated for a short while after Gulf I.
So, uh, how's the "nightlife" in Riyadh? I assume that's where you worked? I'm sure there has to big a fairly large one - so many people and ranking Royals. Heh. I've heard some very interesting stories about Jeddah - both spectrum extremes seem to be the norm, there.
The FreeRepublic posted an article on 11/11/03
that cited a DebkaFiles. http://18.104.22.168/focus/f-news/1019545/posts
Al Qaedaâs targeting of Muhaya and its Arab population at first puzzled Saudi and foreign counter-terror authorities - until it was realized that many of the casualties were Lebanese Christians and the assailants Lebanese Muslims. The terrorist network had very pointedly opted to sow death inside a focus of Christian habitation in the Muslim kingdom on the Muslim feast of Ramadan.
I've heard mention of the Maronite Christian connection before.
Argentinaâs president said Britain should apologize for deploying nuclear-armed ships during the 1982 Falklands War, but London on Sunday refused, saying it had done nothing wrong. "So sod off!"
Britainâs Ministry of Defense has said that some of its naval ships carried nuclear weapons during the war but that they never entered Latin American waters and Britain did not consider using them.
So they were deployed, just not there...
``The United Kingdom should apologizeââ, Argentine President Nestor Kirchner said Saturday during a brief visit Saturday to Santa Rosa, capital of the province of La Pampa, 380 miles southwest of Buenos Aires.
``We donât believe we have anything to apologize for,ââ Britainâs Ministry of Defense said Sunday, in response to Kirchnerâs call. ``There was no question of us using the weapons. There is no radiation hazard as a consequence of their deployment. We maintained our obligations under the relevant treaties.ââ Small chance that the Argie air force -- pretty decent then -- could have hit a nuclear-armed Brit ship.
Prime Minister Tony Blairâs office refused to comment on the matter, referring calls to the Ministry of Defense. Britain said Friday that some ships carried nuclear depth charges, used for destroying submarines, but that they were transferred from ship to ship so they did not enter Latin American waters during the 78-day conflict with Argentina. ``A decision was taken before the conflict that the weapons would not be used,ââ the ministry said Sunday. ``However, it was decided that to delay the task force by some 36 hours in order to offload the weapons in the U.K. was unacceptable. ``Instead the decision was made to offload the weapons at sea at the earliest opportunity that was safe to do so.ââ Sounds a little weak -- how long to transfer at sea, and careful with the butterfingers.
Argentine troops invaded the islands - known to Argentines as Las Malvinas - on April 2, 1982. Argentina claimed it had inherited the archipelago from the Spanish crown before they were occupied by Britain in 1833. In all, more than 700 Argentines and 255 British soldiers perished before Britain reclaimed the islands, populated by 2,220 people of mostly British ancestry. Argentina still maintains its claim to the archipelago but has pledged never to invade again. Until the next government is about to go down the tubes and needs to distract the people.
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/08/2003 1:33:01 AM ||
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What?? they want an apology from Britain for NOT using nukes on them ya say?
The Argentines have never accepted that they lost the war. To do so would further expose the generals involved, who were already neck deep in the other scandals of the time. The cultural attitude is similar to the Japanese, where the war is glossed over and devoutly ignored.
A lot of Argentines still think they sunk a British carrier and think its been a big conspiracy to hide that fact. They hit the Atlantic Courier which was shuttling planes but it was certainly not a carrier. The pilot that hit it claimed it was and was a hero in a nation that desperately needed heroes after such a foolish conflict.
I call the conflict foolish because the Argentines could have won if they'd waited until wintertime down in the South Atlantic when at least one British carrier would have been decommissioned and the others would not have been able to do launch operations in the notoriously violent south atlantic during winter. The Argentines would have had months to move the British off of the island, move the Britts off and won without firing a shot.
The case against alleged al-Qaeda terrorist Jack "Jihad" Thomas has collapsed after a damning confession he made has been found to be inadmissible. It is believed the 42-page confession, considered to be one of Australiaâs most important intelligence documents, mentions plans to set up a terrorist cell in Melbourne. Mr Thomas made the alleged confession to federal police while in custody in Pakistan this year. Federal police flew to Pakistan to interview Mr Thomas about two months after his arrest. He was cautioned, warned, and the interview was taped according to Australian law, but his request for a lawyer to be present during the interrogation was denied.
It is believed that Mr Thomas, a Melbourne taxi driver, told police he had been recruited by al-Qaeda and was assigned to return to Australia to set up a sleeper cell and scout for possible terrorist targets. Police have asked lawyers from the office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions if the statement could be used in an Australian court. The DPPâs advice was it would be deemed inadmissible. Sources said defence lawyers would have successfully argued that Mr Thomasâs confession was gathered under duress. They could claim he was prepared to say anything to ensure he was allowed to return to Australia. But federal sources say several of Mr Thomasâs claims have been independently corroborated by Pakistani authorities. Mr Thomas, a Muslim convert, was arrested in Pakistan in January and held for five months without being charged. It is believed he was targeted after US authorities were told that he was seen at an al-Qaeda training camp. He was arrested during a raid on a suspected terrorist safe-house in Pakistan and was found carrying a falsified passport.
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
12/08/2003 12:05:46 AM ||
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Somebody really dropped the ball - they must've assumed the Paki ground rules (there are none) applied while he was officially in Paki custody.
There may be some secondary charges, such as the false passport, that Pakistan can request be levied, I guess. One thing I would try to do - ride this guy hard and put him away wet every day from now on. Use him as a surveillance and hostile interview training aid for new police recruits.
Fifteen members of a Greek terrorist group which carried out a series of murders have been convicted. The leader of the November 17 terrorist cell and several followers carried out a nearly 30-year spree of killings and violence. A nine-month trial ended with guilty verdicts for participation in the group against Alexandros Giotopoulos, the alleged ringleader. Others convicted included the groupâs hit man, Dimitris Koufodinas. Sentencing is expected later this week. November 17 was blamed for dozens of armed robberies, hundreds of bombings and 23 killings since 1975. The victims include four American envoys, two Turkish diplomats and prominent Greek political and business figures. The group took its name from the date of a bloody 1973 student uprising against the military dictatorship that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974.
Prostitutes Rally for Brothel Legislation
Mon Dec 8,12:34 PM ET Add Strange News - AP to My Yahoo!
ATHENS, Greece - About 50 prostitutes marched to Parliament Monday to protest a government decision to withdraw legislation that would have made it easier for brothels to operate in Athens during the Aug. 13-29 Olympics.
It would have been better to take care of this issue years ago. I'm sure reprisals will take place during the olympics.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 17:51 Comments ||
I meant the terrorists should have been taken care of; the hookers can do whatever they want as long as they don't ooze on public benches or otherwise endanger citizens not interested in contracting virelent social deiseases.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 17:55 Comments ||
From Turkish Press, I think they swindled a bank:
UZAN RUNS TO UNITED STATES
Yavuz Uzan, who is wanted by red bulletin, is staying in famous the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, New York under the name ââSamuel Rogers Uzan.ââ Turkish police wanted the United States to extradite Yavuz Uzan, whom they found thanks to his phone talks, but a result has not been taken since the documents have not been completed yet. It was claimed that Justice Minister Cemil Cicek demanded extradition of Yavuz Uzan from U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft during his visit to Washington paid last week. But, the minister has not confirmed it yet. Real identity of Yavuz Uzan is being hid since he is considered VIP guest.
HIS TRACE FOUND
Turkish intelligence has found out the house where Kemal Uzan, who is searched for months due to Imarbank case and who is wanted by red bulletin, is staying in California, United States. The Foreign Ministry has launched initiatives for extradition of Kemal Uzan. According to information shared by units of two countries, Uzan, who lived in San Francisco, is kept under control by U.S. officials. Everybody who is in contact with Uzan is being followed. The Foreign Ministry has applied for Uzanâs extradition under the agreement with the United States on extradition of the guilty. Extradition can be possible after official procedures are completed.
CICEK: âINTERPOL HAS LOCATED UZAN FUGITIVES IN AMERICAâ
Fugitives from justice Kemal and Yavuz Uzan, who have been on the run from Turkish authorities for several months, have both been found in the United States by Interpol, said Justice Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday. Their extradition process has already begun, stated Cicek, adding that US Attorney General John Ashcroft assured him personally last week that US authorities would cooperate fully on the matter. Anything for our friends.
Swiss investigators have revealed that Osama bin Laden was a beneficiary of a Swiss bank account until 1997. Fifty-seven other members of the bin Laden family were also listed as beneficiaries of the account at the UBS in Zurich, which was held by two of his half-brothers, an official of the Swiss federal prosecutorsâ office said. Andrea Sadecky confirmed a report in the Swiss newspaper Le Temps that said a two-year investigation had found that the al-Qaeda leader was linked to account number 575.167 opened in 1990 by his two half-brothers - Yahia bin Laden, head of the familyâs Saudi construction group Binladin, and Baqer bin Laden. The investigation by Swiss authorities began after the September 11 attacks in the US in 2001. The newspaper said the account was opened in 1990 because the bin Ladens feared Iraq could invade Saudi Arabia and seize their fortune. The account was emptied after the 1991 Gulf War and closed in 1997, it reported.
I don't recall a national beer party. Where'd the money go?
A spokesman for UBS said: "Osama bin Laden was never a client of the bank and was never an account holder."
"His wives were, his brothers were, his sisters were, there are two accounts in the names of his favorite camels, but he didn't have an account..."
It is not known how much money was kept in the account, but the newspaper said Osama bin Ladenâs share was well below 1 million Swiss francs.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/08/2003 1:29:23 AM ||
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Dan Darling, ass kicker.
Yea, the swiss really got religion after 911.
Targeted response? But so un-PC. The swiss have blond hair and smile toothy smiles while batting vanilla eyelashes.
And what of Yeslam Binladin, Swiss resident for more than twenty years (and granted a Swiss passport in 2001) whose banking activity is presently under investigation in Switzerland. When living in the Sudan OBinLadin had accounts in three separate banks. If history is a guide, to believe that this news account signals the end of investigation into Bin Ladin activity in Switzerland is laughable.
It must be strange to be Anthony Lopercio of the US Armyâs 82nd Airborne Division. The 23-year-old private has been dispatched to Fallujah to stand in the front line on what is, for any American, one of the most hostile places in the world. Yet, as he gazes across the dreary Iraqi landscape, feeling the sullen resentment of its population towards foreign occupation, he will not only be wondering about the guerrillas out there. He will also be watching for the portly frame of his father.
Not long ago, Michael Lopercio, a 51-year-old restaurateur from Tempe, Arizona, decided that he was not happy with the quality of the news he was receiving about the war into which his son had been drawn. He also realized that if the conflict dragged on, so would the amount of time that his boy would have to remain in Iraq, where hundreds of young Americans have already died. So he packed his bags and set off to Baghdad to find out for himself what was happening, and to see if there was anything he could do about it. "We havenât been getting the full story in the US," he said. "The media is covering events - shootings and bombings - but not the issues. They are not covering what is really happening to Iraqi people and to the Iraqi infrastructure and how this affects our chances of success here. Itâs very important to understand the frustration of the average Iraqi and how unhappy they are with their progress over the last eight months."
The news that his father was coming to join him in the conflict zone was a surprise for Private Lopercio. "He was utterly shocked when I called him," said Mr Lopercio. He has yet to gain permission to see his son but hopes it will come before he returns to the United States this weekend. "It took five minutes to convince him I wasnât playing a practical joke. But he was pretty excited for me. I thought he might be disapproving, but he said he thought it would be an incredible experience for me." His son was right. Mr Lopercio has found it incredible. Incredible that, eight months after the invasion and occupation began, children are still dying in Iraqi hospitals through a lack of antibiotics. Incredible that schools have no lights, no heating, no books. And incredible that, while he has been in Iraq this week, the occupation authorities have staged an expensive public relations stunt by removing the monolithic stone busts of Saddam Hussein that stood on the top of the palace in which Paul Bremer, the chief US administrator, has his headquarters. "Why the hell are they wasting money taking down those heads of Saddam from the coalition authorityâs palace when they could be spending it on something more meaningful, like bringing heat and light and medicine to Iraqi hospitals?" asks Mr Lopercio.
His mission required courage, not only because of the dangers of being an American in Iraq: his willingness to challenge his countryâs reasons for going to war, and its disastrous handling of the aftermath of the invasion, has not gone down particularly well in Arizona. He says conservative radio talk shows have begun attacking his wife, a social worker, after she gave interviews to the newspapers about his trip. "They have been reading out the interviews on the air, and giving her a hard time. Sheâs a little scared, and out of her element, to be sure." He is one of a delegation of nine family members of US soldiers and army veterans who have come to Iraq, led by the San Francisco-based human rights group Global Exchange. Most of the group opposes the occupation, while others say they simply want to see the situation for themselves.
Among the group is Billy Kelly, a 60-year-old retired New York barman who fought in Vietnam in 1967. He said: "There is not a day that goes by when I donât think about what happened there 35 years ago." He had, he said, come to check out a suspicion that what is playing out in Iraq has similarities to his own grim experience in uniform. He, too, has had a hard time for his stance, not least because he is from the city that was the principal target of the 9/11 atrocities. "Some of my friends say that Iâm a traitor. But I feel that people can accept me, or not. My hope is just that there will be a dialogue about whatâs going on. It hasnât happened yet. At the moment, we have a diatribe from one side or the other."
Anabelle Valencia, from Tucson, Arizona, had tried to visit her daughter, Giselle Valencia, who is an army truck driver stationed in Tikrit. But she was on a mission, and not at the base.
"I'll be at the front gate at noon. Make sure you have her there." isn't the best way to get her commander to cooperate with you, lady...
Another member of the group is Fernando Suarez del Solar. His son Jesus Alberto, a US Marine, was one of the first Americans to be killed in Iraq - the victim of an American cluster bomb. He has become a vocal opponent of George Bushâs policy in Iraq, denouncing the invasion as illegal and demanding the immediate withdrawal of troops. "Our mission is talking to ordinary Iraqis and US troops, figuring out why things have gone so terribly wrong and what we can do to stop the violence and bring the troops home," he said.
The delegation represents an increasingly organised minority of fifth columnists that is willing to challenge the unremitting spin from the Bush administration and from Downing Street as both governments seek to justify their operations in Iraq. The delegation has been met with a resounding lack of enthusiasm from the US military and "coalition" officials. They have been warning the media of the dangers of the visit, at the same time as trying to persuade it that most of the country is free of violence. None of that has deterred Mr Suarez del Solar. He has a mission: to visit the spot where his son died and bring home a jar of the soil into which he bled. It will be placed in a park that the boy used to visit and marked with a white rose.
I must preface my statement that I have not personally been to Iraq and all I have to rely on is the âBush spinâ on matter on the ground. But I think Mr Lopercio could have easily found a village or town that is lacking in many of the things we take for granted. Just because there is a town, hospital, or school that doesnât have EVERYTHING imaginable doesnât mean the policy is flawed. Some of these âHospitalsâ are nothing more than a glorified band-aid station. Iâll bet they didnât have the âproperâ medications before the invasion and donât have them now. I would venture to say that the Iraqi administration is not bending over backwards to make sure that Fullajah has everything it needs. They seem to have plenty of bombs and RPGs!
Mr Suarez del Solar: I canât imagine his pain but he really needs some counseling. He sounds like he is really is going over the top. Having a dozen or so people show up in Iraq will NOT cure the problems in that country. Additionally, the presence of a dozen or so Anti-War activist will not cause the U.S. to turn around and leave Iraq. To believe this really is delusional. I still suspect that this man is being used by MoveOn and Global Exchange.
P.S. I wonder how they (anti-war/U.S. gang) would feel if we paraded some 9/11 widows and some Iraqi victims in front of the camera to make our point that terrorism and Saddam are bad things? You know the answer.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) ||
12/08/2003 11:59:14 AM ||
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Mr Suarez del Solar: I canât imagine his pain but he really needs some counseling. He sounds like he is really is going over the top.
This comes as no surprise - many immigrants from Latin America are fiercely anti-American, but their children are (usually) very patriotic. (That's the beauty of America - assimilation in one generation). This is why the military has a large Hispanic contingent.
Found a description of the corporal's memorial service at Camp Pendleton's website. I hesitated to post the link, but the father comments that the *only* reason they came to the U.S. (from Mexico) was his son's desire (from the age of 10) to be a Marine. It sounds like he would have been very vulnerable to groups like Global Exchange (who suck for exploiting that vulnerability).
the occupation authorities have staged an expensive public relations stunt by removing the monolithic stone busts of Saddam Hussein
Weren't they really cast bronze?
Nitpicking, sure, but if the "reporter" can't get that kind of detail right, I wonder about his honesty. Seriously, if it was a "publicity stunt", it should have been dirt-simple to check the information.
Posted by: Robert Crawford ||
12/08/2003 13:31 Comments ||
Nitpicking, sure, but if the "reporter" can't get that kind of detail right, I wonder about his honesty.
Note that the source of this story is the Independent, another of the UK's left-wing papers.
âHe was proud to be a Marine, but he wanted to be remembered as an Aztec Warrior Marine,â Fernando Suarez del Solar, his father. âUpon graduating bootcamp he went to Tijuana and bought a small shrine of an Aztec warrior and said âfather this is me.ââ
Snellenr If Montezuma had a few more of these guys we'd be using a round calendar.
Moctezuma had thousands and thousands like him. But bravery is not a substitute for military competence and adequate weapons. At that time the Spanish soldiers were head and shoulders above the rest of Europe (eight centuries battling the Moors had sharpened their tactics). In addition wooden maces emebedded with sharpend stones were useless against Spanish armor while Toledan swords easily pierced cotton armor. Read "Carnage and culture" by Victor David Hanson for a complete discussion.
Note: I read Spanish and I have visited the site of this guy and my conclusion is that he is a fascist. He regrets the Aztecs who had the habit of sacrifying thousands and thousands people (eighty thousand in one ocacsion): the reason the Aztec empire fell to a few hundred Spanish is that everyone else hated them. But this guy loves them.
Michael Lopercio says, "they are not covering what is really happening to Iraqi people and to the Iraqi infrastructure and how this affects our chances of success here. Itâs very important to understand the frustration of the average Iraqi and how unhappy they are with their progress over the last eight months."
Well, since the guy went all the way to discover information available on a host of blogs what is his recommendation to improve things? If he visited Santiago, Chile, he might find many of the same problems.
I, personally, am banking on the Iraqis waking up out of their nightmare and beginning to get things rolling, economically. I think that will be the jewell of the Middle East within 10 years.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 18:08 Comments ||
A 150,000 strong Muslim minority sect in Bangladesh called the Ahmadiyyas is under attack from a separatist group in the country, which warns they will face dire consequences if the government does not declare them non-Muslims before Friday.
This is the way Jamaat e-Islami got its start, back in the Mother Country...
In the last two months, attacks on the Ahmadiyyas by Sunni Muslim separatist groups have intensified, especially in the southwestern district of Kustia and the northern districts of Rangpur and Jamalpur. One member of the sect was killed in the southwestern district of Jessore.
"That turban... He must be killed!"
Ninety percent of Bangladesh's 130 million population comprises Sunni Muslims.
They're the ones rolling their eyes and jumping up and down...
Hailing from the central Bangladesh region of Brahmanbaria from 1912, the Ahmadiyyas follow the same rituals as the Sunnis, apart from their belief that Imam Mehdi, the last messenger of Prophet Muhammad, has already arrived to uphold Islam as it was preached 1400 years ago. The Sunnis, on the other hand, believe Mehdi has not yet arrived.
"He'll be here. He's changing his turban right now..."
In one of the largest anti-Ahmadiyya protests last Friday, more than 30,000 separatists under the banner of the Khatme Nabuat Movement Coordination Committee (KNMCC) laid seige to an Ahmadiyya mosque in Dhaka. KNMCC President and cleric, Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan Mamtaji, "If the government ignores our demand, the anti-Ahmadiyya group would not be responsible for their fate."
"We're never responsible for our own actions..."
The cleric stresses that if the Ahmadiyyas wish to continue offering prayers in the mosque, they should run it in line with the committee's instructions.
"You'll do things our way, or you won't do them at all!"
"They cannot claim to be Muslims as they do not believe in Prophet Mohammad," thunders demonstrator Khaled Hossain while comrade Salam chants slogans of jihad (holy war), asserting that, "Nobody will stop us from eliminating the Ahmadiyyas."
The Religion of Peaceâ¢...
Reportedly, the Islamic Oiyko Jote (Islamic Alliance) â which is an alliance partner in the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party government â tacitly supports the anti-Ahmadiyya movement.
"... their belief that Imam Mehdi, the last messenger of Prophet Muhammad, has already arrived to uphold Islam as it was preached 1400 years ago. The Sunnis, on the other hand, believe Mehdi has not yet arrived."
Oh. That makes them, like, Islamic Christians. Know what that makes the Sunnis? JOOOOOOOOS.
I think that only reason they oppose the Ahmadis is because they are not stupid like the rest. Like Reid and mhw said Ahmadis can work with others for the betterment of humanity which the mullas are hell bent on destroying
Posted by: Muslim ||
12/08/2003 17:14 Comments ||
Hindu-Muslim clashes broke out overnight in a southern Indian city, killing at least five and injuring 27, officials said Sunday.
The trouble began Saturday night after Hindu activists removed a black flag that residents of a Muslim-dominated neighbourhood in Hyderabad put up to protest the destruction of a historic mosque by Hindu extremists 11 years ago.
Two people were stabbed to death, while three others were killed as police fired bullets and tear gas to stop the clashes, said Chandrababu Naidu, the elected head of Andhra Pradesh state, of which Hyderabad is the capital. At least 27 people were injured, including 19 from police gunfire, Naidu said.
The violence had subsided by Sunday morning after police imposed a curfew in several parts of the city.
Earlier Saturday, Hindu groups held peaceful rallies and meetings across the country to celebrate the Dec. 6, 1992, demolition of the 16th-century Babri Mosque in northern India.
But the situation in the Sultan Shahi area of Hyderabad became tense by late Saturday, starting with arguments and minor clashes between Hindu and Muslim residents, said K. Vijayarama Rao, the revenue minister of Andhra Pradesh.
It escalated after a Hindu mob removed the Muslimsâ protest flag, sparking violence that quickly spread to other areas after midnight, Rao said.
The clashes erupted despite heightened security. The mosqueâs destruction in 1992 triggered a year of Hindu-Muslim violence that killed 2,000 people across the country.
Hindu groups claim the mosque was built on the site of an earlier Hindu temple honouring the birthplace of their supreme god, Rama, and have pledged to build a temple at the site in the northern city of Ayodhya.
About 7,000 Hindu activists, armed with sticks and three-pronged spears, had gathered Saturday in Ayodhya to reaffirm their pledge to build the temple. Tens of thousands of police were deployed in the city and its neighbouring areas to prevent attacks.
The spears, often called tridents, are symbols of the Hindu god Shiva.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/08/2003 1:11:46 AM ||
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Hindu activist vs Islamic moderates. Don't mess with Rama. (Ramadan?)
I hate it when NGOs fart... Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Naib Ameer Prof Ghafoor Ahmad has warned against organised moves by certain western non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to spread âvulgarityâ in the name of human and womenâs rights. Speaking at the last session of a conference commemorating scholar Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi on Sunday, Mr Ahmad said that such moves were aimed at making Muslims stray from the right path. He said Islamic forces would not allow them to impose western values on Muslims.
"No titties, dammit!"
Many religious leaders and scholars from all over the Muslim world spoke on the occasion and asked the participants to pressure Islamic rulers to enforce Sharia and end slavery to America. Nazrul Hassan from Nepal said Muslims in his country were only four percent of the total population and most of them were backward. He sought scholarsâ help for translation of the Holy Quran into the Nepalese language. What better way to cure them of their backwardness?
Dr Kamal Ubaid, foreign affairs director of the ruling National Conference in Sudan, said that Islamic movements in the world must coordinate to fight challenges facing the Muslim world. He said the Islamic movements would succeed if Prophet Muhammadâs (peace be upon him) teachings were spread in the world through a well-thought-out plan.
Luckily for us, there's nothing more un-Islamic than a well-thought-out plan...
He said 9/11 was planned to destroy seven Muslim countries besides controlling Islamic movements. Afghanistan and Iraq had already been destroyed.
That leaves five to go...
He said that Islamic movements were bearing fruit in about 80 countries and this bothered capitalist countries. Ever notice that communists are all but non-existant in the countries with the most visible Islamists, like PakLand and Saudi Arabia?
Sheikh Rashid Al Ghannoshi, president of the Al Nehzat (Al Nahda) Movement in Tunisia, praised Muslim revolutionary leaders like Saiful Islam Ibne Hassan Al Banna Shaheed, Maulana Maudoodi and Imam Khomeini for fighting the West. He warned Pakistanis of a conspiracy to take them to an age similar to the pre-Islamic era of ignorance. He said former president Habib Bourgiba closed down Islamic universities, changed Islamic laws and Tunisian official language from Arabic to French, declared Heaven and Hell as mere illusions, banned polygamy, jailed women for covering their heads, promoted drinking in Ramazan and upheld that adultery was no crime. He said Mr Bourgiba imprisoned about one million Muslims. Most women wore hijab on the streets, but were banned from wearing them at work places, universities and hospitals. He said the young thronged the mosques to offer prayers in Tunisia.
Agreed. I, uh, lived by the wisdom of Mr Natural, The Fabulous Furry Freak Bros. and The Doodah Man... and admired the, um, strong legs of Imaginary Girl. Crumb was inspired - and really really screwed up. I am, of course, perfectly *drool* normal and *draggin knuckles* well-adjusted. ;-)
Afghanistan and Iraq had already been destroyed.....hey..he said it. I guess we should be heartened.
He said that Islamic movements were bearing fruit in about 80 countries and this bothered capitalist countries. Funny how it doesn't seem to bother the communist countries. I guess it's because in order to be a communist..you have to be too stupid to make the connection in the first place.
These bunch of hippocrates make me really sick. I guess your leader Qazi's kids in USA are here to learn shariat Motherfucker. NGOs in PK are really doing something positive so they are fair gamejust because a lot of them have women working for them. Look inside your own home ia all I can say to this bastard
Posted by: Muslim ||
12/08/2003 17:10 Comments ||
The Delhi police late on Sunday night shot dead two Hizbul Mujahideen militants near the Lotus Temple in south Delhi. The slain militants, identified as Hafiz Rashid and Delal, were Pakistani nationals and belonged to the Hizbulâs Pirpanjal faction, the police said.
Paks, huh? Well, that's never happened before, has it?
The special cell of the Delhi police laid a trap for them following sustained interrogation of two of their associates â Tarif Hussain and Tazim Ahmed, who were arrested from Khanpur earlier in the day.
"Ouch! Oooch! Hey! Stop that!"
More than 4 kg of RDX, 2 AK-47 rifles, four magazines, six hand grenades, 120 rounds of ammunition, two detonators and Rs 15 lakh [hundred thousand] in cash were seized from them, the police said. Although the road opposite the temple was barricaded, the militants were allowed to enter. A 20-member team encircled the park opposite the temple. As they tried to flee, we shot them dead, said a senior police officer. Two Chinese-made pistols were recovered from them. The police said they were on the hunt for another militant, Mohammed Aftab, who reportedly lives in Delhi.
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
12/08/2003 12:09:22 AM ||
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AT THE STRYKER BRIGADE BASE CAMP, Iraq - A group of Fort Lewis soldiers survived a roadside bombing Sunday a little shaken but otherwise unharmed. The explosion sent debris flying into the windshield of Spc. Jordan Salazarâs Humvee, peppering the glass with dozens of little dings. "All of a sudden it seemed like we were just covered in dirt," said Salazar, with the 864th Engineer Battalion from Fort Lewis. The battalion has been in Iraq since April with the 555th Engineer Group, operating mostly throughout northern Iraq. Salazarâs convoy was on its way to ranges at the Stryker brigadeâs sprawling base camp. He was driving the last vehicle in a convoy of about a dozen trucks and Humvees, with another soldier in the passenger seat and a half dozen more in the back.
A heavy tow truck driving in front of Salazar had just passed over the spot that blew up about 20 meters in front of him, Salazar said. Salazar said he didnât see anything unusual about the road in front of him. The explosion occurred about 8:45 a.m. just outside of Duluiyah, a town near the Tigris River between Baghdad and Tikrit. Such roadside bombs - in Army parlance, they call them improvised explosive devices, or IEDs - are a constant threat for U.S. troops traveling the roads in Iraq. The remainder of the article has descriptions of several accidents that have occured.
It seems like there might be some low-tech solution to prevent the planting of IED's on roadways used by the Army et al. For instance, why not spread a heavy, brightly colored dust on the road. A substance that's not easily dispersed by air, or inorganic materials, but bonds to organic materials (like hands, face, etc.).
Or, maybe something that is visible to different wavelengths of light, but invisible to the naked eye. So that when the hunters put on special goggles, these J.O.'s light up like an x-mas tree...
MOSUL, IRAQ â The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in conjunction with Iraqi Police Forces detained six individuals suspected of involvement in attacks on Coalition Forces during raids Dec. 7 in northern Iraq.
The divisionâs 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) detained one person wanted for attacks on Coalition Forces during a âcordon-and-knockâ South of Mosul.
Later in the day, the 1st BCT captured one person, four AK-47 assault rifle magazines, binoculars and communication headsets when a joint patrol with local police determined the house, in the town of Hammam Al Alil, was in the launch site of an rocket propelled grenade (RPG) attack that occurred the previous night.
The 2nd BCT in Mosul apprehended a man wanted for being a Fedayeen Cell leader. He is being questioned extensively.
Three more individuals were captured in Sinjar by the 3rd BCT later that night. They were sought in connection with three explosions near a U.S. camp the previous night.
Caches found or turned over by cooperative civilians included two RPG launchers, 10 RPG rounds, one 60 mm mortar tube, and one pair of night vision goggles.
American Forces Network-Iraq will begin live radio broadcasts from Baghdad this week, featuring news, weather, music, tips on Iraqâs culture and language, and other content tailored to troops in that country. "Drop the RPG and get your hands in the air"; And thatâs todayâs Iraqi Phrase Of The Day".
It will begin broadcasts to the Baghdad area on Wednesday, and hopes to extend them to other parts of Iraq by Christmas. âItâs really for the troops,â said Air Force Lt. Col. Perry Nouis, AFN-Iraqâs commander. âItâs for the guys on the front line who are doing the dirty work. âWhen troops have âŠ âthat touch of home,â programs theyâre familiar with âŠ they certainly appreciate it. âWeâre not going to be âGood Morning, Vietnamâ â Nouis said, referring to a movie about AFNâs Vietnam War broadcast operation, AFVN, âbut weâre going to be continuing that kind of service to the troops in the field.â At the start, AFN-Iraq will air two live shows daily in Baghdad on 107.7 FM, the first from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., the second from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Drive time.
The shows will originate at newly built studios in the Convention Center in Baghdad. âBut we do see that expanding,â Nouis said, âand as we go national, weâll probably have four live shows a day.â AFN-Iraq is wrapping up contract negotiations to have a satellite uplink in place so its radio broadcasts can reach other areas of Iraq with major troop concentrations, including Mosul, Tikrit, Balad, Ar Ramadi, Kirkuk and Tallil Air Base, Nouis said.
December 8, 2003 -- An Iraqi colonel has confirmed that Saddam Hussein had secret weapons of mass destruction - and revealed that front-line commanders were given warheads that could be launched against coalition forces within 45 minutes. Tap, tap...zippy!
Lt. Col. al-Dabbagh told Londonâs Telegraph he was the source of the British governmentâs claim - later repeated by President Bush - that Saddam could launch a biological or chemical attack in 45 minutes after the order was given. Click, click...
"I am the one responsible for providing that information," the colonel said. It wasnât a lie? Tap, tap...still not working.
Al-Dabbagh, 40, who successfully headed an Iraqi air defense unit in the western desert, said he provided British intelligence with the tip that Saddam possessed WMD warheads that were designed to be launched by hand-held rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
Cases of the warheads - known by Iraqi officers as "the secret weapon" - were delivered to front-line units, including his own, toward the end of last year, he said.
The 45-minute claim was included in a dossier of Saddamâs crimes that was used to justify British involvement in the war in Iraq.
President Bush repeated the claim in discussions with congressional leaders on Sept. 26, 2002, and in a radio address two days later.
I would imagine we need to give this claim a few days to see how it plays out.
Posted by: Dragon Fly ||
12/08/2003 8:10:17 AM ||
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..I want to be very careful how I phrase this.
I am extremely glad that an apparently (so far) credible source has come forward to say, "Yes, they were there." My concern is that what he's describing - from the point of view of an ex-wing wiper - sounds a bit...well, off.
Chem/bio weapons on 'hand-held rocket-propelled grenades' ? This sounds a bit like the al-Davycrockett. Under the best of circumstances, these would have been suicide weapons (though I put little past the old Iraqi leadership, and it does make sense to put chem/bio in something the inspectors weren't looking for) once the detectors started going off, and even under battlefield conditions it would'nt have been long. The other thing to keep in mind is that even under best case conditions, you are talking about an extremely limited weapon that would have (depending of course on local weather and terrain conditions) would have left only a very small (a few yards radius at best) contaminated zone. The burst charge would have had to have been extremely small - not more than a few ounces of explosive - in a very thin-skinned warhead. Given the Iraqi penchant for not doing terribly well with modified weapons, I have to wonder how well these things would have worked.
Admittedly, if we're talking about weaponized anthrax, you could have contaminated a considerably larger area - but only at the risk of killing everybody who was doing the launching, with almost zero effect against US/UK forces, who were not only traveling in a fairly advanced MOPP level, but were immunized and trained to fight and survive under literal floods of CBW weapons.
I don't doubt he had some kind of 'secret weapon' tucked away, not at all. But based on what I've seen so far, this sounds a bit off for even Saddam.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
12/08/2003 11:21 Comments ||
Should clarify - the Davy Crockett was a hand-launched (!!!)tactical nuke from the late fifties. It was designed as more of a technical exercise than a realistic weapon, but you can imagine what the guy who were going to have to use it thought of it.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
12/08/2003 11:23 Comments ||
One of the news teams whores was shown Sunday accompanying insurgents terrorists to their weapons cache. Some of the items shown were reported to be chemical RPG rounds. The reporter said they RPGs had a peculiar odor. This could get interesting if it's true.
Davy Crockett technical info:
The Davy Crockett was designed in the late 1950's primarily for frontline use by the U.S. infantry in Europe against Soviet troop formations. The weapon system used a spin-stabilized, unguided rocket fired from a recoiless rifle. It's 51-pound nuclear warhead had an explosive yield of 0.18 kilotons (equivalent to 18 tons of TNT, with an added radiation effect). As a secondary design feature, the system could also fire a conventional high-explosive round for other use, such as an anti-tank weapon. The Davy Crockett's warhead was launched from either a 120-millimeter (M-28) or 155-millimeter (M-29) recoilless rifle. The 155 millimeter version, which became the standard issue, had a maximum range of 2.49 miles and could be fired from either a ground tripod mount or from a specially designed jeep mount.
The system was deployed with U.S. Army from 1961 to 1971, and over 2,100 were produced. The W54 nuclear warhead was designed at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now the Los Alamos National Laboratory) and built by the Atomic Energy Commission. Successful test-firings of the warhead took place on July 7 and 17, 1962, at the Nevada Test Site in what were called the "Little Feller" shots. The July 17 test (using the 155 millimeter Davy Crockett) was conducted under simulated battlefield maneuvers and detonated 20 feet above ground at a distance of 1.7 miles, as planned.
Some more details on the test(s) are available at Nuclear Weapons Archive -- scroll past Operation Storax (Sedan) to Operation Sunbeam. Yields are listed as 22 tons (Little Feller I) and 18 tons (Little Feller II), so we're dropping 0's all over the place today...
A chem RPG round doesn't make any sense as a battlefield weapon, agreed. But it makes one hell of a terror weapon. Tactic: Car pulls up. lobs a couple of rounds into the lobby of a high-rise hotel or office building and scrams. Lobby is contaminated so occupants can't evacuate. At the same time, ventilation system pumps increasing concentrations of agent throughout building. Of course, Iraq would have no motivation to build such devices since they had no contacts with terror organizations like Al Qaeda ;-)
the fact they had a certain smell makes them sound ...well, a little.... leaky lol
Posted by: Frank G ||
12/08/2003 13:21 Comments ||
Most of Iraq's WMD programs had more to do with terror or genocide than battlefield use. They worked on weaponized aflatoxin because it causes genetic damage that shows up in the victim's kids; it's worthless for killing troops. They worked on weaponizing rusts and smuts (crop diseases) so they could induce famines.
Sarin RPGs aren't that surprising in light of that focus. And while I take anything a reporter says about weapons with a block of salt, if they were told they saw chemical RPG rounds, I'd believe they were told that.
Posted by: Robert Crawford ||
12/08/2003 13:46 Comments ||
Obviously we don't know much about the weapon itself (we assume it was a rudimentary chem or bio), but I think that if I had been an anti American Iraqi who understood chemical weapons I certainly wouldn't have fired these weapons because they would likely have killed lots more Iraqis than Americans.
The smell was from the armpits of the Saddamites.
The guy who discovered prussic acid had the time to write: "Prussic acid smells of bitter almonds" and he fell dead. Sarin and similar milatary gasses are MUCH more toxic than prussic acid. And most of them have no smell, at least not at non-lethal concentrations.
Once you issue a chemical RPG, how are you sure that it won't be launched into a Sadaam palace or the local Baath headquarters. Sadaam would be too paranoid to issue a chem weapon to anyone that didn't have a last name like Tikriti.
As for really bad weapons - my favorite is the Subroc. Which creates a radioactive tidal wave 12 miles away.
I also liked "Blip Enhanse" which would make a small ship look like a high value unit. Upkeep of a that system would be a low priority. Taking one for the team is over-rated.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 21:37 Comments ||
Hungry elephants have gone on the rampage in eastern Thailand, ransacking villagersâ plantations and forcing sugarcane trucks to stop so they can raid their goods, a report said yesterday. Dry-season shortages have forced the 130 elephants from Ang Lue Nai wildlife sanctuary, which sprawls over five provinces, to seek food and water in nearby settlements, the sanctuaryâs chief Yoo Senatham told the Bangkok Post.
Yoo said the elephants had learned to pick up sugarcane dropped by drivers who took pity on them, but that the practice had taught them dangerous new habits. He told the daily of incidents where the leader of the herd had stood in the road to block the vehicle while the others unloaded the produce with their trunks. Remember the Special Forces elephant story a couple of weeks ago? These guys seem to have mastered the ambush portion of the handbook.
I say we send the commando elephants to sort out the bandit elephants.
Posted by: Patrick Phillips ||
12/08/2003 14:40 Comments ||
Elephants ("chahn") are almost sacred in TL - certainly revered. They're just trying to survive. As this just broke today, I'll bet the Thai Gov't jumps on it. Buying appropriate food and trucking in water would be a cheap deal for all the goodwill and positive publicity. Politicians are the same everywhere. I just hope the elephants will go back peacefully... it's hard to keep 'em on the farm once they've seen the bright lights and all that.
Itâs the Phillipines, youâve got to make sure. EFL:Galib Andang, popularly known as Commander Robot, was caught after a gun battle between the rebels and the military on Sunday in southern Jolo island following a public tip-off as to his whereabouts. After Mr Andang was transported to the southern city of Zamboanga, he was reported to have been verbally abused by a crowd of onlookers, and even attacked by one of his former kidnap victims. "Take that!" "WACK" "Ouch!"
He was given treatment at Zamboanga airbase for treatment to wounds sustained during the gun fight. He had been shot in both legs. Thatâll make running away difficult.
Philippines President Gloria Arroyo hailed his capture as "another heavy blow to the Abu Sayyaf". He was due to be taken to Manila on Monday, where he faces charges punishable by death. Thatâs right, Gloria reinstated the death penalty. Should come in handy.
THE Abu Sayyaf leader known as Commander Robot was planning another kidnapping when he was captured in Sunday's shoot-out, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff said Monday. "He surfaced supposedly to coordinate and plan another kidnapping. He had plans to conduct kidnappings again in Jolo," General Narciso Abaya told reporters. "It's greed," Abaya said. "H had gotten a lot of money but it seems his need for money was endless because of his many wives."
Reports are he has three wives, no info on how many credit cards he's paying off. I'd use this line as a defense during his trial, and try to get as many married men on the jury as possible.
Southern Command chief Lieutenant General Roy Kyamko told reporters in Zamboanga City that Robot might lose both his legs "because his feet are seriously affected and the damage brought about by bullet wounds requires immediate amputation."
As a double amputee, does he qualify for "Mullah Robot" status?
A senior Muslim guerrilla commander who was captured in a gunfight with soldiers was providing valuable intelligence that could lead to the arrest of remaining Abu Sayyaf rebels, the Philippine military said Monday. Andang was reportedly cooperative with military investigators. Abaya said that during a flight to Manila, Andang allegedly confessed to having received $181,000 in ransom for the release of the Sidapan hostages. "We're banking on the validity of the information being shared with us by Commander Robot," military spokesman Lt. Col. Daniel Lucero. "Hopefully, he will cooperate with us fully, maybe this might also mitigate cases filed against him." He refused to elaborate, saying only: "We will see to it that the information will definitely be exploited so that once and for all we can already solve the problem of terrorism being conducted by the Abu Sayyaf."
Got him doped up for the pain, makes him happy and cooperative.
Two jailed for McDonaldâs blast
From correspondents in Jakarta
December 08, 2003
AN Indonesian court on Monday jailed two Muslim militants for 3 1/2 years - can they extract information while these âmilitantsâ are in the slammer - , for harbouring one of the people who bombed a McDonaldâs restaurant at Makassar in South Sulawesi province last December.
Judges in Makassar ruled that Syaifullah Amir and Muhammad Amir were guilty of harboring convicted bomber Anton Labasse, the state Antara news agency said.
Labasse himself was jailed for eight years in October for the December 5, 2002, bombings in Makassar.
eight years eh. well it was only murder
The attack at the McDonaldâs restaurant killed three people while another at a car showroom caused no casualties.
Judges said Labasse had told the two that he was wanted by police for his involvement in the attacks but they failed to report him, Antara reported.
After Yazid Sufaat was arrested crossing the Thai border into his native Malaysia nearly two years ago, U.S. officials wanted to learn all they could from him.
They knew the 38-year-old former Malaysian army captain had allowed two of the Sept. 11 hijackers to stay at his condominium near Kuala Lumpur for a crucial al-Qaida meeting in January 2000. They knew he had offered similar hospitality to alleged Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.
Now, just days before Sufaat could be eligible for release under his nationâs laws, senior U.S. counterterrorism and intelligence officials say new evidence leads them to believe Sufaat may have been more than just an associate of key al-Qaida figures in Southeast Asia: They say Sufaat may have played an important role in al-Qaidaâs attempts to develop biological and chemical weapons.
And they think he can answer crucial questions about how close al-Qaida was to attaining those weapons before U.S.-led forces destroyed the groupâs sanctuary in Afghanistan. Those questions grow more pressing each day, as senior U.S. counterterrorism officials now see a biological or chemical attack by al-Qaida inside the U.S. as possibly the nationâs biggest domestic terrorism threat.
But U.S. access to Sufaat has been sharply limited, officials say, at least in part because of strained relations between Malaysia and the U.S. and growing tensions in the region over the war on terrorism. At the same time, U.S. officials are jittery because Sufaat will be eligible for release in a couple of days. Snip.
Sufaat, who graduated from a California university with a degree in biological sciences, has been jailed by the Malaysians since attempting to return from Afghanistan via the Thai border on Dec. 9, 2001. The Malaysians had been looking for him since almost immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.
They knew Sufaat had played host to Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, when they attended an al-Qaida meeting in Malaysia 20 months before the 2001 suicide hijackings. Malaysian security services had filmed and tracked the meetingâs attendees at the CIAâs request.
The Malaysians also learned, based on information unearthed by the FBI, that Moussaoui, the only person charged in the U.S. as a conspirator in the Sept. 11 attacks, had stayed at Sufaatâs apartment in October 2000 before he came to the U.S. for flight training.
When Moussaoui was arrested on immigration charges about four weeks before Sept. 11, the FBI found a letter signed by Sufaat among Moussaouiâs possessions, records show. It stated that Moussaoui was the U.S. marketing consultant for a Malaysian company, InFocus Tech, which was partially owned by Sufaatâs wife.
Sufaat was jailed under Malaysiaâs Internal Security Act, a controversial law that has been used, much to the dismay of the U.S. and other nations, to lock up political prisoners. The law allows the Malaysian authorities to hold people without charges for up to two years if they are deemed to be potential national security threats - meaning Sufaatâs term would expire Tuesday, unless it is renewed.
Sufaat has been held with other alleged militants at the Kamunting Detention Center, about 150 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. Snip.
The Malaysians said Sufaat had served for about six months in a "Taliban medical brigade" in Afghanistan before returning to Malaysia, although they would later say he provided his Malaysian interrogators with some valuable information on terror operations in the region.
It was nearly a year before the FBI got access to Sufaat at Kamunting. Agents were allowed to conduct a brief interview with him in November 2002, and Malaysian interrogators later provided the U.S. with some follow-up information. As limited as it was, the U.S. questioning of Sufaat drew sharp criticism from Malaysiaâs main Islamic parties.
After that, Sufaat was largely forgotten - until this fall.
On Aug. 12, after the bombing of a Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, a joint U.S.-Thai operation led to the capture of Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, who was the alleged operational leader in Southeast Asia for an al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist network.
U.S. intelligence officials placed Hambali at the center of the planning for the Jakarta blast, as well as a deadly October 2002 attack at a nightclub on Bali, which killed more than 200 people. After his capture, Hambali was taken into U.S. custody and whisked to an undisclosed location for interrogations.
U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials said he began cooperating almost immediately, allowing them to thwart planned attacks in the region and break up terrorist cells. Within a few weeks, Hambali also allegedly began talking about al-Qaidaâs efforts to develop chemical and biological weapons, according to senior U.S. officials.
Those revelations resonated with senior U.S. counterterrorism officials. At the time they were developing separate intelligence suggesting that al-Qaida had put off plans to conduct small-scale operations in the U.S., fearing they would prompt a security crackdown that would make it impossible to execute a bigger, mass-casualty attack on par with Sept. 11, according to senior U.S. officials.
The biggest fear, then and now, these officials say, is that such a plan has remained undetected and would involve chemical or biological weapons. Snip.
A U.S. intelligence official also said, "There is always room for us to learn more, and we believe that he can provide those answers" about al-Qaidaâs alleged chemical and biological weapons program.
This intelligence official also said the notion that Sufaat played a role in al-Qaidaâs development of chemical and biological weapons "is right on."
Malaysians, Indonesians and others in the region have been seeking access to Hambali, the senior U.S. official said, in exchange for more access to the information on militants theyâre holding, and neither side has been satisfied with the access theyâre getting. The U.S. has been reluctant to provide even its closest allies with access to top al-Qaida captives.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/08/2003 1:17:44 AM ||
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Remember the ghost armada of 20 Al-Qaeda ships? Story disappeared, much like the ships, a long time ago.
Now thereâs a report (hat tip: Jihad Watch) that one of those ships was ready to set off a dirty bomb in London.
Granted, the report is in WorldNetDaily, not exactly a bastion of rigorously fact-checked stories. Also, no other references to this on Google News. BUT, the incident referred to in the article -- the interception and search of the MV Nisha -- did happen.
A string of recent arrests of terror suspects has shown that Al Qaeda and groups linked to it have established a network across Europe that is moving recruits into Iraq to join the insurgency against American and allied forces, European intelligence and law enforcement officials said this week.
Over the past year, the officials estimate, the network of recruiters working in at least six European countries â Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Britain and Norway â has assisted hundreds of young men trying to get to Iraq. The network provided high quality fake documents, training, money, and infiltration routes into the country, the officials said. My guess is that this network is al-Tawhid, which in of itself is part of al-Qaeda the same way that JI is. And Norway is where Mullah Krekar hangs his hat ...
They said the evidence indicated that the campaign to recruit young militant Muslims for Iraq had become better organized and coordinated in recent months. When Binny issued the call to arms ...
According to an investigating judge in Italy, the new network is building on an underground that helped smuggle fighters out of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the fall of 2001, when Taliban and Qaeda forces were routed by American-led allied troops. But since the end of last year the flow of recruits, including young men from Europe and North Africa, has turned toward the new front in Iraq, the judge said. "In August and September people were approaching the borders of Iraq, in Turkey and Syria," he said. "These people got very close and itâs very easy for them to slip in."
An Italian investigation of a terrorist group with links to Al Qaeda led to the arrest of three men in Italy and Germany last week. Two of the men who were arrested in Milan were accused of providing false passports and money to the network for Iraq. Six men arrested in northern Italy in April were also accused of aiding the recruiting operation.
Officials in Italy said the conclusions emerging from their case were supported by investigations in other European countries.
"We have seen an intensification of movement by people who are under investigation," said Armando Spataro, coordinator of terrorism investigations at Milanâs Justice Department. "They were going to Iraq or to training camps. We have seen that movement across Europe." Interesting ... where are the camps?
The evidence gathered by Italian investigators indicates that fighters entering Iraq from Italy have been active in recent attacks on coalition forces there, Italian judicial and military officials said. One official said there was evidence that a recruit from Italy, Morchidi Kamal, was involved in the October rocket attack on the Rashid hotel in Baghdad, where the American assistant defense secretary, Paul D. Wolfowitz, was staying at the time. If thatâs true, the Wolfowitz hit and the subsequent 4 booms were in all likelihood an al-Qaeda attack, with all the staples of the network.
Fake Italian documents recovered in Iraq, including passport photos and identity cards, suggest that three recruits from Italy died there, the officials said. However, Mr. Spataro said he had not seen conclusive evidence that recruits from Italy had died in suicide bombings in Iraq.
It is not clear how significant a role foreign terror recruits may have in the surge of violence in Iraq. President Bush and L. Paul Bremer III, the American administrator in Iraq, have said that "jihadists" and foreign terrorists have entered the country. But American military leaders there say they have not seen signs of a large influx of foreign fighters. They say that about 300 people of 5,000 prisoners in Iraq are holding non-Iraqi passports.
"It is not correct to say that there are floods of foreign fighters coming in, or thousands," said Gen. John P. Abizaid, commander of allied troops in the region. General Abizaid and other allied military leaders said the insurgency was led by Iraqis still loyal to Saddam Husseinâs toppled government.
According to several European intelligence officials, the Italian investigation is one of several inquiries in Europe into recruitment of fighters for Iraq. German officials said Thursday that they had opened an investigation into recruiting activities after the arrest in a Munich train station on Tuesday of an Iraqi man, identified as Mohamed L., 29, suspected of aiding 12 people who traveled to Iraq. The arrest is not related to the Milan cell, Italian officials said today.
"Almost all Western European countries have been touched by recruiting," Mr. Spataro said. "It also means that the investigators must travel around more, back and forth."
Investigators in several European countries, including Italy, Germany and Britain, have focused on the participation in Iraq recruitment of a terrorist organization named Al Tawhid. The group is led by Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian who collaborated with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and has been implicated by American and European intelligence agencies in recent terror attacks in Jordan. Funny just how often Zarqâs name seems to come up these days, ainât it?
American officials, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, have also linked Mr. Zarqawi and his organization with Ansar al-Islam, a militant Islamic group based in Kurdish northern Iraq that is affiliated with Al Qaeda.
Italian investigators say documents and address books captured from a leader of Ansar showed that the group was in communication with Mr. Zarqawi and also with several of the suspects who are in jail in Milan. The investigators also believe that a satellite telephone used to call recruits in Milan from northern Iraq had been used by Mr. Zarqawi.
Last Friday, on the same day the two suspects were arrested in Milan, the German police in Hamburg, acting on an Italian warrant, arrested a third man, Abderazek Mahdjoub, 30. Italian officials have charged that Mr. Mahdjoub is a top figure in the Tawhid network, in charge of coordinating the movement of fighters from Europe to Iraq.
Also named in the most recent warrant is an Iraqi Kurd identified as Muhammad Majid, also known as Mullah Fuad, who is 32. A former resident of Italy who Italian authorities believe is a high-ranking militant in Ansar, he remains at large and is believed to be in Syria. Somebodyâs got some explaining to do ...
Transcripts of wiretaps printed in the warrant include calls Mr. Majid made to Italy in March asking that Tawhid members there send volunteers for suicide missions.
In a conversation with one of the men arrested in April, Mr. Majid asked him to recruit terminally ill men who would be willing to carry out suicide attacks.
The man replied, "I have one of them. He is sick. He is already sick and tired. There are also other people who are ready."
According to German and Italian officials, Mr. Mahdjoub, the Tawhid leader, traveled to Syria in March for a meeting with Mr. Majid. The purpose of Mr. Mahdjoubâs trip was to check up on progress on moving recruits from Syria into Iraq, the officials said.
"Mahdjoub not only sent people, he went himself like a boss who goes to check up and make sure everything is working correctly before coming back," said the Italian judicial investigator.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/08/2003 1:08:47 AM ||
Top|| File under:
People forget - Iraq has one of the longest traditions of a secular civil society in that region, as well as submission to (military) authority. And they are also a bit more insular - so sending in the Jihadi's from the -stan's and such isnt a very smart move - they are much more likely to be ratted out by the locals.
Much easier to deal with them when they pull themselves into the open, and are foreigners in the population, instead of us digging them out of their home country.
They keep bringing them, we keep killing them.
Its almost as unsporting as spotlighting deer...
The big problem left now is Syria. And we ought to be cruising a carrirer up and down the cost near Damascus, and wake Assad up. Run a couple high speed sonic booms over Damascus at 3 AM as a reminder.
Yeap,they keep sending the rats in and the Coallition keeps kicking them into a big black hole,never to be seen agin.
Pulling funds and bodies from the Afgan front would seem to indicate a serious strain on AL-q's resources.
That carrier should be escorting an MEU maybe 2.
Wouldn't even have to be a full blown invasion force.Stageing raids into Syria(blowing power stations,railroads,bridges and devestating raids on Syrian military would do the trick.
It looks like Pres. Bush's instinctive taunt "Bring 'em on!" was a strategic masterstroke. Not only did it attract the prey to a well-armed & protected trap, it gave Western intelligence agencies a much better opportunity to infiltrate and track the network of Islamic radicals in Europe and elsewhere.
Krekar can't have an accident in Norway; Norway is an ally and wouldn't look too kindly on sponsored accidents.
Perhaps Krekar could win the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, but he has to come to Gitmo Florida to claim the money.
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/08/2003 11:49 Comments ||
Krekar hasn't annoyed the Norweigans quite enough yet for THEM to ensure he has an 'accident', but he's working on it. All the Norweigans have to do is to chain Krekar's ankle to the remains of a 1955 Volvo, and drop it into one of their deep fjiords before the big freeze. Pick a nice, deep one - 500-1000 feet deep. Let him complain until the water closes over his head. I'm sure the Norweigans have a group specifically trained to carry out such activities.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
12/08/2003 12:36 Comments ||
Hmm ... didn't some jihadi say that Europeans (I know it was at least Brits) cost 20 times the import cost of a local?
Posted by: Lu Baihu ||
12/08/2003 18:14 Comments ||
During the muslim holy month of Ramadan, three senior Qaeda representatives allegedly held a secret meeting in Afghanistan with two top Taliban commanders. The confab took place in mid-November in the remote, Taliban-controlled mountains of Khowst province near the Pakistan border, a region where Al Qaeda has found it easy to operateâfrequently even using satellite phones despite U.S. surveillance.
At that meeting, according to Taliban sources, Osama bin Ladenâs men officially broke some bad news to emissaries from Mullah Mohammed Omar, the elusive leader of Afghanistanâs ousted fundamentalist regime. Their message: Al Qaeda would be diverting a large number of fighters from the anti-U.S. insurgency in Afghanistan to Iraq. Al Qaeda also planned to reduce by half its $3 million monthly contribution to Afghan jihadi outfits.
All this was on the orders of bin Laden himself, the sources said. Why? Because the terror chieftain and his top lieutenants see a great opportunity for killing Americans and their allies in Iraq and neighboring countries such as Turkey, according to Taliban sources who complain that their own movement will suffer. (Though certainly not as much as Washington would like: last week Taliban guerrillas killed a U.N. census worker in an ambush, and a rocket struck near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul only hours after a visit by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.) Bin Laden believes that Iraq is becoming the perfect battlefield to fight the âAmerican crusadersâ and that the Iraqi insurgency has been â100 percent successful so far,â according to a Taliban participant at the mid-November meeting who goes by the nom de guerre Sharafullah.
Fluent in Arabic, Sharafullah tells NEWSWEEK he acted as the meetingâs official translator. He has proved to be a reliable source in previous stories. Prior to 9/11, he was Mullah Omarâs translator in face-to-face meetings with bin Laden. And Sharafullah has translated correspondence between the two leaders. Another Taliban source separately confirmed that the meeting occurred, and he corroborated other parts of Sharafullahâs account. Snip.
Sharafullah described the Qaeda-Taliban meeting while sitting down openly with a NEWSWEEK reporter at a tea shop in Peshawarâs Kissakhani bazaar. Thatâs not unusual: Afghan Taliban officials often move freely in Pakistani cities despite President Pervez Musharrafâs vows to crack down. Even Mullah Omar himself, who has been sought by U.S. forces for two years, may be operating inside Pakistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told NEWSWEEK in an interview on Nov. 28. âMullah Omar was spotted praying in a mosque in Quetta 10 days ago,â Karzai said. âThis is the first time I have said this publicly.â Karzai alleged that Taliban rebels were getting support in PakistanâQuetta has become their main base, he saidâand he asked Musharraf to stop Pakistani Islamic groups from providing sanctuary. (âIt is a lie that Mullah Omar is in Pakistan,â retorted Pakistan Information Minister Sheik Rashid Ahmed.)
Sharafullah, smartly dressed in a shalwar kameez, wool sweater and black boots, said bin Laden was represented at the Ramadan meeting by three Arabs in their mid-40s who were armed with new Kalashnikovs and bedecked in hand grenades. The Arabs informed Mullah Omarâs two representativesâone a former cabinet minister and the other a senior Taliban military commanderâthat bin Laden believed Al Qaeda had to widen the scope of its anti-infidel efforts as new opportunities arose. According to Sharafullah, the Qaeda representatives quoted bin Laden as saying, âThe spilling of American blood is easy in Iraq. The Americans are drowning in deep, rising water.â Many Qaeda men are keen to go to Iraq, bin Ladenâs delegates at the meeting allegedly added, and they again quoted âthe sheikâ as saying: âIâm giving men who are thirsty a chance to drink deeply.â
Bin Laden, they said, had also decided to âreorganize the distribution of fundingâ by reducing Al Qaedaâs monthly payment to the Afghan resistance from $3 million to $1.5 million, according to Sharafullah. Bin Ladenâs men pointed out that raising and distributing funds has been complicated by the U.S. crackdown on jihadi charitable foundations, bank accounts of terror-related organizations and money transfers. Nonetheless, bin Laden wanted to âassureâ the Afghan resistance that it would receive the promised amount. âWe will never leave you alone,â the terror chief allegedly said through his representatives.
Judging from bin Ladenâs taped messages over the years, his strategy has always been to sap Americaâs will and drive U.S. troops out of Arab lands altogether. While it remains unclear how well bin Laden is still able to direct or coordinate his far-flung cells and franchises, the most recent audiotaped message attributed to him, in October, calls on young Muslims to fight a holy war in Iraq. The New York Times reported Saturday that Qaeda operatives are also heading to Iraq from Europe. Some key Taliban sources claim there are more than 1,000 Qaeda fighters, military trainers and advisers who work closely with the Afghan resistance. These sources say at least one third of these Qaeda militants are now being sent to the Mideast. Mohammad Amir, a 32-year-old Taliban intelligence agent in Pakistan, says that of some 350 Qaeda fighters who operated out of Waziristan, an unregulated tribal area of Pakistan, nearly one half have already pulled out and headed for Iraq and neighboring countries.
The Taliban sources paint a portrait of a Qaeda network that has found new ways to operate, despite a U.S. dragnet in Central and South Asia. U.S. officials adamantly deny they have skimped on resourcesâintelligence or militaryâin that region. But there is evidence that the diversion of U.S. attention to Iraq has given Al Qaeda some breathing room, and that U.S. dependence on Pakistani troops and Afghan warlords is proving inadequate, perhaps even counter-productive, against the terror network. Over the past year, NEWSWEEK has learned, the CIA and British intelligence have been at odds over how badly the Taliban and Al Qaeda were damaged in the region. âThe British were more prone to say the Taliban and Al Qaeda were coming back,â says a U.S. official who is privy to intel discussions, and who believes the Bush administration downplayed the threat in order to switch its focus to Iraq.
Many Qaeda operatives appear to be traveling to the Mideast via the long, overland route through Iran. But the Bush administration, preoccupied with Iraq, has been reluctant to take a harder line toward Iran over its role as a terrorist haven. âThe Iranians and some Arab countries like Syria are breathing easier because the United States is bogged down in Iraq,â says one âArab ambassador to Washington. Abdullah Ramezanzadeh, an Iranian government spokesman, says Tehran is arresting Qaeda suspects, but he notes that âbefore we consider Americaâs best interests, we have to consider our own peopleâs interests.â
Iran is an ideal transit station for Al Qaeda because it borders Afghanistan and Pakistan to its west and Iraq and Turkey to its east. Abdul Alkozai, a portly, black-turbaned Taliban intelligence and logistical officer along the Pakistani-Afghan border, says that two months ago bin Laden ordered 24 Qaeda-affiliated Turkish fighters to withdraw from Waziristan and head home to Turkey, also through Iran. Bin Laden has also dispatched some of his key senior aides to the Iraqi front over the past months. Three months ago he ordered Abdel Hadi al Iraqi, an Iraqi Baathist who fell out with Saddam in the 1980s and later became a Qaeda training-camp commander in Khowst, to leave bin Ladenâs hideout in northeastern Afghanistan and head to Iraq, Taliban sources say.
Mullah omar has been dismayed by the apparent redirection of Qaeda forces, these same sources say. According to Sharafullah, bin Ladenâs representatives at the November meeting counseled the Taliban to unite the Afghan resistance. The Qaeda leader urged the Taliban to coordinate with the other main anti-U.S. and anti-Karzai guerrilla outfits, which are run by Afghan warlords Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Saed Akbar Agha.
Mullah Omarâs official spokesman, Hamid Agha, denied to NEWSWEEK in a satellite-telephone interview that the Taliban had financial or military problems. âWe have enough money to fund our resistance,â he said from an undisclosed location. The resurgent Taliban say they have been buoyed by an influx of hundreds of former Taliban fighters into their ranks over the past year. Many have rejoined because local warlords allied with U.S. forces and Karzai have persecuted them in their villages, both Taliban and U.S. intel sources say. âThese repressive, pro-American warlords have been our best recruiting tool,â says Rahman Hotaki, a former Transport Ministry official and now a Taliban operative in Waziristan. âWarlords are pushing people to leave the warmth of their blankets at home and join us in our caves.â Hotaki admits that the departure of Qaeda trainers will hurt the Taliban. âWe need more, not fewer, Qaeda experts, especially in explosives and other military technologies,â he says. âWe canât fight without foreign financial support.â But if bin Ladenâs Taliban allies are to be believed, the Qaeda leader may no longer be sympathetic to their entreaties. It appears that he, like his mortal enemy George W. Bush, may be seeking to make Iraq center stage in the war on terror.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/08/2003 12:57:40 AM ||
Top|| File under:
...the Qaeda representatives quoted bin Laden as saying, âThe spilling of American blood is easy in Iraq. The Americans are drowning in deep, rising water.â
bin Laden evidently believes that America is still haunted by the spectre of Mogadishu and will give up and go home if only enough U.S. casualties can be generated.
What really galls me is that he very likely gets most of his reinforcement for this belief from our very own Democratic presidential candidates. If I were bin Laden, or Saddam, I would be very, very encouraged indeed by what I've been hearing lately from the likes of John Kerry, Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich: I would conclude that yes, the Americans are losing their nerve! It's working, so let's kill more Americans!
And what galls me even more is, I think the Democrats know perfectly well this is the effect they have on the enemy and they don't give a shit.
Posted by: Dave D. ||
12/08/2003 6:16 Comments ||
Budget cuts. Statements that funding is sufficient. Sounds like the opposite. Maybe we're stemming the flow of funds, finally.
"Fluent in Arabic, Sharafullah tells NEWSWEEK he acted as the meetingâs official translator. He has proved to be a reliable source in previous stories. Prior to 9/11, he was Mullah Omarâs translator in face-to-face meetings with bin Laden. And Sharafullah has translated correspondence between the two leaders."
Why do they need a translator? I understand that OBL is an Arab and Mullomar is an Afghan (Pashtun?), but don't you think OBL learned to speak Pashto (or Dari or whatever Mullomar speaks) in his long years in Afghanistan? This sounds fishy to me.
...Who's the rep who is speaking for Binny - Jonathan Edwards?
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
12/08/2003 11:25 Comments ||
Translator isn't necessarily fishy. Binny may have a working knowledge of the local language, but he'd want a translator to make sure they got the nuances right in these meetings. He may also use the extra time to consider a response during the translation process even if he understands what's going on - my sister had a Venezualan father-in-law who liked that trick even though he understood English fairly well.
I say, keep interviewing 'em and let them spittleate or whatever they do. Get the coords and pop them. Unfortunately, they probably have already learned that trick. Even popping the translater will hurt. Somehow, we need to deny them sanctuary and go on the offensive. But of course, its Packland or the burbs of Packland, so all bets are off. Very frustrating.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
12/08/2003 20:14 Comments ||
If Sadaam is running around with more than $100M at the lowest estimate, why would he need 1.5M from UBL?
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 21:41 Comments ||
Bad right wing apparatus! Bad! No cookie!
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton said Sunday that she was right to tell U.S. troops that Americans back home were starting to doubt President Bushâs handling of the war in Iraq, calling complaints that her comments undermined military morale "the latest flaming charge by the right wing."
Perhaps someday, someone will have the pleasure of telling Hillary's campaign workers that they're going to lose, and lose big. Probably Hillary won't even get an invitation to President Rice's inauguration...
"Let me correct the record. It didnât happen," Clinton told CBSâs "Face the Nation."
"Nope. Nope. Never happened. Nope."
"I know thatâs the latest flaming charge by the right wing, but thatâs not what happened." Please tell me where I can sign up for the âflaming right wing" LOL
The top Democrat claimed instead that she was merely responding truthfully to a question from a soldier with the 10th Mountain Division when she told him, "There are questions being raised about the administrationâs policies." Yes troops always ask political questions while deployed in a hostile area. In Hillaryâs world they do.
Appearing on NBCâs "Meet the Press," Clinton blamed a "right-wing apparatus" for the firestorm over her remarks. "You know, I find it so interesting that this has now become an issue, largely fueled by a lot of the talk shows and the other sort of right-wing apparatus. What I said is what I believe."
"Whether it's rational or not. It wasn't the troops I was interested in, anyway. It was the money men back home..."
"These young men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, theyâre on the Internet, they get the media, they know very well there is a debate about our policies," she explained, overlooking persistent reports that troops are concerned over distorted press coverage of their mission in Iraq. Coming out of CNN, ABC, CBS, PBS, Etc.
But Sen. Clinton insisted, "From my perspective, it is fully appropriate in talking with our soldiers to have that kind of conversation with them." Her defense prompted "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert to ask, "Are you outta your friggin' mind? But if someone suggests youâre undercutting morale by criticizing the commander in chief to these soldiers in Iraq, it doesnât trouble you?"
"Have you no shame, madame?"
"Well, I donât think thatâs what I did," Clinton shot back. And then she hit him with her riding crop.
"First of all, from my perspective, answering a direct question by an American soldier who knows very well that in previous conflicts in our country we didnât always support our troops" was the right thing to do.
"We didn't support our troops before, so why should I bother supporting them now? What do they matter?"
The top Democrat then accused the Bush administration of not supporting the troops with adequate supplies, complaining, "We havenât given them enough body armor. We didnât give them enough armored Humvees. We didnât do what was necessary to give our men and women on the ground the full support that they deserve." This shrew never stops giving me ammo for which to fire at her. She know damn well (now) that her comments were out of bounds for an ELECTED member of the Senate. This continuing charge of conspiracy just shows how out of touch with reality she really is. I might add that I donât know ANY member of the Armed forces that would even think of asking such a question to a member of Congress. This was also true when Her wife was the President. Her defense shows she know NOTHING about the military and how the view the civilian leaders. How cowardly of her to hide behind some mythical 10th MTN DIV Soldier. If these are your words defend them on YOUR on merit or admit you were wrong.
I guess she got the point that saying "right-wing conspiracy" made her sound like a complete nutjob, so she decided to say "right-wing apparatus" instead.
Her belief hasn't changed, just the vocabulary.
"We havenât given them enough body armor. We didnât give them enough armored Humvees. We didnât do what was necessary to give our men and women on the ground the full support that they deserve."
It's nice to see her using the first-person plural in this case, considering HER HUSBAND had eight years to properly equip the military and, apparently, failed to do so.
Posted by: Robert Crawford ||
12/08/2003 16:27 Comments ||
Hill probably had Cyber Sarge in mind while talking with Tim Russert.
And then she hit him with her broom riding crop.
...she was merely responding truthfully to a question from a soldier with the 10th Mountain Division: "How was your turkey dinner, Senator" ....when she told him, "There are questions being raised about the administrationâs policies." Is she dissing Andrew Sullivan? I hope Andrew sees it way. Hill ain't seen a flame until Sullivan turns up the butane.
It's all harassment from just a few straight-laced ultra-conservatives, though, isn't it?
Cannot think of HRC but be reminded of a guy I used to work with. Sloppy clothes, scraggly read beard, foot-long ponytail, aging hippie, right? Also NRA Life Member, and if you looked close his coffecup read, "Charter Member -- Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy".
Ya gotta admit, it feels pretty good when Hillary complains about the reaction to her treasonous remarks. Gotta love it when liberals can't stand the reaction to their politicking: they go inot hiding and they deny what they said is what they meant. Almost better than sex.
I guess it is also a form of denial: I said that? That isn't what I meant!
In my experience soldiers are discouraged from bringing up controversial topics at VIP visits. It's unlikely that a soldier will do anything to embarass his or her command intentionally - not fearing reprisals but because soldiers and sailors care about their units and want visitors to leave with a positive impression.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 18:16 Comments ||
Hillary can't get ANYTHING right. It's not the "right wing apparatus" at all: it's the North American Militia, a hardened group of near-anarchists who revere personal freedom above all else, view ANYONE that runs for public office with jaundice, and have but one goal in life: reduce politics to a local game, played by local people, with local rules and local control. Can't tell you how many members they have - one thing they hate is any form of control, including membership, identification cards, 'leaders', and all that other government-induced imposition on liberty. Membership is an individual decison, and is open to anyone who lives north of the Darien swamps.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
12/08/2003 18:16 Comments ||
That's she back to blaming the right wing boogymen is to assure that the PR value of her flight to Iraq doesn't simply flame out, but rather goes down in a brilliant blaze of glory for all to see.
When President Bush delivers a speech recognizing the centenary of heavier-than-air-powered flight December 17, it is expected that he will proffer a bold vision of renewed space flight, with at its center a return to the moon, perhaps even establishment of a permanent presence there. If he does, it will mean that he has decided the United States should once again become a space-faring nation. For more than 30 years Americaâs manned space program has limited itself to low Earth orbit; indeed, everyone under the age of 31 â more than 125 million Americans â was born since an American last set foot on the moon.
The speech will come at a time when events are converging to force some important decisions about the future of American efforts in space. China has put a man in orbit, plans a launch of three Sinonauts together, and has announced its own lunar program. The space shuttle is grounded, and its smaller sibling, the "orbital space plane," may not be built. The International Space Station, behind schedule, over budget, and of limited utility, has been scaled back post-Columbia.
The content of the speech does not appear to be in doubt; the only question is timing. While those who have formulated it have argued that it be delivered on the anniversary of the Wright Brothersâ first powered flight, there exists a slight possibility that it will instead be incorporated in the State of the Union address at the end of January. This has its own, less triumphant, significance, which is in the form of a chilling coincidence. Every American who has died in a spacecraft has done so within one calendar week: The Apollo 204 fire on January 27, 1967; the Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986; and the loss of Columbia on February 1, 2003.
If the president goes ahead with the plan to announce an ambitious new program to carry Americans beyond Earthâs immediate gravitational pull, he will argue that the new lunar explorations are justified not only for what they themselves might produce but also as a means of developing the technology and skills necessary for a mission to Mars, which is expected to be mentioned, though in less-specific terms, in the address.
Observers might note a familiar ring to the proposal. On July 20, 1989, President George H. W. Bush marked the 20th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing with a speech at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington in which he called for a permanent American presence on the moon and, ultimately, a mission to Mars.
That address led to the formation of a group called the "Space Exploration Initiative," headed by Vice President Quayle and NASA Administrator Richard Truly, which in the spring of 1991 released a report, "America at the Threshold." It set a long-term goal of landing Americans on Mars, with space activities in the interim leading up to that goal. First, it recommended, would be "Space Station Freedom" â now the ISS â followed by a return to the moon, in large measure to develop and test systems for keeping people alive on a Mars journey. The development of rocket boosters more powerful than the mighty Saturn V that lifted Apollo astronauts to the moon would be necessary, the report said, as would development of nuclear systems for providing power aboard in-transit spacecraft, and nuclear-powered rockets, to be employed outside Earthâs atmosphere, where they could be used on long missions without the need to carry enormous supplies of conventional rocket propellant. None of the recommendations was carried out as envisioned at the time; the only one that got off the ground at all is the space station.
The presidentâs speech could breathe new life into a moribund space program whose recent history has been beset by disappointment and failure. The space shuttle proved neither as reliable or as inexpensive as its proponents had promised. In 18 years of flight (the shuttle was grounded for 30 months following the Challenger disaster, and has been grounded since the loss of Columbia February 1), half of the original shuttle fleet has been lost to catastrophic failure, along with 14 astronauts. The cost of a shuttle mission has hovered around $500 million despite early claims that it would be much less and would allow payloads to be carried aloft for as little as $50 per pound. The launch schedule has been unreliable, with many space customers wondering if their satellites would ever get to orbit; in some cases satellites have remained on the ground so long that their power supplies ran down and had to be replaced before launch. The shuttle program has been so frustrating to scientists that it was characterized by Bruce Murray, former head of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as "a giant WPA in the sky."
Some critics say the space station offers little or nothing more, with a far-higher price tag. It is "international" as to the origin of some of its parts and some of its crew and, while the shuttle is grounded, the craft used to ferry the maintenance crews and supplies, but most of it is paid for by the United States. Some critics have argued that it is less a space station than an extension of the State Department.
Charles Krauthammer has noted that an orbiting United Nations is unlikely to be any less foolish than one fixed on planet Earth. "The moon and Mars are beckoning," he wrote in January, 2000. "So why are we spending so much of our resources building a tinker-toy space station? In part because, a quarter-century late, we still need something to justify the shuttle. Yet the space stationâs purpose has shrunk to almost nothing. No one takes seriously its claims to be a platform for real science." Establishment of a permanent moon base and research and engineering work toward a flight to Mars would certainly replenish the idea of a space program engaged in real exploration.
Whether a return to the moon would spark the publicâs imagination as it did in the 1960s is unknown. The world was transfixed July 20, 1969, as Apollo 11 landed and Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on a celestial body other than Earth. But public and political enthusiasm for the moon soon waned. There were five more landings; the final three lunar shots were canceled. The last moon flight was in December 1972. No human has achieved escape velocity since.
A new space initiative would face numerous hurdles, including congressional Democrats who in the present political climate would be likely to challenge a presidential declaration that the sky is blue. Additionally, congressional distrust of NASA is vigorous on both sides of the aisle following the Columbia accident. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R., N.Y.), and Rep. Ralph Hall, (D., Tex.), recently asked that NASA stop work on the $13 billion "orbital space plane," a smaller, cheaper space shuttle, until Congress and the president agree on NASAâs goals. Others in Congress have argued that the space shuttle should remain on the ground permanently. The fact that a revamped space program would employ many people â especially in places such as Silicon Valley, where unemployment among engineers is high â might blunt much criticism, however.
There are ideas and proposals that could offset concerns as to the value of returning to the moon and, perhaps, traveling beyond. Geologists are eager to take lunar-core samples, which could tell much about the solar systemâs past and how the moon itself was formed. It has recently been suggested that sunlight collected on the moon and beamed to Earth could provide a no-pollution source of power. Bill McInnis, a leading NASA engineer before he resigned in despair over shuttle-safety issues and ultimately took his own life, long lobbied for a return to the moon and talked of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the folly of putting our antennae on Earth. "The signals weâre looking for are so weak that the effects of somebody turning on a light a hundred miles away are stronger," he said. "The place to do it, the place to be free of Earthbound interference â thatâs the other side of the moon. The moon is the ultimate space station, it is where we can really learn things." Certainly, long-term lunar experience would facilitate a trip to Mars.
NASAâs budget has been far short of lavish since the last time the agency was aiming for the moon. The president has remarked to members of the White House space group that he does not favor a huge increase in spending for NASA projects. Whether he has changed his mind, and the extent to which he is willing to sell an ambitious new program of space exploration remains to be seen. If Bush does deliver the speech as planned, it would be another opportunity for him to finish business left pending when his father left office a decade ago.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that I again mourned the passing of Vaughn Meador forgotten these many years. He could have been a star, his grandchildren could have been rich, but such was not to be, cruel fate in the person of Rich Little intervened in his life skit.
They are throwing us a bone to distact us when they mothball the shuttle fleet. I have heard all the arguments for and against the shuttles. I still cannot believe they cannot just improve the current shuttles the way other aircraft have been. Nasa's need to always build a new/radical design instead of just improving on the current is why we end up with these fragile/dangerous craft. Therefore it seems the shuttle's will be retired and we will return to capsules, and talk about a moon mission will be the reason why.
If I was in-charge we would be still building shuttle airframes with a couple of them setup as test mules. I would have then used the test mules to designed newer/modern systems to replace the boosters and tank (along with the older system in the shuttle). This would help bring the cost of the shuttles down, the same way jet transport costs came down. The space station would only exist as a emergency repair dock for the shuttle and as a possible launch point for moon/mars systems. I remember saying when Challenger broke up that it was bull that they couldn't repair the thing in space. What was bull is that they never gave the crew the chance. If your not, then don't send people up and lets just fall back on a un-manned program.
Posted by: Patrick ||
12/08/2003 16:31 Comments ||
Patrick, I think you mean Columbia? (since the Challenger never made it to space during its launch). As far as the shuttle goes, it was an iterim idea of a reusable vehicle, it was never designed to be a permanent vehicle. I really wish these days we have never cancelled the old dynasoar project or a whole host of other ideas. NASA keeps trying for an elegant solution to launching stuff into space, well elegant doesn't always work till you got the infrastructure in place, I say we need brute force and for that we need BDBs (Big Dumb Boosters) and vehicles that are more designed for function rather than style.
As far as Bush's probable speech, I highly doubt he's going to give any substance to the "man on the moon" plan, probably just all hot air and fluff saying that we should go and we should focus our studies there. But no real money (not that I'd trust NASA with anymore money anyway)
Yea, my bad. I just gives me a weird feeling to see what appears steps backwards. Can you see astronauts talking to the old timers who say things like "I can remember the days when we "FLEW" back from space and landed like an airplane instead of falling from space like a rock in a capsule like you new guys. Or "I remeber when you could fly from New York to Paris in 3 hours on the concord instead of 15 hours. The shuttle was version 1.0. Just like the boeing 707 was improved, I believe the basic design of the shuttle is good and its safety and cost could be improved with modern systems. Shortcuts were taken with the original design that should have been fixed over the years. The Russian Buran has some interesting alternatives for example in the booster area (advantages of being built just a few years later than our shuttle). Remember, the shuttle can do one thing nothing else can and that is return things from space (that is large things). I just find it hard to go backwards from the shuttle back to capsule.
Posted by: Patrick ||
12/08/2003 18:01 Comments ||
The Russian Buran has some interesting alternatives for example in the booster area (advantages of being built just a few years later than our shuttle).
An interesting knock-off, with good electronics, price per pound launch was only 2 times the shuttle. Of course they never did put humans in it.
Patrick, it's (as usual) more complicated than that. The shuttle designe was *very* heavily influenced by a military requirement that was ultimately dropped (ability to launch, release a satellite, and land back at the launch point within one orbit). That required big wings (to give it the ability to fly nearly 1000 miles horizontally during re-entry) that represent a liability for most other purposes.
Although the final design isn't set, a reusable capsule has a lot of advantages for crew transport -- particularly in abort situations. Since it's at the top of the launcher, a launch escape system becomes practical. Capsule re-entry is also well-understood now, and accurate landings are possible using steerable parachutes. Just because it's a capsule doesn't mean it's "crummy-old technology".
A capsule also lets us take advantage of the new launchers that were built for the Air Force (Titan IV & Atlas V). With a little extra work, either of these ought to be usable as a manned booster, and be a lot cheaper to operate. Large cargo launches also ought to be practical using automatic docking systems like the ones used on ISS today.
The shuttle is an amazing machine, but operates with very little margin for error. Even if things don't smack into the wing, it's a complicated beasty to keep runing properly -- and small problems can turn into very, very bad ones extremely quickly.
The Buran idea was good, but it meant throwing away the engines with each launch. The shuttle was expensive enough as it was (10x the projected cost per flight) and I do not think much of that cost overrun had much to do with the engines. So the turn around costs would have been even greater. Of course you would then have a bit more flexibility because the external fuel tank with engines is basically a Saturn Rocket that could have a payload bay attached to take a lot of stuff into orbit. Anyway, it's likely that the Orbital Space Plane will probably be along these lines before they are complete.
The fact that the US has depended upon the shuttle has really hurt private industry attempts at near Earth orbit. NASA procurment is not really cost-effective and favors a few very large defense contractors. They should use seed money to promote technology rather than funding everything 180% and then killing it when it doesn't work out.
NASA should not be in the truck driving business which is what the shuttle is. Bringing things up and down, up and down. They should be going to the moon or Mars, not monopolizing space access with a system that has a worse safety record than the Soyuz, and is more expensive per launch than the Proton rocket and has a far smaller payload.
NASA should hire others to get their stuff out of orbit so that they can aim a bit higher. We could go to Mars in a decade or less if we use the Proton rocket for example. Add another decade if we have to build and plan our own heavy-lift rocket in addition to the Mars ship, habitat, and rover. Also that instantly makes it an international mission without the headaches normally associated with international missions.
The US economy: what a mystery. Sceptics, especially those in the Democratic party, charge that government data are imprecise and that they obscure the true economic pain that comes as manufacturing jobs disappear.
The sceptics are correct - the data are not perfect. The problem, however, is not one of right versus left but of old versus new. The methods Washington uses to collect these numbers were determined in a calmer economy where people worked for one company all their lives. Let us label it a Ford economy after its big component, the car. America is not a Ford economy any more. It is what we might call a Staples economy, after the office supply retailer. People change jobs more frequently, communicate more frequently, create start-ups and home offices more frequently. The Staples economy means some bad news but more good news. Neither kind is entirely captured by the data.
Start with the bad news, a bit obscured by Fridayâs news of 5.9 per cent unemployment. These days, Americans change jobs more often, and the very concept of a "job" is being eroded. The new instability generates bitterness, especially for those who insist on replicating their old job situation.
The cost of Staples instead of Ford goes beyond social issues to the stability of the economy. In the first half of this year the country saw 835,000 personal bankruptcies, a record figure. The record suggests a vulnerability that will have consequences when interest rates go up.
So much for the negatives. More often, the trouble with government data is that they have a hard time recording the good news. The first example of this is the much-debated Household Survey, a poll that calls families at home to inquire about employment status.
... in the era of two-parent employment, houses where no one is at home are more - not less - likely to be houses where the adults work. The study has a bias that causes it to miss employment, not exaggerate it.
Then there is the Establishment Survey, a measure that focuses on collecting employment data from workplaces.... The survey sometimes fails to capture individual self-employed contractors and entrepreneurs - a ubiquitous type in the Staples economy.
David Malpass of Bear Stearns thinks that the federal data fail to take into account the degree to which companies are now contracting out work. The consequence is that workers may be under-recorded.
Mr Malpass points to other data that indicate hidden growth or hidden growth potential. Non-farm proprietorsâ income, a measure that looks at the profitability of unincorporated business, is up strongly .... The number of self-employed in the Household Survey has risen sharply as well. The National Federation of Independent Businessâs Small Business Optimism Index is likewise up sharply, Mr Malpass notes.
Now we come to another big measure: productivity, which was at a disconcerting high of 9.4 per cent last quarter. The formula for determining productivity is output divided by labour and other inputs, more or less. So if the statisticians are under-counting labour, productivity may be less impressive than advertised.
Still, US productivity remains higher than developed nations usually can manage. And productivity comes closest to capturing the potential of the Staples economy. That 9.4 per cent figure - or say itâs 7.4 per cent and be conservative - is a promise of future work and higher wages that will hold as long as the government doesnât load too many costs on to employers. And the Bush administration is not loading on costs.
In other words, when we evaluate the administrationâs overall economic direction in these challenging years we see that it has been wise, growth-oriented and - yes - accurate
(2003-12-07) -- In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Democrat presidential candidate Senator John F. Kerry finally revealed what his middle initial signifies. Long a matter of speculation among political pundits, the initial seemed to suggest a connection with John F. Kennedy.
The "F" in Kennedyâs name stood for Fitzgerald, but in the upcoming Rolling Stone issue Mr. Kerry uses a different "F" word. Pronunciation of the middle name is still unclear since, in most newspaper reports, it consists mostly of hyphens. The name was apparently passed down through the family, since after the Senator revealed it, he said, "Pardon my French."
GENEVA â The United States, backed by the European Union, Japan and Canada, has turned back a bid by developing nations to place the Internet under the control of the United Nations or its member governments. That dissent is patriotic thing? Thatâs just a slogan.
But governments, the private sector and others will be asked to establish a mechanism under U.N. auspices to study the governance of the Internet and make recommendations by 2005.
The move came in preparatory talks for the World Summit on the Information Society, opening Wednesday in Geneva. More than 200 delegates from more than 100 countries attended the talks.
The draft declaration to be issued at the end of the conference Friday also includes strong references to freedom of the press and freedom of information online, despite protests by Vietnam and China, which pushed for more restrictions. Of course. They dictate thoughtâŠ
More than 60 heads of state and government and about 12,000 delegates are expected to participate in the conference, aimed at advancing the management and worldwide use of the Internet, especially in meeting needs such as health and education in developing nations.
Major differences remain between developed countries and African countries led by Senegal over the creation of a "global digital solidarity fund." Talks on the issue will continue today and tomorrow.
Ambassador David A. Gross, the chief of the U.S. delegation, applauded the decision on control of the Internet.
"For the first time, we see governments internationally recognizing that which we have talked about for many years â that the Internet is a responsibility not only of governments, but also primarily of the private sector, civil society and others both in the developed and the developing countries," he said.
"So we see now a consensus around the U.S. position, which is that multistakeholders all play an important role in the process."
The nations agreed Saturday to ask U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to set up a working group on Internet governance "in an open and inclusive process that ensures a mechanism for the full participation of governments, the private sector and civil society ... to investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, by 2005."
The decision was welcomed by Paul Twomey, president and chief executive officer of the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which coordinates such matters as servers and domain names.
"This has been a victory for the pro-business model," he said. "I think this language is actually very pleasing. ..."
"We think the action plan reflects the sort of argument weâve been making for the last months. The partnership of the private sector and civil society has actually helped build the Internet, and we think thatâs the right sort of partnership for going forward."
Civil society refers to foundations and private organizations independent of government or business.
Senior diplomats familiar with the confidential talks said the compromise stemmed from the firm stance taken by the United States and compromise language offered by Canada and the Swiss chairman of the talks, Marc Furrer. The latter is the director of Switzerlandâs Federal Office of Communications.
"The Swiss were good at cooling things down," said one diplomat who participated in the talks. "At times, things got quite feisty between China, Brazil, South Africa, the U.S. and others."
Given the dramatic growth of the medium, developing countries have been pushing for a greater role in managing and setting policy for the Internet. But the United States and its supporters have argued that government interference could retard growth of the Internet.
Many developing countries remain skeptical.
"We feel as the system gets more complex, we donât want the whole question of Internet governance to be concentrated around the existing ICANN, which is closely linked to the U.S. Department of Commerce," a senior Brazilian diplomat said.
Carlos Achiary, national director of Information Technology Argentina, said many governments are frustrated because the Internet is having a tremendous effect in their countries, but they have no place to submit their requests, complaints or suggestions.
"The key point is, can a government work with an organization like ICANN? How a government deals with ICANN is not the same for the United States as for Mali. There should be an entity where all governments have the same rights somewhere inside the U.N."
But in the end, one Latin American ambassador said, "No one wanted to challenge the real power of the private sector of the rich countries." Snap! Twang! "Oh shit. There goes my harp again"
Hey, there are measures available to keep the morons in line if they get uppity and snippy. Look at who rejected this... that's the vast bulk of the power (and infrastructure) of the 'Net. As usual, the "aggrieved" asshats are freeloaders. We can live quite well without them. They, however, cannot live without us, almost at all, and that's just the fact. Every domain or IP address or range of addresses can be given the "death penalty" for any / all protocols in multiple ways. Hell, just by managing the DNS (and the update process) they go *poof* - inaccessible - and that's no bullshit.
China, Vietnam, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, (woohoo, what a list of 'Net heavies) and anyone else who wants out is welcome to leave - disconnect them from the major backbones - more bandwidth for the rest of us, in fact. Many countries would become, literally, islands - unable to access anything outside of their own country - and only that if they actually own the networks in their territory. Any and every server / router / bridge can be instructed to send any and all of their data packets to the bit bucket.
It works because it's not in the hands of any government, including the US's - in spite of comments to the contrary. Keeping it that way is just the best way for uninterrupted growth and health - not the only way.
Members of the GAC shall be national governments, multinational governmental organisations and treaty organisations, and public authorities, each of which may appoint one representative to the GAC. The accredited representative of a Member may be accompanied by an adviser. The accredited representative must hold a formal official position with the Memberâs public administration. The term âofficialâ includes a holder of an elected governmental office or a person who is employed by such government, public authority or multinational governmental or treaty organisation, and whose primary function with such government, public authority or organisation is to develop or influence governmental or public policies.
Membership is open to all national governments. Membership is also open to distinct economies as recognised in international fora, and multinational governmental organisations and treaty organisations, on the invitation of the GAC through the Chair, or on the invitation of the ICANN Board. In the event of a dispute about whether an entity is eligible for Membership, the dispute will be referred to the ICANN Board.
Governments or organisations not having a representative to the GAC may nominate an accredited government/organisational representative to represent its Membership on the GAC.
Those who constitute the Current Membership are defined as those Members from whom the Chair has received formal notification of the name and contact details of their accredited representative. The list of current Members shall be updated regularly and be posted online.
Moving left at warp speed. EFL:
The Green Party is expected to take control of San Francisco today and reclaim the cityâs hippie heritage with a campaign that has relied on mass yoga rallies and poetry readings to overturn 40 years of Democrat rule. Victory in the mayoral election would provide the party with its first senior official in the US and the result would confirm San Franciscoâs status as Americaâs most politically radical city. The latest independent polls show that the Green candidate, Matt Gonzalez, 38, a former bassist in a punk-rock band who does not own a watch or car, is leading his millionaire rival by 52 to 45 per cent, though the Democrats claim their research shows the gap is far closer. Mr Gonzalezâs campaign has struck a chord with a city that has reclaimed its politically left-field identity after the implosion of the dotcom boom bankrupted businesses. "Thank goodness, all those ucky companies have closed, now we have plenty of empty storefronts to organize in."
Mr Gonzalezâs greatest problem will be that some of his supporters are young activists who, while supporting him in polls, traditionally fail to actually turn up and vote. The Democrats have a far better oiled machine for turning support into votes. Vote early, vote often, vote the dead.
The Democrat candidate, Gavin Newsom, 36, has been cast by his opponents as a socialite "Republocrat", who made his fortune in a chain of restaurants, lives in a mansion and married a former lingerie model. Being a success is a bad thing to the really far left. Election is on Tuesday, letâs make popcorn and watch the fun.
The Green Party is expected to take control of San Francisco today and reclaim the cityâs hippie heritage with a campaign that has relied on mass yoga rallies and poetry readings to overturn 40 years of Democrat rule.
If this ends up translating into a situation where "things are getting worse", then I can't think of a more deserving city.
Gonzales wants to retain the existing $400 per person per month welfare provision. Newsom wants to reduce it. I think that even though many in SF are loony, they also have begun to resent aggressive panhandlers and this will help Newsom.
What upsets the Greens the most, of course, is that Mr. Newsom's wife shaves her armpits.
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/08/2003 11:40 Comments ||
Its a damn shame that the most beautiful urban setting in America or possibly the world has attracted the largest collection of loons and nut cases in the world. Just wait till they have the next major earthquake, peace and love will put the city back together again. If Gonzalez wins I hope he changes his name to Norton the Second
I'm curious what Willie Brown will do when he's no longer Mayor. He's a crook, but he's got more Charisma than Al Sharpton. Heck, he even showed up on Insomniac.
I'm also curious what the Greens policy will be on Prostitution (Willie turned a blind eye but didn't legalize) and drugs (I think Willie turned a blind eye but didn't legalize). I think its safe to assume the Navy won't be welcomed back by the Greens.
EFL. Hat tip LGF
For two years now, itâs been apparent that increasing numbers of us are living in entirely self-created realities. For example, when I switched on the TV the other day, I saw President Bush being warmly received at Thanksgiving Dinner in Baghdad. By contrast, Wayne Madsen, co-author of Americaâs Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II, saw a phony stunt that took place not at dinner time but at 6 a.m. Different time zone, you idiot!
ââOur military men and women,ââ he insisted, ââwere downing turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and non-alcoholic beer at a time when most people would be eating eggs, bacon, grits, home fries, and toast.ââ Warming to his theme, Madsen continued, ââThe abysmal and sycophantic Washington and New York press corps seems to have completely missed the Thanksgiving âbreakfast dinner.â Chalk that up to the fact that most people in the media never saw a military chow line or experienced reveille in their lives. So it would certainly go over their heads that troops would be ordered out of bed to eat turkey and stuffing before the crack of dawn.ââ See previous comment
Madsenâs column, ââWag The Turkey,ââ arose, it quickly transpired, from reading too much into an a.m./p.m. typo in a Washington Post story and an apparent inability to follow complex technicalities like time zones. But, when Brian OâConnell wrote to Madsen pointing out where heâd gone wrong, the ââinvestigative journalistââ stuck to his guns: ââItâs all a secret of, course, so no one will ever know,ââ he concluded, darkly. For those in advanced stages of anti-Bush derangement, it will remain an article of faith for decades that the president made the troops get out of bed at 6 in the morning so he could shovel pumpkin pie down them. Told ya, Mad-sin
Now consider Amr Mohammed al-Faisalâs take on the same ââlittle skitââ (his words) for Saudi Arabiaâs Arab News: ââInstead of a dainty starlet trotting in to entertain the troops,ââ he wrote, ââlo and behold, it was George Bush . . . Now, dear readers, you mustnât laugh at the Americans; remember they are our friends and allies.ââ Al-Faisal then proceeds to explain that the Saudis need to find the Americans ââa face-saving exit out of Iraq.ââ But ââbefore we lift a finger to help,ââ the Americans must meet certain conditions, among them: These beauzeaux are planning to help us look a paper tiger so they can see more Americans die
ââThe halt to the vicious campaign of hatred and lies propagated in the U.S. against Saudi Arabia. Administration officials starting with President Bush himself must spare no occasion to praise Saudi Arabia and inform the American people how lucky they are to have us as allies. Allies schmallies.
ââThe release of all Saudis detained in the U.S. or in Guantanamo Bay into Saudi custody.ââ "We need them to help destroy freedom!"
Really. While youâre at it, why not demand every freed Saudi gets a couple of ââdainty starletsââ of his choice for the plane ride home? The appeasers in the House of Saud, to paraphrase Churchill, fed the crocodile in hopes that it would eat him last. But the croc got hungry and couldnât wait: Right now the bombs are going off in Riyadh, not New York, and Bush has indicated, in his Whitehall speech and elsewhere, that the Saudi regime in its present character has outlived his usefulness. But, if you were one of the various deluded factions in the House of Saud, the fact that the streets outside the palace are not full of folks doubled up howling with laughter at al-Faisalâs column might well bolster your view that the lid can be kept on the al-Qaida pot and that spreading around a few more millions in Washington might breathe another couple yearsâ life into the old the-Saudis-are-our-friends routine so many retired American diplomats like to do on Nightline and CNN. Thereâs more!
Madsenâs column, ââWag The Turkey,ââ arose, it quickly transpired, from reading too much into an a.m./p.m. typo in a Washington Post story and an apparent inability to follow complex technicalities like time zones. But, when Brian OâConnell wrote to Madsen pointing out where heâd gone wrong, the ââinvestigative journalistââ stuck to his guns: ââItâs all a secret of, course, so no one will ever know,ââ
If its all asecret how come we always find out? Or was CNN keeping this Iraq story under wraps too
A captain who attended Bush's Thanksgiving surprise wrote of this life time experience to his mother and wife. In this private e-mail now circulating around the web, the Captain reports leaving for the mess hall at 1600 hours. About right for military evening meal, a little late for bacon and eggs.
A University of Idaho graduate student who is under investigation for suspected terrorism ties obtained unauthorized access to a campus lab containing radioactive material, court documents allege. Well, I feel safer, I guess. Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, a Saudi national working on his computer science doctoral degree, quietly moved his student office from the Computer Science Department into the schoolâs engineering isotope lab, apparently without his adviserâs knowledge, according to the documents. Ah, yes, one of our friends from the ROP. Just up and moved into the lab, did he? And nobody noticed?
"The investigation of Sami Al-Hussayen has, from its outset, been focused on suspected material support to terrorism, particularly to Usama bin Ladenâs Al Qaeda network," FBI agent Michael Gnecknow said in the documents. "I have yet to see any piece of evidence, when viewed as part of the totality of information developed, that would dissuade me from believing that Sami Al-Hussayen is supporting terrorism," Gnecknow said. Translation: "We got the goods on him".
FBI agents say they were worried the nuclear waste could be used in a "dirty bomb." Such devices involve the use of conventional explosives to spread around radioactive waste. Al-Hussayen is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 20 on charges of student visa fraud. He remains in custody without bond. Thatâs a good idea.
Although he has only been charged with visa fraud, authorities claim Al-Hussayen raised money that was funneled to Islamic charities including the Islamic Assembly of North America, which is under investigation for suspected terrorist ties. Al-Hussayen has denied the allegations. "Lies, all lies!"
Defense attorneys were unavailable for immediate comment Sunday. Waiting for the check from Riyadh to clear?
...quietly moved his student office from the Computer Science Department into the schoolâs engineering isotope lab, apparently without his adviserâs knowledge, ...
Good grief. How farking stupid is his advisor? We have grad students and post-docs all over the place here. I can guarantee that each advisor knows exactly where each one is and what they're doing. The advisor needs to be caned.
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/08/2003 11:36 Comments ||
I remember reading last summer that there were A1 Qaeda links in Moscow Idaho. I think it's more likely that a bunch of Feds have been watching and waiting....go ahead, Omar, make my day.
Gunnery Sgt. David J. Dill never saw it coming. He knew the dangers. Heâd trained to disarm them for years. But bad luck, bad timing and the dangerous nature of clearing minefields caught up to him. Dill, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of 1st Combat Engineer Battalionâs Sapper Course, lost his lower left leg to an Iraqi land mine during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 19-year veteran was on a mine-marking assignment with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion when the explosion occurred. "I was proud to go to Iraq to fight for what I believe in," Dill said. "But it was definitely an eye-opening experience for me."
He thought heâd make 20 years and retire until the explosion knocked him to the ground and changed the course of his future. His wife, Christine, said her husband called right after his operation to inform her about his accident. "He jumped right into gunny mode when the land mine went off," Christine said of the stories related to her. "When his fellow Marines rushed to assist him, he halted them to ensure their safety." She added that Dill was surrounded by land mines. It took 30 minutes for Marines to evacuate him from the danger zone. Dill was left shattered. His lower left leg was a tangle of bone, torn flesh and blood. Later, it would be completely removed. Recovery is slow and frustrating, but Dill is able to partake in activities he enjoys. He golfs, fishes and hunts and keeps a regular workout schedule at the gym.
Still, not all is normal. At home, Dill sometimes struggles with routine everyday activities, Christine said. Activites that were once second nature and easily tackled are now major hurdles for the combat engineer. Running is frustrating for Dill. He used to enjoy stretching out his legs for long runs.
She tries to help her husband during these hard times. "You do what you have to do for the people you love," Christine said.
Dill, a sapper instructor, said he was expecting a medical discharge after he returned from deployment. But now, since he is close to retiring, heâs hoping to be allowed to finish out his 20-year career. Besides, he can still do his job, he said. A colleague confirmed it. "The injury has not affected Gunny Dillâs working performance at all," said Staff Sgt. Raymond A. Valdez, a Sapper instructor who lost his left eye during the same explosion. For Dill, his workâs not done in the Marine Corps. Heâs still got experience and nearly 20 yearsâ worth of lessons to impart to young Marines. Itâs a passion that drives him to teach courses now. "I would like to pass on some of the values I got from the Marine Corps to the next generation," Dill said. "I definitely have no regrets in my Marine Corps career," Dill said. "We donât join the Marine Corps to get injured. We just join knowing there is a risk." These are the types of men I have the privelege of serving with each day. I hope the Corps lets him finish out his 20. This guy is exactly the type of warrior young Marines need to be around. His experience and hard-charging attitude is exactly what I look for in a SNCO. You are not going to hear any negativity or whining from a professional of this caliber - wonder if the NYT picked up on this - yeah, I know. My prayers are with him and his family.
Posted by: Jarhead ||
12/08/2003 9:28:22 AM ||
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AMEN, brother. Semper Fi!! And may God Bless Gunny and America!
If he wants to stay in and pass on his skills and knowledge to the incoming Marines the Corps would be foolish to retire him. After all the Navy did allow the one salvage diver that lost a leg in the recovery operation for the bombs off of Spain to return to active duty. Just think if Admiral Horatio Nelson had to face the same circumstances.
Let him do his 20! The Corps has plenty of experience keeping guys like the gunny active. Notably, FSGT. Don Hamblen. Google him - he's as tough as they come. The Corps does a pile of things well (ok, ham and mothers was a notable exception) but good PR is holy grail. Some PIO is no doubt on the case already.
A group of Western tourists has been kidnapped in south-eastern Iran. The exact number of missing people is unclear, but two agencies say there are three of them, all from Germany. What, the Algerian desert tours were all booked?
The AFP news agency says they were abducted several days ago in the Sistan-Baluchistan province, an area notorious for drug-smuggling. "Helmut, where should we vacation this year?"
"How about Iran, I hear the poppies are in bloom."
A German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said there were indications that Germans were involved, and that a crisis team had been set up.
Two German and one Irish tourist have been kidnapped in Iran's south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, which has a reputation of being one of the most unsafe regions of the country. An Iranian government source told Aljazeera.net on Monday that no group has come forward claiming responsibility for the kidnappings. But he said they were likely snatched by drug traffickers. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the tourists were seized this morning. Another government source, who also declined to be identified, said they were captured on Monday near Nosrat Abad, on the road between the historic city of Bam and Zahedan, near the Pakistani border. Iranian security authorities, police and intelligence have been scouring the region in an effort to find the captives, which the government source described as the "most urgent" matter. Sistan-Baluchistan, which neighbours Afghanistan and Pakistan, is notorious as a corridor for drug-smuggling. It is economically poor and inhabited by tribes of Sunni Muslims, who are a minority in Iran as a whole.I>
I'd say Zhang has it right, sounds like a shopping trip gone bad.
Armed drug runners have kidnapped one Irish and two German tourists on a cycling trip in southeast Iran and demanded five million euros (3.5 million pounds) for their release, Iranian government sources say. "They were travelling on bicycles on the road between (the cities of) Bam and Zahedan when the smugglers kidnapped them," one of the sources told Reuters.
German tourists on adventure holidays in remote locations have been involved in a number of kidnappings in recent years. There were 16 Germans among 32 European tourists seized in separate incidents in February and March in southern Algeria. German tourists have also been kidnapped in Egypt, Malaysia, Yemen, Colombia, India and the Philippines in recent years.
Rumours that the German government paid ransoms for the release of some of its citizens have led to speculation that German tourists may be seen as lucrative targets by would-be hostage takers.
Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province is a major smuggling route used by well-armed drug runners moving opium from Afghanistan to western Europe. It only tends to draw a small number of adventurous backpackers crossing overland to Pakistan.
#3 You recall correctly. There was rioting in southeastern Iran as the Baluch battled government presence in villages east of Kirman, near the Afghan border. Unfortunately, there has been no follow up. As I recall, the original information was received by cellphone.
(severely shortened for brevity, read the whole thing at the site provided)
Personnel supporting the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa made history Nov. 20 when they became the first Americans to graduate from the French Commando School here. Twenty Army soldiers and five Marines completed the three-week course and were each awarded the French Commando medal and a certificate of completion. "It was one of the hardest training operations Iâve faced, but at the same time one of the better schools Iâve been through," said Lance Cpl. Bryan Napier, who graduated in the top five of his class. "I feel honored to represent the American platoon in the top five. It will definitely be an experience to remember." Before entering the course, service members were required to take a test ensuring they could meet the physical demands of the commando school. The test involved pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, squats, an upper-body rope climb and a 200-meter swim with a rifle.
Within the first few days, the original 34-member platoon had dropped to 26 due to either failing the test or injury during training. "The reason for attending the French Commando School was to better prepare the soldiers and Marines for nautical and mountain warfare challenges in the terrain of Djibouti," Army Master Sgt. Chris Fields said. "These particular challenges trained each soldier and Marine for a hostile situation if one occurred in an area similar to this region."
The American platoon trained alongside a platoon of French Foreign Legionnaires. Both accomplished the same training, but as separate units. The two forces participated in training and exercise that included working with each otherâs equipment and competed in timed races over different courses. Under the supervision of French instructors, trainees were graded on a variety of exercises requiring the nine-man squads use teamwork to successfully complete the tasks.
Posted by: Jarhead ||
12/08/2003 9:13:24 AM ||
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Which goes to show that admiration for the attainment of excellence amongst professionals is truly transnational. Congrats to our men and the members of the FFL for passing this course.
The Free French learned Commando tactics in WW2 from the people who invented the concept: the British. One of the positive points is that the British ignored the French ranks: officers who were unfit were thrown out while capable NCOs were quickly promoted to captain and major (one of them, Bigeard, became a general after the war). For that reason the post-war French commandos remained unpolluted from the old farts blood from the 1940 officer corps.
There is still a para regiment whose Free French roots result in its men wearing the beret the British way instead of the French way.
I watched a Discovery Channel show on the Best Ranger competition for two man teams. That year the team that one included a guuny from the USMC. It would be interesting to see some particpants from the British, French, Israeli, Aussie and Polish militaries.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
12/08/2003 17:39 Comments ||
U.S. authorities have revoked the diplomatic visa of an influential Islamic cleric, and the Saudi government has decided it will no longer sponsor an Islamic institute in Virginia where he sometimes lectured, moves that reflect both nationsâ increasing efforts to curb the spread of extremist Islamic rhetoric, according to U.S. and Saudi officials. Jaafar Iblis Idris, who was affiliated with the Fairfax-based Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, left the United States two weeks ago after his visa was revoked. Idris is a native of Sudan, but was sponsored as a diplomat here by the Saudi embassy and had an office in that embassyâs Islamic affairs section, according to a lawyer associated with him.
"Hey, guys! I'm lost and hungry and from another country, but I'm Islamic. Could you accredit me as one of your diplos?"
Idrisâs departure follows a decision by the Saudi government to stop providing diplomatic status to Islamic clerics and educators teaching overseas, according to a senior Saudi official who declined to be identified. "We are going to shut down the Islamic affairs section in every embassy," the officials said. "Thatâs the objective."
I'll certainly sleep better tonight...
In comments in Arabic posted Wednesday by Islamtoday.net, a Saudi-based Web site, Idris said he was questioned repeatedly by FBI agents about his lectures and travels to Europe. He said U.S. authorities asked him to leave the country. Idris, whose lectures are published on Islamic Web sites around the world, has been a leading figure among Washington-area adherents of Wahhabism. He is president of American Open University in Alexandria and a founder of the Islamic Foundation of America in Springfield, institutions that also promote a very orthodox brand of Islam.
So does that mean I can get a Samoan passport and be accredited as one of their diplos in Soddy Arabia and start my own university? And the Agnostic Foundation of Soddy Arabia?
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
12/08/2003 7:30:06 AM ||
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Hmm...something's going on with this big, very public display of cooperation by the Saudi's.
Thought also interesting was that, Idris, is also "president of American Open University in Alexandria and a founder of the Islamic Foundation of America in Springfield, institutions that also promote a very orthodox brand of Islam." It would be interesting to hear more about these institutions and what becomes of them.
And..even more interesting: "The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the institute has trained at least 75 lay ministers for the U.S. military." Can somebody please publish a LIST of the lay ministers trained by this guy????
Saudi Arabia may be looking for a way to reduce its expenses. The budget is tight (they spend about 4% of their budget on 'development' - which includes building mosques, etc. overseas) and its more cost effective to recruit islamodroids in other countries than in the US.
Almost as much of a surprise as "Mugabe Quits Commonwealth." EFL.
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Palestinians failed to agree on a truce offer to Israel on Sunday after three days of talks, setting back the Palestinian prime ministerâs fears hopes for a halt in violence to jump start the stalled U.S.-backed "roadkill map" peace plan.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which have carried out most suicide attacks against Israel, resisted intense pressure from Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and the top Egyptian mediator and refused a full cease-fire. "No! And if you keep badgering us weâll kill you."
"Okay, I tried. So much for intense pressure."
The two groups would agree only to a limited truce, ending attacks on civilians in Israel but not on Jewish settlers or Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel said it would accept only a comprehensive halt. "Thereâs no half-way cease-fire," said Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. How the ones in the past, where you honored the truce and the Paleos kept killing? Sounds half-way to me.
Egypt had called together the Palestinian factions - more than a dozen, ranging from Yasser Arafatâs Fatah movement to the Islamic groups and smaller leftist movements - in hopes of producing a halt to all attacks. Egyptian Intelligence Chief Gen. Omar Suleiman wanted to present the truce to Washington next week in a broad proposal that could win U.S. backing and put pressure on Israel. But Qureia, who joined the talks Sunday in the hopes of bridging the gap, left the Egyptian capital, and several delegates acknowledged the talks produced no concrete results. Paleos never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
"There are disagreements about the nature of a cease-fire," Maher Taher, a senior delegate for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told The Associated Press. "The factions have different positions on the issue." Even when Qureia and Suleiman lay on the pressure in a three-hour meeting Sunday, Hamas and Islamic Jihad refused to buckle in their rejection of the broad halt. "We told you, Qureia, stop badgering us!"
"Okay, okay already!"
"Hamas is not ready to make a comprehensive cease-fire. This is final," senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazzal said after talks ended Sunday. The militant factions also rejected giving Qureia authority to speak for them in any negotiations with Israel. "We are not ready to give them authorization to sign a new agreement," Nazzal said.
"It was difficult for us and other factions to accept a new truce without guarantees from the Israeli side, because the previous truce failed in the same way, because of no Israeli guarantees," said Nafez Azzam, an Islamic Jihad spokesman in Gaza. And yes, his lips fell off.
The Cairo session "ended with the hope of holding another meeting but it hasnât been agreed on a date," Azzam said. Maybe they could hold it in Damascus, and give the Israelis a really irresistible target.
In exchange for the full truce, Egypt and Fatah were demanding that Israel stop building settlements, pull its troops out of Palestinian areas re-occupied during the uprising and halt construction of its so-called security barrier along the borders with Palestinian areas, which juts into Palestinian land. Essentially, their plan would have met much of the criteria of the "road map." By the Israelis.
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/08/2003 1:55:26 AM ||
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Is there a victory any where here? No victory no peace. That wall has the paleos pretty upset. If the wall is torn down and militants are given drivers licenses and open access, might a victory be had? Could we explore this? Trial by fire!
"It was difficult for us and other factions to accept a new truce without guarantees from the Israeli side, because the previous truce failed in the same way, because of no Israeli guarantees," said Nafez Azzam, an Islamic Jihad spokesman in Gaza.
Lemme get this straight - these assholes want "Israeli guarantees" just for a TRUCE?
A truce is typically not a permanent thing. How about guarantees in exchange for CESSATION OF TERRORIST ACTIVITIES????
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Daniel Nehme, a member of the central leadership of Syriaâs ruling political coalition, has died at age 78, the official Syrian Arab News Agency said Sunday. Ta-ta, enjoy the heat.
SANA said Nehme, appointed a leading member of the National Progressive Front in 1972, died late Saturday from a heart ailment at the Shifaa hospital in Damascus. The National Progressive Front is made up of seven political parties, including the Baath Party of President Bashar Assad. Nehme was also a member of the politburo of Syriaâs Communist Party.
Nehme joined the Communist Party in 1944. A year later, he graduated from Damascus University and began practicing law in the Mediterranean port city of Latakia. As a communist, he was jailed several times, once for three years of hard labor starting in 1951. He had also worked as the editor-in-chief of the Communist Partyâs al-Nour magazine. Nehme will be buried on Monday in Mashtal Hilo village near Tartous, some 144 miles northwest of Damascus. Ugly mutt too, check the link.
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/08/2003 1:37:03 AM ||
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He does look like a dog, very true. Warning: viewing the photo may ruin your appetite!
Jordanâs King Abdullah is quietly trying to broker a deal that would lead Tehran to surrender about 70 al Qaeda operatives, including the son of Osama bin Laden, in exchange for U.S. action on the largest Iranian opposition group now based in Iraq, according to U.S. and Middle East officials. Snip.
In congressional testimony, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said in October that Washington is not interested in governmental change in Tehran and is open to dialogue if the al Qaeda issue is resolved. "We and others have made clear what Iran needs to do: hand over al Qaeda members to the United States or their country of origin," Sean McCormack, a National Security Council spokesman, said yesterday.
A key stumbling block is the Peopleâs Mujaheddin, or MEK, about 3,800 Iranians who launched attacks against Iran from camps in Iraq. In 1999, the State Department listed the MEK as a terrorist organization, and since the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the MEK has been confined to camps. "The Mujaheddin-e Khalq is a terrorist organization and will be treated like a terrorist organization," McCormack said.
Yet U.S. officials concede that the MEK still broadcasts anti-government programs into Iran and none of its members have been prosecuted or turned over to Iran -- as the United States demands Iran do with al Qaeda suspects. Iran says it is unwilling to cooperate on al Qaeda as long as the United States does not take similar steps on the MEK.
U.S. officials counter that many senior MEK officials fled to Europe, particularly France, and those left behind are largely "worker bees" and children. U.S. military officials continue to investigate whether any of the 3,800 should be prosecuted for terrorist acts. The MEKâs fate has divided the administration, however, with the State Department pressing the Pentagon to fully disarm the MEK and treat it as a terrorist organization -- rather than as a potential ally.
Jordan is interested in al Qaeda in part because a top official still on the loose is Jordanian-born Abu Musab Zarqawi, who has been reported in northern Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Iran. Among those suspected of being in Iran are Saad bin Laden, the son of the al Qaeda founder; military organizer Saif Adel; al Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, and Abu Mohammed Masri, who was tied to the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/08/2003 1:27:11 AM ||
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Not sure about women and kids, but MEK is hardly going to become an asset to us - their problem with Iran is that they do not think it is Islamist enough.
Posted by: John Anderson ||
12/08/2003 8:22 Comments ||
Yeah, but trying to disarm them probably means fighting them. It's probably easier and safer to use them up against Iran.
Posted by: Robert Crawford ||
12/08/2003 8:41 Comments ||
methinks we're keeping the MEK in existence purely to bargain for the AQ guys in Iran. We DO want regime change in Iran, but we want the Iranians to take the lead, not to send 4th ID charging in. But if Iran doesnt cooperate on AQ, all bets are off. So far they seem to think they can use AQ against us, to keep Iraq from settling into a stable democratic state (if its one thats led by Shiites thats even MORE threatening to the Teheran mullahs) And at the same time stirring up the region with AQ hits in Saudi and Turkey. Well we cant let them play that game - so we need credible sticks, until they do a deal.
In congressional testimony, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said in October that Washington is not interested in governmental change in Tehran and is open to dialogue if the al Qaeda issue is resolved.
Armitage says that "Washington is not interested"? Washington's a big place. Who does he think doesn't want to see the mullahs toppled? (I strongly suspect that it's really the State Department that isn't warm to the idea of Iranian mullah removal)
Almost as much of a surprise as "Palestinians fail to agree on truce plan." EFL.
Zimbabwe quit the Commonwealth in dramatic fashion last night after the 54-nation grouping resolved to extend sanctions against Robert Mugabeâs government for violating the groupâs democratic values. Mr Mugabe told leaders of Jamaica, Nigeria and South Africa that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabweâs suspension from the group until the country mended its ways. "Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect," said a government statement. "And no, the door wonât hit me in the ass!"
The statement said the three leaders called Mr Mugabe in order to try to persuade him not to quit, but Mr Mugabe was adamant that there was no point in Harare remaining. It said Mr Mugabe had told them: "Anything that you agree on Zimbabwe which is short of this position [ending suspension], no matter how sweetly worded, means Zimbabwe is still a subject of the Commonwealth. This is unacceptable. This is it - itâs quits, and quits it will be." I have this funny feeling that they wonât be gone long, though Bob might be.
Mr Mugabe, who was not invited to the weekend summit at which the subject of Zimbabwe dominated, had vowed earlier last week to quit the grouping, which he described as an "Anglo-Saxon unholy alliance". Just like Nigeria, Jamaica and South Africa.
Zimbabwe was first suspended from the Commonwealth in March 2002, after Mr Mugabe was denounced for stealing rigging his own re-election and murdering persecuting opponents. The issue had threatened to split the Commonwealth along racial lines, but the body managed to forge a compromise at its Nigeria summit, appointing a seven-nation panel to monitor Zimbabweâs progress towards improved democratic values. Step one: remove Bob.
In a display of regional solidarity, the South African president, Thabo Mbeki, had argued that Zimbabweâs continued suspension was proving counter-productive and should be lifted immediately. He eventually bowed to the majority view, though only after Tony Blair appeared to exert pressure on the South African leader to give way by allowing officials to identify publicly who was blocking a deal. "Hey! Turn that light off!"
South Africa believes that Zimbabwe is the victim of double standards that have seen Pakistan, also suspended since the Musharraf military coup, treated more lightly because of its importance to the US-led war on terrorism. Well duh.
Mr Blair repeatedly claimed: "This isnât a black-white issue", pointing to support for the majority line from Kenya, Ghana, Gambia and the Carribean. He argued that Pakistan was making progress of a sort, if you donât look too closely while Zimbabwe was "getting worse". And it hasnât hit bottom.
Actually, Zim did hit bottom. Bob just kept right on tunneling...
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/08/2003 1:23:41 AM ||
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Actually, Bob is doing Tony a favor. The coming famine won't be laid at the doorstep of Britain, although I am sure a lot of leftists worldwide will try to hang this one on 'white folks.'
This is from Kavkaz Center and is his reaction to the $5,000,000 bounty that is now on his head. He seems to be happier than other jihadi types ...
Chechen Commander, Amir of the Islamic Brigade of Shaheeds Â«Riyadus SalikhinÂ»,Abdallah Shamil Abu-Idris (Commander Basayev) replied to the elections bloc The Motherland (Â«RodinaÂ»), which once announced a 15-million Russian ruble reward (equal to about $ 500,000 US dollars) for killing Shamil Basayev. Lately the electoral scum called Â«The MotherlandÂ» has been conducting a cheap campaign in Rusnyaâs (Russiaâs) mass media, while offering a reward of 0,000 for me. In this connection I am addressing to one of the leaders of Â«The MotherlandâsÂ» scum, Rogozin:
Â«So why are you scumbag offering that little? Are you out of money or something? And where are the $150 million dollars that you, Lebedev and then-deputy minister of finance Vavilov stole from the Moscow Province (Oblast) administration after devaluating their stocks through the National Reserve Bank and InkomBank? Where are the $480 million dollars from the so-called Â«Indian contractÂ», which the three of you, - plus Potanin, - ran through the offshore banks in Seychelles and Comoro Islands, through Swiss banks, and which you partly invested into SvyazInvest (Communications Invest)? If you ran out of all that money, you could have borrowed some even from Zhirinovsky, whom Saddam paid $5 million cash just for sitting on a toilet. Let me give you a piece of advice, you scoundrel: think big and donât watch over every penny like a scrooge.
With no respect whatsoever,
Abdallah Shamil Abu-Idris"
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/08/2003 1:21:41 AM ||
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GENEVA -- Negotiators from 192 countries have narrowed differences on setting the global ground rules for expanding use of the Internet, but remain undecided on whether rich nations should help their poor counterparts pay for the increase. I can just about guess which "RICH NATIONS"
Two days of closed-door talks, which continued into the early hours Sunday, have resolved most of the key issues to be tackled at a U.N. summit on information technology which starts Wednesday, said Marc THE Furrer, the Swiss official who brokered the discussions.
They canât figure out the wording on how to call it a tax on US
"Unfortunately, we didnât settle everything, but one has to be realistic. Weâre probably at 98 percent," said The Furrer, director of Switzerlandâs Federal Office of Communications. Negotiators will meet again Tuesday, on the eve of the three-day World Summit on the Information Society, he told reporters.
The negotiators, meeting for the fifth round of talks already this year, have been trying to draft documents for the nearly 60 heads of state or government expected in Geneva. The New World Governance
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Cuban President Fidel Castro are among some of the leaders who plan to attend. Many of the leaders will be coming from developing countries. Good bye Freedom of Speech
The key stumbling block remains whether and how richer nations should subsidize growth of the Internet in poorer countries.
African countries support the creation of a special "digital solidarity fund" to pay for extending the Internet into remote villages, but European nations, the United States and Japan have been wary, saying existing development aid money could be used instead.
"Some countries want to set this up now, others say they donât want to have anything to do with it," said the Furrer, without identifying them. "Itâs clear we need resources, but we should first check whether there are already resources, because some exist but are not used."
On Tuesday, negotiators will focus on wording saying a further study is needed before any fund is created, said Furrer. "If the idea is good the fund will happen, if itâs not good it wonât happen."
Furrer said the talks had resolved two other key differences: whether news media freedoms should be protected and whether and how governments should regulate the Internet. You Nazi commie bastards
During earlier rounds, media and human rights organizations said they were worried that a draft of the final declaration to be issued at the close of the summit made little reference to freedom of expression.
Countries - including China - which have clamped down on both regular and Internet media have been anxious to restrict references to press freedom in the declaration, campaigners and officials close to the talks said.
However, Furrer said, negotiators have agreed to include wording maintaining the commitment to press freedom enshrined in the United Nationsâ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"Itâs always a compromise," said Furrer. "However, as a former journalist, I can stand behind the wording. Countries that uphold the idea of a free media can live with it."
Countries have been divided over whether to exercise more national control over the Internet. Some developing nations have said they would like a U.N. body to regulate the Internet, but industrialized countries reject international agencies playing a significant control.
After the latest talks, "the political will was quite clear - we donât want a big change on Internet governance," Furrer said.
Key decisions about controlling the Internetâs core systems remain with the U.S. government and a private, U.S.-based organization of technical and business experts known as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number, or ICANN.
Some countries, particularly newcomers to the Internet which are afraid they could be ignored, seek a greater role for non-U.S. governments, perhaps through a treaty-based international organization.
Rather than tackle the issue in Geneva, negotiators have agreed to ask U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to set up a group to study new ways to run the Internet, with its proposals to be presented at another information summit in Tunisia in 2005.
ICANN president Paul Twomey praised the outcome, saying such a working group was more likely than the government-dominated summit to reflect the positions of business and civic leaders.
But Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada, said a greater role for government is inevitable. The discussions over the next two years, he said, would be over whether that role remains within ICANN or goes to "some other acronym."
Posted by: Ron in Colorado ||
12/08/2003 12:30:51 AM ||
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Most everything the UN touches turns to s--t. This will be no different. A bloated bureacracy, taxes, squeezes on freedom of speech. Just another way to drain the money from honest working people and stuff already overweight bureaucrats, who produce absolutely nothing, never have, and never will.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
12/08/2003 0:49 Comments ||
I thought Damian Penny linked to an article w/in the last year that Canada was toying w/the idea of taking over all ISPs.
Spot-on, Spot. It's just too juicy and important to pass up. Creating a new "fund" will just be a new opportunity for theft - especially in Africa. And no, it won't be anywhere near the free-spirited and free medium it is today after they get their grubby stinking paws on it. Truly sad. We'll be forced to replicate to an undernet so sites such as RantBurg can be read by those who have the misfortune to have been born in one of the wrong places.
It's time for the US to protect their own freedom of speech by implementing a public library-esque solution (so to speak) for the internet.
It should follow pretty much the same ideology as a public library. We don't need no stinking UN, but what we do need the backbone for a free system that all US citizens (at least) can be guaranteed access without big corporations gobbling up all control. It doesn't need to be as fast or as private owned companies (aka bookstores) but just like public libraries, it needs to be funded and it's free speech rules protected. The servers could be managed by Universities.
Well, at least U.N. Control of Web has been shot down:
GENEVA â The United States, backed by the European Union, Japan and Canada, has turned back a bid by developing nations to place the Internet under the control of the United Nations or its member governments.
But governments, the private sector and others will be asked to establish a mechanism under U.N. auspices to study the governance of the Internet and make recommendations by 2005.
The move came in preparatory talks for the World Summit on the Information Society, opening Wednesday in Geneva. More than 200 delegates from more than 100 countries attended the talks.
The draft declaration to be issued at the end of the conference Friday also includes strong references to freedom of the press and freedom of information online, despite protests by Vietnam and China, which pushed for more restrictions.
Posted by: Frank G ||
12/08/2003 11:12 Comments ||
Dishman, Unfortunately Treaties which the U.S. enters have the same force as, and sometiems trumps, the U.S. Consitution. Sad but true. This was been used in the past by environuts to enforce restrictions.
So if the U.S. enters a treaty with someone which regulates speech (which may potentially cross over into, say, China - can you say Websites? Blogs?) then it will have the same (or more) force of law as the U.S. Consitution - and voila! Rantburg is illegal (or rantburg is hate-speech).
(Of course I am not a lawyer - dont even play one on T.V. so I may be blowing smoke out of my ass again.) So feel free to correct this if I am wrong.
Not quite right. In US law, a treaty has the same force as a federal statute (or "Act of Congress"). The Constitution is superior to both. As between a treaty and a statute which are in conflict, the most recent prevails.
I imagine that in the next decade we'll see an alternate internet built by/for China, Iran,Cuba, North Korea, and other police states, that would find a highly censored version of the internet highly useful.
Why would folks in an outlying village in Africa really need/want internet access? Even if they can afford a computer the download times over those third world telephone lines would be madening. Oh, but if the US also paid for new phone equipment, and of course uninteruptable (and clean yells the green!) power to ensure the access isn't lost due to brownouts.That's the ticket.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.