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France Ready for Postwar Role in Iraq. Really.
Today's Headlines
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Saudi Arabia Awakes to the Perils of Inbreeding
Across the Arab world today an average of 45 percent of married couples are related, according to Dr. Nadia Sakati, a pediatrician and senior consultant for the genetics research center at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. In some parts of Saudi Arabia, particularly in the south, the rate of marriage among blood relatives ranges from 55 to 70 percent, among the highest rates in the world, according to the Saudi government.
Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Didn't think so...
Widespread inbreeding in Saudi Arabia has produced several genetic disorders, Saudi public health officials said, including the blood diseases of thalassemia, a potentially fatal hemoglobin deficiency, and sickle cell anemia. Spinal muscular atrophy and diabetes are also common, especially in the regions with the longest traditions of marriage between relatives. Dr. Sakati said she had also found links between inbreeding and deafness and muteness.
And don't forget various mental disorders...
Saudi health authorities, well aware of the enormous social and economic costs of marriage between family members, have quietly debated what to do for decades. Now, for the first time, the government, after starting a nationwide educational campaign to inform related couples who intend to marry of the risk of genetic disease, is planning to require mandatory blood tests before marriage and premarital counseling.
"Mrs. Abdulhassan, I hate to tell you this, but you and your old man both carry the gene for stupidity and for religious fanaticism. I recommend against having children. Maybe you should get a puppy instead?"
Health officials and genetic researchers here say there is no way to stop inbreeding in this deeply conservative Muslim society, where marrying within the family is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years.
"Yup. Me, an' Sis, and Baby Gus..."
Today, when most unions are still arranged by parents, marrying into wealth and influence often means marrying a relative. Social lives are so restricted that it is virtually impossible for men and women to meet one another outside the umbrella of an extended family. Courtships without parental supervision are rare.
That's why they result so often in pregnancy, followed by stoning...
Among more educated Saudis, marrying relatives has become less common and younger generations have begun to pull away from the practice. But for the vast majority, the tradition is still deeply embedded in Saudi culture.
"But I don't want to marry Mahmoud!"
"Why not?"
"'Cuz he's my brother!"
"He's only your half brother."
"Well, okay, then."
Statistics on the prevalence of genetically based diseases and the extent to which they are a direct result of marriage between close relatives — second cousins or closer — are scarce or unreliable because many Saudi parents raise their disabled children in obscurity, ashamed to seek services. Not all marriages between close relatives produce children with genetic disorders. In fact, most do not. But testing could identify couples who test positive for serious diseases. Under a fatwa issued by the World Islamic League in 1990, Islam permits abortions up to 120 days after conception if an unborn child tests positive for a serious disorder.
Yep. A fatwah. That oughta do it...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 04:22 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [637 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Whooda thunk it?

And people made fun of Jessica Lynch's origins.
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 17:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Seems entire area is made up of inbred Dim-Wits, 60% illiterate, with religion that advocates killing all non-believers.

I am approaching the belief that the only solution for this areas problems is carpet bombing with MOAB’s and then re-populate.

rot13 email address
Posted by: Da_Gunny_Retired || 05/01/2003 17:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Sounds like the WIL needs to issue a Fatwa WIL-2003-xxxx for seeking mates outside of town or country, then Fatwa WIL-1990-7734 does not have to be invoked so much.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/01/2003 19:08 Comments || Top||

#4  When your choice is limited to camels, goats or yo' sista, guess what happens (most of the time)?
Posted by: Larry || 05/01/2003 19:36 Comments || Top||

#5  While traveling in the Sinai we went to several places sharm, dahab, nuwebah, etc. the bedouins there at the respective villages share many of the same abnormalities. In nuwebah its claws. I swear, a large percentage of the villagers have clawed feet and hands. At other villages its deafness or blindness. Sick sh-t. Though I did have sex with a cousin of mine.
Posted by: david || 05/01/2003 21:41 Comments || Top||

#6  How about brain damage? Was that mentioned or just considered a foregone conclusion?
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/01/2003 23:01 Comments || Top||

France’s Chirac Insists on European A400M Engine.
French President Jacques Chirac told German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at a defense summit in Brussels he will only accept a European engine for the planned A400M military transport plane, Handelsblatt said. Airbus SAS, the world's No. 2 planemaker, which will build the aircraft, delayed a decision on whether to order the engines from United Technologies Corp.'s Pratt & Whitney Canada unit or its European rival group led by Snecma SA and Rolls-Royce Plc after Chirac's intervention, the German business daily reported. The offer by the group involving Snecma, France's state- controlled engine maker and a key supplier to Airbus, is about 235 million euros ($265 million) more expensive than Pratt & Whitney's, Handelsblatt said.
Seven countries, including France, Germany and the U.K., plan to buy 180 of the transport planes costing at least $80 million each. Picking the engine maker is the last step before the countries give the formal go-ahead for Airbus to start building. The A400M is scheduled to begin service in about 2008.
Posted by: ISHMAIL || 05/01/2003 11:47 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [449 views] Top|| File under:

Boycott grinds on against French food, wine, travel
France continues to take it on the chin — and in the gut. Nearly one in five Americans who regularly buy French products say they have stopped because of France's outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup survey. The French Government Tourist Office — which figures France will lose about $500 million in American tourist business this year for a variety of reasons — is taking the situation so seriously that it is about to begin a multicity campaign promoting travel bargains to France. ''We're going to talk directly to the American people,'' says Robin Massee, a tourism spokeswoman.
Bad move, better to give the American people 6 more months to forget instead of reminding them that you still exist.
Their research shows they need to. More than 41% of Americans with French travel plans have modified them in some way, according to a consumer survey on the tourist office's Web site. Requests for French travel information were down 34% in March, Massee says.
I'm disappointed it's only 34%
''There's still a lot of anger out there,'' says Roger Simmermaker, whose Web site (www.howtobuyamerican.com) touts the ''biggest French Boycott List anywhere'' of French companies. ''This isn't going to go away anytime soon.'' Signs of damage:
  • Travel. The French tourist office is about to launch a Club France card with the lure of 10% discounts on everything from plane tickets to hotel bills.
  • Trade shows. This summer's Paris Air Show, an aviation convention attracting the world's biggest aerospace companies, expects far fewer U.S. visitors.
  • Investments. Montana divested all $15 million worth of French company shares its state investment board managed. ''There's a concern about the price of French stocks if Americans refuse to buy French products,'' executive director Carroll South says.
  • Restaurants. Andre Rochat, owner of three French restaurants in Las Vegas, will go to court to pursue charges against a caller who threatened him. The restaurateur's business is off 25%. ''I'm an American citizen,'' Rochat says. ''What about my rights?''
    Heheh HA!
  • Consumer products. While limited in scope and effect, American boycotts of French companies have hit everyone from Dannon to L'OrÚal.
  • Wine. Sales of French wine — the symbol of French culture — are way off. Bill Deutsch, whose company, W.J. Deutsch & Sons, is a big U.S. importer of French wine, says his sales are off 10%. ''I've never witnessed anything like this,'' he says. Supermarket chain Harris Teeter has stopped advertising French wines in its weekly circulars. ''Why put something out there that may provoke a negative reaction?'' poses spokeswoman Tara Stewart.
Posted by: Domingo || 05/01/2003 02:18 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1111 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In my case, it's not just a visceral dislike of a preening whore who stabs us in the back at any opportunity, supports dictatorships, sabotages security arrangements for temporary advantage...they also feel the need to talk to down to "their lessers" and insist we let this third rate welfare state that can't get a carrier out of the freaking Med without breaking a screw tell us how to operate as a global power. I get a sense of satisfaction when I deliberately do not patronize French products - it's not just the Chirac and De villepin arrogant assholes, it's every french waiter and Theresa Heinz Kerry that've tried to imply that to be other than French is to be less....;-)

For now, let me ask each and every one of you rantburgers to take monday afternoon off, purchase a fine Mexican mescal or tequila, some limes and salt, and toast repeatedly Cinco De Mayo, when the Mexican army of 4000 smashed a French (and traitorous mexican combatants - seeing a pattern here?) Army twice its size at the battle of Puebla. Arriba!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/01/2003 20:51 Comments || Top||

#2  A "frog" is an ugly, slimy, isolationistic, repulsive and carbuncular denizen who resides in the deep dark recesses of the oozing swamp.
Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 14:33 Comments || Top||

#3  I really don't understand the logic in boycotting French restaurants in the US, which are unconnected to the French economy.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 14:40 Comments || Top||

#4  The 34% drop may have come at a time of year when they usually see a 100% increase...
Posted by: Kalle (kafir forever) || 05/01/2003 14:44 Comments || Top||

#5  liberalhawk, maybe the point is that one should stop using France as an emblem of quality food... I've had truly delicious meals in Spanish and Italian restaurants -- and the service is usually a million times friendlier and better.
Posted by: Kalle (kafir forever) || 05/01/2003 14:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Mike- I dont see why - France is still the home of great principles of liberty, whether the current French govt or even French people live up to them now. I'll drink a domestic Cabernet over a French Bordeaux, but I wont stop drinking Cabernet because it somehow reminds me of Chirac. Just as I eat felafel without it reminding me of Yasser Arafat, or whatever.

KF- I tend to prefer Asian cuisine myself (wasabi not wahabi is my motto) but i still dont see why if you like french cuisine you should stop liking it.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 14:53 Comments || Top||

#7  not that i can afford a decent French Bordeaux - (much less a decent red Burgundy) if i had that much money, id have to consider becoming a Republican ;)

as ever,
a Zinfandel liberal
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 14:56 Comments || Top||

#8  Liberalhawk: Zinfandel - now yer talkin'! One of the main reasons for me not packin' up and movin out of the People's Republic of Kalifornia is that I'm in the heart of Zin country, and there's no way I'm abandoning all that good grape to a bunch of undeserving and unappreciative moonbats. As for boycotting a domestic French restaurant, the food still represents a cultural import so I can't blame someone for passin' it up. It is sad for Mr. Rochat...but he should have diversified, and he's always free to change the menu. Gimme a cowboy cut ribeye (with a zin) anytime.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 05/01/2003 15:25 Comments || Top||

#9  Liberalhawk,
They don't eat the food because it's good, they eat it because it's French. The aura (sp?) that goes along with it is why they ate it. Now that the French mystique is mud, so is the aura (sp?, again) While before it was somehow refined, and delicate, it's now backstabbing, and assinine.
The French reputation (and any countries reputation)attaches to all things French.
Posted by: Mike N. || 05/01/2003 15:27 Comments || Top||

#10  they ate it for the aura - now which had more aura, traditional French cuisine, or nouvelle couisine?? Doesnt Pacific Rim cuisine have more aura these days? Or New American cuisine?

I havent eaten French much lately - between my tastes, my family's and $$ theres not much reason to. But a nice French Onion Soup is still very good, among many other things they do VERY well. And as long as the onion is american, why shouldnt I enjoy it?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 15:50 Comments || Top||

#11  liberalhawk:

said it here before and I'll say it again. Drink Australian and California wines. Cheaper (right now there's too much wine being made in Cali.) and better.
Posted by: growler || 05/01/2003 16:07 Comments || Top||

#12  liberalhawk, France is NOT the home of principles of liberty. While the Americans were busy implementing the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights -- the French gave the world the Terror (i.e. terrorism) and Napoleon.
Posted by: Kalle (kafir forever) || 05/01/2003 16:30 Comments || Top||

#13  Liberalhawk, I understand your attitude, but I live in Paris. France is much closer to a communist country than it ever was to a democratic country. 50% of the people live in public housing and the major political powers are communist and a watered-down communist (socialist). The right which is 20% of voters is Nazi FN. What's left is a miricle 20% middle i.e. Chirac. This country from early in the morning till late at night plays anti-american propaganda; non stop! Why,I don't know? They say they are our allies, then in the next breath, they hate our guts. I say who gives a shit what they say or do until they wise up. The USA and allies need to take care of business. USA, Britian and the Aussies all the way! I say we need a three way alliance! The "Axis of Loyalty"!
Posted by: George || 05/01/2003 16:40 Comments || Top||

#14  LH. I'm not saying that you shouldn't eat French food because it's French. I'm just saying that many people have had a severe case of sensory-crossover. What has happened, is that they've had their sense of decency offended by the French, and now it offends their sense of taste.
That explanation is idiotic. But you get my drift. I'm not trying to justify it. I'm just trying to understand it. Nevermind, I understand it completely. In fact it's so right that it need no justification. It's French. What more reason do you need?
Posted by: Mike N. || 05/01/2003 16:58 Comments || Top||

#15  Whenever the third world cesspool du jour has a problem with our Executive branch, they blow up a McDonald's or KFC, non?

It's the new multi-lateral thing to do.

Drink Scotch... enjoy painless boycotting!
Posted by: Mark IV || 05/01/2003 17:08 Comments || Top||

#16  I stopped buying french (small f) products. I was going to take my wife to Paris this summer, but now we will go to Spain or Milan. I know sooo many Americans that are outraged at the Frogs, it is really amazing. They have succeeded at hitting a nerve with alot of people.

It's not that the French had a different opinion on Iraq, it's that they are complete double dealing pimps that sought to hinder and undermine us and sell us out at every turn (other than that, they were extremely helpful). In truth, it exposed the fact that we really have very few shared values with them.

So... people have quit pretending. The gloves are off and I'll place my bet on our 300 million consumer against the French economy anyday.
Posted by: Jonesy || 05/01/2003 17:12 Comments || Top||

#17  $500m JUST in tourist biz. How much in exports? Robert Parker didn't go to the big wine show this year, cited terrorism. It's going to cost them at least $1 billion. And their campaign will go about as well as the Saudi friend campaign.

If they stop eating MD, also hurts them harder than US. They'll just throw their own people out of work.
Posted by: Anonymous || 05/01/2003 17:25 Comments || Top||

#18  I agree Anonymous. Americans have a heightened sensitivity of who their friends are (and an even more heightened sense of who their enemies are). The French have deliberately placed themselves in category two. No amount of short term marketing is going to change that. What I am seeing is pretty visceral and widespread.
Posted by: Jonesy || 05/01/2003 17:46 Comments || Top||

#19  In my case, it's not just a visceral dislike of a preening whore who stabs us in the back at any opportunity, supports dictatorships, sabotages security arrangements for temporary advantage...they also feel the need to talk to down to "their lessers" and insist we let this third rate welfare state that can't get a carrier out of the freaking Med without breaking a screw tell us how to operate as a global power. I get a sense of satisfaction when I deliberately do not patronize French products - it's not just the Chirac and De villepin arrogant assholes, it's every french waiter and Theresa Heinz Kerry that've tried to imply that to be other than French is to be less....;-)

For now, let me ask each and every one of you rantburgers to take monday afternoon off, purchase a fine Mexican mescal or tequila, some limes and salt, and toast repeatedly Cinco De Mayo, when the Mexican army of 4000 smashed a French (and traitorous mexican combatants - seeing a pattern here?) Army twice its size at the battle of Puebla. Arriba!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/01/2003 20:51 Comments || Top||

France Ready for Postwar Role in Iraq
Thanks, Paul. I needed that...
France is ready to join the reconstruction of Iraq and help ensure self-rule is quickly restored despite U.S. resistance to a prominent French role, the foreign minister said Wednesday. ``France wants to be present at the side of the Iraqi people,'' Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said, adding the reconstruction effort should be supervised by the United Nations. A French diplomat, whom de Villepin did not identify, is in Baghdad to begin discussions with the various political and religious factions vying for power there, he said.
I think it would be vastly amusing to see Jean-Pierre or whatever his/her/its name is get the boot publicly: a trip to the Jordanian border escorted by a half dozen large Marines, culminating in a "Get out and stay out!"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 11:30 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1096 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's hard to guage the level of anti-American sentiment in Baghdad from what we see in the press. Either they have a tendency to focus almost exclusively on the bad, or they Iraqis really aren't that happy with us because I don't see any positive stories. That could mean a warm welcome for the French, if the Iraqis know we aren't happy with the French.

I think it's disgusting that the French are going to be allowed to be there anyway. They have done nothing but fight us the whole way and now they go in for the glory party, when we hand the country back to the Iraqis. Bleh, makes me sick.
Posted by: g wiz || 05/01/2003 12:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Sure, let the French in. I imagine some American officers might like drivers, valets or personal chefs.
Posted by: Christopher Johnson || 05/01/2003 12:17 Comments || Top||

#3  "France wants to be present at the side of the Iraqi people"

As opposed to their previous position, helping Saddam stand on the Iraqi people's thoats. What an asshole
Posted by: Frank G || 05/01/2003 12:22 Comments || Top||

#4  What can the French teach Iraqis? How to hate Americans in a limp-wristed kind of way.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/01/2003 15:21 Comments || Top||

#5  I've previously posted on this site that some of the ignorant and naive opinions expressed were frightening. Now, however, having read this site for a little longer it is rather apparent that the collective IQ of the majority of the contributors is sadly lacking and the only danger this site poses it that of splitting the laughing sides of people from all over the world can check out how, frankly, ridiculous some Americans' opinions evidently are - no insult intended to you folks personally, after all it's not your fault that your country's underfunded education system has, quite evidently, failed you (you have a lower level of literacy in the U.S. than they have in Cuba) and left you without the necessary skills to analyse, with any real degree of rigour, the information presented to you, resulting in the vicious, vitriolic, intolerant, self serving, inward looking, and really rather pathetic and meaningless views which you present.
Posted by: Sunnie || 05/05/2003 7:40 Comments || Top||

Germany: Killing ants is punishable by law
Edited for brevity.
Gerhard Schröder’s unpopular government has acted decisively to protect workers’ rights - worker ants’ rights, that is. In an effort to protect the humble German ant from the nation’s over-zealous gardeners, 85 ant-protection officers have been appointed.
One way to take care of rampant unemployment--expand the government!
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 09:26 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [415 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The article does give a reason though:

"He said ants are highly valued by German foresters for eating insects which attack trees. A high ant population can prevent costly and environmentally unfriendly woodland spraying aimed at pests, such as the nun moth which attacks pines and other conifers."

God, where do you dig out these news, I never heard of it before..lol
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 9:34 Comments || Top||

#2  TGA -- I understand and respect the reasoning--I welcome any natural alternative to a chemical solution--it's the implementation I find absurd! 85 more government employees dedicated to protecting ants? Doesn't Germany already have a police force and/or a wildlife protection agency?
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 9:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah it does sound a bit weird. Actually I doubt it that they appointed 85 ant-protection officers. I rather believe that existing nature protection officers were just given an extra badge. Can't find anything about it in the German press though.
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 9:56 Comments || Top||

#4  The Germans are big on uniforms. I have to wonder what these guys are wearing when engaged in their ant-protective duties. I bet it's eye-catching, yes sir...

Posted by: mojo || 05/01/2003 10:43 Comments || Top||

#5  No uniforms, just a badge
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 10:50 Comments || Top||

#6  Ant Polizei! Halten sie!
Posted by: mojo || 05/01/2003 13:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Will they have a Rapid Response Force?
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/01/2003 13:59 Comments || Top||

#8  The ants come marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/01/2003 15:11 Comments || Top||

#9  Okay. The beauzeaux and moonbats are going too far. What if there's a nest belonging to a stinging variety? Does the gardener have a duty to die of the stings?
Posted by: KP || 05/01/2003 16:08 Comments || Top||

May Day rioting rocks Berlin — for 17th year
Happy May Day! Break something for progress!
Leftist May Day rioters staged running street battles with police in Berlin early Thursday, marking the 17th year that violence has marred May 1 festivities in the German capital. Hundreds of masked youths smashed store windows and overturned cars in the Prenzlauer Berg district of the city.
If it's such an accepted and legal act they wouldn't wear masks — why is this crap tolerated when they know exactly when/where it will occur?
By dawn the rioting had spread down down Schoenhauser Allee in what used to be East Berlin. Some 2,500 police in riot gear moved in with batons and tear gas to to bring the violence to an end. But authorities said that, based on experience, more serious street violence was likely to occur again Thursday night, after May 1 parades and rallies. In all, more than 7,500 riot police are standing by in the German capital in a bid to counter what has become an annual rite of spring violence by left-wing extremists.
Nope. They never get tired of that stuff in Red Berlin...
Officers backed by water cannons hoped to keep the violence to a minimum in the Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg districts which are favoured by rioters. Police say they were especially concerned about a planned far-right protest on May Day itself which could become a focal point of clashes with leftists.
Move em all to a barren fenced in parking lot and sell tickets — idiots
How 'bout the Olympic Stadium?
At least 65 May Day demonstrations are planned in Berlin for Thursday most of them peaceful. But since the 1980s, far-leftists have used the public holiday as an occasion for pitched street battles. The first rioting occurred on May 1, 1987, when left protesters took to the streets to protest against what they termed a ``bourgeois'' celebration of the 750th founding of the city of Berlin.
"Useless Idiots"
The rioting has been repeated every year since 1987, first in West Berlin and then, following German unification in 1990, in both halves of united Berlin. Cars are often set ablaze and many residents move their vehicles to other parts of town for May Day. Supermarkets and shops have been plundered in the past. Many people, unassured by the police presence, barricade their windows.
It's a tradition now
Posted by: Frank G || 05/01/2003 08:55 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1414 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The article doesn't say how many arrests are made each year. Somehow I think if people were actually arrested and seriously prosecuted for rioting the rioting would be reduced.

The rioters should invite US representative Maxim Waters to be their honorary queen of the riot.
Posted by: mhw || 05/01/2003 9:12 Comments || Top||

#2  TGA, is there ANY protest from left wing leaders to this "tradition"? If not, then they should be held responsible. If so, then these are just thugs using politics as an excuse.
Posted by: Ptah || 05/01/2003 9:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Nah, just the usual spring break of people you can't even call "leftists". Germans call them "Chaoten". From what I see they got quite a good whacking from police this time. But you know some people love barfights that end with broken noses.

Just a bit of local folklore, not much politics in it.

I might add though that they tried it once in Munich. Tried. Once.
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

#4  I'd like to know the demographics of these demonstrators. I'd like to ask them to sit down and explain their actions to the people whose property they destroyed. I'm no expert, but here's something I noticed about the demonstrations in the US against the World Bank/IMF. They all look like white college kids on spring break. They're protesting racism, among other things, but I don't think I've ever seen a person of color in the crowd. Here in DC, people of color get pissed off at them because they can't make it to their jobs on account of the protests. They are largely ignored, unless they break things, in which case, they just annoy people. So, TGA, did the police in Munich hand out a good butt-whipping?
Posted by: Joe || 05/01/2003 10:21 Comments || Top||

#5  Joe, police caught them whenever they tried to move into town, whenever 3 of them got together they were dispersed or bagged.

The punks said a day later they'd never return to Munich because it was such a boring day.

Btw, no Munich shop bothered to barricade its window. And not a single one was smashed.
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 10:28 Comments || Top||

#6  It wasn't global warming, the police car was a symbol of racism. The lyrics to "Killing in the Name Of" from a band called "Rage Against the Machine" explains everything:
"Some of those that were forces, are the same that burn crosses" (repeated 4 times)
"Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites" (repeated 4 times)
So now you're enlightened ;)
Posted by: RW || 05/01/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||

#7  C'mon Joe, it's so obvious! These protesters have to show the world what a potential environmental hazard the underside of a police cruiser can be! Whoa, watch out for flaking rustproofing, and those little weights that they use to balance tires!

Of course, what these shmucks don't realize is that when all the protests are over, a large diesel exhaust spewing tow truck of some sort needs to make an extra trip downtown to winch the car rightside up. After that, the body shop needs to run huge, energy munching frame straightening machines, and assuming the car can be salvaged, have to spray new coats of primer and paint, releasing fogs of smelly fumes, even if it's in a proper painting environment. Geniuses, I tell you! they sure showed us a thing or two about saving the environment...
Posted by: Dripping sarcasm || 05/01/2003 11:38 Comments || Top||

#8  Oh I forgot to mention, Rage Against the Machine was once connected to Michael Moore. He produced one of their videos. Now you're even more enlightened!
Posted by: RW || 05/01/2003 11:40 Comments || Top||

#9  Berlin? I though the article was another Fisker from Baghdad. Sorry.
Posted by: john || 05/01/2003 11:51 Comments || Top||

#10  This reminds me of a bunch of people I shared a house with in college. Some of them were neo-Hippies who'd protest just about anything you could name. They kept a frigging bag of bean curd or some other damn thing hanging in the kitchen and used to lecture us about our eating habits. We all drank like fish in those days, and no one ever called them to task for their alcohol consumption, though. I guess slaughtering your liver is preferable to slaughtering cows, but I digress. There was one girl, one of the most vocal and obnoxious ones, who called herself "Marnie." I don't think that was her real name. It was probably something like Judy or Agnes, but what good is that when you're trying to pretend it's 1967 and this is Haight Ashbury? There was another guy who called himself "Hahn" but I think his real name was Numb Nuts. Anyway, these kids would protest just about any company that came to campus to recruit for employees. They actually protested rape! No doubt it was directed at all the white males within earshot who everyone knows are latent rapists. After that, I decided, what the hell. I'm going to protest cold weather. And the fact that it gets dark too early in the fall. But the best part is that one morning I overheard "Marnie" on the phone, bitching at her Dad, who lived in Pennsylvania and was paying a lot of money to send this girl to Tufts University. See, Marnie used to drive around in a shitty, beat-up old Pinto wagon. And she was demanding that Dad cough up the cash to get her a nicer car. You know, so she could get around to the protests and stuff.
Posted by: Joe || 05/01/2003 12:59 Comments || Top||

#11  Lived with a gal a while back,she decided to go vegiterian,and decided I should too.Course that whent over like a big slab of Tofu.Told her if she wanted to go veggie fine,but don't try to force me to.Then she proposed a compromise:eat meat 1-2 times a week.My counter proposal I would eat veggie 1-2 a week.I like my bacon/sausage,and I damn sure won't give up my chops and steaks.

BTW,we don't live together anymore.
Posted by: raptor || 05/02/2003 7:34 Comments || Top||

Russia and France To Up Military Cooperation
France and Russia have agreed to intensify military cooperation and joint weapons production to counter regional and global threats, the defense ministers of the two countries said.
Which ones?
"The meetings took place in a climate of great cordiality, great confidence and a very practical spirit with a look toward the future," French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said Friday following talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. Russia and France, both of which firmly opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq, have intensified political and diplomatic cooperation in recent months. They now look set to deepen military ties as well. Upon greeting Alliot-Marie before their talks Friday, Ivanov said Franco-Russian relations constituted one "of the most important elements" of overall stability in Europe. He said the two countries had substantially activated their relations recently. Both said that their countries want to develop weaponry that could be sold to third countries and to hold joint training exercises to improve the ability of their armed forces to work together.

Alliot-Marie stressed that France and Russia historically had strong military ties that could help the two countries develop better relations in the 21st century. "These relations are old and very strong," she said. She described current ties as "excellent," adding that they should be reinforced. Several of Alliot-Marie's senior aides have family ties to Russia. "Russian-French contacts are intensifying and are developing successfully," Ivanov said. Both ministers said they expected closer ties in defense manufacturing. France and Russia are currently working to develop a new generation MiG fighter plane. Ivanov indicated that other projects were in the works but declined to provide details.
Posted by: Tadderly || 05/01/2003 08:33 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [687 views] Top|| File under:

#1  countries want to develop weaponry that could be sold to third countries and to hold joint training exercises Jeeze - Sadaam steps out of the picture as a sponsor of terrorism and these two step in to take his place.

Look at the ignoble goals they get from it. France gets to continue to pretend that it has more power than it really has. Russia gets to keep up the fight against democracy at the expense of its own people.

I think what we are seeing here is the tatters of an alliace that was being formed when Iraq convinced the leaders of France, Russia, Turkey, Germany and all the other usual suspects that they could take on the US and be the stars in a new balance of world power. Thankfully, Germany seems to be sobering to the realization that it's a game of chicken that is far too dangerous, and it's not really in their best interests to play.
Posted by: Becky || 05/01/2003 9:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Wow ! am I wrong to think that something like this would concern Poland and perhaps a few other Eastern European countries. All we need now is a resurgence in Russian nationalism..
Posted by: Domingo || 05/01/2003 9:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Actually it's the best France can do. Germans won't have much of a problem with some soldiers wearing a German-French-Belgian badge. But Russia? Nope.

German defense minister Struck will meet Rumsfeld in Washington and Colin Powell is due in Berlin later this month. The Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that leading German exporters are putting discreet but efficient pressure on Schroeder and it seems to work.

Best U.S. policy? Mending fences with Germany without hugging Schroeder and preparing the ground to restore the excellent transatlantic relationship in earnest once the CDU takes over.

If France beds down with Russia Germany can still hold good relations with Russia but in the same time reassure Eastern Europe that this alliance won't fly. Germany cannot oppose France openly but I think Chirac is doing his best to make sure that the new Franco-German alliance won't work for long.
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 9:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Alliot-Marie stressed that France and Russia historically had strong military ties that could help the two countries develop better relations in the 21st century.

That Napoleon thing worked out just fine, didn't it?

The French are patting Putin on the back, looking for the soft spot to sink the knife.
Posted by: Raj || 05/01/2003 9:52 Comments || Top||

#5  TGA--I hope you're right. I'd like to see the US/UK give Germany an out at the same time Chiraq distances you by cozying up to the Russians. We want Germany's friendship far more than France's fickle and begrudging tolerance.
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 10:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Ah, yes. Michele Aliot-Marie, also known as MAM in the French papers. She's a Gaullist party hack who, if I remember correctly, was chairperson of the RPR, now UMP (Former and current acronyms for Chirac's party). In the aftermath of Chirac's victory over Le Pen last year, she was given the defense portfolio. A total incompetent who doesn't know a thing about war/military but is a useful female token. I mean, look at this quote, " Aliot-Marie stressed France and Russia historiclly had old military ties..." Huh? When? Crimea? WWI? MAM, you sly coquette. Do you mean the cat's out of the bag? You mean during the Cold War, or just since 1989? Was that statement passed to her from her "senior aids that have family ties to Russia"? Molly Ivins, Helen Thomas, I've got an investigative reporting project for you!! Forget Harken and Halliburton! BTW, saw Molly's new look above her column in today's Chicago Tribune. I didn't know whether to jump out the window or charge through the nearest wall when I saw it. Cut short, permed, and blond. Starts the blood flowing just thinking about it.

Anyway, back to important matters. Chirac in his university days studied Russian language/culture and in his simple way thinks this is a way to counter Anglosphere/New Europe/Smart Countries. Advice to Putin: the French are radioactive. They just want access to your former commie and current dictatorship pals. Think Syria and Libya. Advice to Chirac: The Russians are radioactive. They just want access to your money and former colonial markets. Think Ivory Coast and Central African Republic. What a bonanza! Advice to TGA: Watch your East AND West now. What's your take on this, anyway, TGA? I think it's time Germany stopped being led around by the nose by France. First, it's the Belgian/Luxembourg/French/German HQ construct and now this? Stand up for yourself, Germany, and don't follow these losers.

Posted by: Michael || 05/01/2003 10:22 Comments || Top||

#7  Dar, a lot of the anti-war hysteria in Germany came from the German media who are slowly sobering up, now that millions of refugees and streams of blood have not been showing up. The "war experts" seem to be rather silent these days.

Germans were rather thankful that France (and Russia) helped them out of political isolation that Schroeder had manouvred us in.

But we don't trust neither France nor Russia. For good reasons.
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 10:24 Comments || Top||

#8  Michael, I suspect these "ties" have something to do with the fact that the French are rumoured to have had secret deals with the Soviets that the Russkis would not cross the Rhine in case of an invasion.

Mourir pour l'Allemagne? Quelle horreur!
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 10:34 Comments || Top||

#9  Seems Poland joined NATO just in time...
Posted by: RW || 05/01/2003 11:47 Comments || Top||

#10  Germany cannot oppose France openly

Why not? They opposed the US openly. Schroder didn't even can his aid that compared our president to Hitler until the election was in the bag.
Posted by: g wiz || 05/01/2003 11:57 Comments || Top||

#11  Eh, you're saying the French made their own Ribbentrop-Molotov pact?
Posted by: Dishman || 05/01/2003 11:59 Comments || Top||

#12  Hilariously stupid. Could the French make east & central Europe any more pissed off / aligned with the US?
Posted by: someone || 05/01/2003 12:00 Comments || Top||

#13  "The meetings took place in a climate of great cordiality, great confidence and a very practical spirit with a look toward the future,"

Diplo-speak for "the Ruskies told us to take a hike"?
Posted by: john || 05/01/2003 12:31 Comments || Top||

#14  I think there was alcohol involved.
Posted by: Anonymous || 05/01/2003 13:00 Comments || Top||

#15  Putin doesn't drink
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 13:31 Comments || Top||

#16  liberalhawk-correct analysis.

I think even Schroeder is wisening up gradually so the vision doesn't have to rely that heavily on a CDU victory.

I still believe that Schroeder never wanted to go that far. But of course if you put fire to an oil well it takes a while to extinguish it. And the area around will be contaminated. Even the CDU has to tread lightly there. I don't think that the relations between the USA and Germany can be exactly the same as they were before. But sometimes the tea cups with a little crack hold out longer than the ones without.
Schroeder's relations with Blair are still good. Schroeder doesn't want a policy against the UK so France's options are limited. And Fischer may raise a lot of eyebrows here but without Schroeder he would definitely run a more pro-American ship in foreign policy.
Germany might not oppose France openly. But if France tries to backstab Germany with Russia that will backfire. (Russia won't trade Germany for France anyway, Putin is not stupid.) Germany has more political options than France. This is what France has been worrying about for the last decade.
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 15:34 Comments || Top||

EU nations condemn Euro army as a threat to Nato (meanwhile, vodka flows in Moscow)
Diplomatic warfare over proposals for a "Euro army" intensified yesterday as Greece and Russia came out in support while others, including Britain, condemned them as a divisive threat to Nato. Greece became the only other European Union member to support a call by France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg to boost Europe's self-reliance in defence, a day after the four countries met in Brussels. Russia added its weight, to the consternation of its erstwhile central European satellites, saying it considered "that yesterday's meeting marks the start of a process at the heart of the European Union". Igor Ivanov, the foreign minister, said Russia would "follow closely how it develops."
Them weasels, still up to their tricks?
"Why don't we call it, uhhh... the Holy Alliance?"
Condemnation of the initiative spread across the rest of Europe as concern grew over what was being seen as an attempt by a small caucus of the countries to loosen American and Nato ties to Europe. "The very reason that the meeting was held is that those countries weren't satisfied with our initiative which tied European defence to Nato," Tony Blair told Parliament. "There were four involved yesterday, there were 11 that weren't. We are part of the 11. The United Kingdom believes it is important that decisions on European defence and security are taken together in consensus, not only with the existing 15 members of the EU but also with those countries who are about to join."
What's with all this unilateral [I'm using the French word, which as we're all aware by now, does not have the same meaning as the English] military action, anyway?
Italy, Portugal and Spain, which also backed America over Iraq, reacted with dismay, while Nato said a new military command could lead to duplication.
Is NATO going to take this lying down?
Posted by: Bulldog || 05/01/2003 05:48 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [433 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Time for a Sixth Republic in Paris?
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 7:41 Comments || Top||

#2  As someone once noted, the Holy Roman Empire was "none of the above".

I think this will make the Germans and the ex-sattelites real, real nervous.
Posted by: mojo || 05/01/2003 10:47 Comments || Top||

#3  First of all, can anything that's been given the Russian stamp of approval ever be looked at as positive?

Secondly, I think this is going to be very fun to watch because after they go through all the political strife and expense of putting this military together they're going to want to use it, and relatively soon to prove how right they were, and how this is going to be a 'good thing'. The problem of course is that they are all born losers. So the question is which poor unsuspecting country will be forever damaged from their "help"?
Posted by: g wiz || 05/01/2003 11:43 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
Janeane sez "Bend over, put your head in the sand, and put a flag in your ass."
(greatly edited for brevity and to cut out the Hollywood fluff)
Though she has a framed photo of herself and Bill Clinton nearby,
(Why anyone would want to exhibit such a picture is beyond me.)
Janeane Garofalo mentions that she protested Desert Fox, Clinton's 1998 bombing of Iraq.
(What did that consist of? Scaling back her political contributions?)
And she's adamant about the Bush Administration. "There's nothing you could point to in the Bush Administration with pride," she says. "Nothing. There is no way any rational, reasonable person can say that the Bush Administration has been good for America."
It is surreal how out of touch the left is with the rest of America. But it proves the point. The left was decidedly more anti-Bush than anti-war and that is what drove the so-called "peace movement".
Question: Why are you speaking out against this war in Iraq?
Janeane Garofalo: I'm so public about this because I've been asked to do so and because I painfully felt that the anti-war movement was being ignored.
And so, like my three-year old, "I'm gonna keep screaming until I get some attention!"
But as it became abundantly clear that no one was getting on TV talking about this, and when I was specifically approached by the founders of Win Without War and some people at MoveOn.org, I said yes. And I wasn't reluctant about it. I can't stand watching history roll right over us. It's like they're asking you to bend over, put your head in the sand, and put a flag in your ass.
And given your girth, it could accomadate a mighty big flag.

Q: Have you felt a backlash from speaking out?
Garofalo: Ohmigod. It's ridic. I'm not saying that it's just me, it's everybody who's spoken out. The press has wasted America's time, an inordinate amount of time, with celebrity bashing.
But, boy oh boy, has it been fun.
First of all, why are you wasting time celebrity bashing? Don't book me. Don't put me on your show. You have a choice. You can book a guest you can respect or you can respect the guest you book.
Or, we can book you and abuse you.
It's really kind of fun, mocking you and making fun of you...
They love to pretend that if you are in entertainment, that's what defines you and you can't possibly have any knowledge of what's going on in the news. So you have grown adult anchors and media people who are literally acting like twelve year olds, saying, "You shut up. You don't know anything." Literally treating you with the contempt of a schoolyard bully.
"Whereas, really, somebody like me knows all sorts of things. Not substantive things, mind you, but things that are firmly grounded in opinion..."

Q: Have you gotten a lot of hate mail?
Garofalo: Oh shit, yeah. I had to change my home phone number. A lot of the hate mail I get is clearly misogynist. I am a proud liberal, feminist woman, and the hate mail I get for those three things is not about me. It's about those signifiers, and about what the right in this country has managed to do to perpetuate anger over what they mean. Then there is a lot of the hate mail that says actors are too wealthy to understand what's going on. The actors live in Hollywood, all this kind of nonsense. Do they realize how wealthy the Bush family is or the Cheney family? The Ashcrofts? Bill O'Reilly? Tom Brokaw?
Yes, that raging hard-right Brokaw dude.
Do they realize that if you are talking about the Administration now, Bush and Cheney in particular, the life of privilege, wealth, and elitism they have lived? If you are going to talk about somebody not understanding the common man, then look no further than the Beltway. It is shocking that some people's lives are enriched by this nonsense—these boycotts and e-mails. They are proving themselves to be fundamentally anti-American and anti-democratic. They are against the First Amendment, so what are they defending? Unless they are trying to build a fascist Administration, unless they are trying to bring the American people to a point that we exist under a totalitarian regime. That brings us to some of the rightwing pundits who dominate the radio, like Mike Savage, or some of the commentators at Fox--the Ann Coulters, what have you. I think what they do is they turn their own personal issues--whether they be racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, or imperialistic--and they wrap them in the flag and hide them behind Jesus.
Isn't Savage and Coulter Jewish?

Q: Do you think it's possible to have a liberal media network?
Garofalo: It is possible.
Possible? That answer leaves me incredulous. How about NPR, Pacifica Radio, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, Reuters, Associated Press and Public Television (Bill Moyers, specifically)?
What's not possible is to penetrate the wall of opposition. The myth is it can't work. Phil Donahue was working, but MSNBC took it off for their own rightwing agenda. A liberal radio network can easily work. What will accompany it, unfortunately, will be an overwhelming opposition to it in the mainstream media and by the punditocrity. Again, a lot of these pundits just sit around on these chat shows and repeat each other. They repeat phrases and words, and the news cannibalizes itself.

Q: What about the rumor that you might be involved in a new liberal radio talk show?
Garofalo: I don't know. I've been talking to Jon Sinton, who is trying to get this going. I am certainly willing to hear him out and go forward if it looks like something with integrity.
"I mean, I don't just want something where people call in and call me names until I start to cry or something. I'd like something more substantial than that. But I can't think of any other format that would make any money..."

Q: Are there any sit-coms in your future?
Garofalo: I don't know. I'm working on one for ABC.
Please, everyone let's kill this before it gets started.
It's going to be shot in Vancouver.
"It's got Gary Coleman in it, and John Ritter, and one of Suzanne Sommers' breasts, I think..."
But it's not a done deal; we're just shooting the pilot.
"They've already shot the writers, but the producer got away. He's the guy who stole Sean Penn's car..."
But with all this anti-war stuff, you never know. I never imagined that I would never care about dumb things anymore. I never imagined I'd be a person who could transcend that kind of nonsense.
"And I'm not, really. Everything I do care about, care deeply about, turns out to be dumb."
But beyond that, I never imagined I would be penalized for speaking out in favor of social justice.
"With my looks, I never even imagined anyone would pay attention to me. I'd just kinda slide, in the background, y'know..."
I never thought that anyone who spoke out for peace, and diplomacy, and social justice would be pilloried. I'm frequently depressed, just have a general malaise.
"I mean, look at me. I'm a young woman who wears birth-control glasses by choice. I have no noticeable bosom. My social skills stink. And every time I try to say something meaningful it comes out sounding like I'm regurgitating something Ed Asner ate. Wouldn't you be depressed?"
And I don't mean a malaise of indifference, I mean a malaise of sadness and fear.
"We're talking Jimmy Carter-style malaise here, folks! Where's my sweater? Oh. I have it on."
I've always been alarmed by some of the things that the mainstream media does and by what the government does, no matter who's in office, but the broken heart is new.
Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 01:27 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1728 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Social justice!? What about putting the kibosh on Saddamn?

Gahro-fall-o, you're the one whose head is in the sand. And is that a communist flag I see…
Posted by: KP || 05/01/2003 13:54 Comments || Top||

#2  I figure she's on about minute 14. Don't work too hard on the new sitcom, hon. It'll be a lot of wasted effort.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/01/2003 14:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Where's the interview question asking when she's planning to keep her crawling-on-broken-glass-at-the-white-house promise?
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 05/01/2003 14:12 Comments || Top||

#4  So the idiot has a kid. I picture her and her child having a Discussion a few years from now:

Child: "Mom, when you said that there's nothing you could point to in the Bush Administration with pride, did that include his sending troops into Iraq and their RESCUING CHILDREN FROM A CHILDREN'S PRISON?"

Jeneane: "Yes."

Child: "Who's my dad? I think I want to live with him."

Janeane: "It's back in the closet for you, kid. Call a Republican if you get hungry."
Posted by: FormerLiberal || 05/01/2003 14:14 Comments || Top||

#5  "Garofalo mentions that she protested Desert Fox, Clinton's 1998 bombing of Iraq. (What did that consist of? Scaline back her political contributions?) "

you're not aware how many lefties disliked Clinton? Howell Raines and the NYT for example. Never forgave him for supporting welfare reform. Farther left they never forgave him for attacking Slobo.

Will Marshall has a good piece in today's WaPo on the need to nominate a "Blair Democrat". I disagree with Marshall in that he includes Kerry with the "Blair Democrats" - I dont think he deserves the honor.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 14:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Liberal Hawk:

Hugh Hewitt obviously disagrees with you. Here's what Hugh had to say about the Will Marshall piece in WaPo:

"Will Marshall, also writing in the Post, is the President of the Progressive Policy Institute. Today he is trying to pass John Kerry, John Edwards and Dick Gephardt off as "Blair Democrats." What nonsense. Ask yourself, did any one of these three go out of their way to rally support for the war, to face down members of the Axis of Weasels, or to challenge the bitter, anti-war zealots of their own caucus? No, they simply maneuvered. It is an insult to Tony Blair's leadership in the war to compare it to the wind-blown manueverings of Kerry, Edwards, and Gephardt. The public was watching the war."

Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 14:31 Comments || Top||

#7  "Phil Donahue was working," Huh????????
"but MSNBC took it off for their own right-wing agenda." Huh??????????????????????????
Posted by: Mike N. || 05/01/2003 14:43 Comments || Top||

#8  It is alarmingly ironic that the Hollywood Left cries "McCarthyism" at every turn but guess who's strongarming the 1st amendment? Yep - the Hollywood Left, who used their muscle - via the William Morris Agency - to shut down the Boycott Hollywood site. Read on from Instapundit:

"MORE CRUSHING OF DISSENT: The Boycott Hollywood site is being shut down -- by legal muscle from Hollywood. There's a copy of the threat letter on the site. Here's the response:

I can say only this - - the fact that we're being shut down because of the William Morris Agency tells me that we truly touched a raw nerve in someone, somewhere. At the very least, it tells me that our message was recieved by the people that it was intended for. The very fact that we cannot express our opinions regarding the views of these stars/celebs shows me, yet again, the double standard that exists in Follywood.

Yes, if you even criticize these guys they scream "censorship" -- but Hollywood is censoring more speech in America than John Ashcroft has.

I'll also note that there's a lame subject-verb disagreement in the threat letter. Uneducated philistines!"


Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 14:55 Comments || Top||

#9  colorado cons:

Hewitt (whoever he is) is incorrect (if not an actual liar). Edwards made a prowar statement at, i think it was gathering in Iowa - and according to the New Republic reporter (IIRC) he was applauded by only one individual, as the rest sat in stony silence. I cant vouch for any Lieberman statements during the war, (funny how dem presidential candidates didnt get alot of coverage during the war;) but Joe has been rock solid on Iraq longer than dubya. Gephardt is a later convertbut has been solid for months. all three have been villified by the left. Asking if they actually did what Blair did is a red herring - they arent heads of state, they dont have the heft to do what Blair did. Lieberman could have said identical things to what Blair said (and i rather suspect he did) and he wouldnt have been covered, since it would be the act of presidential candidate, not a head of state.

I will not defend Kerry, who as far as I can tell WAS waffling.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 15:39 Comments || Top||

#10  minor correction - Blair is of course head of government, Lizzie Windsor remains UK head of state.

point remains the same.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 15:43 Comments || Top||

#11  JG is right in one way. Why did she and all the celebs get so much air time and ink in their opposition to the war? As she said, Don't book us if you don't consider us experts.

Here's the answer, JG. Our celeb-driven society is so narcissistic (sp?) that the media/entertainment industry just loves reporting on what media/entertainment personalities are doing and if the story is juicier if a celeb is at the center, then it will be commented on ad nauseum by supporters and detractors. This is one reason I enjoy listening to Drudge on Sunday nights. He really connects the points. EG, How much do you hear in the mainstream media about AOL-Time Warner's $100 billion loss for 2002? Correct me if I'm wrong on that figure. Matt was all over it. Time/CNN sure as hell weren't, but was all over Enron/MCI paltry $3-$6 billion.

Just think about all the "experts" commentating leading up to the war, during and even now. So many of them are the same cast of characters who come on to comment on anything. What about the absolute dearth of Iraqi exiles/refugees interviewed in the mainstream media? I wanted to throw my remote so often when I saw the gray sock sandal crowd here in the Windy City and elsewhere giving their inadequate answers on their opposition to the war. Then constant follow up articles in the Trib on the anxiety of the anti-war crowd and their hurt feelings on people using THEIR first amendment rights pointing out protesters naivite. Hell, we got at least 20,000 Iraqis in the Chicago area and they got so little coverage. I guess they were not just photogenic enough.

Here's a list of people I don't want to see on TV anymore regarding the Middle East/Iraq: Tom Friedman, Michael Kinsley, Youssef Ibrahim, Johnny Apple, JG, Streisand, Walid Phares, Robert Novak, to name a few. Others?

Give me more of: Chris Hitchens, Bernard Lewis, Fouad Al-Ajmi, Khidir Hamza, Richard Holbrooke, Rumsfeld. Others?

Posted by: Michael || 05/01/2003 15:58 Comments || Top||

#12  You know maybe I don't watch TV enough. Until she opened her mouth and started to complain, as is her right, I never even knew that she existed. What has she done in her life to jusfify her getting all the attention she's got? Been a stan-up comic? Had a TV show? Just what the F**K am I missing here?
Posted by: Someone who did NOT vote for William Proxmire || 05/01/2003 16:13 Comments || Top||

#13  YAWN.... I'd turn the channel or scroll on by, but the people mocking you, Jeaneane, (unlike you) are actually very funny.

You are just the pole in the Polish joke. A sidekick, a prop. Today's headline, tomorrow's bye-bye line.

PC Disclaimer: polish reference for analogy purposes only, no offense intended toward anyone or anything Polish.
Posted by: Becky || 05/01/2003 21:31 Comments || Top||

Bugtis run out of neighbors, start killing each other
NNI: As many as eleven people were shot dead in armed clash between the two clans of Bugti tribes in the last 48 hours in the outskirts of Jaccobabad. In the fresh clash, four people including women and children were killed in tribal feud between Wednesday and Thursday night on the spot, while ten people were injured. Both tribes, Bajkai and Hotkai have taken positions against each other and used heavy weapons. According to locals, police and law enforcement agencies have failed to maintain law and order in the area. Seven people including four members of a single family were killed, while five others were injured seriously in a tribal clash between the two clans of Bugti tribe on early Wednesday morning. According to detail, in Bugti colony some 16 km from Kandhkot, two clan of Bugti tribe attacked each other with automatic weapons killing seven people including four of a single family on the spot. The reason of the incident is stated to be old enmity. At least twenty people have so far been killed in the recent clash.
I think if I lived anywhere close to the Bugtis, I'd be considering relocation in the very near future...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 09:17 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [411 views] Top|| File under:

Clue about bin Attash came from Pearl probe
Thanks to Sharon for the headzup!
The first clue about the one-legged Al Qaida operative Waleed Mohammed bin Attash whom officials arrested on Tuesday, came when security agencies picked up a suspect Omar Dhobi in Karachi during investigations into the murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl. Sources say the existence of an Al Qaida cell run by Attash, who also uses the first name Khalid and uses the alias Tawfiq bin Attash or Tawfiq Attash Khallad, and was a highly respected figure in Osama bin Laden's network, came when police stumbled across a pair of crutches in the flat they raided while hunting for the killers of Pearl. Bin Attash escaped a police raid on a flat in Karachi on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, leaving behind his artificial limb. Since then security agencies had been searching for him.
"Any of you guys seen Walid bin Attash?"
"Tall guy, wears a turban? Got a wooden leg and carries an AK-47?"
"Yeah. That's him."
"Never heard of him."
Ramzi bin Al Shibh was arrested hours before the raid on the Karachi flat and the sources said he had given information about the whereabouts of Attash. The official described the arrest of the gang as "another major body blow" to Al Qaida after the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Pakistani intelligence officials said the arrest of six suspected Al Qaida members, including Attash, were made in two simultaneous raids in Karachi. "A major catastrophe has been averted," said Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, chief of the Crisis Management Cell of the Interior Ministry. "It is another big victory for us." The other five men who were arrested are all Pakistanis, Interior Ministry Secretary Tasneem Noorani said by telephone from Islamabad. However one source indicated that one of the arrested men was a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
"It's a fam'ly afa-a-a-air!"
Karachi police remained tight-lipped on the issue but intelligence sources said the arrests were made from the posh Defence Housing Authority and Clifton neighbourhoods of Karachi. Police sources said the first lead came on Monday when police stopped a pickup truck loaded with explosives, which were hidden among sacks of potatoes.
"Yes! We have-a no explosives! We have-a no explosives today!"
Three Pakistanis were arrested — all of them affiliated with outlawed Pakistani militant groups. They led police to a fourth man, a Pakistani, who was picked up on Tuesday and who led police to bin Attash. Intelligence officials said more than 150 kilos of high quality explosives were recovered from the possession of bin Attash. They also seized 200 detonators and other electrical components as well as a truckload of sulphur, gun powder and urea — items that could be used to construct a bomb.
That's not counting the explosives hidden with the tomatoes...
American intelligence officials have said that bin Attash met with two of the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackers in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in January the previous year. Both the hijackers, Khalid Al Mihdhar and Nawaf Al Hazmi, were on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Bin Attash was in Afghanistan during much of the planning of the attacks and was believed to have moved to Pakistan by late 2002. A CIA officer once described bin Attash as a "major-league killer". Abd Al Rahim Al-Nashiri, Al Qaida's chief of operations for the Gulf and another suspected mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, is already in U.S.custody after being detained in an undisclosed foreign country late last year.
Keeping the pressure up keeps the carnage down...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 10:24 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [593 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Are any of these guys part of the group that got away from jail in Yemen a few weeks ago?
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 11:13 Comments || Top||

#2  OK, I know Pakistan isn't popular here in Rantburg, but let's give them some credit for a job well done on these arrests.
Posted by: R. McLeod || 05/02/2003 0:27 Comments || Top||

Pearl ’killed over secrets’
France's leading philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, says that American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan last year was killed because he knew too much.
[Snipped. Rehash of last week's article. Is Levy on a book tour?]
Posted by: rg117 || 05/01/2003 07:30 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [439 views] Top|| File under:

#1  While the ISI is not known for pure motives, I would suggest they are far more interested in jerking India's chain than Americas.
Posted by: Douglas De Bono || 05/01/2003 9:04 Comments || Top||

#2  True Doug, yet if they feel revelations or press exposure would jeopardize the relative freedom Perv gives them to operate their great games, I bet they would have no problem throwing an American Jew to the jackals. Might not be their prime agenda, but also not something they'd be concerned about
Posted by: Frank G || 05/01/2003 9:40 Comments || Top||

Iraq: Some of the players
Grand Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani, arguably Iraq’s most revered Shiite spiritual leader, gave an interview to the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat on April 18 through his son. Sistani’s son spoke of “serious dangers that are directed at the religious figures, and even 
 Sayyed al-Sistani.” Georgetown University Middle East scholar Daniel Brumberg, who provided a translation of the interview for the Columbia University Gulf2000 website, interprets this not as opposition to the US, but to other Shiites who are trying to usurp Sistani’s authority.

One of those Shiite rivals is Muqtada al-Sadr, one of the few surviving descendants of Ayatollah Mohammed Bakr al-Sadr, who was executed on Saddam Hussein’s orders in 1980. Muqtada al-Sadr is only 22, but is a firebrand. Reporter Lara Marlowe of The Ireland Times quotes one Shiite in Baghdad: “The young people in Najaf follow Muqtada, but the older ayatollahs say he doesn’t have enough knowledge.” Because Muqtada is not yet an ayatollah, one can see why Ayatollah Sistani would decry his attempts at leadership.

US troops arrested one of Sadr’s lieutenants, Sheikh Mohammed al-Fartusi, and two other clerics at a Baghdad checkpoint when they gathered a huge crowd of Shiites in Baghdad to denounce the United States at Friday prayers. Fartusi said in his sermon that the US could not impose a formal “democracy” on Iraq that allowed freedom of individual speech but denied Iraqis the ability to shape their own government. Fartusi’s arrest provoked a big demonstration of 5,000 Shiites in front of the Palestine Hotel.

Other pretenders to leadership seem doubtful, but if some hang in long enough, they may just insinuate themselves into some permanent job. An example is Mohammed Mohsen al-Zubaidi, an Iraqi dissident who used to live in Iran. According to Al-Jazeera TV a representative of the “Free Iraqi Officers,” Jowdat al-Abidi, announced that choosing Zubaidi for occupying the sensitive post was done after making heavy consultations with “prominent personalities residing in Baghdad.” Zubaidi’s new office was announced through IRNA, the Iranian National News Agency. Zubaidi’s Iranian residence raises suspicions that he may be a stalking horse for Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the founder of the Council of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq (SCIRI) in 1982. Hakim comes from a respected Shiite clerical lineage. He lives in Iran, has many followers in both Iran and Iraq, and is worrisome to the Bush administration. Zubaidi was arrested by the US earlier this week, though.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 09:05 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [413 views] Top|| File under:

Arabs betrayed the volunteers in Iraq
Khatoun Haidar The Beirut Daily Star
Their stories are tales of betrayal, bitterness, and despair. The moment they arrived in Baghdad, they sensed a lack of military readiness. No ditches, barricades, entrenchments, or mining, as one would expect in a city preparing for urban warfare. They were badly fed and badly equipped, and whenever they questioned the officers in charge the response was not to worry, “all is part of a general plan.”
Just not the plan they expected...
They witnessed the first incursion into Baghdad airport and swear that the battle was fierce and that the attacking forces had to retreat. The human costs in their ranks were tremendous. Then the Iraqis ordered them to retreat and to let the American forces in as part of an ambush plan. They complied reluctantly, but when they saw the officers discarding their military outfits for civilian clothes they understood that they were being betrayed so they stuck together and went into Baghdad seeking a way to return home.
The officers took off their uniforms, and they left the jihadis feeling naked...
The trip home was a new lesson in harsh reality. Some Iraqis generously helped them, and with the student ­ who had a substantial amount of cash ­ they were able to bribe their way out. Now safely home, they are in a state of shock, living with the daily memory of an army that did not fight and colleagues who lost their lives in yet another Arab defeat. Out of their despair I could see the lost hope of millions and the humiliation of a whole nation. I do not wish to generalize from such a small sample, but their feeling of betrayal has been echoed since the fall of Baghdad in all Arab literature and in almost each and every relevant discussion I had.
When you rush off to defend a bloody-handed dictator whose people hate him, why are you surprised when you lose your life in "yet another Arab defeat"? Perhaps if they'd rushed off to overthrow Sammy, instead of waiting for us infidels to do it, they'd have taken part in a glorious Arab victory. But that didn't seem very important at the time...
These men and many Arabs cannot comprehend the ineptitude of the Iraqi Army. The Iraqis understand. They have lived for many years under the brutal regime that nobody can defend or die for. The betrayal and failure is not that of the Iraqis or of these idealistic men who gave their lives for the mirage of freedom. The betrayal and failure is that of the Arab intelligentsia. These men prove that the Arab masses still have in them the will to give and sacrifice, they just need the leadership of “a class of well-educated articulate persons constituting a distinct, recognized, and self-conscious social stratum claiming or assuming for itself the guiding role of an intellectual, social, or political vanguard,” a textbook definition for an absent Arab intelligentsia.
They need to be regarded as people, as individuals, each with his own life, each with his own capabilities and aspirations, instead of as one of the millions, a faceless component of "the masses." Haidar's correct that they were betrayed, but it's not a lack of leadership by their betters. The Arab world, and the world at large, has had more than enough charismatic men on horseback. There have been too many 20-foot portraits of The Leader, too many rallies starring 100,000 ranting throats and clenched fists. The betrayal comes in the inability of "their betters" to accept the common man's (and to an even greater extent, the common woman's) worth. That's the legacy of Islam, perverted still further because it's coupled with a legacy of fascism.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 08:46 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [583 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The poor Arab volunteers. All the wanted to do was kill the American Infidels. Too bad they DID NOT follow the Geneva Convention regarding Illegal combatants. I.E. take this fellows out back and dispatch them. This is an example of the Arab victim mentality. We or Israel are responsible for everything that is wrong in their world. It would be kind to put a 7.62 round into them so they are FREE.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 05/01/2003 22:37 Comments || Top||

#2  It would be nice if this lesson would sink in. But I doubt it. Probably the "inbreeding".
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/01/2003 23:34 Comments || Top||

Martin Kramer on the Looting of the Iraqi Museum
Thursday, May 1, 2003. Indiana Jones or Inside Job at Iraq Museum? On Tuesday, directors of some of the world's leading museums met at the British Museum in London. Their mission: salvaging what can be salvaged at the plundered Iraq Museum. Their point man in Baghdad will be Dr. Donny George, research director of the Iraq Museum, who visited London for the meeting. There was much ado about the much-quoted Dr. George, who gave a colorful account of the museum under siege. He (again) pointed an accusing finger at the United States, for failing to prevent the "crime of the century." ("Was it done intentionally? I don't know. But moving a tank 50 of 60 meters would have saved mankind's heritage.")

And he got glowing press in London. The Guardian reported that his "bravery in tackling looters after the first Gulf war has earned him something of a reputation as an Indiana Jones figure." He also made a great impression on officialdom. "A typically wet performance on Tuesday from culture secretary Tessa Jowell," noted the Financial Times. "She found it 'truly humbling' to meet Donny George, veteran research director of Baghdad's National Museum." Clearly, Dr. George has landed on his feet.

But no one who knows how Saddam's Iraq worked should think for a moment that Dr. George was anything less than a faithful servant of his master. In fact, he seems to have been less the Indiana Jones of Iraqi archaeology, and more its Tariq Aziz. He was the urbane handler of the foreign archaeologists, with one overarching purpose: turning them into an anti-embargo lobby among the well-heeled. To judge from the sanctions-busting by many foreign archaeologists, he did a pretty good job. He certainly enjoyed the confidence of Saddam Hussein. Two years ago, Dr. George boasted to a foreign journalist that Saddam not only read his reports, but returned them with careful notes in the margins. Reports on what? Isn't that something we should know, before we feel "truly humbled" in Dr. George's presence?

In September 1990, within weeks of Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait, the staff of the Iraq Museum turned up in Kuwait, loaded the contents of Kuwait's National Museum into open lorries (their methods were "anything but professional," notes the collection's patron), and hauled them across the desert to the basement of their own museum. Kuwait had been abolished by Saddam, and these treasures were now part of Iraq's patrimony. Most of the plunder was returned to the Kuwaitis—after Iraq's defeat and a U.N. resolution. But some of the collection was damaged, and 59 prime objects "disappeared," including a few spectacular emeralds—just the sort of thing a Baath higher-up would want in his pocket. Wouldn't you like to hear more about that earlier Baath heist from Dr. George, before feeling "truly humbled" in his presence?

If you visited the Iraq Museum over the last couple of years (in defiance of your government's travel ban), Dr. George would have shown you the head of a winged bull statue, the kind found at the entrance to Assyrian palaces. This one had been stolen and cut up by a gang of smugglers. Their bad luck: they got caught. Dr. George then would have told you the fate that befell the smugglers: ten of them were executed. Dr. George called that theft the "crime of the century," explaining that antiquities smuggling endangered Iraq's "national security." He also told a journalist in 2001 that new and harsher penalties for looting of artefacts were due to be put in effect that year, including the death penalty. Wouldn't you want to know how Iraq came to impose such despotic penalties, and whether they were urged upon Saddam by Iraq's archaeological bureaucrats, before allowing yourself to be "truly humbled" by Dr. George?

Now that you no longer feel all that humbled, read this paragraph from the New York Times report of the London meeting:

Although some evidence suggests that people with inside knowledge of the museum were responsible for stealing the more valuable items, Mr. George said he had no information indicating that the culprits were officials connected with his antiquities department or with the government of Saddam Hussein.

"I know how Saddam Hussein cared for antiquities," he said in dismissing the possibility of an inside job. How fortunate for Dr. George, his staff, and all his old superiors! How could anyone believe any of them would be involved?

Dr. George is riding high on the sympathy and guilt of the world, and there are no other Iraqis who can be relied upon to do the salvage work. But a time for hard questions will come. Already, Iraqis aren't returning artefacts to the museum staff, preferring to hand them over to U.S. troops. "It has been a challenge to us that the Iraq museum is closely identified with both the prior regime and its Baathist Party," says Col.

Matthew F. Bogdanos, a Manhattan assistant district attorney with the Marines in Baghdad, who is handling the investigation.

I suggest he include a thorough inquiry into the connections between the Iraq Museum and the regime, and seriously probe the possibility that the "crime of the century" was an inside job. Kanan Makiya, while in Iraq, heard that the plundering of the museum "was the work of newly deposed Baathist officials, who had been selling off our patrimony as they saw their days were numbered." Dr. George and other antiquities officials were the loyal servants of these thugs for thirty years. I'm sure they have interesting stories to tell. Certainly no American official should feel humbled in the presence of any of them, and eventually the interrogation lights should be turned on all of them—including Dr. George.

Why? Just listen to the American archaeologists. The American Schools of Oriental Research have described the plundering of Iraq's museum as "comparable to the sack of Constantinople, the burning of the library at Alexandria, the Vandal and Mogul invasions and the ravages of the conquistadors." One American archaeologist, much interviewed these days, has described what happened as "the greatest catastrophe ever to befall a cultural institution in the history of the world," which would make it the crime of all centuries.

If the report in the New York Times this morning is anything to go on, it may yet turn out that these archaeologists fell for a fabulous exaggeration, propagated largely by the Baath's apparatchiks at the Iraq Museum. But since we don't know yet, let's have the mother of all criminal investigations, to find out exactly what happened. No one should be above suspicion—especially the people who knew where to find the best lots, who had the keys, and who had long-standing ties with the criminals who ran the regime. Quite a few people fit that description. None of them is a U.S. Marine.

Posted by: Anonymous || 05/01/2003 06:06 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [454 views] Top|| File under:

Loss Estimates Are Cut on Iraqi Artifacts
Even though many irreplaceable antiquities were looted from the National Museum of Iraq during the chaotic fall of Baghdad last month, museum officials and American investigators now say the losses seem to be less severe than originally thought. Col. Matthew F. Bogdanos, a Marine reservist who is investigating the looting and is stationed at the museum, said museum officials had given him a list of 29 artifacts that were definitely missing. But since then, 4 items — ivory objects from the eighth century B.C. — had been traced. "Twenty-five pieces is not the same as 170,000," said Colonel Bogdanos, who in civilian life is an assistant Manhattan district attorney.
No,it's not.
While many museum officials watched in horror as mobs and perhaps organized gangs rampaged through the museum's 18 galleries, seized objects on display, tore open steel cases, smashed statues and broke into storage vaults, officials now discount the first reports that the museum's entire collection of 170,000 objects had been lost. Some valuable objects were placed for safekeeping in the vaults of the Central Bank before the war; the bank was bombed and is in ruins, but officials say its vaults may have survived. Other objects were placed in the museum's own underground vaults; only when power was restored this week could curators begin assessing what was lost. Even in some of the looted galleries, a few stone statues are intact.
Still more encouragingly, several hundred small objects — including a priceless statue of an Assyrian king from the ninth century B.C. — have been returned to the museum, in some cases by people who said they had taken the treasures to keep them out of the wrong hands. In addition, a steel case containing 465 small objects was confiscated by soldiers of the Iraqi National Congress and returned to the museum. But some items that have been handed back to the museum are copies. "One of the storerooms that was looted contained almost entirely documented authenticated copies," Colonel Bogdanos said. "I got six items today. They were all from the gift shop."
The difficulty in determining what is missing is compounded by the lack of a master list of the museum's collection. Although inventories survive, they were compiled department by department and not computerized. And in some cases, they are not complete. Nor is there a clear consensus about how much of the looting was organized. As evidence of a planned assault, museum officials say they found keys and glass-cutters. One official said he saw two "European looking" men enter the museum with the mob, point to various treasures and leave.
"Behind the looting there were wicked hands," Mr. Khalil said. "They took precious pieces and left less valuable ones."
For Mr. Limbert, the case is undecided. "One theory is that this was done by people who knew which were the best pieces and came equipped to get them," he said. "I'm told 27 pieces were taken from the actual galleries. But the other theory is that this was a smash-and-grab operation, mostly by people from the neighborhood. What supports this is that a lot of very good pieces have been returned. If you like conspiracy theories, you can go on forever here."
Much ado about very little.
Posted by: Steve || 05/01/2003 02:07 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [409 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I imagine that this is being covered in depth by ... the BBC? (nope) ... LA Times ? (nope) ... NPR? (nope) ad nauseum.
Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 14:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Its surprising that the NY Times published it!
Posted by: Anonymous || 05/01/2003 17:05 Comments || Top||

Dubya giving up on democracy in Iraq?
"The Bush administration has chosen L. Paul Bremer, a former head of the State Department's counterterrorism office, to become civilian administrator in Iraq and oversee the country's transition to democratic rule.
I'm very nervous that State guy is being put in charge.
Bremer's selection, disclosed Wednesday by a senior U.S. official, will put him in charge of a transition team that includes retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner and Zalmay Khalilzad, the special White House envoy in the Persian Gulf region.
So Bremer will outrank, Garner, the ex-officer, who has been criticized for being too close to Israel, to close to Rummy, and too close to Chalabi and the INC.
Bremer left the State Department, where he was an assistant to former secretaries William P. Rogers and Henry Kissinger, to join Kissinger Associates, a consulting firm studded with both Democrats and Republicans that held top U.S. government posts.
Kissinger Associates, now there's a place to go and learn how to build democracy. This resume makes it look very much like we've got another "realist" who will put power politics above democracy, will want to make nice with the House of Ibn Saud, and will want to put a loyal strong man in place in Baghdad (like the Iraqi ex-officers beloved of the CIA, supported by tribal sheiks with records of cutting deals with Saddam).
Currently, Bremer serves as chairman and chief executive of Marsh Crisis Consulting company. Overseeing the transition from rule by Saddam Hussein to Iraqi opponents of the deposed president is a tricky assignment
made trickier when you dont know what your goal is
in which the Bush administration is playing an aggressive role while also declaring it is up to a wide diversity of Iraqi groups to choose a new government. The opposition groups have held two meetings
at the second meeting all except a CIA backed INA guy supported INC in wanting to go hard after ex-Baathists
and after a third one
so does this mean Bremer gets to push Garner out of the third one?
are expected to begin the process of transition at a conference of all contending forces.
The real contending forces are State, CIA and DoD - the Iraqis have a much better chance of working things out together than those 3 institutions
Secretary of State Colin Powell assured Congress this week that while the United States was playing a major role in Baghdad it seeks to turn over control of the country to
the right
Iraqis as soon as possible. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, meanwhile, has warned that the Bush administration would not permit an Iran-style Muslim fundamentalist government take charge in Baghdad.
Like, we won this war, we want a democracy, most Iraqis want democracy, why let State or anyone else blow this one - the way Colin and his pals blew the last victory over Iraq?
For his part, Powell has said there is no reason to rule out a government rooted in the Muslim religion, citing Turkey and Pakistan as examples of democracies coexisting with the religion.
Flabbergasting! One that he should equate Turkey with Pakistan! Two, that he suggests that we went to war in Iraq to create another Perv, and a state with the relationship to Islamism (not just Islam) that we find in Pakistan. Seems Colin is so afraid of the INC, and the traction its picked up in the last 2 meetings in Iraq, that he is willing to go with an Islamist regime to keep the neocons out of power.

The French dont need to worry about unipolar world - there are two powers that have forces around the world, and that hate each other bitterly. Each is far stronger than France. One power is the Pentagon, the other is the State/CIA alliance.

This is downright scary, and I hope the blogs, etc will pick up on this.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 12:15 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [416 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Almost all my post-Iraq fears distilled into a single post. Brrrr!
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 05/01/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

#2  I too am very concerned. Some of the smarter war opponents (eg Josh Marshall) opposed the war in part because they thought Bush lacked either the will or vision to follow through to democracy. Until today I was optimistic that the Wolfowitz faction was winning. Now I dont think so. I hope there is enough innate good sense in the Iraqi people to prevent things getting too bad. If Dubya blows this, he hands a beautiful issue to any hawkish Democrat (Lieberman, Edwards or Gephardt) in 2004.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 14:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Pakistan? You toppled Saddam to create a second Pakistan?
I start to like Rumsfeld now and that's saying something.
No you don't want a "government rooted in the Muslim religion". Sharia anyone???
Posted by: True German Ally || 05/01/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||

#4  well now TGA, if a EUROPEAN government were to come out in favor of the more democratic forces in Iraq, and were to ally with Wolfowitz in the internal politics of the administration, that would pull the rug out from under Powell's feet on this. Don't expect it to happen though.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 14:39 Comments || Top||

#5  update from AP

"Zaab Sethna, a senior adviser to Chalabi, said the United States has been sending mixed signals about the new government. But he said America had made clear the former exile and Kurdish groups — which he referred to as the Iraqi opposition leadership — would be the core.

"The United States has said they'd like to see the Iraqi opposition leadership to be expanded as a nucleus for the provisional government. The Iraqi opposition agrees with that," he said.

Asked about reported distrust of Chalabi among some American officials, Sethna said: "The United States is not a monolith. There are different departments of the U.S. government who say different things to different audiences."

Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 14:50 Comments || Top||

#6  The only possible positive spin I see on this, and it's hinted at in the otherwise depressing Newsweek article, is that this might mean we're keeping the training wheels on for rather longer instead of dumping the country into local hands and running off.

But I'm not pleased. Wonder if Bush will reaffirm his commitment to a free Iraqi government tonight.
Posted by: someone || 05/01/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

Proud day for guard who protected the British embassy in Baghdad
The royal crest gleamed above the entrance to the British embassy in Baghdad for the first time in 13 years yesterday, as diplomats prepared to reopen the mission next week. The embassy's guard, Mahdi Alouneh, 58, and his son Salah, had looked after the crest since 1990, when diplomats hurriedly abandoned the mission in the run-up to the first Gulf war. Yesterday they finally received permission to put it back.

Mr Alouneh and his sons and nephews had protected the embassy from looters over the past 13 years, armed with a single Yugoslav-made assault rifle. Amid the anarchy of Baghdad they saw four looters enter the embassy through the roof and prepare to steal two portraits of the Queen and some gas canisters. "I shouted to them, 'What are you doing?' and showed I had a gun," Mr Alouneh said yesterday. "They dropped everything and ran away." The only losses are a couple of air conditioning units. The building, a colonial-style mansion in a prime position on the banks of the River Tigris, is now protected by British paratroops, who have checked it for mines and booby traps.

Capt Danny Matthews, the commanding officer, said: "Mahdi did a really good job of protecting the embassy. "It was clearly abandoned in a great hurry because they have left behind all kinds of sensitive material, which we have cleared away along with 13 years of dust." British officials said the mission would reopen early next week. Diplomats are rushing to fly the flag again as part of coalition plans to show that life is returning to normal at the end of the war and the spate of looting which followed the entry of American forces into Baghdad. Reopening the compound will prove to be a major security headache and experts are still debating which parts will be safe to use. Returning diplomats will find an embassy frozen in time, with nothing changed since the eve of the first Gulf war. In the embassy club, the optics are awaiting the next gin bottle, while the piano needs only to be tuned and the pool table dusted. On the wall is the winter 1990-91 fixture list for the Baghdad darts league, which was abandoned because of the war. Maybe now the Bent Arrows and the Double Bulls, who were due to meet on Feb 23, 1991, can finally hold that match.
Posted by: Bulldog || 05/01/2003 06:04 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [437 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Contrast Mr Alouneh and his sons and nephews with the two Brit bombers at Mike's Bar. Perhaps they deserve British citizenship? And a bunch of back pay. Don't be cheap, Tony.
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 7:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Hell yes a bunch of back pay! Agreed, bulldog?
Posted by: Ptah || 05/01/2003 9:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Indeed, and jobs for the boys too, I'm sure. Maybe he'll finally be able to even the score in that darts league tournament that was so rudely interrupted...

I think something very similar happened in Kabul when wrested from the Taliban - former employees were found to have watched over the embassy, sure that one day the staff would return.
Posted by: Bulldog || 05/01/2003 9:48 Comments || Top||

#4  Blair had better pay these guys back salary - the intelligence documents they protected are probably woth a lot in saved lives themselves. The Crown shoudl step in if Blair gets his hands tied by Baby Saddam (Glasgow George) in parliament. Hey - there's an idea - sieze the illegal payoff that Galloway took, and hand it over to that guy and his family!
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/01/2003 11:59 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
US Report Says Terror Attacks Declined Sharply Last Year
The State Department, in its annual report on global terrorism, says the number of terror attacks declined sharply last year due to increased international cooperation and resolve. Seven countries - Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan - were again listed as state sponsors of terrorism, though Iraq may soon come off the list.
Libya's trying to come off, too...
The State Department says there were 199 terrorist attacks last year, a 44 percent drop from 2001 and the lowest figure in more than 30 years. A total of 725 deaths were attributed to terrorism, a dramatic decline from the nearly 3,300 recorded the previous year, which included the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States. The past year's most deadly single attack was the car bombing last September in a tourist area of Bali, Indonesia that killed more than 200 people.
Since it's the lowest levels in the past 30 years, it's time for the lefties to demand that all the resources going into WoT be diverted into something else, since they're obviously not needed there...
Introducing the report at a news conference, Secretary of State Colin Powell said increased vigilance, international cooperation and U.N. financial sanctions created after the September 11 attacks are definitely making life more difficult for terrorist factions. "It is harder for terrorists to hide and find safe-haven," he said. "It is harder for them to organize and sustain operations. Terrorist cells have been broken up, networks disrupted and plots foiled. The financial bloodlines of terrorist organizations have been severed. Since 9-11 more than $134 million of terrorist assets have been frozen. All around the world, countries have been tightening their border security and better safeguarding their critical infrastructures."
Why aren't we seeing people lining up to pat Bush and his team on their collective back? Oh. It might be politix...
Mr. Powell said the liberation of Iraq by U.S. forces has freed the world from the "potentially-catastrophic combination" of a rogue regime, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorists. He said he hoped Iraq, which is soon to be stricken from the State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism, can become an example of a "state transformed" a contributor, rather than a threat, to international peace and security.
They're pretty well busted up now, I'd say, except for a few mercenaries and some troglodytes. Just a matter of submitting the paperwork now...
Among the other countries listed as terrorism sponsors, the report said Iran is the "most active." It said Iran's Revolutionary Guards and its Ministry of Intelligence and Security were involved in planning of, and support for, terrorist acts, while the country's leaders continue to verbally and materially support groups opposed to Middle East peace efforts.
That's where the money and planning for Paleo-Lebanon activities is coming from...
Syria, which Mr. Powell will visit later this week, was cited for continuing to host offices of radical Palestinian factions. The State Department's anti-terrorism coordinator, Cofer Black, said U.S. officials can not accept Syria's argument that it permits only political activity by the radicals. "We reject this distinction. Syria permits re-supply flights of Hezbollah through its territory," he said. "Syria rejected a U.S. request to close the Palestinian Islamic Jihad office. There are some good things. Syria quickly condemned the attacks of September 11 and has provided valuable information on al-Qaida that has helped save American lives. Nonetheless, we want to make absolutely clear to Syria that nothing short of full cooperation against all terrorist groups is acceptable."
Syria's problems might be susceptible to diplomatic solution, despite Newt's complaints. Better to see if that way works before rolling over them with 4th ID — the prospect of which is part of a balanced diplomatic solution...
Though Sudan also remained on the list of terrorist sponsors, Mr. Black said the United States is pleased with the Khartoum government's recent cooperation, saying it has, among other things, given U.S. investigators access to critical financial records and ratified international counter-terrorism agreements.
Actually, I think by now Khartoum can come off the list. They've got a raft of other sins, but I think they're out of the terrorism business...
Libya was similarly given credit for positive efforts, though the report noted that Libya did not settle the issue of the 1988 bombing of Panam flight 103, including accepting responsibility for the attack and complying with U.N. requirements for permanently lifting sanctions.
Did it just the other day. Now they want off the list, and probably should be. Muammar's decided he's an African, since he can't be the powerhouse of Pan-Arabism...
Mr. Black said Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization is "on the run" with more than one-third of its leadership killed or captured, but he said it is still planning attacks and its threats must be regarded "with utmost seriousness."
Posted by: John Phares || 05/01/2003 07:42 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [440 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If memory serves, Qadaffi is behind most of the crap that's taken place in the Ivory Coast. They might want to add Liberia and Burkina Faso to the list as well, seeing how they help out al-Qaeda in regards to diamond smuggling and harboring leaders of the network.

Additionally, didn't al-Qaeda ship a crapload of gold to Sudan a little while back?
Posted by: Dan Darling || 05/01/2003 11:32 Comments || Top||

#2  There was a story that they had, but I don't think anything ever came of it. Sudan's been trying to gracefully dismount the Islamist horse for some time, even prior to 9-11. The efforts have accelerated since then.

I don't know what the extent of Libya's involvement is in Ivory Coast. If it's there at all, I think it's probably in the realm of stirring the pot, rather than guiding and planning.

My feeling is that both states are working on becoming "non-threats," and that the process will speed up more now that they've seen what happened to Iraq.
Posted by: Fred || 05/01/2003 11:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Most of the West African thugs are just that. Adding them would be like putting the Crips and the Bloods on the list.
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 12:31 Comments || Top||

#4  I think most of the Ivory Coast support is coming from fundies in Algeria, and is part of the network trying to disrupt Morocco and Western Sahara. A lot of it is funneling through Mauritania and Niger, but not formally sanctioned by those nations. Both countries have miles and miles of empty space.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/01/2003 12:38 Comments || Top||

North Africa
The Leader gives the bad news
Colonel Muammar al Qathafi the Leader of the great al Fateh Revolution has addressed the evening session of the scientific seminar on the Libyan economy and the saving of oil revenues, future vision, which is organised by the faculty of accountancy and economy in the university of al Tahadi, Sirte shabiya. He made a number of remarks and observations concerning the oil sector and its role in the Libyan economy. He called on the Libyan people not to rely on oil for their present living, future and the future generations. He warned that such reliance on oil wealth would be harmful because this wealth is not constant and oil is something that does not last. Colonel al Qathafi stated in his intervention that the Libyan budget depended basically on oil. Eventhough, the agricultural and industrial projects established with the aim of providing alternative revenues, were found not to be so as we used the oil revenue to spend on such projects, due to mismanagement and negligence.
They pissed it all away on show projects, did they?
He revealed that other non-oil sectors do not contribute effectively in the national income as they are basically dependent on oil. He said: we have been engaged in vary bad habits which squandered the oil revenues for years to come and cited several examples in this respect. He reminded the seminar with other past interventions he made, partcularly the proposal to distribute oil wealth on Libyan population. This had been discussed by the basic peoples congresses and was not approved. He said: I then proposed to save part of oil revenues annually and so far what is saved is around 14 billion dollars. These funds are now invested in various other projects that generate profit for the general treasury of the people.
"The rest of it, we spent on weapons and military adventures and high politix and grandiose domestic projects that never came to much. We've been rolling in oil dollars for all these years since I took power, and that's all we've got to show for it: $14 billion invested in, ummm... Iraqi bonds.
The Leader confirmed in his intervention the need for Libyans to contribute financially in establishing investment projects that make profit and satisfy the needs of the society, such as major roads, ports, production factories etc.
"So you guys are gonna have to dig deep and kick in..."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 10:27 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [430 views] Top|| File under:

Project to supply drinking water launched in Ein el-Hellhole
The National Committee for the Support of the Palestinian Resistance on Tuesday launched a project aimed at providing drinking water to the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian camp. This is the first drinking water project in the camp. Up till now, camp residents have been drinking water from artesian wells. The project is expected to cost some $50,000 and is being financed by Iran’s Islamic Republic to “support the resistance of the Palestinian people.” The inauguration ceremony took place at a local religious school. It was attended by the Iranian Embassy’s adviser, Abdel-Rahman Qassemian, the secretary of the National Committee for the Support of the Palestinian Resistance, Abu Yasser, and the Hamas delegate representative in this country, Osama Hamdan. The camp’s senior personalities and religious leaders also attended the opening ceremony.
Does the UN do anything with these refugee camps?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 06:33 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [600 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They are probably going to filter the water through NK white slag---the miracle material.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/01/2003 21:32 Comments || Top||

Hezbollah: U.S. Demands To Disarm Us "Will Not Be Met With A Positive Response"
Hussein Al-Khalil, Assistant Secretary General of Hezbollah, said that the request the United States made to Lebanon and Syria that the party be disarmed "will not meet a favorable response." In an interview with Al Hayat, he said: "I will not speak on behalf of Syria and the Lebanese government. But according to our reading of the Lebanese situation, I believe that this demand will not meet a favorable response.
With regard to Hezbollah," he added, "the U.S. and Israel carried out an aggression against Lebanon in July 1993 under that same pretext. But that aggression failed. And in April 1996, the enemy made another attempt at a larger scale, and mobilized all its supporters around the world, rallying them at the Sharm Al Sheikh summit. But in the end, Hezbollah and Lebanon came out stronger than before. Today, if the enemy repeats the same foolish action, then the party will adopt the same position, and God willing, we will have similar results."
Not if we're rolling over them with tanks. Tehre's a difference between a limited incursion and rooting the bastards out and killing them...
Al Hayat asked Al Khalil about the American demand that Hezbollah withdraw from the frontiers with Israel and that the Lebanese army deploy in the area. Al Khalil answered: "there is nothing in our dictionary called the withdrawal of Hezbollah from the South. Our sons and those of the resistance are the sons of all villages located throughout the South. We are not a foreign military group in barracks. We cannot ask people to leave their villages."
Then disarm them. Maintaining an armed force in a sovreign country isn't what you'd call a friendly act...
About the deployment of the Lebanese army in the South, he said: "there are two theories in this respect; the first is the demand that the army should be in charge of security in the South, which is already the case since the army is present throughout the area. The second theory calls upon the army to defend Israel. We don't believe the army will defend the Israeli occupation."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 06:22 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [625 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, we tried to reason with Hez. Unfortunately, they have comfortably set up shop in Lebanon and Syria and have no plans to leave. That leaves us some choices:
1. Syria tells them to leave and enforces it;
2. We cut off their money supply, to the extent that we can;
3. We kick their sorry asses out.
4. We decapitate their leadership and the ants will wander away.
5. Combinations of all/some of the above.

Notice that there is not a place for negotiations. Hezbollah are killers and hard cases. You do not negotiate with them. I hope that the US is making plans to decapitate this monster.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/01/2003 21:51 Comments || Top||

#2  You could use Paul's idea for a 'Blueprint to peace' Just change the names. That is the ONLY way the pals/jews will see peace.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 05/01/2003 22:45 Comments || Top||

Latin America
Fidel: "They're comin' to get us!"
Fidel Castro, addressing a May Day rally of hundreds of thousands of people, accused the United States on Thursday of trying to provoke a war with Cuba. "In Miami and Washington they are now discussing where, how and when Cuba will be attacked," the Cuban president said in a speech at the annual celebrations in Havana's Plaza of the Revolution. "On behalf of the one million people gathered here this May Day, I want to convey a message to the world and the American people: We do not want the blood of Cubans and Americans to be shed in a war."
Really? I dunno. We'd have to think about that. We might...
Cheers erupted from the crowd as Castro, wearing his typical olive green uniform and cap, arrived for the ceremony and took his place alongside other communist leaders. "Long live May Day! Long live socialism! Long live Fidel!" declared Pedro Ross, secretary-general of the Cuban Workers Confederation, as the event began a half-hour early because of concerns that it would rain.
Whoopty doo. Another forgettable May Day gathering in the Great Plaza of the Revolution. See you next year, Fidel, unless you kick it first from old age...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 04:52 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [594 views] Top|| File under:

#1  (1) Remove the boycott and let the forces of capitalism strike Cuba head-on. Castro will be forced to put up restrictions of his own to stay in total control. Besides, the boycott only enriches castro just as the Oil for Food enriched Saddam at the expense of his people.

(2) Put a couple of marine carriers off of the cuban coast (in international waters of course) and let it be know that anyone that makes it to the American ships will be transfered to America. The island will be mostly depopulated in a week which would humiliate Castro.
Posted by: Yank || 05/01/2003 17:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Yank: I don't know about #2, given the recent Rantburg entry on how well Castro infiltrated the anti-Castro groups in America. I wouldn't put it past him to put a bunch of his own guys into the water, and having Castroites wandering around an American carrier isn't my idea of a good time... or am I being too paranoid? (They all think I'm paranoid... ALL of them...;)
Posted by: Just John || 05/01/2003 17:51 Comments || Top||

White slag used widely
H...Horse...Skag...Junk...and now, White Slag!
Researchers of the chemical institute of Kim Hyong Jik University of Education have steadily expanded the sphere of the utility of white slag from thermal power plants.
Snort it, shoot it, ship millions of dollars of it to foreign lands.
A new kind of adsorbent has been made with white slag to preserve historical relics and its production processes established.
It also get you higher then a friggin' kite!
The adsorbent is better in quality, longer in serviceable life, lower in production cost and simpler in production than other kinds.
Like that good NK crack the guys at KCNA smoke.
A chemical method of refining transformer oil has been invented and an adsorbent producer and transformer oil refinery built.
Ten kilograms of the adsorbent are enough to refine 1.5 tons of transformer oil.
And get a million people buzzed out of their skulls. And wanting more.
The refining does not need electricity and the production processes are very simple.
Even simpler then a California Crystal Meth lab...
Quality ultramarine has also been made. It is used in making painting and coating materials and printing ink which have already been used in different domains. The white slag is also used to purify radioactive spent water and refine hydrogen.
And it makes damn powerful dope! White Slag! Look for it at a North Korean embassy near YOU!
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/01/2003 02:17 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1016 views] Top|| File under:

Middle East
Would-be Bomber Member of British Group Supporting bin Laden
Israeli security forces were still searching Thursday for a British Muslim man who managed to flee when his explosive device did not detonate in Tuesday night's attack in Tel Aviv.
Way I heard it was, he fled when his bud's explosive device detonated, shucking his own as he ran like hell...
Omar Khan Sharif is allegedly a follower of a fundamentalist Muslim group that campaigns to turn the UK into an Islamic state, The Times reported Thursday. Sharif is alleged to have links with al-Muhajiroun, a group that has been recruiting followers in Derby during the past few years. The group claims to have recruited hundreds of young Britons for training in military camps in Afghanistan. It supports Osama bin Laden and endorses the use of violence.
They're very holy men
Earlier this year, Sharif told friends that he planned to travel to Syria to continue his religious studies.
Seems like he did, in a very islamic way
The al-Muhajiroun group, founded in Jeddah in 1983 by a Syrian cleric, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, is dedicated to the re-establishment of the khilafa or world Islamic state which it says was destroyed by imperialist Europe. Bakri Mohammed, who was expelled from Saudi Arabia and has lived in London since 1986, has been calling for young Muslims to take up arms against the opponents of Islam in Chechnya, Kashmir and Israel. Bakri has encouraged young men to travel to Afghanistan to fight for the Taleban against British and American forces. He spoke in approval of the American embassy bombings in Africa in 1990. The group claims to have a worldwide following, with 30 offices across Britain and others in Pakistan, Kuwait, France, South Africa, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Algeria. In the past, Al-Muhajiroun leaflets, urging British Muslims to "kill the Jews," were distributed around London and Birmingham, with a telephone number for Bakri Mohammed. Late Wednesday, a spokesman for al-Muhajiroun said: “I do not know if either of these men was a member, but we have made clear that this attack is something that we would celebrate. He would not have done it as a member of al-Muhajiroun, but something that he believed of his own principal.”
Support, but denial of any responsibility, typical.
Posted by: Steve || 05/01/2003 01:20 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [440 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front
Shuttle Worms Found Alive, Alive, I tell You!
We've all seen this movie before, and we know what happens!The worms, which are about the size of the tip of a pen, were aboard Columbia as a life sciences experiment that was sponsored by NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. The worms were being flown to test a new synthetic nutrient solution and were to have been analyzed the day the shuttle landed.
New synthetic nutrient solution, exposure to space, accident happens, you know where I'm going, don't you.
Instead, the canisters fell from the sky inside a shuttle middeck locker, landing somewhere in eastern Texas, the primary debris recovery site. The nutrient solution, which was sealed in the Petri dishes along with the worms, evidently proved more than adequate, as the creatures not only survived, but thrived, cycling through four or five generations in the three months since the accident.
I expect reports of giant worms rampaging across Texas, eating herds of cattle and tourists any day now. My god, the 4th ID is still in Iraq, who will stop these Giant Space Worms! It's Bush's fault!

Posted by: Steve || 05/01/2003 12:45 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [569 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Do not taunt Happy Fun Worm!
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 13:06 Comments || Top||

#2  I was thinking of the Simpsons episode when Homer, floating aboard the shuttle eating potato chips, broke the ant colony experiment - now you've got me envisioning Tremors
Posted by: Frank G || 05/01/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#3  "How many worms in a stampede? Is it three or more? Is there a minimum speed?"
Posted by: mojo || 05/01/2003 13:43 Comments || Top||

#4  "Texas. It's like a whole other country."

Yep. I expect the "mutated" worms will fit in just fine with our own worms - everything is bigger in Texas, anyway, doncha know.
Posted by: Tadderly || 05/01/2003 13:55 Comments || Top||

#5  It's the Tiny Worms from Outer Space!
Posted by: KP || 05/01/2003 14:12 Comments || Top||

#6  Are we sure.....we found them all?
To be continued.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/01/2003 14:33 Comments || Top||

#7  So what is the proper term for a herd of worms? A wiggle? Little bloody hemaphrodites! Where in the hell did I drop those two? Ohmygodddd! Ahhhhhh.........
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/01/2003 16:02 Comments || Top||

#8  This goes a long way toward explaining the origins of Jacques Chirac.
Posted by: tbn || 05/02/2003 0:44 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Suitcase Explosion Kills One in Jordan
A bag exploded near the luggage screening area at Jordan's international airport Thursday evening, killing a security guard, authorities said. Police arrested the suspected owner of the bag, a Japanese journalist who told authorities he had no knowledge that he had an explosive device in his possession. The man detained at Queen Alia International Airport had arrived from Baghdad, said CNN correspondent Rula Amin, who was at the airport when the bag exploded. "He told me, 'It's not me; it's not me,'" Amin said. The official Petra news agency said three other people were injured. It called the bomb a "remnant from the war in Iraq." The bag was checked on an EgyptAir flight to Cairo, Egypt.
Humm, several possibilities come to mind:
1 - he was carrying a bomb on purpose, to blow up the plane, airport, or to deliver to somebody else.
2 - he had picked up a explosive device, grenade, shell, RPG, etc, as a war trophy, and it went off.
3 - somebody had slipped a bomb in his bag without his knowledge.
4 - it wasn't his bag, it was the one next to it, but he caught the blame for it.
Posted by: Steve || 05/01/2003 12:27 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [585 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Better luck next time...
Posted by: Raj || 05/02/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

#2  I'll take Door #3, Monty...
Posted by: Raj || 05/01/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Sorry, Raj, it was Door #2.
A Jordanian airport security guard was killed Thursday at Amman's international airport when a piece of ordnance taken from Iraq exploded while the bag of a Japanese journalist was being searched, officials said. Edwan said a Japanese journalist "who had come from Baghdad was returning home via Cairo when the security guard asked him to open his bag." He added that when the guard saw a "piece of metal, the journalist told him it was a souvenir from the war in Iraq. The officer was testing the piece and it exploded, killing him instantly and injured three others."
Raj, thank you for playing "What's In Your Bag?".

Posted by: Steve || 05/01/2003 13:09 Comments || Top||

#4  The officer was testing the piece and it exploded, killing him instantly and injured three others.

I'm kinda wondering how the security guard "tested" the piece.....

"Khalid, please hand me that hammer. I need to check this to make sure it's okay."
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 05/01/2003 15:46 Comments || Top||

#5  "No live grenades allowed. I'll just pull the pin, and see if it's live..."
Posted by: Hermetic || 05/01/2003 16:06 Comments || Top||

#6  Better luck next time...
Posted by: Raj || 05/02/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

Who Stands Alone
Found this at the soon to disappear 'boycott Hollywood' website. Author unknown.

Who Stands Alone (True Blue)

Eleven thousand soldiers lay beneath the dirt and stone,
all buried on a distant land so far away from home.
For just a strip of dismal beach they paid a hero's price,
to save a foreign nation they all made the sacrifice.

And now the shores of Normandy are lined with blocks of white,
Americans who didn't turn from someone else's plight.
Eleven thousand reasons for the French to take our side,
but in the moment of our need, they chose to run and hide.

Chirac said every war means loss, perhaps for France that's true,
for they've lost every battle since the days of Waterloo.
Without a soldier worth a damn to be found in the region,
the French became the only land to need a Foreign Legion.

You French all say we're arrogant. Well hell, we've earned the right--
We saved your sorry nation when you lacked the guts to fight.
But now you've made a big mistake, and one that you'll regret;
you took sides with our enemies, and that we won't forget.

It wasn't just our citizens you spit on when you turned,
but every one of ours who fell the day the towers burned.
You spit upon our soldiers, on our pilots and Marines,
and now you'll get a little sense of just what payback means.

So keep your Paris fashions and your wine and your champagne,
and find some other market that will buy your aeroplanes.
And try to find somebody else to wear your French cologne,
for you're about to find out what it means to stand alone.

You see, you need us far more than we ever needed you.
America has better friends who know how to be true.
I'd rather stand with warriors who have the will and might,
than huddle in the dark with those whose only flag is white.

I'll take the Brits, the Aussies, the Israelis and the rest,
for when it comes to valor we have seen that they're the best.
We'll count on one another as we face a moment dire,
while you sit on the sideline with a sign "friendship for hire."
We'll win this war without you and we'll total up the cost,
and take it from your foreign aid, and then you'll feel the loss.
And when your nation starts to fall, well Frenchie, you can spare us,
just call the Germans for a hand, they know the way to Paris.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/01/2003 11:51 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [420 views] Top|| File under:

#1  LGF reports that the owners of this site are being sued by the William Morris talent agency, so the Robbins / Penn crowd will have 'plausible deniability'.

The hypocrisy here is simply breathtaking.
Posted by: Raj || 05/01/2003 12:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Hollywood's crushing of anti-Hollywood dissent has been successful in this case. You can link to the story from Instapundit.
Posted by: FormerLiberal || 05/01/2003 14:17 Comments || Top||

New feature...
I noticed FoxNews' (Search) feature in the past couple days. Seems a better idea that Yahoo's (news-website) bother. I've implemented a version here, for Bad Guy names and less-common organizations, but I haven't worked out exactly how I want it to display. Fox uses the title and the first sentence of the article. I've just gone with a clone of the search page, giving the entire article for now. I've also thought about displaying just the headlines of the articles, linked to the articles themselves, or the headline and the first 25 words or so. Just the headline is least server-intensive. Headline-whole article is actually less server-intensive than displaying only part of the article, but if you link to something that's got too many occurrences ("Mohammad" or "Qaeda" for instance) it'll return too much data.

Any preferences? Once it's worked out, I'll add it into GuestPoster, if you guys want it.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 05/01/2003 11:40 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [446 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think you'd want to go with the headline and the link. If a link's returned with your search criteria (maybe sorted by date of post?), that's probably all you need, and you can dig from there.
Posted by: Raj || 05/01/2003 12:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, I think that might be the way to go. It's a lot quicker than dragging the entire article with it, and the title usually hints at whether you want to read it...
Posted by: Fred || 05/01/2003 15:58 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Senator Schumer, "You are a Dumbass". So says Orrin Hatch.
Republican lawmakers frustrated with the slow pace of judicial confirmations and Democratic maneuvers to prevent President Bush's nominees from getting a vote on the Senate floor are taking out their frustrations in a variety of ways. In the beginning of Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Bush nominee John G. Roberts Jr., Chairman Orrin Hatch praised Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer of New York for asking "intelligent" questions, but then Hatch switched gears. "Some [of his questions] I totally disagree with," Hatch of Utah said. "Some I think are dumbass questions, between you and me. I am not kidding you. I mean, as much as I love and respect you, I just think that's true."
Come on Orrin. You love and respect Chuck Schumer?
A stunned Schumer asked if he heard the chairman correctly, to which Hatch said yes. Again, Schumer asked Hatch if he would like to "revise and extend his remark," congressional speak for change his mind. A former trial attorney, Hatch replied: "No, I am going to keep it exactly the way it is. I mean, I hate to say it. I mean, I feel badly saying it between you and me. But I do know dumbass questions when I see dumbass questions." The nervous laughter that accompanied the exchange belies the growing tension over the confirmation process. While Roberts, a respected lawyer nominated for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is likely to win Senate approval, Democrats fear the conservative 48-year-old with 39 cases before the Supreme Court under his belt, may one day be nominated to sit on that bench. Republicans are also frustrated with their own Senate leader Bill Frist, saying he is not making Democrats feel enough pain for their blockage of Bush nominees.
Too bad Trent had to pine for the days of yore. He has more fire in his belly than does the genteel Senator from Tennessee.
That impression has been fostered by remarks like one Wednesday by the Senate's top Democrat, who was asked whether he has yet seen any evidence of payback for the filibusters. "No, I have not," said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
Just you wait Tommy Boy. It's coming.
Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 10:51 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [882 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I so love it when they tell it like it is. *5*
Posted by: Tadderly || 05/01/2003 11:09 Comments || Top||

#2  All right! Tell it like it is, Red!
Posted by: Scott || 05/01/2003 11:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Daschle ran rings around Lott even when the GOP had a 55-45 lead before 2000. The judge thing is very frustrating but I wonder if Lott would have even caused the Dems to filibuster or just folded without a vote. The Dems are filibustering a Hispanic (Estrada), a woman (Owens), and may filibuster some African Americans Bush has just nominated. They can't look good to their base doing this.
Posted by: AWW || 05/01/2003 11:34 Comments || Top||

#4  Senator Dumbass - Truth in advertising. I like it
Posted by: Raj || 05/01/2003 11:59 Comments || Top||

#5  Saw a report the other day that said Daschle's support in S.Dakota had slipped below the 40% mark. I just can't understand how the Dummycheats can't see that their actions are hurting them, not their opposition. This isn't about "what's best for the nation", but pure spite at losing the majority in both House and Senate, and being as obstinate as possible. The Democrats are trying to kill any political action by Bush and the Republicans, and in the process, are proving that the Democratic Party line is more important to them than actually governing the nation. This is not going to set well with the people of this nation, and their response may marginalize the Democrats for a decade or more.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/01/2003 12:08 Comments || Top||

#6  AWW and Old Patriot: With Fritz Hollings very likely retiring and a Republican poised to pick up that seat, Harry Reid and Tom Daschle have to be very careful on this one. This kind of crap titillates the Hollywood left and entrenched East Coast liberals but doesn't sell in their home states. John McIntyre at RealClearPolitics.com (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/commentary.html#4_30_03_0813) commented on just this thing yesterday. Go check it out - a good read.
Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 12:19 Comments || Top||

#7  The stunts the Dems have been doing, for example, holding up judicial nominations, lambasting the CIC when the war was on, etc, marginalizes them even more with the American public. So 2004 is the Republicans to lose. They need to take the the moral high ground and move things along. They need to be more agressive in defending their positions and people against the blow-hard verbal attacks of the left. In short the Republicans need to show some backbone and stand up against the Dems and their little people with high-dB bullhorns, or they can lose it all, and that would be a tragedy. The public wants a safe country, a good economy, and stable families, and really aren't into perverts (like the left is).
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/01/2003 12:53 Comments || Top||

#8  ColoradoConservative/Alaska Paul
I agree the Dems should pay a price for their actions not only on judges but the war, the economy, and so forth and they may in 2004.
However, after watching Dem senators get reelected from very GOP states (South Dakota, Montana), Bill Clinton get elected twice, and Hillary get elected I've lost some faith in the American public to penalize the Dems for their behavior.
Posted by: AWW || 05/01/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||


Another strategy is to hit back at Tom Daschle's protege - Jon Adelstein - whose term is up at the end of June. Read the entry at the following link for more on this strategy which would really tweak Tommy Boy:

Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#10  Attaboy Hatch! And to "dumbass" I would like to add "asshat"
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 05/01/2003 13:13 Comments || Top||

#11  the dems are holding up Judicial nominations - wherever did they get the idea to do something like that? ;)
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 13:38 Comments || Top||

#12  "The public wants a safe country, a good economy, and stable families, and really aren't into perverts (like the left is). "

what the hell is that about?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 13:40 Comments || Top||

#13  ACtually, "Dump Daschle" bumper stickers have been popping up since the very beginning of the war. With that, and the amount of people in S.D. that I have heard refer to him as "Dasch-hole", I think he could be in trouble. He'll have to steal his seat next year if he wants to retain it.
Posted by: Mike N. || 05/01/2003 13:43 Comments || Top||

#14  "very GOP states (South Dakota, Montana)"

IIUC Montana, with large numbers of miners and railway workers, is historically less solidly GOP than any other mountain state but New Mexico.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 13:43 Comments || Top||

#15  To liberalhawk:

Re: " what the hell is that about?" It means that the left perverts these ideas into something xenophobic, class centrist, racist, etc. Exhbit A: See my posting about Garafola above.

You are correct about Montana. Montana, albeit conservative, is not as solidly Republican in its choices for Federal representation. (Best example is Mike Mansfield for so many years.) However, Montana is still reliably Republican in the electoral college.
Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 13:55 Comments || Top||

East/Subsaharan Africa
Nigerian strikers threaten to kill British workers
Edited for brevity.
Nigerian oilmen, staging a wildcat strike on four offshore rigs in the Niger Delta, have threatened to kill their British co-workers by blowing up one of the installations. The strikers have warned they are prepared to kill everyone on board the unidentified platform, which is owned by Transocean, the world’s biggest offshore drilling company, in retaliation against its decision to send bailiffs and armed guards out to the rigs with court orders to break the strike. A total of 35 British oil workers, the majority of whom are Scots who formerly worked in the North Sea, are among the 97 foreign nationals held prisoner on board the rigs for the past two weeks in an increasingly volatile dispute.
Looks like the situation is escalating.
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 10:12 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [396 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let's see.
Coming off of their recent practice with the Iraq "walk in the sun," suppose the British Commandos would be up to a raid "a la Entebbe" with this one?
Posted by: Larry || 05/01/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Majority of Brit hostages are Scots eh?

The two lead battalions in the Brit assault into Umm Qasr and Basrah were the "Blackwatch" and "Royal Scots Dragoon Guards" - both Scottish units that have a long and storied history.

I wonder if they might want to do some sightseeing in Nigeria on the way home, now that they are packing up in Basrah...

We can loan them Lt General William Wallace (US V Corps Commander for the current war) to make it a Braveheart theme.
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/01/2003 11:47 Comments || Top||

#3  Remember this is an offshore oil rig surrounded by water. Ergo, it's mission with Special Boat Service written all over it. They'll even never see them coming.
Posted by: Steve || 05/01/2003 12:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Play bagpipe dirges at them for a few days. If they don't hand over the hostages, break out the accordians.
Posted by: tbn || 05/01/2003 14:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Would be a textbook operation for the SBS. A significant part of their raison d'etre for the last three decades has been to respond to terrorist stunts involving North Sea oilrigs.
Posted by: Bulldog || 05/01/2003 14:25 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Pres. Bush to land on carrier the old-fashioned way
Edited for brevity.
President Bush plans to make history today by landing in a small plane on a moving aircraft carrier hundreds of miles from shore to declare an end to the combat phase of the war in Iraq. The White House downplayed any danger to the president, whose four-person Navy S-3B Viking anti-submarine aircraft will hook onto a steel cable after landing to prevent it from plunging off the flight deck and into the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Bush will be in the co-pilot's seat. "He is a former pilot," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said of his boss, who once flew jet fighters for the Texas Air National Guard. "For the sake of the landing, I'm sure he will be doing no piloting," the spokesman deadpanned. "Hope he's not watching today's briefing." But later in the day, Mr. Bush playfully left open the possibility that he would take the controls of the plane. "Never can tell what's going to kick in — the urge," he told reporters in the Oval Office. "Let me just say: Stay clear of the landing pattern."

Mr. Bush will sleep overnight on the Lincoln as it steams toward San Diego. On Saturday, he will depart on the Marine One presidential helicopter because the ship will then be close enough to shore for a brief chopper ride. That will be less hazardous than the longer flight and landing of the Navy jet, an S-3B Viking, that will carry Mr. Bush to the aircraft carrier. The plane, which is normally used to hunt submarines and attack other enemy assets, will also carry a Secret Service agent, a pilot and a crew member.
That's got to be the smallest personal security detail a president has had in some time!
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 09:49 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1068 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We don't plop Vikings very often, if I recall correctly, so he should be fine.

Nice touch, BTW, but sure to have some calling him a cowboy again. Hey, it's loads better than any ride at Disneyland.
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 9:54 Comments || Top||

#2  I'll bet if he held up air traffic at an airport for a couple of hours while he was having a far-to-expensive haircut, people would call him a cowboy for that too. I don't think he's worried about the Cowboy remarks.
Nothing he does will ever get him away from that. Even if he converted to French and did nothing, he'd still be a cowboy for it.
Posted by: Mike N. || 05/01/2003 10:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Its good to have a Cool president again!
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 05/01/2003 11:37 Comments || Top||

#4  First sitting President to do a carrier trap. And he's doing it from the copilot seat. Go Dubya!

You know Bush must have personally argued like hell to pull this one off - the Secret service would rather him wait till the carrier is near the coast and then helicopter him in. I bet good money that Bush even takes the controls for a bit once they are at altitude. Once a pilot, always a pilot.

At least they got him on an S3, and not some dog-crap COD bird.
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/01/2003 11:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Bet they insisted on putting him in the co-pilot seat because he could eject in case of trouble. No way out of the back of a COD. I'm sure that they'll let him take the stick for a short time. Once a fighter jock, always a fighter jock. Plus it don't hurt naval aviation come budget time.
Posted by: Steve || 05/01/2003 12:07 Comments || Top||

#6  "will also carry a Secret Service agent, a pilot and a crew member."
Plus a dozen or so fighter escorts, not to mention the aegis on the water ;)
Posted by: RW || 05/01/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Think of the difference between this(which is way cool) and the Dukakis photo-op, riding around in a tank with the helmet on, looking like Snoopy
Posted by: Frank G || 05/01/2003 12:18 Comments || Top||

#8  I read that he wanted to do it from the Wizzo seat of an F-18 Hornet but cows were had by all, and he got told no. This is actually about the safest way on, except by COD and the President can't arrive in a COD.
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 12:26 Comments || Top||

#9  Hell if Putin can do it... remember when Putin arrived in Chechnya in a fighter jet? Can't recall though if he did the piloting himself.
Posted by: RW || 05/01/2003 13:09 Comments || Top||

#10  Wheels up, landing in 20 minutes. Carried live on Fox, CNN, etc.
Posted by: Steve || 05/01/2003 14:04 Comments || Top||

#11  Just flew in on Fox. Safe, sound, and grinning.
Posted by: Ptah || 05/01/2003 14:41 Comments || Top||

#12  There are some truly awesome photos posted at Yahoo of the Commander-in-Chief on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln. Makes me swell up in pride.
Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 15:19 Comments || Top||

#13  "Dubya is my co-pilot."
Posted by: Dishman || 05/01/2003 15:52 Comments || Top||

#14  That is one thing I have always wanted to do, is to land my C-172P on a carrier. But getting permission would be a beast. Also they would have to remove the arresting cables so I would not foul my gear. Dream on A/P. Hey, Dubya, you deserve it! I am sure there is immense pride on the Lincoln going both ways today!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/01/2003 16:09 Comments || Top||

#15  Nice speech - not gloating, not boasting, and appropriate emotion for the reason these heros serve, Sept 11th victims, those not coming home. I got teary, but then again I'm a sentimental pussy - I cry during the nat'l anthem
Posted by: Frank G || 05/01/2003 20:56 Comments || Top||

#16  AP, there's always Flight Simulator 2002 :) ...or those other flight sims. Or if you have the cash, the real simulators they use for training.
Posted by: RW || 05/01/2003 21:35 Comments || Top||

#17  The President landing in a jet on a carrier and getting out wearing that flight suit was totally cool. He looked totally fit and dashing. Just try to imagine Clinton in a flight suit...as one of my female co-workers (who loved the photos and speech) said: "do they have one big enough for Clinton?"

Was anyone else reminded of the president in the movie Independence Day?
Posted by: R. McLeod || 05/02/2003 0:24 Comments || Top||

D.C. regains "Murder Capital" title
Edited for brevity.
Washington, DC is once again the nation's 'Murder Capital," according to a new study released today. According to the numbers, DC outranked all major cities, and is again the nation's "murder capital." Immediately following DC on the list were Detroit (the winner in 2001), Baltimore, Memphis, Chicago and Philadelphia (in that order). Last on the list was Honolulu, ranked 32d with only 18 murders, in spite of its population of nearly 900,000.
No trouble in paradise!
DC, by comparison, with nearly 600,000 residents, had 262 murders last year. DC's soaring homicide rate also defied national trends showing a slight drop in murders. In spite of the fact that the number of total murders in all 32 cities dropped 1.2% in 2002 as compared to 2001, DC saw a nearly 13% increase in its murder rate in 2002, giving it the 6th-highest increase among the cities surveyed.
D.C.: Where only the criminals have guns...
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 09:31 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [707 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Damn Chaunra Levy!
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 9:52 Comments || Top||

#2  I think the difference between DC and Honolulu might be cultural. I suppose it could be all that pineapple, but I think the more time you spend listening to Don Ho clones, the less you feel like being a gangsta.
Posted by: Fred || 05/01/2003 10:40 Comments || Top||

#3  I hate to admit it, but DC is my home town at the moment. 262 murders in one year?! That's nothing. In 1989, when the crack epidemic hit and everyone was fighting to control markets, we reached 500. Those were the days, I tell you.

I wonder if there's such a thing as Don Ho-rap fusion. No, I don't want to think about it.
Posted by: Joe || 05/01/2003 11:33 Comments || Top||

#4  "D.C.: Where only the criminals have guns... "

DC - where all the criminals' guns come from Virginia.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 11:45 Comments || Top||

#5  What happened to glorious Camden, New Jersey?
Posted by: someone || 05/01/2003 12:02 Comments || Top||

#6  I guess my last comment was redundant because, by definition, having a gun makes you a criminal in D.C.

LH--Yeah, I imagine all the criminals' guns come from VA. They buy them and take them to D.C. because if they use them in VA they might run into a CCL holder who'll put a quick end to their aspiring criminal career.
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 12:11 Comments || Top||

#7  Camden doesnt meet the study's criterion for "major city" ie pop. greater than 500,000. A lower pop cut would have brought in some high crime smaller cities and would have made DC look better.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 12:12 Comments || Top||

#8  Dar - theres also crime in Virginia.

They buy them in virginia cause its easeir to buy a gun in Virginia. And its easy to bring them into DC. Im not saying gun control works, but you sure cant show that it doesnt from the case of DC.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||

#9  LiberalHawk -" Im not saying gun control works, but you sure cant show that it doesnt from the case of DC. "

You are not saying gun control works becase it is flat not true.
Posted by: Hodadenon || 05/01/2003 12:31 Comments || Top||

#10  Hod - Im not saying it because its a large, complex issue, Im not interested in going into it now, and i dont think this is the place for it.

I stand by my statement that DC with its tiny geogrphic area and close proximity to states with looser gun laws is no laboratory for the effectiveness of gun control.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||

#11  if the population limit is lowered, Gary IN and New Orleans noth have higher murder rates than DC (funny, I dont seem to have heard about tough gun laws in Lousiana) Camden still comes in below DC. The highest in Virginia is Newport News, which is lower than DC or Camden but still comes in higher than cities such as Boston or Minneapolis, both of which i believe have tougher gun laws than Virginia.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#12  LH -- I agree to a point. Gun ownership does not end crime, but it puts a dent in it.

Hand in hand with allowing private gun ownership (I shouldn't even say "allowing", because it's a Constitutional right), however, is strict enforcement of reasonable gun laws and punishment for those who violate them. Too many violent criminals are repeat offenders who have been slapped on the wrist and let go to terrorize the public again, and instead of blaming guns or crediting gun control we need to see these perpetrators put away.
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#13  correction the highest murder rate in Virginia is Richmond - its lower than DC, but not by much.

So much for the budding criminal careers cut down by CCL holders in Virginia - evidently without much effect on the murder rate in the Commonwealth's lovely capital.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 12:53 Comments || Top||

#14  gun ownership may put a dent in crime - gun control may put a dent in crime. Theres no support for either proposition in the city murder rates we've been discussing.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 12:54 Comments || Top||

#15  "I shouldn't even say "allowing", because it's a Constitutional right"

A well regulated militia being necessary to the liberty of a free state ....the right of the people to keep and bear arms ...

Its a collective right, not an individual right. Otherwise it would say "no person shall be deprived of the right" or more neutrally "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged" It adhers in the people, in the community, acting together through the militia as in colonial and federal times - in fact right up through the civil war.

Todays national guard is not a community organization the way the old militias were - we have no equivalent of the militis described in the 2nd amendment. The Supreme Court has wisely interpreted the 2nd amendment as placing no limits on the right of states to regulate the private ownership of firearms.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 13:02 Comments || Top||

#16  And Democrats want to make this the 51st state? Given that felonies forfeit their franchise rights, who would be left to vote?
Posted by: ColoradoConservative || 05/01/2003 13:20 Comments || Top||

#17  OTOH, if someone were to propose armed, part-time, community based law enforcement and civil defense - more of a true militia - id think this a VERY interesting idea, which appealed strongly to the communitarian neo-liberal in me. The WOT seems like an excellent time to at least examine such an idea.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||

#18  ColoradoCon:

Ever been to DC? Theres a huge section of the city "west of Rock Creek Park" where i would wager the murder rate was close to zero. The difference between West of the park and east of the park is not gun laws, but the breakdown of families and communities familiar in many large cities.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 05/01/2003 13:25 Comments || Top||

#19  LH--As you said, this is a complex issue and not the place for it. I won't get into it too much more here to save Fred's bandwidth (for which I've been severely editing my article posts as well). We can take this off-line beyond this if you wish.

The RKBA is a right of the people and is an individual right, as ruled by the Fifth Circuit in Oct. 2001 (affirming what what many citizens knew all along, but nice to have it official).

Secondly, the idea of forming a citizen's militia is to prevent the government from running roughshod over an unarmed populace. Giving only the government the right to form an armed militia then expecting it to protect us from itself is self-defeating.

Thirdly, you're right. I can't just point at D.C. and gun control, and you can't just point at Richmond and gun ownership. There are more factors, social and economic, perhaps even geographic, that contribute to that.

All that being said, the RKBA is, quite plainly, a Constitutional right, and it as important to me as the First Amendment. For the life of me, I can never understand why the Hollywood-types, Micheal Moore chief among them, scream bloody murder about being censored when anyone criticizes their work and claim their First Amendment rights are being violated, then they make it their life's work to tear the heart out of the Second Amendment? Are they aware there's more than one amendment?

In further encouraging news Minnesota is the 35th state to suspend its suppression of that right, and Missouri's Senate is also looking at RTC (right to carry) legislation and will hopefully become the 36th state soon.

Slowly but surely we're getting back the rights that were originally ours to begin with. I can only hope that we're not so irresponsible to let them slip away again.
Posted by: Dar || 05/01/2003 13:53 Comments || Top||

#20  Guys, I have to jump in here....all the talk of gun rights and amendments are overlooking the real issue here. The facts are, where the majority of the population is black, there will be more murders...and there is no denying that or changing that. Look at that part of DC west of Rock Creek...almost all white--no murders. The SE section of DC almost all black, most of the murders. I say, let them kill each other, ignore the problem, just keep them in their sections of town and like they say--No harm, no foul.
Posted by: Realist || 05/01/2003 14:55 Comments || Top||

#21  Liberalhawk - The constitution gives Congress the power to define the militia. Congress uses Title 10 USC to do so. Sec. 311. Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are -
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

Posted by: Don || 05/01/2003 16:25 Comments || Top||

#22  LH "individuals with guns can easliy turn into of the tyranny" May I suggest a correction? Thank you. "criminals with guns can easily turn into tools of the tyranny."
Of course, criminals that wish to make guns into tools of tyranny need not, and indeed-do not, worry themselves with not having a concealed carry permit. Only the opponents to tyranny worry about having a concealed carry permit. Mabe that's an over-simplification. It makes it sound as if your a propponent of tyranny or an opponent of tyranny, leaving no room for the majority of the population that is in the middle. Like LH, for example.
Posted by: Mike N. || 05/01/2003 16:52 Comments || Top||

North Korea Heroin shipment
The interception of a US$48 million heroin shipment in Australia has given Washington an unexpected diplomatic lever as it acts to neutralize North Korea's weapons of mass destruction. Senior US terrorism and narcotics advisor Raphael Perl said in Washington on the weekend that the Pong Su shipment was part of a wider trafficking network sanctioned by North Korea's reclusive leadership. "No question about it. It is standard practice for them to use trading companies for shipping narcotics," he said.

According to reports in diplomatic circles, North Korean envoys were in direct radio contact with the ship shortly before it was boarded, but the crew ignored pleas that they cooperate with Australian security forces. Washington has long been criticized for playing down the impact of smuggled contraband from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), primarily because these shipments were not thought to be directed against US interests. In its latest country assessment, released in February, the State Department reiterated that "there is still no evidence that even a single incident of trafficking from the DPRK has had any impact on the US".

Most seizures have taken place within a short distance of North Korea, and appear to be an offshoot of Pyongyang's well-documented involvement in Asian gambling industries and white-collar crimes. Last year 79kg of heroin was recovered by authorities in Taiwan, and a separate shipment of 150kg of methamphetamines, the largest in recent years, was apprehended in Japan. In Seoul, a North Korean defector revealed the existence of a 100-member trafficking ring based in Pyongyang and admitted making nine illicit border crossings into China since 1998, each time bringing in 50kg of heroin. As with the Australian seizure, it was unclear whether the operations were being directed by Asian syndicates using North Korean crewmen or had high-level involvement from Pyongyang. "Police interrogation of suspects apprehended while trafficking in illicit drugs developed credible reports of North Korean boats engaged in transporting heroin and uniformed North Korean personnel transferring drugs from North Korean vessels to traffickers' boats," the State Department noted. "It nevertheless remains possible that criminal elements, or some rogue military organization in the DPRK, are trafficking on their own, without formal state direction."
They could say that with a straight face a month ago. They were still on the blunt side of Occam's razor. Things stand out a little, uhh... sharper now.
This conclusion is disputed by emigre groups, which contend that all North Korean vessels operate as an official arm of the government, while the families of crewmen are usually held under house arrest to ensure they don't defect. Using relatives as hostages is a practice that dates back to the 1970s, when farmers were reportedly first coerced into growing opium poppies in remote regions around the Hambuk, Yanggang, Jagang and Kangwondo mountain ranges.
Sure, why not? What else would North Korean farmers be expected to cultivate other than H?
According to reports compiled by the South Korean government, cultivation was stepped up dramatically in the mid-1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union severed Pyongyang's main source of foreign exchange and precipitated a deep economic crisis. Seoul claims, with backing from some independent US monitors, that the farms are now operated by the state security apparatus and manned by army units using political prisoners as a slave labor. Based on the South Korean estimates, about 40 tonnes of opium is produced each year, with a street value of $50 million to $100 million. Data on other drugs are hazy, but an average of 400kg of chemicals are imported each year to make methamphetamines. "Since only 1.5 [tonnes] per year would be enough to make medicines like cough suppressants and medicine for treating bronchial asthma in North Korea, it is clear that the remaining quantity is likely to be converted into 'meth' to be sold in secret overseas through international drug smuggling networks," Seoul alleged in a report issued last year. Coast guard officers in Japan are also believed to have uncovered evidence of a link between North Korea and mafia groups when they salvaged a ship last year that had been scuttled by its crew just before they were apprehended. The ship was almost identical to others used in North Korean smuggling rings, and contained a mobile phone with the stored numbers of known members of Japan's Yakuza criminal underworld.

It is not just heroin that Pyongyang is believed to have been trafficking with its new partners in crime: Washington is convinced that the narcotics routes also serve as a conduit for shipments of arms and forged documents. Intelligence agencies in the United States have listed North Korea as the biggest global source of ballistic missiles, in a trade that nets Pyongyang at least $150 million a year from such unstable regimes as Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Yemen.
The usual suspects
Washington may not have a smoking gun to brandish in the demilitarization talks with Pyongyang, but intelligence derived from the narcotics seizures offers the next best thing. "Find the drugs and you also stand a good chance of finding whatever else they have been doing," said the diplomat. "Narcotics and gun-running are two sides of the same terrorist coin. The difficulty is in proving that we are dealing with state-sponsored terrorism and not just a rogue criminal organization that is functioning on its own behalf."
Kinda puts KCNA's daily foaming at the mouth rants in a whole new perspective
Yeah. Maybe they really are on drugs...
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 05/01/2003 06:37 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [424 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The DPRK is a big gangster unit now - look around the 'net and see: the armed forces are run like fiefdoms, and finance themsleves with illicit drug trade, and illegal weapons exports. They are not so much a military government under Kim as they are a quasi-cult, police-state and drug-cartel rolled into one.

It makes me wonder - such setups are uncommonly brittle. Few, if any, lateral communications and operations are allowed across command boundaries at any level, excpet the highest. Could taking down the C3I and the top layer of command shatter the DPRK into a lot of ineffective paralized parts?

Wanna bet that's being studied in DC right now?
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/01/2003 12:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Shit, Frank! Was it cement or was it heroin? Did anyone check?
Posted by: Chuck || 05/01/2003 12:29 Comments || Top||

#3  What I like about North Korea is the way it inspires. It says to paranoid schizophrenics all over the world, "See, you too can grow up to be president."
Posted by: Joe || 05/01/2003 13:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Puts a new slant on the "Juche Idea" doesn't it? They're a bunch of "Juche Heads". No Juche for you!!!
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/01/2003 14:12 Comments || Top||

North Korea Prompts U.S. to Investigate Nuclear Boast
WASHINGTON, April 30 — White House officials have ordered the nation's intelligence agencies to conduct a review of whether North Korea could produce bomb-grade plutonium — as it says it has done — without detection by the United States, according to senior administration officials. The order to the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies that have long monitored North Korea's nuclear program was prompted by the blunt and direct nature of the North's declaration last week, during negotiations in Beijing, that it was already a nuclear power. It said it had completed reprocessing of 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods that could provide enough plutonium for four to six additional weapons. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell described the North Korean assertion in testimony today to a Senate subcommittee, saying, "The North Koreans, in very typical bellicose fashion, accused us of everything imaginable and then said, `We reprocessed all the fuel rods that were in storage.' " So far the United States has not been able to verify North Korea's claim to have produced weapons-grade plutonium. "We can't establish that as a matter of fact with our intelligence community, but they said they did it," Mr. Powell said.

Until last week, North Korea had never boasted about its nuclear weapons capability, insisting it was only interested in producing electric power from nuclear reactors. The change in tactics, the administration's Korea experts believe, may be an effort to raise the price of dismantling its program, if President Bush reversed himself and was willing to strike a deal to disarm the country. "We think they are bluffing," a senior administration official said. "But we felt the necessity to go back and review every possibility, in the off chance that we missed something." The C.I.A. has long believed that North Korea may have two nuclear weapons developed in the late 1980's or early 1990's, before a 1994 nuclear freeze accord was signed with President Bill Clinton. But the agency is worried about reprocessing, because North Korea could sell plutonium on the open market — a threat Mr. Powell said today that the North Koreans made explicit last week, saying their decision "depends on the American reaction." The chemical process of reprocessing spent fuel into plutonium lets off a distinct signature — a form of krypton — that can be detected by sensors used by American intelligence agencies for decades, back to the days of the cold war. So far there has been no evidence of that gas, officials say, or other evidence that reprocessing has begun.

But some senior administration officials have long been concerned that the intelligence agencies have missed either a hidden reprocessing plant or one that operates at such a low level that it would not emit a detectable signature. "I've never been satisfied that we knew everything we should about the nature of their program," one senior administration official said.

(con't see link)
Posted by: Anonymous || 05/01/2003 06:14 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [407 views] Top|| File under:

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