Yes folks, there are some things stranger than Pakistan.
When a four-year-old boy called Kalien met Michael Jackson, he just didnât know what to make of him. The child shrank back in the arms of his grandfather, the singerâs physician Dr Allan Metzger. And he wasnât alone in his astonishment. The 45-year-old singerâs complexion drew gasps at the charity event in Beverly Hills. For he was whiter than the white partygoers. Jackson insists his appearance is due to the rare skin disorder vitiligo. An onlooker said: âIt looked as if heâd dunked his face in a bowl of talcum powder. But his face actually is that pale. He looks positively scary - like a ghost. âItâs hard to believe Michael Jackson used to be a black man. Now he looks like a very odd white woman.â Itâll take me a week to get that image out of my head.
Posted by: Steve White ||
10/03/2003 11:12:58 AM ||
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It ain't his skin color that scared the kid, it's what's left of Jackos nose. I swear it's looking more and more like a pigs snout every time I see him.
Posted by: Charles ||
10/03/2003 14:08 Comments ||
Is the skin disease legit? I will continue to make fun of Michael, regardless. From a Karma sence, though, I want to make arrangements if I am to return to earth as an albino squirrel in retribution for ny jokes.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
10/03/2003 16:20 Comments ||
Albino squirrels are held in high regard at the University of Louisville, and I suspect elsewhere.
The former world snooker champion Ronnie OâSullivan last night said that recent reports that he had converted to Islam were misleading. "There has been some confusion recently. I am not a Muslim. However, I am privileged with the friendship of Muslims who have been there for me and I value as true friends. Yes, Iâm interested in Islam, but Iâm also interested in Buddhism and Christianity. Perhaps Iâve been naive and given people the wrong impression, and if I have Iâm sorry. It was a bit stupid of me, I suppose. I went along to a mosque because Iâm interested in Islam, but I didnât know anyone would be interested in converting me. Actually, even when they called me to the front of the mosque I didnât know what was happening. They were very friendly, and in my ignorance I thought it was just a social thing - their way of welcoming a stranger. I felt a bit overawed by all the people around me, especially because they were talking all the time. Iâm the kind of person who doesnât want to offend, and I just thought Iâd keep everyone happy then politely leave. But now I know differently. Everyone knows Iâm not the most disciplined of fellas. I suppose thatâs why the press thought it was such a good story." Wonder if the apostasy law still applies, Whoops!
Well, I've gone by this item several times without commenting. But, I just have to know. Is conversion to Islam the sort of thing you can do by accident? I mean, the whole being splashed with water or dunked thing is a giveaway for Christianity. And the surgery sorta lets you know for converting to Jewish.
In the US most kids get circumcized (ugh!), regardless of religion.
Which seems to me a rather awfully stupid thing to do... I understand doing stupid things because one's God commands you to do them (the whole "faith" thing) , but doing them just because it's a *fad*?
Really people, chopping bits off one's penis doesn't make people cleaner - in fact it causes more medical problems than it solves. Unless your religion demands it (in which case nothing I'm gonna say will make any difference :-) DON'T CHOP OFF BITS OFF YOUR SONS'S PENISES.
One of the reasons that if I ever die and get reincarnated in America, I'd choose to come back as a girl. :-D
To adopt Islam, you merely have to intone the phrase "there is no God but Allah, and Muhammed was/is his prophet", IIUC. I think you have to do it in Arabic, in the presence of witnesses. You don't have to do it at a certain time, or be rotating counterclockwise or anything like that. I may be wrong.
Continuing yesterdayâs story. Edited for brevity.
Danielle and Tirrell Moore have 150 million reasons to quit the Army and return to civilian life. The couple bought the winning ticket for the Mega Millions multistate lottery and won a $150 million jackpot while on leave from South Korea. They chose to receive a lump sum payment of $88.9 million, and now plan to ask the Army for releases. "It makes no sense to stay in the Army," Tirrell Moore said Thursday. "I have loved it. Iâm just going to relax and get my head together." Danielle Moore added: "I love the military. Iâm not so sure if itâs as easy for me to give it up as it is for him, but I have to go with my heart and my husband." Her husband has long claimed that someday he was going to win the lottery, Danielle Moore said. But when he returned from buying tickets this week, she didnât like the numbers and sent him back to the fast-food store to try again. Guess they didnât match the Lucky Numbers in her daily horoscope?
For you vets, is there a legitimate and honorable way to leave the service early because you simply want to? When weâve got reservists on active duty in the Middle East agitating to get home, the idea of a lottery winner expecting to get out early doesnât set well with me. Itâs akin to buying your way out of the Civil War draft.
He signed a contact for four to six years of service. I suppose they could apply for hardship discharges I'm sure it's hard, trying to figure what to do with all that dough but other than that, they're stuck with the green suits until their enlistments are up. Y'know, occasionally you do find rich folks in the Army. You just don't get that way by joining up...
There is an administrative out, regret I don't know what it's called because I haven't had the chance to exercise it. It applies to inheritances, etc., sudden wealth that unsuits a soldier/sailor for duty because managing that kind of money takes a lot of time, and because it's a tremendous morale and discipline buster from many perspectives. All I hope is he buys his buddies more than a box of cigars out his good fortune.
For you vets, is there a legitimate and honorable way to leave the service early because you simply want to?
-Only way I know of is what's called a hums sep which stands for humanitarian separation...
i.e. some family matter where your active duty status is totally incompatible w/the family situation - for example you are the only child w/no other family available to take care of an extremely ill parent back home or something of that ilk.
They chose to receive a lump sum payment of $88.9 million, and now plan to ask the Army for releases.
Give me a break, this soldier's Sergeant Major should be putting his boot up this idiot's ass for those comments. He doesn't want to play anymore 'cuz he's got the bucks now?! You don't ask the service to early release you because now that you're rich the Army may just inconvenience your life. He should've just said I plan on faithfully serving out the rest of my current enlistment and then I will go back to the private sector when I'm done.
You don't ask the service to early release you because now that you're rich the Army may just inconvenience your life. He should've just said I plan on faithfully serving out the rest of my current enlistment and then I will go back to the private sector when I'm done.
Exactly. Make a commitment, live up to it. Okay, so a person won $88 mil; it's not going to go anywhere, and it'll be waiting for them when their stint is done.
Just took a quick look through Army seperation handbook, as far as I can see, he's going to be completing his enlistment. No way out because you just got rich. The only way out would be to become a dirtbag, fatboy, etc, but since the Army knows why he's doing it, they could string out the process till his current enlistment is up. I'm sure they're just excited about getting the money and once they calm down, and the Army explains the rules to them, they'll finish their tours. I'll bet somebody told them they had heard from somebody else that a friend had told them you could get out early under some rule. Typical barracks lawyer advice.
There is an administrative out, regret I don't know what it's called because I haven't had the chance to exercise it. It applies to inheritances, etc., sudden wealth that
I remember something like that too. The added caveat was that you had to pay back the gubmint for training and some other expenses. Never saw it put to use though. But with over $80M in the back pocket I think he can handle that.
Long Time Lurker >> I've heard that as well. If you come into money that is "X" amount times what you make you get discharged.
The reason is simple. It's disruptive to the order and discipline of the unit. The soldier could simply disobey superiors, miss duty, fail PT tests, be overweight, etc. Until they chapter them out.
Besides, aside from being put in jail, there's nothing the Army can do that they can hold over their head. (IE: Dishonorable discharge or an Article 15, come on.)
Jarhead >> I understand your initial disgust, but look at it this way. They DID serve their country. Whereas many thousands of chickensh!t scumbags walking around the US want all of their "freedoms" on a free meal ticket.
Let's face it. Their mommies and daddies most likely aren't the Rockefellers. You'll know, if you've served, that the military isn't going to make you any real money. Most people do it for family tradition, patriotism, or simply to get away from a bad situation (crime, gangs, etc.) I wish them the all the best. I guess I just like to see an average Joe get his day.
Here's another way to solve the problem -- have a big poker game out at the barracks!
Posted by: Chris Smith ||
10/03/2003 12:45 Comments ||
There are lots of ways to get out 'honorably' from the service. Administrative is the best fit in this circumstance. A guy I was stationed with in Greece (80âs) inherited a couple mil from a rich aunt. The Air Force asked him if he wanted to get out before he had to ask them. Now this guy only being an E2/E3 so that may make a difference. I also knew an E5 in California (90âs) that made a ton of money in the stock market. He liked the Air Force and still in as far as I know (weirdo). My guess is that the Army will let him go on Admin/Convenience grounds.
Jarhead >> I understand your initial disgust, but look at it this way. They DID serve their country.
Paul - my response:
-Then let them finish serving their country.
Whereas many thousands of chickensh!t scumbags walking around the US want all of their "freedoms" on a free meal ticket.
-I agree about the scumbag part. I respect your opinion & see your pragmaticism but disagree in pure principle. One doesn't justify poor behavior based on someone else's poor behavior.
Let's face it. Their mommies and daddies most likely aren't the Rockefellers.
-Doesn't matter who they are, Moore made a commitment to the country - he should honor that commitment. No one's taking any money from them. My point is when you raise your right hand and swear to support and defend the constitution of the U.S. against all enemies foreign and domestic there's no clause saying "in case of lotto ticket and windfall we will void any past promises you made & forget about your oath of office and contract with the American people..."
The soldier could simply disobey superiors, miss duty, fail PT tests, be overweight, etc. Until they chapter them out. Besides, aside from being put in jail, there's nothing the Army can do that they can hold over their head.
-Let him. There's a thing called a brig and a bad conduct discharge. Maybe it won't matter to him because he's rich and may never need a job but let him live w/being a scumbag and shirker. However, if a supposed soldier can live w/shirking his load and acting like an ass because he got some cash then that's on him the rest of his life.
Seems to me that if the US had an obligatory conscription process going, it'd make sense not to allow anyone to leave because of money suddenly earned...
But since the US army is currently an all-voluntary force, I think it'd make sense to give people the opportunity to exchange the remainder of their service for cash. E.g. let him pay to the US government the money he would have normally earned during the time remaining to him. Or perhaps twice the amount of money he would have normally earned. Details could be worked out.
Actually, Aris, there used to be a proceedure for that many years ago. It faded away along with the laws that permitted the raising of privately paid for military units. The Brits used to do that all the time, and the US military continued the tradition until after the American Civil war. Once the Uniform Code of Military Justice was created to be the legal standard for the uniform services of the USA, it vanished.
This was mostly due to distrust. A number of such privately raised military units had problems with discipline during the Civil War, as their loyalties were inclined towards the officers who paid them, not the nation as a whole.
As a result, such semi-private units, naval privateers, mercenary companies, and the right to buy your way out of military service began to fade away.
Posted by: Ed Becerra ||
10/03/2003 17:42 Comments ||
Aris has a brilliant idea though if we wanted covert revenge on another sovereign nation; we could just allow a company to do the dirty...
(Logan Act falls from the heavens, strikes me dead)
The reason is simple. It's disruptive to the order and discipline of the unit.
Had I been in this guy's shoes, I would not have asked outright for release. I would simply carry on with the intention of serving out the rest of my obligatory time. I mean, when a person signs up, it is for X years, right? Now if the military brass sees fit to discharge me anyway under the regulation that you state above, then it all works out - I get to leave before my time is up, but more importantly, I leave with honor.
Shipman---The use of Letters of Marque was discontinued by many countries who signed the Declaration of Paris in 1856. The United States as well as several other countries signed the International Treaty much later. Beside$, the happy couple i$ in the army. If they joined the navy, though....LOL!
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
10/03/2003 21:40 Comments ||
...FWIW, USAF policy in the early 80s - and to the best of my knowledge, remaining unchanged - was that if you Hit the Jackpot, you were on your way home and you had no choice in the matter. The reasoning was, quite simply, the USAF simply had no hold on you any more. Even the most dedicated troop with an eight-figure bank account would think twice about accepting those orders to Boondockia AB in Southern Slobbovia, and if he said no, what was the AF going to do - throw him out? He could quite simply laugh in their face if he was so inclined. Another problem was that if he did take the orders to Boondockia - a 1 year, remote, UNACCOMPANIED tour - all he had to do was write a check that he wouldn't even notice to insure that he lived in comparative luxury off base with his spouse and family, while everybody else got to line up at the phone booth once every couple of weeks or wait for a letter. I know from personal experience that this happened at Kunsan while I was there 84-85 - an A1C who came into a six-figure inheritance brought his teen wife over and they lived in what passed for a luxury home in Kunsan proper, and it didn't go over well at all with the troops who were living in the 30-year old collapsible dorms on base with cold and cold running water.
Let the guy go - if his first thought was to ask to leave, the Army doesn't want him.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
10/04/2003 0:07 Comments ||
Afghan civilians accidently set off an explosive inside a home Friday near American military headquarters, killing seven people and wounding six others. People in a village near Bagram Air Base were handling the device when it blew up, villager Mohammed Nazeer said.
"Hey, y'all! Watch what happens when I do this!"
Many Afghans try to make money selling military debris as scrap metal, and deadly accidents are common.
"It looks like a guy was taking out the explosives from a cluster bomb," U.S. Maj. David Long said at the scene. "We have recovered four bodies from the rubble and weâre searching for more." "Hereâs another ear, nope, sorry, my mistake. Itâs a nose."
This is kind of strange..
The last time Serbian soldiers saw combat, they were being bombed out of Kosovo by U.S. missiles. Now theyâre set to fight alongside their former foes. Following an offer from Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic to send up to 1,000 troops to aid U.S. forces in Afghanistan or Iraq, a Serbian battalion is being readied for Kandahar, where it will hunt al-Qaeda terrorists and Taliban guerrillas. The Serbsâ choice of leader for the force, General Goran Radosavljevic, could be controversial. During the Kosovo war, he led a cluster of anti-guerrilla teams that, human-rights groups claim, committed atrocities against civilians. Human Rights Watch alleges they killed 41 ethnic Albanians in the village of Cuska in May 1999; Radosavljevic was never indicted. A New York court is also considering charges that he and other police officials are responsible for the execution of three Albanian-Americans. A senior Serbian security official tells TIME the general, who denies the allegations, "insists that he command the unit."
If these guys liked fighting the Albanians, they're simply gonna love fighting the Talibs. I read a month or so ago that Serbia is trying to repair its relations with the USA. I guess this is one approach...
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
10/03/2003 12:44:20 AM ||
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Human Rights Watch alleges they killed 41 ethnic Albanians in the village of Cuska in May 1999; Radosavljevic was never indicted.
So....what's up with this? Was Belgium sleeping or something?
Belguim must not have put him on trial because he was European.
Posted by: Charles ||
10/03/2003 1:59 Comments ||
Yeah, and you know that Anjelina Jolie, the good will mbassador of UNHR visited Kosovo and chechnya to put the attention to the problem.
I think it's important. You can find the notes from that visit at news sites!
*shakes head* This is going to be juuuust fine: The Muslims the Serbs were killing had been written off by the Wahabbis as "degenerate", so there was no Muslim outcry on behalf of their "brothers" when they were getting slaughtered. Their architecture was more European than Arabic, and they love a good dance and drink. Moreover, they were GRATEFUL to the United States and Clinton for saving their asses from the Serbs: One of their leaders called the United States the "Crown of the World", and said that, in the last Judgement, when Allah demanded what good the world ever did, THEY would be nominating the United States of America. (Sorry, no link.) When the Soddies offered to rebuild their bombed mosques, but wanted them done in the Arabic, domed style, instead of being faithfully reproduced in their original form, they told the soddies to take a hike.
In short, the Serbs killed the kinds of Muslims we wish were in the vast majority: SANE ones.
I am familiar with that which you mention.....I think you may have confused my dry humour.....I DO THINK THE SERBS ARE THE RIGHT TROOPS FOR THIS OP. I think they could bring about real results akin to ROK tactics in 'Nam.
ROKs were very effective handling the NVA & VC in their AORs (areas of responsibility). Maybe because their ROEs were different then ours & also because of their aggression, use of scorched earth tactics, and extremely high discipline. According to some of my 'Nam Vet brethren, they developed a reputation as ferocious fighters and even toed the line with Geneva convention violations. I.E. enemy prisoners often cooperated under highly effective interrogation techniques. The NVA would sometimes avoid ROK units if possible. I got a chance to see some ROK units train back in 99' in SKor. Pretty impressive individuals. They take a serious no b.s. approach to warfighting. Corporal punishment still openly goes on at their boot camps. Glad they're on our side. Again, a lot of this info maybe available on the web if you're interested.
This reminds me the French paras in Algeria. They came from Vietnam with the idea that you had
to fight communists with their own methods. And
this included torture (they had suffered it when
in captivity, at times at the hands of French communists) but also political methods
Before someone comes telling about how wrong it is to torture people let me say the FLN was not a liberation movement but a band of thugs willing to perpetrate the worst atrocities in order to gain power. Usual methods included putting
bombs in schoolbusses, machine-gunning merrygorounds (Boufarik), cutting children to pieces (Philippeville), I will pass on trivialities like cutting the balls of farmers and putting them in their mouthes or raping women and then disemboweling them. And most of their
victims were not even French but Algerian Muslims
who either were on French side or wanted independence but supported other groups and didn't want FLN taking power.
At this point many officers thought it was legitimate to torture FLN if this prevented an
About Geneva conventions: I recall you that one of their nice things is that you are not required
to follow them if enemy doesn't: their goal was
to make war a little less hellish not to have the good guys fighting with an arm tied to the back
Interesting about the FLN situation......did not know that. I'm w/you on the torture bit for scumbags though. Extreme times call for extreme measures. I met some guys who were in the Foreign Legion in Africa. Pretty good group of fellas. They had similar stories of how to deal w/insurgents.
I made friends with a ROK Marine in Nam. He was a senior NCO, part of a unit that did cleanup work around Tan Son Nhut and the river portion of Saigon. Tough as nails, meaner than a junkyard dog after three weeks of beatings, and better at EVERYTHING than the VC or NVA. His favorite tactic was to wait at night near the flightline, hoping to catch an infiltrator (there was a pretty good size VC unit on Tan Son Nhut). He'd cut their hamstrings, fill their eyes with salt, and leave them there. If any of their buddies came to rescue them, he'd slit their throats. I went out with him a couple of times in the daytime (I grew up in Louisiana, and was pretty much feeling at home in 'Nam). They could walk across a trail, and tell you what had passed by in the last three days, and how many. Incredible! I value MSgt Han's friendship very highly - it's one reason I'm able to comment here tonight.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
10/03/2003 22:25 Comments ||
thanks for the in-depth comment on what you saw in 'Nam concerning the ROK Marines. And more importantly, thanks for serving.
Yes, the muslim extremists will use this as
propaganda in Afghanistan. But, how much
"thanks" did they give the US for helping
opressed muslims in the Balkans? NONE. Their
response was to send Iranian extremists to
the Balkans who started putting booby-traps
in children's toys. It doesn't matter who
is sent to Afghan/Iraq, the muslim extremists
hate them all. This is war. Pick a side or
get the hell off the battlefield.
Posted by: Some Old Guy ||
10/06/2003 10:12 Comments ||
A land mine hidden in a sandy track in the Afghan capital exploded Thursday, killing two Canadian peacekeepers and wounding three others. The blast came 24 hours after engineers checked the road for explosives and found nothing. However, officials said it was too early to determine whether the explosion was caused by an old land mine or one laid recently in an effort to target international peacekeepers. ``It was an explosive device of some magnitude,ââ Gen. Raymond Henault, the Canadian chief of defense staff, said in Toronto. Damn.
The peacekeepers were on a routine patrol about two miles southwest of their camp, in foothills where attackers have previously launched rocket attacks, said Canadian Gen. Andrew Leslie, the deputy commander of the NATO-led peacekeeping force. Canadaâs Defense Minister John McCallum said that ``this tragedy will in no way lessen our commitmentââ to the peacekeeping mission and that ``the security of Canada and of the greater international community depends on it.ââ The Canadian government identified the dead as Sgt. Robert Alan Short and Cpl. Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger. The injured were Master Cpl. Jason Cory Hamilton, Cpl. Cameron Lee Laidlaw and Cpl. Thomas Stirling. Two of the wounded had light injuries while the third was ``seriously illââ but not in life-threatening condition, said peace force spokesman Squadron Leader Paul Rice. Thank you, Canada, and deep condolences to the families of the dead.
Posted by: Steve White ||
10/03/2003 12:09:34 AM ||
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Ditto on the condolences.
Posted by: Charles ||
10/03/2003 2:01 Comments ||
I have a close friend in Winnipeg whose son is serving in Afghanistan, building bridges and repairing roads. He's not happy with the way things are going, but says it's slowly getting better. Wonder how far he was from this incident. John graduated from the Canadian military college last June. Now his real education is getting under way.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
10/03/2003 22:28 Comments ||
I have a close friend in Winnipeg whose son is serving in Afghanistan, building bridges and repairing roads. He's not happy with the way things are going, but says it's slowly getting better. Wonder how far he was from this incident. John graduated from the Canadian military college last June. Now his real education is getting under way.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
10/03/2003 22:28 Comments ||
Played hockey at USNA. We used to travel up to CMR to get wallopped once a year. The cadets and staff were high quality patriotic men that I would have been proud to serve with.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
10/03/2003 22:56 Comments ||
Kuwaiti authorities have seized archaeological artefacts and ââother itemsââ smuggled from Iraq into Kuwait, Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah said in remarks published on Thursday. ââKuwaiti security forces were able to seize some Iraqi artefacts smuggled to Kuwait,ââ al-Sabah, who is also interior minister, was quoted as saying by al-Seyassah daily. He did not identify the other items. This is where the confusion factor sets in.
Al-Sabah was responding to a question about a report the paper carried on Wednesday that Kuwaiti security forces had foiled an attempt to smuggle artefacts, chemical materials and biological warheads from Iraq to a European country via Kuwait. Kuwaiti security sources told Reuters on Wednesday the report on the seizure of such weapons was baseless. As any good security agency would, until told otherwise.
Asked about the report of seized biological warheads, al-Sabah also told al-Qabas newspaper: ââUp to now we have not verified this...There are some artefacts that were seized which we are examining to see if they are real or fake.ââ Thatâs not a yes, but itâs not a no, either.
Iraqi authorities estimate more than 10,000 artefacts are still missing from the Iraqi National Museum, including antiquities from the worldâs earliest civilisations. These numbers change daily, your mileage may vary.
The museum was looted in April before, during and after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein. More than 400 items were also seized by Jordanian customs authorities at the border with Iraq. ââWe are now going to present those (artefacts) to experts and specialists to check their authenticity. Other items have also been seized which we will examine and announce (the findings) soon,ââ added al-Sabah. Heâs got this evasive political speech down pat.
Al-Sabahâs remarks were made to reporters late on Wednesday after talks with Iraqâs new interior minister Nouri Badran. Badran, who discussed bilateral security issues with al-Sabah, was quoted as saying that many infiltrators into Iraq have been arrested recently, including Saudis and Syrians. Thatâs nice. I guess weâll just have to wait and see what turns up. If somebody was trying to sell something they claimed to be chemical or bio weapons material, theyâll be checking very carefully to confirm or deny what it is before they make any more statements.
Assailants hurled gasoline bombs at a busload of police officers, wounding five of them, Bahrainâs state-run media reported Friday, calling the attackers as "terrorists." One policeman was hospitalized in critical condition after the attack late Thursday in the town of Sitra, just outside the capital, an Interior Ministry spokesman was quoted by the Bahrain Tribune as saying. The official Bahrain News Agency said "unidentified terrorists" threw gasoline bombs at the bus as it was moved through the town, 5 miles southeast of Manama. The bus was carrying 12 policemen and was attacked in front of an elementary school, the Gulf Daily News reported. Apart from the critically injured policeman, another received severe burns, the paper said. The reports, which could not confirmed with government officials as Friday is the weekend, gave no indication of who the attackers might be. Bahrain hosts the base of the U.S. Navyâs 5th Fleet and gave quiet support to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq earlier this year. That could be a hint, or it could be just a local dispute.
My guess would be local wannabe Bad Boyz. It was a molotov cocktail, rather than C4. The cops were guards for "public and private establishments".
Donât callâem fellow! Continuance from yesterday. EFL
Members of the Ahmadi community will today inaugurate what they describe as the largest mosque complex in western Europe, able to accommodate more than 10,000 worshippers. The building, a few miles from the communityâs first London centre in Putney, south-west London, built nearly 80 years ago, is expected to be packed with devotees from around the world for the inaugural prayers to be held by the worldwide supreme head of the community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
Ready for the sour grapes now?
But Iqbal Sacranie, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the community had exaggerated its numbers and influence. He argued that it should not even use the word mosque to describe the building. "They can call their place of worship by any name except for a mosque because that is for Muslims," he said. "They are outside the fold of Islam."
"They only think they're Muslims! We decide who's a Muslim around here, and it ain't them!"
Rafiq Ahmed Hayat, the [Ahmadi] communityâs British president, said: "Islam has come under a lot of criticism. One of the things we want to do is redress this imbalance. The basic tenet of Islam is that of peace and the tenet of this mosque is to propagate that tenet throughout the world. We will release some white doves to symbolise peace." Iâve got nothing against this group or the building of their mosque. They wanted it, they raised the cash for it, and thereâs no reason to suspect theyâre going to cause trouble.
I think we should hire some imams from them and the Sufis to minister to the nutballs we've got stashed at Guantanamo, myself...
Posted by: Bulldog ||
10/03/2003 4:59:36 AM ||
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can i just point out that who is this person 'Iqbal Sacranie' to say "We decide who's a Muslim around here".
i feel sorry for him as he will only have to answer for comments like these infront of Allah The Almighty on Jugdement Day.
Posted by: Proud to be an Ahmadi Muslim ||
10/03/2003 19:19 Comments ||
Yes, I know itâs from the Asia Times Online, and yes, they do have their own looney theories. If you read between the lines, you can pick up a few points of interest. EFL:
Pakistani forces have killed at least 12 and arrested 12 suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters over the past two days in a major operation at Angoor Adda, a small town on the border with Afghanistan. The operation is being widely hailed in Pakistan as a demonstration of the countryâs commitment to the US-led "war on terrorism". However, this is only a part of the story. The clash was orchestrated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a direct result of its deep penetration - and even control - of the Pakistani intelligence establishment. Bwahahaha, our plans for worldwide domination proceed!
Ya, sure! Ve got the Swedes infiltrated, tooo!
The roots of this involvement can be directly traced to the fallout from the events of September 11, 2001, which saw Pakistan throw in its lot with the US. This entailed Islamabad withdrawing its long-standing support for the Taliban in Afghanistan, which it had helped propel into power in 1996, and opening its air bases to the US military for operations in Afghanistan. It also allowed US intelligence to establish a finger-hold in the country, which the FBI has now turned into a vice-like grip through an ever-expanding network that has infiltrated, to various degrees, Pakistanâs armed forces, the police and intelligence agencies. Who writes this stuff, the FBI promotional director?
The FBI varies its presence according to requirements in its hunt for al-Qaeda suspects, with the total number deployed anywhere between 50 and 100. It has at least three active cells, in Peshawar, on the border of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where many al-Qaeda are known to hide, in the volatile port city of Karachi and in the capital Islamabad. Ok, sounds about right.
We've also got Qazi's underwear drawer bugged and his toilet mined...
The FBI initially kept a low profile, working mostly at the direction of the all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistanâs premier intelligence outfit and effectively the architect and orchestrator of Pakistanâs strategic policies. Now, however, the FBI works autonomously, with its own separate organizational setup.
That's because they met Mahmoud the Weasel one too many times...
This includes communications to track both mobile and land telephone calls, as well as sophisticated bugging devices. Each cell has these capabilities. In Karachi, the FBI cell operates in the Defense Housing Authority Phase VIII complex. Only two or three army officers are attached to this cell, purely for coordination purposes.
"Black, two sugars, Mahmoud."
Also, ok. They recognize ISI is not their friend.
Not all are happy with this state of affairs. According to one ISI person posted in Karachi, who requested not to be named when talking to Asia Times Online, "After September 11, 2001, we were given instructions to work along with FBI operators. Initially they were given a room in the ISIâs operations office. They used to give commands to us, and we had to obey them. For instance, once they asked us to send a packet somewhere. We packed it and informed them that the parcel was ready. They unpacked the parcel and asked an ISI employee to repack it in front of them. This is the way the FBI operators showed their domination over the ISI staff." Or they didnât like the shitty way you wrapped the package, didnât like working for infidels, did you?
Or they did't trust the way the Paks did the wiring...
"At first they asked us to coordinate in operations. Later on they were given a separate place of work, then they cultivated local police officers, and several times they did not bother to inform the ISI about their operations." How about that, someone in the FBI got a clue.
"Mahmoud the Weasel was so very disappointed..."
The FBI cells have established direct control over the law enforcing agencies, such as the police, who take orders from FBI agents. In return, they are believed to be handsomely rewarded financially. We pay better, plus visas if needed.
The ISI is aware of who is on the FBIâs payroll, but can do little about it. The cops know where you live, and carry guns too.
"There is no precedent," says a retired army brigadier who was in charge of ISI operations in Afghanistan during the Soviet war of the 1980s. "Pakistan was a frontline state against the former USSR during the Afghan war. The CIA was thickly involved in operations, but the CIA was not allowed to go beyond Islamabad. Their planes, loaded with missiles and ammunition, used to land at Islamabad airport, but these consignments were just handed over to an ISI cell, which used then to pass them on to the mujahideen in Afghanistan," the brigadier said.
"That way, we could hand them out to whomever we wanted, and they'd get blamed..."
"Even on a strategic level, the ISI used to plan operations single-handedly. The CIA only looked after the financial aspects of operations." Itâs called "Lessons Learned", we arenât going to make the same mistakes twice.
According to well-placed sources in the Pakistani intelligence community, some the countryâs former clandestine operations have now been curtailed, such as one involving the national carrier, Pakistan International Airline (PIA). PIA was once extensively used for "back-channel diplomatic activities", such as shifting missiles under the cover of routine cargo. But under heavy US pressure, PIAâs reservation system is now hosted in Texas through the Sabre Group, and the movement of each and every passenger is carefully monitored, as is the cargo. If true, itâs a great idea.
The paper continued, "Under an agreement between the authorities of the United States and Pakistan, banks in Pakistan will be giving details of remittances flowing in or out of foreign currency accounts, which will be handed to the FBI," the paper quoted a Wall Street banker as saying. "The agreement has come into effect and the Pakistani banks are collecting details on deposits and withdrawals into and from their foreign currency accounts." There is more on our access to the Pak banks, but you get the drift. Interesting, maybe even partly true.
The FBI controlling the security apparatus of a foreign government? Whatever this Asia Times writer is smoking, it's worth its weight in gold. This is the product of the collective imaginations of Pakistani Islamists. They're saying that Pakistan's security services are under the thumb of the FBI in order to delegitimize Musharraf. For the Islamists to simply say that Musharraf has had enough of the radicalism won't cut it - they need to make it sound like he is a puppet dancing to a foreign power's tune.
The danger to Musharraf is real, however. Like the Roman emperors, Musharraf was selected by his troops to lead the country - he can just as easily be un-selected in favor of another pretender to the throne. He needs to keep his supporters satisfied, and one hopes that not too many of the important ones are Islamists.
The Pakistani army has started to interrogate the 18 al-Qaeda suspects it captured during Thursdayâs fiercely fought anti-terrorism operation on the Afghan border. Eight al-Qaeda suspects were killed along with two Pakistani soldiers in the operation near Angor Adda in South Waziristan. The security official said of those being interrogated: "It is a mixed bag. There are Chechens, Uzbeks, an Algerian and some Arab-speaking nationals. We are trying to determine their exact nationalities." "They have so many passports, itâs hard to say."
An official in Wana, the capital of the South Waziristan tribal region, told the Reuters news agency that Pakistani soldiers were conducting house-to-house searches around Angor Adda on Friday but that no new arrests had been made. Fighting continued throughout Thursday until nightfall, with helicopter gunships backing up hundreds of Pakistani troops who met stiff resistance. The army began the operation "upon the receipt of credible intelligence about the presence of al-Qaeda elements", an army statement released on Thursday said.
Ummm... Al-Qaeda elements, huh? Like the guys that answer to Ayman? The guy who said for the Paks to dump Perv? Gotcha... Wonder why the Paks are thumping them now? Though there does seem to be a pretty high incidence of Chechens and such riff-raff around Wana. There was another shootout there in June of last year. The Chechens were holed up in the home of one of the tribal elders...
Elite Quick Response Force troops surrounded a complex of six mud-walled compounds after a group of suspected militants was seen crossing back from Afghanistan. The troops fought for 14 hours with the militants, who returned grenades and machine-gun fire. Military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said the operation was launched because "these foreign elements were causing nuisance to the local inhabitants". First Pakistan picks up the Islamic students from asian JI groups, and now attacks the "foreign elements" of al-Qaeda. Anyone begin to see a trend?
Gunmen have opened fire on a bus carrying Shia Muslim worshippers in Pakistanâs city of Karachi, killing five and wounding seven, police said. No one has yet said they carried out the attack in the west of the city. However in recent years, sectarian violence between Sunni Muslims and minority Shias has killed hundreds. Karachi police said the latest attack was a highly organised act of terrorism. The bus had been carrying both Sunnis and Shias but the raid occurred after the Sunnis had been dropped off at their mosque. Police said the gunmen tracked the bus on two motorcycles and fired dozens of rounds before escaping. Three of the wounded were in a critical condition.
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
10/03/2003 8:38:10 AM ||
Top|| File under:
Most of the dead and wounded were employees of Pakistan's Space & Upper Atmospheric Research Commission, using a company bus. An off-duty Pakistani soldier traveling on the bus was also among the dead, police Inspector Arshad Afridi said. The attack occurred on a deserted road near the space research commission's center in the Maripur area on the outskirts of Karachi. "The incident occurred only yards away from a private security check post, but unfortunately the guards there were not armed," said Afridi. Usman Azad, a supervisor at a local security firm, said gunfire blazed for more than a minute. "My security guards standing only yards away could do nothing because they had no weapons," he said. "Then the killers fled in the direction of a nearby village." There were conflicting reports about the number of gunmen involved. Shahid, who said he saw the attack, said he saw a couple of gunmen running away on foot. "They attacked the bus from two sides," he told Reuters.
Since these were government employees of the Pak Space program (missile research), I'm sure the Pak police will take more interest in going after the perps.
Quetta killer was Ramzi Yousef's brother-in-law
According to Khabrain, the mastermind of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi gang that killed Hazara Shias in Quetta turned out to be a brother-in-law of the famous terrorist Ramzi Yousef. Daud Badini was also connected to Al Qaeda. The killings were staged to avenge the death of the Lashkar leader, Riaz Basra, who killed Shias as an article of faith. The government had thought that the Hazaras could have been killed by Indian agents working in Afghanistan.
America expurgating Quranic verses?
Leader of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed, was quoted in Nawa-e-Waqt as saying that the Americans were getting the Pakistan government to take out certain Quranic verses from the course books. Instead of Islam, the government was spreading obscenity and teaching the girl students to dance. He said last time lights went out in the US, thousands of women were raped but this time there was light outage for thirty hours which means that even larger number of women were raped. The Americans were greatly worried that the world will get to know that hundreds of thousands of women were raped during the outage in the US this year.
Dead wife of Qadiani rejected
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt reported that in the vicinity of Chenab Nagar the dead wife of a Qadiani was sought to be buried secretly at night in a Muslim graveyard by a group of Qadianis. The Muslims arrived on the spot and there was a scuffle between the two parties. After that the dead body was driven out of the Muslim cemetery and the Qadianis took it to their own graveyard and buried it there. On this a wave of joy spread among the Muslims while the Qadianis were filled with despair.
Getting the jinn out
According to Khabrain, a fraudulent saint killed a boy in Sukkur while taking the jinn out of him. The boy of 16 was suffering from mental disease but his parents took him to the bogus saint known for exorcism. The saint branded his genitals with red hot iron rods so that the jinn would feel pain and come out. Later he broke all the bones of the sick child too but the jinn did not come out. The boy died in hospital later and the parents said they were deceived by the saint Pir Raja Shah and his companion Khalifa Zawwar Iqbal into believing that there was a jinn inside their son.
Four theatres closed in Gujranwala
According to Jang, the wave of strict law was further strengthened in Gujranwala when the local district judge ordered the closure of four drama theatres in Gujranwala for not following the scripts earlier submitted to the government. The theatres were closed under charges of obscenity.
Killed after being let off for blasphemy
According to Jang, Maulvi Sanaullah was gunned down by eight people in Qasur after he was let off on bail by the High Court in Lahore for lack of evidence on blasphemy charge. One year earlier a case of blasphemy was brought against him for saying insulting things from the loudspeaker of the Ahle Hadith mosque. After getting bail he was sitting in his house when a gang of known assailants fired on him but did nit succeed in killing him. But a month later the same gang finally killed him. The police which registered the case a year ago was unable to protect him against the killers.
Posted by: Paul Moloney ||
10/03/2003 12:47:58 AM ||
Top|| File under:
What a lovely country. Makes me just want to start singing Louis Armstrong ballads.
I see boys tortured
Sinful women stoned,
the terrorists attacks
and I say to myself
what a wonderful wooooorld.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro ||
10/03/2003 3:10 Comments ||
From MEMRI... Al-Ittihad (published by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK) reported that "one of the detainees at the detention camp in Baghdad's airport used a razor blade to attack the criminal Abd Hamoud, secretary and confidant of the dictator on-the-lam Saddam HusseinâŠ" According to the report, Hamoud was transported to a hospital with severe cuts on his face and neck. Hamoud is number five on the U.S.'s most wanted list.
Without substantiating the contents of its report, the daily Al-Yawm Al-Aakher (independent) prefaced its list by saying that "it is the right of the Iraqi and Arab people to know some of the horrifying truth." The following is a brief listing:
Abd Al-Bari Atwan: "The father of nationalism" and famous for his unflinching support of Saddam Hussein. The paper reports that it obtained a secret document asking for "the reasons for the delay in depositing the monthly sum of $50,000 in City Bank in AmmanâŠ" The paper also reports that "this explains the secret of his fierce defense of Iraq and the Arabs. It was a paid-for defenseâŠ"
Jasim Al-Ali: "The final cluster in the money tree." According to the report, Al-Ali, who had been the representative of Al-Jazeera TV in Baghdad, received "tempting monthly amounts from the former Iraqi governmentâŠ"
In a brick-lined cave set into a cliff above the Tigris river, American soldiers interrogate another Iraqi prisoner. He sits on a metal chair, his face to the wall. A woman soldiers stands over him, her arm stretched up against the wall above his head. On the other side stand a second US soldier and an Arabic translator. The questions are rapid. âWho gave you the pistol? When? Did he give you money? Who is he working for?â The prisoner tries to keep up. âIbrahim Mohammed. Last week. No, yes. He told me 50,000 dinars. I donât know.â The prisoner was picked up a few days earlier in a raid near Saddam Husseinâs hometown of Tikrit on suspicion that he belonged to an Islamic cell plotting attacks on US troops.
The faster the questioning goes, the less opportunity to think up new lies. I'm not sure what's with the babe, though...
He is one of thousands of Iraqis seized since the war which ousted Saddam in April as US soldiers try to stamp out almost daily attacks on their soldiers and bases. All are rigorously interrogated, a process which takes several hours, sometimes days. âWe call it the train ride,â said Captain Tim Morrow, a US Army intelligence officer. âWe go fast and furious with questions to try to trip them up. It takes hours; weâve usually got to run them around before we get to the truth.â This prisoner, says Morrow, is a suspected low-level member of the âArmy of Mohammedâ, a small anti-American guerrilla cell which US forces say is operating around Tikrit. The interrogators want the names of its leaders and financial backers.
Most of what they actually get is the names of other cannon fodder or the aliases of runners. The controllers try to keep their contact with the snuffies to a minimum. It's when they catch the runners that things start to pay off â but the runners have to be sorted out from the cannon fodder chaff...
âWeâre just trying to get another couple of names out of him,â said Morrow. âHeâs given us names and parts of names, but we think theyâre phoney. Weâll keep going till we get what we think he knows.â The prisoners captured by Morrowâs unit of the 4th Infantry Division are brought to their base in Tikrit, a sprawling estate of mansions with river views built for Saddam and his family and friends. They are kept in a two-roomed building with bars on the windows and razor wire at the door, known to soldiers as âthe cageâ. Around 50 men in traditional Arab robes or T-shirts and trousers are crammed in together, sitting and sleeping on pieces of cardboard on the floor.
Don't make them comfortable...
They are given food and water three times a day and are allowed to smoke, if they ask the bored sentry at the door for a light.
... but don't physically mistreat them.
One by one they are taken down to the cave for questioning. The technique involves no physical violence, says Morrow. The detainees are classed as âEPOWsâ or enemy prisoners of war and as such held under the rules of the Geneva Conventions which stipulate that interrogators cannot use force or violence to extract information. âWe donât beat people. We donât do anything that could be termed abuse,â said Morrow. âWe canât do anything which makes them think weâre about to harm them, like put a gun to their head.â
Most of them aren't worth putting originality into. The information they have is routine.
Thatâs not to say the prisoners donât come in for a bit of rough handling. When they are moved around the base, detainees are made to lie on the floor of a vehicle with sandbags on their heads âto keep them disoriented.â And the unguarded chatter of lower ranking soldiers suggests the rules are sometimes forgotten altogether.
It's supposed to...
Excited after a successful raid which netted several Iraqi suspects, a US military police sergeant explained how one detainee was made to kneel with his head against the front of an armoured jeep while another vehicle was reversed towards him, stopping only when his head was in a vice between two bumpers. âWe scared the shit out of him!â the soldier laughed.
If true, they could find themselves facing a court martial. Somehow, very few of these tales ever turn out to be true...
Under the threat of attack by Iraqi guerrillas armed with rifles, machineguns, rocket-propelled grenades and remote-controlled bombs, US soldiers are scared too. Most of the attacks occur in the âSunni Triangleâ, the heartland of support for Saddam which runs west from Baghdad and some 150 km (95 miles) north of Tikrit. This is where US forces have concentrated their after-dark raids on suspected guerrilla hideouts, detaining dozens of Iraqis each night. Military officials say the sweeps help foil resistance and capture Iraqis plotting against the US-led occupation. âWe work our way up the hierarchy,â said Morrow. âIf heâs a shooter, I want to know who pays him. The information we get from detainees is good, itâs definitely worth the trouble.â But at least 20 per cent of prisoners at the Tikrit base have been released without charge. Some were detained as a result of false information given by people hoping to settle old family scores or business feuds. Other suspects are sent âup the chainâ to more permanent detention facilities, only to be released a few weeks later.
They're suspected runners who turn out to be cannon fodder...
Lieutenant Colonel George Krivo, a US military spokesman in Baghdad, said probably as many Iraqis are freed as are arrested by US forces each day. The statistic illustrates the dilemma the US military faces in its tactic of aggressive raids and detentions. Each case of mistaken identity, or wrongful arrest, may serve only to alienate more Iraqis. âI was happy with the coalition. I tried to help them,â said one of the detainees in âthe cageâ who said he had worked as a translator for US forces before his arrest. âNow they have done this. Put me here. How could they do this?â
Damn, I wish the ROK Marines could send us a couple of dozen of their "interrogators". After they hose down the deck following the first "interrogation", it'll go a lot easier. You can't believe the amount of fear these guys can generate, without ever inflicting even an ounce of true physical violence. It would also put an end to some of the influx of cannon-fodder from the rest of the world.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
10/03/2003 23:21 Comments ||
The female interrogator's pose sounds intriguing and distracting. The human mind has many back doors. Why try ripping off a door when you can get the owner to throw it open for you?
Polish troops in Iraq have found four French-built advanced anti-aircraft missiles which were built this year, a Polish Defense Ministry spokesman told Reuters Friday. How do you say, "Oops" in French?
France strongly denied having sold any such missiles to Iraq for nearly two decades, and said it was impossible that its newest missiles should turn up in Iraq. Denial is the hardest part of the Twelve Step program.
"Polish troops discovered an ammunition depot on Sept. 29 near the region of Hilla and there were four French-made Roland-type missiles," Defense Ministry spokesman Eugeniusz Mleczak said. "It is not the first time Polish troops found ammunition in Iraq but to our surprise these missiles were produced in 2003." Sucks when the production date is on the missile, ainât it.
The Roland anti-aircraft system is a short-range air defense missile in service with at least 10 countries, including France and Germany. So we have two suspects, at least.
Under a strict trade embargo imposed by the United Nations, Iraq was barred from importing arms after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. And a very effective one it was.
"Since July 1990, France has not authorized a single shipment of military equipment to Iraq," a French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters. Similar accusations surfaced in the U.S. media in April, she said. In 1980-81, 13 Roland-1 missile systems were shipped to Iraq and from 1983 to 1986, 100 Roland-2 missile systems. The Roland-3 has never been exported to Iraq, she said. "It is not credible to say that the Roland missiles found a few days ago were produced in 2003 and delivered just before the Anglo-American intervention," the spokeswoman said. "Letâs be absolutely clear about this: no military exports to Iraq were licensed after July 1990." Mind if we send inspectors to check your books?
Mleczak said Polish troops were notified about the missiles by a local Iraqi, who received a reward for the information. "No Euros, dollars please"
"The ammunition depot was neutralized," said Mleczak. Polish television pictures showed missiles placed in a shallow trench and a huge explosion when the Poles blew up munitions at the site. I hope you kept these missiles, or at least the data plates.
Since early September, Poland, a staunch supporter of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, has led a multinational force in one of four so-called stabilization zones, in central Iraq. Good lads, those Poles.
Must have been produced in the first couple months of 2003. The Frenchies could well be pure as the driven snow on this, though. Prob'ly they were sold to somebody else, who passed them on to Sammy. Since the Poles took the lot numbers, presumably they've also got the serials. The Frenchies could then very helpfully identify the culprits, or at least the first step in the chain of middlemen...
"Damn those east Europeans. Why do they always miss the opportunity to shut up. Don't they know my name is Nap.. Chirac?!?!"
Posted by: Rafael ||
10/03/2003 16:46 Comments ||
First of all, if you found Stingers in Iraq you wouldn't assume that the U.S. sold them to Saddam? Roland 3 wouldn't be very difficult to obtain on the black market.
Then this article doesn't say how the Poles could possibly know that these were Roland 3 and not Roland 2 (which look awfully similar). Roland 2 hasn't been produced after 1993.
Rolands do not bear markings of the production year. Newsweek has reported similar finds in Iraq in April 2003, with Rolands bearing the marking 05/11 KND 2002. This is not a marking the Rolands have (latter info from a Bundeswehr guy who know them by heart). It sounds far more likely to me that - if 2002 is meant to be a year - that it stands for an Iraqi inspection timestamp. Or a spare part from something else.
Conveniently (?) the Poles destroyed the missiles. (Did they?). If we find an intact Roland in Iraq it will be easy for the experts to tell whether it is really a Roland 3.
You do not seriously believe that the French - under violation of the embargo and with the certain knowledge that war was imminent - would export Rolands to Iraq with all the evidence written on them?
ou do not seriously believe that the French - under violation of the embargo and with the certain knowledge that war was imminent - would export Rolands to Iraq with all the evidence written on them?
Um, TGA, excuse me but we ARE talking about the French, aren't we?
In all seriousness, I'll bet these missiles are either a) not what was claimed, though I'd expect Polish troops to understand weapons or more likely b) sold by the French to Saddam through one or more intermediary parties.
Posted by: Steve White ||
10/03/2003 17:59 Comments ||
Steve what would be the first thing to do when you want to ship a stolen car to another country? (No Polish joke here!) Scratching away the vehicle identification number would rank rather high, right?
The French might be a lot of things but not extremely dumb. And if they exported Rolands to Iraq they'd get into serious trouble with Germany as the co-producer as well.
I'm sure the Poles can identify a Roland, but to tell a Roland 3 from a Roland 2 is not easy. And if they were convinced that they had a Roland 3 I bet they would have kept the evidence, just to stuff it into Chirac's behind (which would be a sight to see).
Well I could see something different, too. Maybe the black market seller scammed the Iraqis into believing that they were buying new stuff?
Scratching off VINs is one thing, TGA, but please note that there is more than one copy of the VIN on a car - several in fact. Most of them in places hard or downright impossible to reach without destroying the car.
How did the FBI track down the renter of a certain van used in the '93 WTC bombing?....
I'd rather hear the Polish explanation first why they believe that this is a Roland 3. Hard to speculate without the facts.
Whatever happened to the Newsweek story in April 2003?
I hate these stories: They pop up with no evidence provided and disappear after a while.
But will be remembered like: Hmm wasn't there something with new French missiles in Iraq?
I want the FRench nailed with hard evidence.
"Kuwaiti authorities have seized archaeological artefacts and ''other items'' smuggled from Iraq into Kuwait, Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah said in remarks published on Thursday."
'Kuwaiti security forces were able to seize some Iraqi artefacts smuggled to Kuwait,'' al-Sabah, who is also interior minister, was quoted as saying by al-Seyassah daily. He did not identify the other items.
Al-Sabah was responding to a question about a report the paper carried on Wednesday that Kuwaiti security forces had foiled an attempt to smuggle artefacts, chemical materials and biological warheads from Iraq to a European country via Kuwait.
Kuwaiti security sources told Reuters on Wednesday the report on the seizure of such weapons was baseless.
I think the French Gov't (Chirac and Dom.) turn a willful blind eye to transfers by others for national and personal gain. Remember, Jacques is under probable indictment for bribery (and other crimes?) when he leaves the Presidency....track record, TGA
Posted by: Frank G ||
10/03/2003 19:46 Comments ||
Maybe I'm too trusting of Germany, but tend to think the self-flagellation after WW2 tends to limit the gov't/corporate corruption often seen in France. They underwent little of the same self-cleansing, even though there were many collaborators (and vichy gov't). France has a national psyche that seems (to me at least) to justify F*&king over friends and alliances at the drop of a hat if it earns the mighty Franc (now Euro)for a French interest...for current evidence I would point to their unprincipled noncompliance with national debt limits. Should another country do the same, expect the De Villepin and Chirac brigade to act like deceived wives....(oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth)..
Posted by: Frank G ||
10/03/2003 19:53 Comments ||
Frank G, given the corruption in France and the close connections between politics and major companies, nothing would surprise me. And Chirac better enjoys his presidency while it lasts.
That said, the story lacks the essential info: Why do the Poles believe these were missiles of 2003? And why for God's sake did they destroy the evidence?
sure the Poles can identify a Roland, but to tell a Roland 3 from a Roland 2 is not easy. And why for God's sake did they destroy the evidence?
-I'm sure CIA intel was already on this. A find of this magnitude would have Langley up handling business. However, who knows if the fallout (if these are the real deal) gets put out to the press. Seems like it would but stranger things have happened. Chirac better hope these are not the new rolands even if they were acquired visa-vie the black market. TGA - you seem to know a lot about missile systems, have you heard anything about the Russian made kornet anti-tank missiles? I saw reports of these being used against our M1's.
Q: Why do the Poles believe these were missiles of 2003?
A: They have the missiles and the shipping container in their hands (they were found stored in a ammo dump). Any major piece of military hardware will have a data plate with make, model, seriel number, and date of manufacture. We have to do it, it's in our military DNA. They are there for inventory purposes and a missile has a shelf life, hence the production date. Why didn't they remove them? They didn't really think we were going to invade, plus a anti-aircraft missile is destroyed when fired. They didn't think about them being found in a ammo dump. Q: to tell a Roland 3 from a Roland 2 is not easy.
A: See first answer, it's on the data plate.
Has anyone checked for a large deposit in Chiraq's swiss bank account in the first quarter of 2003? Just a thought ...
Posted by: A Jackson ||
10/03/2003 23:21 Comments ||
We haven't heard about the date plates the Poles found. The one Newsweek quotes are not those found on a Roland missile.
That said, I don't exclude it at all that Iraq had Roland 3 missiles. But... did Iraq just have Roland 3 missiles or did it have the whole improved system? Smuggling missiles should be easy but the whole system would be traceable for sure. Roland 3 has longer range, 8km to Roland 2âs 6.3km. It also has a larger warhead, 9.2kg, to Roland 2âs 6.5kg. The new system can fire both missiles and I suppose the old could fire Roland 3 as well but that would pretty much defeat the purpose of the new development.
As for the Kornets that seem to have turned up in Iraq it must be said that the Russians developed a variant that is adaptated to very hot desert climates. It's very light weight and should be easy to smuggle.
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S.-led coalition troops arrested a man authorities identified as a suspected executioner for Saddam Hussein in a raid north of Baghdad, and four Iraqis were killed in suspicious blasts. The suspect and another man, described as a former general, were seized in an overnight raid in Baqubah, a town more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad. The menâs identities were not released. Sammy had plenty of both generals and executioners.
Coalition forces also arrested three people who carried documents allegedly linking them to the Fedayeen Saddam militia group in raids in Salman Pak. Caught ya with your ID card, did we?
The troops seized a large cache of weapons, including rocket-propelled grenade launchers, two dozen grenades, two anti-aircraft missiles and thousands of machine gun bullets. This stuff is everywhere, good thing very few people wanted to use it when we came in.
In Saddamâs ancestral homeland of Tikrit, two Iraqis were killed when a bomb exploded at a traffic circle. In the northeastern city of Kirkuk, two Iraqis were killed in a blast. Authorities said they suspect the Iraqis might have been trying to place a bomb on a roadside. Itâs that red wire / black wire thing again.
Turkey and the US have agreed on an action-plan to eradicate the Kurdish paramilitary group, the PKK. The group is thought to have around 5,000 members living in northern Iraq. Ever since the US occupied Iraq, Turkey has been pressing Washington to crack down on the group which both countries designate as terrorist. Details of the plan are not clear, but a US official said any military action would be carried out by US troops. This is going to be tricky, hope we coordinate with the friendly Kurdish forces.
Any large scale Turkish military presence in northern Iraq would be opposed by the Kurdish groups which currently run the area. This agreement is important for Turkey, as it marks a new stage in its long battle with the PKK. It is also a sign of improving relations with the US. The agreement will almost certainly help the Turkish Government in its efforts to persuade parliament to send Turkish troops to help out the US-led coalition. The parliament will probably consider a request for around 10,000 troops later this month. Turkey and the PKK fought a bitter war for more than a decade. More than 30,000 people were killed, and over a million displaced from their homes - largely in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern part of the country. The PKK have long sought refuge from Turkish troops in the mountains of northern Iraq. Over to you, Murat.
I think it is a good start, if the US expects cooperation of other nations to fight the Al Qaeda terrorists she cannot ignore the PKK terrorists. Utterances made by some such as the PKK didn't harm Americans so we should leave them is nonsense, because we can say the same Al Qaeda did not attack us either. If there is a serious war on terror, there should be no difference and all the terrorist have to be eradicated.
If there WERE any delays in coming to this agreement (I don't see Turkey NOT talking about this earlier), then it was because we WERE talking with OUR Kurds. Shows that we're getting a clue about the culture, since we want to make sure that we reward the good Kurds and kill the bad Kurds, and don't want them adhering to some stupid motto like "The Kurds, right or wrong!", or "If he's a Kurd, then I support him, no matter what the idiot does." A bad attitude to take, no matter if its Kurds, Muslims, or Americans doing the talking.
If you're good, we'll work with you. If you're bad, you're history. A good philosophy in principle, but I admit the US sometimes stinks on executing it.
Britain and America insisted last night that it was right to go to war against Saddam Hussein despite the failure to find any evidence of weapons of mass destruction. In his long-awaited interim report, David Kay, the head of the 1,200-strong CIA-led team of inspectors in Iraq, told Congress yesterday that after four months they had not found any [sic] evidence of the banned weaponry. The former UN inspector said that Iraq had civilian technology that could have been swiftly converted to weapons programmes. He also said Saddam pursued an elaborate programme of deception to trick inspectors in the countdown to the war. But he said that since they started in June, his team had not found any sign of the WMD cited by America and Britain as a key element of their case for war. "We have not yet found stocks of weapons, but we are not yet at the point where we can say definitively either that such weapon stocks do not exist or that they existed before the war and our only task is to find where they have gone."
With criticism mounting over the apparent failure to find WMD, officials in London and Washington called for patience, saying it was only an interim report and that the hunt would continue. Ministers sought to bolster any findings in the report that might lessen the damage to the Government. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said: "I believed then and I believe now the action we took is fully justified and fully justifiable." Before hostilities there was "incontrovertible evidence" that Saddam had chemical and biological weapons programmes. Downing Street officials said the report contained substantial amounts of material which had not emerged before, showing Iraq had breached UN resolutions. The way I see it, the absence of discoveries is puzzling, but not overly worrying. If someone indicates heâs armed and a threat to you, you canât afford to call his bluff (this is assuming the western intelligence wasnât actively "sexing-up" the threat - I think thatâs safe to assume given that no one, not even the French, seriously doubted the WMDs were there). So this does not constitute a rejection of the war-of-self-defence argument, which stands beside the plethora of other justifications for the war, not least of which is the humanitarian argument.
Posted by: Bulldog ||
10/03/2003 4:31:57 AM ||
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I must've said this a multitude of times before, but the WMDs were thrown at the UN (not literally of course)for public consumption. It was a tool used to put together a case for going into Iraq. I bet the backroom conversations at the UN were about something else entirely.
Mind you, I do believe that Saddam would have had to been dealt with anyway precisely because of his fondness for WMDs. So the WMD argument is valid even if none will ever be found.
Andrew Sullivan (andrewsullivan.com) has links to David Kay's report, and a good analysis. Summary: the idea, widely reported, that we "haven't found anything" is an absolute, utter crock. And he's right- go read the report.
Posted by: Dave D. ||
10/03/2003 7:29 Comments ||
If someone tells me repeatedly he has a gun and is going to kill me,then I'm going to tend to belive that person and react accordingly.
Wow. The whole report is worth reading. In three months, Kay has found new programs that Han Blix and the UN never discovered. Saddam had motive and intent. He was waiting for the sanctions to collapse. What were we waiting for?
Be interesting to find out who all those foreign companies were signing contracts for his missile programs.
- some of the countries I heard about involved w/Sammie were obviously France, Russia, Syria & even Jordan. The Iraqis were using Russian made Kornet anti-tank missiles which I heard actually mobility-killed a few of our M-1 Tanks. Something I've never heard of being done before. Apparently the Frenchies had helped him w/his anti-air defense network. Some claim even after 91'. We found cases of ammo w/Syrian & Jordanian military markings on them as recent as 2000 or 2001 I believe. I think a lot of this even maybe on the web so any of you can double-check my assertions for accuracy.
Sullivan does a nice job summarizing, but read the report. It is so far different than the headlines in most media that it makes you wonder if they saw the same report.
1. Saddam, at least as judged by those scientists and other insiders who worked in his military-industrial programs, had not given up his aspirations and intentions to continue to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Even those senior officials we have interviewed who claim no direct knowledge of any on-going prohibited activities readily acknowledge that Saddam intended to resume these programs whenever the external restrictions were removed. Several of these officials acknowledge receiving inquiries since 2000 from Saddam or his sons about how long it would take to either restart CW production or make available chemical weapons.
2. In the delivery systems area there were already well advanced, but undeclared, on-going activities that, if OIF had not intervened, would have resulted in the production of missiles with ranges at least up to 1000 km, well in excess of the UN permitted range of 150 km. These missile activities were supported by a serious clandestine procurement program about which we have much still to learn.
3. In the chemical and biological weapons area we have confidence that there were at a minimum clandestine on-going research and development activities that were embedded in the Iraqi Intelligence Service. While we have much yet to learn about the exact work programs and capabilities of these activities, it is already apparent that these undeclared activities would have at a minimum facilitated chemical and biological weapons activities and provided a technically trained cadre.
Not to depreciate the deaths of the soldiers but I think statistically they are safer in Iraq than they are in the US.
I read somewhere that the US military loses about that many soldiers in automobile accidents and training accidents every week.
Anyway, 6 a week is not a quagmire. 600 a week is a quagmire....I was there and it was. Our hands were tied we couldn't engage the enemy with any kind of initiative and we had no clue what we were fighting for.
At least in Iraq we have some goal. Clean up the mess from Saddam, out the deadenders, get a new government up and running and get out.
The press and all of the naysayers don't care about the soldiers, all they want to do is discredit Bush and get a leftist wacko democrat elected President. They want to destroy the morale of our military and deplete the support of us at home with all of the negative crap they can dig up.
I'm w/SOG475 -Great point about the quagmire analogy. Same about the press. Many are ajenda driven. Mainly the ajenda is ratings. Bad news makes for good ratings. They often fail to mention the schools we've helped get back up, the roads we've worked on, and the infrastructure we're fixing. It's going to be a challenge to fix 30 yrs of Sammie rule in a yr, much less 6 mos. Seems obvious to most logical folks but I guess the press just doesn't get that part. Trying to hurt President Bush's re-election is also a bonus for many of them.
An average of three to six Americans are killed each week in Iraq and another 40 are wounded by a foe that has become more lethal and sophisticated since the fall of Baghdad in April, the commander of coalition forces said. U.S. soldiers are facing 15 to 20 attacks a day, including roadside bombs, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez said Thursday. Seven to 10 attacks a day involve small groups of fighters. Most attacks occur in Baghdad and the surrounding Sunni Muslim stronghold to the west and north of the capital, although it is unclear whether Iraqi or foreign forces account for the majority. A little of both would be my guess.
"The enemy has evolved a little bit more lethal, a little more complex, a little more sophisticated, and in some cases, a little bit more tenacious," Sanchez said. A total of 317 Americans have died since the war began March 20, according to Central Command and the Pentagon. On Wednesday alone, three Americans were killed:
â¢ A soldier who was shot while on patrol in the al-Mansour district of Baghdad.
â¢ A female soldier who died when a roadside bomb exploded about 300 yards (meters) from the main U.S. base in Tikrit, Saddamâs hometown.
â¢ A soldier who died after a rocket-propelled grenade attack on a convoy near Samara, 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of the Iraqi capital.
While most wounded Americans are treated at two military hospitals in Iraq, those with more serious injuries are evacuated to the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. Landstuhl has been receiving an average of 40 to 44 patients a day from Iraq, about 10 to 12 percent of whom are classified as having "battle injuries," said hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw. Since the start of the war, the hospital has treated 6,684 patients 5,377 after May 1, she said. "What we donât see a lot of, though we see some, is gunshot wounds," Shaw said. "We see a lot of shrapnel wounds, some amputations, some burns mostly from individual explosive devices." Sanchez blamed the increasingly sophisticated resistance on the addition of foreign fighters entering Iraq from Syria and northern Iran. "We believe there is in fact a foreign fighter element. There is a terrorist element focused on the coalition and international community in general and the Iraqi people to try to disrupt the progress being made," Sanchez said.
No twitch to the old surprise meter there...
Coalition officials are not discounting the possibility that Saddam Hussein may have a hand in coordinating the violence, he said. "Itâs very clear there is local command and control. We still are not seeing the national command and control structure," though there are some signs of regional coordination, Sanchez said.
In Thursdayâs violence, about 10 U.S. soldiers came under fire in Fallujah, 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Baghdad, in front of the mayorâs office. No Americans were hurt, but one Iraqi bystander was killed and four people, including a mother and her 4-year-old daughter, were wounded, hospital officials said. Shortly before the attack in Fallujah, a fuel tanker in a U.S. convoy near Amiriyah, southeast of the city, was hit by a mine or roadside bomb, according to Mohammed Hamid, who lives nearby. He said a soldier in the passenger seat of the cab pulling the tanker was killed and the driver was wounded. The military had no information on that attack. In nearby Khaldiyah, a roadside bomb exploded as a U.S. convoy was passing, but did not damage the American vehicles. Elsewhere, a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi bystander were wounded in an ambush in Mosul, U.S. officials and Iraqi police said. Iâm not one to scream quagmire, but what I donât understand is why canât this mission be carried out a little more intelligently. Why put our guys at risk unnecessarily? For instance, if most of the attacks occur in and around Baghdad, why concentrate our forces there? Unless itâs for combat action, what else are combat troops doing there that canât be done by the Iraqi police? I donât have a problem with accepting a certain number of casualties for any given mission, but why make it this easy for the bad guys?
Posted by: Rafael ||
10/03/2003 12:38:56 AM ||
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What I wanna know is: where is Special Forces? Those are the people that can clandestinely work with the population to identify and root out the Saddam sympathisers, so put them to work.
My guess is the Special Ops are already too busy. My 2 pennies would be to pull out of Baghdad and that triangle area altogether and concentrate on the border regions using the troops that we already have. Baghdad is more or less in the centre. Anyone wanting to get there would have to cross thru our guys anyway. But atleast there would be less opportunities for hit-and-run guerilla tactics outside the urban areas (or atleast it would be more difficult). Military strategist I'm not, but I hope someone is thinking about these things.
I think there should be more raids on these snakes--make possession of RPG's and AK 47's a death penalty--Disarm the Iraqi polpulace NOW so our boys don't have to worry about the citizenry--anyone firing a rifle in the air/toward our soldiers is DEAD--Screw the NRA
Posted by: Not Mike Moore ||
10/03/2003 2:21 Comments ||
Your strategy would not be the solution, besides there is no need to invent the wheel again. Those insurgents (for the biggest part) are members of the local population, there is simply no other successful manner to fight the local insurgent than using the local population against the insurgents.
How? Insurgents in the cities are not the main problem, with a restored police force they can be tackled. The main problem are the sub urban insurgents on the countryside, in villages and hamlets where there are practically no troops to hinder them. It may sound as a controversy, but to tackle the sub urban insurgents village guards are needed, that could be members of tribes who are paid to fulfil the duty of protecting their villages by the US army. You may feel that such would be a bribe, which is but it is the only way to have also a security coverage on the country side, the alternative would be to send a force of 500.000 reservists to occupy every village and hamlet.
Stabilization of the area will take a while but it will happen. There are no quick fixes to this unfortunately. As we fix their infrastructure and keep building their local Iraqi forces up things will get better. However, this is not a McDonald's run-in grab your chow and get out op. We need to remember this situation is unique and will continue to be a work in progress. None of us has the intel of what the boys on the ground have nor are we in the planning rooms. I'd hate to Monday morning QB this. However, from prior experience I would bet Green Berets are working w/the locals setting up training and contacts. The Army probably has several sweep opeations either underway or in the works. I understand how the media makes this look but I just talked to some of my buddies who came back (Corps types not Army) and they said the place is not as bad as the media portrays it. We can't leave now though. If anything we need to keep sweeping through the "hot areas" and use the local Iraqi police forces to do this whenever possible. I'd also revisit our mine and counter-obstacle SOPs as this seems to be causing half of our casualties.
Murat, cool weapon, got any more details on it? Unfortunatly, I believe most of our casualties are caused by the inital contact, bomb on the side of the road going off, RPG into the vechicle from ambush, etc. After that, the bad guys run or our forces take them out with return fire. Same as when your forces are going after the Kurdish terror groups in Turkey, you have to go after the bad guys, you can't abandon the area just because you are taking casualties.
The US is planning a $250 million joint offensive with Indonesia to curb the drift of students to Islamist boarding schools that breed terrorism and preach hatred of the West. Australia, which contributes $12 million to assist the formal school system in Indonesia, may also follow the US example in boosting its spending, pending the outcome of aid reviews by the World Bank and Asia Development Bank. A spokesman for Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said there was a growing recognition that donors, including Australia, would have to focus more on education in Indonesia. Diplomatic sources suggested the US package to help Indonesia's 178,000 underfunded state and 12,000 West-tolerant Muslim-run schools was designed to improve the quality of teachers and education. The US wants to make so-called radical Islamist boarding schools, or pesantren - which are often cheaper than other kinds of schools and play strong roles in supporting local communities - less attractive to Indonesian parents. The extent of the problem at some schools was highlighted this week when Zakaria, principal of the Al-Islam School - one of the Jemaah Islamiah-linked schools where Bali bombers Ali Imron and Mubarok once taught - told The Australian the Bali bombings were "good", convicted terrorist Amrozi was a hero and the West was corrupt.
Personally, my impulse would be to send teams to set explosives in as many of them as we could get close to, and marksmen to send their staff to Paradise by the direct route. Luckily for all of us, I'm not in charge...
At least three people have been killed and around 20 injured in a grenade attack on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, police said. Two hand grenades were thrown into a packed mosque during noontime prayers, said Chief Inspector Eduardo Marquez. Midsayap, which is mainly Christian but has a sizable Muslim minority, has been hit by bomb blasts before. But police said the likely spark for the attacks was local politics rather than religion. The incident happened inside the compound of the governmentâs National Irrigation Administration (NIA). "The angle we are looking at is this is a struggle for power within the NIA. There is an internal struggle as to who would head the office," provincial governor Emmanuel Pinol told Reuters news agency. So itâs a disgruntled government worker kind of thing?
Among the dead are Macmud Mending, the irrigation agencyâs regional director, and Ismael Datu Kali, the Islamic preacher presiding over the prayers. Most of the casualties are thought to be government employees. So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. "We are still conducting an investigation," said Mr Marquez. "I believe it was done by only one person because a witness said so." OK
At the time of the blast, witnesses described hearing two loud, almost simultaneous, explosions. Rushing to the mosque, they saw worshippers scattering in different directions. "Shit, feet donât fail me now!"
The Philippines is awash with weapons, and it is not unknown for Filipinos to try to settle seemingly minor private disputes by throwing hand grenades at their rivals, the BBC correspondent in Manila, John McLean, says. "Hey, somebody took my parking slot! Whereâs my grenade?"
But Mindanao island is also mired in factional fighting, with Islamic rebels being blamed for a string of bomb attacks in the region, including some earlier this year. Our correspondent says the targets of these attacks are not usually other Muslims. In years gone by, Christian vigilante groups have attacked Muslims, but usually in retaliation for attacks on Christians. No shortage of those.
Thanks to Occam's Toothbrush for the link!
STILL smarting from the blows it has received in the past two years, the Islamist terror movement is debating a new strategy. Conducted in Islamist circles in Pakistan, the Middle East and Europe, and echoed in numerous Web sites and newssheets, the debate centers on a key question: Which should be our priority target - the United States and its Western allies, or the fragile Muslim states where we could come to power in a reasonable time frame?
Some argue that the 9/11 attack against the United States was "premature."
Assuming there's a strategy behind the attacks, it was horribly "premature," like by 50 or 60 years. It accomplished nothing but to make us mad enough to actually do something about terrorism. It was an act of war with inadequate force to back it up. Subverting Pakistan is a more achievable goal.
They insist that the Islamist movement should have first seized power in several Muslim countries and dotted itself with nuclear weapons before taking on America, which is regarded as "the last champion of unbelief in the world."
That's Pakland. There aren't any others â yet.
Supporters of that view cite the position the Prophet took in the last year of his life, when he led a large Muslim army against the Byzantine Empire. On reaching the border between Arabia and Byzantium, the Prophet halted his army to have a good look at the forces of Emperor Heraclius (Hirqil in Arabic). The Prophet was impressed: He saw that the Byzantine army would be no pushover. He ordered his own host to march back home without a single engagement. Although criticized by some Arab commanders at the time, the Prophet's decision to retreat was quickly endorsed by God Himself through a message relayed by Archangel Gabriel.
The lesson was that Muslims should not become involved in suicidal operations against a far stronger foe. That was the position that Abdallah Azzam, the Palestinian ideologist of al Qaeda, took in the autumn of 1989. The question then was whether the Islamist movement, having helped drive out the Red Army from Afghanistan, should immediately move to attack the United States, whose support had been crucial for the Soviet defeat.
All the money, arms and ammunition had come through the Paks. There wasn't any infidel tinge to it. They could pretend they'd done it all on their own...
Azzam delivered his answer in a sermon in Peshawar, Pakistan.
It was simple: The movement must consolidate its position in Afghanistan, seize control of Pakistan, capture the Arabian Peninsula and, having created a solid power base, liberate Kashmir and then-Soviet-held Central Asia before attacking the United States.
That actually would have been doable at the time. I don't think it'll succeed now, not when they've screwed up so spectacularly...
A few days after that sermon, Azzam was killed in a car bomb attack.
That's called an exchange of opinion in Islamist circles...
At the time, the murder was blamed on Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian who later became al Qaeda's No. 2. The two men had fought an ideological duel for months. Al-Zawahiri had accused Azzam of "localism," and dismissed the strategy of focusing on the region as "cat's p-ss politics." The Egyptian argued that the time had come for a frontal attack against the United States, that driving the Americans back into their neck of the woods would lead to the domino-like collapse of those Muslim states backed by Washington.
"But I ain't in the mood for discussion. Mahmoud, mine his car!"
The al-Zawahiri-Azzam ideological duel was arbitrated by Osama bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire through whom funds for the movement were channeled from the oil-rich Arab states. Days after bin Laden had decided that al-Zawahiri was right, Azzam was dead. Having won the argument, al-Zawahiri tested it with two attacks inside America, first in 1993, against the World Trade Center in New York, and then in September 2001.
Two attacks on the same place, two different results...
Last week, however, al-Zawahiri, making an ideological U-turn, unveiled a new strategy that sounds like a rehash of that envisaged by Azzam. In a taped message, played in Islamist cells all over the world and broadcast in part by two Arab satellite-TV channels, the Egyptian (believed to be hiding either in Pakistan or in Iran) presents the strategy in three segments.
* First, he calls on "brothers in Jihad" to try to seize power in Muslim countries where the present regimes are regarded as weak. He singles out Pakistan as "ripe for liberation." Al-Zawahiri's analysis is based on the assumption that the pro-Jihad elements in the Pakistani army and secret services would help the radicals win power in Islamabad. As the only Muslim country with an acknowledged nuclear arsenal, Pakistan could put the Jihadists in a new league.
* The second segment of al-Zawahiri's strategy is focused on what he calls "lands of war," meaning Afghanistan and Iraq. There, he envisages years, if not decades, of war pitting the United States against Jihadists. The aim is to weaken America in preparation for its eventual fall. Reading between the lines, it is clear that al-Zawahiri hopes that a future U.S. administration would get tired of involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and withdraw from both. And if and when that happens, the only organized force capable of seizing power in Baghdad and Kabul would be the Jihadists.
* The strategy's third segment focuses on what al-Zawahiri regards as unstable Muslim countries, including Indonesia, Yemen and Somalia. All three suffer from tribal, ethnic and sectarian feuds dating back centuries - feuds that Islamists could exploit to weaken the established order before administering the coup de grace.
There are two omissions in al-Zawahiri's worldview. The first is his native Egypt - where the Jihadist movement appears to have suffered its first major political defeat, followed by mass defections. Virtually the whole of the Gamaa-Islamiyah (Islamic Society) leadership has publicly renounced violence in the past year or so. The dominant theme in the Egyptian Islamist movement now is "the re-Islamicization of society through preaching and example" rather than armed action. It may well be that the ideological swamps in which terrorists thrived have been drained, at least for the time being.
I'd say they've decided to retrench and try and sieze power by at least semi-legitimate means. The jihad will go on, but it'll be more subtle, unless they get flustered...
Al-Zawahiri also omits the oil-rich Arab states of the Persian Gulf. This may be because al-Zawahiri does not want to frighten the golden goose. With the bulk of Jihad funds coming from those states, al-Zawahiri may have decided it unwise to target them publicly. There is also the fact that, since 2001, the Jihadists have suffered many defections in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Al-Zawahiri's new strategy does not mean that there will be no terror attacks in America or Western Europe. The global Islamist movement consists of numerous groups with independent sources of finance and strategies. They were never totally controlled by al Qaeda and are less so today if only because al-Zawahiri and his gang are forced to spend the bulk of their energies avoiding capture.
The ball's been started rolling and it'll go on after Ayman's dead, and Binny as well, which he probably is now. Instead of a single enemy (actually two, since Iran's an independent actor) now there are many loosely connected big chunks. It will be aggravating to stamp them out, but they're not as powerful as they would be if they were a single coordinated group...
Al Zawahiri's conversion to the doctrine of his dead rival may have come too late. His strategy ignores one important fact: What happened on 9/11 changed the parameters of global politics.
That's the key. Before, we had a one-way declaration of war. They'd declared war against us, but we didn't take it seriously. Now we're fighting back. The other side doesn't represent a productive society; in fact, it's the least productive society in the world. The wealth that supports the Bad Guys comes mostly from oil, and the weapons the wealth buys are designed and mostly manufactured in the target countries. Assuming they would be able to subvert Pakistan, they'd still be little better off than they are now, as we see in these pages day after day. The only thing they have going for them is the assumption that we're going to lose our political will and let them regroup. If Bush wins the election next year, they're in real trouble for at least four more years.
If not, we're in trouble. It's not the economy, stoopid. Next year will be a one-issue election, as far as I'm concerned.
Look for large contributions to Democratic canidates, and the democratic party by Islamic organizations / Jihadists or their stooge organizations.
If they can get an idiot like Gepheart or Clark in the white house who will retreat from the 'miserable failure' in Iraq and Afghanistan ("yelp! yelp! yelp!" with our tail between our legs) and hand the authority to the U.N. and France (who will then surrender authority to the Jihadists) they will be all set again - with the rich Iraqi oil fields and no sanctions to fund their activities (you dont think they give a pigs eye for the Iraqi people do you?). With that kind of funding you can bet your ass they will be buying politicians around the world - particulary in the United States and United Kingdom.
I think it's about 1.3B chicoms and 1B Indians, though only about 800mm are non-muslim.
If the islamists really take over Pakistan they will face immediate preemptive action to destroy their nuclear capability after which India might invade.
Still, I give the islamists credit for realizing the stakes in the next election. They need us to bleed in Iraq so that Bush loses because they'll have a tough time surviving 4 more years. This is indeed a 1 issue election that reason.
It would be best for our country if both parties believed in an aggressive approach to handling the islamists. Unfortunately this is not the case (Lieberman excepted, sort of).
Right now Bush is struggling polically due to his own weak communications strategy and recent misteps coupled with the desire of the media, and perhaps even the state dept and cia, for our aggressive policy to fail so we can return to the days when de Villepin liked us. Fortunately he as a year to get it together.
A whiz-kid Republican whose parents emigrated from India is the unlikely front-runner for governor in Saturday's open primary in this state where a majority of white men voted for extremist David Duke just over a decade ago. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, 32, will face a host of veteran Democrats. If, as expected, no one gets more than 50 percent, the top vote-getters will meet in a Nov. 15 runoff. Judging by the polls, one of them will be Jindal, who has confounded political prognosticators in Louisiana, a state that has not put a non-white in statewide office since Reconstruction. Jindal has gotten as much as 27 percent support in the polls.
God, I love this country...
Jindal, a Rhodes Scholar and former assistant secretary in President Bush's Health and Human Services Department, has changed the political calculus in Louisiana by making a strong appeal to the right, with radio ads extolling the Ten Commandments and deriding liberals and gun control. The ads also make frequent mention of the Roman Catholic convert's faith.
He wasn't a Muslim, so nobody had to kill him when he converted...
In addition, Jindal is the protege of Louisiana's most prominent Republican, popular Gov. Mike Foster, who has served two terms and cannot run again. Jindal's position on the perennial concern of Louisiana voters, jobs, does not differ greatly from that of three of the four Democrats battling him. Louisiana did not participate in the 1990s boom and has lost out to Southern neighbors in recruiting industry.
I wonder what the reason for that could possibly be?
Jindal, along with state Attorney General Richard Ieyoub, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Randy Ewing, a former state Senate president, all promise to make Louisiana more friendly to business by repealing corporate taxes.
Y'think that coulda had something to do with it?
The odd man out is former Rep. Claude "Buddy" Leach, whose Huey Long-style populist campaign has been based on promises to tax big oil companies and raise the minimum wage.
Good idea. That way more oil companies will want to open more facilities in Louisianna so they can give you money. Works every time. Oh, and raise that minimum wage, too. That way, marginal businesses won't be able to make their payrolls and they'll either have to lay off people or go out of business entirely. But you won't have to worry, because you'll have all that additional money you're gouging out of the oil companies so you can pay them welfare. Won't you?
Being a former resident of Louisiana, with a large family still living there, I hope this guy wins. There are a lot of reasons there are few jobs in Louisiana. One of the prime reasons is the fact that Louisiana is the only state in the Union that has a government more closely aligned with Napoleanic law than English Common Law. It hurts in too many ways to document here. Another problem is people: Louisiana is home to more than seventy ethnic groups that all want their history, culture, and religion to be prominent in the state. Finally, there's just too much water! One-third of the state is either under water all the time, or subject to seasonal floods. The state is abundantly endowed with natural resources, but between politics, religion, and nature, life can be a real bear there.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
10/03/2003 22:42 Comments ||
Evenhanded title from the IHT
The U.S. military practices how to shoot down hijacked commercial airliners as often as three or four times a week, honing its defenses against terrorist attacks on American cities, a senior general said.
They'd be stoopid if they didn't...
The frequency of the military exercises, which range from testing local air defense ground crews to simulating a nationwide series of terrorist attacks, reflects the concerns of senior military and civilian authorities that hijacked jetliners could still pose a threat on the scale of the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes in Washington and New York, despite a range of new security measures the airlines and government have put into effect since then. Good to know weâre not being lulled into a sense of safety quite yet.
In a wide-ranging breakfast interview with defense reporters Thursday and in a separate conversation at the Pentagon later, Eberhart said the rehearsals did not reflect any new specific threats. Rather, he said, the no-notice drills were a grim reminder that the country remains engaged in a global campaign against terror and must stand ready to thwart any attacks. "After Sept. 11, it became obvious that this was a new world, even uglier than we imagined," Eberhart said. And itâs going to get uglier if one of those shoulder-launched missiles that are floating around hits an airliner.
Before Sept. 11, the Pentagon had no formal rules on how the military should deal with airliners taken over by hijackers bent on using them as weapons. Now, Eberhart said, military pilots and air defense crews are routinely quizzed on the rules of engagement involving a hijacked jet, and are asked which officials are authorized to order the downing of such aircraft and how to verify such life-and-death orders. Good. Pilots need clear guidelines, for operational and ethical reasons both.
Air force pilots who fly missions that could be ordered to down a hijacked jet are specially certified and trained, and they undergo psychological evaluations to ensure they are not "trigger-hesitant" at the moment of decision. Ultimately, the decision to shoot down an airliner would rest with the president, but Bush has authorized two midlevel air force generals to order a plane downed in the event that he, Rumsfeld or Eberhart were out of contact and an attack were seconds away. Norad has scrambled or diverted fighter jets already airborne more than 1,500 times since the Sept. 11 attacks to check out aircraft that have strayed off course, have inadvertently turned off their transponders or have an unruly passenger aboard. Following on the Afghan operation plus the years of no-fly-zone enforcement over Iraq, our USAF pilots have been keeping up a really tough "op tempo" for the last few years.
I expect that American passengers will no longer allow planes to be hijacked with box cutters. The training will serve when a cargo flight is targetted. Publicity for the Air Force policy is good as a deterent and to remind Americans to pay attention.
Posted by: Super Hose ||
10/03/2003 22:28 Comments ||
General Eberhard is assigned here in Colorado Springs. There was a nice write-up about the mission in today's Gazette newspaper. I'm happy to see Ed in this job - he's a great guy! He's an alumni of my doolie flight at the Air Force Academy. I wouldn't call him a friend, but we both recognize each other's names. We've run across each other several times over the last 40 years. He's a 4-star general, and I was happy with MSgt stripes! Glad it's his headaches and not mine.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
10/03/2003 22:48 Comments ||
Emancipated Mustelids would make a great name for a rock band.
An animal rights groupâs plan to free 10,000 mink from a farm turned deadly after many of the emancipated mustelids became cannibals while others went on a carnivorous feeding frenzy. About 9,000 of the freed mink have been returned to Roesler Brothers Fur Farm since the Aug. 25 break-in, but keeping them alive has been a challenge. Normally, only siblings are caged together, but workers cannot readily determine which of the recaptured mink are related, said Kate Roesler. Days after the break-in, starving mink attacked a menagerie of exotic birds, a flock of chickens and even a Labrador retriever. No word on the fate of the missing baby ducks
A few mink have been seen recently eating fish along local rivers and one turned up last week at a fruit stand on the edge of this town about 40 miles northeast of Seattle. Only in Seattle would you find a fruit eating mink. Ok, stop with the jokes, this is a family site.
The Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility and the FBI is investigating. I wonât hold my breath.
No arrests have been reported. See: investigating, FBI
Fur Commission USA is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrests and convictions of those responsible. My money is on the bounty hunters
These "animal rights" nuts don't have a clue. They just know that "being locked up makes the creatures sad", so they go about letting them go. I think the best thing to do is to cage a dozen hungry grizzlies, and let these nutcases "emancipate" 'em. Won't happen twice.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
10/03/2003 22:52 Comments ||
Looks like their "dignity" is bent out of shape... again.
U.S. President Bush in a recent statement reportedly expressed "concern about north Koreaâs drug smuggling", calling for increased efforts to check it. This is an undisguised expression of foolish and shameful move of the U.S. administration to charge the DPRK with "drug smuggling" in a bid to isolate it internationally. ... or isolate us even more then we do ourselves.
Explicitly speaking, drug production, use and trafficking are prohibited by law in the DPRK. Drug abuse and trafficking can never happen in the DPRK where sound consciousness, way of thinking and way of life of people are developing and there is a solid foundation of the independent national economy. Nothing to see here...
As far as drug smuggling is concerned, it is the U.S. that should be taken to task before any other countries. According to information available, there are more than 60 markets in Washington where drug is illegally trafficked and there are at least 450 big secret organizations in the U.S. engaged in drug smuggling and trafficking. Yeah, thereâs at least 450 big secret organizations...
A total of hundreds of millions of drug dealers travel inside and outside the U.S. and a total of 800,000 voyages and flights to and from the country are involved in this illegal business every year. Another KCNA "pick a big number" survey...
When looking back on the U.S. history, "wars against drug" were declared so many times and drug-related crimes produced many mentally deranged people in the U.S. Yet, Bush did not utter even a word about the reality in his own country widely known as "biggest drug abuser", "cesspool of drug crimes" and "drug smuggler" but cried out for tightening the "control" over the DPRKâs "drug smuggling". This is, indeed, the height of folly. Timed to coincide with Bushâs remarks, the U.S. administration is clamouring for sanctions against north Korea over its "flesh traffic". It is not difficult to guess the sinister aim sought by the U.S. in escalating its political diatribe about non-existent "drug smuggling" and "flesh traffic" by the DPRK. White Slag + flesh traffic = We need nukes. Itâs so obvious!
At the six-way talks the U.S. came out with more brigandish demand than its earlier assertion that the DPRK should "scrap its nuclear program first" only to face a stern warning from the latter. The U.S. assertion is censured worldwide for its unilateral and self-righteous nature. Oooooooohhhh...stern warnings. Drugs, hookers, nukes... too bad Warren Zevonâs dead. He could work with that.
Much upset by this, the U.S. is busy floating all sorts of misinformation about the DPRK along with the story about its "nuclear development program" in a bid to reinforce the unsuccessful assertion and bring it to its knees. Yeah...psssst... and Kimmie wears lifts and has poofy hair to look taller. Take that, ya Commie bastards!
The U.S. had better make a bold switchover in its hostile policy toward the DPRK, clearly mindful that with nothing can Washington mislead the unbiased public opinion and tarnish the international image of the DPRK. Everybody already knows weâre insane, so why bother?
If you think that David Kayâs report on Iraqi WMDs can be adequately summarized by idiotic headlines such as: "No Illicit Arms Found in Iraq," then you need to read this report. If you believe the following "news analysis" by David Sanger in todayâs New York Times summarizes the findings of David Kay, then you need to read this report. Sangerâs piece is, in fact, political propaganda disguised as analysis, presumably designed to obscure and distort the evidence that you can read with your own eyes. His opening paragraph culminates in a simple untruth:
The preliminary report delivered on Thursday by the chief arms inspector in Iraq forces the Bush administration to come face to face with this reality: that Saddam Husseinâs armory appears to have been stuffed with precursors, potential weapons and bluffs, but that nothing found so far backs up administration claims that Mr. Hussein posed an imminent threat to the world.
That is not what the administration claimed. (The Times has even had to run a correction recently correcting their attempt, retroactively, to distort and misrepresent the administrationâs position.) The administration claimed that Saddam had used WMDs in the past, had hidden materials from the United Nations, was hiding a continued program for weapons of mass destruction, and that we should act before the threat was imminent. The argument was that it was impossible to restrain Saddam Hussein unless he were removed from power and disarmed. The war was legally based on the premise that Saddam had clearly violated U.N. resolutions, was in open breach of such resolutions and was continuing to conceal his programs with the intent of restarting them in earnest once sanctions were lifted. Having read the report carefully, Iâd say that the administration is vindicated in every single respect of that argument. This war wasnât just moral; it wasnât just prudent; it was justified on the very terms the administration laid out. And we donât know the half of it yet.
Next time someone starts giving you the "no WMD, no threat" line, remind them of the truths highlighted above.
I would go a step further. Imagine the Coalition had not taken action. I propose that there would be no braking of the Iranian and North Korean weapons programs.
Although Iran purports to be aiming its weopons at Israel, they would be certainly aimed directly at Sadaam's capital.
What is the answer then? I imagine that Sadaam's dormant programs would go into full swing. At that point, I don't even know that we would have the right to stop him from defending himself. Or do we invade Iraq at that point to protect the Iraqis from the Iranians?
Posted by: Super Hose ||
10/03/2003 22:36 Comments ||
EFL, this could be very big:
The Justice Department is investigating whether FBI agents involved in espionage and terrorism cases may have moonlighted by forming private companies and using informants and subjects of inquiries to benefit their personal business.
That'd be a new one on me...
The allegations, according to court documents, include charges that the private companies of agents and intelligence figures were involved in business deals in China and the Middle East about the same time the FBI was investigating Chinese efforts to acquire sensitive technology. The FBI says it is cooperating. "Any time there is a request by an inspector general, the FBI fully cooperates," said a statement released by the FBI. "Look how open we were during the investigation of Ruby Ridge and Waco."
The investigation is focusing on the same Arizona FBI office that produced the now-famous warning that went unheeded before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that Arab pilots were suspiciously training at US flight schools. The FBIâs Phoenix office was a hotbed of investigations into terrorists and espionage during the 1990s. "Hotbed" may be a poor choice of words.
The Justice Department inspector generalâs office, which investigates allegations of wrongdoing by federal law enforcers, has interviewed several times a Phoenix businessman named Harry Ellen, who worked undercover for US intelligence and the FBI for three decades in the Middle East, Mexico, and China. "I was interviewed about events concerning various companies and corporations with whom I came in contact and/or had financial dealings with while I was assisting the FBI," Ellen said in an interview. "One or more of the companies were operated by FBI agents." FBI agents generally are prohibited from moonlighting in second jobs without special permission, and they are subjected to regular background checks for irregularities. By other FBI agents, no doubt
I think it's by DIS, but I could be wrong...
One question the inspector general is examining is whether private companies originally were fronts used by the FBI in undercover investigations and then were taken over by agents as they neared retirement, officials said. Interesting retirement plan.
While working on sensitive Chinese and Palestinian cases, Ellen had a falling-out with the FBI in 1999 after he had an affair with a Chinese woman named Joanna Xie. The bureau had asked Ellen to monitor the woman as a possible Chinese intelligence agent. Insert "hotbed" here.
What's with the FBI and Chinese women? Every time they meet Chinese intel agents their pants fall down...
Ellen alleges that FBI agents intentionally divulged his identity, jeopardizing his life. The FBI denies blowing his cover and says he was severed for violating rules for paid assets. The new investigation focuses in part on allegations from Ellen and Xie in a closed immigration case, which were further researched by a freelance reporter who has become a witness in the case. Xie testified that in 1995 a prominent Chinese-American professor who introduced her to FBI agents visited her in Shanghai with some US businessmen and tried to enlist her help on a project to sell black-box satellite technology to a Chinese military aerospace company. By 1997, Xie alleged, the professor introduced her to some business partners, including another FBI agent who was described as an investor in a Chinese trading company in Chicago. That agent, she alleged, also had business interests in a Phoenix trading company, sought her help on business, and introduced her to Chinese business executives. Xie said she has turned over to investigators the personal business cards that agents gave her, listing at least three of their private companies. Ellen testified that while working with the FBI on a sensitive Middle East terrorism investigation, he was asked by the bureau to get close to Xie to monitor her activities. Nobody has ever asked me to seduce a beautiful Chinese woman for my country. I donât think my wife would buy that line either
Ellen said around that time, one agent cited by Xie provided him free T-shirts to be used for his Muslim foundation, which was cooperating with the FBI. More from Guardian story: Ellen testified he also had been working on a foundation project to establish a communications system for the Palestinians, but the FBI asked him to stop. A few years later, he said, he learned his plan was put back in motion by a different company he believes was connected with FBI figures.
Weâll have to wait and see if this goes anywhere.
The United Nations broke its own anti-torture convention by allowing a Zimbabwean police officer accused of torture to leave its peace force in Kosovo and return to Zimbabwe where he will probably not face investigation. We talked about this guy before here, I believe he working for the UN in Kosovo as a "instructor". Henry Dowa, a Zimbawe chief inspector, was named by several victims as having directed their torture, which included prolonged beatings on the soles of their feet and electric shocks causing convulsions. The victimsâ allegations were backed by medical examinations. Human rights groups urged the UN to arrest Chief Insp Dowa and put him on trial for torture. The UN declined, citing a lack of funds, and sent him back to Zimbabwe. A trial would have been embarassing to the UN, they just want this problem to go away.
There had been plans to get Mr Dowa extradited to stand trial in Britain where some of his alleged victims now live. Redress, the London organisation which works for justice for survivors of torture, claimed that the UN had managed to break its own treaty by allowing Mr Dowa to evade arrest. The group said yesterday it was unlikely Mr Dowa would be "held accountable for his alleged crimes, as torture is endemic and part of the Zanu-PF governmentâs strategy to stay in power". No, really?
Last week Mr Dowa was seen driving a police Land Rover in Harare. Back to work.
"What is the UN doing? By sending him back here they are allowing him to torture another day. If the UN does not help us, who is going to protect us from known torturers?" a Zimbabwean journalist said. Well, it sure ainât the UN.
The United Nations Security Council has rejected an Ethiopian request for a new body to decide on its contested border with Eritrea. The UN "regretted" Ethiopiaâs position and urged it to implement last yearâs border ruling. Following a two-year border war which left 70,000 people dead, a commission ruled that the town of Badme where the war began, belonged to Eritrea. Ethiopia has refused to accept the ruling and last week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi asked the UN to set up a new border commission. "And weâll keep asking for a new commission until we get what we want."
He warned that the commissionâs "unacceptable" decision could lead to "another round of war" and therefore the UN had an obligation to get involved. He however told the BBC that he was committed to resolving peacefully the worsening border dispute with Eritrea. On Thursday Eritrean Foreign Minister Ali Said Abdella told the UN General Assembly in New York that "Ethiopia has wilfully crossed the red line and set in motion an irreversible process to scuttle the peace agreement altogether." In a one-page response to the Ethiopian request the Security Council reminded Ethiopia that it had committed itself under the 2000 Algiers Agreements "to accept the boundary decision as final and binding". Why should they pay attention to a UN agreement, no one else does?
The border is manned by more than 4,000 UN peacekeepers. After chairing recent military talks between the two sides, UN force commander General Robert Gordon warned that the peacekeeping operation risked ending in failure unless speedy steps were taken to mark the border. "Soon as they start shooting, weâre outta there."
Geva Zion, a 26 year old veteran of the I.D.F. K-9 unit has developed an effective system to detect Arab terrorists and bombs. Zion is training wild boars to find mines and bombs. Zion claims that his 2 new pigs Soda and Chaziza can track explosives quicker and better than any dog or electronic detection device, according to Yediot Ahronot, September 30, 03. Will wonders never cease?
I dunno... Is that kosher?
The Jewish Legion, a volunteer organization that helps secure towns in Israel with the help of specially trained K-9s is looking in to the possibility of contracting Geva Zion to help create a new Pig unit. Ezra Stein, director of public relations for the Jewish Legion conceded that the Jewish Legion is seeking Rabbinic advice.
Voice of Judea Commentary:
Moshiach [The Messiah] must be coming very soon. The Israelis have now invented a bomb detection pig? What next? Israel will succeed in inventing a peace loving Palestinian? Who knows, what the Jews couldnât do, maybe the pigs can do.
What halachic justification could the Jewish Legion find to raise pigs in the Holy Land? (Good question. However, the Torah only says that Jews are not supposed to EAT them.)
While saving lives is the number one mitzvah what will the Arabs say, and what will the liberal Israeli left have to say about offending Islamic sensitivity to pigs? (Whatever the hell the liberals say, just point to the first part of this sentence and ask how serious they are. Whatever the hell the terrorists say, just shoot them.)
One thing is for sure Arab terrorists aint gonna appreciate getting sniffed out by wild pigs. (They donât appreciate dogs either, but that hasnât stopped the formation of K-9 units.)
It would be truly a historic chain of events if the secular pig-raising Lahav Kibbutz joins hands with Yesha settlements to fight off Arab terrorists with pigs under the auspices of the Jewish Legion.
I believe Yesha settlements are references to settlements of Messianic Jews, who wouldnât have talmudic problems handling pigs. Theyâre considered outside the pale of Orthodox Judaism for their belief in the New Testament, so the reference to "historic chain of events" is understated. I tried to imagine something similar happening here in the US, and got a picture of the Nazis, the KKK, The Black Caucus, NOW, the Christian Coalition, the Rainbow Coalition, NAACP, and MECHA getting together on a stage, holding hands, and agreeing on something. I couldnât exactly figure out what it was, since my imagination immediately suffered a catastrophic failure just before I caught what it was...
Maybe it's just that I lack the milk of human kindness or some sort of liberal ethos, but when people try their very best to kill me, I don't give a rat's rectum about offending their sensitivities. My poor little one cylinder mind can't grasp the concept...
I find the typo in the first paragraph particularly hillarious: "wild bores", sounds like an amorphous group of dissenters, while doing a (Monty Python-esque) " frothing at the mouth and falling over backwards".
I've never understood why pigs are considered *more* offensive to Muslims than to, say, Jews. Or Hindus, for that matter.
The short version, Mojo, is this: To Muslims and Hindus, it's not just the eating of pork that's offensive, it's ANY contact with a pig, or a pig product. The Sepoy Revolt that hit the Brits unaware was the result of a rumor that the ammunition the Brits were handing out to native troops had been greased with a mixture of pork and sheep fat.
Indeed, during the US Army's campaign in the Phillipines, General Pershing dealt with some extremely persistant Muslim rebels by having his troops dig a pit, slaughter some pigs, drain their blood into the pit, toss the dead pigs into the pit, then shoot the rebels and dump THEIR bodies into it. The resulting shock reverberated throughout the Muslim community in the southern Phillipine Islands, and only the most irrational Muslims were willing to attack US troops after that.
Why? According to Muslim faith, you can't go to paradise if you've been contaminated by an unclean animal. Even if it wasn't your fault. If there's no time for a Muslim to perform the cleansing rituals, he's damned and doomed. Allah's essentially saying "Tough luck, buddy. Wasn't your fault, but I'm gonna screw you over anyway."
This is a VAST over-simplification of a complex subject and the religious laws involved, but a full treatment of it would require a book-length lecture. ^_^
Posted by: Ed Becerra ||
10/03/2003 17:34 Comments ||
Go Ed Go! All we got is bandwidth.
Short version. Pigs eat what humans eat, they are direct and efficient competition. Dat's Pig Hate.
Now Pig Love... is harder to 'splain. They taste good, but you gotta have a surplus of stuff they'll eat, which leads to intra-human warfare over the cargo. See? It's easy.
Some very interesting material posted here!
It gives me an idea on what to do with all my hollowpoint ammunition!
Let this be known to all muslim terrorist....... There's a new bullit in town and it's name is HOLLOWPORK!
Now I can fight fire with fire and help out the old lady at the same time by cleaning up the morning frying pan and save'n those bacon bits and some Jimmy Dean's sausage fat for my special Osama-Ben-Had Hollow-Pork Rounds!
Bring it on ya Jahaddy dummies.....No 75 virgins for you dickheads if you piss around in my neck of the woods!
Israel Announces Plans for Hundreds of New Homes in Settlements
Israel plans to build 565 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, violating a U.S.-backed peace plan and angering Palestinians already seething over plans to build a security barrier deep into the West Bank.
Seems like the Paleos violated the U.S.-backed peace plan when they blew the bus. Further, it seems like they spend all their time seething over something, so what's to lose?
Announcements for the new housing units appeared in an Israeli newspaper on Thursday, inviting contractors to bid on the projects. The "road map" plan requires a complete freeze in all construction in some 150 Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel seized during the 1967 war. However, an Israeli official said Israel did not have any responsibility to meet its road map obligations until Palestinians crack down on militant groups. "The road map is stalled as long as there is no action taken by the Palestinians to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure," said Zalman Shoval, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Y'don't suppose Sharon's doing this because he wants to make them squeal like piggies, do you?
The Israeli government says it needs the new buildings to account for what it calls the "natural growth" of the settlements, but the road map freeze does not make exceptions.
It didn't make exceptions for exploding buses, either...
The government announcement that it planned to build 565 housing units in three West Bank settlements came a day after the Cabinet approved a portion of a security barrier of fences and walls that runs into the West Bank to shield key settlements - as well as Israel - from suicide bombers, who have killed hundreds of Israelis over the past three years.
However, an Israeli official said Israel did not have any responsibility to meet its road map obligations until Palestinians crack down on militant groups.
-I think one goes hand-in-hand w/the other. Plus, I don't think this move will help curb attacks. If anything, Hamas has just been given some more fuel to their already twisted fire. I wonder what President Bush's response will be after he hears this.
George & Bruce - Whazzis? An Indy tag team? This smells ripe.
Fred - It wouldn't happen to be the same IP address on both posts, would it?
The Road Map, The Quartet, The UN - all dead. Deadder than dead, the Road Map was DOA cuz the Paleos were half of the equation, The Quartet were singing out of tune from day 1, and the UN is the anti-solution to any problem you have in mind - except for how to turn hopes, time, effort, money and goodwill into ashes.
There are a couple of dozen or so large, well-established settlements, in the occupied territories. The Israelis have never committed to removing these settlements, as it would involve relocating tens of thousands of Israelis. Just not gonna happen.
The Israelis are committted, and have made scattered attempts, to remove the "spite" settlements, placed illegally (illegal under Israeli law)by extremeist Zionist groups to provoke the Palestinians. These typically consists of no more than a few trailers and are often not occupied 24/7.
Defending the "spite" settlements makes little tactical or strategic sense. Removing them does not harm the government, since the people creating them already disagree with the government.
The issue of the large settlements is a deal breaker for both sides. The wall may or may not be extended far into the territories to enclose these settlements. They are a flash point and the Israelis spend significant resources on their defense, and in maintaining road access to them through "hostile" territory. They represent the notion, at one time popular in Israel, that the territories would just be absorbed into the nation. Now they are isolated islands, and a problem for all sides in the conflict.
If Palestinian territory is required to be Judenfrei (Jew-free), then Israeli territory should be Arab-free. It's time to deport the Jewish settlers from the West Bank and Gaza, while simultaneously deporting Israel's Arab population to those settlements.
good theory; however a lot of Arabs legitimately work in Israel. Total expulsion is not imho the best solution. It would probably hurt the Israeli economy as well as the Arabs themselves. Unless other Arab countries try to come in and really help the Palestinians economically - vice saber rattling and spewing anti-semitism this problem will never end.
As I see it, the point being made is that it always seems that Israel is expected to make all the concessions. Have the Palestinians lived up to their commitments made at Oslo? Have they held up their end of the agreement with regards to GWB's "roadmap"? No, and no. Israel can't be expected to abide by the terms of any agreement if the other side isn't doing the same.
Israel can't be expected to abide by the terms of any agreement if the other side isn't doing the same.
I agree to a point, however, building new homes as the article states doesn't help them w/our country according to the agreement. No one's condoning Paleo tactics, but the Israelis are playing into their hands by doing this. If they want to keep the moral high-ground they need to stick w/the U.S. backed road-map.
The settlements only indicate to me that Sharon never plans to let go of the West Bank, or to allow the creation of an independent Palestinian state... This isn't about any roadmap or not -- forget the roadmap. Do the settlements make sense even if no such roadmap had ever existed? Only in the sense of trying to alter the demographics of the region towards integrating the West Bank territories with the rest of Israel.
Which means making West Bank an integral part of Israel. And if this sounds good to any of you, then you should realize than in a democracy this should *also* mean that all the Palestinians of the territories should have an equal right of vote in the election of the *Israeli* government.
But if the ideal is having two independent states peacefully coexist, then the Israeli and Palestinian governments should work towards making each of their territories as autonomous and self-sustaining as is possible.
The settlements prove that this isn't Sharon's desire.
If they want to keep the moral high-ground they need to stick w/the U.S. backed road-map.
I seriously doubt that possessing the moral high ground isn't going to make the Palestinians any more responsible or trustworthy. In the meantime, they're still planning and trying to kill as many Israelis as they can.
The settlements prove that this isn't Sharon's desire.
The settlements as things stand now don't prove a thing. Had the Palestinians carried out their Oslo and "roadmap" obligations, then you just might have a point.
Aris, Sharon didn't create the settlements. Some have existed for well over a decade. And, Israeli politics isn't like any you've ever seen, except for maybe Italy. The people in the settlements vote nearly as a bloc, and right now their parties's ministers in the Cabinet support Sharon. If they bow out, no Sharon. We get Netanyahu, and he'll make Sharon look like a wussie in skirts. All recent Israeli governments do a delicate balancing act to stay in power, and one or two people in the Cabinet carry a disproportionate weight because they can wreck any government.
Settlements are also a prod to the Paleos to quit stalling and hoping to outwait the Israelis. Every day the Paleos refuse to do their part in agreements they've made should be another bit of pain - settlements taking open land is a pain to the Paleos, and frankly I don't give a f*&k about their "Arab sensitivities" any more. Abide by your word (I know, impossible for Arabs) and get peace. Lie, prevaricate, kill innocents and you get the shitty little hole in the desert you deserve....*/rant over*
Posted by: Frank G ||
10/03/2003 19:07 Comments ||
The settlements only indicate to me that Sharon never plans to let go of the West Bank, or to allow the creation of an independent Palestinian state...
I think Aris is correct. But I expect we disagree on the wisdom of the move. MO Joooos.
"To those we cherished and lost in the largest firefight since the Vietnam War we shall never forget you. You gave all and asked nothing in return, turning to meet our foes and standing bravely with your brothers without hesitation. Rest in peace for you have fought the good fight and redefined your creeds. We remember you with pride and love in our hearts for you set the example we strive to follow." www.nightstalkers.com
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Hit the link to learn more about the guys who lost their lives that day and in Iraq recently.
While there is little to commend Clinton for on that performance, do save a couple of rotten tomatoes for George I who committed us to a loser of an operation without being serious about it being other then a glorified photo op.
While there is little to commend Clinton for on that performance, do save a couple of rotten tomatoes for George I who committed us to a loser of an operation without being serious about it being other then a glorified photo op.
-please elaborate. I'm not sure I know what you mean. You are referring to Bush 41 right?
Posted by: Chris Smith ||
10/03/2003 15:14 Comments ||
Jarhead, yes, he was reffering to Bush41. Right now the president is George 2 so George 1 must be his father. Head out of the jar.
Posted by: Charles ||
10/03/2003 15:19 Comments ||
I could have been George the First you know...
Posted by: George Washington ||
10/03/2003 15:28 Comments ||
Chuck, (Charles, c'mon, I thought only sissys and British princes were named that) excuse my stupidity - us Marines are not known for our edmucashon..... However, I wasn't sure if the I was a typo. Thanks for enlightening me that two Bush's have actually been Prez - holy sh*t, I had no idea. I assumed the photo op Hiryu mentions had to do with Bush 43's carrier landing. I was trying to get more info. Thanks again. My head's outta the jar so please take your foot outta your mouth.
Save the pills, Ethel, we donât need âem for this one.
France, Russia and Germany signaled Thursday that a new U.S. draft resolution on Iraq did not meet their demands, and Secretary-General Kofi Annan said it did not follow his recommendation for a quick transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government. But the revised resolution won support from close U.S. ally Britain, which signed on as a co-sponsor, and a sympathetic response from Bulgaria and Spain. Dividing a whole lot like last time.
The revised resolution endorses a step-by-step transfer of authority to an Iraqi interim administration but sets no timetable for the handover of sovereignty and leaves the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in overall control until elections are held at some future unspecified date. Theyâre ready when theyâre ready.
"Obviously, itâs not going in the direction I had recommended, but I will still have to study it further," Annan said Thursday. And study, and study, and ...
He later told the 15 Security Council ambassadors at a private lunch that the United Nations could not participate properly because the resolution blurred the roles of the world body and the coalition, council diplomats said on condition of anonymity. And you know how the UN hates blurred roles!
Either the coalition or the United Nations should lead the process, Annan told the members. Ok. The coalition. That was easy.
However, he said the best solution would be to quickly install a provisional Iraqi government because that would enable the world body to directly help Iraqis with drafting a constitution and preparing for elections, the diplomats said. Um, thanks but no thanks.
According to U.N. diplomats, Annan has said this would make it easier politically for other countries to contribute troops and money because they would not have to deal with the current U.S.-British occupation authorities.
'Cause they're ucky...
As if the French would send anyone.
France, Germany and Russia - which opposed the U.S.-led war on Iraq - have joined Annan in calling for a quick transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis, with French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin [who is allegedly a man] saying it could be done by yearâs end.
Of course it could be, if we wanted to make a hash of it...
The issues of when to transfer sovereignty and the U.N.âs role in postwar Iraq dominated Thursdayâs first Security Council discussion. U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte has said he wants a new resolution approved before an international donors conference for Iraq is held in Spain on Oct. 23-24 - but initial reactions indicated serious differences. The new resolution would authorize the United Nations and the U.S.-led coalition to assist the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council in preparing a constitution and holding elections, and encourage Annan to consider assisting Iraq in reforming the judiciary and civil service and training an Iraqi police force. Though the new U.S. draft does not set a timeline, it does encourage the Iraqis to act quickly. Secretary of State Colin Powell said last week he envisions the process of drafting a new Iraqi constitution to take six months.
At the closed Security Council meeting, Franceâs U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said the resolution did not meet Parisâ expectations to give the French United Nations a central role and put the French Iraqis in control of Iraqâs natural resources their future political system, a French diplomat said on condition of anonymity. Germanyâs U.N. Ambassador Gunter Pleuger said he asked Negroponte where in the new draft were the amendments that France and Germany jointly proposed calling for a quick transfer of sovereignty because on first perusal it was "somewhat difficult" to find that they had been addressed. "Sorry, Gunter, it was that damned Microsoft Word. The animated paper clip got your propsal and wouldnât let go!"
Germany hopes for an answer when the council holds further discussions on Monday afternoon, he said. France raised similar questions and called for greater "transparency" in the handling of money for Iraqâs reconstruction, the French diplomat said. Ho-ho, thatâs rich! How about some transparency in the "Oil-for-Palaces" finances?
Russiaâs U.N. Ambassador Sergey Lavrov said his government was still studying the draft but Moscowâs position was very clear.
He's just not sure what it is...
Annan said he recommended quickly setting up an interim Iraqi government, which would assume power in a few months with the aim of hopefully changing "the dynamics on the ground," improving the security situation and sending a message to the Iraqi people and the region. The international community would not walk away, he said. "No, weâll turn tail and run!"
"But at least one Iraqis will be responsible, and he they will be the government, and going through transition with support of the international community. And you get rid of the idea that it is an occupation and cut back on the resistance." Then again, we could just kill the resistors.
Annan has said handing over sovereignty quickly would enable the Iraqis to take more time to write a constitution, noting that the United Nations has found that the process has taken up to two years in other countries. "Obviously, itâs not going in the direction I had recommended, but I will still have to study it further," Annan said Thursday. Donât ya just hate to disappoint Kofi?
Posted by: Steve White ||
10/03/2003 12:27:20 AM ||
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However, he said the best solution would be to quickly install a provisional Iraqi government because that would enable the world body to directly help Iraqis with drafting a constitution and preparing for elections, the diplomats said.
Translation: Everybody else will have their fingers in Iraq, even those that weren't willing to put their necks on the line when it counted.
Annan said he recommended quickly setting up an interim Iraqi government, which would assume power in a few months with the aim of hopefully changing "the dynamics on the ground," improving the security situation and sending a message to the Iraqi people and the region. The international community would not walk away, he said.
WHAT in the hell is this IDIOT talking about? The Iraqis barely have a working police force in place in Baghdad. There isn't a bona fide armed forces present yet. There are still Saddam sympathisers roaming the countryside wreaking their havoc that would, once coalition forces were scaled back, attempt to reestablish their former authority. How would the government effectively police the REST of the country? How does a government improve security without the ability to bring sufficient force to bear wherever it might be needed to maintain order?
Annan has said handing over sovereignty quickly would enable the Iraqis to take more time to write a constitution, noting that the United Nations has found that the process has taken up to two years in other countries, the diplomats said on condition of anonymity. "Obviously, itâs not going in the direction I had recommended, but I will still have to study it further," Annan said Thursday.
What?? What's keeping them from drafting a constitution now? Why is it necessary to "hand over sovereignty" to do this??? Are the people that will be entrusted in drafting an Iraqi constitution union workers that won't do anything unless they have official job descriptions posted on their walls? WTF???
This democracy thing is something new to Iraq. They are NOT going to get the hang of it overnight, and NO ONE in their right mind would believe otherwise. Annan, as usual, is talking OUT OF HIS ASS.
The Iraqis barely have a working police force in place in Baghdad. There isn't a bona fide armed forces present yet.
Well, I don't know about that. Problem is, they are disorganized and working under a new paradigm. Whereas before the police were top dogs ruling with an iron fist, now they are being trained to deal with parking enforcement and other boring crime stuff.
That's a nice variation on "you are a young and stupid country who needs guidance from your elders" that I don't recall hearing before. Still patronizing as hell, so I guess some things never change.
So, I guess Kosovo has a model constitution, now that they are under UN "guidance", right, Kofi? I mean, damn, look at how good the Palestinians have it under decades of UN "guidance"!
Posted by: Baba Yaga ||
10/03/2003 2:32 Comments ||
The idea that the UN could help anybody draft a constitution is downright Kafkaesque. Oh, right, the Dictators and Autocrats Boys Club is gonna get right on the job, you bet.
We may need the UN for something in future (though I can't think what...) seems to be the attitude in Washington and London. That, or sheer inertia (another notable attribute of the UN) is in play.
Steve den Beste has a very good (and long) post on how much longer he thinks we will be engaged in Iraq (http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/10/No-exitVictorystrategy.shtml). His position is based on the observation of successful and unsuccessful post-conflict strategies. If he is right, all of the UN wrangling are attempts to ensure that we effectively lose in Iraq, if not the actual combat phase (too late for that), then certainly the pacification and reconstruction phases. Viewed in the light of his essay, the objectives of all of the other players are made clear, and their role as active allies or active enemies defined. The UN has effectively sent sent its own Zimmerman telegraph, whether it knows it or not.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike ||
10/03/2003 7:39 Comments ||
"France raised similar questions and called for greater "transparency" in the handling of money for Iraqâs reconstruction, the French diplomat said"
If I recall there is something like $47 Blillion of Iraqi money sitting in a French bank.
What's up with that?
Why is that money still sitting there?
Why hasn't Jacque turned the money over to the IGC yet?
Come on Jacque,give me an answer!
More great thought by the UN! A jiffy-pop constitution...Sounds more like "our allies" are worried about outstanding contracts w/the old regime. The quicker we turn it over to that cluster f*ck of a world dis-organization the quicker they can try to weasel their money back. We need to keep the ball in our court. Keep trying to bring them in on our terms and in incremental measures if possible.
recognizing a govt before a constitution and having the UN deeply involved is just what we did in Afghanistan.
Im not saying we should do it in Iraq, though. In Afghanistan there was no likelihood that the UN would try to bring back the Taliban. Russia was old pal of the Northern Alliance, Germany was strongly pro-karzai, and the French really didnt care. In iraq, OTOH, there is the real chance that a UN admin might be pushed by France and Russia to bring "reformed" Baathists back into senior positions. And in Afghan a quick govt on the ground was necessary, since there were hardly any Coalition ground forces there. If no Karzai govt, then the Northern Alliance would have taken over. In Iraq temporary Coalition rule is a real alternative.
What I still can't figure out is why Russia, er I actually mean Prez Putty, is still treated as some favored friend. He and his FM are anything but our friends. Ticking off just a few items to illustrate:
1. Support for Saddam, especially the WMD's and their "disappearance" as outlined by the ex-Romanian Spy Chief in 2 articles - you haven't forgotten that already, have you? I'll dig up the link from right here on Rantburg if you need it.
2. Joining the Axis of Weasels - a Charter Member, in fact, and sticking it out through the whole program of shenanigans.
3. As a major independent producer, they have supported OPEC pricing - which is a serious impediment to the return of the US economy to health -- and the crux of the biscuit: jobs growth.
4. Selling nuke tech to the fucking Black Hats. Does this require any ribbons and bows to get someone's attention?
Look, thinking that Putty and that virulent anti-Israel FM of his (Ivanov? Can't recall with certainty at the moment) are merely mercenary (or whatever) and, therefore, predictable and controllable is foolish and dangerous. Putty & Co. have been just as big a hindrance as France or Germany, just as hypocritical, just as duplicitious, and just as guilty of trying to sabotage the US effort in Iraq. Add to it their actions in Iran, selling a nuke plant which can be used for a weapons program, and the laxity with which they control their own WMD's (and the component parts / raw materials) and that SHOULD make them our largest concern.
Chirac is finished - and he's dragging France down with him, though it is so internally fucked that it will be dead before it hits the ground.
Shroeder is on his way into oblivion, and Germany has far more internal ills than the US.
Why is Russia being given a pass here and at the Whitehouse? Are we that gullible? This just amazes me.
I don't know why we should be asking the UN for help. France, Germany, and Russia cannot afford to significantly help out economically. Only Russia could send a significant number of troops.
They want a setup with the UN and Iraq in which they can rake off money, not contribute.
A new constitution for Iraq could be done very quickly. Translate ours into Arabic and say here it is. Follow the path we took in Japan to a degree. We wrote Japan's constitution for them.
Encourage the new government to not pay any of the debts incurred under the previous regiem and watch the howling start.
Posted by: Michael ||
10/03/2003 10:30 Comments ||
why does vlad the impaler get a pass?
Well if i wanted to be nasty, id say it was cause he's the NOT-Yeltsin, and Yeltsin was Clinton's guy. And he winked at Ballistic Missile Defense, thereby undercutting opposition to it, and that was the Bushies number 1 foreign policy priority pre-9/11.
If i wanted to be kinder to the Bushies, Id say it was cause theyve been pretty enthusiastic fighers against the islamic fundies, cooperated in our getting bases in central asia, and were far less nasty than the french about Iraq. They at least didnt lobby hard against it, and have regulary winked that given enough bribes they might take our side. Even now theyre language is softer than the French - they wont go out on a limb either way.
From today's Moscow Times (sorry I don't have the link):
"President Vladimir Putin told top military commanders Thursday that Russia will put dozens of multi-warhead SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missiles on combat duty.
In a separate development, a Defense Ministry paper released ahead of Putin's comments warned that Russia might have to revise its plans for military reform and nuclear defense strategy if NATO did not drop what it termed its "anti-Russian orientation."
Putin explained the move was to prevent further aging of the country's land-based strategic nuclear arsenal, and maintain its capacity to overcome any missile defense system.
"I am speaking here about the most menacing missiles, of which we have dozens, with hundreds of warheads," Putin told a gathering of top commanders and Kremlin officials at Defense Ministry headquarters. "Their capability to overcome any anti-missile defense is unrivaled." "
This doesn't sound like a friend to me, I agree with .com on this one.
Russia is treated as a friend because the whole world is composed of bloody idiots.
Putin, a bloody KGB official, who has populated half the offices in his country with other KGB guys (equivalent to filling Iraq's new government with top-level Baathists), constantly pressing down on individual and press freedoms, having his whole country slide back into autocracy, being best pals with last-remaining-dictatorship-in-Europe, Belarus, having an iron grip on the Caucasus countries, destabilising Moldavia, having a somewhat-less-than-iron-but-still-pretty-strong grip in Ukraine, the butcher of Chechenya...
But because's Russia is smart enough to never be *vocal* about it, because it's smart enough to always play the center, it never really earns the ire of other countries.
No, you won't hear Putin rant against the US the same way Chirac or Shroeder did. You won't hear Putin insult Europe as Rumsfeld did. Because he's smart, while Chirac and Shroeder and Rumsfeld are bloody idiots.
You will just see him sell weaponry and nuclear technology to Iran. You will just see him expand the iron grip he has on his own nation's media, and reconstituted KGB's grip on the whole of the country so that it's unlikely he'll ever be removed from his position as president.
Because Putin is smart he's free to turn his country back into a smaller version of the Soviet Union with as ill an influence on neighbouring or third world nations... and neither the US nor Western Europe seem to give a damn.
One of the reasons I welcome the entry of Baltic and the other Eastern European nation into the EU is because I believe they have a healthy fear of what Russia may yet become.
Aris, you are wrong on all accounts. A Russian friend of mine once told me that what Russia needed was not democracy, but a czar-like leader. Putin is that leader. Next elections, he will be overwhelmingly re-elected.. just wait and see. And I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. Would you prefer Zhirinovsky at the helm?
As for the military stuff, you can't expect a once-superpower to suddenly drop their weapons. Even if they do move nukes around, or develop other weapons, I wouldn't see it as a threat necessarily. The true test of this relationship will come if Russia decides to actively support regimes like Iran.
Posted by: Rafael ||
10/03/2003 16:42 Comments ||
"A Russian friend of mine once told me that what Russia needed was not democracy, but a czar-like leader. Putin is that leader. "
And an Iraqi friend of yours might have thought Iraq needed a leader like Saddam Hussein. What does that prove?
Telling me that Russia doesn't "need" democracy but an autarch instead... oh my. And yet you supported Saddam's removal from Iraq?
No, I wouldn't prefer Zhirinofski at the helm of Russia. Do you think that the only choice is between him and Putin? I'd much prefer someone like the liberal Yushenkov, a vocal critic of Putin, supporter of human rights, opponent of the war in Chechenya.
But he was assassinated in April. It doesn't seem very healthy to object to Putin's policies in Russia anymore.
And, yes, next elections Putin will definitely be overwhelmingly re-elected. Kinda like Saddam was overwhelmingly re-elected. No truly free media exist anymore in Russia.
Aris is right about Putin, he's definitely a (not so) stealth totalitarian. Whether or not the Baltic countries will profit from EU "security" is a different story and will require France to act like a grown-up on the international scene, lest a repeat of its treachery to its "Little Entente" allies pre-WWII be repeated.
Posted by: Ernest Brown ||
10/03/2003 22:48 Comments ||
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.