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Sharon suffers 'significant stroke'
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Page 4: Opinion
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Taliban Is Blamed for Beheading Teacher
Posted by: ed || 01/04/2006 16:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Religion of Pieces strikes again.
Posted by: xbalanke || 01/04/2006 16:39 Comments || Top||

#2  I had some nuns in school who tried to behead some of their students. But this strikes me as different....
Posted by: Captain America || 01/04/2006 16:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Our nuns used wooden swords, which usually broke...
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 01/04/2006 21:15 Comments || Top||

Brac engineer gunned down in Afghanistan
Gunmen shot dead a Bangladeshi aid worker Monday after his prayers at a mosque in volatile southern Afghanistan, a provincial official said yesterday. Mir Wais was gunned down Monday in Lashkargah, the capital of insurgency-hit Helmand province, deputy governor Moheedin Khan said.

The victim was an engineer with the Brac (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), which builds schools, roads and clinics in rural areas of the poverty-stricken country.
There's no schools or roads left to be built in B'desh?
Details about the dead could not be known. The Afghan interior ministry said the area had been sealed off by intelligence agents and the police. No one claimed responsibility for the attack but similar killings in the past have been blamed on remnants of the hardline Islamic Taliban regime. In April, three women linked to the same organisation were found stoned to death in the northern province of Baghlan with a letter written by another Islamic militant group.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  caught skimping on the extraneous flyash, I'd wager
Posted by: Frank G || 01/04/2006 0:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Allah gives extra virgins to those who murder in mosques.
Posted by: ed || 01/04/2006 0:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah, we are wheel spinning in the Afghan dog's breakfast. And oil production in Iraq has been reduced to almost one-third of the pre-war levels, and one-half of the late 2003 level.
Reuters article

Why? Occupied peoples face no collective response when they facilitate assassination, bomb planting, ambushes and suicide massacre. If we sow indulgence of those savages, we will reap license.

At less than 1 million barrels per day of Iraq oil production, nation-building is impossible. How about we try nation-destruction, including the bloody liquidation of Iraq Islamofascists as a class and an Iraq without mosques? Respect for the freedom of religion for Muslims, is a suicide pill for the West. The West has done well with about 1400 years without that Middle East poison. They can do without it too.
Posted by: CaziFarkus || 01/04/2006 2:02 Comments || Top||

#4  As ye sow, so shall ye reap. We are not ready for an active war against the entire Moslem world, CaziFarkus. The measures you've repeatedly advocated here would guarantee us that war post-haste, and the U.S. would have to fight it alone. Afghanistan may be, as you are so fond of saying, a dog's breakfast, but never has that breakfast been as tasty and healthy for the dog as it is now. Bottom line, Afghanistan has not ever been a united, peaceful nation in it's entire history. It has always been a conglomeration of tribes and subtribes jockeying for advantange, mostly violently.... although historically the tribesmen had rifles rather than AK-47's and grenades. That the Afghanis are participating enthusiatically in the democratic process, that schools and roads are considered desirable and are being built faster than they're being destroyed, and that the Afghanis are beginning to think beyond the local strong man to identify themselves as a nation, these are major developments. It is not reasonable to demand that Afghanistan turn immediately into America-lite -- especially those bits bordering Pakistan, where the ISI continues to meddle in what Pakistan has always considered its private hinterland.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 7:38 Comments || Top||

#5  I guess the Afghans must be pretty pissed about us pulling out and closing down bases.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/04/2006 8:33 Comments || Top||

#6  I agree with TW: Some of the "implied" demands of people are totally unrealistic, like demanding that an infant eat steak and potatoes.

A key requirement in the transition to democracy requires that a cultural group give up the belief that they should shoot it out with other cultural groups (or subgroups within their culture) to get what they want. In such a culture, violence solves everything and makes the system unstable. The opposite problem is current day liberal post-modernism, where it is believed that one NEVER shoots it out with ANYONE, period. In such a culture, represented by the EU, compromise and politicking solves everything, and makes the system VUNERABLE to groups willing to use violence.

Both are extremes, and thus simplistic. The golden mean is to be striven for here, in which compromise is MOSTLY resorted to where practical, and the use of violence (governmental AND personal) is directed to protect the citizenry (individual and national). Exemplars are Australia, the US, Mexico, Israel, and most of the Asian tigers.
Posted by: Ptah || 01/04/2006 9:36 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Al-Qaeda has a stronghold in Somalia, but is contained by US troops
Al-Qaida is active in Somalia, but U.S. counterterrorism forces are succeeding in keeping its influence from spreading in East Africa - using shovels as their weapons, a commander said Monday.

Maj. Gen. Tim Ghormley, who assumed command of the task force in May, said his troops are focusing on humanitarian projects including drilling wells and refurbishing schools and clinics to improve the lives of residents in the region and keep them away from the terror network.

"We know that al-Qaida al-Itihaad is in Somalia," Ghormley told reporters in an interview at his base in the impoverished nation of Djibouti. "They'd like to export that ... if we weren't there they would be."

While the al-Qaida linked group al-Itihaad was largely destroyed or disbanded by Ethiopian troops fighting inside Somalia by 1997, some of its members have regrouped under new guises and have begun to grow in strength, according to an International Crisis Group report released in July.

Somalia, divided into warring fiefdoms and with no central government, remains fertile ground for terrorists.

The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, set up in this former French colony in June 2002, is responsible for fighting terrorism in nine countries around the Horn of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Somalia in Africa and Yemen on the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.

"I believe we're winning," Ghormley said, sitting on a wicker sofa under ceiling fans in a reception hall. "You can't contain them (al-Qaida), but we can take away their recruiting pool and deny them access and that's what we're trying to do."

He singled out a well-drilling project near the eastern Ethiopian hamlet of Gode, which drew the gratitude of the villagers.

But he also acknowledged the threat posed by terrorists taking sanctuary in Somalia and other lawless regions. African governments have historically had a hard time providing security in remote rural areas or patrolling vast borders where nomads frequently cross without detection.

Ghormley spoke after a New Year's pep rally for troops by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace, who is on an eight-nation tour with his wife, Lynne, "American Idol" star Diana DeGarmo and other entertainers.

Pace told the troops their job was important despite the remoteness of the outpost, saying they were the "wave of the future."

The impoverished region, which is home to many Muslims, is a well-established recruiting ground for terrorist groups and U.S. officials describe it as a critical theater in the fight against terrorism.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Africa North
Algerian Militants Give Themselves Up
Three high-ranking militants in the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) surrendered to the Algerian security services. The militants “handed themselves in the last few days along with large amounts of weapons and money”, informed sources told Asharq al Awsat. Abu Bilal al Albani, responsible for the group’s external relations, Abu Omar Abdul Bir, who head of the media wing and a third man whose identity was not revealed but who hails from Qasr al Bukhari, south of the capital , surrendered on 26 December 2005 in al Mediya, south of Algiers. The men vowed to encourage other militants to give up armed struggle.

Pressure from the security services and the ongoing reconciliation process motivated the Islamists to give themselves in, sources told Asharq al Awsat. This latest surrender represents a heavy blow to the GSPC and sources expected the group’s leadership to be in disarray as a result, especially as the three militants were close to its current commander, Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud. While Abu Omar Abdul Bir is considered the highest ranking official in the group, sources indicated that Abu Bilal was coordinating with Mokhtar Belmokhtar, another leading member in the group currently in the Sahara desert, to smuggle weapons from southern Algeria to the group’s hideouts in the north. In November, Belmokhtar’s father told Asharq al Awsat he was in contact with his son in an attempt to convince him to give himself in and benefit from the charter for peace and national reconciliation, approved by Algerians in a September poll and which grants amnesty to Islamic militants.

The French language newspaper in Algeria, Le Jeune Independent (Youth), had indicated on Sunday that Bilal was arrested with two aides “suspected of trying to re-establish al-Qaeda linked terrorism cells in the North African country”. Sources told Asharq al Awsat in Morocco that Abu Bilal had contacted the Moroccan Mohsen Khaybar, who is wanted on an international warrant, and is thought to have fought in Iraq under Abu Musab al Zarqawi. It remains unclear whether the authorities in both countries were talking of the same man.

Abu Bilal, who spent several years in Syria and fought in Afghanistan, is connected to the Algerian Abu Basir, whose name was mentioned in an investigation into the militant Tawhid wal Jihad cell in Morocco, sources said. Moroccan members of the group had confessed, during interrogation, that they had planned to travel to Algeria to receive training at a military camp run by GSPC.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  My guess is that the hard boyz in question were captured (Abu Bilal is Albanian, so he wouldn't be eligible for the amnesty, and nobody forks over $20,000,000 in cash out of the goodness of their hearts) and that the Algerians are having some fun with the GSPC and the rest of al-Qaeda at their expense. If al-Albani was the GSPC's external ops chief, we might see the group's European and North African networks scrambling to cover their tracks if they think he's been flipped.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, in addition to being a GSPC big cheese, is also moonlights as a major smuggling chief and crime lord in the Sahel region. With el-Para out of the way, he seems to have taken over the GSPC's extra-Algerian operations in North Africa but it'll be interesting to see if his heart's into it. Wadoud might want to watch himself as well since the track record for GSPC leaders hasn't been so hot ever since Sahraoui was deposed.

All in all, I agree with Fred's earlier assessment that the GSPC, while maintaining a pretty good organization and command structure, is running low on cannon fodder thanks to the Pan-Sahel Initiative so al-Qaeda is trying to fold them, the Moroccan groups, and as many assorted jihadis as possible together under this new "al-Qaeda in North Africa" that the Moroccan hard boyz got in touch with Zark to get approval from Binny to launch.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 2:13 Comments || Top||

Yemen Tightens Siege on Hostage-Takers
Officials said yesterday that no progress has been made in negotiations to secure the release of five Italian tourists held hostage by tribesmen in northeastern Yemen, as the army deployed more troops to tighten the noose on the kidnappers. “Negotiations are under way, but no progress has been made yet, because they (the kidnappers) are insisting on their illegal and unacceptable demands,” Adnan Sinan Abu-Luhoum, deputy governor of Marib, told Arab News. Army forces are tightening the grip on the area and, according to Abu-Luhoum, the situation is under control.
If the situation was under control they'd have been released by now...
Local residents said artillery units and tanks were stationed yesterday on outposts of the rugged and largely inaccessible Serwah district of Marib province where the five Italians were being held. Another municipal official involved in the negotiations said he visited the captives yesterday. “I visited the five Italians and they looked in good health,” Derhem Al-Dhama told Arab News by phone from Serwah.

A top local official said Italian Ambassador Mario Boffo had blocked an assault by security forces to release the hostages. “After a number of tribal leaders failed (in the mediation efforts), the Yemeni authorities seriously considered to launch a military operation against the hostage-takers to free the hostages,” said the official. “The security and military plan was ready, but the Italian ambassador opposed military intervention, fearing for their (hostages) lives,” he said on condition of anonymity. The hostage-takers have issued two warnings that they would execute the hostages if such an assault took place.

Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Finni confirmed, in a statement issued in Rome, that his government had requested “no action be taken that could endanger the security” of the hostages. The message was delivered to Yemeni authorities through Italy’s ambassador, he said.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

RAB mistakenly caught in cross-fire
A triangular gunfight occurred among the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), police and criminals when police opened fire mistakenly on Rab members engaged in a shootout with the criminals early yesterday. However, none was injured during the fight.
No surprise there. Wasn't anyone shooting into the back of a head from two feet.
The incident took place at around 3:00am when armed dacoits miscreants, with a view to committing dacoity robbery, put barricade on the Bamihal-Singra road near Dakatgari village and attacked a vehicle carrying the Rab members who were returning to Natore from a night on the town the Bamihal police camp. The elite force retaliated resulting in a gunfight. According to locals, both sides exchanged at least 10 rounds of wildly inaccurate bullets creating panic among the villagers.

During this gunfight, a patrol team of drunken police coming from the local cathouse opposite direction opened fire on the Rab members mistaking them for criminals. The Rab also returned fire triggering a triangular gunfight.
The RAB was caught in a cross-fire?
However, a couple of minutes later the law enforcers realised their 'friendly fire' and chased the goons. But taking the opportunity of fighting between the police and Rab, the armed hoodlums managed to flee the scene.
"Now's our chance! Run away-y-y-y!"
After the killing of three Ansar members on December 28, a contingent of Rab was deployed at Bamihal camp to combat the outlaws and avert further attack.
Somehow I don't think we're getting the whole story ...
Let's put it this way...one round of bullet is permanently gone from the RAB evidence locker...
Posted by: Steve White || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  sounds out-of-practice after the holidays...
Posted by: Frank G || 01/04/2006 0:10 Comments || Top||

#2  RAB mistakenly caught in cross-fire

Happens every year..Rab Boyz Bickerson Battalion whoopping it up for the holidays.
Posted by: Shoboater Angelton6948 || 01/04/2006 0:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Heh heh heh heh heh.
Posted by: gromky || 01/04/2006 4:31 Comments || Top||

#4  They must have needed to re-release their undercover guys, so they staged this doublecrossfire mcthingy.
Either that or they're still floating scenarios to find one to replace the crossfire at the bridge at 3 am form letter.
Posted by: wxjames || 01/04/2006 9:25 Comments || Top||

#5  At first, I thought the RAB was an amusing fabrication, but this story makes me believe all this sh*t is REALLY HAPPENING.

The RAB are my heroes, right up there after the US of A armed forces and the IDF.
Posted by: Ptah || 01/04/2006 9:40 Comments || Top||

#6  We love you R-A-B
Oh yes we do
We love you R-A-B
And we'll be true
When you're not busting heads
We're Blue
Oh R-A-B we love you
Posted by: Seafarious || 01/04/2006 9:51 Comments || Top||

#7  "I thought YOU had the shuttergun"
Posted by: Frank G || 01/04/2006 10:51 Comments || Top||

#8  How can I send them a pizza?
Posted by: Grunter || 01/04/2006 10:56 Comments || Top||

#9  Seriously, Grunter?

Here. And you can send more than just a pizza, heh.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:03 Comments || Top||

#10  Oh, you meant RAB, sorry, my bad. Not enough coffee, yet, heh.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:04 Comments || Top||

#11  LOL .com, maybe I was a little obscure there. But it would be cool to be able to do something along the lines of the pizza-for-IDF thing for the RAB, given the amount of innocent pleasure they provide around here.
And I've worked night shift- I know what sort of an appetite you can get!
Posted by: Grunter || 01/04/2006 14:04 Comments || Top||

#12  Lol, agreed, Grunter!

I wonder if they have any idea they have a fan club, lol?
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 14:11 Comments || Top||

#13  I sent an email to the RAB from the contact address at their offical website, with fanboy adulation. I never got a reply, sad.
Posted by: gromky || 01/04/2006 16:01 Comments || Top||

#14  Thanks for trying gromky. :-)

The funny thing is, no doubt we would be happy to do some nice things for 'em, if we knew how, lol. And mebbe we can get them to tell us all about shutterguns, lol.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 16:08 Comments || Top||

#15  Where'd they put the locket, though?
Posted by: Korora || 01/04/2006 21:26 Comments || Top||

#16  Harry Potter joke, for those of you who don't know
Posted by: Korora || 01/04/2006 21:42 Comments || Top||

Sunny supplied explosives for N'ganj blasts
A member of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) suicide squad yesterday told a court their military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny supplied 10 kilograms of ammonia nitrate for explosion in Narayanganj on August 17 last year. In his statement, Ziaul Islam told the magistrate that he along with seven others exploded seven bombs at five spots in Narayanganj on August 17 last year, our Narayanganj correspondent reports. Zia told the magistrate that he exploded a bomb in front of Pourasava Bhaban at Mondolpara in the town on August 17 while the others blasted six other bombs at four points.

Zia of Kalihathi in Tangail, arrested on December 27, confessed that he rented a house at HM Sen Road by the eastern side of the Sitalakhya River in August. On August 15, a regional JMB commander of Narayanganj, Ziaur Rahman Tanvir brought nine bombs from Sunny. On that day, he along with others held a meeting at a mosque at Shahi Mahalla and they decided where they would explode the bombs. The next day, they pointed out the spots and Tanvir taught them how to switch on and explode the bombs. As per direction, Zia exploded the bomb at Pourasava area on August 17. After the explosion he changed his residence.

Meanwhile, a Dhaka court has fixed January 17 for hearing on charge framing against Ataur Rahman Sunny and six others in the two Dhaka serial bomb blast cases on August 17 last year. The first case was filed under the Arms Act and the other one under the Explosive Substances Act. Judge Mohammad Monzurul Bachhid of the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court on Sunday set the date for hearing on the issue. Other accused are AHM Shamim, 23, Zakaria alias Jewel, 21, Nur Azam Siddique alias Yeasir, 27, Belal Hossain alias Tamim, 21, Aleya Ferdous, 27, and Akramul Islam, 23. All of them were arrested earlier and all except Sunny, gave confessional statements to magistrates on different dates.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

Four bombs blasted in Kushtia
Unknown men exploded four bombs at separate spots in the city within 10 minutes' time yesterday evening, but no one was reported injured. One Jihad, identifying himself as the general secretary of an international terrorist network of Khulna region, claimed the responsibility of the incident. Witnesses said the bombers from a speedy autorickshaw hurled the first bomb on a playground of the Youth Development Club at 7:40pm where two leaders of Awami League and BNP city units were playing badminton. The second bomb exploded within a couple of minutes in front of the house of sadar upazila Chairman Abul Siddique in Ailchara area. The two other bombs were blasted in front of a pharmacy in Puraton Bazar area, breaking the shop's
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Security upped at Shahjibazar gas field after JMB threat
The authorities have beefed up security in and around Shahjibazar gas field in Habiganj following Monday's JMB threat to blow up the field. Habiganj police yesterday said they deployed additional forces to ensure the security of the gas field as they have taken the threat seriously. Police sources said they received a complaint from Shahijibazar gas field that its deputy general manager had received a letter from Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh in which the militant outfit threatened to blow up the gas field. The police are investigating the matter, said the sources.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's all about oil.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 8:09 Comments || Top||

Huge arms haul in Bandarban forest
Security forces yesterday captured three Arakan rebels and seized a big cache of arms and ammunition, including light machine gun (LMG), AK47 and M16 automatic rifles, from a den in the remote forests of Naikkhongchhari in the district. The cache includes one British-made LMG, one AK47 and five M16 rifles, two .303 rifles, seven Pakistan-made guns, 32 magazines and 7,000 bullets, said an official handout.
Apparently the Burmese are too proud to use shutter guns.
All the three members of the Arakan Liberation Party-- Ka Aong, 40, Aong Theong, 25, and Tcha Thoang Ching, 25 --hailing from Ghayagong village of Mongdu thana under Akiyab district of Myanmar, the handout said.

This is the first time the law enforcers have disclosed the identity of any rebel although they have so far arrested around 30 foreign nationals from the Bangladesh-Myanmar border areas. Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of army and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) raided the terrorist den on a hill of Bakkhali area, some 12km away from Bandarban sadar, and made the recovery. The troops comprising around 500 jawans from Ali Kadam Cantonment and Naikkhong-chhari BDR zone, led by zone Commander Lt Col Abdul Awal and Major Mobassar of the Ali Kadam Cantonment, in a surprise move stormed the den and captured the rebels, said BDR sources.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pakistani made guns. Imagine that.
Posted by: Mahou Sensei Negi-bozu || 01/04/2006 1:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Not a very big haul. Even some of my lib friends have bigger 'arms caches' in their homes, never mind my ex-mil buddies.

Hey, preview works! All Right!
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 01/04/2006 7:08 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
5 hard boyz trapped and killed in ongoing Russian operation
Reports from the North Caucasus region of Dagestan say five rebels have been killed by Russian security forces in an operation that is still going on.

Helicopter gunships and mortar crews have been bombarding the gorge near the Chechen border where heavily armed gunmen are believed to be hiding.

The fighting is near the Gimry road tunnel, which has been attacked by militants in the past.

Russian TV described the gunmen as hardened fighters.

Dagestani Interior Minister Adilgerey Magomedtagirov, who is personally leading the operation against them, said the eight included one man on an international wanted list "for an attempt on the life of a law-enforcer".

They were armed with assault rifles, machineguns and grenade launchers and were holding out in a well-equipped bunker, he told Russian television.

The besiegers include spetsnaz commandos and Omon paramilitary police.

Dagestan has seen sporadic attacks on security forces by local Islamist militants, often backed by Chechen fighters.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  When I read about Russian operations against asshats I always get a flashback of the Richard Pryor / Gene Wilder scene where they're jivin' along saying:
"Yeah, that's right. We bad, Uh huh, we bad..."

I'm just sayin...
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 3:47 Comments || Top||

#2  So which ones are doing the jiving, .com? The Russians or the hard boyz? Or is everyone tough in that part of the world? ;-
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 7:48 Comments || Top||

#3  Whoops! Missed the ) of the ;-)

Not very effective communication, that. Sorry!
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 7:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Ahhh ... five fewer terrs ... a great way to start the New Year!
Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 01/04/2006 12:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Was it just those five?
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 12:09 Comments || Top||

#6  tw - The Russkies, heh. As for the Chechies, well, saying precisely what I think would get me banned.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:21 Comments || Top||

#7  Thanks for the clarification, .com. I had a sheltered childhood, and don't always get cultural referents. As for the Chenchens, I must admit I enjoy how your posts expand my vocabulary. ;-) "Fry 'em up," has become an in-phrase between me and the trailing daughters.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 13:41 Comments || Top||

#8  tw -- :)

I'm sure that one pushed on the RB envelope a bit, lol.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 13:57 Comments || Top||

Caucasus Corpse Count
Two troops have been killed in Russia’s restive province of Chechnya when a checkpoint on the edge of the village of Kurchaloi came under fire, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

“Unknown attackers fired on a checkpoint positioned on the edge of the village of Kurchaloi,” a source in the Chechen Republic’s Interior Ministry told RIA. Two troops on post were killed in the attack.

The Interior Ministry said “measures are being taken to identify and detain those guilty of the attack.”
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

Moroccan GSPC member arrested in Spain
Spanish police arrested a Moroccan on Tuesday who is suspected of being a member of Algeria's largest outlawed militant movement, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

It said Mohammed Aberrada had been detained in the Costa del Sol holiday resort of Torremolinos under an international detention order issued by a court in Rabat.

The order accused Aberrada of "criminal association for the perpetration of terrorist acts and serious attacks against public order".

The statement said Aberrada would appear before the Spanish courts in due course.

Spanish police have made a number of arrests of suspected Salafist militants in the past few months.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Politix
Understanding al-Libi
SENATOR CARL LEVIN recently declassified a DIA document from February 2002 that appears to cast doubt on the claims of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. Al-Libi, a senior al Qaeda camp commander and a member of bin Laden's inner circle, had maintained, until early 2004, that Iraq had assisted al Qaeda in its chemical and biological weapons efforts. As a result of the document Levin released (and other information circulating) the conventional view which has developed is that the administration knew that al-Libi was lying about Iraq, al Qaeda, and WMD but chose to set aside this knowledge because it conflicted with their preferred narrative concerning pre-war intelligence on Iraq. As to why al-Libi said what he did, conventional wisdom has settled on the storyline that al-Libi told interrogators what they wanted to hear because he was tortured.

Such a narrative is both convenient and attractive. But it only tells half the truth.

To begin with, the portions of the DIA document from February 2002 that Senator Levin had declassified reads as follows:

This is the first report from Ibn al-Shaykh in which he claims Iraq assisted al-Qaida's CBRN [Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear] efforts. However, he lacks specific details on the Iraqis involved, the CBRN materials associated with the assistance, and the location where training occurred. It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers. Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.

So the document that Levin regards as having definitively established al-Libi as a liar also states that he may in fact have known that Iraq assisted al Qaeda in its unconventional weapons experts, but little else. But there are other bits of information to consider, which paint a fuller picture.

For instance, according to the June 21, 2004 issue of Newsweek:

With al-Libi, too, the initial approach was to read him his rights like any arrestee, one former member of the FBI team told NEWSWEEK . . . Al-Libi's capture, some sources say, was an early turning point in the government's internal debates over interrogation methods. FBI officials brought their plea to retain control over al-Libi's interrogation up to FBI Director Robert Mueller. The CIA station chief in Afghanistan, meanwhile, appealed to the agency's hawkish counterterrorism chief, Cofer Black. He in turn called CIA Director George Tenet, who went to the White House. Al-Libi was handed over to the CIA. "They duct-taped his mouth, cinched him up and sent him to Cairo" for more-fearsome Egyptian interrogations, says the ex-FBI official.

And according to Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N. Security Council, at some point al-Libi's statements became far more specific. More than vaguely claiming that Iraq had assisted al Qaeda on unconventional weapons, al-Libi recounted that:

. . . Bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased Al Qaida leader Muhammad Atef, did not believe that Al Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq.

The support that describes included Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two Al Qaida associates beginning in December 2000. He says that a militant known as Abu Abdullah Al-Iraqi had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gases. Abdullah Al-Iraqi characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.

And according to Phase I of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report on pre-war Iraq intelligence (which was endorsed by all of the Democrats serving on the committee including Senator Levin):

Conclusion 103. The information provided by the Central Intelligence Agency for the terrorism portion of Secretary Powell's speech was carefully vetted by both terrorism and regional analysts.

Conclusion 104. None of the portrayals of the intelligence reporting included in Secretary Powell's speech differed in any significant way from earlier assessments published by the Central Intelligence Agency.

CIA Director Tenet likewise repeated al-Libi's claims without caveat during his February 11, 2003 testimony to Senate Select Intelligence Committee, stating that "Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bomb-making to al Qaeda. It has also provided training in poisons and gases to two al Qaeda associates. One of these associates characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful."

All of this would seem to suggest that the U.S. intelligence community's understanding of al-Libi and his claims changed and evolved considerably in the year between February 2002 when the partially declassified DIA document was written, and February 2003 when al-Libi's statements became part of Secretary Powell's presentation to the United Nations. This would seem to square with the fact that, according to Secretary Powell's chief of staff Larry Wilkerson, no dissent was ever received with regard to the section of his presentation dealing with al-Libi.

OF COURSE there were reasons to believe that al Libi might be providing credible information: It appears he had done so before. Indeed, as the Washington Post reported in August 2004, "under questioning, al-Libi provided the CIA with intelligence about an alleged plot to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Yemen with a truck bomb and pointed officials in the direction of Abu Zubaida, a top al Qaeda leader known to have been involved in the Sept. 11 plot."

From what is known about the chronology of both the capture of Abu Zubaydah and the thwarting of one of many plots against the U.S. embassy in Yemen, it is entirely reasonable to surmise that al-Libi was providing viable, actionable intelligence that resulted in the foiling of an al Qaeda plot and the capture of one of its most senior leaders in the same time frame in which he recounted information concerning Iraqi assistance to al Qaeda. Moreover, as discussed at length on pages 329 to 333 of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report, al-Libi's claims appear to have fit within the context of what the September 2002 intelligence document Iraqi Support for Terrorism described as "The general pattern emerges is of al-Qa'ida's enduring interest in acquiring chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) expertise from Iraq."

So, when exactly was it determined that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was not telling the truth with respect to his claims of Iraqi ties to al Qaeda? It's hard to say. The July 2004 Newsweek article that first broke the news of al-Libi's recanting (an act that the 9/11 Commission report attributes to no later than February 2004) quoted a U.S. official as saying that al-Libi had "subsequently recounted a different story" and noted that "It's not clear which version is correct. We are still sorting this out." The August 2004 Washington Post article featured a similar caveat, this one being that "the senior intelligence official cautioned that al-Libi's later contention that Iraq provided no help or training to al Qaeda could not be verified and that the CIA did not know whether he was telling the truth."

Yet none of these statements have surfaced in the most recent reporting on al-Libi, suggesting that the intelligence community now regards his denials as credible. There is now an interesting question to be asked as to what prompted this shift, given that the intelligence community was unable to come to a conclusion concerning the veracity of al-Libi's statements between February and August of 2004. Has some new information come to light, or is al-Libi's recanting now being accepted as credible because "everyone knows" that Iraq had no connection with al Qaeda?

Recently, the New York Times reported on December 9 that al-Libi stated that he fabricated his more detailed claims made while in Egyptian custody in order to "escape harsh treatment," but the same article also quoted a government official as stating that al-Libi's claims about being coerced into making his statements "had not been corroborated." While certainly interesting, this information provides little insight into the questions of how the US intelligence community was able to verify al-Libi's later contentions if they were not even able to verify that he was coerced to begin with or why al-Libi waited until early 2004, long after he had been released from Egyptian custody, to retract statements that were made in early to mid-2002.

In any event, one of the problems with understanding al-Libi is that much of the information about him has become available only as the result of press leaks. The relevant sections on him in Phase I of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report and much the DIA analysis cited by Senator Levin are both classified, leaving the public with little authoritative context within which to place his claims. Perhaps both the administration and its critics should press for the full declassification of his statements concerning Iraqi ties to al Qaeda so that the public can see what he said, when he said it, and what criteria were used for determining the truth or falsity of his statements. Perhaps Senator Levin will be willing to address these issues in the four other intelligence reports that the New York Times reports that he is now attempting to declassify, rather than simply cherry-picking portions of intelligence reports which he believes will assist his political arguments.

Dan Darling is counter-terrorism consultant for the Manhattan Institute Center for Policing Terrorism.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 02:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How does a Senator declassify a document?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 01/04/2006 10:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Has to go to Sandy Berger first, then.....
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 10:35 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
John Whyte - the "NOT John Murtha" Leader
compare and contrast with Murtha.
John Whyte commanded three companies, including a rifle company in Iraq. John was killed in an accident after returning from combat, when a car struck him while he was standing on the side of a Kansas City highway.

There is a proverb that reads, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Those who knew John might change it to read, "As iron sharpens iron, so John Whyte sharpens those around him." He was on a self-imposed mission to be the most effective leader that he could be, and even better, he was on a self- imposed mission to help other people do the same. He was driven to make a difference for his family, Soldiers, and the larger profession like no other person we have encountered. One of the many ways that he made a difference was by participating in the Platoon Leader and Company- Command professional forums. His contribution in these forums was, quite simply, remarkable. In tribute to John, we have captured a few of his words in this article.

Leadership Responsibility

The toughest leadership challenge I had was bearing the personal responsibility for my Soldiers throughout operations. I really took it to heart. I guess I probably wouldn't do it differently, but it was a personal challenge in that it was harder than I had expected. My Soldiers were actually able (and very willing) to do a lot more than I was ready to ask them to do at first. Later, when Soldiers got hurt, I second-guessed myself a lot and that slowed me down. It snuck up on me, but I realized later that it really took its toll over several months. My first sergeant and I became very close and we got through it together. I learned from him to give the platoons some guidance and let them execute. He taught me the difference between company leader and company commander.

More at the link. Just one way in which (internal to the Army) blogs/discussion sites are passing lessons-learned to young commanders.
Posted by: lotp || 01/04/2006 10:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10801 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It is men like John Whyte that should cause us all to ask again, "where do we find men like John Whyte?"
Posted by: Steve White || 01/04/2006 12:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Thank you, lotp. I've saved the site for future reading.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 13:36 Comments || Top||

Naval ships find 3rd container of explosives
The ships of Western Naval Command have located third of the six containers with explosives, on way to Afghanistan for the road jobs undertaken by Border Roads Organisation, reportedly slipped overboard from MV Eugenia.

The Naval ships had located two containers on Sunday.

Meanwhile, divers of the ONGC Seamac III, a multi-purpose support vessel executing the lifting operations of the containers, have also joined the Navy divers for search of the remaining three containers, an official statement said.

The retrieval job is being done jointly by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and the ONGC, while a core team consisting of officials of Intelligence Bureau, Customs, Mumbai Port Trust and Mumbai police, headed by Maharashtra Director General of Police, PS Pasricha is monitoring developments.

Two containers, containing nearly 100 metric tonne explosives, dispatched on Honduran-registered merchant vessal 'MV Eugenia' were dumped in deep sea, reportedly after the ship met rough weather

But due to the sensitive nature of the issue, central agencies sounded alarm bells fearing that the explosives could land in wrong hands.

Earlier, the sources said the core team is monitoring the recovery, naval ships INS Nidesh, INS Alleppey and INS Ratnagiri are assisting in retrieval job along with naval deep-sea divers.

MV Eugenia left Mumbai port on December 23, but reports of disappearance of the two containers reached on December 29, triggering a massive search and rescue operation.
Posted by: john || 01/04/2006 20:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10801 views] Top|| File under:

Education system in northern Pakistan is a breeding ground for hard boyz
NWFP Governor Khalilur Rehman has said that education would help ‘change the mindset’ of people living in the tribal areas of NWFP. His comments referred to the tribal belt on the border with Afghanistan where ‘jihadi feelings’ refuse to die down.

The United States is also making efforts to emphasise the importance of education in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the hope that it will deliver the desired results.

US National Security Advisor Steve Hadley inaugurated the USAID-funded school in Khyber Agency last year underlining America’s efforts to change the tribesmen’s mindset.

However, the Government Degree College in Mir Ali town of North Waziristan is a breeding ground for anti-American feelings with students supporting local Taliban fighters, sources told Daily Times on Tuesday.

More than 15 students of the college were killed in fighting the US forces in Afghanistan and in military action in North Waziristan, a fourth year student of the college told Daily Times.

The last student of the college to be killed in action was Abdul Wasit when a house was bombed near Mir Ali on December 1 in which Al Qaeda’s top commander, Abu Hamza Rabia was also reportedly killed. “Pro-jihad feelings are high among students,” the student said. “Young students in particular are inspired by jihad and they praise the activities of local militants against Pakistani security forces and Americans in Afghanistan.” The number of pro-jihad students is on the rise, the student said.

“Students in favour of jihad and local are about 60 or 70 but what is disturbing is that this minority is dominating the majority,” he added.

Since the federal government did not extend the Political Parties Act to FATA it gave Islamic parties an edge over liberal and democratic forces to sway local population and students were no exception.

The main political party functioning in the region was the nationalist Awami National Party.

In December, a musical programme was organised to welcome new students but local militants warned students not to run the programme.

“We are not studying for the sake of getting some government job. We are here to become educated members of the Islamic movement. I think the Taliban need educated members,” a pro-Taliban student told Daily Times.

A senior teacher at the college said that at least one in four families had lost a member to ‘jihad’ and the youth were inspired by the tribesmen against forces fighting the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“The tribal youth are the biggest casualty of the war on terror in FATA. As you know the best education one can get is at home and there is no tribal family without pro-jihadi sentiments,” the teacher told Daily Times.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 02:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ummm ... this deserves a visit from MASTER OF THE OBVIOUS
Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 01/04/2006 12:32 Comments || Top||

#2  “The tribal youth are the biggest casualty of the war on terror in FATA. As you know the best education one can get is at home and there is no tribal family without pro-jihadi sentiments,”

A senior teacher at the college said that at least one in four families had lost a member to ‘jihad’

I suppose that if one has an excess of children, no problem throwing a few sons into the path of kufr bullets. Not how I understand the end purpose of an education to be used, but I've always been funny that way.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 12:51 Comments || Top||

Abu Salem Confesses to Murder
"Thash right! I kilt Jon-Benet!"
In the aftermath effects of the giggle juice narco-analysis and electrician's pliers lie detector tests conducted on notorious underworld don Abu Salem in Bangalore three days ago, and upon his sustained interrogation later here, the gangster broke down and confessed to the murder of real estate developer Pradip Jain in Bombay in 1995.
"Yersh. I kilt Kennedy, too. I think... Izh there any more o' that giggle juice?"
Talking to newsmen yesterday morning, Joint Commissioner of Police (Anti-Terrorist Squad) P.S. Raghuvanshi said that Abu Salem had recorded his confession yesterday before a senior police officer who is also the competent authority to record the statement and the confession of the accused. It would be presented before the judge of the special Terrorist and Disruptive Act (TADA) court, where the murder case is being heard. Raghuvanshi when asked to reveal the contents of the confession said that he was unaware of the confession and the same would be revealed only when it reaches the designated TADA court. Police sources say that Abu Salem after undergoing vise grips brain mapping, polygraph and narco-analysis test at Bangalore scientific laboratory had revealed during the course of tests his alleged role in the Bombay bomb blasts in 1993, murders of Ajit Dewani, secretary of a Bollywood star and that of real estate developer Pradip Jain.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Suicide Bomber Kills 32 at Iraq Funeral
Posted by: ed || 01/04/2006 16:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

Despite Murtha, U.S. soldiers in Iraq are re-upping by the thousands
BUHRIZ, Iraq — It was nearing midnight as Pfc. Nicholas Outen and his platoon moved silently down an alley in this Sunni enclave of canals and palm groves, on a night of raiding houses with the Iraqi police. The patrol paused, and Outen had just crouched at a street corner when a large blast threw him backward. "I saw a flash and a boom and was smashed against the wall," recalled Outen, 20, of Baltimore. His shoulder was ripped by shrapnel from a bomb that exploded 15 feet away, killing an Iraqi policeman. Five in Outen's platoon were wounded, including his team leader, Sgt. Nathan Rohrbaugh, who lay bleeding on top of him. The Nov. 17 attack would draw together an already tightknit platoon, now on its second tour in Iraq. For Outen, it was doubly significant: On the same day that he became eligible for a Purple Heart, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army.

U.S. soldiers risking their lives daily in combat are also re-upping by the thousands, bolstering the Army's flagging manpower at a time when many young Americans are unwilling to serve. Since 2001, the Army has surpassed its retention targets by wider margins each year, showing an unexpectedly robust ability to retain soldiers in a time of war.

While the force is facing a shortfall in recruitment of new soldiers, it raised its retention goal this year by 8,000 people and still exceeded it, with nearly 70,000 soldiers, or 108 percent of the target, choosing to stay in the Army.

On palace rooftops and pockmarked streets, GIs are re-enlisting in rituals that range from dramatic to harrowing. Soldiers have taken the oath in gaudy former residences of Saddam Hussein and in the spider hole near Tikrit where the gray-bearded fugitive was captured in December 2003.

More than 4,000 soldiers from Outen's 3rd Infantry Division have re-enlisted in the past year, including 117 who raised their hands together at a mass ceremony north of Baghdad in April. The division, whose tanks led the U.S. invasion in 2003, was the first to serve two tours in Iraq.

Even so, this year it chalked up the highest retention rate among the Army's 10 active-duty divisions, hitting 137 percent of its goal.

To be sure, the hardship of repeated, yearlong combat tours away from families is discouraging some soldiers, and retention is likely to slip among lower-ranking officers and enlisted soldiers, who bear the brunt of grueling overseas assignments, according to Army officials and military analysts.

To compensate, the Army this year offered new deployment bonuses and career incentives for soldiers who chose to stay, distributing tens of millions of dollars in tax-free payments. Meanwhile, sergeants tasked with persuading soldiers to re-up are working overtime to meet bigger quotas.

Despite the risk and long months away from home, many soldiers such as Outen say serving in Iraq gives them a sense of purpose, a chance to use their skills and cement a bond with fellow soldiers who become like an extended family.

Outen's infantry unit, Bayonet Company of 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, has lost three soldiers and received a dozen Purple Hearts and awards for valor. Yet the company of about 150 men met its retention goal two months early in 2005.

At a dusty base in Baqouba, a city on the Diyala River just north of Buhriz, Outen tended to his wound and reflected on staying in the Army.

"I'm only good at a few things — camping in the woods and shooting a weapon. So I figure I can use my talents," said Outen, who was on his high school's marksmanship team. "The pay is decent, you have benefits, they help you with legal problems. It's kind of like having a big brother watching out for you all the time."

Outen knows that he will be back in Iraq. But he finds a bright side even to being wounded. As a Purple Heart recipient, "I'll get free license plates for life."

For Sgt. Scott Brown, duty in Iraq is — above all — a steady job.

"I re-enlisted because I have two girls at home," Brown, 37, of Saginaw, Mich., said as he pulled on his body armor and headed out on a midmorning patrol in Baqouba. "This is a good way to support my family."

Brown said he tried leaving the Army once for civilian life in the mid-1990s, driving a forklift for an Ace Hardware store in Seattle, but found it lacking. "You didn't have a lot of benefits," he said. "It's pretty hard out there if you don't have something lined up." He recently signed up for another six years, earning a bonus of $17,500.

Brown is typical of many midcareer soldiers who already have spent six to 10 years in the Army and plan to stay until the 20-year retirement mark.

About four-fifths of the eligible soldiers in this category are re-enlisting today, a figure that rises to 90 percent for those who have served more than 10 years.

As they rise in rank, soldiers such as Brown gain opportunities to go to school or serve as recruiters or drill sergeants — cutting down on the frequency of deployments.

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 08:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thank God for America's Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. The brave young men and women who have served and continue to serve during the GWOT will lead this great country well into the future. They, not Washington politicians like Murtha, Kennedy, and Pelosi, are our hope for the future.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 9:18 Comments || Top||

#2  I keep seeing comments in this site like the last sentence of the post by Besoker, therefore I have a question for the repubs/cons in this site.

"Exactly WHAT is it about Democrats leaders such as Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy, Murtha and Kerry that draws such venomous derision in your comments about them?"

Rantburger site host Fred has already told me that these people make him want to "spit".

Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 11:47 Comments || Top||

#3  They're assholes.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 11:49 Comments || Top||

#4  tu:

They are assholes because they oppose much of
President Bush and the Republicans agenda?
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:01 Comments || Top||

#5  I'd say...no. They were assholes a long time before Bush showed up. I think it's just their nature...
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 12:08 Comments || Top||

#6  Zell Miller said it well enough at the 2004 RNC:

Since I last stood in this spot, a whole new generation of the Miller Family has been born: Four great grandchildren.

Along with all the other members of our close-knit family — they are my and Shirley's most precious possessions.

And I know that's how you feel about your family also.

Like you, I think of their future, the promises and the perils they will face.

Like you, I believe that the next four years will determine what kind of world they will grow up in.

And like you, I ask which leader is it today that has the vision, the willpower and, yes, the backbone to best protect my family?

The clear answer to that question has placed me in this hall with you tonight. For my family is more important than my party.

There is but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future and that man's name is George Bush.

In the summer of 1940, I was an eight-year-old boy living in a remote little Appalachian valley.

Our country was not yet at war but even we children knew that there were some crazy men across the ocean who would kill us if they could. President Roosevelt, in his speech that summer, told America "all private plans, all private lives, have been in a sense repealed by an overriding public danger."

In 1940 Wendell Wilkie was the Republican nominee.

And there is no better example of someone repealing their "private plans" than this good man. He gave Roosevelt the critical support he needed for a peacetime draft, an unpopular idea at the time.

And he made it clear that he would rather lose the election than make national security a partisan campaign issue.

Shortly before Wilkie died he told a friend, that if he could write his own epitaph and had to choose between "here lies a president" or "here lies one who contributed to saving freedom", he would prefer the latter.

Where are such statesmen today? Where is the bi-partisanship in this country when we need it most?

Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander-in-Chief.

What has happened to the party I've spent my life working in? I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny.

It was Democratic President Harry Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of West Berlin by flying in supplies and saving the city.

Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter. But not today.

Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.

And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.

Tell that to the one-half of Europe that was freed because Franklin Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers.

Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free because Dwight Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not occupiers.

Tell that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers.

Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home.

For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.

No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.

But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution.

They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy.

It is not their patriotism - it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking. They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace.

They were wrong.

They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war.

They were wrong.

And, no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

Together, Kennedy/Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror.

Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.

The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40% of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.

The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Khadifi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.

The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War. The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.

I could go on and on and on: Against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel, Against the Aegis air-defense cruiser, Against the Strategic Defense Initiative, Against the Trident missile, against, against, against.

This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?

Twenty years of votes can tell you much more about a man than twenty weeks of campaign rhetoric.

Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are. How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside.

Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations.

Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide. John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security. That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician wants to be leader of the free world.

Free for how long?

For more than twenty years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure. As a war protestor, Kerry blamed our military.

As a Senator, he voted to weaken our military. And nothing shows that more sadly and more clearly than his vote this year to deny protective armor for our troops in harms way, far-away. George Bush understands that we need new strategies to meet new threats.

John Kerry wants to re-fight yesterday's war. George Bush believes we have to fight today's war and be ready for tomorrow's challenges. George Bush is committed to providing the kind of forces it takes to root out terrorists.

No matter what spider hole they may hide in or what rock they crawl under.

George Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a better grip. From John Kerry, they get a "yes-no-maybe" bowl of mush that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.

I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together. I admire this man. I am moved by the respect he shows the First Lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America.

I can identify with someone who has lived that line in "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see," and I like the fact that he's the same man on Saturday night that he is on Sunday morning.

He is not a slick talker but he is a straight shooter and, where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words.

I have knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone home, a God-fearing man with a good heart and a spine of tempered steel.

The man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family.

This election will change forever the course of history, and that's not any history. It's our family's history.

The only question is how. The answer lies with each of us. And, like many generations before us, we've got some hard choosing to do.

Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America. Fainthearted, self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world.

In this hour of danger our President has had the courage to stand up. And this Democrat is proud to stand up with him.

Thank you.

God Bless this great country and God Bless George W. Bush.

If that's not clear enough, then you're a troll.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:08 Comments || Top||

#7  Zell Miller is entitled to his opinion.
Personally I think what he did at the
RNC Convention was dispicable.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:13 Comments || Top||

#8  I thought Cassini was a NASA probe deep into outer space?

To discourage Americans from signing up in our armed forces during a time of war makes one a first-rate asshat in my book.

BTW: I wonder how long before MSM, Murtha (The Dems latest useful idiot), Kerry, Pelosi, and company blame Bush for the coalminers' deaths. I'm betting about another hour.
Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 01/04/2006 12:15 Comments || Top||

#9  Brilliant. Troll.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:15 Comments || Top||

#10  Personally I think what he did at the RNC Convention was dispicable.

Posted by: Steve White || 01/04/2006 12:16 Comments || Top||

#11  Probably because he put the safety and well-being of the Nation ahead of politics, and spoke the truth as he saw it.

Thats a big despicable no-no in the moonbat cave.
Posted by: Evil Elvis || 01/04/2006 12:24 Comments || Top||

#12  .com

For Democratic Sen. Zell Miller to go to the Republican Presidential Convention embrace THEIR nominee, denigrate his Party, its nominee and politicians in the manner he did was the act of a outlandish, dispicable turncoat. I have zero respect for him and think he should have been shot for what he did.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:24 Comments || Top||

#13  I'm fine with people B*tchiing about almost anything under the sun. Unfortunately Cassini the only thing I can't stan is a man complaining about the right he has to complain. those guys are over there so that 5 years from now we can still be sitting here on our laurels and whining and moaning back and forth. Cassini give me an example of when a person avoided war by asking for mercy... We didn't exactly ask the terrorists to kill our innocents so its just as fair we hunt them down without restraint and make sure it never happens again.
Posted by: Burned2many || 01/04/2006 12:26 Comments || Top||

#14  Interesting, Cassini: you'd shoot Zell Miller but not Saddam Hussein. Thanks for sharing that.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/04/2006 12:26 Comments || Top||

#15  Evil Elvis:

Do you actually think President Bush has made the U.S. "safer"?
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:27 Comments || Top||

#16  Zell's "Fainthearted, self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world." no doubt stikes like a stake through Cassini's heart.
Posted by: Darrell || 01/04/2006 12:27 Comments || Top||

#17  For Democratic Sen. Zell Miller to go to the Republican Presidential Convention embrace THEIR nominee, denigrate his Party, its nominee and politicians in the manner he did was the act of a outlandish, dispicable turncoat. I have zero respect for him and think he should have been shot for what he did.

So would you include David Brock? How about Senator "Jumping Jim" Jeffords of VT who abandoned the Republicans to become a so-called Independent?

Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 01/04/2006 12:28 Comments || Top||

#18  Steve White:

You said that, I didnt. Let's dont you make that clear.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:29 Comments || Top||

#19  Steve White:

correction: Lets make that clear.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:31 Comments || Top||

#20  Don't think so, kid.

I have zero respect for him and think he should have been shot for what he did.

Think Jim Jeffords should be shot, Cassini? I mean, it's only fair...
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 12:32 Comments || Top||

#21  Ah yes, the tolerant, anti-war, freedom-loving, anti-fascist, pro-choice Bushitler hater thinks old Zell should be executed for chosing his conscience.

Pro-choice only applies to killing innocent babies.
Posted by: Evil Elvis || 01/04/2006 12:32 Comments || Top||

#22  So the fact that he didn't play partisan hack but, instead, spoke his mind is what fucks you up, huh?

You just demonstrated one of the main reasons why you and yours are out of power and deserve to be out of power. You're 100% partisan and there's nothing in your kit other than the urge for power.

Miller was dead right, nailed you and yours to the barn door, has more sense than the lot of you, and named just a few of the names and deeds for which there is no valid defense.

You're a troll, utterly unworthy of welcome to RB, a disingenuous dilettante DU twitter / Kos Kiddie.

Fuck off.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:33 Comments || Top||

#23  Cassini, Without wasting too much of Freds bandwidth, here is what makes me spit at moonbats like them and feel disgust at yuo and your arguments. All I hear from these guys is Bumper sticker quotes and opposition to anything our President says. I have yet to hear anyone, you included, to offer up a plan to win this war on terror. Your right that Burtha has a plan, but surrender - the same as cut and run, is not an option. The Dems are throwing away the two party system. They have created a one party system, by default, and a group opposing the dominant, Repubs, party. Show me a plan that has winning the war on terror, Iraq, and safeguarding America from future attacks. If not please stop with the retoric.
Posted by: 49 pan || 01/04/2006 12:33 Comments || Top||

#24  Senator Miller is a fine son of the great state of Georgia, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and an American treasure of the first order. He stands for everything the Democratic party of long ago stood for and everything truly American, not this liberal communist dogma we see coming out of Washington today. His presentation at the NRC was courageous and spot on! Senator Miller has made many, many "contributions to saving freedom." From men like Miller one can get, as Lee put it so elequently, "the correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret."
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 12:38 Comments || Top||

#25  I think the Cassini probe just crashed into Planet Reality.

I suspect a Krazy Kos Kid (KKK) Troll, perhaps it's this cleaning lady?

DONAILIN aka Danielle Gonzalez

Posted by: Tasty Maggot Sandwich || 01/04/2006 12:41 Comments || Top||

#26  BTW, regards shooting Zell - you'd better think twice about that. He'd ace your narrow ass before you could figure out which end is dangerous. The same is true for most here on RB. We are not your turn the other cheek folks because we already have - and got BDS drone like you for doing so.

Next we meet, up close and personal, take great care you don't end up in the crosshairs, sonny. You need to treat that nasty BDS stain on your psyche from all your pointless dithering and DU spittle. You're fucked up and unworthy.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:42 Comments || Top||

#27  .com

Thats your opinion and I totally disagree with it.

Politics happens in cycles and if you believe that YOUR parties hold on POWER is permanent then you are a fool.

I could care less what you think of me really.
Fortunately you dont run this site.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:42 Comments || Top||

#28  Will this be another episode of Troll Tag Team commenting? I'd bet so.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/04/2006 12:42 Comments || Top||

#29  .com

Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:43 Comments || Top||

#30  Lol, how brave we are.

Here. Now. Fuckwit.

Come to Sin City and become a statistic, weenie.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:44 Comments || Top||

#31  .com

One more thing, once again.

Sen. Zell Miller is a dispicable turncoat the sold out his party. He should be shot for what he did.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:45 Comments || Top||

#32  "Sen. Zell Miller is a dispicable turncoat the sold out his party. He should be shot for what he did."

Tall talk from a cowardly spittle junkie. He's perfectly safe if all he faces is your ilk... unless he turns his back, of course.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:47 Comments || Top||

#33  Cassini, you STILL haven't answered anybody's questions here. You haven't for two days. You make a lot of noise, yet nothing comes out.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 12:48 Comments || Top||

#34  And you keep making my point for me. Worthless partisan spew in a time of war. That clearly implies you are the one deserving of being shot.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 12:49 Comments || Top||

#35  Cassini's a fucking nitwit, not worthy. He is more than happy to call people names but disreguards any attempt to discuss issues and options. Ignore the Troll and he will wonder off to a more suitable swamp.
Posted by: 49 pan || 01/04/2006 12:49 Comments || Top||

#36  How many times do you have to be told: DON’T FEED THE TROLL! There is no way any of you are going to change a kool aid drinking LLL moonbat like cassini, so stop trying. Murtha has every right to opinion, as does Pelosi, Kerry, and the rest. I happen to think the whole bunch is full of shit and that thought of them leading the country sends a shiver done my spine. They have the attention span of a five-year-old and none of the reasoning capacity. They jump from conspiracy to conspiracy like Bill Clinton jumped on interns, but at least Bill stuck with one for more than 24-hours. The funny part is they don’t even realize how ridiculous they look to most Americans. Trust me Cassini, most Americans don’t believe half of the shit coming out of the DNC.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 01/04/2006 12:51 Comments || Top||

#37  Cassini: Do you actually think President Bush has made the U.S. "safer"?


Peace through superior firepower.

Negotiation, concession, and hesitancy are not aspects of our culture and civilization that are respected by our Islamofascist enemies. They respect only strength - and most Americans have that strength although some would rather we roll over and go butts-up for the screwing our enemies want to put to us.

Zel Miller is a hero in my book because he called the Demunists and their attitude exactly.

Cassini, your blatant hatred for the Republicans and everything they stand for is what is truly "discpicable".
Posted by: FOTSGreg || 01/04/2006 12:52 Comments || Top||

#38  Sen. Zell Miller is a dispicable turncoat the sold out his party. He should be shot for what he did.

That, in a nutshell, defines fanaticism, Cassini.
Posted by: Ptah || 01/04/2006 12:53 Comments || Top||

#39  #49 Pan

I asked a perfectly logical question in post#2
and I havent seen your answer to it.

.com posted a reference Zell Millers speech at the RNC Convention.

I rebuffed him and he blew his cool and starting threatenining me....

I am so enjoying this...it's too damn funny.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 12:53 Comments || Top||

#40  Oh look everybody...Richie Cunninghams girlfriend is back.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 01/04/2006 12:57 Comments || Top||

#41  So, Cassini, it's all about The Party, Ya, Seig Heil. Don't do what's right, follow the party line. I don't belong to ANY Party and have voted all my life for the person I thought would do the best job and who I thought would best represent MY interests. Zell Miller is a Democrat of the old school, a man I admire. I voted for Jimmy Carter because I was tired of the Nixon legacy and was unsure of Gerold Ford. My mistake. You seem to be an advocate of "Party Over All", and if I don't agree with the direction my party is going too bad, be a good little stooge and go along. Most people can see through that and if their elected officials don't vote their constituants wishes get voted out. That is unless the powerful political machines they weild can not be fought. This goes for both Democrats and Republicans. Zell Miller was not going to abandon the people who voted him in to office, unlike Jeffords who got elected and then turned on the people who voted him in. It's obvious from your last few posts that the Party is the be-all and end-all for you. Loyality to ones constituants means nothing to you.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 01/04/2006 12:57 Comments || Top||

#42  You guts need to find another chew toy. This one is preditable and repetitive (DU moonbattery). Ignore him and he'll go away.
Posted by: SR-71 || 01/04/2006 12:58 Comments || Top||

#43  Hey Fred:

I hope youre watching this. your regulars are going nuts. All I am doing is making statements and taking positions that just about any liberal democrat would take. And evidently they cant stand it. it drives them crazy that anyone would
disagree with them. So please dont blame me for their venom.

What I am going to do is go over to Slate Ballot Box and attempt to get the libs/dems over there to come over here to mix it up with your regulars. I think they need a big dose of dem/lib reality.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 13:00 Comments || Top||

#44  The Demcoratic Party leadership have become the turncoats. Zell Miller is an old line Democrat who values the safety of the nation before personal ambition. Instead the party has become the party of ostriches and chickens. This run away from the evils and hope they kill you last cowardice has given us 8 years of repeated muslim attacks under Clinton while he considered heady matters of state (i.e blowjobs). It gave us 4 years of Carter who allowed the modern age of the muslim fanatics to gain power. Carter who the Iranians abused like a tranvestite prison bitch, whose only course of action was to wear another sweater. I have had more than enough of the craven cowards the Democrats produce in such abundance. A Lieberman or a Miller who places the safety of the nation before personal power is a rare commodity. And what do you, Cassini, advocate? Murder.
Posted by: ed || 01/04/2006 13:02 Comments || Top||

#45  Deacon Blues:

Funny thing, I didnt see any Major Republicans doing for Kerry what Miller did for Bush.

As a matter of fact I can imagine what would have happened to that person if he had done so.
It wouldnt have been pretty. So all your nonpartisan bs is exactly what it is: bs.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 13:04 Comments || Top||

#46  Typical backasswards, totally inaccurate, fuckwit recitation of events. A hallmark of BDS Spittle Phreaks.

And now, in its agitated state (projection seems to be its only working defense mechanism), it thinks it will go enlist an army of BDS sufferers to rescue it. Brilliant.

I suggest the Zeroll or BaiTroll variety is the best fit, with touches of HateTroll and TurdTroll. Ban this bitch.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 13:04 Comments || Top||

#47  Cassini, Check post #23. I think I answered it.
Posted by: 49 pan || 01/04/2006 13:05 Comments || Top||

#48  Could be because they saw Kerry for the useless, phony, lightweight he was. And he's my junior senator, so I have some basis for my opinion.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 13:06 Comments || Top||

#49  This is getting ridiculous. Cassini, most liberal democrats do not advocate shooting Zell Miller. For crying out loud, most of you are against gun ownership: how are you going to “shoot” anyone? Have us do it? Not likely.

Now, stop freaking thread jacking and discuss the article about re-enlistment statistics. That’s what this board is for: discussing articles, particularly ones relating to the war on terror. Don’t believe in it? Then politely convince us that we are wrong and stop behaving like a college freshmen who’s had too much coffee.
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/04/2006 13:10 Comments || Top||

#50  Wow, look who's making the death threats and blaming someone else for holding him accountable. How, umm, Islamist.
Posted by: Ptah || 01/04/2006 13:11 Comments || Top||

#51  Note the total lack of response to the content, the irrefutable facts, the utterly devastating truth of Zell's speech.

All poor Troll had to fall back on was the typical partisanship the Dhimmidonks are known for, today. They will be out of power for a long time if they don't slough off the dead "leadership" and the fools of the Troll's ilk.

SM - They'd have to use spitballs, methinks.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 13:12 Comments || Top||

#52  .com: Yuck! I'd rather be shot!
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/04/2006 13:13 Comments || Top||

#53  Cassini an idiot ppl not worth the time.
Posted by: djohn66 || 01/04/2006 13:13 Comments || Top||

#54  Cassini, I gues the fact no Republican did for Kerry what miller did for Bush somehow proves that Republicans are all Party Line People and that somehow this proves I'm full of bullshit. Maybe there were Republicans who felt Kerry was the best choice, but didn't have the guts Zell Miller had to say so, we don't know. You have only reinforced my belief that you believe in the Party First to the exclusion of everything else.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 01/04/2006 13:14 Comments || Top||

#55  "I asked a perfectly logical question in post#2 and havn't seen your answer to it."

There is no logic to the liberal/socialist position to current events. The DNC crowd exhibits all the origional thought spoken at an all night bong party in the freshman dorm at UC Berkley.
Posted by: usmc6743 || 01/04/2006 13:14 Comments || Top||

#56  What is despicable about putting one's career on the line for one's principles, and telling people why? America isn't Party-first, that is the way of the totalitarians of all stripes, whether National Socialist (Nazi/Fascist/Ba'athist, etc) or International Communist (Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist/NorthKoreanist, etc). Or, as I read your comment, Cassini, as Democratic Party members should be. Is that really the position you intend to take?

The other aspect of the behaviour of entirely too many of those who speak for the Democratic Party is their refusal to admit that Radical Islam is at war with the West, has been for decades, and that this is a war which will be fought to the knife. I suppose it's barely understandable for someone safely ensconsed as you are, Cassini, with alert troops all around. But my mother survived the Nazi Holocaust, my father is an Israeli war hero. If we lose this war openly declared against us, I and my daughters will not be given a choice of which colour burka to wear while we cook and clean for our masters; we will only possibly have the choice of death by rusty sword or by rapine. So I take this very seriously indeed, and am very happy to have found at Rantburg men and women who understand that this isn't a game played after tea while the servants clear away the tea things.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 13:15 Comments || Top||

#57  .com et all

Exactly HOW MUCH$$$$ did the RNC PAY$$$
Sen. Miller for that speech at the convention?
I'm quite sure he got a nice stipend for it...
plus i wouldnt put it pass the republicans to do some dispicable stuff like that. Crooked politics is in the repub/con nature.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 13:18 Comments || Top||

#58  OMG a true believer a moonbat from hell
Posted by: djohn66 || 01/04/2006 13:20 Comments || Top||

#59  $0.00, but worth Zell Miller's weight in gold.
Posted by: ed || 01/04/2006 13:21 Comments || Top||

#60  TW, you alway provide clairity. well said!
Posted by: 49 pan || 01/04/2006 13:21 Comments || Top||

#61  A dollar two eighty.

And you can take that to the bank.
Posted by: Evil Elvis || 01/04/2006 13:21 Comments || Top||

#62  Do any of the Mods need more proof?

This Troll is not only unworthy, it is unhinged.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 13:22 Comments || Top||

#63  Noise, noise, noise.
That's why you people will always lose. You're just a bunch of fuckin noise.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 13:22 Comments || Top||

#64  I stated earlier here that only a matter of about an hour or so before the unhinged P.O.O.P. (Party of Obscenely Obsessive Pessimists formerly known as Democrats) would jump all over President Bush for the coal-miners' deaths.

Sure enough, here it is: BTW, read the readers' comments:

Blame Bush for Coal-miners's Death

Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 01/04/2006 13:23 Comments || Top||

#65  Cassini,

I used to be a swing voter. Some time ago most of my friends and family members began to vote against the left after recognizing the emotional and irrational hatred like that you spew.

Keep it up. You are winning hearts and minds for the good guys.

Posted by: usmc6743 || 01/04/2006 13:30 Comments || Top||

#66  Rantburgers are disgusted by Pelosi and company because the party is overly partisan and willing to gamble the safety of their nation to make political points.

Cassini proves that point when it says Zel Miller should be shot for crossing party lines over something like foreign policy. You shoot people for betraying their nation, not their party.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/04/2006 13:33 Comments || Top||

#67  Bah, I let the juvenile twit divert me from the obvious lesson of the post:

A volunteer military is one of the marks of a moral nation. The libs may quack about volunteerism, but when it comes to respecting those who really volunteer, they have noting but distain if they, the libs, do not profit from it themselves.

One of the benefits of a volunteer military is the feedback loop between the citizenry and their government which becomes significant during wartime: a *TRULY* unpopular war will eventually result in an anemic military incapable of continuing the war. When one has the draft, Juvenile twits can comfort themselves in thinking that the war is being continued by force at home as well as abroad, but they cannot find such comfort when soldiers can choose whether to join, stay, or leave.

The moral ambiguity evaporates among the citizenry as well when a draft army is replaced by a volunteer one: Imagine thanking a soldier for defending his country when his reply would be, "I was drafted and I'd rather not be in jail for saying 'no'"? I would be properly ashamed, and always felt that way about the draft. No such ambiguity anymore: I can walk up to a solder, shake his or her hand, and say "thank you", and know that the recipient deserved my thanks and gratitude because of their choice. (and a juvenile twit that thinks that a man should be shot for choosing who he speaks to and who he speaks for, has no concept of that "choice" is.)

I am GLAD that we will eventually have veterans who will have served their country by choice rather than forced: if there was no vietnam era draft, we wouldn't know if Bush would have signed up for the TANG or the USAF, but we KNOW KERRY would not have joined.

Another benefit of the volunteer army is the transformation of the officer corps: a man thinks and behaves differently if the people under him were forced to serve vs. choosing to serve. see the post regarding John Whyte posted today: Officers like him are the norm now, rather than the exception.

The choice increases value: if there was indeed a combat survival suit like the one batman wore on "Batman Begins", then it would have been put into production. Sure, you have to go to war with the army you have, which is the lesson we learned from Pearl Harbor, but juvenile twits, among others, don't have a clue about the time it would REALLY take to develop adequate body and hummer armor and get it out into the field. A volunteer army is one where each member is valued enough to be taught to be the very best.

My only complaint: we don't have enough of them to handle a two-front war. We desperately need to at least double, if not triple, the infantry and armored components so as to start NOW on the necessary training so that we can win the inevitable ground war we're going to have to fight in China without using nukes. That's where I think Rummy is partly wrong: it's not a matter of the future of warfare being EITHER a low level war against terror with a max deployment of Iraqi size OR a conventional WWII-style european theatre slug-fest, but BOTH.

Generally, when April 15 rolled around, I typically complain about some of my taxes having to support welfare drones. Since 2002, I have CEASED to complain, considering that the fraction of my taxes supporting our military as sanctifying the whole, DESPITE the portion being spent on welfare drones.
Posted by: Ptah || 01/04/2006 13:46 Comments || Top||

#68  Moderators, I don't often say this, but this Cassini person is a deliberately obnoxious child who doesn't deserve the priviledge of posting here at Rantburg. He isn't clever enough to be a good chew toy, nor thoughtful enough (or at all) to earn Fred's bandwidth. He (girls don't take the same tone when they're being obnoxious) ought to be banned, and his comments sent to the sinktrap.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 13:47 Comments || Top||

#69  Eww Cassini!

You're so brave! You pathetic little twit. As for politics going in circles, the Democrats will come back in power when they prove they love this country more than they love bong water.

As Ronald Reagan (a Zell Miller Democrat) once said: "I did not leave the Democratic party. It left me"

Posted by: Frozen Al || 01/04/2006 13:47 Comments || Top||

#70  Talking about shooting political opponents harkens back to the days of Russia and the USSR, plus Nazi Germany, etc etc. I think that we have rolled around in the gutter enough in this thread.

I also heard an interview with Zell Miller that summer. There was a question on why he did not change political parties. He said that he was a Dem so long that he did not want to change, and that many of the Dems abandoned the ideals of the Party, or something like that. It must be difficult for persons of principle, like Miller and Lieberman, who have invested so much of their lives to the political process, to see what has happened to the moral compass of their party.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/04/2006 13:59 Comments || Top||

#71  trailing wife:

I come in here and i say exactly what i think.
i dont use profanity, I dont call people names
and pretty much most of the time I am quite civil. i try to stay on topic, ask questions
of interest and not get too personal.

The problem here is that it drives the repubs/con regulars here nuts to hear dissenting opinions or to find out that there are people out here in american that dont buy into their right wing propaganda and political positioning.
We are called DEMOCRATS.

I am a liberal democrat and the positions and opinions i take reflect that. I find it really
odd that so many in here are so offended at what i have to say regarding current political issues
because my are pretty much typical of what liberal democrats think.

My advice to you and others of your ilk is that is that if you dont like what i write, dont read or respond to it.

Fortunately you or your narrowminded ilk dont run this board. If Fred thought that I have done
or said something so bad to be banned then I guess he would have donen it by now. But he hasnt, so thats your problem not mine.

Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 14:08 Comments || Top||

#72  Exactly HOW MUCH$$$$ did the RNC PAY$$$
Sen. Miller for that speech at the convention?
I'm quite sure he got a nice stipend for it...

Why, you think a Democrat senator will do anything for money? I agree.

Posted by: BH || 01/04/2006 14:13 Comments || Top||

#73  Don't get Fred started. What you've already been through will look like a picnic if he decides to rip you to shreds.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 14:14 Comments || Top||

#74  tu:

I have had discussion with Fred before and he, you, or noboby in here has come close to ripping me to shreads...only in your imagination.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 14:18 Comments || Top||

#75  bh:

Jack Abramhoff has the same opinion about Republicans, who happen to be shaking in their boots at the thought of his guilty plea bargain agreement and his future cooperation with prosecutors.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 14:20 Comments || Top||

#76  Well, I have a vivid imagination.
Enjoy what's coming, Cassini. I will.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 14:22 Comments || Top||

#77  If any mods are reading this, I'd like to second trailing wife's suggestion to ban Cassini.

The fact that he spouts idiocy is one thing that is irritating but tolerable. It's his statement that a member of Congress that he disagrees with should be shot for supporting a candidate of a different political party. Check out post #12.

I may be wrong, but isn't that the kind of thing that gets the Secret Service all twitchy and nervous?

Keep it up, Cassini.....you won't have to worry about .com kicking your ass. More like some guys in dark suits who don't have a sense of humor about crap like that.

BTW, I'm a Democrat, and you don't speak for me or any of the Democrats I know. I know plenty who weren't pleased with Miller, but not a single one of them EVER advocated violence against him.

Posted by: Desert Blondie || 01/04/2006 14:25 Comments || Top||

#78  At least TROLL has a rich fantasy life.
It's all about you isn't it TROLL. Never discuss the actuall thread topic - just jump in and pitch a grande mal BDS espisode, and you wonder why you're looked on with such contempt? And BTW, yes - ripped to shreds, not to mention the odd dozen extra corn chutes you're sportin' right now. You better up your toilet paper expense.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 01/04/2006 14:27 Comments || Top||

#79  Cassini, you come here to poke the tigers with a stick. You do call names, you make blanket, unsupported and untrue statements, you call for people whose actions you dislike to be shot. You are childish and rude, and I'm quite certain your mother would disapprove of your behaviour, even if she agrees with your politics.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 14:30 Comments || Top||

#80  trailing wife, desert blone:

satire: the use of ridicule, sarcasm, irony etc.
to expose, attack or deride vices, follies etc.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 14:34 Comments || Top||

#81  TW:

Don't go there. Parentage may be a real issue.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 14:34 Comments || Top||

#82  All I am doing is making statements and taking positions that just about any liberal democrat would take.

Don't be absurd. The first thing a liberal democrat understands is that people shouldn't get executed for supporting a different party than theirs.

Your fingers should start actually learning to type in consistency with what you claim to believe. Until then you are just a hypocritical ass.

And this comes from someone who *does* believe that Bush's administration has spit on many of the fundamentals of democracy. But then again so do you.

I am a liberal democrat and the positions and opinions i take reflect that.

No, you are simply a knee-jerk supporter of the Democratic Party. Your arguments don't arise in defense of liberal democracy (in that case they'd be ideologically centered) but come rather in defense or condemnation of specific individuals. As such you are IDEOLOGICALLY IRRELEVANT, and are seen even by liberal-democratic, same-sex-marriage-supporting, torture-hating, Iraq-war-condemning, as the definition of a party stooge.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/04/2006 14:35 Comments || Top||

#83  #75 bh:

Jack Abramhoff has the same opinion about Republicans, who happen to be shaking in their boots at the thought of his guilty plea bargain agreement and his future cooperation with prosecutors.
Posted by: Cassini

This statement shows a level of political wishful thinking and naivity rarely seen around Rantburg.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/04/2006 14:36 Comments || Top||

#84  Oooh, the tag didn't take. Good on ya, Aris.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/04/2006 14:36 Comments || Top||

#85  Troll asked a question in #2.

I answered with exceptional substance in #6.

It has yet to address that or any other comment of substance.

Q.E.D. - It is a Troll.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 14:37 Comments || Top||

#86  Rex Mundi:

Go back and reread the thread. I asked a perfectly logical question in post#2.

.com responded with a speech by Zell Miller
at the rnc convention.

I responded that miller was entitled to his opinion but that i think he was a traitor to his party and should be punished just as traitors normally are.

then .com blew his cool, threatened me and just about every other repub/con regular in here just about lost their damn minds at my irreverent comment. thats their problem not mine.

rip me to shreds, you have got to be kidding.
all we have here is a difference of opinion no matter how strongly you express yourself.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 14:43 Comments || Top||

#87  Cassini, when even Aris jumps on the pile, you're done. Go home. Save yourself.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 14:45 Comments || Top||

#88  It's a baiting, windbag, information-free bore. Sink trap it.
Posted by: Darrell || 01/04/2006 14:47 Comments || Top||

#89  At #12, Cassini wants to have Zell Miller shot for changing political parties.

CASSINI, GET HELP ! Changing political parties is not a crime, not even considered bad taste. It's done every day, mostly by people who have an epiffany, a bullshit breakthrough, a rude awakening.
Posted by: wxjames || 01/04/2006 14:48 Comments || Top||

#90  Thanks, Aris. You put it better than I did.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 01/04/2006 14:53 Comments || Top||

#91  Not only are you deranged, you're a liar. The thread is there for all to see.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 14:54 Comments || Top||

#92  "information-free"

Lol, Darrell... I guessw that makes it DhimmiLite?
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 14:57 Comments || Top||

#93  Cassini, what you put down was closer to an incitement to violence than to Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal".

I'd have more respect for you if you would have just called it a "fatwa". But intellectual honesty was never your strong point, was it?

Don't even think of using satire as a defense in court, sunshine. It won't wash.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 01/04/2006 14:57 Comments || Top||

#94  because my [views] are pretty much typical of what liberal democrats think.

Sweet Jesus I hope not.
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/04/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||

#95  TROLL - Besoerker begins thread by addressing the article - which is / should be the subject of the thread. You jump in with comment #2 that has nothing to do with the article - just another one of your steaming piles. Got something substantive to say about an article? That would be refreshing. No? Then go pound sand.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 01/04/2006 15:02 Comments || Top||

#96  RM - You're right. Amend my #85 to read:

"It has yet to address that or any other comment of substance, much less the article topic."

And Where the hell are those Slate allies it promised?

I'm gettin' hungry. Bitch-slappin' always has this effect.

Mebbe Sgt Mom would consider no-bitch-slappin' to be a sort of passive diet, heh. No idiotarians = reduced slappin' = reduced post-slappin' cravings.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 15:09 Comments || Top||

#97  Rex Mundi is right. Let's lead by example: I found the "108 percent of the target" statistic to be rather encouraging. Ditto for the info on the ative-duty divisions.
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/04/2006 15:09 Comments || Top||

#98  DU talking points. Who here cares to listen once again to what liberal democrats think? Why respond to the same fever dreams and "known facts" yet again? Until he brings something new to the discussion, ignore the troll and he will go away.
Posted by: SR-71 || 01/04/2006 15:11 Comments || Top||

#99  .com, nah, it's more like his buddies would be on Salon than Slate. He's probably stupid enough to pay for a scrip to it, too, instead of getting the day pass while surfing another site. Wotta maroon!
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 01/04/2006 15:20 Comments || Top||

#100  Tora Bore
Posted by: Darrell || 01/04/2006 15:21 Comments || Top||

#101  What's even more encouraging is that the combat divisions are at 137% of reenlistment goals.
Posted by: ed || 01/04/2006 15:21 Comments || Top||

#102  #94 because my [views] are pretty much typical of what liberal democrats think.

Sweet Jesus I hope not.

Now you're starting to understand the extent of the problem.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/04/2006 15:22 Comments || Top||

#103  Rather than realize that he's in the vast left wing minority, and ponder why his position is so unpopular, the jerk picks a broad fight which further isolates him. I suppose that is a part of the democrat strategy, because they seem to repeat the tactic endlessly. It's a left wing tail spin. The only way out is to execute a Zell Miller move. I'm expecting Ed Koch to do one soon.
Posted by: wxjames || 01/04/2006 15:31 Comments || Top||

#104  At #12, Cassini wants to have Zell Miller shot for changing political parties.

CASSINI, GET HELP ! Changing political parties is not a crime, not even considered bad taste. It's done every day, mostly by people who have an epiffany, a bullshit breakthrough, a rude awakening.

Like someone said yesterday:

A Republican is a former Demi-donk who's been mugged!
Posted by: BA || 01/04/2006 15:32 Comments || Top||

#105  because my [views] are pretty much typical of what liberal democrats think.

That may be what the Democrats think, but there isn't that much liberal left about them any more. It's just another faction.
Posted by: Abspembleable Snowspemble || 01/04/2006 15:32 Comments || Top||

#106  Good retention figures. It helps to have a Commander-in-Chief that believes in them and that they in turn can believe in.
Posted by: eLarson || 01/04/2006 15:33 Comments || Top||

#107  Here's a big prediction: IF Hillary runs in '08, it'll be as an independent.
Posted by: Abspembleable Snowspemble || 01/04/2006 15:34 Comments || Top||

#108  It is absolutely hillarious that you repub/con
geniuses in here cant figure out that "ought to be shot" or "should be shot" is a "figure of speech" or slang.

hey .com

you still want a "showdown in sin city" where if i come up there i'll be a "statistic"

you sound just like George W. Bush: bin laden wanted dead or alive...

I'm scared...

oh my god. stop it...to damn funny..rotflmao
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 16:06 Comments || Top||

#109  Run along, child. We've grown tired of you...
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 16:08 Comments || Top||

#110  Sure, pussyboy! I haven't had a decent dustup in awhile - been about a year, now.

Up? You in fucking Mexico? Lol.

You couldn't cut it as Left Angle then trolled into a new nym. You're a treasure, awright.

C'mon "up" KKK. I'm here all the time, sonny.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 16:14 Comments || Top||

#111  I can't believe I read this whole mess.

How'bout them reenlistment rates? Some taking the oths in the field! That is wanting to get the job done! Now to the trolls, either contribute to getting the job done or get the #$%^ outta the way!
Posted by: TomAnon || 01/04/2006 16:23 Comments || Top||

#112  I can't believe I read this whole mess.

How'bout them reenlistment rates? Some taking the oaths in the field! That is commitment to success! That is wanting to get the job done! Now to those who say they support the troops, either contribute to getting the job done or get the #$%^ outta the way!
Posted by: TomAnon || 01/04/2006 16:25 Comments || Top||

#113  Wow. Rantburg gone wild. We now have regulars advocating violence against commenters. Fred, you're letting your site devolve into something ugly.

Cool it .com
Posted by: TT || 01/04/2006 16:26 Comments || Top||

#114  Holy crap! This is one long thread. I don't have all day to read it all and since Cassini/Left Angle is involved it isn't worth the time. Same 'ol blah, blah, blah. It's so old. Bash Bush. Bash repubs/cons. No solutions. Plenty of other good reads on the site tho.
Posted by: Intrinsicpilot || 01/04/2006 16:29 Comments || Top||

#115  TT:

Actually, I think Fred is rather enjoying this.
Its a great way to entertain yourself during the
workday. I was showing this thread to a couple of
my buddies here and we were all cracking up.
Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 16:36 Comments || Top||

#116  It is absolutely hillarious that you repub/con
geniuses in here cant figure out that "ought to be shot" or "should be shot" is a "figure of speech" or slang.

Kid, if you tell me that you’re selling apples, why should I assume you’re selling oranges? You said it, you defended saying it, now either apologize for advocating the murder of a United States Senator or stick by your statement.

Why shouldn’t I take you literally, anyhow? As I mentioned before, this is a board dedicated to the discussion of the war on terror. Either say what you mean or don’t say anything at all.
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/04/2006 16:40 Comments || Top||

#117  Cassini, there's a reason why Fred didn't make .com a moderator here. Keep that in mind.
Posted by: TT || 01/04/2006 16:44 Comments || Top||

#118  The article proves, once again, RC's Good News Law. And that's why Left Angle / Cassini worked so hard to hijack it. It is excellent news and a shock only to the Dhimmidonk trolls.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 16:45 Comments || Top||

#119  Anyone require British diplomacy?
Posted by: Howard UK || 01/04/2006 16:50 Comments || Top||

#120  "More than 4,000 soldiers from Outen's 3rd Infantry Division have re-enlisted in the past year, including 117 who raised their hands together at a mass ceremony north of Baghdad in April. The division, whose tanks led the U.S. invasion in 2003, was the first to serve two tours in Iraq."

Thank You! And God Bless Everyone of You!
Posted by: TomAnon || 01/04/2006 16:54 Comments || Top||

#121  God freeking damn him to hell and Ban this usless bandwidth stealling troll.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 01/04/2006 16:59 Comments || Top||

#122  Anyone require British diplomacy?

So long as you handle the situation like Vinnie Jones would.
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/04/2006 17:01 Comments || Top||

#123  Aye. Rip his ears orf.
Posted by: Howard UK || 01/04/2006 17:09 Comments || Top||

#124  "why Fred didn't make .com a moderator"

Lol - that's easy: Fred's one smart sumbitch, with undeniable raw unbridled kickass intelligence - as his commentary demonstrates so clearly. He also possesses patience and tolerance. I do not have those genes, though I had been good for quite a long time, before today.

S'okay. Unlike Left Angle / Cassini, I know my place. I've worked hard to keep my inner thug under control all my life. Kicking the shit out of fools is easy - especially since the troll presumes I'm like him, a cheesedick hand-wringer. My bad for joining the slapfest.

BTW, Howard, ears come off rather easily. Surprisingly so, once you know how, heh.

Apologies, Fred. Done here.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 17:23 Comments || Top||

#125  TT bite me. Cassini, the only "buddies " you showed it to were your girlfriends, left and right palms. What a waste of bandwidth. Cassini/LA/NMM trolls are easy to spot, given the first refutation by evidence, they slink to talking point 2....

Troll, seeing the stock .com had in his online store...I'd rethink a meeting in person. You were warned ;-)
Posted by: Frank G || 01/04/2006 20:54 Comments || Top||

#126  Damn - I use to see a 100+ post and automatically assume the one-who-will-not-be-named was posturing. We may have a new pretender to the throne.

Posted by: Doc8404 || 01/04/2006 21:00 Comments || Top||

#127  Cassini
WTF does any of your rant have anything to do with the topic at hand?
That being --- US Soldiers in Iraq are re-upping by the thousands..

You can't deal with that so you start a fricking fight over people like that drowner of a young girl from Martha's Vineyard.

Your attempt at subject deflection with putrid heros is really disgusting. Fits a low life troll like yourself.

Posted by: 3dc || 01/04/2006 23:47 Comments || Top||

#128  A lot of folks here get worked up by the verbal violence, but I tend to look at it differently. How does a blog ecosystem keep from turning into a zero information content swamp? How many here followed Fucked Company? Last time I looked at it, it was just a bunch of third rate trolls trolling one another for giggles. A web forum has to have defenses, and they can't all be code.
Posted by: 11A5S || 01/04/2006 23:56 Comments || Top||

#129  Sorry, I screwed up my tags.
Posted by: 11A5S || 01/04/2006 23:56 Comments || Top||

Falcons Brigade in talks with Jordanian government over hostage
Iraqi militants are negotiating with the Jordanian government about the fate of a hostage they threatened to kill unless Amman freed a failed woman suicide bomber, Al Arabiya television reported on Tuesday.

Al Arabiya said it had received a new video from the little-known group, the Falcons Brigade, in which the militants said they were holding talks with Jordan‘s government about embassy driver Mahmoud Saedat.

Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Joudeh confirmed extensive efforts were underway to secure Saedat‘s speedy release, but declined to identify the groups contacted or say whether there was any direct contact with the kidnappers.

"Contacts are on-going at all levels and there could be parallel to this some unofficial contacts at different levels, the details of which cannot be disclosed at this stage in order to ensure his safety," he told Reuters.

"The government is sparing no effort and leaving no stone unturned with all the relevant authorities in Iraq in order to ensure his release," Joudeh added.

The video was not aired by Al Arabiya, which said the militants had renewed their threat to kill Saedat and repeated their demand for Jordan to pull its diplomats out of Iraq.

Saedat was kidnapped in Baghdad late last month and Al Arabiya showed a video of him appealing to his government to quit Iraq and free Sajida al-Rishawi, who said on Jordanian television last month that she had tried to blow herself up alongside her husband in hotel attacks in Amman.

Al Arabiya had said the group set a three-day deadline for Rishawi‘s release.

Jordan had said it would not give in to the kidnappers‘ demands, but said it was sparing no effort to release Saedat.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I do hope they keep discussions going until the phone calls are traced back to reveal the Falcon Brigade's hiding place. At which point I sincerely hope Jordan locks them all up in an non-American style prison.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 13:17 Comments || Top||

Sharon suffers 'significant stroke,'
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a "significant" stroke with "massive bleeding" in his brain late Wednesday night, according to an official at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem and Sharon's authority has been transferred to Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Sharon was rushed to the hospital shortly before 11 P.M. Wednesday night after complaining of chest pains, less than three weeks after suffering a mild stroke and the day before he had been set to undergo a heart procedure. Sharon's personal physician said that he expected him "to emerge from [surgery] safely." Channel 10 quoted hospital sources as saying that while the bleeding in the prime minister's brain is extensive, it is not in the brain stem itself.

In a brief statement outside the Jerusalem hospital Wednesday night, Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef said Sharon had suffered "a significant stroke," adding that he was "under anesthetic and receiving breathing assistance." A few minutes later, Mor-Yosef emerged to say that initial tests showed Sharon had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding inside his brain. Addressing reporters in English, Mor-Yosef said Sharon had "massive bleeding and was being transferred to an operating theater." Channel 2 television said Sharon was suffering from paralysis in his lower body. Analysts on local television stations speculated that his life could be in danger.

According to one senior doctor, who based his diagnosis on the information released by Sharon's doctors, the prime minister's chances to return to full functioning are not high. The doctor said that in many similar cases, a cerebral hemorrhage means the patient's life is under significant threat.
There's a good chance he won't survive, and even if he does a good chance he's done as PM. Olmert has assumed his duties.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 20:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10805 views] Top|| File under:

#1  An Israeli blogger is liveblogging the bulletins off the local radio & TV stations. Click here.
Posted by: Mike || 01/04/2006 21:05 Comments || Top||

#2  My condolences to the people of Israel and Sharon's family. Sharon had the testicular fortitude to repay terrorists in kind without waiting for any approval process. I can only hope that Israel will find a similarly firm hand to steer them through these troubling times.
Posted by: Zenster || 01/04/2006 21:10 Comments || Top||

#3  can't add much to Zen's prayers - get well, Bulldozer
Posted by: Frank G || 01/04/2006 21:42 Comments || Top||

#4  Think of Sharon being as overweight as he is, age of 77, and the tremendous pressures of captaining the Israeli ship of state (which is in perpetual war status). It is amazing that he survived this long without a stroke. Regardless of how people feel about his approach and politics, it is without question that he has served his country at the expense of his personal life, where most people would retire by that age.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/04/2006 22:14 Comments || Top||

#5  God bless you, Arik.
Posted by: 11A5S || 01/04/2006 23:15 Comments || Top||

Sharon rushed to hospital - another stroke
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed to a hospital late Wednesday, his office said, after feeling unwell.

Israeli media reported that he apparently suffered another stroke. The announcement said he was taken to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, where he was scheduled to undergo a heart procedure on Thursday.

Israeli media and the Israeli rescue service said Sharon was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, not far from his ranch, where he was resting before the Thursday procedure.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 01/04/2006 15:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Single track mind today, but if the mullahs weren't already crapping themselves about Bush's conflab with the ex-secs, then they will be if it seems Likud will win the Israeli election.
Posted by: Jake-the-Peg || 01/04/2006 15:41 Comments || Top||

#2  In my heart of hearts I wish that this is a ploy and Sharon is off to his bunker before the Iran decapitation begins.
Posted by: Darrell || 01/04/2006 16:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Cerebral hemmorhage, doesn't sound good:

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a cerebral hemorrhage Wednesday and was receiving breathing assistance while under general anesthetic, a hospital official said. Power was transferred to his deputy.


Sharon, 77, suffered a "significant" stroke and was brought to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital from his ranch in the Negev desert, an official said. Channel 2 TV said Sharon was suffering from paralysis in his lower body and was taken into the hospital on a stretcher.

Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the hospital's director general, said Sharon was under general anesthetic and was receiving breathing assistance while doctors assessed his condition.

A few minutes later, Mor-Yosef emerged to say that initial tests showed Sharon had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding in his brain.

Addressing reporters in English, Mor-Yosef said Sharon had "massive bleeding and was being transferred to an operating theater."

Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon said Sharon's authority had been transferred to Vice Premier Ehud Olmert.

The latest health crisis came hours before Sharon was to undergo a procedure to seal a hole in his heart that contributed to a mild stroke on Dec. 18.

Posted by: Seafarious || 01/04/2006 17:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Uh oh.


Ahmedjihadi had better buy into asbestos, methinks.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 17:26 Comments || Top||

#5  dammit. I liked his politics.
Posted by: PlanetDan || 01/04/2006 17:34 Comments || Top||

#6  According to a Brit Hume interview with Dennis Ross, Ehoud Olmert (sp?) will take Sharon's spot if he doesn't pull through. According to Ross, they are of exactly the same mind, politically - so Ross says to expect no changes in policy from Olmert.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 20:37 Comments || Top||

#7  true .com, but elections are coming. Sharon, not Ohlmert was the figurehead and reason for voting for Kadima... Bibi won't let Israel be snookered or destroyed (alone heh heh), but I don't know that he has the ability to see any long view, nor the credibility of Sharon. I pray for the "bulldozer"
Posted by: Frank G || 01/04/2006 20:42 Comments || Top||

#8  Addressing reporters in English, Mor-Yosef said Sharon had "massive bleeding and was being transferred to an operating theater."

While this is very serious, I couldn't help but wonder if this "operating theater" comes with targetting screens and is underground. Look out MM's....we're comin to get ya!
Posted by: BA || 01/04/2006 21:05 Comments || Top||

Paleos smash Gaza-Egypt wall
A group of Palestinian fighters have seized bulldozers and smashed through the border wall between Gaza and Egypt, Aljazeera and agencies report quoting Palestinian security officials at the border. The fighters who stormed the border are said to be angry at the jailing of their leader by the Palestinian police.
When you're above the law, the law can just keep its fat mitts off you or suffer the consequences...
The men, from al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of the Fatah party, decided on Wednesday to attack the border wall hours after rampaging through Rafah, closing the border crossing and occupying four government buildings.
This is a condition known in the trade as "anarchy."
Soon afterwards, Egyptian security forces beefed up their presence at the site to prevent thousands of Palestinians who had gathered at the other side from crossing the border, Aljazeera reports. Witnesses said Egyptian security personnel fired into the air to force Palestinians back to the Palestinian side of Rafah.
I guess they haven't forgotten the Sudanese deaders yet. Give it another week...
The border drama began when about 50 al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades hard boyz cadres stormed the Rafah municipality headquarters and seized one of its bulldozers, Aljazeera's Gaza correspondent Wail al-Dahduh said.
Would that be the Rachel Corrie Memorial bulldozer?
One of the fighters then drove the bulldozer towards the wall separating the Egyptian and Palestinian sides of Rafah, while the rest of the fighters followed him, he said. The fighters then started ramming a section of this wall. Some of them were trying to smash other parts of the border wall, al-Dahduh reported.
They quickly discovered it works better when you have a bulldozer...
Another group of Brigades fighters closed the road leading to and from the Rafah terminal's outer gate, blocking traffic in the area. The fighters also planted explosives and placed mortar shells at the entrance of the crossing. Watching the operation was a large crowd of Palestinians, but Palestinian Authority security official personnel were conspicuous by their absence.
"Chief! Chief! There's a riot at Rafah Crossing!"
"Ummm... I got an appointment for a manicure..."
"Me, too!"
Hours earlier, Aljazeera's correspondent reported that gunnies fighters had blocked access to the Gaza-Egypt border and prevented travellers from reaching the crossing point. An estimated 40 masked snuffies fighters from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades also stormed the headquarters of the Palestinian legislative council and the electoral central committee in Rafah.
"Youse can't come in here! We're makin' laws!"
"What're those?"
"Kinda like sausage. I think."
Before that, the armed group stormed the headquarters of the Interior Ministry in the city in protest against the arrest of their colleague by Palestinian security forces on Tuesday over suspected involvement in the abduction of three Britons last week. On Tuesday, Palestinian intelligence arrested Alaa al-Hams on suspicion he and his followers kidnapped human-rights activist Kate Burton and her parents for two days last week.
"Stick 'em up, Alaa! We suspect you kidnapped the crazy Brit lady!"
"Piss off, coppers!"
"Are those her underwear?"
"No! They're mine!"
The Burtons were among 19 foreigners abducted by Fatah fighters in Gaza in recent months. All have been freed unharmed.
But the al-Aqsa Martyrs did look very fearsome and got some of them on film for their folks to admire...
On Wednesday morning, some of the armed men took over the central election office in Rafah, the local branch of the Palestinian parliament, a local court and another government building. A truckload of armed men then drove to the nearby Rafah border crossing, Gaza's main gate to the world. Having gun sex Firing in the air, they closed the entrance gate to the crossing compound and told waiting travellers to leave the area.
"Beat it, youse travellers! We're in charge here and you're not! 'Cuz we got guns!"
One of the fighters, who gave his name as Ahmed, said the group was demanding al-Hams' release.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 13:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It would be amusing if the Egyptians started building a wall on their side of the border.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/04/2006 14:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Just wait, its gonna be a wall or conquest and I'm not sure anyone wants to try to control the paleos.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/04/2006 14:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Update: Looks like Egypt's been invaded.

RAFAH, Gaza Strip - Hundreds of Palestinians crossed into Egypt on Wednesday after militants, angry at the jailing of their leader, stole two bulldozers and smashed through the wall separating Gaza and Egypt.
The militants rammed the wall hours after they blocked the official border crossing and took over government buildings.
As many as 300 Palestinians crossed into Egypt after the wall was smashed, an Egyptian security official said. Brig. Adel Fawzi, director of criminal investigation for North Sinai, said border police were unable to stop the intruders because they had no orders to shoot.

Got a feeling that'll be changing. They all love the Pali's... as long as the keep their asses in Palestine.
Thousands of Egyptian Interior Ministry troops headed to the border. An Egyptian armored vehicle was set on fire and at least three Palestinians were reported injured, one seriously when an Egyptian troop carrier crushed him against a wall, witnesses said.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 14:34 Comments || Top||

#4  Good think I stocked up on popcorn and beer!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/04/2006 14:58 Comments || Top||

You know, I'm startin' to think this whole situtation ain't all 'bout jobs and Joos.
Posted by: macofromoc || 01/04/2006 15:09 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Cassini || 01/04/2006 15:21 Comments || Top||

Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 15:26 Comments || Top||

#8  Until it was captured by Israel (in a war started by the Muslims), Gaza was "occupied" by Egypt, and everyone was happy with that situation. Muzzie Gazans are more Egyptian than "Palestinian". If anyone's going to take control of the situation, it should be Egypt. I like the idea of a Black September style operation. (That would be fellow Muzzies raining heavy artillery on the so-called "Palestinians", as Jordan did to the PLO way back when.)
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 01/04/2006 15:35 Comments || Top||

#9  Sorry, but I think you're lost, Cassini. You're being pummelled 4 threads down. No need to thank me...
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 15:36 Comments || Top||

#10  I forget who do we cheer for in this situation?
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 01/04/2006 16:12 Comments || Top||

#11  Mutual obliteration, CS? Heh. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 16:16 Comments || Top||

#12  More update:

RAFAH, Gaza Strip - Hundreds of angry Palestinians streamed into Egypt on Wednesday after militants with stolen bulldozers broke through a border wall, and two Egyptian troops were killed and 30 were wounded by gunfire in the rampage.
About 3,000 Egyptian Interior Ministry troops who initially had no orders to fire swarmed the border but were forced to withdraw about a half-mile, said security forces Lt. Sameh el-Antablyan, who announced the casualties.
Gen. Essam el-Sheikh said Egyptian forces later began firing back.

I'll have some of that popcorn...
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 16:22 Comments || Top||

#13  Given the spray n' pray style of the asshats, seems like someone needs to explain spacing to the Egyptians.

Is it buttered?
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 16:26 Comments || Top||

#14  I think Musolinicasinni should be limited to 1 thread only. Preferably on another site.
Posted by: Intrinsicpilot || 01/04/2006 16:35 Comments || Top||

#15  I'm a little lost on this one. The Palestinians arrest someone, and other Palestinians hurt Eqypt in retaliation? Is this a new Oliver Stone movie?
Posted by: plainslow || 01/04/2006 16:49 Comments || Top||

#16  The Gazans received a bad batch of compasses.
Posted by: ed || 01/04/2006 16:51 Comments || Top||

#17  Man if this wasn't so pathetic and serious I would be LMAO, what the hell I am anyway.

They think the joos are hard on them. Wait till the Egyptians unload on there sorry behinds.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 01/04/2006 17:14 Comments || Top||

#18  Hope the Mexicans weren't taking notes.
Posted by: Random thoughts || 01/04/2006 21:13 Comments || Top||

#19  All of these Arab morons deserve each other so richly that it's impossible not to smile like a skunk eating sh!t while reading this.
Posted by: Zenster || 01/04/2006 21:19 Comments || Top||

#20  So is someone going to be arrested for Grand Theft Bulldozer GTB?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/04/2006 22:29 Comments || Top||

St. Pancake's Folks Dang Near Kidnapped
Lots of stuff in the article, but EFL
In a separate but completely believable incident on Wednesday which further underscored the growing lawlessness in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian gunmen burst into a house in and tried to kidnap the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was killed in 2003 as she protested the impending demolition of a house in the southern Gaza town, according to their host.
growing lawlessness?
The five gunmen, who also appeared to be affiliated to the ruling Fatah movement, eventually relented after being told who their targets were, according to Samir Nasrallah, in whose house the couple was staying.

Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 as she tried to stop it from demolishing Nasrallah's arms cache house. Her parents, Craig and Cindy, have repeatedly visited Nasrallah since. They left Gaza safely after the incident, Nasrallah said.
Yes, but will they be back?
Easier to be a witness to the truth from a few thousand miles away.
Posted by: Penguin || 01/04/2006 10:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They should've talked to the crazy British chick first...
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 11:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Curses! Foiled!!!

And this was going to be so sweet.
Posted by: Ghost of Darwin || 01/04/2006 11:25 Comments || Top||

#3  And to add insult to injury...

RAFAH, Gaza Strip - Palestinian militants angry at the jailing of their leader stole two bulldozers Wednesday and smashed through the border wall between Gaza and Egypt.

Wonder if the mention of her name clicked on some lightbulbs in some Pali's little minds?
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/04/2006 11:27 Comments || Top||

#4  The parents were released after the kidnappers looked at this link.
Posted by: Seafarious || 01/04/2006 11:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Her parents, Craig and Cindy, have repeatedly visited Nasrallah since.

Some people just never learn, even after the loss of a child.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 11:55 Comments || Top||

#6  stupid paleos. can't even get THAT right.
Posted by: PlanetDan || 01/04/2006 12:10 Comments || Top||

#7  You can't write comedy like that. It would have been better if Mother Sheehan and Jesse "Hustler" Jackson were kidnapped along with them.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 01/04/2006 12:53 Comments || Top||

#8  If only they'd gone through with the kidnapping . . . it would've been a crushing blow to the ISF. Knocked 'em flat, it woulda.

(I know, that's sick . . . but somebody had to do it!)
Posted by: Mike || 01/04/2006 12:58 Comments || Top||

#9  The Pals should hand out get out of Kidnapping free t-shirts so the dump gunmen can know right away which targets are worth taking and which are not. Like the Corrie,s the Dolphin lady and the whiny kidnap victim from this week. They're just grabbing the worst of the lot.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/04/2006 13:35 Comments || Top||

#10  I still wonder about the whole nature-versus-nurture thing, and this family leaves me none the wiser.
Posted by: Grunter || 01/04/2006 13:47 Comments || Top||

#11  "St. Pancake" is one of the best names yet. :)
Posted by: mjslack || 01/04/2006 13:58 Comments || Top||

Posted by: 2b || 01/04/2006 15:06 Comments || Top||


Kinda make me feel sorry for ScrappleFace. How is is possible to compete with self-parodying buffoonery like the Dolphin Lady and this?

The funniest thing would be if the Paleos that hotwired the bulldozers to smash part of the wall between Egypt and Paleostine accidentally ran over St. Pancake's kidnapped parental units. But I'm not going to mention it because that would be mean-spirited, right?
Posted by: SteveS || 01/04/2006 15:36 Comments || Top||

#14  I like "Our Lady of the Bulldozer" as well.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 01/04/2006 17:07 Comments || Top||

#15  Caterpillar Corrie?
Posted by: Howard UK || 01/04/2006 17:11 Comments || Top||

#16  Not into womens attire, but I understand she looked flattened by a D9.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 17:14 Comments || Top||

#17  Dang!

Missed 'em by that much!

/off Maxwell Smarter than the paleos
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/04/2006 17:15 Comments || Top||

Al-Qaeda increasing focus on Israel
Israel's security establishment is closely monitoring the situation in southern Lebanon after a statement, issued by al-Qaida last week, claimed responsibility for the recent Katyusha rocket attacks on Kiryat Shmona and Shlomi, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday.

"In the past two years we have noticed that al-Qaida is focusing more and more on the Middle East and Israel," said Mofaz during a tour along the northern border. "We are prepared to deal with that reality," he added. According to security officials, Palestinian terror factions operating in southern Lebanon assist al-Qaida operatives.

The situation is far more complex today then it was when troops operated inside southern Lebanon before the pullout in 2000, Mofaz said, adding that, based on assessments, he expected the circumstances to become still more complicated in 2006.

After meeting with IDF soldiers, Mofaz visited the Kiryat Shmona family whose home suffered a direct hit from the Katyushas. Four rockets hit the city causing extensive damage to two homes, while one hit Shlomi, and four others fell in open areas nearby. At the time Hizbullah denied involvement and Israeli intelligence officials suspected that Ahmed Jabril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was responsible.

In response to the rocket attacks, the IAF launched a number of air strikes in southern Lebanon targeting PFLP terror bases.

Two days after the Katyusha attacks, al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility, issuing a statement on an Islamic Web site which read: "The lion sons of al-Qaida launched a new attack on the Jewish state by launching 10 missiles... from the Muslim lands in Lebanon on selected targets in the north of the Jewish state."

Another cause for concern relates to Hizbullah which appeared to be beefing up in preparation for further attacks said Mofaz.

The situation has become particularly noticeable since the November 21 attack on Ghajar, he said.

At the time Hizbullah gunmen attempted to abduct soldiers deployed in Ghajar and an IDF post on the north eastern sector of Mount Dov, under the cover of heavy barrages of mortar shells and gunfire, in what appeared to be a well coordinated large-scale attack.

Eleven soldiers and civilians were wounded, and at least four of the gunmen were killed.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A, now dated, Israeli joke.
Bin Laden and Arafat are talking on the phone.
OBL. Yesser, how come you're a darling of all the progressive humanity, whereas I have to live in a cave?
A. Well Usama, I only kill Jews.
Posted by: gromgoru || 01/04/2006 8:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Sharon must have the patience of an Oak, that's all I can figure. Sooner or later though he's going to put and end to all this bullshit. And when he does, you watch and see, he'll be the bad guy.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 01/04/2006 8:15 Comments || Top||

#3  I hope Sharons health is improving
Posted by: Jan || 01/04/2006 11:25 Comments || Top||

#4  So al-qaeda says they're targeting Israel. Israel says al-qaeda is targeting Israel. Why won't people believe them?
Posted by: PlanetDan || 01/04/2006 12:03 Comments || Top||

Reports of al-Qaeda cell in Samaria
According to information that has reached the security services, the international Islamist terror organization Al-Qaeda has established contact with Arabs from the Samaria region, under Palestinian Authority control. The local Arabs are reportedly working establish one or more Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist cell.

Security services are working feverishly to apprehend the local Arab terrorists likely to receive Al-Qaeda training and instructions regarding establishing the Samarian terror cell or cells. For Al-Qaeda, the establishment of a cell in Samaria makes it easier for terrorists to enter major Israeli population centers in order to attack. It was recently reported that Al-Qaeda has functioning terrorist cells in the Sinai peninsula and in Gaza.

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz confirmed that recent months saw a concerted effort by Al-Qaeda to establish bases in Israel. However, Mofaz noted, those efforts failed.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 02:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

Palestinian Police, Gunmen Have Gun Sex Shoot in Air
Palestinian police and gunmen shot in the air near the Gaza-Egypt border crossing Tuesday, security officials said, but denied intial reports of a firefight. Witnesses initially said gunmen tried to break into the Rafah crossing and exchanged fire with border guards. Hospital officials said a policeman was wounded, but security officials said he accidentally shot himself.
"Stop playing with that thing, Mahmoud! You'll put yer [KERBLAM!] eye out."
In recent days, masked gunmen have been manning an impromptu checkpoint on the road to the Rafah crossing and have said they would not let travelers with VIP documents pass. The gunmen said the checkpoint was protest, accusing Palestinian officials of refusing to let leaders of militant groups cross the border. Palestinian officials deny any such measures. The checkpoint is one of many signs of growing chaos in Gaza, as security forces find it increasingly difficult to impose order.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Growing chaos? Isn't that the natural Paleo condition?
Posted by: Mahou Sensei Negi-bozu || 01/04/2006 1:49 Comments || Top||

#2  So simply firing in the air will send the Paleos fleeing? Interesting.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 01/04/2006 8:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Nice graphic! Isn't that little scumbag holding up a Swedish K submachinegun?
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 8:09 Comments || Top||

#4  "Have Gun Sex"
do these guys name their AK47's "old Betsy" while getting familiar with them? Or maybe "Mahmood Miss"
Posted by: Jan || 01/04/2006 11:06 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Ex-Abu Sayyaf member arrested
An alleged former member of the notorious Philippine-based terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, who had just been convicted in the CNMI and is facing a deportation case, was arrested Friday night.

Detective Christopher Leon Guerrero served the arrest warrant on 48-year-old Roger Samortin Castillo in Garapan at 11:30pm.

Castillo, a Filipino farmer, was brought before Superior Court Associate Judge Juan T. Lizama for a bail hearing.

Lizama ordered that the bail shall remain at $1,000 for Castillo's temporary release.

The respondent informed the court that he is going to represent himself in court during the hearing to show cause why he should not be deported from the CNMI.

On Friday morning, the Attorney General's Office asked the public for assistance in locating Castillo.

Superior Court Associate Judge David A.Wiseman issued on Thursday an arrest warrant against Castillo after the Division of Immigration filed a deportation case against him.

Immigration Investigator Erwin Flores stated in court documents that Castillo entered the Commonwealth under a nonresident worker's permit status. The permit expired on March 5, 2005.

On Nov. 5, 2004, the government charged the farmer with assault and battery for beating his wife. The government later filed another information charging the defendant with disturbing the peace, assault, two counts of assault and battery, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and child abuse.

Following a plea agreement, Lizama sentenced the defendant to one year in jail, all suspended except for the time he had already served in prison from Oct. 29, 2004 to Dec. 28, 2005.

According to court papers, Castillo had been in the special forces of the Philippine military for three years and that he is also allegedly a former member of Abu Sayyaf.

In other court news, man who was arrested by members of the Department of Public Safety's elite Tactical Response Enforcement Team for allegedly breaking into Mar-Pac Co. in Gualo Rai on Friday early morning, was taken to court yesterday.

John Richard P. Guerrero, 29, was detained for burglary and theft, criminal mischief, and illegal possession of a controlled substance.

The court imposed a $100,000 cash bail for Guerrero's temporary release.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He probably joined the AFP under the Muslim integree program. But his being a farmer sounds like USAID paid his retirement in the arms to farms program. I only wish they could capture or kill someone more important than some retired seaweed farmer.
Posted by: 49 pan || 01/04/2006 8:00 Comments || Top||

Mindanao troops warned of attacks
Troops have been told to maintain high alert over the possible incursions of suspected local and foreign terrorists in big cities and large towns in Mindanao.

The order was made following minor blasts that rocked Cotabato recently, the military said on Monday.

The Southern Command (Southcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) admitted that the al- Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya groups remain big threats to the generally peaceful situation in Mindanao.

Maj. Gamal Hayudini, Southcom information officer, said the military does not discount the possibility of terrorism in the command’s area of responsibility, adding "the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya remain security risks in the South."

As the year 2006 ended, a couple of minor blasts happened in Cotabato City, including one that hit a passenger bus. However, no major injuries were reported.

"It was meant to scare people and not necessarily to physically harm anyone", the Southcom official said.

Task Force -Zamboanga (TF-Zambo) uniformed and non-uniformed personnel, including women, were deployed in downtown areas here to complement mobile and foot patrols and monitoring activities undertaken by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other peacekeeping units.

TF Zambo is assigned to go over the internal defense of this city.

The Southcom official said the main priority of military personnel in Mindanao is on the government’s anti-terror campaign.

Hayudini added that vigilance has been heightened to ensure that there is round-the-clock monitoring and surveillance of groups that may attack this city and other areas under Southcom.,

The military does not intend to give suspected terrorists half-a-chance to pursue their bloody activities, he stressed.

The Abu Sayyaf is still the main target of the Southcom in Sulu while some elements believed to belong to the regional Jemaah Islamiya terror network are being pursued by troops in the rest of Mindanao.

"Pursuit operations against the Abu Sayyaf is a continuing effort. We will see to it that the group will be crippled down to its last element. We intend to do this to prevent the gang from recruiting people and expanding its depleted membership," Hayudini explained.

"When left unattended, the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya will continue to sow terror, kill innocent civilians, and destroy government and civilian targets" Hayudini said.

Despite a strict security set-up, key cities and provinces in Mindanao have been previously bombed by the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaaah Islamiya for more than a decade now.

The police, military and public officials have appealed to the people to be vigilant and report suspicious behavior of strangers in their areas to enable authorities to neutralize terror gangs.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 02:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

2 village officials killed in southern Thailand
Suspected Muslim militants killed two village officials in Thailand's south, police said on Wednesday, the second anniversary of the start of an insurgency in which more than 1,000 people have been killed.

In the sort of incident now commonplace in the provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, a motorcycle gunman shot dead 51-year-old Maromae Masae, a Muslim deputy village chief, as he ate breakfast at a roadside tea-shop.

"The gunman posed as a customer, then shot the victim with an 11-mm pistol and got away on the motorcycle his friend was riding," a police officer told reporters at the scene in Sungai Padi, a Narathiwat village 1,200 km (700 miles) south of Bangkok.

On Tuesday evening, a gunman using an AK-47 automatic rifle shot dead village-headman Hama Masae, also 51. The gunman lay in wait outside the victim's house and then escaped on a motorbike, scattering spikes behind him to deter pursuit, police said.

In what was an independent Muslim sultanate until annexed 100 years ago, 80 percent of people in the far south are Muslim, ethnic Malay and do not speak Thai as a first language, presenting a major problem for mainly Buddhist security forces.

Since a Jan. 4, 2004, raid on a military camp marked the start of a new separatist uprising, Bangkok has flooded the region with 30,000 troops and police with martial law powers.

It has also tried more unconventional schemes, such as an origami air-drop of millions of paper birds, or free English soccer on cable TV -- although the military and softly-softly approaches have met similar degrees of failure.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya, who is responsible for day-to-day security in the south, said this week most of those responsible for the unrest had been caught and the government had "fixed 40 percent of the problem".

For once, analysts do not wholly disagree.

"The government has made some fairly significant strides in the last few months, particularly on the intelligence side," said Anthony Davis of Jane's Intelligence Review. "They've got a much clearer picture of what's going on."

Of particular note, Davis said, was a big drop in the number of roadside bombs triggered by mobile phone in November after the government switched off the signal of pre-paid phone users who had not registered their numbers.

That said, there is also a risk that leaders of a weakening and hemmed-in insurgency might turn for help to international Islamic militant networks, such as Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda -- a move they so far appear to have been loathe to do.

"Part-and-parcel of being pushed onto the defensive could be a willingness to countenance approaches from outside -- and that would put a whole new complexion on their capabilities," Davis said.

Rights group Amnesty International used the anniversary to accuse Bangkok of having "blacklists" of young Muslim men as well as "arbitrary detention, torture and excessive lethal force" in suppressing the insurgency.

In one of the darkest moments of the past two years, 78 Muslim men died in military custody in October 2004 after hundreds were rounded up and "stacked like bricks", according to one survivor, in army trucks after a protest.

"Clearly the Thai government is facing a great challenge in dealing with the violence, but it has responsibilities towards its citizens and needs to ensure justice is done," Amnesty said in a statement.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 02:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Rights group Amnesty International used the anniversary to accuse Bangkok of having "blacklists" of young Muslim men as well as "arbitrary detention, torture and excessive lethal force" in suppressing the insurgency.

In one of the darkest moments of the past two years, 78 Muslim men died in military custody in October 2004 after hundreds were rounded up and "stacked like bricks", according to one survivor, in army trucks after a protest."

Sure, what's a thousand peaceful Buddhists murdered in cold blood compared to a blacklist (the horror!) and 78 dead Muzzie agitators? Effin' hypocrits.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 01/04/2006 3:33 Comments || Top||

#2  "Suspected Muslim militants killed two village officials in Thailand's south, police said on Wednesday, the second anniversary of the start of an insurgency in which more than 1,000 people have been killed."

Suspected Muslim militants? Why I had my bet on Norwegian assassins!
Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 01/04/2006 12:31 Comments || Top||

#3  SM totally agree, fuck amnesty International, what about the inocent buddhists who have been beheaded or shot.
Posted by: Shistos Shistadogaloo UK || 01/04/2006 16:19 Comments || Top||

Man questioned over market bombing
Police in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province say a bomb that killed seven people and injured 54 in a pork butchery on New Year's Eve was made from a mortar round and ball bearings. They are still questioning a 37-year-old man arrested on the day of the bombing. He had reportedly been seen near the scene of the bombing the previous evening. Police say they do not need to lay charges under Indonesia's counter-terrorism laws until Saturday. They say forensic tests reveal the bomb was made from a mortar round packed into a metal container, along with the ball bearings that caused the injuries to the victims, most of whom were Christians. Police have earlier described the device as a homemade nail bomb.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

DEBKA: Syrian Intel Chief Ali Duba Defects to UK
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 04:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pretty vauge on details. More?
Posted by: Mahou Sensei Negi-bozu || 01/04/2006 5:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Nothing in the UK press as yet...
Posted by: Howard UK || 01/04/2006 5:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Rats, sinking ship?
Posted by: gromgoru || 01/04/2006 7:54 Comments || Top||

#4  rats, exploding ships
Posted by: Frank G || 01/04/2006 9:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Rats, ships with red laser dots on 'em ...
Posted by: Steve White || 01/04/2006 10:06 Comments || Top||

#6  Got advanced notice of soon-to-be-launched Predator Hellfire missile with his name on it.
Posted by: The Happy Fliegerabwehrkanonen || 01/04/2006 12:26 Comments || Top||

#7  Syrian exception to the DEBKA-grain-of-salt rule?
Posted by: Mitch H. || 01/04/2006 13:13 Comments || Top||

#8  Especially with DEBKA, the 48-hour rule holds. Antoher possibility is that this announcement-via-DEBKA may be a nudge to get an indecisive gentleman moving.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 13:53 Comments || Top||

#9  Confusion to the enemy! It's DEBKA file!
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/04/2006 15:20 Comments || Top||

Iran actively seeking to assemble nuclear missile
The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programmes.

Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with "import requests and acquisitions ... registered almost daily", the report seen by the Guardian concludes.

The warning came as Iran raised the stakes in its dispute with the United States and the European Union yesterday by notifying the International Atomic Energy Authority that it intended to resume nuclear fuel research next week. Tehran has refused to rule out a return to attempts at uranium enrichment, the key to the development of a nuclear weapon.

The 55-page intelligence assessment, dated July 1 2005, draws upon material gathered by British, French, German and Belgian agencies, and has been used to brief European government ministers and to warn leading industrialists of the need for vigilance when exporting equipment or expertise to so-called rogue states.

It concludes that Syria and Pakistan have also been buying technology and chemicals needed to develop rocket programmes and to enrich uranium. It outlines the role played by Russia in the escalating Middle East arms build-up, and examines the part that dozens of Chinese front companies have played in North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

But it is the detailed assessment of Iran's nuclear purchasing programme that will most most alarm western leaders, who have long refused to believe Tehran's insistence that it is not interested in developing nuclear weapons and is trying only to develop nuclear power for electricity. Governments in the west and elsewhere have also been dismayed by recent pronouncements from the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has said that Holocaust denial is a "scientific debate" and that Israel should be "wiped off the map".

The leak of the intelligence report may signal a growing frustration at Iran's refusal to bow to western demands that it abandon its programme to produce fuel for a Russian-built nuclear reactor due to come on stream this year.

The assessment declares that Iran has developed an extensive web of front companies, official bodies, academic institutes and middlemen dedicated to obtaining - in western Europe and in the former Soviet Union - the expertise, training, and equipment for nuclear programmes, missile development, and biological and chemical weapons arsenals.

"In addition to sensitive goods, Iran continues intensively to seek the technology and know-how for military applications of all kinds," it says.

The document lists scores of Iranian companies and institutions involved in the arms race. It also details Tehran's growing determination to perfect a ballistic missile capable of delivering warheads far beyond its borders.

It notes that Iran harbours ambitions of developing a space programme, but is currently concentrating on upgrading and extending the range of its Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of 750 miles - capable of reaching Israel.

Iranian scientists are said to be building wind tunnels to assist in missile design, developing navigation technology, and acquiring metering and calibration technology, motion simulators and x-ray machines designed to examine rocket parts. The next generation of the Shahab ("shooting star" in Persian) should be capable of reaching Austria and Italy.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Shouldn't that headline be "Iran Actively Seeking To Receive Nuclear Missile(s)"?

I recommend 20 megatons over Tehran, Qom, Isfahan, and (of course) Bushehr. And then announce that Mecca's next, if anyone pisses us off.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 01/04/2006 3:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Will say again that the WOT for America's enemies is, amongst other precepts, about saving Socialism and forcing the same on America - it thusly does matter to America's enemies or the Failed/Angry Lefties how many nukes Iran or the Norkies, etc. indigen develop, OR EVEN IFF THEY ACTUALLY HAVE NUKES. THE PERFECTISTAS, AMERICANISTAS, FEDERALISTAS AND HILLARISTAS, ETAL. AND ALIGNED COMMPITALISTS [COMMUNIST CAPITALISTS], BESIDES RADICAL ISLAM = ISLAMIC BOLSHEVIKS/MARXISTS, WILL BLAME DUBYA AND AMERICA ANYHOO!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/04/2006 3:56 Comments || Top||

#3  I want to take strong issue with part of the article, in particular the part referring to French, German, and Belgian intelligence. Unless someone here has evidence of French, German, or Belgian intelligence, it's best to assume it does not exist.
Posted by: Curt Simon || 01/04/2006 8:15 Comments || Top||

#4  I don't know about the americanistas or commpitalists, but the perfectistas is dead on, JM!
Posted by: Ptah || 01/04/2006 10:19 Comments || Top||

#5  My goodness, even the Guardian has noticed!
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 13:54 Comments || Top||

CIA inadvertently gave Iran formula for a nuke
The CIA may have handed Iran the formula for building a nuclear bomb in a clumsy covert operation involving a double-crossing Russian agent, a new book charges.

The blueprint that was funneled to Tehran contained an error that was meant to derail the Islamic state's efforts at building a nuclear arsenal.

But the built-in flaw was so transparent the Russian engineer doing the CIA's dirty work spotted it immediately - and even offered to help Iran fix it.

The stunning account is one of the revelations in the new book "State of War," which details how the CIA repeatedly bungled its dealings with Iran.

The nuclear snafu happened in February 2000 when the CIA enlisted the Russian defector to supply misinformation to Iran as part of a program code-named Merlin.

He was given plans for a "firing set" for a Russian-designed bomb - the trigger for a chain reaction that Iran needed to build its own nukes.

As ordered, he got the documents to a high-ranking Iranian official visiting Tehran's mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

But in a renegade act, he included a letter red-flagging the flaw in the instructions and offering to help Iran overcome it - for a price, the book says.

Author James Risen called the escapade "one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA, one that may have helped put nuclear weapons in the hands of a charter member of what President George W. Bush called `the axis of evil.'"

Risen, who exposed the Bush administration's controversial domestic eavesdropping program, also chronicles how a simple mistake destroyed the agency's network in Iran.

In 2004, an officer accidentally sent a computerized message to an Iranian agent that revealed the identities of virtually every spy inside the country.

The Iranian who got the message was a double agent and turned over the information to security officials in Tehran, and many of the CIA operatives were arrested and jailed.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Author James Risen, already identified as the asshole who is peddling the faux-controversial domestic eavesdropping pseudo-scandal, is peddling a new book - and, of course, we are the bad guys.

Observation 1: If Tenet's CIA was this clumsy, and the story is as simplistic as Risen claims, then Tenet and everyone involved at management level should be shot.

Observation 2: I would wager a sizable amount that, if ANY of this is true, then there were multiple flaws. Think about it. What better way to generate confidence in the messenger than to put in a simple flaw, have him tell them and demand money to help them fix it? Greed would be something they could understand and trust. So he establishes his bona-fides both as technically credible, when the flaw is passed along for confirmation to the Khan network or other source, and as no friend of the US for demanding a bribe to help them - against the US. Instant street cred with the MMs. And the deep, subtle and complex flaw, is still there.

The odor of bullshit is overwhelming in these exposé books...

Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 3:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Someone please tell me again why the CIA shouldn't be subject to a top-to-bottom purge?
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 01/04/2006 3:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Someone from the FBI ought to have a chat with "Mr Risen." Every email he sends or recieves, every bit of mail and all his converstions should be monitored in the national interest. He shouldn't be able to take a dump without the man knowing how much it weighed etc.
Posted by: Mahou Sensei Negi-bozu || 01/04/2006 3:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Or just kill him as a National Security risk. I'd be down wid dat. Let his fucking widow get his royalty checks. I think there'd be a message in there somewhere for others.

I kinda favor hunter / killer teams, y'know.

Spielberg's angst and idiocy in Munich (At least one of the people he characterized as having heart-rending guilt says, "What? Not true!"), notwithstanding. Put the Big S on the list, in fact... right after the other Big S, Stone.
Posted by: .com || 01/04/2006 3:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Might as well - Clinton already gave them US cruise missle and Stealth during the Yugoslav-Bosnian crisez.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 01/04/2006 4:01 Comments || Top||

#6  CIA inadvertently gave Iran formula for a nuke

..and in further developements TRACY CONNOR'S uncle may have inadvertently been the father of her first born.
pic here:

Posted by: Shoboater Angelton6948 || 01/04/2006 4:06 Comments || Top||

#7  Another Clinton f*ck-up. If this is true, the whole agency should be bulldozed. We'd be better off with no agency that with these bungling idiots.
Posted by: Spot || 01/04/2006 8:28 Comments || Top||

#8  Risen a NY Times reporter and is the fellow who wrote or co-authored "Wrath of Angels," Here is an excerpt where he talks about what we would refer to as the silent majority speaking out against Roe vs Wade: A new, religion-based social protest movement was born, one that drew Protestant Evangelicals out of their churches and to the barricades. These activists set out to transform the law, but in the process they transformed themselves, transformed their theological beliefs, and ended generations of isolation. You can make your decisions about this guy and his publications.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 8:28 Comments || Top||

#9  This is just b*%sh*t.
Posted by: 49 pan || 01/04/2006 8:39 Comments || Top||

#10  "But in a renegade act, he included a letter red-flagging the flaw in the instructions and offering to help Iran overcome it - for a price, the book says"
If true, why isn't this Russian defector punished, or has he been already?

"Risen, who exposed the Bush administration's controversial domestic eavesdropping program.."
and why isn't he being punished as well for this?

Just boggles...
Posted by: Jan || 01/04/2006 10:54 Comments || Top||

#11  Considering the source... this guy should be shot.

This sounds like a triple cross, as if someone inside the CIA was pretending to be double-crossing the Russians and gave them the majority of the docs that had "flaws in them" - Then for an additional amount in someone's swiss bank account - they were given, the fix.

If not BS, which who knows, considering the source, it sounds like another example where forces inside the CIA sold us out. They didn't see the collapse of the Soviet Union, they didn't see Global Jihad spreading world wide. They leaked Iran Contra and everything else. Maybe there is an entrenched group inside the CIA that is completely corrupt. Just a thought.
Posted by: 2b || 01/04/2006 11:27 Comments || Top||

#12  Well you see the CIA really purposefully gave then the blueprint so Bushhitler would have an accuse to invade.

/moonbat :)
Posted by: djohn66 || 01/04/2006 13:17 Comments || Top||

#13  This is reminiscent of another classic reverse-misinformation operation America carried out in the late 1980s.

While much of the space shuttle's blueprints are available through the GCA (NASA is a civilian agency), some key packages are most definitely not. Avionics, propulsion, re-entry flight control and thrusters were not in the public domain.

During that time frame, the Soviets were in town buying up all of the GCA's shuttle plans they could get their hands on. It was also common knowledge that they were seeking the classified document sets as well. Word has it that they obtained all of these and trundled back home to begin their own shuttle program.

One look at Buran, the Soviet shuttle, shows how much in common it has with the Soviet's SST program. Both were blatant knock-offs of western designs, with one difference. Beltway scuttlebutt has it that shuttle plans bought by the Soviets contained some crucial differences. Wing dihedral angles, thermal conductivity quotients and other niggling little details had been subtlely altered in ways that only extensive analysis and testing could reveal.

Not having the budget or expertise to completely review these highly complex data, the Soviets went ahead with a 2/3 scale copy of America's shuttle design and the rest is history. It warms the cockles of my heart to think of how many bazillion rubles were dumped into this little unflyable black hole.

Final Point: If we were able to pull this one off, and the distinct lack of an operational Russian shuttle program certainly bespeaks this, then just how hard should it have been to leak a completely persuasive, yet totally non-operational set of nuclear weapon plans to Iran?

Leaking an atomic bomb plan set with only one glaring alteration would be grounds for charges of treason. I doubt if anyone was that incredibly stupid. My bu||shit detector is pegging, too.
Posted by: Zenster || 01/04/2006 13:34 Comments || Top||

#14  Why would Iran need to purchase American nuclear bomb plans when they could get them risk-free for Pakistan's Dr. Khan, like everybody else? I seem to recall that the plans Libya got from Dr. Khan were still untranslated from the Chinese... The writer is flogging his quarter-baked conspiracy theories to the gullible.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/04/2006 13:59 Comments || Top||

#15  My understanding is that the plans the Pakis got from China/NKor were detailed to the point of specifying the torque settings for nuts and bolts on the device. Get those numbers subtily wrong, and things go very wrong very quickly.

Zenster's comment reminds me of another such operation: the Soviets also stole the source codes for a computer program to automatically control the thousands of valves on oil and gas pipelines. However, the copies they got were also subtily altered so as to semi-randomly bollix things up. Not hard to do: change a few constants by 5 to 10% in non-conservative directions, and you'll yield a class of bugs that have caused stadiums and airport terminals to collapse, and space probes to wander off into the void.

The report *I* saw said this, but DID back up their assertions by noting the very public explosions that seemed to occur with great frequency in the Soviet Union, including one rather spectacular one in Siberia that bid fair to rival the Halifax explosion of a FRENCH (who else?) munitions ship. (People miles away from the harbor were blinded when the blast shattered the windows out of which they were looking and drove splinters into their eyes. The people of Halifax are still thankful to the Americans for taking the victims in and restoring sight to many of them)
Posted by: Ptah || 01/04/2006 14:01 Comments || Top||

#16  Cool posts Zenster and Ptah! I really enjoy reading about things like that.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 01/04/2006 15:05 Comments || Top||

#17  great thread.
Posted by: 2b || 01/04/2006 15:10 Comments || Top||

#18  Here's a link on the pipeline software story.

The CIA seems to have had a bit of a comeback under Casey.

Risen sets my BS detector off too.
Posted by: JAB || 01/04/2006 16:27 Comments || Top||

#19  Risen is a fuckwick. Let's suppose that the CIA gave the Iranian Moolahs all the nuke "secrets" it could stick in their wacked out minds. What the hell does that mean? Nothing.

It's not the gun (or nuke "secrets") as much as the intended use and motivation that is at issue.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/04/2006 16:55 Comments || Top||

CIA compromised its own spy network in Iran
Several U.S. agents in Iran were rounded up after the CIA mistakenly revealed clues to their identities to a covert source who turned out to be a double agent, according to a book that hit shelves Tuesday

In "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," author James Risen of The New York Times called the mistake an "espionage disaster."

But while confirming the mistake, knowledgeable current and former officials told CNN that the allegations that agents were lost as a result are not true.

Former intelligence officials told CNN that a thorough "scrub" -- a damage assessment done in late summer 2005 -- found "no evidence" that any U.S. spies in Iran had been taken in as a result of the mistake, and knowledgeable sources said that remains true today.

The message to the double agent in Iran was sent in a high-speed encrypted transmission from the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, former officials said. It did not include names or identities of the other agents, but it did contain information that could help Iranian counterintelligence agents identify them.

CIA Director of Public Affairs Jennifer Millerwise Dyke issued this statement Tuesday about Risen's book:

"Readers deserve to know that every chapter of 'State of War' contains serious inaccuracies. The author's reliance on anonymous sources begs the reader to trust that these are knowledgeable people. As this book demonstrates, anonymous sources are often unreliable.

"It is most alarming that the author discloses information that he believes to be ongoing intelligence operations, including actions as critical as stopping dangerous nations from acquiring nuclear weapons. Setting aside whether what he wrote is accurate or inaccurate, it demonstrates an unfathomable and sad disregard for U.S. national security and those who take life-threatening risks to ensure it."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/04/2006 03:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thats right Warren, it's all washed up. Clandestine collection in the ME is finished, maybe take us 25-30 years to rebuild.... when we get around to starting.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/04/2006 9:24 Comments || Top||

#2  It seems that the KGB style of disinformation is not dead.
Posted by: Ulotle Wholuse7269 || 01/04/2006 11:13 Comments || Top||

#3  Clandestine activities in the ME are probably as good as they have ever been as a result of OIF. Lots of Shia, Kurds, a few Sunni, and Jordanians to help that effort.

Now what happens to that information when it gets back to NYT World Headquarters Langley may be another matter.
Posted by: john || 01/04/2006 11:20 Comments || Top||

Syria gets al-Assad interview request
Syria has confirmed it has received a UN commission's request to interview Bashar al-Assad, the president, and his foreign minister.
"Yeah. We got it. What about it?"
The Syrian official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation, said on Tuesday the Foreign Ministry had received the request, which also asked to talk to Farouk al-Sharaa, the foreign minister, on Sunday. The official would not say how Damascus planned to respond.
Lemme guess: They're gonna say 'no.'
Nasra Hassan, spokeswoman for the UN investigation, announced on Monday that the commission had asked a second time to question al-Assad, as well as al-Sharaa, after Abdul-Halim Khaddam's TV interview last week in which he alleged that al-Assad had threatened Rafiq al-Hariri several months before his assassination. Damaging revelations by Khaddam, a former vice-president, has further deepened suspicions of Syrian involvement in al-Hariri's killing, a charge that Syria denies.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
The commission asked to interview al-Assad in July last year but was refused. But Ahmad Hajj Ali, an analyst and member of Syria's ruling Baath party, said al-Assad could not be interviewed by the probe. "That's impossible because it would be an attack on [Syrian] sovereignty," said Hajj Ali. "Firstly because there is no judicial pretext permitting an interview between the president and the commission and also because it would lead to a politicisation of the enquiry," he said.
Toldja so.
Posted by: Fred || 01/04/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Assad is going down fast the rats are bailing ship
DEBKAfile reveals: Retired General Ali Duba, known as father of Syrian intelligence and loyal aide of Presidents Assad father and son has fled to London from Damascus
January 3, 2006, 10:04 PM (GMT+02:00)
This defection follows the blunt charges leveled against Bashar Assad by former Syrian vice president Khalam Haddam last Friday, and the UN inquiry commission’s demand that the Syrian president make himself available for questioning in the Hariri assassination.

Old baby Assad must be thinking real hard on were the hell in the world will take him in, short Iran who's time is a comin. I wonder if he is going to cut a deal for his own skin or if he is going to try to hang on for the coup.

I dont know how this is going to play out but one thing is for sure I got one of those econo packs of popcorn just for this.
Posted by: C-Low || 01/04/2006 0:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe he'll go to Qom and we'll get a twofer.
Posted by: Paul Tibbets || 01/04/2006 12:57 Comments || Top||

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