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IAEA cameras taken off Iran N-sites
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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New Afghan Army 1/2 way to final size
Pictures from opening day at the new National Military Academy of Afghanistan are online here
Posted by: lotp || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Heart-melting photos (shaved heads!). And very interesting comments in the thread, from the head of "East Point" to a couple of non-Pashtun Afghans who are exceedingly skeptical. Thanks, lotp.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 9:22 Comments || Top||

#2  "Your army is almost 250 years old. Maybe you had those problems in your country's history too."

Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/12/2006 9:39 Comments || Top||

#3  With all the hand wringing going on in the UK over the deployment of troops to two fronts, rest assured, Afgan people are strong and proud.

They will be providing for their own security within the next two years, IMHO.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/12/2006 16:15 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Kenya coppers thwart planned Cairo attack
Kenyan police have thwarted a terrorist attack targeting Egypt after arresting members of an international terror gang. The gang was planning to hit the capital city of Egypt, Cairo, on Friday but their plans were thwarted when Kenyan detectives raided their planning bases in the country and arrested five men. The police raid was part of an international effort involving Kenyan, South African and Egyptian police as well as the International Police Organisation, Interpol.

The terror suspects, most of them below 27 years, were arrested in Nairobi and Wajir town on Friday afternoon and yesterday following intelligence gathered by detectives from the three countries. Kenyan detectives arrested some of the suspects in the city while others were apprehended in Wajir. It is believed that they were planning a terror attack in Cairo to coincide with the Africa Cup of Nations finals. According to a source close to the investigations, detectives in Pretoria, South Africa, tipped off their Kenyan and Egyptian counterparts who started monitoring the groups in their respective countries. The Kenyan suspects were in constant telephone communication with their Egyptian and South African accomplices in planning the attack and were scheduled to execute the mission minutes before they were arrested. Police were monitoring telephone conversations made by the terrorists between the three countries as they planned the attack before conducting simultaneous operations to apprehend them. But one of the ringleaders is believed to be still at large.

A police helicopter was yesterday morning dispatched to Wajir to fly one of the suspects, a young man in his mid-20s, dressed in a maroon robe, to Nairobi. He was driven to Wajir airstrip which is located in a military camp from where he was flown to the city. The suspect was whisked away under tight security to the CID headquarters where he was interrogated before being taken to an undisclosed police station. His accomplices, some arrested on Friday and others yesterday, are being held in different police stations around the city and its environs as investigations into their activities continue. Kenyan police remained officially tight-lipped on the arrest of members of the international terror gang. The detectives are yet to establish whether those arrested are members of the Al-Qaeda network.

International anti-terrorist experts believe the network has cells and training camps in neighbouring Somalia. Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali is on record as having promised relentless efforts by his officers to fight crime in all its manifestations, including terrorism. In December, Administration Police officers seized a rocket launcher and four rocket propellers and arrested a suspected terrorist in Wajir's Biamadhow area.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 01:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6484 views] Top|| File under:

Africa North
US, French, Moroccans building new detention facility in Ain Aouda
THE United States is helping Morocco to build a new interrogation and detention facility for Al-Qaeda suspects near its capital, Rabat, according to western intelligence sources. The sources confirmed last week that building was under way at Ain Aouda, above a wooded gorge south of Rabat’s diplomatic district. Locals said they had often seen American vehicles with diplomatic plates in the area. The construction of the new compound, run by the Direction de la Securité du Territoire (DST), the Moroccan secret police, adds to a substantial body of evidence that Morocco is one of America’s principal partners in the secret “rendition” programme in which the CIA flies prisoners to third countries for interrogation.
Good truncheons. Nobody does fine Moroccan leather like real Moroccans...
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the rest of the usual suspects other groups critical of the policy have compiled dossiers detailing the detention and apparent torture of radical Islamists at the DST’s current headquarters, at Temara, near Rabat.

A recent inquiry into rendition by the Council of Europe, led by Dick Marty, the Swiss MP, highlighted a pattern of flights between Washington, Guantanamo Bay and Rabat’s military airport at Sale. French intelligence and diplomatic sources said the most recent such flight was in the first week in December, when four suspects were seen being led blindfolded and handcuffed from a Boeing 737 at Sale and transferred into a fleet of American vehicles.

Morocco’s membership of a so-called “coalition of the willing” has led to tension within the kingdom, where Mohammed VI, 42, is trying to suppress a wave of Islamic fundamentalism, most powerfully expressed in the Casablanca bombings of May 2003, in which 12 suicide bombers — all of them Moroccan — killed more than 40 people. More than 3,000 suspected radical Islamists have been arrested since, but some of the country’s higher-profile Al-Qaeda sympathisers have been released, including Abdallah Tabarak, a former bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6507 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ooooh! Evil Americans in sight. Quick -- don't turn around, they might see you!!!

Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 9:41 Comments || Top||

#2  This is a pleasant and pragmatic development. Moats with hungry crocs surrounding each cell would be useful.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/12/2006 16:18 Comments || Top||

Yemeni security officials complicit in al-Qaeda escape
The U.S. intelligence community has determined that an Al Qaida jail break from Yemen was conducted with the cooperation of security officials.
No! Reeeeeeeally? But tell me there weren't any holy men involved...
Officials said the ease with which 23 Al Qaida inmates -- including the architects of attacks on two Western ships -- escaped suggested that they were helped by senior prison or other law enforcement officials. They said Yemeni security forces, despite significant U.S. and Western support, remained riddled with Al Qaida sympathizers.
Might we suggest a nice blood purge? Maybe even a Yezhovshchina?
"I find the developments in Yemen not only deeply disappointing, but of enormous concern to us, especially given the capabilities and the expertise of the people who were there," Frances Townsend, President George Bush's assistant on homeland security and counterterrorism, said on Thursday. At the same time, Yemen determined that security officials were responsible for the Al Qaida jail break. The Defense Ministry weekly, entitled "September 26," said several officials would be prosecuted on charges of negligence.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6549 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Surprise meter...
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/12/2006 4:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Gee, could this be just like the last time these bastards escaped?
Posted by: Captain America || 02/12/2006 16:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Wow. Should that make me worry that Arab counterparts are buying rights to New York ports, bother me?
Posted by: plainslow || 02/12/2006 22:51 Comments || Top||

#4  Perfect image for this story.

First, the "Dialog" program is shown to be a sham.

Then, the "security" services are shown to be involved in jihad.

Neither is shocking.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/12/2006 23:00 Comments || Top||

Was al-Qaeda's Yemen escape an inside job?
Say it ain't so, Joe!
Hollywood loves to remake classic movies, and sooner or later it's sure to get around to "The Great Escape," the 1963 thriller based on a real tunnel breakout from a Nazi prison camp during World War II. But this time Al Qaeda's propaganda machine may get the jump on Tinseltown. Earlier this month, in an astonishing tale of life imitating art—albeit with good guys and bad reversing roles—a group of 23 suspected terrorists dug their way to freedom from a basement compound beneath the Political Security Office (PSO), Yemen's main intelligence service, in the capital of Sana. Leading them out—in the starring role, as it were—was one Jamal al-Badawi, the mastermind of the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors. Another escapee was an American Muslim, Jaber Elbaneh, who was once part of an alleged cell in Buffalo, N.Y. None has been seen since.

Not all the details of the latest great escape are yet clear. But it is highly unlikely it could have succeeded without help from members of the Yemeni government, which has been an ally in the war on terror. Last Friday a U.S. Embassy cable sent from Sana, described to NEWSWEEK by a U.S. official who did not want to be identified discussing classified material, noted "the lack of obvious security measures on the streets" and concluded, "One thing is certain: PSO insiders must have been involved."

As described by Yemeni and U.S. officials, the prisoners, left to themselves in a locked basement, spent two months digging the 143-foot tunnel. For tools, they used a broomstick with a sharpened spoon lashed to the end as a spade, along with another jerry-built device: three pots tied together as a U-shaped scoop. The plotters also had a soccer ball that they kicked around indoors, apparently to make enough noise to drown out the digging.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 01:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6495 views] Top|| File under:

there is a season and a reason for everything.
Posted by: Halliburton tracking rat perps back to the nest div || 02/12/2006 4:52 Comments || Top||

#2  I see nuthingk! I hear nuthingk! NUUUUUTHINGK!
Posted by: Perfessor || 02/12/2006 7:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Tell them, Hogan!
Posted by: Fred || 02/12/2006 8:05 Comments || Top||

#4  No great conspiracy here, probably just stupid jailers. Sounds like the folks that frequent the mosque dug the hole to free their friends. I wondered why the garden next to the mosque was so much higher than the rest of the ground.
Posted by: 49 pan || 02/12/2006 9:18 Comments || Top||

#5  Inside job?

Of course.

Why do you even ask?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/12/2006 9:45 Comments || Top||

Posted by: bgrebel || 02/12/2006 13:36 Comments || Top||

#7  close...Arabian peninsula...they lie when their lips move
Posted by: Frank G || 02/12/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||

#8  49 Pan, was that snark, or have you really seen the mosque garden?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 15:02 Comments || Top||

#9  Snark.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 02/12/2006 15:58 Comments || Top||

#10  TW, of all the garden spots I have visited Yemen was not one of them, thank god. It just seemed to me the bumbling jailers had them in a basement while the friends dug them out. I'm sure the investigators will never look.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 02/12/2006 16:05 Comments || Top||

#11  I just wondered, 49 pan. I was awfully glad at the time that Mr. Wife turned down the opportunity to be posted there... before I had to. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 16:52 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Jamaat claims responsibility for North Ossetia bombings
A message signed by someone named Khuzayf, who identified himself as deputy to the emir Saad, commander of an armed jamaat in North Ossetia, claimed responsibility for the February 2 bombings of gambling establishments in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia's capital. The Associated Press quoted Boris Dzgoev, North Ossetia's emergency situations minister, as saying that five people were injured in the blasts, which went off around the same time in three separate locations in the center of the city, all housing slot machines and other gambling devices. RIA-Novosti and Interfax reported that at least one person was killed in the explosions.

The claim of responsibility, posted by the Kavkazcenter website on February 5, stated that "mujahideen of the first operations group of emir Saad's jamaat have destroyed the dens of gambling and vice in Vladikavkaz. The time of the operation and the power of the explosions were chosen to destroy only these establishments and avoid victims among civilians if possible. Inshallah, devils' houses, which fill the streets of Vladikavkaz, have been destroyed. The founders and owners of dens like this who will continue their business will be severely punished as accessories to moral decay. We will pay special attention to drug traffickers and dealers in Ossetia. As a result of the operative work of the mujahideen, many of these scum are known. We will come after them when they least expect it. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds, who helps Muslims on His straight path."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6495 views] Top|| File under:

#1  President Putin cannot respond now---busy preparing for a meeting with Hamas representatives.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/12/2006 4:14 Comments || Top||

Caucasus Corpse Count
Twelve militants and seven Russian policemen have died in a clash in the southern Stavropol region, Russian security officials say.

The fighting erupted on Thursday in Tukui-Mekteb, a village just north of Chechnya in the North Caucasus. According to Russian media reports, the militants had seized two houses.

On Friday up to 300 police officers and elite troops surrounded and then stormed a house in the village where the rebels were holed up, Russian security officials said. Villagers were evacuated when the fighting erupted on Thursday.

Russian officials say the rebels belonged to a militant group called Shelkovskoy Jamaat, named after an area in northern Chechnya. According to a local police chief, the heavily-armed militants had planned to seize a school. Some of them are reported to have escaped. Security forces have sealed off the village and are searching the area.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6496 views] Top|| File under:

Istanbul blast kills one, wounds 16, PKK blamed
The Turkish police confirmed on Friday that a a deadly blast in Istanbul was caused by a bomb, and said they were stepping up security measures against possible attacks by Kurdish separatists. Istanbul police chief Celalettin Cerrah said the security forces determined that Thursday's explosion in an Internet cafe in the city was a bomb attack, Anatolia news agency reported. The bomb apparently targeting police officers killed one person and wounded 16, including seven officers and a 13-year-old boy, authorities said.

Zafer Iþýk, a 21-year-old civilian, died after being taken to the hospital, reported the Anatolia news agency on Thursday. A hard-line Kurdish militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, a Kurdish news agency reported. The explosion occurred on Thursday afternoon at a cafe near riot police headquarters in the Istanbul neighborhood of Bayrampa a that is frequented by officers. The explosion ripped through the cafe at 2:05 p.m., blowing out the windows of nearby buildings. One witness said the blast sent chairs flying from the cafe into the street. Coskun Kýlýç said he helped rescue at least seven of the injured. "There was smoke everywhere -- you could barely see them," Kýlýç said.

In addition to Iþýk seven officers and nine civilians were hurt, including a child who was badly injured, prosecutor Aykut Engin said. Anatolia said a 13-year-old boy was in critical condition. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) claimed responsibility for the bombing in a telephone call, the Fýrat News Agency, based in the Netherlands, said on its Web site. Turkish officials say TAK is a cover group used by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to carry out attacks on civilian targets that would draw international condemnation. The PKK, however, denies any link to TAK, which was blamed for a series of bomb attacks last year. The shadowy group has claimed responsibility for a number of bomb attacks in Turkey, including a blast in the Aegean resort town of Çe me last summer that wounded 21 people. The group has demanded that jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan be moved out of solitary confinement. Öcalan has been kept on a prison island near Istanbul since his capture in February 1999.

There has been a resurgence of violence since June 1, 2004, when the PKK declared an end to the cease-fire, saying Turkey had not responded in kind. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. The United States on Thursday deplored the Internet cafe bombing and pledged solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack extended U.S. condolences after the blast. "The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack today in Istanbul," McCormack said in a statement. “Washington stands united with our partner, Turkey, in the fight against terrorism and in the pursuit of democracy and justice."
Posted by: lotp || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wouldn't discount that TAK is in fact a front for Turkish military/police to forment anti-Kurd violence, given the similar incident last month when Kurdish civilians grabbed Turkish police officers doing exactly the same thing (planting a bomb in a bookshop).
Posted by: phil_b || 02/12/2006 7:45 Comments || Top||

Turkish Interior Minister: Bullets that Killed Priest Target Turkey
from the Turkish Daily News
Turkey extended condolences to the Catholic world for an Italian priest slain by a teenage assailant while praying in his church in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, as the cleric was laid to rest in a ceremony in Rome. “There can be no religious, philosophical or humane explanation for the murder of a man of faith in a house of worship,” Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu told a press conference in Trabzon, where Father Andrea Santoro was killed by a 16-year-old high school student. “The bullets fired at Santoro were not only aimed at him but also at the atmosphere of stability Turkey enjoys.”
You might say they were fired at Turkey from the Ottoman Empire.
In Rome, Italy's most senior cardinal said at the funeral that Santoro has all the makings of a Christian martyr and should be put on the road to sainthood.
Christian martyrs don't explode...
“Right from now, inside me, I am convinced that Don Andrea's sacrifice has all the elements needed to make him a Christian martyr,” Cardinal Camillo Ruini said to prolonged applause from hundreds of mourners gathered for the priest's funeral Mass.
Killed for his religion, that's kind of the definition of a Christian martyr.
The murder of the priest shocked Turkey, which sees itself as a bridge between civilizations. “I think this was an isolated incident,” Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said in an interview with Italy's La Repubblica daily. He said the government was combating extremists who were trying to sabotage Turkey's EU bid.
I think the extremists are more important than Turkey's EU bid, and I don't see it as an isolated incident. I see it as something that's a constant danger to Turkey.
Posted by: lotp || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6519 views] Top|| File under:

“I think this was an isolated incident,”
I don't. Your mileage may vary.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said ... the government was combating extremists who were trying to sabotage Turkey's EU bid.
How about killing terrorists "combating extremists" because IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO?

Never mind, I know the answer.

How do you say "taquiya" in Turkish? >:-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/12/2006 0:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Killer because of his religon thats the definition of a moslem martry.
Posted by: 6 || 02/12/2006 8:47 Comments || Top||

Priest hit 'ordered over web'
Ankara - The teenage suspect being held for allegedly shooting an Italian Roman Catholic priest in Turkey received orders to kill him through an internet webcam, the suspect's father said, according to the leading Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday.

The suspect's father, Hikmet, was quoted by the paper as saying that his 16-year-old son was excited and nervous on Sunday night, hours after he allegedly killed Santoro. "Look at television, the priest was shot," Hikmet quoted his son as saying in an interview with Hurriyet.

The father became suspicious and pressed his son about why the priest might have been killed. Finally, the boy said: "I shot him. If I did not shoot him, they would shoot you," the father quoted his son as saying.

The father said he then questioned him further. "He did not reveal the details, he just said he was told by someone through a webcam," Hikmet said.

The paper did not provide the father's surname to protect the suspect, who is a minor. Neither the father nor the boy's lawyer was immediately available for comment. The semiofficial Anatolia news agency reported that the boy was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday where he will likely be arraigned.

Santoro, 60, was killed on Sunday while praying in his church along the Black Sea coast. Witnesses say the killer screamed "Allah Akbar," Arabic for "God is great," before firing two bullets into Santoro's back as he kneeled to pray. The priest's body was returned to Italy on Tuesday.

The suspect was captured on Tuesday and police said they seized a 9mm handgun during the raid and a ballistics test confirmed it was used in the shooting.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/12/2006 12:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6505 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The lad received orders to kill the priest over a web cam?!? How does that work?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 13:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Sounds like somebody's been watching too many Charlie's Angels reruns.
Posted by: AzCat || 02/12/2006 14:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Allah made him do it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/12/2006 14:34 Comments || Top||

#4  How do you think, trailing wife?

Can't say I'm too surprised, though, in a technological sense (considering that it's not too different from ordering a hit over the phone -- albeit maybe something in the video pushed the teen to do it?).
Posted by: Edward Yee || 02/12/2006 14:39 Comments || Top||

#5  How does that work?

Probably a big yellow sign that said, "Kill Santoro" in a very prominent font. ;)
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/12/2006 14:52 Comments || Top||

#6  Edward, it's not that I'm a technophobe, it's that I'm appallingly ignorant. ... and occasionally more than a little obtuse. I saw web cam, but thought street/security cam. Sorry for wasting Fred's bandwidth on such a foolish question.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 15:06 Comments || Top||

#7  This reminds me, did the RB sleuths identify the recent hacker? And that reminds me, do we have Boris the Insane pegged (location, ID)?

Just, you know, wondering...

Posted by: .com || 02/12/2006 15:07 Comments || Top||

#8  Daddy is setting up a defense and/or mitigation for the young jihadi. "Hey...the kid got his instructions to kill the infidel priest off the internet. You know how kids are these days. AND he says by killing the priest he was saving my life. It was a plot by the jooooos."

Makes perfect sense from a Muslim state of mind.
Posted by: Mark Z || 02/12/2006 16:32 Comments || Top||

#9  It was the "Control Voice"

Posted by: doc || 02/12/2006 18:14 Comments || Top||

#10  I say hold off on the cynicism. He could have easily set up a web cam chat with some jihadi leader . Hell, they may have been chatting for months. Complete cyber recruitment. Or better yet, blackmail. Do it for us, but also do it so we don't kill your father.
Posted by: Penguin || 02/12/2006 18:24 Comments || Top||

#11  I thought maybe Sam the Dawg got a webcam.
Posted by: 6 || 02/12/2006 18:33 Comments || Top||

#12  There have been several news articles about sex and blackmail schemes via webcams, different countries, but usually aimed at teenagers.

Jihad via webcam does not sound unreasonable to me.
Posted by: Adriane || 02/12/2006 21:07 Comments || Top||

Binny ordered Sakra to attack Turkey
A Syrian was charged Friday with masterminding suicide bombings that killed 58 people in Istanbul, and Turkish prosecutors claimed that Osama bin Laden ordered him to carry out terror attacks in this pro-Western country.

Loa'i Mohammad Haj Bakr al-Saqa, 32, was accused of serving as a point man between al-Qaida and homegrown militants behind the series of suicide bombings in Istanbul in 2003, said the indictment. It said al-Saqa gave the Turkish militants about $170,000.

Al-Saqa had cosmetic surgery, according to a medical report, and operated by using an array of fake IDs and employing aliases even with his al-Qaida contacts, according to the indictment. Several accused Turkish al-Qaida suspects recognized al-Saqa's photos but identified him with different names, most calling him "Syrian Alaaddin."

He was charged, according to the indictment, with "attempting to overthrow the constitutional (secular) regime."

The prosecutor's office demanded life in prison for al-Saqa and identified him as "a high-level al-Qaida official with a special mission."

The office released only a summary of the long indictment, which came after a six-month investigation. The summary mentioned bin Laden's personal order but did not say when or where al-Saqa met with the al-Qaida leader. In the past, prosecutors have said al-Saqa was trained in an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan.

Al-Saqa's lawyer was not available for comment.

Al-Saqa has already been sentenced in absentia by Jordan, along with al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, for a failed plot to attack Americans and Israelis in Jordan with poison gas during millennium celebrations.

He was captured in Turkey in August after an alleged failed plot to attack Israeli cruise ships in the Mediterranean.

Identifying himself as a guerrilla fighter, al-Saqa admitted to failed plans to stage an attack on Israeli tourist ships.

"I was going to blow up the Israeli ship in international waters," al-Saqa testified.

Al-Saqa and his Syrian accomplice, Hamid Obysi, were captured after an accidental explosion forced them to flee the safe house in Antalya.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does Turkey have death penalty?
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/12/2006 4:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Nope, they ditched it pending EU membership. If they ever reinstate it, PKK supremo Abdullah Occalan'll be one of the first ones snuffed, followed in short succession by Sakra and Co from the Istanbul bombings.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 4:56 Comments || Top||

#3  Bet he wishes he was at Gitmo. Death would be welcome after a few months in a Turkish Prison.
Posted by: 49 pan || 02/12/2006 9:08 Comments || Top||

Denmark requests Malaysian aid in quelling cartoon protests
Denmark has asked Malaysia’s help to quell the anger among Muslims worldwide over the controversial caricatures ridiculing Prophet Muhammad.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said he received a call from his Danish counterpart on Friday over the matter. “I didn’t go looking for him. He telephoned me to ask for co-operation from Malaysia to explain the issue.

“He told me they respect Islam and it was never their intention to hurt the feelings of Muslims.

“He hopes Malaysia can help in explaining and containing the situation from getting out of control and causing a divide between Muslims and non-Muslims,” Syed Hamid told reporters after the closing of the international conference on Who Speaks For Islam? Who Speaks For The West? here yesterday.

Syed Hamid said he expressed Malaysia’s view on the caricatures and asked the Danish foreign minister why such a situation had happened in the first place. “But now that it has happened, it is our joint responsibility to calm things down. They (the West) have to understand that this is not something to be taken lightly.

“At the same time, we don’t want this thing to get out of hand to the extent of creating problems that will endanger Muslims themselves,” he added.

According to Syed Hamid, the Danish foreign minister said the government had no control over their media but stressed that it did not share or subscribe to the same view of the media.

He said the Iranian foreign minister had also called him on Friday, asking for an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to be convened to discuss the controversy. He told his Iranian counterpart that he supported such a meeting and asked Iran to get in touch with the OIC secretariat on organising one as soon as possible.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6531 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Almost on par with "International community expects Palestinian Authority to fight terrorism"
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/12/2006 4:36 Comments || Top||

I hope the old Viking genes begin to express themselves soon.

Does this crop of Dhimmi EU leaders even care about the future, its bad enough we all have to buy oil off ME kings and mullahs but to sacrifice the homeland for some extra cash selling food goods?

I'm hoping [not holding my breath mind you] that the Cartoon rage thingy, brought to you by the islamo-fascisti with the help of Dhmmi/pols, will WAKE UP and Galvanize the European public to throw the bums out.

Danish foreign minister:
Posted by: RD || 02/12/2006 5:37 Comments || Top||

#3  Sigh - the Danish government never had a single thing to do with the newspapers. They couldn't influence them if they tried.
Posted by: gromky || 02/12/2006 5:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Spudhead Syed Hamid is another islamist. M'sia is about to close down a newspaper called Sarawak Tribune over the publication of those "offending" cartoons. This dude always talk cock anyway.

As for that Dialogue thingy, it turned into a shouting match.
See(just google up) : From Asian Wall Street Journal

Malaysia Official: Extremists Ruining East-West Dialogue

February 11, 2006 5:22 a.m.

Incidentally virtually all Malay(muslim) youths are indoctrinated to have at least a moderate degree of anti-Westernism in their psyche. Not so the non Malay counterparts generally. The govt. have been telling them not to ape the West for decades and frownned on individualism. It succeeded in creating Talibans wannabes. LOL
Posted by: Duh! || 02/12/2006 21:33 Comments || Top||

Danish diplomats exit three countries
The Danish ambassadors to Iran, Syria and Indonesia and other diplomatic staff have left those countries due to threats against them over the publication of cartoons of the Muslim prophet.
Wonder if the Eee-Yeuuu will back them up with trade sanctions?
The ambassador in Tehran and his staff left after being informed of "concrete and serious threats against the ambassador", the Danish Foreign Ministry said in a communique on Saturday. Finland's embassy in Iran has taken charge of Denmark's consular affairs until further notice.

In Jakarta, the ambassador and his aides left after receiving "credible and concrete threats against the security of embassy personnel" and the Dutch embassy will provide consular cover. Lars Thuesen, spokesman for the ministry's crisis unit, said the ambassadors and their staff had gone to other countries which Denmark did not wish to identify.

The building housing the embassy in Damascus was burnt last week by an angry mob protesting against the Prophet Muhammad cartoons first published in a Danish newspaper. The Foreign Ministry said it has been pulling out Danish staff since then, and the ambassador left on Friday. "The de-escalation of the protection of the ambassador and his staff to an inadequate level is the reason for the departure," the ministry said in a statement.
Posted by: Fred || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6490 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, at least two out of those three countries are going to be on the receiving end of Western culture dropped from 35,000 feet very soon.
Posted by: RWV || 02/12/2006 0:13 Comments || Top||

#2  They are doing it because Denmark is head of the UN Security Con. when Iran comes up.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/12/2006 1:50 Comments || Top||

#3  I must admit I am confused by the Islamofascists timing on this one.

I thought perhaps the bastards had a terror attack planned and were using this to prepare the ground so it didn't alienate muslims or win sympathy for the West. But nothing has happened yet.

Then I thought perhaps the fascists thought this a good way of getting the US kicked out of Iraq: inflame the muslims against the idea of freedom of speech soon it will bounce back on the US and Iraqis will oppose them more, kill them with roadside bombs and Iraq will fall in a heap they can turn into an islamic paradise. Victory: islamofascists. Possible, and this might be a welcome side effect anyway no matter what purpose they had in mind.

Another theory: that they simply want to stir up hatred between the West and Islamic states, this serves many purposes. It gets them more money, more recruits, pressures moderate muslim governments to declare allegiance with the religious fascists and make concessions and gives them more clout in general.

this is the one i'm most sold on at the moment because the timing seems so random yet the effects are clearly an end in themselves - the west has sunk into dhimmitude grovelling and apologising and giving up freedom of speech. Added bonus for the islamofascists there. Bet they never thought victory would be so easy.

The fourth theory is that it's because Denmark heads security council when Iran comes up for review.

Sounds like a great theory but why the random timing.

If this was planned with that end in mind, why unleash the Islamonazis now instead of after Denmark assumes the chair and right before Iran is up for review.

It doesn't make sense to do it before. It will lose momentum by the time Denmark takes over.

Anybody else got any idea why they picked now, and why denmark when they could have picked any one at any time?
Posted by: anon1 || 02/12/2006 11:55 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
PA man sought to aid al-Qaeda against the US, busted in sting operation
Michael Curtis Reynolds says he's a patriot. Federal authorities say he's a terrorist.
He's actually a loony. Read on:
The FBI believes that the unemployed Wilkes-Barre man tried to conspire with al-Qaeda to wreck the American economy. Agents say Reynolds plotted to blow up the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, a Pennsylvania pipeline, and a New Jersey refinery.

The sensational allegations, disclosed in a federal transcript obtained by The Inquirer on Friday, reveal a convoluted plot that includes cyberspace intrigue, an elaborate FBI sting, and a clandestine money-drop on a deserted Idaho road. The case also involves a municipal judge from Montana who has devoted the last four years to snaring would-be terrorists online.

Reynolds, 47, has not been publicly charged with terrorism. But a federal prosecutor leveled that accusation during a December court hearing, saying that Reynolds attempted to "provide material aid to al-Qaeda" and that the case "involves a federal offense of terrorism."

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 01:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6510 views] Top|| File under:

FBI Stopped Terrorist Attack in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - FBI agents in Puerto Rico on Friday searched five homes and a business to thwart what the agency said was a "domestic terrorist attack" planned by militants favoring independence for the U.S. island territory.

The alleged attack would have involved explosives directed at "privately owned interests" and the public in Puerto Rico, according to Luis Fraticelli, special agent in charge of the FBI on the island. Fraticelli's statement did not disclose details about the alleged attack or the investigation, which the FBI earlier said was focused on the pro-independence People's Boricua Army. FBI spokesman Harry Rodriguez said there were no arrests, but declined to provide details.

The People's Boricua Army, also known as the Macheteros or "cane cutters," was accused of bombings and attacks in the 1970s and 1980s. The group was among three to claim responsibility for a 1979 attack in which gunmen opened fire on a U.S. Navy bus, killing two U.S. sailors.

In September, FBI agents shot and killed Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a leader of the Macheteros who was wanted for the 1983 robbery of an armored truck depot in Connecticut, after he allegedly opened fire when they came to arrest him at a farmhouse in a western town on the island.

Hundreds of protesters staged a demonstration late Friday outside the federal building in San Juan, accusing the FBI of persecuting the pro-independence movement. They burned an American flag and chanted, "If the Yankees don't leave, they'll die in Puerto Rico!"
The FBI should continue to persecute them and hunt them down like dogs.
"I believe that this is an act of abuse and an act of persecution," said Alberto Jesus, known for leading protests against U.S. Navy bombing exercises on Vieques island. "We have here a foreign country that puts the label of terrorist on us."
You're not a foreign country, you're part of the US, and yes, you're a terrorist.
As word spread of the FBI operation early Friday, protesters and reporters gathered outside an apartment building in San Juan as it was searched by agents.

Fraticelli said agents used "non-lethal force" when protesters and the media tried to cross a law enforcement perimeter. The move was necessary "to protect members of the media, the public and the law enforcement officers executing this lawful search warrant."

Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila denounced the incident, saying in a statement that there was "no justification for the excessive use of force."
The FBI didn't use excessive force, but the demonstrators did.

If PR wants to leave the US, no skin off my fore: take a vote, get a substantial majority and do it. No subsidies, no boodle, just go. But if you stay either as a commonwealth or as a state, you do it by American rules. And that means, in part, that mooks like Ojeda Rios get hunted down.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6520 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let me guess: major contributors to Hillary!....?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/12/2006 0:29 Comments || Top||

#2  It's time to stop arresting terrorists. They should be taken prisoner, interrogated and then once they stop providing good intel, shot as per the rules of the Geneva convention. Domestic or not. Same goes for Eco-nuts.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 02/12/2006 1:47 Comments || Top||

#3  The Macheteros are pro-independence, but more importantly, they're Marxists.

See if any MSM outlets point this out. Don't hold your breath though.
Posted by: Parabellum || 02/12/2006 8:58 Comments || Top||

#4  Among other crimes they've committed, one of them started a fire that killed 96 tourists in San Juan. (the guy was a union organisor for the Teamsters at the time).
The same goes for the that POS Governor.

Posted by: Frozen Al || 02/12/2006 14:49 Comments || Top||

Taliban rule openly in Waziristan
Four years after the United States led the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, a new Taliban movement has taken control in a swath of neighboring Pakistan.

Taliban militants control much of Waziristan, a rocky, mountainous area twice the size of Long Island along the Pakistani border. Despite a heavy presence of Pakistani troops, Waziristan has become the largest and most protected sanctuary for Islamic militant guerrillas in the Afghan-Pakistani theater of the "global war on terror."

U.S. military officers and Afghan officials in three neighboring provinces of Afghanistan say the infiltration of guerrillas from Waziristan has continued unabated and is the primary engine of the continued Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. Waziristan "is very important to the Taliban" as a base of operations in the Afghan-Pakistani theater, said Mike Scheuer, a former top analyst at the CIA.

And it is likely to stay that way for years, analysts say. "The strength of the militants in Waziristan has built up over a generation," said Behroz Khan, the regional bureau chief for a Pakistani daily, The News. At best, "it will take a generation to pacify and integrate this region" into the Pakistani state, he said.

While Waziristan's militants use the label "Taliban" and include figures from the former Afghan regime, their exact relationship with the Afghan movement is unclear. Some have voiced fealty to the Afghan Taliban chief, Mullah Omar, but observers such as ex-CIA officer Milt Bearden say it is unclear whether he directs them.

Beginning in late 2003, Pakistan sent an estimated 70,000 troops into its Afghan borderlands, especially Waziristan, in a campaign against Islamic militant fighters. The result, by all accounts except that of Pakistan's government, has been disastrous.

The government bars foreign journalists, aid organizations and other observers from Waziristan, but local journalists and refugees tell of counter-insurgency errors much like those of the Americans in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan. Under British-era laws that hold an entire village or clan culpable for any crime committed in their lands, the army has retaliated broadly for militant attacks. It has killed hundreds of civilians, destroyed villages, livestock and orchards and alienated Waziristan's people, residents and scholars from the region have said.

Army officers repeatedly have described the campaign as a success that just needs more time. A year ago, the operation's chief commander, Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussein, declared "the back of the terrorists has been broken." In September, the army's chief spokesman, Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, told journalists "most of ... Waziristan ... has been secured."

Sultan was traveling abroad last week and unavailable for comment, his office said.

"The Taliban are the de facto rulers" in the South Waziristan tribal agency, or district, and army troops there are mainly restricted to their bases, said Khan. The Taliban controls the roads, acts as the police force and judicial authority and openly runs offices to recruit fighters to their ranks, said Khan and recent visitors to the area. Pakistan last year signed a truce with the Taliban leader in South Waziristan, Baitullah Mahsud, and the fighting in recent months has shifted to the north.

In Mir Ali, a North Waziristan district densely dotted with farming villages, "people have been fleeing from their homes because the Taliban and foreigners have moved into the area," said Ahmed Ali, a veterinary specialist from Mir Ali who works in the nearest big city, Peshawar. The army has been attacking local villages in a brutal campaign to root out the militants, said Ali and refugees from Mir Ali interviewed last month.

In Pakistan, support for the Taliban and al-Qaida is strongest - and the government's rule is weakest - in the seven autonomous tribal agencies dominated by ethnic Pashtuns that stretch along the Afghan border. North Waziristan and South Waziristan are the poorest agencies, and the most isolated and least integrated into Pakistan, say Khan and other analysts.

The tribal agencies were created in the 19th century as a buffer zone at the edge of British-ruled India. The British let the Waziris and other fiercely independent Pashtun tribes run their own affairs, and discouraged them from attacking British interests by paying off tribal leaders and conducting punitive military strikes against the uncooperative.

Since Pakistan was formed from British India in 1947, it has maintained the colonial system, ruling through appointed "political agents" who are seen widely as corrupt. Residents were given the right to vote only in 1997, and political parties still are not allowed to function in the agencies. Islamic militant parties "can work there through the mosques, under the guise of religion," said Khan, and so have a monopoly on political discourse.

The original Taliban movement was born in Waziristan and other areas of Pakistan's Pashtun belt in the 1990s, and took power in Afghanistan with support from Pakistan's military. After Sept. 11, when the United States went to war against the Taliban for hosting Osama bin Laden, Pakistan's leadership was forced to go along, but the conditions that gave rise to the militant movement remain unchanged in Waziristan.

In a tribal culture suffused with blood feuds, men build their families' strength by having as many sons as possible. In a territory with few roads or schools and virtually no industry, vast numbers of young men are unemployed.

"In my village, at least half of the families are involved in blood feuds" over land, women or honor, said Ahmed Ali, the veterinarian. His family has been fighting another in his village for 35 years, he said. Of his 90 closest male relatives (Pashtun women are confined to the home), about half are unemployed, he said. Men in the family can take jobs only with the government, which offers a degree of protection from assassination by their rivals. "If they took an ordinary job, working in the bazaar, they could soon be killed," he said.

Only a few relatives who left Waziristan for schooling are managing to build careers, in cities in Pakistan or the Persian Gulf, Ali said. "The rest are killing their time, hanging out and drinking tea," he said. When Islamic militants come to town, preaching in the mosques about jihad and glory, "boys with no education and no plan for their life are happy to join," he said.

In the past year, the army has tried at times to soften its approach by building roads and schools. "The army's slogan is 'We bring you development,'" Khan said. "But they are not winning the trust of the tribesmen."

Population: About 3.1 million, mostly ethnic Pashtuns sympathetic to the Taliban.

History: Created by Britain, when it was ruling the subcontinent, as a buffer between India and Afghanistan.

Government: Little federal authority, area ruled mostly by tribal elders.

Travel: Area is almost exclusively off-limits to outsiders; Pakistani government restricts access by Westerners.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6484 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How much $ has Perv received from USA since 9/11?
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/12/2006 4:12 Comments || Top||

#2  "Taliban" here is over-defined. There being no central authority to the region, it just being a patchwork of mutually-hostile tribes, claims of greater organization only exist relative to outsiders.

That is, they will all cut each others' throats, *except* when faced against the Pak government, at which time they have a mutual enemy. "Tribal leaders" are "Irish kings", a man with a sword and two followers.

The only real change to this status quo is coming from the Pak army, which is getting significantly stronger in fighting in both Waziristan and Baluchistan. Eventually they will overwhelm the traditional tribal organization and assert national authority over both regions.

So the days of this foolishness are numbered.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/12/2006 9:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Under British-era laws that hold an entire village or clan culpable for any crime committed in their lands, the army has retaliated broadly for militant attacks. It has killed hundreds of civilians, destroyed villages, livestock and orchards and alienated Waziristan's people, residents and scholars from the region have said.

It would be much harder for them to feel alienated if they were all dead.
Posted by: Slavirt Elmeans3958 || 02/12/2006 20:41 Comments || Top||

#4  There was a figure of 40 billion (includes international financial contributions - World Bank etc)

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 20:41 Comments || Top||

Salahuddin, the LeT's India operations chief
Be it the terror attack at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore or the recent attempts to target Kolkata, the arrests of suspected militants in Mumbai or Srinagar, all trails lead to one man and one address: Salahudin alias Bilal alias Hyder Karar, Operations Chief of the Lashkar-e-Toiba in Jammu and Kashmir.

Who is Bilal?

Pak recruit of Lashkar, first showed up on Indian security radar 6 yrs ago in a fierce encounter with Army in the Valley. Escaped despite being cordoned off.

What do security agencies know about him?

Sketchy. Doesn’t trust even his inner circle. There is one picture but he changes his appearance regularly. He is over 6 feet, wears size 12 shoes.

Where is he now?

IGP Kashmir range K Rajindra says he never leaves his hideouts—in caves or bunkers—in the Bandipore forests. “Extremely mobile,” doesn’t stay in one place for more than a few hours.

Why is he most wanted?

Has set up several modules in each district in J&K, including Srinagar city. Roped in local residents to act as guides or ferry suicide bombers. Web of modules across country, each acts independently but all report to him. Like Al-Qaeda cells.

How does he monitor these modules?

Is helped by Muzammil in Pakistan who looks after Lashkar strikes in India outside J&K. Uses mobile phones, changes SIM cards, often using one number to make one call. Also has Thuraya satellite phone.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6504 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Meanwhile off Vishakhapatnam, the Indian fleet assembles...

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 7:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Need to work on their tactical formations.
Posted by: 6 || 02/12/2006 9:17 Comments || Top||

#3  This is a fleet review (inspection by the Indian President).
With present Pakistani behavior, one of these days it will not be ceremonial.
Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 9:20 Comments || Top||

#4  The Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam, a former Rocket Scientist (and a muslim BTW) who helped design India's first satellite launch vehicles and ballistic missiles is on the right.

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 9:27 Comments || Top||

#5  An early photo of Kalam

Humble beginings.. the first Indian payloads were delivered to the pad on a bicycle.

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 9:34 Comments || Top||

#6  1964- The payload for one of Kalam's rockets on its way to the launch pad

The first Indian satellite being moved (yes that is a bullock cart - they needed a non metallic transporter)
Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 9:51 Comments || Top||

#7  Addul Kalam has written of how honored he felt when Werner Von Braun, on a visit to India, gave him some advice on the SLV he was working on.

It is a great pity the way some Indian muslim commentators like Zakharia have attacked him as not being a "real muslim" because he writes poetry and reads ancient Indian sanskrit scripture.

I suppose only a rabid mullah type satisfies them...

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 10:28 Comments || Top||

#8  John have you heard of anything about Indian Special Froces working with the Afganis/US in Eastern Afghanistan?
Posted by: RD || 02/12/2006 14:14 Comments || Top||

#9  Just the occasional rumor.

Probably true though. Indian SF were present pre-911 helping the Northern Alliance. They remain active since the NA allies are their fallback in the event Afghanistan falls back into chaos and Paksitan reasserts influence.

And there is the matter of the airbase in Tajikistan that India operates. It is clearly being used for something very hush hush.

Not something you would see public acknowledgement of.

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 14:22 Comments || Top||

#10  One last photo - the results of decades of Kalam's work - it will launch a lunar orbiter next year.

one would think that muslim parents would encourage their children to emulate Kalam..

But no. They idealize Osama...

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 14:31 Comments || Top||

#11  Interesting tactic to pressure Pakistan on the LeT

J-K will move Interpol to get Lashkar boss
Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 18:27 Comments || Top||

#12  Nice looking launch vehicle.
Posted by: 6 || 02/12/2006 18:36 Comments || Top||

#13  It has issues though...

The strapons are liquid fueled and burn for 160 seconds while the solid fuel core burns for 100 seconds.
The core cannot be jettisoned and is essentially dead weight for 60 seconds.

The reason for this is that the vehicle was put together from componants of the PSLV vehicle. It was not a new design.

The upper stage uses an underpowered cryogenic engine from Russia. The Indian cryogenic engines are still under development.

The GSLV-mark 3 will be much larger (600 tons) and will be a new design, including larger Indian cryogenic motors.

Incidently, the liquid engines are Indian versions of the Viking engines used on the Arianne IV. India obtained the tech from France in payment for design services. France needed the new Viking engines designed but lacked enough aerospace engineers. India had many engineers but no experience with these sorts of engines. The Indians worked under the French and the Viking was developed with India getting the technology in payment.
Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 18:53 Comments || Top||

#14  BTW the main rocket uses 140 tons of solid fuel (HTPB/Al/AP) and is one of the largest solid fuel boosters in the world.
Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 18:57 Comments || Top||

#15  regarding the bicycle in the photo above

U.S. scientists from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) launched the first small rocket from Indian soil - an American Nike Apache - in 1963. "We were waiting for the payload to arrive when we saw a guy on a bicycle coming up an unpaved road," recalls one NASA veteran of the launch. "He had the payload in the basket."
Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 20:26 Comments || Top||

#16  That bicycle did yeoman service, delivering many payloads to the pad.

Hope it is in a museum somewhere in India...

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 20:30 Comments || Top||

#17  And the bullock cart...

Posted by: john || 02/12/2006 20:31 Comments || Top||

Indian Maoists kill five in new attack
NEW DELHI - Maoist rebels have stormed a village in eastern India, killing five villagers and wounding 18, police said on Saturday, bringing the week’s toll from guerrilla raids to 27.

The raid occurred in a remote area of Chattisgarh state. “About 40 rebels raided the tribal village of Bijapur (late Friday), dragged them from their respective homes, lined them up and thrashed them badly, allegedly for supporting the police,” O.P. Rathore, the state’s director general of police, told AFP by telephone. He said five villagers were killed and 18 were wounded in the attack.

India’s Maoists have bases in several southern and eastern Indian states and have recently stepped up attacks.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6516 views] Top|| File under:

Diggers to remain in Iraq
AUSTRALIAN troops in Iraq will stay on duty despite Prime Minister John Howard declaring he would prefer to have them home. The PM said yesterday that the nearly 450 soldiers sent to protect Japanese engineers would remain when the Japanese leave in May and no deadline had been set for their departure.

Mr Howard said he had obligations to the coalition partners of the war in Iraq.

The Australian military, based in the Al Muthanna region, are likely to be redeployed within the troubled area. They were controversially sent to Iraq last year after Mr Howard said during the election that Australia would not increase its presence.

Australia still has 1200 troops on the ground in Iraq.

Mr Howard said he hoped the recent Iraqi elections would help in the peace process.

"It should not be assumed that we would bring all of our forces home," Mr Howard said.

"We're having some discussion with our coalition partners in the interests of further training the Iraqis in the interests of building on what has been achieved to date."

Mr Howard said it would be a short-sighted policy to design a timeline for the troops to be returned to Australia.

"I don't want to leave Australian troops in Iraq . . . a day longer than is necessary," he said.

"But I am not going to be part of a policy which leaves the job unfinished."

The renewed commitment comes as the Government was accused of providing defective and inappropriate equipment to defence forces overseas. Opposition defence spokesman Robert McClelland said the Government had become too focused on buying big ticket military items.
I imagine the high morale of both the Australian and Japanese soldiers is pretty hard to conceal from their respective leaders. It is far more persuasive than the snivelling from the opposition. It emboldens national pride.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/12/2006 18:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6539 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thank you Ozzies!
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/12/2006 21:32 Comments || Top||

#2  The diggers are good fun to have around, too. I'm mostly in the IZ but there is a good batch of Aussies here at MNF-I and it's a pleasure to be able to thank them in person for being America's best ally.
Posted by: Verlaine in Iraq || 02/12/2006 23:19 Comments || Top||

obliged Aussies, thanks.
Posted by: RD || 02/12/2006 23:33 Comments || Top||

Iraqi Army Leads Operation; Weapons Cache Found, Destroyed
Iraqi soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, cleared the rural village of Subiyhat of insurgents yesterday, marking their second independent operation, officials said today.

Marines from 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, assisted in the operation by providing security on the outer perimeter.

The operation resulted in the detention of four suspected insurgents and enhanced relations between the citizens of Subiyhat and the Iraqi army, officials said.

It was also another step toward the Iraqi unit's operational independence, said Marine battalion commander Lt. Col. David J. Furness.

Elsewhere, soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, were tipped off by an Iraqi about a weapons cache Feb. 9.

The local national directed the combat patrol to the ammunition, which was buried in a field near a house north of Najaf, capital city in Najaf province.

The cache included 71 100 mm high explosive rounds, four weapons, eight 122 mm rounds and five 115 mm high explosive anti-tank rounds.

An explosive ordnance disposal team was dispatched to the site and cleared the cache.

In other news, soldiers provided humanitarian assistance Feb. 8 to 100 flood victims in Mulay al Moskaul.

Due to heavy flooding in the Tigris River basin, Mulay al Moskaul village had been isolated for five days.

Two Multinational Division Central South helicopters were used to assist Iraq in three different settlements in the area. Humanitarian aid included potable water, food, shoes, clothes, mattresses, hygienic items and toys.

Officials also reported that a 53-year-old male security detainee at Abu Ghraib died Feb. 11 at 1:20 p.m. from complications after being assaulted by an unknown number of detainees.

The detainee was transported to Task Force Med 344th, at Abu Ghraib, by the guards after the detainee reported the assault. The detainee quit breathing at 11:50 a.m. and medical personnel administered CPR and inserted a breathing tube. An attending physician pronounced him dead after he failed to respond to aggressive medical treatment.

The military Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the incident, which is standard procedure after any detainee death.

The detainee's remains will be transferred to the family upon completion of an autopsy, standing procedure for all detainees who die while in custody.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/12/2006 17:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6513 views] Top|| File under:

#1  that's at least 40-80 IEDs that won't get planted! Good 'un!
Posted by: Frank G || 02/12/2006 22:48 Comments || Top||

Wind drift a factor, search for civilian parachutist continues over Iran.
Search for parachutist called off

Security forces all but called off a search and rescue operation for a civilian parachutist who had reportedly landed in the area, saying that initial reports of the parachutist being kidnapped by Palestinians were likely false.

IDF and Police officials added that they had received no report of any missing Israeli civilians.

Helicopters and IAF fighter jets, which were part of the search operation were called off, and ground forces were reduced to soldiers on look- out from permanent IDF positions in the area.

Security officials said that after three hours of searching, not even a parachute had yet been found.

During searches of the area it was reported that remains of a parachute were found, however, those only turned out to be remnants of a Palestinian Authority election campaign banner.

Security forces had entered the village of E-Shyoukh, east of Halhoul - which is south of Hebron - on Sunday, to search for the parachutist.

Security forces who entered the village were met with resistance and pelted with stones, military sources said, but the search was continued.

Posted by: Besoeker || 02/12/2006 15:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6565 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Boy, he really drifted off course if he went from Israel to Iran. Someone want to correct the title?
Suggest deleting "over Iran".
Posted by: GK || 02/12/2006 18:34 Comments || Top||

#2  It was tongue in jowl mate, tongue in jowl.
Posted by: Humourless || 02/12/2006 21:34 Comments || Top||

#3  I liked it.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/12/2006 22:05 Comments || Top||

West Bank mosque defaced by graffiti
Graffiti insulting the Prophet Muhammad was found Sunday scrawled on a West Bank mosque, heightening tensions already inflamed by caricatures of Islam's founder reprinted in a Danish newspaper.

IDF soldiers washed off the slogans on the mosque in the West Bank village of Neve Elias near Kalkilya, which included one that equated Muhammad with a pig, an animal held by Muslims to be unclean. The Star of David was also drawn next to the slogans.

Palestinian eyewitnesses reported that they spotted a car with Israeli license plates fleeing the area.

Aggrieved villagers gathered to protest, and shortly after, several Palestinians protestors were wounded when soldiers fired at their legs after being pelted with rocks, Israel Radio reported.

In a related incident, an Israeli woman was also wounded after her car was pelted with stones near Kalkilya. The woman was evacuated to a hospital, and her condition wasn't immediately known.

IDF officers and civilian guards apologized profusely for the incident.

In contrast, right-wing activist and head of the "National Jewish Front" extremist organization Baruch Marzel was less apologetic. "While I do not condone these actions, I cannot condemn them either at a time when Arabs are defacing Torah scrolls and burning Israeli flags", said Marzel.

MK Michael Melchior called the actions a profanity.

"The Graffiti is offensive not only to Islam but also to the image of Jews in the world and it damages our coexistence with our Arab neighbors," said the Meimad leader.

"Any believing Jew should protest against this heinous crime," he added. "We need to do all within our powers to catch those lawbreakers who are trying to enflame the region with their misdeeds."
Shades of Tawana Brawley?
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/12/2006 10:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6524 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like a set up
Posted by: TomAnon || 02/12/2006 11:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Say what?
Posted by: The Rt. Rev, Allan Sharpton || 02/12/2006 11:11 Comments || Top||

#3  There were 3 churches in Santa Cruz, CA defaced last weekend. Didn't hear about that in the news did you. Course if a mosque is defaced, it is international news and cause for a seeting mob.
Posted by: Remoteman || 02/12/2006 11:21 Comments || Top||

#4  http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2006/February/07/local/stories/04local.htm

Link to the Santa Cruz church defacement.
Posted by: Remoteman || 02/12/2006 11:26 Comments || Top||

#5  "Several hundred Palestinians gathered in the West Bank villages of Nebi Elias, Azun and Punduk to protest the spraying of an anti-Muhammad graffiti on the wall of a local mosque early Sunday.

The Palestinians are torching tires and throwing stones at Israeli vehicles. One Israeli woman was injured and four others suffered anxiety as a result of the incident.

Palestinians also hurled cinder blocks at an IDF force in the village of Azun. Soldiers responded with fire. Three Palestinians were hurt and evacuated by Red Crescent ambulances."


"Representatives of the Civil Authority and the IDF who were summoned to the scene promptly apologized for the incident and erased the graffiti."

Posted by: Darrell || 02/12/2006 11:52 Comments || Top||

#6  They are finding out. The more you talk about it, the more people think about it. So all thier protests just make it worse.
Posted by: plainslow || 02/12/2006 11:56 Comments || Top||

#7  clean it up? They did it, most likely
Posted by: Frank G || 02/12/2006 12:38 Comments || Top||

#8  There were 3 churches in Santa Cruz, CA defaced last weekend. Didn't hear about that in the news did you.

You're not likely to hear much about Santa Cruz, period. :)

If it weren't for UC's campus there and the Boardwalk, it would be just another sleepy little coastal town, like Watsonville.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/12/2006 15:03 Comments || Top||

#9  My little sister is studying for her PhD in Santa Cruz. She loves it -- says the people have so much pride that they march or go on strike whenever they feel their rights are violated, so there are an awful lot of marches, and lots of big puppets.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 15:12 Comments || Top||

#10  I hear faint echoes of "The People's Republic of" in there, LOL.
Posted by: .com || 02/12/2006 15:13 Comments || Top||

#11  That froth on the ocean there is not sea foam either.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O´ Doom || 02/12/2006 15:25 Comments || Top||

#12  IDF soldiers washed off the slogans on the mosque in the West Bank village of Neve Elias
Them Joooooooooooooos are tricky, trying to distance themselves from vandalism like that. Likely a rooooooooooz!
Posted by: 6 || 02/12/2006 18:42 Comments || Top||

#13  As a professional librarian I naturally speak with some authority on this topic: I'm scared crapless.
Posted by: Fran Disco Librarian || 02/12/2006 21:43 Comments || Top||

#14  I did'nt know how mad they were until this Rave party. www.glumbert.com/media/rave.html
Posted by: plainslow || 02/12/2006 23:32 Comments || Top||

Bashar rattles cabinet
Syria's president ordered a major Cabinet shake-up Saturday, signaling he has no plans to cave under growing U.S. and international pressure over the assassination of a former Lebanese leader and alleged failure to stop militants from crossing into

President Bashar Assad named his hard-line Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa as vice president and replace him with his deputy, Walid Moallem, a former ambassador to the United States and
United Nations. Al-Sharaa was also put in charge of implementing Syrian "foreign and information policies."

The U.N. investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has accused both men of giving false information to the probe.

Hariri died in a truck bombing that killed 20 other people in Beirut on Feb. 14, 2005. Syria has denied involvement, although U.N. investigators said the assassination could not have occurred without Damascus' knowledge.

Hariri's murder spurred demonstrations in Beirut and intense international pressure that prompted the Syrians to comply with a standing U.N. resolution to pull its troops out of Lebanon after dominating the country for nearly three decades.

A U.N. report in October said Assad threatened Hariri at an August 2004 meeting over the extension of the term in office of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Hariri's political foe.

Syria's former vice president Abdul-Halim Khaddam, a close friend of Hariri who resigned and later defected, has said Assad had threatened Hariri at a meeting months earlier.

Al-Sharaa, in a letter to the U.N. commission, said the August 2004 Assad-Hariri meeting was "in the framework of the ongoing political consultation between the Syrian and Lebanese leaders."

The former chief U.N. investigator, Detlev Mehlis, accused Moallem of giving the commission false information about a meeting in Beirut with Hariri 13 days before he was killed. According to a taped conversation of that meeting, Moallem told Hariri that "we and the (security) services here have put you into a corner." He continued, "Please do not take things lightly."

The Mehlis report said the recorded conversation "clearly contradicts" Moallem's witness account taken in September "in which he falsely described the Feb. 1 meeting as 'friendly and constructive' and avoided giving direct answers to the questions put to him."

Syria also repeatedly has rejected accusations from Washington and Baghdad that it is lax in efforts to close its border with Iraq to foreign fighters entering the country to join the insurgency. The Syrians claim they are doing all they can to clamp off the flow of militants.

The U.N. commission has asked to interview both Assad and al-Sharaa. Syria has not responded directly, but Assad rejected an earlier request.

Syrian political analyst Imad Shuaibi said that naming al-Sharaa as vice-president had been expected "but it was delayed until now in order to show that Syria does not bow to foreign pressures."

Al-Sharaa served as foreign minister since 1984, and becomes one of two vice presidents, the other — Zuhair Masharqa — was named to the post under the late President Hafez Assad, father of the current leader.

In all, the reshuffle brought in 15 new ministers to the 34-member Cabinet.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6491 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They probably appreciate the last-minute opportunity top up their Swiss Bank Accts.

But they should keep in mind that You can't Wait for Good Timing, cuz that's an oxymoron...
Posted by: .com || 02/12/2006 15:17 Comments || Top||

#2  shuffling the chairs. When the music stops, the one without a chair is designated as "he who ordered the bombings"
Posted by: Frank G || 02/12/2006 16:10 Comments || Top||

Ahmadinejad blames US, Israel for cartoons
Note that despite all the riots and angry protests in Iran, the article notes that Shi'ites do not forbid depictions of the Prophet. I'm not terribly surprised - it adds another reasons why they're often compared to Catholics (with Sunnis being Protestants) and makes perfect sense given the huge devotional images of the ayatollahs we see them hauling around. That also adds all the more evidence that it was the Iranian government that orchestrated these protests.
Iran's hard-line president on Saturday accused the United States and Europe of being "hostages of Zionism" and said they should pay a heavy price for the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that have triggered worldwide protests.

Denmark — where the drawings were first published four months ago — warned Danes to leave Indonesia, saying they faced a "significant and imminent danger" from an extremist group and announced it had withdrawn embassy staff from Jakarta, Iran and

Yemen announced that three chief editors of privately owned Yemeni papers will stand trial for printing the Danish cartoons and their publishing licenses suspended. They Information Ministry officials said the editors are charged with offending the prophet of Islam and violating religions.

Earlier this month, two Jordanian editors were put on trial for reprinting the Danish caricatures of Muhammad.

Saudi Arabia's top cleric said in a Friday sermon that those responsible for the drawings should be put on trial and punished.

Muslims in several European and Asian countries, meanwhile, kept up their protests, with thousands taking to the streets in London's biggest demonstration over the issue so far.

Last week, demonstrators in tightly controlled Iran attacked the Danish, French and Austrian embassies with stones and firebombs and hit the British mission with rocks.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is at odds with much of the international community over Iran's disputed nuclear program, launched an anti-Israeli campaign last fall when he said the Holocaust was a "myth" and that Israeli should be "wiped off the map."

In a speech marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution Saturday, Ahmadinejad linked his public rage with
Israel and the cartoons satirizing Islam's most revered figure.

"Now in the West insulting the prophet is allowed, but questioning the Holocaust is considered a crime," he said. "We ask, why do you insult the prophet? The response is that it is a matter of freedom, while in fact they (who insult the founder of Islam) are hostages of the Zionists. And the people of the U.S. and Europe should pay a heavy price for becoming hostages to Zionists."

The drawings — including one that depicts the prophet with a turban shaped like a bomb with a burning fuse — were first published in September and recently reprinted in other European publications that said it was an issue of freedom of speech.

Islam widely holds that representations of the prophet are banned for fear they could lead to idolatry.

Iran, a predominantly Shiite Muslim country, has seized on the caricatures as a means of rallying its people behind a government that is increasingly under fire from the West over its nuclear program.

Shiite Muslims do not ban representations of the prophet and some in Iran's provincial towns and villages even carry drawings said to be of Muhammad. But Tehran said the newspaper caricatures were insulting to all Muslims.

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said on behalf of the
European Union that Ahmadinejad's remarks should not be silently accepted.

"These remarks stand in complete contradiction to the efforts of numerous political and religious leaders who after the events of the past few days are campaigning for a dialogue between cultures that is marked by mutual respect," Plassnik said.

Plassnik was referring to appeals for calm made in recent days by Arab governments, Muslim clerics and newspaper columnists who fear the sometimes deadly violence has only increased anti-Islamic sentiment in the West.

Norway's ambassador to Saudi Arabia apologized on Saturday for the "offense" caused when a Norwegian newspaper published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Denmark, which has been stunned by the wave of protests over the caricatures that first appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September, urged its citizens on Saturday to leave Indonesia as soon as possible, saying they were facing "a significant and imminent danger" from an unnamed extremist group.

The warning came hours after the ministry said it withdrew Danish staff from Indonesia, Iran and Syria.

The Danish ambassador to Lebanon left last week after the embassy building in Beirut was burned by protesters.

Jyllands-Posten has apologized for offending Muslims but stood by its decision to print the drawings, citing freedom of speech.

The newspaper's culture editor, Flemming Rose, who was in charge of the drawings, went on indefinite leave Thursday, but many Muslims said that would do little to quell the uproar.

The paper has denied that Rose was ordered to go.

"He was not forced out," the paper's spokesman Tage Clausen told The Associated Press in Copenhagen. "He's on vacation, that's all."

Saudi Sheik Abdul Rahman al-Seedes, the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, called on Muslims to reject apologies for the "slanderous" caricatures.

"Is there only freedom of expression when it involves insults to Muslims? he said in his sermon, which was published Saturday in the Al Riyad daily.

Noisy but peaceful rallies also were held in Turkey, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland and elsewhere, although the Middle East was largely calm.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the caricatures were damaging attempts to blend the Muslim faith with democracy.

"It sends a conflicting message to the Muslim community: that in a democracy it is permissible to offend Islam," the U.S.-educated leader wrote in a commentary that appeared Saturday in the International Herald Tribune.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 02:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6482 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why USA?
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/12/2006 4:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Ahmadinejad blames US, Israel for cartoons

"Why USA?"

Answer: Looney Tunes
Posted by: RD || 02/12/2006 7:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Uh-oh. Now they are going to Chant death to America. I bet the Danes are relieved. Brave and true to thier convictions, but relieved.
Posted by: plainslow || 02/12/2006 8:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Don't they know it's all Bush's fault. Geeze when will Kerry and Jane go there and explain it to them? I'm really tired of the confusion, maybe mother Cindy can get their tickets paid for on Ebay.
Posted by: 49 pan || 02/12/2006 9:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Yes, it was all our fault! Our evil halbertonbushhitler mind control ray forced the Danes to publish cartoons! Just wait until we turn it on you, Ahmadine! You will wear underwear on your head! BRUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/12/2006 9:13 Comments || Top||

#6  *snort*

The graphic is priceless, ROFL!

Need a coffee alert on the first use for stuff that good, lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/12/2006 10:45 Comments || Top||

#7  maybe the fool read some of Larry's stuff:

Of course Larry RULES!
Posted by: 3dc || 02/12/2006 12:10 Comments || Top||

Al-Qaeda trying to muscle into Lebanon over the last few months
Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said al-Qaeda terror organization has been trying to settle in Lebanon for the last few months.

On Saturday, Fatfat told the French paper, Liberation, that they are aware of the Qaeda efforts in this direction; the network infiltrates its fighters or it collects its supporters inside the country.

Appointed in replacement of Hassan Sabeh, who was the former youth minister but resigned last week due to the cartoon protests in the capital Beirut, Fatfat said, "A short while ago, we collapsed the two groups suspected for affiliation with al-Qaeda network."

Lebanese minister also informed about the arrests of 13 people from different Middle Eastern countries planning to attack Lebanon. And five more, who attacked the military positions, were also detained, he added.

The judicial sources reported on the Syrian, Lebanese, Saudi Arabian, Jordanian, and Palestinian citizens among the arrested a month ago.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/12/2006 01:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6493 views] Top|| File under:

IAEA cameras taken off Iran N-sites
Tick... tick... tick...
Inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog agency have stripped most surveillance cameras and agency seals from Iranian nuclear sites and equipment as demanded by Tehran in response to its referral to the UN Security Council, according to diplomats.
Posted by: Fred || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6586 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The countdown till Israel attacks continues to tick down... ohhh what a surprise they have coming...
Posted by: bgrebel || 02/12/2006 15:54 Comments || Top||

US prepares military blitz against Iran's nuclear sites
from the Telegraph. EFL
Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.
I've remarked before, Mahmoud has no idea what he's playing with...
Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
I'm guessing this is a story we intended to get out...
They are reporting to the office of Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, as America updates plans for action if the diplomatic offensive fails to thwart the Islamic republic's nuclear bomb ambitions. Teheran claims that it is developing only a civilian energy programme. "This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," said a senior Pentagon adviser. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."
... as the negotiations route blew up in the Euros' faces...
The prospect of military action could put Washington at odds with Britain which fears that an attack would spark violence across the Middle East, reprisals in the West and may not cripple Teheran's nuclear programme. But the steady flow of disclosures about Iran's secret nuclear operations and the virulent anti-Israeli threats of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has prompted the fresh assessment of military options by Washington. The most likely strategy would involve aerial bombardment by long-distance B2 bombers, each armed with up to 40,000lb of precision weapons, including the latest bunker-busting devices. They would fly from bases in Missouri with mid-air refuelling.
... not to take place over European territory, of course...
The Bush administration has recently announced plans to add conventional ballistic missiles to the armoury of its nuclear Trident submarines within the next two years. If ready in time, they would also form part of the plan of attack.
If they are, it'll just be icing on the cake...
Teheran has dispersed its nuclear plants, burying some deep underground, and has recently increased its air defences, but Pentagon planners believe that the raids could seriously set back Iran's nuclear programme.
It would also set back Iran's nutcake regime...
Iran was last weekend reported to the United Nations Security Council by the International Atomic Energy Agency for its banned nuclear activities. Teheran reacted by announcing that it would resume full-scale uranium enrichment - producing material that could arm nuclear devices. The White House says that it wants a diplomatic solution to the stand-off, but President George W Bush has refused to rule out military action and reaffirmed last weekend that Iran's nuclear ambitions "will not be tolerated".
Mahmoud's making his brag, and Bush has said what we're going to do. Mahmoud doesn't believe it, or he believes that dispatching Hezbollah boomers to Washington is a war-winning plan. The danger is that they've already gotten a nuke from the helpful Paks or some other party, even if they're not yet producing their own. Then we have to take it out before they can use it. If we're not able to do that, or if they jump the gun, then all bets are off and they stand a good chance of getting incinerated.
Sen John McCain, the Republican front-runner to succeed Mr Bush in 2008, has advocated military strikes as a last resort. He said recently: "There is only only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option and that is a nuclear-armed Iran." Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat, has made the same case and Mr Bush is expected to be faced by the decision within two years.
My guess would be within a year...
By then, Iran will be close to acquiring the knowledge to make an atomic bomb, although the construction will take longer.
Nothing is a better deterrent to those seeking nuclear weapons than the aftermath of the U.S. taking out the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
Posted by: lotp || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6550 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Believe it then I see it.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/12/2006 1:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Could someone tell me what EFL stands for? Thanks.
Posted by: ryuge || 02/12/2006 5:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Edited For Length.

Stories tend to have lots and lots of fluff and anyone can go directly to the article itself.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/12/2006 5:28 Comments || Top||

Redacted by moderator. Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity. Please correct the condition that applies and try again. Contents may be viewed in the
sinktrap. Further violations may result in
Posted by: Constitutional Individualist || 02/12/2006 7:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Thanks CF!
Posted by: ryuge || 02/12/2006 7:15 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm looking at a map of Asia and trying to imagine the flight path from the U.S. to Iran, and noticing that if you don't want to go through Turkish airspace, the most likely path is through Iraq. Indeed, I've been wondering whether the entire Iraq exercise has been nothing more than a means to an end -- Iran. This would explain, for example, the comparative lack of concern about the failure to find WMD in Iraq.
Posted by: Perfessor || 02/12/2006 7:43 Comments || Top||

#7  I expect they'll stage to Dieago Garcia and maybe, just maybe Guam. We should ask JOE it he's noted any increased construction.
Posted by: 6 || 02/12/2006 9:22 Comments || Top||

#8  Perfesser, in the final months before the Iraq invasion we watched the trucks convoy from Iraq to Syria and then the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Some of those trucks came from Baghdad and were carrying a major portion of Saddam's billions to Syrian banks; and some of those trucks were carrying the household goods of his government-in-exile, which settled in Damascus to handle logistics and disbursement for the "insurgents" Saddam was convinced would drive us weak-willed Americans from his country post-haste. But the majority of it was his WMD stuff; the remainder of which was destroyed in situ in the early days of the invasion -- remember those sterilized portable labs that were found early on? and reports recently that, during the invasion, units of Republican Guards had gone into storage depots to destroy the contents?

President Bush is a typical MBA guy. Every act ideally fulfills multiple needs. In the case of Iraq, it looks like this:

o We need a base centrally located in the Middle East, from which to be able to strike outward militarily, as needed. And it mustn't be Israel, which is already on our side, is too small for the size and number of bases needed, and would not teach the Arab world the necessary lesson, nor Saudi Arabia, where we already were, which was proving more amenable to hosting Islamofascist terrorists than American protectors.

o We need to close down funding and training support of Islamist terrorists. The major funders of terror are Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq.

o We need to stop the research and production of WMD by irresponsible parties. Those parties would be North Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Libya.

o The 9/11 attacks were understood by Osama bin Laden and the Muslim World as theater -- showing that Islam can successfully attack the very heart of the West, the attack which was to draw Allah Himself into the decades long war of Islam against the West. There were reports at the time that bin Laden spent 9/11 glued to CNN in his Afghan compound, very surprised that his attacks wrought so much damage -- he'd apparently expected no more than a dramatic fire and a few hundred deaths. His father may have been the construction worker of the House of Saud, but Dad's lad Osama had spent his youth studing the Koran.

o Bush needed a rapid military conquest to dishearten the rest of the region, and trigger change. Maintaining the status quo had clearly not resulted in decreasing the use of terror and terrorists in the region, nor in reducing the level of taught hatred for the West, Israel and the Jews, and the Western liberal ideas of freedom of thought, of speech, of individual responsibility, etc.

o The entire world is hooked on oil, not just the U.S. Saddam Hussein was already talking of cutting off supply or controlling it. He had invaded Kuwait not just because Iraq had always considered Kuwait to have been territory stolen by Britain, but as a first step to controlling the world by conquering the oil fields. Bush pere launched Desert Storm at the request of the Saudis, terrified that Saddam Hussein would make good on his rhetoric by attacking them next. And American troops remained in Saudi Arabi afterward, also at the request of the princelings, in order to protect them from Iraqi revenge.

o Finally, Iraq was low hanging fruit, as they say. The first invasion, the one at the behest of the UN, had been ended only by a truce, not a peace treaty; and from the moment of signing, Saddam Hussein violated the terms, up to and including suborning the UN itself, and bribing the majority of the members of the Security Council (as you'll recall, France, Germany and Russia were the major recipients of Oil for Food contracts ... and kickbacks).

There was a lot of argument here at Rantburg before and after the invasion that Iran should have been chosen the recipient of Bush's martial embrace instead. The arguments being that Iran finances and supports terror, too (Hizb'Allah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad as proxies for its war on Israel), is a force for instability in the region (eg its war with Iraq, which first brought Saddam Hussein to the world's attention), and its youth, making up about half of its population, mostly loathe their religious masters and love America and the West, making them better hosts for a long term American military presence. In the end, though, low-hanging fruit and imminence won out (I don't think at that point we knew much about the scope of Iran's nuclear ambitions, and would have been hard pressed to make convincing arguments thereupon to an audience predisposed to be highly skeptical about anything coming from George Bush's mouth).

Or so I understand it. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 10:51 Comments || Top||

#9  A goddess.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/12/2006 11:02 Comments || Top||

#10  submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks

Hmmm. Either they meant cruise missile or this is going to be big. The only SLBMs I know about are nuclear.
Posted by: Jackal || 02/12/2006 11:23 Comments || Top||

#11  Oh. Now that I actually read the article, I see we are developing conventional SLBMs. I don't see the reason for them, though.
Posted by: Jackal || 02/12/2006 11:24 Comments || Top||

#12  The Bush administration has recently announced plans to add conventional ballistic missiles to the armoury of its nuclear Trident submarines within the next two years. If ready in time, they would also form part of the plan of attack.

This is one of the dumbest ideas the Navy has come up with to justify keeping their boomers sailing.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/12/2006 11:25 Comments || Top||

#13  TW - You (and a few others like .com) are the reason I continue to read Rantburg. Thank you!
Posted by: SR-71 || 02/12/2006 11:46 Comments || Top||

#14  "Indeed, I've been wondering whether the entire Iraq exercise has been nothing more than a means to an end -- Iran. This would explain, for example, the comparative lack of concern about the failure to find WMD in Iraq."

The problem people have in understanding our invasion of Iraq is not that there wasn't a good reason for going there, it's that there are too many-- and most of them cannot be discussed publicly by the administration. I've listed a few of the things we were trying to achieve, here.

Even if our "Islamic Democracy Initiative", or whatever you want to call it, doesn't bear fruit, there are plenty of other benefits to gain from invading Iraq-- not the least of which is we finally have a large land base for our military forces with easy access to Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Dave D. || 02/12/2006 12:34 Comments || Top||

#15  Dave D, I not only saved the link to that post, but I've printed it out for my permanent collection (against the next time my computer melts down, losing everything).
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 14:16 Comments || Top||

#16  Redacted by moderator. Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity. Please correct the condition that applies and try again. Contents may be viewed in the
sinktrap. Further violations may result in

Go ahead and ban...who cares. Now this site is falling prey to Dhimmitude also? During WWII we killed as many Nazis and Japanese as possible because that is the goal of all out war. We are at war and the goal is to kill as many of those who would kill as many of us as possible. If that thought is too much for you then....ah, what's the use, Rantburg has gone soft. Too bad. Last post and last time logging on. Good luck all. We will all need it as soon as the enemy has the capability to kill as many of us whether by nuclear, chemical or biological means.
Posted by: Constitutional Individualist || 02/12/2006 14:50 Comments || Top||

#17  As I read the Sinktrap, killing Islamo Fascists and killing treasonous CIA leakers is unacceptable today. So much for a WOT.
Posted by: Darrell || 02/12/2006 14:58 Comments || Top||

#18  We did not kill all the Nazis, or even most of them. Nor did we try; our troops killed as many of those fighting against us as was necessary for the rest to surrender. I have a friend, an older German man, who was in high school when the war ended. Naturally, he he had been a member of the Nazi Youth, because there was no alternative, but even at the time he understood why his Jewish best friend had disappeared one day some years before, and what likely had happened to the boy. "Kill them all," means targetting for killing the children who know no better, as well. There may come a time when we are forced to nuke key parts of the Arab world in order to win this war they started. But even so, I hope we never get to the point were our objective is to kill them all, even to the little children and babes in arms.

The Koran makes it clear, as far as I can tell, that Allah grants victory to those He favours. Thus far, He is not showing the Islamofascists his happy face.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/12/2006 15:28 Comments || Top||

#19  CI's "target" was "Every Islamo Fascist that can be identified by statements or actions." I don't think that includes "the children who know no better", tw, but it certainly includes the Iranian regime.
Posted by: Darrell || 02/12/2006 15:56 Comments || Top||

#20  Lest we forget, there were numerous bombing raids during WWII whose very intent was indiscriminate destruction. Think of the 1,000 bomber raid on Hamburg, Dresden and of course the fire bombing of every major city in Japan. While the target was not specifically the innocent babes, those in charge of the raids certainly knew these would be amongst the dead.

These raids were not conducted at the outset of the war, but rather closer to the end.

Prolonged war drives man to become less human. If this conflict continues and becomes more deadly, our devolution will come as certainly as tomorrow's sunrise.
Posted by: Remoteman || 02/12/2006 16:41 Comments || Top||

#21  TW rocks.
Posted by: Perfessor || 02/12/2006 17:10 Comments || Top||

#22  Now that I actually read the article, I see we are developing conventional SLBMs. I don't see the reason for them, though.

Lots of places we want to blast but don't want to contaminate with radioactive fallout. Some of them are places we'd rather hit from a sea-based platform and some are places that need more power than a JDAM will deliver.

Like, say, hardened surface-air or surface-surface missile silos near a civilian population.
Posted by: too true || 02/12/2006 17:58 Comments || Top||

#23  Using a 45 million dollar buck Trident D5 with a 500 kg warhead makes little sense. You gain speed but that limited by intel... I'm not certain what the deal is. Now like Ima mentioned in the past :> If we'd kept a few Titan IIs around and armed them conventionally that would be a different story.
Posted by: 6 || 02/12/2006 18:54 Comments || Top||

#24  That's the problem Too True... the D5 has a small throw weight and the kinetic energy from the speed of impact is not enough to overcome that payload limitation.
Posted by: 6 || 02/12/2006 18:57 Comments || Top||

#25  Understood. But there are advantages as well, among them supersonic speed of delivery with signficant accuracy.

The problem with an all-nuclear sub capability is that most countries will judge, rightly, that the US is not likely to use them to deal with anything less than a nuclear or chem/bio attack on the homeland. Conventional warheads on missiles that can outfly most defenses changes that equation.
Posted by: too true || 02/12/2006 19:20 Comments || Top||

#26  The USS Ohio just pulled into Naval Station Bangor here within the last two weeks following her conversion. Press commented at the time that follow on boats were coming and being equally based here and at King's Bay Georgia.
I have heard nothing regarding the Ohio's next deployment (but then it's not called the silent service for nothing).
Posted by: USN Ret. || 02/12/2006 23:14 Comments || Top||

#27  I've said it many times....

Kill 'em. Kill 'em all. It MUST be done. Sooner now than later. Every Islamo Fascist that can be identified by statements or actions. This is war. WHY AREN'T WE ACTING LIKE IT!!
Posted by: Constitutional Individualist || 02/12/2006 7:14 Comments || Top||

Small bomb exploded in car in south Beirut, one injured
A small explosion damaged a car in south Beirut Saturday and injured a woman who was passing by, police said. Explosive experts were trying to learn whether the explosion was caused by a bomb wired to the car or had been placed under it. The woman suffered minor injuries, the police said.

Lebanon has witnessed a series of mysterious bombings since a massive truck bomb killed former Premier Rafik Hariri and 20 others on Feb. 14, 2005. In 14 bombings since then, 11 people were killed. The last explosion was Feb. 2, which injured a soldier when a bomb was tossed at the wall of a Beirut army barracks. The explosion in the predominantly Shiite Muslim area of Ouzai as tension and apprehension increased in the Lebanese capital in the days before massive demonstrations were expected to mark the first anniversary of Hariri's assassination.
Posted by: Fred || 02/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

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