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Israeli sources say war imminent; Iran and Syria next
Today's Headlines
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Afghanistan
US Senators accuse ISI of sheltering Taliban
Hindustan Times
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is once again coming in for close scrutiny in Washington DC. Two senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have raised concerns about ISI's renewed help to Taliban and Al-Qaeda activists to infiltrate into Afghanistan in a bid to destabilise the Hamid Karzai regime.
See? People are starting to notice...
Committee chairman Richard Lugar and ranking member Joseph Biden brought up the issue during a hearing on Wednesday and cited reports indicating renewed ISI assistance to Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements. They, however, thought the ISI was carrying on with this activity without the knowledge of President Pervez Musharraf.
Or with it, and he can't do anything to stop it — assuming he wants to. I don't think he'll want to again until his pee-pee's in the wringer, with a couple or three turns to the crank. And even then, it'll just be for awhile.
Lugar pointedly stated that elements within the ISI that backed the Taliban during the past decade were trying to regain influence in Afghanistan by facilitating the infiltration of activists across the border. Biden, too, felt that the ISI was propping up the Pashtun groups opposing the Karzai government.
Even Joe caught it. We're not talkin' real subtle, here...
A report in the New York Times, however, quoted two senior administration officials as saying that the situation was not as dangerous as suggested by the two Senators. But one of the officials commented that Afghanistan's "neighbouring countries would like to have a hand in it".
Iran's been pretty well-behaved, not wanting to give the U.S. a pretense for whacking them. Pakland feels more secure, like the U.S. can't get along without them. This trend's still got a little way to develop, though, before it begins to stink out loud.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 02:24 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:


Afghanistan at risk
Ariana carries this from a Sacramento Bee article. We were just talking about this the other day in comments, and I wrote something along the same lines. Extract...
The persistence of armed attacks has also led U.S. commanders and foreign diplomats to conclude that terrorist groups continue to enjoy support from extremists in Pakistan border areas, and that elements of Pakistan's military intelligence service are probably involved. Some analysts even think that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who threw his support behind the U.S. anti-terrorist campaign after 9/11, may be playing a double game to keep rival factions at bay.
Whoa! That could have been written by D.J. Wu! It's his prose style all over again...
It may never be possible to learn the whole truth, but the United States needs to keep Musharraf as an ally who will do more than pay lip service to fighting pro-Taliban, anti-U.S. forces in border regions. But another troubling question is whether he has the power to do that. Pro-Taliban religious parties won power in two border provinces last year, reflecting popular sentiment against the U.S. presence.
That means he had his chance to do that back when he was dictator instead of being His Excellency Mr. President-General. He blew it, and now he finds himself kow-towing to the fundos.
The same phenomenon is evident in Afghanistan. Sporadic attacks against U.S. units continue; one powerful warlord seeks to overthrow the U.S.-backed government in Kabul led by Hamid Karzai; other ethnic-based factional rivalries fueled by arms and money from, among others, India and Russia, complicate matters further.
"Russia and India have been maintaining their relations with the members of the former Northern Alliance, the Russians because they regard Afghanistan as being within their sphere of influence, the Indians because Pakistan regards it as being within hers."
In short, the 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan may be facing much more than a mopping-up job there. And while U.S. commanders have begun to deploy troops beyond Kabul to strengthen security for projects to rebuild roads, hospitals and schools, the magnitude of the effort may be inadequate in the face of growing violence and popular discontent with the slow progress of a government that has yet to find its footing.
The Bad Guys say the gummint isn't moving fast enough to rebuild the country, even while making sure it can't. Afghanistan will remain in danger as long as the border with Pakland is open. They won't be able to close it until they've built up their own national army, in considerably more strength than it's been gaining.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 02:14 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [375 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Go watch your copies of Fort Apache, Rio Grande, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. It'll give you a feel for what's happening all over again. Small professional army detachments facing locals who could be friendly or hostile at anytime, run across a border for protection, win a few, lose a few, and generally drag it out for years. It is the settler [westenization] encroaching upon the territory with the protection of the army which will move these varmits into a corner so they and theirs can enjoy a future of poverty and parochialism. Those who adapt will enjoy a far better future.
Posted by: Don || 02/15/2003 17:21 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Saudi prince calls for Arab troops in Iraq. Really.
Arab states should send military troops to Iraq immediately to forestall a foreign invasion, a Saudi prince said Saturday. "We call on all the Arabs to make this demand, and we call on the noble Arab leaders to make this demand a reality," Prince Sultan bin Turki said in a statement. The prince did not spell out the role an Arab force would play in Iraq, but he said it would help keep the peace and prevent civil unrest.
Oh, look, Ethel! Human shields in uniform!
"The Arabs should not wait. The Arab people should be the main player in resolving this case, rather than have the colonial solution be imposed on us," the prince said in his statement. The prince, a nephew of Saudi King Fahd, does not hold a high-ranking position in the Saudi government. He is known for speaking his mind on foreign and domestic issues and is regarded as one of a small group of royal family members who favor bold reform.
Obviously one of the great thinkers of his age...
The prince said the Iraqi government and people should accept his proposal as to do otherwise would leave the country vulnerable to "American or international" intervention, he said. "The good of the Arab nation and the Iraqi people demands that its destiny be placed in its own hands to save it from the catastrophe it has been in since the 1991 Gulf War and to drive out foreign forces from the Arab region."
So lemme get this straight: In order to preclude an American invasion of Iraq, you propose invading it yourself? With the Soddy army? Heh heh. That's a joke, right?
He also called for lifting the U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Oh, sure. That'll work.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 04:11 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [372 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He needs a desert car trip - soon
Posted by: Frank G || 02/15/2003 18:55 Comments || Top||

#2  But.....the Saudis are our friends. Aren't they?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/15/2003 19:52 Comments || Top||

#3  We welcome the saudi's getting off the fence. If they are fighting alongside the enemy, they can die with them.
Posted by: flash91 || 02/15/2003 20:19 Comments || Top||


Bahrain Says It Smashed Five-Man Terror Network
Bahrain said it has broken up a terror ring of five people who were plotting attacks, an official spokesman said Saturday, February 15. "Bahraini security forces broke up a cell that had been plotting terrorist acts ... targeting the kingdom's national interests and endangering the lives of innocent citizens," said the spokesman. It was the first time the small Gulf kingdom has announced the arrest of Bahraini "terrorists" on its soil since the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States.
Not the first time they've been there, but the first time they've caught them...
Mukhtar al-Bakri, a U.S. citizen of Yemeni descent allegedly connected to the al-Qaeda network, gave himself up to U.S. authorities in Bahrain in September last year and was transferred to the United States.
But this is a different bunch...
Security forces "seized arms and ammunition" which members of the cell "planned to use to carry out terrorist acts against the security of the country and its citizens," the spokesman said. The five suspects are were arrested three days ago, a senior Bahraini official told AFP. Pistols, machineguns and ammunition were found in their possession, he said. Investigations were under way to "establish if the cell is linked to groups inside or outside Bahrain," the official added, in a reference to the al-Qaeda organization of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden.
Ummm... Look at the names and origins of those arrested...
Terror charges were in the past mostly leveled at members of the majority Shiite Muslim community in Sunni-ruled Bahrain. The identification of the cell members as Sunnis appeared meant to point to a connection with Bin Laden supporters.
As opposed to a connection with Iran...
The official spokesman identified the members of the cell as Mohieddin Mahmud Mohieddin Khan, born in Lebanon in 1961; Bassam Abderrazzak Abdullah Bukhua, born in 1970; Bassam Yussef Abdelkarim Ali, 1956; Issa Abdullah Abderrahman al-Baluchi, born in the Saudi city of al-Khobar in 1972; and Jamal Hilal Mohammad al-Baluchi, 1965.
See what I mean about the names and origins? A "Lebanese" named "Mohieddin Khan" — an unusual name for Lebanon, pretty common in Pakland and Afghanistan; you can't chuck a rock in either country without hitting a Khan. Two are "al-Baluchis," one of them originating in Khobar. It says Gulf States, and it smells Pakistani, on a Soddy leash.

FOLLOWUP:
FoxNews says that two of those arrested are members of the Bahrani military. Is this also starting to smell like the Qatar coup?
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 04:39 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:


India, Saudi Arabia to sign 'anti-terror' treaty
India and Saudi Arabia have agreed in principle to sign treaties to counter the growing threat of terrorism, Indian newspapers said on Friday, February 14. The issue was discussed between Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayif bin Abdul Aziz and India's Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain at Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday, February 13. Hussain is heading the Indian Haj delegation this year. "I had a meeting with the Prince at Mecca yesterday for almost two hours. I also extended an invitation to him on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani to visit India, which he accepted in principle," Indian newspapers quoted Hussain as saying in Jeddah.
Since India has more Muslims than Pakland, he'll surely go...
According to Indian reports, during the meeting, the Saudi minister noted India's "significant role in regional and world affairs" and spoke of the historic and traditional ties between the two nations. Saudi Arabia valued these ties and was anxious to enhance them, Prince Nayif reportedly said.
"Yeah. Us Soddies are always happy to help with building up an educational system in somebody else's country...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 11:33 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think the Saudis are more interested in the fact that India is in the GoodGraces(tm) of both Russia and the US, and is looking good to move up in weight class. And all the muslims there too, of course...
Posted by: mojo || 02/15/2003 15:38 Comments || Top||


Britain
Protest march preview
More than 10 million people are expected to take to the streets in 600 cities today as part of global demonstrations against a war in Iraq. It is anticipated that today's marches will be the largest ever for a single cause and far greater than at the height of the Vietnam war in the 60s.
10 million?
Last night London was celebrating appeasement peace, as dodos, anarchists, vandels, Stalinists, fascists, preening actors, politicians, poets, musicians, trade unionists and actors came together to lead whines debates and concerts. But protest organisers raised the stakes by calling on people to stage thousands of impromptu demonstrations, sit-ins, walkouts, strikes, vigils and acts of civil disobedience as soon as hostilities started. "We want people to strike on the day that war breaks out and occupy the whole Whitehall area of central London," said Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition.
No problem. The war is elsewhere. Sit where you like.
Downing Street said those taking part in marches were "motivated by the best intentions and believe sincerely in their views". A spokesman added: "The prime minister respects that. In a democracy people are entitled to protest and are entitled to make their views heard. "Given we are talking about a democratic expression of a point of view, people should not forget that in Iraq no such right exists.
"Hear, hear!"
"If you voice opposition to Saddam Hussein you face torture, imprisonment or death."
"Bravo! Bravo!"
Growing anger at the way the government is said to be risking British lives was confirmed by a YouGov poll of more than 1,000 Londoners yesterday which sug gested people overwhelmingly think a terrorist attack in London is more likely if British forces fight in Iraq.
It might happen. That's a risk you take, unless you want to wear a burka.
Not one person thought attacking Iraq would make terrorist attacks less likely, while only 22% thought the real aim of a war was to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. One of the speakers at today's London rally, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, challenged Mr Blair to meet Saddam Hussein. "I hope that Mr Blair ... would do something as bold as go to Iraq and talk to Saddam face to face," he said.
I'd be happy to see Tony talk to Sammy, so long as the SAS has first bound and gagged Sammy. That would be a conversation I'd want recorded for posterity.
There are expected to be about 3,500 police on duty at today's marches with 1,000 in reserve. There were signs that demonstrators would ignore the designated routes, with many groups saying they planned to protest at the US embassy.
Whatever.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/15/2003 10:32 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [361 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think Ari and the unnamed British spokesperson have been trading notes.
Posted by: Ptah || 02/15/2003 5:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Don't forget the tree huggers. Some of the more loony elements think that Israel will extend the settlements to cover Iraq with American and Russian jews.
Posted by: gonzo || 02/15/2003 9:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Jesse's over there? Good. Now the Brits get to see how totally full of shit he is. He should've tried France. He'd have them eating out of his hand.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/15/2003 9:27 Comments || Top||

#4  But Jesse, that's what we and the Brits are planning to do: Go to Iraq and meet Saddam face to face. Make up your mind.
Posted by: Denny || 02/15/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#5  Only 10 million people? Does this mean 5,990,000,000 are for it?

Geez, I haven't used numbers that long in so long, did I get that right? Oh, gotta get my lotto ticket, it's about $300mil. Now there's zeros I can get used to.
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/15/2003 12:08 Comments || Top||

#6  [Sarcasm on]
Wow! You mean these demonstrations are even bigger than those HUGE ones Europe had when the Serbs were slaughtering everyone else in the former Yugoslavia?
[Sarcasm off]
Posted by: Patrick Phillips || 02/15/2003 12:33 Comments || Top||

#7  I support the war, but I would have preferred that it be launched from occupied territories of a defunct Saudi entity. Why the protesters? Rule #1 in war: NEVER deliver a salient to the enemy. That is exactly what President Bush did when he spewed his infamous Islamic Center speech (Sept. 17, 2001) while surrounded by international frontmen for the final-jihad.

An IDIOTARIAN is anyone who can't comprehend the stupidity-subtext in Bush's comments on the 911 genocide: "...Muslims in (other) nations were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens." "These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it's important for my fellow Americans to understand that." "The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran itself: 'In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule.'" "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. ISLAM IS PEACE..." "...it is my honor to be meeting with leaders who feel just the same way I do. They're outraged, they're sad. They love America just as much as I do."

Americans have taken a trillion dollar economic hit because of that accession to jihad, and will bear further unneccessary costs for that appeasement. Shelve the smart-bombs, and annihilate every jihadi on the face of the earth.


Posted by: Anon || 02/15/2003 14:14 Comments || Top||

#8  I don't think you're appreciating the constraints Bush has to work with. His remarks on Islam were tactical and not something that came from the heart. The Soddies realize this, and they're been working hard to counteract the effects. Bush has to push this as a war against Islamism, not as a war against 1.5 billion Muslims. We don't care about Sufis and Ismailis, only about the turban and automatic weapons set, by they Hanafi or Shi'ite or Deobandi.

His biggest problem is that the Soddies are the Guardians of the Holy Mosques™ and that there is a chance of the rest of the Muslim world rushing blindly to their defense. It's a fight we would win, but the slaughter involved would be bad for us as a culture. The Soddies remain the ultimate target; if they're not, we're going to lose the war. But they're not a target that can be attacked head-on.

Bush's ideal solution, I think, is to lop off the Soddy tentacles one by one, to beat them in the war while at the same time remaining polite and even affable on the surface. If he does it right, they'll eventually be maneuvered into a position where even they see they can't win, and they'll have to make enough concessions in the process of being affable back to us to start democratization in their country, even though they'll try and block the attendant civil liberties that would actually make democracy work.

Once they've been checkmated and pushed into the position where they're forced to drain their own venom, he's won. The only way they'll be able to avoid an open confrontation with the U.S., which they'd lose, will be dismantle the terror machine and politely pretend it all never happened - just a few rogue princes and they're all dead now, y'know.
Posted by: Fred || 02/15/2003 14:44 Comments || Top||

#9  With a little help Heart problems can kill someone.


dorf
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/15/2003 18:57 Comments || Top||

#10  [Plans within Plans]Interesting premis,and well within the realm of the possable.As long as nobody breaks the rules.
Posted by: raptor || 02/16/2003 6:51 Comments || Top||


Europe
Hardline Milosevic ally charged by Hague war crimes tribunal
The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in the Hague yesterday indicted the Serb ultranationalist, Vojislav Seselj, for alleged war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia. Mr Seselj, once a key ally of Slobodan Milosevic, said he knew the UN court had been preparing a warrant for his arrest, but said he planned to surrender voluntarily. "I will not let anyone arrest me," Mr Seselj, 48, told reporters in Belgrade. "I shall go when it pleases me."
Shortly thereafter --
"Hi Voji. This is Mike, Tom, Bob, Jim, Clarence and D'Wayne. I'm Frank, and I'm from the CIA. These are my guys. Why don't you come with us."
"Get away you rotten American scum. I shall go when it pleases me."
"D'Wayne, would you please explain this to Voji?"
WHACK WHACK WHACK
"Owww! Okay, I'm pleased to go!"

A prosecution spokeswoman, Florence Hartmann, said the indictment only became public yesterday and she could not explain how Mr Seselj had prior knowledge. He is charged with eight counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war. Each count is punishable by up to life imprisonment. The indictment alleges Mr Seselj incited ethnic hatred and encouraged troops to commit violent acts against non-Serbs in the Balkans in the 1990s. "In almost daily rallies and election campaigns, he called for Serb unity and war against Serbia's 'historic enemies', namely ethnic Croat, Muslim and Albanian populations in the former Yugoslavia," it says. UN prosecutors allege that he participated in a "joint criminal enterprise" to expel large portions of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and parts of the Vojvodina region in the Republic of Serbia. Mr Seselj, who has said he has booked a flight to the Netherlands for February 24, declined to comment on the specific charges, saying he had not yet seen the indictment himself. He has denied allegations that his troops committed war crimes, claiming they were under army command.
Ah, the "dutiful soldier" defense.
Mr Milosevic has been on trial in the Hague for the past year, charged with 66 counts of war crimes and genocide in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. Mr Seselj became an unofficial leader of the Serbian nationalist movement after Mr Milosevic was ousted in 2000. He criticises the new, pro-democracy authorities in Serbia for working against the country's interests. He won 36% of the vote in presidential elections in December. Serbia risks losing western support because of its reluctance to arrest the former Bosnian Serb military commander, Ratko Mladic, and two former Yugoslav army officers sought by the tribunal.
More trash that ought to be hauled away.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/15/2003 10:29 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:


Fifth Column
Anti-War Questions and Answers
Commies,  burned-out hippies, loons, anti-Americans, anarchists, anti-Globalists, and riff-raff show their displeasure at most everythingWe are nearing the anti-war demos of Feb. 15-16. These will occur all over the world in an unprecedented display of international anti-war and pro-justice solidarity. In this message we wanted to convey a new question and answer piece regarding anti-war activism.
Click on the foto if you're interested in the original answers to the questions or if you're in need of a powerful soporofic...
1. As anti-war sentiment grows and the anti-war movement gains momentum, what are the most important priorities for peace and justice organizations?
To build a movement able to marshal sufficient numbers of sufficiently informed and committed people to compel ruling elites around the world, and ultimately in the US, to restrain or even terminate their war designs out of fear of the repercussions of their not doing so. That means getting lots of chicks to come out for these rallies. We need lotsa chicks, preferably naked. If they're naked, you're halfway there, right? And nobody can ignore a naked chick, unless maybe it's another naked chick.
2. From progressive organizations, you sometimes hear the demand, "Let the inspections work." Is this a sensible demand? Should the Left back inspections?
The demand "Let the inspections work" has three meanings, one that the Left should endorse, one that is reasonable but inadequate, and one that is immoral and quite dangerous. We're just not sure what they are. The alternative to inspections would be to either do something of substance, and that would mean the world would lose a perfectly good dictator, or to do nothing, which is what we'd like best, of course. Now, if the Man, the Powers That Be, the Establishment, felt that having the inspections was a good thing, we'd obviously have to change what we think, and we could denounce them as unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign dictatorship and demand that they stop. Then we could go back to bitching about the sanctions, which are another alternative to war, and which haven't worked, but we won't admit that. See? And what about all those dead babies, huh?
3. What should the Left be calling for in response to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, etc.?
There are two parts to the Left response to terrorism. First, the US Left ought to demand that its government cease carrying out and supporting terrorism. Like, you know the U.S. is the greatest terrorist threat in the world, don't you? 'Cause of, ummm... Chile. They did something there, man, and it was, like gross. Terrorism, of course, is not confined to Muslim fundamentalists crashing planes into the World Trade Center. It is terrorism also to bomb Afghanistan knowing that reputable aid agencies warned of a potential humanitarian catastrophe. I mean, you never read about it when it happened, and people don't talk about it, but that's why it's silent genocide. As for anti-Western terrorism, just ignore it, man. It doesn't apply to us. Probably doesn't even apply to anyone we know. If the U.S. would just change its entire foreign policy, and the structure of its government, and put us in charge, then it would all go away.
4. Should we, and if so how should we, emphasize the economic costs of the war?
The reason to oppose a war, first and foremost, is that it is immoral, not that it will cost a lot. I mean, like, all war is immoral, except for when it's run by Third World dictatorships, and fighting back is immoral, too.
5. What are the links between oppressions at home and the war abroad?
War is corporate globalization writ violent. Corporate globalization is capitalist market competition writ international. The connection between war and the basic institutions we live within is unbreakable. So we have to, like, smash the state, y'know?
6. Why does the "peace movement" seem to be disproportionately white and middle class?
In the US, polls show that African-Americans are more skeptical of war than the population as a whole. Nevertheless, it's probably still the case that current demonstrations are disproportionately white and middle class. But to a considerable extent this is a function of which sectors of society can most easily take the time and expense to travel to major anti-war events. I mean, like, Negroes can't even afford bus fare to come out and demonstrate in favor of Sammy. Can you believe that? Is this country hosed or what?
7. What can social change organizations do to break down internal race, gender and class disparities?
On the one hand, there is the need to reach out to underrepresented constituencies with information and organization. On the other hand, there are things that need to be done to our movements and their agendas. So, basically, was we really need is more chicks. Once you get the chicks — and I'm talkin' chicks who put out, man! — then you get the guys. And once you've got that, you've got, like a movement, y'know? You don't have to worry about the financing, because we've got, like, Soddies and Libyans and student unions to take care of that...
8. As we respond to the current crisis, how can we make choices that will ensure that we have a stronger, larger, and more deeply connected movement six months from now?
There is a tendency in all organizing to focus, very understandably, on the immediate present. We want to get some task done. In this case we want to prevent a war — or perhaps if that fails, to end one. But y'gotta think in the long term, man, like two, three, maybe even four months down the road, and who knows what's gonna happen then?
9. Should we be doing more to link to international movements?
In a word, yes. The international opposition to this war, and war in general, and to corporate globalization, and to racism and market exploitation — and so on — is currently magnificent in scale, breadth, diversity, and energy. I mean, we got chicks from all over the world show up.
10. How do we measure success?
Too many people think that success is a function of numbers of people, or whether some short term goal is attained or not — such as closing down an elite meeting. It isn't. It's volume, man. The more noise you make, the more attention you get. The more attention you get, the more likely you are to get on television. What we are doing is, or ought to be, always conceived and measured in terms of the overall struggle for peace and justice, not a momentary aim. Otherwise, the teevee guys will ignore us.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 01:19 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hey! Palestine Chronicle! There's an objective source! "No Blood For Oil!" "No Babywipes For Yasser!"
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/15/2003 14:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Don't even think of taking away Arafart's Baby Wipes, dude! You want that spittle to start flyin' again? Remember Tangiers, and how ugly *that* got?...
Posted by: mojo || 02/15/2003 15:46 Comments || Top||

#3  It's easy to put on a protest against the US ( notice I've stopped saying the protests are anti-war, lets start calling it what it is shall we?, Its Anti-American, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Capitalism, Anti-Freedom. )

Where were these people when Genocide was being committed in Rwanda? Were these people standing in protest when the Taliban took power in Afghanistan? Has any tyrant or dictator ever been protested by the someone who susbscribes to the 'socialist worker'?

Let's start telling the truth, these people dont believe in peace. They are willing to live with the very worst kinds of terror and fear,as long as its the poor non-white people of the world that are effected and not their own bubblegum pink asses. They say "we need to respect their cultural values, and they dont want democracy, why, you know that silly little Arabs cant handle democracy"

The people in these protests feel powerless, they know they cant stop Saddam and the rest of the worlds butchering dictators,because, well, someone might get hurt. But they know they can "protest the US", and as a result they feel like they are "doing something".

However, what they are doing is standing in solidarity with men who will kill any one of them in a heartbeat, not for a reason, just for damn meanness.

Once upon a time, liberals and the left stood for liberty and the inalienable rights of all mankind. Today, its stands for the rights of dictators and madmen who are actively developing weapons that will kill millions of us.

They stand in solidarity with the government of France, who just this week, invited Robert Mugabe to their country to celebrate the signing of an agreement with his government to purchase new aircraft from france.

All this while mugabe has created a government sponsored famine which has resulted in the deaths of thousands. When asked about this Mugabe is reported to have said " Our country could do with a few million less mouths to feed".

They stand in solidarity with a governemnt who while it had the ability to inact sanctions against Iraq for its not living up to requirements of disaarmament, has gone right ahead and sold arms and technologies directly to the same country. They stand in solidarity with a government who worked with the government of iraq to develop a nuclear reactor for the express purpose of creating nuclear weapons to kill Millions of isrealis.

While millions of Iraqis starve, France has grown rich on the contracts with the dictator of iraq.

And yet, the US is considered the worlds devil. And yet, we are the ones who are protested when we ask the world to live up to its own laws.

Where were these people when we were digging our dead out of the WTC? Did they stand in solidarity in Pennsylvania for the victims of flight 93? THe victims of Bali? Of Kabul under the Taliban?

I know where they were, They stood in pubs of england, cafe's of france and teh gasthauses of germany and said "good, its about time they got whats coming to them"

The crocodile tears they shed for our dead should not be ignored. Its time for the world to decide whos side they are on, its time for us to decide who our friends are and who our enemys are.

Do these people stand in solidarity with the little girls who stood in line to board flight 92, or with the terrorist Mohammed Atta who stood in the same line, knowing that the children in his line were going to die as a result of his actions?


Its time to leave europe, its time to leave the UN. Its time for those countries who are democracies and believe in freedom to stand up and be counted.

They rest can be prepare themselves to be defended by France.

Posted by: Frank Martin || 02/15/2003 16:50 Comments || Top||

#4  You know, I'm just tired of waiting. Let's roll. What's the holdup?
Posted by: john || 02/15/2003 18:07 Comments || Top||

#5  Frank, Don't forget that despite the appallingly big turnout at the anti-US rally in London today, there are plenty over here who still support the US and what your nation stands for. It's true there are those who have lost their grip on the reality of international politics, and some whose version of morality is so deranged they reject the idea of challenging Saddam. However there are plenty here who remember their history and recognise the tremendous debt the free world owes to the United States, and the sacrifices you've made fighting wars started because of the idiocy of others.

The world has been a safe place for so long that many ordinary people have lost sight of what's important and what's worth fighting for. They have no concept of what life without freedom is like, let alone what life under tyranical oppression is like. Unfortunately it would take another major conflict of their very survival to bring these moral zombies to their senses and shake the scales from their eyes.

I know it's just one voice here and it must feel as though the whole world is showing you the middle finger at the moment, but keep the faith, guys, because you are doing the right thing.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/15/2003 18:17 Comments || Top||

#6  "Unfortunately it would take another major conflict of their very survival..."
There are some who even then would blame the whole thing on the US. I've experienced firsthand the pathological hatred for the US, based on absolute delusion, fueled by an utter lack of intellect. And I'm not an American, so I can look at this objectively.
Posted by: RW || 02/15/2003 19:09 Comments || Top||


Iraq
U.S. dumps Iraqi journalist...
The U.S. government expelled an Iraqi journalist who covers the United Nations for the official Iraqi News Agency, saying he is "harmful" to the security of the United States.
"G'bye. Here's your hat. Get the hell out..."
The announcement came as Iraq informed Fox News that its four staff members in Baghdad would have to leave the country. John Stack, vice president for news gathering at Fox News, said his network was not told why its staff would have to leave but that they believed it was retaliation for the expulsion from the United States of Mohammed Allawi, a reporter for the Iraqi News Agency. "We have reason to believe that it's a tit-for-tat situation," Stack said. "We'll probably get the official reason tomorrow in the meeting." Fox News has appealed the expulsion and was scheduled to meet Saturday with Iraqi officials in Baghdad.
"Spies! All spies!"
Allawi, who has reported from the United Nations for the past two years, said he received the expulsion letter signed by Deputy U.S. Ambassador Patrick Kennedy at his Manhattan home on Thursday. The letter said that he and his family, including his five children, had 15 days to leave the United States. "The letter says I have to leave because I am harmful to U.S. interests," Allawi said.
That means he's a spy.
A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Allawi "has engaged in activities considered to be harmful to the security of the United States and those activities constitute an abuse of privilege of residence in this country."
See what I mean?
Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed al-Douri said he was stunned by the decision. "He's very a very polite and decent man. He's always in his office or with his colleagues so I don't see how he could be a threat," al-Douri said.
"I can't believe he was that clumsy!"
The Fox News staff in Baghdad includes Greg Palkot, a correspondent, and three other staff members. Stack said that if the expulsion is final, they will cover Iraq from neighboring countries. "We will do our best from the perimeter and depend on the various news agencies we subscribe to," he said. "It's a difficult place for a journalist to try to conduct business, and this is just another chapter."
"We'll be back when Sammy's dead."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 04:34 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [356 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder why they booted Fox and not CNN or MSNBC? Couldn't be because they lick Saddam's boots? Oh my! what will the Arab street think????
Posted by: Frank G || 02/15/2003 17:40 Comments || Top||

#2  "Spies! All spies!"

You're stealin' my material, man... :-)
Posted by: Raj || 02/16/2003 0:14 Comments || Top||


Iraq gives up turn to lead world disarmament forum
Iraq has decided to give up its turn to take up the rotating presidency of the world's top disarmament forum, a prospect that had prompted strong U.S. opposition, the United Nations said Friday. Iraq was to take over the monthlong chairmanship of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament on March 17. But Iraq's U.N. Mission informed Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday "that the Iraqi government had sent a letter to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva saying they would not be assuming the rotating presidency of the conference," the U.N. spokesman's office said in a statement. The presidency of the conference rotates in alphabetical order. India is the current president, followed by Indonesia. Iran also has given up its turn to chair the body; Ireland follows Iraq on the list.
Wonder what Kofi had to give 'em to get that?
The prospect of Iraq's chairing the conference, at a time when Baghdad faces U.S.-led military action for failing to prove it has eliminated weapons of mass destruction, prompted unrestrained hilarity and mirth strong protests by the Bush administration.
Executive summary of the entire text of the Bush administration protests: "You can't be serious! Are you outta your mind?"
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 04:26 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:


U.S. warplanes thump two sites in Iraq
American warplanes bombed two anti-aircraft missile sites in southern Iraq early Saturday, the U.S. Central Command announced. U.S. pilots bombed two mobile, surface-to-air missile sites near Basra, Iraq's major port about 245 miles southeast of Baghdad, at about midnight EST, Central Command said in a statement. The strike was the fourth in the Basra area this week - the second in as many days - by American planes patrolling the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. Basra, the country's second-largest city, is only about 35 miles from the border with Kuwait.
Still in the background noise stage here...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 04:13 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:


U.S and British Warplanes Continue Violating Iraq’s Airspace
Baghdad, Feb. 9, Ina
The evil warplanes of the U.S. and Britain launched on Saturday [note: Saturday, a week ago] some 70 armed sorties coming from Kuwait territory, backed by awacs and e-2c planes. A spokesman for the air defence command told Ina that the enemy warplanes flew over civil and service targets in the southern provinces of the country, saying that our air defence units fired back and forced them to leave our airspace.
"Alistaire, the Heroic Iraqi Air Defense units are firing back at us."
"Why, yes, Roger. So they are. I am being forced to leave their airspace."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 02:54 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:


Blix: 'Mmmmm! Waffles!'
Of great significance is that many proscribed weapons and items are not accounted for. One must not jump to the conclusion that they exist. However, that possibility is also not excluded. If they exist, they should be presented for destruction. If they do not exist, credible evidence to that effect should be presented.
—Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, briefing the U.N. Security Council this morning.
Ummm... What happened to the part about Iraq having to disarm? Blixie and crew are supposed to be verifying that he has, not instituting the process to think about gettin' ready to form a committee to consider whether they should...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 11:37 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [359 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In these golden years of his, about the only thing Blix has discovered is that Iraqi chicks really dig double-talking 71 year-old UN Arms Inspector heads.
Posted by: Govy || 02/15/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#2  But where they Belgium Waffles? Hmmmmmmmmm.
[duck and cover]
Posted by: Don || 02/15/2003 17:34 Comments || Top||


Israeli sources say war imminent; Iran and Syria next
GVNN
Sources in the Israeli defense establishment expect a Bush administration assault o­n Iraq within weeks, if not days. Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, quoted by local media, says that the war would begin "before the end of February."
A little earlier than we've been estimating here...
Yaalon also states that an attack o­n Iraq would spark a geopolitical "earthquake" in the region, following which the US would target Iran and Syria.
Probably not right away, though, unless they join in the festivities...
Yaalon's comments somewhat echoed statements made several days earlier by a Pakistani opposition leader. Qazi Hussain Ahmed, an official of the Islamic political coalition Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, claimed that the US would target Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan after Iraq.
They say that like it's new data...
Prof Edward Ghareeb, a US university professor and lecturer at the Washington-based International Peace Centre, believes that Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia are all eventual targets of the Bush Administration. Ghareeb cites an administration policy document composed in the aftermath of Sept 11 that suggests the US will work to prevent the emergence of any strong country in the Southwest Asian region except Israel and Turkey, and will use Iraq to lessen the US dependence for oil o­n countries now seen as unreliable, such as Saudi Arabia.
Israel and Turkey are on the "approved" list because of their support. Any other supportive countries in the area would also be on the "approved" list, which I'd guess includes Kuwait and Qatar, too. Both seem to be smartar than the average Muslim state, and less bloodthirsty. I don't know about Qatar, but Kuwait now has more income from its overseas investments than it makes from oil.
A Gulf News columnist, George Hishmeh, also believes that Iran is likely a post-Iraq target, especially since the US and Israel fear that Iran may now independently develop nuclear bombs. Hishmeh thinks that Syria is in the crosshairs as well.
The fact that they form a terror axis might also have something to do with it.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 10:55 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "...will use Iraq to lessen the US dependence for oil o­n countries now seen as unreliable..."
Uh oh, this guy's smart. He figured out that it's not really about the WMD (although getting rid of them and the tyrant is a bonus).
"...Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia are all eventual targets..."
In the future:
"Don't worry Saud, we're still friends"
"But, but, why are you leaving? Why are you not buying my oil???"
"Don't worry Saud, we'll still cooperate in other areas"
"But, but...mommy!"
"Don't worry...Saud"
Posted by: RW || 02/15/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

#2  RW: Shhhhhhh. And don't even mention that part of it is about location.
As to "when", I think that depends on one's definition of what constitutes 'war'. Do recall that we had people in Afghanistan very shortly after September 11, 2001 — but that no one really considered that we were at 'war' until the bombing began.
Same applies here.
I'll be surprised if we don't see fireworks by March 5. As to the date of the start of the war?
August 2, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait. We just stopped shooting for a long while.
Posted by: Kathy K || 02/15/2003 18:21 Comments || Top||


Powell points out Iraqi tricks
From the Guardian:
Frustrated Powell voices fears of endless, fruitless weapon checks
That isn't frustration, that's education. He's trying to teach you.
The US secretary of state Colin Powell accused Iraq last night of playing tricks on the UN and said the security council could not allow the weapons inspection process to be "endlessly strung out".
The French don't want it strung out forever, just til Sammy has a nuke or weaponized smallpox.
Urging reluctant members of the security council to threaten Iraq with force, he said the international community should not be fooled by "tricks that are being played on us" by the Iraqi regime. "The threat of force must remain," he said. "We cannot wait for one of these terrible weapons to turn up in our cities."

Against calls from other members of the security council to continue and strengthen inspections, Mr Powell reiterated the disputed warning that Iraq was strengthening its links with terrorist groups. "More inspections - I am sorry - are not the answer," he said, and he warned the security council that it would have to make a decision "in the very near future".
"You guys make a decision, 'cause we've already made one. See you in Baghdad."
While commending inspectors on their work, Mr Powell sought to remind delegates and the world that resolution 1441 was dependent on Iraqi compliance. "Resolution 1441 was not about inspections. Let me say that again. Resolution 1441 was not about inspections. Resolution 1441 was about the disarmament of Iraq," he said.
It says something that he has to keep pounding this point home.
Looking far less assured than during the his presentation of evidence at the UN last week, Mr Powell repeated that resolution 1441 demanded a declaration from Iraq on its weapons programmes within 30 days of being passed on November 8. "Some 29 days later, we got 12,000 pages. Nobody in this council can say that that was a full, complete or accurate declaration," he said. Mr Powell repeated that the US was not seeking war but it had not yet seen the level of cooperation required to avert military action. "No one worked harder than the United States," he said. "No one worked harder, if I may proudly and humbly say, than I did, to try to put forward a resolution that would show the determination of the international community to the leadership in Iraq so that they would meet their obligations and come clean and comply. And they did not. The threat of force must remain. Force should always be a last resort. I have preached this for most of my professional life as a soldier and as a diplomat. But it must be a resort."
Unless you're always anti-war, in which case it's never a resort. Of course, then you're wearing a burka.
During his presentation, the chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix had cast doubt on the significance of some intelligence information offered by Mr Powell last week. Two satellite images which Mr Powell showed to the council in a presentation on February 5 did not prove that Iraq was clearing the site of forbidden munitions, he said. "The reported movement of munitions at the site could just as easily have been a routine activity as a movement of proscribed munitions in anticipation of an imminent inspection," Mr Blix reported to the council.
"It could have been ze bakery trucks delivering bread to the starving children at zat nursery. So zere!"
Mr Powell did not answer these concerns, but said he would submit more evidence of alleged links between the Iraqi government and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida movement.
Hate to say it, Colin, but proof isn't what is required here. It's time to roll.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/15/2003 10:26 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let's roll! If anyone feels they need more information in order to place the coming conflict in context, I recommend, IN THE SHADOW OF THE PROPHET: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF ISLAM, by Milton Viorst. I'll give the current common-children-of-Abraham nonsense about Judaism-Christianity-Islam, about another 6 months shelf life. Islam is itself a problem, and proffering a type of nominal integration which Muslims reject, is being taken as a sign of weakness. Our mortal enemies within that faith must not merely be beaten; they must be annihiliated.
Posted by: Anon || 02/15/2003 2:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Jesus compared Christianity to "New Wine", as compared to Judaism's "Old Wine" (Pointedly reminding his listeners that wine gets better with age).

On this scale, Islam is moonshine that eventually blinds the drinker...
Posted by: Ptah || 02/15/2003 5:50 Comments || Top||

#3  It's not looking good. Looks like the weasels will get what they want. Or the U.S. will go it alone, even without the U.K. But I don't get it, if they know Sammy has the WMD, why not share the info, let the Clouseaus find some, and voila, the 2nd resolution. Not finding atleast some evidence plays into the weasel's hands. Somebody on this site said that keeping the intel all to ourselves could at some point become counter-productive. There must be something else going on in the backrooms at the UN. I always suspected WMD was only a cover, but come on... what's up?
Posted by: RW || 02/15/2003 13:06 Comments || Top||

#4  I think at this point that the weasels will get what they want - that is, either a "no" vote in the UNSC or a veto. They prefer the "no" vote, of course. They're banking on Bush accepting the premise that a flawed UN is better than no UN and backing down on Iraq. If he does that, it'll be political suicide.

Blocking a UNSC resolution weakens the support of the Arabs who're on our side, like Kuwait and Qatar and Jordan, and of Turkey. They're trying to put a serious spike in the wheels.
Posted by: Fred || 02/15/2003 14:31 Comments || Top||

#5  So it's a "no go" on Iraq then??? It'll take a lot of courage to go without the UN, or more precisely, against the weasels. I hope it's done if only to set the precedent: if the UN doesn't get their act together, it might as well not exist. A turning point in history. It's not like the world plays by the UN rules anyway.
Posted by: RW || 02/15/2003 15:52 Comments || Top||

#6  Right now all the UN is is a patronage pit for third world shitholes and an anti American debating society. Screw 'em. GO!
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/15/2003 20:01 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Indonesia officially backs Franco-German plan for Iraq
Jakarta Post
The Indonesian government and civil society leaders closed ranks with peace backers France, Germany, and Russia over demands to resolve the Iraq crisis through diplomatic means, sending yet another message to the United States to drop its war plans. In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, the government said it "fully shares and supports the idea of strengthening the UN inspection team as suggested in the new initiative".
"And there are no terrorists in Indonesia, either. Don't forget that..."
France, Germany and Russia suggested bringing in more weapons inspectors and equipment into Iraq to make sure it met resolution 1441 on the disarmament of its weapons of mass destruction. Foreign affairs spokesman Marty M. Natalegawa said the measure "would send a powerful signal of the international community's common sense of purpose in urgently addressing the question of Iraq in an effective yet peaceful way."
"Just as it has for the past 10 years..."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 10:43 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [349 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Same as it ever was..."

Adding more inspectors could work, if we got the entire populations of China and India trained and sent to scour Iraq inch by inch.

Or if Iraq really wanted to rid itself of WMD's.

Care to give odds on either happening?

Didn't think so.
Posted by: Kathy K || 02/15/2003 21:15 Comments || Top||


Caucasus
Russers tell Maskhadov envoy to fuggeddaboudit...
Russian officials who have repeatedly refused to negotiate with Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov - calling him a terrorist - said Friday they also will not work with his newly appointed emissary. On Thursday, Maskhadov named ethnic Chechen politician Salambek Maigov to represent him in peace talks with Russian authorities in the war-shattered republic.
Guess Zakayev was too busy, huh?
But President Vladimir Putin's chief spokesman on Chechnya said that makes no difference. "Maskhadov has lost the ability to appoint anyone because right now he does not represent anyone but himself," the Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Yastrzhembsky as saying. "You can't represent what doesn't exist. You can't represent a soap bubble."
That's quaint Russian phrasing for "piss off, Aslan." Is much fonnier in Russian, ho ho!
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 04:18 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [375 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe Aslan should appoint a froggie or waffle or kraut.
Posted by: Anonymous || 02/16/2003 0:36 Comments || Top||


Korea
North Korea grooming leader's son as successor
North Korea has launched a campaign to promote the 21-year-old son of leader Kim Jong Il as his successor.
That would be the Baby Leader? Lessee, here. We had the Great Leader — he's now the Decomposing Leader. Now we have the Dear Leader. Next should probably be... ummm... Fearless Leader?
"Boris! You don' t'ink..."
"Yes, Natasha! Moose and squirrel have stolen national kimchee!"
Kim Jong Il turns 61 on Sunday and there is no suggestion that he will step down soon or is in poor health. The Kyodo news agency said a classified North Korean military document reverentially referred to Kim's current wife Ko Yong Hee as "mother" and "loyal subject." The North started a similar campaign in the mid-1970s to idolize Kim Jong Il's mother when he was earmarked to succeed his father, Kim Il Sung, the founder of the reclusive communist state as hereditary monarch. Little is known about Kim Jong Il and Ko Yong Hee's son, Kim Jong Chul. A South Korean newspaper reported he had studied in France.
That's appropriate...
Kim Jong Il is believed to have three children: Kim Jong Chul; Kim Sul Song, a daughter born in 1974; and Kim Jong Nam, a son born in 1971. The children all have different mothers.
Yeah, but it was all the same harem...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 03:20 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [391 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Actually it is interesting, when I was in Pyongyang Kim Il Sung was always referred to as "the Great Leader". My minder admonished anybody who wrongly translated his title into English as "Comrade" without the "Great Leader" bit - while Kim Jong Il was just "the leader" - none of this "Dear Leader" stuff. I wonder what that means?
Posted by: Russell || 02/15/2003 15:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Hmmm... Interesting. Not out the door yet, but certainly being handed his hat...
Posted by: mojo || 02/15/2003 15:52 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't think so. They're just starting to groom the crown prince.
Posted by: Fred || 02/15/2003 16:21 Comments || Top||

#4  "referred to Kim's current wife Ko Yong Hee as "mother" and "loyal subject."

how about "breeder" or "Debbie Rowe"?

I heard he's been importing buxom scandinavian blondes for his jollys - that's the only thing he's ever done that made sense to me
Posted by: Frank G || 02/15/2003 19:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Hmmmmmmm, a Stalinist monarchy? That is different.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/15/2003 20:04 Comments || Top||


Middle East
Yasser was pressured into appointing a PM...
By declaring his approval of appointing a Prime Minister, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat bowed to pressure from the Middle East "quartet" – the US, Russia, the EU and the United Nations, according to the British press Saturday, February 15. "Arafat has been under huge pressure from the United States to appoint a Prime Minister – and the letter, sent to Blair before his talks with George Bush in Washington last month, was apparently intended to be passed on to President Bush. Both the U.S. and Israeli governments are refusing to speak to Arafat”, the Independent reported Friday, February 14.
"Yasser who? Ariel, do we know anybody named 'Yasser'?"
"Yasser... Yasser... Ummm... I don't think so, George."
"He's not the guy that runs the gas station down the road, is he?"
"No. That's Bob. But gimme time. It'll come to me... Oh, well. Maybe not."

The British daily pointed out that the idea of a Palestinian prime minister was floated as a way of getting round Israel's refusal to deal with Arafat, and Bush's call for Arafat to be replaced as Palestinian leader. The idea is that Arafat will be "kicked upstairs" to a symbolic role as Palestinian leader with a Prime Minister taking over the day-to-day running of what is left of the rapidly disintegrating Palestinian Authority (PA), and negotiations with the Israelis. The news came against the backdrop of a new round of talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials. The appointment of a Prime Minister is one of the provisions in the "roadmap", a peace plan drawn up by what has become known as the Middle East "quartet". "The letter said, for the first time, that Arafat accepts the roadmap without reservations, and he accepts all the steps outlined in the roadmap, including that he appoint a Prime Minister," the Independent quoted an anonymous Palestinian official as saying.
"Yeah. Yeah. We surrender. Until we get some more arms and ammunition, and if Bush takes out Iraq, we prob'ly ain't gonna get 'em, unless Iran kicks in..."
“Arafat may have felt pressured into accepting a Prime Minister. The U.S. and Israeli governments have been trying to marginalize him and his popularity among Palestinians is at a low ebb. Many Palestinians say the only reason they support him as Palestinian leader is because Bush called for him to be replaced. They say it's up to them to choose their leader, not President Bush.”
If they actually did that, it wouldn't be any of our business. But they don't, so it is. If there ever is a Paleostinian state, Yasser isn't going to be remembered as one of its great lights. It'll be something that happens in spite of him, not because of him.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 01:18 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:


Two Paleos snuffed in Rafah tunnel...
Two Palestinians died when an Israeli army patrol Friday, February 14, blew up an underground tunnel between the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah and the border with Egypt, Palestinian security sources said. The men were identified as Ziad al-Shaaer, 24, and Mohammad Qishta, 20.
G'bye, boys. Tough when that happens, ain't it?
An army spokeswoman confirmed troops had blown up a tunnel in the area but claimed they had no knowledge that Palestinians had been killed in the controlled explosion. "It's a regular procedure that every time we discover a smuggling tunnel, we demolish it," she said.
"If some jughead happens to be in it at the time, that's his tough luck."
The border is one of the flashpoints of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the army has been demolishing dozens of houses in the sector claiming they hide the entrances to tunnels.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 02/15/2003 12:44 pm || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [375 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "If some jughead happens to be in it at the time, that's even better his tough luck."
Posted by: RW || 02/15/2003 13:14 Comments || Top||

#2  OOOOOOOOPPPS! A little different twist on the Pali "work accident" theme.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/15/2003 14:45 Comments || Top||

#3  I wonder if the IDF yelled "fire in the hole" before they set off the blast.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/15/2003 22:39 Comments || Top||


Korea
U.S. piratical act exposed at press conference
ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGG! We be pirates looking fer Scuds! ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGG
Nampho, February 13 (KCNA) -- Experiencing the illegal aggressive act and looting committed by U.S. imperialists in the open sea in December last year, we keenly realized that they are brutes without an equal and aggressors and provocateurs keen to stifle the DPRK. Crewmen of the DPRK trading cargo ship Sosan said this at a press conference held in Nampho port on Feb. 13 upon their return home. Captain of the ship Kang Chol Ryong said:
When the ship reached the waters in latitude 10 degrees 51.3 minutes north and longitude 60 degrees 22.4 minutes east after sailing almost past the Indian ocean at around 8 in the morning of Dec. 9 a Spanish-flagged destroyer and rescue boat appeared all of a sudden and a fighter was flying over it at the instigation of the U.S. imperialists. They demanded the ship unconditionally stop. As the ship continued its voyage, dismissing their demand as unacceptable, they indiscriminately fired at facilities on the deck of the ship, destroying them. When its crewmen tried to set fire to the ship and sink it in a death-defying spirit, two helicopters airlifted 22 commandos on the ship and another group of at least 40 commandos rushed there by two clippers to occupy its steering and engine cabins.

They're real big on that "death defying spirit"...
In the afternoon of Dec. 11 U.S. destroyer no. 46, cruiser no.53, PCE no.59, an aircraft carrier, etc. whose force is enough to fight a war put the trading cargo ship under siege and search. They arrested our crewmen and transferred them to their cruiser. Keeping them in custody in a prison-like place, they searched their bodies and did not allow them even to speak. When the crewmen were suspicious of doing anything not to be desired by them, Americans beat them, trampling down even their elementary human rights.
Probably just wanted to make them feel at home...
This was part of the premeditated and brigandish moves of the U.S. imperialists to isolate and stifle the DPRK and dominate the world with their policy of strength. The United States should be fully responsible for this piratical act and make a formal apology and due compensation to the DPRK Government for it.
Don't hold your breath, Kimmie....
Crewmen answered the questions raised by reporters.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/15/2003 10:16 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [365 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If we be pirates, mate, then we can keep the scuds next time!

P.S. -- Why would they try to set fire to a cement hauler? Does this mean the crew knew what their cargo really was? And if everything was on the up and up, why did they feel a need to bury the scuds under cement?
Posted by: Tom || 02/15/2003 11:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Next time we should quietly use a stealth torpedo after the inspection.
Posted by: Tom || 02/15/2003 11:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Ye Be tellin the truth there matey, but you just remember what old Long John Silver be tellin you scurvy Korean scalliwags - "Dead Men Tell No Tales"
Posted by: Frank Martin || 02/15/2003 12:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Yarrr, matey! Ye be handing them gold doubloons..er..Scuds, or ye be walkin' the plank!
Posted by: Crescend || 02/15/2003 15:33 Comments || Top||

#5  The pirates were on the unflagged, unamed (painted out) ship that refused a lawful order to halt and be inspected. Matey.

They're lucky it didn't get scuttled.
Posted by: mojo || 02/15/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Mebbie, George Merry, we stopped yonder tub an' gave to them the Black Spot. Just as a kindly warnin' to North 'o the Parallel Koh-rheans that they will wind up visitin' Davey Jones if they pass this here way agin' carrin' contrary cargo.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/15/2003 22:31 Comments || Top||


Iran
Iran’s hardliners renew call for Rushdie to die
Iranian hardliners renewed a death sentence on Salman Rushdie yesterday, 14 years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the former Iranian leader, issued his fatwa against the writer. The elite Revolutionary Guards, which answers directly to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, said in a statement timed to coincide with the anniversary: "The historical decree on Salman Rushdie is irrevocable and nothing can change it."
The Religion of Peace,right?
The leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution condemned Rushdie to death in 1989 for alleged blasphemy against Islam in his novel The Satanic Verses. Iran's President, Mohammad Khatami, a moderate, said in 2001 that the death sentence should be seen as closed after Iran and Britain agreed to normalise relations in 1998.
He's just the President, what does HE know? Now if he was a revolutionary guard or summthin' ...
But Iranian hardliners, led by the Revolutionary Guards, have refused to follow the government's moderate line and have repeatedly issued calls for Rushdie to be killed. The Foreign Office said: "This is not the first time that statements have been made that are contrary to oft- repeated official Iranian policy.
We've noticed.
"Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi affirmed to Britain's then foreign secretary Robin Cook on 24 December 1998 that the 'government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention, nor is it going to take any action whatsoever, to threaten the life of the author of The Satanic Verses or anyone associated with his work'," a spokesman said.
Just another gummint worker. Pay no attention to him.
Rushdie was forced into hiding when Khomeini issued the fatwa in 1989 following the publication of The Satanic Verses and was forced to live in 30 different secret locations in Britain over a nine-year period. The Japanese translator of the book was assassinated, and both the Italian translator and the Norwegian publisher were seriously wounded.
I didn't know that. Jeebus.
In recent years, Rushdie has been seen in public more often and now spends most of his time in New York.
Be careful. These guys appear to have long memories.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/15/2003 10:28 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:


East/Subsaharan Africa
EU / African summit delayed
The European Union is putting off a fully fledged summit with African countries because it cannot find a way of excluding the Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe.
I wouldn't have a problem with this. "Yo, Bob, yer history. Get the f--- outta here!" Then again, I've never been trained as a diplomat.
EU ambassadors meeting in Brussels yesterday decided that the Lisbon summit, originally scheduled for April 5, would have to be postponed indefinitely.
In some circles, I guess, this is bad.
"In the present circumstances it would not be possible to achieve the broadest participation at the highest-level by both sides," a statement said. "It would therefore be in the best interests of EU-African relations to postpone the summit." The decision coincided with the long-delayed renewal of EU sanctions against the Mugabe regime, targeted because of democratic and human rights abuses, the seizure of white farms and a crackdown on the media. The punitive measures were rolled over only after weeks of embarrassing public disarray in Europe.
Were the French embarrassed? I don't think so.
The price was reluctant caving-in acquiescence in a controversial visit by the Zimbabwean president to a Franco-African summit in Paris next week. President Jacques Chirac had insisted that the invitation was justified because of the need for plotting dialogue with Mr Mugabe. But his many critics, including a furious Tony Blair, said he was making a mockery of EU attempts to forge a common foreign policy.
Let's see now, what's that old saying about the enemy of my enemy is my friend? Hmmm, France and the Brits aren't getting along, and Bob hates the Brits, so ...
France made clear, however, that it would block the renewal of the sanctions if it did not get its way.
Rotten unilateralists.
The measures include a visa ban on Mr Mugabe, and some 70 of his ministers and senior aides, a freeze on their financial assets, and an arms embargo.
"No shopping spree on Fleet Street for you, Bob!"
Greece, holder of the EU's rotating ineffectual presidency, made a pointless last-ditch effort to salvage the Lisbon summit by seeking a guarantee that Mr Mugabe would stay away. But with several African countries, led by South Africa and Nigeria calling for an end to Commonwealth sanctions against Zimbabwe, this was always a fairly slim prospect. Several EU member states, led by Britain, had threatened to boycott the Lisbon meeting if the Zimbabwean leader attended. But African states made clear they would refuse to attend if Mr Mugabe was not invited.
I'm guessing this is the standoff that led to postponement of the conference.
Diplomats said that EU was anxious to maintain dialogue with its African partners but insisted it was up to them to ensure that the Zimbabwean president did not attend.
"We don't want the responsibility. You take responsibility!"
Issues such as African economic reform, governance and debt relief can also be handled in the forum of the G8 group of the world's leading industrial countries. Mr Mugabe's visit to Paris next week has been roundly condemned in advance, especially as he will be accompanied by his wife Grace, who is reportedly keen to spend lavishly in the city's finest shops while seven million people face starvation at home.
What's Bob's cut on the black market grain sales in Harare?
Peter Tatchell, the gay activist, has pledged to try to have the Zimbabwean leader arrested on charges of torture under a UN convention which forms part of French law. "If Slobodan Milosevic can be put on trial for human rights abuses, why can't Robert Mugabe?" he said.
What about those wanker Belgians and their goofy law that allows them to prosecute anyone for human rights crimes? Seems like this would be a good time to trot that one out.
Mr Tatchell has made similar attempts to arrest Mr Mugabe in London and Brussels. Glenys Kinnock, the Labour MEP, is demanding that the existing sanctions be extended to deny Zimbabwe's elite and their families, and that the right of residence and education in EU member states should also apply to business people collaborating with the ruling Zanu-PF party. As a result of the wrangling over the extension of the sanctions, the EU will from now on agree to allow exemptions to be granted by a majority of the 15 member states rather than under the current system of unanimity.
Making it even easier for the French. Gads.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/15/2003 10:30 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [381 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Africa is a nightmare now, and it's gonna get a *lot* worse. Bob and his ilk are not helping.
Posted by: mojo || 02/15/2003 15:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Bob and his ilk are the definition of the nightmare.
Posted by: Fred || 02/15/2003 16:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Why are the French so chummy with brutal dictatorships?
I'm surprised I haven't heard about their giving WMD to NKor.
... or maybe that's the plan.. to cause WWIII in a manner that they can remain neutral and relatively unscathed, while the US and Britain catch it in the teeth.
Posted by: Dishman || 02/15/2003 18:22 Comments || Top||

#4  How Mechiavellian!
Oh,wait Mechiavelli was French,how nieve can I get?
Posted by: raptor || 02/16/2003 7:02 Comments || Top||


Korea
Happy Birthday, Dear Leader
While the world braces for war, North Korea is mobilising for a different operation: a birthday party for the "Great Leader", Kim Jong-il.
"Oh my, truffles with cyanide. You shouldn't have!"
Despite growing fears of a nuclear attack by the US, the people of Pyongyang have turned their attention this weekend to the annual, semi-religious celebration of Mr Kim's birth.
Semi?
They didn't sacrifice any virgins. At least not that way...

The Workers party newspaper, Rodong Shimbun, reported the appearance of glorious mushroom rainbow clouds over General Peak and Leadership Peak in the same mountain range as Mount Paekdu - the mythical birthplace of the Korean people - before Mr Kim's 61st birthday tomorrow. "It seems it is the magic of hell heaven that on the birthday of the great leader, this phenomenon appears," it said.
Since when do commies believe in heaven?
North Korean television reported the discovery of a rare albino raccoon which, it said, signified momentous times ahead for the country and its leader
On this we agree, it'll be momentous allright.
A recent news summary by the official spittle-producing KCNA news agency included 10 lies bulletins, each one about Mr Kim's great achievements as a general, philosopher and agricultural expert during "on-the-spot" guidance given at farms, factories and army outposts.
The guy's a regular George Washington Carver to hear them tell it. Wonder if he'll claim credit for inventing peanut butter?
Although North Korea is one of the most isolated states in the world, KCNA said deluded admirers in 40 countries were preparing to celebrate Mr Kim's birthday. In the rational outside world, the main news from North Korea was the latest escalation of the regime's nuclear confrontation with the US. North Korea accused the International Atomic Energy Agency of being a stooge of Washington, and of "interfering in its internal affairs" following the IAEA's decision to refer the issue to the UN security council.
There we go, some spittle!
In Pyongyang, the focus was on a huge exhibition of thousands of varieties of Kimjongilia (Kim Jong-il flower), the bloom that is dearest to the heart of the North Korea media.
Does it look anything like belladonna? Foxglove? I see an opportunity.
Troops everywhere are drilling for parades that will take place tomorrow. Even at the demilitarised zone where the North's army faces its enemies, officers said their main concern this week was the celebrations. "I'm in charge of the preparations," said Lieutenant Colonel Ri Gwang-hol. "It's my life, literally a huge responsibility and this is my priority right now."

At the only service station on the road from Pyongyang to the border, staff were rehearsing a song called General Kim Jong-il, Please Don't Travel the Snowy Road, Take the Short-Cut Through the Minefield Instead which implores their leader not to work too hard. Tomorrow, children at orphanages and hospitals will get extra food for once, and prisoners inside "re-education camps" will receive additional rations.
"Kim, lookee at what the dear leader gave me!"
"What is it, Kim?"
"An extra millet seed in my ration today!"
"Wow, what a great and glorious dear leader we have!"
"Should I eat it all now or save some for later?"

The celebrations are a focal point for the cultish devotion to the country's leader which forms one of two central ideological pillars of the state alongside paranoia xenophobia, especially hatred for the US. North Korea has the world's only communist dynasty. The current leader's father, Kim Il-sung is considered "eternal" and his birthplace at Mangyongdae is a place of pilgrimage for many. "He is my father, also our father," said the guide as she pointed out water jugs from which Kim had drunk and mats on which he had slept. At the People's Study House, North Korea's national library, two huge reading rooms are dedicated to the works of Kim Jong-il. The guide to the facility, Hwang Sun-ryol, insisted that the country's leader wrote 1,500 books during his five years at university - even though this meant writing almost one book every day.
When you're an expert in everything, this isn't a problem.
"He is the most outstanding theoretician. No one can match his paranoia creativity and malice enthusiasm," said Ms Hwang. To an outsider, such idolatry is the result of Big Brother-style brainwashing but North Koreans insist they are comforted by the thought that their cherished leader is looking after them. According to local media, the entire nation feels restless and uneasy when Mr Kim is on one of his rare trips outside the country. At night and early in the morning, Pyongyang echoes with a lullaby called Where are you, Beloved General?

Outside the capital, international aid workers say that cold and hungry people are too concerned about day-to-day survival to bother with the state ideology. But in Pyongyang, even doctors, churchmen and middle-aged women say they are willing to sacrifice themselves for Mr Kim. "Tell the world we are not afraid of nuclear weapons," said Ri Ok-hi, as she showed us around the Workers party monument. "We will fight to the death for our leader."
Trust me, he's not worth it.
It may be propaganda, but it is consistent. If regime change is to occur in North Korea, it is impossible to imagine that it will ever be initiated from within. Too many people have taken part in too many birthday celebrations for too long.
Every time I'm about ready to give up on the Guardian, they get something right. Even if the NKors collapsed tomorrow, the SKors could never go up there and make the place work. North Korea is going to be a synonym for hell for generations.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/15/2003 10:22 am || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [379 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Albino raccoon? Probably a glow-in-the-dark pentaped found nosing round bins at Yongbyon.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/15/2003 5:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Albino = malnutrition - can't even make colored fur.
LOL great post.
Kimjongilia? isn't that an STD that makes your hair poofy and your penis falls off?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/15/2003 5:43 Comments || Top||

#3  While driving from work today, it suddenly struck me how hilariously funny NKor has become: They're actually SERIOUS about this bullshit. This is a hell of a lot of asskissing, bringing to mind Boris Badinov's cringing before Fearless Leader in the old Bullwinkle cartoons.

If it wasn't for the nukes, this would be entertainment that they could export, but they're so clueless about business, they're giving it out for free...
Posted by: Ptah || 02/15/2003 6:01 Comments || Top||

#4  Did you ever see the N.Koreans grieve over the death of their last dear leader? It's so over-the-top that you can tell the fakeness of it from a mile away. It's either some serious brainwashing, or they were all wearing a dynamite belt that only dear leader can remove.
Posted by: RW || 02/15/2003 6:20 Comments || Top||

#5  I notice that they don't do this sort of thing in Romania anymore for Ceaucescu, or in Albania for Enver...
Posted by: Fred || 02/15/2003 10:33 Comments || Top||

#6  Kim's an "agricultural expert"!!! What a crack-up!!! Best laugh I've had in days. I love this site!
Posted by: Tom || 02/15/2003 11:35 Comments || Top||

#7  "momentous times ahead for the country and its leader." Rosy assesment not shared by current Las Vegas line.
Posted by: Govy || 02/15/2003 12:12 Comments || Top||

#8  How much of their GNP do you think they will use up on Kimmie's little soiree?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/15/2003 14:49 Comments || Top||

#9  "Ri Ok-hi"?

Okay, everyone who watched "Tenchi Muyo", raise your hands...
Posted by: Crescend || 02/15/2003 15:35 Comments || Top||

#10  Tenchi had the Light Hawk Wings. Do we have anything like that yet?
Posted by: Pink & Fluffy || 02/16/2003 1:38 Comments || Top||



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Sat 2003-02-15
  Israeli sources say war imminent; Iran and Syria next
Fri 2003-02-14
  Brits nab grenade artist at airport
Thu 2003-02-13
  Brits hunting anti-aircraft missile smugglers
Wed 2003-02-12
  UN declares N Korea in nuclear breach
Tue 2003-02-11
  'Bin Laden' tape calls for Iraqi suicide attacks
Mon 2003-02-10
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Sun 2003-02-09
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Sat 2003-02-08
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Fri 2003-02-07
  Hamas Urges Muslims to Hit Back
Thu 2003-02-06
  NKors warns US of pre-emptive action
Wed 2003-02-05
  Powell speaks...
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