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Troops and Tanks Poised on Gaza Border
Today's Headlines
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Saudi arrests five reformers
Five Saudi reformers, advocating a constitutional monarchy, have been arrested by security officers.
"Into the paddy wagon wit' yez!"
The men, most of them academics, have been identified as Matruk al-Falih, Abdullah al-Hamad, Tawfiq al-Qasir, Muhammad Said al-Taib and Khalid al-Hamid. They were among 116 signatories of a petition to the government in December calling for transforming the kingdom into a constitutional monarchy. Falih, a professor of political science at King Fahd University in Riyadh, told AFP by telephone that Hamad, Qasir and himself were brought in the morning to the headquarters of the intelligence services for questioning.
"We wants to axe youse guys a few questions..."
He was unable to provide further details, but a member of his family told AFP later that "they have not heard from Falih since this morning when he was arrested at the university." Meanwhile the director of the London-based Saudi Human Rights Center, Abdel-Aziz Khamis, told AFP by telephone that Hamid and Taib were "arrested on Tuesday" at King Fahd University and the airport in the western city of Jeddah, respectively. Khamis said the arrests "might be due to plans by these reformists to create an independent human rights organisation."
"Youse can't do dat! We already got a human rights organization! The gummint sent it up!"
Last week Saudi Arabia approved the National Human Rights Association, the kingdom's first human rights watchdog. It has also announced plans to set up a government rights body as part of limited steps toward reform it says must be consistent with Islamic tenets and local customs and not tailored to Western specifications.
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 10:50:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [374 views] Top|| File under:

#1  True to form, the Saudi make noise make noise about liberalization, get the reformists to expose themselves, then arrest them. Wait a few years and repeat.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 4:05 Comments || Top||

Yemen Bags Another Cole Bombing Suspect
Yemen has arrested a suspect wanted over the 2000 bomb attack that killed 17 sailors aboard the USS Cole in the port of Aden.
Looks like every third person in Yemen was involved.
Security forces arrested Ali Muhammad Umar Shurbajy in the mountainous Abyan region in south Yemen on Monday night, the Web site of the ruling General People’s Congress said on Tuesday. A hunt is still on in the same area for three other wanted men.
Tenacious, those Yemenese.
Last week eight men, including six suspects in the attack on the US warship, surrendered to the authorities after a week-long siege of armed Islamists in Abyan. During the operation security forces arrested local al-Qaida leader Abd al-Raouf Nasib, who Yemeni officials say masterminded a 2003 jail break by al-Qaida suspects in the bombing of the ship.
And he’s still in jail, as far as we know.
Posted by: Steve || 03/16/2004 2:02:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Looks like every third person in Yemen was involved."
" - It's the same people,they just keep escaping from the prison."
Posted by: El Id || 03/16/2004 14:09 Comments || Top||

Top al-Qaida Official Reportedly Killed
Fills out yesterday's article...
Saudi security forces killed two militants, including one considered al-Qaida's chief of operations on the Arabian Peninsula, in a shootout in the capital of Riyadh on Monday, U.S. and Saudi officials said.
Not a car accident in the middle of the desert? That twitched the digital surprise meter.
A Saudi Interior Ministry statement said the two were killed in the al-Nasseem neighborhood, in eastern Riyadh, in an exchange of fire with security forces on Monday afternoon. Abu Hazim al-Shair, a Yemeni believed to be about 30, was the senior al-Qaida figure in the region. The official said his death represented a "major, very significant blow" to al-Qaida. "This guy was involved in ongoing terrorist planning and plotting," the official added. The Saudi Interior Ministry identified the dead as Khaled Ali Haj, a Yemeni, and Ibrahim bin Abdul-Aziz bin Mohammed al-Mezeini, a Saudi. Haj is one of many another name used by Abu Hazim, according to the U.S. counterterrosim official, who ranked third on the government's list of 26 most wanted militants. The other dead militant's name was not on the list.
The sleeper sleeps...
The suspects were riding in a vehicle and refused to stop for a spot identification check by members of the security forces. The suspects began shooting at the security forces, who returned fire, killing the two, the statement said.
Guess they were out of Pakistani passports.
The Saudi statement said six hand grenades, two AK-47 assault rifles, three 9mm pistols and originally $500,000 $137,000 in cash were found in the vehicle. The security forces took no casualties, according to the statement. Abu Hazim is believed to have trained in al-Qaida's Afghan camps in 1999 and later to have served as bin Laden's bodyguard. Before Sept. 11, he traveled frequently to the Arabian peninsula, to southeast Asia and to Afghanistan. U.S. officials have also tied him to the May 12 bombings of residential complexes in Riyadh and possibly to some Saudi-based planning of operations targeting the United States.
Can we see the severed head? You know, just to be sure?
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 10:14:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This was the member of Binny's praetorian guard who got promoted to replace al-Nashiri, correct? If so, then that makes Lewis or al-Muqrin the top al-Qaeda boss in Saudi Arabia these days, no?
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 0:57 Comments || Top||

BBC poll: Most Britons still back war against Iraq
A narrow majority of the British public still backs the war against Iraq, according to a poll taken to mark the first anniversary of the conflict. The ICM poll for the BBC Newsnight programme shows that 48 per cent thought taking military action was the right thing to do, while 43 per cent said it was wrong. According to the poll, 29 per cent of those questioned believed Mr Blair told the truth about weapons of mass destruction, 40 per cent thought he exaggerated but did not lie, while 22 per cent thought he lied about WMD. Asked who they would trust to make the best decision on military action in future, 32 per cent said Mr Blair, 22 per cent Michael Howard, and 17 per cent Charles Kennedy.

Full poll results here. Some notable responses:

1) War - right or wrong
Thinking about the build-up to the Iraq war and everything that has happened since, do you think that taking military action was the right thing to do, or the wrong thing to do?
Right: 48%
Wrong: 43%
Don’t know: 9%

3) Did the government lie about WMD?
In the run up to the war with Iraq, do you think Tony Blair and his government...
Told the truth: 29%
Exaggerated but did not lie: 40%
Lied: 22%
Don’t know: 8%

5) Satisfaction with Tony Blair
Satisfied: 37%
Dissatisfied: 57%
Don’t know: 6%

6) Who would you trust to decide next time?
If the British government had to decide again whether to take military action, who would you trust to make the best decision?
Tony Blair: 32%
Michael Howard: 22%
Charles Kennedy: 17%
Don’t know/ None: 28%

7) Performance
Thinking of the following and their performance over the Iraq war, can you mark them out of 10, with 10 meaning they have done an excellent job and with 0 meaning a terrible job:
British forces: 8.3
US military: 6.6
BBC: 6.4
UN: 5.8
British intelligence: 5.6
Tony Blair: 4.9
Clare Short: 4.4
George W Bush: 4.3
France: 3.9

9) What do you consider the main reason for the war?
Credibility of UN: 3%
WMD: 10%
Human rights: 27%
Oil: 15%
International terrorism: 15%
UK’s relationship with USA: 26%

10) Bush and Blair
Is Britain’s closeness to America...
Good for Britain: 45%
Bad for Britain: 20%
Makes no difference: 32%
Don’t know: 3%

14) Europe or USA?
In the future when military intervention is being considered, should Tony Blair side more closely with the USA or with France and Germany?
USA: 46%
France/Germany: 34%
Don’t know: 21%

Poor Aunty. Wish you could have seen the sour faces reporting this on the morning’s news...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 4:16:31 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [580 views] Top|| File under:

#1  damn i wish i could have seen that too after thier gloating about that spaniard cunt now in power and what he said about the war
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 4:33 Comments || Top||

#2  I am glad to see that the Brits are still watching our backs. I take back all the snippy things I've ever said about Brits - they are the salt of the earth.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/16/2004 5:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Oi! Leave Aunty alone. At least someone in Europe supports the Americans.. personally glad to be on board in the great war of civilisation.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 5:34 Comments || Top||

#4  Thieving Aunty ought to be slapped, stripped, and dismembered, IMHO.

For non-Brits, "Aunty" refers to the BBC.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 5:44 Comments || Top||

#5  A great British institution (and kicking-post for whichever govt. happens to be in power.) At least you don't have to sit through mind numbing adverts with the beeb. God bless her!
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 5:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Agree with you totally there Bulldog, the BBC should be litterally torn apart, split into differant departments geographicaly seperated by long distance, they should be allowed no 'Andrew Marr' type indiots trying to brainwash the public with thier own pathetic lefty agendas every night at 6'o clock. Hell why not just do away with the fuckers altogether. As a side point wonder how many Muslims work for the BBC, my guess its probably 40%christian , 50%Islamoids and the other 10 atheist that make up thier staff. It Panders to the Arabs so fuckin much it makes me wonder if Arabs arn't running it
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 5:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Crikey - I can't be watching the news that closely then.. The Beeb's job is to get under the skin of the govt. Gave Thatcher hell in the eighties. Good on'em. Most of the employees seem to be white wealthy wanky public-school types from what I've seen in London. Haw haw haw.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 6:04 Comments || Top||

#8  Howard, if the BBC didn't spew left wing propaganda instead of news 90 % of the time, I might agree with you... But why should I, you and Jon here, and everyone else in the country who wishes to watch any television at all be forced to, firstly, pay through the nose for channels and radio stations that we might never watch? For news of far inferior quality to other providers' efforts (roll on Sky News on Channel 5!!!), and to have to pay for propaganda that works to undermine our very nation and way of life? Watch five minutes of Breakfast TV and you're subjected to five minutes of the brainless nanny state lecturing the nation on the latest fad issue we're too stupid to deal with ourselves. They're sneeringly patronising, and they're damned well proud of it!

The sad fact is that the BBC system worked for decades when it had little competition and was run in the interests of the majority of the viewing public. Now it's an anachronism, it's unfairly paid for by a majority of people who aren't choosing to watch what it has to offer most of the time. It has a huge and unfair advantage over other broadcasters in that it doesn't have to compete for subscriptions, and it doesn't have to stoop to interrupting its programmes with adverts. Why then are its programmes so mediochre? Worst of all, it's succumbed, possibly fatally, to the leftist rot, aka Sinistra corruptus: a parasite which once it has a grip of its host voraciously consumes respect as fuel until all that's left of its once healthy victim is an lifeless shell. The respect's all but gone, both nationally and internationally. How will the BBC regain its reputation for impartiality?

Jon, the BBC is, thanks to Greg Dyke, now more ethnic than the general population. He wanted it that way 'cos he believes in racial equality. He's happy with staff of any colour so long as it's not "hideously white" (to use ex-Chair of Governors Gavin Davies' term). Your assumptions about the number of arabs in the BBC is a tad wide of the mark, I think, but it's no coincidence that al Jazeera's reporting is so wildly anti-Western and that it grew directly from jettisoned BBC's Middle East news studios.

Maybe there's hope for the BBC. Some kind of reform, i.e. voluntary funding rather than coerced poll-taxation. I'm not holding my breath. The Tories have already backed away from supporting such changes. Maybe they're going to hope to let Portillo get to work on the dead wood instead...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 6:50 Comments || Top||

#9  um...Howard...I don't think the white, wealthy, wanky, public-school type, news readers actually write the news. Do you? Your condensending tone seems a bit unsupported.

The fact that the BBC is forced to report supportive numbers on a poll makes me believe that the British haven't forgotten the dangers of 'peace in our time'. My guess is that they won't bother to turn their propaganda machine on us or the WOT, they will turn it onto Blair. Much better bang for their buck.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 6:53 Comments || Top||

#10  .....bulldog beat me to the punch. He hit much harder than I did.

See Howard, you sit there and sneer, when in fact you are just making a fool out of yourself. It says a lot more about you than it does about us.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 7:01 Comments || Top||

#11  Unfortunately the wanky white public school types I come across do write the programmes and the news. However, I would say that historically the BBC has offered the best news programming in the UK.[OK it's taken a hit and is justly suffering at the moment.] Sky? ITV? Channel 5? TV for absolute fucking morons. When we've done away with the Beeb and have no British programming left to watch I dare say we'll be happy - watching repeats of Friends. Bulldog - The licence fee - damn good vfm when compared to Murdoch's thin smattering of shit for £40 a month. Do away with Aunty and there would probably be a revolution - albeit very middle class.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 7:09 Comments || Top||

#12  When will you marry off your old crazy spinster Auntie to a real man, like Rupert Murdoch?
Posted by: ed || 03/16/2004 7:16 Comments || Top||

#13  Howard there is no way the news reports are written by swanky posh men,more like jumped up AL-Gaurdian readers! the likes of Andrew marr and the Clowns that run thier incredably transparent anti American website are also to blame.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 7:33 Comments || Top||

#14  Terror in Madrid just catapulted Al-quaida to the top of the political agenda. The Spanish have just voted for peace. The Brits do not see the significance of "Peace in our Time"? I suspect a lot of folks are just starting to realize GW (you are with us or for the terrorists) is right and a lot of european politicos are running around with soiled undies.
Posted by: john || 03/16/2004 7:35 Comments || Top||

#15  And BBC1 isn't TV for morons, Howard? OK, occasionally there's something decent on BBC2 (e.g. The Simpsons - but that's not for much longer), but not much. Why should other people pay for your choice? Why do you think it's reasonable to expect other people, who may watch no BBC at all, to pay for your BBC? If you didn't like Thatcher's poll tax, how could you defend the BBC's poll tax?

Tell me a BBC comedy that's better than the US imports on Channel 4. Hell, there's no comedy on terrestrial TV worth watching except that shown on Channel 4...

Sky News knocks BBC's efforts into the long grass. Why should I pay for that crap simply so I can have the privilege of watching the other? It's absolute nonsense!
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 7:37 Comments || Top||

#16  Howard - I have to admit you have a point about the repeats of Friends. Maybe public TV should be forced only out of the news business. Sure, you can make documentaries, soap operas and cooking shows political if you want to, but it's much tougher to influence political campaigns and public opinion that way. Yes, Oprah (US) can sway soccer moms, so why not just assure that public TV is political content free - unless it's in the form of covering real public debates or government meetings. No broadcaster led opinion or commentary allowed on the public's dime - like CSPAN. They manage to do it with religion, why not current politics.

Besides, NPR and BBC news programs are not news at all, they are opinions of the producers - and little different than the Rush Limbaugh show. I don't think taxpayers should be forced to fund the ivory tower ideals of a small group of board members.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 7:47 Comments || Top||

#17  OK Shep, send me the URL of an anti-American story on Aunty's website... Whilst we may be fully supportive of war in Iraq, plenty in the UK sadly aren't. It may just be a case of the Beeb having to sound rational as a consequence of objectivity. The Beeb's independence from towing the govt. line may be distatsteful but at least we don't have the problems other countries have where the media is run as on offshoot of a political party - Burlosconi in Italy for eg. Having someone like Murdoch dictate the news agenda would be a sad day - we'd just end up with our own versions of Al-Jizz.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 7:47 Comments || Top||

#18  Adam Faith's last words:
"God, Channel 5's shit"
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 7:52 Comments || Top||

#19  hmmm...after reading bulldog's post, I think I'll back slowly out of the room and let the British handle this.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 7:52 Comments || Top||

#20  Sorry, B. I think Queensbury rules apply on this one. H :)
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 8:08 Comments || Top||

#21  Howard the BBC site is littered with sneers about America, every aspect of America is always sneered at.Its getting worse to,look for the 'clever' word play they use and also the favoutite - the 'sneer' comma things they put around anything they question the 'Americans' say. Eg they would write a headline like - America fights war on 'terror'. or - American troops capture 'militants'. note the sneer comma things.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 8:40 Comments || Top||

#22  ...See Garth Marenghi's Darkplace? Ali G? Now that's what I call quality British comedy. What cutting edge, innovative comedy has the BBC given us recently? Anything to really split your sides? No: Absolute Power.

The Beeb can't do anything properly except gardening programmes any more, and they've all been pussified since the days of Geoff Hamilton.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 8:46 Comments || Top||

#23  The Office. Laughed so hard I nearly cracked my ring.

Admittedly comedy on BBC is currently poor... in comparison to its former glory. Don't see much innovative British comedy on Sky or ITV. Could I be wrong?

Shep - fair comment, will keep them peeled.
Posted by: Anon || 03/16/2004 8:51 Comments || Top||

#24  The above was me.. Yep C4 do good comedy. The Beeb is the cat in the lap of my days I'm afraid. Lose it and we lose a little bit of what makes us British.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 8:55 Comments || Top||

#25  See the BBC's lunchtime news today? The positive opinion Iraqis have of their situation and prospects, as revealed in the recent poll conducted by the BBC, were described as surprising by the analyser. Surprising! Damned surprising to the BBC who obviously had the idea that Iraqis would resent being liberated from the man who enslaved their nation...

See it here. The poll report starts at 10:54.

Lately I think the Beeb's been trying to impart some actual balance into its reportage. Like this report. It sometimes makes for painful viewing...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 9:01 Comments || Top||

#26  i shouted with rage at the t.v when he read out the poll results calling it 'suprising', looks like the BBC has alot of back peddling to do on its opinion of the war after these polls. And there they were for the past year saying what a fuckin quagmire it is.I hate those BBC bastards!
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 9:13 Comments || Top||

#27  Seems a fairly balanced report to me. At least they're reporting the good news... If there's something Murdoch don't like it don't go out. That's what we'd have. TASS/Pravda anyone?(And Sky were the only channel to show full footage of the corpses of British soldiers being dragged through the streets at the start of the war. The beeb showed the briefest of clips and was savaged.)
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 9:15 Comments || Top||

#28  'The beeb showed the briefest of clips and was savaged' - Lol Good
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 9:19 Comments || Top||

#29  And when Aunty's gone they'll be shipping Sky with a free frontal lobotomy.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 9:27 Comments || Top||

#30  lol
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 9:30 Comments || Top||

#31  Don't you find it surprising! that the BBC is wrong footed by Iraqi public opinion? That the BBC should be expressing presumption at all? The only reason anyone thinks the Iraqis wouldn't welcome freedom is because media corps like the BBC itself fed the lie that they preferred life under Saddam to forced regime change. If it's surprising to the BBC, it's because they want us to believe that they believed their own propaganda, or because they actually did. Either way it's a sad indictment of the BBC's quite flagrant bias and opinionation.

You're right about the report trying to be balanced. Isn't it just?! Note the reporter uses silly BBC word emphasis randomly. Usually it's used to sneering effect.

Re Sky and the corpses - if Sky only reports right-wing favourable, e.g. pro-war, stuff, then why did they show the corpses? That don't make no sense.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 9:31 Comments || Top||

#32  I never said Sky was pro-war. I am, however, and find little offense in this report - as I said earlier, not everyone supports this war and the Beeb have to appeal to all sides. Methinks they should have mentioned something about the irrepressible optimimsm of the Iraqi's. Sky News - good wanking material, that's about it.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 9:39 Comments || Top||

#33  All through the war to remove Saddam the BBC were trying thier very best to make the Coalition look like it was doing an awful job. BBC journalists sat around 'beating thier meat' on the roofs of hotels and bitching about and distorting everything the Coalition troops did. At least other news agencies made it off the hotel roofs!
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 9:49 Comments || Top||

#34  Apart from poor old Raggi dodging the booms!
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 9:53 Comments || Top||

#35  The BBC shouldn't have to "appeal" to all sides at all. The mistake you're making is confusing impartiality with objectivity. I don't want the BBC searching for a middle-of the road balance to spin its reporting of events. I can do without surprisings and disappointings etc. I want the facts, just the pure, refreshing facts. Sky style. The trouble with the left is its obsession with just what you're advocating - all viewpoints are legitimate and should have equal coverage (unless, of course, they're right of centre). Bollox.

By the logic of "appealing to all sides" of the audience and opinion, news reportage of one event would have very different bias and spin according to which nationality each crew were from, and would be equally commendable. No accuracy required, no set standard, just shifting sands. That kind of kooky logic may work at the quantum level of things, but on the larger scale it's just different forms of deception. The media should strive to report the truth, and nothing else.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 9:55 Comments || Top||

#36  Working on that premise, and the stats at the top of the page, we can say that a minority of Brits definitely support the war hence the coverage will be anti... God forbid.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 10:05 Comments || Top||

#37  I feel like I'm watching Arsenal play Man U.
Posted by: Matt || 03/16/2004 10:31 Comments || Top||

#38  Working on that premise, and the stats at the top of the page, we can say that a minority of Brits definitely support the war hence the coverage will be anti...

Not at all! There'd be 28.8 minutes of the hour rabidly gung-ho and tellin' it like it is, followed by 25.8 minutes' doom and gloom and sneeering anti-Americanism (usual BBC output), then 5.4 minutes where the studio presenter just sits on a stool picking his nose looking bored. That what you want?! "Appeal to all sides"? Cos that's what you'd get...

I feel like I'm watching Arsenal play Man U.

Get the hint. I'll stop now.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 10:40 Comments || Top||

#39  Whatever you say guys..... I'm agreeable... yep.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 10:40 Comments || Top||

#40  More like Scunthorpe vs Doncaster.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 10:43 Comments || Top||

#41  Bulldog, don't stop on my account. I just thought there had to be a footie issue underlying all this.
Posted by: Matt || 03/16/2004 10:50 Comments || Top||

#42  Is it still true that British warships display Skynews instead of the BBC? I heared they switched durring the run-up to the war because of complaints from the crews.
Posted by: ZoGg || 03/16/2004 11:12 Comments || Top||

#43  Howard: Scunthorpe? Doncaster?
Posted by: Matt || 03/16/2004 11:21 Comments || Top||

#44  Hey check this classic on the BBC Website, it reads : Israel captures boy 'with bomb'. What the fuck are those i see, are they sneer comma's.I think so 'Sneer' 'Sneer'. BBC are Fucking Cunts of Biblical proportions.siding with them can only lead you on a steady spiral of stupidity to the levals of intelligence of an Al Gaurdian reader.An Aura of Shitness surrounds the BBC.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 11:23 Comments || Top||

#45  Scunthorpe/Doncaster - two teams inhabiting the lower echelons of the English Football leagues - hence the comparison with our lame diatribe. Shep - steer clear of the Beeb site if it inspires such vitriol. I hear Sky have a lovely site.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 11:41 Comments || Top||

#46  but if i don't look at the 'BBCs' site i don't know what other lies and sneers they might be up to. Agreed the sky site is utter wank too. ps notice the 'sneer' comma's around BBC
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 11:46 Comments || Top||

#47  USA 'nuke' Arabia. Wouldn't mind those sneer commas one of these days...
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 11:49 Comments || Top||

#48  Now THAT'S what I call a "discussion" - well-rounded, gentlemanly discourse. Minimum of blood, excellent points by both sides, some interesting tidbits to flesh out the "target" - excellent, gentlemen, thank you!

I lived in England for a year and a half. We had BBC news at work, but I never bought a television license. Had the UK Information police come by once, because they picked up some "broadcast" they couldn't peg, and there was no TV license for our address. We were playing US videos through the television for our children to watch. They left scratching their head - why would anyone wish to do without television? The truth is, if you don't have a product worth buying, why pay for it? BBC should go the way of all other "public" broadcasting programs, including our own NPR and Public Broadcasting Corporation - either fund yourself, or tank. If you can't find anyone willing to fund your trash, then it isn't worth the PEOPLE being forced into funding it.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/16/2004 13:18 Comments || Top||

#49  The funny thing is that the Spanish BBC website is pretty balanced. I've never seen any sneer quotes there and they seem pretty fair.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/16/2004 14:08 Comments || Top||

#50  Too funny, British guys!
(Howard, I think I'm in love!)
I nominate Howard, Bulldog and Jon Shep to be anchors for whatever replaces the Al-Beebera!
You can tell from watching the comedy show "Dead Ringers" that the BBC is way over for the U.K.
Posted by: Jen || 03/16/2004 15:18 Comments || Top||

#51  incedently having been a school reject and never studied english what are 'sneer' marks real name.i call them sneer commas but who knows? is it an apostrophe? a comma? a speach mark? Anyway i'm off ontop the BBC to go 'sneer' mark huntin
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 15:36 Comments || Top||

#52  Jon: Utter wank?? LOL - you guys are killing me today. Thanks for the discussion though - Soon I'll be able to swear/insult in yet another language - UK English. I don't think I'll incorporate the "c" word just yet though - on this side of the pond that's considered a bit insensitive. . .

Posted by: Doc8404 || 03/16/2004 15:36 Comments || Top||

#53  Amongst the many pieces of good advice my father has given me is "Don't under any circumstances ever get in a fight with anyone who sounds like or looks like they may have been a British NCO" the advice was given with the conviction of the true believer.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 16:30 Comments || Top||

#54  Jon, my sincere apologies for slipping into anglo-saxon, if ever I did. I apologise unreservedly for the actions of my compatriots.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 16:56 Comments || Top||

#55  Kurds 'killed' in Syria clashes. . That headline is on the BBC web site right now, what the hell are the sneer commas there for? Alarmed
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 17:12 Comments || Top||

#56  On your license fee.. If I read it right... 120 some pounds per year per tv for 4 channels of viewing...

Hm... With per-tv-type service like DirectTV with a base package of more than 125 digital channels for three tvs thats 29.9$/month for the first six months then rises to 37. That includes installation of the dish and in home wiring...

Just thought you might like some numbers for comparision.
Posted by: 3dc || 03/16/2004 17:17 Comments || Top||

#57  Yeah, but you don't get the shipping forecast at 2 am to get you through severe shaky stay-awake come-downs. Ten quid amonth for Charlotte Green is fair game Squire. Humber... light...
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 17:24 Comments || Top||

#58  Shipping forecast? Is that like a marine forecast? Or a list of arrivals and departures...?

Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 17:48 Comments || Top||

#59  We were in Russia in '98 and had to watch that herding sheep show that was on for 21(!) years.

And some funky Italian game/cooking show.
Posted by: Anonymous2U || 03/16/2004 17:49 Comments || Top||

#60  Lately I think the Beeb's been trying to impart some actual balance into its reportage.

With National Public Radio, that's called "behaving during Pledge Week".
Posted by: Pappy || 03/16/2004 19:32 Comments || Top||

#61  Anonymous2U - Fuckyes. You must be talking about the one, the only: "One man and his dog" Sheep herding using Border Collies. "Come by boy, come by, coooome by; clickclickclick phweeeeeep!!" Great entertainment! Keep them doggies Rollin'!!
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 5:37 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Fidel wants Latin American troops out of Iraq
Cuban President Fidel Castro says 1,000 Latin American troops are "cannon fodder" in Iraq and calls for them to withdraw along with the Spanish unit they are serving in. Castro, a fierce critic of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, applauded Spanish Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for his decision to withdraw Spain’s contingent of 1,300 troops by the June 30. In a message published on Tuesday by the ruling Communist Party daily Granma, Castro said "more than 1,000 young men from small and impoverished Latin American countries were sent to Iraq as cannon fodder under the command of the Spanish Legion."
This from the same man who sent thousands of Cuban cannon fodder to Angola during the Cold War ...
"The death of any of those youths is thus the responsibility of the Spanish state," he said. "The Latin American people have the right to expect the immediate return of those young men." Castro welcomed the Socialist victory in Spain and condemned the attacks that killed 201 people, lamenting that the Spanish people had paid the price of involvement in an unjustified war in Iraq.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 3:22:49 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, now, a clear alignment is emerging: Zapatero with John Kerry, and Fidel Castro with Zapatero. Wonder if Fidel is one of those "important foreign leaders" who told Kerry, "you've got to win this thing".

Gawd, what a farce...
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/16/2004 15:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Wonder if Fidel is one of those "important foreign leaders"

Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 16:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Don't keep these thoughts to yourself B.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 16:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Ya know, the only time I've heard about Kerry meeting with foreign leaders was when he negotiated the "people's peace treaty" with North Vietnam.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/16/2004 16:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Is Fidel trying to be a hegemon? He gets cozy with Chavez in Venezuela (or vice versa) and now he calls for all the Latin American troops(*) to come home.

I wish I new what it was Fidel had to offer to anyone in Latin America, except cigars.(**)

(*) None of whom are Cuban (excepting Cuban-Americans, natch).

(**) And I heard all the good cigar rollers left Cuba years ago.
Posted by: eLarson || 03/16/2004 17:06 Comments || Top||

#6  eL Cuba still has it's share of cigar makers and more importantly the tobacco valleys... we need to get this damn spat over with. The Beard ain't gonna live forever. (iffin he tries I got several broken 32 oz. Louisville Sluggers shrarpened at the end)
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 17:19 Comments || Top||

#7  I smoked Cuban cigars while in Korea. Glorious after dinner with good Brit beer.
Hurry up and die already Fidel.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/16/2004 17:38 Comments || Top||

#8  Note to Jose: When Fidel is aligned with you, you are on the WRONG side. Just thought you might want to know that it’s not too late to come back.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 03/16/2004 18:50 Comments || Top||

#9  Its a brilliant move by Castro. Once again, he just hi-jacked another issue and inserted himself as the voice of the Latin American poor man. While his bit won't play on the streets of Indianapolis but it will resonate in Lima.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/16/2004 20:26 Comments || Top||

NORKS no longer leading missle peddlers to ME
From East-Asia-Intel.com, subscription, req’d...
North Korea is losing its standing as the leading ballistic missile supplier to the Middle East.
Kimmie is losing market share, better reassess.
U.S. intelligence analysts said North Korea has failed to maintain the pace of its missile development program over the past two years. The analysts cited a number of reasons, including an international embargo that has prevented North Korea from obtaining vital components as well as technical failures.
Starting to feel the squeeze means that the allies’ working together is starting to bear fruit.
The result, the analysts said, is that several of the North’s Middle East clients appear to be looking to other countries to supply their technology and missile components, according to a report by Middle East Newsline. The countries include Iran and Syria, which have been moving toward such suppliers as China and Pakistan.
Our friends, the Chicoms and the Paks. No honor among criminals.
On March 9, Pakistan reported the successful test of the Shaheen-2 missile. The Shaheen-2 is described as an intermediate-range missile having a range of 2,000 kilometers. It is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Pakistan is believed to have offered its Ghauri intermediate-range missile, with a range of 1,500 kilometers, to Middle East allies.
Pakistan is busy working on its Death Wish™, too.
North Korea’s role as a missile developer was discussed at a recent seminar on proliferation in Washington, DC sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Reves Center for International Studies of the College of William and Mary. A leading U.S. government analyst reported a major accident during a North Korean missile launch in 2002 set back Pyongyang’s intermediate-range missile program. Stephen Kim, an analyst who focuses on North Korea’s nuclear program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said that in March 2002, North Korea’s missile program might have been severely damaged by an explosion at the launch site. Kim, quoting South Korean government sources, said the accident could hamper Pyongyang’s plans to sell missiles to its traditional clients.
Quality control problem affects sales.
South Korean "Defense Ministry officials have estimated that North Korea would have difficulty launching another missile for at least a year," Kim said. "Still, North Korea has exhibited proficiency in the design and production of effective multi-stage ballistic missiles; accuracy improvements and other steps forward are anticipated. Sale or North Korean threats of a sale will dramatically increase."
Threats of an attack on North Korean facilities will also increase.
North Korea reportedly sold $580 million worth of ballistic missiles to Middle Eastern states in 2001. That figure dropped to about $500 million or less in 2002 and 2003. Over the last year, North Korea has sought to sell missiles to African states such as Nigeria.
The NORKS must be getting despirate for markets. It is, after all, even in terror-related goods, a global economy.
Analysts at the conference did not rule out that North Korea could focus on exporting nuclear weapons components and technology to Middle East states. They cited CIA sources as saying that North Korea has possessed nuclear weapons for a decade and has been debating the feasibility of nuclear exports.
I’m sure that Kimmie is mulling that one over carfully before he acts. Probably talked to Mo already....or not.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2004 7:01:33 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Plenty of Paki proliferation still in progress.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/16/2004 20:31 Comments || Top||

#2  They'll get a better deal from the Chicom and Pak ally, France.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/16/2004 20:35 Comments || Top||

Down Under
Review on anti-mercenary laws
ATTORNEY-General Philip Ruddock today indicated the Government planned changes to anti-mercenary legislation to allow easier prosecution of Australians who served with terrorist organisations abroad.
About time
Mr Ruddock gave no indication whether that legislation could be made retrospective to allow prosecution of Australian terror suspects David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib. Both are in US custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after being detained in Afghanistan and Pakistan in late 2001. The Government has said neither could be prosecuted in Australia under existing laws. Addressing a conference on security and government in Canberra today, Mr Ruddock said such changes were urgent and pressing. "I am looking at amendments of the foreign recruitment and incursion act," he said. "The reason is quite clear. In looking at the matters of Hicks and Habib where we sought to see whether there was a basis on which they could be prosecuted in Australia for their behaviour abroad ... we found that enactment did not enable us to deal with a range of situations particularly where terrorist organisations are in fact instruments of a state such as the Taliban." Mr Ruddock said the Government was also considering legislating to toughen terrorist legislation in other areas. He said the Government was considering whether to create an offence of consorting with terrorists.
While you are about it, why not throw in, preaching in favour of terrorism?
Mr Ruddock said consorting with criminals was already an offence in most states and territories. "You would have to ask yourself if consorting with criminals is a more serious offence than consorting with terrorists who intend to target the civilian population," he said. Mr Ruddock told the conference the Government was also considering measures designed to protect sensitive security information which might be disclosed during court cases. "We have been seeking advice from the Australian law reform commission," he said.
Posted by: tipper || 03/16/2004 7:27:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

ADF chief doubts Iraq link to terror risk
The chief of the Australian Defence Force, Peter Cosgrove, says he does not agree with Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty on the likelihood of a terrorist attack in Australia. On the weekend, Mr Keelty said Australia was a greater terrorist target due to its support for the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Which means that Al Qaeda’s new agenda is to punish those who liberated Iraq, even though there was supposed to be no link between AQ and Iraq. One has to ask why this is so.
But General Cosgrove, speaking at the launch of a new defence command structure in Sydney, says while he generally agrees with Mr Keelty, this is one occasion when he will differ. "I consider that they’ve declared war on us, they’ve killed our sons and daughters and now they’re trying to divide us with words," General Cosgrove said.
Couldn’t agree more
"It seems to me they started this and we are in to the end. We are not going to be divided off from the few nations in the world that are taking a really strong stand."
Right on
General Cosgrove says he has seen the same intelligence as Mr Keelty. However, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says Australia’s participation in the Iraq war may have made it a more attractive target for Al Qaeda.
Why? They will attack on any excuse. What was their excuse in Bali? As Cosgrove says, they want to divide us with words. They only thing we should discuss with them is their preferred method of being killed.
FBI assistant director John Pistole says he is not aware of any specific intelligence that indicates Australia is currently a target of Al Qaeda but he says Al Qaeda may take Australia’s relationship with the United States into consideration.
May, may, may
"That is one factor that Al Qaeda may take into consideration but I think that that is in a range of dozens of factors that may be considered, including the ability to conduct an attack," he told a meeting of Australia’s police commissioners in Sydney. The country’s police chiefs are meeting to discuss counter-terrorism and national security. "The fact that Australia is an ally of the United States and works closely with the United States means that Australia may be targeted, just like any other country that has worked with the United States, or is an ally," Mr Pistole added. Mr Pistole says that if the intention of the terrorist group responsible for last week’s Madrid bombings was to influence the result in Spain’s election, then the stakes have been raised.
Or they may have just come up with an excuse AFTER the attack to try and justify their homicidal act. And the media has gone for it hook, line and sinker.
"I would hate to give any terrorist group credit for influencing the election," he said. "If that was the intended outcome and that was what achieved, then that raises the stakes of the vulnerabilities and potentials that we must deal with."
Or it could be that the terorists struck an unintended jackpot.
New South Wales Premier Bob Carr has accused Prime Minister John Howard of being "cranky and prickly" in his reaction to Mr Keelty’s comments about a possible link between the war in Iraq and Australia’s level of terrorism risk. Mr Howard has rejected Mr Keelty’s view that Australia is at greater risk of a terrorist attack because it helped the US in Iraq. Mr Howard publicly rebuked the police chief by questioning his credentials as an authority on the issue. Mr Carr says Mr Howard’s reaction was "very intemperate". "We can have a civil debate about this but it struck me the Prime Minister was cranky and prickly with the way he responded," Mr Carr said.
Not so good at suffering fools gladly, huh?
He says his own view on the subject is not that different from Mr Howard’s.
So what’s the problem then.
He says more evidence is needed to back up claims that Australia is at greater risk. "I’m an agnostic, I simply don’t know," Mr Carr said.
Australia's on the list because it's got all that nice land, just waiting to be settled by pious Muslims with turbans and automatic weapons — very good for controlling the wallaby population, y'know.
Posted by: tipper || 03/16/2004 1:36:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [331 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The fact that Australia is an ally of the United States and works closely with the United States means that Australia may be targeted, just like any other country that has worked with the United States, or is an ally," Mr Pistole added.

This guy is a loose cannon who should not have been sent to Australia. What is wrong with this !@#$%?
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/16/2004 1:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Austrailia is surly one of the best Allys one could have in war and i just hope Howard stays in power to keep up the pressure on AQ.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 5:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Spain allied with US in Iraq they get attacked. Draw your own conclusion. But as most of you will come to the wrong one I'll tell you Australia which by the way John Sheep is only spelled with one i.
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/16/2004 6:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Anti,an allie who turns tail and runs at the first attack isn't much of an allie.
Posted by: Raptor || 03/16/2004 7:18 Comments || Top||

#5  Anti--Turkey, who didn't support the war, has been attacked. Saudi Arabia, who didn't support us, has been attacked. Don't forget Bali, either. Draw your own conclusion.

What does it take for people like you to realize that we're at war globally and appeasement is not an option? Should we give the Islamofascists tanks, planes, and uniforms so they're more recognizable to you?
Posted by: Dar || 03/16/2004 8:33 Comments || Top||

#6  Anti, people such as yourself who deny the danger these people represent, endanger us all. These mutts want me and everyone I know dead, and everything I hold dear destroyed. No negotiation, no reasoning, no bargaining, no treaties.
It is my governments duty to me and my family to make sure those Islamofacist bastards lives are forfeit.
Will knucklehead's like you ever understand this simple truth?
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/16/2004 8:53 Comments || Top||

#7  WhatEVER.
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/16/2004 9:44 Comments || Top||

#8  Oh, that's f'ing beautiful, Anti. As long as it doesn't affect you directly, who gives a damn? And if someone points out evidence contrary to your beliefs, just dismiss them and run away. Lovely.
Posted by: Dar || 03/16/2004 10:05 Comments || Top||

#9  You pride yourself in your immaturity, don't you, anti-war? Some kind of little malfunction switch in your brain causes you to believe that no one will notice that you are an aging, somewhat odd duck, if you just keep acting immature.

Kind of like alcoholics think that they can cope with the world better when they are drunk. It's not true, but it helps them to justify their inability to let go of the bottle and grow.

Here's a hint, you have a cheery disposition, people will actually like you better if you move beyond adolescence and act your age. I know it's hard to believe - but it's true.
Posted by: feeling mean || 03/16/2004 10:11 Comments || Top||

#10  Like I SAID WhatEVER.
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/16/2004 10:26 Comments || Top||

#11  JereseyMike: I should think that Antiwar's comment makes her position very clear. She is on the other side.

Posted by: Analog Roam || 03/16/2004 10:42 Comments || Top||

#12  Jeeezz.... that was mean. But effective.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 10:47 Comments || Top||

#13  WhatEVER.

This is known as being unable to support your own views.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 11:05 Comments || Top||

#14  "WhatEVER. This is known as being unable to support your own views."

-BAR, this is also usually the response of a teen-ager who can't come up w/a quasi-adult coherent retort. I'm embarrased we share the same Irish heritage, we usually tend to be somewhat articulate.
Posted by: Jarhead || 03/16/2004 11:18 Comments || Top||

#15  Am I the only one here that's starting to feel that Antiwar fails the Turing test? There just doesn't seem to be a real person behind the words.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/16/2004 11:21 Comments || Top||

#16  Anti: "La,la,la,la...can't hear you!", "We are not sinking, we are not sinking".

It's called denial.
Posted by: rsd || 03/16/2004 11:25 Comments || Top||

#17  There just doesn't seem to be a real person behind the words..

There do not seem to be 2 brain cells between the Anti's ears.
Posted by: rsd || 03/16/2004 11:28 Comments || Top||

#18  Run along now, antiwar. This is a forum for adults.
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/16/2004 11:49 Comments || Top||

#19  Like I SAID WhatEVER.
that si not good debate. antiwar just tired from prepare for locus attack. she usualy very good debater.
Posted by: muck4doo || 03/16/2004 11:52 Comments || Top||

#20  #18 = docob, not anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/16/2004 11:54 Comments || Top||

#21  Let's face it - bin Laden himself has said that anyone that doesn't follow his line is an enemy, and will be attacked. That not only includes anyone who is not a Muslim, but even those Muslims that don't follow his very strict, limited views of what a Muslim is supposed to be. Bin Laden's version if Islam is the most severe form of Wahabbism, but ALL of Islam is predicated on forcing the rest of the world into their worldview - I.E., the idiot in England saying that "Hatred of all other religions, cults, etc.", is REQUIRED of Muslims.

My own personal readings of the Quran and Hadith support their assertions. Islam is incompatible with personal freedom, the right to choose between one way and another, and the exploration of alternatives in ANY FIELD. Islam is the final word, and nothing else is allowed. This is why the Arab world is still stuck in the 13th Century, except for what they can borrow or steal.

This is the ultimate clash of civilizations, even moreso than the clash between capitalism and socialism. This is the clash between personal freedom and eternal serfdom. Either we win, or we will always be someone's slave. Even expressing a personal opinion not sanctioned by the Mullahs is reason enough for THEM to want us dead.

Thank you, Australia, for understanding this, and for siding with personal freedom. We (those of us with at least an IQ above room temperature) will do our best to see that you picked the winning side.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/16/2004 13:47 Comments || Top||

#22  Small people feel big when they rage against the man. People like Antiwar don't have any convictions, they just spew whatEVER latest fad makes them feel a part of the rage machine. I really don't even think they care that their rage is a pre-packaged, plastic-like, commodity, sold by MTV, Hollywood and cynical reporters, like a plastic Jesus....with some sort of miracle properties.

Rage and cyniscism are the easist ways to turn up your nose, without having to turn up your sleeves.

But the point I want to get to is this: before 911, we tolerated this behavior. But we can't afford to now. I don't think Antiwar is a bad person, she actually seems like she'd be a fun gal to be around. But I don't think we can afford to indulge her insecurities anymore. Our own safety is being put at risk in order to pretend that her personal insecurities and disappointments are more important than the civilzation of mankind.

Sorry Antiwar... the Wonder Years are over. We are in a fight for civilization now. If you want to suck on your baby bottle, go ahead. But don't expect us to pat your head and say there-there, anymore. Mommy and Daddy are kinda busy right now.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 13:58 Comments || Top||

#23  OP, when I took an eastern religions class in college we learned that the guiding principle of islam was "submission to god". As every word in the koran is supposed to be followed to the letter - there you go. No wonder they are as they are. Prior to 600 a.d. and the rise of islam, arab culture had developed many advances, they've been stuck ever since. From algebra to fatwa I say.
Posted by: Jarhead || 03/16/2004 14:28 Comments || Top||

#24  Holey Moley, marine's who studied religion? Damn! What happened to the old corps? They'll be lettin in Irish next.

Happy Holiday BTW.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 17:25 Comments || Top||

#25  their rage is a pre-packaged, plastic-like, commodity, sold by MTV, Hollywood and cynical reporters, like a plastic Jesus....with some sort of miracle properties.

Damn... Yes!
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 17:54 Comments || Top||

Hitchens on Spain
EFL. Gotta love Hitch when he exposes the absurdity of the appeasers logic. And he had me laughing when he started speaking in the voice of the Qaeda-types.
In the face of this kind of subhuman nihilism, people know without having to be told that the only response is a quiet, steady hatred and contempt, and a cold determination to outlast the perpetrators while remorselessly tracking them down.

However, it seems that some Spaniards, and some non-Spanish commentators, would change on a dime if last week’s mass murder in Madrid could be attributed to the Bin-Ladenists. In that case not only would there be a root cause—the deployment of 1,300 Spanish soldiers in the reconstruction of Iraq—but there would also be a culpable person, namely Spain’s retiring prime minister. By this logic, terrorism would also have a cure—the withdrawal of those Spanish soldiers from a country where al-Qaida emphatically does not desire them to be.

Try not to laugh or cry, but some spokesmen of the Spanish left have publicly proposed exactly this syllogism. I wonder if I am insulting the readers of Slate if I point out its logical and moral deficiencies:

Many Spaniards were among those killed recently in Morocco, where a jihadist bomb attack on an ancient Moorish synagogue took place in broad daylight. The attack was on Morocco itself, which was neutral in the recent Iraq war. It seems a bit late to demand that the Moroccan government change sides and support Saddam Hussein in that conflict, and I suspect that the Spanish Communist and socialist leadership would feel a little sheepish in making this suggestion. Nor is it obvious to me that the local Moroccan jihadists would stop bombing if this concession were made. Still, such a concession would be consistent with the above syllogism, as presumably would be a demand that Morocco cease to tempt fate by allowing synagogues on its soil in the first place.

The Turkish government, too, should be condemned for allowing its Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to visit the shattered synagogue in Istanbul after the latest mass murder (thus becoming, incidentally, the first Turkish prime minister ever to do so). Erdogan is also the first prime minister ever to be elected on an Islamist ticket. Clearly, he was asking for trouble and has not yet understood al-Qaida’s conditions for being allowed to lead a quiet life. Not that he hadn’t tried—he prevented the U.S. Army from approaching Baghdad through what is now known as the Sunni Triangle. He just hasn’t tried hard enough.

It cannot be very long now before some slaughter occurs on the streets of London or Rome or Warsaw, as punishment for British and Italian and Polish membership of the anti-Saddam coalition. But perhaps there is still time to avoid the wrath to come. If British and Italian and Polish troops make haste to leave the Iraqis to their own "devices" (of the sort that exploded outside the mosques of Karbala and Najaf last month), their civilian cousins may still hope to escape the stern disapproval of the holy warriors. Don’t ask why the holy warriors blow up mosques by the way—it’s none of your goddam crusader-Jew business.

The other countries of NATO, which has now collectively adopted the responsibility for Afghanistan, should reconsider. As long as their forces remain on the soil of that country, they are liable to attract the sacred rage of the Muslim fighters. It will not be enough for Germany and France to have stayed out of Iraq. They cannot expect to escape judgment by such hypocritical means. French schools should make all haste to permit not just the veil but the burqa, as well as to segregate swimming pools and playgrounds. Do they suppose that they deceive anybody when they temporize about God’s evident will? Bombings will follow this blasphemy, as the night succeeds the day. It is written.

I find I can’t quite decide what to recommend in the American case. I thought it was a good idea to remove troops from Saudi Arabia in any event (after all, we had removed the chief regional invader). But, even with the troops mainly departed, bombs continue to detonate in Saudi streets. We are, it seems, so far gone in sin and decadence that no repentance or penitence can be adequate. Perhaps, for the moment, it’s enough punishment, and enough shame, just to know that what occurred in Madrid last week is all our fault. Now, let that sink in.
Posted by: sludj || 03/16/2004 7:51:33 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hitchens is all over the rhetorical and moral map, to my consternation, because when he's on, like this, he's up there with Steyn (lofty comparison in my eyes)
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2004 20:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Frank, I feel the same. It's great when Hitch is on the right side, but he is not beyond some crazy leftish nonsense of his own sometimes. On the war on terror, though, he is one of the best.
Posted by: sludj || 03/16/2004 20:43 Comments || Top||

Europe, Lost.
"Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war."
     -- Winston Churchill after the Munich conference, 1938.

And so the Spanish have chosen; and so they will have. The lessons of history are too old, covered with cobwebs, stored somewhere in the attic of memory, belonging to generations whose time has passed. Now, again, it seems that all one has to do to ensure a bright, safe future is to hold up a sign saying "Paz", and peace it will be. Peace in our time. The dead of March 11 not yet cold in their graves, the burned and disfigured survivors still in hospital, and the blame has been assigned. Not to the ones who build the bombs and fly the planes into buildings to give themselves meaning in some internalized historical mythology; they are the mechanism, you see, not the root cause. The cause, the criminal, is to be found in those who resist too robustly, who go beyond holding up signs and passing resolutions and try to prevent the slaughter.

On September 12, 2001 they were all Americans, for a day, anyway. But then things began to get uncomfortable. America determined to not just honor our dead and rebuild (that would have been alright), but to take action to ensure that the horrors would not be repeated. The first wave of the left, the hard core, the ones without shame or a good feeling for public relations, even then, while the dust of the Twin Towers still swirled, worried about what America would do. They marched against the "Bombing of Afghanistan" as if it were to be some indiscriminate murder of innocents from above, instead of what it was, a professional campaign to eliminate the Al-Qaeda sanctuary and liberate a terrorized people from the religious fanatics of the Taliban. But their propaganda didn’t really catch on, didn’t penetrate the mainstream. The attacks on New York and Washington were too fresh. NATO supported the Afghan campaign, and the United Nations didn’t object. They weren’t all Americans anymore, but they still saw themselves as part of the same civilization, under attack by something alien, for reasons they didn’t quite understand.

But the images fade and the old instincts work their way back into consciousness. The need to consider oneself different from the victims, to create a convincing reason it can’t happen to me. And the sense of justice we all carry, that so easily mutates into a conviction that a victim must have somehow deserved his fate, if not from moral failing than at least from not taking proper precautions, from having made a wrong judgment, a bad alliance. An explanation is needed, and an amulet.

A meme. A unit of cultural information, transmitted around the world, from media outlet to politician and back again, until it has permeated the collective consciousness so that it is just known to be true, a starting point for thought rather than something to be questioned.
- Bush is the problem. (A convenient stand-in for America, which is more uncomfortable for some to criticize.)

- The war in Iraq brought this on. (Not the war on terror, that we all agree on. Just that particular mass-murdering dictator removed, just that particular crooked oil-for-food program exposed.)

- (Fill in the blank) lied! (And how long did it take for that part of the meme to start circulating after the carnage in Madrid?)

- If only not for Bush and Iraq, they would leave us alone. If not for that, our children would be safe.
So they have their amulet, the Spanish. They can take their comfort in the meme they share with so many others. I wish them well, from the depth of my being, and I hope they never again have to see the body parts of their loved ones scattered around their cities like so many Israelis. And I know it isn’t all of them, but just enough of them to turn an election. But they have made this clear to the world: the threat of indiscriminate terror can affect the outcome of a democratic election. This is not a small thing. This is a major defeat in the war for civilization.

They have chosen dishonor. And I fear what we will all have.
Posted by: tipper || 03/16/2004 7:05:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It is, after all, war; battles are won, and battles are lost; countries defend and countries fall. Strange, in this war though, to watch a country felled by itself.
Posted by: Hyper || 03/16/2004 20:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Although I am generally a peaceful man, - I don't think I have been in a fist fight in a number of decades - but I believe in meeting force with force and using power to help the needy. It is obvious to me that I would not make much of a European, but even as an American I was beginning to worry that I had taken a different path from the 9-11 fork in the road than most average Americans. I felt better I digested Lawrence Henry's insight published in the Spectator. He writes, "On September 12, 2001, I ran into a friend of mine at a coffeeshop in Westfield, New Jersey.

My friend, the wife of a husband-and-wife partnership in a psychotherapy practice, asked me, "So what do you think?"

She asked the question fearfully, I could see, wondering what she would hear. As a psychotherapist and a sophisticated resident of the New York metropolitan area, she could be presumed to hold a certain set of beliefs. And she did not hold those beliefs now, at least not anymore. All this I read in her look, correctly, I believe.

"I think it's time to go kill those people," I said.

She gave me a firm nod, and a relieved sigh.
I sighed readeing this.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/16/2004 20:53 Comments || Top||

#3  So the Spanish have capitulated and they'll be safe now, right? No more ROP mass murders in Spain anymore. Sure.
Until the next time you do something to piss them off, which doesn't take much. I suggest that they be prepared for a another rude awakening.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/16/2004 21:59 Comments || Top||

#4  I suggest that they be prepared for a another rude awakening... as the rest of the world's democracies should be as well. Spain just assured the use of this technique for YEARS and YEARS to come, maybe even centuries.
Posted by: B || 03/17/2004 7:19 Comments || Top||

Confirmation: Qaeda Planned to Splinter Spain from Coalition
EFL. Lots of good stuff about the investigation omitted from this post. Read the whole thing if you’re interested.
A document published months before national elections reveals al Qaeda planned to separate Spain from its allies by carrying out terror attacks. A December posting on an Internet message board used by al Qaeda and its sympathizers and obtained by CNN, spells out a plan to topple the pro-U.S. government. "We think the Spanish government will not stand more than two blows, or three at the most, before it will be forced to withdraw because of the public pressure on it," the al Qaeda document says. "If its forces remain after these blows, the victory of the Socialist Party will be almost guaranteed -- and the withdrawal of Spanish forces will be on its campaign manifesto."

Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Monday he wanted the 1,300 Spanish troops in Iraq to return home by June 30 if the United Nations "doesn’t take control of Iraq." "I think Spain’s participation in the war has been a total error," he said.

Meanwhile, one of the five men arrested in connection with the bombings has links to the plotters of an al Qaeda-linked bombing in Casablanca last year, CNN has learned. The U.S. intelligence community is considering the possibility the bombings may have been carried out by a number of people with various ties to terrorist groups, the senior administration official said, adding theories include the following possibilities:
# Islamic fundamentalists with support from ETA;

# Islamic fundamentalists with close ties to al Qaeda, although not necessarily "card-carrying members of al Qaeda"; or,

# Members of ETA or al Qaeda.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was confident Spain would continue to play a significant role in the war on terrorism.
I'm confident Zapatero feels more comfortable communing with Fidel and Hugo. Just watch...
"Terrorism has to be defeated," he said. "I don’t think the Spanish people are any more inclined to give any encouragement to terrorists or to give terrorists the slightest impression that they are not going to be engaged fully by the Spanish government -- no matter who is prime minister."
Wonder how long it'll be before Garzon is tossed...
Powell added that he was not sure if the Madrid bombings affected the outcome of Sunday’s elections: "But the one thing I’m quite sure of is that Spanish people remain committed in the war against terrorists."
The vote came before the Spaniards had a chance to reflect on the consequences. The election should have been delayed a couple of weeks to let things sink in a bit. Too late now.
Powell's saying nice things in hopes of salvaging something out of the rubble...
Posted by: sludj || 03/16/2004 5:37:17 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  2 or 3? Ha! They didn't realize what cowards the Spanish people were. It only took 1.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 17:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Bjorn Staerk had that last week.

Wonder if it'll get play there.
Posted by: Anonymous2U || 03/16/2004 17:52 Comments || Top||

#3  The Spaniards will be fine. A few bad waves won't change the tide.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 17:57 Comments || Top||

#4  I'd tend to pick door #1 - "Islamic fundamentalists with support from ETA". ETA is a small group, and they're red hot in Spain, so it's real hard (and dangerous) for them to pull off any big ops. Names and faces too well known.

The Islamists can pull off the op, but need logistical support, which ETA can supply. Possibly even the plan was from ETA, but I'd doubt it. I'd want my OWN plan, rather than taking somebody's word on "this will work".

And ETA has been training in AQ-related camps.

Congratulations: It's a monster.
Posted by: mojo || 03/16/2004 18:22 Comments || Top||

France Threated by Islamists
Quelle surprise
French officials are investigating threats against France by a radical Islamic group, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday. The group identified itself as the "Servants of Allah the Powerful and Wise," the ministry said. It was unclear whether the group is known to French authorities. There was no initial indication of ties of Usama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda organization.
Like that matters. I suppose the thinking is that if the Islamic bastards who kill you aren’t directly connected to Al Qaeda, somehow you’re less dead.
The Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation.
Oh, that will scare them off. Sure it will.
The nature of the threats was not immediately disclosed. French Europe-1 radio reported that Le Parisien newspaper received a fax from the group, threatening attacks.
Fallout from the Spanish vote? Doesn’t matter - result’s the same. Look out, Europe - it’s coming. And soon. Maybe you should ask yourselves why they hate you.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/16/2004 5:27:38 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Actually,the group is called Movsar Barayev Commando (if there is a group) after the Chechen sicko who hijacked the Moscow movie theater in 2002.
Posted by: El Id || 03/16/2004 17:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Sorry, Lux, didn't see yours before I posted mine (and I did look). Fred, feel free to delete mine.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/16/2004 18:45 Comments || Top||

If I were Osama...
Al Qaeda/Islamofascists Strategy for Europe

1) dilution of national identity
-a) increase Muslim immigration from North Africa
--i) increase the ratio of immigrant Muslim vs non-Muslims
-b) promote EU
--i) the bigger the EU the better it is to manipulate
--ii) just as in UN, the weakest link will determine the course of action

2) promote complete secularism in the government
-a) nature abhors a vacuum
--i) will create more divisions within the current state
-b) will act to incite and isolate the Muslims that are already resident of the state
--i) act as a breeding ground for home-spun terrorism born of disenfranchisment

3) continue to point to Palestine situation as the main rationale for terrorism
-a) has a ring of truth to the masses, both Muslim and non
--i) will act as a battle cry for Muslim
--ii) many non-Muslims will actually support terrorist actions if thus couched

4) divide
-a) divide europe from America
-b) within each nation/continent continue to divide national forces


5) conquor
-a) take out soft targets
--i) candidates that seem too strong on national defense/anti terrorism
-b) policy changes
--i) mass donations to immigrants rights groups
--ii) mass donations to policy makers to soften on security and promote complete secularism in government
--iii) mass donations to local Mosques.
--iv) peaceful demonstrations about Palestine and U.S. oppression to increase support of non-Muslim

Posted by: busan-kim || 03/16/2004 1:39:58 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [769 views] Top|| File under:

#1  i thinkin the link is a not work.
Posted by: muck4doo || 03/16/2004 13:44 Comments || Top||

#2  thinkin not work? hmmmmm.... confirms a lot
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2004 13:47 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't know about the rest of the Rantburgers, but I'm about ready for Fred to grant posting rights by invitation-only. Reading illiterate crap like this, and antisemitic screeds from the likes of that psychotic ADL guy, is getting to be too much.
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/16/2004 13:55 Comments || Top||

#4  I don't know, this reads like a good ops plan to me. Many of these points are already well under way. If Binny had followed this plan, rather than attacking on 9-11 and waking us up, much of Europe would have been swallowed before anyone noticed. Some of it still may.
Posted by: Steve || 03/16/2004 14:13 Comments || Top||

#5  This is a blog entry, not news.
Posted by: Scott || 03/16/2004 14:38 Comments || Top||

#6  "promote complete secularism in the government "

Oh, yeah, *that's* what Islamofascism and Sharia is all about, it's all about having secularism. Silly me, and I thought that secularism and religious fascism were natural enemies...

Guess that the Founding Fathers of the US were all islamofascists at heart, right?


"-b) promote EU
--i) the bigger the EU the better it is to manipulate --ii) just as in UN, the weakest link will determine the course of action"

Ah! But that only applies in the kind of EU that *Britain* has been after -- weakening EU by demanding every country retains a veto, and sabotaging every defense pact in the continent.

Now, if *I* was Osama, I'd have possibly urged the West to invade Iraq and justify it through false WMD intelligence. It:

a) takes down a secular dictator, leaving the field open for decades of future islamofascist action with a Shiite majority connected to Iranian mullahs like Sistani and Madr.
b) keeps more than half the available American army tied down, so that for many long years they won't be able to move to the support of any democratic rebellions within Syria or Iran.
c) Manages to disarm MEK, opponents to the mullahs of Iran.
d) Fuels the whole jihadi movement throughout the world with thousands of new recruits who see this action as an unjustified invasion.
e) Tears apart the European-American alliance, gradually bringing down philo-American governments throughout the continent, and bringing up anti-American ones.
f) Makes completely untrustworthy to the global populace any future intelligence that US and Britain may bring to the public -- even if that future intelligence is actually accurate.

Second course of action, if I was Osama, would have been to play the role Britain has played in the EU -- preventing among other things any defense alliance and any solidarity clause between the member states (even on a fully voluntary basis), or any deepening of the Union.

We must *divide* Western civilisation -- Allah forbid that they ever stand united in politics or defense.

Third suggested course of action would be to play France's part who, undisciplined and rhetorically insane, helped divide up Western civilisation even further -- not nearly as much as US and Britain had already managed to, ofcourse, but nonetheless still shares in the blame.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/16/2004 15:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Aris, you really aren't all that clear on why Iraq was liberated, are you?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/16/2004 16:37 Comments || Top||

#8  Robert> Well, 12 percent of Britons think it had something to do with the War on Terror. :-) Larger percentages think it had to do with human rights, and several people think that WMDs were an issue.

We don't know yet to what direction a new Iraqi government will blow.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/16/2004 17:31 Comments || Top||

#9  "promote..secularism"
Aris, it's called a 'feignt' or a 'ploy'.
See, the Islamists promote secularism (since, in their minds, nature abhors a vacuum); then when there is no more religion (and nature is a-busy abhorring), they promote their form of Islam.
I thought you would have caught that.
Posted by: Les Nessman || 03/16/2004 18:23 Comments || Top||

#10  Dave D. -
I don't think this post belongs here either (it's not a 'real' news item), but it ain't illiterate either.

It sounds like a pretty good plan, and unfortunately most parts of it are already underway.
Posted by: Les Nessman || 03/16/2004 18:30 Comments || Top||

#11  "See, the Islamists promote secularism "

Except that they don't. They never have, they never will. Check out Turkey if you don't believe me. Or any other place in the world.

"then when there is no more religion"

You don't really have a clue what "secularism" means, do you?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/16/2004 19:31 Comments || Top||

#12  "Except that they don't. etc..."
The title of this post is "If I were Osama..." not "A complete and detailed account of what Islamists are up to lately..." See, Aris, it's a posting about what the author would do if he was Osama bin Laden. I thought you would have understood that.
Yes, I know what secularism is, do you? I was summarising some of the points of this post in the style of the author. I figured you would have got that.
Posted by: Les Nessman || 03/17/2004 0:03 Comments || Top||

The beat goes on
France has received a new terror threat by an Islamist group and is taking it "very seriously", according to Reuters.
It's because of all the support they've given us on Iraq, y'know...
The French justice ministry said the threat came from a group called "Servants of Allah the Powerful and Wise".
"God told me to kill people, an' he's a lot brighter than I am..."
The warning spoke of possible attacks within France and against France's foreign interests, the ministry said. It is unclear whether the group is known to French authorities and the nature of the threats has not been disclosed. French Europe-1 radio reported that Le Parisien newspaper received a fax from the group, threatening attacks. The justice ministry confirmed a communique had been delivered to the newspaper, adding that it was "not yet possible" to comment on the document's authenticity. The Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation. In the past weeks, French authorities have received terror threats from another little-known group that calls itself AZF. The group claims to have planted nine bombs along the country's rail network and has threatened to explode them unless it was paid millions of dollars. Information from AZF led to the recovery of an explosive device buried in the bed of a railway line near Limoges in central France in February.
Seems like nobody likes the French lately, not even the Frenchies.
Posted by: Lux || 03/16/2004 13:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [553 views] Top|| File under:

#1  funny that because the french didn't go to iraq so why are they the target of terrorists? Seriously though i just wish the Anti war pricks would realise this, especially the dumb spaniards but i guess its to late for them now anyway. :(
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 13:22 Comments || Top||

#2  That's it.

I'm waiting for Antiwar's next 'whatEVER, Dood, it's just, like, a bomb, ya know?'
Posted by: Raj || 03/16/2004 13:28 Comments || Top||

#3  couldn't happen to nicer people - watch how quickly they drop the hijab ban after the first attack. Their muslim ghettos of public housing are ready to seethe in: 3....2.....1
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2004 13:45 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm waiting for Chirac's head on a platter.

No matter how much he grovels, he's still an infidel. Am I the only one who sees him as the girl who screws the entire football team hoping to gain respect?

Hey, at least he got a date to the prom.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 14:31 Comments || Top||

#5  I had a thought for Zapatero (wasn't he the youngest Marx Brother?) -- since you are so convinced that fighting in Iraq is not part of the WoT and want to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq, and since you have promised to fight the WoT strenuously (especially against al Qaeda), why don't the 1300 troops you are withdrawing from Iraq get sent immediately to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border to help the US and Pakistan nail bin Laden, Zawahiri and Mullah Omar? That would reassure a lot of Americans and Brits and Poles and Aussies (who are doing the heavy lifting in the WoT) that you Spaniards aren't pussies after all, you just wanted to refocus your efforts.*

* It should go without saying that I believe those in the Spanish military to be anything but pussies. It's just the incoming Socialist government and the 43+% of the population that just bent over for al Qaeda and didn't even ask to be taken to dinner first.
Posted by: Tibor || 03/16/2004 14:31 Comments || Top||

#6  Oh, c'mon. This has to be a spoof. the "Servants of Allah the Powerful and Wise"? Is there a Wicked Witch of the Middle East in the wings?
Posted by: mojo || 03/16/2004 15:40 Comments || Top||

#7  She's a good witch. She just seems wicked because she has to wear a burka and hajib.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/16/2004 16:16 Comments || Top||

#8  Well lessee... if you go along with the US in Iraq you get boomed (Spain).

If you stonewall the US in Iraq you get boomed, and threats for a boom (Turkey and France respectively).

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Or in any event, boomed if you aren't "Our Brand of Islam" whichever that might be.
Posted by: eLarson || 03/16/2004 17:16 Comments || Top||

#9  Mojo:the name of the group,if there is one,is "Movsar Barayev Commando" after the sicko who hijacked the theater in Moscov.The letter was sent in the name of the "Servants blahblah",which might explain the confusion.
Posted by: El Id || 03/16/2004 17:38 Comments || Top||

#10  It will be interesting to see if France drops the headscarf ban even before they are attacked.

Re: Afghanistan, the Spanish socialists object to their army's presence there too.
Posted by: rkb || 03/16/2004 17:42 Comments || Top||

#11  Aw sh*t... let's wait and see what happens here. I have a hope (middlin to faint) that the French my just take note of the political implications of the Madrid booms..,. A little faith in MaryAnne might be what we need. (Please use stones smaller than 4 mm)
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 18:02 Comments || Top||

#12  This particular letter has been found to be of low credibility by anti-terror analysts ; France remains a target for lotsa reasons, including the hijab ban, but this is (probably) bogus.
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/17/2004 8:07 Comments || Top||

Al-Qaeda opens new embassy in España
(2004-03-16) -- Spain’s newly-elected socialist prime minister today declared the start of a "new era of protection from terror" as he cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the al Qaeda embassy in downtown Madrid.

The building, formerly known as the U.S. Embassy, will house the offices and "manufacturing facilities" of the global religious social services organization headed by renowned philosopher Usama bin Laden.

"Spain’s involvement in the war on terror caused the recent train station bombings," said Prime Minister-elect José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. "Now that the Spanish people have elected a socialist government, and embraced al Qaeda’s diplomats, we have nothing to fear. Al Qaeda has promised to protect us from extremists like those at the U.S. White House and Pentagon."

Mr. Zapatero said he was "pleasantly surprised at al Qaeda’s reasonable pricing for high-quality protection."
Posted by: Korora || 03/16/2004 12:02:24 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  brilliant!
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 12:04 Comments || Top||

#2  With Spanish socialists joining hands with the brave French governement, a new age has dawned in international diplomacy.

The new Spanish Premier declared in a speech this morning, "We welcome the Moors brave freedom fighters in our peace loving country."

It is not known if the Spanish government will supply acid to the Al Qaeda embassy for throwing in Spanish womens' faces.

Al Qaeda has requested assistance from the Spanish government in the design of rape rooms at theembassy, though.
Posted by: anymouse || 03/16/2004 12:29 Comments || Top||

#3  somehow scrapple faces storys are always incredably good! must be a very clever writer indeed
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 12:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Brilliant... I should say Majestic. Tank you Spain, for flush the moronic and irrelevant American view of the world in foreign policies to the toilet. And to all the blabla bla bla blabbers isla homo phobic posters in ratburg I want remember them, that the problem is Israel and the scum Zionist. Al qaeda is just a tool created and invented by them.... who is the beneficiary of osama exploits ...and were is it...
Posted by: elio || 03/16/2004 12:43 Comments || Top||

#5  Okay. Who's been feeding Arafish qualuudes?
Posted by: Lil Dhimmi || 03/16/2004 12:53 Comments || Top||

#6  'Al qaeda is just a tool created and invented by them.... who is the beneficiary of osama exploits ...and were is it... ' Time to get that tin foil head gear out again, watch out for the CIA teaming up with bigfoot and nessie for thier next world domination plan
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 13:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Nah, elio is just trying his hand at copying scrappleface's brilliance. Obviously he's just mocking the left by making a ridiculous caricature of them. The reason I know is that no one could possibly be nearly as large a moron as elio is portraying. ;)
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 13:37 Comments || Top||

#8  Although funny this unfortunately misses the point. Al Qaeda is not interested in being appeased or payed off. Scorched-earth is it's policy - death to infidels, and that's no laughing matter.
Posted by: Spot || 03/16/2004 14:48 Comments || Top||

#9  oh yea the joooos did it! i am no lover of jews nor ragheads...but a country/people have the right to defend themselves. I would just like to know who's fault it would be if there were no jooos...the buddah's did it...we arabs are sick and tired of being humilated by those buddahs...our economy sucks because everyone buys from those damn buddahs....the only real problem facing the arabs are/were themselves. at least until they pissed off the people of the US, now they have a real danger. because unlike the joooos, when we fight we fight until your either dead or crying uncle.

elio - who were the problem when it was muslim arabs occuppying the paleos???
Posted by: Dan || 03/16/2004 15:12 Comments || Top||

#10  I take back everything I wrote about Spain since Sunday. You guys win!!
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 16:58 Comments || Top||

Istanbul Governor: One Of Detainees Is Murderer Of Yasef Yahya
One of the detainees arrested in investigation launched for suicide bomb attack on the Free and Accepted Masons Grand Lodge Association in Kartal district of Istanbul, confessed that he killed dentist Yasef Yahya, Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler said Tuesday.
Turkey, home of the world champion truncheon team.
In a news conference, Guler recalled that in an earlier press release, the Police Department said that one of the guns found in the Masonic Lodge in Kartal after the suicide attack was used in killing of a dentist named Yasef Yahya in Sisli district of Istanbul on August 21, 2003.
Had a bad tooth filling experience?
Guler said 18 people were arrested over the past week in raids of Istanbul homes. Eight of those arrested were still being interrogated, while another 10 were to be formally charged later Tuesday, Guler said.
Turkey is real good at rounding people up after the fact. Need to work on stopping attacks before they happen.
Guler said the detainees in their interrogation confessed that they killed Yasef Yahya, the Jewish origin dentist, on August 21, 2003.
Oh, he was a Jewish dentist! Well, that explains everything.
Guler said the detainees also confessed that they planned the armed and suicide bomb attacks on Free and Accepted Masons Grand Lodge Association in Kartal district of Istanbul on March 9, 2004. The detainees confessed that they got political and military training in camps abroad.
Oh, come on, give us a hint. Does the countries name begin with the letter "I"?
Guler said, ’’apart from the equipment obtained on the spot on March 9, new bombs ready to explode, were seized in police operations.’’
Caught them with the goods, have to watch and see what’s reported later today when these goons are charged in court.
Posted by: Steve || 03/16/2004 10:20:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Ow! Ooch! Stop that! Aiyeeee! Yes! I confess! I killed Jon Benet, too!"

That's some truncheon work.
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 11:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Y'know, Turkey has this large bridge across the Bosporous between Asian and European Turkey. I think it would be a good object lesson if Turkey hanged their terrorists on long ropes from this bridge, so they're in plain view of every ship going through the Bosporous. Just for fun, hang a pig between each pair of terrorists.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/16/2004 14:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Perhaps the jailers could get 'em all in a closed room with the witlessness. It would make an excellent TV show.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 18:12 Comments || Top||

EU Policy: Militant Appeasement : and parody of Churchill’s speech
EFL because its mostly about Spain except for the new policy by the EU chief
Spanish PM-elect vows to pull troops out of Iraq, lashes Bush
Spain’s prime minister-elect, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, vowed to withdraw troops from Iraq... . The head of the EU executive arm, European Commission chief Romano Prodi, agreed, in an interview published by Italy’s La Stampa newspaper Monday. "It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists," Prodi said. "Terrorism is infinitely more powerful than a year ago," and all of Europe now feels threatened, he told the paper.
"Except for the dead guys, of course. They're not as powerful..."
The investigation into the Madrid blasts...
I posted this yesterday late...

Parody of Churchill’s June 4, 1940 speech

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to grovel in our home, to ride out the storm of war, and to live peacefully with tyranny, possibly for years, until we are killed.... Even though large tracts of the world and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Islamofascists and all the odious apparatus of their rule, we shall not flag or fail.

We shall go on to the end, we shall appease in the EU, we shall appease on the seas and oceans, we shall appease with growing confidence and growing weakness in the air, we shall defend almost nothing, especially if it costs lives or treasure, we shall appease on the beaches, we shall appease on the landing grounds, we shall appease in the fields and in the streets, we shall appease in the hills; we shall quickly surrender, and even when, although I do not for a moment believe this will happen for a few years at least, this land or a large part of it is subjugated and in dhimmitude, then our forces beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the Americans, will refuse to carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, they too would cease the rescue and the liberation of we old ones.
Posted by: mhw || 03/16/2004 8:29:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The subtext of Prodi's speech is: Let's find out what they want and give it to them.

But Mr. Prodi, who are you going to negotiate with, and what are you going to negotiate about? Their opening offer is "Die, infidel pigs!" So what's your counteroffer? "You may kill 15% of us, but not one person more!" And what's your negotiating leverage? "Accept our offer, or we shall form a committee."
Posted by: Matt || 03/16/2004 11:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Why should the Spanish risk their necks and social benefits when the Yanks will finish the war with or without them.

Its a cowardly, selfish, position, but it does have a certain logic to it.
Posted by: ruprecht || 03/16/2004 13:47 Comments || Top||

#3  That seems to be a perfectly French solution, I expected more of the Spanish. They have already experienced the horrors of the violent moon god worshippers in their lands 500 years ago.
Looks like there bending over for round 2, and I wonder how long it will be before they realize they're going to be taking it dry this time.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/16/2004 15:14 Comments || Top||

Zapatero sez Bush, Blair are liars
Spain’s new prime minister, the Socialist Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, yesterday followed his dramatic election triumph with a pledge to bring troops home from Iraq and accusations that Tony Blair and George Bush lied about the war. "Mr Blair and Mr Bush must do some reflection ... you can’t organise a war with lies," he said in his first radio interview after ousting the ruling conservative People’s party in a Sunday election dominated by the terror attacks on trains that killed 200 Madrid commuters last week. "The Spanish troops will come back," he added.

His stinging comments caused political shockwaves across Europe and in the US. Sunday would go down in history as "the day when Islamist fundamentalism was seen as dictating the outcome of a European election," said Wilfried Martens, the head of the European People’s party, an umbrella group for European conservative parties. Jonathan Eyal, the director of studies at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, said if al-Qaeda were responsible for last week’s bombs, Spain had become the first country "to have a prime minister owing his position to Bin Laden."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:29:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [510 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The Spanish troops will come back," he added

Zapatero and the spanish voters have now actually aligned themselves and the spanish socialist party with Radical Islam by capitulating to AQ political terror. If I were GWB I would do my best to make Spain feel the consequences of joining the enemy (by failing to act on the atrocious perpetrated on their citizens). Economic steps are in order.
I have now added any Spanish wines or products to my black listed items (Damn, soon enough I will be limited to Californian and Israely wines !)
I expect any true Jacsonian (A La Steve Den Beste)and other similar freedom lovers to follow suit.
Lets hurt them through their pockets.
Posted by: The Dodo || 03/16/2004 4:01 Comments || Top||

#2  no spanish tourism--its 20% of their gdp--avoid marbella--they'll soon be carpet humping on the beaches--anyone have a gps set to mecca--800 years of the reconquesta down the tubes/tracks--what a pity--actions have consequences--italy's avery nicea thisa timea year
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 03/16/2004 4:08 Comments || Top||

#3  The Dodo - haven't you discovered Australian wines yet?!
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 4:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Bulldog,
I am truely ashamed of my forgetting Australian wines.
As a matter of fact, I am presently hoarding a couple of bottles of excellent Australian Shiraz bottles to be opened on special occations (i.e. the catching day of OBL, the indictment of the Paki rape gang in australia, and the like).

All Aussies, please accept my true apologies for the criminally negligent ommission. :)

BTW , Bulldog are you an Aussie ??? do you have any particular recommendations for Australian wines ??
Posted by: The Dodo || 03/16/2004 4:36 Comments || Top||

#5  The Dodo, No I'm not an Aussie, and although I like the Australian product I won't claim to be a wine expert. There are others around here who know their stuff, though. Maybe Anon1 has some suggestions...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 4:55 Comments || Top||

#6  agreed we should hit them with economic sanctions, but i was thinking more of bigger scale fuck offs for them,how about Britain pulls out tottally of the Eurofighter program thus killing the project for spain,germany and unfortuanatly in this case Italy,In the meantime we by JSF from the USA, a win win situation for BAE here,an a huge kick in the teeth for the spaniards.Next we withdraw all sources of spare parts for any american or british equipment in thier armed forces and prohibit them buying any fresh eqiupment. Also cut off any potentially good sources of commercial revenue the spanish may have from sellling thier greasy goods over here.Basically isolate them economically and militarally Spaniard are now only fit to be allys with the French
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 4:57 Comments || Top||

#7  Forget the European Union - how about an Atlantic Union?
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/16/2004 5:13 Comments || Top||

#8  America and Briton should also withdraw from NATO and the UK should pull out of this EU army bullshit too. USA,UK,Australia,Poland,Israel,Canada should form thier own Defense/offense Pact, if one gets started on the others all help and if one starts on another country we all help. What with the French siding up to the Chinese recently and the Ruskies selling so much shit to China we need a strong allience. The likes of Zapetaro need to be ignored and his opinions not listened too. Let him ally up with the Slimey French.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 6:07 Comments || Top||

#9  And the plot thickens: the leader of the dutch version of the labour party, has just called for the withdrawal of our forces from Iraq.

I feel ashamed to be a European right now.
Posted by: Evert Visser || 03/16/2004 6:53 Comments || Top||

the spanish voters have now actually aligned themselves and the spanish socialist party with Radical Islam

The Spanish voters have voted to withdraw Spanish soldiers from Iraq. Get a grip. Right now Spain is still one of our main military allies in Spain.

Now, all of a sudden, the Spaniards "have actually aligned themselves with radical Islam," which murdered 200 people in Madrid a few days ago? I don't think so.

When President Reagan pulled US troops out of Lebanon, did he "actually align himself" with Hammas? When President Nixon pulled US troops out of Vietnam, did "he actually align himself" with the Vietcong?
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 6:54 Comments || Top||

#11  When President Nixon pulled US troops out of Vietnam, did "he actually align himself" with the Vietcong?

Mike, you do know what happened when we pulled our troops out of Vietnam, don't you? Soooo...what's your point?? Are you saying that pulling troops out leads to PEACE?? Your examples don't support it. AQ brought the front of the WOT to Spain. I guess in your book, you'd rather have the war going on outside your door, than to stop it before it gets there. Well, that's your opinion.

I'd say if we took a poll, most of us would prefer to fight it in Iraq, where we disposed a bloody dictator, gave a country a chance at democracy, and didn't have to worry as much about our own busses and trains blowing up.

You need to get a grip. Spain just suffered a terrible set back in its slide toward radical Islam. Deal with it.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 7:13 Comments || Top||

#12  The Spanish voters allowed al Qaeda to decide their government for the next four years. Desperately sad, but essentially true. Doesn't get much more aligned than that.

A handful of Islamist psychopaths with explosives determine the outcome of an election in a Western liberal democracy of some 40 000 000 people. The gutless voters who turned out only to 'punish Aznar and the PP' were doing the express bidding of al Qaeda masterminds. They voted in a government which does not understand the threat facing its country, and which has pledged to abandon Iraq in its greatest hour of need, all in order to appease a gang of murderous criminals. I can honestly say that this event is the most horrifying thing that I have ever lived to see happen.

My sympathathies, for what they're worth, are with outvoted minority.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 7:22 Comments || Top||

#13  When President Reagan pulled US troops out of Lebanon, did he "actually align himself" with Hammas? When President Nixon pulled US troops out of Vietnam, did "he actually align himself" with the Vietcong?
No but they enabled the victories of both those groups. The result of those actions was the same as if they did actually align themselves with our enemies. That is the significance here. The Spanish voters may just as well be holding up signs that say Yo Quero Dhimmitude. The fecklessness of zapato will enbolden radical Islam to greater acts of terror.
Posted by: Scott || 03/16/2004 7:30 Comments || Top||

Re: #11

what's your point??
The Spanish voters have not aligned themselves with radical Islam.

Are you saying that pulling troops out leads to PEACE??

I guess in your book, you'd rather have the war going on outside your door, than to stop it before it gets there. Well, that's your opinion.
No it isn't.

I'd say if we took a poll, most of us would prefer to fight it in Iraq,
I support our war in Iraq. I appreciate Spain's active participation, which still continues now.

Spain just suffered a terrible set back in its slide toward radical Islam.
The Spanish voters and the new government clearly recognize the threat from radical Islam. I predict that Spain will soon take strong new measures to attack that threat in Spain.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 7:36 Comments || Top||

#15  The US and western civilization owes Spain gratitude for their several months of help in Iraq. The next time Spain would would like help to preserve western civilization, the US will be there with 1300 peacekeepers for 6-9 months, but only as part of a coalition whose lead partner will have provided 250,000 troops and already won the battles. Don't ever say the US doesn't pay its debts of gratitude.
Posted by: ed || 03/16/2004 7:41 Comments || Top||

Re #14:
They [Nixon and Reagan] enabled the victories of both those groups. The result of those actions was the same as if they did actually align themselves with our enemies.
Instead of going outside right now to fight criminals, you are sitting and reading Rantburg.
You therefore enable criminals to commit crimes.
The result of your reading Rantburg is the same as if you had actually aligned yourselves with criminals.
Therefore, you have actually aligned yourself with criminals.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 7:42 Comments || Top||

#16 is re: #13
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 7:45 Comments || Top||

#18  the best wines in the world are Australian, and cheap at half the price.
Posted by: tipper || 03/16/2004 8:30 Comments || Top||

#19  I predict that Spain will soon take strong new measures to attack that threat in Spain.
And I predict that you are wrong.

Whatever, Mike. It's pretty clear that all he is going to do is give a bunch of meaningless blame-America-first lip service to the cause. You let me know if he actually DOES something to prevent terrorism, ok. You seem to think he's going to magically stop the flood of immigrants into the country. Yeah, that'll happen. All he needs to do is to say it, and it will happen tomorrow.

Re: 16 - that's just plain stupid. I'd expect better from you.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 8:46 Comments || Top||

#20  ZF My dark scenario is a retreat to countries that can secure their borders and gaurantee their citizens are not terrorists. The alliance will be centred on America and span the Atlantic and the Pacific. The EU will fragment and if there are resources that the alliance doesn't have then it will just militarily take and secure an area that has them. The rest of the world can go to hell in a hand basket.

A black prospect but then I am in black frame of mind. We will have to live with consequences of the Spanish election for many years to come and it will not be nice for us but will be truly awful for those we exclude.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/16/2004 8:58 Comments || Top||

#21  To the Dodo and anyone else looking for EXCEPTIONAL AUSSIE WINES:

We now drink Aussie wine exclusively, and can't imagine doing otherwise. After sampling many Aussie red wines over the last four years, we've landed on these three as the most excellent of them:

d'Arenberg's McLaren Vale d"arry's Original--Shiraz/ Grenache ( 2001 was a very good year) about $20 and well worth it.

d'Arenberg's Stump Jump--Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre (any year) about $12.

Thorbreck (any year). Absolutely superb. Also about $20.

All of these wines are from family wineries in South Australia, and are from vineyards established about 100 or more years ago. They are made as wine was meant to be made: small-yielding vineyards, hand harvested, gently crushed (traditional foot treading), basket pressed, and fermented in open-tanks, then matured in oak barrels. This old-fashioned process yields an undeniably superior product. Of course, they have won awards and are rated highly.

Black Opal Merlot and Jacob's Creek can also have some nice qualities at times, but are not nearly as good. Even though they're cheaper, I still recommend you hold out for the ones I listed above. You won't be sorry.

Posted by: ex-lib || 03/16/2004 9:27 Comments || Top||

#22  mike sylvester makes some good points.

This is a setback, not the "cataract of disaster" All indications are that other Coalition of the willing allies will stay the course - note the BBC poll, for example. Note the Iraq poll, showing steady political evolution there.

Theres alot more going on wrt to Iraq than Spain. Sure theres lots of unpleasant WORDS coming out of Spain, and out of gloating pundits. But as some said above, words arent actions. Only actions out of this are the withdrawl of 2,000 troops. And not till June 30. If then.

And while Iraq is a key part of the WOT, it is not the only part. What is Spain doing - well in the last couple of days theyve arrested 5 jihadis, and now just arrested one more, i think, an algerian, and are pursuing another half dozen or so Moroccans. And they are putting together the links that tie the train bombers to the attacks in Casablanca, and to Al Qaeeda generally.

Is police action at home less effective than going out and draining the swamp - I THINK SO!!!! But its a tad over the top to say that because Spain isnt doing the smart thing to fight terror, ergo they have changed sides, or surrendered.

But then we live in an age of inflated rhetoric. People who dont like Bush idiotically compare him to Hitler. So i guess i cant blame the inflated rhetoric here.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 9:52 Comments || Top||

#23  LH, The jihadis have just discovered that through violence and intimidation they can bring down the government of a large West European democracy, and you're complaining about "inflated rhetoric"?!

The fact that the Spanish seem to be chasing up the perps quite effectively is virtually meaningless. They have done their job, and achieved monumental results. Results which are bound to be strived for by other cells in other countries. We'll see further "inflated rhetoric" when al Qaeda try the same thing in America, Britain and/or Australia.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/16/2004 10:23 Comments || Top||

#24  LH - read bulldog's post and then reread it again. I hope you aren't one of the people on the train before the next election they hope to influence.

You may be right that Spain hasn't "switched sides", afterall, 1/2 of the people voted the other way. But I think it's pretty safe to say that this was a major battle lost in the WOT.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 10:31 Comments || Top||

They have done their job, and achieved monumental results. Results which are bound to be strived for by other cells in other countries.
Bulldog, I agree with your statement here. Keep in mind, though, that the democratic countries, including Spain, will resist -- they won't surrender.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 10:45 Comments || Top||

#26  [$0.02 observation]
From the posts since the Madrid attack, I've concluded that Mike Sylwester, otherwise both lucid and articulate, has a problem differentiating between what is so and what he wishes to be so. I empathize for it is the bitch of life. But reality just IS. Accept it or not, like it or not, want it or not - nothing changes the facts. I see nothing in this thread to change the observation - just the opposite, in fact. Mike is adamntly looking for a positive result - but has failed to convince me there is one to be found. I would like for him to be right. But reality doesn't respond to our likes / dislikes.

LH, as resident nice guy, dreamer, and optimist, has jumped in to defend a fellow optimist. Okay, that's nice - but even if everyone here agreed, it would have zero effect on reality.

We shall see what Spain does under the control of the Socialists. Everything else is twaddle. BUT, and it's truly stupid to argue against it, the evidence in hand does not favor the optimists regards Spain. If that's not obvious, then your rose-colored glasses have morphed into Zaphod Beeblebrok's "Don't Panic" glasses.

Additionally, this attack has to be seen as an effective terror technique - it resulted in regime change Izzoid-style - thus who would be so silly as to think they won't try mightily to reapply it elsewhere?

Madrid was tragic. The election of the Socialists was Izzoid magic. Spain will regret it, just as will every other democracy which entertains significant appeasement elements and hasn't openly addressed the problem sufficiently to have developed a core of the electorate which will recover from the shock with its survival instincts in control. Spain was the European mine canary. It died. We ALL will have to deal with it.

Need change?
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 10:51 Comments || Top||

#27  Nice thread folks. Spain panicked, made a poor decision imo but there's no sense crying over spilled milk. We now need to adapt and overcome (as we always do so effectively) to their decision (as distasteful as it is) and find other advantageous courses of action. In every fray there is opportunity for the country willing to exploit it. Maybe we discuss pulling out of Rota - see how that grabs them. Shep had interesting points on JSF and other euro contracts I am not familiar with. I think Spain made a critical mistake but let's remember that almost half of them did vote to keep Aznar's party - this is a setback they will prolly pay for but no checkmate, I have hope for those over there that still feel as we do. Let's also remember their brave troops who have spilled their blood w/American lads. As for Zapatero - fuck that pandering bitch.
Posted by: Jarhead || 03/16/2004 11:11 Comments || Top||

#28  Speaking of wishes vs. horses, this sure would be a good time for Kerry and Bush to appear jointly on national television to make it unmistakably clear that no matter what the outcome of the November election, Al Qaeda and its crosseyed kinfolk are dead meat. Any burden, any price: you're dead.

Chances of that happening? A decimal point followed by a virtually infinite number of zeroes with a 1 at the end.
Posted by: Matt || 03/16/2004 11:29 Comments || Top||

#29  Maybe because I've got some "liberal" in my handle, I don't think the situation is as bleak as most of you folks seem to.

I read Kagan's "Power and Weakness" essay last night. It gave me a fair amount of comfort over the Spanish vote. (Hat tip Den Beste.) A majority of the Spanish electorate acted to form as predicted by Kagan. It's disturbing, it's unfortunate and we are going to see a lot more like it in the coming years. But it is in no way decisive in the WOT. The die has been cast on that one. We are in this one for the long haul.
Posted by: Classic_Liberal || 03/16/2004 11:47 Comments || Top||

#30  Folks, this has been a good thread. It is evident to see that the events in Spain have serious implications in the WoT, and that the horrific terrorist bombings and the appeasement beginning to take place have affected us all.

My take on it is that this is a setback on the war. It is one battlefield that turned to s--t on us. We will suffer more setbacks and we will achieve victories. I am not willing to put my hands up in despair yet. I do not plan to anytime. We must realize that everyone in the world is looking at the events in Spain and thinking about it. Really thinking about it. And I do not believe that everyone is going to roll over and kowtow to the terrorists. This is the opening salvo in the WoT in Europe. The time for scouts and skirmishes is past. I hope that the disaster in Spain serves as a wake-up call for the rest of us. It bloody well better be.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2004 11:54 Comments || Top||

#31  To put perspective on the Spanish results, I remember how close a chance the 2000 presidential vote really was. Somebody leaked GW's DWI the weekend before. That revelation that I think almost tipped the scales.

Giving Zappy the same treatment that Chetian, Schroeder, and Chirac received is certainly acceptable, but I think the People of Spain need our help. One man called our President and Britain’s Prime Minister liars, but the election itself was still very close. Economically, they will be in deep trouble just from the after-effects of the bombing. It took quite a bit of time and effort to get our consumer confidence back in line after our tragedy; I don’t think we will do ourselves any good by boycotting countries whose leaders are numbskulls – most countries were still nice to us during the Carter years.

Like everyone else, I am astounded by the utter stupidity of a politician that will purposefully alienate a friendly economic giant that would be single-handedly capable of rebuilding Spain’s entire economy from scratch. It would be as intelligent for a passenger evacuating the Titanic to set fire to his own life vest because the color orange clashed with his dinner dress.

Let’s do the irrational – wipe the loogie out of our eyes and help the guys who potooied us. It’s irrational but it’s the American way.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/16/2004 12:13 Comments || Top||

#32  I too see the Spain election results as a setback, perhaps AlQ's biggest win yet, but switching over to "adapt and overcome" mode (thanks, Jarhead) -- one possible positive outcome is that the battle lines are now more clearly drawn than ever, and that there is less room on our side for false or halfhearted allies.
Posted by: docob || 03/16/2004 12:14 Comments || Top||

#33  "A majority of the Spanish electorate acted to form as predicted by Kagan."

Funny, AlQ / ETA operative must've read Kagan, too.

The one thing that really worries me is that we few in RB are the exception, not the rule. We have internet access and, on average, we read several blogs daily, we exchange ideas with others on (approximately, we do have some fun exceptions!) the same plane. We probably get a minimum of input from the ABCNBCCBSBBCetc confabulation of spin doctors - and entertain them primarily as sources of entertainment, not hardcore source information. We are able to read excellent fiskings of the asshats who would otherwise persuade us that Emperor-in-Waiting Skeery's New Clothes are, indeed, very spiffy. Given the resources available to us, we have moved well beyond the point of being force-fed by editorially-driven demogogues. We are able to decide for ourselves with a cornucopia of both raw and predigested intel.

I feel very privileged to be here, but that litanty identfies our advantages - not the norm.

How will the normal US voter think and act come November? Beats me. From what I see, hear, and read it can certainly end up going either way. I will do everything in my meager power to give Dubya another 4 years, but... I'm also looking into various places around [on second thought - deleted - it's in another country]. If the US goes insane, temporarily or not, and elects Skeery, I'm gone. I already know what I will miss.

"We are in this one for the long haul."
Only if informed, intelligent, rational, and resolved Americans prevail over the loonies, dhimmis, and George Soros / Ketchup Grrl. I most sincerely hope your are right - and they do.
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 12:15 Comments || Top||

#34  I like what Jarhead has to say. Europe is divided and the ABBA crowed has been energised. But I'm bummed by Spains Socialist takeover and it hurts to hear Zap whip up his base with obvious lies. It's what his folk want to hear. I'll tell you what, ETA has learned a BIG lesson. The Vuelta may be funky.

Spain is a western democracy with a quality opposition party, they hold a strong position in Spanish politics. The light there flickers but it burns.

Shep, I love ya bro, I love your passion. But as TGA argued in the past regarding dumping on weak knee allies with pathetic anti-American populations, they still are our neighbors and actually our freinds(?) OUCH! Stop that.

My point is that this is a new mid game. I've won a lot of chess games buy extending the problem. Being patient by supporting the pawn, not pushing it. I've been in groups that I wanted to lead but found not enough willing to follow. I stayed in the group to help steer it, learn more about it.

See ya all latter.
Posted by: Lucky || 03/16/2004 12:59 Comments || Top||

#35  From the reportage on the Spanish elections in the local fishwrap (OK, I get it for the funnies, OK?) and on Morning Edition--- as well as on Iberian Notes, I pick up the feeling that a lot of Spaniards are having an "Oh-oh" moment, as the potential outcomes and implications are explored and begin to sink in. They were immediatly unhappy with the PP, and voted accordingly, and now with Sr. Zapatero's seemingly off-the-cuff remarks all the chickens are coming home to roost. Anyone else picking up on the "Oh-oh? feeling?
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 03/16/2004 13:01 Comments || Top||

#36  Remember folks, the pattern of success is to 'underpromise' and then 'overdeliver".

I think the Shelf life for the new PM and his Anti-American bile is somthing that will be measured in months.
Posted by: Frank Martin || 03/16/2004 13:09 Comments || Top||

#37  "Results which are bound to be strived for by other cells in other countries. We'll see further "inflated rhetoric" when al Qaeda try the same thing in America, Britain and/or Australia."

Are you implying that had the Spanish voted for the PP, the US would NOT be targeted by Al Qaedda?? What are you smoking??? Al Qaeeda will strike whereever it can, whenever it can. and the US is the number one target without regard to Iraq. We were the number one target when Bill Clinton was president, and we will be the number one target whatever happens in Iraq. Next train indeed!

At most this MAY - I repeat MAY - cause AQ to reprioritize attacks, and focus on countries with troops in Iraq. Likely to be an unsuccessful strategy, since Britain, Aussie and Poland are very different politically (Italy im not so sure about) In fact Australia was already hit, indirectly in Bali, and some said it was cause of Iraq, and Aussie stood firm. I have no doubt that Britain would too, and i have good vibes about Poland. So if AQ tries that they simply use up a cell, or even a network, to kill a couple of hundred people. No different from what they have done in Morocco, Saudi, Indon, etc. No different from what i completely expect them to do in the US again. No different from what Israel goes through all the time. If we can take it, if everyone expect the Spanish to take it, then UK, Aussie and Poland can take it too.

Im not the resident optimist, YOU ARE, if you think that absent Iraq there would be no AQ bombings in the West.

I AM optimistic that this wont break up the coalition against terror. Look, we spent 45 years fighting communism, and nations drifted in and out of alliance. France was with us, than France was gone, then they drifted back. China was an ally of the USSR, than they were WORSE than the USSR, than they were a valued partner against the USSR. Britain went from firm ally to flirting with neutrality and back again.

This is a long war we're in for. Iraq is one phase. Spain will help us before it ends, one way or another.

I continue to await that I was correct about the responsibility for the bombing in Madrid, while many others here were wrong.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 13:12 Comments || Top||

#38  As odious as I think the Spanish result is, there is the possibility, however slight, that the EU leaders will now do something serious. I know, I know...I'm probably dreaming given their past predilection for blather rather than action. But this was the first real AQ strike on the Continent. It MAY (much ass covering here) get them to understand that they now have to take action.

Sgt. Stryker may be on to something as well. The more Zipodildo spouts off, the faster he is going to fall from grace with the Spaniards.
Posted by: remote man || 03/16/2004 13:20 Comments || Top||

#39  "24 LH - read bulldog's post and then reread it again. I hope you aren't one of the people on the train before the next election they hope to influence. "

I am an American. I am a Jew. I live in the DC area. I consider myself constantly targeted by the Jihadis. On the train, at work, at Synagogue, at the mall, at home. Far from being a dreamer, i am to some degree numbed to the ongoing deaths and murders. I mourned terrorist murders in the middle east before Id ever heard of Al qaeeda.

So Im not inclined to go bonkers over a setback, even a significant one. You can either panic, or you can steel yourself. If anyone thought this was going to be a war without setbacks, they should have gone off and ignored it. Cause it was never gonna be such.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 13:23 Comments || Top||

#40  well if alqueda takes the que from the spanish cowardly voters and tries the same in the US - Bush will be re-elected. Americans rally around the flag and want vengence while eurotrash, when confronted , scamper like ants for hiding places. what the spanish elecorate has done is put the whole of europe in danger.
Posted by: Dan || 03/16/2004 13:25 Comments || Top||

#41  It is a set back and it is not the end of the war, but we did just witness another inflection point in the calculus of death. Yeah, I know, historicity is false and historical analogies limp, but since the Creator made it so we can never really know what's going to happen after t-sub-zero, we normally turn to the past and draw analogies. If Europe had reacted to Hitler's re-occupation of the Rhineland, 10K die. If they wait until the Sudetenland, 100K die. If they attack in Sep 1939, 1M die. They wait until May, 1940 and 50M die. That is the calculus of death. It's a gamble, a crap shoot with very high stakes. Most human societies wait until it's too late. Some through luck and superior organization manage to recover and win.

So maybe the best strategy is containment. Maybe we wait it out and the whole Islamic thing collapses from its internal contradictions like the USSR did. I don't know. But what I do know is that we just saw another step function in the calculus of death. Go read this week's Friday sermons. Much bloodier and more confident than usual. More kids are approaching ol' Mahmoud al Afgani after prayers and asking him about how he got his moniker. There will be more bombers. There will be more dead than if the Spanish had voted for the PP. What happens between now and the next bombing isn't as important as what happens after the next bombing.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/16/2004 13:29 Comments || Top||

#42  11A5S - Spot-on kick-ass analogy - that rings true from every angle... Painful and chillingly accurate, IMO. Thanx! Great post!
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 13:41 Comments || Top||

#43  "For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else"

Winston Churchill
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 13:57 Comments || Top||

#44  I too am an optimist. But I am also a realist. If this were football, I'd say we just had a bad inning.

Saying things like, "the fact that the opposition scored so many points means that they are overconfident now and we will beat them" only goes so far.

Bottom line, we lost an inning and we are going to have to change a few strategies plus work harder if we want to win the game.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 16:50 Comments || Top||

#45  heh, heh...I started with football and felt that this didn't represent a full quarter of the game...forgot to change the rest...oh well...you get my point.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 16:54 Comments || Top||

#46  #44 - lets clear this up - The europeans lost bigtime. They will have to work much harder not to lose the game, they are now wide open. The US strategy will stay the same. We will act unilaterly regardless of what the euro's think or want. The actual impact of no spanish troops in iraq is very small. In the overall WOT they are still engaged as part of nato, especially at sea.
In the long run this could be good for the US. The euros will feel the sting of having thier democracies dictacted to by terrorists countries and may just get some balls. It could also energize alqueda to try the same with the nov elections in the US. Which will gurantee Bush's relection. The real part of WOT will start after nov. when we go after the main countries that support these terrorists. Iran and Syria.
Posted by: Dan || 03/16/2004 17:26 Comments || Top||

#47  and we must remember that the war in iraq was to set the stage for the next part of the WOT. it wasn't an end to a means but a means to an end.
Posted by: Dan || 03/16/2004 17:28 Comments || Top||

#48  I've gone through all of this, plus several dozen other pages on several different blogs. I've come to a few conclusions, not all of which are easy to contemplate.

1. Spain blew it, big-time, and another thousand, five thousand, maybe even 25,000, will be killed or injured because of it. They reacted emotionally to an emotional tragedy, and made a huge mistake. IT IS a HUGE mistake, because it will encourage more such tragedies in the future. The rest of us will have to be ten times as vigilant, and we will probably still miss the attackers until it's all over.

2. Spain needs to understand that there are consequences to behavior. Perhaps it's not a good idea to punish Spain, but it's not a good idea to let this pass unchallenged, either. All countries, both those with us and those against us, need to know there are consequences for behavior (that old cause and effect thing) - both positive and negative. Spain's new prime minister says the only way Spanish troops will be allowed to remain is if the United Nations takes over in Iraq. That cannot be allowed to happen. The United Nations' track record is so dismal it's unthinkable to give them any real authority over anything. It's also stupid. On the other hand, an increased NATO interest in Iraq may be feasible. This may give the Spaniards, finding themselves out on a limb politically, a chance to back down without losing too much face. Zapadopio can find himself NOT invited to the United States - not just excluded from Crawford, but from any face-to-face meeting with Bush. In the meantime, curtailing the number of US/Spanish joint exercises, reducing the number of Port Calls by US warships, reducing the number of Spanish-granted contracts in Iraq, and similar measures can reinforce the message that we think Spain screwed the pooch bigtime, and there WILL be repercussions. Transfer those Port Calls to nations that still support us in Iraq, encourage Iraq to award more contracts to such nations, and let "Old Europe" see how we reward our friends, and turn our backs on those that spit on us.

3. Keep hammering on the theme that this war will continue as long as the enemy has the means to pursue it, and the only way to be "safe" is to destroy the enemy. Keep repeating the keys to victory: vigilence, border control, intelligence, sharing information, and destroying the enemy wherever and whenever he's found, regardless of who or where he is.

Spain is a setback. It isn't yet a defeat. It can become one, if the free people of the world don't understand exactly what happened and why, or if they turn their back on the realities of war. There are those in the United States, including the Democratic candidate for President, who is not fully committed to waging a victorious war against our common enemy. We must all fight harder to ensure such people don't get their way, and surrender for all of us.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/16/2004 18:04 Comments || Top||

#49  OP, IMO Spain needs to be liberated not punished.

I've won a lot of chess games buy extending the problem.

Remind me never to play any game with you Lucky.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 18:18 Comments || Top||

#50  LH you seem to operate on the premise that AQ has fixed resources. This is not the case. Like all terrorist organizations it is critically dependant on a constant in flow of money and people. They can now point to their biggest sucess to date in Spain and I have little doubt they will see a big increase in money and people coming in, which means sharply increased levels of terrorism.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/16/2004 19:38 Comments || Top||

#51  The way to defeat the terrorists is to dry up their money, and that ultimately leads back to
1. Saudi Arabia
2. Iran

The world does not yet have the Collective will to clean out these ratholes. The US AND the coalition of the Willing started the process in Afghanistan and Iraq. Spain may cease their contribution, but the job WILL be done with or without them. Zap is riding the wave right now, but it will hit the shore and he will be high and dry.

If Zap wants to run with the big dogs, he better quit pissing like a puppy.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2004 21:44 Comments || Top||

#52  I'm with you AP. The brains of a many headed snake. We can and should kill the beasts. So simple really. And to think Aris would have me labled a bloodthirsty cowboy. I love cowboys.
Posted by: Lucky || 03/16/2004 23:05 Comments || Top||

US allies to remain in Iraq
Several European allies of the United States affirmed their determination on Monday to keep forces in Iraq despite last week’s terror bombings in Madrid and Sunday’s surprise election of a Spanish government bent on pulling out its own troops. The declarations were made in response to the victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, which unseated a government that was a staunch ally of Washington. Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has pledged to withdraw Spain’s 1,300 troops from Iraq by the end of July if the United Nations does not take over peacekeeping. Spain is set to join France and Germany, once dismissed by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld as "old Europe," in opposing military involvement in Iraq. "Old Europe has been fortified. It is a lesson for the United States. The coalition is not permanent," said Stefano Silvestrini, an analyst for the International Affairs Institute here.
What were we saying back when the WoT was young about alliances being shifting things? Life's tough, but so are we. Deal with them as far as possible, but keep our eye on the main objective, which doesn't involve flamenco dancing.
Nonetheless, Spain’s defection does not seem to be causing a rush to the exits. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has been at odds with opposition groups about the military involvement in Iraq, pledged to keep the country’s 2,300 soldiers there. In Britain, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw disputed any suggestion that countries allied with the United States were more likely to be attacked by terrorists than countries without troops in Iraq. "So far as people feeling that they have become a bigger target, obviously we are going to hear a lot of this argument," he told BBC Radio. "All I can say is that no one should get the idea that somehow if you were a country which was opposed to military action in Iraq, you are less of a target for al Qaeda and these terrible Islamic fanatics. Not at all."
If you pay your dhimmi tax they'll leave you alone, unless they feel like having a little fun...
Polish officials said they would keep the country’s 2,400 peacekeeping troops in Iraq. "Revising our position on Iraq after terrorist attacks would be to admit that terrorists are stronger and they are right," Prime Minister Leszek Miller said at a news conference in the Polish town of Tarnow, according to news services. Poland currently commands 10,000 multinational troops in south-central Iraq. Spain was due to take over the command in July, but that schedule is now in doubt.
I think I'd be looking for somebody else...
"If it is necessary, we will continue leading the multinational division. We are prepared to do that even if Spain is not able to fulfill its promise," Poland’s ambassador to NATO, Jerzy Nowak, said in Brussels. In the Netherlands, the government said that its small contingent would remain. European participation in Iraq is important to Washington both for manpower and because a European presence buttresses the Bush administration’s contention that the occupation is the work of leading free nations. In backing the United States, however, the allies went against the grain of popular opinion at home. Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski, a sociology professor at Poland’s Academy of Sciences, said the election results showed Europe was not prepared to resist terror.
Drop trou, lie down, get comfy, spread wide, and smile.
The outcome in Spain "is kind of encouragement for those who did the bombing, because it proved to be a very serious and effective way to influence governments — and politics even — in Western European democracies," he said. "If it was a test, then we can expect similar things before any popular election in any European country."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:11:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Revising our position on Iraq after terrorist attacks would be to admit that terrorists are stronger and they are right," Prime Minister Leszek Miller said at a news conference in the Polish town of Tarnow, according to news services.


Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski, a sociology professor at Poland’s Academy of Sciences, said the election results showed Europe was not prepared to resist terror.

The outcome in Spain "is kind of encouragement for those who did the bombing, because it proved to be a very serious and effective way to influence governments -- and politics even -- in Western European democracies," he said.

These guys "get it".
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 12:46 Comments || Top||

#2  This should be beaten over the heads at State - repeatedly - until they get the message.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/16/2004 20:05 Comments || Top||

Prodi: US terror 'recipe' not working
Rome - After the bomb attacks in Madrid, European Commission president Romano Prodi says the US approach to the war on terrorism has been a failure. Prodi, in an interview with Monday's La Stampa newspaper of Turin, argued that success in combating terror requires diplomacy and politics - not just military action.
And we all know just who has to lead the first two.
"These terrible days have shown us that the American recipe wasn't right. On Saturday, it will be a year since the start of the war in Iraq and the terrorist threat is today infinitely more powerful than before," Prodi told the newspaper. "But Europe applies different instruments, suited to help our citizens surrender leave fear behind: using appeasement politics and not just force, which has created further fear."
Anytime you folks want to go your own way, just let us know.
Prodi also told La Stampa that he believed that attitudes in the United States were changing, becoming less set on acting without wide support from other nations. "Europe is not moving closer to the United States, rather it's the Kerrycrats America that is coming closer to us," he said.
Depends on November, but don't count on it.
Prodi also said that the EU is discussing adding a new position: European anti-terrorism commissioner. He argued that the EU needed to show a united front against terrorism, and that incidents like the Madrid attacks "will accelerate the progress toward an integration of foreign policy".
Be sure to name a Belgian as the first anti-terrorism commissioner. Nobody scowls like a Belgian.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 12:27:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [364 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dear Lord, please spare us from an European anti-terrorism commissioner. We may have sinned along this arduous trek in the war on terrorism but we haven't sinned that bad. What sort of united front is this moron talking about? Would those 8 million Spainards holding their hands up in surrender be a part of this united front?
Posted by: Chiner || 03/16/2004 3:40 Comments || Top||

#2  i think the eurocrats should hold a meeting to set up a conference to issue a proclamation to state that any further terrorism in europe will result in the setting up of a multilateral ancillary organization to further study the root causes of the failure of euro minorities to participate in the inter euro day dream of eternal peace and eight weeks of vacation which will result in the issuing of a publication to be presented for further study by member governments
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 03/16/2004 4:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Prodi also said that the EU is discussing adding a new position: European anti-terrorism commissioner.
Europe also needs the following :
1. European commisionner for forms of irrational though forms.
2. European commisionner for negotiation of surrender terms with Al Qaeda representatives.
3. European commisioner for legitimizing integration of terror with politics.

4. European commisioner for formalizing the practicing of refined forms of bigotry, hypocricy and cowardice as a way of life.

5. European comissioner for spitting your friends and allies in the eye.

6. European commisioner (aka Kadi) for preparing a first draft for the Sharia version to be soon imposed by the non-elected Eurocrats on all European citizens (aka - sheep).

Europe also needs a new Dreifus trial to divert the attention of the masses from the imminent colapse of their socio-political system. (The French are true experts at this)

He argued that the EU needed to show a united front against terrorism

Yes,yes, what he truely means by this is for all European leaders lining up and making a concerted effort to shove their heads in the sand as deep as they can.
Posted by: The Dodo || 03/16/2004 4:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Den Beste has the perfect take on this.
Posted by: someone || 03/16/2004 5:15 Comments || Top||

#5  He's a bureaucrat. Why should we care what he thinks? Whatcha gonna do about it, fat boy? Write a memo? Call a meeting?
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 8:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Prodi is absolutely right. What we need is regulation 455a, 566b, 768h, 1235f. Terrorist will have to fill out form 567a (Intent of bombing a train) and form 767 (for casualties 200 plus). Form 678 will be necessary to bomb buildings, additional form 987 will be needed if asbestos is released in the air.
All forms have to be filed with a 5 years notice.

I think this could work.
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/16/2004 8:01 Comments || Top||

#7  TGA, that is really funny! Thanks, I needed a laugh.
Posted by: Frank || 03/16/2004 9:47 Comments || Top||

#8  What they need is a Minister for Appeasement, so this vital chore isn't split over many departments, each unsure of what the other is doing. They might end up capitulating to rival groups! That would be embarrassing.

Is it my imagination, or does Prodi come perilously close to blaming the US for the attacks?
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 03/16/2004 10:25 Comments || Top||

#9  To this fruit-loop Prodi, Iraq was the only exception, there's no trend of not using diplomacy when working with partner countries in the war on terror. The real reason the WOT has been slowed is their hesitation to help! America has been forward moving, while the Europeans are stepping back.
Posted by: CobraCommander || 03/16/2004 10:49 Comments || Top||

#10  To this fruit-loop Prodi, Iraq was the only exception, there's no trend of not using diplomacy when working with partner countries in the war on terror. The real reason the WOT has been slowed is their hesitation to help! America has been forward moving, while the Europeans are stepping back.
Posted by: CobraCommander || 03/16/2004 10:49 Comments || Top||

#11  ok we are sorry! we will stop! yea they can hit us , just like the 90's, and well we give up! you fucking dumbass! so much for chamberlin's ghost bieng dead! shut up and go pay your tribute to the ragheads so your little as can be wiped in peace!
give me liberty or give me death! still rings true....
Posted by: Dan || 03/16/2004 10:54 Comments || Top||

#12  "your little ass can be wiped in peace"

Don't forget, Dan, you can only use your left hand.
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 11:30 Comments || Top||

#13  Prodi, in an interview with Monday's La Stampa newspaper of Turin, argued that success in combating terror requires diplomacy and politics - not just military action.

War is diplomacy; just by other means. Unless by using the phrase "diplomacy and politics" Prodi really means "fellating the enemy".
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 12:18 Comments || Top||

#14  Link:Reuters:France Says It Received Threat by Islamist Group

Here's a chance to put diplomacy and politics into action.Obviously,France has not been sensitive enough to Islamic concerns.
Posted by: El Id || 03/16/2004 13:14 Comments || Top||

#15  Prodi’s concept of war differs significantly from mine. If we are in a war on terror, why should we be surprised when the terrorists fight back? To convince me that negotiations were the way to go, Prodi would need to convince me that UBL, Arafat and Sadaam were willing to negotiate in good faith. What evidence does Prodi have that this is the case.

Prodi seems to be recommending a policy that is equivalent to letting the US take the point while the U stays out of harms way and makes conciliatory noises and gestures towards the state sponsors of terrorism. Prodi should understand that the complete silence is a vital part of blending into the scenery to avoid a predator.

I may be completely wrong when I imply that Prodi is an abject coward. He can plaster egg on my face by leading the EU in taking the lead with regard to fixing the roadmap to Middle East peace.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/16/2004 14:06 Comments || Top||

#16  This http://sg.news.yahoo.com/040315/1/3irv0.html

quotes Prodi as follows:
"The head of the EU executive arm, European Commission chief Romano Prodi, agreed, in an interview published by Italy's La Stampa newspaper Monday.

"It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists," Prodi said. "Terrorism is infinitely more powerful than a year ago," and all of Europe now feels threatened, he told the paper. ..."

See, eveybody lie down.....
Posted by: Barry || 03/16/2004 14:23 Comments || Top||

#17  Hmmmm.

"Clayton Williams was the 1990 Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate. He was leading Democrat Ann Richards in the polls, but then he spoke the words that ultimately cost him the governor's race.

Talking to reporters about the weather, he joked that bad weather is like rape: 'as long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.' Williams' comments created a major firestorm. Nothing else he said throughout the rest of the campaign mattered.

His attempts to apologize were fruitless. The remark stuck to him like glue and cost him the election to Richards."

Is this what Prodi is proposing for Eeeewww?

Certainly seems so. If only the Europeans would respond as the Texas voters did...
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 14:47 Comments || Top||

#18  .com: You're forgetting, that's why Eurocrats aren't elected.
Posted by: someone || 03/16/2004 15:21 Comments || Top||

#19  "...it will be a year since the start of the war in Iraq and the terrorist threat is today infinitely more powerful than before," Prodi told the newspaper."

Oy... Not given to fits of hyperbole, is he?

Actually I suppose I shouldn't blame him. Terrorists must seem far more powerful when they carry one off on your land.
Posted by: eLarson || 03/16/2004 17:25 Comments || Top||

#20  i would say it is not that the terrorists are more powerful but europe is weaker. time to raise taxes in europe to pay tribute... or push the value of euro up...hell since the euros actually manufacture very little for export it shouldn't hurt their economy too much...
Posted by: Dan || 03/16/2004 17:34 Comments || Top||

#21  Rats, I was even thinking of going to Turino in '06 for the winter olympics.
Posted by: Anonymous2U || 03/16/2004 18:09 Comments || Top||

#22  Proddy prodi must be having a bit of PMS - and yes, I know he's a man... sort of.

The Taliban are hiding in caves, running back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakland. There are fewer and fewer of them each trip.

Saddam Hussein is now Sadsack Hasbeen, and Iraq has a new constitution and a new outlook on life.

Iraq has proven to be "flypaper", and several thousand splodeydopes have been killed, even larger numbers captured and made (virtually) harmless.

Libya has given up weapons of mass destruction, and told the rest of the "Arab League" to go do impossible things with themselves.

Several billions of dollars in funds that were formerly available for terrorist activity are now frozen, and hundreds of fake "charities" are being examined under a microscope.

Even the United States has finally admitted there can be no "negotiated settlement" between Israel and the "palestinians" (a nonexistent 'people' in a nonexistent 'land'), and has (reluctantly) agreed to support "separation".

Sounds to me like Prodi is viewing the world through a glass bellybutton.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/16/2004 18:56 Comments || Top||

#23  I think we will see that the EU is mistaken if they don't provide the same type of immediate strong response that is charecterized by the lead by the post-9/11 leadership of Bush seen in particular clarity through the actions of Rumsfeld's and Ashcroft's departments.

In the EU Observer, Richard Cartter outlines what is already happening in his article, European markets plunge as terror fears spread, Another attack of the same proportion could cause extreme uncertainty among investors.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/16/2004 21:14 Comments || Top||

Spanish PM Pledge Brings Reaction
Spain's newly elected prime minister pledged Monday to bring his peacekeeping troops home from Iraq by June 30. All other governments helping rebuild Iraq said they would stay the course, but there were signs of nervousness after the Madrid bombings and the Spanish government's defeat at the polls. Britain, America's closest ally, insisted the coalition must remain committed to bringing stability and democracy to Iraq. So far, no significant opposition party has called for a withdrawal of Britain's 8,220 troops. Poland, which leads a multinational force in southern Iraq, said a pullout of its 2,500 troops would hand a victory to terrorists. Prime Minister Leszek Miller pledged to stay with the peacekeeping mission despite pressure from opposition lawmakers. "It would amount to an admission that the terrorists are right and that they are stronger than the whole civilized world," Miller said.
Too bad Zapateros is blinded by his ideology.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Monday that all countries, not just those who supported the campaign to topple Saddam Hussein, were the targets of terrorists. "We are under a threat from Islamic extremism, and so is almost every other country in the world," Straw told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "No one should believe that somehow if you say 'I opposed the military action in Iraq,' that this makes you safer or exempts you as a potential victim."
As Churchill noted a while back, they're just hoping to be the last eaten.
The Polish ambassador to NATO, Jerzy Nowak, told The Associated Press he was deeply concerned about a possible Spanish withdrawal, adding it would leave a "terrible loophole" in the multinational force. In Bulgaria, which lost four citizens in the Madrid bombings, the government insisted it would not pull its 500-member infantry battalion from the southern Iraqi city of Karbala. "The only policy we can conduct is to fight international terrorism," Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi said. In Japan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he foresaw no change in plans to deploy 1,000 Japanese military personnel in the Persian Gulf region to assist in Iraq's reconstruction. "Japan's (political) situation is different from Spain's," Kyodo News agency quoted him as saying. Koizumi faces intense pressure from opponents who fear Tokyo's involvement could make Japan a terror target. Last November, an alleged al-Qaida operative threatened to attack Tokyo if it sent troops to Iraq.
Somehow I can't see Mahmoud al-Kaboomi arriving at Narita with his suitcase full of explosives and eleven passports and not being noticed by the oh-so-polite customs guys. If they try subcontracting to Southeast Asians, say MILFies or JI, those guys would stand out almost as much. The Japanese as a group look different from run-of-the-mill Chinese and Koreans and much different from Malays and such. And then there's the matter of learning how to act so as not to stand out. The Japanese version of "Y'ain't from around here, are yew?" is a little more politely phrased but means the same thing.
Roman Giertych, the head of the Polish Families' League, a far-right Catholic party, said he wants a referendum to determine whether Poland remains with the U.S.-led coalition. "The whole nation is in danger - not the government itself - and people should decide if our troops should stay there or not," Giertych told AP.
No Roman, you have a government to decide that, and people to decide on the government in the next election.
The Czech government said it had no plans to withdraw its 150 military police from Iraq. Ukraine, which has contributed some 1,650 troops to the Polish-led multinational contingent, is also not considering a withdrawal, said Kostiantyn Khivrenko, Defense Ministry spokesman. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said proposals to be discussed at the EU meeting would also include a "solidarity clause" committing nations to help each other in response to terror attacks, as well as appointment of a security coordinator to oversee counterterrorism measures, improved intelligence sharing and closer cooperation with outside nations to combat terrorism.
I'm sure the "solidarity clause" will be worth the very paper it's printed on!
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 2:06:25 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [352 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Say kids, isnt the new Spanish PM's move a bit, shall we say unilateral?

I dont personally see what the big deal is, since everyone on the left concluded that this was an "illegitamate coalition" anyway, who cares if they leave.
Posted by: Frank Martin || 03/16/2004 0:10 Comments || Top||

#2  The really ridiculous part is that by pulling out now the Spanish PM isn't saying he's against the war in Iraq. He's saying he's against helping the Iraqi people create a democracy.

On top of that, how could he have announced his intentions NOW. He couldn't wait till he took office. It's like this moron wanted to make sure Al Queda knew that he was whipped and giving up. Pathetic.

This Zapateros guy is either a complete moron or a complete scum bag.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 0:21 Comments || Top||

#3  and another thing......

Since the left took it upon itself to blame the US "intervention" in iraq for the al-queda attacks in Madrid( the leftist version of a woman asking for rape by wearing provocative clothing, "She asked for it" they say..ah the left is so enlightend as to be above such simplesse), shall we all reserve a hate filled rant at Spain when our trains and subways are surely to be bombed this summer?

To the rest of Europe, a warning - They are coming for you, youve made yourselves a target by showing that you can be persuaded by mindless violence. You actually believe that you can reason with evil and as a result, you've shown them you are the weak link in the wall and now they are going to do everything in their remainng power to exploit it. And when they do, you can give thanks to the french, the germans ,the belgians and now the spanish for your deaths. They have made you a target to be exploited, not us. Since we understand that you have nothing but contempt for the US, you may feel free to seek help and protection from the UN.

Posted by: Frank Martin || 03/16/2004 0:28 Comments || Top||

#4  Didn't they learn anything from their attempts to appease Hitler?

Those who fail to learn from history are bound to repeat it. --- (I dont remember who said that...)
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/16/2004 0:36 Comments || Top||

#5  CF - I vote for "both."
Posted by: PBMcL || 03/16/2004 0:37 Comments || Top||

#6  Frank I think many of the euros are hoping that by appeasing AQ the terrorists will turn their attention on America and they will only then become a target in the unlikely event of America's defeat.

There hope is that the terrorists will hurt us badly but ultimately be unable to defeat us. They're not stupid, they know if we lost they're next. They think they can regain their influence in the world by having the terrorist tear us down a notch... the whole time we're in the fight they will launch moral superiority attacks about how contemptable we are for fighting. Similar to what they are doing to the Israelis.

Personally I believe their plan will fail because the terrorist will continue to demand more and more of them until they are asked for something they cannot give. You know the Euros have been know to give up a country here and there to appease but once you start talking about taking France or Germany wholesale it'll actually wake them up. The other facet I think they fail to grasp is that if we're struck hard enough we will no longer play softball.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 0:39 Comments || Top||

#7  Oops. I meant DPA. You guys are too fast...
Posted by: PBMcL || 03/16/2004 0:39 Comments || Top||

#8  PBMcL, both is probably right.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 0:43 Comments || Top||

#9  Its all a moot point anyway, the Euros are not breeding fast enough to remain viable as a civilizations anyway.

I hold out hope for the Germans and the UK, but the French,Italians,Russians and Spanish will ( if current trends continue) cease to be viable, distinct populations in as little as 40 years time. Italians are in such a population state that they are no longer at "zero population growth" but negative population growth.

The only way the euros are able to keep going today is by widespread immigration, largely from Islamic populations. However, unlike the US, most european countries do not require immigration populations to integrate with existing culture and languages and as a result, large ghetto populations exist in all the larger cities of europe.

Europes approach to the war on terror has as much to do with their internal recongition that in many ways they have already lost the war at home.

We would all do well to gather as much of the remains of their culture for storage in our museums. Im afraid that europe is about to fall to the barbarians the way that the Roman civilization did in the past.
Posted by: Frank Martin || 03/16/2004 0:51 Comments || Top||

#10  I hold out hope for the Slavs, Frank: the Russians, Ukrainskii Polski, etc. They may be on the frontlines of Islam's War against civilization, and they have taken some hits, but I believe that Slavs, their language their culture, and their religion will prevail in their geographic area.

Heck, Russia emerged from 70 years of a murderous leftist regime, it is hard to imagine them not surviving the War on Terrorism.

Col. Albert Seaton, the Brit historian, once wrote: The further one is away from the Russian, the greater the tendency to udnerestimate him. I like to think that applies to all Slavs.
Posted by: badanov || 03/16/2004 1:00 Comments || Top||

#11  Has anyone modeled what would happen if a nuclear reactor in France or Spain had a high-speed meeting with an Airbus?
Posted by: Mahmoud, the Weasel || 03/16/2004 1:25 Comments || Top||

#12  Steve, I don't think that the following comment helps your argument that withdrawal of Spanish troops is a mistake

No Roman, you have a government to decide that, and people to decide on the government in the next election

you could reasonably argue that that's what the Spaniards did on the weekend
Posted by: Igs || 03/16/2004 1:53 Comments || Top||

#13  Igs, you're absolutely right, and I wasn't critiquing my argument, I was critiquing Roman.

To be clear, the Spanish people had a right to do what they did. I think they're wrong, but my opinion and three dollars will get you a coffee at the Starbucks. The Aznar government committed the Spanish people to a course of action, and the people decided Sunday that they didn't like that. Again, their right, and now they get to live with the consequences.

So, unfortunately, do we, and I do think that among the several major consequences will be further attacks on coalition governments by al-Q. While the Poles, etc. are holding firm now, a couple of attacks in Warsaw, Prague, Sofia, etc., and you just might see people there question their governments just as was done in Spain.

One thing I'll bring up that others haven't: the timing of the attack in Madrid: close enough to the election to induce fear and anger, and too close to let that fear and anger coalesce to the next stage: grim resolve. Remember the first two weeks in this country after 9/11? We grieved, we were afraid, we were angry.

Then we decided, "allrighty, you wanted our attention, now you got it. Punk." The Spanish people would have gotten there (I'm comfortably certain of that), except they had an election before they did. And now the new Socialist government will vitiate that human response in favor of soothing words -- "it's okay, we'll get out of Iraq and those evil people won't bother us again, 'cause we were wrong, you see."

And perhaps that will be the case for a while. Al-Q would be massively stupid to attack Spain again. They got what they wanted, and the Spanish miliary and police are on guard now. So al-Q will find a softer, more inviting target (Cracow? Birmingham? Strausborg?) and strike when they're ready. And then another government will shake and tremble (and perhaps fall), and we'll see this again.

Wash, rinse, repeat, as we say on Rantburg.

Could this happen in the U.S.? al-Q does something truly spectacular and nasty say, Halloween night? We get about a week or so, barely enough to bury our dead, the media blaring all the while (as they did in Spain) how "this changes everything", and JFKerry doesn't have to say a word. He just stands there with an outstretched finger at GWB.

Yep, could happen. Is the collective hive that is now al-Q's leadership thinking/planning something like this? I'll bet they are.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 2:07 Comments || Top||

#14  Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said proposals to be discussed at the EU meeting would also include a "solidarity clause"

Solidarity about what Bertie? The policeing of Islamic combatants. Fuck@#g talking heads. Watch, world, as Spain cacoons. And EU pretends.
Posted by: Lucky || 03/16/2004 3:38 Comments || Top||

#15  #4 crazyfool--ironically that quote about history repeating itself was from george santayana --a modern SPANISH philosopher
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 03/16/2004 4:20 Comments || Top||

#16  Could this happen in the U.S.? al-Q does something truly spectacular and nasty say, Halloween night? We get about a week or so, barely enough to bury our dead, the media blaring all the while (as they did in Spain) how "this changes everything", and JFKerry doesn't have to say a word. He just stands there with an outstretched finger at GWB.

Good question !
I would like to draw your attention to an interesting phenomenon. In countries where radical Islam is perceived as a real threat to the existence of the state, attrocities perpetrated by the terrorists usually sway the vote in the right direction.
In Israel, after many years of trying to negotiate and compromise with the Paleo's, the second Intifadeh and the rain of crazy boomers in the name of the religion of peace(TM) caused a landslide victory of the right wing in the elections.
Similarely, in the USA after 9/11 a majority of americans perceived that they cannot ignore this
without a real risk to their system and interests and the US government responded accordingly by initiating the WOT.
While the two situations are not exactly equivalent, what I am driving at is that I think the majority of Israelis and Americans have sharper survival instincts.
My impression is that if there is a second 9/11 sized terrorist action in the US, the American voters are going to vote republican because I think most americans (even many Democrats) have stronger survival instincts than most Europeans.
Posted by: The Dodo || 03/16/2004 5:11 Comments || Top||

#17  The other facet I think they fail to grasp is that if we're struck hard enough we will no longer play softball.

did you have in mind a game involving a lot of craters that glow in the dark???
Posted by: The Dodo || 03/16/2004 5:14 Comments || Top||

#18  Eastern Orthodox Slavs will hold out OK - they remain acutely aware than their Vatican - Constantinople (Istanbul) - remains under Muslim occupation, in Turkey.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/16/2004 5:19 Comments || Top||

#19  Badanov: I truly wish you were right, but Eastern European birthrates are just as dismal as Western European rates.

Poland: 0%
Ukraine: -0.69%
Russia: -0.3%
Belarus: -0.12%

It's just statistics. Different projections I've seen predict between 50 and 100 million fewer Europeans by 2050 even when you include immigration. Countries with the lowest birthrates like Spain and Italy will have one worker supporting one retiree by that date. While all this may be fine from a "save the planet" point of view, it makes no sense at all when your neighboring culture is fast growing and opportunistic.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/16/2004 9:05 Comments || Top||

#20  Source for the above.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/16/2004 9:06 Comments || Top||

#21  Concerning history repeating itself. To think that history repeats itself is moronic in the extreme. The only thing that repeats is people's belief they understand history and consequently current events (as a repetition of previous events in history).

Go read The Poverty of Historicism by Karl Popper.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/16/2004 9:33 Comments || Top||

#22  Killer discussion. Killer observations. My $0.02 to add is that the US press is already primed to do the finger pointing Dr Steve describes - the pundits are crowing that it will be the perception that "Dubya failed to protect us" that will be the key. If the public buys that idea - he's toast. If not, then it will be hobnail boots time.
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 9:54 Comments || Top||

#23  And concerning the birth rates in Europe and various other developed societies like Japan and Singapore. The argument that it is a bad thing rests on the need for working members of society to pay taxes to support non-working members. The solution is simple. Restrict benefits to non-working people including the retired. In fact retirement is an anachronism. It was introduced when most be people did physically demanding labor, which is rare these days.

And as far as more vigorous societies are concerned. Wake me up when Albania or Syria becomes more dynamic than Germany or Israel. I.E. birth rate has nothing to do with a societies dynamism.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/16/2004 10:38 Comments || Top||

#24  Steve, I disagree.

I remember 9/11 vividly. I watched it happen outside my aparment window on the upper west side. People were frightened but they wanted revenge on day 1. I remember talking to liberals immediatly after 9/11 and they wanted to nuke the middle east. The questioning of the government's policies came much later.

The media may attempt to sway public opinion after an attack to blame Bush but it won't work. The American public's initial reaction to getting attacked is to hit back and then ask questions later. This is far different than the Euros who live with the history of WW1 & 2 and thus are deeply afraid of ANY conflict. The world wars turned Europe into a population of mostly appeasers. I believe the reason England is different is that they were able to stay in the fight till the end and were never conquered. They don't have the fear of knowing what it's like to be beaten. The rest of Europe are like top ranked boxers who've been knocked out a couple of times and are never quite the same. The fear paralyzes them. An attack on the UK and the US will only bring out a desire for revenge, not appeasment.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 11:07 Comments || Top||

#25  DPA: I'm not sure it was the world wars or the subsequent disarmament. Surely the fact that most Euros -couldn't- hit back -- not even with nukes! -- except with our help has to change their take on the situation.
Posted by: someone || 03/16/2004 12:04 Comments || Top||

#26  phil_b: Restricting benefits to retirees is tough thing to do when they represent the majority of the active electorate. Of course, obstruction of change will likely have the effect of energizing young voters (who are so often apathetic). It will be an interesting problem since radical changes to the social contract usually result in great turmoil. Re birthrate and societal dynamism: I don't agree that dynamism is the key factor. I think that ruthlessness is. When you have Mullah's preaching, "O muslim women, your wombs are the ummah's greatest weapon," then I get worried. Cultures are a set of memes that try to propagate themselves in space and time. History is littered with examples of dynamic cultures that fell to ruthless ones. Of course this reinforces an argument that TGA made here some time ago, that to change Muslim societies, we must reach the women and educate them. I see more and more wisdom in this as time goes on.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/16/2004 12:56 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
A book -- with Lt. Col Steve Russell ..... it’s out...
I found this at the site of 4th ID Association -- newsletter that has followed them through their deployment...
"Hunting Down Saddam" by Robin Moore
I heard retired CSM Mark Vargas talk about a new book on Fox News last Friday morning so immediately went out and bought it at my local Borders store. After reading it over the weekend, I can highly recommend that you get it and add it to your bookshelf and memorabilia from Iraq.

Pages 138 to 257 (of the 257 page book) are focused exclusively on the 4ID and their search and capture of Saddam. The first half of the book is focused on background information and the 101st Airborne’s actions and success in killing Saddam’s two sons (I’ve just skimmed that portion thus far). There are several good color pictures of the capture site, of Tikrit, and 4ID soldiers.

The longest chapter, "Letters from Tikrit" is made up totally of the detailed letters (historical quality) that 1-22 Infantry battalion commander, LTC Steve Russell, has written covering their actions from June through December leading up to finally capturing the key people who led to the capture of Saddam. All in all, a great addition (in my opinion) to anyone’s library. List price of the book is $24.95 and ISBN is 0-312-32916-4. It is available at a 30% discount online at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Might have to watch ABC news tonight, they interviewed him and his General -- well, maybe I’ll just record it and fast forward!
Posted by: Sherry || 03/16/2004 5:17:20 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder if the good Col. knows how many fans he's got. Can we waive the Ranburg Poll Tax just this once?
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 18:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Hey! He's on TV now!
Posted by: Edward Yee || 03/16/2004 18:35 Comments || Top||

Washington Post: "the next U.S. administration . . . may have no alternative to unilateralism"
Today’s lead editorial. EFL
SPANISH VOTERS no doubt wished to rebuke the ruling Popular Party for its wrong-footed reaction to last week’s terrorist bombing in Madrid, and its support for the United States in Iraq. Fair enough -- but it’s hard not to be concerned about how the message was likely received outside the country, by the leaders of al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist organizations. Before the bombing, the Popular Party was favored to win comfortably; after the devastating attack, and an al Qaeda statement saying its intent was to punish Spain for its role in Iraq, the election was swept by the opposition -- and its leader immediately pledged to withdraw Spanish troops and cool relations with Washington. The rash response by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain’s prime minister-elect, will probably convince the extremists that their attempt to sway Spanish policy with mass murder succeeded brilliantly.

. . . Mr. Zapatero could not be expected to alter his view that the original decision to invade Iraq was wrong. But the reaction of Spain, and Europe, to this massive and shocking attack on its soil is crucial -- as is its response to the continuing challenge in Iraq. The two are inextricably linked: Whatever the prewar situation, al Qaeda’s tactics now have made explicit the connection between the continuing fight in Iraq and the overall war on terrorism. Mr. Zapatero said his first priority would be to fight terrorism. Yet rather than declare that the terrorists would not achieve their stated aim in slaughtering 200 Spanish civilians, he reiterated his intention to pull out from Iraq in less equivocal terms than before the election.

The incoming prime minister declared the Iraq occupation "a disaster" -- yet he didn’t explain how withdrawing troops would improve the situation. Spain’s participation on the ground in Iraq is small, but a Spanish withdrawal will make it harder for other nations, such as Poland and Italy, to stay the course. The danger is that Europe’s reaction to a war that has now reached its soil will be retreat and appeasement rather than strengthened resolve. "It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists," European Commission President Romano Prodi said yesterday. Should such sentiments prevail, the next U.S. administration -- whether led by President Bush or Sen. John F. Kerry -- may have no alternative to unilateralism.
This analysis is spot-on. The Post is a liberal establishment newspaper, but unlike the New York Times, is no so wholeheartedly committed to the partisan liberal agenda that it ignores reality.
Posted by: Mike || 03/16/2004 12:07:53 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [338 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This Post is getting with the program.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 12:21 Comments || Top||

#2  actually the WaPo has been with the program since 9/11.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 12:25 Comments || Top||

#3  LH - you are just too kind. This is the first WaPo article I've read in months that gets it - without a shitload of waffling and/or backhanded bullshit. It has gotten so bad that I had quit looking at WaPo as a posting source. 8-[
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

#4  i guess our perspectives are different .com. A Wapo Editiorial that says we are right to be in Iraq, but snips at Bush for something or other, is still "with the program in my book" half the time the snips are right.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 12:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Prolly true that it's a matter of how it's described: half full / half empty. I keep seeing enough of the sneering stuff that I can't help but wonder if they're worried they'll lose their Press Credentials...

The Jason (Jayson?) Blair interviews I'm seeing paint one hell of an interesting picture of the Salzburger / Raines / Boyd cabal at the NYT. I realize he's a serial liar and promoting a book, but there are alternative sources saying much the same...

I've just reached the end of my rope, I guess, regards the overt bias, enmity with the current admin, and the incredible disdain, condescension, and disrespect for the public shown by establishment press. Sigh. Sorry - no offense intended. :-)
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 12:59 Comments || Top||

#6  I have noticed the Post's increasingly intelligent slant for some time. They represent the AMERICAN liberal position whereas the NY Times, in spite of being at ground zero, has become the voice of the Transnational Progressives. I'll still keep my subscription to the WSJ but it is good to see the WaPo get out of lockstep with the NYT
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/16/2004 13:05 Comments || Top||

#7  Wow. Adults at WaPo -- whoda thunk?
Posted by: someone || 03/16/2004 13:52 Comments || Top||

#8  I actually registered at the Wapo to read the article.

Hmmm...I can only guess that this reporter will soon be fired.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 14:26 Comments || Top||

#9  I just posted this in "The Beat Goes On" thread. Any takers on the chances of Spain doing this?:

I had a thought for Zapatero (wasn't he the youngest Marx Brother?) -- since you are so convinced that fighting in Iraq is not part of the WoT and want to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq, and since you have promised to fight the WoT strenuously (especially against al Qaeda), why don't the 1300 troops you are withdrawing from Iraq get sent immediately to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border to help the US and Pakistan nail bin Laden, Zawahiri and Mullah Omar? That would reassure a lot of Americans and Brits and Poles and Aussies (who are doing the heavy lifting in the WoT) that you Spaniards aren't pussies after all, you just wanted to refocus your efforts.*

* It should go without saying that I believe those in the Spanish military to be anything but pussies. It's just the incoming Socialist government and the 43+% of the population that just bent over for al Qaeda and didn't even ask to be taken to dinner first.
Posted by: Tibor || 03/16/2004 14:35 Comments || Top||

#10  Nope, .com, I'm with LH on this one: I read WaPo online regularly and it has gotten the message from about 9/12 on. They're still committed to our Zeropean allies, but they do seem to understand that we're in a war and not in a police investigation.

It'll be interesting to see who they endorse in the fall. I wouldn't rule out GWB.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 14:56 Comments || Top||

#11  "Hmmm...I can only guess that this reporter will soon be fired"

except its an editorial.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 14:56 Comments || Top||

#12  Tibor, no. Zapatero has announced he will withdraw Spanish support in Afghanistan as well as Iraq - NATO nothwithstanding.

Zapatero will also join Chirac and Schroeder in pushing the EU consitution and probably defense force as well.
Posted by: rkb || 03/16/2004 17:46 Comments || Top||

#13  Tibor, no. Zapatero has announced he will withdraw Spanish support in Afghanistan as well as Iraq - NATO nothwithstanding.

Zapatero will also join Chirac and Schroeder in pushing the EU consitution and probably defense force as well.
Posted by: rkb || 03/16/2004 17:47 Comments || Top||

#14  Well, that's 1300 less we have to send to the Olympics. Maybe all those who pull out should be sent to the Olympics.

Maybe Europe should handle that as a test case?
Posted by: Anonymous2U || 03/16/2004 17:57 Comments || Top||

#15  Well, that's 1300 less we have to send to the Olympics

You must be a troll. It is a relgionus duty for wars to stop during the Olympic Games. I mean of course Imperial Wars... it's still Okay to kill Yids.

Aris yawl upped your creamtory capacity yet?
(I like to b early on my critics.)
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 18:09 Comments || Top||

Pentagon to Free More Prisoners From Gitmo
The U.S. military said Monday it released 23 Afghan and three Pakistani citizens from the U.S. Navy prison for terrorist suspects in Cuba, leaving about 610 still in detention. They were flown back to Afghanistan and Pakistan aboard U.S. aircraft, officials said.
Air Ukraine wasn't available?
In a brief statement, the Pentagon did not say specifically why the 26 were let go but said each case is reviewed separately to determine whether a prisoner is of further intelligence value to the United States and whether he is believed to pose a threat to this country. "The circumstances in which detainees are apprehended can be ambiguous, and many of them are highly skilled in concealing the truth," the statement said. "The process of evaluation and detention is not free of risk - at least one detainee has gone back to the fight" after being released.
"Nice work, John, getting that tracking beacon inserted into that mope."
"Thanks Tyrone, now let's see where he leads us."
Terms of Monday's prisoner release were not disclosed, but it appeared it would be up to the prisoners' governments to decide what to do with them. The Pentagon says it has released a total of 119 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, and 12 others have been transferred for continued detention elsewhere.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 10:21:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Steve-
Your comment about inserting the tracking beacon...wouldn't it be great if we could convince the terrs that we HAD implanted beacons in every one of these guys we'd released?...


Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 03/16/2004 1:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Time to clear out the cells. We're gonna need the room.
Posted by: Pete Stanley || 03/16/2004 1:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Just inject them with rfid emitters....
Posted by: 3dc || 03/16/2004 1:59 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Pregnant woman hurt in likely Abu Sayyaf bombing
A homemade bomb believed planted by Abu Sayyaf rebels exploded outside a courthouse in the southern Philippines, injuring a pregnant woman who was passing by, the military said Tuesday. The bomb exploded as "several" Abu Sayyaf guerrillas appeared in court on charges of kidnapping in the southern Jolo island Monday, military commander Brigadier General Alexander Yapching said. "The bomb was remotely detonated in downtown Jolo and we are still lucky that not so many people were in the area at the time of the explosion," Yapching told reporters here. The device was made from an 18-millimeter mortar shell rigged to containers filled with gasoline and planted on a parked tricycle. Abu Sayyaf rebels had used such bombs in previous attacks. "Government operation against the Abu Sayyaf is continuing and as a matter of fact, we have intensified the hunt on Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the island," Yapching said.
I think they mean an 81mm mortar shell, unless they got it from the Army of Midgets...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:19:40 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

Iranian border cops mess w/bull, get horns
The US army sought yesterday to play down a clash between its troops and Iranian border guards who exchanged fire in north-eastern Iraq on Sunday night.
What’s the big deal? Jihadis attacked, so we sent ’em to their virgins. SSDD.
Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, military spokesman for the coalition provisional authority (CPA), said yesterday that a patrol from the 4th infantry division carrying out "routine border operations" came under fire from delusional morons men wearing the uniforms of Iranian border guards. The US soldiers returned fire in self-defence, he said. In the 11 months since the fall of the former Ba’athist regime in April last year, US soldiers occupying Iraq have been involved in incidents on the Syrian border but this is the first time that they are thought to have clashed with Iranian security forces.
It won’t be the last time, either.
An unnamed foreign ministry official in Tehran yesterday denied to the Associated Press news agency that any incident had taken place despite initial reports that an Iranian might have been wounded or killed.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
"I have spoken to several officials and there is no truth to this report," an Iranian Interior Ministry official told Reuters news agency. "There was no such skirmish."
... because if there had been a scuffle, your brave Islamozoids would have easily dispatched the infidel crusader pig-monkeys, right?
Brig Gen Kimmitt said yesterday: "We are trying to ascertain what happened at the scene. [But] we do not see this as revolutionary or a major incident."
"Revolutionary." How appropriate.
The firefight comes at a more than usually tense time in US-Iranian relations as Washington puts pressure on Tehran to open up its nuclear facilities to inspection. It also came soon after the CPA announced it would be reducing the number of border crossing points between Iran and Iraq from 19 to three in the next few days. The US, which has repeatedly accused Tehran and Damascus of not doing enough to control alleged militants crossing into Iraq, is now committed to increasing security first on the Iranian border and then on Iraq’s boundary with Syria.
Any bets on whether the Afghanistan/Iran border soon tightens up, too?
Aside from the officially recognised crossing points, the Iranian border, like all of Iraq’s 3,600km of boundaries with its neighbours, has many illegal trails often used by smugglers.
Methinks these crossings will now be watched by armed Predator drones.
Posted by: Puddle Pirate || 03/16/2004 8:38:44 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The 4th ID shoulda called in Spooky to give those guys a preview of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a minigun bullet stream.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 22:17 Comments || Top||

Iranian Philosopher Says Iran’s Educated Youth Embracing Freedom and Justice
If Iran’s democratic reform movement has a house intellectual, it’s Abdolkarim Soroush. .... Although he once worked for Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s revolutionary government, he now advances a powerful argument for democracy and human rights -- and he does so drawing not only on John Stuart Mill and John Rawls, but also on the deepest intellectual traditions of Shi’ite Islam. Religion must remain aloof from governance, he is fond of saying, not because religion is false and would corrupt politics, but because religion is true and politics corrupts it.

Soroush’s work is heady, abstract stuff. And yet, its hold on throngs of young Iranians -- hundreds of students show up to the typical Soroush lecture -- is so strong that Iran’s ruling mullahs consider him a threat, and pro-clerical militias regularly harass and beat him when he speaks in his native land. ..... The success of the reform movement, says Soroush, will be measured not in parliamentary seats but in attitudinal shifts, as Iran’s educated youth embrace such notions as "freedom, justice, political participation, and the rights of man." ... Initially, Soroush believed in the democratic and spiritual promise of the revolution. ... In 1980, scant months after revolutionary forces had closed Iran’s universities, Khomeini invited Soroush to return to Iran as a member of a committee of seven scholars who would revise the country’s higher education curriculum. At first Soroush was enthusiastic, working with his colleagues to develop courses that would educate students about their Islamic heritage and traditions. But as the revolutionary government exerted increasingly dogmatic control over the committee’s work, Soroush soured on the project. He didn’t approve of separating men and women in the classroom, forcing rituals on students, restricting the subjects professors could teach, or marginalizing the sciences or social sciences. ... He resigned in 1983, never again to work for the government. Instead, he would become its critic. ...

In `92, Soroush established the Faculty of History and Philosophy of Science. It was Iran’s first program of its kind. At the same time, his philosophical writings on Islam and democracy began to circulate through an eclectic intellectual journal called Kiyan. In these writings, Soroush directly challenged the political power of the clerics, even advocating that they cease working for pay so that they would no longer be corrupted by worldly interests. "They must remain lovers rather than dealers of religion," he explains in an e-mail. With these and other writings, Soroush became a professor with a following.... Soroush, who considers Khatami a friend, believes the president squandered the hopes reformists had vested in him. .... But Khatami was a cautious ruler, refraining even from criticizing such obvious abuses as the beating of students and closing down of newspapers, Soroush laments. In July 2003, Soroush issued an open letter to Khatami in which he pulled no punches. "The present generation as well as generations to come must never forget this ominous message of religious despotism," he wrote. .... The slide toward despotism had advanced past the point where Khatami could stop it, though he might have done so earlier, in Soroush’s view. ....

In his seminal Kiyan essay, "The Expansion and Contraction of Religious Knowledge," Soroush argued that the essence of religion, which is immutable, eternal, and sacred, can be separated from religious knowledge, which is mutable, relative, and historical. The implications of this simple theory were far-reaching. The interpretive work of the clergy, therefore, was not itself divine; rather, the pursuit of religious knowledge was human and historically situated. Religious ideology, like religious knowledge, also stood apart from religion itself as something ephemeral and, in Soroush’s view, dispensable. ....
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 7:37:12 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mill, good; Rawls, good; but the one text that every Muslim needs to read more than any other is Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration--the most profound argument for separation of church and state (not in the nitpicky "no-reindeer-on-the-city-hall-grounds-at-Christmas" variety, but in "the-reason-the-pilgrims-left-England" vein) I've come across.
Posted by: sludj || 03/16/2004 20:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Actually, every Muslim should read Ibn Warraq's "Why I am not a Moslem".
Posted by: mhw || 03/16/2004 20:46 Comments || Top||

More on Iranian riots agains the government
SMCCDI News Services
The Islamic republic regime’s anti-riot units and plainclothes men have opened the charge, at this time 21:35 local time, against the demonstrators in southern Tehran, Esfahan’s Tchahr Bagh and the city of Mashad by using knives, clubs and chains. Unconfirmed reports are stating about the use of plastic bullets in Esfahan and the Sadeghieh square of Tehran. Several have been badly wounded during the attacks but fierce resistance is being made by thousands of young Iranians, male and female, who are opposing the attacks by the use of all available tools and especially Molotov cocktails which were made for such eventuality.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 03/16/2004 5:58:32 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kathryn Jean Lopez is on Hugh Hewitt's show RIGHT NOW discussing this story. Apparently, things are developing rapidly.
Posted by: Mike || 03/16/2004 18:24 Comments || Top||

#2  what'd she say?
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 18:30 Comments || Top||

#3  And no link? Shame, Mike.
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 18:34 Comments || Top||

#4  She didn't have a whole lot of detail--the discussion was mostly about how the mainstream press is either ignoring the story or unable to report due to Iranian intimidation or censhorship.

Frank Gaffney is on now; he says he's not surprised because the Iranian people's desire for reform has been "suppressed at every turn by this mullahocracy." A free Iran would be an event "equal to the liberation of Iraq" in importance.
Posted by: Mike || 03/16/2004 18:37 Comments || Top||

#5  Here's the link to Hewitt's streaming audio page.
Posted by: Mike || 03/16/2004 18:38 Comments || Top||

#6  Nothing on DEBKA File....
Posted by: Secret Master || 03/16/2004 19:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Link to Teheran Webcams via Instapundit... Nothing shown...

Nothing (yet) on buzzmachine - a big Iranian Blog backer...

Afraid it was either too good to be true - or a minor protest over the holiday thingy - and that, no matter what the Iranian kids say, is twaddle.
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 19:26 Comments || Top||

Iran erupts?
IRAN ERUPTS? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]Secondhand, from an Iranian:
I am listening to KRSI (Radio Sedaye Iran) right now. There are many Iranians calling (from Tehran, and Gorgan, etc.).

All reports indicate that almost every neighborhood in Tehran is on fire. People are throwing home-made bombs, Molotov cocktails, etc. into the homes of mullahs, and burning pictures of Khamenei in complete defiance of his recent edict to mourn during the month of Muharram.

Background: Khamenei delivered a declaration (not really a fatwa, although some say it was) to Iranians to honor the month of Muharram, which started about two weeks ago, and to mourn and not have any parties of merriment. Well, the problem is that the Iranian New Year (Nowrouz), March 20th (totally non-religious and cultural event -- although Zoroastrian in origin) falls in the middle of this, and Iranians were enraged about this edict.

Tomorrow is the last Wednesday of the Iranian calendar year (called Chahar Shanbeh soori), and traditionally Iranians burn small bonfires and jump over them and celebrate the ending of the old year and welcome the new.

As a measure of defiance of Khamenei's Islamic Rule, and in celebration of ancient (non-Islamic) Persian customs, Iranians have taken to the streets in complete defiance of Khamenei's edict, saying that they will 'burn the mullahs out of their homes'. They are celebrating Chahar Shanbeh Soori. There are huge bonfires, bomb-throwing, merriment and the welcoming of the last days of the mullahcracy. In their own way Iranians are making a huge statement.

You can listen to the news yourself (in Farsi of course) everyone is very happy and celebrating defying the mullahs and burning of Khamenei's picture and trying to burn all mullah's houses. There are people calling from all over Tehran, from Gorgan, and northern provinces... It is amazing!
Posted by: Puddle Pirate || 03/16/2004 16:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Could this be the moment we've all been waiting for?
Posted by: Lil Dhimmi || 03/16/2004 16:56 Comments || Top||

#2  i've been googling but can't understand any of the radios there and theres no way i'm learning that laungwage. anyway this sounds like it could be turning big.Any chance its just bollocks though? haate to think its just hype from a few unhappy iranians
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 17:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh man, oh man... please let this not be exaggertation. I've been watching this story all day and it's looking more and more like this might be the begining...
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 17:19 Comments || Top||

#4  I suspect it's another boil, but not a boil-over. Still too early...
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 21:49 Comments || Top||

Tension persists in northeastern Syria
Armed Syrian police stood guard yesterday on main streets in Qamishli, where most shops were closed and the atmosphere remained tense after deadly weekend rioting sparked by a soccer squabble but fuelled by old ethnic divisions and new political realities. While the two main towns in the tense northeast – Qamishli and Hasakah – were generally calm yesterday, there were reports of more violence elsewhere. In other parts of the region bordering Turkey and Iraq, residents looking at burned vehicles and gutted shops feared it would flare again. Gunmen broke into the house of a local official in the Syrian town of Ayn Al Arab late on Sunday, shooting his son, according to police officials in Qamishli who spoke on condition of anonymity. Rioters also set fire to a government civil registry office in the town, which is 200 kilometres southwest of Qamishli. Turkey’s Anatolia news agency, reporting from the Turkish border town of Suruc, said Kurds in Ayn Al Arab also attempted to raid a local prison and free prisoners, but were unsuccessful. A “few people” were killed in clashes between the kurds and soldiers, the agency quoted “local sources” in Ayn Al Arab as saying.
"Nobody important, though..."
The disturbances began on Friday in Qamishli, 775 kilometres from Damascus, with clashes between supporters of Al Jihad and Al Futuwa soccer teams shortly before their Syrian championship match was to begin in the city stadium. The next day, hundreds of Kurds went on the rampage, vandalising shops and state offices in Qamishli and Hasakah. There was no official death toll from Syria’s worst trouble in many years. At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 wounded, according to Kurdish officials and hospitals in the area. Eleven of the dead were Kurds and the rest Arab. One Turkish media report said up to 49 people have died. About 250 Kurds were reportedly rounded up by security forces.

Yesterday, smoke was still rising from smoldering animal fodder barns that were set on fire during the rioting in Qamishli. Riot police armed with automatic rifles patrolled the main streets of the town, where many shops remained closed. A Customs office and a railway station were destroyed by fire. Cars outside the government buildings were damaged, overturned or gutted. Rioters also broke chairs and desks at the Arabistan School. “Kurds are to blame for what has happened,” said an Arab in the town who did not wish to give his name. “They are trying to politicise the issue to serve their own interests.”
"I hate Kurds. Their moustaches look all wrong, and they wear those funny pants. And they cheated when they beat our football team. Y’just can’t trust ’em."
A ranking official in Qamishli also charged that some Kurdish parties were collaborating with “foreign forces” to annex some villages in the area to northern Iraq. The official insisted that his name and position not be disclosed.
"I can say no more! But you know whudda mean..."
Since the outbreak of violence, Kurdish officials have accused Arabs of attacking Kurdish property. In Hasakah, 707 kilometres from Damascus and 80 kilometers south of Qamishli, life was returning to normal and shops have reopened. But, underscoring the tense atmosphere, schools remained closed.
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 4:21:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

Things in Iran look like they’re heating up a bit
I’ve been following this for the past couple of days... looks like the riots are spreading.
The Islamic republic regime’s anti-riot units and plainclothes men have opened the charge, at this time 21:35 local time, against the demonstrators in southern Tehran, Esfahan’s Tchahr Bagh and the city of Mashad by using knives, clubs and chains. Unconfirmed reports are stating about the use of plastic bullets in Esfahan and the Sadeghieh square of Tehran. Several have been badly wounded during the attacks but fierce resistance is being made by thousands of young Iranians, male and female, who are opposing the attacks by the use of all available tools and especially Molotov cocktails which were made for such eventuality.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 2:22:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lets keep our fingers crossed that we get to see some black turbaned heads on pikes in the near future
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/16/2004 15:32 Comments || Top||

#2  More spring training. Gonna be a long, hot summer. I'll bet the mullahs introduce midnight basketball to keep tempers cool.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/16/2004 16:19 Comments || Top||

#3  God bless those kids, and grant them the strength to carry on to victory.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/16/2004 16:35 Comments || Top||

Profile of Hassan Nasrallah
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 03/16/2004 00:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  OFF SUBJECT....but I don't want to create a headline when I have no link..

Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 9:01 Comments || Top||

#2  re: acticle linked above, I found this comment to be disturbing:

Testifying before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on February 24, CIA Director George Tenet warned that Hezbollah has cultivated an extensive network of operatives on American soil and an "ongoing capability to launch terrorist attacks within the United States." In recent months, moreover, it has infiltrated the Iraqi Shiite community to prepare the groundwork for a terror campaign against American-led coalition forces. Nasrallah is today viewed in American government circles as a greater threat than Osama bin Laden.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 9:13 Comments || Top||

#3  Testifying before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on February 24, CIA Director George Tenet warned that Hezbollah has cultivated an extensive network of operatives on American soil and an "ongoing capability to launch terrorist attacks within the United States."

All I can say is have a go at it, boys. However, a friendly warning: if and when a Hezbollah attack on U.S. soil is verified, the days of South Lebanon and Syria will be numbered.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 11:13 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Global Opinion Poll Proves That Rantburgers Rant for Good Reasons
The source site has much more information and also graphical illustrations.
Surveys for the Pew Global Attitudes Project were conducted February 19-March 3, 2004 in nine nations under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. ....

In the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, anger toward the United States remains pervasive, although the level of hatred has eased somewhat and support for the war on terrorism has inched up. Osama bin Laden, however, is viewed favorably by large percentages in Pakistan (65%), Jordan (55%) and Morocco (45%). Even in Turkey, where bin Laden is highly unpopular, as many as 31% say that suicide attacks against Americans and other Westerners in Iraq are justifiable. Majorities in all four Muslim nations surveyed doubt the sincerity of the war on terrorism. Instead, most say it is an effort to control Mideast oil and to dominate the world. ...

A growing number in Western Europe also think that the United States is overreacting to the threat of terrorism. Only in Great Britain and Russia do large majorities believe that the U.S. is right to be so concerned about terrorism. .... Since the end of the Iraq war, there also have been gains in support for the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign in Turkey (from 22% to 37%) and Morocco (9% to 28%). ....

Overwhelming majorities in Jordan and Morocco believe suicide attacks against Americans and other Westerners in Iraq are justifiable. As a point of comparison, slightly more people in those two countries say the same about Palestinian suicide attacks against Israelis. About half of Pakistanis also say suicide attacks on Americans in Iraq – and against Israelis in the Palestinian conflict – are justifiable. Fewer respondents in Turkey agree, but slightly more Turks view suicide attacks on Americans in Iraq as justifiable as say the same about Palestinian attacks on Israelis (31% vs. 24%). ....

Favorable ratings of Jews are actually higher now in France, Germany and Russia than they were in 1991. Nonetheless, Jews are better liked in the U.S. than in Germany and Russia. As is the case with Americans, Europeans hold much more negative views of Muslims than of Jews.

The survey finds, however, that Christians get much lower ratings in predominantly Muslim countries than do Muslims in mostly Christian countries. Majorities in Morocco (73%), Pakistan (62%) and Turkey (52%) express negative views of Christians. .....

But people in Muslim nations, with the exception of Turkey, have a much more negative opinion of the United Nations. More than seven-in-ten Jordanians (73%) and nearly as many Moroccans (65%) express an unfavorable opinion of the U.N. In Pakistan, opinion of the U.N. in Pakistan is less negative (27%), but 38% did not offer an opinion. ...

Clear majorities in Jordan (78%), Morocco (66%), Pakistan (60%) and Turkey (56%) oppose America’s war on terrorism. Opposition to the anti-terrorism campaign in these countries is not as universal as it was last year, but remains widespread. For example, in Jordan, fully 97% opposed the war on terrorism immediately after the war last May, with just 2% in favor. Today, 78% still oppose the U.S. on this front, but 12% are in favor. ....

The nine countries surveyed fall into three main groups when it comes to opinion about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In the United States, there is significantly more sympathy for Israel than for the Palestinians – by a margin of roughly four-to-one (46% vs. 12%). This has been the case fairly consistently over the past decade.

In Russia, Germany, Great Britain and France, public opinion is much more divided, with a large proportion sympathizing with neither side. In Russia, 23% side with Israel, 14% with the Palestinians and a plurality of 34% say they sympathize with neither side. Sympathy for the Palestinian position has declined somewhat among the French. Two years ago, 36% sided with the Palestinians in the conflict. Today 28% do, while support for Israel has remained unchanged. German and British attitudes on the conflict have remained largely unchanged from two years ago.

In the predominantly Muslim nations surveyed, people side with the Palestinians over Israel by lop-sided margins. In Pakistan, Jordan and Morocco, virtually no one sides with Israel. Opinion in Turkey is somewhat less uniform, though people sympathize with the Palestinians by about ten-to-one (63%-6%); 16% of Turks say they sympathize with neither side in the conflict.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 7:10:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [395 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Cheezus, who do they get to carry out these polls ?

In a related topic, I heard (NPR?) that the recent poll in Iraq you have been reading about lately resulted in several incidents, including a knife being pulled on the pollsters.
Posted by: Carl in NH || 03/16/2004 21:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Did the survey just include the moderate RoP Muslims?
Posted by: GK || 03/16/2004 22:51 Comments || Top||

#3  What these numbers tell me is that majority of our good friends in the Muslim world are happy when we are attacked. Not very pretty.

I do see some hope in that the anti-American attitudes seem to have lost a bit of their iron grip.

Overall, not a pretty picture.
Posted by: B || 03/17/2004 7:30 Comments || Top||

al-Qaida Recruiting Made Web of Militants
The al-Qaida terrorist network, its command structure hit hard by Washington's war on terrorism, is mutating into a hard-to-define web of Islamic militants who share Osama bin Laden's ideology and goals even if they operate under other names.
It's like they read Rantburg.
Al-Qaida connections have emerged from terror attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and now Spain, fueled by a recruiting drive by radical Muslims who fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan, security officials told The Associated Press. For months, especially in Iraq where attacks on coalition forces and Iraqis who work with them are near-daily events, little-known groups have been claiming responsibility.
It's sorta like how in the U.S., every celebrity and pro athelete has to have their own charitable foundation.
The veracity of the claims remains unknown, but the attacks bear the hallmarks of this new al-Qaida - a loose-knit cluster of small groups not controlled by a mother organization but well aware of what is expected of them and sometimes even recruited by bin Laden's trainees. At this point, experts say, there is no practical difference. "If you believe in their ideas, then you are one of them. You are al-Qaida," said Abdel Rahim Ali, an Egyptian expert on radical Islamic groups and author of "Alliance of Terror, Al Qaida Organization." Al-Qaida, he said, is now "separate and loose groups bound only by an ideology, but working independently. They know the general guidelines and they know what is required to do," he told the AP. "It is (al-Qaida) recruiting by remote control."

The individuals or small groups that act under al-Qaida's umbrella are believed to draw on their own resources or do their own simple fund-raising, such as collecting donations in mosques. However, bin Laden - who is not thought to be issuing direct orders for attacks - clearly remains their inspiration and al-Qaida what they aspire to be. The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades - an organization that said it carried out Thursday's train station bombings in Madrid - now signs its statements with al-Qaida in parentheses. Another group, the Iraqi Islamic Army, posted fliers last week in a mosque in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, claiming it is working with al-Qaida and threatening U.S. forces in Kuwait. Such new groups - which go by names like Jaish Ansar al-Sunna and Muhammads Army - began popping up after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Al-Qaida may be giving new life to older Islamic militant groups too. Salafia Jihadia, a Moroccan al-Qaida-inspired group, was known to be active in the late 1990s. But it apparently was not considered enough of a threat to be singled out by the Bush administration on its list of terror-sponsoring groups immediately after Sept. 11. Last May, however, investigators linked the group to a Casablanca bombing that killed 33 people plus 12 bombers, and some suspected members have told authorities they received training in Afghanistan. One of three Moroccans arrested by Spanish authorities in connection with the Madrid bombings, Jamal Zougam, is accused of links to the Casablanca attack and the jailed suspected leader of al-Qaida in Spain. It's not clear if Zougam is affiliated with any group. In many cases, authorities don't know how strong al-Qaida ties are to various groups or if their claims of responsibility are true. The United States believes Abu Hafs al-Masri - the organization that said it carried out the Madrid bombings - sometimes falsely claims to be acting on behalf of al-Qaida. The group has taken responsibility for terror attacks worldwide, including the deadly Aug. 19 bombing of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and even claimed the blackouts in the United States and London last year.
"And we caused the blackouts, yeah, that's it, and Ashcroft's gallstones, and ..."
"Oh shaddup, Mahmoud."
Spain's government is studying the group's claim to the Madrid bombings and is also looking into whether the Basque separatist ETA group was responsible despite its denials. Authorities are trying to identify a purported al-Qaida operative in a videotape found after a telephone tip to a Madrid TV station. It allegedly contained a responsibility claim from "the military spokesman for al-Qaida in Europe, Abu Dujan al Afghani." Who he really is - or if he exists - remains a mystery.
Did they check Thugburg?
Saad al-Faqih, a Saudi dissident and head of the Islamic Reform Movement, said al-Qaida had to change after Sept. 11. Since then, Washington has pursued al-Qaida on its turf - in the villages, mountains and caves of Afghanistan - and cut its financing by pushing for global vigilance over money transactions and freezing of assets of suspected backers. "There is no organization as such that you can call al-Qaida now, but rather followers who believe in the ideas of bin Laden and can organize themselves in small cells and carry out attacks," al-Faqih said. Audio or videotape messages from bin Laden or his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, are believed to be used as general guidelines by those versed in al-Qaida's ways - they can read between the lines and conclude where bin Laden might like them to act. Such statements, particularly important because telephone lines are too risky for remaining al-Qaida commanders to use, provide some of what little glue there might be between small, separate groups. In October, a taped threat thought to be from bin Laden included Spain among countries to be attacked "at the appropriate time and place."

An audiotape obtained last month by Al-Jazeera satellite television, believed to be from al-Zawahri, challenges President Bush's claim that nearly two-thirds of al-Qaida's known leaders were captured or killed. However, the security officials said al-Qaida's command has been reduced from about 60 men at its peak to perhaps 20 to 30, mostly loyalists and trusted aides to bin Laden believed to be hiding in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. While bin Laden and the nucleus of his followers are trying to avoid capture by U.S. special forces and Pakistani troops, these security officials are trying to regroup in Chechnya, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Since many fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan, they are well-trained, indoctrinated and highly motivated. If al-Qaida is an academy, these people are the graduates, one security official told AP. Security officials say these followers have been active recruiting young people among militants in the Muslim world, particularly in Saudi Arabia. The result of their recruiting, they say, are these smaller groups.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 12:01:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Spain's government is studying the group's claim to the Madrid bombings..."

And if it is al-Q, they'll cower and beg not to be hurt.

If it isn't al-Q, the Spanish electorate has sold out to the blathering of the screech-monkey left.
Posted by: Hyper || 03/16/2004 2:35 Comments || Top||

Israeli warplanes attack civilians in Gaza
At least three Palestinian civilians were killed and ten others wounded Tuesday evening when Israeli warplanes attacked civilian neighborhoods in northern Gaza. Palestinian sources identified one of the victims as Muhammed al Kharroubi, a member of the al-Qods regiments, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad resistance group. The sources said al-Kharroubi was killed when three air-to-ground missiles hit his family homes in northern Gaza, destroying the structure completely. Palestinian sources said F-16 fighter jets and apache helicopter gunships took part in the aerial bombardment. Medical sources said four children were among the casualties.
Guess Kharroubi didn’t quite survive. I’ll be outside ululating for the rest of the evening, even though I never heard of him before.
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 10:40:19 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [398 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Muhammed al Kharroubi, a member of the al-Qods regiments, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad resistance group.

Sorry, but this former person is not a civilian... he is a terrorist.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/16/2004 23:27 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Libya Paid Qadeer $100m in Nuke Deal
Libya paid at least $100 million to the nuclear arms network run by the father of Pakistan’s atom bomb for equipment needed in Tripoli’s own drive to build a bomb. A senior Bush administration official said Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist, cut a “very lucrative” deal in the 1990s to supply Libya with almost everything it needed for its nuclear arms program, from centrifuges to on-site training. “It was truly one-stop shopping,” said Jim Wilkinson, deputy White House national security adviser.

In addition to Libya, Khan has admitted selling nuclear secrets to Iran and North Korea but was pardoned by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Khan may have sold his nuclear wares to other nations as well, administration and congressional officials say.

The White House put some of Libya’s centrifuge parts on display for the first time on Monday at the heavily guarded Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Tripoli agreed to give up its nuclear weapons program in December, prompting the Bush administration to ease some US sanctions. “The Khan network’s financial dealings were deliberately complex and we do not have a complete picture,” said Wilkinson. “The developing picture, however, indicates that the Khan network received at least $100 million for supplying technology, equipment and know-how” to the Libyans alone. It was the White House’s first public accounting of Khan’s business dealings with Libya, and it topped previous estimates by diplomats of transactions totaling between $50 million and $100 million.

The Khan network stretched across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Mohamed El-Baradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency never noticed a thing, has described it as a “supermarket” for countries wanting the bomb. While administration officials touted progress combating proliferation, they acknowledge there are other nuclear suppliers out there besides Khan. “There are many other sources of supply for this type of (nuclear) equipment as well as in the chemical and biological areas,” one official said. His network would eventually become the “principle supplier for the entire (Libyan) program,” the official added.
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 10:18:13 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [403 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Any chance the the Pakis or UN will try Khan for tax evasion, ala Al Capone ... I thought not.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 4:11 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Freed 23 Afghans Accuse US of Abuse
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 22:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  . . . said bearded Muhammad Wazir, 60, from southern Helmand province. “I was in my home, unaware of Taleban and Al-Qaeda when I was caught . . .”

Muhammad Osman, one of the newly freed Afghans, said: “It was a jail, not only a jail but a very bad jail.”

OK, let me get this straight. A 60 y.o. Afghani had no idea the Taleban and Al-Qaeda were running his country? That is one ignorant fool -- with stupidity like that he deserved to be jailed. Oh, yeah, and the jail: “a very bad jail.” Like in Afghanistan where conditions are so crowded and inhospitable that people routinely die from the elements -- inside the jails. Give me a break, these guys have (like) no creativity -- they’re criminally stupid!
Posted by: cingold || 03/16/2004 22:25 Comments || Top||

“If I’m a Taleban or Al-Qaeda I want to be punished, if I’m not, then they should compensate me. The two-and-a-half years that I have spent in pain and soreness - who is going to pay?”

You still owe us for room and board, Muhammed.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 22:58 Comments || Top||

#3  So clue me in: what, exactly is a GOOD jail? And how would Mo Wazir know?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2004 23:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Fuck it. Next time, just shoot the bastards.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/16/2004 23:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Maybe Wazir had Martha Stewart as a cellmate?
Posted by: Brewer || 03/17/2004 0:17 Comments || Top||

#6  I think we should make it a point to recapture those who lied about being beaten, BEAT the crap out of them and and then act like we had nothing to do with it. It won't take long for the others to get the message. Why should we let them make our strengths our weaknesses?? I'm all for treating people in a civilized manner - but if they want to undermine our efforts to act humane, then why not give them what they claimed to get? If they want to play dirty - then let's play dirty back.
Posted by: B || 03/17/2004 7:06 Comments || Top||

Israeli Troops and Tanks Poised on Gaza Border
Palestinian gunmen took up battle positions on Wednesday against Israeli forces poised to pour into the Gaza Strip in a new offensive triggered by a suicide bombing that killed 10 Israelis.
"Sergeant Mahmoud! Get your men ready for the car swarm!"
"We prepared ourselves and said farewell to our families. If they come in it will be a battle to the death," one gunman said.
"You'll never take us alive, coppers!"
Firing the opening shots in what Israeli officials said would be a series of attacks against militant groups and their leaders, an Israeli helicopter punched three missiles into a house in Gaza City on Tuesday, killing two Palestinians.
"Ow! Hey! Stop that!"
Islamic Jihad identified one of the men killed in Gaza City as a member and the other as a passer-by. It said the target of the attack, Mohammed al-Kharoubi, a commander in its armed wing, survived. Fourteen people, including three children, were hurt.
... along with four kittens, three puppies, and eleven baby ducks.
Israeli officials said the army must hit the militants hard to ensure they cannot claim victory should Prime Minister Ariel Sharon go ahead with a planned evacuation of settlements in Gaza, where 7,500 Israelis live amidst 1.3 million Palestinians. In the flashpoint Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip, an Israeli helicopter fired two missiles at a group of gunman, killing one militant and a bystander, witnesses said. Hospital officials said eight people were wounded.
"All of them innocent! Each and every one! They wuz just out buying groceries for their sick grannies!"
About 17 armored vehicles backed by two helicopters thrust several hundred meters into the area, where the army frequently conducts raids to uncover tunnels used to smuggle weapons across the border from Egypt.
...and occasionally flattens asshats...
Israel launched the Gaza City air strike hours after its security cabinet decided on the new military campaign in response to Sunday's double suicide bombing in the strategic port of Ashdod. "We won't allow the Gaza Strip to be turned into 'Hamastan'," Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim said on Israel Radio, referring to the fundamentalist Islamic group Hamas that enjoys wide support in the territory. But officials said the offensive was not aimed at permanently reoccupying parts of Gaza.
Who'd want it?
Israeli soldiers readied their Merkava tanks at Gaza's northern border while down the road at Jabalya refugee camp, masked Palestinians armed with rifles and anti-tank grenades waited in streets and alleyways. Palestinian trucks dumped piles of sand at the entrances to Jabalya, where more than 100,000 refugees live. "It is a poorly built camp and one tank shell can destroy two houses at once. I am afraid a lot of blood will be shed here," one refugee said.
"I like blood. Huh huh! I can't wait for the car swarm! Last time I got an elbow!"
Palestinian Negotiations Minister Saeb Erekat said new military strikes by Israel would achieve nothing.
"Well, maybe a few dead guys. But nothing important."
"We call on (Sharon) to return to negotiations, because only this will lead to an end to the cycle of violence," Erekat said.
They always say that when they're about to get thumped. Matter of fact, it's usually Saeb that says it.
Posted by: Karma || 03/16/2004 21:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [378 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nice commentary! Classic Rantburg!
Posted by: phil_b || 03/16/2004 21:43 Comments || Top||

#2  My favorite:

"...They wuz just out buying groceries for their sick grannies!"
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2004 21:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Someone break out the napalm!!! Not only can all them Paleo-stinian terrorists be fried to a crisp, but the place will be sterilized as well!
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 22:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Somebody go dig up those Jenin press releases.

I am willing to bet there will be a lot of overlap in the verbiage with this operation.
Posted by: Carl in NH || 03/16/2004 22:43 Comments || Top||

#5  Has anyone else heard that the Ashdod bombs were treated with a chemical (bromium?) to create mass casualties? I also heard there were pre-printed Paleo posters showing Ashdod billowing with black smoke (did this signal a "black wind" attack?).
Posted by: Tibor || 03/16/2004 23:21 Comments || Top||

#6  The bombers may have been trying to explode the bromine storage tanks, but didn't get that far. If the tanks ruptured, it could have killed people in a one mile radius. Think Bhopal India.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 4:10 Comments || Top||

Sharon rules out negotiations
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday ruled out negotiations with the Palestinians, accusing them of doing nothing to stop attacks like the double suicide bombing that killed 10 Israelis a day earlier. Sharon’s declaration dealt a blow to efforts to restart peace talks, clearing the way for his proposal to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and impose a boundary in the West Bank unilaterally.
Ummm... No. The boomers dealt the blow. Sharon’s reacting to it...
Addressing Israel’s parliament, Sharon said Sunday’s attack at the Israeli seaport of Ashdod “reinforces the understanding that there is no Palestinian leader with the courage, the ability, to struggle against terrorism. Clearly, in this situation, there will be no political negotiations.” Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat called Sharon’s declaration “unfortunate.”
So was the booming. But that’s all in the past now. Best to move on, eh?
“This was a very grave development which will not add anything to the efforts to revive the peace process, but will only add to the complexities,” he said.
That’s the F9 key on his word processor...
US officials and international mediators have pushed Israel and the Palestinians to implement the road map peace plan, which calls for an immediate end to violence and the creation of a Palestinian state by next year. But talks have stalled, and both sides have failed to carry out their initial obligations. Palestinians had hoped that a long delayed first summit between Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei, tentatively scheduled for today, would revive the plan. But Sharon swiftly canceled the meeting after the Ashdod bombing, and his statements yesterday ruled out any talks for the near future. The bombing, carried out by two Palestinian teenagers, was a joint attack by the Hamas movement and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group with ties to the Fateh movement led by Yasser Arafat and Qorei.
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 3:59:32 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Negotiations were begun today via direct transmission from the IAF to Islamic Jihadis in Gaza City. More addendum proposals to come
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2004 16:16 Comments || Top||

#2  This is negotiation by non-verbal means. Also known as kinetic negotiation.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/16/2004 16:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Sharon’s declaration dealt a blow to efforts to restart peace talks, clearing the way for his proposal to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and impose a boundary in the West Bank unilaterally.

Well? Get that show on the road! Enough previews already; roll the main flick (Palestinian civil war), and roll it now!
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 16:34 Comments || Top||

Honduras to withdraw from Iraq
Honduras plans to follow Spain’s lead and withdraw 370 troops from a Spanish-led humanitarian and peacekeeping brigade in June, Defense Secretary Federico Breve said Tuesday. The decision marked an about-face from the day before, when President Ricardo Maduro said he would not pull his soldiers from Iraq. Tuesday’s announcement "coincides with the decision of the prime minister-elect of the Spanish government," Breve said.

Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua all have sent soldiers to the Spanish-led Plus Ultra Brigade to perform humanitarian and peacekeeping work. Salvadoran Defense Secretary Gen. Juan Martinez said Tuesday that the country would keep its troops in Iraq regardless of what Spain does. "We have to follow through with what our government decided" initially, Martinez told La Prensa Grafica for its Tuesday editions. Martinez said he had not yet received any instructions to the contrary.

Honduras sent its first contingent of 370 soldiers to Iraq in August, and replaced it with a second group of the same size last month. The country had said from the beginning it would only commit its troops for a year. El Salvador sent its first group of 360 soldiers to help the Ultra Plus Brigade last August. A replacement group of 380 soldiers arrived last month, and are scheduled to stay until August of this year. Whether additional troops are sent after that may depend on the outcome of Sunday’s presidential elections, disputed by Tony Saca, of the conservative ruling Nationalist Republican Alliance, and Schafik Handal, of the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. Current Salvadoran President Francisco Flores has stressed that the help it sent to Iraq is in thanks for the international community’s backing of 1992 peace accords that ended El Salvador’s 12-year civil war.

Nicaragua sent about 115 soldiers, mostly sappers and medical personnel, to Iraq last September to join the brigade. Those troops have since returned, and the government announced last month that it lacked sufficient funding for a second contingent. All three countries announced Monday that they were tightening security at major ports, airports and several embassies that might be vulnerable to attack. El Salvador police deputy investigations director Douglas Omar Garcia said he did not believe his country represented a "primary target" for terrorists, but he said authorities did not completely rule out possible aggressions given its decision to send troops to Iraq.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 3:13:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 15:28 Comments || Top||

#2  That's right, losers, side with Zapatero and Castro and Chavez. You've chosen to be eaten last (Churchill) rather than stand up like men, suck it up, and do the right thing for the world.

Buyers remorse in 8 months, 7, 6, 5, 4...
Posted by: Hyper || 03/16/2004 16:22 Comments || Top||

#3  I suspect this will mean some savings for the US foreign aid budget as relates to a certain Central American country.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/16/2004 16:29 Comments || Top||

#4  I suspect a large part of this is the irresistable urge on the part of Latin American politicians to tweak Uncle Sugar's nose.
Posted by: Cheddarhead || 03/16/2004 16:38 Comments || Top||

#5  No doubt that's part of it. But also, Spain co-sponsored the Latin American presence in Iraq and Spain has been working hard to cement influence there during the last few years.
Posted by: rkb || 03/16/2004 17:43 Comments || Top||

#6  RKB nails it. This is Spain collecting on some notes it's been putting out there in Latin America this past decade.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 19:31 Comments || Top||

#7  I suggest we deport Honduran illegals to Spain. It would be hard for them to return to the US and the Spanish could eject jihadi "guest workers" on a one for one basis. The Honduran gangs are a nasty bunch and they are headed north.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/16/2004 21:34 Comments || Top||

#8  I suggest we deport Honduran illegals to Spain.

Throw in all the Mexican illegals too. Kill two birds with one stone.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 22:26 Comments || Top||

Israel Launches Missile Strike in Gaza City
Breaking News - Video on Foxnews
Israeli attack helicopters fired missiles at a vehicle in the northern part of Gaza City on Tuesday, and witnesses said at least three people were killed The Israeli military had no immediate comment. Smoke was seen rising from the Nasser neighborhood near a refugee camp. Israeli fighter planes were seen flying over Gaza City just after the attack. The air strike came just hours after Israel’s Security Cabinet decided to step up attacks against Hamas militants in Gaza, a security official said. The decision was in response to a double suicide bombing on Sunday in the seaport of Ashdod, killing 10 Israelis. It was the first time in more than three years of fighting that Palestinian bombers managed to get out of Gaza to carry out an attack.
Cheeze, I hope it was Rantissi...
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2004 11:24:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Why comment at all,the intelligent of us know that thier doing a fine job so why not let them get on with it,hope this somehow leads to the death of Arafish
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 11:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Tit for tat is not appropriate. 10:1 or 100:1 figuratively speaking is needed. The terrorists must realize that their actions will mean their utter destruction. The only thing that will stop the terrorists is fear or annhilation. They respect power. When they are whining, then the Israelis know that they are doing the right thing.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2004 12:01 Comments || Top||

#3  i get the feeling this may turn into something bigger over the coming weeks, somehow i think israel has had enough and has American 'Permission' so to speak to wipe these fuckers out
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 12:18 Comments || Top||

#4  Car swarm in 3..2..1
Posted by: Steve || 03/16/2004 12:48 Comments || Top||

#5  Ace another car swarming to look forward too, the carnival of death, gun sex galore, passing limbs of the dead around the crowd like trophys, licking up the blood off the remains of the vehicle, jumping around sceaming and howling, others wail into the sky asking why why allah. If i had it my way the IDF would pound the swarm with heavy artilary, shells set to airburst
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 13:12 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
No decision to sell F-16 planes to Pakistan: Powell
The US has not taken any decision to sell the sophisticated F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday. "No decision has been made with regard to any particular item including F-16," Powell said in response to a question at a press conference here he jointly addressed with India’s External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha following their talks.
It’s called a bargaining chip.
He sidestepped a question about the revelations by Pakistan’s top scientist A Q Khan about the clandestine sale of nuclear devices and technology and whether the US was convinced that the Pakistan government was not involved in it. "We certainly learned the role played by Dr. Khan. We are pleased that the network is being broken up," he said and added he would discuss the issue with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during his visit to Islamabad Wednesday. "We can’t be satisfied until the entire network is gone, branch and root," he said.
No action, no planes, simple.
Posted by: Steve || 03/16/2004 11:01:32 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [409 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Perhaps an Airfix F-16 is all Perv can be trusted to be responsible for.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 11:25 Comments || Top||

#2  I think that currying favor (pun intended) with India is of greater importance than placating Pakistan. India should be our local Pak policeman. While there is a short-term benefit from making Musharaff happy, I don't think it is worth pissing off India in the process.

If we sell India F-18's or even more upgraded F-16's with lots of training, then perhaps this sale to Pakland would not be an issue.
Posted by: remote man || 03/16/2004 11:50 Comments || Top||

#3  agree india would make a superb local police man, think 10 15 years down the line and India could be a major international Ally plus a big fuckin wall in the way of any posible chinese spread.In fact i'd like to see them go to war with china, be a good few years of quality t.v entertainment.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 12:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Remote man: Israel and the US sold three Phalcon early-warning radar systems to India a couple of months ago.
Posted by: Evert Visser || 03/16/2004 13:50 Comments || Top||

#5  he might get a few choppers though. However whatever America give him, if he falls out with America there go's the end of pervs spare parts and maintenace supplies. I say sell them to him for good money then after the whole binny thing is over in the mountins pull out and also pull out all technical, maintanece and supplies support thus rendering pervs shiney new airforce Useless. the UK and USA could also pull this stunt right now a beut on the Saudis airforce,around 4 or 5 thousand BAE workers and probably loads of americans to are based in Saudi maintanig thier airforce for them, dumb arabs can't use a spanner it would seem..Anyway book in a load of 747's and you'd have them gone in 4 or 5 hours and no more soddie airforce.Sorry for veering off point there
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 15:48 Comments || Top||

#6  This is only a test.
Posted by: CONELRAD || 03/16/2004 16:06 Comments || Top||

#7  I wonder if Comcast is starting a big ass cacheing server.... anyone getting error messages on posting?
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 16:07 Comments || Top||

#8  Sell them in kit form,and leave out the rubberbands and landing gears.
Posted by: Brewer || 03/17/2004 0:19 Comments || Top||

#9  This is all u dicks want. Use them and loose them. No wonder the whole world is turning against US. Paks hv been all along an ally of US, the indies were always Ruskies bitch. Dont' be so over confident of urselves of the being the only superpower, things can change the same for USA, like it did for USSR.
Posted by: sakattack || 03/17/2004 4:42 Comments || Top||

#10  Sakattack, they are 8 reasons in the great state of Georgia that it won't be in your lifetime.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 7:03 Comments || Top||

#11  Shipman, care to elaborate. I didnt' get the point u were trying to make. Maybe cuz i'm not smart like u.

Anyway, I'm sure u r proud of it. What else is there for u to harp about. The only superpower with huge (assload) aresenal. What happened to your might, when just 4 aircrafts with doz or less ppl hellbent on destruction, hit ur bldngs?

Go ahead screw all ur allies and see what will happen. Maybe not now but inevitable. Remember, Binny was one of ur guy.
Posted by: sakattack || 03/17/2004 8:27 Comments || Top||

Sold For A Hundrd Dollars
[snipped, third time it's been posted]
Posted by: tipper || 03/16/2004 10:39:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lucky Ahmed. He found the Americans.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/16/2004 11:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Once again,
Flypaper, from the fiy's perspective.
Posted by: N guard || 03/16/2004 13:47 Comments || Top||

#3  haaa...some funny shit...what do get when you cross a bathist and a jihadi?

ahmed in mosul gets a $100

keep them coming in......
Posted by: Dan || 03/16/2004 15:18 Comments || Top||

#4  Ever notice the difference in rhetoric when Arabs complain about what the Iraqis did to them, versus, what the Americans (allegedly) did to them? "The Iraqis, ran away with my passport. They abandonded us when all we wanted to to do was to die as martyrs. They are traitors. They deserve 10 Sadaams." Versus: "The Americans treated us like we were animals, not human beings. The food was bad. I had a skin problem from the climate. They swore at us and pushed us." (I'll leave it to the rest of you to figure out which set of complaints makes the liberals and neofacists upset.)

My second point: I don't think we made it hard enough on them if they're willing to fight for Arabs again. But they're probably just shooting their mouths off. I think they probably had enough. (Maybe they want to fight again so they can get captured and get free food from the Americans, and some badly needed medical care. They were going there to die anyway. Maybe it's a gamble they're willing to take. You never know . . . )

Thirdly: It's my opinion, as a female keeping track of this whole thing, that the Arabs get completely freaked out because of the ACTUAL, REALIZED MASCULINITY, DISCIPLINE, and SENSE OF DUTY of the average American soldier--let alone the exceptional American soldier. Our guys are cool, and I think that when these Arabs see our guys, they just can't believe it--what a psychological confrontation for Arab wannabe "men." It's a meltdown and they just start running off at the mouth. (Even our female soldiers are better than they are--that's gotta hurt). Kind of sad to be faced with something so entirely out of reach. Oh well. Sucks to be them.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/16/2004 17:13 Comments || Top||

Regional Update for Iraq
Northern zone – A regional government convoy was attacked March 14 in Mosul by small-arms fire. Two people were killed: the Iraqi secretary of labor and social affairs and his driver. Iraqi police are investigating the incident.

North-Central zone – A former Baath Party headquarters in Dawar was attacked March 13 by missile fire from a vehicle. The missile didn’t explode, no one was hurt, and no equipment was damaged. An Iraqi Civil Defense Corps convoy was attacked by two car bombs west of Samarra. The convoy was transporting the commander of the 202nd ICDC Battalion. "It may have been an assassination attempt on the battalion commander," Kimmitt said. Two Iraqis were wounded in the attack.

Coalition forces conducted a March 14 raid east of Balad against three targets suspected of launching rockets against coalition forces, Kimmitt said. Six suspects were captured.

Baghdad – Coalition forces were attacked March 14 by a roadside bomb while traveling west of Baghdad. The blast killed one soldier from the 30th Enhanced Separate Brigade and wounded one other soldier.

Western zone – Coalition forces conducted a March 13 cordon-and-search operation of five target locations near Khalidiya to kill and capture enemy personnel in the area. The targets were bomb makers thought responsible for killing a coalition soldier Sept. 29. Three enemy personnel were captured.

Another coalition-mounted patrol was attacked March 14 near Khalidiya. A small pickup truck crossed the median of the road, moved toward a moving coalition combat vehicle and detonated an explosive before reaching the coalition vehicle. The driver of the explosive-carrying vehicle dove out of the vehicle and was struck and killed by passing traffic. Obviously in honor of the first anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death. Simultaneously, another bomb was detonated on the right side of the road near the coalition vehicle. A coalition soldier received cuts on his forehead and returned to duty.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/16/2004 10:27:33 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The driver of the explosive-carrying vehicle dove out of the vehicle"

Hey, I've seen that in a hundred action movies !

"and was struck and killed by passing traffic""

Well, in the movies it never ends like that.

Heh. How ignominious.
Posted by: Carl in N.H || 03/16/2004 13:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Don't ya just hope the on coming traffic speeded up?
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 18:43 Comments || Top||

Lethal Snipers Lead the Way
MOSUL, Iraq -- Lurking in the shadows of infantry patrols, security perimeters and raids, Army snipers are becoming the worst enemy for terrorists in northern Iraq. These highly skilled Soldiers are stealthy, disciplined and precise.

"In this type of a conflict, enemies use guerilla-warfare tactics because there’s no way they can engage us head on. They hide in crowds and fire at you, hoping you’ll return fire into the direction of civilians," said Sgt. Joseph Danier, a sniper for 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team). "We are here to avoid that. It’s not like I want to shoot people. But if I have to, I will be 100 percent positive that I’m shooting a bad guy."

Snipers are split up into two- or three-man teams at the company and battalion levels. One Soldier mans the weapon while the others spot and provide rear security. The spotter acquires the target, calculates wind and gives it to the gunner, who adjusts his data on the scope. The gunner squeezes the trigger and the spotter can see the bullet trace - a disturbance of air pressure that causes light to be refracted differently - through his gun’s scope. "It’s like on the movie ’The Matrix,’ where you can see the bullet before it impacts. As a spotter, I can see the bullet and where it hits," said Sgt. Chris Lumadue, the sniper-section leader for 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment. "If the shooter misses, I can tell him exactly how far off he was, and he’ll make the corrections off the information I give him and shoot again." It’s very rare that one of the Stryker Brigade’s 40 snipers misses. In the skirmishes at Samarra, snipers were used extensively.

"In Samarra, our snipers were on rooftops providing overwatch for the platoon and could see and eliminate the enemy before we were even the ground," said 1st Lt. William Baynes, the 1st platoon leader for Company B, 5-20 Infantry. "Their urban tactics far exceed the enemy’s ability to pop up and fire an RPG." Today’s snipers are prepared for these types of situations. The five-week U.S. Army Sniper School has begun to emphasize the importance of urban warfare, which helps Soldiers be ready for the settings in Iraq.

"In war, the urban environment is absolutely the most dangerous place for any Soldier," said Lt. Col. Karl Reed, the commander of 5-20 Infantry Regiment. "The buildings in Iraq are so different than in the states. The windows and doors are a different size in each house; there are more rooms than what we’re used to, and there are a lot of the little mud houses everywhere."

Danier said that it’s imperative he receives concrete intelligence on the buildings in the area of engagement before going on an urban mission. "If I can get the measurements of a window, then I can calculate and visualize the trajectory of the round and how it will enter the target area," he said. "People never believe that there’s so much math applied to being a sniper." Another technicality for Danier to explain is that he can see a mile away through the scope of his .50-caliber sniper rifle, one of four sniper rifles in use by the Army.

"Depending on the weather, which can affect my sight picture, I should be able to see an expression on a man’s face from very far away," Danier said of the 20-plus pound weapon. Other sniper rifles include the M-4, M-24 and M-14. "My favorite weapon to carry is the M-24, because it’s so light," said Sgt. Randal Davis, the sniper team leader for Company B, 5-20 Infantry. "It has a day and night scope and a realistic effective firing range of 1,000 meters."

It’s quite common for snipers to start quoting numbers about their weapons or tell you the year they were manufactured. "We’re trained to know everything about our weapon and what to do with it in any given situation," Lumadue said. "I guess that’s why we’re such an intimidating, lethal force: because we’re always ready and accurate."
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/16/2004 10:21:10 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bravo! These guys are invaluable and effective. There is nothing which demoralizes the enemy on the ground more than knowing there are snipers afoot... assuming they have the brains to get it.

I'll bet these men know and follow the example of "White Feather" - Carlos Hathcock - a true American hero.

Rock 'n Roll, gentlemen!
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 11:18 Comments || Top||

Posted by: gromky || 03/16/2004 13:48 Comments || Top||

#3  Okay, I'll bite - Camper ??
Posted by: Doc8404 || 03/16/2004 15:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Haha. "Camper" is a derogatory term for snipers in video games. Usually, it denotes an ineffective sniper that just "camps" at a point and engages targets of opportunity.

Even in video games, they can be demoralizing. Usually, they're just annoying. :D

Hats off to the real deal out there.
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/16/2004 15:51 Comments || Top||

The Shadow Knows!
A cavalryman completes the five-count sequence and issues the command "launch, launch, launch." The tactical unmanned aerial vehicle is suddenly airborne moving at 70 knots. The crewmembers exchange grins, knowing the mission has started off on the right. They also know that when it ends, the information gathered on this mission might save lives. The UAV, otherwise known as a Shadow, is operated by Fort Lewis-based Troop D, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team). UAVs continuously provide real-time imagery for the area around Forward Operating Base Fulda.
That filled in a gap in my knowledge...
The soldiers who operate the Shadow understand that the safety and security of Iraq is a critical part of their mission, said Staff Sgt. Ralph Larson, the Shadow platoon sergeant. The Shadows are force multipliers because they monitor areas more efficiently than soldiers scouting the area on foot, he explained. Video taken from the Shadow shows details like the number of people entering and leaving a building and whether they are carrying weapons, explosive devices or other ordnance, he explained. "The mission of the Shadow is to provide overhead camera footage wherever the brigade deems a hotspot or for reconnaissance of houses, cities and/or road searches," said Larson. Overhead footage provided by the Shadow can also identify possible improvised explosive devices. If a possible IED is detected, the unit on the ground in the area is notified before explosive-ordnance-disposal personnel are notified so whoever is in the area can stay clear of it, said Larson. The area around the suspected IED is secured to prevent anyone traveling in that area from being injured. "We want EOD to detonate IEDs, not Iraqis," he added. EOD’s mission is to dispose of explosive devices.
There's some really weird guys who do EOD for a living. Loons, with real steady hands...
"We serve a lot of roles out here. I’d like to think we save a lot of lives. Every leader wants UAV support in one way or another," said Larson. "We let them know what our capabilities are and find out what their mission requires so we can cater our abilities to their needs." The Shadow is monitored and controlled from the forward operating site, usually located within the tactical operations center or tactical air command. "This gives the commander of the operation we are supporting the ability to dynamically retask the Shadow and better support the units’ operational needs," said Larson. The video and telemetry data received from the Shadow can be transmitted globally via the Trojan Spirit system. Anybody in the world with the ability to access the Trojan Spirit network can view the data, Larson explained. "The UAV can see fresh [newly placed] IEDs," said Larson. "It can even identify a bottle on the side of the road." During one mission, the Shadow detected a possible IED, but the troops that went to inspect laughed when they found a half-full water bottle, he added. "I didn’t mind them laughing. I was more impressed it was detected and the measures were taken to ensure the safety of the troops passing through," Larson said.

The Shadows patrol a large area. They have identified possible threats to convoys, assisted in finding weapons and provided other information needed to keep the troops on the ground safe, said Larson. Since the inception of the Shadow, video has secured areas where scouts would have had to go before. The Shadow will continue to play a role in providing real-time video for the brigade to prevent the loss of lives for both Coalition forces and the local Iraqis. Troop D and the Shadow have been in Iraq since November as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom supporting Task Force Olympia in operations in northern and western Iraq.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/16/2004 10:18:16 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Force multiplier, indeed! I hear there are too few UAV's available (every Commander wants his own personal eye in the sky, of course!) and I hope production schedules are ultra-high-priority.

Life savers, bad-guy identifiers, and eventually bad-guy killers on an everyday basis. This is the natural extension of Air Attack, Close Air Support, and stealthy area surveillance realtime intel generator.

Awesome realization of yet another "wild-hair idea" from 10 (or whatever) yrs ago. Perhaps more such ideas will receive due consideration after many innovative successes such as these UAV's. Bravo Stryker Shadow Team!

Thx, Chuck!
Posted by: .com || 03/16/2004 14:22 Comments || Top||

Task Force Ironhorse
1st Infantry Division soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor captured six individuals suspected of conducting rocket attacks against coalition forces during a raid east of Balad Sunday. Three of the six individuals captured were the suspected attackers. The soldiers also confiscated one AK-47 rifle. The individuals are being detained at Forward Operating Base Paliwoda.

An Iraqi citizen turned in a large cache of ammunition to soldiers from 1st Infantry Division at FOB Thunder Sunday. The cache included 150 60 mm high-explosive mortar rounds, four 60 mm smoke mortar rounds, 40 120 mm mortar rounds and four 57 mm rockets. The cache was collected and secured until it could be destroyed.

1st Infantry Division soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment discovered six fabricated rocket launchers after an Iraqi citizen reported the location northwest of the village of Munsha’a (Ad Dawr) Sunday. The soldiers found five 160 mm rockets in the fabricated launchers near an improvised fighting position. The rockets were pointed toward FOB Wilson. An explosive ordinance detachment went to the site to remove and destroy the rockets.

1st Infantry Division soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment conducted a raid Monday near Kirkuk to capture individuals suspected in attacks on the Kirkuk airfield. The Soldiers captured two individuals, including the individual suspected of the attacks, and confiscated identification documents.

1st Infantry Division soldiers from 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment conducted air-assault raids Monday to capture members of an anticoalition-forces cell near the villages of Obj Kaena and Obj Waimea (south of Tuz). The Soldiers captured four individuals during the raid. The individuals are being detained for questioning.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/16/2004 10:13:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

Cabinet accepts IDF plan to move troops into Gaza Strip
JPost -Reg Req’d - EFL
The Security Cabinet on Tuesday approved an army plan to intensify targeted killings of Palestinian terrorist leaders and send more troops into the Gaza Strip for ground operations, a security official said.
"Withdrawal? After we’re done..."
The military campaign will last several weeks, the official said on condition of anonymity.
"I can say no more"
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who canceled a planned meeting with Palestinian PM Ahmed Qurei following the Ashdod Port attack, met with the security cabinet for the first time in several months. The meeting lasted for more than three hours and participants declined to comment on the discussions.
"We can say no more"
Asked whether an Israeli crackdown would be effective, Justice Minister Tommy Lapid said: "You never finish with terror. You can only fight terror."
And kill it and it’s spawn
Early Tuesday, IDF troops raided the Gaza Strip, Palestinians reported. According to the reports, two PA policemen were injured by IDF gunfire. The forces demolished an abandoned building located near the Netzarim Junction in the northern Gaza Strip. Security forces said the two-story building was used by Palestinian terrorists for launching rocket and shooting attacks. During the operation IDF forces spotted a group of terrorists preparing to fire an anti tank rocket. The soldiers shot and identified hitting two.
Two Paleo police shotting at the IDF? Where’s the cooperation?
Palestinians reported that two Palestinian policemen were hit and claimed the building was used as a cultural institute.
LOL well, I guess shooting rockets and sniping at Joooos does constitute all of Paleo culture, anymore
IDF officials noted that since the beginning of the month, nine anti-tank rockets, two bombs and ten shooting attacks were launched by Palestinians from the building that was destroyed.
Yep, the hi-life of culture
The security cabinet discussed defense ministry proposals to increase military operations against the Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, aimed at lowering chances of terror attacks following Israel’s disengagement. The meeting comes amid a renewal of calls by some ministers, particularly the Likud’s Yisrael Katz and Tzipi Livni, to remove Arafat. One government official, however, said he doubts this will happen, because the intelligence community believes Israel is better off with him penned inside the Mukata rather than roaming around the world.
dying, gasping in his own putrid aquarium - no filter, no aeration, feces floating... ugh
Shalom, however, said he fears that as long as Arafat is on the scene, no moderate Palestinian leader with whom Israel can negotiate will emerge.
they’re not born yet
On Monday, security officials said the government intends to escalate targeted attacks on leaders of terrorist organizations and increase military operations against terrorism in response to the double suicide bombing at Ashdod Port on Sunday in which 10 people were murdered. In addition, a general closure will be imposed on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These are only some of the measures that were decided on in a meeting among Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and senior military and security officials. They convened to assess the situation and discuss a response shortly after Mofaz’s return from Washington on Monday night. "Further steps have yet to receive cabinet approval and will be submitted to the ministers this morning," one official said, adding that expelling Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat was not raised. According to Army Radio, the intention is to shorten the intervals in between operations in order deny terror organizations the breathing space needed to perpetrate attacks.
keep the foot on the neck, decreases chances they’ll catch a breath
The US administration is reportedly angry with the Palestinian Administration for not acting against terror, and world opinion in the wake of last week’s Madrid suicide bombing has created what government officials see as a "window of opportunity", which enables implementing additional tools against terrorist infrastructures, reports Army Radio. Tuesday’s planned meeting between Sharon and Qurei was postponed indefinitely because the government will not "negotiate as if there were no terror, and fight terror as if there were no negotiations," Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Monday.
I like that
I saw a piece on Fox News this evening about the 10-year-old who was caught carrying a bomb out of Paleostine into Israel. The terrs told the kid the bag had car parts and to give it to an old lady who'd be waiting in a car on the other side. They gave him the equivalent of a buck. The bag was packed full of explosives and nuts and bolts, and there was a plastic Spiderman toy in it. They were going to blow the kid and claim he was a martyr. It was supposed to be a surprise.
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2004 10:09:03 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  good post
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 14:39 Comments || Top||

#2  The IDF needs to hammer the ops centers and homes of terrorist leaders relentlessly. They want terror let them have it. The paleos must realize that ANYWHERE a terrorist leader is located is a target. They will then become lepers, so to speak. No need to kill the Arafish. He is neutralized. He can stick around in his aquarium in Ramallah and finish the mounds of paperwork that are piling up on his desk. (saw a picture of this somewhere the other day! At least the piles are neat!)
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2004 16:42 Comments || Top||

Chechen IED video
Sent to me last night by Alaska Paul. I have no idea what they’re saying, except for "Allah akbar" near the end right before the bastards shred a passing patrol. I had to zip the file as the server hosting my personal web space was spewing the WMV out as text instead of binary.
Posted by: Dar || 03/16/2004 9:38:38 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [364 views] Top|| File under:

#1  fuck me thats evil,what a boom eh. fuckin arabs
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 9:43 Comments || Top||

#2  There must be so little left in Chechnya why the fuck don't they just nuke it?
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 9:51 Comments || Top||

#3  F&*$(*@ pigs.
Posted by: Dragon Fly || 03/16/2004 10:43 Comments || Top||

#4  There are hundreds of such videos in their library. Some more gruesome than what many people here would be able to watch.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/16/2004 18:24 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Details on Karachi Consulate Bomb
Around 600 litres of chemical explosives, a timer and two detonators were found in a Suzuki van left outside the tightly guarded US Consulate building by two men at around 7:30 am, police said. The device was set to explode some 20 minutes after bomb experts defused it, the violence-prone southern city’s police investigations chief Fayyaz Leghari told.
In the movies they wait till there’s 2 seconds left.
"The chemicals used in the car were of three kinds: hydrogen peroxide, ammonium nitrate, and nitrogen oxide, which could have caused a huge fire had they exploded," Leghari said.
Yep, that would have left a mark.
"The timer showed a 20-minute margin as bomb disposal experts defused it." Police called it an attempted terrorist attack. "The purpose was to create harassment and terrorism," provincial police chief Kamal Shah told. The attempted attack came two days before Powell’s two-day visit to the capital Islamabad for talks on the war against terrorism, peace moves with India, and nuclear proliferation. Powell was not scheduled to visit Karachi. A spokesman for the United States embassy in Islamabad confirmed the car was found but refused to go into details. "All I know is that a car was found and with the collaboration of Karachi police it was removed," spokesman Andrew Steinfeld told. Army bomb disposal experts removed the van to test the chemical substance and determine its intensity, police said.
And source of origin.
They added that the men who parked the vehicle told security guards that it had broken down then drove off in another car.
Sloppy, guards should have held them till story checked out.
The consulate in downtown Karachi, an Arabian Sea port city of 14 million, was the target of a gruesome suicide car bomb in June 2002 which killed 12 Pakistani bystanders and guards.
Posted by: Steve || 03/16/2004 9:17:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

Africa: Subsaharan
Where was flight N4610 heading?
Severely EFL
They were 64 "heavily built men", mostly white. No, they were all black. No, only 40 of them were black. The plane left South Africa illegally from Wonderboom airport, strayed into Zimbabwe airspace and was ordered down. No, the plane left the country legally, having filed a flight plan to Harare and then on to Burundi. No, the plane was headed for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The men on board were suspected of being mercenaries hired to overthrow Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. No, they were on their way to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. No, they were going to the eastern DRC to carry out security duties.

These are just some of the stories surrounding the flight of N4610, a Boeing 727-100 cargo plane that has been impounded in Harare. And 64 - though some reports say there are 67 - of those who were aboard, whether they were white, black or a mixture, and whether they were mercenaries or honest men, are in Harare cells facing intense interrogation.
I’m not scared of a pair of plyers, you can eeeaaarrrrgghhh!!
Some sources say the drama began in November 2003 or December when the company Logo Logistics acquired a fishing concession in Equatorial Guinea and bought or hired fishing trawlers. "Those guys have never caught a fish in their lives," one source said.

The trawlers were really to be used first to reconnoitre and then to transport mercenaries to oust the government of unpopular President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in a coup, the sources said. Though part of Equatorial Guinea is on the African mainland, its capital Malabo is on the island of Bioko, and it appears that a seaborne coup was planned, though it is not clear from what staging post it would happen. Equatorial Guinea and its immediate neighbouring island state of Sao Tome and Principe have become ripe for coups since oil was recently discovered in their waters. That has made them big prizes for greedy politicians and those who help them to acquire power. Sao Tome experienced a coup in 2003, which was reversed by African Union intervention.

On Tuesday the Mbasogo government announced that it had arrested 15 "mercenaries" in Malabo, including white South Africans, black South Africans of Angolan origin and a few people from Kazakhstan, some Armenians and a German. "It was connected with that plane in Zimbabwe. They were the advance party of that group," Information Minister Agustin Nse Nfumu said. He said the 15 had been in the country since December. The arrests in Malabo corroborate the account of South African security sources that the real destination of the plane seized in Harare was Equatorial Guinea, though other destinations have been claimed.

South African civil aviation sources say Harare was on the aircraft’s official flight plan - en route to Burundi. On Tuesday, a company named in connection with the flight disputed all the speculation, saying the "mercenaries" were in fact security people "going to eastern DRC". Charles Burrow, a senior executive of Logo Logistics which had chartered the Boeing 727 freighter, said via telephone from London that most of the people on board were South African and had military experience, but were on contract to four mining companies in the DRC. He declined to name the companies.
Posted by: Evert Visser in NL || 03/16/2004 8:12:23 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Has anyone tried converting "N4610" into Wingdings/Webdings?? Maybe the answer lies there?
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/16/2004 8:16 Comments || Top||

#2  HMMMmmm. Posted on RB on 2/19/04:The United States is studying whether to build a deep-water port and new airport at Sao Tome.... Any connection?

Posted by: GK || 03/16/2004 8:34 Comments || Top||

#3  N4610


Posted by: Anon || 03/16/2004 8:37 Comments || Top||

#4  "Timely death to your filing system?" Whoa--that's deep, man...
Posted by: Dar || 03/16/2004 8:38 Comments || Top||

#5  I couldn't concentrate on most of the article after I read that there's an airport called "Wonderboom".
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 03/16/2004 10:44 Comments || Top||

2 German Engineers killed in Iraq
No English link yet.
German ZDF reports that two German hydraulic engineers have been attacked and killed along with two Iraqis when travelling in a car. No English link yet.
I wonder how many Iraqis will cheer that terrorists kill people who make sure that clean water is flowing in individual homes? My take is that the terrorists will not win the "hearts and souls" with these attacks. They must be quite desperate.
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/16/2004 7:53:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:

#1  TGA - such a shame. I can only hope that you are right.
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 9:55 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm glad to see that at least they were armed, even if it did them no good in this situation. Being an unarmed Westerner over there is just begging for trouble.
Posted by: Dar || 03/16/2004 10:58 Comments || Top||

#3  It's a regrettable tactical shift - go after the civilian technical personnel to force them either leave or be recalled by their governments. Hopefully they'll get the bastards who did it. My condolences, TGA.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/16/2004 20:00 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Qaddafi Was Stunned When He Saw US Medic Examine Captured Saddam
"He was shocked, he was dazed, he was truly amazed!"
Four events were critical to convincing Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi to get rid of his previously secret nuclear-weapons program, according to U.S. and British officials, Western diplomats in Tripoli and a key adviser to Col. Qaddafi.... It was a combination of implied threats and U.S. and British actions on the high seas and in Iraq that convinced Qaddafi he had not a moment to lose before his government became the next Axis of Evil regime in U.S. gun sights. .... "Until Sept. 11, Qaddafi was hoping he could carry on with a clandestine nuclear-weapons program and get away with it," a Western diplomat in Tripoli tells Insight. But when he saw the response of the Bush administration in Afghanistan, "he realized he couldn’t keep going as before." ....

It wasn’t until U.S. and British troops crossed into Iraq on March 19, 2003, that Qaddafi detailed Foreign Minister Mohammed Abderrahmane Chalgam to begin talks with British and U.S. officials in London. .... Behind the scenes, advisers to Qaddafi were arguing that Libya’s security would be enhanced, not reduced, by giving up the nuclear program. "We had no delivery system," a top Qaddafi adviser tells Insight [magazine] at the Libyan leader’s office outside of Sirte. "I told the guide [Qaddafi], ’If Libya were to start a nuclear war, our missiles won’t even reach Malta. If the U.S. starts it, Libya will be erased from the map.’" He said he told Qaddafi as the meetings with the United States and the United Kingdom got under way in London last spring that it was better to get rid of the weapons and redirect the resources toward improving the economy than to risk an American attack.
Which appears to be exactly what Muammar decided to do...
Officials involved in the talks acknowledge that the Libyans remained divided over which course to pursue. "While they carried on negotiations with us, they continued with their WMD programs," a British official said. .... In October 2003, with the help of Italian customs, a massive shipment of centrifuge components from Malaysia was seized in the Mediterranean en route to Libya. ....

Qaddafi now sought counsel from an unusual source, which Insight can reveal here for the first time. One month before Qaddafi’s historic announcement on Dec. 19, 2003, he met in Tripoli with visiting Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. "During their private meeting, Qaddafi asked Kuchma how America had treated him when he gave up his nuclear weapons after the fall of the Soviet Union," says Weldon, who heard the story directly from Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko. Kuchma suggested that Qaddafi broaden his ties beyond the administration and work with members of the U.S. Congress, as well. The final event that sealed the fate of Qaddafi’s nuclear-weapons program took place in early December 2003 along the borders of the Tigris River near Tikrit, when U.S. soldiers pulled former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein out of a spider hole."When Qaddafi watched a U.S. medic probe Saddam’s hair for lice and poke around his mouth, he was stunned," several sources tell Insight. Western diplomats in Tripoli agree that Saddam’s capture "traumatized" the Libyan leader. ... Just 10 days later, Qaddafi made his official announcement that Libya was giving up its WMD programs and had invited U.S. and British experts into the country to verify the dismantling of his weapons plants. ....
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 7:10:25 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [356 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It was a combination of implied threats and U.S. and British actions on the high seas and in Iraq that convinced Qaddafi he had not a moment to lose before his government became the next Axis of Evil regime in U.S. gun sights. HA Ha, must have been scared witless. Shame the Lefty media like the BBC won't report this
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 7:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Dammit--this shows what a little resolve and hard action can accomplish beyond its initial scope, but when countries like Spain start withdrawing from the Coalition you won't see many more dominoes toppling. They are not only missing out on the chance to improve the world but--worse--they're sabotaging the effort.
Posted by: Dar || 03/16/2004 8:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Thats alright about the BBC JS, our lefty presidential candidate is running around saying that we sat on this deal until it was politcally expedient to reveal it. Whata maroon.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/16/2004 8:19 Comments || Top||

#4  This story was certainly a better "good morning" than yesterday's news from Spain! Over the years I've noticed that the bad guy Arabs understand ONLY one thing, and that is power--the application of deadly force. If another country has the ability to wipe them off the map, along with the guts to follow through, then they'll deal. When Qaddafi rolls over and plays dead, somebody's doing somethin' right! Go team!!

On the down side, I can't believe the western media's continuuing betrayal of our world. It's sickening. The business men that run our media sources have become nothing more than clandestine politicians (more like miniature dictators), and have all but given up the call to provide information to the public as objectively as possible, so that we the people (of all things) can decide and act. Also, things have changed significantly in the media culture in a very short amount of time. If this had happened twenty years ago it would have been front page in every major newspaper.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/16/2004 8:55 Comments || Top||

#5  "I told the guide [Qaddafi], ’If Libya were to start a nuclear war, our missiles won’t even reach Malta. If the U.S. starts it, Libya will be erased from the map.’

Sounds like the Guide was getting better than Arab advice.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 10:36 Comments || Top||

#6  Perhaps we should have a proctologist on standby for Osama's check up. Kimmy might take notice.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/16/2004 10:49 Comments || Top||

#7  You know what I also find interesting is Qadaffi's conversation with the Ukranian president. It seems like Qadaffi was genuinly concerned that the US would either invade if he declared his program or still treat him as a pariah. If this is the case then it's probably true of other leaders out there who might want to walk away from their programs but are afraid of the US reaction. It's important that we verify Libya's disarmament but that they are welcomed back into the world community, including trade. This will send a message to other nations that might want to come into the fold that it is indeed possible and if they walk away from their WMD programs we will welcome them into the family of nations.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 10:50 Comments || Top||

#8  Did they send him the special film, the one with the body cavity search?
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/16/2004 10:54 Comments || Top||

#9  ..but when countries like Spain start withdrawing from the Coalition you won't see many more dominoes toppling.

Not necessarily. Khadafy's actions were likely motivated by the prospect of U.S. military action exclusively. The presence of others as members of a coalition probably didn't even register with him. This also means that the U.S. needs to maintain the pressure and stay the course, and not fret just because Spain chickened out.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 11:40 Comments || Top||

#10  This kinda blows a hole in the left's "argument" that Qaddafi had been trying to do this for years, doesn't it? Not that it was a strong argument to begin with, of course...
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/16/2004 12:18 Comments || Top||

#11  Did they send him the special film, the one with the body cavity search?
No, but I'll be willing to make a LARGE wager that we sent him copies of the Mukbarrat file marked "LIBYA".
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/16/2004 12:51 Comments || Top||

They sent him the really special film, with the biopsy.
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2004 13:51 Comments || Top||

#13  But Howard Dean told us that... Oops.
Posted by: someone || 03/16/2004 13:56 Comments || Top||

#14  Let's see, deal was done in 1999, Bubba had at least 18 months for his legacy, what am I missing?
Posted by: Anonymous2U || 03/16/2004 17:41 Comments || Top||

Africa: Horn
Ugandan troops pursue LRA into Sudan
Thousands of UPDF soldiers on the weekend rolled into eastern Equatoria province in southern Sudan in pursuit of Kony rebels. "The current geo-political climate is clearly against Kony rebels who must not be given chance to re-organise to return to kill our people," the source said. Sources said UPDF soldiers were on search-and-hit operations around Imotong and Upper Talanga areas along the Sudan-Uganda border.

Last week, Sudan renewed by three months the protocol permitting Ugandan soldiers to operate in Sudan. The protocol, which was first signed in April 2001, allows Uganda to operate in the SPLA-held territory of that region which covers Magwi and parts of Torit district. It is not known whether the renewal of the agreement allows the UPDF to use helicopter gunships inside Sudan. The initial agreement did not. A string of recent army victories is attributed to the accuracy of the Mi-24 helicopter gunship. In the past five months the gunship killed two LRA army commanders Brigadiers Charles Tabuley and Yardin Nyeko and spy chief Brig. Caeser Accellam.

Intelligence sources yesterday said the recent events inside Sudan were working in favour of the UPDF. Two weeks ago LRA attacked the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) between Lire and Mangala as the Ugandan rebels were fleeing from Sudan government army who were pursuing them. Sources said the UPDF is expected to face stiff challenge as Imotong mountains have over 50 caves which are supplied with water springs. "We suspect that LRA will hide in those caves, take low profile and lay ambushes in bid to stop UPDF from reaching the caves," the sources said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:23:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

Renewed fighting between Sudan and SPLA
Renewed fighting between Sudan’s islamist military dictatorship troops and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) erupted Sunday in the mid-western Upper Nile region of southern Sudan, reports said. Scores of civilians had been killed in dictatorship militia attacks on villages close to Malakal town, provincial capital of the Upper Nile region. In the attack the headquarters of Shilluk Community King Alak was badly damaged, homes set ablaze and cows looted. The attackers also raped women. Militias have renewed attacks on Obai, Pakang, Dot, Oweci and the Panyikango areas in the Shilluk Kingdom in the Upper Nile region.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:22:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

Caucasus Corpse Count
NINE soldiers and police died in the latest rebel raids and mine explosions in Chechnya as President Vladimir Putin won a second four-year term in a landslide, an official with the Moscow-backed Chechen administration said today. In the latest fighting in Chechnya, two soldiers were killed and another 10 wounded in 18 rebel attacks on military checkpoints throughout the tiny, mountainous province in the past 24 hours, a Chechen official said on condition of anonymity. Another four troops died and 12 were wounded yesterday when their truck hit a rebel land mine near the southern village of Alleroi, and two sappers were killed in Grozny when they tried to defuse another mine, the official said.

In Gudermes, the second-largest Chechen city east of Grozny, a pro-Moscow local police officer was shot dead by unidentified assailants late yesterday. Russian forces retaliated with customary artillery barrages of suspected rebel hideouts in the southern mountains. They also have detained at least 180 local residents on suspicion of rebel links in the latest security sweeps throughout Chechnya, the official said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:16:46 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Pakistani troops fight locals in Waziristan
Pakistani paramilitary forces launched an operation on Tuesday against tribal fighters sheltering al Qaeda militants near the Afghan border, witnesses said. Heavy gunfire could be heard from an area where some of the wanted tribesmen were believed to be hiding, said residents of the town of Wana. The clash came a day before U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was due to visit Pakistan. Speaking as he flew to India on Monday, Powell urged Pakistan to ramp up its military activities near the Afghan border.
I guess there were one too many deadlines.
"Colin? Say, this is Perv. Could you put off your visit for another week?"
"We can hear heavy gunfire. It started early in the morning," one resident of the town, 360 km southwest of Islamabad, told Reuters. Frontier Corps troops had been seen earlier moving in to the area in the South Waziristan tribal agency. Men from the corps sealed off the area and stopped reporters approaching. There was no word on any casualties.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:07:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

#1  pressure, applied consistently, can do wonders
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2004 8:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Bloomberg reporting 3 terror suspects, including possibly one foreigner, 4 Pakistani troops killed
Posted by: Sharon in NYC || 03/16/2004 8:37 Comments || Top||

#3  From Hi Pakistan: At least four Chechen fighters were reportedly killed after a gun battle broke out between hundreds of paramilitary troops and an unknown number of anti-government tribesmen in South Waziristan tribal region, according to eyewitness reports in the area. Reports said a number of Pakistani troops were also killed in the fierce fighting, but no definite figures were available yet. One local tribesman, Gul Shireen, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that some nine para-military personnel were injured in the cross-fire. Another report said of five army personnel were killed with nine wounded. In Islamabad, Major General Shuakat Sultan, Pakistan's army spokesman, confirmed to dpa that there had been "some casualties" but did not give any further information.
Posted by: Steve || 03/16/2004 9:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Sounds like the Paks must have run across some simple (but well armed) woodcutters.

LOL I think this ones' got legs.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 10:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Drudge is reporting that 24 AQ and Taliban smoked.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/16/2004 11:41 Comments || Top||

#6  CNN is reporting 8 paki troops killed, 23 foreign terrorists killed.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 12:36 Comments || Top||

#7  On the afghan side of the border, several reports that US troops surprised 8 terrs in a cave, killed 5, captured 3. No US casualties. First US fight of Spring offensive.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 12:59 Comments || Top||

Africa: Horn
Kenya sees Somalia as terrorist breeding ground
Washington and the international community do not fully appreciate that lawless Somalia has become a breeding ground for international terrorism, Kenya’s terrorism and security chief said yesterday. "In Somalia, there are home-grown terror cells. There is no central authority, and terrorists can find safe refuge," Christopher Murungaru, minister of state for provincial administration and national security, told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. He said his government was afraid that Somalia, Kenya’s neighbor to the northeast, could become a failed state like Afghanistan under the Taliban.
I thought Afghanistan under the Taliban was a failed state like Somalia?
"Frankly, we have not been very encouraged by the response of the international community. We feel almost abandoned," he said, adding that the U.S. State Department has expressed some concern regarding Somalia, but not enough. "We encouraged the United States not to give up. We are hoping for a good response," Mr. Murungaru said about Somalia peace talks. A gathering of 500 delegates has been hosted and housed in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, for two years. In Washington to discuss U.S.-Kenyan cooperation and coordination in the war on terror, Mr. Murungaru said Kenya has made enormous strides against terrorism in the past 18 months, but Kenya’s accomplishments are not fully recognized. He said that since December 2002 — when opposition politician Mwai Kibaki was elected president in a landslide that ended Daniel Arap Moi’s 24-year rule — Kenya has strengthened its intelligence gathering and cooperation with the United States in the war on terrorism. "Most Kenyans did not think of terrorism as a Kenyan problem. They consider themselves victims. The causes of terrorism are from somewhere else. It was a problem being played out on our soil," Mr. Murungaru said. He said the Mombassa attack was a "wake-up call."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:06:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hint: be on the hunt for wahhabits. All terror roads in Islam lead back to Saudi princelings. No money? No travel and no arms
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2004 8:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Right-o, Frank. Until we knock the Saudis out of the terrorist funding business, we are fighting those that we paid. Something wrong with this picture. We are treating the symptoms.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2004 11:07 Comments || Top||

#3  We went into Somalia once; we failed. We should have had the darn guy, but we gave up. Stupid. But we lost 17, they lost almost a thousand. DIDN'T THEY LEARN THEIR LESSON?!! Retards!
Posted by: Idiot || 03/16/2004 15:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Nope they didn't Idiot. We didn't use enough firepower. It wasn't available.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 16:24 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Pakistan gains in al-Qaeda hunt
Many Al Qaeda and Taliban guerrillas in Waziristan are fleeing their village hideouts and heading up into the mountains along the Afghan border, according to tribal sources in the area. Shunning their conspicuous Land Cruisers, the militants are camouflaging their movements by journeying with local woodcutters and shepherds, who head into the mountains to earn their livelihood.
"Yeah. I'm just a simple, but well-armed, woodcutter."
"And I'm just a simple, but well-armed shepherd. None o' them sheep is family."
Officials here say the fighters are being squeezed by the government’s recent crackdown in the tribal region. Pakistan has deployed 12,000 military and paramilitary soldiers, and demanded help from tribal leaders, to round up Al Qaeda and Taliban elements. "Our strategy against foreign terrorists is working very well," says Rehmatullah Wazir, a senior government official in South Waziristan. "They feel unsafe here. They are feeling the pressure, and we are coming down hard on their local supporters as well."
Yasss... Fleeing before the invicible Pak army...
Tribal sources estimate that around 600 Al Qaeda guerrillas - mostly Arabs, Chechens, and Uzbeks - remain in and around South Waziristan. While not all of these wanted militants have left the villages, tribal sources believe that many have converged in the forest-covered, snow-swept mountain regions of Shikai, Bush, and Khamran. "Al Qaeda are now avoiding traveling in Land Cruisers because they think they will either be spotted by American satellite or killed by chasing Pakistani forces," says local tribesman Farid Khan. He says Al Qaeda fighters are paying local woodcutters and shepherds, who are "known as the best guides," $85 to $170 each for the trip into the mountains. "These poor people sympathized with them, and believe saving mujahideen from Americans is a service to Islam," says Mr. Khan.
The mujahideen repay the favor by slapping their wives around for them...
Some of the foreign fighters are familiar to the local residents. The region was used as a "launching pad" into Afghanistan for thousands of anti-Soviet mujahideen, trained and funded by Pakistani and American intelligence agencies. After the Soviet defeat, many Islamic militants, particularly Uzbeks and Chechens, preferred to settle down in Pakistan’s tribal belt. "They look like Waziristanis now. They wear traditional dress, speak fluent Pashto, and follow our traditions," says tribesman Nasir Khan. "When Afghanistan was bombed, mujahideen of Al Qaeda married their daughters to the sons of tribesmen. Dozens of the weddings were arranged in emergency as Al Qaeda men were wary of their uncertain future," he says.
"Dad! You want me to marry him?"
"You never know when you might need a simple, but well-armed, shepherd in the family, honey!"
"He smells of sheep shit and he only has four teeth!"
Pakistani authorities are trying to cut off Al Qaeda’s local support and supply line by involving tribal elders. Under pressure to deliver, tribal chiefs have formed a force of 600 armed tribesmen to catch militants and hand over the five most wanted local tribesmen, known as "Men of Al Qaeda." The clans of the Zakikhel tribe, which formed the tribal posse, will be forced to pay a fine of $870 each day and face house demolitions if they fail to apprehend "foreign terrorists." This penalty, which began Monday, will be in place for the next five days. As of Monday, the tribal force has caught no one; officials monitoring their performance say that if they fail, Pakistani forces will launch their own operation at "anytime."
"Duhhh... Gee, Mahmoud! Do y'think they'll catch 'em?"
"If we support Al Qaeda then our houses are demolished and if we side with the government then we are killed by Al Qaeda and their men," says Malik Behram Khan, an enraged tribal elder.
Tough, parking yourself in the middle, ain't it?
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf threw his weight behind the initiative Monday, meeting with over 500 tribal elders in the Pakistani frontier city of Peshawar, seeking their cooperation in the continuing hunt for Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. Many tribesmen say they feel "a big and decisive" operation is in the offing and believe that Al Qaeda guerrillas would prefer to die rather than surrender to the US and Pakistan forces. "They have pledged to blow themselves up rather than surrender. I met a local [Al Qaeda] wanted man in recent days to persuade him to surrender but he said, ’We wish to go to Paradise and not to Guantánamo,’ " says a tribal elder. "If the days belong to them then the nights are for us to strike," the tribal elder quoted the wanted man as saying.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/16/2004 1:02:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [333 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yeah, you go ahead and strike at night, Mahmoud.
Posted by: Pete Stanley || 03/16/2004 2:05 Comments || Top||

#2  give mamoud what he wants--a pair of dice--snake eyes motha fucka
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 03/16/2004 3:47 Comments || Top||

#3  So these guys are affraid of being killed by AQ?

Thought they were the bad ass tribesmen. Fiercely independant. Thought AQ was being sheltered. Fu%k all that lame shit. Show us AQ, our enemy so we may kill them and set your rag ass free.
Posted by: Lucky || 03/16/2004 3:48 Comments || Top||

#4  6th Light Mountain Division(ficticious)"We own the night".
Posted by: Raptor || 03/16/2004 6:49 Comments || Top||

#5  "Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf threw his weight behind the initiative Monday, meeting with over 500 tribal elders in the Pakistani frontier city of Peshawar, seeking their cooperation in the continuing hunt for Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. "

Perv went up to Peshawar to meet with them personally! Hmmm, interesting.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/16/2004 12:43 Comments || Top||

#6  So Al Qaeda is converging on the region of Bush... Safe refuge there, for sure.
Posted by: Grunter || 03/16/2004 13:31 Comments || Top||

#7  Grunter Grass:
I believer you are looking for the NORK section... it may have changed in the recent redecoration.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 16:09 Comments || Top||

Maoists recruiting children
On February 22, 2004, the leader of All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union - Revolutionary (ANNISU-R), the Maoists’ students wing, Kamal Shahi, stated that a decision had been taken in their January 10-11 party annual meeting to raise a children’s militia of 50,000 by April-May 2004. According to a report released by Child Workers in Nepal Concern Centre (CWIN), two-dozen children have died in the past six months of conflict in the country and around 950 children were abducted by the Maoist insurgents and taken to their various training camps. Since the collapse of the cease-fire between the Nepal Government and insurgents in August 2003, the country has been witnessing an increased frequency of abductions by the Maoists, of young school students along with their teachers, for ideological indoctrination and military training of the children in the conflict-wracked Kingdom. Some reports indicate that over 30 per cent of the Maoist militia and army comprises children below 18 years of age. Most tragically, they have been used as cannon fodder and human shields in engagements with the state’s Forces.
Yas, get 'em before they're twelve and they're ours for life.
The intensified conflict between the Maoists and the Government’s Forces has resulted in large numbers of child soldiers being trained in camps in the Maoist strongholds in mid-Western Nepal. Reports suggest that the abducted students have been inducted into the Special Peoples’ Military Campaign, which is being implemented in the Maoists ’model districts’ of Jumla and Jajarkot in the mid-Western region, where the state’s power and presence is almost non-existent.

The training for child soldiers comprises three phases, which are conducted in ’base’, ’model’ and ’special’ areas controlled by the Maoists. After selecting the target school in their stronghold areas, the Maoists first encircle the school after the students have gathered in large numbers. Generally, the Maoists invite ’volunteers’ to their training camps, and then select students aged between 12 and 15. Ordinarily, these students are initially abducted for the Maoists’ political meetings, annual conferences or any other special occasions, such as the announcement of the formation of an autonomous region or of a ’People’s Government’. At the same time, students aged between 14 and 18 are required to undergo military drills and arms training under the supervision of top Maoist leaders at the insurgents’ training bases. Though most of the abducted students are allowed to return to their homes after a couple of weeks, the trauma of the forced ideological and military training they undergo continues to haunt many of them. They are, moreover, on call for operational duties, as and when required, and are often directly attached to the main operational force in their areas. The Maoists variously use these young recruits as soldiers, sentries, messengers, cooks, porters and suppliers. The preliminary training is sufficient for these children to handle light weapons including .303 and .22 rifles, country-made socket and pipe bombs, etc., the weapons most widely used by the Maoist insurgents.

Maoists have intensified the recruitment of children in their armed cadres to fight against the security forces, and to create ’revolutionary zeal’ among the young participants in the People’s War. Observers suggest various reasons for children being preferred for soldiering: recruitment and maintenance of a child militia is relatively cost effective; children can more easily be used in hazardous tasks like laying and clearing landmines; children are also more psychologically malleable, easily motivated and manipulated, and display a high level of dedication and obedience.
As I recall, the Khmer Rouge did the same thing.
At least 300 children have been killed in the Maoist insurgency since 1996. Young children in large parts of the country have simply stopped going to school, as the Maoists increasingly bring their activities into the school premises. On February 18, 2003, two students were killed and another injured during a ’firing demonstration’ by the insurgents in a school in Baglung district. There have been repeated calls by international human rights organizations and concerned citizens’ groups to declare the school areas as ’zones of peace’, and to leave the students and children outside the bloody sphere of the current conflict. These pleas have, however, apparently fallen on deaf ears, and present indications suggest, if anything, a further intensification of the ongoing Maoist campaign to mobilize children - voluntarily or otherwise - for greater participation in their ’peoples’ war’. There are reports of large numbers of schools closing down all over the country, creating long-term risks of declining quality of human capital, greater unemployment, and a burgeoning army of the unemployed which will keep the manpower supply lines to the Maoist cadres alive.
How strange: you mean the Maoists aren't listening to the "international human rights organizations"?
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 03/16/2004 1:02:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [371 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There have been repeated calls by international human rights organizations and concerned citizens’ groups to declare the school areas as ’zones of peace’, and to leave the students and children outside the bloody sphere of the current conflict.

Yes, I've been hearing those calls on the news media and in AI press releases daily - scoff!
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 9:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Only children could possibly believe in Marxism at this point. I doubt the Maoists themselves truly believe their own crap at this point.
Posted by: ruprecht || 03/16/2004 13:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Don't you know that children are the new proletariat ruprecht? It's one of the sure signs of the end times of a for a revolutionary movement when the under 12 set get involved. See Childrens Crusade and The Archies.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 16:16 Comments || Top||

children are also more psychologically malleable, easily motivated and manipulated, and display a high level of dedication and obedience.

Just like American teenagers.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/16/2004 23:08 Comments || Top||

Israel vows to hit at Gaza militants
Israel has vowed to intensify efforts to eliminate militant leaders in the Gaza Strip after Sunday's double-suicide attack on its second-biggest port. The army appeared to suspend its campaign against political leaders of Hamas last September but government sources said yesterday that "no one involved in terrorism is immune".
Say yer prayers, varmints!
Raanan Gissin, the spokesman of the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, said Israel would intensify its intelligence gathering and military operations in the Gaza Strip to ensure militants did not get "a moment of peace". He added: "They will have to spend all their time defending themselves rather than planning terrorist attacks on Israelis." He said this was not a new policy as Israel already has "a sustained and relentless strategy of intercepting terrorists". Israel has not tried to assassinate any Hamas leaders since September when it failed to kill Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Mahmoud Zahar. In August it killed Ismail Abu Shanab after failing in June to kill Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Hamas's most prominent spokesman.
Practice makes perfect.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 12:10:29 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  'Israel vows to hit at Gaza militants' excellent news
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 7:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Israel has not tried to assassinate any Hamas leaders since September when it failed to kill Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Mahmoud Zahar.

Sounds like the time is ripe for another go at it.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/16/2004 11:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Good hunting.
Posted by: Xbalanke || 03/16/2004 15:49 Comments || Top||

Poll: Iraqis Are Mixed Over U.S. Invasion
Gee. Golly. Gosh. Whoever woulda expected that?
The people of Iraq have mixed feelings about the U.S.-led invasion of their country, but most say their lives are going well and they have high hopes for the future, said a nationwide poll of Iraqis released Monday, Iraqis are divided over whether the invasion by U.S. and British troops a year ago humiliated their country or liberated it, according to the poll conducted by ABC News and several other media organizations.
Before the war, I'd have said crummy soldiers. Now I'd say crummy command structure led by a nutjob and his syncophants. So I wouldn't call it a humiliation of Iraq. I'd call it a humiliation of the nutjob and his syncophants. Baghdad Bob is an icon for the ages.
They have considerable worries about joblessness, security and basic services like electricity, according to the first nationwide poll in Iraq done by news organizations. "The positive attitudes and the high expectations and optimism are quite striking, with majorities telling us their lives are going well," ABC polling director Gary Langer said. "Expectations carry risks, however. If these are unmet, there could be political consequences."
You mean, like in a normal country? Zounds, progress.
On a personal level, seven in 10 Iraqis said things are going well for them and more than half - 56 percent - said their lives are going better than before the war, compared with 19 percent who said things are worse. Seven in 10 said they expect their lives will be better a year from now, with more than one-third saying much better.
That's close to the consumer confidence index for the U.S.
But the Iraqis have concerns about the current conditions in their country: Seven in 10 say the availability of jobs is poor and nearly that many said the same about electricity. Almost three-fourths gave a positive rating to local schools, however. The biggest overall concern nationally was regaining public security - named as the top concern by almost two-thirds in the poll, 64 percent. That was far higher than any other priority. About half said they oppose the presence of coalition forces, but few want those troops to leave now - wanting soldiers to stay until the Iraqi government is in place or until security is restored.
"Coalition forces: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!"
Four of five said they want a unified country with a central government in Baghdad. Kurds, an ethnic minority in northern Iraq who make up about one-third of the total population in Iraq, were less likely to feel that way. By a 2-1 margin, Kurds favored the formation of regional states with a federal government. Kurds have been seeking autonomy in Iraq. The number that think Iraq needs "a single strong Iraqi leader" in the next year has increased from 27 percent in November, when the polling firm Oxford Research International last asked the question, to 47 percent now. When asked what Iraq needs in five years, people were more likely to say an Iraqi democracy, 42 percent, followed by "a single strong leader," 35 percent.
Which is why the first government has to do well.
Seems like they didn't have that much luck with a "single strong leader" for the past 35 years or so. Why would they want another one?
The poll was conducted by the Oxford Research International of Oxford, England, for ABC News, the British Broadcasting Corp., the German broadcasting network ARD and the Japanese network NHK. The poll of 2,737 face-to-face interviews was conducted in Iraq from Feb. 9-28 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. ABC's Langer said the interviewers faced difficulties conducting the poll because of the security situation in Iraq. The polling firm "reported a car wreck, interviewers detained by coalition forces, interviewers detained and questioned by Iraqi police, and some who had to detour around a bombing site," he said. "One respondent pulled a knife and terminated the interview," said Langer, noting that the interviewer was not hurt.
"Sir, I'll just put you down as a 'yes' on that one. Toodles!"
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 10:09:06 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Iraqis are simply discovering the sound of their own voice and that by having and expressing an opinion that is the opposite of the "center of power" in the country is not automatically a death sentence, and frankly, they like it and think its is a good thing. evidence? they are starting to answer polls in a way that reflects their feelings and not what they think the pollster wants to hear.

Western civilization is on display again in Iraq. We can again see what 2000 years of hard earned lessons on how to bring people up from slavery into liberty, and its positive effects on the populace.

Those that complain today that we are in Iraq will be the first ones to complain the loudest after we leave.
Posted by: Frank Martin || 03/16/2004 0:38 Comments || Top||

#2  The title said, "invasion" instead of "liberation". Therefore, why should we believe anything this article tries to put forth?
Posted by: B || 03/16/2004 8:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Now let's do a poll on what Iraqis think of western journalists. I bet you'll see more than one knife pulled on that one.
Posted by: Matt || 03/16/2004 8:18 Comments || Top||

#4  The poll of 2,737 face-to-face interviews was conducted in Iraq from Feb. 9-28 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

This is such a load of horse manure - we haven't been in Iraq long enough to collect the necessary demographic data (region, religion, ethnicity, tribe, et al) for conducting accurate polls. What's heartening is that this "research" organization is known for being anti-American in its polling methodology, but couldn't come up with a majority of people who would say they were worse off without Saddam.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/16/2004 10:13 Comments || Top||

#5  give the demographic makeup of iraqs citizens these numbers are ringt in line. the 19% who said things are worse are the sunni's who profited from saddam..of course their lifes are worse.......
Posted by: Dan || 03/16/2004 13:36 Comments || Top||

Investigator: Toss Charges in Iraqi Death
SAN DIEGO (AP) - An investigating officer has recommended that charges be thrown out for a Marine reservist accused in the death of an Iraqi prisoner last year, a defense attorney said Monday. The investigator recommended administrative punishment for a second officer accused of negligent homicide in the death of Nagem Sadoon Hatab, a Baath Party member who prosecutors said was punched, karate-kicked and dragged by the throat while in the officers' custody.

Lance Cpl. Christian Hernandez and his commanding officer, Maj. Clark A. Paulus, faced the most serious charges in the killing.

Col. William Gallo, the investigating officer who presided over an Article 32 hearing last month, recommended dismissal of charges against Hernandez, according to his attorney, Jack B. Zimmermann. Article 32 hearings are the military equivalent of a civilian grand jury probe. Gallo recommended administrative punishment for Paulus, Zimmermann said. Administrative punishment could include loss of pay or restriction to base and would be a blemish on the record of a career officer. Paulus' attorney, Keith Higgins, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

A third officer, Sgt. Gary Pittman, was accused of karate-kicking Hatab in the chest. He was recommended for special court-martial for assault, Zimmermann said, citing Gallo's report. A special court-martial is the military equivalent of a misdemeanor criminal hearing in civilian court.

The recommendations are before Maj. Gen. William Bowdon, the commanding general at Camp Pendleton, the Marine base north of San Diego. Bowdon must make the final decision on punishment and is not bound by Gallo's recommendation. A base spokesman declined to comment on the proceeding or release a copy of Gallo's report until Bowdon ruled on the case.

The recommendation cast doubt on prosecutors' version of events. Prosecutors said Hatab was singled out for punishment because he was connected to an M16 rifle belonging to the 507th Maintenance Company, which had been ambushed in Nasiriyah in March 2003. Eleven soldiers were killed in the ambush, with nine wounded and six captured, including Pfc. Jessica Lynch.

Hatab, 52, had been left lying naked, covered in his own feces, for hours when he was found dead on June 6, 2003.
What a horrible way for a Ba'athist to die. Tusk, tusk.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 10:06:17 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ah poor old Hateb, should have given him a much much longer and more painfull death, he got away lightly
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/16/2004 4:48 Comments || Top||

Georgia Puts Trade Limits on Province
Georgia's president slapped trade restrictions on the restive Adzharia province Monday after the region's leader ignored a deadline to accept federal authority. Tension was high along the regional border, where Adzharian security forces and armed civilians stood guard. Shots were fired in the air Monday evening as Georgia's interior minister approached. On Sunday evening, Saakashvili had given Adzharia a 1:30 p.m. EST Monday deadline to accept his authority and disarm paramilitary forces. In a briefing in the capital Tbilisi after the deadline expired, Saakashvili said he had put in place measures to "introduce control" over the port of Batumi, Adzharia's checkpoint on the Turkish border, and rail traffic. He didn't give precise details, but said the measures would be "temporary, until the situation returns to normal." "That's something any normal state would do in similar circumstances," Saakashvili said. "We are not doing anything dramatic."
Other than mobilizing the army, you mean.
After speaking Monday to Abashidze, Saakashvili said he sensed a softening. "I think they are starting to reconsider their actions," he said. Abashidze, who returned to Adzharia from Moscow early Monday despite his claim that Saakashvili had threatened to shoot down his plane if he entered Georgian airspace, said he was ready to talk with Saakashvili, but struck a defiant note. Speaking on Adzharia TV, Abashidze said he and Saakashvili had "a difficult conversation" by telephone Sunday. "He was just saying what he wanted and wouldn't listen," Abashidze said, referring to the 36-year-old president.
Wouldn't let you browbeat him, huh?
Saakashvili won a landslide election to replace Shevardnadze in January and pledged to reunite the Caucasus Mountains country. New parliament elections are scheduled March 28, and Saakashvili said Abashidze may be acting out of fear he will lose power in the parliament vote. Repeating a pledge to solve the tension without bloodshed, Saakashvili added that "we are committed to the supremacy of our constitution." Abashidze on Monday introduced a state of emergency - one of several he has declared since the November revolution - and a curfew for Adzharia. Georgian State Security Minister Zurab Adeishvili told an emergency government meeting in the neighboring Black Sea port of Poti that special armed formations have been created in Adzharia with more than 1,000 people, while weapons had been handed out to civilians. Groups of men, many armed with automatic rifles, were seen arriving Monday at the river that forms Adzharia's border with Georgia, the Interfax news agency reported. Several hundred men in camouflage were also patrolling the area and set up camp. Since November, Adzharia has run its own affairs, withholding tax payments from the central government and otherwise refusing to cooperate with Tbilisi. Abashidze has claimed the central government was preparing to use the military to overthrow him. Saakashvili on Monday denied claims he was deploying tanks and armored personnel carriers to quell the region. "We have enough means to do it without tanks, so far," he said.
Georgians seem to be about as enlightened as the Chechnyans. Popcorn, anyone?
Posted by: Steve White || 03/16/2004 9:59:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought that popcorn was only for when Muslims killed Muslims?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/16/2004 11:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Popcorn is also on the menu when you have Red on Red or Red on Pink action.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/16/2004 12:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Aris:
I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a judgement call: the Adzharians(?) are the good guys.... relatively speaking. If my information on them is correct they got dumped in that region of the Caucasus Mountains back when Stalin was playing "minority shuffle" with the southwestern Soviet Union. They're basically Muslim hillbillies who pretty much keep to themselves and aren't particularly thrilled to be part of Orthodox Christian Georgia.

After Bosnia can we really blame them?
Posted by: Secret Master || 03/16/2004 15:53 Comments || Top||

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Tue 2004-03-16
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Mon 2004-03-15
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Sun 2004-03-14
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Mon 2004-03-08
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