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Baghdad Hotel Boomed - At least 10 dead
Today's Headlines
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
You want to meet me where for lunch?
More fodder for the late night punchy crowd.

Don’t eat at your desk!
By Mark Prigg, Evening Standard Science Correspondent
The average desk is 400 times more contaminated than a lavatory seat, a new study has found. Experts believe the tendency for workers to eat lunch at their desk is the reason for the massive rise in office germs.

The dirtiest spot on the desktop is the phone, the researchers found, where about 25,127 microbes live per square inch. Experts believe this is because handsets are often passed between people. The next filthiest area is the desk surface, where 20,961 invisible microbes can be found living and breathing on every square inch. By comparison, the average lavatory seat contains just 49 germs per square inch. Should you wipe the seat before laying out the first course?
Other unclean areas are water fountain handles and microwave door handles, the study noted.

The report, by University of Arizona microbiologist Dr Charles Gerba, says desktops have become breeding grounds for germs largely because they have turned into tables where workers eat lunches and breakfasts. This, combined with the fact that desks are not frequently cleaned , makes them the perfect environment for microorganisms.

"We don’t think twice about eating at our desks, even though the average desk has 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet," Dr Gerba said. "Without cleaning, a small area on your desk or phone can sustain millions of bacteria that could potentially cause illness," he added.

I guess I will begin to invite my coworkersto lunch with the phrase, "pull my finger?"
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/17/2004 10:44:55 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mebbe we shouldn't have been so hasty including the telephone sanitzers on the B Ark, eh, Doug?
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 23:12 Comments || Top||

Cracks in Saudi Facade?

’The Creed that Sanctions Blowing Up Worshippers in Mosques ... Should Be Declared the Public Enemy of Humanity’ by Muhammad al-Rasheed (Arab News, 3/11/04) (via MEMRI)
Terrorists in Iraq Are More Barbarous Than Saddam
"Just when we seem to have moved a step forward, something happens to make us take ten steps back. Sacrificial blood in Karbala and Baghdad is nothing new but the latest atrocity on the most sacred day for the Shia was a criminal act of monstrous proportions. The carnage and the spectacle were on a scale not seen since the last sacking of Karbala over a century ago.
Let’s see ... Beirut, 1983: 294. Nairobi/Dar es Salaam, 1998: 257. Sept 11, 2001: 2,973. Madrid, Mar 11, 2004: 200. Karbala: 160. Not denying your sentiments, Muhammad, but your math’s way off.
But those others were infidels. T'aint no problem killin' infidels!
"The perpetrators have an agenda more vicious than anything Saddam could have dreamed up. Saddam killed and maimed to maintain his rule by brute force. These people kill and maim to turn people against each other and to satisfy a bloodlust based on elitism in theological terms. In other words, they want to win in this world and go to heaven in the next. I don’t think Saddam was that optimistic; otherwise, the Americans would not have found him alive in a hole."
I think the word you want is "chicken," not "pessimistic." As for going to heaven, Husayn Musawi, the late and definitely unlamented founder of Hezbollah, put it a bit more to the point: "We are not fighting so that ... you will offer us something ... or we will earn (rewards). We are fighting to eliminate you ... from the face of the earth."

’Arabs Blame Others and Shun the Facts’
"What is overwhelming, however, is the reaction while the blood is still hot and streaming down the streets of Iraq. A few Shia clerics, including prominent ones in Lebanon, have declared that America is to blame for this atrocity. How so, pray tell? ’It did not provide security,’ is the answer. Mind you, this America is the one the same the Shia are now talking to so they can finally govern themselves for the first time in 1400 years. If I were a Shia and from Iraq, I’d pray to the Almighty that America remained in Iraq until the country was stable and on its feet again. Otherwise, the Karbala massacre will be just a trailer for the full version of an unbelievable horror show."
Ya think? Just because the Sunni have been kicking Shia booty since 680 CE?

’Shia and Sunni Know Perfectly Well Who the Perpetrators [of the Karbala Massacres] Are’
"My point, however, is not America’s role.
Do the 900 Imams know you’re writing this?
It is something I have written about many times: the Arab tendency to blame others and shun the facts. Shia and Sunni know perfectly well who the perpetrators are. There might be ’foreign fighters’ responsible for this, but foreign and Iraqi members of this group come under the heading of ’Arab.’ They also come under the sub-title of ’theological elitism’ – my own euphemism for what cannot be spelled out in print.
You mean like "radical tight-turban spit-flying sharia-shrieking fundamentalism?"
"Shouldn’t the Shia clerics name names and point fingers in the right direction? We are sick and tired of this kind of behavior. We honestly have had enough of it and cannot blame the world for looking at us and wondering if we retain any shred of humanity.
Erm, most of us quit wondering about 30 months ago.
The creed that sanctions blowing up worshipers in mosques (or any other religious venue for that matter, including office buildings since Islam says that work is worship) should be declared the public enemy of humanity.
Been there, did that - Sept 11, 2001. Wanna join us? (Hint: password = WOT)
The UN should vote on that publicly and let us count the votes and identify those who vote against the motion."
France? Oui. Germany? Ja. Belgium? Oui. Spain? Si. Moveon.Org? Yeah, like right on, man! Arafish? Naam. Rachel Corrie? (squish) ...
It’s nice to see there is some rational thought in these parts, but making public sentiments like these more than likely = short life span. But - just maybe - it’s a very very small hopeful sign of cracks in the facade...
Posted by: Sofia || 03/17/2004 2:27:58 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They also come under the sub-title of ’theological elitism’ – my own euphemism for what cannot be spelled out in print.
Come on! You can say it. Wa-hab-ism. There. Wasn't that easy.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/17/2004 14:38 Comments || Top||

#2  So refreshing to read a spot of common sense emanating from the Arab News. Truth be told, few ME opinion shapers will take heed of these words. Hell, the writer doesn't even have the guts to name names for fear of a fataw...sheesh...(nice post 11A5S).
Posted by: Mark || 03/17/2004 15:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Unfortunately, it won't make a dime's worth of difference. It's time to start eliminiating those that don't cooperate. They seem to be the majority, anyway. Maybe the smart ones - the ones that survive - will figure out their 'religion' has some major holes in it, and make the changes that are so glaringly obvious to those of us outside it.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/17/2004 16:40 Comments || Top||

#4  The link is bad, it's here
Posted by: Ptah || 03/17/2004 18:50 Comments || Top||

#5  "the Arab tendency to blame others and shun the facts" is a nod toward the truth, but the rest of the essay is still evasive and devious.
Posted by: Tresho || 03/17/2004 19:25 Comments || Top||

#6  .com, this looks like the Royals are trying to release small doses of truth through the media to try to create/encourage a moderate middle between the Islamokooks and the "Democracy now" rabblerousers. Is this a dissnenting voice that escaped censorship, a token truthteller or an attempt moderate the coming upheaval?
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/17/2004 21:01 Comments || Top||

#7  Ptah, sorry about the link - old dog (me) and new tricks (doing hyperlinks).

SuperHose, I vote for "token truthteller" as in, "government-approved token media appearance of quasi-democratic window-dressing for Western audience so Bush Doctrine (democracy for MidEast) not extended to Exalted Kingdom," somewhat thus:

"Hey, Bandar! What day is it?"
"Fifth Wednesday after al-Fitr, Abdullah, why?"
"Time for our annual anti-fundamentalist pro-democratic media-publicized self-examination! Get Muhammad on it, wouldja?"
Posted by: Sofia || 03/17/2004 23:04 Comments || Top||

Prince Abdullah meets with Assad
Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard held a meeting at his palace here today with Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad. During the meeting, they discussed all situations in the region notably the development of the Palestinian issue and the situation in Iraq, the latest developments at Arab, Islamic and international arenas and the stands of the two countries towards them. Aspects of cooperation between the two countries and ways of enhancing them in all fields were also reviewed. On the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Miteb bin Abdulaziz, the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs; Prince Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, the Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Foreign Minister and Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz, the Vice Governor of Riyadh Region. On the Syrian side, the meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Farouq Al-Shara, Syria’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Dr. Ahmed Nizamuddin and other officials.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 11:36:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Baby Assad making a pilgrimage to kiss the master races ring, pick up his orders and a check.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 12:38 Comments || Top||

#2  "Now every man
To save his clan
Should plot and plan
As best he can..."
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 12:44 Comments || Top||

#3  He needs to talk to Mumar and then make a trip to London to start negotiating to save his hide. I don't see anyway that he can moderate his position while playing landlord of the rabid kennel in Lebanon.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/17/2004 21:05 Comments || Top||

Hundreds of Saudi imams suspended
Saudi Arabia has suspended hundreds of imams "for negligence". Quoting the head of an advisory committee at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Arab News revealed on Wednesday more than 900 imams had been prevented from leading prayers for some time.
Are these the same ones who were being reeducated last year?
After secretly monitoring thousands of sermons over the past few months, ministry spokesman Salih al-Sadlan confirmed the suspensions due to "various flaws and shortcomings" in what imams told mosque-goers.
My question stands: is it a different 900 incompetent spittle-spewers? Or is the same 900 spittle-spewers who got reeducated and then went back to spewing the same old spittle?
A professor of law at Riyadh's Imam Muhammad bin Saud University, al-Sadlan said the advisory committee would hold seminars in every region of the kingdom to correct "frequent mistakes" in Friday sermons.
"It's 'monkeys and pigs,' not 'pigs and monkeys.' And you! Yes, you, Sheikh Mahmoud! You got it as 'monkeys and albatrosses.' You just don't pay attention, do you?"
It was not clear when the Islamic officials were suspended, but the government has tried to rein in those who refuse to toe a moderate line. Saudi Arabia cracked down in 2003 on what it termed "incompetent" Friday preachers, firing a number of them. Authorities also suspended 1357 religious officials from their duties last year. It also ordered them to undergo training in accordance with a programme introduced by the Islamic affairs minister to boost the performance of mosque employees. Those officially suspended from duties included 517 imams, 90 Friday preachers and 750 callers to prayer. They were all instructed to undergo "theological training" to be able to work more efficiently at mosques. Saudi Arabia employs about 80,000 people - including part-time preachers - at tens of thousands of mosques run by the government. The kingdom's religious establishment has come under fire, particularly in the US, for allegedly fuelling the kind of thinking that led to the 11 September 2001 attacks, in which 15 of 19 presumed hijackers were Saudi.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 11:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [360 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Suspended from lamp-posts" would've been better.
Posted by: Mike || 03/17/2004 12:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Say how much spittle could a saudi sheik spew, should a saudi sheik need to seethe?
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 13:08 Comments || Top||

#3  "No, it doesn't bloody come with chips! It's an Albatross, isn't it?"
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 13:31 Comments || Top||

#4  LOL! bad, bad.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 17:44 Comments || Top||

#5  Only 80,000 imams for a population of 19,000,000 Saudis?

Why no wonder they're so confused and angry at the world! The answer is obvious! Nuke the lot.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 23:20 Comments || Top||

Saudi Arabia: Reformers and intellects arrested en masse
Saudi authorities have recently arrested a number of reformers who are being accused of inciting slogans that are, according to the Saudi government, against the national interests of the Kingdom. Sources told Al Bawaba that the reformers were arrested by the authorities to prevent them from forming a local human rights panel. Previous attempts to allow such a panel was rejected by the Saudi government.
"Human rights? We don’t need no steeking human rights!"
The Saudi government had itself formed an official human rights panel to preempt any attempts for the formation of an independent one.
Independence being a totally un-islamic idea.
The detained reformers were among 116 Saudi intellectuals that signed a petition last December demanding the government put a time-table for political reforms aimed at moving the country towards a constitutional monarchy.
Figured they’d get around to rounding them up sooner or later.
According to the Saudi News Agency - a Washington-based website - among the detainees were Mohammed Saeed Al Tayeb, a lawyer and a professor of political-science at the King Fahd University, Matrouk Al Faleh, a professor at the King Saud University, Abdullah Al Hamed, former professor of modern literature at the Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University. The same sources also told Al Bawaba that several of the detainees were nabbed in front of their students [in classrooms], while many others are expected to be arrested in the next few days.
Soon to appear on TV recanting their heretical ideas.
Ali Al Ahmed, head of the Saudi Research Institute, explained to Al Bawaba that many of these detainees were threatened in the past by the government in order to hint them to put an end to their constant demands for reform. “Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Minister of Interior, had personally intervened and threatened to imprison anyone who would ask for reforms. These arrests came after continuous public requests for an independent human rights panel,” Ahmed added. Reformers had previously sent a letter to Crown Prince Abdullah [Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud], asking for his assistance in forming the human tights panel, however all attempts were unsuccessful.
That worked well, didn’t it?
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 11:23:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hope for the reformers' sakes that the Saudi authorities recently updated their building code sections relating to fire protection for the institutions classification (prisons).
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/17/2004 11:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Say what you will, but if the the royals feel a real threat they move pretty efficiently.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 13:10 Comments || Top||

#3  With the house of Saud being forced to move against the Islamokooks, the reformers might be able to gain some real concessions by negotiating with the Central government. Driving the country into chaos isn't the path to Democracy.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/17/2004 21:12 Comments || Top||

Arabs unable to make reforms on their own: Qatar
Arab countries are not ready to carry out reforms from within and may be better off taking a closer look at a US plan to spread democracy in the region, Qatar’s foreign minister said. “The Arab world is not ready to launch its own (reform) initiative due to diverging interests,” said Foreign Minister Hamed bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani in reports published in local newspapers on Tuesday. Thani, who spoke Monday night during a cultural festival in Doha, defended a US plan to unveil a “Greater Middle East” initiative to promote democracy in Arab and Muslim states during the Group of Eight summit of developed nations in June. He called on Arabs to “study the contents and to rationally examine the ideas and objectives” of the US plan. Thani proposed a “strategic partnership between countries of the region and world powers,” based on the US plan to “promote democracy in the world.”

Kuwait said on Tuesday it backed political reform in the Middle East but any changes should be homegrown, in an apparent rebuff to Washington’s “Greater Middle East Initiative”. The initiative calls for internal reforms by Middle Eastern states, where Washington says lack of democracy has fostered Islamic militancy. It has been dismissed by Arab states for failing to mention the Arab-Israeli conflict, which they say is at the heart of the region’s problems. “We believe reforms are necessary and that these reforms should stem from the people and from within the regimes, but they cannot be imposed from outside,” Kuwaiti PM told reporters at parliament.
The homegrown variety will take better, but first you have to grow some. The sticker's freedom of religion, of course. If you leave people to make their own decisions there's no telling what they're going to decide. Devout Muslims, with turbans and automatic weapons, could find themselves living next door to Lutherans or something.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 11:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wow, I guess Qatar really wants our bases in their country bad... maybe we can get them to alter al-jazeera's editorial slant...
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 11:18 Comments || Top||

#2  I love this shit. The dictators and monarchs and assholes running Arab countries are playing PR games - and the bought and paid for press ("We must maintain our access!") is complicit. These meetings and confabs are mere window dressing. They only flail about in their attempts to come up with disingenuous "logic" for why they should not give up control and the opportunity fate has handed them to loot the resources of their home countries - there's certainly no shortage of motivation or effort to hang on.

"diverging interests" and "homegrown" - Riiiiiggghhhtttt!

All Arab "states" are black comedy.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 16:49 Comments || Top||

Kuwait to demand death sentence for Saddam
Kuwait will demand that Saddam Hussein be sentenced to death for crimes against the oil-rich Gulf Arab state, public prosecutor Hamed al-Othman said in remarks published on Tuesday. Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait in 1990-91 and Kuwait acted as the launch pad for the US-led Iraq war that toppled Saddam last year. The former Iraqi leader is in US custody following his capture in December. Othman told the Kuwait Times daily newspaper that the Kuwait government had prepared a long list of charges, supported by evidence, against Saddam. He said the Kuwaiti Council of Ministers recently formed a committee headed by Justice Minister Ahmad Baqer to join Kuwait’s prosecution in Saddam’s trial. The government, which is cooperating with Iraqi prosecutors to arrange for Kuwait’s involvement in a trial of Saddam, has prepared numerous files including hundreds of testimonies by Kuwaiti and other victims of the former Iraqi regime, he added.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 11:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Should Saddam eventually meet his demise on the gallows or in front of a firing squad, then the Kuwaitis will have had the last laugh.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/17/2004 12:28 Comments || Top||

#2  I certainly hope they get the satisfaction of watching him die.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/17/2004 12:54 Comments || Top||

#3  I hope we don't kill Sadam unilaterally, I want to see a multi-culti firing squad.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 13:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Did they submit their request to the U.N. ?
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/17/2004 17:31 Comments || Top||

Nine Suspects in Cole Bombing Arrested
Nine suspects in the 2000 bombing of the destroyer USS Cole have been arrested, the government said Tuesday, including eight who escaped from jail last year.
So they are catching the same guys over and over.
Interior Minister Rashad al-Eleimi said authorities were closing in on two suspects still at large following their April jail break in the southern port city of Aden, a major embarrassment to the Yemeni government. Separately, Yemeni security officials said seven terror suspects were arrested in the last two days in the provinces of Aden and Abyan in the country’s south. They did not provide their names.
"We can say no more"
But the ruling Congress party’s Web site reported that Ali Mohammed Omar Sharbagy, one of two arrested in Abyan, was suspected of having connections to the attack on the U.S. destroyer. Sharbagy is not among the 10 who broke out of jail last year.
There’s always this year, give him time.
Yemeni authorities, meanwhile, beefed up security around foreign embassies and government buildings in the capital San’a Tuesday. A group affiliated with al-Qaida, the Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri, which claimed responsibility for last week’s bomb attacks in Spain, has threatened that Yemen will be its next target. The group reportedly said Yemeni authorities should be punished for detaining militants.
Standard "Dire Revenge" statement, I think it’s a form letter. They just have to fill in the name of the country/person to be threatened.
Officials in southern Abyan region, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the country’s most-wanted man, Jamal al-Badawi, is still at large. He was charged in the United States last year with helping carry out the bombing. Al-Eleimi, the interior minister, said the recapture of the eight suspects was the result of increased cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
Traded for wanted Saudies and a jihadi to be named later.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 10:44:15 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Quite the interesting 'catch and release' program they have over there.
Posted by: Dar || 03/17/2004 14:46 Comments || Top||

#2  ...among the 10 who broke out of jail last year...

This is why killing them right away is better...
Posted by: Hyper || 03/17/2004 22:28 Comments || Top||

New post-Madrid UK poll: War still OK, but lefties prepared to scatter like vermin
Almost half British voters believe it was right to go to war in Iraq despite the Madrid attacks, but most believe we are now more vulnerable to terrorism, a Sky News/YouGov poll says. The poll is the first to be carried out since Thursday’s bombings, and since Spain’s ruling Popular Party lost power in Sunday’s General Election. A total of 1,532 voters were questioned online on Monday. The poll suggests that the Madrid attacks have had little impact on voting intentions. The Conservatives still have 39%, five points ahead of Labour on 34%. The Liberal Democrats have 20%.
Internet pollsters - biased towards the technologically-competent. Unfortunately, this may bias against lefites. Not sure whether YouGov operates to eliminate out bias though, based on respondees’ profiles...

When asked if the US and Britain were right or wrong to take military action against Iraq, 48% said they were right - 41% they were wrong. That result is similar to other YouGov polls in recent months. If, however, there was a terror attack, a fifth of Labour voters at the last election said they could desert the party.
Labour voters: hey terrorists, they’re stimulus-response trainable, like rats!

The poll asked whether a terrorist attack in Britain, like the one in Madrid would make them more likely or less likely to support Labour in the next general election. Eight percent said more likely, 20% said less likely. It seems the war in Iraq is likely to be more of a vote loser with more than a quarter - 27% - of Labour supporters in 2001 saying it could make them switch sides. Eight percent said they would be more likely to vote Labour. When asked whether Britain’s role in the Iraq war had made the country more vulnerable or less vulnerable to attack by Islamic terrorists, 75% said it made the country more vulnerable, just 1% said less vulnerable, while 22% said it made no difference.
There you have it, Bin Laden - because so many left-wing voters are cowardly scum who run from threats at the first opportunity, looks like Britain’s a prime target for ya! Mmmm, malleable electorates!
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 10:25:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [427 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How pathetic.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 10:27 Comments || Top||

#2  From Sky - prob made up. (Joke) Don't panic. if Labour don't get in then the Tories will, and the Tories are warmongerers to the core.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 10:36 Comments || Top||

#3  ...if Labour don't get in then the Tories will...

I'd like to be so sure. One good terror campaign and the Lib Dems could easily be up level with the Tories and Labour. In a no outright majority situation, it's possible/probable we'd end up with a Labour/Lib Dem coalition. Or there could be a Tory annihilation: Labour just holding the inner cities and the Lib Dems taking the combined rural constituencies' left-wing & appeasers' vote. Who'd be laughing then? Not me...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 10:47 Comments || Top||

#4  Too many staunchly conservative rural constituencies exist for this scenario.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 10:52 Comments || Top||

#5  There are enough rural constituencies with strong Lib Dem challenges to make it happen if large-scale defection from Labour occurred.

Besides, it seems the Spanish fell primarily because the otherwise apathetic heaved themselves out of their recliner chairs and voted. If half the UK's non-voters were impelled to vote by a terrorist atrocity in the UK, and most of them voted for the only anti-war / appeasement party (Lib Dem), that would transform the predicted results, wouldn't it?

I'm not saying the Tories wouldn't win in the event of terrorist attacks. I hope they would, but I'm envisaging some worst-case scenarios here.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 11:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Fair point. Still, I do think we're a way from the Lib Dems winning owt. With recent events, however, I would agree that we can't really rule anything out.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 11:11 Comments || Top||

#7  ...I'm not suggesting I'm hoping for terrorist attacks in order to bring in a Tory government, before anyone gets the wrong idea. Or that terrorist attacks would influence voting patterns at all. Ideally they would be able to be ignored by the electorate, as all the candidates would have a uniformly robust attitude towards fighting such crimes. After all, there are a lot who aren't pussies on the Labour benches. Can't say the same for the Lib Dems.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 11:18 Comments || Top||

#8  British Parliamentary Politics (1204) Bulldog and Howard UK, Co-Professors

Uhmm, okay if I audit this class?
Posted by: badanov || 03/17/2004 11:47 Comments || Top||

#9  1. 80% of Labour voters say they stay with labor. This glass is mainly full.

2. They dont say if theyd go Lib Dem or Tory. If you assume it would all wusses saying "we must leave Iraq" it should all go to Lib Dems. If OTOH, its just folks saying "the govt aint done its job" they might go Tory. Here in Rburg we tend to think grand strategy - at least here in the US lots of common folk think of it as a homeland security issue - i presume the common folks in the UK see it similarly

3. Even assuming a Lib Dem revival - what would lots of new MP's do to the makeup of the Lib Dems?? Arent alot of the rural Lib Dems really old centrist Liberals, not funky new lefties? Would a huge influx of rural lib dems dilute the lefties in the party?
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/17/2004 11:50 Comments || Top||

#10  I'm sitting in the back row with you badanov, sophmores are welcome.

As to the poll, I'd say minds are made up. With lots of suspicions on when, not if the UK gets hit. I think the only reason they havn't is due to a dilligent UK. I think it's the same here in USA.

Of topic, KVI Seattle radio will have a live interview with Brian Suits(?) any min. He's a local talkshow host on KVI that was mobilised for duty in Iraq. He's a bootstraps army LT. Cool guy
Posted by: Lucky || 03/17/2004 12:01 Comments || Top||

#11  Interesting points, LH

Here in Rburg we tend to think grand strategy - at least here in the US lots of common folk think of it as a homeland security issue - i presume the common folks in the UK see it similarly

Indeed. But didn't the myopic homeland security perspective do in for Spain? I may be being presumptuous here, but the Spanish who turned out to vote and swung the election were the ones who have little political savvy, and no idea about long term strategies, particularly as regards the WoT. That's why they weren't intending to vote. Emotionally-driven voters would make mistakes.

80% of Labour voters say they stay with labor. This glass is mainly full

That's an astonishing thing to say! These people are basically admitting that if terrorists choose to hit the UK (and the bomber can always eventually get through, if determined enough), they will oblige them by switching allegiances, and, like the Spanish, I'd bet my bottom dollar most would go for appeasement rather than stronger confrontation. Maybe I'm wrong, but the next election would be a three-horse race, with the opposers' vote would be split Labour/Tory (assuming Labour's not had a regime change) whilst the Lib Dems would have a monopoly on the appeasers' vote. Swing and apathetic voters with myopia are going to go appeasement just to stop the hurtin'. Try explaining to them they have to endure more hurt...

Would a huge influx of rural lib dems dilute the lefties in the party

The nature of the frustrated Lib Dem wannabe MP is not something I'm too familiar with, but I'd hazard a guess that ther aren't a bunch of dusty old Disraeli types who'd rise to the new challenge. As far as I'm concerned, the entire Lib Dem party is a bunch of misguided, nanny-statist, political opportunists whose idea of an enlightened national defence strategy would be unilateral disarmanent.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 12:37 Comments || Top||

#12  I think its significant that the poll didn't mention where the 20% of labor defectors would go. If they would go more to the Left, you can bet your bottom dollar/pound that this would be mentioned. God forbid that they'd go with the Tories and demand the return of the Iron Lady...
Posted by: Ptah || 03/17/2004 13:56 Comments || Top||

#13  The Brits are maybe the only population in the world where the pacifists are the liars, they really will fight.

How many signers of the Oxford Pledge ending up dying in WWII? (AKA as Dad sez... the Big One)
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 14:38 Comments || Top||

#14  "I may be being presumptuous here, but the Spanish who turned out to vote and swung the election were the ones who have little political savvy, and no idea about long term strategies, particularly as regards the WoT."

But thats my point - they werent voting for the left over the right - they were voting for the "outs" over the "ins"

If (heaven forbid) there were to be a terrorist blast of Madrid scale in central London would the average UK voter say "ah, its all cause of Iraq, id better vote for Lib Dem" or would they say "argh, Labours really screwed up, time to vote Tory"?

BTW, wrt to Disraeli - surely you meant "Gladstone types" since Disraeli WAS a Tory.

The odd thing of course is that the Soc Dems who went on to merge with the Liberals WERE right wing Labour, who fled the sinking ship of the loony leftist like Tony Benn et al.

(Pardon my obsessive interest in UK politics, I find it endlessly fascinating)
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/17/2004 15:05 Comments || Top||

#15  Me like Brits. Me no understand your political system though. The only thing I know is Blair is our friend for now, and that's enough for me. Although, I wonder, what would have happened if Ronald Ray-gun and Margaret Thatcher had been leading the free world around 9/11? I'd hate to be a terrorist that's for sure. Could someone give this Yank a simplisme lesson on Torrie, Labo-with-a-u-r? I think I can figure out the Lib Dem part ;-)
Posted by: AllahHateMe || 03/17/2004 15:48 Comments || Top||

#16  the ginger liberal, goes by the name of kennady, now there is a man of proud status,proud of being a true lefty cunt. If i saw him in the street i'd run over and start k..... sorry dreaming of thrahing him again
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 16:12 Comments || Top||

#17  AHM damn straight. I still say we should have leased the Shitty Kitty to the RN for a couple of weeks. As it was... the British Sea Harriers got the best heat seeking missle in the world. It was a good thing.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 17:50 Comments || Top||

#18  ...would the average UK voter say "ah, its all cause of Iraq, id better vote for Lib Dem" or would they say "argh, Labours really screwed up, time to vote Tory"

That would be the fundamental difference between the opposers and the appeasers, I suppose. Not really a question I can answer. Perhaps someone needs to commission a poll asking such questions as: "is compromise with terrorists something our government should consider?" etc.

wrt to Disraeli - surely you meant "Gladstone types" since Disraeli WAS a Tory.

D'oh! Yes, I realised my mistake there soon after posting. Though I think like Gladstone, Disraeli flirted with both sides early on. But I might be wrong there too. I know you know your British political history much better than I do!

You can keep tracks on the odious activities of the Lib Debs through LibDemWatch.

Yes, I really don't like 'em...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 17:59 Comments || Top||

#19  Ship - "the pacifists are the liars, they really will fight"
Are you talking about the Mother of All LLL Battles:
Giant Puppet vs Giant Puppet?

I can see the future history now...
"On the plains of Phillipi Kursk Hyde Park, 'Bush the Warmongering Liar' met 'Chainey the Warprofittering Liar' - and it was an horrendous sight, macrame and cardboard pink tanks lay crushed and burning, strewn over the once scenic landscape like so many broken toys..."

[help me out here, folks...]
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 18:06 Comments || Top||

#20  Sorry: ...profiteering... - Sheesh.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 18:07 Comments || Top||

#21  AHM - Tories aka Conservatives are right wing tho tend towards the authoritarian. Examples: Thatcher, and Churchill.

Labour are the traditional left-wing socialists, though of late, under Blair, they've tried to take the middle road, with successes electorally and economically. More pro-European than the Tories, who tend towards the Euro-sceptic.

Lib Dems - opportunistic, mainly to the left of Labour nowadays. High tax, cloud dwelling idiotarians. Best ignored.

.com LOL! I'd imagine similar scenes if the antiwar folks had run into a column of Chelsea Pensioners.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 18:52 Comments || Top||

#22  LOL dot. But it's like your post of yesterday, linking the happy Meme of the Day to the libs. It's not a new thing... in 1936 happy pink marching morons were everywhere... but when the nut cuttin time came a lot of the happy youth were flying Hurricanes and manning the AA batteries.

I mean it was cool to be a commie for awhile but it was way the bejesus cooler to fly a Spitfire.

I'm certain that's clear.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 18:58 Comments || Top||

#23  It's late and I'm in tears. Oh man!
Posted by: Lucky || 03/18/2004 0:29 Comments || Top||

Blair Says World Leaders Must Confront Terrorism or Lose Battle
via Bloomberg
U.K. prime Minister Tony Blair said the organization al-Qaeda is waging war on democracy and Western life, and world leaders need to cooperate in fighting terrorism. "The threat is these fanatics will stop at nothing," said Blair, answering questions in the U.K. Parliament. "The only choice we have is to confront it or be defeated by it." Train bombings last week in Madrid killed 201 and injured more than 1,500. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose Socialist Party unexpectedly won Spain’s election on Sunday, has said he will remove the nation’s troops from Iraq, and suggested that violent tactics such as the U.S.-led "shock and awe" invasion of the Middle Eastern country may provoke more terrorist attacks. "We must work together internationally," said Blair. "There is no way of appeasing these people." He added that terrorist attacks, including those on New York’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, occurred before the war in Iraq, and it would be "completely and hopelessly naive" to think that a withdrawal from Iraq by U.K. troops would lessen the threat of an attack.
Blair is the most eloquent advocate in the Wot. Stating bluntly that terrorism must be confronted, rejecting appeasement, and reminding the twits of the timeline are timely examples. Prodi and Solana should stay home, STFU, and just send Tony on tour.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 8:22:01 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [418 views] Top|| File under:

#1  well, terrorism should be defeated, but that will not happen by military means solely.. If only the UK & the US would start to acknowledge this..
Posted by: lyot || 03/17/2004 8:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Did you have another solution in mine, lyot?
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 8:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Balls. Get into'em. They don't like it up 'em you know. If only TB did a better job of locking up the loonies!
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 8:41 Comments || Top||

#4  lyot is right. Terror cannot be defeated by military means only. Which is why Bush's strategy to aggressively go after terror cashflows, very strong committment to build democracy in capitalism in Iraq is so critical. Very important for people to point just how multifacted and comprehensive Bush's strategy is.

Thanks Lyot!!!
Posted by: ne1469 || 03/17/2004 8:45 Comments || Top||

#5  Peace, love and understanding are percieved as weakness by Islamists lyot, So F** 'em.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/17/2004 8:50 Comments || Top||

#6  I think what she's saying is, we need to care more about the terrorists, to win their hearts & minds, to try to understand why they hate us, to feel their pain. Being mean to them just makes them more angry.
Posted by: John C. Lately || 03/17/2004 8:52 Comments || Top||

#7  once a terrorist , always a terrorist.. We are not going to reform these lunatics into proper citizens..I acknowledge that the prism through which most of you see this issue is blind force : only this will make them comply..I fear this is usefull, but only to a certain extent..You can force straying governements (Syria, Libia, Iran) that need to display rational behavior and logos.. But you can't make these terrorist comply, who are all stuck in there mythologist paradigms..In the end, the succes of OBL in recruiting terrorist, lies in perceived injustices.. Take away that perception, because in the end, this is much more a war of ideology then a military war.. My .02 cents
Posted by: lyot || 03/17/2004 9:18 Comments || Top||

#8  lyot: I don't think there's any way to relieve them of their perceived injustices--because they are PERCEIVED injustices, having much more to do with how they are raised in their families of origin and their relationships with their fathers and mothers. As you say, they are all stuck in "their mythologist paradigms." Blind force isn't the answer, but who said it has to be blind? Who says the force we're applying IS blind? Anyway, if they got their wish, and pushed all the Jews, who they blame for everything under the sun: i.e., "my underwear's too tight--it's the Jews who did it", they would simply move on to fight this or that faction among themselves. To fight against a perceived "injustice" helps them FEEL less helpless in the societies they come from, which, essentially, emasculate them as a cultural norm. Their misguided "ideology" is the only thing standing between them and psychological annihilation. They'll never give it up. Do you understand? My 2 cents worth.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 9:35 Comments || Top||

#9  Also, the West is a very handy target, because they can FEEL so much bigger and badder when they're united against us, than when they're fighting among themselves. The fact that "jihad" failed in Iraq really did a number on those who went there to help their Arab "brothers" because the way the Iraqis treated them, and Iraq's empty talk went against the ideology that holds them together. It's a thin thread, and force, unfortunately, is what they understand best. I think we should keep applying force. We'll be sorry if we don't.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 9:39 Comments || Top||

#10  take away the radical Mullahs, Clerics,Hook Hands,Imans n all other religious kill the west shit spouting fools,poisen them slowly if need be,wouldn't it be nice if they all started droping dead over the next few years.take away the big mouthed religious nutters and the jobs done, bull doze any troublesome mosques too,starting with finsbury park mosque....while hook hand is in it. Metal hook vs Big Fuckin Dozer Blade, Call upon Allan if you like Hooky but you ain't gonna preach your way out this!
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 9:40 Comments || Top||

#11  If Tony Blair wants to know what a terrorist looks like he should stand in front of the mirror.BTW if he is so concerned about Liberation why doesnt he return Northern Ireland to Ireland instead of having it as part of the UK?
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/17/2004 10:04 Comments || Top||

#12  : well, you say they are perceived injustices but is that so ? The dire social & economical circumstances in these Arabic countries (except for the happy few) are probably very real for these people..The blame is put on the West and modernism, and that is the perception we need to fight..Because the more succesfull it gets, the more OBL will be succesfull in recruiting..You can alter perceptions, but it's a slow process and will not happen on the short term..But you should work on it, while you are also working parallell, applying force to root out the terrorists
Posted by: lyot || 03/17/2004 10:05 Comments || Top||

#13  "well, terrorism should be defeated, but that will not happen by military means solely.. If only the UK & the US would start to acknowledge this.."

Be thankful for the autonomic nervous system; without it, I'm not too sure you'd be bright enough to breathe.

It's evidently escaped your notice so far, but much, MUCH more than military action has been brought to bear on the problem: improved intelligence-sharing, cooperation among law-enforcement agencies worldwide, law-enforcement assistance to nations whose resources are limited, diplomatic pressure on nations reluctant to help in tracking down the terrorists, international cooperation in drying up the terrorists' financial assets, pressure on tyrannical regimes to reform, all of this and more is being done right now and has been since 9/11.

The notion that we are relying "solely" on military action is ignorant and asinine. You need to get off your lazy ass and start paying more attention to what is going on, and less attention to whatever political propagandists you've been listening to.
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/17/2004 10:10 Comments || Top||

#14  If Tony Blair wants to know what a terrorist looks like he should stand in front of the mirror.

Posted by: Lil Dhimmi || 03/17/2004 10:10 Comments || Top||

#15  @ Dave D .. Sorry for the confusion, but I'm aware of all these examples of cooperation you are giving..To me, these are all military means, intended to curb the terrorists themself..But not so much helpfull in altering the perception of the ordinary muslim.. Therefore, a different approach is needed..
Posted by: lyot || 03/17/2004 10:15 Comments || Top||

#16  Lil Dhimmi good comeback lol. Still think Blair should stand in front of the mirror
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/17/2004 10:17 Comments || Top||

#17  Lyot... hmmm are you just chosing to ignore that Bush is fighting this war on multiple fronts because it doesn't gel with your ideology that bush is stupid and evil?

Let's see. He's created 2 democracies where we had a dictatorship and a theorcracy. He's got our governemnt and the governments around the world to crack down on charities for the terrorists and freeze their funds where we could to the tune of hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of dollars. He's shared intelligence with other countries that have lead the the arrest of thousands of terrorist agents. He's reorganized our entire government to unify the FBI, CIA and other homeland defense organizations so they can better work together. He has drastically increased funding for homeland defense. He has changed the laws to make it more difficult for terrorist to sneak into the country (fingerprinting people from other countries and changing policy on student visas. He put huge amounts of dipplomatic pressure on Pakistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia which has resulted in them turning on Al Queda. He is training forcdes in the phillipines and indonesia to help the locals build a competent force to combat islamic militants. He has send the military into Africa to track down and destroy terrorist camps and new infrastructure being built. At the same time they are building infrastructure and humanitarian projects in Africa to promote good will. He has started a new Arab language network to combat the anti-us/extremist propoganda in the middle east as well as several arab language publications. I can go on because the list of fronts he's fighting this battle on is endless.

You simply choose not to accept the truth because your ideology can't handle facts. It's so frustrating to hear people like you who spout out rhetoric about how all Bush does is military force because you are either a) ignorant or b)intellectually dishonest.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 10:23 Comments || Top||

#18  To me, these are all military means, intended to curb the terrorists themself..But not so much helpfull in altering the perception of the ordinary muslim..

An M-16 pointed between their eyes usually does alter their perception quite a bit.

Lil Dhimmi good comeback lol. Still think Blair should stand in front of the mirror

Talk to the hand, okay. Don't look at me, look at the hand. That's all you're going to talk to.

Posted by: Lil Dhimmi || 03/17/2004 10:24 Comments || Top||

#19  Antiwar, that tony blair remark was assinine and shows the level of depravity you've sunk to. That's why Lil Dhimmi didn't bother to give you a more detailed rebuttle. Over the top assinine comments like yours don't deserve one.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 10:29 Comments || Top||

#20  Lil Dhimmi another good comeback what a clever guy/girl? you are(sarcasm)
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/17/2004 10:31 Comments || Top||

#21  Damn Proud American asinine only has one s in it not two.
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/17/2004 10:35 Comments || Top||

#22  Like I SAID WhatEVER.
Posted by: Lil Dhimmi || 03/17/2004 10:35 Comments || Top||

#23  Lil Dhimmi God your good(sarcasm)
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/17/2004 10:39 Comments || Top||

#24  antiwar, I was just trying to stress that your remarks were those made by an ass.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 11:05 Comments || Top||

#25  (YAWN) No sarcasm intended.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/17/2004 11:06 Comments || Top||

#26  I think Lyot has an entirely myopic view of the Bush effort I do think that we need to step up our propaganda machine in the Arab world - I DON'T think that we need to be apologizing for being rich and successful while they are not - but I do think that we need to point out that their current condition is a direct result of mis-management on the part of THEIR rulers and their 7th C world.
Posted by: rabidfox || 03/17/2004 11:09 Comments || Top||

#27  lyot: Of course, we have to address root causes...

That's why we're in Iraq, draining the Mideast swamp. If only leftist anklebiters would start to acknowledge this.
Posted by: someone || 03/17/2004 11:16 Comments || Top||

#28  Hmmm, I always though of them more as pillow biters...
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 11:20 Comments || Top||

#29  "..But not so much helpfull in altering the perception of the ordinary muslim.. Therefore, a different approach is needed.."

Based on the totality of what I've seen since 9/11, I have to conclude that ordinary Muslims don't have "perceptions": they have delusions.

Those delusions are informed, in part, by daily doses of hate speech spewed out by the propaganda organs of the repressive dictatorships in which they are held captive.

Those delusions are also informed by fanatical devotion to a hateful, paranoid, insecure, control-freak deity who promises them a jism-bespattered, pornographic paradise in which they will be allowed to spend eternity copulating with their allotment of 72 virgins, if only they will "martyr" themselves in the process of killing large numbers of us "infidels".

We didn't cause their "perceptions" to be what they are: THEY caused them to be what they are. And the ONLY thing we can do about those "perceptions" is to give Muslims sufficient motivation to correct them.
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/17/2004 12:21 Comments || Top||

#30  Antiwar - I think Lil Dhimmi was mocking your retreat from debate comment from yesterday.
Posted by: Raj || 03/17/2004 12:41 Comments || Top||

#31  what the west needs to understand, and especially the love they brother left, is that we were under attack before 9-11 and wil be under attack tomarrow. the only differnce is that before 9-11 it was the innocents being killed in masse. now also it is the terrorists who are being killed in masse.

if the US went isolationist and retreated from strategy's consistently employed for the last 50 years europe would be wide open and at the mercy of the terrrorist even more so than they are now. it is about survival and we all must stand to the challenge.
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 12:42 Comments || Top||

#32  Hey antiwar, run along and play now, and let the grownups talk.
Posted by: docob || 03/17/2004 13:06 Comments || Top||

#33  Odd Duck indeed.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 13:19 Comments || Top||

#34  anitwar - you never bring any stimulating posts with you...you spew propaganda and quite frankly your post elicit a big (YAWN)...you could at least post seem semi-intellegent (and not grammar intellegence!) responses that try to prove whatever point you have.
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 13:27 Comments || Top||

#35  I can go on because the list of fronts he's fighting this battle on is endless.

yes, but in my opinion there is a discrepancy between the the two levels. There has been more emphasis on force, and less on persuasion of the moderate Muslims..In my view, you can't ultimately convince the muslims if you don't alter their negative perception of the US..The war on Iraq wasn't a big succes in this regard, if you look at the opinion of moderate Muslims in the region..I acknowledge the recent efforts to start an Arab TV station, but this will not suffice..We will have to drag the Muslim world into modernity, and this will be no easy task..

Posted by: lyot || 03/17/2004 15:01 Comments || Top||

#36  One way to help the moderate Muslims is to prohibit religious congregations in the US from accepting more than, say 30k a year in non US funds. This would close many of the radical madrassahs in the US, however it might also shutter a lot of mosques too.
How about this, we start supporting the organizations of ex Moslems who are trying to spread the word about how Islam is inherently evil.
Posted by: mhw || 03/17/2004 16:40 Comments || Top||

#37  lyot: You still have not answered my question. HOW do you intend to persuade moderate Muslims away from their typical negative mindsets against the US?

Every day they are fed propaganda that tells them differently. Progpaganda from their mullahs who tell them that they're not "real men" or "real mulsims" if they don't do such-and-such against the West, and conversely, if they DO fulfill their "duty" and blow up innocent people, they will get respect, Allah's favor (Allah = a sorry-ass father substitute), the eternal sex thing, money for their families from Hamas, etc. etc.

I outlined in a previous post that Arab perceptions are manufactured in early childhood, and are deeply rooted in problems with dysfunctional families and a tendency toward conformity in order to compensate. Much of the poverty they experience is because of their horribly corrupt governments, and much of it is because of their own choices and the failings of their culture.

How will you correct those mindsets when the complex process of socialization is what fuels those motivations? Peer pressure is a very big deal in their world. Reread #29 and #5. Unhappily, there's a lot of truth in those posts.

Now, for the record, how many terrorist-leaning Arabs do you converse with on a regular, or semi-regular basis? What country are they from? How much education do they have? Some of the worst are the most "educated." Do you have any understanding, first-hand, of how they process information? Of how infantile many of them are? How irrational they are? How much they lie? Their unashamed ease with disregarding facts that oppose their cherished beliefs? How inconsistent they are? How immoral they are?

You have to understand, that, by and large, they rely on EMOTION to convince not only themselves, but also to try and convince Westerners that the US (and the Jews) are to blame for everything. They are a blame-oriented culture in many respects. They do not, and cannot, look at their own shortcomings and inconsistencies. To do so would be un-Muslim. Personally, I have found them to be quite irresponsible in the thinking department.

So, again, WHAT APPROACH ARE YOU ADVOCATING FOR in altering Arab perceptions of the West? Have you been successful in altering perceptions? If so, why not let us in on it.

Meanwhile, force (with all its counterparts) is critical. The moderate Muslims will understand anyway.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 16:49 Comments || Top||

#38  We're not going to convince "moderate Muslims". They have to be convince themselves. Hence the development of an Iraqi cadre.
Posted by: someone || 03/17/2004 18:06 Comments || Top||

#39  #35 - you are way off in regards to muslims/arabs...they understand strength and only strength. clinton made us a joke in their eyes and ultimatley certain countries pursued a policy a confrontation through proxy - terrorists - agaisnt the US. they may not like or love us but they do have a new profound respect for the United States. like this or not it is not your choice, the arab mentality is really something from centries past and no offer of peace and love from the west will change the die hards.
iran/syria/sods/pakland are lucky i am not prez - i would've nuked them on 9-12. our enemies have been known for sometime, it is just the people of the US did not want to admit it and clinton was consumed with his own personal problems.
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 18:50 Comments || Top||

#40  "How much education do they have? Some of the worst are the most "educated." Do you have any understanding, first-hand, of how they process information? Of how infantile many of them are? How irrational they are? How much they lie? Their unashamed ease with disregarding facts that oppose their cherished beliefs? How inconsistent they are? How immoral they are?"

Waitaminnit... I'm confused: are you talking about terrorist Arabs, or about Deaniacs?

All kidding aside, one thing that has REALLY struck me since being awakened on 9/11 is how much similarity there is between Islamists and our own radical Left- not just the extract of your post I quoted, but the overarching role of pure, blind belief in the two enterprises, as well.
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/17/2004 19:45 Comments || Top||

#41  If there are any "moderate Muslims" they are few and far between. I continue to get the impression that the vast majority of Muslims living in the west are sympathetic to their terrorist brethren. For example, early in 2004 Imam Fawaz Damra of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, Ohio, was indicted on terrorism-related charges. The Center's board of trustees then attempted to suspend him until the legal charges are settled. The great majority of the congregation overwhelmingly voted against the action of their own board, to retain Damra is his public position of trust.
From PBS
""[Muslims should be] directing all rifles at the first and last enemy of the Islamic nation, and that is the sons of monkeys and pigs, the Jews." Fawaz Damra, 1991

"I regret saying what I said in that tape because that is not what my faith teaches me, not what civilized society stands for." Fawaz Damra, 2001 Even Damra's disavowal of what he said in 1991 does not ring true.
Muslims have their own duty towards the truth, none can force them to change their minds. The rest of us have Rantburg, etc.
Posted by: Tresho || 03/17/2004 20:30 Comments || Top||

Re #41
I think Damra probably did change his mind a lot between 1991 and 2001. Assume he's telling the truth about that unless you have some good reason to think otherwise.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/17/2004 22:12 Comments || Top||

#43  Islam is NOT a "religion". Islam is a "cult". There are thousands of points to justify this distinction, and I'm not going to go through them (again) tonight. The point I want to make is that Islam is THE cult of excuses. Everything that's wrong is someone else's fault, because they're not Muslim. T he entire cult is based on excusing Muslims from the Commandments of the God they supposedly follow - the God of Abraham.

God said, "Thou shall not Kill" - but Mohammed said it's all right to kill kufrs and jews and all manner of lesser people, just not Muslims.

God said, "Thou shall not commit adultery" - but it's all right, according to Mohammed, to have ten wives, even six-year-old girls. And if that isn't enough, it's also all right to bugger little boys, since that's not technically adultery.

God said "Thou shall not steal" - but Mohammed said it's ok to take from kufrs and jews and all manner of lesser people, by combat if necessary. All that is "theirs" by right belongs to Muslims, anyway, so it's ok to take it from them.

God said "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor", but Mohammed says it's ok to lie to kufrs and jews and the other "monkeys and pigs" that live on the earth, because they're not Muslims.

Excuses. The rest of the world has to be slain, because they don't worship as Muslims do. "GOD" spoke to Mohammed last, so only the words Mohammed heard are to be followed - the rest is a waste of time. "We don't have to listen. We don't have to conform. You can't ask us to do anything not approved by Islam". Excuses. "God promised us the whole world, and said we have to take it by force", so the rest of us have to accept slavery. God said so, according to Mohammed.

No freedom. No individual thought. Everything must be secondary to Islam - that "submission" thing. Can't have anyone else coming up with any better ways to do things - that's against the precepts of Islam. Of course, if that bunch over there doesn't think the same way we do, or pray the same way we do, they're heretics, and are to be killed, just like kufrs and jews.

Islam has been perverted into a death cult, where human life has no worth, only "submission to Allah" has any value. That is NOT the will of MY God, and I will not surrender. I will fight. I do believe I'll have to take a chapter from their book, however: if you fight against me and mine, or try to keep me and mine from fighting, you are part of the problem. We will solve the problem as we feel necessary. If that means destroying you, whatever you believe makes no difference - YOU WILL BE DESTROYED.

Islam has repeated that it revels in death: then let it die. We, the people of the TRUE GOD revel in life, and life dedicated to our God. Death is HIS Domain, not ours. Those who wish to take this from God's hands are our enemies, and must be destroyed. We can do it by destroying their bodies, by destroying their culture of hate, by destroying their cult of excuses, or by destroying everything that represents what they are. Whatever it takes, in whatever form, is what we MUST do to remain free. It'll be a long fight. I'm ready to spend the next 40 years being a part of it. But there can only be one outcome, if free men are to continue to exist - the cult of excuses must be totally and completely crushed, and those that participate in it destroyed. There is no other answer.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/17/2004 23:17 Comments || Top||

#44  lyot: Actually, YOU said "perceived injustices" in your post #7. I agree that there are things that are perceived as injustices by the Muslims, but thought it was funny that you questioned and then criticized your own point of view .

Dave D.: I think they're about the same too, which is more than a little scary.

Old Patriot: Yep. I totally agree! And did you also know that Mohammed was kicked out of a Byzantine Orthodox Christian seminary, originally, for his unrepented-of weird beliefs? It was then that he went on a rampage "converting" people at the point of the sword, engaging in his adulteries, his pedophilia, murder, etc. He WAS a cult leader! How 'bout that?! Islam is a cult of chaos too, along with all the other junk. Thanks for your elegant post. Very cool. And very encouraging.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 23:42 Comments || Top||

#45  OP. way cool
Posted by: Lucky || 03/18/2004 0:48 Comments || Top||

Bobbie Boss: London Terror Attack ’Inevitable’
via CNSNews
London - A terrorist attack on Britain by Islamic militants is inevitable, the chief of London’s police force said Tuesday in comments backed up by the city’s mayor.

Speaking to a press conference, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens said that terrorists have already been caught trying to attack London since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. "Since Sept. 11 there have been 520 arrests, half have been charged with an offense and there are 90 about to go through to court," he said. "We do know that we have actually stopped terrorist attacks happening in London but, as the prime minister and home secretary have said, there is an inevitability that some sort of attack will get through -- but my job is to make sure that does not happen."

He was speaking in the wake of bombings in Madrid that killed more than 200 people last week. After suspicion initially fell on domestic terror group ETA, evidence was found pointing to al Qaeda links. Spain and Britain have been the main U.S. allies in the war in Iraq.

In Britain, patrols on subways and trains have been stepped up, and London police are using undercover officers to guard the Underground or "Tube" for the first time. But Stevens warned that the public must be vigilant everywhere "We are not just talking about the Tube and the rail system," Stevens said. "We are talking about London in general. We are talking about buses, nightclubs, pubs and roads. We know from experience in Bali that al Qaeda attack clubs. There is a need for everyone to be alert." Stevens said that a major attack "will not be easy to handle" but that police are drawing on more than three decades of experience tackling terror groups such as the IRA.

Earlier, U.K. Home Secretary David Blunkett said it was "quite likely" a terror attack is currently being planned against Britain. "We are at no greater risk now than we were before the World Trade Center attack, because they had already planned for it, before the Afghanistan war, before the Iraqi conflict and before last Thursday," Blunkett told the BBC.

Echoing Stevens’ statements, London Mayor Ken Livingstone told the press conference that it would be "miraculous" if the British capital did not suffer an attack. "We have known all along there are people trying to come here and take lives. Everything we have done has been simply to protect life. There are people out there who will take life in the hundreds and thousands," Livingstone said. Livingstone said, however, that London is one of the safest cities in the world and pointed out that most potential terror targets are covered by police CCTV cameras.
I hope the Brits get a pass, but with bad actors like Hamza, it’s not likely. I was surprised that "Red Ken" didn’t blame Bush... then it hit me: He would welcome an attack. Then he could blame Bush in a setting of high drama (with hair mussed and some charcoal rubbed on his cheek for effect) and do his best Rudy Giuliani bit... Methinks he dreams of bigger things on his horizon.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 7:51:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [355 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I just hope the fact I work right next to the biggest Mosque in London may save me. I may, however, be crushed in the mass lynchings that follow.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 8:03 Comments || Top||

#2  join in the mass lynching that follows,hell if i were you i'd have a high power cross bow and a supply of large rocks at hand in my office desk just ready and waiting for the seige
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 8:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Good thinking.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 8:12 Comments || Top||

#4  Do they broadcast the call to prayers from that Moskkk? Since it's your workplace, you're not likely to endure it, but there's nothing quite like having the Fajr (the first of the 5 daily prayers) called at about 3:30 AM - and the volume set to wake the dead. Something I would only wish on a Muslim.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 8:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Do they broadcast the call to prayers from that Moskkk? Since it's your workplace, you're not likely to endure it, but there's nothing quite like having the Fajr (the first of the 5 daily prayers) called at about 3:30 AM - and the volume set to wake the dead. Something I would only wish on a Muslim.

Maybe thats why Islamos are always so cranky. Not enough sleep.
Posted by: badanov || 03/17/2004 8:46 Comments || Top||

#6  I pesonally have never heard it, so presume they don't - Regent's Park Mosque btw. I once slept on a roof in Istanbul next to a massive mosque - the one in the postcards - only to be woken in the depths of night by some crazed mullah wailing at a 1000 decebels in my ear. Truly frightening.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 9:12 Comments || Top||

#7  If it was pre-dawn, then it was the Fajr! The first time is a singular experience.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 23:25 Comments || Top||

Wargame simulates North Korean missile launch on US
Hat tip: Drudge. Edited for brevity.
In a war game run here [Schriever AFB, CO] Tuesday, a country resembling North Korea launched six ballistic missiles at the United States and put to the test an antimissile system modeled after the one being developed by the Bush administration.
"He resembled North Korea, but it dark and he was wearing a hat."
The size of the salvo threatened to exhaust the U.S. arsenal of long-range interceptors, which was set at six in the game. When one of the interceptors missed, role players who were standing in for chains of authority stretching from the U.S. president to firing crews were confronted with the possibility that they might not have enough remaining interceptors to save both Anchorage and Boise, Idaho, and would have to choose one of them to protect. As things turned out, all the enemy missiles were destroyed in flight -- two were hit very early after launch by an airborne laser system -- and a Sophie’s choice was averted.
You have the new high score! Please enter your initials: _ _ _
A missile fired from North Korea could reach the northwestern United States in 25 to 30 minutes. But detecting it and figuring out where it is headed, then computing a course for an interceptor, could require eight minutes or so, officials said. Only one U.S. interceptor was still available for firing. If the interceptors already airborne missed, U.S. authorities would have to choose between saving either Anchorage or Boise with the one that remained. Officials said that in real life, factors such as population size would weigh in such a decision. In this case, after the Anchorage-bound missile was hit, the remaining interceptor was fired for extra measure at the Boise missile, although that proved unnecessary.
Save Alaska Paul! Besides, a Boise strike would take care of all those neo-Nazi camps.
Many more details at story link--which is refreshingly free of my pithy comments.
Posted by: Dar || 03/17/2004 12:45:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Population size, voting trends..... Hmmmmm. What if it was a choice between Anchorage and Seattle... now wouldn't that be a fun choice.

If I were a Donk I'd be voting for many, many more inteceptors.

Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 13:24 Comments || Top||

#2  A missile fired from North Korea could reach the northwestern United States in 25 to 30 minutes.

A retaiatory strike from our boomers in the S. China sea would reach Pyongyang in about 10 minutes. The ROK and the PRC then go absolutely apeshit, for different reasons. Japan looks nervous. Which way is the wind blowing?
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 13:45 Comments || Top||

#3  More from WaPo: In the scenario prepared for the journalists, a fictitious nation of Midland, in the Sea of Japan and angry at the United States, fired all six of its missiles. The tensest moment came when two interceptors were in the air against two remaining missiles -- one headed toward Boise, the other toward Anchorage.

Midland? The Chinese name for itself, zhongguo, stands for Central Country (usually translated as Middle Kingdom). I bet the name selected wasn't entirely random.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/17/2004 13:49 Comments || Top||

#4  hope they get this ABM gear in place as soon as possible. need to keep 3 or 4 Ohio subs lurking off kimmies coast line in case he does the stupid thing and kick off.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 13:59 Comments || Top||

#5  "Sir! They've targeted San Francisco! Should we fire?"


Posted by: BH || 03/17/2004 14:12 Comments || Top||

#6  All this anti-missile defense would be of no use against a ship bomb, all Kim has to do is get one of his devices in a US-bound shipping container, to take out of of our ports. I think that's just a matter of time.
Posted by: Tresho || 03/17/2004 19:34 Comments || Top||

#7  All this anti-missile defense would be of no use against a ship bomb, all Kim has to do is get one of his devices in a US-bound shipping container, to take out of of our ports. I think that's just a matter of time.

It's more difficult than it sounds - everything coming out of North Korea is closely tracked. And ships move slowly - very slowly. With missiles, he can launch a simultaneous attack on multiple targets involving dozens of missiles. Hard to synchronize all that with ships - after the first detonation, you'd get a complete lockdown in all ports, as occurred with airports after 9/11.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/17/2004 20:46 Comments || Top||

#8  One detonation would probably be more than enough.
Posted by: Tresho || 03/17/2004 21:40 Comments || Top||

#9  So.....how's that Airborne Laser project doing? Better to knock 'em down as they are going up, than trying to hit them as they are coming down.

Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/17/2004 22:22 Comments || Top||

North Korea’s Gulag
By William C. Triplett, National Review Online
One of a series of excerpts from the book Rogue State: How a Nuclear North Korea Threatens America. EFL.

North Korea built on the Chinese model and added a new depravity — child political prisoners. Neither the Soviets nor the Chinese sent children to the concentration camps but the Dear Leader sends the entire family. One of the best accounts of the North Korean gulag is written by someone who was sent to the camps at the age of nine, because his grandfather had offended the system. His sister was only seven; she was also sent to prison. In North Korea, the children of political prisoners are called "seedlings." Official propaganda proscribes the proper treatment of these children, "desiccate the seedlings of counterrevolution, pull them out by their roots, and exterminate every last one of them."

The camps are designed to exploit the prisoners’ labor until they die. Prisoners are given difficult and dangerous labor such as mining under unsafe conditions. Children are assigned heavy work as well, such as logging. Even before the famine of the mid-1990s, prisoners, including children, were on rations that would not sustain life in the long run, much less allow for any sort of normal growth. Since the political prisoners are never released, there is no danger of them divulging military secrets; they are assigned to work on missiles and other special weapons. One camp, Camp #14, is notorious for its use of prisoners "as guinea pigs for developing chemical warfare technology," according to information obtained by the Seoul Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights.

Since the North Korean secret police send entire families to the labor camps, they have a higher proportion of women imprisoned than even Stalin’s gulag or the Chinese concentration camp system today. According to information obtained by a South Korean human rights group, it’s bad luck to be an even moderately attractive young woman in the camps. High Communist Party officials troll the camps looking for victims to be used as sex slaves. If the women become pregnant, they are forced to have an abortion without anesthesia. When their usefulness is over, the women are murdered. Their deaths are covered up as "shot while trying to escape." In much the same way, the Nazi "Death Doctor," Josef Mengele, used to comb the arriving trains for an attractive evening companion, only to have her shot the next day.

The prisoners of the North Korean gulags are filthy and disease-ridden. Beatings, torture, and executions are common. There is nothing to check guards from exercising brutality. Perhaps a third of the prisoners survive, for a while, as informers. In the end, death comes to nearly all of them, sooner rather than later.

The Dear Leader’s concentration camps are very efficient both for removing any real threat to the regime and in reinforcing the system of state terror. By some estimates, the North Korean gulag currently holds 200,000 men, women, and children. An estimated 400,000 people have perished in the camps over the past several decades. Rumors of the camps-of-no-return circulate in the general population and fear of denunciation prevents an organized opposition from forming.

. . . but of course, it’s simplistic to call this "evil," right?
Posted by: Mike || 03/17/2004 9:18:14 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [248 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Evil? Naw, it's just an alternate socio/economic system.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 10:20 Comments || Top||

#2  IF you think this is bad you should hear what Amnisty International has to say about Gitmo if you have the stomach for some real horrors!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 12:28 Comments || Top||

#3  I saw Madelaine Halfwhit on O'Reilly last night. That excrement had the audacity to visit Dear Leader and blow a large volume of warm smoke up his ass, smiling and clapping at the parades. What a pig. There is no greater moral stain from the Clinton years (and there were a LOT of stains with that guy).
Posted by: remote man || 03/17/2004 12:46 Comments || Top||

#4  While I'm generally a pretty mild-mannered guy, I want the NKor leaders, prison guards, etc. shot. All of them. None deserve to live.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/17/2004 15:52 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm with you Steve. Anyone who thinks they can reason or deal with this monster (after he broke several deals make with Madelaine Halfwit and South Korea And looking at how he starves his own people) is an idiot.

I say nail his intestine to a fencepost and throw him off a cliff.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 19:23 Comments || Top||

South Korea put on alert over possible terrorist attacks
Acting President Goh Kun put South Korea on high alert against possible attacks today saying the country was among the main targets for terrorism following the Madrid bombings, a spokesman said. "Those countries which have their troops stationed in Iraq have become main targets for terrorist attacks," spokesman Kim Duck-Bong quoted Goh as saying. "South Korea, in some respects, is a country that should be on a high state of alert against terrorism," Goh said.
Have fun blending into Korea’s islamic community, guys. Oh, wait..
South Korea plans to send 3,000 troops to take control of rehabilitation efforts in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk next month.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 9:02:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There are Pakistanis and other ME'ers in Seoul. I think there is even a Mosque in I'taewon.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/17/2004 9:21 Comments || Top||

#2  There are Pakistanis and other ME'ers in Seoul

With their own personnel SK security agency shadow, after all those years chasing NK agents they have raised this to a art form. Kind of hard for the ME types to blend into the crowd.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 9:47 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't doubt that security is all other these guys. My point is we shouldn't dismiss these threats out of hand. And yeah, they REALLY statnd out.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/17/2004 11:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Man, yesterday the Turkish Army was put ona lert, now it's all of South Korea. I fear for Alaska.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 19:03 Comments || Top||

U.S., South Korea to Hold War Games
The USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier sailed to South Korea for annual joint military exercises, drawing condemnation from North Korea that the war games will worsen tensions amid the crisis over the communist country's nuclear weapons program. A U.S. military spokeswoman said Tuesday that the exercises involving 8,500 American troops and an undisclosed number of South Koreans are "defense-oriented and designed to ensure readiness and the ability to defend the Republic of Korea against external aggression." The exercises on land, sea and air start Sunday and run through March 28. Maj. Carol Schmidt, a spokeswoman for U.S. Forces Korea, said the maneuvers were planned five years in advance. North Korea lashed out at the "U.S. warmongers" and called Washington's explanation of the drills "nothing but a smoke screen to cover up the aggressive nature and danger of those military exercises."
No 'running dogs'?
"These military moves are dangerous ones aimed to provoke the second Korean War," the North's KCNA news agency said, citing a signed commentary from the state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun. The Rodong Sinmun was quoted as saying that American and South Korean forces would carry out the exercises "under the simulated conditions of a pre-emptive nuclear attack" on the North.
By George, there's a scenario we ought to investigate. Just lemme fire up my scenario editor ...
Schmidt declined comment on the North's hair-brained allegations.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/17/2004 11:38:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Any chance we'll cross wakes with the French and Chinese navies while they're posturing holding exercises off of the coast of Taiwan?
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/17/2004 0:14 Comments || Top||

#2  If we do cross them Seafarious, the French navy will sink themselves in a panic and the Chinese navy will fire ineffectively at us. I'm hoping more along the lines of NK boats being stupid though.
Posted by: Charles || 03/17/2004 9:45 Comments || Top||

#3  These military moves are dangerous ones aimed to provoke the second Korean War

Second Korean War? I'm sorry, but the first one isn't really over, even now.
Posted by: eLarson || 03/17/2004 11:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Hmmm...

The Chinese & French, and now the US, are holding joint naval "exercises" off the Korean coast...
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 11:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Imagine the trailer to Jaws, but instead of a shark fin, it's a submarine's sail...or maybe nothing at all, just that creepy music, bwuhaha.
Posted by: (lowercase) matt || 03/17/2004 11:57 Comments || Top||

#6  I wonder if the French will have enough oars to showcase the Charles DeGaulle for the Chicoms?
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/17/2004 13:00 Comments || Top||

#7  hope they've got good ship repair facilitys in china if the chalie de galle is in the vacinity
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 13:09 Comments || Top||

#8  I wish they would rename that carrier. CDG was an impressive figure. Should rename it the Darlan.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 14:48 Comments || Top||

North Korea Claims South in 'Anarchy'
North Korea claimed South Korea was in a "state of anarchy" Tuesday as the South braced for a prolonged legal and politically charged battle over whether to unseat President Roh Moo-hyun.
No reports of grazing in the South, however.
South Korea's leadership upheaval has raised concern Pyongyang may use the political turmoil to complicate six-nation talks aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis. On Tuesday, the South's interim leader, Prime Minister Goh Kun, urged an early resumption of the negotiations between the United States, the two Koreas, China, Russia and Japan. The six nations hope to meet for a third time before July. Goh also called for firm preparedness against deliberate incursions "accidental clashes" in disputed waters off the west coast where the North and South navies fought deadly gunbattles in 1999 and 2002. The region is traditionally a source of tension and North Korea has a history of provoking armed skirmishes to affect South Korea's domestic politics. North Korean delegates did not show up for inter-Korean economic talks Monday in South Korea. The North said "instability" makes the South an unsafe place to travel. Continuing the argument Tuesday, Pyongyang accused South Korean opposition parties of "creating the present state of anarchy and making it impossible for both sides to have even a safe contact."
Did they try calling?
Posted by: Steve White || 03/17/2004 11:34:35 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

#1  LMAO... now that's funny!
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 0:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Since American anarchists inexplicably support North Korea, they should be delighted.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 03/17/2004 4:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Since American anarchists inexplicably support North Korea, they should be delighted.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 03/17/2004 4:38 Comments || Top||

French describe Madrid bombing as a "benediction"
Hat tip AllahPundit
In Paris, where the Socialist victory was welcomed as the defeat of a prime minister who mocked the France of President Jacques Chirac - a radio commentator described the result on Monday as a "benediction" for the French and the construction of Europe - there was considerable official effort to avoid the appearance of approving of a situation that was being interpreted in some places in Europe as granting terrorists the effective right to intervene in the democratic process.

Dominique de Villepin, the foreign minister, even said, "It is important that terrorism doesn’t dictate the behavior of our countries." When he was asked in a radio interview whether the link between the attack and Aznar’s pro-American line meant that a France opposed to the Iraq war could assume it has a free pass on terrorism, Villepin replied, "No, I don’t think anyone is safe."

But Villepin also attacked the American role in Iraq as more than an error and rather a culpable fault. André Glucksmann, the polical essayist, who was one of the few French intellectuals to attack the Chirac line during the war and who has defended the ouster of Saddam Hussein on moral grounds, noted that Aznar’s party, despite its support of the Bush administration, had a lead in the polls until the attack. "In three days," he said, "the killers turned public opinion around. How can the murderers not come to the conclusion that they’re the ones who decide and that terrorism is stronger than democracy? ...
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 9:25:48 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under:

#1  France (and now the Spain) and the US have a fundamental difference in how we deal with terrorists. The US gets mean and agressive and the terrorists stay away and/or are prevented from another attack on the US. France and Spain practice appeasement (it wasn't the Socialists being elected as much as Zap's words that will sink them) and we will not be able to work out these fundamental differences toward dealing with terrorists. France and Spain will have to live with the fact that the Islamist crockodile is still pointing toward them, he just hasn't munched 'em down yet.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/17/2004 21:39 Comments || Top||

#2  André Glucksmann, the polical essayist, who was one of the few French intellectuals to attack the Chirac line during the war and who has defended the ouster of Saddam Hussein on moral grounds, noted that Aznar’s party, despite its support of the Bush administration, had a lead in the polls until the attack. "In three days," he said, "the killers turned public opinion around. How can the murderers not come to the conclusion that they’re the ones who decide and that terrorism is stronger than democracy?

Sacre bleu!!!! A Frenchman with a clue!
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/17/2004 22:07 Comments || Top||

Europe to tackle causes of Terror - USA and Israel
PARIS European Union countries will increase cooperation among police, intelligence and judicial agencies following the bombings in Madrid, President Jacques Chirac of France said Tuesday.
A response certain to strike fear in the hearts of terrorists everywhere
Getting reelectedFighting terrorism will be the "central" theme of a meeting of EU leaders next week in Brussels, Chirac said at a news conference here with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany. "We will not defeat terrorism. only with the use of force and weapons," Schröder said. Chirac said that the EU should "join together to end conflicts that fuel anger and frustration among people."
Perhaps this means he will address Amreican anger and frustratin with France, non?
"We must fight poverty, humiliation and injustice which create a fertile ground for violence," he added.
The poverty evident among those driven to attack the World Trade Center shows how central this fight is to stopping terrorism
Chirac and Schröder did not elaborate, but Dominique de Villepin, the French foreign minister, said on Monday that terrorism was "gaining" because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Joooos
and the situation in Iraq
The Merkins .
The Arabs are held harmless by us for their behavior stands as an example to all Frenchmen
"We can’t ignore the fact that there are two hotbeds that are feeding instability and terrorism around the world," Villepin told the French radio station RTL. Emboldened by the electoral victory of the socialists in Spain on Sunday - the incoming government in Spain has vowed to withdraw troops from Iraq and has criticized the war itself - Villepin said that "it is essential to draw lessons" from the Iraq episode and realize that it was an "error." Such words could rekindle the acrimony between those countries - like France, Germany and Belgium - that opposed the war in Iraq, and those that actively supported it, mainly Britain and Poland.
Wouldn’t it be a shame if the Brits finally told the Frogs to take the last hike?
The European Union’s foreign ministers are due to meet in Brussels on Friday for an emergency meeting to discuss the Madrid attacks.
"What do you think about the attack, Jacques?"
Thank Allah it wasn’t Paris, Gerd
Yes, the Spanish make an excellent testing ground. Worked well for us in the ’30’s
Before that meeting, the European Confederation of Police, an organization representing European police officers based in Luxembourg, urged the EU on Tuesday to avoid "pointless activism."
The law enforcement model requires that no pointless activity take place till after innocents have died.
The confederation, known as Eurocop, said that the "lagging implementation"
sometimes reality is so ridiculous you just can’t make it funnier
of an existing action
really? action!
plan on terrorism was "by far the greater problem." The Madrid attacks have led to several proposals from EU leaders
Watch for these ideas to be incorporated in Kerry’s anti-terror speeches in the next week :
  • Javier Solana, the chief of the European Union’s common foreign and security policy, has recommended that the Union name a terrorism czar to coordinate Europe’s antiterrorist efforts.
    A Czar! A hundred years ago the socialists couldn’t wait to kill a Tsar and now they want to appoint one!

  • António Vitorino, the European commissioner charged with police and judicial matters, proposed a "declaration of solidarity" that would force EU governments to provide mutual aid if a European state comes under a terrorist attack.
    And in the case of Spain, since Spain did nothing this would mean?

  • Other officials have suggested that the European Union establish a pan-European version of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Schröder on Monday said he would not "rule out" such an agency in the long term but added: "I think our main task is to improve cooperation between the existing intelligence services."
Among other issues discussed Tuesday, Chirac and Schröder said they favored a rapid passage of the EU’s draft constitution.
That’ll have Osama quaking in his boots
"I think there is still a chance to reach a deal before the end of the Irish presidency," Schröder said.
Special multicultural touch for St. Patty’s Day
Ireland took over the rotating presidency of the EU in January and relinquishes it at the end of June. Chirac also said both countries were "in principle" in favor of Croatian membership in the European Union but would await a report by the European Commission before the end of the year on Zagreb’s democratic reforms.
A reward for the Croats initiating the dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the reintroduction of ethnic cleansing into European statecraft.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/17/2004 8:49:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [376 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Emboldened??? Hahaha. Old Europe's getting ready to pay the Jizya tax.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 20:58 Comments || Top||

#2  It makes me feel good that I live in a country where, when some plane-hi-jackin' towel-head fucks blow people up, ass is kicked, and kicked right hard.

It would make me feel like an impotent, ineffectual, unimportant loser if I lived in a country where panty-waste, cowering, dandy fucks sucked up to the enemy, and didn’t stand up like a real world citizen and defend itself when it is viciously attacked (God help us if Kerry does get into office).

Hopefully the UK, Australia, Israel, and a few others can always count on US, and vice versa, when things actually get serious. How many more times do we have to watch appeasers in Europe get US, UK, Australian, Canadian, not to mention millions of their own, young people ground into paste? How many more UN bank accounts have to be filled with ... are you ready?... blood money from Iraq’s oil (What about "no blood for oil" you bunch of greedy, arrogant, scum,fucking baby killers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)?

Fuck 'em!!! Let the French, Germans, Belgian, etc. and the Spanish rot! When the US and UK finish the job of smashing the terrorists and the states that support them, like actual real countries know they must do, let them try to assimilate the terrorists they are snuggling up to now. Let them beg when they have Russia and/or China crushing upon them in some conflict of the future. They'll deserve what they get, and make it sensonds for me! And when they come asking US to save them from the bad guys, and wipe their asses AGAIN, I'll be the one protesting against young Americans going to war to rescue the gentrified Europeanshits. See how they like seeing placards telling them to "fuque off" in their hour of need.

No. Not one more American kid's life in defense of Europe, and let the UN gorge themselves on the world’s oppressed from some other place.
Posted by: Hyper || 03/17/2004 21:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Fight terrorists with meetings and committees!!! Proclamations!! Statements!!!

Hmmmm. Something's missing, even with boldface...it is sort of....uh...invertibrate looking and sounding. Needs a big stick or something....
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/17/2004 21:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Jeesus Christ! The Euros are going to committee the terrorists to death?

Yeah, that'll work
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/17/2004 22:59 Comments || Top||

#5  "We must fight poverty, humiliation and injustice which create a fertile ground for violence," he added.

And they're going to want US to pay for it.

What'ya going to do about your cities, Jacko?
Posted by: Anonymous2U || 03/17/2004 23:25 Comments || Top||

Bush gains Al-Qaeda endorsement, Entrants in next Survivor announced
CAIRO (Reuters) - A group claiming to have links with al Qaeda said on Wednesday it was calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new Madrid government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, a pan-Arab newspaper said.

In a statement sent to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed 201 people, also urged its European units to stop all operations.

"Because of this decision, the leadership has decided to stop all operations within the Spanish territories... until we know the intentions of the new government that has promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq," the statement said.

"And we repeat this to all the brigades present in European lands: Stop all operations."

Skepticism has greeted previous claims of responsibility by the group for attacks in Turkey and Iraq. U.S. officials say its links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network are unclear.

An unrelated videotape of a man describing himself as al Qaeda’s European military spokesman also claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombing, saying it was in retaliation for outgoing Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar’s domestically-unpopular support for the U.S.-led Iraq war.

In a shock election result three days after the Madrid bombs, Spain voted in the Socialist party, which has since said it will probably withdraw its troops from Iraq.

"The Spanish people... chose peace by choosing the party that was against the alliance with America," the statement said.


The statement said it supported President Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."

In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:

"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he is the most boring speaker we have ever heardhe and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the American peopleArab and Muslim nation as civilization."Just as that cunning linguist Clinton did with Miss Lewinski

"Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected." Very conning of them

The group said its cells were ready for another attack and time was running out for allies of the United States.

"Whose turn is it next?Cue drumroll Will it be Japan or America, or Italy, Britain or Oslo or Australia?" the statement saiddisappointment in Copenhagen as Danish team eliminated in final selection, adding Pakistan Perhaps they could use targeting assistance and Saudi Arabia or Kuffir volunteers were also targets.

The group is named after Muhammed Atef, also known as Abu Hafs, a close bin Laden aide killed in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/17/2004 7:53:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [399 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Al-Q is trying to influence the election by endorsing the person they don't want to win. How long before the DUmmies start saying "Bush is running on the Al-Q ticket"?
Posted by: Charles || 03/17/2004 20:06 Comments || Top||

#2  "Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization."

Yeah, I'll admit: Kerry definitely does have the embellishment thing down to a science.
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/17/2004 20:13 Comments || Top||

#3  Oooohhh, reverse psychology! They're getting deep and clever. Next thing you know they'll do a reverse reverse double-hammer with a half twist and a side of ginger ale. I'm getting worried - we may not be able to keep up with these guys - they learn so fast.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 23:36 Comments || Top||

Al Queda to Spain: We’ve stopped our jihad on you...for now
A group claiming to have links with al Qaeda said Wednesday it was calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, a pan-Arab newspaper said.

In a statement sent Wednesday to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed 201 people, also urged its European units to stop all operations.

"Because of this decision, the leadership has decided to stop all operations within the Spanish territories... until we know the intentions of the new government that has promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq," the statement said.

"And we repeat this to all the brigades present in European lands: Stop all operations."

Well, isn’t that special?
So outrageously obvious was the cowardice and craven fear of the Spanish people that Osama’s boys now have no trouble being absolutely BRAZEN about their freedom to operate in Western Europe.
This letter says a lot: a.) that they’re in Europe in numbers and dug in pretty deep.
b.) that more attacks have been planned, even if not yet executed
and c.) that the favorable (to Al Q) outcome to the Spanish election has only bought the Spanish...and the rest of us a temporary, conditional reprieve.
All of this, certainlty, was predictable and yet it’s still, at least to me, horrifyingly stunning.
Of course, they could be bluffing...but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.
Posted by: Jen || 03/17/2004 4:34:00 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [394 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This could be propaganda, or it could be the truth. Either way, it feels like I am living in a nightmare of the late 1930s will Neville Chamberlain. Appeasement will only delay the crockodiles, not turn them around. Europe has a choice of freedom or dhimmitude to make.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/17/2004 18:01 Comments || Top||

#2  It doesn't matter if it's propoganda or not. The truth is releasing this was pretty bad news for AQ. It'll prove so humiliating to Spain that other countries will be less likely to follow suit.

Spain made such pathetic appeasing asses out of themselves on the world stage and now AQ rubbed their noses in it for the world to see. Noone will ever look at Spain the same way again. They deserve to be mocked.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 18:16 Comments || Top||

#3  DPA, I don't think this was bad news for AQ. It shows that they understand nuance and that they do not wish to engage in any unnecessary violence. It shows that all they are looking for is the opportunity to discuss with the new Zeropata regime the right of return for the Moors illegally thrown out of Al-Andalus. They will spare other nations that demonstrate their dhimmitude. Others shall face the wrath of Allan.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/17/2004 19:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Typical schoolyard play. We got your lunch money, now we are your pals. Until tomorrow, when we want more lunch money.

I wonder if we would get a better deal by supporting the basque separatists...
Posted by: flash91 || 03/17/2004 19:19 Comments || Top||

#5  If a note like this had not come out, I would hope that would have made up.

The best way to minimize the number of countries that emulate Spain is to make as clear as possible the linkage between the decision of the Spanish electorate and its fear of Al Queda (i.e. their cowardice) and to demonstrate the futility of their approach (the alligator will still eat you eventually).

I think this notice likely authentic. Despite its recent success in Spain, Al Queda is prone to miscalculating the effects of its actions and pronouncements as it really does not understand 'the West' having only observed the dying elements of Western culture in western and southern europe and in the more left wing, post-Christian parts of North American societies. Also, Al Queda followers have a habit of cherry picking evidence to support their delusions.
Posted by: JAB || 03/17/2004 19:25 Comments || Top||

#6  I have friends in the Spanish military - I can not imagine the position that they are in now. A proud military and coward politicians leading them. Is it too late for a recall?
Posted by: JP || 03/17/2004 19:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Now that the Spanish people have spoken (the b*******), would the U.S. will be willing to accept any interesting Spanish military veterans as immigrants or political refugees?
Posted by: Tresho || 03/17/2004 21:45 Comments || Top||

#8  Weren't we planning to move our fleet out of Naples to a Spanish base? WTFO?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/18/2004 0:02 Comments || Top||

AL Qaeda’s version of carrot & stick

A group that claims to have links to al Qaeda says it is calling a truce to its operations in Spain, it has been reported...
Posted by: Lux || 03/17/2004 2:52:13 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [247 views] Top|| File under:

#1  just let me have back the rhineland and parts of czech and then of course austria and that will be the end of my aspirations, sir chamberlin.....

let alqueda try the same shit with the US.....
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 15:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Roll over, Spain. Good dhimmi.
Posted by: BH || 03/17/2004 15:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Smart move by AQ actually: take credit for the regime change and encourage others. This will please the LLL who will say, gee aren't they rational? We can deal with them! Let's do an international conference.
Posted by: Spot || 03/17/2004 15:49 Comments || Top||

#4  bet that new greasy spanish PM will agree to it as well, inbetween wiping the grease from his face
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 16:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Next they will be opening their own embassy there.
Posted by: Lil Dhimmi || 03/17/2004 16:57 Comments || Top||

#6  The Spanish PM needs to take that tube of Y-K and give it to the French. AQ has won and will now focus on the Frog head covers.

The Islamo-murderers gotta cover up the acid scarred female faces.
Posted by: anymouse || 03/17/2004 17:21 Comments || Top||

#7  They got their guy into office. That's what they wanted in the first place. Liberal politicians will be lining up on this one. OBL: "Next! . . ."
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 17:40 Comments || Top||

#8  Well, that was easy. It was also cheaper than the usual campaign. Keep your eyes out for exploding asses.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 17:59 Comments || Top||

#9  LMAO, AQ is actually rubbing it in their faces. How pathetic for Spain. Queda is acknowledging their surrender and DARING them NOT to move their troops out of Iraq. If Spain follows through and ditches out of Iraq now they'll be a laughing stock! I can't believe how lucky I am to be born an american. If I was a spaniard right now I would be so ashamed I wouldn't show my face in public. Actually... I'd just renounce my citizenship and move to america...
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 18:12 Comments || Top||

#10  so how long do think it will take the eu to setup a commission to collect tribute to be passed on to thier muslim masters....man how history repeats itself...
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 19:09 Comments || Top||

#11  Dan, Aren't they already paying 'tribute' to Arafat?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 19:24 Comments || Top||

Well, the "Danegelt" was paid by England to Denmark for Centuries. (Though, as I think about the French eventually won out...lol).

There was a long article today in the LA Times re building Mosques in Germany, and another on the denial of Mosque Building permits in Greece.

Much to my chagrin, the war may be being fought in planning departments and over building permits...this is a war we will lose...and may have already lost.

Unless you are thinking about bulldozing all the Mosques already built in the West...London, Paris, Berlin and here in Los Angeles.

If this is what you are advocating, I've go no problem with this...but we must be clear on what exactly is being proposed.

(I think I'm not being entirely clear on what I am saying...just distressed over where too from here).
Posted by: Traveller || 03/17/2004 20:08 Comments || Top||

Spain’s Leader: Iraq Occupation a ’Fiasco’
edited for brevity.
Spain’s new leader intensified his criticism of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq on Wednesday, saying it was "turning into a fiasco." Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also refused to reconsider his pledge to pull his 1,300 troops out of Iraq by June 30, in a sharp break with the Bush administration. Zapatero had signaled his dislike of President Bush policies during the Spanish election campaign when he said he hoped Democratic challenger John Kerry would win in November.
I guess skerry was talking to zapoteria all along
The International Herald Tribune recently quoted Zapatero as saying, "We’re aligning ourselves with Kerry. Our allegiance will be for peace, against war, no more deaths for oil, and for a dialogue between the government of Spain and the new Kerry administration."
i.e. we want the muslims to believe we are not worth killing.
In the hourlong interview Wednesday on Onda Cero radio, Zapatero said that "fighting terrorism with bombs ... with Tomahawk missiles, isn’t the way to defeat terrorism. ...
insert joke here
"Terrorism is combatted by the state of law. ... That’s what I think Europe and the international community have to debate," besides slap fighting each other like little bitches he said. Zapatero said the Iraq occupation "is turning into a fiasco," noting that "there have been almost more deaths since the end of the war" than during last year’s U.S.-led invasion, and the United Nations still is not in control. The outgoing conservative government of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar supported the war against the wishes of the majority of Spaniards. Spanish troops did not fight in the invasion but were sent in afterward. "I’ll explain to our allies, which include the United States, of course, and Britain ... what my position is," Zapatero said.
About how he might respond if Bush asked him to reconsider, Zapatero said, "I will listen to Mr. Bush, but my position is very clear and very firm." "I am a total puss." In the interview, Zapatero also said he would better coordinate Spain’s police agencies, which failed to prevent last week’s Madrid train bombings that killed 201 people. Authorities knew the whereabouts and potential danger of a top suspect and his alleged links with al-Qaida. He tried to reassure Spaniards that his government would relentlessly hunt down terrorists. "They will not have a moment of rest," Zapatero said, adding that he would have a single director for both the Civil Guard and the National Police, which currently answer to two chiefs.
this guy amuses me, good luck my Spanish brethren, you’re going to need it.
Posted by: Jarhead || 03/17/2004 2:40:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Terrorism is combatted by the state of law.

And the state of law is imposed by?

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 14:43 Comments || Top||

#2  it never fails to amaze me the dilusional state of the left. how do you combat soverign nations who support and encourage terrorists with laws of a state? all you have is your people being blown up , the terrorists blown up and the power brokers sitting nice and pretty in thier tehran palaces.....no only brute military force will sway these forces. and if you look at the last few years the US has had less terrorism directed at in the world at large and instead these bastards are focused on iraq..bring them on so we can kill more of them and then move on to iran...

the left talks as if al queda is just a bunch of people who have strayed from the norms of society and need to be brought back into the fold. these people will kill you without any reverence to your politics or religion...if you do not believe as they do then your a target....
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 15:23 Comments || Top||

#3  RC - Lol! Purrfekt!

Dan - Cowards focus their efforts on soft targets, which is true terrorism. It doesn't get much harder than the US Military and it doesn't get much softer than appeasers.

Zappie has just been offered dhimmitude. I'm absofuckinglutely certain he'll accept... on his knees. I hope he finds the position comfortable, for that will be his posture, and by extension the posture of Spain, for as long as the Spanish voters leave him in control.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 15:29 Comments || Top||

#4  I have a mental picture of Zapatero standing in front of a microphone, right hand high, proudly holding a copy of today's AQ "cease fire" press release, ready to make a declaration.
Posted by: Classic_Liberal || 03/17/2004 16:51 Comments || Top||

#5  A couple of months ago a court in Norway released Islamic terrorist because his group was engaged in war,thus couldn't be tried by judicial system.Don't remember Zapatero condemning court for not understanding "terrorism is combatted by the state of law".
Posted by: Stephen || 03/17/2004 17:58 Comments || Top||

#6  My advice to Mr. Z. is to rush through the Dhimmi tax and get it over with. I believe it can be phased in over a number years without prejudice.

just kiddin
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 18:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Good thing they chose butter over guns: helps lubricate the bunghole before they bend over for OBL and AlQ....
Posted by: Ptah || 03/17/2004 19:25 Comments || Top||

Not All Spaniards are Idiots
About 5,000 people gathered outside the conservative Popular Party’s headquarters in downtown Madrid. Waving Spanish flags and banners, they were protesting the upset win by Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Sunday elections that were shaken by terrorist bombings three days earlier. "Zapatero, president of al-Qaida," "Zapatero with terrorism" and "Zapatero resign," they chanted. The protesters dispersed about 30 minutes after the Popular Party’s defeated candidate, Mariano Rajoy, appeared and applauded at a balcony.
Posted by: growler || 03/17/2004 1:37:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  nice to read this,maybe not everything will be as black as we've been thinking it will be.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 13:40 Comments || Top||

#2  It's nice to be reminded sentiments aren't unanimous. This and the story about the French driver trying to run over Osama help take away some of the sting of recent news.
Posted by: Dar || 03/17/2004 13:51 Comments || Top||

#3  5,000 isn't very many. I'm expecting the shrine of Santiago de Compostela to be converted into the 17,467th most holy mosque in all Islam any decade now, unless old Matamoros rises from his grave to encourage his people in their time of testing. Maybe the old war cry "Santiago y cierra España" will be heard again.
Posted by: Tresho || 03/17/2004 22:09 Comments || Top||

6 Dead, Hundreds Wounded in Serbia Clash
Serbs and ethnic Albanians traded heavy gunfire Wednesday across the Ibar River, killing at least six people and wounding almost 300 in the worst outbreak of violence in this ethnically divided city since a bus bombing three years ago. The killings, a setback to the international struggle to ease tension in Kosovo, were provoked by reports that two ethnic Albanian boys drowned after they jumped in an icy river to escape angry Serbs. A third was missing.

Initial reports by U.N. police spokeswoman Angela Joseph that a French peacekeeper had died of gunshot wounds were later denied by NATO and the French military. Lt. Col. Jim Moran, a NATO spokesman, said a French and a Danish soldier were "seriously wounded," but reports that a peacekeeper had died were "completely not true." NATO spokesman Capt. Athanasios Zormbas said 11 peacekeeping soldiers were wounded by stones and shrapnel from a hand grenade. Wednesday’s fighting was the worst of its kind since February 2001, when ethnic Albanian terrorists blew up a bus carrying Serbs, killing 11 and injuring 40. Clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians were also reported in several other towns in the region.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 1:22:49 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [247 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Your UN dues at work.
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 13:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Okay, this was done the EU way right? Got all the "allies" lined up and agreed, right? No nasty US unilateralism here, right? UN all on board, right? (okay, forget that one)

Therefore there is no quagmire and everyone in Kosovo is happy, healthy, well employed and sitting around after makiing friends with their former enemies and singing Kumbya, right?

Anyone taken a poll lately as to how the Kosovars and Servians see the results of THEIR invasion?
Posted by: Alan || 03/17/2004 14:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Guess CompuSerb's been a busy little troll today.
Posted by: Mike || 03/17/2004 14:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Actually we went in and bombed them until Serbia said 'uncle'. The Clinton had the UN/NATO/Russian take over and this is what we got out of it. The 'plan' was to separate the sides long enough that they like peace too much to wage war. They forgot that the Serbs were/are being abused by their Muslim-Albanian countryman. I bet there are more than a few ex-taliban wondering around Kosovo. Yes clearly another Clinton foreign policy ‘victory’ that stood the test of time!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 03/17/2004 15:56 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't make me go Black & White Sarge :) I'm getting close as it is.

Aris which side do you take with these jackasses?
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 18:04 Comments || Top||

#6  Shipman> I didn't take sides in the Kosovo affair -- I thought that these were two chauvinisms/imperialisms that both tried to nationally cleanse the other. Equally vile.

I opposed the bombings and still feel that the bombings and support to UCK ended up leading to further war in FYRO Macedonia, since UCK used Kosovo as a base to launch further terrorist attacks -- not to mention the encouragement to Albanian separatists throughout the region.

Ofcourse, it's *possible* that the Serbs would have gone genocidal on the Albanians if the NATO bombings hadn't happened, but that hadn't occurred nor was there any certainty it would have occurred.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 18:18 Comments || Top||

#7  Always thought that had Milosevic kept or reassumed the 'communist' mantle instead of the nationalist one, Kosovo would've been a 15-minute story, briefly regretted and soon forgotten.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/17/2004 21:36 Comments || Top||

Bomb suspect hurt in Istanbul blast
A homemade pipe bomb has exploded prematurely outside an Istanbul police station, maiming the man allegedly trying to plant it.
Yes, there is a God. And he has a sense of humor.
Police detained 21-year-old Lokman Aslan after finding three dismembered fingers outside the police station in the city's Beyoglu district late on Tuesday, the Anatolia news agency reported. There were no other injuries. Officers searching hospitals found Aslan four hours after the explosion at a private hospital, a few kilometres away. He also suffered neck injuries, Anatolia said. On Wednesday, police detonated a homemade time-bomb in a courthouse parking lot in the city's Zeytinburnu district, Anatolia reported. The bomb had been placed under a car.
"You there! Are these your fingers?"
"Ow. [Whimper]. [Blubber].No. Never saw 'em before!"
On Tuesday, Istanbul Governor Muammar Guler said police had detained 18 people in connection with the bombing of a Masonic Lodge on 9 March, including three who allegedly planned new attacks. It was not clear if either bombs were linked to the lodge attack, which killed two people, including one of the attackers, and injured six others, including the second attacker. The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi said last week that it had received a statement from an al-Qaida-linked group - Jund al-Quds, or Soldiers of Jerusalem - claiming responsibility for the bombing. But authorities say the attack bore little resemblance to the four carefully planned truck bombings last November.

Also on Wednesday, a state security court, charged one suspected Islamist with involvement in the truck bombings in Istanbul last year, Anatolia said. Ahmet Dikiciasik, 46, was detained at Istanbul airport as he tried to leave for Pakistan, the agency said. There was no information on when he was detained. The court charged Dikiciasik with belonging to an illegal organization, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years, Anatolia said. A Turkish court will begin trying 69 alleged al-Qaida suspects for the truck bombings on 31 May. Fifty defendants are in jail and 19 others have been released pending the trial. Nine others, including three suspected ringleaders, are fugitives and could be tried in absentia although formal charges have not been filed yet. Two synagogues were attacked on 15 November during Sabbath services, and five days later, bombings hit a British bank and the British consulate, killing 62 people.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 11:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Police detained 21-year-old Lokman Aslan after finding three dismembered fingers outside the police station in the city's Beyoglu district late on Tuesday, the Anatolia news agency reported. Officers searching hospitals found Aslan four hours after the explosion at a private hospital, a few kilometres away.

"Holmes, how do you do it?"
"Elementary, my dear Watson. If the fingers fit, he must submit!"
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 12:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Aslan? Great -- next will be the K'Kree.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 14:23 Comments || Top||

#3  "..exploded prematurely outside an Istanbul police station, maiming the man..."

This is good. In these situations, if the phrase isn't "killing the man", "maiming" is the next best thing, you lousy murderin' fucks!
Posted by: Hyper || 03/17/2004 21:47 Comments || Top||

#4  Blowing off three fingers only gets you a couple feels on a 12-year-old when you finally go titzup.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 22:13 Comments || Top||

Proof the French ARE serious about terror
A driver in the southern French city of Montpellier who tried to run down a pedestrian he believed was Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Tuesday was given a three-month suspended sentence. On Monday, the driver, a 35-year-old craftsman, chased the would-be bin Laden through the streets of Montpellier, running a red light and driving through a pedestrian zone. He only failed to hit the pedestrian when his car ran into a staircase. The driver, who was not identified, said he had experienced a delirious episode, attributing his folly to current fears over the global terrorist threat. The court in Montpellier also ordered the driver to seek counseling and pay 500 euros (615 dollars) in damages to the victim.
Now that’s funny ;)
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 11:09:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  absolutly brilliant!!
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 11:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Sigh, if only he had an SUV. He could have run over the staircase and Osama.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 11:41 Comments || Top||

#3  "The hell with the 50 points for the old lady with the shopping cart in a crosswalk, Osama's worth a million points!"
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 11:54 Comments || Top||

#4  I understand the poor victim was merely a messenger for a "singing fatwa" service. Better luck next time with the strip-o-gram.
Posted by: Dar || 03/17/2004 12:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Defense Fund?
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 13:26 Comments || Top||

#6  Tribal regions of France, tribal regions of Pakistan, what's the difference.
Posted by: ruprecht || 03/17/2004 13:39 Comments || Top||

#7  Waitasec, 615 dollars is the going rate for these sort of things ?

$ $ I $ee a bu$ine$$ opportunity $$

Posted by: Carl in N.H || 03/17/2004 15:26 Comments || Top||

Algerian Suspect Brought to Madrid Court
An Algerian man who in January allegedly threatened mass bloodshed in Madrid was brought under tight security Wednesday to a Madrid court to determine if he had foreknowledge of Spain’s worst-ever terrorist attack. Bomb-sniffing dogs, Civil Guards and national police guarded the National Court as Ali Amrous was rushed inside in a vehicle. When Amrous, who apparently is an indigent, was first arrested in January in the northern city of San Sebastian after a neighborhood disturbance, he shouted at officers: "We will fill Madrid with the dead," police said.
Is that all you have on him?
Arrested again Tuesday, Amrous was to appear before Judge Baltasar Garzon on Wednesday in a closed hearing.
Sounds like a loud-mouthed hot head.
Three Moroccans and two Indians have already been arrested in Spain’s bloodiest terrorist attack, which authorities increasingly suspect was carried out by a cell linked to al-Qaida. The interior ministry initially said Saturday the five were being held on suspicion of falsifying cellphones and prepaid phone cards. Local press reports earlier said the two Indians were believed by police to have been involved in the sale of cell-phones or prepaid phone cards used to detonate the string of bombs on March 11 that killed 201 people on Madrid commuter trains. But the daily El Pais reported Wednesday that the fingerprints of one of the Indians, Vinay Kohly, matches a fingerprint found at the scene of a 2001 murder.
Oh really? So he’s not just a innocent cell-phone salesman.
Police investigating the murder of Indian shopowner Kamal Karamchan Dad in his Madrid electronics shop found the fingerprint on tape that had been used to bind the victim’s hands and feet. Dad was asphyxiated with a plastic bag during an apparent robbery. The fingerprint did not match any database - until Kohly’s prints were run after his arrest Saturday, El Pais said.
CSI Madrid shoots and scores!
Police reportedly suspect at least six Moroccans took direct part in the Madrid train bombings, with five remaining at large. The sixth, Jamal Zougam, 30, has been linked to al-Qaida and is under arrest. Zougam has already been identified by Garzon as a follower of Imad Yarkas, the alleged leader of Spain’s al-Qaida cell who is jailed on suspicion he helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. With signs that the bombings were carried out by Islamic extremists who operate and have confederates in several countries, FBI agents are helping Spanish police in using fingerprints and names to seek a full picture of Zougam and the four other suspects in custody. A U.S. official said "it’s increasingly likely Islamic extremists were involved in these attacks. In terms of assigning responsibility, it isn’t clear."
"We know it's turbans. We just aren't sure which turbans."
"It’s not clear who these groups were," the official said, referring to whether they had links to al-Qaida and other extremist groups or even to the Basque separatist group ETA. A suspected link between the Madrid bombings and suicide bomb attacks in Casablanca, Morocco, last year grew stronger Tuesday when French private investigator Jean-Charles Brisard described a phone tap in which Zougam said he had met with Mohamed Fizazi, the spiritual leader of Salafia Jihadia, a clandestine Moroccan extremist group. Salafia Jihadia is suspected of involvement in the Casablanca attack, which killed 33 people and 12 bombers and has been linked to al-Qaida. Brisard told The Associated Press the tapped call is cited in a lengthy report written for Garzon’s inquiry of the Sept. 11 attacks. Brisard, who is helping investigate the Sept. 11 attacks for lawyers representing some victims’ families, has a copy of the report. The Garzon document says that in the August 2001 monitored phone call, Zougam told Yarkas: "On Friday, I went to see Fizazi and I told him that if he needed money we could help him with our brothers," Brisard said. Fizazi was among 87 people sentenced in Morocco in August in a trial that centered on the Casablanca attacks. Fizazi received a 30-year sentence after being convicted of preaching radical Islam in mosques and meeting with the Casablanca attack’s perpetrators.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 10:30:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Geeze - here in the States, gloves are de rigeur on a robbery-homicide...
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 11:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Now if they could afford gloves they wouldn't need to do a robbery-homicde would they? Does I have to do all the thinking around here? The Reagan tax cuts destroyed the subsidized glove export industry, laying the Spanish robber/homicider naked to bad things.

Whoa! Wait a sec... this isn't about AIDS? Never mind.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 18:10 Comments || Top||

Europeans are all Madrileños now
The Tufts Daily - EFL / Fair Use
by Sarah Dalglish
On Monday at noon, Paris stood still. The flags of official buildings were lowered to half-mast, the buses stopped in the streets, and the Parisians were silent for three minutes in remembrance of the victims in the next capital over.

Though nowhere else has been as wounded as Spain, all of Europe has seemingly felt the ache of March 11. The aftermath of the attacks has seen a collective mourning that has surprised even Europeans, for though the continent has been integrated in important ways over the past decade, national mentalities have never yielded to a truly European spirit.

On the eve of the biggest enlargement in the European Union’s history, and in the wake of the worst terrorist attack the continent has never known, such a European spirit has begun to coalescence. From Dublin to Parma to Copenhagen, Europeans participated in symbolic protests, moments of silence, and other tributes to the more than 200 victims in Madrid.

The Spanish themselves have reacted like Americans did after Sept. 11, by showing their solidarity and their identification with the families who were affected.
Americans also send their heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 8:07:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [325 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I noticed this quote in the full article,

"For us, terrorism is almost banal," said my French professor...

Personally, I find Euro whining, boasting and bitching to be fully banal [boring].
Posted by: mhw || 03/17/2004 8:24 Comments || Top||

#2  If anything the best proof that Europe is not a ntion but a mere bureautic creation was provided by 3-11. Over 25% of the total Spanish population went to the demonstrations. Even in Bilbao or Barcelona they were MASSIVE. But go to any other European country and what you have? At most a few hundreds of demonstrators, most of them Spanish expats. In other words, French, Portuguese, Greeks (that is for you Aris) didn't feel as if they had lost some of their own.

I then went to the websites of the right wing Figaro and left wing "Petainisation" (offical name is Liberation) and whuile there is shock and horror there was also plenty of understanding of the terrorists (that was before Al Quaida was mentionned) and the "distance" towards the victims was ever present.

I never felt the solidarity toward the victims that I felt in Rantburg and similar American war on terror or Republican blogs.
Posted by: JFM || 03/17/2004 8:35 Comments || Top||

#3  "If anything the best proof that Europe is not a nation "

We are not a nation *yet*.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 9:02 Comments || Top||

#4  "If anything the best proof that Europe is not a nation "

We are not a nation *yet*.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 9:02 Comments || Top||

#5  Never a nation. Only an empire run by an incestous cabal of self appointed elites.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/17/2004 9:26 Comments || Top||

#6  You didn't quite finish the sentence, Aris. Let me try:

"We are not a nation *yet* some reality-challenged freakazoids think it's worth trying to pretend that we can be."
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 9:30 Comments || Top||

#7  Bulldog> Aye, a bit like those reality-challenged freakazoids named George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, etc, etc...
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 9:34 Comments || Top||

#8  I was thinking more like Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin, D'Estaing...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 9:44 Comments || Top||

#9  Our Founding Fathers didn't let Muslims or anyone else bully them around. The EU looks like one big repeat of the League of Nations. And we all know how that ended.
Posted by: Charles || 03/17/2004 9:48 Comments || Top||

#10  No fucking way. Sick of going to Europe on holiday and being treated like a total fucking leper for being English. Fuck 'em.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 10:48 Comments || Top||

#11  I know what it's like, Howard. Apparently some foreign people use "sun lotion" in hot places. Keeps the blistering and peeling to a minimum.

"Mama, esta unas leper?!"
"AIIEEEEE!!! Runawaya Evrybodi!"

I hate that rubber sheets shit, too...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 10:58 Comments || Top||

#12  Sun lotion? A real man uses lard. Heh heh heh stupido Inglese!
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 11:03 Comments || Top||

#13  Bulldog> "I was thinking more like Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin, D'Estaing..."

Yeah, because people like you can never distinguish between free voluntary unions and conquests through force and coercion.

Charles> "Our Founding Fathers didn't let Muslims or anyone else bully them around. "

No, they let slave-owners bully them around, which is why for a whole century the US didn't dare enforce its own constitution (the Fifth Amendment in particular, which made slavery unconstitutional).

And if EU is letting anyone bully her around, then that's not the Muslims, it's the UK.

As for the League of Nations, you are confusing the EU with UN -- or are just generally ignorant.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 11:32 Comments || Top||

#14  Aris: No, they let slave-owners bully them around, which is why for a whole century the US didn't dare enforce its own constitution (the Fifth Amendment in particular, which made slavery unconstitutional).

No real bullying involved - slave-owning was a fact of life throughout the Americas. The alternative to it was the loss of competitiveness. Without slavery to level the playing field with other slave-owning countries around the world, there would have been no United States - not that Aris would have minded. Other countries on the American continent would have surged ahead. When the British Navy managed to destroy the slave trade, that leveled the playing field. America's fortuitous industrialization provided the rest. Greece was too busy engaging in Greek-style love-making to participate in the festivities.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/17/2004 11:49 Comments || Top||

#15  (sidesteps the embers of European Nationalism)

Here's the response I got from the Spanish consulate.
Dear Sir/Madam,

The amount of messages of condolences, solidarity and support is being so overwhelming that we feel forced to write a common message of gratitude to all of you.

On behalf of the People of Spain, and on behalf the King Juan Carlos I and of our Government we would like you to know that we thank you deeply for this show of solidarity and friendship. Some of your messages were deeply moving some mirrored our anger and determination. We thank you all. And rest assured that terrorists and terror will not prevail. Together with you and with the other free and democratic societies of the World we will continue this fight until the end and we will win. Our common values and principles, our way of life are at stake.

Thank you all, again.

Francisco J. Viqueira
Consul General of Spain, Chicago
Posted by: eLarson || 03/17/2004 11:51 Comments || Top||

#16  The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is a protection against a person incriminating themselves in court.
Posted by: eLarson || 03/17/2004 11:55 Comments || Top||

#17  Yeah, because people like you can never distinguish between free voluntary unions and conquests through force and coercion.

LOL Oh yeah, Aris, that's the defining characteristic of people like [me]: an inability to distinguish between voluntary unions and conquests through force and coercion. You're not holding back with the hyperbole today, are you?!

Tell me how, when the majority of Brits are opposed to greater union, pan-EU 'nationhood', through constitution onwards, as desired by Blair et al., would be voluntary? When opinion of the EU is in decline across Europe and enthusiasm for artificial union is waning, it's European Nationalists like yourself who are arguing to enforce something that would require coercion...
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 12:05 Comments || Top||

#18  EEEK! Slavery! Slavery!
Dude the last time I checked we had a war over that issue and we got over it. I believe we are talking about your future loss of whatever liberties you might have in the EU.

Geesh, How do we get run in a ditch in a thread like this? I'll quit before it becomes unseemly. My apologies to any relatives of the victims.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/17/2004 12:05 Comments || Top||

#19  Too bad Greece is also in line for Muslim reconquest. Once a Muslim conquest, always a Muslim conquest. The Parthenon will look cute with minarettes.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 12:36 Comments || Top||

#20  Bulldog> "Tell me how, when the majority of Brits are opposed to greater union, pan-EU 'nationhood', through constitution onwards, as desired by Blair et al., would be voluntary? "

UK can leave the EU in an instant, once its people vote themselves a government that wants out.

Unlike what people like you want to believe in, EU hasn't used its mystical voodoo mind powers to control the brains of the people of the UK.

Once again: If you want to leave the EU, vote yourselves out.

Unfortunately the EU doesn't have any provision that allows itself to *force* you out, as I would dearly love to see done. This makes the responsibility for leaving or staying lie entirely on your shoulders.

That's kinda the *definition* of "voluntary union".

Not that people like you would understand it.

whitecollar redneck> "EEEK! Slavery! Slavery! Dude the last time I checked we had a war over that issue and we got over it. I believe we are talking about your future loss of whatever liberties you might have in the EU. "

Since so far our liberties have only increased in the EU (freedoms of movement, trade, employment, voting) I'd say that precedent in this respect goes in the EU's favour.

eLarson> Amendment V: "...nor [shall any person] deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;"

That makes slavery unconstitutional right there.

Zhang Fei> Wow, how original of you. I have *never* before heard cliched homosexual insinuations in this forum against the Greeks. How do you come up with this stuff?

Really brilliant and original. I mean it. Really.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 14:18 Comments || Top||

#21  Post race group hug infidel? BOOM!
Posted by: Abu || 03/17/2004 14:55 Comments || Top||

#22  Think you're just drowning in civil liberties over there, Katsaris?
When was the last time you EUros (or even just the Greeks) had a VOTE on anything that mattered?
I'll wait...*crickets*
Posted by: Jen || 03/17/2004 16:03 Comments || Top||

#23  Psst! Aris... Great Idea.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/17/2004 16:04 Comments || Top||

#24  Jen> Well, the Spanish just had a vote that mattered -- some people here thought that it mattered so much that they threw outrageous hissy fits at the results and said they'd beat up the next Spanish people they encountered that voted for the Socialists. And we Greeks also just had a vote that mattered.

Did you have a point?

11A5S> Um, yeah? Why did you link that? Is this "post a non-sequitur" day?

If you want something generally shameful concerning Greece you don't need to go back 84 years. Go back to the junta and Cyprus.

And when you'll find your point, I'll be ready to hear about it, same as with Jen.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 17:11 Comments || Top||

#25  We don't have to beat up the Spanish for their vote for IslamoFascist appeasement: either Al Queda will blow them up or under the threat of being blown up, the Spanish will now beat up THEMSELVES.
Great vote.
This is probably the last referendum you'll see on EUro-weenie soil where "the people" actually had a say. The rest of an "elections" will be for form's sake.
The EU idea of a "vote" is a demonstration in the streets--empty, but it makes the people "feel" better and AS IF they'd done something.
I hope to God that President Bush pulls us out of the Olympics.
I think they're a disaster waiting to happen and that the streets of Athens will be the "killing fields" of Summer 2004.
The Greeks are in no way prepared to handle any terror attacks and we can almost count on those.
Posted by: Jen || 03/17/2004 17:33 Comments || Top||

#26  Aris: It has the same relevance to present day events as slavery, which by the way you've brought up for the 50th time or so here in a debate. Now do you get my point?
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/17/2004 18:03 Comments || Top||

#27  11A5S: Unfortunately, squawking "slavery ! slavery!" is what Euros do when they run out of arguments or comebacks. Usually happens pretty quickly...

My advice is to laugh and treat it like Godwin would.

Posted by: Carl in N.H || 03/17/2004 18:11 Comments || Top||

#28  Give Aris credit for being a student of the US constituion. I would advise a cheap knock-off for the less developed nations/federations/city states.

Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 18:13 Comments || Top||

#29  Jen> Careful with the spit there.

You've already proven yourself an ignorant brat -- why make things worse for yourself? You asked a ridiculous question with an all-too easy answer and yet expected there to be no answer at all. I answered it quite easily with two important examples from just the two last weeks. I could have also answered with the 20-something referendums of yesteryear, some of them for joining the EU, some of them for joining NATO, some for joining the Euro, some of them for constitutional amendments.

You now say "Oh, *certainly* but what I meant is that from *now on* Euros will have no important vote."

Does that include the referendum on the reunification of Cyprus, quite likely to take place next month?

Just admit that you have no clue what you are talking about.

11A5S> Well, yes, *obviously*, but I never claimed that Greece's "founding fathers" were visions of perfection. My mention of slavery came in direct connection to Charles's reference. I quite freely admit that Greece's history and politics have all too often sucked big monkey balls.

Besides some days ago I had said that I'd mention American slavery once in a while, because I'm annoyed at the frequent mentions of WW2 to disparage the Germans.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 18:33 Comments || Top||

#30  Aris, old boy, don't kid yourself that a "referendum" on Cyprus will change anything...
Possession is 9/10 of the law and the truth of the matter is that the Islamist Turks already are in possession of 1/2 of Cyprus and aren't going anywhere.
The UN tried to "negotiate" with the Turks and got nowhere.
The Turkish dude wouldn't even show up for the meeting.
You Greekies lost Cyprus back in 1974--get used to it.
Posted by: Jen || 03/17/2004 20:17 Comments || Top||

#31  First Cyprus, the the rest of Greece.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 20:46 Comments || Top||

#32  The Turkish Cypriots aren't Islamists. And we don't want them to go anywhere.

And it's primarily their loss, if the reunification doesn't work. They need the reunification more than the Greek side does.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 20:52 Comments || Top||

#33  We are not a nation *yet*.

And you never will be.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/17/2004 21:10 Comments || Top||

#34  In Iraq, the recent repeated tragedies are bringing Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis closer together in nationhood. At this point they seem to be better at it than the EU crowd, but remember how everyone in Congress was singing on the steps of the Capital one day and then backstabbing within the next month. The key element to cohesion of divergent political interests and dissimilar ethnic groups may be repetition of tragic events. Personally, I hope that bickering continues among and within free nations - its healthy.

Aris, some ethnic jokes are a healthy way to relieve cross-cultural tension. A good portion of those type of jokes lose their humor potential over time. In the US, a whole lot of the Greek jokes were replaced by gags based on My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Did you happen to see that movie?
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/17/2004 21:49 Comments || Top||

#35  Rafael> I'm glad you can see hundreds and thousands of years into the future.

Super Hose> Yeah, I did -- and found it both amusing and quite accurate. Not to mention that I've heard it said that Greek people abroad indeed behave even more "Greekly" than Greek people here.

Though I didn't like the surname "Portokalos" itself. Though indeed sounding Greek, it also sounded vaguely *wrong* for reasons rather complicated to explain. "Portokalis" would have felt much more natural to me.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/17/2004 22:01 Comments || Top||

#36  Aris, forgive me for noting this, but the 5th Amendment did not forbid slavery, and was never read that way by our courts. It took the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments (1868) to deal with slavery:

13th Amendment: "Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

"Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

14th Amendment: "Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

"Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

"Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

"Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

15th Amendment: "Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

"Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Just a historical note.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/17/2004 22:05 Comments || Top||

#37  No, they let slave-owners bully them around, which is why for a whole century the US didn't dare enforce its own constitution (the Fifth Amendment in particular, which made slavery unconstitutional).

The Constitutional Convention attempted to deal with slavery, but tabled it so as to prevent a fracturing of the nascent Union. It was dealt with 70 years later at a cost of some 620,000 dead.

It was the 23rd Amemdment that prohibited slavery, and that was not fully ratified until December 6, 1865. Seven months after the end of the Civil War.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/17/2004 22:09 Comments || Top||

Spain looking for 5 Moroccans
Spanish investigators were searching Tuesday for five Moroccan men they suspect of belonging to an Islamic terrorist cell that may have carried out Thursday’s simultaneous rush-hour train bombings in which 201 people were killed, according to Spanish officials and news reports. The five men being sought, and another Moroccan already in custody, Jamal Zougam, were identified by survivors of the train attacks, and investigators said they believed they might have carried the bombs aboard the trains in backpacks and sports bags, the officials said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/17/2004 12:52:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:

#1  At this minute they're probably being given nice shiny new passports and credit cards at the local mosque ready to catch a flight to the UK.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 4:30 Comments || Top||

#2  someome needs to be watching out for fuckin hook hands involvment in this, bet hes woven into this web of terror somewhere. I'd like to grab his hook, drag him to the nearest car thats stationary and attach it to the bumper then tell the driver to floor it.be messy but a beutiful sight. Incedently was watching a new 'kilroy' type program this morning presented by that big titted Nadia someone who used to be in eastenders. Anyway they had some fuckin Hook hand wannabe on there preaching his jihad and what not,must say the auidience seemed to hate him though. I sat there in a rage watching it,someone should have broken his jaw and nose on live t.v - he deserved it so much,made my blood boil!
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 8:16 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm really surprised Hook's still walking the streets. Must have more bodyguards than OBL.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 8:29 Comments || Top||

Zougam tied back to UK extremists
The Metropolitan police and security services were last night investigating links between a prime suspect in the Madrid bombings and Islamist extremists in London. A senior police source told the Guardian there were definite links between terrorists in the two cities. Intelligence officers also believe that Jamal Zougam, arrested by Spanish police in connection with the bombings, has contacts with a number of individuals of north African origin who are at large in the UK. But security sources are reluctant to go into detail, and they dismiss what they say are exaggerated suggestions that the Spanish inquiry is being "exported" to Britain.

But intelligence sources say it would be surprising, given the nature of the loose international networks of al-Qaida supporters, if there were not some links between those suspected of being behind the Madrid bombings and individuals in Britain. Some of those may be of Algerian background, former members of the Armed Islamic Group responsible for attacks on the Paris underground nine years ago. The question now, sources said, was to discover just how relevant the links were to last week’s Madrid terrorist attacks on commuter trains. It is known that Mr Zougam met a French Islamist convert, David Courtailler, at a Madrid mosque in 1998. Mr Courtailler is due to stand trial in Paris today in connection with a terrorist group which recruited fighters for Afghanistan in the mid-90s. Mr Courtailler and his brother Jerome moved to London, where they are believed to have shared a flat in Brixton with Zacarias Moussaoui. Mr Moussaoui is in custody in the US, suspected of having planned to be one of the September 11 hijackers. He is reported to have said he was given cash and a fake passport at the Finsbury Park mosque under the radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza, and sent to a training camp in Afghanistan.

The Metropolitan police has sent a three-strong team to Madrid to help the Spanish investigation and see if it throws up any clues relevant to Britain or the fight against terrorism in general. Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan police commissioner, refused to comment on any possible links between the Madrid bombers and the UK, saying it was early days and the Met team was there in a non-investigative capacity. Sir John said that, if necessary, his officers would question detainees in Belmarsh high-security prison in south-east London and elsewhere if the Spanish inquiry pointed in that direction. "We will go where the evidence takes us," he said.

What is concerning intelligence officials is the apparent failure to keep tabs on Mr Zougam, who was arrested and then released three years ago in Spain. Potentially more worrying, the sources say, was the ability of the Madrid bombers to carry out terrorist attacks without any hint of what they were planning. This, sources said yesterday, suggested the bombers had worked out counter-intelligence methods to foil western electronic surveillance. Security sources have spoken about the lack of "chatter" that preceded the Madrid attack. Previous attacks by al-Qaida or offshoot terror groups have provided western intelligence with a marked increase in background communication between suspects.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/17/2004 12:50:05 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yep, when they finally got round to storming Finsbury Park Mosque, apart from the weaponry, they found the other key items of the Muslim sacraments: fake passports and credit cards. We now let this guy (Abu Hamza) preach hate in the street outside the Mosque to a crowd of nutcases every Friday. Are we mad? I was removed from a football match by the police for calling someone a gypsy and refusing to apologise. Yet this guy gets police protection whilst promoting terror and the destruction of civilisation. We can't seem to boot Hamza back to Egypt where he's under the death sentence due to our arcane legal processes. Can we please just execute him? I heard Zougam was also linked to Abu Qatada, supposedly in HMP Bellmarsh, Bin Laden's mouthpiece in Europe. This guy's supposed to be 'talking' I heard. News anyone?

Posted by: Anonymous || 03/17/2004 4:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Above posting - Howard UK. Mental Derby County fan.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 4:24 Comments || Top||

#3  coat Zougams cock in honey then shove him cock first into an angry hornets nest,be awesome
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 8:41 Comments || Top||

#4  Ha ha ha!!
Shove him honey-coated cock first into Bellmarsh prison and let the sisters at him.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 8:46 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
MoveOn Goes After Rummy
The link is to a video clip in which MoveOn is claiming they’ve caught Rummy "lying." As might be expected, it’s obviously been "snipped" so that one doesn’t have the material that preceded the section clipped.

Does anyone have the information to place it in context?
Posted by: Ralph || 03/17/2004 7:15:58 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [376 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Rummy's Drunken Monkey Shaolin Kung Fu is much stronger than MoveOn's Liar Kung Fu.


* Site may be experiencing difficulties at this time.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 19:25 Comments || Top||

#2  You have go through some serious mental gymnastics to construe this as lying. Rummy says as far as I am aware... but if you claim this then cite examples. 2 examples cited. The first fairly weak. the second a little better but no context. No evidence of Rummy lying presented. This is the Michael Moore of school of argument. Juxtapose claims and unrelated 'facts' and pretend its an argument.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/17/2004 22:14 Comments || Top||

#3  phil_b

If I wasn't clear, I apologize. I DO NOT believe MoveOn's claims, BUT I don't have the backup material to prove them wrong. The clip is pretty obviously "selectively snipped" since it doesn't even include the question to which Rummy is providing answers.

I'm hoping that some one commenting here will know how to find either the full video, or a full transcript of the session. I strongly suspect that the additional information would provide proof of MoveOn's games, but right now I have to admit that I can't prove their manipulation "in court," and I'd very much like to have the data to allow me to do that. The liberal friend who sent this too me is being as stubborn as normal and won't accept the apparent, but not proven, bias in the way the clip appears to have been edited. With a full transcript, I THINK that it would possible to incontrovertibly prove their manipulation of the data.

I've also sent the reference to Neal Boortz,
Andrew Sulivan, and Jim Taranto, in the hope that one of them may be able to provide the rest of the data. If I get it, I'll pass it along.

Thanks for the comment.
Posted by: Ralph || 03/17/2004 23:07 Comments || Top||

#4  "imminent"

I would just like to say, "So fucking what?"

In the larger context that led up to the War in Iraq this is the tiniest zit on the ass of the smallest flea on the tip of the tail of the dog. Wag no more, puhleeze.

A red herring - chase it if you must, but don't read aloud or even move your lips. It's twaddle.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 23:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Ralph -

here is the link for the Rumsfeld speech from which the quotes that were cited on screen appeared:


It's testimony Rummy gave the House Armed Services Committee. You have to have a command of English on a par with Muck4Doo to misunderstand what Rummy is trying to say - that Iraq poses "the most immediate threat," i.e., the threat closest in time/space - whereas MoveOn etc want you to think he said "it's an immediate threat," i.e., it's gonna happen tomorrow.

As for the "I wouldn't be so certain" comment, Rummy is saying he is not as ready to accept expert statements that as of 9/18/02 Iraq was 5-7 years away from having an actual, deployable, usable nuclear weapon. He cites the fact that in 1991 evidence was found that proved the "experts," who had said at that time that Saddam was 5-7 years away from a nuke, wrong - he could have had a crude but effective nuke 6-12 months out from the time the shooting war began in Jan 1991.

Again, Moveon has to be either really really stupid - even stupider than they evidently are - or deliberately misunderstanding and misrepresenting what Rumsfeld said. Ain't that a news flash?

Here is the transcript of the "Face the Nation" show from which the clip was taken:


From my reading, it looks like Rummy is just trying to say - as best he can, given the interruptions from Schieffer and Friedman - that he thinks what he said is pretty plain. Poor man, he's assuming they can understand a simple declarative English sentence.

Anyway, hope this helps.
Posted by: Sofia || 03/18/2004 11:36 Comments || Top||

Long-distance duel: Kerry, Cheney assess national security
EFL - Highpoints
"I make this simple pledge," the senator said at George Washington University in Washington: "If I am president, I will fight for a constant standard of decency and respect for those who serve their country in our armed forces -- on active duty and as veterans. It should be no other way, and if I am president, it will be no other way."
Kerrysaid this? That isn’t what he was saying in ’72 when he accused servicemen of war crimes ( murder, rape, of civilians) in Nam....
"We need to use the tools of diplomacy as well as the tools of war," Kerry said. "All of us support our troops. But if we had built a true coalition, they would not have to fight almost alone -- and Americans would not have to bear almost all the costs in Iraq."
Hear that Britain? Spain? Poland? Where the hell were you guys -- we did it all ourselves!
"Though John Kerry voted in October of 2002 for military action in Iraq, he later voted against funding our soldiers," the ad says. Kerry called the ad "misleading" and a "distortion," insisting before an audience of veterans in Huntington that he opposed the measure because Republicans refused to pay for it by rolling back tax cuts for high-income taxpayers, as he and other Democrats proposed. "We thought that since those [military] families are sacrificing, that just maybe the wealthiest people in America would be willing to also contribute," he said.
As well as those who are looking or just got a job and are trying to make a living.....
Bush’s spokesmen have said Kerry’s refusal to name names shows that he is making up those assertions. Bush and Cheney have stopped short of questioning Kerry’s veracity, but the vice president, at a fund-raising stop Tuesday in Colorado, insisted that Americans "have a right to know what he’s saying to foreign leaders that makes them so supportive of his candidacy."
Well we know what he is saying to the Mullahs of Iran, Kimmie-boy, and Binny.... "We surrender!"
"We are the ones who get to determine who wins the election, not unnamed foreign leaders," Cheney said, to applause from the GOP faithful.
Damn stright!
But one of Kerry’s vanquished Democratic foes, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, came to Kerry’s defense, saying the vindictive nature of the Bush administration justifies his decision to withhold the names.
"For Sen. Kerry to reveal the names of foreign leaders who prefer his candidacy would simply open those nations open up to retribution, a characteristic of this administration which we have seen both at home and abroad," Dean said.
Who? Where? Come on name some names Dean! Well even let you howl the names! Why wasn’t the bombing of Spain reported in the news?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 3:53:57 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [240 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kerry called the ad "misleading" and a "distortion," insisting before an audience of veterans in Huntington that he opposed the measure because Republicans refused to pay for it by rolling back tax cuts for high-income taxpayers, as he and other Democrats proposed.

As suggested on NRO, the response to this should be, "How much does John Kerry want to raise taxes? So much he voted against body armor for our troops when he didn't get the tax increase he wanted."
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 16:01 Comments || Top||

#2  But if we had built a true coalition, they would not have to fight almost alone

this is a huge lie...now tell just when did the US fight with a coalition where we were not the main force fighting? (excluding the brits..WWII and the Persion Guld II).....whenever the US fights we are usually alone with just token forces supplied by so-called allies.
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 17:57 Comments || Top||

#3  former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, came to Kerry’s defense, saying the vindictive nature

now there is a statement of contradictions from the most pleasant dean....

Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 17:59 Comments || Top||

#4  You guys have to admit that this war would have gone much better, had we had the French bringing up the rear....oh no......hahahahahahahahah I think I wet myself.
Posted by: wills || 03/17/2004 18:48 Comments || Top||

Tanks For The Memories
Tanks for the Memories


Next to John Kerry, Michael Dukakis was a hawk.

"But I was in ’Nam! Don’t you question my patriotism!"


Wednesday, March 17, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

John Kerry is right about one thing: He’s no Michael Dukakis. A look at the record shows that in his bid for the White House in 1988, Massachusetts’ then-governor ran to Mr. Kerry’s right on national defense. Mr. Kerry has not repudiated his opposition to the weapon systems Mr. Dukakis promised to support.

Everyone remembers the pathetic image of Mr. Dukakis riding around in a tank while wearing a goofy helmet. But few remember why he staged that photo-op in the first place. Mr. Dukakis was fighting to overcome the impression that he had what Henry Kissinger called a "visceral, negative" attitude toward the military--a fatal problem for a Cold War presidential candidate.

Open mouth, insert Abrams.

Being part of the Democratic Party was a hindrance. Many Democrats spent much of the 1980s fighting for the nuclear-freeze movement. Mr. Kerry joined the movement in 1982, during his successful campaign to become Mr. Dukakis’s lieutenant governor, and he used many of its appendage groups in Massachusetts when he sought an open Senate seat in 1984. These were the intellectuals behind the rabble in the streets who protested things like deploying nuclear missiles to Turkey to counter the Soviets SS-23s.

I got hassled by peacenicks in Hannover back in ’87. Young and naive guy I was at the time, I praised Reagan and the missile buildup during a demonstration. The Polizei ’escorted’ me out of the protest zone. Thanks, guys!

But they did much more than oppose building or deploying nukes. They believed so strongly in "mutually assured destruction"--neither side would start a nuclear war if it was clear neither side could win such a war--that they also opposed just about any weapon system that would give America a tactical advantage over the Soviets. That’s why President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (which opponents derided as "star wars") was so vehemently opposed. And it’s why Mr. Kerry and others voted against funding Trident II submarine launchers, stealth bombers and even the M1 Abrams Tank.

...and just about every other DoD initiative.

Mr. Dukakis understood the political reality that he had to close his party’s credibility gap on defense without alienating politicians like Mr. Kerry. So he tried to have his tank cake and eat it too. Mr. Dukakis promised to cut funding for SDI but not to kill the program altogether. He also offered qualified support to the Trident II and stealth bomber projects as well as to consider ways to get around his budget concerns regarding Midgetman missile launchers.

Oh, the irony of that name!

But the bulk of his military program called for spending more money on "traditional" military hardware. He wanted more tanks, not more nukes.

To pull off this feat, Mr. Dukakis drew close to "Defense Democrats" like Rep. Les Aspin and Sen. Sam Nunn, then chairmen of the Armed Services Committees in their respective chambers. He wanted to show that he wasn’t the equivocating "liberal," Vice President George Bush said he was, but in fact had the support of hawks within his party.

On Sept. 11, 1988, a group of Defense Democrats made a public show of meeting Mr. Dukakis to press him on, among other things, dropping the "ifs" and "buts" when voicing support for stealth bombers and Trident II missiles. After the meeting they publicly proclaimed him to be sound on defense. The next day Mr. Dukakis went into the tank for the famous photo.

Lest anyone forget...

The voters understood that Mr. Dukakis wasn’t really a hawk, and he became a laughingstock for trying to convince them otherwise. On Election Day Mr. Bush trounced him. Now that defense is again central to the presidential campaign, Mr. Kerry will have to explain why voters should trust him to combat terrorism when, in the face of the Soviet threat, he favored an even weaker military than Mr. Dukakis did.

And we’ll be laughing once more, in November.
Posted by: Raj || 03/17/2004 1:53:35 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

Kerry: "I Had A Dog, And VC Was His Name-O"
Humane USA is a political action committee devoted to the task of electing humane-minded candidates to public office at the federal and state levels. Democratic presidential hopefuls U.S. Senator John Kerry responded to Humane USA’s presidential questionnaire. Kerry still seems to be answering every question with a reference to Vietnam. Except, of course, about details of his protesting it afterward.
Q: Do you have any pets that have made an impact on you personally?
A: I have always had pets in my life and there are a few that I remember very fondly. When I was serving on a swiftboat in Vietnam, my crewmates and I had a dog we called VC. We all took care of him, and he stayed with us and loved riding on the swiftboat deck. I think he provided all of us with a link to home and a few moments of peace and tranquility during a dangerous time. One day as our swiftboat was heading up a river, a mine exploded hard under our boat. After picking ourselves up, we discovered VC was MIA. Several minutes of frantic search followed after which we thought we’d lost him. We were relieved when another boat called asking if we were missing a dog. It turns out VC was catapulted from the deck of our boat and landed confused, but unhurt, on the deck of another boat in our patrol.

All I can say is wow, they must have had some bitching dope in the Nam.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 12:14:36 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  " The Vietcong are throwing their lunch at us, retreat!"
Posted by: Charles || 03/17/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

#2  To the last yellow highlighted comment the answer is YES!
Posted by: 3dc || 03/17/2004 12:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Do you think they will catch on to the fact that he took a dog into a free-fire combat zone? Someone call PETA.....

bitching dope - LOL - Excellent!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 12:39 Comments || Top||

#4  It turns out VC was catapulted from the deck of our boat and landed confused, but unhurt, on the deck of another boat in our patrol.

This is a job for the Mythbusters!
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 12:54 Comments || Top||

#5  "This is a job for the Mythbusters!"

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing a small dog made of ballistic gelatin cartwheeling thru the air.
Posted by: SteveS || 03/17/2004 13:04 Comments || Top||

#6  "and after we got him back, we ate him"
Posted by: Frank G || 03/17/2004 13:14 Comments || Top||

#7  VC for VP!!! (After all he served in Vietnam!)

And no, I don't have a dog in this fight!
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/17/2004 13:21 Comments || Top||

#8  I wonder if his wife will let him have a dog now? “Can I have a dog?” “only with relish!” According to my father (two tours): “The had some ass-kicking stuff over there.” This was long before drug testing and discharge.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 03/17/2004 13:32 Comments || Top||

#9  skerry seems like a cat person or at least that's prolly all his wife will let him have......bwhaha
Posted by: Jarhead || 03/17/2004 14:02 Comments || Top||

#10  I hope mythbusters does do this myth. That way, they blow up the boats afterwards with a Kerry cardbaord cut-out on board.

I bet the cut-out would run away too.
Posted by: Charles || 03/17/2004 14:36 Comments || Top||

#11  Well, I've always thought that Kerry was a piss-poor Naval Officer, and this confirms it. All GOOD sailors know that a sea story always starts with the words "This is no shit...."
Posted by: Bill || 03/17/2004 14:46 Comments || Top||

#12  I'm pretty sure they'd have Buster act as Kerry's stand-in. They might have to search pretty hard for a canine crash-test dummy.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 14:47 Comments || Top||

#13  Well, I've always thought that Kerry was a piss-poor Naval Officer, and this confirms it. All GOOD sailors know that a sea story always starts with the words "This is no shit...."
Posted by: Bill || 03/17/2004 14:48 Comments || Top||

#14  TGA - Lol! You covered all of the important points per the Skeery talking points committee!

Snopes and Cecil Adams may want to get in on this one... what do the others guys on the boat say? They were quick to say, "Um, yeah - we were very brave and very heroic VC fighters in the 'Nam. Right! What(ever) he says!" - wonder if they'll buy into the ballistic doggie story, too...
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 15:38 Comments || Top||

#15  Best of the Web notes that blogger Steve Sturm is all over this BS :

"Kerry's boat was "heading up a river," which means the boat was moving. I assume Naval doctrine in those days called for ships to maintain a minimum distance from one another in order to minimize damage and casualties in the event one ship draws hostile fire, hits a mine, etc. How far away from Kerry's boat was this other boat--20 yards, 50 yards, 100 yards? Even if they weren't strictly adhering to doctrine, there ought to have been some separation; there's no reason I can think why one boat would be running upriver with another boat tied to its stern.

So, we have Kerry claiming that his ship hit a mine that generated enough explosive energy to propel this dog . . . some 40 yards or so through the air, without hurting the dog? Unlikely.

Now, what are the odds of the dog being catapulted from Kerry's moving boat and landing on another moving boat? It must have been the perfect combination of launch angle, distance, explosive force, trajectory and the like for that to have happened. I know for a fact that this is no easy thing to do: think how hard it is to win that silly carnival frog game--and that's from a stationary platform. Maybe this happens in the movies, but not in real life. Wait a minute, in the remake of Starsky & Hutch, they tried launching a car into the air trying to land it on a moving boat. They failed miserably. So, I take it back, it doesn't even happen in the movies.

And, Kerry's account refers only to "picking ourselves up" after the explosion. There's an explosion so forceful that it launches the dog into near earth orbit and all Kerry and his crew have to do is "pick themselves up"? Again, I'm no physics major, but wouldn't it reasonable to think that an explosion with that much force wouldn't have seriously damaged the boat? What about his crew--granted they're all likely to have been bigger than the dog, and perhaps better able to absorb the shock, but none of them were hurt, knocked out, knocked overboard?"

Posted by: Frank G || 03/17/2004 15:48 Comments || Top||

#16  I never got to have a dog in Vietnam. I had a rice beetle, though. His name was Harvey...
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 16:27 Comments || Top||

#17  LOL! *spewing coffee* Damnit, FrankG, this is about sentiment! Heart-string tugging "Gosharoonies!" stuff. Warm fuzzy touchy-feely "See how human / humane I am?" PR! Get that damned logic outta here! Damn engineers are all alike - dissecting the story bits into physical events and examining them under the harsh light of reality -- You're Evil! -- you just get a kick outta popping bubbles, doncha?!??!!! Lol! 8->

Fred - Was he invisible? ;-)
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 17:06 Comments || Top||

#18  The only pet Kerry can think to of that made an impact on Kerry was almost three dozen years ago,and it wasn't even his!This sums up Kerry perfectly-an ambitious,cynical,completely self-absorbed,masterpanderer who uses other people for his gain(it was crew's dog,threw someone elses' medals,sponged off everyone he knew).And the best part of fairy tale for me,he doesn't even answer quetion of pet that made a personal impact-"I think he provided ALL OF US...".

p.s. As for dog surviving unhurt,everyone knows how hard it was to hurt the VC;).
Posted by: Stephen || 03/17/2004 18:18 Comments || Top||

#19  Harvey... that's a nice name. I'll bet you would have liked blue velvet too.
Posted by: Radar || 03/17/2004 19:21 Comments || Top||

#20  I'm pretty sure they'd have Buster act as Kerry's stand-in

That's an insult to test-dummies everywhere.
Posted by: Charles || 03/17/2004 19:44 Comments || Top||

#21  I could have sworn (after I stopped spitting coffee on the monitor) that this had to be Scrappleface. Nope. It's on the Humane USA website (www.humaneusa.org).

Read Dennis Kucinich's too ...
Posted by: Sofia || 03/17/2004 22:58 Comments || Top||

Bush: Foreign leaders want me to clean Jean-Pierre Kerry’s clock
(2004-03-16) -- In the wake of claims by Democrat presidential candidate John Forbes Kerry that foreign leaders hope he wins the White House, President George Bush today said "unnamed foreign leaders told me they want me to clean Kerry’s clock, you know, to fix his wagon."

"They can’t go out and say this publicly," Mr. Bush said, "but boy they look at you and say, ’You’ve got to pummel this wishy-washy appeaser. You’ve got to spank him with the buckle end of the belt’. Of course, I can’t tell you who said that, but them foreigners want me to put a hurt on him."

Mr. Bush, like Mr. Kerry, spends hours every day chatting with foreign leaders to find out what kind of American foreign policy will be most popular with them. And while Mr. Kerry speaks fluent French thanks to childhood summers spent at a family estate in Brittany, Mr. Bush speaks Spanish and Pig Latin, which he calls "the new Esperanto...the global language of diplomacy."

"You wouldn’t believe some of things my foreign buddies have told me about Enator-say Erry-kay," said Mr. Bush. "It’s all on the Q.T., of course."
Posted by: Korora || 03/17/2004 11:18:39 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [368 views] Top|| File under:

#1  excellent
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 11:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Bravo, bravo!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 03/17/2004 11:56 Comments || Top||

#3  ean-Jay eirre-Pay erry-Kay is a ick-day ucker-say.
Posted by: Danny || 03/17/2004 13:44 Comments || Top||

#4  "the new Esperanto...the global language of diplomacy." lmao. absolutely brilliant.
Posted by: Jarhead || 03/17/2004 14:00 Comments || Top||

#5  "the buckle end of the belt"
Lol! I haven't heard this one in 40 years - prolly since spanking your own children has long been outlawed in Ketchup-Grrl's werld.

Scott Ott is the funniest mofo on the planet. Amazing that he can repeat this level of parody day in and day out. Awesome!
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 15:43 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm laughinfg, very deeply. Bravo!
Posted by: Lucky || 03/18/2004 0:07 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Soldier May Be Prosecuted for Absence
A soldier who says he refused to report to duty because he opposes the war in Iraq will be assigned regular duties while commanders decide whether to prosecute him for a five-month absence, a Fort Stewart official said Wednesday. The Army has no immediate plans to charge or arrest Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia when he returns to the post, said Maj. Robert Resnick, chief of military justice at Fort Stewart. "He’s not going to be singled out for any different type of treatment," Resnick said.

Mejia, 28, a Florida National Guardsman, is seeking conscientious objector status. On Tuesday, a Florida Guard spokesman said Mejia has been classified as a deserter. If Mejia is charged with desertion, he could get up to five years in prison. Mejia, 28, served in Iraq last year but failed to return from a two-week leave in October. He surrendered Monday, and was given a 3 p.m. deadline Wednesday to report for duty at Fort Stewart. His attorney, Louis Font, said Mejia would report by Wednesday’s deadline. Mejia said he witnessed civilian deaths in Iraq and would rather go to prison than return there. "The justification for this war is money and no soldier should go to Iraq and give his life for oil," Mejia told reporters.
Thus guy obviously hasn’t filled his gas tank lately..... I dont know about you but here it is up to 1:80/Gallion.....
What a cowardly piece of crap. He sounds like somebody who's allergic to live ammunition.

I've got a remote chance at a job in Iraq — I'm probably too old, fat, and arthritic. If it happens to come through, I'll jump on it.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 7:03:11 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [360 views] Top|| File under:

#1  An ingrate immigrant. He was trying to get out on various technicalities during his deployment. His commander knew he was not likely to come back. He was back in the US to work on his VISA.

Photograph. Fingerprint. Deport.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 19:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Don't court martial him. He forgot about the part where one declares conscientious objector status before volunteering for the military. Deport him backto Nicaragua. He obviously doesn't think it's his fight, so he'll feel safer in Managua.
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 19:11 Comments || Top||

#3  I agree with the deportation. I think that he would have to be honorably discharged before he could get citizenship. If that is so, send him back.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 03/17/2004 19:28 Comments || Top||

#4  try 2.09 a gallon in california - and that is at an ARCO.

i have seen 2.16 at a shell - higher for premium - up to 2.27 a gallon
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 19:41 Comments || Top||

#5  This pendejo is just another of the Left's Useful Idiots!
Save us paying the bus fare and all the legal fees and just put him in front of a firing squad for desertion, insubordination and refusing to obey orders.
Posted by: Jen || 03/17/2004 20:20 Comments || Top||

#6  Since when do servicemen get too decide what duties they choose too do ?and when did they start asking if they opposed it or not?
Posted by: smokeysinse || 03/17/2004 20:55 Comments || Top||

#7  Since when do servicemen get too decide what duties they choose too do ?and when did they start asking if they opposed it or not?
Posted by: smokeysinse || 03/17/2004 20:55 Comments || Top||

#8  Sounds like this young man has no cojones - or that he shouldn't have any, one way or another. Two of my friends have daughters over there. They are better "men" than this POS. Court martail him, give him a BCD for cause, and ship him back to Nicaragua. Mark the books that he can NEVER be given citizenship in the United States. Send one or more of the Dixie Twits along to hold his hand as he gets sent home in disgrace.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/17/2004 21:51 Comments || Top||

#9  I'd shoot him if they want.
Posted by: Jarhead || 03/17/2004 23:27 Comments || Top||

#10  Mejia apparently passed Sergeant O'Reilly's Crash Course in English--enugh to make Staff Sergeant. But evidently, he Just Didn't Get It. Send him back to Sandinista county, preferably without the citienship that was improvidently granted.
Posted by: Sid Cochran || 03/18/2004 23:21 Comments || Top||

Just kids
I don’t know if this has been posted before or not, but if so, it bears repeating.
The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father’s; but he has never collected unemployment either.

He’s a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or
hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155 mm howizzitor. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one ffectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He
can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you’re thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He’ll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands? He can save your life take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to ’square-away’ those around him who haven’t bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and
Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have woman over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. As you
go to bed tonight, remember this shot. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.

Prayer wheel for our military... please don’t break it. Please send this on after a short prayer. Prayer Wheel: "Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."
Amen indeed.
Posted by: Spot || 03/17/2004 2:09:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sorry, I forgot the title!
Posted by: Spot || 03/17/2004 14:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Before antiwar, lyot, or John start to have sh-t fits over this--THANKS! I copied it onto my computer so I could keep it.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 18:56 Comments || Top||

Las Vegas Police Nab Ohio Sniper Suspect
The man suspected in two dozen sniper shootings that have terrorized motorists along Ohio highways was arrested at a Las Vegas motel early Wednesday. Charles A. McCoy Jr., 28, was taken into custody two days after he was named as a suspect in the shootings that left one woman dead and pierced cars and homes in the Columbus area, said Las Vegas police Lt. Christopher Van Cleef. "We got him in custody without incident," Van Cleef said. Police were told of McCoy’s whereabouts by a man who spotted him at the Stardust casino, recognized him from media reports and found out where he was staying, Van Cleef said. Las Vegas police staked out the motel and arrested McCoy in the parking lot.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 1:19:11 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ohio has a death penalty.
Posted by: Mike || 03/17/2004 14:10 Comments || Top||

#2  When our worthless, crap-weasel governors aren't pardoning everyone in sight.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 14:46 Comments || Top||

#3  RC - Don't worry about Gov. Taft. He's a yutz but has no problem letting "Old Sparkey" have his due.

Posted by: Doc8404 || 03/17/2004 15:15 Comments || Top||

Lucid analysis of some issues in WoT
Cannot EFL without losing a lot.
An End to Evil How to Win the War on Terror by David Frum and Richard Perle

This book assembles in one place the bulk of the arguments for, and some of the evidence behind, the new American policies for nation-rebuilding in the Middle East. I’m surprised that such a book is necessary, but . . .

The book’s points are simple. We are at war, and have been at war for some years, with an enemy whose goal is world domination. Several of our front-line institutions have proven themselves incompetent. The authors assert that the FBI is the worst of the offenders, with the CIA close behind. They point out that the State Department is institutionally ill-designed for the task at hand--and in fact often serves to promote foreign interests to the US rather than the reverse. It is common knowledge that the Saudis are very generous to friendly diplomats when said diplomats retire, and so our Saudi specialists are generally bought and paid for by a foreign power.

The authors argue that terrorists can be partly disabled by suppressing their flow of money and weapons from supportive governments. I think the jury is still out on this one: it is indisputable that terrorists are currently supported by governments now, but it is also true that terrorists establish lucrative organized crime connections (such as in Columbia, or the IRA in Northern Ireland).

They propose that we
* be serious about the fact that we’re at war. Be willing to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
* recognize that aliens are not US citizens, and take a little more care with immigration. At the moment many universities (and even cities!) refuse to cooperate with Federal programs for monitoring whether legal aliens actually go to school or work as they claimed they would.
* institute a national ID system.
* keep our eye on the ball in North Korea, rejecting any appeasement while redeploying armed forces to reduce vulnerability and preparing for a preemptive strike.
* support Iranian dissidents
* squeeze Syria until they quit supporting/enabling terrorist groups, pull out of Lebanon, and start opening their economy and political system. I dunno about Lebanon--they say "If the Lebanese need help patrolling and policing their territory, we can arrange to get it from a less domineering source." Who? The Syrians came in quashing a nasty civil war (which they had a hand in, of course). Are those factions reconciled to each other now? Want to bet an American peace-making force on it?
* keep up the pressure on Libya. Fortunately this is becoming moot
* come up with varied plans with varied allies to deal with the many small evil places where terrorists lurk or rule. Contrary to their assertion, we did not step in to keep order in Liberia when civilization collapsed.
* include all terrorist groups in the bulls-eye, including the fashionable ones like Hezbollah and Hamas.
* keep our eye on the ball with our deepest enemies: the Saudis.
    o Tell the truth about them. (US News started on this)
    o Punish those Saudi individuals and groups who finance terror
    o Demand that the Saudis stop Wahhabi missionary efforts here and abroad. They won’t. They can’t. I don’t think the authors have a good understanding of the religious dynamics involved here. Nevertheless, we need to strangle Saudi funding of people and literature for all Islamic centers in the US. It is imperative to keep Wahhabi clerics out of our prisons.
    o Warn the Saudis that failure to cooperate can have serious consequences. I think they already got that message. They face a rather dangerous choice: cooperate with the Iranian Shiites in stirring up mischief among the Iraqi Shiites, and risk having rising regional Shiite power stir an echoing Shiite rebellion in Saudi Arabia, or supporting the Sunni mischief-makers in Iraq, and risk having an annoyed Shiite power on their border. I doubt that cooperating with us is on their radar screen.
* recognize that violent Islamism is on the rise around the world, and try to encourage democratic ideals. How?
* go all out to make sure that Iraq can even partially succeed in creating a free country. The power of that example in the Middle East can be huge.
* encourage as much foreign trade as we can, thus giving larger numbers of Pakistanis or Jordanians a stake in peace. A small effect, but helpful
* focus on women’s rights, by encouraging women’s education.
* avoid getting involved in creating/enforcing the peace in a Palestinian state. "The Arab-Israeli quarrel is not a cause of Islamic extremism; the unwillingness of Arabs to end the quarrel is a manifestation of the underlying cultural malaise from which Islamic extremism emerges."
* split counter-terrorism from crime fighting in the FBI--and let people talk to each other. "Non citizen terrors suspects are not members of the American national community, and they have no proper claim on the rights Americans accord one another."
* relax rules about recruiting sources with criminal backgrounds
* change the culture of the CIA: take more care recruiting foreign agents, use less ideology in interpreting results, recruit/train more hard-language experts, be very careful using information supplied by foreign intelligence services
* put a "brilliant visionary" in charge of the CIA, to get a top-down cultural change.
* split off the "attack" operations from intelligence gathering, and merge this with Defense Special Forces.
* keep domestic and foreign intelligence gathering separate for safety’s sake, and keep the DIA and NSA separate for the sake of having a good second opinion.
* reform the Pentagon, looking for more ways to use capital equipment instead of soldiers. I am deeply nervous about this focus on machines rather than eyes. The book uses an illustration from Afghanistan of a high-tech attack, but the news today has a counter-illustration of US failure due to a lack of people on the ground talking to the natives.
* eliminate the regional bureaus in the State Department, thereby streamlining it and cutting back on the tendency of regional staff to start thinking of the affairs of their area as more important than the affairs of the US. I’ll take the authors’ word that this is a serious problem. I’d think that losing regional bureaus might cut down on the number of knowledgeable people in the long term--we might have to re-instate these after a few years.
* increase the number of political appointees in the State Department, to make it more responsive to the needs of the country and less to its own bureaucratic imperatives. Pendulum time. The bureaucrats are too entrenched and disruptive, based on my own observations as an outsider, and the authors confirm this from insider knowledge. So you have to shake it up. Several years from now there’ll be too many amateurs, and you’ll have to reduce the number of political appointees. Such is life.
* reform the spirit. Recognize that the world is hard, laws are only useful when enforceable, and have the confidence to recognize that we can fight and win and keep our souls. My phrasing, not theirs.
* recognize that allies in one battle may not be allies in another, and that we cannot count on any country or organization (and certainly not the UN) to keep with us through all battles.
* recognize that the EU is being shaped into an opponent, and engage the various parties involved in shaping the EU. Try to enlarge the EU and NATO to dilute French influence.
* help keep Britain militarily independent of the EU. They’ve been a friendly ally, and if they lose control of their military we lose their support.
* be direct with China. Establish a defense partnership with Japan, Australia, and other countries.
* offer a credible military guarantee to Taiwan.
* Make South Korea responsible for its own defense
* exercise non-military power in the India-Pakistan area
    o drop the nuclear weapons sanctions we imposed as useless
    o broaden military-military relationships with all the countries, with special emphasis on humane counter-terrorism and controls to keep nuclear weapons out of the wrong hands
    o increase US aid to the subcontinent, focusing on a "providing a more appealing education than the local Islamic colleges offer." Really tough! School districts like control over the curriculum. "Trusting the holy Saudi imam to teach the Koran uninspected is one thing, but what are these infidels going to do?" The news this week included a girl’s school burnt in Pakistan . . .
    o promote subcontinental economic integration by offering "a comprehensive free trade agreement with the United States--provided they sign the same agreement with one another. I like it. I wonder if it would fly.
* tell the truth about Russia and its atrocities in Chechnya
* recognize that Russia is neither an ally nor a partner, except on a transaction by transaction basis.
* use symbolic punishment on Russia for its deals with Iran--disinviting them to the summits of the seven industrial powers, for example. I’m not sure this is sensible. The authors claim our sanctions against India and Pakistan were useless, and this seems cut off the same cloth.
* require that the UN Article 51 be amended or interpreted to include supporting terrorists fighting a country as an act of aggression. This is also tricky. We’ve persistently turned a blind eye to IRA fund raising in the US, and I suspect a lot of LURD’s support came from the US as well.
The books ends with a reminder that sometimes democracy needs support from outside.

The authors have to make some important points, and so they neglect some others. The BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN et al will gleefully magnify our faults and failings, so Frum and Perle don’t need to. I wish they showed a tad more humility, though. The title itself: An End to Evil, is excessively grandiose. Even if every Islamist dropped dead tomorrow, there’d still be more than enough evil in the world to guarantee constant wars.

I appreciate the insider’s view of how the FBI/CIA/State work. I’m glad to see all this info in one place. I recommend the book: but I don’t think the authors show a clear understanding of the religious dimensions of this war.
Posted by: Korora || 03/17/2004 11:57:13 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [245 views] Top|| File under:

NYT Editorial: Regime Change by AlQ = Healthy Democracy
If this was posted yesterday, please delete!
EFL / Fair Use

Change in Spain
Published: March 16, 2004
The terrorist bombings in Madrid last week were undoubtedly the main factor in Sunday’s upset of the incumbent Popular Party, which supported the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. The victorious Socialists, like most Spaniards, did not. If Al Qaeda organized the bombings, as now seems to be the case, the outcome may be seen by some as a win for the terrorists. We disagree.

Certainly, the events in Madrid have been a major blow to the Bush administration’s strategy of inducing democratic governments to endorse its military operations even in the teeth of overwhelming opposition from their own people. But the war on terror will go on, perhaps stronger than ever.

The Popular Party expected that its impressive economic achievements would cause the Spanish people to overlook Prime Minister José María Aznar’s unpopular decision to support the invasion of Iraq and send a symbolic detachment of Spanish troops to aid in the effort. Thursday’s terrorist strike — Western Europe’s worst in more than half a century, with 200 dead and 1,500 wounded — scrambled the political calculus. Sunday’s vote became an expression of national pride and mourning. Spaniards who might not otherwise have voted turned out in large numbers and voted against a government that they opposed before the bombs went off. Others may have turned against the government over its early emphatic insistence that the bombings had been the work of Basque, rather than Islamic, terrorists. Either way, it was an exercise in healthy democracy, in which a change of government is simply that, and not a change of national character.
The home of moral equivalency holds the line.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 8:48:11 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Essay question (15 pts) -- Compare the above with the Washington Post's editorial of the same date discussing the Spanish election. Which of these great liberal newspapers is written and edited by mature adult human beings? Support your conclusion.
Posted by: Mike || 03/17/2004 9:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Mike: the contrast between the WaPo and the NYT has been striking for years. It goes back even before 9/11. The WaPo editorial line is basically New Democrat and Clintonian. The NYT under Raines was bitterly anti-Clintonian, FROM THE LEFT. IN particular Raines waged a long and bitter war against welfare reform. Apparently the current Sulzberger-in-charge goes in for this point of view also. While the Grahams at the WaPo remain loyal to their Kennedy era/ New Frontier version of liberalism.

You could also say its different audiences. The NYT target audience is a certain sort of Upper West Side liberal, with CPUSA or at least fellow traveler background, who works in the culture industries, and for whom politics is largely a way of snubbing competing, less cultured, elites. WaPo's target audience, Dems and Republicans alike, is people who actually have to deal with policy on a day to day basis, and who have to be deal with reality, both international reality and US domestic political reality.

Typical WaPo reader - busy hammering out a fishing agreement with France. Typical NYT reader - has a house on the Riviera in France.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/17/2004 9:48 Comments || Top||

#3  LH,
this may have been a good analysis some time ago but have you seen the NYTimes weather section lately. Its got the colors of the USA weather map and actual precip amount. Maybe the red diaper babies have a little weathergeek in them.
Posted by: mhw || 03/17/2004 10:26 Comments || Top||

Iranian Parliament Members Being Prosecuted for Criticizing Recent Elections
Nahavand representative Mohammad Reza Ali-Husseini was found guilty of insulting election-supervisory boards and the Guardians Council, ISNA reported on 16 March. The Public Prosecutor’s Office summoned Tehran parliamentarian Mohammad Reza Khatami on 16 March for making critical comments about the February parliamentary elections, ISNA reported. On the same day, the Public Prosecutor’s Office summoned Tehran’s Mohsen Armin, whose resignation was accepted just days earlier, ISNA reported. The complaint relates to his interviews about the elections. Mashhad’s Ali Tajernia said on 10 March that he has been summoned to appear before the special court for government employees, ISNA reported. Tehran’s Mohsen Mirdamadi and Isfahan’s Rajab-Ali Mazrui were summoned for unknown reasons, "Hambastegi" reported on 10 March. A parliamentary source told ISNA on 7 March about other cases: Kazerun’s Mohammad-Baqer Baqeri-Nejad-Fard is to appear in court following a complaint from the police; Sardasht and Piranshahr’s Hasel Daseh faces a complaint from the police; Pakdasht’s Mohammad Qomi was summoned for unknown reasons; Khavaf and Rashtkhar ’s Gholamheidar Ebrahimbay-Salami was summoned in relation to his work for "Hambastegi" daily; and Isfahan’s Ahmad Shirzad was summoned for a speech he made in December.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/17/2004 11:32:51 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Everyone reading the article wants to know the likely punishment for being found guilty. Or is it just a threat to silence the opposition.
Posted by: Jim Bosso || 03/19/2004 13:17 Comments || Top||

Regime forces pull back from demonstrators in most Iranian cities
Go to the link and catch up with the latest.
The Islamic regime forces have pulled back from the demonstrators in several Iranian cities, such as, Tehran, Abadan, Shiraz, Bookan, Babolsar, Khoram-Shahr, Sannandaj, Bandar Abbas and Zahedan. It seems that fearing a general uprising while millions of Iranians are in the streets of all Iranian cities, has forced the regime to take such unprecedented decison or to be waiting for a specific moment to start the crackdown.

In All these cities fires have been set and many residents have throwned pictures of the regime’s leaders and its founder, Rooh-Ollah Khomeini, in fire while chanting and dancing under the eyes of the powerless forces of the Islamic republic. Astonishingly, the regime forces haven’t even intervene when several plainclothes men were identified and arrested by maverick Iranian freedom fighters or that masked youth have thrown on them incendiary devices.

What’s going on this evening has never been seen and the night is just at its start and will be very long for the regime.
Posted by: tipper || 03/17/2004 11:00:23 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [246 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hope the ball keeps on rolling.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 03/17/2004 11:10 Comments || Top||

#2  while last night CNN had a puff piece on happy people using firecrackers in Tehran
Posted by: mhw || 03/17/2004 11:13 Comments || Top||

#3  i've a horrible feeling the site the link directs us too is a bit of a one for exagerating this.I must say i have seen 2 pics of what looked like pretty serious riots ,but thats all, I realise the Mullahs have the Media under thier control but surly thered be more on the web and net,admitadly i don't speak there langauge so i can't read thier websites directly.Anyway hopefull but also sceptical
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 11:18 Comments || Top||

#4  mhw, well they wouldn't want to do something silly like report the truth and get their reporters kicked out would they ;)

It's amazing to me that news organizations will purposely report lies in order to stay in country. What's the f-ing point of being there if they can't report on it!
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 11:19 Comments || Top||

#5  In other news "what goes on in las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas".
Posted by: Lucky || 03/17/2004 11:25 Comments || Top||

#6  From MND NEWSWIRE/SMCCDI: The Islamic republic regime's anti-riot units and plainclothes men began a crack down last night against anti-regime demonstrators in southern Tehran, Esfahan's Tchahr Bagh and the city of Mashad. Regime forces are said to be using knives, clubs and chains against the demonstrators. There are unconfirmed reports that regime forces are using plastic bullets in Esfahan and the Sadeghieh square of Tehran. Several demonstrators have been badly wounded, but according to reports some demonstrators are striking back with Molotov cocktails.
Earlier, regime forces pulled back from the demonstrators in several Iranian cities, such as, Tehran, Abadan, Shiraz, Bookan, Babolsar, Khoram-Shahr, Sannandaj, Bandar Abbas and Zahedan. Fires have been set in many cities and many residents have throwned pictures of the regime's leaders and its founder, Rooh-Ollah Khomeini, into the fire while chanting and dancing.

Still no alternate confirmation.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 11:45 Comments || Top||

#7  wow! Hope this has a happy ending. Don't these people have digital cameras?
Posted by: B || 03/17/2004 12:35 Comments || Top||

#8  while last night CNN had a puff piece on happy people using firecrackers in Tehran

Would that be by Christiane Amanpour, who the mullahs rewarded for excellent service by giving back her family's property in Iran?
Posted by: ed || 03/17/2004 12:40 Comments || Top||

#9  Bush you sly dog! I bet this is what he planned all along. Instead of invading Iran he's letting the people see the Iraqi's prosper under Western Democracy.

The Shiites, now moving freely, come from Iran to Iraq to worship and pay homage too Mohammad's Grandson/Uncle/relative and see the Iraqi's freedom. Naturally, they'll tell people back home about the freedom and everyone starts to see(in Iran) that they've been lied to and opressed. They see the Mullahs aren't doing "God's work", don't help, ect. The earthquake sped the process up quite a bit though.

In essence, Bush bribed the Iranian people with prosperity!
Posted by: Charles || 03/17/2004 12:59 Comments || Top||

#10  Actually National Review had an article about the rioting by an Iranian and he mentioned the celebrations as well. The fireworks and celebrations are a part of the in-your-face aspect of the riots because its an old Persian holiday right now, one dating back before Islam, and the Mullahs' tried to stop it. The comments on happy people using firecrackers is saying that there is massive civil disobedience in addition to the rioting.
Posted by: ruprecht || 03/17/2004 13:38 Comments || Top||

#11  still no proof good enough for us over here yet,more photo's or some film would be good,don't get me wrong i'm sure somethings kicking off just not sure at what scale it is or will become
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 13:52 Comments || Top||

#12  Time for bush to go on the air and declare that we're monitoring the situation, and that the use of tanks or heavy armor to suppress the riots would merit an American response to level the playing field.

Do it. Now. 30 years from now, there will be Iranian visitors to the United States who, when they attend air shows, will weep with joy when an antique A-10 Flies over, recalling the memory of the terror he felt when he saw the coming tanks turn to joy when the Warthogs arrived and destroyed them all...
Posted by: Ptah || 03/17/2004 14:34 Comments || Top||

#13  will weep with joy when an antique A-10 Flies over,
{Sniff} A-10s do that to me now.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 15:19 Comments || Top||

#14  unfortunetley the airforce wants to replace the A-10's mission with F16's...not the brightest moment in the air forces history....
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 15:45 Comments || Top||

#15  What Ptah said. Now would be an excellent time to offer our help to the Iranian resistance movement.... before the black turbans finish their nuke.
Posted by: Secret Master || 03/17/2004 15:51 Comments || Top||

’Five dead’ in new Syria clashes
At least five people have been killed in fresh clashes between Kurds and police in northern Syria, reports say. A Kurdish politician told the Associated Press that two Kurds and three police officers were killed on Tuesday in a riot in Aleppo. Several deaths have been reported in clashes between Arabs and the Kurdish minority over the past few days, but Syria denies any political unrest.
"Riots? What riots?"
Syria has about two million Kurds among its population of 17 million. There was no immediate confirmation of the deaths from the Syrian Government, which has not issued any figures for casualties since clashes between Kurds and Arabs began on Friday. Witnesses told AP that a second riot in Afrin, 65 kilometres (40 miles) north of Aleppo, led to the death of two other people. Another Kurdish source, Mashaal Timo of the Kurdish People’s Union, told the French news agency AFP that that nine Kurds had been killed in overnight clashes with Arab residents in Aleppo. The first violence came after a brawl at a soccer match last Friday in Qameshli near the border with Turkey and Iraq. At least nine people were killed and a railway station, schools and public offices were badly damaged. The clashes have triggered a wave of protests among Syrian Kurds living in exile. They claim the authorities have encouraged violence against the Kurdish minority in the disturbances. On Tuesday, Turkey’s Anatolia news agency said security forces opened fire on Kurds marking the anniversary of the 1988 gas attack on Iraqi Kurds in the town of Halabja. It said three people were shot dead in Aleppo and four in Afrin.
With the success of the Kurds in Iraq throwing off Saddam, Syria is going to have a hard time keeping the lid on their Kurdish population.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 9:21:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  knew this was a BBC article just from the headline, the sneer marks are a dead givaway. are they implying they are half dead or perhaps in a zombiefied state,or are they just dead,yes dead without the sneer marks.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 9:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Personally, I blame Schroedinger.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 10:06 Comments || Top||

#3  More from al-Bawaba: At least 17 Kurds were killed in northern Syria in clashes with Arabs, as unrest among the Kurdish population spread to more towns and villages, an official of a Kurdish party told reporters on Wednesday. Mashaal Timo, a member of the political bureau of the Kurdish People's Union, said nine people were killed in the Asharafiye and Sheikh Maksud districts of Aleppo, the main northwestern city.
Another six were killed in the village of Ifrin, 40km northwest of Aleppo and two others in Ras al-Ain, on the Turkish border to the northeast, he told the AFP. The clashes started on Tuesday and continued overnight, and followed police suppression of rioting in the city of Qamishli, in which at least 19 Kurds were reported killed at the weekend following disturbances during a football match.
Timo conveyed Arabs had also been killed at Qamishli and Arab tribesmen seeking revenge had attacked Kurdish villages along the Turkish border, including Amuda, Derik, Ain Diwar, Malkiye and Derbassiye. According to Timo, Syrian authorities made efforts to restore calm and had held a meeting with leaders of both sides.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 11:12 Comments || Top||

#4  haaretz confirms Al-Bawaba (hows THAT for arab Israeli cooperation?) 15 killed in Allepo, others in Ifrin.

Also reports a french human rights group says 2000 Kurds arrested in Damascus, many released, some after beatings.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/17/2004 14:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Personally, I blame Schroedinger
I figure it's 50/50.

Beware the PETA Thought Crime Brigade.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 15:21 Comments || Top||

#6  LOL Shipman, thanks for the tip.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/17/2004 18:09 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Al Qaeda Keeps Using Identities of Arrested or Dead Operatives
al Qaeda may be stealing the identities of its own operatives in order to further confuse investigators tracking its financing operations. In at least two cases documented over the past year, U.S. law enforcement has moved to freeze assets belonging to terrorists who are either dead or long imprisoned.

In September of 2003, al Qaeda operative Abdul Hakim Murad was added to the Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists — a master list of terrorists and suspected terrorists whose assets have been officially frozen by the U.S. government’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi, a bomb-maker associated with al Qaeda’s Southeast Asia affiliate, was also added to the list at the same time.

It was an extremely unusual move, for simple reasons: Murad has been in prison since 1995, and al-Ghozi had been dead for months at the time the list was released. .... Murad [was] arrested after being exposed in Manila, the Philippines, in January 1995, where they were planning Projoect (or OpPlan) Bojinka ....

All the additions to the list were based in Southeast Asia, strongly suggesting that they were added as the result of information collected during Hambali’s arrest. A minister in New Zealand, which appended the names to its own asset control list, told the media in January that al-Ghozi’s assets were still possibly being used. ....

From al Qaeda’s perspective, there is a compelling pragmatism to stealing the identities of captured operatives. For one thing, operatives like Murad frequently stash dozens of forged identity papers and passports in safehouses around the globe. Generally, it’s easier to alter existing documents than to forge brand new ones. ....

In Murad’s case, there is further specific evidence that his assets continued to be useful to al Qaeda operatives. Murad’s cell phone account in the Philippines remained in use for two or three months after his arrest, according to investigative author Peter Lance, writing in 1000 Years for Revenge. ....
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/17/2004 11:43:12 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

‘Al Qaeda no longer a corporate entity’
Al Qaeda is no longer the “corporate entity” it was. It has been “franchised” with local groups sympathetic to its worldview operating on their own, according to a noted scholar.
If that's the case, and it almost certainly is, we can consider it broken up. Now comes the tedious task of destroying each of the pieces its broken into. So this would be Phase II of the WoT.
Dr Mamoun Fandy, senior fellow at the US Institute of Peace, told a discussion on terrorism sponsored by Newseum at the National Press Club Monday evening that true international cooperation was essential to deal with the phenomenon of terrorism which, he emphasised, is not new. He said the United States could not go it alone and should have learnt from the experience and knowledge of countries like Egypt which had dealt with extremist radical Islamists since 1981.
I agree with that. The Egyptian experience involved killing large numbers of them and jugging the rest for extended periods. Syria took the same approach. Jordan slaughtered Paleos in droves and kicked them the hell out of their country — remember Black September? We don't have to go it alone, but if we had to we could. Luckily there are alliances, some old and enduring, some temporary and shifting.
Others who took part in the “back and forth” discussion were Steve Coll of the Washington Post, Peter Bergen of the Johns Hopkins University and Judith Kipper of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms Kipper said there was no evidence so far that Al Qaeda was behind the Madrid attacks. What “evidence” had come out so far could turn out to have been “planted.”
On the other hand, having ETA say "Noooooo! No! It wudn't us!" and having Qaeda say "We dunnit and we're glad" would seem to implicate them, wouldn't it? And the guys they've been arresting have all had turbans.
She said terrorism had been with mankind since the dawn of history and even the Al Qaeda had been active for over two decades. However, the United States had made the 9/11 attacks as the “reference point” for terrorism.
Military action has been around since the dawn of time — the wall at Jericho dates to 8000 B.C., and I'm sure they didn't build it to keep the wind off. The Japanese had been beating up East Asia for 10 or 15 years before we made Pearl Harbor the "reference point" for WWII.
It should be realised that terrorism was a global and not a country-specific phenomenon, she added. She criticised the American approach based on “you are with us or against us,” arguing that it was “not something black and white” nor, for that matter, simple.
Yeah, yeah. Everything's shades of gray. But some shades of gray are much darker than others. And sometimes if you destroy one gray spot others tend to blanch — viz. Sammy and Muammar. In corner, wearing really, really light gray trunks, you have us. In the other corner, wearing really, really dark gray trunks, you have the Islamists. Trying to scurry into the audience, wearing yellow, you have France and now Señor Zapatero.
She said such factors as culture, history and language must be taken into account while dealing with terrorism. She said it was not to be assumed that all terrorists were psychotic.
I quite agree. Some are schizophrenic. And some are quite rational and their going for the usual objectives: money, power, and world domination.
One side of their character was normal, as in the case of certain 9/11 hijackers, and one side was fanatical.
Oh, yeah. I forgot the bipolar guys.
What was important to understand was where the roots of fanaticism lay and how they could be dealt with effectively. She said fanaticism was not confined to Islam; it was present among followers of all religions.
Islamists are the ones exploding, lady. You don't find devout Lutherans doing that. And I'm quite in favor of disposing of the loons who use the same tactics. Blow up Kony and I'll applaud, as will the rest of the world, at least the part that's heard of him.
There were 1.2 billion Muslims in the world and “we have to live with them.” There were very few among them who were terrorists, something that those fighting terrorism needed to know and understand.
It only takes a small percentage of 1.2 billion to make a formidably aggravating force. And considering the fact that they're packed cheek to jowl in places like Pakland, the job ain't gonna be easy.
The moderator of the discussion asked the panel if it was true that to the average Muslim the US war against terrorism looked like a war against Islam. Dr Fandy replied that there was a “deep conviction” in Muslim countries that it was not a war on terrorism but a war on Islam. He said the US should learn from Muslim states which had dealt with terrorism for many years, and in a country like Egypt, successfully. He said the Americans do not listen and pointed out that President Husni Mubarak’s warnings on terrorism through the years had been ignored. He said the Egyptian government in the end had convinced the people of the country that extremism was harmful to them and any support extended to it would be at the cost of their own well-being.
That was after they outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, shoot lots of them, rounded up as many of the rest that they could find, and jugged them.
Egypt had been able to isolate terrorist groups with the help of the Egyptian people and through cooperation with other countries. He said America could not “conduct foreign policy through slogans.”
I prefer gunships, myself.
He called on the US to work hard to isolate Al Qaeda and to learn to separate it from mainstream Islam.
We've been playing the game. Bush is the one who went around looking stupid as he talked about the Religion of Peace™. Mainstream Islam has embraced al-Qaeda and just loves it, for the same reason people love movies with really neat car chases.
He said the Western media’s coverage of terrorism was partisan, lacking in thought and carelessly done. The media had taken an “ideological” position on the issue.
I can agree with that statement, for entirely opposite reasons than the speaker has in mind...
Ms Kipper intervened during one exchange to stress that the media had been often crass and insensitive on the issue of terrorism. There were 22 million Saudi Arabian citizens and all of them had been projected as “bad guys”, something that flew in face of reality. She said Saudi Arabia was a very conservative country and it had cooperated with the US, but it did not wish everything that it did to be publicised. At that point, Dr Fandy said that President Pervez Musharraf had not been swayed by a phone call from President Bush to make Pakistan join the war against terrorism after 9/11. It was the Saudis who had persuaded Gen Musharraf to throw in his lot with Washington.
I thought it was Bush's threat to personally kill Perv with a barbecue fork, but I might be wrong...
He said without being asked or without an announcement, Saudi Arabia had increased oil production immediately after 9/11 because it did not want a shortage of oil in the West because of panic. He said the United States should realise that globalisation was for everyone, including the United States itself. No country should continue to pursue its self-interest at the cost of others or by showing indifference to their concerns. However, Mr Coll disagreed with that and said the Saudi record on cooperation was “mixed.”
Mr. Coll is obviously very polite, though "mixed" is probably a perfectly good synonym for "two-faced."
Ms Kipper stressed during another exchange that fanatical or extremist groups came to birth because of alienation. In countries where the young had no opportunities, no future, no democracy and no hope, fanaticism could be one alternative for them. However, she did not believe that the West should be blamed for the rise of fanaticism in the East. She said societies where fanaticism grew bore much of the responsibility for its occurrence.
Read a book on madreassas, did she? Heard a Friday sermon?
Governments in those countries must change their ways. Open societies where people had rights and opportunities were much less likely to be attracted to fanatical solutions than they otherwise would be.
Open societies where people have rights and opportunities are the holy men's worst nightmare. There's no money in it for them. They'd have to get jobs, though probably as university professors.
She was also of the view that Al Qaeda today was greatly diminished, but warned that the new cradle of terrorism was Indonesia. She said in the end it was a war of ideas. An idea cannot be defeated by force.
Sure it can. Ask any Nazi. Ask any Manichaean. All you have to do is blow off the head holding the idea.
As for terrorist attacks in Iraq, she said those men were not from across any border but “bad Iraqis with guns.” The way to fight them was to empower the people of Iraq. She said there is no government in Iraq, adding, “it is a country without an address.”
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 10:34:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [236 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hear that Osama is no longer a corporate entity either. :)
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/17/2004 13:33 Comments || Top||

#2  This is just too bizarre to be real. First, they hold up Egypt as a model for fighting fanaticism - then they say countries with "no opportunities, no future, no democracy and no hope" (sounds like Egypt to me) cause fanaticism. The whole "root causes" argument is ridiculous - the rote response of the LLL to any problem. They fail to realize that IT'S THE RELIGION, DUMMY! (at least the Wahabi version of it). Islamofascists only want us to convert or die.
Posted by: Spot || 03/17/2004 13:58 Comments || Top||

#3  whitecollar - should that be corporeal - as in an intact entity?
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 17:11 Comments || Top||

Now Is Not A Good Time to Be an Arab in Kurdistan
An unidentified Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) official told turkishdailynews.com of 15 March that PUK security forces have uncovered a plot by Al-Qaeda to carry out a series of suicide bombings in the northern Iraqi city of Al-Sulaymaniyah during celebrations on 21 March of the Kurdish new year, or Norouz.

The unidentified official said that Kurdistan Regional Government security forces recently seized a vehicle near Kifri carrying 10 explosives-packed vests that could be used in suicide attacks. Other explosives were also reportedly found in the vehicle. The men in the vehicle were reportedly traveling from the Al-Ramadi area west of Baghdad and using a safe house in Kifri, according to one of the men arrested.

When the security forces stormed the safe house, they reportedly found a number of detonators and electronic devices that can be used for making bombs. A woman in the house was also detained. The suspects confessed under interrogation to a plan to use the vests in suicide attacks on 21 March in Al-Sulaymaniyah. They also reportedly confessed to being members of Ansar Al-Islam, which has been linked to Al-Qaeda.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/17/2004 11:30:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

The breakdown of the poll results based on denomination... very interesting
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 22:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Culture Wars
I will fly this flag....

On Sunday March 21, 65 years will have passed since Kate Smith recorded God Bless America for RCA Victor Records. This song was written by a successful immigrant, who in his new adopted country was saddened to see another World War looming. The new anthem galvanized the nation and has united us when we needed the unity most. It has been sung at both Republican and Democrat conventions and pierced our hearts from the Capitol steps on September 11th, 2001. Sadly, I see that unity disappearing, even while we are in this new World War.

This Sunday, I call on all Americans to unify so that we may persevere in this new World War between good and evil; between those who relish freedom and those who delight for enslavement. Our enemy is ruthless, cunning, cold-blooded and wicked. It celebrates and is emboldened, with each death of an innocent. It gleefully spreads lies, while stamping on the truth. It takes hostage, murders, maims, and spreads its poisonous message.

We didn’t ask for this, but no matter how much we pray that this cup passes from us, it is ours to fight.

This Sunday, I will take out my flag and I will hang it no matter what. Day by day, I will place one on my car, my desk and will wear a flag pin over my heart. I will have one at home to show evil that if it wants to take away my freedom, I will fight.

Wherever I see my brave country men with the Stars and Stripes, I will nod and thank God that I am not alone in this. My flag will be flying until this evil has been vanquished, as long as I am able.

I will do this because I see a nation divided while evil rejoices with each victim it devours. Even if I’m alone, my flag will proudly tell our enemies that they may kill some, they WILL NOT kill all. My Freedom came at a price and I will not refund it now.

I want the blackened hateful eyes of this devil to see my flag. I want it to know, that I will refuse to submit, I will refuse to waver, I will refuse to ignore and I will refuse to let my freedom slip from my fingers. I will stand by my friends, fight with my allies, and carry my flag through whatever battles we face.

This Sunday and forward, let’s wave this banner. Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, lets send a message.

I just hope I won’t carry my flag alone. Please join me.

-a Proud American, who will not submit to Evil
Posted by: An anonymous, but proud American. || 03/17/2004 8:39:02 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [450 views] Top|| File under:

#1  My workplace, we hoist the flag briskly and proudly while Reville plays (at sunup). Likewise goes for To The Colors followed by Taps (at dusk). Swingshift/Night crews are more patriotic than the snotty "management" types who try to hurry in (or duck into their cars) before the bugle call starts (so they dont have to stop and face the flag).

Thig is that it lets you know who the veterans are: all of them, old, young, healthy or with a cane - they all snap to, and face the flag with their hats off.
Posted by: OldSpook || 03/17/2004 21:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Thanks for the post.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 23:56 Comments || Top||

Baghdad Graffitti
EFL (looks long, but a quick read). A "diary" post on SLATE
"I have been collecting these," said the professor. Inside, neatly handwritten in blue ballpoint pen, in English, perfectly translated and numbered, were several hundred lines of graffiti copied from Baghdad walls; a treasure trove. In the back were jokes and regime anecdotes, stories of Saddam confidant Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri and Saddam’s daughters, true and half-true. The professor had diligently copied them, scribbling from walls all over central Baghdad; from Adhamiya, the traditional Sunni Baathist neighborhood, to Khadamiya, the Shiite stronghold, and beyond. The entries numbered 367. Some were repetitive, some had been stenciled up again and again, but in them, profane or dull-and-worthy, you can hear the jostling of thought and speech, argument and counterargument; opposition and opposition to the opposition.

I marveled and coveted, dazzled by the raw source. It was like peering inside Iraqis’ heads. The professor wetted his lips, and, I confess, a deal was struck. I provide you with an abridged list:
And written underneath:












And underneath is written:













And underneath is written:

—Anonymous pavement newspaper tacked up on a wall near Medical City




And underneath is written:



And underneath is written:

And underneath is written:



And underneath is written:


—Anonymous pavement newspaper tacked up on a wall near Medical City























ONE AMERICAN SOLDIER IS MORE HONORED THAN ALL THE OFFICERS OF THE IRAQI ARMY—Written on the walls of the Military Academy in Rustamiyah




GLORY FOR ISLAM’S MARTYRS, SUNNI AND SHIITE—Muqtada al-Sadr [Sadr is a Shiite leader whose popular ayatollah father was executed by Saddam]
Underneath is written:










—Anonymous pavement newspaper tacked up on a wall near Medical City



SADDAM NO, CHALABI NO, TALABANI [a leader of one of the Kurdish parties] NO. BUSH YES, YES, YES







—Anonymous pavement newspaper tacked up on a wall near Medical City















IRAQ FIRST, THE PEOPLE FIRST!—Free Officers and Civilians Organization






MR. MOHAMMED BAKR AL-SADR [Muqtada al-Sadr’s father, assassinated in 1999] SAID THAT THE MASSES ARE STRONGER THAN TYRANTS!—Al- Daawa Islamic Party






And underneath is written:


This has been crossed out and written instead:
And this has been crossed out and written instead:


Posted by: sludj || 03/17/2004 4:35:02 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:

#1  KERRY - MCCAIN '04 - The Baath Party
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/17/2004 19:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Damn, these guys are sounding more and more like GI's every day. Wait till the Marines return, it should really get colorful.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 19:30 Comments || Top||

Underneath is written:
Posted by: Charles || 03/17/2004 19:34 Comments || Top||

#4  This should work its way into a Bush campaign ad somehow:

Posted by: Tibor || 03/17/2004 21:31 Comments || Top||

Posted by: phil_b || 03/17/2004 21:40 Comments || Top||

#6  Tibor, I love that one, too.
Do you think they'd settle for George P. Bush (Jeb's son)?
Technically, not GWB's son, but GWHB's grandson.

Notice all the "shoes" remarks ["One shoe of Bush honors all the Arabs"]--the Iraqis (Arabs) give great power to shoes, dunno why.
Posted by: Jen || 03/17/2004 21:40 Comments || Top||

101st's daily trials in Mosul
Excerpts... Read it all. Pretty interesting.
... Mosul has become a true model. Only six days after the city was taken on April 22, the Americans held their first conference with local leaders to discuss communal elections, which in fact took place two weeks later. In addition, the soldiers distributed fistfuls of the Saddam regime's money and new dollars from America, totaling more than a million a week.

The 101st Airborne's books currently show funding for 4722 projects. Shop owners were given startup capital and school principals received envelopes containing 5,000 dollars in cash and instructions to whitewash their classrooms. The Americans gave money to vegetable stand owners, taxicab companies and small-scale farmers. They helped former members of the military by sending them to vocational training courses, and they helped launch bigger projects such as the renovation of hotels that had been devastated by looters. Dollars went to sheiks to help them repair grain silos, to attorneys for photocopiers, to hospitals for syringes and blood bags. The army put the kinds of things into practice that the UN is still talking about in theory. They practiced "nation building."

One year after the war, Mosul, a city of two million inhabitants where Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites and Christians have been living together in harmony for eons, is now full of life. Shop windows are full of goods, flames shoot from grills in hundreds of kebab restaurants, and the clogged alleys of the bazaar in the city's old section are filled with refrigerators from Thailand, microwave ovens from China, and fan heaters from England.

One should never think of post-war Iraq as a third world country where people get into fistfights over sacks of flour handed out by aid organizations. Even before the war, Mosul was a modern city of the orient, and now it is opening up to Syria, to Turkey, to the world at large, a world people only knew through hearsay during the Saddam era.

Now there are internet cafés on every corner, and the streets are filled with men waving mobile phones under billboards advertising products by Panasonic, Samsung and Siemens. The city's constant traffic jams are filled with fleets of foreign cars brought in through Syrian ports: Dutch used cars, German mini-trucks with expired license plates from Braunschweig, Miesbach and Stuttgart, some still displaying stickers in their windows such as "Wichert Carpentry."

The soldiers distributed fistfuls of new dollars from America, totaling more than a million a week. 160 youth teams go to soccer practice, there are music contests and contests, and 230 satellite programs are available on television, including Japanese game shows, German network ARD's "Tagesschau," and now even local programs.

If the nights were not filled with gunshots and the occasional boom of heavy artillery, and if the skies over the city were not filled with the rattling sound of Kiowa Warrior helicopters and the distant roar of fighter jets, the city would feel like any other city somewhere in the Middle East, a city with the same worries and poverty as any other. It would also feel as if the Americans had prevailed in the daily front. But the gunshots are still there. So are the helicopters, the explosions, the war...
Posted by: Dar || 03/17/2004 15:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  D'oh--switched the URL and the title. Time for more caffeine...
Posted by: Dar || 03/17/2004 15:03 Comments || Top||

#2  I did the same thing myself this morning... Fixed.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 16:19 Comments || Top||

Baghdad Hotel Boomed - At least 10 dead
A massive explosion shook the Mount Lebanon Hotel in the Karada district of Baghdad Wednesday night. Iraqi police said there were "several dead." A coalition military official said he believed the blast was caused by a car bomb. TV footage showed raging fire, a destroyed chunk of a building, and people in the rubble being carried away. "It’s a scene from hell here," CNN Baghdad Bureau Chief Jane Arraf said. "People are crying and screaming and debris is everywhere." Bystanders worked frantically to pull victims from the rubble, digging with their bare hands as fires raged in the background. U.S. troops, who arrived shortly after the blast, urged people to move away from the area because of concerns that there could be additional explosives. The explosion occurred near Firdos Square, where the large statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down in early April.
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/17/2004 12:58:09 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [903 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Call me an optimist, but as terrible as this sounds: These indiscriminate bombing shows that terrorists are losing public support and lash out desperately. How long will people still confuse "resistance" with bloody terrorism?
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/17/2004 13:01 Comments || Top||

#2  TGA, I think we're well passed that point. The Iraqis are on our side. Now these blasts are just depressing, there is no positive way to look at them.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 13:06 Comments || Top||

#3  TGA - as long as the major news media calls them [romantic] 'resistance fighters' and not 'terrorists'....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 13:07 Comments || Top||

#4  Waiting for Kerry's campaign to blame this on "Bush's failure to..." countdown 10, 9, 8
Posted by: mhw || 03/17/2004 13:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Al Jazeera reports: "Aljazeera's bureau, located behind the hotel, was also badly damaged in the explosion on Wednesday evening."

I'd have a question for the next press conference: WHEN exactly did Al Jazeera staff leave the office?
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/17/2004 13:33 Comments || Top||

#6  I dunno, any blast near an Al'Jazeera office has to be looked at as a "work accident" until proven otherwise.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 14:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Nah, that's called "preemptive journalism"!
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/17/2004 14:33 Comments || Top||

#8  The US invasion of Iraq was a mistake. There were no WMDs. All we got for our troubles were very angry, devout muslims who have taken out their frustrations on Madrid, Istanbul, Bali...

The Iraq bombings will continue as long as that linkage is useful.

Leave Iraq behind and all will be peace again.
Posted by: john || 03/17/2004 15:08 Comments || Top||

#9  Have a cookie john.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 15:11 Comments || Top||

#10  I seem to remember that we have been attacked several times before we invaded Iraq (or Afghanistan for that matter). Where is your head John? Is it dark there? How's Teresa?
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/17/2004 15:12 Comments || Top||

#11  john, you couldn't be more wrong.
If we were to leave Iraq, it would be "Duck and cover" here in the US 24/7.
There *were* WMDs in Iraq--where they are now, who knows. But everyone--every nation's intelligence that worth a bucket of warm spit--affirmed that the WMDs were there before we invaded.
What we got for our troubles was millions of delighted Iraqis to whom we had brought liberation from Saddam's misery and oppression.
Iran is beggin for us to go there next.
So is Syria and I dare say eastern SA.
You Lefties are something else: you maintain that there are no links between Saddam and Al Queda, yet that the Madrid blasts, if done by Al Queda, were payback for Spain being part of our Iraq Coaliton.
If Al Queda isn't in Iraq, why should they care about the Spanish fighting in Iraq?
Get your talking points focused!
We are winning the WOT, so STFU.
Posted by: Jen || 03/17/2004 15:16 Comments || Top||

#12  "All we got for our troubles were very angry, devout muslims who have taken out their frustrations on Madrid, Istanbul, Bali..."

hey john, Bali happened Oct 12 2002. Iraq liberation start from March 2003.

I know its hard, but do try to keep up...
Posted by: Carl in N.H || 03/17/2004 15:38 Comments || Top||

#13  Death toll up to 28. Col. Ralph Baker sez it was a 1000 pound car bomb, PE4 explosives packed with artillery shells, driven by a suicide bomber. Search and recovery duties being handled largely by ICDF, and Iraqi fire & police departments.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/17/2004 15:47 Comments || Top||

#14  Leave Iraq behind and all will be peace again.

Ah. The peace of the grave. As the 20th century should have taught us, that is what the "peace" movement really works toward.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 16:09 Comments || Top||

#15  John, I happen to know that there are WMD's in Iraq. But I'm not going to tell you any more than that. You wouldn't believe it anyway. Besides, do you have any idea what a frustrated "devout" terrorist Muslim is? Some idiot that wants to hump virgins 24/7 for eternity and is willing to blow up innocent people to score the deal. See, they have a complex in that direction. But I'm not going to educate you about that either. Do your own research, and be prepared to face facts that will rock your liberal world to the core.

To everyone else: I think Allah IS going to reward his terrorist servants with the promise of 72 virgins--really, really, really ugly, smelly, nasty, icky virgins . . . it just makes sense somehow.
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 17:34 Comments || Top||

#16  ex-lib, forget John... we'd all like to know about the WMDs ;)
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 18:06 Comments || Top||

#17  I'd like to, but I don't know if it would be cool. I'm not sure if the guy who I was talking to was supposed to be talking about it. Anyway, I spilled on McCain today (see on Rantburg: Biden endorses a fusion ticket). Maybe that's enough for one day. Committed liberals actually are quite vicious and not at all opposed to demolishing your life/career if they can. That I know from first-hand experience. But I'll think about it, okay, DPA?
Posted by: ex-lib || 03/17/2004 18:26 Comments || Top||

#18  I'm in shock. I turned on CNN expecting the usual carping, whining, sky is falling crap, and I got report filled with praise for the bravery and dedication of the (newly recruited) Iraqi fire fighters at the hotel blast.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/17/2004 20:21 Comments || Top||

#19  Ah. The peace of the grave. As the 20th century should have taught us, that is what the "peace" movement really works toward.

Wow - that's good. If I smoked dope, I'd have to say that's reeaally heavy, man. But then, if I smoked dope, I'd be like John and couldn't make the connection.
Posted by: B || 03/17/2004 21:48 Comments || Top||

Big Boom in Baghdad
A massive explosion shook the Mount Lebanon Hotel in the Karada district of Baghdad Wednesday night. Iraqi police said there were "several dead." TV footage showed raging fire, a destroyed chunk of a building, and people in the rubble being carried away. Ambulances and fire trucks have arrived at the scene. A military official said he believed the blast was caused by a car bomb. An Al Jazeera correspondent told CNN its offices were damaged when the explosion took place at the hotel, located across the street.
Mount Lebanon hotel reported as being destroyed
Posted by: Lux || 03/17/2004 12:57:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Interesting.... Al-Jez had first footage, frontline stuff... shortly after the blast.
Posted by: milford || 03/17/2004 13:19 Comments || Top||

#2  isn't difficult. They have their headquarters in the center of Bagdad, right ?
Posted by: lyot || 03/17/2004 14:02 Comments || Top||

#3  I would say, since their offices were adjacent to the back of the hotel, that this time they got there first for the right reason: proximity, not complicity.

I suggest they were not complicit because this time whomever staged the attack didn't give a shit about Al Jizz - indicating (to me) that it was definitely outsiders, jihadis of the AlQ sympathizer variety, running this show. The chummy relationship between Al Jizz and the Ba'athist types has been apparent - this time they seemed to have had no more notice than anyone else.

Hmmm... I wonder how they feel about being lumped in with the targets, for a change... must be a bitch to be demoted to mere cattle like the rest of us by their Izzoid brethren.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 15:21 Comments || Top||

#4  .com -- I was unaware that Al'Jazeera was not also chummy with the jihadis. In fact, the arrest of an al'Jizz staffer in Spain for his connections to al'Qaeda, and the role of al'Jizz as intermediary between Saddam and Osama hints that perhaps al'Jizz sees its place as, oh, cheer leader for murderers?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 16:11 Comments || Top||

Poll results as spun by al-Reuters
Hat tip LGF. al-Reuters. EFL.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A year after U.S. and British troops invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, the majority of Iraqis say life is better than it was under the former dictator, according to results of an extensive poll released Tuesday.

But many have little faith in occupying troops and the U.S.-led administration -- and nearly one in five say attacks on foreign soldiers in Iraq are justified.

Asked whether their lives were better now than in the spring of 2003, nearly six in ten Iraqis said the situation was somewhat better or much better than it was, according to the survey of 2,500 people conducted for a group of broadcasting organizations by Oxford Research International.

Those responses are likely to come as a positive surprise for coalition forces and the U.S.-led administration in Iraq as they continue to grapple with a determined guerrilla insurgency and widespread social problems a year after Saddam’s fall.

Iraqis often complain about a lack of security, the scarcity of jobs and their fears for the future, but the survey suggests that despite this, most feel life has improved.

Asked how things were going in their lives these days, seven in 10 said the situation was very good or quite good, and only 15 percent said things were very bad. Looking ahead, 71 percent said they expected conditions in their lives to be much better or somewhat better a year from now.

But there are grievances and inconsistencies in the way Iraqis feel 12 months after Saddam.
Posted by: Korora || 03/17/2004 12:38:18 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Boy! They must be pretty desperate to twist the results if they are this obvious......
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 12:45 Comments || Top||

#2  "Those responses are likely to come as a positive surprise for coalition forces and the U.S.-led administration in Iraq"...

Um, actually, regular consumers of Reuter's (and NYT/CNN/al-J/ABC/NBC/CBS/etc) are the one's likely to be surprised by good news out of Iraq...
Posted by: Hyper || 03/17/2004 14:22 Comments || Top||

#3  here are the results of the poll. As you can see it is much better than Rooters or the Beeb made it out to be.
Posted by: Denny || 03/17/2004 21:41 Comments || Top||

Africa: Horn
Sudanese MP held for 'aiding' rebels
A Sudanese MP has been arrested in the troubled western Darfur region on suspicion of assisting the rebels and undermining the peace process. The Sudan Media Centre, which is close to the government, reported from Nyala, capital of South Darfur State, that an unnamed member of parliament held regular meetings in his house with elements connected to "the outlaws" and unidentified foreigners.
"An' yew tell me, what them furriners doin' sniffin' aroun' hyere?"
It said the authorities also monitored activities by the deputy "mostly focussed on undermining and opposing efforts exerted by the government for achieving peace in Darfur."
Undermining the janjaweed is a dangerous thing to do...
It said sophisticated electronic equipment, including bugging devices, was seized during the raid on the MP's house and that it would be examined by experts from Khartoum. It added that authorities had started legal proceedings to lift the deputy's immunity, but did not give his identity or say when he was detained.
... or even if there's anything left of him.
Meanwhile, two leading Darfur rebels were reported to have pledged to lay down their arms and renounce violence in response to a general amnesty declared by President Omar al-Beshir.
"We quit! Don't shoot!"
The official Al Anbaa daily named one of the two rebels as Adam Suleiman Mustafa who was quoted as saying the presidential amnesty was "a positive step for building confidence between the government and the armed groups." He said the rebels took up arms to demand better health and education services but "some Darfur politicians threw demands related to power and partisan interests into the Darfur problem."
"Yeah! Damn them! But I ain't like that! No, sirree!"
In another development, the North Darfur State governor announced that 30% of the 400,000 people displaced in his state have returned to their home villages in Taweilah, Korma and Kutum. Osman Yusuf Kibir was on Wednesday cited by the independent Akhbar Al Youm daily as saying teams from his state and West Darfur state were in Chad to arrange for the repatriation of about 15,000 refugees. Kibir said the authorities were in control throughout his state, including the border areas of Tina and that the refugee camps were free of epidemics.
"Epidemic's over. They're all dead."
The rebellion led by the Sudan Liberation Movement and other groups erupted in February last year over charges that the central government had neglected the development of the impoverished region neighboring Chad.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 11:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [246 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Tigers pouring fighters onto riverbank
Tamil Tiger guerrillas have begun pouring fighters along a district border in northeastern Sri Lanka, heightening fears of a showdown with renegades, the rival faction said on Tuesday. The main Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has built up its strength to about 400 fighters by deploying an additional 85 cadres since Sunday along the banks of the Verugal river in Trincomalee district, the rivals said. “They have begun strengthening on their side of the river along the Trincomalee-Batticaloa district border,” a spokesman for the renegade regional commander Karuna said by telephone.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 11:18:53 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top|| File under:

United States denies backing Sri Lankan rebel commander
"Nope. Nope. Wudn't us."
The United States denied reports on Tuesday that it supported a Sri Lankan renegade rebel commander who broke away from the main Tamil Tiger army taking with him nearly half of its fighters.
Don'tcha just hate it when that happens?
“The reports are completely untrue. It’s rubbish,” Cody Taylor, spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Colombo, said after a Tamil-language newspaper quoted a rebel leader as saying he believed Washington was behind the split.
"Never happen. Not in a million years. Nope. Nope. Not us."
Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, alias Karuna, broke away from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on March 3, accusing the main rebel group of preparing for war. Muralitharan, in charge of the rebel army in the east, took 6,000 soldiers from the 15,000-strong guerrilla army with him. “We strongly believe that the US is behind Karuna’s selfish act,” rebel leader S Karikalan - who defected from Muralitharan’s command after the split - was quoted as saying in Tuesday’s Sudar Oli. “Karuna could not have acted traitorously without external backing. He has been bought over by an external power that is intent on destroying our liberation struggle and our leadership,” Karikalan was quoted as saying. Muralitharan didn’t break away because he thought central command was planning to start fighting again, Karikalan said. Instead, he claimed, Muralitharan had been accused by the LTT leadership of financial irregularities and questionable conduct, so fearing disciplinary action he took off with his army.
"Dat's right. He just stole half the army and spirited it away. It musta been the Merkins what dunnit!"
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 11:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [248 views] Top|| File under:

Authorities Detain Three Pakistanis Freed From Gitmo
Authorities have detained all three Pakistanis who returned home this week after being freed by the United States from its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said Wednesday.
The three men were included among more than 50 Pakistanis who were captured in Afghanistan during the U.S.-led war after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. U.S. authorities later transferred the men to Guantanamo Bay to investigate their links with al-Qaida. In the past two years, U.S. authorities have released about two dozen Pakistanis, the last three on Monday.
Reached their expiration date.
Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Rauf Chaudhry said the three Pakistanis are facing questioning. "We will not release them immediately," he told The Associated Press. "These people will remain in our custody for some time for security reasons."
Farewell to sunny Gitmo, say hello to a cold Pakistani jail cell.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 10:51:51 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Soon the Gitmo Years will be a fond memory.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 12:40 Comments || Top||

#2  I wonder if the Paks will bring in hookers and rock music to torture them? Little sleep, rock music, and naked babes? Maybe they were at spring break and not gitmo? There should be an investigation!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 03/17/2004 14:14 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Until it Feels Good
Hat tip Tim Blair
"Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor Legitimates and Supports the Murder of Coalition Troops in Iraq." This is what last Thursday’s Cornell Daily Sun headline should have read. But alas, the most important and relevant Cornell-related news of the week was ignored by The Sun and the media at large.

Just last Wednesday, Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor John Pilger told Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewer Tony Jones that he hopes for a U.S. defeat in Iraq, because he’s afraid that a victory in Iraq would prompt similar U.S. invasions of other countries, such as Iran, North Korea, and even China. So basically, Pilger would like the Iraqi people -- a majority of whom state that things are better now than before the war -- to get screwed because a U.S. victory wouldn’t suit his own political agenda. But it gets worse:

Tony Jones: Can you approve ... the killing of American ... or Australian troops who are in the occupying forces?

John Pilger: Well yes, they’re legitimate targets. They’re illegally occupying a country. And I would have thought from an Iraqi’s point of view they are legitimate targets, they’d have to be, sure.

Tony Jones: So Australian troops you would regard in Iraq as legitimate targets?

John Pilger: I’ve just said that any foreign occupier of a country, military occupier, be they Germans in France, Americans in Vietnam ... wherever ... I would have thought, from the point of view of the local people ... if Australia had been invaded and occupied by the Japanese, then the occupying forces, from the point of view of the people of that country, are legitimate targets.

Pilger presents two ideas: the occupation of Iraq is illegal and all foreign occupiers are legitimate targets of the local populace.

Deeming the occupation of Iraq "illegal" is most interesting. Indeed, even the U.N. has sanctioned the occupation, so I have no choice but to conclude that Pilger is either using the term "illegal" as a synonym for "I don’t like it," or he is merely espousing the legal theories of the Taliban Sharia Council.

As for his charge that all foreign occupiers are legitimate targets, Pilger has the grace to admit that Saddam Hussein committed human rights abuses of gross proportions. But he states that the brutal dictator should have been deposed by the Iraqi people, despite the fact that the Iraqi people had been unable to do so for decades prior to the coalition’s removal of Saddam. Similar logic holds that the victims of the Holocaust were responsible for deposing Hitler and that liberation troops were legitimate targets of the local Germans. Pilger’s sick moral relativism knows no bounds, going so far as to compare the occupation of Iraq -- whose aim is to establish a functioning society -- with a hypothetical Japanese occupation of Australia during World War II.

Sadly, Pilger is not the only poor excuse for a visiting professor we have on campus this year. Last semester, I lamented the choice of Cynthia McKinney, failed Atlanta Congresswoman and Sept. 11 conspiracy theorist, as another one of this year’s appointees. In her visit last semester, McKinney denied that genocide occurred in Iraq, expressed support for Robert Mugabe’s racist regime in Zimbabwe and even failed to directly condemn anti-Semitic comments made by her father.

Yet the Cornell administration has declined to intervene by terminating their professorships. While both Pilger and McKinney have the Constitutional right to freedom of speech, Cornell is under no onus to provide a home for two wholly meritless individuals. When will the madness stop? I must again note that the only method to which the University will respond is a significant drop in donations accompanied by an influx of complaints.

Instead of reporting on Pilger’s interview last week, The Sun ran a cheery article about how great it is to give money to Cornell. Cornell Trustee John Alexander ’74 called on graduating seniors, many of whom have no jobs and huge loan payments, to "give until it feels good."

But before making any donations, Cornell seniors and alumni should take a moment and reflect on where their dollars are headed. There is no shame in saying that you would like to donate to the school, but simply cannot support an institution that provides a home for someone who legitimates the murder of American servicepeople in Iraq.

Consider the statements of John Pilger for yourself -- they can be found at www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2004/s1063309.htm. Then decide whether giving anything at all to Cornell would make you feel good.

Elliott Marc Davis is a senior in the College of Engineering. He can be reached at emd27@cornell.edu Reality Daytrips usually appears alternate Thursdays.

Posted by: tipper || 03/17/2004 10:40:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [248 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm all for free speech. Let them speak.

Then try them for treason.
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/17/2004 11:02 Comments || Top||

#2  It never ceases to amaze me how highly educated people say things which are so profoundly stupid.
Posted by: Dakotah || 03/17/2004 12:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Education != Intelligence

(!= means 'not Equals')


Those who do, do
Those who can't, teach
Those who can't teach, administer
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 12:35 Comments || Top||

#4  What sort of screwed up logic produces that line of reasoning? Pilger is obviously educated but remains stupid.

By the way CF, in my world its Education <> Intelligence.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/17/2004 13:13 Comments || Top||

#5  This is quite the concept. By Pilger's logic, only vigilante justice from the victim is the way to cure any wrongdoing. You were raped? Then it's up to you to punish the rapist. You were killed? Well, then it's up to you to... oh, never mind. Better luck next time. But whatever we do, let's not interfere on the behalf of the victims of tyranny! That would be illegal!
Posted by: Dar || 03/17/2004 14:26 Comments || Top||

#6  Those who do, do
Those who can't, teach
Those who can't teach, write about it
Those who can't write, administer
Posted by: Analog Roam || 03/17/2004 14:28 Comments || Top||

#7  !education.equals(intelligence)

(Since neither education nor intelligence are primitives.)
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 14:31 Comments || Top||

#8  The way I've always heard it....

Those who can do, do.
Those who can't teach.
Those who can't teach, teach others to teach.
Those who can't teach other to teach, become administrators.

My 3rd career is in an inner city school so I can say.....

Anyone who wonders what's wrong with our school system never dated an elementary ed major.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 15:01 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Three suspects in aborted bomb attack held
In raids it conducted in various parts of the city on Tuesday, police detained three suspects for interrogation in connection with Monday’s abortive explosion of a chemical device outside the US consulted general here, sources in Sindh police told Daily Times on Tuesday. Police refused to identify the detained persons, during raids conducted by the Anti-Violence Crime Cell (AVCC), saying a disclosure would affect the process of interrogation. But it said the suspects provided clues that could lead to the arrest of the men who parked the Suzuki Hiroof with the explosive device outside the gate of the US consulate general. Police suspect the culprits to be members of some banned religious outfit.
Well, that's certainly never happened before. Has it?
It said it had not installed secret cameras at the US consulate general or in nearby areas. It added the building itself had such cameras, which recorded 14 seconds of the parking of the Hiroof. But the number of the Suzuki Alto car in which the man doing the parking managed to escape was not recorded. Police said the laboratory report of the chemical liquid filled in the Hiroof’s tank installed in place of the vehicle’s rear seat was expected to be released within the next 48 hours.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 10:31:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [238 views] Top|| File under:

Extremists behind car bomb plot, police say
Comes as a surprise, doesn't it?
A foiled car bomb attack on the United States consulate in Karachi appears to have been plotted by Islamic extremists, police said on Tuesday. The police averted a potentially massive explosion when they discovered and defused 650 litres of powerful chemical explosives, carried in a Suzuki van which had been parked outside the heavily-guarded consulate building in Karachi on Monday. Two detonators and a timer were also found in the van. The lethal cocktail of ammonium nitrate, hydrogen peroxide, and nitrogen oxide was set to explode some 20 minutes after bomb experts defused it, police said.

Inspector General of Sindh police Syed Kamal Shah called the plot an attempted terrorist attack. He dismissed the possibility of the involvement of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda terror network. “I don’t think Al-Qaeda is behind it, nor were they suicide bombers,” he said. Washington praised Pakistani police for averting the planned attack. “We would praise the very alert and courageous action of all those involved in detecting and responding to what could have been a horrific explosion,” US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters in Washington.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 10:29:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

MMA meeting postponed as bickering continues
The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) postponed its Supreme Council meeting until March 20 amidst indications of a widening gulf between the components of the six religious parties alliance. The meeting was scheduled for today to elect a new president and to finalise plans for a mass contact campaign due to start April 6. However, it was delayed because Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of his own Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam faction (JUI-S), and Professor Sajid Mir, chairman of the Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith (MJA), again refused to participate. The JUI-S wants the Madrassas Ordinance and joint electorate to be cancelled and the military operation in the tribal areas ended before it will rejoin the alliance. The MJA wants the opposition leader slot in the Senate and a mass protest campaign against Gen Pervez Musharraf.
Both want ponies...
The Supreme Council had formed a four-member committee in its last meeting on March 6 to reconcile Mr Haq and Mr Mir with the alliance, but it has not succeeded. “The MMA has governments in two provinces and a good working relationship with the Jamali government in the centre, so we put our demands before its leaders,” said Qazi Abdul Latif, senior vice-president of the JUI-S. Mr Latif said Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, heads of the two biggest MMA parties (Jamaat-e-Islami and JUI-Fazl), should press the government to accept their demands. He said Mr Haq would not attend a Supreme Council meeting until these demands were satisfied. He said Mr Ahmed and Mr Rehman had not contacted Mr Haq, as was decided in the March 6 meeting. “Qazi and Fazl do not want to resolve these internal disputes because it would challenge their monopoly,” said Mr Latif.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 10:06:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

SC moved on authenticity of Khan’s confession
A constitutional petition has been moved in the Supreme Court urging it to determine the authenticity of the confessional statement by Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan on the nuclear proliferation issue and challenged the grant of presidential remission to him as unconstitutional. The applicant, Maulvi Iqbal Haider requested the court to appoint a district and sessions judge to investiage the case. Mr Haider maintained that the confessional statement was not recorded in a competent court and as such did not fall in the purview of Article 45 of the Constitution, which relates to the presidential power of remission. The petitioner asked if other detained nuclear scientists could benefit from the presidential pardon.
Posted by: Fred || 03/17/2004 10:04:10 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Methinks Perv can go into remission any old time he likes.
Posted by: .com || 03/17/2004 23:15 Comments || Top||

Iraqi Attempts to Infiltrate Ammo Supply Point
Paratroopers from 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment were attacked by an improvised explosive device northeast of Habbaniyah Tuesday. After securing the site, Soldiers discovered the body of an Iraqi female approximately 300 meters from the road. The body appeared to have been there for a number of days. The body was recovered by Iraqi police who will conduct a further investigation. In a separate incident, Iraqi contract security forces wounded a woman armed with an AK 47 rifle when she attempted to secretly enter a guarded ammunition supply point. She has been evacuated for medical treatment, while a second woman was detained, held for questioning, and released.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/17/2004 9:24:40 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  women doing the dirty work now eh, husbands must be dead already, lol,wonder if her body got 300 metres away thanks to the boom from her bomb,note to jihad's next time wear a parachute!
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 9:30 Comments || Top||

Task Force Danger
TIKRIT, Iraq -1st Infantry Division and Task Force Danger conducted 15 patrols Monday and Tuesday as the transfer of authority with Task Force Ironhorse began.

Six of the patrols were joint operations conducted with the Iraqi police, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and the Department of Border Enforcement.

Weapons and equipment confiscated in raids and patrols throughout the Task Force Ironhorse area of operations include 100 antipersonnel mines, seven rocket-launching tubes, 300 pounds of C-4 plastic explosive, 25 tubes of artillery propellant, 25 155 mm artillery rounds, 100 sabot tank rounds, two antiaircraft guns, 468 rounds of 12.7 mm antiaircraft ammunition, 84 boxes of other AA ammunition and three improvised explosive devices.

1st Infantry Division soldiers from 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment discovered a cache of ammunition while on patrol northwest of Samarra Monday. The soldiers located the cache from information provided by an Iraqi citizen. The cache contained 100 sabot tank rounds, 25 tubes of 155 mm artillery propellant, various small-arms ammunition and 84 boxes of 12.7 mm antiaircraft ammunition. An explosive-ordnance team destroyed the cache that afternoon.

A patrol of Task Force Danger Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment found a cache of antiaircraft weapons near Kirkuk Tuesday. The cache was transported to the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division for destruction.

The Iraqi police reported that one individual was killed and four others were wounded when someone was attempting to make a bomb inside a house near Baqubah Monday. The wounded were transported to a Baqubah hospital for treatment and will be questioned later by the police. There were no coalition forces involved in the incident. Red wire or black wire?
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/17/2004 9:23:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [246 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ha ha ha, guess he won't be doing that again,perhaps he'll have hooks for hands now like hamza,be good for rock climbing but thats about it
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 9:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Task Force Danger
Now you just know Easy Company and Sgt. Rock are part of that outfit.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 10:26 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm still waiting for "Task Force Third Eye"...
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 13:52 Comments || Top||

Saddam not giving much information
Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is not giving up much useful information under interrogation but he is talking to his captors, a senior U.S. official said. Asked whether the United States was getting any "worthwhile intelligence" from Saddam, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said in an interview on a Philadelphia radio station: "I occasionally see the debriefs and he’s a pretty wily guy, and he’s not giving much information I’ve seen, but he seems to be enjoying the debate."
If he enjoys the debate, he’s really going to love the trial.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 8:56:49 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  lol debate your way outa this saddam
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 8:59 Comments || Top||

#2  exactly, just like Milosevic is enjoying his trail..
Posted by: lyot || 03/17/2004 9:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Don't worry, he will. (Can't find the link right now, but I remember OldSpook posted a description of how "coercive interrogation" works a couple months ago. 'Nuff to give ya the creeping willies, it was.)
Posted by: Mike || 03/17/2004 9:31 Comments || Top||

#4  not sur this is gonna be the same as the Milosovic trial,no dumb Euro court system, somehow i think the Iraqis will be a bit sterner and he won't be able to rally support behind him like Slobo has
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 9:33 Comments || Top||

#5  Saddam's trial:

Prosecutor: "Are you Saddam Hussein, former ruler of Iraq"?

Saddam: "Of course!"

Jury: "Guilty"

Judge: "I sentence the criminal to death by hanging."
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/17/2004 9:44 Comments || Top||

#6  Prison for life is what needs to be done with Saddam. See I don't love him like some of you think I do.
Posted by: Antiwar || 03/17/2004 10:14 Comments || Top||

#7  #3 Mike check the archives Sammy's Singing 2/2/04. Or just click the article and scroll down to Comment #3 for OldSpooks essay on effective interrogation.
Posted by: GK || 03/17/2004 10:26 Comments || Top||

#8  Anti-war: Only if it's in a Iraqi jail though.
Posted by: rabidfox || 03/17/2004 10:44 Comments || Top||

#9  Old Spook kicks butt! I always enjoy his postings.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 03/17/2004 10:50 Comments || Top||

#10  No,Antiwar,death is what he deserves.Make it slow,make it painfull,make it public.
Posted by: Raptor || 03/17/2004 10:55 Comments || Top||

#11  So hang his ass from the ceiling and hook a car battery to his balls. He'll talk.
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 11:16 Comments || Top||

#12  i always remeber in one of the first of the star wars films (think it was return of jedi) and there was the fight on the hover barge that jabba the hut owned,still with me? well there was a giant mouth in the desert that its people over a thousand years,it keeps you alive while it eats you - that what saddam needs to be fed too!
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 11:26 Comments || Top||

#13  Prison for life is what needs to be done with Saddam. See I don't love him like some of you think I do.

Go to Baghdad and try enlisting some support for this idea from the Iraqi population. Be sure to set your expectations very low. And don't try to convince people that life imprisonment is better than killing the guy; they'll probably come to the conclusion that you really do like him.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 03/17/2004 11:28 Comments || Top||

#14  Antiwar - 'WhatEVER!'
Posted by: Raj || 03/17/2004 13:24 Comments || Top||

#15  Anti-war is really "anti-consequences", wanting to save Saddam for a pardon later. If he was in Saddam's shoes, he'd want that, so he advocates it for Saddam.

Anything can happen if Saddam is alive. Yeah, there's a good chance he'll stay in jail, alive, pampered, better fed and treated than the people HE treated, but there's still a chance, a remote chance, if he stays alive.

If he's dead, no chances left. All gone. Game over. Finished. Done. Finis. No more hope. Anti-war can't stand that, since he sees some of himself in Saddam, and so wants to spare him that, to indirectly spare himself.

FOAD, pious fraud.
Posted by: Ptah || 03/17/2004 14:23 Comments || Top||

#16  antiwar - (Yawn) - look above i think i heard the black helo's....
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 19:12 Comments || Top||

U.S., Iraqi Forces Launch Massive Hunt
U.S. and Iraqi military forces launched a big operation in Baghdad to weed out insurgents and capture illegal weapons on Wednesday with troops, helicopters and armored vehicles raiding suspected rebel hideouts. The campaign comes a day after gunmen killed two Europeans working on a water project. On Monday, assailants shot to death four American missionaries also working on a water project. The six killings suggest the insurgents are going after civilians as a means of undermining reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

The operation launched Wednesday is called "Iron Promise" and is expected to involve thousands of U.S. troops from the Fort Hood, Texas-based 1st Cavalry Division, which has recently arrived in Iraq, and the outgoing Germany-based 1st Armored Division. Scores of Iraqi Civil Defense Corps soldiers are also involved. In the first raid, about 250 troops from the armored division’s 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment as well as 250 Iraqi soldiers fanned out across the sprawling 20th Street Market, in the city’s Al-Bayaa district, which sells everything from vegetables to used car parts.

Some of the stores are suspected of supplying weapons to the rebels, said the raid’s commander, Lt. Col. Chuck Williams, 40, from Sterling, V. He said the market assault was just the start of a citywide crackdown on the guerrillas. "There is a lot of pressure everywhere. It is all over town. The big things we are looking for is people moving weapons, IED (improvised explosive device) materials and explosives and ammunition. Our soldiers are looking to deter or discover this activity. We want to shut it off," he said.

With helicopters hovering overhead, forces in Bradley fighting vehicles and Humvees circled the market to prevent rebels from escaping the area. Troops then went store to store searching for weapons and guerrilla suspects. Few residents expressed opposition to the search and the mood was relaxed. "There are so many places to run and hide. That’s why we have to lock it down. We could easily spend a few days doing this. But we basically just want the bad guys to know that we are still here," said Maj. Gregg Softy, 38, from Hyde Park, N.Y.

U.S. officials say they have identified 14 rebel cells across Baghdad and while raids on them in the past few months have disrupted their operations, they are still active. Unidentified assailants fired mortars late Tuesday that smashed into a house in south Baghdad, killing two Iraqi children, local residents said. Mortars on Tuesday night also hit the U.S. Forward Operating Base Falcon, in south Baghdad, home to the troops involved in Wednesday’s raid on the market. There were no casualties, according to U.S. military officials.

A German and a Dutch national were killed in a drive-by shooting near the town of Mussayab, 45 miles south of Baghdad on Tuesday, officials said. Their Iraqi driver and a police officer also were killed, and two police were wounded. Five Americans missionaries were shot in the northern city of Mosul a day earlier, leaving four dead and one wounded. The Virginia-based Southern Baptist International Mission Board identified the dead missionaries as Larry T. Elliott, 60, and Jean Dover Elliott, 58, of Cary, N.C.; Karen Denise Watson, 38, of Bakersfield, Calif.; and David E. McDonnall, 28, of Rowlett, Texas.

On Tuesday in Mosul, assailants in a car fired on a police vehicle, killing three officers and wounding a fourth, and separately gunmen killed an Iraqi woman working as a translator for the U.S. military. Mosul was a prime recruiting ground for the officer corps of Saddam’s army, and U.S. military officials have described the city as a hotbed of guerrilla activity. The CIA (news - web sites) and other U.S. intelligence agencies have a unit in the city that is searching for so-called "high value" targets in northern Iraq. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said such attacks were an attempt to divide the 36-nation coalition.

Posted by: Jarhead || 03/17/2004 8:47:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [228 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's a great way to train the incoming troops. We'll also see a spike in IED deaths as the newbies learn the lessons that the outgoing troops already know. You can train and train but, sadly at time, experience is the best teacher.

The Elliots are the parents of blogger Steve Elliott, who runs the Election 2004 Projection site.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/17/2004 9:02 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Pakistani Hillbillies Have Captured 250 Hostages
... Well-informed sources tell Asia Times Online that about 250 people, including a member of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) constabulary, the staff of a local political agent and members of the Khasa Dar force have been taken hostage by the tribespeople. Aside from the 10 soldiers killed in Tuesday’s encounter, the bodies of 10 more people, including a confirmed soldier of the Pakistan Army, have been sent to a camp in Wana by the tribals. These were said to have been hostages who were killed in captivity. ... Hundreds of tribals and Islamic militants have also taken position and have arranged suicide squads in case US troops make a move. Informed sources in the NFPT tell Asia Times Online that in the neighboring tribal towns of the Bajur, North Waziristan and Mohammand agencies, tribals are getting their act together. In South Waziristan, funeral prayers are going on in army camps as the tribespeople again draw their line with a warning that whoever crosses it will face certain death. ....
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/17/2004 7:43:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [345 views] Top|| File under:

#1  if this is true then the paks have goofed up fairly badly,shame
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 7:48 Comments || Top||

#2  This is going to roll and roll - as you say Shep, this will make for an interesting Spring. Read Howard Marks' 'Mr Nice'? There are a good couple of chapters where he rolls up in the Pak wild west to buy a few tonnes of hash. These tribal guys are mental, 'kin hard and a total law unto themselves. I think they gave the Brits a kicking in the 19th century too.

Re: OBL - Reckon we might be getting warm?
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 7:57 Comments || Top||

#3  OBL is a matter of time, either before he's found alive or someone shows us his grave.My problem with the Osamas dead theory is that surly they'd have a hard time keeping something like that a secret, he's there idol.Who knows how thier tiny brains operate eh. tribal guys may be hard when faced with a guy buying some dope but it becomes a differant story when faced with the coalitions incredably advanced tactics,training and technology. If i was a Pak tribesman the sound of a C-130 over head would cause me to dig a big spider hole and call that my new home and never leave, for if you do either a rain of heavy calibre gunfire from a Herky Gunship or if you lucky a MOAB from the other type of spec forces Herky. very scary indeed. :)
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 8:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Sigh, if only we could get our boys in there. (Be naive to imagine we aren't). I say go with the MOABs personally.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 8:11 Comments || Top||

#5  MOABs and daisy cutters are nice but 1 shot per flight. I love the latest thinking from Air force wise heads in America who would like to fit directed energy weapons to Herky gunships, Microwaved Pak anyone?
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 8:18 Comments || Top||

#6  Yes yes yes.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 8:21 Comments || Top||

#7  Or we could use the directed energy to make them go insane... oh...uh... nevermind.
Posted by: mhw || 03/17/2004 8:29 Comments || Top||

#8  i thought they already tried the MOAB and Daisy cutter aproach in the past..Without succes.
Posted by: lyot || 03/17/2004 8:30 Comments || Top||

#9  good point there Iyot, not sure how effective they are in terms of blast radius and patter in a mountinous area,one of the nukes dumped on japan wasn't as effective as it could have been due to the effects of terrain on the blast pattern. Perhaps the higher mountin alltitude also effects blast effects to (would it be better or worse). Perhaps having them set to airburst at say 1000 feet or even higher would be just as bad due to down pressures and shit. New thought - A thermobaric MOAB, now that really would be evil. :)
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 8:38 Comments || Top||

#10  If a terrorist survives by staying on the move, taking 250 hostages is a last resort. The prisoners are extra luggage that inhibits future skaddadling. Hostage taking also is a gamble that the government of Pakistan will consider the lives of the hostages to be of valuable. In a society where honor killing continues to exist, respect for human life is an assumption not a given.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/17/2004 12:02 Comments || Top||

#11  if this trend continues then US forces will be heavily involved in the area soon. it still surprises me how long we have waited. at the onset of the afgan war when pakland was in the crosshairs it should of been made clear - this are will be cleared! it is not like it was a mystery.
Posted by: Dan || 03/17/2004 12:36 Comments || Top||

#12  I don't understand how simple (albeit well armed) wood cutters could best the elite Pakis Scouts. I think there's a litte sand bagging.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 13:03 Comments || Top||

#13  My guess is the US forces are on the Afghanistan side of the border waiting for the game to be flushed in their direction. Some of the troublemakers see the situation and are trying the hostage route rather than get caught between the paks and Yanks.
Posted by: ruprecht || 03/17/2004 13:35 Comments || Top||

#14  SH et al - from the article it doesnt seem that the AQ's took the hostages, but that local Pashtuns did. Unlike the AQ, they arent keen on running to the mountains to live in caves - they have like families, and so forth. They assumed they could keep their nice little tribal life, while sheltering the AQ, perhaps with a payoff, cause the Pakis would never go there in force. Now that the Pakis ARE there, theyre desperate. So they figure taking hostages might disincent Perv.

Unlikely to get US troops in their openly as long as Pakis seem to be making progress. Indeed there was probably some threat of that to incent Perv to do this, and take it seriously. One hopes that there are some Spec ops around, if anyone senior makes a run for the mountains -doubt the Pakis have any capabilities there, and even if they did, we wouldnt trust them on that.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/17/2004 14:03 Comments || Top||

#15  One Buff, fully loaded, at max altitude. You guys just don't have a CLUE how absolutely horrible that kind of warfare is. Not only would the Waziris surrender, most of them would want to become coastal fishermen.

If the ground shaking and the constant explosions are enough to make you want to shit your pants from 20 miles away, consider what it must be like "up close and personal"??? If you can find one, ask any NVA or Viet Cong survivor how HE/SHE felt about Arclight. I'm sure you'll get an earfull, or be witness to someone suddenly cringing into the dirt at your feet.

Both actual and psychological warfare at its most intense.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/17/2004 15:22 Comments || Top||

#16  I think these guys were hardcore beardies put on the border by the Brits to protect the Empire from the chaos in Afghanistan. Pure bandit country:

Inhabiting the region are the Waziris, reputedly one of the most warlike tribes living along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

It has nine clans, with the biggest being Zali Khel, famed for its armed resistance to the British army in the 19th century.

Waziristan was described by a former British Army officer around that time as "a land of high and difficult hills, deep and rugged defiles, brave and hardy people, independent and patriotic."

From the personally beloved and much maligned Aunty Beeb

Patriot: Arclight?
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/17/2004 17:06 Comments || Top||

#17  Sounds like we're gonna need some Finns.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/17/2004 17:41 Comments || Top||

#18  one of the nukes dumped on japan wasn't as effective as it could have been due to the effects of terrain on the blast pattern.

There was an eyewitness account by a POW of the drop on Hiroshima. He survived because his group was working on the other side of a mountain ridge.

Looks like this is going to be Apache (the tribe, not the helo) territory...
Posted by: Pappy || 03/17/2004 21:09 Comments || Top||

#19  Howard, ARCLIGHT was a code-name for a particular type of bombing pattern. I helped pick and evaluate ARCLIGHT boxes. Each box is 6-8 miles long, 2.5 to 3 miles wide. ARCLIGHT was ALWAYS flown as a three-ship cell, each ship a B-52D with 106 750lb bombs. The ones on the wingtip pylons were equipped with 6-ft fuse extenders. Aircraft flew separated by 100ft in an inverted "V", and usually flew at max altitude - for a fully-loaded Buff, that was about 42,000 feet. Each aircraft dropped one bomb ever 1/4 of a second until the run was completed. It left an area of roughly 15-16 square miles nothing but churned gravel.

The one ARCLIGHT Strike I observed was almost 20 miles away, and it was enough to knock me to my knees. It's supposed to be able to kill someone instantly (shock effect) up to a mile either side of the box. The cave we were in was NOT your usual karst formation, and it shook so badly we risked being seen by crawling out - afraid the roof would collapse (it didn't). It did have a nasty effect on the bad guys we were watching - most of them (like us!) had headaches, were depressed, and had a hard time functioning normally for a couple of days. It's something I would ONLY wish on my worst enemies, but Wahabbi fundamentals have made themselves right at home in that spot.

Unfortunately, we don't have an "D" model Buffs left, and the remaining "G" and "H" models can "only" carry 86 weapons each. SO I'd recommend adding a fourth ship to the cell, and giving an entire tribe a taste of just how nasty modern warfare can be - without notice.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/17/2004 22:24 Comments || Top||

#20  Many thanks for clearing that one up for me, Patriot. I will keep any mention of munitions to a minimum in the future in the realisation that there are readers who have witnessed this at first hand and understand the terror inflicted. It's John Shep that brings out the rabid bloodthirsty loon in me... makes you wonder what they did at the Tora Bora caves then? That must have been a particular treat. Regards, H.
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/18/2004 4:22 Comments || Top||

Details About the Current Fighting in Waziristan
From Jihad Unspun
.... The operation began in the morning, and the Mujahideen had to initially retreat to defend their positions. According to Ausaf reporters based in Wana and Waziristan, approximately 700 Pakistan Scouts and other paramilitary forces began moving at 0400 hours. The armed contingent rallied into the area between Wana and Azam Warsak and surrounded the houses of Haji Sharif and Nur ul Islam, both brothers and members of the Yargil Khel tribe, a sub tribe of Ahmed Zai Wazir tribe. The brothers decided to hold their position, a gun battle broke out. Their stand prompted other tribesmen from around the areas to come to support the brothers and a full fledged battle broke out. The Scouts and paramilitary forces used armored personal carriers, while both sides used large amounts of rocket launchers, machine guns, hand grenades and other heavy and light and automatic weapons. Pakistan reported eight of their where killed and twenty four tribesmen however other reports put this number higher. There were reports of many others wounded on both sides. The fighting continued until night fall.

When the fighting became too intense for the paramilitary, soldiers from the Zeri Nur camp went sent in however they were surrounded before they could reach the battle theatre and were unable to help to the besieged Scouts members. The tribesmen surrounded them and two of Pakistan’s armored personal carriers were damaged due to heavy fighting. Another Pakistani vehicle was also destroyed en route in an accident. Firing was still being reported at the timing of this filing. More damage is expected to be assessed come daylight. The besieged scouts have kidnapped 13 men from the tribes to prevent the tribesmen from launching further assaults. Local residents have started to move out of the area and women and children are leaving on foot to avoid more carnage. American helicopter gunships and armored personal carriers were heavily used in the operation. All roads leading to Wana have been sealed.

Reports from Jasarat claim 30 Scouts are surrounded by the tribesmen and are in danger of being overrun and that the Pakistani government is in the process of negotiation with the tribesmen to secure their release. Jasarat has received reports 19 Pakistani soldiers were killed, not 8 as the Pakistani government is reporting. The news agency claims that there are piles of dead bodies littering the area and that ten of Pakistan’s vehicles were also destroyed. Some Chechens and Arabs were also reported to be martyred and Jasarat also claims that a total of twenty two Pakistani soldiers were wounded.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/17/2004 7:31:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:

#1  sounds like its all gonna kick off real soon, time too call in the CAS, B1B's would be nice. Interesting to hear of american helo's operating, but couldn't the reporter be mistaking them for Pakistani AH-1 Cobras? i say this cos it seems odd he said american armoured carrirs were being used also - but where are the American soldiers? i can't see them lending the Paks thier medium armour, just seems odd. None the less should be an exciting spring watching this unfold...
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 7:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Jon, they call them American gunships and APC's because they are made in the USA. Gives them a reason to blame America. Not that they need a reason, mind you. It's the same when the "Zionist Oppressors" use American-made Apache helicopter gunships.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 8:42 Comments || Top||

#3  ah i see, very clear now,can't believe i didn't twig on. Guess the 'religion of peace' has far differant journalitic standards then normal media.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 8:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Guess the 'religion of peace' has far differant journalitic standards then normal media.

No different than the NYT or the BBC.
Posted by: Steve || 03/17/2004 9:28 Comments || Top||

1 killed, 18 hurt as PA security forces battle militants
Palestinian security forces and militants traded fire in the middle of rush-hour traffic in downtown Gaza City on Wednesday, leaving 1 person dead and 18 wounded.
Makes being stuck in a traffic jam more interesting.
Witnesses said forces under the leadership of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s cousin, Moussa Arafat, ordered a carload of armed men to stop, but the men opened fire on the security men and a firefight ensued. Three Hamas members were reportedly arrested.
We will now see what Hamas does to release the men.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/17/2004 3:53:55 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is this the opening of the civil war we've been waiting for ?
Posted by: John C. Lately || 03/17/2004 8:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Do you think its time to fire up the popcorn popper?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/17/2004 9:10 Comments || Top||

#3  It was the Joooos I tell ya!
"forces under the leadership of ... Yasser Arafat’s cousin, Moussa Arafat" - Hey this sounds like Chicago.
Posted by: Spot || 03/17/2004 9:26 Comments || Top||

#4  heres what AP said "Fledgling efforts by Palestinian police officers to bring order to Gaza erupted in a raging, back-alley gunbattle Wednesday, when a Hamas militant who ran a red light in an unregistered car threw a grenade at police rather than accept a traffic ticket, police said. "

Aint no way youre ticketing me again, coppers!!!
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/17/2004 14:10 Comments || Top||

#5  "Is this the opening of the civil war we've been waiting for ?"

i dont think it will have a clear start. It will start gradually, with little incidents here and there.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 03/17/2004 14:11 Comments || Top||

#6  open warfare won't start until Arafish gasps his last bubbles, and the gills close for the last time (of course then the IDF will have to scoop him out with a net and flush him down the toilet)
Posted by: Frank G || 03/17/2004 21:48 Comments || Top||

Top Fatah activists leaving the movement to join Hamas
What every good civil war needs is two sides that are evenly balanced. Otherwise its over too soon and where is the fun in that!
Palestinian officials speaking at a meeting in the Muqata this week presented a grim picture of the Palestinian Authority’s situation in the Gaza Strip, highlighting in particular the PA’s lack of control over many activists from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Fatah’s military wing. Militant Palestinian groups already have a reputation for abusing the population of the West Bank and Gaza and scorning PA security chiefs. But the reports from Monday’s meeting, which was attended by PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and PA security force chiefs, are even more disturbing for the PA and for Arafat in particular. According to the reports, a significant segment of armed Fatah leaders in Gaza answer to senior Hamas officials. These Fatah leaders are not even taking the phone calls of the leadership in Ramallah.
"Mahmoud's not in, but if you leave a message I'm sure he'll get back to you..."
This is the situation in several parts of Gaza, according to reports, including the Jabaliya refugee camp and the neighboring neighborhood of Jabaliya in the north of the Strip, where the two suicide bombers who carried out the attack in the Ashdod port came from. It is also the case in the Dir al-Balah area in the center of the Strip, Abasan to the south of it and the Dahaniyeh region in southern Gaza. Two major groups that have effectively stopped operating under Fatah are the Abu Reish Brigades, which has been carrying out attacks in Gaza regularly over the last few weeks in conjunction with Hamas activists, and the Saladin Alayubi group, the armed wing of an organization that had been considered closely linked to Arafat. It has only recently become known that some members of this group now refuse to take instructions from Arafat. Although they have not declared an overt revolt against him, their actions indicate that they have crossed over to Hamas, whose leaders understand that recruiting other militants can help Hamas widen its power base in Gaza and break down Fatah loosening hold on the Gaza Strip.

In some cases, as in Dir al-Balah, the Hamas-Fatah connection was made when Fatah and Hamas activists met at the Islamic University of Gaza, a Hamas stronghold. In the Jabaliya region, Fatah and Hamas men know each other through family or neighborhood ties. The recruitment of Fatah activists is expected to significantly help Hamas if the Palestinian Authority decides to take action against it in Gaza, as well as in the case of local elections in Gaza at some future point. Half an hour after Sunday’s terror attack at Ashdod port, a man known as Abu Qusay, who said he was an Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades activist in the Gaza Strip, appeared on Hezbollah television station Al-Manar to announce the names of the suicide bombers who had carried out the attack. The port attack was the apex of a series of terror attacks carried out by both Hamas and Fatah. As Abu Qusay said, "The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades carry out the instructions of the true leadership of the Palestinian nation, and not the instructions of the people in Ramallah who have special interests and privileges."

About 10 recognized armed Fatah-linked groups and several smaller, family-based groups operate in the Gaza Strip. Mapping out where their loyalties lie is complex. Some of them, like that of Samir Masharawi, a senior Fatah member and preventative security service man close to former security affairs minister Mohammed Dahlan, are waiting out the situation in Gaza, trying to hold onto their power. Others, like that of Ahmad Halas, Fatah secretary-general in the Strip, are maintaining overt loyalty to Arafat. Both have issued startling reports to Fatah headquarters in Ramallah of Hamas’ recruitment of Fatah activists. Last week, Masharawi said Fatah wants a "declaration of honor", an agreement between Fatah and Hamas that will define the division of power in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli withdrawal. His comments primarily indicate the weakness of the traditional Fatah leadership in the Strip and its inability to control what’s going on within Fatah ranks. During a visit to the Muqata, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman demanded that Arafat maintain law and order in Gaza as a precondition to Egypt’s readiness to deploy forces along the Gaza-Egypt border. This reflected the Egyptian leadership’s concern that, in the absence of PA and Fatah control of the Strip, Egypt will have no one to deal with in Gaza after an Israeli withdrawal. Palestinian sources said Suleiman asked Arafat to give Dahlan broad authority in Gaza so as to reach this level of control. Arafat has yet to comply.
The UN were primary instigators of this whole situation when they designated Arafat the ’sole legitimate respresentative of the Palestinian people’. Let them sort it out. Better still Gaza is an ideal location for the United Nations headquarters. Let them see the results of their tireless work up close.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/17/2004 2:03:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [246 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fatah wants a "declaration of honor", an agreement between Fatah and Hamas that will define the division of power in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli withdrawal. His comments primarily indicate the weakness of the traditional Fatah leadership in the Strip

Ah yes, diplomacy, the sign of weakness. Until Westerner's get a clue that this is the mindset of these people, all roadmaps will lead to nowhere.
Posted by: B || 03/17/2004 6:42 Comments || Top||

#2  So, everyone's choosing up sides. I always hated being the last one picked.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/17/2004 9:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman demanded that Arafat maintain law and order in Gaza as a precondition to Egypt’s readiness to deploy forces along the Gaza-Egypt border.
I don't think that the Egyptians can deploy troops on the Gaza/Egypt border. It's against the Camp David Accords. The eastern third of the Sinai is a demilitarized zone. Maybe something's changed since I did my tour in the Multinational Force and Observers, but I don't think so.
Posted by: 11A5S || 03/17/2004 11:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Popcorn, anyone?
Posted by: mojo || 03/17/2004 11:59 Comments || Top||

#5  I'll take some, long as it's real melted butter and not too much salt.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 03/17/2004 14:04 Comments || Top||

ABC, BBC, ARD,NHK poll on Iraq was skewed to make the US look bad
You know that poll that everyone is referring to in Iraq that showed the Iraqis were really happy. Well what’s happening in Iraq is so positive that it even looks good after those left wing rags intentionally tried to skew the results. How, you ask? Well look at the PDF and you’ll see that....

Nationality: 2/28/04 11/15/03
Arab 79 73
Kurdish 17 22
Assyrian 1 3
Turkmen 2 1
Other 1 1

Muslim 96 93
Shia 33
Sunni 40
Non-denom. 23
Christian 3 5
Other 1 2

Even though the Shiites are 60% of Iraq’s population and the Sunnis are 20% they interviewed 40% Sunni and 33% Shiite. Hmmmm, a little odd no? But wait there’s more...

Kurdistan 14
Central 29
Baghdad 28
South 29

57% of those surveyed where in the Sunni triangle where all the unrest is! It’s amazing that these leftist rags tried this hard to skew the survey and it still came out so positive. Could you imagine what the real numbers are... How pathetic that these guys couldn’t even put the fix in to conform with their bankrupt ideology.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 1:19:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I suspect that the pollsters didn't venture far from Baghdad. In fact, I'm willing to bet that they didn't venture much beyond a 4 block radius of their watering hole hotel.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/17/2004 1:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Nice catch, DPA!
Posted by: Pete Stanley || 03/17/2004 1:39 Comments || Top||

#3  granted that the religious slant is a bit dodgy, however the regional population distribution is not that far off the mark (Baghdad region alone is a bit under 25%) then if you add other bits in the central regions this adds up to 54%, not quite as high as 57% but I have seen worse
Posted by: Igs || 03/17/2004 2:10 Comments || Top||

#4  But the point should be made that DESPITE the attempt at skewing the sample, the Iraqis are still better off than before, and they know it.

All that means is that the level of happiness is higher than the polls indicate.
Posted by: Ben || 03/17/2004 5:39 Comments || Top||

#5  well, I don't necessarily see an attempt to skew the sample. There might be some bias in the overall responses but the report does not provide enough information on how it was conducted and what stratification variables were taken into consideration. While there may be a different response pattern based on religious affiliation in this case, this can only be assesed through the analysis of the data. It may be true that religious affiliation played a part in the responses, then again it might not have. There's no information available to make a decision either way.
Posted by: Igs || 03/17/2004 6:19 Comments || Top||

#6  interesting to see though that Chalabi, the US wonder boy is the least trusted from the key figures. This seemed to have popped up in a nother recent survey.
Posted by: Igs || 03/17/2004 6:21 Comments || Top||

#7  did anyone expect any less?
Posted by: B || 03/17/2004 6:24 Comments || Top||

#8  wow superb bit of investigating there. I'm gonna get the PDF to see. Wonder if good journalist will cotten on to this
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/17/2004 7:21 Comments || Top||

#9  Too much time is wasted by surveying and polling.They are easily slanted to back up the position or ideology of whoever is giving them. To think that the fair and unbiased media would manipulate them on purpose is about as shocking as finding out there is no such think as unicorns. C'mon guys, how long have we known they are on the otherside?
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/17/2004 7:31 Comments || Top||

#10  Of course you're right JerseyMIke but I don't think everyone realizes they are on the other side. So when you point out something this blatant to everyone hopefully a few eyes will be opened that weren't before...
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/17/2004 8:28 Comments || Top||

#11  Thats a valid point DPA, but I think sides have been drawn for quite a while now. By the way, job well done on this piece of investigative work, I take for granted that they lie to me, its nice to see someone point out how they do it.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 03/17/2004 8:39 Comments || Top||

#12  DPA, I hope that you will be just as willing to point out misleading information attributed to 'your side'. There's plenty of misleading information coming from all corners
Posted by: Igs || 03/17/2004 8:50 Comments || Top||

#13  hmm..clever IGS. But not clever enough. There is still a one second difference between this post and the one you posted above with Fred's address on it. I bet it wouldn't be too hard for one of us to get YOUR address.
Posted by: B || 03/17/2004 9:03 Comments || Top||

#14  what are you going on about B?
Posted by: Igs || 03/17/2004 20:14 Comments || Top||

Iraq Insurgents Shifting to Soft Targets
Drive-by gunmen on Tuesday killed two Europeans working on a water project south of Baghdad, bringing to six the number of foreign aid workers killed in two days. The attacks apparently signal a strategy shift with insurgents taking aim at "soft" targets. In an attack on Monday, four American missionaries were killed in a similar shooting in the northern city of Mosul. They had also been working on a water project.
"Mahmoud! The water! It's ... clean."
"Yeah. Clear too. You know that means."
"Yeah, time to go kill someone!"
The Tuesday killings involved a German and a Dutch national gunned down near the town of Mussayab, 45 miles south of Baghdad, officials said. Their Iraqi driver and a police officer also were killed in the attack. Two police officers were wounded. Iraqi and U.S. officials earlier said the Europeans were Germans. But the Foreign Ministries of Germany and the Netherlands each confirmed one of their citizens had been killed. Names were not released. Col. A'ayed Omran, police chief in Mussayab, said the two were water engineers working on a project at Al-Razzaza, a lake near the southern city of Karbala. He said they were carrying weapons because they had been attacked in the same area before.

The four U.S. missionaries slain in Mosul were working on a water-purification project. One of them died on the way to a U.S. military hospital in Baghdad early Tuesday, and a fifth was being treated. The Virginia-based Southern Baptist International Mission Board identified the four dead missionaries as Larry T. Elliott, 60, and Jean Dover Elliott, 58, of Cary, N.C.; Karen Denise Watson, 38, of Bakersfield, Calif.; and David E. McDonnall, 28, of Rowlett, Texas. McDonnall died Tuesday morning on a helicopter taking him to a military hospital in Baghdad after four U.S. military surgeons worked for six hours to save his life, the mission board said. McDonnall's wife, Carrie Taylor McDonnall, 26, of Rowlett, Texas, was in critical condition, the board said. Lt. Col. Joseph Piek, a spokesman for American forces in Mosul, said the five Americans were traveling in one car on the eastern side of Mosul when they were attacked. Iraqi police and the FBI were investigating. Christian missionaries in predominantly Muslim Iraq are viewed with suspicion by many residents who believe the foreigners are trying to convert them to their faith. "They knew going into Iraq, they couldn't really share their Christian faith unless somebody asked them," said Larry Kingsley, a church deacon. "They were there in a humanitarian situation. They were people who just had a great heart for helping people out."
Bless 'em all.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/17/2004 11:21:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top|| File under:

Ajaria's leader agrees to talks
The leader of the breakaway Georgian region of Ajaria has indicated he is ready to negotiate a settlement to the dispute with Tbilisi. Nino Burjanadze, Georgia's influential parliamentary speaker, says she will travel to the region on Wednesday for talks with President Aslan Abashidze. Ms Burjanadze said late on Tuesday that she had spoken on the telephone with Mr Abashidze, and that he was ready for dialogue. Mr Abashidze says he is expecting Ms Burjanadze, but sounded defiant in an interview with Russia's NTV television. "I am ready to talk to anyone - to an enemy - but unfortunately it's very hard to talk to the current [Georgian] leadership," he said. He also said the Tbilisi government should send its proposals for resolving the situation in advance.
"So we can have a laugh, har-har!"
Meanwhile, Georgia's measures to try and bring the rebellious region to heel have begun to take effect: several ships have been stopped by the Georgian navy and prevented from entering Ajaria's port at Batumi - the region's biggest source of revenue. Its port ships about 200,000 barrels of oil a day. Bank accounts used by Ajaria's leaders to channel revenue from the port have been frozen, as well as the leaders' personal accounts. Local people have reportedly begun panic-buying in anticipation of shortages.
Georgia has a navy? Wanna bet it can outgun the relics in the Russian Black Sea fleet?
Hundreds of Ajarian hillbillies men - many ready for gun sex armed with automatic weapons - have swarmed gathered at the border, along with regular soldiers. They vowed to fight off a feared attack by Georgia, though expressed hope that the situation could be resolved. Meanwhile, Mr Saakashvili has agreed to meet Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov. The mayor says he is visiting Batumi to mediate, but has reportedly condemned Tbilisi for trying to "escalate the situation".
Posted by: Steve White || 03/17/2004 11:49:10 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under:

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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2004-03-17
  Baghdad Hotel Boomed - At least 10 dead
Tue 2004-03-16
  Troops and Tanks Poised on Gaza Border
Mon 2004-03-15
  Spain will withdraw troops from Iraq
Sun 2004-03-14
  Iran bans nuke inspectors
Sat 2004-03-13
  Syrian security forces kill 30 people during clashes
Fri 2004-03-12
  Conflicting clues on Madrid booms
Thu 2004-03-11
  Over 170 dead in Madrid booms
Wed 2004-03-10
  Maskhadov may surrender soon - Kadyrov
Tue 2004-03-09
  Rigor mortis for Abu Abbas
Mon 2004-03-08
  Iraqi Council Signs Interim Constitution
Sun 2004-03-07
  Ayman's kid sings!
Sat 2004-03-06
  Hamas, Jihad botch attack on Erez Junction
Fri 2004-03-05
  Yemen extradites founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad to Egypt; Mubarak invited to Crawford
Thu 2004-03-04
  2 Plead Guilty in Terror Arms Sale Plot
Wed 2004-03-03
  3 Hamas helizapped

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